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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 237

Paragraph Numbers 293 to 305

Volume 2

Chapter 3

Subsection 32

Japie Maponya

293 Mr Japie Maponya [JB02090/03WR] was abducted by Vlakplaas askaris, interrogated and subsequently killed. Amnesty applicants included General JH le Roux [AM4148/96]; Colonel Eugene de Kock [AM0066/96] head of C1/Vlakplaas, Warrant Officer Willie A Nortjé [AM3764/96]; Constable TJ Mbelo [AM3785/96] and Sergeant DJ van der Walt [AM3769/96].

294 According to applicants, a request for assistance was submitted to security headquarters by Colonel Johan le Roux, head of the Krugersdorp Security Branch (later a general who commanded the Security Branch). On instructions from Security Branch headquarters, a team under Warrant Officer Willie Nortjé, with which De Kock later linked up, was deployed to Krugersdorp. Japie Maponya, a security guard, was abducted from Krugersdorp by Mbelo and two other askaris and taken to Vlakplaas for questioning about the activities of his brother, MK operative Odirile Maponya (MK Mainstay), who was suspected of involvement in the death of an SAP member, Warrant Officer Tswane.

295 Maponya was severely beaten by the askaris. Two security police from the Krugersdorp Security Branch were present during the interrogation and apparently participated. Tear gas was sprayed into his mouth, allegedly by De Kock (who denies this), but all efforts to extract information from him failed. De Kock and Willie Nortjé then took Maponya across the border to a plantation in Swaziland and killed him. De Kock struck him on the head with the sharp end of a spade and Nortjé shot him in the temple with a 9mm pistol. He was buried in the plantation.

296 This case had not been heard by the Amnesty Committee at the time of reporting. Among the matters to be canvassed will be whether the decision to kill Maponya came from Le Roux, as De Kock alleges, or whether Le Roux only gave an instruction for his abduction and interrogation. De Kock also alleges that, during the Harms Commission’s investigation, the original telex from Le Roux to Special Branch headquarters, requesting Vlakplaas assistance, was destroyed after being brought to the attention of the then head of C section.

Jackson Maake, Andrew Makupe and Harold Sefolo

297 Mr Jackson Maake [JB02706/02PS], Mr Andrew Makupe [JB02699/02PS] and Mr Harold Sefolo [JB00104/02PS] were abducted in 1986 or 1987, interrogated and then killed. Amnesty applications in respect of their killings were received from Mr Sampina Bokaba [AM5460/97], Captain Jacques Hechter [AM2776/96], Warrant Officer Paul van Vuuren [AM6528/97] and Brigadier JH Cronjé.

298 Bokaba stated that he and a Warrant Officer van Wyk recruited Jackson Maake sometime in 1986. Later, he handled Maake jointly with Hechter and Van Vuuren. Maake was sent to Botswana to infiltrate ANC networks but, on his return, Hechter suspected Maake of being a double agent. He was picked up, taken to a deserted property owned by the Pretoria Portland Cement Mine some five to ten kilometres outside Messina and interrogated. Maake denied the allegation that he was a double agent, but after being subjected to electric shocks confessed that he was working for the ANC and gave the name of Makupe as his MK contact.

299 According to Van Vuuren, they then went to the Security Branch offices and drew Makupe’s file which confirmed that he was a courier for the ANC. Makupe was abducted, taken to the mine property and interrogated. He told the Security Branch that Harold Sefolo was the MK operative who chose targets and acted as an ANC courier. Makupe was taken to a telephone box and instructed to call Sefola in Witbank, telling him that he would be collected by some ANC comrades that night. That night, Mamasela and another askari abducted Sefolo.His interrogation began the next morning.

300 Van Vuuren described how Mamasela “forced a knife in Sefolo’s nose, after which he provided additional information. He also begged for his life.” In order to persuade him to provide more information, they shocked Maake to death in front of him. As they were preparing to do the same to Makupe, Sefola “asked if he could say something”. Van Vuuren said:

I agreed to it. He asked if he could sing Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika … He also claimed that the ANC would govern later, that apartheid would no longer be able to be maintained and that a democracy would be the end of the Boers. He also mentioned that the Security Police and Umkhonto weSizwe were the toys of the politicians. Mamasela had an ANC flag present which was with us then. He threw this over Maake while Sefola sang Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika. We then shocked Makupe to death.

301 Sefolo himself was then shocked to death. Van Vuuren said they acted “under the instructions of Brigadier Cronjé” and “the purpose was to neutralise the cell”. The three bodies were loaded into a minibus and, somewhere on a road in Bophuthatswana, were placed on top of a landmine, which was detonated. The aim was to create the impression that they had blown themselves up, thus performing the dual function of turning suspicion away from the security forces and making MK soldiers look incompetent.

Unknown activists

302 Shortly after this incident, an unknown ANC operative alleged to be part of Harold Sefolo’s cell was abducted by Hechter and Bokaba and driven to a road in Bophuthatswana where Hechter strangled him to force a confession from him. When he refused to talk, Paul Van Vuuren strangled him to death with a wire. A tyre was then put around his neck, he was doused with petrol and set alight. In his amnesty application, Bokaba said that one of the purposes of ‘elimination’ was disinformation: “It was painted to be a struggle between blacks … Voters were once again persuaded to vote for the National Party in the light of the black onslaught.”

303 Lieutenant Colonel WJ Momberg [AM4159/96] applied for amnesty in respect of the killing of an unknown MK member at some time between January and April 1986. The MK member was arrested by the Security Branch and taken to Mamelodi, Pretoria, in order that he might identify safe houses being used for ‘terrorist’ operations. After a while, the police concluded that the MK member was misleading them. Momberg and a named captain began to slap him, punch him in the ribs, and knock him around. Despite the assault, they failed to extract any information from the unknown man.

304 They then took him to a quiet place in the Pienaar’s River area to interrogate him further. The captain began the interrogation behind the minibus. When the victim would not co-operate, the captain grabbed his throat with both hands and shook him so that he landed in the boot of the minibus. When he stepped back from the minibus, the MK member was dead. When told about the death, Brigadier Cronjé gave orders that the body should be blown up with a landmine to render it unrecognisable.

305 Paul van Vuuren [AM6528/97] applied for amnesty in respect of the killing, in 1986 or 1987, of another unknown activist at Die Bron in the northern Transvaal. Van Vuuren could not remember why the victim was arrested. At some stage the victim was put into the boot of a car. Van Vuuren said that the activist may already have been dead at this point, but he could not remember much else about the incident. Other applicants include Brigadier JH Cronjé and Captain J Hechter.

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