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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 279
Paragraph Numbers 60 to 69
Attacks on black security forces
60. Black security force personnel were prime targets for attack. The fact that they lived in the townships meant that they brought the apartheid regime onto homeground, making them extremely dangerous to local residents. They were seen as the enemy within. Many MK attacks on security force personnel took place while they were off duty, often while they were at home with their families. Of the sixty-one MK attacks on the security forces in 1986, twenty-three (roughly one third) were on the homes of police officers, and resulted in four deaths and nine injuries.1 2 8127 See, for example, A M 5 2 9 8 / 9 7 . 128 See, for example, AM 7193/97, A M 6 2 0 7 / 9 7 A M 5 3 0 5 / 9 7 ,A M 6 0 5 9 / 9 7 .
Attacks on collaborators with apartheid political structures
61. There were many attacks on the homes of people involved with the tripartite parliamentary elections and other structures that were regarded as illegitimate. For example, four of the five attacks carried out in 1986 and 1987 by Mr Velaphi Dlamini, a local MK operative in Soweto [AM3887/96; AC/1999/0317], targeted male and female councillors. Family members, children and visitors were sometimes casualties of these attacks.
62. The most common forms of attack were grenades thrown at or into houses at night, sometimes accompanied by shooting. Limpet mines were also occasionally used. MK applicants tended to describe such attacks as ‘intimidation’ rather than as attempted assassinations.
MS MTANGA: Mr Ndlovu, when you got your instructions were you told what was the intention? Was the intention just to throw the hand grenade and kill people or to just throw it?
MR NDLOVU: Okay. My answer will be twofold. One, carrying an order you do what you’re told but the intention was not to kill. But there was a likelihood that somebody could actually die, knowing the kind of weapon that I’ve used.
MS MTANGA: How were you going to ensure that no one was killed?
MR NDLOVU: I was not going to ensure when a person gets killed or not. The point I’m trying to make here, knowing the nature or the type of weapon that I used, somebody could have died but that was not the intention, to kill a person. (Mr Hluphela Morris Ndlovu, Pretoria hearing, 14 June 1999.)
63. Eight of the thirty-three limpet mine sabotage operations carried out by the Ahmed Timol MK unit were on the homes of persons associated with local or parliamentary government structures such as the President ’s Council and the Management Committees. The limpet mines were timed so that they would explode outside houses between midnight and 04h00. No injuries or deaths resulted. Amnesty applicant Jameel Chand [AM7026/97] stated that:
It was only after our Commander (Prakash Napier) had received confirmation that we would carry out the action. The unit always carried out the attacks between 11pm and 4am. We would also monitor the scene of the intended action. The limpet would be placed in a location that would not cause injury or death. If explosion did not take place within the time it was scheduled to have we would contact the police and inform them of the device. We would also do dummy runs and evaluate afterwards. (Amnesty granted in chambers.)
64. The killing of homeland politician Mr David Lukhele129 provides an example of the assassination of a civilian politician that was approved by MHQ. Lukhele was a prominent leader in the KaNgwane homeland and was perceived as supporting the proposed incorporation of this homeland into Swaziland, a move fiercely resisted by many residents. For this he was regarded as a collaborator and members of the Elimination Unit identified him as a possible target.
65. They sought and received approval from MHQ in Lusaka and, on 6 June 1986, Mr Neo Griffiths Potsane entered Mr Lukhele’s home in Mamelodi township and opened fire with an AK47, killing him, while Mr Obed Jabu Masina waited outside. The shots also killed Lukhele’s sister, Ms Elizabeth Busisiwe Dludlu, and injured Lukhele’s wife.
Attacks in public places
66. MK operatives detonated explosives in public places where civilians were present and died. Amnesty applications were received for a number of the most well-known ‘public place’ bombs. The applicants put forward a range of explanations for these attacks.
67. In the case of the Durban Why Not/Magoo’s Bar bomb130, the Benoni Wimpy Bar131 bomb and the bomb detonated near the Juicy Lucy restaurant in Pretoria, applicants explained that their intelligence and reconnaissance had led them to believe that security force members frequented these places. Despite the fact that no or very few security force members were injured in these attacks, the applicants continued to hold the view that the venues were appropriate targets. The Amnesty Committee accepted that the operatives had acted ‘in good faith’ although they pointed out that, in retrospect, their intelligence had been faulty or simply wrong. Amnesty was granted in these cases [AC/2001/128; AC/1999/294].
68. Applicants in respect of two car bombs detonated in public places explained that these were placed outside the offices of security force structures: the South African Air Force headquarters in Pretoria and the Security Branch offices in Witbank. The civilians killed or injured were not the intended target. Similarly, the ANC landmine campaign was aimed at security force patrols even though the casualties were overwhelmingly civilian.
69. Amnesty applicants for the Ellis Park stadium car bomb1 3 2 and the bomb at the Wild Coast Casino1 3 3 in the Transkei explained that these were intended to send messages to the white community and the Transkei homeland respectively regarding the futility of apartheid. Similarly, a number of facilities such as segregated ‘whites only’ bus stops were apparently selected in order to highlight apartheid discrimination.129 AC / 1 9 9 8 / 0 0 4 8 ; AC / 1 9 9 9 / 0 2 5 7 ; AC / 2 0 0 0 / 1 4 2 . 130 A M 7 0 3 2 / 9 7 ,A M 7 1 3 9 / 9 7 ,A M 7 6 7 9 / 9 7 ,A M 7 0 9 6 / 9 7 ,A M 4 0 2 8 / 9 6 ,A M 4 0 2 6 / 9 6 . 131 A M 5 3 0 0 / 9 7 ,A M 5 7 2 5 / 9 7 ,A M 5 3 0 1 / 9 7 ,A M 4 3 5 1 / 9 7 .