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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 497
Paragraph Numbers 370 to 375
Former special constables
370 A group of forty special constables went on strike and was dismissed, reportedly leaving with uniforms and rifles. This group maintained informal links and provided the core of a balaclava gang that engaged in criminal robberies and attacks, mainly in Khayelitsha. The Commission established that elements within this group had links with Hoza. Police sources suggest the group may have carried out contract killings. The group included Headman Mafumani, known as Tshangisa, who had a long-standing relationship with Hoza. This group was linked to at least twenty-one criminal incidents in the Cape including nine in Khayelitsha, mainly in 1992 and 1993.
371 Evidence from convicted criminal Mr Michael Mvokwe illustrates the links between the ex-special constables, criminal gangs and the Lingelethu West Town councillors. Mvokwe was involved in criminal activities, but stated that he was recruited by Mali Hoza to attack ANC-aligned areas. He was also recruited to act as a guard for Hoza himself and further describes how Hoza bailed him and others out when arrested for other activities. In a highly significant admission, Mvokwe refers to his involvement in a particular attack. While police blamed ‘the taxi war’ for the attack, the ANC insisted it was the Lingelethu West town councillor grouping. Mvokwe’s admission supports the ANC’s version of events.
I was in my house when Bongani arrived and told me that Hoza wants to see us … When we arrived Hoza was there together with Tshezi, Gubayo (councillor) and Tshangisa (a former special constable) … He asked us to help him to govern the people. One day I was with Hoza when one member of WECUSA, Yesi, together with Jerry Tutu, came and told us that Jada was being killed in D area. When we arrived there, Jada’s car was burning and he was nowhere to be found. Apparently he got away ... On that afternoon we had a meeting and Hoza told us that we should go and attack D area on the same night. We went there armed and attacked for the whole week.
372 This incident undoubtedly refers to the period around 20 February 1992. A newspaper report is revealing.
Khayelitsha became a flashpoint this week when eight people were killed. While police blame the violence on the taxi war, the ANC alleges town councillors were responsible. [An ANC spokesperson] claimed attacks followed an incident on Sunday when a Lingelethu West councillor known as Jada started shooting at residents in Site C. When people returned fire he ran away and his car was set alight. After this incident residents decided to patrol at night. Late on Sunday, [the spokesperson] alleged, twelve armed men – white, coloured and African, speaking Afrikaans – opened fire on the patrol and two shacks were burnt.54
373 Another newspaper report states that two men, and a woman were shot dead and six shacks set alight in D section on the Friday night by men wearing balaclavas. Four men were also shot and killed nearby when men stopped the car in which they were driving and opened fire.
374 As a result of perceptions that the Lagunya55 Taxi association was ANC-aligned (supported by suggestions that an ANC SDU assisted Lagunya in attacks), areas seen to be ANC strongholds, and areas where numbers of Lagunya owners/drivers lived, became targets for balaclava attacks. This also held for areas seen to be aligned to the Western Cape Black Taxi Association (WEBTA), which was perceived to be linked to councillors, squatter leaders and police. At least one councillor, Mr Michael Gubayo, was a WEBTA taxi owner. Statements about these incidents also referred to white Afrikaans-speaking men. Mvokwe’s statement also linked Hoza to violent support for WEBTA:
At the time there was a war between the two taxi organisations, WEBTA and Lagunya. [Hoza] asked us to help WEBTA. We started shooting and burning shacks in the following areas D, M, R, Q and L. But it was difficult to get inside M and L sections as the comrades there were fighting back and police were patrolling the area. Hoza was always telling me that he doesn’t want to see a person from L and M sections as he had a grudge against them. He was always saying the people from there (L) killed Goniwe [a councillor].’ 56
ANC self-defence units
375 During 1992 and 1993, at least one SDU was responsible for multiple attacks in Khayelitsha (see below).54 South, 20 February 1992 55 Langa/Gugulethu/Nyanga – these taxis opened up routes in previously unserviced areas. 56 Lingelethu West town councillor Million Goniwe was shot dead on 4 November 1991 in Site B. Newspaper reports linked his death to the taxi war.