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Human Rights Violation Hearings


Starting Date 09 June 1997


Day 1


Case Number EC129/96 ELN

REV FINCA: Nomhase Nkenke? I would like to apologise to her because she was supposed to be the first one according to our list but because we wanted to start with the bus boycott incident we forgot her name. We thank her for waiting for such a long time.


REV FINCA: June Crichton?

MS CRICHTON: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Good afternoon Mrs Nkenke, Iím sorry that youíve had to wait as our Commissioner has said to you. You are here to tell us about ... Iíll start again. We welcome you. You are here to tell us about Bongani Nkenke. What relationship was he to you?


MS CRICHTON: The events youíre going to tell us about is a memorial service that was held nine years after the massacre at Eggerton Station. Will you tell us what happened to him on that occasion please. Carry on please.

MRS NKENKE: It was the 3rd of August 1992 and we were going to a prayer meeting. Days elapsed and he didnít come back. I asked his friends if they didnít see him but they said they didnít see him. One week lapsed into another one and the police would come not even getting out of the police van. Iíd ask the children playing outside ... After the second week a little girl said that sheíd heard that Bongani had been shot. We went to Unit 1 in Mdantsane at the mortuary and asked them for a corpse that would have been brought in on the first of August. They did show us the corpse. The police then requested that they be taken to the child that gave the report that Bongani had been shot. This child said that heíd been talking about a different Bongani. We tried to explain to this child that we just wanted the truth. They gave up. Apparently Bongani had been brought in by the policemen from Unit 12 who were referred back to them. We spoke to the policeman who was handling this case and he said that heíd been shot whilst trying to burn down a policemanís house. Apparently there were warning shots and he got shot. We were shown what they had with them. There were containers and I realised that these containers were not dirty as if someone was going to burn down a house because there was just water in the containers. These were containers that theyíd taken to the place of prayer.

My husband and I received a letter to go to court and we were told to get an attorney. We were confused and we didnít know what was happening or why we needed legal representation. We had to appear in court but they kept on postponing the date until they stopped and that was that.

MS CRICHTON: I just want to interrupt you at that point and ask you did you at that stage seek any advice from an attorney?

MRS NKENKE: We didnít go to any attorney.

MS CRICHTON: Carry on then please. Iím just going to stop you for a moment as Iím not receiving any interpretation. Will you carry on now?

MRS NKENKE: When the coffin arrived at the graveyard a car came with it and in the car was two policemen, the perpetrator and another one. When we came back from the graveyard the car was there again. This policemen talked to the girl that had given us a report. These police went to my brother asking questions and my brother was angry saying that they should shoot him as well because he didnít know what they wanted from the Nkenke family.

MS CRICHTON: Mrs Nkenke you say that they said you had to go to court, was it not an inquest?

MRS NKENKE: I donít know whether it was an inquest because they called the policeman and a few ladies who would go on the stand and talk about this incident. They didnít care about us at all or explain what was happening.

MS CRICHTON: Were there any members of your families there at all?

MRS NKENKE: I went with my husband.

MS CRICHTON: Were you asked any questions at all?


MS CRICHTON: At the funeral the policemen that was there asking the questions, who was that?

MRS NKENKE: I donít know because they would talk to the kids outside.

MS CRICHTON: The house that was allegedly burnt down, whose house was that?

MRS NKENKE: I donít know it was just a report that we got from the police station. This child that told us that Bongani had passed on had only seen Bongani and it was the police that told us about the house.

MS CRICHTON: What is your opinion, what do you think really happened?

MRS NKENKE: I donít know.

MS CRICHTON: So you have come to this Commission so that we can help to find out the truth in this case but it will be difficult in the light of the facts that weíve got so far but we will attempt to do this. Who is the friend who saw him shot at the Highway, who is that friend, is that the child that youíre talking about?

MRS NKENKE: Itís the same child.

MS CRICHTON: The same child. Is there anything else that you want the Commission to do for you Mrs Nkenke?

MRS NKENKE: I want to know why and where my child was shot, I want the perpetrator to come forward because I want to hear it from his mouth.

MS CRICHTON: Thank you Mrs Nkenke, Iím going to hand you back to our Chairperson now.

REV FINCA: Mr Sandi?

MR SANDI: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mrs Nkenke, was there any particular incident on the day your child was shot?

MRS NKENKE: Yes, there was going to be a prayer meeting concerning the people that were shot in 1983.

MR SANDI: Were there others that were shot with your son?

MRS NKENKE: I donít know.

MR SANDI: You did not hear of any other people?


MR SANDI: Who is Mr Gugushe?

MRS NKENKE: A policeman at Unit 12. He was a policeman then.

MR SANDI: Do you know him?

MRS NKENKE: No, I just heard about him.

MR SANDI: Do you see him around?

MRS NKENKE: I saw him in court.

MR SANDI: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

REV FINCA: Mrs Nkenke, we thank you and we apologise again for having made you wait for such a long time. As Mrs Crichton said weíve heard your request that you would like us to investigate this matter. There are a lot of things that we would like you to help us with because at the moment it will not be easy for us to get answers but our investigators will be coming to talk to you. Weíll endeavour to find out the truth for you. If we do not find out anything we trust that you will understand. We will meet again at half past nine to-morrow morning. The hearing for the day is over, thank you.

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