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Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARING

Starting Date 21 January 1999

Location PORT ELIZABETH

Day 4

Names SILIMELA NGESI

Case Number AM 6020/97

Matter FINDING

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CHAIRPERSON: We thought it would be polite for us to come in and advise you that there is a delay in commencing with our proceedings today, because the applicants still have to consult with their legal representative, Mr Mbandazayo.

There is also a further development in that an important witness who is material to these proceedings, have recently been located and attempts are being made to also consult with him. We would request you to bear with us because we will be starting a little later than we had anticipated.

We anticipate to start within 30 minutes from now. If this matter that has to be proceeded with, is unable to be commenced with, after 30 minutes, this Committee will come back and deliver its judgement in respect of the two matters that we heard previously, being the matter of Mr Ngesi and Mr Dingane and Mr Wanga. Thank you very much, I hope you will be able to bear with us.

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ON RESUMPTION

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen for your patience. Before we proceed with the next application, we would like to deliver our judgement in respect of the Ngesi matter and Dingane and Wanga applications.

F I N D I N G

This is our decision in respect of the application brought before this Committee by Silimela Ngesi (Ququmbana).

Mr Ngesi has applied for amnesty in respect of the following offences: an attack on the East London petrol depot on the 19th of August 1993, attempted murder of one Sergeant Oosthuizen and any other policeman involved in the shoot-out with the applicants on the same date, malicious injury to property in respect of cars damaged in the abovementioned shoot-out with the police, malicious injury to property in respect of a police R5 rifle, unlawful possession of firearms, being an R4 rifle, an R5 rifle, an AK47 rifle, RPG7 rocket and two RPG7 rocket launchers which were used in the attack on the depot and in the shoot-out with the police, respectively.

The application by Mr Ngesi is not opposed. Mr Ngesi testified that he had never been arrested for nor charged with the said offences.

He further testified that the acts were committed in the execution of the orders of his Commander, one Bulelani Quma, who was then a Director of Special Operations of APLA who also provided the weapons for the operation.

The applicant was one of the members of a Unit commanded by the said Quma. Mr Ngesi testified that the mission was unsuccessful in that the petrol tank did not explode as it was intended and subsequently resulted in the abovementioned shoot-out with the police.

Quma is known from the evidence previously led before the Amnesty Committee, to have been indeed a Director of Special Operations of APLA.

On the evidence placed before us by way of an affidavit by the applicant, incorporated into the record and marked Annexure B, as well as his viva voce evidence, the Committee is satisfied that the applicant complies with all the requirements for amnesty as provided for in the Promotion for National Unity and Reconciliation Act, 34 of 1995 as amended.

The reasons for the Committee's decision are as follows: the Committee accepts that the applicant was a trained soldier of the PAC's military wing, APLA, as set out in his application.

The Committee is further satisfied that the offences were committed in the execution of an order of APLA and therefore are acts associated with a political objective, as required by Section 29(1) of the Act.

The applicant's evidence broadly corresponds with a statement of one Warrant Officer Robertson, who was at the scene of the shoot-out at the time of the incident, involving the shoot-out with the police.

Accordingly, AMNESTY IS GRANTED to Mr Ngesi in respect of the following offences: the attack on the East London petrol depot in East London, on 19 August 1993; secondly the attempted murder of Sergeant Oosthuizen and any other policemen involved in the shoot-out between Mr Ngesi and the police in East London on the 19th of August 1993; thirdly malicious injury to property in respect of any cars damaged in the abovementioned shoot-out; fourthly malicious injury to property in respect of the police R5 rifle; fifthly unlawful possession of firearms being an R5 rifle, an R4 rifle, an AK47 rifle and two RPG7 rocket launchers.

That is our decision. We shall then proceed to deliver our decision in respect of the application

F I N D I N G

We shall then proceed to deliver our decision in respect of the application brought in by Mr Xabiso Aaron Dingane and Mr Bongile Steven Wanga.

The applicants apply for amnesty firstly in respect of the armed robbery of Johan Claasen at Kirkwood on the 28th of November 1988 in the district of Port Elizabeth. Secondly the applicants apply for separate incidents. The first applicant applies for armed robbery of Mr Robert Chapman Moss, committed at Grahamstown on the 20th of December 1985.

The second applicant applies for possession of, illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition and escape from prison. He was arrested on the 15th of October 1989.

The applicants are serving prison sentences of 13 years and 24 years and six months respectively. Both applicants gave evidence and stated that they were members of the Pan Africanist Congress.

The first applicant stated that he joined the PAC during 1976, whilst the second applicant only joined the PAC during 1980.

After joining the PAC, they both underwent instant military training in the then Transkei. The applicants further testified that the armed robberies were committed in the furtherance of the policies of the PAC and to acquire arms to prosecute their organisation's struggle.

In respect of the robbery at the Claasen's farm, both applicants were given instructions by one Jabu Mdunge and the proceeds derived therefrom, handed over to him.

There is however no unanimity from the applicants on this point. The first applicant in his application avers that such proceeds were to be utilised by their Unit in order to enable it to continue to prosecute their struggle.

However, in his viva voce evidence, his version was that not all the money was handed over to Mdunge, but some of it was retained by the Unit. The applicant's evidence on this point is contradictory and is accordingly not accepted by this Committee.

The first applicant also testified that even the Moss robbery during 1985, instructions were also given by Jabu Mdunge.

The applicants have testified that the 1988 robbery, they as applicants both belonged to the Assault Unit. During cross-examination, both applicants were unable to support their contentions that their offences were in pursuance of the PAC's policy, nor how the same would alleviate the oppressive situation in South Africa.

The applicants did not give the same code names of the Unit under cross-examination. From the evidence adduced herein, the Committee finds it highly improbable that the offences were committed by the applicants in the furtherance of the PAC policy.

Having regard to the evidence already led before the Amnesty Committee on how the Assault Unit of the PAC operated, it is quite clear that the evidence given by the applicants, on how their alleged Unit operated, is incomplete discord with that already led before the Committee.

In the premises, their evidence is accordingly rejected on this issue. The Committee is therefore not satisfied that the applicants being Mr Dingane and Mr Wanga have satisfied the requirements of Section 20(1) of the Act and THEIR APPLICATIONS ARE ACCORDINGLY REFUSED.

Thank you.

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