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Human Rights Violation Hearings
Type HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, SUBMISSIONS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Starting Date 15 April 1996
Location EAST LONDON
Names ELISABETH HASHE
Case Number EC0003/96
CHAIRPERSON: In welcoming you to the Commission, one of the worst things about suffering is not to know what happened, is to wonder where our loved ones are, where they are resting, what happened to them, why they disappeared, who took them away, how did they die. And you now have an opportunity to tell this Commission exactly, in your own words, what happened. And we invite you now to continue this time of witness-giving, and John Smith will lead the evidence. Thank you very much indeed for coming.
MRS HASHE: I am Mrs Hashe. I have nine children. My biological children are five, four others are my sister's children. I take them as my own children also. My husband was a very considerate person and was and had a good heart because he wanted to support all those who were suffering. That's how we got to adopt these children. I'm a woman who loves children and that is why it was easy for my husband to adopt those children.
When I come to giving an account of what happened, I would like to give an account without making any mistakes. I married Hashe, I want to reveal everything that I have and give the honest account of what happened. My husband was a staunch struggle person, but the way he worked committedly during the struggle was more conspicuous in 1963 when he was arrested. He was arrested in our first house where we were staying in 1980..... (end of first side of tape )
(second side of tape)....my husband woke up and went to open the door. When he asked who they were they said they were police. And when they came in they just said, "Put on your clothes, we have arrived".
he was written as Charles and the police discovered that he was really Hashe. There was a security officer who is George and he has a very big head, that's how we could identify him. At the back there were some people in the shadow and this person came forward and asked, "Is it Hashe?", and then when we affirmed that it was him, they said he must just put on his clothes and then he must go. And then they were not certain because in the I D document his name was reflected as Charles and they were looking for Hashe, but when he confirmed they took him. And during this period when they came to arrest him, they were kicking everything in the house and there was something which had a sentimental value, my sewing machine which I got which my husband bought for me when I attended a school. They broke this machine to which I was so sentimentally attached and they took my husband away.
We went around looking for my husband. As you all know, this is what happens when somebody disappears. We were vendors and we were selling vegetables. And that is the way in which we were sending our family. When my husband left us I was unable to continue as a vendor and I went to visit him at Royal, the jail, and when I came back I received a letter, and this letter was from an office. I was being called by the headman. When I arrived there, they told me that I am selling vegetables but that I am unlicensed and I confirmed that I didn't. They also told me that I should remove everything which I sold, and I agreed and then I went away.
They called me again and I was summoned to appear. They threatened again that I must stop selling. But when I came back I continued selling. I went to the attorney to Tiche, and told him about the harassment that I experienced from the headman and I don't have a licence. The attorney took the case. I request that the Commission should excuse me for my uncertainty because the Black Sash was also coming and there was a bit of a relief. Tichi took the case and I got a chance and an opportunity to get some relief from being hounded by the police and I continued without any disturbance.
But one day when I came back from the market, I found that all my belongings and my property were taken outside as well as my children. I rushed to my home and when I got there, and asked what was happening, I was informed that the headman had come and evicted us from the house. I went immediately to the office to establish what the problem was and asked where I should go to. I also asked them what the reason was for their harassment and they expressed their views that I am suffering because of my husband who they branded as a terrorist. They also told me that the house is owned by my husband and because I do not own the house, I am evicted therefrom. I cried bitterly and I thought of what I should do.
say, but they said in the beginning they evicted me because I owed rent on the house and also electricity. When I went to pay the rent they refused to take it. I accumulated this money and continued going to them to pay for every account that I owed but they kept on refusing to accommodate me.
This continued for several times, I asked my brother what I should do because the same thing is happening again, and he told me to come to him so that he can take me to Mr Lamani, and my brother explained what has happened to me, to Mr Lamani. He was asked to go with the money and they discussed the matter at length and in the end they took the money. But at the same time they said they have taken the house and repossessed it again. Mr Lamani ordered them to take me back to my house, a four-roomed house. When I arrived back at my house, they told me again that they repossessed the four rooms and have given me a two-roomed house.
I questioned their way of doing things because I was wondering how I'm going to continue staying with such a big family in a two-roomed house? But we agreed that I should consider the fact that, rather than having nothing, I must be at the two-roomed house. They also told me I cannot get my four-roomed house back because they have already sold it.
MR SMITH: Sorry to interrupt you, I'm just trying to assist you in giving your evidence. During this period, your husband was still in detention, did you ever have access to your husband? Did you ever see him?
MRS HASHE: In Robin Island in detention he stayed three years and it was said I should go and see him.. They would never say he's not available. They said a person who came to my place to detain him crossed. He came back, I mean, he was sentenced to seven years and this carried on for ten years. He was not available at home as a husband and me as a woman. That time, while he was still in Robin Island, was the time when I was suffering, police and everything, but the most important thing that happened when my husband came back from Robbin Island, I was now working at Holiday Inn, I was given an opportunity by a woman because our shelters that we used to sell our vegetables, were destroyed and after that, my children were now old enough and would help me carry the goods and then they would sell house to house. These children were also arrested. I was also arrested where I was selling outside. I now thought, oh no, the money that I had is now finished, I have to pay a fine.
