PROCEEDINGS HELD AT
8 OCTOBER 1996
[PAGES 1 - 116]
I N D E X
NO ITEM PAGE N°
1. Opening address.............................................. 1 - 4
2. Case No FS/ZJ/110
Matumo Josephina Chaka.................................. 4 - 11
3. Case No FS/ZJ/106
Pint Nqoi...................................................... 12 - 22
4. Case No FS/GM/049
Joyce Deserire Somogo Modikeng....................... 23 - 35
5. Case No FS/ZJ/112
Aletta Xhamfu............................................... 36 - 42
Jackson Xhamfu............................................. 42 - 50
6. Case No FS/ZJ/108
Theresia Mosimane......................................... 51 - 59
7. Case No FS/ZJ/109
Oupa Mathebula............................................. 60 - 66
8. Case No
Mrs Ntombela................................................ 67 - 71
9. Case No FS/MP/01
Rose Denio Mashiya........................................ 72 - 82
10. Case No FS/GM/044
Makhathatso Ncala.......................................... 83 - 90
11. Case No FS/ZJ/111
Koliwe Magdalene Baloi................................... 91 - 99
12. Case No FS/GM/045
Alina Malef Mofokeng..................................... 100 - 116
CHAIRMAN: Well, I want to thank the Reverend Peter Roberts for his wonderful prayer and support for the witnesses because they need the strength. All, I greet you all in the name of our Lord and at this moment I want to welcome the following groupings to this hearing. Is there any government officials who are here? We want to extend our welcome. We're just sorry that the Premier could not be here but he has sent his apology that he is here in spirit but physically he's overseas. We also want to extend our welcome to the NGOs who are going to be here this morning, faith groupings, that is, churches and other religious faiths who are here, the media and the press, the witnesses and their families and all those people who come from the community to support them. We also want to welcome our translators who are seated there behind that corner and having said so I want to say that there are these things which are here which should be used by those people who don't understand, here the interpretation, there you have got some channels. If you set that thing. If it says channel 1, it means it is Afrikaans. If it is channel 2, it means that it is English and in channel 3 we get Lesotho, Zulu and Xhosa with these things. They're going to help you so that if we speak English the translator will be doing it and you can hear in your own language and you'll be helped by people if you don't know how to operate it. And these are the second hearings in the Free State. You remember that some time back ago we had the hearings in Bloemfontein and now we're having the second hearings in the Free State.
This is the process we shall be following. Whenever we finish a session, when we have to move out it means that it will be the witnesses first will move out and when they move out we all stand and we remain silent and quiet to give them the dignity and to give this affair the dignity and again when they come in, if we are seated, we stand also to support them in whatever they want to do. Please observe that process. Here we came with the statement-takers, that is to say if there are any people who have not submitted their names as witnesses or victims to be, we came here with statement-takers. You can see the statement-takers and so you tell them your story. They are here with us. Now, I want to introduce the panel which is with me here. On the ... (inaudible) ... right is Professor Simangele Magwaza and immediately to my right is Mr Mdu Dlamini and on my left is Mrs Regina Gcabashe. This one is quite liked because she is Sotho speaking. In fact she'll be our chaplain if we don't understand some of the things because the three of us are Zulu speaking and she's bilingual. She speaks Sotho and Zulu. She'll be helping us as we go with the business. Now I shall ask the briefers to help us by bringing forward the first witness. I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Dr Mgojo from Durban. Also among us here from our Truth and Reconciliation staff, we've got the co-ordinators, we've got the Free State co-ordinator who has just been co-ordinating all the things, Moses Pitso(?), which means that if you've got some problems, you need to be getting in touch with him. And here in Free State too we've got Reverend Bosman, the one who is the briefer and we have
got our own briefers from Natal and other staff member, logistics, etcetera. So you are well cared for if you've got some problems.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESS
CHAIRMAN: Your name is Matumo Josephina Chaka?
MRS CHAKA: Yes.
CHAIRMAN: Can you tell us where you live Josephina?
MRS CHAKA: In stay in Tabong. 2957 is my house number.
CHAIRMAN: You live in 2957 Massa Street?
MRS CHAKA: That's correct.
CHAIRMAN: In Tabong.
MR CHAKA: Yes.
CHAIRMAN: By the way, Tabong is here in Welkom?
MRS CHAKA: That's correct.
CHAIRMAN: I'm just checking the days of your birth if they correct. Is it true that you were born on the 5th June 1938?
MRS CHAKA: That's correct.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Before we come to the real thing you are about here or your story, can you just give us just a short picture about your family. That is to say, do you have children? How many are they, etcetera.
MRS CHAKA: I have only three daughters and they are married.
CHAIRMAN: Can somebody please help me in translating back into English or Zulu. Just give me the short background of your family.
MRS CHAKA: I have three childreN.
CHAIRMAN: Okay, start again, thank you. Sorry.
MRS CHAKA: I have three daughters and we are not happy /in the
in the family because I'm on my own. I don't have a husband.
CHAIRMAN: Just take your time please. Relax take your time. Do you have the children.
MRS CHAKA: Yes, three of them.
CHAIRMAN: How old are they?
MRS CHAKA: The other one was born in 1961 and the other one is 1966 and the other one was born in 1954. I'm referring to the ones that are still alive.
CHAIRMAN: Maybe before we go to the story now, because this is what you are going to tell, we need to take an oath so that what you do must be under oath. Can you stand to take an oath.
MATUMO JOSEPHINA CHAKA (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Now, Mama Josephina, we come to the story now. Can you tell us what happened on the 24th February 1985? --- (Transcriber's note: Channel used for translation not functioning properly. Interpreter barely audible) On the 24th of February in 1985 my son left home. Some old men ... (inaudible) ... and he wanted to see what was happening and he went to Themba and he was shot by a certain gentleman called ... (inaudible). After he was shot, I went to the place to see what happened and I discovered that he was already dead. I spent my whole time at the scene ... (inaudible) ... after him, till 11 o'clock at night. Nobody was helping me at all. And I went back home. On the day of the funeral - I don't know ... (inaudible) ... carry on, Sir. On the day of the funeral, it was a
Saturday ... (inaudible) ... came. He was a police ... (inaudible) ... and he didn't want us to bury our son on Saturday. He said we should bury him on Monday because he was involved in politics. And he said I should write the number of people that will attend the funeral. He said only 18(?) people should attend the funeral. I said there is not such ... (inaudible) ... we are not going to allow 18 people to attend the funeral. He said we are going to shoot if there is a large crowd of people. I said to him, "You'd better shoot me because the people will be attending the funeral." (Inaudible) ... and I said to him you ... (inaudible) ... belongs to one person. We are all human beings and then you can also attend the funeral if you want to. And then he didn't want to listen to me. He left. (Inaudible) ... didn't allow us to get the on Saturday. He said to me he will only release the corpse on Monday. And he said to me, "You are not going to get the body at our home." He will only conduct the ceremony at the cemetery. He said, "I'm not going to give you permission at all." And I required him to give me an explanation. He said, "Listen here, there are political activists around the township and I don't want this funeral to be politically motivated." He said, "They will be chanting slogans and ... (inaudible) ... I do not want the funeral to be in that way." Then I said to him, "I don't know what are you saying. I just want my son. I want to bury him." And then he ... (inaudible) ... we never went home. I didn't know what to do. That is why I am appearing before the Commission. I see what ... (inaudible) ... did to me was very unjust. He was not alone. He was
together with his group and they ... (inaudible) ... the youth of this country. We couldn't walk free ... (inaudible) ...
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Thanks a lot. That is helping us to understand what really happened. Now, your son's name was Patrick Boro Magubane. Is that true? --- That is correct.
Did your son belong to any political organisation? --- No, Sir, he wasn't ... (inaudible) ... he was very young to be involved in a political organisation. He just followed the old men that we going to investigate the house that had been burnt.
Do you know who burnt this house which they were investigating? --- I do not know who burnt the house.
Was your son alone when he went there to investigate the burning of the house? --- I do not know who went with him. He wasn't alone. There were many.
Who is this Pakathi? --- I only knew him as Pakathi. He used to reside in Tabong but he ... (inaudible) ... away.
Did he belong to any political grouping himself, do you know? --- I do not know.
Mama, here in your statement you have stated that Pakathi belonged to a vigilante group which was very notorious. What group was that? --- (Inaudible) ... councillors.
Was he notorious with his other fellow councillors or they were just people who worked with him? --- He was notorious. He used to harass the community.
Were there any other people who were working with him? --- Yes, he had his group.
Can you still remember some of the people who worked with him? --- Yes, I know some of them. I know ... (inaudible)
Where are they now, Mama? --- I don't know where are they ... (inaudible)
Before did they live here in Welkom. --- I don't see them any more.
Thank you. Mama, you said here, after Pakathi had killed your son there was a letter of apology he sent you. Is that true? --- It wasn't a letter. We went to the court of law. He never sent me a letter. The case was presented and the magistrate's answer was that there would be a conversation because it was a mistake for Pakathi to shoot my son dead. And I said, if it was a mistake why didn't Pakathi come to me to express his feelings.
Was Pakathi ever convicted by our courts for killing your son? --- No, he was never convicted. I only saw him on the day of the court and we left together on the same day. I never saw him go to gaol.
Do you know the name of the magistrate who was dealing with that case? The one that said Mr Pakathi should apologise for you. --- I do not know the magistrate's name. I'm sorry, I do not know.
What court was it ... (intervention) --- I didn't have any documents with me. My husband had all the documents. I don't know what to do now because my husband has passed away.
You've just said Pakathi's now dead. What killed
him. Was it natural death or ... (incomplete) --- I do not know. I only heard rumours that he was assaulted at the Themba location. Apart from that, I don't really know exactly what happened.
You have spoken also about Captain Hobo. Where is Captain Hobo? --- I do not know. I recently went to the police station to ask where he was. They said they did not know his whereabouts.
Does the station commander of the police station at Welkom not know where he is? --- No, I was just asking, enquiring. I didn't specifically go to the station commander. I was asking people who work at the police station to tell me where he was and they said they did not know.
Thank you. Anyway we've got to go there and ask if we want him. Were you given a death certificate for your son's death? --- Not even an indiction, Sir.
There was not a certificate? --- Nothing, Sir. I never saw the death certificate with my eyes. Yesterday I went to the Commissioner's office to try and get one but I couldn't get hold of one.
Are you working? --- I am unemployed.
You just said that you had three children. Are they in school? --- No, the are married. They have their families now. I'm staying alone.
How do you support yourself, Mama? --- I don't know. I'm really battling. Sometimes I go to bed without any food. (Witness weeps)
(Inaudible) ... Mama, I know the pain you're suffering. You said your husband died. Was your husband sick when he died? --- (Transcriber's note: /Channel
Channel used by interpreter now functioning.) Yes, he was sick.
Was he working anywhere? --- Yes, he was working.
When he died did you get anything from his employers? --- Yes, I got something, Sir.
Which was not much? --- No, Sir, it wasn't that much.
Thank you. I was very sorry to hear your story, Mama. It is just unfortunate that the station commander did not co-operate and help you and also that the magistrate, who knew the killer of your husband, was not persuaded to arrest him and try him before the courts of the law. Now, I'm going to ask some of my colleagues if they have got any questions they want to pose.
MRS GCABASHE: I greet you Mrs Chaka. I only have just one question. How old was Patrick at the time of his death? I was just asking how old was Patrick at the time of his death. --- He was 15 years old.
Was he schooling? --- Yes.
The ones that you have said they are married, were they married at the time of this incident or they were not married? Were they staying with you? --- Yes, they were staying with me at home.
How were they affected? --- Patrick's death really affected them.
What did you see that you would say they were affected? --- Patrick was the only boy among - they were so lonely because Patrick was the only boy. They only had one brother.
Was he not as school at that time? --- They
were still at school.
How do you feel now? --- I'm not well. I'm sick.
If you say you are not well, what do you mean? --- I am sick.
What illnesses do you have? --- I'm always dizzy and I'm always fatigued.
Have you been to the doctor? --- Yes, and the doctor said I had high blood pressure.
What else? --- I do not sleep at night. I'm so scared.
Haven't you consulted the traditional doctors or the ... (incomplete) --- No, I've never been to such doctors.
You said you're not working. Do you get pension? --- No.
Do you have any request from the Commission? --- I don't really know what to ask from the Commission. Only the Commission knows what I need. I don't know really what should I ask from you.
Thank you very much. We have listened to your story. Are you still attending the doctor? --- I don't have money to go to the doctor.
Are there no clinics around this area where you can go free? (Side A ends. Side B commences mid-sentence with no overlap)
CHAIRMAN: ... Mr Dlamini?
MR DLAMINI: Thank you, Mama, just one question. Can you still remember the name of the investigating officer, the detective who investigated the death of your son? --- I can't remember the name, Sir.
CHAIRMAN: Any other question from the Commissioners. Well, thank you, Mama Josephina. The Commissioner has listened to your story. We shall see what we do about it. We'll try to Captain Dluku(?) to make investigations about him, where he is. Maybe he's the one how will tell the story because Pakathi now is dead. Thank you very much for coming forward.
CHAIRMAN: Now the next person to come forward is Pint Nqoi.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESS
CHAIRMAN: Pint, before I ask Mdu Dlamini to lead you, can you stand for to take the oath.
PINT NQOI (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Now, I'm going to ask Mdu Dlamini to help us in leading this witness.
QUESTIONED BY MR DLAMINI:
Good morning, Mr Nqoi. --- Good morning, Sir. You have come to share with us the incident which took place on the 1st of April 1990 involving your son Moses Makhetha Nqoi who was born on the 19th of September 1971 which means that at the time of the incident, which is death, he was 19 years of age. Is that correct? --- That's true, Sir.
Perhaps before we get into the story of what happened to your son, would you please tell us about other members of the family. You wife, if she's there and other children. Are you married? --- My wife is still alive. I have four children together with Moses.
Is your wife present here? --- At this moment she's at home in Kokstad.
I see. So she couldn't come to be with you. --- Unfortunately that's true. She was not able to come.
On behalf of the Commissioner we would like just to extend our support to you and her as well and the rest of the family. If you would just convey our regards to her. --- I thank you, Sir.
The other four children that you mentioned. How
old are they? Are they at school? --- At this moment I have only one child who is at school. That's a boy. But the other two they are working. This Moses I'm talking about, he's not working or schooling.
Can you tell us what happened on the 1st of April 1990? --- It was in the morning. I was still lying on my bed at home. Then people were shouting outside and they were saying that I should come quickly because my son has fell down. He was shot by Pakathi's group. It was when they were coming from the Roman Catholic church going to attend a meeting of the ANC at the church. At the time when he left I was not sure at what time but what I've learnt is that it was true that I should go and look where my son was shot. Then I got the fact how many people were there. Then people said there were many Kombis and they were chasing these people from the Roman Catholic church when they were singing in the morning and then they chased them. Those people who were chasing them were Sinqani and company. They were chasing our children with the Kombi. I only saw the place where he fell but I was not sure how he was assaulted. They chopped him on the head. Then I picked him up there. Then I took him to the hospital. At the hospital they sent him back to me. They stitched him only. When this boy arrived at home whilst he was sleeping I could see him jumping from the bed in his room. Then I asked my wife, "Do you find that there is something going on in the house?" When I went to look for my son, he was shivering. Then I took him to Dr Zazi(?). This doctor told me only one thing. He has the chance of living which is 50 to live 50 per cent to
die. Then I was forced to take this child. This doctor gave me a letter to take him to Beranomi(?) right away. I took him to hospital called Beranomi. Then I went out to look for transport because I was at home. I was unemployed until even today. I took this child to Bloemfontein. I was helped in Bloemfontein. Even now he's still epileptic and I've no hope that he will do anything in his life. He's just a man who's going to be just in the house. That's the problem I have with my child. He is a person who's just confined to be in the house and he always has fits. He gets free tablets from the hospital.
