EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 53/31/93
UA 262/93 Fear of extrajudicial execution 6 August 1993
SOUTH AFRICA; Godfrey Maseko, executive committee member, African National
Congress (ANC) branch in Appelsbosch, near Greytown,
Natal, and lecturer at Appelsbosch College of Education
Sibongiseni Maseko, younger brother of Godfrey Maseku
Mkhanyisi Dlomo, ANC chairperson, Appelsbosch branch
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Godfrey Maseko, Sibongiseni Maseko,
Mkhanyisi Dlomo and ANC branch executive members from the community of Appelsbosch, in
the Natal midlands area. ANC executive branch members and other Appelsbosch residents have
suffered repeated attacks by armed men over the past year or more. In some instances
eye-witnesses have alleged that known Inkatha members or supporters were among their
attackers. There are also reports that South African Police (SAP) officers have taken part
in attacks, and they are alleged to have tortured Sibongiseni Maseko and another young
man. Godfrey Maseko, Mkhanyisi Dlomo and other ANC branch members have been forced to flee
the area because of the constant threat of attack.
On 12 July 1993, officers from the Internal Stability Unit of the South African Police
(SAP), based in Durban, visited Godfrey Maseko's home in Appelsbosch three times on the
same day, apparently to search for weapons. Godfrey Maseko was not at home, but the police
allegedly tortured his younger brother, Sibongiseni Maseko, and another youth who were
at the house to force them to reveal the whereabouts of weapons. They hand-cuffed Sibongiseni
Maseko and stretched a rubber tyre tube tightly over his face as if to suffocate him. No
weapons were found. When police arrived the third time, the young men at the house fled.
The police reportedly shot at the youths but none were injured. Later that day the police
arrested and questioned Godfrey Maseko about a hand-grenade they said they had found buried
in the grounds of his home during the third visit. He was later released without charge.
Godfrey Maseko has been the target of attacks and police harassment on previous occasions,
including on 27 December 1992 when SAP officers from Durban forced their way into his home
to search for weapons, but found none. Soon afterwards, on 16 January 1993, the Maseko
home was fired on by armed men, and Godfrey Maseko narrowly escaped with his life.
On 22 September 1992, a group of armed men including police officers from the SAP Internal
Stability Unit in Durban surrounded the home of Mkhanyisi Dlomo, the Appelsbosch ANC branch
chairperson, in the small hours of the morning. They shot dead his mother, and wounded
Mkhanyisi Dlomo in the shoulder as he fled. Mkhanyisi Dlomo has still not been able to
return to live at home, out of fear of further attacks.
Appelsbosch falls under the jurisdiction of the SAP based at Greytown, though it is situated
some distance from Greytown. Amnesty International is concerned that Durban-based SAP
officers have allegedly committed human rights violations in Appelsbosch, while conducting
operations outside their own area of jurisdiction and apparently without the authorization
of the local police. Amnesty International is calling upon the authorities to provide
effective protection for all residents of Appelsbosch, and to arrest the perpetrators of
armed attacks and bring them to justice.