ON RESUMPTION ON 26 NOVEMBER 1997 - DAY 3

CHAIRPERSON: We are trying to get quiet for a moment please. Khoza?

MR MGOJO: [Opens hearing with a prayer.]

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

Good morning, I welcome you all to this the third day of this hearing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We are trying to see just how quickly we can get up to date with our schedule. We call Paul Verryn.

MS SOOKA(?): Mr Chairperson, Iíve just been called by Bishop Verryn and heís gone to fetch Bishop Storey, heíll be here within the next 10 minutes - apparently no lift was arranged for Bishop Storey. I donít know perhaps if youíd want to start with Mr Sithole?

He called me five minutes ago from Melville to say that they were leaving, so they shouldnít be very long.

CHAIRPERSON: I wonder whether we might not then wait, weíve tried to go down the roll and none of the - what about Thabiso Mono?

MS SOOKA: His lawyers are not here.

CHAIRPERSON: His lawyers are not here.

Thabiso, can you just tell me (no English translation)

MR MONO: (no English translation)

CHAIRPERSON: We welcome you and we thank you very much. Please do forgive us, you were supposed to appear yesterday but you have been aware that the days are getting shorter and we thank you for your presence. Can you please stand up?

Can we please settle?

MS SOAK: Could you state your full names for the record, please?

MR MONO: Iím Barend Thabiso Mono.

MS SOOKA: Are you prepared to take the oath?

BAREND THABISO MONO: (sworn in)

MR MAKANJEE: Mr Chairman, Iím Sanje , Iím appearing on behalf of Mr Mono.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. ...[inaudible] please. Order please! I know youíre not making the noise but with the external noise it seems also that you are making noise and Iím not quite sure with whom I should get angry - the noise outside or the noise inside, but I will presume that the noise is coming from outside, and so for your own sakes it will be very good to be as quiet as you can be, thank you.

MR MAKANJEE: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Mono, were you one of the youths abducted from the Manse on the 29th of December 1988?

MR MONO: Thatís correct.

MR MAKANJEE: And did you give evidence in relation to this and to the subsequent assault of Stompie Sepei at the trial of Jerry Richardson as well as the trial of Mrs Madikezela-Mandela?

MR MONO: Thatís correct.

MR MAKANJEE: Did you make a statement to this TRC which corroborated the evidence that you gave in both trials that I mentioned?

MR MONO: Thatís correct.

MR MAKANJEE: Sorry, Mr Chairman, is it necessary for me to lead evidence on the evidence that was given by my client during the trials or may I assume that members of the Commission have read the record?

CHAIRPERSON: What do you want us to do?

MR MAKANJEE: Very briefly, I would appreciate it if he reiterated what he said.

CHAIRPERSON: Briefly - your briefly is my briefly.

MR MAKANJEE: It is.

Mr Mono, letís go to the day of the incident in question, would you tell us what happened at Paul Verrynís Manse - the events that led you to be taken away from the Manse?

MR MONO: I do not understand which events, the events that took place on that day or which day, sir?

MR MAKANJEE: On the 29th of December, which was the day that you were taken from Mr Verrynís Manse.

MR MONO: I do not remember whether it is the 28th or the 29th but itís somewhere there.

CHAIRPERSON: Please do not touch the microphone, it makes a terrible sound Ė just push it backwards, thank you.

MR MONO: It was on that day, the morning of that day, after having had breakfast, myself and Pelo went outside to cut the grass. Miss Xoliswa Falati sent one - I do not remember who, that we should come and wash the dishes and we said: "Yes, weíre coming, weíre still busy cutting the grass. We will come and wash the dishes just after cutting the grass".

After some time she came out, shouting at us and telling us that we are stubborn, we do not want to obey the orders, and she said she will send people to come and discipline us.

MR MAKANJEE: When she said that, who was she referring to? Which people was she referring to when she said that to you?

MR MONO: She was referring to the Mandela Football Club.

MR MAKANJEE: When the members of the Football Club arrived, can you tell us what happened from that point?

MR MONO: When these people arrived, myself Stompie and Dada were in the dining room playing cards. We heard the noise in the passage and one person was screaming in Afrikaans saying: "Come, come". When he appeared he was wearing an army coat, brown in colour. He said to us we should go the kitchen. We did as we were told, we went into the kitchen. When we arrived in the kitchen there were two groups. On the other side it was a group of those who stayed with us in the house and on the other side it was a group.

I did not know them - these people, I only knew two people from that group. If I still remember well, it was Xoliswa Falati and Nompumelelo. Among these people there was a person wearing a khaki overall. He asked a question to Xoliswa Falati, who they are, and Xoliswa Falati started mentioning our names. She said: "Itís Pelo, Thabiso, Stompie", and Kenny was mentioned also. She said Kenny was too clever and he canít just be left behind.

And thereafter they said we should leave with them. We left with them. When we were outside they took us into the bus that was parked just further down the road. There was singing in this bus. We were told not to sit down, we should sin. Then we joined in the singing and the bus started moving. This bus drove until at a certain house in Diepkloof - that I learnt later. When we arrived at that place we were told to get out of the bus, and we went into the house.

MR MAKANJEE: Whose house was that?

MR MONO: At that time I did not know whose house it was but when we arrived there Mrs Mandela was there and we were taken to a back room - the room had a sliding door and we were put in that room to sit there.

MR MAKANJEE: Do you know why you were taken to that house?

MR MONO: I did not know and I believe those who were with me did not know, because while we were still in that room, we had a chance to ask each other: "Whatís going to happen, what is happening really"? I said to them: "I do not remember Ė or I donít think that thereís anything thatís going to happen, I saw Mrs Mandela - maybe we are going somewhere".

From there Jerry Richardson came into the room and they separated us. They took myself and Stompie to a separate room that was opposite the room that we were sitting in. When we arrived in that room we found Slash and Isaac, I do not remember who the others were. In that room we heard the reason for us to be fetched.

Slash started by asking Stompie: "Stompie, why are you an informer, why are you selling out our people"? Stompie tried to explain to Slash that: "Iíve never sold any people to anybody". He asked him: "Where did I sell the people"? Slash said to him: "In Parys". Stompie said: "Who are these people that you allege I have sold out?" Slash said: "Three members of the MK".

Stompie said: "I do not know anything to that effect, I do not even know the people you are talking of". He referred him to me because I knew Stompie from Parys, and I understood Stompie very well. We used to go to Potchefstroom with him when there were funerals. We would be together and meet there. What Slash was alleging I did not even know, I even asked him myself: "Who are those people, I do not even remember the names that you have just mentioned. I donít remember of any three MK members who were arrested in Parys because of Stompie. I do not believe that Stompie was ever an impimpi because he was very young at that time".

I said: "He might have taken out names because he was assaulted". And for that reason they would not regard him as an informer because they would understand themselves that if you are in the hands of the police something must just happen".

MR MAKANJEE: Was Mrs Madikezela-Mandela present at that stage?

MR MONO: At the time when Slash and them were asking Stompie questions, she was not there, we had been separated.

MR MAKANJEE: Can you tell us what happened after that incident?

MR MONO: After trying to explain to Slash what happened, he asked my why do I agree to be molested by a white priest. I said to him: "Explain further, what do you mean when you say I slept with a white man"? He said: "Why do you allow the white man to have sex with you"? I said: "No, nothing of that kind ever happened to me, I donít bear any knowledge of that". I said: "Please explain further, where do you get this information from"? He couldnít provide an answer - that is Slash.

A person came into the room bringing the food, and we said we were not hungry. After some time another person came in and he said we are wanted in the first room, the room that we were put in first - that is the room where Pelo and Kenny were left. When we got into that room they were already seated, all the people were sitting down. We joined - we joined Pelo and them. After joining Pelo and them, Jerry said someone must bring a chair for Mummy, Mummy should sit on the chair. Then another chair was brought and then Morgan took another chair.

MR MAKANJEE: Who was Mummy that was being referred to?

MR MONO: He was referring to Mrs Mandela.

MR MAKANJEE: Did Mrs Mandela then enter the room?

MR MONO: Yes, she arrived in the room. When she arrived in the room she questioned us why we allowed a white priest to sleep with us. We did not approve of that, and then she asked Stompie why was Stompie selling the people. Stompie disagreed with that kind of information, and then she started hitting us with fists, one by one. After that the whole group joined in the assault.

MR MAKANJEE: So just to recap, you said that Mrs Madikezela- Mandela asked you - who else with you was accused of sleeping with the priest?

MR MONO: Itís myself, Pelo and Kenny. Stompie was accused of being an informer.

MR MAKANJEE: After you were assaulted with fists, what happened?

MR MONO: After the assault with the fists, the whole group joined in the assault. They kicked us, they lifted us up, and we were thrown to the ground. After some time they started hitting us with sjamboks.

MR MAKANJEE: Ö hitting you with sjamboks?

MR MONO: Mrs Mandela started hitting me with a sjambok - we were lying down.

MR MAKANJEE: Mrs Madikezela-Mandela has said that on the day in question she was in Brandfort. Can you comment on that?

MR MONO: I do not know what to say. I saw her. She was the person who assaulted us with fists and hitting us with sjamboks - I do not know which Mrs Mandela was in Brandfort.

MR MAKANJEE: Thank you. Just to clear up a few other points. We have heard Mrs Falati saying that Stompie was not questioned about being an informer, but rather that the accusation regarding Stompie was that he slept with the priest. Can you comment on that?

MR MONO: If I remember well, Stompie was asked a question, why did he sell the people out? Even Slash asked him questions about selling the people out. He was never asked about sleeping with the priest.

MR MAKANJEE: Did you know Stompie from Parys?

MR MONO: Yes.

MR MAKANJEE: So you were one of the people who knew Stompie closer than most others at the Manse, is that correct?

MR MONO: I believe it was myself and Pelo and others from Potchefstroom, but myself and Pelo were the two people who knew him very well because, between 1996 and 1997, we stayed together in Potchefstroom prison for quite a long time. We even spent the Krishtmas and the New Year in the prison together.

MR MAKANJEE: Do you know whether there was a story in the house which came from the boys in Parys, that Stompie was an informer?

MR NTSEBEZA: Excuse me, sir, did your client say between 1996 or 1997? We want to clear that up.

MR MAKANJEE: Was that 1996 and Ď97 or Ď86 and Ď87?

MR MONO: Iím sorry, itís 1986 and 1987.

MR MAKANJEE: Miss Falati also stated that Stompie, while you were staying at the Manse, there was an incident where Stompie came out of the room that he was sharing with Pelo and yourself, and complained to Miss Falati that you and Pelo were caressing Stompie, can you comment on that?

MR MONO: [Laughs] Itís my first time to hear this and I believe this is a lie because we never shared a room with Stompie, and Pelo never shared a room with Stompie, that was the first point. The second point, I do not believe that Stompie would go and tell Mrs Falati such a thing because they were not in good terms in the house.

I do not believe that he would have gone to report this matter to Mrs Falati, they were really not in good terms. He would tell Paul, because, if there was any misunderstanding, Paul was a go-between and bring about peace.

MR MAKANJEE: As far as you were aware, was Stompie Sepei an informer?

MR MONO: I do not believe that.

MR MAKANJEE: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: You have canvassed all that you wanted to? Let me not tempt you but, I mean, you have covered everything?

