CHAIRPERSON: I am sorry about this, normally it happens before, but we have been asked to vacate the room because the police are coming to sweep through.

Let us stand, let us observe a moment's silence please.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much Dr Khoza Mgojo.

MR RICHARDS: Mr Chairman, I am sorry to interject at this stage, but my client has asked me to make a brief mention of various press reports over the weekend, to the effect that he is a self-confessed police informer. I think those ... (intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Order please, can you settle. Can you please settle, thank you very much.

MR RICHARDS: Thank you Chairperson, may I try again. CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. I welcome you all to this the sixth day of this hearing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I want to apologise that we didn't start on time. In part it was that this place had not been swept through with police dogs. I trust you had a reasonable weekend and I would want to revert to the parameters that I gave the last time that we give 15 minutes to the lawyer who is leading a witness and then 15 to you Hanif and 15 to you Mr Semenya.

Again of course we will tend - I will be guided and be flexible and then five minutes for - and don't look at me so appealingly, it will have to be five minutes because we have to finish this hearing by Wednesday.

Mr Richard?

MR RICHARDS: Thank you Chairperson. My client has asked me to make a brief comment on certain press reports that appeared over the weekend. These were to the effect that he is a self-confessed informer. As the record now stands, there is no such evidence and I must ask the press to be careful in what they report because these things do have consequences and misreporting can put people, such as Mr Richardson in considerable danger in prison. And I would ask for accuracy to be respected, thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: You have already given your ruling, I don't know what you are asking me to do, because I thought I am the one who has now to say, but I was going to say exactly what you have said. Yes, I think that we should, the media have I think on the whole been responsible and one has a very high regard for them, but I would want to urge that we don't go over the top and exercise as much restraint and certainly there can't be any compromising on accuracy. Please those of you who have maybe erred a bit will note that.

Then I before I call the next witness, may I just point out that in the interpreter in the headset, channel 2 is English, channel 3 is Zulu and channel 4 is Sotho. Dr Boraine?

DR BORAINE: Chairperson, you have given me the permission to make a short statement which has nothing to do with this particular hearing, but which impacts upon the life and work of the Commission and with your permission, I would like to make the following statement.

The Amnesty process which is taking place in South Africa was borne in controversy, there were those who urged that there should be no amnesty whatsoever, and on the other hand there were many who demanded that there should be a general amnesty without any hearings or any applications whatsoever.

Parliament in its wisdom decided that there would be a limited amnesty, but that applications would have to be made and would have to be either dealt with administratively or heard in public, depending on the nature of the offence.

Amnesty was granted to Trevor Tutu on Friday of last week and many of the criticisms directed by especially political parties, and organisations, of the Amnesty Committee's decision, are I believe misdirected and based on remarkable ignorance of the amnesty process.

I want to distinguish Mr Chairperson, between division, disagreement on an amnesty decision which is fair game, the public have every right to express their views about whether someone has been given amnesty or someone hasn't been given amnesty, and we've had that. We will continue to have that.

But where the Commission takes the strongest exception is with those who have dared to suggest that the Chairperson of this Commission interfered with or influenced the amnesty process in any way.

I need hardly add that Archbishop Tutu in the view of the Commission, and I would suggest the vast majority of people in South Africa, is a man of absolute integrity and would never resort to seeking special treatment for his son's application.

I want to underline that it was the political parties in Parliament who decided that the Amnesty Committee would be autonomous, which means that we as a Commission have no decision and no involvement in any of the applications that are made.

As far as Trevor Tutu's application was concerned, neither the Chairperson or any other of us on the Commission, ever saw that application. It goes directly to the Amnesty Committee.

Those political parties and organisations and individuals who even suggest that Archbishop Tutu influenced that decision, I believe owe a public apology to the Chairperson and to the Commission and I hope very much that those apologies will be forthcoming today.

I want to conclude by saying that it is perfectly understandable if people wish to debate the merits or otherwise of any application, that is their right, but any suggestion that either the Chairperson or any of the Commissioners had any influence over that particular application, is simply untrue and should be desisted from being stated immediately, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. I now call Dr Asvat. Good morning Dr Asvat, thank you very much for coming here and thank you for you patience in having to sit through a very long process and I do want again, on behalf of this Commission, to express our very deep and heartfelt sympathies with you and your family over the events about which you are coming to testify.

Your brother is well known for the contribution that he made in caring for the least of God's people and for that he will always be held in very high regard. But we know that in addition to the anguish of having lost a member of your family, there has been the pain and anguish that has arisen from all the mystery surrounding what actually did take place and we hope that you and your family will at the end of all of this, assist our country in the process of healing, the process of forgiveness and the process of reconciliation. Thank you very much. I presume you are going to be speaking in English?

DR ASVAT: Yes, that is right.

CHAIRPERSON: I will ask Yasmin Sooka.

EBRAHIM ASVAT: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Kades?

MR KADES: Dr Asvat, before embarking on the statement that has been prepared concerning the factual basis of the submission which you will make to the Commission, you have yourself prepared a statement, a brief statement, which ... (intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Excuse me, I am so sorry to interrupt you, we have been asked because of radio, that each time a person speaks, could you identify who you are?

MR KADES: I am sorry, this is Norman Kades, appearing on behalf of the Asvat family.


MR KADES: Thank you Mr Chairman. Dr Asvat, before leading you on the factual information which has brought you before this Commission, I understand that you have prepared a brief statement. Yourself prepared it on behalf of the family which you wish to read to this Commission, would you please proceed?

DR ASVAT: Mr Chairperson, before I begin, may I have your permission to make a brief statement on behalf of the family of the late Dr Abu-Baker Asvat.


DR ASVAT: Thank you sir. My family would like to place on record the following: We have full trust and confidence in this Commission and fully support this initiative.

We love our country and all our people and sincerely believe in the future of our country. We would like to categorically state we have no political axes to grind with any individual nor with any political party.

We are here neither to seek retribution nor to judge, for that we have your very eminent selves. As difficult as this task is before this Commission, and as imperfect as this forum is, we fully trust in this Commission and in its ability to discharge it duties honestly and fairly and with compassion.

We seek and pray that the truth surrounding the tragic death of Abu-Baker may finally emerge, so that we as a family may finally close the book on this very painful and sad chapter in the history of our family.

We have over the past nearly nine years, have borne this deeply painful and devastating and recurring allegations directed at Mrs Madikizela-Mandela. We need, and Mrs Madikizela-Mandela needs these allegations to be put to rest, finally.

This is still the only forum that can within its limitations, provide us with some of the answers we so desperately need and to provide these answers as honestly and as sensitively as possible.

In conclusion, we the family of the late Dr Abu-Baker Asvat, pray that God grants the Archbishop good health, strength and long life so that he may discharge his final public service to our nation, with great dignity and compassion, we salute you, we will miss you, sir. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Mr Kades?

MR KADES: Dr Asvat, you have also prepared a written submission which I would ask you to read subject to elaboration of certain aspects which have to some extent been already dealt with by this Commission in evidence already led here, and with regard to evidence to be led. May I refer you to your submission and may I ask you please to read it and I will lead you on certain aspects of the statement, would you proceed please.

DR ASVAT: The assassination of Dr Abu-Baker Asvat on the 20th January 1989, in Soweto, Johannesburg.

MR KADES: 27th of January?

DR ASVAT: 27th of January 1989, in Soweto, Johannesburg by two armed men claiming the motive as armed robbery has never been accepted by the family or the South African public.

MR KADES: Would you just elaborate on that Dr Asvat, with regard to the allegation of robbery and the finding by the court that robbery was the motive. What did you find immediately after the robbery with regard to money in the possession of your late brother and in his surgery?

DR ASVAT: Yes, we found the full amount still in his consulting rooms, in his drawers and in his pockets. There didn't appear to be any particular amount of money taken from there.

MR KADES: The notes, did you find notes in his wallet in his back pocket?

DR ASVAT: That is right.

MR KADES: Approximately how much, R160-00?

DR ASVAT: About R150-00, R160-00.

.MR KADES: And with regard to silver, did you find that too?

DR ASVAT: Yes, the silver was still in the drawers, and the total value was about R350-00.

MR KADES: And that had not been touched by the persons who had allegedly murdered him?

DR ASVAT: That had not been touched, that is correct.

MR KADES: And he also apart from the silver and the notes that were left in his possession, did he also have a gun strapped to his leg?

DR ASVAT: Yes, he did.

MR KADES: And that had not been touched?

DR ASVAT: That had not been taken.

MR KADES: Yes, carry on please?

DR ASVAT: Allegations have appeared in the local and international media repeatedly, claiming that assassination was a conspiracy. The South African Police either failed to investigate the matter fully or were incompetent or as some reports have suggested, that there was a serious cover up by the South African Police, the previous Nationalist government and the ANC.

The letter in view of the smuggling out of the country of Katiza Cebekhulu, a key witness and co-accused in the Stompie Seipei Moketsi kidnapping and murder trial, to a prison in Zambia by ANC cadres and also the deafening silence from members of the Crisis Committee who investigated the matter and made detailed reports to the ANC in Lusaka in January and February of 1989.

MR KADES: Yes, we know that the Crisis Committee existed at the time of the murder of your late brother. Did the Crisis Committee ever immediately after the murder approach the family, discussed matters with the family?

DR ASVAT: No, they didn't.

MR KADES: Carry on please.

DR ASVAT: Allegations implicating Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela have resurfaced again and key individuals involved in the murder of Dr Abu-Baker Asvat have made startling allegations as reported in the Mail and Guardian of the 5th of September 1997.

The headline is "I was hired to kill Dr Asvat - convicted murderer Thulani Nicholas Dlamini (indistinct)"

MR KADES: Can I just stop you Dr Asvat there and refer you to what happened at the trial, at the conclusion of the trial of Thulani Dlamini and the other accused, Mbatha who were both convicted of your later brother's murder.

We know that there was a statement made by Dlamini immediately subsequent to his arrest mentioning that the amount of R20 000-00 was due to come to him upon his successful completion of the task of murdering your late brother?

DR ASVAT: That is correct. The Prosecutor at that time at the end of the trial, called myself and our lawyer to the table and showed us a statement by Dlamini stating that he had been offered R20 000-00 to murder my brother. And this R20 000-00 had come from Mrs Madikizela-Mandela.

MR KADES: And did the Prosecutor inform you as to why he had not used the statement during the trial of Dlamini?

DR ASVAT: Yes, he said the Police investigation, the Police didn't want him to pursue that particular line with regard to my brother's death.

MR KADES: Now, when he handed you that statement, did he also give it to you for what he considered to be some purpose that might occur in the future, what did he say?

DR ASVAT: Yes, he said that this particular statement may become helpful some time in the future.

MR KADES: Yes. Now, would you go then to paragraph 2 of your statement please.

DR ASVAT: Katiza Cebekhulu in the BBC documentary Winnie Mandela and the Missing Witness, and as reported in Fred Bridgeland's book, Katiza's journey beneath the surface of South Africa's shame, published on the 11th of September 1997, claims he was instructed to show Thulani Nicholas Dlamini and Cyril Mbatha, both convicted for assassinating Dr Abu-Baker Asvat, the location of his surgery.

This is corroborated by Thulani Nicholas Dlamini as reported in the Mail and Guardian of the 5th of September 1997, page 3 that Katiza Cebekhulu showed them the location of the surgery prior to Dr Asvat's assassination.

The presence of football coach Jerry Richardson at Dr Abu-Baker Asvat's surgery on the evening before and on the day of his assassination, supposedly for some vague (indistinct) complaints, patient record card 9 - police murder docket.

MR KADES: Now, we know from the - is it so that we know from that card, from the patient's card that Jerry Richardson called at the surgery of your late brother on the 26th of January with what you say is this vague complaint and your brother having made in red ink, something that is not found on any of the other patient's card, "send by Winnie?"

DR ASVAT: That is correct sir. He had written it on top of the card in red - the statement sent by Winnie.

MR KADES: And also Dr Asvat the fact that Jerry Richardson had returned to the surgery some time on the 27th - a matter of hours probably before the murder?

DR ASVAT: I didn't follow that?

MR KADES: Sorry, also the fact that the patient's card shows that Jerry Richardson had returned to the surgery on the day of the murder, probably within an hour or two of the murder, before the murder took place?

DR ASVAT: That is correct, that is recorded on the patient's record.

MR KADES: Yes, do carry on please.

DR ASVAT: Between 2 pm and 4 pm on Friday, 27th January, hours before his assassination, Dr Abu-Baker Asvat is allegedly visited at his surgery by Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Katiza Cebekhulu, allegedly a volcanic row ensues and Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela is understood to have demanded a medical certificate confirming the sodomisation of Cebekhulu.

Mrs Albertina Sisulu is present in her office at Dr Asvat's surgery during the volcanic row with Katiza Cebekhulu in the waiting room. Mrs Albertina Sisulu needs to explain exactly as to what transpired between Mrs Madikizela-Mandela and Dr Abu-Baker Asvat at the consulting rooms on that particular day.

MR KADES: Yes, now Mrs Albertina Sisulu was called as a witness at the trial of Dlamini and Mbatha, the two convicted murderers, is that so?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR KADES: Did she ever (indistinct) to this, was she ever led on this aspect of the matter?

DR ASVAT: Not at all.

MR KADES: Yes, carry on.

DR ASVAT: Stompie Moketsi was seen by Dr Asvat after a brutal assault on the 29th of December 1988 and this is from Katiza's journey. Along with the other kidnapped boys, Katiza Cebekhulu was examined by Dr Abu-Baker Asvat on the 30th or the 31st of December of 1988, as recorded on his medical record card, and double entry patient registration logbook, now in Police possession.

Suggestion of Police cover up. It is alleged in the Mail and Guardian, page 3 of the 5th of September 1997, that senior Superintendent H.D. Moodley Investigating Officer of Dr Abu-Baker Asvat's assassination, visits T.N. Dlamini at Westville Prison, Durban as late as June 1997 although the investigation on Dr Abu-Baker Asvat's murder was closed down in 1995.

Dlamini states senior Superintendent H.D. Moodley claimed to represent the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and allegedly takes Dlamini's amnesty application. Truth and Reconciliation Commission denies amnesty application received by it.

Senior Superintendent H.D. Moodley strongly defended by Commissioner Fivas recently, is reported in the Sunday Tribune of the 21st of September 1997, that senior Superintendent H.D. Moodley was convicted of fraud in 1984 for attempting to falsify a blood test for his co-accused, who was trying to escape paying maintenance for his child.

Also senior Superintendent H.D. Moodley, a former Durban Security Policeman, accused hit squad Commander Dirk Coetzee of claiming to have been tasked by National Intelligence Agency to spy on Commissioner Fivas and other top police figures.

It is also reported in the same article that senior Superintendent H.D. Moodley was subjected to a lie detector test by the Parliamentary Intelligence oversight committee.

It is stated that senior Superintendent H.D. Moodley failed on virtually every count. Superintendent Moodley denies failing the lie test.

MR KADES: We have already heard from Minister Sydney Mufamadi that he instructed, at your instance that the investigations relating to the death of your late brother, be reopened some time in 1995, is that correct?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR KADES: Do you know who was tasked with the further investigation after it had been reopened?

DR ASVAT: Well, it was both Henk Hesslinga and Superintendent Moodley.

MR KADES: Had Henk Hesslinga, the policeman Henk Hesslinga, had he been also one of the previous policemen in the investigation of the death of your brother?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR KADES: So the same two people, both - do you know what Mr Hesslinga's background is in regard to his police service?

DR ASVAT: Well, I do know that Colonel Henk Hesslinga at one time told us that he was also a member of Koevoet.

MR KADES: And is it all these facts and what you have heard over the years, that have caused you to come to this Commission on behalf of the family and to hear and to make further investigations concerning this matter?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR KADES: Thank you Mr Commissioner.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Hanif? You did it in 15 minutes.

MR KADES: Yes, I take your constriction rather seriously.

CHAIRPERSON: Hanif, 15 minutes, show them that you are even nicer.

MR VALLY: Thank you Archbishop. Dr Asvat, I first want to ask you about the medical record which indicated that on the 30th of September 1998, Mrs Albertina Sisulu made an entry regarding ... (intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Just get your dates properly, what year?

MR VALLY: I am so sorry, I am reading verbatim, but it is clearly it should have been 1988. Under your heading under chronology of events, on the 29th of December 1988, the last sentence or let's start with the last paragraph.

Mrs Madikizela-Mandela claims she and Falati took Cebekhulu to Dr Abu-Baker Asvat's surgery on the 29th of December and it should be 1988 as opposed to what it says there?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR VALLY: And that she left for Brandfort on the evening of the 29th, returning on the 31st. Medical records show that she took Cebekhulu for surgery the following day, the 30th of December 1988. Did you see this medical record yourself?

DR ASVAT: Yes, I have seen the medical record myself.

MR VALLY: Did you recognise Dr Asvat's - I am sorry, do you have that, Archbishop?

CHAIRPERSON: It seems as if you keep saying September, you don't say December?

MR VALLY: No, I am saying December.

CHAIRPERSON: You said September.

MR VALLY: I am so sorry, something is wrong today.

CHAIRPERSON: It is Monday and I understand. I mean blue Monday and all that.

MR VALLY: I will finish my mint Archbishop.


MR VALLY: All right. We are dealing with the chronology of events leading to the assassination of Dr Abu-Baker Asvat which is annexed to your statement.

We are looking at the second paragraph where you start off medical records show that she took Cebekhulu to the surgery the following day, 30th of December and it should be 1988.

Dr Asvat's nursing sister and assistant Mrs Albertina Sisulu, was present when Cebekhulu was brought to the surgery. Mrs Sisulu's handwriting appears on the medical card recording patient details, including date stamp.

Do you confirm that you have personally seen this?

DR ASVAT: Yes, I have personally seen that medical record.

MR VALLY: Do you recognise your deceased brother's handwriting?

DR ASVAT: Yes, I do.

MR VALLY: Can you briefly recall what he had written on regarding the patient Cebekhulu?

DR ASVAT: Well, may I just have a look at it, I don't have it with me here. The top section refers to the patient and his details, as to where he lives, what his name was, any allergies and the card number and his occupation.

And that is in the handwriting of Mrs Albertina Sisulu. The date stamp is then attached, which says 1988-12-80, it says mentally confused, occasionally cries, occasionally hysterical, insomnia. My brother then treats him. There is no further notes attached to that about the examination except that the treatment given was lethal, which is (indistinct), a sedative, hypnotic, to be taken one at night and he was given 10 of those, he was given some Panado tablets and multivitamins. He was not charged. The n/c stands for no charge. And the details about the medical history is written in my brother's handwriting.

MR VALLY: Thank you Dr Asvat. You discovered this and you forwarded this to the Police?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR VALLY: Now, I will come back to that aspect. I want to go on to the 30th of December 1988, your next entry where you made the comment that Cebekhulu claims that Mrs Madikizela-Mandela tried to put pressure on Dr Asvat to note physical signs of abuse in respect of Cebekhulu, Dr Asvat refuses. What is your source for that?

DR ASVAT: It is again from Cebekhulu's book, Katiza's journey.

MR VALLY: Let's go on to the 31st of December 1988. What is your basis for saying that Dr Asvat visited Mrs Madikizela-Mandela and examined Mr Stompie Moketsi?

DR ASVAT: These are from press reports which appeared in the paper during that period.

MR VALLY: Can you source it, specifically which press reports?

DR ASVAT: I think it was the Sunday Star which carried that particular information.

MR VALLY: Does your Attorney have a copy thereof, your counsel, I beg your pardon?

MR KADES: Please repeat that?

MR VALLY: Do you have a copy of the medical reports which mention Dr Asvat examining Mr Moketsi, Stompie Moketsi?

MR KADES: No, we have not been able to find such records, if they in fact ever existed.

MR VALLY: I believe Mrs Madikizela-Mandela denies this, but I am sure her counsel will take this up. I want to move on in terms of your chronology to the 11th of January, your next page. It says the second sentence around this time Mono and the other boys see Dr Asvat in Mrs Mandela's home. Thus far the evidence that we have had from I believe it is Mr Mekgwe and Mr Mono, has been that they were not seen by Dr Asvat. Do you have any alternative proof of this?

DR ASVAT: No, I don't.

MR VALLY: On the 14th of January 1989, you talk about the visit by the Mandela Crisis Committee at Dr Asvat's surgery at 6 pm? They discussed the Stompie case, they also discussed allegations that other boys had been abused and according to Minister Sydney Mufamadi, Dr Asvat says he didn't examine them.

The meeting purportedly lasted one minute and the Crisis Committee members leave immediately. What is your basis for this statement?

DR ASVAT: This is a personal communication from Minister Sydney Mufamadi.

MR VALLY: Do you know if Minister Sydney Mufamadi informed you that your brother had in fact informed him that Katiza Cebekhulu had been brought there by Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela?


MR VALLY: That Jerry Richardson had been there the day before and on the day of his murder?


MR VALLY: This would have been way before that, I beg your pardon, that is my fault.

I want to move on to page 6 of your chronology. On the 26th of January 1989, This is the day before your brother's murder and you found a medical record therein, do you have a copy of that medical record handy? Can you please tell us what that says?

DR ASVAT: Well, the patient information the top part of the medical record card, is written in my brother's handwriting.

MR VALLY: Let's just stop there. Normally this would be in Mrs Sisulu's handwriting?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR VALLY: So what does it indicate to you if it was in your brother's handwriting?

DR ASVAT: It indicates that Jerry Richardson had probably visited my brother some time after five o'clock and after Mrs Albertina Sisulu had left the consulting rooms, that is why all these details are in his handwriting. He didn't do the weight or urine test on that particular evening which on the card it shows it was done the following day by Mrs Sisulu, her handwriting appears there.

MR VALLY: So you have both your brother's handwriting for the 26th of January with the patient details, and then you have Mrs Sisulu's handwriting on the 27th of January?

DR ASVAT: That is correct. Also on top of the card, just below the J3336 is written "sent by Winnie", and this was written in red.

MR VALLY: To your knowledge was this unusual?

DR ASVAT: Yes, it is very unusual having perused so many of his record cards, not one of them had any such details listed there whether the person had been referred by anybody else.

