PROCEEDINGS HELD AT
10 OCTOBER 1996
[PAGES 1 - 100]
I N D E X
NO ITEM PAGE N°
1. Case No FS/TS/004
Khantse Nikelo................................................. 1 - 9
2. Case No FS/TDM/009
Elisa Makaya Mntuze and Abraham Mntuze............. 10 - 21
3. Case No FS/TDM/008
Laura Tau....................................................... 22 - 30
4. Case No FS/MBL/014
Allie Bertha Petrus............................................ 31 - 47
5. Case No FS/PJM/022 and FS/MBL/005
Matsheliso Pauline Rantie and
Mkhululekile Petros Mzosane............................... 48 - 70
6. Case No FS/TS/007
Joyce Kau and Letitia Sikaledi.............................. 71 - 83
7. Case No FS/PJM/006
Mohlahluoa Motete............................................ 84 - 97
8. Closing address by Commissioner.......................... 98 - 100
COMMISSIONER: Good morning, Sabina, how are you?
MRS NIKELO: Yes, I am all right.
COMMISSIONER: Thank you for coming here to tell the sad story about the disappearance of your son, Christopher Thelo Nikelo. We know it must be very painful, and we are not surprised that you are so moved emotionally. It has to happen when you don't know where your son is. So you just take your time, we are not going to rush you. If you want to drink water take a sip. (Pause) Sabina, is it true that you live in 7291 in Constant(?) here in Kroonstad?
MRS NIKELO: True. Yes, that's true.
COMMISSIONER: Can you please give us a picturesque of your family, a diagram of your family - whether you have a husband, and how many children do you have, how old are they, where are they, etcetera, so that we can have a picture of your family? Before we do that you need to take an oath. I am sorry.
KHANTSE NIKELO (Sworn, States)
(Inaudible) ... picture of your family, that we can just know roughly what type of family you have - father, children, etcetera. --- Yes, I have a husband, I have children. All of them are still at home except the elder one, who has disappeared. The first one is 22 years, the other one is 17 years and the other one is 11 years.
We had a problem with the translation. Can you just begin - I hear now. --- I have a husband, I have children. They were five. The eldest one was 30 years. The other one is the one who has disappeared. Then come another one who 22 years, then the other one is 17 years
old, then the last-born, who is 11 years old.
The one who disappeared, how old was he when he disappeared? --- When he disappeared he was 18 years old, if he was not 17 years old. I don't remember well.
Is your husband still living with you? --- Yes.
Is he working? --- He is not working, Sir.
And are you yourself working? --- I am not working, Sir.
You say that you have got children, the eldest is 38 years. Is it a boy or daughter? --- That's a daughter, Sir.
And the one who is 22 years? --- That's a daughter, Sir.
The one who is 17? --- That's a daughter, Sir.
The last-born, who is 11? --- That's a son, Sir.
So you had two sons and three daughters, and now you have got three daughters and one son. --- That's true.
Where is the one who is 30 years old, your daughter, where is she? --- She is here in front.
(Inaudible) --- Yes, Sir.
Thank you for coming with your mummy. Where is the one who is 22 years? --- She is at school, Sir, in standard nine.
The one who is 17 years? --- At school, Sir, in standard seven.
The one who is 11? --- At school, Sir.
What standard? --- Standard three, Sir.
Thank you very much. What is your eldest daughter doing? --- She is at home, Sir, at home.
(Inaudible) ... working? --- She is unemployed.
How do you support your family? The father is not
working and you are not working, and there are children in school. --- I am the person who tries to sell appliances(?), dishes and cups, and I am selling soup.
So it's almost self-employment. --- That's true.
You must be a brave and powerful woman to do this. --- That's true, Sir.
Now, in your statement, Sabina, you have stated that your son, Christopher Thelo, disappeared after being arrested by the police. Where was he arrested? --- He was arrested at Orkney.
What year was it? --- It was in 1986.
Can you describe what happened when he was arrested? Before you do that, was your son belonging to any political organisation? --- Yes, that's true.
Which organisation was it? --- That's ANC.
The other members of the family, are they members of any political organisation? --- All of them are ANC members.
When your son was arrested in 1986 was it the first time that he was arrested? --- It was for the first time, Sir.
Is there any member of the family who had been arrested before him? --- I don't remember, Sir.
When your son was arrested what was happening in your area? Why was he arrested? What was happening in the area? --- When he was arrested he was not at home at Kroonstad, he was at Orkney to attend a funeral service. When he was at that funeral then they were arrested there. Why they were arrested I didn't know. He was arrested with his friends. They took them to the Orkney Police Station, then they proceeded to Klerksdorp
Police Station. After some days thereafter the friends returned home. We got a message that he was arrested. Then we went to that police station to verify as to whether it's true that he's arrested. When we arrived there we found him not there. They told us he was transferred to Stilfontein Police Station. When we arrived at Stilfontein to look for him there was nobody like him there. Then they told us that he is not here.
Sabina, you say in your statement that your son had gone to attend a funeral in Orkney. Whose funeral was it? --- It was the funeral for one Comrade in Orkney.
Do you know the name of that Comrade? --- I don't know his name, Sir.
And again you say that when he went to that funeral he went with other Comrades? Can you remember the names of those Comrades with whom he went? --- I remember only one, who is Lekhowa. I forgot his surname. His other name is Shadrack.
Shadrack Lekhowa. Do you know where Shadrack is now? --- I know where he lives, Sir.
Where does he live? --- He stays at Sasolville(?).
Was he also arrested with your son when your son was arrested? --- I don't know as to whether he was arrested, but I believe he was arrested also.
You say that when your son did not return from Orkney about four days after he had left somebody claiming to be a Comrade phoned you. Did you ever get the name of that person who phoned you? --- I didn't get the name of the person who phoned. I think he did say who he was, but I forgot, but he's a person who stays at Orkney.
But you have never met him? --- I didn't meet him, but the person I met is Lekhowa.
Do you know the name of the police who told you that your son had been transferred to Klerksdorp? --- I don't know the policeman's name. It was a white person. They were harassing us when we were looking for him.
Did they ever tell you why he was arrested? --- They didn't tell us why he was arrested.
And then when you went to Klerksdorp the police also told you that he had been transferred to Stilfontein. --- That's true.
Do you know the name of that police? --- I don't know his name. It was a white person again.
Did he also harass you? --- Yes, he was harassing us.
When you went to Stilfontein who did you meet who told you that your son had not been there? --- I found white policemen at the station.
Take your time, Mama. We understand. (Pause) Who was accompanying you when you were going through this said process, from police station to police station? --- I was accompanied by my daughter.
The one who is here? --- Yes, that's true.
So after you had been told that your son was not in all these police stations what did you do? --- My husband telephoned the Police File to ask them as to whether have they seen somebody like him, and then he even went to the newspapers to find out as to whether have they heard about somebody like him.
And then what happened? --- After that we were going places to places, and even at Orkney we did go, and
then even at Huma(?) we didn't get any trace of him.
All this happened in 1986. --- That's true.
So there was no other investigation which was done about your son apart from going to the - going searching from place to place. --- My mother did go to the place and try to search, but he was not found anywhere.
Was he the only one who disappeared among the Comrades? --- I only know that he's the only one who has disappeared. There are those who returned, those who were arrested with him, but I am not quite sure as to whether there was another person who disappeared.
Those who were arrested with him, did you ever make an attempt to find from them what happened to your son? --- I asked only Lekhowa, but he didn't give me an answer. He just said he doesn't know, but he's his best friend.
Lekhowa was his best friend and he does not know what happened to him? --- He was his friend, and wherever he go - wherever they would go they were always together.
And you say that Lekhowa lives in Sasolville. --- Yes, he stays at Sasolville.
Mama, how has this affected you and your family, the loss of your son? I mean physically, mentally, emotionally how has this affected you? --- I am not able to forget him. Maybe he is still alive.
Take your time, Mama, take your time. We understand your pain. How is your health? --- I am not feeling well.
Can you say more than that? --- I don't sleep at night. I keep on remembering him every day and every
Is that all? --- Yes, that's all, Sir.
How is the health of your husband? --- He is a person who is ill all the time, Sir.
Did he become ill after the loss of your son? --- He is a person who seems he has lost his mind, and we used to take him to doctors.
What did the doctors say? --- They were saying he was having nervous problems.
Is he getting any treatment? --- Yes, he has taken treatment, and it seems he is now having a cardiac problem and he has been treated for that.
Who is paying for his medical expenses? --- That's me, Sir.
Is he treated in the hospital or by a private doctor? --- At the time when he was working he used to go to the surgeries, but now he goes to the hospital.
Does he pay in the hospital? --- Yes, we pay at the hospital.
What hospital is that? --- That's Klerksdorp Hospital. Then he went to the local hospital.
What is the name of the local hospital? --- Buwidumela Hospital and Voortrekker Hospital.
What about the other members of the family, your children, are they well? --- Yes, the eldest one is not feeling well. Then the second one who is 17 years old is suffering from eyesight. The last one is suffering from chest problem. The eldest one is suffering from nervous problems, Sir.
(Inaudible) ... the death of their brother? --- I think so, because all the time they are speaking of him.
Sabina, we really feel for you and your family very much indeed. This is tragic to have a child taken by the police, and the reason is not clear why he was picked up with the other Comrades, and when the other Comrades came back your son did not come back. The tragedy too lies in the fact that it was alleged that he was taken to certain police stations, which seem to deny his every being there. So this becomes a mystery of the mysteries. Your request, you have asked that the Truth Commission should try to help you to find you child, and it is a legitimate request. And I know that you have not lost the hope that your son - you have just said yourself that you still believe that your son may be alive somewhere. It is always good to have hope. We shall endeavour by all means, as the Truth Commission, to touch these three police stations in Orkney, Klerksdorp and Stilfontein, and investigate what happened to your son. And again I think the person who may be able to help us is Lekhowa, his best friend, who was with him all the time, and was with him ... (inaudible) ... now I want the other members of the Committee if they have got any questions to pose.
MR DLAMINI: Ma'am Sabina, would you remember the day and the month in 1986 when your son disappeared, so that we are able to come with the specific information that will help to try and trace your son's whereabouts? --- I don't remember the day, but at that time when they were arrested I think it was during Easter when they were arrested, but I don't remember the exact date.
MS GCABASHE: (Inaudible - end of Side A, Tape 1) ... not
to know what has happened. On the statement you did say that your mother did try to investigate. Is your mother still alive? --- Yes, she's still alive.
What is her name? --- It's Selina, Selina Makume.
Where does she stay? --- 2388 Pumulong Township.
I thank you. I hope that maybe we will be able to help you.
As I have just said, Sabina, thank you very much for coming to tell your sad story. We shall try all we can do to assist you to find out where your son is, and we give our love and best wishes to your family, to your husband, to your other children who are not here. We are with you, we are supporting you during these difficult times. Thank you very much, Mama.
COMMISSIONER: (Inaudible) ... Dumelani, are you well? INTERPRETER: Yes, we are well, and how are you?
COMMISSIONER: Who is Elisa Makaya Mntuze among you? MRS MNTUZE: That's me.
COMMISSIONER: And who is the other gentleman?
MRS MNTUZE: That's my husband. That's my husband, Sir.
COMMISSIONER: What is his name?
MRS MNTUZE: Abraham Mntuze.
COMMISSIONER: Will he also be telling the story, helping you?
MRS MNTUZE: Where I forget he will fill me up.
COMMISSIONER: Before you tell your stories can you, Elisa, stand up to take an oath that what you are going to say is the truth and only the truth.
ELISA MAKAYA MNTUZE and ABRAHAM MNTUZE (Sworn, State) COMMISSIONER: Thank you for coming here to tell the story pertaining to Pinda Vincent Mntuze, one of your beloved ones. --- We thank you, Sir.
Mrs Virginia Gcabashe is going to help you in the process of telling your story. I now hand over to her.
MRS GCABASHE: We greet you, Mntuze family. Are you fine this morning? --- Yes, we are fine and quite well.
Mrs Mntuze and Mr Mntuze, you have already given us a brief background as to where you stay, being No 292 Sikela Street, Pumulong, is that correct? --- Yes, that is correct.
You came here because you lost your son, Pinda Vincent Mntuze. --- That is correct.
You must take your time, Mrs Mntuze. We know that the pain that you went through and the anguish is just
unbearable. You can take your time. This is the chance that you've got to speak out and tell us about what happened to your son. Even before we begin to talk about your son we would like you to give us a brief background about your family. Do you have any children? --- I have four children. I am left with three now.
Your are left with three after Vincent died? Tell us about your children that you are left with. --- My first born is David. He stays in Parys, and that's where he works.
How old is he? --- I think he is 31 if I am not mistaken.
Is he working in Parys? --- Yes, he is working in Parys, and that's where he stays.
And your second-born? --- It's Clifford. He is staying with me.
How old is Clifford? --- Clifford is 28 years old.
Is he working? --- No, he is not employed, but he has just completed his matric.
Your third-born? --- It's Kazer.
How old is Kazer? --- Kazer is 22 years old.
Is he employed? --- No, he has also completed his matric, but he is not employed as yet.
Is that all? Are you employed? --- Yes, I am.
What type of work are you doing? --- I'm a domestic. I do washing and ironing.
Mr Abraham, are you working? --- No, I am not working.
As you have already related to us that you've come to talk about Pinda, can you please give us a brief
explanation as to what was happening in your location just before he died, or before he was shot? --- Pinda was born in 1976 on the 6th of July. It was approximately half past four on a Monday and I was in my living-room watching TV. I heard somebody calling me and asked me as to where he was at that time. And that person told me that Pinda had just been shot.
You can take your time. We know the pain that you are going through. We know that it's very tough to lose a loved one, especially a child. --- I went out, running out of the house. When I got to the street I proceeded towards the street corner, and I discovered that he had already been taken and put into a kombi, and it was the headmaster's kombi, being driven by his son. It was Headmaster Sidilwane's son who was driving the kombi, and they were rushing my son to Buwidumela Hospital. And when they got to Buwidumela Hospital ... (incomplete)
Take your time, Mrs Mntuze. (Pause) You can take your time, Mrs Mntuze. We do understand. (Pause) Can you go on? Are you able to continue? --- When they got to Buwidumela Hospital he was certified dead on arrival.
