PROCEEDINGS HELD AT
28 MAY 1997
[PAGES 1 - 93]
I N D E X
NO ITEM PAGE N°
1. Ria Nonhlanhla Madlala
Khumbuzile Mildred Madlala................................... 1 - 12
2. Joseph Sabela Mthethwa......................................... 13 - 21
3. Nhlanhla Petros Mazibuko...................................... 22 - 29
5. Mathombi Janet Ndlovu
Thandeka Ndlovu................................................. 30 - 39
5. Zwelekile Matrina Zaca......................................... 40 - 46
6. Musongelwa Alpheus Shabalala............................... 47 - 52
7. Bongeni Alson Majola.......................................... 53 - 58
8. Ntombilisa Sithole............................................... 59 - 63
9. Nomthandazo Emily Majola
Bonginkosi Majola.............................................. 64 - 79
10. Nomusa Consstance Zuma.................................... 80 - 82
11. Thokozile Elke Ndlovu........................................ 83 - 86
12. Nani Margaret Zuma.......................................... 87 - 93
PROCEEDINGS RESUMED ON 1997/05/28
OPENING SONG AND PRAYER
CHAIRMAN: We're going to start immediately with the first witness for today, and it's Khubuzilo Mildred Madlala. Mrs Madlala, we welcome you here this morning. You, like the witnesses yesterday, have come to us from Brandville, and you have come to tell us about the death of your mother, your sister and your daughter, who were killed in December 1991. Before you give that evidence can you please stand to take the oath?
RIA NONHLANHLA MADLALA (Sworn, States)
CHAIRMAN: Mrs Madlala, before you tell us your story can you please just give us some idea of what remains of your family, who do you live with, is your husband still alive, do you have other children? Could you just tell us something about your background? --- At first we stayed with my mother, as well as my sister's child, who was 18 years old at that time. I had two children, a girl, who was six years old at that time, and a boy who was one year six months old at that time. But at the moment it's myself and my two children, and the third one, so we are four.
Is your husband still alive? --- No, I do not have a husband.
And are you working at the moment? --- Yes, I am.
Where are you working? --- I am working at the Mooi Plaza tollgate as a cashier.
And, Mrs Madlala, you have somebody else on stage here with you. I forgot to ask who that is. --- It's
my sister, but she wasn't staying at home at that time. I am the one who was staying at home with my sister's daughter. She was staying at the new location. She only arrived after the deaths.
Is she just here to give you some support today, she's not going to be talking? --- She will testify because her daughter died. She was staying with us at the time of her death. Because she did submit a statement, because I was ill at the time she submitted the statement.
I am not sure that we have a copy of her statement. Sorry, what is her name please? --- It's Khumbuzile Madlala.
(Inaudible) ... name is? --- I am Ria.
(Inaudible) --- Madlala.
(Inaudible) ... the name of Khumbuzile Mildred Madlala. Is that your sister? --- Yes, it is my sister.
(Inaudible) ... the rulings that we have made. --- At the time that this happened she was not present. It happened during my presence. She only submitted a statement because I was ill at that time.
(Inaudible) ... necessary then for us just to place her evidence briefly on record, and she can tell us that you were present at the time, and then when she's given her short piece of evidence then you can tell us your story as an eye witness. So we'll first hear from her. Can you please stand up, Khumbuzile, to take the oath.
KHUMBUZILE MILDRED MADLALA (Sworn, States)
CHAIRMAN: Now, just from what we have briefly been told by your sister, it was you that lost your mother and your sister and your daughter in 1991 during an attack on your
house, is that right? --- Yes, that is true.
But you were not present at the time? --- That is correct, I was not present at that time. I was staying at my place.
(Inaudible) ... your place? --- It's Shiyazi - Phumlase. It's a location.
(Inaudible) --- Yes, it's an area or a location in Brandville.
And the house in which your mother and your sister and your daughter were staying, whose house is that? --- That's my home, my mother's place. It's my mother's house.
And do you - are you married? --- No, I am not.
Do you have other children aside from these that you have mentioned her? --- Yes, I do.
Where are they? Are they with you or are they ... (incomplete) --- I am staying with one. The other one died in 1993. I think it was '95.
And is it correct that in that attack on your house it is your mother, Janet Madlala, your sister, Thando Madlala, and your daughter ... (intervention) --- Thando is my daughter.
The statement here reflects that there were two people called Thando. How many family members did you in fact lose in that attack? --- Two people died.
Who were they? --- That is my mother as well as my daughter.
So the reference there to your sister is incorrect. I think what we'll do is we'll hear from your sister now, and then we'll come back to you after that to find out what happened after the attack, and how you came to know
about it. But let's do it in sequence, let's about what happened on that night in question, because you were present, is that correct? Before you continue can you just give us your full name, and spell your first name for us? --- My name is Ria Nonhlanhla Madlala.
Thank you. Can you then continue. Just tell us - give us briefly some background as to what was happening in the township at the time, and then tell us what happened on this night, which was the 3rd of December in 1991. --- On the 3rd of December I was painting the house, particularly the sitting-room, and just as I finished - my mother was present, as well as my sister's daughter. Just as we were starting to put the furniture back into the sitting-room, as we were doing that - I think we were fitting the curtains at that time - we heard some gunfire outside, and my mother said we should leave whatever we were doing, we will finish off the following day. And we abandoned those duties. At that time we heard gunfire up to the time that we went to bed. I think later on, at about half past three in the morning, I heard my mother waking us up. She was at the sitting-room. She woke us up and she said, "Here is Inkatha group. They have come to attack." At that time we heard the sound of shattering glass. They were breaking the windows, and we were scared to go out of the bedroom. It was myself, Thando, as well as my daughter, who was six years old at that time, and my boy, who was one year six months at that time. We were scared to go out of the bedroom. My mother was saying that she could see people breaking the windows, as well as the wall cabinet, and she said that I should come out and help her to remove those goods so that they
would not be broken, but I was very scared to go out. And Thando said that I should open up the wardrobe so that she could hide herself in there. As I was just opening the wardrobe she said she was smelling smoke and she could see some flames from the back house. We went out through the back window, the bedroom window, which was obscured by a shack and they couldn't see us from that direction. So she jumped out and we ran to the neighbour's place. I threw the other baby, that is the one year six months old, and I threw the other one who was six years old. We jumped the fence and went to Zokela's place. Just as we were entering the passage we noticed that we were being followed, and some were accosting us at that time, and when we tried to knock at this house they just couldn't open the door. I think they were also scared. I took the smaller child into the toilet. As they were still knocking at the door I got into the toilet, and luckily the toilet was not locked. I pushed the door. I was having the baby in the other hand, and I could hear them saying that they should come and push the door and kill me because I was in the toilet. I think it was the Almighty's power that they did not come for me. I stayed in the toilet for quite some time, and when I went out to try and see what had happened to the rest of the group I saw my sister's child, Thando, sprawled on the ground. She had been stabbed, and at that time they had opened the doors at this house because there were soldiers. The child who was six years old had been taken into the house, and I ran to my place because when we left the house was burning, and I knew that my mother did not survive. And when I went out the soldiers refused me permission to go
to my place, and I insisted on going because I could see that the house was burning. And as I was going there I came across them along the way, but I also survived. I was rushing home to try and rescue my mother. When I got to the house the house was filled with smoke and I couldn't see anything. I couldn't even see where my mother was. I was not able to go into the bathroom to fetch some water. I asked for water from the opposite house and they gave me water. They also helped me to try and put out the fire until I was able to put out the fire, and I went inside. I found my mother sprawled on the passage. The way that she had been stabbed the whole place was just a pool of blood. She had 24 stab wounds. I think everybody just took his turn to stab. I tried to pull her outside because the house was still burning. I dragged her outside and I was trying to extinguish the fire all at the same time. And I left her lying outside and I ran back to the house where we had sought refuge, and I discovered that she had been taken an put alongside the road, and some had speculated that she was already dead at that time. And my six-year-old was hit with a big rock on the chest, and they left him there for dead.
When did the police come? --- Thereafter we tried to get some transport to ferry these people to the hospital, because I have a strong belief that had she been taken to the hospital in time she would have survived, but the police and the soldiers refused. They said that they were not able and they were not going to take anyone to the hospital. When I went down the passage to go and check my mother there is a person that I was able to identify who was leaving my place at that time. He was an
Inkatha member working for a certain firm. I came across him. He was from my place.
You don't have to give his name now if you don't want to, but do you know who he is, do you know of his identity? --- His name is Lagcabasi.
Did you say anything to him? Did he say anything to you? --- No, I never spoke to him, because at that time I was rushing to my place to try and rescue my mother, and he was leaving the place at that time.
What did you do after that? --- The police and the soldiers dispersed the Inkatha group and they left us, so I was able to go back home and try and rescue some of the goods. I was collecting shattered glass and trying to extinguish the fire. Even the back house or the outside building was burnt down to ashes.
Who took the bodies to the mortuary, or to the police station? --- I am not really sure, but it was white men who came to take the bodies, but I don't know where they came from or who they are.
Did you make a statement to the police about what happened? --- They didn't even tell us to submit a statement. They just took the bodies and put them in the mortuary until such time that we went to fetch them for the burial. No statement was submitted.
Was there any inquiry or inquest or court case that you recall, or that you were ever called to or that you took part in? --- No, nothing of that sort happened. I was never called anywhere to answer any questions.
Now, we heard evidence yesterday from many other people about what happened during that period. Are you aware of how many other people were killed on that same
night? --- I think there were 18, because there was a mass funeral that was conducted for all the victims - children, women, as well as men.
How old was your mother at the time, Ria? --- She was 65 years old.
And Thando, your daughter? --- She was 18 years old. She's my sister's daughter. She was 18 years old.
Were there any men in the house at the time? --- No, we were staying all by ourselves. There was no male in the house.
Do you have any idea why they attacked your house and killed your mother and your niece? --- I do not know, because we were not even involved in politics.
Ria, are you still staying in the same house now? --- Yes, I still am staying there. My brother advised me to move away from the place, and I moved away and went to stay with him in Durban, but I came back home.
And how have you managed to cope with this tragedy in your family? --- I was very traumatised. I lost a great deal of weight. I wasn't able to eat for quite a long time. I even went to Ladysmith, to my sister, and I became quite reclusive. I couldn't mix with other people. They even had to take my child for a period of two years, and they were also complaining that she was having panic attacks. She was always scared, and at times they would wake up and pray in the evening, pray for my daughter.
Do you feel that you are coping better now? --- I think I am better, but my child was severely traumatised. She is quite forgetful. At times she complains about the pain on her chest where she was hit by the big rock.
Have you ever received any form of counselling or anything like that to help you through this experience? --- No, I haven't.
DR MGOJO: Ria, I am just going to ask a few questions. You have talked about Lagcabasi. What is Lagcabasi's surname. --- I do not know Lagcabasi's surname.
Where does he stay? --- They say his surname is Hlongwane, Lagcabasi Hlongwane.
Do you think he is one of the killers? --- Yes.
Did he see that you saw him, or did he also see you? --- Yes, he saw me coming. We ... (inaudible - end of Side A, Tape 1) ... he had just done.
Who is Lagcabasi? Is he a member of the community, or where does stay? --- He was staying at the hostel.
Have you ever asked yourselves as to why you were being attacked, because what we have been told by the other witnesses who testified was that there was a conflict between Inkatha as well as ANC members. Now, in your own opinion why do you think that you were attacked or your house was targeted, and who do you think attacked you? --- It was Inkatha members from the hostel.
Did you belong to any political organisation? --- I was an ANC member personally, but my mother was not involved in any politics.
Now, do you think that you were attacked because you were affiliated to the ANC? --- I think that is the case because the area was an ANC stronghold - that is Brandville - so when they came to attack they knew that we were members of the ANC.
And what about your brother that you have just
referred to? --- He stays in Durban. He has got a house in Durban in Newlands East.
This is a very difficult thing to understand as to why men just went to target and attack a house where women and children stay, because the trend was that they were attacking houses with men or males. Now, let me just ask from Khumbuzile, as she submitted a statement. When your mother died how did this affect you? --- It has traumatised me. I am in so much pain.
How were you traumatised? --- I was traumatised mentally as well as physically.
What is it that is troubling you? --- I am always thinking. My daughter and my mother are always in my thoughts. At times I even cry when I think of my mother and my daughter.
Is there any psychological help that you are getting to try and cope with your pain? --- Yes, I once went to some doctors, but I couldn't be helped. The other one told me that I should think too much.
Take your time. We do understand your pain. (Pause) I would suggest that your sister, as well as yourself, submit your names so that they can be forwarded for you to be able to get some psychological help or counselling. You can submit your names to the briefers and they shall assist you in trying to arrange appointments for you to get some form of counselling without having to pay. By the way, where was Lagcabasi staying? --- He is staying at the Mooi River Hostel.
