CHAIRPERSON: Well, we're returning to Sphambo's case now, are we, which was adjourned till 9 o'clock this morning. It is now nine minutes to ten.

MS MAKHUBELE: Thank you. Honourable Chair, I apologise for the delay. I was still consulting with the witness and I'm ready to proceed. The witness is before the Committee.

CHAIRPERSON: Is the applicant here?

MR KOOPEDI: No the applicant is not here, Chairperson, but has no problem with the matter proceeding.

CHAIRPERSON: You've got no problems, you don't need instructions. Right, you can continue with the witness.

MS MAKHUBELE: The witness's name is Belinda Manto Miya, she's sitting next to me.

BELINDA MANTO MIYA: (sworn states)


EXAMINATION BY MS MAKHUBELE: Manto, the deceased Eric Pharasi is your brother?

MS MIYA: Yes, Your Honour.

MS MAKHUBELE: Before this Commission, an applicant known as Thabo Sphambo is applying for amnesty in respect of the death of your brother and evidence has already been heard yesterday in your absence. There are certain issues which I need you to bring to the attention of the Committee. Do you understand?


MS MAKHUBELE: In 1981 you were in Angola, is this correct?

MS MIYA: Yes, Your Honour, I was in Angola.

MS MAKHUBELE: Your brother was also in Angola, but you were not in one camp?

MS MIYA: Yes, Your Honour.

MS MAKHUBELE: Can you tell us which camp you were and how far it is from the camp where your brother was?

MS MIYA: Well I trained in Camp 13 in Kibashe and ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, you were camp?

MS MIYA: I was in Camp 13 and my brother was in Fazenda.

MS MAKHUBELE: At the time of your brother's death which was in August 1981, in which camp were you?

MS MIYA: I was in Luanda in Vienna Transit Camp.

MS MAKHUBELE: How far is this Luanda Transit Camp from Kibashe?

MS MIYA: It's about from Johannesburg to Pietersburg.

MS MAKHUBELE: Could be a distance of about 300 kilometres, if I can confirm people who know - Brian is nodding his head. As far as you know, where was your brother based in August of 1981?

MS MIYA: My brother was based in Fazenda.

MS MAKHUBELE: You only received notice of his death after he was buried, can you just briefly tell the Committee how you got to know about his death and who informed you?

MS MIYA: I was informed after four days, it was on a Sunday. I was called ...(intervention)

JUDGE DE JAGER: Sorry, four days after his funeral or four days after his death?

MS MIYA: Four days after his funeral, he was already buried by then. I was called in Res 1 that was our Head Office. I met Mr Masondo who is the General in the army now presently and the late Comrade Wana, I don't know his real name.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, what name did you say?

MS MIYA: Comrade Wana. Wana was his name, the combat name. They informed me that my brother died of shock. I asked them what caused the shock. They said he was questioned. I asked them what was the questioning all about, I never got a response. And then I further asked them that: "Can I go and see where - the way he's resting now, his last house where they buried him?" I was promised that they'll arrange and take me there, up to this day.

MR SIBANYONI: By his last house, do you mean his grave?

MS MIYA: His grave.

CHAIRPERSON: You were told arrangements had been made?

MS MIYA: They just told me that: "He's already buried, we are just informing you that your brother is late".

CHAIRPERSON: When you said you wanted to see the grave, what was their reaction?

MS MIYA: They said they'll take me there. They'll arrange with me but they never came back to me.

MS MAKHUBELE: Did you see Masondo and Wana again after this meeting?

MS MIYA: I saw comrade Wana and I asked him that I requested that can I go and see where my brother was buried. He said no, that will be arranged.

MS MAKHUBELE: Manto there has been - evidence has been heard before this Committee that your brother died of - he was punished because he was found in possession of dagga and liquor and as punishment, he was locked in a cell and as they didn't know that he was suffering from asthma, the following day they discovered that he had died. What's your response to this?

MS MIYA: My response is that it's a lie. My brother never suffered from any illness, he was just fit and fresh. MS MAKHUBELE: As for asthma?

MS MIYA: As for asthma, he never suffered from asthma, he never had any heart problem, he was just fine.

MS MAKHUBELE: When was the last time you saw him?

MS MIYA: The last time I saw my brother, that was in 1980 in Luanda. They were there to collect some food from the Logistics Department. I met him at our residence where they normally wait for the trucks to be loaded with food and then they go back to the camps.

MS MAKHUBELE: Is there anyone in your family suffering from asthma perhaps?