Let's just stop there. I want to ask a question. You spoke about Makwadi. Who is Makwadi? --- It is Makwatla, not Makwadi.
Who is Makwatla? --- Makwatla is a distant member of the family.
Can you please tell us about the Lekhopo family? Where do they stay? --- He stays in Constantia in Kroonstad.
Do you know his address? --- No, I do not know
his address, but he stays in Constantia.
Now, you are staying in Pumulong. What did he have to do with the whole incident? --- He was a visitor at that time. He was staying in Pumulong at that time.
You also mentioned Caswell Kwekwe, a certain mayor. Could you tell us whether he's still alive? --- What resulted in my son's death - Caswell Kwekwe was involved in the shooting and killing of my son.
Do you know where he stays? --- He was then mayor of Kroonstad. That is way back in 1986. He was taken to the State mortuary at the police station, which was in the city centre. They discovered that he had been shot three times, two times just above the heart and one just below the heart.
Take your time, Mrs Mntuze, we do understand your pain. (Pause) Was Vincent 10 years old when he died? --- That is correct, he was 10 years old.
Can you please explain as to how a 10-year-old could be shot by a mayor, who is supposed to be a responsible citizen? --- The children were playing in the street when this happened. That is when Caswell Kwekwe shot him. They were together with Pakwe in a minibus, and we were told that he shot him through the window of the minibus. And later on I heard rumour that there was a riot or unrest at a certain school, that is the Vudibeng School, and that happened during the morning, but my child was shot in the afternoon at half past four. Now, I don't know what is the connection between the riot that took place in the morning and the shooting that happened in the afternoon, because he was not at a high school, he was just at a secondary school.
Were there any adults or teenagers who were playing during that time in the street? --- I was not present, but what I know is that he was playing with his peers there.
Is Kwekwe still alive? --- Yes, he is alive.
And where does he stay? --- Kwekwe was staying in Pumulong, but I don't know whether he's still in Pumulong or he has since moved. But he is around Kroonstad.
You have also mentioned Mr Sidilwane, who was the headmaster. He was the headmaster at Vuwithiko. Is he still alive? --- Yes, he is still alive.
What is his name? Do you still remember his name? Is it Bhaki? --- No, it's not Bhaki.
It's Mrs Sidilwane. It's Principal Sidilwane. She's the one who was the principal at Vuwithiko, but she is now on pension. --- Yes, she's still alive and she is staying in Kroonstad. We are close by. We are just nearby each other.
What about her son, is her son still alive, and what's his name? --- I don't know his name, but he is no longer staying at his place. He got married, but he is still staying in Kroonstad.
What about Pakwe, who was with Kwekwe at that time, is he still alive? --- No, Pakwe passed away.
Did you ever open up a case with regard to your son's death? --- Yes, my husband did open up a case.
Who is ... (inaudible) --- It's my husband, Abraham. His friends took him to Johannesburg, where they engaged the services of an attorney. They got two attorneys, but I have since forgotten the names of the
attorneys. The attorneys were Zimmerman as well as Steve Casswell.
How did the case go on? --- We attended the case, and when we got there we were directed to go to Court B in Kroonstad, the city centre.
Take your time, Mrs Mntuze. Mr Abraham, had you come back for the case? --- Yes, I was called from Welkom and I was told that this had happened. Then I rushed to Kroonstad. And even when the case was being investigated I was given leave by my employers.
Can you please elaborate and tell us what happened in court? You went to court and you went to Court B. What happened when you went to Court B? Did you have any legal representatives? --- Yes, we had legal representatives. Caswell was there also, as well as Pakwe. When the case started - the case was finalised on the very same day, and they said nobody was responsible for my son's death - that is Kwekwe's attorney - and the Magistrate stood up and went out. When he came back he said that the case should be dismissed.
Did they ever give you a reason for dismissing the case? --- As I've already said they said there's no one who could be held responsible for my son's death.
Do you know Kwekwe's attorneys? If you can't remember it's fine, we will conduct our own investigation. --- (No reply)
And what did Zimmerman say to you as your legal representatives? --- They said they were going to re-open the case, but they never did.
Did you ever get the death certificate? --- Yes, we did get the death certificate.
And what was written in there? What was the cause of death? If you do have it you'll submit it later on. --- It said he had died of gunshot wounds.
Was he ever taken to ... (incomplete) --- When we got there he was already at the mortuary and he was being examined.
Did they ever tell you as to what the pathologist got, what was the pathologist's report? --- They said I should be satisfied that I had seen my son and that was just the end of it. No explanations were rendered.
Is there anything that you still want to add? --- Yes, that is quite correct, because I do not understand how the case was conducted. I do not understand that Kwekwe should kill my son and still get away scot-free without accounting, especially the fact that he had shot my son three times. I do not understand how a 10-year-old could pose a threat to an armed man. That is very surprising really.
Now, how has this affected you and your husband? --- This has caused so much anguish in my family.
Let's start with you. --- After my son's death as well as the unsatisfactory results of the case I ended up having heart problems.
Is that all? Are you getting any treatment? --- No, I am not getting any treatment for my cardiac problem.
Why are you not able to go for treatment? --- I have financial problems because I am the breadwinner in the house. I have to support my family, and everything is supposed to be done by me. I am maintaining the family and supporting my children. Whenever I get money I always go to Buwidumela Hospital to get some treatment.
Let's hear from Mr Mntuze. How do you feel? --- After my son's death my husband suffered from dizzy spells and he also had cardiac problems, and he was having fainting spells.
Does he also get treatment? --- Yes, we do get some medical attention whenever we can afford it.
Mr Abraham, can you give us your own account of your health? --- There are times when this causes me to have cardiac attacks. I do get employed, but because of my illness I always lose my job.
How many times - or how often do you get these attacks? --- I haven't been employed for the past nine months, because I fainted at some stage at work and they decided that they couldn't take me any more because the job that I was doing was dangerous. So I could not continue to work.
What about the fainting spells? --- It's nine months now since I haven't worked.
What about your children? How are they taking this? --- The children are quite fine. They are just like any other child.
We have heard your story and we do understand your pain, especially because your child was so young. At such a tender age how could he be killed by irresponsible armed adults? We do understand that you are in financial problems because you are the breadwinner, and you would appreciate it if you could be assisted with the erecting of tombstones for all the children who died during the riots. And you want people to be educated about political tolerance, and you also want the schools to be upgraded to have libraries, so that the community can have better
facilities. With regard to your health we would like you to meet our people who are designated to deal with problems such as yours so that they could advise you accordingly. Have you ever gone to the welfare offices to put your side of the story? --- No, we've never been there.
We would advise you to go and see some welfare officers so that your husband could possibly get a grant. We thank your daughter, who was very supportive in all that happened. We thank you very much.
MR DLAMINI: Abraham, do you have any records of the case, such as the case number, or any document relating to the case? --- They are there, but I have got to search for them.
Do you have them with you here, or they are there at home? --- They are not with me, they are at home, Sir.
And do you have the address of the attorneys who represented you during the case? --- Yes, I have those addresses.
Could you give them to us now? --- I know the addresses. It's Legal Resources, President Street, Johannesburg.
Do you have any papers or a card from them so that we can get full details including the telephone? --- They are not with me now.
All right, thank you, we'll make a follow-up with you afterwards. --- Thank you, Sir.
I just have two short questions, Mama Mntuze. Firstly, we as a Commission, when somebody is killed in
this way, we would like to know if he was ever involved in politics. Your son was very young, he was only ... (incomplete - end of Side B, Tape 1) ... did he have about politics, or what involvement did he have in politics? --- There I have no evidence. I only know that he's just a mere child, and he's a person who was interested in schooling. Maybe on the side that is whether - if whether this has happened because he was involved in the unrest situation I have no evidence.
On the day that your son was killed was there anybody else who was injured or killed? --- No.
Abraham and Elisa Mntuze, your case is a very serious one. For two men to shoot a child of 10 years is unacceptable. Even if there was the riot somewhere in the morning that will not qualify two elderly men to kill a boy of 10 years, who knew nothing about politics. The question I want to ask you, these lawyers you took, did you - how much did you pay them? Or they were Legal Resources lawyers, you didn't pay anything to them? --- We didn't pay anything, Sir.
Thank you. You have just said that somebody told Elisa that Phineas had been shot. Who is that somebody? --- We were in the house when this person was shouting to us. Her name is Bulani. She stays at our neighbour's house.
That's Bulani? --- Yes, it's Bulani. Her surname is Gudwani.
She is your neighbour? Is she still around? --- (No reply interpreted)
Well, as the other colleagues have just said, there
are certain people who will help us in this case. It is your lawyers who will help us why this case was dropped, And again the Magistrate, they are going to help us with the Magistrate, who that Magistrate is who dropped the case, and why he dropped it. And we shall make every attempt through our investigation unit to see if we can't have a contact with Caswell Kwekwe. If he does not come himself forward - he may not come because he won the case, but we have got the powers to subpoena him so that he can come and tell as to why he shot a boy of 10 years. And we may get some of the evidence from that principal, Mrs Sidilwane of Kroonstad. That's a well known family in Kroonstad. I know it very well in Kroonstad. We may also get in touch with Mrs Sidilwane so that she can give us her own story. You look simple, but you are very broad-minded people. I must say so, for the things you have asked here for other people who didn't have an opportunity of coming forward, who lost their children. You have asked that the tombstones must be erected for those children too. To me that is very exciting. You are speaking about that communities should be given a political education of tolerance. The people who are broad-minded will say those things, and we want to commend you for that. Another commendation I want to give to the support you are giving to each other. We have had cases here where, when these things have happened, they divided the family, there were divorces and separations, but you, you are still together, sharing the pain together. To me that needs to be commended, and we thank you very much. We shall do all what we can do to assist you. Colleague Gcabashe has already identified one of the other areas
where you can be helped immediately, the Health Services, and we have got people here, who are working here for the Truth Commission, who must have contact with you so that they can channel you through that you do get these Health Services. Thank you very much. God bless you. --- We thank you, Sir.
COMMISSIONER: (Incomplete) ... pain which has been with you all the time, which has been a cancer eating, biting on you about the death of your son, Mzi Isaac Tau. But before you tell your story we are going to ask you to take an oath.
LAURA TAU (Sworn, States)
Mama, it would appear that you are still coming with the same stories. Blacks mothers have a common experience of losing their sons. All of them it is about the sons, sons, sons, sons of mothers, and this is a really painful thing, as you know that in our communities when you have got a son that is your investment. We invest in our children. Now, when you tell this story, Mama, somebody is going to help you. And take your time. If you feel like crying, do cry. If you feel like crying, do cry. We'll pause and wait for you. If you want to drink water, do drink water. We'll pause and wait for you, because you are telling a very painful story. And Professor Magwaza is going to lead you.
PROF MAGWAZA: Good morning, Mama Tau. --- Good morning, Ma'am.
Thank you very much for having come over here today, and we would like to express our sincere thanks for having been prepared to share the experience with us. We know it's a painful experience, but we are here to support you, just to let you know that we are with you. I will start by referring to your statement. According to your statement you live at House No 2954, Pumulong, Kroonstad, and you were born in 1946. That is correct? --- That is correct, Ma'am.
You are here in connection with the death of your son, Isaac Tau, who was shot dead by a white policeman. --- That's true, Ma'am.
When you are ready, Mama Tau, can you please just tell us about your son. We'd like to know more about him, and we want to keep good memories of him, all of us. Just tell us briefly about how old he was at the time, what was he doing? Was he a member of the political organisation, or not? --- Mzi was 17 years old and he was shot on the 15th of May by a certain policeman who had hidden under a plastic in a certain van, which had an emblem of Protea Furnishers written on it. I was not present, I did not see all this because I was at work at that time, but a short while after I had come back from work I called Mzi and I wanted to send him to the shop. After about two or five minutes a certain boy called Oba Mugimane came and told me that Mzi had been shot by a passing vehicle. I tried to find out from Oba as to why he thought it was Mzi who had been shot. He said it was Mzi because he had seen him, and I had just sent him to the shop at the time he got shot. And he spoke to Mohawu, Mzi's brother, so that they could go and verify it, but Mohawu refused, and I also didn't go there.
Just to ask a few questions, Mama, regarding the events. What was happening at that time? --- On that particular day there was absolutely nothing happening, because there was transport. I was working at Sasolville House Creche, and I travel on foot, and there was absolutely nothing along the way. There were no riots or unrest whatsoever. And when I sent my son to the shop I knew that there was nothing going on, there was no unrest
within the area.
Had there been any ... (incomplete) (Pause) We know, Mama, this is a very painful day for you today. We will give you time to - just to come down, and when you are ready you can answer some of the questions. I will ask one question, and then you will answer me if you are ready. What I wanted to know was at the time when your son was shot, in your area, Pumulong, had there been unrest other than on this specific day? --- There was absolutely nothing.
Was your son politically involved in some of the organisations? --- Not that I was aware of. I have never seen him attending any political meetings.
In your mind, Mama Tau, why could have your son been shot on that day? In your own thinking and your own understanding. --- Do you want to know the reason why he was shot?
Yes. --- I have absolutely no idea.
I will come back to your statement then. You are saying that after your son was shot there was an inquest, and in that inquest you became aware for the first time who shot your son. Can you tell us more about that? --- A certain detective, Detective Lihlu Nyana, together with Detective Nhlobe, they came at my workplace and they said that the Attorney-General was calling me at court. We went to fetch Mr Tau from his workplace to take him to the court. The prosecutor gave us a certain paper where there were certain dates written that we should attend court for five days. We attended court for that five days, up til on the fifth day, when the Magistrate addressed the court, and he said that he has not come to give sentence to the
person who has killed the other. He said that he was reserving his judgment, and that was the final. There was a certain man who was looking for - or a State pathologist. It was a white State pathologist. The State pathologist explained in court that the person who shot my son had shot my son with a bullet that was used to kill wild animals. That is all I have to say.
This man, this white man who shot your son, was he there during that day? --- Yes, he was present on that day. That's how I got to know that it's the police who shot my child. They were detectives from Kroonstad and they were testifying that they were not the ones who killed my son, and the fourth accused admitted to shooting to son, and that's when I first got to look at him.
Do you know what his name was? --- I don't know their names, all of them, but they were policemen.
The name of the Magistrate who was presiding on that particular day, what was the name of that Magistrate? --- I don't even know the Magistrate's name.
