TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
SUBMISSIONS - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
NAME: ZAINAB RYKLIEF
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: I would just like to announce that we do have a Xhosa interpreter for those people who wish to hear the Xhosa interpretation. What channel is it? It's on channel three.
We would like to move to calling Shafwaan Ryklief, sorry I'm sorry, Zainab Ryklief to come up to the witness stand please.
Mrs Ryklief, is she alone? She's not alone. Glenda Wildschut is going to lead Mrs Ryklief, but before that, Mapule Ramashala is going to swear her in. Over to you Dr Ramashala.
DR RAMASHALA: Mrs Ryklief, good morning. Do you want to swear or to make an affirmation?
MRS RYKLIEF: Swear.
ZAINAB RYKLIEF: (sworn states)
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: Could I, sorry Glenda, Chris, that microphone, could you extend the wiring please, 'cause it gets stuck.
MS WILDSCHUT: Mrs Ryklief, I'm going to be helping you to tell your side of the story. We are aware that you've had to tell the story many times. Many people have come to your house immediately after the event and several years after that people repeatedly have come to you, your house has been captured on television and in the media and the press, pictures of the shooting and so on. But today we would like to give you the chance to tell us in your own words and to this commission how you experienced that event. I know it's a very difficult time for you today, to witness people dying in your house is not very easy. So we will give you the time to tell it in your own words, you can take your time and you can speak in the language that you feel most comfortable to do.
MRS RYKLIEF: On the 15th October 1985, that day I will never forget. On that day there was a march happening and I could see that things would go wrong, and the caspers and the police vans started driving up and down the
roads. When the children were on their way to the muslim school, Ms Abrahams took their children to a muslim school, and Ms Abrahams returned from muslim school, I could see that something was going wrong. I invited them into the house and I closed the door of the house. One of the friends on my children did not want, wanted to go home, but I told him not to go home, that he had to stay with me for a while because of the obvious danger outside.
He insisted and I opened the door of the house, as I opened the door of the house and just after the children went out they ran back into the house. I waited until all the children were back into the house and then I locked the door. Then I noted that one of my children and one of my sister's children were still outside and I panicked. I was also shot but was so concerned about my children and because Ms Abrahams was screaming. She said to me "Please help me Zainab, please help me" and I said to her "I can't help you" and then I went out at the back door of the house. I saw my children's son, I opened the back door and the child came in. Then I was still missing my child. Then I noticed my child was sitting in the chicken coup and the police were walking up and down in the passage way behind the house.
My one child choked the chickens so that they would not make a noise because of the police walking up and down with their rifles and so that they would not notice him, he choked the chickens so that they died so that they would not make a noise and attract the attention of the police. He then came in. Ms Abrahams was still screaming and then my mother came and said to Ms Abrahams to stop screaming.
Then this one fat policeman kicked open the door. My sister then said to him " Don't kick open the door there are children in the house." When he kicked the door of the house open, I was convinced that he would kill all of us, because he came into the house with his rifle. One child was under the dressing table and the policeman grabbed him and then I screamed at my sister " Look they are taking Ismail." Then we said to him the child is too small, leave the child. I then went to the kitchen and saw blood all over the kitchen. My food on my stove, and all of the cups and saucers and glasses in the kitchen were broken with the shots that were fired. I was then taken away.
Then when I returned home, my two girls were brought to me and the one boy had left and the other was still in the house. I was very ill after that. When I came home there were many, many people in the house, I did not know where to look and there were policemen who came to my house everyday, I think his surname was Steyn. He would come with a typewriter to my house everyday, insisting that I give him evidence. Whenever I get home from work, he would be at my house and then I said to him, "I can't take this anymore." The social worker then came to me. I was ill subsequently and she took me away to a psychiatrist, I don't know where else they took me. I was at the hospital with the nurses and I was given medication to help me with my nerves. From the morning when I got up until the evening, I would see policemen everywhere. It would be something happening everyday for that whole week.
In the evenings I had great difficulty going to sleep. My husband asked me what was wrong and I said to him I feel ill, my nerves are, cannot cope with the situation. When Shaun ran into the house, he threw himself on my bed. Ms Abrahams threw herself on the bed also and she had blood on her from the children. The children were wearing maroon jerseys so she did not see the blood. When he fell on my bed, he died and he died there on my bed.