MS MIYA: I am suffering from asthma, including my sister over there, she's also asthmatic.

MS MAKHUBELE: Did you get any information as to what happened to your brother after Masondo and Wana informed you of his death?

MS MIYA: After being informed, I in fact was in the Cultural, ANC Amandla Cultural Ensemble, I decided to drop everything because I was demoralised and then I started to make my own investigations. That week people from Fazenda were in the camp saying there are people killed at that time, people were killed, two people are dead, but I ignored it because I never had the information that my brother was amongst the group and then I kept on investigating. I got the information my brother was killed for smoking dagga.

MS MAKHUBELE: But then the information, rather the evidence we had was that your brother died in Kibashe and you said, as far as you know, he was in Fazenda. Do you know how he came to die in Kibashe and not in Fazenda where you knew him to be.

MS MIYA: They were collected. The camps were rounded, they were collected in a truck. They were taken to Kibashe to be punished, that's how he died in Kibashe.

MS MAKHUBELE: We also had evidence that a post-mortem was conducted, were you informed of the results of a post-mortem, or did you come to see these post-mortem results?

MS MIYA: Your Honour, I was not informed of anything for the fact that I was only informed after four days. I didn't see any death certificate. I was not shown any post-mortem, there's nothing I knew, I was just blank.

MS MAKHUBELE: It was also said by Sphambo that you could not have been informed timeously because you were apparently outside Angola at that time. If I'm not mistaken, I speak under correction, you were in Sweden or some European country at the time of your brother's death. What's your response to this?

MS MIYA: Your Honour, that's a lie. As I've said I was in Luanda, in Vienna the Transit Camp. We were preparing for a tour to go to East Africa. I was around. We were staying there, we used to stay in that place, move to a place where we do our rehearsals in town and then we come back. I was never in Europe.

MS MAKHUBELE: And for record, for record purposes, you were in this cultural group which travelled all over the world to perform.

MS MIYA: Yes, I was in the Amandla Cultural Ensemble campaigning for the ANC, for the support for the ANC.

MS MAKHUBELE: But in August your group was not touring?

MS MIYA: No they were preparing for a tour for Eastern Africa, to go to Tanzania.

MS MAKHUBELE: Do you know if your family, if not you, if your family was informed of your brother's death?

MS MIYA: Nobody was informed. Your Honour, I smuggled a letter in Angola, I wrote a letter and I was fortunate that there was a group of students from Tanzania going to Europe. I smuggled a letter, I wrote a letter and then I talked to the people who were searching, because the procedure was that when you go to Europe, or you go abroad, they search you first and then after the searching then you move out of the rooms, then you get into the cars and then you go to the airport, but I pleaded that please, there's something that I want to send to my parents. I smuggled, I wrote a letter, I gave to one of the ladies from Tanzania, I begged her that she shouldn't show anybody. Can she kindly, when she arrives in Europe, post that letter to Tanzania to my sisters. After reading the letter, they should send it forward to my parents in Swaziland because I suspected that they were not informed. As Comrade Wana once said, when I asked him, he said no, I saw your parents, they already know about this, but I had a suspicion, that is why I smuggled the letter out of the camp.

MS MAKHUBELE: The letter you wrote to your parents, did you tell them the suspicion that your brother had been killed?

MS MIYA: I stated in the letter that: "Mama, your son was killed. He was killed because he smoked dagga and the report they told me, I was called after four days, that he died from shock and the investigation that I made is that he was beaten up, killed, because of dagga."

MS MAKHUBELE: Did you get a response from your parents?

MS MIYA: After about two weeks, or so, two to three weeks, my father responded. He wrote a letter and then in that letter he stated that: "Can I have my children back, because I received a letter from my daughter Belinda, that you killed my son, so before you kill the other two, can I have my children back?" This letter I found from the Security people when they called me to interview me about the letter that they received that, is it me who wrote to my parents? I said I know nothing, I denied.

MS MAKHUBELE: Did you at any stage meet with Sphambo?

MS MIYA: I never met Sphambo, I never even discussed about my brother's death with him, it's just that I used to greet and pass. We never discussed anything involving my brother's death.

MS MAKHUBELE: Did Masondo, who you now say is a general in the army, tell you whether he was doing this questioning when your brother died of shock, or some other people were doing the questioning?

MS MIYA: No Your Honour, the procedure was that by then Masondo was the National Commissar in Angola. He had his people like Faku who were working there as his Security.

MS MAKHUBELE: Who is Faku, before you proceed?

