PROCEEDINGS HELD AT
9 OCTOBER 1996
[PAGES 1 - 148]
I N D E X
NO ITEM PAGE N°
1. Case No FS/ZJ/107
Magdeline Nelane............................................ 1 - 8
2. Case No FS/TDM/006
Leeko Moleke................................................ 9 - 24
3. Case No FS/JRW/107
Josias Moago Monokoane................................. 24 - 34
4. Case No FS/TDM/027
Eric Sipho Khonzana....................................... 35 - 44
Joseph Mogatle.............................................. 44 - 48
5. Case No FS/MBL/024
Litabe Thaele................................................ 49 - 58
Maletsatsi Sangweni........................................ 59 - 68
Pulane Mutsi................................................. 69 - 77
Silo Ditebe and Patrick Machede........................ 77 - 85
Ephraim Thahetsi........................................... 86 - 98
Seipati Susan Moroane..................................... 99 - 105
Patrick Morake.............................................. 106 - 116
Isiah Pule Nkate............................................. 117 - 128
Thashima Gloria Dippa.................................... 129 - 135
Puleng Dippa................................................ 135 - 148
PROCEEDINGS RESUMED ON 1996/10/09
CHAIRMAN: So it means that we're going to ask the briefers to lead forward Magdeline Nelane who is going to be our first witness today.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESS
CHAIRMAN: Margaret, we are please that you have come forward to tell your story about what happened to Moses ... (inaudible) ... Moshane but before you do that we would ask you to stand and take an oath that what you're going to say here is true, God being your helper.
MAGDELINE NELANE (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: And the person who is going to be helping you when you tell your story is Professor Simangele Magwaza ... (inaudible).
PROF MAGWAZA: Good morning, Mama Nelane. --- Good morning.
Thank you very much for coming over here today. We really appreciate the effort and we hope that sharing the experience with us will also be help you in a way because some of the experience are the burdens that become easier if you share them with other people. Mama Nelane, I would like firstly to tell me more about your son. Just about your son. How old he was, what standard of education, his interest in politics and any other information you want to give us. --- My child had 11 years. He was born in 1978 on the 6th of June. He was attending school at Ndumeleng primary school. He was interested in politics.
You say he was interested in politics. What did he do? --- Usually when a big crowd was passing he used /to join
to join them to sing these Comrades' songs with them.
He was very young. Did he belong to any organisation? --- He was not yet a member of a political party but all the time he was looking for an ANC shirt.
In your family, was there anybody else who also belonged to a party or who was interested in politics? --- My eldest son was interested in politics.
What about you? --- And myself also, I'm a card-carrying member of the ANC.
Okay, thank you. Can you tell us more about the family, your family? How many children do you have? Do you have a husband? --- I have three children. Moses Pagwe is the second one. The two remaining are still alive. My husband left me when these kids were still young.
And how old are your kids, the two children you have? --- The smallest one was born in 1981 and the elder one was born in 1974.
Are they going to school? --- The young one is doing Standard 6 and the elder one was doing Standard 7 and because of the problems I have he began to look for work but he couldn't find one.
Are you working? --- I only do temporary work.
Okay, thank you. Mama Nelane, I would like you to tell us as much as you can remember about that fateful day. You probably could start by telling us what was happening at that time. --- In 1990 on the 12th of March I was at work. The person who was working in the garden told me that he was going to the shop. When he came back from the restaurant he told me that children
were shot in the location. By so saying I was conscious and I was shivering. Then I went inside my employer's house and I phoned her and I told her that in the location people are shot. Then I went to look as to whether my children were not involved. Then other people were telling me that my children are very small but I told them that I'm shivering because I told them that I want to look around what is happening. Then the told me to ... (incomplete) She arrived to pick me up. I began to look at home then I found my younger sister, When I looked into the eyes to ask her, "Where are the children?" then she began to cry. Then I ran to where I was renting at 219. When I arrived there the small boy told me that Pagwe is shot. Then I went to my neighbour. Then I made a telephone to my employer. Then she told me that, "Cars are not moving out. How are you going to do?" Then I told her that I would walk to the police station to find out as to whether my child is shot. Then I moved to the road then my employer said she would come and pick me up to take me to the police station. My neighbour followed me. Then we went to the police station. When we arrived at the police station I was not able to enter in and my neighbours went in and they found that it was true that my son is shot.
Can you remember as to what was happening? Why was your son shot? What was happening on that day? --- Even earlier on the 12th of March I was at work there was fighting in the township.
Who was fighting? --- Children were fighting. The whole place was full of children on the streets.
According to your statement people were celebrating /the release
the release of Nelson Mandela. Is it true? --- I don't remember well because at the moment people had ben in the bottle store and they were throwing stones.
Were the police - the police were shooting at people who were burning the buildings or were shooting the people who were celebrating the release of Mandela? --- At that moment it was on the 12th but I'm not sure as whether people were shooting because for the celebration of Mandela or what but because I was at work.
Ja, it's a sad story. Your son was very, very young. It's quite a very unusual situation for such a young person to be shot and killed for political reasons. I would like to clarify a few questions. According to your statement you were told, you said, by a garden boy working with you that your son and two others has been killed. Were you told by him or did you find out yourself? --- He didn't know that it's my child who was shot. The gardener just said children were shot in the location. I found out exactly that my son was shot in the location.
According to the information here is that it was your son Pagwe and two others who were killed. Do you know the identity of the two other boys who were killed? --- Yes, I do. The other one is a son to Mr Modibe. I don't remember the other one.
Do you know the name of Mr Modibe's son? What was his name? --- The name is Tabelo.
The other one you don't know? --- I don't remember the other one.
Your previous employer took you to the mortuary.
Is your employer still around? Are you still working for him? --- No, she went to Secunda.
You also say that the Comrades took your son's body to another mortuary. When was he removed to another mortuary? Why was the body removed from the Holdveld(?) mortuary to this other funeral service? --- They said they don't want a white-owned mortuary.
These Comrades were quite helpful but you do indicate that they promised to investigate your son's death but you have never had anything from them. Do you know who these Comrades are? Do you still see them or are they still around? --- The one who was calling us to the church was Fax Maigiso. He's the one who told us papers were sent.
What papers? --- I don't know which papers - documents, but he said he'll be responsible because he's waiting for documents.
Have you ever seen him since that day? --- No, Ma'am. It seems he's around ... (inaudible) ... village but I'm not sure.
You have not received your son's death certificate, is it true? --- I went in all corners trying to get this death certificate. The person who was responsible to release him from the mortuary promised me that he will be responsible to bring the death certificate because my surname and my son's surname are not the same but when I went lastly he told me that he doesn't know anything and that person is Michael Moshate who stays at Alanridge.
Is he still working at the mortuary, Michael Moshate? --- He is self-employed. He is not working /at the
at the mortuary. He stays at Alanridge.
At the time when he promised you the death certificate he was working at the mortuary? --- He didn't work at the mortuary. He owns taxis and owned a bottle store again.
You also say that no inquest was held. Is it true? --- There were not inquests at all.
Did you report the case to the police station? --- I didn't go to the police because at that time it was difficult for me because I used to go to work all the time and then I didn't want to take the law into my own hands because I still waited for the documents.
Have you never heard even rumours as to which of the police shot your son? --- I know the person responsible. He's a son to Mr Nzugu. His Sotho name is Diboda.
He's a son to Mr Nzugu. --- Yes, his surname is Nzugu.
Is he still a policeman? --- He died.
Thank you very much, Mama Nelane. It's quite a very heart-rending story. This must have been a very hurting experience. How did it change your life? --- It has affected me badly because I even suffer from nervous breakdown. My nerves are strained since that time.
Your - what's strained? I didn't hear the last part. --- My nerves were strained as from that time.
Did you see the doctor? --- Yes, this month I went to the doctor. I have the paper with me.
What did he say? What was wrong with you? --- He gave me tablets to take then he said it will subside. /Has it
Has it subsided? --- Since I took tablets it seems it has subsided. But when the pills are not there it starts again.
Are you paying for the treatment? --- Yes, I pay.
About how much are you paying? --- This month I paid R40,00.
And you said you were just doing piecemeal jobs and only one son was working. I just want to remind myself. Is that what you said? --- Yes.
Mama Nelane, we have listened to your story. We're taking note of all what you have said and we'll also try to see how we can help regarding your health. We'll try to connect you with the Department of Health to see how they can help with getting some free service. We also note that you lost a son that could have been a breadwinner for you. We are taking note of all that and we will make recommendations about your case to the State President who'll also make a decision on all cases that are similar to yours. Lastly, I would like to say that you are a very strong person. Very few people can survive the tragic death of such a young, young child. That you are here today to talk about your story, that you are still working and supporting yourself and your other son it shows the strength you have. We all want to learn from your experience and from your strength. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: Is there any other question from the committee members. Regina?
MRS GCABASHE: We heard you, Mrs Nelane, when you told us about your story which has happened to you. I heard when you said you would not remember well on that day. /But don't
But don't you remember well that except children who were shot on that day, were there no old people who were injured or dead on that day? --- The people were shot again later after our children were shot.
When you remember, where were they? --- They were staying at Mandela Park. They were staying a little bit far from our village.
I was asking this because I wanted to know as to whether ... (incomplete) --- In the area only these three people were shot. They were the first people to be shot on that day.
I thank you, Ma'am, that we sympathize with you. --- Thank you.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mama Nelane. We also share your pain. It is very unfortunate that in many things, not only in the Free State only but in most of the regions, there were some deaths which happened during the celebrations of a new day, a new dawn celebrating the release of Nelson Mandela who has made such a great contribution to our country in terms of peace and reconciliation, that these people could not see a part of a new rainbow nation. As Professor Magwaza's already stated we shall try to get the death certificate which you never received and also to take some of your concerns, especially this one which has to do with your health to those who are responsible for the health services so that you don't have to be paying all the time when you yourself does not have a stable job. Thank you very much for coming to tell your story. We hope that this is going to help you to begin the healing process when you have told your pain. Thanks a lot.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESS
CHAIRMAN: Well, we're pleased that you've come. You were supposed to come tomorrow but by God's providence He has arranged himself the Almighty God that you get a space here because there are some who are late who will be coming very late. So we have taken this opportunity so that we listen to your story so that when you are here you don't have to come back again to tell your story. And now before you tell your story we would ask you stand so that you can take the oath, God being your helper.
LEEKO MOLEKE (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr Moleke, and the person who's going to lead you in the process is none other than Mr Mdu Dlamini. He's going to help you to tell your story. Thank you.
MR DLAMINI: Good morning, Ndade Moleke. --- Good morning, Sir.
Baba Moleke, according to our records you were born in 1927. --- That's true. That was the 20th of November.
And you are close to 70 years of age now. --- That's true, Sir.
But the incident that you are coming to tell us happened in 1972 when you were about 45 years of age. --- That's true, Sir.
Before we get into that I just want to check on the family. Are you married? --- Yes, I have a wife and three children.
And where is Mama Moleke? --- She's at home in
You did not bring her along to support you as she did when you were in detention? --- I didn't bring her because of ill health and because of lack of funds.
I see. Could you please convey our regards to her please. --- I'll greet her.
And the three children that you have, what are they doing? --- The other one is working at the railway and the other one was working at Johnson and Johnson and then it was closed and the other one was still a student and because of lack of funds I was unable to let her further her studies.
What was she doing? --- She was doing matric.
What would you have liked her to do had you had funds? --- If she could have passed matric, that's the one who would be able to make a choice of what she would do thereafter.
How old is she? --- She was born in 1966.
And what is she presently doing? --- She's staying at home and looking for work but she cannot find one.
Ndade Moleke, you were a member of the African National Congress which was banned at that time. --- That's true. I was a member of that organisation at that time. It was small group of the ANC called SOYA. It's called Society of Young Africans.
Can you tell young people like myself what did the Society of Young Africans stand for and what they were hoping to achieve? --- The objective of this organisation was that people should be educated so that they'd be able to work for the community in the future
because we were living under stressful conditions.
Amongst your activities can you tell us of the activities, your programme to achieve your goals as the Society of Young Africans? --- There was nothing bad which we were doing. We were told that, say, for example, on a particular day there is a meeting to go and listen, but there was nothing bad which was done at that time.
You would hold meetings and what else did you do besides holding meetings? --- There was nothing else which we were doing except meetings.
I see. At those meetings what would be the agenda, a typical agenda? --- We were explained how this Society of Young South Africans should be formulated and our behaviour, general morals, and all things in general.
Top me it sounds as if it was a good organisation trying to organise young people to think constructively and also to think about the things to empower and liberate themselves. It's very unfortunate that for that you had to suffer. Can you tell this audience the suffering that you went through starting from the day when you were picked up by the security police but if there had been subsequent incidents before that, feel free to mention them. --- I remember well, that was in 1971, I was working at the furniture shop called Excelsior Furnishers. I was a salesman there. In the month of October two young men who were working for the special branch, their names were Robert Mowale and Walter Tabanelo, they entered there and told me that, "We need you at the OK upstairs where we have offices
there." Then I asked them, "What is the problem because you see that I'm on work and I'm only working for the commission. If you take me upstairs I'm going to lose my clients." Then they said to me, "We want you. We're no more asking you." Then I told the manager that I'm going up with these people. Then I went there with them. Upstairs I met Roland, the person who was in charge of the special branch, the other one is Prins and then Mowale and Tabanelo. Then Roland said to me, "I'm calling you because I learnt that you are a communist and a member of the ANC, that is why I need you here to come and tell me." Then I said to him, "Sir, it is true that I'm a member of the African National Congress but I'm also a member of the small group called Society for Young Africans and some of the people you're working with, we were with them in the membership of that organisation." Then he asked me, "What do you remember what happened during that time?" Then I said to him there was nothing wrong which I did. We would only go to have our meetings and there was nothing wrong which we're intending to do. Then Roland told me and pointed at me with a finger then he said to me, "You and me, we're going to meet at a crossroad." Then I said, "That is better to meet at a crossroad because I know that there is noting wrong I'm doing." Then in 1972, that is between September and November, I was at my friend's place and many friends of mine were teachers. We were sitting there peacefully enjoying ourselves and then one of my friends came there who has already died. Then he said to me, "Lawrence, you're sitting here peacefully and entertaining yourself. The special branch are
searching for you." Then I asked him, "What did I do? I don't understand why they're searching for me. Are they looking for me because of my past activities?" Then Lawrence went away. Then at sunset I said to my friends, "Let's everyone go to his place." When I arrived at home my wife said to me, "Are you coming at this time? The special branch were looking for you. Then they told me that on Monday you must come to the charge office in the police station." Then on Monday I had my breakfast and prepared myself then at half past twelve I went to Seiso, then I entered the church office. Then I told them that I've come because of the call the SBs have made. Then they made me to sit down. It was at about ten past two the SBs arrived. Then they said, "Where is he?" Then this one who is called Mowale came to me. He handcuffed me. Then I said, "I'm feeling the pain." Then he said to me, "Keep quiet. Don't tell me that I've handcuffed you okay." And Roland said to me, "Let's go to the car." Then we entered into the car. It took us to town. It took us to Adame House. When we entered there that is where my sister and my son were there. Then we passed them. We went to a certain room. (Inaudible) ... Roland said to Robert and Walter, "You must be busy with him. You must hit him. You must beat him." Then this Mowale said, "Do you remember, that is the person you said one day we will meet at the crossroads. This is the person." And Roland said, "Is this the person?" Then Roland closed the door and locked. I was handcuffed and it was stiff right on my hands. Then the other one pulled me on the left hand and the other one on the left hand. I was
beaten. I was assaulted and I ended up giving up. They were all assaulting me and every time I fell they would kick me and they lifted me up and they would start afresh with their assault. At one stage I couldn't bear the pain any more and I pulled myself out of their hands and I picked up the typewriter. I wanted to throw it through the window to break the cars downstairs but they managed to grab it and Roland opened the door. He said, "What's happening?" They said to him, "He wants to throw the typewriter outside. Luckily we got hold of it." And he said to them, "Continue beating him up." I was severely beaten up and thereafter they put a mask on my head and they took me to a car. Roland and Prins were at the front seat. I was at the back seat with Tabanelo and Mowale putting me in the middle. We drove off until in the township, through the township and we went to a very farest corner where you would shout and nobody would hear you and it was the road leading to the old cemetery in Kroonstad. As I was just concentrating, I could feel the car was now on a steep and I said, "This is the road leading to the cemetery." As they were driving they drove around until they stopped. My hands were still handcuffed and I was told to get off the car and they said to me, "Sit down." I sat down. They said, "On your knees." Then they took my hands as they were handcuffs and I was made to sit on my haunches and as I was sitting they fastened me with ropes and I was electrocuted. I could only feel this shock getting into my body. I couldn't understand what was happening. They said to me, "We aren't going to leave you before you tell us the truth. Where is your firearm?" I said, /"Guys,
"Guys, which firearm are you referring to?" They said, "We want a firearm. Before you give us that firearm we aren't just going to leave you." They were torturing me in that way and I was crying like a baby. I was crying like a baby. This electrocution was very bad. After some few minutes they took me to Bren Park. I was dizzy. I couldn't understand what was happening. I couldn't even think properly. They went to Mofube's house. They searched. I was assaulted. My youngest daughter was staying at Mofube's house and she was surprised as to what was happening. She was asking herself, "What are they doing to my father? Why are they beating him so much?" It was late at about 5 o'clock and I was taken to Seisoville police station and I was kept in the cell. I spent the night at the police station but I could feel my head was getting heavy and I felt it with my hands. It was swollen. My eyes were closed because my face was swollen. Blood was coming from the ears and from the nose and every time I couldn't breathe properly. I took out my handkerchief at night. I wanted to sneeze. I think I sneezed a lot but my eye protruded. I stopped it and I pushed it backwards and I didn't know the reason why was my eye protruding. The next day my wife and my daughter-in-law came to see me. When the policeman opened the door for them I couldn't see them but I could hear from their voices that this was my wife. And the policeman opened the door and my wife said to the policeman, "No, this is not the man we're looking for. We aren't looking for this man." And I said, "Grace, I'm your husband. There is no one else. They kept me in the cell for a long
time and when my brother(?) was supposed to appear before the court of law, I was there among this group. When we came before the magistrate he said, "Accused No 4, the case is closed. You can go home. You're discharged." And I went out of the box. There was this other chap, a white chap who was a special branch member and I said to him, "I know the case has been dropped but the injuries that I sustained and the torture that you gave me, should I just stop here?" And I said to him, "I think I should take further steps even though I don't have money." I remember Mr Lefafa, he was telling me, he said, "Leepo, I want you to take further steps." But this special branch member said to me, "Listen here, you know what, if I were you I would never take any steps against the police because if you do that they are going to trace you and I must tell you if you can just lay charges against them you must know that you are going to end up nowhere and your children will never know where their father it." And this was very uncomfortable. I was told by a special branch member that my children will lose me forever. I decided, no, I should leave this matter. Since then my life was a misery. Until today I'm not - I was working but I lost my job and until today I am a sickly person. I can hardly work. I can't do anything. I can't even lift up my grandchild. I can't cuddle her in my hands. I just pick her up for a minute and I'm tired thereafter. Even if when I walk, I'm battling. Since then my life changed. The torture, my private parts were also damaged and this really affected my relationship with my wife. And until today I'm not working. I cannot work. /I cannot
I cannot build my family a beautiful house and that's the reason why my daughter had to leave school because I could not manage to further her studies.
Thank you, Ndade Moleke. I'm going to ask a few questions just to make sure that we've understood you. The crossroad that Roland was referring to, was he referring to a particular place or he was just saying that one day he will get square with you? --- He was telling me that one day - because we met before and he thought I was lying to him and he said, "The other day we will meet."
How long did the torture and assault go on for? --- It took about an hour because it was done on many occasions.
The detention itself, how long did it go for? --- Three weeks to a month before I appeared before the court because my head was swollen, my eyes were closed. They kept me in the cell so that I could get better.
Were you taken to a medical doctor? --- No, Sir, I was never taken to a doctor.
After your release did you go to any doctor? --- I never went to a doctor because of the words uttered by the special branch because I knew by going to the doctor, the doctor was going to give me a letter to take to the attorney to take steps but because of the threat from the SB men I was scared to go to the doctor.
You also mentioned that a certain Mr Lefafa encouraged you to take the matter up, to take some legal action. --- That's correct.
Who was Mr Lefafa? --- He was a teacher in Kroonstad in the past years and after that he was
promoted to be an inspector and he went on pension and a few years thereafter he passed away.
So he was one of your friends? --- He was one of my friends.
And you also mentioned that one of the security branch officers discouraged you from taking legal action. --- That's correct. That's what I said. One member of the special branch, that is when I was discharged from the court. He said to me, "Just give it a try. Just take steps. You will know us, because these people are going to trace you. They're going to follow you and something terrible is going to happen to you, and your children will never ever know where you were."
