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Human Rights Violation Hearings


Starting Date 30 October 1996


Day 3


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CHAIRPERSON: Good people, please, good people, please afford the witness the discretion of respect while the witnesses are giving their evidence. Barbara Watson, could you please try and get the people outside to give some semblance of quiet as well. Thank you.


MS MKHIZE: Forgive us. However, I would you like to explain to the Commission more about yourself and also about your story.

MR MABUZA: I am Sydney Mabuza, from 155. I came before the Commission to explain about the IFP. People from the IFP came to my house at 11 o'clock in the night. They hacked me and they were sure they had killed me. People thought I was dead and my relatives went around searching for me. They even used to go around to hospitals looking for me.

I went to Orlando for a short period and found that my health was not good and I had to come back to Alexandra. I stayed in Alexandra at night. I did not have a place to sleep. I left my house intact but today I do not have a home to go to. I live with other people, just like a slave. I do not have a job. I am hungry. I have children. Even my children are spoilt because they do not have parents to give them parental guidance. I myself, I cannot do things for myself. I do not have the power to work anymore. I have



taken everything I possessed; my cars, everything. I was left with nothing. I have to borrow clothes to wear from other people up until today.

I have had to borrow money from people. I have not repaid this debt. I do not know why I am living, because I am suffering. Whether I sleep with a meal in my stomach or not, nobody knows or cares. My parents cannot support me at this stage, together with my children. They are unable to support all of us. My poverty is the same as theirs. We are like living corpses.

Unfortunately my father died when I was young. I have to take his place. Unfortunately, people have taken everything I possessed. I do not know where to start. This is what led me to come to the Truth Commission, because up till today I am still worried as to what happened. The people did this are still alive, they eat very well and walk around in the streets.

I have nothing else to say.

MS MKHIZE: We would to thank you, Mr Mabuza, for the story you have told us. Maybe before I ask you some questions, is there any reason why you are sitting with the lady next to you, because she also appeared before the Commission. Is she coming to assist you in bringing your evidence?

MR MABUZA: Yes, she used to stay with my sister. She is coming to add to what I have said.

MS MKHIZE: In your statement you stated that you are a member of a particular political organisation. Can you tell us more about your activities in that political organisation before you were attacked.

MR MABUZA: There were pictures of Nelson Mandela. White people came to my house. They said they were looking for



arms and they ransacked my house. They told me that they were looking for these arms. They could not find any arms. On the very same day people came to my house. I did not know what was happening. I did not know who to ask, because there were many and I did not know what to do. I was confused.

The police then arrived. There were white policemen. I was surprised, because I did not know why they came to my house. It was the first time white policemen came to my house, and I had not done anything wrong.

MS MKHIZE: Besides the pictures of Mr Nelson Mandela which you had in your house, were there any other things that were there?

MR MABUZA: I would say maybe - I don't know to talk at the present moment. However, I was a person with responsibilities, but now I cannot do anything.

MS MKHIZE: I would like you to, when you give your testimony, to briefly explain with clarity what you want to tell us, in order to get the whole picture of your story. In your statement you stated that some men came with red bands on their heads. Can you tell us as to what happened on that date.

MR MABUZA: It was half past 11 in the evening when they arrived at my place and they said to me they were looking for car keys. I took the car keys and gave it to them. I said to one of them, the one I gave the keys to, I said since I know you, you have to bring my keys. They showed me a red card. They asked me if I have this card. I asked them what is this card for. They were talking among themselves, saying this is the one, like we know, he is the one who doesn't respect people. They started hacking me with their



weapons before I answered them.

MS MKHIZE: How many of these people were there that came to collect the keys? Do you know their names?

MR MABUZA: The first one is Malasela, Vusi and Simkhize. Those the people I saw. There were three. The other one from the Pasana family were hiding behind the others. When they pushed me out of the house, busy attacking me, I saw them clearly and they thought I was dead. I stayed the whole night on the scene, and I was taken to the clinic in the morning. From the clinic I was transferred to hospital. I stayed at the hospital and in the evening while I was sleeping, my son came to tell me that the people are coming here and they are going to kill me, that he has to take me to another place.

MS MKHIZE: These people you have just mentioned, how did you know them?

MR MABUZA: They used to stay in our yard, they are Inkatha members.

MS MKHIZE: In your opinion, did they do whatever they did to you, because you didn't agree with their views?

