CHAIRPERSON: I call Mr Sono, please.

Can I just acknowledge and welcome all the people who have joined us, especially those whom we had invited to come to Soweto to support the witnesses. I see here that we have now Mrs Suzman amongst us and I will ask her to stand.


We are happy again to have Max and Audrey Coleman who -- we are not tired of welcoming Max Coleman. I will ask both of them to stand, please.


We have Rabbie Harris and his wife amongst us, the Rabbi.


We welcome Mrs Miriam Mkwe, I don't know whether she is still here or whether she has left, but in absentia we welcome her. That is Bishop Mkwe's wife, and many others, thank you very much for coming.

Can I just establish whether you are sitting with Mrs Sono?


CHAIRPERSON: Ae you both going to give evidence?

MR N SONO: I will testify, I will give evidence.




MS N SHABALALA: I would also like to say something after my husband has spoken.

CHAIRPERSON: I would ask both of you to stand so that you can take the oath. Mrs Sono, if I can start with you, if you can just say, if you can just take the oath.

CAROLINE SONO: (Duly sworn, states).

CHAIRPERSON: I am coming to you, Mr Sono.

NICODEMUS SONO: (Duly sworn, states).

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Sono, can you please briefly tell the Commission about yourself and your family.

MR SONO: I am Nicodemus Sono. I reside in Meadowlands, 3386, Zone 10. Me and my family got to know many people during the struggle, which were working and helping here and there. I am just here to tell of my son, what happened to my son and ask the Commission to help me find out exactly what happened to him. I will be very brief. I will start from 1988.

In 1988, November 13th, my son was taken away in a blue Kombi which was at my place. It happens that son was one of the activists with other young men in Soweto, who were highly involved with Mrs Mandela. So the story in 1988, round about 10 to eight in the evening, it was on a Sunday, when I came back home. A young man by the name of Michael called me before I entered the house. He said Winnie wanted to see me outside. I went outside with him. The Kombi was parked in my street, not very far from my house. When I got into the Kombi there was Mrs Mandela, Winnie, with the driver Michael and other few young men, which I did not recognise. My son, Lolo was in the Kombi. He appeared badly beaten, his face was bruised and he was shivering.

So Mrs Mandela told me that she is taking Lolo away



because they labelled him as a spy. He was accused of spying because during that week, some time, on the 9th of November there was an ANC commander who was killed at Umzimhlope, with a policeman and my cousin who was also a commander for MK.

So Lolo apparently went to Mandela to seek for help, because the police were all over us. So he did not get the help that he was looking for. He was with the neighbour's son, Sibonisa Shabalala.

So after they were labelled spies, Lola was beaten, brought to me. As I was pleading to Mrs Mandela to leave him with me as a father, saying that they have beaten him up. I knew for a fact that he was very helpful for the MK people who were coming from exile and I was also forced to help them, because of my cousin, who used me to come to my place for shelter, transport and food.

So during those times in 1988 there was no way that I could turn my back on them, because of my cousin who was in the struggle. I had to give all the help that I had, but not knowing that while I am work, my cousin and Lolo and other boys in that street, they are organising to join the Mandela Football Club and they have already joined and they have all kinds of ammunition which has been hidden in the yards around the vicinity of my neighbours.

That I did not know of, until when the policeman and the commander was killed, the police were all over me. Some of the friends of my cousin that came from Zambia, were at my house. I gave them shelter, and one of them was arrested by the police one night. Fortunately they did not search my house.

The following days, all sorts of ammunition came from



left, right, over the fences. I was given guns by boys to take back to Winnie, because they knew that they are in trouble, and I did not know what to do, but I took that away, back to Winnie.

So coming back to my story here. I pleaded with Winnie for more than an hour not to take my son away, but in vain. They drove off. I went back to the house. They came back to me, because he was asking for a jersey. There was this tall hefty boy with an athletic body, who was having a gun, escorting my boy up to the gate. He said he must not come into the house, we must just give him a jersey. They went back into the Kombi. I also followed into the Kombi, knowing very well that Winnie is a friend, Winnie is a mother, maybe she will listen to me this time. She did not. So the Kombi went with me, until up to the corner of my street, where I tried to plead with her to leave my son. She refused. So until they dropped me off at the corner. I went back home crying, not knowing what to do because by then the very boys were already going to the Shabalals to look for Sibonisa and his father came to me after they had left and told me that the boys were there looking for his son too. I tried with Shabalala to say stay overnight, and say if Sibonisa come we must not let him go to Winnie, because Lolo has been badly beaten already.