MR VALLY: Can you speculate as to why that was?

DR ASVAT: Well, I don't know, I can't speculate on that.

MR VALLY: Let's move on. Let's go on to the 27th of January 1989. Three quarter way through the first paragraph, there is reference to a volcanic row and is your source also Katiza's book there?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR VALLY: Do you have any independent verification hereof?

DR ASVAT: No sir.

MR VALLY: This was on the same day that your brother was killed?

DR ASVAT: That is correct. I do remember hearing Ms Xoliswa Falati's mentioning something about a row when she went the following day after my brother had been murdered.

MR VALLY: Mentioning a row to whom?

DR ASVAT: She mentioned it here at the Commission, that (indistinct) told her that there was a row.

MR VALLY: Thank you. Now let's go to your brother's funeral, this was on the 28th of January 1989?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR VALLY: Did Mrs Madikizela-Mandela attend this funeral together with members of her football team, accompanied by Mr Jerry Richardson and with Mr John Morgan as being the driver?

DR ASVAT: I am not aware of who was there on that particular day when the funeral was held, but I do remember as we drove past, I saw Mrs Madikizela-Mandela standing outside the cemetery and the football club uniform people going into the graveyard itself.

MR VALLY: Do you know which vehicle they arrived in?

DR ASVAT: No, I have no idea.

MR VALLY: Let's move on to the day after the funeral. There was a report in the Sunday Times in which Mrs Madikizela-Mandela is quoted as saying that Dr Asvat's death was a political assassination because he was the only person able to corroborate her story that the boys had been sexually assaulted. Are you aware of this report?

DR ASVAT: I am aware of that.

MR VALLY: Did you personally read it?

DR ASVAT: Yes, I personally read that.

MR VALLY: Did you ever ask Mrs Madikizela-Mandela about this?

DR ASVAT: No, we didn't get the opportunity at the time to ask her.

MR VALLY: Did she ever call you or the family and explained to you what this was about?

DR ASVAT: No, all I remember was Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela phoning on the night of my brother's murder enquiring as to what had happened and who had done this evil deed. I replied I didn't know who it was and that she said she will come and pay her respects a little later at night.

MR VALLY: Mrs Madikizela-Mandela states that she did not make this statement to the reporter. This is what she told us in our Section 29 enquiry. I need to ask you after this report appeared in the press, did Mrs Madikizela-Mandela contact the family and say this report is false and I did not make the statements?

DR ASVAT: No, Mrs Mandela didn't do that after the report appeared, but she did about two or three weeks thereafter phoned my sister-in-law Zora, asking her why are we accusing her of my brother's murder.

MR VALLY: And what was the basis for her allegation?

DR ASVAT: I don't know.

MR VALLY: Did your family make any statements in the press about this issue?

DR ASVAT: No, not at all.

MR VALLY: So were you people surprised at this?

DR ASVAT: We were very, very surprised as to why she had phoned my sister-in-law making that claim that we are accusing Mrs Winnie Mandela of having a hand in the murder of my brother.

MR VALLY: Was Mrs Madikizela-Mandela a guest at times, a dinner guest or visitor to your deceased brother's house?

DR ASVAT: Yes, on a regular basis I understand, on Friday evening ... (tape ends)

MR VALLY: ... go visit your deceased brother's widow?

DR ASVAT: No, after the day of the murder, that is the last time Mrs Mandela ever came to our home.

MR VALLY: After the funeral did she come to the home?

DR ASVAT: No, she didn't come.

MR VALLY: I want to point out one thing to you on page 9, 10th of February 1991, Mr Mekgwe, you say Mekgwe is abducted from Methodist manse. Mr Mekgwe did give evidence before us and he now says that he left and did not appear at the trial of his own accord. Did you hear that evidence?

DR ASVAT: Yes, I heard that.

MR VALLY: If you go onto page 10, now you talk about April 1995 investigation into the murder of Dr Abu-Baker Asvat is reopened, two months later the investigation is closed down as the police claim no further, new evidence has been uncovered and they are unable to proceed further.

Before dealing with that entry, in terms of the records we have from you and our discussion with you, you came across the medical records for Jerry Richardson and Katiza Cebekhulu whilst you were clearing your brother's surgery of his official records?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR VALLY: Did you then send a memo to the police referring to these medical records and asking them to investigate this matter?

DR ASVAT: Well, we had given, as soon as I got these records I gave them to the investigating officers of that time.

MR VALLY: And who were they?

DR ASVAT: Colonel Henk Hesslinga, he was Colonel at that time and Major Moodley.

MR VALLY: Now, there was reference to a request apparently that the Richardson angle be investigated by the State Advocate, are you aware of that?

DR ASVAT: No, I am not.

MR VALLY: Let's go on to April 1995. You talk about the investigation being reopened. When the investigation was reopened, do you know why it was reopened?

DR ASVAT: Yes, at that time there was again these allegations appearing in the media and there were serious allegations and we approached Minister Sydney Mufamadi that the matter should be reinvestigated at that time.

MR VALLY: And who was assigned to reinvestigate this matter?

DR ASVAT: It was Henk Hesslinga and senior Superintendent Moodley.

MR VALLY: The same persons again?

DR ASVAT: The same people.

MR VALLY: I believe shortly after your brother's death, and tell me if you can remember this and what you can remember about it, there was a statement issued by the police to the effect that this murder was not political, do you recall this?

DR ASVAT: Yes, I recall it very clearly. It was I think on the 31st of January of 1989, I think it was in the newspaper The Star, where there is a statement by the police that robbery was the motive for my brother's death.

MR VALLY: So, you said the statement was made by Colonel Hesslinga?

DR ASVAT: No, I don't think it was Colonel Hesslinga I think it was some police officer called Heartwell.

MR VALLY: Heartwell? So this was four days after your brother's death a statement was issued by the police stating it was robbery?

DR ASVAT: That is correct and by that time the money had not even been counted when they made this statement. In fact, may I just add, that the Saturday night after the burial of my brother, two police officers I can't remember the names, came to the home to have a discussion with us and stated that they knew who the two murderers were, they were two Zulu young men and they had enough information about them, and this is also the time they informed us that robbery was the motive.

MR VALLY: Did you query this with them?

DR ASVAT: I queried it later with Colonel Henk Hesslinga and Moodley.

MR VALLY: Was this after you found the medical records?


MR VALLY: Now, my last question relates to Mrs Albertina Sisulu. Did you ever discuss with her the whole issue of your brother's murder, whether she had any view or any suspicion regarding the matter?

DR ASVAT: Yes, I did discuss with Mrs Sisulu, but she apparently didn't know very much about what the reasons were.

MR VALLY: Thank you Dr Asvat.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Mr Semenya?

MR SEMENYA: Chairperson, thank you. Dr, your evidence in the main uses secondary sources as the basis of your information, am I correct?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR SEMENYA: You do not have an independent verification of the data that you allude to here, is that right?

DR ASVAT: No, I don't have except the fact of that statement made by Dlamini in court.

MR SEMENYA: Now, Dr, let me solicit your assistance here and I am trying to test a particular theory that begins to emerge in particular from the book by Bridgeland.

If the story of sodomy was a conspiracy between Cebekhulu and Mrs Mandela, that it had no basis in fact at all, would it not be irrational Dr, that Mrs Mandela would then take Cebekhulu to a Dr to verify that the boy was sodomised?

DR ASVAT: She would take Cebekhulu to be certified that he had been sodomised.

MR SEMENYA: What I mean is if both of them had conspired to lie about it, and they know it didn't happen, it is irrational to take the type of person to a Dr for a medical validation, is that right?

DR ASVAT: Yes, that is right.

MR SEMENYA: That would be irrational, right?

DR ASVAT: It would be irrational.

MR SEMENYA: Okay, now even if one looks at the other theory that begins to want to offer itself as an explanation, if the facts are correct that Bishop Verryn left for holiday on the 22nd of December, it is still irrational of Cebekhulu to complain of sexual assault around the 28th, wouldn't you say?

DR ASVAT: Yes, definitely.

MR SEMENYA: It would be six days away from the date on which it would probably have occurred according to his version?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR SEMENYA: So even those two theories have improbabilities in them, wouldn't you say?

DR ASVAT: That is right.

MR SEMENYA: I have no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Any questions along there.

MRPETER SOLLER: Dr Asvat, Peter Soller on behalf of Mr Mbatha. I gather Dr Asvat, that you found the greatest reluctance if I may put it that way, on the part of the police, both pre-1995 and post-1995 to assist you?

DR ASVAT: Well, I wouldn't say they didn't want to assist, they carried out an investigation, however, we believe that the investigation was incomplete.

MR SOLLER: Can you indicate to the learned Commissioner and his panel, the basis for such belief?

DR ASVAT: Well, first of all Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has never been questioned about my brother's murder.

MR SOLLER: Do you know that as a fact?

DR ASVAT: Yes. We have never, none of the officers have ever told us that they had questioned Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela about this matter.

MR SOLLER: Anything else?

DR ASVAT: Basically it is very limited in the sense that they didn't investigate and they didn't present Dlamini's statement to the court as well. You know where he makes the claim that R20 000-00 was offered by Mrs Mandela to commit the murder.

MR SOLLER: Did you ever receive a satisfactory explanation as to why Mr Dlamini's statement was withheld from the court?

DR ASVAT: Well, all they said was that they didn't have enough evidence and they couldn't follow this up further. They were very vague as to why they didn't pursue this matter further.

MR SOLLER: Any other incidents which you can recount as to their failure to undertake their investigation properly?

DR ASVAT: Well, they haven't asked Mrs Albertina Sisulu as well, if she had any further knowledge as regard to my brother's murder. And that is about it, I can't add more to that.

MR SOLLER: What you are saying, can I say is the astonishing fact that the prime information providers have not even been consulted by the authorities?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR SOLLER: As it pleases you, thank you Mr Commissioner.


MR MILLER: Chairperson, Mike Miller for Thulani Dlamini. Dr Asvat, I would just like to ask you just a few questions. Firstly you say that well one of the, let me put it this way, one of the crimes for which my client was convicted, was robbery of I think R145-00 from your late brother's surgery, is that correct?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR MILLER: Now you say that you have investigated this yourself, and you found no money to be missing?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR MILLER: Did you do a thorough search, I mean did you ... (intervention)

DR ASVAT: Yes, we did a reconciliation with the number of patients he had seen on that particular day and the float which was present, and they tallied practically equally.

MR MILLER: So did you reconcile his books?

DR ASVAT: We reconciled his books at the time, for that day.

MR MILLER: Possibly it may be that your late brother had had certain cash on him, pocket money?

DR ASVAT: That is a possibility, but there was enough money, he never carried a lot of money around with him. If it was, it was R20-00 or R30-00 in his pocket. There was much more around.

MR MILLER: I see. Just a few other questions, to refer you back to your chronology of events on page 7 under the date 30th January 1989. If I may just read it to you, at the offices of the Indicator newspaper in Lenazia, Attorney Mayet claims that he has important information about Dr Asvat's murder.

He says he can only release the information in one month's time. He also threatens to deny the meeting having taken place if knowledge of this meeting becomes public.

Firstly have you got any personal knowledge of this meeting at the Indicator?

DR ASVAT: Yes, I was present along with the then Editor of the Indicator, Mr Amin Ekalwayer and a few of my friends, Mr Motani, my younger brother and a few other people were present at that particular meeting.

MR MILLER: Do you know the Attorney Eunice Mayet who was present?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR MILLER: And do you know of the nature of the information that the Attorney had?

DR ASVAT: Well, he made a claim that he had some information with regard to my brother's murder. He unfortunately was very reluctant to divulge such information, claiming that he would only be able to do so in about a month's time. So when we approached him in a month's time, he then claimed that he had no knowledge at all.

MR MILLER: Do you know if the Attorney had any professional contact with anybody who was able to supply him with information?

DR ASVAT: The only person who could have supplied him with any information, was my brother, because it is believed that my brother saw him on the 27th of January of 1989, the morning before he got murdered.

MR MILLER: So in other words, he was your brother's Attorney?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR MILLER: Then to come to the 3rd of February 1989, in the very last sentence of that paragraph you say a third person is spotted and chased but he escapes. Do I understand from this that there was a third suspect involved?

DR ASVAT: That is correct. A gentleman by the name of Johannes, but they could not apprehend this person.

MR MILLER: So this person has never been arrested?

DR ASVAT: Never been arrested.

MR MILLER: What exactly is Johannes alleged to have done?

DR ASVAT: I don't know, the police claimed that they were looking for three people and I presume that maybe Johannes were maybe one of the persons who might have provided the firearm, or whatever, I have no clue what Johannes' status there is.

MR MILLER: Do you know if Johannes has got another name, perhaps his name is Khazi?

DR ASVAT: I don't know. I have no idea.

MR MILLER: And Johannes isn't the same as Botha Swala?

DR ASVAT: It could possibly be, but I don't know.

MR MILLER: Because that was my last question to you about Botha Swala, I see you call him Swala Botha, but my client tells me his name is Botha Swala.

Under the entry dated 3rd November 1989, you state that Swala Botha is neither investigated nor determined and then you have the question mark police agent? Now, in other words you had some suspicion that Swala Botha was a police agent?

DR ASVAT: Yes, it is basically just a suspicion.

MR MILLER: No factual basis?

DR ASVAT: No factual, I haven't put down, but this is what we had been hearing about from people.

MR MILLER: Thank you Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Richard?

MR RICHARDS: Thank you Chairperson. Dr, is it correct that there is a phrase, pain in the anus, written on the medical card? Is that correct?

DR ASVAT: Pardon, just repeat your question sir?

MR RICHARDS: What is the note on the medical card as to the complaint that Mr Richardson came to see the Doctor about?

DR ASVAT: It say pain in the anus and on the diagnosis side is put down query perianal abscess and he is treated with penicillin. I can't make out exactly what the second item is and possibly - I can't make out those two items that he prescribed there. But the one is penicillin injection.

MR RICHARDS: Would it be consistent that that ailment be treated with a series of injections of penicillin?

DR ASVAT: Possibly, but penicillin really is not the drug of choice when it comes to treating a perianal abscess.

MR RICHARDS: But it is a painful condition that would mean that a patient would go and see his Doctor?

DR ASVAT: Yes, it is a painful condition, and he would go and see his Doctor.

MR RICHARDS: I am not a Medical Specialist by no means at all, but it is possible that an antibiotic injection would be used to treat it?

DR ASVAT: Yes, it is possible.

MR RICHARDS: And if a course of injections is what was chosen, it would be two or three visits and then hopefully the end of the treatment?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR RICHARDS: Because that is the version that Mr Richardson will give of his dealings with your later brother during that week. No further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Fazel Randera?

DR RANDERA: Ebrahim, I call you Ebrahim as I know you as Ebrahim. Ebrahim, you seem to have gone through your brother's medical cards quite extensively and a great deal of rigor, would you say he kept very good notes including notes of going to do home visits?

DR ASVAT: I would expect him to do that, yes.

DR RANDERA: But he had no notes on Stompie Seipei?

DR ASVAT: I could find no notes on Stompie Seipei.

DR RANDERA: Were you very close to him, professionally as well as personally?

DR ASVAT: Yes, I was close to him.

DR RANDERA: Would you have expected him to have had some discussions with you about Stompie then?

DR ASVAT: Yes, I would have expected him to.

DR RANDERA: But there was no discussions?

DR ASVAT: There was no discussions. This was around the time that I was on holiday as well, so I didn't get much time to speak to him.

DR RANDERA: Okay, thank you. Thank you Mr Chairman.


MS SOOKA: Dr Asvat, I seem to recall when I read the court record in this matter, that you were present at the surgery when a pointing out took place with Zakhele Mbatha the following day.

I want to ask you because it seems the court relied on your evidence, that Cyril Mbatha had not been assaulted and he wasn't limping. Do you remember that and could you just ... (intervention)

DR ASVAT: Yes, I remember that. He acted quite normally and he wasn't limping or anything of that sort. He looked pretty healthy, there was no sign of assault or injury to him.

MS SOOKA: So to your mind it didn't look as if anything had been done to him?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MS SOOKA: Thank you.


REV MGOJO: Thank you. I am not a lawyer, I use the tools of (indistinct) and I have looked at your statement on page 7, I want to understand it. In your statement you do say that after your brother was gunned down, Mrs Madikizela-Mandela was informed about the death resulting to her taking some steps of telephoning the family, the Asvats and going further to do the visit, is that true?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

REV MGOJO: And later, I am confused about the last sentence which says that the family found her behaviour strange. What does that mean?

DR ASVAT: Yes, we found it strange in the sense that there wasn't any real grief shown by Mrs Mandela, she knelt next to my sister-in-law in the room and she sat there kneeling for quite some time, for about half an hour.

This occurred at about mid-night. And it was just a behaviour which everybody felt was not the normal type of behaviour.

REV MGOJO: What would you have expected generally in the normal way of life?

DR ASVAT: Well, basically I would have expected her to be more sympathetic, more supportive with regard to my sister-in-law.

REV MGOJO: Thank you Mr Chairman.



MR KADES: Thank you Mr Commissioner. Dr Asvat, you will know as a result of your late brother's relationship with Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, was he accustomed to charge in respect of patients referred by her to his consulting room?

DR ASVAT: I would expect him not to charge if they were referred by Mrs Mandela.

MR KADES: And in fact in the case of Cebekhulu, Katiza Cebekhulu, we find the mark, the word, the mark n/c, no charge?

DR ASVAT: No charge, yes.

MR KADES: Would that also have been relevant to Richardson's treatment?

DR ASVAT: I presume it would be done, yes. In big writing sent by Winnie, I would presume.

MR KADES: Would you also with regard to the, if your brother had indeed made a home visit to Mrs Madikizela-Mandela concerning the injuries to Stompie or to examine Stompie or to see the other boys who had been abducted, and were being held at the house, you say that you would have expected your brother to have made a note of this?

DR ASVAT: Yes, I would have expected him to.

MR KADES: Well, he didn't ordinarily carry these cards, patient cards with him, did he?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR KADES: Well, when would he have made that?

DR ASVAT: Possibly when he returned to his consulting rooms.

MR KADES: I see. Did you find, do you know whether your brother did in fact make home visits to the home of Madikizela-Mandela?

DR ASVAT: Yes, he did make visits there when Mrs Madikizela-Mandela had called him for illnesses or whatever, he would go down there.

MR KADES: And did you find records of such home visits amongst the documentation that you inspected?

DR ASVAT: No, I didn't find any documentation.

MR KADES: Can I just then, because the matter has been alluded to, can I refer you to the entry of the 27th of January of 1989, on page 6 and that is with regard to the Attorney Eunice Mayet. I think you have told us that he denied that he had spoken to your brother on the day of his murder, is that correct?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR KADES: But the information that you had from Sandra Naiker, who was his receptionist, was that your brother had spent approximately 45 minutes with him?

DR ASVAT: That is correct.

MR KADES: Prior to the murder?


MR KADES: Thank you Mr Commissioner, I have no further questions.



MR NTSEBEZA: Thank you Chairperson, I just want to clarify one thing Dr Asvat. When you had that conversation with the State Prosecutor about a statement which he said might be useful to you, did he just show you the statement which had been made by this person or did he give it to you into your hand?

DR ASVAT: He gave me a copy of the statement.

MR NTSEBEZA: Do you still have a copy of that statement?

DR ASVAT: It was in our lawyer's file, I went to look for it some time before appearing at the Commission, I didn't find it, but I see there is a copy which has been attached to one of the reports.

MR NTSEBEZA: Thank you.

MR KADES: May I just clarity that the lawyer that he talks of Mr Commissioner, the lawyer that you talk of is a lawyer who previously acted for you, an Attorney and who has now left the country, is that correct?

DR ASVAT: That is right.

MR KADES: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: It is important to make that clarification. Hanif?

MR VALLY: Just one question Archbishop. If you look at page 2, paragraph 6 of your submission to us, the way it is phrased, I just want to get clarity on this.

You talk about Stompie Moketsi being seen by Dr Asvat and that you saw this in Katiza's journey, you then go on about Katiza Cebekhulu as being examined by Dr Asvat on the 30th of December as recorded on his medical record card and double entry patient registration log book, now in police possession?

DR ASVAT: Yes, this is the system they ran that whenever a patient arrived at the consulting room, they would be entered into this log book, the name would be taken down, the address, the date and a particular number was allocated to their record card. And that was, that log book stated also that it was the 30th of December 1988.

MR VALLY: That Katiza Cebekhulu was at ... (intervention)

DR ASVAT: The consulting rooms.

MR VALLY: Right, any reference to Stompie Seipei in that record book?


MR VALLY: Thank you Dr Asvat.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very, very much, you may stand down.


MR KADES: Mr Chairman, may I ask an indication from Mr Vally whether the police docket relating to the trial of the murderers of Dr Asvat, has been found?

MR VALLY: We are still, as far as I know, tracking it down, but I believe when Superintendent Moodley will be called today, that is an issue that will be taken up with him.

I will, there are people monitoring us right now and if any one has an answer, they will send it up to me and I will let you know.

MR KADES: Thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, I call Mrs Albertina Sisulu. Good morning, Mama. It is lovely to have you. I am sorry that we have made you and your youngish escort come here so frequently, we are deeply grateful that both of you had been able to come and may I just take the opportunity of expressing our deep appreciation to you and to him for what you have meant to our nation, what you have meant to our struggle.

Both of you have been quite outstanding and I think one should say it goes also for your family. And we are just proud to have had you as one of the leaders of the struggle. I might point out to you that you had a great deal to do with making the United States Congress pass the sanctions legislation, because two congress men who had come, who had not been supportive of sanctions when they came to see me in Cape Town, they said there were two people who made them change, you and the then State President.

ALBERTINA SISULU: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Please identify yourself.

MR GOBEDI: Good morning, my name is Brian Gobedi, I am appearing on behalf of Mrs Sisulu. I will be leading her evidence. I note honourable Commissioners, that Mr Vally had just gone away to get a copy of an affidavit. Can I proceed?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, please.

MR GOBEDI: As the Commission pleases. Mrs Sisulu, you have been invited to come and testify in this Commission and you were given a letter which is annexed to the submission you have given to this Commission,is that correct?


