Russian Doll

What was an SANDF Special Forces unit doing in Simon’s Town when containers were loaded off and on the Russian vessel the Lady R? Open Secrets investigates.


Quick links:

1: An assassination, abductions and the mystery of the Lady R2: Who assassinated Frans Mathipa and how is the SANDF involved?3: EXPOSED — the SANDF ‘Torture’ Squad4: The SANDF ‘Torture’ Squad victim, Pule Nkomo, speaks outThe evidenceLegal AccountabilityOur Lady R information requests

Colonel Frans Mathipa was shot in the head and killed by unknown assassins on Sunday, 6 August. Who are the skilled shooters who murdered a seasoned investigator in the Hawks’ Crimes Against the State Unit? Is there a link to a SANDF Special Forces unit that is alleged to have abducted civilians suspected of being Isis terrorists? What was this unit of Special Forces operatives doing on the quay in Simon’s Town when containers were loaded off and on the Russian vessel the Lady R in December 2022? Open Secrets investigates.

The evidence

Open Secrets letter to Minister of Defence 17 August 2023

The Ndawo letters - an SANDF whistleblower

We publish four letters which top Military Police official Thulane Ndawo sent to the Chief of the SANDF and other high ranking individuals alerting them to abuse of power within the military. These span a period between 2021 and 20123. We believe these letters lead to the establishment of the Moorhouse board of enquiry. These are internal SANDF documents which we publish in the public interest as they detail alleged abuse of power.

SANDF urgent review application 7 July 2023

SANDF Mnisi Head of Argument 13 July 2023

Hawks/ Mathipa answering affidavit 14 July 2023

NPA notice to abide 14 July 2023

Hawks/Mathipa heads of argument 17 July 2023

SANDF/ Mnisi replying affidavit 17 July 2023

Court Order 24 July 2023

Legal Accountability

Make the Moorhouse report public

On 06 November 2023 Open Secrets submitted a PAIA request to the SANDF request the release of Moorhouse Board of Inquiry report and associated documents.

Letter to President Ramaphosa (Commander in Chief)

On 07 December 2023 Open Secrets wrote to President Ramaphosa in his capacity as Commander in Chief of urgently intervene in the matter of extra judicial murders and killings.

Complaints to United Nations bodies

On 07 December 2023 Open Secrets wrote to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (DR AJ Edwards) and  United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial Summary or Arbitrary Executions (Morris Tidball-Bin) calling for an international investigation into extra judicial murders and killings within the South African military.