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Human Rights Violation Hearings


Starting Date 25 March 1997


Day 2



MS CRICHTON: Can you hear me Mr Bongoza?

MR BONGOZA: Yes I can hear you.

MS CRICHTON: Now you are here today to talk about yourself. You were arrested by the police. What was the charge for that arrest?

MR BONGOZA: I was arrested because I was a member of Congo.

MS CRICHTON: In your statement it says that there was a person by the name of Dyasi and his house that was burnt. Was there any connection to your arrest?

MR BONGOZA: Yes, that name was mentioned.

MS CRICHTON: When you were arrested for the second time, you were taken to Umzimkhulu and there you had interrogation for five months. During that time what was your experience?

MR BONGOZA: When I was first arrested they brought me to Lusikisiki and I was arrested alone. And then they transferred me Umzimkhulu for five months. I was not ill-treated in Umzimkhulu because when I arrived there I was praying, I was singing church songs. And the police, because I was behaving well they did not ill-treat me, but the food was bad. We used to eat beans which were not healthy.

MS CRICHTON: Thank you for that testimony. In your requests to the Commission you make a statement about

Nquzo mountain and your concern for that mountain. Will you explain what your concern is please?

MR BONGOZA: About the Nquzo mountain, the people who died there and who were buried there and the way they died. When I look at that mountain I can see that it is not well looked after. I would like the Commission to build a police station there so that mountain can be looked after. If the Commission would help to build a police station in that place I would be glad.

MS CRICHTON: Mr Bongoza there have been people who have asked for a memorial to be put there. Would you agree with that?

MR BONGOZA: Yes I would agree with that, but that will not help much. That is why I am asking for the Commission to build a police station there, so that the police would look after that place. If there will be a monument there, it will not have good meaning.

MS CRICHTON: Mr Bongoza, one last question, I want to take you back a little bit to Kokstad when you were on trial. You were represented by Mr Swart. Where is he now?

MR BONGOZA: I do not know where Mr Swart is because since I was released I never contacted him, because when I was released I told myself that I will not agree with the Government and I was scared of the Government.

MR BONGOZA: Thank you Mr Bongoza. Is there anything else you wish to say to the Commission?

MR BONGOZA: Yes I have another request to the Commission that I sold most of my cattle to pay for Mr Swart. I would like the Commission to build a church in my area because it was only God who helped me to be released. I would like the Commission to build a church. That is my request.

MS CRICHTON: Thank you Mr Bongoza.

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