Thank you, Baba Nqoi. You mentioned that he was killed by a Pakathi group. We heard earlier on from the first witness that there was a Mr Pakathi. Can you tell us more about this group? How did it come to be named after a certain individual? --- Shortly the truth is the work of the councillors at that time, I didn't have the full picture how they started, particularly that how come Pakathi was so notorious. Our councillors, yes, this Pakathi was working. He was going anywhere where he liked. Even within the police or whoever couldn't control him but he was doing everything. He was giving instructions for people to be confined in their houses and there was nobody who was walking in the street.
Amongst the people who assaulted your son you mentioned Fincani. Did you know any other people? --- This one among the people who were in the Kombi. It was revealed that he was one of the people who were in the Kombi at that time.
They couldn't identify others, did they? ---
Even if they were known, but I don't see them any more.
And Mr Fincani is he still around? Do you know anything about him, his whereabouts? --- I hope that he's still in Tabong but there might be another way but I'm not sure where he is right now. But I believe he's still around Tabong.
Your son, is he still under treatment for epilepsy? --- Unfortunately he gets this treatment. I took him to the specialist and then they told me that they would not give him a disability grant because he's not amputated. His skull was broken and there's a specialist who told me from Bloemfontein. They give him only tablets.
Sorry, I missed one point which is very crucial. You mentioned something about the disability grant. Did you say that his application was refused? --- Yes, that's true. Even his papers were written "afgekeur".
Is he capable of doing any work? --- He's working at a particular time but many of the time he is not able to work.
Obviously this incident affected you as a family and if my observation is correct, how did it affect you? --- We're affected in I lost the person whom I thought would be the head of the family, whom I thought would be the bread-winner. So this thing has made me hopeless because he was the one I had faith in him.
And normally these things affect mothers more than fathers. How is his mother? --- His mother is - she was living under difficulties. She had high blood and I'm not able to talk to the mother all the time. Every time when I took the child to Bloemfontein she lost hope /that
that this child would not live any more. Then I always encouraged her not to lose hope.
We have noted your request that you made when you presented your statement that you request help with medical treatment and as well as financial help to keep him going. That has been noted. We don't have any powers to do anything. We can only recommend to people who are in a position to do that, like the State President as well as other government structures. Especially for the financial side of it, the disability grant - the possibility of a disability grant. Thank you, Mr Chairman.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, any other questions? --- That's what I was requesting to the government that in my child's condition how can I be helped for to be given the disability grant.
Okay, that will also be followed up because you have said that you applied for the disability grant and it was refused. We shall also follow that and see how far can we go. Professor Magwaza?
PROF MAGWAZA: Mr Nqoi, I have just a few questions to as. Firstly, relating to the event, who else was assaulted and died at that day? Was it just your son? Just only your son? --- Unfortunately I would say to you if you're a parent after you've heard what had happened, it's very difficult to look around. You only concentrate to what affects you in particular. You only look - you only concentrate to your child and I would not tell about other people who were assaulted or killed on that day. I can only testify about my child.
What I'm trying to say is what was happening in
that particular day? What was happening because some times if there's a happening, there are many people at one time and many people can be assaulted at one particular day in that particular event. --- What I can explain is that during at that time it's true that there are many incidences, there are many things which are happening in the township but when you get a message that your own child is affected in a negative way, it is difficult to try to look around and who is affected again.
Okay, thank you. The second question is I think while interested to give as much help as we can to your sone, can you just give us a more detailed information about his condition. I will ask the question. How many attacks does he have per week. Say, per week, are the daily, are they weekly, are they monthly? --- I think he is attacked three times per month by this epilepsy but I would not be sure how many times per week. But three times per month he's affected by this epilepsy.
Then you said he gets treatment from hospital. When he gets these tablets from hospital do they help to prevent the attacks? --- The way I discussed this thing with this specialist in Bloemfontein he changed his prescription after I told him that the tablets are not helping him. Then the thing is he must eat first and then thereafter he must take the tablets. Then if I'm not working what would my son eat. We only wait for my children that at month end they should send something because any time when he's supposed to take tablets he must have food first.
So you are saying that sometimes he doesn't take tablets because there is no food? --- What I'm saying is that the thrust of these tablets is that they should be supported by the food. In our discussions is that they should give him this disability grant so that he should food all the time before he takes his prescription. But I like that he should get nutritious food so that this would help the tablets to prevent these fits.
You also mentioned that sometimes he does some work. What type of work does he do, or what type of work can he do? --- The kind of work he's able to do is he would only push the wheelbarrow from one place to the other and try to clean the garden and then all the time I'm always supervising him because I feel that all the time he might be affected. He may fall any time and then I should always be there to help him.
If your son had enough food and he was on treatment and he was getting a disability grant, do you think he could work in a way where is protected, the work - some work that was not dangerous? --- The problem is - the way I want to supervise is that no way he would try to do a risky work. He won't be able to do a normal work like any other person. He won't be able to board the truck. Let me put is in this way. In the Coke company or in the beer company he won't be able to carry heavy things because he might be affected, you know, by the epilepsy in that risky work. So I don't trust that he would be able to work any more in his life.
The other thing I wanted to ask is you also said he's mentally disturbed. What do you mean when you say
- when you said he was mentally disturbed did you mean epilepsy or do you mean something else? In your statement you said he was mentally disturbed. --- When I say he's mentally disturbed is when you ask him a question you would find him that he's lost his memory. He would find himself nowhere then you could see that this person has a problem. He takes more time before he can answer your question.
Thank you very much, Mr Nqoi. This is a very difficult situation for you. We as the Commission, we appreciate your strength. You are a very strong person having come forward and to relate to us such a painful story. At the same time we also appreciate that your son is very young. I'm asking these questions because I'm trying to find out if there's any other way we can help your son for the forthcoming years, so many of them, to be able to do something that will be meaningful to him, even if he was getting a grant. How else can we help him to lead a life that is better than what he's living now? Whatever you've said to us we're going to have noted it and we're also going to try and see how we can help with regard to treatment and payment of the treatment. Brother, at this point I would like to ask you one question. How much money are you spending on treatment for your son? Are you paying every time you go to the doctor? --- What I would say my problem is, my child - they have talked that we should not pay a cent because they say there's no way he can pay under those conditions where he finds himself. He goes freely to collect the tablets all the time. Then he drinks them according to the directions. Then after eating he
will take those tablets. But I don't know how to put this. It's so difficult to explain the conditions of my child that how long is he going to keep on taking these tablets? But this ... (inaudible) ... at this age. He takes more tablets and this creates a problem to me. That is why I'm here to find out as whether is there any way he can be helped to stop taking these pills.
Okay, thank you very much, Mr Nqoi.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Regina Gcabashe?
MRS GCABASHE: Mr Nqoi, I have just one question. I don't know if I did understand you well when you say it's a doctor who said he won't be able to get this grant because he was not injured. Do you know the name of the doctor? --- What I would say is I don't know the hospital's conditions by it's the specialist who comes right from Bloemfontein. It's a woman doctor is the one who said that I should make some investigations as to whether how can he get this disability. But this paper which has come from Pretoria shows that this thing is disapproved. So if it comes back, then I said who is going to process this application.
Did you try to take this case to the Welfare Department? --- No, I didn't go to the Welfare Department.
Maybe that would help if you may go and negotiate with the Welfare people. I thank you, Sir.
CHAIRMAN: Mdu Dlamini?
MR DLAMINI: Mr Nqoi, just for record purposes according to your statement you did not report the matter to the police nor lay a charge. Is that right? --- Yes, that's true. I didn't take it to the police.
Would you perhaps explain as to why you did not report it to the police so that proper investigation could be done? --- The reason was that when I discovered about my son's death, it was then that I took him to the hospital. When you go the distance between our area and the hospital, it's too far and then the report which is there, it doesn't go to the police because I had to tell them, the police, but they didn't want them to follow the case because the person who did this is a person who's always in cahoots with the police. It was useless to take this case to the police because this man who did this thing, he's a friend to the policemen and this Pakathi has assaulted my child and he's always with the police all the time.
Although the incident took place some time back would you rather want the Truth Commission to make possible follow-up? --- That's how I'd like it to be.
CHAIRMAN: Just one question. This Truth Commission is about the witnesses and also an attempt to get the perpetrators so that they can themselves come forward an speak the truth. There's something very peculiar here when this Mr Pakathi's been described. It would appear that he was a law unto himself. What do you think - who gave Mr Pakathi this power just to do anything he wanted to do. The police could not touch him. Where does this power come from? We want to get the source of this power as the Truth Commission. Can you help us? --- I'm not able to commit myself but the whole township knows what he's done and even the committee knows where he got those powers. And those councillors should know
where he got those powers but I'm not sure as to whether I will be able to answer that question. We were not able to find out where he got these powers knowing that the police are there and the government was there and we thought maybe that's the source.
You thought that the source was the government and the system. Thank you very much, Mr Nqoi, for telling us your story which is very painful indeed about your son. You know, when you've got children we always put our hopes to our children that when we get old they are the people who are going to be the pillars to carry on the trends of the family. (Inaudible) ... we just appreciate that you were very courageous to come forward and again I want to reiterate again what was said by Mdu that you give our love to your dear wife. We know she must be very much traumatised where she is. We are taking all these points into consideration and maybe you - for the Welfare one of the committee members said that maybe you need to approach the Welfare people. I now that it might be very difficult but we have here the Truth Commissioner co-ordinators. The one I introduced Moses Biso. Maybe if you've got some problems you'll need to liaise with him to help you. Even with this medical, what do you call, assistance you have asked for, you need to liaise with Moses and the ... (inaudible) ... sitting here ... (inaudible) ... sitting here so that we can see what we can do. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: We have already arranged an order here. We know there're some people who are not here but we've rearranged. They'll get their chance. And I think the person who had to come forward now is Joyce Deserire Somogo Modikeng.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESS
JOYCE DESERIRE SOMOGO MODIKENG (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Thank you for coming, Joyce to tell your stories. Now, the person who will be leading you to tell your stories is Mrs Regina Gcabashe.
MRS GCABASHE: Good morning, Joyce. We welcome you. We also thank the effort that you've come before this Commission to come and relate your story as to what happened to you in the past and we want to know as to how you feel about what happened. We want to reveal the truth. We also thank you for having come here not on your behalf but as well as on other people's behalf, that is the other victims and we would like to know the relationship between you and the victims. First of all, what I would like to say to you is I do realise that you have come on behalf of quite a number of victims. So before we even go further we would like you to explain as to how it came about that you are the one who came to represent these victims. --- I can explain this in this manner. I was chosen to come and represent all the victims. We have what we call some society - the community - we come together as a community and take resolutions as to who should represent the victims.
What is the name of this committee? ---
Bereaved committee. We call it bereaved committee.
Is it a committee that reached a resolution that you should come and represent the victims. Just give us a brief background as to who you are, where you come from, how many are you at your place. --- My name is Joyce Modikeng. I'm Mrs Modikeng's daughter.
Do you have a father? --- No, my father has since been deceased. I'm only left with my mother.
Do you have sisters and brothers? --- Yes, I do.
How many are they? --- They are four.
Can you please give us a brief background as to your family? --- There's two of us where I come from then there's two more who grew up at my place.
Can you please tell us about your own sisters? --- My sister if Jacqueline.
How old is she? --- She's 23 years old.
Is she working? --- No, she's not working. She's still at school. She passed her Standard 10 examinations and she's presently doing a computer literacy course.
As well as yourself. --- The other ones are at school. They are triplets.
Triplets? --- That is correct.
Did your mother adopt triplanes? --- No, she did not adopt them but they are my uncles children.
What are their names? --- It's Maria, Magdalene as well as Joseph.
How old are they? --- They'll be 12 years this coming month and they're still at school.
Who's educating them? --- They are being helped /by the
by the State.
All right. I will not delve much into your family. Do these victims that you've come to represent have parents? --- Yes, they do have parents but not all of them. David Mzobe does not have parents. His parents have since been deceased.
And who else? --- The other ones' parents are still alive.
Are the parents still working? --- They are not working because most of them are quite ill. Some of them are quite old and they're pensioners.
According to your knowledge how did their children's death affect them? --- I think that they were adversely affected and they ended up having quite a number of diseases. They suffered from quite a number of diseases.
What sort or diseases are they? --- No, I cannot detail what sort of diseases they have.
Now, let's come back to your statement. You've already told us that they went to join Umkhonto weSizwe. Can you briefly tell us as to when they went away and what was happening at the time they went to join Umkhonto weSizwe? --- At the time there was a disruption in the schools. There were school boycotts and they decided the skip the country and go to join Umkhonto weSizwe.
When you say there was a school boycott, what was happening? What was actually causing the school boycott? --- There were disruptions in the school and the schools were being on and off and there were riots also at that time.
Now, the victims that you are representing, were they members of any political organisation before the skipped the country? --- They were members of COSAS which was a students organisation. All of them together with me.
Now, when they decided to skip the country, how did they come to this decision? --- They discussed it all by themselves and I wasn't there at the time that they discussed this. We discovered this a month later when we couldn't trace there whereabouts.
When they went away did you ever hear as to where they were and what they were doing after they had skipped the country? --- We got some messages from some of those who were coming back who could not go beyond the borders of the country and they came back. Then they told us that these people had skipped the country.
Can you please tell us as to where exactly did they go to and which year was it? --- It was in 1986 but I'm not sure about the date.
And where did they first land? --- They went to Lesotho and from Lesotho they proceeded to Tanzania.
At that time did you hear anything from them? Did they ever write you any letters or contact you? --- No, they never did write any letters and they never made any contact with their parents.
The last time you heard was that they were in Tanzania and what happened thereafter? --- I think we stayed for almost two years and it was only thereafter that we got the message that all of them had died.
How did you come to hear that they had died? --- The ANC office which is based here in Welkom wrote us letters letting us know that they were dead and they had died in Tanzania. We were told they died in Angola.
You say the office in Welkom notified you. Who were they? Who were the authorities? Who were in charge there? --- It was Mr Nyembesi.
What is his name? --- No, I only know that he was Nyembesi. I don't know his first name.
Was he a resident here in Welkom? --- Yes, and he's still alive.
Is he the one who came to tell you that these people had died? --- Yes, he's the one. He was together with his colleagues, his ANC colleagues, but I don't know what their names are. I've forgotten them.
You've talked Oupa Munere in our statement as well as Ace Magashule. --- Oupa Munere was our contact person from Shell House and Act Magashule was a very conversant with our case and he was always advising us as to what steps to take.
When you heard that they had died did you ever get to know as to what killed them or how they died? --- Yes, we were told as to how they died.
How did they die? --- They were shot in Angola. We were told that they had been shot by the commanders of their groups. They were divided into certain groups and each group had a leader. I don't know how to explain this but he was a leader and there were certain commanders who were leading each group. Maybe a group would be comprised of ten members. There were different groups. We don't know their leaders.
Did you ever get to know who their leaders were? --- I knew about Moses Radebe. Moses Radebe was a leader of the group that skipped the country, that is the group of the victims.
Do you mean the leader of the victims who left? --- Yes, he was the leader of the victims.
His name was Moses Radebe? --- Yes, that is correct. The leader was Moses Radebe.
How did you know as to what happened because you say you had no contact with these people? --- There are certain people or a group of people who came back into the country and they told us what had happened to the victims.
Do you know their names, that is the names of the people who came back? --- I know them facially but I've forgotten their names and they're still around in Welkom.
If the Commission could like to establish contact with them, can you point them out? --- Yes, I can because they're members of the MK.
What makes you forget their names because you do see them and you seem to know them? --- We don't have really close contact. I see them facially but I don't know their names.
There are certain other names that have been mentioned. I don't know whether you're familiar with these names. They seem to be connected to your case. Do you perhaps know George Tutu? --- I say I know him because he's in the list. I also know Vuyo Chas. I know Ndoyisile Caule as well. I also know Zoga Baloyi. I also know about Joyce Midube.
Do you know Kani Chauk? --- No, I don't think I know Kani Chauk. I also know David Mzobe.
You don't know Chauk? --- Yes, I do not know Chauk.
