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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

SACP Statement of the KZN Arms Cache

12 May 1999

The SACP is pleased that finally, at least some of the huge stockpile of weapons amassed in KwazuluNatal has now been uncovered. This represents an important breakthrough in the quest for peace in KZN and the country as a whole.

We are not at all surprised by this as it underlines what we have always said that KZN has been used as a base for counterrevolutionary activities and the destabilisation of our democracy. It further highlights the extent to which the IFP has always been an integral part of this agenda. When the IFP welcomed Powell into its own ranks it was fully aware of his association with the structures of the apartheid security machinery, and thus cannot claim that it was infiltrated unawares. It was infiltration by invitation! Despite this awareness Powell was given very sensitive portfolios in the IFP principally relating to matters of safety and security.

The SACP calls upon Buthelezi and all other IFP leaders to come clean on this matter. We are not convinced by Buthelezi's claim that the IFP leadership knew nothing about this. Buthelezi himself has been on record defending Phillip Powell many times when Powell was in charge of the IFP's selfprotection units and the protection of the then KwaZulu bantustan. Powell himself has said that he did all this as part of the IFP's socalled selfprotection programme. If this programme was approved by the IFP, and Powell says he stored these arms as part of this programme, let the IFP leadership speak the truth on this matter.

It is simply impossible that Powell could have been acting alone on such a big operation. This is further underlined by the fact that the IFP is refusing to take action against Powell in the light of such a serious expose. Let Powell not stop here, but point to more arms and name all the people who have been involved. According to De Kock there were more arms delivered to the IFP.

The discovery of these arms has farreaching implications and could shed further light on the entire 16 years of violence, mayhem and murder in KZN. It goes to show the sinister motives behind the Caprivi training, the real agenda behind attacks such as the Seven Day War in Pietermaritzburg in which Powell's name featured prominently, as well as a whole string of massacres and violent operations in KZN. This arms cache and Powell's involvement, we believe, provide a sound basis for a thorough investigation into KZN violence.

For us as the SACP, the uncovering of the cache once more seriously calls into question the credibility of the entire top police hierarchy in KZN, particularly those who were part of the old order. Failure by the police to locate arms and effectively investigate the violence in the province over all these years, means that a serious shakeup in the top echelons of the police in the province is needed as a matter of extreme urgency. The SACP fully supports the call by the Alliance in KZN for the immediate removal of Commissioner Serfontein as he has failed the people of KZN. This is a serious indictment on his leadership of the police in the province.

Issued by the SACP Department of Information & Publicity

General Secretary Dr.Blade Nzimande

EMail: sacp1@wn.apc.org

South African Communist Party Head Office

COSATU House

No. 1 Leyds Street 7th Floor

Braamfontein 2001

Republic of South Africa

(Tel: 27 11 3393621/2)

(Fax: 27 11 3394244)

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.