MR MAKANJEE: Mr Chairman, there are a few other aspects I could cover, if you would permit me.

CHAIRPERSON: All right.

MR MAKANJEE: Could you tell us about a gentleman called Guybon?

MR MONO: If I am not mistaken I first heard of Guybon when I was there. I did not know him at first. He was a tall man heavily built and if Iím not mistaken he came two days after the assault. Stompie was still swollen and this person asked: "Who are these people?" He was asking Jerry Richardson: "Who are these people"? Jerry Richardson said to him, "Myself, Pelo and Kenny were not supposed to be assaulted anymore because we did not commit a bigger offence. Stompie should be continually beaten because he sold out the comrades". Guybon started kicking Stompie, hitting him against the wall, and thereafter he left.

MR MAKANJEE: Mr Chairman, Iíll leave it at that, and possibly re-examine. Sorry, Mr Chairman, one more question.

Mr Mono, what happened to Stompie after that?

MR MONO: I do not remember which day it was, but it was during the night, when Jerry Richardson came in and he gave Stompie a pen and a piece of paper. He said: "Write your address here because Iím taking you home today". Stompie took the paper, he wrote something on the paper, and thereafter he gave it to Jerry. Jerry left the room with that little piece of paper. After some time he came back. He said, Stompie did not write very well on that paper, that he did not write his address clearly, he could not see what was written there.

Stompie wrote again. Jerry went out. He came back. He said Stompie should take his belongings because heís taking him back to Parys. He left with Stompie, and that was the last time we saw Stompie.

MR MAKANJEE: Can you just briefly describe the condition that Stompie was in at that stage?

MR MONO: His head was swollen, his forehead was swollen, his face was swollen, his eyes were very small - that was during the time when he left with Jerry.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Hanif?

MR VALLY: Thank you, Arch.

Mr Mono, when did you move to the Methodist Manse in Soweto?

MR MONO: I went to the Manse in 1988. It was towards the end of 1988.

MR VALLY: Ö did you move there?

MR MONO: The reason was that I was hunted by the police in Potchefstroom, and I was not living happily, and I wanted to carry on with my studies the next year, and for that reason I would not stay in Potchefstroom - the police were really troubling me. Pelo gave me an advice, he said we should go to Johannesburg because he used to frequent Johannesburg.

MR VALLY: Weíve already heard your testimony regarding the assaults and Mrs Madikezela-Mandelaís presence there. Do you remember when you were taken to the doctor after the assaults?

MR MONO: At the time when we were still at Mrs Mandelaís place or at any other time, sir?

MR VALLY: Start off from the time you were at Mrs Mandelaís place.

MR MONO: We were never seen by a doctor.

MR VALLY: Tell us when you were released. Do you remember what date it was?

MR MONO: After I was released I went to the doctor.

MR VALLY: Who took you to the doctor?

MR MONO: Paul took us to the doctor, myself and Pelo.

MR VALLY: Youíre referring to the Reverend Paul Verryn?

MR MONO: Thatís correct.

MR VALLY: What injuries did you have at that time?

MR MONO: I do not remember the injuries but I had scratches on my back because of the sjamboks.

MR VALLY: Do you remember the date you were released?

MR MONO: I do not remember the date very well, but it was January of 1989.

MR VALLY: In your statement you say it was January the 16th, 1989, could this possibly be right?

MR MONO: Yes, I think itís possible.

MR VALLY: While you were still at Mrs Winnie Madikezela- Mandelaís house you were taken to a funeral by her, is this correct?

MR MONO: Thatís correct.

MR VALLY: Can you give us details of this, please?

MR MONO: It was in the morning. Jerry told us that we were supposed to go to the funeral of Sipho Mabuzeís father. He gave us tracksuits, we put them on, and we went into the bus. We were driven to the funeral.

MR VALLY: Can you tell us about - describe this tracksuit to us briefly.

MR MONO: They were green and yellow.

MR VALLY: Did they have any writing on them?

MR MONO: At the back they were printed: "Mandela Football Club".

MR VALLY: Was Mrs Winnie Madikezela-Mandela present at the funeral?

MR MONO: Yes, she was.

MR VALLY: Did she travel with you to the funeral at any stage?

MR MONO: I do not remember very well whether she was with us in the bus or not.

MR VALLY: I want to ask you something different: were you in any way involved in the assault of Lerathodi Ikaneng?

MR MONO: I did not assault him, but can I be given an opportunity to explain? It was in the afternoon of that day. Jerry said we should go and exercise. Just after the exercise we sat outside our room. Jerry came to us and said myself, Kenny, Slash - I do not remember who else, he said we should put on our shoes because there was a task that we should do. We should go with him, we should follow him. He said to Isaac, Isaac must go and get the taxi money from Zinzi. Then we followed him.

MR VALLY: Carry on, tell us the whole story.

MR MONO: We left for the taxi, and we got off at a filling station at Orlando. We went into a certain house, we left, then we got into another house. They met another boy who was wearing a red shirt. Jerry and Slash grabbed him by his belt, telling him that he should come with us. He said: "Please, do not hold me, I can come with you, I will not run away". They allowed him to walk freely.

At some stage he tried to run away. They chased him and they got hold of him. We walked together with him until we jumped the highway, and this boy was tripped and Jerry said we should hold his legs so that he does not kick. And some of us hold his hands, and Jerry separated a garden shear, and then Jerry stabbed this boy. He said we should throw him in the furrow next to where we were.

MR VALLY: Please briefly describe to me the nature of the stabbing.

MR MONO: He stabbed him here with that shear.

MR VALLY: Ö at your neck, did he cut his throat or did he just stab him?

MR MONO: The problem is I wonít be in a position to tell whether he cut or he stabbed, because I was at the back holding his legs, but when we threw him in the furrow he was bleeding.

MR VALLY: Sorry, this happened while you were still kept at Mrs Madikezela-Mandelaís house? Did this incident regarding Lerothodi Ikaneng happen while you were still kept at Mrs Madikezela-Mandelaís house?

MR MONO: Thatís correct.

MR VALLY: In the time that you were at Mrs Madikezela-Mandelaís house, were any community or church leaders brought to you, or were you brought to anyone to discuss your being present at her house?

MR MONO: It was not at the house, it was at the office at Orlando East Station. We were taken there. But before that, Jerry and Xoliswa took us into a room and briefed us and told us that there are people who want to speak to us. Theyíre going to ask us questions about what happened. We should not tell them anything because if we do that they are not going to take us with them, we are going to stay behind. We went out and we told those people that nothing happened. We did not tell them anything.

MR VALLY: Do you know who it was that you met?

MR MONO: If I remember well it was Aubrey Mokoena, Sister Bernard Ncube, Sydney Mufamadi. I remember those three, I do not remember the others.

MR VALLY: Were you seen by any other community leaders, church leaders, doctors, whoever, before leaving Mrs Madikezela-Mandelaís house on the 16th of January - anyone else?

MR MONO: No-one else, except the ones Iíve mentioned.

MR VALLY: After you left Mrs Madikezela-Mandelaís house, do you recall a community meeting in Soweto to which you were taken?

MR MONO: Yes.

MR VALLY: Can you briefly tell us about this community meeting?

MR MONO: We were taken to the community meeting in the company of Reverend Peter Storey. He fetched us from Krish Naidooís office. We were taken to that office by Doctor Nthatho Motlana. Reverend Storey told us that we should tell the people gathered at the meeting exactly the right version or what we know, and he said we should tell the people, that we shouldnít be afraid to tell the community if Paul was sleeping with us.

MR VALLY: What happened at the meeting?

MR MONO: We were asked to explain what happened and we told them everything.

MR VALLY: Is what you told them what you told us today?

MR MONO: Yes, itís what I told them. And one other thing is that I apologised to Paul because what I told those people was because of the circumstances of that time, and we explained to them that we were ordered before meeting these people.

MR VALLY: Ö referring to and what did you tell them?

MR MONO: Iím talking of Sydney Mufamadi and them, because we were briefed and we were given instructions by Jerry and Xoliswa not to tell them anything.

MR VALLY: What did you tell them? Sydney Mufamadi, Sister Bernard Ncube, Mr Aubrey Mokoena, what did you tell them?

MR MONO: We told them that Paul slept with us, that is why we left his place for Mrs Mandelaís place, because Xoliswa and Jerry wanted us to tell them that.

MR VALLY: Ö who else spoke there?

MR MONO: If I remember well Katiza spoke, Ikaneng spoke.

MR VALLY: What did Katiza and Ikaneng say?

MR MONO: Ikaneng told his story about being stabbed at the neck, and Katiza told the story about the assault that took place at Mrs Mandelaís place.

MR VALLY: Finally, you gave evidence in the Jerry Richardson trial as well as in Mrs Winnie Madikezela-Mandelaís trials. Just prior to giving evidence in Mrs Madikezela-Mandelaís trial, your colleague, Mr Pelo Mekgwe, disappeared. Can you tell us anything about his disappearance?

MR MONO: There is nothing I can say about Peloís disappearance. What happened was, I talked to Pelo on Friday, and we went to Potchefstroom - I had to attend a funeral on Saturday, and we asked Paul to give us permission to go home. He took us to our lawyer to tell him that we are going home and when we were coming back, and we told him that Sunday evening we will meet at a certain place, and Paul would get us there to transport us to where we were living.

I only met with Pelo on Sunday morning, and we made arrangements for leaving, and he said I should wait for him at home at a certain time. I waited for him, and when I realised that he was not coming, I took a taxi, I left until I reached Johannesburg. And I went to a place where we were supposed to meet with Paul. We waited for Pelo for about an hour. He never came. Paul took me and Kenny to our place. I think Paul went back to that spot to wait for Pelo, but he couldnít find Pelo.

MR VALLY: Sorry, sorry to interrupt you - thatís fine, you donít have to give us that whole story. Just tell me briefly, you were initially very reluctant to give evidence at Mrs Winnie Madikezela-Mandelaís trial after the disappearance of Mr Pelo Mekgwe, can you tell us why you were reluctant?

MR MONO: It was my intention. together with Pelo, to give evidence,

and we were prepared to give out everything. All of a sudden I was told that Pelo had been taken away by people whom I do not know, and I did not know what was happening. And I was supposed to first think of my life, whether if I take an action of testifying, what was going to happen to me.

MR VALLY: Thank you, Mr Mono, thatís all.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Semenya?

MR SEMENYA: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Mono, when did you hear for the first time that Stompieís alleged to be an informer?

MR MONO: If I remember well, there was an allegation in the house that Stompie was an informer, and we sat down. Paul called a meeting, we discussed this issue. And Paul told Falati to stop calling Stompie an informer because Stompie was just a child, and this issue stopped just there.

MR SEMENYA: Ö who for the first time accused Stompie of being an informer, as far as you know?

MR MONO: According to my knowledge sheís the first person to came out with such an allegation, and it was resolved with Paul, and this matter was put away.

MR SEMENYA: And the reason you were assaulted, was because you were alleged to have been sodomised?

MR MONO: Thatís correct.

MR SEMENYA: And the reason Mekgwe is assaulted is for the same reason?

MR MONO: Thatís correct.

MR SEMENYA: And Stompie, is that heís an informer?

MR MONO: Thatís correct.

MR SEMENYA: What I know from Falatiís evidence is that Cebekhulu was also alleged to be sodomised. What I do not understand, though, is why was Cebekhulu not assaulted at all?

MR MONO: I also do not know why was he not assaulted, but what I know for a fact is that Cebekhulu was also part of the people who were assaulting us.

MR SEMENYA: Ö Cebekhulu is also assaulting, and yet heís accused of the same problem that all of you were accused of, is that right?
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry to disturb you, we were just being thrilled that we are getting fresh air.

MR MONO: During the assault I did not know that Katiza had been accused also of having been sodomised, I just saw him on the site of the people assaulting us.

MR SEMENYA: Ö is a possible explanation, and let me call for reaction. It would seem that, during the course of the proceedings, Richardson would admit that he was registered police informant. You have no information to gainsay that, right?

MR MONO: I donít have any information regarding that, I do not know anything.

MR SEMENYA: And Xoliswa Falati and Cebekhulu must have been operating, all of them as police informants, you donít have any reason to ...[indistinct] say that, do you?

MR MONO: I do not have any reason to believe that - I do not know, I do not bear any knowledge.

MR SEMENYA: The explanation I therefore have is that Richardson, Falati and Cebekhulu must have arranged the facts to suggest that you people were sodomised, what would be your reaction?

MR MONO: There is nothing I can say about that. If ever they put up a story to come up with this allegation, I do not know.

MR SEMENYA: Now, Mekgwe does not confirm your evidence that Mrs Mandela beat you with fists - at least before this TRC. Whatís your reaction?

MR NTSEBEZA: ...[inaudible] is that a correct reflection of the evidence by Mekgwe? He seems to have said a lot of things, at one stage or at the other. There was a stage where he referred to a sjambok, there was a stage when he talked about fists, and I do not think that you are putting the proposition on a proper basis. I donít stop you from putting your question, but I think you must give the whole picture.

MR SEMENYA: Maybe let me put the same question, I may have been misunderstood. Iím saying, notwithstanding what Mekgwe would have said elsewhere, when he made the statement to the TRC he said he did not say that he was also assaulted with fists by Mrs Mandela. Did I put it correctly, Mr Ntsebeza?

MR NTSEBEZA: I donít want to enter games of ...[indistinct. Put your questions, and if I really feel that you are not putting your question properly Iíll say so. I have not said so.

MR SEMENYA: Can you respond? Can I repeat the question maybe?

MR MONO: Yes, repeat your question.

MR SEMENYA: Mekgwe, at least before the TRC, has said that it was only open hands which Mrs Mandela used in the assault. He also admits though that in the Richardson trial he had mentioned about the fists and the sjambok but Iím putting it to you now that according to Mekgwe, before the TRC, he said he was only assaulted with the open hand, whatís your response?

MR MONO: I do not know what to say, that is what he wanted to tell the Commission, and I am telling you my version, Iím telling you something that happened to me. I do not know the reason for him to tell you that, heís got his own feelings, I have my own feelings - we are two different people.

MR SEMENYA: In your evidence just now - may I just put it to you that it is incorrect to say that Mrs Mandela participated in the assault on you and the other group?

MR MONO: I am correct, sir. I was present, I am the person who felt the pain, and I believe when you feel the pain you realise this person inflicting pain in you.

MR SEMENYA: Did Miss Falati as well participate in the assault?
MR MONO: According to my recollection I do not remember seeing her taking part in any assault. I do not remember her daughter assaulting me.

MR SEMENYA: In your statement youíre saying:

"No doctor came to see us at Mrs Mandelaís house",

and you use the plural "us". Can I put it pertinently - as far as you know no doctor saw Stompie at Mrs Mandelaís house?

MR MONO: I do not remember any doctor coming to see Stompie in our presence.

MR SEMENYA: And in one aspect of your evidence you say Richardson said you must go to the funeral of Mr Mabuza senior?

MR MONO: The funeral of Mr Sipho Mabuza?

MR SEMENYA: You were told by Richardson nevertheless?

MR MONO: Yes, thatís Richardson, he even gave us track suits - he gave us track suits to wear.

MR SEMENYA: Did Mrs Mandela say to you that you must go to that funeral?

MR MONO: No.

MR SEMENYA: Now let me quote what you have just told us today. You said:

"I was taken to a funeral by her",

meaning Mrs Mandela?

MR MONO: I do not remember saying that, I said the person who gave us track suits was Jerry Richardson.

MR SEMENYA: If the record indicates you said that, you must have been wrong, right?

MR MONO: Yes, if that is what I said, I must have missed your question.

MR SEMENYA: When you went together with Richardson to assault Ikaneng Lerothodi, did Mrs Mandela say to you you must go there?

MR MONO: No.

MR SEMENYA: Sorry, I missed your answer.

MR MONO: The person who told us to go there was Jerry Richardson.

MR SEMENYA: Ö [indistinct] that assault on Ikaneng, that it was on the instruction of Mrs Mandela?

MR MONO: I never heard that, sir.

MS SOOKA: Sorry Mr Semenya, my understanding is not that the witness testified that he was instructed by Mrs Mandela to assault Lerothodi Ikaneng, so your cross is a little ...[intervention]

MR SEMENYA: Am I correct, Madam Commissioner, that Richardsonís version is going to be that it was on the instruction of Mrs Mandela, and if it is correct we have a witness here who was at that scene. Iím trying to establish whether Richardson ever mentioned to a co-assault ...[indistinct] that he was operating on the instruction of Mrs Mandela.

MR NTSEBEZA: But is the evidence that you anticipate about Richardson going to be that at the time that the alleged instruction was given, this witness was present?

MR SEMENYA: I do not know, Commissioner Ntsebeza, all I know is if Richardson was committing it on a consensual understanding of the instructions, then this witness will assist me to deny it.

MR NTSEBEZA: Fair enough.

CHAIRPERSON: ... [inaudible] all Iím saying, me, poor layperson, is that that particular piece of evidence is not before us at the moment, and I would have thought that you were canvassing with him - cross-examining him on the evidence that he has given. I thought that that was what is cross-examination, but then Iím just a retired Archbishop and so donít know a great deal about law. What I would also be wanting to do is, not to make things difficult at all. If it is going to be assisting your case, then whatever I was feeling, or whatever the logic seems to be, say you should put it.

MR SEMENYA: Mr Mono, Iím just trying to get your assistance. It would seem to me the assault on Ikaneng was by you jointly with the others, and Iím trying to establish whether at any stage you understood your participation there and that of others, to have been at the instruction of Mrs Mandela?

MR MONO: I never heard of such an instruction, so I never thought of her involvement.

MR SEMENYA: Let me finally touch one aspect with you. Youíre telling us that you on an earlier occasion lied about Bishop Verryn?

MR MONO: Yes, thatís correct.

MR SEMENYA: Your lie was, according to you, suggested by Richardson?

MR MONO: Yes, before we met with Sydney Mufamadi together with Xoliswa Falati, they called us, they said we should not talk anything about the assault, we should tell them that Paul molested us. That is the reason why we left the Manse to stay in Mrs Mandelaí house.

MR SEMENYA: ...[intervention] allegations about sodomy are a lie, is that correct?

MR MONO: We were only asked once.

MR SEMENYA: You say that once Pelo left the country you began to get scared for your life?

MR MONO: Thatís correct.

MR SEMENYA: Youíre not suggesting by that statement that you feared for your life that the threat would be emanating from Mrs Mandela, are you?

MR MONO: I could not tell at that time who took Pelo away, and I did not know was going to happen, and I was just scared of these people who took Pelo away because I did not know how they took him.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] at the time it was alleged that he was spirited out by Mrs Mandela, was that your information too that led to you being frightened?

MR MAKANJEE: I donít recall Mr Mono ever saying that - Mr Chairperson, I donít recall him using the words: "Mrs Mandela spirited Mr Mekgwe out".

MS SOOKA: I need to be fair to Mr Semenya, I think he asked if that was what he had heard, that Mrs Mandela had -

CHAIRPERSON: Thabiso, would you be in a position to answer that question? Did you understand that Pelo ran away because of Mrs Mandela?

MR MONO: That is not what I heard. I only heard through the phone - a person received a call where we stayed, and he woke us up and he said, Pelo has been taken away, and he did not tell us who took Pelo away and how he was taken away. The next morning we were supposed to give evidence and we felt that it was not safe for us to do anything. That is why we refrained from giving evidence.

MR SEMENYA: You have no reason to doubt when Pelo tells us that he left on his own accord with the chairperson of his region assisting him?

MR MONO: Iíll be putting myself in danger to agree or disagree with the arrangements, I did not know how it came about that he left. I wonít dispute what he told you, I was not present when they arranged the whole issue of leaving.

MR SEMENYA: Did you say that you went and obtained taxi money

from Zinzi?
MR MONO: Jerry told Isaac to fetch the taxi money from Zinzi, then we left.

MR SEMENYA: So you have no factual basis to support that in fact that happened, am I correct?

MR MONO: Jerry ordered Isaac, Isaac went into the house, and we left. I do not know what happened in the house.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Yes?

MR TENGE: Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: If you will please identify yourself for radio, thank you.

MR TENGE: Iím Wim Trengrove and I act for Bishop Verryn.

Mr Mono, Iíd like to clarify just one aspect of your evidence, and that is the reason why you were beaten up. You told us that the people who beat you up asked you why you had allowed the white priest to sleep with you, is that correct?

MR MONO: Yes, that is correct.

MR TRENGROVE: I understand that to mean that they accused you of willing participation in sexual activity with the priest, is my understanding correct?
MR MONO: Yes, because they asked me why I accepted sleeping with the white man.

MR TRENGROVE: The accusation against you was that you willingly participated in that activity?

MR MONO: I donít understand your question clearly, please repeat your question, sir.

MR TRENGROVE: They didnít say that youíd been raped against your will, they said that you willingly participated in sexually activity with the priest?

MR MONO: They did not explain that, they asked me why I slept with a white man.

CHAIRPERSON: Heís saying you were assaulted because you willingly slept with a white priest, do you now understand? - they were accusing him for that.

MR MONO: Yes, thatís correct.

MR TRENGROVE: Did you admit the accusation at the outset, or only after theyíd beaten you up?

MR MONO: During the assault I agreed.

MR TRENGROVE: Only because they assaulted you?

MR MONO: Yes, there was no way out because, after accepting, Jerry Richardson ordered them to stop with the assault, he said we were not going to be assaulted any further.

MR TRENGROVE: The purpose of the assault was to force you to make that admission.

MR MONO: I would say so because after accepting we were left.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Any other? Yes?

MR KADES: Mr Commissioner, Norman Kades on behalf of the Asvat family.

Did you know the late Doctor Abu-Baker Asvat, had you ever seen him or had any dealings with him?

MR MONO: No, weíve never met him.

MR KADES: During the period that you stayed or remained on at the Mandela household after the 29th of December, did an Indian man ever come to the house that you saw?

MR MONO: I do not remember, I do not remember an Indian man coming to the house.

MR KADES: Thank you, Mr Ö [indistinct]

CHAIRPERSON: Yes?

MR RICHARD: Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Identify yourself.

MR RICHARD: A J Richard, representing Mr Jerry Richardson.

Mr Mono, when Mr Richardson and the others came to the Manse, did you have any choice as to whether you would go with them or not? Could you have refused?
MR MONO: I did not have any choice.

MR RICHARD: Now, for how many days were you at the Mandela house before Stompie disappeared, can you remember?

