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Human Rights Violation Hearings
Type HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, SUBMISSIONS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Starting Date 17 July 1996
Names MATSOBANE EPRRAIM MAKGAE
Case Number 00509
MR MAKGAE: Yes I can. Moses was my third child in the family. On the 3rd of March in 1986 he said to me he was going to Johannesburg to find a job. We gave him permission to go, it was on a Monday. He left on that day and when he came back he was not alive any more. The only thing that I got, it was on the 8th of March in 1986, the police came to me at about 11 o'clock in the morning and they said to me, Moses was found among a group of violent youth and he was shot. He is not alive any more and was at the mortuary.
I didn't believe what they were telling me, and I said to them., "I don't believe you because I know that my son is in Johannesburg to look for a job." They showed me his identity document, and I said to them I will only believe when I see his corpse, I would then believe that he is really dead.
They then took me to the police station. On our way there I asked them the real reason for his death. "Now why do you have to take me, because I just want to see him at the mortuary". They said, "No we are taking you to the police station, they will tell you everything". When we arrived there, I was then told that it's true, he is at the mortuary, he'd been shot dead. And I said to them that I want to see him.
We went to Lebowa mortuary, which is the government mortuary. His face was full of blood, it was red. But when I enquired what actually happened, I was told that a bus was stoned at the bus rank, and the police were summoned to that area, and these are the police who said he was among a group of violent youth.
MR MAKGAE: Moses was killed and we were never given a death certificate. We wanted the post mortem report and we were refused one, and after his death we wanted the lawyers to help us. Then we got help from Mr Ngadimeng, his name is Don. Everything relating to his death was taken to him and in 1987 there was a court case relating to his death. But we didn't get anything further. Everything ended on that day when the court hearing was heard. We're still expecting to hear more. I will stop there.
MR MANTHATA: Tell me Reverend, was it possible for a parent to say no, my child was not involved in the political organisations, because the children behave in a different way when they are in the family and when they are outside they behave differently?
CHAIRPERSON: It's always very difficult I know for a parent to in situations where their children get caught up and the parents are often not aware of what is going on, but I think it's important to know that your son's death took place during the period of the state of emergency. It was also the time of Lucky Kutumela's detention, that during that period under the state of emergency regulations, as well as under an indemnity act which the Lebowa Government itself actually passed, that police were given fairly wide ranging powers, because it was believed that it was a political threat and these wide-ranging powers made it possible for the police to act in certain ways. And it seems as if your son and also Teffo who came earlier were
unfortunately caught up in that political situation against that political backdrop, and one of the things that we as a Commission will be doing, when we write our report, is trying to explain that situation and also deal with these situations where police were given such wide ranging powers and did act in such ways were very often people were innocently shot in these types of events. We thank you very much for coming forward to tell us what happened to your son and all these issues, as I say, will be followed up by the Commission. Thank you very much Reverend.