As the one policeman kicked open the door, he grabbed Shaun. I had a little step at my door and he grabbed the child's leg, the head in such a way that when he pulled up the child's head he then said " The pig has died." He then put the child on the stretcher, and took the child with, away with the stretcher. Whenever I saw policemen or police vans, I could not cope with that. I still cannot deal with seeing policemen and police vans.
Then the social worker came to my house and took me away to some or other place. It was a psychiatrist or something, I don't know where that was and they took care of me there. At night I cannot fall asleep and I then said to him - I don't want to sleep on this bed. This bed is covered in blood, as the children were lying on the bed and that affected my nerves very much. I will never be able to forget what happened that day. I had become almost like a child, I could not cope with loud noises. I was convinced that they would come back and shoot there.
When they drive past my house, they look at my house. My house was exactly on the road, you could see right down to St Simons Road from my room. And you could stand anywhere in the road and see what was happening in my house. When the social worker came and took me away and gave me pills, they took me to doctors. For one week I was not able to work and then I had to work additionally. My nerves were so damaged I could not work with children ant longer. Because I was working with children, the principal then told me that my nerves are too tender to work with children, because whenever I go home I was wondering what would happen at home. And things have continued in that way with me in my house and with my children. I always thought about my children, I was concerned and worried about my children. I will never forget the 15th October. It felt like a war and it always felt as if they were going to kill people.
MS WILDSCHUT: Could we just go through some of the things that you said. I thought in your, as you told the story now that you were very clear and we heard very carefully what you were saying, but we need to just go through some of the things that you said. Let's just look at the shooting itself because you were in a sense keeping those children safe. You opened your doors to allow those children to come into your house. Did the police persons actually enter the house and shoot inside your house or were they shooting from outside, inside.
MRS RYKLIEF: They shot from outside the house.
MS WILDSCHUT: And that's when they were shooting into your kitchen and where you were cooking and ...
MRS RYKLIEF: All the windows were broken, there was not a single window that was not broken.
MS WILDSCHUT: We can assume that several shots were fired.
MRS RYKLIEF: Yes, ja.
MS WILDSCHUT: And you say that lots and lots of shots were fired at that time.
MRS RYKLIEF: Yes.
MS WILDSCHUT: And what was the extent of your injury?
MRS RYKLIEF: As I've said, I knew that I was shot but I did not know what had happened. I was taken away after that and l returned later. I had been shot in my left shoulder.
MS WILDSCHUT: You have told that you weren't able to help Mrs Abrahams because you yourself were shot.
MRS RYKLIEF: That is why I could not help Mrs Abrahams, she was screaming, but I could not help her although I did not say to her that I had been shot because I had to take care of everybody also my own children.
MS WILDSCHUT: ... to ignore, almost, the fact that you had been shot, so that you could be upright and brave and there for those children that you had brought into your house.
MRS RYKLIEF: Ja
MS WILDSCHUT: This story about one of the kids who tried to roll to safety. So one of the children jumped into the rubbish bins and rolled the rubbish bin so that they could be protected by the rubbish bin, Can you just tell us who that child was and how he got into the rubbish bin?
MRS RYKLIEF: This was on a Tuesday, so the rubbish bins were standing at the front of the house because that is the day the rubbish is removed. He was not able to run into the house, so when he got to the rubbish bins, he was hiding himself and he was sitting in or inbetween the rubbish bins. Then I opened the back door for him. He came out the rubbish bin into the house. That was my nephew and his name was Shafiek.
MS WILDSCHUT: You say he wasn't shot?
MRS RYKLIEF: No.
MS WILDSCHUT: Okay. Then the child who went into the chicken run ....
MRS RYKLIEF: That's my own child.
MS WILDSCHUT: He also ran into the yard and ...
MRS RYKLIEF: The door was locked so it was impossible for him to come inside the house, so he ran into the chicken coop. But then I was looking for him because I could not find him in the house, so I opened the back door and noticed him in the chicken coop. I noticed that he was choking the chickens so that the police could not hear what was happening. And that is why he choked the chickens to death.
MS WILDSCHUT: ... the chickens quiet, so that the police couldn't actually hear that he was there. Right, so it all leads to the fact, I'm just trying to establish there also, the behaviour of the police. So the police weren't just in the street, they'd actually followed the kids, the children where they went into the house, they went into the backyard as well. So they actually followed right into your bedroom.