And the name of the particular SB officer who discouraged you, can you still remember him? --- No, I do not know his name. It was my first time to see him on that day.
The people who tortured you, Roland, Prins, Mowale and Tabanelo, are they still alive? Have you seen them of late? --- Mowale and Tabanelo are still alive. I met Prins two years back. I don't know whether is he still alive. I think he is still alive.
Mowale and Tabanelo, where are they now? What are they doing? --- They are in Kroonstad. They're on pension.
Are they staying in the same area as you are and if that is the case, have you ever spoken to them, perhaps tried to reconcile at a personal level? --- There is no problem. I meet them often and we sit down together and enjoy our drinks but I don't touch this issue with
them at all.
I do understand that it's difficult for you to touch it but from their part have they said anything to you or extend an apology to you? --- If you are talking to a person, you'll see by his actions that he wants to say something but each time they time to impress me I ignore them.
You mentioned that you would like to get an opportunity to meet with them where you could confront this unfortunate development and get an explanation from them as to why they did this. Do you still want to do that? --- That is my request. I want to ask them why were they torturing me. They should give the reasons.
Yes, definitely we'll be in contact with them getting their side of the story or we might also subpoena them depending on their co-operation and in the process we'll mention to them your desire. --- Thank you. Thank you, Sir.
Baba Moleke, before I hand you back to the Chairperson I just want to thank you for the manner in which you have shared with us your experiences which were very painful and traumatic and also with permanent effects on you as a person. We have noted that you would appreciate some help from the Commission. We have noted the things that you wanted to do which you couldn't do because of what happened to you. As we have been saying to other people that all those requests and wishes will be conveyed to the State President who will decide on a possible way of saying to you, "I do understand." There are too many of you and I don't
think he will have enough resources but I'm sure he would like to say to you, "I do understand." And, Mr Chairman, just before I hand over to you, what Baba Moleke has shared with us reminds me now and again I come across friends, especially white colleagues and friends. The comment they make to me is that, "Don't you think that these people are exaggerating?" And so what Baba Moleke was saying today to us, I think for people who have never been exposed to this, it will sound as an exaggeration, but for us who are always hearing people with such an experience, we know that he's telling the truth. I just wanted to make that comment.
CHAIRMAN: Have you any questions?
PROF MAGWAZA: Baba Moleke, in your statement you have actually indicated the things you suffer from physically. You said you have "a paralysis in my right leg, 70 per cent hearing deficiency, impaired sight and other physical malfunctioning". That's quite serious. --- That's true, yes.
Are you getting treatment now for any of these conditions because you said ... (intervention) --- I'm not getting any treatment because I'm not working.
Have you ever received treatment for your physical conditions because you said you didn't go to the doctor at that time? Have you ever received treatment? --- When my son was working he used to give me money to buy medication, but after losing his job he couldn't give me money any more.
Secondly, when people are tortured in detention the torture is not only meant to be physical, it's meant to
destroy the person mentally. How are you feeling mentally? --- I'm really disturbed. I don't have a good life. I'm really struggling.
Are you getting a disability grant? --- Yes.
Can you tell us a bit about your wife. You said she was not feeling well. --- My wife was a sickly person but she was going for treatment at Voortrekker Hospital and she was much better and she could work. She could iron and cook but after this incident her life changed and she was a totally different person. As the father of the house I cannot even sleep with my woman.
Ja, thank you very much, Baba. I think what you have said, you have shared with us, you've opened your heart and shared with us very deep information about yourself and your family and you have touched our hearts very deeply. I think all I want to say is that I wish I could have the same strength. I think most of the people could be feeling the same in this room that you are a very strong man and that you are a model to many of the people. We have noted your requests. You are one of the people whom we'll make recommendations about your needs and we hope that in the future your life could be made easier. Thank you very much.
MRS GCABASHE: Thank you, Chairman. Mr Moleke, we have listened to the troubles you've been through. You said earlier on you said earlier on you were transferred to Seisoville. Who was in charge of that police station? --- I can't remember. It's a long time ago. It's difficult to remember how was in charge. The other thing that makes me forget is that I never even gave my
evidence at all. It was just a game. Nothing was written on paper.
The other question that I want to ask is this one. You talked about a person who says at Bren Park. --- His name is Gabriel Eland.
Has he passed away? --- Yes.
You said you were accused No 4. Who were the other accused? --- My son and his friends. I don't know how was I involved, how did I come to be accused with them.
Do you remember their names? --- Yes, my son is Peter and this other one's surname is More and I do know the other one.
Why were they accused No 1, No 2 and No 3? --- They were involved in a criminal activity. They were arrested for criminal acts.
And now? --- They used a firearm. There was a State firearm that was stolen from Tabanelo who was even suspended because of losing a firearm. That is why at an ultimate end the police thought the revolver was with me. But at the end they could get hold of the firearm and I do not know where they got hold of it. I think they got it in the train.
Thank you, Sir. It's clear that you were accused for other people's acts. I remember this Society of Young Africans. It was a really good organisation. It wasn't just teaching people. --- I want to thank you.
CHAIRMAN: Ndade Moleke I want again to reiterate what has been said by my colleagues here. In fact the great victims are those who tortured you because they lost all /their
their humanity, humanness, ubuntu. It is only the beasts or wild animals, which don't have the image of God, could treat a person like that. That is why Mr Mdu Dlamini said that we would like to get in touch with Mowale and Tabanelo because, if the Act has to do the healing of the nation, they need to be healed too. They need to come forward and say why they treated you in this bestial manner so that they can also be helped as the victims as perpetrators. And of course, if they don't come, as Brother Dlamini said, we will have to subpoena them to come forward. They are going to know about this because the media is here. They will be hearing their names. Maybe it would be better for them to come even forward before the are subpoenaed. We thank you for your courage and it is just God's miracle that you still have the memory of saying what you say after having been tortured in such a manner. Please convey our greetings to your wife. We are sorry that this thing has also affected your marriage life as you have just said. You were so tortured that your marriage life has also been affected by this kind of a torture. Thank you for coming, showing the courage. May God bless you. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN: I don't know whether No 3 has arrived? (Pause) No 4? Has No 4 arrived? No. So then we call forward Josias Moago Monokoane to come forward.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESS
CHAIRMAN: Monokoane, you have come here to tell the stories about the Comrades who became the victims, who suffered and before you can tell your story about these Comrades you are expected to take an oath and say that, God being your helper, what you have got to say is true.
JOSIAS MOAGO MONOKOANE (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Josias, the person who's going to lead you in this process and help you when you tell your story is Mrs Regina Gcabashe. Thank you.
MRS GCABASHE: Let me start by saying I thank you for being here today to appear before the Commission to tell us about what you know about our black history which we want to close this chapter and before we close this chapter we should know all the truth about what happened. As you know that in your statement you know what you have written, I would say before we start to tell us you've come to tell us of your account and the other Comrades' accounts. I want you to start with your own family. --- I am born in the Monokoane family. I'm from the Monokoane family in Virginia but I'm staying now at Masilo next to Theunissen where my mother was born. I studied Standard sub B up to Standard 10 up to 1994 then I failed with my studies then I left. I was not able to go further.
Did you write matric? --- Yes, I did.
Did you pass? --- No.
So you failed? --- Yes. I'm just staying at home. I'm looking for work. I'm not able to get work because of what has happened to me. My health is not healthy so I took a position that if next year I'm not able to get work, I'll go back to school. When I get work then I'll postpone my studies.
When you say you'll go back to school do you have somebody who's going to help you to pay your educational expenses? --- That is going to be a problem because I have my younger brother. May parents have separated.
Let me say, do you have your mother and your father? --- Yes.
What's your father doing? --- My father is staying at Virginia and he's not working.
And your mother? --- My mother is working.
At what is she working? --- She is working at Harmony in Virginia.
What kind of work is she doing? --- I'm not sure what kind of work she's going because I don't usually go there.
Do you have your brothers and sisters? --- Yes, I have my brother and my younger sister.
How old is your brother? --- He's 25 years old.
And the younger child? --- She's going to be 12 years this year.
According to your statement you said you were born on the 14th of February 1973. --- Yes, that's true.
May you tell us what happened before the 20th?
What was happening at Theunissen. What was the state at Theunissen at that time? --- I still remember well. /At Theunissen
At Theunissen there was a lady called Spanas, a certain sister called Ma Dibuka, Spanas Dibuka. Her husband owned a shoe shop. Then this woman went to school. The husband, this man, went to school. On that time at the school they were celebrating Sharpeville Day.
My you explain, when you talk about Sharpeville? --- The people were celebrating the shooting of Sharpeville. It was a celebration. Then he invited teachers. Then on that day the people were celebrating. Then after the celebration ... (intervention)
Was the school celebrating? --- Well, this lady was one who organised that Sharpeville celebration day. this person is not a teacher. She's nothing. After she has organised, then she called a meeting at Masilo. Then there were two groups and then she had a group of a club, of a football club. She owned a football club.
This woman? --- Yes, this woman. Then in that meeting it was discussed that the parents of who was staying at Theunissen. So the parents are mad. All the instruments which were used on that day, it was belonging to this woman, which means the audio-visuals, all the equipments which were used on that day were owned by this woman. Then from there she decided to leave the place. Then we told her to take all these instruments. Then she took her instruments.
When you say it was two groups, you're saying it was this woman's group and the Comrades' group? --- Yes, that's true. May you say again?
You said there were two groups which split into two groups. Then you said the other group belonged to this woman which is a football club and what about the other
group? --- It was all Comrades.
Go on. --- And from there the situation became tense, then people started to fight. I remember that some of us - before I talk about that day, one of us was shot. I still remember, it's the late Mr Defumatimi(?). He was shot by a municipal police. Then from there he died. The other one is, we call him Double Engine, then he was shot. Then he was taken to the surgery in the location and at the surgery they held this woman, then chopped him with a spade. Then the following week, then from there is what has happened to me when we were shot. I was among those people. When we were shot on the 20th of May, it was a Friday, in 1990 we were between the town and location when we were on that road which leads to town. We were standing on the road after we heard rumours that the Russians are coming. Then you should remember that this group which belonged to this woman was supported by the police. We were still there. We had our arms. We were not fighting with the police. We were trying to protect our area. We were searching each and every car which entered the village. Whether we know the car or we don't know the car, we would search peacefully and ask their names, identify them peacefully and leave them to enter. Then the police came. Those policemen were all white. They came nearer to us and then they were driving us - they were forcing us to lead to the way to town. Then the station commander came first, Mr van Rooyen - I know him well, I can identify him, Mr van Rooyen. Then they opened their vans. He made ready his gun. I didn't understand as to whether when they were pulling their guns what they were going
to do, so he started to shoot. Then all of them started shooting. The people who were shot on that day were 20. Only one person died. Others were arrested, others were assaulted. I was shot and then I ran. I was shot on the left hand and again on the thigh. Then they tried to catch me but they were not able to do so. Then from there I took the road to town and from there I was able to hide myself. There is a place called Sterling. Then I was able to go to the location and from there I fell down. (Witness emotionally upset)
Take your time, my child. You are remember a very difficult incident. Take your time. --- And when I fell down I broke my left-hand joint. Those who were able to escape were able to carry me to take me to the doctor on that night. I went to Dr Zwane. This doctor gave me medical treatment. Then those who were shot with us, I was the first patient on that day. He treated me, then from there he helped the other person who was shot again. And from there he told me to exercise this hand so as to be able to use it. From there I was taken to Pilinomi Hospital. They gave me treatment there. The I was taken X-rays and they showed me where the bullet was. They told me that they were not able to take out the bullet. Even now this hand is always painful. Then I was going for treatment all the time using my money until the time I was not able to go because of lack of funds.
I thank you, Moagi. May we go back a little bit. You were talking about the Russians. What can you tell us about the Russians? What kind of people were they? When you were talking about Russians, what kind of
people are they? --- These Russians are the people who are staying in the mines who were paid to come and assault other people. They would wear the blankets and carry their sticks.
How did you hear that these Russians are coming to you Comrades? What's your relationship with them? --- These people are the people who are always bought.
What do you think? Who was buying these people? --- They were bought by this shop owner.
This Spanas? --- Yes.
Did they arrive? --- No, they didn't arrive. It's only the police who arrived. They didn't arrive.
This Van Rooyen whom you are talking about is he still there? --- It seems he's been transferred to Sasol. He's been transferred to Sasolburg.
Those who were with him on that day ... (incomplete) --- Some of them I can be able to remember them is I see their faces.
This Dr Zwane, is he still there at your location at Theunissen? --- No, he's now at Welkom.
Do you know where he is if we can look for him around Welkom? --- I don't know where his surgery is.
You said you were the first patient who arrived at the doctor's surgery. What time was it? Well, when those Van Rooyen and company were coming, what time was it? --- It was 12 midnight.
Who are the people who came to the surgery? --- The one whom I used as my witness was Tabo or Chauke. We just call him Chauke Tswaidi. His surname is Tswaidi.
What happened to him? --- He was shot on the shoulder. He was shot with a pellet on the shoulder.
Did he go to Pilinomi Hospital? --- No, he didn't go to Pilinomi Hospital.
What about others? Do you remember them? This Tswaidi, where can we find him? --- We can get him at Theunissen. He's still there.
What about others? --- One of them is right inside the hall. Others are in the hall.
May we ask them to stand. Are you too?
MEMBER OF AUDIENCE: Yes.
MRS GCABASHE: We thank you. These people were with you so they're going to give us their testimony? --- Yes.
When you went to this hospital, do you have these records? You did go to Pilinomi Hospital. Where are your records? --- Yes, they are there.
Are they at home? Are they in the hospital? --- They're in the hospital.
You said you have no more money to go to the hospital, who much were you paying? --- I was paying R20,00.
Is that for transport and hospital expenses combined? --- Yes.
At the hospital, how much were you paying? --- I was not paying at the hospital.
So this R20,00 was for transport? --- Yes.
Do you have something to say? --- No.
Are you through? --- Yes, I'm through.
We thank you, Josias. As I said that that time it was a time when any people suffered especially the
youth. In particular I'm impressed that you want to go on with your education because in this new order we need educated people to improve this nation. I would ask you to spell me this name Spanas Dibuka. Can you ... (incomplete) --- L-I-L-E-B-O-K. This Spanas is written as you call it. Spanas.
Do you want to further your studies? This request you have made, we'll take this request as a report to the President. He is the one who ... (incomplete) How does this incident affect your parents? Are they well? --- What I know is that it has badly affected my mother emotionally. Anything which happens to me is not able to be in control of the situation because what has happened to me. I try to make myself forget so that weekend and weekend I just drink so as to forget everything.
Are you the one who's drinking on the weekend? --- Yes, it's myself.
Do you have a drinking problem during the weekend? --- That is the thing which makes me stop to worry about what happened to me.
Don't you think you need doctor's help, maybe a psychologist to help you? --- I think that would help.
I think you need to get that psychological help because this thing of forgetting through drinking is going to affect you and your future would not be bright. That is the one thing which we would look as whether how can we help. Did you go to the doctor about this drinking problem? --- No.
Is that which troubles your mother? --- Yes.
We must try to help you to see a psychologist to try to help. The drinking thing would not help you to forget. Do you got to church? --- No, I don't go to church.
Maybe we will help how we would find someone who would help you with your drinking problem. I thank you very much. Thank you, Chair, I now return.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Josias. We have heard, we have listened to what you are saying and again I want to express on behalf of the members our sincere appreciation for your courage to come and tell a story about yourself and about some of your Comrades. It is such a pity that young people of your age had to suffer in such a way that they would find it very hard to continue their plans in life. And what is more happening is to find that most of the perpetrators are having jokes, enjoying themselves, supporting their families and others are holding positions in the government. This is really a concern that people who caused so much havoc in the old dispensation, tortured people, people became handicapped, they themselves are having a high profile in our government. As the fellow colleague has said, we have noted your requests and they will be forwarded to the President and the government. I'm very much interested about your willing to go back to school because we need to empower ourselves now with skills, even if you go to work, you get a job, you have no skills and I think people who don't have skills are going to have it hard in this new South Africa because what is going to be used is the skills. So I just pray that your dream about going back to school will come
into fulfilment. Give our love to your family and to your mother. We shall also remember them. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: I think we're going to take just one before we go for tea. We're already behind schedule. We're going to take Eric Sipho Khonzana.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESSES
CHAIRMAN: I see that you are two there whereas here on my schedule I've got Eric. Who is Eric.
MR KHONZANA: I'm Eric.
CHAIRMAN: What is the name of the second one.
MR MOGATLE: I'm Joseph Mogatle.
CHAIRMAN: Are you accompanying Eric or not?
MR MOGATLE: We were together when we were shot at.
CHAIRMAN: So you want also to speak in this hearing.
MR MOGATLE: Yes, I would prefer to speak.
CHAIRMAN: It means then that both of you will have to take an oath that what you're going to say here is true. Now, may we begin with Eric. Eric can you stand up. Take an oath.
MR KHONZANA: Help me God to tell the truth.
CHAIRMAN: What is your name by the way.
MR MOGATLE: Richard Mogatle.
CHAIRMAN: Richard can you take an oath?
MR MOGATLE: I'm ready to take an oath.
CHAIRMAN: Take it.
MR MOGATLE: Help me got to tell the truth.
CHAIRMAN: I'm going to ask one of my colleagues, Professor Simangele Magwaza, to lead you in what you want to day. Thank you very much.
/ERIC SIPHO KHONZANA
ERIC SIPHO KHONZANA (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
PROF MAGWAZA: I greet you both and welcome you for having come forward today to tell us about your story. I'm aware that you are quite young and it helps us - we usually appreciate it if we also have young people, who have fought for the struggle, to tell us about their own experiences. I'll start by you Eric. The statement I have here is that you live at 1578 Msakas in Masilo and that you were born in March 1964. You are here today to make a statement relating to the killing and injuring of Comrades by police. That's right? --- That's correct
To start, Eric, could you just tell us more about yourself and then about your family. --- My name is Eric Khonzana. Sipho is my name that I use at home but I'm known as Sipika. I'm all by myself at home. My mother stays at her mother's place. She stays with my grandmother but my grandmother has since been deceased. She died when I was still in prison. I grew up in Theunissen and I schooled in Theunissen. I left school what I was in Standard 5 because of certain problem in the household. It's then that I decided that I should help my mother by working and I stayed with my mother and I could help my mother. I was holding piece jobs from time to time so as to be able to make ends meet because we had financial problems and I could not go back to school. I decided that I should go and train myself for skills. Then I took up courses as an electrician. I worked at the mines. Then after that I met and worked with a certain contract because I
couldn't get a job as an electrician. Thereafter, after about nine months I decided to go to Johannesburg but I was unable because my mother was all by herself at home and I was the one taking care of her and I decided that I should get a job closer to my place. Then I got a job as an electrician at a certain mine and I was earning R175,00 per week. I worked up to such time that I got injured. I was involved in this type of accident. We heard that there was some riot within the Masilo place. We were told that a certain Banaso and other people were going to come and attack. There's a certain gentleman by the name of Dinana who was a student and Quinana was involved in attacking the Comrades together with the police. He belonged to many organisations. That is he also had a football club as well as people who were playing guitars. I don't know what resolution they reached but Quinana had to be forgiven and our community decided that Quinana could not be forgiven because many of the Comrades were now in prison because of Quinana's actions. And he is the one who had brought the police to come and arrest members of the community. And we knew Quinana very well because he was a resident and he did not want to listen to us. We reached a decision as to what we should do with Quinana and a meeting was convened so that we could discuss what had to be done with Quinana. That is where we heard at the meeting that Banase had come with seven people from Brandford who had come to attack us.
(Interpreter: The speakers mike is not on)
I see now you have lots of other information which is not in the statement. Are you - that information, is /it going
it going to lead to your attack by the Russians, the police and the farmers? --- That is correct.
