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Type AMNESTY DECISIONS
Names FANNIE ABRAM MKHWANAZI
Case Number AC/99/0346
The applicants, John Radebe (hereinafter referred to as the first applicant) and Fannie Abram Mkhwanazi (hereinafter referred to as the second applicant) apply for amnesty in terms of Section 18 of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act of 1995 for the murder of Martha Hapile Ndumo and the attempted murder of Elsie Mokoena at or near Sebokeng, Gauteng on 15 August 1993. Martha Hapile Ndumo was shot and killed and Elsie Mokoena was shot in the neck but survived. They also apply for amnesty for the unlawful possession of firearms used in the commission of the aforesaid offences. Both applicants were convicted of these offences and sentenced to terms of imprisonment, which they are still serving.
In addition to the above, the first applicant applies for amnesty for the murder of Maletsatsi Marumo at or near Small Farms, Gauteng on 14 June 1993. The first applicant was convicted of this murder and also sentenced to a term of imprisonment.
This application was opposed by both the victim Elsie Mokoena and the mother of the deceased, Hapile Ndumo, who both testified at the hearing. The evidence of the victim Elsie Mokoena corresponded in broad outline with that of the applicants themselves in so far as the incident was concerned whilst the evidence of Mrs Ndumo did not assist much in so far as the merits of the applications are concerned.
Both the applicants gave oral evidence and, in addition, Mr Bonga Norman Khumalo, a former MK cadre, Mr Stanley Gquba, a member and official of the ANC Youth League at the time and Mr Mavuso Mhlongo, the Commander of the SDU of which the applicants were members, testified in support of their applications.
From the evidence presented at the hearing, the Committee accepts as common cause, that politics played a major role in the murder and attempted murder in respect of which amnesty is sought by the applicants. The Committee is further satisfied that the second applicant in so far as he participated in the offences for which he seeks amnesty, merely carried out the orders of his co-applicant Radebe who was authorised to give such instructions. The evidence of both applicants and that of the three witnesses called by them in so far as their respective testimony was relevant in each particular instance, supported the testimony of the second applicant that:-
(b) that both applicants were members of the SDU for that area and participated in the offences for which they seek amnesty in their capacity as SDU members and that the first applicant who gave the second applicant the instructions was his senior, was authorised to give such instructions; and
(c) that both women were widely regarded as cooperating with the IFP and were labelled as "midlwembe" meaning IFP collaborators and had in fact been previously punished by the community for this and warned to cease their alleged cooperation.
Consequently the Committee finds that the second applicant's application complies with all the requirements for amnesty in terms of Section 20(1) of the Act; and therefore that the offences for which he seeks amnesty are acts associated with a political objective.
In so far as the application of the first applicant is concerned, the Committee accepts as common cause that there was political violence between the ANC and IFP in the area where the incidents took place and the SDU's objective was inter alia to kill all alleged IFP collaborators in the area.
The first applicant, in a similar fashion to his co-applicant, relies on an order received from Mabuso Mhlongo, an alleged Commander of the SDU unit in which the applicants were members. In this regard the Committee was presented with the difficulty in that the two applicants gave different versions as to who commanded the unit as well as to who gave the order to the first applicant. The second applicant named Khumalo as the Unit Commander whilst the first applicant testified that the Unit Commander was Mhlongo. After careful consideration the Committee came to the conclusion that this discrepancy was due to a misunderstanding and the second applicant simply failed to draw a distinction between the status of the overall Commander who was Khumalo and the Commander of the particular unit, who was Mhlongo.
Other discrepancies in the evidence of the two applicants can, in the view of the Committee, be explained in the light of the long time that has elapsed since the commission of the offence and are in any event not considered to be of such material nature so as to bar the granting of amnesty. Consequently the Committee is satisfied that both the applicants have made a full disclosure of the relevant facts as required by the Act.
The murder of Maletsatsi Marumo in respect of which the first applicant applies for amnesty took place much against the same background as that of the incident discussed above and it is accepted that the killing was politically motivated. No relatives of the victim, Maletsatsi, could be traced and the matter proceeded on an unopposed basis.
There is nothing to gainsay the evidence of the first applicant that Maletsatsi was regarded as an informer and that it is for this reason that she was killed. The applicant testified in detail with regard to the reasons why, where and the manner in which she was killed and the Committee is satisfied that the applicant has made a full disclosure of all relevant facts relating to the incident and is further satisfied that the offence committed is an act associated with a political objective in terms of Section 20(1) of the Act.
1.1 the murder of Hapile Ndumo and the attempted murder of Elsie Mokoena at or near Sebokeng, Gauteng on 15 August 1993;
2.1 the murder of Hapile Ndumo and the attempted murder of Elsie Mokoena at or near Sebokeng, Gauteng on 15 August 1993;
In conclusion the Committee feels duty bound to express its concern about the particularly callous manner in which the applicants, more particularly the first applicant have committed the offences dealt with in this hearing.
The Committee is of the opinion that the two applicants are in need of some counselling or rehabilitative intervention intended to prepare them for normal civilian life. If this does not happen there is a very real risk that the two applicants who were very young at the time when the offences were committed, will not be able to re-adjust in society.
The Committee is of the opinion that the next-of-kin of both Hapile Ndumo and Maletsatsi Marumo as well as the victim Elsie Mokoena are victims in terms of Section 26 of the Act and hereby recommends that they be referred to the Committee on Reparation and Rehabilitation for consideration.