MRS RYKLIEF: Yes.
MS WILDSCHUT: Right. Now the children who had run into your bedroom, Shaun, Magmoed, and who was the other? Was it your sister's children?
MRS RYKLIEF: Yes.
MS WILDSCHUT: Yes. And they were shot, so they landed up on your bed?
MRS RYKLIEF: Yes.
MS WILDSCHUT: So your bed in a sense was soaked in the blood of the children who actually were shot and landed on your bed.
MRS RYKLIEF: Yes.
MS WILDSCHUT: And that was the bed that you feel you couldn't sleep in and the fact that...
MRS RYKLIEF: I then said to my husband that he had to buy us a different mattress because in the evenings when I would lie on the bed, then I would imagine it. I would see the whole event happening again. It would come back to my mind again every night.
MS WILDSCHUT: .... mattress and new bedding and so because you really couldn't actually experience being there again in that bed.
MRS RYKLIEF: Shaun Magmoed threw himself onto my bed and died there on my bed.
MS WILDSCHUT: It's very hard for you to sleep and to really make sense of this incident.
MRS RYKLIEF: Ja.
MS WILDSCHUT: You talked quite a bit about how you needed treatment, you needed to see a psychiatrist, you had to be supported by a social worker and so on. How are you feeling now?
MRS RYKLIEF: Some weeks before today I could not sleep. This morning at 4:15am I phoned my social worker and told the social worker that I have a headache and that my tummy is sore. I told her it's as if I reliving all of the events. This is how I feel now, I will never forget that day.
MS WILDSCHUT: ...to people that it really is very difficult to relive the experiences again, and for you to come. And I really deeply from my heart want to say to you that we do appreciate your coming here today, because it has been a terrible ten or so years, more than ten, twelve years now, for you , where repeatedly you have to go through these experiences and today again to experience this. But I wonder whether any of my colleagues would like to ask you questions or make some more comments before I continue, so I hand over to the chair.
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: Members of the panel? Dr Ramashala.
DR RAMASHALA: Mrs Ryklief, that's where I needed to ask the question - how soon after the children left the house were the shots fired? When did you hear the shots fired?
MRS RYKLIEF: As I opened the door, the moment I opened the door, as they left out they immediately ran back inside. I waited until they all ran back inside, locked the door, although there were still two children, one of mine and one of my sister still outside. I still had to go and look for them.
DR RAMASHALA: Tell me how far was the crowd on the street from your house? Just a quick estimate.
MRS RYKLIEF: I worked in the back in the servants quarters and the pavement is not a minute's walk - that's how I could say it.
DR RAMASHALA: Shaun was with the rest of the children...
MRS RYKLIEF: He went out with the children. He was in the house, he was a friend of one of my sons. They were at the same school.
DR RAMASHALA: When the children left the house they didn't have any stones?
MRS RYKLIEF: No. How can they have a stone when they're in the house?
DR RAMASHALA: And Shaun didn't have any stones?
MRS RYKLIEF: No.
DR RAMASHALA: Shaun was wearing what colour shirt? Can I ...
MRS RYKLIEF: It must have been a yellow or a cream shirt.
DR RAMASHALA: Shaun left the house with the rest of the children, and a few seconds later the shots were fired, the children came right back to the house, including Shaun?
MRS RYKLIEF: Yes he was also with them.
DR RAMASHALA: Thank you very much.
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: Thank you Dr Ramashala. We will ask Ms Wildschut to make some closing comments.
MS WILDSCHUT: Mrs Ryklief, I think the question that Dr Ramashala has just asked you is a very important one because you were involved in the trial and I'm sure that you have heard all the media around this case. It seems to me, and perhaps to many people, that the reasons offered in the trials and elsewhere was that these young people presented a very severe threat to the police. They were children who were endangering the lives of the police and therefore the police had to act in the way in which they had. It seems as though this is the kind of scenario that was presented to the nation and to the world during the hearings and so on. And of course we will try to hear all the versions in this events hearing. I feel that as I've said earlier on that the fact that we are having to relive these stories again brings lots and lots of emotions and lots and lots of feelings back to us. But we feel that you have made a very valuable contribution to young people. I feel very proud in one way that you felt the sense of responsibility to open up your door to protect young people, and to ensure that the lives of young people are protected. And it must mean something for you that you were able to make that contribution, but it also must mean something that even though you did that act, it was difficult for you to protect them from dying, particularly the ones who died in your home and that must be very hard for you to deal with. But we really do want to thank you for that very brave gesture of yours on trying to protect young people because ultimately that is what adults have to do. Adults have to protect the lives of young people and young people have to be able to look up to adults. It seems as though the custodians of care often do not do that and we want to honour you today for being able to demonstrate what adults have to do for young people. Thank you very much.
