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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 389
Paragraph Numbers 76 to 88
The story of Andile Shiceka
76. Born in Guguletu in Cape Town in 1969, Andile Shiceka joined the PAC and went into exile in 1989. He underwent military training in Tanzania and Uganda and returned to South Africa as an APLA combatant in 1992. He was then deployed to Cape Town by APLA commander ‘Power’ and given instructions to launch attacks on members of the security forces and white people congregated in ‘white’ areas. The Claremont restaurant attack (see below) was one such attack.
77. In addition to the Khayelitsha railway station attack, Shiceka was granted amnesty for attacks on the Claremont Steaks Restaurant in Cape Town and the Crazy Beat Disco in Newcastle in Natal. For this latter action, he had been charged, convicted and sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment in May 1994. With respect to the Khayelitsha railway station shooting, Shiceka had been charged with one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder. However, the matter never came to trial.
Attacks on the Cape Flats
78. Towards the end of 1992, three APLA operatives opened fire on a police vehicle travelling on Zola Budd Road in Khayelitsha near Cape Town, injuring one of its occupants. Mr Gcinikhaya Christopher Makoma [AM0164/96] and Mr Walter Falibango Thanda [AM5784/97] were granted amnesty [AC/1998/0103] for the attack.
79. On 8 September 1992, Mr Walter Thanda and two other operatives opened fire on a police officer (Mr Patrick Tutu) and a Spoornet employee (Mr Peter Dyani) who were on foot in the Crossroads area of Cape Town. Both were killed. Before the operatives could search their victims for firearms, the lights of an oncoming vehicle shone in their direction, causing them to retreat hastily. Thanda only learnt that the victims had died when he re turned to the scene the following d a y. He told the Amnesty Committee that he had reported the attack to ‘Power’ the following day and ‘Power’ had said he would claim it as an APLA operation.
80. On 12 January 1993, Thanda, Shiceka and others opened fire on a police vehicle travelling along NY108 in Guguletu, killing one passenger, a Constable Mkwanazi, and injuring the driver, Sergeant Johannes Meyer. Thanda was arrested and charged, but the case was eventually dropped for lack of evidence.
The story of Walter Falibango Thanda
81. B o rn at Molteno in the Eastern Cape on 29 November 1960, Thanda became a member of the PAC Youth League and APLA in 1990. He told the hearing on the Crazy Beat Disco attack that he was motivated to join APLA because of the conditions under which African people were living.
Nobody dragged me to join APLA. I saw how our brothers were killed by white people together with the police and the soldiers, defending the apartheid system. So therefore nobody pushed me behind to go and join APLA, I personally joined APLA. (Hearing at Pietermaritzburg, 10 October 1998.)
82. Thanda came to Cape Town on the instruction of his commander, ‘Mandla’ (aka Power, Mzala or Jones). He was instructed to start an APLA base in Cape To w n and launched a task force unit in 1991, the purpose of which was to provide military training to members and involve them in APLA operations thereafter.
83. Thanda applied for amnesty for the three above-mentioned attacks on members of the SAP and for the 1994 attack on the Crazy Beat Disco in Newcastle in Natal (see below). In the latter case, he was convicted and sentenced on 26 May 1994 to 25 years’ imprisonment. He was granted amnesty for all incidents [AC/1998/0103 and AC/1998/0016].
84. Thanda is currently serving with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).
The story of Gcinikhaya Makoma
85. B o rn in Cape Town on 20 January 1976, Gcinikhaya Christopher Makoma was sixteen years-old at the time of his involvement in the Khayelitsha police vehicle ambush and the St James’ Church attack in 1993 (see below). He was granted amnesty in both cases.
86. In December 1992, Mr Walter Thanda invited Makoma to a meeting with ‘Africans who were introduced to him as PAC members’. Without giving details, Thanda informed the meeting that they were going to carry out an operation. He distributed two AK47 rifles and two R4 rifles to members of the unit and ordered them to inspect them to ensure that they were functioning properly. Thanda then instructed those present to follow him, which they did. Makoma told the Amnesty Committee that, ‘because he (Thanda) was on the command structures of the PAC and a member of APLA, and I was his underling, it was not open to me to question his command.’ (Hearing at Cape Town, July 1997.)
87. In the attack on a police vehicle on Zola Budd Road, Khayelitsha, Makoma was o rd e red to stand at one end of the road and to give a warning signal to the others when the police van approached .
88. Makoma testified to the Amnesty Committee that the instruction he received and carried out in respect of the St James’ Church attack (see below) was to steal a motor vehicle for use in an undisclosed operation. On the way to St James’ Church, Makoma was handed an R4 rifle and a hand grenade and o rd e red to accompany his commander, Mr Sichumiso Lester Nonxuba, into the c h u rch and to fire indiscriminately at the congregation. Makoma used his full R4 magazine of about thirty-one rounds of ammunition to shoot at the congre g ation. He testified that he had been trained not to question orders but to obey them at all times, and that the slogan ‘one settler, one bullet’ meant that ‘any white person in South Africa was regarded as a settler and if we came across any settler during our operation, they had to be killed or injured’.