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Type AMNESTY HEARING
Starting Date 24 November 1998
Location PALM RIDGE
Names DUMA MOSES NKOSI
Case Number AM 7269/97
My name is Duma Nkosi. I reside in Thokoza, Extension 2. I have been there since 1989. In 1994 I was working for Makro since 1981 and in 1994 I was elected as a member of parliament in Cape Town, since 1994 to date. But before then I used to work like a shop steward at SACAU and I was a leader in the union until '94 when I was sent to parliament.
MR NKOSI: When the violence erupted there I was already an ANC member. I've been an ANC member since its unbanning in 1990. We formed an organisation of ANC in our residential area because all other organisations were making themselves known and visible to the public, so we felt we should make the same initiative.
In October 1990 I was elected as a member of the committee of the ANC branch in Thokoza. I was the secretary there. It was in October and I think it was on the 14th of October if I'm not mistaken, when I was elected.
MR NKOSI: I would concur with that because I used to work being active in many organisations before 1990. I would be connected with the ANC outside the country, like Swaziland but in 1981/'82 I was already working for the ANC.
In 1984 that is when I encountered problems, I was arrested due to my activities with the ANC and I was expelled then but when I came back to join Thokoza as a resident I was active in Cosatu engagements, from the union SACAU. I'm trying to show that my membership with the ANC has been long existing, even before I came as a resident in Thokoza.
MR NKOSI: There's a report yes, that was in place in 1997, towards the end of 1997 but what I would like to show is that I was already an assistant of the chairperson in the Thokoza branch. The chairperson was Mr Louis Sibego. But even before that I was a chairperson of that branch since 1996, 1995 and 1994 plus 1993 to 1992 and 1991 as well. So that since the establishment of this branch I've been the secretary and since 1992, no, it's 1991 when we went to the annual general meeting I was elected then as a chairperson of the branch. I've been in that position since 1997 when Mr Sibego was elected to the position and I became his deputy or his assistant. I have been the in the East Rand Regional Committee of the ANC. I've been active as well there.
According to the parliamentary constitutional office I've been allocated the greater Alberton, to be active there. That is including Polla Park, Eden Park and the whole city or town of Alberton. I'm still residing in Thokoza and I am still active in the area.
MR SIBEKO: I'm under the impression that such a submission correlates to what the applicants who have brought in their applications yesterday told this forum about. Would you mind taking us through it?
Mr Nkosi, what they are doing is they are translating simultaneously as you are speaking, so they are having some difficulty in keeping up with you. Perhaps you can just give them a bit of a break. You may carry on.
MR NKOSI: First of all I would like to show the Commission that when we prepared this report we had a desire that the whole situation as it prevailed should be clear to everybody as in sequence of how things erupted and the way we deemed the whole situation in our residential area.
I do trust and hope that the Commission will be clear and understand the fact that we submitted this report on behalf of the Thokoza branch, Polla Park as well. We also wanted to show that we are prepared to build structures for the community's safety.
The report as it was given yesterday by Lusaka-A - Lusaka is part of Thokoza area. We usually refer to it as section. Lusaka section forms a smaller part of Thokoza. Now when we separate Thokoza - when we divide Thokoza we will divide it into 13 areas. They have their names as well, like Kathrada section.
I would also be showing that there are other places like Everest and some of the names have been changed since the election. They no longer are referred to as they used to be known in the past. They have now new names. I am so glad to bring this report before the Commission and I do envisage that this will be of great help to the Commission, especially about the problems we encountered in our residential area at the time.
First of all I would like to bring to your attention something which may not be so clear in the report but it is apparent that our belief in the community was that we were being attacked, the community was being attacked, attacked in such a way that the community itself now will be fighting one another.
What may be apparent and clear to you is that all the amnesty applications would appear to be saying there were fights against IFP or rather the fight was against IFP. That brings an assurance to me that the people who wanted to instigate this or to get the two communities fighting in the area of Thokoza would have succeeded by so doing.
In my opinion or my view I do believe that as time goes on we will have exactly what happened. In fact I brought this report so that I could draw and show you a few other items. I will attempt to show you there on the white board, especially about the attacking of the community. So I may try to show you exactly what the situation was at the time.
My picture is not very beautiful but I'm trying to show that this triangle we will refer to as Thokoza and on the other side, upper, there will be the three hostels, the first three hostels, Mshayazafe, Madala and Kutuza hostels.
MR NKOSI: The hostels with be Mshayazafe, Madala and Kutuza. We would have them referred to as hostel number one, number two, number three, Thokoza, they way it appeared. There was a hostel number four and number five as you go downwards. It was referred to as Kalenyoni. That is number four and number five.
I was trying to show then on the other hand, as you take a turn you will be almost close to Khatlehong at that point because at the end of the triangle of Thokoza, the other hand towards your right would be Khatlehong. It's just divided by a road. The two boxes that I have drawn there are another two hostels. It's Boiafuti hostel and Kweseni hostel.
This picture I have drawn there, I'm trying to explain and show that the belief we had was that there was a plan of attacking the community and the hostels were being used. It may so happen that you have not heard all the evidence with regard to this matter, but the whole belief is that as you look at these hostels, the way they are located or situated, it almost portrays the horseshoe. One would look at them and they would be portraying a horseshoe.
According to our belief, they were going to be used in such a way that the whole area would have been invaded and taken over and would be used as a base. The most important thing that I would like to bring to your attention is that I do not believe that it was a plan of IFP, I don't at all believe that. It was not an IFP plan but there was a third force here that was so active, maybe from the government of apartheid and were the ones who were mobilising this.
I was trying to put a red star there that unfortunately the place behind Kalenyoni hostel, we had a Polla Park that was established there, an informal settlement. Just behind the number four and number five hostel was that informal settlement established.
I will try to show that at the time when all this was going on, I would say the beginning of 1990. Just before the ANC established a branch in October, we already had tax violence in our area at the beginning of February 1990. So there was already violence and there was no stability at all in the area.
MR NKOSI: Historically what I'll try to add to what I've just said, responding to your question, it so happened that this place grew so fast because there were reasons that were put forth racially that the ANC were Xhosas, IFP were Zulus.
I would say that when we started this organisation people were being harassed because of their race and it so happened that the people who were leaving their places because of harassment, would end up there because they were Xhosa speaking people.
Now Polla Park grew faster because people were being harassed in their original places and would go to occupy Polla Park. They ended up in that place. We still have difficulties to take some of them to bring them back to their places that they originally occupied.
MR NKOSI: I would say so, yes, because people were divided according to their race because it was so believed that ANC was a Xhosa organisation and the IFP was a Zulu organisation. As to where that emerged we don't know but we take it as a plan of harassing the community. It was not started by the community or the civilians but that was used to an extent that the community started fighting itself.
Another thing that I would like to bring to your attention is that spies were brought into the community. There is a report which we have submitted which is Annexure 8. To show a background of how the spies were infiltrated in the area was that on the 8th of September in 1991, the IFP branch in Thokoza planned a march that was headed to Thokoza stadium. That march or those people who were in the march were attacked by the SDU of Polla Park and about 22 people were left there and about 23 were injured. In other words the 22 were murdered.
Michael Pama who was a civilian in Polla Park is in prison and is serving life sentence but the evidence that was brought to us was that any person or the person who assisted that or helped or put a hand so that this attack would could be brought to fruition, his name was Mr Zebu. In Annexure 8 I have all this lined up.
He was a person who was working as an informer with the police. We will be so happy that such information will come to the surface so that we may know what is happening to him because Pama is in prison. People got killed and we do believe that he was working with the police as an informer, Zebu that is.
