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Human Rights Violation Hearings
Type HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
Starting Date 26 June 1996
Location PORT ELIZABETH
Names JOYCE N. MTIMKHULU MBUYISELO MADAKA
DR BORAINE: I would on behalf of the Commission like to welcome you very warmly to this special hearing. Before we start, I have to make sure that you have to have the earphones, although most of you are not going to need that, I understand.
But would you please stand for the taking of the oath, and I think you can all stand, those of you who are going to testify can stand together and take the oath together. Will you please stand. Will you raise your right hand. Thank you very much, please be seated.
Mrs Mtimkhulu, clearly everybody who comes here is important. We care about every witness, young and old, Black and White, men and women, it makes no difference, but of course there is a very special quality about your being here today.
You travelled to East London, you and your husband were excited, at last you were going to have a chance to talk to a Presidential Commission, to the nation at large about Siphiwo. This was denied you, you had no chance.
We met with you and you very graciously agreed that you will come to the Port Elizabeth hearing and you came, you sat over there and we waited and once again, you were muzzled, you couldn't speak. All of us were very angry and very upset, but you were remarkable. You too were upset,
So it is very special for you and it is very special for us, it is very special for all the people from New Brighton, from Port Elizabeth and so many others who will be listening on the radio and watching and reading about you and your son and the suffering and pain that you've endured.
MR NTSEBEZA: Thank you Dr Boraine, thank you Mr Chairman. (No translation to start the introduction of Mr Ntsebeza) MRS MTIMKHULU: (No translation to start the evidence) ... trying to show the pain that he was sharing with me. It is just that we have been going around the problem for quite a long time. I wished that God can try to make things easy for all of us so that we can also feel relieved like everybody else. I was touched by what this lady said to me, I think I must go now to your request and attend to it.
Then I came to Port Elizabeth because I had to attend school here in Port Elizabeth. Whilst attending school the gentleman who is my handsome husband, whom I love very much, PORT ELIZABETH HEARING TRC/EASTERN CAPE
I can say he is a gentleman, if I can say he must stand up, nobody would compete with him here. We got married, it was here in Port Elizabeth and then we were blessed with children. Our marriage was one of the peaceful and
I'd like to mention that he was never a troublesome child. As I don't want to make a long history about my son, I can just mention like any other child, he was - we could manage and handle him properly, because he was never exposed to many problems, he never clashed with the law. Nobody has ever complained about him.
We could realise that we were not now communicating, we were very afraid, because he was still very young at the time. He attended school at the primary level at Elanga in Hilltown. I wouldn't say much about what he did or what standards he did go.
His father was very adamant that he should not come back. His father was surprised because the teacher was adamant that he shouldn't come back. No explanation was given, we had to take him to Alice, that is where he
It is quite a long time, but I can find it somewhere and you can get it later. Whilst continuing with his education at Jabavu, he was expelled because of this poison, which I regard as his political activities. There is a lot of poison that we are going to discuss about here. It is the other one that killed him.
MRS MTIMKHULU: Thank you very much, I am glad that you've corrected me. What I mean is the political involvement. Siphiwo was very much involved, he was a staunch member of the organisation, we realised that we couldn't do anything, he seemed to be addicted.
And seemingly he was regarded as influential and being an instigator. The other thing that he was against was the Bantu Education. He came to Port Elizabeth and he attended school at Carwant, was expelled. He went to Louingso, he was also expelled. We tried at means to make him continue with his education because we were worried about his behaviour.
who were at St Stephens at the time. I think there was a very big meeting during that time, they were arrested at the time. I think they were about 500. They were detained at Algoa. They spent a long time there. Mr Haiwa and Revd Swoga gave us support and they were trying to make means
This made him more involved. He continued with the struggle. I would like to explain that he went along with his comrades and they were taking other children out of the school and they were objecting to the type of education that they were receiving at the time. He was detained, I think it was in Humansdorp. During that year, I think he had something on which was not acceptable to the authorities.
I think he had a T-shirt on which SASO was printed. I think I will have to give a brief report about his arrests. He was detained after this, he was sentenced. He served his sentence in Grahamstown prison, he spent six months in that prison.
He was under the solitary confinement, we used to visit, communicate with him. We tried to persuade him but we could realise that he was still healthy. After six months he was released. He continued with politics, he never turned his back.
Each time he was detained, he would come out and be stronger than before. There are - some of the colleagues and comrades with whom he was working is just next to me, the others are not here. You can remember then, I said there was not much that he could talk about when he was
MRS MTIMKHULU: This happened quite a lot. He was always harassed to the extend that he didn't like to spend much time among the family members, he was always among the friends and his colleagues because we were not involved in the politics and we didn't like the political involvement.
He was always amongst the colleagues, that is why I say I did not know much about the membership with COSAS. But what I can mention is that he always informed us when he was going to be away for quite a long time and to inform us when he would come back.
At times he would just go to a small house which he built for himself, it looked like a dog's kennel. You would stay in this house, but you would realise that you would be unable to be comfortable. It was furnished according to his likings.
I think this was his hide out so that he cannot be easily discovered by the police. Everybody who would approach our premises, would think that it was the dog's kennel, that is why he could avoid the police. He was a diligent, working very hard, he was committed and he was determined.
You can still understand that he had respect. His friends were Mrs Fazi, Miss Misuwa, those were his friends and Mrs Xinga also. I think I can mention a few of them, but we are not here to talk about those people.
The only thing that I can state is that those were the people who had much influence in my son. He was very happy and you could see that nothing could divide him, or separate him from the struggle. But I can mention that he was still having respect and he would give an impression that he was a very humble person, but you would see that as he would go past one of the rivers, he was giving an impression that he was very humble, but he knew that he was going to take other children out of the school.
MRS MTIMKHULU: In 1981, it was on the 31st of May, I was in (indistinct). I received a telephone call from Mrs Mtongana, princess, she informed me that Siphiwo has come back and he has returned to my place and that I should come back home.
I packed my belongings and I came back to Port Elizabeth. When I got here, I found him in one of our houses which we used as a dining room. He had covered his feet with the eiderdown, probably it is something that we would call a duvet nowadays. You could feel that he had cold feet.
And you could see that he was not the usual spirit that we know. You could see that something was not right. I greeted him and I was very happy to meet him, I used all the nicknames that I used to call him.
He was not admitted for quite a long time, because when we tried to visit him, we were informed that he had already been discharged. We were just informed that he was here and there. We went to each ward, but we couldn't find him and then we gave up and went back home.
MRS MTIMKHULU: During that period Commissioner, we were unable to visit him, in other words we didn't make any contact with him. We didn't even change clothes for him. The only thing that used to happen was there were people who used to come to my place and collect some of the items, father Mobele is one of them. He was a member of the security police' special branch and Mr Tsongatha.
I wanted to know what was wrong with him. He stated that he had an excruciating pain in the stomach. He stated that his feet are always cold and they are swollen. He says the lower limbs are always swollen. He showed me and I also could see that he was swollen.
I was hurt to see my son in this condition and he also mentioned that he was ill-treated severely. He even said the Boers have finished me, I am totally finished, there is nothing that you can do about me.
I asked him why don't you stop this involvement with the struggle? He stated that he cannot do that. Although he is in that condition, he was still prepared to go on. He said he cannot stop. The time for him to stop has passed.
MR NTSEBEZA: I am sorry Mama, we'd like to understand clearly, get clarification. This Nieuwoudt that you're talking about, is he the same Nieuwoudt who said we must not talk about him because those were lies that we are going to say?
MRS MTIMKHULU: Nieuwoudt and Roelofse, according to Siphiwo's details and information, would take Siphiwo and allow him to take his clothes off. They would chain him and said he must lay on the floor.
