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Human Rights Violation Hearings

Type HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, SUBMISSIONS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Starting Date 05 February 1997

Location DUDUZA

Day 1

Names TINY MATLAKALA MOKGOSHI

MR LEWIN: I would like now to call the next witness, Tiny Matlakala. And ask her please to come forward.

I must apologise, I think we have changed names around. Your surname is Mokgoshi, is it?

MS MOKGOSHI: Yes.

MR LEWIN: Thank you very much. Before I ask Dr Ally to lead you in evidence, could I please ask you to stand and take the oath?

MS MOKGOSHI: (sworn states)

DR ALLY: Welcome to you Mrs Mokgoshi and to those who are accompanying you. Do you want to introduce them to us?

MS MOKGOSHI: This is my mother and my sister.

DR ALLY: Welcome to you too.

You are coming to speak about what happened to your husband, Alfred. Will you please go through your statement for us? Thank you.

MS MOKGOSHI: In 1986 on the 1st of May my husband on that day went to the stadium. He said that there is a meeting at the stadium.

When he arrived there then they said there were no meeting and the police chased them out of the stadium. Then they returned home.

Whilst he was on the way home, passing through the streets coming home, then there was an arrest at a certain

park. When I asked him, then he said they have killed a policeman there. It was during the day around two o'clock.

Whilst he was still there the police were patrolling the streets. We were confined to our yards. Around eight to half past eight the police came. They knocked at the windows and at the doors and it was dark. We lit candles.

Then there were a black policeman and an Indian and a white policeman. Then they entered the house with a certain lady called, Matsiso. Then he asked the police what are you looking for, then they said they are looking for this man. Then my uncle said, what are you looking for and the police pushes my uncle. Then they said they were looking for Alfred.

They found him. He was asleep by then. When he woke up I wanted to give him a trouser, but they denied. Then they took him with his underwear. Then they hit him with their rifle butts. They took him to the Hippo.

They took him to the charge office at Actonville.

The following day I found him there, bringing food and clothes and asking for Alfred. Then they said you are not going to see him, because we are still busy with him. Then I asked them what are you doing.

The office was crowded by people. Then they asked me, are you the wife of the sell-out? I was pregnant at the time, the pregnancy was eight months.

Then they said I should give it to somebody who would give him the clothes and food.

They took him to Bedford Police Station. When I arrived there they took him first to court in Benoni, then

they were remanded.

Then I asked him, why are you injured? Then he told me that he was assaulted whilst he was in the cells. Then he said that I should tell them the truth that I have burnt a policeman. After that he was taken to Bedford Police Station.

On the Saturday morning I went there. Then I told my sister to accompany me. We arrived at that police station at six o'clock in the morning. Then I asked them to see my Alfred.

When he appeared he was swollen all over the body. He bled through his ears. Then he said, go and call the doctor.

Then I went to call Dr Bouwer. When I arrived at Dr Bouwer's surgery I told him that my husband is dying. He is bleeding through his ears. He is not able to talk. He is swollen. Then I pleaded with Dr Bouwer to leave the other patients to come and see my husband.

Then the doctor told me to board a taxi. Then he will follow me.

When the doctor arrived at the cells he asked them some questions. Then the police said to Dr Bouwer, leave we will take him to the hospital. The police said they will use the ambulance to take him to hospital.

Whilst he was in the hospital I went there. Lying on the bed, he was fastened on the sides of the bed. Then he was not able to shake himself. He was recovering there. Then after that he went to court. Then he was given a free ..... They were represented by the state lawyers. We went for his case five or six times. Then from there he was transferred to the disciplinary court in Pretoria. Then he was remanded again, twice again, on the fourth time then they said this is the final day for disposing the case.

Then he entered the witness box. The Advocate came to me and said, you must not worry, your husband is going to be sentenced for four years. Then I asked him, why is that, because he does not know anything. At Bedford Police Station he did confess that he did participate in the matter.