Okay, fine. If you could just lead that information to what we have in the statement. --- Thereafter it so happened that on a particular night at about past ten we heard some noise outside the building and it sounded like there was an attack and we were told that the anti-Comrade gang was present and it was already attacking the Comrades and we had to go and protect our community. We decided to form ourselves into groups and we surrounded the neighbourhood. We went to the outskirts of the place and we were stopping cars and searching the cars before they got into the residential area. We were telling ourselves that we were protecting our own community from the imminent attack of the anti-Comrades. We felt that we had to protect the older residents as the youth. Then we reached a resolution that we should got to the outskirts of town and keep a vigil there because we had heard that we were going to be attacked. After about a few minutes, whilst we were there, we saw a police Casspir. It parked there. We were about 200. They just stopped there and looked at us. Thereafter it happened that this Casspir went away and it came back with a convoy of about seven cars, very big cars. There were about three four-by-fours, two private cars and the police cars. They came quite slowly. They were driving slowly towards us. We didn't pay much attention to them because we were not fighting with them. We were not able to run because they came and they shone their headlights on us whilst we were sitting down. They got
out of their cars. We saw farmers as well and the farmers were also armed. They surrounded us. They formed a circle around us and they told us to stand up. Then we decided that we should stand up and some of us were scared because we did not know what they were going to do to us. Then we formed a circle. Some of them were now getting scared and they were trying to run and everybody else now started to run and there was no way that I could run. I was not able to run away from the commotion. Then I decided that I should surrender. Some had already been shot and there were headlights shining upon those people. It was as if it was broad daylight and I lifted my hands up as a sign of surrender and I stood for about 15 minutes with my hands up and a white man in army uniform shot me. And he was actually cocking his gun, then I decided to run. I ran only a few paces with bullets whizzing past my head. Then I felt a shot on my left hand. That is on my arm and I could feel that my arm was painful. I tried to stretch my arm. Then I realised that my arm had been broken. And as I was trying to stand up I was unable and my arm was giving me a problem. I just couldn't stretch it and I remained in that position for quite some time and bullets were whizzing past at that time and some people were running away from the scene. Others were lying flat on the ground. And ultimately another white person came to me. He said to me I must stand up. I told him that I wasn't able to stand up because of my arm that was painful and broken and he realised that there was something that had happened to my arm. My arm was injured. Then he lifted me up and he took me back to
the other white people and he left me and I was pushed with the back of the gun into the Casspir. I got in without any protest because I realised that I needed help. I got into the police Casspir. When we got inside some were shot in the mouth, some were shot on the legs, they were shot at different parts of the body and people were screaming inside. I tried to get a place to relax to try and be in a sleeping position because I could not stand on my feet and there was a black policeman who said I should balance on the table. That's when I balanced on the table. I just had something hitting me from the back and when I looked it was the butt of a gun. And thereafter I lost consciousness because I fell down and I was left to lie on the floor. At about 1 o'clock in the morning we were taken to the provincial hospital. I was put into plaster of Paris and we were under police guard at the time when we were in the hospital. We were under police guard. Six policemen were actually guarding us and people from our places and homes could not come to see us because we were under police guard. I was not able to go home and when I went back home I went to the Comrades to ask for some help and I asked them to give me some money to go to Lesotho because they were going to arrest me in this place so I had to go to Dr Zwane, who's a private doctor. He took out the plaster of Paris and attend to my arm. I explained to him that I was from the provincial hospital. Then I was taken to Pilinomi and they asked me as to what I wanted to do. I had to undergo an operation on my arm. After the operation some iron rods were put inside my arm.
Policemen came at that particular hospital and they were looking for me and the nurses did not want to show them where I was but they told me that the police were actually looking for me. Then they wanted to see my arm but I refused because my arm was in bandages and I had undergone an operation and they said I wasn't the one that they were looking for. The following morning I decided to run away from the hospital and I went to Lesotho and I disappeared at that time.
Thank you very much, Eric. You have given us a very detailed picture of what happened to you and the Comrades. You have a very clear mind. I would like to ask a few clarifying questions. Just short clarifying questions. Firstly, you mentioned that you were in prison. When did you go to prison and why? --- I went to prison after I had been injured. There are three kids at my place. I have three children. I had a wife then and I was trying to make a living. I was selling dagga at that time so that I could make some money to maintain my family. So I was not able to work because the police kept on arresting me and I would go to prison and come back once more. Then I decided that I had to make a living out of selling dagga. So I decided that that's the only way I could make a living. I've just come back from prison. I came back in June from prison and my mother who was helping me - my grandmother was helping me whilst I was in prison has now since been deceased. So I'm not able to make ends meet at the present moment. Even the letters and the documents that I've sent haven't served any purpose.
You also say that you went to Lesotho. For how
long were you in Lesotho? --- I stayed for about two months in Lesotho.
What were you doing there? --- I was staying at my wife's place. I wasn't working.
Regarding your statement, you talk about the Russians. The people who came to assault you according to the statements were the Russians and as I understand it the Russians were the hostel dwellers and the miners - people from the mines. Did they also form part of the group that attacked you - the Russians? --- They never came at that time when we expected that they would come to attack us. Only the police came at that time.
You also talk about farmers but these farmers were in army uniform. Did they wear army uniform when they came to attack you? --- There were those who were wearing army uniforms as well as those who were wearing police uniforms. I realised that they were from the farms because they were wearing khaki shorts.
Who is Quinana? Where is Quinana now? Quinana. You mentioned this name who was responsible for the detention of many Comrades at the beginning. --- Quinana is the same person as Banase.
Oh, Banase. I don't have Banase here. So where is Banase now? --- I don't know his whereabouts but he was in Bloemfontein when I last year about him.
What was he doing? --- He was actually running away because he had been attacked by the community
You say there were many people who were injured on that day. You tell us about only one who died which is Matthews Lenong, but you said there were many, many others who were injured. Do you know what happened to
those people? Where are they? --- I still do meet some of them.
Where is the family of Matthews? Matthews is the only person who's identified as having died. Where is his family. You said - of the person who died. --- Presently I don't know because I'm just from prison so I don't know much. I don't know whether they're still around or not.
You also mentioned that there was an attorney that helped you. Do you know where - is that attorney still around? Motsepe. Is he still around? Do you know - have details about his office? Where is he? --- I had his phone numbers. I still have them even now.
Okay, probably you could help by leaving the phone numbers. Was there a court case? --- No, there was never any case. I went to try and find out and I was told that he could not get money to go on with the case and I could not go on with the case also because I do not have any money.
(Inaudible) ... regarding you were shot in the hand twice. How is your hand now? --- Presently my arm is always painful. I'm not able to use it. I can't lift anything that's heavy. Even the fingers that got injured, they always get cramps and at times they can't be straight. Even the tablets that I was given, they don't help me. It shows that my hand still needs to be attended to medically.
Where are you getting treatment from and who is paying for the treatment? Are you paying for the treatment? --- Yes, I was getting treatment from Pilinomi. Then after that I didn't have any money. I
stopped taking the treatment.
You are an electrician. I think that's one thing that really impressed me that you made an effort to acquire some skills. You ended up being an electrician. Within your condition can you still practise as an electrician? --- I have tried to look for jobs but I've been unsuccessful and each time they look at my hand they realise that I cannot work for long periods of time with my hand. I always have to get some rest because my fingers don't function properly and they said they would not be able to hire me because of this handicap.
What do you think you could do? What type of work could be better for you? --- Presently I think what I can do is connecting the electric cables. That's the next best thing that I can do but I can't think of anything else like fitting in tubing and dealing with pipes, tubing the pipes.
Your family - we didn't get full information about you family. Is your wife working? --- We have now separate because she left when I had gone to prison.
How many kids do you have? --- I have three kids.
And where are the kids? --- They are at home.
At home with whom? Your wife? --- They are with my mother.
With your mother. Who's supporting you now, now that you're out of prison? --- After I got released I usually go to my mother's place and she's having people who are leasing the property and she usually helps me with the funds.
Okay, thank you very much, Sipho. I see a lot of hope in your life. I think you are still young. You have a skill. There are things you cannot do but I think there are also lots of things that you can do to start your life again. And we'll take note of what you have said and some of the things we can try to see what we can do about them as soon as possible especially related to medical field, to your physical condition but I think the important thing is that even though your hand was injured, it would help is you could be assisted to find some job, some light job that you can do because you are still very young. I will not like to get some information from Joseph.
JOSEPH MOGATLE (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
PROF MAGWAZA: Joseph, you were involved in the same situation with Sipho. Yes, we have had the full story from Sipho on what happened that day. Probably you could just help us briefly to tell us about your injuries because you were also injured. Just tell us about your injuries. I have your statement here as well. --- I was shot with four bullets. There are certain bullets which were left lodged in my body, that is two. I was sent to Pilinomi Hospital and they extracted one bullet from my leg and there's on in my thigh in my waist. They told me that I had to go to Baragwanath because that's where they'll be able to extract the bullet. But I wasn't able to go to Baragwanath Hospital because I'm working. I'm employed and I would not be able to leave my job and go to Baragwanath especially because I wasn't injured at
work. And presently I'm at home and I do go to work on certain days but my health has deteriorated because of the bullet that's lodged in my waist.
According to your statement you were in hospital for six months. --- That is true.
You say your state of health has deteriorated. What do you mean? What has happened? --- This bullet that's lodged in my waist gives me problems because I'm always going to the X-rays and I have a problem walking. I always have to go for check-up and where the bullet is lodged there's always rust settling in and it's becoming bigger and bigger. That is the problem that I have.
In your statement you refer to Dr Storm who refused to treat you. Where is Dr Storm now? --- He's still present in Theunissen.
You have a full address of where he is? --- I don't know his address but I know where he's practising.
Then you also mentioned your neighbour who was sort of a witness, Motlalento. Where is you neighbour now? --- He's also still present and I'm working with him. He's the one who actually helped me when I was in this problem because there was nobody who was helping me. When I ran out of the location he's the one who helped me to get medical attention because I had this plaster of Paris and I had crutches. When I was screaming for people to help me, he's the one who came to help me when I was screaming in pain. He came running and he discovered that I have been injured. Then he took me to get some medical attention. He was scared and said and he said he couldn't go to the hospital at night but he
went to my boss, my employer, and reported that I had been injured. And he went to fetch the police. He came back with the police then and they took me to the police station and at the police station I think I was unconscious or confused, I didn't know what was happening at that stage. And they took me to this doctor who said that I should be put at the storeroom because I was going to make his surgery dirty and I was placed in the storeroom and I regained my consciousness at Pilinomi.
Could you tell us something about your family? Your family, Joseph. --- I have a wife and two kids. I don't have parents but I do have a grandmother - my father's mother. She's the one I'm staying with at home.
Your wife, is she working? --- She's not working.
Your two kids, how old are they? --- My firstborn was born in 1988 on the 17th of January. My second-born was born in 1994 on the 18th of February.
Okay. Thank you very much, Joseph. Your story's very similar to Sipho's. I think for both of you we have noted your request, you have had different yet similar experiences and as I've said to others, we will forward your request for consideration. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: (Inaudible) ... Mr Dlamini.
MR DLAMINI: Thank you Mr Chairman. I just want to ask one or two questions from either of the two witnesses. The presence of the farmers, did you recognise any of them or it was only because they were wearing khaki
shorts? --- (Mr Khonzana) I recognised them with the clothes that they were wearing and they have long beards.
But none of them you could perhaps recognise as so-and-so? --- I couldn't identify any.
And my next question is in your own opinion why were the farmers interested in the things that were happening in the township? --- According to my own understanding when there were riots they would call the farmers to come and help the police in Theunissen.
CHAIRMAN: Well, Bara, thank you for very much for coming forward. We are just sorry that you became the victims of the circumstances until one of you had to be involved in dagga and be arrested. I don't think that was your own fault. I think it was because of the circumstances which prevailed in the country. You wanted to get the ways of supporting your family. We think that you were trying to be very responsible but of course used methods which are not acceptable. We can see very well here that if there were some people who were colluding with the system, some of them were doctors. I don't think that the oath which is taken by doctors called the Hippocratic Oath which they take when they become doctors that they would serve anybody does really allow a person like Dr Storm to refuse a person and say that a person must be put in a storeroom. I think in that he broke the very oath that he took when be became a doctor and those actions need to be revisited. Maybe he himself has to come forward and tell us why he broke his oath as a doctor and not treat a human being when he was in need. What also impresses
me in this statement which is before me which is that one of Eric is that in spite of all what he has suffered he still thinks about the community. I just want to cite some of the things he says here. He says that as a reparation they would ask for the proper roads leading to the community township and also maybe monuments for those who died. That's in itself reveals that you are very community orientated and of course you suffered because you wanted to defend your community. Well, thank you very much, we have noted what you have asked for and we shall pass this to the government who has to make a decision. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: Again I want to remind you about the process that when the witnesses are being led out we all stand and be quiet and unfortunately I want to repeat what I said yesterday that unfortunately the tea is only provided for the staff and the witness. By staff I mean those who are serving us here, TRC, in different ways. Those are the people who receive tea and the witnesses. And when the witnesses are moving out, we stand and remain quite. We are going to come back at quarter two. We're already behind schedule. If we have to finish we have to try and move forward. At quarter to twelve will you please come. We just drink tea quickly. May we stand when the witnesses are being led out.
CHAIRMAN: We understand that you have come here to tell the story about the detention and the death of you brother, Bitising Thaele and before you do that we would like you to stand up and take an oath that what you're going to say here is true, God being your helper.
LITABE THAELE (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. I'm going to call upon Mrs Regina Gcabashe to lead the process to help you when you tell your stories. Thank you.
MRS GCABASHE: You have come here to tell us about the detention of you brother as well as his death. Is that so? --- That is correct.
Before we even get further with the matter, I just want you to give us a brief background about your family. What are you doing now? --- I'm working as a security guard.
Whereabouts are you working? --- I'm working in Welkom. I'm working at Electro Guard.
What standard did you pass? --- I passed Standard 10.
Just tell us briefly about our family, whether you have sisters, brothers, as well as parents? --- We are nine at home. Two have since been deceased so we are left with only seven members of the family but they are not present at the moment. They are at home.
Are they attending school? --- Yes, there are some who are attending school. Five are attending school.
How many are working? --- I'm the only one
who's working at the present moment.
Do you have parents? --- I still do have both parents.
What are they doing? --- They are also not working.
Is it because they're on pension or are they sick? --- No, they are very sickly because of their ages.
Can you give us a brief background as to the circumstances surrounding your brother's arrest and detention and the consequent death? What was happening at that place, that is where you were staying in Welkom or Tabong? --- We had gone to see my brother on the ... (intervention)
Let me interrupt you. That is before the 25th. I want you to give us a picture as to what led to your brother's arrest and detention. Give us the circumstances before that. --- Now, he was working. There was nothing happening on the 24th. There was absolutely nothing. It was just quiet at the residential area.
There were no fights or riots? --- None whatsoever.
Let's come to the 25th of September 1991 when this occurrence took place. --- On the 25th I was in town with my brother and we separated. We went our different ways. We went our different paths. He said he was going to pay his accounts. He said he was going to pay his account and we decided that we were going to meet later at the bank. We went to the bank. We waited for him but he didn't turn up and we decided to walk around town looking for him until we met one guy who was
accompanying him at that time and he told us that he had just been arrested by the police and we asked as to where he was taken to. He said they said they were going to interrogate him and bring him bach. And we met certain security guards and they told us that my brother said he had lost some money.
Who had lost some money? --- That is my deceased brother. They said he alleged that he had los some money on that day and when he saw the police he asked them to search a person who was following him at that time. And the police said he was drunk and they did not want to listen to him. And they had an argument. They were alleging that he was drunk and he was denying it. And one of the policemen hit him with the fist on his chest. Then he returned to fist to the police. That's when the fight started. The fight between the police and my deceased brother started then. And that's when he was arrested. He was taken to the police station. The explanation that we got from the security was that my brother had assaulted a policeman, that's why he was arrested and he had to be taken to the police station. We proceeded to the police station looking for him. They denied his presence. They said they had not yet arrested anyone of that description. We decided that time was moving on and at about 3 o'clock a certain black surgeon, Mr Nbongo, arrived at the police station and he told us that he had seen a person of that description. He had been arrested at that particular police station and he said that we should come later on when the station commander was present. When we came back on that particular day the
station commander told us that he did not have time for us because we were very stubborn. We were just like my brother who had been arrested at that time. And he told me that my brother was present but we could not see him. At that time we didn't know whether he was still alive or he was already dead. It was late and we had to go home and sleep and come back. We went back the following day on the 26th. Then we were told that he had committed suicide. He had hanged - killed himself. We wanted to know the details surrounding his death but nobody could come forth with any information. We were not told as to how he died. They said they were arrested and were put in a certain cell together with eight other prisoners. And one female said he was alone in the cell. He was not with other detainees or prisoners. When we enquired as to why he was arrested, they said he had sworn at the officers. He said the were going on with "shit apartheid" and that's the insult that they said he uttered at the charge office.
Are you through? --- Yes, I am.
Let's got back to your statement. Is Constable du Toit still working? --- I don't know whether he's still working there because I've never gone to see him.
What about Sergeant Mbongwa? --- I think Sergeant Mbongwa has since died.
When they said your brother had killed himself did they ever tell you as to how he did this? --- There were even conflicting statements. Another surgeon said he had actually ... (incomplete) Sergeant Britz. And there's another one who was not wearing uniform. He said my brother had undone the seam of what he was
wearing and he hanged himself. I don't remember his name but we spoke to a black policeman who told us that his name was Van Tonder.
What about Sergeant Britz, do you still remember as to where he was? --- I understand Sergeant Britz is still working in Welkom.
The same police station? --- He's working in Welkom now but he was working at Odendaalsrus before.
At the time was he still at Odendaalsrus? --- Yes, he was.
Did you ever open a case with regard to your bother's death? --- Yes, we did.
How did it go? --- We were told that the matter has been referred to the Attorney-General.
There are certain documents from the Attorney-General and you had your own pathologist as well as your own attorney. --- We had an attorney.
What was the name of the attorney? --- It's Mr Matsipe. Mr T V Matsipe.
He was your attorney? --- Yes, he was our attorney.
Do you know where he's working? --- No, I don't know where he is presently.
What happened? What did he advise you to do? --- He said he could not get a clear explanation on the side of the State because they were given conflicting statements as well as different statements.
And who was the other pathologist? --- We were not told. We were told that he had gone out of he country. He went overseas but the second doctor was Dr Olivier.
Where's Dr Olivier now? --- Olivier was in Bloemfontein, the last time I heard of him.
Did you ever get any letters or documents from the Attorney-General? --- The last time the Attorney-General said he was not prepared to help us. He was not prepared to prosecute on the case.
You also wrote to the government of the present day. You wrote to the Department of Justice. --- Yes, they gave us a report from the magistrate as well as the Attorney-General.
Do you still have the reports? --- Yes, I do,. I've already submitted them.
Let's now go back to your parents. Even since this happened, how are the coping? --- My mother's got a heart problem which she got since my brother died.
And what about your father? --- I think my father is mentally disturbed from the time that y brother died.
Is that why he's not working? --- Yes, that's the reason why he's not working.
Are they getting any medical attention or medical help? --- No, they're not getting any because we have no funds but my mother does get some treatment but she only attends the doctors when we have money.
Have you ever heard about free medical clinic. Hasn't this been introduced in Welkom? --- No, we've never heard of such because whenever she goes to the clinic she's referred to the hospital.
How does your father get treatment? Is he getting any? --- Yes, he is going to a certain doctor, a senior doctor.
Who is treating him? --- It's Dr van der Walt.
Have you ever taken your parents for counselling? --- He was admitted at the mental hospital at some stage. He was taken to Bloemfontein but I'm not sure about the name of the hospital but it was in Bloemfontein.
We've heard your story, Jacob. It's a very pathetic story that your brother was arrested only for one day and the following day he was dead. In your statement you've said that they did not allow you to take the corpse from the State mortuary. --- They said that the matter was in the hands of the State and we could not take the corpse. We were speaking to a Mr du Toit, a Constable du Toit. Constable du Toit said my brother's matter is in the hands of the State and there was nothing he could do.
What efforts did you make in order to get your brother's body? --- We went to the ANC branch in Welkom and they helped us to get the corpse.
And on the day of the funeral is there anything that happened that was extraordinary? --- No, the corpse only came on the morning of the day that he was supposed to be buried and we could not conduct a night vigil.
You have told us your very painful story. You said you wish that there would be an investigation conducted in regard to your bother's death as to how he died and who killed him because you do not believe that he could have killed himself. --- It is true that I do not believe that he could kill himself. I'm totally not satisfied with that explanation.
We do understand your concern and we sympathise with your parents' condition especially your father when he's lost his mind ever since this happened. We do understand that this has affected you quite drastically. How are your brothers and sisters? How are they coping with the tragedy? --- They are all trying to support each there and the deceased had two children at the time of his death. The one is 15 years old and the other one is 9 years old.
Are they attending school? --- Yes, they are.
What standard are they in? --- The one who's 15 years old is doing Standard 6 and the 9-year-old is doing Standard 3.
Who's helping them with their education? --- Yes, I'm the only one who's working so I'm educating them.
Where's there mother? --- Their mother has since been married.
You say that they have been affected by this? --- Yes, they have been affected and I cannot actually to everything that they required as growing children. I cannot maintain them. I'm not able to.