MR GOBEDI: On the items that have been listed on your invitation, you have elected to specifically give evidence about the events surrounding the death Dr Asvat, is that correct?

MRS SISULU: That is correct.

MR GOBEDI: Is it also correct that the reason why you have not alluded to the other facts, is that you most probably do not have a personal knowledge of the other matters, as you state in your submission?


MR GOBEDI: I would ask you to read to the Commission what is said, what you say on paragraph 5 of your submission.

MRS SISULU: With regard to item (d), the murder of Dr Abu-Baker Asvat, I wish to state the following. On the day of the murder, the date which I am not sure about, which could be the 27th of January 1987, I ... (intervention)

MR GOBEDI: Excuse me, you in fact intend that to be 1989?


MR GOBEDI: That is correct, please go on.

MRS SISULU: I was at the surgery, carrying on with my duties which included admitting patients and writing out their details on the cards. Some time in the mid-morning it could be at about 11h00, two young men came in and one of them wished to see the Doctor. As the Doctor had not yet arrived, I wrote out a card, took out a urine sample from the one who wanted to see the Doctor, with him.

It was a standard procedure that we took finger prints of male patients. I took the finger prints of this patient. May I mention at this stage, that I do not recall the name of the men. When the Doctor finally arrived, some time during the mid-day, started attending to the patients in the order in which the cards were placed, which was the normal first come, first serve.

When the young man's turn came for him to see the Doctor, he was not in the queue and upon enquiry, the other patients told me that he had gone with his friend to buy cigarettes. At about 16h00, all the patients had been attended to. However, there were two women that the Doctor had referred to Baragwanath hospital who were still in the surgery, waiting for an ambulance to come and fetch them.

I was at this time busy in the dispensary, which was situated at the back of the building. It is at this stage when the two young men came to me in the dispensary, still wishing to see the Doctor. When I asked them where they were, they said they had gone to buy cigarettes.

I then went to the front portion of the building towards reception and the Doctor's examining room, and the two young men accompanied me. When I knocked on the Doctor's door, to advise him of the patient's presence, they took seats at reception.

The Doctor told me he would see them and I left them in the reception and went to the dispensary at the back. I heard the Doctor's voice calling the patient by name and heard the examining room's door click as this was a security door which could only be unlocked by pressing a button from inside.

I do not know what happened there, but as there was silence after the click, I assumed the Doctor was busy with the patient. After about ten minutes, I heard a bang that sounded like a gun shot. I shouted "Abu", I thought perhaps he might be doing something. There was no response.

Then I heard a second shot follow - bang, similar to the first one. This time there was also a scream by Dr Asvat. I recognised his voice, I then ran through the back door, which was the near door to the outside.

I screamed for help and people came running from practically all directions. Others jumped the fences into the yard of the surgery. When I went to the front side of the building, of the surgery, the ambulance which had come for the two patients who were still in the surgery, was arriving. I also spotted the two young men running out of the yard, wielding something like a firearm. The ambulance people saw the drama and chased the fleeing young men.

I then went into the surgery, through the front door and the Doctor's examining room's door was open and when I went inside the door, Doctor inside. When I went inside, the Doctor was lying face down and bleeding from the left side of his chest.

Shortly thereafter the police arrived and the ambulance people returned and advised that the young men disappeared into the park which was near by.

The ambulance personnel then took the patients to the hospital. Dr Asvat at this stage was no more alive. I phoned the Doctor's brother who then came to the surgery where the body was still lying. The body was removed in the early evening of that afternoon, to the mortuary.

Two days thereafter the police fetched me from home, they wanted keys to the surgery and asked me questions. I went together with the police to the surgery and then to the police station where I together with the ambulance personnel, assisted the police with the drawing of the identikits.

Some days later, I was called to an identity parade at the Maroga police station and I identified the young men I admitted. Although I was the President of the UDF at the material time, I was for most of the time in prison, under house arrest and could not participate in the activities of the mass democratic movement at the Mandela Crisis Committee.

I however, wish to state that all matters you have raised with the exception of matter (d), were never discussed in my presence by the mass democratic movement or any of the structures.

MR GOBEDI: Mrs Sisulu, what do you in fact mean in your last statement is that you were never present at any formal meeting of the MDM, where these matters were discussed, is that correct?

MRS SISULU: That is correct.

MR GOBEDI: Thank you, now there is something which I believe is very critical for this Commission, which is that on the date of the murder of the late Dr Asvat, did Mrs Madikizela-Mandela together with Katiza Cebekhulu, come to the surgery to your recollection?

MRS SISULU: They were never there.

MR GOBEDI: And you are certain that they were never there?

MRS SISULU: They were never there.

MR GOBEDI: This will also explain why you are not in a position to tell this Commission or anyone anything in connection with what has been termed a volcanic row that erupted between Mrs Mandela and Dr Asvat on that day?

MRS SISULU: I wasn't there.

MR GOBEDI: Thank you Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Hanif?

MR VALLY: Thank you Archbishop. Mrs Sisulu, you had a very close relationship to Dr Asvat, could you indicate the nature of your relationship? Was it a Doctor/nurse relationship, was it beyond that, could you just briefly tell us what your relationship was?

MRS SISULU: Actually Dr Asvat took me to be his mother. Our clinic was a clinic of a mother and the son.

MR VALLY: Should I carry on?


MR VALLY: Mrs Sisulu, I have given you a chronology of events leading to the assassination of Dr Asvat. Now, if you look under the 29th of December 1988 and the last sentence, you can read it if you are not certain, but I can ask you questions and you can talk to it from memory. Here is a copy of a medical record that you, which I am handing to you right now, do you recognise your handwriting there on?

MRS SISULU: I could not write the medicines?

MR VALLY: No, I am talking about the patient details, don't worry about the treatment prescribed.

MRS SISULU: I don't remember this writing, I don't print when I write.

MR VALLY: Right, Dr Asvat, when he spoke to us, Dr Ebrahim Asvat, earlier today and I will read what he said in his statement, Dr Asvat's nursing sister and assistant, Mrs Albertina Sisulu was present when Cebekhulu was brought to the surgery. Do you remember when Katiza Cebekhulu came to the surgery with Ms Xoliswa Falati?

MRS SISULU: I have never seen those two that day.

MR VALLY: Do you remember, let us just ask you the procedure, if someone comes to the surgery for the first time, what would you do as a patient, what would you do Mrs Sisulu?

MRS SISULU: My first work at work was to admit the patient. Right his name and surname, house number, all the particulars on the card.

MR VALLY: Now, I know that is a bad copy, but are you sure that it is not your handwriting that has noted down those particulars?

MRS SISULU: No. I don't write like this.

MR VALLY: Well, I want to move on, but I just want to quote to you what you said on the programme. I am sorry, I wasn't expecting this Archbishop.

When you were asked this question by Mr Fred Bridgeland during the TV interview recently, by BBC, do you recall that programme?

MRS SISULU: I heard about it, but I didn't see that programme.

MR VALLY: Do you recall being interviewed?

MRS SISULU: There were so many interviews and so many different names that have interviewed me, I don't remember this name.

MR VALLY: Well, I will briefly read it to you. Fred: On the question of cards, can I show you a card from the surgery AS, that would stand for yourself. He goes on, is that your writing on the top there, that is my handwriting. And is that Dr Asvat's writing? Yes, that is his handwriting. And that date there, is that the date you would have stamped in it, was that part of your job? Yes, I was. Fred goes on to stamp, you go on, yes, when we I used to do, when we admitted, I gave the name of the patient, the date here and then stamp the card for the date. I never wrote the history of the patient. He is saying his own history.

What I was doing, is just to dispense a card and stamp. I put the stamp. But would that date there as you have stamped it, would that be correct? I should think so, because I wouldn't put any other date, if it is not the right date. You would query it or correct it? So you are certain that is the correct date? That was the correct date, that was stamped there on that date, not unless this is a duplicate or a different card altogether.

Are you saying this is not your handwriting, or are you saying you are not sure?

MRS SISULU: I usually don't print when I write. That is why I, even that 20 years really, is not my writing.

MR VALLY: Have you seen Katiza Cebekhulu ever?


MR VALLY: I would like to at some point show you a photograph of Katiza Cebekhulu, we did have one somewhere but I will try to get it for you.

Do you recall Mrs Madikizela-Mandela coming to the surgery with anyone in late December 1988?

MRS SISULU: I was always in my admission room, I wouldn't know who brings whom where, because they remain in the reception room and call them next, so I don't know who is accompanying whom.

MR VALLY: Would they pass you, any patient coming to the surgery?

MRS SISULU: Oh, yes, that is why I have to admit them before they go to the Doctor.

MR VALLY: So you would know if Mrs Madikizela-Mandela went passed you?

MRS SISULU: It could not have been because my surgery was right at the back of the building. The reception room was just in front.

MR VALLY: What I am trying to get from you, Mama, is this that any person who came to see Dr Asvat, whilst you were on duty, would have to go via you?

MRS SISULU: Anybody who is going to the examining room, I would see that person.

MR VALLY: And was Dr Asvat located in a place where people could bypass you and not go via you to see him?

MRS SISULU: They don't go via me, but my door of the backroom, opens to the reception room. So I could see anybody going through, if I am not busy.

MR VALLY: Fair enough. Did Mrs Madikizela-Mandela come there towards the end of December, 1988 I am talking about I am sorry?

MRS SISULU: It would have been, you know, not correct for Mrs Mandela when she is there, to see me, because we were both banned and we were not allowed to speak to each other. So when Mrs Mandela is there, I don't see her.

MR VALLY: Fair enough, but do you say you see her figuratively, I don't see her literally? Surely you would know if she passed you?

MRS SISULU: No, she didn't.

MR VALLY: Right, I want to show you a photograph. Do you recognise this young man at all?

MRS SISULU: When he was here, I saw this in the paper. This is what I saw in the paper.

MR VALLY: Did you ever see him?

MRS SISULU: But otherwise I wouldn't have recognised him.

MR VALLY: Did you see him at the surgery?


MR VALLY: Let's move on. Are you aware of Dr Asvat having gone to Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's house and examining anyone there?

MRS SISULU: Dr Asvat wouldn't tell me that.

MR VALLY: I want to show you another medical record. Now this medical record, the patient details are not in your handwriting.


MR VALLY: It indicates a first visit, I believe that was on the 26th of January 1989 and then there is a second visit on the 27th of January 1989, where I believe amongst other things, the weight of the patient is taken?


MR VALLY: Do you recognise your handwriting there?

MRS SISULU: Yes, there is Sisulu.

MR VALLY: This is your handwriting?


MR VALLY: Do you see the name on the top of the card?

MRS SISULU: Jerry Richardson.

MR VALLY: Do you recall his visit?


MR VALLY: You don't recall Mr Jerry Richardson's visit there at all?


MR VALLY: Do you know of Mr Jerry Richardson, have you ever heard of him?

MRS SISULU: I heard of him when I see in the papers.

MR VALLY: At the time, 1988, 1989, did you know of him then?


MR VALLY: Let's go on, on the chronology of events I have given you, the 27th of January 1989. Are you aware of any argument on the day that Dr Asvat was killed, between Dr Asvat and Mrs Madikizela-Mandela in the surgery?

MRS SISULU: If Mrs Mandela had gone to see Dr Asvat, she wouldn't go to my admission room, because that is where I was always.

MR VALLY: But did you hear any arguments take place in Dr Asvat's surgery on that day before he was murdered?

MRS SISULU: If it was in his consulting room, I wouldn't hear a word because my room was right at the back.

MR VALLY: Let's go on further. I want to ask you some general questions, Mrs Sisulu. You were aware of the reputation that the young mainly men who used to live at Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's house had for criminal activities?

MRS SISULU: I heard about that.

MR VALLY: What sort of criminal activity had you heard about them engaging in?

MRS SISULU: Well, to be honest, I must say except when people come to me for instance complaining about the Football Club, I don't know any other except when there were cases now, that were in court of those who were killed.

MR VALLY: Did people come to you as a respected community leader and I am talking about the period 1988/1989, did people come to you often about complaints?


MR VALLY: What sort of complaints did they come to you about?

MRS SISULU: Complaints of their children being harassed by the Football Club, some of them assaulted and those I used to refer them to the police although some of them to the legal people.

MR VALLY: Did you ever get visited by Dudu Chili with complaints?

MRS SISULU: Yes, when her house was burnt down.

MR VALLY: Did she ever come to you before that with complaints?

MRS SISULU: Well, we used to work together with her. She came that day to complain about this.

MR VALLY: Did you ever try and rescue boys who wanted to leave the Football Club and assist them in hiding in alternative accommodation?


MR VALLY: One of the questions you were asked in this TV interview, and I will quote what Mr Bridgeland asked you: some of the stories we have heard from people is that at one time you were helping boys that didn't want to joint the Mandela United Football Club to get away from it, are we correctly informed? This was your response, well, yes, especially when we heard what they were doing, because now the Football Club could see that it was getting out of hand.

So in fact my own sister's sons who was staying with me, I pulled them out immediately when I heard the stories from other boys who were there arguing in that club. So any other young boy who was in the club, I would speak to them strongly to say "look, I think this is not the right club for you people, if this is what you are going to do."

Do you confirm your statement you made to Mr Bridgeland?


MR VALLY: So, in the sense that I have just quoted to you, this is how you did help young men, you would advise them to leave the club?


MR VALLY: There was in a trial, I believe it was State versus Ikaneng, reference to a hit list allegedly by the Mandela United Football Club in which some members of your family were also allegedly targeted, are you aware of this hit list?

MRS SISULU: I beg your pardon?

MR VALLY: A hit list? There was reference to a hit list of persons who were to be targeted by the Mandela United Football Club?

MRS SISULU: Yes. My Committee members were threatened, that is Cachalia in particular, that is the one I know of.

MR VALLY: When you say your Committee members, which Committee are you referring to?

MRS SISULU: I am talking about my Committee of the UDF, where I was the President.

MR VALLY: And you say when Cachalia was threatened, who threatened him and how was he threatened?

MRS SISULU: Well, he told us, he said there were phone calls that were threatening him.

MR VALLY: And what were the nature of the threats?

MRS SISULU: To kill him in fact.

MR VALLY: Can I, do you know who made the threats?

MRS SISULU: I don't know.

MR VALLY: What did he advise you, who made the threats?

MRS SISULU: I am not sure of that person.

MR VALLY: Let's go on, I want to go back to this hit list which allegedly had members of your family, the younger members of your family on this hit list. Did you ever hear anything about a piece of paper which had a list of people who were to be targeted by the Mandela United Football Club?

MRS SISULU: I don't even remember the hit list that I saw. Hit list?

MR VALLY: A hit list saying these are the targets, these are the people that we must attack?

MRS SISULU: Given by whom?

MR VALLY: It was referred to in the trial, I believe it was State versus Ikaneng, are you aware of it at all?

MRS SISULU: No, no, I wasn't aware of it.

MR VALLY: Were you ever personally threatened or did you ever feel intimidated by Mrs Madikizela-Mandela and or the Football Club, you personally?

MRS SISULU: Well, because of the suspicion because my house too was burnt, I thought it was the Football Club.

MR VALLY: Why did you believe this?

MRS SISULU: Because they were the people who had you know, a reign of terror in the township.

MR VALLY: And why would they target you?

MRS SISULU: Well, I suppose because my sister's children were involved, perhaps when I pulled them out, that was perhaps the reason why.

MR VALLY: Let me understand this, are you saying that members of the Football Club were upset because you asked your sister's children to leave the Football Club?

MRS SISULU: That is so, I am not saying that is what it was, but I think because I don't see the reason because I had no enemy amongst my people. I didn't see the reason why my house was burnt.

MR VALLY: Did you ever have any proof as to who was actually responsible for your house being attacked?

MRS SISULU: No, I never.

MR VALLY: Do you believe that the Mandela United Football Club was an issue of controversy and you referred to them as having conducted a reign of terror?

MRS SISULU: Yes, especially when we saw the front page in the papers talking about these boys who have murdered other people, then I felt they were doing havoc in the township.

MR VALLY: Did you feel that that Club should be disbanded?

MRS SISULU: Yes, that is what we wanted in my organisation. We wanted it to be disbanded because it was causing trouble with the people in the township.

MR VALLY: Did you ever approach Mrs Madikizela-Mandela on this issue?

MRS SISULU: I wouldn't because I was not supposed to speak to her because I would be inviting jail for myself, we were both banned.

MR VALLY: Did you ever send a message to her lawyer about this issue?

MRS SISULU: Well, because my organisation was already attending to this, there was no need for that?

MR VALLY: Do you believe in any way that the Football Club was in any way involved in or Mrs Madikizela-Mandela, involved in the murder of Dr Asvat?

MRS SISULU: I wouldn't say that. Especially that I wouldn't think Mrs Mandela could kill Asvat because I thought really they were friendly.

MR VALLY: My last question, did Dr Asvat ever discuss with you or confide in you his concerns about the whole issue of the abduction of the youths from the Methodist manse?

MRS SISULU: He never did that to me.

MR VALLY: You said in the interview that if he had done so, he could possibly have been alive? Am I quoting you correctly?

MRS SISULU: Well, that was my feeling perhaps. My pressure to him as a mother, would have done the trick. I really feel that, had he told me all these secrets about the boys, I wouldn't have allowed him to you know, indulge himself to this.

MR VALLY: Thank you Mrs Sisulu.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Let's take a break, a 15 minute break for tea, thank you.



CHAIRPERSON: Can you please settle? I have made my appeal, I don't want to repeat myself. Just sit down please, just sit down. Thank you very much. Mr Semenya?

MR SEMENYA: Chairperson, we do not have questions for the witness.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Any questions on that side?

ADV JORDI: Mrs Sisulu, my name is Peter Jordi, I act for Dudu Chili.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't know whether it should be a condition of your appearing for your witness, that you should be able to pronounce the witness' name. I am not saying so.

ADV JORDI: Madam, can you tell me when was Fetro formed?

MRS SISULU: I have no idea.

ADV JORDI: Is it correct to say that it was formed in 1984?

MRS SISULU: I am not sure of the time.

ADV JORDI: Am I correct in thinking that Fetro operated by having for example the Soweto Women's Committee in Soweto which reported to Fetro?

MRS SISULU: Well, I won't be quite sure because most of time I have been house arrested and I never actually got into a Committee because I was not allowed.

ADV JORDI: But you were living in Soweto at the time?

MRS SISULU: I was living in Soweto at that time.

ADV JORDI: Right. You had to remain at home at night, you were not allowed to go out, is that right?


ADV JORDI: I am told that late in 1988, some youths approached you who said that they were fleeing from the Mandela United Football Club and they came to you at your home at night, and asked for assistance, do you remember that incident?

MRS SISULU: I don't remember because at night I was not supposed to see anybody.

ADV JORDI: I understand and my information is that because you were not meant to see anybody, you called on Dudu Chili, to help you?

MRS SISULU: It may be because she was the one who was near me.

ADV JORDI: I understand further that my client went to your house with the Soweto Women's Committee kombi, collected the youths and then made arrangements for their residence in houses around Soweto, pending them being removed from Soweto for their own safety, do you know about that?

MRS SISULU: I am not quite clear, were those youths in my house when she collected them?

ADV JORDI: I think that they came to your house asking for your assistance, because you knew that you were not meant to leave your house at night, and in fact you would have difficulties if you were found with these youths, you contacted Dudu Chili and she then made the arrangements, Dudu Chili, she then made the arrangements for them to be accommodated?

CHAIRPERSON: I think I am changing my ruling. I think pronounce it as is most comfortable for you.

ADV JORDI: Sorry, it is written down as Chili and to pronounce it, it doesn't come naturally to me. I apologise to the Committee and to my client. Do you remember this incident?

MRS SISULU: I can't remember that, but it is possible because Chili was the one who was next to me.

ADV JORDI: Then I understand that late in January 1989, there was a problem after a Mr Ikaneng pointed out to Mandela United Football Club members, who had been responsible for the attack on him. Sibusiso Chili, I understand that Lerathodi Ikaneng pointed out to you who he said had been responsible for the attack on him, there was a dispute, it was then arranged that they would go to Dudu Chili's house in order to talk and to try and sort out the problems.

They went there voluntarily. They were asked to stop misbehaving and you were contacted as being somebody who they would recognise the moral authority of as well as Sam Ndou and various other civic leaders in the area and asked to speak to these youths in order to stop them from misbehaving. Do you remember that incident?

MRS SISULU: Well, I had spoken to some of the youth, but I don't remember getting you know, a grown to speak to, because I was not allowed.


MRS SISULU: But I have spoken to them as individuals when they are brought to me, and I used to warn them.

ADV JORDI: Right. Do you know that in 1990 Dudu Chili met your husband at the ANC head quarters, do you know anything about that incident?

MRS SISULU: No, I wouldn't know that. I don't remember.

ADV JORDI: No further questions for this witness, thank you very much.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Yes, Mr Soller?

MR SOLLER: Peter Soller on behalf of Zakhele Mbatha. Mrs Sisulu, in your statement that you made at paragraph, forgive me Mr Commissioner, one of my pages are missing, paragraph 5.3, will you have a look at that please. You say it was standard procedure that we took finger prints of male patients. I took the finger prints of this patient.

Is that correct Mrs Sisulu?

MRS SISULU: Very right.

MR SOLLER: Why only finger prints of male patients?

MRS SISULU: Well, that is what I found the Doctor doing with the previous nurse. I was carrying the duties that was left to me by the previous nurse.

MR SOLLER: So when did you start working for the late Dr Asvat?


MR SOLLER: And on arrival there, that was his procedure?

MRS SISULU: Of course.

MR SOLLER: Had you ever seen that done by any other Doctor in that area?

MRS SISULU: I have never worked with any private Doctor, except the hospital.

MR SOLLER: Okay. You told the Commission about the fact that there was a mother, son relationship between the late Dr Asvat and yourself, is that correct?

MRS SISULU: Yes, quite correct.

MR SOLLER: Did Dr Asvat mention to you the problems that he was having with Stompie?

MRS SISULU: Not even a single day, never.

MR SOLLER: Would you find that surprising in retrospect?

MRS SISULU: Of course yes.