MR NKOSI: As ANC branch in Thokoza, in December 1990 there was violence that erupted in the community and there were soldiers that emerged from Polla Park to Thokoza. I would say that at the time people who were dwelling at hostel four and five, as other people were evicted from the community area because they were Xhosas, now there was no longer peace between Polla Park and four and five hostel as a result of that.
The one, two and three hostel got down to attack Polla Park. Now that happened in December 1990. I do not remember the date quite well but I may guess and say it was on the 13th. The road were flooded with corpses, dead bodies. If I'm not mistaken I will say Buthelezi Street and way up to Skonyela and going down to Madondo. That is where you would find a number of corpses lying down on the road.
The person who was the President of ANC, President Mandela and the one who was the Minister of Police, Adriaan Vlok did arrive in a helicopter, arrived at Thokoza at the time. As a people who were active, we accompanied them in police vehicles, touring the area so that they would see for themselves as to what resulted from what has happened or what had happened. You would find the other corpses that were lying there were cut open and some arms would be lying around. The corpses were all over the roads and the weather was not conducive, it was raining.
In the beginning of 1991 as a branch of ANC in Thokoza, when we had a meeting at a certain church in BMC(?) where we had convened for a meeting as the ANC and other members, the members requested us as leaders that we should sit down and reason with the IFP or have discussions or negotiations with the IFP.
We did try that but around April - I think the meeting took place in February, where we met with the ANC members. Then in April, because of the help that we got from the Duluxe employees in Alroad, Mr Paulo Kandoti helped us to manage to get hold of Abraham Msizi of IFP, then we had our first meeting in April 1991, to try and discuss the Peace Accord and try to bring the whole situation into order.
I do trust and hope that you will remember that the peace-making and the National Peace Accord, there was an agreement in August amongst all the organisations and after we've negotiated and discussed with the IFP, we began to change the approach, that we should go and adhere to the policy of the National Peace Accord.
I would like to emphasise that at the time of the IFP march that was in September, there was already peace in the area. We also had hope that things would come back to normality. This is where I would end in answering.
MR NKOSI: Xeba was a resident at Polla Park and he was also a member of the structures that were aimed at protecting the community. What I am saying here is that I have no knowledge as to whether he became part of the police at the time when he was a member of the structure, or before or after that, I have no idea.
MS GCABASHE: Thank you. Now from your indication on the map, those three streets actually were part of Thokoza, right inside Thokoza, yet the fight was supposed to be between the hostel residents and the Polla Park residents. So you are saying they brought this fight right into Thokoza and this is how and when the residents started reacting and starting talking about how to deal with the broad problem.
The two groups, one from Polla Park and one from the hostel confronted each other from both directions and as a result you would come across corpses lying all over the place, especially the three streets that I have just illustrated. Some fled but yes, people were lying all over the place, dead bodies that is.
One more thing. The belief that we had at the time was that the people who were perpetrating this violence do not want to see peace in the area. I would also like to indicate other points, the very fact that there was this plan to attack the community.
One other point that I would like to raise is that it was at the time that we also realised that drugs were distributed all over the area but it is understandable because it's public knowledge. I am not lying about this. Yes, we have bits and pieces of evidence coming up that the Thokoza community was flooded with drugs, especially the youth were very vulnerable and susceptible to being misled.
One other last point pertaining to the harassment of the community. The weapons were easily available and that makes us believe that we were being set against each other. The people in Thokoza for example are unemployed, the state of the economy is bad. Be it as it may, drugs were brought in, weapons were brought in so that people could kill one another. That is why we are saying that the whole plan ought to have been clear so that people could understand that they were being harassed for the mere reason that the ANC was present.
If you look at the ANC branches at Thokoza and Khatlehong, this is where the ANC had far much more members in relation to other areas. The ANC had the biggest branch of the ANC in the whole country based there. It is for this reason that when the community said we are dying for the ANC, we could as well see and understand that, but what was very painful was that the ANC was not killing people but people were dying because of the ANC.
MR NKOSI: I think there was no fixed channel when this whole thing started, but I believe there are some people who emerged and started selling drugs at the time. Right now there may be different dealers and channels but for a start I think only a few people were introduced to the drug and such a person would introduce the drug to a friend and soforth.
MR NKOSI: Yes, there were attempts to enlist the assistance of the police with reference to many things because the situation in which we found ourselves was such that we would not even ask them to arrest a drug dealer. What we were appealing for is that a person who has murdered should be arrested. We wanted to the community to be protected. That was our main request. We were also looking at people who were involved in many other crimes, people who just got away with it. Maybe we made a mistake because we did not indicate to the police that they should also address the drug problem. People were still stealing people's property. We would chase them, or should I say we were not after that, we were concerned about safety. Our primary concern was that we should not die and our children should be safe. That was paramount to our list of priorities. Nobody came forth to try and address these other problems.
MR NKOSI: I think it is also important for me to state that at the time we were now convinced that the police were failing in their duty to protect the community. Besides that, they had a hand which led us to suspect that they did not want peace.
If you look at these two points, I would like to say that there are reports that we have made available, trying to give more details. These appear in annexures for your convenience as Commissioners. In April 1992, we had the 32 Battalion deployed in the area. The 32 Battalion is known to be Koevoet, people who do not know what a human being is. The difficulty that we had is explained in Annexure 1.
There is also Annexure 14 which includes among other things, our relationship as a community with the ISU, the Internal Stability Unit. In that annexure we are outlining the details with reference to the relationship. Briefly, I can say that their intention was to shoot and kill. We lost many people.
Lastly, if you look at the role of the police and the soldiers who were to take care of our protection -I'm not sure whether I have this Annexure 15, this also adds something to the role that was played by the police informers. We also have details in that annexure. These people here are people who made sworn statements. If you have any need you can follow this up and you can get the necessary information because I don't want to make it difficult myself by not divulging the truth. All I am saying here is that we tried to bring together all important things which are included in this report which was sent to the Commission.
We tried several times to put our heads together with the police. I myself personally tried to bring other people in to protect the community and introduced them to the police, to say that is a commander for a particular section, should there be any problem, confer with him so that we can address the question of safety. We used to call such meetings with the police. We really introduced these commanders from different sections to the police so that we should not have any conflict. We were hoping and trusting that a commander of the section and the police are all in one, are all working towards one aim, the protection of the community. This I think will assist in drawing a clearer picture to the Commission as to how the community was attacked. That is why I used this illustration to make it clearer.
I would also like to explain that in all the hardships, what it is that we as a community did to address these problems and that is why I am saying that if there is no question I will continue. I'm trying to explain here what it is that we did as a community.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, in fact I see it's 10H30. I'm going to adjourn for a short while and then you can take the opportunity just to fix yourself up and then we will continue. We will adjourn. Advocate Steenkamp, will you indicate when you are ready to proceed? We are adjourned.
ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, sorry to interrupt so rudely. Let me just apologise for the long delay. We managed to get the latest map of the specific area and the specific areas will be indicated, but I'm sure Mr Nkosi will point the specific areas out. This is the latest map I could get my hands on. I do apologise for the long adjournment, Mr Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Advocate Steenkamp. I'm quite sure this is going to make a big difference for us. At least we're not acquainted at all, in fact in my case, with the area. At least some of my colleagues know in which part of the world it is.
...(no English translation) the number is 351, according to the old numbers, but the new numbers I made 11022 and you are able to see my house when you take a look a look at the snap. This now is Extension 2. The name is Dan Klume and this the area called Unit F. Next to it is Extension 5 and we call it Sylvester Ngwangwa and this one is Polla Park, the one I am pointing at. It has quite developed since, but here on the side around Khumalo Street, this is Khumalo Street, that's where hostel four and five were.
