PROCEEDINGS HELD AT
D U R B A N
ON 30 AUGUST 1996
[PAGES 1 - 151]
I N D E X
NO ITEM PAGE N°
1. Case No ZJ/035
Nundlall Rabilall................................................... 1 - 18
2. Case No KM/509
Florence Mkhize................................................... 19 - 31
3. Case No FS/105
Lesli Naidu.......................................................... 32 - 49
4. Case No NN/067
Aline Leanne Pearce.............................................. 50 - 67
5. Case No FS/113
Nelly Nyoka........................................................ 68 - 78
6. Case No KM/999
Khanyisile Mdluli................................................. 79 - 97
7. Case No NG/020
Ernest Mthetwa.................................................... 98 - 109
8. Case No NN/039
Mavis Msomi...................................................... 110 - 120
9. Case No KM/555
Gilbert Ndimande.................................................. 121 - 128
10. Case No GM/025
Jabu Ndlovu......................................................... 129 - 136
11. Case No ZJ/046
Eunice Sithole....................................................... 137 - 151
COMMISSIONER: We welcome you here today. You are Mr Nundlall Rabilall, is that correct?
MR RABILALL: Yes.
COMMISSIONER: And who do you have with you on stage?
MR RABILALL: On my left is my mother, and my elder brother is on her left.
COMMISSIONER: Your mother and your elder brother. We welcome you today.
MR RABILALL: Thank you.
COMMISSIONER: You have come to tell us about the death of your brother, Krish, who died in Mozambique in a cross-border raid in 1981, is that correct?
MR RABILALL: That's correct.
COMMISSIONER: Are you going to be giving evidence yourself?
MR RABILALL: Okay.
COMMISSIONER: Before you give your evidence an you stand to take the oath please.
NUNDLALL RABILALL (Sworn, States)
COMMISSIONER: Mr Rabilall, before we begin, briefly - you've explained you have your mother with you and your brother. How else is your family made up? Your father's died, I understand. --- Yes. Actually there are 10 children in the family.
10 children. --- Yes. Seven brothers - that's including my brother who died - and three sisters.
You mentioned that your father died prematurely, you believe. --- Yes.
Not too long after the death of your brother. Is that right? --- That's right.
And do you think the death of your brother had something to do with your father's death? --- Yes, it definitely contributed to his premature death.
Did he change very much after the death of his son? --- Yes. Yes, very much so.
Now, Krish Rabilall, your brother, how old was he at the time of his death? --- He was 27 years old.
Can you just tell us who he was, something about him, so we have an idea of who he was? --- Yes. Actually I've prepared a document which, if I read through, probably will answer most of the questions that you want to ask me.
Okay, can I just ask you to - I am not sure how long the document is. We're trying to give each witness about 20, 25, 30 minutes. Some witnesses unfortunately have had to take much longer than that to give their evidence. If you could - if you feel happier talking from a document that's fine. I would just request you to - if it's going to take a long time, to edit it and just give us the main features of it. --- Okay. My brother, Krishna Rabilall, was born on the 6th of November 1952. He was a brilliant student at school, excelling in mathematics and physical science. He had a level of maturity far beyond his age. Very early in his life he saw the injustices in South African society, and the degree to which all black people, including coloureds and Indians, were oppressed by the white Afrikaner minority. So strongly did he feel about this issue that he refused to study Afrikaans, knowing full well that if he failed Afrikaans he would fail the entire examination and be forced to repeat standard 10. He referred to Afrikaans as the language of
the oppressor. It was not surprising then to find that he received a conditional merit pass, failing Afrikaans outright with a G symbol.
Despite his good pass my brother refused to study further, thus ending his ambition to become a doctor, but became fully involved in community issues. This inevitably involved politics. He fully identified with the black students protests against the teaching in the medium of Afrikaans which culminated in the 1976 student uprising. He saw that attempts to get the white government to change were futile. He often told me that a nation that continued year after year to spend more money on military defence than on programmes of social uplift was fast approaching spiritual death. He now began to talk in terms of a just war, and he was now inextricably involved in politics. He would bring banned books home, books on Karl Marx, Fidel Castro, Martin Luther King, Chekhova, and so on. In fact my own political enlightenment came from reading these books. (Inaudible) ... Merewent Ratepayers Association, Merewent Ex-Students Society, Merewent Community Centre, Merewent Bus Passengers Association, the Natal Indian Congress, and also in the production of a community newspaper called The Sentinel, which had a strong political slant, evoking community consciousness on issues such as the bread price, workers' problems, etcetera. He also did a great deal of social work with families of exiles and detainees.
His deep involvement in politics led to constant harassment by the Security Police. They would often raid homes of his friends to find copies of The Sentinel. It
came to a stage when I was entrusted with the task of hiding the duplicating machine, which I did. The Security Police then began harassing him at work. They raided Dayglow Stationers in Durban, where he worked, and also the premises of Bargain Furniture in Beatrice Street, where he also later worked. They kept a very close check on him, and even began monitoring his movements from home. Due to the intensity of harassment he, together with a fellow activist, Vis Pillay, fled South Africa in August 1977. Both of them entered Botswana illegally, but were arrested by the Botswana Police and detained. When they proved that they were genuine refugees they were released after one night into the custody of the Refugee Committee in Botswana. Later we learned that they had joined the military wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe.
On the day he disappeared, which we incidentally knew nothing about, two Security Branch officers came home, one white and one Indian. The Indian man was called Chris. It was a school holiday and I was at home in the outbuilding. The white man asked me if I knew where my brother Krishna was. I told them that I didn't know. He told me in a very sarcastic tone that we would never see him again. When I asked him what he meant he replied that my brother had fled the country. It was a great shock to me. The Indian Security Branch policeman asked me if I too was involved in politics. I replied in the negative. He told the white officer that it would be a good idea to put the entire Rabilall along the front wall to face the firing squad. They both laughed. Then they took details of each and every member of my family. Before leaving they reminded me that they would be visiting the family
In the evening, when I broke the news to my parents, and told them that they would never see my brother again, they wept openly. It was as if a funeral was taking place at home. My parents, who were not highly educated - in fact my mother is totally illiterate - and therefore largely conservative as far as politics were concerned were stunned with disbelief. They had an inherent fear of white people, and to a very large extent I was conditioned by this fear myself. My parents became depressed and began to age visibly. I could see that they would never be the same jovial people that they once were. My mother would often cry, especially in the evenings, because that was the time my brother would return from work, have his bath, and then my mother would bandage his arthritic knee.
Their depression lifted to some extent when, several months later, we received a secret note from my brother. It was brought by a friend who had visited Swaziland. My brother wanted us to meet him in a secret venue in Swaziland. My parents could not contain their excitement. Despite our financial predicament my parents bought various items of clothing for him. They prepared excellent food dishes to take to him. The secret venue that we met was on the side of the road. I think it was near a hotel in Swaziland. But we had to wait for darkness before he arrived. He was too scared to meet us during the day, and he never showed us where he lived in Swaziland. In fact he stayed with us for those few days at the Timbali Caravan Park, which is a holiday resort in Swaziland. When he jumped off the car my parents ran towards him and hugged him, shedding tears of joy at this
temporary reunion. The few days we spent in Swaziland were the happiest days of my parents' lives.
We met in this clandestine fashion a few times between 1978 and 1981. In this period Security Branch Police would often come home and harass my family, especially my mother, who was alone while the rest of us had gone to work. They would want to know if we had received any communications from my brother. This was a traumatic period for all of us, especially my mother. It was obvious that the police were keeping tabs on all of us. For instance, in January 1981 we made another trip to Swaziland to see my brother. The officials at the border post gave us a torrid time. They demanded to know why we were going to Swaziland. They refused to believe that we were going on holiday. They turned us back, saying that my son, who was two years old at the time, did not have a passport. When my brother and I pleaded with them, saying that my son was a mere child who could not do anything wrong in Swaziland, they became abusive. One of the chaps threatened my younger brother. So we were forced to go back, but I knew that my mother and father were devastated by the fact that we had to go all the way back to Durban. Fortunately my wife suggested that I leave her and my small son at Piet Retief, so I drove at breakneck speed to Piet Retief, which was one hour's drive away from the border post, and here I found the greatest difficulty in obtaining accommodation for my wife and son in a predominantly conservative Muslim community. There was only one Hindu family apparently in Piet Retief at that time, a Mr Singh, but he was not in town. So I carried on driving around the town until one of the families took me
in. I then drove back again at breakneck speed, this time through lightning and thunder, to beat the 4 o'clock deadline at the border post. The officer grudgingly allowed us to go through.
I have described this incident in detail deliberately because this was the last time any of us would see my brother alive again. In the same month after we returned from Swaziland, January 1981, I heard a knock on my bedroom window in the early hours of the morning. Two of my brother's closest friends, who are here today, and I want to thank them for the moral support in coming here, had come to tell me that my brother had been killed by a South African Defence Force raid into Mozambique. I was devastated. I didn't know what to tell my parents. My brothers and I eventually decided to lie to them that he was injured, and that we would be going to see him. We were afraid that they would break down and not have the strength to go to the funeral. We went by plane to Swaziland, and from there a car took us to Mozambique, but we were delayed for more than eight hours at the Mozambique border post, and I am convinced to this day that the South African Government had applied pressure on Mozambique to block our passage. During our long wait at the border post we met other family members of some of the other 11 comrades who were also killed in the raid. I think it was then that my parents sensed that we had spoken a lie to them, and that my brother was in fact killed and not really injured. I could see the tears rolling down their faces. It broke my heart, but we never spoke a word for the rest of the journey.
We were taken to a house, where we met the families
of the 11 other comrades. We spent the night there. Oliver Thambo, the President of the ANC, came there to sympathise. He held my hand for a long time, not uttering a word, just shaking his head until tears began rolling down his cheeks. He then comforted my parents, who by now were convinced of my brother's death.
But the finality of my brother's death was only really felt when we were taken to the mortuary the next morning. The 12 coffins lay on the floor. I have the names of those 12 people in the article that appeared in Drum. I can give those names later if you wish to know them. Only my brother's badly swollen face was visible in the coffin. The rest of the body, I would assume, was covered because it was too gruesome to see. When my parents saw my brother's face they broke down completely, and I want to thank God for giving my brother and I the strength, the emotional and physical strength that day, in preventing my parents from collapsing.
The funeral was conducted on Mozambican soil, and was attended by thousands of people, and President Samora Machel was there was well. At this point I would like to take this opportunity of thanking the ANC for the moral and emotional and physical support they gave us during our stay in Mozambique. The ANC gave the 12 comrades a dignified burial with full military honours. My family was also allowed to do the last rites according to Hindu tradition.
The South African Government had stubbornly refused to allow us to bring the bodies to South Africa for fear of raising the political consciousness of the oppressed people.
After the funeral the ANC took us to the place where the 11 comrades were killed. It was in the residential district of Matola. We were stunned by the savagery of the attack by the SADF soldiers. Three houses were involved in the attack. They were first mortar-bombed, because there were huge holes in the walls of the buildings, walls had collapsed. There were several tear-gas canisters on the premises outside. The SADF soldiers' faces were painted black, and we heard had bribed the Frelimo soldiers with alcohol and women then entered the building to look for survivors. The level of brutality was evident all around. There was blood on the floors, shattered glass everywhere, and broken furniture, and hundreds - this is not an exaggeration - hundreds of bullet holes on the walls and ceilings. These soldiers were obviously bloodthirsty beasts. I cannot describe the anger that raged inside me.
My brother had apparently survived the attack, although he was badly wounded. He had crawled to a cupboard and hid inside, leaving behind a trail of blood. But the SADF soldiers followed the trail of blood and opened fire into the cupboard without opening it. My brother's body was found inside this cupboard with several bullet holes. We later learned that it was my brother's friend, an ex-teacher from Pietermaritzburg named Sipho, who actually turned traitor and led the SADF soldiers to the houses where the 12 comrades were staying.
On our departure one of the ANC officials - I cannot remember who it was - gave me an envelope and said to me, "Keep this as a memory of a wonderful comrade." I have this envelope with me. This is the envelope that was
given to me, and inside this envelope was my brother's watch, my brother's bloodstained watch. I haven't cleaned it yet. The dried bloodstains are still on it. Nobody knew that I had the watch with me, no member of the family. I kept it a secret until now because I realised that it would have evoked painful memories, especially for my mother. The time on it is 10 o'clock, and I would assume it is at night.
The journey home was indescribably sorrowful. My parents couldn't get over the fact that the South African Government had refused us permission to bring the body to South Africa, and that he now lay in foreign soil. Ever since that day my parents lived in a state of depression. My father's health gradually deteriorated, until he died of a heart attack a mere six years after my brother's death. My mother gets frequent black-outs, and has to visit the hospital every month for pressure and other related problems.
To aggravate matters, on our arrival home she had to endure the stigma of my brother being labelled a terrorist, not only from the white press, but also from the largely conservative Indian community, and even some of our relatives. At that time even freedom fighters were labelled terrorists, while the SADF soldiers were lauded as heroes for protecting South Africa.
Events after my brother's death did not create a climate of peace at home. We were shattered to hear that Griffiths Mxenge, who was the attorney handling the Mozambican raid by the SADF was murdered. Worse was to follow, which I am now going to briefly relate. In 1982 we heard a one-year memorial service at St Michael's
Church in Merebank for the 12 comrades who were killed in the raid. Victoria Mxenge and Paul David of the NIC were among the guest speakers. Before we could start the church was surrounded by riot police. They warned us to call off the memorial service. Victoria insisted that we go ahead. The service was almost nearing completion when the riot police invaded the church. The major in charge had already apparently sent for reinforcements, and the church was now surrounded by Casspirs as well. They capsized the prayer lamps and the candles that were burning, ripped off the posters and banners that hung on the walls, and confiscated the camera and video camera that were being used to record the event. One policeman with a loud-hailer gave us three minutes to disperse, failing which he was going to give instructions to the rest of the police, who had their machine guns ready, to fire. This created total panic, and the congregation of mainly Indian and black people began to flee in all directions. The riot police only left after everyone had gone. It wasn't long afterwards that Victoria Mxenge was also killed.
This had a traumatic effect on the entire family. I will briefly relate the effect it had on me, because it symbolises what - the same kind of effect it had on other members of the family. I became bitter towards white people, and the fact that the majority of them voted for the National Party election after election. I could never understand how they could sleep easy with an easy conscience at night knowing that black children were dying in the homelands, when black people were given the most menial jobs, and that the Government they voted for used
every conceivable kind of dirty trick and brutality to suppress the legitimate resistance of black people against the oppression of apartheid. In short I became anti-white, and this attitude was reinforced by an incident I also had when I was travelling in a train to Durban. I had accidentally walked into a white compartment, and the white conductor came and swore at me, called me a coolie, and told me as soon as the train stops at the next station I must get into the next coach, which I had to do.
I taught at an all-Indian school and had no white friends. I became ecstatic whenever a black boxer knocked a white boxer down, or when the South African rugby team lost its rebel tour matches. This anti-white obsession grew, and I would dream about burning down white businesses and farms, but it was sheer fear that prevented me from doing these things. I then began to fantasize, and while this may seem laughable I sincerely prayed to God to make me invisible for just one day so that I could do the things I dreamed of, and when God did not comply I reduced the time to one hour, and in that one hour I was determined to go to Parliament and shoot every one cabinet minister.
As time passed, however, I realised that this would negate everything that my brother stood for, his ideal of a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic South Africa. I grew to realise that hate is a boomerang that circles back and hurts you. The turning point came when I read in Martin Luther King's book called Strength to Love. Now, I cannot remember the exact words used in the book, but it goes something like this,
"Hate for hate multiplies hate. Darkness
"cannot destroy darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot destroy hate, only love can do that."
I also started reading books on Mahatma Gandhi. In another book about Martin Luther King which I read - this also helped to transform my life, and I would just like to briefly refer to that.
In January 1956 while Martin Luther King was addressing a mass meeting he received news that his house had been bombed. A huge crowd of blacks gathered outside the devastated house, many carrying weapons and threatening the police on the scene. Martin Luther King sensed the potential for violence, and stepped in the rubble of his house, pleaded emotionally. "My wife and baby are all right. I want you to go home, put down your weapons. We cannot solve this problem with retaliatory violence. We must love our white brothers no matter what they do to us. We must make them know that we love them. Jesus still cries out across the countries, "Love your enemies." This is what we must live by. We must meet hate with love."
So I changed my philosophy of life. I realised that I could not hate white people. It dawned on me that most white people were to a large extent by-products of apartheid just as much as the freedom fighters were. I learned also that there were many white people who sincerely hated the obnoxious system of apartheid, and that some of them had lost their lives fighting it. I admired people like Vic Turner, Neil Aggett, Joe Slovo and Beyers Naude. I also realised that I wasn't being true to my religion if I hated somebody. Knowing the power of
vengeful thoughts Mahatma Gandhi had said, "Fight without malice." This meant a great deal to me. We have the right to fight injustice without hating the personalities or circumstances involved, and to taste the sweetness of life one must have the power to forget the past.
There is no one in this country who personifies this ideal better than our State President, Nelson Mandela. For me he is the most amazing man in the world. Despite his 27 years of incarceration he has not a trace of bitterness towards his oppressors. I won't be long now. Were it not for him our streets would have been rivers of blood. For me he is the greatest living human being on the planet. He is unique. In Hinduism we would regard him as "avatar." "Avatar" is a God who descends to earth in human form. We all of us in South Africa, black and white, should humbly bow down to this saint and try to emulate the character of this remarkable human being. He is the very embodiment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
In conclusion, on behalf of the 12 comrades and their families I would like to thank the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for affording us the opportunity of exposing the truth, and for the magnificent work it is doing. Through the Commission I would like to appeal to all South Africans to set aside their differences, and to live in peace and harmony with each other. The differences between us are superficial, and are simply a manifestation of the rich, variegatedness that God has created to make our lives more interesting and meaningful. We are born equal and we die equal. Let us realise that violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both
impractical and immoral, because it is based on hatred
rather than love. Let us not insult God's intelligence by fighting with one another. Let us reinstate God in our hearts, from where He has been dethroned. We must all learn to show equal respect to all religions. Not mere tolerance, but positive respect. We need let God be a co-designer with us of the new life we want to live, and when we do we will be surprised at the assistance that will be forthcoming. We need to realise more than ever before that when God's power and love are allowed to act as a solvent even the deepest bitterness can be washed away.
May God bless South Africa and all its peoples. Thank you.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Rabilall, we thank you very, very much for that very moving account, and for your very profound thoughts on your brother's death, and what it meant for you and your family.
Are you aware of any of the senior policemen or soldiers who participated in that raid, conducted it? --- We have some knowledge that the instruction came from the Special Branch in Durban, and I stand to correction, I think it was Jan Buchner who actually gave the instruction, but I am not sure about that.
In fact it is a matter of public record that Jacques Buchner not only - well, whether or not he ordered it or organised it, he certainly participated in it. He not only participated in that rate, but he also participated in the first Maseru raid, where 41 people were killed. Have you ever had any word from the South African Defence Force about this raid? Have they ever approached you as
a family ... (intervention) --- No.
... to explain why it happened, what happened? --- Nothing whatsoever.
Nothing at all? --- No.
Now your brother's body. Krish was buried in Mozambique. --- Yes.
You've expressed a wish in your statement that his remains should be brought back to this country. Is that something that you would like to pursue? --- No, not really. I have had second thoughts on that. But what we would like is for all the 12 comrades to be remembered in some tangible form in South Africa, maybe by a tombstone, a street name probably, a school name, because they have made the ultimate sacrifice in the attainment of a democratic country, and we felt that this would be a symbolic transfer of their remains to South Africa.
(Inaudible) ... ask my colleagues if they have any questions they want to ask you.
Well, I just want to show my brother that in the Reparation Committee we are working a policy we should help those people who want to rebury their loved ones who died somewhere, but that recommendation will also have to be made to the President. And also we are working a policy which is quite relevant to what you are saying. The memories, maybe walls or something else, about the people who died somewhere and were buried. What you are saying is very tragic. Maybe this becomes very tragic to me because we in the SACC were involved. In fact I was in charge of the refugees then, and Desmond Tutu was the secretary of the SACC, and that was my department when we
made it possible for your brother to leave to the Refugee Committee ... (inaudible) ... into Mozambique. It shook
us when we heard that he and others were among those who were killed in Matola Base. In fact we did go there too to Matola and we visited those graves. I have the picture of those graves together in Mozambique. We feel with you in the tragedy, and you have spelt it very well, the tragedy which was created by the South African Government. But I am very pleased that you say that you have found a new philosophy, a philosophy of love. That is very exciting indeed, and I want to thank you for that. I don't have any other question.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Rabilall, we were struck - I was certainly struck by the similarity between your brother Krish and another victim who we heard about this morning, Lesli Naidu. --- Lesli Naidu, yes.
They both were from Durban, they're both from the Indian community, both young people from good homes who did voluntary community work, became politically aware and left the country. And, like Lesli Naidu, your brother was murdered by the Security ... (inaudible - end of side A) ... together. The fundamental aim of apartheid was to force people apart, was to force people into their separate race groups, and in fact what apartheid did, ironically, was that it drew its opponents together, and we saw black, white, Indian and coloured South Africans working and fighting together against apartheid. And your brother was one of these people, and we hope that you and your family are able to take some comfort from the fact that he was and is regarded as a hero by many people in
The person who led the raid, the Matola raid, was,
as you have said, a man called Jacques Buchner, who also led the first raid into Maseru, where 41 people were killed. This is a man who was head of the Security Branch in Pietermaritzburg for many years, and it is also a matter of public record that the political murders, assassinations increased greatly during his period of office. He was taken from there and transferred to Ulundi, where he became the Commissioner, the head of the KwaZulu Police. And we all know from evidence that has been given to this Commission of the violent political thuggery which police force unleashed on this province.
