TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

SUBMISSIONS - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

DATE: 14.05.1997

NAME: NTSIKELO WELLINGTON SOLANI

CASE: EC1321/96CCK

HELD AT: KING WILLIAMíS TOWN

DAY 3

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CHAIRPERSON: Oh, Okay. Ntsikelelo Wellington Solani, please stand up.

NTSIKELO WELLINGTON SOLANI: (sworn states).

CHAIRPERSON: Nomava Lillian Mzinzi.

NOMAVA LILIAN MZINZI: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Nomondi, Peggy Nomzanga.

NOMONDI PEGGY NOMZANGA: (sworn states).

CHAIRPERSON: Mpumeleli Elias Dara.

MPUMELELI ELIAS DARA: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Iíll hand you over to Ms Maya who will lead you with questions on behalf of the Commission. Thank you Mr Chairperson.

MS MAYA: Mr Solani, I will start with you. You are going to tell us a story about yourself, about what happened to you on the 26th of December 1991, in Masele Township, in Zwelitsha. Can you please tell what happened, what was happening between the ANC and the ADM and what happened to you?

MR SOLANI: There was conflict in the township.

MS MAYA: Please come nearer to the mike.

MR SOLANI: The police came looking for me. I was at home in the village. Different people were being taken by the police. I was one of the people. They were beating us.

MS MAYA: The conflict, what was it all about ?

MR SOLANI: It was a conflict between the ANC and ADM.

MS MAYA: In 1991.

MR SOLANI: Yes, in 1991.

MS MAYA: What was the reason for this ?

MR SOLANI: The two organizations did not understand each other, they were in conflict.

MS MAYA: You mentioned that this issue was concerning the headman. You also mentioned that a certain headman was murdered. What was his name ?

MR SOLANI: It was Mbambani Xakani.

MS MAYA: Were you accused of taking part in killing a headman ?.

MR SOLANI: Yes, I found out that I was accused of killing a headman.

MS MAYA: Did you have any knowledge about this ?

MR SOLANI: No, I knew nothing about this.

MS MAYA: Who came to take you at home ?

MR SOLANI: I was on my way home, I was then arrested.

MS MAYA: Who was beating you ?

MR SOLANI: The soldiers.

MS MAYA: Did they meet you on the way and beat you, or did they take you somewhere to beat you ?

MR SOLANI: They took me with their van and they took us somewhere to beat us.

MS MAYA: Where ?

MR SOLANI: Around the village. They would take us from a police van to another in a certain house.

MS MAYA: Who was the owner of the house ?

MR SOLANI: Njapa was the owner of the house.

MS MAYA: Who was this Njapa ?

MR SOLANI: People would be taken to that house when they arrested. Maybe we will go back to that issue.

MS MAYA: You were arrested, beaten and you got injured. Please tell us about that.

MR SOLANI: I got injured when I was taken from one van to another van.

MS MAYA: Do you know the people that assaulted you ?

MR SOLANI: No, I did not know them.

MS MAYA: Were they soldiers or police ?

MR SOLANI: The were soldiers.

MS MAYA: The injuries you sustained, what are the injuries you sustained ?

MR SOLANI: I have, my eye got injured and I cannot see clearly and I have bru, I have injuries in my body.

MS MAYA: Did you lay a charge ?

MR SOLANI: No.

MS MAYA: Did you go to an attorney ?

MR SOLANI: No.

MS MAYA: Did you go to hospital to be treated ?

MR SOLANI: No, they just told me to take my eye out.

MS MAYA: Did they manage to do that ?

MR SOLANI: No, they did not.

MS MAYA: Where you a member of an organization ? Where you a member of a political organization or a residents organization in your community ?

MR SOLANI: I was a member of the ANC.

MS MAYA: What was the reason for this to happen ?

MR SOLANI: I think the reason was this conflict between the ANC and the ADM.

MS MAYA: Thank you, Sir. Do you have a request to this Commission , Sir ?

MR SOLANI: Yes, I do. Because I have one eye now, I would like the Government to see what to do for me.

MS MAYA: Is that all ?.