MR MABUZA: Yes, that is true.

MS MKHIZE: You also stated in your statement that since this occurrence, your one side is not healthy, are you on pension?

MR MABUZA: Yes, I am not well, because one of my side of my body is not healthy, even when I walk I get tired. Unfortunately I cannot work for myself now.

MS MKHIZE: Do you get a pension from the government?

MR MABUZA: I used to get a disability pension. I used to get paid and then they stopped paying me.

MS MKHIZE: When you said the first injury, which injury are ALEXANDRA HEARING TRC/GAUTENG


you referring to? Were you injured, I mean the internal injury.

MR MABUZA: Doctors explained to me that there were internal injuries.

MS MKHIZE: As you explained to us, you know your attackers, you were staying together. Was it not easy for you to lay a charge so that the case can be investigated by the police?

MR MABUZA: I did that. They told me the dockets were lost, even today they have not found the dockets as yet. They told me to go to the hospitals and find all the medical reports and come back to give to them. I realised these people are just playing games. I decided to forget about it because I saw that I was not going to be helped in any way.

MS MKHIZE: Which police station did you go to?

MR MABUZA: It was Wynberg.

MS MKHIZE: Before all this occurred, in your statement it is not clear as to how you earned a living?

MR MABUZA: I would say I was working. When I left my work I wanted to be a sole proprietor and at the time I got injured I was working. I was working for myself. I was self-employed as a carpenter and also doing sculptures.

MS MKHIZE: Thank you. I will hand you back to the Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Mkhize. Any other questions?

MS SOOKA: Mr Mabuza, can you tell me how long you were in the general hospital?

MR MABUZA: I stayed there for three days. After my son came to warn me I left the hospital, because I also heard rumours from people who were working in the hospital. Then I was sure that they were coming to attack me. I knew that all the people working there knew exactly what was



happening. It was easy for them to find me in the hospital. So I had to leave.

MS SOOKA: Why do you think that they wanted to attack you, what was their motive?

MR MABUZA: It was because of my ANC political involvement.

MS SOOKA: When you went to the Wynberg police station, who was the policeman on duty who took your statement?

MR MABUZA: They have transferred those policemen, they are not stationed here any longer. Even when I tried to look around for them I could not see them around. However, the captains are still here. When I tried to explain the case to them they started hating me.

MS SOOKA: Do you have your medical records?

MR MABUZA: If I can be given a chance to go to the hospital I can fetch them.

MS SOOKA: Thank you.

MS SEROKE: Mr Mabuza, you mentioned three people who attacked you.

MR MABUZA: I would say the three people I have mentioned are the people I know, but there were many people who attacked me.

MS SEROKE: Are they still alive?

MR MABUZA: One of them died because he was shot in the very same area. One went to Natal, the other one is still around. When he sees me he runs for cover.

MS SEROKE: Is he still around?

MR MABUZA: Yes, he is still around.

CHAIRPERSON: Just to follow on that, Mr Mabu. Would you be able to put us in touch with his address, tell us where he is, the one who is still around?

MR MABUZA: I would say in my yard, he is still saying in my ALEXANDRA HEARING TRC/GAUTENG


yard, the one that is around, he is Mr Mkhize.

CHAIRPERSON: Are there any other questions that anyone has? Mr Mabuza, the story that you have told is ... (intervention).

MS SOOKA: Mr Mabuza, if Mr Mkhize still lives in your yard, how do the two of you get on with each other nowadays?

MR MABUZA: I am no longer staying in that yard myself. I am staying in a flat, because I did not have a place to stay. I was given a place at the flats. When I arrived there I could barely walk.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mabuza, we wish to offer you our condolences with what happened to you. Thank you for coming to tell us the story. It is not a pleasant story. It is one which we have heard of several times in the past few days. It tells of a time which is not very long ago, where anger was obviously playing a big role. What we will try and do is follow up for you the whole question of your pension and also follow up what we can in terms of the report and why nothing was done about your case. We cannot offer you comfort, but obviously you draw strength yourself in the fact that you survived this dreadful attack, and the fact that you do have people around you who can support you and who show and give you strength. We realise that in a community like Alexandra, this is a very important factor in everybody's life. We salute that and we salute you for your courage and for your determination to keep going.

Thank you very much for coming. Thank you.


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