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Human Rights Violation Hearings


Starting Date 25 March 1997




MS CRICHTON: Can you hear me Mrs Somdizela?


MS CRICHTON: You are here to speak about your husband. What was his name?

MS SOMDIZELA: He was Skinkili Moyiswa.

MS CRICHTON: Was he a member of Congo?


MS CRICHTON: He was also detained at Timkambati. Is that right?

MS SOMDIZELA: Yes, that is correct.

MS CRICHTON: And other places as well?

MS SOMDIZELA: Yes at Timkambati.

MS CRICHTON: Will you tell me what his condition was when he was released.

MS SOMDIZELA: He was sick. His whole body was swollen

and he had wounds all over his body. He would fall down and he would tell us that he was electrocuted. And his mind was not well. We would take him to the hospital and his whole body was suffering. He had wounds on his legs. He was detained twice. The second time he was taken to Richmond.

MS CRICHTON: How many children do you have with your husband.

MS SOMDIZELA: There were nine then, but now there are six.

MS CRICHTON: Have you another request to the Commission?

MS SOMDIZELA: Yes I do have a request. My children are fatherless. I would like the Government to help me to educate my children and to feed them. Secondly I would requested that if you can build a clinic in our village. We would appreciate that.

MS CRICHTON: Thank you Mrs Somdizela. Is that all you wish to say?

MS SOMDIZELA: Yes, that is all.

MS CRICHTON: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

MS SOMDIZELA: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you. You may go back to your seats.

I would like all the people who gave evidence this morning to stand up so that we can thank all of them.

On behalf of the Commission we would like to thank you. You have a lot of dignity, calm words that you have spoken with no anger or bitterness. Your strength, incredible strength. Since we started working in this area we have never seen such strength. You have given us a picture that you have been tortured, have been oppressed and injured. Some of you lost family members, members of your families died in the hands of the National Party.

We have a picture in our minds that we will never forget. A picture that you went through a lot of pain but that you are here with no bitterness. You are not talking about things that you heard that happened, just stories, but you were talking about your lives. Things that happened to your spouses, your families, but when you sat here and you gave evidence in connection with your relatives, some of you have been left as orphans.

We did not see a single tear. There was dignity all the way. Strength that we have never come across.

We have heard your requests. Some are personal and others are for the Pondo people. Some are requesting schools, clinics, roads. After you lost family members you are not thinking about yourselves, but you are thinking about the Pondo people as a whole.

We salute you as the Commission!

We will take your requests to the Government. It moved us deeply. For us to find out that the Government that was oppressive to you you could not even report, because you were too scared. We trust that the present Government will change that idea of the Government. We hope that the present Government will be of service to you.

And if the Government treated people in an ill manner then the people have the right to report. This previous regime said that they relied on the Bible. It is an enigma.

You may sit down. Thank you very much.

We are going to call the people whose family members were executed: Agness Mamsareni Magawana; Daliwe Mgulwa; Mapota Peter Mjanyelwa; Gingiliza Mamsakazweni Mkhathi and Matshingelana Cambana.

Mr Magawana has not made a statement, but we will request him to come up, because apparently he is of the same group. After he has given evidence would he please give a statement, because the most important thing to the Commission is a statement that is documented.

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