As you've already told us please do pass our condolences to your parents. We shall try by all means to see as to how we should help you but we do not have the power to say that we can help you. All that we do, we pass the recommendations to the government or the State President who then makes a final decision or a recommendation as to what should be done in such circumstances. We do believe that you would like to see some psychologist who can help you without having to
pay. We thank you very much for you presence. We also thank you for your courage. We wish that the Lord could help you to continue with your job and continue to maintain a family despite the difficulties that you're facing. Thanks very much. I shall hand over to the Chairperson.
CHAIRMAN: Any other comments?
PROF MAGWAZA: I just have two short questions. Your brother when he was arrested by the police, did he belong to any political organisation. Was he politically active or do you think the arrest was just for the assault? --- I know that he was a member of the ANC.
Was he active as a member of the ANC? --- I could say he was. He was a sympathizer but I don't believe he was a card-carrying member.
Do you think his arrest was associated with him being of the ANC, or a political organisation? --- I have no clarity on that issue. I cannot comment on it.
The last one is, you say you had conflicting evidence about how your brother died. What's the conflicting evidence? --- The police could not give us one statement as to how my brother committed suicide. Even the post mortem there was no final report as to how he died. There is absolutely nothing tangible that we know about my brother's death. It was just that he committed suicide but here was absolutely no proof that there was anything of that sort.
But what did the police actually say to you? How did he commit suicide? --- The other policeman said
he had used a blanket to kill himself, the other one said the had hanged himself with a part of the blanket that he tore from the blanket.
Thank you very much. --- I thank you.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Litabe. Professor Magwaza just asked the questions which I wanted to ask so that we know whether the case is within the Act, to see if it was politically motivated or it was just a crime caused by the police that is why she's asking you these questions. Was there any criminal case about your brother's death? --- No, there was no case. They said we should come with the evidence and submit it to them.
Okay, thank you very much or coming. We shall examine the case of your brother and as Mrs Gcabashe's said, we shall make an attempt to see that your requests are channelled through the right channels to the government because we make recommendations. We can say that here you are a young man who is carrying a heavy load to look after the parents who themselves are traumatised and sick and also to look after your brother's two children. And I want to comment you for the ubuntu to know that you are also responsible for the children of your brother if your brother is dead. We commend you for that. With this model can be copied, specially by the young generation which has become so individualistic. Thank you very much as it has been said that we have noted all what you've said. Thanks a lot.
CHAIRMAN: Now, I understand that Magdaline Nelane has also arrived. No, I mean, we've done that one. Sangweni.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESS
CHAIRMAN: You have come here to tell the story about the death of your son Mandla Simon Sangweni. Is that true? --- That's correct.
Then were want to afford you this opportunity of taking an oath before you tell your sad story. May you stand up and take an oath that what you are going to say here is true, God being your helper.
MALETSATSI SANGWENI (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much ... (inaudible) --- I also thank you, Sir.
Maletsatsi, you live in ... (inaudible) ... in Odendaalsrus, is that true? --- That's correct.
How long have you been living in this place? --- I arrived in 1993 on the 21st of October. I was from Zimbabwe.
So are you a Zimbabwian? --- I'm not a Zimbabwian. I was born here and I went to live in Zimbabwe.
For how long were you in Zimbabwe? --- I left here in 1980.
When you were in Zimbabwe were you in exile? --- No, Sir.
Did you live with your family in Zimbabwe or just yourself? --- It was myself and the family.
Can you tell us about the composition of your
family? --- I have Maria, Lucky, Prisco, they are all my children.
How many are they? --- The ones that I'm staying with are three in number but all of them in number, they are five.
Five in number. So before your son died you had six children? --- Yes, there were six.
These five children, are they working already? --- No, they are not working. Just one of them is working, the daughter.
How old are they? Can you give me their years? --- The firstborn was born in 1963 on the 23rd of December. The second-born was born in 1970 on the 6th of January and she is married. The third one was born in 1977 on the 31st of December. The fourth one was born in 1980 on the 4th of September and the fifth one was born in 1982 on the 1st of November.
When was Mandla born, the one who is deceased? --- He was born in 1967, if I'm not mistaken. It was in 1967.
Can you please tell me, the one who was born in 1963, is it a boy or a girl? --- It's a girl.
And the one in 1970? --- It's a girl.
1977? --- It's a girl.
1980? --- It's a boy, Sir.
1982? --- Another boy.
Thank you very much. You are a wonderful parent, you know. Parents always forget the dates of their children. They remember the years and maybe the month and they forget about the day. You just weren't like this with your children. That is very wonderful. Now,
are there any of your children who are still in school? --- Yes, Sir.
Of course No 2 now, the one born in 1970 is married. And the 1963 what is she doing? --- She' just doing temporary jobs.
Temporary jobs. And the one in 1977? --- Still at school, Sir.
What standard, Mama? --- She's doing matric.
The one in 1980? --- Doing Standard 6, Sir
1982? --- The one born in 1982 was supposed to be doing Standard 7 but I took time before I could send him to school but this one that was born in 1982 is doing Standard 6.
Thank you very much. Do they have any father? Is the father still living? --- Their father passed away.
Thank you, I'll be coming back to other questions. And so you were with these children in Zimbabwe and you came back in - when did you come back? 1993? --- I came back in 1993.
Thank you very much. Can you just give us the story about the death of your son? Tell us the story starting from the 13th of March 1990 when you say you received a telegram from ... (inaudible). When you received the telegram, where was your son? Was he here in South Africa? --- He was right here in South Africa.
So he didn't go with you to Zimbabwe? --- He went to Zimbabwe with me. He completed his matric in 1987. If I'm not mistaken it's in 1987 or 1988 and because I was struggling I couldn't make ends meet he
decided to come back home to his uncles to get an identity document so that he can get himself a job to do. And I sat down with him. I told him I don't have money to apply passport for him. I was sewing and I knitting and selling and every time I would come back with a little income and I exchanged this money into South African money and I organised him transport to come to South Africa and I received a letter that he was already in South Africa. And I rushed home because I wanted him to have an identity document. Luckily his sister already helped him to get an identity document and he said he was already in the process of applying for a job and thereafter I got this telegram.
Thank you very much, Mama. Was your son a member of any political organisation, do you know? --- Yes, I heard they say, yes, he was a member of a political party but I was not around.
Do you know what that party is? --- I don't know, Sir.
So you got a telegram when you were there saying your son had been shot. Do you know who shot your son? --- I don't know the person responsible but I heard the Comrades talking about that person responsible.
Do they say who was that person who was responsible, the Comrades? --- They said it is the policeman called Monei.
Monei? --- Yes, Sir.
Do you know where Monei lives? --- I don't know, Sir.
Even the Comrades don't know where he is? --- I didn't ask them, Sir.
According to your daughter who was here in South Africa did she tell you why your son was shot by the police? --- She told me that they were in a mass action toyi-toyiing during the unrest at Odendaal.
What was happening during that time in Odendaal? What was this toyi-toyiing? What was happening? Did she tell you? --- I don't want to tell lies because I was not there. I arrived there during those unrests so I didn't know what was exactly happening. I was not even able to ask because when I confront this incident, I get upset.
Ja, I don't blame you by being upset. This must be very painful indeed. Your daughter's name is Martha, is that true? --- Yes, that's true.
Is Martha not here? --- No, she didn't come.
She didn't find it necessary to come and support you as she's a person who knew everything. If we want to get information from Martha, where would we get her? --- She's working at Lesotho Wholesale.
Working at Lesotho Wholesale. Where is Lesotho Wholesale? --- It's at Odendaal just around Tom Tuck(?)
Thank you. I'm just asking because we might need her assistance. We might have to call her some time so that she can give us more information as she is the one who was around because she has made a statement here. In your statement you said that your daughter Martha Sangweni told you that Mandla had been shot because he was a political activist and an ANC member. Is that true that your son was buried on the 27th March 1990? --- He was buried on the 22nd of March. He died on
the 12th of March, then he was buried on the 22nd of March. Yes, it's on the 22nd of March.
Do you have any death certificate? --- Yes, Sir.
Do you know what is written on the death certificate about his death - the cause of this death? --- I don't understand English so I'm not sure what is written there.
Well, we'll have to see what is written there. It doesn't matter. So long it is there. Thank you very much for it. Was there an inquest made into his death? --- I don't understand what you mean by an inquest, Sir.
I mean investigating his death. --- Yes, there were some investigations. There was a court case then my daughter said there were many forms who were put on the table. Then in court they were saying they were burning houses in Bester and ... (inaudible) ... property. So I think that is why he was shot.
It was said that they were burning houses. Which houses or whose houses? --- It was said in the court of law that they burnt tractors and then they destroyed his property. I don't remember was it Bester or somebody else.
Who was this Bester? --- I do not know. I think he was one of the white people who were building houses in the township. I did not know who this Bester was because I wasn't residing here.
Thank you. That is why I say we might need the assistance from your daughter who was here. So, Mama, you have got children in school and you don't have a
husband. Who is educating these children? --- That's myself, Sir.
Are you working? --- I'm not working, Sir,
How do you do it, Mama? --- At times I'm sewing trousers. At times the friends to my child. Usually they give me money then I buy sheep heads and sell and that is how I'm able to afford to pay their school fees and able to buy them uniforms but under some conditions which I am, I was unable even continue with my work. I used to get some profits to buy them money but now because of my health even one of them I couldn't pay her school fees even up to now.
Is she still remaining in school? --- Yes, she's still at school. When kids were sent back to collect school fees I went to the school and I talked with the principal that I don't have money but I'll try to get money then pay R45,00. I was able to get R20,00, then I paid that R20,00. Since I've only paid that R20,00 I haven't yet contributed the other remaining money.
What is the name of the school, Mama? --- The Ispihelo(?) Secondary School.
What is the name of the principal? --- I don't know if the surname is Motseke. I heard students say Mr Motseke so I thought that that's the surname.
Does the principal live in Odendaal? --- Yes, he stays at Odendaal.
Mama Sangweni, you are a very courageous mother. You are like the hen which does not fail to provide for its chickens. For a mother like you having no stable job to be able to see that the children go to school is
something to be commended. We have noted here everything about your story and about the education of your children and we want to pay tribute to Mr Motseke who when you didn't have R45,00 to pay for the school fees for your children accepted R20,00, saw your condition. He indeed needs to be commended. I wish all the principals of schools would look in the context surrounding their pupils. This is a very good model of a principal and if you see him say that we really commended him for the action which he took. How is your health - yours? --- I'm not as healthy as before. Just immediately after the death of my son I was affected by high blood, I had a cardiac problem, I had ulcers and my eyes began to be weak. I was a person who was sewing but thereafter I'm not able to see clearly and I'm not able to read. That's why I'm struggling with my work because I'm even affected for work because I'm not able to do that work correctly. So I'm saying like that. I used to go to Dr Podjee(?) after the death of my son in 1990 up to the end of that year. Then I went back to Zimbabwe. Even under those problems in Zimbabwe. As long as I'm still a live and the little cents I get is to take care of my children to as to further their studies so that I will be able to give them a better life. Then I've got always to keep on trying to take care of my children and I thank God for caring for me under those problems. What gives me a problem is that when they look for the school fees.
Take your time, Mama. I can feel the load you're carrying. It's only a mother, a good mother, who can carry it. --- My children all the time when they go
to school you will see the among other students, that they are not children who are well kept for because that gives me a problem because they're not able even to study under good conditions. Their clothes are always sewed and their shoes are old and all the time they are wearing old clothes. I feel this pain because if this person is really responsible for killing the brother to my children, I don't know as to whether he did say how this came about. The person I had hoped that he would be the breadwinner and be responsible for his younger brothers and sisters.
Thank you, Mama. By the way did you say the police, Mr Monei, who killed your son, you don't know where he is? --- I last heard of him from the Comrades. I'm not able to ask but I learnt he's in Odendaalsrus. I'm not sure as to whether he's in town or in the location.
Mama, thank you very much for coming forward to tell your sad story and I know that this must also have affected the other children by losing their brother which means that maybe they themselves would need a kind of treatment from the trauma they received. We're noting some of the things from your story which we may use as a recommendation when we pass your story to the government and we shall also try and see if we cannot trace where Mr Monei is who killed your son so that he can also come forward and tell the story why he caused such terrible pain the family in which you find yourselves now. That will be very important for us and we may also want to get the proper true story from Mr Bester whether that is true that these children were
burning the houses and tractors so that everything is put into the right perspective. Anyway thank you very much for coming. Are there any people who want to say something.
MR DLAMINI: Thank you, Mr Chairman, just one question. Mrs Sangweni, have you approached local social workers and applied for a possible maintenance grant or whatever assistance they can give you? --- I did go to the clinic to make an application and I was given maize meal - I was given 2,5kg of porridge and a small bottle of fish oil and one pack of beans. Since I was given that pack on that day I haven't got it again.
At the clinic did you speak to the nursing staff or social workers? --- I did talk to the nurses of the clinic.
May I suggest that you also ask them to refer you to local social workers and see whether you cannot get additional help from the Welfare office as well. --- Thank you, Sir.
CHAIRMAN: Any other questions? (No further questions) Thank you very much. We have people here Mrs Sangweni who could help you to get to these places. We've got the co-ordinator here in this region in the name of Mr Pitso and we have also the support system people who can help you, like the NGOs, so that you have contact. I know sometimes it is difficult, as person of your age to get to these people but we have set up a system here which can help you to get to these people. Thank you very much for coming. --- I also thank you, Sir.
CHAIRMAN: Now, may we have Pulane Aaron Mutsi to come forward.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESSES
CHAIRMAN: Thank you for coming to tell us about your stories but I see that you are three. May I know who is Pulane among you?
MRS PULANE: I am Pulane.
CHAIRMAN: And what are the names of these other two?
MRS PULANE: It's Silo Ditebe and Patrick Machede. They are the witnesses to the incident that befell my son Sipho Philip Mutsi.
CHAIRMAN: Patrick who?
MRS PULANE: Patrick Machede on the far left and this one is Ditebe.
CHAIRMAN: Will they also be helping you by saying something?
MRS PULANE: That's correct, Sir.
CHAIRMAN: Okay, that means then they have also to take an oath. (The three witnesses take the oath)
PULANE MUTSI (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Well, thank you very much. Again I want to commend the witnesses. You know, when thing have happened ... (inaudible) ... they don't want to tell what they saw. So I want commend you for your courage, that you could some and tell us as eyewitnesses what you saw. Now, the person who is going to lead this process as you tell your stories is Mr Mdu Dlamini.
MR DLAMINI: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I greet you. --- Good afternoon, Sir.
Mr Chairman, for your information according to my
records Mr Ditebe is now the mayor of Odendaalsrus. And I'm sure the Chairman will acknowledge your presence afterwards. He as been asking for local leadership to be introduced to him when they are around, that's why I'm mentioning that. If you didn't like ... (intervention)
CHAIRMAN: Well, I'd better do it now. Mr Ditebe, you're really qualified to be mayor. You're really qualified. You've got the credentials of being a mayor. You're going to be a very good model as a mayor. I want to recognise you. We recognises your presence here even apart from being a witness but as a mayor among us. Thank you for coming.
MR DLAMINI: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mr Ditebe is going to help by telling us as to what happened, when Irene's son was in detention, May I establish Patrick which part of the story you will be helping in so that I'm able to draw you in at an appropriate time?
MR MACHEDE: That was the time deceased was in the cell and assaulted.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Would you please hand over the mike to the mother please. Mama Mutsi, before we start we always like to hear about your family. Do you have a husband? --- No, I don't have a husband.
Were you married before or you were never married? --- I was never married but I had a friend and we have a few children but we were not legally married.
That is fine. And do you have any other children except the late ... (incomplete) --- Yes, Sir, I have three daughters.
And how old are they? Are they still at school? /--- The
--- The last-born is at school and she is Albertina Mutsi, 11 years old. She is the only one attending school and the others are now grown-ups and the other one has got her own family.
Thank you. I believe that Sipho was the only son. --- That's correct, Sir.
What is Sipho's date of birth? When was he born? --- He was born on the 22nd of December 1967.
22nd December 1967. --- That's correct.
Mama, I will ask you to tell us about Sipho's involvement and also the harassment by members of the police. Can I establish first, were they the South African Police or the members of the security branch, do you know? --- He was harassed ... (intervention)
Maybe before you start, can you just clarify for us here whether they were South African Police or from the special branch? --- It was the special branch.
Thank you. Could you please start by telling us Sipho's involvement and the subsequent harassment by members of the special branch? Probably you are going to stop at the time when they arrested him because I think Silo and Patrick will take it from there and then I'll come back to you again. Thank you. --- When I began to realise that Sipho was a political activist it was then that many policemen and the Mogoregi who was named "Fly" in Tabong who was a special branch member together with a white man called Venter, together with Piet, they were coming to visit him many times look for him then I kepT on asking, "Why do you look for him?" They say, "We're going to discuss with him and then we'll bring him home." They would take him and when he
came back he would lose appetite, he would not be able to drink water or even milk. He would say he cannot even swallow. Then he would be silent until I kept on asking that, "Exactly what's happening?", then he said, "There's nothing. I don't know why these people are coming to be many times." Then they said, "There's nothing wrong which he did. We're just asking him questions." That is the life he was living week in, week out until the time I made him to flee because I realised that I'm going to lose him. Then he went away and then came back. Then he joined by Silo Ditebe where they were able to hide themselves. Then the other group called Matsibi Sokolode and Hothuli whom they came to look for him. Then I told him that he went to Wesselsbron. Because he's a person who's an artist he's at Wesselsbron. He has been asked by shop owners to come and decorate at their shops. You'd find him on the windows in one of the shops in town. I was creating an opportunity so that I'll be able to go and notify them to hide themselves. I told those people that he went to Wesselsbron. They kept on coming looking for him. At times they would find him. When Matsibi Sokolode and Hothuli said to me I should reprimand him. If I don't reprimand him, I'll wake up when he's far away where I cannot find him again. So I tried to reprimand him. Then one day he came to sleep at home. As I was staying with a friend. Then I whispered to tell him about the whole situation. That person is Jacob Thabosi Tsake. Then I said to him the Hothuli company said they're going to come back. Then if they're going to get him, I should know that it's going to be win or lose
situation. Then I said I'm going to use your wardrobe to hide him. Then this man kept quiet. He didn't say yes or no. I said, because I've no chance. I don't know where I should take him to. They would look for him wherever he was. Then I said at the time when they arrived, I'll go to the small bedroom then I would wake him up first before I opened the door. I was not successful in that attempt. I ... (inaudible) ... him alone. His sister's children were there and my two daughters were there. I was still pregnant with Albertina. They didn't know my attempt, it was only Jacob who knew. I was surprised when I was trying to walk slowly to the bedroom to find that this door which I thought I would keep on opening it so that it cannot make any noise to give them a sign that I'm trying to make an attempt to make him flee, I found that it was closed. I tried to open it but it made a noise. When I opened the bedroom, I found that the window - it was the window which didn't have curtains, but the curtains were removed and hanged on top. The window acted as if it is a window without curtains. When I tried to wake him up, one policeman said, "We are already here. Don't try to hide him. We knew that he's here. We saw him even before you tried to make him escape." I didn't have any alternative I had to wake him up so that they should not see him first because they would wake him roughly then they would start kicking and clapping. I used to wake him up first before I opened the door. Then I said, "Wake up. Those people are here. There's no change they have seen you." Then I asked them that who has pulled over the curtains. Then I didn't get an
answer. Even today I didn't get an answer. Even if when the doors were closed but at that day the curtains were rolled up and his bed was just next to the window. Then I could see that the person who was rolling up the curtains was making it possible for the police to see him clearly. It went on. The took him and brought him back. I gave him R4,00 to leave and go to a place where he can hide because now I can see that there is an enemy in the house whom we are living with. This enemy whom I don't know. So please if you can go to a certain place. Then he went. It was on a Thursday when I saw him for the last time. It was then that on Saturday that I learnt that he was arrested. Then the person called Sichaba came to inform me, who is staying at Odendaalsrus, to bring be an information that Sipho has been arrested. But he looked upset. Then I said as they used to take him and bring him back, maybe he will come back. On Saturday I didn't see him. On Sunday I went to the charge office to try to find out what is he charged for. Then they old me that the police called Pele welcomed me. Then he said there is no help, as he was hit by the car by a minister of the Lutheran Church. Even this case of being hit by a car, we have cancelled it. We're not going to continue that because now he is interfering with the government therefore we have no time for the case. I asked why he was arrested. They told me that he's sticking his fingers right into the business of the government. Then I asked, "Can I give him these new clothes?" They I said, "I want to see him." Then I asked them as to whether is he well. Then they said, "How are you talking?" Then I said, "I want
to know as to whether he's still healthy." He doesn't have scratches because I told you that you always come at home then I'm asking that, "Yes, you always take him. You must bring him healthy without any scratches, without any scar." They told me that he has no scars, he has no wounds. That is then that David Tsijake who is the son to Jacob Tsijake, they told him that Hothuli took him. He was taken to the charge office. Then he found Sipho lying down on the floor and the blood was on the floor mixed with water showing that he was poured with water. His hands were tied at the back. Then wen Hothuli entered, he said when he asked Sithole as to whether, "Has this dog made himself dead." That's when Sithole answered Hothuli. He said, "I said he should come with a stretcher and out this dog to the mortuary. When he has last seen his grandfather he will wake up." This Sithole who has already died now, he was an adjutant at that time.
MR DLAMINI: Maybe I'll give you a rest at this stage. First, before I do that. The last incident was on the 5th of May 1985 when Sipho was detained again, is that right? --- That's correct it was on the 4th of May and he was assaulted on the same day but the lied to me. They said he died on the 5th of May.
So as far as you're concerned it was on the 4th of May? --- It was on the 4th of May, Sir. They picked him up at 12 o'clock. He was preparing to go to the funeral of a Comrade who passed away in Allenridge and he was to be the speaker on that day and he never reached his destination. They caught him. (Inaudible) ... who was a student police caught him and he went to
borrow the handcuffs. He went to the deceased Mr Sithole who was the adjutant. He gave him the handcuffs. He said, "Bring Sipho here." He handcuffed Sipho at the back and he went with him to the police station where they beat him and they called Squash who was off on that day. The specially called him in. That was Squash Magoe. They said, "We've got hold of our prey." He decided to go back to work on his day off to go and kill my son. It was at 1 o'clock when he received a call.
Your son was a member of COSAS. Did he ... (intervention) --- Yes, he was a member of COSAS.
Did he hold any leadership position within COSAS? --- Yes, Sir.
What was his office? --- People can't keep their mouths shut. They even talk today about his involvement. They say he shed a light about the struggle. They were given light by him.
Besides COSAS was he a member of any other organisation? --- I do not know but he used to wear three T-shirts. The COSAS T-shirt, the Release Mandela T-Shirt that was green in colour and this UDF T-shirt. And he had the materials for all the organisations I've mentioned.
Was he still at school during the time? --- Yes, he was still at school.
What class was he doing? --- He was doing Standard 4. He was in the middle of Standard 4.
You also mentioned that Sokolode and Hothuli of the security branch asked you to reprimand your son. Did they tell you what was wrong with your son? Why should
you reprimand him? --- No, they didn't give me an explanation. The people who were lucky to get hold of him were Fly and the others. "Fly" is Mogoregi and Venter and Piet and Hugo. Those were the people who came to pick him up at home. And they were always lucky to get hold of him.
According to your statement you were told by Silo and Patrick as to what really happened in the cells. Maybe perhaps, Mr Chairman, I would like to switch over the Silo and Patrick.
SILO DITEBE and PATRICK MACHEDE ((Sworn state) (Through Interpreter)
MR DLAMINI: Silo and Patrick, can you throw some light - inform this audience as to what really happened to Sipho in detention and also perhaps tell us how did you come to know about that because I presume that you were not members of the security branch. --- (SILO DITEBE) I met Sipho on the 4th of May when he was arrested on the 2nd of May when I went to sign at the police station as that was one of the conditions of the bail because I was on trail at that time. On that 4th of May I was called to the detectives offices by Sithole where I found Sipho. His hands were handcuffed. And then he was lying down. Next to him was ... (inaudible) ... that thing is used to put on the head so that he should always tell the truth and there was a bottle of water and a sjambok. And when the police were taking me from the cell they said I should come and see what is happening to Sipho. He had a cut beneath the chin. At the time when I was in there Sithole took the sjambok
and hit him. Sipho seems to be the person who was already beaten before I arrived. One of the policemen who was a white one instructed Sipho to stand up. Then he kicked very hard to Sipho. (Witness emotionally upset)
Okay, Silo, take it easy. --- At that time I asked them not to continue beating him.
Ja, what you witnessed, Silo, useful as it is today, it was traumatic for you to see your friend being abused the way he was. We do understand the situation you are in to try and recollect that but, as I said, it's very useful. It was God's plan that they decided to call you in because we would not have known what happened to Sipho. So take your time. --- In there when I was asking them that they should stop with the assault, they started to assault me. I could feel pain in my body because they were beating me with other students. I was still standing there. Sipho was still lying on the floor ... (intervention)
Sorry, Sipho can you raise your voice. I think the people at the back are having a problem to hear you. --- I explained that when I was still in that cell, this white police started to kick Sipho. This person was here. I cannot remember his surname. Maybe he would be remembered by Squash and others. And they kicked Sipho then. Then Sithole began to his him with the sjambok because Sithole said Sipho was trying to burn his house. When I was still there then we didn't agree that allegation what Sithole made that we were trying to burn his house. Then thereafter I was ordered to go out of the cell. I was taken to cell No 3 in that /police
police station and I believe it's after two days that a certain lawyer called Richard Spoor(?) - he was in the firm of Priscilla Janna, then he as me as to whether do I know that Sipho has died. Then there I was affected then I said that I don't believe that Sipho has died. And whilst I was in detention, Sipho was buried. I couldn't go to his funeral. We were released after two months there - after that incident. It was long Sipho has been buried. Then after Richard Spoor has made ... (Tape ends. Subsequent tape commences mid-sentence with no overlap) ... instructed - I don't remember that man's name - that he would be the one who would take up this case. Then in 1986, it was during the state of emergency, I was again detained on the 11th of June. Since I was in detention I gave evidence about the inquest whilst I was in detention. Until that inquest completed. It was heard that the magistrate said that they would not take my evidence and that the cause of death is brain haemorrhage. What happened again it was realised that his ex-teachers who's Chiliki Mogothu and Tshobokoane were approached by the police to fabricate a story that Sipho was epileptic so that they would try to prove that his brain haemorrhage was cause by the epilepsy. I denied that verdict because I didn't know Sipho as an epileptic. But it was said that no one was proven guilty and the police were released. That's how Sipho's inquest was completed. Before the inquest was completed I was not free. At one stage Joachim Mashabe missed me with his gun. He shot twice. I was able to run to my brother's in-laws. Then I went to Alexandria. At that time I was not free. I was the chief witness in /the inquest.
the inquest. That is how the inquest went.
Thank you, Silo. Patrick do you want to add anything? Silo, if you remember anything later on, please do indicate. Can I move to Patrick? Patrick, do you want to add anything from your side? --- (PATRICK MACHEDE) Comrade Silo has mentioned a few points. Now, the problem is that we were put in different cells. Comrade Silo was in cell No 3. I was in cell No 7. We were in different cells, as I've mentioned. Now, on this day the 4th of May, it was just after breakfast, I saw Comrade Sipho passing by the door. It was this steel door. The door was still open but the burglar door was closed. Comrade Sipho passed and he greeted me. We used to call each other by names. He used to say I'm Malapropism and I used to call him Mr No Problem. As I was standing at the door because we'd been in the cells for quite some time, he passed and he greet me by the name I've just mentioned and I greeted him back. And I could see he was handcuffed at the back and he was wearing a jean. And they passed with him, they headed for the charge office, and they came back going to the CIDs offices. These were opposite my cell. They got him into the office and I heard him screaming and I wanted to peep through the door and I saw there was a Mr Sithole, who as since died, and I Mr Moia and Joachim Mashade and Mr Squash Magoe and the other one who was called Ramongalo. They were busy. It seemed as if they were assaulting him. After some few minutes as I was trying to investigate this matter Adjutant Sithole passed and he realised that the door was open and he pushed the door heavily and he
was asking why did they open this door. I wanted to push the door so that he doesn't close it and that's where there was a conflict of words between Noha and Sithole. Noha was responsible for the cells. He was the person closing the doors and opening the doors every time we had to go and have our meals. The ordered him to close the door and he did just that. After a few minutes I could hear the door was opened and a certain Ramongalo came to fetch me. As I was following him he said to me, "You are a bandit and a bandit would never at any stage follow the officer. The officer has to follow the bandit." He said, "Come and have a look at one of your friends. He has urinated on himself. He has shit on himself and this is the situation that you are going to confront." And as I was entering this door Silo was on the other side and I was on the other side. Has face was swollen and I tried to greet him but I could realise that he was a bit confused. I tried to speak to him but he just ignored me. And they put us into the cell and Comrade Sipho was lying with his hands handcuffed at the back. The floor was full of blood and water. And they pointed at him and they said, "This is your friend. Wake him up." Now, this Moia kicked him and he dropped him on the waist and he said, "Wake up. Have a look at your Comrades." Comrade Sipho lifted his head. He wanted to say something but he couldn't. He fell. And Comrade Silo couldn't hold himself and I comforted him and we went back to our cell. It was clear that Silo was not aware of what was happening at that time. I left with him to take him to his cell and we stopped at his cell door and he was taken back to
Comrade Silo's cell and I was taken to my cell. But I went to cell 6 where I met other Comrades until the 5th where the attorney Richard Spoor came to see us to tell us that Comrade Sipho has passed away.
Thank you, Patrick. Mr Chairman, if you could just bear with me. I know that you still have about five other witnesses to testify today. I'm going just to ask clarifying questions. Obviously more information is available especially from the two witnesses but I think our investigating unit will make contact with them. The alleged perpetrators, are they still around. Has anybody seen them? --- Some of them have died. I believe some of them are still alive and some are working. Joachim Mashabe is no longer a policeman. Magoe is an adjutant. Moia is still employed within the South African Police Services. Sithole passed away. He committed suicide and the rest are still alive.
We'll be relying on you to help us to reach those who are still alive and where they are. The death certificate was it issued? --- (MRS MUTSI) He was searched and there was a report and in this report there was a stamp written "dead" but I never got a death certificate at all and I went to Professor Olivier at Bloemfontein to conduct a post mortem as to the cause of his death and what caused his death really. He managed to take his photographs as he was conducting this port mortem and he was keeping all the photos from day one until the last day when they were making a post mortem. He is the person who will give light as to what happened.
Yes. Is he still around? Do you still have
contact with Professor Olivier? --- I do not have his contact number and I don't know as to whether is he still alive. Maybe some investigations can be made as to his whereabouts. It was at the Pilinomi mortuary.
Thank you. Can I also find out if the family was represented at the post mortem? Any lawyer or anybody who represented the family during the post mortem? --- I requested them to invite me. I requested them to let me in the room where they would conduct the post mortem so that I can see the cause of his death but the lawyer organised it in a different way. He said they should leave me behind and he said to them I was very confused and his statement - or that didn't allow me to go to the theatre. And I told them that I'm a brave woman. I'm brave enough to go and have a look. But I requested God to help me, to strengthen me to be in that room as they were conducting the post mortem because I wanted to see the cause of his death. He was the only child.
The lawyer who refused you the access into the post mortem room what is his or her name? --- I won't tell you the name but these were the members of the organisation.
The lawyer concerned, was he appointed by the organisation or he was coming from the State side? --- It was the organisations lawyer because I investigated that and I was given an explanation. But they work only around Bloemfontein.
I'm sure the ANC offices will be able to help us with that. The magistrate who presided, can I confirm -is it Mr J P Simene who appeared in one of the newspapers? --- Yes, that's the correct name.
Is he still there at Odendaalsrus? --- I do not know.
Would perhaps Silo throw some light? Do you know his whereabouts? --- (SILO DITEBE) I really don't have knowledge as to his whereabouts.
Mr Chairman, as I said that I think more probing will have to be followed up by the investigative unit. I would like to hand over to you. Perhaps before I do that, can I ask the names of the teachers who testified at the inquest? --- It's Mr Mogothu. His nickname is Chiliki. And the other one was a Mr Tshobokoane.
Are they still around? --- Yes, they are still around.
Thank you, Mr Chairman.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Well, thank you very much. This is going to be an interesting case because it has the eyewitnesses. It is more easier than the other cases. I think the investigating unit is going to have an interesting case here. Where we have got the eyewitnesses who themselves, by the way, are the victims, I think it will be interesting to see those people when they come forward to tell the story why they killed Sipho that they'll be confronted by you as also the victims and they'll have to tell the story too why they tortured you. One of the interesting things about this case is that many people sold out during these happenings. We have the teachers here who allowed themselves to tell lies and say that this young man was epileptic because they were asked to do so. To me that is very serious. And again you were confused by the lawyer from the organisation who refused the mother the
access to the inquest room and that is also going to be very interesting. And Mr Mdu Dlamini has already said that it's the organisation which is going to help us with this why was she denied the access to the inquest room. And again it's interesting that many names keep on coming which came yesterday, the Hugos and others. Anyway, just as I've said already that we thank you two young men for the courage. You have shown that you were really friends of Sipho because people tend out of sight, out of mind, but you people, in spite of all that has happened, were prepared to come forward and support Sipho's mother when she tells the story about the death of her son and also about your torture and you must be full of courage indeed. That is why I say that you deserve to be a mayor of Odendaalsrus. You have passed the passage - you have gone the passage of suffering and by God's miracles you're on top now. You see, from the bottom to the top and when these people are facing you now, they'll be facing not just ordinary Silo, they'll be facing a mayor of the town. And, Mama, Sipho's mother, you are indeed a very bold, courageous woman. When you said that you have got courage, you wanted to come in and see, you're not just telling stories. You are indeed very bold and very courageous and very strong. And may the Lord help you. We have noted all that has happened here and where there are requests made by you we shall channel them to the right places through the government. Thank you very much for coming.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESS
CHAIRMAN: Can you please stand up and take an oath that what you are going to say here is true and then God being your helper.
EPHRAIM THAHETSI (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: You live in 735 in Masilo, Theunissen. Is that true? --- That's correct.
How long have you been living there? --- It's a long time. I was born in that region.
Oh, you were born there? --- That's correct.
And you have come to testify or tell your story about the death of your son Walter Thahetsi? --- That's correct.
Wanesu Thahetsi, can you please in a sort of a nutshell give us the picture of your family - wife, if you have the wife, and other children - how many are they, how old are they, etcetera - so that we can have the picture of your family? --- I have a family. I have a wife as well as four children. They were actually five and the one died. My firstborn is 26 years old, it's a daughter. My second-born is the deceased son and the third one is 18 years old. My fourth-born is 5 years old and my last-born is 2 years 3 months.
Thank you very much. You said that your firstborn is 26 and is a daughter and then the one who's 18, is it a son or daughter? --- It's a daughter(?). He's 18 years old and he's alive. That is the third-born.
I'm trying to find out if this is a daughter or son, the one who's 18 years. --- It's a son.
And the one who's 5 years. Is it a son or daughter? --- It's a daughter.
And the one who's 2 years? --- It's a son.
Thank you. Is your daughter still living with you and your wife? --- She's no longer staying with us. She's working in Bloemfontein. She's a nurse there.
Nurse in Bloemfontein. --- That's correct.
And the one who's 18, what is he doing? --- He's at school.
What standard? --- He's in Standard 7.
The one who's five - still at home? --- He's going to attend school the coming year.
Thank you very much. When Walter died, he was in school or he had left school? --- Yes, he was attending school.
What class was he? --- He was in Standard 7.
Thank you very much for giving us the picture of your family. Is your wife working? --- No, she isn't.
And what about you, are you working? --- Yes, I do work.
What do you do? --- I'm a driver at Joelman(?).
Thank you very much.
Do you as a family have any political affiliation? --- Yes, we are members of ANC - my whole family.
Thank you. Wanesu, can you please give us now the whole picture beginning on the 19th May 1990? Tell us the story what happened from 19th May 1990 beginning when you went to look for your son after your sister-in-law had warned you about his safety in the township. Can you tell us that story please? --- When this
started it was on the 18th, that was on a Saturday, when the other Comrades were being assaulted and harassed by the police. It was Groenewald together with other boers as well as a shop owner. His name was Patrick Mwilwa(?). After they had assaulted the Comrades on that Saturday night I went from the ... (intervention)
Excuse me, who was the shop owner? --- Patrick Mwilwa. When I was coming from the launch I left my son together with other Comrades and as I proceeded towards the shop, that is Mr Mwilwa's shop, I saw two Kombis, Mwilwa's Kombis, and they were full of people inside but I never paid much attention as to what sort of people they were. And there is another person by the name of Banadidi Bukha who said he was looking for Habanyani. And I didn't know as to what he was looking for Habanyani for. At about 10.00 in the evening I went home and I switched on lights. I heard some gunshots outside and I went back to the launch to investigate as to what was happening. And I was these cars moving from Mwilwa's shop and they were proceeding out upwards the street and the doors of the cars were not closed. And I waited to see as to what was going on but I couldn't make head nor tail of what was taking place. And the Comrades dissuaded me from going out to investigate as to what was happening because people were being assaulted outside. And I went away. I went to sleep. Then the following morning my wife's sister came to ask me as to where my son was. I told her that didn't know where he was and she asked me as to whether I had observed or heard anything about the gunshots that were fired the previous day and she said we should go and
look for my son. We went away to look for my son because we had sent him away. We went away looking for him and we came across other Comrades and we asked them as to where Walter was and we were told that he was together with other Comrades. We went back to my place. I few moments after I got to my place I heard some noise outside. I think it was about past eight in the morning and I went outside to investigate what was happening. I came across the anti-Comrade gang who were having shovels as well as pangas and I was running towards Mwilwa's shop. And when I got to Mwilwa's shop I saw this group of Comrades in front of the shop and they were stoning Mwilwa's shop. And Mwilwa went away. Then there's a certain person Banasi's husband, John Dibuka, he was having a firearm as well as a panga in his hand and the other ones were having shovels and they were coming towards us. We saw some pick-ups and they went past these people who were armed and at that time the Comrades had already left the scene. When we got to the Methodist Church we saw the police and they were chasing the Comrades. We saw a Cressida from Bloemfontein and we asked ourselves as to why they were stopping because they could see that there was commotion. At the time, the Comrades got some petrol out of this Cressida. They went to burn Banasi's shop and thereafter they dispersed. I stood at the corner of the church and I could hear some gunshots. As was still listening to that, I decided that I should go because I was in danger. As we were still there, I saw two policemen. They were a little bit further down, maybe half a kilometre from where we were standing and we heard some
gunshots. Thereafter I went home and when I got home I got a message that my son had been shot. I went out and tried to investigate as to where he was. I was told that he had gone to a doctor's surgery and when I got to the doctor's surgery I was told that he had been chopped with these shovels as well as pangas and the doctor could not help him. He was taken into an ambulance. I got into the ambulance and the ambulance proceeded to the charge office and it waited there for plus/minus 30 minutes and I asked them as to why they were wasting so much time because my child was injured and he needed medical attention but they never answered me. They were busy talking to the policemen. And this ambulance took rounds in the town. It never went straight to the hospital. And it was being driven at quite a very low speed. They were not really concerned about my son's injuries. We got to the provincial hospital and he was taken into the hospital. They remained there for quite a few minutes then they came back and they said they could not admit him and we had to take him to Pilinomi Hospital in Bloemfontein. We proceeded to Pilinomi with him and when we got to Pilinomi we were told that they could not help him so he had to be taken back to provincial hospital in Welkom and we came back with him once more. We stayed for quite some time at provincial hospital until he died without him being attended to. Thereafter, after about some time when he was already buried I received a letter from the magistrate who was telling me that he wanted me to come to his offices and see him. When I got to the magistrate he took out certain statements and read them out to me and he asked
me as to whether I understood. I said, yes, I did understand, and he said the police said they could not get whoever shot my son. And I asked the magistrate as to why he had called me because this matter was supposed to be dealt with in court and we were discussing it in the office and I did not understand if that was really procedural. Because the police had shot my son, that's why they said there could not be any case. That was the end of the whole matter.
Thank you, Ephraim, for this very sad, moving story. I'm just going to come closer to your statement. What was really happening in the township. You speak about movements in the township. Comrades, police, the Dibuka anti-Comrades moving around the ... (inaudible) ... all of these people heavily armed. What was happening in the township? Can you tell us? What was the occasion? --- When this started it had some connections with Patrick Mwilwa's business, when the Comrades closed down his business. Some other Comrades were arrested because of Mwilwa. That's where the whole fracas started because on that very same weekend the Comrades reached a resolution that they were going to speak to Patrick so that his business could be reopened but they never actually got to speak to him.
You say that Patrick was responsible for the arrest of the Comrades. What did Patrick really do? --- What I heard is that Patrick was driving together with the police so that they could arrest the Comrades but what had happened before that, I don't know. But Patrick was with Banasi, Dibuka, they are the people who actually started the whole fracas.
Was Patrick and Dibuka the members of the community? --- Yes, they were residents at the Masilo location and they were business owners. The other one was having a shoe repair business, the other one was having a supermarket.
How were the relationships between these business people and the Comrades? --- According to my own observation it was quite fine and smooth. I think the person who caused all this was Patrick Mwilwa who got the Comrades arrested.
Would you say that he was a sort of spy for the police? --- I could say that together with Banasi - they were informers. Because when these things happened they kept on informing the police and the police were helping them.
When you say that they kept on informing the police, informing the police about what? --- I do not know where the whole thing started but I think it's the car that was driven by the police and where there was Mwilwa which took the Comrades to the police station.
I want, Ephraim, just to repeat my question again. You say that Patrick Mwilwa and Dibuka, the reason why they had to be enemies of the Comrades is because they are the ones who were reporting the Comrades to the police. Now, my question is, they were reporting them about what? What is this report they were taking to the police about the Comrades? --- That they had shut down his business.
Do you know the reason why the Comrades shut down the business of Mr Patrick? --- I do know the
intricacies of the whole matter but what I know is that the Comrades were taken in his car and they were taken to the police station, but where the problem started, I'm not clear.
Thank you very much. Is it true that when you returned home, according to your statement, you received word from a child about the death of your son - that your son was shot? --- That is correct.
How old was this child? --- She's actually grown up but she's younger than me. She could be 30.
So it's a young person not a child? --- That is correct.
Okay. And again in your statement you say that you didn't understand the dynamics of what was happening around in the town but you knew that Walter, your son, was deeply involved. He was deeply involved in what, did you know? --- I could not elaborate on that because he was a member of the ANC. But I wouldn't know what part he played within the ANC.
Thank you very much. Why did Welkom Hospital refuse to admit your son? Do you know any reason? --- I do not know the reason why they refused to attend to him. They were speaking to the ambulance men and they never spoke to me. And when we got to Bloemfontein they never attended him and we had to come back to Welkom once more.
And in your statement you say that your son was chopped with a space at Dr Zwane's surgery by the anti-Comrades and you say you got that story from Dr Zwane. --- That is correct.
Do you think that if we went to Dr Zwane he could
identify these people who chopped your son? --- I believe that if he does know them he could point them out but I do not know what he saw.
Again in your statement somewhere you say that on two occasions the presiding magistrate of Theunissen called you to his office and said that he was sent by the South African Police to inform you that they could not find your son's murderers. Do you know who this magistrate is? Do you know his name? --- I don't remember the magistrate's name.
You don't know where he is now? Had he moved or not? --- I have no idea as to his whereabouts.
Where is Dibuka and Patrick? --- Dibuka ran away during that time. He went to Bloemfontein. I think they said she's staying in Heilbron(?). Patrick Mwilwa also went to Qwa-Qwa during that time.
He left his business? --- They took them with.
So if we want to get in touch with Dibuka we could try and get him around Bloemfontein. --- I think you can get her in Virginia because she's conducting a business in Virginia in the centre of town. It's also a shoe repair business.
And this one Patrick is at Qwa-Qwa? --- Yes, I understand he's in Qwa-Qwa but he was shot in Qwa-Qwa when he arrived. Only his wife has survived him.
Is he dead now? --- That is correct.
Do you know who shot him? --- I have no idea but I heard that he had been shot in Qwa-Qwa.
Do you know the other names of the Comrades who were with your son when these things were happening? --- Yes, I do. I still remember one of them. They
have just spoken. They have just rendered their testimony. As well as a Mr Nkatha, he's also present. He's one of the witnesses.
Are these Comrades here? --- Yes, some of them are present and they know about this incident.
Can they stand so that I see them, if they are here. Okay, then it's easy because we can - what is your name, by the way, you have already appeared here? Yes, what was your name? (Reply inaudible) I'll get the spelling from this lady.
INTERPRETER: Josias Moago Monokoane.
CHAIRMAN: And the other Comrade? (Reply inaudible) Thank you. We'll have to come back to you so as to get other messages from you. By the way, Dr Zwane - is he still around here? --- Yes, he's still staying in Theunissen but his surgery is in Tabong but I don't know whereabouts in Tabong.
Thank you very much, Ephraim, before I made a comment let me leave to the other committee members if they've got a question.
PROF MAGWAZA: I have one or two questions. Who is Leno and Matima? I see that in your statement you mention these two. --- Matima is a young boy. I don't know whether he was attending school but he was shot on that very same day.
And Leno? --- Leno was also a victim. He was shot round about the 20th.
And do you know where the families are, that is Leno's and Matima's family? --- Yes, I do know.
Ja, because we would like them also to come forward to the Truth Commission to give statements. And
secondly, what happened to the case? Did you report the case to the police station? Was there any police docket? --- No docket was opened. The last time I heard about the case was when I had gone to see the magistrate who told me that nobody had been brought forward for the murder of my son. And when I went back to try and retrieve the statements as well as the docket a certain Constable Ramahlaha said to me I shouldn't come and look for those things because it reminds him of his house that was burnt down. And I asked him as to what my son had to do with the burning down of his house.
It was Constable who? --- Ramahlaha.
Is he still around that police station? --- Yes, he's still at Theunissen Police Station.
Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: Ephraim, thank you for coming. Your case too will be investigated and we need to investigate to know who this magistrate is who deviated from the process who prevented the court sitting by just telling you that the police say that they don't find the murderer of your son. That process was wrong as you rightly said so - that that thing had to go into the courts of law and that thing never happened and of course we have eyewitnesses who are here who may be called one day to give us some of the things we want to be clear about in this case and Dibuka who is in Virginia. Also if we need him, we'll get hold of him. Of course Patrick unfortunately ... (Tape ends. Subsequent tape commences without overlap) ... I know that you didn't ask the permission to do anything but I
think why you came here you want us to investigate about the death of your son, that is common knowledge. And also maybe I need to ask a question from you about the health of your wife and maybe then about your health. After you had lost your son, how was your health? Did is change, your health and your wife's health? --- My wife's health changed drastically. She's got nerves and she's suffering from heart disease and I was also severely affected because I never rest, I always think about my son's death.
Do you get any medical treatment? --- I'm not getting any treatment.
Why don't you get it - I mean you and your wife? --- My wife is the one who was getting treated but I haven't been attended to.
Is your wife still getting any treatment? --- Yes, she's the one who had been attending the treatments but she takes time before she goes to see the doctor. It's only when these nerves trouble her that she goes to see a doctor.
Where does she go and see the doctor? Does she pay? --- Yes, she does pay.
Thank you. You have also not had that. But maybe you need the medical treatment both of you. We have noted that, that you may be needing medical treatment both of you because of the trauma you have received after your son's death. We thank you very much for coming to tell the painful story about the death of your son, still very young to have been killed in this way. Give or love, our support and prayer to your wife and your whole family. We shall be thinking about them.
Thank you. --- I also thank you.
CHAIRMAN: Seipati Susan Moroane.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESS
CHAIRMAN: Thank you for coming to tell us about - which is a pain in your heart, about the death in detention of one of your beloved ones. Now, before you tell the story, you are supposed to take an oath that what you are going to say here is the truth and nothing else and God being your helper, you are going to do it. Can you stand please and take the oath.
SEIPATI SUSAN MOROANE (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: The person who's going to be leading you through the process is my colleague Mr Mdu Dlamini. Now, I want to call upon him.
MR DLAMINI: I greet you, Mrs Moroane. --- I greet you, Sir.
First, before you tell us your story, can I ask you tell us about your family? Are you married? --- Yes, I'm married. I'm staying in Theunissen, No 302. I'm a resident there. I got married there and I was also born there.
Is your husband still alive? --- No, my husband has since died.
How many children do you have? --- I have eight children.
Can you give us their ages or at least the years on which they were born? --- My firstborn was born in 1953, my second-born was born in 1956. In 1958 is the third-born. 1952 is my fourth-born. I believe my fifth-born was born in 1962.
Okay, can I remind you, Mama? You said the firstborn was born in 1953. The second one 1956. The third one 1958. The fourth one, you said 1952, I suspect you intended 1962. Am I right? --- Your right 1962.
Okay the next one? --- The other one was born in 1958.
Okay, can I assume that you mean 1968? --- That is correct, 1968.
Thank you. Then the next one? --- 1970.
Can you remember the next one? --- The other one was born in 1972.
Do you remember the last one? --- He was born in 1972.
Are there any school-going amongst them? --- They are all married.
They're all married now. No wonder you cannot remember their ages. --- Four died and I'm left with four.
It's sad to hear that, Mama. And your son Ramareiki, when was he born? --- Ramareiki was born in 1962.
Thank you. You are coming to tell us about the death in detention of your son Ramareiki. Perhaps before you relate the story, can I ask one question? Was he a member of any political organisation? --- Yes, he was but at the time that he got arrested he was taken after the political activity had actually subsided.
When you say that the political activity had subsided, had there been any problems before that? --- /Yes,
Yes, there were, but I've forgotten as to what was actually happening just before he got arrested.
I see. Would you please tell us what happened in 1986 and also mentioning the police officers who arrested him or who came home to fetch him? --- The came to my place. It was a certain policeman by the name of Moatludi.
Thank you. Continue, Ma. --- It was only a day after he had been arrested and then on the second day, on the morning of the second day, I was told that my son had died. He had hanged himself with his shoelaces and we wanted to go and enquire as to how he could and himself with his shoelaces. And the person told us that he was no longer at the police station at that moment because we wanted to go and see him. And this policeman who had come to inform us also informed us that we would not get my son at the police station in Theunissen because he had been taken to Bloemfontein. And we were quite surprised at that type of behaviour as to why he was taken to Bloemfontein because he knew the family quite well. Why couldn't he come and tell us that my son had died? Why was he taken to Bloemfontein? And he said we will know after he had been returned from Bloemfontein as to how he died. We ran up and down to Bloemfontein trying to get my son's corpse. Then he went away with a certain policeman to go and fetch the corpse in Bloemfontein and we were told to bury him but we never got his death certificate up till today.
When he was transferred to Bloemfontein was it after his death as far as you know? --- Yes, it was after his death. I think he was arrested today and the
following day he died and he was taken out of Theunissen after he had died. But there was so much confusion we did not actually know what happened. Which happened before, which was it? Was he taken to Bloemfontein after or before death?
Was there any inquest, that is the court inquiry, to find out what actually killed him? --- We made some effort to go to the charge office to try and enquire but nobody could help us. Each time we got to the charge office, they would all go out of the charge office and we would be left all by ourselves in the charge office.
Were you ever called in the Magistrate's Court at any stage? --- I was never called by the magistrate at any stage. Nobody came to us to inform us as to what had happened. We buried my son in the dark.
According to your statement the police alleged that he was arrested, firstly, for having fought with somebody and then later they changed their story and claimed that he had been arrested for theft. Were there any complainants? Did they tell you the names of the people who had complained on these two occasions? --- There were no complainants because we believed that if the complainants came forward we would get the true story behind his death. But the following day when we prepared ourselves to go and ask as to why he was arrested we were never told. They just told us that he had died.
Do you know whether a post mortem examination was conducted and which doctor conducted it? --- I don't know anything of that nature taking place.
In your statement you mentioned a police officer Moloi as the one who came to tell you that your son had died. Police Officer Moloi, is he still around? Is he still at Theunissen? --- He's here in Welkom.
He's now in Welkom? --- That is correct.
Do you know the police station concerned here in Welkom? --- I'm not quite clear on this aspect but I know he's in Welkom.
Ja, I'm sure it will be easy to find him. And the officer who fetched him from his house, that is your son, Moatludi, do you know his whereabouts? --- He's in Theunissen.
Have you seen him after the death of your son and has he said anything to you? --- He has never said anything to me but I've seen him several times.
Thank you, Mama. We have noted your concern that you would like to get to the truth surrounding the death of your son. We'll try our best and ask you for the co-operation and the help of the two known people, namely Moatludi and Moloi, to help us. And also we have noted your request on behalf of the community for more schools to be built and we'll convey that request to the State President who will decide after we have finalised the whole work of the Truth Commission in two years time. I will not hand over back to the Chairman.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you. Mrs Gcabashe?
MRS GCABASHE: I want to take you a little bit further back. I do understand that this is a very painful story for you to keep on repeating it, but we just want to get some clarity on certain aspects. According to your statement the police were giving you different versions
as to how your son died. They first alleged that he had robbed a house and he had fought with someone. As he was involved in politics, do you know as to which political organisation he was affiliated to? --- He was affiliated to the ANC.
How long was he in the ANC? --- It was quite some time but I can't say accurately as to the number of years.
CHAIRMAN: Professor Magwaza
PROF MAGWAZA: The question I would like to address you, Mama Moroane, is about you and your family. How has this experience affected you and your children? --- It has affected us quite adversely because we are traumatised by the situation. I'm always depressed and even his brother died when he was at work and the other one is not even working.
I can see that, you know, you're very hurt. Are you getting any treatment for your health? --- Yes, I do go to the clinic to get some treatment.
And it's treatment for what? --- They say I've got high blood.
Did you have it before your son died or is it something that developed afterwards? --- I suffered from high blood after my son's death and when the second one died the situation became worse.
Can I ask one question? What happened to your second son? How did he die? Your other son, how did he die? --- Are you referring to the one who died while he was at work?
Yes? --- He was stabbed at work but we do not know as to how he died because he was brought home
I think, Mama Moroane, you have a very tragic story about your family which was so big and now what has tragically befell your family. And I understand why your health has been affected. One of the things which we try to do is to help. We look at how we can help as soon as possible in come other instances and, for people like you, like to make arrangements with the Health Department to see how they can investigate your condition and help you as much as they can. But for other things as has already been stated, we have noted everything and we will pass it to the President. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mama Seipati. There's something which is very impressive about your request, this one about - thinking about the community. Our schools are really bad in the townships. That you could link this with the request of your son's death is something very marvellous. That you still think about the community in spite of the fact that you have lost so much. Even the husband who shared with you this pain of your son's death is no more with you to be with you and support you. Mr Mdu Dlamini has already said - and this had been reiterated by Professor Simangele - that we have noted all this and we shall channel it to the government. And also these people who are mentioned here, Policeman Moloi and Policeman Moatludi, the investigation unit of the TRC will try by all means to see if they cannot come forward and tell us about the story about how your son died whilst he was in the cell. Thank you very much, Mama. God bless you.
CHAIRMAN: Now, the next witness is going to be Patrick Morake.
EXCHANGE OF GREETINGS BETWEEN CHAIRMAN AND WITNESS
CHAIRMAN: Thank you for coming to give us the story which has been a cancer in your heart eating you and through the grace of God the TRC was introduced so that people can tell their stories. But before you do that I'm going to ask you to stand up and take an oath that what you are going to say here is true, God being your helper.
PATRICK MORAKE (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Now, I'm going to ask one of my colleagues, Mrs ReginA Gcabashe, to lead you in the process as you tell your story.
MRS GCABASHE: Good afternoon, Mr Morake. How are you feeling today? --- I'm fine.
As the Chairman has already said that I'm going to help you to lead your testimony so that we should get the facts as to what happened. Just before we start I would like to ask you as to how old you were at the time that this took place. --- I was 20 years old at the time.
Are you still staying at the very same place where you were staying when this took place, that is at Jewel Park? --- That is correct. I'm still staying there.
According to your statement you said this happened - you were shot at by the Wit Wolwe. Can you please explain - or even before you explain just tell us briefly about your family as to whether you still have parents, have you got any siblings? --- There are
two boys at home. I still have parents but at the moment my father has since passed away as well as my elder brother so I'm left with one brother as well as my mother.
Is your mother working? --- No, my mother is not employed.
Are you employed? --- Yes, I am employed.
Where are you working? --- I'm working at the Beatrix mine.
You can now relate your story. --- It was in 1993 but I don't quite remember the month or the date but it was on a Saturday, Saturday evening. It was at about 7.00 in the evening. I was preparing myself to go to Bloemfontein and I took my car. I was driving my car together with my friend. Just before we got to Brandfort, about ten kilometres outside Brandfort, we heard some gunshots and the car that was driving behind us was a microbus and they were shooting at us from the back. They shot at the back windscreen and they kept on shooting at us up to that time that I lost control of the car and the car went out of the road and it capsized just nearby the road. I don't know what happened to my friend because each and every one of us was concerned about our own lives. When I looked at the people who were in the Kombi, they were wearing khaki garments. They were white people. And they kept on shooing at us. They were actually attempting to kill us. And I heard my friend screaming but I don't know whether he was shot at that time and I started running. I didn't even know where I was running to but I just wanted to save my live at that time because I realised that we were going to
get killed so we left the car there at that moment. I kept on running as far as my feet could carry me and I hid myself in a certain pipe that I got. After about quite some time, when I realised that I was out of danger, I came out of the pipe and asked a certain person to help me. I was taken by the police to the Brandfort Police Station. They attempted to phone certain police for back-up as well as the station commander but no police came to give me any assistance as well as the station commander was nowhere to be found. And it was black policemen who were at work on duty at that day and they were also scared to go to the scene of the crime. They said it was a usual occurrence that black people would be shot at and they said I should remain at the charge office and we would go to that scene the following morning. We went there the following morning to check as to what had happened. Whatever was in the car had been smashed. The lights were smashed, the windscreen was smashed and the car looked as if they had climbed on top of the roof and hopped or jumped on top of it and they discovered two bullet cartridges and the holes that were in the car were innumerable. We went back to the police station, that is the Brandfort Police Station, and when we got there I made a statement and I was also told that these bullet cartridges would be taken for forensic examination or for ballistic tests. They phoned my parents. When my parents came to fetch me they also took me to a certain doctor and at the time I didn't know where my friend was. I had absolutely no idea as to what had happened to him and at the time the police
were still investigating as to his whereabouts. He was discovered in the mealie fields later on and he was badly injured. I was taken to a doctor's surgery. They took me to Dr Storm and they sutured me. I was also put in a plaster of Paris and I was awaiting that I was going to be called for the case or to be told as to what happened to the bullet cartridges and what were the results. I never got the results thereof but what I got were insults which I got from a certain person that I suspect was also a boer. The station commander told me that, "You kaffir, what do you want? Do you want to die?" I replied him and I told him that if it was my time to die I was prepared to die but that was the same thing that was going to happen to him. That's how we had an altercation because I felt very heartsore. And the case was never dealt with. Nothing was done. No investigations were made and I was never notified of anything. I just saw this in the newspaper. That is all that happened in that case.
We've heard about what happened to you and at the time it was a very common occurrence that black people would just be shot at by certain white people. That's why people were always warned not to be in the streets late at night. Now, we just want to find out this aspect. In your statement you speak about the Wit Wolwe. Can you please explain to us as to who is the Wit WolWe, according to your knowledge? --- According to my knowledge and even when you watched TV during those times, you would see them. The had their khaki uniform. They were always khaki clad and they were only white people and they speak Afrikaans. That's /how I
how I realised that these were the Wit Wolwe. Even the black police that I came across at the police station said it was the Wit Wolwe.
Is there any other sign? --- They were driving a microbus. What I now is that the registration was OBB but I don't remember the number.
Which town is OBB? --- It's Brandfort.
Where did you first meet these people? --- We first saw them when I was pouring fuel into my car at Theunissen and I had gone into the shop to buy some cigarettes.
Who is Sinawa? Is it your friend? --- Yes, it's my friend.
Is Sinawa his real name? --- Yes, it's his name but it's his nickname. His surname is Mogomo.
You've also stated in your statement that you went to report this matter to the police and when they got Mogomo, how was he? --- He had been badly injured. He was injured on the leg and he had scratches. I think they were consequent to him being scratched by the fences when he tried to escape.
(Question not interpreted) --- It was De Beer.
You said the policemen were scared to go to the scene of the crime. Do you know as to why they were scared to go there? --- (Response not interpreted)
You said the police didn't want to go to the scene of the crime on that very same day. They were scared? --- Yes, I did say so.
What was the reason? --- They told me that this was a very common occurrence and the very same people who told me, they said the Wit Wolwe shoot. They also
shoot at the police. They also fight with the police. I was just close to Brandfort when this happened.
So you travelled by foot? --- Yes, I did.
What happened to the case? --- There was never any case.
Did you make any attempt to report the matter and hear as to what the outcome was? --- I tried to go to the police. That's where I was insulted and told that I was a kaffir and I never went back to the police station and I never got the results of the ballistic tests.
What about your friend? How is he since this happened? Did he ever get any treatment? --- He never got any treatment.
He never received any treatment? --- No, he never received any treatment.
Did he just heal all by himself? --- Yes, he did and he was quite athletic. He was a sportsman but thereafter he was never the same. He's walking with a limp and he's no longer athletic.
How is he? --- He's walking with a limp.
(Question not interpreted) --- He never went to the doctor. I don't actually recall him going to the doctor.
Is he employed? --- No, he's not employed.
Why isn't he employed? Is it because of the injuries that he sustained on that day? --- I think that could be the reason or maybe simply that he just can't get a job.
How do you feel ever since this has happened? --- This occurrence changed my life so drastically. I feel
I have this deep hatred for a white person. When I see a white person, especially at night I have these negative thoughts and even at work when I white person speaks to me I just look at him. I totally distrust them because during the day they are people and in the evening they are killers. Even when I'm driving a car and passing through Brandfort these thoughts come back to me so vividly as if it only happened yesterday. I just don't know how to explain this. Each time I think of this occurrence and I think of this attack ... (incomplete)
What happened to your car? --- It was my family's car. This car was towed away from the scene because they had actually broken everything in the car and it was a write-off. It couldn't be driven any more.
Now, when you say, ever since this incident took place and you have this problematic relationship with white people, did you ever try to get any treatment or some counselling with regard to that? --- No, I've never thought of getting any treatment because I feel that where they are, they are the ones who should be getting the treatment. I think where they are they are the ones who are supposed to receive the treatment because I think they were the ones who are sick.
And is Dr Storm still in Theunissen? --- Yes, he is.
Did he ever give you any letters with regard to the treatment that you received? --- No, he just treated me but he never gave me any letters or documents.
Do you know his address? If we want to contact him is it possible for you to show us or tell us where to
get him? --- Yes, we can get him easily.
Thanks very much Patrick. As I said before that this occurrence was not an unusual thing. This is what shows that we are coming from an era of doom but we do appreciate the fact that you were saved. You survived the whole incident and we hope that even your friend will be able to undergo some treatment because he should be very disturbed. We've got people in here who are designated to do that duty of helping you with regard to getting treatment. --- My mother is always telling me that I'm problematic and she always tells me about the car that I was driving on that day and this makes me not to be able to forget that particular incident. At time I even feel that if I had money, I could just buy this car and give it to her.
The advice that I can give you is that yourself and your mother have been very traumatised by this incident so I want you to have the courage because it's not of her own doing that she's behaving in the manner that she's doing. You both need help because you've been through so much trauma and you've been through so much hardship. We do understand her situation as well as yours. You should try to get some counselling or some psychiatric examination. We can see that you are really traumatised and troubled by this tragedy. We hope that you find it in your heart to get some help for yourself as well as your mother so that you live positively. We thank you very much. I will hand over to the Chairperson.
CHAIRMAN: Anybody want to say something.
PROF MAGWAZA: I have just one.
CHAIRMAN: Professor Magwaza.
PROF MAGWAZA: I have just one question. We're interested in knowing how you were injured and to what extent were you injured during the car accident. --- My arm was injured. I received quite a number of stitches but the police that I reported to never even took me to the hospital where I could get immediate attention. I don't know how I sustained my injuries, I just had a big cut on my arm. And I was put in a plaster of Paris on my right arm and I was stitched on the left arm - several stitches.
You injuries, have they affected the use of your arm? --- My arm does function but I'm having problems with the right arm because I think something happened because when I write my hands gets tired very quickly and I have to put the pen down, relax for quite a few minutes then start writing once more. I think I got injured in the joint. The bone was dislocated. That's the problem that I have.
Okay, thank you very much, Patrick. One thing I want to say is that I think you taught us one thing her today that you should not always think the witnesses are the sick people, that the perpetrators there, they're sick. They also need to get some help. I think that was a very important point which you made to us. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: Patrick, thank your for coming here to tell your story. I want to assure you that you need a treatment just as our perpetrators. I want to repeat that, you need the treatment just as your perpetrators. I think the whole thing of the Truth Commission is that
the victim must be helped and then the perpetrator must be helped. That's what I just want to say. You need to tell yourself you also need a treatment just as you have rightly said that the perpetrators need the treatment because they need to be healed and retain that ubuntu which God had given them. And also I hope by your telling this story it may start a healing process in you because the whole aim of the Truth Commission is that of healing. I know that you are severely wounded physically and emotionally and otherwise. That's why you are speaking about that and I hope that your telling the story has started a process of healing in you because these things were locked in your chest and you never had an opportunity of telling this story about them. I hope since you started telling the story even this hate for the white people may be changed. I think you hated the white people because of the context of which you found yourselves, how they treated you. If you go to other areas you find that they hate the blacks who treated them badly. I think they are related to own context. It must be clear that even if these people were blacks you would still stay I hate these black people because of the treatment they gave me. But I want to say that by telling this story we shall try by all means to recommend what we have said here to the government and also you need to get counselling because we were created as human beings not to hate by to love. Once you start hating, it means that there's something wrong with you and we hope that the counselling which you may get, as my colleague Mrs Gcabashe has been saying that you need to get the counselling to help you
so that this kind of hurt and hate may be changed in something which is very positive so that the Truth Commission may fulfil its aim for what it was made to do. Then we thank you very much for coming here to tell your very sad story and I would encourage you to encourage your Senama home to come forward and see the statement takers so that he can also have an opportunity to tell his story because that is the whole aim. You've just mentioned him but he has not had a chance of himself coming forward to tell his own story, to pour out his own pain. So would you please encourage him to come forward and also write his statement so that he can tell his own story. Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: Now, the next witness but one is Isiah Pule Nkate. (Tape ends. Subsequent tape commences mid-sentence without overlap) ... about the abduction and the torture of Comrades and also your assault and the stabbing and the burning of your car by those who did it. But before you can stand up and tell this sad story, I want to ask you to stand and take an oath that all what you're going to say here is the truth and that you're going to tell it God being your helper.
ISIAH PULE NKATE (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Professor Simangele Magwaza will be leading you through as you tell your story. I give him to you now.
PROF MAGWAZA: We welcome you, Baba Nkate, and also we thank you very much for having been so patient and waited for so long to tell us about our story. It is a special story. Each and every story here is special to us. Before you start I would like to refer to your statement which says that you live in No 73 at Masilo, Theunissen. You were born in 1943 and that here you are going to make a statement about Dibuka anti-Comrades who abducted and tortured Comrades, assaulted and stabbed you as well as burned your car. Before we get into this event, can you please tell us just more about your family? --- I have four children. The elder one has 30 years, the other one has 27 years, the other one has 25 years, the last-born has 22 years.
Do you have a wife? --- Yes, I have a wife. My wife is 50 years old. She's not working.
Are you working? --- I'm not working. I left
work in 1988.
What has made it difficult for you to find a job? --- I left work in 1988. The reason the name I was called with which is "Kaffir". Then I saw it's better to leave before I fight with the person. As from 1988 I made the decision that I would work with my hands and God has given me a mind. I continued that, to work with my hands to be a mechanic until this day.
Your political affiliation. You, according to your statement, you belong to a party which is called SANCOR. Can you tell us more? It's not a party - a organisation called SANCOR. Can you tell us more about that organisation? --- This organisation called SANCOR it ... (inaudible) ... the community that every complaint is taking to them and they are the people who talk with the authorities, white authorities so that everything should be smooth.
Next can you tell me about what was happening at that time when your Comrades were abducted, tortured and when you were also stabbed? What was the situation? --- The first thing, I was elected by the community on the 6th of January 1990 to be their representative. I went like that in January, February and March and on the 10th of March at about quarter past eight then Mangnani Masodi(?) came to me. Then he said Tabang Sigwedi has been abducted. Then I asked him who abducted him. Then he said to me it's Banasi anti-Comrades. Then I said, "Where are they from?" Then he said, "Uncle, it doesn't help to talk. It's better to come and see. You are the leader in the community, yes?" Then he said, "Come and see." Then I said it's okay. Then I put on my clothes. /Then
Then I went into my car. We were both of us in the car. Then I said to him, "Let us start at Ramalali's place." We entered Ramalali's house and Ramalali's wife said, "Ramalali has left. He has fled the area because Moda's Comrades were here with a gun in his hand. So Ramalali had fled." Then I went to Seuntjie. Then he said Seuntjie's also not there. Then I said, "Why do you flee, because you are all men?" When I was facing the car Ramalali came. Then I said, "I came to you". Then he wanted to tell me what was said ... (inaudible) ... then I said, "it doesn't help to tell me. The best thing is to get into the car and leave." Then I said, "Where is Seuntjie?" Then he told me that he doesn't know where Seuntjie. When were at the corner in Maputle's direction, whom we were with in the SANCOR committee, Seuntjie came and he was whistling. Then he arrived at us and then he got into the car. Then he asked, "Where are we going?" Then I said, "We go to Maputle." We call him Ramalata. Then we went to Oupa Maputle's house. We explained to Oupa Maputle what was happening. My name on the ID is Pule then my nickname is Habanyani. Then he said to me, "Habi, wait a little bit. We have to talk with this person tomorrow morning." Then I said, "Our negotiation with this person will not help because what I've seen now, the situation is tense."
(Inaudible) .. for a moment. We have lots of names here. If you could explain who those people are? Just to clarify before you get on. Mangcani, Tabani, Ramalela, Seuntjie, Maputle, were they all Comrades, the people you have mentioned? --- All of these people
who are the same organisation with me, we're all ANC members.
And who are the people you wanted to speak to? You said you had to speak to these people. Who are these people? --- What we arrived at Maputle, Maputle said to us that they have a negotiation. He has arranged for a meeting with the business people to meet with Mr Mwilwa so that they will be able to hear what is the problem so that ... (intervention)
Who is this chap Mwilwa? --- Patrick Mwilwa is the person who owned the supermarket and he owned taxis again.
Okay, you can carry on. Was he an anti-Comrade - Mwilwa, was ... (intervention) --- Yes, he was against the Comrades.
Fine, okay. --- Then I said to Maputle, "It doesn't help because the situation is tense. Isn't it better that we should fight. You hear that people's children have been abducted. We don't know what's happening to them. Maybe they're going to be killed and we are sitting - you want to sit down and negotiate with these people. It was better for us to go and fight with these people." Then he said to me, "Malaka, leave that." Then I said to these people, "Let's go." Then we went out. When I was in the car I said to these people who are in the car, "I'm smelling blood." Then I said I was smelling blood on my nose. Then I said, "First thing, we go to where Tabang was abducted to find out what is happening." Then they said, "Yes, let's go." Then we went with my car. When we went to the tavern the Kombi appeared. Mwilwa's Kombi came and it
was fast. It was flickering the lights. Then I said, "They're mad. I'm not going to stop." When I turned in the direction of the tavern it was near us. Then from there they started insulting. Then I said to the people I was with, "You see these people, they are now fighting." Then I said to them, "What is your intention?" Then they said, "We will see." We were not nearer the tavern. It was about where I'm sitting up to the corner there at the back. They wanted to move in front of me. Then I stand before the tavern. Then I could feel the doors were opening and the people I was with were no more there and I was the only one left in the car. It was at that time when these people were confronting me and I could see two Kombis now and with a van and all these people were confronting me. In front, I remember, it was Mogeti Dibuka. On the left-hand side was Koster. Others were in the middle. Mogeti Dibuka was having his gun in the right hand and with an iron bar in his left hand. When he came nearer me I was looking at him. He took his gun to his left hand and then he took the iron bar to his left hand. Then he started breaking the car. Then he said, "Are you looking at you?" Then he became to assault me. It was then that I discovered that these people are fighting. Then I came nearer to the other one, then I started beating him, then I took his axe. Then I defended myself with an axe. While I was still fighting, I don't know where these people came from. There were two people who knew me. These people were just from work. Those people were the ones who mediated. It was injured by that time. They took me
inside the tavern. Then they wanted me to wash but I said, "If I'm going to wash now, I'm going to set much of the blood." After they put me with asyn(?) then the owner of the tavern said to me, "What is the problem?" Then I said, "I don't know." I explained everything what has happened. Then he said, "Let's got to the police station." I said, "Okay, let's go." We went to his car. It was my myself, it was him, this is another boy called Justice who's now a man. We were three of us. At the corner the police van arrived. Then it stopped. Then we went to that police van. When we arrived at that van we found that it's Constable Zwayi. It's another sergeant called Spilar. Then the ... (intervention)
(Inaudible) ... I think we're trying to as much to capture information. There's too many names that are coming out and creating a problem because we don't know who those people are and they're not in the statement. So if you mentioned people, could you explain to us who they are, or just tell us about those that are in the statement. --- Constable Zwayi arrived there as a policeman. That is the person I explained to him, as a policeman. Then he said to me, "It is better for you to go to the police station and make a statement there." Then I said to him, "Please guard this car." Then he said to me, "Do you see now that the situation is tense?" Then I said to him, "Whether the situation is tense or not, it is your responsibility to guard my car." Then he said to this white policeman - then the other policeman said, "No, I'm not going to do that. I'm leaving." Then I said, "That's okay." I said to
Miss Moloyi, "Let's leave." Then we left with the car. When we arrived at the police station we found Constable Kabayi who was in charge at that time. He asked us what is our problem, then we explained to him what happened and how I was assaulted. Then at that time Zwayi arrived. Then Zwayi told the policeman in charge to take our statements. After he said that Constable Kabayi said to him, "There is nowhere I can take the statements because after I've done that, when Van Rooyen is going to come, he's going to destroy them. It is better for them to leave. They will see how the would come back." Then I said, "That's okay." When I left there, I went to the doctor. Then I asked Sisross(?) to drop me at the doctor so that I should be stitched. Then he said to me, "That's okay." When we arrived at the doctor that's where we entered. Then he said, "The doctor is there. Now I'm leaving." We found another Comrade who was lying there being shot. After a moment Van Rooyen arrived, then he asked the doctor, whilst the doctor was still examining me, then he said to the doctor, "Who is this one?" Then the doctor explained that, "This is a person that I'm going to examine. He's been injured at the tavern." Then he said, "About this one?" Then he said, "This one is the one who's shot." The he said, after I've been stitched, "I'm going to arrest him and lock him at the cells." Then I kept quiet. After he said that, the doctor said to him, "You are not disturbing me because I'm doing my work, so possibly you've got to leave so that I should do my work. You'll come when I'm finished." Then Van Rooyen said, "How long are you going to take?" The doctor
said, "I don't know." Then the doctor said, "I'm going to examine you quickly. You are now old. You will see how you ... (incomplete). Dr Zwane stitched me. When he was supposed to have the last stitch, the van stopped outside.
Can I disturb you for a moment, because I think I would like to clarify some things here before we get on or else we'll lose some of the information. If you could just - I would like just to go back to clarify a few things. I would like to clarify - if you could give me the specific names of the Comrades that were abducted, who were those Comrades? The Comrades who were abducted. --- The other one is Kabansi Diyani. That's the one - I don't know about others. I don't remember their names well.
So you know about Thamani? --- Yes.
And could you tell us more about these other people you have mentioned, Mangcani, Thabani, Ramalela, I think you said they were all Comrades. --- This Mangcani -Mangcani Masodi is my niece. Seuntjie Mabitle - we are staying in the same street. Together with Ramalale we stay in the same street. And Tabang Sibiyani is staying down but all of them are members of the ANC.
Okay, that's what I would like to hear. And the two men who assisted you, who were those two men? --- I don't know their names but the other one is Libothe(?). Other's went to Lesotho, have went to Lesotho.
The name Rose Maloyi. She's still around? --- She still there.
Then who's the station - you said the station
commander came and threatened to arrest you. What's the name of the station commander? --- The name is Van Rooyen.
Oh, it was Van Rooyen. Okay. You talk about Constable Zwayi and Miss Baloyi. Who are those people? --- Constable Zwayi is a policeman. He's still there in Masilo. Then this Kabayi, Constable Kabayi, is no more there. He's at Ladybrand now. He has been transferred to Ladybrand Police Station.
Okay. Then you said you were assaulted. You suffered some injuries. What type of injuries did you suffer? --- After I was being assaulted, I was stabbed with a panga. At that time when I was fighting with them, they tried to hit me with a van so I fell on top of the van and then fell down and my back has been injured.
Then you continue to say your car was banged by Dibuka. Your car was banged by Dibuka. --- That's true.
Who gave you that information - who told you? If you were told by Makatha and Moredi that your car was banged by Dibuka. Who is Makatha and Moredi? --- Those are ANC members. Steven Makatha is an ANC member. Moroso Moredi is an ANC member.
You know where they stay? --- They're still staying at Masilo.
Did you report - did you have a court case on this? Was there a court case? --- Not at all. When I went - the CIDs whom I contacted then, they told me there's nothing they can do.
Okay. Well, I think you have given us quite a very /detailed
detailed story or information about what happened to you and I notice here as well that you talk about compensation for your physical injuries. To what extent did the assault affect your hand because you're talking about - you give the impression that probably you are no longer the same person after this assault. --- That's true because I have nervous problem and my left hand is not able to function well.
Are you getting any treatment? --- Yes, I went to doctors and I'm even tired now.
It's not helping? --- It doesn't help at all. I trust only in God.
Okay. Thank you very much Mr Nkate and we have noted whatever you have said and if you are angry, sometimes it's understood when people are angry that sometimes we have to reach a point where we let go our anger but your anger is well understood. And as we have already stated that whatever information you have given us, we have noted everything and that our role here is to collect all this information, convey it to the State President who will look at all the similar cases and then he will have to make recommendations. Again I would like to conclude by saying that I think you are a very powerful person and you still come across as a very powerful person so I appreciate that you have had the strength irrespective of all what has happened to you. Okay, thank you very much. --- I also thank you.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Isiah, for telling your story of your suffering and there's no word which has edified me as the last word when you say that although the doctors have not helped you, you really trust in God. That
means that you still have that humanity in you in spite of all these tortures and what not because once we cannot even trust our Maker Almighty then it would mean that there is something severely wrong with us. I'm pleased that at least there's that element in you which has not been destroyed, that one of trusting in your God. As the fellow colleague has just said, we shall follow your story. There are people here who failed to do their duties like Constable Kabayi who refused to take the statement. He showed some prejudice and I don't believe that a policeman, who has to save the community, must act that way. And of course there is Theunissen station commander Van Rooyen who was threatening to arrest you. Those things will be followed up to see why those things did happen. And as the fellow colleague has just said that we have noted your concerns and requests, we shall pass them - we have no power to give anything but we'll pass the recommendation to the government. Although you say that the doctors have not helped you but I think you are very disturbed emotionally. You'd need a kind of counselling by a psychologist. It would really advise you - one can detect in you some kind of anger which is still there. You need to be helped to go through this process of anger and to get ... (inaudible) ... because if it remains with you, it is also going to destroy you as a person. So we have got the facilities here which we've said, the people to conduct ... (inaudible) ... so that you could approach them so that you can take you to that channel. One is just sitting next to you there. They are working in this region as the Truth Commission.
Anyway, thank you for coming here. We appreciate it very much. Thank you. --- I also thank you.
CHAIRMAN: Now we take the last one. That is Thashima Gloria Dippa. This is the last one. I greet you. Who is Thashima here among you.
MRS DIPPA: I am Thashima, Sir.
CHAIRMAN: And the one who is accompanying you, who is she?
MRS DIPPA: This is my eldest daughter.
CHAIRMAN: She's just accompanying you or she's also going to say something?
MRS DIPPA: She's accompanying me. She would like to say a word.
CHAIRMAN: Okay, then it means - what is her name for our records.
MRS DIPPA: She is Puleng.
CHAIRMAN: Okay, then it means that both of you have to take an oath. Thashima can you stand up and take an oath that what you're going to say here is the truth. (Mrs Dippa takes the oath) Puleng, can you also take an oath. (Miss Dippa takes the oath) Thank you. I'm going to guide you to be closer to your statement. I'm going to channel you through. I'll be using some questions in some instances because the day is old, the day is really old, so that we can finish in time.
THASHIMA GLORIA DIPPA (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Me Thashima, can you just give us just a picture of your family? Do you have the husband? Where is he? How many children do you have, etcetera? --- I'm a divorcee. I have six children. Three of them passed away including one I'm going to tell you about.
Were the other two sick apart from this one who passed away? --- Two of them were sick and they passed away.
And the remaining three can you tell us their ages? --- The one sitting next to me is 30 years old.
That is Puleng? --- Yes, she is Puleng. The second one comes after Puleng, that's the one that is bringing me here today and the third-born was born in 1969.
Yes. --- It's Puleng and the one that passed away and I have three children that are still alive and my grandchild. Puleng is 30 years, Tarantuleng is 22 and Mozo is 20 years old and Costa is 10 years old.
Do you have any children who are still in school? --- Yes, Sir.
How many are they? --- It's Mozo. Mozo is at Welkom College and the grandchild that I've just told you about is at Tluluhelong in Tabong and the other one who is 22 years old is working. He got employment last month.
Did your husband divorce you after the death of your son or before? --- It was before the death of my son.
Thank you. Can we now come next to the story? I'm going to lead you by questions so that we don't take much time. Is it true that Kenneth fled the country in June 1986? --- That's correct.
Is it true that by that time he was a Form 3 student at Lebonang High School? --- That's correct, Sir.
Did he belong to any political organisation? --- /He was
He was a member of the ANC.
