Nietverdiend Ten depicts my imaginary view of the ten black youth, aged 14-19 who, suspected of being activists, had been recruited by the Western Transvaal Security Branch on the pretext that they would receive military training and who were killed on June 26, 1986.


24" x 48"  Oil on Canvas                                                                                  (1999)


Sgt. Joe Mamasela who had recruited the youth drove them in a mini-bus towards the border with Botswana. They stopped en route to pick up an escort which was a car loaded with members of the Security Branch. They entered a dense bushy area; the mini-bus was stopped and the youth were instructed to climb out and lie face down, surrounded by a group of soldiers all dressed in camouflage uniforms. The youth's trousers were removed and Commandant Charl Naude injected them with a sedative or other chemical substance. The victims were loaded onto the vehicle which was driven to a selected spot in Bophuthatswana, a neighboring homeland. The mini-bus with the victims inside was left to roll down a steep hill, crashed into a wall and was blown up.


Four AK-47's were placed in the destroyed vehicle and a number of political pamphlets by Azapo were scattered around the area. It was not clear when the victims died - on impact; from the explosion of the car, or from the injected substance. The bodies were so charred they could not be identified.

Brigadier J. Cronje who planned the operation was congratulated by a General in the SADF and Sgt. Mamasela was given R1,000 bounty money and two weeks holiday in reward.


The victims, based on information from their families are believed to be:


bulletAbraham Makolane
bulletSamuel Masilela
bulletSipho Philip Sibanyoni
bulletThomas Phiri
bulletJeremiah Magagula
bulletMorris Nkabinde
bulletMatthews P. Lerutla
bulletStephen Makena
bulletElliot Sathege
bulletRooibaard Geldenhuys


Those who applied for amnesty for this crime include:


bulletBrigadier J. Cronje [AM2773/96]
bulletCaptain Jacques Hechter [AM2776/96]
bulletColonel W.J. Loots [AM4149/96]
bulletColonel P.R. Crause [AM 4125/96]
bulletMajor General A.J.M. Joubert [AM3799/96]
bulletCommandant Charl Naude [AM 5453/97]

Joe Mamasela was an 'askari' (term denoting a former ANC or PAC member working for the South African police. Arabic-derived East African name for soldiers or policemen.) stationed at Vlakplaas (headquarters of the C1 Unit of the South African Police). Mamasela turned State's witness and by his own admission was involved in dozens of killings of political activists. A typical strategy was to infiltrate a group of youth, pretend to recruit them for military training and then lure them to their death as with the Nietverdiend Ten.