TAC to Take Action to Stop Criminals Threatening its Members in Khayelitsha

Since 2003 TAC Khayelitsha members have been actively involved in campaigns against violence, particularly violence against women, children, gays and lesbians.

On 16 December 2005, a TAC member 18 year old Nandipha Makeke, was raped and murdered. On the same day another member, Mandla Nkunkuma, was attacked and shot. Mandla Nkunkuma identified his attacker as Yanga Janet who was later arrested for the rape and murder of Nandipha Makeke.

Since 2003 TAC Khayelitsha members have been actively involved in campaigns against violence, particularly violence against women, children, gays and lesbians.

On 16 December 2005, a TAC member 18 year old Nandipha Makeke, was raped and murdered. On the same day another member, Mandla Nkunkuma, was attacked and shot. Mandla Nkunkuma identified his attacker as Yanga Janet who was later arrested for the rape and murder of Nandipha Makeke.

TAC Khayelitsha activists rallied for over two years to see justice done in the murder trial of Nandipha Makeke in which four men stood trial. We attended over 20 court appearances.

On 17 March 2008 the charges against Zukile Fumbatha (accused No.2) and Janet (Accused No.4) were dismissed, because there was insufficient evidence to convict them. Janet was subsequently released.

On 2 April 2008 Thembinkosi Ntukani (accused No.1) was found guilty of murder and of being an accomplice to rape, while Bonga Sibhozo (accused No.3) was found guilty of murder and rape. Both were also found guilty of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

When TAC members queried the status of the investigation on the shooting of Mandla Nkunkuma we were informed the docket was lost. Since then it has been relocated but important medical records are mysteriously missing.

Janet, a known gang leader, and his associates have been intimidating and threatening TAC members, predominantly in the Harare area of Khayelitsha. Janet has made it known to many, including one of TAC's members directly, that he plans to murder a number of TAC members in order to “finish what he started”. Three TAC members targeted by Janet have therefore been accommodated outside of Khayelitsha in a safe house at TAC's expense as they fear for their lives.

On Sunday 30 March 2008 the home of one TAC member was broken into and Slulamile Hlonendlini, another member, was stabbed by an assailant suspected to be associated with Janet's gang. Both incidents took place in Harare, Khayelitsha. Hlonendlini had to be hospitalised at Tygerberg Hospital for four nights.

Yanga Janet and his thugs gather daily on the corner of Hlonela Street and Mew Way Road. This corner is an important bus and taxi stop for many residents of Harare. This is also the corner on which Janet shot Mandla Nkunkuma in 2005. This same location is where they regularly intimidate TAC members, particularly women, calling them names, staring at them menacingly and taunting them about their involvement in TAC.

TAC Khayelitsha has mobilised against violence against women since the rape and murder of Lorna Mlofana (a TAC member) on 13 December 2005. It is ironic and tragic that the members of an organisation dedicated to improving safety and justice in one of South Africa's biggest townships, now feel they do not have the adequate protection of the police or the courts.

TAC has therefore decided to take the following actions:

  • An urgent court application is being sought to get a protection order against Yanga Janet and his associates.

  • We will hold a public march in Harare Khayelitsha on 17 April focusing on community and gender based violence. We will protest the slow functioning of the judicial system and campaign for appropriate policing and investigation.

  • We will hold a march in Cape Town on 8 May 2008 on the same theme.

  • We will step up our community education and mobilisation programs.

TAC calls on the ANC, government, SAPS, community organisations, faith based organisations, trade unions, and ordinary community members to join us in our campaign against violence.

We will not allow our communities to be ruled by gangsterism, crime and violence. This campaign can be won, like many others in the past, through broad-based community organising.