A statement by Brigadier Jacques Buchner, the head of security forces in the Pietermaritzburg region during the 1987-88 outbreaks of violence, reflects clearly the security force bias in Natal: "We intervened to restore law and order and to restore the rightful authority of the chiefs and indunas, the legal representatives of the KwaZulu government."51
The eight areas of Natal examined in this report reveal a consistent pattern of security force complicity with Inkatha, according to direct eyewitness testimony, monitors' reports, sworn affidavits, court orders and press reports. The SAP, ZP, kitskonstabels and SADF have all been guilty of bias in the violence, either by transporting and accompanying Inkatha on offensives, or standing idle during attacks. Inkatha supporters were recruited into the auxiliary kitskonstabel force; the UDF, on the other hand, was regarded by police as an extremist organization.52 To Africa Watch's knowledge, no evidence exists that the police have ever aided the UDF during an Inkatha attack.
Residents pleaded for police protection from Inkatha to no avail in 1990 in KwaMakhutha and Ndwedwe, where the ZP shot and killed or injured residents. In Enseleni in 1990, police disarmed UDF supporters, also known as comrades, at Inkatha's request, yet in Caluza (near Pietermaritzburg), Mpumalanga, Kwamakhutha and Enseleni in 1989 and 1990 police not only refused to disarm Inkatha, but chased and attacked UDF supporters with teargas and guns when they attempted to defend themselves. The brother of a witness in Mpumalanga was shot and killed in such an attack.
According to the testimonies gathered by Africa Watch, when the police responded to requests to disarm an advancing group of Inkatha supporters, their answers reflected reluctance to act. To Richard Lyster, Director of the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) in Durban, in Mpumalanga in 1990 they replied that they had "instructions" not to disarm or disperse Inkatha. They told Father Hay, a local priest, "it was not their business" at Umsindusi in 1989 (near Inchanga), and to a Hambanathi town councillor whose home and possessions had just been destroyed by Inkatha marchers in 1984, police replied "leave them, they are just marching."
Residents and human rights monitors, alarmed by the acts of security force members, have notified authorities at local, regional and national levels to no avail. In 1989 and 1990 at Enseleni, Umsindusi and Mpumalanga, police were able to disperse Inkatha attackers. However, they refused to do so until after the battles had begun or damage was completed.
Although court orders to protect residents were issued to the police in areas such as Mpophomeni, Umlazi and Kwamakhuta in 1989 and 1990, monitors' efforts to obtain interdicts against the police in Natal have not been easy. In Pietermaritzburg, for example, applications were "obstructed in various ways." Police often failed to take affidavits or trace witnesses. When witnesses were recalled, they were required to submit new statements. If the new statements in any way contradicted their original affidavits, police were allowed to close the case.53 Although some Inkatha "warlords" have been charged, none have been convicted, and many requests to investigate murders by known Inkatha "warlords" have been neglected by the police. In contrast, Inkatha leaders and vigilantes have obtained prompt attention to their complaints against UDF supporters.
The police have also demonstrated bias by detaining UDF supporters. The Inkatha/UDF detention ratio for the period from July 1987 to July 1989 was 1:50.54 In 1982 there were approximately 1000 UDF detainees in the Pietermaritzburg area; only some 10 Inkatha detainees. Police obstructed peace efforts between the UDF and Inkatha when they detained key UDF representatives scheduled to appear at peace talks in November 1987 and February 1988. In March 1988 the police arrested, photographed, and released any male over 15 they could pick up on the street of the UDF strongholds of Sobantu and Ashdown. Although SAP spokesman Brigadier Leon Mellet claimed that the hundreds of UDF youths near Pietermaritzburg were detained for crimes, not their political affiliation, few were ever charged although most spent several months and some more than a year in detention. Prisoners went on hunger strike in February and March 1989, demanding either to be charged or released. Minister of Law and Order Adriaan Vlok later ordered hundreds to be released, causing the pattern of police detention to change in 1989 to short, intensive interrogations and threats.55
The systematic attacks made by Inkatha would not have been possible without the tacit but apparently deliberate sanction of the security forces. The great cost of this state intervention and collusion has been borne by its civilian citizens who have lost lives, property and hope.
Supporters of the ANC and UDF have committed crimes including murder and have used coercion to control their territory and enforce stayaways and boycotts. While we do not wish to minimize such abuses, we discuss them only briefly because the security forces, who are the focus of this report, are not known to intervene on behalf of the ANC/UDF.
In 1987, violence erupted in the African freehold of Edendale and in the KwaZulu area of Vulindlela, both of which are northwest of Pietermaritzburg. Tension had been growing in the area since the formation in 1985 of the United Workers Union of South Africa (UWUSA), the trade union wing of Inkatha, which clashed with the UDF-affiliated youth organizations that had formed in 1984 in Edendale and adjacent areas such as Imbali and Ashdown. Conflict increased after a mid-1985 strike at a rubber factory in Howick, owned by the British multinational, BTR Sarmcol, in which the entire African workforce──about 1,000──lost their jobs. In response, the UDF organized a stayaway and consumer boycott, allegedly using coercive tactics, which Inkatha opposed. Growing violence over the next several months culminated in December 1986, when a large group of Inkatha members, who were bused into Mpophomeni, a township in Vulindlela, killed three COSATU supporters. Inquest findings in March 1988 found nine Inkatha members responsible for the murders.