MR MONO: I do not remember exactly but it might be between three and four days. I do not specifically remember how many days before Stompieís disappearance.

MR RICHARD: Thank you. Now during the period that you were at the house, were any other people brought to the house and assaulted to your knowledge, besides the four of you?

MR MONO: No other persons were brought to the house to be assaulted, sir.

MR RICHARD: Thank you. And then when it comes to the Lerothodi Ikaneng incident, what Mr Richardsonís version is is that he handed you the shear, but you were too scared to use it, and he took it back from you, is that correct? He handed the hedge clipper, the shears, the half of it, to you, but you were too slow, so he took it back.

MR MONO: I think that he is lying because he gave that to Isaac, and Isaac tried to do that, he told Slash to take it from Slash - I didnít take that.

MR RICHARD: Thank you, no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.

MR MAKANJEE: Mr Chairman, the witness has indicated to me that he would like to have two minutes to address the Commission himself, would that be permissible?

CHAIRPERSON: We will take the risk.

MR MAKANJEE: Thank you, Mr Chair.

MR MONO: I just want to know why all these things happened to me, I want these people to give us explanations. I believe when there are allegations you have to investigate first to find the depth of those allegations. I do not believe that what they did to us was a justified action to take on that day.

I am requesting them to explain to us why they did that to the four of us. Iím even requesting from Xoliswa Falati to explain why she only did this to the four of us.

CHAIRPERSON: We will try to get answers to those questions, but I want to say to you we thank you for your evidence. Thank you.

Because of this air-conditioning, which is doing wonderful things, our papers are rustling, and it is not good for the radio transmission, so if you could please - you people there, we here and you there, if you could anchor your papers and just ensure that they donít rustle more than usual.

Bishop Paul Verryn? Bishop Paul, we welcome you, and thank you very much for your generosity in being able to come when you should have been heard yesterday. You are aware that we - I think this is very important and weíve got to find the time so that everybody has a fair hearing, and we are aware too of the anguish through which you have had to pass over so many years and, in a way, although weíre still going to hear your testimony, it is wonderful that you have been vindicated. And we give thanks to God for the ministry that you carried out - some of the witnesses here have spoken about it - and so, welcome. Will you please stand so that - ?

Yasmin Sooka?

MS SOOKA: Could you tell us your full names for the record, please?

MR VERRYN: Paul Verryn.

MS SOOKA: Thank you.

PAUL VERRYN: (sworn in)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.

MR TRENGROVE: Ö [Inaudible] Before I commence leading the witness, I wonder if I might ask the Commission for a direction on the ambit of the evidence which you wish to hear from him. I propose, subject to your direction, to lead him on a very narrow issue, and that is if he ever engaged in any sexual activity with Katiza Cebekhulu and the four people who were abducted.

That issue in itself seems to us to be of only peripheral relevance to your enquiry. It was at one time relevant when the abductors put up as an excuse for their abduction, a belief that the witness had engaged in sexual activity with those five people. Even that relevance seems to us to have disappeared, or at least to have been substantially diluted, because those who made the allegations have all retracted them. But the witness nonetheless wishes to have an opportunity to deal with that issue.

There are broader issues, however, you might enquire - he might be asked whether heíd ever molested anybody else, whether heíd ever engaged in sexual activity with any other people. He might be asked about his sexual orientation. Heís willing to give that evidence if it were relevant and helpful to your enquiry at all. It seems to us that those broader issues are utterly irrelevant, and, subject to your direction, we donít propose to lead him on it.

CHAIRPERSON: Hanif?

MR VALLY: Thank you, Archbishop. Archbishop, we only want to get Reverend Paul Verrynís evidence insofar as it relates to the incidents leading up to the abduction and assault of the four youths. The other issues are of total irrelevance to us.

CHAIRPERSON: That is what I said.

MR TRENGROVE: As it pleases the Commission, Iíll lead the evidence then only on the narrow issue.

Bishop Verryn, youíre the Methodist Bishop for the South- Western Districts, is that correct?

MR VERRYN: Itís now called the Central District, yes.

MR TRENGROVE: Central District. Since when have you held that position?

MR TRENGROVE: Since the 1st of June 1997.

MR TRENGROVE: What position in the Church did you hold in December 1988?

MR VERRYN: I had been appointed as the Resident Minister in the Orlando section of the Jabavu Circuit of this district.

MR TRENGROVE: You lived in a Manse in your congregation, is that correct?

MR VERRYN: Thatís right.

MR TRENGROVE: Youíve been living there since the 17th of December 1987?

MR VERRYN: Thatís right.

MR TRENGROVE: That is still your permanent base although you spend a lot of time away from it these days, is that correct?

MR VERRYN: Thatís right.

MR TRENGROVE: In the Manse in December 1988, there were various people given refuge, correct?

MR VERRYN: That is correct.

MR TRENGROVE: They included Katiza Cebekhulu, Stompie Sepei, Pelo Mekgwe , Thabiso Mono, and Kenny Kgase?

MR VERRYN: Thatís correct.

MR TRENGROVE: Did you ever rape any of those people?

MR VERRYN: No.

MR TRENGROVE: Did you ever sexually molest any of those people?

MR VERRYN: No.

MR TRENGROVE: Did you ever engage in any sexual activity with those people?

MR VERRYN: No.

MR TRENGROVE: Did you ever make sexual advances to them?

MR VERRYN: No.

MR TRENGROVE: People in the Manse commonly shared beds, is that correct?

MR VERRYN: That is correct.

MR TRENGROVE: How many people would be living in the Manse at any given time at about the end of 1988?

MR VERRYN: It varied from, I would say, 10 to 17 or 20 people.

MR TRENGROVE: Could you describe in general terms who these people were who lived in the Manse?

MR VERRYN: At that time most of them were young men who had had a history of harassment by the security police, and they had come to Johannesburg to escape some of the harassment, and for some of them perpetual detention on and off as well as the concomitant problems that went with detention. Many of them were quite traumatised from the questioning and the torturing that they had been through during detention. Theyíd come to Johannesburg, some of them to seek just a place of safety and also to further their education, or possibly to find a job.

MR TRENGROVE: You said that the population of the house varied from about 10 to 20, is that correct?

MR VERRYN: Ja.

MR TRENGROVE: How many bedrooms are there in the house and were there at that time?

MR VERRYN: There are three bedrooms and a study.

MR TRENGROVE: And how many beds are there in the Manse?

MR VERRYN: There are three beds in the Manse.

MR TRENGROVE: How does one accommodate 10 to 20 people with only three beds in the Manse?

MR VERRYN: Well, itís not an unusual thing in the township. I think that most township homes have an average of eight people in them, and particularly at that time. Houses were not really being built for people who were dispossessed and didnít have access to funding, and hence the houses became overcrowded, so the mission house was quite typical really of a township house. Perhaps not typical of a mission house, the normal Methodist Mission house, but certainly of the township houses amongst the people amongst whom I lived.

MR TRENGROVE: There was in your bedroom a double bed?

MR VERRYN: Yes.

MR TRENGROVE: You also shared your double bed with the other inhabitants of the house?

MR VERRYN: I did.

MR TRENGROVE: Would it have tolerable for you to insist on having that double bed to yourself whilst other people slept on the floor?

MR VERRYN: I think it would have been intolerable.

MR TRENGROVE: In the second half of 1988 there was an incident when certain people in the Manse accused Stompie of being an informer, do you remember that?

MR VERRYN: I do remember that.

MR TRENGROVE: Could you tell us about the incident?

MR VERRYN: I - Well, let me give a context to that. I was approached by Matthew Chaskelson, with whom Stompie had lived for a while, to take Stompie into my residence. He was going away on holiday, and apparently had consulted with the community of Tumahole about where Stompie could be placed, and ultimately the decision was made that he be sent to my house.

I havenít got the sequence of events completely correct, but I did have a meeting with the leadership of that township at one stage because these allegations had started raising themselves, and I was told that that was precisely the reason that they had sent him to my house, because they felt it would be a safe place for him. Now what I havenít got clearly in my mind is whether that happened before what Iím going to tell you now or after.

But I returned home one evening and there was a gathering in the kitchen, and Stompie was being interrogated. Thatís the way I interpreted what was going on. He was sitting with his hands [Tape ends] Ö didnít take any time with that. I immediately intervened and called Mrs Falati out and said that under no circumstances did I want my mission house to become what was happening in every police station.

And that if there was any chance Stompie was an informant, then we needed to clearly understand two things: if he gave information under torture it was understood, I thought, by most of the people of the movement at that stage that you were not expected to hold out against the odds, and particularly for what really was a child - number one. And number two that if the police had decided to make anybody an informant, there was absolutely nothing you could do about it. They could arrange matters so that you could look as if you were an informant, and there would be nothing that you could do about it. But what I was absolutely clear about was that this would not - this kind of procedure would not happen in this mission house.

MR TRENGROVE: Could I turn then to the events later that month when people were abducted from the Manse. Were you at the Manse at the time?

MR VERRYN: No, I was on holiday in Pretoria.

MR TRENGROVE: Youíd left on holiday on the 22nd of December, is that correct?

MR VERRYN: Either the 22nd or the 23rd.

MR TRENGROVE: You returned to the Manse briefly on the 28th?

MR VERRYN: That is correct.

MR TRENGROVE: Why?

MR VERRYN: I returned to the Manse with Joanne Collinge, we were going to go through to the Western Transvaal. There had been some young people who had disappeared, and Joanne was going to try and do a newspaper report on it, and I was really going to try and do some, as it were, pastoral work in the families.

MR TRENGROVE: When you called at the Manse, you found that there was some tension.

MR VERRYN: Yes.

MR TRENGROVE: Could you tell us about it?

MR VERRYN: Some of the young people, amongst them were Pelo and Thabiso, had had an argument with Mrs Falati, and she had, according to them, threatened that she was going to discipline them by calling the Football Club in.

MR TRENGROVE: What was your attitude to that complaint?

MR VERRYN: I did what I always do. I called the people that are being accused in, and we had a long discussion about what the problem was, and I left thinking that we had settled the issue, and that the young men had had a chance to express themselves, and Mrs Falati had also had a chance to express her unhappiness about their lack of discipline, and that related, as I understood it, primarily to cleaning arrangements in the mission house.

MR TRENGROVE: On the 31st of December you received a telephone call informing you of the abduction of the four?

MR VERRYN: That is correct.

MR TRENGROVE: You were also told not to return to the Manse?

MR VERRYN: I was.

MR TRENGROVE: Or advised not to return to the Manse?

MR VERRYN: I was.

MR TRENGROVE: And you heeded that advice.

MR VERRYN: I heeded that advice.

MR TRENGROVE: On the 7th of January 1989, you received a call from David Ching telling you that Kenny had escaped his abduction?

MR VERRYN: That is correct.

MR TRENGROVE: Did you meet Kenny?

MR VERRYN: I packed my things and returned to Johannesburg and met with Kenny at Central Methodist Mission.

MR TRENGROVE: What was his physical condition when you met him?

MR VERRYN: His eye was bloodied, and by that I mean, it wasnít - it was like a black eye repairing from being beaten, and he had marks on his back, you know, obviously where the skin had been broken, the kind of marks that would come from being beaten with a sjambok or something.

MR TRENGROVE: And he told you that heíd been beaten up?

MR VERRYN: He did.

MR TRENGROVE: You took him to Doctor Kennel for a medical examination?

