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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 361

Paragraph Numbers 77 to 85

Volume 6

Section 3

Chapter 3

Subsection 10

Self - protection units

77. In August 1993, IFP leader, Dr M G Buthelezi called on every Zulu to pay a R5 levy for the establishment of a ‘private army’ to ‘guard against the obliteration of KwaZulu’181 In fact, the project was sponsored by monies drawn from the KwaZulu Government. At a KwaZulu Legislative Assembly (KLA) meeting on 25 August 1993 a resolution was taken to establish a self-protection unit training pro j e c t .182

78. In September 1993, the training of SPUs began at Mlaba Camp on the edge of the Umfolozi Game Reserve. Senior IFP member Philip Powell later acknowledged that, prior to the opening of Mlaba, training of IFP recruits had been going on for more than a year and about 1200 men had been ‘informally’ trained. Between 5000 and 8000 IFP supporters were trained at Mlaba camp. Certain Caprivi trainees were deployed to assist in the project. Trainees received instruction in offensive methods and the use of AK 47s. With the assistance of former Vlakplaas commander Eugene de Kock, Powell arranged for the delivery of a number of truckloads of sophisticated weaponry to be delivered to the region.

79. On 15 March 1994, the KwaZulu Cabinet adopted a secret plan drawn up by Powell to circumvent legal restraints on the development of military force in KwaZulu. Powell’s plan aimed to counter perceived threats that the ANC would make KwaZulu ungovernable. He claimed that, amongst other factors, there w e re internal problems within the KZP ‘due to political allegiances of members to the ANC or the NP’183

80. The plan involved the setting up of a ‘battalion/ regimental sized paramilitary unit’ within the KZP. The proposed unit would be structured in the following manner:

(a ) Five regionally recruited companies of approximately 200 men each. The unit would be drawn from the following elements:

  • 1000 selected graduates of the KZG self-protection unit-training project appointed as Special Constables …
  • 100 KZP members who received counter- insurgency training from the SADF (non-commissioned element). These members would provide the basic leadership element at a section, platoon and company level …
  • A small group of professional advisors drawn from former SADF or SAP officers …
  • (b ) The unit would be based at Mlaba camp with additional operational bases in the following areas: i ) North Coast base (hand-written -Esikhawini); ii ) South Coast base (Folweni); (iii) Durban base (Folweni); Midlands base (Madadeni); (v) Northern Natal (Empangeni)

    (c ) Logistical Requirements: (i) The unit would require 1000 G3 rifles … These would have to be drafted from KZP strength or purchased urgently … ; (iii) Support weapons would have to be acquired for counter- i n surgency operations. These include squad level weapons such as MAG type belt-fed machine guns and 60 mm mortars.; (iv) Uniforms: … supplemented by 1000 sets of second hand canvas SADF style webbing (ammo pouches and packs), 1000 water bottles …;(v)Specialised vehicles could be made available from the Dept of Works and Health and modified if necessary to a paramilitary role …184

    81. KZP Commissioner During wrote a letter to Buthelezi dated 18 March 1994 in which he pointed out:

    that the deployment of these trainees who have not had, even remotely, sufficient training in law or exposure to police procedures, could lead to extremely serious repercussions for which I, as Commissioner can be held responsible both criminally and civilly.

    82. He expressed his concern about the ruling that he had to waive the standard requirements for qualification as Special Constables and opposition to the proposal to use Caprivi trainees as leadership for the platoons of Special Constables:

    Your Excellency is well aware of the controversy surrounding the employment of Caprivi Trainees as members of the KZP and the allegations of hit squad activities …

    83. He was opposed to arming the Special Constables with G3s as ‘the indiscriminate use of such a lethal arm can be expected from persons who have not been adequately trained …’. With regard to the group of ‘professional advisers drawn f rom former SADF or SAP officers’, he advised that he did not know their identities or backgrounds .185

    84. Buthelezi overruled During and the implementation of the project commenced.1 8 6

    85. The Transitional Executive Council (TEC) led a raid on Mlaba camp on 26 April 1994, forcing its closure and bringing a halt to the plan to place 1000 Mlaba trainees into the KZP.

    181 Report of the Civilian Component of the ITU, 27 January 1997. 182 Ibid. 183 Secret Memorandum prepared by Powell and introduced by him to a KwaZulu Cabinet meeting on 15 March 1994 (according to a hand-written note. The memo is dated 15/4/94.) (RPD, AG ), Supplied to the TRC by the ITU. 184 Ibid. 185 Letter from During to Buthelezi dated 18 March 1994, entitled PROPOSED EMPLOYMENT OF 1000 M L A BA TRAINEES AS SPECIAL CONSTABLE S. (Ref 7/8/9, hand-written F. 3 / 3 6 ) .( R D, S M ) , Supplied to the TRC by the ITU. 186 Resolutions of a Special Cabinet meeting held at Ulundi on 18 March 1994 (80/94): Appointment of special c o n stables ) , supplied to the TRC by the ITU.
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