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Human Rights Violation Hearings

Type HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION HEARINGS

Starting Date 26 November 1996

Location GUGULETU 7 POLLSMOOR

Day 1

Case Number CT/00725

Victim REVEREND VUYANI PAPA

Testimony NOMALUNGELO FLORENCE PAPA

Nature SHOT BY POLICE

ADV POTGIETER

Good afternoon Ms Papa. Who is the gentleman with you?

MS PAPA

He is a brother.

ADV POTGIETER

Mr Papa, would you also like to put on a headphone? Or can you follow the proceedings just like that? Are you all right. Welcome to you as well and welcome Ms Papa. I am going to ask you to take the oath, before we listen to your testimonies, I am going to please ask you to stand. I assume - I am sorry - I assume that you will be the only person who will be testifying? Okay, that is not necessary for your brother to take the oath.

NOMALUNGELO FLORENCE PAPA Duly sworn states

ADV POTGIETER

You will be telling us about your late son, Vuyani Papa.

MS PAPA

Yes.

ADV POTGIETER

Who got shot and killed, this was in the time of this march, this Pollsmoor March that we have been hearing about, from the witnesses who testified before you - is that correct?

MS PAPA

Ja my son Vuyani, he was from a shop - he went to the shop to buy bread. Half a bread and he got shot when he was coming from the shop. I was not there at the time.

ADV POTGIETER

[indistinct] and if you feel a bit better, you can talk again, there is no hurry.

MS PAPA

I was on my work at that day. When I came back from work, Vuyani was not at home. I asked where he was and they told me he went to the shop at nine to buy bread and he was not back at that time.

I looked for him but I couldnít find him, I slept that day and he was not back. On the following day I didnít go to work, I wen out looking for Vuyani, I went to hospitals and I couldnít find him. I also went to the police station to look for him, but he was not there. I looked for him for seven days and I found him on the 7th day and he was in Conradie Hospital he was still alive at the time. But I found him in the mortuary on the 7th day and we buried him.

After the funeral, I received a letter from Wynberg, the police from Wynberg brought this summons and they gave me the date to appear in Court and then on that particular date I went to court in Wynberg. I donít know who shot my son, I sat there and then I waited for my name to be called. And we waited there and the court opened and we went in.

Whilst we were in, we sat down in the chairs and I saw these white men - these two white men. I was not aware that they were the ones who were going to testify here in court. One of them was called to testify. He was Barnard, Barnard was testifying. And this continued for three times in Wynberg. I didnít go for the fourth time. And I am here today to testify.

ADV POTGIETER

Thank you Ms Pama - I am going to ask you a few questions to get some information which can assist us in looking into the matter. Your son, what was he doing, was he working, was he at school or what was he doing?

MS PAPA

He was working for the newspaper.

ADV POTGIETER

Which newspaper was that?

MS PAPA

I am not sure, but he was working - he was delivering newspapers in the streets.

ADV POTGIETER

I see, he was delivering papers. And, he was not married was he?

MS PAPA

No, he was not married. He was only 16 years of age.

ADV POTGIETER

Now, was he involved in politics at all?

MS PAPA

No, he was not involved

ADV POTGIETER

He didnít bother with politics

MS PAPA

No, he was not involved in politics.

ADV POTGIETER

From - from what you could find out, was there anybody that saw what happened - how Vuyani was shot?

MS PAPA

He was shot in the head - three times in the head.

ADV POTGIETER

So he was shot three times in the head?

MS PAPA

Yes, he was shot three times in the head.

ADV POTGIETER

Now were there any witnesses that saw that - that saw the shooting?

MS PAPA

No, there were no witnesses. We just saw him in the mortuary - found him in the mortuary.

ADV POTGIETER

Did you - did you say that you learned that he was still alive for a while and that he was in Conradie Hospital?

MS PAPA

Yes, he was in Conradie Hospital. He died on Wednesday and then I saw him on Wednesday in the mortuary. On Monday he was still alive and we went there to look for him, but they told us he was not there.

ADV POTGIETER

So the Wednesday was the 7th day?

MS PAPA

Yes, it was the 7th day. He went home on Thursday and we saw him on Wednesday on the mortuary.

ADV POTGIETER

Now, you went to court and this Barnard was one of the police that was giving evidence.

MS PAPA

Yes, Barnard was there and the employees - people who were working there. There were no other people except Barnard and the people who were working in court.

ADV POTGIETER

This Barnard, was he that policeman that was very well known in the townships during those riots in [indistinct]

MS PAPA

Yes, he is the one.

ADV POTGIETER

Now what did he tell the court - what happened?

MS PAPA

Barnard?

ADV POTGIETER

Yes.

MS PAPA

He said that he shot my son. He said that my son was running away, but he didnít say why he was running away, because my son went to buy bread.

ADV POTGIETER

Did - did Barnard allege that your son was doing anything wrong?

MS PAPA

No, he didnít say that, he didnít - he didnít tell us anything.

ADV POTGIETER

Were there any other police that gave evidence in the court?

MS PAPA

There was another one policeman, one white policeman, but I donít know his name.

ADV POTGIETER

Now you - you went to court on three different occasions?

MS PAPA

Yes.

ADV POTGIETER

During that time you were in court, did the Magistrate make any findings? Did he say who was responsible?

MS PAPA

The Magistrate - Barnard was talking with the Magistrate - he was testifying to the Magistrate, so I donít know what happened.

ADV POTGIETER

So - so you donít know what the result of the case was?

MS PAPA

No, I donít know the results of the case.

ADV POTGIETER

Have they ever contacted you again after youíd been to court?

MS PAPA

Yes, I went to the Wynberg Magistrateís Court. And this case was in Wynberg, but I did not go back there.

ADV POTGIETER

And did the Courtís ever contacted you to tell you what the result was?

MS PAPA

No, they never contacted me.

ADV POTGIETER

Did you ever go to see an attorney to help you?

MS PAPA

No, I didnít see any, I didnít contact any attorneys

ADV POTGIETER

And did you make any case against the police?

MS PAPA

No, I did not open a case, but I was just called to Wynberg. I did not see who shot my son, but I saw him in Wynberg Court, I did not know him.

ADV POTGIETER

Have you got any other children apart from Vuyani?

MS PAPA

Yes, I have other children

ADV POTGIETER

How many have you got?

MS PAPA

I have two children

ADV POTGIETER

How is the death of Vuyani affected you and the family?

MS PAPA

It affected us and I am still not well, even today.

ADV POTGIETER

Thank you Ms Papa. Iíll just hear if my colleagues have anything to ask you. They donít have. I just want to thank you for having come. It is a long time ago, it is almost 11 years ago that this happened, but it obviously is still a very painful thing for you to think about or to talk about. Which is quite clear.

MS PAPA

It is very painful - itís very painful.

ADV POTGIETER

We know that one canít make up for that loss. There is nothing that we can say to you today can really make up for that loss, but we do understand that sort of pain that you have, but we are glad that youíve come and youíve shared that with us to remind us, what pain people had to suffer in the past. So that we can somehow share that pain with you and share the memories around your son Vuyani with you.

And we hope, in a way that will help you, it will make you feel a bit better, that you - that youíve been able to share it with - with friends and people who understand what you saying. So we hope that has done some good for you. But thank you once again for having come.

 
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