MR VERRYN: I did that in the evening of that day.

MR TRENGROVE: We know today that on the 16th of January, Thabiso Mono and Pelo Mekgwe were released from abduction.

MR VERRYN: That is correct.

MR TRENGROVE: We also know that that evening a community meeting was called at which they gave an account of the events since their abduction.

MR VERRYN: That is correct.

MR TRENGROVE: At that meeting they told the meeting how theyíd been forced to implicate you in sexual activity with them, but at the meeting retracted those allegations and made it clear that they were false.

MR VERRYN: That is correct.

MR TRENGROVE: Had you had any contact with those two people, Thabiso Mono and Pelo Mekgwe, since their abduction and before they made this report to the community meeting?

MR VERRYN: No.

MR TRENGROVE: Who took them to the meeting?

MR VERRYN: Peter Storey.

MR TRENGROVE: Was it on his advice that you refrained from having any contact with them?

MR VERRYN: It was on his insistence.

MR TRENGROVE: After the community meeting on - I think it was the 18th of January, you also took those two for a medical examination by Doctor Kennel.

MR VERRYN: I did.

MR TRENGROVE: You asked me to ask the Commission to allow you to express your feelings about two people. The first of them is Stompie Sepei and the fate that he suffered. Would you like to do that now?

MR VERRYN: I see that Mrs Sepei is in the audience here today, and the thing that has been most difficult for me is that, having heard the allegations, I did not remove him from the mission house and get him to a place where he could be safe, and I think that if I had acted in another way he could be alive today. And so I want to apologise to Mrs Sepei for my part in that.

MR TRENGROVE: The other person about whom you requested an opportunity to express your feelings is Mrs Madikizela-Mandela.

MR VERRYN: My - I donít know Mrs Mandela really, weíve met face to face briefly in my mission house once, and my feelings about you have taken me in many directions, as you can imagine. I long for our reconciliation. I have been profoundly, profoundly, affected by some of the things that you have said about me, that have hurt me and cut me to the quick.

I have had to struggle to come to some place of learning to forgive even if you do not want forgivenness or even think that I deserve to offer that to you. I struggle to find a way in which we can be reconciled for the sake of this nation and for the people that I believe God loves so deeply. And so I sit before you and want to say that to you. Thank you.

MR TRENGROVE: Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Hanif?

MR VALLY: Mr Pigou will be asking a few questions.

MR PIGOU: Good morning, Bishop Verryn. Bishop Verryn, before this incident in December 1988, could you tell us, from your perspective as a churchman in that area of Soweto, whether you were receiving reports of tensions within the community around the Mandela United Football Club?

MR VERRYN: There were rumours, I think, there were rumours relating to behaviour that was unacceptable to the community.

MR PIGOU: Could you perhaps indicate what the nature of these rumours were, what sort of incidents were being brought to your attention?

MR VERRYN: I need to just deal with a part of that question Ė "were being brought to my attention" is not in the sense that I was regarded in any sense as a community leader, a political community leader particularly. I was being told that the soccer club was fairly highhanded in some of their activities, that some people were suffering abuse from them - that was physical abuse, that was the gist of it.

MR PIGOU: Thank you. Did you have any contact with the so-called Mandela Crisis Committee before the kidnapping of Stompie and the other boys?

MR VERRYN: I had a very brief encounter, I was called into the Reverend Frank Chikaneís office and asked to be part of a very small group - three of us, who would try, as I understood it, reintegrate the soccer club into the community. There was concern that the club needed to be disbanded, the soccer club needed to be disbanded, and it was important that was done responsibly. That those who needed further education could be got into schools, and those that needed jobs or whatever else - further education, that that would be properly Ö [inaudible]

The person who was supposed to do that work with me that I met was Sister Bernard Ncube and the other person was the Reverend Gideon Makaya, the three of us were supposed to do that work. We were taken briefly to a house in Diepkloof which was Mrs Mandelaís - supposed to be Mrs Mandelaís house, and met briefly there with Zinzi. Mrs Mandela was not present at the time and I think it was only Sister Bernard and myself that went, we were taken there by Frank and Aubrey Mokoena.

We were introduced to the group and, if I remember, we had a cup of tea, and we left. We then made an arrangement to meet briefly after that at - it was supposed to be a Saturday morning at 7 oíclock. I went and waited outside the house, nobody turned up, and that was the end of that.

MR PIGOU: Thank you. Iíd like to - perhaps my colleague could pass this document to you, this is a memorandum provided to us by Bishop Storey - an account of the events related to the abduction of youths from Orlando West Mission house on 29 December 1988. This has been made available to the legal teams and to yourselves on the panel.

Iíd like you to turn to page 4 and on Friday, the 13th of January, the 5th paragraph starting:

"At 9 a.m., Fink Haysom agrees to act for us"

Do you recall having a meeting with Fink Haysom where you discussed the preparation of papers for some form of interdict or habeas corpus action in connection with the boys who were being held at Mrs Mandelaís house.

MR VERRYN: I do remember that.

MR PIGOU: And do you recall - and Iíd like you to go down to the next paragraph after the one line where it says:

"PJS and Verryn met with crisis team again at 3 p.m."

Do you recall -

"and asked whether they would give evidence in this regard" -

Do you recall the Mandela Crisis Committee saying that they would not co-operate with such a legal undertaking?

MR VERRYN: I do.

MR PIGOU: Thank you. Iíd like you now to turn to page 6 of that document, 2nd paragraph. It says:

"John Reece conveys a message from Albertina Sisulu, who he saw the previous evening, to Verryn saying that he must stay out of Soweto because his life is definitely in danger."

Do you recall being informed by Mr Reece about that message from Albertina Sisulu ?

MR VERRYN: I do clearly remember being told that I needed to stay out of Soweto.

MR PIGOU: Thank you. Were you also told by Bishop Storey that Frank Chikane had passed a similar message prior to that?

MR VERRYN: Yes.

MR PIGOU: Thank you. Just one last question, did you ever make an allegation - perhaps I would read something to you very briefly because I think itís important that you hear this. In an interview that Mrs Mandela made with NBC on the 1st of February 1989 - transcripts have been made available, she says and I quote:

"In this incident, this despicable incident of the church we talk about, the so-called Mandela United is supposed to have kidnapped these children to force them to join Umkhonto weSizwe, the military wing of the ANC. You see, if you spread propaganda of that sort, that we go so far as to kidnap children to compel them to join Umkhonto, what could be more damaging to the community than that"?

She goes on to say:

"We do not abduct children to compel them to join Umkhonto weSizwe, itís purely voluntary on the part of those youths who do not leave the country to join the military forces of the ANC, and that is what is being said. Paul Verryn maintains that we were doing that".

Did you ever make such an allegation?

MR VERRYN: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me, can you move your mike so that you donít keep bumping into it, thank you.

MR PIGOU: Did you ever make such an allegation?

MR VERRYN: No, I didnít.

MR PIGOU: Thank you, no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Semenya?

MR SEMENYA: Bishop, according to Falati, she says Cebekhulu for the first time alleges that he was sodomised by you, and then Falati takes that story to Mrs Madikezela-Mandela, am I correct to think, at least from that point, that Falati must have had something to do with this pain you suffered as a result of this rumour?

MR VERRYN: Yes.

MR SEMENYA: Do you seek reconciliation with her?

MR VERRYN: Mrs Falati has written a 9-paged apology to me.

MR SEMENYA: [intervention] And you have reconciled?

MR VERRYN: And I have tried to deal with some of these issues with her.

MR SEMENYA: It seems to me, that at least at the time before these allegations were retracted, there was indeed such allegations said about you.

MR VERRYN: Yes.

MR SEMENYA: And it would have been disturbing allegations to somebody who had a political responsibility about such matters, is that correct?

MR VERRYN: Yes.

MR SEMENYA: It would not have been incorrect for Mrs Mandela to take the attitude she did if she believed in the correctness of those rumours, is that correct?

MR VERRYN: Yes.

MR SEMENYA: She had not known you before that time, is that right?

MR VERRYN: She still really doesnít know me.

MR SEMENYA: Ja, but even at that time she didnít know you personally to - ?
MR VERRYN: No.

MR SEMENYA: You are not aware of any reason why she would have had reason to discredit you, is that right?

MR VERRYN: That is correct.

MR SEMENYA: Now, about Cebekhulu, at the time he came to live at the Manse he hadnít given you an impression that he was from Mrs Mandelaís house?

MR VERRYN: No.

MR SEMENYA: It is the first time you hear after, the books, that he alleges to have been from that house, is that right?

MR VERRYN: Thatís correct.

MR SEMENYA: Now, we had put it to Falati as well that she is the one who had a difficulty with Pelo and them about household chores. She denies that but it is correct, thatís how it happened, is that right?

MR VERRYN: That certainly was my perception.

MR SEMENYA: And you actually intervened when Falati accused this little boy Stompie of being an informer, is that right?

MR VERRYN: I did.

MR SEMENYA: I have no further questions, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I do not know - before I give other people a chance, Bishop Paul Verryn has addressed your client. I am not aware whether your client wishes to take the opportunity of responding to this here or whether she will want to say something because heís spoken from a broken heart.

MR SEMENYA: Chairperson, with the greatest of respect, my instructions are yes, Mrs Mandela would want to communicate with the Bishop but - and holds a view that if the Bishop had meant to communicate what he communicated today, previously, he could very well have done that. And she will take the opportunity outside of this, what we believe to be a camera scenario, to reconcile with Bishop Verryn about these matters. And incidentally I learn that he is the Bishop of the church to which my client belongs.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. ...[inaudible] sometimes when you speak - Iím speaking pastorally, because in a way this thing is not just a private matter between them, it is something that has affected very many people. You canít obviously say to somebody: "This is what you must do". I had just thought that you would have wanted to have an opportunity - yes, in the publicity that would arise from whatever it might have been that would happen, that is why I gave that opportunity. It was that Iím speaking now as a pastor.

I would hope that the engagement between you two is something that would happen as quickly as possible so that you can have the burden that you have been carrying for so long be lifted. And that the anguish, which is not just your own, it is the anguish of many people, many who - your family must have gone through hell, and you probably had people who believed you, and there were people who doubted, and there were people who did not believe you. And I therefore hope - again speaking just as a Pastor Ė that I understand the reluctance, but I would hope that it can happen as soon as possible.

UNKNOWN: Thank you, Chair.

Bishop, the people who landed in your Manse, the displaced and disrupted people, who referred them to you, or did they simply find their own way to you?

MR VERRYN: Some of them I think brought friends, and some of them were referred by community people, and some of them were referred by church.

UNKNOWN: How many other such places of refuge were there in your area at the time?

UNKNOWN: There were some of our Ministers who were trying to help with the sanctuary programme, as it was called, and then we did have a Bosmont Community Centre that was used for a while as a sanctuary.

UNKNOWN: And it would be true to say that at the time such places were in rather short supply?

MR VERRYN: Absolutely.

UNKNOWN: And it would also be true to say that Mrs Madikezela- Mandelaís home was also one of the places to which people could go for refuge?

MR VERRYN: I should think so.

UNKNOWN: And it would also flow logically that - as you say you had 10 or 20, Mrs Mandela would have the same sort of numbers, it would be appropriate to find some sort of occupation for the people to do?

MR VERRYN: Yes.

