|News | Sport | TV | Radio | Education | TV Licenses | Contact Us|
TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 109
Paragraph Numbers 271 to 276
The case of Phinda Baartman
On 13 April 1985, UDF supporter Mr Phinda Gladstone Baartman [EC2026/97ALB] was attacked in Fort Beaufort and survived an attempt to ‘necklace’ him. Baartman was accused of being a police informer. His attackers were allegedly UDF supporters. Baartman told the Commission two men collected him from his home, telling him he was wanted at a neighbour’s house. On the way, he was ambushed by a larger group.
“They immediately attacked me with knives and screwdrivers. I was stripped of all my clothing except my underpants. I was stoned and severely beaten up. A car tyre was brought in and used to burn me up (‘necklace’ method). I was saved from death by a group of SADF soldiers who were passing by and saw the fire … My entire left ear was burnt out as well as my left hand small finger. The left-hand side of my head was badly burnt as well as my left arm which had to have a skin graft … Six of my teeth were broken off. My skull was broken.”
He was hospitalised for months and eventually boarded from work. Four men were charged and acquitted in connection with the attack.
The case of the Aubrey and Nokuzola Fulani
On the night of 28 April 1985, police officer Aubrey Jacob Fulani and his wife, Ms Nokuzola Carol-Anne Fulani [EC0291/96UIT] were abducted from their home at Uitenhage by UDF-aligned ‘comrades’ because Fulani was a police officer. The Fulanis had been at home on a Sunday evening when a group of attackers broke into their home, shot and wounded Mr Fulani, forced the two of them outside into waiting cars and drove them to a house in Soweto, Port Elizabeth. Ms Fulani told the Commission:
“They took him out of the house. They had black plastics and five litres of petrol and some tyres … Then I was made to watch him. I was made to look at him for the last time. During all this time I had only a night-dress on. I was told to stand outside and look as this dog was dying. Then I asked them to burn him with me because I could not endure to listen to his cries. They said the petrol that they had was only for him. They were going to burn me up tomorrow. They made him drink petrol and he was also crying that he must be burnt with me … They burnt him right in front of me until he died.”
Ms Fulani escaped being killed with her husband, apparently because the attackers could not obtain additional petrol and because she was pregnant at the time. Six people were later convicted for this killing.
The case of Nofikile and Zameka Dikana
In January 1986, three women were tortured and then ‘necklaced’ by UDF supporters in the Duncan Village township outside East London. These killings came after several months of violent unrest in the township, involving mainly clashes between UDF-supporting youths and security forces. Ms Nofikile Dikana (50) and her daughter Ms Zameka Dikana (29) [EC1967/97ELN] were accused of having bewitched their son and brother, UDF activist Fudwana ‘Giza’ Dikana [EC0943/96ELN]. Fudwana Dikana had died a few months earlier when an SADF armoured vehicle drove into his car, an incident which was regarded in the community as a deliberate killing, since he had often helped wounded activists by driving them to hospital. The two Dikana women and a third woman were abducted by a crowd and taken into a house while a fire was built in the road nearby. A witness, Mr Skonwana Mntuyedua, stated in an affidavit to police at the time:
“[A man] was placing iron rods approximately one metre long into the fire. He seemed to be handling two or three of these rods. When these rods were red hot they were taken and handed over to [another man]. All the time I could hear screaming and pleading for help coming from inside the house. These rods were passed in and out for a period of about one hour. Throughout this hour the screaming and shouting for forgiveness never stopped … The following morning when I arrived there I saw a large crowd of people gathered there. In the road I saw the same three females I had seen the previous evening lying in the roadway. [Three men] were standing next to the bodies and were placing tyres on top of the bodies. [A]ll three of the people were dead.”
Two men were subsequently charged with the killings. Mntuyedua was stabbed to death a week before the trial was due to start and the case collapsed. The police reports on the matter indicated that UDF-aligned ‘comrades’ were responsible for the killings.
