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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 192

Paragraph Numbers 50 to 60

Volume 6

Section 3

Chapter 1

Subsection 6



50. The Commission identified several types of extrajudicial killings: targeted killings or assassinations; killing following abduction and interrogation; ambushes; entrapment killings, and killing of own forces.

51. Applications were received for 114 incidents involving 889 killings. The Kassinga raid alone accounts for 624 deaths. The killings took place in the following time-periods and regions :

• 1970–1979: Cape1
Transvaal 2
Outside SA 627
• 1980–1984: Cape3
Transvaal 13
Natal 2
Outside SA 13
• 1985–1989: Cape 20
Transvaal 67
Natal 42
Orange Free State 4
Homelands 15
Outside SA 44
Targeted killings

52. Applications were received for the assassination of seventeen high-profile political leaders both inside and outside South Africa. 23 In addition, applications were received for the attempted or planned assassination of several others. 24

53. Applications were received for targeting the homes of activists living inside the country, leading to the deaths of twenty-eight people. Of these, at least twenty-four were killed in two attacks in Natal and KwaZulu 25 In what became known as the ‘KwaMakhutha massacre’, thirteen people, mostly women and children , were killed by an IFP hit squad, armed and trained by the SADF as part of Operation Marion, on 21 January 1987.26 Kommandant Jan Anton Nieuwoudt [AM3813/96; AC/2001/264] and Andre Cloete [AM5726/97; AC/2000/224] of the SADF were respectively granted and refused amnesty for their role in Operation Marion .27 An SADF operative was refused amnesty for his part in the attack.

54. In the ‘Trust Feeds massacre ’ ,28 which took place on 3 December 1988, eleven people attending an all-night funeral vigil were killed in an attack on a house believed to be occupied by United Democratic Front (UDF) supporters. The attack was planned by the local Joint Management Centre (JMC) in collaboration with local IFP leaders. None of the victims was an UDF supporter. The chairperson of the local JMC was granted amnesty for the attack.

55. Applications were received from Northern Transvaal Security Branch operatives 29 for the deaths of four people killed during their campaign of bombing local activists’ homes in the Pretoria region. None of the four killed was a target in the attacks.

56. Applications were received for the targeting and killing of eighteen individual MK or APLA personnel outside South Africa. Targeted killings were generally conducted at night and, in several instances, resulted in persons other than theta rget being killed. In at least two incidents, children were the victims.

57. In addition, applications were received for the killing of persons in two large scale cross-border raids. Security Branch Headquarters, Western Transvaal and Soweto Security Branch operatives applied for amnesty for their role in identifying targets for the SADF Special Forces raid into Gaborone, Botswana on 14 June 1985, in which twelve people were killed.30 Members of C1/Vlakplaas and Security Branch Headquarters applied for amnesty for the killing of nine people in a raid into Maseru, Lesotho on 19 December 1985.31

58. Applicants testified that when cross-border raids were being planned before the mid-1980s, ad hoc groups would be set up to identify and collect intelligence. Such groups would consist of representatives from the relevant Security Branch Headquarters desk, as well as Security Branch divisional offices with specific intelligence expertise, the NIS, SADF Military Intelligence and Special Forces . Thus, for example, the following structures engaged in target identification for the Gaborone raid: the Africa Desk at Security Branch Headquarters; the Western Transvaal, Soweto and Transvaal Security Branch offices; NIS; SADF Military Intelligence (in all probability the Home Front sections of the Directorate of Covert Collection (DCC) as well as of the Directorate (South Africa) and Special Forces .

59. Although the applicants professed that it was not policy to target civilians not associated with MK or living in the country where targets were based, they admitted that civilians were ‘caught in the cro s s f i re’. Moreover, despite applicants’ claims that a number of targets were removed from the original Botswana raid list because of the presence of children and Batswana citizens, both children and non-South African civilians were killed in the raid.

60. A number of applicants from different regions testified that, in 1985/86, a more formalised structure known as TREWITS was established to conduct target identification 32 . Although based in Section C2 at Security Branch Headquarters, personnel from both SADF Military Intelligence and NIS was permanently seconded to TREWITS. Applicants also referred to regional TREWITS meetings made up of representatives from the different intelligence structures .

23 Outside South A f rica : Ruth First , Jabulile Nyawose, Petros Nyawose, Jeanette Curtis Schoon , Vernon N k a dime n g. Inside South A f r i c a : Griffiths Mxenge, Siphiwe Mtimkulu, Topsy Madaka, Qaqawuli Godolozi, S i p h o Hash e, Champion Galela, Matthew Goniwe, Sparrow Mkhonto, Fort Calata, Sicelo Mhlawuli, Fabian Ribeiro, Florence Ribeiro. 24 Dikgang Moseneke, Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, Abdullah Omar, Gavin Evans, Albie Sachs. 25 From 1972, KwaZulu comprised twenty territorial fragments scattered throughout the province of Natal. During the period of transition in the early 1990s and as the KwaZulu Administration was dismantled, all areas in the province came to be known as KwaZulu/Natal and, following the April 1994 elections, as KwaZulu-Natal.26 Volume Two, Chapter Five, pp. 464–9. 27 Volume Two, Chapter Five, pp. 464–9. 28 Volume Two, Chapter Three, p. 198 ff. 29 AM5183/97; AM2776/96;AM2773/96; AM2777/96; AM2775/96. 30 AM4032/96; AM4122/96; AM4126/96 ;AM4149/96 ;AM4152/96 ;AM4389/96 ;AM4513/96 ;AM7040/97 ; AM4125/96 and AM4386/9. 31 AM0066/96 ;AM3764/96 ;AM3765/96 ;AM4385/96 ; AM4396/96 and AM4157/96. 32 See Volume Two, Chapter Th r e e, p p. 275–98 for a discussion on the establishment of TREWITS and target development .
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