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Human Rights Violation Hearings
Type HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, SUBMISSIONS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Starting Date 30 October 1996
Names SIDNEY MABUZA
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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: 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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.