BULAWAYO, Tuesday, September 27, 1966 — A group of three alleged terrorists, arrested after a massive police and army swoop through the rugged bush country in the Tlolotjo area were found with pamphlets of a banned organisation urging Africans to take up arms and fight to “free Rhodesia from foreign rule”, the High Court, Bulawayo, was told yesterday.
The three men, Sam Dumazaz Mpofu, Baker Maduna and Joseph Mahanyana Ngwenya, are the first of 14 alleged terrorists who are to appear before Mr Justice H Davies this week on charges of being in unlawful possession of offensive weapons — an offence under the law and Order (Maintenance )Act.
Appearing with Mpofu, Maduna and Ngwenya yesterday was a fourth man, Gideon Ndiweni, who is alleged to have hidden weapons and equipment for the three men. He has also been charged with being in possession of offensive weapons. Mpofu, Maduna and Ngwenya who all pleaded guilty, did not give evidence or say anything in court yesterday. Ndiweni denied the charge.
He told Mr Justice Davies that the three others had threatened to kill him if he did not hide their guns and equipment. Police stood guard on all court entrances yesterday as the four men were led into the dock from cells under the court room. An African constable sat beside them throughout the hearing.
After the pleas, Advocate CJ Glaum, prosecuting, asked that the hearing be held in camera “in the interest of justice”, but the request was turned down by Justice Davies.
He said: “Previous trials of this nature have been open to the public. I don’t see why this one should be any exception”.
Detective Section Officer Lawrence Ibbett said he was leading a detachment of police and troops in search of terrorists in the Tjolotjo area on August 24. Shortly after they left their base camp, his party came across the three men.