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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 LUSIKISIKI

Names LIVINGSTONE SIPHELO SAPO

CHAIRPERSON: The following did not arrive: Rosina Noqa, Florence Namabalang Ditwa, Nomobana Woodfield Kipje. They were going to give evidence that Congo had done something against them. It is sad that they did not come, so that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission could listen to their evidence. There is nothing that we can do, however, because they are not here, but I want them to know that it is sad that they did not come.

The last people that we are going to listen to is the following. They are going to talk about the same incident. Livingstone Siphelo Sapo, Velile Ngcamla, Nokuzola Phillip, Tshitshi Ndlazi, Simlindile Mabena and Mandlenkosi Tambodala.

This is the last group of the day.

(Witnesses sworn in)

MR SANDI: The incident why you are all here briefly is that on a certain day in December 1989 there was a march and at that march the police shot at people. They shot people who were marching and they shot people who were not involved in that march.

This means that you have the same story. Maybe there is no need for each and everyone of you to explain the whole story, but on Sunday when we met, you elected certain people amongst you to represent you to lead the evidence on your behalf.

You said that it would be Livingstone Siphelo Sapo and Simlindile Mabena. The two of you, can you please come nearer to the microphone. I would like to clarify one matter. If I remember clearly it is Mandlenkosi Tambodala in stead of Simlindile Mabena.

Sapo and Mabena were leading the march at the time of this incident. Tambodala was at the back of the march and he would give us evidence concerning that issue.

Let us start with Mr Sapo and I would like you not to dwell on the boycott or the complaints about the workers, to save time.

LIVINGSTONE SIPELO SAPO: (sworn states)

MR SANDI: There was a march. The workers were

marching and everybody in the street joined in the march. Is that so?

MR SAPO: Yes that is so.

MR SANDI: The workers were complaining, but let us look at the shooting incident that happened that day. Let me hand over to you Sir to tell us what happened on this particular day.

MR SAPO: There is something I want to clarify if the Commission allows me. This incident I can divide it into three.

Firstly, it was on the 2nd December 1989. After the march one of our comrades whose name is Fikile Philip was run over by a police van in town, in Lusikisiki. This is the first incident.

We had a march on that day because three of our comrades were detained and I would like to mention their names. It was comrade Nqokana, comrade Tombuzo and comrade Ngubane. They were detained for a week and they did not appear in the court of law. We visited the Chief Magistrate frequently because we wanted them to be in a court of law and in the second week the Chief Magistrate ordered the police to bring them to court and their was no charge laid against them. This case was transferred to Qogeni to our Paramount Chief, Tnadizile. It is where

this matter was resolved.

Before they were released, while they were still inside, on the 2nd of December 1989 there was a march while they were still inside. It is when Fikile was run over by a police van.

On the 6 of December we visited the Chief Magistrate to request permission for the march for the 7th of December. He told us that he wanted to contact the Station Commander of Lusikisiki first, who was Maj Mjobo. He contacted him on the phone and he responded that he refused permission for this march. We were forced to have this march on the 7th and it is where the problems started.

We were waiting for our lawyers, Sangoni and Partnership from Umtata, but at that time they were not there. Whilst we were still waiting for them the police came together with the Station Commander, Mr Mjobo and Mr Zwilithle Qezo, who was the Station Commander from Thlabalovu. They came together with the police who were armed and they had sjamboks with them.

When the Station Commander arrived Mr Mjobo said that, I want you to show me a document to state that you have the right to be here and he said that if you do not have such document, you have to disperse within five minutes.

After one minute he ordered the police to shoot. Everybody was beaten up, everyone who was in town, in Lusikisiki. Some of us took a line to Manthlayeni and they did not go home, because they were scared. Those who were supposed to go to Port St Johns and Mambodi came to our area. They did not go to their homes.

It is on this day that comrade Tjetje got injured. He was coming from a doctor and he was beaten up while he was standing there, waiting for transport. The police came and they beat him up. One of the police was Tamsaqa Ntanjana. He was using a van which belonged to Malele.