N W SOLANI: Yes, that is all.

MS MAYA: Thank you, Sir. I will hand over to the Chairperson when Iím finished with all your testimonies.

MS MAYA: Mrs Mzinzi, youíre also from Masele Township ?

MRS MZINZI: Yes.

MS MAYA: Your incident also happened on the 27th of December 1991 ?

MRS MZINZI: Yes.

MS MAYA: Youíre going to talk about your mother-in-law, Nancy Vera Mzinzi who died when she was 73 years old, but during this incident she was 68 years old.

MRS MZINZI: Yes, that is correct.

MS MAYA: Please tell us what happened.

MRS MZINZI: My mother-in-law was taking her son, who was not well, to the doctor. Her mental step-son. While he was on the way to take a taxi, she met the soldiers. There were men who were together with the soldiers. These men pointed her out to the soldiers, saying that she must be beaten by these soldiers. She was beaten by sjamboks, by the soldiers. After that, she then took a taxi to King Williamís Town. She took another taxi from King Williamís Town to Ginsburg to visit her daughter.

MS MAYA: The men who pointed at her, did you know them before ?

MRS MZINZI: No I did not know them because I was new in the village. These men, because my mother-in-law was from Port Elizabeth, one of the men who pointed her out was also from Port Elizabeth.

MS MAYA: Where they members of any organization ?

MRS MZINZI: Yes, they were members of ADM.

MS MAYA: Your mother-in-law, in which organization was she ?

MRS MZINZI: She was an ANC member.

MS MAYA: Do you know the reason why they assaulted her ?

MRS MZINZI: I think she was assaulted because she was a woman who was a member, a leading member of the Womenís League.

MS MAYA: How did she, how was she injured ?

MRS MZINZI: She was injured and she got injured in the head. They were beating her with sjamboks and batons.

MS MAYA: At the time of her assault, was there anybody who tried to stop the soldiers ?

MRS MZINZI: No, nobody tried to stop them.

MS MAYA: But, there were witnesses who saw the people who did this ?

MRS MZINZI: Yes.

MS MAYA: Where did your mother-in-law get treatment ?

MRS MZINZI: She got treatment in Grey Hospital. She was then, she went to Livingstone in Port Elizabeth.

MS MAYA: When did she pass away ?

MRS MZINZI: She passed away because as she was beaten in the head, she suffered pain since then.

MS MAYA: When did she die ?

MRS MZINZI: She died in 1996. She could not do anything for herself.

MS MAYA: Did you lay a charge, or did you go to any lawyers for legal advice?

MRS MZINZI: She did approach the attorneys, but nothing came out of it.

MS MAYA: Which attorneys are these ?

MRS MZINZI: Mr Tavata, Smith & van Heerden.

MS MAYA: Nothing happened about the case ?

MRS MZINZI: No.

MS MAYA: Nomondi, would you like to say something ?

NOMONDI: Yes, I would like to say something. According to what I know about my mother. My mother came to me in Ginsburg. She said that my daughter, my child, before I die, I would like to say this. I did not expect her to, to live, because I thought that she was going to die at that same time. She said that pet, can you see what the Ciskeian soldiers did to me. Do you know Moffat Mputo. I am here to-day and I have been assaulted because of him. He his the one who pointed me out to the soldiers of Ciskei, saying that Iím the cause of the conflict in the village. She said that Iím dying because Iím a member of ANC Youth, ANC Womenís League. He said that I came with politics from Port Elizabeth.

MS MAYA: Did you know Moffat Mputo before ?

NOMONDI: No, I did not know him, but I made some investigations. I found out that he was from Mount Cook.

MS MAYA: Where is he now ?

NOMONDI: Someone showed me Mr Mputo in town. I can identify him if I can see him.

MS MAYA: Is there anything else you want to add to what youíve already said?

NOMONDI: I donít want to waste time because after all this I took him to Grey Hospital. That is where he was photographed by the media and we took these photographs to Smith & Tavata.

MS MAYA: You mentioned Wendy, Lindiswa and Luyiswa. Can you please tell us about these children.

