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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 310

Paragraph Numbers 396 to 401

Volume 3

Chapter 3

Subsection 59

Revenge attacks

396 A former IFP youth leader from Izingolweni, inland of Port Shepstone, applied for amnesty in respect of fifteen murders and eight attempted murders committed between 1991 and 1992. Mr Goodman Muswakhe Ngcobo [AM5632/97] was convicted in September 1993 on ten counts of murder and four counts of attempted murder and sentenced to death six times. His death sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment. In passing judgement, the presiding judge, Mr Justice J Combrink, said:

It is clear that you terrorised the local inhabitants. You caused people to flee from their homes and you started and continued with a reign of terror.

397 Ngcobo began his killing spree after his mother was killed on New Year’s Day 1990. He believed that ANC supporters had killed his mother and set out to avenge her killing. His first victim was an ANC youth, Mr Dan Cele, who Ngcobo held responsible for his mother’s death. However, some of the other killings or attempted killings appear to have been random attacks on ANC supporters with whom he crossed paths, as opposed to targeted attacks. He told the Amnesty Committee that he viewed all ANC members as his enemies.

Arson/burnings

398 The Commission received reports of arson attacks on homes, business premises and vehicles. Most of the victims of arson attacks told the Commission that they had subsequently fled the area and had never returned to their homes. The majority of these people are now living in shack houses in informal settlements. Many of them also lost their jobs as a result of having had to flee.

399 The large-scale burning of homes, particularly in the rural areas, was used by political groups as a way of forcing their opponents to leave an area, and thereby consolidating their political power base. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced during this period. The incidence of house burnings increased noticeably in many areas in the run-up to the 1994 elections as party supporters attempted to expand their constituencies. While there was hardly a community not affected in this manner, the areas worst affected were Eshowe, Ndwedwe, Sundumbili/Mandini and Izingolweni.

Commuter attacks

400 A common tactic used by supporters of both parties during the 1990s was to ambush vehicles transporting supporters of the opposing party. Attacks on buses, minibus taxis and trucks transporting people to or from party strongholds occurred across the length and breadth of the region. The Commission received reports of buses being attacked whilst transporting people to work or to a political rally, as well as reports of armed attacks on commuters waiting at bus stops or taxi shelters.

401 The violence in the Midlands town of Estcourt and its satellite township, Wembezi, was dominated for a time by such commuter attacks. By 1993, both the township and the town was demarcated into ANC and IFP sections. IFP supporters used the taxi rank in Alexander Street in the IFP part of town or faced the risk of losing their lives. Similarly, ANC supporters had to use the rank in the ANC part of town. Frequent drive-by shootings occurred on these taxi ranks. There were also many attacks on taxis and private vehicles transporting residents from Wembezi to Estcourt and back.

Attack on School Bus
On 2 March 1993, six schoolchildren were killed and seven others injured when unknown armed ANC supporters ambushed a bus transporting children from an IFP area to school.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT SIX SCHOOLCHILDREN WERE KILLED AND SEVEN OTHERS INJURED AT TABLE MOUNTAIN ON 2 MARCH 1993 BY UNKNOWN ANC SUPPORTERS WHO AMBUSHED THE BUS TRANSPORTING THE CHILDREN TO SCHOOL FROM AN IFP AREA. UNKNOWN SUPPORTERS OF THE ANC ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE GROSS VIOLATIONS CONSTITUTED BY THE KILLINGS AND ATTEMPTED KILLINGS.
Revenge Ambush of a Bus
In a revenge ambush by IFP supporters on 5 March 1993, ten people were killed and six others injured. IFP members Nkanyiso Wilfred Ndlovu [AM4058/96] and Mabhungu Absalom Dladla [AM4019/96] applied for amnesty for their part in the second attack. Both applicants had been convicted and sentenced to over sixty years’ imprisonment for their roles in the attack.
Ndlovu told the Commission that he and his fellow IFP attackers had in fact ambushed the wrong vehicle. They had intended to ambush a particular vehicle transporting ANC supporters, but the vehicle they attacked was carrying IFP supporters as well. Five of the ten deceased were IFP supporters.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT TEN PEOPLE WERE KILLED AND SIX OTHERS INJURED ON 5 MARCH 1993 BY IFP SUPPORTERS WHO ATTACKED A VEHICLE IN THE TABLE MOUNTAIN AREA AND OPENED FIRE ON ITS PASSENGERS. THE KILLINGS AMOUNT TO GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS. NDLOVU AND DLADLA HAVE BOTH APPLIED FOR AMNESTY IN RESPECT OF THEIR ROLES IN THE INCIDENT.
Alusaf Smelter Bus Attack
On 22 July 1993, ten men were killed by unknown IFP supporters in a planned attack on a bus transporting employees of the Alusaf smelter. The employees were all from KwaMthethwa, considered an ANC stronghold. It was further alleged that all employees of Alusaf were COSATU members and therefore ANC supporters.
The bus was stopped in Enseleni, an IFP stronghold, by men in balaclavas who boarded and chose ten men from amongst the passengers. They took them outside, made them lie face down on the ground and shot each one in the back of the head. One of the deceased, despite being from KwaMthethwa, was an IFP supporter.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT ON 22 JULY 1993, TEN MEN WERE KILLED BY UNKNOWN IFP SUPPORTERS IN AN AMBUSH ON A BUS TRANSPORTING PEOPLE TO THE ALUSAF SMELTER AT ENSELENI. THE KILLINGS AMOUNT TO GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND UNKNOWN SUPPORTERS OF THE IFP ARE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THEM.
 
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