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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 616

Paragraph Numbers 147 to 163

Volume 2

Chapter 7

Subsection 12

Transkei and Ciskei

147 In July 1989, Transkei arrested six heavily-armed white men who allegedly set off from South Africa, crossed the border with ease and headed to Umtata to kill Holomisa. In December 1989 two more South Africans, including a serving member of the SAP, were arrested in Transkei on similar charges. Both these attempts seem to have been part of the ongoing attempts to unseat Holomisa which culminated in the abortive Duli coup attempt of November 1990; further attempts were made after this but none seem to have got as far as Umtata. During this period, there were frequent allegations that Transkei was harbouring, training and arming MK guerrillas.

148 On 4 March 1990 officers in the Ciskei military overthrew Lennox Sebe and installed Brigadier Oupa Gqozo in his place, an action in which South African security forces were apparently not involved. It appears that Gqozo was not part of the planning for this action but was instead asked to head the new government by the officers shortly after they had taken over. In the early months Gqozo’s government allowed organisations to operate freely; however, within six months the SADF had sent in an MI unit which operated out of Ciskei and deliberately turned Gqozo against the ANC alliance.

149 In February 1991, in an ironic twist of history, Charles Sebe was shot dead by his former allies while on his way to the Bisho capital of Ciskei, apparently to overthrow Gqozo and fulfil his long-time dream of ruling Ciskei. Sebe was shot dead at a roadblock in an operation run by IR/CIS.

150 In July 1991, Gqozo announced the launching of the African Democratic Movement (ADM). Key members of this movement were linked to SADF MI and it appears that the ADM was either initiated by, or at least supported by, MI. The ADM moved closer to Inkatha and at one point Gqozo wrote to Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi

151 From 1991 onwards, allegations by the South African government of Transkei aid for first MK and later APLA increased, particularly after APLA stepped up its armed struggle from 1992. South Africa accused Transkei of harbouring guerrillas, arming them, training them with Cuban assistance and allowing them to use Transkei as a base for launching attacks across the border. By March 1993 the SAP had thrown a blockade around Transkei. In November 1993 the South African conflict with Transkei culminated in the SADF attacking the home of a PAC member it claimed was being used as an APLA base. Five children were killed. Also during 1993, MI started planning an attack on Transkei which targeted Holomisa and the ANC’s Chris Hani.

152 Sometime between August and October 1990, Ciskei established an intelligence unit which operated until August 1991. This unit, which was initially called International Researchers and later Ciskei Intelligence Services (IR/CIS), did not fall under either the military or the police but was described as the Ciskei equivalent of the South African National Intelligence Service and reported to Gqozo directly. Gqozo employed his former instructor at the SADF, Commandant Jan Anton Nieuwoudt, as the head of the unit. Gqozo told the Commission he was unaware that, throughout the time he was working in Ciskei, Nieuwoudt was acting on the SADF’s instructions and that IR/CIS was in fact an SADF ME front.

153 IR-CIS recruited its personnel from the Ciskei Defence Force, from Gqozo’s bodyguards, from the Ciskei security police, from the Transkei security police and from former CCB members who were now jobless (the CCB officially closed down on 30 July 19904, immediately before IR-CIS was set up). Its members included at least one man wanted on murder charges5. While IR/CIS may not have been a CCB unit, it certainly operated like one: it was funded by a source unrelated to the SADF (that is, the Ciskei government); it was not publicly known as an SADF operation; it gathered intelligence, evaluated it and then carried out operations based on its own intelligence, contrary to standard security force operating procedures.

154 It appears that the unit’s main agenda was to bring an end to Gqozo’s good relations with the ANC alliance of the immediate post-coup days. By mid-1990 relations between Gqozo and the ANC alliance had deteriorated sharply and never recovered. The disagreements peaked in July 1991 when the Ciskei government reverted to supporting the headman system (initially abolished by the military government); a state of emergency was declared for a few weeks in November 1991 and by 1992 there was a low-scale war between Ciskei government supporters and ANC supporters which culminated in the September 1992 Bisho massacre.