Do you have any information on the court case, like the court case number or records? What information - useful information do you have about that court case? --- We were not give any case numbers as well as details, we were just called to attend court.
The court case was in Kroonstad Magistrate's Court? --- That is correct.
Did you have any lawyers representing you? --- Yes, we did have an advocate, but I did not personally engage the service. I don't know who helped us get an attorney.
Would you know the name of that advocate? --- I
don't know his name.
Mama Tau, what actually helps us with investigations, and we are very much interested in this investigation because it was an unnecessary killing of a young person, and we would like to forward this case to the investigators, but what would help us is when we have information that would help the investigators. If we don't have the information then it becomes very, very difficult for us to meet your request of finding out the people who killed your son. Is there any other information you can help us with? --- There are witnesses who saw when this incident took place. I think if these witnesses are needed they could be contacted because they are still alive.
Can you please give us the name of those witnesses -the names of those witnesses? --- I can give his surname. It's Mr Pohlela and Miss Blank. They are the ones who were testifying in court.
They are the ones who actually witnessed the killing? --- Yes, they are the ones who saw.
Where are they staying, or where are they working? --- They stay in Pumulong.
Would you be in a position to get more information from them, like their addresses, full addresses, and forward it to the Commission? --- I don't have them presently.
You can do that at a later stage. --- Yes, I could attempt to do that.
You also mentioned somebody by Sikoni Malebo, who picked up the body of your son and took it to the mortuary. Where is Sikoni Malebo. --- Sikoni Malebo
is still around. He is the one who used to pick up the corpses during those times.
Where is he now? Where is he working, or where does he stay? --- He stays in town.
Okay. Also we would like to get more information about him ... (inaudible) ... a very difficult thing to you, like the previous witness you also lost your son very tragically. How has it changed your life, your life and that of your family? Can you tell us briefly? --- I will say I am quite fine, I can cope, but my son's father was very much affected. He's not even working at this moment.
He stopped working after the death of your son? --- Yes, he had swollen feet, so he had to stop working.
Is he getting any medical treatment? --- Yes, he is attending some treatment from Dr Louis Claassen.
Who is paying for that treatment? --- I am paying for him.
We would like to know more about Mzi Isaac's family. You are the mother. Are you working? --- Yes, I am employed.
Where are you working? --- I work at Docker's House Creche.
How many kids do you have? --- I had two boys and one girl.
Now you have one boy, one girl. --- That is correct.
And how old are they? --- Mohawu is 27 years old, Pretty is 20.
Are they working? --- Mohawu started working in 1995.
The other one? --- Pretty is in standard nine at Emotswela High School.
Your husband is not working? --- (No reply interpreted)
Okay, thank you very much, Mama. We have noted your request and we have noted your pain. I also heard you say you are quite fine, you are coping. That's very important to us, because after this tragic death it's very difficult for most of the parents to cope, and probably there's some things we can learn from you as to how to cope when faced with such a difficult situation. Again I think that indicates to us that you are very, very strong. Thank you very much.
MS GCABASHE: We just want to clarify certain issues. You spoke about Sikoni Malebo and you said he was collecting the corpses. Is he an undertaker? --- He was a corpse collector. He was collecting corpses in the street.
Who sent him to do that? Was he doing it voluntarily? --- No, it's his job to do it, and he would take the corpses to the State mortuary. He would take the corpses to the court mortuary.
Who was paying him? --- He was being paid by the Government, but he did not have his own undertaker.
What's his address? --- I don't have it presently, but you can get it later on. He stays in town.
May I know, Mama, whether the death certificate is available? --- Yes, we do have a death certificate.
Do you have it with you today? --- Yes, I do
have it with me.
Please give it to Ms Msomi next to you so that we can get a photocopy thereof when you leave from the desk. And also, sorry, I couldn't - I missed the names of the detectives who came to your house to tell you about the days of the case. Can you please repeat them? --- It's Mr Lihlu Nyana.
Thank you. --- Mr Nhlobe. They are on pension, but they are still alive.
Do you know where they stay? --- Yes, I do.
Thank you. We might ask you to give us their addresses later on.
Thank you, Mama. As I've already said that the way most of these cases were treated were done in a mysterious way. For the Magistrate to say that he cannot make any decision about the case when one of the perpetrators had already agreed that he shot a boy in a pink shirt, when the evidence was there, it would appear that the law at that time was for the perpetrators and not for the victims. And I believe that is what is exciting about the Truth Commission, that all those cases which favour the perpetrators, there is an attempt that the victims should get a fair trial on what happened before. We thank you. As some of the members - my colleagues have already said, that we shall try by all means to follow up these cases so that we can see that justice is done. You are indeed a very strong person. You have already said that you are quite well. We appreciate that, but myself I will suggest that you also try and get a help from some of the psychologists, because you are traumatised. The only
thing is that you are very strong. Some people are very strong, but you are traumatised. Even now a person can see that you are traumatised by the death of your child, and we don't blame you for that. So I would advise you too to see some of the people who are put here to take you to the right people who can help you in this trauma. Thank you very much.
ALLIE BERTHA PETRUS
COMMISSIONER: Take your time, Mama. You say the first child is a son. --- Yes, the second one is a daughter. The son is seven years of age, the daughter is five.
Are these children in school? --- The son is now in Sub B, my daughter is at home.
Allie Bertha Petrus, is it true that you live at 98 Magerman(?) Street in Brand Park, Kroonstad? --- Baramastraat(?), Kroonstad.
Magerman Street in Brand Park, Kroonstad, thank you. And is it true that you were born on the 14th of February 1968. --- Yes, it is correct.
What is your relation to Constance Bush? --- She is my sister-in-law.
What is your relationship to Philip Petrus? --- He is my brother-in-law.
Do they also live in Kroonstad? --- Constance lives in Kroonstad and Philip in Johannesburg.
Thank you very much. When was - do you have the date of the birth of Andrew Isaac, your late husband? --- It's 2 September 1964 when he was born.
Thank you. Did your husband belong to any political organisation? --- Yes.
Can you name it? --- ANC.
And do you yourself belong to any political organisation? --- Yes.
What is that organisation? --- ANC.
Thank you. Before your husband died what was happening in your community? (Pause) Take your time, Mama, take your time. I know it's painful. You are still very young to have lost your husband, very young indeed.
Women have suffered a lot in South Africa. Some have lost their sons, some have lost their husbands. (Pause) Take your time. It's very painful indeed. So you can see, you people who are here, why we say that when we are here we must behave very well, because people are traumatised. If we don't respect them when they have come to tell their stories it traumatises them more. They need our support in whatever is happening. Do you think that you can help - Constance Bush, you can help, because you also live in the same area. What was happening there during this time before this young man was killed? --- Before my brother died he was with my brother's son, Roland Petrus. He had killed the gang leader of the Three Million Gang of Kroonstad. He was with him on that specific day.
Just be slow, because we have to note down all what you've said. You say before your brother-in-law died he was with who? --- He was with Roland Petrus, my brother's son. He had shot Dewitty, the gang leader of the Three Million Gang of Kroonstad. They killed him.
Okay. --- Yes, that's correct, it was Andrew.
He had killed a member of the gang Million - a member of the Three Million Gang in Kroonstad. --- It was Roland Petrus who had shot the gang leader of the Three Million Gang.
When Roland killed this member of the Three Million Gang was Andrew also with him? --- Yes, he was with him.
What was the reason for the killing? --- The reason for the murder of Dewitty? Is that the murder, or is it the reason for Andrew Petrus' murder that you are asking?
For killing the Three Million Gang person. Why did Roland kill this member of the Three Million Gang? --- He had received a command from the community, because Dewitty had killed many of the children of the parents of Mokeng. He, together with his friends, did this.
Why did they specially ask Roland to do this job? --- I honestly don't know why.
Was Roland arrested after the killing of Dewitty? --- He was arrested within a week's time.
And Andrew who was with him when he was killing him? --- Yes, Andrew was with him, and Andrew was also locked up, and he was out on R1 000,00 bail.
Both of them? --- Yes, both of them were out. There were three of them, Andrew, Roland, and my sister's son, and they were out ... (Interpreter: I couldn't get the name?) ... and Senator Bloem as well.
(Inaudible) ... sister's son? --- Mhlahoti, Cassius Mhlahoti.
You say three - was he also present when this murder took place, when Roland killed Dewitty? --- Yes, he shot him from a distance, and Roland went to Dewitty and shot him.
Did Andrew Petrus participate in the shooting? --- No, he was just going with them.
And how much was the bail? --- R3 000,00 each.
R3 000,00 each. Okay, whilst they were out - did this murder of Petrus happen when he was still out on bail? --- Yes, it took place while they were out on bail.
Let's come now back to the story so that I can get the facts clear. In the statement here there's a mention
of Dennis Bloem, mentioned by Allie Bertha Petrus. Who was this Dennis Bloem? --- It was Senator Bloem. He's an ANC member.
(Inaudible) ... of Andrew? --- They were two cousins. They were two cousins.
Was he present when Roland murdered Dewitty? --- No, he wasn't present.
I want just to rectify this statement. Allie says that, "My husband, Andrew Petrus, was closely associated with Dennis Bloem, a prominent activist who is now the senator." He is the senator where? --- Yes, he is a senator.
(Inaudible) --- Yes.
I want Allie now to reply to this. Why do you think that your husband was killed? --- Because he was involved in the death of George Ramasimung.
I want to get the statement again. When I asked if Andrew participated in the shooting of Dewitty we were told that Roland and Cassius were the ones who participated. Cassius shot at a long distance, and the other one came near and shot the one called Dewitty, and we were told that Andrew was just present. Now, this is why I am asking this question. Do you think that he was murdered because he was present when Dewitty was shot? --- Yes.
Okay. Now, can you now tell us the story now? We come to the story now. I was just getting the background of this whole thing. Starting from the 28th May 1992 when your husband's body was found. Can you tell that story? --- On 28 May 1992, between half past six and 7 o'clock, my brother came home and told me that my husband had been
killed in a shooting, and I walked to the scene of the shooting where my husband was lying.
(Inaudible) ... broke this news to you? What is your ... (inaudible) --- Kenneth Vister.
(Inaudible) --- Yes.
Thank you. Can you proceed? --- When we came to the scene my brother had been in an argument with Captain Solomons. My brother had said to him, "You know of everything that had happened here. You know why this man had been killed." And then I started becoming hysterical. My sister-in-law, Minna Mattreus, took me to my mother-in-law's house.
Take time. You say that your sister-in-law - what is the name of your sister-in-law? --- Minna Mattreus. She took me to my mother-in-law's house, and there I spent the night.
(Inaudible) ... mother-in-law? --- Annie Petrus.
(Inaudible) ... the night there. --- Yes, that is correct. The next morning Philip Petrus and Dennis Bloem went and made the case with the police regarding this matter at Kroonstad Police Station.
Let me lead you a little bit now. Is it true that your husband's body was found at the corner of Ronald and Cannon Street? --- Yes, it is correct.
When you found your husband's body was there any blood around him? --- There was no blood around him.
(Inaudible) ... was the reason for that? --- They had shot him somewhere and they had just gone and thrown his body down there.
When he was put there at Dennis Bloem - what do you call - in this Ronald and Cannon Street he was already
dead? --- Yes.
Thank you. And in your statement you say that you immediately laid a charge, and Officers Baas and Brumape were put in charge of the investigation. Are these officers still alive? --- One of them has retired. Baas has retired.
And Brumape? --- I think he is still alive.
Is he still a police officer? --- Yes.
In Kroonstad? --- Yes.
And how far did these two gentlemen go with the investigation, do you know? --- They never took the case any further. We haven't heard a single thing about it.
Thank you. And again in your statement, Allie, you say that you gave the police names of suspects from the Three Million Gang. I am just going to check because you may not remember them and I need to help you. Is it true that the suspects you gave the police were Martin Woods ... (intervention) --- Marlin Woods.
It's Marlin, not Martin - Marlin. Fabian Hardy. --- Yes, that's correct.
Reginald Buffel. --- Yes.
Lieben Botha? --- Yes.
Edith Botha? --- Yes.
And Baba Bester. --- (No reply)
Is that true? --- Yes.
So what happened to these people now after you had given the names to the police? Do you know? --- They were called in for investigation on that particular day, and then they were set free again.
Do you know where they are now? --- They are in
Brand Park. They are in Brand Park.
Do you know if they are still the members of the Three Million Gang? --- Yes, they are still members.
When this case - you saw that there was no progress, what did you do ... (inaudible) ... these people and they were taken for questioning, and that same day they were out. What other step did you take? --- I did nothing further about the matter.
Let me remind you. I am not puzzled that you forget some of these things because you are under severe pain and trauma. According to your statement you say that no progress was made with investigation despite the fact that you wrote to the Commissioner of Police, Mr Kallis. Do you remember that? --- No, I can't remember that. Sorry, yes, I did say so.
Mr Kallis, is he also in Kroonstad? --- No, he is not in Kroonstad.
Can others help if they know where Kallis is? --- He is in Welkom at present.
(Inaudible) ... of the police in Welkom? --- Yes, Sir.
Did Mr Kallis ever responded to the letter which was written to him? --- Yes, he sent somebody last month to come and investigate the case.
He sent him last month. --- Yes. After we had written the letter to the Commissioner. But - may I continue?
Do you know the name of this person who was sent to investigate the case, who was sent by him? --- Let me just think. Let me just get it out. (Pause) I cannot remember at present.
So how far is this person with his investigation? --- He has not been able to progress anything at all. He said that he would return to us after the sitting of the Commission.
When he said that he would come back to you after the sitting of the Commission did he mean this Commission, the Truth Commission? --- Yes, the Truth Commission.
Thank you. Again according to this statement you say that in April this year, which is 1996, Sarah Prince confessed to Allie that she had been involved in plotting the death of Allie's husband. Is that true? --- Yes, it's Sarah Prince. It is correct, it is the truth. May I just correct?
Yes. --- May I just correct it? She didn't admit that she was responsible for the death. On the night of the murder, on the 28th of May, she was walking down Ronald Street with Andrew Petrus, and she was the last person who had been seen with Andrew Petrus.
Sarah Prince was the one who was seen ... (incomplete - end of Side A, Tape 3) --- I honestly don't know, because on the corner of Ronald Street there was a party at a house, it was Flippy's house, and she had turned off there, and when she walked in there four men surrounded Andrew.