We have heard your request that a monument, or something to remember, not only your brother, but the other 10 people who died in Mozambique, should be erected, and we will certainly be making that recommendation to the Government on your behalf, and on behalf of the families of the other people who died.
So we thank you all very much for coming in today and sharing your story with us. Thank you. --- Thank you very much.
COMMISSIONER: Good morning, Mrs Mkhize, we greet you, welcome you here today. You are from Inanda, is that right, and you have come to talk - to tell us about the death of your son, who was killed in Inanda in 1991. Is that another one of your children on the stage with you?
MRS MKHIZE: Yes.
COMMISSIONER: And we also welcome him here today. Before you tell your story can you please stand to take the oath.
FLORENCE MKHIZE (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
COMMISSIONER: Dr Magwaza will help you now.
DR MAGWAZA: We greet you, Florence. We thank you also for coming forward today. What is your son's name? --- It's Siphamandla Mkhize.
We are happy to see you as well. Florence, we will ask you to begin with your family. First relate to us your family. We are a family. We have three children. Two died. We stay in - we reside in Inanda. Before we were in King Edward.
How old are your children? --- Siphamandla Mkhize is 11 years, Ngcobi is eight years, Sisulu is four years.
You are here to tell us your story about the killing of your son, who was very young at that time. Please tell us as to what was happening at the time that this transpired. --- It was in 1991. There was violence in King Edward. It was on the 13th March at night. I wasn't at home, but this child seated next to me was at home. Whilst they were still sleeping - we had an eight-roomed house, big house, and there are burglar guards installed
on the doors. You see, what the children told me whilst they were still sleeping at night the heard the burglar door being shaken, the noise, and Phindile woke up due to the noise of the burglars. When she woke up she heard footsteps approaching. You see it's a big house. She could hear footsteps approaching the last bedroom, and she tried to leave the other bedroom to go to the next bedroom and hid under the bed. She heard voices. They were talking.
Let's just stop right there. Tell me, at that time when this was happening how old were the children, because they were alone, you were not there? How old were they? --- The one seated next to me was five and a half, and the other one was one year eight months old. The third one was not born yet.
Do you have an elder one? --- Yes. That one got injured, Andile, and eight years old.
So there were three children and the helper? --- Yes. When Phindile left the bedroom to hide under the other bed they entered the children's bedroom. When they entered the bedroom they asked, they said they were looking for the comrades. They started shooting suddenly. Andile, who was sleeping, and the other two-year-old, woke up and cried - started crying. When Andile woke up they had knives and they started stabbing, and they also had axes and they started chopping. They started chopping them. That's how he got injured, because they had stabbed him so brutally on the head. The one who is next to me, the five-year-old, witnessed this. This other one said, "Don't leave me alone inside," because there were so many attackers. These people were so many. They had assegais
and different weapons. And also the other one said, "We have the sister here, Phindile. We do not know where Phindile is." They started looking for Phindile in the house now. With the assegais they were turning the house upside-down looking for Phindile. And when Phindile realised and heard this she started crying, and they started shooting. And they shot her under the bed. They said, "If you came out before we started shooting we were not going to shoot you," but they shot her there and they thought she had died already. They left her and they took the other child with. They went into the other bedroom. My bedroom was locked, and they shot the door and the door fell. They looked around inside and they took some of my possession in the house, in my bedroom. We used to sell some paraffin, and they took money. This child got into the cabinet to hide. When they were approaching the door, trying to open the door to run away now - this child told me that they were so many, numerous in number, in the house attacking. When they were opening the door they tried to break to burglar so they could escape, and they took the child with. The child said, "Don't leave me alone here because I am scared." They said, "No, you just go to this house. There's a granny here you can stay with." He went to this other house that he knew better than the other one that they were pointing him to. They said, "You go and disappear from us because you are going to get us into trouble." He went to Mbatha's place and started to knock at the door, but they could not hear the knock. He had to stay outside there by the door until dawn. In the morning when the children were getting ready to go to school they saw him sitting outside. They asked
him, "What's wrong? Why are you sitting here?" The child related what happened about the attack, and also explained that he tried to knock at night but he wasn't heard. They gave him some clothes to put on, and some food. And Phindile, who was shot in the house then, she regained her consciousness and saw the other two-year-old, and the other one also who was stabbed from the head way up to the bottom, and she started calling Andile and Andile could not respond. She realised that Andile was fatally injured, and the other two-year-old who was there was in blood. The two-year-old was awake, seated right next to Andile. He could not walk, and Phindile tried to get the child and crawled with the child a distance, trying to go to some other neighbours. Blood was oozing from Phindile as she was trying to crawl along with the child as well. And they went to the Khumalo's place. They knocked and the lady responded. They opened the door and she asked, "What's happening?" Phindile related the story as to what happened. That's where they spent the rest of the evening. In the following day in the morning they tried to report the matter to the chief. Phindile was so much in pains because she got shot, and the bullet penetrated throughout the body. They went to ... (inaudible) ... and tried to call the ambulance. She was taken to Montogwelo(?), and the keys remained at the neighbour's place, at Khumalo's place. Other members of the community did try to get in touch with me. I was working at Kupugani in the nutrition department. That day I was not at home. My husband was at Inanda, working there. So that's where I spent the night. I spent the night at Inanda with my husband. In the morning I woke up to go to /attend a
attend a conference. One of the community members went to Umlazi to our relatives to relate to them what has happened back at home, and she was wondering how she could contact my husband. They called my husband and told him to rush home, this has happened. My husband went home. On Thursday, when he was in the bus, he was asked - they were asking him, "Why are you in the bus at this time?" He said, "No, I just got this message that my house was attacked." They said they will accompany you. They accompanied him to his place. They could see from a distance that the house was being looted, and the house was just upside-down, and they could see the burglar bars were fallen. They went inside, they saw the house was upside-down up to the bedroom where the child was. There was a police already from the chief. They covered the child with a blanket. When my husband got there he saw the child there. The child was lying on the stomach. He looked at the child and said, "Well, it has happened. I will accept it. Please accompany me to the police to report this." He went to King Edward, accompanied by these other police. When he got there there were altercations also still. They did not want to take his matter seriously. They went back home and they took the child. And he was taken to King Edward and he was taken to the Phoenix Mortuary. We prepared for the funeral, and the child was buried at Inanda Cemetery. We went to King Edward after that to open up the case. Phindile was there in King Edward, though she was in pains, especially during the funeral. She was operated from the chest way down to the stomach. She was so much in pains and could not even realise, and also did not attend the funeral. She was
kept by my sister in Ntuzuma. When she started getting
from Empangeni, coming to assist me as a helper at my place. She did not know many people in the area, although she got used to some people around there. Phindile gave her statement and we went to King Edward. We did not see the police doing anything about this. The police never took this matter so serious or as an important issue up to this day. And I had brothers that we used to live with before, but they left us after some time, they went to Empangeni. Those brothers tried to get in touch with the attorney to attend this matter, but up to this day nothing much was done. The case never went on. We don't know what happened.
This is a pathetic story. I know this day is a most painful day for you because you are recalling what happened in the past. What I would like to ask you, Florence - when those people came they asked for comrades. Do you probably think that there was one who was a comrade, or maybe one of the political organisation's member? --- No, I would not say there was a member, or a political member then, or a comrade or something then. They had left to Empangeni, because we had another home at Empangeni. I used to be at home there with my children, and the father will come during the weekends because he was working from another area, in another place.
What was happening at that time at Ndwedwe? --- At that time at Ndwedwe there were - it was a violent place, a violent place then. There are some other things that transpired, killings and attackings, but we were not aware as to whether there were altercations between the political organisations or what, but still that was not
Were you affiliated to any of the political groups or something? --- No.
According to you, and in your own opinion, why do you think those people attacked your place? --- In my opinion I think that perhaps maybe we had a beautiful house, a big house, and young children. That's why our house was attacked. That house was destroyed. What surprises me is that they killed an eight-year-old. But Siphamandla survived this, and they took him with.
Why do you think this happened, and it happened in this manner? --- From what I think I think they wanted to do something so much painful us that we should never even think of going back to that house, and leave and leave that house.
Did Phindile see some man that you say is Mr Khumalo? --- Yes, she saw Mr Khumalo, but I don't know Mr Khumalo's whereabouts.
Besides Mr Khumalo do you know of any others who were there? --- I wouldn't be so sure and certain about that, but there are people who know a few who were there.
Where is Mrs Khumalo who rendered some help to you? --- She left Ndwedwe for Mandini.
Let's go back to the case. You went to open the case. Would you by any chance happen to have the case number or some investigating officer who was in charge of this case? --- Yes, we do have the case number, and my family tried to get us in touch with another attorney here in town. He tried, and the last I heard of this he was intending to go to Pietermaritzburg to the Attorney
General. I don't know whether the docket got lost or what, but there was some problem.
The attorneys that were representing you, where are they and who are they? --- The attorney who was in charge of this was Mr Ntuni.
Where is he? --- He is in Townsend Centre.
When last did you get in touch with him? --- It's quite some time that I have been in touch with him, because when I got back from Ndwedwe we tried to build another house to stay, and I could see that my life has changed. I went back to school to the training college. Whilst I was still at school it wasn't as easy for me to follow up, to keep up with this matter, because I would be disturbed as a person who was a breadwinner as well.
Where is Phindile now? --- Phindile is at Empangeni, Mbonani.
Do you know her whereabouts? --- Yes, I know where she is.
Mrs Mbatha, who discovered your child in the morning outside, where are they? --- They are no longer in Thafamaza. They left that place, they went to Mzinyathi.
I'll come back now to your family and the harassment that you've been through. How are the children? --- Because it's for the first time for me to have the children experience what they have experienced. When I look and concentrate on my family there are things that do transpire and do take place. I do explain to the teachers what happened to the children, and they do follow up with my children, and they have told me that they have those spells when they get frightened, and they have noticed and picked that one up. This child has changed. Even when
she plays with other children her behaviour is very strange. They will go to the bedroom and get the assegais and run after the other children that they are playing with, and that is very strange. I sat down and this bothered me. Even where I am now people tell me that the child is very rude and very indecent. Because I know the background and what happened to my child I can tolerate what they are going through, but other people cannot. I can't get a job nearby at my place, I'll have to work far away.
Where you are now you think that place is safe? --- I think it's a safe place because we haven't experienced anything.
What about Ngcobi, the two-year-old? --- He was still very young then, but when you related to him what happened he does recall there and there, and he will even ask me, "How old was I when my brother got killed?" And I will tell him, "You were still very young." And he will ask, "How did I survive?" You know, those are the kind of questions he asks, and I can't explain much.
You as a person, I can tell that you are traumatised. How did this impact on you? --- Yes, this did impact on me, but what I will still say again is that I have changed the place and I have gone to another place, and I still keep remembering things that happened and the pain that I have gone through, and wish that if I could help the situation I would go back and refurbish that house that I left, or probably take it and put it where I am now, that other big house.
Do you go and see some doctors? --- No.
Thank you, Florence. Your story is very sensitive,
especially that children were affected in this. But what I will say is that through it all you are still looking decently, and you also had that mind and that thought of going back to school and try to further your education. We usually note a few things from people who have been harassed and who have gone through excruciating experiences, and we still find you intact and in a good position. I realise that you come from a far away place, but I know very well that psychologists will be of help to you and the children. I would like for you to contact the psychologists and relate your story, open up to them. Thank you.
Briefly, Florence, you said you went to a training college as a teacher, you were trained as a teacher, but you are not employed, you are not working, or you are looking after your children. You said you come from Inanda. --- Yes, I come from Inanda.
Did you ever try to get employment, probably to go to schools around, as a teacher --- Yes, I have tried, but I haven't succeeded.
Who is the inspector at Inanda in your area? --- There are inspectors in town, there are inspectors in Ndwedwe. Mr Dlomo is the chief inspector. And there are inspectors in town at Nedbank House. I have forgotten the chief inspector there. Msimanga is the chief inspector.
Where will you wish to be a teacher if you were to choose, if things were to happen according to your wish? --- I do not have a problem as long as I will get a school that is close to my place or around in Inanda. That I would appreciate.
We'll try to get in touch with the inspectors and take this matter up with them. You have gone through your training but you are not employed. You are a qualified teacher and not employed. Something is not right with this. Your other home, can't you sell it? --- It's not easy for me to sell that house because it's in the area of the - the chief's area, and it was so damaged in such a way that I'll have to spend so much money to refurbish it and get it ready to be sold. The chief in charge in that area tried to get us someone who probably would occupy the house, but that did not work out eventually.
Is there anything that you would like to ask from the Truth Commission? --- I have a wish. I would like the Truth Commission to get those people who attacked my house, to get those perpetrators and bring them forward and ask them why they did what they did. Even at Ndwedwe the police did not put so much effort in even showing me that they were concerned about this matter. There are so many things that happened, transpired in our area at Ndwedwe, but the police did not take so much effort to work in them. And also we had a home before, it's true. You see, if you come from another house which is much better, and you go to a worse house you can't help but keep thinking of the loss you've gone through. And still the worst thing is we don't know the reason why we had to be attacked and end up leaving that better house for where we are now. If there could be a way, because even where we are now it's a three-roomed house, and the only reason why we managed to build this three-roomed house it's because of the relatives who helped so much with the
expenses. Even the kids, I do encounter problems with them, because they will ask, "Mum, buy us this. Mum, get us this," but I cannot afford that. Even when I go to town they will ask me, "Why did you take so long in town?" It's difficult for the children to let me go my way, or probably take time in town and get back. They cannot get over that.
Thank you, Florence.
COMMISSIONER: (Inaudible) ... and to Siphamandla, who's with you today. We really cannot understand the brutality of those people who did this. To kill an eight-year-old boy, and to do so in front of another little child like that, who was five years old at the time, it's really shocking. We hope that with your guidance and your love that Siphamandla is able to get over this trauma, and from what you have told us it seems that he really would benefit from some psychological counselling, and we would ask you to get in touch with us at our office so that we can try to help you arrange that. We also went you to send our best wishes to Phindile, and please to ask her to come in to make a statement to us, so that she can also apply to be registered as a victim, because it sounds very much to us as though she was a victim.
It's also shocking that the police at Ndwedwe - and you have confirmed that it was the KwaZulu Police - did not take this case, but we know from what went on in those days, and from the evidence of many other victims, that it was commonplace in those days for the KwaZulu Police to refuse to take and register matters where the complainants were perceived not to be supporters of the KwaZulu Police,
or supporters of Inkatha. So we will try - although it will be difficult we will try to find out who this person was, and why they did what they did to you.
Our job is to make recommendations to the Government as to how people like you should be assisted, and we will be making recommendations to the President and the Government as to how we think you should be assisted. We thank you very, very much for coming in today to tell us your story. Thank you.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Naidu, we welcome you here this morning, and you have someone on the stage with you.
MR NAIDU: Yes, it's my dad.
COMMISSIONER: That's your father. That's the father of Lennie as well.
MR NAIDU: Yes.
COMMISSIONER: We welcome you too, Mr Naidu. It'll just be you that's talking, is it, Lesli?
MR NAIDU: Yes.
COMMISSIONER: You have come to tell us also about the death of you brother in the same incident that we have just heard about. Your brother, Surendra Lennie Naidu, was also killed by the security forces in 1988 at Piet Retief. Can you please stand to take the oath before you tell us that story.
LESLI NAIDU (Sworn, States)
COMMISSIONER: Mr Lax will assist you.
MR LAX: Good morning both Mr Naidus. Welcome to you. Thank you for coming, and thank you for being willing to come forward and share this experience with us. Before we start with the actual story, and we have already heard some of the story from the last witness, Ms Nyoka, can you tell us a little bit about your family. Your father is here. --- That's right.
Your mother, is she well, is she still alive? --- That's right.
And about your siblings? --- I have three brothers. I am sorry, three sisters, and all younger than me.
Three sisters and - sorry, I didn't hear you. ---
And I am the eldest.
You're the only surviving son. --- That's right.
Is it correct that Surendra Lennie Naidu was born on the 12th of April 1964? --- That's right.
And, as we have heard, he died on the 9th of June 1988. --- That's right.
Now, tell us a little bit about Lennie. What was he doing before he left the country, and what led up to his leaving the country? --- Well, there again the circumstances to him leaving the country was not very clear ... (intervention)
If I can just interrupt you and ask you to try and speak up a little bit so that people can hear what you're saying. --- Sure. The circumstances of Lennie leaving the country was not very clear to us at all, even up to right at this point in time. We weren't sure exactly what was the reason for him to leave the country, and there are still lots of things that we need to - we've got unanswered questions on that regard. But he was involved with the UDF. Of course he started off in his - should I say community work from the time he was a young boy in high school, and he worked with the Helping Hand Society in the Bayview area. He worked with the Bayview Residents Association, and of course was also, I think, in the - with the inauguration of the UDF was one of the first members. That's when the UDF started to be in - at that time.
He was a student at Durban-Westville University. What was he studying there? --- He was doing a Bachelor of Arts degree.
A Bachelor of Arts? --- Ja.
Did he complete his degree? --- Well, he never got to - I have prepared some notes, and if I can perhaps go through them that will make it a lot simpler.
Please go ahead. --- And there's also - there's something that I prepared that I want to - I felt needs to be said.
Please go ahead. --- Thank you. Of course we come to this - you know, I come to the Commission as the spokesperson for my family, and whatever I am going to say will be a recollection of events surrounding the death and life and circumstances of my brother. Firstly I was very pleased to hear of the establishment of the Truth Commission, and it was something that we prayed and hoped for for the last 10 years, and it has been actually almost 11 years since - or 10 years since I last saw my brother alive. We always believed in truth and justice, and it was something that we always thought will - that truth and justice will always win, whether it's today, tomorrow, or in 10 years' time. And it was this philosophy that really made me think about myself and look into myself after Lennie had died, and I asked myself, firstly, do I want justice - as we believed in this philosophy of justice and fair play? Do I want justice to be served onto the wrongdoers, especially those that had administered justice the way they did to my brother, and the people of this country? Do I want it to be meted out in the very same manner? And there were times I wanted this type of justice, I wanted this jungle justice, blood for blood, and an eye for an eye, but fortunately there were times I wanted to learn the truth. And those times that I wanted to learn the truth actually calmed me in my need for such
justice. Truth is what we all want, and truth I think is what we deserve now. But the most soul-searching part comes after truth, and that is forgiveness. I had to think long and hard about forgiveness. I am still fighting with this. It's not an easy battle. There are times I seem to be losing - losing the battle. At this time I am compelled to know the truth, but in knowing the truth I will obviously at one point in time have to forgive. But what do I forgive, who do I forgive? It seems this road of forgiveness, or this battle that I have with forgiveness seems to be a round going around in circles all the time. Until this road straightens up perhaps I can forgive. But through this Commission I hope that these perpetrators will give us the truth, and only the truth.
Since my first visit to the Commission's office I placed great faith in this Commission. I placed faith in the investigators and the advice, so it was with great regret that I learned through a radio phone-in programme last Friday that some procedure to apply for amnesty was long and complicated. I am talking specifically of those that are now serving prison sentences. I urge the Commission to find ways of making this process as user-friendly as possible. It seems that there are still forces out there waiting to taint this Commission. Let us not give them this pleasure.
I was also amazed to hear on the very same programme that a certain group of people feel it is a waste of money. To them I say remember Eschel Rhoodie, the information scandal, the toilets in the veld, etcetera. Now, that was a waste of money. Did you complain then?
No, you went on to vote the Nationalists back into power. This Commission is a small price to pay for the truth.
And then there were people who feel, some people who feel, that it will open old wounds. I find it strange that most of these people are the ones who are not carrying the wounds. I want to say to these people our wounds have never healed. It festers with infection of uncertainty and sorrow. Let us bleed these wounds, root out the infection with truth, stitch it up with reconciliation, let it heal with time, and let the scar be the reminder of that wound. And also let this be a history lesson for our children, and not of hatred.
As I explained a little earlier on, Lennie belonged to these societies, the Helping Hands, the Bayview Residents Association ... (intervention)
Just for the sake of the other people in the audience, the Helping Hand organisation, just explain what that is. --- It's a charitable organisation. I think they align themselves with the Cheshire Homes for the disabled, and so they - and of course that just being one of the projects that they undertake, but it's generally a community-based organisation doing charitable work and community work in and around ... (intervention)
I just wanted you to explain essentially that is a non-political organisation. --- Oh no.
Focused solely on benevolent work within the community. --- Of course, yes. Yes.
Okay. And there again he was also a member of the UDF. In 1982 he obtained a matric exemption, and the very next year started at the University of Durban-Westville. Lennie's main aim or his dream was actually to study
veterinary science, and of course you would understand how difficult that was - or still is, I think, at that time, being - with the medium being Afrikaans, and I think I am right in saying that he did apply and was turned down. I think it would have been basically based on the fact that Afrikaans being as a first language, and of course we never did Afrikaans as a first language medium. And that I think started to make certain things grow in Lennie's mind. He could see the discrepancies of the system in every way everywhere he looked. I think at one time in the early eighties we started to watch a lot of television, and rugby was playing, you know, a lot of rugby, we were inundated with rugby, and himself and his friends got together and they wanted to just play rugby. You know, it's a new sport to us. And then they looked around and there was no facilities, nothing, and there again these inequalities that seemed to have been growing - or should I say this awareness growing in his mind all the time.
And of course he was involved in the school boycotts in the early eighties, and there again one of the principal aims of the boycotts were to rid us of this Afrikaans, which went far beyond just being an ordinary or a normal language, but of oppression and of hatred.
Mr Naidu, if I can bring you to the time just before Lennie left. In your statement you've told us that he went into a sort of a hiding. He didn't stay at home any longer, he moved around from place to place. Obviously as he became more increasingly involved in politics so the attention that he got from the security forces, and the Security Branch in particular, increased, and you tell us
in your statement of surveillance, of tapping of phones and stuff. --- That's right.