While we were still in the discipline court in Pretoria we were told that it is going to be the last time to hear the case.

The Magistrate said to him, you will be sentenced to four years. The other two years will be suspended and he will do hard labour in jail. And the fine was R2 000.

And he pleaded with the Magistrate to let him go and the Magistrate said, alright you pay R110 every month and my husband could not pay that money because he was now epileptic. He could not do anything.

He went to see the Advocate in Johannesburg. He told them that he will not be in a position to pay the fine monthly, because he was not working. Until to this day nothing happened.

He passed away in 1995. It was in October.

DR ALLY: Thank you for that. If you do not mind just a few questions.

The previous witness who was up here, who spoke about Boy Lucas Zwane, was this somebody known to you, to your husband, because in your ....

MS MOKGOSHI: I do not know. This man was pointing out at every house, thinking that the police would let him go.

DR ALLY: No, I am sorry. I think you misunderstood me.

Zwane, the previous witness came to speak about an uncle who was also involved in this strike and was also beaten up and dragged by a Hippo. Was this somebody who your husband knew? Do you know the family? The Zwane family who was just here before you?

MS MOKGOSHI: I know that family because my husband and the Bisaro family were together in discipline court.

DR ALLY: And your husband and Mr Zwane, did they know each other? Were they friends?

MS MOKGOSHI: No, they were not friends.

DR ALLY: Now you say that somebody actually came to your house with the police to come and point out your husband. Do you have any idea why they would have been coming around to your husband's house? Was your husband active in any political organisation or in any trade union?

MS MOKGOSHI: He was not an active member. He was just an ordinary person.

DR ALLY: And you also said, if I heard you correctly that your husband did say that he was either present or participated in the killing of this policeman? Am I correct? Did you actually say that your husband made that statement?

MS MOKGOSHI: He said he was passing and as he was passing by he saw a person burning.

DR ALLY: Is that the statement that your husband made? That he actually only witnessed it. He just happened to be passing by when this was taking place?

MS MOKGOSHI: Yes, that is correct. He was just passing by.

DR ALLY: And this sentence that your husband got. You

said he was charged and he was sentenced to two years in jail and fined R2 000.

MS MOKGOSHI: The R2 000 was a fine.

DR ALLY: A fine yes. Did he serve any time in jail? Did he actually go to jail?

MS MOKGOSHI: No, he promised that he will pay the charge monthly.

DR ALLY: And after this, your husband never ever worked again. After he was released from jail.

MS MOKGOSHI: He could not work any more. He was getting pension.

DR ALLY: And also disability, you said he was given a disability grant.

MS MOKGOSHI: No, he never received any disability grant.

DR ALLY: And after that case in the Supreme Court, that was the last had any dealings with the police and the family had any dealings with the police.

MS MOKGOSHI: Yes that was the last time they troubled my husband.

DR ALLY: And you as a family did you do anything after this incident? Did your husband ever take up the way in which he had been beaten up and the electric shocks and things which were done to him? Did he ever do anything about it? Did he try to do anything about it? Did he charge the police?

MS MOKGOSHI: He wanted to lay a charge but he could not, because he died before he could do that.

DR ALLY: And the family, you yourself. Did you do any thing on this matter?

MS MOKGOSHI: I have never taken any initiative Sir.

DR ALLY: Could you tell us how you hope the Commission

can be of assistance to you and your family. What is it you would like the Commission to actually do on this matter?

MS MOKGOSHI: I have three kids and we are staying in a one-roomed shack.

DR ALLY: So it is about you and your family and your children that you are hoping that...

MS MOKGOSHI: That is correct.

DR ALLY: Thank you very much.

MR MANTHATA: How many are you in the family?

MS MOKGOSHI: It is my mother-in-law, the three children and myself.

MR MANTHATA: What is your mother-in-law doing?

MS MOKGOSHI: She is a pensioner.

MR MANTHATA: Are the children at school?

MS MOKGOSHI: Yes.

MR MANTHATA: Do you remember the name of the State Attorney who took over the case?