Also during 1985‑1986, a pro-Inkatha impi, or paramilitary group, drove UDF youth and their families out of Imbali and Ashdown and into Edendale and Vulindlela. In response, new UDF affiliates formed during 1987, which were, in turn, targeted by Inkatha vigilantes. Tensions rose again when, despite Inkatha's opposition, UDF and COSATU staged a successful stayaway in the region on May 6, 1987 to protest the whites‑only election.56
According to John Aitchison of the University of Natal at Pietermaritzburg, some 1,611 deaths were reported from political conflict in the Midlands between Pietermaritzburg and Durban from January 1987 to October 1989, a time when Inkatha was attempting to maintain and, sometimes, increase its influence in the region.57 Inkatha leaders engaged in acts of violence, including hit-squad style murders without any serious response by the state. Aitchison claims that the violence, which reached "horrifying levels" from September 1987 to January 1988, declined when Inkatha, aided by security forces, invaded Ashdown and crushed the opposition, which had by then rallied in the area. The following month, some 300 kitskonstabels were deployed to the area, several of whom were alleged Inkatha supporters involved in previous acts of violence.58
For the period January 1987-March 1988, UDF deaths outnumbered those of Inkatha members by a proportion of seven to two.59 The Centre for Adult Education at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg has documented a number of cases in which Inkatha leaders were either not arrested or were quickly released following charges of attacks and murders, as well as numerous instances of police collusion in the killings, documented in a series of applications for interdicts against prominent Inkatha warlords.
Aitchison reports that, as Inkatha strove to control Vulindlela in 1987-1988, police were known to hand over captured UDF supporters to Inkatha or tribal authorities to be killed. On several occasions in early 1988, key witnesses and applicants in court cases involving residents seeking protection from Inkatha leaders were assassinated.60 In 1989, Jabu Ndlovu, a prominent COSATU shop steward, was murdered after testifying before a Complaints Adjudication Board which had been created by a September 1988 agreement between Inkatha and COSATU. Attacks and assassinations of witnesses in outlying areas of Vulindlela and in the township of Mpophomeni continued throughout 1989.61 So numerous were complaints regarding SAP brutality and bias that on May 23, 1989, the Supreme Court issued an order restraining the SAP from "unlawfully assaulting, threatening, harassing or intimidating ... the residents of Mpophomeni township."62
In late March 1990, violence in the Pietermaritzburg region reached "unprecedented" levels, according to John Vaughn, also of the Centre for Adult Education. More than 2,000 Inkatha members launched a massive attack from Mpumuza into Caluza, Ashdown and other areas in the Edendale complex from March 27-31.63 The attack followed an Inkatha rally in Durban on March 25, on the way to which Inkatha claimed that UDF supporters had thrown stones at them. A resident of Caluza described police involvement in the attack.
B., a man from KwaShange, an area west of Caluza which Inkatha also attacked the week of March 25, said that police escorted several busloads of Inkatha members to the March 25 rally in Durban. When they passed Kwashange, some Inkatha members allegedly attacked and killed a man. The next day, UDF supporters from the Edendale area stoned a bus of Inkatha members. Ntombela, a local chief, called a meeting on March 28, which approximately 1,000, mostly Inkatha supporters, attended. A few UDF supporters who were present told B. that Chief Ntombela called on the crowd to attack Kwashange in order "to defend our people." B. described his futile attempts to convince the police to halt the attack:
More than 80 people were killed and hundreds of homes were razed in the attack. More than 14,500 people fled to Edendale and Pietermaritzburg for refuge. B. added that, throughout the following week, police dispersed groups of Edendale residents with teargas but did not interfere with groups of Inkatha supporters who were allowed to carry weapons. At least 20,000 were estimated to have been displaced, some of whom were absorbed by relatives and friends in neighboring townships. The Midlands Crisis Relief Committee in Pietermaritzburg reported that, by the end of May, approximately 4,500 of the displaced remained in churches, halls and schools at refugee centers in Edendale, nearby Mason's Mill and Pietermaritzburg. According to Vaughn, displaced Inkatha members "could not have numbered more than a couple of hundred in the Pietermaritzburg region."66
Mqongqo, near Pietermaritzburg, was a scene of unrelenting conflict during the first half of 1990. On August 25, 1990, Africa Watch visited a camp at Dambuza, where 160‑200 residents of Mqongqo, living in 40 tents, provided testimonies about police involvement in attacks, which have caused residents to flee on three occasions since February 1990.
According to one of the displaced, D., throughout the early months of 1990, the SAP and Inkatha members would arrive together to loot and burn homes of UDF supporters:
D. said that the SAP and SADF regularly picked up UDF supporters from the displaced people's tents, drove them into Inkatha-controlled areas and handed them over to kitskonstabels who hit them with their fists and rifle butts and then dumped them into the Inkatha-controlled areas to find their way home.
Large groups of Inkatha supporters invaded Mqongqo on February 2, 1990, burning houses and shops. Three non-Inkatha residents were shot to death and others fled to a nearby town. An eyewitness told Africa Watch that kitskonstabels and uniformed SAP members from nearby Mdluli were present during that attack.