Now this area is Extension 1. The old location ends here where I point. The old location developed to this side, all the way up and the triangle I referred to earlier on is in relation to this area down here. When you cross the street here or the main road here, you are going to Khatlehong. This is Kathrada section, Beirut and Joe Modise, as I am pointing. And this is Mlangeni. And now this is Lusaka-B and Lusaka-A as well. Now this is Slovo, Thambo Section because if I point at the small box you will realise this is Slovo section and this is Thambo section and then Mandela is further down. Up here is Sesulu.
Now the hostels I referred to or I'm talking about, that is one, two and three, as I said earlier on these are Madala, Kutuza and Mshayazafe. There was nothing here all along. Now this is a new development. The location has grown to this side and the other side as well. This is the map in its completion.
Now as I will call these places by their names, I'm referring to this. When I talk about structures, it will be in such a way that when I refer to commander and section, those will be coming from these areas. In Extension 2 there were commanders as well, here. I was overseeing the whole area as a person who was working for the branch.
You will find that some names like Everest is now Kathrada. Penduka area you will show it as Thambo, Slovo and Mandela. That place or area is known as Penduka and then you go to Extension 2. This is Penduka area, the one I'm pointing at, Slovo right to Mandela and the Dan Klume is Extension 2. This Sylvester Ngwangwa is Extension 5, but we have new names to show the correspondence of the old and the new names so that you know that the old names are now currently known as what.
I would like to state that earlier on I did make mention of the fact that we were promoting the ANC branch in 1990, October. There were already problems that we were encountering inasfar as the taxi violence was concerned in the area.
One other thing that I would take note of is that as an ANC branch we arose at that time and got active and tried to negotiate and have discussions with the IFP. I've already highlighted that in April 1991, we managed to have contacted IFP members like Abraham. It became a bit easier for us to negotiate and discuss much better under the National Peace Accord. That was towards the end of 1991.
And in 1992 we went on active in the committees. There were problems that were erupting and emerging still in the process. I do trust and believe that the applications that have been rendered to the TRC will bring this to the surface.
One other thing that I would like to explain is that around 1991, because violence started in 1990, it caught up with us as mere people not knowing what was happening. This is why the first decision that was taken by the branch and the members was, we should go and negotiate and discuss peace with them. And we did so much in our power to bring this to fruition but towards the end of 1992 all this was to no avail. All the discussions and negotiations we tried to facilitate were all to no avail.
I would like to mention that even before there were people who were civilians in the area who tried so much in their individual capacities. Some were ANC members and Umkhonto weSizwe as well. They tried so much to see and to apply means of defending the community.
I would like to say this now. Besides the ANC members there were other civilians as well who tried to apply measures in trying to defend themselves because we were being attacked by firearms. It so happened that the community got together to donate money or contribute money. I did earlier on indicate that firearms were easy to gain access to. It was easy to gain access in gathering firearms at the time. You will go anywhere else and you will find people from Mozambique and others who will be selling firearms. All that mattered was that you must have enough funds to purchase.
Now at the beginning of 1993 the only danger that we were encountering as a community was that the weapons were galore in the area or residential area. We do trust and hope that even at that time the committee, the National Peace Accord Committee and its structures had begun discussions revolving around the security, that it's not doing as much to protect the community and they now had to try and look at other strategies to employ in defending the community.
Now it was so obvious even to that National Peace Accord that the community protection structures or committees, I don't quite remember as to what they were known as, it suggested that the community must see how they can fend for themselves in as far as protecting themselves, that's when ANC, we do remember because Comrade Ronnie Kasrils tried so much to help and get in touch with the people who were discussing this that ANC does have a part or does play a part in helping the community to protect itself. I may say that for the sake of our lives that had to be done, that's when the community of Thokoza started discussing issues to that effect. We were trying to see as to how we are going to overcome the problem that we're encountering, that is defending ourselves as a community. It is with regard to that, that ANC nationally and regionally or provincially endeavoured to put across, across peace desks nationally and provincially. Now those peace desks of ANC, I will note and emphasise on the one that was closer to us that is our province desk province, that is where we had Robert John McBride, who was working very close with - he was a coordinator of that ANC peace desk and we were referring to it then as PWV but known now as Gauteng Province. He was so much of great help to us, he was able to show us that as branches of the ANC surrounded by violence, how can we overcome this problem and employ mechanisms in defending the community. That was point number one he tried to help us with. We were able to at the branch of Thokoza go and meet in Bloemfontein. There was a West Vaal Peace Secretariat offices there who will get there and listen and be able to put across suggestions and address the problems we encountered and secondly, he was able to work from that office and inspect or monitor the situation that prevailed in the area. We had problems as well that people will get arrested for they did not know much about law. When one has been arrested we would be able to gain access or to have legal representatives and we will also be taught and be told about our legal rights as well. Another thing that was quite important that the co-ordinator used to do, he helped us so much in arranging the structure as to how we will be working. The SDU's central command is how the structure will work and carry on it's duty. He helped us so much in arranging and organising the structure and putting it into order. I have already indicated how much was done by the co-ordinator and I may take longer if I explain in detail as to how the structure worked but I will highlight on the code of conduct how it was brought about. We had a report that was prepared by the organisation that we referred to at all times.
Another thing which used to be carried by this desk, it will be the way of gathering people so they may be trained because some of the problems we encountered was that people, those who were attacked, were not even fully conversant with the use of the weapons so that they will be injured or they will injure themselves because they did not know how to operate the weapons. There were problems relating to that as well but then this desk, this peace desk helped us so much that we could be able to gather people and train them in the use of these weapons because one other thing that I'd like to emphasise is that the weapons were brought to the people and people did not know how to use these weapons and had no experience of using these weapons, now they had to learn hands on as they were working trying to defend themselves. Now that's not sufficient training. We also had a greater part to contribute because most of the weapons, there was no need for ANC for supply these because they were already galore in the area, they were lying around all over. You will have guns all over. They only thing that we were running short of was ammunition so the problem we encountered was to gather all the people who were armed and arrange them according to structures so that we elect also leader of that structure and so on and so on then we could work together unitedly because the only problem that will emanate will be that the majority of people were armed and you have a situation where there is a structure without a leader to give them guidance then the chances of having problems of injuring one another were high that way. So I'm trying to highlight that the desk was co-ordinating in seeing that these problems don't emanate in this fashion. Now the desk also was helping us in a way that we could be able to monitor the police brutality. We had to be efficient in this. According to be the situation that prevailed at this particular time, the way things were happening and as our organisation was so much supportive to us as I've already highlighted in the past that you could not ask a person from which organisation was he coming from or what's his name, you will just say to them all those who are armed, go one side and all those who don't have arms, one side. Then we'll elect a person who will be the leader of the director of those particular groups of people with arms.
Another thing that I would like to highlight, I've already illustrated in as far as ANC is concerned, but the whole community was also active. There is another application of amnesty that we will be rendered into the TRC by the way, there is a certain brother here by the name of Mulisi Stilebe. He is in prison in Glendillen, Pretoria. I do not know whether his application has already been submitted but I know that he has filled an application form for amnesty but there are other important things that I'd like to bring to your attention. Firstly being because of all the endeavours that we put into place by the community, he was able therefore. This has not come to the surface, he is not known but he has already applied amnesty for, he was able to, with others, to get to a police station in Kliprivier and confiscate all the weapons from the police that were there to supply to the community. We followed that and we realised that it was - he was not sent by anyone. We knew that they gathered in to solve the problem that was rife in the area. Now they were ale to get to the police station and take all the weapons and bring them back to the community. That's the point I'm trying to highlight. Secondly, is the case that he was convicted for - that him and others - I won't get down into details here because he has put all the details in his application form. He went to Diduza area to fetch weapons and as they were coming back from Diduza with weapons they met police and he was convicted as he is now serving his sentence. The first, second, third charge are as follows - their charge was that he stole a car. The major point I'm trying to bring here is that these things were covered by the violence that was rife at the time. They had stolen a car the previous day and used that particular car to fetch weapons bring them here and on
One police died and the other police got injured in that incident and also the case of stealing a car, I was bringing this to your attention to show that the community tried to employ certain mechanisms in defending itself. The most important thing is that the community got aware that it was being attacked by weapons such as firearms therefore it was appropriate for them to have in their possession as well, the firearms to revenge or protect themselves rather.
