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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 265
Paragraph Numbers 417 to 424
417 In 1987 ANC activist Jeffrey Sibiya [JB03063/01ERKAT] was allegedly involved in petrol bomb attacks, arson and intimidation against the SAP and opponents of the ANC in Mamelodi. Paul van Vuuren [AM6528/97] tried unsuccessfully to persuade Sibiya to become an informer. Information was received that Sibiya was planning an attack on Van Vuuren and Hechter, and a decision was taken to kill him.
418 Mamasela went to Mamelodi to fetch Sibiya and another person, Mpho, under the pretence that he was to take them across the border. Captain Jacques Hechter [AM2776/96], Sarel du Plessis Crafford [AM5468/97] and Paul van Vuuren, among others, waited in a minibus outside Mamelodi. They were taken to a place five kilometres north of Pienaar’s River. There the activists were interrogated, kicked, beaten and were strangulated with wire. Both were killed during interrogation. In order to conceal the evidence, the bodies were destroyed using a landmine somewhere in Bophuthatswana. Amnesty applicants include: ‘Sakkie’ Crafford, Brigadier JH Cronjé, Captain J Hechter and Captain PJ Janse van Vuuren.
The Mofolo Three
419 Lieutenant Colonel Anton Pretorius [AM4389/96], askaris Moleke Peter ‘Frank’ Lengene [AM4033/96], Manuel Olifant [AM4032/96], Mr Sarel Petrus Nienaber [AM4391/96] and Captain Daniel Johan Steenberg [AM4374/96] applied for amnesty in connection with the killing of three activists on 2 July 1989.
420 In his amnesty application, Pretorius refers to the escalation of MK activities from the beginning of 1988. He alleges that the Soweto Intelligence Unit (SIU), which he commanded, identified a number of MK units which were planning to attack SAP targets. The units operated from within organisations such as the Soweto Youth Congress (SOYCO) and the South African Youth Congress (SAYCO). It was decided to infiltrate such structures via ‘credibility operations’ – involving the sabotage of buildings to enhance the credibility of the agents and/or askaris. Five such operations were conducted in a matter of months and began to have the desired results.
421 In one of these operations, the Security Branch made contact with one Nceba who allegedly had a unit in Mofolo, and infiltrated Peter Lengene into the unit. Lengene was a former SAYCO member who had been abducted from Botswana and, after being tortured, became an askari. The infiltration was successful and Lengene introduced Constable Linda Moni, a Vlakplaas member seconded to the SIU, as his commander. Lengene and Moni arranged a meeting at a Hillbrow hotel where they showed Nceba an AK-47, a grenade and an SPM landmine. It was agreed that Lengene would train members of Nceba’s unit in the use of mines. A further seconded Vlakplaas member assisted with this training.
422 The Nceba unit then began to plan a terror attack. Following a discussion with the Divisional Commander, an operation similar to Operation Zero Zero was decided on. Pretorius proposed that they lay mines on signal boxes on railway lines and he informed the Divisional Commander that he had three zero-timed VDM-IM switches available. Members of the Security Branch technical division saw to the alteration to the time delay mechanisms.
423 The plan was that Lengene, Moni and another Vlakplaas member would say they had received an order from outside instructing them to conduct an operation. The chosen targets were the railway line at Mofolo, Midway and Kliptown. Each of the activists was accompanied by one of the askaris armed with AK-47s, allegedly for credibility and to protect themselves from Nceba and his unit. The situation was monitored by the security police from a distance. However, during the operation, only one of the limpet mines detonated. According to Pretorius, when he arrived at the scene he discovered that the detonated mine had killed Nceba and that Lengene and Moni had shot the other two after their limpets failed to detonate. One of the askaris gives a different version, saying that he feared that Pretorius would kill him if he failed to shoot the activist.
424 Pretorius took the bodies of the two who had been shot and dumped them next to a river near Rustenburg, placed a tyre on them and burnt them so that they could not be identified. On his return, Pretorius claims that he reported to the Divisional Commander only that he had dealt with the matter. He said further that, while they knew the identities of those killed, they did not reveal this to police investigators for fear of exposing the Security Branch’s involvement.