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Decisions

Type AMNESTY DECISIONS

Starting Date 17 November 1999

Location Cape Town

Names MOTSEPE EZEKIEL MAMETSE

Case Number AC/99/0325

Matter AM7448/96

Decision GRANTED

: DECISION

The first applicant Mr Moele is applying for amnesty in respect of the following offences:

1. The robbery of the Ormonde Police Station during February 1993;

2. The robbery of Transvaal Galvanising Company on 9 July 1993 at Vorsterskroon. An amount of R21 899-00 was robbed during an armed robbery in which Mr Moele made use of a 7.65mm Walter Pistol;

3. The illegal possession of a 7.65mm Walter Pistol on 9 July 1993;

4. The illegal possession of ammunition on the aforesaid date.

He was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment on the robbery charge and 4 years and 1 year imprisonment on the other charges. The sentences ran concurrently so that he has to serve an effective 16 years sentence.

Mr Mametse the second applicant, is only applying for amnesty in respect of the robbery of the Ormonde Police Station.

According to the evidence Mr Mametse was the Commander of the Unkhonto weSizwe (MK) Kathorus sub-region and was tasked by the ANC to establish Self Defence Units (SDU's) in the area. Mr Moele was second in command in the area. They were both trained MK soldiers and members of the ANC. Mr Mametse testified that they needed money and weapons to carry out their task of defending the community. He testified that although it was never publicly acknowledged policy of the ANC to allow members to rob in order to obtain money for their SDU activities, higher authorities of MK and the ANC in his view, knew about and sanctioned these activities. He told the Committee that before he re-entered the country, he and about a thousand other MK members were addressed by ANC officials and told that they should after entering the RSA organise defence units and if money or weapons is needed, they should get it.

He testified that he took the decision to rob the Ormonde Satellite Police Station, because he was in need of small arms to train members of the SDU and for self defence.

On 27 February 1993 the applicants, accompanied by Simphiwe Mkhumo, Tommy Mainetsa, Jonas Sparky Nyathi and Magaula Toloki, proceeded to the Ormonde Satellite Police Station. Mametse, followed by Moele and two other members of the group, entered the Police Station and the latter three disarmed the police present and took their weapons as well as two police radio's. A tape recorder was also removed. During the incident Mametse guarded the door and the fifth member of their group waited at the car. Although they threatened the police at gun point, no shot was fired and nobody was injured. Moele testified that he was not aware that the tape recorder was taken. Both applicants denied that they themselves took any private property from the three policemen present, but could not exclude the possibility that one or more of their other comrades might have done so.

Constable Sibusiso Justice Mbhele testified that he was on duty at the Police Station. He broadly corroborated the evidence of the applicants but testified that he was robbed of his private arm, a Citizen, gold watch, a wallet containing R180-00, a Panasonic radio cassette player and three cassettes. Constable Zulu and Molapi were also present at the hearing, but did not testify. According to a statement by their legal representative they were also robbed of their wallets. Mr Mametse testified that he would have condoned the robbery of these items if he had any knowledge thereof because cadres had to subsist while the struggle lasted.

The Committee will now deal with the incident referred to as the Transvaal Galvanising Company robbery on 9 July 1993 at Vorsterskroon.

Mr Moele testified that he was requested by his Commander, Mr Mametse, to urgently find R10 000 in order to buy eight AK47 sub machine guns and hand grenades. They collected about half of the amount, but needed the balance urgently because they feared that they might miss the opportunity to buy the weapons and it may even be bought by the opposing forces. He was second in command in the Kathorus sub-region and took the decision to obtain the balance of the money by robbing the business known as the Transvaal Galvanising Company. He maintained that he had the authority to take the decision because a general instruction to obtain money by whatever means, including robberies, was given by members of the ANC leadership. This was confirmed by his Commander, Mr Mametse in his evidence. He also confirmed that he wouldn't have had any hesitation in approving of the robbery in view of the instructions given to MK soldiers when they were addressed by members of the ANC leadership before re-entering the Republic.

Mr Moele further testified that he received information about the time, and the procedure followed, when salary payments were made by the Transvaal Galvanising Company. He commanded Simphiwe Mkhuno, Thobile Nzolo, Magaule Toloki and Roundy Moboa to accompany him. The applicant and Thobile Nzolo entered the building, confronted a Mr van der Walt, who carried the money, with a firearm and grabbed the money box. On their way out of the premises, the applicant fired a shot in the air to scare the people because somebody called out that they were using a toy gun.

The applicant and Nzolo stormed out of the premises but found that their comrades were not waiting at the gate with the getaway car. Each one grabbed as much of the money as he could get hold of and they fled in different directions. The applicant after running a distance, was picked up by a passing motorist, but soon thereafter landed in a roadblock and he was arrested, charged and sentenced to 16 years imprisonment.

Mr van der Walt gave evidence about the trauma he underwent and how it effected him but he did not oppose the application.

The Committee is satisfied that the offences were associated with a political objective. In the Transvaal Galvanising Company incident, it is not clear that it was directed against a political opponent, but this fact is not enough to neutralise the conclusion that the requirements of Section 20(3) of Act 34 of 1995 have been met.

Amnesty is GRANTED to both applicants in respect of the robbery at the Ormonde Satellite Police Station on 27 February 1993 and any acts, omissions or offences directly linked to the incident.

Amnesty is GRANTED to applicant Daniel Ndoda Moele in respect of the robbery of the Transvaal Galvanising Company on 9 July 1993 at Vorsterskroon and any acts, omissions and offences directly linked to the incident including to the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition on that particular day.

The Committee recommends that Constable Sibusiso Justice Mbhele, Constable Zulu and Constable Molapi and Mr Gert Abram van der Walt should be declared victims in terms of Section 20(3) of Act 34 of 1995.

Signed at Cape Town on this the 17th day of November 1999.

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D POTGIETER (AJ)

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ADV CHRIS DE JAGER (AJ)

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ADV. F. BOSMAN S.C.

 
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