Now, if I may be permitted, I would like to get into the structures and the modus operandi how we used to operate as structures. Annexure 3 and 4 it's with regard to the structures. If the Commission so permits I would be in a position to explain this to you that how did we used to operate as structures. But the community's response, I'm saying it in my capacity as a resident of Thokoza for two years in 1991 and 1992, we're so much after peace, we tried all we could to achieve this. Even after we've put up the structures the beginning of 1993 it was so apparent that if you were after peace you should arm yourself to gain that or to achieve that peace. I hope this is clear, if you want peace you would have therefore to arm yourself ready for war so you can achieve that peace. So it's clear now that weapons were all over the show.
ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, if I may interrupt there on Mr Selepi? I'm informed that Mr Selepi is currently serving sentence in Glendillen, the investigation in that application is complete. I've asked for the investigation to be brought here tomorrow and the application, if you can consider it and with your permission we'll probably try and enrol it during this hearing as well.
MR NKOSI: The mode of operation or the code of conduct was ...(indistinct), suggestions were made to the effect that all the people who were brought together were expected to conduct themselves in the manner in which I will explain, but just have to indicate now that not everything went according to plan. These other applications will deal with other matters therefore would not go into detail. The introduction indicated that anybody who committed himself to being a member should know that the self defence unit structure is meant to fight the people who were fighting the community and therefore the problem, I would say at the time when we were discussing we indicated that these are people that were undemocratic forces. I spoke about the plan here earlier on. This introduction was quite clear that when there comes a time for the takeover of government, these structures should come to an end. That is one point that was part of the introduction. One more the thing that we saw as important was that we decided that the SDU should not be seen as a private structure of a particular organisation, it should not be perceived as such. It was not a private army but instead these SDU's should work responsibly, respecting people's opinions culturally speaking and conduct itself accordingly in a professional manner. We also indicate here that people who are members should not use that position to achieve their personal goals.
The fourth point here under this introduction is that these people are protecting the community in their different areas of abode therefore they should not harass the community that they are meant to serve. We were also able to indicate that Thokoza should be divided into thirteen sections, Phola Park being the 14th Section. We went on to say that each section should have a commander as indicated in the map behind me and this very same commander will come together with other commanders where we as leaders in the community are going to get together. In other words, in this structure I was representing the ANC and Mr Luisibego represented the Civic Association. There were also other different community organisations like those who were representing the youth. We used to meet together on Tuesdays in the evenings, every Tuesday. There are certain assignments to each of these structures. Among these assignments we were expecting each structure to have a coordinator. We had Chichela Machitje has our coordinator, I think he too has submitted his application for amnesty. He was our co-ordinator. We also had an overall commander and his deputy, Bonga Nkosi and Lucky are the names. I will give you the names of the other commanders later. I am trying to illustrate here that each one of these sections was represented like different community organisations. For example we had to send at least delegates or five etc. At least two but the maximum was five and in these meetings or this meeting we would get together. Some would attend and some not and one other thing is that we were dividing these activities from co-ordination to finances and each one person had to be in charge of these areas. Ammunition had to be bought, one AK bullet used to cost R3,00 at the time and matters pertaining to finance etc were important and we also had to take care and ensure that we do not lose are arms unnecessarily so that we had an audit conducted. We communicated and made sure that people are armed to protect themselves and we also had a manner of reporting things, the public relations activity. We had to explain things should there be any questions arising so that the people who were relaying information would not ask for us, they would write whatever they were writing down and later on it would be possible for us to explain whatever needed explanation. Another important factor here is that among the problems that we had we would get together, if the community came complaining about something they would come directly to us and we tried all in our best to solve those problems. These would be problems effecting some of our members etc. I indicated earlier on that it is not everything that went well as expected and therefore I am saying that some of these applications will explain these things.
Now one other thing is that insofar as armed struggles and nobody had his own personal ownership of a weapon, that is weapons that were bought using the money donated by the community. Therefore these weapons were community property, each one of these people knew that the arms were not theirs. We also emphasised the importance to the effect that no member of the committee or the self defence unit who should conduct his work drunk. We included this here as part of the things that we were discussing so that anybody who committed himself to the work should do as expected or carried themselves as expected.
One other thing is that no weapon in possession of SDU member should be used in harassing the community and we equally felt that we had to have knowledge as to how firearms were brought into the township etc. We wanted to avoid problems. We were also very critical of people walking around with their AK47's hanging around their bodies like a handbag. That we discouraged, that was not something to be displayed or exhibited to a girlfriend etc. These are some of the things that were important to us, these things had to be concealed because even a small child can see if a person is walking around carrying a firearm and it would later on be very difficult on our part to explain these things.
One other thing was the firearm is a treasure insofar as protecting the community is concerned therefore people should not use these firearms negligently, not lose them either but instead a person should have a harbinger, a person that would go in front to assess the situation and inform him timeously in case there is a problem like the presence of police. The situation was such that even if there was a suspicion to the effect that the police were involved we had to be very careful about that, protect ourselves because the police also confiscated these firearms, but we never knew where they took these firearms to therefore the safety of the firearm was important. It was not permissable for a person to just shoot for the pleasure of it, just shoot in the air, that is in the community, that was not permissable and also anybody under the age of eighteen was not permitted to carry a firearm because the question of age and war effected the growth of these people. We requested that to those people who had firearms we had to ascertain that no persons under the age of eighteen were to go around carry firearms and one other thing, if we knew that somebody is a full time member of the structure, we would permit such a person to make use of a firearm. Another important aspect here is that insofar as the harassment of the community people at the hands of the police informers, we had to advise people on how to handle such situations in instances where they suspected person to be an informer. We had to educate them on what steps to take before talking to a supposed informer or a suspected informer. We also had to make sure that everything that we did was taken to the central command level so that the person who was gathering information in our intelligence desk, he had to be somebody who would verify information because there would be some instances where people would fight over girlfriends and turn the information around thereafter and therefore all the members of the self defence units had to be able to gather information if a person had evidence about a certain information, that was important.
We were equally concerned and we made sure that it should be the executive that would follow a matter up and verify whatever information gathered because yes, we were aware there were instances where people would fight over personal differences and therefore we wanted to create enough room for evidence that would be tangible before a step could be taken. And one other thing is that no member was allowed to say to another SDU member "you are a police informer" etc. and refer to other people as "Umgluembe", that was not permissable. So that all the reports insofar as suspicions were concerned had to be brought to the central committee or command. Yes, some barricades were placed at some point because we had to search cars and frisk people. People had to be educated on this because some of these barricades happened in the absence of the leadership. We had to explain to the SDU members and others so that they knew exactly what to do and when. We had also requested that if a car had to be searched or a house people should not be harassed. Doors should not be broken down, people should be talked to in a civil manner and in addition, a woman could not be frisked by a male therefore this respect was important. If a male suspected a woman to be carrying something he should organise and make sure that a woman is present to frisk the other woman.
One other thing is that people should not point firearms at other people. A firearm is not a decor, it's not something to decorate with but instead a lethal weapon. People should not just point firearms at other people because that was a criminal activity on it's own and if, let us say person is searching a wardrobe in a house and say a person is searching the boot of a car, the things should be brought back into the boot of the car orderly and in the same manner in which they were organised before taking them out. We had also requested the people that if it so happens that the search comes to an end, whether a person has been able to get whatever he was looking for from the car or whatever or not, apologies should be appropriate for having wasting a person's time.
