The St James Church massacre was a massacre perpetrated on St James Church, Cape Town by the Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA). Cape Town (Kaapstad Xhosa: Ikapa) is the second most populous city in South Africa, forming part of the metropolitan municipality of the The Azanian People's Liberation Army ( APLA) was the military wing of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC in South Africa.
During the Sunday evening service on 25 July 1993, a group of APLA cadres attacked the St. Events 285 - Diocletian appoints Maximian as Caesar, co-ruler Year 1993 ( MCMXCIII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar) James Church in Kenilworth. Kenilworth is a suburb in Cape Town, South Africa. Geography Kenilworth is bordered by Wynberg to the south and Claremont to Using grenades and AK-47s, they killed 11 members of the congregation and wounded 58. The AK-47 (contraction of Russian Автомат Калашникова образца 1947 года; Avtomat Kalashnikova obraztsa 1947 goda; "Kalashnikov's A single churchgoer, Charl van Wyk, managed to return fire with a . 38 Special revolver and five rounds of ammunition wounding one of the attackers. It is possible that van Wyk's action caused the attackers to flee.
Members of the congregation killed were Guy Cooper Javens, Richard Oliver O'Kill, Gerhard Dennis Harker, Wesley Alfonso Harker, Denise Gordon Mirtle, Joan Smith, Marita Ackermann, Andrey Kayl, Karamjin Oleg, Varaksa Velentin and Pavel Valuet. The last four on this list were Russian seamen attending the service as part of a church outreach programme. Another Russian seaman, Dmitri Makogon, lost both legs and an arm in the attack. What is striking about the target is that the St James congregation is and had always been a multi-racial. Indeed not all the victims were white South Africans.
APLA commander Sichumiso Nonxuba selected the target, directed and took part in the attack on the church members. The APLA operatives who took part were Gcinikhaya Makoma, who also fired on church members, Thobela Mlambisa, who drove the vehicle, and Basie Mzukisi Mkhumbuzi, who stood watch outside.
APLA cadres were held responsible for several similar attacks. Among these were the attack on King William's Town Golf Club on 28 November 1992 in which four people were killed, and the attack on the Heidelberg Tavern in Observatory, Cape Town on 31 December 1993, in which four people were killed. King William's Town, a town of South Africa, in the Eastern Cape province and on the Buffalo River, 50 kilometers (42 miles by rail or about 40 minutes' For the town in Argentina, see 28 de Noviembre. Events Year 1992 ( MCMXCII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar) Observatory is a suburb in Cape Town, South Africa, bordered by Mowbray to the south and Salt River to the north Events 406 – Vandals, Alans and Suebians cross the Rhine, beginning an invasion of Gallia. Year 1993 ( MCMXCIII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar) Ballistic tests showed that the same rifles were used in the St James and Heidelberg Tavern attacks. Ballistics ( gr βάλλειν ('ba'llein' "throw" is the science of Mechanics that deals with the motion behavior and effects of Projectiles
Gcinikhaya Makoma was arrested ten days later and convicted for 11 murders. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Sichumiso Nonxuba, Thobela Mlambisa and Basie Mkhumbuzi were subsequently arrested and charged in 1996. They had in the meantime joined the South African National Defence Force as part of the integration of APLA operatives into the new national defence force. The South African National Defence Force ( SANDF) is the name of the Armed forces of South Africa.
In 1997, while on trial, Nonxuba, Mlambisa and Mkhumbuzi appealed to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for amnesty, together with Makoma. This is about the South African body For similar bodies in other countries see Truth commission. They were granted bail pending their appearance before the TRC. Nonxuba died in a car accident while on bail.
Makoma, Mkhumbuzi and Mlambisa were all granted amnesty for the St James Church attack by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Amnesty (from the Greek amnestia, oblivion is a legislative or executive act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to This is about the South African body For similar bodies in other countries see Truth commission. As a result, Makoma was freed after serving only 5½ years of his sentence, and the trial of Mkhumbuzi and Mlambisa was never completed.
In this and other APLA amnesty hearings, APLA operatives claimed that they were following their orders and that they regarded all whites as legitimate targets as they were complicit in the government's policy of apartheid. In statements made to the representatives of St James chruch they did however say that they were unaware that the selected target was a church until they arrived in Kenilworth.
Letlapa Mphahlele, national director of operations for APLA, took responsibility for ordering the attacks as part of his application for amnesty. He claimed that he had authorised attacks on white civilians following the killing of five school children by the South African Defence Force in Umtata. The South African Defence Force (SADF were the South African Armed forces from 1957 until 1994 Mthatha ( MediaMthathaogg)(formerly Umtata) is the main town of the King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality in Eastern Cape province of
Amnesty in such cases was typically granted in terms of the TRC's mandate because the crimes were politically motivated, with the perpetrators following the orders of the APLA commanders, and full disclosure was made to the TRC.
Although amnesty was granted to the individual perpetrators, the TRC found that the act itself—along with other APLA/PAC attacks specifically targeting civilians—were "a gross violation of human rights" and a "violation of internal [sic] humanitarian law". 
Several of the church members who were injured or who lost family members in the attacks, as well as Charl van Wyk, who had returned fire on the attackers, later met and publicly reconciled with the APLA attackers.
On August 27 2002, Gcinikhaya Makoma was arrested along with six others following a cash-in-transit heist of a Standard Bank cash van in Constantia, Cape Town, in which R1. Standard Bank Group Limited is one of South Africa 's largest financial services groups Constantia is a district in Cape Town, South Africa. It is centred on the Constantia Valley and lies to the east of and at the foot of a prominent mountain called 8 million was stolen.  He and the others were later acquitted, with the magistrate finding that the prosecution case had been badly put together and that documents had been falsified by an investigating officer. 
In Oct 2004, Charl Van Wyk became the principle architect in forming Gun Owners of South Africa, (GOSA), a primarily online, Civilian Gun Rights ownership group. He no longer attends St James church.
Despite the terrible events of that night, St James church continues to be a gathering place for believers and seekers of all races. The church's response to the event can be found in a talk entitled "The night of the Storm" (available from St James Church, PO Box 2180, Clareinch 7740 South Africa) given by the then rector of St James and current Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa, Bishop Frank Retief.