During Africa Watch's August 25 visit to Mqongqo, a human rights monitor pointed out telephone poles and wires that had been cut down during a second offensive on March 3, after which residents again fled. A young man with a bullet scar on his ankle which he received from an SAP officer during an Inkatha attack on January 31, 1990, described shooting and harassment by the SAP in the March attack. Residents had left their tents (their homes having been burned in February) to hide in the forest, after receiving warnings of the impending attack:
According to Father Mark Hay, a priest working in the area, some 240 area residents sought shelter at the Inchanga Mission, in the Valley of a Thousand Hills in the Midlands between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, during the period July 1987-November 1988. In 1988, the SAP conducted frequent raids on the mission; 60 young people have died there since mid-1988.
Father Hay read aloud from a small, handwritten diary belonging to a young UDF supporter, who claimed that the SAP routinely threatened and harassed the UDF sympathizers, and handed them over to Inkatha.
The diary described an incident on July 12, 1988 when the parish priests were away from the mission and the parish youth committee, a group of about 45, was holding a 4 p.m. meeting. While the boys and young men were singing, nearly 100 SAP arrived in yellow vans, cars and a helicopter. With no explanation, they assaulted the group, leaving 10 beaten, bruised and shot. They detained 30 or so more for an hour, during which time they forcibly extracted "confessions"──with the help of beatings and loaded guns held in the mouths of the victims──to the murder of two women and responsibility for a stayaway campaign. Distraught parents were waiting when a priest arrived at 6 p.m. The priest confronted the police who denied that anyone had been detained. The police told him that members of the group had been charged with murder, incitement to a stayaway and holding political meetings.
According to Father Hay, tensions between Inkatha and the UDF rose in the Umsindusi valley, near Inchanga, in September 1989 when, to the distress of their families, two young Inkatha men joined the amaqabane of the UDF. Their families demanded of the UDF that the two be sent home, but the young men refused to go, fearing that they would be beaten and perhaps killed. Later that month, the two were among a group bathing at the river, when a group of Inkatha men attacked them, killing and burying one. The other escaped. This set the stage for growing tension.
A bloody battle took place on December 2, 1989, at Umsindusi River, in which the SAP who were present virtually ignored an Inkatha attack which claimed some 80 lives. Father Hay told Africa Watch that on that day at 4:00 or 5:00 a.m., a group of about 100 Inkatha men entered the UDF area near his church, allegedly led by what was called the "Bloms" or special police constables of the SAP. Local people in the area told Father Hay that the Bloms were dressed in blue and used automatic weapons. They quickly moved through the area and allowed the Inkatha group that followed to take over. The Inkatha force killed seven and injured about 100.
When Father Hay arrived at the mission at 8:30 a.m., he saw a group of some 200 or 300 Inkatha members, carrying knives, choppers (machetes) and sticks across the river. Father Hay went down to the river and warned a number of white men in canoes to leave the area, but they insisted on waiting for another group of canoeists. Father Hay, hoping to avert an attack, stopped an SAP van and asked the two young lieutenants inside if they were aware of the Inkatha gathering. He mentioned the joint Blom/Inkatha attack of earlier that morning. A policeman, who claimed he had been in charge of the area during the night, denied that the attack had occurred. When Father Hay asked the police to investigate the seemingly dangerous situation at hand, they told him that it was not their business and drove off.
The other group of canoeists then arrived. In the meantime, the Inkatha group of about 200-300 had started to march across the bridge to the UDF area. Father Hay, from his van parked between the Inkatha group and the canoeists, persuaded the canoeists to leave and went off to find the police, who again refused to deal with him, but nonetheless went to the scene of the conflict. Father Hay followed them to the scene, where, by the time they arrived, residents of the area had come down to defend themselves and shooting had started. The police threw "thunder flashes," which, according to Father Hay, "is really a lot of smoke and a big bang," forcing some of the Inkatha group back across the bridge. Remarking that "Of course I was right there making sure that they did it," Father Hay noted that the SAP had ignored his initial warnings and waited to disperse Inkatha until after the battle had begun.
The canoeists who had stopped near the scene to watch the fighting noticed that the police vans, which had been parked on the hillside, left the valley at the same time as Father Hay, even though the battle was still in progress.68
Eighty died in the battle and another 80 fled the area to find sanctuary at the Inchanga Catholic Mission; many others went to the nearby Hillcrest and Cato Ridge areas.69 According to Father Hay, since then, both sides have mounted attacks. Everyone living between the two areas has had to evacuate. Houses have been burned; at least six on each side were completely destroyed. On some nights since the battle, more than 200 refugees have stayed at Inchanga Mission.70
The township of Mpumalanga, or "sunrise," and the adjacent areas of Hammarsdale and Georgedale lie in the Midlands corridor between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The surge of squatter settlements in the area, which began forming around Durban in 1984, has inflamed ANC-Inkatha tensions over the past several years. In February 1987 an Inkatha branch chairman was murdered, and, in response, a pro-Inkatha vigilante group abducted and murdered a number of youths belonging to the Hammarsdale Youth Congress, a UDF affiliate. In September 1987, resistance to an Inkatha recruitment drive ushered in a wave of violence.71
Kitskonstabels were deployed to Mpumalanga in October 1988, and a month later women from Mpumalanga marched to protest their support of Inkatha vigilante attacks. The Legal Resources Centre (LRC) in Durban collected a large number of affidavits citing abuses against UDF supporters by kitskonstabels, including murder, and urged the Commissioner of Police to take "urgent and drastic steps." In January 1989, the KZP took over the policing of Mpumalanga and Hammarsdale. The International Committee of the Red Cross [ICRC], which established a base in the area on November 21, 1988, said that by the end of 1989, food, tents, soap, blankets and cooking utensils had been distributed to over 1,000 families.72
Mpumalanga women staged further protests against kitskonstabels and a SAP Riot Unit in April and June 1989. The protesters claimed that the forces sided with Inkatha during attacks on UDF supporters, that they whipped innocent people and petrol‑bombed houses, and that violence actually increased following their arrival. In the period January 1987-December 1989, more than 400 people lost their lives in the Hammarsdale, Mpumalanga and Georgedale vicinity.73
At least 1,000 houses were destroyed in Mpumalanga in 1989, leaving 8,000 people homeless.74 Roy Ainslee, a representative of the Democratic Party who monitors Natal violence, said that he received a telephone call from a Mpumalanga resident on November 27, 1989, while an attack by kitskonstabels and vigilantes was taking place:75
Ainslee said he had been unable to reach the caller since that day. The caller's house had been petrol‑bombed and his telephone was out of order. He had not reported to work since the fighting started.
