Chapter 3: The Role of the Police and the Government in Vigilante Activities
This chapter is not about the general role of the South African Police (SAP) and the South African Government in KwaZulu-Natal; it is about their alleged support of right-wing vigilantes in KwaZulu-Natal. A lot has been written about how the SAP and the Government were allegedly involved in the support of the right-wing vigilantes. In the context of this study, the vigilantes were the "Amabutho" or warriors of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). The alleged support of vigilantes by the Government and the SAP was thought to be deep-rooted in the interest that the Government had over KwaZulu-Natal and its fear of communistic ideologies being infiltrated into the whole country through KwaZulu-Natal. The reason for this fear was the mere fact that during 1985, the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) were very strong in that region. They also had strong ties with the ANC in exile. It was therefore not even surprising that both the UDF and COSATU were regarded as internal wings of the ANC. It was because of these reasons that the Government was alleged to be involved in vigilante activities, whereas on the other side, it was believed that since the Government had created the homelands, it was their duty to protect them. KwaZulu-Natal was no exception. It was out of the Government's responsibility for protection that it found itself caught in the middle of vigilante activities and political violence in KwaZulu-Natal.54
The lifting of the state of emergency in KwaZulu-Natal in 1986, soon after it was instituted in July 1985, brought many hardships to the people of that region. It was as if the Government gave vigilante activities and acts of political violence permission to take off without any fear of the law. Vigilantism and political violence were a daily occurrence in KwaZulu-Natal, and came from different angles of the region. It was wrong timing on the side of the Government to lift the state of emergency so soon after it was thought that it had achieved its objectives. The Government's indiscretion led to the increase of attacks on innocent people. In 1986, it was alleged that when vigilante forces in KwaZulu-Natal attacked bus drivers, the SAP and SADF just stood by and did nothing to assists the victims. At times they were alleged to form some collusion with IFP vigilantes, whereby they joined hands in roadblocks to attack UDF and COSATU supporters in areas that were regarded as IFP strongholds. An example is the case of Phineas Mdluli, a driver of Sizanani Bus Services, in 1986. He was pursued in his bus until he was cornered at Matakathini and shot dead while driving. The bus went out of control, and three out of the four passengers on board narrowly escaped injuries. The SAP version of the story was that Mdluli was transporting a group of hit men, allegedly UDF-COSATU vigilantes, when the shooting took place. This was proved incorrect by an audit of the driver's route and ticket sales. It was believed that SAP tried to cover up because they knew about Mdluli's death. There were serious allegations that they were the ones who killed Mdluli.55 It was reported that an incident that took place in KwaMakhutha, south of Durban in 1987, was one of the bloodiest and most cruel attacks in the history of political violence and vigilantism. It took place at the home of Reverend Willie Ntuli. The incident happened after a prayer meeting called by Ntuli and church elder Ernest Thusini. The Thusini family never expected that death was looming and they decided to spend the night at the Ntuli home after the day of religious devotion. When the attack took place, all the victims were asleep. When the attackers kicked the wooden door open, one of the guests, Anna Khumalo, woke up, took her four-year daughter Pinkie, and hid in the wardrobe. This action saved their lives. The others were less fortunate. All except two infants were killed in a hail of bullets. The attackers' visit only lasted a few minutes, but the damage was immense. It was alleged that those killed were innocent victims, and that the attackers' main target was Ntuli's son Victor, the treasurer and area organiser of the UDF-affiliated KwaMakutha Youth League. However, Victor was not at home at the time of shooting. He had gone into hiding after a string of death threats. Veteran Natal violence monitor Mary de Haas alleged that members of the UDF league had suffered constant harassment from the SAP since its formation in 1985. De Haas was quoted as saying: "Like all of the early trouble areas, a rising civic activism led by the youth was met with harassment and targeting by vigilantes".56
When Victor Ntuli came out of hiding to visit his shattered home and console his grief-stricken mother, Ethel, who also escaped the attack since she had visited relatives at the time of attack, the SAP picked him up for questioning. The Bureau of Information in Pretoria initially blamed the attack on "terrorists", emphasising the use of Russian-made AK 47's. The attack came at a time when there was growing resistance by the youth against the Government's education policy. It was alleged that the Government and the SAP believed that killing Victor would put an end to the resistance and boycotting in KwaMakhutha by the youth. It should be brought to light that although Victor had since 1987 managed to escape death, he finally met his fate at a wedding reception in 1990, where he was allegedly killed by a man identified to be an IFP member.57 Despite the SAP's refusal to take the blame for the killing of Victor's family members, the Government was perceived as the mastermind behind the attack on the Ntuli's family through the recommendation of the IFP and its leaders in KwaMakhutha.