Now I got hold of this woman who helped me through to getting to Holiday Inn and she was ill. She was working night shift and got sick and while I was doing a temporary job for her she passed away. I would go to work in the evening and come back during the day and carry on selling. This thing continued, now when my husband came out, or just before he did so, he wrote a letter. He said I should go and get his books that he was reading at the Passport Office. Those were the things I forgot to mention to you. I took those books and then on my way back with the books, I got into the house to pack the books nicely and prepared
the children for bed. I went out just a few minutes, there was a car. I was wondering what car it was. And the asked me if I knew the man in the back of the van after ten years. I said, "Yes, he's my husband". I was now at my house No 21. They started at the old house and then they proceeded to the new one. He went out, two Xhosa security men went with him into the house. The first thing he asked me, "Do you still accept me, because I will never leave fighting for the freedom of the people?" I said, "Yes, why not?" Then we laughed and went into the house. While we were busy sitting, these police gave him documents, a banning order. He was not supposed to go anywhere. He was not supposed to go even to the school that other side. This went on. I went back to work, because he saw that I was working, because we were busy talking and we had to have something to eat. He said to me, "I hope it is your last time to work today". I thought, "Oh he's joking". I went to work.
The following day I was at the bus stop and he was waiting for me there. Truly I never had any chance to go to work again because he didn't want me to work. My first born asked, "What shall we eat?" He showed me that we will be dragging some meals. This went on, truly he would stay at home, someone would come, he only had permission to see two people, I was the third one. One of them came home and then when the people realised that he has come back from jail they came to visit him but he was allowed to see only two visitors at a time.
We continued living under these terrible times with inadequate income because my husband refused that I should go to work again. We kept on selling these vegetables together and then it developed much better than before when
he was here as a supportive person. We continued to support each other until he was able to buy a second hand van and we continued working and I would go and buy some vegetables and then we would go about selling them.
MRS HASHE: He started to be a member of the P, when somebody came from overseas, I can name this person, Mr Lwana, I met him and told him that Mr Lwana informed him that there is a problem with the struggle, so he should stand up again and get involved, and he should try so that this should come in a very ...(indistinct) way because P was in a period of trouble during those days. There were no members. Instead it was pulling and pushing, but they had to find a way in which they would progress with the running. I think people know this. My husband stood up, he was told that he had to be coopted so that he will bring back the children. He did just that.
There was a boycott, I think it was a bus boycott. This bus boycott never continued, it was never successful, it was in 1983. He was right in. There were people who got arrested because some of them were not really liable. The way the bus strike was continuing, it was really up and down, not knowing whether to get in or not. Leaflets were distributed, and he was arrested.
things went well between them, but in the middle something happened. There was a misunderstanding between them and the councillors. Fifteen families at Veeplaas, were sitting there, their books were stamped. They were actually people who had been evicted from their houses., so they took themselves and squatted. Now the police took these people, small children and infants, they were wrapped in plastic. They went to Rome and they were given a place at the Father's mission. The people stayed there, the food was provided and they were three in number. This food was brought to me so that I could cook for the children, these people would come and help me cook, using my garage. As time went on they discovered they would have to eat at home, and would leave after eating and they would eat and then leave.
They decided to go to Labour to get their documents in order. Things were right, these who were expelled from their duties were reincorporated and they got their place in Motherworld. Now the thing that I'm trying to tell is that during those times when they were working, something just happened, children were shot by these councillors. This is one important point, these councillors really shot the children. The children were striking, they took this on themselves to try and show the people, to hear their feelings about this bad thing that has just happened. They came to the conclusion of embarking on a stay-away.
wholesalers. They told the people the right way of going along with this strike. The strike took three days, it was a Friday, a Saturday and then on Monday, those three working days. This stay-away was very fully supported. They explained to the people not to get on the busses, people should be left alone but people who work at the hospitals and the health services should be left alone so that these services can continue.
MRS HASHE: Yes, the stay-away continued but on Monday evening, my husband arrived. They were just outside for a patrol and he came in and said, "Oh well the stay-away was 100%". We knew that this thing would continue. We were talking to each other nicely. At about 12 o'clock a helicopter was hovering and I just decided that it was just a helicopter hovering above but something made me notice that this helicopter was hovering right above my house.
And he said to me, "Ntobile, those are the Boers, what have we done? You should know that anything might happen really". While we were still puzzled, talking about this thing, actually our child woke us up, he wanted to pipi. After listening to this, there was a loud sound. I saw fire. I didn't know what was happening. I heard him shouting at the children, he said, "Visumuse, switch off the main switch!", and I ran out of the house, I went out of the window, you know, in my house you can jump through big windows and then another one and you get out. On my way out there was a police van driving off. I knew it was the police. They were
not actually driving off, they were taking another turn into another street. A black man from this squad was asking a question. What's happening. I started chasing them, I started shouting at them, I asked them what's really happening? They went off, they left my place.
MRS HASHE: Yes, my house was damaged, it was destroyed. It was in a shoddy condition. You;d never see where the front and the back were, the electric wiring was burned, you didn't even see the chords. There was a very big hole that led to next door. We found people, comrades came back, we repaired and renovated our house. The electricity was fixed the very same day and Mr Fassi gave us a bed. I said, No Toby, can we go and find out what's happening? Mr Fassi gave us a bed.
CHAIRPERSON: Order please! Order! Order please! I asked you, even if we are not a court of law but please let us behave. We are not in a political meeting, this is not a rally. We have to hold, contain ourselves if there are some of the things which have really forced us to do what you have just done now. We are just asking please.
MRS HASHE: On May 8, it happened that we received a telephone call. Please excuse me, my mind is really troubled. On May 8 this happened. My husband, now people are now joining P, they want to come and join... (end of tape)
something. He was there to answer. On his return he gave us a report that the people who were working in the house, he said the telephone call was from Mr Fassi, he said we are wanted at the offices now. We have to attend to a very urgent meeting at the airport. He said to us we have a meeting that I have to attend with the British Consulate.
