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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 391

Paragraph Numbers 293 to 298

Volume 2

Chapter 4

Subsection 31


293 A number of people were victims of stabbings, many of which resulted in death. Although stabbing had always been associated with criminality, at the height of resistance it was used by some political activists to attack political opponents either in the government or in other organisations.

294 In the early 1960s, attacks of this nature involved hacking victims to death, using axes, pangas, swords and other sharp instruments. The choice of weapons was partly related to the limited availability of guns at the time. The Commission database indicates that stabbing was amongst the most widely used methods of killing in the period between 1960 and 1975. Mr Sizathu Mlomo [EC2221/97ETK], a government employee, was brutally stabbed by named perpetrators in Bizana in December 1960. He was accused of siding with the implementation of Tribal Authority Act.

295 In March 1960, in Isikelo Location in Bizana, Mr Robert Nonqandela [EC1817/97ETK] was stabbed with swords and other sharp instruments all over his body and head by unknown people opposed to the establishment of the Trust Land Act. Nonqandela was believed to be siding with chiefs who were in favour of the Act. He was hospitalised for a week. On his return, his homestead (five houses) was destroyed by fire, seemingly by the same unknown perpetrators who assaulted him.

296 From the mid-1970s to early 1980s, stabbing was not a prominent method of killing. However, in the early 1990s, the use of axes (hacking) in urban areas reemerged. (See Boipatong massacre in Volume Three.) Stabbing also became prominent in the early 1990s, particularly in conflicts that involved organisations. A large number of people that were first stabbed to death were later set alight. These are sometimes confused with necklace killings.

297 In certain instances security forces were involved in creating a situation in which people were stabbed. Mr Mthuzimele Manziya [EC0636/96UIT] died after he was stabbed and hacked by Ama-Afrika members near an initiation hut in KwaNobuhle, Uitenhage. Manziya and nine others were guarding abakhwetha (initiates) from attacks by the Ama-Afrika when police allegedly fired tear gas at them and forced them towards a hidden group of Ama-Afrika vigilantes. Manziya’s back was full of stab wounds and his head sustained a severe wound by axing. He died on 31 December 1989 at Livingstone hospital in Port Elizabeth.


298 Few cases of stoning were reported to the Commission, possibly because stoning often led to more severe violations such as stabbing and even burning. A significant number of targets of stoning were security forces deployed in the townships.

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