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Matter AM5479/97

Decision GRANTED


This is an application for amnesty in terms of the provisions of Section 18 of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act NO.34 of 1995 ("the Act"). The matter relates to an incident which occurred in Daveyton, Gauteng on or about 26 July 1993 when Applicant shot and killed a member of the then South African Police' Internal Stability unit ("ISU"), one Hermanus Bernardus Venter ("the deceased"). Applicant has never been charged for the incident. All attempts to give notice to the next-of-kin of the deceased failed since all the known next-of-kin had passed away since the incident. The matter accordingly proceeded on an unopposed basis.

Applicant testified in support of the application. His version briefly is that he was a member of the African National Congress Youth League ("ANCYL") and assistant organiser of the Chris Hani branch, Daveyton at all material times. He was also a member of Umkhonto weSizwe ("MK"), the military wing of the ANC which he joined during or about 1989 after he had joined the ANC in 1987. At the time of the incident, Applicant was also a deputy-commander of the Self-Defence Unit ("SDU") at Daveyton.

On the day in question, Applicant and his fellow SDU members were patrolling the township in defence of members of the community against attacks from the contending forces of the Inkatha Freedom Party ("IFP"). They had earlier received information from a source within the police that the IFP planned to attack the township. Applicant and his group heard gunfire coming from the direction f their SDU base. They rushed in that direction and came across people fleeing who informed them that the police were shooting at township residents. They noticed a few police vehicles and moved in that direction where they came across member of the ISU. In one of the nearby yards the group was confronted by the deceased, a white member of the ISU, who fired at the Applicant. After being ordered to do so by his commander, Vusi, Applicant fired 3 rounds at the policeman with his AK47 assault rifle. In the ensuing battle one of the SDU members was wounded. After the police fled the scene, Applicant and his colleagues retreated to the Chris Hani informal settlement. The police later attacked the informal settlement but was repelled by a counter attacked launched by the SDU. In the course of the confrontation with the police, Applicant was shot in the hand. He later learnt about the death of the deceased. Applicant indicated that the killing of the deceased was politically motivated, since the ISU was regarded as the political enemy of the SDU and the township residents due to the fact that the ISU sided with the IFP forces during the course of the conflict in Daveyton. The ISU was responsible for killing a number of township residents during the conflict.

Having carefully considered the matter, we are satisfied that the killing of the deceased constitutes an act associated with a political objective. The political conflict in townships such as Daveyton at the time of this incident, is fully documented in numerous hearings of the Amnesty Committee. The political enmity towards the ISU by township residents has likewise been borne out in numerous hearings held by the Committee. We are satisfied that the killing occurred in the course of the political

conflict. We are, moveover, satisfied that the application also complies with all the other requirements of the Act.

In the circumstances, amnesty is hereby GRANTED to the Applicant in respect of all offences and delicts resulting from the killing of the deceased on or about 26 July 1993 at or near Daveyton, Gauteng.

In our opinion, any traceable next-of-kin of the deceased are victims of the incident and are accordingly referred for consideration in terms of Section 21 of the Act.





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