Was it the last time you saw him on that day of the attack? --- No, I do see him in town. He is quite a common site.
What does he say to you when he sees you? --- He never says anything. One day he greeted me and I kept quiet.
Why didn't you greet him back? Do you still feel bad about what he did? --- Yes, that is true.
I would like to ask you one more question just to set the record straight. Your sister, Thando, what was her real name? In your statement you have stated that your sister is Thando. --- A mistake was made because ... (intervention)
What's your sister's name? --- There were only two of them.
CHAIRMAN: We want to thank you both very much for coming and telling us this very, very tragic story. I remember reading about this incident at the time in the newspapers, and I remember it was a short piece in the newspaper and it said 18 people had been killed in Brandville township, and then the article went on to talk about the conflict between the IFP and the ANC. But it didn't tell us about what happened that night. It didn't tell us about the horrors that you experienced, and you have brought that to life here today in a very real way for us, and enabled us to understand how terrible it must have been for you at that time. This massacre in 1991 has been quite well documented since then, and the IFP hostel residents concede that it was from that hostel, and it was supporters of that party, that came out that night and attacked people and killed them, and they say that they did it in order to prevent an attack which they believed was going to take place later in the day, or later in the
week. But, whatever they believed, nothing on earth can justify what they did that night. These people called themselves an impi, a group of armed men, warriors. They weren't men, they weren't warriors, they were cowards and they were murderers, because that is really all that one can say about people who break into a house and stab to death an elderly woman and her granddaughter.
It's also shocking that nothing was done by the police, that statements weren't even taken, that people weren't arrested and prosecuted, and locked up for this terrible deed. And we hope that this sort of thing will never happen again, and if it did happen again that there would be a very, very, very different response from the authorities and the police.
We will try and do what we can do to find out who the person is that you mentioned, whether that person was ever investigated, although it will be a very difficult job. This took place a long time ago. Many of those people have probably left Mooi River.
But we thank you again for coming here, being brave enough to come and talk to us and tell us that story, and we hope that the fact that you were able to appear on stage there together has given you both some strength to deal with this incident. Thank you very much indeed.
CHAIRMAN: The next witness is Joseph Mthethwa. Good morning, Mr Mthethwa. Can you hear me? Thank you for coming in today. You've come to tell us - you're from Brandville, you've come to tell us about the death of your son, who died in December 1991, the same day in fact as the previous witness. Before you tell us that story can you stand up to take the oath please.
JOSEPH SABELA MTHETHWA (Sworn, States)
CHAIRMAN: Dr Mgojo will help you.
DR MGOJO: Good morning, Mr Mthethwa. We're glad that you came here before the Commission to tell us your sad story about what happened to your family. Before we start talking about what happened I would like you to paint a picture of your family. Do you have a wife? --- Yes, I am married and she is still alive.
How many children do you have? --- I had seven children. I am only left with three. Four of them died.
When you said four of them died you also counted the one that you came here ... (incomplete) --- Yes, I have. These other three were ill and they died.
These other three who died, how old were they? Were they married? --- No, they were not. They were old and they were in school.
And what about these remaining three, how old are they? --- They are old, they aren't that young.
Are they married? --- No, they aren't married.
Are they still staying with you? --- Yes, they are.
Are they working? --- One is working, these other two they aren't working.
Are they in school? --- No, they aren't in school. They just matriculated. My daughter is still looking to go to training, and she just finished her matric. They have matriculated, both of them.
Do you know ... (intervention) --- My son matriculated and my daughter also matriculated.
Are they looking for a job? --- Yes, they are. My other boy is working, the youngest. He is working in a filling station.
What about you, are you still working? --- No, I am no longer working. I pensioned last year.
Where were you working before? --- I was working at an Engen service station here in Mooi River.
Are you receiving an old age pension? --- No, not yet. I have applied for one.
What about your wife, is she receiving a pension? --- No, she is not. She is working in a textile company.
How long have you been in Brandville, or staying in Brandville? --- A long time. It was in 1962.
Are you belonging to any political organisation, or were you belonging to any political organisation when this thing happened, whether Inkatha, ANC? Were you affiliated with any organisation? --- Yes, I was ANC and I am still an ANC member.
Now we've gained knowledge of your family background, now we want you to get into the gist of the story. How old was he? --- 22. He was working at First National Bank - First National Bank.
Was he married? --- Not yet.
Now you can relate to us to the incident of his
death. --- I was still working at that time. I was from work. I knocked off at 6 o'clock. At that time there was violence in the area. When I arrived home it was at about half past six. I saw a group of people near the hostel. They were standing there. I didn't know what was going on. I thought to myself maybe it was the usual violence. And I got home. I found my wife and my sister and my brother-in-law - my elder sister. They told me they were leaving. They said they were leaving because my sister was scared of the gunfire and she had diabetes. She was scared, and she said she can tell that violence was going to erupt soon because there was a group of people near the hostel. And my wife as well said she was leaving with my sister and my brother-in-law. Then they left for 'Maritzburg. I was left with my son. As I was sitting there I heard gunfire. For a long time I heard that loud noise of gunfire, and people were running up and down, and some of them were running away to Mshayazafe location. And I saw people running up and down and I realised that it looked like people were fighting each other, and gunfire was all over the place, the noise. And I went inside the house. I told my son to come inside the house. I told them not to run away, because I was scared that if they try to run away they'll meet other people or a group of people and shoot them, so I decided that we should stay inside the house. As we were inside the house I heard a voice saying there were two boys being shot up the street. I didn't know who those boys were, and then I started asking my other sons where's Nkosinathi, my other son. And then they told me he is gone up the road to my brother's place. I started getting scared. I was
real scared. After a while it started raining, and then the gunshots stopped, people stopped firing. And then as it was raining one guy came and knocked. He knocked very hard and then I asked who was there, and then he said it was Bhekani Sikosano. And then I asked Bhekani Sikosano why was he knocking here, what was he looking for, who is after him, and then he said, "No, no one was after me, but I need to tell you something." And then he told me that my son had been killed, and he also told me that they have asked someone for a ride, or to transport him to hospital, and when he arrived in hospital he was already dead. After that I asked him what happened. He told me he was in hospital. Late at night the rain stopped raining and the soldiers came, and they were looking for guns. They were old men, old soldiers, and they were going in people's houses looking for guns, and they said they were looking for guns. I don't know whether they found guns in other people's houses. And it got quiet. Early in the morning my children were crying. I told them to go in another bedroom to sleep in there, and I didn't sleep in the same bedroom with them. Late at night I went outside to look. I saw a group of people again, and they had spears all of them, and I realised that it was impi. And they were throwing stones in people's houses, windows were broken, and they were coming up to our area where we were staying. And I told my sons not to talk, not to cry, they must keep quiet, I'll hide them. And I tried to hid them.
Were they hitting your own house windows? --- Yes, they were. It was after my son's death. The impi was coming for the second time now. It was early hours of the morning at about four. And they were throwing stones,
breaking windows. They damaged our houses. I was inside with my children. I told my children not to scream, not to cry, not to talk. They broke windows. After a while one guy screamed from outside, saying, "Come outside. We want to kill you. You are ANC people. We want to stab you, to shoot you dogs." After a while one of them, I don't know who it was, he said, "It's been a long time since you've been trying to destroy that house. You must leave now."
Did they go? --- Yes, they left. And one of them also said, "No, let me go back and burn the house. I want to burn them with their house." And then the other one said, "We don't have any petrol any more. How are you going to burn their houses?" And my neighbour's house was burning.
They left? --- Yes, they left.
Did you report this matter to the police? --- We didn't. We just let it go because the police called us to identify the corpses as to whether it's your son or your relative, but there was no relative. There was no statements taken by the police.
Why didn't you report this? Why didn't you tell the police to take statements? --- No, we did, but they knew all about this. They knew about the situation and they didn't do a thing. There was no case at all.
And what about investigation or inquiry? --- No, there wasn't.
Why not? --- I don't know. It was supposed to be a case or investigation of some kind, but there wasn't any inquest.
Those people who attacked, you said soldiers came
and they were looking for guns, and then - did this happen the same night when they came early hours of the morning? --- Yes. When the soldiers came looking for guns in our houses it was at about 9 o'clock. It was at about 9.00 pm, and then these people who attacked us came at 4.00 am. After the soldiers came looking for guns this group of attackers came at about 4.00 am, and I saw them coming. I told my children to hid themselves under the beds. What about the police? --- No, I didn't see any police. I didn't see any police on that night.
Do you have your son's death certificate? --- I do have a death certificate from the police station. They gave me.
What was written there? --- It's written murder, that's all. I am not quite sure, but I do have it with me now.
It's okay. If you have it now we can see it - look at it later. Your wife, how is she coping with this? --- She is really traumatised by this because my son was the one who was helping my wife, and she wasn't working at that time. My son was the one who was working.
What about her health and your health? --- We were terribly traumatised by this. I couldn't sleep, and I am suffering from heart attack now. I have heart disease. I am getting treatment. Even now I am taking tablets. I do go to doctors to fetch my tablets. Yes, I am taking heart treatment. It's okay, I am feeling fine now, but I am taking - I am under medication.
What about your wife? --- My wife is suffering from high blood pressure.
Is she receiving treatment? --- Yes, she is
Where? --- From Dr McCall.
How much is she paying? --- She is no longer paying for that treatment.
We are very sorry to hear this terrible story. ---Another thing that I want to tell the Commission is that my daughter who died after my son's death. She was ill. When we were in a hall, preparing for her funeral, and there was a congregation for the service, people came and they shot at people and everyone ran away. It was just myself and my wife and her sister looking at the coffin, and people ran away because people were shooting at them. They even shot one guy who was from Sekola family and he died there. It was in a community hall in the township where I am from.
What about the Sekola family? Did they write any statement to the Truth Commission in connection with this? --- I don't know, I am not sure, but maybe they did. We ran carrying the coffin. We went to look for refuge in a primary school nearby the community hall.
Did you know these people? --- No, we didn't know them, but they were from the hostel.
Thank you for coming to tell us your sad story, and at your age I can only imagine how sad it is.
CHAIRMAN: Mr Mthethwa, I just wanted to ask one question. You said ... (inaudible) ... came to your house to look for guns or weapons. --- Yes, they came in my house and they said they were looking for guns. Some of them didn't come to my house, went to other people's houses.
Was that before your son died? --- Just after my son had died. It was after I have received the news that my son died. My son died at about 3.00 pm. This incident of soldiers coming to my house it was late at night.
(Inaudible) ... incident where the Inkatha people were trying to burn your house down, and when they were throwing stones at the windows, was that before or after the soldiers came to look for guns? --- It was after the soldiers had left. The soldiers came at about nine and then the group of Inkatha people came at about 4.00 am.
You see, the reason why I am asking that question is because we have heard evidence in other areas that before an attack has taken place frequently, particularly in an area like Mpumalanga township, what one has seen is that the police or the army have come to that township, to that area, or to a particular section of a township, and they have searched houses door to door, confiscated anything which could be regarded as a weapon, anything which people could possibly use to conduct an attack with, but, more importantly, anything that they could use to defend themselves with. And then again we've heard evidence that after these searches by the police attacks on that same section have taken place, and it's become quite clear to us that the reason why the houses were searched was in order to facilitate the attack later in the day, or to make the attack easier, in the sense that people in those houses would not be able to defend themselves. And it seems as though this is something which may have happened here in Brandville, but this is evidence which we haven't heard before, and we certainly will investigate that aspect.
Now, you've heard what I've said to the previous witnesses who gave evidence here, Ria and Mildred Madlala, and the same thing applies to the death of your son. He was killed on the same day as that attack took place, and we know that it's a terrible thing to lose a child. We know from many other witnesses who've come to this Commission and told us about the death of their children. We know something about the pain that you have gone through, and we extend our sympathies, our deep sympathies to you, and we ask you to convey that to your wife as well.
We thank you very much for coming in here today. You've helped fill in the picture that we are trying to build of what happened in Brandville township, and even though you had to come and tell a very sad story about the death of your son it has helped the Commission, and we hope that it has helped you a little bit just to come here and tell the story, that it does help you to come to terms with the loss of your son. So again we thank you very much for coming in. Is there something else you want to say, Mr Mthethwa? --- Nothing.
Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: The next witness is Mr Mazibuko. Mr Mazibuko, we welcome you here today. Can you hear me properly through the earphones?
MR MAZIBUKO: Yes, I can.
CHAIRMAN: You have come to tell us about the death of your wife, who was killed in November 1994. Sorry, she died in November 1994, but she was shot in June 1990, is that right?
MR MAZIBUKO: Yes.
CHAIRMAN: Before you tell us that story can you please stand up to take the oath.
NHLANHLA PETROS MAZIBUKO (Sworn, States)
CHAIRMAN: Mr Lax, my colleague, will now help you with your evidence.