This went on, people joined. During the day they would break and Mr Kaqaule would to is place to have lunch and Galela would do the same. While still working he would come back and say, "Ntobile, prepare me some meals", and I would go home, prepare some meals, it's now late, it's becoming dark and they have to leave now. Busy preparing the food, not even on the plates, Mr Fassi stepped in. They were driving in a red car. Our van is in the garage. Mr Fasi entering the house would say,"My brother are you still here? When are you going to leave? You are late", and he would stand up, prepare himself, he would go into the room and say, "Ntobile, please take care, I'll come and have my meal when I come back". And I would go to him as he has mentioned, and I would say to him, "I will take everything that you have bought", he bought this hat from Mr Duze because he had a shaven head, so I said that is how he was easily recognised. He said, "I'm coming back", and then I told him to put the hat on so that he can hide his shaven head. He told me where the money was, he told me that it was the organisation's money and also he told me where our money was and they were at separate places, our money and that of the organisation, because they were also selling liquor as off-sales.
when there was this telephone call, Mr Fassi brought a message that he , Mr Fassi, Mr Ngoyi, Malgas and my husband are called by the British Consulate who will fetch them from the airport. Mr Fassi told him on their way that he, Mr Fassi and Ngoyi will not be going along because they are going to a meeting in Uitenhage. He also told him that he should get some people who can give support and accompany him to the airport. On their way to the airport, I'm a bit confused, but please bear with me, on their way to the airport, when they went out from the house, there was a police van which also reversed from our area. They went past on the next street and my husband, whom I valued very much, went away together with Mr Galela, late.
I didn't go to Mr Galeka's place to find out what is happening but now it was a long time since they left and I became so anxious because what kept them so long. I was outside with one of my neighbours and one of the men who was also a member of this organisation, we saw a white car coming along next to our place, there were two whites in front and at the back we suspected that black people were sitting there. And when we looked and scrutinised the car we could see that these people were carrying guns which were protruding through the windows at the back.
They asked whether we were fighting. But when I was about to answer, this young man put a hand on my mouth because he knew that I was going to swear at these people, and then he answered himself and said that we were not fighting.
very anxious because I was looking at this car with the revolvers protruding out the windows, and I was anxious that my husband was not there to support me. The girl next door was also anxious because she came along and informed me that this car was nearby and also that guns were protruding from the back windows. At some stage the car just moved on and didn't go by the way in which they arrived. It went along the Stefel Road next to the stadium and I was panicking all the time and wondering what was happening about my husband. But I kept on hoping.
Later Mr Fassi came along again very early in the morning and he was also surprised that my husband was not back yet, and I also hopelessly informed him that he really didn't come back. We are recognised relatives, Mr Fassi and I because we share the same clan name. And then he advised me to take this issue to the attorneys and he also said that he recognised that the car, our van was not back yet, and that's what made him realise that my husband is not back yet. As he went away, I was unhappy and I was also certain that he was arrested.
I kept on wondering and I was also restless and late, but not very late, one lady came and said, "There are people who are reported to have got lost", and my husband was one of them. I was also surprised and asked what is meant by saying my husband is lost? Sookie who informed me about this, said we must go along, because he came by car. We went along trying to go to each and every charge office and we were afraid to get in, so that we knew that the minute we got in, they would do something to me because they already know me and that I was also in the struggle. We were just putting the car outside and just peeped through, and
We came back in vain. There were young men who always held vigil as my husband was away. And they also learned about this tragedy that my husband has not come back, and were also panicking and asking themselves as to what happened. On the 8th, late at night, and on the 9th, the people came and so many of the children who were also recruited for this organisation came and we were also worried about the fact that we were unsure about the AZAPO Organisation, because each time when there was something which was done, it was said it was said that it was AZAPO which had caused anything which was bad in the community, but they would never be arrested. And then we started to doubt their relationship with the police and the security.
And then we decided, that as they were all come along, because AZAPO and PASO were together at my place, and we felt that we should reduce the numbers so that not so many people at my place. Late at night a person threw a stone into the house whilst I was feeding the children. When I opened the door, I saw many torches and these were directed at my door. I closed my door again and warned the children and said to the young men who were here, "These are the Boers who have come here, it is not AZAPO", and when I was saying this I was also worried that the children would be shot at. I rushed out and I was shouting at everybody to be on guard and to be secure but at the same time there were a lot of people who were throwing stones at my house.
When the house was burned some time back I had sewn some cloths and put some stones and gravel inside, and I would sew these little bags and put some stilts on the stones, knowing that we were going to fight against each
other, the AZAPO and this PAKO. At the same time I was giving instructions to all who were around of how to attack and also to defend ourselves. And we were sure that we were going to use this heap of bags and bags of stones. There was a child who was shot in the process, in the arm. Tear gas was thrown at our place and we were overpowered and we took the children away from the place and put them with my next door neighbour. When I was trying to come around I saw a lot of people and at the same time I saw some fire and I did not know what was burning. When I woke up the next door neighbour took me and said I must wait a bit, and we were talking in whispers and this gentleman told me to wait and see exactly what was happening so that I can give evidence. At the same time I was unable to sit down. I was so restless and I jumped out, I couldn't tolerate what was happening. I could see that everyone was in my yard. The children were being assaulted, it was havoc and my children were also amongst those who were being attacked.
There was also an explanation that the children were being arrested, we could hear the vans being closed and the Boers stayed in my house and they and they used Caspars and they cordoned the place and we couldn't move in. So my place was their place and they were fully occupying my place and I couldn't do anything about it. So I was next door watching them as they were enjoying themselves, they were celebrating their victory because they were having a braai and everybody was dancing amongst them. We were helpless and couldn't do anything about this situation. In the process one lady came in, and while we were there the police came next suspecting that I was accommodated in this house. So they broke the window but they didn't come in.