You confirm all of that? --- Of course. I had stayed with my gran for many years prior to Lennie - well, since I was a young boy, and we lived out in Isipingo Beach. And since living with my gran I moved into a flat of my own, and often Lennie would come to study, and to - sometimes when I went to visit my mum he would come to me and say, "Listen, you know, I just want to cool off," and of course Lennie was never a person of many words, so I did to a certain extent understand what he was implying. But we never believed that he was heavily involved in - or deeply involved in politics until the Security Branch started appearing. And when all this started - when the Security Branch started coming and harassing us fortunately not many people knew that Lennie had another brother, and so I was - to a certain extent my place was almost a safe haven for him until later on, when he had to move on because of - there's again a few circumstances that came around where my mother confided in somebody about the plight of these - of course for one the families being harassed, and of course looking for Lennie. And so I got home one afternoon - one evening, and there was this person there trying to talk to Lennie about this - you know, about giving himself up to the Security Branch, and apparently he said he knew people in the Security Branch, and he would make things easy for him. And of course Lennie was adamant, because he would - it meant he would be implicating his comrades, and that was the last day that Lennie stayed with me. The next morning he packed up and off he went, and then he was living wherever he could.
Now, eventually he did leave the country. --- Yes.
He went and joined the ANC in exile. --- That's right.
And there's - that's not a secret, that's a well known fact at this stage. --- Yes.
It came out in the inquest. --- That's right.
Now, I want to take you to the time round about 1988. It's a well known fact that Lennie and his three colleagues were the first group of people that were coming back into South Africa. --- That's right.
And they were coming from Swaziland. They had two contact people with them, whose affidavits were presented at the inquests, and you'll know of that. And they indicated in those affidavits that the four people were completely unarmed. The one person actually sat with Lennie while he was packing his bags, and confirmed in an affidavit that he had no arms on him whatsoever. --- That's correct.
Now the four of them, accompanied by two others, were taken to the spot on the Swaziland border where they were to be met by the person collecting them on the South African side. --- That's right. I believe that was a Lieutenant Mossais.
That's correct. Now, previously there had been another person they were supposed to meet, someone by the name of Amos, who was their contact. --- Actually I am not - we're not very aware of that.
Familiar with that? --- Not familiar of it.
But that part of the story has been reasonably well researched. And instead of Amos coming there this Lieutenant Mossais picked them up. You're aware of what
happened after that. They were driven by him in a
vehicle. --- That's right.
And at a police roadblock they were stopped. Now, as you know from the inquest there are two different versions of what happened. --- That's right.
Eugene de Kock and his colleagues say that the vehicle was stopped by a Warrant-Officer Pienaar, that your brother came out of the vehicle with a firearm and started shooting at them, and they then opened fire and shot all four of them. Somehow the driver of the vehicle miraculously escaped any injury whatsoever. --- That's right. This is where we find these discrepancies within the inquest, and there's lot of these discrepancies that we found with the inquest. I also find the - well, I also question the credibility of the Magistrate at that inquest. In her judgment to many things, and how she wouldn't accept - at one time she wouldn't accept an affidavit from somebody that left the country with Lennie, by the name of Richard Valahoo, and he apparently was the last person to see Lennie.
Yes. That is the person who sat with Lennie when he packed his bags. --- Packed his bags. And so there again I - just the very credibility of that inquest is flawed in many aspects that we - because I saw through most of those days in the inquest.
Just for the record, how long did the inquest take? --- It carried on for about two years. It was always off and on, a few weeks there, or sometimes just four hours and then they would adjourn for some or other reason, a postponement.
Your family was represented by Advocate Zak Yacoob,
is that correct? --- That's right.
And Advocate Moerane represented the other families. --- The other three, yes, that's right.
Now, just to complete the picture, what was the inquest finding? --- Well, the inquest finding was that they couldn't hold the policemen accountable. They felt that the police acted within their jurisdiction, and so in the result it was - you know, it was just that. There was nothing they could do, not in any way. And there again we couldn't - there was not much we could do after that.
Right. Just as a matter of interest did your family bring a civil action against the police at all? --- No, not at all.
At any stage? --- No, not at any stage.
Okay. Obviously you were waiting for the outcome of the inquest to see if there was any possibility of that. --- Yes, of course.
Now, obviously the other version that would have been mentioned at the inquest, and which is the one not accepted by the inquest Magistrate, but I want to place it on the record, and perhaps you can confirm it, is that the four people were in the vehicle, the vehicle was stopped, and they were then just murdered in cold blood by these police officers. --- That is what we believed happened, and there was also there again another discrepancy that it didn't really happen where the police said it happened. And so it was there again again de Kock's way of trying to shift - or maybe putting his own justice in in a way, just moving things around all the time, taking the Courts for granted. We had inspected one
place, and it later emerged that the - I actually called it an ambush, the area where this happened was somewhere else, because our forensic people went in and found spent cartridges and things like that.
At the other place? --- At the other place.
Now, just one other aspect of this particular incident and then I'll get to the next incident, because there was an incident four days later. --- That's right.
Arnold Nafumela has given an affidavit in that inquest where he confirmed that his duty was to wait at the border and assassinate the two individuals who had accompanied the four of - the three people with your brother. And we know that one of those people escaped, injured but alive, and subsequently spent a couple of years on Robben Island. That was a Mr Sindane. I don't know if you're aware of that. --- We actually - the stories are very sketchy to us. There was some talk of it at one time, but it was never as if it was an official such. I do remember Nafumela's input in the inquest, but I thought it - for some reason I felt his input was just as if to confirm Eugene de Kock's modus operandi.
Yes. But in fact he was more directly involved than one realises, and I think we would certainly want to talk to him at some point to confirm that. I then want to just briefly turn to the other incident, which happened four days later, where, in a very similar operation to the one in which your brother was killed, the five other people whose names were mentioned by the previous witness, that was Sifiso Nxumalo, Boxer Joseph Mthembu, Nkosinathi Innocent Bruce Thenjwayo, and Themba Khumalo and Jabulani
Sibisi, were murdered in a similar fashion, almost identical to that in which your brother and his friends were murdered. And again de Kock's unit was involved in that, Pienaar was involved in that, and - we are still trying to get hold of the inquest records of that particular case, but I understand it was heard quite soon after the other inquest was completed. --- From my recollection, yes, it was.
Mr Naidu, obviously this has been quite a traumatic experience for your family. How have your parents coped with it, and how have you coped with it? --- We're still - there again the uncertainty of things. We're not certain, there are not definite answers to our questions, and we need to know a lot more. We need for them to come up. We need to see or to hear what they've got to say, exactly what happened there. And there again, like you said, you know, we've got two versions of this now, one - the one version we would like to believe it is what it is, and it's the police version, and it's - it's there again this uncertainty what is the truth exactly what happened there.
Mr Naidu, have you been informed by the State in any way that they intend prosecuting any of the people involved in this incident? --- Not at all. Not at all. I did - if I could place on record I did remember some time last year, when I heard de Kock was being charged, and a case was being put forward - if I can remember I phoned the Attorney-General in Pretoria and I said to him, "Please, this is who I am, and perhaps if I could just throw some light on de Kock's case, our case as well," and he said, "Well, I am fully aware of that." He
read through the inquest documentation and there's not much, you know, he can see there, but all the same understands how de Kock seemed to have worked, or the way he worked, and that was the last I heard of him - or heard from the - or actually we never heard from the State, it was what I had - when I phoned him.
Ja. We understand from what you've said today, and from your statement - you've more or less implied it today, but in your statement you said it much more directly - you would like us to investigate this incident in particular, and the other one, and to try and give you a complete picture of what actually happened. --- Definitely.
I just want you to confirm that. --- Yes.
Well, we will do our best to try and do that. Is there anything else you'd like to add before I hand back to the Chairperson? --- There are a few people who I feel need to be put on record in that - the case of Warrant-Officer Pienaar. My dad - when they went up to identify the body, and of course we went up on two occasions to identify the body, the first occasion being my mum - my parents couldn't identify Lennie because of the state of the body. It was just badly decomposing, the refrigeration was non-existent. And on the second occasion - they came back home, then they went back up to Piet Retief a few hours later, after we told my mum - or reminded her of birthmarks and spots on the body. And she phoned - then they phoned back to say well, they did identify the body. And my dad asked Warrant-Officer Pienaar where is the clothes of Lennie, and of course anybody else. And Lennie always - he was given a gold
chain for his 21st birthday, and you know, "Where is the gold chain, and what else did he have on him?" Well Pienaar just - as a matter of fact just said, "Well, the clothes it's in the bin out there. We burnt it because of the threat of AIDS. And there was R300,00 on him, and in any case you all can't have that money because it belonged to the ANC," but it was fine for him to have it I suppose. "And the gold chain, he didn't have a gold chain on him." Now, these little things I would like to know what happened to. These are the things that I feel can give us a good idea of how they were not just ordinary murderers in my opinion, they were also thieves. And even thieving from dead bodies was something I don't think I can stand to accept at all at any level.
Just for the record, Lennie had about R3 000,00 on him. --- I believe that was ... (intervention)
And that seems quite clear from the evidence so far that we've been able to look at. --- That's what I believe emerged.
And they only admitted to R300,00 being on him, so one wonders what happened to that other money. Just one other thing I wanted to ask you about, which you indicated in your statement which I overlooked, was the funeral and the sheer pandemonium that the police appear to have wrought at Lennie's funeral. --- It was actually chaotic, it was ridiculous, it was - you couldn't describe it. And to let out tear-gas on old people, pensioners, and really old - old people coming walking up a hill and there was this tear-gas to meet them as they came up. You had people running around. It was unbelievable. These were the people that Lennie had - did a lot of community
work in the area for the aged, and the under-privileged people. And we couldn't perform any of the burial rites according to Hindu customer. There was a constant helicopter hovering up all the time on - you know, even when he laid in state at the temple. And when we moved to the cemetery of course Lennie was declared a restricted person ... (inaudible - end of side A) ... there were others, other people having their funeral services at the cemetery. They were actually rushed out by gunpoint and told to, you know, finish off their funerals as quick as possible, and they were actually pushed out of the cemetery and the cemetery was locked up then, and then searched, and then only we were allowed to go in. And it was just 200 people. There again we - we had a brigadier, I think it was, that came down by helicopter and landed just about a few metres away from the body. He got out. He pulled out the flag on the coffin - of course it was a sealed coffin - and even went as far as preventing us - taking a box of matches away from us, which in normal Hindu rituals, especially in ... (inaudible) ... where we light blocks of camphor.
Who was that brigadier? Do you know who he was? --- I can't remember. I believe he was at that time the head of the police in - in C R Swarts I would think.
Ja. Lesli, thanks very much for giving us that story, and I will hand back to the Chairperson.
DR RANDERA: Sorry, Mr Naidu, I want to raise two questions relating to your statement and relating to the ANC. If we go by the version that all these young MK soldiers were killed by the police it sounds to me as if
there may have been a leak somewhere along the line. Now, you are raising also, as far as the ANC goes, the question of why people were being brought into the country at that time. Have you made these inquiries with the ANC? --- You know, it was only after 1990 that of course we could even utter the word ANC in this country, and before that we had - there were lots of people that used to come and go, became family confidantes, would come and share meals with us. It was only after Lennie died did we realise that these guys were activists as such, and they knew a lot more. But still they were very evasive about things. They acted they themselves didn't know about anything, you know, and I always tried to establish, you know, at least some - "What was your line of communication?" And it was never - it was always sketchy, never direct answers. And this is another thing that plagues the family, the fact that since Lennie left home there was not a message, not one word from Lennie. Not at all until he died. And I always tried to question, you know, "What line of communications do you guys have?" At least a phone call or - be it not a phone call, I had some letter or something to say that, "Listen, he is well, he is fine." My mum was very concerned about the fact that Lennie was a total vegetarian, and just to see how he was doing, you know, how he coped with being out of the country, and just the fact that is he still keeping on with his diet, or still a vegetarian? You know, just these little things that we wanted to know, and we just couldn't seem to get anywhere.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Naidu, both Mr Naidus, you heard the
comments that I made earlier to the witness before you, Gloria Nyoka, and I repeat those for your benefit as well. We can only imagine what you and your family must have gone through to have to identify your brother, and your son, in the condition in which you found him. He was a young person who, as you have said, devoted much of his younger life to doing voluntary work for others. He became politicised, as was inevitable for an aware young person in those days. He left the country. If you just consider that if he had been arrested and charged according to the law in those days, charged for being a member of the ANC, charged for leaving the country unlawfully, or without a passport, there's no doubt that he would have been alive and free today. But that's not how it happened in those days, and the overwhelming probabilities are - taking into account that both these groups died on different days in exactly the same circumstances, the overwhelming probabilities are that they were simply murdered, and placed - as I recall from those times - on top of each other in a prison cell, where you had to identify them.
We know that Mr de Kock and Mr Nafumela have applied for amnesty, and we will be having a very close look at those applications for amnesty to see whether they make full disclosure, as they are obliged to do, and to see what their version is of these events. It is also possible that when de Kock gives his address in mitigation of sentence - as you know he's just been sentenced on 89 charges, including six of murder - when he gives his address in mitigation of sentence it is expected that he
will refer to other incidents, and that also may be some
lead in to find out what happened in June 1988 to your brother, to your son.
So we thank you for having had the courage to have come forward here today and to have made the remarks you did about this Commission and its work. Thank you very much indeed.
COMMISSIONER: We welcome you. Thank you for coming in. How do you pronounce your name please?
MS PEARCE: Aline.
COMMISSIONER: Aline Leanne.
MS PEARCE: That's correct. Just Aline is fine.
COMMISSIONER: Yes. And you have with you on the stage today?
MS PEARCE: Mrs Beth Coohal. She's one of the missionaries from our church.
COMMISSIONER: I see. We welcome you both today. You've come to tell us about this incident which took place in Durban in October 1990 which resulted in the stabbing and death of your friend, Ryan Kruger, is that correct?
MS PEARCE: That is incorrect. Ryan is not dead, but he is ... (intervention)
COMMISSIONER: Oh, sorry. Sorry, the stabbing of Ryan Kruger.
MS PEARCE: And myself.
COMMISSIONER: And yourself.
MS PEARCE: That's correct.
COMMISSIONER: Before you give that evidence could you stand please to take the oath?
ALINE LEANNE PEARCE:
COMMISSIONER: Dr Mgojo will assist you with your evidence.
DR MGOJO: Good morning. --- Morning.
The old man is interviewing you. You need to come close to this when you are speaking so that I can hear well. Well, it's nice that you could come here, because I get worried when we have to be interviewing one group of
the people when the other groups are not coming, so it encourages us when we see that some other groups too who have suffered have courage of coming to tell their stories, especially now that we have become a rainbow nation. It really fulfils the dreams of this nation as far as the Truth Commission is concerned. So I want to welcome you with all the excitement I have that you have come, and also that you have been accompanied by somebody a little bit older than you. Maybe I need add in just to have a background about your own family. --- Certainly. Well, I have a brother and a sister. I have a brother that lives in the Eastern Cape with a family, and at home I stay with my mum and my dad, both working. My sister works for an insurance company, and so do I. That's about it.
Okay. Can you give me any background about - okay, before I go there, are you still in school? --- No, I am not. I am studying and I am working.
Where are you studying? --- I am studying at Technikon South Africa, and I am ... (intervention)
Technikon? --- Ja, Technikon South Africa, and I am working for Auto & General.
Thank you. Can you just give me a little bit of background about Ryan? --- Ryan Kruger?
Yes. --- Well, Ryan was a friend of mine which I knew before the incident occurred. He was at the brother school to the school that I went to. He was basically in the same sort of social group that I was in. Well, a very happy guy, well known amongst the friends, popular. Since the incident unfortunately he is not what he used to be. He's a lot more insecure, and I just feel
that he suffers - he has suffered a lot more than what I have.
How old is Ryan? --- Ryan, at the moment he must be about 22.
22. --- Or 23 at the moment.
Does he have any parents? --- He does. He has a mother and father who are separated. The last I heard of Ryan he was living with his mother.
Living with his mother. Okay, you have come to the Truth Commission to tell them about one of the nasty, unacceptable incidents which happened in October 1990. That incident was well publicised also in the press because of the grim picture it gave to the country, and I believe you have come to say something about it. --- Certainly.
Can you just tell us what happened on October 1990? --- Well, it was during October holidays. At the time I was 15 years old and I was in standard seven, and Ryan and I were walking to the beach together. We were walking - we just crossed over the intersection of - Brickhill - I think it's Brickhill Road and Point Road, where the intersection meets. We were walking towards the beachfront. While we were walking, chatting and carrying on, and as we walked past a curio shop ... (intervention)
What time was it? --- It was quarter past nine in the morning.
Quarter past nine in the morning. --- That's correct. We were walking past a curio shop and suddenly we were surrounded by about - it could have been 20-30 men. At the time I didn't think anything of it because I was a well-balanced person. I was never nervous or scared
/or - you
or - you know, I was the sort of person that had a lot of faith, you know, in what was happening. I was ... (intervention)
How old were these men? Were they of your age group, or what? --- No, these - well, I didn't take much notice at the time when - you know, when the people surrounded us. The way I saw it was that they were just people - you know, a whole big group of people that had walked out of the store together. When they walked out the store we continued walking, and I noticed that there were men walking in front of me who had knives in sheaths, and they were hiding them - or putting them under their clothing, but still I didn't think anything of it, I just presumed ... (intervention)
Were they walking quietly or they were making noise? --- No, they weren't - as the men in front of us walked out, no, they were walking pretty quickly, but they looked - you know, I didn't think anything of the situation at the time. It was only once the group of men walked behind - another group of men with the same group walked behind me, and I heard a man scream something got to do with Africa, that I kind of got a bit nervous and just started looking around, as I saw people were like - you know, seemed to be moving very fast. Well, then as I continued walking Ryan and I were walking together ... (intervention)
What were they saying about Africa? You can't remember? --- I just - all that I remember - because at the time it happened so quickly, I just remember the man screaming something Africa. I didn't hear if he said anything before or after Africa, I just heard the word
Africa. Consequently the men separated Ryan and I. Ryan was pushed more towards the right, towards the road, and I was separated more towards the building side of the actual road.
Were there any other people around apart from you? --- Well, at the time I think I got such a shock, and if I close my eyes I can still the direction which I was walking in, you know, they way I had been forced to the one side, but - I am sure there were other people there, but at that particular time I saw no one but the men around me. Well, as soon as I heard the man shout something about Africa I turned around to see what it was, and I consequently saw a knife coming towards my head, and that was the last I remember. The next time I actually came around or - you know, woke up, it must have been - I had moved about, say, 10 metres from the last place, you know, I was conscious of where I was standing. And at that time I used to do a lot of boogie boarding, if you want to call it that, and I had a board with me at the time, and I had a bag on my back, and as I fell it so happened that I fell that I was able to shield myself with the board. And I just lay there, and I didn't scream or I didn't do anything, I just lay there and thought to myself, "This has never happened before." You know, "This can't be happening. What's going on?" But as I actually - it was just before I hit the ground, just before I actually stumbled or - I noticed that Ryan had been pushed towards the one direction, and I saw a man actually stab him in the back. And that was the last I saw of Ryan. As I was lying on the ground a youth, he must have been my own age, 15-16, he plunged at me with a knife, and luckily
/- if I
- if I didn't have that board with me I am sure I would have been more seriously injured, but I was stabbed in my leg with the knife. It went in the left side and it came out the top of my leg. But that wasn't - the injury wasn't the thing which really traumatised me. Once I actually realised what had happened, and I decided to get up and actually go and find some help, and I stood up, and obviously I was - you know, just in such a state. I was screaming, and actually ran into the Lonsdale Hotel, just asking someone to please help me, or just to do something for me, and the people probably there were so shocked that they were too afraid to help. They were just - you know, it's not something you see every day. It's things you hear about, but you don't see it. It's not something that you expect to happen.
So you say there were many people around who were witnessing this, but they just ... (intervention) --- Yes.
... didn't do anything. --- No, there were people that saw what had happened. By the time I actually got up on my feet once I had been stabbed it just appeared that hotels, shops, whatever was around there, they just seemed to close their doors and they were just afraid - afraid of you, kind of thing, although I hadn't done anything. I had been unfortunately involved in an incident which just happened to be coincidental.
These men, what kind of clothes did they have? Was there anything particularly about what they were wearing? --- The only person - the only sort of clothing I can remember was the boy, the youth that stabbed me had a peach shirt on. That's all I can remember. But they
dressed pretty civilian - you know, in civilian clothing, just pants and shirts and stuff. So I can remember, but that's about it.
In your statement you said that you saw another lady. --- Yes. While I was lying on the ground shielding myself a lady had obviously been caught in the same sort of - in the same group that I had been caught in, and she crouched behind me. She must have been about in her thirties somewhere. She was actually trying to hide under me. She was trying to hide under my body, and she had consequently also been stabbed in the back at the time. While we were actually lying there we could - you know, we could see the group following up on the road, and it was only once that I stood up and walked into the hotel, into the Lonsdale Hotel to see if I could get someone to help me, that when I came out - at the time I didn't know who the man was, but I saw him firing shots at the - at the same man who had stabbed Ryan. And I wasn't sure who the man was, but later on it was revealed that he was a training - a policeman who was in training school or whatever, and one of the - his accomplice was down from Pretoria on holiday with him. She had also been stabbed at the time.
