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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Name: Mncedisi Jodwana

Date: 27th May 1999: Day 2

Held At: East London

Application No: Am6151/97

CHAIRPERSON: Morning. I am informed that today's application is one of those scheduled for tomorrow, but fortunately we were able to intervene and start it today. It's the matter of the application of Jodwana, Amnesty No 6151/97.

For the purposes of record, my name is Judge Pillay and I am going to ask my colleagues and those who are involved in this application to identify themselves as well.

DR TSOTSI: My name is Dr Tsotsi, attorney, Port Elizabeth.

MR LAX: Thank you, Chair. Ilan Lax, member of Amnesty Committee, attorney from Pietermaritzburg.

MR WILLIAMS: Thank you, Mr Chair. My name is Peter Williams. I'm from the law firm E Moosa, Maigret, Peterson, Cape Town, and I'm acting for the applicant today.

MR MAPITSE: Mr Chair, I'm Tebogo Mapitse. I'm representing the victims from Tanzania.

MS MTANGA: I am Lulama Mtanga, the Evidence Leader from the Truth Commission. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Williams, are you going to lead your witness.

MR WILLIAMS: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRMAN: Mr Jodwana, have you - what language would you prefer to use?

MR JODWANA: Xhosa.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well. Have you any objection to the taking of the oath?

MNCEDISI JODWANA: (sworn and states)

EXAMINATION BY MR WILLIAMS: Thank you, Mr Chairman and members of the Committee. Mr Chairman, before I proceed leading the applicant, I'd just like to place two issues on record with the permission of the Chair. The first issue is that I want to place on record that we were formally instructed by the Legal Aid Board to act in this matter only during the course of last week.

I also received the bundle of documents during the course of last week. I am based in Cape Town and the applicant is based in East London at present. I have consulted with the applicant for the first time yesterday through an interpreter. And I must also put on record that the person who acted as an interpreter was a prison warder who clearly showed his displeasure as acting as an interpreter during the consultation. So I'm just placing that on record for the benefit of my colleagues if there are certain issues which we omit when it might be for the reasons aforesaid.

The second issue which I wish to place on record is that although the formal application only mentions the names of Mr B Vaaltuin in respect of which amnesty is sought and another person, the applicant is in fact applying for amnesty for the murder of Penny Vaaltuin and the attempted murder of six others on which he was convicted in the Grahamstown High Court in 1990. And I have discussed the issue with the attorney for the victims as well as the Evidence Leader and they have indicated that they waive their right to take the point that the application is procedurally defective.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, it has been our view that it is not procedurally defective because he has indicated there were more than two victims in his application in any event. He says he doesn't know the names of the others.

MR WILLIAMS: Mr Chairman, I will then proceed to the evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: Let me comment on your first point. It is coming now for a long time that issues such as instructions and attorneys' unwillingness to appear unless they're properly instructed and paid has led to delays in these applications. One would have hoped that those who appear for people would do so first and foremost to assist those people and secondly, for remuneration. I'm not pointing fingers at any particular body but it does present a problem of the work of the Amnesty Committee and it is to be hoped that my comments will spread to other people who represent these applicants. I appreciate your comments Mr Williams, and will certainly bear it in mind if and when it becomes relevant.

MR WILLIAMS: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mr Jodwana, you are presently 28 years old. Is that correct?

CHAIRMAN ASKED FOR TELEVISION LIGHTS TO BE ADJUSTED

MR LAX: Sorry, Mr Williams. You were saying to the witness that he was 28 years old and presently serving a term of imprisonment. Is that correct?

MR WILLIAMS: That is correct, your Worship.

MR LAX: What is your reply, Mr Jodwana?

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is true.

MR WILLIAMS: Do you speak English or Afrikaans?

MR JODWANA: No, I only speak Xhosa.

MR WILLIAMS: What is the highest standard that you attained at school?