MRS HASHE: No not in the house, at SANLAM. When I came in my house, I stayed for a short period and one of the policemen said to me, "I'm going to look around", and he went out and he patrolled the place and then he came in and gave me a note and said I must go to the SANLAM building and he wrote a name.
MRS HASHE: Yes. I went there to SANLAM and I was being taken off by Sookie, the owner of the car. When we reached SANLAM, I took this piece of paper to the white man who was on safari, I gave him the note to find out who it was that I was referred to. He took it and took me into one of the offices. The room was full of policemen wearing police safaris. All of them. I was scared. I was made to sit down, this white man with a very big face with a moustache,he was called Strijdom from the murder and robbery squad. He said to me "Mrs Hashe, do you know that your
I said, nothing of that nature, there is nothing of that kind. He said to me, "What do you expect me to say?" I said to him, "He is in your cells." He argued with me, he said, "I'm telling you the truth, they were burned, he's note here." He said, "This happened to many people". I said, "I am not going to really wait for this, I am losing patience". He said," Look at me, I'm not Hashe". You know I didn't mind anything about him, I didn't care. He said to me, "Do you know that as you are here in person, there is nothing that I can do with you." I said to him, "I'm asking you one thing", you know we are not just talking, we are really arguing, I asked him one thing, "Can you please take me to the mortuary where you say my husband is, because you mentioned that he was at the mortuary?" I told him I don't want to go alone, I want to go with him because he knows that he is dead. He pushed me and he said, "This one I cannot stand!"
I was taken by Vera from the Liquor Squad to this room to take my finger prints, on my way out, some of the police stepped in front of me in the long passage. I only saw him because he pointed me out to the other policeman. This room that I was taken to was full of whites, you know, these heavily built whites. They were wearing suits, beautiful. After having been called by Mr Gaba, I was made to sit down. They said to me, "Do you know English?" I said "No, I cannot speak English properly but I understand. I was made to sit down and then they called someone to interpret, because they were really prepared to talk.
MRS HASHE: Yes they asked me questions about my husband and they said they know him, because I told them that they know him best, because I wasn't feeling very well, I wasn't myself. I was really hurt. I wanted them to realise, I wanted them to see that I am hurt.
MRS HASHE: No he only came at Royal. At this place there were lots and lots of people, drinking spirits and eating bread. But you know I survived among these people. I think it was on a Saturday and then Monday we went to Court. On Monday while we were in the Court, all the people who were arrested at my place were also in. We arrived at New Brighton, we were not even put into a decent room, we were all thrown into a cell until the time for the court arrived. Then they took as to Royal and we were detained there where I sat a whole month. Mr Nkanuna came to see me.
MRS HASHE: I was told, you know in that court, we arrived the three of us, with Mrs Godolozi, we would get in, we'd stand up, nobody would sit down. And they would keep on saying, "We don't know them" Even Okate O'Orgen was not even recognised. They would say, "We don't know them", then we vacated the court. We didn't only go once, we went a second time, Kate had gathered a lot of information this time, I must tell you, not even at one stage did we sit in the court, we always stood. There was information that we got, a boy Mr Godolozi, this child really created, he said they saw exactly what happened. A very heavy white man, Gakoli had files in the hand and the policeman was also having something in his hands. Now Mrs Gatebe indicated, she asked me if she could take us to that child to tell us the truth. This child really told us everything that happened and we said, "Can you really testify?". This child said yes.
MR SMITH: Do you recall that there was a court case during August 1988 where the whole issue of the disappearance of your husband and they talked, and Mr Godolozi and Galela were raised? Do you recall a court application, evidence being given in court during August 1988, where this whole issue of your husband and that of Mr Galela and Mr Godolozi were discussed? Now I'm going to put to you the of what Mrs, you might not remember their particular names, a
certain Mr Victor Nkosi Sizane, gave evidence to the effect that he saw all three at the Alexandria police station under oath in court? Do you recall that. Were you present when this evidence was given?
MRS HASHE: I would like to express my feelings but I am unable to do so. But I can just mention that I would like the Commission to empathise with me and understand what I have felt at the time and I know that there are many facts that I have left out, but I presume that they know some of the facts and they are able to sift and reconsider what
might have happened to me. I am now out of my mind a bit and I feel so particularly affected by what is happening. I do not know how I can express my feelings. I've tried my best what I want to do, but really, because of what I've experienced, I am so affected and I am unable to state exactly what, think of the situation that I have been in, please, let my family be compensated. And one of my children was still at school but had to discontinue because I do not have money. I was a bread winner but with meagre pay, I couldn't do anything.
The honourable minister, Steve Tchwete, tried to assist me but I was a person who never wanted to be dependant on anyone else, not that I don't trust anybody, it's just that I'm proud and I'd like to do the best for my children. I'm in this problem, I'm emotionally upset by what has happened and I really do not know what I can say and I really want their assistance, really the Commission should sympathise with me. I'm very much affected by all this. It is my plea, really my plea that I should really, I don't even want it now, really I'd like people to understand. I'll even go to the enemy and ask for help because I am unable to do some of the things for myself. I believe that even if a person is my enemy, he will assist me because I'm in this situation because of what had happened. I'm very glad that I could be here in this Commission and people should know what happened in the past.
(begin next side of tape) he gave his best, and our children are exposed so emotionally and I'm really frustrated about my situation. I don't want to cry, really I don't want to cry EAST LONDON HEARING TRC/EASTERN CAPE
Mrs Hashe you wanted to have the opportunity to say something to the Commission , especially relating to the your desire to have a proper burial for your husband and to secure the return of a photograph which was taken from your house at some stage. Can you please briefly now make that request to the Commission?
