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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 379
Paragraph Numbers 174 to 182
Resistance and revolutionary groupings
174 Several sabotage attacks occurred in the province during this period, including a grenade explosion at a Botshabelo police station on 17 January 1992 and an armed attack by MK on police near Bethlehem on 2 April 1992, killing one policeman and injuring one other.
175 Several alleged ANC and MK operatives were charged for sabotage-related offences during this period.14 See also ANC SDUs below.
176 In 1989, the PAC and its military component, APLA, designated 1990 as the ‘Year of the People’s Offensive’ and launched the so-called ‘One Settler One Bullet’ campaign. PAC leader and APLA Commander Sabelo Phama ordered the military exercise known as ‘Operation Great Storm’ to reclaim the land from white farmers and return it to the African people. Instructions were given to attack farmers and to appropriate items, such as firearms and clothes, which could be used to further the aims of the movement or to assist disadvantaged people. The operation was said to be a joint venture of PAC and a special APLA task force.
177 In some instances, APLA members engaged in armed robberies. Amnesty applicants claimed that armed robberies were committed on the instructions of the APLA command as part of the work of APLA ‘repossession units’, to raise funds and/or obtain weapons and vehicles to enable APLA to carry out its military strategy. Many such robberies involved the killing of civilians. One person was killed in an attack on Checkers supermarket in Bloemfontein on 3 March 1992.
178 Civilians died and weapons and vehicles were stolen in a number of attacks carried out on farms as part of ‘Operation Great Storm’ during this period. Attacks were particularly frequent in the Orange Free State, amongst them:
a The attack on Wesselsdal farm, Vanstadensrus, Wepener, on 25 July 1993 in which Mr Johnny Smith was killed and his wife Rene was injured.
b The attack on Boonzaaier's farm at Virginia on 12 February 1989, in which Mr Johannes Hermanus Boonzaaier was fatally shot, his wife Mercia was assaulted and they were robbed of their bakkie.15
c The attack on the Van Tonder farmhouse in Bloemfontein on 10 February 1991, in which members of the family were attacked and killed, and money, arms and a car were stolen.
d The killing of Mr Fanie Smith in Bethlehem on 18 March 1992.
e The injury of several people in a petrol bomb and grenade attack on a house in Ficksburg on 10 December 1992.
f The burning down of a house in Fouriesburg on 10 October 1992. The owner, Mr Edmund Middleton, was shot at on 7 August 1993 [JB06470/99OVE].
g The attack on one Mr van Schalkwyk in Heilbron on 14 July 1992, in which the victim was shot and robbed.
h The fatal shooting of Mr Abraham Prinsloo, AWB member from Senekal, on 2 February 1993.15 A bakkie is a light truck or van with a cabin and an open back.
The killing of RJ Fourie
Mr Hendrik Leeuw, Mr Mishek May and Mr Daniel Magoda, all PAC members, applied to the Commission for amnesty in respect of the killing of Mr R J Fourie on the farm ‘Stormberg’ at Verkeerdevlei.
On 12 February 1992, Fourie and a companion, a Ms May, were returning to his farm from town when the vehicle in which they were travelling was ambushed as Fourie stopped at his farm to open the gate. Fourie was shot dead. Ms May was forced to take the perpetrators to the farm house where they took various items. Leeuw told the Amnesty Committee that Ms May was not killed because she was not a target. He said that she had been beaten to show her what would happen to those who assisted the apartheid regime.
Leeuw said that the instruction had been received from an APLA commander, Mr John Showa (deceased), who was also commander of a task force set up as a separate APLA unit and given specific duties to carry out.
During the amnesty hearing, Fourie’s counsel argued that the motive for the events was indeed political. However, Committee members pointed out that the deceased was not anonymous, but known to two of the applicants, both of whom apparently had a grievance with him. This clouded the issue of personal and political motivations for the attack. Leeuw told the Committee that Fourie was attacked because he was an army or police reservist. Mr Mishek May told the Committee that Leeuw had identified the target to his accomplices without giving them any other information about him until after the killing. Had he known of the personal animosity between Leeuw and Fourie, May claimed, he would not have agreed to the killing.
179 In 1993, the Goldstone Commission of Enquiry heard that APLA had 120 trained members inside the country and up to 2 700 members outside. The Commission found that APLA was responsible for thirty-four attacks nationally, resulting in thirty-four deaths and many more injuries. Thirteen of these attacks were on farm houses, three in the Ficksburg area.
180 In March 1993, two APLA members, Mr John May and Mr William Mxhoshana, were convicted of attempted murder, the malicious destruction of property and the possession of illegal weapons in the December 1991 hand grenade attack on the Batho police station in Bloemfontein.
181 In January 1994, PAC president Clarence Makwethu announced that the organisation had suspended the armed struggle of its military wing, APLA, and although the country witnessed a spate of incidents perpetrated by APLA dissidents, arrangements were made for the integration for APLA cadres into the national defence force.
Attacks on the PAC
182 The Commission received a number of reports from PAC members in the Orange Free State who said they had been the targets of attack by the security forces or by the ANC/UDF.
The attack on the home of Joang Likotsi
On 25 May 1993, police allegedly used force to enter the Botshabelo home of PAC member Joang Johannes Likotsi (66) while he and his family were asleep. The family was beaten with guns and their belongings destroyed. Likotsi’s son, Thomas Likotsi, was taken to the PAC offices, which were searched. The son was then locked in the offices. The family did not lay charges for fear of reprisals [KZN/ZJ/085/BL].