When these people were attacking you were they saying something? --- Well, I don't know if you've ever been in a situation like that, but when you're in a situation like that your mind just - everything just stops. It just seems to just go so, so, so slowly. It's like a movie that is running so slowly, that even if there are sounds and sights, and cars going past, you're not going to hear that because all that you can think of at
that present moment is, "I have to survive." Because, you know, your life has been put on the line, and although you're not ready for that, you know, it's not something that you're ready - you know, you wake up in the morning and you think, "Well, today this is going to happen to me," you know, or, "I am in this situation. I am running at a high risk job," or, "I'm this sort of a person, I've got be careful of things like that." You know, I was a - I was still very much of a child. I didn't think of things like that, and in a situation like that your mind doesn't think about looking out for certain people's faces. You're not bothered about what's happening. All that you're thinking about is, you know, "I've got to live through this."
Were these men white people, yellow people, black people? How did they look like? --- They were all African men.
They were all African. When you say African men you mean black? --- That's correct, ja.
In your statement you also speak about an old man who was stabbed. Can you say something about that? --- Well, the old man that was stabbed - I didn't know the man, I didn't see the man, but once I had been taken to the trauma unit at the hospital my parents - my mom came round to see me, and while she was sitting in the waiting room a very old lady, she must have been in her eighties, came in and she said to my mom, "Ah, you know, I've got a call from the hospital to say my husband's here." She says, "I just wish he could go to the bank without tripping and falling or something, because it always happens that I've got to go and collect him from the
doctor because he's so clumsy, and he's probably fallen and hurt himself quite badly." And it so happened that this man in fact - you know, he had not fallen or he had not been ill, he had actually been stabbed in the shoulder. He was pretty helpless, an 80-year-old man which, you know, can't do much. He's a pretty peaceful person. And he consequently died of the situation.
Okay, thank you, Aline. And you say that these people were about 20. --- At the time it seemed like it was about 20. It appeared like that. I may have been that, you know, I misjudged or miscounted, but if I think of a group of 20 people standing around me then yes, it seems like they must have been a group of that size.
What was happening in the area during that time? Was there anything happening - or in the country? Can you remember? --- Well, in South Africa as such at that particular time was when South Africa first started going through our phase of - from transformation from the old to the new, so yes, there was - historically, yes, there was a lot of things happening in our country at the time. But on that particular day, in that particular area where I was walking, it was a normal Tuesday morning. That was it.
Was the matter reported to the police? --- Yes, the matter was reported to the police. It was in investigated. It so happened that some of the perpetrators were arrested at the actual site of the incident, and they were consequently obviously put in prison for a short period of - for the period of time until we could in fact actually trial - you know, go through a trial. But it so happened that the man that
stabbed my friend Ryan was injured, I think he was shot four times, and it so happened that they were both in intensive care unit, and something which was quite shocking to all of us is that both the victim and attacker lay in beds next to each other.
And did they die? --- No. Neither Ryan nor the attacker - no, neither of them did die. Only the one man died, which is the old man.
The old man died. --- That's right.
If you remember, how many people were stabbed on that day? --- Eight people.
All whites? --- That's correct.
During the investigation was it ever discovered to which political grouping did these people belong who stabbed you? --- Well, it was Mr Ngcobo who was the perpetrator of the group. He apparently was a member of the Pan-Africanist Congress, and that was at the time what was said. That's what he admitted to, but apparently the actual incident had not been an organised attack by the Pan-Africanist Congress, it was a member of the Pan-Africanist Congress that actually did this. Apparently what happened was that he gathered a whole lot of youths the night before the incident and he promised them food and a place to stay for the evening. But what was said during the trial is that there was a shopowner who was in the area that had been told of the incident months before, and he had circled it on his calendar, and he knew that it was going to happen because this man had told him that they were going to do this. The youths at the time that carried out the attack with Mr Ngcobo apparently had no knowledge of what they were going to do. It was said that
some of them said they did know, some of they said they had some sort of idea, but weren't quite sure. But the motive for the attack was that Mr Ngcobo said that he was doing this in order to show the rest of the white South Africans that Africa was here for the Africans, and that they wanted the white people to leave.
Do you know what happened to Ngcobo? --- Well, once we actually had the - once the trial was carried out, and the whole proceeding went through, they said that Mr Ngcobo had a - I don't know if you want to call it a psychological problem or a mental problem, but he was tried and he was put into - he wasn't - how to say - for example he wasn't put into prison, but he was going to go to a place where they would assess him. I don't know if it's sort of like a mental prison or whatever. But the actual youth that attacked me, and destroyed my life, was let off the hook. He was - you know, I don't even know if that man was ever found. No one ever said to me - no one ever approached me and said to me, "The man who did this to you, or the boy who did this to you, you know, this is who he is, this is why he did it, and this is what's going to happen to him." The proceedings in the - we went to court. Firstly I had to go to Westville Prison to testify - not to testify, to go to an identification parade. They contacted me and asked me - or told me I needed to come, and they said to me at the identification parade I'd be sitting behind a glass window, I need not to be afraid. If I just saw anyone that I recognised or knew all that I needed to do was to point them out. Well, I spent the entire day at Westville Prison, and by the time I actually got to go and do my identification of the
so-called perpetrators I had to walk through the actual prison itself, and I went into the chapel at Westville Prison, and to my absolute amazement there was no glass window. I was standing face to face with a group of 50 men, which I had no idea who were the people that had attacked me. I did not see my attacker's face. All I knew was that he was young and he had a peach shirt on. So I recognised Mr Ngcobo. I saw him standing there, he had a blue robe on, but at that time I was in such a state, because they had told me that I wouldn't worry about having to be seen, and I went in there - I didn't have - I had the support of a policeman I didn't even know, and I went in there and was faced with all these people. And I started to cry because I was afraid, and I wasn't prepared for this, and as I started to cry so the prisoners started laughing and throwing - and shouting comments, and so that was - it was a waste of time because I couldn't even look at the guys and try and see who the man was. But we did go through the prosecution, and unfortunately Captain Hurter, who was the detective at the time, was killed in a car accident. I don't know how it happened, or what happened at the time, but once he actually - once he died it just seemed the case just kind of took a back seat. It went through to proceedings, I testified, and afterwards - I'm sure you all have probably seen in the papers that there were two men that were found guilty, and Mr Ngcobo himself. But those were only three men. What happened to the other five? There were eight of us stabbed, not three, and the perpetrator who - the man who attacked me and did what he did to me, why should he get away - why should he get away with it? He may have
said, yes, but he didn't know what was going to happen that day, but yes, I was 15 at the time, and he could have also been 15, and I sure knew the difference between right and wrong, and what that was was definitely wrong.
Were you attended by the doctors? Let me say Ryan. Was Ryan attended by any doctor? --- Yes. Well, once we had both been comforted by staff at the Lonsdale, yes, paramedics did arrive and stabilised us, and Ryan was taken off to Addington Hospital. And I was later taken by ambulance to Addington Hospital too, where I waited until late afternoon until - you know, someone basically attended to my wounds and just made sure that I was - you know, I was okay still. And then I was sent home.
And Ryan? In your statement here you say that Ryan's liver was damaged. Is that true? --- Well, Ryan lost one of his kidneys, and yes, his liver was damaged, but most importantly I think his soul was at that day ... (incomplete)
And is it true too that he lost his speech? --- That he lost his ... (incomplete)
Speech. --- He didn't lose his speech. It's just that Ryan before the incident was like any other 17-year-old guy. Popular - you know, he was outgoing, friendly, and after that actually happened not just Ryan, but myself, became very withdrawn. He - you can hear when he speaks to a person he stutters immensely. He was extremely intelligent at school, and once that actually happened he left school, and I think that intelligence unfortunately was just overwhelmed by emotions. Unfortunately he wasn't as lucky as I was, he didn't have a family who was there to support him. He didn't have -
you know, he didn't have a family behind him encouraging him all the way. Although even if you do have a family behind you in a situation like that there's no one who can come to you and say, "I know what you're going through, it's happened to me before, or it's happened to someone I know." You know, things like that just didn't happen to white people. White people just aren't victims of violence. That was the thing. And Ryan didn't - I don't think Ryan had all the support I had. And if you see him today he is - it's a pity that he didn't have that support, because he was truly a marvellous person, and he has been - he's just not the person he was. He's been scarred with a terrible amount of, I think, torment.
Where is Ryan now? --- Ryan at the moment - I don't see him often, but when I do see him he's got an odd job, or he's coming and going quite freely.
Does he know that you did come here to speak about yourself and about him? --- No, he doesn't know. I don't think any of the victims know. I didn't think it was my duty - or I don't think it was my doing to go to those witnesses and say to them, "You should go to the Truth Commission," because it is how they feel. If they want to come to the Truth Commission and let people know that things like that did happen, and yes, we all know because we saw it in the press, and it was well publicised, and supposedly it was taken to court. It is their choice if they would like to come here. If they prefer just to leave it and forget about it, and just not worry about it, then that is their own business.
So you chose Ryan because he was your special friend? --- Pardon?
You chose Ryan because he was your special friend? --- Well, it's just that I knew Ryan. I didn't know any of the other victims. The only reason why I knew - I got to know the victims was through seeing them at Westville Prison, or seeing them at the court hearings.
Here you say - let me come to you now. --- Yes, Sir.
You say that you have never recovered from this incident which happened some time ago when you were 15 years. Are you getting any treatment? --- Well, after the incident I did receive a little bit of treatment. I was put onto Prozac, which is a medication to try and basically calm your nerves. I did see psychologists, I went to doctors, but I felt that none of that really helped, because what I needed to do was I needed to get a grip of the situation and I needed to accept what had happened. It was no use getting someone to try and talk me around the situation. I needed to face the situation and say, "Well, it's happened. There's nothing I can do. I am just going to have to accept that it happened and get over it." But you must realise that, although a person can forgive other people what had happened a person will never forget. I was 15 at the time, I was very young. I was still moving into my teenage years, I was still learning to become a young adult, and after something like that happens you just - about what, five, six, seven, eight years, you just seem to mature overnight. You've got to handle a situation which only you can face. There's no one else that's going to help you face that situation. It's not like my mum here has died, or my sister has died, where I can actually console with the
whole family, and we can get - as a family work together how we're all going to, you know, work around that. It's you yourself. You have stared death in the face. You cannot just say, "Well, it's happened, and I'm going to forget about it, and let's just be happy." Because you do try. You try to do that. You try and forgive and forget, and luckily I'm a christian, so I have been able to have one counsellor, and I think that counsellor is the only counsel I do need, because if I've got this far I am sure that I don't have to worry about anything coming up because the worst is behind me. And the biggest thing is that I've accepted what has happened, and I've got on with my life. I haven't let it - you know, I haven't let it hold me back, or I haven't let it dampen my life in any way.
Do you know if Ryan is getting any treatment? --- No, I don't know. After the incident Ryan would also say, "Ah, you know, I don't need help. I'm fine. You know, I don't care what happened." And there's no ways a person can say that, that they don't care, because you do care. Although you try not to care it's going to affect you. It's - you know, your emotions are shattered. At night you cannot sleep because you keep imagining that you see things and you hear things. You walk down the street you can't walk in a - you know, you can't walk without looking behind you, or being suspicious of people. So no, Ryan doesn't receive - I don't think has ever received any sort of help, no.
Thank you. I am about to finish you. Aline, you have come to the Truth Commission, what do you want the Truth Commission to do? --- Well, firstly I would like
to know from the Commission what is - not from you, because I am sure you won't know, but I'd like to know, the youth that attacked me personally, what has ever happened to him, where is he? You know it's not a long time ago, the man must be still walking around. If he is known, although he was a juvenile at the time, you know, I'd just like to know who he is and why he did what he did. Surely he saw what was going on, and he must have thought, "Wow, you know, this is wrong. Maybe I shouldn't be getting involved with this." Did he do it because it was politically motivated, or was it under pressure that he did it, or for what reason? Surely he had a reason to do what he did? Yes, the leader had a reason, and we all know the reason, but what was the reason of that man? Why did he do it?
Okay, another thing? That's all? --- That's it.
Well, Aline, thank you very much for your narrative. --- Thank you.
Sad as it is, unfortunate as it is, because I don't think that this is what we want to see in our country. --- Definitely not.
Especially at this time, when the President of our country is really trying by all means to create what we call a rainbow nation, where people can feel together, South Africans. Unfortunately, because of the past, which is apartheid, it's very unfortunate that these things had to be planted in the ears of people, so people see other people by colour, not see them as people created in the image of God. I think your request is well received. It will be passed - an investigation shall be made. --- Certainly.
Because this is your request, and an easy one too, because it really lies within the field of investigation. And we appreciate again - I want to say again, I want to appreciate this that you, as a white person, has come forward to tell your story, so that it does not just appear, this thing, that it is the Truth Commission of a certain group in South Africa. I mean many people have suffered in different ways, and I think those who have suffered must have courage to come forward. Thank you. --- Thank you.
COMMISSIONER: Aline, thank you again. As Dr Mgojo has said, thank you very, very much for having the courage to come forward. It must have been a terrible shock for you as a young 15-year-old girl on the way to the beach with a friend to have been - for not apparent reason to have been attacked by people with knives. And I think, as Dr Mgojo has said, what happened to you and your friend, to Ryan, is one of the legacies that apartheid has left this country. It caused deep divisions amongst people - hatred, mistrust and suspicion, and it caused people to do the sorts of things that you've heard about this morning, and it caused people to do what they did to you and the other people on that day in 1990 when you became a victim. And we hope that we are moving to a situation where we see each other as common human beings and not as black people or white people.
We don't know how this has affected you emotionally, or how in the long run it will affect you, but we see today that you are here as a positive young person, and we hope that you are able to put this trauma behind you in time. Thank you very much indeed. --- Thanks.
COMMISSIONER: Good morning, Nelly, we greet you. Thank you for coming in to see us, to talk to us. You have come from KwaMashu, and you will tell us about the death of your sister, Makhosi Kalisiwe Nyoka, who died in a massacre with other young people in Piet Retief in 1988. Before you tell us that story can you stand and take the oath please.
NELLY NYOKA (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
COMMISSIONER: Thank you, Mrs Gcabashe will help you now.
MRS GCABASHE: Morning, Nelly. We appreciate your presence that you have come before this Commission to relate your story.
It is obvious that you are deeply hurt and deeply grieved for having lost your sister. Even before you start talking about your sister I would like you to relate to us - give us a brief description of your family. --- We are six at home, three boys as well as three girls, but one died. We grew up staying with my father. We were not staying with my mother. Even now we still are not staying with my mother. I am the fifth one at home.
You are staying with your father. Where is your mother? --- My mother is still alive, and they had a separation so we grew up staying with my father.
What are you doing presently? --- I am doing public administration at Technikon SA.
Can you please tell us as to what happened, the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of your sister. --- She was attending school at Nzuvela, and she was a member of khozas. They used to attend certain
meetings together with their friends, Lindani Zama as well as Thule Bona. Then after some time our relatives from Pietermaritzburg came to see us, the Makhubane family. It was Nomkonzo Makhubane, as well as Nomvu Makhubane. Then on Thursday morning I saw my sister having a paper bag and taking it with. I asked her as to where she was going to. She said she was accompanying Nomkonzo.
What time was it? When was it? Was it - which year was it? --- It was in 1982. It was at about nine in the morning. I don't remember the month quite well. When I asked her as to where she was going to she said she was accompanying Nomkonzo and she was going to come back that afternoon, but she never came back up until today. And whenever we tried looking for her we even went to 'Maritzburg, but we were told that they never came, she never turned up. A long time elapsed without us hearing as to what had happened to her, and we heard rumours that she had skipped the country.
You said in 1982 she joined Umkhonto we Sizwe. --- That is correct.
Did she tell you that she joined Umkhonto we Sizwe? --- No, we were told by other relatives with whom she went on that particular day, and we were told by those relatives that they went together and they skipped the country.
In your statement you said she sent you photos, as well as money. Do you know where she got the money from? Where was she working if she was? --- She never even explained anything, but she would write us letters asking us as to what we needed, and she sent us one photo. She was at a party in Swaziland.
What about the letters? Did it indicate whether - where the letters came from? --- The letters came from Swaziland. On a particular Thursday morning we received a telephone call, and my elder sister went to answer the phone. It was a certain Mr Gwenza Mlaba who had phoned, and he is an attorney. He said we should come to his office. My elder sister went to his office and she was told that Makhosi and eight other people had died. Amongst them was Lennie Naidu, as well as Malindi Mthembu. It was Makhosi Nyoka, as well as Lindiwe Mthembu, Glenrose Xothoza, Jabulani Sibisi, Sifiso Nxumalo, Boxer Mthembu, Lennie Naidu, as well as Sifiso Thenjwayo.
How did they die? Do you have any idea? --- We were told that they had died, and they never explained anything. And the following day my sister planned to go to see the attorneys once more. Then in the same evening, when the neighbours child had come to play, I was asked to take him back to his place and help him cross the street. When I got out of the yard I saw a white kombi parked before the yard, in front of the yard, and when I came back from taking the child halfway I was accosted by four boers, who asked me as to where my sister was. And I told them that she was not there. They asked me whether I had heard that she had died, and they asked me as to how I got to know that, but I never told them. And they accompanied me into the house. They went around the house, and there were certain black people who were wearing Balaclavas, and they said to me I should tell the people inside the house to come out of the bedrooms and sit in the dining-room, and that I should ask one of the people inside the open the door. And they got into the house. They sat down
and they asked as to who was the eldest. We said we were alone, because my father had died by then, and they asked me as to where my sister was. They told me that they were seeing Mlaba's work. They were the ones who had killed Mlaba. We told them that we did not know anything about anyone who killed anyone. They showed us certain photos. They showed the photos of our sister, as well as other people who had died. They were all naked, and they said we should point out my sister, but her photo was not amongst the photos that we were shown. He actually asked me as to how I could not identify my own sister, and this other boer showed me my sister's photo. I could not identify her because of the injuries that she had sustained on the face. They actually showed me my sister on the photo. From there they went away. When one of them went out the other one came in and said they are going to get even the others. They were going to get them one by one and kill them and finish them just like the others. And they then went away. Thereafter we went to see attorneys, and we were at the same time preparing for the funeral. My sister woke up the following morning and went to the offices. My brother also went to make some funeral arrangements, and during the day these boers came and asked me as to when we were going to bury my sister. I told them that my elder brother, as well as sister were not around, so I could not answer them. I did not know anything about the funeral. When neighbours came to comfort us during our moment of grief they were chased away by the boers, and they could not stay and comfort us during that moment. Then on a particular Friday the boers came back. We were at a night vigil, my sister's night
vigil, and the neighbours were afraid to come and attend the night vigil because the boers had come and parked their cars in front of our yard, thereby preventing the neighbours from gaining entry. Then on Saturday it was the funeral. My sister was buried. Thereafter the attorneys phoned and said we should come and institute some civil action, as well as criminal proceedings. My sister is in Kimberley, and most of the time she was not at home. So they went together with the other bereaved families of the deceased. They went to see Yakoob and Moerane, and when they came back they related to us, and we were told that amongst the killers that was Eugene de Kock, as well as Nofumela. Then after some time they went back and they were told that the case was postponed, and when the case was finalised I was told by my sister that the Judge had said he fears for his life, then he will not announce the conviction, he will not convict the accused people, but he will pass the matter on to Pretoria. He reserves his judgment. Thereafter nothing went on.
And this kombi that you said was parked in front of your yard, were you able to identify the people who were inside? --- No. I could see them, but I cannot really say who they were, but they were calling each other by names, and they were saying Mr Botha. At some stage they called a certain Mr Botha. But what I am positive about is that Mr Mlaba has all the details, because they knew about all that took place during that time.
In your statement you said you, Sidney, as well as Patrick, went to Piet Retief. Who is Sidney and Patrick? --- Sidney is my elder brother, and Patrick is the
first-born at home. Both are my brothers.
When you got to Piet Retief what did you see? --- A kombi was hired so that we could go fetch the corpses. When we got at the mortuary we saw certain boers who were paging through an album, and they were busy pointing at certain photos and saying they were going to get them one by one. And they told us that our corpses were here and they were going to give them to us.
Can you identify the boers? --- I am not sure, because Mr Mlaba is the one who was writing everything down, and he has all the details. Even the docket is with him.
Did you get the death certificate? --- We never got any death certificate.
So you never got to know the cause of death? --- We did hear as to how they died. They were coming from that country and they were heading for South Africa. It was a private car as well as a kombi. There were three girls, my sister, Lindiwe Mthembu, as well as another one, Glenrose Xothoza. Then there was Lennie Naidu. Lennie Naidu was a male.
Where were they going to? --- We heard that they were from Swaziland and they were coming to South Africa, and apparently they were being watched. The police were waiting for them, because according to the information that we got later on was that they were separated into two groups. The others went before the others, and when they got to a certain place they were killed, and they were killed at different days. My sister is amongst those who died first, that is the first group, and then came the second group and they were also killed.
Was there any inquest? --- Yes, there was an
inquest that was opened with regard to their death. According to the inquest report they were shot. --- Yes, there was an inquest. We went to see where they were killed, the scene of crime, as well as the kombi which was full of bullet holes. Now, when the case started, and when de Kock was asked as to why he did this, de Kock said he was killing a dog from the ANC, and he was asked as to how many times he shot them. He said he did not take any regard as to how many bullets he fired. All that he knows is that he was killing ANC dogs.
You said the Judge said he reserves his judgment because he fears for his life. What court was that? --- I don't remember quite well, but that was in Piet Retief. That was in Piet Retief. Do you remember the name of that Judge? --- No, I don't remember, but I think Mr Mlaba does have all the details.
I do hear, Gloria, that you were harassed emotionally by losing your sister. You said just before the funeral the boers did not allow people to come and pay their last respects. Do you know these boers who came and blocked the entry and parked in front of your yard? --- We could not get their names because they just got into the house and flocked(?) the house, and most of the time I was the one, and I was young at that time, and whoever was getting into the yard would be accosted and turned back. And each time they used to ask as to who was the eldest, and they would walk around the house, open windows, as well as curtains.