UNKNOWN: And it would also then be ordinary to say that at some point the idea of forming a football club would be an obvious activity?

MR VERRYN: Yes.

UNKNOWN: Now, your relationship with Miss Falati, when did you first meet her?

MR VERRYN: I really cannot remember, it was certainly before she moved into the mission house.

UNKNOWN: It could have been in Kwatima, if Iím not mistaken.

MR VERRYN: It could have been, it could also have been that she came to Khotso House. She worked alongside Bishop Mkwane for quite a long time as well - Iím not clear about that. I canít give you a date, for instance.

UNKNOWN: So, she wasnít a complete stranger whose personal characteristics were unknown to you?

MR VERRYN: That is true.

UNKNOWN2: Now the impression - and I have only yesterday to go by, is that she is a highly emotional and somewhat reactive person, over-reactive indeed.

MR VERRYN: I think that needs to be put into a context.

UNKNOWN2: Please do so.

MR VERRYN: I think she has been exposed to a considerable amount of brutality, particularly considering some of the work that she was doing in the township where she was, and so I have always understood that some of that - what seems like irrational reactiveness - comes from that place.

UNKNOWN: Unfortunately it is true that the experiences have left their mark, and I do not want to minimise those experiences that sheís been through, but nonetheless there is the thesis that perhaps this entire unfortunate chain of events was sparked by an over-reaction to rumours, suspicions, paranoias. Could that possibly be true?

MR VERRYN: That could be true.

UNKNOWN: Now at that time - in the political context of the day - if I made the assertion that there was a high degree of paranoia about informers, spies, impimpis -

MR VERRYN: Yes, absolutely.

UNKNOWN: And as you said in your evidence earlier, other powers were quite liable to set people up in the public eye as informers.

MR VERRYN: Yes.

UNKNOWN: And unfortunately the results for those individuals that were set up could be quite problematic, indeed fatal?

MR VERRYN: Yes.

UNKNOWN: And you have knowledge of such incidents?

MR VERRYN: Yes.

UNKNOWN: Mr Chair, I believe Iíve made my point. No further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.

...[inaudible]

CHAIRPERSON: You have not got your machine on.

UNKNOWN2: Bishop Verryn, you said that you returned to the Manse on the 28th of December.

MR VERRYN: That is correct.

UNKNOWN2: Did you leave again that day?

MR VERRYN: Yes, I left - I was only there for about an hour or two.

UNKNOWN2: What time of the day were you there?

MR VERRYN: It must have been mid-morning to midday, round about that time.

UNKNOWN2: Miss Falati in her evidence says that the boys were taken to Mrs Mandelaís house on that day, the 28th of December, would you have any knowledge as to whether this might be true or not?

MR VERRYN: I canít confirm that because I wasnít there, and the first I heard of it was on the 31st. I thought it was the 29th. I could be wrong.

UNKNOWN3: The second issue concerns this question of Stompie being an informer and youíve given evidence already about the fact that you had come across a meeting where this was being discussed. Is it so that you were concerned about the fact that people who were staying at the Manse should be accountable for their movements and should inform people when they came and left the Manse?

MR VERRYN: Yes, let me put it this way, there always has been a reasonable amount of movement backwards and forwards, but if they were not going to be there overnight - it was important, in case there was a detention, that we knew about it - if somebody went missing.

That was the time that I thought was perceived as being a very vulnerable time, so somebody didnít come back to the mission house and we didnít know about that person not coming back, then we needed to start informing families, and doing something like that. Let me take you - can I take you a bit further on that?

UNKNOWN: Please do.

MR VERRYN: As far as Stompie was concerned, there were sometimes difficulties with this, he came and went, struggled with that aspect of our just accounting to one another, and because I knew of the sensitivity around him, I was worried about that.

UNKNOWN3: In fact Miss Falati says that a badge was put on him on which was written: "Donít go". Do you have any recollection of that?

MR VERRYN: Stompie had a very strong friendship with some people in Priscilla Janaís office, and thatís where he used to go to. They mothered him while he was away from home, and so he used to come back with all sorts of funny contraptions, you know, like a badge or a funny watch or a toy or something.

The peculiar thing that one has to remember is that, on the one had youíve got really a child who hasnít been a child, he hasnít had the opportunity of being a child, and yet in this 14-year-old youíve got an adult whoís had to deal with issues that some adults never look at or deal with in their entire lives - that was what was in this person, so the badge, yes, "Donít go".

And I can understand the paranoia that started coming around in the house: "Where was he getting these things, was he being paid by the police".

UNKNOWN2: No further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes?

MR KADES: Thank you, Mr Chairperson, Norman Kades on behalf of the Asvat family.

Bishop, were you acquainted with the late Doctor Abu Bakker Asvat?

MR VERRYN: I was.

MR KADES: And do you recall whether you saw him subsequent to the abduction of these youths from the Manse on the 29th of December?

MR VERRYN: No, I did not. I saw him during that year at an informal settlement in Soweto where we were trying to organise some help for one of the communities there. And he was one of the prime workers in that community.

MR KADES: Bishop, after the murder of Doctor Asvat, did you speak to any members of the Crisis Committee concerning his murder and the rumours that were circulating at the time concerning how heíd come to meet his end?

MR VERRYN: I had a brief conversation with Beyers Naude, because I was at his house on the Saturday morning, I canít remember what for, but I met with him and spoke to him just very briefly about it. There had also been an allegation in one of the papers that the church was in some way implicated in that murder.

MR KADES: Do you know whether the Crisis Committee was in possession of any information concerning the death of Doctor Asvat?

MR VERRYN: I donít know.

MR KADES: Was such information - you were never made party to such information if indeed it existed?

MR VERRYN: No, I was not made a part of it.

MR KADES: Did you know anything - did you receive any information at all from any members of the Crisis Committee concerning any of their investigations into the death of Doctor Asvat?

MR VERRYN: No.

MR KADES: Thank you.

MR UNTERHALTER: Mr Chairman, if I may.

Bishop Verryn, my name is David Unterhalter, I act for Dudu Chili. Are you aware of an attack on the Chili house in which the house was burnt down in February 1989?

MR VERRYN: I am.

MR UNTERHALTER: Do you know of efforts that were made thereafter to take Dudu Chili into protection and hiding because she feared for her life from members of the Mandela United Football Club?

MR VERRYN: I am aware of it.

MR UNTERHALTER: Could you tell us what efforts were made in that regard?

MR VERRYN: Iím not too clear about it, but the things that are clear in my mind is that I was with my lawyer, I think on the night that the attack took place, and I received a call - if I remember correctly, from Miss Chili in which - it was like somebody who was in profound fear and someone who - it really sounded as if she was facing death.

And there was another gentleman who was Eric Engeleza, who was a Justice and Reconciliation field worker for the Witwatersrand Council of Churches, who also contacted me, but we were in a place of impasse because we couldnít gain access to the place. After that, as I understand it, we sought a place of refuge for her and I think it might have been Eric that might have arranged that. Iím not quite sure who did that, thatís whatís not clear to me.

MR UNTERHALTER: Thank you, Bishop Verryn.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr [inaudible]?

UNKNOWN: I have no further questions, thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: [Inaudible] Dumisa?

MR NTSEBEZA: Thank you, Chairperson.

Bishop Verryn, I just want to ask a question that has to do. not with your sexual orientation at all because weíve already indicated to your counsel that we are not going to look into that. But were you married at the time of these incidents?

MR VERRYN: No.

MR NTSEBEZA: And, as you have testified, you shared beds with these youngsters, do you consider that the fact that you were not married and it was known that you were sharing beds with the youngsters, that that could offend in some peopleís minds the view that you were homosexual?

MR VERRYN: Iím very aware of that, and Iím even more aware of it now that all the allegations have been made.

MR NTSEBEZA: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Boraine?

DR BORAINE: Bishop Verryn, I have no questions. I have one comment. And itís really passing on some information which you may have heard, but which Iím not sure if you were still in the hall last night. We met until very late, and I think you had to leave before that.

Towards the very end of Mr Cebekhuluís evidence, he indicated ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Can TV help, I mean, that thing is causing - itís sabotaging your other colleagues, the radio colleagues, I think.

DR BORAINE: I was saying that at the very end of Mr Cebekhuluís evidence, he - sitting where you are sitting now, offered a public apology to yourself. Bearing in mind the crudity and the extent of the allegations, particularly by him, I thought that you should know that, because it may, with the welter of evidence, not ever be reported publicly, and I hope that the comments made - not only by him, but several who have appeared before us, who denied previous allegations, will at least be some measure of comfort and support to you.

MR VERRYN: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Yasmin?

MS SOOKA: Bishop Verryn, you know at the evidence in her trial, Mrs Falati actually said that, before she had known about the Stompie incident, you yourself had discussed these allegations with her in September or October of that year, can you confirm that you did, and perhaps you could just tell me some of your own reasons for doing that, if you did.

MR VERRYN: Yes, I did, and the reason for it - and Iíve tried to be as open as I possibly can. Frank Chikane spoke to me about allegations of this nature, and I have spoken openly about the allegations at all times because I felt I needed to confront what people are saying about me. So I spoke to my Bishop. I left Frank Chikane and went straight to my Bishop and told him: "This is what is being said, you need to be aware of it".

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I have already said at the beginning, Paul, our hearts go out to you and very many people found your two addresses to the two people very deeply moving. Thank you very, very much. You make us proud that there is this faith. Thank you for your ministry, and Iím sure God is going to use you powerfully at this time of transition when we need all of this healing. And God uses the wounded healer, because you will have plumbed the depths of anguish, and you will be able to accompany people as they walk through their particular valley. Thank you very, very much indeed. And I hope, I mean, now, you, your family, your church, but especially all of the people surrounding you, will know that they can be proud of you. Thank you.

It is possible actually to maybe give somebody a clap.

[Applause]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAIRPERSON: Please settle. Order! We now call Bishop Peter Storey. Bishop Peter Storey?

MR STOREY: Yes, sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much for coming. We know that you are at the present time on sabbatical in the United States, but you that have been very generous to break into that in order to be here.

I myself just want to attest to the outstanding role that you played in the time of our struggle when I was General Secretary of the SACC and you were Deputy President, and then President, at some of the most difficult times when we were chucked out at gunpoint from Gazankhulu or something like that. But thank you very, very much for coming. I presume you will be speaking in English. Would you please stand?

MS SOOKA: Will you state your full names for the record please?

MR STOREY: Peter John Storey.

PETER JOHN STOREY: (sworn in)

MS SOOKA: Thank you, you may be seated.

CHAIRPERSON: Hanif?

MR VALLY: Thank you, Archbishop.

Bishop Storey, you have prepared a memorandum setting out the account of events relating to the abduction of youths from the Orlando West Mission house on the 29th of December 1988, is that correct?

MR STOREY: That is correct,sir, it is something I made at the time.

MR VALLY: If you could just briefly give us the circumstances of the notes youíve made here. Were they made immediately after the events, were they made a month or two later, when exactly were they made?

MR STOREY: Youíll see that the memo sort of falls into two parts. Rhereís a portion of 14 pages which consists of a record I kept at the time. Then there is a further section beginning with page 1 and it is entitled:

"Further Record based on Diary Rough Notes and Press Reports".

And what happened, sir, was that when I was invited to come here I thought it would important to go back over that period and fill in from the point of ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me, we havenít got that, I donít know whether thereíre additional pages?