Siphiwo gives an account of what (tape starts) ... he would hand over to Roelofse to do the same. Roelofse would also take apparatus or tools to torture him. He would take pipes and the electric wire and he would hit him, flog him on the back severely.
And they would always utter some words to him and would say he must speak the truth. They would always say they want documents and I didn't know what they wanted and Siphiwo would always say he didn't know what they were talking about.
Then this was a trick that he used to use so that he could get some rest. When they realised that I've regained consciousness, they would resume their dirty work. They would take a towel, this would be a wet towel and they would suffocate you with this towel.
He said they would put me on the rocks naked and Roelofse and Nieuwoudt would always say together with Mashekazi Tungata, they would always say to me this is the place where we always get the truth out of you comrades.
He said he would be put on this rock, he would see that there is no where else that you could go, you would sit, you will be tortured to the extend that you would not know what is happening to you. I was helpless.
They would also take me and throw bones to me as if I was a dog. They would starve me for days. At times they would put me into the van or into the boot, at times they would take the meat that they had been eating and they would give the leftovers to the other prisoners, but they would tie me and starve me.
A few days later, as I have said, he came back on the 20th, on the 21st we could see that he was deteriorating. On the 22nd he was unable to walk, he crawled. He had to crawl around the room. He would grundle during the night.
He would state that it is very painful when he tries to relieve himself. We took him to the hospital, a day hospital. Mr Lamani, the late Mr Lamani took him. He was given treatment after the examination, but this was not effective.
We took him to the private Doctor again, Dr Moodley was the Doctor which we usually took all the comrades to. Because of his condition you could see that it was difficult PORT ELIZABETH HEARING TRC/EASTERN CAPE
He was then admitted at Grootte Schuur Hospital. When he got there, we could see that he was ageing. You can remember that I said in the Livingstone Hospital he was swollen, but when he got there at Grootte Schuur, his condition changed. He looked like an old man, I didn't believe when I visited him, that he was the same person that I saw the last time in Port Elizabeth.
Let me go back to my story. Siphiwo was unrecognizable. During that period there were people who were visiting him. It is true that if you do something to a person here in Port Elizabeth, everybody would show support because you could see so many people, some of them who don't even know him, they were supporting him. Giving him support and they tried to comfort him as much as possible.
Brian Bishop were the people who were giving the support that I am talking about. What happened to Siphiwo at the time whilst he was in Cape Town was one of the big surprises for me, because Nieuwoudt, Van Rensburg, Du Preez and his team Dunsta who always played karate on my child, were the people who are responsible for Siphiwo's condition.
This shows how cruel those people were. I am still referring and explaining much about what happened to Siphiwo in Cape Town. You know they have big rats at their places and that is the poison, the poison they could have used for those rats, they used on my son.
To the effect that he lost his hair, he was critical at the time. You would witness that he was in pain, but you could see that he was also losing his stature, he was losing his hair, but he was a bit much better, because in the previous hospital he was disorientated and would just stare at you without any communication.
his hair. Really we have to bring evidence and exhibitions so that if you make your investigations, you should have a clear picture of what happened. This is Siphiwo's hair, this is the scalp, attached to the hair.
today to see Commission, that we have his hair together with his scalp attached to the hair. I want the Commission to witness what I've brought here today so that they should know the effect of the poison which was used on my son.
I want to show that if you, I want to inform you that he would bleed whereas he looses the hair, he would also bleed, the scalp would bleed. I don't know why did I keep this hair, I do not why I could keep it for quite a long time, but I said to myself, let me keep this so that one day something might happen so that I can be able to show this to the people.
MRS MTIMKHULU: The Doctor that I am talking about is Professor Frances Ames, I think he is retired now. At the time he was working at Grootte Schuur. He called us and informed us that these were the results of the poison which damaged our son.
When he came back he was already confined to a wheelchair, he couldn't walk independently. His father asked him Siphiwo, as you are in this condition, how do you feel now because I told you to do away with your struggle. One day you are going to die. I've already told you that we are not yet politicised, so we didn't understand what was going on with our children.
Siphiwo insisted that he will never go back, he will never turn his back from the struggle. He said he is finished now. One of the journalists who was a lady who came to the airport said to Siphiwo, please stop this.
Discontinue your involvement. He said, I cannot do that. He stated that he has been with the people and leading people, working together with them and then he will not betray his people. He regarded that if he should stop his involvement, it would be just like betraying the people.
MRS MTIMKHULU: Yes. Yes Commissioner, he was still in a wheelchair. We could see that his condition was improving. The fallen hair was growing out, but he was still having a lot of loss of appetite. He was very selective to what he
I'd like to go back a little bit, there is a very important issue that I forgot to talk about. Whilst he was detained, before he was released, he had some food which was well prepared, which was prepared by the master. It was brought by the master which was prepared by a madam.
He is the one who says that whilst he was detained there, somebody brought this food. He made this enquiries and wanted to find out why do you bring food for me? I cannot remember who was the person who brought the food. Maybe in these documents you can find his name.
Before he was released from detention, he was allowed to stand for 24 hours. He was standing day and night and he was not allowed to sit down. He stated that they used to throw him with very cold ice water because they could realise that he was not in his senses.
He would stand on a brick, I do not understand what he meant about that. I was never been arrested, but he used to give me a picture of what was happening to him. He stated that that was the most painful experience that he had ever experienced.
He stated that he felt that he was deteriorating after the fact that he was allowed for 24 hours. When he wanted to go to the toilet, they would pick him up and take him to the toilet and also bring him back, because he was unable to walk.
I think it was on the 31st of March when he had to go for a check up in Cape Town. He missed the date and said he would go the other day. He did go, it was the 14th of April in 1982, he went to Livingstone Hospital. It was very early in the morning.
On this day he did the same so that he can be accommodated and admitted there before he can be transferred to Cape Town. I would like to mention that Commissioner, they went to Livingstone as arranged.
It is said he did reach his destination. He met Dr Brown and nobody knows what happened thereafter. But somebody said there was a folder that he was supposed to have gone to fetch in the hospital. But I couldn't understand this because he was unable to walk.
It is said he went to fetch the folder, I do not know whether he got the folder or not. The only thing that I know is that in the afternoon Moli Bloban phoned. He even came personally to find out if Siphiwo had arrived, because he said Siphiwo had tried to contact him telephonically but he didn't find him.
The story goes that Siphiwo at last, because we didn't receive any telephone call from him, it is reported that he was taken by somebody from Livingstone Hospital because I do not know this person, because he didn't bring the child to
It was about eight in the evening. We were in the kitchen having supper. He greeted us and I looked behind him thinking that Siphiwo would be coming along, but Topsy said to me, he was asking if Siphiwo has come back home. I was surprised.
As I say this, I didn't bother much. I was not panicking because I thought he might have gone to some of his friends. But I was surprised why did he leave him and then he would come in the evening and ask me.
The following day Moli contacted us telephonically. We informed her that Siphiwo is not yet back. Moli promised to assist us so that we can find out if we cannot find him. He was asking did I hear anybody who has collected him, I said no.
Nobody fetched him from hospital as far as I know. I think it was the third day when we searched again. Moli promised to make the search again and he promised to go personally to the places or the comrades with whom he used to communicate.
and we felt that this is now a problem. We tried to find out, we communicated with all our relatives in the Transkei, in East London, all over the places where we had relatives but nobody ever said they had seen Siphiwo.
Briefly we took further steps and we went to Lesotho. We didn't suspect that Siphiwo could go to Lesotho especially in his condition. But we had a clue that he might have gone to Lesotho, we got this through the newspapers because the newspapers publicised that they have seen Topsy's car and that is why we tried to trace this clue.