In 1988, the war of attrition between the vigilantes and government opponents (ANC-aliances) was rearing its ugly head again in KwaMakhutha and several other townships in and around Durban. During this time, 16-year-old Gloria Manunu Mtolo of KwaMakhutha and 24-year old Bongikosi Victor Sibisi were killed by vigilantes after they had been identified as comrades58. Lucky Phiri who witnessed the killing, said that at about 2 am on the fateful morning a group of vigilantes knocked on the door of the two-roomed house where Mtolo had sought refuge. The vigilantes had guns, sticks and knives, and shouted that they were the police. They began shooting at the door and demanded that it be opened by those who were being shot at. The SAP was notified about the shooting and they responded in time. However, when they arrived, they did nothing. They did not even attempt to disarm the vigilantes. Instead, they promised to investigate the reason behind the shooting. According to the allegations, they were also seen from a distance giving the vigilantes lifts to their respective places. This points a strong collusion between the SAP and vigilantes, since they were allegedly seen in the company of one another after the shooting at Mtolo's house.59 Later in 1988, it was alleged that the AmaSinyora gang in Durban joined the IFP. Its members subsequently received weapons and training from the SADF, the SAP and the KwaZulu-Natal homeland police. In the very same year, it was believed that a Pietermaritzburg security policeman bought 24 guns for local IFP leaders. These guns were later linked to two dozen murders in KwaZulu-Natal.60 In March 1988, women from Mphphomeni marched to the Howick police station to protest against police action in the township. They claimed that the SAP was supporting the IFP in attacking residents. In a twist of events, the IFP allegedly accused the SAP and the Government of being unfair towards them. The IFP further accused the Government as being the instigator of violence in KwaZulu-Natal. The IFP further claimed that vigilante activities were part of a ploy by the Government to get rid of IFP supporters, thus paving the way for the ANC as the stronger party in KwaZulu-Natal.61 In March 1988, about 400 women were tear gassed by the SAP while waiting for transport to take them into Pietermaritzburg. They later gathered at the office of the Democratic Party, where they drew up a petition reading: "The presence of the South African Police is not required at Cacuza as they assist the IFP when attacking residents. If the police insist on staying, we insist that they should do their work properly in serving and protecting the community".62
A former senior IFP leader claimed that in 1988, the SADF and the IFP had collaborated in pamphlet campaigns in black residential areas aimed at discrediting other parties. The pamphlets had been coordinated through the Natal Command headquarters in Durban, and had been printed by the SADF and distributed by the IFP.63 The claim clearly pointed out the extent of collusion between the Government, the SADF and the IFP. By implication, the Government was well aware of most of the IFP's action and gave the IFP its most undivided support.