The following day, on the 14th, I went to the police. As the police were looking for me in Protea, the security section. When I got there they said where is Lolo. I told them that Lolo has been taken by Winnie.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Sono. Please let's not have flash lights and things like that, it disturbs the witnesses. Let's be very very careful.



MR SONO: Okay. Those people at Protea sent me back to Meadowlands, because they did not believe my story. They asked me if I had reported the matter. I said I could not report at night, because I was afraid, not knowing who is watching me. Because there were some other cars parked nearby my house, maybe I thought those people are guarding me not go to anywhere with Shabalala.

So when I got to the police at Meadowlands, I gave in my statement reporting that my son has been taken away. Nobody believed me there. There was this captain who came to me and said he doesn't believe my story, and anyhow, they are just taking the statement as a procedure.

So since then, 1988, 13th November, and 14th, when I reported the case, the police did not help me with anything. When the Stompie case came up in 1989 it is when that the police came to me. There was this Capt Dempsey that said he is the investigating officer. I never saw him before. I only saw him when he said to me he wants me to go to court, and testify against Winnie. So as an investigating officer, I asked him that what happened and why didn't he come to me to ask questions and the very day I have reported the matter, nobody bothered to go to Winnie to go and search for my son or come with any other help.

So since then ... (PAUSE).

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sono, take your time, drink the water.

MR SONO: So there was nobody to help me.

CHAIRPERSON: Take your time, Mr Sono. Yes, if you can just drink some water, take a deep breath and then once you are ready indicate, we will continue talking. We will wait for you. (PAUSE).

You were talking about a person who came and asked you



to go and give evidence in court.

MR SONO: Yes, that was the police, Capt Dempsey. So he took us to court with Mr Shabalala. Unfortunately he is late, Mr Shabalal is late.

So when we went to Court we met other people who were from Tokoza and some were from other places, who are supposed to give evidence in that trial, that what happened to them when they were taken to Winnie's house in Diepkloof.

There was one chappie who refused to testify, to say anything to the police. That was Michael, the boy who was driving the Kombi. He said he cannot say anything against Winnie because Winnie is like his mother.

So these other boys from Tokoza, they also refused to testify. So I was just alone willing to give evidence that what happened to my son and all that.

Fortunately, because in this world there are people who were striving for truth, people who want justice to be done, only read in papers that Mr Tony Leon here, was the only man who stood up for us, and talked to the Press and went out and wanted to find out that what happened to our son. He was the only person that whenever something is mentioned, then he will go out, not being afraid and ask the Press that they can help us. All that we had was being harassed by the Press and you know, all kinds of people coming to ask, TV people. Each time they see a story of Stompie or Lolo on the papers, they will phone us. Sometimes we will even pull the phone out of the hook, because they will ask us to come and give them the exclusive story of what happened. All what I said to them is that the matter is in the hands of the police and I haven't heard anything, there was no proper investigation done.



At the same time the police were harassing me from Protea, putting up spies all over for me. Even when I took trips, you know, like going somewhere else, because by then I had a small business, a transport business that I was making a living out of. I had to close it down because my White partner was influenced by this police that I am an ANC agent, I get a lot of money from the ANC and yet, there was no penny that I got from the ANC or whoever, because I was just merely helping. Because during those times if your son or your relative was involved in a struggle, you could not just lead him to the police or just tell the police where the people are.

All what I used to do is to give them much help as I can, as I was also in a struggle underground, but all that has done it has spoilt my business and it went down the drain. Because my partner couldn't put up with me any more. So it went on until Mr Leon was expressing to the police. He arranged for us to go and see the Commissioner of Police in Cape Town, which I gave my story to him. He was also very sympathetic. But during all this time, nobody came to me to tell me that we are busy investigating a case whatever, until we went to Cape Town to give Mr Fivaz part of our story, which most of it they read in papers. Then he sent us a letter ... (PAUSE).

CHAIRPERSON: We have got a copy here of the letter, all the Commissioners have got a copy.

