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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 510

Paragraph Numbers 421 to 426

Volume 3

Chapter 5

Subsection 61

Links to the Transkei

421 Operations in the Western Cape had strong links to APLA structures in the Transkei, which was clearly an important operational platform from which attacks could be launched. Weaponry was also sourced from Transkei security forces. For example, the hand grenades used in the St James’ and Heidelberg attacks originated from a batch of grenades supplied to the Transkei Defence Force. Transkei also provided refuge for APLA operatives after operations. In most attacks, APLA personnel from the Transkei were deployed in conjunction with locally trained operatives. It appears that the local PAC structures, including regional PAC executive members, also provided logistical support to such operatives.

The Killing of Amy Biehl

422 In August 1993, the Pan Africanist Student Organisation (PASO) was engaged in a joint campaign of street protest with COSAS. Student actions involved the widespread stoning of vehicles. ANC condemnation of the campaign was ignored. There were also, at that time, calls for an end to the use of the slogans, ‘One settler, One bullet’ and ‘Kill the farmer, Kill the boer’ associated with the PAC and ANC respectively.

423 On 25 August 1993, American Fulbright scholar Amy Elizabeth Biehl (26) drove into Gugulethu to drop off some fellow students. Youths stoned the car, injuring Ms Biehl and bringing the car to a stop. She and the other occupants of the car fled, with a group in pursuit continuing to stone and stab her. Several PASO members returning from a PASO meeting in Langa were also at the scene and played a leading role in the actual killing.

424 In October 1994, PASO members Mr Mongezi Manqina (21), Mr Vusumzi Ntamo (22) and Mr Mzikhona ‘Easy’ Nofemela (22) were convicted and sentenced to eighteen years’ imprisonment each by the Cape Town High Court. Subsequently, Mr Ntobeko Ambrose Peni was arrested and sentenced on 6 June 1995 to eighteen years’ imprisonment. All four applied for and were granted amnesty by the Commission. In their application they stated that their motivation for the killing came primarily from the PASO meeting they were returning from, and that their actions were in accordance with the slogan ‘One Settler, One Bullet’. “That day we were incited by militant political speeches and we were instructed to support Operation Great Storm which was adopted by APLA in 1993 and which PASO adopted and supported.” (Peni application.) Some of the applicants claimed to have received some basic training from APLA. The applicants expressed regret at their actions. Peni stated:

I feel sorry and very down-hearted especially today, realising the contribution Amy Biehl played in the struggle … I took part in killing someone that we could have used to achieve our own aims. Amy was one of the people who could have, in an international sense, worked for our country so that the world knows what’s going on in South Africa, so that the government of the day would not get support. I ask Amy’s parents, Amy’s friends and relatives, I ask them to forgive me.

425 The Biehl family did not oppose the amnesty application.

426 In its submission to the Commission on 20 August 1996, the PAC expressed its regrets for the killing and sent condolences to the Biehl family. “They [PASO] wrongly targeted and killed Amy Biehl … But misguided as the deed was, we support the amnesty applications of all those convicted and sentenced for the offence.”

THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT THE ATTACKS LAUNCHED BY APLA IN THE WESTERN CAPE MAINLY TARGETED CIVILIANS IN SOCIAL SETTINGS SUCH AS BARS, CHURCHES AND RESTAURANTS. THE ATTACKS WERE NOT MERELY SYMBOLIC BUT, THROUGH SPECIALLY ALTERED WEAPONRY SUCH AS NAILS GLUED TO THE GRENADES, AIMED TO KILL AND INJURE AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE. THE COMMISSION NOTES WITH CONCERN THE YOUTH AND INEXPERIENCE OF SOME OF THE APLA OPERATIVES USED IN THE ATTACKS.
 
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