MR SOLLER: Because he would have, as I understood your evidence, he would have spoken to you about everything?

MRS SISULU: Even the other cases that he saw when I am off, he has never told me what took place.

MR SOLLER: Sorry say again please?

MRS SISULU: Even the cases he used to see when I am off, he used never to come back and say what took place. He never told me about Stompie.

MR SOLLER: One is almost driven to the conclusion that it was a deliberate omission on the part of the late Dr Asvat not to discuss Stompie with you?

MRS SISULU: He never did.

MR SOLLER: Never did? I won't be long Mr Chairperson. It is said in one of the affidavits that Stompie was not a well child, did you have any knowledge of Stompie's illness?

MRS SISULU: I didn't know anything about Stompie until the time of his death, when it was in the papers.

MR SOLLER: Right, Mrs Sisulu the last but one question or perhaps even the last question, is this, do you yourself with the benefit of many years of hindsight, find it remarkable that senior police officials had never bothered to interview you about the death of the late Dr Asvat?

MRS SISULU: Well, I wouldn't think really that was a mistake because the death of Dr Asvat, I was the chief witness in Dr Asvat's case. So all that I said really is what was taken by the court. I was the witness in Dr Asvat's case.

MR SOLLER: But you are aware that for a long time, there has been continuous dissatisfaction with the investigation into Dr Asvat's murder, are you aware of that?


MR SOLLER: And do you not find it strange that the police never bothered to come to the person most closely physically associated with the death?

MRS SISULU: There you are, they never came to me.

MR SOLLER: That is all you can say?

MRS SISULU: That is all.

MR SOLLER: Thank you Mrs Sisulu, thank you Mr Commissioner.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Yes.

MR KADES: Norman Kades on behalf of the Asvat family. Mrs Sisulu, I wonder whether you can be of some assistance to clarify. Patients and visitors to the surgery of the late Doctor would enter the surgery through the front door, is that correct?

MRS SISULU: Yes, that is correct.

MR KADES: And the front door would then lead direct into the waiting room, is that correct?

MRS SISULU: No, it is not. It is the front room, the door that leads to the examination room is the Doctor's room and further down the passage is the dispensary where I used to be.

MR KADES: Yes, but the room that one would immediately enter on passing through the front door, would be which room?

MRS SISULU: If you get through the front door, you would enter the Doctor's room, the examination room.

MR KADES: The Doctor's room, the examination room?

MRS SISULU: Yes, before you get to the dispensary right at the back.

MR KADES: And where was the waiting room?

MRS SISULU: In front. The reception was right the front room.

MR KADES: Yes, so on entering through the front door, one would arrive at the reception, is that the reception room, is that correct?

MRS SISULU: When you enter the first room, you go down and the first door you open is the examination room, the Doctor's examination room.

MR KADES: Yes, but before one goes to the examination room, is there not another room?

MRS SISULU: There is a room, a back room where I used to take the patient's name, admit the patients.

MR KADES: Where would the patients who were waiting to be seen, where would they sit?

MRS SISULU: In the reception room, the first room.

MR KADES: Yes, as one opens the door?

MRS SISULU: To the Doctor's ...

MR KADES: One would then find where the patients would ordinarily sit and wait to be seen?

MRS SISULU: Yes, that is right.

MR KADES: And did you have a view of that area of people who were coming in through the door?

MRS SISULU: No, not unless I come straight from the passage to the door.

MR KADES: So if you were sitting at your desk?

MRS SISULU: If I am sitting at my desk, I don't see the sitting room, nor the Doctor's room.

MR KADES: So how would patients, patients would need to be processed by you?


MR KADES: First, before they saw the Doctor?

MRS SISULU: Before they go to the Doctor?

MR KADES: Yes, so how would they know or how would you know that there were patients who had arrived that needed to be processed?

MRS SISULU: From the backdoor, I've got a queue of the patients that are coming to be admitted in the backroom, which was my dispensary. Finishing that, they go back to the sitting room, to the reception room.

MR KADES: I see. So you would know exactly, you would have control or you would see precisely who entered the surgery?

MRS SISULU: I wouldn't see if I am at the back who entered the front door to the surgery.

MR KADES: Did you ever have an assistant?

MRS SISULU: No, I was alone in the surgery.

MR KADES: Always?

MRS SISULU: Always, and when you were not there, did somebody else ... (intervention)

MRS SISULU: Nobody, Doctor used to do his cases alone in the afternoons when I am off.

MR KADES: So, then if we look at the card, K569, the card of Katiza Cebekhulu, you have told us Madam, that the entry of the name and address, the first two lines on the card are not in your handwriting?


MR KADES: Not even the card number, K569?

MRS SISULU: No. I don't print when I write.

MR KADES: I am sorry?

MRS SISULU: I don't print when I write.

MR KADES: You don't print? Have you any idea who could have filled in this card, those first two lines? It is not you, we know now, it was not the Doctor himself?

MRS SISULU: I wouldn't know, I wouldn't know that.

MR KADES: Well, can you then perhaps explain to us why as was put to you by Mr Vally, that in the interview on television with Fred Bridgeland, you did say that those two lines were in your handwriting?

MRS SISULU: Not unless perhaps he brought the card that had my own handwriting, because this is not my handwriting.

MR KADES: I see. And Madam, who had the - you see there is a date stamp on the left hand side in the first column, date, you see that date stamp?


MR KADES: 1988-12-30, who kept that stamp?

MRS SISULU: Well, we had that stamp, both of us with Doctor, because Doctor admits his cases when I am not there.

MR KADES: So are you saying that he had, the Doctor had an identical stamp to the one that you had?

MRS SISULU: Same date, of course the stamps would be the same.

MR KADES: I am sorry?

MRS SISULU: The stamps would be the same if it is the same date.

MR KADES: Were there two stamps?


MR KADES: Two date stamps, one kept by you with a pad presumably and the other kept by the Doctor in his surgery?

MRS SISULU: Yes, we had stamps both of them, because when he admits the cases in my absence, he take all the particulars and stamp the card.

MR KADES: May I tell you the problem I have with that answer, and that is that if we look at the card of Jerry Richardson, you have it?


MR KADES: You see the card of Jerry Richardson is in the handwriting of the Doctor?


MR KADES: And with regard to the date, the 26th of the 1st of 1989?


MR KADES: That is in script, it is in the Doctor's handwriting and it is not a stamp that was used to enter that day.

MRS SISULU: Was it the same date?

MR KADES: The date thereunder is the 27th, and that has a stamp and presumably the stamp that day, was stamped by you. But the Doctor has not used the stamp?

MRS SISULU: I can't remember this.

MR KADES: The day of the murder of the late Dr Asvat, must be a very painful day to you, and a day that you obviously recall very clearly?

Mrs Sisulu, do you recall the people who came to the surgery that day? Do you recall Jerry Richardson coming to the surgery, after all you weighed him and you took his, is that his height, his urine sample?

MRS SISULU: The writing on this card, as I say, I don't print, is mine. The weight is mine and the urine is mine.

MR KADES: Yes, now what would you have done with - the weight you entered on the card, the urine, did you have any separate card on which you would fill in that information or did you test it yourself?


MR KADES: There is evidence that when Katiza Cebekhulu was examined by Dr Asvat, on the 30th of December 1988, that certain blood samples were taken from him. I am not asking you to remember, what I am asking you is what would have happened to those blood samples? Would you have dealt with it?

MRS SISULU: Blood samples? Examination and the blood samples and whatever the drugs were given by the Doctor, I never came near those.

MR KADES: Well, would the Doctor take the blood sample or was that ...

MRS SISULU: He takes it away with him. It is not suppose, because we didn't even have a fridge. Whenever he takes the samples, he takes them away to that organisation.

MR KADES: And do you know to whom he would take them for examination?

MRS SISULU: I don't know.

MR KADES: You don't know the pathologist?


MR KADES: And when reports concerning blood samples and whatever other samples were sent to pathologists, were received, in the office, would they be delivered?

MRS SISULU: Delivered to the Doctor.

MRS SISULU: Or sometimes he checks the results.

MR KADES: I see. Would you have anything to do with that?

MRS SISULU: No, I wouldn't have anything to do with that.

MR KADES: Now, when it came to collecting money, payment from patients, who did that?

MRS SISULU: The Doctor, because I don't know how much he is going to charge.

MR KADES: I see. So you don't know whether this patient Jerry Richardson who saw him both on the 26th and the 27th of January 1989, you don't know whether that patient paid or didn't pay?

MRS SISULU: I don't know really.

MR KADES: The patients who were sent to your surgery by Mrs Madikizela-Mandela were they charged for services or don't you know?

MRS SISULU: I have no idea.

MR KADES: You see the card of Katiza Cebekhulu has n/c written on it, which I assume means no charge? Dr Asvat's brother has told us that.

MRS SISULU: I don't know what this means.

MR KADES: Have you never seen that on any other card?

MRS SISULU: It may be I have seen it, but I don't know what it means really because even the drugs are not given by me, they are given by the Doctor.

MR KADES: But you would ordinarily enter the name of the patient, you would complete the first two lines of the card, is that correct?

MRS SISULU: That is right.

MR KADES: And then you would enter the card number?

MRS SISULU: Stamp it.

MR KADES: Give the card a number by entering into a register?

MRS SISULU: Stamp the card.

MR KADES: You would stamp the card, the date?


MR KADES: And pass it on to the Doctor.

MR KADES: And the manner of your passing it on to the Doctor, would be through an aperture, a whole in the wall between your office and the office of the Doctor, is that correct?

MRS SISULU: Before you open the Doctor's room, there was a little hole where I would just come down the steps and put there the cards on that little hole.

MR KADES: Was that not a hole between the offices of yourself and the Doctor?


MR KADES: It was?


MR KADES: So if anything was happening in the Doctor's surgery, in the consulting room itself, you would be in a position to hear?

MRS SISULU: In some cases, Doctor does not examine the cases because we had a four roomed house. The Doctor's consulting room had another room that had beds where he examines the patients. He was not always examining them in his actually, you know, consulting room, he had a room where he put them on beds. That room had two beds for examination. I wouldn't hear if he was there examining the patients, nor even if he was in his consulting room, because there was some distance. I wouldn't hear what he was saying.

MR KADES: And did the Doctor ordinarily come to his rooms when you were in the afternoon or in the early afternoon, late afternoon?

MRS SISULU: Repeat your question.

MR KADES: Did the Doctor Asvat, the late Dr Asvat, come to his consulting rooms during the early or late afternoon ordinarily or did he start consulting in the morning?

MRS SISULU: Sometimes he comes early, round about ten, eleven. Sometimes a little bit earlier, because he used to visit his patients in hospitals where they are admitted. He used to do his rounds first.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Kades, how far are you?

MR KADES: I am trying to be brief Mr Chairman, and I ask you to believe that.

CHAIRPERSON: I would want to say you have not answered my question.

MR KADES: Another three or four questions.


MR KADES: Mrs Sisulu, if Mrs Mandela had in fact visited the offices of Dr Asvat on the 27th of January of 1989, and there had been a row, do you say that you would not have heard that at all?

MRS SISULU: No. If perhaps they were shouting at each other, but if I was just around within the room, I wouldn't have heard.

MR KADES: If Mrs Mandela had in fact arrived at the offices of Dr Asvat, would this not have been a matter for comment and excitement perhaps by other people present in the surgery at the time?

MRS SISULU: Well, that I wouldn't know because I am right at the back in my dispensary. I am doing my work, I am alone, I am busy.

MR KADES: Just give me one second. Thank you Mr Commissioner.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Yes Mr Kuny?

ADV KUNY: It is Steven Kuny, representing Ms Falati. Mrs Sisulu, you have said in your evidence that you were the only person that was working at the surgery, that is in an administrative capacity, is that correct?

MRS SISULU: Correct.

ADV KUNY: Were you working throughout December, was there any time that you were away or that you took time off?

MRS SISULU: Well, usually if I am not well, I used to be given time to go and see the Doctor. I wouldn't say I was there all the time, no. And in fact, some months I had a problem with my health because I am diabetic, I would be admitted and sometimes you know, go off sick.

ADV KUNY: What were your normal working hours?

MRS SISULU: It was from nine o'clock to five o'clock.

ADV KUNY: And on the days that you were not there, how did Dr Asvat deal with the administrative aspects, was there no other persons that would assist him?

MRS SISULU: Dr Asvat used to do his work alone. He used to admit his patients, attend to them.

ADV KUNY: Ms Falati says she gave evidence to the effect that she says on the 28th of December she went to Dr Asvat's surgery with Katiza Cebekhulu and Mrs Mandela, would you have any knowledge of that?

MRS SISULU: Not that I know of.

ADV KUNY: She says that there was a - she says that you weren't there at the surgery but another person dealt with the administrative aspects. She described the person as a pregnant woman, would you have any knowledge of that person?

MRS SISULU: Yes, there was a nurse that I relieved. She could have been there if perhaps Dr Asvat asked her to come and help.

ADV KUNY: Mrs Sisulu if I understand your evidence correctly, it is possible that Mrs Mandela could have visited the surgery on the 30th of December 1988 while you were there, but that you may not have seen her?

MRS SISULU: I have never seen her that day.

ADV KUNY: But it is possible that she could have visited on that day and you may not have seen her?

MRS SISULU: Well, I can't be sure of that, but I don't remember seeing her there.

ADV KUNY: Thank you Mr Chairman, I have no further questions.



MR MILLER: Thank you Chairperson. Mrs Sisulu, Michael Miller for Mr Dlamini, Thulani Dlamini. Mrs Sisulu, you were talking a moment ago about the fact that you had certain afternoons off, is that correct?

MRS SISULU: Saturday?

MR MILLER: You had certain afternoons off, when you were at work?


MR MILLER: Was it a particular ... (tape ends)

MRS SISULU: Well, I can't remember really.

MR MILLER: It was on Thursdays.

MRS SISULU: Well, if I wasn't there, it may be that I was in hospital or sick.

MR MILLER: No what I am trying to ascertain Mrs Sisulu, is on Thursday afternoon the 26th of January, in other words the day before, or the afternoon before Dr Asvat was killed, were you there?

MRS SISULU: Oh, yes, yes, oh yes. I didn't get your question, I was there.

MR MILLER: You are quite clear about that?

MRS SISULU: I am clear about that.

MR MILLER: Now, you say these finger prints were taken of male patients?


MR MILLER: What was the reason for that?

MRS SISULU: I have just explained that I don't know what is it for, because that is the work I was given by the nurse I relieved, that is the procedure in that clinic.

MR MILLER: How long had this been the procedure, six months, a year or as long as you can remember?

MRS SISULU: I don't know how long did Dr Asvat have that nurse who was working with him, I don't know, but I took over from the sister who was working with Dr Asvat.

MR MILLER: So to come back to a question I asked you a moment ago, you said in 5.2 of your affidavit that some time in the mid-morning, at about eleven o'clock, two young men came in and wished to see the Doctor?


MR MILLER: It wasn't on Thursday afternoon?

MRS SISULU: I am not sure of the date. The two young men who came to see the Doctor, those are the men who killed the Doctor, I was there. That is why I say I was there that Thursday.

MR MILLER: They didn't come to see him on Thursday and make an appointment for the following day?


MR MILLER: Was there ever an appointment?

MRS SISULU: The patient who killed Dr Asvat was there that day they killed him, they never made an appointment for the previous day.

MR MILLER: Thank you. Now, was Dr Asvat particularly scared that day, the day he was killed?

MRS SISULU: I wouldn't say really because he had seen many patients you know, before those boys come there in the afternoon at about four o'clock. I wouldn't say he was being scared you know.

MR MILLER: Did he mention to you that he thought that perhaps his life was in danger or something like that?

MRS SISULU: You mean that day?

MR MILLER: That day?


MR MILLER: And you say there was a security door between I presume the waiting room and his office?


MR MILLER: And that security door could only be opened from inside the Doctor's consulting room?

MRS SISULU: That is correct.

MR MILLER: It wasn't possible to open it from any other side?

MRS SISULU: He wouldn't.

MR MILLER: And you say there were two shots fired?


MR MILLER: Thank you Chairperson, I've got no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Fazel Randera?

DR RANDERA: Thank you. Mama Sisulu, I just want to come back to the abduction of the young people from the Methodist manse.

We have heard already of the involvement of the Crisis Committee. You have told us yourself that you were the leader of the UDF in that period. Early on when asked did Dr Asvat ever discuss this with you, you said it was never discussed with you.

Am I right and I would like you to answer to that of course, that the Rev Chikane would have kept you informed about what was happening in terms of the negotiations or discussions, let me finish Mama, as far as these young people went? That is my first question, the second question is did you given that there was an almost 27 day period between the young people being taken away and the death of Dr Asvat, did you ever discuss this removal of the young people with him?

And the last question is, what - sorry?

CHAIRPERSON: I think maybe one at a time yes.

DR RANDERA: Okay, let me take my questions one at a time.

CHAIRPERSON: Did Frank Chikane discuss this with you, that was the first question?

MRS SISULU: A person used to come time and again, is my Secretary, that was Morobe Murphy, that is the one who used to ... (intervention)

DR RANDERA: Mama, can I just stop you because from Mr Morobe's own evidence, he had been out of the country in that early period. So he almost came back at the end of January, so he could not have been coming to speak to you about that.

MRS SISULU: What I mean is that a person who used to tell me about what is happening about these boys, is Murphy. Chikane, I don't remember him coming to me.

DR RANDERA: Can I then ask when did you find out yourself about the abduction of these young people?

MRS SISULU: It is when it came out in the papers about the story of Falati abducting the people from, and in fact because I am near the Methodist church, we heard that the children were taken away from Bishop Verryn.

We knew that Dr Verryn was helping us with hiding our boys when they were chased by the police, but I didn't know actually what type of children these were, until it was in the paper, they described that these boys were taken, were kidnapped because of the results of what the Doctor said when they were taken to the Doctor.

DR RANDERA: So you do not recall any discussions with Dr Asvat yourself where you shared any discussions with him about the abduction of these young people?

MRS SISULU: No, like anybody else when you see news in the newspaper, you exchange words, not that we were discussing them to do anything about them.

DR RANDERA: My last question Chairperson, did you become personally involved at any time in trying to release these young people?


DR RANDERA: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Mkhize?

MS MKHIZE: Thank you Chairperson, I've just got one question for you Mrs Sisulu. Do you find it strange that Dr Asvat didn't discuss with you an alleged disturbed relationship with another senior leader within the ANC, Mrs Madikizela-Mandela because an allegation has been made by many witnesses that their relationship was disturbed, but it is like close as he was to you, he didn't share anything?

MRS SISULU: You know what is important between me and Dr Asvat, was that our clinic was really a clinic of the people. We never had time during our working hours of sitting down and discussing anything really and truly. And he never, if ever, he had gone to see these children, told me. He never told me and we never discussed this question of these children.

MS MKHIZE: I was not thinking of children, I was just thinking that if a good relationship was disturbed between him and a senior leader within the ANC, was disturbed, wouldn't he have expressed his concern, especially if it was a person who was close to him as well, was he a type of a person who will just keep quiet about it and carry on as though nothing has happened?

MRS SISULU: He carried on, he never told me anything.


MR NTSEBEZA: Thank you. Mrs Sisulu, let me just presage my question by saying, you can assume that I take account of both your struggle credentials and those of Mrs Madikizela-Mandela.

I just want to say I watch the documentary which we have been talking about. I saw and heard what you said there. I have no doubt in my mind that what Mr Hanif Vally was quoting to you as emanating from that document, is what I recollect it to have been. I have watched, and heard your evidence under oath today, and I take account of your replies.

And as it is our task as we sit here, we form impressions about the witness, about the manner in which a witness gives his or her evidence and I don't want to leave this room and you leaving the witness stand without you having had the benefit of my prima facie impression, and it is the following:

My initial impression and it can be changed by all other evidence that might come from Mrs Mandela and from any other evidence, but my impression as I sit here is that you are trying your very best to say as little as possible, anything that might implicate Mrs Mandela. And if that is my initial impression, I want to find what is the reason for this and that is where I want you to get your comments.

I would like to get your comments on that. And it is the question that I have been putting to all the leaders of the people with you have been in struggle at that time, can it be if I am right, and I am saying I can change my mind, if I am right that you are trying your very, very best to say as little as possible about your colleague, your comrade, and to say as little that might incriminate her, or implicate her, can it be that (a) it is because she is your comrade, the Mandela's and the Sisulu's come a very long way, both from the male side and from the female side. And is it because for that very reason you wouldn't like to be the one who should be identified in South African history as having dared to speak about your comrade in terms that seem to suggest that she was involved in something like the death of Dr Asvat?

MRS SISULU: Do you want me to answer that?

MR NTSEBEZA: I would like to get your comment.

MRS SISULU: To start with, I gave my evidence under oath to speak the truth of what I know. I don't think it would be proper for me to come and tell lies here.

As Mrs Sisulu, some of you know very well, under what hardship I went through during the previous regime. From 1964 I was arrested for five years and before even that expired, I was given ten years house arrest in that house. I was relieved in 1983 when I had a few months working with Dr Asvat, because I was on pension on 1982 from the City Health of Johannesburg.

From that time, there was a blanket lifting off - blanket orders, I was given only four months on that relieve, when there was that blanket lifting of the banning orders. And from there, there was a funeral of a member in my area, where I gave you know, a speech. I was arrested in 1983, kept in Diepkloof prison for so many months.

Even when I was elected in Cape Town when they were launching the UDF, I was in prison. 1984, it is when my case ended, sentenced to four years imprisonment, two years suspended for five years.

I appealed the case, I came out on bail of R1 000-00. Before my appeal in 1984 was heard, I was arrested for treason (indistinct), which took place in 'Maritzburg. In your own way of thinking, what would I know much in that area.

People used to come to me, hiding because they couldn't be openly talking to me. I could not speak to Mrs Mandela because we were both banned. It would mean taking me to jail again. If the harassment I was under, if any one of you know even when I have to visit my husband in Robben Island, the police would keep the appointment until the following day when I was supposed to see him, the next day and from there, 1976, 1986 when I won the case of the treason trial, I was given five years house arrest. Five years which ended up a day before my husband entered his gate when he was released.