MR SONO: Thank you very much. This letter here was from the Commissioner of Police, after we have gone to him and gave our story. All this, this was in 1995, but all this doesn't help me with anything, except that - but now I did not know that my son is late or has been killed. But



according to this letter it says the police can only do something or they can only do something if they could find the place where he has been buried. But I don't know if he has been killed.

But I am here today mainly to appeal to the Commission, that if they could please help me find my son or if he has been killed, as this paper says, let me find his remains and I will exhume and bury him decently. Because this does not give me rest in my life. Whenever we think of him, moreover during his birthday. When he left he was already 21. He should have been 29 this year. I don't know what to do. He is my only son. He was my hope and for him to be taken away that way or if ever they have killed him, because Siboisa followed him the following day. He also never came back. This two young men on that street have saved a lot of people, because the whole street, those boys in that street they could all have been killed, because they have joined this Football Club and they were already given weapons or ammunition, you can call it. All those things. Even when the police came looking for them I protected them, because I said I have lost my son, I don't want people to lose their children too.

I have mentioned the point that I played hide and seek with the police, played stupid that I don't even know their nicknames, because the police came to me with the nicknames and I just said that I don't know what the boys are doing, and you know, protecting everybody on that street, because we got more than 20 boys there. We lost two. They could have all been gone.

Now I said thanks God, that if I could tell my story, I know Winnie. She wasn't as bad as she is at the moment.



She used to be a mother, she used to be a loving person. You will go to Winnie with your grievances she will help you if she can. But what has turned now, now lately, I don't know what happened to her. I am appealing to Winnie, to Michael and the Commission as well, or any other person who was there when my son was taken away, that if they could please come forward and tell what happened to my son. I will definitely rest.

I know that the Department of Justice is trying to do the best they can, but all what I know is that if everybody could say and look at things the other way, nobody is above the law. If the law must be executed, let it be and let there be no favours, because somebody else, some people are untouchable. Let's not go through that. All what I want is to get my son. I don't care for the business. I am still young, I can still work and accumulate. If I could get my son or get my son's remains, that will be good for me. That's all.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr Sono. I will ask Mrs Sono to talk about her experience around the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of your son.

MRS SONO: I am Caroline Sono. In 1989 we went to Mrs Mandela with my husband. We went there to go and plead with her, that she must please tell us what happened to Lolo or tell us where he is. Mrs Mandela refused to speak to me, she only spoke to my husband.

Again, in the beginning of 1990, we went to Mrs Mandela to go and plead with her again, but to no avail. The next thing there were bodyguards harassing us, telling us not to come near the premises any more.

Thereafter the worst came. Instead of the police that



we trusted to help us, they came to our house with many cars, asking me many questions about Lolo, but not giving me answers. They kept asking me questions. My little one failed at school. She couldn't sleep at night, she was having nightmares. Now recently my eldest daughter was looking for a job, she was in Langlaagte station. She saw a man exactly as her brother. She stood there, she was trapped, she was crying and another lady came to her and asked her what is wrong. She said that man looks like my brother, who disappeared in 1988. The good Samaritan spoke to the gentleman and asked him who his name was. He said he was somebody, he was a Zulu, he had to take out his ID to reassure Gail that I am not your brother, Lolo. I live in Zolo, if you don't mind, I can come and visit your place. My child was lost, she was crying. That poor lady had to comfort her. When she came home she couldn't speak, she couldn't eat.

We are still not at ease. I am having nightmares, dreams, sometimes I hear knocks on the door, thinking that it is Lolo. When I am sleeping, I can see him flying from the sky, coming home, saying that mom, I am back home. Then I will open my arms and try to hug him, and say welcome home. I am pleading with Mrs Mandela today, in front of the world, that please, Mrs Mandela, please, give us our son back. Even if he is dead, let Mrs Mandela give us the remains of our son, so that we must bury him decently. Thereafter maybe we can rest assured, knowing that Lolo is buried here. I am facing day and night the ordeal of Lolo. If I hear that somebody is dead, I think that maybe that person that is dead may be Lolo, they are bringing him home. I had hoped that time the Government was inaugurated, I



thought maybe Lolo will be amongst the crowd and will come back home. But to no avail. I am pleading, please. And thanks to Tony Leon, he has been there for us through thick and thin. He is still with us through the campaign. He came from overseas today to be here with us to come and hear our story. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mrs Sono, thank you very much. You have just shared with us, I mean, both of you, about something very difficult for your family. We will sound cruel in the sense that as much as you have shared about your pain and you said you have been interrogated by many people, many at times, the Press people, the police, we will try to ask you a few questions, so as to get clarity on the story that you have just shared with us. But we can understand your pain, your expectations, the agonies and all the difficulties that you as a family are going through.