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: Thank you Mrs Ryklief. Ladies and gentlemen, at this point we are going to break for tea and it will be a 15 minute only for tea. So we will be back here at 11:13am and we will resume the proceedings. Thank you. Could you stand while the witnesses leave please. Thank you.
COMMISSION ADJOURNS FOR TEA - ON RESUMPTION:
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: As they are coming up, I would just like to announce also that Dr Wendy Orr will be leading you and before she does Dr Mapule Ramashala is going to swear you in. Over to you Dr Ramashala.
DR RAMASHALA: Could you both stand please? Shafwaan Ryklief and Ismail Ryklief...
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: Dr Ramashala is just getting the stadium for this morning. Oh good fine she's now got it.
DR RAMASHALA: Shafwaan Ryklief and Ismail Ryklief, do you want to swear or do you want to affirm?
MR RYKLIEF: Swear.
SHAFWAAN RYKLIEF: (sworn states)
ISMAIL RYKLIEF: (sworn states)
DR RAMASHALA: Thank you.
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: Thank you. Dr Wendy Orr.
DR ORR: Welcome Ismail and Shfwaan and thank you for coming here today, to relive what must have been, a horrifying and frightening experience for you. You were also there on the 15th October 1985 at the time when some young people were killed and when you yourselves were involved in the incident which has become known as the Trojan Horse incident. Who would like to speak first?
MR S RYKLIEF: I am Shafwaan Ryklief, I'm the son of Mrs Ryklief. I was there when this incident happened. It was about 4:50pm, I came back from a friend's house. When I arrived home there were burning tyres in the street, there were a lot of students standing around. I was still attending school at that time. I ran into the house accompanied by a friend, Shaun Magmoed. We were attending school together. We were standing there and Ismail Abrahams was with us. The children were active outside, they had posters and other things and like my mother just said, Ismail Abrahams wanted to go home, he insisted to go home. When my mother opened the door, I went with him and while we were going out we just took two or three steps and we had to run back again. When we came into the house, we stood by the window and we could see what was going on. The first time an orange railway truck came from Lansdowne Road and drove in the direction of Athlone. Children were throwing stones at this truck. The second time this truck came up this road, this was when we left the house and that was then that these police came out of these crates and started shooting. They aimed in the direction of our house. What I'm trying to say is they aimed at the house and their intention was to shoot out the house and like my mother had said they were trying to kill us. I myself was not injured. I fell on the ground, my legs were shaking and I felt that something was wet and when I looked at my hands I saw that it was blood. I was the eldest and people assisted me, I can't remember who they were. When I regained consciousness, I was in hospital, I can't even remember which hospital. I was so unconscious of what was happening.
It was a very sad and traumatic experience. This is a day I will never forget. I saw how my friend, Shaun Magmoed died. I cried by myself for months afterwards. To see how a friend dies, a friend with whom you went to school and everything, that is a horrible experience, and very sad. The last thing he said was "Continue with the struggle, go on with the struggle" and like my mother had said all of us are people, whether you are black, brown or white. We are all people and when they said "That pig is dead" that was not right.
I don't want to tell that to somebody else. How would people from the police or the security forces like to hear that coming from me? From 1985 onwards, it has changed my life, it has changed my whole attitude to life. It was a disruptive force. I became a different person, and the things that I participated in eg sports, I could not participate anymore because of the injury in my legs. I could not participate anymore because my legs could not take it. I went to the hospital, I had to go for an operation but I could not afford it. They could not bring back all those things they had taken away from us. This is all I want to say.
When they appeared in court, I do not think it was just that they were acquitted because for what they did to us, we do not want to pay them back but those policemen should be punished. They should be punished. I cannot see that they were acquitted, because how would they like that to have been done to their families? I will never forget their faces, especially the one who kicked open the door. This is all I would like to say at this stage.
