Thursday, July 22, 2010

Robert Mc Bride - Magoo's Bar Murders - City's Metro Police

Early life

Robert McBride was born July 6, 1963 in the racially segregated Addington hospital, Durban, South Africa. His maternal grandparents were a White Afrikaner bus driver from the rural village of Harding in southern Natal, and a Coloured daughter of a Zulu-speaking mother and a Coloured father. McBride's parents were schoolteachers and he grew up in Wentworth, a suburb about 11 km from Durban, Wentworth was a converted World War 2 military transit camp that was reserved for Coloured people only by the apartheid social planners. He attended Fairvale High School in Wentworth and participated in extramural activities like rugby, karate and boxing. After he was beaten by an older boy in the neighbourhood. Under the influence of his embittered father, his father taught him martial arts.He grew more aggressive, becoming embroiled in many fights. When 13, he was arrested for challenging the police beating of a youth. When older, while walking an employee home at night, he killed an attacker with his mother's pistol.
He dropped out of Mechanical Engineering after one semester at the University of Natal and continued working in his father’s welding workshop, after which he briefly did shift work at the nearby docks. He then worked as an instrument fitter for the oil parastatal Sasol at its Secunda plant in the eastern Transvaal. There he met Thomas Matjeke a trade unionist who talked of the ANC and Frelimo. In 1983 McBride began at Bechet, a (Coloured) Teacher Training College, was elected to the Student's representative Council the same year, and helped form the Bechet branch of the Azanian Students' Organisation (AZASO), a student wing of the United Democratic Front (UDF). Here he met Vincent James, active in the Congress of South African Students (COSAS). It was during this time that he decided that armed struggle was the only way for him to meaningfully contribute to the liberation struggle in South Africa.

Mcbride married Paula Leyden while still on death row, but has subsequently separated.

McBride obtained a BA in international politics from the University of South Africa in 2001, a B.Tech degree in policing from the Tshwane University of Technology in 2007 and a diploma in foreign relations from the Institute of Diplomacy & Foreign Relations Malaysia

Militant anti-apartheid activities

He developed political views at an early age due to influence of his father. He was particularly influenced by two books: A. J. Venter's Coloured: A Profile of 2 Million South Africans which describes the efforts of coloured political activists such as James April, Don Mattera, Jakes Gerwel, Basil February, and his uncle, Rev. Clive McBride; and Soledad Brothers: The prison letters of George Jackson, about an African-American associated with the Black Panther movement, became one of the most influential books McBride ever read. (written by a founding member of the American Black Guerrilla Family). Through it he realized that he could physically fight for his liberation. Through a friend, Robert was introduced to the politics of a regenerating trade union movement, Black Consciousness (including the writing of Steve Biko) and the Frelimo independence movement in Mozambique.

In 1984, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the ANC's military wing, attempted to sabotage the oil refinery near his home. McBride was soon recruited into the ANC and became an active member. On April 26, 1986, he carried out a daring act and freed Gordon Webster, a wounded MK commander, in a shootout with the police at Edendale Hospital.

What Robert McBride did, and who was harmed.





Fifth Applicant had structured an anti-apartheid unit in Wentworth by September 1985. Whilst it was not formally linked to MK, it was aligned to it and drew strength from what it did and its philosophy.
Having in the past attended the Fairvale Senior Secondary School, he was aware of the condition of the school buildings and the inferior quality of education that was being delivered there. To him this was a product of the apartheid system and was an integral cog therein. The three Applicants then discussed the issue and decided to burn the school. They obtained petrol in a container and on the night of 3rd September 1985 went to the school. Two of them kept watch while McBride poured petrol onto the building and set it alight. In the result the building was damaged. McBride's version was corroborated by the other two Applicants.
The Committee is satisfied that the Applicants committed these offence(s) for political reasons and have disclosed the relevant facts pertain to the commission thereof. In the circumstances they should all by amnesty in respect of the offences and delicts flowing from this incident.


By the 6th January 1986, McBride had been recruited into MK by Gordon Webster who was head of a unit under the authority of the 1st Applicant and who ensured that the unit was provided with the necessary equipment to complete their operations.
McBride was not involved in the initial planning of this operation. His role in the operation was to drive Webster and another to the targeted sub-station when the person originally chosen to drive them became unavailable. When a hole was cut into the fence to facilitate entry, the alarm was activated and they then aborted the operation and drove away.
This incident was clearly one that was committed for political reasons and the Applicants have indeed made a full disclosure of the relevant facts attendant hereto.
The Committee is also satisfied that the operation was based on political consideration and that all the relevant facts pertaining to the commission thereof have been disclosed. In the result the Applicants should be amnesty for offences and delicts flowing from this incident.


After the aborted attempt to damage the Cato Manor Sub-Station, it was suggested that the sub-station at Chamberlain Road, Jacobs be targeted.
On the 9th January 1986, while McBride was working on false compartment in a certain motor vehicle (on instructions of Webster), Webster approached him at the workshop and asked him to accompany him to the Chamberlain Road sub-station. McBride indicated that if he did that, he would not be able to finish the false compartment in the specified time. Upon request to do so, he took Webster to Webster's brothers house.
At the same time, Webster collected the limpet mines which he intended to use at the sub-station from McBride. McBride knew that Webster was then on his way to complete this attack. He assisted him in doing so by taking him to his brother's home where he could arrange for further transport to the relevant sub-station. A little later McBride heard the explosion and knew that Webster had blown up that substation. He found out later that one person, Colonel Bobby Welman was killed as a result and that Mervyn Dunn, P. Zimmerman, R. van der Merwe and D.A. Booysens were injured in the blast. It seems that two charges were set to go off at different times. According to McBride, the first blast was to attract the police and the second to inure them when they were investigating the first. The blast was committed on that day to highlight the annual ANC statement delivered the previous day.
The Committee is satisfied that the Applicants have made a full disclosure of the facts relating to this incident which was committed within the framework of the political strategy of MK at the time.
It seems that this was the first operation which deliberately incorporated the new strategy of targeting of security personnel.


Webster and McBride prepared two mines and planted them at the Huntley Hill substation. They were placed and timed to explode later. This is exactly what happened. Extensive damage was caused to the substation as was intended. This operation was also motivated by the need to cause economic sabotage, to demonstrate the power of the MK and for propaganda purposes.
It is clear that this incident was committed with a political motive and that the Applicants have disclosed all the relevant facts related to the commission thereof.
The Committee is satisfied that the requirements of the Act have been complied with in this instance. In the result the Applicants ought to be amnesty in respect of all delicts and offences which flow therefrom.


Similarly, as in the cases of the explosions at the Cato Manor and Huntley Hill incidents, Webster and McBride prepared limpet mines for use at the aforementioned pylon. Having done so, the two of them went to Rossburgh and placed a limpet mine at the foot of each of the four legs of the said pylon.
In line with the policy of attacking security personnel, they placed a fifth one which was timed to explode a while later. It was intended to explode when security personnel were on the scene after the initial explosions. Presumably this was intended to inure or kill any of the members of the security forces likely to have been in attendance at the damaged pylon.
It is not known if anyone was injured or killed as a result of this operation. Clearly the offences were committed for political reasons and the Applicants have made a full disclosure of the facts related to the commission of the offences.
The Committee is satisfied in this case also that the requirements of the Act have been complied with and that amnesty should be to the Applicants for all offences and delicts flowing from this incident.


Prior to February 1986, 1st Applicant, as commander of Special Operations, instructed McBride to reconnoitre the area between Durban and Pietermaritzburg for oil pipes. Upon finding these, McBride was to sabotage them by bombing. The exercise was in terms of the policy to commit economic sabotage and demonstrate the MK military power. Fifth Applicant did this and came across a pipe which he thought to be an oil pipe. He damaged it as planned. However, it turned out to be a water pipe which lead water to Pietermaritzburg along the area McBride was surveying. The explosion caused extensive damage to the pipe. There were no known injuries or deaths which resulted from it. Clearly, the offences were committed with a political motive. Furthermore, the Applicant have indeed made full disclosure of the relevant facts related to the commission of the offence(s).
The Committee is satisfied that the Applicants have complied with the requirements of the Act and that amnesty in respect of delicts and offences flowing from this incident ought to be .


On the 21st March 1986, Gordon Webster, Themba Khumalo, who was also an MK operative, and McBride endeavoured to bomb the sub-station situated at Chamberlain Road, Jacobs. Their first attempt to do so was abandoned due to the sounding of an alarm. They later made a second attempt. Four land mines were strategically placed at the sub-station. These exploded and caused extensive damage to the sub-station. Aside from the general reasons of economic sabotage and armed propaganda for committing this act, it was also committed to commemorate what has become known as the Sharpeville Massacre.
The Applicants have made full disclosure of the relevant facts attendant hereto and the incident was motivated by political considerations.
The Committee is satisfied that the Applicants have complied with the requirements of the Act and that in the circumstances amnesty in respect of delicts and offences flowing from this incident should be .


Mr Leaf was a principal of a school during April 1986. He was also a senior member of the Labour Party which participated in the then Tricameral system in operation at the time. He was suspected of being a police reservist.
The Applicants referred to a few incidents related to Mr Leaf's involvement with police operations. These allegations were never disputed nor was his affiliation to the Labour Party.
One Vincent James was given training in use of handgrenades by the fifth Applicant. The latter also provided two (2) handgrenades for the purposes of attacking a member of the opposition though he did not have knowledge of the intended victim(s). James then went to Mr Leaf's home together with Kevin Curtis and the 8th Applicant. The handgrenades were enabled and thrown at the home of Mr Leaf. Neither of them were thrown accurately enough to penetrate through the glass panes and hit the outside walls of the house.
The exercise was designed to highlight objections to collaborating with the upkeep and the sustaining of the apartheid system and was committed for purely political reasons. There were no injuries or deaths that resulted from the incident. There was slight damage to the house.
The Committee is satisfied that the requirements of the Act have been complied with and that amnesty should be to these Applicants fro all offences and delicts flowing from this incident.


On or about the 1st May 1986, McBride and the 9th Applicantembarked on an attack of the then home of Mr Peter Klein in pursuance of the policy of attacking apartheid machinery. Mr Klein was regarded as a police reservist and very closely associated with the Labour party. The latter allegation was not denied while it was suggested to the Applicants that Mr Klein was not a police reservist. At any rate, he was viewed as such by the 9th Applicant and his colleagues. 9th Applicant obtained a handgrenade from McBride. He was with one Antonio Du Preez at the time. Both of them received instructions in detonating and throwing the handgrenade from McBride. It is not clear whether McBride was aware of the identity of the intended victim but he knew that it was intended for an attack on a person who was collaborating with the apartheid machinery.
9th Applicant and Du Preez proceeded to the home of Mr Klein that night when it was already dark. 9th Applicant then pulled the pin of the handgrenade and threw it through the window of the home of Mr Klein.
It landed in the main bedroom and exploded. Both Mr and Mrs Klein were injured as a result.
It was argued and indeed put to the 9th Applicant that Mrs Klein could not have been a target and therefore amnesty in regard the offences committed against her should not be granted. It is common cause that she was in the bedroom at the time and was likely to have been there. In all probability this was foreseen or at least ought to have been foreseen. She was consequently at risk of at least being injured when the offence was committed. The offence was committed despite this possibility. She was caught in the crossfire in an incident in which such a possibility was regarded as less important that the actual commission of the principle crime of attacking a collaborator of apartheid. This was indeed the response to the proposition that she was a target.
It is clear that the commission of this deed was motivated by the political considerations of the time and that the relevant full disclosure in respect thereof has been made.
The Committee is satisfied that the Applicants have complied with the requirements of the Act and amnesty should be to these Applicants in respect of all offences and delicts flowing from this incident.


During the latter part of April 1986, Gordon Webster was arrested by the South African Police. He was shot at and injured during the process of being arrested. As a result he was hospitalised at Edenvale Hospital and kept there in police custody under police guard. It was at this stage that McBride assumed command of Webster's unit as well. McBride then put into operation a plan to assist Webster to escape from police custody at the Edenvale Hospital, Pietermaritzburg. he regarded this as an obligation and stated that he believed that resisting captivity in any way was the tradition of soldiers, formal or otherwise. In any event, he and Webster had entered into a pact to assist one another in this way in the event of either being captured.
The plan was put into operation after McBride called upon certain operatives from the units in the area. Mr Derrick McBride, the father of McBride, offered his assistance in the operation. In planning the operation, the approval of the high command in Botswana was obtained through the 1st Applicant and reconnaissance of the area of the hospital was conducted on a daily basis over a period of about ten days prior to the execution of the operation.
The operation was planned to occur after visiting hours to minimize the possibility of injury to ordinary civilians who were visiting the hospital. Furthermore, it would be easier to effect the operation with less people there.
In terms of the plan, a motor vehicle would be parked at the back of the hospital where a hole would be made in the boundary fence. It would be made to seem as if this motor vehicle had broken down. It was to be used as a get-away vehicle. Thereafter, Webster would be assisted to escape from the second floor after the police guards were subdued. Upon getting Webster into the get-away vehicle, he would be driven to another motor vehicle into which Webster would be put and driven by 6th Applicant to a designated spot.
The weapons used was to be handed to Themba Khumalo who would have buried these in a prepared hole after having detonated two handgrenades near a police station in order to draw the police away from the hospital so as to facilitate the get away.
Eventually, the hospital was penetrated as planned by Robert McBride and Derrick McBride who went ahead to check for possible problems. The armed police guards were discovered and Robert McBride who was armed with an assault rifle under his long coat was confronted by one of them. Robert McBride was disguised in a white coat so as to look like a doctor. It seems that Derrick McBride was disguised as a priest.
Robert McBride fired at the policemen. All the persons present then dived for cover and acted as trained policemen, instinctively taking up positions to counter the attack. McBride discharged a second burst of fire directing this at this group of persons so positioned. It seems that it was during the second burst of fire that Mlungize Buthelezi was killed. Simpiwe Shage and Nkosinathi Nkabini were also injured as a result thereof.
As McBride entered Webster's ward, he was fired at by policeman Visagie. McBride shot at him, injuring him in the hand and as a result Visagie retreated to a room in the intensive care unit. There were other patients in the ward at the time as well as nurses. Webster was then wheeled out of the ward on a laundry trolley while carrying the firearm used by McBride. According to McBride, Webster might have discharged it during the process of being wheeled out. They escaped from the hospital as planned. They drove to the centre of Pietermaritzburg but could not find the second motor vehicle at the predetermined place. They still had the weapons as Khumalo had, for some unknown reason, not prepared the hole and it seemed that he told 6th Applicant to leave the agreed place of meeting. They then proceeded to Wentworth in Durban. A few days thereafter, Webster was taken out of the country through the Ramatlaban border post in a caravan and in which the occupants posed as tourists. Webster was attended to by a qualified nurse able to administer medical assistance. Webster was then handed to the ANC in Botswana and thereafter he was taken to Russia where he received further treatment and recovered fully. While 6th Applicant did not contribute to the actual execution of this operation, she was part of the plan and had full knowledge of what was going to happen and associated herself therewith.
In this instance also, the Committee is satisfied that the Applicants have complied with the requirements of the Act and amnesty should be to all the Applicants involved in this incident in respect of all offences and delicts arising therefrom.


During the period of the latter part of May 1986, a group of foreign persons were visiting South Africa. They came to be referred to as the "EMINENT PERSONS GROUP". Their aim was to broker a settlement in South Africa. At the same time the South African Forces attacked ANC structures in the neighbouring states in an attempt to exclude the ANC from such efforts to attain a peace agreement.
In order to demonstrate the folly of excluding the ANC, McBride planned to put a false bomb in the parkade. This was to show that the ANC was an important party to any talks with regard to an intended settlement in South Africa and it was able to penetrate any defence mechanism of the security forces and to destabilise South Africa. McBride was assisted in planting this false bomb by one Jeanette Apelgren. No injuries, death or damages resulted from this incident. It is clear that this operation was completed for political reasons and that McBride has complied with the requirements of the Act. Therefore, amnesty should be to McBride in respect of all offences and delicts which flow from this incident.


Prior to 14 June 1986, the policy of armed struggle was still being adopted by the ANC and in particular, MK, its armed wing.
As has been more fully referred to above, Webster was tasked by the high command of MK Special Operations to investigate the possibility of carrying out what is commonly known as a car bomb attack directed at the Natal Military Command. At some stage McBride assisted in such reconnaissance. It was eventually recommended that such operation be aborted because of the tight security around the building where the Natal Military Command was located.
At the time there was a general bona fide belief that members of the security forces frequented the "Why Not" Restaurant which was situated along the beach road in Durban immediately next to what was known as "Magoo's" Bar. In addition, further confirmatory information in this regard was obtained by Webster who told McBride thereof. With the passage of time, further reconnaissance was conducted in the area of the "Why Not Bar" as it was noticed that known members of the Security Police stationed at the nearby CR Swart Square (Police Station) gathered there very often. On at least one occasion one of two groups of policemen left CR Swart Square and went to the said establishment.
A second instance of reconnaissance was the surveillance of a block of residential flats in the suburb of Berea, Durban. Many apartments of this block of flats were occupied by members of the South African Police. McBride considered bombing this building but abandoned the idea because of the possibility of killing little children. On one of these occasions, he followed a group of these policemen to the "Why Not Bar". this further strengthened his belief that the "Why Not Bar" was frequented by members of the police who were legitimate targets.
It was reasoned that all of these factors made the "Why Not Bar" a legitimate target for MK. By this time, it must be remembered, the policy of avoiding civilian casualties had been somewhat relaxed and the targeting of a civilian establishment did not strain the ANC policy related to the armed struggle to the extent that it would previously have done. Webster was arrested and was eventually out of circulation prior to the execution of the attack. It was at this stage that McBride assumed command of both units. He was instructed by his superiors that the operation should continue despite the absence of Webster.
McBride consequently went to Botswana in order to consult the leadership of Special Operations. While he was there, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Applicants trained him in the construction and use of the car bomb. This was done on the instruction of the 1st Applicant. All of them knew that the car bomb was going to be used in such a manner so as to risk life and limb of not only security force personnel but also that of civilians. He received political instruction relating to the morality of the plan when he raised the matter of civilian risk. It was again explained to him that civilian risk was secondary and that the primary focus should be directed at the security personnel who could no longer hide behind civilians when they themselves ignore such a risk as had been demonstrated previously in incidents carried out by them in protecting the apartheid machinery. He was instructed further to execute the operation on the 14 June 1986 bearing in mind the significance of 16 June 1976. McBride was provided with the necessary equipment and he smuggled these into South Africa. He thereupon set up the plan and was assisted by 6th and 9th Applicants. After preparing the bomb, he was accompanied by 10th Applicant in the motor vehicle carrying the bomb. It was parked in West Street, Durban. Initially, 9th Applicant did not have any knowledge of what was in progress. However, en route to West Street, McBride informed the 9th Applicant not to drive so fast over bumps as the motor vehicle contained 60 kg of explosives.
McBride then went to do further reconnaissance and in terms of the plan, managed to obtain a parking bay with another motor vehicle as near as possible to the "Why Not Bar". It was on the curb of the road also near the neighbouring Magoo's Bar. He parked this ordinary motor vehicle there and asked 6th Applicant to sit in the vehicle and to pull out of the parking bay when he returned. McBride then returned to the motor vehicle carrying the explosives and proceeded to the parking bay which he managed to secure outside the aforementioned target for the purpose of the operation.
While 6th Applicant was not informed of what was in progress, she suspected what was about to occur from the events in progress. 9th Applicant knew a little more than 6th Applicant at that stage. However, both knew the nature of the political activities in which they involved themselves. They both testified that they knew that there was a risk to life and limb but nonetheless continued in the activities which lead to the eventual blast resulting in death, injuries and damage.
The motor vehicle carrying the explosives was then parked into the parking bay created by 6th Applicant vacating it when McBride and the 9th Applicant arrived. 6th Applicant drove the other motor vehicle to a nearby pre-arranged spot.
After the motor vehicle was parked, McBride enabled the bomb and set the attached timing device. 9th Applicant was at that time keeping a lookout. Both then left the scene and met 6th Applicant as arranged. They then drove away from the area and parked near a mobile police station in mid Durban to see if the police would later rush towards the scene of the explosion. This is exactly what occurred.
Later the bomb did explode as planned causing extensive damage to the building outside to which the motor vehicle was parked. The explosion also caused the deaths of a few people and injuries to many people all of whose names are listed hereunder. 5th, 6th and 9th Applicants were later arrested on various charges related to this incident and others.
It seems that not many, if any, of the victims in this incident were members of the South African Police. Furthermore, the criticisms directed at the quality of reconnaissance of the "Why Not Bar" might very well be valid. It may be, as was argued, that he ought to have ensured at the relevant time that the primary targets of the attack were present and therefore the concept of the proportionality of the attack and its results must be considered. The Committee has not been provided with the job descriptions of most of the seventy four victims of this incident. Many of them may have been members of the police services at the time but may not have been identified as such for security and political reasons. However, all of this is speculative.
The fact of the matter is that McBride had developed a bona fide belief that members of the South African Police frequented the "Why Not Bar". Such persons were regarded as legitimate targets. This belief was based on the information at his disposal, both reported and personal observation. Because of this bona fide belief at the time and his instructions as a member of Special Operations and coupled with the ANC policy of relaxing the policy of avoiding civilian casualties, his actions in the circumstances cannot be regarded as disproportionate.
The events related to this incident was clearly motivated by political consideration and the Applicants have made a full disclosure of all relevant facts attendant hereto.
The Committee is satisfied that these Applicants have complied with the requirements of the Act and the amnesty should be to all of them in respect of offences and delicts arising from this incident.

Angelique Pattenden, Julie van der Linde and Marchelle Gerand who were all killed in the blast.

Victims injured:

1. Helen Kearney
2. Lorraine de la Rosa
3. Jonathan Jeffers
4. Rajesh Durlcharan
5. Paula Harvey
6. Kevin Byrne
7. B. Giddy
8. G Tonetti
9. A van Wyk
10. T Vilonel
11. L. Valentine
12. L. Waterworth
13. I. Walton
14. A. De Chalain
15. M. Plaatjies
16. L. Mitchell
17. Victor Mchunu
18. S. Mintz
19. E. Maker
20. Gavin Maxwell
21. B. Newby-Fraser
22. L. Oliver
23. C. Olds
24. D. Pavillon
25. W. Puttock
26. M. Rathbone
27. M. Roe
28. F. Robits
29. K. Robert
30. P. Swart
31. J. Saich
32. R. Ferreira
33. L. Friar
34. Carl Hadden
35. T. Hempstead
36. Keith Hulse
37. R. Ferreira
38. S. Jeffries
39. J. Kerlen
40. I. Joao
41. C. Kenning
42. L. Koenig
43. E. Langridge
44. L. Livingstone
45. H. Merval
46. John McKenna
47. P. Mulholland
48. Mr Fiddler
49. Mrs Fiddler
50. A. Strydom
51. D. Arnold
52. P. Byrom
53. E. Booth
54. D. Bret
55. Michael Blair
56. J. Blair
57. Christopher Clarkson
58. M Coeks
59. Jenny Cubbit
60. A. Duncan
61. F. Drummel
62. L. Donaghue
63. C. Edgar
64. K. English
65. Dennis Eaby
66. E. Ethell
67. B. Erasmus
68. James Ferguson
69. David Fletcher
70. Roger Shillaw
71. M. Cyrnow


In terms of the policy of armed and socio-economic confrontation, McBride planned to blow up the oil pipe at Umlaas. McBride and the 9th Applicant armed themselves with two limpet mines and two charges. They then proceeded to the said oil pipe where they were dropped off by Antonio du Preez. They posed as fishermen as the oil pipe was located near the sea and therefore minimized any suspicion of what they were doing.
The two of them managed to get to the oil pipe and placed the said explosives on the pipeline. The timing device was set and they left the scene and were collected by Du Preez. Later the explosives were detonated and extensive damage and loss was caused at an estimated amount of one million rand.
From the Mobil Oil pipeline, McBride and the 9th Applicant were driven by Du Preez to the Vegetable Oil tank at the corner of Lawley and Chamberlain Roads, at Jacobs, Durban. While it was known as a Vegetable Oil tank, it seems that at some stage a type of corrosive chemical was being stored in it. In this instance also, McBride and the 9th Applicant managed to get to the tanker. It was chosen as a target because it was in the centre of Durban industrial area. The reasoning was that industry would be affected and therefore actual production and the faith in the government of the day would wane. Limpet mines were placed on the tank and the two of them left and collected by Du Preez. Later the mines exploded. The extent of the resultant damage is unknown. It is also not known whether anyone was killed or injured in the blast. There were no reports thereof in any event.
Thereafter, McBride and the 9th Applicant were driven to South Street, Durban. It was their intention to blow up a police vehicle normally stationed at the corner of South Street and Point Road.
9th Applicant was given the order of placing a limpet mine under or in the said vehicle. As he was proceeding to the target, he thought that he was spotted by the police and went into Brickhill road, a side street, where he put the mine in a trash can outside the establishment known at the time as the "Copper Shop". He then left the area and joined his colleagues where after they went home. The mine later exploded causing damage to the building outside which the mine was placed. There were no fatalities or injuries caused in these three incidents.
These incidents occurred in terms of the general instruction given to Special Operations units and designed to cause economic hardship on the apartheid machinery.
They were clearly committed for political reasons and the Applicants made a full disclosure of all the relevant facts pertaining thereto.
The Committee is satisfied the Applicants have complied with the requirements of the Act and that amnesty should be to them in respect of all offences and delicts flowing from these incidents.



McBride trained 7th Applicant in the use of explosives since this was 7th Applicant's first operation. (He had previously trained 9th Applicant in the use of similar explosives).
As planned, McBride thereafter dropped 7th and 9th Applicants near the water pipe lines which routed water to the industrial area of New Germany outside Durban. They placed the explosives on the pipes and left the area with McBride. Later the explosive detonated and caused extensive damage to the water supply to the area. It resulted in the disruption of industry for a few days. There were no resultant fatalities or injuries. This pipeline was targeted because industry was served by this water line would be adversely affected. The operation was motivated by considerations related to economic sabotage and also for the purpose of propaganda.
This deed was motivated by political considerations and the Applicants have made a full disclosure of the relevant facts attendant thereto.
The Committee is satisfied that the Applicants have complied with the requirements of the Act and that amnesty in respect of all offences and delicts flowing from this incident should be .


Through the period September 1985 to approximately April 1994, McBride was trained in the use and construction of various types of firearms and explosives respectively. As will be apparent from the aforegoing, he trained others in the use of firearms and explosives. He also transported these when smuggling them into South Africa. He also supplied the same to others within the structure of MK whether such "membership" was formal or otherwise. He was also in a position to provide weapons and ammunition to members of the Self-Defence Units when these were established in the 1990's. His activities in this regard do not strain the imagination when one has regard to the nature of the activities he involved himself with. In fact these particular transgressions fall squarely within the ambit of the activities related to the policy of MK. Some of these instances included training members of a unit just outside Pietermaritzburg, the training of 7th and 9th Applicants and receiving training in those disciplines himself. He freely admits that he cannot remember all these instances because of the lapse of time and the frequency of such events.
The Committee is satisfied that he has disclosed fully what his memory allows him to in the circumstances and all such activities were related to the political landscape of the relevant times.
The Committee is further satisfied that McBride has complied with the requirements of the Act in this regard and that amnesty should be to him in respect of all offences of the type referred to in this paragraph committed during the aforementioned period.

Therefore, in the result, the Applicants are GRANTED amnesty in respect of all the offences and delicts arising out of the respective incidents referred to in paragraphs:

1. Aboobaker Ismail A, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, M, N, O.

2. Ernest Lekota Pule M

3. Lester Dumakude M

4. Johannes Molefe (Mnisi) M

5. Robert John McBride, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P

6. Zahrah Narkedien K, M

7. Edward Allan Pierce, B, O

8. Marcell Trevor Andrews I

9. Matthew Lecordier, B, J, K, M, N, O

The Committee is furthermore of the opinion that the undermentioned are victims as envisaged by the ct and are referred to the Committee on Reparation and Rehabilitation for its consideration in terms of the Act:

1. Attack on the Mobil Oil Refinery, Durban, 14 May 1984
(a.) Six (6) unidentified persons who died as a result;
(b.) One (1) person injured in the attack.

2.The Explosion of the sub-station at Chamberlain Road, Jacobs, Durban, January 1986
(a.) Col. Bobby Welman who was killed in the blast;
(b.) Mervyn Dunn, P. Zimmerman, R. van der Merwe, D.A. Booysens, who were all injured in the blast.

3. The attack on the home of Mr Klein
Mr and Mrs Klein into whose bedroom a hand grenade was thrown, injuring both.

4. The escape of Gordon Webster
(a.) Mlungize who was killed;
(b.) Simphiwe Shage, Nkosinathi Nkabini and policeman Visagie who were all injured.

5. The blast of the "Why Not" Restaurant



This is an edited version of the decision by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the amnesty application by Robert McBride (and others) issued in 2001

During 2006 McBride received the Merit Medal in Silver and the Conspicuous Leadership Star from the South African National Defence Force for his service and combat leadership in Umkhonto We Sizwe.

 Political career

During 1993, McBride was elected as a member of the Gauteng Provincial Executive Committee of the ANC, a position to which he was re-elected during 1995. He was part of the country's first democratic Provincial Legislature and served as an MP in the first democratic parliament in South Africa.

Foreign Affairs

In the Department of Foreign Affairs, McBride served as Director in charge of the Directorate for South East Asia, as the Department's representative at the National Intelligence Estimates Board (NIEB), and then as Director: Operational Services. In 2001 McBride was appointed as Head of Consular and Agency Services, and also served on the Immigrations Advisory Board.

On 9 March 1998, McBride, then a high-ranking official in the Department of Foreign Affairs, was arrested by the Mozambican police in Ressano Garcia, while investigating arms smuggling from Mozambique to South Africa. He maintained he was working with the South African National Intelligence Agency (NIA). After a period in detention, all charges were dropped and the High Court Judge in Mozambique declared his detention unlawful.
McBride was also involved in the Irish Peace Process and was held up as an example of a former combatant who moved on to a leadership role following the settlement in South Africa.

Vehicle accident

On 21 December 2006, McBride was involved in a single car collision near Centurion. According to witnesses, McBride was under the influence of alcohol, and the metro police on the scene assaulted the witnesses and threatened to shoot them if they phoned the South African Police (SAP). McBride was quickly removed from the scene by Ekurhuleni metro police, even though the scene was more than 40 km out of their jurisdiction, and it is currently unclear whether he received medical treatment the night of the incident, and whether blood samples were taken by the metro police, or a medical facility, to determine his blood-alcohol level.

Following the accident, three of the metro police involved in removing McBride from the accident scene, Patrick Johnston, Stanley Segathevan and Ithumeleng Koko gave "damning statements" to the South African Police. On 4 July 2007, McBride and about 10 cars worth of metro police detained Johnston at a petrol station, on the pretext that he was driving a car with tinted windows, which is against South African traffic law. Segathewan joined Johnston, and members of the Boksburg SAPS Task Force arrived at the scene. McBride is alleged to have abused the SAPS members. Johnston and Segathevan were arrested by the metro police, but Henk Strydom, Boksburg's senior public prosecutor, declined to prosecute due to "insufficient evidence and a case totally without merit", and Johnston and Segathevan obtained a court interdict to protect them from McBride and the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department, as they claimed McBride had made death threats against them, which McBride denied.

McBride has been charged with drunken driving, fraud and defeating the ends of justice following this incident, and a doctor who gave him an allegedly false medical certificate stating that he was suffering from hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) is also facing charges of fraud and defeating the ends of justice.

On 6 February 2008 a High Court Judge ruled in McBride's favour for a defamation of character claim against the Citizen newspaper for articles published during 2003/2004. A substantial award plus costs was made.

McBride was "released from his contract" (fired) on Friday 26th of September 2008, following his return to work in defiance of his ordered administrative leave. Outcome of the current court case related to an alleged drunk driving incident is pending.

He had been shortlisted to take over as head of the city's metro police.


Opposition parties in the Ekurhuleni metro are outraged by the ANC's decision to pay more than R900 000 towards former metro police chief Robert McBride's legal fees, which have cost ratepayers more than R11 million so far.

An item for consideration on the agenda at a council meeting in Germiston on Thursday, was to give the metro's corporate and legal department the go-ahead to pay the money towards the legal costs for McBride in respect of "his criminal trial in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court relating to an alleged drunk driving accident" while he was still Ekurhuleni's metro police chief.
But the recommendation stipulated that because of the current economic climate, no further payments would be made towards his legal costs.

The item also stated that McBride remains obligated to repay the money to the Ekurhuleni metro if he loses the criminal case.

A further report has been requested to clarify whether the R7.1 million of the total of R11 million is in respect of McBride's car accident in 2006 after he was returning from a Christmas party.

The rest of the money making up the more than R11 million for his legal costs stems from cases that flowed out of the drunk-driving case.

A breakdown of costs shows that R5.2m has been paid to Dehal attorneys, that more than R1m has been paid to BDK attorneys and that now more than R900 000 is being claimed by BDK attorneys.

The DA leader in the metro, Eddie Taylor, said that in terms of the standing orders, an employee of the metro is entitled to a limited R10 000 in legal assistance fees from the metro.

"Now that he has been shortlisted to become head of community safety in Tshwane, has our mayor not spoken to Tshwane's mayor to tell her about this man?"

Taylor also called for a probe into who authorised the payment of McBride's exorbitant legal costs.

IFP councillor Jan Esterhuizen questioned how McBride was going to repay the money if he loses his case.

Displacees Ratepayers Association of Thokoza councillor Leonard Ncheke accused the ANC of "cadre deployment even when a candidate does not have the skill, qualifications and integrity".

African People's Convention party councillor Mafemani Maringa called for an immediate end to the metro's relationship with McBride.

The motion was passed.

This article was originally published on page 2 of The Star on July 23, 2010


Johannesburg - The DA on Thursday (29th July) called on the Gauteng provincial government to release a report on former Ekurhuleni officials Robert McBride and Patrick Flusk.

"We need to ensure that this report and its findings will not be swept under the carpet because the involved parties are ANC cadres," DA Gauteng local government spokesperson Fred Nel said in a statement.
The Independent Online reported earlier in July that the report, compiled by advocate Ratang Nke, deals with invoicing and money transfers.
"The president and the premier promised at the beginning of their respective terms that any form of corruption within government will be dealt with severely and it is now time to honour those promises."
Nel would write to Local Government MEC Kgaogelo Lekgoro to ask for the report to be made public.
McBride is currently on trial for alleged drunk driving while he was Ekurhuleni Metro police chief. He is also challenging his removal from the post.
A spokesperson for the MEC was not immediately available to comment.

Maintenance Costs for the Stadiums

The South African Goverment has squandered billions of rands of hard earned tax payers money on the Soccer World Cup and there are thousand upon thousands of people living in shacks in squatter camps in possibly every city in South Africa.

