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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 377

Paragraph Numbers 226 to 229

Volume 2

Chapter 4

Subsection 24

■ THE AZANIAN NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY

226 No evidence was presented to the Commission that the military operations of the Azanian National Liberation Army (AZANLA), the armed wing of the Black Consciousness Movement of Azania, resulted in any gross violations of human rights. The exception is a case of abduction, for which the member responsible applied for amnesty. The person convicted of this act kidnapped two civilians in order to ensure their safety when he burned down the petrol station. No harm was caused to the civilians (or to any other person). Mr Mzwandile Nkwenkwe Alfred Madela, [AM0038/96] and Mr Andile Samuel Katiso Solo [AM0193] applied for amnesty.

Violations in exile

227 The Commission received no human rights violation statements in respect of members of AZANLA killed in exile by fellow members. However, there was a mutiny in the AZANLA camp at the Dukwe refugee settlement in Botswana in late 1978. The Commission was told that mutiny resulted from – concern that for routine offences they received severe punishment including food cuts, caning, detention and exposure to cold weather after being soaked in cold water, while those who committed offences which merited court martials were left untouched.

228 At least two AZANLA members – Mr Tsakana Seepa and Mr Sizwe Dlamini – were shot dead. Botswana police found the decomposed bodies, seized firearms and arrested about fourteen AZANLA personnel in October 1990. Those arrested were charged variously with conspiracy to murder, murder, unlawful burial of two other members of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) and unlawful possession of arms of war. Those charged with murder were aquitted.

■ THE MASS DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

229 The mass democratic movement (MDM) consisted of different organisations at different times, with different types of membership and decision-making structures. The movement had thousands if not millions of supporters who were not part of any formal organisational structures. Holding individuals or organisational leadership accountable for specific acts is therefore much more difficult than in the case of liberation movements, which formally adopted military strategies and had clear chains of command for the carrying out of military operations. During the 1980s, however, most organisations were affiliated or claimed allegiance to the United Democratic Front (UDF), whose former leadership made a submission to the Commission, and in respect of whom the following finding was made:

THE COMMISSION ACKNOWLEDGES THAT IT WAS NOT THE POLICY OF THE UDF TO ATTACK AND KILL POLITICAL OPPONENTS BUT THAT, IN THE CONTEXT OF WIDESPREAD STATE-SPONSORED OR DIRECTED VIOLENCE AND A CLIMATE OF POLITICAL INTOLERANCE, MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS OF UDF AFFILIATE ORGANISATIONS OFTEN COMMITTED GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS.
THE UDF FACILITATED THE COMMISSION OF SUCH GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THAT LEADERS, OFFICE-BEARERS AND MEMBERS OF THE UDF ACTED IN A MANNER, THROUGH THEIR CAMPAIGNS, PUBLIC STATEMENTS AND SPEECHES WHICH HELPED CREATE A CLIMATE IN WHICH MEMBERS OF ORGANISATIONS AFFILIATED TO THE UDF BELIEVED THEY WERE MORALLY JUSTIFIED IN TAKING UNLAWFUL ACTION AGAINST STATE STRUCTURES, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF STATE ORGANISATIONS AND PERSONS PERCEIVED AS SUPPORTERS OF THE STATE AND ITS STRUCTURES.
FURTHER, IN ITS ENDORSEMENT AND PROMOTION OF SLOGANS, SONGS AND THE ‘TOYI-TOYI’ THAT ENCOURAGED AND/OR EULOGISED VIOLENT ACTIONS, THE UDF CREATED A CLIMATE IN WHICH SUCH ACTIONS WERE SEEN TO BE LEGITIMATED. INASMUCH AS THE STATE IS HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE USE OF LANGUAGE IN SPEECHES AND SLOGANS, SO TOO MUST THE MASS DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENTS BE ACCOUNTABLE.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT FACTORS REFERRED TO IN THE PARAGRAPH ABOVE LED TO WIDESPREAD EXCESSES, ABUSES AND GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS BEING COMMITTED BY SUPPORTERS AND MEMBERS OF ORGANISATIONS AFFILIATED TO THE UDF INCLUDING:
  • THE KILLINGS (OFTEN BY MEANS OF ‘NECKLACING’), ATTEMPTED KILLINGS, AND SEVERE ILL TREATMENT OF POLITICAL OPPONENTS, MEMBERS OF STATE STRUCTURES SUCH AS BLACK LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND THE SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE, AND THE BURNING AND DESTRUCTION OF HOMES AND PROPERTIES;
  • THE VIOLENT ENFORCEMENT OF WORKER STAY AWAYS AND BOYCOTTS OF, INTER ALIA, PRIVATE AND PUBLIC TRANSPORT AND PRIVATE RETAIL SHOPS LEADING TO KILLING, ATTEMPTED KILLING AND SEVERE ILL TREATMENT.
    • POLITICAL INTOLERANCE RESULTING IN VIOLENT INTER-ORGANISATIONAL CONFLICT WITH, INTER ALIA, AZAPO AND THE IFP.
    • THE UDF AND ITS LEADERSHIP
  • FAILED TO EXERT THE POLITICAL AND MORAL AUTHORITY AVAILABLE TO IT TO STOP SUCH PRACTICES OUTLINED ABOVE, DESPITE THE FACT THAT SUCH PRACTICES WERE FREQUENTLY ASSOCIATED WITH OFFICIAL UDF CAMPAIGNS SUCH AS CONSUMER BOYCOTTS ON ANTIBLACK LOCAL AUTHORITY CAMPAIGNS. IN PARTICULAR, THE UDF AND ITS LEADERSHIP FAILED TO USE THE FULL EXTENT OF SUCH AUTHORITY TO END THE PRACTICE OF NECKLACING, COMMITTED IN MANY INSTANCES BY ITS MEMBERS OR SUPPORTERS.
  • FAILED TO TAKE APPROPRIATELY STRONG OR ROBUST STEPS OR MEASURES TO PREVENT, DISCOURAGE, RESTRAIN AND INHIBIT ITS AFFILIATES AND SUPPORTERS FROM BECOMING INVOLVED IN ACTION LEADING TO GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS, AS DESCRIBED ABOVE.
  • FAILED TO SANCTION OR DISCIPLINE MEMBER ORGANISATIONS WHOSE MEMBERS WERE INVOLVED IN GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS DESCRIBED ABOVE, OR TO ENCOURAGE ITS MEMBER ORGANISATIONS TO TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTIONS AGAINST THEIR MEMBERS.
THE COMMISSION NOTES THAT THE POLITICAL LEADERSHIP OF THE UDF HAS ACCEPTED POLITICAL AND MORAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ACTIONS OF ITS MEMBERS. ACCORDINGLY, THE UDF IS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE GROSS VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTED IN ITS NAME AND COMMITTED AS A CONSEQUENCE OF ITS FAILURE TO TAKE THE STEPS REFERRED TO ABOVE.
 
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