I went together with my husband. We made enquiries to the boarders, people helped us to search. We went to the churches, we went everywhere. We wanted to find out probably some people might have taken him to nurse him. We searched for three days, but to no avail.
When we came back, one of the special branch officers came to my place. We didn't report to the police that Siphiwo has disappeared, the reason being that we didn't trust them. Although the lawyer, Fisher tried to locate him from the cells, that is why we didn't go to the police, because we suspected that they might be also responsible for his disappearance.
They asked me where do I think Siphiwo could have gone to. I said that I did not know, I mentioned that the last time I saw him was when he was going to the hospital. They constantly asked me if I didn't think that he had gone in exile.
This surprised me. I explained that I didn't think that Siphiwo could cross the borders and follow the other comrades. I don't think in his condition he can survive there and I don't think he can be able to work for the organisation.
They asked me if I didn't think that maybe he can go to another place so that he can get some medical assistance. I said that I didn't think that Siphiwo can do that. They asked me what have I done, I stated that I was still looking for him.
MRS MTIMKHULU: Thank you Commissioner. Topsy didn't give me a long explanation, the only thing that he said to me was I know where to get him. And then he left. I requested that he could please, if he finds him, must come and bring him along, because I would like him to be here at home, because he was very ill.
MR NTSEBEZA: Let us go back and you continue where you had stopped. As the police had promised to assist you in the search of you son, did they do that or what did they do to show that they were with you?
There was a day when they came when they were in a hurry. They were lining up, they have lined up, shoulder to shoulder, heavily armed. They went straight to Siphiwo's room claiming that Siphiwo has come back from exile and they said he is at Soweto.
Even today we had never heard anything from the police. The only thing that they did then was this continuous harassment. They would stop their cars across one of the streets and they would lay ambush. At times they would visit us, especially Nieuwoudt, he would always come and search for my son and make enquiries about my son's whereabouts.
MRS MTIMKHULU: Commissioner, we learnt a story about the car in which they were travelling. It was said they disappeared whilst they were travelling in this car. We heard that Topsy's identity book was found in the car, but I was not informed about what happened to him although it was said it was the identity book which was found in his car.
MRS MTIMKHULU: Nobody came to me and even the Station Commander or the Commissioner of the Police, they never came to me. I don't think they could have come and informed me because I suspect he was also involved in the whole thing.
Siphiwo did his own thing without informing most of the people, he could write and would give extensive information and give details about everything that happened to him. He would also state who did what to him. That is why I didn't think much about what happened at the cells, because I knew that he had all the details. He scribbled everything about what happened to him.
MR NTSEBEZA: I'd like to find out, did you say anything about the charges which he laid against the Commissioner? Was it when he was released? Was it before he disappeared, I do not know whether you can understand my question, but seemingly to me you seemed to say although he was an invalid and before he disappeared, he had already laid a charge
MRS MTIMKHULU: Commissioner, I could state that the little clue that we could get which led us to continue with our search, I can state that if I am not mistaken it was on the 10th or 11th, it was covered in the newspapers.
MR NTSEBEZA: I am not concerned about the dates, I know it is a long time ago. We don't want to pressurise you, you are not under pressure to remember the dates, we are just interested in the details. The day is not very important to us, the most important thing is we want to know how did you get the clue about the disappearance of your child which led you to resume the search? I think we have documents that can help us if we want dates.
MRS MTIMKHULU: Thank you sir. We got the clue from the newspapers, I think it was in February in 1990. There was an extensive coverage in the newspapers and Dirk Coetzee is the person who is alleged to have given information to the journalists. He mentioned my son's disappearance and Siswe Xondile, he mentioned them as one of the highlights of their extensive disruptions, mentioning that they had killed Xondile and my son.
MRS MTIMKHULU: Commissioner, I would like to mention that I was very glad when I heard that he was going to appear in this hearings. I was glad because I was not going to say things that I am not sure about.
I was very hurt that I learnt that he is not here, I still want him to appear. To me it won't be proper to say the Commission has done its work unless Dirk Coetzee can come forward. I am worried because even in East London I was prohibited from giving evidence because of Van Rensburg and Du Preez, because they are the people who gave the information that the poison was sent by him to them.
Mr Bangani yesterday told me that Dirk won't be here. I thought that yesterday when I met Bangani, would inform me that Dirk would be here. I am certain that most of the people who are here today, was certain that they were going to see this hefty person who was going to appear today.
MRS MTIMKHULU: Excuse me Commissioner, I have just a little point that I would like to mention. It has just come to my mind that Siphiwo at the time when he was taken to the sea by those men that I had already mentioned, he mentioned that there were things which were put on him, either on the hands, the fingers or the toes.
Apparently they would press a button somewhere, but he would feel that there were waves, shock waves which were going through his body. I believe it was the electricity shock. That type of torture is one of the most important things that he used to mention as one of the ways to torture him.
I'd like the Commission to know also about that type of torture that he experienced. Again, I'd like to mention the fact that I've already informed this house that I knew that Siphiwo went to Livingstone Hospital and that is the time that I can say it is the last time that I saw him.
But I can mention the fact that it didn't end there. There was a rumour that he was also here in New Brighton. He went to Lulu Johnson's place. Topsy Madaka also knows, he also went to Pinky's place, Pinky Nqanono at Masangwana. He met Themba Mangqase.
Hospital, he went to Lulu, Themba Mangqase, Tango. I think I would say much about them, because they are here, I think they are the people who are going to give us details of what happened. I just wanted to highlight also this because so many things happened and I might be muddling up some of the things, but I am certain about the fact that when he left the hospital these people that I've already mentioned, were also involved.
That is why I say he had no right, he was not yet ready for that, that is why I say he was naughty. Those children are here amongst us. I always sympathise with them when I see them, Alotha and Skomboza are those children. He left them whilst they were very young. You said I must speak the truth so I am trying to do so.
With the second child he had already been poisoned. This poison was always mentioned by Nieuwoudt when he was threatening the others like he would say we will torture you and do as we have done with Siphiwo. Those children are amongst us here, they struggle to make ends meet. I can say their mothers are now married.
MRS MTIMKHULU: Commission I'd like to say, honourable Commission, if you have a partner and then you had a relationship and then that lady gets married, it would be said the gentleman's hand is very comfortable and proper because it was regarded as luck to get married.
I am worried because those children are now struggling. The son is staying with the grandparents in Cape Town, he is working as a domestic worker, he is still staying with the mother. He is still working as a domestic parent, the grandmother is the sole breadwinner and is looking after this child.
I am also unemployed, we would just like to thank God for our survival. The second one is doing standard 10, Alotha. She is staying with her mother and the mother is now married, but she is still looking after her child.
Skomboza is maintained by the grandmother and also his mother. We do not know what is going to happen to them because they might be exposed to insults because they have attended their father's hearing. I am very glad to see these people. We don't have much to do now, we will die tomorrow, that is why we request that some assistance should be given to those children.
I am sure if Siphiwo was alive, he could have done his bit. (tape starts) ... I am certain that he used to like education. I know he was involved in the struggle, he even died for it, he never turned his back. Although there are some people who are liers, he was never a liar.
But I would request that because the Commission, it is said to be the Truth Commission, I'd like it to assist us. Dumisa, we know that you have experience with the struggle. I've heard a lot about you. As it has been said that this is the Truth Commission, I wouldn't say anything to the Commission to say that I would like them to do this for me, probably they may not meet my demands.
Because there were people who were able to send interdicts to prevent us from giving evidence. As we are here today I would like to say to you, you are the people who would use your discretion to look after all those who have been orphaned, those who have been widowed and those who have lost their children.
