PROCEEDINGS HELD AT
7 MAY 1996
[PAGES 1 - 71]
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1. Introduction................................................... 1 - 6
2. Emily Sikadi Magashule................................... 7 - 12
3. Maria Molokwane........................................... 13 - 18
4. Adelaide Ngcobo............................................ 19 - 28
5. Dimakatso Nakedi.......................................... 29 - 33
6. Sibankhulu Family.......................................... 34 - 47
7. Mandla Cele................................................. 48 - 58
8. Joyce Nomvuya Msisazwe................................ 59 - 71
I'd like to welcome everybody here today to this very historic occasion. The following people will be giving evidence today. Mrs Magashule, Mrs Molokwane, Mrs Ngcobo, Mrs Nakele, the Sibankhulu family, Mandla Cele, Mrs Msisazwe, Mrs Kherni, Marcel Gerrard and Sharon Velkort. In all these cases, except for two, the witnesses lost members of their family who died violent deaths. Of the other two, one of them underwent torture and one was injured in a bomb blast. And they will be giving their evidence starting in a few minutes. We will probably finish up at about 4.30 or 5.00 today.
I want to make a brief announcement about the headphones which you have with you. There are three languages - sorry, four languages, English, Afrikaans, and on the third channel you have a choice between Zulu and Sotho. Please don't at any stage put this item in your pocket or under your clothing because you won't hear anything, and please at the end of the day do not remove these headsets, they are very expensive.
Finally can I just ask you to please switch off cellular telephones. It's very disruptive.
There will now be a ceremonial lighting of the candle, which will remain lighted for the duration of these hearings. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: I greet you today. We welcome you with warm hearts at this fourth meeting of the commission, of the Truth and Conciliation. We welcome you to the fourth public hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission after the meetings in East London, Cape Town and Gauteng.
(Incomplete) ... you to the co-ordinator of our
regional office, Wendy Watson, the regional manager, and all our other Commissioners and Committee Members from this region, as well as our regional and national staff members. In a sense it has been touch and go whether the hearing could be held at all. Our staff and colleagues must be warmly commended for their dedication and determination that likely victims and survivors of gross human violations would be afforded the opportunity to tell their stories. We are sorry that we were not able to hold these hearings as originally planned in the Mahatma Gandhi Hall for security reasons. It would have particularly significant for the contribution that the Mahatma made to the struggle for a dispensation of justice and democracy in South Africa. But we are enormously grateful to the Jewish Club for making available these splendid facilities for these hearings. It seems in a different kind of way particularly appropriate that the venue should be a Jewish one, given their peculiar capacity to remember.
I want to express yet again our appreciation to the media for carrying out a quite crucial ministry, especially SABC TV for its sensitive and unobtrusive relaying to the nation of what is happening in these hearings. We comment the radio for ensuring that thousands, if not millions, especially of the so-called ordinary people, are being reached.
We want to thank the police for helping to provide security, especially as they must be stretched in this province.
We do want to express our deepest sympathy to those who are suffering as a result of the ongoing violence in this province, and express our distress that violence
seems to be endemic in these parts. We hope that work of the Commission may make some kind of contribution to the ending of violence, and to the promotion of reconciliation in these parts.
A particularly warm welcome to those who will be testifying, and to their families. Thank you for your generosity, and in this province particularly, your courage in coming forward and exposing your pain to the gaze of the world. Only those who will find what they are looking for can, with any hope of credibility, accuse the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of bias, or of being a witch hunt. The previous three hearings have shown how determined we are to be completely even-handed and unbiased. The whole political spectrum has been represented in those hearings, and I am certain these hearings here will be no exception to that characteristic. All sides of the conflict of the past have been, and will be, represented. We cannot pretend that we are not sad at the fact that a very substantial, very important role-player in the IFP at the present time does not seek to co-operate with the Commission. But if no one comes from their side to tell their story it won't be the TRC that has to bear the blame for being one-sided.
We wish to stress again that we have not rushed to subpoena alleged perpetrators because of not wanting to be seen to pursue them as if we were a witch hunt. We have deliberately sought that this first set of hearings should be victims' hearings, affording people, many, many of whom have never before had such an opportunity of telling their story. Those who may be named will be given, or have been given, what we consider to be reasonable and timeous
notice, so that they can make representations. We want to give an assurance that we will, as soon as possible, give such persons the opportunity to tell their side of the story, and perhaps accord them the privilege of limited cross-examination of those who have so accused them.
The whole purpose of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is to make a contribution to the healing of our nation. The promotion of national unity and reconciliation is the title of the Act that brings us into existence. Almost all who have heard the testimony given at the previous hearings have been deeply moved, and believe that these hearings are indeed contributing to a national catharsis, are contributing to the healing of our nation. The wounds indeed are being opened and cleansed, and balm and ointment is poured on them, and they are being bound up so that they can heal and not fester.
I repeat my urgent appeal to everybody, but mostly to our brothers and sisters amongst the Afrikaans-speaking community. Everybody knows that when an Afrikaner sees the light, and recognises it to be the light, then nothing can hold him back, he becomes very enthusiastic. An Afrikaner gives his best. We are a very odd community. We were created by God the Father out of His love for us all, and we were redeemed from evil by the blood of Christ. He led us out of the slavery of sin, and now God, the Holy Spirit, dwells in us all. We are people of grace. Almost everybody who has testified before us thus far are people who are not looking for revenge. They don't carry hatred around in their hearts. They simply want to know the truth, and then they are prepared to
forgive. The Afrikaner can make a huge contribution to
the healing and reconciliation which is taking place in our country. There is a great challenge and a big role for him in our life in this country, and I therefore repeat my urgent appeal to all of us. Please if you would just repent, if you would just confess, people will be prepared to forgive, then we can all be healed. We have the example of the Churchman whose letter we have read.
(Incomplete) ... are only the first four, and because they have been of symbolic significance they have been fairly large hearings. After these we intend to split up as the Human Rights Violations Committee, perhaps one Commissioner with one Committee Member, and to have often simultaneous hearings in as many parts of our country as possible, to give as many people an opportunity as possible to tell their stories. We will not make an immediate finding in these hearings. That will happen a little later.
Those who give evidence here enjoy the same privilege as would happen in a court of law. If a witness deliberately gives the Commission false testimony then he or she will be guilty of an offence, as would be the case in a court of law. This is not a court, but we know you will conduct yourselves with proper decorum. As I have said before, I do not wish to invoke the powers vested in me.
Thank you to all who uphold us in their prayers as these hearings get under way, and so I declare this session of the hearings open. I want to hand over now to Dr Borraine, but before I do so may I first of all
introduce the panel that is here with me. On my left is
Dr Borraine, Alex Borraine, the Deputy-Chairperson of the
Commission and a member of the Human Rights Violations Committee; Richard Lyster, a Commissioner and members of the Human Rights Violations Committee, and co-ordinator our regional office. Next to him is Dr Khoza Mgojo, a Commissioner, member of the Reparations and Rehabilitation Committee from this region. Next to him is Dr Mapule Ramashala, Commissioner and member of the Reparations and Rehabilitation Committee out of Western Cape. Mdu Dlamini, committee member of the Human Rights Violations Committee from this region. Virginia Gcabashe, committee member of the Human Rights Violations Committee from this region. Dr Sibangele Magwaza, a committee member of the Reparations and Rehabilitation Committee from this region. Dumisa Ntebeza, Commissioner and head of the investigating unit. He comes from the Western Cape now. And then Ilan Lax, member of the Human Rights Violations Committee from this region. I now hand over to ... (incomplete)
MR LYSTER: Thank you very much, Chairperson. Before I call the first witness of this fourth hearing in KwaZulu Natal I would like to say a very special word of welcome to Judge Hassan Mall, who is the Chairperson of the Amnesty Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We are delighted that he is able to join us today. I would be very grateful if he would stand just for a moment so we could recognise him. Thank you very much.
CHAIRPERSON: Some are still looking to see him.
MR LYSTER: Well, he's a very distinguished person, so they can't miss him.
I call now the first witness, Mrs Emily Sikadi Magashule, and I would ask her please to come up to the witness stand. Mrs Magashule, can I just ask you whether you can hear my voice in the earphones?
MRS MAGASHULE: Yes, I can hear them.
MR LYSTER: Thank you very much. Then my word to you must be a very warm word of welcome on behalf of the Commission. It's not a very easy thing to be sitting where you are sitting. I am sure that you are feeling just a little nervous and uncomfortable, because you are the very first. You can't watch and see what other people do, and where they stand, and where they sit, and you are a pioneer today, and that makes you very special. And we hope that you will be relaxed and feel that you're amongst friends, and that you can at last tell your story, not only to the Commission, not only to this audience in Durban, but throughout the country. We are very, very glad to see you today, and we wait to hear your story. Before you do that I must ask you to please stand.
EMILY SIKADI MAGASHULE (Sworn, States)
MR LYSTER: Thank you, you may be seated. Mrs Magashule, for everyone who comes before the Commission we ask one of our Commissioners or Committee Members to assist that person as they tell the story. We want to underline, however, that it's your story, and only you can tell that story. And today I am going to ask my colleague, Dr Khoza Mgojo, to assist you, and I am going to hand over to him now. Thank you.
DR MGOJO: (Inaudible) --- Good morning, Sir.
(Inaudible) --- I am fine, and how are you, Sir?
Mrs Magashule, can you just help us a little. We know that you've been deeply hurt, you want to come here and tell us everything. I will ask you to start relating your story to us. You can now start. (Pause) Let her remove her earphones so that she can tell us her story. (Pause) --- The reason why I am here is the fact that I want to talk about my brother, who went to exile. I went to see him in exile. We went to search for him while he was in exile and we discovered that he was already buried. We wanted to see the grave. They took us to where he was buried, and I said to them, "Can I please get his body? I don't know how did he come here." They said to me, "If you want his body he has to be burnt first." Well, we went back and I asked them to give me his clothes. They gave me his clothes, but they were so shabby. And then we went back home. We only got the shabby ones. We didn't even get his identity document. What we only got was a letter. He wrote a letter. We came back home. We don't have a proof that he is dead. We don't have a proof that he is the right person that's been buried, because we don't have any proof. We wanted his death certificate, we couldn't find any. We couldn't find his belongings at all. We went to Lusaka and they said to us, "You will get everything in Gauteng." We were in Tanzania at that time. We came back to Gauteng, and the people in Gauteng told us they don't have any material. We're still going up and down searching for documents. Can the Commission please find out is he the real person? I want to be sure that he is really dead. I am here for help. I will rest if I only know that he is the person who has been buried there. We don't have
parents, we are just left as orphans, and we would like to make it a point to know that our brother has been buried.