155 The unit was eventually closed down in August 1991 when its operations had been exposed by CDF officers. The then Chief of the SADF General Kat Liebenberg personally travelled to Ciskei to oversee the closure. At the time of the closure the SADF reiterated its denial of links to IR/CIS.

4 Harms Commission report, Sept 1990, page 198 5 Former Transkei security policeman Bongani Wana aka Charles Wanase, wanted in connection with the killing of Sithembele Zokwe in Butterworth in January 1988.
The Duli coup attempt

156 In the early hours of 22 November 1990 a group of heavily armed men attacked the Transkei Defence Force’s Ncise base outside Umtata. By the end of the day, at least fifteen men from both attackers and defenders were dead, including the coup leader, some attackers had been arrested and others were on the run. The coup was led by Colonel Craig Duli, who formerly served on the Transkei military council until he fell out with the government and was detained. It was supported by the South African security forces, primarily through International Researchers-Ciskei Intelligence Services (IR-CIS).

157 The Commission received several amnesty applications from former security force members who were involved in support for this attack and/or other similar attempts to overthrow Holomisa. These included Jan Anton Nieuwoudt [AM3813/96], Eugene de Kock [AM0066/96], Daniel Lionel Snyman [AM3766/96], Leon William John Flores [AM3766/96], Nicholaas Johannes Vermeulen [AM4358/96], Willem Albertus Nortjé [AM3764/96] and Marthinus David Ras jnr [AM5183/96], all from the South African security forces, and Sydwell Mzwamadoda Ntisana [AM6359/96] of the TDF. These applications indicated that weapons were supplied at various times by the South African Police (through De Kock) for the coup attempts.

158 Following the coup attempts in Transkei, allegations of South African support for plotters and a lack of action by South African authorities in processing extradition requests, there were several instances of unlawful snatches or failed attempts to snatch suspects from South Africa. The Transkei authorities, particularly the TDF MI and/or Army Intelligence, appear to have been involved in these incidents.

159 In mid-1989, South African Foreign Affairs Minister Pik Botha accused Transkei authorities of kidnapping former TDF chief Zondwa Mtirara from South Africa. This allegedly took place in July or August following allegations of a plot to kill Holomisa. In March 1990, two Transkei security policemen were arrested by Ciskei security forces near King William’s Town; over a year later Ciskei announced that the two had admitted to being on an official mission to abduct or kill Duli or Mbotoli at the time.

160 Sometime in mid-1991, the TDF abducted key coup plotter Vulindlela Mbotoli from Johannesburg and took him to Transkei where he subsequently stood trial with the other coup plotters. This snatch was carried out with the assistance of Austrian businessman Mr Rainer Maria Moringer [AM0434/96] who said he had assisted the TDF MI since 1988.

161 In May 1991 the Transkei government passed a decree which amended the Criminal Procedure Act to allow for the prosecution of those taken across borders without their consent.

162 In late 1992, coup suspect Vulindlela Christopher Shologu disappeared from South Africa to re-appear in custody in Umtata.

163 In an abortive snatch two years later, three men apparently unconnected to the coup attempt were killed. The Commission received amnesty applications from TDF members Ntobeko William Matyolo [AM6078/97] and Mr Lungelwe Lupuwana [AM6371/97] in connection with the failed attempt to snatch Charles Wanase from his King William’s Town home on 21 May 1993. Wanase was away at the time; instead the abductors snatched three young men, Lindile Kula, Nkosinathi Tuku and Nathaniel Koto and, when they could not say where Wanase was, killed them. Both Matyolo, who was a captain in the TDF’s Army Intelligence at the time, and Lupuwana named Papama Mgudlwa [AM6081/97], a TDF source who applied for amnesty in connection with another killing, as the killer. Matyolo stated in his amnesty application they had been instructed to abduct Wanase by the then Transkei military ruler, Major General Bantu Holomisa. Both Maytolo and Lupuwana were charged with the killings in an East London court.

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