MS MIYA: Mr Sphambo, the applicant.


MS MIYA: Who were doing the job of screening people, whether he's a suspect or not or whether does the person deserve to be punished or not, so the instructions were from Mr Andrew Masondo.

MS MAKHUBELE: That's the evidence-in-chief, Chairperson.


JUDGE DE JAGER: Mr Koopedi and Mr Evidence Leader, could any one of you perhaps inform us whether this person's name appears in the list of deceased people in Angola, whether of natural causes or executed or in any of the lists in the addendum to the ANC's submissions?

MR MAPOMA: I have to check that Sir, I'm not sure now, I will check, but I do have the list.

CHAIRPERSON: Before you do that, could we just ask the witness, was your brother known by any other name?

MS MIYA: My brother's name was only Elic, that was the combat name that was given.

CHAIRPERSON: What was the combat name?

MS MIYA: Elic Mabusa.

MR SIBANYONI: How do you spell Alec?

MS MIYA: Instead of Eric it's Elic, I should think it's an l. E-L-I-C Mabusa.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, you'll check on that. Questions?

MR KOOPEDI: Just one question.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR KOOPEDI: You said you last saw your brother in 1980, did I hear you correct?


MR KOOPEDI: Can you remember the month?

MS MIYA: No, I cannot remember the month because I really don't want to lie. I don't remember the month but that was 1980, it was in Luanda.

MR KOOPEDI: Would it have been early 80, late 80, before June, after June?

MS MIYA: In the middle of 1980 but I'm not sure which month.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you. No further questions, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: I take it there's no re-examination on that?



MR MAPOMA: No, I have no questions Chairperson.


MR MAPOMA: What appears here is Leonard Mabusa who died as a result of a car - of accident in 1988, but I'm still checking Chairperson, in Angola.

CHAIRPERSON: Which of these submissions is this?

MR MAPOMA: This is the ANC's second submission.


MR MAPOMA: It's page 95.

JUDGE DE JAGER: You being a person suffering from asthma, have you ever had experience or have you heard of people suffocating because of asthma?

MS MIYA: You mean, Your Honour, suffocating, dying from asthma?


MS MIYA: So far I haven't heard of anybody who died from asthma in Angola, but I know how it does. You suffer from short breath, but so far I haven't heard anybody who died from asthma, not to my knowledge.

JUDGE DE JAGER: And when you joined the ANC in exile, did you have to give particulars about any illnesses you've got?


JUDGE DE JAGER: You haven't had to give a medical history saying: "Well, I'm suffering from my heart, or I've got this problem or that problem"?

MS MIYA: No with me they just told me to write my biography. It was never explained that you write about your illnesses or your write about whatever that you're suffering from. I was not informed about that. I just wrote about myself, not about my illness.

MR SIBANYONI: After returning to South Africa, didn't you pursue the matter to try to establish where the grave is, what was the cause of death?

MS MIYA: I did, Your Honour, for the fact that I pushed the matter. I went to the TRC at the Sanlam centre. I wrote a statement and I requested that can he get that decent burial, you see that decent dignity for the life that he sacrificed. For the fact that I'm here today, I persuaded, I was pushing that matter up. I even went to the extent of talking to the ANC people in Shell House and in response I was told that they are still forming the committees. The bones - people are going to be fetched to be here at home, so that they get a decent funerals that they deserve for the sacrifice they made for their freedom.

MR SIBANYONI: You are with the Government, you're working for the Government now?

MS MIYA: Yes, I'm in the SAPS.


MS MAKHUBELE: No further witnesses to call.

CHAIRPERSON: We'd like to thank this witness and her mother for having come here this morning and for having come here promptly as they were both here when we arrived.

MR MAPOMA: The other Mabuza who appears, Chairperson, to have died of natural causes, is Reginald Mabuza on the 11th of November 1993.

MS MAKHUBELE: Isn't he perhaps listed under Pharasi maybe, his own name?

JUDGE DE JAGER: You never visited the camp where her brother died?

MS MIYA: Your Honour, when I was in Camp 13, when I was still training there, I used to go and see my brother. I used to go and give him cosmetics because in most of the cases, the males are not giving sufficient cosmetics, so I used to give him some of my share and ask from the Commander who was commanding there if ever a truck is going to Fazenda, I used to go and see my brother, it wasn't a problem.

JUDGE DE JAGER: But after the death you didn't go and see the room where he died? They didn't show that to you?