Another point here, refers to the barricades in the roads and the streets, we have indicated here that it was important that when roads are being barricaded, people should barricade the roads in such a way that they should remain on the scene and watch over the barricade. You should know that you have put it in place and you will go into hiding but still looking after it so that when you realise that this is not a person who is attacking you should remove it so that the person can pass. It so happened in many times in the past that this thing of judging others racially and referring to people as Xhosas and Zulus, that shall be discouraged. You shall not block people and ask them what language do they use and if it's a Zulu or a Xhosa then you shoot. So it was important that we put this straightforward that that must not be exercised. Even if a white man comes in, he is not an enemy so that actions must not or rather drastic actions must not be taken against that person because if we operated in that way we would have killed everybody, even relatives.
And lastly, according to the police way we did explain that according to the soldiers and police, they should try in every manner they could that a police and a soldier, these are the people who have been trained, trained professionally. We are faced here with murderers and harassment in the community so that we shall respect the presence of the police. When the police are seen around, we shall give them way because police are professionally trained, they knew what they were doing better than us but then that does not mean or suggest that I am disregarding the fact that the ISU patrolling between Buthelezi and Madonda Streets being an area which was separating the location and the hostel, there were fights or war that erupted there and those were the no go areas so that when they see any person around there who will be killed and I think the police would testify to this but it was a war situation, then those were the no go areas and police were being shot at as well. Phola Park, the soldiers were being shot at as well but then, according to the code, we explained it in such a way that they should not portray themselves negatively so that we end up losing weapons and losing them. That was the main point we're trying to emphasise that when you come across a soldier you must know your business because that person has been trained professionally, better than you and you are not capable to perform to an extent which he can because he has been trained well and is very much conversant with the use of weapons better than an ordinary civilian.
The other points that I've written behind this page that I'd like to illustrate, I started with the coordinators aspect. I omitted the communication one and I also omitted the logistic aspect of it and finally I omitted the intelligence or information as to how people were informed but to add into those points, I would like to highlight that even us tried all we could so that we gather all the information to see that we take steps in defending ourselves appropriately. So there was a unit or there was a suggestion that everybody was in a position to collect or gather information but then there was a major person to do that and according to the units there was a relevant unit to oversee this.
It was also noted that all the community areas shall be defended or protected accordingly and if there would be an attack in some area the issue will be possible for people to have access to the weapons. This is as far as logistics is concerned and according to communication at times we encountered problems of telephones not being working and also of walkie talkies and whistle's as well, that's how we communicated with one another and the way we were working around all this we brought this to the attention of the people and we requested their co-operation and when we go to the other applications, it will surface accordingly that this is what happened and you will have a better and a clear understanding since I've already laid the foundation.
Another thing, I did promise that I will render the whole work of the structure as in Annexure 4, there appears the names of all the people who were active in the structure and I've already highlighted before that as the people who were representing the community we used to allocate people maybe in twos or five and secondly all the sections according to their division they had to have their own commanders and overlook at the situation and Bonga Nkosi was the overall commander and the two IC's second in command was Michael Sebe and in logistics we have Sidney Sepiwe and the secretary of the structure was Seko Thulo and all the sections from Mandela section, the first one, we had Bonga Nkosi, at Slovo Tambo that is Penduka area, we had Moses Kubega and we also had Wanda Umgumeso Zulu Mabaso and such and sometimes you will have found that people will exchange duty and assist somewhere else and in Sisulu, we had Phineas Shabalala, Thabo Mdisi and in Lusaka A we had ...(indistinct) as well as Sipho Mgubane and in B we had Tambo, he is deceased he died in 1994 and Kathrade, we had Thabo Xhosa and in Extension 2 we had Menier Patrick Ngube, we had Ben Mashineni and has died since, in 1995. In Thokoza Gardens or Joe Modise we had Mishek Sedise. In Extension 5 we had Alfred Lamlensi and Sylvester Ngwangwa and in Phola Park we had Kaiser Pagati and died in 1998 and in Langeni we had Gwambi and in Beirut we had Sipho Galu and Gailitsi Paiko. In Extension 1 we had Sepiwe Mgume Zulu. All these sections had their representatives so that they should represent people in meetings.
Finally I will say in all our endeavours when the violence was at it's peak, there would be meetings where we'll ascertain as to who got injured and who will even try to get doctors to enlist some help and one other thing is that whenever one got hurt it will not be easy to take the person to the hospital because sometimes we will be arrested. So people were arrested and it was important that each time we gather and talk we should try all we can to secure legal representations for such people who got arrested. Sadly people were dying. The SDU members, that is, that's where we had to ensure because at one time we could not even conduct funerals because they were dying so much in numbers and in Annexure 6 - in Annexure 5, there is an example here that I wanted to put across because there was a section commander in Tambo Slovo by the name of Wanda Mgume Zulu, got out of his home and his entire family was killed, he is left with no one as we speak. The way it seems he got out of the house trying to run away and they killed the entire family, grannies and the brothers, everybody in the family was killed and in Annexure 6 we are trying also to illustrate other incidents there that with regard to the SDU members directly with the problem that was encountered. The community at large and the children thereof, to lose life and the way it happened in Thokoza in 1982, after 1984, there was a time that struck where people who were being evicted from the residential area of Thokoza, Kathlehong and Vosloorus ...(indistinct) were so many in number and friends who will not go and identify and fetch the corpses from the mortuary in Germiston because they were packed like sardines, one corpse on top of the other. You will go to identify a corpse in the mortuary, for you to be in a better position to identify at the mortuary, to identify the corpse that is, you would have to shift other corpses that will be lying on top of the other corpses because they were packed like sardines. You will have to remove other corpses which were lying on top of the other corpse and other people could not bear that experience and I want to estimate about 500 corpses which were never fetched at all. The Thokoza area only, we have about more than 200 corpses which were buried with no identification at all.
In unit F when the violence erupted people were leaving the area. Some people were killed in their own homes without knowledge of neighbours that there are people who died there. The area was so much isolated and there were no people living there, you'll just see a dog dragging a dead body into the street from the house and you will realise that that person died long time ago. Now when you take a look at Annexure 9 you realise so much more as to the situation that prevailed at the time. Human life was nothing, was valueless.
To proceed, when we get to Annexure 10 now, we were trying to gather information that will enlighten the Commission as the fact that the police failed to do their part of defending the community together with the soldiers. What used to happen was this, they will help a person to leave his or her home, they will escort you particularly so to leave your home. They will take you to a strange place and help you leave your own home. It so happened in 1993 ...(intervention)
ADV SANDI: I'm sorry Mr Nkosi, I think in one of the documents contained in one of the bundles we have in front of us, something was said to the effect that people would have to pay the police and soldiers to have their properties removed from their houses, do you know anything about that?
MR NKOSI: Thank you. That was when the police vehicles were used to transport people's property to remove them from their homes. It is very true, Commissioner, that you say that, there are sworn in statements that we took from people who experienced that the police themselves and soldiers who would practically help you leave your own home and make you pay for that service.
I will also say that in 1993 in May the situation that prevailed in the area, there was a point that came up that the ANC organisation, in fact ANC organisation discovered that we were being oppressed and there was a march organised by ANC that we should have freedom and independence in the area and freedom of speech. We referred to this as the Free Political Activity March. Now that march took place and there were problems that we encountered. The reason why I'm highlighting this is that I want to transcend to Annexure 11 and show you as to what transpired that particular day in 1993, May 22nd. At all times when there will be a problem that would erupt, there will be problems that the community will face. I will talk about the IFP march in particular in September 8, 1991 where the police informer assisted that the people of IFP shall be killed or eliminated. What happened was that Sam Nduli was killed. Now this resulted from the march and the killing of the IFP people. The reason why I'm bringing this to your attention is that even though there were fights in the past or prior to this as I indicated earlier on around the triangle, you will find that as time went on there were no people who were fighting each other, instead you'll find people armed with weapons driving cars around and killing indiscriminately. The late Sam Nduli, the manner in which he was killed, he was isolated from other people and was killed that way and it is still our desire with his family that the whole truth must surface because this is the time.
