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Human Rights Violation Hearings


Starting Date 18 April 1996


Day 4


DR BORAINE: We invite Jackson Mbovane to the stand please. Good afternoon Sir.

JACKSON MBOVANE: (sworn states)

DR BORAINE: Mr Mbovane we welcome you today. You have come to tell the Commission about the killing of your daughter and so far, even though you have tried very hard, there has been no satisfactory explanation, no court case that has been completed regarding her killing, is that right?


DR BORAINE: Thank you very much. It's that story that we want to listen to now and Ms Tiny Maya is going to help you. I am very tired.

MS MAYA: How are you Mr Mbovane?

MR MBOVANE: I am very well thank you.

MS MAYA: The details that we have in front here there is an information and it is reflected that you are Jackson Mbovane in King Williamstown is that so?

MR MBOVANE: Yes it is so.

MS MAYA: We realise that there is something horrible that will never end which is indelible in your minds and that your daughter is when she was brutally killed in September 1992, is that so?

MR MBOVANE: Yes it is so.



MS MAYA: Could you please give an explanation about yourself, give us background, who are you and what can you tell us about that?

MR MBOVANE: There in the community I am known as Mr Mbovane. I had never had problems there with my community and there was never anything which isolated me from other people. I was always amongst the organisers because I am a card carrying member of the ANC, and I am a staunch follower.

But there is this that I can say, I was surprised because at some stage the first thing that I can say is that I was aware - I would apologise to the Commission because I will be talking of different times. I travelled with my wife in my van. We came back. It was on a Monday, we left on a Saturday then we came back on Monday, when we came back the children told us that there were people who arrived here and they were called Peace Forces. I didn't know what they meant by these forces because I was employed for a long time, those children that I have now I was a worker in Cape Town, so I didn't know what they meant about the Peace Force, because it was only two weeks when I came back from the.....

So when we returned from where we went our children told us they were surrounded by the Peace Force in our absence. Those people were in Sandile there at the kraal of our King Sandile. I usually see these people even today, but my children are the only ones who can identify them.

MS MAYA: What were they doing here at your place?

MR MBOVANE: At my place these officers said, there were four of them, during the night it was about eight o'clock in the evening they asked where I have gone to. When they were EAST LONDON HEARING TRC/EASTERN CAPE


informed that I was absent they wanted to know where my whereabouts. They didn't give them the proper place where I went to. And they asked who was the person who was driving the other car? Because I had a shop here at home on the premises they asked about the other driver who was driving another car. They also answered and they were cross-examined and questioned several times by these people. So I left one of my vans with one of the gentleman, it is Mr Maguka in the community.

They asked about the beer which was there and asked what I was going to do with the beer because the children said I was the one who was owning this. It was a case of beer and two bottles of brandy. This Peace Force took the case and then they clapped my child and said he must take the case to the van and then he was taken and arrested together with this case of beer.

MS MAYA: Is there any other damage which they made here?

MR MBOVANE: No they just assaulted my children and then they left. They took all the contents of the refrigerator and then they left.

When I returned I came early in the morning on Monday. On my way back I saw this car and just made a flickered. The people they were laughing inside the car and understood that they were laughing of what they had done in my house.

MS MAYA: What was the damage that they did so much at your place?

MR MBOVANE: I am coming to that. When I arrived there I went to Sandile, this is our chief. When I got at Sandile's place I found this Peace Force at the gate. At the time I knew the security officers but I had never known anything about the Peace Officers. When they asked me what I wanted, EAST LONDON HEARING TRC/EASTERN CAPE


I said I wanted a person who stays here. Mrs Nolizwe Sandile is the one who came and asked me what did I want at that place. I explained what happened to my place as informed by my children and then she said I must bring those children. She said I must take the children to her place. I brought them along. There were two children, the deceased and the other girl. I wanted the person to accompany me. I was ordered to bring the car in the yard. I was suspicious and asked them why do they want me to bring the car in the premises, and then they said no nothing is going to happen to you, you may come in. Nolizwe came out and I showed her these two children and this person who accompanied me. She asked me again and I told the details of what has happened.

There were questions which were exchanged here and then Nolizwe wanted to know what was happening. The children gave the details again. They also wanted to ask who was there who was driving the other van. They asked where is the car which you usually drive. Mrs Nolizwe asked if we know the Peace Force and my children said yes you can bring them here we can identify them. So the lady said no, some of them are not here.

MS MAYA: Were you able to get the assistance and was there any clue of what happened?

MR MBOVANE: No. This Nolizwe said I must bring the children, and we discovered that this Peace Force was here on the premises of the chief. Mrs Nolizwe was very abusive and she denied any allegations which were reported to her. This insult I cannot recall it because it is a terrible language.

