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Human Rights Violation Hearings

Type SUBMISSION, QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, GENERAL SIBACA

Starting Date 27 November 1996

Location GUGULETU 7 POLLSMOOR

Day 2

ADV POTGIETER

Welcome, good afternoon. Can the briefer just switch on that microphone, also. Are you - do you hear the translation - are you comfortable - do you hear everything?

G SIBACA

Yes, I can hear the interpreter

ADV POTGIETER

I am going to ask you to first stand and take the oath before we listen to your testimony - so can you please stand.

G SIBACA

Thank you

ADV POTGIETER

Can you give us your full names first?

G SIBACA

General Sibaca.

ADV POTGIETER

General Sibaca.

G SIBACA

My name is General Sibaca

GENERAL SIBACA Duly sworn states

ADV POTGIETER

Thank you very much, you may be seated. In 1986 on the 3rd of March, to be precise, you were residing in the Dairy Belle hostel on the corner of NY1 and NY111, in Guguletu. Is that correct?

G SIBACA

Yes sir.

ADV POTGIETER

Where were you employed at that stage?

G SIBACA

I was working at the Dairy Belle, but I was actually employed at the Philippi branch.

ADV POTGIETER

Your address was room E18, Block E in the hostel, is that correct?

G SIBACA

Yes sir.

ADV POTGIETER

Now, that morning on the 3rd of March 1986, at about 7 oíclock, you witnessed certain incidents that happened in the vicinity of where you were living. I want to ask you to please explain to us, what it was that you saw happening?

G SIBACA

Thank you - what I saw when I woke up, having a bath, preparing to go to work - I saw two Kombiís parked on NY111. The one, if I remember well, was white in colour and the other, light blue. There were white men standing next to these Kombiís. I did not know what was going to happen. A short while after my bath, I heard a noise like a collision - two cars colliding. (Making noise) when I looked, there were two white men shooting. At the time, there were no shacks, it was just a forest. I saw people running towards the forest, they was getting shot at.

The white man were along NY1, next to my restaurant - there was chaos. The others went into the forest. Until such time that they shot the window of my house, of the room that I was in, because I tried to hide, but I was curious.

And I looked, I saw someone, I donít know where he emanated from. It was a black man - he was being called by the white men. He lifted his hands up in the air and they took a gun from his waste. They snatched the gun out of his waste. Immediately after that, a white man from NY1, just above the restaurant, called out - saying skiet hom. He called out again, shoot him. He was kneed on the back and he fell on his back and was shot twice.

The first bullet went off and the second one, and he died. I was watching, because I was looking with my one eye from my window, he had died. Another black man emanated again from the forest with white men, he had a plastic bag. He was wearing denim pants. He had a woolen hat on his head. I donít know what he was carrying in this plastic bag.

They walked to the place where the other person had been shot. I donít know how many people were there, but when this group came, I saw the white man washing off the blood of the people that had been shot. I then went and prepared my breakfast. I could not go to work that day, because these white men were blocking the cars from moving, both at NY1 and NY111.

That is all I have to say for now.

ADV POTGIETER

Now, did you then make a statement or tell somebody else what you saw on that same day?

G SIBACA

That same day, I went to the security at the gate to report the incident. So that I would not have to pay for the window that they had shot at - that had broken. I went to the security and told them exactly what happened to the window. Ten minutes after that people from Cape Times came and they were sent to me. I told them what happened. The police from Bishop Lavis, then came to my house - to my room and they saw exactly what happened.

ADV POTGIETER

And did the police also take a statement from you?

G SIBACA

They did not take a statement from me. They just called me to Bishop Lavis and I gave in a statement there. I gave it to the investigators.

ADV POTGIETER

Is that - was it after the incident happened that you spoke about a few day afterwards, after the shooting happened that you saw?

G SIBACA

It was the same day that I gave a statement. No days elapsed. It was the same day.

ADV POTGIETER

Now, let us just try and clarify it - you say that the first person you spoke to was the security guard. You reported the damage to your window and then soon after that you spoke to people from the Cape Times?

G SIBACA

It is exactly like that.

ADV POTGIETER

Can you still remember who the reporter was or reporters were that you spoke to from the Cape Times?

G SIBACA

One of them is here, I can point him out.

ADV POTGIETER

Who is that Mr Weaver or Mr Bateman.

G SIBACA

I donít know his name, but I will point him out for you, there he is.

ADV POTGIETER

Okay - okay - yes, that is a reporter from the Cape Times. And his name is Mr Bateman, Chris Bateman. We will hear his testimony later on.

G SIBACA

Okay - all right - thank you.

ADV POTGIETER

Now I just want to - I just want to try and place your position where you were when you saw all of this happening. So that we have an idea, we have got some photographs of that area. I donít know if it will be possible for you to follow this. And we also have a plan that we will be referring to, but thatís - letís try the photographs first. I am going to ask you to have a look at - there are two photographs - 29 and 30. Which I will ask you to have a look at first. And I am going to ask you to see if you can see the hostel on any one of those two photographs.

G SIBACA

It is very confusing, because I am sure they took the pictures from a helicopter. They showed me this before, but it is confusing, because they were shooting from an aeroplane. I donít know what is going on here.

ADV POTGIETER

Just take your time, donít panic - take your time we are going to try and find out where that hostel is. Now there are two - there are two buildings.

G SIBACA

No, I wonít lie to you. I wonít say if this is it or that is it. No, because I mean this angle, it is from an aeroplane. I wonít know what is going on here.

ADV POTGIETER

All right let me see if I canít help you perhaps. I want you to look at those two buildings, there are two buildings on that photograph. Yes, there is one with a red roof and there is one that looks like it is a cement building. The one looks almost like a school with a red roof, but I am not sure. So I am going to ask you to look at that, is that - is one of those perhaps the hostel were you were staying at?