The Trust Feed Massacre of 1988 was another indication of how the SAP collaborated effectively with the IFP to commit gruesome killings of innocent people. It was again a case where cold-blooded murderers committed awful killings in a vigilante style. It was an open secret that the victims were going to revenge the pain and suffering at the hands of the vigilantes. This on its own was going to dip KwaZulu-Natal into even more political violence. The continued evidence of SAP collusion and complicity in the violence, as well as the refusal of the Government to accept the validity of such evidence, meant that those who were critical of the security forces (SAP and SADF troops) had to find alternative ways of dealing with police biasness. The allegations concerning the SAP revolved around their failure to investigate some cases properly, delays in undertaking investigations, and tampering with evidence. However, the SAP was not only accused of poor performance, it was also alleged to be biased in favour of the IFP in their handling of conflict.64 In addition, the SAP often did not respond to cases reported to them. This provided more reason for further allegations that the SAP refused to take reported cases seriously, and that the accused were often seen chatting to SAP members in charge offices, a fact that intimidated those wanting to lay charges. Increasingly, witnesses in cases testified that they failed to report incidents to the SAP, because nothing seemed to happen to the perpetrators.65
Also in 1988, the Government banned the reporting of any news related to violence. This ban obviously created suspicious frameworks in the minds of the people about the role of the security forces in violence. When complaints were raised about security force activities, the local newspaper, theNatal Witness, was unable to report on them. For example, the contents of a petition drawn up by Ashdown women outlining allegations against security force actions was handed to the commanding officer of the SADF in KwaZulu-Natal in September 1988. TheNatal Witness was able to report that a petition had been drawn up and had been handed to the commanding officer, but it could not reveal what the petition was all about. It all boils down to the harsh restriction on the newspapers not to report anything that was violence related. However, the writing was on the wall that the security forces were trying to cover up for any misconduct they were undertaking in promoting violence in KwaZulu-Natal.66
In November 1988, the SAP swooped on a UDF meeting called to discuss the violence and vigilante activities that had engulfed KwaZulu-Natal. They arrested a number of UDF members, including two delegates to the talks. At the time, the UDF and COSATU claimed that more than 200 of their members in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands were in detention, whereas no member of the IFP had been detained, though it was evident enough that they were involved in vigilante activities. ANatal Witness editorial at the time also criticised the SAP's action: "The police's role in these circumstances should be to crack down hard on the actual perpetrators of violence, and leave the politicians aloneto try and solve their difference".67 However, the SAP promptly detained a further 18 UDF and COSATU members two days before peace talks were due to start.68
The Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Commerce (PCC) called for the immediate release of those detained, claiming that the detention was a major obstacle to the holding of preliminary peace talks. However, to the surprise of the PCC, Law and Order Minister Adriaan Vlok told members of Parliament that the SAP offer no excuse for detaining people who were disrupting communities in the Pietermaritzburg area with their vigilante activities. The Minister stated that the Government and the security forces would work together in ensuring that the perpetrators of violence were brought to justice. However, the people who were being detained were those committed to peace and stability in the KwaZulu-Natal region. It was also reported that out of the 1000 people who had been detained since March 1988, none belonged to the IFP. In one way or another, all were either UDF or COSATU supporters.69
Nico Basson, ex-member of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), stated in an interview with theIndependent in January 1990 that "The SADF is buying AK 47 rifles on a large scale, notably from Mozambique, and these weapons are supplied to Inkatha in order to carry out acts of vigilantism and political violence".70 Simultaneously, the failure to arrest IFP vigilantes had obvious repercussions. Frequent allegations that retaliatory attacks were the result of the SAP's failure to arrest known criminals, became the order of the day. After sustained violence in the Wartburg area in February 1990, a resident stated: "It is both sides. People do not feel that the police are arresting the culprits and therefore feel the only revenge is retaliatory attack. Sometimes it is not even reported to the police".71
In March 1990, Imbali residents presented sworn affidavits to theNatal Witness, alleging that the riot police andkitskonstabels72 had beaten and kicked them and that IFP members had accompanied the SAP in raids on residents. The affidavits further stated that IFP members were given guns confiscated by the SAP in raids, and that IFP members had been used to "frame" at least one resident for murder. The action of the SAP andkitskonstabels increased the tension and political violence in the region because they were deeply involved in it, thus increasing the chances of serious vigilante activities.73
Since July 1990, repeated and persistent reports of collusion between the security forces (SAP, SADF, KZP) and vigilante groups, primarily elements within IFP, emerged. Allegations of security force complicity in massacres appeared frequently from eyewitnesses. Furthermore, allegations of the presence of unspecified or unidentified elements in KwaZulu-Natal thought to be in support of vigilantes appeared in most newspapers in that province. Again, such reports were too persistent to be discounted.74
There was circumstantial evidence that suggested that the Government was actively involved in implementing a low intensity conflict policy in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, for instance with regard to hit squads, who were responsible for political violence in the area. These hit squads were said to have emanated from the security forces. In August 1992, a former sergeant in the SADF, Felix Ndimene, provided information about such activities. He claimed that his regiment was used as the organisational backbone for mass killings aimed at communities supportive of the ANC. He further claimed that 120 regional soldiers based at Phalaborwa were used in attacks, including the Pietermaritzburg region. He further stated that his regiment was a breeding ground for vigilantes. It was even easy for them to supply vigilantes with illegal firearms in order to commit an onslaught against ANC supporters. In so doing, they were creating a chaotic situation in the KwaZulu-Natal region. Jacques van der Merwe, a former member of the Government's hit squad, the Civil Co-operation Bureau (CCB), claimed that people were often recruited from Angola and Mozambique to organise disinformation campaigns and conduct propagandist campaigns against IFP opponents in KwaZulu-Natal. Van der Merwe even emphasised that these Renamo and Angolan recruits were used in vigilante activities and conducted acts of violence.75
In 1992 a petition was handed to the Pietermaritzburg District Commissioner's office by the regional chairperson of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, Harry Gwala, during a march to protest against the security force's actions and the presence of Renamo soldiers in KwaZulu-Natal. The petition claimed that the SAP had clearly and systematically acted as the IFP's private army in the conflicts. No wonder vigilantes, particularly from the IFP, found room to manoeuvre or operate in carrying out acts of violence. The ANC also alleged that it had evidence of Government support for vigilante groups. It was stated in theSowetan that violence in KwaZulu-Natal was part of the Government's security strategy, aimed at disempowering black communities. It was believed that the evidence the ANC was referring to was the revelation made by Mbongeni Khumalo in 1992. Khumalo, a former senior IFP member, asserted that this was exactly the case: "The deeper my involvement, the more I realised I was a vehicle for instigating contact among blacks, for undermining legitimate operations and maintaining the status quo".76 Khumalo alleged that the Government-instigated violence was aimed at weakening support for the ANC while helping a more conservative "moderate" black movement within the black community in KwaZulu-Natal. He asserted that he was once a member of the vigilante group from the IFP, who were supplied with armaments by the SAP in order to thwart any efforts by the ANC from establishing a strong base in the KwaZulu-Natal region.77
From the early days of the violence, people had alleged that the SAP, although present in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, had not been present in areas where violence was actually occurring. The SAP responded by pointing out the difficulties with which they had to contend with - poor roads, lack of streetlights and denial of information by residents. The difficulties cited by the SAP did not appear to have affected both the IFP and the ANC in the same way. It was alleged that at times when the IFP-dominated territories were under siege from vigilantes, the SAP would respond in a blink of an eye. The same was also noticed when the SADF together with the SAP came to the rescue of Richmond in 1992 when it was attacked by unidentified groups. It was believed that some senior IFP members were staying in Richmond, and that was the reason why the place had to be protected at all cost.78
In an article in theSowetan, written in May 1992, Father Tim Smith, a priest in the Elandskop area, described the events that occurred in the area in January 1992: "I personally called in the riot police to stop the attack. They did not. Instead, they assisted the attackers in searching the United Democratic Front stronghold, after which a young boy, Makhithiza Ndlovu, was arrested by them. They handed him over to Inkatha for the night. His bloodstained body was found next to the road the following day. The murderers have never been brought to trial".79 Smith further stated that he saw the SAP operating in the Elandskop areas. Their headquarter was the home of the local IFP leader and Member of Parliament in KwaZulu-Natal legislature for Vulindlela, David Ntombela. Young white policemen were always in evidence, and one boasted of accompanying Ntombela on raids to flush out the ANC supporters, according to what Smith alleged to have seen and had been told by the policeman.80
