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Decisions

Type AMNESTY DECISIONS

Names KIMPANI PETER MOGAI

Matter AM 3749/96

Decision GRANTED

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DECISION

The applicant applied for amnesty in respect of the following offences:-

1. The assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm on Jerome Joseph Maake at Tzaneen; on 13 September 1982;

2. Perjury in an attempt to defeat the ends of justice in the criminal trial resulting from the above assault;

3. Any other offence or delict directly linked to the above assault and flowing therefrom;

4. Any offence or delict directly linked and flowing from the kidnapping, detention and interrogation of Selby Mavuso, also known as MK Bab, at or near Zeerust during 1981.

The applicant testified that he went into exile during 1977 whereafter he joined the African National Congress ("ANC") in Botswana. As a result of his dissatisfaction with conditions in the ANC camps, he became disillusioned with the ANC and returned to the Republic of South Africa ("RSA"). After his return he was recruited by the South African Police ("SAP") and became an Askari.

While he was on duty in the Tzaneen area, he was ordered by Captain Johannes Stephanus Vermeulen, commander of the Vlakplaas Unit to which the applicant belonged, to assist in the interrogation of a man who was arrested near Tzaneen and whom they suspected to be an MK soldier. This man proved to be Jerome Joseph Maake. The applicant confronted Maake with the allegations against him. He denied being a MK soldier and any involvement in activities against the government. Vermeulen was not satisfied with the answers and started assaulting the detainee. The applicant, Warrant Officer Andrew Letsatsi and Constable Ephraim Mfalapitsa joined him in assaulting the victim. According to the applicant, Maake was severely assaulted.

The objective was to compel him to give information about MK activities in the area because they did not accept that he knew nothing about the then ongoing operations of MK. Notwithstanding the assaults no information was forthcoming from Mr Maake.

The Commander of the Security branch at Tzaneen, J.J.L. Badenhorst, learnt of the assaults and ordered an investigation. The result was that the four perpetrators were prosecuted. Vermeulen advised them to deny all allegations against them and at the end of the trial they were found not guilty.

The second incident in respect of which amnesty is sought, relates to an attempt to recruit MK Bab (Mr Selby Mavuso) to join the SAP and to become an Askari.

The applicant testified that MK Bab was brought to Vlakplaas after he had been kidnapped in Mozambique. The applicant did not partake in the kidnapping and only met MK Bab after he had been brought to the Western Transvaal where the applicant had been on duty at the time. The detainee was hand-cuffed and was placed under the supervision of the applicant.

According to the applicant, he knew Mr Mavuso well. They were trained together in Angola and used to be friends. The applicant guarded Mr Mavuso for about a week and a half and was instructed to persuade him to join the SAP and to become involved in the struggle against his fellow ANC colleagues. Notwithstanding all efforts, Mavuso refused to become an askari. According to the applicant he saw no evidence of any assault on Mavuso and no such assaults occurred during the 10 days while he was under his supervision. He constantly guarded the detainee who slept in the same room with him.

Approximately after ten days he informed Vermeulen, that he was unsuccessful in recruiting Mavuso. Vermeulen thereupon took Mavuso with him. He has not seen Mavuso since but recently heard that his body was amongst others exhumed near Rustenburg.

It was submitted that although the applicant did not commit any direct crime against Mr Mavuso he associated himself with the unlawful detention of Mr Mavuso after he had learnt that he was kidnapped and abducted from Mozambique.

The Committee is satisfied that the applicant has made a full disclosure of all relevant facts, that the offences were associated with a political objective and flowed from the conflicts of the past.

Amnesty is GRANTED in respect of the following offences:-

1. The assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm on Jerome Joseph Maake on 13 September 1982 at Tzaneen;

2. Perjury in an attempt to defeat the ends of justice in the criminal trial resulting from the above assault;

3. Any other offence or delict directly linked to the above assault and flowing therefrom;

4. Any offence or delict directly linked and flowing from the kidnapping, detention and interrogation of Selby Mavuso, also known as MK Bab, at or near Zeerust during 1981.

The Committee recommends that Mr Jerome Joseph Maake and the next of kin of Mr Selby Mavuso should be regarded as victims in terms of Act 34 of 1995 and forward their names in terms of Section 22 of the aforesaid Act to the Committee on Rehabilitation and Reparation.

SIGNED AT CAPE TOWN ON THIS THE

: DAY OF

: 2000.

JUDGE S MILLER

C. DE JAGER (AJ)

ADV. S. SIGODI

 
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