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Type AMNESTY HEARINGS
Starting Date 02 February 2000
Names MOGUPUDI MPHAGA
Matter BOY SKOSANA
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CHAIRPERSON: We will proceed to hear the applications of Tsepo Matlala Makola and Mogupudi Bierman Mphaga. The panel sitting to consider these two applications comprises Judge Khampepe, Judge Motata and Judge De Jager. Will the legal representatives appearing on behalf of the two applicants place themselves on record?
MR RICHARD: Yes Chairperson, I'm indebted for the indulgence granted on behalf of adjournment. I've proposed to call the second applicant first, that's Mr Mphaga. He was indeed the commander of the unit in the area and with the Committee's
JUDGE DE JAGER: Mr Richard, I don't think - we've got a peculiar situation here. He's already been granted amnesty. We've got his application on oath before us so you could as far as the background is concerned you could be very short about it.
MR RICHARD: Chairperson, I accept that but if one looks at page 19 of the bundle there the victim makes the statement that the applicants who claimed to be MK trained cadres. I believe it was necessary in lieu of that to shortly report that there was training. I'm going to proceed.
MR MPHAGA: We worked with Boy Skosana in our unit in Gangala. The report which he made is that I gave him a task to gather intelligence about people who were opponents of the organisations of our liberation. Then the name of Mr Skosana came up, then we asked questions about that then it was discovered that Mr Skosana was working at the former Vanderbijl government and then again he is a guest, he is supporting the amalgamation of Gangala to KwaNdebele.
MR RICHARD: If I remember well that the former government used to employ people if not all but many of them, where those who were supporting their policies because you were not able to bite the hand that feeds you. Therefore it shows that Mr Skosana was prepared to fight against our liberation struggle. That is why in June 1990 we went to his place and fought him.
"To protect members of community organisation opposed to the forceful incorporation of Gangala into KwaNdebele."
MR MPHAGA: The ANC was against that policy of that incorporation as it was the same with Mutsi to be incorporated in KwaNdebele. ANC in terms of my knowledge was against that policy that Gangala should be amalgamated with KwaNdebele forcefully.
MR MPHAGA: My seniors who were instructing me in Zimbabwe, they told me that because they would not be there then I'll be the one who would be in that particular area as I was in Gangala at the time but when I was in association with the comrades were staying at Gangala, we would investigate those who were against the liberation of our people. Then after we've identified people who were supporting the system which was not popular to the masses. After that we identified Mr Skosana then we informed Chief Matebe, then he informed others who were senior to me, that is why we went to Mr Skosana's place. Then we attacked his house.
MR MPHAGA: We knew that he was not staying alone at that particular place therefore we foresaw that if we threw handgrenades therefore we would kill all people who were occupying that house at that particular time, that is why we did not use handgrenades.
MR MPHAGA: I was facing towards the bedroom which I received information that he was sleeping in therefore I directed my bullets to that particular room. We were shooting above the shoulder heights of the wall even though some bullets went directly lower because we knew that you could not be perfect in your shooting.
MR MPHAGA: I would explain it this way that Mr Skosana, I did not know Mr Skosana but I learnt from various comrades complaining that he was in touch of the access of the hall or usage of the hall and then he many instances he did not allow them to use the hall because he was employed by the oppressive regime. That is why I agreed with them that he was not supporting us but he was supporting the previous regime. That is why at the end we attacked Mr Skosana.
CHAIRPERSON: Nothing has been said about Imbokodo. Either in relation to his participation or in relation to why Mr Skosana was identified as a target. I'm quite familiar with the bundles and I'm aware that Mr Skosana has referred to Imbokodo but it has no bearing on the issues we have to decide.
MR RICHARD: Chairperson, I accept your direction, it's relevant only in the sense that it is raised as a name in the papers and if the indication is that we do not need to investigate that then I leave the point.
MR STEENKAMP: Thank you Madame Chair. Madame Chair, I just want to put on record that my previous colleague, Advocate Madikwa, could because of unforeseen circumstances not be able to present Mrs Skosana and the family and under the instruction of Mr Skosana, I've been asked just to raise a few issues with the applicant. I've explained to him position, all these objections as far as I can understand has been raised in his affidavit contained in page 19 and 20. I've also indicated to my learned colleague, Mr Richard, that they will be opposing the application, specifically contained in page 20. As far as I can understand, he has dealt with the majority of them in his testimony in relation to applicant number two who testified first. There's only one or two questions if I can be allowed just to put to the applicant and that would basically be suffice if I could be allowed, just to raise two issues.
MR STEENKAMP: And secondly, it's his view and his submission that he has never done anything to frustrate the community only by doing his duty and taking up his responsibility as a civil servant of KwaNdebele government. In short, he was never involved in any political action or conflict or anything to that extent. Do you have any comment to that?
MR MPHAGA: I'd repeat again and I would dispute just a little. You'd remember that at the time we did not know how the government was operating. When he denied with the keys, if he explained maybe we would not have done that but because he did not explain and then because of petty talks which were out of the way, that is why we attacked him.
MR STEENKAMP: Lastly, he is saying that since you raised the question of the hall, he can respond and he will respond if necessary to say that he was never asked for any key or any access to the hall which you concede he was in charge of? Do you have any comment on that? Basically he said he was never asked by any political party or any organisation for authorisation to use the hall which he was in charge of.
MR MPHAGA: I've already explained that I was not a resident of Gangala, I was staying in Moutsi. We were using Mbata as an intelligence gatherer. He is the one who brought the information that Mr Skosana is not prepared to work with the people's organisations. At the time I referred to Gangala Civic Association and Gangala Youth Congress. There were rumours that he was not willing to give people the keys for them to have access to the hall and that he was not prepared to work with comrades. You know that during that previous regime it was a serious issue because that government killed many people notwithstanding that our organisations killed other people but the previous government killed many people.