This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, 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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.
I Did Not Know How To Drive, Says Alleged Hitsquad Driver
ANC DAILY NEWS BRIEFING
THURSDAY 13 JUNE 1996
DURBAN June 12 1996 Sapa
Murder accused and alleged Inkatha Freedom Party hitsquad driver Peter Msane on Wednesday told the Durban Supreme Court he had not learned to drive at the time of the 1987 KwaMakutha massacre.
He was denying allegations that he transported 10 other hitsquad members to KwaMakutha township to carry out a hitsquad attack.
Msane, 32, is among 17 accused, including former Defence
Minister Magnus Malan, who face charges of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to murder arising from the attack , in which 13
Under cross-examination by KwaNatal Attorney-General Tim
McNally, Msane said he hadn't known how to start a car at the time of the massacre, despite the fact that he was brought up by his father who owned a car.
"I did not know (how to drive) because my father was very strict".
He told the court he had decided to join the KwaZulu police in
1986 and received weapons training along with about 200 other Zulu police applicants in the Caprivi Strip shortly thereafter.
At the end of 1986 he had returned to his father's house in
Natal to look after his brother, who had been seriously injured in a car accident.
He had been told that his Caprivi training instructors would contact him at home if he was required to perform police service such as guard duty or intervening in hostage situations.
The State alleges that Msane and his fellow police applicants received advanced South African Defence Force training in the
Caprivi Strip, where they were recruited into hitsquads capable of eliminating ANC targets.
The training allegedly formed part of a joint SADF-IFP
conspiracy to counter ANC "terrorist" activities in Natal during the 1980s.
Msane told the court he only found out about the ANC three years ago, in 1993, despite having joined an IFP youth organisation in 1979.
He said one of his Caprivi instructors had promoted the IFP
during training but "never explained who the enemies of IFP were".
On Tuesday Alex Biyela, Prince Mkhize, Martin Khanyile and
Nicholas Ndlovu all testified that they went to the Caprivi believing they were joining the KwaZulu Police force.
Their testimony matched that of another alleged hitsquad member, Hlone Mbuyazi, who testified at the start of the defence case on Monday.
The State alleges that Inkatha members received military training in the Caprivi and returned to Natal to carry out the 1987
hitsquad attack on the KwaMakutha home of United Democratic Front activist Victor Ntuli.
DURBAN June 12 1996 Sapa
BUTHELEZI INVOLVED IN CAPRIVI COVER-UP, COURT HEARS
Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi was involved in a military cover-up relating to the training of 206 Zulus in the
Caprivi Strip in 1986, an accused in the KwaMakutha murder trial told the Durban Supreme Court on Wednesday.
IFP deputy secretary-general Zakhele "MZ" Khumalo, one of 17
accused who face charges of murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder arising from the 1987 KwaMakutha massacre in which
13 people were shot dead, said he had helped to choose trainees
"loyal to the KwaZulu government".
Khumalo said he had not been informed that the South African
Defence Force would be involved in training the men. He was led to believe that the 207 men would be trained for service in the
KwaZulu police force and that they would be instructed by a private security company, he said.
The State alleges that senior SADF officers, including former defence minister Magnus Malan, authorised the training to create
Inkatha-supporting hitsquads that could be deployed against the
African National Congress in Natal.
The Kwamakutha massacre followed the return to Natal of the trainees.
Called to testify on Wednesday following testimony from six of the alleged hitsquad members on Monday and Tuesday, Khumalo said he only found out about the military's involvement after the
He said documents before the court suggested Buthelezi and former KwaZuLu police deputy commissioner Brig Sipho Mathe had a
"cover-up arrangement" with military officers at the time of the training.
"The documents indicated that they (Buthelezi and Mathe) wished it was not something that should be known. They didn't give me the true version," Khumalo said.
Documents referring to meetings between Buthelezi and senior military officers have come under scrutiny during the course of the trial.
Khumalo told the court he visited the trainees at the Caprivi camp on three occasions and attended their passing out parade at the end of 1986.
No proper arrangements had been made to accommodate the trainees upon their return to to Natal.
"In the beginning (the trainees) were like a burden that I
carried because nobody was interested in doing anything and I was the person who had requested these children from their parents,"
He said he had maintained daily contact with both Buthelezi and
Mathe, but situation remained "chaotic".
Some of the trainees had been accommodated in KwaZulu police barracks in Ulundi while others had to stay in tents behind
"There had been no prior arrangements, so we had to make a plan".
Earlier in the trial, State witnesses alleged Khumalo helped organise the KwaMakutha massacre and other trainee activities after their return to Natal.
Documents before the court show that the Zulu training operation, dubbed Operation Marion, continued to receive government funding until 1991.
An earlier witness said Khumalo had travelled to Cape Town some time after the massacre hoping to meet Malan to discuss the trainees, who had become restless.
According to documents before the court, Khumalo was paid a monthly subsidy and also received a vehicle from the military for his contribution to Operation Marion.
Earlier on Wednesday, the man alleged to have driven hitsquad members into KwaMakutha on the night of the massacre, told the court he had not yet learned to drive at the time of the attack.
Peter Msane, 32, denied that he had transported hitsquad members, claiming he was raised by a strict father who had never taught him to drive.
Msane also denied involvement in a conspiracy to murder ANC
He said he only found out about the ANC in 1993, despite having joined an IFP youth organisation in 1979.
On Tuesday four other alleged hitsquad members, Alex Biyela,
Prince Mkhize, Martin Khanyile and Nicholas Ndlovu, all testified that they went to the Caprivi believing they were joining the