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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 597

Paragraph Numbers 65 to 77

Volume 2

Chapter 7

Subsection 6

65 Mr Mthunzi Velemseni Njakazi [KZN/NN/063/DN], a returnee, was shot in the legs and chest by the Security Branch on 28 January 1991. The Durban City police called an ambulance but the Security Branch allegedly delayed the victim’s getting to hospital and he subsequently died. Police claimed that they shot Njakazi because he was attempting to steal a white woman’s bag [see AM3770/96].

66 Former security policeman Andy Taylor informed Warrant Officer Tjaart Fourie of the Security Branch that one of his askaris had been involved in a shooting incident, and instructed him to go to the scene and give assistance. Fourie took a Russian grenade to plant on the victim to cover-up the killing.

67 On 7 July 1991, Mr Madoda Mkhize [KZN/NN/162/PM] and returnee Mr Thulani Xaba were shot by police in Port Shepstone. Xaba died, but Mkhize escaped from the hospital and was shot again in Durban.

68 Mr Wellington Mbili, a nineteen-year-old MK member [KZN/AB/011/PS and KZN/NN/225/PS] died on 4 October 1993 while in police custody. He had been arrested by Transkei police for alleged possession of a firearm and transferred into the custody of the SAP at Port Shepstone for investigation into the alleged killing of a police officer in Gamalakhe on 14 August 1993. Witnesses claimed they had seen him being taken out of a police van in handcuffs in a bushy area near his home and then heard gunshots. Police claimed that two detectives had taken him to the area to recover exhibits and that Mbili, pointing into thick bush, suddenly produced a grenade. One police officer fired a shot in self-defence, and the grenade exploded killing Mbili instantly.

69 On 17 January 1994, three people were killed in an alleged armed attack on a satellite police station in Pine Street, Durban. Two of the victims were allegedly APLA members and the other a bystander. The PAC denied responsibility for this attack.2 According to ballistic tests carried out by Mr T Wolmaraans, the earlier investigation carried out by Warrant Officer van Biljon and Dr Book was a cover-up. Two police officers present during the shooting claimed they were fired at. However no AK or handgun bullets were found in the charge office and the weapons used by the police were not examined.

70 Members of the security forces were also responsible for some killings within their own ranks. The order to kill askari Brian Ngqulunga, who had testified at the Harms Commission on the killing of Mr Griffiths Mxenge in Durban, allegedly came from a senior officer at Security Branch headquarters with the full knowledge of his superior. Willem Riaan ‘Balletijies’ Bellingan [AM5283/97], Pieter Hendrik Botha [AM5458/97], Colonel Eugene de Kock [AM0066/96], Captain Willem Wouter Mentz [AM2775/96] and Willem Albertus ‘Willie’ Nortjé [AM3764/96] applied for amnesty for the killing.

71 In their applications, they report that a fellow askari, Mr Simon Radebe, was assigned the task of befriending Ngqulunga. On 19 July 1990, Radebe took Ngqulunga to the Skurwebergpad near Vlakplaas, where he handed him over to Dave Baker, W Riaan Bellingan, Pieter Hendrik Botha and Captain Wouter Mentz, who tied him up and hit him till he was unconscious. They then drove him to Bophuthatswana where Bellingan shot him. Nortjé and De Kock then met them in Pretoria and drove to Johannesburg where they spent the night in order to create an alibi.

72 Askari Goodwill Neville Sikhakane [KZN/MR/011/DN] was killed near Greytown on 21 January 1991. Colonel Eugene de Kock, Dawid “Duiwel” Brits [AM 3745/96], JJ ‘Blackie’ de Swardt [AM3750/96], Larry Hanton [AM4076/96] and Willie Nortjé [AM3764/96] applied for amnesty for his killing.

73 Andy Taylor claimed that he suspected that Sikhakane was a double agent, and so supplied him with false information. This information got back to Taylor via other sources in Swaziland, proving Sikhakane was indeed assisting the ANC. A senior Security Branch general instructed Taylor to kill Sikhakane, but to use outside people to do so. Taylor contacted Eugene de Kock and the Vlakplaas operatives killed him a few days later. The authorisation by high-ranking Security Branch personnel is confirmed in the published account by De Kock who implicates both General ‘Bertus’ Steyn, then Officer Commanding the Port Natal Security Branch, and the then head of the C section, General Krappies Engelbrecht. Nortjé allegedly received a cash bonus of R2 000 after the operation.

74 Mr Johannes Temba Mabotha, allegedly a trained MK member, was arrested at Potgietersrus and became an askari. He was assigned to work with former Koevoet member Colonel Jan Daniel Potgieter at the Soweto Intelligence Unit, and apparently became involved with the Mandela United Football Club. It is not clear whether this was part of his work as an askari. At some stage, Mabotha’s loyalty was questioned and, following a meeting with Vlakplaas members, he was taken to a farm and interrogated. According to De Kock, Mabotha was tortured so severely that he could not be released and was handed over to the Security Branch at Soweto and kept there until his injuries had healed.

75 De Kock claims that, when Mabotha was due for release, he was asked “to make a plan”. Potgieter handed Mabotha over to Vlakplaas operatives and they took him to the Penge mine where he was again interrogated. Mabotha was then taken to the bottom of a quarry on the premises. De Kock continues:

Explosives had already been placed there … When Mabotha saw the explosives there he turned round and looked at me. I shot him twice in the heart with a .38 Special revolver. He died immediately.

76 Members of Vlakplaas then repeatedly detonated explosives until there were no remains left.

77 Amnesty applicants in respect of this incident include Captain Willem Wouter Mentz [AM2775/96]; Sergeant Dawid Jacobus ‘Duiwel’ Brits [AM3745/96]; Colonel Eugene De Kock [AM0066/96]; and Colonel Jan Daniel Potgieter [AM5418/97]. While De Kock and Mentz give 1992 as the date of the incident, Brits and Potgieter claim that it took place on 4 October 1989.

THE COMMISSION MADE COMPREHENSIVE FINDINGS IN RESPECT OF EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLINGS IN THE PRE-1990 PERIOD.
EVIDENCE BEFORE THE COMMISSION INDICATES THAT, IN THE POST-1990 PERIOD, THE SAP CONTINUED TO CARRY OUT EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLINGS AND ATTEMPTED KILLINGS, BOTH INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY. TARGETS INCLUDED HIGH-PROFILE POLITICAL ACTIVISTS PREDOMINANTLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE ANC. THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT SUCH EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS TOOK THE FORM OF ASSASSINATION, AMBUSHES AND ENTRAPMENT KILLINGS, KILLINGS AND ATTEMPTED KILLINGS BY WAY OF PARCEL BOMBS. THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT THESE ACTS CONSTITUTED GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS FOR WHICH THE SAP ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.
2 Seedat Fatima[KZN/NN/400/DN] made a statement to the Commission about the death of one of the victims, Mosheen Jeenah.
 
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