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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 678

Paragraph Numbers 433 to 448

Volume 2

Chapter 7

Subsection 34

Killings by Extra Judicial Tribunals

433 The Commission received reports of killings performed by UDF/ANC-aligned individuals, after findings of extra-judicial tribunals or area committees. Victims included IFP office-bearers and individuals associated with the former state and former state security forces, such as alleged informers, tribal policemen; in some cases, witchdoctors were targeted.

434 In March 1990, Mr Cetswayo Johnson Mbhele was stabbed and burnt in Murchison. A group of ANC youths found a tribal policeman, Mr Johannes Ndlovu, ‘guilty’ of being a police informer. Ndlovu was forced to lie on Mbhele’s burnt out vehicle. His daughter watched as he was taken to a rock nearby and ‘necklaced’. Mr Zakhele Gcaba and other youth were implicated by ‘comrades’ at the scene of the proceedings. In both cases, the Attorney-General declined to prosecute as suspects could not be traced. Many of the suspects later died in violent circumstances and the dockets were closed undetected.

435 Also in March 1990, Mr H Mzindle, a tribal policeman, was ‘necklaced’ in Bethania, allegedly by a group of ‘comrades’. In Ezakheni near Ladysmith, Mr Francis Bhekani Mvelase, the son of a KwaZulu MP, was killed by a group of ANC youths. The ANC leader was present at the scene but allegedly left before the necklacing. The accused were acquitted at a trial.

436 In the Port Shepstone area, Mr Sishonke Ndwalane [KZN/MP/257/MP] was ‘necklaced’ by a group which included his own sons in March 1990 on suspicion of being a witchdoctor. The youths involved admitted to police that they had tried the deceased and, in one instance, a youth who stabbed Ndwalane admitted stating that he was a witchdoctor.

Violence relating to political intolerance

437 In the years immediately following the 1990 unbanning of organisations, violence escalated as the ANC came into conflict with newly established IFP branches on the East Rand, The simmering violence in Natal reached new heights. Violent conflict also erupted between the ANC and PAC members, members of homeland parties such as the ADMin Ciskei and members of gangs which were sometimes aligned to the IFP. The ANC characterised the post-1990 violence as ‘low intensity conflict’ instigated by a ‘third force’. It explains the involvement of its members in such violence as self-defence, essentially against attempts by elements within the former state and its security forces to destabilise the transition and weaken its potential to govern effectively. Opponents of the ANC explain the violence as political intolerance, and attempts by the ANC to exercise hegemony and prevent the growth of political opposition in the black community.

438 Conflict between supporters of the ANC and supporters of the PAC broke out in violence in early 1992.

439 Violence in Fort Beaufort flared up in March 1992 when police used tear gas, rubber bullets and birdshots to disperse a crowd that was stoning the police station. One man died and seven others were injured. This incident is apparently not related to the PAC/ANC conflict, but indicated that the township was still volatile. Towards the end of 1992, sporadic violence flared up again when a bakery truck was petrol-bombed and set alight, and a grenade was thrown at the house of a councillor in Tinis township. No one was injured in these incidents. Early in October, two men – Mr Linda Mnyazi and Mr Mluleki Izaac Qamani – were assaulted, killed and burnt near Dorrington township in violence that took place in the wake of the Bisho massacre of September 1992. The violence resulted in a state of emergency being declared for Fort Beaufort and other towns in the former Ciskei.

440 In February 1993, an ANC/PAC ‘feud’ broke out in Fort Beaufort and three men were killed and several seriously injured in violence in three separate incidents: Mr Luvuyo Mkwalase was shot in the chest and declared dead on arrival at Fort Beaufort hospital. The body of Ms Nomangwane Mandita was found in Tinis township with multiple burns and a head wound. Mr Zwelenkomo Afrika Swartbooi [EC0723/96ALB] died in Adelaide hospital as a result of multiple head injuries caused by a sharp object.

441 Police said they were also investigating five cases of attempted murder: Mr Thamsanqa Grootboom [EC2361/97ALB] was shot in the chest and hospitalised. Mr Felisizwe Lucky August [EC0719/96ALB] sustained serious head injuries and was hospitalised. Mr Mthetheleli Mana [EC2356/97ALB] was shot in the arm at his Mpolweni township (Fort Beaufort) house. Reverend Swelandile Kotsele was shot in the buttocks and hospitalised. Mr Madoda Resha was treated for shock after a gunman fired at the vehicle in which he was travelling. Four people were arrested for being in possession of weapons and police recovered other arms and ammunition.

442 Police also investigated three cases of arson after houses in Dorrington and Mpolweni were set alight. The media reported that residents “of the mostly ANC-supporting township” claimed that “PAC supporters were responsible for these attacks and vowed to defend themselves. They accused police of siding with the PAC”.

443 On 21 February 1993, Ms Nomangwane Mandita, a matriculant at Inyibiba High School and a member of Pan African Students’ Organisation (PASO) was ‘necklaced’ by ANC supporters. Mandita had left her rented room and went to stay with Ms Nomsa Mpangisa after receiving threats from ANC supporters. On the day of her death, a group set fire to Mpangisa’s house and abducted her and Mandita. The two were found hiding in the house of PASO office-bearer Mr Thozamile Tiyo and taken to another house. Mpangisa was locked in an outside room, and escaped. Mandita was carried away and ‘necklaced’.

444 Violence continued in early March, with a number of houses being set alight. After a further attack on a home involving automatic weapons, authorities imposed a curfew on the townships of Fort Beaufort in terms of the emergency regulations. On 23 March, 800 children fled in panic from Ilingelabantu Primary School to escape a group of PAC-supporting youths. Some children broke windows trying to run away and were injured. ANC spokesperson Phila Nkayi said the conflict started when a PAC-supporting teacher had been promoting children indiscriminately to higher standards. The ANC delegation challenged him. The PAC called for reinforcements from other regions. That’s how the friction started.

445 PAC regional chairperson Knox Tsotsobe disputed this, saying that supporters of the ANC were responsible for the clashes among schoolchildren. He believed COSAS supporters were responsible for burning the house of a school teacher by the name of Lata Camagu.

446 On 25 March 1993, PASO chairperson at Thubalethu High School, Mr Lata Camagu, was gunned down at his home in Tinis township. He was shot thirteen times with an AK-47 and died in hospital. Camagu was the PASO chairperson at Thubalethu High School. No one was arrested for the murder. On 3 April, the PAC named three ANC members as responsible for killing PAC supporters. They also claimed that ANC members whose names were known to the police were responsible for the death of Mandita, but had not been arrested. They accused the SAP of conspiring with the ANC to drive PAC members out of the area.

447 ANC Border media officer, Mr Mcebisi Bata, denied the allegations and alleged in turn that Camagu had been killed by PAC members because he was “drifting away from PAC students”. He appealed to the PAC to come back to the table and stop fighting. He said ten ANC supporters in Fort Beaufort had been arrested and tried for public violence and illegal possession of firearms. The SAP also denied collusion with the ANC. On the same day that the ANC statement was issued, it was reported that a twenty-two year-old man narrowly escaped death and was hospitalised after being ‘necklaced’ by a number of men at ‘Necklace Valley’.

448 In October 1993, four men and a woman were tried for the ‘necklacing’ of Ms Nomangwane Mandita in Grahamstown supreme court. They were also charged with arson and the kidnapping of Ms Nomsa Mpangisa and for setting alight a house belonging to the Bhofolo Town Council in Dorrington township in February 1993.

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