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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 279
Paragraph Numbers 309 to 313
Assassinations: IFP 400 list
309 The IFP provided the Commission with a list of 422 Inkatha/IFP office-bearers allegedly assassinated because of the positions they held in the party.
310 Of the 422 listed cases, eighty-one occurred after the Commission’s cut-off date of 10 May 1994; another fifteen happened outside KwaZulu-Natal. The Durban office of the Commission investigated the balance of 326 KwaZulu-Natal cases. Of these, 187 were referred back to the IFP for additional information. At the time of writing, no response to this request had been received.
311 The Commission’s investigation was hampered by the fact that some case dockets were untraceable or had been destroyed. Two hundred and fifty of the cases were still under investigation by the SAPS. In the finalised cases, there had been 182 arrests, leading to twenty-two convictions and eighteen acquittals. The Attorney-General declined to prosecute in twenty-seven of the cases where arrests had been effected, and six suspects were killed before they could be prosecuted.
312 The Commission received amnesty applications in respect of two of the cases listed. In only twenty-one of the 326 cases investigated could it be positively confirmed that the office-bearer died as a result of attacks by UDF/ANC supporters. Seven of the cases were found to be irregular (the person named was not an IFP member, the death was crime-related, or cases were duplicated). Another four of the officials listed were killed as a result of intra-IFP conflict. This investigation is dealt with in greater detail in Volume Two of the Commission’s report.
313 A large number of senior community members, including professionals, church leaders and party leaders, were assassinated during the 1990s. In some cases, the individuals’ links with party politics were tenuous.
The Killing of Reverend Sipho Africander
Imbali priest and chairperson of the Pietermaritzburg Council of Churches, Reverend Sipho Victor Africander [KZN/NN/259/PM], was shot dead on 4 May 1990. IFP supporter Toti Godfrey Zulu, from Imbali, was convicted in 1991 but was later acquitted on appeal.
The Killing of Jerome Mncwabe and others
Imbali councillor Jerome Mncwabe [KZN/MP/062/MP] was shot dead at his daughter’s home in Imbali on 16 May 1990. He was thirty-eight years old at the time. It is suspected that he was killed in revenge for the killing of Reverend Africander. Mncwabe was named as a perpetrator in at least six statements made to the Commission.
In what could have been a revenge attack for Mncwabe’s killing, Imbali resident Baveni Philemon Ngcobo [KZN/NN/093/PM] was shot dead the next day. Mncwabe’s son Nhlanhlazi Luthuli was arrested in connection with Ngcobo’s killing. However, he was acquitted after the state’s key witness, a policeman who had witnessed the killing, was himself killed.
Then on 23 May 1990, Imbali resident Ndleleni Anthony Dlungwane [KZN/PMB/211/PM] was killed in his home. The attackers blamed him for Mncwabe’s assassination. Sean Awetha was arrested in connection with Dlungwane’s death but was later released.
The Killing of Dr Henry Luthuli
Dr Henry Vika Luthuli, a young medical doctor, was one of the early casualties in the violence in Esikhawini. He was shot in the consulting room at his Esikhawini home on the night of 2 August 1990 and died in the arms of his wife Dorcas [KZN/SS/013/DN].
Luthuli was one of the first black people to graduate with a degree in community medicine from the University of Natal. Although he was not a member of any political organisation, he used to treat many scholars who were victims of the conflict.
The KZP investigation into this case indicates an extensive cover-up. The initial investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Derrick Ntuli, arrested Vlakplaas Constable Thembinkosi Dube in connection with the killing. Ntuli then searched Dube’s homestead and removed police equipment for ballistic testing. Ntuli alleged that high-ranking officers of the KZP reprimanded him severely for searching Dube’s home. Members of the Empangeni Security Branch took the equipment he had seized, preventing him from sending it for ballistic testing. Ntuli says he questioned Dube in the presence of Colonel Strydom of the Empangeni Security Branch, who taped the interview. Dube allegedly confessed to killing Luthuli. After this, Ntuli was moved off the case. Dube was subsequently killed in mysterious circumstances.
Ms Dorcas Luthuli persisted in pressurising the police to investigate her husband’s killing. She wrote letters to the then State President, Mr FW de Klerk, and to General Jac Buchner, then Commissioner of the KZP, after which she received death threats. Eventually new investigating officers were appointed and an inquest was opened in 1996. The following year, the inquest court found Vlakplaas policeman Thembinkosi Dube responsible for the killing of Dr Luthuli.
The Killing of Arnold Lombo
IFP leader Arnold Lombo [KZN/GSN/073/PM] was shot dead on 31 October 1990 at the Joshua Doore furniture shop, Pietermaritzburg, where he was employed.
Four ANC members were arrested in connection with the killing and applied for amnesty. They are Mr Sipho Motaung, Mr Bhekimpendle Dlamini, Mr Nhlanhla Sibisi and Mr Johannes Sithole [AM3902/96; AM3905/96]. Their applications were all successful. Motaung [AM3902/96] was a trained Umkhonto we Sizwe member. He claimed that the assassination was planned and directed by his superiors (whom he named) “in the furtherance of the political struggle waged by the ANC against the apartheid regime that existed at the time”.