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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 737

Paragraph Numbers 769 to 779

Volume 3

Chapter 6

Subsection 105

Right-wing violence

769 The right wing was involved in various forms of political protest during the 1990s. Much of this protest activity was extremely violent and led to a range of gross human rights violations. In 1990, following Mr F W de Klerk’s speech unbanning the ANC and other political organisations, members of the Conservative Party (CP) threatened mass demonstrations and strike action by whites. The largest demonstration was held on 26 May 1990 when approximately 50 000 protesters gathered at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria and were urged to fight to restore what the government had ‘unjustly given away’.

770 In the period after 2 February 1990, right-wing violence took on a much more organised and orchestrated form. Isolated racist attacks on individuals were quickly eclipsed by mass right-wing confrontations. Two thousand AWB and Boerestaat Party members marched to protest the unbanning of the ANC. In Klerksdorp, 5 000 AWB supporters marched in support of police action. Farmers blockaded the city of Pretoria in 1991. An NP meeting in Ventersdorp was violently disrupted in 1991 leading to the death of three people and the injury of more than fifty others. The World Trade Centre where negotiations were taking place was occupied by members of the right-wing in 1993. Members of the AWB invaded Bophuthatswana in support of the homeland administration in 1994, and launched a pre-election election bombing campaign immediately before the 1994 elections.

771 According to the HRC there were, in the second half of 1990, at least forty-five right-wing attacks country-wide, resulting in the deaths of twenty-six people and the injury of 138. More than 33 per cent of these attacks took place in the PWV area, although the largest number of fatalities occurred in the Orange Free State and Natal.86

772 The Western Transvaal, home to the headquarters of the AWB, was a centre of right-wing activity during the 1990s. The Commission received a number of statements regarding attacks carried out by the right-wing in this area. These included random assaults motivated primarily by racism as well as more coordinated attacks around issues such as land ownership or consumer boycotts.

773 Mr William Nxanxa [JB01533/03NW] was sitting in a parked vehicle alongside the road when he was assaulted by members of the AWB in the Western Transvaal town of Ottosdal in September 1990. He said that, after he was assaulted, his attackers told him that the road in which he had parked his taxi was “an AWB road”. Nxanxa laid a charge and the case came to court but the four accused were discharged.

774 Ms Nkete Mangwele [JB01570/03NW] told the Commission that she was seriously assaulted during an attack on her home by “white people wearing soldiers camouflage”. Mrs Mangwele could not identify her attackers but said that her home in Klerksdorp was not the only one that was attacked by these men.

775 Ms Helena Kroon De Kock [JB01563/03NW] testified before the Commission about the bombing of her non-racial school in Klerksdorp. She believed that the school had been bombed by “faceless individuals opposed to her idea that all children deserved a decent education.” The De Kock family also received a number of death threats. The Amnesty Committee received an application for this particular incident. Mr Johan de Wet Strydom, an AWB member [AM5168/97], says in his application that he provided the explosives that were used in the bombings. Many of the right-wingers applying for amnesty for the spate of bombings before South Africa’s first democratic elections were from the Western Transvaal and the West Rand, traditional right-wing areas of support.

776 Mr Simon Rabesi Phiri [JB01567/03NW] was sleeping in his car outside the shack where he lives in Goedgevoeden when the AWB members attacked. He identified Mr Eugene Terreblanche and Mr Piet ‘Skiet’ Rudolph87 as participants in the attack. A card belonging to Rudolph was allegedly found ten metres from Phiri’s home. Ironically, Phiri got to know Terreblanche when he worked at a petrol station in Ventersdorp where the headquarters of the AWB are located. According to Phiri, the doors of homes to be attacked were marked with crosses.

777 Ms Emily Siko [JB01566/03NW] and her five-year-old child were also attacked by AWB members. As they left, they apologised for attacking the ‘wrong’ house. Mr Hassian MS Haffajee [JB01396/03NW], a Muslim shopkeeper in the Western Transvaal town of Bloemhof, was the victim of a racist attack because of his support of a boycott of shops owned by white people. The boycott was organised by the local branch of the ANC to pressurise the town council to accede to its demands for racial integration in the town. The AWB operated as a vigilante group that tried to break the boycott and ensure that racial integration did not take place.

778 Members of right-wing organisations applied to the Commission for amnesty with respect to several incidents.

a the 14 April 1994 explosions at Sannieshof in the Western Transvaal involving members of the Boere Weerstandsbeweging (BWB);

b an explosion at the offices of the IEC at Bloemfontein;

c a fire at the Nylstroom telephone exchange on 22 April 1994;

d an explosion at the Natref oil pipeline between Denysville and Viljoensdrif in the Northern Free State;

e an explosion on 24 April 1994 in the Johannesburg city centre, killing nine people, including ANC Johannesburg North secretary general, Ms Susan Keane [KZN/APH/035/DN] and injuring ninety-two people; (See Ms Patience Alphina Nsele [KZN/NN/380/DN], Ms Simangele Loveness Kheswa [JB03273/01GTSOW], Ms Selina Manetja Mfete [JB06064/01GTSOW] and Mr Sifiso Freeda Ngwenya [JB03324/03 GTSOW]);

f an explosion on 25 April 1994 at a taxi rank in central Germiston, killing ten people and injuring approximately a hundred (See Ms Sindiswa Mavis Phungula [JB03154/01ERKAT], Ms Hanyane Anna Mbata [JB03375/01 ERKAT] and Ms Wisani Hilda Maluleka [JB05811/01GTSOW]);

g an explosion at the Randfontein taxi rank, for which Mr Johannes Andries ‘JJ’ Venter [AM6477/97] applied for amnesty;

h an explosion on 27 April 1994 at Jan Smuts airport in Johannesburg (See Mr Mosalakae Percival Moshwetsi [JB04635/02PS].)

779 In a police swoop at the end of April, thirty-four right-wingers were arrested in connection with the wave of bomb blasts. All of these men were members of the AWB’s elite Ystergarde (Iron Guard). They were charged with nineteen counts of murder88. The Commission received amnesty applications from several people convicted for these acts: Mr Jacobus Petrus Nel [AM6469/97], Mr Abraham Christoffel Fourie [AM6478/97] and Mr Petrus Paulos Steyn [AM6479/97] are all currently serving twenty-one-year prison sentences. Mr Johan Wilhelm Du Plessis [AM6480/97] also applied for amnesty in respect of various pre-election bombings carried out by the AWB. He was one of the original AWB members arrested and charged but acquitted in the Rand Supreme Court.

86 Graeme Simpson, Steve Mokwena, Lauren Segal, Political Violence in 1990: The year in Perspective, p.14. 87 Piet `Skiet’ Rudolph founded the Orde van die Boerevolk (OB) in late 1989. Rudolph gained much publicity with the successful robbery of a large quantity of weapons from the headquarters of the SADF in Pretoria. Some of these weapons were subsequently used in a right-wing pre-election bombing campaign. 88 Independent Board of Enquiry, April 1994, pp.8–9.
 
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