So it was the night that I was selling any liquor



because probably they thought that I was selling liquor. The explanation which was given is that I was going to use this liquor for an occasion. We were allowed to go. What I have forgotten is that the people who were here were all drunk. They were all drunk and the house was full of the people.

MS MAYA: So did you go without getting any assistance?

MR MBOVANE: No we didn't because this lady insulted us, she just insulted us. I just want to explain that we were bringing cases and I was not the only one.

There was another lady who came out who said to this lady, you are keeping yourself busy and this is not your business. This lady was Nomonde.

MS MAYA: What did she mean about that?

MR MBOVANE: Oh what I thought was that this was a planned arrangement. I believed that they planned to come and assault me.

I returned back to my place and during that period we didn't know what to expect. In the evening at 9 o'clock the enemies came. I realised that maybe my sin was going to the place of the Chief Sandile. When I looked through the window, because my gate was locked, I saw the people have jumped into my yard. They knocked at the door and then they said they are policemen. I thought they were really the police. So I opened the door believing that they are the police.

There were three people, but I saw clearly two people only. My children were afraid to go to sleep in another house on the premises but today they were so afraid because they said they would sleep here in the house. When I opened the door there was a person who just came in and he took the EAST LONDON HEARING TRC/EASTERN CAPE


revolver and pointed me with the gun in my room. There were two people who were at the door and one of them shot at the girl.

MS MAYA: What happened then?

MR MBOVANE: You know I said they must light so that I can see what was happening.

MS MAYA: Were the children available and were they also able to see the people?

MR MBOVANE: Yes they were able to do so.

MS MAYA: Did you see the person who was at the door?

MR MBOVANE: No, because I was at gunpoint, the person was at gunpoint and they were pointing the gun at me. There were gunshots, so I had a mental block because I was so afraid that there was something that was going to happen to me. I didn't even defend myself. There were three gunshots then I lost consciousness. At a later stage I was informed that there were three gunshots. My wife was also here, I do not know why she was so brave.

MS MAYA: Mr Mbovane.

MR MBOVANE: These people left the house but one of my girls was crying.

MS MAYA: Was there another one who was injured?

MR MBOVANE: Yes, the other one was injured. Then I could see the other one squatting next to the door. I believe that my daughters knew the people who came into my house for assault. When they left the place I followed them but the other girl said to me I must not go out because I can be shot.

MS MAYA: So what it clear that the child was fatally wounded?

MR MBOVANE: Yes. After I went out I came back, but when



I touched my daughter I could see that there were no signs of life. I went out and called my neighbours and it was good because most of the people have seen what was happening at my place. They even heard the gunshots. So I came again. This was reported and the message was spread throughout the community and most of the people came to give us support.

I visited a person who had a minibus. This gentleman was afraid to accompany me. There was havoc and chaos around my place. We knew that there were soldiers who usually come and visit the area so the gentleman with the combi was afraid to accompany me.

MS MAYA: Were you taken to the police station?

MR MBOVANE: Yes at the end he agreed to take me.

MS MAYA: Did you get the assistance of the police?

MR MBOVANE: Yes I did.

MS MAYA: What did the police do?

MR MBOVANE: The police came to my place and they asked for a statement from me of what has happened. I gave the statement and then they took the body of my daughter. They ordered me to go the following day to their place because they were at the Frankfort Police Station. I was also informed that I should go there so that I can give evidence to what has happened.

During this period when we were making our beds in the morning there was a bullet which was found there. We tried to look inside and see whether there were others. I was asked where are the others and then I was telling them that one of my daughters is dead.

The following day I went to give the statement. We took along the bullet and there were detectives who visited



my place. During their visit I was absent at home. On my way back I met them on the way, and then they said to me we visited your place, but I was surprised how did they know who I am because I didn't know them. They also asked me, who are the people who did the chaos at my place. I said I do not know.

When I came back I was informed that a day after I should go to King Williamstown at the police station in the mortuary. I went there as ordered and I found my daughter there. I went to the lawyers and there were people who assisted me because I was even unable to drive because of the incidents which has taken place at my place.

We found the lawyer at his office. There was a preliminary interview.

MS MAYA: Do you know who is the lawyer?

MR MBOVANE: I have forgotten the name of the lawyer. My case was transferred to another lawyer so I did not know the other one who took the case in the beginning.

MS MAYA: How did the case go?

MR MBOVANE: The reason that I am here I do not know whether I was able to get the information of coming because I was going up and down for four years, I was trying to establish what had happened, who came to my place. I have been going to Zwelitsha offices, going to King Williamstown but there was nothing doing.

MS MAYA: What are they saying when you go there?

MR MBOVANE: At Zwelitsha they always tell me that no, this is atrocious we are going to give you the information when we get any clue. Do not be afraid and do not waste your money by coming here. Please wait for us to come to you with the feedback. We went to the lawyer but we didn't get



anything tangible. The lawyer which we approached said they would take the child to the doctor and a post mortem was done. The detective who was there found another bullet inside the body.