Another thing that I'd like to say is that after the march, in fact I shall go back to Sam Nduli, we were working hand in hand with him to look into this Peace Accord of ANC with IFP. As he was killed or a day before he was killed, we just had a meeting about this peace, forming the peace and stability in the area. He was killed around that time because after the march of May 22 as the ANC branch in Thokoza on the 25th we lost our treasurer, our branch treasurer, by the name of Dan Makanya. He was killed in a way that a taxi was taken into the hostel and ever since he disappeared and was discovered two or three days later in the Alberton mortuary by his wife.
Something else also emanated shortly after that. At that time, it was on the 5th July 1993, I lost my neighbour. The mistake I saw was that I think those who were attacking him thought they were attacking me. The mistake he made was that he resided in Extension 2, the same area as mine and he was driving the same car and colour as mine. Thirdly and lastly which is important, he had the same surname as mine, he is Isaac Nkosi and resided in Extension 2. He was killed on the 5th July.
Why am I saying this? I'll tell you. I've already said that people were being killed and it was no longer an indiscriminate effort now, they were being killed deliberately and will be isolated from others or from a group and be killed particularly, so it was a deliberate action. You will be asked when you are walking around and be asked as to "we have heard there is a big function, somebody has killed" and that was fashionable at that time then to conduct funerals all over because people were being killed deliberately, with deliberate motive.
Lastly, maybe two examples, we also heard a certain lady who was in the ANC Branch Youth League by the name of Punsi Umbata. I don't think there's anybody who is not aware that Umbata is a Zulu person. Umbata was a member of ANC and this attack or this fight was in so much that it would divide people according to their families and their surnames as well. Even in KwaZulu Natal it's still happening even now. The community will fight one another, people in the community will fight one another and the same thing happened to Umbata. On the 5th November 1991 was killed. The person who killed her just approached her and asked whatever he asked, after that he shot at her and fled the scene.
And the last thing that I will like to bring to your attention is that as I've already indicated earlier that there many things that were happening, activities. We spoke about the political struggles or strife, there were other people who were furthering their agendas with ulterior motives like Vusi Shabalala who was a member of SANCO or Civic if you so wish, he was killed in 1992. But around that time there was a report or an announcement that we submitted that in Annexure 12 the situation was in such a way that there was a gang called Khumalo Gang. I was only saying this so that I may be able to explain the whole situation and give you as full a picture as possible so that as the Commission we are so happy and delighted about the fact that you've afforded us opportunity to say all the things we've said. It is important and very crucial for these things to come to the surface so that they are known and you are helped also to further your work easier and one thing that makes us happy is that most of the people who have submitted their amnesty application are people we've motivated to do that because we believe that the truth must be known because our major word is that the community was attacked.
Secondly, we are saying this picture that's being portrayed now about IFP and ANC that those who planned and succeeded because they were working behind the scenes, that is not really so but there is a wound that remains because they were working behind the scene cooking whatever they were cooking and making sure that the evil gets done.
Another thing that we forwarded to the Commission is that we wanted the whole story to be clear and to be laid on the Commission's table. There is another point that I will like to bring to your attention, we had a discussion, us as ANC, because some felt that when you go to the amnesty you will be arrested. Worked so hard to motivate them and encourage them to bring forward their applications for amnesty and the majority agreed to that and a few of them are still hesitant to bring their application for amnesty to the Commission.
The reason why I'm saying this is that what transpired from the discussion we had, we realised that the difficulty we are faced with is that some are saying why should we apply for amnesty when we are being attacked? It's the same situation as now, we are coming to apply for amnesty and we are perpetrators. But we are from the community which was being attacked or harassed so we were victims of this harassment. It was not as easy as we thought to get everybody to come to apply for amnesty. We tried all we could in our power to get the majority to come to apply for amnesty. There is no other place that you have realised the many applications for amnesty as here.
In closing, it is of great importance, we believe, that as we brought forward our amnesty application we did that from the structure but we do believe that the Commission does look at the incidents and we thought we shall explain the way things happened, even myself as Duma Nkosi, it is possible that I may have omitted other incidents but I do know as a member of central command that when I said that people must defend themselves and lived with the people and a person will have a weapon to defend himself, it could have happened that that person will kill obviously and inevitably. So it was obvious that as a person given a weapon to defend yourself it will in the process happen that you will end up killing so that if it happens that you find yourself in a situation whilst defending yourself you have to kill, you should kill.
Another thing that may be confusing is that we had this deep rooted anger and we had various beliefs in our area. The violence that was facing the community made them in so much that they had to employ every means possible to defend themselves so that a preacher should or a pastor pray, a doctor should do his duty, everybody had to contribute to see that the community is defended.
A point that may bring difficulty as times goes on and I'm not well conversant in as far which doctor or traditional healing is concerned, but there was a belief traditionally that if a person has been killed by a weapon, even in the house the corpse won't be brought into the house, in other words the corpse won't be brought into the house because he'll be bringing evil spirit and another belief was that if a person has killed by the weapon, the corpse should be manoeuvred with so that the evil spirit go back to the killer. So that is a belief, you don't have to believe this, it's something that is there, it happens we believe in it. The reason why I'm saying that we may encounter difficulties for the Commission to understand our position so that things like after you've killed a person and you'll have to burn the person. The reasons behind that you may not understand them because killing a person is not acceptable at all. Now even setting the corpse alight is even worse but things like that had to be done because there were belief behind that. I plead that there should be a person to explain this point to the Commission as to the beliefs to such effect. Well, in the western culture when you go to the court of law you would think this is an animal that because he has committed heinous deeds but then it's not so with us. We talk about Indilezi or traditional medicine, how to use this traditional medicine called Indelezi in a situation of war. For instance such things were being used, you don't have to believe that but these things are there. I thought I should highlight on this because I deem it important for the Commission to have clear understanding so that people brought forward so much to see that the community has been defended appropriately. If you believe in whatever you think will alleviate the pain from the community, you will do so. The Indilezi story or this traditional healing or medicine, it's a belief that is a belief that is from our ancestors and is still present. It's not like the black people are animals, they eat one another, but it's really not so, it does not work that way, it must not confuse this Commission but the request we have is that those who have invaluable information in as far as explaining this concept of Indilezi, please they shall do so to the Commission but this not suggest in any way that it should believe in this. People believe in this and it does happen.
