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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 685

Paragraph Numbers 587 to 590

Volume 3

Chapter 6

Subsection 80

587 The attackers divided into three groups. The first squad allegedly moved ahead – shouting, breaking windows and causing confusion. It was followed by a second squad, armed mainly with pangas and assegais, which broke into houses and attacked residents. While this was happening, the third squad, reportedly consisting mainly of armed white men, surrounded the houses and gunned down anyone who tried to escape through the windows and doors. Twenty-one people died in Boipatong township.

588 Numerous allegations were made about the attackers and alleged security force collusion in the attack. Residents reported the following:

a The attackers were Inkatha-supporting hostel-dwellers from the KwaMadala Hostel which was owned by Iscor.

b Some of the attackers were wearing white headbands, white gloves and white takkies.

c The attackers asked for comrades or ANC members.

d White men were allegedly involved in the attack. One resident alleged that the attack was led by white people with blackened faces; two residents reported that they heard a white man saying “Moenie praat nie, skiet net...” (Don’t talk, just shoot); and white uniformed men in armoured vehicles were seen assisting the attackers.45

e Attackers were seen getting out of police armoured vehicles on the outskirts of the township.

f A resident from one of the first homes attacked reported that a police Hippo backed into the fence surrounding the house moments before they were attacked.

g One resident reported that he saw a green police Casspir parked next to Slovo camp as he fled his home.

h A police Casspir followed the attackers as they left the township in the direction of the KwaMadala Hostel.

i Police failed to respond to calls of help from residents.

589 The Commission received a number of statements from victims of the Boipatong massacre, some of whom also spoke at a special hearing. Ms Dinah Sibongile Manyika [JB00122/03VT] told the Commission that both her parents were stabbed to death. Mr Klaas Mathope’s [JB00124/03VT] wife and nine-month-old son Aaron were killed. Ms Jane Nozililo Mbongo [JB00125/03VT] was stabbed, her husband killed and her younger daughter also stabbed. Ms Miriam Molete [JB00139/03VT] told how her husband was killed and how she, her sister and three-year-old daughter Mita were stabbed. Ms Paulina Matsie Mbatha [JB00140/03VT], who is now in a wheelchair, told the Commission how she was stabbed in the neck, stomach and back with a sharp instrument.

590 Some of the victims subsequently described their experiences during the massacre:

I was asleep and was awakened by women screaming. I thought she was being beaten by her man/husband. I went out to help. When I came out I saw four men throwing a baby onto the floor ... All had white headbands ... I continued to watch and saw a man standing at the back of the house next to mine. He was standing still and fixing the gun. I saw the back of his neck and hair. It was a white man ... When I passed house no 81 I saw the woman lying in the house and the baby child outside. The baby was dead; it could have been hit in the head.
My father was killed. I was asleep and my mother woke me up. She said we must get out, as it is bad outside. My mother took the baby, my younger sister on her back ... I saw a man in a dark blue overall and a sports cap running after my mother and then I heard him start to stab her and the baby. My father went out to see ... then this man started hacking my father ... My mother managed to crawl back into the house ... Next morning my father was found in the veld with bullet wounds and he is dead. My baby sister was taken to hospital for treatment.
My house was attacked at about 10:30pm. I was in bed, and heard people breaking windows, chopping doors and then my house was attacked. I asked, “what do you want?” They said “money”. They spoke in Zulu saying “Usuthu”. Some had red headbands and others had white headbands.
In our house we were sleeping and woke up because we heard breaking of our windows. One group was busy hitting the shacks (they had white head bands and white bands on their arms); they saw me and attacked the house saying, “Get out Mandela’s dogs”.
45 A number of witnesses who were interviewed, particularly those from Slovo Park, made reference to the participation of white men in the attack. None of these whites were identified as policemen, but several statements confirm the presence of security force vehicles in the area during the massacre. In some instances these vehicles were perceived as accompanying and possibly assisting the attackers. Many witnesses were unable to distinguish between various security force vehicles.
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