DR ORR: Do you know the name of the policeman?
MR S RYKLIEF: I can't remember his name, I was young, only sixteen years of age. When I see him I want to be able to recognise him.
DR ORR: Were you attending school?
MR S RYKLIEF: Yes, I was at school.
DR ORR: What are you doing now? are you working, studying.
MR S RYKLIEF: Yes, I'm working. I am a builder.
DR ORR: I just want to get a clear picture of what exactly happened. You were in the house and you saw that truck driving down the street and then turn round and come back. When did you go outside?
MR S RYKLIEF: When this truck drove in the direction of Klipfontein Road. Children were playing outside and throwing stones at this truck, and my friend, Ismail Abrahams insisted that he wanted to go home. When we left the house, it was about the second time the truck came back, and at that stage they just started shooting.
DR ORR: When you and friends went outside, you weren't carrying stones? You weren't throwing stones? You did not? Other children were doing that? Thank you I have no further questions.
Ismail, I want to ask you, - you can speak English or Afrikaans - to tell your story.
MR I RYKLIEF: That day we were all gathered in the house. We were watching T.V. and Ismail Abrahams insisted that he wanted to go home and my aunt said no, he had to stay inside, but he insisted he wanted to go out. Because we were friends we all joined him. When we left the house, we had to run back because they were shooting at us. I and Shaun and other people, we ran and climbed under a dressing table to hide, and Shaun was lying on the bed. Shaun told me the struggle had to go on. And then he relieved himself and died.
One policeman looked through the window and then he came to the door and asked us to open the door. We did not want to do that and he kicked open the door. He came straight to me and he pulled me towards him. My mother said he had to leave me alone. I was lying there, I was still small and I was very frightened. My brother came there and they said they must take my brother and leave me alone, and they took my brother and they pulled Shaun, lying at the end of the bed, they pulled him up and then they left him lying on the ground.
They pulled out the phone, the cord of the phone, so we could not telephone anybody, because they did not want photographers or anybody to come to that house. People from the ambulance arrived there, they put him on a stretcher and took him out. They did not want my mother and the other people to look into the van where he was lying. They took him away and they took me to the hospital where there were a lot of policemen and a lot of questions were asked and we were guarded for the night.
The next morning I was taken to a private doctor and only then I returned back to the home where I had been shot. That was where I was born and where I lived everyday. A lot of people gathered there that evening and they had to take us to various houses because they were looking for us. I stayed at other relatives, who were nearby. I stayed there during the night. I had a lot of pain and they had to rush me to a private doctor again. They found more bullets lodged in my body. And this private doctor cared for me.
All of us then were staying at different houses and for seven years we went to the court, but nothing happened. We went to court, we told what happened and I pointed out the person who had kicked open the door but they were acquitted. Up until this day they are free men. I will never forget what happened.
DR ORR: How old were you at that stage?
MR I RYKLIEF: I was twelve years old.
DR ORR: It must have been a terrible thing for a child of twelve years old to see all this. So you yourself were also injured?
I have no further questions, but I would like to hand over to my other colleagues.
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: Fine. Thanks Wendy. Anyone of the panel? Dr Ramashala?
DR RAMASHALA: Ismail, I want to pursue this line of stone throwing a little bit. Could you both tell me who was the first to get out of the house?
MR I RYKLIEF: From us? Are you talking about before the shooting?
DR RAMASHALA: Well I'm trying to place Jonathan and Shaun.
MR I RYKLIEF: Jonathan wasn't in the house with us. Shaun Magmoed was in the house with us.
DR RAMASHALA: Okay, and when you went out of the house the first time, Shaun was with you?
MR I RYKLIEF: Yes.
DR RAMASHALA: And immediately after you left the house you had to run back again?
MR I RYKLIEF: Yes.
DR RAMASHALA: And that's when you heard the shooting?
MR I RYKLIEF: Yes.
DR RAMASHALA: Did you see whether the shooting was directed at the house?
MR I RYKLIEF: Yes, because we were walking towards the road.
DR RAMASHALA: So you really were not part of the stone throwing group?
MR I RYKLIEF: No.
DR RAMASHALA: Okay. Thank you.