We were fortunate in our residential area throughout all this violence and things I've talked about. We were able to contribute in the betterment of our area. The President of the country was able to bring stability in our area. The houses that were destroyed were so many in number but the majority of such houses have been built again and others have been refurbished as well due to the contribution of the President. The reason why I'm saying this is that everybody has contributed to this process. According to me, in 1993, it so transpired that or it so happened that President Mandela and De Klerk arrived here and brought together a certain group we called or referred to as Task Group. When they formed this I was also part of that group or a member. I was elected by the union or COSATU. It was to see that there was peace in the area and we built a new place and it had various departments and missions. We wanted to ensure that the security is in place, like Duarte was active in that and the one who was - Dan Mofokeng was also in communication continuously with the community and we were also looking into the needs and the services that were applicable and the infrastructures to see that it's promoted and we knew that as we were fighting people go disturbed because a certain department, Social Services, now the activities of that, social activity, was to stabilise people and show that the ordinary and the daily routines of the community go on and we have such services as counselling done in that department. The reason why I'm saying this it's because that's where the ISU was removed, that was in 1993, and soldiers were brought in. In the township of Thokoza they saw an army camp, it came in at that time. I also wanted to point this out that even this was a Presidential project, Mr Sekwale, the Premier, who was the one who was closer. He employed Themba Malulega as manager. There was also the then Minister of M.E.C. for Police, Duarte and others. Sekwale who was Premier at the time used to come here often to see what was happening. Mr Matoli who is presently Premier of Gauteng is one of the people who would seeing that he is a lawyer would assist us in legal representation. I just wanted to indicate that we were not doing things in isolation, we were always in contact, asking for assistance where necessary but yes, we did some of the things on our own. We left our families, went out to work out there, knowing that our lives were in danger on a daily basis. It is near miraculous that I am here today. For example if you find yourself in a situation such as that it would be possible for one to die any time. People had to work towards building their communities.
The continuation of the talks between the IFP and us is something very important. We know that the repatriation of people back into their houses is something very important, it is still continuing. We had hoped that we would bring together different organisations when we unveiled Induli's tombstone recently, we wanted to bring people from different organisations together. We want you to know this, we don't want to go back to that situation. I do not believe that we can continue in the same manner as we did.
I would like to conclude by saying that in the report that we submitted there are other suggestions that were made that people who were psychologically effected are the youth, some of whom were part of the SDU and therefore it would be very important to make sure that they get counselling. I'm here today, I'm not sure whether I'm operating as well as I should, I'm not sure about that. I'm not in any way suggesting that I have lost my head either. I am saying here that if a person can be helped insofar as counselling is concerned, that would make things easier and secondly, we are suggesting that we should try and identify a spot or areas where job opportunities can be created. We refer to what we call a job centre.
Attempts were also made elsewhere. One example that we have here is that in England, in Brixton, where such a thing was established. That would be something from which notes can be taken. Attempts are also continuing that we should erect a tombstone or a monument in respect of all those died during the violence. We know that some people died, some have lost their entire families and some survivors do not know where their next of kin have been buried...(inaudible) rise from their grave they should know where to find their next of kin. Now if you look at job opportunities, we are looking at a situation where it would be possible to work for the community like for example our counsellors should always think about the youth because these are the people who should not go idle, they might end up doing something undesirable. Many people discontinued their education as a result. Some of these people did not continue with their education and therefore it would be very difficult for them to go back to school now but then they should be given that opportunity to continue with their education.
One of the things that was raised is that some people got injured. Say a person is looking for an artificial leg after he was amputated, or a person has lost an eye, these are some of the needs, these require lots of money. People cannot do this on their own. Some people got crippled and among those we are trying to establish any means for their subsistence. These people have to be assisted insofar as food is concerned. And lastly, we are saying there are orphans out there who came about as a result of these problems, people that are orphans they are cared for by other people. Some money has to be made available to further their education. These people have to further their education.
Mr Nkosi, I've heard your evidence but maybe there is one section of the evidence which I think was left out. According to the Commission's file report and I am sure you have sight of it, there were incidents and there is actual information that was placed before the Amnesty Committee during March of this year at the Boksburg hearing where SDU's have applied for amnesty for killing other ANC members. Now my question to you is this, what was the position in Thokoza in this specific area. Were there incidents where SDU's were also killing other people like ANC youth leaders or other ANC members? Do you know of any information like this?
MR NKOSI: To respond to that I would say in our township if a person had fight with someone else, it was important how that was resolved. I cannot say much but if people differed on how they perceived things, remember that we had an abundance of firearms and as a result we had many people fighting and ending up injuring each other. For example, in my case, I went to an agenda, the agenda an ABC programme. There was a group of youths who were not quite pleased about the fact that Mzizi's wife was insulting me and I said to them listen, I didn't come here to insult people but to explain things to people and when I got back to my place some people were angry. They were so angry they could have easily injured me. I am saying here that they way of solving problems is different, for example in an area where you were brought up, if you differed over something you always had a way of sorting such problems out. Yes it is possible that people may not be in a position to solve their problems or differences amicably. Some of these things are so trivial and some people would say you should have insulted back. People should know that when a person is talking on such a programme, one is not necessarily directing himself to the Thokoza only but to the entire nation. All I'm saying here is that they are bringing in those areas as a contributory factor to how people solve problems.
ADV STEENKAMP: My real question is actually how much control was there over these armed SDU members? We've heard that there was a criminal element within the SDU groupings itself but the real question is, what was the actual control over these armed youngsters?
MR NKOSI: One point that I wanted to raise here is that we would not be in the position as the ANC in Thokoza to say that people, all people, did things according to our expectations. I also indicated earlier on that yes, some things were happening against our will and expectations. For example not everybody was armed in our township, not everybody who was armed could be spoken to by ourselves. Yes, some people were closer to us. For example if you look at the nature or the culture of killing and burning a person thereafter, it's something difficult, something that would be difficult for me to explain and therefore as a result we were not in the position to talk to everybody who was armed. I'm not in the position to say that.
ADV STEENKAMP: Another finding of the Commission was specifically referring to the East Rand SDU's was that the ANC was responsible, specifically for the time period 1990 to 1994, of contributing to the spiral of violence in the country throughout and specifically the East Rand by the creation and the arming of the SDU's. Do you have any comment on that?
MR NKOSI: What I can say here is that yes, there were arms in our areas. The truth is that we brought armed people together. I don't know what would have happened if or had we just folded our arms and looked and did nothing about it fearing that people would start pointing fingers at us. We realised then that the only way to contribute positively to this was that the community was under attack at the time and therefore really we could not have folded our arms whilst things were going wrong. I am trying to explain here what it is that we did in response to being attacked. I am simply saying here that some people who are writing like you are saying would have been happier had we sat down and did nothing about the situation. We realised that that was not the road for us to take, we had to protect our lives, we did all we could in a war situation and nobody is right. Everybody is in the wrong, nobody would say I am in the wrong but we are saying because it was a war situation, yes people died, people got injured, there was damage to property and we are therefore saying we did not contribute by simply protecting ourselves.
ADV STEENKAMP: May we just for my own information, as I understand the ANC suspended the armed struggle in 1990 but we've heard evidence yesterday that they were still continuing arming the SDU's. How does that link up?
MR SIBEKO: If I were to interject Mr Chairman, may my learned friend indicate as to exactly which part of the evidence indicated that there were still arming activities of the SDU's after the disbandment?
CHAIRPERSON: Yes in fact if I remember correctly, the witnesses who testified indicated that the arms at least in the Lusaka A Section, the arms that were obtained were bought through contributions by the community and that there were no arms acquired from the ANC. That's certainly how I understood the testimony. Advocate Steenkamp, that is my recollection of - there hasn't yet been testimony before us that the ANC armed at least the structures that we are looking at, at this stage.
ADV STEENKAMP: I thank you Mr Chairman, I would just maybe rephrase the question a bit. Maybe to get to the real question, the real question is we were told yesterday by certain members of the Committee of Seven that there was a policy or a decision taken which they called "The killer must be killed". I know you've just referred to it briefly but can you maybe elaborate a bit more what was meant by this policy and how was it implemented as far as your knowledge goes?
MR NKOSI: Let me just indicate that in the report, the one that was referred to here yesterday, if you look at this area it is divided into different sections. Lusaka is a very small portion of the bigger area. One other thing is that Lusaka as a section at the Committee of Seven excluding the commander. The commander in the section had certain things in terms of arms for the protection of the community and therefore that could have been the only way they believed they could protect themselves. That is why I am saying here to you that I don't have a conclusive explanation because different areas and sections had committees and they used whatever measures they saw fit, they took their own decisions. Insofar as we are concerned yes, there was a policy to the effect that once a person is a member of committee and a commander thereof, such a person had to be in charge and come together with other people, made the necessary and take the necessary decisions among themselves for their protection. If criminality was rife they had to take a decision to address that. Therefore, I am saying it was within their jurisdiction, it was their prerogative in that section to come up with principles.
