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Human Rights Violation Hearings


Starting Date 18 April 1996


Day 4


DR BORAINE: I want to announce that because of a problem that two of the witnesses have regarding travelling we are changing the order just a little bit, but we will complete the hearings of all the witnesses, so please don't be anxious if you suddenly find that your name is not announced in exactly the order that you were told. We invite Khayelethu Yali to the stand please.

KHAYELETHU YALI: (sworn states)

DR BORAINE: Mr Yali you will be giving evidence to the Commission about yourself, not about someone else and you have a painful story to tell as a young man, and in order to assist you to do that we have asked Mziki Thale(?) to lead you in this, so I will hand over to him now. Thank you.

MR THALE: Mr Yali you stay at Cradock? How long have you been staying there?

MR YALI: I was born at Cradock.

MR THALE: What are you doing at this moment?

MR YALI: I am just unemployed, I am doing nothing.

MR THALE: According to what you have put before us, I mean the statement that you have given us you were saying you were shot on the date that you have indicated to us now. Can you please tell us what happened exactly on that day?

MR YALI: The first thing that happened at Cradock, I want to say it was during the day and the police arrived. They



were wearing boots and we didn't know exactly whether were they police, then they said we have very bad manners as those of our brothers and we just ignored them. We learned that there was going to be a funeral for somebody who was shot and people were singing. I went home because I was staying with a grandmother. When I started cleaning our house and then I went home. I went to the shop when I came back again. When I was there I said I was going to the toilet. After relieving myself I came back and I heard somebody who was busy and it was the police and I thought it was a neighbour who was a Coloured and I thought it is him who was calling me. When he was turning back I heard a gunshot and then I learnt that this was not child's play. I ran away. During that period I learnt that my eyes were unable to open. At that period there was an exchange of gunfire.

Some people got into our house and my grandmother was given information of what was happening. Then somebody told me that you are shot and there's something which is on the eye. Then a car was organised that I should be taken to the hospital. I went to hospital, whilst I was there there were patches on both eyes because I was injured. There were policemen who came in and they wanted the clothes which I had on during that day. One of them said this is one of the boys who was there in that house and I saw him carrying a petrol bomb. I just kept quiet. I was transferred to Port Elizabeth and I was there for three weeks.

I returned. Again when I came back my grandmother told me that there were policemen who came three times looking for me. I went to Tumeka Tuku who was looking at me while I was at hospital. The other lady said I must not go there



because these people want to shoot you or they will take you and arrest you.

MR THALE: Let me just ask, was this happening on the 30th of June 1986?

MR YALI: Yes it is so.

MR THALE: You say this person was speaking in Afrikaans?


MR THALE: What was he saying?

MR YALI: I don't know exactly in Afrikaans, he said "yebo" and then continued with his language.

MR THALE: Do you say you were treated in the hospital?

MR YALI: Yes it is so.

MR THALE: You can continue.

MR YALI: I was transferred to Port Elizabeth hospital and then I came in. One lady advised me not to go and then said a person is being shot usually and then arrested. I tried to run away. After three months I was supposed to go again for check-up. In 1989 I was coming back from my check-up and then I was at the station in Cradock, when I was alighting from the train I saw many policemen and then I said I am being - these people are bearing a grudge against me, so I went to a side, and then somebody said Ace was asked for, and then I knew that I was the person who is called Ace.

The police went to look for me especially after the release of our leaders Mr Walter Sisulu and others.

MR THALE: Did you lodge a complaint or lay a charge against anybody?

MR YALI: You know I didn't think of doing that because I knew that if I do go they will shoot me and arrest me, so I didn't go.



MR THALE: Didn't you take any action about this?

MR YALI: No I didn't. I didn't even think of going to the people. I went to (...indistinct) because he was a member of the organisation ANC.

MR THALE: In your statement you state that you request that the Commission should please try and fulfil or carry forward your education.

MR YALI: I will be very glad because I stayed at home after this because I had to discontinue. I started in 1989 and then in 1994 I stopped. I would like to have my dreams fulfilled because I would like to work as a social worker.

MR THALE: Did you make any enquiries or investigations where you could be assisted?

MR YALI: Yes I did. I went to the advisory offices which are just next to us, and the comrades informed me that there would be people from Suset(?) who would go and assist us. When I went there my efforts were futile.

MR THALE: Do you have anything that you would like to say about this?

MR YALI: You know what surprised me in all this, when you are called you expect that somebody should respond but what happened to me is that I was shot instead of getting a response especially when I see a White man, especially the policemen I get offended because I know they are the people who did this to me. If I can know who is this person really I would be glad. My eyesight was affected. I am unable to see properly. I am worried because this person just called me and then just shot at me without anything.

REVEREND TUTU: Thank you very much. Is there anybody who would like to pose any questions to the witness?

Thank you very much, thank you. We are very glad about your EAST LONDON HEARING TRC/EASTERN CAPE


contribution to the struggle. We are also sympathetic towards you. We are going to try to the best of our ability to assist you as much as possible. Thank you very much.

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