Mr Sono, if I can start with you. Can you just tell us, you mentioned that the Football Club. Can you just tell the Commission a little bit about your son's association with the football club and what kind of a club are you talking about.

MR SONO: Yes, my son got involved with them because of my cousin who came with two other boys from Lusaka. They were MK cadres, well-trained. So when they came to my place they got shelter and during the day they stayed with him and other friends of theirs. So they decided to follow this cousin of mine wherever he was going, because he had close links with Mrs Mandela and other people.

So by then they were known as Mandela Football Club. I myself did not know the context of the football club itself, because it is my boy that was going to them. Even this



Michael, the driver, he was the one who was coming to my place to see my cousin and his friends, and he was always there. Sometimes he used to come with a red Kombi with OB numbers. He would leave the car there and they would go wherever they want to.

This cousin of mine, he is the one that when this thing came up to the police that one of them has been arrested, so they decided to seek shelter with Mrs Mandela, which she took them to Richardson's house in Sinklope, where he was staying. So my boy was following my cousin, because he was close to him, with his friends Sibonisa and other boys. I did not know by then that these boys have already got some guns that they got and other things, like land-mines and bombs. I did not know that.

I only got to know about that the following day when one of the boys was arrested in September in my place. The police came at night and they identified him as Sipho. But later is when I could find that that Sipho was not directly involved with them, he was just a spy from Lusaka to spy the place where people always arrive. Because they had their mission well accomplished because they came to me and there were some other contacts which I knew around Soweto, that if they came to me I will take them to that person, I will take them wherever, because I had transport. So this Sipho was mainly there to spy on these other two. So when the police came they came and took him away. It is then that he knew that these other people have got guns already and he told the police about that.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you about that. But you haven't told me about - so up to now you don't know whether your son was a member of the club or whether did they actually play soccer



or anything like that.

MR SONO: They never played soccer, he was just playing (indistinct), I never saw him play for that team. Why I say that is because the very boys, when they approached my neighbour, Mr Shabalala, they said to him they are from the Mandela Football Club and they were looking for Lolo and Sibonisa. So they have got Lolo already, now they are looking for Sibonisa because they have joined the team. Apparently the leader of the team was Jerry Richardson, who said to Mr Shabalala your son has joined but now they joined badly because I was not present, I want to see them, I want to see them, because they joined when I was not available, so I want to give them some of the rules for the club. That I heard from the late Shabalala, that is my neighbour. Because the very night they took Lolo away, he came to me ... (END OF TAPE - SIDE A).

... take Sibonisa somewhere else. Unfortunately when Sibonisa was confronted by his father, when he arrived, he said I am not going to go anywhere, as they have taken Lolo already, I am also going there to make sure that they must know we are not spies, we sincerely joined the club. So if I don't go, I will be rebelling my friend, Lolo, which has been taken away. So the following day he went himself. Until today we haven't seen him.

CHAIRPERSON: You also referred to Mrs Mandela, you referred to Winnie. Are you referring to a woman who is a member of Parliament, who is known today as Winnie Madiza Mandela?

MR SONO: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: You also referred to Winnie Madiza Mandela as a person whom you went to plead with her, because you knew her to be sympathetic and to be a good friend and a mother. SOWETO HEARING TRC/GAUTENG


Can you just explain before us, your previous associations with her.

MR SONO: Yes, we had many associations with her, because all the guys that came from the MK, when they got to my place, the first question they will ask me, is that do you know if she is available, we need some help, we need some clothing, because you know, by that time when these guys came in, they needed to get some - you know the latest clothing that was worn in the country, because you know, if you come outside with those khakis, you could be easily identified that you are not staying here. Then they used to go to her or I used to take them there sometimes, and she will buy them some clothing and all that. I have known Winnie for many years as a person who is very good and she was like a mother to everybody. If you have some grievances you could share them with her, by then.