A report on the violence in Richmond in 1992 stated that a number of allegations had been made regarding SAP activities in massacres at three different locations on 23 June 1992, in which 16 people were killed. These included claims that two 4x4 police vehicles had off-loaded heavily armed people near Townlands, where one of the attacks had occurred, and that SAP members in camouflage jackets had participated in the attacks. The report also stated that spent cartridges and some live ammunition had been found on the scenes of the attacks, and that all of them were ARMSCOR manufactured R1 rifle rounds. Pierre Cronjé, a businessman, also reported that he had been contacted by residents in Ndaleni, who had told him that there was gunfire in the area. He then called the SAP, who said that all was quiet, without even checking. The ignorance of the SAP in these kinds of situations proved beyond any reasonable doubt that they were no longer custodians of peace but instigators of violence.81 It was also alleged by the ANC that the role of the SAP was increasingly becoming problematic, on the one hand as perpetrators of violence while on the other hand neglecting to protect people and arresting innocent people. The SAP was alleged by the press to be involved in harassment and intimidation, sometimes in the form of shooting and assault. Sometimes the SAP was alleged to be in collusion with IFP elements. It was also believed that they were involved in vigilante activities, disruption of political activities, failure to assist complainants and failure to investigate matters of importance fully. Most of the complainants were non-IFP members. As such it was easy for the complainants to conclude that the SAP had a good working relationship with the IFP.82
SAP's brutality in the political violence that was taking place in KwaZulu-Natal was again publicized in 1992, when an IFP leader who felt marginalized in the Trust Feed Massacre approached the local SAP station commander, Captain Brian Mitchell. The reason for this approach was that his people did not consult with him when they refused a forced removal. Mitchell too did some miscalculation by employing the services of police constables, who attacked wrong houses and killed innocent women and children. The fact was that they were supposed to have attacked ANC-aligned civic members. The involvement of the SAP in such brutal massacres was exposed during the trial of Captain Mitchell in 1994.83 There was also substantial evidence from the areas that fell under the control of the ANC that the SAP and the SADF had been working with the IFP in police violence or had directly participated in vigilante activities. Moreover, it was alleged that the SAP was giving its total support to the activities of the vigilantes. It was believed that the SAP aided IFP vigilantes in intimidating and attacking ANC supporters or persons perceived to be non-IFP members. In Lukuthuleni settlement, Umlazi, on 3 February 1992, the SAP, together with IFP supporters from unit 17, were alleged to have taken part in the killings that left four people dead and hundreds homeless. Residents alleged that during the attack, people from an armoured "mosquito" vehicle removed their shirts and joined the attackers.84 Allegations taken from affidavits presented by victims of the violence were summarised as follows: "The SAP had raided the homes of ANC supporters and searched for arms, hours before the start of the attacks. Several attacks took place in full view of the SAP. The SAP ignored calls of assistance from a person who was being attacked. The SAP did not disarm IFP attackers who carried firearms and other weapons in their full view".85
On 28 February 1992, the SAP and SADF were warned that violence might took place at a rally in Empangeni, but both decided to ignore it. Hence, no effort was made to disarm people on the buses arriving for the rally, or groups of armed IFP supporters in the street. The 13 buses that arrived in the township at about 10 am were allowed to proceed to the Railway hostel, which was not unmonitored by the security forces. No attempt was made to ensure that these buses reached the stadiumvia the route that presented the lesser possibility of contact between the ANC and IFP supporters. During the journey of the buses to the stadium, many attacks on the ANC dominated hostel took place. Though the SAP and SADF witnessed these attacks, they did nothing to help those who were being attacked. Furthermore, attempts by the ANC and COSATU to establish lines of communication with the SAP and SADF during the attacks were allegedly rebuffed by the security forces.86
Sowetan andDaily Newsalleged that the SAP and SADF allowed political conflict to continue, but interfered only when the ANC and its allies gained momentum against the vigilantes. ANC and COSATU supporters who defended themselves were disarmed, but no action was taken to disarm their attackers, mainly IFP "impi's" and "Amabutho". At times, the SAP refused to patrol certain areas where political violence was expected. The ANC believed that the security forces were always informed when the vigilantes were going to attack.87