So she saw it? --- I won't say that, because she doesn't want to speak the entire truth.
(Inaudible) ... try and get the truth from her during the right time. You say that again after a certain confession from Olivia Ross - who is this Olivia Ross? The statement says here that, "After a certain confession from Olivia Ross," - what did Olivia Ross confess? ---
She admitted that she had seen what had happened that evening.
So Olivia Ross also was an eye witness? --- Yes, that's correct, she was also an eye witness.
Is it true that Allie also wrote to the MEC for Safety and Security about this matter? --- Yes, she had.
(Inaudible) --- I honestly don't know.
(Inaudible) --- No, I never received any reply.
(Inaudible) ... MEC for Safety and Security. --- May I reply?
Yes, if you know the name. --- Pappie Genary(?).
Pappie? --- Pappie Genary, if I am correct.
Pappie Genary? --- Yes.
Where are Dewitty's parents, do you know? --- In Kroonstad, Mokeng.
Did you ever meet with them? --- Never.
Where is Roland and Cassius? --- Roland is at present in gaol. He is serving a sentence of 14 years.
(Inaudible) --- Yes, it's for the same case as Dewitty.
And where is Cassius? --- Cassius is presently in Johannesburg, where he is working.
So he was never convicted? --- No, he was never convicted. It was only Roland who was convicted, and Dennis Bloem.
Roland and Dennis Bloem were convicted? --- Yes, that's correct.
Is Dennis Bloem too serving 14 years - a sentence of 14 years? --- No. Dennis got a fine of R7 000,00 for being an accessory.
Did he pay it? --- Yes, he paid it.
(Inaudible) --- Yes, he's out.
May I know, Allie, if you are working? --- No, she is not working.
Did you work before? --- No, I never worked.
How do you support your children? --- My children receive money from welfare. They receive a grant from welfare.
They receive a grant of how much? Do you know? --- It is R465,00.
R460 ... (incomplete) --- 4-6-5, R465,00.
(Inaudible) --- Yes, it's per month.
Your request here in your statement, you say that you want to know who killed your husband and why, and you also say that you want why the police are not prepared to do anything about that, and you also say that you want financial assistance towards maintaining and educating your children as the father is dead. Before I complete this, is there any other thing you, Constance Bush and Philip Petrus, would like to add to all what you have said - not repeating what we have heard already? Just if there are things which need to be added which would help us in dealing with this case. --- I cannot understand. When Roland Petrus shot Dewitty he was caught within a week and sentence. My brother was shot between 7 o'clock and 10 past seven that night, and the police told us that they couldn't catch anybody. I feel that is impossible. It was still light, they could have done something. And among those four men who had surrounded him somebody had to have pulled the trigger. The three names which we have added, Reginald Buffel, who is a school headmaster, Lieben
Botha, is an officer in the Defence Force. Edith Botha is his wife. Their cars were on the scene.
Thank you very much. Let's get this correctly now. What is Martin Woods doing? Let us get them - Marlin Woods. Thank you very much for telling us. --- Marlin Woods is not working at present, he has never worked.
Fabian Hardy? --- Fabian Hardy also is not working. He doesn't work, he is unemployed.
Reginald Buffel. --- He was a teacher at the high school. He is now principal at the primary school.
What is the name of this primary school? Do you know it? --- Brandvale Primary. Brandvale Primary School.
Is it in Kroonstad? Where is it? Is it in Kroonstad? --- It's in Brand Park, Kroonstad.
And Lieben Botha, what is he doing? --- He's an officer in the Defence Force in Kroonstad.
Edith Botha, what is she doing? --- She is working at the CNA.
(Inaudible) --- Yes, in Kroonstad.
And Baba Bester? --- He was a police officer. He is now a security officer.
Where? --- In Kroonstad.
Thank you. Is there anything you want to tell us? --- May I continue with what I was telling you just now?
(Inaudible) --- Okay. I can't understand that the police didn't take any steps. My feelings are that I think those people are in cahoots with the police, those four people who surrounded my brother, because they are friends of Dewitty, and Dewitty had been in cahoots with the police.
Are you suggesting that you think that there was a sort of relationship between the Three Million Gang and the police? --- Yes.
Okay. Any other new thing? --- Let me just think. (Pause) In 1995 on a Sunday afternoon the same guys, the same men who was present when Andrew was murdered, except for Reginald Buffel, who was not there, my sister's son, Cassius and Mhlahoti were stabbed and chopped by them in front of my door, and he actually fell down in my yard. My eldest son of 16 saw this happen. I was lying in the room and he came and called me, and he told me, "Mother, come and have a look. Uncle Marlin is busy killing Cassie." And when I was there he was actually smothering in his blood, and that's when they were running away. And they said, "We've killed another one of the kaffirs of the Petruses." I don't know what they had against the Petruses. Was it because Roland Petrus had shot Dewitty, their friend, or what was happening, but I deduce from this that that was probably the reason why. There were two police vans that Sunday afternoon, but nothing further came of that matter either. My other two sisters - my other sister's two sons had also been stabbed. Also by Dewitty's brother, who had been killed. And also Bana Woods, Marlin Woods' brother, and nothing came of those cases, either. I myself took them to the hospital, the two brothers. And I feel that I don't understand why the police acted like this against the Petrus police (sic), not having been able to do anything to catch Andrew's murderer up to this point. Last year - no, 19th of March this year Ivodia came and told us that she had seen what had happened, and I myself, /my sister,
my sister, Mina Mattreus, Philip Petrus and Dennis Bloem had approached Captain Schilling and took her statement, and until this present moment in time nothing has been done about the matter yet. And I feel very unhappy about this fact. It is also affecting my marriage, because at presently there is friction in my marriage between my husband and myself because I don't want to go and make peace with the people who had been involved in my brother's death, and I've told him that I won't make peace until justice has been done. Because they were able to give Roland 14 years for the death of a man who had killed many people in Mokeng, many lives, and he hasn't even been locked up for 24 years. And therefore I feel that the Commission must please act against these people, because we are totally disheartened about approaching the police because they do virtually nothing when we approach them.
(Inaudible) --- Yes, I would like to. Yes, I would just like to add - my sister has already stated many things, but I don't think this case of Andrew should have been referred to the Commissioner. I am Roland's father, Roland who had killed Dewitty. The week when they were looking for Roland they spent a whole week doing so, and the SA Police spent a lot of money, when I was present, where they were looking for Roland. And they found Roland. I can't see how they cannot trace Andrew's murderer after they had been given information.
(Inaudible) --- Yes, I am Roland's father.
Do you know that your son, Roland, has applied for amnesty? Did you know that? --- Yes, I am aware of that fact that he has applied for amnesty.
Thank you ... (inaudible) --- On the day that
Andrew was shot I approached a Captain P Harter, and he was investigating the matter. The morning when I was standing there on the scene, when they took the body away, I saw that the police was not interested in that case. I actually had an argument with Senator Bloem, and he said that this van should continue, and I said, "I don't believe this man is interested in the case."
(Inaudible) ... you approached Captain who? --- Captain P Harter. He was in command of the investigating team. Captain P Harter has now retired. He got promotion, he and Captain Schilling. On Roland's case they got promotion to majors, they're both majors, but he has now retired.
And P Harter has retired? --- Yes, P Harter has retired.
Where is Schilling? --- Schilling is still in the police force. He's a major in the police. He's in the detectives branch.
Was Schilling also involved in the case? --- Schilling was also involved in the case, yes.
Anything more which is new which would help us? --- No, I think that's all that I have to add.
Thank you very much. Your case is a really complicated one, and before I say anything maybe the members of the Committee would like to say something.
MS GCABASHE: I would just like to ask one question. Is Dennis Bloem the same Bloem who is now a senator? --- Yes, that is correct. That's the senator, Dennis Bloem.
I just want to ask one question from Allie. Allie,
what happened to you was very devastating. You were still very young, and I think your kids, one was one year or the other three years, if I am correct. How has this affected your life and that of your kids? We'd like to know more about your health? --- I was very weak, and I still suffer from stress now. At nights I can't sleep. An I have a five-year-old daughter who asks me every day, "When is my dad going to come home again?"
(Inaudible) ... treatment for your stress? --- I have been to the doctor.
Do you pay for it? --- Yes, I do pay.
How is your daughter doing at school? --- It's my son who is at school.
How is your son doing at school? --- He cannot concentrate. The teachers complain a lot about him.
That is very important to us because we know that trauma can disrupt people's life, and I can see the way you are feeling now that your life will never be the same again. Although you are a very strong person there is no doubt. The very fact that you are crying it doesn't mean that you are no strong, and the very fact that you have stress it doesn't mean that you are not strong. But what we are saying to you, irrespective of your strength probably it might help if you seek help from some of our psychologists here. Not because there is anything wrong with you, but because everybody who has been through trauma will have these sorts of problems. Thank you very much.
(Inaudible) ... for the story you have told. It would appear that you have gone through many things, this
family. We heard other stories which are not part of this. Maybe we need to encourage you, because you have also mentioned other deaths. The lady, Constance Bush, mentioned other things. Maybe it will be better if you go to the statement-takers and put these other cases, because you are all traumatised in fact, all of you you are traumatised. But at the present moment we are dealing with Allie. That is why Professor Magwaza is asking about Allie's immediate family, Allie and the children, so that if there is a need for counselling they could be counselled by the psychologists. There are support groups which have been arranged in this region. But what I am saying is that maybe it will be better if the other members of the family who have been affected - otherwise there are some deaths which have been mentioned too - if they could also go as individuals to tell their stories and give the - and see the statement-takers so that you can also be attended to, because you are traumatised. Constance is traumatised. Philip Petrus is traumatised. Again we don't blame you for that. It's because of the kind of experience you have gone through. So I am encouraging you that you need to go to the statement-takers and also put your own stories so that you can also be attended to. Anyway, thank you very much, Allie. We have noted all your requests. We'll make some recommendations, and we will also investigate, pass this thing to the investigation unit so that this case must be investigated. And we have also noted some of the people who can be contacted here so that the truth comes out. And we also commend you for the support you are giving each other. This is very commendable. You saw that how
Allie had to breakdown all the time, and the members of the family had to give her the support. That is very good, we appreciate it. Thank you very much.
MATSHELISO PAULINE RANTIE and MKHULULEKILE PETROS MZOSANE (Sworn, State)
COMMISSIONER: Thank you very much. The person who is going to lead you in this very long story is Mr Mdu Dlamini. He is going to aid you in the process when you tell your story. Thank you.
MR DLAMINI: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Good day, Ma Matsheliso. --- Good day, Sir.
And Dada Mzosane. --- Good day, Sir.
I will start with Mrs Rantie, and Mr Chairman, I would request that after her we don't ask any questions, because some of the questions that we would like to ask could be answered when Mr Mzosane gives his evidence. It's for that reason that the two cases were brought together. Mrs Rantie, can I start by confirming basic details like your residential? According to your statement you live at 394 Mageta Street in Sasolville. --- That is correct, Sir.
And you were born on the 8th of August 1939. --- That is correct, Sir.
(Inaudible) --- Yes, I am married.
And where is the husband? --- He said he would be here. I don't know whether he has arrived.
Are you not staying together? --- We stay together. We spent the night here in Welkom, and he said he would come this morning.
Oh yes, I do understand. He was going to come from Kroonstad this morning. --- That is correct.
If Mr Rantie is around, if he wants to be with the family, with the Chairman's permission, he is free to do so. He can come forward and they will organise a chair
for him next to the family. --- I think he is not yet
here, because he mentioned that he would request to come and sit here.
Thank you. Is he employed? --- He is not working.
I see. How many children do you have? --- I have four children. Two are married, and I am left with two at home.
The two who are staying with you, how old are they? --- The first-born was born in 1963, and the other one I can't remember the date. I think it was - I think the second one was born in 1969. These are the two that are staying with me at home.
What are they doing? Are they employed, are they still at school? --- The one that was born in 1969 is a teacher, and the one that was born in 1963 is also a teacher, but doesn't have a post at all.
Well, we congratulate you for having been able to bring up your children and give them security for the future. You have come to tell us a story, a sad story indeed, about your son, Solomon, as well as your nephew, Tsiyetsi. How old was Solomon when he was killed? --- He was 17 years old.
Was he still at school? --- Yes.
What class was he doing? --- He was doing standard seven.
And Tsiyetsi, how old was he? --- Tsiyetsi was born in 1958. At the time of his death I do not know how old he was.
The year is sufficient. And where are Tsiyetsi's - where is his family, Tsiyetsi's family? --- We reside
in the same street. All of us are at Sasolville.
And on behalf of the Commission we would ask you to convey our support and regards to Tsiyetsi's family as well. Mama, could you please tell us the incident that took place on the 11th of October 1990? --- It was in the morning. It was at about 9 o'clock. Solomon was at school and he came back. I am not sure - it was about eight or 7 o'clock. I was hanging the napkins on the line because one of my daughters was just from the hospital, and he said to me, "Mum, I am very scared, and I am here to tell my brother." His brother was still at home sleeping. And he said, "I am here to tell the brother that the Three Millions are on their way, driven by the policemen." And I said to him, "Did you see any policemen?" He said, "Yes, I identified Mr Serobe." And he gave me his books and he gave me his examination number, and I said to him, "Get into the house. Wake your brother." He went into the house, he woke up his brother, and they asked me where to go - oh my Lord.
