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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 128
Paragraph Numbers 338 to 347
The deaths of Sebe and Guzana
338 On 27 January 1991, Colonel Onward Guzana [EC0405/96ELN], formerly of the CDF, and Major General Charles Sebe [EC0904/96CCK], the former Ciskei security chief who had been living in Transkei for some years, were shot at a CDF roadblock in Ciskei on the road between Stutterheim and King William’s Town. Guzana died at the scene while the injured Sebe fled. He was tracked down a few kilometres away and shot dead by the Ciskei security forces the following day. Guzana had been one of the four members of Gqozo’s military council; within months of the Gqozo coup he had been pressured into resigning from the council and had been detained on allegations of plotting against Gqozo. While out on bail facing charges of treason, he had fled to Transkei and linked up with Charles Sebe, who had previously been involved in attempts to seize power in Ciskei. The two left Transkei and drove to Ciskei with the intention of taking over the government. Guzana’s widow, Ms Nomzi Vivie Guzana, told the Commission:
They left about six in the evening, then it was in the morning at about ten that we heard from the radio that there had been a failed coup attempt in Ciskei.
339 After several days, the Ciskei government permitted her to go to Ciskei to identify his body.
When I arrived, we went to identify his body at the police mortuary in Mdantsane. When we arrived there, the place was full of school kids wearing navy blue tunics. And they were being shown Mr Sebe’s body.
340 The family disputed the official post mortem report and claimed Guzana had been executed after arrest.
341 The inquest found that Guzana and Sebe had been on an unlawful mission to overthrow Gqozo. They were unaware that they were being lured into a trap devised by the IR-CIS unit headed by Lieutenant Colonel Anton Nieuwoudt. The inquest judge was critical of the evidence of many of the witnesses – “a vast proportion of the evidence was given by witnesses who had a motive to lie”. The court found there was insufficient evidence to find criminal liability in connection with Guzana’s death, while Sebe was illegally shot dead while surrendering. While the court found that Nieuwoudt had been instrumental in planning the fake coup, there was insufficient evidence for a finding on Nieuwoudt’s or the unit’s criminal culpability. As a result of the inquest findings, Gqozo and his bodyguard, Sergeant Major Thozamile Veliti, were charged with murder; both were subsequently acquitted.
342 The Commission received an amnesty application in this matter, from IR-CIS deputy chief Clive Brink.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT, DURING THE PERIOD 1990—1994, SADF MI COLLUDED COVERTLY WITH SENIOR MEMBERS OF THE CISKEI HOMELAND AUTHORITY TO FURTHER ITS COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY STRATEGIES IN THE CISKEI, TO BOLSTER ITS ALLIES IN THE CISKEI GOVERNMENT AND IN THE CISKEI INTELLIGENCE SERVICES, AND TO UNDERMINE THE INFLUENCE OF STRUCTURES AND GROUPINGS OPPOSED TO THE FORMER STATE AND ITS HOMELAND POLICIES. IN TWO SEPARATE INSTANCES, SADF MI OFFICERS ACTED TOGETHER WITH SENIOR HOMELAND OFFICIALS IN INCIDENTS THAT LED TO THE KILLING OF PEOPLE. THESE INCLUDED:
• COLLUDING WITH SENIOR TRANSKEIAN DEFENCE FORCE OFFICER, COLONEL CRAIG DULI AND ASSISTING HIM IN AN ATTEMPT TO OVERTHROW THE TRANSKEI GOVERNMENT BY MEANS OF A MILITARY COUP IN NOVEMBER 1990. THIS INCIDENT RESULTED IN THE DEATHS OF FIFTEEN PEOPLE;
• ASSISTING THE CISKEI HOMELAND AUTHORITY IN THE KILLING OF MR CHARLES SEBE AND MR ONWARD GUZANA IN FEBRUARY 1991.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT THE DEATHS OF THE ABOVE PERSONS WERE GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS FOR WHICH THE FORMER STATE, THE SADF, THE CISKEI HOMELAND AUTHORITY AND COLONEL CRAIG DULI ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.
