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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 657
Paragraph Numbers 478 to 484
478 In Labohang township, adjoining Leandra in the eastern Transvaal, attempts to move residents to the homeland of KwaNdebele led to violent confrontations with the police. In spite of a 1983 ruling of the Supreme Court that Leandra residents should not be moved, the violence continued.
479 In December 1985 four people, Ms Nelly Madonsela, Mr Aubrey Mokoena [JB02806/01MPWES], Mr Thomas Masombuka and Ms Rose Khumalo, were killed by the police during a stay away to protest the forced removal of residents to KwaNdebele. In the wake of these deaths there were further attacks on police and councillors’ homes. Armed youths marched in the streets, saying they wanted to root out all police and informers. Twenty youths were arrested. A march was organised to demand their release, and running street battles with the police followed.
480 The Leandra Action Committee (LAC), led by Chief Ampie Mayise and Mr Abel Nkabinde, also came under attack for protesting against the proposed removal. On 11 January 1986, Chief Mayise was publicly hacked to death in a mob assault on his house. The attackers were allegedly members of a vigilante group calling themselves ‘Concerned Citizens’ or Inkatha, who conducted a number of attacks on members of LAC and the Mpumelelo Youth Congress in retaliation for violence against police and councillors. Many of its members were drawn from a football club owned by a prominent figure amongst the vigilantes. Although the vigilantes called themselves Inkatha, it appears that this was merely a general identification with the conservative traditionalism of the Inkatha movement in Natal, rather than any formal links to the political party. Chief Minister Buthelezi in fact publicly disowned the Leandra vigilantes.
481 Chief Mayise’s widow described the attack to the Commission:
He took his nap and I told him, alerted him that the Inkatha was coming and he woke up. We looked through the window and we could see that group approaching our house and they got to our house. They had bottles, nip bottles and they started attacking us, throwing those bottles and stones over our house and we were inside the house at that time, the two of us. Suddenly the house was set alight. The roof burst open and I decided to go outside to ask as to what was their problem and why they were attacking us. As I tried to go outside they attacked me, throwing stones at me, and we decided to run away. Outside there by, there was a car parked and he got inside then … They got hold of him, they took him with … After quite some time my son – the one who is sitting next to me – came and told me that my husband was lying down there, the father, and he tried to pick him up, but he failed.
482 Ms Mayise names Mr Sipho Gadebe and Mr Maboy Zondo as two of the people whom she saw assaulting her husband.
483 A week after Chief Mayise’s death, Mr Nkabinde and other LAC supporters applied for an urgent interdict restraining twenty-three named members of Inkatha, but further violent incidents took place after the chief’s funeral. The police did not intervene.
484 During January 1986, an attempt was made on the life of Mr Nkabinde, whose home was also burnt. He later identified Sam and Joseph Zondo as leading assailants in the attacks on him. Mr Jan Nkabinde [JB02828/01MPWES], a relative of Mr Abel Nkabinde and executive member of the Mpumelelo Youth Congress, was severely assaulted and threatened with death by the vigilantes. He had fled the area after the attack on Chief Mayise, but was abducted from his hiding place:
… the group of people who got into the house then came to me and told me that they have been sent by Mr Zondo to come and collect me, because he wanted to talk to me … After about 100 m they started hitting me, telling me that it is long that they have been warning me about these things, but I was not listening … They took me to the graveyard … Upon our arrival Mr Zondo said that I should be killed, because if I can be left and I am their enemy, I am going to kill them if I am not being killed. So I was assaulted by pangas … After I was beaten he asked me that I had to choose how I, how do I want to be killed. So they closed my eyes and he put a gun on my head and told me that I am going to die. Then I apologised to them. Then one of them who was having the pangas, looking at me, he was ready as if, he stood as if he was ready to kill so I apologised to him.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT THE LEANDRA POLICE KILLED MS NELLY MADONSELA, MR AUBREY MOKOENA, MR THOMAS MASOMBUKA AND MS ROSE KHUMALO DURING A STAY AWAY, AND FINDS THE LEANDRA POLICE RESPONSIBLE FOR GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT THE CONFLICT AROUND INCORPORATION GAVE RISE TO THE FORMATION OF A VIGILANTE GROUP IN LEANDRA CALLING ITSELF ‘INKATHA’. THE COMMISSION FINDS INKATHA RESPONSIBLE FOR THE KILLING OF CHIEF AMPIE MAYISE, THE BURNING OF HIS HOUSE AND THE ATTEMPTED KILLING OF MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY. IN PARTICULAR, THE COMMISSION FINDS INKATHA VIGILANTE GANG MEMBERS SIPHO GADEBE AND MABOY ZONDO RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ATTACK ON CHIEF MAYISE. THE COMMISSION FINDS INKATHA MEMBERS SAM AND JOSEPH ZONDO RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ATTEMPTED KILLING OF LAC LEADER MR ABEL NKABINDE AND THE ARSON ATTACK ON HIS HOME. THE COMMISSION FINDS INKATHA RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ASSAULT AND ATTEMPTED KILLING OF MR JAN NKABINDE, A NEPHEW OF MR ABEL NKABINDE, AND HOLDS THE INKATHA VIGILANTE GROUP RESPONSIBLE FOR GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS.