Ntombikayise Priscilla Ngocobo (née Khubeka) lived in KwaMashu, a township to the north of Durban, Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) and was affiliated with the African National Congress (ANC) armed wing uMkhonto weSizwe (MK). Her duties ranged from storing weapons to arranging safe-houses for MK operatives. Her involvement with MK led to her abduction by two askaris Warrant Officers Simon Rdebe and Jimmy Mbane who pretended to be MK operatives in order to gain information from her.

Radebe and Mbane handed her over to her murderers. After being abducted, she was transported to Winkelspruit, south of Durban, which hosted an abandoned shooting range where she was interrogated by Colonel Andy Taylor, Captain Hentie Botha, Sergeant Laurie Wasserman, Sergeant Cassie van der Westhuizen, Sergeant Joe Coetzer and Warrant Officer ‘Bossie’ Basson. Each of them applied for amnesty for their role in her abduction, death and the disposal of her body during April or May in 1987. The exact date of her death has not been disclosed.

Their testimonies revealed different versions of the evening when Khubeka was murdered. The applicants unanimously claimed that her body had been dumped near her home, contrary to their statements that she was found near an informal settlement far from her home.  The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was also able to contest the manner in which she died. Her perpetrators claimed that she had died due to ‘natural causes’ specifically a heart attack. However, forensic experts were able to prove that she had been shot in the skull. In effect, the perpetrators’ statements proved to be unreliable and amnesty was not granted to applicants Botha, Du Preez, Wasserman and Van der Westhuizen who were directly involved in her murder.


Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa Report, Volume 6, chapter 4, 14.

Ainslie, D. (2018), Art, the TRC and the ‘Truth’: Unstitching the ‘Blue Dress’ Available Online: ccac.org.za/wp.../10/Art-the-TRC-and-the-Truth-by-Douglas-Ainslie. [Accessed: 19/05/2019].

Elijah Mhlanga (1990)‘TRC dispute over MK member's death’, Available online: www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/trc-dispute-over-mk-members-death-10790. [Accessed: 25/05/2019].

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