Conflict between Ciskei government supporters and the ANC
343 In the months immediately after the Gqozo coup, there were good relations between the Ciskei authorities and the ANC and its allies. This situation deteriorated by mid-1990, with conflicts revolving in particular around the homeland government’s support of the system of rural government involving chiefs and headmen as opposed to the ANC and its allies’ preference for a system of residents’ associations. In July 1991, Brigadier Gqozo launched the African Democratic Movement (ADM), which later became the political party with which he contested the 1994 general elections. This party was drawn into the conflicts between Ciskei and ANC.
344 Conflicts became increasingly violent from 1991. From April to August 1991, a state of emergency prevailed in the Whittlesea district of Ciskei; in late October, a state of emergency was declared throughout Ciskei which lasted until mid-November. Clashes increased during 1992 (particularly during August 1992 – the month between the ANC’s peaceful ‘practice’ march to Bisho of 4 August and the march that resulted in the Bisho massacre of 7 September). The Bisho massacre thus took place against a background of increasing conflict between Ciskei authorities and ANC supporters. After the massacre, conflict between the two groups seems to have increased for a few weeks; there was also an increase in the use of more sophisticated weaponry during this period. The worst of the violence appears to have subsided by the end of that year. Most of the attacks seem to have involved arson, burnings or stoning aimed at security forces on the one side and at prominent ANC-alliance members on the other.
345 The CDF recorded 218 incidents of political violence in Ciskei between the lifting of the state of emergency on 17 November 1991 and 30 August 1992 (a week before the Bisho massacre); fifty-eight of these incidents took place in August 1992. For the three-month period 1 June to 31 August 1992, the CDF recorded 139 attacks; these appear to be attacks solely on Ciskei government supporters (victims were chiefs, headmen, policemen, soldiers, private security force members associated with the government, and other government employees); no ANC victims were identified. Of those 139 attacks, twenty-four were aimed at security force members or buildings and twenty-eight involved the use of guns and/or hand grenades (as opposed to stones or petrol bombs); two-thirds of the attacks involving guns and hand grenades targeted security force members. The Network of Independent Monitors (NIM) reported on the involvement of MK operatives in the attacks on security forces during this period. NIM records another thirty-seven such armed attacks on Ciskei government supporters and security forces carried out from 1 September to 31 December 1992 (the period immediately after the Bisho massacre), which were probably carried out by MK. Both the CDF statistics and NIM records indicate that the overwhelming majority of victims during this period were Ciskei government supporters, rather than ANC supporters. For example, of 132 incidents recorded by NIM for June to August 1992 (also based primarily on CDF statistics), 46 per cent were known to involve government-aligned victims while less than 1 per cent were known to involve ANC-aligned victims. It appears that the CDF statistics were based primarily on cases reported to the police. According to a list drafted by lawyers for the Ciskei government, at least 151 civil claims were filed against the Ciskei government as a result of actions by soldiers during August and September 1992 alone. Fifty-one of these claims related to deaths and injuries in the Bisho massacre. This excludes civil claims made against the Ciskei police.
346 The Commission received about 150 submissions in connection with clashes between Ciskei authorities and ANC supporters during this period; the overwhelming majority of these statements were made by or on behalf of ANC-aligned victims. About twenty amnesty applications were received in connection with these conflicts.
347 Generally clashes appear to have been between Ciskei government supporters (security forces, ADM members, chiefs, headmen, government employees and private security companies such as Peace Force, which were associated with the government) on one hand and ANC supporters (the ANC, MK, the SACP, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African National Civics Organisation (SANCO)) on the other. There were also clashes in some areas between ANC and PAC members, which often seem to have been linked to the broader conflict between the homeland authorities and the ANC. For example, in Bhele village outside King William’s Town, ANC members perceived PAC members to be allied with the ADM. Thus clashes recorded as being between PAC and ANC members may have been perceived by at least one of the groups involved as being a conflict between ADM and ANC members.