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The glossary provides an explanation of places, groups, vernacular terms and events discussed in the TRC hearings.

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Select 'references' to view references to each term in transcripts, lists and the Final Report. Select 'export' to download the database on this page.

Glossary

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NameDescription
Ntuli funeralGunmen opened fire from a minibus on mourners at the funeral for Sam Ntuli, General Secretary of the Civic Association of the Southern Transvaal, on 7 October 1991, at Natalspruit, Vosloorus, Tvl. Twenty people were killed and 26 injured in intense political conflict before and after the funeral. The ANC also claimed that at least four of the 20 mourners killed after Mr Ntuli's funeral had been shot dead by the police. The Khumalo gang was linked to both the assassination of Ntuli and to the attack on mourners at his funeral.References
Nxele homesteadIFP supporters attacked the Nxele family homestead in Ndaleni, Richmond, Natal, on 2 July 1993. The attackers barricaded the houses to prevent any escapes, then hacked and shot family members. Eight people were killed, including two children. The survivors were all seriously injured. The family was allegedly attacked for sheltering ANC refugees.References
Nyangwini attackEight members of the IFP Youth Brigade were killed at the home of a prominent IFP leader in Nyangwini, Port Shepstone, Natal, on 4 September 1992, in an attack carried out by ten uniformed men armed with AK47 rifles, allegedly ANC members. The Youth Brigade members were waiting for transport to take them to a rally in Ulundi when they were attacked. Two more bodies were found nearby. At least 12 people were injured. References
Operation KatzenIn 1986, the SADF set up a clandestine operation to overthrow the existing homeland governments of Ciskei and Transkei and establish a regional resistance movement ( Iliso Lomzi ) to counter the influence of the ANC and UDF in the region. Co-ordinated at Defence Headquarters in Pretoria, Operation Katzen was only partially implemented. Its included a successful jailbreak, abductions and an abortive attempt to abduct or kill Lennox Sebe.References
Operation Zero ZeroEight young activists were killed and at least seven were injured in explosions involving booby-trapped hand grenades in Duduza, KwaThema and Tsakane, Tvl, on 26 June 1985. The zero-timed grenades had been provided by a Vlakplaas operative purporting to be an MK operative. The operation, codenamed 'Zero Zero', had been authorised by the Minister of Law and Order. Fifteen Security Branch operatives, including the head of the Security Branch and other senior personnel, were granted amnesty for the operation.References
Orde Boerevolka militant right-wing organisation formed by former security policeman Piet RudolphReferences
pangaa large knife used as both a tool and a weapon References
Passa pass book or a dompas that every black person over the age of 16 was required to carry, indicating whether they had the right to be in any given area, and for how long.References
PeacemakersIn 1980, some parents opposed to the school boycotts in Grahamstown formed a vigilante group called the 'Peacemakers', charged with the task of persuading children to go back to school. The Peacemakers did not succeed in ending the boycott. Instead, there was a violent clash involving students, Peacemakers and police at Andrew Moyake School in Joza, Grahamstown. Another vigilante group known as the 'Peacemakers' emerged in KwaNobuhle, Uitenhage, Cape, in 1984 to help the KwaNobuhle Town Council counter popular opposition to its decision to raise rents and service charges. Violence between UDF supporters, the police and the vigilantes escalated between September 1984 and March 1985. The police regarded the Peacemakers as helpful in maintaining law and order and admitted that members of the Peacemakers were acting as informers for the Security Police. References
PEBCO ThreeSipho Hashe, Champion Galela and Qaqawuli Godolozi, members of the Port Elizabeth Black Civic Organisation (PEBCO), an affiliate of the UDF, were abducted on 8 May 1985 by members of the Port Elizabeth Security Branch, taken to Post Chalmers and killed. Their bodies were subsequently thrown into the Fish River. Askaris from the Vlakplaas unit assisted in the operation. References
people's wara popular national rebellion of both trained soldiers and ordinary civilians during the mid- to late 80s. The strategy, promoted by the ANC, involved integrating armed MK combatants with mass organisations inside South African townships, and rendering the townships ungovernable through attacks on the security forces and other representatives of the state.References
Phola parkOn 8 April 1992, over a hundred residents of Phola Park, Tokoza, Tvl, were severely beaten with rifle-butts by members of the SADF 32 Battalion, in Thokoza, Tvl, after an SADF member was shot and injured in the area. Two women were shot dead and at least four raped during the raid. An investigation by Justice Goldstone concluded that the soldiers had acted in a manner 'completely inconsistent with the function of a peacekeeping force' and recommended that the unit should not be used for peacekeeping duties anywhere in South Africa.References