MS MIYA: Your Honour I was not - I was just ignored as I firstly said. I requested but they never came back to me, it was just promises, promises, so I just end up not asking them anymore.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Perhaps if you find the name you could tell us later. I had a look and I couldn't find it either so...

CHAIRPERSON: The other name you said was Pharasi?

MS MIYA: Pharasi, yes. His real name Berman Pharasi, Mtlalindo Berman Pharasi.


CHAIRPERSON: Right, any further witnesses?


CHAIRPERSON: Do you wish to say anything further? MR KOOPEDI IN ARGUMENT: Perhaps just one point for the record. The witness was told that the applicant said she, that is the witness, was not informed because she was in Switzerland, in Sweden. What the applicant said was that he had information that she was in Sweden then, but also said it would not have been his duty to inform. That's what I wanted to put straight Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, that's - we've had that evidence. She didn't suggest it was the applicant's duty to have informed her, she just said she did not get informed and she was not in Sweden.

MR KOOPEDI: That's not what was said to the witness here, Chairperson. What was said to her was that the applicant told this Committee that: "You were not informed because you were in Sweden and that's what I wanted to put straight, Chairperson."

CHAIRPERSON: Do you wish to make any further submissions?


CHAIRPERSON: As I recollected yesterday, you said you would make submissions after your witness had given evidence.

MS MAKHUBELE: Maybe if I can just find out, is Mr Sphambo going to respond to this because as I - there's this new version that there's a person by the name of Masondo who informed her that he died during questioning of shock, so I don't know if you will want to respond.

MR KOOPEDI: My instructions are not to respond, Chairperson, there hasn't been anything that has been raised that needs a response and my instructions are not to respond, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Well perhaps we can put something on record. I don't know if these are your instructions, but as I understand the position, you act for Gen Masondo.

MR KOOPEDI: Not in this matter, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: You have acted.


CHAIRPERSON: Do you think it is necessary to inform him that he has been implicated in this matter at all?

MR KOOPEDI: Well, I could do that Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Could you do that?

MR KOOPEDI: I will tell him that.


MR KOOPEDI: I'll tell General Masondo.

MS MAKHUBELE IN ARGUMENT: My submission, as I indicated yesterday that my submission is based from the version of the family and surrounding circumstances, that Eric or Elic was not asthmatic and that the circumstances under which he was buried, although this would be irrelevant because the applicant has said that he is not the person who put him in the cell, if that is where he died, but that the family's version is that the circumstances under which he was buried, suggest that he was assaulted and which would then impact on whether the applicant has made a full disclosure, whether the applicant has come to know that this particular person died after he had given an order that he be detained, the person was actually assaulted. Indications would - well if he places himself in a situation where after he had given an order that he be detained, that he did not receive further information but he only got to see or to hear about the medical report as to the cause of his death, but then the question would be, who are the people who would have known what actually happened to him? The witness has just testified that Masondo told her that her brother died of shock during questioning. That's all, Honourable Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: We'll take time to consider our decision. It will no longer be necessary for anyone to furnish us with affidavits, the evidence that would have been in the affidavit has now been read.

JUDGE DE JAGER: ...the applicant sitting at the back, perhaps?

MR KOOPEDI: No, Chairperson, we do not have. Mr Mapoma and I have drawn up a schedule for the other matters, how they are to follow and unfortunately we will not be able to have any matters tomorrow. We have set the matters down for Monday and Tuesday next week. I might as well perhaps tell the Committee that on Monday we thought that - we have agreed that we will do the matter of Mfalapitsa, the first matter, Chairperson, matter number A to be done on Monday.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, that's Mfalapitsa. Has that been agreed with Julian Knight and Associates?

MR KOOPEDI: Tentatively, Chairperson and we also set down the matter of Rabotapi, which is matter number N, for the same Monday and also ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct). Which is the second one?

MR KOOPEDI: Rabotapi, matter number N.

MS MAKHUBELE: On Monday the victim in this matter was present and the understanding on that day was that the applicant cannot be found. Can I now inform the victim that he should come?


MS MAKHUBELE: Oh, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Rabotapi, N, what number is it on the numbered list?

MR KOOPEDI: I think it's 16 Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So the victim will be notified?



MR KOOPEDI: And the other matter will be matter number P

...(indistinct - mike not on)

INTERPRETER: The speaker's mike is not activated.


CHAIRPERSON: ... be made to contact that victim?

MR MAPOMA: Yes, Chairperson.

MR KOOPEDI: We've also set down matter, the one of Mokoape, matter number 11 on the numbered list and "I" on the other list.

