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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 466

Paragraph Numbers 244 to 256

Volume 2

Chapter 5

Subsection 32


244 Evidence of the activities of the Caprivi trainees in their areas of deployment is documented in the KwaZulu-Natal regional overview, found elsewhere in the Commission’s report. On their return from the Caprivi, a small group of the trainees who had received specialised training in VIP protection were deployed in the KZP's VIP unit while the rest of the group were deployed to IFP offices and/or KZP stations around KwaZulu and Natal. The trainees all received a monthly salary paid to them by Military Intelligence, through Mr M Z Khumalo of Inkatha.

245 At its special hearing on the Caprivi training held in Durban in August 1997, the Commission heard that in October 1986, approximately fifteen to twenty Caprivi trainees were instructed by Daluxolo Luthuli to report to the police station in the township of Mpumalanga, mid-way between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

246 Although they never underwent any KZP training, never filled in any KZP application forms, and were never screened or required to undergo any tests, the trainees were issued with KZP appointment certificates with the rank of detective constable. They were also issued with official police firearms, which they were allowed to take home with them.

247 Under the guise of being official law enforcement agents, they engaged in large-scale hit squad activity in the Pietermaritzburg and Mpumalanga areas for the next two years, directing their attacks against perceived UDF/ANC members. These activities are described in the KwaZulu-Natal regional profile (Volume Three).

248 The Commission heard evidence of the involvement of Caprivi trainees in the KwaMakhutha massacre on 21 January 1987 in which thirteen people, mostly women and children, were killed and several others injured in the AK-47 attack on the home of UDF activist Bheki Ntuli. A large number of people including former Minister of Defence General Magnus Malan and MZ Khumalo of the IFP, were tried for murder in 1996 in the Durban Supreme Court. Although the accused were acquitted, the Supreme Court found that Inkatha members trained by the SADF in the Caprivi were responsible for the massacre and that the two state witnesses, being members of the SADF Military Intelligence, were directly involved in planning and execution of the operation. The court was not able to find who had provided backing for the attack.

249 Witnesses who did not testify in the 1996 criminal trial testified before the hearing, and the Commission has made a comprehensive finding on the Caprivi trainee project (see Volume Five). In brief, the Commission found that the South African government provided Inkatha with a hit squad, and provided training, financial and logistical management for the project. Further, the Commission found that accountability for the human rights violations that flowed from the establishment of the hit squad lay with twenty-two people from the State Security Council, Military Intelligence, Inkatha and the KZP.

250 Caprivi trainees were implicated in political violence elsewhere in the province. At least one Caprivi trainee, Mr Vela Mchunu, was involved in the December 1986 attempted killing of one person and the killing of three people in Mpophomeni township, outside Howick, in December 1986 when workers at the British Tyre and Rubber (BTR) Sarmcol factory went on strike in support of demands for the recognition of their union, the Metal and Allied Workers Union (MAWU). The victims were prominent members of the union. Mchunu was one of the nine Inkatha members held responsible for the killings in the formal inquest (Howick Inquest 13/88) in 1988.

251 The Commission heard evidence of the activities of the Caprivi trainees in Clermont, a Durban township identified for incorporation into KwaZulu in the eighties, and of the role of Mr Bhekizizwe Samuel Jamile, the local KwaZulu Legislative Assembly representative and Inkatha member, in directing Caprivi trainees in their attacks against members of the community who were opposed to incorporation. Several notable members of Clermont were attacked during this period, most of whom were associated with the Clermont Advisory Board which was officially opposed to incorporation. Caprivi trainees were involved in the killing of Mr Zazi Khuzwayo on 9 May 1987, the attempted killing of Ms Pearl Shabalala on 15 October 1987, the killing of Mr Emmanuel Norman Khuzwayo on 28 February 1988 and other attacks directed against UDF supporters.

252 In 1991, Jamile appeared in court facing fifteen charges, including five counts of murder, seven counts of attempted murder, and three counts of incitement to murder. In the indictment, Jamile was accused of being involved between 1987 and 1989 in the murder of UDF-associated persons opposed to the incorporation of Clermont into KwaZulu. Two Caprivi trainees, who were implicated during the trial, Zweli Dlamini and Vela Mchunu, were hidden by the KZP until the end of the trial. Owing to the inability of the police to trace these two suspects and other witnesses, Jamile was only convicted on two counts: one of murder and one of attempted murder. Jamile was sentenced to life imprisonment but was released in terms of the First Indemnity Act of 1992.

253 The Commission heard that Caprivi trainees were involved in spearheading offensive strikes at UDF supporters in the township of Imbali towards the end of 1987. Daluxolo Luthuli played a central role in directing a pre-emptive attack on UDF supporters who were allegedly intent on attacking the home of Inkatha councillor, Jerome Mncwabe (now deceased). In one incident, ten people were killed in fighting between the Caprivi trainees, instructed by Luthuli, and UDF supporters.

254 The Commission heard evidence that 130 Caprivi trainees were part of a group of 300 Inkatha supporters who were sent for special constable training in 1988, and later attached to Riot Unit 8 and deployed in the Pietermaritzburg and Mpumalanga areas where the UDF was said to be gaining the upper hand. Many were sent to guard Inkatha officials and traditional leaders and became involved in vigilante and hit squad activities aimed directly at UDF supporters. The Caprivi trainees appointed as special constables continued to receive their salaries of R700 per month from Inkatha, while also receiving their special constable salaries from the SAP. They also took instructions both from the IFP and from their formal employer, the SAP. The Commission heard from a former member of Riot Unit 8 who had worked closely with the special constables that as a result of the Unit’s close association with the Inkatha-supporting constables, members of the Unit naturally sided with Inkatha.

255 Elements of the SAP Riot Unit 8, at all levels, and at the level of the special constables attached to the Riot Unit, deliberately acted, by omission and commission, to assist and facilitate attacks by Inkatha supporters upon non-Inkatha residents. The KwaZulu-Natal regional profile documents testimony from former members of the Unit who said that support to Inkatha also involved providing Inkatha supporters on the ground with weapons. The most well-known case of collusion between members of the riot police (including special constables) and Inkatha supporters is the killing of eleven people at Trust Feed on 3 December 1988, an attack performed by special constables and directed by Captain Brian Mitchell of the SAP, after a meeting between some local police officers and local members of the Inkatha leadership. Members of the SAP at higher levels were responsible for obstructing the investigation into the massacre. This, too, is documented in full in Volume Three.

256 During the mid-1980s, Chief Buthelezi was secretly recruiting Inkatha supporters for the 121 Battalion (the so-called “Zulu Battalion”) based at Jozini on the Natal North Coast. Military documentation indicates that:

The Chief Minister inferred that the time was not politically favourable to take over [121 Battalion] as a KwaZulu force. A suitable date will be decided at a later stage. To make the transfer workable, future recruitment will be clandestinely cleared first with the Chief Minister or delegated representatives. The SA Army has already made financial provision for addition of another company during 1986/7. It is suggested that the selection takes place in the normal manner after the Chief Minister has been informed. After selection, the list of accepted candidates will be covertly presented to the Chief Minister, and only Inkatha members will be finally accepted.
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