Were they police or members of the Special Branch, or were they wearing any uniforms? --- They were
wearing SAP uniforms.
On the day of the funeral how did the funeral proceed? --- Some were injured and some were arrested, because we were told and restricted that we should not have more than 250 mourners, and they told us that we should not conduct a mass funeral, the corpses should be separated.
Is it the same funeral where you said some were arrested? --- Yes, they were at my sister's funeral, together with a certain person from the Sibisi family.
Do you remember how many were arrested? --- I do remember. It was an Mthembu gentleman who was arrested in that funeral, and I know where he stays. And he was released after quite a few days.
You said others got injured. --- That is correct.
How did they get injured? Were they shot, or what? --- There was an altercation between the mourners as well as the police at the cemetery, and later on they got assaulted. They were assaulted by the police.
In this case did you ever get any form of compensation, or you never pursued a civil claim? --- No, we never got anything, because we were waiting for the attorneys to tell us as to what was going on.
And that was the end of it? --- Yes, that was the end of it.
This is a pathetic story, because even besides the fact that your sister had gone out of the country, but she did help you, she did maintain you as a family. Now, as you know the trauma that you've gone through, and your father died, and your sister now died also, what are your
expectations from the Commission? What do you think the
Commission can do to help you? --- I wish that this case can be re-opened, and I want de Kock to appear before the Truth Commission, as well as Nofumela and other boers, because we want them to tell us as to why they did what they did.
You said you would also like to be helped to further your education. How many are you? --- The other ones have now got jobs. I am the only one who is attending school now. All are working.
Are you - at this moment do you feel that all of you are healthy? We do understand that you've been traumatised emotionally, as well as mentally. How do you feel about you and your family physically and emotionally? --- We have tried to forget, but what disturbs us is that nothing is going on with regard to the case. We would like to know as to the circumstances surrounding our sister's death.
What makes me ask you is that people may not notice - or you may not know it that you have been tormented, or maybe you need psychological help. Is there anything that you notice with your sisters or yourself? --- No, I haven't seen anything.
I think what makes that is because you have told yourself that you want to put this behind you and go on with your lives. Maybe you can also speak to social workers and they could see what they could recommend, whether you need any psychological help or not.
I am going to ask you just two questions in order to clarify certain issues. According to this statement it's said that in 1982 Makhosi was a member of the ANC. Are
you referring to UDF. --- At that time there was an organisation called Khozas.
Was it under the UDF? And ANC was a banned organisation then. I want to correct the records. You also said the funeral was prepared for by Mlaba as well as the ANC. You mean UDF? --- That is correct.
I did not hear you when you counted the people who died with your sister, you were quite fast. You counted the people or the corpses which came back with Makhosi's corpse. Amongst the people who died was Nomkonzo there - Nomphumelelo? --- No, Nomphumelelo is still alive. They were left in Swaziland. By the time she came back from Swaziland she was with other people. They separated in Swaziland.
How related were you? --- They were related to my mother.
How? --- Because they were both Mbathas. They were from the same clan.
You said when the police showed you photos of the corpses they said they were going to finish them one by one, and there were many of them. Were there any faces that you could identify on the photos that you knew at that time? --- I heard after they had left that my sister knew one of the people in the photos. He was staying at J Section, but he has now come back and he is staying at J Section. He is staying in Durban.
My last question. All these people who were killed, were they members of MK? --- That is correct.
You said you are attending school, and you are the only one who is attending school. Where are you attending school? --- I am a student at Technikon SA. I am
doing my first year.
COMMISSIONER: Nelly, we thank you very much for coming here and repeating your story. Many of us here remember the news reports from that time in 1988 which highlighted the brutal manner in which your sister and her friends died, and particularly the shocking manner in which the bodies were treated after they had been shot. And it must have been terrible for you to have witnessed your sister in that condition, and also to have had ongoing harassment from the police at the night vigil and at your sister's funeral.
In your statement you mentioned the name of de Kock, and you probably know that he has just been found guilty of 89 charges, including six charges of murder and two charges of attempted murder, robbery, theft, fraud, and other charges, in the Supreme Court in Pretoria. Now, he was not charged with the murders of your sister and her friends. As you have requested we will take this up with the Attorney-General in this province and in the Transvaal to see why he was not charged for those murders.
Are there any other requests that you want to make of the Truth Commission? Is there anything that you think that we could do for you? We don't have power to assist you directly, but our job is to make recommendations to the Government as to how you can be assisted. You have mentioned that you want us to investigate. I that your primary request? Well, we will certainly do that. So we thank you very much for coming in today and talking to us. Thank you.
COMMISSIONER: Good morning, Mrs Mdluli. We welcome you here today. Thank you for coming in. You are from Umlazi township. Can you hear me, Mrs Mdluli? Can you hear me and understand me?
MRS MDLULI: Yes.
COMMISSIONER: We greet you. Thank you for coming in. You've come to tell us today - you're from Umlazi, you've come to tell us about the death of your husband, Joseph Mdluli, in 1976. Before you tell us that story please can you stand to take the oath.
KHANYISILE MDLULI (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
COMMISSIONER: Dr Randera will now help you with your evidence.
DR RANDERA: Mrs Mdluli, good morning, and a warm welcome to you. Thank you very much for coming. Can you hear me? --- Yes.
Thank you. Mrs Mdluli, you've come to talk about Joseph Masobiya Mdluli, who was born in 1925, and had he been alive today he would have been 71 years old. You are going to tell us what happened on the 18th of March 1976, but before you tell us something about that night and what happened I would really appreciate it if you just told us something about yourself and how many children you have. --- (Pause) One died two years ago.
(Inaudible) ... Mdluli, would you like to drink some water? (Pause) You were telling me that one of your children died two years ago. Do you have any other children? --- I have grandchildren.
How old are you, Mrs Mdluli? --- I am 69 years
Can you tell us something about Mr Mdluli, what work he was doing at the time, and what happened on the 18th of March 1976? --- He was not working any more, because he was working for railways, then he got arrested and he was convicted. I think it was '67, February. He was working at Point and got arrested, and he was there for 90 days, and he was sentenced, he was sent to Pretoria. And when I went to Pretoria they told me he was a Leeukop, and they told me when I got there that he was in Cape Town. And I got back, I came back. It was a year and three months when I combine all this, and also the period he spent at Point. He came back. When he got back he could not work again because he was burned, and I was working, self-employed.
Okay, Mrs Mdluli, just take your time. --- Since I was a dressmaker I will be just working from home, and that's how we survived. We could make ends meet because of what I was doing as a dressmaker. He will go to get some pills and sell them, and watches, selling those. And that's how we managed to live. Time went on, and they were bothering him. They will always come, Twala and others that I did not know, coming to check on him. That was the life we were leading and he was leading. Time went. On March 18th at night Blackjack, Mr Khumalo from Lamont office, came. As a person we knew we could not suspect anything. He went outside the house to meet him, and we did not know - little did we know that there were Special Branch with Khumalo, and they took him with. I thought they were going to talk, you know, men's talk outside, to converse as men. I did not know - we were not
aware inside the house that there were some Special Branch with Khumalo outside. I was thinking they were still talking outside and yet they had already taken him. I don't know where they took him to. On Friday morning my son came. He had gone to see - visit his wife, and I told him that, "Khumalo came last night and they took your father. You must go and look and see what is happening." He was a building contractor. He will go to Umlazi. That's where he was working as a builder. That very Friday morning van Zyl and Taylor and Makhanya came. I have their names in my bag. I think there were four or five. They came to search the house, and they could not gather anything. They also searched our son's room. They could not see anything. And van Zyl said, "I'll fix him today." I said, "What did you see here? What did you find from your searching? Why would you say those things and swear that you will fix him?" He said if he was the one who was going to sentence him he was going to sentence him three years. But he was fortunate because he was not the one, this is why he got one year sentence. He said he was going to fix him, and then they left. I said to myself, "Take some clothes with so you can give my husband," because he was not warmly dressed. He just had raincoat. He did not have pyjamas on, although after that they changed and said he had his pyjamas on. It was not pyjamas, it was raincoat. I said, "Since he was wearing a raincoat please won't you take some clothes with," and I tried to get some clothes for him, decent clothes for him, so in case he goes to the court of law he can appear decently dressed. He never got to wear those clothes. They took those clothes with. Saturday, the following day
in the morning, one person came. He said, "What's happening with Mdluli?" I told him what happened, and he said, "It looks like he has died." I said, "No, I don't think so. Van Zyl should come here and tell me if he has died or what. I cannot take stories from people." He left, that person left. Another one came and told me the very same thing. I said, "Who are you and where are you coming from? If Mdluli has died van Zyl and Taylor and the others should come and tell me. Mdluli left this place and he was just fine, healthy and intact." And the neighbour came, Mrs Njo, and she said, "Let's go." I think they were not free to tell me because they already knew what had happened. She said, "Let's go to town to Mxenge." I don't remember if I responded to that, but we did go. We got to Mxenge's office Saturday morning. There was no one, but Mxenge was there alone. He was just there looking as if he was writing, and two gentlemen approached, David Gaza and George Sithole. And they came in sort of talking, you know, something that was not so much serious. I think they knew they were not free. They were scared of telling me the truth. I don't know how far this went. I think there was a car which took me to the mortuary. I don't remember. I don't remember whether I started home first before I went to the mortuary, but we went to the mortuary eventually, and I asked, "What do we want here?" They said, "Well, we shall search all over, even here at the mortuary, because he has disappeared." And we were there searching, looking around, and I could tell that they were playing around with me, just fooling with me. We went back home, and I saw many people at home. And Mxenge suddenly came as well and he asked, "How
"did you go where you have gone to?" I said, "Mdluli was not there." And he said, "He ought to be there. Let's go. Come along with me. Let's go and look for him." We went with Mxenge and some others that I cannot recall their names. We got there. He said a few words. Because they knew that he was an attorney they respected him, and one white gentleman came and opened the door, and we found him there in a green box, in a green coffin. He was swollen. He was swollen in that glass box. I don't know what they did to him, and Mxenge interrogated them. And we went back home. The Special Branch never stopped coming to my place, but this van Zyl never appeared after that. Only strange policemen kept coming, also and the journalists. Reporters kept coming to my place. They will just come and ignore and dismiss every single thing I tried to say, and I kept calling for van Zyl. Moran Moore(?) tried all he could to be of assistance. Each time I say something Jimmy Kruger answers and responded. Each I time I send messages to the newspapers, and comments to the newspapers, van Zyl kept commenting. Time went on. One Sunday one of the funeral scheme people came, and Mxenge had already taken him to the King Edward Mortuary then. He was already there. This funeral scheme of Umlazi said they did not like the idea of him being in that mortuary, they would like him to be at the central - central mortuary just around here in town. I will remember, I have just forgotten. That's Prince Edward. They were asking me if they could change him and transfer him from the other mortuary to Prince Edward Central Funeral. I agreed to that because I knew them, and I also had my own funeral scheme as well as them. Monday morning
they said I shall go and transfer him from the other mortuary to King Edward - to King Prince. Truly we went there and the white man refused, kept arguing. He said I cannot transfer the corpse. I explained to him that I had to. He kept arguing and disagreeing, and some boys who were there said, "You must insist. Just be adamant. You must get him out of this mortuary." Finally he agreed, and we went to Prince Edward, and they transferred him. I said, "Now that he will be transferred from this mortuary to the other I would like to see him." Truly I saw him. His body was wounded brutally. He was going to be buried on the 27th March, and I said, "No, he should not be buried then, because if I say something they are going to refute that. I'll see when we will bury him, but not yet." They agreed. I wanted experts who were going to get pictures of this corpse. The Indians listened to me. I went back home. They did all the arrangements, made all the arrangements, and they got the expert to take the pictures, and that was professionally done. I was satisfied. Soon after that those photos were sent or mailed overseas. I did not know who did that, and they kept accusing me that I was in charge, I knew everything, and I am the one who mailed - posted those photos overseas. I went to the men, I asked them, "Did you do that job and taken those pictures good - professionally?" They said yes. I said, "Now I am satisfied. We can have the funeral now. I have this as evidence, the pictures." I said, "On the 3rd we will bury him. No one will deny any act because I have this evidence of pictures with me." On the 1st April Archbishop Hurley sent me some money and said I should go to the boutique and buy myself beautiful
clothes. On the 2nd we went to the city centre and we started - first went to see the attorneys first, and we proceeded - went to the boutique and we bought many clothes, and we took some to Mxenge's place. After that the boers came to Mxenge's place and they said they were already coming from Lamont, and they said to Mrs Mxenge, "Where is she?" Mrs Mxenge told them that I am around, but I am still in town. When we were trying to do the final touch-up one person came and told us that the boers were looking for us, and we went there to see what was happening. And they asked me why am I - why did I do what I did, taking pictures of the corpse and sending them overseas? I said, "I don't care. Leave me alone. And those pictures belong to me. It's part of my possession, it's none of your business. Mdluli is mine, my husband, and the pictures belong to me as well." As we were still having these altercations and so forth my son came driving his car. When he got there he asked, "Where is my mum?" They told him that, "Your mum is in that office with boers." He said, "Oh, are those boers the ones who came home?" He went. He just pushed the door and got inside and pulled me out, and said, "Mum, get out of this office and carry on with your funeral arrangements. Leave these boers alone here." We went back home. It was the final day now, Friday. We were making the final touch-ups, and people were flocking in, coming in from different places and different countries. I was already coming from Sydenham. There were some Indians of that place who were assisting with groceries for the funeral. They donated many things. The boers were all over. They kept coming to my house even at night, frequenting my house,
patrolling. And I have relatives in Johannesburg. They arrived as well, and the boers refused them entry. And they asked, "Why won't we come in? Why won't you let us -give us entry?" They said, "No, no one will come in," but they forced their way in. Finally they did come inside. The following day it was the funeral day. They installed tape records in the hall, and that hall was surrounded with tape records. People came in, and some others were seated on top of the wall because there was not enough space. They tried to stop people from coming in now, but people refused and they were insisting their way in. The boers tried to stop them from coming in. Mrs Mandela as well came, flew in. And we went on, we buried Mdluli. After that I never had peace of mind at home up until this day. They did all sorts of things. Each time I would send some comments to the newspaper, talking to van Zyl, and Jimmy Kruger will respond. And some boers came at night to tell me that they received a message that Jimmy Kruger said there will be a prominent person who will be flying in the morning. It was June then, winter time. Six will strike at night. And I had to go to Ulundi to meet that prominent person who was bringing a message for me from Jimmy Kruger. And the messenger said I should keep quiet, and if I have anything to say I must say it to him in person and stop sending messages to the newspapers. They spoke to my sister. I had locked the house. My sister kept asking them questions, and they said, "Whenever she comes back please tell her that at 6 o'clock we'll come to fetch her to the airport to explain to this prominent person and say her claim." My sister opened the window and said, "Are you there, my sister?" I said,
/"Yes, I am
"Yes, I am here." She said, "Did you hear everything that was being said here?" I said, "Yes, I heard everything from A to Z." She said, "You locked yourself inside deliberately?" I said, "Yes, I did that deliberately." I said, "I heard everything." She said, "They told me that you were not in." I said to her, "But I am inside. I just did not want to open the door for them." She said, "You must know then tomorrow morning at six you have to go with them to the airport because they are coming to fetch you." I said, "I am not going. I cannot be having my attorney and still do my own things without consulting my attorney. I am not going anywhere." She asked me, "What are you going to do?" I said, "At 5 o'clock I will wake up and leave." Truly at 5.00 am I woke up, I went to Mdluli's place in the neighbourhood. They went to my sister again. They said they don't know why I keep doing these things because they have explicitly emphasised the fact that I shall be taken to the airport and meet Jimmy -and talk to this person who has been sent by Jimmy Kruger, and I should know the fact that the attorneys are not going to help me, but Jimmy Kruger is going to help me. My sister told them that, "She is not here, and there is nothing I cannot do." I saw them from where I was at Mdluli's place leaving the place, and then I went back home after they have gone. I did not know how far these things went, but after some time - you see, I was not safe, and there would be marauders who will come to place frequently with weapons and so on. Jimmy Kruger wrote and sent the comments to the newspaper, and said "Lydia has gone overseas with Masondo." Masondo was in Robben Island then, and the comments were saying, "Lydia had left the
"country, and just when I was trying to fix her claims up she left, she decided to leave the country with Masondo," the Masondo who was in Robben Island, but originally coming from Soweto. And we left the country for America, for overseas. Moran Moore came and said, "Did you see the newspaper? Did you see what has been written here?" He showed it to me and asked me, "Get dressed. Get dressed and get some baskets and I'll take your pictures." I had my basket and he said, "There is Mrs Mdluli going to the market," and after that Jimmy Kruger never sent any messages or comments to the newspapers. The Mercury newspaper said, "There goes Lydia to the market place." I have forgotten a lot of things. Please pardon me for this. These things transpired a long time ago, 20 years back, so I have forgotten a number of things.
Mrs Mdluli, thank you very much, you've done very well in what you've told us already. It still seems like the memories are very strong. Can I just help you along in terms of some of the questions that we would like you to help us with. You said you had only one son, is that right, and he passed away two years ago? You have only one son? --- He died in '94, May. He was ill. I am not done. The ... (incomplete - end of side A) ... by heart attack, and Dr Chris Barnard responded and said they were not telling the truth, he will come and exhume the body. They are lying. They kept quiet after that. I was called to the court of law in Pietermaritzburg. They said I should come and explain about the pictures that I had sent overseas, because this was an insult to them. I took Phyllis Naidoo with. When we got to Pietermaritzburg they said my son shall come in first and explain the pictures.
Unfortunately my son did not know a thing inasfar as the pictures were concerned, and the prosecutor of Pietermaritzburg said it's my son who wounded the corpse, and now they are saying it's them - and now it looks as if it was them, and that's not true. I said, "That's not true," and my son said, "Mum, come along with me. They are not telling the truth inside. They are just saying their own things." I went inside the court of law, and one white lady brought many pictures, photos, and put them on the table, and said I should pick my photos. I did that. I picked about four or five photos and I left the rest. And they said, "Those are yours?" I said, "Yes." And they asked what had happened to them. I told them, "I took these pictures so that tomorrow these can serve as evidence against anything that will be said. Now you are telling me about the heart attack, and there is no heart attack which can cause wounds on the body and injuries on the body," and they kept quiet. I have forgotten some other things although, but I did not have peace of mind after that. I was being bothered up to this day, and I had no house after that. In Lamontville I had a wonderful time. I had never had any altercations with people around. The mayor wrote a letter and said I was behaving so well in Lamontville, and said wherever I'll go he had that in writing, saying wherever I'll go I shall be given a house because my behaviour is so exceptionally well. He had never seen anything or ill things that I have committed before. I was always a good citizen. He said I had never had anything that I was commenting or accusing people about, I was always a peaceful person. I have forgotten other things. The case went on in 1979 - 1979,
March. Before the case started - I think it was Saturday - I had visited Mxenge. I was at Mxenge's place. We got a telephone message and they said they will ask Lydia to be present on Saturday, to come on Saturday. The case will be on Monday. Truly we went there on Saturday, and they said, "We do admit that we killed him. That did happen, but now we would like you not to come and not to stand, because we have already admitted. We'll give you whatever you want," because I had asked for R39 000,00. When we got there on Monday they gave me a R10 000,00 cheque, which I did not know what to do with it. That R10 000,00 got finished. It's more than 20 years ago now. All what this means is that they are owing me, especially Jimmy Kruger, because each time I will say something in the newspaper he will respond every time without fail. This tells me that Jimmy Kruger is owing me R30 000,00. What I am saying, I want that money, for he is owing me, and he deceived me with a R10 000,00 cheque because I am illiterate. I have forgotten other things. I don't know now. But what I can tell you is that I never had peace of mind thereafter.
Mrs Mdluli, thank you very much. I just want to ask you a few questions. From what you've told us your husband had been harassed for a long time. You said he was arrested under the 90-day law, he was sent to prison. Can you just tell us a little more about his political involvement? --- When he was sentenced he was asked why did he go to Mandela's meeting. He was sentenced for that reason, that why did he attend Mandela's meeting. That was it. We never heard a reason, a sound reason.
So he was a member of the African National Congress,
was he? --- That's correct, since 1952.
And was he looked upon as a leader in this part of the country? --- He was just a middle-man in the middle, but he was not a leader. But when the newspaper got out they alleged he was the leader. And that confused me, because that brought about enmity, because there were leaders who were present at the time, but they turned around and said he was a leader. That was the newspaper.
Can you just tell us, in 1976, when he was arrested, was there unrest in the township where he was living? What was happening in the areas that you people were living in at the time? --- Just like Lamontville, where we were staying at the time, there were unrest. George Mbele - people were being troubled. Many were being troubled.
I just want to go back to that day when Mr van Zyl and others came to your house after your husband had been arrested. Did they search the house properly, or did they just throw everything around? Were you spoken to properly by them? --- When I got back?
I am talking about the - on Friday, the 19th of March you said, "Mr van Zyl and others came to my house and ran through and did a thorough search." On that day after - the day after your husband was arrested. --- They did not get anything.
What were they looking for? --- They wanted ANC documents.
I know this is going to be difficult, but can you please describe - you said when you saw your husband's body there were brutal wounds on his body. Can you please describe to us what wounds there were? --- Some
appeared like they were caused by the butcher's knife. I think the obvious ones were the ones that were cause by the butcher's knife.
Now, you said earlier on and in your statement that the police said that he died from a heart attack. What was your husband's health like before he was arrested? Had he ever been to the doctors with heart problems, or to the hospital? --- He had never got ill before. He never was ill before.
(Inaudible) ... post-mortem that was done at King Edward Hospital or by your own doctors. --- That I cannot explain, because he already was in this glass box. Is it a plastic or a glass, but something like that, transparent, because when you entered the room you could see him from afar. It was not the usual coffins.