In the period of 24-25 October 1992, at least 33 people were killed in political violence in KwaZulu-Natal. In the worst incidents on October 24 in Mpushini, south of Durban, a gunman killed 20 people in an attack on a homestead belonging to a local ANC leader, S'bu Ndebele. Reggie Hadebe, deputy regional chairman of the ANC, was killed in an ambush as he left a meeting aimed at restoring peace throughout the region. His death intensified speculation about the operation of a "third force" of agent provocateurs linked to the security forces. The ANC claimed that his death could be blamed on the security forces because they were allegedly involved. The ANC also alleged that the SADF troops that were deployed in KwaZulu-Natal, intensified the vigilante activities and political violence rather than keeping peace in the region, which was supposed to be their main goal. Many observers realised that IFP was losing much ground in governing the region and that the South African Government was against the infiltration of communistic ideologies into the region. The ANC believed that further ensuing violence could only be blamed at the SADF rather than those involved in political violence. This belief was based on allegations by the ANC that the SADF in most cases disrupted legal, identified meetings aimed at peace talks.88
The Goldstone Commission under the chairmanship of Judge Richard Goldstone that was instituted by the National Peace Accord (NPA) in 1990 to probe the alleged role of the SAP and the Government in the whole issue of vigilante activities and political violence in KwaZulu-Natal, made its findings known to the public in an interim report dated 18 March 1994. According to the Commission, there was a strong belief among the people of KwaZulu-Natal that the SAP had participated in the violence and burning down of houses. They were therefore regarded as enemies rather than protectors, and for that reason they were attacked with stones and firearms. As a result of this profound mistrust of the SAP, residents did not furnish them with vital information and were loathe to come forward as witnesses. Because of the reluctance of residents to call upon the SAP to intervene in cases of violence and crime, they themselves engaged in attacks and counter-attacks. This created a cycle of violence, which was worsened by the mob psychology. Under such circumstances it becomes easy for one to act without remorse in any action being conducted.89
Law enforcement, already under strain because of the high population density and difficult terrain, was therefore further eroded by the mistrust that the people of KwaZulu-Natal had in the SAP. Consequently, individuals and families were at the mercy of criminal elements and ruthless leadership structures. The SAP also missed opportunities to improve their efficiency, in failing to produce results that could possibly have countered the negative perceptions of the inhabitants that the SAP was involved with violence. Furthermore, the interim report of the Goldstone Commission stated that the IFP had been the recipient of covert funding and training from the military intelligence corps of the SADF. This revelation came as a result of the Commission's study of the Inkathagate scandal that dominated the news headlines in 1991 in KwaZulu-Natal. It was then alleged, as already discussed, that the Government had sent 150 IFP soldiers for military training in the Caprivi. That statement was initially denied by the Government and the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature.90
The Goldstone Commission reported that President F.W. de Klerk knew about the training of the IFP soldiers in the Caprivi, and that these soldiers returned to KwaZulu-Natal, where a number of them participated in clandestine attacks on the IFP's political opponents in the region. The SADF admitted that security-directed training of IFP personnel had indeed been carried out in the Caprivi strip and acknowledged the existence of at least one training camp in Natal. The saga of links between the IFP and the Government had its occasional moments of force. The Goldstone Commission discovered that it was reported in theNew Nation on 13 July 1991 that the IFP youth brigade had issued a press statement denying any association with the SAP. That statement caused uproar among the political opponents of the IFP, since the statement had the SAP emblem on it, meaning it was sent out from a fax machine that belonged to the SAP. The report of the Goldstone Commission condemned the SAP for having carried out hit-squad assassinations, and confirmed allegations that had appeared in the press for the previous two years. The role of the Caprivi trainees as a covert repressive force has since been clarified by the public testimony of Daluxolo Luthuli, the trainee "political commissar". The long-term influence of this group was implicated by the fact that some 55 members by then were still serving in the SAP, mostly in violence-affected areas of KwaZulu-Natal. The Commission also established that there had been plans to build up a paramilitary capacity for Buthelezi.91
The Goldstone Commission also found that the Government was behind the establishment of the United Workers Union of South Africa (UWUSA) in 1986. It was said that the main reason UWUSA was established was to be an alternative opposition to COSATU as a workers union to those who belonged to the IFP. This was not in fact what happened, since people outside the corridors of the IFP were forced to join the union against their will. They were threatened with violence when they refused to join. The Goldstone Commission found that in making sure that people join UWUSA, vigilantes were used to carry out the recruitment campaign act of the union in a violent manner. The SAP, the Government and the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature were believed to be the main sponsors of UWUSA.92
