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Type AMNESTY DECISIONS
Starting Date 10 December 1999
Location Cape Town
Names YIZAYA PATRICK SIYALI
Case Number AC/99/0347
The applicant applies for amnesty in respect of any acts, offences or omissions which he committed during his time as a Security Policeman in Cape Town from 1 June 1985 to February 1992. He also states that he is seeking amnesty specially for the attempted murder of Bongani Jonas, an Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) member on the N2 in Cape Town during 1987.
The applicant testified that during or about September 1987, Tony Yengeni who was a Commander of the military wing of the ANC in the Western Cape was arrested by members of the Security Branch who were assisted by approximately 15 askaris. The askaris came from the Transvaal and they were to assist the Security Branch in combating terrorism in the Western Cape.
After Mr Yengeni had been interrogated by Security Branch, the applicant was informed that Mr Yengeni was going to take the Security Police to a place where he, Mr Yengeni was supposed to meet Bongani Jonas. Mr Jonas happened to be a member of Mr Yengeni's MK cell. The applicant's duty was to escort Mr Yengeni and to ensure that he did not escape. The applicant and one askari whose name was David, were ordered to arrest Bongani Jonas.
The applicant, David and Mr Yengeni drove in a civilian motor vehicle and drove towards the place where Mr Yengeni was supposed to meet Bongani Jonas. Other policemen and askaris followed them at a distance.
As they were still driving along Main Road, near Athlone, a Mercedes Benz with three passengers approached them from the front. David, the askari, asked Mr Yengeni whether or not the vehicle approaching was the one being driven by Mr Jonas. Mr Yengeni nodded and they then turned around and followed the vehicle.
The Mercedes Benz was followed onto the N2 highway in the direction of Somerset West. After they had passed the Guguletu turn off, on the N2, David drove alongside the Mercedes Benz. As they came next to the vehicle, David shouted at the applicant and told him to shoot the driver whom he believed to be Jonas. Although the applicant was in a position to shoot Mr Jonas, he decided not to shoot at him, but fired one shot in the air. Mr Jonas then became aware the applicants' presence. David then started shooting at the Mercedes Benz until it came to a stop.
When the vehicle stopped, Mr Jonas got out of the car and ran into the bushes. David then followed him. The applicant remained in the car with Mr Yengeni as it was his duty to guard him and ensure that Mr Yengeni did not flee. Whilst he was waiting in the car he heard a shot go off. A short while later David appeared with Mr Jonas.
Mr Jonas and Mr Yengeni and the female passenger in the Mercedes Benz were then taken back to the Security Branch headquarters. The applicant stated that he did not take part in the interrogation at the headquarters.
Under cross-examination the applicant was questioned about his reason for firing into the air. He gave different versions on this aspect. He first stated that he was nervous and that was the reason why he did not kill Mr Jonas. He also mentioned that Mr Jonas was not armed and that was not a threat to his life. Later he stated that he shot in the air in order to alert Mr Jonas as to their presence and in order to give him a chance to run away. He stated that he did not see Mr Jonas as a political opponent. He himself had wanted to join the MK whilst in Aliwal North but later decided to join the police. He sympathised with the MK although he was a Security Branch policeman. Further he stated that he did not associate himself with the action of David when he shot Mr Jonas in the leg.
Furthermore amnesty cannot be granted for unspecified acts which are, according to the application form "acts, offences or omissions" committed during his time as a Security Policeman in Cape Town from 1 June 1985 to 29 February 1992.