Do you know as to who these people died? --- Yes, I know about some of them but not all of them. Because Vuyo was shot by the police, the Brandfort police.
Was there ever any case held or an inquest with regard to his death? --- Yes, his mother was the one who was running up and down with regard to the case but I do no know who was handling the case. I think his mother has all the information.
What is his mother's name? --- Her name is Mary Chas.
Is she still staying in Brandfort? --- No, they are staying in Tabong in Welkom.
How did it come about that these people from Welkom died in Brandfort and Ndoyisile died in Bloemfontein, Zoga died in Cape Town and James died in Tabong. Chauk died in Kroonstad and the other one in Lusaka. Why were they so scattered? How come did they die at such different places? --- They were not residing in Tabong at the present moment.
Do you know how they left the country? --- According to the information that I got was that they left due to political reasons. They skipped the country.
Did they run away or they went to join a political organisation? --- I'm not very certain as to how some of them went away but all of them had gone out of
Do you know anything about Zoga Baloyi and as to how he died? --- Yes, I do. Zoga at the time was in exile and he died in Cape Town after he had come back from exile. He came back from exile and went to Cape Town and that's where he died. He died in Cape Town.
Did you ever get to know as to who killed him? --- I think his mother will be in a position to answer that question.
Do you know anything about him being an askari? Have you ever heard about an askari? Have you ever heard the word askari? --- These were the names that were used where they were.
I did not get that quite well. What was an askari? --- It was a name or a word that as used by these people, the exiles. The people who had skipped the country.
Are you referring to people who were in exile? --- Yes.
What about Kani? What happened to him? --- I think so.
Kani Chauk. According to the record it's stated that he got ill and David died in Lusaka. Is this information correct? --- Yes, it is correct.
Is that how you know it? --- Yes, that's how I know it.
Is there anything else that is left that you would like to say? Maybe something that we left out. --- According to the information that I got I think that is about all that I can say but I would request this honourable Commission to investigate this matter further
because we are not very clear as to the circumstances surrounding their deaths. We would also like to know - as the parents and relatives of the victims, we would like to know what happened. How they died and those who were not buried in here should be brought back into this country so that they can get some decent burial by their families.
What about the parents? What are the parents of the victims saying? Do they know that you have come here before this Commission to testify? --- Yes, they do know and some of them are present today.
We have listened to your story and we do appreciate your request that this matter should be investigated further and that the victims should be brought back to South Africa to get a decent burial. What are you in this committee? What position are you holding? --- I'm the chairperson of this committee.
Thank you very much, Joyce, that you have come to relate this story before this Commission especially because we know it's a very painful situation for youths to die, to be nipped in the bud whilst they're still growing and whilst they were planning to grace this country. You have not yet told us as to what you are doing. Are you working or are you attending school? --- At the present moment I'm not working. I'm still as home.
Why is it that you're not working? --- I was working and I left my job because I'd intended to go back to school next year.
What standard did you pass? --- I got my matric.
And what would you like to do next year when you go back to school? --- I wanted to do some business management courses.
We thank you very much to see that the youth never got discouraged because of the things that were happening before and because of the deaths of certain youths. You behave like soldiers who are still fighting on and you are still very keen to further their education despite the fact that there were certain things that were discouraging you in the past from doing so. We appreciate the fact that you have come before this Commission to reveal the truth and that you're still entrusted that more truth should be revealed. --- The police used to come even after the victims had died. They used to come and harass the families of the victims and they would say that they knew that they had come back and they would not explain as to where they got that information from but they kept on harassing us.
I thank you very much, Joyce.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Are there any member of the Commission who wish to say something? Professor.
PROF MAGWAZA: Again, Joyce, we want to thank you very much for having co-ordinated this effort. And it's quite clear that you have been very, very supportive to the families. I wish more people could be encouraged by what you've done. In the same light I'd also like to give recognition to the families who lost their sons. I understand some of them are here in this room. We'd like to see them. It's their own story. It's their own experience and the Commission does have a lot of interest in these families. Somebody's standing. We
would like to see you all. Thank you very much. I think the other thing is that Joyce has done a very good job but also as the Commission we'd like to get more information about your own experiences losing your sons, about your own needs, about your own situation now. Each family, what's happening to you now. So perhaps what could help the Commission also is if you could come and make your statements as families who have lost individually. We don't want to forget you at the end of the day because at the end of the Truth Commission we'll have this big document with all the details of the families who have lost and we don't want to miss out on your details. You have suffered. You have lost your sons. We want you to be part of this big, big, big vision and mission of the Commission. Some of the information can only be provided by you. So it's just to call upon you that after all the work, Joyce, that has done, that you still invited to come forward and even give your own statements. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Joyce. I want to congratulate you for being the people's choice. That is excellent that the families could have confidence in you and say that you must represent then. That is right according to our Act. The people - groups - can choose one person to represent them and they've chosen you to come and represent them. Now, I'm just going to pose some few questions, Joyce, because I want us to get down to the roots of this thing. You have said that these people when they were in Angola they were in different groups. Is that true? --- Yes, that is correct.
And each group had a leader. Is that true? --- /That
That is also correct.
Were these groups all the ANC groups in Angola? --- The ones who had left - the victims - were members of ANC as well as MK members.
So all these groups were the groups of the MK members in Angola? --- Yes, that is true.
Is it true, did I understand you very well when you said that these people you represent, when they were there they belonged to different groups and one of the leaders was Moses Radebe? Is that true? --- Yes, it is so, but when I said there were different groups, what I meant was that when they got to Tanzania they were all members of the MK but they were divided into certain groups which were falling under different names, Mzombe as well as Stimela but they were all members of the MK.
Do you think that the other members of the MK would know how these people died? --- I believe so because those how came back also know about this.
What do they know? --- They know about the victims as to how they died.
How did they die? --- We were told that they were shot and some got ill.
They were shot by whom? --- I cannot really commit myself on that score but I was told - I would like to believe that they were killed by certain soldiers with whom they were in Tanzania.
By fellow MK members? --- Not MK members.
What types of soldiers? --- It was UNITA soldiers because they were fighting with the UNITA soldiers.
Thank you. I wanted that to come out clear. I was /pushing
pushing you. So you think that they were killed by the UNITA because they were fighting with UNITA. I wanted that to come out clear for our records. The last question now. This is a pastoral question to you. These were your comrades. You were part of them and they left you and remained behind and you never saw them. They died. How did this affect you emotionally as a fellow traveller? --- I got very ill to such an extent that I was mentally disturbed and at that time I was still at school. Then after quite some time I was taken to a doctor and I feel better than I did then.
Are you still taking any treatment? --- Not at the moment because I couldn't afford that type of treatment.
Yes, it would appear that you are also a victim indirectly. Maybe you need also to see that you get treatment somehow. Anyway thank you very much for this, for coming up, for the trust which the people have laid on you and as Professor Magwaza has just said, those parents are still free to come forward as individual families to put their stories. The aim of the Truth Commission is that people must speak out the pain, should not internalise the pain which they have inside. I think she's trying to say that they must also come up and speak out and take out this pain which is so much ... (inaudible) ... a cancer in themselves and that will release them emotionally. Thank you very much. You can also encourage them to come forward. Thanks a lot. --- Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: Before tea, let's take just one. That is witness Jackson Xhamfu and Janu Morabi and they will be led by Professor Simangele Magwaza.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESS
CHAIRMAN: Lapa, I see that you are two who have come forward. Who is Jackson Xhamfu?
MR XHAMFU: I am Jackson Xhamfu.
CHAIRMAN: And Jani Morabi is the other one?
MR XHAMFU: Morabi's not present.
CHAIRMAN: (Not interpreted)
MR XHAMFU: This is my wife.
CHAIRMAN: What's her name?
MR XHAMFU: Her name is Aletta Xhamfu.
CHAIRMAN: Before you even start to relate your story ... (incomplete translation)
MR XHAMFU: I would like to speak Xhosa.
CHAIRMAN: (Not interpreted)
MR XHAMFU: I do, but not very clearly. I would like to speak Xhosa.
MRS XHAMFU: I speak Xhosa and Sotho. I don't know any Zulu.
CHAIRMAN: I'm going to speak English then so that we don't have problems if you know ... (inaudible) ... can you both stand up and take an oath. Are you both going to speak? Both of you are going to speak?
MR XHAMFU: Yes, we are going to speak together. My wife is going to start then I'm going to speak last.
ALETTA XHAMFU (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for coming, especially to come as a family because when we have these incidents we need to have a family fused together supporting each other. This is very encouraging and I wish it could be the model to many families. Now, you are going to be led by Professor Simangele Magwaza when you tell your stories and you said that it is the wife that is going to begin first. Professor Magwaza?
PROF MAGWAZA: We thank you very much for having come here today to tell us about the story of your son. This is an experience that has been shared by many families but what you are going to tell us today is also your own experience about the loss of your son. According to the statement here we have Mr Jackson Xhamfu who lives at No 3805 Tabong and he was born on the 4th of April 1937. You wrote the statement and the statement you wrote is about the violent death of your son Ndoyisile Albert Xhamfu who had gone into exile to join the ANC. What we don't have about your son in this statement which I think we don't have the correct date of birth. In the statement is says he was born in 1986 but I know he wasn't born in 1986. When was your son born? What was the date of birth of your son? --- He was born in 1966, on the 3rd of November 1966.
Mama, you said you were the first person to speak. Could you tell us briefly about your son? You have told us the age. Was he at school when he went away? How did he go, why did he go, and what was happening at that time? Just give us a complete picture about your son. --- In 1986 my son Ndoyisile was attending school at
Lebogang and he was doing Standard 10 during that year. Then in July, that was on the 14th, that was the last time that I saw him and I heard later on that they had skipped the country and they had gone to Lesotho. We got the message later on after they had skipped the country. At the time he was being harassed by the police and we were having absolutely no peace at home and at the time in 1986 some were arrested during the state of emergency and I think Ndoyisile decided to skip the country then. We stayed up to 1991, that was the first time that I heard when we were told in 1991, we got a message from the offices of the ANC, that was in January but I don't remember the date quite well but it was in 1991. Mr Xhamfu was not present on that day and I had to rush off to the ANC offices and as I was still preparing myself to go to the Welkom branch, certain members of the ANC came and they picked me up. They wanted Mr Xhamfu as well to come but there was no transport. So I decided that I should be the one who goes there. I told him to be left behind because there was no transport. I went to the offices and was told to speak to a certain man called Jani Mohapi and Jani Mohapi is the present mayor in Bloemfontein. It was myself together with other ANC members. And when we got to Jani Mohabi, Jani Mohabi was surprised that we did not know that my son had died. And he told me that at the time that he got arrested by the Bloemfontein police, when he got into the police station, the very same police who arrested him told him that Jani as well as David had been arrested and that was the last time that I spoke to Jani and he related this story to me.
And when I came back I told my husband together with other members of the ANC.
I would like to ask a few questions before you carry on. When you son skipped the country and went away who told you that he had skipped the country? --- We received telephone calls. He called me and he said "Mama, I am in Lesotho," and I said to him, "What are you doing in Lesotho?" He said, "I have no choice. The South African police said they were going to shoot me dead." And it is true. Every time they wouldn't get hold of him at home and the message they would leave was, "We are going to kill him," and he decided to skip the country until in 1991 when I heard about this.
You say that he was harassed by the police. What did they actually do to him before he left? --- As a parent I knew that he was a member of COSAS at the school where he was studying. He took a part in politics.
So you say the police used to come to your home. What would they do to him? --- They would come looking for him. At the time I had two boys. It was Ndoyisile and Victor. If they couldn't get Ndoyisile, they used to pick up Victor and they would take him to the cells and I would be left alone at home until the next day when they bring him back. And they would interrogate him. They would tell him to take out his brother.
Did they ever harass you or your husband? --- No, they were not harassing us but as parents they were harassing us spiritually because they would take this last born Victor and they would take him away. I
remember one day they took him to the police station and they assaulted him and his ears were severely injured and as a parent I would be emotionally harassed.
According to your statement Ndoyisile came back in 1987. Did you know that he was already back before he died? --- I didn't know that he was back. I only heard from Jani Mohabi that Ndoyisile was killed in 1987 and he was in Bloemfontein.
Okay, and according to the records you only heard about that in 1991. So Ndoyisile was killed in 1987. You knew nothing about it and you only heard in 1991 that he had been killed and you heard that from Mohabi. Is that correct? --- That's correct.
I would like to follow your relationship with Mohabi. Did you know Mohabi before? Has you seen him in the township before he told you this story? --- I didn't know him. I didn't know him really.
Can you tell us more - give us more details about what Mohabi said to you? According to the statement Ndoyisile was with him when he was shot and killed and Mohabi, because of harbouring a terrorist who was supposed to be Ndoyisile, and Mohabi was sent to Robben Island. Does it mean that Mohabi was sent to Robben Island, they probably didn't have time to tell you what had happened to Ndoyisile? What did he say to you about the circumstances around Ndoyisile's death? --- Jani Mohabi didn't tell us the circumstances around Ndoyisile's death. That is the reason I'm here. I want the Truth Commission to investigate this matter thoroughly. What happened that Jani was arrested and Ndoyisile was killed. I would like that kind of
information to come out. I'd really like to know what happened.
Have you spoken to Mohabi since you met him the first time? Have you only met him once and that was it? --- I didn't see him last on that day. He was supposed to come to the funeral when we were burying the bones but he never came. I only see him at the ANC offices when there are councils, when there are meetings. He is part of the ANC. I always meet him there because I'm always present in such meetings. But he doesn't say anything to me. Even if I greet him and every time I introduce myself and he would look surprised. This happened three times after Ndoyisile's death.
Do you have an idea where this death actually happened? Do you know where the house - can you tell us where the house was? Where did Ndoyisile die? --- I really do not know. I want to know. I would like to know because I'm a parent. On that same day Jani Mohabi didn't give us full details. He only said he will come back to us. I was so disturbed I didn't know what to do. But what I'm telling you today is true. It's exactly Jani Mohabi's words. The ANC men that were with him asked him, "Do you want to take this woman to this house?" and I said to them, "Come on, guys, I am scared. I don't want to go now."
Thank you very much for that information. Now, can you tell us what happened thereafter because according to the statement your son was shot? He was buried as unknown and you didn't know about it and the ANC had to help you to re-bury your son. Tell us more about what
happened about his burial. --- I will request Mr Xhamfu to give an explanation because I was so weak I couldn't bear it any more. Mr Xhamfu took initiatives thereafter to get his body exhumed to be re-buried. He will explain further.
