TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION AMNESTY DECISION
A former member of the Police Force, Ontlametse Bernstein Menyatsoe was granted amnesty today for the killing of three AWB members in Mafeking in March 1994.
Menyatsoe applied for amnesty for killing Jacobus Stephanus Uys, Alwyn Wolfaardt and Nicollas Cornelius Four. The applicant shot and killed the deceased after receiving a report from his neighbour that the AWB had taken over the military base.
The report distressed the applicant as he feared that the police would also be taken over and that he was not in favour of Bophuthatswana being controlled by the right-wingers. The next day Menyatsoe went to his work place and found that the situation was extremely volatile as a AWB convoy of vehicles drove through the streets of Mafeking.
The situation was extremely volatile and shooting broke out. Members of the AWB shot at people alongside the road and they were being shot at by members of the Defence Force and the Police.
Many people in the area were injured and killed. The incident took place when South Africa was preparing for its first democratic elections. Bophuthatswana, particularly in the Mafeking area, was experiencing severe unrest.
It is believed that the AWB moved in defence of Lucas Mangope's regime at the time. The application by Menyatsoe was opposed by the Uys family and the AWB.
The committee found that the events which led to the general chaos and violence which reigned in Mafeking that day were clearly politically driven. The applicant did not shoot the deceased persons merely out of malice or for personal gain.
The Committee accepted the applicants evidence that he at the time was in favour of Bophuthatswana being reincorporated into South Africa and that he was angered by the presence of the right-wing elements who he believed were supporting the Bophuthatswana Government on its stance against reincorporating.
The panel was satisfied that the crimes committed by the applicant were acts associated with a political objective and that he made full disclosure of all the relevant facts.
The spouses, children and parents of the three deceased were referred to the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee for consideration.
Inquiries: Phila Ngqumba - 082 458 8463
Issued by: Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 5 August 1999