What about the other members of your family? Did they belong to any political organisation, including yourself? --- I was in the ANC and the rest of my family.
Thank you. When your son fled the country, what was happening there around in Tabong in Welkom? What activity, what events were happening? --- The youth was fighting and the police were looking all over for them. He decided to skip the country because they used to come home to look for him. He would just come in and talk to us while on his feet and immediately leave. Each time he was in the house and a car passes by he would jump the fence and go away. The police came to my house in the morning, in the noonday and in the evening and Hugo came to my house almost every day wearing a short pants with a gun in his arm and they would always search the house, tore every paper they come across and they would turn up the beds. And I kept on tell them every time they came into my house that he doesn't spend his nights here any more.
Who was that Hugo? --- He was a policeman.
Was he stationed in Tabong Police Station? --- He was at the police station in town.
Do you remember if he's still there? --- I really do not know.
It is true that before your son let he was always detained and he once spent two week in detention? --- Yes, he was always in the cells and he spent two weeks in detention.
Is it true that when he was there in detention in
Tabong Police Station he was tortured and then his right arm was damaged? --- It's true, because he came home the other day and his arm was injured and he was telling us that his ears are really damaged. The police assaulted him in such a way that he nearly died. One of the policemen said, "Please, don't hit him like this", but, through the grace of God, he didn't die.
Did he give you the names of the police who tortured him? --- He didn't give me the names of those policemen who assaulted him.
And did he give you the name of the police who was so merciful to beg mercy for him? --- He didn't tell me anything really because I was so confused. He just said to me, "Mother, they nearly killed me and my arm is not good any more and I don't know what's going to happen with my ears because they assaulted me." He didn't tell us the names really.
Did he see the doctor? --- He never went to see a doctor.
Why? Was there any reason? --- Yes, there was a reason not to go and see the doctor. We didn't have money because his father was already out of the house and there wasn't any other way to get money to send him to the doctor. There was no peace at all. There was no peace between myself and his father.
Thank you, Mama, it's very sad. When your son left and he went to exile, did he tell you where he was going to? --- Yes, he told me that he was leaving but he never mentioned the place. He came to me - I remember it was at about 7 o'clock.
What year was that? --- It was in 1986. I was
in their bedroom. That is on the day he left. It was about 7 o'clock in the evening. I was lying on their bed and he took his school bag and he put is on his back and he stood next to me - but is has been a long time - telling me that, "Mum, I am going to leave this house because there is no peace in this house. The father is not just at peace with anybody." He came to stand next to me and we said, "Mum, I'm leaving today." He said, "Mum, I am going today." And he sang me and he said, "We will go to other worlds and leave our parents behind." And he left me and it didn't come to my mind that he was skipping the country. He left and the next day I couldn't see him and I was asking myself which direction has my son taken. There is another gentleman in our street who was working at Robert's. This man went to Lesotho and he met my son in Maseru and he gave this gentleman a letter and this gentleman was kind enough to bring us this letter and it was written in his letter, "Mum, I'm skipping the country today." That as the content of the letter and I believed that he left the country. He wanted me to give his clothes to other people who were going to Lesotho. A few friends came to fetch his clothes. I gave them his clothes and a little amount of money. I do not know whether he got hold of the clothes as well as the money.
When your son said that he was leaving because there was no peace in the house, was your husband still there? --- Yes, the father was still in the house but there was no peace. He was assaulting us in the house, including my son. And when he left he had a scar on his forehead. The father was assaulting us with iron /bars.
bars. We wouldn't sleep in the house. He was assaulting us every day from Monday to the last day of the week, Sunday, he would assault us. I was the only one harassed by the policemen. He wasn't prepared at all times to accompany me. I was taken by the policemen with no shoes at all and every time he wouldn't be of assistance. The police would tell me, "Listen, if your boy comes home, give us a call. We have to pick him up." But I didn't give them a call.
Was your husband a member of the ANC? --- No, he wasn't a member of the ANC.
Was your husband a friend of the police? --- He wasn't either a friend to the policemen. He was just an ordinary person. He was a drunkard really and every day he was fighting us. He was a real drunkard.
When you say that a friend who works at Robert's went to Maseru and brought a letter, do you mean Abel? --- I'm referring to the gentleman who brought us a letter from Maseru when I say the neighbour.
Was his name Abel? --- Yes, that's Abel but he's since died.
Was it a natural death? --- No, he was murdered. His friend took him out to Virginia open veld and they killed him there. His wife was looking all over for him. She couldn't get hold of him and she went to different police stations. Ultimately she found him at the Virginia Police Station where she was told he was nearly buried by the bandits because he was unknown.
You say that his friends took him. Who were those friends who took Abel? --- He was working with his friend and his friend took him with the van and it
seemed as if they were going somewhere and yet that's where he took him to the veld and killed him. And the wife was puzzled as to the whereabouts of the husband. And she found him at the Virginia Police Station after a long time of search.
Do you know the name of the friend? --- I do not know the name of the friend, Sir.
Okay, anyway, let's come back to your story. Maybe now we must involve Puleng. I think that's where she comes in.
Is it true that you never heard about your son until you heard from Puleng who had received a phone call from Andeli Lobese? --- I was never informed not at all until the day Puleng arrived from my home town Port Elizabeth that she received a call telling her that my son has died.
Okay, can we hear from Puleng.
PULENG DIPPA (Sworn states) (Through Interpreter)
CHAIRMAN: Puleng, is it true that during this time you were in Port Elizabeth at Thembalihle School at New Brighton? --- I was at Brighton in Dora Street. I was schooling in that area.
Can you tell us how you received the message about the death of your brother? --- There was this other woman who stayed in the street in 1987 and she went to the outside countries to look for her son and receiving the information that she was out of the country to search I got interested and I went to her and I enquired as to the trip. And she said to me, "I do not know, " and there after I left her. My grandmother and other
women came home and as they were chatting they said, "That woman that your daughter visited was so scared to come to you to tell you that your grandson has died." And I was crying then after receiving the news and the preparations were made for me to come to Welkom to report this matter. But Andeli Lobese's family received a telephone call and one of the children came home and said Andile wants to speak to you and I gave them my telephone numbers and Andile gave me a call and he said to me, "Know that your brother has died." I said to him, "What is the cause of the death?" And he said, "No, I won't tell you but I will tell you some other day when I'm available." And I had to come to Welkom to report the matter. I didn't tell my mother straight that my brother was killed. I went to a relative of ours called Denja and Denja said we should go to Matsipe who was a lawyer at Odendaalsrus and I went to this attorney. I explained to him everything. I said, "I am scared of telling my mum this bad news. I don't want to break this news to her. Will you please go and tell her?" Really the next day Mr Matsipe came home and he broke the news and he said to her, "Your daughter came to me to seek my assistance. I'm here to tell you that your son has died." And we then told my father. He was working in the industrial area. And we went back to Matsipe to enquire as to the cause of his death but Mr Matsipe said he didn't get enough information. It would be much better if we go to those countries and get a full picture of what happened. And I said, "Mr Matsipe, how would I go to those countries because we don't have funds and we've heard that it's so
expensive and how would we get there?" He said, "I do not know really." I said to him, "Don't you think it would be a wise thing to contact the people of the ANC?" and he said, "No, we can't do it now." And I went back home. I was together - oh, we had our brother Peter Mohati who was staying in Gauteng and I gave him a call and he said to me, "Please come down." My mother tried to get money. She was doing temporary jobs at OK and I went to Johannesburg. It was on a Saturday. On Monday we went to the ANC offices. When we arrived at the offices we were sitting there. Nobody attended to us. And we went back home. The next day on Tuesday we went back and we were told that Chris Hani was not available. He was outside the country and I requested them to give us anybody who would assist us and they gave us someone to assist us but unfortunately I can't remember his name and I enquired from this man about Kenneth and his whereabouts and where he died. This man opened some files and he checked from 1976 until 1990 and he discovered that his name didn't appear in all the books and he said to me, "Please come the next day because I will check in the next file that is coming in from Angola. There are people who died in Angola." And on Friday I went back and he told me that our brother died - I can't remember was it in Tanzania or in Angola. Yes, it was in Tanzania. When I wanted him to tell me the reason for his death he said, no, he didn't have any reason. I was doing my part-time jobs at OK and I received a telephone call as I was working. It was on a Saturday. And I was told to rush to Johannesburg. I went to Johannesburg and I met Peter. He took me to a
certain gentleman who was a Comrade. You know, I don't know Gauteng as a whole but he was somewhere in Gauteng. But this brother said, "Yes, we learnt that your brother had died but there will be people coming to your family to bring condolences." I went back home, from home I went back to Port Elizabeth.
Did they tell you how your brother died? --- No, Sir, we don't have the core of this story. There were so many stories coming up. Up to this day we haven't had the right story. We are here. We want to know. We need an explanation because some people say he committed suicide. They say he went outside and he wanted to guard and they only heard a gunshot and he shot himself. They say he pointed his gun on his throat and he released a bullet and he died instantly. And some of them some with a new story. They say there was a fight. They were fighting for a girl and some tell us that he was told to come to South Africa for a certain mission. Now we don't know what is the truth. I went to Port Elizabeth last year in February. I think is was last year in February. I'm not mistaken it was - I'm sorry, it was this year in February I went to Port Elizabeth to visit my uncle and I tried to go to Andile Lobese's family and I requested to see him and they told me that he was working at King Williams Town but he was going to visit them that weekend. And it's true, he came during the weekend and he came to see me and I said to him, "I've been communicating with you only through the telephone but tell me the real story." He said, "No, I'm sorry, I don't have any information. Moyani, you brother was staying at Makeni and I was a distance
from Makeni. I only heard later that he was shot dead and when I discovered he was a known person to me."
When did Andile come back from exile? --- He came back from exile when I returned from Port Elizabeth. I was now residing in Welkom.
You say that when you went to the ANC offices at Shell House to find out about your son through your daughter - I believe that the daughter is the one Puleng Gwende - the ANC people said that they had no records relating to him but later you say that the Tabong ANC branch gave you R1 000,00 towards the upkeep of your home. Is that true? --- This amount was given to all the women who belonged to the organisation and they were given R700,00 all of them as they were an organised women. When I went to Gauteng this money was not yet issued out. We were still investigating as to what happened because I spent the whole week in Gauteng and that is when I was told that he appeared in their papers. His pseudonym was Ray and the surname was Sudomi and up this day we do not know the cause of the death. That is why we request - we need an explanation from the ANC as to how he died because we were told another story that he was driving these cars - I do not know what kind of cars are those - but we were told he was a driver.
Thank you very much. Where was your brother buried? --- He was buried in that country because the call that they gave us was done after his burial. When I asked him why they didn't phone us before, he said, no, they could only phone us after the release of Mr Mandela.
Do you know who buried him? --- No, we do not know who buried him. That is why we are here. We want to know who buried him, why was he buried by them and what is the cause of the death. Because the ANC didn't take any initiative to come and tell us what happened because my mother said they came afterwards but I had already left for Port Elizabeth, but they came home to tell my mother the story.
Now, how the family been affected by this, all what happened? How are you affected as a family from the mother to children? How has it affected you? --- This affected me a lot, especially when I was in Port Elizabeth when I got the news that my brother had died. I wasn't even interested to look at any movie because every time we look on the TV we would see soldiers fighting and this was a real nightmare for me and I went to the doctor. I attended a treatment because I was epileptic. And my other sibling was deeply affected and every time when people look at her they would tell her that she looks like her brother and it affects her so much. My mother is always at the doctor. She is every now and then not at work. At work she was told that she would come back as soon as she has recovered and we went with her to her place of employment and the manager transported her back home because she couldn't walk. Her colleagues lifted her up to the car because she was so disturbed And the manager said my mother should come as soon as she has recovered. She's working now at the OK Bazaars permanently. But since she separated with my father - I think they separated while I was at Port Elizabeth and we were staying in the Soweto section - my /mother
mother struggled with raising the two boys. The boy was doing Standard 4 and the girl was doing Standard 2. My mother has been so supportive to them because the father was just a useless person. He wouldn't do anything. These children have been my mother's burden. She was retrenched from her work but she could still manage. And the boy managed to pass his matric. He failed his Standard 9 and my mother decided he should go to Dosa College and he passed his N4 and he wanted to go back to school because of unemployment but my mother didn't have money and he went to Theba until he was employed. Now, the girl was at Lepula School last year and she didn't succeed with her matric. Now she is attending the college to improve her two subject mathematics and physical science. She is still the burden of my mother. The father is not working. This really affected the family but most of all it affected my mother because if she had money, she goes to the specialist and if she doesn't, she goes to the hospital and she pays R13,00 every time she consults the hospital. And she told me that the amount has increased with R2,00. It's now R15,00. We've encouraged her to go to a private doctor because the tablets that they give her are not helping. At all times she has got this high blood pressure. It's always high. And at one stage the doctor indicated that she's got a TB touch. And she went to the clinic for further medication. She took that medication and after a few months she stopped taking those tablets. I'm staying at my house. One day I saw her coming to my place and she told me that blood was coming out of the mouth and she was taken to the hospital said they
couldn't see anything wrong with her.
Okay. Are you working yourself? --- I am not working. The man I'm staying with is working. He doesn't want me to work.
Are you married? --- Yes, I'm a married woman. I left school when I was doing N3 at the Technical with my commercial subjects. Now, this man who married me said I should stay at home because he's working for me. But at time I keep on telling him, "You know that I left a child back at home and my mother is struggling. She cannot make ends meet." I was a photographer at school trying to get some little income. I am really trying to help my mother in whatever way.
Who is supporting your child? Is your mother? --- The child is my mother's burden.
Where is the child's father? --- The father is in Port Elizabeth. When I was in Port Elizabeth the last time, I discovered that he moved away from Port Elizabeth. I do not know where he is now. He so dearly wanted to see the child by couldn't because he left the area. The child is now 10 years old. Because I took him to the maintenance court. He only maintained the child for three months and he left the maintenance and I was sent as letter and when I appeared the magistrate told me that he disappeared. He was asking me about his whereabouts. I said, "It's better to leave him because I'm trying my best to get a little income." And when I got married the child was left with my mother.
Thank you very much. This is one of the saddest stories I've ever listened to. Before I make some few comments, I don't know whether there are any questions
from Mr Mdu Dlamini.
MR DLAMINI: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I just want to confirm the pseudonym for the late Monyane. What was his pseudonym on exile? --- Ray Silume.
And secondly, Mr Chairman, although I don't have the full facts or details, I know that the ANC is presently working on possible pension for people who lost their sons on exile. Maybe the family would like to see the local office and get more information on that. I might not be correct but there was something along those lines.
PROF MAGWAZA: It's just a few questions to clarify. The dates - I think in all this account the dates are missing. How old was Mohapi when he died? When was he born? --- He was born on the 25th of October 1967.
And the first time you heard that he had died, when was it? --- That was after the release of Mr Mandela. I think it was in 1991.
So when you spoke to Andile Lobese, did he indicate when did he actually died? Did he die in the same year? --- I think he died in February but I'm not sure of the year and I'm not sure of the date of his burial because everything was conveyed to us through the telephone and he said he wouldn't be in a position to give us a full disclosure.
You mentioned one thing that it was said that people would come to see you with condolences. Did they come to your house, those people, and who were those people who were supposed to come to your place with condolences? --- I thought that my brother died in exile and we were supposed to get a telegram or a letter /or be
or be called to the offices to be given the message that our brother had died, not only to hear that as a rumour because when my mother said to me the ANC people came afterwards it was after all the initiatives I took as to what happened to my brother.
The last question. When the ANC people came to see you, Mama, what did they say to you? --- (MRS DIPPA) They arrived from Johannesburg and they just said to me, "Your son passed away." There is noting else they said to me. They didn't tell me the procedure, you know, what to do thereafter, they just broke the news that my son passed away. There were policemen also just after I arrived from Port Elizabeth and I was alone at home. It was a white policeman as well as a black policeman. When they arrived they greeted us. There was photo of my cousin brother on the room divider with his fist lifted up and the police said - this black policeman said to me, "Is this Monyani?" I said, "Why do you ask me if this is Monyani? Don't you know Monyani yourself?" And he said to me, "Where is he?" I said, "Why are you asking me his whereabouts?" They asked me, "Are you from Port Elizabeth? Did you bring the message from Port Elizabeth?" I said to them, "How did you know that there is a person from Port Elizabeth to bring the message?" I said to them, "I'm just here for holiday. I know nothing about this matter." They said to me, "Tell the truth." I said to them, "Come on, if there is something you know, tell us." I said to them, "If there isn't anything new that you are telling me, you'd better leave." Then they left. I don't know how they got the
information that I was from Port Elizabeth to bring the news about Mohapi.
Okay, thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: We need to correct the date then because according to your statement here you say that you received a message - Puleng received a phone call about the death of Mohapi in 1989. So I hear now that you say that it's 1991. So which is which? Was it 1991 or 1989? --- '89 is the correct date.
Thank you. I just wanted to check about that. Mama, you are one of the women who have really suffered. In the first place you grew up in hell. The home is where people should be happy so that when you are at work somewhere, if you find some problem you say that, "Oh, I wish the time for going home was around so that I can go back and be happy at home with my family." But it would appear that your house a ... (inaudible) ... of fear and torture where you as your whole family were tortured and I guess that affected even your children psychologically. Children who grew up in homes where there are fights, they are affected psychologically when they grew up. And so you underwent that type of a torture bringing up your children when the father was there and later you had to be confronted with this type of experience of losing your son and you don't even know where he is buried. That also is a torture for the parent not to know where his or her child is buried. We are bearing this pain with you, Mama. In fact we think you are very strong that you could even come here and testify and tell your story because you have gone through hell. We have noted your request that you want
your son's bones to be returned from Tanzania so that he could be buried in Tabong at home. We have noted your request that you would like that the truth should be told about how your son died. We shall try and liaise with the ANC offices and find out if they cannot help us about all the facts surrounding your son's death. Where, how he died, which is true in these three versions which are given? That he committed suicide. If he committed suicide, why he committed suicide? What are the reasons for his committing of the suicide? Or this one fighting for a girl. If he was fighting for a girl, with whom was he fighting and then who's that person who killed him? And then this other one which says that he was sent to come to South Africa for a mission. If he was sent, then what happened? Did he refuse? And if he refused, what happened then? What cause his death? I think it's the ANC which will be able to help up with these questions. The investigative unit will make these investigations and we'll try and channel your requests especially about this one of reburial. There are many parents who have children buried somewhere who would like them to be fetched - their bones. We just hope that where he was buried the place can still be identified so that his bones can be brought back home. Thank you very much. And I thank your daughter for being so close to you even though she's married but she can still give you the support. This is wonderful, young lady. We commend you for that, starting from the time when you were in PE channelling the messages to our mum and going to Johannesburg to find out about your brother. That is great. It means
that you are very much ... (inaudible) ... indeed. Keep it up. Thank you very much. But we must also commend your husband that he can allow you to come to support your mother. We need to commend him for that - that little act. It needs to be mentioned. Thank you very much. --- I also thank you, Sir. Can I say something. Mr Mdu Dlamini said something - he asked a question and you had to intervene. I can't remember what it was.
CHAIRMAN: What question was that?
MR DLAMINI: Probably, Mr Chairman, she's referring to my suggestion that they need to visit the local office of the ANC and find out more about special pensions that I think the ANC is trying to put together for people who lost their sons and husbands on exile. A kind of compensation or pension but I'm sure more details could be obtained from the local ANC office.
CHAIRMAN: Okay, can you try and follow that up through your local ANC offices? --- Yes, Sir, we will try to follow this matter up.
Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN: We have come to the end of our day and I also want to register my sincere thanks and appreciation to those people who came here and were prepared to remain up to this point. We have taken a longer time today because we had to make some additions and also it's very difficult to stop the people when they're pouring out their pain because the whole aim of the Truth and Reconciliation is that we must say everything. We must not leave out anything. And again I want to
register my thanks to my dear brothers, the TV people who are here with us, and maybe the press people somewhere who are with us up to this moment and the member of the community who are with us up to this time and the witnesses. Tomorrow is the last day and we shall begin again at 9.00am and it is going to be our last day at Welkom and we still ask also for the people to please invite people to come and see out statement takers -those who have not told their stories. Somebody cannot tell a story for you, you have to tell it yourself so that this pain comes out. There are many people who have not told their stories. Can they please be encouraged to come forward to see our statement takers tomorrow to come and tell their stories. May we now stand for the benediction. May our God bless our gathering today so that the wishes of His people become true that their story telling and their feeling of their secrets and the opening of their hearts would help them in their lives. May now the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us till for ever. Amen. We remain standing until the witnesses are channelled through. Where are our briefers. Can you take then through. Okay, thank you. You can then dismiss.
PROCEEDINGS ADJOURNED TO 1996/10/10