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Human Rights Violation Hearings


Starting Date 17 July 1996


Day 1


Case Number 00549


DR ALLY: Thank you Mr Shikoane, I'm going to try and assist you with your testimony. You're here to speak about what happened to you, torture which you experienced, so in your own words and as succinctly as possible, could you relate to us what happened to you?

MR SHIKOANE: In 1986 while I was at Marulaneng, I was on the mountain. When I was there three police vans, full of policemen came. We were there to fetch wood for our church because I was a ...(indistinct) with the church. When they arrived, that's when the people whom I sing together with at the church, they sought out myself with one old man, Mr Mashlala. The senior policeman, Masrumure, asked who Shiware was, and I said it was I, and the other policemen said he must let them arrest me. They did so and started hitting me and put me inside the van. I left the tractor there in the mountain because I was the driver, and we went to the village.

This mountain is far away from the village. When I arrived there, we found an old man, Sikwate Philemon Tulare and Sikogela, and that Samuel Sikogela and Jack Phala were asked by the policemen if I was the leader of the comrades. Sikwate Tulare said I was indeed, and they arrested me holding my arms and legs and started beating me with sjamboks until my mother came and she thought they were killing me, and when she arrived there crying, they asked the old man who she was and Sikwate said that she's my mother. Masrumure told her to voetsek and go back and they started hitting my mother, assaulting her with sjamboks and she retreated crying.

After they tired of hitting me they put me in a police van, one of seven vans and there was a bigger four-roomed one. The one in the front was the on inside of which I was and on the way we met a boy, Nkawane Muthla who they took and asked if he knew me. He said yes and they wanted to know how he knew me, to which he replied that I was Shikoane. That asked what my role was in the comrades and he replied I was one of those who assaulted them when they attended a meeting of comrades, and these sjamboks were kept in a shop owned by a Morena Moseshla. We went to this shop where they immediately jumped over the counters upon entry, they found pamphlets on which was written UDF, which they took and asked Morena's wife whether she too was a comrade. She denied being one, but that the comrades gave them the pamphlets when they asked them for and received money contributions to assist them. They wanted to know where her husband was to which she replied that he was in a house at the back of a shop which they used to own. They went to Mutsethla's house where we met Mutsethla's daughter riding a bicycle and immediately caught and started assaulting her and put her inside a van. I was at the front with the driver and Masmurule on the other side of me.

When we left that area the village boys ran away to the mountain, because they saw the police. We went to Mutsethla and they got in to his house and they searched and took Mutsethla, from where we went to Ganyonyana, and while they searched his house where they found a typewriter which they claimed had been used to type the pamphlets. They couldn't find Ganyonyana.

While we were there they saw many boys standing on top of the hill, everyone had gone out to the fields and we went to the mountain when they released me on arrival, But they started assaulting me, kicking me with boots, holding my arms, some beating me with sjamboks, everywhere, all over my body. We left when they were tired but they could not find a single boy, so they returned to the village where they found the Mosupe boy whose name I forget, he was from Masuku and another one was from Moakamgwane, and the one ...(indistinct) from the shop. They left with us and took us to the police station Skoonoord. When we left the village there is a junction and that's where Lucas stays. They stopped the vans and they started assaulting me and I became unconscious. When we were about to reach a fountain I told them I was thirsty, please to give me water. They said that a prisoner does not drink water, and took me back to the van and we went to the police station Skoonoord Police Station.

We found a lot of guys there, very many, whom they took from Gwanew and they put us inside a zinc garage where they started assaulting us demanding to know whether we were comrades. While beating us one of them showed me some blood stains which they informed me was Peter Chaweling's blood whom they had killed the day before and they intended killing me if I don't agree that I'm a comrade. After that they took us two and they put us in a cell where they put a tyre on the two of us and poured petrol into the tyre which was wrapped around heads and now they said they wanted to light it.

They didn't do that. They then made us do exercises in the police station, squatting up and down and then took us back to the garage where they started assaulting us again. They put something which closed our faces so that we'd almost suffocate before they removed it. We only heard them say comrade, and said we don't know what comrade is. They beat us and took us to white police where they said they were going to take statements regarding our arrest.

I could not give them more evidence because comrades were selected and committed to discipline and other things. I was on a disciplinary committee, where we at meetings we were committed not to do things which were out of order and we had to see that people adhered to these commitments. That's where, when I refused to give them a statement, they said they would release us. We slept inside a van which took us from Marulaneng, and on that trip I could not believe that I was going to see the following day because of the pain that I was suffering. They would not even let me have water. The following morning was a Sunday and upon waking up they again put tyres around groups following each other. We went in a small group. When they said we could relax, we were people from Marulaneng, but they said,"Shikoane, you made a mistake by telling the police that this is a comrade, and now this person is being assaulted because of you!. During the time when we were writing statements we knew nothing about comrades and they are saying that he was on the disciplinary committee, we know of him staying in Marulaneng and we know Shikoane as a person who comes from Marulaneng, he knows nothing about politics." That's where I understood that I didn't know anything and he stopped talking about what he said. And then we said that we know nothing about politics.

The previous day, before Sunday, when they closed the offices, that's when they released us and then we left. While we were at Maluma shops, we met Mr Musethla and he took us back to Marulaneng. On arrival there my left leg started hurting at home. They went to call Musethla's brother who was a leader of the Zionist Church and he put a mixture of salt and water on my leg in attempt to heal it. They took me to hospital to which I refused to go, because the police could come and fetch you in hospital and assault you. So the following day they took me to Dr Mtswaledi, who worked in J First in Asken where I had a small holding at the back of the shop. The doctor then gave me some injections and medicines and sent me home instructing me to come and visit him sometimes. It ended up there.

DR ALLY: Thank you Mr Shikoane. I just want to ask you a few questions. I can understand that when the police who came to fetch you asked you if you were a comrade or not, I can understand why you said no, but could you tell us a little bit about what your actual political activities were in Malereng in your village?

MR SHIKOANE: My position was in the disciplinary committee.

DR ALLY: This disciplinary committee, can you tell us a little bit more about it?

MR SHIKOANE: This committee taught people how to struggle, how to fight against the government. If some of the guys and some of the boys do something which is out of order, we were the people who called them to order and exercised discipline.

DR ALLY: Was the disciplinary committee attached to any other political organisation, was it part of the UDF or was it just something based in Malereng.

MR SHIKOANE: It was a committee under the UDF which was organising for the struggle.

DR ALLY: ...(indistinct) a member of this committee.

MR SHIKOANE: The police didn't know, only people within the community knew because I was elected by them. The police didn't know anything about anything we were doing.

DR ALLY: And when the police picked you up in 1986, was this the first and only time that you were picked up by the police?

MR SHIKOANE: Ja it was the first time.

DR ALLY: Did they pick you up again or harass you again, or torture you again?

MR SHIKOANE: They didn't come back again because we were all afraid in the village.

DR ALLY: And you say that when the police took you to Skona, to the police station, they showed you some blood stains and they said that that was where Peter Nchabeleng had died, where he was killed, did you know Peter Nchabeleng?


DR ALLY: ...(indistinct) so that you should know about what they had supposedly done?

MR SHIKOANE: Please repeat the question?

DR ALLY: I asked was that the reason why the police were, did they know that you had any links with Peter Nchabeleng? Was that the reason for saying to you, "This is the blood of Peter Nchabeleng", did they know that there was any association? (end of tape 2 and end of recording)

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