CHAIRPERSON: That's the gentleman who's overseas and will have returned by Monday.

MR KOOPEDI: That is so, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And will the victim also, Dumisani Khosa, be notified?

MS MAKHUBELE: Yes, I already ...(indistinct - mike not on)

INTERPRETER: The speaker's mike please.

MS MAKHUBELE: I'll just confirm that it's on Monday.


MR KOOPEDI: Those are the matters for Monday. For Tuesday Chairperson, we've set down matter number 17,18 and the remaining two ...(intervention)

JUDGE DE JAGER: That's R on the list?

MR KOOPEDI: Yes, that is R on the list, no, no, not R on the list Chairperson. Yes, matter number G, that's correct.

JUDGE DE JAGER: ...(indistinct) and Saliwa?

MR KOOPEDI: That's right. And matter number 22 for Tuesday, Khoabane.

CHAIRPERSON: And will the victim there be notified?

MR KOOPEDI: Mr Mapoma has undertaken to find the victim, Chairperson.

MR MAPOMA: Yes, I will do that Chairperson, but I can say at this point in time that we are not able to contact this victim at this number.

CHAIRPERSON: What is the number?

MR MAPOMA: Pardon?

CHAIRPERSON: What is that number?

MR MAPOMA: This is the telephone number which apparently he gave to the Human Rights Violations Committee.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but is it a place of employment, something where people could give you information about him?

MR MAPOMA: I have to make sure, I don't know Chairperson, but I was advised by ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Or a residential number? Perhaps one of our investigators could go to the place and make inquiries.

MR KOOPEDI: And the last matter for Tuesday, Chairperson, will be matter number 12 Khumalo, on the alphabetical list it's matter number J.

CHAIRPERSON: Does that complete all the matters that are set down?

MR KOOPEDI: It does so, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Does that satisfy you as far as the victims are concerned?


CHAIRPERSON: And what about matter number 17. Are arrangements being made there? There was a problem with the victims' representative, as I understood it, was it not matter 17?

JUDGE DE JAGER: In which one have we got problems with the victim ...(indistinct)

MR MAPOMA: Yes, that is the one.

JUDGE DE JAGER: And who are the applicants? I'm not used to number 17, there's no number 17 on my ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Motlatsi and Saliwa.

MR MAPOMA: The other matter, Chairperson, which it appears now has slipped our attention is that of Twala and Ramphomane.

CHAIRPERSON: 9 and 10?

MR KOOPEDI: Yes, that's for Tuesday. Sorry Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And there you say you cannot locate the victim?

MR MAPOMA: Yes, Chairperson.

JUDGE DE JAGER: I must say I've worked out, we've finished the week now, we're not sitting this afternoon, we're not sitting tomorrow, we've been sitting for three days with interruptions, we've not done ten hours work this whole week and the taxpayer is paying for that and we can't proceed like this. If it's proceeding like this, I'll have to make a report to the Minister.

CHAIRPERSON: Why is it impossible to proceed with anything today or tomorrow? We were told, as I understood it, a couple of days ago that the applicants have all been found now and now no arrangements have been made to hear matters this week, why not?

MR MAPOMA: Chairperson, we can only hear matters when applicants are available.

CHAIRPERSON: The applicants were told a long time ago that their applications were to be heard during this two week period. It was for them, if they wished to proceed with their applications, to make themselves available to their attorney to consult with you and make arrangements for what would be heard when, because it seems that in these hearings, there's been no effort to get together to decide what matters will be heard on what day. We've sat here each morning and we're told we don't know what applicants are here today.

MR MAPOMA: Chairperson, I must say, that we cannot hear matters from now on, cannot be attributed to us not having made a schedule. The schedule can only be made when the applicants are available. If the applicants are not available, then it becomes a problem and I hope that that is understood, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: We will now adjourn till when? Monday morning?


CHAIRPERSON: I will not say 9 o'clock on Monday morning, because we won't start at 9 o'clock, that I'm quite certain of. I'll say 9.30.

MR SIBANYONI: Chairperson, may I just repeat a suggestion I've made in the past, I've been making this suggestion repeatedly, that in case where there's some difficulties in communicating with victims, that the electronic media, that is the radio, be used, more especially a radio broadcasting in the area where the victims are expected or are known to be residing. Where it has been used in the past, we have had 100% results of success, Mr Chairperson.

MR MAPOMA: I can say that all the victims who have shown up, have shown up as a result of that mechanism, otherwise before that we had no victims altogether.