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Human Rights Violation Hearings

Type HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, SUBMISSIONS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Starting Date 25 March 1997

Location LUSIKISIKI

Day 2

Names MATSHINGELANA CAMBANA

MATSHINGELANA CAMBANA: (sworn states)

MR SANDI: Mrs Cambana who are you going to talk about?

MS CAMBANA: Gavu Zadunge.

MR SANDI: He was executed with the others?

MS CAMBANA: Yes.

MR SANDI: How were you related?

MS CAMBANA: He was my husband.

MR SANDI: The incidents prior to his execution, do you remember?

MS CAMBANA: They burned down our house and our livestock. I could not sleep at home. The boers and the Chief were after me. My house was burnt down. My plantations were also destroyed.

I had to go back home. They were after me.

He had to give himself in, because they were destroying everything that we had. Even the Chief sent a message that I should go back to my own home as he gave himself in.

MR SANDI: Was he a member of Congo?

MS CAMBANA: Yes. Yes they would use him to send messages amongst the Congo members.

MR SANDI: In the court of law during the case, did you see him?

MS CAMBANA: No I did not see him. He was in Flagstaff for a while, then Kokstad. That is where they were detained.

After a while a policeman came who came to fetch men. He was in Pretoria then. These men came back, six men.

MR SANDI: When he was in Pretoria did he write a letter home saying what is happening?

MS CAMBANA: He would write a lot of letters. I even sent him some money. He did not use all of it. He sent some of it back, saying that he was now going to die.

The last letter he wrote he said that we must pray and trust in God. We should trust in nobody else but the Lord. He said that the Government would help my children and myself.

MR SANDI: How old were your children?

MS CAMBANA: I was breast feeding this child. Now she is married with her own ten children.

When people were being shot in Nqozo I was nine months pregnant. He was arrested that time I was breast feeding. As I would run away from my own home and sleep outside it would be with an infant.

Sometimes it would rain and there were people who were kind enough to take me into their own home with this infant.

MR SANDI: Do you have request that you would like to add to the statement?

MS CAMBANA: As I said before I would like my husband to be buried in Ngquza. Also if my grandchildren could be educated. My son-in-law is unemployed. She feeds all these children and supports them.

MR SANDI: According to the statement one of your other requests is that job opportunities are a major need in this area.

MS CAMBANA: It is a major need in this area because so

many people are unemployed. Our children are unemployed.

MR SANDI: Is that all madam?

MS CAMBANA: Yes.

MR SANDI: Thank you. I will hand over to the Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I realise that there is something common amongst these four people. That as they were going to be attacked they would have be commanded to go back to their own homes. They were all attacked in a similar way. Their crops would be burnt.

I would like to know. Was there an organisation that would attack you, your homes and burn your crops?

MS CAMBANA: We were attacked from the Chief's side because he did not want Congo in his district. The man whose name I will not divulge would tell us that he had weapons, guns and that he was going to kill each and every Congo member. This man helped me by telling me what was going to happen.

CHAIRPERSON: What were your husbands accused of?

MS CAMBANA: They were accused of killing the Chief. They denied having attacked the Chief.

Thank you Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: The question I am going to ask, all witnesses can answer them, one by one.

Would the police say anything about the intentions concerning Congo?

MRS MAGALWANE: We did not go to jail, because the Chief and the police were very deceptive. You would never go and visit a member of your family, because the police, the boers they would beat us up. They worked together with

the Chief of the district.

CHAIRPERSON: When the police were beating you up, would they say anything?

MRS MAGALWANE: They would ask what Congo is all about,

Congo that wanted to go beyond the Government. And what is a black person after all?

CHAIRPERSON: Do other witnesses want to add something?

MS MAGALWANE: I would add something as I go to Bizana a lot. They would sjambok, especially a policeman called Du Toit. And you would ask to see a member of your family. Then he would say that the men that are against the Government are not allowed to have visitors. He would come out with this sjambok, this Du Toit and he would threaten us.

We never saw our husbands. I saw him in Kokstad in the court of law. I was told to go home. My husband was sentenced.

In Pretoria they said that we should not even bother, because there is nothing that we could do. A few men went. One of them gave in a statement. He saw them just before they were executed. They tried, they begged the police so that they should not be executed, especially at the same time.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you madam.

MS MAGULWANA: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I would request Rev Xundu to thank the people.

REV XUNDU: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

A man from back home who was thanking the struggles of our people for liberation, he said the white man endeavoured to destroy the black man, but the black man rose up, fought in the struggle until he won, until such

time that the white man was a laughing stock.

We salute your husbands and the men that fought in the struggle. I want to say that you yourselves are heroes. You stand here and say to us in all earnestness and truth that your people fought for liberation.

We thank you and your families for having come before us so that South Africa knows that the people who struggled for liberation are not only people that come from abroad, but women and men who were in the struggle fought day and night for this liberation.

We thank you that even your requests that you have put before us and that we are going to put before the President, are requests that are not only going to benefit you personally, but also South Africa. You could have easily have gone to some form of exile, sold your bodies or anything, but you stayed at home and you stood strong.

The Commission thank you on behalf of the people of South Africa.

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