Africa Watch obtained copies of affidavits from four residents whose homes had been destroyed during the November 27 attack. The statements alleged that both white police and kitskonstabels in uniform were present, accompanying or transporting Inkatha vigilantes in police vehicles and standing by while the vigilantes looted and burned their houses. One resident who provided the license plate numbers of the police vehicles, claimed that he saw SADF troops openly fire on residents.
On November 28, 1989, Richard Lyster, Director of the LRC in Durban, said that he and a group of monitors went to Mpumalanga to take statements from residents and speak to the SAP authorities about the police role in the attacks. Residents had implicated the SAP in theft, dereliction of duty and complicity in acts of violence, most of which had taken place in a known UDF area. Lyster had previously contacted the Commissioner of Police to convey his concern on November 24 and 27. He had also given copies of affidavits regarding complaints about the police to a Colonel Lourens the afternoon of November 27.77
While Lyster and his colleagues were taking statements on November 28, a young man who was bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound entered the room, claiming that a uniformed kitskonstabel, who was with a group of men armed with spears and sticks, had shot him. Lyster and two other attorneys then went off to the KZP station in Mpumalanga to report the shooting. On their way, they observed a SAP hippo vehicle driving slowly near a group of at least 100 armed men carrying spears, knobkerries (wooden stick-like implements), bush knives, pangas (machetes used to cut sugar cane) and sticks who were forcibly entering houses. One attorney saw some members of the armed group inside the hippo vehicle. The attorneys then encountered the ZP and followed them back to the armed group. When Lyster asked a white policeman if he intended to arrest the men for their apparently unlawful activities, he replied that his instructions were not to disarm them. He refused to give a reason. Shortly thereafter, Lieutenant Kemp, a white uniformed policeman from Inchanga drove up in a yellow four-wheel-drive SAP vehicle, and spoke to the armed group, after which the group dispersed and left. When Lyster questioned him, Lieutenant Kemp also replied that the police had instructions not to disarm the group; he too refused to give a reason.
Lyster and his companions applied for an urgent interdict in the Supreme Court. In his own affidavit regarding these events, Lyster wrote:
Among the 63 affidavits regarding Inkatha attacks on Mpumalanga residents that are on file at the LRC in Durban, several eyewitness accounts allege that members of the SAP, the Riot Squad, the ZP or the SADF transported, accompanied, or aided Inkatha during raids between January 1989 and May 1990.79
Inkatha and the UDF signed a ceasefire agreement on November 30, 1989. The Police Riot Unit left Mpumalanga Township on December 3, 1989, replaced by the SADF. No incidents of violence were reported between December 3 and February 2, 1990. However, the relative peace was short‑lived. On February 12, the LRC notified General Schutte of the SAP about a resurgence of violence immediately following the SADF withdrawal. The memorandum noted 19 reports of fire or destruction of property and named three persons who burned to death on February 4, 1990: Katrina Mkhize and her daughter Thulisile, who died when their house was set on fire during a 3 p.m. vigilante attack, and a Mr. Mthethwa who was stabbed and, according to an eye‑witness, prevented from leaving his house after it had been set on fire.80
A week later, Inkatha vigilantes from Woody Glen, assisted by the SAP and ZP, attacked Mpumalanga, killing at least 17 people and petrol‑bombing a large number of houses. Africa Watch interviewed two women from Mpumalanga who had come to the office of the Black Sash (a South African human rights organization) in Durban to report the destruction of their homes and property during the February 11 attack. One, 60 years old, gave the following account:
A second woman also testified to the participation of the security forces in the attack:
On April 4, 1990, white members of the SAP and armed vigilantes attacked Mpumalanga residents before going to Chief Luthayi High School where they shot at teachers and students in classrooms, injuring several. R., a 20‑year old student who was present at the high school, filed an affidavit at the LRC, which accused the attackers of shooting and killing two students, Babsi Njokwe and Nelson Makhaye, and injuring three teachers. R. said that, following the attack, a police hippo vehicle dispersed the group. The following day, another large group of armed men attacked, "openly supported" by the SAP and the ZP. Vehicles with canopies, recognized as belonging to SAP unit 19, drove near the attackers but did not arrest them. When R., accompanied by his brother and a group of boys, attacked the men with sticks, the police shot them, killing the brother.
