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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 723
Paragraph Numbers 718 to 723
718 From 1989–91, there were at least seventeen extra-judicial executions in Khutsong, a small township outside Carletonville on the West Rand. The victims were all members of the Khutsong Youth Congress (KYC). The KYC split into two factions – the ‘Zim-Zims’ and the ‘Gaddaffis’, both active UDF/ANC supporters. The Commission received over sixty statements relating to this particular period in Khutsong’s history.
719 Attacks and counter-attacks on the families and homes of Gadaffi and Zim-Zim members followed the split. During one incident, members of the Gadaffi group abducted and murdered an ANC marshal, Ms Khosi Maseko [JB03109/03WR], leaving her burnt body to be found. At her funeral her coffin was dug up and burnt. In response, Zim-Zim members attacked the home of Ms Mpumi Nomandla, a Gaddafi member. During this attack Nomandla’s father, Mr John Nomandla [JB00448/03WR] was killed and his home burnt. Victims made statements to the police but perpetrators were not arrested.
720 In May 1991, local organisations, the ANC and the Independent Board of Inquiry brought the two groups together and, after heated discussion, the two factions signed a peace pact. It was at this meeting that a decision was made to approach senior police personnel to set up a special task force to investigate the violence in the area.
721 In some of the cases of assaults and killings that occurred during this period, the police allegedly colluded with one faction in the conflict in Khutsong. For example, according to the testimony of surviving victims, at least two police officers in uniform actively participated with the Zim-Zims in the murder of Mr Solomon Mlangeni [JB00402/03WR] and the wounding of two other youths whom they had abducted from a house in Khutsong on 20 November 1990. The youths were taken to a river bank outside the township where they were allegedly kicked, punched, beaten with sticks and iron bars, thrown into the water and shot at by their abductors and the policemen. One of the abducted youths managed to escape. Mr Sipho Mlangeni, who died as a result of the assaults, and the third youth, who was severely injured, were later found by family members on a rubbish dump.
722 In 1993, internal conflict emerged in Khutsong when branch executive members of the ANC unleashed a reign of terror on the residents of the area. Several of these cases were brought before the Commission. The violence began shortly after the ANC branch executive committee (BEC) elections in January 1993. BEC members allegedly assaulted three women and a number of students on the day of the election. They then reportedly held ‘kangaroo court’ sittings at what was termed the ‘Freedom Tree’. At least eight people lost their lives in the ensuing conflict. Eighteen-year-old Mr Abel ‘Ngame’ Motswaesane was killed on 23 May 1993 after refusing to reveal the names of youths who had attended a meeting to protest against the activities of the BEC. He was hit on the head with a pickaxe and, despite being taken to hospital, never regained consciousness. One of the students who attended the protest meeting said that he had been taken to the ‘Freedom Tree’ and questioned by the BEC regarding the meeting:
I told them that the meeting was for the youth and not adults. I was then ‘klapped’ (slapped) and beaten with a knobkierrie. We were told that in future, if we have meetings we should invite them.
723 A number of other youths related similar tales. On the day of Motswaesane’s funeral, mourners were attacked. A woman who recognised her attacker as a member of the BEC was hit in the stomach with an iron bar. Following this incident, the ANC regional office intervened and the BEC was suspended. Several were criminally charged.