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Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARING

Starting Date 26 November 1998

Location PRETORIA

Day 4

Names EMMANUEL BHEKUMUZI TSHABALALA

Case Number AM 7735/97

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CHAIRPERSON: Who is next?

MR SIBEKO: Mr Chairman, may I be excused for now, Mr Mopedi will take over.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, Mr Sibeko you are excused.

MR MOPEDI: Mr Chairman, the applicant that I am going to call is Bhekumuzi Emmanuel Tshabalala, page 305.

CHAIRPERSON: Just for the purposes of the record, the next applicants are being represented by Mr Mopedi.

Mr Tshabalala, can you hear me?

MR TSHABALALA: Yes, I can hear you.

CHAIRPERSON: Will you please and just give us your full names for the record.

EMMANUEL BHEKUMUZI TSHABALALA: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mopedi?

EXAMINATION BY MR MOPEDI: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Tshabalala, you are the applicant in this matter and you are applying for amnesty as a former member of SDU for Lusaka-A, is that correct?

MR TSHABALALA: Yes, that is correct.

MR MOPEDI: Mr Tshabalala, could you tell this forum why you are applying for amnesty.

MR TSHABALALA: I am seeking amnesty because I was involved with the SDUs and I also used to carry an unlicensed or illegal firearm.

MR MOPEDI: You may proceed.

MR TSHABALALA: Would you please repeat.

MR MOPEDI: Do you recall any specific incident in which you were involved as a member of SDU for Lusaka, where you were carrying a firearm, shooting people. If you can relate those instances.

MR TSHABALALA: The one thing that I still remember is that we were patrolling at Lusaka and as we were patrolling Mochatchu contacted us via the hand radio, to the effect that Penduka was under attack and summoned for our help. We then received our orders from our commander, Mosa, and then we went to Penduka.

MR MOPEDI: Right, continue. Tell us what happened at Penduka.

MR TSHABALALA: When we arrived at Mshayazafe in Penduka, we indeed discovered that it was bad. We then partook in the attack, we started shooting.

MR MOPEDI: Who were you fighting at Penduka?

MR TSHABALALA: There were IFP members as well as the members of the Internal Stability Unit.

MR MOPEDI: Were you carrying a firearm?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

MR MOPEDI: What type of firearm?

MR TSHABALALA: An AK47.

MR MOPEDI: Have you pulled a trigger at Penduka?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

MR MOPEDI: And have you injured or killed anyone at Penduka.

MR TSHABALALA: I believe that when a person shoots there must be people who get injured or die.

MR MOPEDI: Do you know who those people were?

MR TSHABALALA: No, I don't know them.

MR MOPEDI: So in other words what you are telling us is that people might have been shot and killed or injured?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

MR MOPEDI: And who was your commander as you were launching that attack?

MR TSHABALALA: It was Mosa Msimango.

MR MOPEDI: Do you still remember from your side, that is your co-members, who were with you at Penduka, fighting with you?

MR TSHABALALA: If I am not mistaken I was with Zekele Msimango, Nkosana Tshabalala and our commander.

MR MOPEDI: So those are your members that you could remember now?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

MR MOPEDI: You may proceed. Are there any further instances that you could quote for this panel?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

MR MOPEDI: You may proceed to tell us.

MR TSHABALALA: The one incident that I still remember is that it so happened that in our section, that is Lusaka, if our commander issued out duties in the evening he would go out with some of the SDU members to patrol in the section, and should we come across firearms we would confiscate them and take them to our commander.

MR MOPEDI: Did you find any weapons as you were patrolling?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

MR TSHABALALA: Could you tell us if you still

remember?

MR TSHABALALA: Would you please repeat the question.

MR MOPEDI: My question is, as you were patrolling you found illegal weapons in possession of other people, so could you tell us about the weapons that you found? Were they knives or firearms or whatever, what kind of weapons were they?

MR TSHABALALA: Yes, we came across weapons such as firearms and knives.

MR MOPEDI: So do you know what happened eventually with those weapons?

MR TSHABALALA: These weapons would be taken by the commander and handled it within the Committee of Seven.

MR MOPEDI: You don't know what eventually happened to those weapons, you don't have first-hand information?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

ADV SANDI: Sorry, Mr Mopedi, just for clarity. These weapons the witness is talking about, who were they taking them from? They were patrolling, I follow that, they were confiscating weapons from who, from members of the IFP or from people in the community?

MR MOPEDI: Sir, if I understood the witness very well, he says he has found the weapons from other people, not necessarily members of the IFP but illegal weapons.

CHAIRPERSON: Why don't you just lead him. Just lead him on that aspect, just ask him who these people were.

MR MOPEDI: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Tshabalala, you're telling us that you were confiscating weapons from some other people, who were those people actually?

MR TSHABALALA: These people, some of these people were gangs, gangsters.

MR MOPEDI: So those people were just ordinary people, they were not members of any - to your knowledge, were they members of any political party or any organisation?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

MR MOPEDI: So you're now saying those were members of a gang. Could you specify or clarify us on that aspect?

MR TSHABALALA: Would you please repeat that part?

MR MOPEDI: You say you confiscated weapons from members of a gang, how do you know that those people were members of a gang, could you clarify us on that question?

MR TSHABALALA: We knew some of them, that they were members of the gangsters. We therefore had to frisk them and confiscate their firearms because they were using the firearms to harass the community.

MR MOPEDI: Do you know the name or names of those gangs that you are referring to?

MR TSHABALALA: Some of them are deceased, like Simphiwe and Vusi.

MR MOPEDI: And the gang, you only know the leaders of the gang. If say Simphiwe and Vuzi, were they members of a gang or leaders of a gang or the gang itself was Simphiwe and Vusi?

MR TSHABALALA: They were just members of the gang.

MR MOPEDI: So what I want to know from you is, those gangs that you are referring to, do you perhaps know the names of the gangs?

MR TSHABALALA: Yes, I know the names.

MR MOPEDI: Could you give us the names?

MR TSHABALALA: There was this one called the Bad Boys.

MR MOPEDI: Bad Boys and which gang, or is that the only one that you remember?

MR TSHABALALA: No, that was not the only gang, the other one was the Khumalo Gang.

MR MOPEDI: Apart from these two incidents that you have quoted, are there any further incidents, specific incidents that you still recall?

MR TSHABALALA: Yes, there is another one.

MR MOPEDI: You may proceed telling us.

MR TSHABALALA: The one incident in which I was involved is the Mandela section incident.

MR MOPEDI: Right, proceed.

MR TSHABALALA: It so happened that when we were patrolling in our section we received some information from Bonga through the hand radio, to the effect that his place was under attack, being attacked by the IFP. We then met our commander who issued out orders to us, to the effect that we should go up and assist our fellow brothers at Mandela section.

In that instant, as we were moving, we were just about to cross Ligwana and Mandela, we heard gunshots that were directed to us. We then returned fire to the people who were shooting at us until we defeated them. We managed to get into Mandela. We met people such as Bonga there, who gave us orders to the effect that we should go to the place where the conflict was going on.

MR MOPEDI: If you talk about Mandela and earlier talked about Penduka, it's not one and the same place, is that correct?

MR TSHABALALA: Mandela is in Penduka.

MR MOPEDI: When you started you told us about Penduka, that you were called by radio to Penduka, so are you still referring to the same incident?

MR TSHABALALA: Yes, I am referring to the same incident.

MR MOPEDI: Yes, my question is, apart from this one, Mandela incident and the incident where you were searching people, are there any further incidents?

MR TSHABALALA: No, these are the only ones that I still remember.

MR MOPEDI: Were you ever involved in a fight at Mazibuko?

MR TSHABALALA: Mazibuko is the very same area to which I referred as Mandela.

MR MOPEDI: Could you clarify for us, Penduka, Mandela and Mazibuko is one and the same place?