I would like to say to you there is no price that we can say that it would pay for the loss of our loved ones. The last thing I would like to say is Dirk Coetzee and Mamasela who are both perpetrators and evils, if they can just show us the bones of my child I would be grateful.
Where did they leave the bones of my child? Where did they take him from Port Elizabeth, who handed him over to them? Where did they take him to? What did they do to him? How? I hope you are writing what I am saying, because I want it to be scribbled as I am saying it. Is it being written?
MRS MTIMKHULU: All right. I'd like to speak directly to you then. I'd like what I have said to be stated as I have mentioned. Who handed him over to them, what did they do to him, and where did they leave him?
Because I could realise that they were so cruel and mean and scrupulous that they shot him, they were not satisfied they poisoned him, they were not satisfied again, they didn't get satisfied Archbishop, about the poisoning.
Although they have already killed him, physically and mentally, they have done a lot to my child. They were so mean, but I would like them Mamasela or Dirk or whoever, Nieuwoudt and all his team, I don't know because now he is a prisoner, I'd like them to bring Siphiwo's remains, or they can just go and direct me to where they have buried his bones.
MR NTSEBEZA: Thank you very much, Mama. We would like to find out - are you still ready for the questions or do you think that we should try? Any way we are looking into the matter. Mama, we would like to get the evidence and the testimony of the others so that we can handle the questions on everybody as said, what you would like to hear.
We will call Mbuyiselo Madaka to the stand. Mr Madaka, we are going to ask questions from you now. Fortunately you were here, you heard what Mrs Mtimkhulu said. We would like you to tell us about yourself, who you are and what you know about this issue, how you can help us to get an idea of what happened to him. I leave it to you.
MR MADAKA: Mr Ntsebeza, I would like to answer your questions very clearly. I have a problem though, my problem is that I may not be able to help you because people who were there at the time, my parents, if they were here, they would give a better description.
Because I wasn't here when this happened. People here say we were refugees, I hate the word refugee, but that is a fact, I wasn't here at the time. My information about that disappearance is very scant. Unfortunately also Topsy's son is here, his name is Amadla Gawethu, but he prefers to be called Gawethu.
If he could help, but unfortunate for him he was still very young at that time, he didn't understand clearly what was happening. As far as I am concerned, I am in the dark, completely. I hope though that my comrades here who were friends of Topsy at the time, will clear things for us to
the extend that they know and the request that Mrs Mtimkhulu has made that Dirk Coetzee should come and testify, that would also help to me, because my younger brother's son is looking to me as an uncle. He hopes that I may have better information.
I am glad the information is here because it will help him as well so that this thing is clarified. The little that I know is what I read from the newspapers. I was at the campus at the time, this was 1983, if I am not mistaken. I was studying.
I was, it was 1983. I was reading about the disappearance of Siphiwo and Topsy and a newspaper called Newsbriefing. In my opinion at the time, because I was at the camp, I thought maybe the thing got so hot for them that they decided to leave the country. I know that from my own experience, because it was too hot for me and then I jumped the country. And then after some time, I wasn't thinking about this. Chris Hani came to our camp.
And I went to Chris and I said Chris, what do you know about these young boys because I read that they are no more in South Africa and Chris answered no, I don't know much. There is no report that I have in Lesotho, if they had gone to Lesotho I would have got an report.
But I know that, because I once saw them. They used to come, this time they haven't come, but we will also investigate if they are somewhere or if they are not anywhere to be seen, we will let you know.
That is as far as I know. There is nothing else that I know about their disappearance, except to get this bit from this one and another bit from that one. That will then be explained by people who were close to Topsy and we will
MR MADAKA: I don't like to dream. I am not a dreamer, I've dreamt a lot and that humbled me. Maybe I will express my wishes and they turn out to be complexed issues for the Commission to effect. In my opinion I would like the Commission to state what they are able to do and what they are unable to do, then we will grab that as our hope so that if that doesn't happen, then we'll say well, at least they have tried.
materialise, I get disappointed. Then I start cursing even the Commission and say the truth they are talking about is questionable, but I would like the Commission to tell me how much they can do for me, then I'll hold onto that.
MR NTSEBEZA: That's a bit difficult, that is a bit difficult, that is why we say what we can do is something that is within our ability, but we would like to hear what people wish for. As I say, you've just said that you don't want to dream, but there are certain things. Sometimes miracles do happen.
You may say something that is just a dream and then you'll find it materialise. We would just like to know, if you had your way, what would you wish to happen because we will use that as a point of departure and then we see if that can be effected, because even from this case there are certain things that were brought up.
I said earlier I don't want to be a dreamer, but I'll express those wishes, but they are not very different from those expressed by Mrs Mtimkhulu, but they will sound as if they are not coming from me as such. That is why I say I don't want to be a dreamer.
I associate myself with what Mrs Mtimkhulu said about Siphiwo's case. I've also mentioned that Topsy also had a child, it is somewhere at school, I don't know what class he is doing. It is one of the NT something and his mother is here. She wishes that her son could proceed with his education like everyone else, however, everyone has a problem.
I do not have the ability to help financially, because I can describe myself just as a victim of sorrow. A victim of sorrow is those people who used to be involved in the struggle and they would reminiscence about those days and then they said oh, friend, do you remember those days when we were in detention, then I say, okay let's buy him a beer.
The other point I would like to raise is that there is this issue of the car that has been mentioned. This car is always mentioned and it is as if my uncle and Gawetu's mother, they tried to look for this car. They went to Westbank, and Westbank asked them to go and fetch it and there were problems there again. They couldn't get it.
And so it ended up like that, so if a death certificate can come maybe that will release the pressure and the attempts to get the car, maybe we can succeed. Because Gawetu might feel that he has been cheated, has been taken advantage of because of his father's death.
As far as the bones are concerned, we would like to have them. We would like to have those remains and have a funeral ceremony, because there is something that I always say at home, I don't like the word disappearance. I don't like it at all, because if we were to accept that, then we would never get the remains.
There is no one that will turn into some air, that is a myth, you can't even tell the children that someone has turned into some air, we need those remains. I believe that the people who did what they did to them, know where the bones are.
So it is very nice that we have people like Dirk Coetzee and those are the people who can give us a direction in this connection. Maybe the Commission in that regard can also help and then DNA tests maybe could be done on the bones, because we wouldn't like to have bones that are said to be our relatives bones, only to find that it is someone
MR MDITSHWA: I'd like to greet you all first of all, the Archbishop and the Commission and Presiding Officer, comrades, PE community, my aunt and my uncle. The task I've been given may not be performed very well, especially talking after my aunt and Mbuyiselo, for the way they spoke and the way the spoke the language, Xhosa.
My task is a collective one. The views that are going to be expressed here, are those of the collective that worked with Siphiwo from 1977. The collective have given me enough, have given me the scope to speak as much as I can, because I worked with Siphiwo since 1977 to 1985.
I'd like to add here, when I explain here we agreed that I should put this paper aside and explain that when we talk about Siphiwo and the comrades with whom he worked and things that were happening in Pedi at that time, I should
COSAS in the Executive and other organisation with which COSAS were. The way in which we worked with comrade Topsy Madaka, I would just like to say at the outset, that as his elder brother said, as Mbuyo said in the struggle, he was very cooperative.
Topsy, we knew through Mbuyo Madaka who is the person we used to work with and we got used to Topsy because we used to hold our meetings at his home and he would help us with things like transport from time to time wherever there was some help we needed for transport, he would help us as Mrs Mtimkhulu has explained.
In 1977 when he joined the South African Students' Movement, SASM at Xhozakile High School, in the same year Steve Biko died and Siphiwo was amongst the students and the youth who attended his funeral.