As the Chairman of the Commission has been saying that people should take it easy. It's a very painful thing, and some of you thought they had forgotten, but the Government, particularly the State President, decided to give you people an opportunity to relate and share with the people of South Africa. So take it easy, Mama. We do understand. --- I didn't know where to direct them for hiding. I was pointing all the places. I said to him, "Please hide yourselves." They were standing still, not knowing what to do. They said, "Mum, what should we do?" I didn't know where to hide them, and I said to them, "Get out into the field, and you will be able to see which
"direction they come from and you will run away." After a few minutes they came back running. I said to them, "What's happening?" They said, "They are just on our heels." And I went to this group and I said to them, "Kill me first, because what you are going to do I will never stand. If you kill my children I would have nothing left to live for. Kill me first." And they all stood still. They said, "Why are they running?" And I said to them, "They are just school kids. Who would not run away seeing you carrying such dangerous weapons, and we know that when you are present people die." And I said to the first group, "Please kill me. Here I am." And they said, "Well, we will leave your children." I last saw them when they got into the house, closing the door, when I went to the Three Million members to tell them that they should kill me. While I was still negotiating with this first group the other one passed, and I saw my daughter coming from the house, saying, "Mum, please rush, they got hold of Solomon." And I came running, and this group was just elderly people. I said, "Please, this is just a baby. What are you doing to him?" I saw my son falling down, and he was shouting, crying, saying, "Mum, help me." Oh my Lord, I wouldn't help my son. My son was crying. It's hard to forget his cry. I prayed to them to stop. I said, "Please, kill me first." They were chopping him. I even ran away, I couldn't stand. I ran away. My son was crying, and I went straight into the house. After falling I went outside. The police were already on the scene and they were shooting at me with their rubber bullets. My son was lying on the floor. I still have the rubber bullets with me as evidence. People picked them
up. The police were busy throwing their tear gases on me. I had a one-month-old baby. This was my daughter's baby. I forgot the child because we ran away. They were shooting at us. The community was trying to help, and some of them were praying to the police to go into the house to take the child, because the child was still alive, but - they requested permission from the policemen to take the child to the hospital, but the police refused. But one member of the Three Million, who ran towards a certain house when the community wanted to attack him, the police went to rescue him. The police were protecting him. I went to them, I said, "I want to kill this one because they have already killed my son." The police were shooting me with their rubber bullets. I didn't even see that the other one was next to me, and his teachers were pleading with the policemen. They said, "We are not going anywhere if you do not take Mr Rantie's son to protect him." One gentleman came to me and he said, "Should I take your child to the hospital?" I said, "Please," and I told them to call his father at work to contact the specialists just to save my son's life. His father came. We tried to go to Captain Floyd. He was the captain of the police at that time, and we asked him, "Floyd, what's happening, what's taking place? Why is my child so brutally assaulted?" His fingers were being picked at the street. He was chopped by heavily-built men. My son was innocent. He died as an innocent boy, and they are still free even to this day.
Your other son, Papi, whom Solomon came back from school to alert that the Three Million Gang was approaching, did he escape, and how is he now? --- He
escaped. The teachers at Sasolville were pleading with the policemen to save him, and they pushed him to the hospital, and they said they had this feeling to take him and throw him somewhere. He is still alive, he's a teacher at Koppies.
So he is one of the teachers. --- Yes, he's a teacher.
And he was saved by the teachers who were around? --- He was not yet a teacher at that time. The teachers were pleading with the policemen because the schools even stopped. Three Million members were still busy chopping the other one, and he was next to me and I didn't know what to do with him, and the police were there standing. If they could have taken my son to the hospital in time he would have been saved, because the doctors tried their best but they said he took a long time. He was lying in the street and nobody was prepared to help him. A stranger came and took him to the hospital.
We are grateful to the people who offered help under those difficult conditions, where they were prevented by the police to help. I am sure the Chairman, when he summarises, he will make reference to the teachers who helped, and that strange person who took your son to the hospital. And I believe from your statement that the harassment did not stop. Even when you were preparing for Solomon's funeral you were still harassed. Would you like to take us through that? --- It was on a Wednesday and the Council started by stopping the water. The water was stopped from running and we had to go to Brand Park for water. And this harassment continued, and on Wednesday, as the women were preparing the food, the police arrived
and they shot in the house. And they sprayed their tear gas and they shot this other child and - I don't know what happened to this child. They turned over the pots and people took different directions running away. That is the harassment that we got.
I believe that coming back from the cemetery you learnt that Tsiyetsi had been abducted. Would you tell us about Tsiyetsi? --- No. We buried Solomon on Saturday, and on the same Saturday evening the Three Million gang arrived at home, at my home. And I heard one person saying, "Get out of that house." I was standing at the window. They used a small entrance gate and they used the bigger one to get out, and shortly after they have left a person came. This person was a security man at a tavern, and he said, "They have abducted Tsiyetsi." I tried to call the police station and one captain answered the phone. I cannot tell who he was because of the ranks. He was a white man, and he said to me, "This is the new South Africa that you wanted." And I said to him, "Who is the new South Africa? I am just asking for help. They have abducted one of my children," and he said, "There is nothing I can do. You said you don't want us in the new South Africa. This is your new South Africa you have been longing for." And I called another woman, a white woman, Mrs Serfontein. She was a reporter, and I gave her a call. She was working for Star, and I said, "Madam, I do not know. I called the policemen, they do not want to help me. My nephew has been abducted." Mrs Serfontein called the police station in town and she gave them my house number to come and see me, and they arrived. I said to them Tsiyetsi had been abducted, and the policemen
tried to get the direction they took when they left, and they went out to look for him but they couldn't get hold of the group. The next day he was killed, he was murdered. He didn't have his eyes. His eyes were gouged out and he was chopped.
Take it easy, Mama. This is very hard to believe. Take it easy. (Pause) Okay, okay, okay, okay, that does not help them. When you make the noise you are not helping. Your noise is not helping them. (Pause) Mr Chairman, perhaps to give Mrs Rantie a chance to rest I would like to bring in Mr Mzosane at this stage. Ma Rantie, I will come to you. There are a few things in your statement that will be interesting for the audience to know, and also for the Commission to know, but I just want to give you rest. It has been too much for you, and can I go to you, Mr Mzosane?
Petros, according to your statement you live at No 5204 in Constantia township in Kroonstad. --- That is correct.
And you were born on the 3rd of April 1957. --- That is correct.
Your story is about your dismissal from the police force where you were working. --- That is correct.
Normally the Commission is not mandated to listen to labour relations issues, including unfair dismissals, wages, and any other disputes, but what makes the Commission be interested in your story is that your dismissal appears to have a link with the role that was played by the Three Million Gang, and also your commitment to investigate the offences committed by the Three Million Gang. The Commission felt that if you are being
victimised because you were doing the right thing, protecting the community, that cannot be left unchecked. We don't say that the disciplinary inquiry was wrong. All that we are saying is that we would like the Commission to investigate it further to establish whether your dismissal was not as a result of your role as a policeman, particularly trying to protect the community of Kroonstad. Perhaps before I ask you to tell us your story can you tell us briefly about your family? Are you married? --- I have a wife. I have three kids.
How old are your kids? --- The eldest is 15 years old, the one coming after the first one is five years old, and the third-born is one year eight months.
Congratulations. It's very rare where you find a father knowing the dates of births of their children. Congratulations, Mr Mzosane. And are they - the first two, are they at school already? --- The eldest is at school doing standard six. The second one is still at creche, and the last-born is at home with the grandmother.
(Inaudible) --- Yes, my wife is a teacher. She teaches on the farms around Kroonstad.
I am sure she is carrying all the burden now that you are unemployed. Did she manage to be here? --- That is correct, she is carrying the whole burden.
Is she here? --- She's not here, she is at work.
I see. Well, similarly on behalf of the Commission please convey our regards to her, and our respect to her for shouldering the family responsibilities. --- Thank you, Sir.
Mr Mzosane, would you please tell us the circumstances leading to your dismissal. --- During
the riots and the unrest in 1990, as well as 1992, it so happened that the station commander, Captain Ramosita, came to me and he wanted to find out whether I was prepared to be a policeman or I wanted to be a houseman(?), which meant you were a community worker and not a policeman. I asked him as to why he said that. He said he could not understand whether I was a policeman or a community worker, because at the time that the community was dissatisfied with the services of the police, and when they were attacking the policemen's houses, I was able to walk freely amongst the members of the community. Why weren't they attacking me? He felt that I was colluding with the community against the police, and he told me that I had to choose between being a policeman and a community worker. My reply to him was that I could not understand what he was saying. Why people were not attacking me was totally unknown to me. I did not know the reasons why they did not attack me, but according to me was that as a policeman I was not harassing them, terrorising them, or traumatising them in any way, I was just doing my job as a policeman. And at that time the Three Million Gang was conducting a reign of terror in the residential areas. At times when I was at work they used to tell me that I was lucky, because at times I would come across the people who were conducting the unrest, and some of them were carrying an assortment of weapons, and at times I would be able to arrest members of the ... (incomplete - end of Side A, Tape 4) ... and arrest the perpetrators or the carriers of the weapons. There was a certain prosecutor, Mr Pienaar. He - she was the one who was conducting the Three Million Gang cases, and most of the time they would be released or
acquitted. And whenever they had to attend court there would be specific instructions from the station commander that when they were supposed to go to court they had to be transported in police vans to attend court. And whenever they were coming from court they had to be taken in police vans back to wherever they came from. And they would help them to be released from prison. They were actually safeguarded by the police. And I did not collude with what they were doing. I was always questioning the police behaviour towards the Three Million Gang. In most cases when they go to attend court it would be due to harassment of the members of the ANC or school kids, but the ANC members were not being escorted by the police whenever they had to attend court. The station commander had an altercation with me and we always had problems. I think that is why he was asking me as to whether I wanted to be a policeman or a community worker. Then he said to me that he will see to it that I am expelled from the police force.
Thank you, Mr Mzosane. I just want to check something that I missed here. In your statement you said they used to tell you that you were lucky. Did I hear you well? --- It's not clear, Sir. The station commander said it's quite surprising as to why I wasn't being attacked by the members of the community. Even when they were aggressive they would burn other policemen's houses, but not mine.
Thank you. And also in your statement it's mentioned here that you were involved in the investigation of Solomon's death from the Rantie family. Is that right? --- I wasn't amongst the investigating team, but when
this incident took place I didn't even know that such a thing had happened, that the Three Million Gang had killed Solomon. But there was an instance where I met the Three Million Gang with an assortment of weapons. I arrested them effectively and I confiscated the weapons. I heard later on that they had killed Solomon.
Were you in any way linked to the death of Solomon or the Three Million Gang? I know that it's - my question is not clear. Perhaps let me rephrase it. Did you perhaps question afterwards the killing of Rantie's child, Solomon, and the investigation at work? Did you perhaps question anybody about it? --- I never asked anyone about that, but when I heard that the Three Million Gang had killed him I was not surprised, because they were terrorising the community. So I never asked as to why the killed him. I knew they were killers.
In your own opinion, as somebody who was working with the community, why was the Three Million Gang favoured by - apparently favoured by the authorities, namely the police force, as well as the prosecution? --- I think that they were in favour of the Three Million Gang because of the past regime, which was in conflict with the community. Three Million was colluding with the police and helping the regime to terrorise the community. They were questioning as to why the regime was being questioned.
Does the Three Million Gang still exist today? --- They still do exist, but after Dewitty died it sort of went underground.
Have there been any incidents involving the Three Million Gang of late operating from underground? Would
you say that they are no longer dangerous? What would be your assessment? --- It's the members, Three Million Gang members, but they are no longer conducting a reign of terror like they did before.
Sorry, coming back to your dismissal, was the inquiry held? --- There was no inquiry conducted with regard to my dismissal. After I had been dismissed there was absolutely nothing that was done.
The charge that was put against you, what was the actual charge? --- They charged me. They said at some stage I absconded, I took absence without leave.
Were you given a chance to respond to those allegations? --- They did give me a chance to respond, but they were actually stressing it out and I couldn't defend myself. I had no defence to their charges, and they found me guilty and called the then station commander, who was not present when I was charged, he was on leave, but on that particular day he was called by the prosecutor who was handling the case and he was specifically called. They spoke together with the prosecutor who was handling the case, and after that they had found me guilty, and the station commander went away. When I went back to trial I was told that I was being dismissed from the police force, I was no longer a member of the police force. And there was no board of inquiry that sat as it is the usual practice. Nothing of that sort happened. The prosecutor spoke together with the station commander and they reached a decision.
What steps had you taken to appeal to the sentence? --- Immediately after my dismissal I appealed against the decision. I was represented by Mr van Wyk. After
quite some time he told me that my appeal had failed. They said all that was done was procedural. And I wrote a letter to the police commissioner, telling him about my dissatisfaction with regard to the handling of the case. I was called in 1994 and there was a commission that was sitting in Kroonstad, and they told me that they will come to me. Up until today they haven't yet contacted me. Thereafter I wrote a letter to Mr Pappy Genary. Even Pappy Genary hasn't done anything.
Has the MEC, Pappy Genary, replied to your letter to acknowledge that he has received it and what is going to happen, even though you haven't seen anything tangible? --- He hasn't yet acknowledge receipt of my letter.
Why did they think you had absconded, or you took leave - why did they charge you for absence without leave? Why did they come up with that charge? --- On that particular day I was supposed to work at 2.00 pm in the afternoon. Then on that morning I took my wife to her workplace and she had a small baby that she was taking with to work. So I took my wife to her workplace at the farms, and when I got there she was supposed to report at her workplace, and we had to take the child to the doctor. And from there we had to go back home. Whilst I was in town I phoned the charge office commander, Adjutant Hadebe, and I explained to him that I was going to be late for work due to the reasons that I've already stated. It's either I was going to be late or I wasn't going to go to work at all. I never got to work that day, but I reported before time that I will not be able to be present at work. Then a few days after than incident Adjutant Mu Hanede told me about that charge. He told me that I did
not work on that particular day, and that I did not go to work whilst I was not on leave.
Thank you for that. That explains it. Thank you very much, Mr Mzosane. As I said that we will try to get more information about your dismissal, whether - although officially it's absence without leave, whether unofficially it's linked to your role arresting members of the Three Million Gang. That's the part that we are unhappy about. Thank you.
