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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 390
Paragraph Numbers 89 to 98
Attacks on civilians
89. The Amnesty Committee received a total of thirty-two amnesty applications for attacks on civilians. Twenty-four people were killed in these attacks and 122 seriously injured .
90. Most of these attacks took place between 1991 and 1994 and formed part of the PAC’s ‘Operation Great Storm’. In this campaign, the targets of APLA attacks were, on the one hand, white-owned farms in the Orange Free State, the Eastern Cape and areas bordering the Transkei and, on the other, public places in urban areas identified as being frequented essentially by white civilians and/or white security force members.
91. Several PAC and APLA applicants were adamant that the attacks in which civilians were often killed were not motivated by racism. They testified that they targeted places believed to be frequented by whites because all whites were perceived to be complicit in the government’s policy of apartheid.
92. All the amnesty applicants in these matters testified that they had acted on behalf of APLA. At a media conference during the amnesty hearings in Bloemfontein on 28 August 1997, Mr Letlapa Mphahlele, APLA Director of Operations, said that ‘ there was no regret and no apology offered’ for the lives lost during ‘Operation Great Storm’ in 1993. He acknowledged his involvement in the planning and execution of the operation. He said that his ‘proudest moment was seeing whites dying in the killing fields’ and that the Commission’s Amnesty Committee was a ‘farce and a sham’, which sought to ‘perpetuate white supremacy’.
93. Amongst the operations directed at ‘white’ civilian targets were:
The King William’s Town Golf Club attack
94. APLA operatives armed with hand grenades and automatic rifles attacked the King William’s Town Golf Club on the night of 28 November 1992. At the time, the club was hosting an end-of-year dinner function. Four people – Mr Ian MacDonald and Ms Rhoda MacDonald, Ms Gillian Davies and Mr David Davies – were killed in the attack and seventeen others were injure d .2 0 3
95. Four PAC/APLA members, Mr Thembelani Thandekile Xundu [AM3840/96], Mr Malusi Morrison [AM5953/97], Mr Thobela Mlambisa [AM7596/97] and Mr Lungisa Ntintili [AM6539/97], were all granted amnesty for their roles in the attack. Mr Xundu, who is now serving in the SANDF, testified before the Amnesty Committee that Mr Letlapa Mphahlele had sanctioned the operation. The weapons used in the attack were supplied by the Regional Commander based in Umtata, the late Mr Sichumiso Nonxuba. Morrison was instructed to deliver them to Xundu, which he did. The club was targeted because it was believed that security forc e personnel would attend a function on the night planned for the attack.
96. At about 21h50 on the night of the attack, Xundu and Nonxuba entered the dining hall of the club and threw hand grenades and opened fire with R4 and R5 assault rifles. Two other operatives, who had been posted outside the building, t h rew petrol bombs and opened fire on the building. Mlambisa, the driver, was armed with a 9mm pistol.
9 7 . The group split up the following day. A few days later, Xundu, Ntintili and another operative disposed of the stolen Jetta used in the attack along the Butterworth to Grahamstown road. The vehicle was pushed off the road and was found, burnt out, some time later.
98. The Amnesty Committee granted amnesty to the four operatives, accepting that the aim of attacks of this nature had been to impress on whites the need to abandon their support for the government of the day, and to make it clear that they would continue to be targets of such attacks unless there was political change in the country. Furthermore, the Committee was satisfied that the applicants had acted under the orders of Commander Mphahlele and that the act was committed in the course of the conflicts of the past.203 Volume Tw o, Chapter Seven , p. 6 8 8 ; Volume Three, Chapter Tw o, p. 1 4 6 , and Volume Five, Chapter Fo u r, p. 1 3 6 .