With the exception of two, they were all acquitted. I think it is very important to explain that to give a background to this detention of 477 students. Ten student activists were detained and held at Algoa Park police
Now when they were brought to Algoa Park police station where they were held in fact in front of our cells. They were held there overnight, they sang - for us, there were 10 of us held in this one particular cell - and these comrades entertained us overnight.
The police would come from time to time using a hausepipe, they would use a hausepipe to whip them, haling abuses from time to time, because this 477 comes up from time to time. They came up in another statement, I think it needs to be explained at bit further.
Now after we were released after five months from Section 10, we continued with our activities with Siphiwo and his comrades. In 1978 when the late Robert Suboko passed away, he was one of the activists who organised busses to Graaff Reinet to attend the funeral.
Later that very year, a trial which was initially held in Port Elizabeth was transferred to Humansdorp. This was referred as a state versus Mialeza and others which is the first ANC post-trial in the Eastern Cape.
Now this trial received a lot of publicity and Siphiwo together with his comrades, assisted those families for over 11 months, helping, giving those families support, organising transport when in fact the special branch decided to move the trial from Port Elizabeth to Humansdorp.
transport costs and other necessary costs, so means were made and these comrades played a very important role to make sure that those families were ferried between Port Elizabeth and Humansdorp whenever necessary.
Together with his two comrades, Monde Mditshwa and Busim Matinga, Siphiwo was detained and subsequently charged with wearing a SASO T-shirt and was convicted. This was mentioned in aunty's statement. We may also point out that SASO was a banned organisation at that time.
On the day of the aforesaid arrest it was the same Presiding Officer at the Ngeleza case, that is the Magistrate Mr PP Loodts, who ordered that uniform policemen to effect the arrest. A certain lieutenant Wilkens who was accompanied Mahote. Mahote was a special branch who accompanied lieutenant Wilkens were despatched to Humansdorp to detain the aforementioned comrades.
They were later held separately at Kabeka police station, the (indistinct) and Walmer police station. I was also, as I've mentioned earlier on, we wanted also to draw the attention of this Commission and to also tell this house that for instance the mentioning of this Magistrate Mr PP Loodts who was supposed to be a senior Magistrate that time, between 1977 and 1985, most of the trials were presided by this Magistrate.
He was known for being cruel, he was known for being very insensitive. He was known for dismissing defence witnesses as liers from time to time. Some of the comrades who are sitting here as well as mentioned, Siphiwo himself appeared before this Magistrate twice. I also had an opportunity to meet this Magistrate twice.
decided that we were laughing at him, he stopped. And in the process of looking at us, he saw Siphiwo's T-shirt and immediately called the police, the uniform police and he asked them to arrest Siphiwo immediately.
When we intervened and wanted to find out what was happening, why was Siphiwo being arrested, under what law, we demanded to know, and PP Loodts also demanded that we be arrested because we were interfering with the course of justice or law.
So we were detained together with Siphiwo. His name will come up a number of times, when a number of comrades were arrested or sentenced. So I was asked to mention this point because a number of cases, a number of convictions that took place in Mr PP Loodts' court, perhaps some of them may need to be examined.
And most cases I don't remember in fact the comrade who was acquitted in PP Loodts case, and in most cases people were given the severest sentences. During the same year Siphiwo was found in possession of a inauguration speech prepared by the late Robert Sobukwe and was convicted.
Because of his strong character, he protected the friend from whom he had obtained the speech and sacrificed until the bitter end. And because he was under age that time, Siphiwo was convicted but he was given lashes.
COSAS played an active role in the formation of other organisations, helped for instance towards the formation of PEWU, that is the Port Elizabeth Women's Organisation, it also helped in the development, in the formation of Unions like MAKUSA, PESCO. COSAS was also involved in activities and was also taking interest in those.
This was (indistinct) and found an expression in a theme building a relationship between Siphiwo and some workers. Now this time we will remember that during 1979, 1980 it was here in Port Elizabeth that for the first time the alliance between students, workers and civic organisations was established. This spread to other parts of the country.
In fact this bore fruit and we will see later on how this alliance between students, whenever for instance there were boycotts, remember the boycotts, there was a meat boycott at one time, Wilson boycott, Fatti's and Monis boycott, the students were there at all times. They were supporting the workers and visa versa.
And whenever students had problems, the workers were there to support them from time to time. Relations with the (indistinct) which was headed by the likes of reverent Phillip Phemba, reverent Haja, reverent Soqa and reverent Paqa, who were very helpful and assisting COSAS whenever necessary or whenever COSAS approached these reverends that
People are aware, sitting in this hall, that during those times the pressure that we were getting from the special branch, the harassment, it was very difficult at times to get halls whenever students wanted to meet or the community wanted to meet. And this kind of reverends would make their churches accessible to COSAS.
The State was convinced that COSAS was the brainchild of the ANC. During the 1980 students' boycott, students decided to form a new students' body, which was named the PE Students' Committee, that is PESCO.
This was necessary as stated by the fact that COSAS was already under the constant eye of the security police and was seen as a hawk. PESCO was specifically formed to spearhead the boycott until students scants demands were met.
As the part of the onslaught by the State, there was a deployment of a senior police officer, one Colonel Gerrit Erasmus. Now I think it is important to mention that in 1979 when the then Colonel Goosen who used to be heading this region, was transferred to Pretoria, he was replaced by one Colonel Gerrit Erasmus from Pretoria.
More vicious but somehow tactful methods were devised and employed to suppress any political activity. The security police started to frame activists. For instance planting dagga on activists. Planting of bullets and ammunition on houses of activists.
And they would claim that they were found there. In fact in my case, when my home was raided by the same Nieuwoudt, Roelofse, Tungata and them, they planted bullets in the house, they ransacked the house, they tore the ceiling, they tore the floor, they brought in dogs under the pretence that they were told that there were ammunition in the house.
I think it is also important to mention that during that time comrades we were working with who were senior to us, who would from time to time give us guidance and advice also (indistinct) The same situation, now I am referring to - we used to call him comrade H, comrade Dashe and comrade Mopspighane and these are the comrades who helped the political development at that time.
These are the comrades we used to go to whenever we had problems, whenever we needed advice from time to time. Or if you didn't have bus fare, these comrades would be there ready to assist or explain for instance explain, give an analysis of what was happening at that time in Port
In 1980 there was a swoop of students' leadership who were removed and locked away in Benoni and Broederstroom. The idea was to try and kill the student boycott and also to demoralize and divide the student body. Siphiwo happened to be amongst those who were left behind.
They continued to press for inter alia the release of detained colleagues and the recognition of SRC structures in schools. The students' struggles bore fruit in that the State had to give in by releasing the detained students and SRC's were recognised at schools.
In 1981 COSAS planned an anti-Republic campaign. This entailed a three day stay away. A rendezvous which was held at this very venue, the (indistinct) hall, the public burning the SA old flag, public walls were painted with graffiti and other sporadic activities ensued.
MR NTSEBEZA: Could you please keep quiet. Could you please keep quiet, people please. I just want to make your request, as far as I am concerned, I think what you should do is just put aside this paper, because you wrote this with your comrades, you know what is written there.
You are not in court here. Order. I just want to suggest that you are not in court here, you shouldn't worry about that if you miss the dates, you mix the dates, we are not interested in that, we just want the gist of what you are explaining. Just, or give this piece of paper to Lulu and then continue as you remember this and summarise it in Xhosa as you remember it.
MR MDITSHWA: Thank you Chairperson. I am glad the comrades have made the suggestion. I also believe that this democracy in this and people want it to be given in Xhosa. As I've explained Chairperson in 1981 it is important that I should explain that around 1981 because the Chairperson asked from my aunt here about the 31st of May 1981 - the day Siphiwo was shot at.
