SABC News | Sport | TV | Radio | Education | TV Licenses | Contact Us
 

Human Rights Violation Hearings

Type HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION HEARINGS

Starting Date 26 November 1996

Location GUGULETU 7 POLLSMOOR

Day 1

Case Number CT/00317

Victim AMINA ELIZABETH VAN DYK

Testimony AMINA ELIZABETH VAN DYK

Nature SHOT WITH BIRDSHOT IN EYE

ADV POTGIETER

Re-start. Can I please ask you to stand, please be seated. The next witness is Amina Elizabeth van Dyk. And David Mathews - David Matthews is not here.

UNKNOWN COMMISSIONER

Itís her husband.

ADV POTGIETER

Oh! okay - Mr and Ms Van Dyk.

Good morning Ms Van Dyk. Are you going to testify all by yourself? I will then ask you to take the oath. Would you please rise.

AMINA ELIZABETH VAN DYK Duly sworn states

ADV POTGIETER

Thank you very much, please be seated. Maíam the incident took place on the 29th of August 1985. Is that correct?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, that is correct.

ADV POTGIETER

That is the day after the march in connection with which the first few witnesses testified. Okay, would you like to tell us what happened with you on that day - the 29th of August.

MS VAN DYK

On the 29th of August - I was working at Lentegeur Hospital. Thereafter, at 5 oíclock the evening I came home. I had been off for two days. My uncle asked me to go and fetch Dawie, the deaf and dumb boy. I went to fetch him in Weskop Avenue. The bus didnít turn up and I went home.

He asked me to go and look on the other side - in Wespoort Avenue and I went there. I stood at the busstop - myself, a postman and two boys, the 13 year old and the 11 year old. The Riot Squad guys were hiding in other peopleís yard.

While the two boys were standing there, I told them they should go home or else something was going to happen. The postman asked me why I was standing there and I told him I was waiting for the deaf and dumb boy, for Dawid - and their bus didnít turn up.

While we were standing there, suddenly they started shooting. And when they started shooting, we ran. I tripped and fell and the 11 year old boy fell on top of me. I pushed him off me and I got up. I looked for help and I was full of blood. My nose and my mouth were bleeding and my clothes were full of blood. The lady on the corner gave me a cloth. I wiped my face and I went home and lay on the bed because I was dizzy.

The oldest child, Allen, phoned the ambulance. The ambulance came to fetch me and took me to the hospital. They assisted me into the ambulance because I was totally dizzy in my head and my body was shaking. I was feeling utterly numb and thereafter we went around to fetch the two boys. I asked them where we were going. And they said to me - no, they were going to take me to the police station and the two boys are going to be taken to the mortuary.

I got out of the ambulance and they put me in another ambulance. We were taken to Groote Schuur Hospital. I was in hospital for a month. I was discharged on the 22nd of the 4th month 1987.

Before I was put into the other ambulance, the one policeman from the Riot Squad used violent language. He called me a pig. I said to him - "what do you mean I am a pig?" He said to me - "We should have shot you dead instead of the boy".

I said to him - "If you had to shoot the boy dead, his father would have killed me". And he said to me - "He canít help it, because we coloureds deserve it". Then I was taken to the hospital and since then nothing has happened and I have been in a state of confusion ever since.

I lost my one eye and it bothers me because I get these sharp pains in my eye. I get migraines and then sometimes I want to have nothing to do with my children, because of my pain.

This has caused me to lose my job, my house and my medical aid benefits and I have got absolutely no income. I would like you people to assist me in getting my job back.

ADV POTGIETER

In 1985, when this incident took place, you say that you were working?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, I was working at Lentegeur Hospital.

ADV POTGIETER

Where you married at the time?

MS VAN DYK

No, I was unmarried, I was living with my uncle.

ADV POTGIETER

And your uncle is David Matthews? Is it his son who you had to fetch at the busstop?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, he was schooling at Wittebome

ADV POTGIETER

And he was brought home by bus?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, he was brought home by bus, but that day, when I went to the hospital - the principle phoned to say that they canít come through because it was too dangerous.

ADV POTGIETER

So they couldnít come back by bus that day?

MS VAN DYK

No, and when we were taken to hospital, they were brought in by car.

ADV POTGIETER

So, did you have to go and meet him else where?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, I would meet him on the corner on a regular basis.

ADV POTGIETER

So, you would have met him on the corner, or at least you thought you would meet him on the corner and then you would both walk back home?

