MI links to gun-running

Five men appeared in a Ciskei court this week in a case which points to an arms smuggling network stretching from Ciskei to the Western Cape, backed by Military Intelligence operatives and Ciskei.

The network appears to be using Ciskei as a base and a supplier of weapons to conservative squatter groups in the Western Cape. At least one of the men is known to have links with South African MI.

On trial in Ciskei are Mongezi Solani (28), a bodyguard of Ciskei’s Brigadier Oupa Gqozo, Titise Mcoyiyana (53); the chairman of Gqozo’s African Democratic Movement; former Umkhonto weSizwe member Jeffrey Moshumi (30); and two other Ciskei government employees, Dingaan Somtsora (41) and Vuyisile Madikane (25).

They face 37 charges, including the murder of two ANC members, the attempted murder of 22 other people, conspiracy to murder four people and possession of three AK-47s and explosives. Additional weapons found, but not mentioned in the charge sheet (two G3 rifles, a pistol) may have been legally issued by the Ciskei government.

Mcoyiyana told the court the pistol had been given to him by the Ciskei Defence Force, and a police witness said some of the weapons found on the men belonged to either the Ciskei police or defence force. Bail was refused and the case was postponed until March.

Speculation is Ciskei is being used by South African Mi agents to arm Ciskei-based hit squads and elements in the Western Cape. The ANC has confirmed that Moshumi is a former MK member, adding that he became involved with controversial Western Cape, squatter leader Jeffrey Nongwe last year. The ANC said Moshumi had been suspended for this reason.

Nongwe heads the Western Cape United Squatter Association (Wecusa), which has been involved in conflict around development resources there. In October, Wecusa set up the Western Cape Community Organisation (Wecco) in opposition to the ANC-aligned South African National Civic Organisation. Inkatha’s Themba Khoza spoke at the Wecco launch.

Also linked to Nongwe are Nkosekhaya Prince Gobingca and Conrad Sandile. This week the Goldstone Commission summoned Gobingca. Ciskei Attorney-General Willem Jurgens said police want to question Gobingca in connection with the court case there.

Gobingca is an MI operative jailed in Transkei for plotting to kidnap Transkei ruler Major-General Bantu Holomisa. He was also involved in the abortive Transkei coup attempt in November 1990. He was freed on appeal in September last year. Gobingca told the Transkei authorities that he had worked with the witdoeke vigilantes in the Western Cape and had been backed by MI during the 1980s.

He told Ciskei interrogator that he had worked with an SADF member in the Cape Town squatter camps and with a white mail introduced to him as an SADF member based in Port Elizabeth. They are believed to be Commandant Faan du Toit, then intelligence officer in the Western Cape, and Commandant Jacques Seaward of Eastern Province Command.

Gobingca said they had planned a coup in Transkei for April 25 1991. Gobingca also spoke of his contact with Gqozo’s clandestine security unit, International Researchers — Ciskei Intelligence Service.

Lat year WM&G exposed the head of IR-CIS Anton Nieuwoudt, as an SADF operative. After leaving Ciskei Nieuwoudt moved to Cape Town. According to the interrogation report, Gobingca said: “Ted (IR-CIS member Ted Brassell) gave out that they will carry on with their operation in Transkei irrespective of what Pretoria is thinking, as the operation will be launched from Ciskei and as long as the South African government was not directly involved.”

Former SADF intelligence officer Colonel Geri Hugo said this week that Seaward and Du Doit had approached him in April 1991, asking to be reimbursed for money they had spent on Gobingca.

The links between Moshumi, Nongwe, Gobingca and MI hint at an arms smuggling network from Ciskei to the Western Cape. In January this year, Gobingca was rumoured to be moving in and out of Ciskei and Transkei on an arms procurement mission.

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