G SIBACA

No, it is not a cement hostel. But the hostel roof is red, this one is green. It is not red. No, our hostel was very big. No, I would not admit to something I am not sure about.

ADV POTGIETER

No thatís fine - I donít want to, because you have taken an oath to speak the truth - ask you to admit things that you donít know of.

G SIBACA

Thank you.

ADV POTGIETER

Now perhaps I can see if we canít orientate ourselves by asking a few - a few facts. The person that you saw putting up his hands and then being shot, can you remember where that person fell? Did he fall in the road or on the pavement or where did he fall?

G SIBACA

No, he fell on the pavement, not in the road.

ADV POTGIETER

And was that - was that the pavement closest to your hostel of the other side of the road?

G SIBACA

Right next to - it is behind my window, but still across the road.

ADV POTGIETER

And did that person fall there where he was shot - where he got the two shots, did he fall right there?

G SIBACA

Yes, it is so.

ADV POTGIETER

And if I understand your testimony correctly there was another person who was running towards the bushes, is that correct?

G SIBACA

I have said so.

ADV POTGIETER

Did you ever notice what happened to that person?

G SIBACA

He ran into the forest. I donít know what happened in the forest, but he ran into the forest.

ADV POTGIETER

Mr Sibaca, were you called to give evidence in this matter?

G SIBACA

My name is not Sibaca - it is Sibaca.

CHAIRPERSON

You can just say General - [indistinct] his name.

ADV POTGIETER

All right - the Chairperson has just given me very good advice. Perhaps I should just call you General.

G SIBACA

If you just say Sibaca, it is all right, but I am not Sibaca.

ADV POTGIETER

Thatís fine - I wonít try - I wonít try that, I will - with your permission I would call you General.

G SIBACA

Okay.

ADV POTGIETER

Is that all right - now were you - were you...[intervention]

G SIBACA

No, it is all right, you can call me General.

ADV POTGIETER

Were you never called upon to give evidence in court about this incident?

G SIBACA

I was called thrice - first to the Regional court in Wynberg. Then in the Parow - sorry, first it was in Cape Town, then Parow and then Wynberg - three times.

ADV POTGIETER

Thank you General. Now just finally - it appears from what you are telling us, that the person who put up his hands was shot after his firearm was taken away. So he was unarmed when he was shot.

G SIBACA

He was shot after his gun had been taken from him. They first took the gun from him and then they shot him.

ADV POTGIETER

Thank you very much for your testimony.

CHAIRPERSON

Thank you - any questions - Dumisa.

ADV NTSEBEZA

Mr Sibaca, I just want to ask, you said that after the Cape Times people came, the police arrived, is that so?

G SIBACA

What I said, is that the police arrived after the Cape Times people were there. This is after they had cleaned the blood off the road.

ADV NTSEBEZA

Was Mbelo a policeman?

G SIBACA

He was an investigator.

ADV NTSEBEZA

Thank you very much General.

CHAIRPERSON

[indistinct] Pumla Gobodo.

MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA

Thank you [indistinct] - I just want to be clear, when the police were calling you and the case was investigated, exactly what statement where they requiring from you, because I couldnít - your statement you said that the police kept on calling you and prosecuting you, saying that they are going to arrest you.

They asked how much Mr Bateman have given you, why did the police promise you money - what is it they wanted from you?

G SIBACA

They wanted to ascertain if I was an eyewitness or if I was just telling a story.

MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA

So as they kept on calling you and threatening you - threatening to arrest you, why then did they want to arrest you?

G SIBACA

They were just threatening. They were trying to ascertain if I was really an eyewitness or perhaps the Cape Times people had bribed me.

MS GOBODO-MADIKIZELA

In other words, they wanted you to say that what you had seen was not true. The Cape Times people had bribed you.

G SIBACA

Yes, that is what they wanted me to do and then they would arrest me after that.

CHAIRPERSON

Thank you - Mary Burton.

MS BURTON

Thank you Chairperson, Mr Sibaca, is that right - just - itís me.

G SIBACA

Yes - yes thank you.

MS BURTON

You - you remember very clearly what happened on that day, donít you?

G SIBACA

It was a while back, but I remember quite a lot.

MS BURTON

I want to check with you - you said that after you had spoken to the Cape Times the police came and asked you questions, is that right?

G SIBACA

Yes, it is so.

MS BURTON

Did they take you to the police station to make a statement?

G SIBACA

They would take me to the police station at Bishop Lavis. They would use their own transportation. It wasnít just once, it was either twice or thrice.

MS BURTON

So they started on that day and then on other days as well.

G SIBACA

Yes, maíam.

MS BURTON

The reason I am asking is because the statement that we have seen has the date of the 12th of March on it.

G SIBACA

Was that the day they fetched me?

MS BURTON

No that was about nine days after the killings.

G SIBACA

There is none such.

MS BURTON

But you say that they came and they took - they asked you questions on several days?

G SIBACA

They started on that very same day, they fetched me that day.

MS BURTON

And you also went to the police station on some other days as well.

G SIBACA

Precisely.

MS BURTON

Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON

Thank you General. We are also grateful for the way you answer your questions. We can see that you are very sharp, because when you say - when we say his name is Chris Bateman, you say well if it is so - you donít necessarily agree to it, you just say well if thatís his name - itís all right.

Thank you very much, because you certainly form a very good impression, create a good impression on any people listening because you were very careful, not for instance to speculate. You were asked what happened to the person who ran into the bush and you said you donít know. Whereas it is easy to have tried to make out that - [indistinct] and we thank you for your contribution in our search for the truth.

Thank you for your contribution as we are trying to get to the truth, thank you very much.

 
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