Was there an inquest that was held? --- You mean at the court of law?
Yes. --- They said they will not appear in front because they've already admitted to the fact that they killed him. Now they were asking and pleading with me not to go forward, but they would like to pay the claim. And still that claim is not the one that I asked for.
You say in your statement that certain people, Captain David Frederick van Zyl, Andrew Russell Cecil Taylor, Sergeant Madla Khayise, Patrick Makhanya and Constable Zeblon Ngobese, were found guilty. --- That's correct.
Are you sure about that? --- Yes.
And were they sentenced for this? --- They were arrested for those days, few days. I do have their photo. When they were in a car coming from the court someone took
the picture and I got that picture. I still have the picture at Attorney Mlaba's office.
Thank you, Mrs Mdluli, I don't have any further questions. Maybe my colleagues do.
DR MGOJO: Mrs Mdluli, I'll ask you a few questions about your husband. I remember we were still young then at Lamontville. I was a teacher then. I do feel bad that you went through these atrocities. I would like to ask a few questions. I will ask about a few people here. Makhanya and Ngobese, are they still alive from what you hear? --- I don't know.
You don't even know their whereabouts or where they live? --- I don't know. I know that they come from Umlazi.
When we look for them they'll be found at Umlazi? --- I don't know, but I know they come from Umlazi.
Thank you. When you wrote to van Zyl and Kruger responded what were his comments? Do you still remember? What did he say? --- Yes, I remember. Firstly he was so arrogant when he replied me, he was just dismissing things that I was saying. But the second time he sent those who said I shall go to the airport.
Let me ask you, Mrs Mdluli. You've talked about women who were coming from Gijima, who told you that there is a message from Ulundi that you have to go to the airport. Is that true? --- Yes, that's correct.
Do you remember those women? --- Yes, I do. They are still around, they are not dead.
Won't you please give us their names? --- It's Mrs Nyenge and Mrs Xasani. Mrs Nyengwa. They are
Are they still at Gijima? --- Yes.
Xasani is a Member of Parliament of Ulundi? --- Yes, it's the wife.
These are the ones who said you were to go to the airport at six in the morning? --- Yes.
This Masondo that was sent by Kruger - that Kruger said that he had gone to overseas with you, is that Andrew Masondo? --- No, I don't know.
He was in Robben Island? --- I think so. The wife was a teacher in Soweto.
This Moran Moore you are talking about, who took photos, pictures of you disguising to be going to the market, is that the late Mthiyane? --- Yes, it's Mthiyane who came from Lamontville.
Did you get any death certificate for your husband? --- Yes, I do have.
Do you remember what's the reason they put of death? --- No, I don't know. You see I am not so educated, and I can't read.
I think you should give us a copy of the death certificate, because that will help us, because you say firstly they had alleged that your husband died from the chair, and secondly it was the heart attack. Now we have to get the fact that what the doctors had said. If you could kindly come to our office and supply us with a copy of the death certificate that will help us a lot.
Mrs Mdluli, there are a few things that I would like to ask from you. I don't have to know where you stay, but it is important that I should know that the house that you
occupy is it yours, or what? --- I don't have a house.
Who do you live with? --- Any relative. I am destitute.
Secondly you said you had one son. Did you have one son, or just one child? --- No, I had one child.
That means you don't have any child now? --- Yes.
One other thing that we focus on as the Truth Commission is that the most important thing of our task is the harassment that you've gone through. As you are seated there we can tell that you've gone through difficult times. This thing has traumatised you so badly. Even your voice, one can tell from it that you are not comfortable, you are not as healthy. Is there anything that you would like to say? --- I still want to emphasise on the van Zyl issue. They were not the only ones. There were some others. When the Magistrate asked how many were they they said they were many, and the Judge asked, "Why did you come in numbers?" They could not answer that.
Well, I do get the point, the fact what you want to say, but my concern is about our health. After that what happened? --- Well, I don't have any diseases except I am destitute and I am poor.
Thank you, but we can see that you do suffer from psychological effect, or your behaviour it's not excellent. We would like for you to contact our psychologist. Would you like to consult a psychologist? But one request that you put forward is the one that you are destitute and poor, but what is another request that you may want to put forward? --- Well, I'll still
think about that one.
Well, when you go and consult the social workers later on you must open up and ventilate and tell them what you wish the Truth Commission to do for you.
Mrs Mdluli, we know what you have been through. Do you know about what went on in Lamontville, and about the proverb that was being - that was saying there is no money? Do you know about it? --- Yes, I know about it, and Dube was the one in charge of that.
Like you have already said that the prosecutor in Pietermaritzburg said it is your son who injured your husband and suddenly they were claiming it were the police. Do you know the name of the prosecutor who said all that? --- I don't know.
Do you know about Jimmy Kruger, the one you keep referring to him, saying he's the one who kept responding? Do you know about him? Was he a police, or what? --- I think he was the head police.
COMMISSIONER: Mrs Mdluli, thank you very much for coming in and having the courage to tell your story to us today. Your husband was a very well known man in Lamontville, not only in Lamontville, but in other parts of this province, and when he died in detention, and more particularly when the pictures of his mutilated body were sent overseas, his death and the circumstances of his death were widely reported around the world. He died whilst he was in the custody of the Security Branch. And these are people who should have upheld the law, but instead they often did the opposite, and harassed, tortured and murdered people. We
note from what you have said that one of the people who helped to find your husband's body was the lawyer, Griffiths Mxenge, and he in turn was also brutally murdered by the police some time after that. And we hope that you are aware of, and can take some comfort from, the fact that the person who searched your house, Andrew Taylor, is now on trial for the murder of Griffiths Mxenge.
You lost your husband and your companion, your breadwinner, and we can see that the memory of his death is still fresh in your mind, and we are glad that you had the courage to come here and tell us your story. We note what you said about the amount of money which was paid to you after you lodged a civil claim against the Government, and we will make recommendations to the Government as to how we think that you should be assisted. So we thank you again very much for coming in and talking to us. Thank you. --- I also thank you.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Mthetwa, we welcome you here today. Thank you for coming in. You have come to us - you live in Lamontville, and you have come to tell us about the death in custody of your son, Ephraim Thamsanqa Mthetwa, in 1984. Before you tell us what happened can you stand to take the oath please.
ERNEST MTHETWA (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
COMMISSIONER: Thank you very much. Dr Magwaza will help you now.
DR MAGWAZA: We greet you, Mr Mthetwa. We do apologise for having kept you waiting up until this time. We thank you very much, and appreciate that you are here with us today. You have come before this Commission today to tell us about your brother, Thamsanqa Mthetwa. Before you start relating to us as to what took place at your home just give us a brief background about your family, as well as your brother. Do you still have parents? --- I originate from Nambithi, but at present we are staying at Lamontville. My parents were church-going people, they were christians.
Are they still alive? --- My father is still alive, but my mother has since died.
Just tell us about your family. How many are you? Do you have any brothers? --- We are eight. There are three boys.
What are their names? --- It's Thamsanqa, Prince Mthetwa, as well as myself, and I am Ernest.
I am asking your brothers' names because they seem to have been involved in this matter. Did you belong to any political organisation, or were you affiliated to any? /--- Yes,
--- Yes, we were members of the UDF, as it's the ANC
now, because then the ANC was banned.
The three of you were members of the UDF. --- Yes, we were affiliated to the UDF.
Tell us briefly about your brother, Thami. How old was he when he died, and what was he doing at that time, or what activities was he involved in? --- Thami was born in 1960, and at the time when this happened I don't remember quite well as to how old he was, but he was a member of the church choir, he was a chorister, and his choir used to tour many places, and he was also involved in certain organisations.
Did he have a family? --- No, he was still very young so he did not have a family at that time. He belonged to certain organisations, as well as being a parishioner, and he was still very young.
Now you can go on further, relating to us as to what happened to him. --- When I picked up the telephone on that particular day I realised that our line was off, and I asked my sister as to what was happening. And she told me that I shouldn't pay much attention to it, probably the line would be working later on. Then we went to sleep. In the middle of the night we saw torches and we heard loud knocks at the door. A white man came in wearing a khaki coat, and he asked as to where Thami was, and we told him that he's asleep. He went into the house and sat on the bed, and we woke each other up. But Thami was the last to be seen, and he directed Thami to dress up. And he went to a certain suitcase that had Thami's clothes, and there were certain photos that they used to take when they were on their tours with the choir, and they asked
/him as to
him as to how he got a certain photo, and Thami said he got this photo at the seaside. They took him with, and they wanted to take the radio as well as cassettes that were there. And they wanted to know what was happening in those organisations, so they took the cassettes as well as the record player. They put these in a pillowcase. They handcuffed him and they took him with to the car. Thami got into the car that was behind the other one. We went to C R Swart and we sat there up until the following morning. And on the following morning they brought an exercise book. They wanted to test our handwritings, and they asked us certain questions. At that time there was a certain white person who was wearing a white safari suit - I don't know what his name was - and he would fire us with questions with regard to certain organisations. And if you do not answer satisfactorily, or in the manner that he wanted you to answer, he would hit and assault us with an open hand on the face. And apparently Thami did not want to disclose any information, and he was told that he was going to explain certain things. There was a certain photo. In this photo they used to take - especially the youths who used to skip the country used to have Thami's photos, and they would always show this photo in order to gain entry or to leave the borders of South Africa, and certain youths were caught with this photo of Thami, and this is what caused all the problems. After they had interrogated us they brought us food, but Thami didn't want to eat at that time. And they said to me they had discovered that I was innocent, and I was supposed to go back home. And I was not satisfied. I wanted to ask them to let me see my brother so that I could bid him goodbye,
and they asked me as to why I was saying that. I told them that I had no hope of seeing my brother in future, because they had killed a certain Mr Mdluli and they would probably do the same to my brother. They told me that they would not do anything to my brother. They forced me to go home. Then on the following day I heard that my brother was dead. They said he had hanged himself. When we went to see him he had a scratch or a laceration on the neck, and they said, "This is the laceration that resulted from him hanging himself." Then I went to Gale Street. When I got to Gale Street with the death certificate they put me in an empty office and they kept on talking to each other. And I went to the reception to inquire as to why I wasn't being attended to. They told me that I had to go to C R Swart to submit this death certificate. I went there, and I never got any information as to how Thami died and I never got the death certificate.
This is a very painful story. It's quite pathetic, but there's a few questions that I would like to ask you. I want you to clarify certain issues. When they came to your place had they come to look for Thami particularly, or just they had come to look for all of you? --- Apparently, according to my own opinion, I think they had all the information and they were searching particularly for Thami.
Did you also know that Thami was active in politics and he was helping youths to skip the country? --- No, we knew nothing about that. All that we knew about is that he was a parishioner.
What about the photo that you said they got from the youths? --- It was an ID photo, Thami's ID photo, that
You mentioned a certain Msimango. You said he was a member of the SB. How connected were they with Thami? --- They were neighbours, and they used to go to the seaside, and he would take the youths to the seaside, only to find that his photo - the photo was taken by Thami up until such time that it was discovered.
Did you know that Msimango was a member of the SB? --- Yes, we knew, and Thami knew as well. Thami knew that Msimango was an SB.
Where did the money come from, the money to go to Mozambique? --- I don't know much about the money, but I got it from a money box, and I always wanted to exchange the coins, because at that time I wasn't mature enough. I think Thami knew what the money was for.
Let's just retrace your steps. You said when you got to C R Swart they said they wanted to examine your handwritings. Why did they want to examine your handwritings? --- There were certain letters that were discovered when they arrested the youths, and they wanted to test as to who had written those letters. Probably they suspected that one of us had written the letters, and probably they wanted to test our intelligence.
The letter that you said you got when you went to the mortuary, what document was that? What document are you referring to? You said when you showed this document they made you sit in a certain office all by yourself. --- It was the State Pathologist's report that was sent to us which determined the cause of death, because they said he had hanged himself, but we never got the death certificate.
Let's just go back to your statement. What was happening in the community at that time, the Lamontville community? --- I think it was during the era of Msisi Duba, so there was a lot of violence.
Had they ever come to you to harass you at your place? --- It was the first time that the soldiers came. The soldiers came the first time, but the second time it was the police who came. They assaulted us. They told us to get into the house.
What about this white man who came to your place to fetch you? Did you ever get to know him or his identity? --- No, I never knew him, but I could identify him if I could see him. Some of them we are still having problems. Even today we are having clashes. When I went to Smith Street they told me that my telephone was going to be cut. They know that even today I have come before this Commission to testify, but I don't know their names.
Let's just go back a bit. How do they know that you are here? --- I don't know, but I know that they do know, because they phoned me. They phoned me in the morning at 5 o'clock.
What did they say to you? --- They asked me as to what time I was going to arrive here. I told them that I was not told as to when to come to the Commission, and I asked whoever was talking as to who he was, and he did not tell me. He did not want to disclose this information.
This is quite a problem. It poses a problem, because usually that information is kept by us and known only by us. --- I think it's my relatives who told them as to the fact that I will be here today.
You know where these people are, and who they are? --- Yes, we do meet along the way. I do see them.
I think it will help us if you could shed some light and tell us as to who these people are. Where do you see them? --- I do have a house in Umlazi, and at once I saw one of them and he asked me as to whether I was staying there. I said yes, and I asked him as to where he was working. He said he was serving summons. I don't know his name. The other one I know his name. He is very close to me, he is staying nearby my place.
Now, if you know them I think you will submit the names to us, but we will not force you to submit such names. Was there any case? --- Yes, there was a case, but just when the case began Attorney Mxenge was killed.
I saw in your statement that you've made mention of Skweyiya. What happened? --- That was the end of the case.
Was the case ever finalised? --- No, they kept on postponing the case, and we were never told as to whether the matter was finalised or not.
Who was handling the matter, or investigating the case? --- The case ended up with Mrs Mxenge.
Tell us about Skweyiya, because Skweyiya is still alive. --- Skweyiya never got to finalise the matter, and Skweyiya was working together with Mxenge, but the matter was never finalised and we were never notified.
This is one of the most painful stories, and it's a very common occurrence. We know that these things have happened before, and people were alleged to have killed themselves or hung themselves in detention. --- I know
that my brother did not kill himself, because there is a
friend of his who was an MK soldier, but he is in Johannesburg now. This friend was taken out of detention on that particular day, and they were fighting with him, and at that time he said he knew that he was going to be killed. He went into prison, but I don't know what happened because he ended up being an MK soldier.
Do you know his name? --- No, I have forgotten his name.
What I wanted to say to you is that the main objective of this Commission, as well as the Committee of Reparation and Rehabilitation, is to clear people's names. Many people who died during detention it was alleged that they had committed suicide, but today we want to put the issues straight and clear. We want this Commission to show that these people had been killed, and we want to know the reasons for their deaths. Are there any expectations that you have of this Commission? --- My main request is that my place - the place at which I am staying now is not very safe, an I feel my life is at stake because this is an ongoing cycle. Now I feel that I am not protected, my life is not safe.
In your statement you said you stay in Lamontville, but now you have just said you stay in Umlazi. --- I am staying in Umlazi.
Do you not feel safe in Umlazi? We do hear your request, but it's not a very easy one. But that is not up to us to decide. We take these requests and pass the recommendations over to people with authority. We shall take your request and pass it forward. We thank you very much.
/I did not
I did not hear your request when you said you do not feel safe. What do you want? Is it protection under the Protection Unit, or you want some help? What is it specifically that you want? --- I want to be protected, so that even if I want to change places I may be able to get a place easily.
DR RANDERA: Can you hear me? --- Yes.
I just want to clarify something from your statement. You say that you were all arrested, and then you and Fo were released, and at the time of your release you asked to see Thami, and then he died a few months later. Is that right? --- Right.
So he didn't - it wasn't over the next few days that he died, he died a few months later after, so he was in custody all that time? --- He died after a few days.
After a few days. Because your statement says a few months. --- No, after a few days.
At the time that you saw him ... (inaudible) ... did he show any signs of ... (inaudible) ... was his face swollen or anything of that sort? --- I saw his corpse after he had died. I never saw him alive thereafter. I just saw his corpse, and he had this laceration like a burn wound on the neck.
(Inaudible - speaker's microphone not operating) --- We were not allowed to see him.
(Inaudible) --- He was always very happy and he loved music. He always wanted to socialise with peaceful people, and he was quite a decent person.
(Inaudible) --- I do not believe that my brother killed himself.
(Inaudible) --- It is my belief that he was
killed by the police because he did not want to answer some of the questions that the police were asking him. They even got cassettes and some evidence, but he never answered their questions, and they assaulted him, but he nevertheless refused to answer their questions. he was assaulted from the evening up until the following day. When I was released he was still being assaulted, but he never answered their questions.
(Inaudible) --- I don't think so.
Mr Mthetwa, I want you to clarify me on this aspect. You said you don't feel safe, and once more you say you know the people who did this and who make you feel unsafe. Now I want to ask this question. Are there any steps that you have taken to try and speak to them about this situation, or try to protect yourself from them, because you know them? --- I don't know, because we have not yet confronted each other. I spoke to only one, who asked me as to when I have arrived.
Did you ever report the matter to the police? --- I have never gone to the police, but I know that they are planning something behind my back, because as from that time I was in Lamontville we were not in good terms up until now.
In other words you say that they are not involved. --- They are involved. They have a hand in my brother's death.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Mthetwa, thank you very much ... (inaudible) ... today. As Dr Magwaza has said, the story
that you have told us is not a new story in our country. There's a long, long list of people who fought against apartheid and who died in detention. I can think of people like, in the sixties, Immam Haroon and Ahmed Timol, Joseph Mdluli, who we heard about today, Steve Biko, Neil Aggett, Dr Hafferjee in Pietermaritzburg, and there are many, many more, and the police gave different reasons for how they died, ridiculous reasons. They jumped out of windows, they fell over chairs, they slipped on pieces of soap. But we know that they didn't die in those ways. Most of these people were murdered by the police. You've said that you believe that your brother was murdered. We'll never ever actually know for sure. It is even possible that he committed suicide, but we must ask ourselves what drove him to commit suicide, what caused him to commit suicide, if indeed he did commit suicide? So it's not really important whether he was murdered or whether he committed suicide, because if he committed suicide things must have been so terrible for him in detention that he was forced to take his own life. And it is the system that killed him one way or another, and if he had not been detained without trial he would have been alive today, and we must never - we must guard against that sort of system every being introduced in this country again, where people are detained without access to their families and lawyers and doctors.
We will try and find out what happened to your brother. You have mentioned an inquest. Which court did that inquest take place at? --- I don't remember quite well which court it was, but I did get an attorney, Shezi, and Shezi has got all the details. He was working with
the Mxenge family. I think it's Khubeka, not Shezi.
(Inaudible) --- That is correct.
(Inaudible) ... thank you very much for coming and sharing the story of your brother's death with us. Thank you very much.
COMMISSIONER: Good afternoon, Mrs Msomi. We welcome you here today. You are from Inanda, and you have come to tell us about the death of your husband. You have someone with you today on the stage. Is that your son? (Pause) Can you hear me? Can you understand me?
MRS MSOMI: Yes, now I hear.
COMMISSIONER: You have somebody with you here on the stage. Is that your son?
MRS MSOMI: He is my son, Bhekithemba Ngcobo.
COMMISSIONER: (Inaudible) ... welcome him here today. Before you tell us that story can you please stand to take the oath.
MAVIS MSOMI (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
COMMISSIONER: Dr Mgojo will help you now.
DR MGOJO: Good afternoon, Mrs Msomi. Please be relaxed. Mrs Msomi, I will ask for you to give us a brief picture of your family. It's you, and how many are you? Don't tell me about your brothers and sisters, I am talking about your children and your husband. --- Oh, it's myself and three children.
What are the names? --- Sibongumusa, the first one.
How old? --- He was born in 1979.
What standard is he? --- Standard six. The second one is Pretty. It's a girl.
What standard is she? --- Standard five.
When was she born? --- 1983. The third one it's Happy, was born in 1986.
It's a girl obviously. --- Yes.
What standard is she? --- Standard two.
What is your husband's name? --- He had many names. (Pause)
Let me remind you. Is he Stephen? --- Yes, he is Stephen.
At the time when Stephen died how old was he then? --- I don't remember, because I have forgotten our marriage certificate.
Oh well, it doesn't matter. I find out that at Inanda there were two groups, especially during this year of 1980-something. Was your husband one of the members - or which group did he belong to? --- Inkatha.
Did he have any position? --- Yes, he had a position. He was a high-ranking official of the IFP.
COMMISSIONER: Please let the witness continue. Please don't be disrespectful to her.
DR MGOJO: What is the blowing of trumpets you were talking about? --- It's the trumpet that has been blown to gather all the men of the area.
So that means he was quite intelligent. --- Yes, he was the only one blowing the trumpet in the area, not any other person.
Were you one of the members? --- Yes, we were together, both members of this group.
What was happening at Inanda around that time? --- Houses were being burned and people were being killed.
Who were burning the houses? --- That was ANC.
And who were killing the people? --- The ANC.
Tell us what happened in 1989 to your husband. --- It was Tuesday morning he woke up.
What month was that? --- January the 6th 1989.
What happened? --- He left, he went to work, and
late in the afternoon one Inkatha police came and said, "Mlambo will be involved in a fight."
Who was Mlambo? --- Mlambo was sort of a leader in the community.
You mean the eye of the chief? --- Yes.
Go on. --- In the afternoon my husband came, and I told him that Mlambo was here, telling us that everyone should go to war and to fight.
Where was that, and what was that? --- That meant the fight between IFP and ANC.
What was the cause? --- We don't know, and we didn't know what the cause was. The ANC came from on the other side, and we will go and put our inquiries to the chief, and we will be asked to pay some money, and we gave some money, R5,00, R10,00, R15,00, and that money was taken to Ulundi.