Emily, can I ask a very short question? Before your brother disappeared was he involved in any organisation? --- He belonged to the ANC.
When did he join this organisation? --- It was in 1984 when he started working.
Before joining this organisation had he been to any other organisation? --- He used to sing for the Gospel Choir.
Did you report at the police station during his disappearance? --- No, we didn't report.
Did you report this to any person at the organisation? --- He disappeared in 1988. That was after our mother's death. He just disappeared, we didn't know his whereabouts.
Do you think there is any reason that led him to disappear? --- I only realised that he was in exile when I received a letter. That's when I saw and realised that he is out of the country.
Many times you go to the police and report if someone has been missing in the house. Did you do this? --- We didn't report because the police were busy chasing the people during that time. I only ended with the news that he was in Sebokeng, visiting my uncle.
When you arrived in Tanzania you received a letter. Do you know when was the letter written? --- It was written in May, but I can't remember the day. The only thing that I received after the letter was a telegram. It was in the same month, in May.
Did he write this letter while he was still alive?
--- Yes, he wrote this letter while he was still alive, but I was surprised after two weeks to receive a letter that he is now dead.
You said that you believe that he is dead, but you want to make sure whether it is the right person. Is that all you want from Truth Commission? --- Yes, that's the only thing I would request from the Truth Commission.
Any other questions?
Mrs Magashule, I just want to ask a couple more questions to help the Commission in its work. Firstly, when did your brother go into exile, do you know? --- I don't know. I only received a letter and that's when I realised that he was in exile.
And that letter you received in 1988 or 1989? --- It was in 1989.
Thank you. And how did you know that your brother had died? --- I received a telegram informing me that he is dead.
Who sent you the telegram? --- It's Simangele.
And does this person belong to any organisation? --- She was in the ANC.
Thank you very much. Just a couple more questions. You said that when you got to Tanzania they gave you a letter that Isaac, your brother, had written. What did the letter say? Did it say that he was not well, or had he had problems, or what did it say? --- Are you referring to the letter that he wrote?
Yes, you mentioned that when you got to Tanzania they gave you some clothes and a letter which was written by Isaac. --- The letter was about his complaints.
What were his complaints? --- The only ones that I can remember is that they were eating rice with milk.
So he complained about the food. Can you tell us, did anyone ever tell you what was the cause of his death? Did he have an accident, was he sick, or how did he die? --- The person who told me said he was sick.
Thank you, and then just one last question. You mentioned that you've been trying very hard to get either a death certificate or some evidence of your brother's death. Have you spoken to anybody in South Africa about this? --- I have been talking to people. Nobody offered assistance.
Have you applied to the ANC offices, either where you live or in Gauteng? --- I went to Gauteng two times and they told me that they will post everything. Even to this day I haven't received anything from them.
When was the last time you made inquiries in Gauteng? --- It was in 1994 and in 1995, because I cannot go to Gauteng every day. I am not working.
Ja, I understand. Can you remember any names of people you spoke to in Gauteng? --- No, I can't remember their names, but they were elderly people.
Thank you very much, that's been very helpful. Thank you.
DR MAGWAZA: Mrs Magashule, the Commission would like to help you as much as possible. You mentioned the name of one person here, Moma Kethe. She gave you the letter. Do you know where that person is? --- She is in Koppies. She grew up in Parys, but she got married in Koppies.
Moma Kethe, was she the person who was in Tanzania,
or she was a person you went along with? Who was she? --- She was in Tanzania.
Up to now you haven't heard anything. Do you have any knowledge of whether she came back to South Africa or not, or have you made inquiries about where she is? --- She came back to South Africa. She went to her place of birth, and from there she moved on to Koppies together with her husband.
Do you think she is still in Koppies? --- Yes, she is still in Koppies.
The second question, you mentioned that when you went to Tanzania you asked them to exhume the body because you would have liked to bury your brother in South Africa. If he is found to be the person who died in Tanzania would you still want to bring him back to South Africa? --- Yes, I would like that.
Okay, thank you very much. That is very important to us, because as a Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee we want to get as much information as possible as to how to go about doing it. Thank you.
Thank you very much for coming to the Commission. We will try by all means to help you, and we would like you to help us as well because we want to investigate about the disappearance of your brother. And if he is really dead, and if he has been buried in Tanzania, we will try to help, to work together so that you can arrange him a funeral in South Africa. Thank you very much.
COMMISSIONER: Ms Molokwane, can you hear my voice?
MS MOLOKWANE: Yes, I can hear you.
COMMISSIONER: Thank you very much. I would like to welcome you very warmly on behalf of the Commission. We are grateful that you have come a long way to tell us the story about your son, and you will tell that in a moment. First can you tell us who is with you today?
MS MOLOKWANE: This is my mum, and I am her daughter.
COMMISSIONER: May I say a very warm word of welcome to your mother as well, and I am very grateful that you have somebody with you together with one of our briefers. Before I ask a fellow Commissioner to help you to tell your story I have to ask you to please stand, and I am going to ask you a question on the oath, and then I would be glad if you would make your response.
MARIA MOLOKWANE (Sworn, States)
COMMISSIONER: Thank you very much. Please be seated, and I am going to ask Mr Lyster, one of our Commissioners, to help you to tell your own story. Thank you.
MR LYSTER: Mrs Molokwane, you have lost a child, which is the saddest thing which can happen to a parent, and the Commission expresses its deep sympathy to you. You have told us in your statement that your son was harassed by the police during the rent boycotts in Thumahole township in 1984, and that after an incident when the police came to your house, and broke down the door, and threw tear gas into the house, your son was arrested and detained. You have also told us that when he was in detention that he reported to you that he had been tortured by the police, and that he was released on bail. Is that correct? Can
you confirm that part of your statement? --- Yes, that's true.
And it was after this incident that your son decided to leave the country and to go into exile, is that right? --- Yes, he went to Zambia.
Can you tell us what happened after that? --- He arrived in Zambia and he stayed there for six years, and he didn't write us a letter. We didn't know anything about him. After those six years it was in 1990, and we received a letter that he is dead. (Pause)
Please take your time to recover, Mrs Molokwane. Do you know who the letter came from? --- Happy gave us that message.
(Inaudible) ... Happy? --- He is one of the fellow Comrades.
And did he give you that message by letter? Did it come to you in a letter? --- He was also in exile. We received a telephone call.
And he told you in the telephone call that your - sorry, I have been referring to him as your son, it's your brother - that your brother had died in Zimbabwe. --- Yes, the message said he died in Zimbabwe.
And did Happy tell you how he had died, or why he had died? --- There wasn't any further information about his death.
You've said in your statement that his remains were brought home for burial, but that you were not allowed to see his body. Can you tell us about that? --- It was also difficult to get him into the country, because after hearing that he is dead the ANC people came and they explained everything in details. We took some few days
going up and down together with the ANC. After getting to a conclusion on the third day they organised a meeting with Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu, where we met these people. Mr Mandela and Mr Sisulu gave us a solution, but they also asked us a question how are we going to get this person. I said to him, "No, we want him here. We want to bury him here in South Africa."
You said in your statement that his remains were sent to you, is that right? --- I can't say it was his remains because the coffin was sealed.
So you're asking the Commission to try and find out exactly what happened to your brother, and whether the person that you buried is in fact your brother? --- Yes, I am here to request the Commission to help us. The first point, was he sick or did he die in war, because on his arrival he was appointed to be a commander?
And are there any documents or other letters, or other documents which you have in your possession which will help the Commission's investigative unit to find out this information? --- Yes, I have documents. While searching his belongings we received two photos. There's a girl there, and the other one is Happy. In 1993 we received a photo. We couldn't actually reconcile because we were told that he has been buried, now is he now dead to send us this photo?
Was that a photograph of him that was sent to you? --- Yes, that's his photo.
And do you know who sent it to you? --- No, we don't know. The photo was put inside a card, because he used to send my mum a card every month - every year in May, but it didn't have any information as to who it was.
Mrs Molokwane, we will take those photographs and those documents and make copies of them, and we will give those things to the investigative unit, and we will attempt to get to the bottom of what happened to your brother. --- I'll be very much happy to assist.
Are there any questions that the other Commissioners or Committee members would like to ask?
DR RAMASHALA: Good morning, Mrs Molokwane. --- Yes, good morning.
I have only one question. When your son left the country to go into exile how old was he? --- He was born in 1962. He is a boy.
Can you please explain us, this Barnard, is it your son or is it your brother? --- No, he is my brother.
DR MGOJO: I see here in your statement that when the remains of the body of your brother were returned you were not allowed to view the body. Do you know the people who refused you that gesture of review? --- Yes, I know them perfectly well.
Do you know where they stay? --- Yes, they reside in Thumahole.
Did you say anything to them to inquire why didn't they allow you to see the body? --- Yes, there was a piece of paper placed on the coffin, and it was written that before the coffin can be opened there has to be a pathologist. If we don't have a pathologist we cannot open the coffin.
(Inaudible) ... should be pathologist before you open the coffin? --- No, they didn't give us any
DR BORAINE: Mrs Molokwane, I want to go back to the time before your brother went to exile. You told us that he was arrested. Can you remember why he was arrested, what the charges were? --- He was arrested on the 15th of July in 1984. It was during the rent boycott.
But you don't remember on what charge? Who got the bail for him when he was charged? --- His organisation organised him a bail.
Thank you. And when he came out he told you that he was tortured. Which police station was it? --- It was in Parys, in Parys Police Station.
Thank you. Did he describe what the torture was that he had? --- He said there were two policemen, and they assaulted him, they kicked him. They wanted to remove him from his statement, and they said to him they are going to kill him if he is still on this rent boycott issue.
Thank you very much.
MR LAX: Ms Molokwane, do you know the place in Zimbabwe where your brother died? --- No, I don't have an idea.
DR MAGWAZA: Mrs Molokwane, again I wish to let you know that the Commission would like to ease your pain as much as possible. We would still like to know from you what do you think the Commission can do to ease the pain? --- I want the policemen who assaulted him to appear public so that they can be known, and justice has to be done.
Well, thank you very much. The Commission will do its best to grant your wishes.
Thank you very much for appearing here. We don't make any promises that we would be able to do everything, but we will try. We will try to bring our condolences to you. We thank you very much. --- Thank you very much, Sir.
