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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 471
Paragraph Numbers 264 to 278
264 There was no official response from the KwaZulu government or police to these allegations, other than in the submissions made on their behalf to the Goldstone Commission’s enquiry into violence in Natal, one year after the report was originally published. In only six incidents mentioned in the Obstacle to Peace report did the submissions offer information of material developments that had not been covered (two of the six related to payments of damages by the KZP to complainants on the grounds that the complaints had been substantiated). In most cases, the submissions denied allegations, or stated that records were lacking or cases pending.
265 A study of violent incidents between January and June 1991, carried out by the Centre of Social and Development Studies of the University of Natal and the Human Sciences Research Council, reported that the KZP played an aggravating and negative role in 55 per cent of the events at which members of the force were present. The KwaZulu government countered allegations of this type in its submission to the Goldstone Commission by stating that there were complaints against the KZP in only 5 per cent of the communities in which it was the police force. However, human rights organisations attributed this to the reluctance of
those subject to mistreatment to complain to the same police force whose members had mistreated them, and to the lack of independent lawyers to assist potential plaintiffs.
266 Further KZP misconduct has emerged in the form of the issuing of false police appointment certificates to Caprivi trainees by the former deputy commissioner of the KZP, Major General Sipho Mathe. When the South African Police Investigation Task Unit (ITU) presented a case for prosecution to Natal Attorney-General, Tim McNally, he admitted that Mathe did issue the certificates fraudulently, but said that the case was not serious enough to warrant a prosecution.
267 On at least twelve separate occasions between 1988 and 1992, the Supreme Court in Natal issued urgent orders restraining members of the KZP from assaulting or carrying out other unlawful acts against township residents. In one case, SAP Detective Sergeant Joseph Kabanyane and others interdicted the KZP from assaulting, threatening and harassing not only the applicants themselves, but also any other resident of KwaMakhutha township. Evidence submitted to the Court indicated that large numbers of KwaZulu police officers were travelling around KwaMakhutha township in vehicles and on foot, shooting indiscriminately with heavy calibre weapons at any visible township resident. No investigation followed the granting of the court order, and in his replying affidavit, the commissioner of the KZP merely denied that his members had been acting unlawfully.
268 The Commission heard evidence of the active participation of members of the KZP in what has been described as the ‘Esikhawini hit squad’ which was responsible for a number of hit squad killings in Esikhawini, near Richards Bay, and surrounding areas between 1991 and August 1993. The origins and activities of the Esikhawini hit squad, as well as a review of the violations perpetrated by its members are to be found in the KwaZulu-Natal regional profile in Volume Three.
269 One of the founding members of the hit squad was Mr Brian Gcina Mkhize [AM 4599/97], a Caprivi trainee who subsequently joined the KZP and was posted to the Esikhawini Riot Unit in 1990. Together with Daluxolo Luthuli and KZP Captain Leonard Langeni, at the time the officer commanding the KwaZulu Legislative Assembly Protection Unit, and others, Mkhize attended a meeting in Ulundi where the political violence between supporters of the ANC and Inkatha in the Esikhawini area was discussed. Mkhize told the Commission that at this meeting he was told that “the time had arrived to use the skills acquired at the Caprivi”. He said that it was made clear to him that he was to take unlawful action against ANC supporters in Esikhawini. He was further told to gather reliable people to assist him. KZP Detective Sergeant Romeo Mbuso Mbambo [AM 4598/97] was one of those conscripted to the hit squad. KZP Captain Leonard Langeni was kept informed of the operations that flowed from the initial planning meetings of the hit squad, and supplied ongoing direction and logistical support to the operatives. Between them, the KZP and IFP members of this hit squad have applied for amnesty for over 100 killings. Instruction for the killings were received from senior IFP and KZP members. The activities of the hit squad are dealt with in more detail elsewhere in the Commission’s report.
270 A number of other KZP members gained particular notoriety for killing people perceived to be ANC/UDF sympathisers and appeared to be immune from prosecution. Two examples of such police officers are Detective Constable Siphiwe Mvuyane from Umlazi, who on his own admission killed approximately 50 people, and Constable Khethani Shange from KwaMashu, who was jailed for several murders. Their involvement in serious human rights abuses has been extensively documented in other publications.
