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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 385
Paragraph Numbers 188 to 189
The mob killing in Mshenguville
Another incident in which ‘things went wrong’ took place on 29 September 1990 at Mshenguville in Kutlwanong (Odendaalsrus). Four white people were brutally killed by a mob, led in its attack by ANC ‘comrades’.
Amnesty applicant Philip Matela Dintwe (33), one of those convicted for the killings [AM1504/96], told the Amnesty Committee of a township patrol undertaken in response to rumours of an intended attack by vigilantes or right-wingers. At a meeting to plan the patrol, local secretary Mr Manong, who was chairing the meeting, called on ‘comrades’ to protect themselves and the community.
Mr Dintwe said he came upon a group of people assaulting four white people, three men and one woman, and joined in, using an iron rod. He alleged that between 500 and 600 people were involved in the attack. The woman was taken aside and raped, and her breast was cut off. All four victims died.
In the trial, the court heard that Dintwe himself had mutilated the woman with an axe. The court heard also that he had, in fact, ordered the killings. Dintwe argued that the purpose had been to prevent attack and to secure the safety of the public of Kutlwanong.
No evidence existed that the four whites involved posed any real threat to the community. The court heard that they had ventured into the township in search of alcohol. Dintwe could not explain to the Amnesty Committee why a mob of 500 was needed to defend the community against four people. Manong and local civic organisations distanced themselves from the killing.
Amnesty applicant, Mr Philip Matela Dintwe was refused amnesty for his part in the attack. Three other applicants were also denied amnesty: Mr Thami Hlobo [AM1009/96], Mr Jeremia Monare Moika [am1349/96] and Mr Justice Sekgopa [AM0032/96].
Attacks on collaborators
188 Several reports of necklacing in the Orange Free State were received. In some cases, motives for the attack were not evident. Ms Ntombizodwa Victoria Ngcana (21), an ANC member, was abducted and killed by burning by ‘comrades’ in Brandfort on 12 July 1990 [KZN/JRW/100/FS]. ANC member Elias Zamani Khathaza died after being necklaced on 20 July 1990 at Lusaka, an informal settlement outside Theunissen [KZN/TIS/023/BL].
189 In two other reported cases, known and suspected members of the police force, or their family members, were targeted for necklace killings.
The case of Olifant Msawuli
Mr Jacob Msawuli told the Commission that his father, Mr Olifant Msawuli (57), was burnt to death by ‘comrades’ in November 1992. He was targeted because ‘comrades’ accused his son Jacob of being a police officer.
They took him to a hall in Koppies where they tied his hands and poured burning liquid plastic over his head. They then pulled his fingernails out with pliers before dousing him with petrol and setting him alight.
The four perpetrators were sentenced to twenty-five years each [KZN/TIS/032/BL].
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT UDF AND ANC MEMBERS, INCLUDING MEMBERS OF ANC SDUS, PERPETRATED GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS WHICH RESULTED IN THE INJURY AND DEATHS OF PERSONS PERCEIVED TO BE COLLABORATORS WITH THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT AND OF PERSONS HOLDING PUBLIC OFFICE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES.