PROCEEDINGS HELD AT
N E W C A S T L E
ON 10 SEPTEMBER 1996
[PAGES 1 - 107]
I N D E X
NO ITEM PAGE N°
Father Shange....................................................... 1 - 7
2. Case No NNN/026
Kate Masiba......................................................... 8 - 19
3. Case No MR/142
Joshua Kubheka..................................................... 20 - 40
4. Case No MR/143
David Mnyazana.................................................... 41 - 46
Victoria Mnyazana................................................. 46 - 48
David Mnyazana.................................................... 48 - 49
5. Case No KM/518
Doris Madela........................................................ 50 - 63
6. Case No MR/145
Bonginkosi Dlamini................................................ 64 - 82
7. Case No FS/198
Vusumuzi Ntuli..................................................... 83 - 91
8. Case No KM/642
Vusumuzi Nene..................................................... 92 - 99
9. Case No KM/510
Lindiwe Sithole..................................................... 100 - 107
COMMISSIONER: Thank you, Father Shange, for coming in today. You are from Madadeni township, is that right? Osizweni, I apologise, and you're from - was I correct in saying you are from the Anglican Church.
FATHER SHANGE: Before you say your piece could you stand please to take the oath.
FATHER SHANGE (Sworn, States) (Speaking English)
Thank you, Mr Chairman, members of the Commission, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. I am not too sure which language I'll be using. I think I'll any one that comes in my way, so it will be either Zulu or English.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Dlamini is suggesting that because of the audience to use Zulu if you're comfortable with that. --- Yes, I will be.
And I can follow through the earphones, and those who don't follow Zulu all that well can follow through the earphones. --- I am very happy to get this opportunity to come and give you a brief background as to why we are here today. As a black person, and a Zulu too, we knew that whenever the men were fighting they would go to the river and try to wash and heal their wounds. So this is what this is all about. We are talking about reconciliation, as the Chairman has already pointed out. Newcastle, or Northern Natal, is a place that is renowned for peace. I don't know how far true that is, because we had this bad luck that whenever anything happened the media never cared to report whatever was happening here. But most of the incidents took place in 1984, and before then there was nothing that happened that
was quite as shocking as the events that took place in 1984.
I will start talking about the incident that took place in Hlobane. That is at the end of November. Then they started COSATU working in Durnacol, as well as at the Hlobane Mine, and there were certain elements who were not satisfied with the operations of the COSATU, and another organisation called UWUSA was made. That started in 1986, and many people died. That is when there was conflict between these two organisations, not because the ordinary civilians were fighting.
And we go back to Newcastle. We know that during that time the then government was involved in oppressing the people, especially the black nation, and we knew that at that time if that did not happen we would not be here today. And whenever there was a political organisation which was fighting oppression, as well as discrimination, these people would get detained and they would be killed in detention, assaulted, and some were survivors. That is when there was a mushrooming of a lot of political organisations which were fighting the Government, whereby they felt that they should kill everybody that's got anything to do with the Government so that the people should be liberated. That is when there was a court in Newcastle, and thereafter the Newcastle Court was bombed, as well as the railway station and Pick 'n Pay, and there was a lot of bombings up to Madadeni Police Station that took place. They also bombed the police barracks.
But here in Newcastle, despite of all those things that happened, there wasn't even a single day where the Inkatha or the ANC fought each other. There has never
been an instance where the IFP (sic) attacked Inkatha and Inkatha attacking ANC. But it so happened that some policemen who were known to the community, and who were very hard-hearted, were working in such a way that one organisation would have an altercation with another, and they were creating a crack between the organisations, and there was no relationship whatsoever. And there were certain names which were mentioned which were called Ebony and Khoyoni. These were the organisations which started fighting with the IFP together with the police.
And thereafter many people got injured, some got killed, because if we remember quite well when the court was bombed many people were detained. Some were arrested. Some even went to Robben Island, but they ultimately came out, but some of the unluckily, or most unfortunately, have already passed away. We know that the first one was killed by certain gangsters. The second one was shot by Councillor Nxumalo at Osizweni, and he died on the spot.
I can just put it in this way, that there were certain elements within the organisations which were fomenting the violence. There has never been an instance where it's the organisations or the structures that were attacking people
As I had already mentioned the Hlobane incident I shall come back to the Madadeni matter. We want to commend the councillor in Madadeni for his wisdom, because when the UDF started being formed he invited the UDF as well as the community, so that the UDF could get an opportunity to explain to the community as to what the UDF was, and what was its main objectives.
At Osizweni things started getting sour when we were
going towards 1990, when certain members or youths at ward five had a fight with Councillor Nxumalo. That's when the violence started, because even the schoolchildren got involved at that stage. At that time he helped and contributed in the signing of the Peace Accord in September 1981, and that is when all the reverends, as well as Father Stephen O'Kerr, who had gone back to Kenya, they convened the town council of Osizweni and wanted its opinion as to what was going on in that particular place. They called ANC as well to come and voice its own opinion. They also called IFP to come and contribute as to the solution of whatever was taking place, because they wanted there to be negotiations as well as a reconciliation. And at the time all the political organisations were convened, as well as the chairman, Father Stephen O'Kerr. And at that time a significant incident took place. Whilst Minister Sithebe was speaking one youth stood up and spoke whilst he was speaking, and there was an altercation until such time that there was gunfire. And at that time a youth from Shabalala Osizweni died. But luckily, because the political organisations had come together, Mr Khumalo, the IFP chairman, as well as Makhosini Hadebe, who was the chairman of the ANC. We went to the family of the bereaved, and somehow the violence was quelled.
I believe that the coming together which took place between the political organisations did contribute somehow. Harry Gwala came and spoke, and all the people were united despite the fact that the political organisations at that time now were cracking. I know that by saying these things I will be opening up some wounds, but we have to because that is where we come from, and we
know that many of you don't have houses.
And, referring to the Chairman, it's quite a painful situation that some people don't know, or were not informed as to when and where to give their statements so that they can possibly appear before this Commission, because there's far too many people who got involved and who were affected by the violence. I would be happy if they would be given a chance to come and give their stories.
There were certain police who were extremists and who were contributing to the violence. I know there are some people referred to as right-wingers who are existent here in Newcastle, but I don't have any testimony or any information with regard to that, but I know that at some stage they went to stay next to Pick 'n Pay, where they were keeping a vigil. I know one who is still there, staying in a right wing area. That is people who hate black people. We do get that there were two consultation rooms whereby there would be blacks getting in there, and a separate one for whites. We still get this even in surgeries in Newcastle.
COMMISSIONER: (Inaudible) ... does give us a very useful background to this area. I note that you said that the violence in this area only started much later than in many other areas, in 1986, and this is typical of other towns in Natal. We were in Port Shepstone some weeks ago, and the people there said that before 1988 and 1989 the place was completely peaceful, but that through the manipulation of certain people, politicians, participation of certain members of the police force, in the space of one year a quiet, rural community was turned into a very, very
violent community. And it seems as though a similar pattern happened in Newcastle, that this place knew peace for many, many years, and it was only through certain incidents, and involvement of certain people, that it became an unpeaceful place, and that many people died.
So again thank you very much for sharing your views with us today, and of course you are welcome to be with us today and the other days if you have the time.
I just - are there any questions that any of the other committee members would like to ask? Mr Lax.
MR LAX: Thank you, Chairperson. Father Shange, how would you describe the Newcastle area at the moment? Is it relatively peaceful? --- (Inaudible - speaking English) ... very peaceful, because in that Peace Office in SA Perm Building you will get ... (Changes to Zulu) ... at the office you get the IFP as well as the ANC sitting. I remember at some stage where they did not have money to buy food I bought them a bunny chow and they ate together, so I believe that there is peace.
Maybe just to wrap what was being said by Commissioner Lyster. He was thanking Father Shange for the commentary, the report that he gave us about Newcastle as well as the neighbouring areas. He also pointed out that this situation in Newcastle is quite like the others, especially the small towns that we have been visiting, just like Port Shepstone, that a rural area or a quiet rural area was now turned into a violent area because of certain elements, politicians, and some which were used by the then Government, who were sowing some seeds of hatred
amongst the community so that each political group would not see eye to eye with another political group, and then that blood started pouring out because of these altercations and the violence that existed between these political organisations.
Mr Lax also asked a question as to how the situation is in Newcastle presently, and Father Shange also replied that there is relative peace now, especially with the contribution of the Peace Office that brought the political organisations together and made them negotiate and talk and sort out their differences so that they could live peacefully.
COMMISSIONER: Thank you, Father Shange, very much. We will now call on the second witness to come and give his evidence.
COMMISSIONER: Mrs Msibi, we welcome you here today. Can you hear me through the earphones? Can you understand me? MRS MASIBA: Yes.
COMMISSIONER: Sorry, it's not Msibi, it's Masiba, is that correct? Mrs Masiba.
MRS MASIBA: Yes.
COMMISSIONER: And you have somebody with you today. Who is that with you on the stage?
MRS MASIBA: My sister.
COMMISSIONER: Your sister. We welcome you both here today. You are presently residing in Inanda in Durban, is that right, or do you live here in Newcastle?
MRS MASIBA: I am living at Inanda in Durban.
COMMISSIONER: I see. The story that you have come to tell is about the murder of your husband, Mr Justice Masiba, in February 1991 at Durnacol, is that right?
MRS MASIBA: Yes.
COMMISSIONER: Now, before you tell us that story can you please stand to take the oath.
KATE MASIBA (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
COMMISSIONER: Mr Lax will help you now with your evidence.
MR LAX: Thank you, Chairperson. Good morning, Mrs Masiba. --- Good morning.
It's nice to see you here for a change, rather than where we last met. Are you feeling comfortable and okay? --- Yes.
Now, before we start if I could just confirm with you that you have five children, is that correct? --- That's correct.
And their ages are 21 years, 18 years, 16 years, 11 years and seven years. --- Yes, that's correct.
Please take your time. It's all right. We really do understand. We know that it's difficult for you to come and talk to us about these things. Now, just for the record, your husband, Justice Masiba, was born on the 27th of November 1949. Do you confirm that? --- That's correct.
(Inaudible) ... of his death he was working as a senior clerk at Durnacol Mine in Dannhauser. --- That's correct.
Now, please just take your time. When you're ready if you could tell us a little bit about what happened, and how it was that your husband came to be killed in the end. --- (Pause) It was in July, towards the end of July. It was at Durnacol Mine. It's a mine that has different cultures of employees. Even my father was working there. This mine people were able to work co-operatively, but on the day when the President Nelson Mandela was released from prison in July workers asked for increase. When they were fighting for this increase they even went to Iscor in Pretoria. When they arrived in Pretoria they told them they must come back to Durnacol Mine and they will give them the money, and the whites in Durnacol Mine realised that these people are going to get a lot of money, and they said to the Zulus the Zulus must kill the Xhosas. And my husband was a Xhosa, but he started working in that mine in 1975 while he was still young. I made a mistake, it was in 1971. I also grew up there. When my husband related to me this he told me that he is so worried because one senior member, his name is Pius Khumalo, was
talking to another Khumalo who is a security. He said to him, "I don't care what you can do because I don't have household things in my house." So my husband got worried. They used to have meetings. In August, when they were supposed to receive the money, the Zulus started getting together, having their own meetings, and one day they told us we couldn't sleep there. I was staying at Pelindaba. We were worried, and we told ourselves, "No, it's just something that will pass." One night we ran away to Dannhauser House, which was owned by an Indian, because this Indian guy was my husband's friend. We asked them if we could sleep over, and we explained to him because the Zulus were angry so we were scared. We went back. When we arrived there we met one guy who was from church. He said to my husband, "Justice, how can you run away with your kids? I mean this is nothing, it will pass." So Justice said, "Oh, because you are saying so now I have hope." We went back to my house, I prepared supper. I heard a sound and my husband asked me if I know why is this sound. I said to him, "No, I don't know," and he said to me, "Something terrible is going to happen." My husband said to me, "We must run away with the kids." When we were at the gate, when we were there, Zulus were already there with spears, pangas, lots of weapons, but except for guns. And I called one guy, I said to him, "Mhlanga, what's going on?" He said, "No, nothing will happen, because I have a gun and all these people don't have a gun so nothing will happen." I went to another neighbour who was also my husband's friend, and other neighbours came as well, and they had told the Zulus that they must put red bandannas in their heads so that they
could be easily recognised that they are Zulus and they won't be killed. And my husband and other neighbours asked them, "What's going on really, because we consider you as our brothers-on-law because we've married the Zulus? We've been into this area for a long time." And they asked them, "Why are you having all these weapons with you? Are you going to kill us being our brother-in-law?" And he answered back and said, "No, nothing will happen." Soldiers came and they tried to resolve the thing. We went back to our houses, and all the Xhosas the next day when to the company manager. And the company manager told them that they must go back until the Zulus come down. We went back. The next day at 1 o'clock we saw a very big car, and one person was shouting, telling us, "If you are Xhosa you need to run, to leave the house." So we were supposed to leave our houses there and then. We ran. We took our children. We got into the car. We left our houses just like that. They told us they were taking us in a safer place. When we asked they told us we are going back. They told us to leave behind everything. I saw one security guy. I said to him, "Brother Mhlanga, would you please take care of my house," and I told him I am not going to Transkei, but I am going to Madadeni. I went to Madadeni. We left everything behind. We left our belongings. I went back, I took my belongings, and I went to Newcastle. When I arrived at Newcastle I put my belongings, everything, my household in their house, and then I heard an announcement on television and radio that we should go back. My husband called, and one guy at work said, "No, you mustn't come, it's still bad." My husband decided to change his
employment because he was scared to go back. We went to Durban. It was then in January. Gaja and Gozo went to Durnacol in attempts to resolve this issue, because - they wanted to resolve this because they knew that whites were behind this. I heard that there was a list which was written, and one person who was also involved in this thing who was with the whites, Mr Zondo, he is still alive even today, and Pius as well. They were doing this because they were getting instructions from whites. He wanted my husband to work alone even though they had almost equal position, so that led to a quarrel, and one manager told my husband to go and open another shaft so that he can work nicely. In 1990 my husband had written a letter to Iscor, and Iscor sent back forms to Durnacol, because he wanted a transfer to Durban. Mr Buthelezi, who was in shaft five, said to him, "No, brother, I trust you. I know you will send me forms." And then later on he said, "No, they said you must come yourself personally to sign the forms. They won't send you the forms down to Durban." So I told my husband that, "No, you should go, because some members have went there to take transfer for their children, and some to apply for their pension, and nothing happened to them, so you must also go and fill those forms." In February, on the 12th, it was on Monday - I am not certain whether Monday or Tuesday - I told my husband to call first before he goes there. He called. He called one guy, white guy who was a labour control, and he said to him, "No, you must come and fetch the forms personally." And he said he can't send them by mail, he must come and sign there. So my husband decided to go there personally. He left at about 10 o'clock, and he
wasn't so worried because he had heard that it was now safer. He went there. At that time it was peaceful, and they have already hired other people to work. When he arrived there it was about seven. When he was approaching the place where we were staying he was seen by Mr Zondo, and he greeted him. And then one lady went to call Mr Xulu, and then they were talking together now that, "Oh, here's one person who's also on the list, and then they went to hostels to call others. Most of the people who killed my husband they didn't even know my husband. They were new employees of that mine. They didn't even know him. One bakkie from Mr Khumalo they were 26, and they were singing at Zondo, and Zondo gave them spears and even forks. I heard that his wife gave them forks. When they arrived there they found him inside the house. I heard he tried to ran. He hid behind the wardrobe. They broke the door in my brother's bedroom, and neighbours were there watching but they were scared to do anything. They broke the wardrobe, and that's how he was killed. He had 26 wounds. They cut his tongue, they cut his genitals, they took his teeth out, they left him there. They put muthi all over his body. After I received a message I went there, I went to look for his corpse, and I was so scared because it was terrible. And they told me they don't want to see me and my family, and they wanted to kill everything that belonged to him. Police took his body. After the funeral they followed us, because one night when I was at Madadeni they knocked, and fortunately my sister had a bulldog. And the neighbours saw the car, and Mr Khumalo was there. The person who was trying to resolve this thing, who never liked the struggle, was
Mr Mseleku. They chased him away from his office, because he was the one who was telling them that, "We mustn't fight. We are all blacks." They went to Madadeni. This other person was staying at Madadeni, and they destroyed my household, and there was no one because my sister was in training and her husband was at work. Sergeant Komandu, who was handling the case, said there was nothing that he could say or do because whites refused him to arrest those people who killed my husband. So he said there was nothing he could do. That's how he left, and up until today nothing happened. I am suffering. My husband left me with kids. My first-born finished her matric in 1993. I can't pay for his tertiary education. Now he is staying at home doing nothing. Whatever money that I was left with I bought a new house because I didn't have a house any more. We had planned to stay in a new house, but that - everything vanished when this thing started, so I took my money and I bought a new house. I am not working at the moment. I have got stress, I really can't work. My adult child has also finished matric last year and she is at home. Another one is also doing matric, and the same thing will happen with her. After finishing her matric she'll stay at home because I don't have money to pay for their education. The mine people promised that they will take care of my children, but they never did.
(Inaudible) ... a pension in respect of your husband's death? --- Yes, they said they will me give me money, and then when they gave me the money it was too little. They aren't supporting me. My children are now finished school, and I can't pay for their education. When my husband was still alive he could take care of my
Have you been back to them at the mine and asked them whether they can increase what they pay you, or tried to negotiate with them at all, or has that been too difficult for you? --- No, it was difficult for me to do so. I tried to apply for money and the lawyer ate that money. I went to another lawyer in Durban and he also did the same thing.
Do you remember their names? --- One is Paul Crawford. Mrs Joseph took me to this other lawyer, because this other lawyer is working with Mrs Joseph's husband, so I don't really know his name. I didn't receive anything up until today. He is running away with this money.
I need to ask you one or two questions just to try and clarify the facts, the long story you've told us, and I wonder if you could try and help us if it's possible to answer the questions. Was your husband a member of any trade union at all? Was there a trade union on the mine? --- No, he wasn't. They were not allowed to be a member of union. There was no politic involved in that area. Maybe they were going to start, but at that time there was no politic going on in that area.
You've said that this trouble all started around increases, and people's demands for increases on the mine. --- Yes. Yes, because people were fighting because they were not happy that they would get R250,00 a month. But Iscor employees were getting better. They were under Iscor, because in that mine it was Durnacol and Iscor.
You said that they went to Pretoria to some place,
and I didn't catch the name of the place that they went
to. --- Iscor in Pretoria.
Now, you've said that this policeman, Sergeant Komandu, was investigating the case. Where - which police station was he from? --- Dannhauser Police Station.
And as far as you know no one has ever been arrested for your husband's murder? --- No one.
(Inaudible) ... happened. --- Yes, but they were peeping through the windows because they were scared, because people knew that they were killing him.
Do you know whether Komandu got the names of who the perpetrators were, because it seems from what you said to us that he wasn't allowed to arrest people? You said his superiors wouldn't let him arrest people. --- One person was taken by Mr Elser, and he is the one who sent people that they must come and kill my husband, he's there. And these people who killed my husband were just new employees of the mine. I am not quite sure whether he's the mine manager. He was working with Mr de Wet. I am not sure whether he was a labour control.
You say that Mr Elser was the one who sent someone to go and see where your husband was. --- Yes, that's correct.
(Inaudible) ... Madadeni, and it was then some time after that that all your possessions were burnt at your sister's house. What month was that? Do you remember? If you're not sure really it's okay. We can try and work ... (incomplete) --- May/June.
It was May/June? --- Between May and June.
Mrs Masiba, you have said something about Mr Pius.
Who is Pius? --- He is Mr Khumalo from Madadeni. He was the one who talked with the whites. Pius and Zondo were the ones who were working with the whites, because Pius was educated. He was getting along with whites because he was educated and he could speak English.
COMMISSIONER: You spoke a lot about what happened in the beginning before you had to leave the mine, and you said that some people came and fetched you in trucks and then took you back, and so on. You spoke about a big car. Do you remember that? You said that the Zulus threatened you, and then you were going to flee, and some people came with a vehicle, and you got onto that vehicle, and they said they were taking you to a safe place. Who was "they"? Who were these people? --- We ran to Madadeni. One car came. It was driven by Mr Khumalo. Not the same Mr Khumalo who is the secretary, but another Khumalo who was working also at No 12 shaft. When he saw us he drove, and my sister said, "No, nothing will happen here because here there are police." And at my sister's place there was one policeman. And when they came there the dog started barking and a neighbour called and said, "Eh, I am so worried because last night there were people around your house," and then they ran away.
I am talking about the time when - after the first trouble. --- This big truck was driven by a white man, and there was a small car behind it, and there was also a helicopter, and a white man said we must come and get inside the car because people are coming to kill us inside the house. If you had left your pot in the fire you would leave it like that. There was no time because we were all
scared. This was a grey car. We got inside the car, and when we got into No 5 the buses were there, and they said we must get inside the buses. If we don't want to the dogs were going to bite us. I refused to get inside the bus because I didn't want to leave my household goods behind.
(Inaudible) ... Mhlanga. --- I met Mhlanga and I told him - I gave him my keys and I said he must take care of my belongings.
(Inaudible) ... these people were soldiers that came to help you, to take you out of that place. So if I understand you correctly the people that came with this very big car were soldiers. You said it was a grey vehicle looking like a soldier's vehicle. --- Yes. Those people were sitting at playground. They didn't want to go back to the hostel. They wanted to get inside our houses and kill everything, everyone.
Thank you very, very much for coming in today, for having the courage to come and tell this terrible story that you have told us again. And the story that you have told has been repeated in many areas around this province, and also in certain parts of the Transvaal where there were Xhosa- and Zulu-speaking people working and living together. We know that certain members of the police, and also certain mine officials, especially the security officials on the mines, encouraged the view that Xhosa people, Zulu-speaking people, were different and should be separated because this helped them to control the labour force. We also know that they encouraged the view that people who were members of the COSATU unions were Xhosa-speaking, and people who were members of the UWUSA union
were Zulu-speaking, and in fact this view was also encouraged by UWUSA itself. However, we also know that the COSATU unions comprised people who were Xhosas, Zulus, Sothos, and also English-speaking people who were Indians and coloured, and that they were working together towards one common goal, which was to improve the conditions of employment. But the previous Government did everything possible to emphasise the difference between people, and those policies led to the division of this country into bantustans or homelands, and that has brought us nothing but division and hatred, and the new Government that we now have has got a very big task in front of it to create a single South African nation where we respect each other, not because we are Zulus or Xhosas or Sothos, but because we are fellow South Africans.
Your husband was a victim of apartheid. You have lost your husband, he was the breadwinner for your family and your children, and we extend our deep sympathies to you. We note that you've said in your statement that you want some sort of assistance for your children for their education. We haven't got the power to give you that assistance, but we will make recommendations to the Government that you should be assisted. So we want to thank you again for coming to tell us that story. We are glad that you could have your sister with you, and that she could help you to be brave here today as you told that story. Thank you very much again.
COMMISSIONER: We welcome you here, Mr Kubheka, and members of your family. Are these members of your family that you have with you, are these your children?
MR KUBHEKA: Yes, they are my children.
COMMISSIONER: (Inaudible) ... them here today. Can you all hear me through the earphones?
MR KUBHEKA: Yes, we can.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Kubheka, you have come with your family from Madadeni township, and you have come to tell us a story about harassment of your family, the attack and petrol bombing of your house, and the murder of your son by members of the IFP in 1986. Before you give your evidence can you stand to take the oath.
JOSHUA KUBHEKA (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
COMMISSIONER: Mr Kubheka, just before you tell your story, how many children do you have - just to give us an idea of who you are and who your family is? --- Only four left. They were eight initially.
(Inaudible) ... still alive? No, she - I think you mentioned in your statement that she died after your house was petrol bombed, is that right? --- Yes.
And your one son died. What happened to your other children? Did they also die, or ... (incomplete) --- Yes.
Did they die from natural causes or illnesses, or were they killed also as a result of political violence? --- They were killed. On the 20th of April in 1986 my eldest son he was working at Carbo Chem. He was a member of NACTU. When they went to work they were retrenched. I thought he must go to college because I was scared that
if he loses his job I'll also lose my job and no one will take care of us. On the 20th they were supposed to meet in a hotel at Madadeni. IFP was at committee wall, and IFP went to a hotel to attack them. And then they left the hotel because they were scared that they were going to die. They went back home. When I came home after church I found a lot of people at home. I asked them what was going on, so they told me that IFP wanted to kill them so they didn't continue with the meeting. So they re-arranged the meeting for the 27th. They went to St Louis to ask for venue. That Sunday morning when they were getting ready to go I went to Mahlaba because my aunt was sick. I stayed there until I was supposed to go to church. When I went back home I saw IFP. They had stones inside boxes. The IFP youths had carried those boxes, and when I went home I found my children were not there, and I told my wife that, "I am not feeling all right, I feel like going to that meeting." And my wife told me that I mustn't go there because she is scared that I might get hurt. So I made a call to section 4 and I found that there was no one. I also made another call to another family and there was no one as well. In the afternoon after church, I think was half past two after church, when I was approaching my house I saw my son, and when I tried to stop him he didn't want to stop. So I told my son why is he carrying ... (inaudible) ... and I heard that cars were stoned by IFP, and I went to the police station. When I arrived at the police station I found that cars were stoned outside the police station, and the station commander didn't allow those cars to be parked inside. And I realised that there was a problem.
And one policeman came out and shouted at the IFP members, and I went inside the court. And when I arrived there I found the commissioner fighting with them, and when I asked them, "What's going on?" so they explained to me that cars are finished, people were stoning cars. So I told my sons that day they must come back home. After they finished giving their statements they came back home. When they arrived at home we talked about this. My wife prepared a meal for me, I ate, and then I went outside, I sat under a tree. And my children brought cool drink for us. At about half past five we saw a group of IFP members approaching to our house. They went into Xulu's house. Xulu is my neighbour. We sat there because we wanted to see what was going on, and then late in the evening we went inside the house. After supper we sat for a while. My wife went in the bedroom to sort out her laundry. I was sitting in my sitting-room, facing in the direction as I am sitting today. I only saw fire coming from my bedroom to the sitting-room, and my children stood up and went outside. My elder son, Dumisani, went outside first, and then my other son followed him. The curtains were burning in my bedroom. When I went there with my wife, trying to - when we tried to put out the fire we couldn't because the whole house was now alight, and we heard gunfire. My house had 13 windows. All 12 had broken and my house was on fire, the ceiling. At that time my wife was also burning. We made one mistake. We were supposed to take her into hospital, but we were dumb, we took her to another place. That's where she died. When my son came back there was no policemen even though we called the police. Inkatha came. One station commander by the name
of Mthethwa came and said to me, "I am here to take you to go and make a statement," so I told him, "No, I don't want to because you have arrested these people and how come now they are here?" So he insisted. I refused. My son pursued me to go with him, so I went with him. And Mr Mthethwa said, "It's so bad because she is already dead now." When we arrived at the police station when I was supposed to give the statement gunfires were all over the place. My house is nearer the police station. We went by three vans. We found Inkatha members in my house, and they were firing guns. They took a bag which was on top of my headboard. They took that bag. Up until today from 1986 - I reported this case to the Zulu Police. No one was arrested up until today. Mthethwa came, and Inkatha members saluted at him and told him that we are the ones. Then they were scattered thereafter, and the police also went away. We were left in the house. The house had no windows. The curtains were burnt together with the house, but at that time we were there at night we just couldn't sleep because the house was open. The car was also burnt. There is a certain policeman who took a statement from a certain male. He said that in the statement we were asleep, but it was half past eight when the house was burnt and at nine we went to the police station. But he insisted that we were sleeping at that time. I found that to be gross corruption because he was not telling the truth. The case of the car never got any further, and they came back the very same night, and I realised that there was no way out, I had to phone the police, and when they came back I phoned a certain nephew of mine. I told him that my house had been burnt, as well as my car, and
he asked me as to when this happened. He helped me out because he took a certain white person. They went into the police statio, and as they were coming they started shooting. That's when the Inkatha people ran way, and they didn't come back thereafter. But we never slept on that day, because at about 3 o'clock Chris Mkhize passed by, and my children were very angry at that time, they wanted to go and attack, but I restrained them. Then there is Mdlalose. Mdlalose also came. He came to check as to what was done by his members, that is the members of the Inkatha. Because at that time he was a Minister of Health, and he was not a minister of people who were not members of the IFP. Then in the morning of the following day I went to the police station to report about the damage. We submitted statements, but we did not submit full statements because we did not trust them. My wife was admitted to the hospital, then on the 4th of May, which was a Saturday - I went on the 3rd of May, that was on a Friday afternoon. Then she took me halfway to the gate. She was having drips. And then on the 4th, that's on a Saturday, I went to see her after dinner, and her condition had deteriorated and I asked as to what had happened. The nurses also said they did not know, because the following day when they came they discovered that her condition had worsened. She said to me I must look after her kids. I looked at her and I kept quiet. I could feel tears streaming down my face, and I went out. It was at night. I went back the following day, we were from church, and she was very serious, her condition was quite serious. And at that time she once said again that I should look after her children. I went away that Sunday.
Then the following day on Monday at seven I received a telephone call that I should go to the hospital, and I knew that by then she was dead. When I arrived I was told that she had died that morning. I took her clothes and I came back to prepare for the funeral. But the most disturbing thing is that on the Monday morning when I received this telephone call there came certain people who were supposed to take fingerprints, and they were coming from Dundee. They pitched up and dusted for some fingerprints. I think the policemen were - the bottles were - there were 16 bottles which were put on top of the roof. At the time that they were shooting they did not want to be seen. So they dusted for these fingerprints, and at that time up until now I have never been told or informed, as a person who lost his wife as well as his possessions, as to what has happened to the people who bombed my house. The police KwaZulu Police as well as the police in town took the statements, and made the statements their possessions, but they never followed the matter up. I knew that the police were used by the station commanders. They were the ones who directed them as to what to do. And after the funeral - just before the funeral the police came to keep a vigil, and some were nearby the office. There is a spokesman for NACTU, Paulos Nkosi, who did not sleep at his place on that particular day because after the funeral, when he went back to his home, the police were waiting for him, and they were asking him about the statement that he made at the funeral, and he was arrested. But I don't remember how long he stayed there, but he was detained. After I had buried my wife I kept on checking as to what was happening
to the case, but there was absolutely no report that I was given. I went to Mthethwa, who said that I should write a formal letter, because at that particular moment he was still busy. He never replied to my letter. I never got any response. And later on, after I had forgotten about the letter, I received a letter from Mthethwa, who said I should come and see him at the police station. I went to him on a Tuesday. At quarter past two I was getting to the police station, and I went to talk to Mthethwa, but I could not see him. I stayed there up until five without seeing any trace of Mthethwa. Then at that time I decided that I should go, but it was dark and I was thinking that I could possibly be killed, and I told one policeman that I was going. Then this policeman said to me I should not go straight to the gate, but I should walk along the fence and try and get some place to escape, but I should not go through the gate. Then I realised that Mthethwa had planned this that I should stay until late at the police station, and they had planned to kill me also and they were going to get my corpse thereafter without knowing who killed me. I listened to this young policeman, I went along the fence until I got an escape route, and when I got home I phoned Kwenza Mlaba and he said he would phone Kwenza Mlaba. He phoned, Kwenza Mlaba - he phoned Mthethwa and spoke to him. He further came back to me and told me that he had phoned Mthethwa. Then they came during the day, they would assault my children, and they would also come at night and fight with my children. That's the life that I have lived ever since they were terrorising my family. I was working three shifts, from six to two and from two to 11, as well as from 11 up until
morning. And in the morning when I go to work - my bedroom is in the front - whenever I put the lights on I would hear people whistling outside. And I was scared because I felt that I was not safe from the KwaZulu Police, so whenever I went to work I never took a straight route. And most of the time I did not put off my light in the bedroom because they knew. And one time they came across me. I saw them, and they just looked at me. I knew that they were armed, but they never did anything. I went to work on that particular day. That is the life that I have lived. Whenever I was working night shift, especially 11 to seven, every time on Friday, or every Friday the police would come and swear at my children, they would kick the doors, they would assault them. But at night it was not the KwaZulu Police but it was de Kock, as well as other boers. They would traumatise and terrorise my family. And they would search the house, they would turn it upside-down. But they knew my bedroom, and each time they used to go straight to my bedroom. They never went into my bedroom. They would go into the other rooms, but they never went into my bedroom. At times when I was working the day shift they would come after lunch and they would say we should all get out of the house, and there were quite a few black policemen who were with them. There was no case whatsoever with regard to the incident that took place earlier. And Mr Dube went to open up a case, accusing my children of having broken his windows. This case was heard, but there wasn't enough evidence and my son was acquitted. Thereafter he was accused of having assaulted certain children, and they wanted to attack him. Later on he was accused of having
ridiculed some other people, saying they were Inkatha members. And when I went to the police one policeman who was from KwaZulu said to me, "When I talk about Inkatha I talk about God." I said, "At my place there is no god except the Almighty." Then I told him that I was going to phone Mlaba in Durban. I phoned Mlaba in the morning, and he was released on bail. Then when the case went on he was also acquitted in that matter. Now, I kept on being arrested and my children kept on being in and out of prison, being accused of doing certain things and offences. Then on a certain Friday I was using a certain machine and the machine got broken, and we were told to knock off and go back home, and at 12.30 the policemen came to my place. When they got to my place they said they wanted to see Ephraim. I told them that Ephraim was at college and they told me that they had heard that he was not at college, because there were many informers. I was not an ANC member, I was a activist in the union, that is SEAWU at Falkirk. And when they came to knock they knocked using their guns, and now I realised that the police were somehow protecting me because they were coming to my place almost every day. At times they would search and say we were hiding ANC documents, as well as banned books, and they were told that the books were being kept in the chimney. The went into Zwelinjane's bedroom, Zwelinjane at that time was not at home. They searched, and de Kock called me outside. I don't know whether my younger or my elder girl went out, but we stood on the grass and de Kock said the law says that all of us should be arrested if we did not want to disclose Zwelinjane's whereabouts. They said we knew where he had gone to
because he was not at the college. I explained to him
that Zwelinjane had a girlfriend, he might probably be at his girlfriend's place, but I didn't know where the girlfriend stayed. They said I should look for another male, and I realised that if we got arrested the Inkatha would come and burn down the house. And I told Nhlanhla to go and look for Zwelinjane, and Nhlanhla went together with the police. They went to Mountain. When they got to Mountain they did the very same thing that they did in my house. When they got into the house they got Zwelinjane, and they wanted to search him but he refused. And he undressed, he took out some money, approximately R400,00. He took everything out and he was left naked. He was throwing the clothes at them so that they could search the clothes and search everything. They said he was stubborn and he was arrogant, and they said he should get dressed. They took him and they detained him. And I had told them to bring my son so that I could see whether he was still alive. They threw him along the road and they said they were in a hurry. The following morning I went to tell my nephew what had happened the previous day, and they were taking photos. I went to de Kock and I asked him as to whether he had acted in terms of his promise. He said he was busy with my son. There is a certain male - I don't remember his name, I think he was from the Sibisi family -and this boy said to me, "There's no smoke without fire." Then he said there's fire at my place, that is why there's so much smoke. I should not make fools of them. Then I went to de Kock. De Kock said I am not going to get my son back. Ultimately de Kock said I should get my son back, but the police kept on refusing. And the police put /us in
us in a police van. It was myself, that policeman,
Sikosana, as well as Zwelinjane. We went out. Along the way I asked this policeman to take us out of the van because I did not want to be killed. I suspected that we were going to be killed. The manner in which they were driving leaves a lot to be desired. The car hit a pole when it was taking a turn, and he was driving at high speed. My boy went out and we were left in the car, and we were left there with Sikosana. And I asked them as to why they were arresting me because they had no evidence that I had done anything. That was the last time that they arrested my son, but they kept on hunting us. They would come home, harass us, traumatise my family. They would swear at us, assault us, up until such time that every time in the evening I would put a spotlight, and whenever they were singing outside, saying, "Kill Inkatha, kill," I would put the spotlight on. Then in December, on the 31st at night, I called my children to come back home. This one was still young at that time, and the two were left in the street just a few minutes when I was sitting underneath the tree. I heard some gunfire and I went out. I discovered that Dumisani had been shot, had been shot in the street. I phoned the police. Mlojwa came and wanted to take the corpse, but my children refused. I begged them to let go of the corpse up until Mthethwa had taken the corpse and took him to mortuary, because at that time he was dead already. That is the case now when the Minister of Inkatha said there should be some investigations because his police were being harassed. This is the only investigation that was done. Attorney Gaja was representing the State, and when the witnesses
were being called we were told that the evidence that was
given was not satisfactory so Mthethwa was convicted. It was alleged that this investigation was going to be taken to the KwaZulu Government, and the case was changed to Dundee, was transferred to Dundee. When my son was killed he had three children. Now these children are being maintained by my own kids. There is Siphelele. These children are being maintained by my children. Vusi Khumalo is working, and he is maintaining his own parents, but my child is dead now. After all this had happened I tried to find out as to the progress in the investigation, but I was told different stories each time that the statements were taken to Ulundi. Buthelezi was busy and could not look at the statement. And from then I was harassed by the police. They said I was creating havoc by coming to the police station each time. I went to Mbele, and Mbele looked for the statement but could not get the statement anywhere, up until such time that I went to the prosecutor, who told me that he knew nothing about the matter. He said that I should go and speak to the ANC. That is the prosecutor who said. I said that I had not come to talk about the ANC, I had come to investigate about the cases that I had reported, and he threatened that he will arrest me. I stayed without knowing what was going on with the cases. I started from scratch buying household goods because all my possessions were destroyed in the fire. I had big windows, so it was easy for them to destroy everything that was in the house. They also confiscated certain possession. They shot at the house, and they also broke all the windows, and they put on a fire from the stoep. I had to put on a new ceiling as
well as new planks before I could put the roof. I waited
that the case would be heard, but absolutely nothing came out of it. Mlaba also tried to help me. He also tried to write to the KwaZulu Police, but he would tell me that he was not getting any reply from the KwaZulu Police. And Mthethwa said there's absolutely nothing that he could do at that time because there was no response from the KwaZulu Police. I was told that I should be arrested because I was Mkhize's enemy. Then thereafter Alfred Kubheka, my brother, was also killed. He was shot and killed. Alfred was present when my house was burnt. Alfred, as well as Mkhize, were shot, and apparently we were supposed to be investigated with regard to the shooting of Mkhize and Alfred. They said I was a suspect. I told them that they got any guns at my place so how could I have shot Mkhize? Because I was a working man, I was an ordinary civilian. I had no guns and I did not belong to any political organisations, so I had absolutely nothing to do with the shooting of Mkhize and Alfred. I left the police at that juncture and I went back to work. I kept on being told that anyone who was not a member of Inkatha was not welcome in that particular residential area. I lived that life, and my children grew up in that situation. My other one is still at school, and I decided one should leave school because the Inkatha members would go to where he was attending school, and Inkatha would be deployed in that area so that they would accost him. And on a certain day there was a fight that ensued and my son was nearly injured, but he survived that day. That's why I decided that he should stop going to school because he
was no longer safe. The Inkatha kept on troubling him. But due to God Almighty he finished school. He should
have finished a long time ago, but he kept on failing because of the situation. And that was an Inkatha school that he was attending, and I was also called by the headmaster and I was told that the school belonged to Inkatha members only, and my son was not welcome because he was a member of the ANC. And they said any child who is not an Inkatha member should not be accepted in the school.
(Inaudible) ... just take you back to the first incident you described when they were having a meeting - your son was having a meeting in the St Louis Roman Catholic School, and the vehicles were ... (intervention) --- They started at the hotel in Madadeni on the 20th. Then on the 27th there was the meeting at St Louis.
The vehicles were stoned by members of the IFP, is that right? --- That is correct. That was the same day.
(Inaudible) ... the names of some of the IFP youth people who were there. Do you remember who those people were? --- It was Sikananda Mabuso, Dudule Xulu. I made a mistake somewhere. On a Monday the 28th the police came to my place, and Dudule was also there when my house was burnt. He is the one who threw the petrol bomb. Then on Monday they made other bombs and they said they would not stop to bomb my house until it's burnt down to ashes, because they wanted everything to be burnt down.
(Inaudible) ... when the cars were attacked the ... (intervention) --- The cars were stoned up to St Louis, as well as St Louis. They broke the windows at
St Louis. Some were already at the meeting and some were following behind. They did not go there all at the same
time. They shot the windows and the Inkatha fixed the windows.
(Inaudible) ... mentioned that the son of the then Minister of Health for KwaZulu Government, Dr Mdlalose, you mentioned that his son was also present, is that right? --- That is correct, Thabo was there, but he has since been deceased.
(Inaudible) ... Thabo, is that right? --- That is correct.
(Inaudible) ... present when these cars were stoned and when your house was burned? --- No, he was present when the cars were being stoned during the day.
(Inaudible) ... after your house was burned that Dr Mdlalose came round, drove round past your house? --- Yes, that is correct, in the morning. No, he was just passing by. He looked at my house. Somebody was driving and he just looked at my house because the car went on slowly, and my children swore at him and I admonished them. He went away, he never got into my house.
(Inaudible) ... you mentioned the name of a policeman by the name of de Kock. Was this man a member of the South African Police? Was he SAP or KwaZulu Police? --- He was here in town.
(Inaudible) ... head of the Security Branch here in Newcastle? --- That is correct.
And the name of the policeman who shot your son, Dumisani, that was Vusi ... (incomplete) --- Vusi Khumalo.
Vusi Khumalo? --- That is correct.
KwaZulu Police. --- That is correct.
He was arrested and charge for that, but he was
acquitted, is that right - or was there a trial? --- He was not arrested, but we did attend a case. It was an inquest.
And he was not thereafter charged? He didn't face a charge of ... (intervention) --- From the inquest, no, there was nothing that was done. They said this lay in the hands of the KwaZulu Government because the testimony had already shown - the Magistrate asked as to how he had shot him on the back, because he said Dumisani was chasing him. He said when Dumisani saw the gun he turned his back away from him. That's how he shot him at the back, because he was having the gun and he wanted to shoot him in the heart. And the Magistrate was quite surprised by this explanation.
(Inaudible) ... Khumalo now? --- He is in Dundee. He was transferred immediately after the case. He was transferred to Dundee.
Mr Kubheka, do you know why your family was targeted by the members of the IFP and the police? --- No, I have got no idea.
(Inaudible) ... because of your son Zwelinjane's trade union activities? --- I think that could possibly be the case, but at the time that he was a member of the union they could not burn my house because that was a union matter. It had absolutely nothing to do with being a member of a political organisation.
Are you still living in the same house? Have you rebuilt that house? --- Yes, I am still staying there.
(Inaudible) ... working? --- I am not longer
working. I left work in 1988 on the 15th of July. We got retrenched. I never got into pension, but we were
How are you surviving at the moment? Are you receiving a pension, or how are you surviving? --- I am not getting any pension. They said I do not qualify, I am still young.
(Inaudible) ... with your children, your surviving children? --- That is correct.
(Inaudible) ... assisting you? --- They do.
And are you bringing up the children of your son, your grandchildren? You said Dumisani left three children, is that right? --- It's my children who are maintaining them because I am not working any more. Even this one I am with is not working. It's only my eldest son, who is a teacher in Standerton.
(Inaudible) ... said in your statement that you expect the Truth Commission to assist you with bursaries for these children, is that right? --- That is correct. That is correct.
(Inaudible) ... want to know who the perpetrators were of these things, who burnt your house and ... (intervention) --- That is correct. I want them to come forward so that I may see them, and I want them to explain as to why they did whatever they did, because even the youths that were being used I want them to come forward and tell the community, as well as me, as to why they were doing this. As well as Mthethwa. I want Mthethwa to come forward and explain as to why he withdrew from the case and why he was transferred.
(Inaudible) ... station commander of the police
station? --- That is correct.
(Inaudible) ... now, do you know where he is? ---
He has just died. He died this year.
(Inaudible) ... colleagues if they want to ask any questions. --- Ndudule was arrested by the police, but the case never went on because Inkatha, as well as the police, were now colluding, and I was not even told as to what had happened, whether he came back or he never did.
MR LAX: Thank you, Chairperson. Mr Kubheka, just two questions. The first is just to clarify the situation that this chap - you spoke about a Chris Mkhize. You mentioned the name Chris Mkhize. Who is that person? --- He has since died. He was a member of the council, or a councillor. He was a councillor at section two.
You then spoke about another Mkhize later in connection with the death of Alfred Kubheka and Mkhize. You said that they were both shot. --- He is the same one.
The second ... (intervention) --- Chris Mkhize was shot first, and Alfred was shot later on when they had already buried Alfred. He is the one who was a councillor.
So this Mkhize that was a councillor, was he a member of a political party? --- He was a member of Inkatha.
Now, let's talk about Mr Alfred Kubheka for a minute if we could please. You said that he was your brother. --- He was an Inkatha member, a councillor at section three.
(Inaudible) ... just that he was your brother, is
that right? --- No, he is not my real brother, but because we share the same surnames.
Okay. So he was just another IFP leader in the area? --- That is correct.
You've spoken a lot about Mlaba. He is the lawyer, Kwenza Mlaba, is that right? --- That is correct. He is in Durban. He is working at Casanova.
(Inaudible) ... to get the details of all the cases where he represented your family would you have any objections to that? --- (No reply)
Would you give us permission to speak to him to get details of all the cases where he represented your family? --- That is correct, as well as Gaja.
(Inaudible) ... Gaja? --- he is an attorney who was brought to me by Mlaba. He is also in Durban.
In Durban? We know who you're talking about. --- He was also representing Vusi Khumalo. You can get all the information from him with regard to Dumisani's death.
Now, one last question. Have you had death certificates in respect of your wife and in respect of Dumisani? --- I do have it, but I don't have it in my possession presently. My girl says she was - they said the cause of her death was fire.
Mr Kubheka, they have already asked you questions, but there is one thing that I just want to clarify. How old are Dumisani's children? Tell me whether they are attending school. --- The eldest one is in standard seven. She is 14 years old. Nxolisi is 13 years old. He's in standard three. Siphilele is nine years old and is in standard one.
One other thing that I want to ask you about the children. Are they getting any support or are they -
their mother is getting any support from the welfare? --- No, they are not getting any.
COMMISSIONER: (Inaudible) ... here today with your children. You have given us a very vivid description of what life was like for you in Madadeni township in 1986. As Father Shange has said, before 1984/1985 townships around Newcastle were peaceful, and it was in 1985 and 1986 that trouble really started, and we can see through the very clear descriptions ... (intervention) --- He was speaking the truth.
... that you have given us that 1986 onwards were bad years in Madadeni and Osizweni. You suffered ongoing harassment from members of the South African Police, the KwaZulu Police and members of Inkatha. Your house was attacked, petrol bombed. This led to the death of your wife shortly after the petrol bombing of your house. Your son's car was burned. Your house was continued searched by the police. Your children were detained, and eventually your son was shot. And it's a tribute to your strength that you and your family were able to come here and repeat this story, to relive all those memories from 1986.
As I've said before in many areas that we've been to it's tragic that members of the police, the KwaZulu Police and the South African Police, who were trained and were meant to protect citizens, and to uphold the law, that they engaged in these unlawful activities, and that they assisted certain members of the IFP that you have named
and contributed to your harassment.
We note the request that you have made of the
Commission that you require assistance for your son's children, and that you want the perpetrators named, and you want them to come forward to explain why they did these things to you and your family. We don't have the power to - we as a commission don't have the power to award scholarships or bursaries, compensation, but we will be making recommendations to the President as to how we think people in your position should be assisted, and we will be making those recommendations.
So we thank you very much for coming in today and giving us that very clear picture, and we wish you and your family well. Thank you very much.
(Incomplete) ... Buwisile. The second one is Earnest Bheki Mnyazana.
What is Buwisile doing? --- He is a teacher. Earnest is also teaching. Then James.
What is James doing? --- James is a driver for the hospital. Then there's Excellent. Excellent is also a teacher. And then there's Blessing. He is the one who disappeared. Then there's Madoda Spice. He is a driver at 'Maritzburg. I also do have daughters-in-law.
Thank you very much for the brief picture that you have just given us. Could you please tell us about Blessing's disappearance. That is from the time when he was at Ohlanga, where he was an active member of the students organisation. --- He was a student at Ohlanga High School in Durban, and he participated in the students boycotts which took place in 1976, and that's when he disappeared. Before he disappeared they were arrested at Ohlanga High School during those boycotts.
Just to remind you, this boycott, did it have anything to do with the June 16 boycotts? --- That is correct.
Were they supporting the Soweto students? --- That is correct. They were arrested by the police.
When Blessing was arrested what happened to his schooling? --- He was taken to the police at KwaMashu Police Station. They later released him to go and write his final year exams. He was doing standard 10 at that time.
Did he write his final year exams? --- That is correct, he did, and he passed his matric. He came back home after writing the exams.
At the time when he was at home what was he doing? --- He used to go to report to the police on a daily basis.
Who was he reporting to? What sort of police were these? Were these SAP Police or Flying Squad? --- It was the SAP. It was at Madadeni Police Station.
When he reported at the police station what was he reporting for? --- They were told that they had to report because they were released on their own recognisance, and they did not want to keep them in gaol so the conditions for his release were to report on a daily basis at the police station. They reported once a week - twice a week. He would go on a Tuesday, as well as on a Thursday.
So he reported twice a week at the police? --- That is correct.
Was this a conviction or was it a condition of his release? --- I think so, I am not sure, because the case was remanded at that time. He had not yet been convicted, so these were the conditions I think.
So he stayed at home during the holidays, reporting to the Madadeni Police on Tuesdays as well as Thursdays. Then can you please tell us what happened thereafter. --- Towards Christmas time, whilst he was still reporting at the police station, just when we were approaching the festive season, he stopped reporting at the police station and he disappeared whilst at home.
Do you remember the day, the month, as well as the year on which he disappeared? --- It was on the 22nd of December in 1976.
According to your statement you pointed out that you
did not suspect anything amiss before his disappearance. --- Yes, that is correct. It was just like any other day.
When did you discover that he had disappeared? --- We went to sleep on that day, and on the following day we realised that he was not up, because he used to be up and about quite early in the morning, and we went to check in his room as to what was happening. That is at the back rooms, an outside building.
You can continue. --- When we got into his bedroom the door was closed but the room was not locked and we went inside. And we discovered that his clothes were not there. Each and every one of his belongings, especially clothes, were not in his wardrobe. We reported this matter to other members of the family, that my son had disappeared and we didn't know his whereabouts. We further went on to report this matter to the police that my son had disappeared.
Which police station did you report to? --- We reported the matter to the police in Madadeni. It's Madadeni Police Station. The police never came to investigate or take any statements to indicate that they were interested in the matter, or as to what had actually happened. They never paid much attention to the matter that we reported to them. Then thereafter there came the Special Branch. They used to frequent my house together with police, white policemen.
Where did these white policemen come from? Did they come from the SAP or the Special Branch? --- I am not very sure. I don't know where they were coming from. I have no idea.
There were certain police who were coming to your place. Did you ever get to know any of them? --- No, I never used to trouble myself because I really didn't care much for them. I just saw them coming and going.
Are there any black police that you could identify? --- I can identify Zulu, but he has since died.
How did he die? Was he sick, was he killed, or what happened to him? --- I have no idea, but I heard that he had died.
Besides Mr Zulu are there any other police? --- There is another one called Maqwa. He also used to come.
Is he still alive? --- He has also died.
Maybe there are some of them who are still alive amongst the police who used to come to your place with regard to your son's disappearance whom you perhaps know their surnames, who could help us with this investigation. --- They say it's Nkosi Babina.
Is it a policeman? --- He was Nkosi, but I don't know what his name was, but they used to call him Babina.
We'll ask your son to give us the proper name after this, that is during break. You can continue. At the time that they used to come to your place is there anything that happened thereafter? Did you get any ... (intervention) --- When they used to come to my place they would come in large numbers, especially the boers, and they would speak Afrikaans, not caring whether I could hear Afrikaans or not. At times we would be eating, having supper. Most of the time they would come during supper time, and they would spill the food and we would not have our supper on that particular night. And they would ransack the wardrobes, and they would look in the
wardrobes even though they had been told that this was not my son's house, and they would turn everything upside-down looking for whatever. I don't know what they were looking for. And they would take everything out of the wardrobe and spill it on the floor. Each time when they came they would just gun straight for the wardrobes and spill everything down, but they would never get anything. And each time we asked them as to what they wanted. They never told us what they wanted, they would just say they want to find out where Blessing was.
Is there anything that they said to you lastly with regard to your son's disappearance, whether he had been arrested, detained, or he had skipped the country? --- They came and told us that they had detained him.
Who came to tell you that your son had been detained? --- It was the Special Branch.
Where were they coming from, from Newcastle or from outside? --- I don't know, because I do not care much about these things, and I did not care much about the boers, but they would say they were coming from Newcastle. And there were some who came in large numbers, and they would surround my house.
At the time that they told you that they got Blessing did they tell you where they got him, or whether he was alive? --- Up until today I have never heard anything about Blessing being found. I was just told that he was detained.
Which year was that when he was detained? --- I think it was 1977.
Did they ever tell you at which police station was he detained? --- No, they never shed any light.
Did they ever tell you of what he was being accused of? --- No.
Thereafter is there anything significant that happened? Did you ever see him, or did you ever get anything or hear anything? --- No, we never saw him up until today. We don't know anything about him.
Was Blessing married at that time? --- No, he was not. I was hoping that I would get a daughter-in-law. Thank you very much, Mr Mnyazana. I'll hand over to Mr Chairman.
(Inaudible) ... members would like to add to what Mr Mnyazana has said? --- Yes, we would like to say something.
If you want to say something you'll have to stand to take the oath please. Can you give us your full names please.
VICTORIA MNYAZANA (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
I have asked the family members to add something because Mr Mnyazana is quite old, he might have probably forgotten some of the important information. We would like you to just add bits and pieces wherever he has left out. What we want are clues or to shed some light to help us in our investigations, because we need this information to conduct our own investigations. --- After he had been detained they continued harassing us, coming to our place looking for his photos, and most of the time they would come with guns, and whenever there was any relative who had come they would come looking for him
having guns, and they would ask this particular relative as to where he was coming from. At some stage there was a relative from the Eastern Cape, and at some stage he was interrogated and asked for an identity document, and they discovered that it was not Blessing. This went on, and they used to come and get my mother-in-law, and they would swear at my mother-in-law, they would harass and do all sorts of things. Now, we want to request this Commission to investigate as to whether he is still alive, and if he is alive where is he? If he has died where was he buried? Maybe we could fetch him and bury him in a decent manner.
Thank you. We sympathise with you. We know how important it is for a person to get his or her relatives remains. We want to hear about the cousin who was coming from Eastern Cape. How close was he to Blessing? Could he shed any light? --- No. At that time they were not very, very close, but they looked so much alike.
Mr Mnyazana in his statement referred to a certain Mr Makhubu. Is there anything that you got from David Makhubu, and when last did you speak to David? --- David is working in Johannesburg, and he was Blessing's friend. And he did not know most of the things because they were not attending the same school. I think his friends were those who were attending at Ohlanga, especially the June 16 victims.
Maybe we could get help from them. --- I would agree with you in that.
Are there any of his friends that you know he grew up with and he attended school with at Ohlanga? --- No, we have no idea. He has never told us about his friends.
When last did the Special Branch come to your place? /--- They
--- They last came in 1978 or '79 when I was coming from work, and when I got to my place they had ransacked the house. They had searched it and they were surrounding the house. They were armed.
Is there not even a single policeman whom you recognised? --- On that particular day there wasn't a black policeman. I only knew of this Mr Zulu.
MR LAX: Can you hear me now, Mr Mnyazana? --- That is correct, I can hear you.
You've said in your statement that after the unbanning of the ANC, and when the exiles came home, you were sort of expecting him to come. Do we understand from that that you had thought that maybe he went into exile? --- I had that in mind. I thought he had skipped the country. I always entertained that idea and the hope, but I never ever got any information because he never came back up until now, and we never got any light as to where he was.
(Inaudible) ... follow up on that. Have you made any inquiries with the ANC, who have quite good records of their people? --- No, there is no investigation whatsoever that I did. I did not do any follow up.
(Inaudible) ... try and do that for you, speak to them and see whether we can go through their records and maybe find a trace of him. Were there any nicknames that he might have used, names he would have been known to his friends by, or that you might have used in his family? --- He used to be called Mazambani.
COMMISSIONER: We have heard stories like the one that you have told us from so many other parents who have talked about the disappearance of their - mainly about their sons, and when we hear these stories we realise that we lived in a very unusual, abnormal society, where parents had no expectation that they would see their children grow up securely and safely in their own houses. So many of these young people were forced into exile, into strange places. Some of them returned after their training, and they were killed or they were arrested by the police. A small number of them were imprisoned in camps run by the ANC in Zambia and Angola. Many of them came back in 1990 and 1991, and some of them simply disappeared and have not been heard of. It seems like your son was one of these, and it must have been very difficult to have spent this long time wondering about where he was, worrying about where he was. In fact some parents have told us that they would even prefer to know that their son had died. At least they would have some rest, rather than to go on worrying about him.
As Mr Lax has said, we will try to investigate what happened to your son. It's a long time, it's 20 years, so we can't guarantee that we will be successful, but we've -in fact Mr Lax has already taken steps through our investigation unit to contact the ANC to see whether they have any information on their books as to where your son might be, and we will certainly pass that information on to you as soon as we get it.
So we thank you and your family very much for coming in her today, sharing your story with us, and we hope very much that we will be able to bring you some good news in the future. Thank you very much indeed.
COMMISSIONER: Mrs Madela, we welcome you here today. You have come from Mndeni village near Newcastle to tell us about the death of your husband, Thomas Mabhoyi Madela, who died in February 1992. You have got somebody with you today. Who is that person who is sitting with you on the stage?
MRS MADELA: It's my sister.
COMMISSIONER: (Inaudible) ... today. Can you stand up to take the oath now please.
DORIS MADELA (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
COMMISSIONER: Mrs Madela, now your husband who died in 1992, did you have any children together with your husband? --- It was before we could have children.
And how old was your husband at the time of his death? --- He was 38 years old.
(Inaudible) ... employed? --- Yes, he was working.
He was working at Rheingold Furnishers in Newcastle. Okay, and where were you living at the time, Mrs Madela? Where were you and your husband living? --- No 697, Section 1, in Madadeni township.
Can you now tell us what happened on that day in February. I think you said it was the 29th of February, when you received a phone call? Can you tell us - take up the story from there and tell us what happened? --- In 1992 it was about 10 midnight I received a call, a person who identified himself as Mr Thango from Eshowe. He called for my husband, he said he wants to speak to my husband. So I said to him, "You can talk to me because he is still busy." So he insisted and said he needs to speak
to him, not me. I called my husband, and then after he spoke to the telephone he said to me - he looked scared, and I said, "Why are you scared?" So he said, "Some people are coming to kill us." So I said to him, "Let's run then." He said, "Ja, we must run." And I asked him, "Who are coming to kill us?" He said, "Inkatha people are coming after us." So at that time lots of things have happened from 1989 to 1990, and I could see that they were fighting with Inkatha, even though I didn't know why they were fighting. I said to him, "We better run," and Mrs Dlamini said we mustn't run away. And she said, "If you run away now then you'll always run away for life, so better stay inside the house." So he said to me if he could die I must know that he has been killed by Themba, who is a member of Inkatha youth from section 1. I said to him, "I think it's going to be difficult because I don't even think that I'll survive myself." So he said to me, "No, we will survive. They are just scaring us." So he said we must go to bed, we must go to sleep, but I was too scared to fall asleep. There was my child - his child actually, and a child who came to visit. So I told them that they must close the windows and the doors because we are scared that we might be attacked. At about quarter to 11 we heard a gunfire. I am not sure whether it was windows. He woke up quickly and went to the door, and at that time they were smashing the windows and we realised that these people were many. I went to the telephone in my bedroom. I called 92689. That number was Madadeni Police Station number. The person who answered the phone said it's not Madadeni Police Station, so I said to the person, "Okay, can you please do me a favour, call the
"police station and tell them that in No 697 in Madadeni we are in danger? People are smashing windows, burning, and many people are outside armed." And that person said to me, "It's okay, I'll do you that favour." I don't know whether that person called the police station, but what I can tell you is that it was actually at Madadeni Police Station. They broke the windows, they broke the doors, both doors, and my husband said to them, "Okay, you can come in now." So they didn't want to come in. They started speaking to each other, saying, "You must go first." And one person shouted out and said, "We've been looking for you for a long time," and this person said, "We must get inside and kill him inside the house. And my husband said to me I must hide myself under the table, and he was now crying, and I could see that it was the end and I realised that all of us were going to die. I really don't know what actually happened. Those people who were standing at the kitchen door came inside, and then he left the house, he ran to the neighbour, and one guy shouted out and said, "Come this side. Here's the dog this side." And then they attacked him. He was screaming, asking them what exactly did he do, why are they killing him. They chopped him. They had forks, spears, lots of weapons. Some weapons I can't even name them. I am not quite sure. Other people are calling some weapons as bayonets. And then one of them said, "Guys, you think we are actually going to kill this man, or what?" and then one person answered back and said, "Ja, we are here to kill him." And then I realised that he is now dead, and I heard one person saying, "It's okay now, we've killed him." At that time the house was on fire. I went out through the front
door, and I could hide myself in that smoke. And then one guy said, "There's another target," and one person answered him back and said, "No, we've killed the person we came to kill. We don't want to kill women." I ran, and then two guys chased me. I ran to a third house. I hide myself under the tree. They passed, they couldn't see me. I crawled to the door, I knocked. But people at that time were scared, scared for their lives. They said to me, "Don't wake up. Just lie down there as you are, because they will see you and they will kill you," and they asked me, "Where are your kids?" I told them, "Maybe they have ran." And then when my kids left the house they ran into the direction where they attacked their father, and their father was still breathing at that time. He spoke to them and said, "Deli, where's your mum?" and they said, "She ran as well." So he said to the kids - he actually asked the kids if I was still alive, and they said they don't know, and then he said to them they must take care, and that's when he died. After 30 minutes this group of people went to Sikananda Mavuso's house, and they also went there as if they were going to attack him, but nothing happened except that they broke his windows, and I am sure no one got hurt there. What I heard afterwards is that they were singing, singing a song that says, "Thank you, Father. Thank you for saving us from sinning." And then I stayed there. They didn't want people to come as I was grieving, and then after a day police came. I was surprised who called them, because when I called they said it wasn't at the police station. Now I was surprised who contacted them. When they arrived there they took my husband's corpse. They came to me and
asked me questions. I stayed there until my relatives and my husband's relatives came. Sometimes at night I couldn't stay inside the house, and I was scared because they used to come with weapons. When I saw them I was scared, and people were also scared to come and stay with me. On Sunday we decided to go to my husband's home where he was born. That's where he was buried. After a week I went to KwaZulu Police, I asked them if something was going on or investigation was conducted, and then they - because my husband before he died told the police that, "If I die Themba Nkabinde will be the one who would have killed me." And then one policeman said to me, like he was teasing me, that, "Guys who are real guys are dead." And I asked him, "All I am here for is to - I want to know what's going on. Is there any investigation about my husband's death?" And they said, "No, this is a difficult case." I told the police, "It's not a difficult case because he told you who would have killed him if he died." After seven months after I buried my husband I went back to my house, because my husband's family advised me to go back to my house. After four months having been in my house a Ford Granada came, and people who were driving that car asked me if I am Mrs Madela, and I said, "Yes, I am Mrs Madela." So they said, "Are you sure?" I said, "Yes, I am sure." They said to me, "We are referring to Madela, the one who was killed here." So I said, "Yes, I am the one." So they said to me, "We are here to tell you that we are coming to fetch you tomorrow morning. Where you are going you will see. We won't tell you now." So I started crying, and the driver said to me, "You mustn't cry, I am Mr Matha." And then the other one said, "I am
Mr Mkhize." The other one said, "I am Mr Majoze." I told them that I can't go with people that I don't know, and they said to me, "If you refuse that you will come with us we will take you now." So I said to them, "No, I don't know, but I'll see tomorrow, but where are you actually taking me?" They said, "You will see." And then after they left I told my neighbours that, "These people who came here they now want to take me," and then I took my clothes, I left the place. I didn't even know where to go. (Pause)
Please take your time, Mrs Madela. We know that this must be very, very difficult for you to go through. (Pause) Where did you go to after that? Did you in fact leave Madadeni? --- I went to Nambithi in my sister's house, and I told them that people came to my house, told me that they were coming to take me. So my sister said, "You can stay in my house for a while." My sister asked me what am I going to do with my household goods, so I told my sister that, "It really doesn't matter. My life is more important than my properties." I stayed there for four months, and my family advised me to go and rent in town. I went to town at Aboo Park(?). That's where I rented a flat. One day I went to my house, and I had asked people to take care of my house. I received a letter from a superintendent asking me to come to his office and talk to him. I went to his office at Madadeni, and Mr Jele said to me, "Mrs Madela, do you know that I was supposed to take you out from that house a day after your husband had died?" So I said, "No, I didn't know that. And how were you going to do that, because I am his legal wife?" So he said to me, "The law says I must take
"you out. Now I am calling you to tell you that I am taking that house." I told him that, "No, don't do that because that's my house, and I have spent so much money to renovate the house." He said he is taking the house, and he said to me what he can do for me, he can look for a stand for me, for a site. And then he said to me the reason he is taking the house it's because I didn't pay the rent. So I told him, "But this is the usual thing. We only pay rent once a year, and I am still prepared that I am going to buy the house." And he said to me, "That's okay, you can leave now and you'll see me another day." I explained to him that the reason I am not in that house it's because I am scared, not because I don't want that house. And then he said to me he will look for another house in another section where he is going to put me, because someone had bought that house. And I was surprised because I was still alive, and whoever bought the house didn't buy the house from me. He sold my house on his own. As I am talking today there's a woman who's staying in my house who is single, and he chased me out of my house.
(Inaudible) --- I am staying at Nambithi with my mother, and when I am here at work I am staying with my sister. I am working at Shoprite Checkers temporarily.
Now, this person whom your husband mentioned, Themba Nkabinde, do you know Themba Nkabinde? --- No, I don't.
(Inaudible) ... to the police when you reported your husband's death? --- Yes, I did, and my husband also left a statement with the police before he died that if anything happened to him Themba is the one responsible.
(Inaudible) ... he was a member of the IFP youth you don't know who Themba is? --- No, I have never seen him.
This phone call that you got from this person from Eshowe, what was his name - on the night that your husband died? --- He said he was Thango
(Inaudible) ... organisation he was from? --- Thango said he sympathises with us because he had heard that Inkatha youth was going to attack us. In section 1 there was Inkatha. In my house at Savuka an Inkatha youth came to my house, and the leader of these youths was Themba Nkabinde. Even at the police station my husband told them that Themba Nkabinde will be the one responsible for his death if anything happens to him, even though I don't know what actually happened between my husband and Themba. My husband was secretive. I don't even know Themba Nkabinde. I only know the name and the last name.
(Inaudible) ... time of the attack on your house and your husband's death did you say that you were living in section 1, Madadeni? --- Yes.
And the IFP people also lived in section 1, is that right? --- Yes, there were members of IFP, and a lot of them, in section 1.
Do you think that they knew that your husband was not a supporter of the IFP? Was he a supporter of the IFP, or did he support the ANC or the UDF? Which organisation did he support, your husband? --- He was a member of ANC, or a supporter.
(Inaudible) ... youth people wanted to drive you out of that area in section 1, to make you go and live somewhere else? --- Yes, because they used to shout
and say that they don't need us in that area, they don't need Madela's house in section 1. That's why we even decided not to bury my husband from Madadeni, we went to his house in Chugisa, because they have said they didn't need us there. They didn't want us there, and that's why - that's the reason they took my house away from me.
(Inaudible) ... Mrs Madela, you've mentioned that in the house with you at the time was your husband's daughter, Delisile, is that right? Was that your daughter or your husband's daughter? She was 17 years old at the time, Delisile. Who's daughter is that? Is that your daughter or your husband's daughter? --- My husband's daughter, but I am the one who raised her up. I took her since she was a child because her mother left her when she was eight months old. Now she is 21 years old and she is still with me.
(Inaudible) --- With my husband's family.
(Inaudible) ... any idea whatsoever about the identity of the people who killed your husband? Does she have any idea of the identity of the people? --- I am not sure whether she can mention or identify them, but because she was still young, she was a youth at that time, she might be able to tell who exactly she saw. All I heard myself is that one person called a name out, Phiri, which I don't know whether Phiri was the name or Phiri is the surname.
And have you given this information to Sergeant Ndlovu? You said in your statement that a certain Sergeant Ndlovu told you that he was investigating the case, is that right? --- Yes, I did tell him, and he said to me I must only talk about something that I know
that it exists, not something that I heard. So I told him that, "What I am telling you is what my husband told me, and the truth is I believe that Themba Nkabinde is the one who killed my husband."
Mrs Madela, was there a court case or an inquest that was held to investigate your husband's death? Did you go to court and tell the same story that you're telling now to a Magistrate? --- Nothing happened. I went there to ask the police. I was never called in court or in police station not even once. I don't remember a single day hearing that there will be an inquest or court case.
And can you tell me what was the situation like at the time in section 1 and elsewhere in Madadeni? Was there a lot of fighting or killing, attacking? --- In 1992 and 1991 we had violence between Savuka and Salala. I can't tell whether it was politically motivated or it wasn't, because Salala seemed to be criminals and Savuka they were like Inkatha youth. But eventually they joined Savuka and Salala together, they became Inkatha youth. Everyone knew that they were bad, they were criminal, and they were youth.
Is Sergeant Ndlovu from Madadeni Police or Newcastle Police? Is he ZP or SAP? --- Ndlovu came to my house. I am not sure in which police station was he working. I am not sure which police station he was from. I was scared to talk everything with him because I didn't actually know him that well.
You've mentioned your cousins, Nokuthula and Nontandazo, who were in the house at the time that this happened. Is that - were they your cousins or your
nieces? They were your cousins. Where are they now? --- Nokuthula is from section 7. Nontandazo was my brother-in-law's girlfriend. She is now in Durban.
(Inaudible) ... Ndlovu, do you know? --- Yes.
I'll ask my colleagues if they want to ask any questions.
MR LAX: Sorry, what was Nontandazo's surname please? --- Ngubeni.
MR DLAMINI: Mrs Madela, I would like to ask you three questions just to clarify some things. You said when these people who came to attack your house, after they did that they went Sikananda Mavuso's house. What actually happened there? --- I heard they smashed everything, and then they came to the direction of my house, and then they were singing. They were singing a certain song that says, "We thank you, Father."
The reason I am asking you is that I would like to know in which organisation is Sikananda Mavuso? --- IFP. I had heard that they will kill people who were not IFP members. 20 men were selected to raid the streets to fight against crime. Among these 20 men my husband was the only one was an ANC member. These other 19 members were IFP members. I think that is why they only killed him, and then they were just pretending when they went to Sikananda's house.
This Granada that came to your house, did you take the number or registration number? --- No, I couldn't. I only took two numbers, NN 111. I couldn't take the rest.
This Salala, was it an organisation? --- No, it was just a group of criminals.
Were they identifying themselves with any organisation? --- Yes, they were. Salala was not linked with any organisation. Savuka was the one which identified themselves with IFP. Delisile is still at school doing standard eight. We received money and it's helping us for her to further her education.
COMMISSIONER: Mrs Madela, you said that you are employed on a temporary basis at Checkers, is that right? --- Yes.
(Inaudible) ... money from your husband's employers? --- I received a lump sum. I am not getting any money monthly.
And this happened fairly recently, it was only four years ago. Are there any other ways that you manage to cope with the terrible thing that happened to you? Do you have any other means of support, whether it's a church group or something like that? How are you able to cope with this? --- At the moment I am a casual employee at Checkers. That how I am trying to make ends meet.
How do you survive? I mean since after your husband's death who is helping you? --- I have never been to a doctor after this traumatic event, but my relatives and my family are the ones who are helping me. I am not quite sure, I can't even tell that I have high blood pressure or I don't, because I am on and off.
Do you sleep at night, you don't have nightmares or problems? --- Sometimes it's okay, but sometimes I am not well, I can't sleep very well, I sweat. Emotionally
I am not well. Sometimes even if I walk I feel that I am not like other people. Sometimes I am okay when I am with other people, but when I am alone in my bedroom I cry.
COMMISSIONER: Thank you very, very much for coming and having the courage to tell us this very sad story here today. It really is terrible to know that these sorts of things happen to people in their own houses, and we can only imagine the fear and the helplessness that you experienced to be surrounded by a group of armed men and to watch your husband being killed. And we see you here today looking very strong, and it is a credit to you that you have been able to recover from such an awful incident, so much so that you can come here and tell us your story today. It is also a shocking thing that you received no help from the police, and we know from other statements that we've received from people in Madadeni how the KwaZulu Police behaved in those days, that they did not come to the assistance of people like yourself, and very often they assisted and took part in the attacks on people who held the views that you and your husband did. And by doing that they made a mockery of their uniform and of their profession.
From the information that you've given us we will try and trace this docket which must have been opened by this Sergeant Ndlovu. We will try and find out whether he collected any statements. We will try and find out who Themba Nkabinde was, and we will try - although we cannot guarantee anything we will try to find out the perpetrators were of your husband's death. And we will
make a follow-up with the township manager in Madadeni about your house as well.
So we want to thank you again very much for coming in today, and we are glad that you were able to bring your sister with you to give you support. Thank you very much indeed.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Dlamini, we welcome you here today. Can you hear me and understand me? You are also from Madadeni township.
MR DLAMINI: That is correct.
COMMISSIONER: (Inaudible) ... the harassment that you experienced also from the IFP.
MR DLAMINI: That is correct.
COMMISSIONER: Please will you stand to take the oath.
BONGINKOSI DLAMINI (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
COMMISSIONER: Mr Lax will help you.
MR LAX: Thank you, Chairperson. Good morning, Mr Dlamini, or should I say good afternoon? Thank you for coming. Now, before we proceed with your story is it possible for you to give us a very brief picture of your family, your children, and so on? --- I don't have a big family. I have a wife as well as two children, a boy as well as a girl. The boy is not working. He was attending school at Siyamugela at Bettamoya, and my girl is training at the Baragwanath Hospital.
Thank you. What are you yourself doing at the moment? --- I am not working at the moment, I am staying at home.
(Inaudible) ... pension or anything like that? --- No, I am not.
Mr Dlamini, just for the record, you were born on the 11th of January 1943, do you confirm that? --- That is correct.
Now, you're going to tell us about two different incidents. The first was some harassment that you
suffered at the hands of the Special Branch, and one Constable Mhlongo in particular. That was in 1972. Will you tell us about that briefly please? --- In 1972 I was working for the Beares Group in town, and at that time we used the transport at a certain taxi rank, and we used taxis at that particular time, or buses. But on a certain day when I was waiting for the taxi then I saw a certain investigator for the Special Branch. His name was Mhlongo. He asked me as to where I was headed for. I told him that I was going to work, and he further asked me as to whether I was late or I could go with him. Then he offered me a lift. As he was driving along the road he was driving very slowly, and many of the cars were passing him, overtaking him. I even asked him that I suspected I was going to be late because I was supposed to start work at eight, and I thought maybe if I took a taxi I would reach work quite quickly. He said he wanted to ask me something, and I said he should be free, he should ask anything he wanted to. He asked me as to where I was attending school in 1960, and I told him that I was attending school at Shalstone. And he asked me as to who was the headmaster at that time. I told him it was a certain Mr Sithole. And he asked me as to whether there wasn't anyone who was a headmaster before Mr Sithole, and I told him it was Mr P V Mbatha. And he asked as to what I was doing at that time, and he asked me where P V Mbatha was. I told him that he could not ask me as to where P V Mbatha was because I did not know, but I could give him leads of who he could approach and try to find out about P V Mbatha, because I knew nothing about P V Mbatha. By the time I got to the school he was at Rhodesia. He
told me that some people were saying they were working for the community but they were actually killers. I told him I did not understand what he meant by what he was saying. He said some people alleged that they were helpers of the community. For instance certain people were coming with AK-47s and killing people, but they would later on claim that they were protecting the community. And he went on asking me as to how we could kill people, and I told him that I could not answer those questions because I knew nothing. I did not know what he was referring to. He said to me I must not answer him on the basis of being an investigator, but I should answer him just as an ordinary person. I asked him as to what he was referring to, and why was he asking me. Did he suspect me of having done anything? He said he asked me because he could see that I was involved in the community, and I knew quite prominent people in the community. He said to me I knew people who occupied high positions, and I asked him as to what he meant by that. So he further pointed out that I was always present at the meetings which were held and where these prominent speakers were presenting statements. And he asked me about the children who had skipped to Cuba, and I asked him as to what had that got to do with me. He told me that there was a lot happening. For instance Frank Mdlalose was probably busy helping the children to skip the country. I further told him that I do not understand what he was getting at, and I wanted to go to work because I was late. Then he let me get off. Then on another day he said he wanted to see me, and at that time he was with other people in the car, and he said he wanted to see me very urgently. And time went on. By
that time I was working for an insurance company. And when I went to the hospital to work I came across his wife, who also said she wanted to see me because she wanted to take a policy from my insurance company. I made an appointment with her for the following day, and she said she was going to be off duty. And I went off to see her, and when I got there she was busy with the house chores and I sat in the sitting-room. Just after a few minutes she came and she greeted me and went away. And later on Mhlongo came, and Mhlongo was wearing a gown. He sat in front of me and he greeted me. And I asked myself as to what was happening because his wife had actually called me to come and do a policy for her, but now it was Mhlongo who was now sitting with me, and I suspected that there could possibly be a trap. And we continued with our small talk but we did not go any further, and I decided that I should go because there wasn't much we were talking about. He wanted to accompany me to show me out. Then he went into his bedroom, he came back. He was fully dressed and he was having his car keys, and he said to me we should get into the car. We drove out. He started and he drove in the very same place that he was driving on that day that he gave me the lift. I started suspecting that he had something to tell me, maybe he wanted to say something. And we drove to my place. He stopped at the gate. I asked him as to what his problem was because I could see he wanted to talk to me about something. His response was that he did not want to say anything to me, but he just wanted to explain to me that as I was a person who was very prominent, who was very popular, and who used to attend meetings, maybe if we could get together it
would be for the benefit of both worlds, that is his world as well as mine. And I asked him as to what he meant by this. He said, "The Government can even buy you a car, or give you a car, buy you a house." And I started suspecting. I asked him as to whether he was referring to me being an informer. He refuted that, but he said if I could work hand in hand with him, and report on whatever was being said at the meetings that we attended, there is a lot that the Government could do for me because the Government paid.
What was the outcome of this meeting? What was the outcome of the meeting? --- On that day I told him that I could not do what he wanted me to do, and thereafter he stopped troubling me. But at the time - it was in 1973 and I was staying at section 27. I was Dr Frank Mdlalose's neighbour. He was staying at 27/72 - maybe he is staying somewhere else now - and I was staying at 27/78. Then in 1975 there was a certain Inkatha group that was formed, then there was a certain sergeant at the prison, Sergeant Khumalo. He has now moved to Durban Central Prison. And Khumalo asked me to join Inkatha. I asked him what was the significance of the group, what were the objectives of the group? He said to me it was a cultural as well as a community group, which was going to be the channel through which the grievances of the community were going to be addressed. He went on further to explain that since I was involved in the community this would be a good organisation to join. And he said he wanted me to attend a certain meeting, an Inkatha meeting, and the chairman of that meeting was Mr Mdlalose, who is the present premier. I went to that meeting, and I heard
that there was going to be elections, and I also got elected, I got a position in that Inkatha. And the position that I got was that I was Chief Buthelezi's deputy, who has since now been deceased, and he was a circuit inspector at that time. I was told that I was going to be his deputy secretary. And we formed a certain committee. As we were still working under this committee we were told that we should try to hold certain cases, that is neighbours' matters or matters of the community. We were quite united at that time, and I knew that the Inkatha organisation was a cultural organisation which was acting in accordance with the requirements of the community, and I never knew that at a later stage it would turn out to be something that was fighting against the community. We did our job with quite a lot of resilience, and there was a certain Sergeant Khumalo who was our chairman. After discovering that my mother was all by herself I decided to go back home to my mother's place. I did not want to take her from her place and bring her to where I was staying. As I was at my mother's place at that time Madonsela was a councillor in that area. And at that time I grew less and less interested in politics, and I was just staying, not being affiliated to any political organisation. Then in 1987 there came a certain councillor, D A Bhengu. He was the councillor at that time. And when he got there he said he had come to ask me to take his position and be a councillor because he was being transferred, he had got a post at Ondini and he was going to be an MP. I told him that I was less interested in politics and I did not want to take part. He begged me to take the position because he said I was the candidate
that he first thought of who could take that position. Then I said to him I will sit over it and I will decide later on. He asked me to attend the meeting which was going to be at 2 o'clock that afternoon. Then I went to DNC. Just as I got there the members of the church were going out, and I turned back with them, I came back. And he said to me, "Let us now go to the meeting." When I went to the meeting I discovered that Bhengu was not there, but he had sent certain people who were candidates, who had been chose as candidates for this position. And when we got to the meeting there was an election. I was also nominated and I was chosen to be a councillor. Then thereafter I discovered that the mayor was Jeffrey Nkosi. No, it was Zondo. He has since died. At that time when I got to the meeting there was some conflict amongst the councillors themselves, because they felt that there was some favouritism that was going on with regard to the elections. And we continued in that spirit of non compliance as well as non co-operation. After about two months Nkosi was also chosen. He was elected as a mayor. And I did not see eye to eye with Nkosi, because the things that he was doing I was challenging them, and I used to tell them whenever he was acting wrongly. That's how we got to be on the opposite ends of each other. Then there was a Chief Magistrate, Mr Webber. He convened a meeting. At that time there was a political group called the UDF, and he convened a meeting where he said he wanted all the leaders of the political groups so that we could thrash out certain issues. He wanted to resolve the matters because there was so much conflict and so many people were dying, and he wanted us to come with
suggestions as to how to quell the violence that was taking place in the community. I went to that meeting because I was also a leader. This meeting was held at a certain hall next to the court building. Just before Webber opened this meeting he said he wants everybody who is going to talk be a constructive speaker and try to quell the violence. He did not want to entertain any destructive criticism because he wanted to get a solution to the present problem of violence. Somebody started talking, then when he opened the meeting F J Siwela lifted up his hand. He said, "Mr Webber, I think the UDF is having problems with the IFP, because the UDF was busy following and chasing members of the IFP." Webber said he should sit down because he was not being constructive. He told him that he wanted somebody who could bring a solution to the problem, and not a problem to every solution. He again lifted his hand, that is Siwela, and Siwela continued to talk in this manner, and he was admonished by Chief Magistrate Webber. And I lifted my hand to be the next speaker, and Webber allowed me the platform and I said whatever I had to say at that time. And Webber asked as to whether they had heard me, and he asked as to whether they supported me, and they supported me and they gave me a round of applause. I sat down and people continued talking, different speakers getting the platform. I lifted my hand once more and Webber pointed at me to give me the platform. And he further asked as to whether they had heard what I had said and they supported me once more. I think I stood about four times or more. Then thereafter the meeting was adjourned. After the meeting there was rumour that there was going to be a
special meeting which was going to be held at the council chamber, and we were told that everybody should be there at 6 o'clock at the council chamber for this very special meeting. The community members also went there, as well as members of different political groups, and when we got to the council chamber the very first speaker who took the platform was Jeffery Nkosi, who was the then mayor. Jeffery Nkosi addressed the community and told them that he had called them to try and resolve the problems that were prevailing within the community, but pointed out that there were certain members, or certain people in this meeting who were informers, but he did not want to mention as to who these people were. He referred to the Chief Magistrate meeting and he said, "There is a person who was very prominent and he was busy talking to a certain Professor Nzimbankulu, and they were showing that they were colluding, but we were not going to mention any names." I did not pay much attention to that because I did it in good faith. When I spoke I did it in good faith. He further pointed out that he was going to give Mr Siwela the platform, and he should tell us as to what is going to happen. And Siwela stood up and addressed the members of the community, and said the mayor was going around in circles and not pointing out as to who the informer is. Then he pointed at me and said I was the informer.
(Inaudible) ... understand we don't want the exact details of the whole meeting, and every time who spoke, and what you said, and what someone else said. We want you to try and get to the point a bit more. Now, you've told us in your statement that after this meeting there
was trouble that started. Am I right that this was in about September 1993, these meetings that you're telling us about? --- That is correct.
You've said that because of these different meetings friction developed between yourself and Mr Siwela, is that right? --- I am sorry, I think I wanted to start somewhere because I wanted to connect this. I have got a very long talk, because there are certain people who are implicated, and I wanted to start from scratch, and I wanted to explain to the Commission as to how they get involved.
(Inaudible) ... understand there are many people after you, and you are eating their time as well, and that's why I want you to be fair to them. Now, tell us about how you've suffered, and what has happened to you as a consequence of that. Okay? We do understand the context that there was trouble in your community. We do understand that, and you've given us a picture of that, how it started. In your statement you tell us that at that time you were IFP, and there was friction between you and other people in the IFP, and these developed around various community meetings. Am I right? Do you agree with that? --- Yes.
(Inaudible) ... the time when, arising out of that friction, you were subsequently attacked in your home, and how that attack happened. --- Before I got attacked I just wanted to explain that when the violence started. This violence started because the council took Mr Siwela to section 7 and said he must give people sites, and when he gave those sites to the people he is the first person who formed Inkatha in that place at that time. And
Inkatha was running around day in and day out calling their war cries, and they were also carrying Inkatha flags, especially the Inkatha youth. They were always having this flag in the mornings. Then I approached Siwela and asked him as to why he was using the youth to run his mile. He said he wanted to be protected. Then on that same day when we were in the meeting Themba Nkabinde, who was in the meeting, came to me and said, "Mr Dlamini, do you know that I can quell the violence that was at section 7?" He said he could quell the violence which was prevailing in section 7. Then on the following week when I met him Themba came to me and said he had already devised a plan, and there was a group called Savuka which was harassing people at section 1, and he said he wanted to take these youths from the Savuka group and recruit them to be Inkatha members. And he said if he could recruit these people and make them Inkatha members they will stop being this group of vagabonds. He wanted to make them Inkatha members, and this group was a group of criminals and they ... (inaudible - end of side A) ... this was a group of rapists. They were raping all the females in the community. Whenever they raped women they wanted their men to watch whilst they were raping the women. They were so brutal in the manner that they were conducting their rapes. That was happening every day. Now I'll come back to the point, because I seem to be having a very long story. People were dying in large numbers and nobody knew who had killed them, but the police would come in their vans and take the people to the mortuary, the corpses to the mortuary. And whenever you went to the police to report a certain crime or offence
they never paid any attention. And we had no recourse at law, because whenever we went to report, even before the murders took place, the police never paid any attention. Then on the 3rd of September 1993 the community at section 7 was attacked by the very same Inkatha criminal groups. These criminals came at about half past six. It was in summer and it was just slightly dark. And they would get into houses. They started looting houses. They would take TV sets as well as radios. At my neighbour's place they took the radio as well as the TV. If you were selling they would take anything that you were selling, and that was in 1993 on a Friday, on the 3rd. The following day, on the 4th of September, we convened a meeting to try and get a solution to the violence that was quelling the community. As we were discussing the issues we decided to postpone the meeting to the 5th, that is on Sunday, and there's a certain place called The Block where they were trying to build a school, but now the school was not built at the end. We got to The Block on a Sunday at about quarter to seven. It was myself as well as other members of the community. As we were still talking the criminals approached. They were a large group. When they got to us I said we should choose one person who was going to talk to them because we were not supposed to talk all of us. They said I am the one who was supposed to talk, and I approached this big group and asked them as to whether we could help them. They said they had come to the meeting, and we told them that this meeting was for specific people, and it was not meant for them because it was a meeting for people who were sent letters to attend the meeting. And I told them they should go back to their
places and tell their parents that there was a meeting and it was not a meeting for the youths. They went back. And the people were angry at that time. They were asking as to why we had left these youths to come and control us, we should have dealt with them accordingly. And from there people decided that they wanted to fight. They went to fetch their weapons and they started assaulting the youths. They chased the youths up to Iscor, and on that day - it was on a Sunday - these criminals were assaulted. Thereafter there was an investigating policeman called Malinga. He said he was sent by Major Mthethwa, because Major Mthethwa had heard that there were certain people who were dissatisfied, and these people should stay in that meeting, they should not leave, they should wait for him. He ultimately came, and he said that he wants these people to be told. He said these people should elect a leader who was going to be a spokesperson for them, because he could not speak to all of them, and he did not want them to speak so they must elect a leader. They chose a leader, because he said he didn't want to speak to everybody, he wanted to speak to one responsible person. And the major came. He asked as to whether Malinga had told us. Malinga said yes, and he asked as to who the leader was. They said they had chosen Dlamini. He said they had chosen Dlamini. He said they had chosen a person who fits the position.
(Inaudible) ... let's not listen about you being chosen. Please come to the point. As I've spoken to you now it's over 45 minutes you've been talking. Please, I don't want to be rude to you, but let's get to the point. --- I was attacked by Inkatha at night. It was at about
quarter past one in the morning. I never saw the people who attacked me, but I saw one of them, because at the time that they came I woke up and I peeped through the window and I could see one of them. It was a person I knew. It was J C Msibi, and J C Msibi was leading the people and they were standing alongside my window. And J C put something down. I could not see what he was putting down. And he went back, he went onto the fence, and he cut my fence and came back and locked the door from the outside. And he picked whatever he was picking up. Apparently these were petrol bombs, and he started throwing the petrol bombs. The petrol bomb went in through the window and it hit the floor. There was a carpet on the floor and the petrol bomb hit the carpet, but it did not break. It was a bit bottle, a litre. He threw in another litre and it also hit the carpets, it never broke. When he realised that he was not being successful he said something to his followers and they started taking out guns. And they started shooting for quite some time at my house. There was a fridge, a very big fridge, a double-door fridge, and I used this fridge as a shield. And they shot the fridge so many bullets - it had so many bullets. The bullets were coming from all directions, but it was only one bullet that hit me. It hit me on the leg, on the foot. That is the only bullet that hit me. There was a female in the house, and that person is the one who got injured. She was shot in both arms, the left as well as the right arm, and the leg as well, and she was amputated on the right leg. That's how she got injured.
(Inaudible) ... correct? --- It was my
girlfriend. I was staying with her. We were not married.
Please can we have some order? Please. We can't continue if you don't show some respect, please. Thank you. --- After we had been shot there came some members of the community, as well as neighbours. They had come to see whether we had survived the attack. We were taken to the hospital. It was at night when we got to the hospital. I think it was at about 2.00 am. When we got to the hospital just as we were getting in we also saw Warrant-Officer Nkabinde. He asked me as to whether I was surprised. He asked me whether I wanted to open a case. I said it was still too early because I had just been injured. I think he knew about my attack, he was also involved. Immediately thereafter I saw Dr Mdlalose. Dr Mdlalose also came to see us, but I was surprised as to why he had come to see us, because I wanted to give a picture of Dr Mdlalose that I knew him very well. I was surprised when I was shot and Dr Mdlalose never came to me to see that I was shot, but he went to the female who was with me and he interrogated her and asked her some questions. As I have haven't got the time to talk about Dr Mdlalose, Dr Mdlalose went to open a case after we had fought. We fought on a Saturday and Msibi went to speak to Mdlalose. Whatever he did Msibi always went to Mdlalose, and Mdlalose would act on the basis of the information that he got from Msibi. Even if Msibi would get a policeman who was on the phone he would grab the phone and said he was talking to Ulundi, and he would never be arrested. And Mdlalose opened up a case against me. He opened up a case because he said I had gone to a meeting that was convened by him where they were going to
choose a branch leader or a region leader. When I got to the meeting I went to Mdlalose and told him that people were being killed at section 7. They were being finished by a certain Mr Msibi, and whenever we spoke to Msibi, Msibi would tell us that he was an untouchable because he was under Mdlalose's wing. So I told Mdlalose that he was Msibi's protector. Then he said that wing was Ulundi, and Mdlalose seemed to be surprised by this revelation. Mdlalose called R M Shabalala in that very same meeting. He also called D A Bhengu, as well as Mthethwa. There were about eight people that he called, and he said I should repeat what I had said to him and repeat it to the whole group. And he reiterated my statement and said that they were being troubled by Ulundi. And he said to Mthethwa the following morning at eight on Monday there should be a meeting where we were all going to meet, the eight of us, and they were going to thrash out this issue. The meeting was adjourned. The following day at eight we got to the police station. I was with about 400 people who heard that Mdlalose had called me. They said they wanted to go there and hear as to what was going to be discussed. Before we discussed the matters Shabalala R M got in, and he was followed by two other people, his son as well as another man. When he got in through the door Mdlalose called to him and asked him as to who was accompanying him. Shabalala said,"It's my father as well as my son. They were called by me." He asked them as to why they had come. Mdlalose said, "We do not need any witnesses. Mdlalose said Shabalala was hijacking his meeting. He said he was calling the meeting and he was hijacking it, and he said if he wanted he could also call
his own witnesses to come and give testimony. He went out and said he was handing the meeting over to Shabalala, and Mdlalose went out to report to the police that I should be arrested. On that day I was arrested. When all the people went out the police kept on looking for me and they arrested me.
(Inaudible) ... you're making a very long story about what can be quite a short statement, and I must just say to you, what were you arrested for? Just briefly, what were you arrested for? --- I do not know.
(Inaudible) ... charged? --- No, I was never charged.
(Inaudible) ... that you were arrested again, is that right? You were charged ... (intervention) --- That is correct.
Charged with killing someone called Khuzwayo. Is that ... (intervention) --- That is correct.
And no case ever came of that, is that right? --- They said the chief prosecutor in 'Maritzburg had dismissed the case or withdrawn it.
Now, let's just get back to the person that you were living with who lost her leg. Where is she now? --- She is in Harrismith.
(Inaudible) ... receiving treatment there, is that right? --- Yes, she is still receiving treatment.
(Inaudible) ... anyone charged for these acts against you? --- No, no one. I went to Nkabinde. I wanted the cartridges, the empty cartridges, and I told him to give the cartridges to me. He took them out of the drawer and showed them to me, and I asked him as to why he was keeping them with him. He said he was waiting for the
case to be heard because they were part of the evidence. I said I was surprised because I had opened up a case. I said I was opening up a case and I wanted the person who shot me to be arrested. I knew him, it was Msibi, and he said he could not arrest Msibi.
If I could cut you short. To this day no one has been arrested and there's been no case? --- No, not even a single one.
Thank you. Chairperson.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Dlamini, thank you for coming and telling us your story. We know that you wanted to tell us a much, much longer story, but as Mr Lax pointed out we still have a number of witnesses who have come here today. Some of them have come from a long way, and we are not able to allow people to go on for too long. You have told us the experiences which took place in - way back in 1972 and 1973, when the police attempted to get you to work for them, the Security Police, and one of the reasons why the police, and particularly the Security Branch, in this country were so successful is that they were able to persuade or force some black people to work for them, and to your credit you refused to do this, and by this you avoided being taken into that world which is inhabited by people like Mamasela and Nofumela and Chikalanga. These were people who spied on opponents of apartheid, and killed them on the orders of the police. And, going further, to your experiences in the eighties and nineties, it seems that your unwillingness to support the IFP and participate in its institutions after having been a member was the reason why you were subjected to harassment and
attack, which resulted in the very terrifying attack on your house and the shooting of you and your wife, your common-law wife.
You have also mentioned the name of Mr Themba Nkabinde, who was an IFP youth leader, who was also mentioned by the previous witness, Mrs Madela, as being the person possibly responsible for her husband's death. And you have also given us a very vivid description of the activities of the organisation that was known as Savuka at the time, and its links with the IFP youth.
So, in conclusion, we want to thank you for filling us in on what happened in Madadeni in those days. We have to write a report to the State President, to the Government, at the end of our period of work, and the information that you have given us is valuable for that report. And you have given us the names of people who you believe perpetrated violations against you, and it is our job through our investigation unit to take those investigations further and to try and find out who did those things and why they did them, and your information has been very valuable. So we want to thank you again for coming and sharing your story with us today. Thank you very much indeed.
VUSUMUZI NTULI (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
COMMISSIONER: Mr Dlamini will assist you.
MR DLAMINI: Vusumuzi, we would like to thank you for the opportunity that you gave us to come here before the Commission and tell everyone about what happened to you. We know that it's a very sad story, especially when something like this happens to someone who's very young like you. Vusumuzi, we would like you to give us a picture of your family. --- I do have parents. I am only left with my mother, I don't have a father. I have a mother and a brother.
Is there any family member inside here? --- No.
Is your mother well? --- Yes.
Is she old? --- No, not that old, but she is grown up. I have a sister who's 22 years old.
What is she doing? --- She is in the military force. She is a military soldier. The one after that she is 18 years old, she is still at school. No, Nthombeko is a boy. He is in standard seven.
Are there any brothers and sisters? --- Yes, I have an elder brother, Sipho. He is a driver. He is in Standerton.
Are there any other members? --- No. I have a kid, her name is Gugu, and my brother's kid as well.
Thanks for giving us this picture. Now we would like you to give us a picture about what really happened on the 8th of November 1993. I will disturb you as you go on so that I clarify some matters. Thank you. --- I would like to start by saying I am a member of ANC. I was a member of executive committee for ANC Youth League. I was an organiser. What happened is that after I left - I
had received some threats from Inkatha that they will kill me. I knew why they wanted to kill me. That was because Inkatha and ANC never saw one eye. Police, ZP, were always for Inkatha, they didn't like ANC. In 1993 we were harassed all of us ANC members and supporters at Madadeni. We were harassed. This went on until in 1993 one day, it was late at night, I think it was about half past eight - comrades at that time, ANC comrades, never used to sleep home because they were scared, so they used to run away. Up until today there are a lot of cases which were opened and they were never investigated. One day I went and visited a friend opposite the street opposite mine in section 5. I am staying from section 2. As I was approaching section 5 I saw a group of people who were coming, and I just didn't think that those people were Inkatha supporters or Inkatha members so I kept on walking. When I reached to this group of people, I think it was just a distance of a metre, I stopped and then they also stopped. I didn't pass them. When we were facing each other one person said, "Here's Mandela's dog." I didn't even want to take an interest. One person chopped me at the head. At that time I saw a person, in fact three people who were talking to someone in a police car. It was an NP Cressida and a blue Golf. Those cars belonged to ZPs. This blue Golf was parked there, and I saw - I realised that those policemen who were driving that Golf were the very same police who warned me that they were going to kill me, so I realised that I was going to die. I went to one house nearby. As I was running that Golf turned and then they started shooting at me. One bullet went through my hand and one through my
back. And then they thought the gates of that house were locked. They left and they were laughing. At that time the comrades heard and then they started following them. Police as well followed Inkatha supporters and left them somewhere where Inkatha used to go, or to take someone who wasn't supporting them to that area. That's where they used to kill people who were not supporting them. In that house I asked one lady who was renting there, I asked her to go and tell my parents that I have got hurt. So they came, they brought a car, they took me to hospital. When we were going to hospital there was a blue Conquest which used to be driven by Inkatha people, and there were also two cars, and the driver tried to get away and we went up until to the hospital. One car that was following us left us there. And then in hospital they stitched me, they gave me stitches. What I told the people in the hospital is that I don't want to be admitted and sleep over there because it wasn't safe in that hospital. Even the security guards were scared of Inkatha, so Inkatha used to come to that hospital. So I left, I refused to be admitted. And Comrade Mbele came and Comrade Mboyisa. They took me. They didn't take me home, because at home at that time police were around the house, so things were really bad. I went to 16 section, where I had a girlfriend whom I had a child with. The ZPs used to arrest people who were not Inkatha people and tell them that they were accusing them of things that they didn't know. They came, they were driving a Golf. They said they were looking for me because I was involved in a certain offence. So the nurses at hospital told them that I wasn't there. In 1994 Inkatha came to my house. They
attacked my house, they broke windows, and the ZPs were there. I even know the KwaZulu Police who shot me, because one of them told me that he's Bravusi, and he's from Durban to kill me. Now they aren't driving that Golf, they are driving other cars, but they are still around. That Golf disappeared. Even that Cressida, that white Cressida, disappeared. We don't know where they took those cars to.
Do you know the Golf registration number? --- It was NN 15997.
Of these 30 people who attacked you did you see people that you can identify? --- Some of them I can, like one guy who's my neighbour. His name is Zinhle. He's now in prison. Zintho, that's his name, Zintho Jiyane.
You said he is in prison. --- Yes, he is in prison.
Which one? --- I am not sure whether here or in Waddervaar.
Why was he arrested? --- He was arrested because they were harassing ordinary people.
In which court was he sent to prison? --- I am not quite sure whether it's Madadeni Court or Newcastle.
Besides Zintho is there any other person that you can identify? --- No.
Were there people who were arrested for whatever happened to you? --- No, because the following day one comrade, Dudu Sibiya, went to police station to open a case, but nothing happened because I was scared, I never wanted to go to the police station, because I knew the police were looking for me and I didn't know why except
that they wanted to kill me.
When you were discharged, or when you ran away from Madadeni Hospital, did you go to another hospital or to another doctor? --- I went and saw Dr Zazi, who is in section 1. He referred me to other doctors in town because my hand couldn't work.
How is your hand now? Is it working? --- Yes, a little bit. It's not as it used to be. Sometimes I have cramps.
Are there any other pains that you feel in your body? --- It's only where I got hurt and nowhere else.
You mean your shoulder? --- Yes, from my shoulder and the rest of my arm.
And then emotionally how do you feel? Do you have nightmares or sleep problems? --- I have hatred for police. After this incident I got worse. I haven't forgiven anyone. Even today when I look at the police, or even them when they look at me, I can tell they still hate me.
If you say you still have this hatred, do you see these policemen who did this to you? --- Yes, I do sometimes. I do meet them on the street. And sometimes they just pass very slow and then come back past me again. They are still police. They are here at Madadeni Police Station.
Do you know their names or their surnames? --- Yes. One is Nhlanhla, and then this other one is Bravusi. I don't know his surname.
But if one can take you to Madadeni Police Station can you identify them? --- Yes, I can because I know them very well.
If you are saying you haven't forgiven and you still feel this hatred, is there anything that a person can do to make you better? --- What they did was terrible bad. I think the only thing that will make me relief is that if I can see them in prison, or if they can come here before the Commission and tell why they did what they did, and who sent them to do what they did. I want them as people who are working for the community, so that people can trust them tomorrow they must come before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
You also said that in Madadeni Hospital comrades were not safe. Are there any other comrades that you know that were hurt after they were admitted in hospital? --- Yes. One comrade from 11 section was admitted there and he was almost killed, and after that comrades were scared of sleeping in that hospital or being admitted in that hospital. No, I am not working.
Why aren't you working? --- I couldn't get that one.
Why aren't you working? --- There are some other means that a person can survive with. It's not just a job. Like selling something.
How far did you go to school? --- Up to standard eight.
Are you trained for any job? --- No, I am not.
Did you try to look for a job? --- I once worked for SANDF, and then I left there because of my arm and my hand. I have cramps, so I couldn't continue working there.
When was this? --- In 1995.
When was your last time? --- In June.
It was because of this hand? --- Yes. I can hold with my hand, but I have difficulties in doing so because I have cramps.
Did they tell you to stop working or you decided to stop because of your problem? --- Yes, it's me. I decided to stop because I could tell that I can't handle. Even when the weather is cold I have a problem.
Is there any doctor that you are seeing, or a physiotherapist? --- The last time I saw a doctor is when I went to Dr Sprinter.
MR LAX: Sorry, did you ever have - or was any case ever brought about your shooting? Was anyone ever charged? --- Yes, someone opened a case, and my mother told me that Sergeant Dlomo was the one who was handling this case, but no one was arrested.
From which police station? --- Madadeni Police Station.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Ntuli, thank you very much for coming to talk to us today. Your evidence shows that right up to 1994 - 1993 and 1994 there were very similar patterns of behaviour taking place in Madadeni as were happening in 1986, and by this I mean the very close relationship between the KwaZulu Police and the IFP. We have heard many, many stories like this all around KwaZulu-Natal, particularly from places like Port Shepstone, and also the townships around Durban, like KwaMashu, KwaMakutha, Umlazi, Ntuzuma. In these areas the relationship between the KwaZulu Police and certain elements within Inkatha was very, very close, and it seems to us that it was a
deliberate policy of that police force, the KwaZulu Police Force, to support and assist one side, the IFP, and to harass and detain and undermine members of the ANC. The remark which you made about how you feel about the police is also very important and very revealing. Many young people like yourself have got a lot of suspicion and mistrust and hatred for the police, and this is understandable, but it's also very problematic, because we're now moving into a new era where there is ongoing transformation of the police force into a community police force, and in many areas of this country the police are dedicated to assisting the community and upholding the law. However, there are also areas of this country, particularly here in this province, KwaZulu-Natal, where there has not been that same degree of transformation, and there is still a lot of suspicion between communities and the police. However, we at least do have a sympathetic ministry, and it is very important that any biased behaviour by the police should be reported immediately to structures like the Peace Accord and the Community Policing Forums so that this sort of behaviour on the part of the police can finally disappear.
We note from what you have said that you have been disabled to a certain degree by the shooting, and that it seems as though you lost your job in the Defence Force from that shooting, and it is our job to make recommendations to the Government as to how people like you could be assisted, and we will be making those recommendations on your behalf. So we thank you very much for coming to tell us your story today. It gives us a clear picture of what life was like for young activists
like yourself right up to 1993, and that information will go into our report. Thank you very much.
COMMISSIONER: Mr Nene, we welcome you here today. You have come with some members of your family, is that correct?
MR NENE: That is correct.
COMMISSIONER: Who are they?
MR NENE: It's my wife on my right-hand side, and on my extreme right is my sister.
COMMISSIONER: We welcome them here today as well. You have all of you come from Madadeni township, like all the other - most of the other witnesses today.
MR NENE: That is correct.
COMMISSIONER: You have come to tell us about the bomb blast which took place at the Newcastle Magistrate's Court in 1986, as a result of which your legs were amputated. Before you give that story can you just raise your right hand to take the oath please.
VUSUMUZI NENE (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
COMMISSIONER: Now, Mr Nene, you are married. Do you have any children? --- I have three children.
(Inaudible) ... age, or are they left school? --- They are attending school. One is in class one, the other one in standard three, the other one in standard eight.
And you are obviously no longer working, is that correct? --- I am still working.
Oh, are you still - are you still working for the SAP? --- That is correct.
An administrative or clerical job, is that right, or what sort of job are you having? --- That is correct, I am doing clerical work.
(Inaudible) ... in Allen Street in the now - in the
police station, or where are you ... (intervention) --- That is correct. I am working in Newcastle, Allen Street.
Now, can you tell us then what happened to you in November 1986 in your own words? --- On the 11th of November 1986 I was at court. I had gone to a case. I was a witness, a State witness in a certain case. As I was just sitting there on top of the dustbin I heard an explosion just nearby, and I stood up and I wanted to go and see as to what was happening, but I saw nothing. And at that time the senior public prosecutor approached - I think it was Macintosh if I can remember quite well - and he said I should move away from the dustbin because he wanted to look inside. He checked inside the dustbin and he could not find anything. Then I sat on top of the dustbin. After quite some time I heard another explosion and I could not see. I thought I was running, but when everything had cleared up I realised that I had fallen just next to the dustbin, and I just saw some bricks falling from the wall and they were falling on top of me, and I tried to manoeuvre myself to move away from the falling bricks and I realised that I had been injured on the legs.
(Inaudible) ... terrible for you to relive these memories, and you can just take your time, and breathe deeply and we can wait for you. (Pause) When I looked at my feet and legs I just saw bones. The flesh was ripped from the bones, and I could not see my knees. And after quite some time ambulances came, and we were taken from the scene of the explosion and we were taken to the hospital. At hospital I was given an injection, and the next moment I woke up I had been amputated. I was not
married at that time. (Pause) I was still staying with my mother at that time at Osizweni. I stayed for about a month and a half, because I was released on the 23rd of December, and on the 24th I was taken to Pretoria at a military hospital. That's where they gave me artificial limbs. I tried using these artificial limbs, but I was discharged the following year, that was in 1987 in May, on the 15th. I could not use the artificial limbs, so I had to use the wheelchair. And I went back to work in August 1980 (sic).
(Inaudible) ... with you at the time who was injured, Mr Nene? --- There was a boy from the Simelane family.
(Inaudible) ... suffer injuries? --- His whole body was ripped, but he still does walk. He is walking on his own feet.
(Inaudible) ... at the time? --- He was a student at that time, he hadn't started training.
Did you come to learn who was responsible for planting that - I presume it was a bomb that went off and blew the wall over and injured your legs. Do you know who was responsible for placing that device there? --- I never knew at that time, but I later discovered that there was a certain boy from the Nkosi family, as well as two others, because the case was investigated and it proceeded to the Supreme Court in 'Maritzburg, and they were convicted. One got 15 years, the other 16, and the other one nine years, but they were released immediately thereafter. President Mandela at that time had not yet been released from Robben Island. From that time I feel I had been traumatised and tortured because I always have
to have a person to help me, and at that time nothing was done to try and help me. Now friends are always helping me, but they are not always reliable, especially when I want to go somewhere where I have to do important things, as well as run my errands.
(Inaudible) ... around. How do you get to work and things like that? Do the police provide transport for you? --- They do fetch me at times from home, and drop me off at work and bring me back from work to my home, but over the weekends I do have problems, because taxis do not want to take people like me on their taxis because they say I pose a lot of work for them.
(Inaudible) ... able to use the artificial limbs at all? Was it because the amputation was too high up your leg? --- I tried using the artificial limbs, but they became tight because I grew bigger because I wasn't exercising, so I grew a little bit fat, so the artificial limbs grew smaller.
Just looking back on this incident, which took place nearly 10 years ago, do you - you must have had a chance to reflect on what happened to you, and do you have any understanding of the motives which drove this person to put that bomb at the Magistrate's Court? Do you have any understanding of what made that person do that? --- This was planted by ANC members. I think their victims were some people who were in the court, but I do not have anything to do with politics and I do not know what their motives were because I was just an ordinary policeman. And I was not sitting there because I was having anything to do with politics, I was just like an ordinary civilian. Because even the person I had arrested was supposed to
appear in court.
(Inaudible) ... had a chance to see or confront the person that did this to you? --- I do know this Nkosi boy. He grew up right in front of me.
Has he ever said anything to you about what happened? Has he seen you since this happened, or has he not been able to face you? --- I saw him at the police station in Pretoria, and I had gone to another case after I had been injured. He said it was not his intention to injure me, he had just planted a bomb.
Do you know what was going on in Newcastle at that time? Were there political trials going on, or what was going on at the time? Was there trouble in Madadeni, Osizweni? What was happening? --- There was some violence, but there wasn't much because it was in 1986. It was the first time that I had this experience of a bomb exploding.
How long had you been in the police force when this happened? --- I was already five years in the police force.
Now, it's very common in the police that when somebody is involved in an accident on duty that they receive a lump sum compensation. Did you receive compensation at that time from the police? --- No, I never got a lump sum, but they said to me they were going to give me some pension and I was going to receive it monthly. This amount cannot keep me up until the end of each month.
(Inaudible) ... receive that pension from 1986 until you started work again in 1980? You said you started work again I think in 1980. Is that right? Sorry, 1990. --- /No, I
No, I started working in 1987 in August. I started getting pension in 1988.
(Inaudible) ... still getting that monthly pension? --- That is correct.
As well as your salary? --- That is correct.
And you've said in your statement here that you expect further compensation if possible from the Truth Commission, is that right? --- If the Government can do something for me I would welcome any help because I am really in need. It doesn't matter what the amount is, but I want to be able to get a living wage.
Are you able to drive any sort of vehicle? --- I could drive, but I do not have a licence. I used to drive then.
I'll give my colleagues an opportunity now to ask questions.
Mr Nene, how do you feel healthwise besides the fact that you are now wheelchair-bound? Are there any illnesses that developed after you got injured that need treatment? --- There is plenty, because my right-hand ear got affected and I am partially deaf on the right ear. And I have got a backache problem because I never get to exercise, and I don't walk, I am always on the seated position.
Is there any treatment that you are receiving presently? --- Yes, I do go to see the doctor whenever I am experiencing any pains.
Where is the doctor that you visit? Is it a specialist or just an ordinary practitioner? --- It's Dr Makubane, just an ordinary practitioner. He is working
at Extension 5.
You further said that one of the people who planted the bomb is known to you. Without repeating what you've already said I just want to find out as to whether you will be able to sit down and talk with him, or have you ever got that chance? --- Unfortunately he died before I even talked to him. I do not know where the other one went to.
COMMISSIONER: (Inaudible) ... wants to say, Mr Nene? --- No, they do not want to say anything.
Anything further that you want to add to what you've already said? --- I think that's about all that I could say, but what I have to point out is that I am no longer the same person that I was before the accident. I am very intolerant, very insensitive, and I've got mood swings.
(Inaudible) ... very, very much for coming here today, waiting all day to tell us this very sad story. We know that people who opposed apartheid went sometimes to terrible lengths to show their opposition. People became angry, frustrated, and they acted very, very irresponsibly. We know that there were bombs that were placed in many part of this country by both sides, and some of those bombs were aimed at installations like electricity pylons, where know one was injured. Other bombs were placed irresponsibly in public places, and you unfortunately became a victim of one of those bombs, and there were many other innocent victims like yourself on both sides.
And I think it's important to understand what made
people do these sorts of things. You probably heard the young man who gave evidence before you, Mr Vusi Ntuli, and he said because of the experiences that he had had at the hands of policemen he harboured a deep suspicion of policemen, and it's probable that the person who did this thing, planted this bomb, had a similar feeling, that he was prepared to go to any lengths to show opposition to what he saw as the system, and in the process of doing so people like yourself were very seriously injured. And we see today that you have - you obviously have suffered, and you've told us that you are a different person to what you were, although you have demonstrated considerable courage to come here today and to share your story with us and with the public in front of the television.
We will certainly make recommendations to the Government about how you should be assisted. You've lost your legs. It's a very, very major part of what makes you a whole person, and money can't compensate for that, it cannot make it better again, but it certainly can help, and we will be making recommendations to the Government on your behalf. So we are glad that you were able to come here with your wife and your sister. We're glad that they are supporting you so well, and that since this terrible incident that you have managed to find a supportive wife and to father three young children. So thank you again very much, and we wish you well, you and your family.
COMMISSIONER: Mrs Sithole, we welcome you here today. Thank you for being patient. You have waited the whole afternoon, the whole day to give your evidence. You have come from Osizweni township to tell us about the death of your son, Mthunzi Sithole. Is that correct that he was your son? Before you tell us that story can you stand and take the oath please? Can you stand up and take the oath?
LINDIWE SITHOLE (Sworn, States) (Through Interpreter)
COMMISSIONER: Mr Dlamini will help you now.
MR DLAMINI: (Question not interpreted) --- He was born in 1963.
He was 28 years old, is that correct? --- Yes. You mean in 1986? Oh, you mean when he died?
Yes. --- He was 28 years.
Would you please put us to a picture of your family. I am a single parent at the moment because I am now a widow. My husband died in 1989. He left me with two boys and one that I adopted, so all in all there were three. My husband died in Louwsburg. After he died my mother went there and brought me to Osizweni with my children because my husband had died. I tried to raise my children without a husband and without a father and brothers.
Is your mother still alive? --- No, my mother died in 1991 as well. My mother got scared after Mthunzi had been arrested, and my mother was now sick. She used to pray that the Lord should help her to see Mthunzi before she died. Mthunzi was released in April and my mother died in May.
These other kids, are they still alive? --- Yes, they are. Even though I was struggling I tried to take
them to school, and the youngest one went and joined the military force. And then the girl is at home, she is not attending school, and she has got a child now.
Thanks, Mrs Sithole. Would you please tell us more about Mthunzi up until when he died? --- I was very much disturbed when I lost Mthunzi. I also get very much worried when he was arrested because he was the only child that I could rely on. He was in standard 10 and he was repeating standard 10 at that time. I was struggling. I didn't have a house of my own. I was with my mother at my mother's house with my children. And while Mthunzi was still attending school in 1986 November I was at home. I think it was about 10 o'clock. I can't remember the date. That was the day Mthunzi was arrested.
In November is it the day when police came to your house? --- Yes. Yes, police came and they searched my house. They wanted to know where was Mthunzi, and Mthunzi was there. He was busy doing his laundry. They searched the house. I was amazed what was going on and I tried to ask them what was really going on. No one explained to me because these policemen were busy searching. And then they took Mthunzi with them. They closed his eyes, they handcuffed him, they took him to the car, and one - all of them were white except for one policeman. I asked one guy, whom they said he was their boss. I said to him what was going on, what did he do. The only explanation that they gave me is that he was terrorist. I went there the next day. I had his jersey with me. And they asked me if I was his mother. I told them yes, I was his real mother. It's been a long time since this thing happened. Lots of information I cannot actually retrieve it now, because
even my health I am no longer very well. My memory is not that well.
Take your time, Mother, because this is really a bad time for you, and you never thought you need to keep all this information to tell to the Commission because you never knew that there will be such a thing as Commission. So don't rush yourself, take time, think about it. --- After I came back from that police station where Mthunzi was police came to me and my mother. They told us we were needed to go to the police station because they wanted to take a statement from us. And they were asking us questions, even though I cannot remember those questions very well. And then they took us back home again. When Mthunzi was supposed to appear in court they never told me that he was appearing in court until I heard when he was appearing for the second time. One person told me if I knew that Mthunzi was appearing in court, and I said no. And then I went there, and in that case the case was transferred to 'Maritzburg. In 'Maritzburg that's where I used to go for his case. He stayed there and then he was sent to Robben Island. Even there also I tried to make money to go to Robben Island and visit him. I went there. I went there for the second time. The third time I couldn't. When he was released it was in April 1991. He stayed only four months with me and he was killed. What really made me feel so bad and sad is that there was no one who came to me to tell me that, "There was your child lying on the street dead," but when my child was arrested police came and asked me that I am the mother, I should come and make a statement. But now the very same police who saw him being stoned - everyone saw because it
wasn't that late at night. People who knew me they never came and tell me this. And people who knew him they saw that he was being killed, but no one came and told me. ZP took him there late, and took him to hospital. They knew who he was and where was he from, but they never bothered. He used to tell me whenever he leaves, or to tell me what time he'll be back. A week before he died we received a telephone early in the morning before I left for work, and this telephone said - this person said to me, "Do you know the person from Sithole family who is dead?" And I said, "Sithole who?" And they said a person from Sithole family, and I asked them, "Who are you?" They said, "We are police." I contacted an ANC president. I think his name is Makhosini Hadebe. I asked him, "Do you know Mthunzi, or do you know where Mthunzi is? Is Mthunzi with you?" And then he said, "No, Mthunzi is not with me, but I trust he is somewhere with his girlfriend." And then I said to Makhosini, "Makhosini, I leave this matter on your hands. Now you can do." And then later at work they called me, they told me, "Don't worry because here he is, he is with us." The following week on the 14th on Saturday he was from my aunt's funeral. 2 o'clock after work I met him at the gate. That was the last time I saw my son. He said to me he was going to see his aunt. My sister told me that my son left early, and because he left early people didn't know who was being killed there. But I still believe that this was someone's aim that he should be killed and no one should say anything. Late in the evening he couldn't call, and I got worried because he used to call. I went to my neighbour the next day. I told my neighbour that, "I can't see my child and he is
not calling me." It was on Sunday, and then the next day I wanted this neighbour of mine to accompany me to go to hospitals and mortuaries. And then the neighbour advised me to send Makhosini to do this. I asked Makhosini. Makhosini came to Madadeni. Initially he called the police, and then police from Madadeni told him that he is not in their custody. And then Makhosini called again, and then the police said, "There is a person that we took from one farm called Jugglers(?), and we didn't know who he was." Makhosini went to Newcastle, and when he came back to Madadeni he brought a box. Inside this box there were his clothes full of blood, and he was in the mortuary now, lying there dead. At about half past four Sihle left, and then came back with one shoe, and then he said to me, "Mum, don't you think is Mthunzi's shoe?" And then I said, "Oh, maybe he was running," and I only discovered after a while that the shoe was left where he was being killed. The people who killed my son whom I don't even know up to today. The only person that I was shown that he's the one who killed my son is Bhaleni Nkosi, even though I don't trust that he's the one who killed my son.
When you received a call that the person said, "Do you know the Sithole person who died?" was Mthunzi still alive? --- Yes, he was.
The people who called, did they identify them? --- They said they were police.
Among these people who were watching while others were killing Mthunzi are there others who came to you to see you and tell you that, "We saw whatever happened"? --- They said he even cried that, "You mustn't kill me."
This Bhaleni Nkosi who agreed that he killed Mthunzi, who is this Bhaleni? --- No, I don't know Bhaleni. The first time I saw Bhaleni it was in court.
In your statement you said you doubt that Bhaleni is the one who killed your son. What makes you doubt? --- No, I saw Bhaleni. Bhaleni had a big wound in his head and he's weak. He couldn't have killed my son. His head was terrible injured. They don't want to come forward.
The names of the policemen who brought the corpse, or who took the corpse to Osizweni, did you ever get the names? --- I was taken by three males and we were trying to get the names of the police who took the corpse, as well as get the van, because we wanted to go and speak on the spot where he died as it is our culture to go to the scene of the murder. We were told at Madadeni that he was brought by the police and we should go to the police to find out as to what had happened earlier on that led to his death. And we told them that we were from the hospital and we wanted to see the person who had brought him or had taken him to the mortuary. We were told that he had gone out. Up until today we never got to know who he was.
Maybe this is a very painful question that I am going to pose to you, but I just want to clarify certain issues. Is Mthunzi involved in the bomb that exploded at the Magistrate's Court? --- Yes, they said he was involved, he had planted a bomb at Game.
Is this the same bomb that injured Nene? --- No, they said he planted the bomb at Game. That is a different place from the Magistrate's Court. And I am quite happy because Reverend Shange knew me, and he knew
about the incident. And the very same Mthunzi was a youth leader within the church. I don't know how he got involved in politics.
Was it the Church Youth League? --- Yes, it was the Church Youth League.
Your health, you just said that you have physical problems. I have BP since I lost my husband, and people who knows me like my doctors can tell you more.
Are you still working at old age home? --- Yes, I am.
We've noted that down, even your request that you are asking for a pension, early pension. We've noted that as well. We do have a committee which helps people who are emotionally disturbed, and I would like to ask you if you have seen a psychologist or psychiatrist? --- No, I didn't. I lost my mother and I didn't have money for funeral.
Are there - we do have psychologists and psychiatrists. Did you see them? --- No, I didn't.
Okay, after this we will refer you to them.
COMMISSIONER: Mrs Sithole, thank you very, very much for coming and telling us your story today. As I said to the previous witness, Sergeant Nene, there were many young people who, in their anger about apartheid, they often did irresponsible things which resulted in their being sent to prison, and your son did something in terms of which he felt he was making a statement against the system that was prevailing at the time. He was a very young person at the time, and he was arrested and he was sentenced for this, and he spent some time, as you have told us, on Robben
Island, where you visited him twice and learned from him why he did what he did. He served his sentence and he came home, and we have learnt how sad it must have been for you that he was only with you for four months before he died.
Now, you've described to us the circumstances under which he died, and it is clear that you are not satisfied with those circumstances, and from what you have told us -without looking at the court record, but from what you have told us, it does seem suspicious, and it is possible that he was taken to that place and he was deliberately killed. We don't know that, but I am sure that is what you want us to investigate, to find out the real circumstances under which he died, and we will try and do that. We have an investigative unit, and we will try and take those steps and see if we can find out what really happened there.
With regard to yourself and your personal circumstances, we will make recommendations to the Government as to how we think that you should be assisted. In the meantime we thank you again very much for coming and telling us your story. Thank you very much indeed.