A Sowetan journalist had this to say, “The World Cup is a colonial playground for the rich and for a few wannabes in the South African elite.”

FIFA is now projecting record earnings of $2 billion, but this is in stark contrast to the losses that have been incurred by the host country. South Africa has to foot the enormous bill for infrastructure improvements and has spent considerably more preparing its country for this footballing extravaganza, there is understandable resentment in South Africa that FIFA will make so much money while their own country ends up with a huge debt. It has clearly been one of the most expensive World Cups to stage.

The 10 stadiums are host to 64 matches and will seat more than 570 000 people during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
The five stadiums built from scratch are Cape Town Stadium, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, Durban Stadium, Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit and Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
The five upgraded stadiums are the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, and Soccer City and Ellis Park in Johannesburg.


Some stadiums would need between R10 million to R70 million a year for maintenance.

1. The new Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane would need between R10 million and R70 million for maintenance a year, said the city's 2010 director, Ndahve Ramakuela. He said they would appoint a private company to manage the stadium.

Between 10 and 70 - This is a HUGE difference.
Will probably go to one of his family members or buddies with a kick back.
Watch the miss management on this one.

2. City of Johannesburg's 2010 executive director, Sbongile Mazibuko, said the Soccer City Stadium, which would host the World Cup final, would need R1.5 million a month for maintenance.

The cities of Durban and Cape Town and Mbombela Municipality said they had not yet established how much it would cost to maintain their stadiums. They are not sure how much money must go to them - personally!


3/3/2010 6:42 PM

Calabash, my ash - It still looks appropriately like a giant begging bowl to me. .
3/3/2010 10:59 PM

Lol 1 bil over the budget !!! As much as I love soccer , THIS IS A F...N WASTE OF MONEY !!! Do you realy think the majority of S.A`s are going to benefit from the WC ?? To all you positive folks out there good luck !! We`ll see what will happen after the WC !! How they going to maintain the stadiums btw ?? At R 20.00 to watch a game , lol !! Suppose they forgot that it costs a s..t load of money to maintain the stadiums !! Soccer is not big enough in S.A !! Funny how many S.A` s tend to forget we are a 3rd world country !! Imagine all this money was spent on basics like hospitals , housing , education and police !!! At the end FIFA and a few ``big boys in s.a`` are going to make the cash!!!


3/3/2010 5:14 PM

It works out to R40 000 a seat. Lets say at an ave of R100 a ticket for a soccer match. One supporter going to 10 games a year will take 40 years to break-even add 50% to cover interest and running costs means that it will actually take 60 years. R3.2bn is not in the Pedi dictionary. A bunch of Bafoons. (Pedi translation - i clowns, i stupid, i fifa fooled us eish!)


3/3/2010 5:04 PM

An absolute finacial disgrace. If a private / corporate developer budgeted R2,2bn and it ended up as R3,2bn, heads would roll. Rising price of building masterials.....Parks......garbage. Escalation is always built into fiancial budgets. There is no excuse for cost overuns, just poor management control. Who was managing the finances? need to answer that question! Good luck with the SWC, but an absolute finacial disaster and a disgrace. Tax payers money p1ssed down the drain! Heads should rooll and people should be locked behind bars!!!! A banana republic trying to live a first world dream! Ask the poor and starving what could have been done with R1bn!

3/3/2010 4:59 PM

Haha,very nice stadium- until pirates or chiefs lose their first match, then the entire stadium will be burnt down by their supporters.


3/3/2010 4:58 PM

Looks like it was made with rust roof sheets! R1 Billion over budget?? I hope I never work on a project with the project manager from this one. Then, again, R1 Billion over budget, he'll probably never get work again anyway...

Big Cheese

3/3/2010 4:54 PM

Only R 1billion ? That's nothing - our pillocks down in Cape Town are R 3billion over !
Gravy Train

3/3/2010 4:41 PM

Johannesburg contracts, projects and tenders are always over budget and that is because Gauteng is the province where all the participants have their fingers in the till all of the time. No surprise here.

3/3/2010 4:36 PM

R1billion could have fed milions of hungry people in SA, or new houses could be build, or maybe new jobs could be created, but apparently that is not as important as the soccer world cup.


3/3/2010 4:36 PM

Now that the stadium is done, when will the construction of houses (RDP) for the poor begin?


3/3/2010 4:28 PM

What a waste and another monument to African excess and bloated egos.

City Life

3/3/2010 4:22 PM

Only 860 parking bays for 87 000 people. Unless you cram 101 people in one car I sincerely hope there will be enough buses.

3/3/2010 3:54 PM

In a year from now they gonna need another R1Billion to repair the damages. HAha hahahahehehehhe! Lekka in Africa my brothers!!!!!!!


Johannesburg: Soccer City   Coordinates: 26° 14′ 5″ S, 27° 58′ 56″ E

Soccer City on the outskirts of Soweto. The original stadium built in 1987 and major renovations have been done. The only remaining section of the stadium is the West stand. The stadium resembles a huge structure modeled on the shape of the calabash, which is an African cooking pot.

It was decided that this would be the most recognisable image to represent the continent. The façade of the stadium (outer edge) is made up of fibre reinforced panels with a selection of 8 different colours. The façade has 10 vertical slots which are geographically aligned with the nine other 2010 FIFA World Cup stadiums as well as the Berlin stadium which hosted the final of the previous FIFA World Cup. This represents the road to the final.

For the World Cup it will have a capacity of 94 500 seats, and 88 430 thereafter, making it the largest stadium on the African continent.

Cost: R3.3-billion (US$ 440-million)

Over 90 000 fans will fill up this World Cup centrepiece to watch some of the most important matches in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Hosting both the opening match and the final, Soccer City stadium will soon become one of the world's most photographed structures and a world renowned symbol of South Africa's emergence onto the world stage.

World Cup matches: 8


11 June, 16h00: South Africa vs Mexico (opening match)
14 June, 13h30: Netherlands vs Denmark
17 June, 13h30: Argentina vs South Korea
20 June, 20h30: Brazil vs Côte d'Ivoire
23 June, 20h30: Ghana vs Germany
27 June, 20h30: Round of 16 1B vs 2A (2)
2 July, 20h30: Quarter-final 1 vs 3 (A)
11 July, 20h30: Final

 Johannesburg: Ellis Park Stadium Coordinates: 26º 11' 51" S, 28º 3' 39" E
Alternate name: Coca-Cola Park

Ellis Park in the inner city of Johannesburg is home to the Golden Lions rugby club and Orlando Pirates football club, and was the setting for South Africa's triumphant win in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. An existing stadium built in 1982, it underwent minor upgrades for the World Cup. Ellis Park has a capacity of 61 639 seats.

