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Human Rights Violation Hearings
Type HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION HEARINGS
Starting Date 27 November 1996
Location GUGULETU 7 POLLSMOOR
Case Number CT/00116
Victim ZANDISILE S MJOBO
Testimony EDITH MJOBO [mother]
Nature SHOT AND KILLED BY POLICE
Perhaps Chairperson, whilst the witness is settling down - just to make it clear that we have made an arrangement with the photographers that they will be allowed an opportunity to take photographs at the beginning of the testimony of a witness and we have an understanding that they will not come in and do that in the course of the testimony. Because it could become quite destructive, but we do have that understanding, just to explain their presence at this stage.
We will talk about Zandisile today. I will give you the opportunity maíam to tell us your story, as you know it, as you know what happened to Zandisile. I want you to tell us how did you hear about this and how do you feel about this matter and what you request from this Commission. What will this Commission do to assist you in order to feel better.
Thank you sir. In 1985 the police were after my twins, Zandisile and Zanisile. They were looking all over for them. They would come at my home looking for them and they would be all around the house searching for them and they would keep the doors with their guns and my twins would go on the backdoor and run and they would come in and ask - where are the twins? And we would tell them that we donít know where they are. They didnít spend the night here.
We were suffering because of this treatment. Because they would gather around the house the whole night looking for my twins and they would do this constantly. We couldnít sleep and still 1985, my other son, we sent my other son in the shop and he came that day, saying that Mongazi was arrested and I asked why was he arrested - they said that they donít know, because he didnít do anything.
We went to the police station - we asked why was Mongazi arrested and they said he was throwing stones and Mongazi denied that. He said he didnít do that, but they just arrested him. And we went back to the police station and they released him on free bail. And they said we must look after him.
We went back home with him. On the following day, when we woke up, he was not there. We looked all around the township. We looked for Mongazi and we heard that he went to Cape Town - one of my twins went to Cape Town to look for him and he said that he didnít find him. They told him that he already left Cape Town and he was going to Happy where he was. And we stayed without my son, Mongazi.
And we suffered a lot because the police were also looking for my other son Mongazi. They used to come and ask where he was and we told them that he left and we donít know where he was. And after that the police were kicking the doors every time. Looking for the twins and we told them we donít know where the twins were.
One day they came, at about 10 oíclock, they woke me up, together with my husband. They told us to go to the lounge to sit in the lounge and we - they came in the house and searched the house - we asked them what were they looking for? They said, they were looking for guns, because my sons had guns in the house. And we told them that we didnít see any guns in the house. They searched the whole house, saying that they were looking for this guns.
Sometimes they used to come in the morning and they stayed in the house for the whole day. And we wanted to look for their badge in order for us to identify them, but we couldnít see the badges, because they were wearing the uniform, the dark uniform and my husband couldnít even go to work, because of this.
And my twins decided to leave in 1986 and they disappeared. We didnít know where they were, but one of them use to contact us and tell us that they are all right. We need not to worry. End of Tape 1, Side A Ö this. We told them that
And then one day I decided to come here to Cape Town to look for them, because at this time they were not contacting us. And then I told my husband I was going to Cape Town to look for my sons and we both decided to come here in Cape Town and we were told that they were in Athlone. I wanted to go there, but I was not allowed to go to Athlone to look for them and we went back. It was on Sunday, that time, we went back home.
After that, people used to come and pray for us at home, and the police would come and they would ask the people to go away - not to pray for us. They gave us a date for the funeral and we didnít want to bury my son on that day, but we were forced by the police to do that. After that there was no peace at my home, we were suffering. And they were looking for the other twin, and they use - they use to come to try and bribe the person, the people in the township, because they told the people in the township that my son was a terrorist and if someone could come and tell the police where he was, they would get money, they would receive money.
And my son was nowhere to be found, but apparently the police found him. He was arrested here in Cape Town, but I am not sure about the place and then they transferred him to Malmesbury. And then they took him to Victoria. They were torturing him all this time.
After that my husband became sick - as they were looking for my son, they used to arrest my husband. And they used to cover his face with the black plastic bags, asking him where my twin was. They were torturing him all the time. And they were torturing his genitals. And he became sick because of all this. He couldnít even continue working. So he was not working at this time. One day when I looked at him, his ears were bleeding and he suffered a lot until he died. He wanted my twin to be back, because this was affecting him, this disappearance.
What I forgot, is that after we buried the other twin, the following day, a police van came and then the police took me with the van. They took me to the police station and they asked me who were the leaders in the funeral. Who were the people giving speeches there in the funeral. And then I told them I did not know, because I was not looking at the people who were talking there, because I was still in pain, because my son had tied.
And then they said that my husband has told them everything. So, I should tell them everything. And they were lying, because my husband didnít say anything to them. My husband died in 1987. We were suffering all the time and the police were rude. They were not respecting us, they were beating us, . assaulting us all the time. They used to take the whole family and arrest the whole family. Even my son next to me was still very young at the time. We were in pain and we were suffering a lot.
Let me ask you a few questions maíam, are you ready? You said that in 1986, because the police use to come to your house and assault you, looking for the twins, and your twins decided to leave the home, do you still remember when exactly was this?
No, he did not tell us anything. He just told us that my son had been shot. My husband was still at work at that time and he - this policeman couldnít tell me and then he went to one of my family members to tell this matter and then they waited for my husband to come back from work and then we were both told at the same time - myself and my husband.
He was arrested and then he was released. He was arrested here in Cape Town and transferred to Malmesbury and Victor Venter and then at the time when my husband was very sick, I saw Arthur arriving at home. And then I thanked him for coming back, because my husband was so sick and then he went to the bedroom to look for his father and his father cried a lot.
There is one thing I forgot. When the police where looking for the other twin, I didnít - I donít know who told them where my home - where my home was, because they used to come to kick the doors at my home, at my motherís home, because I did not tell them where my mother was staying, but they used to go to my motherís home looking for this twin and my mother was old at that time.
They were assaulting her, kicking the doors and my twin bought another door, because the police kicked the door and it broke. And he - my twin went to buy another door and then they arrested him, saying that he did not buy this door, he stole it. And my mother tried to fight with the police to stop them from arresting my twin.
And at the time of all this, my son succeeded to run away, because my mother was trying to defend him and they assaulted my mother. They kicked her and then he ended up undergoing an operation in the face.
Maíam, sometimes we donít believe the stories we hear. And then we are here today listening to the stories from people like you, because we could see you were not staying at peace in your home. Because if one can see you today, one cannot think you were suffering, because your son was killed, your husband was tortured and you were also arrested.
We say that we hope that the Lord will support and comfort you and strengthen you, because we donít have any more words to comfort you. Your story is so unbelievable, one cannot believe that this things were happening in our country and we want all people of this country not to repeat what happened in the past.