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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 675

Paragraph Numbers 421 to 432

Volume 2

Chapter 7

Subsection 33

Killings associated with SDUs

421 In its second submission to the Commission, the ANC said that weaponry was supplied to certain SDUs by selected units of the ordnance department of MK, through dead drops or by providing sketches to senior personnel, which were then passed on. These ordnance units did not know to whom the material was passed on.

422 A number of MK cadres based in KwaZulu Natal and elsewhere applied for amnesty for arming and training the SDUs. The MK commanders for Southern Natal and Natal Midlands – namely, Mr Sipho Joel Sithole [AM5950/97] and Mr Ntela Sikhosana [AM6332/97] (now deceased) – were prominent amongst these.

423 Former MK member Dick Absalom Ngwenya [AM0759/96] said that he was involved in training SDUs in Bulwer between 1990 and 1993. He trained the youths with weapons that he received from Mr Musi Thusi, his MK commander, before February 1990. Thusi was killed on the South coast.

424 In its second submission to the Commission, the ANC said that trained SDUs patrolled townships at night, setting up roadblocks and checking on unusual movements:

In some instances the units carried out attacks on known warlords in their townships ... Tensions arose between HQ and Natal ANC structures where some leaders called for an offensive approach to deal with Inkatha warlords and others who had been perpetrating violence with impunity for years … Some SDUs became little more than gangs of criminals at times led by police agents, and inflicted great damage on popular ANC aligned-community structures: this was well illustrated in the case of the notorious Phola Park SDU, which was led by an agent of the SAP … Another instance of this nature is provided by the activities of police agent Sifiso Nkabinde in the Midlands.

425 UDF/ANC aligned paramilitary structures were implicated in the murder of thirty-one IFP office bearers. In twenty-six cases, the Commission obtained sufficient information to link ANC-aligned groupings or paramilitary structures to the killings – through ballistic evidence, the implication of perpetrators and similarities in modus operandi. This was particularly the case in Richmond in the Natal Midlands, in Umbumbulu and Port Shepstone on the South Coast.

426 In Port Shepstone, a group of youths, allegedly operating under the command of Mr Dululu Sipho Dlamini and Mr Zakhele Gcaba, were implicated in the murder of four IFP office-bearers in 1991 and 1992. The youth do not appear on the certified register of MK personnel.

427 IFP supporters Mr Bangukufa Cele [KZN/EDS/011/PS] and Mr Wiseman Mthembu [KZN/QM/0021/PS] from Mthengwane, Murchison (near Port Shepstone) were killed in late 1991. Cele was killed along with six others when three kraals were attacked by youth armed with AK-47 rifles. Gcaba and Dululu Dlamini were implicated by co-perpetrators as leaders of the group. In the case of Wiseman Mthembu, he and Mr Goli Mbambo were ambushed in a motor vehicle by a small group of men; 9mm and 18mm cartridges were found at the scene. Mbambo was a suspect in the murder of two ANC members and this attack was seen in their community as a reprisal killing.

428 In mid-1992, Mr Bhabhalaza Dladla and Mr Samson Majola [KZN/EDS/064/PS] were killed in Murchison. Dladla was killed when two kraals in his area were attacked by a group armed with AK47s and shotguns, allegedly in retaliation for an attack earlier on the ANC ward of Newton. Majola was killed when his vehicle was ambushed by attackers armed with an AK-47. ANC members alleged that Majola was implicated in the murder of an ANC supporter.

429 In all these cases, the police dockets were closed undetected.

430 In Umbumbulu on the upper South Coast of KwaZulu/Natal, two IFP office-bearers Mr Dominic Mhlongo [KZN/NMM/111/PM] and Mr Shiyabekhala Kweyama were killed in June 1992. Mr Muziwenhlanhla Msomi [AM5218/97] and others were charged with these murders as well as the possession of unlicensed firearms. Msomi, who is described in the court records as the ‘induna of the youth’ in the area, was acquitted for the murder of Mhlongo owing to contradictions in the witnesses’ stories. He was convicted for the murder of Kweyama but the conviction was overturned on appeal. One suspect was killed by police and another suspect could not be traced.

431 Kweyama was a taxi driver in Mpusheni and was killed in Folweni on the South Coast. The Human Rights Commission (HRC) report for June 1992 notes that taxis were being targeted for attack and were used in attacks by both sides. Mhlongo was allegedly targeted as he was implicated in the murder of the accused’s friend.

432 In other areas, groups of well-armed ANC-aligned youths or men killed IFP office-bearers; however no consistent pattern emerged in the evidence as to the main persons involved. Different perpetrators were named; weapons used could not be linked to cases. There is evidence, however, of the involvement of an ANC leadership figure in one case. In July 1992, Mr Mvimbezeli Mchunu’s home in Nomganga, Wartburg, was attacked by a group of ANC members. The group were allegedly briefed and armed by the ANC chairperson before the attack. AK-47 cartridges were found at the scene. The deceased had allegedly told a named ANC member that he should attend IFP meetings or leave the area.

 
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