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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 734

Paragraph Numbers 760 to 768

Volume 3

Chapter 6

Subsection 104

Bophuthatswana

760 In Bophuthatswana, workers, youth and community activists demanded Chief Minister Mangope’s resignation and the reincorporation of Bophuthatswana into South Africa. The Bophuthatswana government reacted with defiance. Mangope asserted that “Bophuthatswana will be independent one hundred years form now”. Major internal and external pressures, however, forced the Bophuthatswana administration to reconsider this position and, by the end of 1991, it began to engage in the negotiation process and participate in CODESA.

761 On 7 February 1990, the first protest march involving approximately 80 000 people was held in Garankuwa. The marchers, many carrying ANC flags, called for reincorporation and urged Mangope to resign and join “democratic forces” in creating a non-racial and unitary South Africa. Between seven and eleven people were injured when Bophuthatswana security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the marchers. Conflict between protesters and security forces continued, resulting in deaths and injuries.

762 Violence reached a peak on 7 March when Bophuthatswana troops opened fire on protesters, killing eleven people and injuring 450. Residents of Garankuwa, Mabopane, Soshanguve and Winterveld were marching to the Odi magistrate’s court to present a petition demanding reincorporation into South Africa and the resignation of Chief Mangope ‘within 100 hours’. The crowd numbered between 50 000 and 100 000 people. After the petition was presented, the crowd set fire to an army truck. Fifteen minutes later, Bophuthatswana troops fired at the crowd. Shooting with tear gas and rubber bullets is alleged to have continued for an hour.

763 One of the marchers, Mr Kgomotso Alfred Motaung [JB04176/03NW], was injured in the shooting. Mr Ezekiel Matsiela Matlou [JB04170/02PS] describes being run down by a police van on the same day:

There comes a police van with a high speed of about 160 km an hour. I was unable to run away because I was shivering of that speed my legs were unable to move, that van had injured 9 people and 3 were dead.

764 Despite the Mangope administration’s attempts to curb opposition during the post- 1990 period, there was an upsurge in community organisation. The Bophuthatswana administration itself claimed that, in the period following the 1990 unbannings, one hundred action committees, civic associations and youth congresses were formed, all aligned to the ANC.

765 The launch of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) in the region led to considerable unrest and miners embarked on a series of strikes. In August 1991, Mr Itumeleng Isaac Mayoyo (JB00938/03NW] was arrested for his activities as a member of the organising committee of the NUM in the Bafokeng North Mine. He told the Commission:

Officer Shuffle then started beating me with a baton. On my fingers, toes and knees. I don’t remember the other one who was helping him. My testicles were tied with an electric wire. An object was pushed into my anus. It was a piece of wood .… I was then charged with High Treason.

766 Mayoyo stated that, later, the Shaft General, Mr Drummond was attacked and injured by the workers. Although Mayoyo tried to stop the workers, he and Mr Jonas Kgositsele, another worker, were subsequently charged with the attempted murder of Mr Drummond. Kgositsele died after jumping out of the second floor window. He told the Commission:

Unfortunately Jonas Kgositsele jumped out of the second floor window and died. This is according to officer Ramogadi. He told me. I went through the same sort of torture. Except being taken to meet the then Bophuthatswana President Lucas Mangope … He also offered me to be his spy earning R20 000. I should stop working at the mine. If I don’t accept the offer then I am gone … I went to court finally for all these charges. All charges were dismissed.

767 The unrest lead to the deaths of nine people and the destruction of fifty-one huts by vigilantes allegedly hired by management at the Wildebeestfontein mine in 1991. Fourteen people died in further violence at the Impala mine in 1992. Mr Pitso Simon Maema [JB03549/03NWRUS] had to have both his legs amputated after he was injured in the shooting during a strike at the Impala Bafokeng Mine.

768 The reluctance of Bophuthatswana to introduce political reforms and adjust to the changed political context culminated in a strike by civil servants in January 1994. Within days of Mangope announcing that he would not participate in the country’s first democratic elections in April 1994, Bophuthatswana’s civil servants began striking. Events eventually led to the invasion of Bophuthatswana by AWB members. The incident is dealt with elsewhere in the Commission’s report.

THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT MEMBERS OF THE UDF IN THE NORTHERN TRANSVAAL WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR BURNING HOMES AND KILLING OF A NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT MEMBERS OF THE VENDA POLICE FORCE WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PROLONGED DETENTION AND TORTURE OF A NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE BETWEEN 1990 AND 1994. MORE SPECIFICALLY, THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT MR MBIZA MBOKOTA, AN ANC ACTIVIST WAS SEVERELY TORTURED BY THE VENDA POLICE IN FEBRUARY 1992.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT THE GAZANKULU POLICE FORCE USED UNDUE FORCE IN CONTROLLING PROTESTS AGAINST THE ADMINISTRATION OF PROFESSOR HUDSON NTSWANISI. MANY PEOPLE WERE SHOT AND INJURED DURING STREET PROTESTS AND A NUMBER OF ACTIVISTS WERE DETAINED AND TORTURED. THE COMMISSION FINDS FURTHER THAT THE GAZANKULU POLICE FORCE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DETENTION AND TORTURE OF A NUMBER OF ANC ACTIVISTS IN THE AREA. THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT MR ELVIS SEKOATI WAS SEVERELY TORTURED IN 1993.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT, ON 7 MARCH, THE RESIDENTS OF GARANKUWA, MABOPANE, SOSHANGUVE AND WINTERVELD MARCHED TO THE ODI MAGISTRATES COURT TO PRESENT A PETITION DEMANDING THE RE-INCORPORATION OF BOPHUTHATSWANA INTO SOUTH AFRICA AND THE RESIGNATION OF CHIEF MANGOPE WITHIN 100 HOURS. THE CROWD NUMBERED BETWEEN 50 000 AND 100 000 PEOPLE. TROOPS OF THE BOPHUTHATSWANA DEFENCE FORCE FIRED ON THE CROWD, KILLING ELEVEN PEOPLE AND INJURING 450.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THE FORMER BOPHUTHATSWANA STATE, THE MINISTER OF POLICE, THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND MEMBERS OF THE BOPHUTHATSWANA DEFENCE FORCE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COMMISSION OF GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN THE ODI AREA ON 7 MARCH IN THAT UNNECESSARY AND EXCESSIVE FORCE WAS USED, PROPER ORDERS TO DISPERSE WERE NOT GIVEN, ADEQUATE TIME TO DISPERSE WAS NOT GIVEN AND RELIANCE WAS PLACED ON LIVE AMMUNITION AND LACK OF ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF CROWD DISPERSAL.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT THERE WAS AN INVASION OF BOPHUTHATSWANA BY MEMBERS OF THE AWB ON 11 MARCH 1994. (THIS INCIDENT IS DOCUMENTED ELSEWHERE IN THE REPORT.) IN BRIEF, THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT IN JANUARY 1994, CIVIL SERVANTS EMBARKED ON A STRIKE DEMANDING THAT BOPHUTHATSWANA GOVERNMENT INTRODUCE POLITICAL REFORMS AND ADJUST TO THE CHANGED POLITICAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN SOUTH AFRICA. PRESIDENT MANGOPE HAD TURNED TO THE VOLKSFRONT FOR ASSISTANCE IN MAINTAINING CONTROL OF HIS ADMINISTRATION. THE VOLKSFRONT HAD UNDERTAKEN TO INCORPORATE ITSELF UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF THE BOPHUTHATSWANA DEFENCE FORCE BY 11 MARCH 1994. HOWEVER, MR EUGENE TERREBLANCHE, LEADER OF THE AWB MOBILISED A FORCE OF 600 AWB MEMBERS WHO ENTERED MAFIKENG IN BOPHUTHATSWANA AND PROCEEDED TO RANDOMLY ATTACK RESIDENTS OF MAFIKENG RESIDENTS.
THE COMMISSION FINDS MR EUGENE TERREBLANCHE AS LEADER OF THE AWB RESPONSIBLE FOR THE KILLINGS AND INJURIES RESULTING FROM THIS INVASION; AND MEMBERS OF THE AWB WHO PARTICIPATED IN THIS INVASION SIMILARLY RESPONSIBLE.
 
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