271 In 1993, the Wallis sub-committee of the Goldstone Commission was mandated to enquire into the role of the KZP in the political conflict in KwaZulu-Natal. The committee found that, for the most part, investigations by the KZP were “characterised by neglect, delay, disregard of elementary procedures and a failure to bring the offenders to book” (paragraph 47). In a further indictment of the KZP, the Deputy Attorney-General of Natal told the Wallis Committee that the standard of investigation of murder cases in the greater Durban area by the KZP was poor. Charges against the KZP included vague and incomplete witness statements with no attempt to corroborate their accounts or follow up on issues raised in the statements, no proper examination of scene of crime, failure to hold identification parades, loss of evidence and the failure of investigating officers to bring accused, witnesses or exhibits to court on request.
272 The Goldstone Commission’s second interim report, dated 29 April 1992, stated that:
The widely held view by a large number of people in KwaZulu and neighbouring areas that the KwaZulu Police are a private army of the Inkatha Freedom Party is a matter of great concern in relation to the curbing of violence in those areas. No less disturbing is evidence that has been given concerning unlawful activities by senior members of the KwaZulu Police. (para 3.2.4)
273 Investigations by the Commission and other bodies have shown that high-ranking officers of the KZP were involved in covering up crimes committed by Inkatha and KZP members. Cover-up practices by KZP officers ranged from neglecting basic investigative procedures to deliberately tampering with evidence and concealing suspects and key witnesses.
274 The role of the KZP in covering up the crimes of Inkatha-aligned persons was demonstrated in the Trust Feed case. In this case, certain senior KZP and Inkatha officials helped conceal the four special constables who were implicated in the murder. Almost immediately after the massacre in December 1988, KZP Captain Leonard Langeni took the four special constables into hiding at the Mkhuze Camp, which fell under his command. The KwaZulu Department of Nature Conservation owned the camp. During this time the special constables continued to receive their police salaries, paid to them by Langeni. Later they were taken to the KZP barracks in Ulundi, and then to the homes of various Inkatha-supporting chiefs. In 1990, they were assisted in joining the KZP, despite the fact that all four were still being sought by the SAP concerning the massacre at Trust Feed.
275 Members of the KZP were also involved in the concealment of former KZP Special Constable Vela Mchunu, implicated in the December 1986 murder of three members of the Metal and Allied Workers Union (MAWU) from Mphophomeni. In order to prevent Mchunu from testifying at the inquest, KZP Captain Leonard Langeni and Chief Buthelezi's personal assistant, Mr MZ Khumalo, arranged for Mchunu to be hidden for a period at the Mkhuze camp. Mchunu said that both Langeni and Khumalo knew that he had killed people and that he felt that their helping to conceal him indicated their approval of his actions. In 1990, Mchunu was implicated during the murder trial of Samuel Jamile, from Clermont, and was again taken into hiding (see above). In March 1991, after the completion of the Jamile trial, Mchunu was issued with a KZP appointment certificate under the name Alfred Masango.
276 Other police officers and Inkatha members who were suspects in crimes were hidden from the SAP at the Mkhuze camp. Daluxolo Luthuli was hidden at the Mkhuze camp during 1988 following his release on bail in connection with the possession of an AK-47 that was used in an attack on a UDF stronghold in Mpumalanga. Caprivi trainee Bhekisisa Alex 'Sosha' Khumalo [AM 4027/96] was also hidden for a year at the Mkhuze camp following his release on bail on a charge of attempted murder. Mr Nyoni Israel Hlongwane [AM 4600/97], active in the Esikhawini hit squad, was taken into hiding at the Mkhuze camp when he was being sought by police in connection with rape, murder and attempted murder charges. When the SAP approached the KZP for assistance in arresting Hlongwane, none was offered. The other people implicated in the incident were arrested and charged and one of them convicted. Another Caprivi trainee and special constable, Mr Zweli David Dlamini, was hidden at Mkhuze camp for over a year after he was involved in a shoot-out with SADF members in Imbali in December 1987. Dlamini told the Commission that Mr MZ Khumalo and Captain Langeni arranged for him to go into hiding. In 1990, at Langeni’s recommendation, Dlamini was accepted as a member of the KZP, despite the fact that warrants had been issued against him for attempted murder.
277 The vast majority of cases of alleged KZP involvement in gross human rights violations reported to the Commission occurred post-February 1990. The victims were almost exclusively people perceived to be sympathetic towards the ANC. The exception was a handful of KZP members who were eliminated by their own colleagues after they refused to cover up Inkatha or KZP criminal activity.
278 A number of KZP stations gained certain notoriety for severe misconduct and partisan policing. These included Umlazi, KwaMashu, KwaMakhutha, Madadeni, Sundumbili and Esikhawini.