CHAIRPERSON: Before I ask the other Commissions to ask you a few questions, can you just say something briefly about the way you said you pleaded with her when on the 13th of November 1988, at about 20 minutes past 10, you said you pleaded with her. Can we just get clarity about when you saw your son in the car you said you pleaded with her. Can you just slowly give us the picture of the dialogue that took place between the two of you at that time.

MR SONO: Yes, I pleaded with her because what she told me, she said the other boys in the Kombi have told her that Lolo is a spy. He has caused the death of the two commanders of MK and the - I mean, the damage that has occurred at that house, but it is not the two commanders that died that day. Even a policeman lost his life there. Now they labelled Lolo and Sibonisa spies because they apparently went to Mrs



Mandela with, you know, the slips that the police always come and leave at your house and say please come to the police station, because they are supposed to have gone to the police and they ran away from the police. They went to Mrs Mandela to seek help, please help us, the police are looking for us. So in my mind is that they thought maybe Winnie will make a way out for them to skip the country, because it was already prearranged with the dead commander, which is my cousin, that he is going to leave with them, he is going to go away with them. That's what I can explain to you.

CHAIRPERSON: Are any of those boys who were in the Kombi known to you at all?

MR SONO: None of them is known to me. I don't know - I only know the driver, Michael, he stays somewhere in Dube. That is the one that I know. These others, even that tall hefty one with an athletic body, I don't know him. I don't even know his name. Even if I went to Winnie's place, the boys were always in their separate place. I will go in there, talk to Winnie and go away.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I will now ask other Commissioners to ask you a few questions, just to get clarity. As I have said that it might be difficult for you, given the pain that you are undergoing, but it is important for us to get a clearer picture. Tom Manthata.

MR MANTHATA: In the third paragraph of your statement, you say among other things, that Winnie said to you, was that the movement, meaning the ANC, will see what to do with Lolo.

MR SONO: That is correct, that is what exactly she said to me, and by then when she said that, she wasn't the Winnie



that I know, she was very aggressive, she was completely changed in her face. You could see anger in her face. Then I thought when she said that to me, I thought she is just being taken away, maybe to be punished or - and to be left. But what I was pleading to her is that he was already punished, and it would be much appropriate if she could leave him with me.

MR MANTHATA: Did you after the unbanning of the organisation, ever go to the ANC movement and say this is what you are reported to have said or instructed with regard to my son?

MR SONO: Yes, I did go there. Unfortunately by then she was the head of the welfare department where I was referred. When the movement was unbanned, they were housed in No 54 Sauer Street, it is where I went. My statement was taken by two young chaps. They were also the Madiba clans, they called each other Madiba. They took my statement, they demanded a photo of my son, which I gave and the other chappie said to me he will be going to Lusaka very soon, and he is going to try and publish all over the camps that people should look for Lolo, and they never replied to me. So when the police were hot on me, I went back to Winnie. She sent me to some lawyers in Grey Street, which I gave them my story. They referred me back to the ANC, where I saw Matthew Phosa, that time, which I spoke to him.

MR MANTHATA: I see here or I have heard you say that the police alleged or accused you to have been working for the ANC.

MR SONO: Yes, that was true because the Varies boys that was arrested from my place, he is the one that told the police that most of the boys of Meadowlands and other



surrounding areas, that knew me, they will come to me for help. Even if they knew that they have gone people coming from Zambia, they will say don't worry, at night we will go to Nico and he will try to help you as much as you can. Then he gave them all the information, because it is true, that when they arrived at my place with my cousin, it was someone around the 18th of July and it was in the evening. They used the contact who was bringing people to me, and they used all the signs that we had, how to communicate. That's why I could accommodate them.

MR MANTHATA: But the treatment you have been receiving from the police, at the police station, seemed not to be point to the fact that you were working for the ANC, because it appears they themselves were unable to investigate that which you allege ANC did to you.

MR SONO: When they came to my place and called me to Protea, they did not have - because I said to them they must prove, they must give me a proof of what they are saying to me. And for that matter the very same police that I am complaining of, that he said he is the investigating officer of this case, at a later stage he is the one that has arrested one of the witnesses that is supposed to have appeared in court and taken him to Winnie instead of to the police station. Capt Dempsey, he is the one that arrested (indistinct) Kulo and taken him to Winnie instead of to the police station. He is involved in letting (indistinct) Kulo out of the country.