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: Thank you Mapule. Glenda?
MS WILDSCHUT: I just wanted to hear if you wanted to answer Dr Ramashala's question about going out of the house?
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: Yes Shafwaan.
MR S RYKLIEF: Like Ismail has said, we were not part of those people throwing stones. While we were leaving the house, they were shooting and we had to run back into the house. Therefore I can say that they were aiming at us. The majority of the policemen on the truck aimed their weapons in the direction of the house. That is all I can say. And the door would not have been opened if Ismail did not insist to go home, because he wanted to go home and that's why we had to open the door. That is all I want to say.
MS WILDSCHUT: Shafwaan, at any point with Shaun Magmoed. Did he ever throw stones at any point while you were with him?
MR S RYKLIEF: No.
MS WILDSCHUT: Not even when the truck came down the road for the first time?
MR S RYKLIEF: No, we were all in the house.
MS WILDSCHUT: .... for the first time when you saw it coming down, for the first time. And incidentally the first time was, it was moving in the direction of Lansdowne Road.
MR S RYKLIEF: No, towards Klipfontein Road.
MS WILDSCHUT: So the first time it went in the direction of Klipfontein Road and the second time it was going in the direction of Lansdowne Road. Okay, so it had obviously turned somewhere near Klipfontein Road and come down again. When it went down the first time, Shaun was not throwing stones at all.
MR S RYKLIEF: No.
MS WILDSCHUT: And when it came down the second time he was not throwing stones?
MR S RYKLIEF: No.
MS WILDSCHUT: Okay, and what was Shaun wearing?
MR S RYKLIEF: I can't remember very well but I think he was wearing a yellow or a cream shirt. I can't remember very well.
MS WILDSCHUT: Was a little shirt?
MR S RYKLIEF: Yes it was a shirt.
MS WILDSCHUT: ... and it could either have been green or yellow you say?
MR S RYKLIEF: No it was yellow or cream.
DR ORR: I want to ask one further question, I don't know whether you have an answer - Can you think of any reason why the police targeted that house? Why? Why did they do that? what was their reason?
MR S RYKLIEF: Perhaps I'm not answering the question but if tyres were burnt in Thornton Road, it all happened in front of our house. The house, there was a granny flat, and we lived in that granny flat. This wall was still standing round this house and it was very nice for the students just to sit on this wall or behind that little wall. Most of the students were on the side of the house. Now why they aimed at that house was most of the children ran in the direction of our house. There was a passage there and most of them ran down that passage, in the direction of my house.
But all the people could not be allowed into the house but most of them took refuge in our house. That is why they were aiming at our house.
DR RAMASHALA: Shafwaan and Ismail, what are you doing now?
MR I RYKLIEF: I'm unemployed.
MR S RYKLIEF: At the moment I am a builder, a bricklayer on the building sites. I'm married and I have one child of six years old.
DR RAMASHALA: What has been the effect of this incident on both of you?
MR S RYKLIEF: For me as I have said before, my whole attitude to life and way of life have changed. To be very direct I was a dependent on drugs and this now a year and a half I've been rehabilitated now, only for a year and a half. I was dependent on drugs because I always thought about this incident and these drugs helped me not to think about what happened that day. Like I've said, I was very interested in sport. I played soccer, I swam and after I was shot I could not participate anymore because my legs were not so strong. And this whole incident has spoilt my future. I visited doctors regularly, I went to a doctor a month ago, I have a problem with my knee, the side where I was shot and the doctor said that I had to go to a specialist to be operated on to determine what the problem is. I cannot afford that, and therefore I think that as long as I live I have to suffer, because it costs too much to have this knee operation. This is all I want to say about myself, but I will never forget what happened what happened on 15th October.
DR RAMASHALA: Do you want me to repeat the question?
MR I RYKLIEF: Yes please.
DR RAMASHALA: How did this incident affect you and change your life?
MR I RYKLIEF: I couldn't concentrate on my school work anymore. I don't do sports anymore. I just sit at home and now I'm sitting here again hearing about the same incident that happened twelve years ago and still nothing didn't happen. That's the point I'm making, nothing happened to them, they're still free. One is a - I know one of them are working at an alarm place and he's driving a new Honda Ballade. And I'm sure he's on the payroll but nothing happened to them. Innocent children were shot dead and I really don't know - I'll only be satisfied if something is going to happen to them. Justice. Then I'll be satisfied, otherwise this government is corrupt.