Piet Retief ambushestwo ambushes by Eastern Transvaal Security Branch and Vlakplaas operatives on ANC and MK members near Piet Retief, Tvl, on 8 and 12 June 1988. On 8 June 1988, a Vlakplaas operative posing as a taxi driver transported four ANC members to a spot where they were ambushed. Weapons were planted in the vehicle to corroborate the operatives' claim that the four had been killed during a shoot-out. Nine Security Branch operatives, including the commander of Vlakplaas , were granted amnesty for the incident. In a similar incident on 12 June 1988, an Eastern Transvaal member of the SAP, posing as a taxi driver, transported four MK operatives to the ambush site. Fifteen Security Branch operatives, including the divisional commander of Eastern Transvaal and of Vlakplaas , were granted amnesty for the incident.References
Pirates football cluba vigilante gang that engaged in attacks on UDF supporters in Leandra, Tvl, during 1985References
Police brutalityThe 1980s and 1990s were characterised by ongoing student protests and boycotts and the repressive and brutal response of the police to those engaging in resistance politics. Members of the SAP frequently resorted to firepower as a means of crowd control when clashes broke out between police and protesters in public marches, demonstrations and at funerals. Members of the SAP also frequently used assault and torture as a means of extracting information from detainees or punishing detainees for their alleged role in active community politics such as organised boycotts and protest actions. The Commission received many victims' accounts of police brutality, particularly in public order policing situations, and in the course of detention under emergency regulations. References
Pollsmoor marchOn 28 August 1985, thousands of marchers set off from different points in Cape Town to Pollsmoor prison to demand the release of Nelson Mandela. The marches were violently disrupted by police. Nine people were killed that day, and by the end of the week the death toll had risen to 28. The event helped spark the outbreak of street protests and severe unrest across Cape Town until the end of the year.References
Pondoland revoltThe Pondoland revolt, also known as Nonqulwana , took place in Pondoland in the eastern Transkei in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was an extended uprising by Pondoland groups - particularly ANC supporters who referred to themselves as iKongo members - against the imposition of tribal authorities and impending self-government for Transkei. Numerous incidents of violence took place during 1960, including clashes between security forces and iKongo members, attacks by iKongo members on chiefs and those regarded as collaborating with chiefs or police, and the destruction of iKongo members' homes by chiefs. On 6 June 1960, conflict developed between security forces and iKongo members at Ngquza Hill in the Lusikisiki region of Pondoland, when security forces broke up an iKongo meeting. Victims told the Commission that the meeting was tear-gassed from aircraft, after which police on the ground moved in, some of them opening fire, killing at least 11 iKongo members. Immediately after the Ngquza shootings, police rounded up suspects. Family members were also assaulted by police in attempts to track suspects. Legal methods used by the security forces to crush this revolt included the declaration of a state of emergency on 30 November 1960, widespread detentions, criminal prosecutions and banishment of families. Illegal methods included torture in custody (primarily in detention), deaths in custody, apparently due to treatment received, and the use of unnecessary force in public order policing. Mkambati forest was frequently named as a site of torture. This appears to have been a camp with tents in the forest during the 1960s, possibly set up during the Pondoland revolt as a police crisis measure, later becoming an established police station. References
Poqothe military wing of the PAC, established in the early 1960s, later transformed into APLAReferences
Port ShepstoneBetween February and May 1991, 65 people were killed and 2000 families displaced from their homes in political violence in the Port Shepstone area.References
Putco bus attackSeven people were killed when members of the Orde Boerevolk opened fire on a bus full of black commuters travelling on Duffs Road, Durban, on 9 October 1990. The Committee heard that the attack was in retaliation for an incident which had taken place earlier in the day in which PAC and APLA supporters, wearing PAC T-shirts, had randomly attacked white people on Durban's beachfront, killing one elderly person and injuring several others. Three members of the Orde Boerevolk were convicted for the attack and were sentenced to death on 13 September 1991. This sentence was subsequently commuted to 30 years' imprisonment. The Committee granted amnesty to two of the three applicants.References
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