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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 145

Paragraph Numbers 400 to 407

Volume 3

Chapter 2

Subsection 34

Violence in the wake of Chris Hani’s assassination

400 Widespread protests and some violence followed the news of the assassination in Johannesburg of Mr Chris Hani on 10 April 1993. During one of the demonstrations, police opened fire on a crowd in Uitenhage. The exact circumstances of the shooting are not known. Among the victims was fourteen-year-old Zilindile Manyashe [EC1098/96UIT], who was shot dead. On 12 April 1993 Mr Bongani Bakhe [EC2388/97UIT] was also shot dead by police during a demonstration. Mr Fezile Fumbata [EC1071/96UIT] and Mr Andile Faltein [EC1089/96UIT] were both shot in the stomach and recovered after hospital treatment.

401 Mr Khayalethu James [EC1840/97ALB] was shot and injured by the SAP during unrest in Grahamstown on 15 April 1993 when youth were looting and setting vehicles alight. In Zwide, Port Elizabeth, Mr Mtutuzeli Msikinya [EC1847/97PLZ] was shot and injured by SAP on 18 April 1993.

402 In Transkei, there were attacks on whites in various areas. Mr Alistair Weakley and Mr Glen Weakley [EC0303/96PLZ] were killed in one such attack near Port St Johns on 13 April 1993. The Commission received amnesty applications from three ANC members, Mr Phumelele Civilian Hermans [AM7581/97], Mr Lungile Mazwi [AM5203/97] and Mr Mlulamisi Maxhayi [AM7207/97], in connection with this attack.

Attacks on soft targets: APLA’s ‘Operation Great Storm’: 1991–94

403 From late 1991 until the elections in April 1994, APLA, the armed wing of the PAC, claimed responsibility for various armed actions aimed primarily at police officers and whites. A number of these took place in the Eastern Cape. The SAP told the Goldstone Commission in January 1993 that there had been about forty-six armed attacks ascribed to APLA nationally during 1991–92; about 40 per cent of these occurred in the Eastern Cape36. In April 1993, APLA commander Mr Sabelo Phama announced that 1993 was the year of APLA’s ‘Operation Great Storm’: the attacks of these years were generally regarded as being part of this operation. The Commission received submissions from both victims and amnesty applicants in connection with these attacks.

404 Eastern Cape incidents from this period reported to the Commission include:

a the early 1992 attack on the Wilgespruit farm at Lady Grey near Aliwal North and an attack on police at Lady Grey (submissions and amnesty applications received);

b the 15 August 1992 attack on an Umtata police station, including theft of weapons (amnesty applications received);

c the 13 March 1994 attack on members of the Baha’i faith in Mdantsane (amnesty applications received);

d the March 1994 attacks on a minibus near Fort Jackson and on a minibus at the Da Gama factory outside East London, in which a police officer and two attackers died (amnesty applications received).

405 All the amnesty applicants in these matters said they had acted on behalf of the APLA. Some of the attackers were linked to the 1993 attacks on the St James Church and Heidelberg Tavern in Cape Town and some were linked to various attacks on farmers and police in the Free State.

406 The amnesty applications indicated that some of the same APLA members were involved in the attacks in the Lady Grey area in early 1992, the August 1992 attack on the Umtata police station, various armed robberies in Transkei and the Heidelberg Tavern in Cape Town. No amnesty applications were received in respect of the Highgate Hotel attack or the Queenstown Spur attack (see below), indicating the possibility that these were not carried out by the same group that had been responsible for the other major attacks ascribed to APLA.

407 Some of the victims of these attacks described the incidents at Commission hearings. The first major attack carried out by APLA in the Eastern Cape during this period was that on the golf club at King William’s Town on 28 November 1992, where a wine-tasting party was in progress. Four people died. Ms Beth Savage [EC0051/96ELN] was seriously injured in that incident. She spent a month in the intensive care unit in hospital and suffered hallucinations about her attacker. Her family was traumatised and she believed the subsequent death of her parents was brought on by the shock of her injuries. She told the Commission how she felt about the attack:

All in all, what I must say, is through the trauma of it all, I honestly feel richer. I think it’s been a really enriching experience for me and a growing curve, and I think it’s given me the ability to relate to other people who may be going through trauma.
36 SAP memorandum submitted to the Goldstone Commission: ‘Location of APLA camps, arms, ammunition, personnel and operational activities’, 4 January 1993.
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