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Human Rights Violation Hearings
Type HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, SUBMISSIONS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Starting Date 04 February 1997
Names KHANYISILE ZULU
Case Number JB00262/01ERKWA
CHAIRPERSON: Next we shall have in the podium Zulu Khanyisile. Zulu Khanyisile or Mrs Zulu Khanyisile, sorry. Mrs Zulu Khanyisile. We welcome you Mrs Khanyisile. Please relax, you are at home. I am going to ask Hugh Lewin to lead you with the oath and with your story or with your testimony, sorry.
MR LEWIN: Thank you. Ms Zulu, you will be telling us testimony about your father and this takes us back into the 60's, in December 1967, yes. If you could please tell us, tell us about your father and everything that you want to tell us. As Tom has said, please feel relaxed, feel at home, take your time. Thank you.
MS ZULU: In 1967, that was in December, I was coming back from school, Escourt, I was still in standard four at that time and I last saw my father in December 1966 when I went to Escourt together with my sister. The whole of 1967 I never saw my father because I was at school, we were in
Durban. Mine is quite a distinct story because I was still in Durban when this whole thing took place. Then when I came back at the end of 1967, when I was coming back from school, I heard that my father had come and he had gone to work at Siemens and at the time I was 12 years old.
Then in January 1968, that is on the second of January, it was during the week, it was myself, my mother as well as my elder brother, my last, well the last born at home was not present at that particular time. A certain gentleman came, I had already forgotten his surname, but I have just remembered it, his name was Mr Enjapa. When he came I was in the bedroom and he spoke to my mother and said, Mrs Zulu, your husband has been killed and my mother actually asked him questions as to what had happened and this gentleman explained that my father had died from a headache and at that point in time he went out without explaining further as to what had actually happened. My mother called me and sent me to Mrs Inklenyena's house to pass on the message that my father had since died and at that time I was still very young and I was not fully conversant with what my mother was saying. I just did not understand what she was telling me and I knew that I was the apple of my father's eye and I wanted to know as to how my father died and my mother told me that I was not going to see my father anymore and I wanted to know as to when and where he was buried. My mother told me that I should go to Mrs Inklenyena to report whatever she had been told. Then at that time I think I was still very young.
mourning or during mourning. Then I asked as to when my father was going to be buried because I knew that if a person died he was supposed to be buried and my mother told me that we were still going to look for my father's corpse. On the following Friday my mother told me that we should go to my father's place of employment and when we got to the office she was given two shirts that belonged to my father as well as a trouser and a small suitcase. These, the things that my mother was given at my father's work place and the office is still existent, but I do not know whether the same people are still working there, but I do know where this office is situated.
A month lapsed thereafter and we re-opened the schools. My mother received a letter and my mother called me as well as my other siblings and she showed us the letter that was calling her to come and fetch my father's death certificate. They went, that is herself and my elder brother, they went to the offices and they brought along the death certificate and I asked them as to where Ruanda is and she explained to me that Ruanda is somewhere in Central Africa and she explained to me that he had been in Ruanda, that is where he died. Now that I am old I know where Ruanda is and I know where my father died, but what troubles and disturbs me is that after my father died I was very troubled because we never got to bury my father as a result I never came to terms with my father's death because I do not know how he died and where he was buried.
I also want to know as to who wrote the death certificate that my father died in Ruanda. I want to know as to what was my father doing in Ruanda because the last time I saw him he was in South Africa and I want to know as
to why he was killed, what had he done. I would request this honourable Commission to find more information about my father. If possible, if they could find his bones, I would appreciate it because I would like to bury him myself because I believe that it is our culture, our black culture, that if a person dies, he is supposed to be buried. I would even like to see his grave. I do not know whether it is possible for me to go to Ruanda to see his grave.
MR LEWIN: Khanyisile, thank you very much for telling us that story. If I could just ask a few questions and I think our, our questions are much the same as your questions. Could you first please give me your father's full names.
MS ZULU: Because I was still very young at that time I am not very sure, I do not know, but most of the people in Lamontville were politically active and my father was quite, very close to Joseph Mluli who died in prison who was said to have committed suicide. They were quite close.
MS ZULU: He said he was, he died from a headache, but I do not believe that he died from a headache, I believe that he was killed, because the people who stayed in that area use, they went and investigated the matter and we discovered that they were quite a group and probably they knew that if they wanted him, they would get him at a certain place just like Mr Mluli. Mr Mluli was found at Mount Clere Station and it was alleged that he had committed suicide and all these people were friends, they were one circle. That is why I believe that he was killed. I am the one who says that he was killed, there was absolutely no headache that killed him.
MR LEWIN: Okay, could I ask a final question. Have you checked, at all, with, with the ANC because they have, they have a long list of people who died outside the country? I am not sure if it goes back to 1967.
MS ZULU: No, I have never gone there because the Commission came when I was here in Johannesburg, so I decided to appear before you, but all the details and everything, every documentary proof is in Durban. I was never able to go to the Truth Commission whilst it was in Durban.
DR ALLY: Just to, to stress that it is, that it is very important that you give us all the documentation which you have or, or copies and to say that our Investigative Unit has actually written off to ask from the ANC if they have any knowledge of, of this case. We have not received any, any reply yet, but if we do and as soon as we do, we will, obviously, contact the family, but maybe you can assist us also, this name that you mentioned, the person who came and, and told the family about the death of your father, Mr Enjapa.
DR ALLY: Now, I, I appreciate you were saying that you were very young at the time so you, you do not remember much, but do you know if before this, before the disappearance of your father, do you know if there had been, if the police, the Security Police or any other branch of the police had shown any interest in your father? Was there, were there signs of, of your family having to be careful about what they did, what they said, did you find anything unusual or strange about what was going on in, in the household?
MS ZULU: I would not be able to say yes or no, but they use to come at my neighbours place, to my neighbours place and that is where they use to frequent and they use to even frequent Mr Mluli's house.
MS ZULU: That is my father's friend, my father's best friend, Joseph Mluli. He is the one who was politically active and we knew that the police use to go to his place. Whether my father was active or as a friend, what he did we
DR ALLY: So, so, please, if you could with either Joe, the briefer, or, or with one of our statement takers or any other member of the, of the Commission, if you could please give us the details as to how we can contact your brother as well who may be able to assist us.
MR MANTHATA: Ms Zulu, we are grateful for your witness and as it has been pointed out, could you please let us get the address of your brother so that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission can do its best. We quite appreciate that these things happened long ago and you were still young at that time and, of course, even the political setup of the day was not that clear. We wonder, too, whether you could present us even the, what do you know about the address of Mr Mluli or his family, his children and so on. This would enable us to make, you know, reasonable research. We thank you and your family for having shared with us, thank you.