JACKSON XHAMFU (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
PROF MAGWAZA: Baba Jackson, can you explain to us what happened? --- I'll just give you an explanation as to how this happened and what happened. During the year 1991 I was working at a firm called Reebeck and I was a driver there. As I was still working as a driver in that particular firm that was the time when the President, Nelson Mandela, was going to be released from Robben Island and that was the time that the exiles were supposed to be coming back into the country. And as we were seeing most of the exiles coming back into the country we also had expectations that our son would also be amongst the ones who were coming into the country. Unbeknown to us it wasn't going to be like that. Our son had died a long time ago and nobody notified us as to his death. And the first time we heard about this we were traumatised emotionally together with my family to such an extent that as I was employed as a driver I was involved in an accident where I hit a pole at work because I was not concentrating and that's how I lost my job. Up till today I'm not working. After I had lost my job, just a few days thereafter, after we had heard about my son's death, we took further steps to try and establish cause of death. Up till we got to Bloemfontein, I went together with other members of the
ANC and I believe that was in March 1991 when we went to Bloemfontein with the ANC members. When we got to Bloemfontein it was myself as well as the other members of the ANC but my wife was not there because she was working at that time. They told us that there's a certain man by the name of Jani Mohabi who had just returned from exile. He was actually from Robben Island. And he is the one who had come with this message that Ndoyisile had died and he had died in 1987. During all this time we were not notified. We did not know anything about my son's death. We got to know about my son's death from Jani Mohabi in 1991. And I wanted him to explain to me as to how my son was buried. He told us that we should go to the funeral undertakers that is Goodwill Funeral Undertakers. We got to Goodwill Funeral Undertakers and the gentlemen we got there told us that it was true that my son had died and was buried in 1991. His corpse was given to him by the State so that he would be buried as an unknown body. He continued to bury my son. He also gave me the grave number as well as his name, Ndoyisile Xhamfu. I further asked this gentleman as to why they had given the body to him because it was an unknown body but he also told me his name, that his name was Ndoyisile Xhamfu. How did it come about that he knew his name whereas he was initially labelled as an unknown body. He explained to me that he only got to know my son's name later on and that he was from Welkom. He asked me as to whether I was his father. I said yes, I was Ndoyisile's father. He asked me as to what I wanted him to do. I said I wanted my son's remains and I want to take them with to
Welkom so that I can give him a decent burial. He said we should go to the police station because it had some to the surface that this was not an unknown body. His name was known. His parents had come and they wanted the remains. So he was not refusing. He said we should go to the police station to have the remains exhumed. We proceeded to the police station which was situated there within that residential area and we spoke to a certain Sergeant Ntamo. Sergeant Ntamo took me to certain places where I was filling certain forms and I was told I should submit my name and I should sign certain forms. We went to a police station which was situated in town. I think it's the very last Bloemfontein police station which is at the south of Bloemfontein. He retrieved a certain file. It was a big brown envelope which had my son's photos in it. And I was listening to him when he was calling this file number. He said this number is 77/87 and they looked for the file. They retrieved it and they have it to him. He opened up the envelope and he took out my son's photos and he allowed me to have a look at them and I saw that this was my son. I identified him from the photos. He was naked. I could see his face and I could see his forehead which had a bullet-hole in it. And I looked at his whole body. It had so many bullet-holes and it was apparent that he had been shot more than 200 times in the body. I asked as to how it happened that he was shot so many times because it was sufficient for him to be shot only once in the head and this sergeant said to me, "These were not the bullets but it was a hand-grenade that he was having with him." I told them
that I did not know how a hand-grenade works but I believed that I could not recognise him if he was blown up by a hand-grenade and I did not want to believe that he had been blown up by a hand-grenade. And I asked as to who had shot my son and how many people had shot my son but he could not give me an explanation and he said, "You have seen your son's photos. Now you should go." And we moved out of the police station. I asked them to give me one of these photos so that when I buy my son I should be able to make an obituary which has a photo of him and they told me that the law did not permit them to give me any of his photos and I left without anything in my hands and we came back to Welkom. We decided that this Goodwill Moshai was going to tell us after the remains had been exhumed and we would take the bones to Welkom for the burial. I was notified later on and I went to fetch my son's remains from the mortuary. I looked at the bones. The first one that I took was the skull. I took the skull and I had a thorough look at it and I saw that these were my son's remains because this skull had this bullet-hole in it. And I knew his dental formula and I looked at his mouth and I saw that these were his teeth and that's how I could identify my sons remains. And I took these bones and brought them with to Welkom with the help of the ANC. That is about all I can say. That is all I know about my son's death. Now I would request this honourable Commission to try and find out - I want to know as to who was there in the house - that is the house in which he was attacked or shot dead. Who were the killers or who was the killer. I would like this Commission to try and find out this
information because I am desperate. I want to know more about my son's death.
Thank you very much, Baba Xhamfu. This is a very painful story and I think for you to be able to relate such finer details, it indicates that you are one of those people that were very strong. Quite as strong as your son. Your son died as being a hero. And also I think because of your strength you and your wife being so supportive to each other you managed and you put every effort to re-bury your son. At least today you know your son had a dignified burial. Many of the parents still don't know where there children are but nevertheless it should not ease your pain because there's still lots of unanswered questions. We hope we are going to try as much as we can to help people to provide answers for those questions. I will just ask a few last questions. Your family, you told us that there were two sons. Do you only have one son now? --- That is correct.
Or you had five sons. What happened to them? --- The eldest is 28 years old. It's a boy. The second one is 26 years old. She's a girl and she's married. And the third one is 22 years old. And the fourth one is 20 years old and the last one is 18 years. There were six including the deceased.
Are they all working? --- No, the eldest is not working. The three are still at school.
Only one is working? --- Yes, this other one is married.
Aletta, are you working? --- Yes, I am working.
So you are the breadwinner? You're the only
breadwinner in the family? --- That's correct. I work three days at the ANC offices.
Can you tell us briefly about your health? How has this affected your health and that of your family? --- I cannot explain because I'm always in this condition. Especially when I remember my son. Especially when I look at his age group. I keep on telling myself he would be working for me today and I keep on telling myself I would be living like a queen.
Your husband, Mr Jackson Xhamfu, you lost a job because you were so disturbed by your son's death. How are you feeling now? --- I'm very traumatised and I'm very disturbed about my son's death. I think that as other children are now working for their parents, probably he would also be working for us and he would be our breadwinner. He would be building his own and he would be maintaining us as I've already lost my job and I cannot get a job because they keep on telling me that I'm rather too old now to get a job. Now I'm destitute. I'm being supported by my wife and she's also having a piece job only for three days. I'm destitute. I've got no ways to make ends meet.
To what extent has it affected your other children? Are they coping? --- They were also very traumatised emotionally. They were disturbed. The whole family actually was disturbed. All of us because we lost a son, they lost a brother and the manner in which he died traumatised them even more. But because death is something that will always be there, at times it feels like we have forgotten about his death but there are days, very dark days, when we talk about him, when we
miss him, and this traumatises and disturbs the whole family because there are times when we just feel like talking about him as if he was there.
Okay, thank you very much, Baba. We thank you very much for such a detailed information about your son's death and circumstances of his death. We will honour your request and we will do as much as we can and also when we make our final recommendation we'll keep your family in mind. But also again I would like to say you are a strong, close couple and I think it's one of the things that has helped you through this process. Thank you very much. Some of the families actually break. We've had some of the families where they've lost a child and the family simply falls apart. But in you it looks like you've just gone stronger and stronger. Thank you very much. --- My last request to this Commission - I would like this Commission to investigate further as to why Bloemfontein - Bloemfontein is quite near Welkom - why wasn't I told earlier on that my son had died so that I could take my son's body and bury him? Why did they bury him as an unknown male? Where did they get this right because I was just nearby? I want the Commission to try and find out as to why his death was hidden.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr Xhamfu, we have noted that. It would appear that in your family you have another victim - Victor. In your statement you said that Victor had many detentions which resulted in him being affected in hearing. His ears were affected. --- That is true.
How is Victor now? --- He's surviving but this
has affected him so drastically because puss always comes out of his ears and he's suffering from hearing because ... (incomplete translation)
Does he get any medical treatment? --- No, he's not getting any medical treatment. Whenever he is not feeling well we always take him to the doctor just for him to get treatment for that particular moment. Then thereafter he would cease to take the treatment. Then after some time whenever he gets these attacks we will take him to the doctor. That's how we survive.
Is he working? --- No, he's not working.
So he's also another victim in your family because he suffered under the police under the old regime. Maybe his case too needs to be attended to and his case needs to be referred to, as I said before, to our co-ordinators who are here so that they can see what can happen with him. Baba, your story is very painful. It's a common story of many parents in our country who had children especially sons. Very painful indeed to have our son killed somewhere and buried and you hear after a long time that your son is buried. There is nothing which is precious to a parent like a child. It reminds me of the old story in the Bible when King David cried bitterly and he had to fast even for the son who wanted to kill him. His own son wanted to kill him but when he heard that his son was killed he cried bitterly - that was Absolom - showing how much emotionally the parents can be about their own children when they are killed. We thank you for coming. We feel the pain with you. We're experiencing it now ourselves and, as the Commission members have just said, we'll to see that
your requests are taken to the President for consideration. We don't guarantee that what you have asked for will be given but we'll try out best because yours is a very painful incident. Thank you very much? --- We also thank you.
CHAIRMAN: We are supposed to break. Let us not move, please. I thought I had said the process except the councillors ... (inaudible) ... that one, I thought when we began I said the process is going to be that we must discipline ourselves. It's only witnesses who will go first when we stand remaining quiet until they leave, etcetera. We are just sorry, the Commissioners, that tea - as we go for tea - is only provided for the witnesses. We are very sorry about that. We were unable to provide tea for everybody. It is only provided for the witnesses and we're going to come back at 12 o'clock sharp. Please, let us come back and be seated quietly at 12 o'clock sharp. Now, as we stand, I'm going to ask the briefers to lead out the witnesses. May we stand, please.
CHAIRMAN: May I know among you who is Theresia?
MRS MOSIMANE: I am Theresia.
CHAIRMAN: And the other one is who?
MRS MOSIMANE: This is my daughter, Sir.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Is your daughter accompanying you?
MRS MOSIMANE: Yes, this is my daughter, Sir.
CHAIRMAN: Will she also speak or she's just accompanying you?
MRS MOSIMANE: No, she's just accompanying me.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. Mama Theresia, can you stand you and take the oath that what you're going to say here is true, God being your helper.
THERESIA MOSIMANE (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Mama Mosimane, thank you very much for coming and also we appreciate the fact that you're accompanied by your daughter. It shows that this family is together and they're supporting each other. We appreciate that very much because when you suffer so much you need to be together and support each other. Mama Theresia, you have come here to tell the story about the death of your son. Is it true? --- That's correct.
And your son's name is Sabata Francis, that's true? --- That's correct.
Can you just give us the picture of your family? Who are you and your family? Where do you live? How many children? Is there the father or not, etcetera, etcetera, so that we have the idea about your family. /--- Sir,
--- Sir, do you want me to tell you how many are we at home or in my family?
I mean your immediate family. That is your husband, if he's there, and your children, not further, not the extended family. --- I have four children. Two of them are my sisters, my daughters. The fifth one was this son whom we're going to talk about among these four daughters. I have no husband.
How old are your daughters? Are they still in school or what? --- Three of them are married. The last one and my daughters they are still at school. And another one is my daughter's who is at school.
So another one is your grandchild? --- Yes, two of them.
Thank you. Do you still live at 6 Erasmus Street, Rheerderspark? --- Yes, Sir.
And that is where you were born? --- No, Sir.
Where were you born? --- I was born in Lesotho.
Oh, born in Lesotho. Can you tell us about what happened on the 29th of May 1990? Just give us a story about what happened. I'm going to help you through. --- On that day it was around 7 o'clock in the evening when a commotion started. It was the last day. We heard many shots. We thought maybe the syndication or in the bedrooms. It was that time when my son was outside but inside the yard. We were unable to go and look where he is. These gunshots, we heard them many times and the time when we looked through the window the police were lighting us with the big torch and they were asking what were we looking for and the police were just near the house. We closed that window and the whole
night we were standing an nobody was able to sleep. Tomorrow morning we started to look for our son. We went to the hospitals, we went to the police stations. We phoned Bloemfontein. In Bloemfontein they told us that there is a person here whom we should look at 4 o'clock. We went there at 4 o'clock. When we arrived there we found him there. He was helpless. When we looked at the bullets in the kitchen door that was a time when I thought of going out, at that time I heard some sound then I closed the door again. That's the way we lost him.
Was your son a member of any political organisation? --- He was a member of the ANC, Sir. They buried him well.
What about your other members of your family, including yourself, did you belong to any political organisation? --- Yes, Sir.
What political organisation was that? --- The ANC, Sir.
In your statement you say that - where was your son coming from when he was shot dead? --- He was from the house.
In your statement you said that your son attended the ANC meeting. We it after the meeting that this happened? --- Yes, Sir. It was after the meeting around 7 o'clock at night.
With whom was he travelling when he came back from the meeting? --- He was with his friends.
Do you remember their names? --- I don't remember them well because he had so many friends and now they are old. I cannot remember them well.
You say they're now dead, is that true? --- No, they are still alive.
Okay. But you know some. Can you identify two? --- There are those I know, Sir.
Who are those, do you remember? --- I don't remember their names but I know their faces, Sir.
Do you know where they live? --- I only know one among them where he stays.
Then we could get the information if we wanted it. And you say that your son was shot inside what you call your yard. Is that true? --- That's true, Sir.
Was it common that there were these shootings which were happening in your vicinity or in your area? Was it a common thing that there were these shootings? --- It was not usual. The police were shooting at that time but it was not usual. It was the police who were shooting on that day. They were shooting at random and these children were running in different directions and the police kept on shooting.
Were these the South African police or were they other police? What kind of police were these? --- They were South African police and they were white.
They were South African police and they were white. You don't know from which station they came from? --- I was imagining that they were from Tabong police station.
Tabong police station. Thank you. Is it true and that when you found the body you found that it was stripped? --- Yes, that's true, Sir.
Who did that? --- I presume those people responsible were the police. They took him with a big
After they had stripped him what did they do with his body, do you know? --- I don't know but what I know is that we just got it back.
Where did you find his body? --- We found the body at the hospital, Sir.
Which one? Can you remember the name? --- That's the provincial hospital, Sir.
Did you lay a charge against the police who had killed him? --- Yes, I did open a case, Sir.
Do you know any police or sergeant of commander who was in charge of the case? --- I don't remember because at that time the person who was responsible to lay a charge was my husband.
Your husband was still alive? --- He divorced me, Sir.
Oh, he's still alive. Do you know if the divorce maybe was caused by the frustration which you had as a family after the death of your son? --- It was long after the child has died. It's not far but I think it's because of the problems at home and that he's not working.
Which police station did you open the case? --- I don't hear well, Sir.
I say, in which police station did you open the case of your son's death. You said that you reported - you laid a charge against the police. What station was that? --- I said unfortunately the person who was responsible for laying a charge was my former husband.
Oh, so you do not know. Thank you. --- Yes, I don't know but he told me that the case if with
Mr Mhlambi. Do you know Mr Mhlambi yourself? --- Yes, Sir.
Where does he live now? --- I don't know where he's staying now.
Is he still in the police force? --- He's not a policeman. He's a lawyer, Sir.
Did he give you any reason why the case did not proceed - Mr Mhlambi? --- Since my former husband was going to his offices I didn't hear well what happened to the case.
Where does Mr Mhlambi practice? Is he in Welkom? --- Yes, he's in Welkom, Sir.
Did you get a death certificate for the death of your son? --- Yes, I got the death certificate, Sir.
Do you know what was written on it? What did they say was the cause of the death on the death certificate? --- It seems they discuss at the back are those who caused the death.
Can you repeat it? What was the cause on the certificate? --- I don't understand Afrikaans well but Mr Mosimane said the wounds at the back are the cause of his death.
Do you know who many wounds were they? --- I don't know, Sir.
How has the death of your son affected your family - you and your family to lose a son? --- They were badly affected, Sir, because we have only now daughters. They have no more their son. We thought he would be a breadwinner in the family.
So you have no son now? --- That's true, Sir.
Are you working yourself? --- I'm not working.
Who is supporting you? --- My children are supporting me, Sir.
How is your health? --- Since I started to have high blood at that time but I didn't know that it's high blood then. I learnt when I went to the doctor that it's high blood.
Do you get any treatment for it? --- Yes, I got it. I have treatment, Sir.
Where? --- I take my prescription from the hospital monthly.
And I believe it is free. Is that true? --- Now, lately, I'm not paying anything, Sir.
Thank you very much. Mama Theresia, this is very sad. You lose a son and then you lose the life partner when you have also lost your son. You should be together here now with your husband supporting each other sharing the pain of losing a son and he has also left you. We feel for you and your family and we want to express our thanks and appreciation to you for having had courage as a woman to take up this case of your son even though the father has abandoned the family. Now I'm going to ask some of my colleagues if they have got any questions they want to put to you. Mr Mdu Dlamini?
MR DLAMINI: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mrs Mosimane, I've got two questions which are going to help us to make proper follow up. You mentioned that although a charge was laid nothing transpired. To be specific, can I ask whether there was any inquest, court inquest? --- I don't know as to whether the inquest was done.
Is it because all the records were kept by your ex-
husband? --- He's the one who knows in depth where the beginning and end of what happened.
My next question could perhaps fall in the same category where your husband is the key person but according to your statement or the documents which were submitted to us, it would appear that there was a claim against the then Minister of Law and Order. May I find out about the outcome of that claim? --- In ended nowhere, Sir. Then nothing happened since then.
Do you know you ex-husband's whereabouts? The address or any means that we could use to contact him? --- Yes, I know his address, Sir.
Can you provide us with his address after the hearing. --- Yes, I'll do so.
Thank you, we would appreciate it.
CHAIRMAN: Mama Theresia, thank you very much for responding to the questions so well. We have noted all what you've said. We have noted your requests which we shall pass as a recommendation to the government. We shall do all we can to get the information from Mr Mhlambi who was the lawyer to find out what happened with the case he had taken. The only question which I forgot to ask is had Mr Mhlambi been paid by you for taking this case? Do you know? --- I believe if we can get Mr Mosimane. He's the one who would come up with the information.
Thank you, we shall also try as Brother Mdu has said that we need to get the address where we can find your husband so that we can dig and get all the information even about where Mr Mhlambi is. What happened? Why is it that the case just stopped or why
it was never processed through. Thank you very much. God bless you. --- I thank you, Sir.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESS
CHAIRMAN: I just want to know who is Oupa Mathebula. And there's my other sister who is - Oupa Mathebula, can we know who she is?
MR MATHEBULA: This is Jafta Ntombela's mother.
CHAIRMAN: Is she also going to speak or she's accompanying you?
MR MATHEBULA: She's accompany me as the parent to the deponent.
CHAIRMAN: So she has asked you to tell the story?
MR MATHEBULA: Yes, but the main reason is that I was present when this thing happened.
CHAIRMAN: Then you were the eye-witness. Well, thank you also for the confidence which the mother of the deceased has on you. We are very pleased that you have taken courage. You see, may people, especially in our country, we are losing good stories because some people who were eye-witnesses don't want to come forward. They just don't want to come forward. But we thank you for having had courage of coming to tell us what you saw about your friend Masoleni. And then Mdu Dlamini's going to lead you when you tell your story. Thank you.
OUPA MATHEBULA (Through Interpreter)
MR DLAMINI: Good day. --- Good day, Sir.
Oupa, can you please for our own records start by telling us your relationship with the late Jabulani Ntombela? According to your statement he's referred to as your bother but I can see two surnames. Can you please explain to us? --- I would say this. I grew up with Jafta. When I said he was my brother I said
that because there was no one to come and testify here for him and you can see that his mother is already old.
Can you give us the name of the mother? --- She is Martha Ntombela.
Are they any members of the family, that is within the Ntombela family, that you know of? --- No, the two of us came here today. There're only two of us. There are present members but they are left back at home.
Are these brothers and sisters to the last Jabulani Ntombela? --- Yes.
How many are they? --- They are two in number. The two that are remaining at home.
What are they doing? Roughly how old are they? --- The two of them are working. Steven was born in '57 and his sister was born in 1960.
Thank you very much. As Dr Mgojo, the Chairman of this Commission said earlier, that we really appreciate your help to the Ntombela family showing the relationship that existed between you and the deceased. According to the statement Jafta was born on the 1st of October 1967. Is that correct? --- That's correct.
And according to the statement you were all coming from school on the 17th of May 1986 round about 2.00pm. --- That's correct, Sir.
Would you tell us what exactly happened that afternoon and what were you doing on your way back from school and who came and what happened. Can you tell us in as relaxed manner as possible? --- At that time it was during the unrest ... (intervention)
Just a moment, Oupa. You'll have to raise your
voice. Unfortunately for you, you're competing with the rain now. You'll have to raid your voice. --- We were coming back from school and it was during the time when there were riots when we arrived at a certain corner where we turned. We were standing there talking with my friends.
Just a moment again. A similar request to my interpreter. I seem to be missing him. And again, Mr Interpreter, you're competing as well. Thank you, Oupa. --- At the corner we were waiting, chatting to each other and I was preparing myself to go home and I saw this police van approaching. I don't know where was he heading to but I could see who he was. He stopped and he called Jafta. When Jafta went to him he said, "I've been looking all over for you." He took him into his van and I didn't got home. I went straight to Jafta's mother to explain to her what happened and we quickly went to the police station to enquire as to his arrest. Nobody gave us an answer. They just ignored us. They said we don't have the van you are describing and the person you are talking about, for your information is not at work today. That was an explanation we got from the policemen we found at the police station.
Oupa ... (inaudible) ... you mentioned that you could identify the police officer concerned. Can you tell us his name? --- I know him as Masoleni.
Was Masoleni his surname or first name or the nickname? --- I think it is his surname.
When did you last see Masoleni? Is he still around? --- I haven't seen him in a long time but
according to the information I got from people is that he hanged himself and he died.
I see. Okay, would you please continue if there was something else that you wanted to tell us. --- I would say we went to the police station and they told us they did not know his whereabouts and we came back and we told his mother that he is nowhere to be found and further steps should be taken. And his mother said she will contact the eldest members of the family to see what would happen. And as I was still at school I couldn't disrupt my school term and I just dropped the matter. But we were unsure as to whether he skipped the country also and we decided to leave everything, waiting for the exiles to come back with the hope that we would see him among them.
Thank you, Oupa. Subsequent to that day and all the efforts that you initiated, which I'm sure the Chairman will commend you a great deal for the prompt response you took - but what I would like to find out, are there any clues subsequent to all those things? Did you hear anything whether perhaps rumours that, look, he might have skipped or he might have been killed and thrown into the forest? Any clues that you could help us with? --- Until now I didn't have any information that is why I am appearing in this Truth Commission asking for help.
In your own opinion of whether perhaps it was explicit, why did the police officer concerned take away your friend? --- I don't have the full information, Sir, but I thought just because we were students and we were members of the COSAS maybe that is the reason
because all of us were members of COSAS.
Were there any specific problems between COSAS and the local police at the time? --- Yes, there was a problem at the time because they were harassing us. When we were making some demands they were always against us.
Was there any perhaps specific event that had taken place like bombing of a certain structure, burning of a certain house perhaps belonging to a police or any of the government servants that had taken place in the area? Is there anything that you think might have prompted that kind of action? --- As I said, the police were against us when we made some demands at school. It happened that some of the police properties were burnt but my friend was never there because all the time we were together.
And when you reported the matter to the police charge office, did they issue a CR number or the case number or any record? --- They gave us nothing. They just said to us they would look for the person who was responsible for the abduction.
And can you remember the name of the officer or officers that you found in the police station when you went to report? --- They didn't have their name tags so there was no one I know.
You did not even know by perhaps their nicknames or whatever they were called in the township? Were they complete strangers to you? --- I don't know the names, Sir, but those are the people I used to see when they were moving around with the vans but I don't know their names, Sir.
Are they still at the Tabong police station, the officers whom you reported to? --- I believe some are still there. Others maybe got their pensions but there's no one who was interested in the case. When we arrived there always they would say, "Go home, then we'll try to help you."
If one took you to the police station and if those individuals are there, you would be able to identify them ? --- Yes, I can.
Look, we have noted your concern. I'm sure you are speaking on behalf of the family as well that you would like the TRC to help in resolving Jafta's disappearance. It's not going to be an easy task but what we can assure you and Jafta's mother is our full commitment to try and establish what really happened to Jafta and whether anything belonging to him can still be rescued. I would like to hand you over to the Chairman now.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Brother Mdu. Are there any other members of the Committee who want to say something? Professor Magwaza?
PROF MAGWAZA: Just a few questions I would like to ask you. You said at the time Jafta was abducted there were riots. What were those riots? --- During that time it was a little bit cool but it was during the time when there was unrest. People were struggling for their rights in education. We were students at the time but those who were senior to us, they were giving us the light about the political problems at that time. As people who were ready to struggle, we were trying to fight that bantu education should be removed and for us to get a better education.
Okay, thanks. The other question is you said you were all members of COSAS. Why do you think they singled Jafta. They left you, they only picked up Jafta. What was different about Jafta's involvement in COSAS? --- I wouldn't understand how active in the COSAS activities were but he was a member of COSAS.
You were also a member? --- That's true.
And you knew Jafta very well? --- I grew up with him from an early age.
Did he occupy a position in COSAS? --- The COSAS formation at that time, we had no leaders but all of us were taking an active role. There were leaders in front by he was just among us, the ordinary members.
Before that fateful day had police harassed Jafta before? --- Just like any other child he was harassed all the time and even when we had our meetings the would come to harass and look for information.
This policeman, Masoleni, did you meet him after abducting Jafta before he died. Did you ever see him again or meet him again or speak - anybody spoken to him? --- I didn't have the courage to confront him but he was always some of those policemen who were moving with vans around the township.
Lastly, I would like to know if Jafta's mother wouldn't want to say a word or two. We'd also like to know your own experiences. You lost son. It must have meant something to you.
CHAIRMAN: You can't say anything before you have taken an oath, Mama. If you want to say something, you have to take an oath. Do you want to say something.
MRS NTOMBELA: Yes.
CHAIRMAN: Then can you stand up to take an oath.
MRS NTOMBELA (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
--- This Masoleni, one day when the children were as school he came in my house then he said Jafta has died and he's brought us the report. When we ask him were did he die, he said he collided with a car near the dam. Then I phoned my son-in-law in Kokstad who is a surgeon. Then he came. We went to the police station to look for Masoleni. Then he said it's not him, he doesn't know anything. Then when he's supposed to expose these white women he didn't. But he was not prepared to tell us the truth. Then we went there many times and we couldn't get him. Then my son-in-law took me to Odendaal, at the police station at Odendaal and the mortuary's there. We couldn't get Jafta. Then when we looked for his clothes, they told us that he's already buried. The we said, "Why was he buries whilst we're looking for him?" Then when we looked for these clothes he said he was buried with his cloths. And then when we looked for his tomb, they gave us a wrong number and then when we ran to the police station to ask for the number they said, "This number doesn't exist." Since we tried, up to now we didn't get the full story.
Who told you that Jafta has been buried and who gave you the wrong number? --- I would not know who gave us the number of the tombstone but Sergeant Malebo was responsible for this investigation and then Masoleni told us he's buried with his clothes.
Do you know where Sergeant Malebo is now? --- He's at Kroonstad.
In the police station there? --- He's on pension now so I don't know where he's working. Somewhere in one shop there.
Who is this person who told you that he was buried with his clothes? --- It's Masoleni who told us.
You mentioned two people. Who is the other one? Is it just Malebo? --- It was Masoleni. When I was accompanied by Sergeant Malebo to the police station, Masoleni told us that report.
Masoleni is also a policeman? At which police station? --- He's a policeman. He was a policeman at Tabong.
When Masoleni came home to tell you that your son, he told you - who else was present when he told you that? --- We were two in the house. It was me and my neighbour. The neighbour left. Now she's in the new houses.
Do you know where she is and what's her name? --- Her name is Elsie.
Elsie. Surname? --- It's Elsie Soekmelk.
And you know where he stays now? --- Yes, I know.
It could help if you could give us more information after your testimony here. Secondly - okay, the other thing I want ... (intervention) --- I don't know her number because I'm not able to read.
But you know the house? --- Yes, I know the house.
Can you tell us, Mama, how has this affected you? It must have been a terrible thing that happened. How is your health now? --- I'm sick. The doctor says
I'm suffering from nervous disorder.
Tell us more. What's this nervous disorder? --- I don't know but they are pulling me from the back, from the neck.
What's pulling you from the neck? --- These nerves are stiff at the back, so I could feel that pain from the back.
You're getting treatment from the doctor. Do you have to pay for it? --- Yes, I pay. It has been as long time that I've been to the doctor.
Mama, are you working? --- I'm not working.
Your children, are they working? --- It's Steven and Miriam who are working. But Steven has his own family so Miriam came back from the in-laws, so he's with us.
Thank you very much, Mama, you have given us very useful information and it's a very difficult situation, you know, to know what happened to your son. But for you to come over today and to tell us your story to be able even to be what you are, it means that there is something very strong in you. Probably some of us can learn from you as to how we have coped with this difficult situation. As Commissioners we have noted all your experiences, your needs and, as had already been said, we will communicate whatever information we have to the President and you are one of those people whom we're going to make recommendations about. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: Mama Gcabashe?
MRS GCABASHE: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Opah, when you were talking you said the intention was you wanted to be equal with the whites. That tells me that you have an intention about your life. I want to know as to whether are you at school and what's happening to you? --- I left school now. I'm working.
Where are you working? --- I'm working at auto electrician.
Which standard did you complete? --- I completed Standard 9.
Do you have intention to go forth? --- No. Yes, because I'm doing correspondence courses now. I'm corresponding for my matric.
That's good to see that what we are fighting for you are fighting that ultimately you've got to ... (inaudible) ... so please continue and finish your matric. (Side A of tape end. Side B commences mid-sentence without overlap) --- ... mother.
CHAIRMAN: Well, thank you very much Jafta's mother an Oupa. As a minister of religion this gives me a picture of that story in the New Testament where it is said that when Jesus was about to die he knew that he was going to leave his mother alone and he found a son for the mother. That was John. He said, "Woman, behold your son," and then he looked at the son, the new son given to Maria and he said that, "Son, behold your mother." So that is what I see today that although Oupa was the friend of Jafta, when Jafta left Oupa took the place and became your son to stand with you when you testified and this is great. It is also fulfilling that ...
(inaudible) ... saying. We say that a friend in need is a friend indeed. Many people with many friends, they run away when the other friends need the help. So this is very highly appreciated what Oupa's has done to come with the mother to support her so that the mother could also have the courage to say something about the death of her son.
CHAIRMAN: The only thing which we missed here, which I didn't hear about the name of the son-in-law. What is the name of the son-in-law? Maybe I missed? --- He's Malebo.
Where does he live so that if we want to get more information too from him? --- He's in Kroonstad.
Where in Kroonstad? Do you know the ... (intervention) --- I do not know the number but he stays right in town. But he has to move to a new house.
Okay, anyway you can - if you don't know the number, if we need him we can take you so that you can show us where he is. Well, thank you very much for coming. Strength to you Oupa and good luck in your studies when you correspond. Thank you. As the committee members have already said, we have noted all your requests and we shall channel them through the right sources.
CHAIRMAN: I understand that Mashiya, Rose Denio Mashiya who was not available this morning is now here. EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESS
CHAIRMAN: Before you tell us about your story I would like you to take an oath that what you are going to say here is true, God helping you.
ROSE DENIO MASHIYA (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Thank you for coming, Rose, to tell your story about one of your blood. Now, the person who's going to lead you is none other than Mrs Regina Gcabashe, one of the committee members.
MRS GCABASHE: As it was said that you have come here to tell us about the loss of your son we welcome and thank you that you are able to be here and that you were supposed to be here and be one of those witnesses who are coming to tell us publicly what has happened about your son and many other people who died then. Please be comfortable and tell us exactly what happened. Before we start to tell us about your story, may you tell us about your family. Tell us about your children, your husband, etcetera. --- I have no husband. I have six children. Oupa is my firstborn who was born in 1968.
May you tell us all their ages? --- Oupa was born in 1968 and he's the firstborn. Then the other was born in 1971 and then Ouma was born in 1975, then Mamusa was born in 1977, then Lebogang was born in 1988 - that's '83.
What his name, Lebogang? --- Ja, Lebogang. Then Kempoleng who was born in 1988. Then from there is /Oupa's
How old is Oupa's child? --- He's five years now.
Are there some of them who are working? --- No, all of them are at school but others are still looking for work. The one who is coming after Oupa who was born in 1971 is looking for work. She left school because I've no money to help her.
Are you working? --- No, I'm not working.
How do you live? --- I'm just staying at home and then at times I get a few jobs and then at times I don't get work.
Are you staying with all the children? --- Yes.
And then at school, who's paying for them? --- There are people - I have rooms at the back. There are people who are renting rooms at the back and then these people pay monthly.