MR TSHABALALA: The names were changed at a later stage. Mtabamzimbi is now Lusaka section, Penduka is now called Slovo. In other words Penduka's name changed to Joe Slovo and the Mandela to which I referred, is in Mazibuko. In other words Mazibuko is just the name of the street, the section is Mandela.

MR MOPEDI: Yes, but my question is, Sir, Penduka, Mandela and Mazibuko, are you referring to one and the same place or are they three different places?

MR TSHABALALA: No, it's the same place, it's one place.

MR MOPEDI: So were you ever involved in a fight at Mshayazafe?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

MR MOPEDI: When was it?

MR TSHABALALA: If I still remember very well, it was on the 19th of April 1994.

MR MOPEDI: You may proceed, tell us fully what happened there.

ADV GCABASHE: Isn't that first incident the applicant testified to?

Correct me if I'm wrong, Mr Tshabalala, tell me if I'm wrong. You have told us that you were involved in the Mshayazafe incident, yes?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: You have also told us that you were involved in the Mandela section incident where Bonga communicated that he needed help?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: And then you have also touched on a third incident where, I think you said it Mchacho had contacted you. I seem to have three incidents here, am I right or have I got too many incidents here?

MR TSHABALALA: No, that one, the Mchacho incident is associated with the Mshayazafe incident.

ADV GCABASHE: The Bonga incident is the Penduka incident? I'm just totally confused about the incidents now that you have give us. How many incidents and at which places? Maybe if you gave us the years if you can, maybe that would help us. 1993, 1994, maybe that will help us a little bit.

MR TSHABALALA: The Mchacho incident in which I said we were contacted through red phone or radio, it happened in 1993.

ADV GCABASHE: The Bonga incident?

MR TSHABALALA: If I am not mistaken the Mshayazafe one, if I'm not mistaken, was in 1994 and the Bonga incident was in 1993. I think I mixed them up.

CHAIRPERSON: Just tell us, Mr Tshabalala, in how many incidents were you involved?

MR TSHABALALA: The Mshayazafe incident and the Mazibuko incident.

CHAIRPERSON: You were involved in two incidents?

MR TSHABALALA: Yes, these are the incidents that I have touched on here.

CHAIRPERSON: Now let's take number one, incident number one, which year did that happen and which month, the first incident?

MR TSHABALALA: The first incident as I have explained, happened in 1993.

CHAIRPERSON: And where did it happen?

MR TSHABALALA: This happened at Mshayazafe.

CHAIRPERSON: Where is this, where is Mshayazafe?

MR TSHABALALA: As I have explained, Mshayazafe is in Penduka.

CHAIRPERSON: And what is Mshayazafe, is it a street, is it a school, what is it?

MR TSHABALALA: It is a hostel.

CHAIRPERSON: So you were involved as an SDU member, in a fight at this hostel in 1993, is that right?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Who were you fighting against?

MR TSHABALALA: We were attacking the IFP members.

CHAIRPERSON: Who were living at this hostel?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you armed with an AK47 rifle?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And did you fire this AK47 rifle?

MR TSHABALALA: Yes, I did fire.

CHAIRPERSON: Who did you fire at?

MR TSHABALALA: I fired at the IFP members.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you shoot to kill them?

MR TSHABALALA: I think everybody who was shooting using a gun, knows the results that death is a possibility.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about yourself. Did you shoot to kill?

MR TSHABALALA: I fired these shots with an intention to defend the community.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I realise that because you were acting as a member of the SDU, but what did you intend, did you intend to kill these people?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And you accept that there is a possibility that you might have killed or injured some of them?

MR TSHABALALA: Yes, I think it's true.

CHAIRPERSON: But you can't tell us exactly who or how many people you might have killed or injured in that incident?

MR TSHABALALA: I cannot say. I did not see people who died or got injured when I shot.

CHAIRPERSON: Let us go to incident number two, when did that happen?

