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Decisions

Type AMNESTY DECISIONS

Names NKOPANE DIAHO-MONAHENG

Matter AM3828/96

Decision GRANTED

DECISION

The Applicant makes application for amnesty in terms of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act No 34 of 1995 as amended (the Act) for amnesty in respect of one count of murder, one count of robbery with aggravating circumstances, two counts of arson of two farmhouses on farms known as Brindizi and Killarney respectively, one count of arson on the Riverside Lodge at Ladybrand and the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition used in the aforementioned incidents.

The Applicant was a member of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) and was a member of the Azanian Peoples Liberation Army (APLA).  He received military training abroad and infiltrated South Africa as a group in 1990 based at Port St Johns.  It was known as the Bokela Regiment.  The Applicant was the district commander and one Thabo the unit commander.  The Applicant was assigned to the Ladybrand area and in the field he was the unit commander.

Lester, the Deputy Director of Operations of APLA gave commands as to the general policy of the activities related to APLA units.  The general policy was to drive white people from land because it did not belong to them.  The occupants of land were legitimate targets.  These attacks would also be used as springboards for the struggle.  In doing this, APLA was divided into a repossession unit and a combat unit.  The further instruction was to obtain funds by whatever means including murder for the furtherance of the struggle.

In line with the policy, the Applicant identified the two farms in Fouriesburg and the Riverside Lodge at Ladybrand.  The latter further became a target because members of the security forces who did border duty frequented it.  The Applicant also had information that the Afrikaner Weerstand Beweging (AWB) was having a meeting there.

On the 14 August 1993, the Brindizi and Killarney farms at Fouriesburg were attacked after the unit of six was split into two groups, each smaller group going to the respective farms.

It is not clear to which one the Applicant went.  The intention however was to attack both and kill the occupants thereof.  They all carried arms and molotov cocktails (petrol bombs) for this purpose.  They threw the petrol bombs at the respective house and when nobody came out of either, realised that nobody was at home.  The Applicant fired a shot with his rifle as a pre-arranged signal for the retreat of both groups when about five motor vehicles approached the farm at which the Applicant was.  They retreated with nobody killed or injured.

On the 16 September 1993, a unit of four, all armed with firearms, handgrenades and molotov cocktails went to the Riverside Lodge at Ladybrand.  They found that the meeting of the AWB they thought was going to take place was either finished or had not taken place at all.  They threw the petrol bombs at the lodge and retreated.

In all three instances they reported back to Lester, the Deputy Director of APLA Operations.  On the 16 April 1994, the Applicant was part of a unit which attacked a vegetable shop at Station Street Randfontein.  This attack was in line with existing PAC and APLA policy.

The Applicant acted as a guard for the rest of the unit which was essentially a repossession unit of APLA.  Whilst they were robbing the shop, the owner of the shop, Joao Jardim, was also shot and killed during the operation.  The unit took an amount of R3 000.00.  While fleeing, the attacker shot a bystander, David Oupa Motshaole probably in an attempt to avoid identification.  The money was later handed to Maseko, the commander of the APLA unit and who gave the instructions to carry out the said operation.

The Committee is satisfied that the formalities of the Act have been complied with and that the Applicant has made full disclosure of the relevant facts pertaining to all these events.

The Committee is also satisfied that the Applicant acted within the realms of the PAC and APLA policy of that time and consequently committed these crimes for political reasons.

In the result, amnesty is GRANTED to the Applicant in respect of the delicts and criminal offences related to:

1.    The murder of Joao Manuel Jardim on 16 April 1994;

2.    Robbery with aggravating circumstances at 14 Station Road, Randfontein on 16 April 1994;

3.    Arson attack on the Brindizi and Killarney Farms at or near Fouriesburg, on 14 August 1993, and on the Riverside Lodge at Ladybrand on 16 September 1993;

4.    Unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, during all the aforementioned incidents;

5.    Contravention of the Explosive Act.

The following persons are in the opinion of the Committee victims as envisaged by the Act and their position as such are referred to the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee for consideration in terms of the Act.

1.    Jose Jardim.

2.    David Oupa Motshaole.

3.    John and Judy Watson.

4.    Ted and Ruth Middleton.

5.    Linda van Mienen.

SIGNED AT CAPE TOWN THIS THE 29TH DAY OF MARCH 2001

JUDGE R PILLAY

ADV F BOSMAN

MR JB SIBANYONI

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