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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 458
Paragraph Numbers 228
Peter Lathli Mabilo
Mr Peter Lathli Mabilo [CT04603] was shot dead on 21 August 1987 in Kimberley. The police (Unrest Unit together with Security Branch personnel) surrounded him in the house early in the morning. When he came out he allegedly threw something at them which they believed to be a grenade. They then shot him dead. The objects which he allegedly threw at them were an empty plastic cup and an old shoe. An F1 hand grenade was allegedly found in his pocket. No other arms or weapons at all were found on him or on the property. The ANC in the Northern Cape confirmed to the Commission that he had no weapons on him at the time, making the single hand grenade allegedly found in his possession suspect.
Nkululeko ‘Solly’ Mutsi and Anton Fransch
Mr Nkululeko ‘Solly’ Mutsi and Mr Anton Fransch died in similar circumstances in shoot-outs with police. Mutsi died on 5 July 1988 in Gugulethu after a four-hour gun battle with police. The inquest states that although he had been shot in the chest by the SAP, it was finally a self-inflicted bullet to the head that killed Mutsi.
Mr Anton Fransch [CT00302, CT03204] was wanted by the police as a student activist and member of the Bonteheuwel Military Wing before leaving the country in September 1986 to be trained by the ANC in Angola. He died in a battle with security forces after trading gunshots and grenades for some six hours on 17 November 1989. A team of Security Branch and Riot Unit members under Captains Liebenberg and Bester respectively had been deployed to the house in Athlone at 01h00. Major Brazelle subsequently took over at the scene. Brigadier Griebenauw and Colonel Smit were summoned from the Security Branch.
A security force team under Sergeant Scociatti was sent into the house but was allegedly repulsed by a grenade and gunfire from Fransch. This is contradicted by a statement made to the Commission by Constable Stemmet who stated that Scociatti was the first to open fire. From this point on, persistent volleys of shots and grenades took place between the security forces and Fransch throughout the night. A Casspir was used as a breaching device to bulldoze a wall shielding the house. According to police records, Major Brazelle attempted to negotiate with Fransch. This is contradicted by eyewitness reports which state that police shouted at Fransch “Come out you pig, today you die.”
At 07h45 Sergeant Roslee was authorised to throw an M26 grenade into the room occupied by Fransch. According to the police, there was a detonation inside the room before Roslee could throw the grenade. After police penetrated the house, Fransch’s body was found badly disfigured by a hand grenade explosion. Fransch still had remaining ammunition with him when he died. There has been persistent speculation as to whether the final grenade was self-detonated in a final act of suicide, or whether it was thrown by the security forces. The Commission has been unable to determine this matter conclusively.
Mr Mark (now Yazir) Henry [CT00450] and his father were detained by the security police on 16 November 1989. Yazir Henry was interrogated and the lives of his family members were threatened to get him to reveal the whereabouts of ‘Mohammed’ (Anton Fransch). Fearing for the lives of his family and knowing his father was also in detention, he revealed the address in the belief that the security police would arrest ‘Mohammed’ as he had been. He was then held under section 29 for a further six months.
On his release, Henry was accused of being an askari. The Commission has investigated these allegations and has found that he was not an askari. The security police regarded him as a ‘terrorist’ and did not refer to him as a source or attempt to protect his identity, as is always done with informants.