DR BORAINE: Weíve only got the 14-page one.

MR VALLY: Iím advised that there was a new file given to you recently and it should be in there. Iíve now been advised that you donít have that, I will arrange for copies to be made, itís not too material right now. What Iím trying to do is establish from Bishop Storey the background to the memo he took. Iíll arrange for someone to make copies of it right now.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR VALLY: It has been given to the legal teams, though.

Iím sorry Bishop Storey, if you could just continue.

MR STOREY: What I was saying, sir, was that the first 14 pages were contemporaneous notes and the second section, which has just been the subject of your discussion, I put together from my diary, from rough notes, and press reports, just to refresh my own mind prior to coming to this Commission.

MR VALLY: So, when you say these were contemporaneous notes, you had your rough notes, you had your diary and then - did you do it on a nightly basis that you noted everything and recorded everything?

MR STOREY: I brought it up to date - this was a crisis which covered quite a period of time - and I brought it up to date every second day or so at the time.

MR VALLY: Thank you, Bishop. Now, I want to go through this memo with you. There are portions which I think it will not be necessary for us to traverse and there will be other sections where we would like quite a bit of detail. If I could ask you to try and focus on the issues regarding the abduction from the children from the Manse, the subsequent disappearance of Mr Stompie Sepei, the various negotiations that community leaders had regarding the youths.

If you donít mind, Iím not so interested in the internal church workings regarding this issue. If you could start off with - before I go on with that, I just want to point out something to you. If you turn to the second page of your memo, at the top of the second page it says:

"Mid-December 1988"

Do you see that?

MR STOREY: Ja.

MR VALLY: Now, then you have 28th of January, 29th of January and 31st of January.

MR STOREY: Those should read December, and they have been corrected by hand in my copy.

MR VALLY: Thank you, so I think we should just note that those dates should all read "December". Bishop Storey, can you start off on your first page where you have set out the sub-heading:

"Mid-November 1988"?

And, please, youíre welcome to summarise from your notes. Please go ahead and read it out but youíre welcome to summarise it.

MR STOREY: Well, what had happened was that Iíd had a discussion with the Reverend Paul Verryn in October as a result of his reporting to me that there were rumours circulating that he was engaged in homosexual activities with some of the residents of the mission house. That was in late October. We had a discussion then about how we should respond to those rumours.

It was in mid-November that, as part a report to me on how things were progressing in the house, he indicated that a Miss Xoliswa Falati had come to live in the house. And he reported an improvement in discipline and cleanliness, and also that he felt less vulnerable, more protected from rumours because there was now an adult woman in the house.

MR VALLY: Wonít you please go to the events that took place in - what you call mid-December 1988, more specifically the 29th of December 1988 - thatís on page 2.

MR STOREY: This of course was information that came to me after the fact - the abduction, is that what youíre referring to?

MR VALLY: Thatís correct.

MR STOREY: Yes. To my knowledge - and this is of course based on reports, I wasnít present, but that is when the abduction took place of Kenny KKgase, Thabiso and Pelo and Stompie. We were never sure quite what the role of Katiza was, we know that he was taken, but we were not sure that this was against his will. Xoliswa was present and co-operated with the abduction and she had earlier threatened the boys with real discipline from the football team.

MR VALLY: After the boys were taken from the house, the Methodist Manse, can you tell us what happened? What was your role, what was the communityís role, and can you relate what youíve recorded in this regard?

MR STOREY: Well, I think these things have a way of starting small, and initially I think there was a hope that this might be a misunderstanding. Local people in the community felt they could deal with this, this was not something that necessarily would have to go further, and so I am not very clear at all about all the things that happened in response to the abduction in those first few days, except that I was told by Mr Aubrey Mokoena that he had gone to visit Mrs - then known as Mrs Mandela - on the 4th of January.

That he had enquired about the abduction, and thatís the first knowledge I have of somebody actually directly responding to the abduction by going to the Mandela house. He was told then by her, and this is what he told me, that the young people were not at her home.

On the 6th of January I was told that Doctor Motlana visited the house, and that this time Mrs Mandela acknowledged that the children were there, but she refused to give him access when he asked to examine them. Those are just some of the initial community responses to the abduction that I know of. Do you want me to go further into - ?

MR VALLY: Bishop, I just want to check something with you, Iím told that you have prepared a statement which you actually want to read out. Iím not sure if youíve given us a copy of this statement?

MR STOREY: No, there are some things Iíd like to say, sir, and I would ask the opportunity later to Ö[inaudible].

MR VALLY: Thatís fine, we can go through your recollection of what happened. Letís go to the 7th of January, this was the date when Kenny Kgase arrived at the Central Methodist Church. Can you briefly tell us what happened?

MR STOREY: Well, again this is - I have to emphasise - I as yet did not know about this abduction, so this is what was reported to me, but that David Ching, one of the staff members of the Central Methodist Mission telephoned Reverend Paul Verryn to say that Kenny Kgase - now Kenny Kgase had a link with the Central Methodist Mission, he was a semi-staff member there and did some work there and earned a little bit of money that way - that he had arrived in a bad physical state, and Paul apparently went to meet with him and his first question to Paul Verryn was: "Where is Stompie"? And then he told Paul that he was very traumatised and one of the things which he blurted out was: "We are being trained to kill". Paul Verryn then met with his Superintendent Minister, the Reverend Otto Mbambula, who indicated that he had been engaged with the Reverend Sizwe Mbabane in some discussions with community leaders since the 2nd of January about this issue.

Paul then took Kenny Kgase to the doctor because of his head injuries. He was x-rayed and it seemed that no serious damage was diagnosed, although he was still having trouble with his eyesight and there were other problems. Kenny was then taken to Mr Geoff Budlander, a lawyer and he made a statement, and Mr Budlander placed very strong conditions on how that statement might ever be used.

And then on Monday the 9th, I was told of the situation and began to enter into the dialogue about how we could handle it. And I first got a full report from the Reverend Paul Verryn as to what he knew and what he could tell me about Kennyís return and the report that Kenny had made. And then on the 11th of January I was called by the Reverend Frank Chikane, who said that the community was deeply concerned about what would happen, and a Crisis Committee was taking up the matter with Mrs Mandela, and would be seeing her that morning.

And he was asking that the church and the community leaders co-operate very closely in this matter. And I agreed with that. I recognised the sensitivity of it all and it was quite clear that we would need to work with and through community leaders to try and obtain the release of these youths.

MR VALLY: Bishop, let me just stop you for a minute there. The Crisis Committee and other people that you referred to earlier in the paragraph, Mr Aubrey Mokoena, Sister Bernard Ncube, Mr Sydney Mufamadi ...[intervention]

MR STOREY: I donít who the full Crisis Committee were - I know who I dealt with - and it was like a bit of a movable feast because they came and they went. Mr Chikane, for instance, was there for a time and then he had to go overseas. So he participated in negotiations and then he wasnít there any longer, but the people who were involved with me, in discussions with me and reporting to me on what they had done and what had happened when theyíd gone to see Mrs Mandela, etc. were: Mr Chikane, Reverend Beyers Naude, Sister Bernard Ncube, Mr Sydney Mufamadi, Mr Aubrey Mokoena, Mr Stuart Ngwenya. I may have left out a name or two but those were the people I dealt with, I think, most consistently over the period.

MR VALLY: Please go on..

MR STOREY: Do you wish me to go into Thursday the 12th?

MR VALLY: Yes, Iíd like you to raise the issue of the negotiations the Crisis Team had about this issue when it tried to determine what had happened to the children who had been taken from the Manse and the response of the Madikizela-Mandela household.

MR STOREY: Mr Chikane had indicated to me that the Crisis Committee was going to see Mrs Mandela on the 11th. On Thursday the 12th, he reported to me that he and Aubrey Mokoena and Sister Bernard Ncube and Sydney Mufamadi had visited Mrs Mandela on the 11th. She had told them that she was protecting these youths and that they were not abducted, they were there of their request.

Initially she agreed that they could have access to these youths immediately, but she had changed her mind and told them to come back later in the day. Mr Chikane also at that time spoke to me about serious concerns he had for Paul Verrynís safety. He said, and I quote: " The football team members are ruthless and well armed" unquote. Now the Crisis Team then returned in the afternoon of Wednesday the 11th, this time without Mr Chikane, and I think itís because he was going overseas - I seem to remember that he had a trip and had to catch a plane.

When they came in the afternoon, Zinzi Mandela, who was there in the house, indicated to them that one of the youths had quote "escaped" unquote, and they regarded that statement as being fairly significant because of the implications of the word "escaped", if you apply it to people who are there of their own free will. They chose to ignore this remark but they noted it.

When the access was granted to the youths, they noted that Pelo and Thabiso had fresh wounds on their bodies, that Katiza did not. All three youths maintained that they were there of their own free will, that they had been subjected to sexual advances by Paul Verryn.

However, one of these youths at some point - according to the report I received from Mokoena, Ncube and Mufamadi - found himself alone with them, and he broke down under questioning and admitted that they were being held against their will and that they had been told to tell the story about the sexual advances. He said, I quote: "Iím going to die anyway, so I may as well tell the truth" unquote. Now, it seems that that was Katiza.

The group then left the children there and gave no indication that any one of them had broken down, for fear of their safety. What they were really concerned about now was Stompie, knowing that if only one of the youths had quote "escaped" unquote, it must have been Kenny Kgase, so where was Stompie? Chikane said he was leaving for Europe and he indicated that he would contact Oliver Tambo and that Mr Nelson Mandela was also to be contacted and shown written statements about this abduction, which were prepared by the remaining residents of Paul Verrynís house. Those who had remained in Verrynís house, in the church house, had in fact put together a statement about what happened on the night of the abduction. Then I - Frank Chikane asked me if I could make Paul Verryn available that same afternoon of the 12th of January to meet with the Crisis Committee to answer some questions which they wanted to ask of him, related particularly, I think, to the allegations of his sexual misconduct.

MR VALLY: Bishop, if you could just move from there to page 4, go to Friday the 13th of January, please.

MR STOREY: On Friday, I met again with the Crisis Committee, and Paul Verryn was present at 8 oíclock, and they reported on their interview with the youths again and their report agreed with that of Frank Chikaneís. The Crisis Committee then did question Paul Verryn, mainly about details about of who stayed with him, for how long, etc. They said they were trying to verify certain details.

I asked him to leave, and I then questioned the Crisis Committee about any charges of sexual abuse that may have come from the youths. Their reply was that nothing substantial was said in this regard except in the case of Katiza, who referred to Paul rubbing against him. We then decided to meet again at 4 oíclock that day, and then we went to try and get legal representation. Mr Fink Haysom agreed to represent us. ...[intervention]

MR VALLY: Sorry, Bishop, I will be pushing you along in some places.

MR STOREY: By all means, sir.

MR VALLY: Could you please go on to the meeting with the Crisis Committee again.

MR STOREY: 3 oíclock that afternoon we met the Crisis Committee, and this time the issue was the issue of whether we could get a writ of habeas corpus, and Mr Haysom had advised us that this was not going to be easy because you need parents usually to do this, and who would be in loco parentis?

However, he indicated that the crucial thing was whether those members of the Crisis Committee who had seen these youths and the condition they were in, and had heard the confession of one them in Mrs Mandelaís house, would be willing to give evidence to support a writ of habeas corpus.