MR NKOSI: The full names are Wanda Umgume Zulu and we also called him Mjajo, that is a codename. That is why I am saying there are two surnames here, one is paternal, the other one is maternal, Mabaso is one of these two surnames but we used to call him Wanda Umgume Zulu.
ADV STEENKAMP: It's coming sir, we must still append that specific amnesty application, it will probably be heard in the next round of the SDU's but we will see what we can do practically to engage that application.
MR NKOSI: What used to happen Chairperson is that the commander used to meet with us. If we went to his section there would be another leadership. I am simply trying to indicate that the safety of the people should be something that is taken care of by the people in that area but the commander was always with us in the central command but he should work hand in hand with the soldiers and other people. Perhaps the committee of the block or the area would work hand in hand with them as well but what's important is that in their duties, daily duties, they had to be provided with food, food had to be prepared etc. They were not sleeping at home but they were using a common venue. They would come together now and then and continue with their activities but the situation at Lusaka was such that decisions that were taken were taken including the commander himself.
ADV GCABASHE: You refer I think when you talk about Annexure 4 and the people on that list, the central command, I just want to relate the names. I've come across Thokoza Central Command in the documentation that we have and that is essentially the structure that you were trying to explain to us, the one that you sat on and all the other commanders then came back to?
MR NKOSI: If we look at the Annexure form, this is the Annexure 4 and it indicates that all the committee structures used to come together and this is the one indicating who was representing which section.
ADVOCATE GCABASHE: Thanks, that's cleared my queries on the structures and how the structures worked. The last question really relates to something that you have dealt with. The way in which we handle applications that we look at incidents and we try and relate the individual to a particular incident and as you have rightly pointed out it is a difficulty that we are really going to have to work with because just from the evidence we heard yesterday it's become apparent that it's difficult for the individual to say on day such and such this is what I did or so many people may have been killed. Even at that very broad level however, is it possible at all to be able to say "we later on, as the central command, heard about particular incidents which we now know we can tie to Lusaka A to Beirut". Are you able to assist us at all with linking some of those incidents or reports to particular areas or particular activities by the commanders and their teams?
MR NKOSI: What happened is that all these amnesty applications that we have made are such that they refer to a commander and the area in which he operated and under each area there are incidents covering the area itself etc. We indicate who the commander is and how many people were involved when such an incident happened and what happened, who got injured and who died, yes we did try to do that. In other words all these applications go just as I have just explained.
CHAIRPERSON: You had said that Thokoza was divided into thirteen sections and together with Phola Park that made it fourteen. Now those thirteen sections, are they different from the ones which are depicted on the map that we've got now, Exhibit 1? I think I've counted ten or so, I might have counted very quickly? Would you just have a look at the map? I assume that Thokoza proper would be within the triangle and that Phola Park of course is on the top there.
MR NKOSI: What appears there should be unit F Extension 2, Phola Park is actually linked up. On the other side you actually look at Tambo Slovo being linked up so that's were the numbers - the list runs down straight, that when you split unit F from Extension 2, then you actually have two on that one because I think maybe - the working relationship here is very close if one considers sometimes interchangeably, its region is one or sometimes separated, even here as well but the rest of the others you have at least a consistent on the entire one but I think ...(indistinct).
ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, sorry to interrupt. This was the same with Mzizi I've met last Friday who was indicating that he is representing the community as it then existed in Thokoza. He indicated that they will definitely make a submission but I haven't had any further communication with them. I suppose they're still preparing their submission. I will inform ...(indistinct)
CHAIRPERSON: Well, that will be a good idea. I don't know if you can hear, perhaps you must put on the headphones then you should be able to hear a bit better on channel 2. Advocate Steenkamp has just indicated that Mr Mzizi has apparently been in touch with himself and has indicated that he will in fact be making a submission on behalf of part of the community so it looks as if hopefully we will get a further perspective on this matter. Mr Sibeko have you got any re-examination before we conclude?
DUMA MOSES NKOSI: (s.u.o.) Thank you. What I was trying to highlight here something that we almost left out is with reference to the assistance that we got from the independent board of enquiry. This was an organisation that was formed by different SACC members or churches. We had the Archbishop Tutu and Alex Boraine and Sheena Duncan. I am raising this because this organisation helped us out quite a lot in our area, are sixteen people where it was necessary during the violent times. I am raising this because it is important for people to know that everything that we did, gathering information so that it could be presented here. We managed to do this with the help of Sally Sele because we used to bring her in and she also gathered information from other people. I am raising this simply because we had problems because we could not find legal assistance timeously where necessary and she was able to secure some legal representation for some of us and we also enjoyed a great deal of assistance in terms of her liaison with the police so that we could meet and I can also say that many things that I have said here, like reference to the 32 Battalion in Phola Park, she also helped us out quite a lot here. We also had medicine that we used to attend to some of our members who got injured and she also referred to people who could help us with counselling.
Another important thing is that when we investigated the involvement of the police we had Jan Munnik who was a Wits police reporting officer in charge of reporting matters pertaining to the involvement of the police in these area. Here he also played an important part. Another thing here is that in October 1994 we were trying to dismantle the self defence units but we were not as successful in our efforts. Be that as it may, we managed to hand over firearms, some of which we had collected from our members. This appears in Annexure 5. Yes, we were not as successful as we meant to be but yes she had a hand in making sure that these arms are given to the police in Thokoza.
And lastly it should be known that in all our endeavours to fill in the amnesty applications, yes she also played a part here, assisting some of us in filling in these forms. That is why we were able to bring many people forward, people who filled in these application forms. Thank you very much.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Nkosi, thank you very much for your assistance and your testimony and at least giving us a better idea about, amongst other things, the lay out of the area that we are looking at. We thank you very much. You are excused from further attending here, we know that you have to participate in the proceedings in front of some of our colleagues in Vosloorus, but we thank you for your assistance and you are excused.
CHAIRPERSON: Now Advocate Steenkamp, we had the question of an inspection in loco in the Thokoza area. Is there any other witnesses that we can hear at this stage or are we in a position to proceed and deal with the inspection?
ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, the preliminary arrangements was not only because of the testimony for Mr Nkosi but it was actually endeavoured that he will be testifying during this week. The other applicants will probably be, will definitely be here tomorrow. My learned colleague will present them tomorrow as well but for today I am informed that there is no other witnesses that will be called. I will definitely not be calling any witnesses for today. The necessary practical arrangements were made as well as with the Department of - the Minister of Safety and Security as well. Some of his personnel is actually here so it's up to you Mr Chairman, it's absolutely in your hands to decide if you want to do the inspections later today and all the practical arrangements are in order. There was only the request I think for Mr Nkosi that he will not personally take part in the pointing out but the necessary personnel is here to assist you. Thank you Mr Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Advocate Steenkamp. Yes well under those circumstances we would proceed to do the inspection in loco. It makes sense to us to do that as early as possible in these proceedings and it also makes sense to do it as close as possible to the testimony of Mr Nkosi which is touched upon, at least some of those aspects so would you please just make the necessary arrangements and notify us in which case we will adjourn to the inspection and after completion of that we will reconvene here tomorrow morning as close to 9 o'clock as possible. I know that there are sometimes some problems in getting to the venue, problems with traffic and so on, so we will endeavour to start as close to 9 o'clock as we possibly can. We will adjourn to the inspection and we will reconvene here tomorrow morning.