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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 377
Paragraph Numbers 169 to 173
169 Police continued to act in a heavy-handed manner during public protests against local councils and councillors. On 19 April 1990, residents marched through the township at Viljoenskroon to demand the resignation of councillors. The police ordered them to disperse; they refused and were teargassed. They continued marching and police opened fire into the crowd. Five people were killed and seven injured.
170 Some councillors were reported to have taken direct action against the opposition themselves.
The assault of Baili Merae
On 19 August 1990, in Dealesville, Mr Baili Piete Merae (20), vice-president of the Tshwaranganang Youth Congress, was severely assaulted by a local councillor and his family. Merae said that councillors had organised them- selves into small groups to assault ‘comrades’ in retaliation for consumer boycotts against councillors’ businesses [KZN/JRW/087/FS].
171 Councillors and council property continued to be targeted, particularly after councillors allegedly started using vigilantes as rent collectors and to harass and intimidate defaulters.
The assault of Solomon Motlohi
Ms Mathelo Rebecca Motlohi told the Commission that her husband Solomon Ramahas Motlohi (35) was severely beaten by young ANC members in August 1991 in Botshabelo. Motlohi was a rent collector and was targeted because he encouraged people to pay rent during a rent boycott. It is alleged that the youths took him from his office to a house, where he was assaulted. He died on the way to hospital [KZN/TIS/003/BL].
The case of Koki Singonzo
In his statement to the Commission, Mr Koki Simon Singonzo said that his homes, taxis and business were stoned, petrol-bombed and attacked on a regular basis from 1990 to 1993 by members of the Mangaung Civic organisation and ANC because he refused to resign as a councillor. He said that one of his houses was destroyed in 1991 by an arson attack, and property was destroyed at three of his other houses during stone-throwing incidents and a petrol bomb attack in 1992. His three taxis were stoned and burnt in 1992 and, in the same year, customers were intimidated into a boycott of his business activities. The collapse in business led to the repossession of his supermarket and considerable personal losses [KZN/MT/015/BL].
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT UNKNOWN MEMBERS OF THE ANC AND OF THE UDF WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PERPETRATION OF GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS ARISING FROM A LACK OF POLITICAL TOLERANCE. SUCH ABUSES INCLUDED ARSON ATTACKS, SEVERE ASSAULT, KILLING AND ATTEMPTED KILLING OF INDIVIDUAL TOWN COUNCILLORS AND MEMBERS OF OPPOSING POLITICAL PARTIES. THESE ACTS WERE GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS FOR WHICH THE ANC AND UDF ARE HELD ACOUNTABLE.
172 The Commission heard that the activities of various vigilante groups, particularly the Three Million Gang, continued into the 1990s. In the Troubou area of Kroonstad, gang members allegedly forcibly evicted from their homes people who did not support the gang.
The killing of Tabello Mokoane
On 1 December 1991, ANC member Mr Tabello Clement Mokoane was killed by Three Million Gang members. When his aunt went to collect his death certificate, gang members accosted her, forced her to hand over her house keys, and occupied her house [KZN/TDM/005/KRS].
The dismissal of SAP officer Petros Mzosane
In Kroonstad, SAP officer Petros Mzosane was dismissed after being accused of colluding with the community against the police. Mzosane was investigating offences committed by the gang and was particularly disturbed by the fact that gang members were frequently acquitted when they were brought to court.
He alleged that police members received specific instructions from the station commander to assist gang members with transport in police vans when they needed to make appearances in court. On questioning the partisan role of the police in these matters, he was eventually dismissed from the force [KZN/MBL/005/KRS].
173 From 1990, Kroonstad ANC Youth League members formed small SDUs to protect the community against attacks by the Three Million Gang. ANC Youth League member P M Thulo was the founder of the SDUs in Kroonstad and became the general commander of three SDU cells. In Gelukwaarts (Kroonstad), the SDUs formed a gang known as the ‘witdoeke’. Other related gangs included the Canada Gang and the Tsekelekwas.14