TWINS Sadat and Samora Mpendulo (16 years old), Mzwandile Mfeya (12 years old), Sandiso Yose (12 years old) and Thando Mthembu (17) were sleeping when the South African National Defence Force, authorised by the now Nobel Peace Laureate F W De Klerk, shot them on the head, killing all of them. Records by SABC’s Truth Commission Special Report reveal that authorisation “had been given ‘to conduct a limited strike on the house’ in order ‘to neutralise the target’. This authorisation emanated from a meeting of the State Security Council attended by, inter alia, Ministers Kriel, Coetsee, Pik Botha and then State President FW de Klerk”. http://sabctrc.saha.org.za/reports/volume2/chapter7/subsection7.htm
Speaking a week after the execution, De Klerk’s men justified the killings on 8 October 1993 saying the house was used as a base for the Azanian People’s Liberation Army (Apla), the military wing of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC).
A press statement released by the then Minister of Defence HJ ‘Kobie’ Coetzee stated that the raid was based on intelligence provided by three suspects in detention. Ostensibly the raid was to pre-empt attacks on civilians by APLA operatives, allegedly using the Transkei as a base from which to launch such attacks.
In 1995, the Government of National Unity issued the following statement, drawn up according to Minister of Justice Dullah Omar in consultation with President Mandela and Deputy President FW de Klerk:
“The raid on the house in Umtata was authorised on the strength of the intelligence provided by the security forces, that it was being used as an armed cache for attacks against civilians in other parts of South Africa. That information was inaccurate at the time of the operation and the killing of the youthful occupants was unjustified and inexcusable”.
De Klerk has also defended his authorisation. In 2007 his foundation released a statement saying: “Although the operation was tragically botched, Mr De Klerk himself acted in his capacity as head of the government with due deliberation and care and in complete compliance with national and international law.”