What I am trying to say is that this was the second incident.

A third one which is why we are here today. It was on the 20th of December 1989. It was on a Thursday... it was on a Wednesday, sorry.

We could not go to a public hall because there was a church gathering. We forced to go to the tennis court. While we were still waiting there ... We were not going to gather there as such but we wanted to go out and pick shops because on the 20th, 67 workers were dismissed without a reason.

There were pamphlets distributed on the 19th. We started in town and we were in a bus and we came through to Gotzo with a bus, distributing these pamphlets, but in the morning we found out that the police collected all the pamphlets during the night.

MR SANDI: What were you saying in these pamphlets?

MR SAPO: We wanted to let people know that they were not suppose to buy in three shops; Manqoyi, Dixi and Denkilos.

MR SANDI: On the 20th of December, were there any other shootings by the police?

MR SAPO: Yes I am coming there.

While we were waiting there for other comrades others were busy distributing other pamphlets in nearby areas. The police came and I would like to mention their names, the names of the policemen that I remember who came to shoot us.

MR SANDI: Sir, according to our Act, the Commission's Act a person whether he is a police, a chief or a councillor or just a member of a community, before his or her name can be mentioned publicly, we have to inform this person beforehand. Are these names that you are going to read to us, did you write them in your statement?

MR SAPO: Some of the names I have written down in my statement. One of them is Maj Mjobo.

I do not know whether Mr Chairperson will allow me ...

MR SANDI: No, I cannot allow that, because the reason why we take statements is that we want to know beforehand what the person is going to say in front of this Commission so that the person whose name is going to be mentioned should be notified beforehand, that his name is going to be mentioned. If the person wants to come forward and defend himself or herself he has a right to do so. This is the law and we have to obey it. You can only mention the names that you have mentioned in your statement.

MR SAPO: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

On this day while we were still discussing the way forward a group of policemen came and they just shoot at us. The first bullet came straight to me in my thigh and they were shooting at everyone.

After that we had to defend ourselves by throwing stones and we had to take our knives out and there was one of the people who took out a knife.

MR SANDI: At this time that you were shot did you see anyone else being shot?

MR SAPO: Yes. We were fighting against the police and what happened is that while we were fighting with the police they ran away and one of the police guns fell down while they were running away and comrade Mabena took that gun after I stabbed this policeman. And at that time they have already shot me. I had two wounds in my left leg.

MR SANDI: And the people next to you, did you see any of them being shot?

MR SAPO: Yes, Mabena, next to me was shot on that day.

MR SANDI: Do you know any other people who were shot who are not present here?

MR SAPO: No, because others ran away when they saw that the police were shooting at us. They shot me and Mabena but we managed to fight for ourselves.

MR SANDI: Did you go to a doctor for medical treatment?

MR SAPO: After the police ran away I asked them next to Mr Lingani's house, there was one then passing there. And I asked will you take me to a hospital?

MR SANDI: What happened at the hospital.

MR SAPO: I went to the hospital and whilst I was still at the hospital my leg could not function. The doctor tried to treat me, when the police came and they wanted to take me and arrest me from the hospital.

I was admitted to the hospital and I was under police guard. Maj Mjobo, fortunately as I am mentioning his name, he received a letter, telling him that his name is going to be mentioned. He is the one who has the full information about this matter.

On that particular day, the same day, the 20th, Maj Mjobo went to the hospital Superintendent, telling him that he wanted me to be discharged from the hospital and they wanted to arrest me. Maj Mjobo came to me and he beat me up on my leg as I was sleeping in the ward in the hospital.

MR SANDI: Did they take you to court?

MR SAPO: They took me to a single cell in prison. I did not go to a waiting trial room.

MR SANDI: Did you go to court?

MR SAPO: I went to a waiting trial room after three days.

MR SANDI: Let us now speak about you as we are talking today. Do you feel any pain since you were shot?

MR SAPO: Yes Sir, I cannot stand for long time. I have to sit down because I have cramps in my leg.

MR SANDI: Before proceeding to Mr Mabena do you have a request to this Commission, except for the one you have mentioned in your statement?