Mama Rantie, was the inquest held on the death of your son and that of your nephew? --- According to my knowledge there was none, because the police came and they would tell me to come to the charge office, and whenever I get to the charge office they will tell me that the initial statements had been lost and I should submit a new statement. And when I looked into their trend of questioning I realised that they were not asking me questions, they were mocking, because they were asking as to what Dewitty was wearing when he came to kill my son. And I told them that I had not made an allegation as to clothing, or as to what Dewitty was wearing, and they told me that if I didn't know what Dewitty was wearing then there was nothing they could do about it. Thereafter I heard rumour that there was going to be a Truth Commission. I am sorry, that was not the Truth Commission, but a commission. We went on a march as the Mokeng residents, and when this commission came to sit it was being led by Deroux. We submitted statements as well as evidence and testimony. He arrested the Three Million Gang members and he told me that I should take care of myself, and I told him that I did not understand what he
was saying to me. He asked me as to what time I go to bed, and I told him that I watch TV until late. He asked me whether I did not hear the barking of dogs during the night, and he said that I could be killed at any moment and I should be extra careful because I had so much evidence, and he also got a lot of testimony, and he was not sure as to whether he was safe, he was going to reach Sasolburg. He told me that he did not want this matter to be conducted or be heard in Kroonstad because the Magistrates or the judicial system as a whole was working in tandem with the Three Million Gang. And I heard later on that Deroux was arrested. Thereafter a certain person came to tell me that the case was heard at Sasolberg, and Dewitty and his gang had been acquitted. I did not know what to do at that juncture because I was not notified about the case. Then there were certain white people from Britain. They also took statements from me and asked me as to what had happened. They went to the charge office to inquire as to what became of my case, and when they were still there they were told that they were still conducting inquiries with regard to the case. Then thereafter, I think it was in 1992 - I a not really sure of it, I have forgotten - a certain white man came to my place and he told me that I should go to court because the matter was going to be heard on that day. And I asked him as to why I hadn't been told about the matter being heard in Sasolburg. I said it was not going to help, because I wanted to attend court and I wanted to hear Dewitty testifying and telling me why he killed my son. And what made me even more disturbed was that Dewitty was still alive and my son had died, but Dewitty did not account for /his actions.
his actions. They told me that if I didn't want to go to court I was going to be arrested. I said that is fine. If they wanted to arrest me they could go ahead and do it, because I had been attending court for several times and Dewitty was being addressed directly by the Magistrate, and the Magistrate was giving Dewitty and his gang knives, and I could not watch that any more. I did not want to go to court any more to watch Dewitty showing us his prowess, how he had the Magistrate eating out of his hand. I just could not stand it. Even the prosecutor, Mrs Pienaar, would speak to Dewitty, and she would ask Dewitty as to how many people they had killed, and Dewitty would point at me, and I would tell him not to point at me, but he should tell the prosecutor as to how many people he had killed. He even said that at some stage he would go to Mrs Pienaar's house to sleep there.
Ma Rantie, did you have any lawyer representing the family? --- I did engage the services of an attorney, but I was not satisfied with his services. I went to Rector Mpohadi, the rector of Mpohadi College, because my child at that time was still at school. I was not sure as to whether my child was safe, and I wanted him to write me a letter so that I could look for another school for my child, because I wasn't sure about her safety.
(Inaudible) ... you, do you have his name? --- It's Groenberg. I was referred to Groenberg by the rector of Mpohadi College, and I went to Groenberg. There are two Groenbergs. There's the one - the senior and the junior. Groenberg told me that there was absolutely nothing he could do to help me, but I went back to the rector and he arranged an appointment for me with
Groenberg. And Groenberg is the one who asked me as to
what I wanted him to do for me. I told him that my child was facing her final year exams, but I was very much concerned about her safety because she had no protection whatsoever. And he made a court order and I said that I wanted to see the Magistrate. And he arranged an appointment for me to see the Magistrate.
I know that one of the perpetrators is now dead, Dewitty. Are there any of the Three Million Gang who are allegedly - who were allegedly involved in the killing of your son who are still alive? --- There are so many of them who are still living. Some ran away. When I was called to go to court in 1992, when they said they were going to arrest me if I didn't go to court, when I got to court the Magistrate - the policeman or the court orderly who was there addressed the Magistrate and said there were more than 60 people who had come to kill my child, and most of them had died. And the Magistrate said there was nothing that he could do because so many had died. There was no need to look for the rest.
And your son, was he a member of any organisation before his death? --- He was an ANC Youth League member.
The investigating officers, I know that you were not happy with the way they handled you, but who were responsible to investigate the death of your son? --- It's Mr Mofokeng.
Is Mr Mofokeng still at Kroonstad? Is he still in the employ of the South African Police? --- He's on pension at the present moment.
And we do have a copy of the provisional death certificate for Solomon, which still reflects the cause of
death as, "Under investigation." Did you get a death certificate for Tsiyetsi? --- All the people who have been killed by the Three Million Gang they always say that the matter is still being investigated. Even Tsiyetsi's death certificate is written like that.
Mama Rantie, thank you very much for the courage that you have shown. I would like to hand over to the Chairman now. Thank you.
Mama Rantie, I have this compulsion to say something to you and your family, that it's quite clear that the trauma you experienced affected your entire family, and it's quite clear that your life changed, it can never be the same again. But I would like to hear from you very briefly how did this change your life and that of your family, and what's your state of health now? --- I am not feeling well. I am very unhappy. I am suffering from loss of memory. Before I wasn't using any glasses, but I had an eyesight problem. I ultimately had to wear glasses. I do not sleep properly at night because I keep on thinking about my son's death. I just have no way of coping with it. I would like to forget about my son's death, but it just can't happen because there's so many things he used to do, and each time I get disturbed whenever I think of the things that he used to do for me. At times he would book me a doctor when ever I was ill, and now those things that he used to do, there's nobody else who does them any more, and I do feel the gap. Now I feel there's just nothing worth living for. And even after my son had died I was always harassed, I was terrorised. They sent Vet Volvo(?) to my place. They
harassed me with my family. They traumatised my mother, who was blind, and the whole family was severely terrorised and harassed by the whole incident. The past regime has traumatised me in an unbelievable manner. There ware certain things which I feel I will never ever be able to forget, nor will I be able to cope with the situation. My remaining son used to sleep together with Solomon, and each time he has to go to sleep he would go round and round the house avoiding to go to bed, and now he is avoiding that bed ever since that happened.
Thank you very much, Mama. It's quite clear that there is so much - there is so much pain that it can just - there is nothing - there is no words that can express it. You are depressed. Your family is in pain, and I would say that please do use some assistance which we would try to give you. And that regarding your house where your son was murdered - because living in a house where your son was murdered is not going to help you as well. Probably also that's another thing where you can seek some assistance. Anyway, thank you very much. --- Another painful aspect is that every morning when I wake up I always have to pass close to that spot where he fell when he was attacked by the Three Million Gang. I have to live with that every day of my life.
I want to identify myself with the sentiments which have been expressed here by my colleagues, directed first to Pauline Rantie, the mother of Solomon. You have been double-tortured or double-traumatised - or let me put it this way, you have been treble-traumatised. You yourself was in a way very much tortured by the South African
Police of the old regime. Being a woman, the kinds of acts we have heard which were directed to you by men is a disgrace. Trauma came through the death of your son, who was nipped from the bud when you had all the hopes and your future invested in him ... (incomplete - end of Side B, Tape 4) ... could do that to people, especially women. That is terrible. Carrying guns, destroying everything, in collusion with the criminals, Three Million Gang. Those were criminals. You should have been protected from them by the police, but they colluded with the criminals and killed people in the community. You are indeed a strong mother. The very fact that you were prepared even to die before they killed your son, that shows strength. A woman in the midst of criminals, because all those people who were surrounding you, including the police, at that particular point they were criminals, but you were prepared to die for your son. That shows courage and strength. There may be the history written about you in future, an example of a mother. We have noted all these things here, and we shall try by all means to follow up these cases, try to get in touch with some of the people mentioned here - the Magistrates, the prosecutors, who themselves were colluding with the criminals, Magistrates and prosecutors. And the investigation unit will do this, and some of the things you have requested for here, like counselling for the family - that one can be done immediately through the support group we have set here in this region. The perpetrators will see that the investigating unit does try to get them, and we'll also make the recommendation, take your request about the change of the house. We'll make a request to the
Government. We don't promise that it will be changed, but we will make request. But we will support this request. We want to thank you very much.
Now, coming to Mzosane. Mzosane, we want to commend you for being a good policeman, because the policemen are for the community. In fact when they were saying that, "Are you a policeman or working for the community?" I think they did not know what they were saying, because the policemen should work for the community, they should protect the community, and that is what you were doing, and I want to commend you for that. We shall also pass your request to the Government. You are requesting here to be reinstated as soon as possible as a policeman, who was the right policemen vis à vis some of the policemen who call themselves policemen, who are still holding offices in the police force, which is very unfortunate that those people are the people - some of them have been promoted, and are holding position in the police force. So we shall also take it with you. You come as a hero of a policeman, who lost his job because he was doing his work very well. We have noted all your requests. May God bless you all. Thank you.
Yes, Mama? --- There is something which I have omitted. I would like to request this honourable Commission to conduct some further investigations with regards to JCI, which manufactured the weapons, as to why JCI made these weapons and gave them to these people? Because I remember on the very same day that my son was killed Dewitty was telling the police at the charge office that they said he was mistaken by killing my son. If he was going to be arrested he ought to be arrested with the
members of the JCI, the Magistrates, as well as the Attorney-General. I want to find out if the Commission could possibly find out about this chain reaction, what connections did they have, the Magistrate, the Attorney-General, JCI, as well as Dewitty? Why did he have to make such an utterance? What is the link between all these people? Was JCI manufacturing these weapons to give them to the Three Million Gang?
(Inaudible) ... has been noted. I want to repeat again ... (incomplete)
MACHINE SWITCHED OFF
(Incomplete) ... is the direct result of my being unemployed. It was difficult for me to get a testimonial because of the way I was dismissed. My family is being split because we are experiencing so many problems due to the fact that I am not employed.
(Inaudible) --- What I mean is it's difficult for my wife because she is the breadwinner. She is paying accounts as well as my own accounts, and she is paying for the house. I am not working and life is just unbearable for the two of us.
(Inaudible) ... all that, all your problems. We have noted them. They are here in the what-do-you-call. That is why I say that we have noted that you have asked that you want to be reinstated to your job because of the problems you are encountering. That has been noted. --- I thank you.
MS SIKALEDI: I am her sister. I am Joyce's sister.
COMMISSIONER: Just accompanying her to sit next to her? MS SIKALEDI: I am the witness. This matter started first at my house.
COMMISSIONER: Okay, what is your name?
MS SIKALEDI: Letitia Sikaledi.
COMMISSIONER: Okay, for the sake of the record let us also write your name here. Thank you very much. Since you both of you are going to be telling the story I am going to ask you to take an oath that you are going to speak the truth and only the truth.
JOYCE KAU and LETITIA SIKALEDI (Sworn, State)
COMMISSIONER: Anyway, thank you for coming to tell your story. You are coming from Kroonstad. Kroonstad has done very well. --- Yes, we are from Kroonstad.
Kroonstad, I must say so, that it has done very well, and there are many people from Kroonstad here who came and support us. Now, there's going to be somebody who is going to lead you through when you tell the story, and the person who will be leading you is Mrs Virginia Gcabashe.
MS GCABASHE: Good afternoon. Are you well? Yes, we want to thank you for being here to give your evidence today about the tragic incident which has happened, that you, Joyce, your husband died, and you, Letitia, felt that you must come and support you. Are you staying at 4321 Constantia? It's where you are staying right now? You were born in October 1965? --- Yes, that's true.
You have come here about what we have heard that your husband was killed by the Three Million Gang. ---
We heard much about the Three Million Gang. I am going to have three questions to ask you whilst we continue with your evidence. The first thing is your husband was a Comrade? --- Yes.
Will you tell us when was he born? --- He was born in 1954. He was born on the 26th of August 1954.
Was your husband a member of any political party? --- Yes, he was a member of the ANC.
Was he in the leadership position or was he just an ordinary member? --- Yes, he was just an ordinary member.
You said he was killed. He was working at the Premier Milling? --- Yes.
May you tell us how he came into contact with the Three Million Gang the day when he was murdered. --- We were staying at Trebol(?), then we fled to my sister's house.
Who is this uncle? --- I don't know all that, because the sister I am sitting next to is the person we were staying in his house.
Let's come to your account, then we'll go to the other person. You said you went to Gelegsweg(?). In your statement you said - you said it was a stronghold of the Three Million Gang. Did these people of the Three Million Gang have houses in that area? How did it come that that became their stronghold? --- It is because they were chasing people out of those houses and they would occupy those houses.
You are saying they were chasing people outside those houses? --- Yes.
Were they paying rent? --- No, they paid no rent.
When they were occupying these people's houses what would these people do? --- We were able to flee to other places.
Are you one of the persons who was chased out of your house? --- Yes.
You didn't say that, that you were chased out by this Three Million Gang. So you fled to your sister. Can you explain well that immediately after you fled to your sister what happened on the 23rd of November? --- When I fled to my sister's house his uncle said to him, "You are called at Trebol."
The time when you were fleeing to your sister's house what year was that? --- It was the same year in 1991.
Who said to your husband, "You are called by Trebol"? --- It was Twala.
Is that Twala? --- Yes.
May you continue. Then after they said you are called at Trebol what did he do? --- We didn't want to go there because our sister said we should not go there.
Continue. Then he was talking to your sister there. That's when my sister would continue with the evidence.
We'll go to your sister. You said Twala was working together with your employer. --- He was not working with my husband.
Who was working with your husband? --- No, nobody was working with my husband.
Was he not working at Premier Milling? --- No. My husband was working at Premier. Twala was working at
Continue. --- We were able to go to Gelegsweg. Then when we arrived there he went to Trebol. Then I said they should take him to Trebol because I last seen him when he went to the shop carrying a baby.
May you tell us what happened to the child? What happened to the child? --- When he was still carrying the baby I - I didn't see well. I only saw when he was assaulted.
You said somewhere that Twala asked your husband that he must come and stay at your house - at his house, because he is going somewhere. --- Yes, I remember that.
So he came and stayed at Twala's house? --- Yes. Then Twala went to Parys? --- Yes.
Then your husband left to go to the shop to go and buy a drink. Then what happened? --- Then a certain man who was working with Mr Twala came to inform me - to ask me where is Mr Twala. Then he was not able to explain to me that they have abducted my husband to Trebol to be assaulted. What kind of a place is Trebol? Is it a location? --- Yes, that Trebol is the same as Gelegsweg. It's a certain section of Gelegsweg.
Continue. --- I am not sure how he was killed. We are not yet at that part of his killing. We are still there where you said he was abducted, then you went to tell your husband's family. Do you remember that evidence? --- Yes, I do.
Do you remember when you went to tell Selena Kau? --- Yes, I do.
Continue. --- Then I went tell the late Selena
Kau about what happened, and then he went to the place where they've abducted him. And that house was a two-roomed house.
