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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 311

Paragraph Numbers 604 to 607

Volume 2

Chapter 3

Subsection 63

Gangster Vigilantes

604 The amnesty application of Mr Nelson Mphithizeli Ngo states that a number of criminal vigilante groups were used by the security police in the Orange Free State, including the Anti-comrades, the Eagles and the Three Million Gang. The Anti-comrades and the Eagles are explicitly referred to as ‘dekmantel organisasies’ (cover organisations) in an SSC document. In relation to the Anti-comrades, Ngo said:

This gangster [grouping] was also formed by the Security Branch (SB) together with the head of the Local Authority council, who worked as a councillor in Brandfort, and criminals were recruited from Brandfort prison by a prison warder who also worked for this gangster [grouping] to join the Anti-comrades and was the main co-ordinator of these gangsters and the security police. The main task assigned to this gangster [grouping] by members of the security police was that they must deal with members of political organisations such as the UDF and the Civic organisation in the community.

605 He goes on to describe the murder of one Papie Steyn. Ngo’s version is corroborated to some degree by other information gathered by the Commission.

606 Ngo also identifies the Three Million Gang as one of the gangster groupings used by the police to counter the liberation movements. He states:

This gangster [grouping] operated on a part time basis in Brandfort and was called by Sergeant or the SB when ever there was a need to reinforce the prevailing structures of gangsters in Brandfort. Co-ordination meetings were held at Brandfort police station, where leaders of the gangsters met with members of the SB to receive attacking strategies from the SB, weapons, money and material sponsors like beers and tobacco.

607 Conflict between the ANC and the Three Million Gang is described in the Orange Free State regional profile, Volume Three.

THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT THIS POLICY OF CONTRA-MOBILISATION SOUGHT, BY COVERT MEANS, TO CREATE GROUPINGS OPPOSED TO THE LIBERATION MOVEMENTS AND TO MANIPULATE SOCIAL, ETHNIC AND OTHER DIVISIONS WITH THE INTENTION OF MOBILISING ONE GROUP AGAINST ANOTHER. IN ITS MOST EXTREME FORM, CONTRA-MOBILISATION LED TO VIOLENCE. THE POLICY ENTAILED:
• COVERT FUNDING OF INITIATIVES TO PROMOTE ‘MODERATE’ PRO-GOVERNMENT BLACK ORGANISATIONS OR INDIVIDUALS THAT IN SOME INSTANCES WERE USED AS CHANNELS FOR RESOURCES TO BE GIVEN TO VIGILANTES, INCLUDING THOSE DIRECTLY USED TO CRUSH ANTI-GOVERNMENT ACTIVITY, SUCH AS THE EAGLES.
  • IDEOLOGICAL TRAINING, THE PROVISION OF LOGISTICAL SUPPORT (INCLUDING VEHICLES AND MONEY IN CERTAIN INSTANCES) OR OTHER FORMS OF ENDORSEMENT OF VIGILANTES, PARTICULARLY REV MZWANDILE MAQINA OF AMAAFRIKA IN THE EASTERN CAPE, THE ‘WITDOEKE’ IN THE WESTERN CAPE AND THE A-TEAM IN NATAL.
  • IN THE CASE OF INKATHA AND THE BLACK CATS, MILITARY TRAINING AND WEAPONRY, THE PROVISION OF WHICH RESULTED IN AN ESCALATION OF CONFLICTS AND ENORMOUS LOSS OF LIFE, INJURY AND DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY.
  • THE INCORPORATION OF MEMBERS OF CRIMINAL NETWORKS INTO VIGILANTE GROUPS.
  • STRATCOM OPERATIONS AND PROPAGANDA DELIBERATELY DESIGNED TO FOMENT DIVISIONS AND SOCIAL CLEAVAGES.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT, IN CERTAIN INSTANCES, SECURITY FORCES PLAYED A FACILITATING ROLE IN THE ACTUAL VIOLATIONS, AND THAT THE SYSTEMATIC FAILURE TO PROSECUTE INDIVIDUALS, ORGANISATIONS OR GROUPS WHO ATTACKED SUPPORTERS OF THE LIBERATION MOVEMENTS AND THEIR PROPERTY AMOUNTED TO AN ENDORSEMENT OF SUCH ACTIONS AND, IN SOME INSTANCES, A SUBVERSION OF JUSTICE.
 
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