Later that day, a red kombi with men inside aiming guns at residents, was seen patrolling the main road in Mpumalanga around noon. Shortly thereafter, a KwaZulu bus arrived, full of SAP officers who began to shoot at residents. One woman was shot three times in her arm and thighs by a member of the SAP. She was treated at Edendale hospital and discharged after a week.
In response to memoranda from the LRC regarding these events, J.C. Van Niekerk and M.E. Kruger, Regional Commissioners of the SAP, replied that an investigation would be undertaken.82 To Africa Watch's knowledge, if the investigation has occurred, the results have not been made public.
Over the past few years, KwaMakhutha, a township in KwaZulu near the south coast of Natal, has become a virtual war zone. Shooting and harassment by members of the ZP have created an atmosphere of tension and fear. The severity of police abuses is such that the Supreme Court in Durban in both April and June 1990 issued interdicts and restraining orders against the ZP force in KwaMakhutha.83
On April 11, 1990, the LRC in Durban notified ZP Commissioner Brigadier J. Buchner of allegations regarding "grossly unlawful behavior" by the ZP in KwaMakhutha township. The allegations included "random shooting of residents and serious assaults on individuals"; one of the victims was an African senior member of the SAP. (Over the past several years, the SAP has recruited many Africans.) According to the memorandum:
Two African members of the SAP were among the applicants for the April restraining order. One, a detective warrant officer, alleged that the ZP, using Rl rifles, were "shooting wildly at people...behaving like gangsters. Whenever they saw children, they would shoot." A second SAP detective sergeant told the court that he had witnessed reckless shooting nightly. "If anyone had been shot dead in the ZP attack it would have been murder," he avowed. He had been assaulted by the ZP and was afraid to reveal his identity to his assailants:
Between April 6-9, the ZP shot and killed more than eight KwaMakhuta youth league members and other non‑Inkatha community members.86
A court order, issued April 12, 1990, instructed the police to provide protection for the applicants, their families, and any person resident in KwaMakhutha. A second order, recognized as "the first judgment in this type of matter to be given in Natal," was issued after the first proved to be insufficient. It expanded protection to "any person in KwaMakhutha" (not only residents) and again restrained the ZP from "assaulting, harassing or engaging in any unlawful attacks."87
A resident said that violence in the area, which began in 1986, peaked at the end of 1989. She claimed that she could not "even count how many the ZP have killed." The woman claimed that Inkatha and the ZP worked together "burning houses, shooting people" and that they were recruiting 12‑ to 14-year-old boys and training them to use guns. She claimed that these were "uneducated youngsters who can't even write their names, but they learn to shoot." She also said that when the SADF first came to the area, they helped to prevent violence, but that they later tended to side with the ZP. She complained that the SADF no longer disarms Inkatha, and that they now accompany the ZP during weapons searches of residences, which take place about four times a month. She said that the court orders to the ZP resulted in only a few officers losing powers of arrest and did not deter the force from continuing to shoot at residents.88
Another woman in KwaMakhutha described wild shooting by the ZP on April 7‑9, 1990. The violence began when a taxi driver was shot at by two Inkatha supporters from inside the Mpumelela community hall. The taxi collided with another taxi, which attracted a crowd. The ZP soon arrived on the scene and for no clear reason turned on the crowd and threw tear gas. The ZP and Riot Squad Police then moved to the entrance of the community hall and began shooting at the crowd.
An African SAP detective filed an affidavit at the LRC in July 1990 about "reckless shooting" and brutality by police on April 9:
The detective noted that he had "declined to inform the ZP" that he was a policeman because he was afraid that they would have brutalized him even more had they known.91
Violence continued throughout the summer. The SADF raided homes for weapons in KwaMakhutha on June 3 and June 19, 1990. Soldiers assaulted residents with fists, rifle butts and kicks, and they seized objects of value and money. Their assaults were especially vicious when they saw insignia on tee‑shirts or other political material associated with the ANC.92
Inkatha and the ZP together raided an ANC meeting on July 8, 1990 at KwaMakhutha High School attended by some 200, including women and children. Several present at the meeting gave sworn statements to the LRC that three men in civilian clothes disrupted the meeting by firing shots outside. Witnesses named two of those firing as Shane Khuzwayo, a KwaZulu policeman, who fired an Rl rifle, and Mshengu, an Inkatha member.93
On August 20, 1990, Inkatha, in the presence of the ZP, attacked a local school, because, they claimed, the school was teaching about the ANC. The school had been closed for two weeks in May due to harassment by Inkatha and the ZP.
In May 1990, violence erupted in Ndwedwe, a mountainous and isolated area northwest of Durban. In response to ANC recruitment drives throughout the spring and summer, the ZP and local chiefs targeted the youth for attack. The violence reached such high levels that by mid-year schooling ceased and hundreds of residents fled.95
On August 24, 1990 at a church near Durban, Africa Watch visited a group of about 40 young people who were afraid to return to their homes in Ndwedwe. Several of the group spoke of their experiences.