When would I have time, when would I have anything to do with anything, when I could not even meet the people? My organisation which is the UDF, I congratulate them, because despite all that, they used to sneak in and inform me about what is happening.

And when we drew up the statement, we distanced ourselves from the Mandela Football and Mandela actions with the Football, that was terrorising the township. They wouldn't come there as a Committee. So, even if I am shielding Mrs Mandela, I am not here to tell lies. I am going to tell exactly what I know and what I have seen.

Dr Asvat was my child. If he had anything to do with the Mandela's besides what is normal, he wouldn't come and tell me. He never told me that is why I said in this paper when I was interviewed, had he told me all this, he wouldn't have died.

What else would Albertina Sisulu do? Had he told me, I would have really gone all out to ask people to help me.

CHAIRPERSON: Order please. Dr Boraine?

MR SEMENYA: Mr Chairperson, may we state that we obviously would not know why Commissioner Ntsebeza says he is holding the impressions he his holding, but that the witness is trying her level best to protect our client, but we note it.

CHAIRPERSON: Alex Boraine?

DR BORAINE: Thank you Chairperson. Mrs Sisulu, I hesitate to put more questions to you, you have been waiting a long time and you have had some time now, having to answer questions.

And I think that any one who knows you, knows the remarkable life that you have lived, under extraordinary difficult circumstances, but just please just help me to try and understand this. You see I also watched the documentary and your evidence on that documentary was extremely powerful, simply because of who you are and the integrity that you hold.

Now according to this documentary which I watched and I know I have the transcript in front of me, the interviewer Fred Bridgeland, said after asking you about Dr Asvat, and you were saying what a good man he was, and a lot of people left owing him money and you know that because you were responsible for dispensing the cards and the medicine, and then he says to you on the question of the cards, can I show you a card from the surgery and you say yes.

And according to him, the card that he shows you is the card with Katiza Cebekhulu's name on it. And he asks you is that your writing on the top and you say -

"Yes, that is my handwriting. Is that Dr Asvat's writing, yes, it is his writing, and that date, yes, I take the name of the patient, the date here and then stamp the card for that date.

All I was doing was to dispense the cards and stamp, I put the stamp. The card is dated the 30th of the 12th, 1988".

Now, forgive me for going over this again, but it is difficult for me to understand why you should say that then and why you should say now today in answer to questions, that you have no knowledge of Cebekhulu ever coming to the surgery and that it is not your handwriting and you didn't put the stamp there.

Whereas on the documentary you said you did all these things, can you explain to me why there is a contradiction between what you have said then because this was a video that was seen right throughout South Africa and the newspapers commented the next day, it was big news. It wasn't done in a hole in the corner.

Did you ever deny that you ever said that, did you make a statement to that effect or please help me?

MRS SISULU: Well, I have a few questions on this card. If I admit a patient, I take his urine, I weigh him. This card is blank, there is no way you can say I admitted this patient and took his urine and weight.

As I am saying, with the next paper, where my signature is in writing, I don't write my signature like this. So that is why I say I doubt if, I don't print when I write, that is how I was taught in the Transkei. I don't know how to write in printing, it is cursive. My writing is always cursive. That is why I am surprised, I can't say really, of course in this one, I've got the weight there, I've got the urine, on different dates, on different dates.

What does that mean, I didn't admit that patient where I have written the real thing I should have done, here is the urine, that is my writing. The whole paper was written by Doctor, which means I was not there that day this man was admitted by Dr Asvat. He must have taken this card, that is Dr Asvat's admission. So must I tell lies?

DR BORAINE: I am sorry, you are talking about two different patients, the one is Jerry Richardson and you say yes, you definitely did admit him?

MRS SISULU: Yes. On that date I took that specimen. That is what I was signing for. But even the signature, I never signed my cards - why the signature, that is printed there?

DR BORAINE: I don't want to prolong this, let me just ask you two further questions.

MR KADES: Mr Commissioner may I, I am sorry, I have written the name Sisulu in two places on the card that the witness has before her. It is my document and in consultation with Dr Asvat, I wrote the name Sisulu, I handed that document to Dr Asvat and probably what the witness is looking at, is my writing the word Sisulu.

DR BORAINE: Thank you, that is very helpful. Every patient who came to see Dr Asvat, did you do exactly the same things for every one, in other words did you take a urine specimen and weight?

MRS SISULU: Yes, it is routinely, it was routine?

DR BORAINE: So for everybody?

MRS SISULU: For everybody, it was routinely.

DR BORAINE: Okay. Then the last question, the interview and you have had many interviews, I accept that, this was a very special interview because it was then shown throughout South Africa and there was a great uproar about this video and people must have talked to you about it, even if you didn't see it. But you were certainly interviewed and there in some card, you said yes, this is my handwriting, yes, I had the date stamped.

Do you think it must have been another card or how do you explain the difference? I am talking about the card number K569?

MRS SISULU: Yes. No specimen of urine, no weight, just a blank card.

DR BORAINE: Do you think that Katiza Cebekhulu because there is a card for him, must have come when you were not there?

MRS SISULU: I should think so, because I don't remember even this Katiza in my clinic.

DR BORAINE: Thank you very much.

CHAIRPERSON: Yasmin Sooka?

MS SOOKA: Mrs Sisulu, did Dr Asvat make home visits to patients?


MS SOOKA: And when he made those kind of visits, how did he record the medical history of the patients that he saw?

MRS SISULU: I have no idea, because even when he visits those patients, he will just say I am going out for a visit, he would not even mention that I am being called at Winnie's place.

MS SOOKA: So it is quite possible that he could have gone to the house to see Stompie but you would not have known about it?

MRS SISULU: Absolutely, absolutely.

MS SOOKA: You also mentioned in your evidence that the reports you heard on the Mandela Football Club were through the newspapers, but were you personally ever advised by the residents in Soweto of the incidents involving the Mandela Football Club?

MRS SISULU: They used to come, individuals used to come, sneak in and report whatever is happening in their homes. I used to refer them to the police to report.

MS SOOKA: But you did then receive reports yourself?

MRS SISULU: Yes, yes, from individuals.

MS SOOKA: My last question is is it possible that someone other than yourself or Dr Asvat, could have completed any of the cards?

MRS SISULU: The fact that there was this lady when I was not there, this pregnant woman, it is quite possible because I don't print when I write. I don't.

MS SOOKA: But Mama, was it the practice of Dr Asvat to have someone filling in for you on the days when you were not there?

MRS SISULU: Supposing that day he is being helped by somebody, somebody had to do my work and write the cards and do everything.

MS SOOKA: One final question, if what I hear from you is correct that when you filled in a card, it was automatic and routine that every patient who came in would have his urine sample taken and the weight measured, so all the cards that you completed, would have those particulars?


MS SOOKA: Thank you Mrs Sisulu.


REV MGOJO: Mama, I am sorry that I have to ask you this question, but it is going to be very simple. You are the mother I adore, and I have adored you for years, I am sorry that I have to put questions to you.

I just want to get a picturesque about the episode, this sad episode during Dr Asvat's death. There you heard the bangs and you screamed and there was the picture of an ambulance chasing the two young men. Later the ambulance comes back and says that the young men have disappeared into the park and the policemen had come. Do you know who had called the police?

MRS SISULU: You know, there were so many people helping me now, because I was really shocked, I was running around, I didn't know what to do. They were helping me. I think the people must have called, or the ambulance drivers when they failed, must have gone to the police station.

But I did not call the police.

REV MGOJO: Okay, the people are there in the park. Did the police do anything to try to get these people from the park?

MRS SISULU: I don't know anything.

REV MGOJO: You don't know anything?

MRS SISULU: I don't know.

REV MGOJO: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Hanif, yes?

MR VALLY: Mrs Sisulu, I just want to point out one thing to you which is on page 119, second section 29, there is no dispute that Mrs Madikizela-Mandela did go and see Dr Asvat with Katiza Cebekhulu. I will read out a small portion of what Mrs Madikizela-Mandela told us. You won't have that in front of you.

CHAIRPERSON: The witness does not have that.

MR VALLY: Yes, I will just read out a small portion. I started off by asking Mrs Madikizela-Mandela there is an allegation, it starts off at the bottom of page 118 section 29, there is an allegation that you saw Dr Asvat in his surgery the day he was killed, on the 27th of January 1989. Mrs Madikizela-Mandela, no that is nonsense, Mr Chairman. I saw Mr Asvat, Dr Asvat once when I took Cebekhulu. I asked did you see Dr Asvat at all in January 1989 besides the time you took Cebekhulu. Answer, I have no recollection of seeing him again. Question, so the last time you saw Dr Asvat before he was killed, was on the 30th of December 1988? Answer, I last saw Dr Asvat to my memory when I took Cebekhulu to him. Question, do you know what date that was? Answer, I said I would have to refresh my memory, I cannot remember those dates so long ago, but it was at the end of the year.

So on Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's own evidence, she did at the end of 1988, she wasn't clear on the exact date, at the end of 1988, she did go and see Dr Asvat with Katiza Cebekhulu. Having said that, Mrs Sisulu, do you normally work between Christmas and New Year?

MRS SISULU: Yes. Except the Christmas holidays when everybody is off.

MR VALLY: When you say Christmas holidays, you mean the actual day, Christmas day, Boxing day etc?


MR VALLY: And if you were not there, do you ever recall a pregnant nurse filling in for you in December 1988?

MRS SISULU: I have no knowledge of that. I only heard now that there was a nurse when I was not there.

MR VALLY: All right, thank you Mrs Sisulu.

CHAIRPERSON: I just wanted to point out before I ask Mrs Sisulu to stand down, that Commissioner Ntsebeza is, when he asked that question, because he is not only asking that of Mrs Sisulu, he is vocalising impressions as he is listening to the evidence, and he is saying those are prima facie impressions to which all of us are entitled and he can obviously change the tenor of the impressions as the evidence unfolds.

He had hoped that his comment as he made it also to other people, would illicit an expression of views that might persuade him to change the particular impression that he has formed and actually that is all that I think he is doing. You will recall that he did that last week with a few of the leadership, when he asked them whether the way they were operating, was that they were taking account of at least two facts, that Mrs Madikizela-Mandela was a formidable political figure, leader in her own right and secondly that she was the spouse of a greatly revered leader and that perhaps this had a very significant impact on how people were operating with regard to her.

Thank you Mama, you may stand down.


CHAIRPERSON: We now call Zakhele Mbatha?

MR VALLY: Archbishop, I thought we are calling Mr Dlamini first?

CHAIRPERSON: All right. We will change that and we will call Mr Thulani Dlamini. Good day Mr Dlamini. Will you be speaking in Zulu or English?

MR DLAMINI: I will speak in Zulu, but I am not feeling very well, I am having a tummy problem.

CHAIRPERSON: I was going to say settle down, but I can't say that to you comrade Walter, I will wait until - anything you want to do, you are free to do. I would like to find out as to whether you are able to give testimony?

MR DLAMINI: I don't have the energy or the power to do that, I am feeling a bit weak.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you in hospital last week? Officer, you took Mr Dlamini to hospital last week and can you just tell me what was the situation and what is the situation now? Could you just identify yourself please officer?

WARRANT OFFICER NHLABO: I am Warrant Officer Nhlabo.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. You took him to hospital last week. Have you had any indication about his medical condition?

WARRANT OFFICER NHLABO: Yes, they said he is suffering from stress and that is causing diarrhoea.


MR VALLY: Archbishop, if it is just a temporary feeling right now, we can change the order. If he is going to be feeling bad for the rest of the day, then we will have to make a decision, but maybe we can determine that.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Mr Dlamini, you will have to tell us as to whether you will be able to render testimony today or if not today, please do advise us?

MR DLAMINI: I do not have any energy, I feel very ill at the moment. Hanif?

MR VALLY: Mr Soller has just advised me that there is a number of - maybe he can tell you himself, but I will briefly say, there is a number of ex-MK people who have arrived now and if any of them are members of the Mandela United Football Club, we would like Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to point them out, because we have previously asked her to point them out to us and she hasn't done so yet.

That is a side issue. He has pointed out that because Mr Dlamini's family is here, Mr Dlamini is feeling intimidated by these young men and Mr Mbatha as well and this may be the reason why he is reluctant to talk right now.

CHAIRPERSON: The truth is that there are people who intimidate you, you feel very intimidated.

MR DLAMINI: No, it is not that I am intimidated, I want to say I am sick.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Thulani Dlamini is not feeling well, and Dr Randera, speaking as a Doctor, says just looking at him, he would be concerned about his being able to continue, so I think we should probably let him stand down.

MR VALLY: Mr Soller pointed out that he was talking about Mr Mbatha, so maybe we need to get Mr Mbatha here and ask him if he is willing to go on.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. You are going to have to see a Doctor, because we need your testimony. When do you think you will be able to testify, late in the afternoon?

MR DLAMINI: Even in jail, I am admitted, I am from hospital at the moment. I was admitted to the jail hospital, or military hospital.


MR SEMENYA: Chairperson, may we record that for Mr Hanif to make this (indistinct) remarks to which he says but that is by the way, it is not proper and for him to say that there are MK members here who are members of the Football Club and Mrs Mandela must point them out, really all of these comments are hardly necessary under these circumstances.

We have been sitting here, we don't know who is in the room and for him to make those type of comments, is most unfortunate, with respect.

CHAIRPERSON: The only thing in this particular instance is that the legal representative of the two witnesses I think, is one who should really in fact have made the statement, because he was whispering to Mr Hanif.

I think maybe you should being of age, speak for yourself.

MR MOHAMMED: Mr Chairperson, Iím sorry to intervene, my name is Omar Mohammed and Iím the attorney representing Thulani Dlamini.


MR MOHAMMED: Mr Chairperson, I have canvassed the matter with my client regarding his evidence and regarding to any form of intimidation and heís indicated to me quite strongly that he is not being intimidated and heís willing to give evidence today, he would require some time perhaps just to recover but I will come back to you Mr Chairperson regarding when thereíll be a possibility to perhaps give evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, that is why Iím saying that you possibly want to consult with your client and give us an indication because I would have wanted - if it was possible for us, to have heard him today.

MR MOHAMMED: Thatís correct Mr Chairperson, I also want this matter to be finalised.


MR MOHAMMED: But perhaps this matter regarding my client can stand down and Iíll give an exact date and time as to when we can ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: No, no, the date is today - time.

MR MOHAMMED: Mr Chairperson, Iíll try and speak to my client, perhaps sometime this afternoon.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, all right. Thank you very, very much, that is a great help. Yes?

MR SOLLER: When I spoke to my learned friend a few moments ago, it was as you saw in a whispering type discussion. If my learned friend misunderstood me as saying I was representing Mr Dlamini as well, that was a misunderstanding. Mr Mbatha expected himself to be the next witness as you yourself did too Mr Chairperson.

All of a sudden while there was the interchange of witnesses and Mrs Sisulu was stepping down I was suddenly called to come and consult with Mr Mbatha in the witnessís room. These were my instructions that Mr Mbatha - who has been willing to testify has been here everyday since this Commission began, had noticed this morning two things, first of all his family had for the first time come here to support him and to be with him - they havenít been here at all Mr Chairperson.

Secondly, he had noticed the presence of a number of MKís as he called them to me - as he described them to me. He himself Mr Chairperson, has not much to fear because we know at the end of the day heís going back to prison Mr Chairperson but what he does fear very much is testifying in front of these people and allowing his family to leave the Commission tonight because he fears very much for their safety.

Now, in discussion with my learned friend the suggestion was muted that I put the request to you Mr Chairperson, for some form of witness protection for those members of his family and with respect, who have every right to be here today to hear him give his evidence Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. The first point I would want to make is that I will not tolerate - and I donít think we can as a Commission, tolerate anyone being intimidated or even having the suggestion that they are being intimidated. If it is that theyíre able to identify people who have done so, then they ought to let the Commission know because it is an offence for that to happen.

The second is that clearly we have an obligation since we are seeking the truth and the witness certainly has the right to have the support of his family with him but we are under obligation as well to see as far as is possible, that no harm will come to the families.

My colleague has disappeared just now but we will ensure that for now the limited witness protection programme that we have should be put in place. We will not tolerate being hampered by people either being intimidated or being left under the impression that they in fact might be intimidated. I hope that we will be given assistance in order to identify those who might in fact be guilty of this particular offence.

MR SOLLER: Thank you Mr Chairperson, I think the difficulty we have is thereís active intimidation and thereís passive intimidation, I for one - and I might be quite wrong because Iím not a political animal as you know Mr Chairperson with respect, I for one this morning saw a number of men in military uniform arrive in this Commission which I havenít seen on any single day prior to the Commission being heard.

CHAIRPERSON: The point is of course - again this is a public hearing and we have no right - unless we do in fact have very cogent reasons, we do not have any right to exclude anybody. That is why I am saying that it will important as far as it can be possible for people to be identified who may in fact be guilty of that particular thing. We will put our limited witness protection in place.

MR SOLLER: ...[inaudible]

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I mean otherwise you can ask the Department of Justice to assist in that matter. Hanif?

MR VALLY: Mr Chairperson, we have got Mr Koch here from our witness protection grouping and maybe he can assist us in the interim, he can assist with Mr Sollerís client or sit next to the family for a while to provide the necessary protection.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much Hanif.

MR VALLY: However, I want to make this point to my colleague Mr Semenya. We have asked his client to identify members of the Mandela United Football Club to us and under oath she has told us that she couldnít identify them and that she only had nicknames for them.

There are two things that worry me here Sir. The one thing is we have been told that there are members of the Mandela United Football Club who have been attending this hearing. Itís a fair question: "Are there any ex-members of the Mandela United Football Club who here?" We have previously requested his client under oath to identify them for us because sheís only given us nicknames and she can tell us unequivocally yes or no whether she can.

Number two Sir, is this issue of intimidation of witnesses. We have kept quiet, we have had private reports on Commission level that Mrs Madikizela-Mandela has been contacting witnesses who have been subpoenaed. We have tried to provide them with witness protection, we need an unequivocal statement from her that she will not contact any witnesses who have been subpoenaed by this Commission. Thank you Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: You seem to have put together two things and I think we should excuse Mr Dlamini for the moment and have him consult with his attorney and we try and find a time when we recall him today.

You may stand down.

MR MOHAMMED: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Now Hanif, you have raised ...[intervention] Yes?

MR SEMENYA: Chairperson, now we are really calling for some form of protection. In a large measure it will be considered at least that the accusations in the main have found existence around perceptions that were there but perhaps ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry. Order please. Can people try to settle down, thank you.

MR SEMENYA: Chairperson, perhaps there may be a place ...[indistinct] very limited for those type of perceptions to be somewhere around there in the public domain and in the media domain. What weíre calling for is that for Mr Vally in his position would know a number of things. Firstly: even as we speak today heís talking about people who are members of the football team - this is now 1997.

Secondly: he is making reference that Mrs Madikizela-Mandela was invited to identify - and I use the word, identify members of the football team in a closed Section 29 hearing - I donít know how that was supposed to happen. Thirdly, surely Mr Vally knows he is going to get an opportunity to put all these things at the time Mrs Mandela takes the stand.

Fourthly: now heís making a very profound statement that Mrs Madikizela-Mandela has been contacting witnesses who have been subpoenaed to attend. I have read the Act - clearly if he has any legitimate basis for the belief that heís now articulating, there are criminal prosecutions which he can start himself without necessarily going into what I believe is just a sensationalism.

Heís not even disclosing to yourselves Chairperson, that this is the basis upon which he holds that view and to call for your ruling. If he had information, he is obliged I would submit, to make that information available to the Commission and for the Commissioners to take appropriate measure around those allegations. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I think that the first point is taken with regard to identification in a Section 29 hearing, that I think is a very fair point. The second matter is - Hanif, are you able to indicate whether there is a basis for your second allegation?

MR VALLY: Very briefly on the first aspect, very briefly Archbishop. I ask Mrs Madikizela-Mandela - besides the people she produced at the press conference and besides Sizwe Sithole, if she could give me the names of any of her other people and she said she used nicknames for their own protection.

I said: "Can you give us any help in identifying them"? and she said: "Iím afraid not, I have explained myself here and I cannot go further than that". Now Iím saying that on the one hand you have the same people I asked her to help me identify being here and on the other hand under oath she said she only knew their nicknames - I leave that as it is.

Regarding the second allegation, I notice Mr Semenya has been very careful not to unequivocally say: "I have not contacted your witnesses who have been subpoenaed". I have got reports regarding Mr Morgan having been contacted, I have got reports that Mr Sithole was at a meeting with her, I have got reports that she contacted Mr Ntombeni and I can possibly go further - I think I will stop there, thank you Mr Chairman.

MR SEMENYA: Chairperson, maybe if I may, the last thing is that we request Mr Vally to take statements of these witnesses and open criminal prosecutions, I think thatís the right thing for him to do.

CHAIRPERSON: It is a very interesting situation and I think that perhaps I need to take counsel with my colleagues and we will probably do that during the lunch break. Yes?

MR VALLY: Can Mr Semenya not give us an unequivocal answer that his client has not and will not contact persons who have been subpoenaed?

CHAIRPERSON: Will you be able to give that?

MR SEMENYA: Iím able to do that Chairperson. One day I think my learned colleague will say: "These are the people who have been contacted by your client, these are the circumstances under which they say they were contacted and this is the statement that confirms that they were", I will take that information as Iím professionally duty bound to say: "Here is the substantive allegation, what is our response" but for now he just mentions two names. I donít know what Mr Vally thinks I must say about those things.

CHAIRPERSON: We will have to be consulting ourselves and we need to perhaps have fairly substantive material.

MR SOLLER: Mr Commissioner may I - as it pleases you Mr Chairperson ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: I change your name.

MR SOLLER: Iíd sometimes wish you could. Apprapo what Mr Vally says and listening to what my learned friend Mr Semenya says, heís rather putting the horse before the cart, heís saying: "Find the people for me, then Iíll deal with them". I want to tell you this Mr Chairperson, within 48 hours of it being known that I was acting for Mr Mbatha - I havenít said a word up to date, within 48 hours I received death threats.