MR JODWANA: I only - I went up to Standard - I only went to Standard, Sub A. I did not go further than that ... (intervention

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Williams, you have explained his position. We appreciate it. You don't have lay a basis for this. Let's get to the facts of the matter.

MR WILLIAMS: Just a last issue before I go to the facts. Is it correct that at the time of the incident you were a member of the Grahamstown Youth Congress, which is a body that was aligned to the ANC?

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is correct.

MR WILLIAMS: And that you are presently a member of the ANC?

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is correct.

MR WILLIAMS: Now, is it correct that on 30th of October 1986, you were part of a group of people who took the victims in this matter to a certain house in No 1 K Street in Grahamstown where they were accused of being ... (intervention)

MR JODWANA ANSWERED IN XHOSA

MR WILLIAMS: I can't hear the interpretation of what he just answered.

MR JODWANA: That is correct.

MR WILLIAMS: Can you tell the Committee what happened at this house?

MR JODWANA: Are you referring to K Street?

MR WILLIAMS: Yes, the house where you took the victims to.

CHAIRPERSON: You are making application in respect of the murder of one Vaaltuin and attempted murder in six other matters. Where ... (indistinct)

MR JODWANA: It took place at Danke.

CHAIRPERSON: Where is Danke?

MR JODWANA: It is in Grahamstown.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Now why did you - was Vaaltuin with those group, that group of people?

MR JODWANA: Are you talking about Bea Vaaltuin?

CHAIRPERSON: The one who was killed for which you are making application?

MR WILLIAMS: Mr Chairman, maybe I should just point out here, two of the victims have the surname of Vaaltuin. Peddie Vaaltuin and Bea Vaaltuin. In fact, Peddie Vaaltuin, if I understand it correctly is the person who was killed.

CHAIRPERSON: Whichever Vaaltuin, were both, were there two Vaaltuins in this group of people?

MR JODWANA: Yes, both Vaaltuins were there.

CHAIRPERSON: So it doesn't matter which Vaaltuin we're talking about. You understand now? We'll come to specific Vaaltuins just now. So we know what we're talking about, you understand?

MR JODWANA: Though it is in respect of the victims.

MR WILLIAMS: I'm going to refer throughout to the group as victims and that would include the deceased as well as the other six victims who, in respect of which the accused was convicted. I have explained that to the accused, to the applicant as well.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Jodwana, tell me, how many people were there, of the victims?

MR JODWANA: You mean the people that we went to fetch there? There were seven people.

CHAIRPERSON: One of them was Peddie Vaaltuin. Correct?

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: What happened to him?

MR JODWANA: You mean, what happened to him? We went to Mill Flats. We went to Man Flats, a farm called Man Flats. We went to this farm called Man Flats. We went into this farm that had a forest. It was myself and my two accused. We went there with a van that belonged to the area in Rini, Grahamstown.

CHAIRPERSON: What happened to Peddie Vaaltuin at this place? Was he assaulted or did he have a Christmas Party?

MR JODWANA: You want to know whether he died or what?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR WILLIAMS: Sorry, Mr Chairman, I can't hear the interpretation, the English interpretation.

MR JODWANA: He was killed.

CHAIRPERSON: He was killed there.

MR WILLIAMS: Mr Chairman, without wasting the Committee's time, can I just briefly lead him through events because there was a particular sequence of events and I think the killing of the deceased was the last in that sequence. So prior to that.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Let's cut out all the frills then. Let's get onto the number of the issues.

MR WILLIAMS: Mr Jodwana, is it correct that on the 30th of October 1986, some of the victims were taken at OK Bazaars and Mr Bea Vaaltuin was taken from his home. And all of the victims was taken or were taken to a certain house in Grahamstown and they were assaulted there.

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: What, where is this house?

MR WILLIAMS: In No 1 K Street.

MR JODWANA: It is in K Street.

MR WILLIAMS: Is it also correct that they were accused of being informers?

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is correct.

MR WILLIAMS: Can you tell the Committee who accused the victims of being informers and why were they accused of being informers.

MR JODWANA: It was myself.