MR SAPO: Yes I do have a request. Firstly, or secondly or thirdly, I would like the Commission to help me to educate my children. I cannot support my children because I am unemployed and I am not educated.

Thirdly, I cannot work properly because of the car accident, a bus accident in 1984 and my nine ribs were cracked and when all this shooting incident took place my ribs were also affected. And I think in my statement I have mentioned that issue.

Lastly, I would like the Commission to help us in building a community hall here in Lusikisiki, because even now the Commission is here in the school, because we do not have a community hall in Lusikisiki.

Because at the time we were fighting we were trying

to liberate our country even in our Freedom Charter, this was mentioned that people should have such facilities. Even when we have a meeting here in Lusikisiki we cannot have a meeting when it is raining because we do not have a hall.

MR SANDI: Let us now go to Mr Mabena.

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

SUBMISSIONS - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

DATE: 25.03.1997 NAME: SIMLINDILE MABENA

DAY: 2 LUSIKISIKI

SIMLINDILE MABENA: (sworn states)

MR SANDI: Mr Mabena you have heard the testimony of Mr Sapo. Do you confirm the evidence he has given?

MR MABENA: Yes Sir.

MR SANDI: Is there anything else you want to add? Or let me ask questions. Were you shot?

MR MABENA: Yes I was shot on that day.

MR SANDI: Did you go to a hospital for medical treatment?

MR MABENA: I did not get proper medical treatment, because I was detained and I did not get a chance to go to hospital. There is a bullet in my body, but I did not get a chance to go to hospital, because the police refused while we were in detention.

MR SANDI: Did you go to a private doctor?

MR MABENA: I did not get a chance, Sir, after I was detained. I got the chance after I was released and I went to Umtata to the doctors there and they found out that the bullet is in my body and they cannot take it out.

MR SANDI: Do you still have that bullet inside your body?

MR MABENA: Yes.

MR SANDI: Where is this bullet?

MR MABENA: It is in my right arm.

MR SANDI: You have made request in your statement. Do you have any other requests to add?

MR MABENA: Sir, I do have requests. The first one, I cannot work, because my arm is paralysed.

Secondly, Mr Chairperson and the Commission, because I was working in one of the shops that dismissed people in Lusikisiki. When I came back home from detention, at home I was supporting them. And now I am not working nobody is supporting my family.

What I am requesting Mr Chairperson, is that because of my situation that I can no longer work, I want the Commission to help me to educate my children and myself.

MR SANDI: Thank you Sir.

Let us now go to Mr Velile Ngcamla.

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

SUBMISSIONS - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

DATE: 25.03.1997 NAME: VELILE NGCAMLA

DAY: 2 LUSIKISIKI

VELILE NGCAMLA: (sworn states)

MR SANDI: Mr Ngcamla, were you shot on this particular day?

MR NGCAMLA: Yes, I was shot.

MR SANDI: Do you have bullets embedded in your body?

MR NGCAMLA: There were nine bullets and I have one in my body right now.

MR SANDI: Did you go to a hospital or to a private doctor?

MR NGCAMLA: I went to a hospital and I was under police guard. Six bullets were taken out of my body and two were taken out in Umtata.

I was in prison for three years and I was sick. I was suffering from diabetes.

MR SANDI: Except for the requests that you have made to this Commission that you want proper medical treatment, concerning the bullet in your body, do you have any other request?

MR NGCAMLA: Yes I do have a request.

MR SANDI: Did you mention this request while you were giving us your statement?

MR NGCAMLA: There is one that I did not mention.

MR SANDI: What is this request?

MR NGCAMLA: My request is that I have three cracks in my right arm and I had an operation in my chest and I could not work. My children want money, everything wants

money. If you can help me with my children.

MR SANDI: How many children do you have?

MR NGCAMLA: Three children.

MR SANDI: Thank you Mr Ngcamla.

Let us now proceed to Nokuzola Phillip.