Cost: R550 000 (US$7 200)

World Cup matches: 7


12 June, 16h00: Argentina vs Nigeria
15 June, 20h30: Brazil vs North Korea
18 June, 16h00: Slovenia vs USA
21 June, 20h30: Spain vs Honduras
24 June, 16h00: Slovakia vs Italy
28 June, 20h30: Round of 16 1G vs 2H (7)
3 July, 20:30: Quarter-final 6 vs 8 (D)

Coordinates: 33° 54′ 12″ S, 18° 24′ 40″ E

Alternate name: Green Point Stadium

Built from scratch in the beautiful suburb of Green Point, Cape Town Stadium has views of both Table Mountain and the ocean and, in the distance, Robben Island. Built on Green Point common and within walking distance of the popular V&A Waterfront, it has a capacity of 66 000 seats. (55 000 permanent)

Cost: R4.4-billion ($600-million)

World Cup matches: 8


11 June, 20h30: Uruguay vs France
14 June, 20h30: Italy vs Paraguay
18 June, 20h30: England vs Algeria
21 June, 13h30: Portugal vs North Korea
24 June, 20h30: Cameroon vs Netherlands
29 June, 20h30: Round of 16 1H vs 2G (8)
3 July, 16h00: Quarter-final 2 vs 4 (B)
6 July, 20h30: Semi-final, A vs C (I)

Coordinates: 29º 49' 46" S, 31º 01' 49" E
Alternate name: Moses Mabhida Stadium

 A new stadium built near the beachfront, Durban Stadium has transformed the city's skyline. It has been designed as a multipurpose venue, with attractions such as restaurants, shops, an art gallery and children's play areas. There's also a cable car up its arch to a top platform providing panoramic views of the city and the ocean, and even bungee jumps from the top of the arch. Its total capacity is 69 957 seats.  (54 000 permanent)

Cost: R3.4-billion ($450-million)

World Cup matches: 7


13 June, 20h20: Germany vs Australia
16 June, 16h00: Spain vs Switzerland
19 June, 13h00: Netherlands vs Japan
22 June, 20h30: Nigeria vs South Korea
25 June, 16h00: Portugal vs Brazil
28 June, 16h00: Round of 16 1E vs 2F (5)
7 July, 20h30: Semi-final B vs D (II)

The People's Park is a new green space adjacent to the Moses Mabhida Stadium. It will provide pedestrian linkage to the south of the stadium, to facilitate connectivity toward the city centre. On major match days, it will be used as a space to accommodate parking and braaing after matches. The park includes two training fields with changerooms and ablutions.

The current underpass leading from the Stadium to the beach is being upgraded in order to improve pedestrian linkage to the beach. This project is planned to be completed in February 2010.

Coordinates: 25° 45′ 12″ S, 28° 13′ 22″ E

Loftus Versfeld Stadium is one of the oldest stadiums in South Africa. It has been used for major sporting events since 1903, and the first concrete structure, which could accommodate only 2 000 spectators, was built by the City Council of Pretoria in 1923. It has undergone minor improvements for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and has a capacity of 49 365 seats. Location: Pretoria (Tshwane municipality), Gauteng province. Status: minor upgrade.
Stadium owner: Blue Bulls Rugby Union. Home to the successful rugby team the Blue Bulls as well as to many top flight Premier Soccer League clashes, it is unlikely that Loftus Versfeld will be left gather dust once the FIFA Confederations Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup are over.

Tournament: 2010 FIFA World Cup(tm), FIFA Confederations Cup 2009

World Cup matches: 6


13 June, 16h00: Serbia vs Ghana
16 June, 20h30: South Africa vs Uruguay
19 June, 20h30: Cameroon vs Denmark
23 June, 16h00: USA vs Algeria
25 June, 20h30: Chile vs Spain
29 June, 16h00: Round of 16 1F vs 2E (6)

Coordinates: 33° 56′ 16″ S, 25° 35′ 56″ E

Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was the first of South Africa's new 2010 Fifa World Cup stadiums to be completed. It has a capacity of 46 082 seats.

Capacity: 46 082 seats (42 000 permanent)

Cost: R2.05-billion (US$270-million)

On 7 June Nelson Mandela Bay stadium became the first 2010 FIFA World Cup stadium to be officially opened - a full year ahead of the tournament. The opening was celebrated with over 17 000 residents of the city. The precinct area around the stadium is also being developed. This involves preparations for the public transport system (BRT) as well as the revamping of roads in the area. This revamp includes the widening of the roads to accommodate increases traffic as well as the improvement of the verges.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium is adjacent to the North End Lake and as part of the development the water quality in the lake is set to be improved.
The stadium will also feature a figure eight running and cycling track which will circle the stadium and the lake.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium has already hosted four major events including a British and Lions rugby match and the Eastern Cape Premier's Cup, and a Vodacom Cup match featuring Pirates and English Club Manchester City.

World Cup matches: 8


12 June, 13h30: South Korea vs Greece
15 June, 16h00: Côte d'Ivoire vs Portugal
18 June, 13h30: Germany vs Serbia
21 June, 16h00: Chile vs Switzerland
23 June, 16h00: Slovenia vs England
26 June, 16h00: Round of 16 1A vs 2B (1)
2 July, 16h00: Quarter-final 5 vs 7 (C)
10 July, 20h30: Third-place playoff

Rustenburg, North West Province: ROYAL BAFOKENG STADIUM
Coordinates: 25° 34′ 42.96″ S, 27° 9′ 38.52″ E

The Royal Bafokeng Stadium was built by the Bafokeng Nation, which owns much of the platinum-mining rights in North West province. It underwent minor renovations for the World Cup, increasing its capacity from 38 000 to 44 530 seats, with the main west stand enlarged and given a new cantilever roof. Owned by the platinum rich Royal Bafokeng community in the North West Province, the Royal Bafokeng stadium is the only privately owned stadium to be used during both the FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The Royal Bafokeng stadium received an upgrade to its Western stand, with two new levels being added and this has brough the total seating capacity up to 45,000.

World Cup matches: 6


12 June, 20h30: England vs USA
15 June, 13h30: New Zealand vs Slovakia
19 June, 16h00: Ghana vs Australia
22 June, 16h00: Mexico vs Uruguay
24 June, 20h30: Denmark vs Japan
26 June, 20h30: Round of 16 1C vs 2D (3)

Coordinates: 23° 55′ 29″ S, 29° 28′ 8″ E

With a design inspired by the baobab tree, a common sight in Limpopo province, the new Peter Mokaba Stadium has a capacity of 45 264 seats. In a province with so many football fans and players, the stadium will certainly not go to waste once the tournament is over.

Cost: R1.24-billion (US$150-million)

World Cup matches: 4


13 June, 13h30: Algeria vs Slovenia
17 June, 20h30: France vs Mexico
22 June, 20h30: Greece vs Argentina
24 June, 16h00: Paraguay vs New Zealand

Nelspruit, Mpumalanga province: MBOMBELA STADIUM

Coordinates: 25° 27′ 40″ S, 30° 55′ 44″ E

With host city Nelspruit's proximity to the Kruger National Park, Mbombela Stadium has a quirky wildlife theme, with large giraffe-shaped orange girders facing outwards on its exterior, and funky zebra stripes on the seats inside. Built from scratch, the stadium has a capacity of 43 589 seats. With giraffe-like structures reaching up to the sky supporting the roof of Mbombela stadium and construction now back on track after damage caused by a freak storm at the beginning of the year, the city of Nelspruit is gearing up for 2010. With little by the way of world class stadiums in the area, Mbombela stadium will be a great addition to the city once complete.

