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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 240
Paragraph Numbers 306 to 316
306 Mr Stanley Bhila, an MK member, was abducted and killed eighteen days after his acquittal in the Durban trial of Dudu Buthelezi and nine others. The charges included the Amanzimtoti bomb blast for which Andrew Zondo had already been convicted and executed.
307 Amnesty applicant Captain Frank McCarter [AM4378/96] stated:
Bhila … was acquitted … I met Major Andy Taylor. He informed us … that Bhila would continue with his terrorist activities now that he had been released. He requested us to kill him and we agreed … We were fighting a war where the enemy was not bound by any rules … I had to do things that went against my grain sometimes ... I did not regard them as morally wrong, although I realise that my acts were illegal.
308 On 22 February 1987, Bhila was abducted, taken to a house on the South Coast and shot by McCarter with a 6.35mm pistol. His body was thrown over a
308 On 22 February 1987, Bhila was abducted, taken to a house on the South Coast and shot by McCarter with a 6.35mm pistol. His body was thrown over a cliff in the Umbumbulu district, south of Durban. Sergeant LG Wasserman also applied for amnesty.
Ntombi Ngcobo (Khubeka)
309 Colonel Andy Taylor [AM4077/96], Captain HJP ‘Hentie’ Botha [AM4117/96], Captain Adrian David Baker [AM5284/97], Lieutenant Sam du Preez [AM4130/96], Sergeant LG Wasserman [AM4508/96], askari Jimmy Mbane and Sergeant CA “Cassie” van der Westhuizen [AM4388/96] applied for amnesty for the death of Ntombi Ngcobo (née Khubeka) in custody.
310 Security Branch amnesty applicants claim that Ngcobo (Kkhubeka) died of a heart attack during interrogation after having being abducted, and that her body was dumped in violence-torn Bhambayi. However, a body believed to be hers was exhumed by the Commission and was found to have a bullet wound to the back of the head.
311 It appears that the Security Branch believed that Ngcobo (Kkhubeka) was acting in a liaison capacity between externally and internally trained ‘terrorists’. They suspected her of stashing arms, providing accommodation and gathering intelligence in connection with targets. Both her brother Themba and her sister Sibongile Khubeka were at ANC HQ in Lusaka.
312 According to askari Jimmy Mbane, he and and two other askaris were instructed to infiltrate Ngcobo’s group. The askaris convinced her that they were from exile and needed accommodation. Mbane alleges that, as a result of this infiltration, four people were killed – a man Ngcobo had introduced to askari Simon Radebe saying he needed a safe place; a man named Sbu, who was also introduced by Ngcobo (Khubeka) and who was electrocuted; a friend of Sbu’s, who was shot, and Ngcobo (Khubeka) herself.
313 In May 1987, Mbane took Ngcobo (Khubeka) to the old Railway Police Station in Winkelspruit where Captain Botha, Lieutenant Du Preez, Sergeant Wasserman and others were waiting. Ngcobo was tightly blindfolded, tortured by means of electric shocks and struck on the knees with beer bottles. Taylor claims that Ngcobo (Khubeka) confessed to liaising with four externally trained guerrillas. She agreed to identify them on condition that her identity was not revealed, but then she suddenly went into convulsions and died. Her body was disposed of by Du Preez, Wasserman, and ‘Hentie’ Botha.
314 Following the abduction and interrogation of Ms Phila Portia Ndwandwe in October 1988 (see chapters on Gross Violations of Human Rights Committed by the State outside South Africa and Exhumations in this volume), the Security Branch established that Mr Phumezo Nxiweni [EC0246/96WTK] was the commander of an MK underground structure in Durban. Hentie Botha claims that this unit was responsible for thirteen explosions in the Durban area during 1988. Nxiweni had been charged with these attacks, including the Amanzimtoti bomb, and acquitted.
315 On 4 November 1988, Captain ‘Hentie’ Botha, Lieutenant Sam du Preez and Cassie van der Westhuizen arrested Nxiweni. He was taken to a safe house in Mount Edgecombe, near Durban, where, according to the Security Branch, he admitted under interrogation to his role in these and other acts of terror. He also admitted to the bombing of Rossburgh Railway station the previous night. They decided to “eliminate” him, the task being given to Andy Taylor, Lawrence Wasserman and Du Preez. Taylor explains:
It was clear to me that he was a dangerous terrorist who would not stop his activities … It was also apparent that there was insufficient evidence to remove him from society through the normal channels of the Court, due to the fact that he had already been acquitted.
316 Nxiweni was shot and buried in a sugar cane field adjacent to the safe house. His body was exhumed by the Commission.