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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 227
Paragraph Numbers 106 to 109
■ FINDINGS ON THE ROLE OF ALLIES OF THE STATE
106 As has been stated above, the state was not acting alone in its strategies involving gross human rights violations. It had the active and passive support of numerous other elements in society. One of these was the white electorate which returned the National Party to power in one election after another. Others were the institutional creations of the apartheid system and the political parties that operated largely within these creations. The homeland or bantustan system gave rise to a set of semi-autonomous security and law-enforcement structures and such political groupings as the Inkatha Freedom Party.
107 So-called independent and semi-autonomous homelands emerged on the political landscape of South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s. From the outset, they were sites of steadily escalating resistance and repression. All forms of human rights abuse (torture, extra-judicial killings, unjustifiable use of deadly force etc) which occurred within so-called white South Africa were also found in the homelands arena. Indeed, such factors as a lack of public attention or scrutiny, little media interest and weak civil society structures, created an environment in the homelands that was even more conducive to gross violations of human rights than the wider South African society.
108 In consequence, human rights were grossly violated on a vast scale. The great majority of those who suffered human rights abuses in South Africa in the mandate period were the victims of black perpetrators, acting in many cases as surrogates for the South African government. Nowhere is this more true than in Natal and KwaZulu. It is for this reason that the IFP is the only homeland-based party and the KwaZulu Police (KZP) the only homeland security structure singled out by the Commission for specific findings.
109 Before focusing on those two entities, the Commission has made the following general finding on the homelands system:
THE FORMER STATE’S POLICY OF ESTABLISHING ETHNICALLY SEPARATE RESERVATIONS LAY AT THE CORE OF ITS POLICY OF TERRITORIAL AND POLITICAL SEPARATION ON THE BASIS OF RACE. THE POLICY WAS AN EXTENSION OF A COLONIALLY ESTABLISHED PRACTICE OF ‘DIVIDE AND RULE’ AND HAD THE DUAL AIM OF SEEKING TO INHIBIT OR DIVERT THE STRUGGLE BY AFRICANS FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS INSIDE SOUTH AFRICA WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY PROTECTING AND PRESERVING THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL PRIVILEGES OF THE WHITE MINORITY.
THE ADMINISTRATIONS AND GOVERNMENTS THAT PRESIDED OVER THE VARIOUS HOMELANDS WERE, ACCORDINGLY, A CORNERSTONE OF THE STATE’S POLICY OF APARTHEID IN THAT THEY PURPORTED TO GRANT FULL POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC RIGHTS TO BLACK CULTURAL AND LINGUISTIC GROUPINGS, BUT ONLY WITHIN DEFINED LIMITED GEOGRAPHIC AND ETHNICALLY EXCLUSIVE ENCLAVES. ECONOMICALLY, THEY REMAINED NON-VIABLE, WHICH LEFT THEM LITTLE CHOICE BUT TO COLLABORATE WITH THE SOUTH AFRICAN STATE ON SECURITY AND RELATED MATTERS, AND FUNCTION AS EXTENSIONS OF THAT STATE AND AS INSTRUMENTS OF ITS SECURITY FORCES. THIS DOES NOT, HOWEVER, EXONERATE THEM OR THEIR LEADERS FROM RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE GROSS VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS PERPETRATED IN THE HOMELANDS.
HOMELAND GOVERNMENTS IMPLEMENTED SYSTEMS OF RURAL LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ADMINISTRATION WHICH LED TO WIDESPREAD ABUSES AND GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS, AS DID THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CIVIL CODES BY CHIEFS AND HEADMEN.
HOMELAND GOVERNMENTS WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF POLICE FORCES AND, IN THE CASE OF THE ‘INDEPENDENT’ HOMELANDS SUCH AS TRANSKEI AND CISKEI, DEFENCE FORCES CHARACTERISED BY INCOMPETENCE, BRUTALITY, AND POLITICAL BIAS. IN PARTICULAR, THEY –
DISPLAYED BIAS AND PARTIALITY TOWARDS MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS OF THE HOMELAND GOVERNMENTS, BOTH THROUGH ACTS OF COMMISSION, WHEN THEY WORKED OPENLY WITH PRO-HOMELAND GOVERNMENT VIGILANTES AND/OR COVERT ARMED GROUPS, AND THROUGH ACTS OF OMISSION WHEN THEY FAILED TO PROTECT OR SERVE THOSE WHO DID NOT SUPPORT THE HOMELAND GOVERNMENTS;
WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR LARGE NUMBERS OF KILLINGS AND ATTEMPTED KILLINGS AS WELL AS ACTS OF INCITEMENT AND CONSPIRACY TO KILL, SEVERE ILL TREATMENT, ABDUCTION, TORTURE AND ARSON, THE VICTIMS OF WHICH WERE ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY NON-SUPPORTERS OF HOMELAND GOVERNMENT;
WERE INVOLVED IN COVERING UP CRIMES COMMITTED BY SUPPORTERS OF THE HOMELAND GOVERNMENTS. THESE PRACTICES INCLUDED NEGLECTING BASIC INVESTIGATIVE PROCEDURES AND DELIBERATELY TAMPERING WITH EVIDENCE.
IN KWAZULU SPECIFICALLY, THE HOMELAND GOVERNMENT AND POLICE FORCE (KZP) WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR:
ENSURING THAT SUSPECTS IN MATTERS OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE WERE CONCEALED, OFTEN FOR LENGTHY PERIODS, IN SADF AND OTHER TRAINING CAMPS;
ISSUING FALSE POLICE CERTIFICATES AND IDENTITY DOCUMENTS TO SUPPORTERS OF THE HOMELAND GOVERNMENTS WHO WERE INVOLVED IN POLITICAL VIOLENCE, IN ORDER TO PREVENT THEIR ARREST AND CONVICTION AND TO FACILITATE THEIR CONTINUED CRIMINAL ACTIVITY;
TAKING PART IN KILLINGS AND PURPORTING TO INVESTIGATE THE VERY CASES IN WHICH THEY HAD BEEN INVOLVED AS PERPETRATORS;
COLLABORATING WITH MEMBERS OF THE SAP’S SECURITY BRANCH AND SADF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE (MI) SECTION IN COVERT ACTIVITIES AND PROJECTS AIMED AT DESTABILISING POPULAR OPPOSITION TO STATE AND HOMELAND GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THE HOMELAND SECURITY FORCES ACCOUNTABLE NOT ONLY FOR THE GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS PERPETRATED BY THEIR MEMBERS BUT ALSO FOR THOSE PERPETRATED BY MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS OF THE HOMELAND GOVERNMENTS’ RULING PARTIES, AS A RESULT OF THE SECURITY FORCES’ FAILURE TO ACT AGAINST SUCH MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS. THAT FAILURE ENGENDERED A CLIMATE OF IMPUNITY THAT FACILITATED SUCH GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS.
AT A POLITICAL LEVEL, THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS CITED ABOVE RESTS JOINTLY WITH THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT AND THE GOVERNMENTS OF THE HOMELANDS.