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

SUBMISSIONS - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

DATE: 25.03.1997 NAME: NOKUZOLA PHILLIP

DAY: 2 LUSIKISIKI

NOKUZOLA PHILLIP: (sworn states)

MR SANDI: Nokuzola you have mentioned that on this day you were shot. Where exactly were you shot?

MR PHILLIP: Excuse me Mr Chairperson, I was not shot, but my brother, Fikile, was injured on that day.

MR SANDI: How old was Fikile at that time?

MR PHILLIP: He was sixteen years old.

MR SANDI: Was he part of the march?

MR PHILLIP: Yes he was part of the march.

MR SANDI: Who told you at home that Fikile was shot?

MR PHILLIP: Luckily I was working at that time. Two women came and told me that Fikile was in hospital. And they took me to hospital.

When I arrived there they told me that he was in theatre, but unfortunately he passed away.

MR SANDI: Was he at school at that time?

MR PHILLIP: Yes, he was still at school at that time. He used to have part time jobs during school holidays.

MR SANDI: Were there any other school children taking part in that march?

MR PHILLIP: Yes, because he was a member of the ANC at that time, he was taking part in that march.

MR SANDI: Was there any investigation done due to this?

MR PHILLIP: Yes.

MR SANDI: Did you have a legal representative for the family and a doctor for the family?

MR PHILLIP: We had a doctor, but I do not remember his name and there was a lawyer investigating this issue, but as the time goes on I was the one who organised all this and at the end of 1990 I went to this lawyer because the case did not continue and I told this lawyer. This lawyer... (Tape ends.) ... a letter, saying that this case was dismissed.

MR SANDI: Do you still remember the name of this lawyer?

MR PHILLIP: It was Mr Ntloko from Lusikisiki.

MR SANDI: Was it in 1990?

MR PHILLIP: Yes it was in 1990.

MR SANDI: How old were you in 1990? Were you working at that time?

MR PHILLIP: Yes I was working.

MR SANDI: At home was there any elderly person who was helping you in this case.

MR PHILLIP: Unfortunately, Mr Chairperson, after all these incidents my mother was not well. She had a heart failure and it was difficult for her to go to the lawyers, because she was not well.

MR SANDI: Do you have a request to add to these you have already mentioned in your statement?

MR PHILLIP: I do not know whether I can remember clearly what I have requested, but my main request is that my mother is not well. I request the Government to help her, because she is paralysed. She cannot do anything.

And I would also request the Commission to educate my younger sisters and brothers.

And I would also request the Commission to help us to build a home, because we hoped that Fikile would help us

to build a home.

MR SANDI: Is that all you want to say?

MR PHILLIP: Yes, I can say so.

MR SANDI: Let us now go to Mr Tshitshi Ndlazi.

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

SUBMISSIONS - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

DATE: 25.03.1997 NAME: TSHISHI NDLAZI

DAY: 2 LUSIKISIKI

TSHISHI NDLAZI: (sworn states)

MR SANDI: We have already heard that you were shot on this day Sir. Did you go to a doctor or to any hospital?

MR NDLAZI: I met the police in town. They shot me in my back and in my leg. I was taken to the hospital in town and after a while I was transferred to Bambezana and even today I am still receiving treatment from Bambezana.

MR SANDI: Is it true that you were waiting for a bus at the time of this incident?

MR NDLAZI: Yes it is true.

MR SANDI: Were there any other people who were shot who were waiting with you?

MR NDLAZI: Yes, all of us were shot.

MR SANDI: Sir, you have a request to this Commission that you want to get proper medical treatment?

MR NDLAZI: Yes I do get treatment from Bambezana and I want the Commission to help me because I use public transport to Bambezana.

MR SANDI: Did you go to any lawyer?

MR NDLAZI: No, I did not go to any lawyer.

MR SANDI: Do you have any other request?

MR NDLAZI: My request is that I want you to help me, to give me money, because we are using a combi from Barberton to Bambezana and I am paying for this transport. I want you to give me money every day.

MR SANDI: You mean that you use public transport to go

to the doctor?

MR NDLAZI: Yes, even on Monday I am going there. Even today I was suppose to go and receive my treatment.