MR MANTHATA: In short, you are in a state where you have no confidence in the police, with regards to the case of your son.

MR SONO: That is correct. If I reported my son missing on



the 14th it was Monday morning, when he has left on Sunday evening. What blocked the police to go and search Winnie or go with me to Winnie's place and say here is Winnie, she has taken my son. What blocked them to do that? In a true sense I won't have confidence in them because they did not help me from the first time I went to them.

MR MANTHATA: Here Winnie is alleged to have accused your son to be working with the police. Were you ever accused similarly by Winnie?

MR SONO: No. No, she did not accuse me.

MR MANTHATA: Not. But at the same time you have never had a good reception from her with regard to the whereabouts of your son?

MR SONO: After it all happened, I went to her more than four times. The last time I went to her, I went three times in one day, it was a weekend before the 11th February 1990. I went to her three times, in the morning, during the day and in the afternoon. In the morning I was refused entrance, during the day there was a girl there who said to me she was preparing Winnie for the Press. That afternoon when I went there, there were full of other people which she said she doesn't want to see me.

MR MANTHATA: I understand you to say you are frustrated by the fact that you have not had any kind of hearing and/or any support from some important structures of this country.

MR SONO: That is true, because the other people that came to my place, it is the welfare people, two gentlemen came. I can only remember one, Morowe, they told me they were from Lusaka. They had a book and they were visiting most families that have lost their children in the struggle or in exile. So they told me, they showed me the book. My son's name was SOWETO HEARING TRC/GAUTENG


not there. They came to me in the evening. We had tea with them. They even invited me at Plein Street, where I went and they spoke to me. They said my case is a different one, because they don't have my son's name in the books. They went all over the places. They even are going to people that did not know that their sons are late, people who died in exile. They were busy visiting them, because they are back in the country, just to let the people know that your son has been killed or he died in the struggle.

MR MANTHATA: Thank you, Mr Sono, no further questions.

MR SONO: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Glenda Wildschut?

MS WILDSCHUT: No thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Yasmin Sooka?

MS SOOKA: Mr Sono, you said that you met with the Commissioner of Police. Could you tell me what the Commissioner said to you, apart from the letter that Mr Leon got later on?

MR SONO: Yes. The Commissioner of Police was very sympathetic, because he really listened to me, that's one thing that I have noticed, he did listen to what I was saying to him. And unfortunately as he told me that he has just taken up as Commissioner of Police, he will do everything in his powers to keep this case open and to let the police work and he will report back to me. He is not going to rest, he is going to go through all channels and try and help me as much as he can. That's what he told me.

MS SOOKA: When you received no joy from pleading with Mrs Mandela, did you go to any other community leaders to ask them to intervene and to try and find out what had actually happened to your son?



MR SONO: There was nowhere where I can go. There was nowhere where I can go, because there was nowhere where I can go, because after that incident I was deserted, nobody came to me, even those contacts that I had, they no more came to me. Everybody disappeared.

MS SOOKA: From the letter that Mr Leon got, there seems to be some kind of assumption that Mr Sebokulo had actually said something about your son. Has this letter ever been followed up? I know that the inference here is that Mr Sebokulo cannot be trusted, but were there ever, did they ever inform you about whether Mr Sebokulu had actually said anything in regard to your son being missing?

MR SONO: No, they did not inform me, except a few people who are friends and journalists overseas, that has got part of his story, which they did not want to release to me, as they were in South Africa. They said they will write to me and tell me at a later stage. They were also afraid of being harassed if they could tell me anything.

MS SOOKA: You also mentioned that you were referred to a lawyer. Could you tell us the name of that particular lawyer?

MR SONO: Yes, after the police has asked me to come to Protea, I went to Winnie and told her that the police will need, they will need me to come to the police and maybe question me concerning the people, the person that they have arrested. She referred me to the lawyers, it is Ayop & Sons, I think, in Grey Street, somewhere along Main Street, somewhere there.

MS SOOKA: The one thing that confuses me, is that you say that Capt Dempsey never came back to you, except to ask you to go to court, when Winnie was being charged with Stompie's SOWETO HEARING TRC/GAUTENG


death. You are the only one who then testified.

MR SONO: I am the only one that said something to those advocates in the Supreme Court. The other people refused to talk to the advocates.

CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me, Sir, excuse me, that is not acceptable. Can you please ... Sorry, Mr Sono.