MRS HASHE: I want to appeal to this Commission, and I also want to apologise for some of the mistakes that I made. I'd like my husband to be exhumed or be taken back from where he is so that I can bury him in a dignified manner. I would like to obtain his photograph, the very big one which was enlarged from Canada. Those people took that photo, it was very important to me. I would like them to bring it back to me. Thank you very much.
MRS HASHE: Yes the policemen took it. During this time they were taking my husband the photo was in front of the state advocate and during the time when they were asking me questions, during the enquiry, they were looking at this photo, and I saw this enlarged photo and I had this sentimental attachment to it.
MERMBER OF PANEL: Excuse me lady, previously you said something about Priscilla Jana who was your attorney. When she heard and learned about the fact that de Kock's case in her witness and testimony, it was expressed that there was something done to the people by the police, and Priscilla promised to investigate into this. Do you remember that? I'd like to ask if the Commission is able to put in assistance and give you the support that you'd like to have and make an investigation thoroughly to find out what happened to these people. Are you giving us permission to go forward and make these investigations? Thank you.
MRS GODOLOZI: I am Nqabakazi Godolozi, I was born by the George family at Grahamstown and I met Qaqwuli Godolozi in Grahamstown in 1978. We got married in 1981. When we tied our knot he was working at LDA as a clerk. In 1981 he left and he went to Losotho for the organisation. He was delegated in 1978 - yes I've got one child, he's a boy, he is Umkondo Wesizwe.
MRS GODOLOZI: I'm not working presently, I was working at Cape Midlands Food for 8 years. I was expelled from the country in 1992 on the 5th of August during the Mass Action, just because I went out and looked at what was happening.
MRS GODOLOZI: My husband was working at LTA for 8 years. He was very unfortunate because he was a member of the organisation. He took sick leave and went to Lesotho. When he gave an account of what happened, he says he was asked who he was at ...(indistinct) Lesotho. He suspects that at his work they were informed that he was in Lesotho and not on sick leave, and when this happened, he went to work and then he was expelled from work and told that he would never be employed again.
We stayed together and we were unemployed. He started to be a vendor and he was selling chicken and he had a fowl run and we stayed for a long time and then I got employed at Mentone. In 1983 I was expectant and I bore a child who is Umkondo Wesizwe, and Umkondo was born in December. Again I was expelled because the policeman asked who is supporting my husband? And when they discovered that I was the bread winner, I was expelled. Again I was employed two years later. At the time I was staying with my in laws and then I moved out and then we hired a room. Our friend hired the room for us and we stayed there for four months. Again the police followed us and they did investigations.
MR SMITH: Mrs Godolozi, we've already heard when Mrs Hashe gave evidence that your husband was involved in a political organisation called PEPCO, that is a Port Elizabeth black civic organisation. Can you tell the Commission when he became involved in P?
MRS GODOLOZI: He started in 1978 and was elected as a president in 1981. He was involved in 1978 after it Tosamila Botha, who is presently a minister now, he took that position. We stayed for four months and we were expelled and we went to find another place. When we were at Zwide in
the location in Port Elizabeth, there were some problems between the councillors who were elected by the past regime and PEPCO. Because my husband was the president at the time, there was a clash of ideas between the mayor who was Linda Tamsanga. At that time Linda and his gangs started assaulting people at the meeting, the policemen were complaining and they stated to my husband that they are not satisfied with what was happening. Linda, the councillor at the time sent people to my place and my husband was not available at that time. There were 45 men who were highly armed. They had balaclavas on their faces, only their eyes were visible and they opened the door and wanted my husband.
Those 45 men left my place and just after they left, my husband came in a car accompanied by Mr Hashe. A few days later when we woke up, our car was on fire. People were trying to wake us and they told us about the problem that our car was on fire. We tried to extinguish the fire and then, can I just go back? When my husband came in I informed him of the 45 men who came to assault him, and then he said that we must move away, so that these people, when they come, they should not find him. When I told him that we should really move and that this was a threatening
So I requested somebody to take him to another part of the location which is Zakele and when I went to work the following day, I went to my cousin, informed her about what is going to happen and also told him about the people who threatened to assault him, and also the story and gave an account about the arson which has taken place.
Our cousin offered us a house and then she promised that she would go and stay with her family. This was a one-roomed house but we endured the situation. I was working at the time and my husband was still unemployed. The police discovered that I was still employed, the building in which I was employed was just in front of the court.
After the house belonging to Mrs Hashe was burned, the police, Mr Ndiyani and Mr du Preez, came in at work and asked for Mrs Godolozi. When they arrived I denied that I was Mrs Godolozi, they went further and asked and then were informed them that she's gone out. And they were angry and went up the stairs and came back again. They wanted the manageress and made enquiries about this Mrs Godolozi, and I was called in by the manageress, and when I went there, she showed them who I was.
They were very angry at me because I had made a fool of them, but I just kept quiet. They took me away and when I went to SANLAM, they made enquiries again and they interrogated me. They asked me whether I had a child and I said that I did and I told them his name. They were very angry because my child's name was Umkonto Wesizwe and wanted to know why I gave him this name. I just told them
One day they saw him on paper next to Mrs Hashe's place. They asked us if we stayed there and we told them that we were not. I was kept for hours at SANLAM and they were exchanging others who came in speaking in Afrikaans, I just kept quiet because I didn't always understand what they were saying.
When I came I informed my husband of what had happened at work. We stayed for a few days. My husband came back and informed me about some books which he had brought along. He would bring some books at times from Lesotho and at times he'd take them away again and would no tell me what happened, and then he would also tell me that some of the books were banned. He told me that these books were taken to his friend. When the books were kept there, they were asking also at the friend's place and some of the books were burned there.