Whose house was that? --- It was owned by a certain lady called Dikeledi.
Then thereafter? --- When he arrived there Mr Ramasimung started with the assault. Then Selena rushed to her aunt.
What is the name of her aunt? What is the name of his aunt? --- It's Anna Nako. When Nabo(?) was trying to intervene they didn't want to listen to him, they were continuing assaulting my husband.
In your statement you said there was a policeman called John Masoleng. Do you remember saying that? --- Yes, I do.
What was the part which was played by John Masoleng? --- Then I ran into the house so I didn't see what exactly happened.
Then what about Butelo Masibo? Who is he? --- It was the brother to Dewitty.
Is he still alive? --- (No reply interpreted)
Where does this person stay, the person you have referred to? --- The person is still staying at Gelegsweg.
You said they took him to a two-room belonging to Dikeledi. Do you know any reason as to why they took him to that two-room? --- I do not know the reason why they took him to that two-room.
Did Dikeledi meet them first? --- Dikeledi was a member of this Three Million Gang.
She was a member? --- Yes, she was.
In your statement it is written that when the deceased went to the shop he was accompanied by a four-month-old baby. What happened then? --- The child was taken by my aunt.
What is your aunt's name? --- Her name is Ndamane.
Her surname? --- Ndamane is the surname, and Mary is the name.
Where does Mary stay? --- She used to stay at Trebol, but she has moved to the township now. She is at Marian township.
If we want to get information from her will we get hold of her? Do you have her address? --- Yes, I have.
Before we carry on let us listen to your sister. Letitia, tell us briefly what you know. Do not repeat what she has already mentioned. --- It so happened that Three Million was fighting the Premier Milling workers. It was actually targeting the Premier Milling workers, as well as the political organisations like ANC. Now, because of this situation people used to camp. Trebol was actually built for elderly people, but how Three Million came to stay in that area nobody knows. It so happened that people took different directions, they left this area, and my younger sister and her husband came to stay with me.
Were you staying at Trebol? --- No, I am staying in Constantia. I got married there.
When they came to stay in your house were they already driven out by the Three Million Gang? --- Yes, they stayed with me, and Twala came to my house for the
first time. And I didn't give them permission to leave. We were not safe at all, but we have given up hope.
Just tell us who is this Twala? --- Twala was a member of this Three Million, because his son was also a member of the Three Million Gang.
Do you know Twala's child? --- No, I do not know his name because the Three Million members wanted his son, and he decided that he should leave the area. And I didn't want to give permission to my little sister, but we knew that we would be attacked at any time. The deceased never went to bed. He used to spend his night on a chair, and the members of the ANC and the workers of the Premier Milling would come together and camp for the night. As I was sleeping her husband was at work, and a message was brought home that she has to go and see the husband. And I wanted to go to Dodo.
Is Dodo your brother-in-law? --- Yes. And I wanted to go to his workplace to tell him, to inform him that he shouldn't come to Trebol. We didn't give permission for them to leave on many occasions until Twala came personally to take them.
When you say they took him, do you mean they said, "Come we want to see you," or they took him by force? --- No, they came in and they exchanged words, and seemingly he was threatened and he decided to leave. They were now going to a shack that was at the other side of Trebol. I was dissatisfied. On Sunday - I must say it was Saturday when they picked him up. On Sunday morning, as we were still at home, at about past one, a boy from Trebol called Oba came running. I was sitting outside the shack, and he said to me, "You are being called." And I
asked him, "Who is calling me?" and, you know, I thought I was being called because of my mother. And I wanted to refuse the call, and ... (intervention)
Did he tell you who was calling you? --- No, he didn't tell me anything. I remember on that day I had taken my child to the doctor. The child wasn't feeling very well, and I had to rush to my in-laws to leave the baby so that I can go. And the granny to my husband also accompanied me.
Do you know her name? --- Her name is Stompie Sikaledi.
What happened then? --- We ran, the two of us, and we got a taxi. When we headed for Trebol it was just chaos in Trebol, because we drove past a police Hippo, but we didn't know who the occupants of the Hippo were. It was just chaos. My mother was lying on the floor, and our mothers were being insulted in an unforgivable way. They were really chopping my brother-in-law. The police were present. They were not taking any action against the murderers, and the perpetrator, Dewitty, drank the deceased's blood. And he took some of the parts. It was just a situation nobody could understand. I don't know what happened, how was the child saved. At the time they were chopping him we got to know that it's Ramasimung who started with the chopping. We do not know how the child escaped really. I can't tell. They chopped him. You couldn't even identify him. And they covered him.
Are you referring to the Three Million members? --- Yes. We were not supposed to take a look at him. When we wanted to open up to have a look they insulted us, they said we should move away from the corpse. The corpse
was here at this table and they were sitting at a distance of that chair close to the door. They were guarding. They didn't want anybody to come very close to the corpse. And the policeman from Welkom arrived. I was still there with my mother and my in-law. And they were all crying. There was no assistance of any kind given to us. This other policeman from Welkom called the Three Million Gang members. They used to call this other person Machangani, his name was Machangani, and he was called by this other policeman. And he asked him as to whether he knew the person, and Machangani said to him, "No." As they were still chopping him they were together with this other policeman. I do not know - I forgot his name.
Was it not Masoleng, was it not John Masoleng? --- It was John Masoleng. Others were in their van, parking at a distance. And this policeman asked him whether he knew the man and he said no. Their clothes were full of blood and their weapons also were full of blood, but the police didn't take any action.
What happened thereafter? --- That was the end of the story. We were told that people who saw this incident would be called to the court of law. Until this day nothing has taken place.
Did you report this matter to the police? --- She was called to the charge office, and my mother and the mother to the deceased. They promised that they would come and fetch them, but until to this day they were never fetched.
Did you get the death certificate? --- Yes.
What was written on the death certificate? --- It was written, "Still under investigation," but there was
no court case at all.
Was there a post-mortem done at the mortuary? --- She went to court, but nothing came out of that.
Didn't you go to representatives? Didn't you go to attorneys? --- You wouldn't be assisted at all when it comes to the Three Million Gang.
What was this Premier Milling? I heard you talking about this Premier Milling. --- This was a company. Now there were workers at this company and they were members of the ANC.
You said Three Million was evicting people from their houses. Didn't the police take an action? --- No, they didn't take any action. Many houses were burnt in that area. They were looting the furniture and burning the houses. When they came at night they wouldn't be ashamed of mishandling you in front of your husband.
Do you know a person who was manhandled in front of her husband? --- Yes, there was this woman who was manhandled by these members. I think she is now staying in town.
Don't you remember her name? --- No, I don't.
Let us then come to your family, Joyce. We know that your husband has since died. Do you have children? How many do you have? --- I have one child.
Is it the child that was with the father? --- Yes.
What is the child doing? --- The child is at school.
How old is the child? --- The child is six years old.
What standard? --- It's sub standard A.
Are you working? --- I am not working.
How do you survive then? --- My sister helps me. If there is anything I need she gives me assistance. She also assists me with my child.
Do you have parents? --- No.
Are they all dead? --- Yes, they passed away.
Your sister has been referring to mother, mother. Was she referring to her mother-in-law? --- Yes, she was referring to her mother-in-law.
How were you affected by this incident? --- I developed epilepsy, and I would suffocate and I would feel pain at the chest. No, I do not suffocate.
Did you go to the doctor? --- Yes, I have been to the doctor.
And what did the doctor say? --- The doctor said this trouble me a lot. I was meditating about this thing.
Do you pay every time you see the doctor? Do they let you pay? --- Yes, I have to pay.
How much do you pay? --- I pay R30,00.
Does the treatment help you? --- Yes, it helps me a lot.
How many times a week do you fall, because you have just said you fall? --- I fall once a week. Especially when I am troubled by something I would have this asthma attack and I would fall.
Does this happen any time you get angry? --- Yes.
Is there anything you want to say, Letitia? What do you do when your sister is attacked by this epilepsy? --- I remember at one stage she went to stay with my aunt for about two months. She is the kind of person that
should be kept busy at all times, because when she is on her own she would think of all the things in this world and she would be troubled.
What does she do when she is lying on the floor after falling? --- She would be quiet.
(Incomplete - end of Side B, Tape 5) ... to deal with her problem? --- No, we haven't thought of taking her to such people.
It would be a very nice thing to meet the social workers to give you an advice as to what to do, what channel to follow, because this kind of health will end up damaging your sister, and she has got a child to look after. Is there anything else that you want to add, Joyce? --- No, I don't have anything.
We have listened to your story and we have noted everything. We really feel for you, we sympathise. We want to thank your sister, together with her husband, for the assistance that they have been giving you until now. We want to thank you.
Thank you very much, Joyce and Letitia, for coming to tell this sad story, this similar story again about the police and the Three Million Gang. It is the same pattern which is obtaining. We feel the pain with you. You are still very young to lose a husband, and your child is still very young to have no father. Maybe too your child would need to get a kind of attention, because he must be - is it a she or he by the way? --- It's a girl.
She must be very much affected by this. It may show later, even if it does not show now, so she would also need to get nearer to the psychologists and other people
who can help her. We have noted all your requests. We shall put here that maybe the families of breadwinners who died must be helped. We don't promise, but we shall take that request to the Government. And we have also noted your request that monuments as memories should be built for those who died in the communities. We have also noted that.
COMMISSIONER: (Incomplete) ... to tell your story here which led to the destruction of your shop and property, and the disappearance of your brother after going into exile. And before you tell that story may you take an oath that what you are going to say here is the truth, and the only truth, God be your helper.
MOHLAHLUOA MOTETE (Sworn, States)
COMMISSIONER: The person who is going to lead you is Professor Simangile Magwaza.
PROF MAGWAZA: Good afternoon, Mr Motete. Thank you very much for being patient. You are almost the last person today, but it doesn't mean that you are not going to be - we are going to pay less attention to your story. It is still going to be quite interesting to us. According to your statement you live at - you didn't give us information as to where do you live. Where do you live? --- I am staying at Senegal, though before I was staying at Kroonstad.
When were you born? --- I was born in 1951, June, on the 23rd.
Could you tell us something about your family very briefly, whether you are married or whether you have kids? --- I am married, but I am not blessed with children.
Is your wife here? --- No, she is not here.
Is she working? --- She is still looking for work.
Are you working? --- No, I am not working.
You also talked about the fact that you are here today to tell us the story about the destruction of your shop and your property, as well as the disappearance of
your brother after going into exile? That's right? --- That's true.
What was the name of your brother? --- It was Spontjie Mokolwani Motete.
Could you tell us briefly what was happening at this time? Just tell us about what was happening around the event, around the attack on your property and on your shop. What was happening at that time? --- It started in 1988 when people were harassed, were evicted from their houses because of rent. Then we met to help people so that we should look for lawyers to interdict the council. We were calling ourselves MCC. The trouble started in 1990 when people were killed in Kroonstad. I had a shop at that time.
You said what was the name of the organisation to protect the residents? What was the name of that organisation? --- That was Mokeng Crisis Committee.
Did you belong to any political organisation? --- At that time I was not a member of any political party, but I was a member of this MCC, where we were volunteering to stop the harassment from the council.
Are you a member of a political party now? --- At this moment I am not even involved in politics.
According to your statement on the 28th of April you met Comrade George Daniels, who warned you of a possible attack by a group of ANC members know as AF. Why were the ANC members attacking you? --- There was confusion. It seems in the early 80s ANC was split into two groups. There was this group which was calling itself AF. At that time this AF split didn't agree with the MCC. All the objectives and all the decisions of the MCC were not taken
lightly by the AF group.
You report that your house was subsequently petrol-bombed and your car set alight, but then it was the three guys from AF who came and helped you, yet they were the people who were supposed to have destroyed your property. You said you were actually helped by this AF group. --- These AF people seemed to come to look as to whether it is true that my property is destroyed.
Who destroyed your property? --- That evening the people who were responsible for the destruction of my property was Vusi Mapeluwe and Lidlinyane, Semi Lidlinyane.
Were they members of the AF? --- These were not members of AF, they were members of the South African Police
Here you talk about the third force that were responsible for destroying your house. Are you referring to these three? --- Yes, I am talking about these three people.
(Inaudible) ... as members of the third force? --- I thought so because they appear in many cases of destruction which were done during that time.
Okay. You go on to say after this you went to Zimbabwe, and whilst you were away your shop was looted and burnt, and that together with your police you discovered some stolen goods with the perpetrators. Initially you mentioned that police - when your property was destroyed the first time the police did not help you, but the second time you actually went with the police to look for your goods. Are you saying the police were much more co-operative during the second time when your shop
was looted? --- It was not the police which I was talking about. The police who helped me to look for the property were police who were passing on the street when I told them that I found where my property is.
Okay. And who were the perpetrators, who had stolen your property? --- The people who had stolen my property were my neighbours.
Would you be prepared to give us their names if you feel comfortable? --- Yes, their names are - there is a document which I've submitted about the case number to the Commission.
So there was a case, there was a court case regarding this, your neighbours who stole your property. --- Yes, there was a court case about this issue, but on the day of the court proceedings I was not allowed to get inside the court. My wife was allowed to go in, because they said I was not allowed to do so because the person who has made the statement is my wife, though we got the property with the police. They went only for a short moment, then they said there is no enough evidence. Then I made some attempts to go to the station commander, but all these were in vain because I didn't get enough co-operation.
Your neighbours, did they belong to any political organisation? --- They were just, you know, tsotsis, scoundrels.
(Inaudible) ... Letsabo? --- He is a policeman.
He told you that the Comrades don't work with police, that you should go to the Comrades for help. So was it a policeman who was more sympathetic towards the Comrades? --- This policeman was - when I was trying
to force that this case should go forth because I was not satisfied about the procedure in court. Then I met this Letsabo. Then he said that - he was saying to me these words that there's nothing they can do for me because I came to a place where I will not get help, because I am a Comrade and therefore I should get help from the Comrades, because here I am not going to get any help.
Where you a Comrade? I thought you said you were not. --- At that time I was a Comrade.
