DATE: 14.05.1997


CASE: EC0105/96EZN




MS MAYA: Zanyiwe Evelyn Matyolo please stand up. Zanyiwe Evelyn ZANYIWE EVELYN MATYOLO: (sworn states).

MS MAYA: We welcome you, Mrs Matyolo. We will ask Mr Ntsiki Sandi to lead you with questions on behalf of the Commission. Thank you Mr Chairperson.

MR SANDI: Let me start by greeting you, Mrs Matyolo. You are here to talk about your son, Zalisile Ernest Matyolo.

MRS MATYOLO: He was my brother.

MR SANDI: What was he doing. Was he at school or was he working.

MRS MATYOLO: He was working at the time.

MR SANDI: You say that he was attacked and he was killed. Where did this happen ?.

MRS MATYOLO: It happened in Zwelitsha, Zone 8.

MR SANDI: Do you remember the year of the incident ?.

MRS MATYOLO: Yes, it was in 1985.

MR SANDI: Who killed him ?.

MRS MATYOLO: Inkatha members killed him.

MR SANDI: Let me hand over to you Mrs Matyolo to explain to us what happened this day.

MRS MATYOLO: They have been looking for him at home in the evenings. On the first day he was sleeping. My children could hear their car. One of my sisterís child went out. Zalisile had a balaclava on. They came inside the house because he had a balaclava on his face they could not identify him. They asked us where Zalisile was. My mother did not respond. They went to the room where he was sleeping. They asked him where Zalisile was. He said that he was the one who ran away. On the second day, they came looking for him but he was not at home. On the third day Zalisile was not sleeping at home because he was afraid of Inkatha but they managed to find him near a church in Zone 9 where they were hiding. They chased them to the river. When they got him, they assaulted him. Tapile was one of the people who were there. They then attacked him. One eye was injured. His teeth were out. They broke his arms. They also broke his legs. They then cut the spinal cord because they said that they wanted him to die. People said that he was crying all this time. One of the people who did this passed in my home in the morning and told my mother that weíve killed that dog.

My mother went out looking for him. We followed my mother. When we arrived near the river my mother was already there. We went to her. The police were already there. They were taking photographs, asking who killed him.

I said donít ask because you know that it was Inkatha people who killed him because they were assaulting people at that time. I asked people from Zone 8 that why did they say that they did not see anything. People then said that Tapile was amongst the people who attacked him. His legs were broken. The police apologized to us because the children were stoning them at the time. They said that they were going to talk to these people. They were going to take the corpse to Mr Sebe so that he could see what Inkatha was doing to the people. We went back home. When we arrived at home the investigators came saying that they wanted us to give them a statement. We said that they must go to Inkatha to get a statement. People from Zwelithsa then got together and marched to Mabona. We stayed at home. My mother got sick. After that incident she could not do anything for herself. We stayed at home and that afternoon when the people came to pray for us at home, the soldiers came with the police. They teargassed people. On that very same day but in the evening we heard that there was a march to Mabona but when they arrived there in the police station all their weapons were taken from them. They were then arrested. The soldiers were dispersing people who attended prayers at home. After three days Mr Mabona together with Mr Pityi and Mr Jonas came saying that they were sent by the Government. They said that the Government was going to give my mother R3000-00 and they offered to bury Zalisile. They also told us that people attending the funeral must not be over 250 in number. My mother then refused this offer. She said that Zalisile was not working for the Government, he was working for the people. He thanked them. He said that if he cannot afford to bury him she will try to see what to do. She refused their offer. Mr Mabona, Mr Pityi and Mr Jonas then left.

MR SANDI: Excuse me Mrs Matyholo, Mr Pityi and Mr Jonas, where they working for the Government ?.

MRS MATYOLO: They were Members of Parliament at that time.

MR SANDI: They were members of Sinip


MR SANDI Where are they now ?

MRS MATYOLO: They are still around.

MR SANDI: Please continue Maíam.

MRS MATYOLO: After that Mr Jonas said that my mother was supposed to take this money from them. My mother said that sheís got people who know her. They will come and attend the funeral. She will not listen to their condition that not more than 250 people are allowed. On the day of the funeral, many people attended the funeral. We went to the Roman Catholic Church. When we got there we were teargassed by the police. People were sjamboked. The soldiers took the coffin and the coffin fell down. Even the Reverend ran away. Everybody ran away. We went to the toilet. We locked the toilet because we were scared. Iíve forgotten the name of the father who was there at the time. We could not go to the, we could not bury him. The soldiers then left. After that, they were all around the township in Zwelithsa. We left the coffin in the church because we could not do anything. It was myself and my sister. The father tried to arrange for us to go to town. While we were on our way to Zone 8 we met the police. They asked us, where are you going ? Why did you leave the coffin behind. We told them that we cannot do anything because the soldiers were beating us.

The police told us to go back and take the coffin so that we can go and bury my brother. It was myself, Dilie Mabega and one woman by the surname of Mazalenie. We met my brother on our way. We took the coffin out of the church. We took it outside. The father then came. He prayed. The father prayed. After the prayer, we were taken by a lorry to the graveyard. I think people who were there were about 25. The soldiers dispersed teargas again. The driver then opened the door. He could not control the lorry because of the teargas. People ran away. Only 5 people were left. One guy, Mr Klipo from Zone 10 went to the graveyard with us. I think at that time we were about 10 or 15 in number. When we arrived at the graveyard there were police all over. There was a hole, a big hole. I think they dug the hole so that if they shot any people they would bury them in that hole. We sang the national anthem Nkosi Sikelele Afrika. We buried him then went back home.

The police said that people were not supposed to go and eat the food that was prepared at home. We then went to Smith and Tabata to lay a charge although that case did not continue. My mother got sick, my uncle got sick. All of us, we lost our jobs. After Zalisile died we buried 7 people in our family. His children are suffering because there is no money at home. We cannot afford. Zalisile was the breadwinner. Those people who were sentenced. Some they were sentenced to 8 years but they did not serve their sentences. They are working for the Government. They were hired by the Government after 3 months of the incident. That is all.

MR SANDI: Thank you Mrs Matyholo. You have told us a very sad story. It is very painful to listen to such a tragic story. The damage that happened in Ciskei, it is clear that people were destroyed. We sometimes ask ourselves, why do these people do such things. Where are Zalisileís children Maíam ?.

MRS MATYOLO: They are both doing Standard 10.

MR SANDI: Are they staying with you ?.

MRS MATYOLO: No they are staying with their mothers but we are supporting them.

MR SANDI: Mrs Mathyholo, do you have a request before the Commission.

MRS MATYOLO: Yes, I do Sir. First of all I would like his children to be educated because they did not even receive a grant. Secondly, after Zalisileís death, at home we suffered. His children come to me asking for money but Iím not working. Iím not employed. I cannot afford to support them. Thirdly, there is a street named after him in Zwelithsa but I would like a stadium to be built under his name so that we can remember him. He was not buried in a proper way. My mother went after a week so that she can just see his grave.

MR SANDI: Thank you Mrs Matyholo.

I will now hand over to the Chairperson. Thank you Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSION: Mrs Matyolo, I donít think there are any more questions. It was very painful for us to listen to your story but we thank you for coming here and presenting the story to us.

Mr Sandi has already said that your story is a very sad and tragic story but we thank you for coming forward to tell your story to this country, so that we cannot forget people who sacrificed their lives.

We have noted your requests about your brotherís children and about the stadium you mentioned. We will look at your requests so that when we compile our report, his name will be mentioned as one of the people who are to be honoured because they took part in the struggle of this country. Thank you Mrs Matyholo, you may go back to your seat .