I then spoke to the Internal Stability Unit of the South African Police to look after my home and I can tell you Mr Chairperson, that that has not taken place at all. Now thatís troubled me, itís troubled me throughout this enquiry and it becomes more troubling when I hear what Mr Vally now says because Mr Vally and I - as you know and as youíve seen, have not been in frequent communication with each other at all.

It is clear Mr Chairperson, - notwithstanding that Mr Semenya says: "Find the person first and then lodge your complaint" - itís not as simple as that, Mr Semenya cannot say that. The undertaking which is required and the assurances required is that the protection is there, you canít go and hunt the criminal when you donít know who youíre looking for Mr Chairperson - if I can put it that way.

And itís quite clear that there is a form of intimidation taking place and we seek you and your learned colleagues counsel and your wisdom on this topic Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I have indicated that I think we should sit down and take counsel. I have made the point that we will not obviously tolerate any form of intimidation of witnesses either real or supposed. People might think that that is what is going to take place and weíve said we will do everything we can to ensure that people receive witness protection and if we can perhaps leave it at that. We are going to take a lunch break and we will need to be consulting to find out how we take it from there. I donít know - we probably want to go.

Mr Mbatha? Mr Mbatha?

Mr Mbatha is here Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I beg your pardon.

MR SOLLER: He is here, is in the escort of the South African Prisons authorities but he will take the stand Mr Chairperson.


MR MILLER: Chairperson, on behalf of Mr Dlamini it appears from what Iíve heard now from my attorney and also from Mr Dlamini himself that he needs some kind of medication or medical treatment before being able to give his evidence. There are bureaucratic difficulties insofar as the Prisons Services are concerned, they would have to phone the prison and fill in a form and get a letter and I donít know what all before they could effectively give him any medical treatment. I was wondering Mr Chairman, whether the Commission may authorise the expenses of him - I donít believe it would involved anything much more

than a consultation and some type of ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: I think we need to do that, let that happen as quickly as possible. We are aware of our own exergencies but we are very concerned about his own physical well-being and that should take priority of our concerns and therefore yes, the Commission will take - as we are limited, responsibility for today. Therefore if he can ...[intervention]

MR MILLER: Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mbatha? Good afternoon Mr Dlamini - Mbatha, oh dear, itís Monday. Good day Mr Mbatha, which language are you going to speak?

MR MBATHA: Iím going to speak Zulu.

CHAIRPERSON: We thank you very much for having appeared before this Commission after waiting for quite a long time. Officer, could you please introduce yourself just so that we know.

MR MBATHA: Iím Simon Thabani Ndambo.

CHAIRPERSON: What is your rank?

MR NDAMBO: Correctional Officer Grade One.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Could you please stand Mr Mbatha?

MS SOOKA: Mr Mbatha, could you put the earphones on your ears please.

CHAIRPERSON: Can we just find our whether there is a briefer.

MS SOOKA: Are you able to hear me properly?


MS SOOKA: Could you place your full names on the record please?

MR MBATHA: Mr Zakhele Cyril Mbatha.

MS SOOKA: Do you have any objection to taking the oath?

ZAKHELE CYRIL MBATHA: (sworn states)

MR SOLLER: Mr Chairperson, before I proceed with leading this witnessís evidence, I notice that he appeared to come out of a room on the side and perhaps he didnít hear your comments about the intimidation. Could you with respect Mr Chairperson, indicate to him that you will arrange or will to it as best you can that heís fears of intimidation are allayed Mr Chairperson?

CHAIRPERSON: After we heard that there could be some form of intimidation or threats against your person or your family, we as the Commission decided that we are not going to tolerate that type of behaviour or threats.

We do confirm that youíre not going to come across any such intimidation or threats because youíre in prison anyway and youíre under absolutely no threat. We would like to confirm that your family will also be protected from the intimidation.

MR SOLLER: Thank you Mr Chairperson, Iím indebted to you.

Mr Mbatha, youíre presently serving a life sentence in Pretoriaís prison for killing Doctor Asvat by shooting him twice in the chest, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: I think itís Doctor Asvat, you tend to say Asavat.

MR SOLLER: I think I was just following one of the sheep here Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I think it is Asvat.

MR SOLLER: As it pleases you Mr Chairperson.

MR SOLLER: Mr Mbatha, before you proceed with the actual killing or murder itself, would you tell the Commission how old you are?

MR MBATHA: Iím not really sure how old I am but I was born in February 1968.

MR SOLLER: Is it correct that you came up to the Transvaal - now Gauteng, when you were a young man from the Natal region of Hammersdale, Richmond - that area?

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is correct. Iím not from Richmond, Iím from Mthabateni.

MR SOLLER: Is Mthabateni in the Natal area?

MR MBATHA: That is correct.

MR SOLLER: Mr Mbatha, was there a particular reason why you came up from the Natal are to the Gauteng area?

MR MBATHA: I could say the reason was job hunting as well as being closer to my elder brothers.

MR SOLLER: By job hunting one can assume that you felt the prospects of getting employment in the Gauteng area were better, is that correct.

MR MBATHA: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mbatha, the people from the media are complaining about your sunglasses and the reflection that it creates, could you please take them off? Is it a medical problem that you have with your eyes or is it just for ornamental purposes?

MR SOLLER: Mr Commissioner, I suspect - without consulting with this witness, that the sunglasses arise from the fear of identification. Iíve consulted every day with the witness without sunglasses.

CHAIRPERSON: I think itís better for you to take off your glasses, thank you.

MR SOLLER: In any event Mr Mbatha, you need have no concern, the Chairperson and his Committee will take care of your concerns this afternoon. Letís just carry on please. You then came up to the Gauteng - what was then known as the Transvaal area, in approximately what year?

MR MBATHA: Could you please repeat your question.

MR SOLLER: In approximately what year did you come up from Natal to the Gauteng area to go job hunting as you put it to the Chairperson?

MR MBATHA: I think it was in 1982 if Iím not mistaken.

MR SOLLER: Mr Mbatha, something will turn on this question at a later stage. Did you when you came up to the Gauteng area, have any political affiliations?

MR MBATHA: No, not at that stage.

MR SOLLER: Were you happy with the Government such as it existed at that time?

MR MBATHA: No, I was never happy with the past regime.

MR SOLLER: Could you attribute briefly your reasons therefore?

MR MBATHA: We were always harassed by the police with regard to passes or the pass laws, we always had to carry passes around and whenever you were looking for a job you had to have a pass that authorised you to be in that particular area where you were seeking a job.

I could say thatís part of the reasons why I didnít particularly like the past Government even though I wasnít very politically aware at that time and I didnít know what steps I could possibly take in order to avert this.

MR SOLLER: Was it your ambition Mr Mbatha, to see an ultimate change of the Government?

MR MBATHA: Yes that is true, I had that desire that there could be some changes implemented with regard to the way in which Black people lived their lives at that time.

MR SOLLER: May please turn to January in 1989, is it correct that you had a friend by the name of Madlaose - if I pronounced it correctly, M-a-d-l-a-o-s-e?

MR MBATHA: No, I donít remember the surname of Madlaose.

MR SOLLER: In a similar context - as it pleases you Mr Commissioner, is it correct that you knew a gentleman by the name of Mr Dlamini?

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is correct.

MR SOLLER: Did Mr Dlamini and his girlfriend - I believe she is a lady by the name of Santo, did they spend any time at your home?

MR MBATHA: I will say, one day it so happened.

MR SOLLER: Did you ever then get to a situation where you were approached by someone who was driving a maroon BMW 5 series motor vehicle?

MR MBATHA: Yes, there is.

MR SOLLER: Would you tell the Commission in your own words what happened about the time and subsequent to the approach by the person who was driving the Maroon BMW 5 series?

MR MBATHA: The first time I saw the vehicle I saw it as a vehicle who just came to where we were and it left again and I was with Mr Dlamini at the time. Finally, I realised that Dlamini was close to the driver of the BMW, I did not take much notice of the driver.

We were sitting down and drinking our beer and it so happened that each time Dlamini left and came back to drop his girlfriend he would go back to the BMW driver and carry on. He asked me to go and fetch a ticket from some place near to where we were - a little distance, I was prepared to help him so I did go.

MR SOLLER: Just stop there if you would please. Did you understand what he meant by asking you to fetch a ticket - as you describe it?

MR SOLLER: Yes, I understood him to be saying he wasnít feeling well, he had to see a doctor and he needed that ticket for that purpose.

MR SOLLER: Did he tell you where to go?

MR MBATHA: Yes, he did.

MR SOLLER: The ticket may have a more meaningful meaning to you than it does to me but am I to understand that you were asked to make arrangements for Mr Dlamini to see a doctor?

MR MBATHA: Yes, it is so.

MR SOLLER: Did you know the name of this doctor?

MR MBATHA: No, I did not furnish me with the name, he only gave the directions of the building and told me that I will see a board.

MR SOLLER: Where were you at the time when he gave you the directions?

MR MBATHA: We were next to a shopping centre and there was a bottle store in that shopping complex. I have just forgotten the street name as well as the shopping complexís name.

MR SOLLER: Itís correct for me to say is it not, that you were not brought up in that area?

MR MBATHA: Yes, I wasnít brought up in that area.

MR SOLLER: Did you find your way to the rooms of a medical doctor?

MR MBATHA: Yes, there was a street that led me to the place.

MR SOLLER: To the place of a medical doctor?

MR MBATHA: That is correct.

MR SOLLER: Were you given instructions as to what to do when you got to the medical doctor?

MR MBATHA: I was told the name and the surname to use when I get there.

MR SOLLER: By whom were you told and what name were you told to use?

MR MBATHA: Mr Dlamini.

MR SOLLER: And did he tell you to use a particular name?

MR MBATHA: Yes, it is so.

MR SOLLER: What is that name?

MR MBATHA: That was Mandla Mkwanyana.

MR SOLLER: Would it be correct for me to spell it for the record as M-a-n-d-l-a M-k-w-a-n-y-a-n-a?

MR MBATHA: Thatís correct.

MR SOLLER: Did you then proceed to approach a lady in the doctorís rooms and book an appointment with her?

MR MBATHA: Yes, it is true.

MR SOLLER: What questions did that lady ask you besides your name?

MR MBATHA: She asked if I had my ID with me.

MR SOLLER: Did she ask you to give a thumb of a fingerprint?

MR MBATHA: When she discovered that I did not have my ID, she asked that I give my fingerprints.

MR SOLLER: And you gave your fingerprint?

MR MBATHA: Thatís correct.

MR SOLLER: Did you arrange a booking for this gentleman whose name you were using to see Doctor - we now know itís Doctor Asvat, the same day?

MR MBATHA: Yes, it is true.

MR SOLLER: What happened after youíd arranged the booking?

MR MBATHA: I left to give him the ticket so he could be able to see the doctor at a time convenient for him.

MR SOLLER: It will obviously be asked of you and we may as well deal with it now, was a time arranged?

MR MBATHA: We did not make an appointment but that was up to that person or up to him as to when he decided when he was going to see the doctor.

MR SOLLER: After that, did you together with Mr Dlamini return home?

MR MBATHA: No, he had to take me back so that I go my own way and he goes his own way.

MR SOLLER: On the way back, was mention made to you by Dlamini about a gun?

MR MBATHA: When we moved - that is when we were at the park or next to the park, thatís when he took out a gun and he tested the gun as to whether it was functioning properly - thatís the first time I saw the gun.

MR SOLLER: That obviously - well, I donít want to say obviously, that might have come as a surprise to you, did you ask him anything about that gun?

MR MBATHA: When he took out the gun he uttered some words even before I asked him about the gun.

MR SOLLER: What were those words?

MR MBATHA: As he was testing the gun he said: "This woman has given me a non-functional gun".

MR SOLLER: How did he test the gun Mr Mbatha?

MR MBATHA: He cocked it at the top.

MR SOLLER: Did he do anything else to lead him to the conclusion that the gun wasnít working properly?

MR MBATHA: As he was pulling it, it dismantled itself and it became crooked in some sort of way and the gun didnít do whatever he expected it to do or whatever he wanted it to do.

MR SOLLER: Madam Interpreter, in using the reference dismantled itself, can I assume that youíre talking to something akin to coming apart?

MR MBATHA: No English translation.

MR SOLLER: Sorry, I was asking that question Mr Chairperson, to the interpreter.

INTERPRETER: The Interpreter is saying what the witness is saying.

MR SOLLER: Did the witness say: "it dismantled itself" Madam Interpreter?

INTERPRETER: That is ...[indistinct] what the witness has said has got no equivalent in - what he has said in Zulu has got no equivalent in English, so he used the next best word to describe what he is saying. You can ask the witness to further explain himself as to what he means by the gun dismantling itself.

MR SOLLER: Iím indebted to you Madam Interpreter.

Mr Mbatha, would you explain to us what you mean by "dismantled itself"? Try and think if you can, of some more detailed explanation by what you mean: "dismantled itself".

MR MBATHA: What I mean is that the gun did not function in manner which other guns functioned, the aim for which the gun was made could not be discharged and it could not be done.

CHAIRPERSON: I wonder whether we might not consider taking our lunch break now?

MR SOLLER: As it pleases you Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: And we will return at a quarter to two. Weíll adjourn, thank you.




CHAIRPERSON: Can I just ask - Faizel, is there someone we can send who could make sure that those people can exercise their rights to make a noise but they mustnít be distracting and they are just now? Where is Hanif?

We recall Mr Mbatha. Mr Mbatha please? Thank you, youíre still under oath.

Yes Mr Soller?

MR SOLLER: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

Mr Mbatha, after it became apparent to you and Mr Dlamini that the first gun wasnít going to work, what steps did you then take to acquire another gun?

MR MBATHA: That wasnít my duty, it was up to the other person to see as to what to do.

MR SOLLER: And what steps did he take that are to your knowledge?

MR MBATHA: We parted ways, I went back to my place and he also went to his own place.

MR SOLLER: Shortly afterwards, did you link up together with Mr Dlamini again?

MR MBATHA: Yes, I did.

MR SOLLER: Did Mr Dlamini tell you that he wanted to go and visit somebody?
MR MBATHA: Ever since we parted he had gone to solve the problem with regard to the first gun that was dysfunctional.

MR SOLLER: At a particular point of time that day, did he meet up with you and tell you that there was now a way of solving that problem?

MR MBATHA: That was none of business, I never tried to pursue that matter any further.

MR SOLLER: Mr Mbatha, I canít lead you if - I want to ask you, did you in the company of Mr Dlamini then have sight of a second replacement gun?

MR MBATHA: When he came back to me - that is at my place, they came - it was himself and another gentleman, we went in a car and they told me there was a certain place we were supposed to visit. At the car, thatís where they explained to me (end of tape - no sound)

MR SOLLER: Who drove to Mrs Mandelaís place as you put it?

MR MBATHA: That was Mr Botha Shwala.

MR SOLLER: Mr Botha Shwala and I presume from what - I can infer that Mr Dlamini went with you?


MR SOLLER: You told the Commission a few moments ago that it was explained to you what the reason for you acquiring the ticket was, can you please be more specific to the Commission?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Yes, now what about that ticket? It was explained to you why you had to acquire that ticket, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Now, where in the scheme of things did the taking of the ticket - as you call it, assist in the killing of Doctor Asvat or where could it assist in the killing of Doctor Asvat?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Initially when you got the ticket as you call it, who was supposed to be the patient?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: You told the Commission a few moments ago that you then drove to Mrs Mandelaís home, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Did you enter Mrs Mandelaís home?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Would you just identify for us in the Commission, who is Mrs Mandela, do you see her here?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Where is she sitting?

MR MBATHA: (No sound)

MR SOLLER: What happened when you got to Mrs Mandelaís home? I want you to describe what you saw with your own eyes please?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Just one second please, I donít want to stop you unreasonably but letís just take this in sequential stages. When you were with Mrs Mandela, was there any discussion about money?

MR SEMENYA: Chairperson, that is leading but I think it has been put in that leading sense already.

MR SOLLER: I wonder if my learned friend could repeat himself, I didnít hear him.

MR SEMENYA: My objection was - the question is leading because you put in the actual words but I think I canít un-ring the bell, so weíll just wait for the answer.

MR SOLLER: I think your words were that you then went to do what you had to do. Now Mr Mbatha, initially - if I understand your evidence, you were simply accompanying Mr Dlamini to do something which to you was unknown, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Yes, certainly. At the outset of events that day, were you to play a material role in any future plans relating to Doctor Asvat or were you simply there as a party to make the appointment with Doctor Asvat?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

CHAIRPERSON: I want to find out Mr Soller, just how much more you have?

MR SOLLER: Mr Chairperson, Iím going to have at least another 8 to 10 important questions to put to this witness.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, all right.

MR SOLLER: May the witness proceed Mr Chairperson?


MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Had you ever met Mrs Mandela before or did you know of her?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Were you aware of the cause which she was promoting in our country?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: And did you admire that cause?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Okay, I donít want to be too long. Now, you got to Doctor Asvatís room and had your - I take it you had some sort of identification being the ticket that Doctor Asvatís secretary had given you, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Did you then enter Doctor Asvatís rooms?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Was he sitting down?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: And did you then get taken into the consulting rooms of Doctor Asvat?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Mr Mbatha, I donít want to beat around the bush, when Doctor Asvat came into the consulting rooms, what did you do with your gun?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: After you fired the second shot, did Mr Dlamini enter the room to see that the shots had been fired effectively?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: His intention being to see that Doctor Asavat would not survive? - Doctor Asvat, forgive me Mr Chairperson

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Did you then demand that the electrical door be opened?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: In the event - I donít want you to take up the Commissionís time, in the event, did you and Mr Dlamini both escape and run away from the scene of the crime?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Now subsequent to that - itís common cause but itís important in the context in this hearing, you were arrested were you not for the commission of this crime?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Did you try and explain to the people who arrested you, the circumstances under which this crime had taken place?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Is it correct that subsequently after a lengthy trial, you were found guilty by His Lordship Mr Justice Solomon and you were sentenced to death by hanging for this crime?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Prior to the criminal trial before his Lordship Mr Justice Solomon - Mr Mbatha, I now this hurts you a lot and you must be the only person in this room who has had the misfortune of being sentenced to death by hanging, prior to that, had you been asked to make confessions by the South African Police?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Prior to the date on which you were sentenced to death by the Judge, had you been asked to make confessions by members of the South African Police?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Iím talking about the stage at which you were being investigated - of course investigation may not stop there, what happened during the investigations prior to you appearing in a Supreme Court? Were you interrogated?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

CHAIRPERSON: Iím sorry, I really have to ask that you should - youíve had nearly an hour.

MR SOLLER: Mr Commissioner, may I just ask the witness then - I donít like stopping a witness from asking, I shouldnít do it but may just ask him to curtail his answers and I will curtail my questions and get to the point. Itís very difficult for me to tell a witness to stop telling his story Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: (No English translation)


MR SOLLER: Thank you Mr Commissioner.

Mr Mbatha, were you tortured at all by the police?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Would you explain to the Commission why you were tortured and what the police wanted you to say?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Mr Mbatha, did you at all get an opportunity to mention Mrs Mandela?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: What did you explain to them?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: And are you saying that nobody was prepared to take notice of and reference you made to Mrs Mandela?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Did that persist right up until your trial, that you tried to tell people about your involvement with Mrs Mandela but you were stonewalled each time?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: I want to ask you one last question. Did Mrs Mandela ever have the right on your behalf to communicate with the Department of Prisons about the manner in which you were being treated in prison? Please answer that question.

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: In 1985 - Iíll show you now, Mrs Mandelaís lawyers addressed a letter to the Commissioner of prisons pointing out that you were being assaulted in prison, did you authorise Mrs Mandela or her lawyers to write that letter for you?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Can you explain to the Commission how it possibly could have been that on the 25th of May ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Soller, you donít have to hold the microphone, the further you are from it the better because you keep having an explosion.

MR SOLLER: Thank you Mr Commissioner.

Can you explain how it is possible for Doctor Serete to have written a letter to the Commissioner of Police on the 25th of August - the 25th of June 1995, stating as follows and I quote: - please Mrs Interpreter, tell me if Iím going too fast.

"Furthermore, it has come to our clientís knowledge that Mr Zakhele Mbatha, presently serving sentence at Pretoria Central Prison and who is kept at Medium C, Block B, was severely assaulted by the police who were forcing him to sign a statement which implicates our client in several criminal offences and he was also promised a substantial cash amount, amnesty and a new identity document if he signs this statement"

Do you know anything about this letter being written? How could Mrs Mandelaís lawyers have known that you were being assaulted?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: You had nothing to do with her whilst you were in prison and since you were in prison?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: The last two questions Mr Chairperson, I promise you Mr Chairperson.

You didnít apply for amnesty did you Mr Mbatha?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Would you tell the panel why not?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: I think you must be a bit more specific on that answer if the Chairperson pleases.

Were there certain questions you couldnít answer?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: You mean you couldnít give a true answer to the questions which were being asked to you because of the fact that the people who were talking to you didnít seem to know the background of what had happened?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

CHAIRPERSON: I think you have to ask your last question.

MR SOLLER: As it pleases you Mr Chairperson.

Mr Mbatha, do you intend staying in prison for the rest of your life or do you intend doing what the law allows - to facilitate your early release from prison?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: Mr Chairperson, professionally I promised my client that I would offer him one thing before he concluded his evidence, he wanted to say something to you Mr Chairperson.

Mr Mbatha, please listen to me slowly. When I consulted with you, you asked me if you would be given an opportunity to say something to Doctor Asvatís family, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SOLLER: I didnít discuss with you what it was you wanted to say in detail, would you please use this opportunity? - itís your last one Mr Mbatha.

CHAIRPERSON: (No English translation)

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

CHAIRPERSON: (No English translation)

Thank you very much.

MR SOLLER: Mr Chairman, perhaps a five minutes adjournment from both parties point of view would suffice.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, can we have a five minute adjournment?






CHAIRPERSON: There are too many people who donít seem to understand English, settle down please, thank you.

Mr Mbatha please?

We are waiting for Hanif Vally who has disappeared into thin air.

Mr Dlamini who was going to be a witness we were due to have taken has been detained in hospital overnight because according to the doctor we believe heís suffering from dehydration.

Mr Hanif Vally?

MR VALLY: Thank you Archbishop.

