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UA 262/93 - South Africa: fear of extrajudicial execution: Godfrey Maseko, Sibongiseni Maseko, Mkhanyisi Dlomo

, Index number: AFR 53/031/1993

African National Congress (ANC) executive branch members and other residents of Appelbosch, Natal, have suffered repeated attacks by armed men over the last year. On 16 January 1993 Godfrey Maseko's home was fired on by armed men. On 12 July officers from the Internal Stability Unit of the South African Police (SAP) visited his home three times apparently in search of weapons. Godfrey Maseko, an executive committee member of the ANC branch in Appelbosch was not at home, but the police allegedly tortured his younger brother Sibongiseni Maseko and another youth at the house. On 22 September 1992 a group of armed men, including police, surrounded the home of Mkhanyisi Dlomo, the Appelbosch ANC branch chairperson. They shot dead his mother, and wounded Mkhanyisi Dlomo. He is still in hiding.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 53/31/93
Distr: UA/SC
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.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in English or in your own language:
- expressing concern for the safety of Godfrey Maseko, Mkhanyisi Dlomo, and other members
of the ANC Appelsbosch branch executive committee and urging the authorities to take steps
to safeguard them against further harassment and attack so that they can return safely
to the Applesbosch area;
Page 2 of UA 262/93
- calling for an urgent investigation into reports that on 12 July 1993 officers from the
SAP Internal Stability Unit tortured Sibongiseni Maseko, and another youth in Appelsbosch;
for the officers allegedly involved to be suspended pending investigation and for those
responsible to be brought promptly to justice;
- seeking assurances that South African Police officers from Durban will be permitted to
conduct only officially authorized duties in Appelsbosch, and will be prevented from
committing further human rights violations there;
- requesting to be informed of what progress is being made by the police to arrest and
prosecute armed attackers allegedly involved in the 16 January 1993 attack on Godfrey
Maseko's home, and in other armed attacks;
- urging the authorities to exercise their responsibility to protect the lives of all
residents of Appelsbosch, by ensuring that the police behave impartially and respond promptly
to calls for assistance, and are willing to investigate and arrest the perpetrators of
attacks, irrespective of the political affiliation of attacker or victim.
APPEALS TO
1) Mr F W de Klerk
State President
State President's Office
Private Bag X83
Pretoria 0001
South Africa
Telegrams: President de KLerk, Pretoria, South Africa
Telexes: 321695 SPLIB SA, 321890 PRES SA
Faxes: + 27 12 323 3982
Salutation: Dear President
2) Mr H J Kriel
Minister of Law and Order
Private Bag X463
Pretoria 0001
South Africa
Telegrams: Minister Law/Order, Pretoria, South Africa
Telexes: 321353
Faxes: + 27 12 322 2559
Salutation: Dear Minister
3) Lieutenant-General W H Steyn
Regional Police Commissioner, Natal
P O Box 391
Durban 4000, South Africa
Telegrams: Natal Regional Police Commissioner, Durban, South Africa
Salutation: Dear Commissioner
4) Colonel Buys
Head of Special Investigation Unit
Officer of the Regional Commissioner, South African Police
P O Box 391
Durban 4000, South Africa
Telegrams: Head of Special Investigation Unit, c/o Natal Regional Police
Commissioner, Durban, South Africa
Salutation: Dear Colonel Buys
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
- District Commissioner, South African Police, Greytown Police Station, Greytown 3500,
South Africa
- Natal Monitor, Democratic Party Office, 4th Floor, No 76 Stamford Hill Rd, Durban 4001,
South Africa
- The Editor, Natal Witness, POB 362, Pietermaritzburg 3200, South Africa
- The Editor, City Press, POB 3413, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
- The Editor, New Nation, P O Box 10674, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
and to diplomatic representatives of South Africa accredited to your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section
office, if sending appeals after 17 September 1993.

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