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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 690
Paragraph Numbers 599 to 602
599 Although drive-by shootings occurred throughout the PWV, the Vaal was particularly subject to this form of violence. All the shootings were marked by repeated allegations that the police had failed to respond to calls for assistance, sometimes allegedly allowing the killers to drive through the township for several hours. Evidence subsequently emerged that members of the IFP based at KwaMadala hostel were apparently involved in organising and executing attacks that took place during 1993. In November 1993, seven men were charged on fifty-six counts of murder and sixteen of attempted murder in relation to attacks on Sebokeng residents in April, June and July.
600 In the Vaal, the failure or inability of police management to respond to the safety concerns of black policemen led them to form the ironically named vigilante group, ‘Codesa’. Initially Codesa’s activities were legal. They set up roadblocks, searched for weapons and so on. However, as the attacks on black members of the SAP escalated, their tactics changed. They began actively hunting down SDU and MK members, assaulted, and sometimes murdered them. During one incident, three youths were killed and their bodies dumped in Poortje. This change in tactics led to a split in Codesa. The two groups then became known as Codesa I and II. Evidence seems to suggest that the latter group was involved in a number of drive-by shootings. A number of police witnesses subsequently came forward with information on the activities of the group.
601 The Commission has also received an amnesty application from Mr Victor Mthandeni Mthembu [AM1707/96, AM6130/97], vice-chairperson of the Sebokeng IFP Youth League, for the murder of four ANC members in Zone 3 Sebokeng, during an attack on Sebokeng residents on 12 July 1993.46 Mthembu stated that he received an instruction from Prince Gideon Zulu, also known as Vanana Zulu, based at KwaMadala hostel to go and kill members of the ANC and was given firearms to carry out these attacks. Mthembu, who is currently serving a twenty-year sentence in Pretoria Central prison for his involvement in this killing as well as his role in the Boipatong massacre of June 1992, explained how he became involved in the series of drive-by shootings which took place during 1993 (see further below):
After the Boipatong massacre, Vanana Zulu called me and asked me which person can we use to attack the ANC people. I told him he must choose between Sipho, Temba Mabote, myself and Victor Kheswa to do the attacks.
46 Mthembu’s amnesty application for this incident had not been heard at the time of reporting.
He told me he would give us weapons to go and attack those people … Several times during 1993 Mr Vanana Zulu or Prince Zulu as he was also known called us – that was myself, Victor Kheswa, Themba Mabote and Sipho Lukozi – and gave us weapons and ammunition and said we must go out and kill the people of the ANC. We robbed a car from a lady and we drove in the car and would stop and then some of us would get out and shoot the people in Sebokeng where we knew ANC people were living … Every time we came back after going out and shooting ANC people at random we would come back and give back the fire arms and the ammunition to Prince Vanana Zulu who hid it … The hit squad of Umsinga also went out several times on their own initiative to shoot members of the ANC. They also shot ANC members at random.
602 After the leader of the Kheswa gang, Victor Kheswa, died in police custody, the group was encouraged by Vanana Zulu to take revenge for his death. Although he had died in police custody, revenge was to be taken against local ANC members because they were believed to be ‘happy’ about Kheswa’s death.