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Type AMNESTY DECISIONS
Names SIBUSISO ERIC SHABALALA
Case Number AC/99/0328
This application arises from the killing of Mr Arthur Duncan Johnston of the farm Sheepdrift in the district of Lions River, Natal. The applicant and his two co-perpetrators, Philani Mjiyako and Mandla Shabalala, overpowered the victim on or about the morning of 15 March 1990. They killed the victim by hitting him with a steel pipe and after he had fallen to the ground stabbing him with a knife. Thereafter some body parts of the victim was removed and then set alight in a boiler room on the farm. In the Trial Court there was evidence adduced that certain body parts were found in bottles in the kitchen. The liver and scrotum of the victim were fed to the dog, allegedly according to the applicant and his co-perpetrators, to distract the dog who was tied up near the victim's car which they wanted to search for arms.
The applicant and Philani Themba Mjiyako both applied for amnesty for the killing of the deceased whilst the third perpetrator, Mandla Shabalala, failed to apply in time allegedly because he was in hospital at the time that the others submitted theirs. The application of Philani Themba Mjiyako was refused in chambers.
All three the perpetrators testified at the amnesty hearing. In broad outline, their testimony in regard to the incident corresponded with the summary set out above. All three of them testified that they went to the farm for guns and with no intention to kill the deceased, whom they said they regarded as an ex-soldier who had in the past supplied arms to Inkatha. Mandla Shabalala's mother had been killed 2 - 3 years prior to the incident. They took the decision to go to the farm and look for guns amongst themselves and intended to use the guns against the IFP. On their own evidence it became clear that they did not inform the ANC of their alleged knowledge that the deceased was supplying the IFP with guns nor did they inform any ANC official of their intention to go to his farm to look for guns; in the words of Mandla Shabalala it was "our secret". In addition to the above, it is significant that neither the applicant nor any of his co-perpetrators had ever been actively involved in any Inkatha/ANC incident, all three of them claimed to be supporters of the ANC but no one of them was a card carrying member. The applicant himself gave evidence that he did not really have a proper knowledge of ANC policies.
The Committee is on the basis of the above not satisfied that the applicant and his companions acted on behalf of the ANC. Without dealing with the many inconsistencies and discrepancies in the evidence of the three offenders in their oral evidence and statements submitted to the Amnesty Committee, it is relevant to state that the inference the Committee drew from the totality of the incident is that it is more than likely that it was a so-called "muti" murder.
In the light of the above, the Committee finds that the offence was not committed with a political objective as required by the Act and accordingly the application of the applicant, Sibusiso Eric Shabalala, IS REFUSED.