The person whose house was burned was also taken away by the police. They searched the house and got these books and this person was interrogated. He informed the police that the books belonged to my husband. They started looking for us and we were right inside the house.
They were always looking for my husband, searching all the places and they said they would also get this Mbanjwa. And at times I would get a call from his mother stating that she was being terrorised by the police that she should look for her son and inform the police where he is. There was this stay- away organisation, during that time he was reflected on paper, after the government was threatened by this organisation that if the government didn't want to listen and doesn't take care of what is going on then they will see what will happen.
The stay-away was very successful, it took three days, Friday, Saturday and Monday and they were going around looking for any damaged and nothing was reported to being damaged. We stayed there and my husband was happy because the stay-away was a success. I was still a bread winner because my husband now always on the run because the police were looking for him.
On the 8th of May, when I woke up preparing for work, The police had come at 12 midnight. When I came back from work I used to come and look for him to see if there was nothing which was out of place. On this day I came and informed him about the fact that he was still looked for the police. I told him about my dream that the police were going to take him away. I ordered him to go out fearing that my dream can be realistic and then he took some possessions and said he would be coming back. We had our pass codes and pass words so that we did not open for the enemy. At about 12 he did not come back. He was not yet back in the morning, now I was beginning to fret about his absence.
MR SMITH: Sorry for interrupting, can we just go back a little. Can you recall whether your husband told you anything when he left on the evening of the 8th of May where he was going to? Did your husband say where he was going to when he left.
MRS GODOLOZI: He was going alone. When he went to the meeting I came back from work. On the 9th, I received a telephone call and my mother in law told me that I should go via her place. When I arrived there she told me that my husband Quaqawuli was arrested. I was also suspicious of that because he didn't come back the previous night and I also was aware about what was always happening because the police were looking for the books.
On this day, a Wednesday, up to Friday, we didn't receive anything. On Monday I received a telephone call and my cousin told me that my husband was at court. Because the place where I worked was just opposite the court, I p[ut down the telephone and because we were able to move around unnoticed, I was able to go out and attend the court, but when I arrived back, the policemen were chasing everyone away. I was so surprised why they were doing this so that people could not attend the court but because I had disappeared from work I came back again. At one o'clock during the lunch hour I went to court again, I went from door to door calling for my husband because at times there were people who were at the cells.
incident and the people in Port Elizabeth were talking and I overheard them talking, because they didn't know that I was the wife to Godolozi, and the Port Elizabeth people were all affected by what the police were doing. I learned that my husband was taken to Alexandria. Two days later my sister came, it was a long time that she was coming, so she came to look for my husband trying to find out what happened, and it was also publicised that my husband had disappeared together with his friend. I just told my sister that my husband was taken away and we knew that they didn't just get lost but were taken away by them.
So my sister stayed with me, giving me the support that I wanted at the time. I cannot remember the exact date but it was already in February 1986. At that time I went to work again because I was still employed. I told the employers that my husband has disappeared ever since he was arrested and that nobody knows any trace about him. You know that we were aware that the Boers at the time were so sensitive and they were arresting everybody. My sister organised a car for us so that we can go and look for my husband. My cousin and our friends, we went to Alexandria. When we reached Alexandria, we didn't even know where the court was because we're not familiar with the place, we didn't even know where the police station was but, because we learned about this area, we went along to look for my husband.
My sister had a friend, a school mate at the time, these people were supportive and they assisted us and took us along and tried to show us where we can find people who can help us to look for my husband. You know at the time everybody was alert and aware of this disappearance of my
husband and his friend, and we were informed that the Boers at the time were so sensitive, especially the police. There were two policemen from Grahamstown. I did not even know them but this person was mentioning these people. We went there, there was a policeman outside the house. When we saw this person, it was David Mtala who was a policeman. He welcomed us and asked us what we wanted at Alexandria.
There was another policeman inside, he was a bit more mature that the other one, he looked also familiar, I knew his father who was a pastor, he was Mr Moyia. I made enquiries and confirmed that he is. We exchanged small talk and I was trying to approach them.
MRS GODOLOZI: I had not yet asked them about this. At a later stage they asked me what we really came there for. I informed them that we were looking for my husband. Mr Mtana told us, that really my husband was here but he had been removed from this jail, he was no longer in Alexandria. So we were aware that he was also talking about Mr Hashe. Mr Nqya looked to his colleague and I could see that he was taken aback about what was happening. I asked him when they are going to stop taking our people, tossing them from pillar to post? I was also anxious because I was not experienced and I was not accustomed to doing what these policemen wanted us to do. We were patient and tried to persuade them to tell us where these people are. I was always afraid that take us and find us here.
MRS GODOLOZI: Mr Mtana told us that they were both here in Alexandria and they were removed from that jail and were taken to Lowergrans. Moyia also confirmed that. After that we went away. I was very angry at this time. They also wanted to prevent us from being injured and I was insisting that we can be taken to the police so that they can give us proper information about our husbands, so that we can confirm what Mtana and his colleague said. They took us to the police station, I was accompanied by my sister, I met a policeman there, we also told them that we were looking for Mr Godolozi who is my husband. He also thought he thought he was my brother. He looked through the records and stated that they are not on their records. When he ..(tape ends)
.... got back. I informed her that I have I have got some information and we were advise to Mrs Hashe to go to Mr Petrus Bresha, who was an attorney at the time. I went there to put up the case, and he took statements.
We were not staying together and were always having this fear of the police arriving time and again. My mother said the case should be written and she should be the one who is lodging a complaint about what is happening. When we went to court Priscilla Jana was the attorney.