One young man, S., identified a ZP officer who attacked his group:
Another of the group, H., said that Inkatha attacks early in May had destroyed three homes and killed two residents, one a grandmother, who burned to death inside their homes. H. alleged that the ZP disarmed only UDF supporters. He claimed that Phineas Mfayela, a member of the KwaZulu Parliament, killed two local men, Bheki Shiya and Qaphela Dhlomo, and that he helped to obtain bullets from the police station for an Inkatha chief, Michael Bangifa Ngcobo. H. said that he left Ndwedwe when he learned that Mfayela had targeted UDF supporters for attack, following an Inkatha march and rally on May 17.
Another witness said that he and some of the others left following violence on the evening of May 16, before the May 17 march:
S. said that plainclothes ZP, one of whom S. recognized, participated in the May 17 march. S. and others watching the march left the area after the marchers began forcing spectators to join them.
A fourth witness said that he and his friends fled from the May attack and hid at a pre-school in another town, Osindisweni. When the group sought refuge at the Ecumenical Centre, the ZP threatened them and tried to force them to return to Ndwedwe, which caused them to flee to their new place of refuge.
Enseleni, a township near Empangeni, north of Durban, was racked by conflict which spread from the greater Durban area to the northern coast of Natal in July 1990. According to KwaZulu Brigadier Sipho Mathe, the July outbreak followed an unsuccessful attempt by COSATU supporters to march in Empangeni on Saturday, July 7.96 Mathe said that COSATU then attempted to stage a march in nearby Enseleni, but were attacked by Inkatha. He alleged that some armed COSATU members took refuge in nearby houses, which were burned in an Inkatha attack the next day.97
At least 100 fled the township for the COSATU office in Empangeni, because many residents had no confidence in the SAP to provide them with protection against attacks. Only the elderly remained. Witnesses said that the attack, by a group of about 200, took place openly in the presence of the security forces. According to one witness who spoke to the press on condition of anonymity:
The same witness, who reportedly described himself as "neutral," said that he was forced to accompany the men as they burned houses. Members of the security forces made no attempt to seize their weapons, which included guns, knives, pangas, clubs and petrol bombs.99
According to a press release by the LRC, the SAP repeatedly failed to respond to calls for help from residents, and refused to disarm and apprehend attackers. Concerned residents informed the SAP on July 7, 1990 that "belligerent and militant armed groups" were roaming the townships and threatening residents, unimpeded by the SAP.
Police sat idle in their vehicles for the duration of the attack even though victims of the violence apparently approached them on numerous occasions during the day to ask for assistance. Eleven houses belonging to COSATU and ANC members were gutted by fire and at least two residents were hospitalized with serious gunshot and knife wounds.
A shop-owner, who said he was coerced into joining an Inkatha attack on July 8, described the involvement of the police and local officials:
On July 9, 1990, the SAP was again asked to intervene, again to no avail. The LRC reported that, during the course of the afternoon, SADF units appeared and persuaded some attackers to stop burning houses. None were disarmed or arrested. Later in the afternoon, the armed group of some few hundred gathered for a meeting in the presence of SAP and SADF personnel. Instead of disarming them, a SAP officer assured them of protection. No arrests were made.101
In response to action taken by the LRC, in August the police ordered members of the force in the area to give "adequate protection" to anyone whose person or property was attacked in their presence.102
On August 22, 1990, near Durban, Africa Watch met with a group of more than 20 young people from Enseleni. One described an incident that occurred on April 30, 1990, in which Inkatha youth allegedly forced junior high school students to leave their classroom and stand in a river, where a number of them were shot and stabbed and two were killed. The police were notified of the killings. That night, Inkatha mobilized members to prepare for May Day (May 1), and some UDF supporters were attacked on the street and forced to join their march, which began during the night and continued until the next morning. Police were present. At about 3:00 a.m., Inkatha supporters attacked the house of a UDF supporter:
Another young man watched the May Day attack from a hiding place in the bush. He saw Inkatha members beat and stab residents and burn houses. Later in the morning, the same witness watched a meeting near the community rent office attended by some 500 Inkatha supporters as well as a number of UDF supporters and police. The UDF group had been forced to attend in an attempt to intimidate them into leaving the area:
Another young man, who was among those taken to the COSATU office by the SAP, told Africa Watch that the SAP raided the COSATU office at the end of May. The officers teargassed their food, threw clothes on the floor, smashed the doors, and then had the premises photographed, apparently in order to encourage their eviction from the premises.
According to another witness, on July 8 at Enseleni, Inkatha supporters attacked a gathering of kombis carrying UDF supporters, and when the passengers tried to defend themselves, the Inkatha group solicited the assistance of the police, who disarmed the UDF group, who then fled. Amabutho (Inkatha warriors) arrived from Bhekani, Kwasokhoulu and other places to assist their allies. When the UDF supporters requested the SAP to disperse the Inkatha group, who were, by this time, burning houses, the police claimed they would be killed if they intervened:
During the winter of 1984, Inkatha members expelled UDF supporters from Hambanathi near Tongaat, a town up the coast from Durban. A council member explained how he lost his home and all he owned in an Inkatha offensive. When he told the police who were present on the scene that Inkatha members were assaulting residents, their response was, "No, leave them. They aren't doing anything, just marching."106
In March 1990, according to a resident, Inkatha members in the hostels near Tongaat began killing and harassing residents, intimidating school children, blocking routes to trains and buses, and forcing residents to march and fight ANC "enemies." The witness told Africa Watch that, in response to complaints by residents, "Most of the time the police will tell you `You must tell Mandela to help you.'"107 Because they were unable to obtain police protection, residents persuaded Peter Gastrow, a Member of Parliament from Durban, to intervene on their behalf. However, residents have lost confidence in the police, who continue to side with Inkatha.