MS VAN DYK

Yes.

ADV POTGIETER

Do you say it was after working hours.

MS VAN DYK

Yes, it was after working hours.

ADV POTGIETER

Was it late the afternoon?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, it was in the afternoon.

ADV POTGIETER

What time did you come from work then?

MS VAN DYK

Sometimes we would come home from work at 5 oíclock. Sometimes we would get half a day off and get home at three.

ADV POTGIETER

Okay, you say that at some stage you were standing at the busstop?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, I was merely standing at the busstop. We were standing there and they started shooting at us and we had to flee.

ADV POTGIETER

And the two boys who were shot dead - they were standing with you?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, they were also standing there - we were all standing at the busstop, because I still said to them they must go home and they said - no, they are not going to go home.

ADV POTGIETER

What were they doing? Were they just watching or did they do anything?

MS VAN DYK

No, they was merely standing watching.

ADV POTGIETER

They didnít do anything.

MS VAN DYK

No, sir.

ADV POTGIETER

Was there a tyre barricade burning in the road?

MS VAN DYK

No, there was nothing there, in Wespoort avenue there was nothing burning there.

ADV POTGIETER

Before the shooting incident - did you see the police?

MS VAN DYK

I did not see any police. They were at the hospital, but my uncle said they were very rude and the nurses and doctors wouldnít let them in.

ADV POTGIETER

And while you was standing at the busstop - did you see the police?

MS VAN DYK

No - because I was injured and taken to hospital.

ADV POTGIETER

I assume you were shot?

MS VAN DYK

Yes.

ADV POTGIETER

In the face?

MS VAN DYK

I have got an artificial left eye. I was shot in my eye. I still have the birdshot in my body.

ADV POTGIETER

So you were struck in your eye with birdshot and also parts of your body? Did you see where the police were that was shooting at you?

MS VAN DYK

The policeman that shot me wore spectacles, but I do not know his name or his surname.

ADV POTGIETER

Was he behind that wall

MS VAN DYK

Yes, they hid behind the wall in somebodyís yard.

ADV POTGIETER

And did you hear a few shots?

MS VAN DYK

Yes.

ADV POTGIETER

You say there was a postman there as well.

MS VAN DYK

Yes.

ADV POTGIETER

Was he still there when the shooting incident took place?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, he - when I got there he had been standing there already and I asked him what he was doing there and he didnít answer me.

ADV POTGIETER

Do you know whether he was shot?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, he was shot by birdshot.

ADV POTGIETER

Did you know him or was it somebody you didnít know?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, I knew him.

ADV POTGIETER

Did you know him or was he just somebody that you would see around or do you know his name?

MS VAN DYK

No, I donít know his name.

ADV POTGIETER

What about the two boys - did you know the two boys?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, I knew them.

ADV POTGIETER

Do you also just know them as residents in the area?

MS VAN DYK

No, not just from seeing them, I knew them. It was Ms Paulsen and the other ladyís children.

ADV POTGIETER

At the time when the shooting incident took place, were there any - was there any stone throwing or rioting there?

MS VAN DYK

No, absolutely nothing.

ADV POTGIETER

Where you asked to come to court at any stage?

MS VAN DYK

No, they would probably have spoken to my uncle.

ADV POTGIETER

Did you go and consult with an attorney in connection with the instituting a civil claim?

MS VAN DYK

No, they never came to me. They communicated everything with my uncle.

ADV POTGIETER

So, you never received any compensation for the damage which you suffered?

MS VAN DYK

No, nothing.

ADV POTGIETER

You say that this eye still bothers you.

MS VAN DYK

Yes, it bothers me terribly. In winter I cannot stand the pain. I have to take an ice cold cloth and put that over my eye.

ADV POTGIETER

Do you receive treatment for it?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, I do receive treatment at Groote Schuur Hospital.

ADV POTGIETER

On a regular basis?

MS VAN DYK

Yes.

ADV POTGIETER

And you say you lost your job as a result? Was it as a result of the eye injury?

MS VAN DYK

Yes.

ADV POTGIETER

And did you start looking for work again after that or did you just give up?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, I did look for other work, but I just couldnít find employment.

ADV POTGIETER

You are now married - do you have any children?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, I have two children.

ADV POTGIETER

How old are they?

MS VAN DYK

Geyranisa will be two and Mogammat is 4 years old.

ADV POTGIETER

So, they arenít in school yet?

MS VAN DYK

No.