What about the money? Who were paying this money? --- No, the community people. It was community people who were taking out this money, giving the money.
From what organisation was that? A must, a matter of must? --- Yes, we were obliged to. We paid out that money, and it was a lump sum. It was quite a big amount. So one day one man came and he had altercation and he was fighting with the wife, and we were there, and this other gentleman was busy tearing apart the envelopes. And he was chased away, and he said, "You go away."
Who is the one who says go away? --- That was Mlambo chasing the man who was fighting with the wife, because the man came there for help. So it looks like he was busy with the money, with the envelopes, tearing the envelopes apart, getting some money from it. So he was
disturbing, he had to chase him away. We found out that Mlambo was the one embezzling the funds that we kept paying. The money never went to Ulundi. They insulted us ... (intervention)
Now, before you go any further let's stop right there. When you heard that it was never sent to Ulundi, but it was used by the people there, did you know about that? --- Yes, but we could not say anything towards that. We had to keep quiet, and there was no man who could stand face to face with that man. That man was being feared by every member of the community. Now, one day Msomi was shot, and came home and said, "I almost died, my wife." I asked him why.
What day was that? --- No, before he died. That was before he died.
Was it on the 6th? --- No, it was not on the 6th.
Do you remember when he was shot? --- It was on Sunday, and he died on Wednesday. So it was around three, because they died on Wednesday, the 7th. The ANC group said, "We will kill the people."
Now, let's go back again. When they were killed on Sunday did they survive that, or was there any person who died? --- No, no one died.
Was it ANC shooting Inkatha. --- Yes, it was ANC shooting Inkatha, and the Inkatha was running away.
Msomi was there? --- Yes. He came on Tuesday and I explained to him that, "Tonight it's war, it's ANC fighting IFP." I told him that Mfushane came and told us that Mlambo said you should ... (intervention)
Who is Mfushane now? --- Mfushane is Mthethwa,
/is Mr Mthethwa.
is Mr Mthethwa.
He belonged to IFP? --- No, he was just the community police. And Msomi said, "I am not going there. I won't go there. I won't set my foot there. Tomorrow I am going to work." Truly he slept. He did not go anywhere, he just said he wanted to have his supper and he slept. The following morning he went to work. Around quarter to five I heard people knocking at the window. They said, "Makabhayi, Makabhayi." I said, "Yes." They said, "Where is Msomi?" I told them, "Msomi has already left. He went to work." They said, "What time did he go, and what time did he board the bus?" I told them at four. I looked at the watch and the watch was quarter to five. They came back after a while. They said, "Ma Nkosezwe, Nkosezwe's mum." They said, "You go to the bus stop. I hear there is some attacks." They left again. They passed my shack and they went to the third shack from my shack. There were all sorts of assegais in that house. I had my walking stick. They said, "You rush to the bus stop."
Who had the assegais? --- The ANC had the assegais. Truly I went to the bus stop, and I waited just for a while, and also took on - I saw this woman running, approaching, and she said, "What's happening?"
Do you know this woman? What was her name? --- She was Mrs - Ma Zondi. She was Mrs Zondi. I don't know her name. She was a single lady. She said, "What's happening to you now, Mrs Msomi?" She said, "Msomi has died and he is lying there at the bus stop." You see, I did not know whether I was coming or going now when I heard that. I went past those men, because I had already
got the truth now. I knew what was happening. I went back home and I woke up the children, and I told them to go to their aunt, who was at Lindelani. We went there. I saw - my family came. As we were still preparing our clothes so we could take off the following day one child came and whispered to me, saying, "Mum, there are some boys going to Mlambo's place." I didn't know how to hide my child. I went finally to board the bus to go to Inanda.
Those were your two brothers, or what? --- No, those were my two sisters.
And where were the husbands? Were you together? --- Yes, we were together going home now. We went home. He died on Wednesday, and the funeral took place on Saturday.
Now, when he died - when he was lying there when did you fetch the corpse? --- Bhekizela came. He had gone to check on his store.
Who is Bhekizela, and which group did he belong to? --- He belonged to ANC.
What is his surname? --- His surname is Mbele. He came in his car and asked, "Who has died?" They said, "It's Msomi. He said, "Oh, this is my cousin. So this is my cousin who has died." Then he went to call the policemen from his place. The police came, and C R Swart. There were 12 cars. We were not aware, and yet there was one other person who was dying in fire on the other side, being burned. And the police asked one guy at the bus stop, asking, "Who is the person who is burning there?" He answered that it was Mr Mhlope. And one lady went to cover that corpse, the burning one, to cover it.
/So Mr Msomi
So Mr Msomi was killed at the same time. This happened concurrently, these two incidents, the burning one and Mr Msomi? --- Yes, that happened and took place at the same time.
What happened after that? --- The police came and took him.
Where were the police coming from? --- They were coming from Mtshabeni. And Mr Mbele is the one who gave them a telephone call.
You mean your cousin? --- Yes, our cousin.
He was taken to ... (incomplete) --- He was taken to the mortuary. They asked for my ID and his ID book.
Did they have any post-mortem or something conducted after that to prove what killed him? --- Yes, they did specify that he was killed from being stabbed many times, and also all over most of the places in the body and on the head. They explained to me that he had fatal wounds, but I never got to see him. I was scared, I was afraid.
Did you get any death certificate? --- You mean death certificate?
Yes, I mean death certificate. --- We have it. It's at home.
Did it also state that he died from wounds, fatal wounds? --- Yes.
Was there any kind of investigation in this regard? --- No, no investigation whatsoever.
Did you report the matter to the police? --- Yes.
Which police station? --- Mtshabeni Police Station.
Would you happen to know who was the station commander then? --- No.
Did you bury him? --- Yes, I buried him.
Where? --- At Ndwedwe, at Newsel.
Your cousin, Bhekizela Mbele, the ANC member, did he attend the funeral? --- No, they did not get the opportunity to attend, because they died on Wednesday, and on Saturday we buried them - buried him. He didn't spend time in the mortuary.
Dying in this manner, how did this impact on your life? --- Yes, it did impact, and it disturbed us, and it was such a traumatic experience.
What happened besides this crying? --- After his death I experienced problems with my heart. I would at times feel I am being attacked. You know, I had this heart attack, and I got this problems with my eyesight. My eyesight is so poor I cannot see. Things are not visible enough to me.
What about your children? Were they severely harassed, and how did this impact on them? --- This harassed them, because even at night they get frightened as if there's something attacking, or there is something they see approaching.
Do you get some kind of help in this? --- No, and no one is helping.
Did you ever consult the psychologist? --- You mean social workers?
Yes, also social workers and psychologists. --- No.
Would you wish to be in touch and consult the psychologists or social workers? --- Yes.
What you need to do, after this - do you know our offices by the way? They are at Smith Street. --- The place where we gave our statements?
Yes. In case you don't manage to consult the psychologist or social workers today please you must go to our offices and get in touch with this doctor, Dr Magwaza and she will help you a great deal. Your children now, who is educating your children? Are you working? --- No, I am not working.
How do you survive? How do you make ends meet? --- Well, there is some white family who gave us some money.
Is that enough? --- No, that's not enough. You know I could be working, but this lady said I should not work, I should be home and take care of my children.
Now that you have come here to the Truth Commission what do you wish to ask that the Truth Commission should do for you? --- What I will request from the Truth Commission, they should support my children, maintain my children.
You mean putting them back to school, paying for them at school and so on? --- Yes.
Mrs Msomi, your story is touching. I will repeat what I said on Monday, that killing, whether you are ANC or IFP, it just boils to one thing - it's bad. It's evil. It's just evil. Whether it's done by ANC or IFP it's an evil act. This burning, killing people with fire and so forth, it's evil. People were never killed in this manner. This thing is completely new, what's happening. It never used to happen a long time ago. But what you have said and asked for, we'll compile a report and
forward it to the State President. He will come up with a resolution. Thank you.
DR MAGWAZA: What I will say here is just to wrap up this whole thing, and everything that you have said. Also we would like to thank your son that he accompanied you to the Commission. What I will thank you for is your being brave, for you are such a brave woman. And when I am looking at the people who came forward today it's the first time we've listened to the persons who come from your group, and I do trust and hope that all of us in this hall will respect all the witnesses, irrespective of their group and affiliations. We do not encourage anything that will bring division in our society. Thank you.
COMMISSIONER: (Inaudible) ... Dr Magwaza has said. We are very pleased that you had the courage to come and tell us your story. You will know, having been here today, that most of the people here were supporters or members of the ANC or the UDF, but, as Dr Magwaza has said, this Commission was set up by the Government to hear from all people, all people from South Africa who suffered human rights violations over the past 30 years, and we know that many Inkatha members also suffered. As you have told us today you suffered the terrible death of your husband.
We have heard your request, and we will be making submissions - recommendations to the Government, to the State President, as to how people like you should be assisted. So we want to thank you very much. You have helped us to get a more complete picture. We know that there was suffering on both sides, and you have given us
information which will enable us to paint a more complete picture when we make our report to the Government at the end of the day. Thank you very much to you and your son.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Ndimande, we welcome you here today. You had to wait the whole day to telly our story, and we thank you for being so patient. You are from Folweni, is that correct?
MR NDIMANDE: That is correct.
COMMISSIONER: It's about the murder of your wife, Duduzile Eunice Ndimande, and the injuring of your twin daughters, Thulile and Thulisile. That was in 1993. Before you tell us that story can you stand to take the oath. Can you stand up to take the oath.
GILBERT NDIMANDE (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
MR LAX: Thank you, Chairperson. Good afternoon, Mr Ndimande. --- I greet you also.
(Inaudible) ... to talk to us, and if you could remember just to speak into the microphone as we are talking and as the people are hearing. Now, if you'll excuse me one moment. (Pause) Mr Ndimande, we understand that you've just lost your mother, and we extend our condolences to you for that. Are you feeling okay to continue with your evidence today though? --- I can continue.
Before we go into the story can you just tell us a little bit about your family. From the statement we understand that you have three children, Xolisile, Thulile and Thulisile. Are there any other children that have not been mentioned in the statement? --- I have quite a big family. I have 16 children. But unfortunately four died and I was left with 12. The eldest is Sibonelo, the second one is Bhekisani, the third one is Jabu, the fourth is Xolisile, the fifth one is Mduduzi, the sixth one is
Thulile. Thulile and Thulisile are twins, and there's another one, Lungile, following by Sithembele, Nogwanda, Fanele, Ngimangele. I have seven children with the deceased. I've got three wives. The second wife has got one child. Two sons died and one daughter was left. With my third wife I have one son and three daughters.
And yourself, are you presently working? --- I was working at AECI, but I was retrenched in 1990. I am no longer working.
Thank you. Now, at the time all these incidents happened you were living in Umbumbulu in the Mahlabatini area, and the Nkanga part of that. --- That is correct, as I have already said that I have got a big family. My first wife, the deceased, was staying at Mahlabatini, the second one at Folweni, and the third one we had a house at Ifracon, next to Umkomaas.
Now, tell us a little bit about the area that you were staying in at that time, Nkanga. --- At Mahlabatini and near Nkanga, on that particular night - because the situation was not quite well, so I was not at Mahlabatini, so I was in one of my wives' houses. Because of the situation that was there my wife, together with the children, decided that she should not sleep at home because it was not safe. There was a faction fight between ANC and Inkatha. They wanted members. My wife ran to Nkanga, where there was a Dlomo family, who is my cousin. They slept at that house. Because the children had to go to school the following morning they woke up very early the following morning, and she was preparing for the children to go to school. Before they even got home they were followed by certain men. According to the
children they said these were three men who were wearing Balaclavas. They started shooting them. My wife was shot at that time, and she fell in front of the yard. My twins were also shot, Thulisile and Thulile. They were shot in the legs. The elder daughter managed to run away, and she hid herself behind the trees. Thulile and Thulisile also followed suit, they went to hide with their sister. They hid there for quite some time, and they were waiting for the people to disappear. Thereafter they proceeded home. That's where Xolisile went. She took a shawl and she went to cover her mother. And my neighbour, who had a shop, went and took the twins, Thulile and Thulisile. Thulisile had been shot in the leg only. Thulile has got a wound just below the scapula, as well as on her right leg. After this had happened the police got a message, the Isipingo police got a message, and they went to fetch my wife's corpse to the mortuary. Apparently they were sent by my son, Mduduzi, because he also nearly died because he had slept at a certain house opposite the Dlomo family, and he was following them. When this was happening he was behind his sisters, and when he heard gunshots he realised that his mother, as well as his sisters, were injured and he went back to raise the alarm, because the police in Isipingo came to fetch the corpse. After they had been discharged from the hospital - I asked the hospital to discharge them because I wanted them to come back to their mother's funeral. This happened on the 13th, and that weekend went past. The following weekend I asked for them to be released so that they could come to their mother's funeral. The police took the statement. Thulile also submitted a statement. I took the children to the police,
and that was the end of the matter. I was never filled in as to what has happened. That's why I have come before this Commission. Thank you.
(Inaudible) ... just ask you some questions to clarify one or two aspects please. That area you were living in there were people of different political persuasions all living together, if I understand your statement correctly. --- That is correct. It was Inkatha as well as ANC.
And you're not actually sure, from what I understand in your statement, who these people were that shot your family members. --- I am not very positive because myself, together with my family, I was never involved in any political organisation, and none of my family was affiliated to any. Because I always believed that I did not want to be involved in politics because these political organisations are not for illiterate people. Because I am illiterate, and I thought the political organisations were gunning for people who were literate. Now after this had happened I do not believe these are people who were literate. I think these were just thugs who were hiding behind political organisations, because if I had to control an organisation I would choose who would join a particular political organisation. Because the people who killed my loved ones, I do not think they know anything about politics.
(Inaudible) ... Ndimande. Now, how old was your wife when she was killed? --- We were both born in 1948.
Your two daughters, have they recovered now? From their injuries that is? --- I cannot say that they are
well. From looking at them I could say they are well, but last year they failed standard six, and I think something is happening in their lives because they have never failed before.
(Inaudible) ... has affected them, you think, definitely affected their school work and so on? --- I can say that, because they are not lazy at school, but I saw them failing.
Has Xolisile been affected by this at all? --- Xolisile was not affected, because at school she is faring quite well. She is in standard 10 now at Umlazi Commercial.
(Inaudible) ... that paper you've taken out, or is there something there you want to draw to our attention? --- It is true. There is something that I want to say, because the way my family had been traumatised, I am still traumatised even now. Now I am even more traumatised. I am traumatised by the Government itself.
(Inaudible) ... please. --- I want to say as I am part of the community I am not harassed as an individual, but as a community or a member of the community. Lungile Ruth Ndimande is here with us. He is at Natal Durban campus. He is doing his second year in accounting, cost management. He passed his standard 10 in 1994. Up until now he has not yet received his certificate. I want this Commission to take further steps on behalf of our children, because as it is now I am walking up and down at Umlazi Commercial, but I am not getting any answers. My child is being harassed at school. They promised her with expulsion because I do not have money, and I do not know what to do at this juncture.
(Inaudible) ... what I would suggest you do is come and see us in the office about these additional things, and we can try and point you in the right direction to get assistance with them, but they are not matters directly within the Commission's work. But we will definitely point you in the right direction with them. If I could just follow up. You've indicated that since you have been retrenched from work, in your statement, you've been getting some support from one of your sons, your eldest son in fact. Is that correct? --- That is correct, but now he has also lost his job, and he also wants to go back and further his education next year, because he got a standard 10 exemption and he wants to further his studies. And he also has three children.
As far as you know has there ever been a case by the - or an inquest following up on your wife's death? --- I have not heard anything up until now, so I don't know what happened to the police in Isipingo. They never contacted me thereafter.
(Inaudible) ... made to the Isipingo Police Station were made quite soon after your wife was killed, is that right? --- That is correct. I reported it immediately after my wife was attacked and killed.
(Inaudible) ... can try and trace the records of that there for you. I hand back to the Chairperson.
DR MAGWAZA: You have been harassed and traumatised. The main objective of the Commission is to look at this other aspect or facet of trauma that the families go through. I want to know as to how old were your twins when they got injured, or how old are they now? --- At the time that
/they - they
they - they were born in 1981, and they got injured in 1993, which means they were almost 12 when they were injured.
How old is Xolisile? --- Xolisile was born in 1979.
As they were 12-year-olds, and they have now lost their mother, who is staying with them now? --- They are staying with my son. They went back to Umbumbulu, where we were born.
When you look at them you see them as healthy human beings? --- That is correct.
It's not very usual that when children have been through such trauma would thereafter be normal. If it's possible for you we would request you to go to school and try to find out what their performance is like, because it's possible that at times, as a father, you tend to overlook certain things, especially with regard to children. You may not be very close to your children, especially that they are girls. Maybe it could help if you could go to their teachers and find out as to their progress. --- I will do that, because I do have a sister who is teaching at that particular school, and I have never got a negative report, but I'll nevertheless follow it up.
COMMISSIONER: (Inaudible) ... all day for us. I said earlier on, when Mrs Sithole gave her evidence, that there was something particularly awful and cowardly about a woman being shot, and your wife was a victim. Not satisfied with that they then shot your two little daughters. And, as I have said before over these past three days, it's very difficult for us to understand and come to terms with that sort of behaviour. You have said that the people who killed your wife knew nothing about politics, and I think that you are quite correct. Politics and democracy is about learning to live with each other's political differences, and there are a lot of people in this country, and particularly in this province, who believe that they are politicians, but in fact are no more than thugs.
As Dr Magwaza and Mr Lax have said, it's our job to make recommendations to the Government about how people like you, your family, especially your two little daughters, should be assisted and rehabilitated, and we will be making recommendations on your behalf. So we thank you very much for coming in to talk to us today. --- Thank you very much. I would appreciate it if you would pass these requests forward to the State President. Maybe he could help me, support me with my children's education. Thank you.
Mr Ndimande was the last witness today.
COMMISSIONER: The next witness is Jabu Ndlovu, Mrs Jabu Ndlovu. Mrs Ndlovu, we welcome you here. Thank you for waiting for so long to tell us your story. You are from Newtown, Inanda, is that right?
MRS NDLOVU: That's correct.
COMMISSIONER: You have come to tell us about the murder of your husband, Bhekukwenza Raymond Ndlovu, in 1983.
MRS NDLOVU: That's correct.
COMMISSIONER: Can you stand up to take the oath before you give your evidence.
JABU NDLOVU (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
COMMISSIONER: It's Mrs Gcabashe now who will help you with your evidence.
MR GCABASHE: Good afternoon, Jabu. --- Good afternoon to you.
I will thank you for your patience. Since this morning you've been waiting, and also thank you for being brave enough to come in front of this Commission. We know very well that you've brought a sad story that may perhaps bring the past back to you and make you feel even more bad. Before we get started I will first ask you to tell us concisely about your family. --- I have three children.
What are they, girls or boys? --- It's one boy and two girls, twins.
What's the boy's name? --- Simu.
The other one? --- Thembeka, the girl, and Thandeka.
Oh, you have one boy? Are they still schooling? --- Yes, they are at school.
All of them? --- Yes.
What standard is Simu? --- Simu is in standard eight.
And the other one, Thembeka? --- Is in standard two.
What about Thandeka? --- Both of them are in standard two. They are identical twins.
You are so fortunate you have twins. Are you working? --- No, I am not working.
How old was your husband at the time of his death? --- He was born in 1959. I don't know the exact age.
Now, relate to us that before this took place in 1983 how was the situation at the time where you were living? Please raise your voice. --- We were staying at the tents at A. He was a member of IFP.
Was he a member of IFP? --- Yes, he was a member of IFP. Now, around that time UDF was already formed, and UDF proclaimed that they were sweeping, and they wanted to get rid of IFP in Inanda. The day when he got injured he was going to work when he got murdered. It was on Saturday. I think it was going for seven, or quarter past six, around there. We did not have a house at the time. We were staying at a sister's house. We just heard a voice, a screaming voice, screaming and shouting - and shouting and saying, "Brother-in-law, brother-in-law, I am dying." We got out to see what was happening, because we could identify that it was his voice. We could not speak and talk to him because he was already lying by the gate. When we were looking we saw a group of young men running away, far away. We could not even chase them or run after them. We wanted to attend to the one who was lying down.
Suddenly his sister and the husband suspected he had died already. They were whispering. They did not want me to hear that. They rushed to look for a car, and it was late, the car could not - we could not take him into the car, but the police vehicle came. He was just stabbed once. There were not many wounds, just on the left-hand side. It did not look like he was stabbed by a knife, it looked like it was a screwdriver. His mother had come already, and she gave the statement at the Police Station Mtshebeni, but I don't remember if there was any case conducted.
Let's go back and retrace. According to your statement you say it was not the first time that he was harassed by the UDF. Tell us about the other incidents. --- Oh, the first time it was before we got married. It was in 1981. They stabbed him several times that day. I found him at the hospital already. I was at home, because we were no married yet. I went to King Edward. That's where he was admitted. He was under critical care, probably in the ICU. How long was he admitted in the hospital? --- A week or so.
Why was the UDF after him? --- He was a prominent figure in the area.
What was he known of? --- He was someone who was intelligent, and people knew him to be very intelligent. And also he would stand for his rights.
In your statement you make mention of Thembeka. Who is Thembeka? --- Thembeka is my child.
What happened to Thembeka, because she is mentioned in the statement? --- No, the statement-taker was asking me how many children do I have. Then I mentioned
Now you say you went to the police. Who reported the matter to the police? --- It was his brother-in-law.
The police are the ones who took him to the mortuary? --- Yes.
Was there any case opened or something, or probably others being arrested due to this? --- I don't think there was anyone who was arrested. This died off.
No policemen who came to your place? --- No.
Did - was there any kind of inquest, or probably the doctors who came to tell you about his death? --- You mean did they call us?