On the 31st of May 1981 the Boers - it was clear that the Boers were very cross because there were pamphlets that were distributed very early on the morning of that day - 31st of May 1981 and that time the Boers were celebrating the so-called Republic Day. It was the 20th anniversary of - and the pamphlets were distributed, the ANC pamphlets were distributed early in the morning calling for a stay away which we've already mentioned.
And the Boers then unfortunately one of our comrades who was distributing pamphlets with us was arrested and then the Boers Nieuwoudt, Tungata and Roelofse and Wilkins and others, they raided homes of the comrades who were involved trying to check where we were. And the slogans were filling all the walls in PE calling for the stay away.
That night it was clear because they left similar messages in different places that if our parents do not hand us over to get us and hand over to the police wherever the police meet us, they would shoot us.
Now when we look back we're looking at what's happening at this time, it was clear for the comrades that there was some truth because the way they worked was very ruthless and comrades organised that comrade Siphiwo and Vusi Matigqiwa and myself should be taken away and away from PE so that we could go to live in Johannesburg for a while, but what
happened unfortunately where we were hiding, the three of us, Siphiwo that night he had a pair of boots which he had kept with another comrade, so he wanted these boots because he said it would be cold in Johannesburg, so he went with Vusi Matigqiwa and another comrade Mondi Spaya and we waited for them anxiously because things were bad.
Special branch were filling the place, there was a kombi which was called Fleetline which would be filled with Special branch people. It was all over the place and we decided we shouldn't go out, but when these comrades didn't come back until eleven, we started being anxious and apprehensive and this comrades Vusi Matigqiwa and Mondi Spaya came back and said comrades, things are bad.
Siphiwo has been shot at, Siphiwo has been shot at the square, at the Njole square and so we went out to look for Siphiwo at Njole square. And we looked for Siphiwo, looked for Siphiwo and we couldn't get him and we asked in the neighbouring houses and they said no, no one had seen Siphiwo.
And we heard the following morning that they did hear some shots and they saw him being chased by the police and then he was arrested. I think it is important that I should explain what happened in 1981, because that is the day I left PE.
I think it is also important that we explain because it is clear that in many things the name that always comes out is the name of Nieuwoudt and the other Boers. For instance Nieuwoudt between 1977 in the Boer Special branch, Nieuwoudt was in the lower ranks of the Special branch. If you know how the Special branch works - most of the Blacks are Constables and the first ranks amongst the Boers would be
And there were some who were there superiors like Du Plessis and others, Hattingh and so on and so on. But we should explain it is clear that Nieuwoudt was not alone, he was not the only dog at Sanlam who was hitting people and torturing people, there were big brains behind like Roelofse who was the think tank who planned interrogations, but when the time came for hitting people, then Nieuwoudt would appear because he was stupid.
MR NTSEBEZA: I want to remind you, let's not spoil the day. I said the other day when we were talking, let's not make this a rally, let's not turn this into a rally. Let's not spoil but we want to have a dignified ceremony here. Something that is very dignified and I accept that there are times when we just feel like clapping, but let's do it in a careful way so that we don't spoil the proceedings. I don't want this to degenerate into undignified, please. Thank you.
REVD TUTU: Before I start Lulu, I just want to ask you to be brief. Just wrap up the statement given by Monde, because we still have two more people. We're hoping we will be finished with you by lunch time. We must call Lulama to testify, that is (indistinct) and then lastly Tango Lamani,
MR JOHNSON: Between 1982 and 1982 COSAS found itself reviving itself into an organisation which would take care of the students activities and Siphiwo was part of that process. In the promotion of the development of the organisation because at that time because of the conditions of oppression at the time, it was an organisation that people did not want to associate with.
People who should have been members of that students, therefore. Under those conditions, in spite that the Boers did not forget about the objectives of COSAS and what its strategies were, so it became clear that the students whose leaders were leaders like Andile, were arrested.
To make the case strong, Nieuwoudt tried to run around and cooked up some statements which accused - alleging that some comrades would testify on the side of the police. People like Mntwung who were subpoenaed to appear in court, but they refused to. We will remember that they were (indistinct) and Twaungu, because they refused to testify they were arrested.
Security Act, that's when a lot of leaders, comrades in COSAS were interrogated and the police who were involved were Tungata, Mtsitsi, Du Plessis, Van Wyk, Bezuidenhoudt, Hattingh, Mene, Faku, Gododuka, Nieuwoudt, Roelofse, Nodenis.
They were released in 1985 after some time. I am just trying to say briefly comrades, to paint, to draw the picture of the conditions of those times. Conditions that - in which Siphiwo were contributing in the struggle for liberation. This condition continued of COSAS being harassed.
It was intensifying and it was clear that there was a systematic planning - mostly someone, a gentlemen Mr Ebenezer, they came with some plans, very well planned, strategies to destroy COSAS. Amongst the victims there was Lulu Johnson, who was president of COSAS at the time, Monopadela who was a journalist, he was also an activist at the time. Xovisa Vapi was a COSAS activist and Mrs Ivan Xina, who was a member of the Port Elizabeth organisation.
In 1985 COSAS of which Siphiwo was still a member and working, this was banned. COSAS was banned because of its activities. Under those conditions it became clear that the banning of COSAS did not silence the comrades because the comrades organised a boycott. The Minister of Law and Order, Louis Le Grange, through newspapers and television he banned that protest march and at that time if you remember correctly, here in New Brighton all entries to New Brighton
And police were all over and this led to the intensification of harassment of COSAS and this all came to a point where the 14th of April, because it took another 10 since 1982 that COSAS officially declared that day as the day of Mtimkulu, a day which was adopted by COSAS and after some time it became clear that this was not really acted upon, but this was the decision that was taken.
In conclusion Chairperson, maybe also another point that may invite questions, we tried to draw a picture of how we as comrades who were members of COSAS and comrades who are members of COSAS now, we want to make a plea to the TRC that these characteristics, these points should be taken into consideration. They should be addressed and investigated.
(tape starts) ... the return of the property of COSAS which was taken by the Boers must be returned to the rightful owners, COSAS. Secondly investigation should be embarked upon with regard to the killing, the mysterious killing of people who were members of COSAS.
And if we can set right from Siphiwo and Topsy Madaga we will mention Xolani Wonci who was shot at by a policeman called, who is still called Sergeant Baceqazi Tungata, he was killed. Tungata today whom we still know is still an employee of the South African Police Service at Kabega Park police station.
Secondly the fall of Lungile Tabalaza from the fourth floor of Sanlam which led to his death, which was the circumstances his death which to us are mysterious, should be investigated. We know how far the case went, it didn't go any far, that is the case of Lungile Tabalaza.
Furthermore Xolile Maneli who was placed in Port Alfred under very mysterious conditions. We discovered after some time that he had died, and we buried him. Furthermore comrade Mzwandile, whose surname we can't remember who used to live at Madala, New Brighton, who after he was sentenced to two years and six months (indistinct) it was reported by the police, after six months it was reported by the police that he had committed suicide.
There should be an investigation as to what happened to Mzwandile, because many comrades know him, that there was just a few of us who were trying to gather all this information without going deep into what his surname is, but the surname is known.
Malawu Nqokwana who also was residing at Qamlana, who disappeared mysteriously in 1978. Comrade Mobs Gqirana who also disappeared mysteriously towards the end of 1982. We as people who were members of COSAS and together with the present members of COSAS - we have a request that many students at Phakamisa secondary school were killed by the Tungata's, Stanford's, Mene was there, (indistinct) was there, Faku was there, Codoka was there, Matsitsi was there also.