On August 20, 1990, Africa Watch accompanied LRC attorney Howard Varney to Tongaat in response to a call for help from P., a UDF supporter who had learned from a friend present at a local Inkatha meeting that he was on a hit list. The ZP were present at the meeting, as was Mfayela, a member of the KwaZulu parliament (see above, Ndwedwe). Mfalyela's secretary, in fact, made the suggestion that P. be eliminated.
When Varney offered to report the matter to the authorities, P., reflecting on the community's loss of confidence in the security forces, replied that perhaps the police would listen to Varney, but that he himself would not report the threat because "the police take the ANC/UDF people for trouble‑makers." P.'s friend, who had heard the death threat at the meeting, had himself been told to keep silent about the matter or else his house would be attacked and his family killed.
A woman who had come to Tongaat for legal help told of threats from Mfayela as well. Around May, at an ethnic meeting at Emana, the ZP shot and killed a young man and a pregnant woman. Apparently, the young man who was killed had obtained permission from the local leader to begin an ANC branch. Other UDF supporters were injured and hospitalized. The woman said that she left Emana because Mfayela had sent his people to shoot her ANC-aligned children at school at the end of June, 1990, and that they were threatening to shoot her as well. The students had been warned, and fled the building amid a barrage of shooting. She had left her home in July during an Inkatha forced recruitment drive. Her house was later seized by Inkatha.108
From March to June, the LRC in Durban received over 30 complaints regarding misconduct by the SADF in 11 townships. In the first half of 1990, lawyers and unrest monitors received over 50 such complaints──five times the number received in 1989.109 A number of these affidavits from Folweni, Inanda, Mtwalume, Umgababa, and Umlazi, spanning the period March-June 1990, describe raids on homes, looting, wanton destruction of property, and physical assault of residents, often provoked by possession of ANC tee-shirts, posters, or pictures of Mandela. Victims testified that they were beaten with fists and rifle butts, kicked in the head, stomach and other areas, strangled, compelled to swallow cleaning fluids and medicine, made to eat political posters, and forced to participate in lengthy exercise sessions. In one incident, soldiers held a gun to the head of a young girl and demanded that she reveal the whereabouts of a relative. In another, a young man was dropped down a steep embankment after a long and severe beating. His head was swollen considerably by the time he reached Prince Edward hospital where he remained for several days.110
Natal residents who live in areas controlled by either the UDF or Inkatha but wish to remain neutral fear retribution for their lack of political affiliation. Africa Watch interviewed a woman who came from the Inkatha-controlled township of Sweetwaters, which adjoins Pietermaritzburg. The woman, a cook who works and stays near Durban, believed that "if UDF members here from the Sweetwaters area recognize me in town, they will kill me." The woman's employer said that she goes to market early to avoid being seen and recognized.
This woman agreed to be interviewed only if a tape recorder was not used. Claiming that she did "not care about organizations at all," she spoke of the impossibility of staying out of the path of the conflict:
Africa Watch interviewed a shopkeeper whom Inkatha had forced to participate in an attack on the UDF. In his testimony, he mentioned telling his captors that he wished to remain neutral. After completing his statement for Africa Watch, he expressed fear that there would be reprisals if the UDF knew that "he did not want to be on their side any more than Inkatha's." He added:
Young people in the townships are often forced to join one side or the other. Members of either side may rouse them from sleep and force them to join in attacks. One young man who was sleeping in the bush along with other family members, requested permission to sleep on the floor of the factory he worked in because he had been forced to attack both comrades and Inkatha supporters on different occasions.112
On June 30, 1990, an Africa Watch representative was present in an Inkatha-controlled area in the shack settlement of Lindelani, northwest of Durban, when it was apparently attacked by UDF supporters. A group of about 100 Inkatha members were holding an outdoor meeting. They carried traditional Zulu shields and sticks; a man with a rifle stood guard. While the Africa Watch representative was inside a local residence speaking with two women, a man returned from the meeting. He reported that UDF supporters had attacked in the area while the men were at their meeting.
Later, Africa Watch encountered a group of about 15 young UDF supporters at the border of the Inkatha area, identifiable by their tee-shirts. They had stopped a kombi and were making threatening gestures and shouting in Zulu that they wanted to kill the passengers.113
51 Matthew Kentridge, An Unofficial War, pp. 108.
52 Ibid., pp. 208-209.
53 Ibid., p. 202.
54 Ibid., p. 198.
55 Ibid., pp. 197, 71-73.
56 John Aitchison, "Numbering the Dead: Patterns in the Midlands Violence" (Centre for Adult Education, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg).
57 Ibid., p. 7.
60 Aitchison, "The Pietermaritzburg Conflict: Experience and Analysis" (Centre for Adult Education, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg), p. 4.