271 UDF supporter, Mr Norman Gilindoda Gxekwa [AM0148/96] was granted amnesty in connection with the ‘necklace’ killings in Uitenhage of Mr Thando Dladla in September 1987, Mr Monwabisi Reginald Fanayo in February 1988 and Mr Thozamile Michael Dondashe in March 1988. Gxekwa was convicted of murder in these three cases and was serving a lengthy prison sentence.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT A NUMBER OF POLITICAL DISSIDENTS WERE KILLED THROUGH THE ‘NECKLACE’ METHOD THROUGHOUT THE EASTERN CAPE REGION. THE MOST GRUESOME OF THESE INCIDENTS IS THAT WHICH WAS REPORTED TO THE COMMISSION BY THE KINIKINI FAMILY, WHERE FIVE MEMBERS OF ONE FAMILY WERE KILLED ON 23 MARCH 1985 IN KWANOBUHLE, UITENHAGE, BY A GROUP OF YOUTH WHO CLAIMED ALLEGIANCE TO THE UDF, INCLUDING MR MOSES JANTJIES AND MR WELLINGTON MIELIES. THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT THESE KILLINGS AMOUNTED TO GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS FOR WHICH THE UDF AND THE PERSONS NAMED IN THIS FINDING ARE HELD RESPONSIBLE.
272 In May 1985, the Grahamstown home of two UDF activists, Mr Mxoliswa Christian Mbekela and Ms Miseka Tonyela [EC0031/96ALB], was firebombed and Tonyela was killed. Mbekela was the chair of the UDF-aligned Grahamstown Youth Congress. Mbekela said the device used was not a petrol bomb but a firebomb. He believed the security forces to be responsible for the attack.
274 In March 1986, a family in Duncan Village, East London, was attacked as part of the UDF–AZAPO feud. Ms Nomasonto Kumalo and her two-year-old daughter Ayabulela Kumalo were badly burnt; her mother, sixty-five-year-old Ms Vuyelwa Edith Kumalo, and sister, thirty-two-year-old Ms Nomakhosazana Kumalo, were both killed in the attack [EC0211/96CCK]. Nomasonto Kumalo told the Commission the family had been accused of being AZAPO members and her mother of being a witch. There had been several threats to the family. On the night of the attack, they were woken by stones being thrown at the house and the smell of petrol:
We tried to look through the windows to see what was happening. We noticed that the doors could not open as they were tied with wire … My sister came out with her hair burning. I found my mother sleeping on the doorway of her room and I dragged her out.
274 On 2 April 1986, Mr Michael Mteto Ntozakhe [EC0567/96UIT] and his colleagues were stopped by a group of youths while on their way home to the SAP camp in Motherwell. The youths covered them with plastic bags, paper and sticks, poured petrol over them and set them alight. Ntozakhe and one other managed to escape. A security guard assisted them and called an ambulance. Ntozakhe spent three months at Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth.
275 In July 1986, Ms Albertina Nontsikelelo Dlanjwa and Ms Wendy Sizeka Ramathe [EC0575/96PLZ] were attacked by UDF-aligned amabutho at Veeplaas in Port Elizabeth. The two women worked for the municipal welfare department and ran a welfare project involving a soup kitchen, sewing classes and the distribution of food parcels. They were at Dlanjwa’s home, together with two elderly women, when two petrol bombs were thrown into the house by a youth who was their neighbour. Ramathe saw the youth throw the first petrol bomb and tried to escape. Dlanjwa died and Ramathe was severely and permanently injured. The UDF denied responsibility for the attack.
276 In January 1987, Mr Zolile Gerald Bonisile Vumazonke [EC0673/96UIT] left home to attend a relative’s funeral in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth. He did not return and his wife later heard he had been killed by a group of youths. She heard that a quarrel had developed, after which Vumazonke was forced into a car, questioned and then killed and burnt with petrol.