Cost: R1.05-billion (US$140-million)

World Cup matches: 4


16 June, 13h30: Honduras vs Chile
20 June, 16h00: Italy vs New Zealand
23 June, 20h30: Australia vs Serbia
25 June, 16h00: North Korea vs Côte d'Ivoire

The stadium was expected to cost some R600 million. Mr Makwetla, Mpumalanga's premier said that "National government has made an undertaking to provide the financial resources pertaining to the 2010 world cup infrastructure requirements". South Africa's Government has already (May 2006) allocated R242 million towards planning for the stadia.

Bulldozing of a Wetland

Because a school was situated on the site where the Mbombela Stadium was built, the school needed to be relocated. A wetland in Nelspruit was bulldozed to make way for a new temporary site for the school (no environmental impact assessment was done before the bulldozers moved into the wetland). On 15 Oct 2009 over 100 protestors gathered at the Mbombela Stadium to protest that a new school had not yet been built.

Controversies and Corruption

Allegations of corruption relating to the awarding of construction contracts in the building of the stadium have plagued the project. At least three individuals were murdered in connection with the allegations, and another three have died under mysterious circumstances. Corruption related to the construction resulted in the provincial government taking over the running of the municipaility and construction management by placing it under administration in June 2007. When the Mbombela municipality was reinstated 5 months later the outspoken new mayor also received death threats warning him to remain silent about the evidence of corruption.
In addition, as with many other South African stadiums built for the 2010 World Cup, promises of improvements to the impoverished surrounding neighborhood have not been fulfilled. Students from the local primary and high schools had to be relocated to container classrooms and the old schools used by the General Contractor. To make way for a replacement school, a wetland in Nelspruit was bulldozed, but no environmental impact assessment was done before the wetland was destroyed. In October, 2009, there was a protest at the stadium over the fact that the school had not yet been built.

NELSPRUIT - It seems that the Mbombela Municipality is reluctant to manage the delicate wetlands and streams in town and this is leading to erosion and possibly the collapse of existing structures.
Lowvelder reported on the rows and rows of mealies and other cultivars that are being grown in the wetland between Ehmke and Ferreira streets, and Mbombela’s total lack of interest in making an immediate decision to remove these exotic aliens, claiming "these poor women" come from areas "characterised by poverty, slums and inhabitable places" and it is "our under-standing that we are not in a position now to uproot the crops but we shall wait until they harvest".

After weeks of attempting to get a straight response from Mr Rasheed Matola of Mbombela, he has still not answered a single question posed by Lowvelder regarding the restoration of this specific wetland, or if any action will be taken against the illegal planters. Matola instead sent a lengthy email describing the poor background of these lawbreakers.

But while he sympathises with them, the fact that they have taken the law into their own hands, is leading directly to greater problems for the town itself, at the cost of the ratepayer. The bridge just above where the illegal cultivars are planted, has started to collapse and according to a civil engineer this is directly due to the erosion the mealies are causing.

An independent environment consultant agrees and says, "Those mielies are cultivated exactly where natural riparian plants used to grow and we are very worried about the removal of those indigenous plants as they held the embankment together and prevented erosion. Now that they are gone, the existing structures in that area are starting to collapse as the embankment itself starts to give way."

Another huge problem of the removal of indigenous vegetation is that, if wetlands are not protected from cultivation of maize, it can have a major negative impact on the whole ecosystem of the wetland or stream. The planting of exotic species in a stream also has an impact downstream; in this case it is the Crocodile River that flows to the Kruger National Park.

According to the law for any activities within 32 metres of a river bank, there should be application for a special permit from environmental affairs, and a licence from water works.
There are various national, provincial and local government acts that protect wetlands, drainage lines, rivers or streams: The National Water Act (NWA), Act 36 of 1998, the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA), Act 107 of 1998, the Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act (CARA), Act 43 of 1983, Mpumalanga Nature Conservation Act, Act 10 of 1998 and the Mbombela Open space By-law (Draft). Various departments are responsible for enforcing the protection of wetlands: Department of Water Affairs (NWA), Department of Environment (NEMA) and Department of Agriculture (CARA), Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (Mpumalanga Nature Conservation Act) and Mbombela have to apply the open space by-law.

The question now arises; While Mbombela officials are waiting for the illegal planters to finish farming and to harvest, what will happen to the other mealies that are grown all across town? Will these planters in Johanna, Suiderkruis, The Rest, Uitkyk and Piet Retief streets, to name but a few and even in the traffic circle on Enos Mabuza Drive also be allowed to finish harvesting first?

Following Lowvelder’s enquiry several signs were erected saying "No cultivation" repeated in siSwati. But some of them have already disappeared. "We have since written a letter to the owners of the mealies informing them not to plant after the harvest," was Matola’s assurance.

Environmental officials have given the Mbombela municipality the green light to proceed with its planned R920m World Cup stadium project outside Nelspruit. According to a report on the News24 site, the decision comes barely a month after inspectors fined the municipality R37 000 for flouting environmental laws after contractors bulldozed a wetland near the stadium site. Construction of the Mbombela Stadium has been delayed by budgetary logjams as well as other sticking points, including environmental concerns. The site of the planned 43 500-seater stadium and its surrounding precinct falls on land formerly owned by a community trust and includes an extensive wetland.

He said a consultant who had studied the area found the actual stadium site fell on "a degraded wetland" that was "not of much significance".
But, Batchelor said there were more-sensitive areas "higher up the vlei system" that would need to be monitored and protected.
He also confirmed that inspectors fined the municipality R37 000 in December after contractors cleared land to build a temporary school.
Chris Grib, chief executive of Lefika Consulting, which has been appointed by the council to design the stadium, said the municipality paid the fine "to keep the process going".

Concern about construction delays

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance in Mpumalanga has expressed concern at delays in building the stadium, saying that other than the turning of the first sod, very little major construction had started.
The Mbombela council blamed the lack of development on delays in securing the approval of the national treasury to transfer the allocated funds.
The provincial government recently expressed concern about "the general escalating trend of construction costs in the entire country, which is also affecting the Mbombela stadium project".
Unconfirmed reports indicate that the original cost estimates already have increased the projected bill by R97m, from R920m to R1.17bn, due to rising material prices, foreign exchange fluctuations, and delays in getting the project off the ground.
South African construction firm Basil Read and French firm Bouygues TP have been awarded the tender to build the stadium.

Coordinates: 29° 7′ 2.25″ S, 26° 12′ 31.85″ E

Alternate name: Vodacom Park

Home to the Cheetahs rugby team and Bloemfontein Celtic football team, Free State Stadium was built in 1952 and upgraded in 2008 to increase its capacity to 45 058 seats, as well as improve security, lighting and turnstiles.

Capacity: 45 058 seats

World Cup matches: 6


14 June, 16h00: Japan vs Cameroon
17 June, 16h00: Greece vs Nigeria
20 June, 13h30: Slovakia vs Paraguay
22 June, 16h00: France vs South Africa
25 June, 20h30: Switzerland vs Honduras
27 June, 16h00: Round of 16 1D vs 2C (4)

Stadiums for Soccer World Cup 2010