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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 431
Paragraph Numbers 268 to 278
Lack of full disclosure
Attack on Sophia and Gabriel Rossouw
268. Although APLA policy authorised robbery as a means of raising money, amnesty was denied to Mr Sithembiso Vanana [AM6540/97] for a robbery in which money was used for the personal benefit of the applicants and not the organisation.
269. Mr Vanana applied for amnesty for the killing of Mrs Jane Sophia Rossouw, aged 72 years, the attempted killing of Mr Casper Gabriel Rossouw, aged 81 years, robbery, housebreaking with the intent to steal, and theft of a motor vehicle. These offences were committed on the farm ‘Sarahsdale’ in the district of Dordrecht on 1 August 1993.
270. According to the applicant, the operation was planned in order to ‘raise funds’ to enable him to travel to the Transkei where he would receive basic APLA military training. He spoke to a Mr Nelson Gebe, an APLA cadre, about joining APLA. Gebe informed him that he would have to undergo military training in Transkei and that he (Gebe) knew a person in Butterworth who would be able to make the necessary arrangements.
271. Vanana, Gebe and one other person participated in the attack on the Rossouws. They were unsuccessful in finding either money or arms in the house and instead stole the Rossouws’ motor vehicle and drove to the Transkei, where they stayed for at least six weeks. The applicant testified that he was unsuccessful in reaching the contact Gebe had told him would arrange for his training. Nor did they make any attempt to get in touch with any other members of the PAC or APLA in Transkei.
272. They sold the Rossouw’s vehicle for R5 000 and used the money for their own benefit. They also robbed a bottle store and hijacked a motor vehicle. Soon after this, they were chased by the police, who shot at them. The applicant was hit and injured. He was arrested and detained in hospital where he received treatment.
2 7 3 . The applicant escaped from hospital and went to Cape Town. Here, he and some others killed a Mr van Niekerk on a smallholding. The applicant was eventually arrested in the Cape Town area while robbing a shop.
274. The Amnesty Committee noted that there was:
no corroboration that the applicant was ever a member of the PAC. He states that he lost his membership card when being chased by the police inTra n s k e i and there is no evidence before us, other than his assertion, that he is or was a member of the PAC. We are also of the view that the applicant’s evidence that Gebe was an APLA cadre is both untruthful and improbable. Gebe has a criminal record which reflects that he has, from June 1973 to March 1988, had twenty- nine previous convictions and that he has on four occasions been declared an habitual criminal … It is also apparent from applicant’s own version, untrustworthy as it is, that the proceeds from the sale of the Rossouws’ vehicle was used for the perpetrators own benefits and not for the benefit of any political organisation. We are of the conclusion that the crimes committed by the applicant were committed for personal gain. [AC/2000/072.]
Failure to declare specific acts
275. The APLA High Command [AM7832/97] submitted an application for amnesty without specifying individual names in order to accept collective responsibility for ‘any act, omission, offence or delict committed by members of the PAC as a result of which people died, others were injured and property was damaged’.
276. The Amnesty Committee found that an act, omission or offence had to be the subject matter of an application. Where no such act, omission or offence had been disclosed, the applicants did not comply with the requirements of the Act, as this would be tantamount to granting a general amnesty. The application was similar to the one submitted by members of the ANC,212 based on the declaration of responsibility.
277. Moreover, section 18 of the Act states that ‘any person’ who applies for amnesty will qualify. The APLA application was not signed by any person acting on behalf of the body cited as the applicant: in other words, no person was named as applicant. The application from the APLA High Command was accordingly refused [AC/2000/0101].
278. Similarly, amnesty was denied to a former APLA member who had become an askari. In his application, Mr Sello David Thejane [AM7942/97] failed to supply the names of the many activists he claimed to have assaulted and torture d [AC/2001/038].