Would you tell us what happened to Oupa? Would you tell us exactly what happened before the - in Tabong - what was happening in Tabong during that time? --- Before 1986 he was a leader of the UDF. Around 1984 he was the leader of UDF. Then he was arrested and the police assaulted him. Then Oupa disappeared. Then I leant that he was in Lesotho.
When did he disappear? --- In 1986. Then I went to Lesotho, then I got him there. Then I told him that he should come and stay at home. Then he said he will not come home, he is going forth. Then he left.
Take your time. Take your time, Mama. We know that you are telling us about the painful story. It's painful to many people. --- Then he told me that he
won't come back home. Then I came back home to Welkom. Then around 1986 in June I learnt that they went to Lusaka. Then in '86, '87, in 1988 I got a phone from Zambia - from Tanzania telling me that he's now in Tanzania. Then he told me again that he's changed to Zambia and that I should come to Zambia and bring the passport. This phone came back from Oupa. I talked to him directly. Then he was calling himself Blondie. Then I went to Tanzania - to Zambia. When I arrived at Zambia, I found him there. Then I found that the leader there is Chris Hani - that I should give Oupa a passport.
When you went to Zambia, when was it? --- I went there in 1988, August. Then I went to Zambia. I brought him the passport and some clothes. I found him there.
This passport, did he leave it at home? --- They said I should make a passport in Lesotho.
What was the intention for him to get a passport from Lesotho? --- Chris Hani said I should give hi the passport from Lesotho so that he would be able to move in and out of Lesotho. I stayed for a month and two months in Zambia then I returned home. When I arrived the CIDs came to arrest me, to question me about my trip to Zambia.
Who was asking you those questions? --- That's Venter who was asking me those questions and Hugo. This Venter was a policeman.
Where was he working? --- I was told that they were special branch. The other one was Mogoregi and the other one Rampai. The other one is Mogoregi and the
other one is Rampai. There were two policemen. The other one is Rampai.
Were they special branch members? --- Yes.
When they were asking you about this son did you tell them where he is? --- They asked me, "Are you from Oupa?" Then I said yes. They asked me what was I doing in Zambia then I said I brought him clothes. Then they told me that, "You're not telling he truth," therefore I'm supposed to tell the truth. So I was released, then I went back home. After I had returned, Oupa arrived.
Where was it? --- He arrived at the beginning of 1990. After he arrived I got a phone. It was around 12 o'clock. The person who phoned was telling me as to whether do I know that Oupa has died. It was in 1991. Then he asked me as well, do I know as to whether Oupa has died. Then I said, "Who's Oupa?" Then he said Oupa George Mashiya. He said, "If you don't believe, come to the police station to verify that he has died." Then I asked him, "Who are you?" Then he said, "I'm Tladi Mofokeng." Then I told him that, "You are the one responsible for his death."
What made you think that Tladi was the responsible person? Why do you say that? --- He mentioned on many occasion that Tladi wanted to kill him and he said, "Mum, I do know what have I done to this man." And when a phone call came in to tell me that Oupa was dead and when I enquired which Oupa, he said, "Oupa George Mashiya and if you don't believe let me take you to the police station."
Now, who was telling you that he died? --- The
same Tladi Mofokeng who gave me a call.
But you are talking of Ben here. --- Ben only appeared when we went to court. After he told me whether I knew Oupa was dead, a family member came and they said to me, "You will have to stay back at home. We will go and verify as to whether it was Oupa." And when they came back they said, "Yes, it was Oupa at the mortuary." We stayed in that condition not knowing who the killer of my son was and we received a letter after quite a long time and we were told that the perpetrators had been arrested, then the case will be heard at Virginia.
Can you please stop because now you are mentioning a lot of names and they're confusing me now. Do you know these people? --- Yes, I do, but I saw him for the first time at the court.
What did they say? --- The proceedings of the court went on for two days and Ben was not found guilty. He was released.
Do you know these people? Are they residing in Welkom? --- The one that is alleged to have shot him was from Venda.
Do you know his name? --- No, I do not know his name.
Was he sent by Ben? --- Ben gave him money to kill Oupa.
Do you know Ben's real name? --- No, I don't. You only knew him as Ben? --- Yes, we only knew him as Ben. He wasn't a policeman.
But in your statement it's written that he was a policeman. --- No, I do not know really because the
person that shot - no, I'm referring to Oupa.
In your statement it's written that he is an SAP. --- No, I didn't mention that. I said Mofokeng was a policeman. Tladi Mofokeng was a policeman.
What was Ben? --- Even the person who shot at Oupa was a policeman.
Now, who's Ben? --- Ben is just a resident here at Tabong. He's just a resident.
Now, what is his involvement in this whole story? --- I do not know.
But in your statement it's written. Let me remind you. You said in 1992 your son was shot dead by Ben who is a policeman. Do you remember saying that in your statement? --- No, the police was accompanying Ben.
Now, were you referring to Tladi Mofokeng when you said he was a policeman? --- Now, the Venda guy that I referred to was ordered by Ben to kill and we didn't know that he was the killer but Dudubala went to the police station to give the statement.
Where's Dudubala now? --- He was together with Ben. Dudubala is the person who gave the police information that Ben arranged the death of my son and they were taken to the hostel and there was a white Cressida car. This person came out of the car.
Which hostel are you referring to? --- I'm referring to Ladies Hostel. On their arrival to the hostel they found a white Cressida parked. This man got out of the car and he called Oupa and when Oupa approached him, he took his gun and shot him on the cheek and he drove off to Riebeekstad. He was taken to Riebeekstad.
What is this Riebeekstad? --- It is a suburb. And on his arrival at Riebeekspark(?) they got a red Laurel Nissan - I think it's a Datsun. This man got into this car and he was driven away. That is the statement we got from Dudubala when he was relating the matter to the police.
Now, what happened to others that were arrested with Ben? --- They were all discharged. They were not found guilty at all.
All of them were discharged? --- Yes, they were all discharged.
Who went to the mortuary? Who identified him at the mortuary? --- Masinuku and Kali went to identify him but Kali passed away.
I don't hear you well? --- No, I'm saying Kali went to the mortuary together with Masinuku.
According to your knowledge was Oupa not present. Didn't he come back from exile? --- He came back from exile in 1991, at the beginning of 1991.
Where was he before 1991. --- I'm sorry, it wasn't in 1991. I'm making a mistake. It was the end of 1989. It was the beginning of 1990.
Can you tell us where in exile was he? --- He arrived here but it was not yet the time to come back to South Africa. He had to come and complete a certain mission and he was arrested by the police.
Where was he arrested? --- Rampai and Mogoregi arrested him.
Was it in 1989? --- Yes, it was and he said I'm now giving up. I want to work with you.
Did he say he will co-operate with the police?
And what did they say then? --- They said, fine, he should work with them and they transferred him to Pretoria and when he was in Pretoria they said they did not trust him and they took him further to East London. He was not trusted again in East London and he was then taken to Bloemfontein. They said they did not trust him at all.
What happened from there? --- He was transferred to Bloemfontein and that's where he met his death.
Now, what was the cause? Why didn't they trust him, because he was co-operative enough and he was going anywhere they wanted him to go to? --- No, they only said they did not trust him.
You never came to know what were they actually saying when they said they did not trust him? We have many statements here that we got from the police who said they got him on August 1991. Do you know these policemen? The police who discovered his body in 1991, where did they get him? There are statements here. We have a statement written in Afrikaans here and all the policemen confirm that they found him in 1991 next to Tabong hospital. They explained the condition of this body. Do you know that? --- I only heard from Tladi Mofokeng that my son had been shot dead.
There is a certain Hansie. Do you know Hansie? --- No, I don't.
Is he a policeman? --- Yes, he is a policeman.
And Tladi Mofokeng gave the similar statement. Do you have knowledge of that? --- No.
Let's go back then to the policemen who wanted your son's co-operation. What actually did they want from him? --- They said he should go and find where the bombs were and he should disconnect them. I think there was a bomb in East London and he had to go and disconnect it, or detach it.
Now, was there a port mortem done? --- No.
And the case ended up nowhere? --- Yes.
Is there anything you want to tell us, anything that you have left behind? --- No, there's nothing left.
Who were Oupa's friends when he came back from exile, that is at the time before his death? Do you perhaps know the names of his friends? --- Are you saying here at home? I didn't know his friends. I only know the ones he grew up with.
Was he never at any stage in Cape Town because you said they sent him to Pretoria, East London, Bloemfontein? --- I think he was also sent to Cape Town.
As he was moving around the country was he in contact with your as the family? --- Yes, he used to come home.
Didn't he say anything to you - the details of his work? --- No, he was a quiet person.
But he was telling you that the special branches were using him? --- Yes.
Now, how do you feel now since the loss of your son? --- I'm not well.
If you say you're not well, can you give us an explanation? --- I'm a sickly person. After the
death of Oupa I have got diabetic and high blood pressure. I have this other child who was born in 1983 but after the death of the brother, this child is epileptic.
Are you referring to Oupa's child? --- No, I'm referring to my child who was born in 1983.
Is the child epileptic? --- Yes.
You say this started after Oupa's death? --- Yes, that's correct.
Do you often consult a doctor? --- Yes, I go to the hospital for treatment.
Which hospital are you going to? --- It's Bongani Hospital.
Where is this hospital? --- Right in Tabong.
How is Lebang's condition? --- Lebang is also getting treatment at the hospital.
Haven't you been to a specialist maybe to examine how affected are you? --- I would like to consult a specialist but I don't have money. Sometimes I just go on credit.
We've heard that hospitals are now free of charge. Don't you have such a hospital around Tabong? --- They put everything down. They write it down and they would say you will pay at the end. I pay R15,00 every time I have to see the doctor.
We've listened to your story and we sympathize with you and your son ended up dying in this cruel manner and yet he was trying to bring peace and he was trying to bring change. I can see you are quite disturbed. Are you a church member? --- I'm at the St John's Church.
Don't you sometimes go to them to seek advice? --- I normally go to church for advices.
We have listened to your request. ... (Side B of tape ends mid-sentence. No overlap to next tape which commences mid-sentence) ... try as we put our recommendations forward and you have already mentioned that Oupa left behind a son. We will try as we write a report to the President as to what kind of help can you be given. Thank you very much. --- I also thank you.
CHAIRMAN: Well, thank you, Rose. I know that we have taken a long time but we can't help it because really the aim of the Truth Commission is that the people must empty themselves. There must be a ... (inaudible) ... experience which takes place. We've listened to you. You have also been a sufferer with all those detentions, etcetera, etcetera. You are really a victim yourself. As the committee member has just said that we have noted all what you have said and we shall forward your concerns and requests to the government for consideration. We thank you all for being so patient. I know that you are hungry but you have been very patient which means that you understand this mission - that this mission is for telling stories. We can't stop the people when they are telling stories. That is where the catharsis takes place. Now, we shall adjourn for lunch and then my colleagues here advise me that we should come back at quarter past two sharp. We are left with three case which will take up to quarter past three and we're going to finish in time. Just bear with us. LONG ADJOURNMENT
--------------------- /ON RESUMPTION:
PROF MAGWAZA: We greet you Mrs Ncala and we thank you for being here with us today. In this statement it is stated here that you stay at No 1634 Thokosa Street, Tabong, Welkom and you were born on the 23rd October 1941. You are here to make a statement or to tell us the story about your daughter Anna Ncele who was shot dead by the police. --- That's correct.
Before you tell us the story, we would like to know more about your daughter. She is special. She is very special because she's one of the few young females who died in the struggle so she was in the struggle for women as well. Could you tell me how old was Anna at the time when she was shot by the police? What was she doing? Was she at school or was she working? Did she belong ... (intervention) --- She was still at Lebohang. She born in 1972.
She was born in 1972. She was still going to school. What class? --- She was doing Standard 8.
Okay, fine. Can you tell us more about your family as well, your husband and your children? --- I have five children. Two of them are married. Two of them are students and the other one is no more at school.
Is there any one of them working? --- All of them are not working though two are married. The other one is at the Technikon in Cape Town.
I notice in the statement also that you are married. Is your husband working? --- He's not working. It's for a long time that he has been unemployed. He's unemployed.
He's not with you today. Where is he? --- He's not able to walk so he's at home.
What's wrong with him? --- His legs are swollen so he's not able to walk.
I would like you to tell us the story about your daughter's death. Just start from the beginning and just give us the full picture of what happened on that particular day. --- She was at school on Monday morning and there was an unrest at school and then she was returned from school by the teachers because she was told that police are coming to beat boys in the school. Then she returned. On the way in one of the streets that were full of students and police then they turned and took another street. That is where other police came. When they arrived she was with her sister. Then one policeman arrived there, then he shot her. Then he shot her on the head. When she fell down, when she tried to wake up she was shot again and then her sister came to tell us. Then other students took her to the Kombi, then we took her to Oppenheimer Hospital. Then the father went with her to Oppenheimer Hospital. When she was still there, she stayed there three days. We paid the hospital bills. On Wednesday the doctor called me and informed me that she has been shot by a person who has been trained to shoot twice on the head and these bullets are right inside the head. On Thursday we were informed that we should come again. When we arrived there they told us that she had died. We went back home and then we informed other relatives. Then her father went there to look for her at the hospital and she was nowhere to be found. And then the other
week they were able to find her in the hospital. They were helped by the undertaker trying to look for her in the hospital. They looked for her on Thursday the whole night. Then they phoned one policeman to go and find out where her corpse is. She was found among other people who died so we were able to arrange for the funeral on Friday.
Okay, Mama, there are just a few things I would like to clarify. If you could go back a little bit. What was happening at that time? Why were there so many protests and riots at school? What was happening, if you could remember? --- I don't know exactly what was happening at that time. Children were chased by the police and these police were shooting all over. They were even shooting as us. Even when we were trying to go to the hospital, they were still shooting. We didn't know what was happening exactly.
You say that your daughter came back from school because the police were expected to be going to beat the boys but your daughter was not a boy. Why did she leave school because it was just for boys? --- The teachers instructed the girls to go home because they understood that the police are coming.
Was Anna actively involved in politics? Did she have a position in some other organisation? --- Yes, she was involved in politics. Even the same police who shot her told her that he wanted to marry her and that she should leave politics alone because this policeman told her that his wife died.
Did the policeman really love her? --- He told me that. Then she denied it because she says he's an
Was Anna more involved in politics than others? Why did they single her and shoot here because she was with other people? --- He knew her because he wanted her to leave politics because he wanted to marry her.
So you believe that the policeman, among other things, shot Anna because Anna had refused to marry him? --- Yes, she told the boys whom they were working with and doing politics together, then she told her that she's always giving him problems so that's why she was shot among other students.
Are you talking about Elias Jaboli? That's the policeman you're talking about? --- Anna is my child. Then I believe that that's the same person I'm talking about.
You also mentioned Hugo here, that he was also involved in the murder of Anna. --- Hugo used to come to our house looking for Anna.
Over and above Hugo you also mention Pakathi. How was Pakathi involved? --- After they shot and killed Anna, the police left on that day.
And Pakathi? Tell us more about Pakathi. --- I know that he was the person who was beating people at night in the streets and he was even involved in the shootings in many instances. That's what I know about Pakathi.
I see. Do you know where Hugo or Elias is now? --- This same policeman is still working. The same day when my daughter was shot, one boy who identified him as Elias, so he's still working.
Where is he working? --- At Tabong police
And Hugo is still also in the same police station? Where is Hugo? --- I don't know. I was told that he's staying at Riebeeck.
According to your statement they also burnt Elias' house. Who did that after your daughter's murder? --- I don't know. There were many students who were involved in that incident, those who were burning the house.
Your daughter was murdered. Did you report it to the police station? --- I didn't go to the police station because she was shot by the same police people. I took her only to the hospital.
You also mention here that - take your time, Mama. I can see that up to now you're still feeling very hurt. This is a very hurtful experience. How has it affected your health? What has changed in you since your daughter's death? --- I had a cardiac problem and diabetes.
Are you getting treatment, Mama? --- Yes. Yes, I get treatment.
And where are you getting it? --- At the doctor in town.
So you have to pay for the treatment? --- Yes, I pay R60,00.
The other thing which you mention, Mama, you said in the statement that you are depressed. Can you tell us what happens to you? How does it feel like? --- I'm not feeling well since the death of may daughter.
Your husband, you said he's also not feeling well as he as swollen feet. How was he affected by your
daughter's death? --- It has affected him badly because we have somebody even helping us.
Who's helping you with what? --- We're helped by our sons-in-law and then we're selling liquor to make some profit.
Are you getting some grant, some money other than what you get from your son? --- I don't get pension yet.
Have you applied for one or your husband, has he applied for one - both of you? --- We haven't made yet the applications.
Your situation, Mama Ncala, is quite a very difficult one having lost your daughter and you husband getting very sick and I'm still not very sure what's wrong with your husband other than that he had swollen feet. What's really wrong with him? What do the doctor's say? --- The doctor say the legs have got cold. The doctor talked much about the cardiac problem.
Well, thank you very much, Mama. I know it's very difficult sometimes to talk about very sad things that happened in your life. I don't want to push you very hard but we are very happy that you have been able to share what you can share with us and we are hoping that by sharing with we will also understand your pain and that it's a reassurance that there are people who care and there are people who are very supportive to you. In your own mind how can we help you? --- I don't know but I'm looking forward to the Commissioner how they can help me.
All I can say is that we are hear to listen to your problems, to your situation. We'll note that down.
We'll make recommendations and you are one of the people whose case will be known and you will be kept in records. Thank you very much. --- I also thank you.
CHAIRMAN: Any other person? Mama Ncala, thank you a lot. There is an interesting ... (inaudible) ... paragraph in your statement and I want to read it. You say here -
"I would like Elias Tsabole to explain why among all the Comrades present at the time he shot my daughter. I am prepared to forgive him but I'll never forget."
Those are very heavy words which come from a very painful heart and yet a heart which is prepared to forgive. We will try by all means. One of the things in the Act is that perpetrators should come forward and tell the stories why they did things which are so horrible and if they don't do it, the Commission has all the powers to subpoena them, to force them to come forward and tell the story. It would appear to me that even people like Captain Hugo, who is mentioned in many stories here, should come forward and tell the stories why he committed so many crimes killing people because if he doesn't come forward he will have to be forced to come forward and say that. So it is in that spirit that we'll also try as the Commission to see that Elias Tsabole fulfils your wish to come forward so that, as you've already said, you are prepared to forgive him. And I want to thank you for that. Okay, Mdu Dlamini just wants to say something.
MR DLAMINI: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mama Ncala, just one question. It would appear that your daughter was
shot whilst in the company of fellow students. May I know if, amongst the eye-witnesses, are there any people who are prepared to come forward and testify and assist out investigating officers? --- There were students who were there at that time and some of them are married.
Would it be possible for you to contact them afterwards and find out if they would be ... (intervention) --- I'll try, Sir.
Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mama. Thank's a lot. God bless you. --- Thank you, Sir.
CHAIRMAN: The next witness is Koliwe Magdalene Baloi.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESS
CHAIRMAN: Thank you for coming to tell your story about the death of your son Samuel Mzuga Baloi but before you tell your story I would ask you to stand up and take an oath that what you say here is true, God being your helper.
KOLIWE MAGDALENE BALOI (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Koliwe, is it true that you live in 741 Molai Street in Tabong? --- Yes, that's true I'm staying at 714 Tabong.
How long have you been staying there? --- As from 1980, Sir.
Where did you live before? --- We were staying at Oppenheimer Golf Club.
Thank you. Can you give us a picture about your family - husband, if you've got a husband and children if you have got children apart from the one who was murdered and their age and what they doing, etcetera? --- I had four children with my husband. I'm left with only one child. Two of them died.
You say that you had four children, is that true? --- Yes, Sir.
And you are left with one now? --- Three of them has died and I'm left with only one.
We understand here that Samuel Mzuga was murdered. What was the cause of death of these other two children? --- The other one died when he was still young, the one who was born in 1963. He did when he was still
young. The other one who was born in 1964, he was killed by people. My husband is still alive.
This one who was killed by people, who were those people? Do you know them? --- Yes, I know them.
What was the reason for killing him? --- They were from ... (inaudible) ... I don't know what they were fighting for.
So it was just murder - crime with nothing to do with politics? --- No, it has nothing to do with politics.
Thank you. This one who's left now, is it a boy or a girl? --- He is my firstborn. He's a son.
How old is he? --- He was born in 1960. He has his own house.
He's married? --- Yes, he's married. He has his own family.
Thank you. So at home you are now left with your husband? --- Yes, I'm staying with my husband only.
What is your husband doing, Mama? --- He's a chef at Oppenheimer Golf Club,
And what are you doing yourself, Mama? --- I'm a domestic worker, Sir.
Thank you very much. Do you belong to any political organisation - you and your husband or your family? --- We are members of COSATU.
Members of COSATU. Before Samuel was murdered did he belong to any political organisation? --- Yes, he was a member of a political party, Sir.
What political party was that? --- He was a member of ANC.
How old was he when he was killed? --- He was
born in 1966. I'm not quite sure how old was he at that time.
But he was born in 1966. --- Yes, Sir.
Was he in school? --- He was at school at Lebohang.
What standard? --- He was doing Standard 8.
Standard 8. Before your son was killed he went to exile. Do you know where he went to? --- I don't know in exile where he went.
What made him go to exile, do you know? --- I don't know the reason.
Thank you. According to your statement he left in 1985 and do you know which country he went to when he left this country? --- I don't know in which country he went.
Let me remind you according to your statement you say that he went to Tanzania. Is that true? --- They said he went to Tanzania.
Thank you. And then is that true and he returned in 1990? --- That's true. He came back in 1990.
Then can you tell us what happened then from there when he returned? When he came back from Tanzania what happened with him? --- When we heard about his death when he was in Cape Town, we were told that Samuel Baloi has died in Cape Town. We heard by Monica's son who was staying in Tabong. They were together in Cape Town. That's the one who told us about Samuel's death.
Who is that who told you about his death? --- The one who told us about his death is Monica.
Monica - is that a lady or a man? --- She stays at Tabong and she was at Cape Town College.
Did she tell you how your son died? --- She was told by Samuel's friend and that friend told Monica that Samuel Baloi has been killed by police. Monica is the one who gave us the information at Tabong that Mzuga has died.
With whom did your son go to Cape Town? --- I don't now who went with him.
What was happening in Cape Town, do you know? --- I don't know. Maybe he came back from Tanzania to Cape Town but I don't know what was happening at that time.
Well, can I remind you according to your statement that according to your statement you said that your son was shot in Guguletu in Cape Town during the celebrations of Nelson Mandela's release. Is that true? --- Yes, that's true.
Thank you. Did your son have other relatives? --- He was having a friend called Nabo in Guguletu.
Nabo was a friend in Guguletu. --- That was his friend in Guguletu.
When he was murdered was Nabo there in Guguletu? --- I don't know as to whether Nabo was there.
You have never tried to find out? --- No, Sir.
In the Baloi family, do you know of a person called Geoff Baloi? --- I don't know him, Sir. Maybe he's known by my husband.
Okay. In your statement here you say that you sent your lawyer to fetch the body. Who was that lawyer? --- ANC Comrades instructed Advocate Rampai to go and fetch the corpse in Cape Town. They were accompanied by my eldest son to go and fetch the corpse in Cape Town.
Do you know where this lawyer is, could be found? /--- I know
--- I know his office is in Tabong. I don't know where he is right in town.
Did you people get the death certificate for your son? --- Yes, we got the death certificate.
What was written on the death certificate? What was the cause of the death? --- I don't know but it has been caused by ... (incomplete)
You don't know what is written on it, what caused his death? --- I'm illiterate. I don't know how to read.
Thank you. Was there an inquest made about the death of your son? --- Advocate Rampai went there to go and fetch the corpse. He did discuss with those people there in Cape Town. They went to where he was shot. When they returned they returned with the corpse. Then the corpse was brought by an aeroplane. After that when we were supposed to make some investigations to look for his clothes, they said the government has burned his properties; they were full of blood.
Who said the government has burned his property; it was full of blood? Who said that? --- That's the government there in Cape Town.
Is it the people of the government in Cape Town who said that they burned his clothes? --- Yes, that's true.
Was there ever any court case about the death of your son? --- There was no court proceedings.
What was the reason for that? --- We lacked funds to travel to Cape Town and therefore the case didn't go on.
Did you get any advice from you lawyer Rampai?
--- Since I left him during the funeral I've never met him again.
Where is your son buried? --- He was buried at Tabong.
How has the death of your son affected you and the whole family? --- We were badly affected where me and my husband went to hospital.
How were you affected? --- I had asthma immediately. Then I was not even able to talk. My husband is diabetic and has high blood pressure.
Are you getting any treatment? --- We get treatment at Oppenheimer Hospital.
Is it free of charge? --- They deduct from his salary.
Thank you, Mama Baloi. We have noted here your request as here on the paper specially that one of investigation of the circumstances of your son's death and we'll do all what we can to see if we cannot fulfil your wish by doing this investigation. Thank you very much. We know the pain you're having to lose your son in this way when he was back from exile to come and die at home during the dawn of a new era when we were celebrating our liberation and he could not enjoy the fruits of what he has been fighting for. That is really painful indeed. Again I want to repeat to say that the seeds of the death people was our liberation although some of them did not have to see this new era or dispensation. Thank you very much for coming but I'm going to leave it for the other committee members if they've got any questions they want to put to you before I release you.
PROF MAGWAZA: Mama Baloi, I have just two more questions. The first one, when your son came back from Tanzania, did you know that he was back? Did you meet him before he died or was it the first time you heard that he was back when he was killed in Cape Town? --- I was surprised when I heard about his death in Cape Town.
Did you think he was still in Tanzania? --- Yes. (Witness emotionally upset)
CHAIRMAN: Take time, Mama. Just take time. We know that you are feeling the pain. Just take your time. What you are doing is not something that is abnormal. It's a normal thing for people to shed tears when they feel the pain, especially under these circumstances.
PROF MAGWAZA: When you feel better, Mama, you can answer the question. I know you have been trying to control yourself for a long time. --- I will give an answer.
Okay. The other thing, Mama, which I would like to ask is that we would like to follow your request of getting the identity of the killers. Do you have some information about how your son was killed? Did somebody shoot at him or did the police use a grenade to attack him or was it anybody else other than the police? What rumours did you get? --- The lawyer told us that he was shot in Guguletu. Then he ran to a certain house. Then he was shot and fell down. When they sent photos, I was able to see he didn't have a moustache when he left. Then they brought other photos. These photos were able to show that it's him. They were brought by a certain police called Mogoregi and Hugo.
Nothing was mentioned to you about the fact that a police grenade was used and also the attack of the councillor's house? --- I didn't hear. Rampai didn't tell us anything about that.
No, it was just a question to help the investigation. And what I would like to say in conclusion is that you are in pain but we don't want you to leave with a picture of a person who is not strong. Each and every person who comes in here to tell us the story about the loss of their own children, they are very strong people indeed. They's stronger than us because they lost their children. They're still prepared to come and tell us their story. They're still even living. So I must say you're a very strong person. I would like you to leave with that message from us. Even if you cry, doesn't mean you are weak. We respect you for your strength. Thank you very much.
MRS GCABASHE: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mrs Baloi, in your statement there is a letter which was said is from Mangou Town Council when there was a request for exhumation of the corpse. --- I don't know of that letter.
Didn't you have a suspicion to exhume the body? --- No, because my child has been buried in my house. You say the photos were brought by Mogoregi. Who is this Mogoregi? --- He was a policeman. Then they said he's no more a policeman, he's now a minister of religion.
Where was he working? --- He was working about here in Tabong.
Where is he a minister for? --- I don't know where he's working.
Do you know his church? --- No, I don't know his church.
Is he still staying at Tabong? --- No, I don't know.
I hear. I just wanted to get that explanation about your statement.
CHAIRMAN: As I've already said, Mama, thank you very much for coming forward. We'll do all what we can do which is within our powers to assist you in the investigation about the death of your child. Thank you very much from coming. --- I also thank you.
CHAIRMAN: Now, the last witness for the day is Alina Malef Mofokeng. That's the last one for the day.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESS
CHAIRMAN: Before we get into this matter can you stand please so that you can take an oath that what you are going to say here is true, helped by God.
ALINA MALEF MOFOKENG (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. The person how is going to lead you in this process now is Mr Mdu Dlamini. --- Thank you, Sir.
MR DLAMINI: Good afternoon, Mama Mofokeng. --- Good afternoon, Sir.
Can I start by confirming the information that we have on our records? You live at 2134 Seutlwadi Street in Tabong township? --- That's correct. That's 2134 Seutlwadi Street.
And you were born on the 25th of August 1950? --- That's correct.
You are 46 years of age? --- It's true.
But you are coming to tell us about your son who left? --- It's true.
How is Pule? When was he born? --- He was born in 1967.
Besides Pule do you have other children? --- Yes, I had five children. The daughter passed away when she was still very small. I'm left with four boys.
The father of the children - are you married? --- I'm a divorcee.
Where is the ex-husband? --- He is around
Tabong. He's staying somewhere.
Does he know about the plight of Pule? --- We have lost contact with him but, you know, children as they grow up, they normally trace where their parents are. He knows.
And according to your statement Pule is now married with two children. --- It's true. He's a married man. He's got two children.
How old are his children? --- The first one is 13 years old and the other one is 1 year, 3 months.
Is the wife with you today, Pule's wife? --- Pule's wife is working. She is the only one working in the family. Pule is not working.
I see. And Pule couldn't come either. --- Pule's not feeling well especially this time. He's in bed.
Please convey our regard to Pule and our support and our best wishes as well as his family. --- I also want to say I thank God who protected Pule in a very unbelievable way. People cannot believe their eyes and God is just protecting his family and he's protecting me.
Thank you very much, and also we would like to convey our solidarity to your family as well, which is Pule's family. Mrs Mofokeng, would you please tell us all the incidents starting from the 7th of June 1986 where at about 3.00am you were visited by ten police officers or men. --- It was on the 7th of June 1987. It was about 3.00am when police knocked at my door and when they came they were making a lot of noise and they were harassing us.
Just for the records, sorry, Mrs Mofokeng, was it 1986 or 1987? --- I think it was 1987 when this happened. It was in 1987.
All right, thank you. Continue. --- When these policemen came in we were surprised because when they got into the house they called our names. They knew all of us. It was myself, Malifu, Mayaoule and they knew me by my name as well as my nephew, Patrick Tlokwa. They knew everybody in the house and they knew my children's names. When they came in they were actually harassing us and I didn't know that a firearm is a "vuurwapen" in Afrikaans. I was asking them as to what they meant. What is a "vuurwapen"? And when they realised that I did not know what a "vuurwapen" is, they said that this white person was saying that I must take out guns which were possessed by my son because my son was a terrorist and I told them that I knew nothing about guns. And they said I should get dressed up because they were going to take me to my son's girlfriend where my son was and that I was going to tell them where the guns were. If I did not show them the guns, they were going to arrest me and they told me that I was going to remain in prison until such time that they got hold of my sons. And at that time there was a certain woman from Lesotho who was visiting us at that time. They bundled us into this police vans and we went to where Pule was and they said I should knock at the door and tell Pule to open the door. When I knocked at the door and said Pule should open the door, Pule said to me, "I know that you are with the police. You must go away and you must come back the following day at 9.00 so that you can talk to
/me. We are
me. We are not going to open the door because the people in the house are sleeping." It was cold on that particular day and I asked the police that I wanted to get into the car because it was cold outside. And at that time they put the cars into the yard and the lady of the owner of the house had burglar proofs and they did not want to get in through the windows. Pule refused that the door should be opened up till such time that they threw teargas canisters inside the house and they realised that the door was not being opened despite the fact that they had thrown teargas canisters inside. They broke the door and they were told that there was a child inside the house who was being suffocated by the teargas. And all the policemen were standing at the door having guns with them until such time that all the people had to vacate the house. And Pule himself came out of the house and he tried to run away and they held him. They asked him whether he was Pule. He denied that and said he was Thabi so he was not Pule and he went inside and he put on his trousers and everybody went out as well as the owner of the house. At that time Pule had already run away and they asked him as to whether he was Pule. The owner of the house denied and said, "I'm not Pule. Pule has run away. He's the one that you arrested initially." And he asked them as to why they thought he was Pule because they knew that he was not Pule. One of the policemen said they should have looked at me and they should have looked at another person who looked like me. That would be Pule. And he further said that if they had to get Pule any time from that time, they would kill him. They would shoot him
dead. And they said to me they were going to take us to Jan Hofmeyer where we would be arrested. I asked them what I had done because I had not committed any crime. They told me that my son was a terrorist and that I was going to get arrested because I was harbouring terrorists and I was having guns as well as explosives. Certain investigators came with Pule, my son. They told me that they were going to kill him. He was not going to given them any hard time any more. They said they were going to kill Pule. And I told this other policeman - we had an altercation and they said they wanted to assault me. I said they could assault me if they wanted to because I was telling the truth. We were told to go away. We were taken back to our respective homes because the had Pule with them now. And on that particular day he said to me he was not feeling well and I told him that I have been asking him all along to stop being involved in politics. And the police have been running after him, so he must go and open up case against the police. And he showed me some injuries on his head as well as the chest. He had been assaulted as well as electrocuted. And he showed me all the injuries that he had in his body. And I told him that if he didn't open up a case against the police the police were going to ultimately kill him. And when he came back he looked like he had lost his mind. He did not look normal at all. And they said my child was scared because he was coming from prison. They took him to the provincial hospital. They said he broke a doctor's car's window as well as a window at the hospital. He also assaulted another security and they said he must be /given
given an injection so that he could calm down. When I got home I got this message that Pule was behaving very strangely and when I got there, he was very wild. He did not want to see a soul. He did not want to see anyone. He looked really mad. And I asked a certain gentleman to look after him and I went to the police station and I wanted to see the policemen who were ... (incomplete) Can I mention the policeman's name?
Yes, by all means. --- Para was among them together with John Delinga. They brought him back home and I went to the police station to enquire as to what happened to my son because he was now insane and I said to them, "I do not know what have you done to him. Why do you bring him back home. Why don't you take him to the hospital where he would be taken care of?" They said, "He is very scared." They said, "Please, don't trouble us. He's just a mad boy." And I went back home. I didn't know what to do. We used ropes to fasten him. I called an ambulance to take him to the hospital. I met a doctor who was examining him. I said, "Doctor, I don't see any reason to keep this child at home. He doesn't want to see anybody. He's just fighting. He's very aggressive. But, you know, we can overpower him. We cannot spend out days with this person at home. Can you please transfer him to Bloemfontein immediately. Don't give us any further date." The doctor agreed and they fastened him and he was sent to the hospital. We told the doctors that we don't want him to leave alone. We want to accompany him. I think ten doctors examined him until the next morning they retransferred him from Orange Hospital to
Pilinomi Hospital where they wanted to check as to whether he wasn't attacked by a stroke. His body was numb and we were then told to be transported by an ambulance. On our arrival here in Welkom I called the hospital to confirm what the doctors say. They said, no, he didn't have any stroke but he was severely beaten but he should be then taken to Oranje Hospital. And then he spent the whole year at Oranje Hospital. I was called now and then by the policemen telling me that I have to go and sign for his treatments. There was nothing they were giving me, not even the transport. I used to spend my own money to go and see my son and sign all those documents. And every time I would give the hospital a call to enquire about his health. We were worried we thought that he would die but I'm glad that he survived. He couldn't eat. He was just helpless. The doctors said to us, "Please take him." The treatment cost was up to R6 000,00. They said I should take him back to Welkom and should take care of him. We brought back home and I took him to the provincial hospital where he was getting treatment until such time that the doctors agreed to examine him front Bloemfontein. They come every month. And the second time he was struck by this sickness, in the forms that I've filled in they asked me when was it the second time that he was attacked by this sickness and I did indicate. We keep a very good eye on him. We don't want him out of our sight. Every time he is attacked by this we have to take him to Bloemfontein. After I requested my child to fill the statement to the police because they brought him back and the following day they /arrested.
arrested. He went to the police station to give his statement. As he was sick, I requested Schoeman to help me because my child was not sick and he was in hospital in Bloemfontein. After giving Emma Schoeman the statement she said, "It's not right what the policemen did to your son. We aren't just going to leave this matter." And I said to her, "I want to go to Jan Hofmeyer Hospital to get the docket number." And they gave us the docket number that I've indicated. Mrs Schoeman said, "No, we will further this case." After a few months I went to Emma Schoeman. I said, "When am I going to get information?" and she said to me, "I'm waiting for your son to get healed." And I said to her, "That's fine." And when my boy was now well, I went to her and she said to me, "Yes, woman, you are very rich." And I said to her, "Listen, I don't have money. I went to Johannesburg. I went to see the people at ... (inaudible) ... House to assist me with money and I signed. They are going to help me with the money. I will have to repay and you're telling me today that I will not afford an advocate." And she said to me, "Right", and that was the last word. I went to Johannesburg to get myself an advocate. I started first at ... (inaudible) ... House. They gave me a letter. I have it with me here. This letter was permitting me -they were confirming that Priscilla Janna, if she was prepared to take the case ... (inaudible) ... House will pay the account because this child was injured by the State. That's where - when I went back to Priscilla Janna after quite a long time, she said to me the case would never be listened to because six months elapsed
and the file was closed. And I said to her, "Can you please make copies and give me copies of those papers. I could like to go somewhere." And nobody could help me because this child is now at home doing nothing. He's getting a disability grant. And every time I have to get this disability grant I struggle. They stopped it last year in October and I was told that he will never ever get anything. I'm in and out of the offices to get it organised because he will never get a work any more. He is mentally disturbed. You know, if you are mentally disturbed you can't do any kind of work because you need to use your brain.
Thank you, Alina. Dr Magwaza referred earlier on to the courage that the witnesses are demonstrating and I think you are reinforcing that observation. I just want to ask a few questions of clarification. In your statement you mentioned Nosi's house. Who is Nosi? --- What's Nosi, Sir. Is it the name of a person or - it's Notsi, Sir. That's where the policemen picked Pule.
Okay, that's the house where Pule's friend was staying. --- Yes, it's at 3073, that's the house number. The house belongs to Mr Notsi. That's where they picked my boy.
Okay. And you also mentioned that the costs - the medical costs for Bloemfontein amounted to R6 000,00. And who paid that? --- That's correct. The doctor said to me, "We have examined your son and we've spent the money amounting to R6 000,00," and I can believe that because we visited him every week and every time we'd be told that he is at Pilinomi for his treatment. /We would
We would have to wait for him. And every time he would come to Oranje and I was then given an explanation that the money is running up to R6 000,00 and he cannot even speak and there is nothing further they can do. They said it would be much better if we take the child to Welkom.
Who paid that amount of money? --- I didn't pay that out of my pocket but I used to pay for transportation because I'm the mother and I wanted to see the welfare of my child and I went to Bloem every time. The government told me not to pay any money because it was a government hospital. They said I should just look to my transport fees. We were going every week because he was very sick.
Yes, we have noted your request to be assisted with these medical bills. We'll only refer it to the State President who had the powers to decide whether anything can be done and I'm sure, as we all know him as a sympathetic man, something will happen but it's going to take long before we hear from him because all that report will only go to him when we have finalised the work of the Commission. And also we have noted your request about the education of Pule's children and again it's the kind of request that can only be addressed by the State President and probably in consultation with his cabinet. We'll refer it to him and again, as I said, that you'll only hear the outcome of that request after 18 months to two years. And other clarifying questions. You said that the civil case could not proceed because the six months' period had lapsed? --- That's correct. That's what I was told.
We are sorry to hear about that and especially when you had lawyers, thinking that they were looking after the matter. Can I check on the criminal case, that is the court case now to find people guilty who had - was there any court case? --- There was no court case because I was so scared and I was disturbed. I had this burden in my heart. Every time I looked at my child I would see a bag lying there and that's where I took an initiative to go to investigate as to the date of the court case and they said, "No, we will wait for the recovery of the boy." I went to Jan Hofmeyer and some white people showed me a docket and they said when your child is healed the case will be listened to. It's true, sometimes there were times when he was feeling very well and we said we are prepared to appear before the court of law because we know the people who did this to him. We were eye-witnesses. But still nothing came out of this.
The docket, is that the one which is MR534/6/87? Does it make sense? --- Wait a minute, I'll have to check it. That's correct. It's MR534/6/8/87. That's the correct number.
Thank you, I just wanted to confirm that. That information is already with our investigating unit to make a follow-up but I think they will only make a follow-up on the basis of the criminal case. Amongst the perpetrators you mentioned Hugo. Is that Captain Hugo who has been mentioned more than three times this morning? --- That is the same Hugo that has been mentioned many a times. And this black man known as Para. Para was present when my child was taken. John
Delinga brought him back. I don't know his involvement anyway, and this other one called Molayi. Some of then I know. I see them around the town here. I meet them in town but they would never look me into the eyes.
That was going to be my next question. I believe John Delinga has since died, is that right? --- Yes, he dies.
Captain Hugo - do you know his whereabouts? --- After the elections I only heard because I have this other child who's an MK member. As they were preparing to go to the army rumour had it that Hugo moved away because now the MK were coming back. I don't know where did he go to but it's not a problem. The government should know where Hugo is because the present government is still having people who served in the previous government.
Yes, I agree with you that it shouldn't be a problem to trace somebody who was or is employed by the State. And Para - have you seen him recently? Where is he now? --- He is working at the police station - in a new police station. That's where he's working.
What is the name of the new police station? --- We don't know the name. We just call it a new police station. It's very close to the churches. It doesn't have a name. We have two police stations, the old one and the new one.
Is it at Tabong? --- Yes, it's in Tabong.
And the other person Molayi? --- There was a bank called Standard but it's now - it's been turned into police offices. He is working at those offices. Every time when I go to court I see him getting out of
that building. I think it's a police building now. It was previously used as Standard Bank.
My last question before I hand you over to the Chairman. How is Pule now? Is he improving? You mentioned that he's mentally disturbed. How is he? Is he okay? Is he getting stable? --- There is one thing that really encourages me. As you see me now I'm a divorcee. I pity Pule's wife because she's very young and she's beautiful and she's got status. I keep on asking myself, is God listening to us when we pray because this woman is at home and she's taking care of Pule. She sees to it that Pule gets shoes and he gets food. You know, if men are not working, women don't like them but I must tell you Pule's under good care of his wife.
I think they are also blessed to have a supportive mother like yourself. Thank you very much for all the information that you have given us. I'm comfortable that from this information our investigating unit will be able to try and trace the perpetrators. I will now hand over to the Chairman. --- I thank you.
CHAIRMAN: Any other thing? Yes, Professor Magwaza?
PROF MAGWAZA: Mrs Mofokeng, I think I would like to follow up just quickly on what Mr Dlamini was saying that I think it's important for us to get the complete picture about the condition of Pule. From what you said I got the feeling that there are times when he's better and there are times when he gets worse because you talked about the attacks. You said when he has these attacks. So are you saying that there're times when he's better and there're times when he's bad? --- I
am talking the truth. That is even written in document. Every time he is mentally disturbed we don't want to stay with him. We want him to be out of our sight to go to the doctor. But there is time when he's just find and you enjoy speaking to him. I'll go to his house every time to visit him. He is fond of sleeping. He's always in bed.
When he gets worse what does he do? What does he actually do when he has these attacks? --- He doesn't want to see women. He doesn't want to see them at all and he will break everything. When he is disturbed he is troublesome and I was asking myself, "I'm getting old. If I don't get it right, will God really give me strength to grab him, fasten him, take him to the doctor?" because I'm the only one who does it. He doesn't want to see anybody. We know him. We see the signs as he is going to get his attacks.
Is he taking tablets all the time? --- The doctors come to Medicine Forum every month and we pay the injection fee, that is R10,00 and the doctors requested me to take care of him. They said if we don't take care of him, he's going to be insane like other people outside. You know, lucky enough we are taking care of his. He's all right.
I did notice that you wanted some assistance regarding payment for medical treatment and I would like to say to you that we have already been speaking to the Department of Health in this province. We will try to link you up with the Department of Health to see how they can help. Lastly, I think our Chairperson also referred to that because what has impressed me very well /about
about you is the faith you have in God. I think every person who comes here has some strength. So I was very impressed by the faith in God and being thankful that your son is alive so he can still see the bleakly positive aspects of your life and I think it's very important for all of us. Thank you very much. --- I also thank you, Ma'am. I believe in God because the people who saw my son at provincial hospital, they don't believe it today if I tell him that he is alive. They think he passed away. They want to see him.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Alina. You are a wonderful person. What has impressed me is about your memory. When you were telling your story I could see that you were remembering most of the things which you have given in your statement and that was wonderful indeed. You are very dynamic. And you have just said now that you believe in God. The God you worship is a God of miracles. If you believe that your son will be cured, I'm definitely sure as the sun rises from the east and sets in the west, if you believe, that the almighty God is going to help you through your faith. We have heard this story and again it is very depressing to find that most of the things which have happened here, they have happened through the hands of the police. I mean, police are the people who should be protecting people, protecting people's lives. When we grew up, when you saw a police, you saw a friend. When you saw a police, you saw security. But during the time of the apartheid regime, police became enemies of the people and they became murderers of the people. I want to say what I have said again that people like Hugo have /been
been mentioned many a times here and I would hold that his conscience would touch him so that before he's subpoenaed by the Commissioner he comes forward and says why he was involved in the murder of so many people with his colleagues. We want to thank you very much for your courage and we want to thank your daughter-in-law for the support which she is giving to your son. It is true indeed that when the husband is not working and has become an invalid, there's a temptation for the wives to neglect their husband. They forget the vows which they made that till death sets them apart. So we want to congratulate you and we want to say that we will give you all the moral support we can do and also try to see if the things we've noted here cannot be treated positively by those we'll refer them to. Thank you again. --- I think you, Sir.
CHAIRMAN: Now we have come to the end of this day. I've never seen wonderful people like you are. You know, in some of the places we have to be telling the people that they must not make noise. You have been quiet, attentive, listening, sharing the pains with the witnesses and we do appreciate this spirit and I want to thank you all here, those who came too just to be present. You know, when you are here it gives strength to those people who are telling their stories and also it is healing you who are listening because we've been traumatised, all of us, nobody's not been traumatised. I want to register my thanks to you and also I want to register my thanks to the media, our brothers who are here with us helping us in what we are doing. We
appreciate that very much. And these hearings will go for three days. We are coming back again tomorrow beginning at 9.00am and we are also still inviting those how can make it to come back again and hear other stories and also do invite some of your friends to come and listen, to come and be involved in the process of the healing of the nation. And again there are statement-takers - in fact we have ordered two more statement-takers. When my colleague Mdu Dlamini was walking around he was told that the work is becoming too much for those we brought here because people are responding very much positively and then we had to order two. There're some who are coming from Durban to help others here in taking more statements because this thing goes up to the end of the year. It's not the last time that we come here. Even those who do not appear, we may still come back here if there are statements. And there's something I forget to say. These things please, don't take them away with you. They'll be useless if you take them away with you. When you leave, you need to leave them there at the door with the gentleman there and then tomorrow you will pick them up again and use them. Don't take them home. They are useless if you take them home. Now we are going to close this session and I'll just ask somebody just to lead us in a short - I'll do it the African way. That lady, if she can just start and after that I'm going to pronounce a benediction.
PROCEEDINGS ADJOURNED TO 1996/10/09