ADV POTGIETER

And you say that you lost the house too?

MS VAN DYK

That is correct.

ADV POTGIETER

Where are you living at the moment?

MS VAN DYK

I lived in so called Lost City - the new housing scheme - referred to as match boxes, thatís where I lived.

ADV POTGIETER

And where do you live now?

MS VAN DYK

At the moment I live with my mom, but her house is quite full.

ADV POTGIETER

Do you live there with your husband and kids?

MS VAN DYK

Yes.

ADV POTGIETER

And is your husband employed?

MS VAN DYK

No, he is unemployed. He is an asthmatic and he has a heart condition.

ADV POTGIETER

Who supports you and your family?

MS VAN DYK

My mother supports us.

ADV POTGIETER

Does she support you and your family?

MS VAN DYK

Yes.

ADV POTGIETER

How old were you when you were shot in 1985?

MS VAN DYK

I was 30.

ADV POTGIETER

Your uncle, David Matthews, where is he, is he residing in Mitchellís Plain?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, at number 30 Forester Close, Westridge.

ADV POTGIETER

Okay, it appears as if your uncle did most of the work in regard to contacting policemen and trying to consult with attorneys. So he is the one that handled everything?

MS VAN DYK

Yes.

ADV POTGIETER

It seems as if there is another witness. A gentleman whoís child was also shot. Whoís son was also shot and lightly injured - slightly injured in this incident and it seems as though our people interviewed him. Are you aware of that?

MS VAN DYK

I cannot say.

ADV POTGIETER

Because it appears as though there was someone who also saw what happened and that he is prepared to tell us about it, but he did not want us to publish his name. At the time our investigative team spoke to him, he did not want us to publicize his name, but we will investigate the matter a bit further and we will let you know exactly what we were able to find out.

So, the matter is not finalized today. We have listened to your evidence and we will continue to look at the - to look into the matter, because your - the incident in which you were injured and the incident in which the two boys were shot dead - is linked, so we are looking at it as one incident.

The one boy - the 11 year old - his name was Lionel. He is the one who fell on you?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, thatís correct.

ADV POTGIETER

And how did he appear then, was he badly injured?

MS VAN DYK

I cannot say, because after I had been shot, I fell to the ground and he fell on top of me and I pushed him off so that I could move. I got up and ran away and he remained lying there.

ADV POTGIETER

Did you see the other one too?

MS VAN DYK

The 13 year old was lying next to him, Quentin.

ADV POTGIETER

So it seems as if they remained lying where they had been shot?

MS VAN DYK

Yes.

ADV POTGIETER

Thank you very much maíam. Is there anything else which you would have liked to add or is that all you wanted to say?

MS VAN DYK

No, that is all.

ADV POTGIETER

I would just like to find out if my colleagues have any questions to put to you - Glenda Wildschut?

MS WILDSCHUT

Ms Van Dyk, I would just like to understand - do you know how many months you were hospitalized for?

MS VAN DYK

I was in hospital for a month.

MS WILDSCHUT

So, the incident took place in August?

MS VAN DYK

On the 22nd of April 1987, I was discharged from hospital.

MS WILDSCHUT

The 22nd of - was that April?

MS VAN DYK

It was August, I am not sure, but I have the tag in my bag

MS WILDSCHUT

Because we have the date as the 22nd of August, is that correct - the correct date?

MS VAN DYK

Yes, that is correct. The 22nd of the fourth month in 1987.

MS WILDSCHUT

Thank you very much.

ADV POTGIETER

Maíam I would like to thank you for having come and for having come to describe this incident to us, because your evidence is very important - especially in - with regard to the damages which you personally suffered and also for having been able to give us an idea of what happened when the other two boys were shot.

As I explained earlier, we received the policemanís version of what happened and they alleged that they were acting in self defence. But we have heard your evidence and you have confirmed that these children were merely standing there - looking out of curiosity.

So your evidence is very important. Not with regard to what happened to you yourself, but also with regard to the shooting of the two boys.

Thank you very much for coming for coming to tell us what happened. We have listened to everything you have said. We have listened to the problems which you have at the moment. And as I said to you earlier, the matter is not finalized today - we are still busy looking at the matter and we will look at your circumstances as well and we will be in contact with you and thank you very much for coming.

And thank you very much to you as well sir, for coming and supporting your wife.

 
SABC Logo
Broadcasting for Total Citizen Empowerment
DMMA Logo
SABC © 2019
>