Two of these policemen, Tungata and Mene were sentenced to seven years and twelve respectively, yet in spite that it didn't take long before they were seen in the streets as free men although they were sentenced to seven and twelve years respectively.
lost their loved ones under mysterious circumstances should come forward and give their views and whatever they know to the Truth Commission. They should go to the Itamaza office (indistinct), that is the conclusion of my statement, thank you.
REVD TUTU: Order please, order. We are going to take a lunch break and hope that very soon after the lunch break we will be able to conclude this special hearing. The other people do not understand when they are requested to do something.
Are there no policemen at the door? Nobody should go out please. Again, mostly it is - there are two or three people who want to spoil this. I am still requesting you and I am appealing to you that you should please behave yourselves.
Could you please abide by the request. What we are handling now as ordered by the President of this country and we need to do our work under the proper conditions. We know that this is a big crowd and we know the same magnitude of people was highly affected and deeply affected by what happened previously when this case had not been handled.
MR NTSEBEZA: I might be having shortcomings, but we are here now to continue with the presentation. I would like you to give us details. Could you please switch on the microphone. We would like to know during the period when you were arrested, and when you were arrested you were arrested at the same time when Siphiwo was arrested.
As I understand here you can see that you have been going in and out the prison, you also have your own account to give us information, but today we would like to mention that there are things that can give us some guidance.
I think the Whites didn't know who was the person that they were looking for. There was a pamphlet which was distributed, it was from the ANC organisation. They got into the bus, the police that is and then they tried to identify the people. I understand they didn't know me so as they were looking through, they were see that they couldn't identify me, so we all had to alight from the bus and then we were ordered to write our names.
So I gave them incorrect particulars so that they could not identify me. The other thing is that I was protecting myself from being arrested and they wanted to go and search. I had already started giving my particulars. They were confused about the addresses which were written there and they felt that everybody should be arrested so that they could get the truth. That is where the whole commotion started.
There was a person amongst us who said he cannot be arrested for nothing, he is going to identify the person that he knows that the police is looking for. He was instructed to identify this person. He pointed me out.
Then I just laughed, because I knew that the game is over. Roelofse and Nieuwoudt came to me and they were angry that I was playing hide and seek. Du Plessis came in later, he had a lot of pamphlets in a plastic bag and said I must take one of the parcels. I just said I won't do that
I forgotten the name of the person to whom I had been handed over but it was a dark person and a Black person. He said Bangani, I am now afraid of you. What have you gotten yourself into? After a short period of time the White personnel came in and they said I must do some exercises.
I refused to lay down as they instructed me. Nieuwoudt and the others struggled to take me and force me to lay down. They grabbed me and they overpowered me. Thereafter they put electric wires through me and then I was given electric shocks. I was forced to admit that I know these pamphlets.
I kept on denying anything about them. Du Plessis asked me one question, he said is there anybody who knows you? I said yes, a lot of people know me because my sister was also amongst them in that bus. He said damn it, so I could realise that something was wrong.
This is not what he wanted to hear. After a few days I was informed that Siphiwo had been arrested and was also shot. They also said he had died and then they said before he died he said there were two boxes which were in my room and then I said, okay if the person is going to die, he says anything so I cannot deny that he could have said so.
plastic. At a later stage I was taken away from the cells, I was being tortured several times, but I could hear that there was the sound of bottles, apparently they were enjoying themselves, taking some drinks.
At a later stage they said they were going out to fetch Siphiwo. It was not long that I realised that we might have been recorded. After a short period of time they rushed in. I was taken to another room and there was a big tape recorder as I had suspected.
We were accommodated in one cell, but after a time I was singled out and put into another cell. After a short period of time I was taken back to a cell where there were other people. I saw one, two, Siphiwo and Jantolo.
Du Plessis said I am tired of all this now. I won't send you to Robben Island so that you can come back full of tricks, the only thing that I am going to do is to make sure that you should all be killed and we would make as if you had been assaulted by the thugs or you would disappear permanently.
After some time they brought the cameras and then we were ordered to hug these police. It was said we should smile and hug these policemen. They were going to take photo's. The four of us did that and then he said, I want to release you.
MR BANGANI: It Mpumile Jantolo, Wanto Zenzile who was the President of the COSAS and Siphiwo. One Black policeman was called in, I cannot remember his name. He addressed Siphiwo and asked what did he want. Be asked what would he like to have and he said he would like to have some chicken, he started inciting and said it was not a hotel.
He said he would like a special hamburger and pure orange juice. He asked the same question to Jantolo and he ordered the same, he asked Wanto. Wanto said he wanted curry and rice and pure orange juice and then he asked me and I said I wanted the same order as Siphiwo.
After a few minutes they brought some food and we were ordered to eat quickly because we were about to be released. And then we were asked what type of a car we would like to ride in. There was another car which belonged to Roelofse and Nieuwoudt, we said we wanted to be transported in it.
Each one of us could identify the car that he wanted to be taken. I said I don't know, I would like to go in whichever car but Momberg was ultimately the one who escorted me home. Du Plesses escorted another one.
Tango, you didn't give me a statement, now you've created a problem for me but as I can see you are going to enlighten us on the issue of the disappearance just very briefly so that we should move forward.
I left my place and went to Masangwana. Masangwana, there is a house there where we used to meet as COSAS comrades. It was not the only one, it was one of the houses in the township that we used for our meetings and then where we used to hang around.
And they asked me to accompany them to the hospital. I said to Siphiwo why don't you go with Topsy because Topsy is your friend? He has always been taking you there, so what's the problem today? Siphiwo in his answer said because Topsy is an insurance employee, he is not going to be able to bring him back, but he could just take time off from work just to take him to the hospital.
He just said that I should get someone to come with me so that some person could help in looking for transport back. That's how I came to go with them to the hospital. So the three of us went to the Livingstone Hospital and comrade Topsy dropped us there.
Siphiwo on this day was going for his treatment at the hospital. When comrade Topsy dropped us, we went into the hospital. Then he met the Doctor, got the treatment, everything that he had to get. When they completed he asked for a phone from one of the nurses he knew, because he knew some nurses there, because he wanted to phone to arrange for transport to bring us back.
When he couldn't get Mrs Blackburn, he left a message and said they should tell Mrs Blackburn that he phoned. The second place that we phoned was Chiky Watson's place. The Watson brothers had a clothing shop in town, they were also friends of Siphiwo. He phoned them for transport, for help with transport.
So in other places we couldn't get through by phone. On a set time we got through to the Union's office in (indistinct), which were next door to the COSAS offices and we had a working relationship with this Union at the court chambers.
The answer that we got was that there was transport from town to the township, but comrades we won't be able to come to (indistinct) and Livingstone, if possible you could try and get something to take you to town and then you'll get transport to the township.
So Siphiwo and I tried, he was not in a wheelchair, he was using a walking stick, so we went to the gate and the Livingstone Hospital and then got a lift to town and they dropped us as the Markosa offices. Indeed we got the transport from Markosa to the township.
Siphiwo didn't go home to Zwede. We had an arrangement that we would be dropped at New Brighton and go to Masangwe, because even that same evening there was going to be a meeting in that same house, in this hall which was organised by community organisation here.
There was going to be a singer from overseas, Milly Jackson who was defying the boycott of South Africa, so there was a meeting that was organised for people which were going to discuss the boycott of Milly Jackson's show.
MR BANGANI: Sister Pinky Mangazeli is the owner of the house as I said there were a couple of houses that we were using as comrades. Pinky Mangazeli had given us this house for us to use for our meetings. She didn't stay there all the time, but she let us use the house. So when they found the comrades from COSAS and we sat there and talked and chatted in preparation for the gathering here at St Naro.