MR SONO: Thank you. Answering your question there is that that Capt Dempsey I only saw him in court for the first time, in the Supreme Court. Because when the case was reported, there was no follow-up, like you know you have reported a case to the police, they will come to you. They will come to you, take further statements, take you around or ask you some questions. He never came, except the day that he was coming to tell me that I must meet him in court. That's all.

MS SOOKA: You also mention that you discussed the matter with Matthews Phosa. What did Matthews say or advise you then?

MR SONO: Matthews Phosa said to me, as I have already given the statement to the welfare organisation of the ANC, there is nothing that he can do, but I must just go to the police and answer all questions that they ask me. If it is getting tough for me then I can come back to them.

MS SOOKA: If I am right, it is almost nine years now?

MR SONO: That is correct.

MS SOOKA: Thank you.

MR SONO: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Joyce Seroke?

MS SEROKE: Mr Sono, you repeatedly mention your cousin who was a contact with MKs or whatever. Would you care to say who he is?



MR SONO: His name is Frans Maloleki, but he was using a nickname when he was in exile, he was known as Peter.

MS SEROKE: Where is he now?

MR SONO: He died on the 9th of November at Richardsons' house, he was killed by police. He was buried at his folks' place outside Pretoria, called Ramogop.


MR LEWIN: Mr Sono, could I ask just two questions. You have mentioned Lolo and you have mentioned Sibonisa. Do you know of other young men in the same position, who have also disappeared?

MR SONO: I only know two. As I have mentioned earlier on, that the disappearance of Lolo and Sionisa, my neighbour's child, has saved quite a lot of them in our street, because Ndijo and others, Jabu and things, they all got safe because I protected them. I refused them to follow, to follow on to that football club. I spoke to them not to associate themselves with that any more because of what happened to Lolo.

MR LEWIN: And the football club, can you tell us, does it still exist, is it in existence

MR SONO: No, I don't know if it exists, but I only heard by rumours that it has splitted.

MR LEWIN: Thank you.

MR SONO: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr and Mrs Sono, we thank you for very much for approaching the Commission. We understand your agony, the mental pain and anguish that you are suffering from. Partly the difficulty is that if pain is man-made, it is often difficult to accept. People who suffer through a natural cause often heal with time, but in your case we can



understand your pain. You have referred to quite a number of sources and names which we didn't have in our statement. This is going to be further assistance to our investigating unit, but for now you have made a plea, which has been our plea since we started as a Commission, that anyone who has violated people's rights, can they please come forward, because that seems to be a measure of settlement to people's healing. So we will still continue that plea to the public out there and we will be in touch with you. Yasmin Sooka would like to ask one more question.

MS SOOKA: Mr Sono, in the letter that the Commissioner wrote to Mr Leon, he says that a possible site where your son was allegedly buried, was pointed out to the South African Police Service. He also says that the site was thoroughly searched twice, and that it was aided by excavators and police dogs, but to no avail. Have you ever followed that part of his statement up? Because surely somebody must have given him a clue that your son could possibly be buried there.

MR SONO: No, I did not follow it up. One, that particular person who has given the police that information to go and dig there, I have no confidence in that person. Two, is that as people talk all the time, you may find that before the police could go there, somebody could have gone and exhumed the body and reburied it somewhere else, just to throw the trail away. It could have been many things that have happened there, but those people, I say to them if they could go to the - come to the Commission, they could go to any other lawyer, if they don't trust, if I could only know what happened and where the right spot is. Really, if they want me to treat that private and confidential, I can do



that for the sake of my son's remains, that it be exhumed and be reburied decently. And really, if there are such people who are doing that, maybe that particular person is looking for something. If I had money or if I was a rich person, I would say money doesn't matter, R500 000,00, anybody who was there, when my son, whatever happened to my son, please come forward and take the reward.

MS SOOKA: You say that you have no confidence in the person who told this. Do you know who it is?

MR SONO: I don't know who it is, that is why I have no confidence in that kind of person. Because that person, could that person have come forward publicly, then many people could have assisted.

MS SOOKA: One last question. Do you think people are frightened and that's why they are not coming forward to assist you?

MR SONO: Yes and no. Some of the people might have been paid not to assist us.

MS SOOKA: Thank you.

MR SONO: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.