A further allegation that the Goldstone Commission investigated revolved around the alleged presence of Renamo and Angolan soldiers in KwaZulu-Natal. The ANC alleged that they had received information from some members of the SAP on the presence of these soldiers in KwaZulu-Natal. The Goldstone Commission found that it appeared that the ANC had been misled in believing that ten people who were seen in KwaZulu-Natal and spoke Portuguese appeared to have triggered everything related to violence. The ten men were believed to be assassins hired by the South African Government and the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature to commit acts of violence and vigilante activities. The Commission concluded that there was no truth in the allegation. The intention of those who informed the ANC was to trigger more violence so that the blame could be laid at the doors of the Government.93
Justice Richard Goldstone himself frequently and severely criticised the Government for the way in which it handled the press releases, based on the fact that the Government itself exonerated elements of the security forces from contributing to the violence. The whole of Richmond was well aware that the security forces were involved in the political violence and vigilante activities that were taking place in the area. Henceforth, it was alleged that the security forces were helping to arm the IFP in order to execute some vigilante activities. Surprisingly, the Richmond Town Board (RTB) emphasised the importance of the security forces in the area and that they did a tremendous job in combating violence and vigilante activities in the area. It was believed that the RTB appreciated the security forces, because they were supplied with arms in order to commit unlawful activities in a vigilante style.94
The Goldstone Commission's final report that came out on 18 March 1994 found that the SAP and SADF was involved in the political violence and vigilante activities in KwaZulu-Natal. The Commission reported that three senior SAP officers based in Pretoria were implicated for their part in the KwaZulu-Natal political situation and that the allegations were confirmed under oath by other SAP officers. The mere fact that the allegations were confirmed under oath made it urgent and necessary to make the information public. It should be noted that the information and the allegations had the most serious implications for the national elections, which were to take place some five weeks later on 27 April 1994. The Commission also reported on their inquiry into the murder of members of the IFP. In the 99 cases reviewed, it was discovered that no evidence at all had been found linking members of the ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe95 to the murders. Consequently, the Commission was satisfied that, having examined a large proportion of the total of 140 cases, it could not find evidence to support the allegations of a systematic policy by the ANC and MK to murder leaders of the IFP. Finally, the report stated that the vigilante activities and political violence that people of KwaZulu-Natal had to endure were deep-rooted in ideologies of ethnicity and patterns of affiliation (party-line). The clanship in KwaZulu-Natal also contributed to the violence in the sense of clans trying to predominate over one another.96
It is very interesting to note how vigilante activities was politicised in KwaZulu-Natal. Despite the fact that the Government and the SAP was found guilty by the Goldstone Commission of complicity in vigilante activities and political violence, one cannot rule out the rivalry that existed between the IFP and ANC-aligned allies such as UDF and COSATU. It should be noted with interest that most of the accusations against the Government and about the SAP's role in vigilante activities were pure allegations and speculation; henceforth the authenticity of evidence provided by witnesses was at most biased towards the opposition. For instance, a supporter of the ANC would always accuse the IFP as the beneficiary of the Government's aid in vigilante activities and political violence. By saying thus, it must not be concluded that this chapter did not uncover activities that implicated the Government and SAP's biasness towards the IFP.
C. Charney,Vigilantes, clientalism and the South African state, pp. 4-5.
C. Charney,Vigilantes, clientalism and the South African state, pp. 6-7; M. Hlatshwayo, Bus drivers under attack by vigilantes,Focus 13(2), 1988, pp. 45-46; K. von Holdt, Vigilantes versus defense committees: The Maritzburg war: A turning point for Inkatha?South African Labour Bulletin 144(2), 1988, pp. 16-17.
As quoted in A. Truluck,No blood on our hands,p. 32; F. Meer (ed.),Resistance in the townships, pp. 179-180.
F. Meer (ed.),Resistance in the townships, pp. 180-181; R. Carver,KwaZulu-Natal, continued violence and displacement, pp. 15-16.
Only those who belonged to the UDF-COSATU alliance were called comrades and as such were the victims of the "Amabutho" in IFP dominated areas.
Violence mars stay-away,Natal Witness, 22 July 1988, p. 3.
C. Charney,Vigilantes, clientalism and the South African state, pp. 16-17.
H. Lötter,Injustice, violence and peace, p. 14.
As quoted in A.D.V. Minaar, Conflict and violence in Natal/KwaZulu: Historical perspectives, p. 37.
