Document - Further information on UA 326/91 (AFR 53/33/91, 4 October) - South Africa: extrajudicial execution / fear of extrajudicial execution: Louis Sibeko, Vusi Tshabalala
EXTERNAL (for general distribution)AI Index: AFR 53/25/92
4 November 1992
Further information on UA 326/91 (AFR 53/33/91, 4 October 1991) - Extrajudicial Execution/Fear of Extrajudicial Execution
South Africa:Louis SIBEKO, general secretary Thokoza Civic Association
Vusi TSHABALALA, assistant secretary Thokoza Civic Association
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of a community activist, Louis Sibeko, general secretary of the Thokoza Civic Association, following the murder of Vusi Tshabalala in Thokoza township on 27 October 1992. During October at least 17 other political activists and township residents have been killed by gunmen apparently operating with impunity in Thokoza, which is about 30 kilometres east of Johannesburg.
Vusi Tshabalala was shot dead when walking with a friend in the township on 27 October. The gunman apparently came up behind the two men and shot Vusi Tshabalala in the back. The gunman did not attempt to conceal his identity from Vusi Tshabalala's friend, who was standing in a state of shock when the killer shot Vusi Tshabalala several more times in the back of his head after he had fallen to the ground. The friend has now gone into hiding. He has made a statement to a lawyer about what he witnessed, but has refused to make a statement to the police out of fear of becoming more vulnerable to attack. There are fears in Thokoza that Vusi Tshabalala's killer and the gunmen involved in the other attacks in October are acting under instructions from elements within the police.
Louis Sibeko, a close friend as well as colleague of Vusi Tshabalala, has been a target of harassment and surveillance for more than a year. He has been very prominently involved in local peace efforts, in taking statements from victims of human rights violations and urging the police to conduct proper investigations into these violations. He has also given evidence to the Commission of Inquiry regarding the Prevention of Public Violence and Intimidation (Goldstone Commission), which, for nearly a year, has been holding hearings into incidents of political violence in Thokoza and other East Rand townships. He has had to go into hiding at various times during this period, including on 31 October 1992, because strangers have been seen outside his home, apparently keeping it under surveillance.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern for the safety of Thokoza Civic Association official, Louis Sibeko, who appears to be under threat by a group of men who are keeping him under surveillance, and urging the authorities to provide him with protection in accordance with his wishes;
- urging that the authorities fully investigate the murder of Vusi Tshabalala, who was shot dead in Thokoza by a gunman on 27 October 1992, and bring to justice those directly or indirectly responsible for his death.
Page 2 of FU 326/91
1) Mr F W De KlerkSalutation: Dear State President
State President's Office
Private Bag X83
Telegrams: State President de Klerk, Pretoria, South Africa
Telexes: 321695 SPLIB SA, 321890 PRES SA, 322158 PRES SA
Faxes: + 27 12 323 3982
2) Mr H J KrielSalutation: Dear Minister
Minister of Law and Order
Private Bag X463
Pretoria 0001, South Africa
Telegrams: Minister Law/Order, Pretoria, South Africa
Telexes: 321353, 321358 HABS SA (via Ministry of Home Affairs)
Faxes: + 27 12 322 2559
3) Lt-Gen J Van Der MerweSalutation: Dear Commissioner
Commissioner of Police
Private Bag X94
Pretoria 0001, South Africa
Telegrams: Police Commissioner Van Der Merwe, Pretoria, South Africa
Telexes: 3-20772 SAPQM SA, 3-20838 SAPOB SA
Faxes: + 27 12 323 2033, + 27 12 326 5162
4) Lt-Gen J F CalitzSalutation: Dear Lieutenant-General
Regional Commissioner, Witwatersrand
Private Bag X5
Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
Telegrams: Witwatersrand Regional Police Commissioner, Johannesburg,
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
The following human rights organizations:
Independent Board of Inquiry into Informal Repression
PO Box 32293, Braamfontein
PO Box 45096, Mayfair
and to diplomatic representatives of South Africa accredited to your country.
PLEASE DO NOT SEND COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO SOUTH AFRICAN NEWSPAPERS.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 16 December 1992.