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Type AMNESTY DECISIONS
Names BHEKI SUNSET XABA
Case Number AC/99/0038
Matter AM 1729/96
The Applicant applies for amnesty in respect of his conviction, on 30 September 1994, at Johannesburg, as an accessory with regard to the murder of Monna Philemon Skonyana at Thokoza, on 23 January 1993. He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment which he is currently serving at Boksburg Prison.
Notice in terms of Section 19(4) had been served on the deceased's family and his mother was present at the hearing. The family's interests were represented by the leader of evidence, Ms Lynn Lockhat. The Applicant who was represented by Mr H Dragt testified in support of his application. He confirmed his application and the affidavits which form part of the papers.
We do not intend to traverse the evidence of the applicant in detail. Suffice it to say his testimony was fraught with numerous inconsistencies and contradictions. It also differed in material respects with the explanations, allegations or versions contained in his application and the affidavits referred to above.
One such instance of this kind of problem with his evidence is that in his second affidavit he explains that he "was scared that if I told the truth, my position regarding my upcoming parole would be affected. I was overwhelmed by the presence of a lawyer, a certain Mr Claasens, whom I didn't know." In his viva voce evidence he said he had been helped by a white prisoner to fill out the form 1 with resultant communication difficulties. With regard to the affidavits he had been assisted by interpreters and lawyers and could not satisfactorily explain how such problems came to be.
However, the most fundamental aspect in this regard is the issue of whether he had been told what the persons in the vehicle he was to drive had done and why he was to drive the vehicle. He gave different versions of what he had been told and these differed from what is contained in his second affidavit, i.e., the one he seeks to rely on.
One other aspect which we find most problematic is the reason tendered by the applicant for his involvement in the incident, viz., that as a new driver he would somehow confuse the authorities and assist his colleagues to escape arrest. In the light of all the facts before us, this is so improbable that we find it to be false.