Thatís what I put to the members of the Crisis Committee that afternoon. They refused. Aubrey Mokoena indicated that they didnít have a mandate, and he was the one, I think, most strongly advising us that we should not proceed legally because we would lose without their evidence and that Verryn would become the scapegoat.

Now, sir, we need to get some picture - we actually were in a hostage negotiation, thatís what we were engaged in here, and we had to try and work out ways of putting pressure, sufficient to obtain the release of those young people, and not so much pressure as might tempt anyone in the house to act towards those young people as we already had begun to suspect had happened to Stompie That was the kind of balancing act that we were involved in.

MR VALLY: Bishop, just on this point, if you say you felt you were in a hostage situation with trying to negotiate the release of the youngsters without any harm coming to them, who in your perception or from your knowledge was the hostage-taker?

MR STOREY: There was no doubt in my mind by this stage already that the person we were negotiating with and dealing with was Mrs Mandela.

MR VALLY: Please go on to page 5. If you could on page 5, just deal with the first two paragraphs and then the last paragraph before Saturday the 14th of January.

MR STOREY: The Crisis Committee having refused to assist in a habeas corpus operation, left us really in great difficulty about how to proceed, but they did give the assurance - and I think this is where we thought the next step might be - that there would be a calling together of the whole community leadership in the area as soon as possible. And I interpreted that as an attempt to engage the involvement of a much wider circle of community leaders in trying to resolve the problem, and I was grateful at least for that possibility.

I also asked them to send a message to Mrs Mandela via Ismail Ayob, who was her lawyer at that time, that the safety of the children was being very carefully monitored by the church and the community - it was really a warning, it was simply an attempt to say, anything untoward - further untoward - that happens to these children, is going to be very, very carefully monitored. It was just an attempt to try and guarantee their safety.

Then you want me to go on, sir, to where?

MR VALLY: Please go on to Saturday the 14th.

MR STOREY: Saturday the 14th? Well, ...[intervention]

MR VALLY: Iím so sorry, did you cover the aspect of Mr Ayobís visit to Mrs Mandela?

MR STOREY: No.

MR VALLY: Please do that first.

MR STOREY: That evening - which is the 13th, Friday the 13th still, Mr Ayob visited Mrs Mandela and told her that he was going to see Nelson Mandela, who of course at that time was in prison. It is possible I say, that in this meeting he also conveyed a message from Oliver Tambo to release the children, because weíd been working with Mr Tambo to get such a message and we know that one did come.

Mrs Mandela repeated to Mr Ayob her allegations about Paul Verryn, and he said: "Well, if theses allegations are true, then let me take the children to Bishop Storey where they can make these accusations to Mr Verrynís Bishop". She agreed at first - according to Mr Ayob - but then she called in Xoliswa Falati, and said that Xoliswa must accompany the youths to see me. Then she changed her mind again - according to Mr Ayob - and said that I must come myself, I must come to her home on Saturday the 14th.

Now I received that message at about 10 oíclock, she wanted to see me at 11.30 on Saturday the 14th. I received that message via my lawyer, Mr Haysom, at a quarter to 10. I had a meeting immediately with Mr Haysom at his home. I wanted to contact the community leaders and my own presiding Bishop before visiting the home. I was unable to do so.

And we made a decision that I would not go, first of all because in her home the children were still virtually in detention and would not be free to tell the truth to me, and, secondly, because I had made a commitment to work with the community each step of the way and I had not been able to consult with the community about this visit to her home.

I attempted to contact her to give her this news, but I couldnít find anybody who had her telephone number at that time. Later in the day I came home and found a message from somebody, speaking for Mrs Mandela, who indicated that she had waited for me and had left. Then that evening Mr Ayob came back from a meeting with Mr Mandela in prison in the Cape, and I was told by Mr Ayob that he had come with instructions from Mr Mandela that the youths must be released that night, and he asked me to prepare accommodation for them.

And then later I got a phone call from - I think, Mr Haysom, my lawyer, to say that Mrs Mandela had refused to release them and they would not be coming out that night.

I await your guidance, sir.

MR VALLY: I think the rest is very important for you to go through factually as youíve got it down.

MR STOREY: On Sunday the 15th of January, Mr Ayob went to see Mrs Mandela and was again unsuccessful in obtaining the release of the youths. We were very, very frustrated by this time, and we were willing to try any method we could - any avenue, so that afternoon the Reverend Sizwe Mbabane and Mr John Reece and myself went to see Doctor Nthatho Motlana, who had just come back from Lusaka and had discussed this matter with ANC leadership there.

Doctor Motlana first of all said he was extremely glad I had not gone to the home the day before. He confirmed to me that when he had first visited Mrs Mandela, she had not given access to the youths, and he agreed that he would have one more attempt and try later in that day. Then a little later in the day I received a message from Mr John Reece, which had come via Mrs Albertina Sisulu who he had seen the previous evening, and the message was to the Reverend Paul Verryn that he must stay out of Soweto because his life was definitely in danger.

Doctor Motlana visited - according to him - his report to me, he visited Mrs Mandela at around 5 p.m. on that Sunday the 15th and spoke - he said - extremely strongly to her. I had to make a decision, and I would want this Commission to understand that one of the many dilemmas related to Mr Verrynís safety: on the one hand, he had been subjected to vicious allegations about his character, and I did not wish to take any steps which would give the slightest hint to the public, to the media, or to anybody else that I had any doubt about his integrity.

And so I didnít want to withdraw him from Soweto, I didnít want to take him out of that house, I wanted to leave him where he was so he could get on with his job, and it would be clear that his church had confidence in him. And at this point - having received a warning now from Mrs Sisulu, whom we respected very, very deeply - I had no option, and I ordered him out. And we took him out of Soweto and placed him on a sort of leave for the time being. Then a little later in that day I was again asked to prepare accommodation for the youths because they were coming out. That was a phone call from Fink Haysom. Then in the evening Xoliswa, Jerry Richardson, and three youths were in fact brought to Ismail Ayob. Ayob was told that before they could be handed over, there were certain matters to discuss and conditions.

He replied that his instructions were that they must be released unconditionally, and there was a fierce disagreement apparently, and they left with the children still in their custody. On Monday the 16th of January, sometime in the morning, they were handed to Doctor Motlana and they wanted to go to the mission house, but he refused.

He then - through Mr John Reece at 3.30 in the afternoon, I got a call that Doctor Motlana was taking the youths to the offices of Krish Naidoo in Johannesburg. He said:quote: "There are four of them and one seems high on drugs" unquote. I then spent a little while getting hold of two community leaders because I wanted credible community leaders to be present when these youths were handed over.

And Stuart Ngwenya and Maths Ramagope arrived. Then I went to Krish Naidooís office and I found four people. There was Gabriel Mekgwe (Pelo), there was Thabiso Mono, there was Katiza Cebekhulu, and then there was an older man of about, in my judgement, 30 who gave me his name as Manwa Maseko. He was later identified by the youths, once they were out of earshot of him, as Jerry Richardson, so I realised that he must be some form of escort and not one of the youths themselves.

There was a long discussion in the office. Mr Krish Naidoo indicated that these kids just want to lay allegations about Paul Verryn. And I replied that I would certainly listen to any allegations very, very carefully, but that I would also be having questions I would want to ask them about the circumstances of how they left the mission house, and who did it and why.

Then Mr Naidoo indicated they wanted to get clothes at the mission house, and I indicated that that could happen. Somebody could fetch the clothes for them. I then in the meantime had heard that this promised community meeting at last was taking place that night at a secret venue, and it seemed to me fortuitous that these events had coincided. And I indicated to the youths that this meeting was about to take place that evening, and that it was to address the whole issue of how they had left the mission house and why, and whether there were true allegations against Reverend Verryn, and all the other things surrounding this crisis, and, therefore, would they be willing to come to that meeting?

Two of them that is, Pelo and Thabiso agreed, they said theyíd be happy to go to the meeting but Katiza - who I think is the one that earlier Dr Motlana had suggested might be high on drugs, was extremely upset throughout the time that we were in that room together. He couldnít sit still, he was very emotional, he was talking to himself quite a lot, and he refused the invitation to go to the meeting, and said he would not return to Soweto because he was afraid.

Krish Naidoo then offered to look after Katiza and said: "Can I take you into my care", and he agreed to that. So at about 5.15 after a fairly tense hour or so in that office, I left with Gabriel (Pelo) and Thabiso, and we walked a block or so up to the Central Methodist Mission where the two civic leaders were waiting. The man who later I discovered was Jerry Richardson followed us and then peeled off and went his way. And it was clear that, when he had finally left the scene, there was a little bit more relaxation on the part of these two.

In the meantime I had instructed Reverend Paul Verryn that he was not to communicate in any way with the released youths until after the community meeting had had a chance to question them. So we got them some food, and then I drove them - and it was one of those things that happened in those days, you went to one place and they told you another place and you went to another place and they told you another place, and we finally ended up at the Catholic Hall in Dobsonville.

In the car the two of them volunteered the following information: they never wanted to go back to the Mandela house, that they were badly beaten and the phrase that sticks with me is the phrase: "Our eyes could not see for a week". They were worried about Stompie, and they had been told to accuse Paul Verryn or be killed. They were also assaulted by Mrs Mandela herself and their companion earlier they revealed to me was Jerry, who they said is the worst of them all.

Then we got to the meeting, which finally started at about 7.30 in Dobsonville. There were some significant church persons there, Father Lafont, a Catholic priest, Reverend Mbande of the Church of the Province, Reverend Bangula, a Methodist Minister, Mr Verryn was present, as was I. There were about 150 people there representing every civic movement and trade union around at the time.

And there were also some people who had been invited to come from Temahole, where Stompie originated from, and from Ikageng, where I think Thabiso and Pelo came from - their civics were represented - and the Crisis Committee was there. There were also present at that meeting, 9 or 10 young people who had lived in the mission house at Orlando West and had not been abducted.

The meeting was opened in prayer, and Mr Bangula then spoke on behalf of the Methodist Church and its concern, and how the church was concerned and involved in this situation. I want to say if I may - just to put a little context to this - I was profoundly impressed by the atmosphere in this meeting. I didnít know what to expect and some community meetings can be very emotional. There was a sombreness about this meeting, there was a gravitas about it, and one had the sense that the people present knew they were dealing with a profoundly hurtful, painful situation, and they conducted themselves - seeing that it was a kind of enquiry not unlike this one - they conducted themselves, I think, with immense dignity and concern to discover the truth.

First of all, the residents of the mission house had a statement which they had all signed, and somebody by the name of Celo read that statement and gave an indication of how the abduction had taken place, who had come, who had been abducted - he himself had been apparently taken and then put back on the grounds that he was quote: "politically reliable" unquote. He felt that heíd had a narrow escape.

And then Pelo and Thabiso were asked to tell their stories, and in summary what they said was, they had been abducted against their will, theyíd been taken to Mrs Mandelaís house, they had been beaten first by her, then by other members of the football team. While they were giving evidence, Krish Naidoo arrived with Katiza, accompanied by a member of the football team, and I have never seen such terror on peopleís faces. If the football team knew where this meeting was taking place, should the meeting continue at all or were we all in fact in danger because they were heavily armed?

And there was a debate for a while about whether the meeting could take place or continue but it was finally decided to continue but Mr Naidoo was ... [Tape ends]