MR SANDI: Thank you Sir.

Let us now go to Mr Tambodala.

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

SUBMISSIONS - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

DATE: 25.03.1997 NAME: MANDLENKOSI TAMBODALA

DAY: 2 LUSIKISIKI

MANDLENKOSI TAMBODALA: (sworn states)

MR SANDI: Mr Tambodala, you were one of the people who were marching on that day. You were at the back. Were you amongst the people who were marching?

MR TAMBODALA: Yes.

MR SANDI: You say that you were at the back of the march?

MR TAMBODALA: I think you are referring to the march on the 20th? Three marches were mentioned. Which one are you talking about?

MR SANDI: I thought that Livingstone Sapo has already mentioned these marches and there is no need for me to go into details. Were you affected? Were you shot on that day?

MR TAMBODALA: No, I was not shot on that day.

MR SANDI: Your statement confirms that this march and the shooting happened.

MR TAMBODALA: Yes, my statement is to confirm that on the 20th and the 7th the marches happened and the police shot people.

MR SANDI: Is there any other thing you want to say to the Commission as you were there when this thing was happening?

MR TAMBODALA: What I can say is that we were harassed and stabbed by the police in the police station in my head and I have problems with my memory. I cannot think properly, because I could not receive medical treatment. I was taken to the medical trial cell and they took me to prison. They did allow me to go and see a doctor. They thought that I was trying to escape.

MR SANDI: Did you go to a doctor to lay a charge against this policeman, the one who stabbed you?

MR TAMBODALA: The problem we had is that we were not allowed to have an attorney. The lawyer we had was a State Advocate and when we told him about our problem he said that there is nothing he can do because he was hired by the Government.

We were then sentenced and the charge said that there is no clear evidence in court, because the police acted in a way they were not supposed to act.

MR SANDI: Was there any other lawyer in court, except the one you have mentioned?

MR TAMBODALA: No.

MR SANDI: What were you charged of?

MR TAMBODALA: We were charged on different charges, illegal possession of a fire-arm, illegal possession of bullets, attempted murder, robbery, theft, assault.

MR SANDI: With whom did you go to court?

MR TAMBODALA: It was Velile Ngcamla, Livingstone Sapo, Simlindile Mabena, Nsigela Nqonja, who was arrested because I used his car to take Mabena to Bambezana Hospital.

MR SANDI: Is that all you want to say, Sir?

MR TAMBODALA: Yes, that is all.

MR SANDI: Thank you very much.

MR TAMBODALA: What I can add, while we were beaten up my body was swollen. I was beaten up with a sjambok and I

was supposed to see a doctor, but I was not allowed to go and see a doctor. What I can add to my request to the Commission is that since I was released from prison, but firstly when I was in prison, I tried to apply to universities, because I wanted to continue with my education. The problem I had is, since my father died while I was in prison, my mother suffered from a heart attack after that incident and the business collapsed. I was accepted by Unisa, but I had financial difficulties. Even now I cannot continue with my education.

Secondly, here in Lusikisiki, as I have a feeling that the reason for us to be beaten up... If we were gathering in a hall maybe we would not have been beaten up. We used to gather outside because we do not have a community hall.

I would request the Commission to help us to have a community hall. It would be easier for us to have meetings here in Lusikisiki. If the Government can do that for us it would be appreciated.

I would also request the Commission to help my mother to build up her business, because she was trying to support us.

MR SANDI: Thank you Mr Tambodala.

I will hand over to the Chairperson.

Thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. It is that time of the day when our minds are tired.

We thank you for coming here in front of this Commission to tell us your story and as you have told us your requests, we will tell the President and the Cabinet about your requests. We have noted everything in your

statements and it will be our responsibility that, after we have investigations we will tell the President about your requests.

For now, we thank you for coming in front of this Commission.

The Commission will now adjourn and we will meet again tomorrow at 9 o'clock and it will be our last day tomorrow. We would like to request everyone to be here on time.

Thank you.

COMMISSION ADJOURNS

 
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