In Zwelitsha I was trying to do anything, everything in my power to get details and the people who assaulted my daughter. Each time I was informed that I must take the file from Frankfort and I was being tossed from pillar to post. Even today there is no progress.

MS MAYA: Since 1992 was there anything which took place?

MR MBOVANE: No. The lawyer when I came here at the Commissioner I went to the lawyer again as I usually visit them so that they can assist me. I get different opinions. Each time I ask them they give me details which are unfounded and the case is still unfinished even today. They always cross-examine - if I go there they say what am I asking them, and I am always appearing as if I am the one who is crucified. ...(tape ends)

MS MAYA: Do you know the detective?

MR MBOVANE: No I do not know. The case was then transferred from that detective to another one. We were told to wait for the new detective but we are still waiting. This detective never came back.

MS MAYA: I would like you to give us what you would like us to do as a Commission?

MR MBOVANE: The only thing that I would like to have is that the culprits should be found and traced and they should be taken to wherever they are supposed to go. If they have to be brought before the court they should. At the same time I would like the Commission make anything that they see - deem fit. The other thing is that there are two children.



MS MAYA: Did you say the mother to the children was not married?

MR MBOVANE: Yes she was not married when she died, but she had two children. There is another one who is doing Sub B. Now I have taken them to their father's place. The other one is doing standard one.

MS MAYA: Would you like to get assistance to take their education forwards?

MR MBOVANE: Yes I would like to do so because I am an unemployed, ever since I was unemployed nobody is assisting me. I don't have parents and even my in-laws are late.

MS MAYA: Thank you very much.

REVEREND TUTU: Could you please keep quiet. Mr Mbovane if I can remember very well, Ndakana which is the place in which you live, is it now - it was under the jurisdiction of the Ciskei government.

MR MBOVANE: Yes it is so.

REVEREND TUTU: What you have given an account of, is it an incident which took place during the period when Gqozo was the president?

MR MBOVANE: Yes it is so.

REVEREND TUTU: What was the reaction of the people and what were the feelings and the attitude of the people towards Gqozo?

MR MBOVANE: I do not know. Most of the time I was not there at Ndakana because I was a migrant labourer. I would come during the week, maybe for two weeks only and then I would go back.

REVEREND TUTU: Please maintain order. Was there good relations between the community and Gqozo?




REVEREND TUTU: What were the attitudes of the people towards the government of the Ciskei, or can I specifically say about Gqozo?

MR MBOVANE: Some of the people were having a very negative attitude towards him because he was an oppressor.

REVEREND TUTU: What was the impression that our daughter had about him, about Mr Gqozo?

MR MBOVANE: Did you mean my daughter? No she was not thinking anything about Gqozo. I think she was just like everybody who had a negative attitude towards him.

REVEREND TUTU: Was it known that he had a negative attitude towards Gqozo?

MR MBOVANE: (No reply heard)

REVEREND TUTU: In your explanation you mention the Peace Force, this Peace Force is it not meant to maintain order and peace in the community? Do you understand about the Peace Force, it is the people who are expected to maintain peace? This one, this force what do you remember about it?

MR MBOVANE: No I don't remember that they were the people who maintained peace because they are the people who killed my daughter. So if you say they were the people to maintain peace I do not understand how does this correlate.

REVEREND TUTU: Do you think Mandisa who was your daughter, was shot because of this?

MR MBOVANE: Mandisa was in the struggle, but you know I didn't have any information that she was involved in the struggle.

REVEREND TUTU: Do you have any suspicion about her killers?

MR MBOVANE: No I don't know, I only know they were from Sandile, but I don't know who the individual really is.



REVEREND TUTU: Is there any letter maybe that you received saying you should go and appear at the police there is a case that has to be opened? Did you receive any letter from Bisho?

MR MBOVANE: Are you referring to the police? No I didn't receive any letter. The last person to be involved in this was that lawyer that was involved. The police were never involved, they didn't say anything to me.

REVEREND TUTU: Thank you very much.

MR MBOVANE: There is something that I have forgotten.

REVEREND TUTU: You can say what you have forgotten.

MR MBOVANE: This thing that I left behind it's a very important point. I was giving the statement, before this thing happened two people arrived at my place, it was during the night and they had petrol, they burnt the door. They put it just in front of the door, luckily I could realise very quickly and I took a jersey. You know when the fire started I was very aware. Those people ran off realising that I have seen them. You know they were really at their best running away, and I said well I didn't see them carefully but I don't really mind. I don't know, maybe one of them was the person who killed my daughter or not, I don't know.

REVEREND TUTU: Thank you very much Sir. We really feel the pain you felt about this matter that took place at your house. These are the events that took place at your home. As a Commission we will try by all means to investigate who the perpetrators really are.

We want to thank you as well because you are very strong. Thank you very much.

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