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Human Rights Violation Hearings


Starting Date 07 May 1997


Day 2


Case Number JB3611

CHAIRPERSON: Mrs Ramosepele, we ask Aletta Ramosepele. Aletta, can you hear well?


CHAIRPERSON: I would like you to stand up.

DR ALLY: Will you please raise your right hand.

ALETTA RAMOSEPELE: (Duly sworn in, states).

DR ALLY: The witness is sworn in, thank you.

DR RANDERA: Dr Randera will ask you some questions now.

DR RANDERA: Aletta, good afternoon. We hope you are well. Aletta, you are also from Phokeng. You have told us that you are a housekeeper and you have come to talk about your husband, Samuel Molemane Ramosepele. You are taking us to 1992, after an ANC meeting which was held at the Roman Catholic St Joseph's Church, I presume and the arrest of your husband. Can you tell us what happened after that?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: He came home at night at about eleven o'clock. When he got home, I asked him where do you come from at this time. He told me that I had been arrested Phokeng earlier. I was arrested by the police of the former Boputhatswana government, because he had a T-shirt with Kotsilibone's picture on him and he was home from a meeting. And he told me that the people who arrested him, were in a private vehicle. After this vehicle spotted him, the small car reversed and parked near him, where they put him in the car and took him to the police station.

At the police station they put him in another room and they pointed at him with a gun and they said this is your mother. They hit him with the gun butt and he was swollen on his face. He even had a wound. And then he went to a doctor and the doctor certified that he had been beaten on his heart, because thereafter he used to fall down, even at work.

One day when I came back from work, I found him laying dead. Sometimes he would be taken to the doctor during the afternoon whilst I was still not at home. And that day when I came back from work, I found him lying dead. I arranged for a funeral.

DR RANDERA: Aletta, is there anything else you want to add before I ask you some questions?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: No, there is nothing I would want to say further.

DR RANDERA: Then I would like to ask some questions. Aletta, how old was your husband when he passed away?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: He was 51 years old when he died.

DR RANDERA: And was he working before his arrest and assault?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: Yes, he was a builder before he got arrested.

DR RANDERA: Now, the meeting took place in 1992, but your husband died in 1993.

MRS RAMOSEPELE: Yes, he had a heart disease, because of the injuries he sustained when he was being beaten up. Because beforehand he was a very healthy person. Thereafter he was not even able to climb up the ladder, because he was afraid, because of his illness of falling down, he would fall down from high buildings. Then he started taking up gardening and started planting things in the garden which he sold later. And one day while he was still working in his garden, he fell down and died.

DR RANDERA: So he had no heart problem before his arrest?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: No, none at all. He was a very healthy man, a very tough man.

DR RANDERA: Did you ever lay a charge against the police?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: He went to the police because he was still alive by then.

DR RANDERA: And did he make a charge? Did he charge the police for the arrest and beatings sustained?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: I am not sure, because they referred him to lawyers and after his death I did not know what to do and I destroyed all the documents that he had with him before, because I did not think one day I would be sitting here, relating his story.

DR RANDERA: And after his death was there an inquest?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: No, there was no inquest, because I never thought that there would be some people who would follow up on what happened to him.

DR RANDERA: Your husband was a member of the ANC is that right?


DR RANDERA: And before that, was he a member of the Progressive People's Party as well?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: Yes, he was also a member.

DR RANDERA: Now, you say the only reason he was arrested was because he had a T-shirt on that had Chief Lebone's picture on it?


DR RANDERA: Do you know what the meeting was all about, that your husband had attended that day?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: No I am not sure because I was not present at that meeting.

DR RANDERA: My last question, Aletta, do you have, how many children do you have?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: I have one child.

DR RANDERA: I have no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Piet Meiring.

PROF MEIRING: I would just like to add to the last question. Your son must be twenty four years of age. Is that correct? Elvis.

MRS RAMOSEPELE: Yes that is correct.

PROF MEIRING: What standard did he achieve at school?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: He is now doing a teacher's course at Potchefstroom.

PROF MEIRING: So he wants to become a teacher?


PROF MEIRING: Do you have to support him, or can he support himself at the moment?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: Yes I am struggling to support him.

PROF MEIRING: Thank you so much.

DR ALLY: When your husband came, returned after having been arrested and assaulted, he went to see a doctor, you say?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: Yes, he used to go some doctors frequently.

DR ALLY: Do you have any way of trying to assist us to find out who these doctors are or where they were based, because in your statement you just mention them?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: One of these doctors is Mafowala.

DR ALLY: Who is based ...(intervention)


DR ALLY: He is in Rustenburg. And your husband went to go and see him as well. So he would have ...(intervention)

MRS RAMOSEPELE: Yes he used to go to this doctor.

DR ALLY: So he would have medical records of your husband?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: No, I did not keep those records. I thought it was over with the case and then I destroyed them.

DR ALLY: No, not you, the doctor, the one doctor in Rustenburg would he have medical records?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: Yes, I want to believe the doctor still have the records.

DR ALLY: Would you be able to try and get those records for us, or would you have difficulties?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: I think it would be difficult because I am working. I am only having a day off today and tomorrow.

DR ALLY: If you could leave with Zodwa who is next to you, some, this doctor's name and possibly the address maybe we can try and follow this up if this is difficult for you.

Now you say that the doctor spoke about internal bleeding as a result of the beatings, was you husband ever hospitalised when he came out? Was he sent to hospital?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: No, he was never hospitalised. He used to get treatment and get back home.

DR ALLY: And was he going regularly for treatment, once a week, once every month. Can you remember?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: He used to go once a week.

DR ALLY: And he was on medication?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: Yes, they used to give him some pills.

DR ALLY: Your husband, he stopped working, you say. Was that the advice of the doctor, or was it because he just felt that he couldn't anymore because of these dizzy spells, or was he advised for medical reasons to stop working?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: He was told by the doctor.

DR ALLY: This doctor in Rustenburg?

MRS RAMOSEPELE: Yes that is the doctor in Rustenburg. There was also another doctor here in Phokeng who was a Tswana.

DR ALLY: Thank you very much for that. If you can try and leave Zodwa with as much information as possible for us then we can try and follow this up. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Aletta for coming. We know that you work. You have asked for a day off so that you can come and present your story to us. Please try by all means to get those papers or records from the doctor so that we, on the other hand, could try and help you. We thank you.

MRS RAMOSEPELE: I also thank you.


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