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Human Rights Violation Hearings

Type 1 P TABALAZA, HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, SUBMISSIONS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Starting Date 17 April 1996

Location EAST LONDON

Day 3

Names P T TABALAZA

Case Number EC0002/96

( recording starts at this point, no introduction)

MRS TABALAZA: They say he committed suicide, he dropped from the top floor through the window.

MR SANDI: Who said so to you? When did you last see Lungile? When did you hear that he committed suicide?

MRS TABALAZA: It was on the 9th, Lungile was distributing papers, we didn't know that Lungile was involved in the struggle. He would usually just come into the house and would keep quiet and just behave as if nothing is wrong, and we were not aware of his movements.

One day he was staying with other children, and we just saw the police come in and did not understand why.

MR SANDI: Did they come at home?

MRS TABALAZA: Yes they did come at home. I was taking my mother to the hospital for her checkup and the boers came in, they asked for Lungile's I D. My mother asked who they are and the white men said they wanted Lungile's I D. At that moment the mother asked where the I D was and we called our brother and again my mother asked what was happening, and he said he doesn't know. The boers were outside, they took my brother. They went up Mount Road. At a distance my brother felt that there is something that happened about Lungile.

When they went to Mount Road, they found a lot of

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corpses who had just been left on the ground and the cement. Lungile was amongst them and blood issued through his nose and ears. They asked my brother to identify, but he was unable to answer. It took him 18 seconds. He became mute and they took him outside and back home. He was shocked and said, "My mother, we must not mourn for Lungile because he was deliberately murdered", and he went out.

There is an article in the newspaper that reflects on this. Mr Pretorius is reflected also. It seems as if he saw something.

MR SANDI: Do you know this Mr Pretorius?

MRS TABALAZA: No I did not know him but I learned my husband about this Pretorius because since it was upstairs, it seems that he was kept downstairs, and he could see what was happening above.

MR SANDI: Did he explain this?

MRS TABALAZA: I did not know this white man, because this gentleman was staying next to the cafe which he had next door, and he was chased away when he went to make enquiries from him.

MR SANDI: Was there an inquest, was Mr Pretorius called in?

MRS TABALAZA: No he wasn't. He was not called to satisfy.

MR SANDI: What did the court say in connection with what has happened?

MRS TABALAZA: We were called on four occasions to appear before the magistrate, but at the end they said it was confirmed that he committed suicide.

MR SANDI: Did you have an attorney?

MRS TABALAZA: Yes, we did, it was Mr Poswa, the first one was Fisher, we took Poswa thereafter and Poswa was with

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Cooper.

MR SANDI: The court gave a verdict that there was nobody who could be accused or charged about this?

MRS TABALAZA: Yes it is so.

MR SANDI: How did you feel about this.

MRS TABALAZA: We were so hurt about the verdict given. Even today we want to know who the people are who murdered Lungile. Lungile was brought in later, they did not want to bring his body, they just in his belongings. The child's father went there to find out if he cannot get the child, but still I was shocked to learn that the internal contents were on his trousers.

There is a paper which was called Sunday Post, on the fifth to the seventh October, 1978, in which it is reflect that the verdict had nobody who could be alleged to have committed the crime. Mr Gunner was also mentioned as someone who was not satisfied, he was reported to have shaken his head and was not satisfied with the verdict given.

MR SANDI: Who is this Mr Gunner Nazo.

MRS TABALAZA: It is his father. He has passed on now.

MR SANDI: Did the family take any steps with regard to this matter or did it just end up nowhere?

MRS TABALAZA: We never took any steps, because we were disappointed if we were told that he committed suicide. But this really shocked us because he was in the hands of the boers.

MR SANDI: According to the knowledge that you can give us about Lungile and his acts, can you briefly tell us why he was detained?

MRS TABALAZA: He was detained because of the struggle. There's a newspaper, Sunday Post dated 24 to 26 August,

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1978, you gave this to the Commission, there's a person saying, before Lungile threw himself out of the window, he was forced to make a statement and he did not want to give one. Did you see that in this paper?

MRS TABALAZA: Yes.

MR SANDI: Who really said those words?

MRS TABALAZA: We don't know the name of that person.

MR SANDI: This happened at SANLAM Building?

MRS TABALAZA: Yes.

MR SANDI: Do you know SANLAM Building?

MRS TABALAZA: Yes it's the Main Street.

MR SANDI: With what do you associate this building?

MRS TABALAZA: It's a police place.

MR SANDI: Did Lungile go to that place before?

MRS TABALAZA: No.

MR SANDI: If I understand you well, you are requesting the Commission to do investigations because you want to know what happened?

MRS TABALAZA: Yes that's right.

MR SANDI: What do you think actually happened?

MRS TABALAZA: No we don't know, we don't have any information.

MR SANDI: Is there anything that you'd like to tell us except the statement that you put before this Commission and even the papers that you submitted?

MRS TABALAZA: I just want this Commission, after having investigated who killed Lungile so brutally, because he had a scar at the back, he didn't even have his eyes, he had a cut on the forehead.

MR SANDI: Mrs Tabalaza, do you know the so-called post mortem that is conducted when a person has died. A doctor

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would search to find the cause of death.

MRS TABALAZA: No we didn't. We never had anything from the doctor. The boers didn't allow us to have a post mortem.

MR SANDI: Thank you very much. Do you want to say anything further than this Mrs Tabalaza?

MRS TABALAZA: I'm very hurt to realize that at my age, I could not trace, there wouldn't be any clue to lead us towards the reason for our child's death. I'm so hurt about this, I request the Commission to really make thorough investigations because it was a very painful atrocity. I'm a person who is an invalid today, I have high blood pressure and diabetes because all those things happened unexpectedly. I'm requesting that the Commission should please make investigations. He would say to us that he would become a doctor and they killed my child. He was very brilliant at school, but today his blood is on the names of the perpetrators.

MR SANDI: No further questions? Thank you very much Mrs Tabalaza.

CHAIRPERSON: We would like to thank you very much. We as a Commission will try our best and make all the efforts to make investigations.

 
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