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Human Rights Violation Hearings

Type HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS, SUBMISSIONS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Starting Date 23 July 1996

Location QUEENSTOWN

Day 2

Names MONDAZI REGINA WATIZA

Case Number QUEENSTOWN

REVD XUNDU: Mrs Regina Watiza, could you stand up.

MONDAZI REGINA WATIZA: (sworn states)

XEPHU GUNUZA: (sworn states)

REVD XUNDU: The witnesses have been properly sworn in, Mr Chairman.

REVD FINCA: Thank you very much Revd Xundu.

We welcome you and we ask that you put on your earphones so that Adv Denzil Potgieter should question you on behalf of this Commission.

ADV POTGIETER: Thank you Chairperson. Mrs Watiza, I shall start with you first. Perhaps you can just indicate whether you hear the translation. Can I just confirm your surname first. What is the surname, is it Wahiza or Watiza?

MR WATIZA: Watiza.

ADV POTGIETER: Mrs Watiza, good afternoon. You've waited for a long time, the better part of the day to come and tell us your story.

Again it is a story from Molteno, not unlike the ones that we've heard just before your case and it concerns the killing of your son, Zenzile on the 27th of December 1985 again through a police shooting.

Is that correct?

MR WATIZA: Yes, it is the truth.

ADV POTGIETER: Perhaps just before we start. How old was

QUEENSTOWN HEARING TRC/EASTERN CAPE

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Zenzile when he was killed?

MR WATIZA: He was still very young at the time. He was 14 years of age.

ADV POTGIETER: Was he attending school?

MR WATIZA: Yes, he was attending school at the time.

ADV POTGIETER: And what standard was he doing?

MR WATIZA: He was in standard 4.

ADV POTGIETER: Mrs Watiza, where did the incident happen? Where was he shot and killed?

MR WATIZA: This incident occurred in the location.

ADV POTGIETER: Can you tell us how it happened, what actually happened, how did it come about that he got shot?

MR WATIZA: They were going to town, they had gone to town and when they came back, they were being chased by the policemen, then they were running.

Just behind my house I heard people making a noise, saying that there were policemen. I went out to look, then I saw my own child, I went there.

When I got there before Els, I cried and I asked - because Els could not speak and he just showed with - showed us with a rifle. I was crying and I stood in front of my child, but Els was not perturbed as I was standing in front of my child.

A neighbour came, who is Xephu Gunuza. As I was crying he went to the policemen straight and they asked them what they were doing and he asked what had the children done.

They had already shot him and killed him. At the time I was not saying anything and people were taking care of me, taking me to their house. It went on and on until it was late at night, then I asked where was my child, when I got to consciousness.

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That is when they told that my child had been taken away by the comrades and taken to a mortuary in a van.

So they had taken him there. The comrades asked Inxaba who was going to conduct the funeral, because you could see this woman was not in a position to, then Els could not tell.

Then he said we should go to jail. The comrades took me the following day and we went there to the jail. Els told us that on the day of the funeral, we should inform the jail, but there were no decisions taken by the jail people because they felt that these children were silly and this was not true.

I waited, then the comrades buried the child and it just ended there. When we put in a case against him, I went back to Queenstown and to see a lawyer and this lawyer followed the matter, they pretended as if they were doing something.

We went to court for two weeks, on the third week they stopped doing anything, it was quiet up to now.

ADV POTGIETER: Mrs Watiza, can I just go back to the shooting incident? You referred to a person by the name of Els who had a rifle. Who is that?

MR WATIZA: Els was the policeman who shot at my child, my son.

ADV POTGIETER: And was he the one that killed him?

MR WATIZA: I'm sure Els is the one who killed my son.

ADV POTGIETER: Now, were you given information about what happened? Did people tell you how the shooting incident happened?

MR WATIZA: (tape starts) ... it happened because they were chasing the children.

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ADV POTGIETER: ; That day when Zenzile was shot, earlier in that day before the shooting happened, what was the situation like in the township?

MR WATIZA: It was a calm day and it was not raining. There was no fighting that was happening.

ADV POTGIETER: In your statement, you refer to somebody who lives in the vicinity near to whose house the incident happened. A person by the name of Cape, according to the statement that we've got here, it is Gunuza, but is it the gentleman next to you, is that Mr Gunuza?

MR WATIZA: It is Gunuza.

ADV POTGIETER: Take your time Mrs Watiza, there is nothing to be concerned about. You can relax Mrs Watiza, and we are almost finished. Are you feeling better?

MR WATIZA: Yes, I feel better now.

ADV POTGIETER: Okay, we won't be long. Is it the gentleman next to you is that Mr Cape Gunuza?

MR WATIZA: Yes, it is.

ADV POTGIETER: Okay. One other thing, you went to see a lawyer. Is the lawyer's name Mr Vabaza?

MR WATIZA: Yes, it is.

ADV POTGIETER: And where is he from?

MR WATIZA: Who exactly?

ADV POTGIETER: The lawyer.

MR WATIZA: He is from Queenstown.

ADV POTGIETER: From Queenstown?

MR WATIZA: Yes.

ADV POTGIETER: Okay. The court case that you were talking about, where was that?

MR WATIZA: The court case was in Molteno.

ADV POTGIETER: And can you still remember what the case was

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about?

MR WATIZA: I don't know what the date was.

ADV POTGIETER: Did you see this Mr Els, this policeman that you referred to, at court as well? Was he charged or what was the case about?

MR WATIZA: No, he was not. What they asked him in court was what had he gone to do there at the location, so as to do what he had done.

ADV POTGIETER: Did he give any explanation?

MR WATIZA: No, he did not give any explanation to that.

ADV POTGIETER: Now, Mrs Watiza, is there anything that you want to ask the Commission to do for you?

MR WATIZA: Yes, there is. There is one child of mine who is still doing standard 7 and now I feel since that time, I am not well, I've got some heart problem, so I am asking therefor that this Commission should do something against Els, because even if anything could happen to me at the location, I could not go to him, because he knows that there was this problem we had between the two of us earlier on.

ADV POTGIETER: Have you got any idea what has happened to Els? I assume that he is no longer in Molteno.

MR WATIZA: He is still working there in Molteno.

ADV POTGIETER: As a policeman?

MR WATIZA: Yes, he is still a policeman.

ADV POTGIETER: Well, thank you for that information. Is there anything else that you wish to add to your evidence before I speak to Mr Gunuza?

C GUNUZA: Yes, there is something I would like to say. Yes, there is something.

ADV POTGIETER: All right, Mr Gunuza, you can go ahead.

QUEENSTOWN HEARING TRC/EASTERN CAPE

 
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