MS MOKGOSHI: I do not remember any more, because I was so disturbed and this affected me really.

MR MANTHATA: If you had any intention to pursue this matter, it would be of assistance to know which person to contact. Don't you have any document that will trace the name of the lawyer?

MS MOKGOSHI: I am sorry I cannot remember anything.

MR MANTHATA: Were you satisfied with the treatment that the doctor gave your husband?

MS MOKGOSHI: Yes. I was happy, I was satisfied, because my husband was Dr Bouwer's patient. He was undergoing treatment at Dr Bouwer and he himself went to examine him at the hospital, after he was assaulted by the police.

MR MANTHATA: Don't you think Dr Bouwer will be of assistance to help you trace the lawyer?

MS MOKGOSHI: No, I have never been to Dr Bouwer.

MR MANTHATA: What killed your husband?

MS MOKGOSHI: I think a heart attack killed my husband. He was epileptic and he was mentally disturbed. He would say something to you and a few minutes thereafter he has forgotten. He could not even walk. Dr Bouwer said he died of a heart attack.

MR MANTHATA: I thank you.

MS SEROKE: Mrs Mokgoshi I want to know, at the time of the hearing at the Supreme Court was he found guilty of murder? What was the verdict?

MS MOKGOSHI: I do not know whether he was guilty or not. What he said to us was he agreed to what was being put on him, because he was assaulted by the police.

MS SEROKE: Do you know the person who pointed him? Will you be in a position to identify him?

MS MOKGOSHI: That person is in Wattville, but I have not seen him recently, because I left the area. I went back home to Daveyton.

MS SEROKE: Will you try and trace that person so that we can take a statement from him, because he will also give us information as to what was happening on that day. You were not present, but this person who pointed your husband must have seen something.

Please try to tell us where he stays so that we can trace him and get a statement from him.

MS MOKGOSHI: I will trace him and I will tell you where he stays.

MS SEROKE: Thank you.

DR RANDERA: Mrs Mokgoshi, I just want some clarification first. On the day that the police came to your husband, to your house, you say there was a lady with them by the name of Matsiso. Is that what you said?

MS MOKGOSHI: That is correct.

DR RANDERA: Now did that lady come to the house to point your husband out?

MS MOKGOSHI: Yes this is Matsiso, who pointed at my husband.

DR RANDERA: And is she still living in the same area as you are?

MS MOKGOSHI: I do not know. I will go and find out. I do not know if she is still in Wattville or not.

DR RANDERA: OK. I just want to know a little about... It seems that your husband and Mr Zwane whose family spoke before you, were arrested and then tortured, because of the killing and necklacing of this policeman. Do you know the name of the policeman?

MS MOKGOSHI: I do not know the name of the policeman. We were at home. We only heard that a policeman had been killed.

DR RANDERA: Thank you very much.

MR LEWIN: Mrs Mokgoshi I would just like to thank you for coming and for telling us this story. Again it tells us some of the dreadful things that did happen in the past. It also explains the context of those of us who were caught up in the cross fire, what has happened to your husband, a sort of an innocent victim caught in the cross fire.

And the helplessness which you as a family have towards what happened to him and the difficult

circumstances that you have now as a family in bringing up your children and surviving without him.

And we do what we can to follow this up, to bring some light on the matter. But we are very grateful to you for having come forward like this to tell us.

Thank you very much.

MS MOKGOSHI: I also thank you.

MR LEWIN: Ladies and gentlemen we will continue with the testimony before we break for lunch and I would like to ask Alegria Nyoka if she could please come forward to the witness table.

Before I call the next witness I would just like to announce that we do have Statement Takers who are with us. If there are people in the audience who would like themselves to make statements could they please contact them. It is Marge and Josephine. They are somewhere around at the back, but if people could identify themselves if they wish to make statements and it is possible to have those statements taken. Thank you.

I would like now please to call the next witness, Sikhumbuze Zwane. Will you please come forward.

 
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