In the evening we left Masangwana as a group of comrades, it was six of us, six or five. Lulu was there, Lulu Johnson was there. Themba Mangqase was there ... (tape starts) we were walking back to Masangwana because that's where we used to stay.
We went down Chekiza. At the Mbizwena square at Mantunto's shop we went into the shop and bought some food at Mantunto's shop. We bought bread, brown bread, a brown loaf, some meat and cool drink, a bottle of cool drink.
As we were buying, Siphiwo said comrades, I am tired of this meat and bread, I would like to get some hot food and food that I can use with a spoon. We have been taking meat and bread for too long and we said we will take the bread and then comrade Lulu Johnson, because his home was nearer, said Siphiwo I think it is too late, I think they have already had their supper at home.
I think we can go to my place and then we can share my plate and so they agreed on that. Lulu - we all agreed on that. Lulu Johnson would take Siphiwo with him for them to go and share his supper. Towards Gumlana where Lulu and Siphiwo were going to branch of he said comrade Topsy is coming at Nasangwa. Just tell him I am here at Lulu's place, he must come and fetch me here. He was not going home all the time.
After a while, I can't remember if it was after the meal or if we had already finished, comrade Topsy came looking for Siphiwo and we explained to him that Siphiwo said you'd get him at Lulu's place and Topsy said he didn't know where Lulu's home was and requested that one of us go and show him.
The comrades refused to go and show him, so whilst we were discussing who was going to go with Topsy, comrade Mangqase came and said that Themba should go with Topsy to Lulu's place, because Topsy want to meet Siphiwo.
DR RAMASHALA: Thank you very much for your testimony. Mrs mtimkhulu, I feel humbled and I hope my question is not going to take you back to the story. At the end of your story you asked your daughter if there was something that you didn't say and she said you covered everything.
You didn't. There are two, at least two occasions when the police came to your house looking for Siphiwo. On one occasion they kicked the doors, on another occasion they detained you for a day. I know that your testimony on your son is very important, but you'd lost over what actually happened to you.
DR RAMASHALA: Mr Madaka, if your parents were, are your parents still alive? I don't know if your parents were alive during that period, but if they were and if you have the information, it would be important for us to know what happened during that period of harassment of Topsy. So let's start with Mrs Mtimkhulu.
MRS MTIMKHULU: During that period when the police came and kicked the doors at my place, we were deeply affected by what they were doing because we were still suffering from the pain when we lost our son, we didn't even knew what happened to our son.
We didn't like the way in which they approached us, they would come during the night and they would frighten my children terribly. They used to come almost daily and you would always be anxious and frightened and you wouldn't know what was going to happen next because they would just come rushing to your house, throw stones and do every horrible thing that they could think of.
Each time they came there would be a rumble of cars and then at times they would come armed. This used to terrorise us quite a lot and for quite a long time. Especially that my husband was old, he was deeply affected and this affected his health. We had to receive medical attention all the time because of the emotional affect of this harassment.
My husband is suffering from high blood pressure, he had to be admitted as he was suffering from heart failure. Even now if he complains about anything which is affecting him, he would always mention that he cannot even lift up his leg.
My children were also affected. At times when we - they are looking in the old albums, you will see them crying when they see my son. If you see one of them crying and ask why are they crying, he would always say I don't know what would happen to us and when will we know what happened to our brother.
Let me go further to the second question. During the day when we were taken to Sanlam, I was preparing to go to the women's union gathering. It was on a Thursday, because usually we go to church on Thursdays and then I requested this person to take me the following day to Sanlam.
And then he said no, you are wanted now. So I had to take off the uniform and then I went along with this person. I would lie, they just interrogated me. As I have said before, they used to show me photograph's and also wanted me to identify my son and I would also ask them questions.
We would exchange questions time and again and they would always promise me that they would assist me because they sympathise with me because I lost my son. They always said they have a hope to find him.
Because they knew that they had skills to search for a person, they kept on saying I should tell them when I get a clue. Not one of us could get Siphiwo. I think our attempts were futile because nobody ever came back to say, or contact one another to say I've got this clue or have you heard this.
Tungata had never even come, because they were the people who were enjoying the situation at the time. They would just come and interrogate me and they would never say they have a clue about my son or whatever.
The only thing that they would ask is did I have anything to say about my son's disappearance. So I'll just answer in whatever manner that I felt that it was proper at the time. I don't know whether I've answered your question.
MR MADAKA: I have some difficulty in answering your question because I've stated before my situation, but I am going to tell you something that I think it is hearsay. I was staying with my mother, she was suffering from diabetes.
My father was working in the Transkei so he just came occasionally at our place. During the time when I was still here, Roelofse and Nieuwoudt would always come and harass us and my parents were accustomed to this situation.
Probably Nieuwoudt and Roelofse can be regarded as people who were stupid. They would stand for quite a long time at our place and they would be guarding our place, so my father knew that he was under police surveillance and he was very happy about that, because he knew that nothing would happen to his place, because the police were always there.
But at the same time I can see paradoxically this disturbed him a lot. I think when I crossed the borders, the situation changed a bit, there was an improvement, because the police stopped coming to my place.
What I can say is that my father experienced a lot of pain because there are only two of us, so he regarded himself as having only one son because I was devoted to the struggle, so I went on exile and then he regarded himself
So my father was disturbed about the whole situation. But the mere fact that he didn't know where I was and the people used to tell me that he was blind and he became deaf and I think he was affected by the stress under which he was exposed to.
DR BORAINE: The statement made by Mr Lamani, right at the very end, he mentioned that a certain Themba arrived and to accompany Topsy to Lulu's house. I understand that Themba is on the stage now, is that correct? I would like to or Mr Ntsebeza would like to ask you just very brief question. Are you agreeable to that?
But I think what Mr Lamani said we would just like to find out a few things about his story. Your colleague says the last time when he saw the late is when the two gentlemen said they were going to Lulu's place. Can you please take it from there?
I got there during that argument and it was suggested that I should accompany him. We went together using Topsy's car. When we got there we found Siphiwo, there together with Lulu. They were having supper.
I said they should give my regards to the people at Masangwana and then I went back to Masangwana. We went along the Gamlana street, we went to the Agree streets, towards Rio. Next to Rio Siphiwo asked a question and he directed it to me. He asked me am I coming along, I said no, I won't be coming along with them because I was tired.
Siphiwo said to me, please Themba you mustn't lock the door because I'll be coming back. I'll put up at your place for the night. At times we used to sleep together and then he promised that he would be coming back.
So we didn't lock the door as we were waiting for him. The following day we realised that he didn't come back the previous night. I just thought to myself that as they were staying together in the direction of Zweti, I thought that maybe they came back from the place where they went to and then they went to Zweti.
I learnt about his disappearance late in the afternoon and I was informed that Siphiwo never reached his home. I gathered this information when there were queries and enquiries about Siphiwo's whereabouts.
REVD TUTU: Mama, and all of you, we would like to thank you very much. The Commission stated some time back that they want to give everybody an opportunity to give account of their stories no matter how painful.
You know how you were prohibited from doing so, we have already stated that the world is watching us. There are really focusing to our meeting today and I am glad to say they will never be disappointed by the Truth Commission because today we have fulfilled our promise that we will come back so that you can get an opportunity.
We heard your story, you presented it in a very dignified manner. We were really moved by your story. Everybody could remember and we were all reminded by the trials and tribulations which took place in our country.
We don't know whether the requests that you have placed in front of us, whether we will be able to fulfil them, however, we've said this several times that those people who have been talking on television, revealing whatever revelations they made, we will call them. We will call them again and say come and talk to us.