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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 475

Paragraph Numbers 279 to 288

Volume 2

Chapter 5

Subsection 35

1990s: The IFP-ANC war for supremacy in KwaZulu, Natal and the PWV

279 The role of the IFP in the political violence in the early nineties is dealt with under the relevant sections of the Commission’s report. In brief, the IFP was found to the foremost perpetrator of gross human rights violations in KwaZulu and Natal during this period. Approximately 9 000 gross human rights violations were perpetrated by Inkatha in KwaZulu and Natal from 1990 to May 1994. This constituted almost fifty per cent of all violations reported to the Commission’s Durban office for this period and over one-third of the total number of gross human rights violations reported for the thirty-four-year period of the Commission’s mandate.

280 The Commission has made a finding that members and supporters of the IFP were responsible, together with sections and members of the state’s security forces, for committing gross violations of human rights in the event which has come to be known as the Seven Day War which took place in the greater Edendale area outside Pietermaritzburg in the seven days from Sunday, 25 March 1990. In the event, over 100 people were killed, some 3000 houses were destroyed by fire and approximately 30 000 people fled their homes because of the violence. The vast majority of the people killed and injured were from the non-Inkatha areas, and the vast majority of the property damaged burned and looted belonged to non-Inkatha supporters.

281 The Commission heard that hostels in the provinces of KwaZulu/Natal and the Transvaal, particularly in the PWV (Pretoria/Witwatersrand/Vereeniging) area, became strongholds of the IFP in the early nineties, and that these hostels became ‘nogo’ areas for non-Inkatha residents of adjacent communities. In turn, IFP hostel-dwellers were increasingly alienated in these communities and were frequently attacked by youths from these communities. However, IFP-supporting hostel-dwellers were responsible for launching several large-scale attacks on adjacent townships and informal settlements in these provinces. Examples are to be found in attacks in Bruntville, Mooi River, in KwaZulu/ Natal on 8 November 1990 (killing sixteen people) and on 3 and 4 December (killing eighteen people). The overwhelming majority of these victims were non-IFP township residents. Hundreds of people died in conflict between IFP-supporting hostel-dwellers in the PWV area, and in attacks launched by hostel-dwellers on surrounding communities. Examples are found in the Sebokeng massacres of 22 July 1990 and 3 September 1990, the Alexandra night vigil massacre of March 1991, the Boipatong massacre of June 1992 and the Thokoza massacre of May 1993.

282 The Commission has made a finding that IFP supporters were conscripted into hit squads and that the activities of these hit squads became widespread in KwaZulu and Natal during the 1990s. From information received by the Commission, it would appear that the hit squad operations flowing from the Caprivi training and other political networks were predominantly supportive of the IFP, drawing in officials of the KwaZulu government and KZP as well as senior politicians and leaders of the party.

283 As such, hit squad members had access to KwaZulu government resources, such as vehicles, arms and ammunition. A measure of protection from prosecution was made possible through the collusion of the KZP as well as instruments of the state security forces. Further, Inkatha officials conspired with senior KZP officials to set up hit squads to eliminate ANC/SDU elements. The activities of the hit squads operating in the Esikhawini area near Richards Bay, the New Hanover area of the Natal Midlands, and the activities of a hit squad known as the Black Cats in Wesselton and Ermelo in the Transvaal are documented in other sections of the Commission’s report.

284 The Commission heard evidence of the involvement of IFP supporters in the train violence in the PWV region between 1990 and 1993. Approximately 572 people died in more than 600 incidents of train violence.

285 Inkatha supporters were also responsible for the commission of gross human rights violations in the province of KwaZulu/Natal in the run-up to the 1994 elections, when the IFP engaged in a campaign to disrupt the electoral process. During this period, Inkatha received arms and ammunition from right-wing organisations as well as sections of the security forces and embarked upon paramilitary training projects in which IFP supporters were trained in weapons handling and paramilitary tactics. This campaign continued until 29 April, just six days before the elections, when the IFP announced that it would contest the elections. The Commission found that approximately 3 000 gross human rights violations were perpetrated by Inkatha in KwaZulu and Natal from July 1993 to May 1994. This constituted more than 55 per cent of all violations reported to the Commission’s Durban office for this period.

286 At the same time, the Commission has found that Inkatha supporters, members and leaders were the target of sustained violent attack in many areas of KwaZulu and the former Natal during period of the late 1980s and early 1990s as relations between the ANC and Inkatha deteriorated steadily following the 1979 meeting of the two organisations in London.

287 Evidence before the Commission dealing with those instances when members and supporters of the IFP were victims of aggression by members of the UDF/ANC is found in the Liberation Movements chapter of this volume. Cases are also dealt with in the KwaZulu/Natal regional profile.

288 The IFP submitted to the Commission a document listing 420 cases where IFP party office-bearers had been killed, allegedly by members and supporters of the UDF/ANC. Cases documented occurred between August 1985 and August 1996. The Commission’s Durban office conducted an intensive investigation into the 289 listed cases falling within the boundaries of the Commission’s mandate. The results of the investigation are documented in the Liberation Movements chapter.

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