MR LAX: Thank you, Chairperson. Good morning again, Mr Mazibuko. --- I also greet you.
(Inaudible) ... to share this story with us. Now, before we proceed to your story proper can you give us a brief picture of your family situation. --- I have a big family, because the wife that I am going to talk about is my second wife. In my first marriage I have seven children, and I am going to talk about my second wife. When we got involved she had one child.
Was that someone else or with you? --- No, when I got involved with her she already had that child. We do not have children together.
You don't have children together with her. --- No.
This child you refer to - there's a child you refer to as Mvuseni. --- Yes, when I got involved with the
mother Mvuseni was still sucking from her mother - from his mother or her mother.
So are you looking after Mvuseni at the moment? --- As from that time he was in my custody.
How old is he? --- He is 19 or 20 years old. I am not sure.
Okay. Let's move then to this incident on the 16th of June 1990. Your wife was - Mrs Mchunu, your wife, was your common-law wife, is that right? --- Yes, that is correct.
And you were at home at that time. --- Yes, that is true.
Tell us what happened. --- It was on the Saturday, June 16th. I think it was in the late afternoon, just after lunch, because there was a funeral at Mthethwa's house on this particular day. There were three of us in the house. That is myself, my wife and Mdudi Mkhulu, who was a builder, and he had come with a building contract. There was nothing out of the ordinary on that particular day. I went into the house, because we were sitting outside the house in the yard, the three of us. And when I got into the house I heard somebody screaming and asking as to, "What is it that you are hitting me with? You've got a sharp instrument that you are hitting me with." And I heard Mdudi Mkhulu screaming and saying that he had been shot. He tried to stand up, but he couldn't. And later on we discovered that the police were shooting at the residents, and Mdudi Mkhulu went into the house with my wife and he was limping. And when I looked at her dress on the right-hand side the dress was torn, as well as the petticoat. There was a
hole. I realised that she had been shot and I went out, trying to seek some help, and I came across the police, who were just nearby. They were having guns in their hands. I fortunately got Mr Mthembu's car and I requested him to help me take my wife to the hospital. Mthembu was from the funeral, and he took his car and took my wife to the hospital. And we went past the police. We stopped the car right in front of them and Mthembu showed me the station commander, who was coming from the van which was parked nearby Ngcongo's place. It was Sergeant du Toit on the other side. He was also on top of the van. He also had a gun. Mthembu explained to the station commander, George Niehaus, that my wife had been shot and she was lying outside the house. He just said he was very sorry about what had happened but he just couldn't help us. And we went past and tried to get some medical help in town. Because it was on a Saturday the doctors' surgeries were closed. And as we were still confused in town, not knowing where to go, we saw quite a number of vans passing up the road. It was Sergeant du Toit in his own van, together with his policemen, and there was also a police Casspir. We followed them to the police station and we got to the police station at the same time. We spoke to the station commander once more and told them that we couldn't get a doctor to help my wife. That's when he started to even look at my life and examine her injuries. He said that my wife had been shot with a rubber bullet, and I asked him as to how he could say this is a rubber bullet. How could it have torn her clothes if it was a rubber bullet? I went on to ask him as to what was happening, why was my wife shot, because where we were
sitting there was no large group of people who looked like they were rioting, it was perfectly calm in that area at that time. He asked me whether I was impressed with what was happening in Brandville. He asked me as to how much Majola's house cost, and I realised that he was taking sides and I stopped talking to him at that stage, but I further asked him as to what was I supposed to do with my injured wife. He said we should take her to the nearest police station and not to them, and we took her back to the house. When we got to the house she couldn't stand up and get out of the car. We took her to the Brandville Clinic, where they phoned the ambulance from Mjezi. The following day on the 17th she was transferred to Mjezi Hospital, and the x-rays indicated that the bullet was lodged inside her muscle. But what surprised me was that the following Monday she was discharged from the Mjezi Hospital, and they said she would come back whenever she encounters any problem. From then on she never was quite the same. She was very sickly. This happened in 1990. 1991 went by, and throughout 1990 she was ill. At times she wouldn't be even able to get out of her bed. Then in 1992 there were members of the Goldstone Commission who came to investigate, and they were the ones who followed the story up, and they wanted to know as to how she was shot. They took my wife with. They took her to Greys Hospital and they discovered that the bullet was still lodged in her body. A few days went by and she went back. They wanted to extract the bullet. After that she became violently ill. She was never better thereafter. She was going in and out of the hospital. Then in 1992 we submitted a statement to the Goldstone Commission, and we
were called to the 'Maritzburg Supreme Court to testify with regard to this matter, and about George Niehaus. There were quite a number of cases or matters in which George Niehaus was involved, but I never got to testify, but we later on heard that all the charges against him had been dropped, but it was never explained to us as to how this happened because we never got to testify. And my wife was ill all that time, then in 1994 she gave up the fight.
(Inaudible) ... at that time? --- That is correct.
He was actually convicted of murder and went to gaol. It might not have been murder, it may have been something else, but he certainly was convicted on some charges. We will find out for you precisely what those charges were, and ascertain whether it involved your wife's case or not. What I can tell you is that I have spoken to Mr du Toit, who confirms that from ballistics experts, people who look at bullets and look at guns, a bullet from his gun was the one that hit your wife. However, he says that it was a bullet that must have hit something else and then touched your wife, because he wasn't firing directly at where you were sitting and your wife was sitting. And from what you've told us they weren't shooting directly at you. Is that correct? I am asking. --- This is not like the way they did it, or the way - because I think they didn't want to see a black person. There is nothing - or no doubt in my mind that indicates that that was a mistake on their part. As I have already related the story there was no gathering, and it was not a riotous situation, it was relatively calm.
There were only the three of us, so they couldn't have mistaken us with any group, so they were shooting at us I could say.
What Mr du Toit says happened is that he was driving in a vehicle, following Mr Niehaus' car, that some people started stoning his and Mr Niehaus' vehicles. He says he fired a warning shot, but that it either went over a wall, or hit the wall and went over, and that is the bullet that hit your wife. --- I don't think I understand what you're telling me.
(Inaudible) ... what he says happened. For the record, he was never prosecuted or charged for shooting your wife. Do you confirm that? --- I want to know as to why he wasn't formally charged, because my wife went through so much pain and nothing was done. Then it means we have no law, there's absolutely no justice.
We will investigate that aspect further for you. We will try and find out why he wasn't actually prosecuted. We will try and find out what the police did about it. Now, did you ever go and see lawyers, or try and make a case for your wife's injuries? --- As she was shot in 1990 thereafter there was violence and I lost my job, and therefore I was not able to enlist their help. And I should know that he admitted to having shot my wife, but thereafter I was not notified, I had no information whatsoever with regard to that. This is the very first time that I am hearing that du Toit is the one who shot my wife. I never knew that.
We will investigate further these other aspects and try and give you proper information as to exactly why he wasn't charged or prosecuted in any way. This - the son
of your wife, Mvuseni, is he schooling? --- From that time when his mother fell ill, and up to the time of her death, he never continued with his schooling, because we were helping each other, that is his mother and I, to try and put him through school.
(Inaudible) --- He is working temporarily, but we do help each other, but since the mother has died we are finding it hard to cope, and we are having problems at times, myself and him, that is communication - we have some communication breakdowns.
You said that you lost your job during that time. Are you working again? --- Yes, I went back, even though I am not working in the same position that I was due to being humiliated by George Niehaus.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for coming in today to tell us your story. You've followed your wife through a long history of her ... (incomplete - end of Side A, Tape 2) ... this is one of the patterns again that we've seen around the country, is that at funerals, where people are mourning their dead, their loved ones, whoever it is, it was often at those funerals that they were again attacked and harassed, and this seems to have been the case with your wife, and it must make it all the more difficult to accept.
We will certainly, as Mr Lax has said, investigate the matter, take a full statement from Sergeant du Toit, Sergeant Niehaus as well, and see whether we can throw more light on what happened on that day. But you coming here has allowed us to investigate this issue, and any information that we come across we will communicate to you. /So, again
So, again we thank you very much for coming in.
CHAIRMAN: Janet Ndlovu, we welcome you here today. There are two people on the stage, which one is Janet Ndlovu? Okay. Mathombi Ndlovu, you've come to tell about the death of your husband, Pumawakhe Ndlovu, and that story about how this happened will be told by your daughter. But first we would just like to hear some brief background to this matter from you, so if you could please stand up to take the oath.
MATHOMBI JANET NDLOVU (Sworn, States)
CHAIRMAN: Now, Mathombi, are you still living in Brandville township? --- Yes.
You were married at that stage, your husband Pumawakhe Ndlovu. How many children did you have, you and your husband? --- I have five children.
Sorry, I apologise, my colleague will help you with your evidence. In fact while we - just having sworn you in, and your daughter is also going to give evidence, perhaps she should also stand now to take the oath. What is your name please?
THANDEKA NDLOVU (Sworn, States)
CHAIRMAN: Okay, we will now go back to your mother, Mathombi Ndlovu, and Mrs Gcabashe will help you.
MRS GCABASHE: Good day Mathombi, as well as your daughter, Thandeka. This is quite a cold day, but we do appreciate the fact that you were able to come before this Commission despite the weather, because what you have come to tell us is a very traumatic incident of losing your husband, and a father to you, Thandeka. Even before we start with the core of the matter we would like you to just give us a brief explanation about your family. Tell
us about your husband, as well as your children and what they are doing. Please tell us about your family. I would request you to speak up a bit. How many are you in your family? Is your husband still alive? --- No, he died.
You are the only one who is left? --- Yes, I am.
How many children do you have? --- I have five children.
What are the children doing? --- Two are at school. The three are not at school because I do not have the means to send them to school.
Tell us about the ones who are at school. Are they all girls or boys? Just give us their names? --- Buwisile and Helman are at school.
And the other ones? --- The other one is in standard six and Helman ... (incomplete)
What standard is Helman? --- Helman is in standard three.
What about the other three? --- They are not at school because I don't have the means.
Are they working? --- They are not working because there are no jobs in Mooi River.
But are they old enough to be employed? --- Yes, I think they are.
How old is Buwi? --- Buwisile is 16 years old.
And what about Helman? --- Helman is 11 years old.
Is Helman the last-born? --- Yes, he is.
Is that the rest of your family? Do you have any grandchildren that you're staying with? --- There is one who is still very young. That is my grandchild.
What's his or her name? --- It's Nomandla.
How old is Nomandla? --- She is one year eight months old.
Does she go to pre-school? --- She is at home.
Now you may go on, Mrs Dladla. You can tell us as to what happened before this incident, or what was the situation in Brandville? --- There was violence. There was violence in Brandville.
Could you please explain as to what you mean when you say there was violence? What type of violence? What was happening? --- What was happening in Brandville was that the violence was at its very early stages at that time.
Was it 1991? Was the year 1991? You said your daughter is the one who was present at home. --- I was not at home so I can't say much.
So we'll speak to you, Thandeka. You will tell us as to what was happening. --- In 1991, June, it was a Sunday on the 7th of June.
Is that where the violence started? --- No, it was not at its early stages, it was rife at that time.
What was happening before that, that is before your father's murder? --- I was at Brandville.
You were still very young at that time. How old are you now? --- I am 19 years old. It was on a Sunday. At the Brandville stadium there was a soccer match, and there were people who were singing, a group of people at the hostel. There were singing their Inkatha songs, and I saw a number of youths who were running from the direction of the hostel. They were going towards the soccer match. Those who were coming from the stadium
realised that the Inkatha was approaching to launch at attack, and I was with my father at that time at home. I saw four who were my neighbours. They approached running.
Do you remember the names of those neighbours? Just tell us their names please. --- It was Mr Hadebe, his daughter, Muwele Thobile, as well as Philani Muwele.
Philani and Thobile, what's their surname? --- It is Muwele. They ran into my yard and I opened the door for them to come into the house, and we hid ourselves in the house. I got into the wardrobe, and my father was just lying on top of the bed because he was intoxicated. And we hid ourselves, and the Inkatha approached. They kicked the door open, they got my father, who was sleeping. They stabbed him. What I heard my father saying was, "What have I done, my boy? Why are you stabbing me? Why are you making me leave my children behind at such a tender age?" And when I got out of the wardrobe the Inkatha was already running out, and I saw my father rolling off from the bed until he fell onto the floor. We stayed inside the house because they were chasing the people who were at the sports ground. And when they were going back to the hostel, that is the impi, we went out of the house. There was a police van, and I tried to stop the police van. They just looked at me as if I was crazy and they drove past. I do not know this man who was driving, but I can identify him if I could see him. And they went past. We went out of the yard, trying to get some help, and I ran to call my neighbours to tell them that my father had been stabbed. And one of the neighbours said that my father was dead already.