MR WILLIAMS: Why were they accused of being informers?

CHAIRPERSON: What did they do that made you think they were informers?

MR JODWANA: The reason for that, the reason for me to say Bea Vaaltuin were informers, I used to see them and witnessed that.

MR WILLIAMS: Were you the only person who accused them of being informers?

MR JODWANA: People used to see them, people who were resident at Rini at the time used to see them.

CHAIRPERSON: Do what?

MR JODWANA: They were seen in police casspirs at Grahamstown, in Grahamstown.

MR WILLIAMS: Did you personally see them?

MR JODWANA: Yes, I did see them. It was not a hearsay but I saw them.

MR WILLIAMS: Now, is it correct that at No 1 K Street the victims were also ordered to eat cow dung and pineapple peels and that Mr Bea was ordered to drink his urine?

MR JODWANA: What is it that you said he was forced to drink?

MR WILLIAMS: Urine.

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is true.

MR WILLIAMS: Is it correct that the victims were then taken to another house?

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is correct.

MR WILLIAMS: Where they were assaulted and tied with wire and placed in a shack.

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is correct.

MR WILLIAMS: And that that house is located at No 3 P Street, 3 P Street.

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is true.

MR WILLIAMS: Is it correct that they were later to No 9 P Street, where they were sprayed with Doom?

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is true.

MR WILLIAMS: Can you tell the Committee why were they taken from one house to another?

MR JODWANA: The reason for that, the reason for them to be taken to that particular house, it is because we wanted to change the venue so that the police do not get information.

MR WILLIAMS: Is it correct that after No 9 P Street they were then taken to L Street?

MR JODWANA: You want to know if they were, if they were further taken to another house? Is that what you want to know?

MR WILLIAMS: Yes.

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is true.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Williams, let's forget about all these trips. Now where were they finally beaten?

MR WILLIAMS: Were they then taken to Manley Flats?

INTERVENTION FROM THE FLOOR

CHAIRPERSON: Proceed. Where they now at Manley Flats?

MR WILLIAMS: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mr Jodwana, is it correct that at Manley Flats the deceased was shot and that the other victims were assaulted?

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is correct.

MR WILLIAMS: And thereafter, you .... (intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Were they assaulted by whips or open hand or what?

MR JODWANA: They were being assaulted with knobkierries and wires. Sticks, I beg your pardon. With stones and sticks.

CHAIRPERSON: Interpreter, you said sorry, no sticks. Was that in place of kierries or wires or what?

INTERPRETER: He says they were assaulted with sticks, wires and stones. Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: OK. Carry on.

MR WILLIAMS: And is it correct that after the victims were assaulted there and the deceased was shot there, that you and your co-perpetrators then left the scene.

CHAIRPERSON: Did the deceased die as a result of being shot? Did the deceased die as a result of being shot?

MR JODWANA: Yes, he died as a result of being shot.

CHAIRPERSON: In your written application we are told that the others would also have been shot had you had more bullets. Is that correct?

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is true.

MR WILLIAMS: Is it correct that you in fact shot the deceased?

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is true.

MR WILLIAMS: Now, is it correct that after the victims were assaulted there and shot, that you and your co-perpetrators then left the scene and left the victims behind?

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is true. We left them there at the scene.

MR WILLIAMS: Now, Mr Jodwana, I am very briefly going to refer you to a few aspects that were raised in the amnesty application. And that is on the translated version of his application page 13, it is stated that "our aim was to change the views of the victims to that of our organisation, so they do not sell us out, but be one and the same as us". Further on on page 14 you say that "my aim was not to hurt anyone, but to meet the political objectives of my organisation, as well as our aims so as to succeed in the struggle". But on page no 12 you say that "it was decided at 2 o'clock that they be killed". Now, how do you reconcile that? How can you change the views of people if it's decided that they should be killed?

CHAIRPERSON: Isn't it meant, Mr Williams, that that was the initial intention, and that he himself, personally, did not intend this but he was acting within the scope and interests of his organisation? Had that not been the organisational position, he would not have participated?

