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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 387
Paragraph Numbers 65 to 75
Ambush on a police vehicle at Diepkloof
65. On 28 May 1993, APLA member Phila Martin Dolo [AM3485/96] commanded an APLA unit that attacked a police vehicle in Diepkloof near Johannesburg. One police officer, Constable Jacob Hlomela Mabaso, was killed and Sergeant Edward Nelushi was injured.
66. At the time of his application, Dolo was serving a life sentence on several convictions including murder, attempted murder and possession of arms, ammunitions and explosives relating to the attack.
67. Dolo testified before the Committee that the attack was in retaliation for an act of aggression on the part of the security forces who had ‘launched a national swoop on the offices of PAC’ and arrested various members, including those in national leadership positions. In his affidavit he noted that: ‘this act was seen as being provocative and a declaration of hostilities against the PAC … which action had to be responded to’.
68. Dolo testified that he had received an instruction from the Director of Special Operations, Mr Sipho Bulelani Xuma (code-named ‘Polite’), to launch operations against the SAP in his area. He testified that he had been an APLA regional commander with several units under his command and that he had been deployed in the Gauteng area (then Transvaal) in early 1993.
69. The ambush of a police vehicle was planned with Messrs Peter Muchindu, Godfrey Mathebula, Musa (who later turned out to be an informer) and a fifth person. The group used a home-made bomb laced with nails and other explosives.
70. The Committee found that Dolo’s actions were all within the ambit of the policies of APLA and PAC and that they were associated with a political objective. He was accordingly granted amnesty [AC/1998/0050].
Yeoville police station attack
71. Mr Dolo [AM3485/96] was also granted amnesty for an attack he ordered on the Yeoville police station on 30 May 1993, two days after the Diepkloof attack. Dolo gave Muchindu and Mathebula explosives and instructed them to carry out the attack. They travelled to Yeoville with fellow unit member Musa, but w e re intercepted by the police before they could reach their target. SAP member Ian Alexander was injured in an exchange of fire. Muchindu and Mathebula w e re arrested, convicted for the possession of explosives and sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment each. Dolo said he learnt later that Musa had tipped off the police about the intended attack.
Khayelitsha railway station attack
72. In the early hours of 5 December 1992, four APLA operatives, including Mr Andile Shiceka [AM5939/97] and Mr Walter Falibango Thanda [AM5784/97], attacked the Khayelitsha railway station, killing Mr Jan Mbambo and injuring Messrs Cosmos Bhekumuzi, Jackson Mjakiya, Sandisile Ntshica and Sihlanu Mtamzeli, all black employees of the Springbok Security company.
73. The APLA operatives had believed that police officers would be present at the station and that there would be no civilians on the scene at that hour. When the attack began, security company personnel ran into a small room to take cover. The operatives continued firing at them through the closed door.
74. Shiceka had received orders from an APLA commander codenamed ‘Power’ (aka Mzala or Mandla) ‘to carry out operations to attack members of then racist South African Police, the South African Defence Force and other white people’. He was told that the purpose was ‘to take the war to white areas and to steal by force weapons from the police and members of the Defence Forc e ’ .
75. Despite the fact that this was a botched operation in that the victims turned out to be neither whites nor members of the police, Shiceka and Thanda were both granted amnesty [AC/1998/0103] for their roles in the attack. The Amnesty Committee accepted that the attack was politically motivated and consistent with the political objectives of the PAC and APLA.