NOMONDI: The 2 children, who, thereís 2 girls and my brother whose being supported by my mother. My brother gets a pension grant. These children are my brotherís children. They were staying with my mother because their father passed away.

MS MAYA: How old are they ?

NOMONDI: I took them because when my mother passed away.

MS MAYA: How old are they Maíam ?

NOMONDI: The first one was born 1982, the other one 1985.

MS MAYA: Can you please mention their names, because we have 3 names.

NOMONDI: Nomsa, Nomsa is my sisterís child who also passed away.

MS MAYA: Are they all at school ?

NOMONDI: Nomsa is not at school but sheís still very young.

MS MAYA: Do you have any other requests to the Commission ?.

NOMONDI: I do have a request to the Commission. I would like the Commission to assist us in these three, three children who were being supported by my mother. As I am married now, I cannot support them.

MS MAYA: Mrs Mzinzi, would you like to add something ?.

MRS MZINZI: My request is the same. I would like these 3 children to be educated.

MS MAYA: Thank you. I will hand over to the Chairperson after Iíve finished with all of you.

MS MAYA: Mr Dara, you also from Masele Township.

MR DARA: Yes.

MS MAYA: You were also affected on 27th of December 1991. You were beaten with sticks and sjamboks by the soldiers. What was happening ?

MR DARA: The police came at home on the 27th of December 1991. They took us near the school. When we got to the school, they would take us and transfer us to the casspir while beating us. They would make us lay down under the chairs and they were assaulting us all this time. They said that I was a Chairperson.

MS MAYA: When you say that you were taken by the police, who was with you?

MR DARA: Everybody in the village was taken by these police.

MS MAYA: What was the reason for this ?

MR DARA: The reason was that a house belonging to Xhanga family was burnt down. The soldiers were staying there. It was burnt down on the 26th of December. These police were asking us about this incident.

MS MAYA: Were you a member of any political organization ?

MR DARA: I was a member of ANC. The family of, the Xhanga family was a member of ADM.

MS MAYA: In other words, the members of ADM were helping the Ciskeian soldiers ?

MR DARA: Yes.

MS MAYA: What happened to you after that ?

MR DARA: They said that Iím the Chairperson and I must tell them who burnt down Mr Xhangaís home and I was not a Chairperson.

MS MAYA: After these assaults, were you arrested ?

MR DARA: Yes, I was arrested. They took me to Tamara Police Station. We were then transferred to Thimbaza because Tamara Police Station was full. On the 31st of December we were then released.

MS MAYA: The people who assault, assaulted you, did you know them ?

MR DARA: No, I did not know them, but they were soldiers.

MS MAYA: Did you get any medical treatment ?.

MR DARA: Yes, I did.

MS MAYA: Do you still have medical documents ?

MR DARA: I donít know because my home burnt down. A flame burst in my home, so I donít know whether the documents are still there.

MS MAYA: Did you lay a charge ?.

MR DARA: No, I did not.

MS MAYA: Did you go to any attorneys ?

MR DARA: No, I did not. I cannot support myself, I cannot work like before and I would like the Government to assist me financially because I am not working.

MS MAYA: Do you have children ?

MR DARA: Yes, I have 5 children.

MS MAYA: Do you remember their ages ?

MR DARA: I donít remember, but my first- born was borne in 1980.

MS MAYA: We will come back to you for those details. Is that all you wanted to say ?

MR DARA: I would also like to know the perpetrators who did this to me.

MS MAYA: You will also be, like to be helped concerning your children.

MR DARA: Yes.

MS MAYA: I thank all of you. I hand over to the Chairperson, maybe you will be asked questions. Reverend Xundu.

REV. XUNDU: Mr Stsikelelo Solani concerning your requests, you said that you would like a wife. Would you like us to pay lobola for you ?

MR SOLANI: If that is possible, I would like you to do that.

REV. XUNDU: Thank you, Mr Chairperson, I just wanted to know that. We thank you people from Masele. Weíve noted your requests concerning the conflict between the ANC and the ADM. We will also look at your requests. Thank you, you may go back to your seats.