EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 53/15/94
UA 87/94 Fear of Extrajudicial execution 4 March 1994
SOUTH AFRICA: Enoch NZUZA, National Union of Metalworkers of South
Africa (NUMSA) regional organizer, and African National
Congress (ANC) member
Mandla NZUZA, Enoch Nzuza's brother
Amnesty International is gravely concerned for the safety of Enoch Nzuza, a
trade union organizer and African National Congress (ANC) member, and for
members of his family, following recent attacks on them by armed men acting
with the acquiescence of the local police.
Enoch Nzuza is Northern Natal North regional organizer for the National Union
of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA). He has survived at least two previous
assassination attempts (see AFR 53/18/92, 28 August 1992). He and his family
have suffered constant harassment from members of the South African Police,
who have aggressively searched their home - in the Ndlangubo Reserve, a rural
village west of Empangeni - on numerous occasions, including most recently
in late December 1993.
On the evening of 12 February 1994, unidentified men in a white van forced
Enoch Nzuza's vehicle off the road he was driving near his home. The occupants
of the white van opened fire on him and the two companions he was travelling
with. When they returned fire the attackers fled. Although his car was
wrecked, Enoch Nzuza and his companions were apparently not seriously injured.
On 20 February two men entered the family's home and shot Mandla Nzuza, one
of Enoch's younger brothers. The attackers shot him in the neck and left thigh,
before running away from the house. Mandla Nzuza survived the attack. The
family reported the shooting to the police, who went to the hospital to question
Mandla. They did not visit the scene of the shooting until 3 March. They
showed little interest in searching for forensic evidence, such as spent
cartridges, and did not take a statement from Mandla or other possible witnesses.
However they requested Mandla report to the Mtunzini police station. As a
consequence of the reputation of this police station for collusion with the
perpetrators of politically-motivated attacks in the area, the family fear
the consequences of complying with this request.
Although the perpetrators of these two recent attacks have not been publicly
identified, there are fears that those responsible are linked to the local
Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)-aligned chief, Boy Mzimela. He reportedly uses
KwaZulu Policemen as bodyguards and has publicly stated he would kill any member
of his family known to be an ANC sympathiser. In 1990 Enoch Nzuza assisted
three members of the Mzimela family in a legal suit challenging the appointment
of Boy Mzimela as the successor to the chieftanship. From December 1990 through
June 1992, the three men involved in this legal suit were murdered. In August
1993, two other members of the family, who were ANC regional branch officials
and one of them a NUMSA shop-steward, were shot dead in Esikhawini township,
reportedly by members of the KwaZulu Police. No-one has been brought to justice
for these murders.
Northern Natal coastal region is a tense area dominated politically by the
IFP and the KwaZulu "homeland" authorities, under the leadership of the IFP