Yes. --- No, they did not call us.
Did you get a certificate, death certificate? --- Yes.
What was written on it? --- No, I did not read much from the death certificate. You see the death certificate we received is the abridged one, and they said they were still investigating the matter.
Was there any result of the investigation? --- No.
You said you are not working. --- Yes, I am not working.
Tell us how do you survive, how do you make ends meet at home? --- I am self-employed. I am selling vegetables from home. At times I go to New Germany and I buy second-hand items and sell them.
That's how you make a living? --- Yes.
Since your husband died it's clear to us that you have been harassed, and you also know of the times that
the UDF was after him. How did this impact on your life? --- I have a problem with the dreams. My dreams are very strange. I don't know how to explain this. And also I have the problem with my headache. I get these terrible headaches. And BP, blood pressure. And Simu as well has been affected a lot by this. He will cry and scream at night, and say he is seeing people, he is seeing some figures around.
What about the others? --- No, they are not affected.
What about at school? How are they faring? --- No, at school they are okay. They are faring well. The older one will complain about headache, especially during examination time. Even this last time Simu missed his one exam, he could not sit for his exam.
It looks to me Simu has been highly affected by this more than the rest. --- Yes.
Now, as you have already recited and related the whole story to us, the police that you reported the matter to, would you by any chance happen to know their names, or whether they were the KwaZulu policemen? --- If I am not mistaken it's SAP.
You didn't get to know who they were? --- No.
Well, we've heard your story, Jabu. You have heard other people relating their sad stories, and we also can see that you are one of those. Did you ever try or endeavour to see and consult doctors after this happened? --- We often and usually go to the clinic, and that's where we will see the doctors there at the clinic.
Did you ever think of consulting the psychiatrists or counsellors to find out the cause that leads to the child being restless at night? --- No, we haven't been.
Would you like to? --- Yes, I will be thankful.
Yes, you see when you ignore these kind of things after a long run it will be difficult for us to treat them, or for the psychologist expert to treat them. It's much better to attack these things and attend these things at an earlier stage like this, so it's quite important that they get attention. What would you wish the Truth Commission to do for you? What are your expectations? --- I will ask the Truth Commission to assist in paying and educating my children at school.
Do you manage right now? --- I am trying, but their grandmother is helping because she gets pension money.
We have heard your request, but like you have already heard even from others that we as a Truth Commission don't have that authority to do things or meet your expectations, but one thing for sure that we can do for you, that is our task and objective, is to compile a report and forward it to the State President, and they will take resolutions and see that you are helped. We will forward this to the State President, we promise. --- Thank you.
I will hand over to the Chairperson now.
I want to follow your request, your expectations from the Truth Commission. At the time when your husband died did you probably get some kind of compensation from his place of work? --- No, when he got injured in 1981 he stayed the whole year at home not working. His left arm was paralysed, not working at the time. The second
time around now, when he got injured and murdered, he was only two months old at his place of work.
Secondly, usually when one has lost her husband the social workers usually try to get grant for the family. Did you ever bother yourself to go and see the social workers? --- No, I haven't been.
I think it will be of prime help for you to go and consult and see the social workers, and then there is something that they do for you. Finally, Mrs Ndlovu, you are also one of the people who have been highly harassed. These are things that are surprising us still, that we see you so much in a good condition and intact, and these are things that make us see that you are worth help from the Truth Commission. You have already showed us that you are a brave woman, and you are strong enough. We will do all we can to help you.
COMMISSIONER: (Inaudible) ... for coming in and telling us your story. Your story is very similar to that of Mrs Msomi, Mrs Mavis Msomi, who gave evidence earlier on today. Her husband was a member of the IFP, and he was killed by a group of young men. And your husband was in the same position. He was a member of that party as well, and he too was brutally attacked and killed by a group of young men in Newtown.
We are grateful that you've come to tell us your story because it helps us to understand both sides of the conflict. We know that many ordinary members of the IFP died, and when we write our report it is important that we reflect exactly what happened in this province, and stories like yours will assist to give us a full picture.
You lost your husband, your companion, your breadwinner, the father of your children, and we extend our deep sympathy to you.
We have heard your requests and, as Mrs Gcabashe has said, our job is to make recommendations to the Government as to how you should be assisted, and we will be making those recommendations. So finally we thank you again very much for coming in, and waiting all day and telling us your story. Thank you very much.
COMMISSIONER: Mrs Sithole, we welcome you here today. Thank you for having the patience to wait so long to give your evidence. Can you hear me? You've got two people on the stage with you. Are those your daughters?
MRS SITHOLE: They are my daughters.
COMMISSIONER: (Inaudible) ... here today. You are living at the moment in New Germany, is that correct?
MRS SITHOLE: I stay in Clermont.
COMMISSIONER: You've come to tell us about an attack on your house at Inanda by members of the IFP. Please can you stand up to take the oath before you tell us that story.
EUNICE SITHOLE (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
COMMISSIONER: Dr Randera will help you now.
DR RANDERA: Mrs Sithole, good afternoon to you and to your daughters. You're going to talk to us about what happened to you in 1988, but before you do that I was wondering if you can just give us some other information. Can you tell us about your family first? --- It's myself, my husband, as well as my six children.
Can you also tell us which political party do you belong to, and your family members, if they were involved as well? --- That is correct. I was involved in politics. I was a member of the ANC.
Were you just a member, or were you more intimately involved? --- I was a supporter of the ANC.
And your family members? --- My husband, as well as my sons, were members.
Can you please tell us what was happening in your area at that time in 1988 in terms of the conflicts? --- /It was
It was actually from 1987. My son was attending school at Umbuzana, and his name was Sifiso. He was from Umathiwe, and when he got to Umbuzana in the middle of the year, whilst he was still attending school, there was a certain kombi that used to come to his school, and it used to follow them, together with his friends Fano and Mbuso and another group of youths. And they used to ask them whether they were still continuing in that school, because members of the UDF were not accepted at that school. And they denied this, they said they were not affiliated to any political organisation. And these people told them that they should go back to where they belong because they were not accepted. Each time there were certain people who used to come to their school, and they would call them, say they wanted to talk to them, until they got a certain hole through which they used to escape whenever these people came to their school. And these people used to accost them and ask them about being members of the UDF, and they kept on denying these claims. And at some stage the drivers of this car wanted to take them and put them into the car, and they related the matter to us that there was this car which kept on chasing them. I said it was towards the end of the year, and he was going to change the school the following year, so he should continue for that particular year. And in the neighbourhood there was a certainly family called the Dlamini family. They made a meeting and they said all male children should go to that meeting. We refused our children permission to go there. We said we did not have any weapons, and we were told that they had a lot of weapons, they would not run short of weapons. All we
should do, we should send our sons there. And thereafter we kept on being checked on by the members of Inkatha, because they were telling us that we had sons and we did not want to send them to the meetings of Inkatha. And we ended up sleeping in the garden now because they always used to come, especially in the middle of the night. At times we would sleep in the garden, wake up the following morning, get into the house and wash, go to work, and the children would go to school. In the evening we would come back, have supper, and go and sleep in the garden. On a particular day two buses came, and we heard people saying the Inkatha had arrived, and we went back into the garden where we used to sleep. My husband said he was now tired of running away and he would sleep in the house. He would run away when he heard them coming. I saw them coming and I ran into the house. I knocked on the window to warn my husband that the Inkatha people had come. I knocked violently on the window, and my husband woke up and he ran into the garden. We hid ourselves there. Life went on like that, because we used to sleep in the garden. We decided to go and look for a certain place called Congo, and we took our clothes with and we went to look for a shack. We hired a shack, and this shack was a one-roomed shack. We just wanted to be safe so that we could not sleep outside any more. And at that time we believed that at the shacks we would not be known as to where we came from. We stayed there, and the family was quite big for a shack. And each time we went back home we would be told that there was a certain car that was moving around asking as to our whereabouts. And at that time I had taken Sifiso to Impendle, and I was left with two girls and
Sithembiso, who was very young at that time. We stayed at those shacks, and we experienced problems because they were stealing at the shacks and they were breaking into the shack. And we went to ask as to what the situation was like. Apparently it looked calm at that stage, and we decided to go back to our house. We went back together with the children, and we stayed there, and it was in 1989 by then. We stayed for quite a short while and we realised that it looked as if the situation was calm and it was safer later on. And I brought Sifiso, because each time Sifiso came back people would come and ask about him, that he had come, and I would always deny that he was there. Then on a particular night in 1989 we heard a knock. It was 11.00 pm in the evening. But we were still somehow scared. We heard somebody knocking at the door at 11 o'clock, and I could gather that these people were many. It was not only one person. My husband wanted to go and open the door, but I restrained him and I told my husband that I should be the one to open the door. I went to open the door. When I got to the door I saw a certain man. His name is Mr Sibiya. I saw Mr Sibiya. He had a big gun, as well as an assegai and a knobkerrie. We greeted Sibiya, and my husband also greeted Sibiya. And Sibiya took only two steps towards us in the dining-room, and at some stage he put down his weapons and he said, "Sithole, I do not want to get into your house with weapons." At that time we were scared because the children were asleep, but we felt - we suspected something and we asked him as to what he wanted. He told us that we should not be scared, he had come to look for Fano, and Fano was my son's friend and he was also suspected of
being a member of the UDF. On the day that Sibiya had come Sifiso was at home on that day, and he was going to go back to the rural areas the following morning, and they were hiding in the bedroom at that time together with his friend Fano. He said that he knew that Fano was at our place, but my husband said Fano is not there, but in reality he was there but we had hidden him. And they said they wanted Fano, and they had seen that Fano had come to our place. My husband denied that Fano was around, and Sibiya said, "It is fine if he is not there," and we told him that they had gone to the rural areas, and we denied that Fano was around. We said Fano had gone with his mother to his mother's workplace. Sibiya then took his weapons and he decided to go out. I closed the door. Just as Sibiya was getting out I peeped through the curtain in the dining-room to see as to who he was with. And Sibiya did not fight when he came, he just said he was looking for Fano, and when I peeped through the curtain I saw so many people surrounding our house. They were even more than the people who are in this hall today. All of them were having guns and weapons, as well as knobkerries. I stood there in the dining-room and I looked through the curtains, and I heard Sibiya talking at the door. And this person asked as to why Sibiya did not kill Sithole, and he said he was not going to kill Sithole because he was sent to go and ask for the key so that they would get a way of killing Sithole. The others said they would not kill my husband because Sibiya had failed to kill my husband. He said he was not directed to kill Sithole, but he was directed to look for the boys, and they said Sibiya was selling them out. And they said to him he was an ANC
member, why did he not want to kill Sithole. Had he shot Sithole, Sithole would probably have told them where the boys were. I once more opened the door because I did not feel safe. I went into the bedroom. I told them that they must take a different direction. They must get underneath the bed and we were going to sit on top of the bed. We wanted to hide them. And these people went away. They were followed by a certain car, a kombi, but I am not sure of the colour of the kombi. I could not even see the registration plate, because I did see that it was the kombi that the boys had told me about. They went around a certain corner, an we had already heard them asking Sibiya as to why he did not kill my husband. At 5 o'clock the following morning I told them to pack and go without even washing. I accompanied them. I gave Fano some money to go because his mother was not around. I gave him money and told him he should go with my son to the rural areas. Then on the following day I phoned to inquire as to whether they had arrived. It was confirmed that they had arrived. After about a week after Sifiso as well as his friend had gone we saw certain people passing in front of my house at about 11, and they kept on saying they had seen Mr Sithole's house before. And I was listening to them at that time, and I told my husband that we should go and hide, they would not kill the children, they would have mercy on the children. We hid ourselves underneath a peach tree. That's correct.hey went past, they never got into the yard up until they went to Sibiya's place. They were so many. It was a large group. Then on the following week very late at night, at about 11 - my husband was working night shift, and whenever he was
working night shift I used to sleep with the children. Dudu was sleeping with me, and we slept in one room because we were scared. And we heard some footsteps outside, but nobody was knocking or coming in. At about half past 11 I could hear the sound of shattering glass. That was in the bedroom. My child's uniform was hanging there, and I could hear something hitting me, and I asked myself as to what had taken the uniform from its hanging place. I woke the children and we put the lights on. I picked the uniform up and I put it into the wardrobe. Then I decided to get dressed, and we stayed there. I was dressed during the night. At about 1.00 am, at dawn, I saw a gun, the front of a gun, pointing at our heads, and I heard them say, "We have now come. You think you are brilliant." I looked at this person. He was very dark. I had never ever seen him before. He said we thought we were clever. I realised that this was a gun I threw myself down and I lied flat on the floor, and I directed my children to lie down on the floor. Some of them got underneath the bed. Now the bedroom was opened. They started firing at us. He shot for the second time, and when he shot for the third time we started screaming. We could hear some gunshots at the dining-room door, and we decided to scream and not go in that direction. They kept on shooting through the window, and after some time there was quiet and we thought they had gone. And thereafter we heard Mr Blose screaming and saying they should come and help us because we might probably be dead. I could hear them when they were talking. And the neighbours gathered. Thereafter I decided to take my daughter, Dudu, and when I went into the dining-room I saw that by now it was dawn, /and there
and there was some light. I opened the dining-room door.
Initially I had thought that we should go to Mrs Gasa's place so that we could get some refuge there. After quite a short while, whilst we were standing there together with Dudu, just as I was getting to the verandah, we heard some footsteps and I ran backwards, running away from those footsteps. (Pause) There was a flight of stairs.
Take your time. Would you like to drink some water? --- Just as I was reversing I was shot, and I was wearing a nightdress. He shot me on the stomach, and I bled at the same time. Then at that moment I thought I was going to die. I got out and I looked at this person properly. It was a short person, and he was limping, but I do not know him. I went into the bedroom. I took a sheet and I wrapped myself because I was bleeding profusely at that time, and I closed the door at that stage. I went back together with the children and I lied down on the floor. And Dudu collapsed at that time because she was behind me.
(Inaudible) ... allow your daughter to be taken away by the briefers, if that's all right with you? (Pause) Ma'am, hello. Won't you take this young lady away. Mrs Sithole, I am just going to - after you were shot you were taken to King Edward VIII Hospital, is that right? --- That is correct. And later on, when the neighbours realised that the attackers had run away, they came to investigate as to what had happened, and my children told them. They went to get a car that was going to take me to the hospital, but I did not get the car quickly because the neighbours were scared that they would also be attacked. Then they went to another neighbour, and
ultimately we got somebody to help me and he took me to
the hospital together with my daughter, Nthokozo. We went to King Edward Hospital. When I got to King Edward Hospital it was in the morning at about 7 o'clock, and I was going to be taken to the theatre. I was operated on. They were trying to retrieve the bullets, because they only saw holes and the bullets disappeared in my body. When I was discharged I asked as to whether they got any bullets. The doctor told me that they could not get the bullets, but she had - but that I had 15 holes in my intestines, but he could not get any bullets. I was admitted.
(Inaudible) ... did you stay in hospital? --- I stayed for two weeks, and I was discharged on the third week.
And your daughters were all right, they weren't injured at all during this attack? --- No, they were not injured.
You say in your statement that the harassment continued even after that. --- Yes. My daughters at that time never got injured, but Nokuthula, the one who was born in 1979, suffered from epileptic fits as from that day. Dudu had something that happened to her. She's got a continuous headache. Nthokozo was disturbed mentally, and I was also disturbed mentally. Thereafter when we were no longer staying at Impendle they continued to harass my husband. They used to got to Dunlop and ask for my husband. My husband was sleeping at Dunlop, where he was working, because he was not able to sleep at home after we had been attacked. At times he would sleep at Dunlop and come to me and see me at the hospital. And at
Dunlop the attackers could not come and attack him in
there, but a certain car used to come and they used to ask for Sithole. And after I had been discharged from the hospital my husband had to go and look for a place because we could not stay at home. We ended up having to go. My husband looked for a flat at Point. We stayed at that flat. It's only then that I went to fetch the children. I took them back to Umathiwe. Then the caretaker told me that I was overcrowding the place because I had many children. I had to take my children away, but I did not know where to take them. I explained my situation to the caretaker. I told him that I wanted my children to further their education, and that he should give me a chance to look for another flat because I was not going to be able to throw my children away. He gave me a chance to look for another flat.
(Inaudible) ... just relax, take your time. Can I just say that it is remarkable and incredible that you are able to come and tell us this story today, and that you still have the strength and the resolve to come and tell us the story with your daughters. I just have one question to ask. You said earlier on that if you didn't belong to a political party our children couldn't go to that school. Does that still remain today? I mean this happened in 1988/1989. --- When I got to Clermont my children were not admitted at school because the schools were full. I do think the reason was because they were having this past with politics.
DR MGOJO: Mr Sithole, are your children Nokuthula, Dudu, as well as Nthokozo and Sifiso and Sithembiso and Sabelo? /--- Yes.
What are their ages? How old is Nokuthula? --- Nokuthula is 17 years old. Dudu is 19 years old. She was born in 1978. Nthokozo was born in 1973.
And Sifiso? --- Sifiso is 25 years old. Sithembiso is 21 years old. Sabelo is 13 years old. He is the last-born.
How many are still attending school? --- Four are attending school.
And who are they? --- It's Sithembiso, Nokuthula and Dudu. Sithembiso is at university. He is doing second year. He's at the University of Cape Town.
And what about Sifiso? --- Sifiso is working.
Has he left school? --- Yes.
What about Sabelo? --- Sabelo is in standard four.
Nthokozo? --- Nthokozo completed her matric last year.
What about Dudu? --- Dudu is in standard nine.
What about Nokuthula? --- Nokuthula is in standard 10.
You say you are staying at another flat now. Were you chased away from that flat? --- We are no longer staying at the flat, because when we were told that we were overcrowding the flat we looked for some land to build. We got an estate agent which was going to build us a house together with my children, so we are staying at Clermont at the present moment together with my husband. But my eldest son is staying in Lamontville.
Is your husband still working where he used to work before? --- Yes, he is still working at Dunlop. I am
working also. I am working at a place of safety. I
started working there in 1992.
(Inaudible - end of side A) ... amongst the audience, so you were not alone. There are people who sympathise with you, and there are people who feel your pain. You are lucky, because even the people who are sitting in the audience were also harassed, and you are lucky to be alive. You said there were certain bullets that penetrated your stomach. Were they taken out? --- Yes, they were taken out, because I ended up having an abscess on my right leg, and I was operated on and the bullets were taken out. My right leg is troubling me. I am limping. And you have already said that Nokuthula suffered from epileptic fits, Dudu has got a headache, yourself and Nthokozo are mentally disturbed. What about the rest of the family? --- Sabelo also has a problem.
What about the other ones? --- Sifiso also is very irritable, especially at work.
If there is any help that you can get, because I do realise that you have been traumatised emotionally, are you receiving any psychological help? --- No, we are not getting any psychological help, but we used to go to private doctors whenever we got the headaches. And we all have this headache, it's common.
Have you ever been to see psychologists? --- No, we've never been anywhere to get psychological help.
I think you will need psychological help, and I would like to refer you to social workers as well as psychologists. You should come and make preparations with Dr Magwaza at our offices, because you look really traumatised mentally, as well as physically and
emotionally. I hope that you can get some psychological
attention, see some specialists who can assist you in your problem. You said - what did you say your expectations from the Commission were? --- No, I did not say.
As you have come what are your expectations? --- I would like the Commission to facilitate our rehabilitation, because we are having these psychological problems. At work I have this bad report that I am always having altercations with people. I am always having arguments with people. I am very irritable at work. I am very nervous. Now I think this is due to the problems that I have experienced. I am living separate from my family. My children are scattered. If the Commission can help us I hope we can get some psychological help. I would like the Commission to also help me to get a place to stay so that I can collect my family.
This Commission does not really help people, but it takes all the requests and compiles them into recommendations and passes them over to people with authority. At times it does help that after being traumatised there is somebody whom you can rely on. How is your husband now? --- He is very irritable. He is much more irritable than us, but we do really - he is very irritable. I think he is even worse than us. Even he is present.
We would suggest that all of you come. --- He is present. We have come together with him.
MR LAX: Mrs Sithole, just to clarify one aspect. You've indicated you were in hospital for a couple of weeks. In
fact that was a couple of months, is that not correct? In
other words I am saying to you you were in hospital, as far as we know, for about three months. --- No, it was not three months. I think there was a mistake when I submitted the statement. The mistake was on my part. It was only two weeks.
You said your husband is around. Where is he? (Pause) You are not going to testify. I just wanted to see you. You have all survived. God is great.
COMMISSIONER: Mrs Sithole ... (inaudible) ... for coming in here today, and we also welcome you, Mr Sithole. You have given us a very, very vivid, clear picture of what life was like for you in Inanda in the 1980s. It is ridiculous that people should have to have lived like that, sleeping in the bush at night, fearing the knock on the door at night. Not from the police or from the army, but from your own neighbours, and it's evidence of very, very deep political intolerance.
From what you have told us you were very, very lucky not to have been killed that night. I am sure it was the intention of that person to kill you, and you could so easily have died. You've heard evidence from many other people today who were killed late at night by people attacking their houses, and you are one of the lucky few. The fact that you didn't die doesn't mean that you haven't suffered substantial trauma, and we've see what affect it's had on you, and of course on your daughters. We've heard so many stories like that, of women being attacked at night by armed men. And whenever this sort of violence /affects one
affects one it's terrible and it's unacceptable, but there
just seems to be something so much worse about somebody in a vulnerable position at night, in their nightdress, being attacked by men with guns. It really is difficult for us to believe that these things happen so often.
You have told us - you have told Dr Mgojo what you would like the Commission to try and do for you, and as he has said we don't have the power to do that directly, to facilitate that, but we will make recommendations to the Government as to how we think you should be assisted. So we want to thank you all very much for coming in, and we are glad that you were able to be here together to support each other. Thank you very much.