CHAIRPERSON: If you are able to help us to cover up some of our schedule, I would be deeply, deeply grateful. If for instance you are able to do in 10 minutes what you would have done in 15, you would get a bonus in your salary.

MR VALLY: Thank you Archbishop.

Mr Mbatha, at the trial for which you were charged for the murder of Doctor Asvat, you were also charged and found guilty of robbery six months before, is that true?

MR MBATHA: Could you please repeat your question.

MR VALLY: The same trial when you were charged and convicted of the murder of Doctor Asvat, you were charged and convicted of robbery of a Mr Ephraim Ndlalose at a shop in the district of Ngoma, is that true?

MR MBATHA: That is true, I was also convicted with regard to that.

MR VALLY: And your co-accused in that matter was the same person who was your co-accused in the murder of Doctor Asvat?

MR MBATHA: No, I did not work with anyone, I was just convicted with him but I did not know as to how he got involved.

MR VALLY: Iím talking about Mr Thulani Dlamini, was he not convicted with you for the robbery of Mr Ephraim Ndlalose on the 28th of June 1988 at Ngoma?


MR VALLY: So you two have been accomplices before in another very serious crime - robbery with aggravating circumstances?

MR MBATHA: I was arrested for the very first time with regard to Doctor Asvatís death, I donít know anything about else.

MR VALLY: Iím aware when you were arrested, Iím saying that at the time of your arrest you were charged not only for the death of Doctor Asvat but you were also charged and convicted of a robbery in Ngoma which took place on the 28th of June 1988.

MR MBATHA: I was arrested and charged with regard to Doctor Asvatís murder, the other one was a further charge and I was told that I was to appear at the Supreme Court but I have no knowledge of that robbery.

MR VALLY: Mr Chair, I wonít take this any further, itís a matter of public record that both Mr Thulani Dlamini and Zakhele Mbatha were convicted of robbery with aggravating circumstances relating to the crime Iíve referred to. (End of tape - no sound)

CHAIRPERSON: ... leads to is the murder of Doctor Asvat. He was surprised that this second charge was brought against him, he doesnít know anything about it - that is what he says.

MR VALLY: I hear you Archbishop.

But the fact is there were witnesses led, witnesses you identified you and you were subsequently convicted of that crime.

MR MBATHA: Can I just explain to you that the time is being referred to - that is the time of the robbery, I wasnít even in Natal at that time, I was here in Johannesburg. I even do have a hospital record that confirms the fact that I was admitted because I had been stabbed, so there is no truth in that statement that I was in Natal or in the region of Natal and I committed that robbery, I wasnít in Natal, I was in Gauteng.

MR VALLY: Letís move on. You were arrested - I believe it was the 17th of February 1989, and your first statement you made to a Lieutenant Page on the 19th of February 1989, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is true.

MR VALLY: This is a statement in which you say that there was a Johannes Ndlovo who carried out this crime, that you werenít party to the crime and that you also didnít know who Mr Thulani Dlamini was, is this correct?

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is the statement that I submitted and I do admit I referred to Johannes as to what his surname was is news to me, I donít know what his surname was - I had just been given the name Johannes without the surname.

MR VALLY: Iím sorry, Iíve got it wrong. The statement you allegedly made was that Johannes Ndlovo gave you the gun and you in fact shot Doctor Asvat - this is the statement you first made to the police on the 19th of February 1989, is that right?

MR MBATHA: That is the statement I was forced to submit.

MR VALLY: Fine, this is the one you said was tortured out of you and where you were told what to say, is that what you alleged in your evidence?

MR MBATHA: That is true.

MR VALLY: You appeared in the Magistrates Court and when you were asked to plead you made another statement in court, do you recall that?

MR MBATHA: Yes, I do.

MR VALLY: Was the statement you gave in court when you made your plea also forced out of you?

MR MBATHA: The statement that I submitted in court, I said I was not guilty because I did not want to go to prison.

MR VALLY: Well, from the court record you seem to have said something totally different. I will read you a small extract:

I donít know if the interpreters can interpret from Afrikaans?

Iíve got three heads nodding: "no", so Iíll just translate it myself as we go on Archbishop.

"Do you know Abu Bakker Asvat"?

Your answer was:

"Yes, I know him"

"Do you acknowledge that you shot the said person with a firearm"?

And your answer is:

"Yes, twice, I wasnít sure if the first shot hit him but the second shot hit him in the chest"

"Why did you shoot him"?


"I did not want to fight with him, I came onto the premises with a gun, he was a medical doctor and I went into his consulting rooms to rob him of the money he had earned and that is why I wanted to use the gun. I shot him because he wanted to fight with me and take the gun from me"

Do you recall all that happening?

MR MBATHA: Yes, I do.

MR VALLY: You then go into great detail and this is court, this is not your statement you made to the police about:

"He pulled the curtains open, he had his back to me and then I got up at that stage"

and then you shot him, he grabbed your knees and you went on at great lengths about that - similar to the story youíve given us now, do you recall that?

MR MBATHA: Yes, I do.

MR VALLY: Well how do you explain this statement in court then if you were not forced to make it?

MR MBATHA: I was still under the authority of those policemen who forced me to submit the statement so I knew it was one and the same system that interrogated me and the one that put me to court or made me appear before court, thatís why I kept on saying what I said.

MR VALLY: Although you were not forced to make this statement, you felt that because the court system was part of the police system you would make the same statement, is that your answer?

MR MBATHA: Could you repeat your question.

MR VALLY: You felt the system was the same - because you were in court the legal system was the same as the police system and thatís why you repeated the same statement, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: Yes, I submitted the same statements, it was one and the same thing that they had force me to say or to submit in writing and they forced me to say it in court.

MR VALLY: When you were arrested you persisted in giving a false name until your ID book was found, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is true.

MR VALLY: Why did you do that?

MR MBATHA: When they found me I was asleep and I was scared, I didnít know what was happening that is why I gave them a wrong name and my conscience was hammering away at me because I knew what I had done earlier on.

MR VALLY: ...[inaudible] a statement to the investigators from the Truth Commission?

MR MBATHA: Yes, I do.

MR VALLY: In this statement you say that Mr Thulani Dlamini your co-accused, asked you to make an appointment with Doctor Asvat, you then made an appointment under a false name which Mr Mandla Mkwanyana, you do not know what happened until Mr Thulani Dlamini came back to you - Iím sorry, you did talk about - Iíll read out two paragraphs to you as to what you said:

"After Iíd received a card"

This is the appointment card or registration card with Doctor Asvat.

"I left to the bottle store and when I arrived Thulani was waiting for me, I gave him the card and told him I am going, he said I must wait he will go with me. After a few minutes his friend left with a BMW, we also left the store taking the route that passes the surgery.

On our way when we were next to the park he took out a firearm, a 9mm 16 shooter, he cocked it and then said something is not right with this firearm"

He went further saying - quote:

"This woman gave me a pistol that is not working" - unquote

He then said to me he is going back to change the old pistol, I then left him, I went to Kliptown. In the early hours of the evening at about 18H45, Thulani came to me in Kliptown, he asked me to take a walk with him.

We went to sit in a certain place where I usually sat, he then said he had made a blunder, I asked what happened, he said he went to the surgery and he shot and killed the doctor at the surgery. I then got shocked because my fingerprint was taken at the surgery"

Now this is a statement you made to the Truth Commission Investigators, do you confirm this?

MR MBATHA: That is true.

MR VALLY: Now, the Truth Commission was established after we had a democracy, why did you lie to them if youíre saying what youíre saying today is true?

MR MBATHA: What I said to them I said without having prepared a statement for them, I wasnít prepared for their interview and I wanted to absolve myself because I didnít know much about the Truth Commission as to who it was made of and what sort of a body it was for me to speak the truth.

MR VALLY: In terms of time pressure Arch, Iíve got lotís more questions but maybe I should just round up then.

Mr Mbatha, I put it to you that your statement which your attorney took you through has been carefully tailored to give it some political flavour which hasnít existed in either the first statement that you made to the police or the second statement that you made in court. Whatís your response to that?

MR MBATHA: What Iím going to say to you is this, the statement that I submitted to the police and the statement that was given to me by the police. I did not give the police a statement, the police came with a ready made statement that I had to sign and agree to.

MR VALLY: ...[inaudible] Truth Commission Investigators?

MR MBATHA: Which one are you referring to?

MR VALLY: ...[inaudible] after you had been convicted and you were serving your sentence and the Truth Commission came to interview you in prison to ask you what had happened regarding the murder of Doctor Asvat.

MR MBATHA: I think Iíd already explained that I did not trust the Truth Commission, I hadnít heard about the Truth Commission and I didnít ask the Truth Commission to come to me.

I didnít know anything about the Truth Commission and therefore I could not have entrusted everything to the Truth Commission. I was not yet prepared to speak the truth at that time and when they came to interview me I did not trust them.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Semenya?

MR SEMENYA: (Has problem with microphone) Thank you Chairperson.

Mr Mbatha, I guess when the law tells us that perjury is visited with a maximum of two years plus a fine, it would mean nothing to somebody who is serving life, right?

MR MBATHA: Could you please repeat your question.

MR SEMENYA: When the law tells us that if convicted of perjury you might serve up to two years plus a fine, it would not be a serious consequence for somebody serving a life sentence.

MR MBATHA: Iím aware of that.

MR SEMENYA: But I think let me give you this first page of the document and identify the signature that appears at the bottom. Do you recognise the signature at the bottom of that page?

MR MBATHA: I do see it.

MR SEMENYA: Do you recognise the signature at the bottom of that page?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SEMENYA: It looks like whoís?

MR MBATHA: This MBA, this looks like my particulars.

MR SEMENYA: Are you saying the signature looks like your surname?

MR MBATHA: Itís mine.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] so long to admit your signature Mr Mbatha?

MR MBATHA: I was trying to identify the initials and itís incomplete.

MR SEMENYA: Can I have that page back? I think my learned colleague Mr Vally, has dealt briefly with this document, it is undated but I assume it would not have been made longer than a year.

MR VALLY: Iím not sure which document youíre referring to Mr Semenya.

MR SEMENYA: The one the witness has made to some TRC officials.

MR VALLY: I believe it was in the course of this year that it was taken from the witness.

MR SEMENYA: Paragraph 23 of the statement says the following:

"I also certify that I will be able to testify to the public hearing of the TRC only if I have legal representation and witness protection"

Do you recall saying that?

MR MBATHA: Yes, I do.

MR SEMENYA: You take an oath that you understand the contents of the declaration and that you consider the oath binding on your conscience, do you recall that?

MR MBATHA: I did swear to this statement, I was not sworn in before the statement was taken.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] an oath?

MR MBATHA: No, I wasnít.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible]

MR VALLY: Mr Semenya, Iím informed that the drafting is the work of the investigator who took the statement but it was not taken under oath although itís phrased this way, the oath was not rendered so itís not an affidavit.

MR SEMENYA: Mr Mbatha, the point Iím trying to get with you is, in 1997 you do not say in a statement that you were sent by Mrs Madikizela-Mandela to go and kill Doctor Abu Bakker Asvat, is that right?

MR MBATHA: What are you saying about 1997?

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] statement which is this year, you do not say that you Mr Mbatha killed Doctor Asvat on the instructions of Mrs Madikizela-Mandela, is that right?

MR MBATHA: Iíve already explain that itís many times that people come to interview me, interrogate me and ask me a lot of questions and at that stage I did not know who to trust and who to tell the truth to, thatís why I submitted that statement. I didnít know anything about the TRC, therefore I could not just divulge everything and anything to people I did not know.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] at that point you were prepared to lie according to you?

MR MBATHA: I did not give an explanation as to why I killed Doctor Asvat in that statement.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] now, if I understand you correctly, you were tortured by the police and then gave a false statement, is that right? - in fact the police told you what to say.

MR MBATHA: That is true.

MR SEMENYA: What did the police say to you - under that compulsion, which was a lie?

MR MBATHA: I will not be able to say everything with regard to that statement unless I can get a copy of the statement and tell you which particular things I was forced to say.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] letís not play. You were forced by the police to make a statement which was incorrect, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is true.

MR SEMENYA: What did the police say you must say which was not correct?

MR MBATHA: They said I should say I killed Doctor Asvat because I wanted to rob him.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible]

MR MBATHA: Yes, it was with regard to the robbery or the intention of the killing was with regard to the robbery.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] at one point, is that right?

MR MBATHA: That is true.

MR SEMENYA: Why donít you tell his learned Lordship that you committed this offence because of Mrs Madikizela-Mandela?

MR MBATHA: I want to tell you point blank that when I appeared at the Supreme Court I tried by all means to negate whatever I was forced to say and further give an explanation with regard to whatever I knew and did.

MR SEMENYA: I understand that but why donít you tell them that you did it because you were instructed by Mrs Madikizela-Mandela?

MR MBATHA: When I tried to tell the police - with regard to the instructions that Mrs Mandela gave me, the way I was treated by the police scared me for the rest of the hearings to such an extent that I didnít dare explain to the Judge what had happened. MR SEMENYA: Iíll come to these contradictions which are replete in your statements and that of Mr Dlamini but according to your version today, it is on the same day of the murder of Doctor Asvat that Cebekhulu takes you to his surgery, is that right?

MR MBATHA: That is true.

MR SEMENYA: According to Cebekhulu it was a couple of days, approximately 3 days or so before the murder of Doctor Asvat

MR MBATHA: I am saying it was on the very same day.

MR SEMENYA: So he must be incorrect to say it was a few days before when he took you there?

MR MBATHA: This young man or this boy was very young at the time when he was showing me the place and I wouldnít say heís lying, I would say he doesnít or didnít remember.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] your version now, when you went and made a card at the doctorís surgery, you didnít know why that card was made, is that right?

MR MBATHA: Thatís correct.

MR SEMENYA: You were just asked by your friend to go and make an appointment for him?

MR MBATHA: Yes, it is.

MR SEMENYA: And he didnít want to make it himself because there are people who would identify him?

MR MBATHA: No, thatís not true.

MR SEMENYA: Why didnít he go himself?

MR MBATHA: He said he had an errand to run and as soon as he comes back he just wants to go into the doctorís surgery with the ticket or card ready.

MR SEMENYA: Well I can show you statements where youíre saying exactly what Iím saying to you, would you deny that you said so?

MR MBATHA: Could you repeat your question?

MR SEMENYA: I can show you statements where you say: "The reason he didnít want to go himself was that there are people who would recognise him there" Do you deny that you ever made such a statement?

MR MBATHA: I think heís the person that can answer that question.

MR SEMENYA: According to my reading of the documents Mr Dlamini is younger than you are?

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is true.

MR SEMENYA: Why is he the one who is suggesting these things to you?

MR MBATHA: I think you can ask Dlamini that.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] to him - thatís my question, why donít you tell him: "No, you better go yourself"?

MR MBATHA: I think - as you are older than me, if you get some information from me to pass on to somebody else you can take that information and pass it on to me. Iím trying to answer you and explain to you because I think that answer is fit or befits the question that you are asking me.

MR SEMENYA: According to you Mrs Mandela says Cebekhulu must go and show you the surgery, why donít you say to her: "No, I know where the surgery is, itís not necessary"?

MR MBATHA: It never occurred to me that I should say that.

MR SEMENYA: Why donít you say to Cebekhulu in the car: "No buddy, thereís no reason for you to take us there, I know where the surgery is"?

MR MBATHA: I said to you I did not think of doing that and Iím not even thinking of it today.

MR SEMENYA: Do you remember there is an aspect of your statement when you say:

"Immediately the door of the surgery locked you even contemplated killing yourself"?

MR MBATHA: I remember, yes.

MR SEMENYA: And why would you have wanted to kill yourself?

MR MBATHA: I did not want to be arrested and I did not want to have an encounter with anyone who would come into the surgery after the killing.

MR SEMENYA: Just try and explain something that I donít understand, you are facing a possibility of the death sentence and the person who has hired you to go and kill hasnít paid you - youíre supposed to be angry, is that right?

MR MBATHA: Could you repeat your question?

MR SEMENYA: Youíre supposed to be angry because you did not get your R20.000-00 for the murder of Doctor Asvat, is that right?

MR MBATHA: No, the money was not the main issue or the uppermost thing in my mind at the time that we were discussing this because this was discussed in passing. I would have accepted the money had it been given to me but it was not the main issue.

MR SEMENYA: Is that your answer?

MR MBATHA: If that satisfies you, it is.

MR SEMENYA: Do you recall you went and - in one of the statements you go to Mrs Mandela to collect the money?

MR MBATHA: When you say in another statement - I donít understand you.

MR MBATHA: Do you recall you made a statement that after the killing you went to go and get your money and you were told Mrs Mandela is not in the house?

MR MBATHA: What Iím saying now before this Commission is that it was the first time that I saw her face to face, I donít remember that statement youíre referring to.

MR SEMENYA: Youíre saying the reason - money was of no consequence, is that right?

MR MBATHA: Yes, it is so.

MR SEMENYA: So youíre saying the reason you did this was because of what I might ask?

MR MBATHA: The reasons that she gave to me or us are what encouraged me to carry out this act that is why I didnít care much about the money. She told me that she would give us the money but as she explained the reason as to why we should kill this man, I felt highly satisfied with the explanation and I had the courage to carry out the duty as directed.

MR SEMENYA: What was the reason ...[inaudible] he would implicate Mrs Mandela in the murder of Stompie? Is that the political reason?

MR MBATHA: I donít remember ever talking about Stompie. I ask you that if you ask me questions, ask me on the basis of what I have said before or what I said today.

MR SEMENYA: Well, let me show you that part of your statement where you make reference to Stompie.

MR VALLY: Could I ask Mr Semenya to indicate to us which statement heís looking at?

MR SEMENYA: Itís the one made to the TRC official.

MR MBATHA: I do see the statement youíre referring to.

MR SEMENYA: Why do you say to the TRC official that the motive for the killing was to eliminate Doctor Asvat because he would have implicated Mrs Madikizela-Mandela in the Stompie murder?

MR MBATHA: If I remember quite well, the person who took the statement asked me with regard to Stompie and I never gave an answer with regard to Stompieís murder, I told her I did not know anything about Stompie but I knew something about Mrs Mandela and the directives she gave with regard to the murder but I never uttered any words with regard to Stompie.

MR SEMENYA: So, this is not what you said to the TRC official?

MR MBATHA: What I said I remember - the explanation that I gave I still remember and whatever I didnít know I told her or him that I did not anything about Stompie, so I cannot the misunderstanding or whatever is alleged therein.

MR SEMENYA: Do you recall that you are being held at the Lans Police Station together with Jerry Richardson?


MR SEMENYA: Jerry Richardson, do you know him?

MR MBATHA: I was with other prisoners, I do not know as to who their names were, maybe I got to know the others after quite some time.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] do you know Jerry Richardson?

MR MBATHA: Yes, I do.

MR SEMENYA: Now why do you play hard on such a simple point?

CHAIRPERSON: Could you please answer your questions in a very straight forward manner so as not to waste time? You can see that we havenít come here to play, if you are asked a question answer as direct and as straightforward as you can.

MR SEMENYA: Did you and Jerry Richardson discuss this event in prison?

MR MBATHA: Could you please tell me what youíre referring to, which event are you talking about?

MR SEMENYA: I beg your pardon?

MR MBATHA: Which event are you talking about, could you please explain? When you say the "event", what are you referring to?

MR SEMENYA: Did you and Jerry Richardson discuss the killing of Doctor Asvat?

MR MBATHA: If Iím not mistaken, I think between Guybon and Richardson - I donít know which one youíre referring to but I had an altercation with one of them in jail - I donít know whether itís Guybon or Richardson, so I donít want to say something that Iím not sure about.

If you can just remind me or just explain as to who the other is? I never had a discussion with Jerry - or it might have been Guybon but I did fight with one of them. Excuse me please - the fight was with regard to Doctor Asvat and his death.

MR SEMENYA: Let me ask it differently, do you know why Jerry Richardson was in prison?

MR MBATHA: Yes, I know now - I donít remember.

MR SEMENYA: Do you recall you denied knowing Mr Dlamini?

MR MBATHA: Yes, I do.

MR SEMENYA: Why did you say you didnít know him?

MR MBATHA: If I remember, I chose number 2 as well as number 3 and I denied any knowledge of them.

MR SEMENYA: The question is why? The question is why? Why do you say you donít know Dlamini?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible]

MR MBATHA: I was trying to protect him so that we werenít all going to be involved in this. The reason was that I did not want us all to get involved, that was the reason.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] what you meant. Why did you want to protect Dlamini?

MR MBATHA: I said my answer is that I did not want us all to get involved because we were related or we were friends.

MR SEMENYA: When did you know Dlamini?

MR MBATHA: We grew up together.

MR SEMENYA: And you had to deny that both of you went and robbed in your hometown?

MR MBATHA: I denied it, I do not know that or I do not know that I did not do that.

MR SEMENYA: Is it your evidence that you were seeing Mrs Mandela person to person for the first time that particular day and that was the last time you saw her?

MR MBATHA: That is true.

MR SEMENYA: And that it was only you and Dlamini?

MR MBATHA: That is true.

MR SEMENYA: Do you know a Botha Shwala?

MR MBATHA: Yes, I do.

MR SEMENYA: Who is he?

MR MBATHA: Heís one of my home boys, at the time he was staying at Izimsholpe.

MR SEMENYA: According to a statement purportedly made by Dlamini, he seems to say that a certain John Morgan was there, was that your observation?


MR SEMENYA: Mandelaís house.

MR MBATHA: I cannot testify as to what other people saw, I told you what I saw. I saw the person we went to as well as the person I was with, I wouldnít testify with regard to other people and what they saw.

MR SEMENYA: Chairperson, in the ordinary course of things I would confront this particular witness with each and every inconsistency that appears in the three statements that I have.

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible]

MR SEMENYA: I halt my cross-examination, Iím merely saying, if I had to do what I must do it would be to confront him with each and every inconsistency and it would clearly take far more than five minutes Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you satisfied that you have done what you had to do?

MR SEMENYA: I would be contradicting myself, professional execution of my task would have to be to confront the witness with each and every inconsistency but I also understand the ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Time constraint?

