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


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


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Trojan Horse incident, UitenhageOn 2 May 1985, police members, concealed under a load of cardboard boxes on a municipal truck, opened fire on people gathered at the scene of an accident involving a Hippo (armoured vehicle) in Mabandla Road, KwaNobuhle, Uitenhage. One person was killed.References
Trust Feeds massacreThe attack that came to be known as the 'Trust Feeds massacre' was planned by Riot, Security and local policemen and Inkatha members. Members of the SAP and the Riot Unit arrested known UDF supporters at Trust Feeds, New Hanover, near Pietermaritzburg, on 2 December 1988 and then withdrew from the area, leaving UDF-supporting families particularly vulnerable to attack. The next day, 3 December 1988, four Special Constables stormed and opened fire on an all-night prayer vigil in a house believed by the perpetrators to be occupied by UDF supporters. Eleven people were killed. None of the victims or survivors were UDF supporters. An SAP member and four Special Constables were convicted for the murders. The Commission granted amnesty to a former SAP captain for his part in planning and executing the attack.References
Umbumbulu attackOn 26 October 1991, an ANC supporter carried out a limpet-mine attack on the home of a well-known IFP leader, Mbuzeni Shozi, in the Umbumbulu area, KwaZulu, near Durban. Six people were killed in the attack, which took place during a wedding ceremony.References
Umbumbulu massacreBetween 24 December 1985 and 3 January 1986, Inkatha supporters attacked Pondos resident in the KwaMakhutha and Umbumbulu areas of KwaZulu, outside Durban. Pondos were perceived to be supportive of the UDF. Approximately 63 people died and thousands were forced to flee their homes. This massacre was an extension of the violence that followed the killing of UDF leader Victoria Mxenge on 1 August 1985, spreading from Umlazi to neighbouring Umbumbulu. References
Umgababa attacksOn 30 and 31 January 1991, ANC supporters in Umgababa, KwaZulu, near Umlazi, Durban, were attacked by IFP supporters from the neighbouring area of Hlanzeni. Eleven people were killed and about 150 houses destroyed in the fighting. Members of the SAP and SADF failed to intervene.References
Umkhonto we Sizwe(Xhosa: 'Spear of the Nation') the military wing of the ANCReferences
Umkomaas bus attackan attack by members of an ANC self-defence unit (SDU) on bus passengers at Umkomaas, near Durban, on 27 April 1992. The attackers, who were targeting residents of an IFP-supporting area, stopped the bus and allowed women, children and non-residents to leave before opening fire on the remaining passengers. Six people were killed and eight others injured. Three ANC SDU members were granted amnesty.References
unbanningOn 2 February 1990, President F W de Klerk announced the unbanning of liberation movements and other organisations, the release of political prisoners, the lifting of restrictions on 33 organisations and a moratorium on judicial executions. Nelson Mandela was released from prison on 11 February 1990. Political conflict and violence broke out on both these dates in several areas across the country, but particularly in KwaZulu/Natal between UDF (and ANC) supporters and Inkatha.References
Unrest Investigation UnitDuring 1986 special police units were established to investigate incidents of violent protest activities. One of the Cape Town units gave specific attention to the ongoing protest activity in Bonteheuwel, Cape Town. The unit was responsible for extensive torture of members of the Bonteheuwel Military Wing (BMW), whom it suspected of being responsible for attacks on policemen and for other incidents in the area.References
Upington 26Twenty-six people were charged with participation in the crowd killing of Municipal Policeman Lucas 'Jetta' Sethwala in Paballelo, Upington, on 13 November 1985. Of the 25 convicted of murder on the basis of common purpose, 14 were sentenced to death. The twenty-sixth person was convicted of attempted murder. The death sentences were later overturned on appeal and most were given prison terms instead. Those serving prison terms were later released as political prisoners. References
UWUSAan Inkatha-dominated trade unionReferences
Vaal uprisinga popular revolt in townships around the Vaal Triangle, Tvl, sparked by a rent increase in September 1984. Homes of policemen and councillors were burnt down and residents protested against the increase in public demonstrations and boycotts. Clashes between residents and police led to the deaths of 14 people and the injury of at least eight policemen. In response, the government launched a joint army and police operation, 'Operation Palmiet' to suppress internal unrest in the area. Over the next four months, approximately 142 people died in street battles.References
Vark Squadan anti-UDF gang, supported by the Bophuthatswana government, which conducted attacks on activists in the Oukasie community, Bophuthatswana.References
Verulam attackOn 12 January 1990, UDF supporters attacked mourners at the funeral vigil for the slain son of the local Inkatha chairman in Cottonlands, Verulam, Durban. Thirteen people, including nine children, were killed in the attack. This was the second UDF attack that month on Inkatha supporters. In an earlier attack, three people were killed, including the son of the local Inkatha chairman.References
Victoria Mxenge memorial service attackA memorial service for slain UDF leader Victoria Mxenge was held in the Umlazi cinema on 8 August 1985. Seventeen people were killed and 20 injured when members of the Amabutho, an Inkatha-based 'community guard force', launched an attack on the mourners.References
Vlakplaasa farm near Pretoria used as a base for police hit squadsReferences
volkstaat(Afrikaans; 'nation state') a 'state' or area set aside for Afrikaners to pursue their quest for self-determination References
waarkamer(Afrikaans: 'truth room') a house to which detainees were taken for interrogation and tortureReferences
Wit Wolwe(Afrikaans: 'White Wolves') an ultra-right terrorist groupReferences
WitdoekeSeparate vigilante groups in the Cape and in the OFS, both named Witdoeke because of the white scarves (witdoeke) they wore around their heads or arms. Cape - During May and June 1986, the Witdoeke in Crossroads, Cape Town, were mobilised by their pro-government leader Johnson Ngxobongwana into vigilante attacks on UDF-aligned individuals and areas. More than 66 people were killed in the two attacks and more than 60 000 were left homeless. OFS - In the OFS, the Witdoeke were an informal vigilante group operating with police support.References
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