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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 475

Paragraph Numbers 282 to 288

Volume 3

Chapter 5

Subsection 45

Violations committed by resistance and revolutionary groupings
Killing of ‘collaborators’: stabbings, necklacings and burnings

282 Around seventy cases of necklacing or burning were reported between 1985 and 198938, mostly in 1985 (thirteen cases) and 1986 (forty-eight cases). Most neck-lacings were related to concerns involving informal settlements. The Bureau of Information cites twenty-four cases of attempted necklacing or burning from 1984 to 1989.

283 Cases of necklacing or burning appear to fall into two categories: those in which perceived ‘collaborators’ are attacked and killed, and cases which formed part of broader conflicts within the squatter communities of the Cape. Four cases of necklacing in Paarl in 1986 relate to the conflict between AZAPO and the UDF. Other rural cases of necklacing or burning appear to target people breaking the consumer boycott (two cases), black SAP personnel (three cases), community councillors or their relatives (two cases) and a township administration clerk.

284 In the Peninsula, two cases of necklacing were reported in 1985. Cases in 1986 relate almost exclusively to the conflicts between the vigilante witdoeke and ‘comrades’ in the informal settlements of Cape Town. During the build-up of conflict from January to May, eighteen males were burnt in Crossroads, KTC or New Crossroads. In one incident where hundreds of witdoeke were mobilised to rampage through New Crossroads, at least seven witdoeke were killed and burnt.

285 During the two attacks by witdoeke in May and June, up to a quarter of the over sixty people killed were apparently burnt to death, though some of these may have been killed by other means and then burnt. It should be noted that vigilantes themselves made use of necklacing, which was thus not confined to the supporters of opposition movements.

286 The first publicly reported necklacing case in the Cape Peninsula occurred on 30 October 1985. A pregnant woman, Ms Rebecca Nonzuzo Ngwevushe [CT01349], was strangled, stoned and necklaced. The attack appears to have been related to the ongoing uncertainty and trauma within Crossroads around the divisive question of the state-sponsored move to Khayelitsha. It is believed that Ms Ngwevushe was suspected of being part of the squatter community under Mr Jerry Tutu that was in favour of moving to Khayelitsha. The move to Khayelitsha was bitterly opposed by other sectors of the residents who feared they were being ‘sold’ to Khayelitsha in the negotiations between Jerry Tutu and the Administration Board.

287 On 17 December thirteen-year-old Andile Selane [CT01343] was shot dead by the SAP in New Crossroads. His funeral was held on 24 December. While the mourners were at the cemetery in Gugulethu, councillor Mr Archibald Siqaza [CT01340] drove by in his car. He was stopped and assaulted, and died after being set alight. UDF activist Mr Shadrack Mabandla (Ntsikelelo) Zokolo [CT00905] was attacked, burnt and killed the next day, allegedly in retaliation for the death of Siqaza. Within a day Siqaza’s associate, Mr Montilolo Ngxabazi [CT01340] of New Crossroads was burnt to death in a return attack.

288 In a high-profile event, an alleged informer was stabbed and beaten to death in Mitchells Plain on 25 May 1986. Mr Moegsien Abrahams [CT01123] was amongst a large crowd attending a UDF protest rally but was identified as an ‘informer’ during the meeting. The UDF leaders on the stage tried to protect him after elements in the crowd attempted to assault him, but once he was outside the hall, he was pursued by a group of youths. He fled into a nearby house where he was stoned, beaten and stabbed to death by a large group. A member of the Bonteheuwel Military Wing, Mr Colin de Souza [AM5377/97], has applied for amnesty for the killing. The UDF issued a statement after the killing stating that:

The UDF regrets the loss of life of Moegsien Abrahams. However, it is important that we understand his untimely death in context. The context is provided by the growing polarisation and concomitant anger which flows from the apartheid ordering our society. His death occurred in a manner which the UDF cannot be responsible for…. In the light of this, the UDF cannot and will not take responsibility, whether directly or indirectly, for his death. The blame rests four square on the shoulders of those responsible for the breeding of hatred and anger by their maintenance of apartheid…’39
38 These figures must be regarded with some caution, having been assembled from patchy newspaper reports, police reports and other published statistics. 39 The Argus, 28 May 1986.
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