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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 254
Paragraph Numbers 256 to 259
The Attack on the Bhengu Family
The KwaMakhutha home of UDF/ANC supporters David and Maria Bhengu [KZN/NNN/013/DN] was attacked on 19 January 1990, allegedly by KZP and IFP members including Mvuyane. Maria and their two children, Siphelile and Hlengwa, were shot dead. David Bhengu survived by escaping through the window. The house was looted.
The Killing of Austin Zwane
A school pupil, Austin Zwane [KZN/NN/006/DN], was shot dead in his Lamontville home on 7 August 1990 by a group of four KZP members, led by Mvuyane. After killing Zwane, the policemen forced his friends to load his body into the police van. Mvuyane himself was shot dead the day before the case was to be heard (Durban hearing, 9 May).
256 Mr Mfanafuthi Khumalo [KZN/NN/026/DN] told of being shot by Mvuyane in Umlazi on 26 April 1992, when he was sixteen years old. Khumalo was sleeping over at a friend’s home when Mvuyane and a colleague came looking for him. Mvuyane told the other youngsters to leave and remained behind with Khumalo.
[Mvuyane] said to me I should sit on the sofa, and I asked him what he wanted from me. He said I should not ask him any questions, I must just sit on the sofa. And I moved from the bed and I went to sit on the sofa. As I was sitting there he started insulting me. He abused me verbally and he started hitting me on the chest. When I asked him the reason why he was hitting me he did not answer me. He just asked me where I was shot before. I said on the knee. As I was still answering him he shot me on my other knee. He said to me he knew that I didn’t die due to gunshots.
Then he gave me a knife and he said I should kill myself. And I have five wounds. I stabbed myself because he was pointing a gun at me, telling me to kill myself. And I threw the knife down and I told him that I was not able to kill myself. Then he continued to shoot me. He shot me on the right arm.
I stayed there from 4 o’clock in the morning. He did not take me to the hospital. Then I realised that I should just pretend as if I was dead, because I realised that if he saw that I was not dead he was going to continue shooting me. I pretended that I was dead, and I was bleeding profusely. He left me there, believing that I was dead.
257 Khumalo’s mother told the Commission what she found when she arrived in the shack in which he had been shot:
When I got to the scene where the whole thing took place, the scene of crime, I found him lying down on the sofa in blood, a river of blood. I just heard him talking, whispering, saying, “Come in. Come in, I am still alive”. Siphiwe [Mvuyane] was not there, but there were some other policemen there. He showed me the bullet holes, and I told him that … I am not going anywhere, and he started shooting me. He shot me all over on the chest. He was shooting me from very close, from a very close distance. He insisted that I should go home. I refused.
I asked, “Why are you keeping this child here? He was shot at 4.00 am. and now it’s around six, but you are still keeping this child here.” … Siphiwe came with the station commander … I think he had gone to fetch him. I said to him, “Oh, we are so happy because you are not going to die. Why would you kill this child so brutally like this?” He said, ‘Oh, this dog is not dead. I thought it is dead.” I said to him, “Oh, you intended to kill him?”
I said to the station commander, “Please take this child to the hospital”, and the station commander was just quiet and standing there. He was just standing there looking at me so timidly.
Eventually the policemen put Khumalo in their car and drove to the police station, where they left him in the car with the windows closed and the heater on. His mother found him there an hour later. Khumalo was admitted to the Prince Mshiyeni hospital approximately five hours after he had been shot. He has since undergone six operations and still does not have the use of his right arm.
Four days after the shooting, the Supreme Court granted an interim interdict preventing Mvuyane from assaulting, threatening or intimidating Khumalo [Case No 2853/92].
258 From statements made to the Commission, KZP Constable Khethani Shange was found to be the perpetrator of at least six gross human rights violations, including two killings. All are related to incidents that occurred during 1990.
The Gumede Night Vigil Attack
In April 1990, Shange shot and killed KwaMashu ANC activist Themba Gumede.
At the night vigil for Gumede, a group of about twenty-five people dressed in KZP uniforms arrived. They ordered the mourners to lie down and opened fire on them, injuring three people.
On 29 May 1991, Shange was convicted of killing Gumede and attempting to kill three mourners at the vigil. He was sentenced to twenty-seven years’ imprisonment. In passing judgement the presiding judge, Mr Justice Gordon, said that Shange appeared to ‘revel in his reputation as a hit man and the fear that this instils in others’.
Shange was released after serving just nine months of his sentence, allegedly due to an error by the Ministry of Law and Order. He was re-arrested in February 1998 on a number of charges, including murder.
259 The Commission has made a comprehensive finding regarding the KZP, in which it is described, inter alia, as a highly politicised force, openly assisting the IFP – by omission and by active participation – in the commission of gross human rights violations, as well as being grossly incompetent.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT THE KZP, FROM THE PERIOD 1986 TO 1994, ACTED IN A BIASED AND IMPARTIAL MANNER AND ACTED OVERWHELMINGLY IN FURTHERANCE OF THE INTERESTS OF INKATHA, AND LATER THE IFP, IN THE MANNER SET OUT BELOW.
THE KZP DISPLAYED BLATANT BIAS AND PARTIALITY TOWARDS IFP MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS, BOTH THROUGH ACTS OF COMMISSION, WHERE THEY WORKED OPENLY WITH INKATHA, AND THROUGH ACTS OF OMISSION, WHERE THEY FAILED TO PROTECT OR SERVE NON-IFP SUPPORTERS.
THE KZP WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR LARGE NUMBERS OF POLITICALLY MOTIVATED GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS (KILLINGS, ATTEMPTED KILLINGS, INCITEMENT AND CONSPIRACY TO KILL, SEVERE ILL-TREATMENT, ABDUCTION TORTURE AND ARSON), THE VICTIMS OF WHICH WERE ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY NON-IFP MEMBERS.
OFFICERS OF THE KZP WERE INVOLVED IN COVERING UP CRIMES COMMITTED BY IFP SUPPORTERS AND KZP MEMBERS. COVER-UP PRACTICES BY KZP OFFICERS RANGED FROM:
AS SET OUT ABOVE, THE KZP IS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE MANY POLITICALLY MOTIVATED GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS THAT WERE PERPETRATED BY ITS MEMBERS. THE KZP IS ALSO ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE MANY POLITICALLY MOTIVATED GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS PERPETRATED BY MEMBERS OF THE IFP, AS A RESULT OF THE KZP’S FAILURE TO ACT AGAINST SUCH IFP MEMBERS, THEREBY CREATING A CLIMATE OF IMPUNITY WHICH FACILITATED THE COMMISSION OF SUCH GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS.
IN CONCLUSION, THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT, ALTHOUGH THERE WERE HONOURABLE EXCEPTIONS TO THE FOLLOWING GENERAL STATEMENT, IN THAT SOME MEMBERS OF THE KZP DID CARRY OUT THEIR DUTIES IN AN UNBIASED AND LAWFUL MANNER, THE KZP GENERALLY WAS CHARACTERISED BY INCOMPETENCE, BRUTALITY AND POLITICAL BIAS IN FAVOUR OF THE IFP, ALL OF WHICH CONTRIBUTED TO THE WIDESPREAD COMMISSION OF GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS DURING THE PERIOD REFERRED TO ABOVE.