A. Minaar,Patterns of violence: Case studies of conflict in Natal, p. 9.
C. Charney,Vigilantes, clientalism and the South African state, pp. 17-18.
H. Lötter,Injustice, violence and peace, p. 89; P. Pierera, Measuring Mufamadi,Finance Week, 29 May 1994, p. 10.
SADF unto it,Natal Witness,12 September 1988, p. 1; M. Schonteich & C. Dumay (eds),When the judicial system fails people's justice on demand, pp. 24-25.
As quoted in A. Truluck,No blood on our hands, p. 80.
N. Haysom,Mabangalala, the rise of right-wing vigilantes in South Africa, p. 31.
N. Haysom,Mabangalala, the rise of right-wing vigilantes in South Africa, pp. 90-91; P. van Niekerk, Middle ground laid to waste,New Stateman114(2), 1987, p. 12.
As quoted in A. Truluck,No blood on our hands, p. 92.
As quoted in A.J. Jeffrey,Spotlight on disinformation about violence in South Africa, South African Institute of Race Relations, p. 140.
Policemen who only received basic training of short duration and who were then employed to deal with riots and hostile crowd behaviour.
R. Abrahams,Vigilant citizens, vigilantism and the state, p. 16.
A. Truluck,No blood on our hands, p. 175.
H. Lötter,Injustice, violence and peace, pp. 14-15; A Truluck,No blood on our hands, p. 16.
As quoted inKeesing's Record of World Events, Containing ANC, 10 September 1992, p. 37062.
H. Lötter,Injustice, violence and peace, p. 14; A. Truluck,No blood on our hands, p. 70.
A. Truluck,No blood on our hands, pp. 70-71.
As quoted in A.J. Jeffrey,Spotlight on disinformation about violence in South Africa,South African Institute of Race Relations,p. 140.
A. Truluck,No blood on our hands, p. 98.
A. Truluck,No blood on our hands, pp. 106-110.
Natal may become like N. Ireland,The Cape Times, 11 April 1990, p. 6;Keesing's Records of World Events,Deployment of controversial army in Natal, 16 April 1992, p. 38724.
A. Minaar,Patterns of violence: Case studies of conflict in Natal, p. 18.
A. Minaar,Patterns of violence: Case studies of conflict in Natal, pp. 51-52.
As quoted in A. Minaar,Patterns of violence: Case studies of conflict in Natal, p. 114.
Amnesty International,South Africa state of fear: Security force complicity in torture and political killings, 1990-1992, , p. 120; H. Shepperd, Fanning the flames,Africa Report37(2), 1992, p. 13.
Amnesty International,South Africa state of fear: Security force complicity in torture and political killings, 1990-1992, , p. 121.
88 Keesing's Record of World Events, Death squad allegations, 12 January 1992, p. 38703;Keesing's Record of World Events, Containing ANC-Inkatha conflict, 12 October 1992, p. 39127; Keesing's Record of World Events, Deployment of controversial army in Natal, 16 April 1992, p. 38724.
Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation,The Goldstone Commission's inquiry regarding the prevention of public violence and intimidation in KwaZulu-Natal, pp. 35-36.
Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation,The Goldstone Commission's inquiry regarding the prevention of public violence and intimidation in KwaZulu-Natal, pp. 37-38; C. Charney,Vigilantes, clientalism and the South African state, p. 17.
N. Etherington (ed.),Peace, politics and violence in South Africa, p. 61; E. Bornman & M. Wentzel (eds),Violence in South Africa: A variety of perspective, p. 15; Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation,The Goldstone Commission's inquiry regarding the prevention of public violence and intimidation in KwaZulu-Natal, pp. 40-41.
C. Charney,Vigilantes, clientalism and the South African state, p. 18.
Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation,Report on an investigation into allegations of the presence of Renamo soldiers in KwaZulu, p. 2.
A. Minaar,Patterns of violence: Case studies of conflict in Natal, pp. 17-18.
See Chapter 1, P. 6.
Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation,The Goldstone Commission's final report regarding the prevention of public violence and intimidation in KwaZulu-Natal, pp. 10-11;Keesing's Record of World Events, Goldstone Commission appointed to probe allegations, 14 October 1992, p. 36309.