MR SMITH: You heard Victor Sizani giving evidence about the fact that he saw your husband and the two others in the custody of police in Grahamstown? At that same trial also Mkuseli Nganga also gave evidence, also that he saw your husband in Alexandria.
MRS GODOLOZI: And also that they were in Alexandria, I was also present. I explained to them what has happened in the court and my visit to Alexandria. Mr Sizane explained that he saw my husband in Alexandria and he told the court that he was in bandages and only the eyes were visible. He told us that Sizani was arrested also, Moyi was one of the police, and Mr Sizani mistakenly went to a wrong cell and Mr Sizani pushed him away and insulted, but Mr Sizani at the time had already seen my husband, and Mr Suzani is therefore my witness. The other witness is the friend to Mr Sizani and he stated that there was confirmation that Qaqawuli Godolozi was in a cell next to his and he wrote a note introducing himself, he wrote his name on a matchbox and on toilet paper. Unfortunately the toilet paper was taken away because the police would remove any evidence which would confirm that the people were in custody.
MRS GODOLOZI: There were so many witnesses who stated that they had seen my husband, and after the court hearing, there was nobody who could give us enough evidence, they just said they do not know anything about this. But our attorney stated that it seems as if these people are still inside, but we are unable to enforce them to produce the people.
MRS GODOLOZI: We could not get any information, besides the information that we got from the people that were also in the cells, we do not have any other evidence besides that. I'm praying to God that everything that has happened to my husband should come from God. I request that God through his powers, should expose these people. I would like all the people who are implicated in the disappearance of my husband, I also wish that if my husband has been murdered, because in one of the City Press Newspapers it was said those people were taken from airports and were killed, they were taken from various places, Alexandria, Skinnerbos, SANLAM, every place that you can think of, they have been taken from, but we could not confirm all that. I request that God could help us and have all the information come from the perpetrators, because I was so emotionally involved in my husband. Even if I was hiring a place, I was also chased or expelled, I was always expelled wherever I was going to. I was also always unemployed or would get employment which does not pay anything.
MRS GODOLOZI: I'd request that they assist me, even if he's still in the primary level, I would request that I should be supported and assisted. My husband tied the knot whilst I was still at school, but he couldn't fulfil his dreams. He was expelled from work and I had to be a bread winner, and I didn't have education because I would like to make my future bright, because that was the wish of my husband.
Mr LEWIN: Mrs Godolozi, you mentioned that the court case, at least two people, perhaps more but at least two people gave evidence that they had seen your husband in the prison. Are those present here today?
MRS GODOLOZI: No they are not here today. But there are so many of them.. There are so many witnesses who even witnessed when they were arrested at the airport. It is the same witness who informed us when my husband was arrested a few days after.
MR SMITH: Mrs Galela, I'm sure that you're not as nervous as the other two might have been. At least you've had the opportunity to listen to them giving evidence. You are also here to testify about the disappearance of your husband Champion Galela, and the Commission has already heard evidence from Mrs Godolozi and Mrs Hashe that your husband disappeared whilst he was in the company of Mr Hashe and Mr Godolozi. Is that correct?
MRS GALELA: I got married to Mr Galela in 1975. I was working at Fort Harris during those years and he was working at a furniture shop. I am normally Rita from Newbright, we're actually from Korsten in Port Elizabeth. I have two boys. Curly Wee and Dilgronalo Galela.
MRS GALELA: During that time he was not working any more. He was expelled from work due to politics. He appeared in newspapers and at work the manager would say, "No you're poison, you'll have to leave." He would get another job and still he would be turned away, saying he is a poison, because he was actually trying to negotiate with the Boers who were working with him. Now during his disappearance he was at the PEPCO offices in that building, Laman Building. They were working doing cards and people were joining PEPCO during that time when he disappeared.
when I was eight months pregnant, I had a paraffin fridge and then after being released from the hospital I stayed two years at home, and then in 1985 my husband disappeared. Now this really made my life miserable, because it was really difficult to raise the children without their father.
MR SMITH: When he was involved with PEPCO and before his disappearance, was he at any stage arrested or detained by police? He was involved because before his disappearance he would time and again be sought by the police and he would come home very late. He didn't sleep at home for two days and then come back and go again, come back so that the police do not get him. That was before his disappearance. The day of his disappearance, can you tell the Commission what happened on that day?
MRS GALELA: On 8 May my husband came home with Mr Hashe from their offices and he was carrying food so that I can prepare it for him and he told me that they have to rush to the airport for the British Consulate, but he wants to eat first. And I told him that I was busy preparing food and it was winter a bit dark. I said to my husband, "Shall we eat when you come back? You know that the councillors want you every time". I took a very black hat and put it on his head, after a minute the yellow van driven by Mr Hashe who
was already wearing a hat. My husband went out of the house with another person who was staying with us in the house, Owise Zamile. At the time when the councillors were burning houses, seeking these children, during those times it was AZAPO. Even if it wasn't, I wasn't sleeping in the house with my children, it was only my husband and the children, you know, they were really guarding the situation.
Zamile tried to get into the van, and I said, "No this is not going to happen, Zamile please come back!" Because I left Zamile and he never came back today. They went off then to go to the airport because they were really saying they were going to the airport. Even today...(intervention)
MRS GALELA: When they left for the airport, it became dusk and they didn't come back. When I woke up in the morning I went to my next door neighbour Mrs Hashe to find out if her husband was back and she said, no. We were surprised because they both did not come back, but there were so many things that were happening and he was not a person who usually went out frequently. We were concerned, wanting to know what is happening. We all knew that they were always being looked for by the police. Mr Fazi came in in the evening with Mrs Godolozi and they were also concerned and asked me if my husband is not yet back. We were all surprised again. Everybody was concerned because we knew that there is this harassment from the policemen. And Lea also came in and everybody started to come in and out of my EAST LONDON HEARING TRC/EASTERN CAPE
It was a few days and everybody was aware that my husband and his colleagues are not back. We wanted Fezi who had got the information from Mrs Godolozi that they were seen. Fezi was willing to come and give witness, he didn't even care for anybody but he said that he would give information, he saw them in custody. There were so many other witnesses who came after.....(intervention)
MRS GALELA: He told me that he saw them in custody. They were taken by the police. People were aware of them and their campaign, so everybody was more aware of them and they knew what happened to them. They saw them when they were taken.