You say shortly afterwards there was another attack on your shop. When you went to investigate shots were fired at you. Do you have an idea who fired the shots at you? --- I don't have enough information who were shooting at me. I went there because I have an assistance with an intercom which I use between home and house, which tells me if there is any problem in the shop, but when I arrived there I found the two people waiting for me, and this person was shooting three times - I shot three times, though I missed. I was really make a challenge. then he was shooing, then he ran away. I hope that is because of the help of God that all these five bullets didn't come to me.
You have no suspicions of who these people were? --- I believe this has been done by the police, because from there I went home, then I phoned the police. then when arrived they collected all the cartridges and then they left. They left me alone.
After that you talk about another incident where you and George Daniels went to help with a case. What case was it, and who was this George Daniels? --- George Daniels is a Comrade whom we were working together with.
And what case was it? You said you helped him with a case. What were you doing together? --- There was a time when the community had problems, and then we would go to those people to hear their problems, and then we would go to the police. But in this instance Daniels came to me and said there is something happening down there, I must go and help him there. When we arrived there we stopped our car. Then we met Vusi. Vusi is one of the policemen.
Can you just carry on. --- When he found Vusi there he made some threats, where I got these two names, that's Mapaoli and Lihloanyane, were the people who were involved in the burning of my property. When we alighted the car he asked us what do we want, because what is happening here has nothing to do with us. Then we said, "We have not come to you," because I was not aware at that time that the person we have come to is the very same policeman I was talking about. He had two guns. The other one was his own property, the other one was the Government. Then he made threats. Then we said to him, "If you want to shoot you'd better shoot now." He was helped by Mataoli by saying, "By that time when we were burning your house I went outside and then I made some shots." Then we waited to hear what was happening. When we entered into that house they gave us the evidence of that day, that as from in the morning this man was outside. Their daughter, who is Vusi's wife, wants to kill him, and these people locked themselves in the house the whole day. All the windows were broken. Then we talked to them that, "When we leave here we'll go to the charge office to report this matter, because it's now
above our control."
(Inaudible) ... a few things. You said there were two people who were involved in destroying your house. Who were those? Can you give me the names again? The two people. You went to this police and you learned for the first time that some people had been involved in destroying your house. Who are the two, Mataoli and who? You gave two names. --- The name is Mapaoli and Lihloanyane.
And was Vusi also involved, the police? --- According to his statement he has a part to play in that incident.
You also talked about the fact that the same day a policeman killed Maplanka and Tsotsi's son. Who is this policeman? --- Well, to connect what I was saying about Vusi, when we left there we went to the charge office, then we reported what we saw. The answer we got is that we are interfering with the work of the police and this is not our work, and the person who was in charge on that day, we explained to him that he will take all the responsibility of what would happen in that house. We were chased away, and therefore we were not able to go back. Then when Vusi left it happened that he went to one of the taverns around the township. That is where he killed these two people. If people were able to listen to us and took steps to go to Vusi to collect the two guns, or maybe locked him up, these people could have been alive even today.
Then you go on to talk about the Three Million Gang, that you were visited by them. Why did they visit you and why did you have this long argument with them? ---
When these people of the Three Million came in my house it was in the evening, and we were sleeping when we heard some noise outside. They were knocking. They said they want to see me. The first person who opened the window was a woman. Then he met her eyes with Dewitty. Then my wife said to Dewitty, "Have you come to kill my husband as you kill other people? Have you forget that at the hospital we were the people who were helping you when you were ill. When you were stabbed with knives we were helping you, and your life was in our hands. If you are coming to kill my husband so kill me also and see as to whether how it continue and who is going to help you in hospital." Then I opened the door after I made a short prayer. Then I said to myself, "If I am supposed to be killed in the dark better I should rather open the door and be killed facing my enemy." When I opened the door then the small boys were in front, and therefore they were not able to kill me because they didn't get an instruction from Dewitty to kill me. Then thereafter they went away. We didn't sleep that day. In the morning when I woke up to go to the bakery to fetch some bread my car's tyres were all blasted. During the day there was a meeting for taxi owners, because these people were obstructing people to go to work, demanding money from the taxi owners. We went to one of the Comrades to ask him that as they have blasted my tyres what was the reason? What he said is that that day he was not on - he didn't ... (inaudible) ... the car, but he took another direction, so he didn't know what happened, therefore he is not sure what happened.
(Inaudible) ... leave Senegal, or you had to leave
the area where you were. You moved to Johannesburg, then Senegal, because there was also tension among the Comrades. What tension was it? --- That tension that was there at that time, it was the power struggle, because some of the people thought that they would get other positions which are senior from other people, without being aware that what matters is the community.
Ja, quite a very heart-rending story about the destruction of your property. I am sure it's the property you valued and you had worked very hard for it. But that was not all for you. You also lost a brother who had gone to Tanzania and Moscow and New York, and then he died in October 1995. How did your brother die? --- Up to this time I am not sure what killed my brother, but the information we had with our contact in New York is that he was sick, and then he was made an operation, and we didn't know what kind of an operation was that.
(Inaudible) ... political organisation? --- Yes, he was a member of a political party who left with the exiles in the early 1960s. We didn't know at that time which political organisation it was, but what he used to say was say his contact is a man with a pipe.
He wasn't an ANC member or PAC member? --- We don't have enough evidence as to whether he was a member of ANC or PAC.
(Inaudible) ... brother had died. --- We received a phone from New York, coming from Tsepo.
Who is Tsepo? --- Tsepo it seems he was a co-worker with him in New York, or a friend.
I notice here that - okay I just want to clarify this. So there was never a court case about the
destruction of your property? Was there any court case, formal court case? --- There was no court case about my property which was destroyed. It was only one case when the destruction of my shop was there, and it was dismissed. And then about the house there was nothing.
The case when it was dismissed, where was the case? In which Magistrate's Court where your case was dismissed? --- It was in Kroonstad Magistrate's Court.
Do you know the name of the Magistrate at that time? --- I don't know, because I was not able even to enter in court as I was not allowed.
Do you have a court case number or some docket? --- Yes, I have got case numbers. I have submitted them, I think.
You also have said you request that you want the Truth Commission to investigate what happened to your brother. Thank you very much, Motete, you have given us a very detailed account of how you were harassed and how you lost your property. We have noted all your requests, and we have taken them in serious note. Like in all the other cases we will make recommendations, and from there the State president will have to decide as to what to do with this case and similar cases. Thank you very much.
Any other comment? --- I was asking the Commission to raise this concern. My brother was a writer, and one of the books he has written is Class Struggle and Racial Conflict in South Africa, even if I don't have a copy of it now. My brother had contact with the President, the South African President. In one of his letters which he has directed to my sister-in-law they were still corresponding, and I hope that the President of
this country knows him. In his life he was a person who was prepared that South Africa should be liberated, and that it should not be liberated under any conditions. When South Africa is liberated all people should be liberated in all spheres. There is a lot of correspondence, even if much of it is not important, but it shows what character he had. It shows that he was a person who is courageous, even though he was assaulted by whites, when he left this country. What they did, they didn't assault his spirit and his mind. His mind will live. It will live in his books which he has written. Another thing which I am requesting is that the Commission should make investigations, that after his death that apartment where he was staying all his belongings disappeared. Even up to now we don't have anything. What we have is only his corpse, with so much expense. We requested funding from the ANC and no organisation was able to help us to bury this soldier who has fought for the liberation. So I am asking that the Commission should make investigations that - the little information we have is that when he left Dar-es-Salaam they went to Moscow, where they opened an office. Then from Moscow they went to New York. Then they opened an office there. I hope that there are sensitive documents which may be helpful to this country, which may have disappeared and can be found, if these people who are in their possession may be found ... (incomplete - end of Side A, Tape 5) ... them at all. Therefore we ask the Truth Commission to make some investigations about his life. The information we have is that he was a person who was very quiet, a person who didn't want to speak about the organisation. He was
always talking about the meeting when he was in a meeting, therefore among friends he was not talking about the organisation. We hope therefore that he was a soldier, that the Commission should investigate about his life. I thank you.
Thank you very much. I just want to ask one question. You have mentioned that his friend was Tsepo. Where is Tsepo now? --- Tsepo is still in New York, but at this moment we have lost contact with him. When we try to phone, even if we try to make faxes, we don't get answers.
Was Tsepo the real name or the nickname? --- We don't know, because on the phone he is Tsepo, and on the faxes Tsepo.
Thank you very much. You have lost so many things. How has this affected you and your wife? --- It has medically affected me because the kind of life I used to live has changed. It has even affected my marriage, where now as I talk now we are not closely linked with my wife, because the life we used to live we - I will not be able to reach that standard. I am now a loafer. I am called names, and people call me names. The new life I am starting to live now is I am hiding myself. I am not able to go places because the standard I used to live is now lower. I would not be able to reach the standard I used to live with, but I am very proud with one thing, that the God I am praying is a living God. Then if he was not alive I could not have been here. Then I got all those counselling, it was from God whom I prayed. Then I want to sympathise with people from Kroonstad. Pray God.
Protect yourself through God, because it is through Him only that all things will be accomplished.
(Inaudible) ... both of your are not working? --- We live by chance. If you call me to build you a verandah, or to build a ceiling or burglar proofing, that's how I live. And I know that people now don't have much money, and at times - in many times I have no time even to - the other reason that made me to leave Kroonstad, the house which I used to live in, the walls tell stories. If I am inside that house I am not able to forget. That is the thing which has made me to leave to Senegal.
(Inaudible) ... give us the full address of Senegal. What street, what number? --- 1221 Senegal, Mahlabeng. I don't know the name of the street.
You don't know the street. Thank you. Okay, thank you very much. You have really suffered a lot. You have lost almost everything. A person who had a shop and a house and four cars. All gone. And you were a self-supporting person, you had to work hard to have achieved that at your age. And all that was just destroyed, and you have no job now. And on top of that you lost a brother overseas. You don't even know where his tomb is. We want to express our sympathies and condolences with you for the loss of your brother, and we appreciate the kind of faith which you have in God. You can still start afresh and make it if you have in God. There is that very good ... (inaudible) ... in our Bible which say that all things work good for those who trust Him. Do continue to trust Him. He will help you. And we have noted all what you have asked here for, and we are going to pass this
again to the President and the Government. We can see the whole picture around these areas. This name Dewitty keeps on coming, but unfortunately though he took the lives of people he had no power to retain his own life. He is gone himself. He died. So thank you very much. We have noted all what you have asked for. We will try our best to follow through it and also try to make investigations about your brother through the works he has published, "Class Struggle and Racial Struggle in South Africa." Indeed he must have been a very good scholar. Thank you a lot. --- I am asking to make the suggestion that my elder brother, after he died, after five weeks of his death we were able to bury him in Senegal. What we are asking is that - we are asking that the Commission should make investigations about Enoch(?), even if it was difficult, that the standard, the money, the budget for his funeral was R25 000,00, and because all the relatives contributed we were able to pay that R25 000,00. We had to make even loans from the bank. We were able to bury him like a soldier at Senegal.
Thank you very much. We appreciate that. Thank you.
COMMISSIONER: Fellow citizens, we have come to the end of the hearings which took place during these three days, and we have seen that in these hearings mothers and their children, especially the sons, were very much involved. This story reminds me of the story which happened almost 2 000 years ago, the story of a man of Nazareth whose name was called Jesus. The people during that time found themselves in a very similar situation, when some of the people from the community had colluded with the oppressors of the time and were killing their own people. As a result one of the victims was this man Jesus himself. I am reminded of his words, that when the women were crying for him as a young man, thirty three years old - they were crying for him. They were seeing this young man, as these young men we have heard about here, they cried for him because he was the hope of his parents and the hope of the nation. And this man Jesus said that, "Women of Jerusalem, don't cry for me, but cry for your children." So I am not surprised when I see the mothers crying for their children who have died, nipped from the bud when they are young. Their blood has become the seed of our liberation. Maybe this must be saying something to our Government, because the youth died for this liberation, and it is very depressing when you see young people all over in the townships without any jobs, and some of them are saying that, "What did we fight for? We fought so hard. Some of us died, and we have no jobs." I would hope that in future certain opportunities will be opened to facilitate the young people with expertise so that they can enjoy the liberation they fought for. We want to thank them for the sacrifice they made. We want to thank
their parents for having given birth to these great soldiers, who were very courageous to stand firm and die for their liberation.
Now, having said so, I need now to thank all the people who have participated in these hearings in different ways. We had some of the Government officials who came here, though they were very busy. We had some of the non-Governmental organisations, NGOs, who came here and supported these hearings. The churches and other faith groups who have been here. The media, that is to say TV and the press. I always calls those are the missionaries who spread the good news, so that what the President wants to achieve, maybe achieve. The media is a strong agent for this, so that even those people who cannot afford to be here, when they read the papers, they see the TV, they can become involved in these hearings. We thank them very much for this. We want to thank the police for the security. Our police, these are our police, because they are the police of a new Government. We want to thank them for all what they have done here to help us in whatever we wanted to do - security, etcetera.
We want to thank the witnesses who have become bold, and were courageous to come forward, supported by their families and their relatives, and the support from the communities who came here to be with them. We want to register our thanks to those people. We want to thank the translators, who have used their skills of knowing even those languages some of us don't know, that they could translate for us, so that if they speak Sotho we can understand, if they speak English we can understand, if they speak Afrikaans we can understand. We want to thank
you good people there. I know that you have been suffocated there, because it is so hot where you are, but you could stand for it for three days.
We want to thank the caterers who have been providing us with the eats, and they have been very good indeed, and they have been very friendly. There is nothing good when you see a person giving you food with a smiling face. We want to register our thanks to them indeed.
We want to thank the support groups, the psychologists who have been here, and social workers and other counsellors, who have been helping our people after they have given their testimony. We thank them very much.
And finally we want to thank the TRC staff in their different categories, who have made it possible - starting from those in this region, preparing for these hearings, and those who joined them later to see that these hearings were a success. We want to thank you very much.
And we hope that when you leave again you will leave those things, because they will mean nothing for you even if you take them, but we need them because we are still going to have many hearings. I hope you are going to encourage the people where you come from to please come forward, those who were tortured and had relatives killed, to come forward and tell their stories. We will still come back to the Free State. The TRC finishes at the end of next year. We are encouraging people to come forward and tell their stories.
In closing this I think it will be very relevant for us to sing that great prayer, the prayer of our fathers and our grandfathers and our forebears, Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika, and then after that we shall disperse in peace. --------------------- /TRANSCRIBER'S