DR BORAINE: May I say how glad we are to see you. I understand that you are from Umlazi, and that you have come to tell us a very, very grim and awful story, and you have obviously suffered a great deal, and we want you to know that you are very, very welcome, and that we are ready to hear your story, and in a moment I am going to ask one of my colleagues to help you to tell that story, but first I must ask you to please stand so that you can take the oath.
ADELAIDE NGCOBO (Sworn, States)
DR BORAINE: I am going to ask my colleague, fellow Commissioner Dr Ramashala, to guide you now in the telling of your story. Thank you. Dr Ramashala.
DR RAMASHALA: Mama Ngcobo, we greet you. What happened to you is very painful because we are not speaking about one person, we are speaking about two people who died, Gogo Nzama and Zenzele Ngcobo. Am I speaking the truth? We are also speaking about the injured, Baba Vincent Nzama and Sithembiso Ngcobo. --- Yes.
We are requesting you, Mama, to go back and tell us how this whole thing started, how the harassment started, when the police started harassing you. Could you tell us about what is happening? Take your time. --- I used to stay at 58, and that was in 1990, until my husband died and I remained with my children. And Baba Nzama arrived, who is my in-law, and we stayed with him. In 1990, when the children were grown up ... (inaudible) ... in standard three. I brought up Zenzele, I used to sell paraffin and vegetables, until he finished schooling and he became a policeman. He went to be a policeman in Johannesburg. I
went to the office, I asked for the superintendent to write me a letter so that Zenzele can come and work at home, because I am on my own with children, because Baba Nzama used to work at night working night shifts. The superintendent did write that letter and send this letter, and Zenzele came back to wait until there was a post either at Isipingo or the other area so that he could be nearer me. He was very young at that time, and Zenzele came back and stayed. While he was still waiting the confusion started, and they said he has come with guns because he is a policeman. There were some ZP who came. They said he must join their organisation, and Zenzele said, "No, I am not going to join any organisation because I am SAP." They said, "No, join our side." They looked around on the walls. There were posters of Mandela and other posters that he got of guns. These policemen used to come, and I also requested Zenzele to join their side. And then there were neighbour's children, they used to say, "Ah, now Zenzele thinks he is better because he is a policeman." They used to shoot at him with home-made guns until I called our neighbour. I said, "Please, let us reprimand our children not to do this thing. I suffered, I brought up Zenzele very difficult." And their mother said, "Why doesn't Zenzele run away or hit back at them?" I said, Zenzele is trained. It's not a good thing that he should hit back at them." And their mother said, "Zenzele calls them first-years." I said, "Of course they are not educated, that's why he's calling them by first-years." But they used to harass Zenzele all the time together. The police used to come, and the police would say Zenzele must join their side so that he can build himself a big
house and buy a car. Those were the KwaZulu Police. Zenzele didn't agree. He said, "I cannot join another organisation which my mother didn't instruct me to join." Police used to harass me. Eventually he couldn't even sleep at home, he would sleep with the neighbours. He used to sleep at Mama Khumalo's home at 140. On the 19th I was coming from getting my pension. I was asleep. It was about one. The children woke me up. They said, "Here are the soldiers." The soldiers had surrounded my home. I asked the soldiers what they were looking for. They said they were looking for guns which Zenzele had brought them. I said, "Come inside, come and fetch those guns." They took axes, they took even bread knives, and took everything and left with it. Those were the soldiers, and it was on the 19th. Could I apologise, because some of the things I remember them, some of them I don't remember them. I am old already. After this these soldiers left. There was a huge concrete fence when Zenzele started working. We had locked the gate and they couldn't go in. They came back and said no, they want the keys. I said, "But how did you come in?" They said no, they jumped over the fence. I said, "No, jump again out of the fence." And this sergeant said, "Now we are going to shoot all of you if you say that," and the children cried, they said, "Mama, give them the key." I said, "No, they must jump. They jumped coming in." The children said, "Mama, give us the key, we will open for them and let them out." The soldiers took everything in this house which was a resemblance of a weapon. I said, "No, we should have kept these soldiers inside our house until dawn," but the children said, "No, Mama, they would shoot us." On the
22nd, that was 2.00 am in the morning, there was a knock and said no, they are police. I said, "Please come back in the morning, my children. I don't open for policemen at this time of the night." They said, "So you don't want to open." They hit the door with a gun and the door got opened. In the dining-room there was Sithembiso. He was playing the video at night until he fell asleep on the sofa. When this policeman came in they pour acid over Sithembiso, and pour acid over all the clothings. And Nzama came out on the passage, and the other one said, "Why are you asking questions?" and they started beating him and they tore his mouth with guns. And Sithembiso just slept there, he didn't do anything. There was acid all over the house. When they had finished they said, "Yes, Zenzele, we finish with you today." They thought it was Zenzele. They said, "Today we finish with you," and they went out. When I went out together with them they hit the house. I don't know what they hit it with. In the dining-room there was a huge whole and the house started burning. When I was in the kitchen one started shooting in the kitchen. There were bullets all over in the kitchen. And I went back and I realised that my house was burning. I tried to hide under the bed because I realised the dining-room was already burning, I couldn't go to my bedroom. I went to the kitchen and they started shooting, and I crawled on my knees. We had already extended a four-room at that stage, and I crawled outside towards the other house. I found the boys there. I said, "Please just hide under the bed. Don't get out." We all hid under the bed and the house was burning. There was nothing we could do. And I remembered that Ma Nzama was
there, and I ran back to the house. That is why I cannot see today. I tried to drag my mum from the bedroom, so that's how I got disabled. My eyes can't see now. And Sithembiso woke up and he tried to jump on the concrete fence in between the houses, whereas there was also somebody waiting around the corner, started shooting him, and Sithembiso fell there. We phoned the police and the police didn't come. And I remembered that maybe we should phone SAP near Merebank, and I phoned them and they arrived. But our local police didn't come. They only came back the following morning. It's only Merebank that came and called the fire fighters. Sithembiso Nzama went to the hospital, and we remained behind. After that the neighbours started shooting at us, and they came back and they took everything inside the house. I was just wearing my nightdress. The only person who helped me put some clothes on me it's by Malindi from AA. That was Malindi Njabu. They also put some clothes on me because I only had a nightdress, and they took me to the clinic. Our superintendent said he was going to help me find a two-room at C Section. That's where I went with the children, and that's where I am even now. Zenzele, on the 18th of April, said, "I am going to check at home because I have heard some rumours that our house is falling apart, people are taking every remains of our house." I said, "No, please don't go." He said, "No, I will go with some friends," and he didn't come back on that day. At about three in the afternoon I heard police hitting our area. They said Zenzele was in hospital, he was injured, and he was attacked by our neighbours in the area we had moved. So I went to Mshiyeni Hospital and I found that he was
very injured. He had been stoned, and his head was swollen. When I came back I said, "But my child is so injured. Has he been taken to Wentworth because he's been injured in the head?" They said, "Yes, he's already been to Wentworth Hospital." I went the following day, I went to Wentworth. They said a person called Wellington Ngcobo Zenzele has never been here in this hospital. Here is the list of people who have been here. So I went back to Mshiyeni. They said no, I couldn't see him, I must go back home. I went back and stayed. On the 20th they phoned and said Zenzele was no more, and I went to there and I started making funeral arrangements. Up until today I have got nowhere to stay. (Pause) All my children are disabled. I am looking after them from my mere pension. My last-born went to Cape Town. I have got no food. I sent some money that I have to him. I am praying for God to come inside me so that these people who did this can come back to me, so that I can apologise to them, although I don't know how I have sinned them. If they could give me the reason. They must also tell me so that I can also go to heaven, because I also want to go and see my children. Because I went to the police, the police didn't explain anything to me. They don't call these people, but they know who they are. These are the children who grew up in front of me. These are the people who are attacking us. If they could come to me and tell me what have my children done to them, I am prepared to pay them whatever price they need. My child got a stroke from that time, and today he's disabled. He is not working and he is not earning any pension. Things are very difficult for me, but those people who did that, nothing has happened to
them. If you could please go fetch them, because I know them. Even now when I try and do get rid of the ... (inaudible) ... in my original home they come out and start shooting at me. If they just come here and explain to me how have I sinned to them, because I have never requested anything from them. Even though my husband died I suffered on my own, struggled to bring up my children on my own.
Can we continue? Mama, I would like to know if these Ngcobo's children, are those your neighbour's children? --- Yes, they are.
Were they soldiers? --- No, no.
Are these the boys called Sipho Kehla, Tholagale Ngcobo? --- Yes. Tholagale even got involved intimately with the ZP so that they could come and burn us.
I would like to go a bit back and ask that when they shot at Sithembiso how old was he? --- Sithembiso was 23 years old, although I might not recall exactly. Yes, Sithembiso was 23 years old, because he was still doing some piece jobs, part-time jobs.
In your statement, Mama, you said there are eight children. Can you tell us who are these children and what are their ages? --- Their ages I can only remember when I've got their birth certificates. The older one, who was born when our house was already burnt out, he started getting stroke, getting sick. He was born in 1960. I used to go around with it in 1960 during the time the congress was burned. This child now has got a stroke, is disabled, and cannot work. For now he has just gone missing, and he was eventually discovered at Umkomaas.
When he gets sick he loses his mind and he goes away and you can't find him.
Is it a boy or a girl? --- It's a boy. Yes, it is a boy. Sithembiso is a twin with Bhekithemba.
How old he is? --- No, I cannot remember. I will only need to refer to their birth certificates. I think Sithembiso was born in 1969. And the other is Thobokile. Thobokile died. And then there are twins who came after Zenzele. Zenzele died and now there is Nelson. And there's Gugu who is still alive. And then there is Zenzele's child, and Sithembiso's child. He gave birth to this child during the time he was still doing these part-time jobs, but the mother brought this child to me. This child is six years old.
And he is being brought up by you? --- Yes, I am bringing up this child on my pension. She is already at school, and it's a girl.
Mr Chair, I will yield to the Commissioners for questions. I may come a little later.
MR DLAMINI: Thank you, Mama Ngcobo. I would like to ask a question of where Zenzele was - was he still working for SAP? --- Yes, he was.
At that time when he died were there some monies that were paid out to you to assist you? --- No.
Those others who are disabled, is there nothing - is there no grant that they get from Government? --- The money from Sithembiso is R400,00, so all in all we get R820,00 per month.
MS GCABASHE: I have heard you reporting that you know that Zenzele was shot by the neighbour's boys. Were these boys arrested? --- No, they were not arrested. Nobody was arrested. From the time when they burned the house up until I left I started making charges at the police station on this issue, but there was nothing that was done. I even went to CR with my sister, Ma Khumalo, who was accompanying me.
Another issue I would like you to explain to us is that you said he's disabled, he's got seizures. Have you ... (inaudible - end of Side B, Tape 2)
Could you tell me a little bit more about the time when Zenzele was shot - was injured and killed. Was there an inquest? --- No, there was no such an inquest.
(Inaudible) ... no examination, no reason as to how he died and who killed him? --- I used to go to court and find out, but they said to me - they kept on saying I must just go back, and come back, go back, until I eventually gave up.
DR RAMASHALA: I would like to know about these soldiers. Are there some you would recognise among them, and that you even know their names? --- The soldiers I don't know because they were white soldiers. The soldiers I do not know. They were white soldiers who came on the 19th.
Mama, we know it's very painful. We thank you for coming in front of this Commission and relate this.
DR MGOJO: Mama Ngcobo, I heard you saying there was an organisation that your son was being persuaded to join.
That is the KwaZulu organisation? --- The ZP people wanted him to join the ZP, the police.
Are you referring to the police when you say an organisation? --- Yes.
And this Ngcobo's boys, how were they related to the ZPs? It would seem you were being harassed by two organisations. --- The ZP were looking for the guns to shoot us. I think they are the ones who went to request the ZP to assist them because they didn't like Zenzele, but they had grown up together with Zenzele.
Mama Ngcobo, we thank you very much for coming. I have been repeating this over and again to say that we empathise with you. We request in God that He may heal your wounds and your pains through His ointment, and bandage your wounds that you have got. This Commission it has powers, but it hasn't got all the powers. We'll try to achieve your request. We'll think God will empathise with you. Thank you very much.
DR BORAINE: Ms Nakedi, thank you very much for coming today. You've come from a long way, and you must feel quite strange, but you are not a stranger here. You are amongst friends, and we are very, very glad to welcome you, and we hope you will feel quite comfortable in telling a grim story about the death of your brother, Johannes.
DIMAKATSO NAKEDI (Sworn, States)
DR BORAINE: Please be seated. Mrs Nakedi, we're going to ask Mrs Gcabashe to help you to tell your story, and I hope you will feel very relaxed and at ease as you start. Thank you.
MRS GCABASHE: Good morning. --- Yes, Good morning.
Can you please tell us briefly about what happened until your brother lost his life, and I would like you to tell us briefly do you have parents, why are you here, why are they not representing their son today? --- My parents are still alive, both of them, but they are sick. That is why they didn't come. They sent me on their behalf. My brother has been sought by police for quite some time. He went to Gauteng and he stayed there for a while. We heard that he had a clash with one of the police, and they were engaged in a fight. The police arrived and they shot him, and they just missed his friend. We went to the hospital after receiving the news that he has been shot, and then we went to the police station and we found him there at the mortuary. We wanted his clothes. His clothes were wet. We didn't know actually what happened.
Take your time. Relax. We will wait for you. We
know it's so painful, because the memories are now coming. --- While busy arranging for the funeral the police came in and out, day and night. They would come during the day to tell us to fill the forms. They restricted the funeral to only 200 people, and that the funeral should take place during the week, not the weekend, and they said, "If you don't agree with this we are going to disrupt the funeral, we are going to shoot at the people." We went through that week and we decided to bury him on Monday. It was a holiday, and we didn't bury him on that weekend. On Sunday my parents went to fetch the body. When they arrived at the mortuary the police didn't allow them to take the body. They arrived late on that day with the body. During the proceedings of the funeral, on our way to the church, the police arrived and they started shooting at the people. They even arrested the ministers who were supposed to conduct the sermon.
Take your time. We feel the same pain. --- After the funeral of my brother they arrested my younger brother and they - it was under section 29. As I am talking to you now he is mentally disturbed. He told us that he has been shocked and he doesn't feel anything thereafter. The police used to come and fetch my younger brothers. They would arrest anyone they find at the home. Have you finished telling us your story? --- Yes.
Thank you very much. Can you please answer some few questions so that we can help you. The first question that I want to ask, your brother who died in the hands of the police, how old was he during that time? --- He died at the age of 23.
The other one who is mentally disturbed, how old was he? --- He was 19 years old and I was 21 years old.
In your speech you said when the other one was arrested they would come to fetch the other one. Do you have any reason behind all this? How many were you at home? --- We were five, but there are four left behind. I am the only daughter, and three boys.
In your statement you say he had a clash with the police during the rent boycott. Will you be able to identify the police? --- Yes, I know them.
You said they arrested the ministers, the reverends who were at the funeral. Do you know the names of the reverends who were supposed to conduct the service. --- Yes, I know them.
Let's go back to this brother who is mentally disturbed. Do you receive any grant, disability grant, or does he get any assistance? --- No, nothing up til now.
Have you tried to get him some assistance? --- Yes, they went to Johannesburg to see the doctors. Even in Parys Dr McLarry attended to him, he gave him some treatment.
What is your request? What would you like the Commission to do for your family? --- I would like the Commission to find out the reason why my brother has been killed, because the policeman who killed him was a member of the A-Team before joining the police. From school we have been in conflict with each other. Maybe there is a reason why he killed my brother.
You say the policeman was a member of the A-Team before. Do you know him? --- Yes, I know him.
If we would ask you his name you would give us the name? --- Yes, I will.
I am ready to allow our colleagues to ask any questions.
DR BORAINE: Ms Nakedi, could I go back to the 24th of September 1988 when your brother was shot. You said that at that time they not only shot him, but they narrowly missed shooting someone else. Who was that person? --- It's Mr Marumo Lepho.
And where is that person now? --- He is alive as we are talking now.
And do you know where he is so that we can contact him? --- He is in Thumahole.
And if we ask you afterwards to give us the address or contact would you be able to? --- I don't know the address where he stays, but I can take you to his place.
That will be very helpful. The other question, only one other question I have to ask, is your brother was detained in the Heilbron Police Station, is that correct? --- Yes, that's correct.
And you say he was severely tortured before he was shot. Did he ever tell you what happened? --- Yes, he used to tell us. He said while in detention the police assaulted them every day. They even shocked them with electricity.
And these are the police you say that you know their names? --- No, he said those were the police from Heilbron Police Station, and some of them were from Welkom.
Thank you, we'll make all the inquiries. Thank you
for your help.
MR LAX: Thank you, Chairperson. Ms Nakedi, you spoke about a witness that left the country in your statement. Is that the same person that you just mentioned, Marumo Lepho? --- Yes, that's the Marumo I referred to earlier on.
Is he the witness that left the country? --- Yes, that's him.
Now, where was this case reported? --- At Parys.
And one last question. The police who you say shot your brother, where did they come from, which police station? --- The same Parys Police Station.
DR MAGWAZA: Ms Nakedi, I would still like to know more about your brother. Did he belong to any political organisation, and at the time he was shot what was he doing? Was he working, was he a scholar? --- Yes, he was in the ANC. During that time he was a field worker for the advice office.
Thank you very much. We are trying to feel the same pain that you felt. We want to give our deepest sympathy. We don't want to promise you miracles, but we will try to solve these cases so that we can come up with an information as to who the perpetrators are. Thank you.
Chairperson, the next incident that we are going to hear concerns a man whose name was Professor Hlahlalane Sibankhulu, and I understand that there are three members of the family who will be coming up to testify, and I would like them to come forward now. Veli Katherine Sibankhulu, Thabile Clarissa Sibankhulu, and Zanele Hazel Sibankhulu. Would they please come forward. (Pause) Now I have to ask you if you can - those of you who are using the headset, can you hear my voice?
INTERPRETER: None of them is using it.
DR BORAINE: And you are going to testify in Zulu or in English? In Zulu? Please put on the headsets then. Now, I would like to make sure that I know exactly who you are, so please - first of all, can you all hear me? Good. All right, now am I right in assuming that Mrs Veli Sibankhulu is the mother of Professor Sibankhulu?
INTERPRETER: Yes, she is.
DR BORAINE: Thank you very much. You are very, very welcome. We're going to hear a little later about the death of your son. And then we also have Zanele Hazel, who is the sister, is that correct?
DR BORAINE: And finally there is Thabile Clarissa, who actually identified the body and will testify to that, is that correct?
INTERPRETER: Yes, that is true.
DR BORAINE: Fine. Thank you very much indeed. Sorry about all the questions, but it's important for us to know exactly who is who before we start. Because all three of you are going to give testimony, even though the one is only going to testify about the identification of the
body, I have to ask all three of you to take the oath, and I suggest we do that one by one.
VELI KATHERINE SIBANKHULU, ZANELE HAZEL SIBANKHULU AND THABILE CLARISSA SIBANKHULU (Sworn, State)
DR BORAINE: Thank you very much for your help and co-operation. The story you have to tell is a very distressing one, and we want you to know that we are sympathetic towards you, and are hoping that you will feel relaxed as much as possible as you tell this story, and I am going to hand over to my colleague, Mr Dlamini.
MR DLAMINI: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Can I first mention to the members that the statement which is written Clarissa, in fact it should be Zanele Hazel. Can you please correct that? Instead of Thabile Clarissa it should be Zanele Hazel. That's the second statement. Thank you. Mama Sibankhulu, as the Deputy-Chairperson has already said we thank you for being here. We also thank your daughters for coming to be with you. We also hope that God will give you strength. We know you are in a very painful situation. May God give you strength to relate to this Commission. In your statement you first explain that you were with relatives in Diepkloof at the time when you heard this news. Could you just relate how you got this news up until when you buried him and other related matters? --- On the day he died I wasn't at home, I was in Diepkloof. I was in Johannesburg in Diepkloof. Other people heard it on the news as one of the persons I spoke to, Mrs Mgoma, who heard it on the news. I got a telephone from Zanele telling me that Pro was chased by police the previous day, and on the
following day. Zanele didn't tell me, she just said they were being chased by police. When I arrived home I had already heard on the radio news. I asked my cousin to speak ... (inaudible - end of Side B, Tape 2) ... I found Thabile, who was in the house. And on the following day he was taken and brought to Durban so that we could examine his body. In his body - when Pro died it means he was put at the back of his car. We do not know if he was put at the back of his car while he was still alive, or maybe he was dead. It was at the back seat of his car where he was burned.
Take your time, Mama Sibankhulu. Would she give you some water. --- Thank you. We went to mortuary, where we found that his body was burned. It was only the head that had remained, and the torso, the upper body up until the beginning of the lower legs - of the upper legs. That was the body we found. The eyes had bursted, he didn't have arms, he also didn't have the lower limbs. We went back at Anville, which was our senior home. We went to Anville, where we made arrangements for the burial.
Don't rush yourself, take your time. --- The police arrived. the police said to us they have come to get statements from us. I asked from the police - at the first thing when they arrived they went straight to the car. They didn't ask any permission from us if they could examine the car. My family asked them where did they get permission to go and check in the car. From there they came to me in the house and said they were asking if they could examine the car so that they could gather evidence. What I asked from them, I said, "This person it's already a week since he died and you didn't come, you didn't come
""to gather any evidence. On the second week you are only coming now to say you are coming to gather evidence. Why don't you go to the person who phoned the radio and gave all the full names and the information that a person had died? That is the person who has got information who killed Pro." They said, "That is the reason we have come here." Since they gathered that evidence and went away with it they never came back to me to tell me what did they find, what evidence did they get there.
Have you related all your story? --- Pro was harassed while he was still alive. He was harassed by Inkatha until he was arrested. While there was still a state of emergency he was arrested, but they were not satisfied that he had been arrested. Up until the previous day he had been chased by the police with his sister, and on the following day Pro was no more. What I would really like to know, what he had done to who? Because I became suspicious that there are senior members who had planned that Pro should be killed, because Pro was the chairman of ANC and he was in a higher position within ANC. So I became suspicious that it was planned that Pro must be killed.
Maybe we will come back to the questions, because some of the questions might be answered once all the others have related their story.
Thabile, we believe that you are the one who went into the car and saw the body, and you saw that it was your brother's body. Could you relate this to this Commission that what did you find out when you went to look? --- The first thing I found the car that had
been completely burnt. Fortunately there was some remains of the paint which showed to me that it was Pro's car. When we got closer inside I found the body lying at the back seat of the car. That was lying upside-down on his stomach. His head was put near the petrol tank to make sure that he would be burnt completely. His body was lying on the seat at the back seat of the car. What really surprised me was that my brother, as tall as he was, he wouldn't have been able to fit completely at the back seat. I didn't touch the body after that, but when they turned the body over we did see that even if it wasn't easy to recognise him, but when they've turned the body over to check if there was any remains underneath we found that there's no flesh left. But how we managed to recognise that he was ours it was the structure, the bones of his face. What had remained, the head bones, the front head bones and the neck, right down towards the neck and the stomach up until the waist bones. The arms there was nothing. There wasn't even a sign whether they had been burnt until the bones remained. The lower body also wasn't there. That could indicate to us that even if the legs are burnt there were bones or even the ashes that were the remains. Near us, where the car was found, there was a group of KwaZulu Police, who when they saw us started towards us. They laughed aloud. They didn't even car about us. After that we left and went back. We left our brother lying there. From there we prepared ourselves to tell Mama, because she wasn't at home. Because I was also at work I made preparations to go and report at my work that this had happened. When we were already at home there was no police who came to tell us about this
occurrence, but when people started coming to see they said they had heard on the 7 o'clock news that Pro was found burnt. What really surprised us is that at about seven we had not yet known, we were still looking for him. Please give her some water. --- We were really surprised at home. Who was this person who - how does this person who had issued the news on the radio that it was Pro who had died in the car, because it was even very difficult for us as the family, as sisters, to identify him and recognise him when he was burnt. What also appeared to us is that the person who ran to radio to listen and to report to the news at radio, what was his intention, because this person had not told us, but he told the whole world what had happened? Another thing that appeared to us, we were expecting that the police would come and officially tell us about this thing that had happened, but the police didn't come to us. They only came late at around three in the afternoon. There were only two policemen, senior police from the KwaZulu Police. When they came in the afternoon nobody realised that because we had already gotten to know this news in the morning, and also from the radio.
Do you know who took this news to the radio? --- It would seem like it was the police who phoned the radio station, but I haven't got all the information as to which policeman did this, but it could be the Madadeni Police Station, but we thought they were people from the Madadeni Police Station, because that is our local police station.
Thank you, Thabile. Do you still have any further information?
Zanele, there are other things that happened before your brother met this fate. Could you relate all those things that happened? --- It was on the 11th November 1990 at about seven. We were together with my brother. We were going to another family where there had been a death of a member of the ANC. This boy died while my brother was away, and then my brother said he was going to go and give the condolences to these people. On our way we were stopped. My brother didn't switch off the car. He said he was scared of being stopped by cars. He didn't switch off the car, but we stopped on the side of the road and some people came out. When they came out they had guns, they had firearms. My brother was looking at them through the mirror of the car, and then he pulled off. And these people who had guns, when we moved off in our car they got back into their car and chased us until - and we thought the better thing was for us to go to the police station, where we would get assistance. Indeed we rushed to the police station at Madadeni. When we arrived there we got out. The car was searched by these very same people who were chasing us. My brother went to the station commander at that time, who was Mr Mbele. He asked them, "Why are these people chasing us?" Mr Mbele said, "Maybe it's rushing you for a ticket that you didn't pay at Mooi River." I don't know what date was that for the fine ticket. It seemed it was a speed ticket. My brother said he paid for that ticket. And then they searched our car. They didn't find anything. The very same guys who were chasing us they told the station commander that we started shooting at them, and my brother, "If we were shooting at you where is my gun,
"where is the gun I used, and why are you not arresting me and find this gun on me?" We left and my brother said he will come the following day to understand more, and we left and went away. On our way we met another gentleman who is our relative, who is called Vincent. We told him about this thing. We went to his home at Kwezi. We stated at Kwezi until at about 11. From there we left. We thought maybe we better go back home and check what's happening at home. While we were on our way home, before we arrived, my brother said, "No, let us go back to where we come from, tell them that, "We were coming to you, but this is what happened to us"." Indeed we called the sister, her name was Priscilla Mlambo, at section three. We told them that we were formally coming to pass our condolences to them. From there we went home. When we arrived home we found that nothing had happened there. There was nothing that was suspicious. We were not even suspicious that anything could happen, because it was quiet by that time. It was at about 11. When we arrived home I said, "I am afraid of sleeping here at home. Maybe I had better go and sleep to another place. Maybe these people who were shooting at us will come back." And indeed I parted with my brother, and my brother went to sleep at section six at his friend's place, Dumisani. That was the end, because I only heard the following day what had happened.
These people who were in the car, if you don't tell us their name today, are they people you identified from this car that was chasing you? --- Yes, I recognised one person when we arrived there. Yes, I do know that person.
At the time when you were chased by this car what time was it? Around about what time if you can't remember exact time? --- It was around about quarter past seven, because we left at home at about seven.
The announcement that was made on the radio in the morning, did you hear that? --- No, I didn't hear because I had not put the radio on.
According to those who heard it, if you compare the times, was it the time you had not yet found him, or you already knew by then? --- No, we had not yet found him, we were still looking for him.
Mama, how old was Professor at that time when he died? --- He was 28 years old.
Could you repeat the age? --- He was 28 years old.
What job was he doing? --- He was working for the unions.
You said he was the leader of the ANC. --- Yes, but he was working.
Those people who came to search at home, searching the car, do you know their names of them? Even if you don't tell us those names do you know them? --- No, I didn't know them.
Thabile, are they people you know, are they people you can identify? --- No, those were not the people we knew, but they were white policemen, but they said they came from forensic team.
(Inaudible) ... Commissioners.
MR LYSTER: Mrs Sibankhulu, is it correct that your son was continuously harassed and detained by the police in
the 1980s? --- Yes, it is the truth.
And is it correct that he was ... (intervention) --- Yes, it was the truth, he was once detained.
(Inaudible) ... the police for certain offences for which he was acquitted after a long trial? --- Yes.
And he held several positions in the community in Newcastle youth organisations and the trade unions and - he held several senior positions in the community in the Newcastle area, is that right? (Pause) Sorry, is it correct that he held senior positions in the community in Madadeni and Newcastle, where he lived? --- Yes, it is so.
MS GCABASHE: Just a little bit, Mama Katherine. In your statement you spoke about petrol bottles that were found under the body of the deceased. You also spoke about a bullet that had already been used which was found in the car. Was it established from what gun did this bullet came from, and also how did these petrol bottles come to be here? --- The person who saw this was Thabile. Thabile saw all those things, the petrol bottles.
Could I direct this question to Thabile? --- The bottles which were found were under the body of our brother. A that time when they picked him up we found that there were petrol bottles that were under his body.
Another question was that this bullet had been used. Was it followed up to establish from what gun it came from? --- The bullet you are talking about we were told by the police was with this forensic team, that they picked up during the time when they picked other pieces from the car, but then we didn't find out from what gun
did it come from.
DR MAGWAZA: Mama Sibankhulu, at that time you were speaking ahead you were saying that Professor was harassed by a certain organisation, and he was also harassed by the police. I also hear that when he was in problems, being followed by people who were out for his life he ran towards the police station. Was that police station not the same police station of the police that were harassing him? --- The police had arrested him, but they didn't harass him. It was Inkatha that was harassing him. In 1986 the police had arrested him, and this case went on up until 1987.
Meaning you had confidence to the police? --- Yes, we trusted them because they are responsible for law. We would also hope that since he had gone to report there it was a place that he should have been protected from, but he didn't get any protection from them.
Another question I would like to ask is was there an inquest held after he died? --- There was a case hearing that happened last year, but what was reported on the newspaper was that it would be held for three days, they'll be hearing for three days. On the first day there were lots of good questions. We began to hope that it's moving towards a particular direction, but on the second day it was early in the morning it was over, the hearing was over. Whereas it was written that this court hearing would be held for three days, but on the second day that they can't get any evidence as to who had killed him.
The last thing that I have said, we are feeling very
touched by Professor's matter. We would like to hear from you that since the whole family was harassed and suffered such great pain, and I do know that people in your area were very, very touched, so what is it that you would wish the Commission to do to assist you so that we do not forget Pro, that he was there and fighting for the struggle? --- I have an unhealed wound in my heart. The first thing I would like to know what had he done, and to whom, for him to face such a brutal killing? And they were not satisfied that they just killed him. His body organs that disappeared, what I would like the Truth Commission, I would like them to assist them to give me back those remains so that I can take off the stone and put his remains there, and have those body organs buried together with his body. I would like to know who are these people, and if they had been instructed they should also inform me why had they been instructed to do this, and what had he done to deserve that?