MR TSHABALALA: This incident happened at Mandela section.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, before you explain where, when did it happen, when? Give us a date.

MR TSHABALALA: I think this happened in 1993, if I'm not mistaken.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you give any other indication, perhaps the month possibly?

MR TSHABALALA: I do not quite remember the month.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it early in 1993 or in the middle of 1993 or towards the end of 1993, if you can help?

MR TSHABALALA: It was in the middle of 1993.

CHAIRPERSON: Where did this happen?

MR TSHABALALA: As I have explained earlier on, I did state that we went to Mandela after having received information from Bonga, wherein he was telling us that they were under attack and they wanted our assistance.

CHAIRPERSON: So are you saying that this incident took place in Mandela section in Thokoza?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you tell us where in Mandela section this happened?

MR TSHABALALA: At Mazibuko Street.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it at a particular place, at a house, at a hostel, at a school, at a church, can you help?

MR TSHABALALA: It happened in the street.

CHAIRPERSON: Who were you fighting with in this incident?

MR TSHABALALA: We were fighting the IFP members.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you again armed with your AK47 rifle?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you fire it again at these people, at these people you were fighting with, the IFP people?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And did you have the same intention as in the incident number one?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And again, you can't say if you have killed or injured anybody?

MR TSHABALALA: As I have stated before yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Are these the only two incidents that you can remember?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And you're asking for amnesty for your participation in these two incidents?

MR TSHABALALA: Yes, I am seeking amnesty insofar as these two incidents are concerned.

CHAIRPERSON: Now there is some indication that the first incident that you referred to, that it happened in 1994, is it possible that you are mistaken with the year? Because you said you think it is in 1993

MR TSHABALALA: Which incident are you referring to, would you please explain to me?

CHAIRPERSON: Incident number one that you referred to at the hostel in Penduka section.

ADV GCABASHE: Mshayazafe.

MR TSHABALALA: As I have stated earlier that it might as well be that I confused the dates and the years etc., I do not quite remember very well.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Tshabalala. Mr Mopedi?

ADV GCABASHE: Can I just very quickly.

Is it possible that you had two attacks at Mshayazafe at different times, or more than that in fact?

MR TSHABALALA: We only attacked once.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

MR MOPEDI: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Tshabalala, the AK47 that you were using, what happened to it?

MR TSHABALALA: This AK was taken by my commander, Mosa, and he took it to the stadium on the day when firearms were to be brought to the stadium.

MR MOPEDI: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MOPEDI

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Mopedi. Cross-examination?

ADV STEENKAMP: No questions, thank you, Mr Chairman.

NO CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ADV STEENKAMP

CHAIRPERSON: Panel?

ADV SANDI: Mr Tshabalala, just one question. The Bad Boys and members of the Khumalo gang, you say you confiscated weapons from them, did you do anything to those people?

MR TSHABALALA: No.

ADV SANDI: You are not making any application in regard to your treatment of those people?

MR TSHABALALA: As I have explained earlier on, I am just seeking amnesty insofar as the things that I did.

ADV SANDI: Members of the ISU, you say you saw then at Mshayazafe, did you aim any shot at members of the ISU?

MR TSHABALALA: That is correct.

ADV SANDI: Are you not making an application for amnesty in regard to that as well?

MR TSHABALALA: As I have stated earlier on that yes, I am seeking amnesty concerning all the things that I did.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you, Chair.

Mr Tshabalala, there are obviously other incidents that you were involved in that you can't remember, am I right?

MR TSHABALALA: No.

ADV GCABASHE: There are no other incidents at all, be they minor incidents or very serious attacks, between 1993 and 1994, that you may have forgotten about?

MR TSHABALALA: These are the only incidents that I remember and I know, there are no others.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you. Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Any re-examination, Mr Mopedi?

MR MOPEDI: Thank you, Mr Chairman, no re-examination.

NO RE-EXAMINATION BY MR MOPEDI

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Tshabalala, thank you very much, you are excused.

 
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