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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 337
Paragraph Numbers 58 to 66
Operations of uncertain status
58 The ANC submitted two lists of armed actions to the Commission. The acts on the first list were acknowledged to have been committed by ANC members. The second list, however, is entitled “Armed actions for which target category and/or responsibility is uncertain”. No distinction is made in this list between acts that killed or injured civilians because of ‘operational difficulties’, those which were ‘false flag operations’, and those which were acts of bona fide MK members interpreting ANC policy in a certain way. In investigating these incidents, the Commission requested information from the ANC but received no response. The cases detailed below fall into the category of ‘uncertain’ status.
59 Mr Annamalai ‘Daya’ and Mr Leelavathi ‘Navi’ Rengasami [KZN/MR/014/DN] were killed in a bomb blast on the Esplanade in Durban on 3 April 1984. Mr Yogenathan Gary Govindsamy, the deponent in this case, said that he knew at the time that the ANC was responsible for the blast, and that he heard later that ANC President OR Tambo apologised over Radio Freedom. Mr Govindsamy laid the blame for the blast on the NP government for refusing to initiate dialogue with the banned liberation movements. The family was refused compensation from the President’s ‘Victims of Terrorism’ fund because of his statement. The incident is listed by the ANC as being of “uncertain” status.
60 A spate of explosions at Wimpy Bars and supermarkets took place in the late 1980s. These were generally believed to be the work of liberation movements and associated with ANC operatives. The ANC told the Commission that, while a number of such attacks may have originated from MK cadres, evidence has started to surface that some of them were ‘false flag operations’ by the state, aimed at discrediting the ANC.
61 Statements were received from victims who had sustained injuries in the Benoni Wimpy Bar explosion on 30 July 1988, namely from Ms Catharina and Ms Tarina Janse van Rensburg [JB06049/01ERKAT], Ms Johanna Catharina Aletta Edwards [JB06048/01ERKAT] and Ms Illana Howe. Ms Maryanne de Olivetra Neto Serrano [JB01274/01ERKAT] died in the same incident. The Commission received amnesty applications from Mr Ernest Phumuzi Sigasa [AM5300/97] and Mr Elfas Mabore Ndhlovu [AM5301/97] in connection with the bombings.
62 A car bomb exploded in Bluff Road, Durban on 12 July 1984, killing five people and injuring twenty-seven. This explosion is not listed in either of the ANC’s lists. However, Mr OR Tambo is quoted as saying the bomb was intended for a military convoy and that the bombers were “inexcusably careless” for causing civilian casualties.
63 On 24 October 1988, a bomb exploded outside a Witbank shopping mall, killing two and injuring forty-two people. Three people were arrested and sentenced for the act. Submissions were received in respect of the deaths of Mr Jacob Samuel Masuku [JB02150/01MPWES] and Mr Elias Masina [JB03861/01MPWES] and injuries to Ms Maria Petronella Jannette van Heerden [JB00688/02PS], Ms Catharina Elizabetha Magrieta Trollip [JB00691/02PS] and Mr James Radebe [JB02154/01MPWES]. Mr Philip Makwale Nyalunga [AM5299/97] applied for amnesty. The incident is listed by the ANC as of “uncertain” origin.
64 A limpet mine exploded at a bus terminus in Vanderbijlpark on 23 September 1988, injuring nineteen people. A victim submission was received from Mr William Henry Ryan [JB06463/03WR]. The incident is listed by the ANC as of “uncertain” origin. ANC operatives Sipho Nicodimus Mthembu [AM6028/97] and Tsehisi Edward Mokati [AM6028/97] applied for amnesty.
65 A bomb exploded at the Orange Free State Administration Board offices in Bloemfontein on 12 February 1983. Seventy-six people were injured. The Commission received statements from Mr James Mzwandile Tshulu [KZN/JRW/ 008/BL] and Mr Brandfort Mahato Mazele [KZN/JRW/010/BL]. The incident is listed by the ANC as of “uncertain” origin.
66 On 26 May 1988, Ms Anna Maria Prinsloo [JB00700/02PS] was injured in an explosion outside the African Eagle Building in central Pretoria. The incident is listed by the ANC as of “uncertain” origin.
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT, FIRST, THE FACT THAT THE TARGETS OF THESE OPERATIONS WERE LARGELY SIMILAR IN THAT THEY MIRRORED SIMILAR OPERATIONS FOR WHICH THE ANC DID ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY; SECOND, THE FACT THAT THE ANC WAS, AT THE TIME THAT THESE OPERATIONS WERE UNDERTAKEN, ENGAGED IN SIMILAR OPERATIONS FOR WHICH IT TOOK RESPONSIBILITY, AND THIRD, THE FACT THAT MANY ANC OPERATIONS WERE CHARACTERISED BY POOR STRATEGIC PLANNING AND CONTROL, THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT, ON A BALANCE OF PROBABILITIES, THESE OPERATIONS WERE UNDERTAKEN BY ANC MEMBERS ACTING IN THE NAME OF THE ORGANISATION AND THAT THEY RESULTED IN GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS FOR WHICH THE ANC IS HELD ACCOUNTABLE. FURTHER FINDINGS IN THIS REGARD WILL BE MADE BY THE AMNESTY COMMITTEE WHEN THE ABOVE CASES AND OTHERS HAVE BEEN HEARD.