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: Before I hand over to Dr Orr to make the closing comment, I'm going to ask two questions. I'd like to go back to the question of Shaun Magmoed, who is one of the victims, the sixteen year old young man who was shot on that day. You mentioned that he was in the house and he wasn't throwing stones, I just needed a bit more clarity about that. I know your mom, Mrs Zainab Ryklief, earlier on explained how close to the road your home is and I think, you know, we have been there, we kind of have a picture, it's right on the pavement, you just step out and onto the pavement and the road.
Now at what point, I'm not sure at what point, Shaun Magmoed and yourselves left the house to observe what was happening outside, to see the truck coming, driving up and down. Could you explain it a bit more? At what point did you leave the house - so that I can understand, you know, kind of have a picture of when Shaun was shot and at what point he ran back into the house. Could you just explain please?
MR S RYKLIEF: When you open the front door about a metre and a half, we had to go perhaps less than a metre and the truck came to a standstill. They started shooting and we ran back. We were about a metre from the front door or perhaps less than a metre and a half from the front door in the direction of the road to say goodbye to Ismail and we had to turn back.
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: Then the incident started, the police started shooting, there was throwing of stone and shooting.
MR S RYKLIEF: Yes.
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: Oh, I see and also when you mentioned Shaun did not throw any stones, would you have seen him not throwing stones or do you think that he did not throw stones?
MR S RYKLIEF: I saw that he was not throwing stones but not one of us were walking in front of one another. We both walked out together, we were close to one another.
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: Do you remember what the policemen were wearing?
MR S RYKLIEF: They were wearing the brown khaki uniforms, defence force uniforms.
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: The camouflage uniforms?
MR S RYKLIEF: I wouldn't say they were camouflage, it was the brown uniforms.
MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA: Question for you Ismail, you mentioned you would like to see justice done. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
MR I RYKLIEF: If I was, if you put it in another situation, and someone else, another guy is going to prison, here it is a different case because they're working for the government and nothing is happening to them. They're free and we were in court for seven years. We had evidence and still nothing has happened to them. Do you understand? They shot innocent people. Three children died and I don't feel there was justice until now, the only time I'm going to feel happy if I know justice, something is happening to them, they are being punished, they're going to prison or something. So I'm not going to be satisfied.
MS GOBODO- MADIKIZELA: Thank you Ismail. Dr Ramashala wants to say something.
DR RAMASHALA: From both of you, I'm trying to get a mental picture. Here you are coming out of the door and the truck is a distance in front of you.
MR I RYKLIEF: We didn't see the truck at first, we only saw the truck when we were busy walking and so we heard shots and then we turned around and ran back.
DR RAMASHALA: When you saw the truck, had it already started firing?
MR I RYKLIEF: Yes, that's why we turned round and ran back.
DR RAMASHALA: Okay, so you didn't see it when it began to fire, it was already firing.
MR I RYKLIEF: No, when we were walking, we heard shooting, we were walking towards the road, and shots went off and we saw the truck and it turned around and ran back.
DR RAMASHALA: Okay, so you don't know whether the officers who were firing came out of the crates, looked around and fired, or whether they came out and fired right away, you didn't see that part of it.
MR S RYKLIEF: Personally, he was younger than I was and I was the eldest and I would see that we were walking in front. What I saw was that the truck came to a standstill. It was driving slowly. There were crates on the back of this lorry. They just got up from these crates and started shooting.
DR ORR: Thank you to both of you for coming to tell us about your experiences. I think you have, and the previous witnesses have, demonstrated very clearly that one event that takes five minutes, in fact has repercussions and effects which go on and on for many years. And I want to thank you Shafwaan for being so honest about the effect that it had on you and your drug addiction, because you are certainly not the only person who has turned to drugs and alcohol to remember horrific events like these and I'm very happy to hear that you are not using drugs at the moment. I think this story also illustrates the bizarre nature of our society, in that it was thought appropriate to use guns and bullets against young children, who were only throwing stones. I think we all as Mr Williams said, we all say - how, why, what, how on earth can that happen. And part of the job of the truth commission is to try find an answer to those questions but also to make sure that that will not happen again. Thank you very much.