MR WILLIAMS: That is in fact my instructions, your Worship, and that was in fact what I tried, what I hoped the accused, the applicant did convey.

CHAIRPERSON: It is rather dangerous to ask a question in the hope that he would give that kind of answer. Isn't it one that you would, in his interest, leave for argument?

MR WILLIAMS: I take the point, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: You can ask the question if you are willing to take the risk, but you may get the wrong answer, and then what?

MR WILLIAMS: I'll leave it at that, Mr Chairman. Then the last question is, who gave most of the orders that day?

MR JODWANA: You mean most of the instructions?

CHAIRPERSON: Who was the one giving the instructions?

MR JODWANA: Meki gave us the instructions.

CHAIRPERSON: The co-accused in the criminal matter?

MR JODWANA: No, he was never arrested.

CHAIRPERSON: Who was Meki, why was he able to give you instructions? What authority did he have?

MR JODWANA: He had authority because he was in the organisation.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but what rank did he have in the organisation?

MR JODWANA: He was a senior member in the organisation.

CHAIRPERSON: What organisation?

MR JODWANA: That is, ANC.

CHAIRPERSON: In the area of Grahamstown?

MR JODWANA: Yes, in Grahamstown. We used to get information from him.

CHAIRPERSON: And did he give the orders here in respect of the activity that day.

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is correct.

DR TSOTSI: Was this a man or a woman?

MR JODWANA: He was a man.

DR TSOTSI: Somewhere there is mention of a woman. Maureen, is it Maureen. I'm trying to find it.

MR LAX: No, you're correct. There is mention of a woman called Maureen, it may be an incorrect translation. Page 15, paragraph 11(b).

DISCUSSION ON THE NAME

CHAIRPERSON: Did Meki, or Moke or Maureen or whatever this person's name was, was that the person who gave the order in respect of these incidents that day?

MR JODWANA: Are you talking about Maureen?

CHAIRPERSON: The person who gave the orders, what is his or her name?

MR JODWANA: The name is Meki.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. And did Meki give the orders in respect of the incidents for which you make application.

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: What were his instructions?

MR JODWANA: He told us to take them at about 2, at about 2. At about 2 am he told us to take them, to take them to a place called Indabayezono in Grahamstown, but I had a feeling that the people would see this. I thought about this farm called Man Flats so that they could be killed there.

CHAIRPERSON: Did he give the instruction that they should be killed?

MR JODWANA: Meki told us to kill them but the place was such an open place and it would be easy for the people who see. But I later took a decision to go to Man Flats.

CHAIRPERSON: You used your discretion on where it should be done, if I understand you correctly.

MR JODWANA: Yes, I took that decision.

CHAIRPERSON: Do I understand you correctly that the reason they were supposed to be killed and were in fact assaulted and one of them killed, was because they were thought of as informers against the organisation and to the South African Police?

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And were the South African Police seen as the enemies of the organisation?

MR JODWANA: At the time, it was during the apartheid regime or apartheid government.

CHAIRPERSON: Were the South African Police that time seen as the enemy?

MR JODWANA: Yes, that is correct. They were regarded as the enemy.

CHAIRPERSON: Now tell me, how do you feel about what you did that day, today?

MR JODWANA: I don't feel good about it. I would like to ask for forgiveness to the people of Grahamstown, people like Mrs - his parents. I would like to ask for forgiveness. That was never my intention.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you willing to meet these people if they're willing to meet you and make your peace with them? If it can be arranged?

MR JODWANA: Yes, I would love to get that opportunity and ask for forgiveness and talk to their next of kin.

CHAIRPERSON: And to those victims who are still alive who you assaulted that time? Would they be included?

MR JODWANA: Yes, I would appreciate that. Those are, we are together in the community in Grahamstown.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, we will see what can be done. We'll have to ask them if they are willing to meet you also. Do you understand that?