We hear that, Mama. Thank you very much.
DR BORAINE: I'd like to address a couple of questions to Zanele, if I may please. Zanele, you were the last member of your family to see your brother alive, is that right? --- Yes.
(Inaudible) ... travelling with him you were stopped by a car. Can you recall what kind of car it was, the registration number? --- At that time that was driving I didn't see, but I only saw it when we arrived at the police station. It was a Mazda 323, numberplate NN 4529.
(Inaudible) ... or any of your family or friends check as to who owned that car? --- No.
I want to ask you just one or two other questions quite quickly, because I know this is not easy. You mentioned that a Mr Moses Sithole, a friend of your brother's, actually found the burnt car, is that correct? --- Yes, it is the truth.
Do you know where Mr Sithole is now? --- I don't know where he stays, but I do regularly see him.
(Inaudible) ... find that out from you. --- Yes.
You also mentioned that there was a court case, and I just want to know did you ever attend an identity parade? --- There were six people, but the person I had seen was not among those I had to identify.
(Inaudible) ... that person you saw coming out of the Mazda car? --- Yes.
(Inaudible) ... be included in the parade? --- No.
(Inaudible) ... last question. I am not sure if you can answer this, but any member of the family. Did you ever receive a death certificate? --- (Incomplete - end of Side A, Tape) ... I didn't look at it.
When you talked with the police or anyone did they say he died from being burnt, or did he die from being shot, or did they say anything? --- No, they didn't explain anything.
MR LAX: On the evening when - sorry, I direct this question to Zanele please. On the evening when you were at the police station, once you'd sought shelter there after being chased by this car, the three people who got out of that car, would you be able to identify them again? --- One of them is the one I said I know.
I just want to ask you one question in relation to that. Did those people who got out of that car, did they appear to be known to the police at that police station, or were they - did they appear to be strangers to those police? --- They were known. They were also policemen.
Mama and your daughters, it's become very difficult how to say to a person they must accept the situation when you remember of such a brutal and painful thing that happened. We've been given a task to assist our nation to heal the pains that all of us got as we are already free today. We pray that God may in His grace give you strength to empathise with you and strengthen you so that we, as the Commission, we can try to assist you, so that your wish can be achieved. Thank you very much. We thank you Thabile and Zanele.
DR BORAINE: Mr Cele, first let me welcome you to the Commission hearings. We thank you for coming. You've had quite a long wait, and we're glad that we can see you now before the lunch break. I understand that you come from Newcastle, so you've come quite a long way, and you've come not to talk about someone else's suffering or death, but your own experiences, and in a moment we are going to listen to the story that you have to tell the nation. Before doing so, though, can I ask you please to stand for the taking of the oath.
MANDLA CELE (Sworn, States)
DR BORAINE: Thank you very much. Please be seated. Mr Cele, my colleague, Mr Ntebeza, is going to guide you as you tell your story, but, as I have reminded others, it is your story and we need to hear from you. Thank you.
MR NTEBEZA: (Inaudible) ... these proceedings you put in proper perspective what they are all about, that these hearings are for victims, and for that very reason we have heard painful stories of killings. The story you are going to hear now is the story of personal suffering by Mr Cele, and perhaps it is historic for that reason, and historic also for the reason that this is the first time that these hearings are held in this region. And it is also historic, Sir, that on this very day in The Hague the whole world's attention is drawn to proceedings of another kind, where one Tusan Tadic, a Bosnian Serb, is facing the War Crimes Tribunal. But then that's a tribunal of a different type. But it's for the first time since the Nuremberg Trials that the world will be hearing evidence of war time atrocities against ordinary people. But the
one similarity between what is happening in that tribunal and your Commission is that both of The Hague's War Crimes Tribunal and your Commission, we are hearing heart-rending incidents and stories and accounts of man's inhumanity to man. We are hearing heart-rending stories of arrests, tensions, tortures, murders, rape, and many, many more tales of pain and suffering. The story of Mandla Cele, the young man who is now before you, is one other such story. Mandla, we are now going to speak in Xhosa. I hope you understand me. I am going to ask you to tell us who you are. --- I am Mandla Cele. I was born in Maphumulo area. I only ended up to standard eight after I was expelled from school in 1976. I went further on and I joined the union. I worked at the union from 1979. I worked with people such as Sipho Gcabashe, Magwaza Mapangane, people like Professor Sibankhulu. And I moved from Durban, I went to Newcastle. It was in 1982. I was organising the workers. I was teaching them about their rights. That is where I met Professor Sibankhulu and we worked together.
Just excuse me. Are you referring to the Professor Sibankhulu we have listened to his case now? --- Yes, that's the same Sibankhulu. Now, during those times, as we have been harassed, I was more tortured in my life after hearing that he is dead. I have to say that we worked with him from 1982, and in 1983 we formed a new organisation. It was called Newcastle Youth Organisation. We continued together working with him and we formed another organisation called Newcastle Residents Association. During all this time it was our duty to see to it that we teach the community about their rights. We
were supposed to teach the youth about their rights even at schools. This led us to organising ourselves because the IFP was harassing us. There were times we couldn't sleep at our homes. Me and Prof would sleep in the veld. We couldn't sleep at home because we knew there was harassment from the IFP side. Even their leaders were involved. Even the ZP were people working hand in hand with Inkatha. Some of those people who were harassing us, burning our houses, were ZPs, and they were at the forefront of harassing our people.
Thank you for this evidence. Now let's go to June 1985. Is it in this year where you said you and others - well, I think Professor Sibankhulu was also there - did you start Newcastle Youth Organisation in this year? --- Yes, it was in that year.
This organisation, how was it related to United Democratic Front? --- After forming this youth organisation we deemed it fit that this organisation will not work on its own. So that it can be functional, so that it can be involved with the chief organisation we wanted them to join UDF, and then the two worked together.
You said something about IFP. Was IFP against your organisation and this United Democratic Front? --- Since it's beginning, NYO, IFP never wanted anything to do with it. The Security Branch at that time suspected that it was the wing of the African National Congress.
You were now in trouble during those days? --- Yes, we were in deep trouble.
Do you know any person who is here who was your representative? --- The person who represented us, especially when we were harassed, the person whom we used
- the Mxenge lawyers. We used people like Kwenza Mlaba.
Can you please go back to the date when your house was burned. Do you remember the date? --- Rumours spread that NYO is not wanted around KwaZulu area, but Inkatha Brigade has to take over. I don't want to take out names today, but there were leaders of Inkatha during those days. This led to a situation that my house was burnt. It was during the day. Even up to this day nobody was charged with that.
Did you take that matter to the police, the KwaZulu Natal Police? --- I went to report this to the Madadeni Police Station. I reported the matter to the station commander of the time, and he was Mr Mthethwa.
What happened to that report? --- Nothing came up. The only thing he said was, "If you don't want your houses to be burnt leave all the things that you are doing, listen to what the Inkatha leaders are saying, forget about what you are doing because that's nonsense."
Can we go back to the date 21 June 1986? --- On the 21st of June 1986 I was here in Durban. I was detained by the police. It was about two in the morning. They took me and they went over to Westville and they went back to Newcastle. During this time nobody said anything to me. We went to Newcastle Police Station and they told me that, "We are arresting you under a certain Act, which is the Violence Act." They said, "No, you don't have any right to a lawyer, you can't say anything to anybody." I said to them, "Can I please call my home to tell them that you arrested me?" They said, "No, you don't have any right whatsoever to tell your family that you are arrested." I said, "Take me home so that I can get
"something, some clothes to change." They said, "You don't have the right. You only wear those clothes that you are wearing now."
Were they police from KwaZulu or were they the SAP? --- They were the members of the Security Branch.
Do you know their names? I am not saying you should name them here, but do you know their names? --- Yes, I know their names.
What happened on your arrival in Newcastle? --- After telling me that I have been arrested they removed me from Newcastle and they took me to Waterval Prison in Utrecht. They said, "Before we send a person into the cell he has to be cleaned, he has to be purely cleaned." They made me undress, even the shoes. I was naked. I was put into a shower. They said they were cleaning me. I asked them, "Do I look dirty?" They said, "No, we don't have any time to answer your questions. You will do as ordered." I was taken into the cell, a very small cell. You couldn't move.
Can you tell us how big was this cell? --- It was a very small cell. From one wall to the other you can walk two feet. There's a toilet inside. There's a sink where you can drink water. Everything you have to do in this small room. It was cement on the floor. They undress you and you have to be naked in that very cold room. The windows are so high you cannot see outside. You cannot even switch the lights on. Only a person from outside can switch the lights. That is how this cell was designed.
How long did you stay in that cell? --- If I remember well I stayed in that cell with those conditions
/- it was
- it was about a month.
Were you alone in that cell or were there other people with you? --- I was alone. I wasn't allowed to read any newspaper. I couldn't listen to the radio. I would stay there. You had to speak to all the insects that were in the cell. I was alone, nobody was there.
Did they give you any time to go and stretch yourself or just to exercise? --- No, they only allowed me to exercise after eight months, because my lawyers challenged this. They really reacted towards the behaviour of the prison warders towards the detainees. Well, we were told to exercise whether the Security Branch likes it or not.
Can you tell us a little about this horrific experience inside the cell? --- It was difficult to be in the cells because you wouldn't do anything that you wanted to do. They would ask you one question. The police came to ask me. They ask you one question, and they would interrogate you for an hour. If you tell them what you know they would say you are lying. This continued until it was Sunday. During this time they beat you up, they make you exercise. They would say you have to sit on air. Then you would fall because there is no chair, and after falling they would kick you, they would say, "Stand up. We want you to give us answers."
Can you demonstrate this issue when they said you should sit on air? --- (Pause) Your hands had to be up. Your hands are up. Now, if it happens you fall - if you fall you would be kicked. You have to stand up and then continue. Otherwise they would take a two cent coin and they would say you take your thumb and swing. After
some time you would go dizzy and you would fall. Now, these Security Branch people would be standing there kicking you, telling you that you are lazy. They would ask you, "Do you think you have offices here? You have to know that we don't accept any person who is against the Government."