Who were these neighbours? --- I don't know
where Thabile stays. Her surname Hlatikhulu. She was a boarder at my neighbour's place, as well as Mrs Dladla, who has since died. From there I went to the neighbour's places, and the neighbours came with me back to my place, and we went to Mrs Dladla's house. My mother was not at home, they had visited some relatives in town, and she came back from that area.
At the time that you were going to Dladla's place where was your father? --- My father was left in the house. He was dead already. And the police came to take my father's body, and that's when they got my mother.
You may continue. What happened after the police had taken your father? --- They took my father to the mortuary.
Do you still remember the policemen who came to fetch your father? --- My mother knows more about these police.
What were the names of the police? --- It was du Toit and Ngubane, and quite a number of other policemen whom I didn't know.
Is Ngubane still alive? --- The last time I knew about him he was still working. They were from Mooi River Police Station and they were quite a group, but I identified Ngubane and du Toit.
You may continue. --- They took my husband's body to the mortuary. Let me point something out that is important. In my father's death certificate they wrote a wrong date. I don't know as to why a wrong date was written. He died on the 7th, but the death certificate was written as if he died on the 7th - on the 9th.
Did you open up a case? --- No, we never did.
Did you report to the police? --- We did report at the time that the police were taking his body, but they did not take the matter any further.
Was there any inquest? --- No, there wasn't.
Did they ever call you to come and answer some questions or find out more about the circumstances surrounding your father's death? --- No, we were never called.
You said - how old were you? --- I was 13 years old at that time.
Can you please tell us as to how this affected you as a person? --- I could say that I was traumatised because this happened at quite a tender age. When I was 15 years old I went to see a doctor and he diagnosed me as suffering from high blood pressure. He said my high blood pressure was very high for my age, because it was 190. And I was traumatised because I could not further my studies at school. My father was very close to me, and I was the apple of his eye. Even when I was ill or sick he used to take me to the doctor. I was very close to him. We had a wonderful relationship.
Are you the only daughter at home? --- No, I am the first daughter. There is another one who is younger than me.
And what happened to your schooling? Did you continue? --- Thereafter I started failing my studies, and I did not know as to how I failed, because during the course of the year I would fare quite well, but at the end of the year, when I am writing my final exams, I would fail. Now I am no longer attending school because I do not have the means. I stopped schooling at standard
seven. I had passed my standard seven.
If you had the means to go back to school would you go back to school? --- Yes, I would.
What about the other children? How were they affected by this? --- I could say they are also traumatised.
How are they traumatised? What do you mean? Just explain to us what you mean by that. --- The other children also had a problem at school, they couldn't concentrate, and they are also not working because there are no jobs available
And what standards did they leave school? --- In standard six, both of them.
And what about the younger two? --- They are still at school and they are not affected by this whole thing.
What about your mother? How has this affected her wellbeing? --- I am not well. I force myself to go to work because I cannot do otherwise, but I am physically not well. I am physically not well.
What is it that you feel? Is it a headache, is it pains? --- Well, I am always tired. I am always very tired. I do feel that I cannot go on working.
Are you seeing any doctors? --- Yes, I do go to the clinic because I don't have the money to see a private doctor, because if my husband was there I could be going to see doctors.
Where are you working? --- There is a small firm in Mooi River called FM. That's where I am holding temporary positions there. They fetched me from work to here.
Thandeka, have you ever seen a doctor, or do you take any treatment for your high blood pressure? --- Yes, I do go to the Mooi River Clinic.
It is very apparent that you were traumatised, because at your age it is not very usual to suffer from high blood pressure, and at 180 it is quite alarming. You must continue taking your treatment, and, as your mother has already explained that you do not have any money, you should talk to one of the briefers, submit your names, so that you can be able to get some medical attention without having to pay. Even your disturbance at school, there is a high probability that you need to undergo some counselling so that you can be helped to cope with your loss, and maybe you can even further your studies. Lastly I will just say that it's very difficult for us to even imagine the pain through which you have gone, but the most important thing is that you have come before this Commission to talk about your stories, and we would also advise you to undergo this treatment. You might probably go back to school and continue with your education, so you should submit your names to the briefers so that you can be helped in any manner possible.
DR MGOJO: I just want to clarify you on the issue of seeing the doctors. You do not go to any of the doctors, especially private doctors, but we are referring to the provincial hospitals. Which provincial hospital is close to you? --- It's the Brandville Clinic.
Any doctor who can help you is a doctor who is in a provincial hospital. When you say you do not have money to go back to school, what money are you referring to?
Are you referring to the school fees? --- I do not have the school uniform because I can't buy school uniform. I cannot even pay for my school fees.
How much do you pay the school? --- The last time I went to school it was R20,00.
With the new government there has been provision that from first year up to standard 10 there are no payments made to the school, and that the children who cannot pay for their schooling can go to school for free, and receive books for free. With regard to the school fees as well as the books, you can get them when you go back to school without having to pay. I hope you do understand that. Now, we want you to tell us about the other two who are not attending school, who left school at standard six. --- They are older than me.
Do you think they have a desire to go back to school? --- Yes, because they can learn a trade in order to be able to maintain themselves.
It's not necessary that they go back to school behind the desk, they can learn sculpturing, or art, or any other type of skill that they are interested in just to be able to work for themselves. If they could come forward or submit their names they could be helped in this regard. I just wanted to explain that to you.
CHAIRMAN: It's difficult for us to imagine, Thandeka, what it must have been like for you as a child to see your father killed, murdered in front of you. You sit here in front of us so confident and articulate one would never believe that you had suffered such a dreadful experience. It's also difficult for us to understand the extreme
callousness and brutality of people, of men who would murder an unarmed man in front of his children. It really is a very difficult thing to come to terms with.
And we thank you both for being brave enough to come here and tell us that story. We can see how this thing has affected both of you, and we are glad that you are able to be here to tell the story together, and to support each other. Thank you very, very much indeed.
CHAIRMAN: The next witness is Matrina Zaca. Good afternoon, Mrs Zaca, we welcome you here today. Thank you for coming in in this cold weather. You've got someone on the stage here with you. Who is that?
MRS ZACA: My granddaughter. My granddaughter.
CHAIRMAN: Okay. And is she just here to be with you? Is she going to talk at all?
MRS ZACA: She was there when this incident occurred. I wasn't there. I only went there to look for my sons. That's when I discovered that they were late.
CHAIRMAN: How old is your granddaughter.
MRS ZACA: 16 years old.
CHAIRMAN: Mrs Zaca, the problem is that the Commission has taken a - has made a rule that no one under the age of 18 may give evidence in public, so we can speak to your granddaughter afterwards in private, but we're not allowed to allow a person who is under the age of 18 to give evidence in public. Were there any other grandchildren or children who were present at the time who are here with you today?
MRS ZACA: No, no one. They aren't here.
CHAIRMAN: (Inaudible) ... then we'll have to speak to your granddaughter afterwards, and if you can just tell us the background to what was happening in the township at the time. And it may be better if your granddaughter then goes and waits for you in the chair there, that she doesn't stay on the stage, because we don't allow people under 18 to be on here. Before you tell what you do know please can you take the oath, and you don't need to stand up.
ZWELEKILE MATRINA ZACA (Sworn, States)
CHAIRMAN: This was in August 1991. --- That's what I heard.
At that time ... (intervention) --- It was on August 29.
... were you living together as a family? How many children did you have? Was your husband still alive? Just tell us a bit about the background. --- I had seven children, and I lost two, and I am still with the remaining five.
(Inaudible) ... or are they working? Are they helping to support you? What is the position? --- Some of them are married and they are in their own places. One just died in January, who was working. There's no one at home who's working at the moment.
Are you on pension, are you receiving a State pension? --- Yes, I am on pension.
And do you support yourself? --- That's correct.
And your husband, is he ... (incomplete) --- He died a long time ago before I lost my children.
And the two boys, Mlotha and Muhle, what age were they when they died? --- I am not sure.
(Inaudible) ... were they teenagers, were they young boys, were they ... (incomplete) --- Teenagers.
(Inaudible) --- Mlotha was not in school because he was handicapped, and this other one, Muhle, was working.
(Inaudible) ... handicapped? Was he physically disabled or mentally disabled? --- Mentally handicapped. He couldn't speak and he couldn't use his hands, and this other one was normal.
And he was working at the time of his death? --- Yes, he was working.
What was happening in the township at that time, August 1991? Was there fighting? Was there violence? --- Yes, there was violence. There was terrible violence at that time. And they didn't die in my house, they died somewhere. Because my other son was handicapped, so I had to remove them from my house to ask for refuge somewhere. And Muhle had injured his legs, so that's why they were not with me. These people looked for them until they found them there.
(Inaudible) --- Weston.
Weston? --- Weston College.
(Inaudible) ... next to Brandville, the farm school. --- That's correct.
And is that the place where some people took refuge or fled to to get away from the violence? --- That's correct. They didn't go there to look for these two boys, they went there because they were looking for the refugees. That's where they found them and killed them and I was left alone.
(Inaudible) ... amongst refugees who fled to Weston. --- Yes.
And tell us what you know about how they died, Mrs Zaca. I know that you must have been told about this by other people, including your young granddaughter. Tell us what you know about it. --- I wasn't there, and I wasn't at home, I went to my husband's brother's house because he had lost a child at that time. I only got back home early in the morning. That's when I received a call that they have died and they are in the mortuary here in
Mooi River. Three of them came back from hospital after they were injured, and these two died instantly. Almost five of them died that day, but because of God's will it didn't happen that way. Only two died. I only heard that when they came there they kicked the door. The house was lit and they got inside. They said they were looking for boys. Then they saw Muhle. They shot at him, and they went for Mlotha. They shot at him as well. My elder daughter woke up and asked them what was happening, so they shot her as well, and then they left. They left them lying there. I received a call from here and then I went there. When I arrived there they were no longer there, and police told the white people from Brixton and they took their bodies. There was no case, and even the witnesses, people who were there, couldn't say who killed them because they had Balaclavas covering their faces.
The people who ran away and took refuge at Weston, who were those people? Which political group were they from? --- ANC. Those people were the ANC members.
And you mentioned your daughter. What is her name? She was also - she was injured. --- Margaret Mchunu.
How old was she at that time approximately? --- I am not sure, and she is old and I am not really sure. She is married now.
How was she injured? Did a bullet - I think you indicated that a bullet went through her arm. --- Yes, the bullet went through her arm.
Is she disabled as a result of that, or is she able to use her arm properly? --- She can still use her arm, but she is complaining that she can't carry heavy things and it gets tired easily.
(Inaudible) --- At Brandville.
Did she make a statement to the Commission as far as you know? --- I am not sure because she is staying in her house. I am not staying with her.
(Inaudible) ... place where your sons were taking refuge, what building was that? --- A church, Ethiopian(?) Church.
So these people came into the church and they shot your sons in the church? --- That's correct.
MR LAX: Thank you, Chairperson. There's mention here of Robert Mchunu. Who is Robert Mchunu? --- My daughter's child. He was also shot on that night.
(Inaudible) --- That's correct. That's Margaret's child.
(Inaudible) --- In his finger, hand.
(Inaudible) ... his hand? Has he been permanently injured in any way or is he okay now? --- He is able to use his hand, and the other child was also shot at his stomach.
(Inaudible) --- That's correct, that's David Mazibuko.
What happened to David besides - I mean is he all right now? --- He is all right, and usually I do ask him and he is not complaining.
DR MGOJO: Mrs Zaca, I just want to know from you how you feel? --- I am sick, I am very sick, and my legs are terribly painful. I can't see clearly.
Is it because of this trauma? --- No, other illnesses. I had them long before the incident. If I go
to doctors, doctors are telling me more and more diseases, and they have also diagnosed me as diabetes and high blood pressure, and my sight is not very well.
What about your mental? --- Mentally I am not well. I am now talking to you, but by the time I go back to my seat I won't even remember what I have said to you.
I just want to remind the public, the people who are sitting there, we aren't here to play. People who are insensitive we don't need them inside this hall. There's nothing that one can laugh at here. We need people who have sympathy, because people who have sympathy today won't be laughing like you are laughing now, they'll be crying instead. We don't know where you are coming from. Maybe some of you are here to listen and then go back and gossip about this so that they go back and torture people. We don't need people like that. You mustn't laugh. There's nothing that one can laugh at. This is a very old lady in front of us. She needs our sympathy. I am begging you. If you don't have any sympathy there's no need for you to be inside this hall. Some of you can even remember that even Archbishop Desmond Tutu cries when he listens to these stories. --- I forget a lot. I lose my memory quite often.
Do you see doctors sometimes, or from time to time? There are people who help people who lose their memory often. If you know them you can go see them. In fact the briefers here can try and make contact for you to see doctors or psychologists who can help you. Thanks. --- I'll appreciate that. I'll appreciate that very much. I can't even hear properly. Mentally I am really disturbed since this happened to me. I can't forget what happened
to me. I am suffering.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for coming and telling us your story. It seems to us that the longer we sit here in Brandville, or in Mooi River, and we hear stories about Brandville, the worse those stories get. Again it's very difficult for us to understand the brutality and the viciousness of these people - armed men, armed with powerful weapons, guns, who can come into a church and shoot and kill a disabled person and shoot a woman and her sons. It's a terrible thing, and we understand some of what you are feeling today, and we want to thank you for being brave enough to come here and to relive those memories with us. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: The next witness is Alpheus Shabalala. Good afternoon, Mr Shabalala, we greet you, welcome you here today. You've come to tell us about the death of your daughter, Jabulile, and the shooting of your grandson, Thokozani, in the same attack. Before you give your evidence can you stand up to take the oath please.
MUSONGELWA ALPHEUS SHABALALA (Sworn, States)
CHAIRMAN: Dr Mgojo will help you now.
DR MGOJO: Good afternoon, Mr Mshengu. We appreciate your coming here before the Commission to tell us the story of your son. Before you relate that story to us I would like you to paint a picture of your family to us. Do you still have your wife? --- Yes, I still have my wife.
Are you working? --- No, I am no longer working.
What about your wife? --- She is ill. She has got high blood pressure. She is seeing doctors.
Where were you working before? --- I was working for Spoornet. I am in pension.
Are you receiving old age pension as well? --- Yes, I am.
How many children do you have, you and your wife? --- We have 12 children. I have nine boys and three girls.
How many are they still alive? --- I have nine children who are still alive.
In other words three of them died. --- Yes.
Besides Jabulile, these other two, how they died? --- They were ill. In fact one was ill. This other one was also shot. His name is Siyabonga.
Was he shot before Jabulile was shot? --- Yes, he was shot before Jabulile. Siyabonga is younger than Jabu.
When were - or rather when was Siyabonga shot? --- He was shot after Jabulile.
I will go back to this at a later stage. These other nine, are they working? --- Yes, all of them are working. The one who was shot was still in school. Siyabonga was shot on his way to school.
Are you still staying at Bhekizulu? --- Yes, I am still staying there in Drycott, on your way to Loskop. Amahludeni, that's the place.
At this area what was going on when this incident happened? What was going on? --- It was during the Easter holidays, and there was a violence between - people were killing each other, ANC and the IFP. My family was an ANC family.
Inkatha people were they also from Bhekizulu area? --- Yes, they were. All of us - Bhekizulu it's just an area. It's an area there. It has sections, Dlomo, Thomakale, all these are the sections in Bhekizulu area.
Now I would like you to tell us if you still remember the date when your daughter was killed. Do you still remember the month and the date? --- No, I can't.
No, it's okay. Don't worry if you don't remember. What happened? --- It was a night vigil. It was a night vigil, a church night vigil. The reverend went to the police station to ... (incomplete - end of Side A, Tape 3) ... that they must come and guard that service or that function for the Zion Church. The police didn't
Why was the reverend so concerned to go and call the police to come and guard the night vigil? --- It was because the Inkatha members came and told the reverend that they were looking for a red paper - a red paper meaning R500,00. They asked for this R500,00 from the reverend because they needed to buy something so that they can chase away the ANC people in that area. They were not asking for this money, they were demanding it. And then the reverend gave them the money because they were demanding it. I am sorry, it's rather R50,00, not R500,00. That's because I am not educated, so I am not accurate with figures. So the reverend gave them. The chairperson of the Inkatha, who demanded the money from the reverend, took the R50,00. Then Reverend Shabalala gave them the money. He is not staying far away from my area. It's a distance approximately from here to the taxi rank. When he gave him this R50,00 the reverend told him, the chairperson of the IFP, that we were going to have a night vigil, and he also told him that he also asked the police to come and safeguard the area. I don't know what happened, or who told others that are members that the ANC was gathering at the reverend's place to safeguard the reverend. Now, the Inkatha members came to look for the ANC who were safeguarding the reverend. I think someone went to the IFP and told IFP lies, and then they came because they knew that we will be there, most ANC members will be there. They came to the church. The church had windows side by side or opposite. And there was no ANC there, it was just church members.
Did your church have different members of the
organisation? --- No.
But what about the church? Did you have a combination? --- No, they were just church members or Christians.
In other words they didn't belong to any political organisation? --- No, they didn't.
What I am asking here is that on your statement here it's written that you believe that the church members were also members of the IFP, and those who killed the church members it's that the Inkatha people suspected that within the church there are people who were IFP and then now who had been recruited to be ANC members. --- Yes, that's correct. Within the church people were forced to become members of the political organisations. The old people they belonged to Inkatha members. Now, if you were new in the church, or youth, they believed that you were ANC, but we all had our different card members.
Now, when they came to the church what happened? --- They started firing, and it was quite bright, and they just shot randomly at people, even women. They killed five people, women and children.
And that's how you lost your two children? --- No, Thokozani didn't die there. Jabu died.
What about Thokozani? --- He was just shot at his leg and his fingers were cut, and he is still alive in standard six. He is in standard six. And his leg had been healed, and his fingers got cut, two of them.
Was this matter reported to the police? --- Police came. My son, my elder son, was shot by an AK47 and he was admitted in hospital. For nine months he stayed there. His name is Petros.
Was he there? --- Yes, he was in the church, and he got injured. He didn't die, he is just limping now.
Is he still working? --- No, he is not working, he is just selling cabbages.
Was he working before the incident? --- Yes, he was.
Where? --- He was working at Ellerines at Estcourt. But he started working at the police.
After you reported the matter to the police did they come? --- Yes, they came.
Was there anyone arrested? --- No, no one was arrested. They came, many of them came.
In your statement it's written that those people who shot at the people in church were arrested and they were released. --- They were arrested for a short period, and there was a case, but - they did appear in court, but they were never sentenced. They were released and some of them went to Johannesburg. Some of them are still here.
You also made a request. You said you're asking the Commission to investigate in connection with your daughter's death, and also you requested for bursary for your daughter's children, and also money to maintain the children. These are just requests which we will send to the President. We will just make recommendations.
CHAIRMAN: Mr Shabalala, you heard the witness before you, who told us about her two children who had taken refuge in a church, but even this did not protect them from people who came to the church and shot those two young boys there. And now you have told us about your daughter and her child, your grandson, who were at this
church attending a church service, and they were shot. Your daughter was killed, your grandson was badly injured. They were shot at by a group of people who fired on the people attending the service. It's really - we know that these stories are true, but it's very difficult to believe them, that people can act so brutally and so callously. In fact the stories that we have heard from Brandville I have to say are some of the worst that we have ever heard in our trips round the country, and we extend our deep sympathies to people like yourself, and those other people from Brandville here today, who have suffered so much. We will do what we can to try and get to the bottom of some of these terrible murders, and inform the people of Brandville if we are able to get information about them.
So, thank you again very much for coming in and sharing your story with us.
CHAIRMAN: Mr Majola is the next witness. Good afternoon, Mr Majola. Welcome today. You have come to tell us about the death of your wife, your common-law wife in 1991 on the 4th of December, which I recognise as the date of the second Brandville massacre. Before you tell us your story can you please stand to take the oath.
BONGENI ALSON MAJOLA (Sworn, States)
CHAIRMAN: Mr Lax will help you.
MR LAX: Welcome again, Mr Majola. Thanks for coming. Before we go to story of your wife's death if you could just give us a picture of your family please. --- Yes, I had children, two children. The first-born is a boy and the second one is a girl.
What are their ages please? --- One is nine years old and the other one is 12 years old.
Are they schooling? --- Yes, they are both at school.
(Inaudible) ... working at the moment? --- Yes, I am.
What work are you doing? --- I am working for Mooi River Textiles.
Now, how old was your wife when she died? --- She was 27 years old.
Please tell us a little bit about - we've heard a great deal, in fact, about what was going on in Mooi River at that time, and in Brandville in particular. --- There was violence which started in 1990. In 1990 the station commander - Niehaus was the station commander at that time, and that's when my father died in 1990, during the violence. And the violence started once more in 1991,
and that's when I lost my wife. It was on the 3rd of December. There was some noise outside and the soldiers were moving around the streets, patrolling, and on that particular day we did not - that night we did not sleep. At about 4.00 am we heard some gunshots from outside and we woke up and looked at White City, and we could see the Inkatha impi at White City, going around burning people's houses. And at my in-laws' place we saw a certain house, Mr Zuma's house, being burnt down, and my wife jumped and went out. She wanted to go and check my son, who had gone to my in-laws to visit, and I was left with the daughter. By the time she got to the place they had already finished burning the house and they were coming towards our place, and they came across my wife. And there's a certain person I was working with by the name China. His other name was Sidney Zulu. And he tried to hold my wife. Amongst the other people who were hiding themselves they saw him grabbing my wife, and my wife pushed this man and went to knock at the door, and this group of people followed my wife. And the other one took out an assegai and stabbed my wife from the front, and the assegai went through to the back. And we got a report that she had been stabbed. We tried to get some transport, but people had run away because they were scared that they would be attacked. When I got to her I touched her. I saw a little hole just above her breast, and when I turned her over I saw that she had been stabbed from the back and the assegai went through to the front. That's when the police came. They took her with.
Mr Majola, you mentioned your father, and your father being killed in 1990. --- That's correct.
Tell us a little bit about that. We don't have any information on that in the statement at this stage. I did not submit any statement with regard to my father's death because my mother was here to testify with regard to my father's death.
(Inaudible) ... at that stage. She's already made a statement. Now, have you made any statement to the police about your wife's death, or has there been any follow up on that? --- It was not easy for me to submit a statement because I learnt my lesson at first when Mr du Toit told us that there were some cattle that had been slaughtered, and when we went to the mortuary we realised that he was referring to the people. That's why I took my father to Mjezi. They were referring to our loved ones as dead cows which had been slaughtered earlier on, so I did not want to report the matter to the police.
Did you have any dealings with the Goldstone Commission when they came? --- Yes, I did submit a statement when the Goldstone Commission came.
As far as - you say in your statement there was never any court case or inquest as far as you know. --- No, there was never any.
Thank you, chairperson.
DR MGOJO: I just want to hear from you about du Toit. What did he mean when he said there had been cattle slaughtered? --- He said he did not want the cattle which were full at the mortuary. We should try and get some means to remove our cattle from the mortuary.
Now, when he said cows who was he referring to? --- He was referring to the bodies. Maybe he saw them
as cows. Du Toit was the one who said that.
You spoke about China. You said his name is Sidney Zulu. Where does he stay? --- He was staying at the hostel then.
Have you ever seen him since? --- Yes, I do come across him, but when I went back to work he tried to deny that he was involved. He said that even to my sister, and he said that he knew nothing about my wife's killing. He said a person who knows better is Kheti Hadebe, and Kheti Hadebe has since resigned and he is working at Hammarsdale.
Who is staying with the children? --- They are staying with me, and whenever I am at work they go to school, and they usually go to my wife's place.
How were they affected by this whole incident? --- They always ask as to where their mother is.
Does that disturb them from their school work? --- They were truly disturbed, because my son failed twice, which had never happened before.
Are they getting any counselling? --- No, they are not getting any counselling, because I am also working so I am not at home most of the time.
You should also submit your name to the briefers so that they can follow this matter. Maybe your children could be helped with regard to counselling.
MRS GCABASHE: I would just like to ask you one question. We have heard quite a number of times about du Toit. Can you identify du Toit? --- Yes, I can identify du Toit because I have seen him quite several times, and I have spoken to him before with regard to problems that I had
before. I have once spoken to him with regard to removing the body, the dead body, to another place where it could be buried. And when he referred to the people as cows he said it to me in my face.
CHAIRMAN: Do you know why they attacked your wife? --- They attacked her because she was staying at the location in Brandville.
Are you saying that the location was non-IFP, or it was ANC, and ... (incomplete) --- Yes, because the people from the hostel were IFP members, and whenever they get into the location it would be to attack the residents who were ANC members.
Was your wife known to them, or was it simply because she was a township resident that she was killed? --- They knew her very well, because many people knew us because we were working at the same tex firm in Mooi River.
Were you both working at Mooi River Textiles? --- Yes, both of us.
And were you both identified with the ANC? --- That is true.
Mr Majola, you've heard me say about other witnesses that the stories we've heard here in Brandville are some of the worst that we have ever heard anywhere in this country, and your case is no exception. It really is a very brutal and callous person who can stand there in broad daylight and stab and kill a defenceless woman. It's difficult to imagine what drives a person to do this. But it's very important that you have come here to tell us that story. We know that it's difficult for you, but it's
important that you told that for us to hear and for the nation to hear, and we want to thank you very much for coming and being prepared to relive those memories with us. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: We're going to start with Mrs Ntombi Sithole, if she can please come up on the stage. Good afternoon, Mrs Sithole. Welcome here this afternoon. You are also from Brandville, and you have come to tell us about the death of your son, Zenze John Sithole, and that was in July 1991. Please, you don't have to stand up, but we'd like you to take the oath before you give your evidence. We can see that you're an old lady.
NTOMBILISA SITHOLE (Sworn, States)
CHAIRMAN: Mrs Gcabashe will assist you now.
MRS GCABASHE: It's cold, and we would like to thank you for coming even though it's cold today, and given the fact that you are at this age. We are also sorry that you're here because of the saddest thing that happened to your life, something that you'll never forget for the rest of your life. And this is the reflection of the life which we've led before, and we hope that we will never live that way ever again. Before you start relating to us a story about your son we would like you to give us a picture of your family background. We need to know if you still have children. --- My husband died a long time ago.
How did he die? --- He was ill. I had four children including Zenze. Now I am only left with three and they are still alive.
Can you please give us their names? --- Joseph. He is now married and he's got his own house.
Is he working? --- No, he is not working since after the violence. And I also have another son. His name is Samuel. He is not married and he is also not
Is he working? --- No. And I also have a daughter. Her name is Jabu and she is also alive. She is working temporarily.
Are you receiving any pension? --- Yes, I do.
Now you can start relating whatever you can recall about the situation in Brandville at the time which led to the incident where you lost your son. --- The situation was terribly bad. People were fighting. After the violence - or during the violence we reported the situation here in town, that the situation was bad in town. We were all scared to come to town. My son died here in town, because children wouldn't listen that we were not supposed to go to down any more because it was no longer safe. So my son did like everyone, every youth, so he was also a member of the ANC.
Was he at home on that day? --- He was at home in the morning, and then during the day he went to town. That's when he got injured or he was killed. He was killed here in town.
What happened after he left home for town? --- I didn't know, except that I got the message that they saw his body being removed by a van, a certain van. A certain girl came to my house and told me. The girl was my neighbour. Her name is Zanele.
What's the name of the girl? --- Her name is Zanele.
Her surname? --- Her surname is Nqondo. She is the one who came to tell us what happened, but she said she didn't see the whole thing, except that she saw his body being taken. She didn't relate the whole story as to
what happened because she said she didn't see. All she saw was his body being taken. Yes, we were suspecting Inkatha because he was stabbed by a spear, so Inkatha members were the ones who were carrying spears in town during the day. They were the ones who were carrying spears all the time.
And did you report this matter to the police? --- The police knew about this. We didn't go to them to report this. We only went there to identify his body. I didn't know a thing. I was confused at that time. I only gained my memory - I think I was mentally disturbed, so I only gained my memory after the funeral.
Do you remember if you have a death certificate or not? --- No, I didn't receive any death certificate, because it wasn't easy for us to go to town. It wasn't easy for us because it was real terrible.
During the funeral or while you were preparing for the funeral what happened? --- It was bad. The situation was very bad, but the funeral went on because police were there.
How old was Zenze when he was killed? --- He was a teenager, but I think he was above 20.
This incident, how did it affect you or your family? --- We were all affected, as I have already told you. When I heard this I got disturbed mentally and I also suffered from sugar diabetes, and after that I was never well.
Did Zenze have children? --- No, he didn't have any children at all.
Are you seeing doctors now that you're ill? --- Yes, I am seeing doctors. I am taking tablets from the
clinic. I am seeing the doctors, the Government doctors, so I am not paying for this high blood pressure medication.
What about your other children? How are they? --- They had been affected, and another thing which affects them more is them seeing me being so affected. Zenzo was my youngest son. They are very much concerned about my health. If I don't wake up early in the morning they get so concerned they come to my bedroom and they look at my health situation.
Okay, you can take your time. (Pause) Can we continue? --- Yes, we can.
I was still asking you, this incident which happened in 1991, did you ever hear what really happened? --- No, we couldn't hear anything because people were scared to tell, and they were scared to tell the truth because they didn't want to be witnesses because they were going to be in a bad position, or to jeopardise their health and those of their families.
The police who contacted you, do you still remember? --- No, there was no police who contacted us, except that when I was preparing for the funeral soldiers came to my next-door neighbour and they started throwing tear gas canisters. And no one was injured there.
How was your funeral service? --- It went fine because police were there.
I understand, Mrs Sithole, and I can also tell that you're still in terrible pains for the loss of your child. And, as you have indicated to us that you are still going to clinic, trying to get assistance, but maybe also if you can see counsellors who can try and help you emotionally
so that you cope emotionally, and so that you can accept and move on. The lady next to you, she'll be able to help you and she'll be able to give you the whole information as to how to get assistance from counsellors. And also maybe if you can invite your family so that they also get counselling assistance. And thank you very much, and I also like to pass my sympathy for what happened to you. I'll hand it over to the Chairperson.
CHAIRMAN: Mrs Sithole, thank you for ... (inaudible) ... it's very sad that at your age, when you should be being cared for by your children, you have to be here telling us about the circumstances of your son's death. And we've heard many stories from mothers like yourself who have talked about their children, many of them young children. Your son wasn't young when he died, but it is nevertheless equally painful for a mother to have to come and tell that story. But it is important that you have told us because it helps us when we are writing our report that we have as complete a picture as possible of this area, and we are able to report fully to the Government on what happened here. So your story, like everyone else's, is very important, and we thank you for coming in and for telling us that story. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: The next witness is Emily Majola. Mrs Majola, good afternoon. We welcome you here today. You have come to us to tell us the story about the death of your son, Derek Majola, who was a very well known person in Brandville. Now, you have somebody with you here on the stage. Can you tell us who that is?
MRS MAJOLA: Derek's son.
CHAIRMAN: Is he going to talk, or is he just here to support you?
MRS MAJOLA: He is here to remind me of some of the incidents because I forget some of the things.
CHAIRMAN: Perhaps he can just remind you, but if it's necessary for him to say one or two words maybe he should also stand up take the oath if it's necessary for us to refer to him. So, first we'll start with you. You don't have to stand up because we can see you have difficulty doing that.
NOMTHANDAZO EMILY MAJOLA and BONGINKOSI MAJOLA (Sworn, State)
CHAIRMAN: Mrs Majola, aside from Derek do you have other children? --- Yes, I do. Some of them died. In fact all of them died except I am remaining with Derek's children.
How many children ... (inaudible) ... Derek and how many others? --- Five children are Derek's and three of them are my late daughter's children.
(Inaudible) ... as we know, and as you will tell us, died in the violence here in Brandville. How did your other children die? You said your late daughter's children. How did your daughter die? --- We had run
to 'Maritzburg, but she was killed in 'Maritzburg.
Was that in a criminal action, or was it related to politics, or was it a motor accident, or how did she die? --- I am not clear, but she was killed by a certain man from the Mchunu family.
Okay. So at the moment you are living with your grandchildren. --- Yes, I am staying with grandchildren.
Do you get pension? --- Yes.
Can you tell us something about Derek then, and tell us what led to his death. --- Derek had been asked to be a member of the Council, the Council Civic or Civic Association, and thereafter they killed him.
Did he serve as a member of that Civic Association? --- Yes, he did serve.
And in fact was he - did he hold office on that Civic. Wasn't he the chairperson? --- He was dealing with the matters in Brandville. I don't know how to describe his position. I am not able to tell you.
(Inaudible) ... and he can fill us in. What information do you have about how he died? --- I was at home. My home is opposite where I was staying, and it was in the evening at about eight or quarter to eight. We heard a very loud noise from outside and we went out to investigate, and we saw people running away, and at that time we heard some gunfire as they were running away. It was himself and three other children, as well as his wife, that's my daughter-in-law. It seems as if Derek went out with a child and said he was going to Zondi's place, but he never reached Zondi's place. He was shot, and he came back into the house and got into the bedroom of another
child who was lying on the bed sick, having a toothache. And when he got there according to the child the child saw him after he had been shot, and the others got into the other rooms who were escaping. There were three children, and there were two with my daughter-in-law and there was one in the other room where Derek ran. They got in and they shot at random. By the time I went out to investigate I saw four people leaving the house. There were about four of them who were getting out of the house and they were crossing my garage, or they went across my garage. And as I approached I could hear something falling with a thud, and when I investigated it was him.
(Inaudible) ... happened to him? --- He had fallen down, and we tried to get some transport to take him to the hospital. We couldn't get a car because the roads were blocked. They had dug holes in order to instal some pipes, some underground pipes, so the cars had no thoroughfare. And we came across another car. We wanted to take my daughter-in-law to the hospital, or to accompany her, and they told me that Niehaus had been there, and Niehaus had come to take the body. I don't know as to who told Niehaus that there was a person who had been shot, and he had left a stern message that we should not touch the body. And we went to the hospital, but along the way to the hospital she died. And Dr Bhayat came. He also confirmed that she was dead.
And what was it that Derek had died from? Was it gunshot wounds or what was it? --- Yes, it was gunshot wounds.
And do you know who did that? --- No, I do not know, because when I - there were rumours that we heard
from a certain person by the name of Mchunu that there is a certain person who wanted to buy a vacant stand, but he could not purchase that stand. And apparently a certain man from Estcourt said he was going to talk to the residents of that area as to whether they gave permission for that person to purchase that vacant stand, and they hadn't yet spoken to the residents. Then one day when we were in the house, together with a certain female from Majola's house, when he got out of the house they accosted him. They wanted to shoot him but they missed him. And we went to report the matter to the police and they asked us as to whether he was dead. We said no. Then they said they couldn't get involved with any matters where people were not dead, they will only talk when he is dead.
Do you remember which policeman said that? --- I do not know. I think my girl would know better, because she's the one who was there when we went to report the matter. I am still trying to recall her name. Niehaus is the one who was in charge at that time, but I don't remember who I spoke to - or who we spoke to. Because I was working there, but I think at that time I had already stopped working there because of ill health. But I was told that he said he didn't want to deal with that matter because nobody died. And when we - there's one person whom we were able to identify. He was driving a bus, and when this happened he drove off in this bus and we could not identify the rest. That bus was just standing there. Nobody knows why. Then my neighbours came out from the Mchunu family. They said we could not chase people whom we did not know whether were armed or not, and they took the car, that is his car.
(Inaudible) --- The police from Harrismith - Ladysmith.
(Inaudible) ... why did they take the car? --- They said they were looking for the guns, and when they couldn't get the guns they came back to fetch the car. They said the car was a stolen car. And when we produced the licence, as well as the papers, they said it was a stolen car, but we don't know as to how it was stolen.
You also said in your statement that he was constantly harassed by the police before his death. What did they used to do to him, the police? --- They would come almost every day. At times they would fetch him from his workplace.
And what would they want from him? --- They said they were looking for guns, and he is the one who was in control of the guns because he was a prominent member of the ANC.
Was he in fact ever charged with any ... (incomplete - end of Side A, Tape 4) ... and as a result, or following on his death, was anybody ever charged or prosecuted? Was there ever any court case, or was there an inquest? --- Thereafter we ran to 'Maritzburg. We went to the 'Maritzburg Court. I am still trying to recall the full details.
(Inaudible) ... that Bonginkosi would like to add? Maybe he can refresh your memory. --- Yes, we went to court. There were certain males who were arrested, though I don't remember their names. They were arrested from the firm or the company, but they were later released, and that's where the matter ended.
So no one was ever convicted of his death? ---
No. They said Walter Mchunu made a request that he wanted to go and unveil his brother's tombstone.
What did that have to do with Derek's death? --- We were in court on that particular day, and he approached the Magistrate or the Judges. He said that he wanted to be released so that he could go to his brother's unveiling of the tombstone. And there was A C Mnikathi was wanted, and they said A C Mnikathi was a missing witness. As a result the matter could not go on. He was not known. His whereabouts were not known. That's where the matter ended, and I have never been notified of any proceedings.
You say that Walter Mchunu was ... (inaudible) ... in the death of your son? --- Yes, that is correct, because he is the one who made a request, and he's the one who was in the witness box. I think he was the accused.
Is that the same Walter Mchunu who worked for the Brandville Council and who was a member of the IFP? --- That is correct. But he made a request that the Court release him so that he can go to his brother's unveiling of the tombstone, and they said they wanted A C Mnikathi, who was suspected to be a hostel dweller. And they looked for him but the couldn't get hold of him. Nobody knew as to his whereabouts, and the matter ended just there.
(Inaudible) ... anything which your grandmother has said which you want add to about your father's death? --- Yes, I would like to add something. I would like to explain as to the circumstances before my father's death. He was a councillor but he resigned later on, and they formed a Civic Association together with other members, and he was chosen as the chairperson, or elected as the chairperson of the Civic Association. And thereafter,
after the ANC had been unbanned in South Africa, they organised themselves and they wanted to launch a branch of the ANC in Brandville. But before that could happen there was a conflict between the hostel dwellers and the people in the location, who were led by Walter Mchunu. There is a certain house that was burnt, the gas matter, and Walter Mchunu said my father was a suspect because he was the leader. And he said my father should pay for the house that had been burnt and the gases that were stolen. And my father approached members of the community and they collected money, and on this particular day that he was attacked, but survived, NUSI(?) were not in speaking terms with my father. But they couldn't shoot him on that particular day, he survived the attack. And there is a person who came and asked as to what was happening, because he is the one who was picking the bullet that had missed my father. He didn't want to hand over the bullet, and I think my grandmother was confused on that aspect. When they phoned the police station Niehaus is the one who answered the phone, and Niehaus asked as to whether my father had died, and we said no, and we reported that people had run away. Then he said there's nothing he could do. He will only come when my father is dead just to take his body. And after some time thereafter, that was in 1991, just before he died, the police who came to our place gave wrong names to my father. Because we ultimately got the names through JJ, who is a member of the Parliament, to get the names of these policemen who came to our place. They went to fetch him at his workplace, and they said they were looking for guns, and when they couldn't get the guns they took the car. After
having taken the car - I think after three weeks they instructed my father to come and pick the car up, and he said he was going to open up a case because he doesn't know what they had done to the car. He didn't want to take it back, he wanted it to be checked by AA because he suspected that they might have probably planted something or a bomb in the car. Then after he died they continued with their story and said the car was stolen. And at that time that they attacked a small child, Nogu, that is the last-born at home, who was four years old at that time, she was shot four times. And I do have a photo of her when she was in the hospital, and the people who were arrested - or who were suspects at that time, was a certain person by the name of Duke Mbongwe, China, who is working at the firm - I don't remember the other ones. And there was an inquest held, and there's a certain person who was a State witness by the name of Hadebe, who testified that he had been bought. He was going to be paid for killing my father. And they - he said he was going to be paid for killing my father, and they took him to the firm and he saw my father and identified him positively. And probably they had put him somewhere to hide. And at some stage he came across my father. He greeted my father, and when my father greeted back he felt bad about killing my father and he ended up not killing him at that stage. And when he gave testimony at the 'Maritzburg Court he said the who came to him to report that they had already killed my father, because he could not kill my father because at that time he was sick. And Walter Mchunu, as well as Alec Zokela came to report to him that they had already killed my father. At the
inquest the suspects - Niehaus was one of the suspects, that he colluded with the other suspects in the killing of my father. And at the inquest they said they were looking for Ace, and I think his surname is Mchunu, and he was a hostel dweller, A C Mnikathi. And the police came to identify him, and when they got to the hostel they found his bed well made, that they did search the place. Mchunu prevented them from continuing to search the place. He is the one who denied and said he is no longer living there. And that's where it ended. And when I met that policeman who was handling the case at a later stage - I met him at Estcourt and asked him as to what was happening with regard to my father's case. He said he was no longer involved in that matter, and if I wanted to know more I should go to the police station and find out as to who took over my father's case, because he was dealing with car thefts now. I told him that if he had stopped he should have reported to us so that we would be able to get in touch with the person who was dealing with the matter, and that was the end.
(Inaudible) ... the person who said that Zokela and Mchunu had said that they had already killed your father? Who was that person? --- The surname that I remember because he was a State witness is Hadebe. If you could check in the records of the inquest from the Regional Court in 'Maritzburg I think you can get his name.
But Walter Mchunu and Alec Zokela were ... (inaudible) ... or were they charged and the ... (incomplete) --- I only last saw them at the inquest, because the report that we got after the inquest was that the Magistrate said that the only person who could be
accused with regard to that was Walter Mchunu, because there was evidence that he was connected with the murder, or he had something to do with regard to my father's murder.
You've referred all the time to your father's death, your father's case. Was Mavis Majola - was that your mother? --- I am talking about both of them, because according to me I cannot separate the two incidents that took place. They are just like one incident.
Was that in fact your mother, or was that another - was that your father's second wife? --- Ja.
Mavis Majola is your ... (intervention) --- Yes, that is true.
(Inaudible) ... so it's not your mother? --- Ja.
It's your stepmother? --- Yes.
Bonginkosi, how old are you at the moment? --- I was 23 years.
How old were you at the time? --- 17.
And is your mother still alive? --- Yes, she is still alive.
And are you working, or what is your position? --- I am still at school.
Now, your grandmother said that your father was harassed constantly by the police, is that correct? What was the nature of that harassment? --- Yes, it is true. At the time that he was the leader of the Civic Association they would hold meetings, and at times they would meet with the Inkatha members, and due to the fact that there was no relationship between the two they would go to Niehaus and ask them to assist in ending the conflict, because a lot of people were dying due to the
violence. And my father's friend, who stays in 'Maritzburg now, Mr Malinga - was that Niehaus responded to the effect that if he didn't stop being a leader of the ANC they will find themselves swimming in a pool of blood. And it's - my father responded that he would never stop being a leader. I think Niehaus realised that he didn't want to stop, then he kept on making threats, as well as harassing him. And when he reported to Niehaus, Niehaus would not investigate the threats, they would just come to him and say they're looking for guns, instead of responding to the matter that is being reported. And they refused to give him a licence, and they would say my father was hiding certain guns, as my grand mother has already said.
And is it correct, as your grandmother said, that your father was never ever convicted of having weapons, or ... (incomplete) --- Ever since I was born I have never seen my father going to court.
DR MGOJO: A question to ascertain myself. I heard you testifying to the effect that at the time when Derek and Mavis were being shot there is a child who was shot. Could you tell us as to how she was shot and where? --- One bullet went through the right side, just above the breast, one below the breast, and went through the back. Maybe if you want to see her she is present, and the wounds are still apparent.
Did the bullets all go out? --- Yes, the bullets went out.
How old is the child? --- She is 10 years old.
Is she at school? --- Yes, she is.
How is she? --- She was traumatised by the incident. She is not like other children. She is quite some type of a recluse.
Has she been to see any doctors so that they can help her? --- No, she was admitted at the hospital. After being admitted she never went back to see the doctor.
Does she get any pains, physical pains? --- Yes, she does point out and say her body is painful. She would point at the wounds.
What standard is she in? --- She is in standard three.
How is her school work? --- No, her school work hasn't been affected drastically, but socially I wouldn't say she is faring quite well. I think she is different from other children. She needs some help. I think she does need counselling. I think every person, especially at an early age, who had parents and she later discovers that her parents had been killed, I think such a person does need to undergo some counselling, because she hasn't grown like other children who had their parents with them.
So you think that she would also need some counselling? --- Yes, she was four years old, and I think she was disturbed mentally or emotionally. She should also see some counsellors.
The last question that I have. You said that the investigating officer who was investigating with regard to the car that was taken, what was the name of the investigating officer? --- May I just put this straight? The one who investigated with my father's death is the one who told me that he was no longer dealing with
my father's case, but it was a white policeman.
MR LAX: (Inaudible) ... follow up a little bit on your sister's shooting. That didn't happen at the same time, it happened at a different time, is that right? --- They happened at the same time.
Was anyone else injured in that shooting besides your sister? --- It was my father, my aunt, as well as my sister. My brother was never injured and he said he never heard anything.
CHAIRMAN: Mrs Majola and Bonginkosi, we are glad that you were both able to be here together to tell the story about your son and your father, and we hope that you were able feel supportive of each other in telling this very sad story. We know from a lot that has been said by other people who gave us statements that Derek Majola was a very well known person, and many people have said that he was somebody who was committed to peace in the township, bringing together the hostel residents and the township residents. And we know that that is one of the things that he pursued, trying to get the police to assist in bringing peace between the hostel residents and the township residents. And it's a terrible tragedy that a person like him should have ended up being killed in that way.
I think it's also important for the people here to recognise another victim who is not here on the stage today, and that's your sister, who is sitting there in front, the daughter of Derek and Mavis Majola. And she can't give evidence today because she's a child, she's
under age, but we nevertheless want to recognise her today.
So, even though you have told us this very tragic story, we hope that you can take some comfort from the knowledge that many people in Brandville regarded your father and your son as a hero, and its important that his memory and the good work that he did should live on.
We will try and find out from the inquest record why no one was charged with his murder, and the murder of his wife, and we will communicate that information to you, but in the meantime we thank you both very much for coming and talking to us today. Thank you. --- I would like to make a request that since they are still at school, because I cannot help them further their education, I am old and very sickly, and there is no other person who helps me.
What standards are they in? How many are at school? --- They are three. There is the other one who was in Derek's arms, who was staying with Derek after the father had died.
Could you please just give us their names and their standards. --- I will count the other ones because I am just finishing my schooling. One is Nomvelo.
How old is Nomvelo? --- Nomvelo is 15 years old.
What standard is he? --- He is in standard six.
The other? --- Nomthandazo.
How old is she? --- She is 18 years old.
What standard is she? (Pause) How old is Thabile? --- Thabile is 18 years old. She is in standard seven. The third one is Nomgu.
How old is she? --- 10 years old. It's the one
who is seated there at the front.
What standard is she? --- I think she is in standard three.
Now, as you say you want to be helped, how much are they paying for their schooling? --- Nomvelo is paying R250,00 because she is in Durban. Thabile pays R40,00 per annum, and Nomkhululeko I was paying ... (intervention)
May I just clarify here? Nomvelo is at school and they pay per term, and granny is mistaken, it's R250,00 each term. She is a day scholar.
What's the name of the school? --- It's Rossburgh High. It's a private school.
And the other one, Thabile? --- Thabile is at Myezaneni. It's a black school.
What about Nomkhululeko? --- She is at Estcourt. I have forgotten the name of her school. It's an Indian school. I think it's a public school.
Rossburgh is not a government school? --- I am not really sure, I have never been there.
I just would like to explain this. It's easier for us to make provisions with regard to government schools, that is from first year up to the standard 10, because we have already made arrangements with the Minister of Education, and we write letters so that these children do not pay for their schooling, their school fees, and they also do not pay for their text books. But it's very difficult for us to approach private schools with this proposition. Now you must give further details with regard to that school so that we can try and find out as to what type of schools these are, so that we will be able at a later date to write letters to these particular
schools and make this request that I have already
CHAIRMAN: The next witness is Nomusa ... (inaudible - end of Side B, Tape 4) (Pause) Good afternoon, Mrs Zuma. You have come to tell us about the death of your husband, and I think you're the first witness today who is not from Brandville township. You are coming from Howick today, and, as I said, you've come to tell us about the death of your husband in 1994. Before you tell that story can you please stand to take the oath.
NOMUSA CONSTANCE ZUMA (Sworn, States)
CHAIRMAN: Dr Mgojo will help you now.
DR MGOJO: I greet you, Mrs Zuma. I must say we appreciate that you are here to tell us your story. Are you staying at Gaza Road in Howick? --- Yes, I am. Before that I was staying at Nyembezi.
So you are here to tell us about what happened at Nyembezi. Take your time. (Pause) Nomusa, I would like you to paint a picture to us of your family, your whole family, your children and your husband, Jeremiah. How many children do you have? --- I have three children.
How many boys? --- I have two sons and one daughter.
Can I have their names? --- The first-born, Mfumundo.
Is he in school? --- Yes, he is in technikon, Pietermaritzburg Technikon.
How old is he? --- 19 years old. The second-born his name is Luwazi.
How old is Luwazi? --- He is 17 years old. He is in Polela Institution.
And then your last-born? --- Nomphilo. She is
nine years old.
Is she in school? --- Yes, she's in standard two.
I have forgotten to ask about the one who is at technikon. What level of study is he in? --- He is in second level. The one in Polela is in standard eight.
I won't take much time because I can understand that this story brings sad memories to you. What was happened at Nyembezi at that time when this incident occurred? --- There was a violence between Inkatha and the ANC.
Who was fighting with Inkatha? --- ANC and Inkatha were fighting each other, and me and my family were ANC members. ANC at a stronghold at Nyembezi. After the violence ANC broke into two. There were those who were known as SACP and those who - others who were the ordinary ANC.
What about Jeremiah Zuma? --- Jeremiah Zuma remained with the old, ordinary ANC. This happened after the violence between the ANC and the Inkatha.
And what happened then? --- We heard that people were hunting my husband. SACP were the people who were hunting my husband. On the 15th of March 1994 we were asleep late at night. It was about half past 10. Just before we fell asleep after dinner my husband went to my children's bedroom, and in that bedroom there were two beds. And myself and my other child we remained in the kitchen. After dinner my husband went to the bedroom. In fact he went to the children's bedroom.
Why did he go to the children's bedroom? --- It's because we've heard that people were hunting him, so we decided to change bedrooms. Late at night my younger
child said to me we shouldn't go to their bedroom because her father was in bed. (Pause)
If this is really difficult for you to relate to us you mustn't force yourself. We can understand. We know that people aren't the same. It might happen that you can't bear it, but if you like you can always tell us you can't. We're just doing this just because we want to add more information. For instance your statement has not mentioned anything about your children, and as to whether they are schooling or not. We need such information. --- My daughter told me that we should go to the dining-room and sleep there because her father was still asleep. I think we rather not let her relate this because it's really difficult for her. If there is anything more to add on yet she can give all this information to our counsellors, and we can always get the information there. Nomusa, we are very, very sad about what happened to you. This is the first time where we shared stories like ANC people breaking into two and turning against each other. It's very sad to have a friend turning against you, someone you rely on, someone you have been working hard with, and smoothed ways together, and have them to kill you at the same time. We wish God can help you and give you strength and courage. We will try by all means to meet your needs. We have seen in your statement you've mentioned bursaries for your children who are still in school, and maybe you can also give our counsellors more information if you have. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: The last witness today is Thokozile Ndlovu.
Good afternoon, Mrs Ndlovu. Thank you for being so patient. You have waited all day to tell your story, you're the last person today. You are from Brandville, and, like so many other people today, you've come to tell us about the death of a member of your family. This time it was your husband, who died in March 1991. Can you please stand up to take the oath before you give your evidence.
THOKOZILE ELKE NDLOVU (Sworn, States)
CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Mr ... (incomplete)
MR LAX: Thank you, Chairperson, and welcome again Mrs Ndlovu. Now, before we proceed with your statement we just want a small picture of your family, and we ... (intervention) --- I have five children.
You have given us in your statement all their details. I'll just quickly go through it with you just to confirm it. You have ... (inaudible) --- Yes, that is true.
(Inaudible) ... who is 21 years old. --- That is true.
(Inaudible) ... Siyende, who is 18 years old. --- Yes.
Siyabonga, who is 16. --- That is correct.
Nokuthula, who is 12. --- That is true.
Are any of them not - or let's put it another way round. Is Ronnie schooling? --- No, he is no longer at school. He is working.
And Maxwell? --- He is also not at school. I think he was traumatised, so thereafter he had to leave
What is he doing? --- He is working temporarily, getting temporary positions.
What standard did he finish at school? --- Standard six.
And then we have Siyende. What's Siyende doing? --- She's at school.
What standard? --- Standard 10.
And Siyabonga? --- He is also in standard six.
And then Nokuthula? --- In standard four.
(Inaudible) ... at all? --- I am not working.
(Inaudible) ... getting pension, or help in some way? --- I get some money from the welfare. No, I get some food, not money.
You get some welfare assistance. --- Yes.
Now, you were born in 1950, is that right? --- That's correct.
And your husband was 43 years old at the time of his death. --- That is true.
Please tell us what happened. --- There was violence in 1991 at Brandville, and the situation was tense. There were sporadic outbreaks of violence, and on this particular day he went to the office where he was called. They said he must come and fetch the house title. He went during the day to the office, and he got to the office and fetched the title. As he was coming back from the office, just next to the hostel, a group of people approached him from the back and they shot him. He tried to drag himself and walk up to Mr Zokela's house, and he reported that he had been shot. They went to look for a car to take him to the hospital. They were children, but
I wasn't present when this happened. He was taken to the Brandville Hospital, but he was certified dead on arrival.
Somebody witnessed this incident. --- That is true, but that person is not present today. It was a certain girl who was doing some washing outside her yard.
We have her name. That's not important at this stage. Is it correct that she wanted to get assistance, but these perpetrators prevented her from doing that? --- Who are you referring to?
The witness which you spoke about. --- At first she said she has a problem, and at the moment she is not here because she was traumatised by the incident when she helped my husband.
What was your husband doing at the time of his death? Was he working? --- Yes, he was working at Mooi River Textiles, and on that particular day he missed work because he had to go to the office.
(Inaudible) ... say the matter was reported to the police at Mooi River. Did anything ever happen? --- No, nothing happened, because at that time I didn't know what to do, and the situation was tense at that time. And the children were very young at that time. I didn't know where to go or who to go to for help.
Mrs Ndlovu, we will try and track down your husband's case and see why nothing further was done about it. Now, you've said that some of your children had to leave school soon after your husband's death because you ran out of funds, is that right? --- That is correct.
Thank you, Chairperson.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mrs Ndlovu, for telling us that
story, for coming in today. We note from what you've said that your husband was going to the Council offices to collect the title deed for his house, and we presume that that meant that he had paid off the house and he was entitled to receive the title deed, a house for which he had worked hard all his working life and finally paid off, and on that very day he was attacked and shot. As I said to earlier witnesses, the stories that we've heard here in Mooi River, Brandville, are terrible stories, some of the worst that we've heard, and your story is really no exception.
As Mr Lax has said we will try to follow up this case, see whether we can get to the bottom of what might have happened on that day, and we will communicate any information that we get to you.
But we thank you for bringing this case to our notice, and we hope that by coming here today and telling your story it has made it a little bit easier for you, along with all the other victims whose stories we've already heard. It makes it easier for you to understand and accept your husband's death, and we hope that you and the other victims feel some unity in the sorrow that you have experienced. Thank you very much indeed.
CHAIRMAN: The next witness, and the last witness today, is Mrs Margaret Zuma. Good afternoon, Mrs Zuma. We are glad that you were able to come in today. We understand that you only just came in a few minutes ago. You are also from Brandville, from White City, and you've come to tell us about the death of your husband, Elias Zuma. Sorry, your father - your father. Can you please stand before you tell us your story. Sorry, your uncle.
NANI MARGARET ZUMA (Sworn, States)
MRS GCABASHE: Good afternoon, Margaret. We appreciate the fact that you have been able to come and appear before this Commission with regard to what took place. Could you please just tell us about your uncle. --- It's my uncle, my mother's brother.
Just tell us about his family first. Was he married? --- No, he was not married. He was staying at my mother's place. I do not know how old he was a that time, but I do have his identity document.
You'll hand over the document to the briefer. --- He was not working. He was receiving a disability grant -a disability grant, not pension. He was limping, and his whole right-hand side was paralysed. He got injured ... (inaudible - end of Side A, Tape 5) ... I do have children.
Where is the father of the children? --- He is not around.
How many children do you have? --- I do not have any. I had one, and he has since passed away.
Who are you staying with at the moment? --- I am staying with my two brothers.
How old are they? --- The one - they are younger than me. The other one was born in 1954 and the one was born in 1960, the last-born.
Are they working? --- No, they are not employed. They were employed before, but they were retrenched, both of them. I am also staying with my other brother, who is one year seven months old.
What's his name? --- The name of the girl is Letty.
Is it your brother's child? --- Yes.
How old is she? --- One year seven months.
Where's the mother? --- I do not know where the mother is. The mother left or dumped the baby with the father, and the father is Tommy.
Is that all? --- Yes, that is those who are staying at my place.
Are you employed? --- No, I am not.
How do you earn your living? --- My brother buys food. He is the breadwinner, my other brother.
You said he is not working. --- No, he is not staying at my place, he's staying at 'Maritzburg.
Is he your brother also? --- Yes.
But you said you have two brothers. --- I was counting the ones I am staying with.
Could you please just count them all. --- There's one who is in 'Maritzburg, as well as my other sister who is staying here. My brother who has got kids is working at BP garage in 'Maritzburg.
Do you also have a sister? --- Yes, she is staying at Iraq, an Indian location.
Is your sister working? --- She is self
employed. She is a dressmaker.
Tell us the circumstances surrounding or leading to the death of your uncle. --- It was a Sunday. I was at my brother's place, the one who is in 'Maritzburg at the moment, and when I came back from my brother's place I saw Inkatha members. They were roaming around White City where we stay, and I was on the other location, the adjoining location. And as I was going down I realised that I couldn't go to White City, and I hid myself at Mrs Dlamini's place, which was next to the Dutch Reformed Church. And I got there. I realised that the fight and the violence was going on, and during the night she asked the Dutch priest to keep us for the night because we could go back to White City because the fight was still going on. But the priest said we could not go to his place to sleep. He said when we hear the footsteps of Inkatha members we should put the lights on so that they would recognise or realise that we were Inkatha members. He further went on to explain that all the houses that were lit were Inkatha members' houses, so that was the only way we could survive. And then the houses were burning at that time. The Inkatha was burning down the houses. Then the following day there was fog, and I wanted to go to my brother's place first, the one who was next to us, and I came across my sister's daughter, Vicky. She was crying. Her name is Vicky. The surname is Verasamy. She is Indian. She called me and told me that my uncle had been stabbed the previous night. I couldn't go on further to my uncle's place. They said the police had taken him. The Inkatha people stabbed him inside the house.
Now, when she reported to you did she tell you as to
how this happened? Where did the Inkatha get him? --- He was inside the house according to the information that I gathered from my neighbour. She said they were sitting together at her house, and my uncle said he was getting cold and he wanted to go and fetch a jacket so that he could keep himself warm. He went there into the house, and that's when the Inkatha attacked. The police were told about this incident and they went to fetch the corpse. There was no inquest, there was no investigation, but the very same priest said we haven't yet died, we were still going to die, because he was an Inkatha member. He said during the funeral, because our children didn't want to be IFP members, they were going to continue killing us.
Is Xamani still in Mooi River? --- No, he has since moved, but I don't know where to, but he is still alive.
You spoke about Mrs Mkhize. --- Yes, I ran into Mrs Mkhize's house and she is still around. The last time I saw her she was also traumatised and she had run to another place. I think she has come back now.
You said there was no inquest. --- No.
Did you get the death certificate? --- Yes, I do have it with me.
What was the cause of the death according to the death certificate? --- I do have it, but I did not read it, and I don't know what is written on it. I do have it.
You will give it to the briefers so that they can make a copy. We don't have that information. After that - how could you describe your family after the incident? --- My mother was in Richmond at that time and she was
sick. She came back from the hospital, and we could not tell her at that time to tell her that her brother had died. And when we wanted to phone the hospital to tell her about her brother's death we discovered that she had already been told and she got ill. She eventually died. On the day that my mother died we prepared for the funeral on the Saturday. Then on the 3rd and the 4th the Inkatha came back and they burnt all the goods that were left in the first attack.
Let's go back now. You said your uncle was killed on the 9th of June. Now you are talking about the 3rd and the 4th. --- No, the 3rd and the 4th was another month. That is after my uncle's death. That was in July then. My uncle died on the 7th. I think it was on the 7th. It was a Sunday. It's the death certificate that they gave me at the police station that states 9th as the day of the death, but he died on the 7th.
Now, what do you think is the reason, because you don't seem to be the only one who states that the date on the death certificate is not the date on which he died? Why do you think that is so? --- I really do not know. I have no idea.
Now, let's go back to the burning of the house. When was this? --- After my uncle had died and had been buried my mother came back from the hospital. She was also ill. She died. On the Saturday of the funeral, it was on the 4th at dawn, we had not yet brought my uncle's goods back into the house, because we kept one room empty in preparation for the funeral. And they came and burnt the house down. I knew it was Inkatha because I was present when this happened.
Did you recognise or can you identify any of the people who came and burnt down your house? --- Yes, I do know some of them. I know of one Duke.
What's Duke's surname? --- I do not know his surname, but I knew him.
Where is Duke now? --- I don't know whether he is still alive, but he was a member of Inkatha.
You have also said that one of your wishes would be that the Commission investigate further with regard to your uncle's death. Is there any request that you would like to make that you probably didn't make during the time of submitting your statement? --- I would like to know my uncle's death - my uncle's killers, because he was paralysed, he could not fight for himself, and he was an elderly person.
Now, tell us about yourself, as well as other members of your family. How are you coping? --- I think we are coping. We have come to terms with it. I am forgetful, but I don't think it's an issue. There are times when I miss my uncle, when I think about him, and there are times when I feel depressed, and at times I can't carry out a conversation without forgetting whatever I said before. But I do not think that's something that can be taken into consideration as such.
I think that is an indication that you were traumatised. It would be better for you to see some counsellors or psychologists so that they can determine as to whether you do need counselling, because you may find that you do, but you do not realise it.
CHAIRMAN: Mrs Zuma, thank you very much for coming in
today. I don't think you were here for most of today, but if you were you would have heard stories about people who were shot in churches, elderly women who were shot in their houses, children who were shot in their houses, a young child of four years old who had a large rock thrown on her chest - terrible things done by groups of armed men, men armed with terrible weapons, guns and spears and sticks, and the story that you have told us is similar to that. As you have said yourself, your uncle was a disabled, elderly person, and it's a terrible, callous and brutal thing to have attacked and killed that person, who could not possibly have defended himself. And we understand some of the pain that you still feel for that family member of yours.
But it's important that you have told us that story, because it gives us a much clearer picture of what it was like for people in Brandville during those terrible years, 1990 and 1991, and we hope that those sorts of experiences will not take place again here in Brandville, and that there will be peace between the hostel residents and the township residents. And if there isn't, that the police force that we have now is a better one, and one that takes its public duties seriously.
So again we thank you very much for coming in and telling us your story.
PROCEEDINGS ADJOURNED TO 1997/05/29