61 Ibid., pp. 5-6.
62 Order issued May 23, 1989, by the Supreme Court of South Africa, Natal Provincial Division.
63 Prakesh Naidoo, "Caught up in Carnage," Sunday Times (Johannesburg), June 24, 1990.
64 Interview with Africa Watch, July 25, 1990. Name withheld by request.
65 Interview with Africa Watch, August 25, 1990. Name withheld by request.
66 Prakash Naidoo, "Caught Up in Carnage," Sunday Times Johannesburg, June 24, 1990.
67 Interview with Africa Watch, August 25, 1990. Name withheld by request.
68 "Canoeists Caught Up In Faction Battle," Daily News (Durban), December 4, 1989, and "Priest Hailed as `Hero," Natal Mercury, December 5, 1989.
69 Ryan Cressell, `Christmas Brings Killing Season to Warring Valley," The Sunday Times (Johannesburg), December 17, 1989, and "Priest Hailed as `Hero' After Staving Off Attack," Natal Mercury, December 5, 1989.
70 Interview with Africa Watch, August 24, 1990.
71 Mpumalanga: A Case Study of the Natal Violence, prepared by the Centre for Adult Education, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, pp. 1-3.
72 International Committee of the Red Cross, Annual Report 1989, Geneva, 1990, p. 14.
73 Mpumalanga: A Case Study of the Natal Violence, pp. 1-3.
75 Interview with Africa Watch, June 26, 1990.
76 Africa Watch is withholding the identity of the caller named in the transcript of the call which was received at the Democratic Party Office on November 27, 1989.
77 Interview with Africa Watch, July 12, 1990.
78 Affidavit by Richard Lyster, signed and sworn before a Commissioner of Oaths November 29, 1989. In another affidavit made November 29, 1990, Roy Ainslee, who was present, confirmed this account.
79 Mpumalanga File, Legal Resources Centre, Durban. Africa Watch visited their offices on July 12, 1990 and saw these affidavits.
80 Legal Resources Centre Memorandum to General Schutte dated February 12, 1990.
81 Sworn statements taken at the Black Sash Advice Office in Durban, June 21, 1990.
82 Copy of fax transmission to Adriaan Vlok from the Democratic Party office dated April 4, 1990, and memorandum to the Legal Resources Centre from the South African Police dated June 6, 1990, including the above affidavits.
83 Court Orders for Case No. 29891/90 in the Supreme Court of South Africa, Durban and Coast Local Division, before the Honorable Mr. Justice Broome at Durban on the 12th day of April 1990, and before the Honorable Mr. Justice Bristowe at Durban on the 19th day of June 1990.
84 Memorandum from Richard Lyster, Director Legal Resources Centre to the Commissioner of Kwazulu Police dated April 11, 1990.
85 Carmel Rickard, "Court Issues Order Against Attacks by KwaZulu Police," The Weekly Mail, April 20, 1990.
86 Interview with Africa Watch, August 22, 1990. Name withheld by request.
87 Melanie Earle, "Order Restrains KwaZulu Police," Natal Mercury, June 20, 1990.
88 Interview with Africa Watch, August 22, 1990.
89 Some days before this incident, residents had sent a memorandum to the ZP and a SAP Regional Commissioner asking for investigations into recent police abuses.
90 Interview with Africa Watch, August 22, 1990. Name withheld by request.
91 Interview with Africa Watch, August 22, 1990 and affidavit taken by the Legal Resources Centre, July, 1990. Name withheld by request.
92 Affidavits provided by the Legal Resources Centre in Durban.
93 Affidavits provided by the Legal Resources Centre in Durban.
94 Interview with Africa Watch on August 22, 1990. Names withheld by request.
95 Interview with attorney at Legal Resources Centre in Durban, August 20, 1990.
96 "Homes of ANC Backers Burned," Natal Mercury, July 10, 1990.
97 LRC Press Release, "Enseleni Township: Failure of SAP to Protect Residents," July 11, 1990.
98 Brian King, "Police Protect Township Residents After Attacks," Sunday Tribune (Durban), July 15, 1990.
99 Brian King, "Police Protect Township Residents After Attacks," Sunday Tribune, July 15, 1990; "SAP Agrees to Protect Residents in Enseleni," The Natal Witness, July 13, 1990; and a Legal Resources Centre Press Release entitled "Enseleni Township: Failure of SAP to Protect Residents," July 11, 1990.
100 Interview with Africa Watch, July 10, 1990 and sworn statement.
101 Legal Resources Centre Press Release, "Enseleni Township: Failure of SAP to Protect Residents, July 11, 1990.
102 Interview with Africa Watch, August 20, 1990.
103 Interview with Africa Watch, August 22, 1990.
104 Interview with Africa Watch, August 22, 1990.
105 Interview with Africa Watch, August 22, 1990.
106 Interview with Africa Watch, August 22, 1990.
107 Interview with Africa Watch, August 29, 1990.
108 Interview with Africa Watch, August 29, 1990. Names withheld.
109Farouk Chothis, "Complaints Mount Against SADF," New African, August 20, 1990 and Marguerite Moody, "Troops in Natal Face Allegations," The Star, August 20, 1989.
110 Affidavits provided by the Legal Resources Centre, Durban, July 11, 1990.
111 Interview with Africa Watch, August 1990. Name withheld by request.
112 Strini Moodley, "Violence: Legacy of a Misguided Struggle," unpublished paper.
113 Observations by Africa Watch representative, June 30, 1990.