How were other experiences about electric shock and others? --- There was an incident that took one week. I was taken into an office and they said I should stand against the wall. They put a bag on my head and I can't remember what happened. They took me outside and they took me into the car. I was made to lie at the back seat of the car, and one of them was trampling on my shoulders and one of them trampling on my legs. I didn't know where they were taking me to, but I could feel I was now out of the prison, out of the cell. I can't remember what place did they take me to. They took my clothes off and they took something. They put - on my every finger they put a cord, and my hands and my feet were tied together. They even connected this to my private parts. I don't wish to go through the pain I felt on that day. They did this on different days. They would kick you, they would assault you, and they would say to you, "Tell us the truth." They would ask us do we know anything about the ANC people. They asked us about the MK soldiers. They asked us about the hand grenades. They would ask us, "Where have you put the hand grenades?" It was really difficult. From there I wasn't allowed to sleep for a week. I would be interrogated. They would come in shifts. Each shift would take close to seven hours. From Monday to Saturday I couldn't sleep. There were times I could remember well
I fell. Not because of the assault but because I wanted to sleep.
Mandla, what did they say during those times? The Government of the day said no, we cannot allow such things to happen. Now, what do you request? --- We only heard that the security were in control of everything. If they felt that they don't want you to see the Magistrate or the lawyer you would not see the Magistrate, you would not see the lawyer. Because they even controlled the doctors. I used to report to the doctors who visited me, but nothing took place. They would say, "Tell the police the truth, they will leave you." These are the so-called district surgeons.
There was a time in this whole incident that you wanted to go to court. Have you been to the court? --- Yes. Yes, I was charged. They said it was a Terrorism Act.
(Inaudible) --- Yes, that's right.
(Inaudible) ... in this country, was it not? --- Yes, that's true.
(Inaudible - end of Side B, Tape 3) --- There was a R10 000,00 bail that had already been paid. I wasn't allowed to meet more than one person, I wasn't allowed to attend meetings, I wasn't allowed to - the restrictions said I had to stay at home.
So you were from another prison to a bigger prison. --- Yes, that's right.
(Inaudible) ... of those charges? --- At the end it was discovered that the evidence from the Government side did not exist and I was discharged.
(Inaudible) ... which you have described so
graphically, what effect did they have on you, and your memory and everything else, if any? --- I have to say that I was affected in a way. Before I was arrested I used to write things down. If you would give me a number I wouldn't even write it, I would keep it in my memory, but after having been tortured my mind is not working perfectly well. I have to write everything in details.
Now, what would you like the Commission to do if it was possible for it to do anything at all? --- Maybe it would be very nice for the Commission to investigate who these people are. I want to know why did they do such horrific things, because at the end I still don't know who they are. I know the people who chased me, the people who detained me, but the ones who really assaulted me I don't know who they are. I feel this was the violation of human rights.
MR LAX: Mandla, while you were in detention what sort of food were you given? --- While in detention we used to eat all kinds of food. It wasn't the normal food. Soft porridge, samp mealies. They were just normal food, but prepared in a different way. You know, we would stay for two weeks without food, because we used to tell the authorities that we are not satisfied with the food.
Besides your memory, and problems with your memory, have you suffered any other ill effects from this torture and harassment while you were in prison? --- I have to say the other thing that really disturbed me, my right leg cannot function properly because I am now forced to use a flat shoe. I can't wear any shoe that has a heel. Some of the exercises I cannot do as I used to. Even the
football that I used to play I cannot play now.
What are you doing now, Mr Cele? Are you working, or what are you doing actually? I was asking are you employed now? --- Yes, I am. I am working for the municipality union affiliated to COSATU.
I have a very sensitive question. Are you married? --- Yes, I am married.
Now, this torture, how did it affect you? --- I have to say from my family's side I used to be a very patient person, but I cannot do that now. I get angry very quickly.
DR MGOJO: I am going to ask a few questions, very short questions. I heard you saying you were arrested in Durban but the police were from Newcastle. Were you used to being followed by the police? --- Everything that I did the police would be after me.
Another short question. During your detention when did your family know that you are detained? --- They only knew after eight months that I was in gaol.
Who informed them? --- They heard that from the lawyers, because we went to the Legal Resources.
Did you go to the doctors to get any medical certificate thereafter? --- Yes, there are doctors that I went to, two of them in 'Maritzburg, and the other one here in Durban.
Did they give you certificates? --- Yes, they did.
Could I start by just following up on that last
question asked by Dr Mgojo? Would it be possible for you to remember the names of the medical doctors who saw you after you came out of prison? --- Even if it's not so easy the one I can remember was Dr Diliza Umjee(?).
Thank you very much. And the names of the lawyers who represented you when you were charged and were found not guilty? --- Mlaba and Shezi's company represented me.
You mentioned that whilst you were being tortured from time to time you were visited by district surgeons or doctors, is that right? --- Yes, that's right.
Would you be able to remember who those doctors were, or is that asking too much? --- I still remember their names. One of them it's Dr Kotze, but all of them are based at Utrecht.
Thank you very much.
Thank you very much, Mandla. We don't have words any more to keep on saying we're really sorry and we sympathise with you. We thank you that you managed to come. We only ask God to really bless you, to embrace you with His grace. We want to thank you for appearing before the Commission, and we are very glad that you brought us freedom together with other people. Thank you.
Welcome to you in this first afternoon session. We are very grateful to you for coming. The story that you are going to tell is one of harassment, assault, arson and shooting, and in particular that concerning the death of your son, Khumbulani Dlamini. Before you tell us your story I'd be very grateful if you'd stand so that you can take the oath.
JOYCE NOMVUYA MSISAZWE (Sworn, States)
Mrs Msisazwe, you have listened to a number of other witnesses, and you will know that it is our practice to ask one of the Commissioners to ask you questions to help you tell that story. This afternoon I will be doing that, and I would be very glad to know, first of all, who you are, where you're living, and something of your background. Thank you. --- Good afternoon. I was born in Kokstad. My maiden surname - I am from Mantolweni. I was born at home. My mother was not married so I am Mkhize, my surname is Mkhize. From there I came to Durban. I got married. I am married to the Dlamini, where I gave birth to three children. The boys their names were Sipho, Musawenkosi, and Khumbulani. Khumbulani was my last-born.
Thank you very much. It always helps just to know a little bit about who you are, and I know that it is very distressing, so there's no hurry at all. Just take your time and we'll wait for you. --- There's a time when I went to stay at home in Kokstad in 1987. I was selling some things there because I was unemployed at that stage. So I got a telephone while I was still at home. I was told that my sons Khumbulani and Musawenkosi, both of them
I will not be able to see them again. I took my two sisters from home, we came back here to Durban by car. We arrived here at night. We didn't find my child at home. We didn't find any of them at home. We looked - for three days we were looking for them. Two of them I did find, Musawenkosi and Sipho, but I couldn't find Khumbulani. I looked for him. I found him in some other house. I don't know this house, but I know this house is at Umlazi. I think it's at B Section, because that's where you cross Umfonkosi River. That's where I found my child and I took him. We came back. We went home. This thing continued, it didn't end there. I remember one day I had not been at home and I was told that my children used to hide at 269 at KwaSabelo - 259. These children used to hide there because they were running away from the police and the soldiers. They used to harass them every night. They would come twice or so. One day I rushed at home. They had assaulted my children, they even cut off their hairs. They were so badly assaulted I didn't know what to do. But what really hurt me on, one day when I arrived I found that these soldiers had been to my house again. They left their torch. They broke my flower vase. It was a huge one, it used be on the coffee table. The dining-room window frame had been broken and had fallen down, and the children were in pain, and moaning and groaning in their bedroom. When I asked them what had happened they said that these policemen who usually come here to assault us, these police used to come at night at around half past 11 and take my children away. There is a place that's a drive-in. They used to take them there and assault them there. They used to assault them there all the time, and
after assaulting them, when they powerless, they used to take them to an Inkatha area and dump them there. This would happen at night, maybe at half past one or so. And they would leave them there and say, "Go now," at a place that is very far from home, where they had taken them. They did this a number of times. They came wearing Balaclavas. They took all these three children and went to the Sabelos. At Sabelo they took the child there called Mbongeni. They said they must cover their heads with a shirt so that they hide their faces. They sneaked them through in between houses. They took them to far off places where they had left off the vans. There was God's grace, because by the time they got nearer these vans ... (incomplete - end of Side A, Tape 4) ... when they were closer to the vans some police from Amanzimtoti came by. They were with a detective who knew me. He saw these children and asked them, "What is happening? Why have you covered your heads, and you, you have also covered your heads?" They said, "These children are UDF. We are going to investigate about them." And the detective said, "It's all right if you are going to investigate about them. If I can just get your number so that I know who you are." From there they left, and they took these children and they assaulted them as usual, and they dumped them at an Inkatha area round about the same usual time. But these children, God saved them until they arrived at an ANC area. And they asked to sleep at one family called the Zulus, because they could not longer walk until they arrived home. I was very, very worried when they arrived in the morning. I was very angry. I took these children to Amanzimtoti Police Station. When I arrived there the
station commander there said I must make statements, and he took my children to Dr Mletsane at H Section, and they were taken to the doctor. And on one day they asked them to come and identify those soldiers who had assaulted them, and the children pointed at these soldiers. From there I made an interdict. We went to Linda Zama. She's the one who helped me, and we went to the judges and to the police. That's where we got a court order that the soldiers should never ever come to my place. That's when I got a little bit of rest. But I didn't know that that was the end, that there was still going to be more trouble coming. On the 14th of March 1988, when they established the ZP in KwaMakutha, it was quarter to five. I was still asleep, because we couldn't sleep at night, we used to sleep during the day. At night we will be on guard against Inkatha. We used to alternate guarding, and we would put off the light and just guard. We would keep on opening the curtains slightly and check if Inkatha wasn't coming. But on that day, it was a Friday, the Inkatha came. The Inkatha came. They arrived to us on Friday in the afternoon. Well, there was just a street separating us and Inkatha. We used to fight just over crossing the road or walking on the street. When we got out we heard that there was a woman from across who came out, and she said, "Amaqabane, you are going to die." When we got out on that day we heard the ululating. There was ululating at that time. When there was this ululating, and then the Inkatha boys were coming. When these boys came they were singing. They used to say, "We are going shoot Musa." Musa was my son. They said, "We are going to stab Ndoda." Ndoda was another friend's child who was my comrade. We
were together with him. He was just a child. When they arrived I got up. I went to tell the children that, "Did you hear that they are coming?" The children said, "Yes, we can see them." When they arrived at our place then they started fighting. There were gunshots because they were armed, there was lots of firearms. There was somebody who remained behind, or he remained behind but he just came through in between houses. His name was Zindela, surname. When he came the children got very angry. They beat him up. Another one that I remember he took a knife and stabbed him. I cried a lot because it was the first time I saw my child taking a knife and stabbing somebody. I cried because this violence taught our children to kill, because Inkatha was attacking us. At that time these boys left and fell on the other house at Mbela's house. This was the Inkatha house. This woman who was ululating during this time when these boys were coming she started crying when this boy was stabbed. That's when I asked, "What's happening? Why has ululating turned to crying? You were just ululating right now, now you are crying again." She cried. She stopped the soldiers. She stopped the soldiers. The soldiers had just come in at that time. They asked what had happened. I told them that we had been attacked by Inkatha and they asked me what had happened. I said to them Inkatha had attacked us because they were excited, they were installing the SPs(?). It wasn't for the first time that they attacked us. They had attacked us one day until we called the police from Amanzimtoti.