MR JODWANA: Yes, I do understand that.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you got any more questions, Mr Williams?

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR WILLIAMS

MR MAPITSE: Mr Chairman, before I could ask any question, I would ask for an adjournment so that I could consult with some of the victims whom I did not get the opportunity to consult with. I did consult with one victim and I know what his position is towards the application of the applicant.

CHAIRPERSON: Why haven't you consulted with the others?

MR MAPITSE: Mr Chairperson, I only got to see the applicants today. I never got the chance to consult with them.

CHAIRPERSON: Why, why not?

MR MAPITSE: Mr Chairperson, arrangements were made but I was informed that it was difficult to get hold of the victims.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, I'm going to give you until quarter past eleven. We'll adjourn to quarter past eleven.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Mr Mapitse, I believe there is one aspect you want to put to the applicant.

CROSS EXAMINATION BY MR MAPITSE: Yes, Mr Chairperson, I am indebted to the Chairperson for the time given me to consult with the victims.

CHAIRPERSON: I just want to explain to the applicant where we are now in the procedures. Mr Jodwana, your attorney has completed leading your evidence, it is now the time where your evidence can be subjected to cross-examination. Do you understand that?

MR JODWANA: Yes, I understand.

CHAIRPERSON: On your right, on your far right, is Mr Mapitse, who appears for the families and victims of the incident that occurred that day. Do you understand that?

MR JODWANA: Yes, I understand that.

CHAIRPERSON: I understand there's one or two issues he wants to raise with you.

MR JODWANA: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Carry on.

MR MAPITSE: Mr Jodwana, you'll agree with me that there is nobody who was arrested in Grahamstown as a result of the activities of the victims.

CHAIRPERSON: But how would he know that, Mr Mapitse. He says he understands those people to have been police informers. It is not usual for the police informer to be named to the arrested person. I don't know, maybe he can comment, but I don't know if he can. Mr Jodwana, can you answer that question? Are you in a position to answer that question?

MR JODWANA: Which question? Can you please repeat the question.

CHAIRPERSON: You say that these youngsters were informers to the police. Can you say whether any of the people of Grahamstown were arrested because these youngsters had informed on them? Or don't you know or what is the position?

MR JODWANA: Can you please repeat the question, I didn't understand it.

CHAIRPERSON: Was anybody arrested in Grahamstown because they were informed upon by these youngsters?

MR JODWANA: No, it was only this incident concerning these people.

CHAIRPERSON: No. When they informers, they must tell the police of certain things, not so.

MR JODWANA: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know whether the police acted and arrested other people, not you or your colleagues, other people because of information given to them by those whom you assaulted?

MR JODWANA: No, there were no people who were arrested.

MR MAPITSE: Now, Mr Jodwana, I want to put it to you that you were mistaken when you thought that the victims were informers. What do you say to that?

MR JODWANA: No, I was not mistaken, I witnessed those, I witnessed them informing.

MR MAPITSE: I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MAPITSE

CHAIRPERSON: Have you got any questions.

MS MTANGA: No questions, Chairperson, thank you.

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. Have you got any other witnesses, Mr Williams?

MR WILLIAMS: That is the case for the applicant, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mapitse, have you got any witnesses that you want to call?

MR MAPITSE: I have no witnesses.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you got any witnesses?

MS MTANGA: I have no witnesses.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, that seems to bring an end to the evidence in this application. Mr Williams, I'm going to skip you at the moment as far as argument is concerned. If there is anything after the others have argued that I wish you to discuss or to deal with, then I will inform you.

MR WILLIAMS: ... Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you got anything to argue about, or any aspect you want to raise?

MR MAPITSE: Mr Chairman, I wouldn't say I have very much since the applicant has disclosed also the activities. The only issue would be an emotional issue by the victims they were not informers, but then it would take this matter. That is all.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you got anything to say in argument?

MS MTANGA: No, I have no argument, Mr Chair. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: We are going to take a bit of time to consider this matter and the applicant will be informed in due course.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.