MR SEMENYA: The time constraint that the Commission operates on.

CHAIRPERSON: What I was wanting to ensure is that - despite those constraints and the parameters that I have indicated, I wouldnít want you to have said at the end that you didnít accomplish your objective because of that. I appreciate your concern and Iím glad that you agree, thank you very much.

MR SEMENYA: Maybe Iíll put it in general terms to this particular witness that the version - and I put it in plural, that the killing of Doctor Asvat was at the request of Mrs Madikizela-Mandela is incorrect. Itís a reason fabrication intended to give a political motive for your callous deed.

MR MBATHA: I do hear the manner in which youíre putting this but I also have my version and my version is just what I have delivered before this Commission and anything beyond that is your own observation. To-morrow you will have a problem with your version because Iím the one who is involved in this, Iím the one did this, you were not there and therefore you cannot testify as to what happened there.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] tell you what - in one statement again, your co-accused says:

"We then went to Diepkloof to see a person called Maxinga"

Do you know Maxinga?

MR MBATHA: (No English translation)

MR SEMENYA: Do you know Maxinga?

MR MBATHA: No, I do not know Maxinga.

MR SEMENYA: You donít know Maxinga?

MR MBATHA: Itís the first time I hear that name.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] is saying:

"We then went to Diepkloof to see a person called Maxinga at Diepkloof hostel and we saw the person. Mbatha then spoke to Maxinga asking him to lend Mbatha a firearm as we were going to use it"

Does this sound familiar to you?

MR MBATHA: I donít understand you because Iím Mbatha and I donít understand you when you say: "You went to see Mbatha", youíre confusing the issues so could you repeat your question?

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] this story or you donít?

MR MBATHA: Thatís news to me.

MR SEMENYA: The statement goes on and it says:

"Maxinga then gave Mbatha a 9mm Star firearm"

MR MBATHA: Could you repeat that?


"Maxinga than gave Mbatha a 9mm Star firearm"

This is now your friend Dlamini speaking.

MR MBATHA: I have no knowledge thereof.

MR SEMENYA: Is he lying?

MR MBATHA: Ask Dlamini, heíll be able to answer you.

MR SEMENYA: ..[inaudible] of your better knowledge of him, is he lying?

MR MBATHA: I said I have no knowledge and therefore I will not answer that question, you should direct it to Dlamini. Whether he is telling a lie or not, I do not know.

MR SEMENYA: What Iím saying is, is it incorrect?

MR MBATHA: I said Iím Mbatha and I do not know what youíre telling me.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] Dlaminiís incorrect when he says that?

MR MBATHA: Sir, I said I do not know what you are referring to, I do not know anything about that.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible]

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Yes, Mr Miller?

MR MILLER: Thank you Chairperson.

Mr Mbatha, my name is Michael Miller and I appear on behalf of your co-accused in the murder trial Thulani Dlamini.

Chairperson, again I have the same problem as Mr Semenya rather, if I was to put each and every inconsistency between my client and Mr Mbatha we would be here until tomorrow, so I will do so in the briefest most general terms.

Mr Mbatha, if I understand your evidence correctly, you are saying in a large part that you were in fact tricked or trapped by Mr Dlamini into doing this deed, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: Could you please repeat your question?

MR MILLER: Iím saying that your evidence is to a large extent that you were tricked or trapped by Mr Dlamini you co-accused into performing this deed - the murder? Is that your evidence?

MR MBATHA: That is true.

MR MILLER: So just to sum up - to mention a couple of aspects, Dlamini cheated - for want of a better word, cheated you to go into the surgery to get a ticket knowing full well that he was going to implicate you by getting your fingerprints on the card, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: Iím not sure whether he knew or he did not know as to whether there were fingerprints to be taken.

MR MILLER: The original plan was - if I understand your evidence correct, that Dlamini was originally supposed to be the person to do the shooting, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: Yes, thatís how I got it.

MR MILLER: But that because your fingerprint was already on the card it was decided on the last minute that you would have to do the shooting, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: That is correct.

MR MILLER: Well, I must put it to you Mr Mbatha, that you at all times knew exactly what was happening and you were at no stage tricked or trapped by Mr Dlamini into doing anything, what do you say about that?

MR MBATHA: What Iíve said about Dlamini is true.

MR MILLER: ...[inaudible] was discussed between you and Botha Shwala - you, Dlamini and Botha Shwala well in advance, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: I heard at a later stage - we never had a discussion with the two.

MR MILLER: So, you say thatís not true?

MR MBATHA: No, it isnít.

MR MILLER: And Mr Dlamini will also tell this Commission that prior to the first visit to Doctor Asvatís surgery you had already together with him visited Mrs Mandelaís home and discussed this plan, what do you say about that?

MR MBATHA: I donít understand you.

MR MILLER: Before, you told us you visited the doctorís surgery twice, the first time when you got the card and the second time when you went to actually do the shooting. Now what I say is that before you visited Doctor Asvatís surgery the first time, you had already visited Mrs Mandela at her home and discussed the whole matter with her including the payment of the R20.000-00 and that therefore you are misleading - to say the least, this Commission in saying that you went to Doctor Asvatís surgery the first time not knowing what this was all about.

MR MBATHA: I did not know anything at first, I only knew later.

MR MILLER: When exactly did you get to know what this was all about?

MR MBATHA: I only knew after the fingerprints because had I known beforehand I probably wouldnít have gone through with it because I had an idea and if I risk going around giving my fingerprints, I would have landed in trouble or I would have known that I would land myself in trouble.

MR MILLER: And in fact, tell us a bit about the payment of the R20.000-00, was it supposed to be paid in full after the killing or did you want some payment up front?

MR MBATHA: As Iíve already explained, when she talked about the money it wasnít a big issue, nobody answered or questioned or demanded any money at that time and there was no deposit or an up front deposit that was demanded from Mrs Mandela, she just pointed it out in passing when we were already on our feet just preparing to go out.

MR MILLER: You see, what I donít understand is something that Mr Semenya referred to in passing but Iíd like just to look at it perhaps in just a little bit more detail ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Can I remind you - one minute.

MR MILLER: Yes, Chairperson.


MR MILLER: You say that you paid a visit to Doctor Asvatís surgery and you got the card for Dlamini, right?

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is true.

MR MILLER: And after that the surgery was pointed out to you by Cebekhulu, is that right?

MR MBATHA: Repeat your question please?

MR MILLER: After you had paid the first visit - before you went to the surgery the second time, it was pointed out to you by Cebekhulu, is that right?

MR MILLER: Now what I donít understand is, if you had already been to the surgery - youíd already been there, you knew where it was, why was it necessary for Cebekhulu or anybody to point out the surgery to you?

MR MBATHA: I already said that I did not think of it then and as I did not think of it in the past Iím not thinking of it at present - thatís the answer I gave and Iím still giving you that answer.

MR MILLER: I will put it to you lastly that this is the one element in your evidence that shows its improbability and it shows that Mr Dlaminiís version that you will hear tomorrow, is the truth and that yours is not the truth.

MR MBATHA: I think what you are saying to me by putting Dlaminiís version, Dlaminiís version is the improbable one - much more than mine is.

MR MILLER: ...[inaudible]

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much.

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

Mr Mbatha, just a few quick questions, do I understand your evidence to be that you lied in your statement that you gave to the police - the sworn statement, you thereafter lied in the statement you made to the Magistrate, that you thereafter lied to the TRC investigator but that you are now - you must also have lied to the Advocate that defended you in the Supreme Court but that you are now telling the truth for the first time in the statement that you have made to your attorney Mr Soller, is that what you are saying?

MR MBATHA: Yes, for me to have come out with the truth, it was the first time when I gave the statement to my attorney or to my advocate.

MR KADES: So despite the fact that your life was in jeopardy you were prepared to lie to your advocate and the Judge?

MR MBATHA: What do you mean: "my life was in jeopardy"?

MR KADES: If you were convicted the police had told you, you would probably be sentenced to death.

MR MBATHA: I donít understand your question.

MR KADES: ...[inaudible] question. In the statement that you made to Mr Soller you say that the driver Mr Shwala drove you to Doctor Asvatís home and waited outside whilst you and Dlamini went inside to what you eventually did.

MR MBATHA: I said he dropped us off - that is myself and this other guy, he did not drop us in front of the gate of the surgery, he just left us quite a distance from the surgery.

MR KADES: The statement I have drawn by your attorney and what we are told was read over to you and explained to you, was that:

"The driver was a Mr Shwala who I have known from Natal, the driver did not go inside Mrs Mandelaís house with me and Dlamini and he waited outside"

Is that wrong? Is that incorrect?

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is true.

MR KADES: Oh, that is true. So when you came out - having killed Doctor Asvat, Shwala was waiting for you in the car, is that right?

MR MBATHA: No, that is not true. After we had killed Doctor Asvat we knew that we had to escape on our own, Shwala was not waiting for us.

MR KADES: Did you take any money from Doctor Asvat after you had shot him, either from his person or from his desk or from a drawer that you found there?

MR MBATHA: No, we never did, even Mr Dlamini did not take any money or I can say I did not see him taking any.

MR KADES: So the motivation was purely the R20.000-00 that you were to receive from Mrs Mandela, that was your monetary reward.

MR MBATHA: I disagree with you but what I can say is that we did not take any money. As to whether the R20.000-00 was motivation or not, I happen to disagree with you because if I wanted money I could have taken the money from Doctor Asvatís surgery and I would have gone to Mrs Mandela to demand my R20.000-00 if that was my motivation.

MR KADES: ...[inaudible] to Mrs Mandela to demand your money?

MR MBATHA: No, I never did, I only met Mrs Mandela once and that was all.

MR KADES: Why didnít you go and demand what was due to you? ...[inaudible] matter to you?

MR MBATHA: After that incident I was - the police were actually looking for me and I donít think I had time to think about the money because now I was thinking about my freedom that was just about to be curtailed.

MR KADES: ...[inaudible]

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible]

MR RICHARD: Richard not Richardson, I represent Mr Richardson.


MR RICHARD: Thank you Chairperson.

Sir, when did you first meet Mr Richardson, was it before the 29th of January Ď89 or afterwards?

MR MBATHA: I think I knew him after Iíd been arrested.

MR RICHARD: ...[inaudible] you didnít know him, is that your answer?

MR MBATHA: I donít remember meeting with him.

MR RICHARD: And he played no part at all in the transactions relating to the assassination of Doctor Asvat?

MR MBATHA: No, I donít think so, I only met him after my arrest.

MR RICHARD: ...[inaudible] that you never saw him at any of the conversations with Mrs Mandela or in the surgery or in any of the transports to and from the surgery, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is true.

MR RICHARD: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Hlengiwe? Hlengiwe and then Faizel.

MS MKHIZE: Mr Mbatha, when you said Thulani was your blood, are you referring to relations or just a friend?

MR MBATHA: No, we are related.

MS MKHIZE: Now, why canít you help the Commission and just say Thulani was related to you and how you were related?

MR MBATHA: I think it slipped my mind or nobody asked me specifically as to what relations I had with Thulani.

MS MKHIZE: Could you please just tell the Commission?

MR MBATHA: Our mothers are sisters.

MS MKHIZE: Now, here you said that you were scared not to carry out the orders because you would probably have been killed by Mrs Mandela, what do you mean by that, why do you say that?

MR MBATHA: I had to an explanation or some wind of the fact that since my fingerprint had been taken Mr Dlamini and Mr Botha told me that if I did not comply - could you please repeat your question?

MS MKHIZE: Youíve given us reasons that you did not want to be involved in the murder but you were scared that if you did not comply with Mrs Mandelaís orders you were going to get killed, could you just please explain to the Commission as to where you got that from?

MR MBATHA: Iíve got an explanation, when we were discussing the issue of the fingerprints they told me that it was a dangerous situation that I put myself in by submitting to the taking of the fingerprints - that if they want another person or they look for another person, as I had already submitted my fingerprints I had information with regard to the killing and if I was investigated something was going to happen to me.

MS MKHIZE: How do you link that to Mrs Mandela? The other question is, you said you did not know as to why you had to visit Doctor Asvatís consulting rooms but you did go there and you said you were Mandla Mkwanyana, how did that happen? Why didnít you ask him as to why he was sending you to the surgery instead of going yourself?

MR MBATHA: He had told me earlier on to do that and it never occurred to me that I should ask him a lot of questions, maybe if I asked him I would be answering you as well.

MS MKHIZE: The way you answer youíre questions you become very vague, itís very difficult to get to grips with what you are saying.

(no sound)

DR RANDERA: ...[inaudible] exactly, Iím struggling with first impressions in your statement of course. Earlier on you made quite a moving plea to the Asvat family when you asked for forgiveness for destroying a very important life to them. Now this is where my difficulty is and I want you to think very carefully in your answer, why does it appear - both from all the contradictions that have been pointed out in terms of the statements and what youíve said today, that youíre trying to destroy the life of Mrs Madikizela-Mandela?

MR MBATHA: Iím not trying to destroy Mrs Mandelaís life, Iíve got no personal problems with her. Thereís nothing bad that she did to me in the past, so Iíve got absolutely no reason to try and ...[indistinct] her. If thereís anything bad that she did to me, maybe I would be doing the same to her now but Iíve got no personal problem and I donít have a vendetta against her - whatever Iím saying is the truth.

DR RANDERA: Thank you.

DR BORAINE: Mr Mbatha, Iíve just got one question. In your statement you talk about a Mr Botha Shwala, could you just tell us again when you first met him, how well you knew him and a little bit more about him?

MR MBATHA: He was my home boy.

DR BORAINE: In your statement you say that he took you together with Dlamini to the home of Mrs Mandela, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: Could you repeat your question?

DR BORAINE: In your statement you say that Mr Shwala took you and Dlamini to Mrs Mandelaís house, is that correct.

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is true.

DR BORAINE: Before you got to Mrs Mandelaís house, did Mr Shwala say why you were going there?

MR MBATHA: Yes, he had explained to me.

DR BORAINE: What was the reason?

MR MBATHA: He told us that Mrs Mandela wanted to see us and to obtain a gun from Mrs Mandela.

DR BORAINE: You were going to get a gun from Mrs Mandela and did Mr Shwala say what you were going to do with the gun?

MR MBATHA: Yes, at that time I had knowledge.

DR BORAINE: ...[inaudible] that the gun was going to be used to kill someone?

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is true, I had knowledge thereof.

DR BORAINE: And who was the person you were going to kill?

MR MBATHA: I knew at the time that it was a doctor who was operating or had a surgery in Robville but at that time I did not know his surname, I knew it was a certain doctor who had consulting rooms in Robville.

DR BORAINE: ...[inaudible] now, do you know?

MR MBATHA: Itís 8 years or 9 since Iíve been in prison, I have no knowledge of Mr Shwalaís whereabouts.

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible]

MS SOOKA: Mr Mbatha, in the statement that you made to Lieutenant Page, you talked about a Johannes and you talked about Johannes as if Johannes was the person who was involved in this whole plan with you and again in the statement that you made to the Commission you talk about Johannes, you say:

"They asked me about Johannes, they beat me inside the minibus asking me to point out the house where Johannes stays"

Now, who is this Johannes because in other documents in the court record, mention is made of a Johannes Nglobo, was there a there a third person who was involved with you and Thulani Dlamini in the murder of Doctor Asvat?

MR MBATHA: I think I will just have to explain briefly with regard to that. We were arrested on the 17th of February 1989, the three of us and the other two guys were questioned by the police from the 17th up to the 19th of February.

It was only on the 19th that they started investigating and interrogating me and the police came up with this name, I think they got that name from the other statements given by my accomplices who were investigated before me. I tried to find out as to where the name Johannes comes from and I realised that it emanated from a statement that was earlier given by my accomplices, that is accused number two and three. Iím not the one who spoke about Johannes, this name was brought by the police who were investigating Mr Dlamini and Mr Shwala.

MS SOOKA: If I understand you correctly, then accused number two was Thulani Dlamini, now are you talking about a third accomplice in the murder of Doctor Asvat?

MR MBATHA: The third person is Mr Wellington Zondo, that is the person with who we were arrested but he was later released.

MS SOOKA: ...[inaudible] the name of Mr Jacob Mazibuko, who is Mr Mazibuko?

MR MBATHA: I do know Jacob Mazibuko, heís a police informer.

MS SOOKA: Why do you say that?

MR MBATHA: Itís because he appeared in court - when I was appearing at the Supreme Court, to come and give evidence that he was the one who fetched the police to come and arrest us.

MS SOOKA: ...[inaudible] just would like to confirm one more thing with you, you say that you and Thulani Dlamini - that your mothers are sisters, is this correct.

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is correct.

MS SOOKA: You also say that Mr Shwala Botha is a home boy, can you explain that please?

MR MBATHA: We stay in different sections but within the same area in one region.

MS SOOKA: So, when he drove you - in terms the version youíve given in this statement, you knew him from before from Ngoma, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is true.

MS SOOKA: Thank you.


MR MGOJO: Iíll address you in Zulu so that I make things easier for you. I want to know, after you had murdered Doctor Asvat, which direction did you flee to?

MR MBATHA: We went out of his gate, there was an ambulance just in front of the gate and we went to the left hand side - if you do have a picture of the area or the place, thereís a little dam just below there and we proceeded to a certain street and got into the park.

MR MGOJO: I have one more question for you. All the statements that you have submitted and which are not mutually reconcilable, did you take any oath before submitting the statements or when you made the statements?

MR MBATHA: I donít understand you when you ask whether an oath was administered.

MR MGOJO: I mean at the time when you submitted the statements, did you take an oath or not before making the statements?

MR MBATHA: If I remember quite well, when I appeared at the Regional Court I was sworn in but with regard to the other statements I have no recollection.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you sworn in when you make the statement - at the time when you make the statement, or after having made the statement? Did that happen with regard to all the statements that are before us today including the TRC statement? The answer is yes or no there, just donít beat around the bush.

MR MBATHA: I donít remember well, as Iíve said that I remember submitting a statement at Westgate Regional Court.

MR MGOJO: With regard to the TRC statement, we realised that you wanted to - you did not want to implicate Thulani or you wanted to implicate Thulani because you say Thulani is the one who killed, why would you do that to your cousin?

MR MBATHA: Iíll give just a brief explanation. If I remember, I did give an explanation before that I wasnít prepared to speak to the Truth Commission staff or officials, I did not know whether I could trust them. When I said Thulani is the one who had killed I was telling a deliberate lie.

MR MGOJO: What is it that would make us believe you now and believe that this is the truth after having made a lot of false statements. Youíve made a series of false statements by your own admission, now how do we believe that today you are telling the truth and nothing else but the truth?

MR MBATHA: I have taken a decision and what I can say is, all that the police did and all that I said in other statements that were used in the courts of law were not true but now what Iíve just said to the Truth Commission - if itís possible or if thereís anybody who feels dissatisfied with whatever Iíve said today, I can just say Iíve got a belief that whoever wants to know the truth will know the truth as from today.

Thereís no other truth that you will know besides the one that I have told you today because I would not account for something that I did not do. Iím coming before you and accounting unequivocally and I do not know what more or what else can I possibly say in order to satisfy you because this is my last chance to speak the truth so that there may not be any doubts in the future.

MR SOLLER: Chairperson, one question. Mr Mbatha, when you appeared in the Supreme Court and you were sentenced to death, you were represented by a pro deo counsel, is that correct?

MR MBATHA: Yes, that is true.

MR SOLLER: Were you able easily to explain to your pro deo counsel the history of what youíve told the Commission today?

MR MBATHA: To be honest, I want to tell the Commission that there was a time when I got wind that there was a statement submitted by Mr Dlamini in Bryanston and I wanted to know as to why ...[indistinct] statement was submitted to court and made into evidence whereas mine wasnít. Was he pressing me down? He didnít show any co-operation with me, he did things unilaterally and it did not show that he wanted to absolve me from the issues.

MR SOLLER: ...[inaudible] counsel.

MR MBATHA: Yes, Iím talking about my counsel.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] aspect.


MR SEMENYA: Did I hear you say you couldnít complete your amnesty forms because you couldnít complete the part that says:

"On whose instructions"?

MR MBATHA: I recall the question that I was asked and my answer was that I was charged with murder and robbery and I discovered that in the form that I was supposed to fill in, I wasnít able to answer some of the questions which were posed therein and I did not know as to how to fill the form in and nobody came forward to explain to me as to what I should say or do.

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] one of the easiest aspects of that form for you to complete is to say: "It was on the instruction of Mrs Mandela" because that you knew.

MR MBATHA: Yes, I knew that. I was convicted with regard to - I do not know how to explain this, I donít know as to how I can answer your question - whether you get me or not.

MR SEMENYA: Are you saying to us that if you hadnít left your thumb print there you would not have gone ahead with the killing?

MR MBATHA: Could you repeat the question?

MR SEMENYA: ...[inaudible] hadnít left your thumb print at Doctor Asvatís surgery, you would not have gone ahead with the killing?

MR MBATHA: I donít know how to answer the question, I think I would have crossed the bridge when I came to it. If it didnít happen that I submitted my fingerprints I do not know as to what the situation would have been then, so I cannot answer the question because itís the work of conjecture.

I approached the situation as it came, had I not submitted the fingerprints something else would have happened or wouldnít have happened but I canít testify to that because it happened the way it happened so I cannot answer you.


MR MBATHA: I have no further questions of this witness Archbishop.

CHAIRPERSON: The question is - when you say you were promised a sum of R20.000-00, the question is: "Would you have gone to submit your fingerprints - were you taken there or did you commit the murder? Because you had already submitted your fingerprints and had you not submitted your fingerprints, would you have drawn back or wouldnít you once through with the killing"?

MR MBATHA: Can I you just explain about the R20.000-00, the R20.000 was linked about after I had submitted or given my fingerprint.

CHAIRPERSON: We thank you very much Mr Mbatha.

before we go, he made a request and you are in a position to respond or not ... (tape ends)

....emotional thing. 

MR KADES: My client, Dr Asvat, would prefer not to respond today Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Thank you very much Mr Mbatha, please stand down.

We are going to break at four but I thought it would be better for us to have finished with one witness. Let's come back at a quarter to ...(intervention)