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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 513
Paragraph Numbers 433 to 440
The Trevor Vilakazi SDU, Site B: 1992–1994
433 In early 1992, the Trevor Vilakazi ANC branch in Khayelitsha called on the ANC Regional Executive Committee (REC) to assist in dealing with certain members of the ANC Youth League who were engaging in criminal activities including robbery, rape and even murder under the guise of defending the community. The individuals concerned were called to a series of meetings with REC members. Members of the alleged criminal group opened fire on one of these meetings, injuring the chairperson. An ANC Commission of Inquiry was established in 1992 to look into the matter and decided that the alleged criminals should be expelled from the ANC. However, this proposal was not followed through, and the group continued their activities.
434 Senior regional MK members, including Mr Tony Yengeni and Mr Bongani Jonas, disarmed the criminal group. An SDU was established with the intention of challenging the alleged criminals. MK member Lulama ‘Rhadi’ Sifile was appointed by MK leadership as the commander of this SDU to take control of the situation. However, the ANC refused to arm the SDU and left them to their own devices. The result was a war between the two groups in the Trevor Vilikazi area, leading to injuries, deaths and the destruction of homes.
435 By October 1992, the ANC REC began to encourage the ANC branch to report any criminal activities by these ANC members to the police and locate witnesses to testify against them. A local committee was even established to liaise with the police. However, this was a controversial process and many ANC members, including some at REC level, appear to have been unhappy with this ‘collaboration’ with the SAP.
436 In the months that followed, several potential state witnesses and ANC members who were liasing with the SAP were targeted for attack. Mr Mkhokeli Mpongwana and Mr Million Sizani were shot dead on 7 December 1992, and Mr Lonwabo Kalimashe was shot dead on 10 May 1993. Witnesses withdrew as a result.
437 In 1993, the Trevor Vilakazi SDU, made up of Lulama Sifile, Current Rhumbu, Jeffrey Molebatsi Moshumi64 and others, began to engage in activities outside the control of the ANC. Lacking access to weapons from the ANC, the group established links with Mr Prince Gobingca (allegedly related to Sifile) in the second half of 1993. An affidavit made to the police by an SDU member states “In September 1993 we started killing the ANC members in Khayelitsha. Mr Prince Gobingca offered a 9mm pistol to our commander Mr Rhadi Sifile and he was assisting us so we could continue with these armed attacks.”
438 The affidavit further reported on trips by the SDU to Ciskei, starting in December 1993, initially to meet African Democratic Movement (ADM) leader Mr Titus Mcoyiyana and to receive firearms from him. Gobingca and Mcoyiyana promised an ongoing supply of arms. The statement also explained how members of the SDU together with Mcoyiyana and others carried out attacks on ANC members in the Ciskei. It describes the proposed training that African Democratic Movement (ADM) members were to receive from them:
On our arrival at Litha, Mr Madikane gave me a .38 revolver and a G3 rifle. Two AK47 assault rifles were placed in the Opel Record and I was told they were going to Mpasa Military base where Mr Jeffery wanted to inspect a place where he was going to train the African Democratic Movement people in the use of firearms.
With regard to weapons that were to be brought to the western Cape he says:
On the 6 of January 1994 when I was at Alice, Jeffery and Somtsora arrived at my place and I was together with my brother and they then gave him a G-3 rifle, 9 hand grenades and sixty G-3 bullets and these would be taken to Cape Town and this G-3 rifle was disassembled. On my arrival in Cape Town, Lulama Sifle at Rhadi confirmed that they had received the equipment from [my brother] which were arranged by Jeffery. I saw this G-3 rifle again and the hand grenades were already hidden. I then saw other hand grenades at Current Rumbu and again I saw others at Rhadi, Lulama Sifile’s place. Lulama Sifile then left for Bloemfontein to join the National Peace-Keeping Force.
439 Certain members of the Ciskei hit squad were arrested and brought to trial but were acquitted due to a technicality. Rumours of political interference followed the acquittal. It is of concern to the Commission that the above affidavit was in the possession of the police in Cape Town but was not used in the trial. In addition, a member of the detective branch who was investigating crimes in the Trevor Vilikazi area suggested that certain members of the SDU were informers for the Central Intelligence Service (CIS). This was not denied by a member of the CIS when asked.
440 Further, CIS documentation indicates knowledge of Gobingca’s paramilitary group in the Western Cape, as well as the fact that he had recruited Western Cape individuals for the Ciskei hit squads.65 All of the above would imply that the police in the Western Cape had access to information and witnesses that could have assisted in the prosecution of the members of the Ciskei hit squad. The question is why the above information was not used in the trial, why the SDU member who made the above affidavit was not called as a witness, and why Prince Gobingca himself was not charged.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT AT LEAST SOME OF THE SDUS CONTRIBUTED TO THE CLIMATE OF VIOLENCE. THEY ENGAGED IN NUMEROUS OFFENSIVE ACTIONS, PARTICULARLY ATTACKS ON POLICE PERSONNEL, AND SEVERAL ENGAGED IN CRIME UNDER POLITICAL COVER. DESPITE EFFORTS TO INTERVENE IN THE TREVOR VILAKAZI SITUATION, THE REGIONAL ANC MUST BE STRONGLY CRITICISED FOR FAILING TO EXERCISE CONTROL OVER THE STRUCTURES THEY PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN ESTABLISHING.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT MR PRINCE GOBINGCA, AN MI AND SECURITY BRANCH AGENT, TOOK CONTROL OF THE TREVOR VILAKAZI SDU AND FACILITATED THE PROVISION OF WEAPONS TO THIS GROUP AND THE TRANSFER OF WEAPONRY FROM CISKEI TO THE WESTERN CAPE. AT HIS BEHEST, THE GROUP WAS THEN DEPLOYED IN VIOLENT ACTIVITIES IN THE CISKEI FOR THE ADM, RESULTING IN DEATHS AND INJURIES.
FURTHER, THE COMMISSION NOTES WITH CONCERN THE APPARENT LINKS BETWEEN CERTAIN SDU MEMBERS AND ELEMENTS OF THE SECURITY FORCES.64 Moshumi had allegedly been held in the ANC’s detention camp Quatro while in exile, on suspicion of being a spy.