MRS GALELA: Yes I went to various police stations. It was Mrs Hashe and myself, and there was this information that Mrs Hashe got from Delmas prison in Cape Town, and the letter gave information that I have a star above the eye,
MRS GALELA: When we reached the destination in Cape Town we were not all of us allowed to come inside. Mrs Hashe was the first one to come in, I was left behind. She stayed for a long time inside. That jail is very big and you could not see clearly what was going on inside. The policemen surrounded her and the lady showed them the letter making enquiries about Sipho Hashe. But when she made enquiries, they told her that they do not have Sipho Hashe. When they looked at him they found that it is another Sipho Hashe with a scar and Mrs Hashe could see that there is a wound and she was listening to the police. You know it was clear that Mr Hashe was the one who gave information to this younger boy and we also confirmed that this was what was happening.
MRS GALELA: In June I was arrested, I was taken from my place early in the morning when I was busy preparing breakfast for my children. When I was still busy preparing, we called the police , the system, there was a big policeman, a huge man and I could see that there were so many Boers next to my door, and he grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and they broke in through the ceiling. Mr Zamile Mazantsana came back very early, he was in bed, they grabbed him also and took him along and they took this
Photos were taken about the house, it was searched all around, we were taken into custody, myself and Mr Masantsana Mazamile. We could see that there was a crowd. A lot of policemen were standing next to my place, Mr Tungata was amongst them and the whole system was outside because I was labelled as a terrorist. It was quite a long time that we stayed there and I just left a message for someone to look after my children.
We went to Algoa police station, that is where I stayed for quite a long time. I was later taken, but before that they took a statement and they put me into confinement and they said I must confess and say I know about these hand grenades. I refused and they insisted that I should admit and say I know the grenades. It was an exchange of words and he threatened to assault me. It was a long argument. Very late Nieuwhoudt came and took the statement together with Tongata. I gave an explanation and gave an account of what was happening and I even explained why I was staying with Zamile.
They asked if I knew anything about my husband and I just stated boldly that, "He should be with you", and I was also insulting him because I was very angry. At midnight Tongata was ordered to take me home. I went back home and I slept where my children were. In the morning when I was still washing dishes there was a big knock at the door, the same policeman came in together with Zamile Masantsana, he was in handcuffs. I took the books which he brought along and I knew that those books were not allowed. They were ANC EAST LONDON HEARING TRC/EASTERN CAPE
and said. "Sissy please take out those books". It was clear that he had already confessed and I was taken and it was said, as an accomplice, I should accompany Zamile Masantsana. I had to take just a skirt because I was only in a night gown. We went again to Algoa and I was locked up for two days. They released me on the third day. We went to court and Zamile was sentenced to 12 years in prison, he has just been released.
MR SMITH: And you heard me putting certain statements which were made by witnesses in the court, Victor Sizani and Mkuseli Nonganga? Were you present when they were giving evidence. In particular Sizani was giving evidence to the effect that he saw your husband, Mr Godolozi and Mr Hashe in the custody of police at Alexandria Police Station? You were present when he gave that evidence? And likewise, Mr Nomganga also gave evidence. You were also present in Court when that evidence was given? Are you aware by the evidence which had been led in the Eugene de Kock trial, where reference was made to the involvement of the Vlakplaas Unit in the disappearance of your husband? You're aware of that? EAST LONDON HEARING TRC/EASTERN CAPE
MRS GALELA: I learned that they were killed by the police and there was an allegation that he committed suicide, but I do not believe that. If you haven't buried your loved one, you always have suspicions that, "I didn't bury my loved one", and if they have killed my husband, I'd like him to be brought home again so that I can make a dignified funeral for him. I would like them to confess and state why they killed my husband and would like to know who were the perpetrators and the murderers of my husband, so that we can be able to reconcile. If we have washed our hands we will be glad, we'll reconcile because we'll never resurrect them. We will never make them live again. We don't want their disappearance to remain indefinitely. At least the truth must come. We are glad today that there is this Truth Commission and we appeal to it that it should to trace our husbands.
MRS GALELA: I would like the Commission to help us, because e we are struggling with my family. We are targets, when there are electricity problems, we are the first ... (end of tape) ... in the same boat and we are unable to assist each other. If for instance there is a knock at my door, it won't be and I will learn that the same thing has happened to her. All the Boers have done the same thing. What they did to me they were doing to Mrs Hashe because we are neighbours. So I request and appeal to the Commission that they should be able to support us, to give assistance
God is still with us and he is supporting us in his own way, but we'd like at least to be assisted like any other family to grow together with our children and in a dignified manner. The doors are still cracked because we struggle to have money. My house was a target, they would kick everything out of place. Kick windows. In the morning the children, or even during the night the children would wake up and see a lot of light, torches and everybody was going around our house and I'm referring to the police if I talk about this. I would the people to understand how we feel and I would like the Commission to assist in this regard.
MEMBER OF PANEL: I would like to ask another question, this question was also for Mrs Hashe. If the Commission has all the powers to investigate and find out the truth and realise there is a possibility of getting information of what happened to your husbands, do you give us permission to go on with this investigation?