If I may interrupt you there. Forgive me for doing that. You have told us about very serious harassment by
many people, but could you tell us what happened when your son, Khumbulani Dlamini, in 1990 - what happened there? --- I was still coming there. There are lots of things that happened. And others I am starting to remember them, and others I have forgotten them. It's just so much that happened during that time. My Khumbulani, on the day he was killed there - the fighting started on the 7th of April 1990. There was a fight every morning. We were told that there was fighting at section 14. It's an area far away from us. We were very far, we were on section 2. I wasn't at home on that day, I was with my relatives around on section 14. Inkatha was going to have a funeral on that day. They were going to bury a boy called Thami Sindane. After that it was around about 2 o'clock when I saw ZPs started shooting. What I did see, I was around there at that time, we were forced - we were all crawling on our knees running away, because they were shooting on all directions. I can't say there was no place where a bullet wasn't coming from. I don't even know how I arrived home. It was on the 7th. It was on a Saturday. The people at section 14 they ran away and came to our area, and others ran to the furrow. Because other children were killed, Simakahle Miyeza and Makhanya, a boy called Mlungisa, was also shot. They died on that day. On Sunday the situation got very bad, but it was quiet. You could hear the situation was tense even though it was quiet. Many people ran away, others ran to town and to hide in town, and other section 14 people came to our section at section 1. While we were still there on Monday morning at around 10 we just saw many vans all over. The vans were fawn in colour. They looked like the C cars,
but I didn't see them on that day. There were lots and lots of them. When I heard I heard that they had beaten Msesha Habanyane. The detective, Msesha Hlabanyane was beaten on the other side. When he was beaten, the Detective Hlabanyane, at around about one there was shooting all over. We just couldn't move. There were even aeroplanes above us. You couldn't even hide under the tree because there was lots of wind blowing, and they would expose us even when we were hiding. The situation was very, very tense. We couldn't even go to our neighbours to ask for telephone. When I tried to phone the phone wouldn't even work. When I tried to go to the neighbours to phone there I just heard a bullet which hit at a pole, and then I crawled down and went back to the house. At about three there was a voice, but I don't know whose voice it was because at that stage we were all confused. It said all the boys must just run away because the ZP and the soldiers are going house to house shooting them. So my child and his brothers, the three of them left and ran away. They ran away, but at the time when they had left they ran to a place called Mkazini. I was not there because I was at home. I was telling myself that they are hiding where they are. While I was still at home it was in the afternoon.
Your memory is very distressing, it's about your own son, so please don't hurry at all. (Pause) --- Late in the afternoon there was my other boy whose name is Nkosi, Musawenkosi. I asked him, "Where is your younger brother?" He said, "I don't know, Mama. We got scattered because we were running away." Later on Sipho arrived. I said, "Where is the child?" He also said he didn't
know. While I was still there I phoned Eden Mngadi, who is a neighbour, and - because we were told that our children had run towards that direction. I asked him if he had not seen my child, he had also run away from home. There was nobody, nobody could answer the telephone. After a while there were boys who came, and they came in and knocked. They told me that my child had been shot, shot by white police. I asked where. They said at Mkazini area. It's a place which is about one kilometre from our place. I was very confused in my mind. I left, I went to another person called Sipho Makhanya, who has got taxis. I asked him to take me with my other friend called Doreen Ngcobo, who has also passed away. I said they must please accompany me where my child was. When I arrived there I couldn't even reach near. I said, "I don't want to see my child full of blood and soil, because it will be a picture that will stay in my mind forever." I stood far off. I saw people crying, and my children were also crying. I just sat down there where I was. I sat there for a long time. Eden Mngadi took my child and one other Ngidi boy. They took him to Amanzimtoti. I was happy because I didn't want my child to go to the ZP, because they were happy, they were laughing as they were going past my house, saying they have killed a very beautiful boy of this woman, of this nasty woman of UDF. I was really happy that my child was not taken by the ZP. My child stayed there at the mortuary until we buried him on the 21st. That is ... (incomplete)
I just want to make sure that you tell the whole story, because even after this very distressing death of your son something else happened in 1992, when somebody
set fire to your house. Could you tell us about that as well? --- We were asleep at night with a child. We had my son's child from Ntuzuma. When I got up at night I was suffocating from the smoke. I asked her what was the light in the other small bedroom. She said, "I don't know." When we opened the door in the bedroom we saw there was fire burning, and the flames were high up. I managed to escape - because my other child was no longer staying at home, Musawenkosi. He had also been shot in 1991. He had been shot on his legs. So he was no longer staying at home, he was staying at Umlazi. I managed to get out and went to my neighbour, Mbatha. That's where I made a telephone. When I made this telephone call I was phoning my son, telling him. He phoned at Merebank, phoning his friend who was an SAP. His friend came with the other policemen, but before the policemen arrived the ZP arrived. The ZP came and said to me - it took a long time before I got out. I didn't call the ZP people because I am not related to them. They said I must come inside the van. They said, "You woman, you nasty woman, you think you are a man. Today these Comrades are burning you. These are your comrades who have burnt you because you think you're clever. You have been thinking you're clever all along. Today it's the last. They are going to shoot you in the head. You are safe because you didn't get shot by us." I stayed at the police station of the ZP, and they were busy saying all these nasty things to me until this policeman came from Merebank. When these police arrived from Merebank they took me and put down the fire, and took all the remaining property and they put them in bags, and we left and they put all those things in
their cars. I went to stay at Sweetie's house at Umlazi, at Mnyandu Station. There are houses there that are ... (inaudible) There's a relative of mine that was staying there. That's where I stayed for a while. From there I moved, I went to build a shack in Lamontville. That's where I am even now.
I have just a few questions. I know this is very distressing. You've told us of continual harassment, the death of your son, the shooting of the other son, the burning of your house, but just a few questions to help us that we may be able to help you. First can you tell me the names and the ages of your three sons? --- The elder one is Sipho, Sipho Dlamini. He is 22 years old - no, he is 24 now. The one after him is Musawenkosi, and he is 22 years old. The one had died at the age of 17, but he was going to turn 18.
(Inaudible) ... when he was shot was there any court case or inquest or inquiry as to Khumbulani's death? --- No, there was no court hearing. The court hearing only happened during the time when he had been arrested. There was a time when they were arresting him. They had assaulted him. They arrested him and said he had eight charges. But he was acquitted on all of them because he had not done anything, he was sleeping at home, but they said he had burnt some houses. They met him walking with a girl from Makanya whose name was Zanele. They were just selling clothing in the streets. One Inkatha man arrived. He said this Dlamini child they must arrest him because he had burnt people's houses. That's when he was arrested, and that's when he was assaulted a lot. And I laid a charge against the police, but nothing happened up until
(Inaudible) ... about his shooting. --- No, there wasn't.
Thank you. Khumbulani was very young. When he was shot was he still at school or had he left school? --- He was doing standard 10 at Sibusisiwe.
Was he involved in any politics, any organisations? Did he belong to any of them? --- He was UDF, and then when the ANC was unbanned in 1990 he became an ANC.
(Inaudible) ... two sons, what are they doing now? --- One is studying at Umbumbulu College. He's in his second year. The other one is not working, he's at home. He has passed standard 10, but he is just at home.
(Inaudible) ... you, are you employed or are you staying at home? --- I am working as a part-time at Savell's. I am not working.
Thank you. Just one last question before I hand this back to the Chairperson. If the Commission was able to be of help to you what would you like to see them do? --- I don't know who killed my child. If I can know that. Because even those who used to assault my children every night I don't know who they are. I want to know them.
MR LAX: Mrs Msisazwe, you said that during one of the raids on your house by soldiers they left a torch behind. Were you ever able to charge anybody, or follow up on who that torch belonged to, or use it in some way so that you could use it as proof of who had come to your house and done these things? --- Sorry, I did not hear the question well.
I'll repeat the question. It relates to this torch, and whether you were ever able to use it as some kind of evidence as to who it belonged to? --- Yes, I found this torch on the day my children had been assaulted. They said the police had left it behind. We took it as evidence at that time when we were making the court interdict.
DR MGOJO: There is somewhere in your statement where you said at the time when the boys were taken by SADF and they had covered themselves with Balaclavas, when they came closer to the vans there was a man who knew you. Is this Detective Mbele still there? --- Yes.
Is he still at Amanzimtoti? --- Yes, he's still there. I am not sure if he is still working there.
And he took all the details from all these? --- Yes, the children said so. I wasn't there, but my children said so.
Have you not met this Mr Mngadi after that? --- Yes, I met him.
And he said he knew them? --- Yes.
MR DLAMINI: Just one question. Mrs Msisazwe, among these police who were making a laughing stock about killing your child do you know their names? --- No, I don't know them because they were just passing on a van. What happened on the day that my child was killed, they were just passing along the street. Others at night, as there were other mourners who were together, the soldiers arrived and everybody who was in the house screamed.
People were running away because they thought these soldiers were still coming to shoot them, because people were scared. That is what happened, but I just didn't see who they were.
MR LYSTER: Mrs Msisazwe, the other detective who you said assisted you, Detective Sergeant Hlabanyane, was he from Amanzimtoti? --- Yes, he was a detective at Amanzimtoti. I am not sure if he is still working there now.
(Inaudible) ... SAP. --- He was a detective at Amanzimtoti.
(Inaudible) --- Yes.
(Inaudible) ... he was assaulted in KwaMakutha. Was that by - was he assaulted by members of the KwaZulu Police? --- Yes. Yes, he said so. When he was relating to me he said he was assaulted by the ZP on that very day, on the 9th of April 1990.
(Inaudible) ... when there were a lot of policemen going from house ... (incomplete - end of Side B, Tape 4) ---------------------