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Type Mandela United Football Club Hearings
Starting Date 24 November 1997
Names TATO MOTLANA
CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. I welcome you again very warmly to this, the fourth day of this hearing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I thought there were five of you and now there are four and now there will be three and then there will be two. But good morning members of the, as you say, now defunct Mandela Crisis Committee. You know that you are still under oath and we are certain that you will assist us in delving to discover the truth and that you will do so as it were unequivocally with fairly straightforward answers so that we can allow you to stand down as quickly as possible. It is actually in your hands. Thank you very, very much. Hanif are you ready?
MR VALLY: Good morning, Arch. Yes, we are ready but I notice that the gentlemen and Sister Bernard don't have the transcripts on the desk. We will be referring both to the transcripts and Rev Storey's memo so if you just want me to quote, if you are happy with that, I don't mind.
Yesterday when we began and I quoted you from page 66 of the second section 29 I quoted the statement by Mrs Madikizela-Mandela when I asked about the report to the then president of the ANC, Mr Oliver Tambo. Her response was as follows:
"With deep regret that document is not owned even by the president, ex members of the Crisis Committee. I spoke to the present minister of safety and security Sidney Mufamadi. I spoke to Aubrey Mokoena who is the deputy speaker of the house ..."
"I spoke to Mr Aubrey Mokoena who was the deputy speaker of the house to try and establish the authenticity of the so-called document from the Crisis Committee. Both of them have no knowledge whatsoever of your fictitious document which is so obviously from Stratcom which is what they used to do and have admitted publicly. You are questioning me on a document which was not even drawn by the Crisis Committee, even during those apartheid times. You are free to access that information directly from them. They know nothing about that document and Sidney Mufamadi went so far as to say to me did I not recollect that by the time they are supposed to have issued that so-called document the Crisis Committee had already ceased to exist, it had been dissolved".
Now there was a response to it from both Mr Mokoena and Mr Mufamadi. I just want to ask some pointed questions on their response. The first question is as follows. Did what Mrs Madikizela-Mandela alleged transpired actually transpire and secondly - maybe I should get that response before I follow it up with a question.
MR MOKOENA: Chairperson, commissioners, my name is Aubrey Mokoena. Yes, that did transpire. Mama asked me that question about three weeks ago at the ANC policy conference in Midrand. That did transpire, she did ask the question. Or it could have been about - no, not three weeks because there were two conferences. The first one, ja. It could be about two months.
MR VALLY: If I could follow this up with Mr Mokoena. I want to show you a document. I thought I heard you say yesterday that the document that you were referring to as the Stratcom document was in fact the document allegedly prepared by the mass democratic movement. Is that the document which you call the Stratcom document?
MR MOKOENA: No, no, no I am not referring to the Stratcom document. I am referring to the fact that she asked me a question about the document that was purportedly issued by the Mandela Crisis Committee and in my mind I thought she was referring to the statement that emanated from the meeting which was held in Dobsonville which ultimately came up with statements, with resolutions that were hostile towards her. Now that nobody must you know deal with her et cetera, et cetera. So in my mind I thought she was referring to that document and I say that now the Crisis Committee does not own that document and we didn't engineer that meeting and that is consistent with our
MR MOKOENA: I didn't use the word Stratcom. I was referring to the fact that the document that I thought she was talking about was that one which basically was (indistinct), not this one which is part of our submission.
MR ?: I think the difficulty there is that in your response to a pointed question that was saying when a document in the section 29 enquiry was presented to Mrs Mandela she referred to that document as a Stratcom document and your response seems to say if she was saying that document was a Stratcom document she must have been referring to the Dobsonville document. Do you understand what our difficulty is? You were asked a pointed question. We presented a document to Mrs Mandela at the section 29 enquiry which we alleged was a document owned by the Crisis Committee. Do you follow? And what the question put to you was that her response to us was that you as the then Crisis Committee did not even own the document, you didn't even know about it. And what she was wanting to establish was whether her response was correct
in saying a document which we presented to her as your document was in fact not owned by you. Now your response was confusing. It certainly confused me. Because you went on to say, you were talking about two different documents and in fact she must have been referring to a document emanating from the Dobsonville meeting. Now there are two things here. Is it true that what Mr Vally presented to her as your document is that in fact your document. I heard Mr Mufamadi and he seemed to contend that that is so.
MR MOKOENA: The document that is presented here is part of our submission, it is our document. But yesterday when the question was asked I explained that when Mama asked that question she did not use the word Stratcom.
MR ?: Now our difficulty is then did you have any basis to link the question that sought to confirm whether or not she was correct in saying your document was a Stratcom document with the Dobsonville document? Where is the link between these two documents?
of Stratcom is new to me. Just like it came for the first time to us yesterday and then that caused that we should have this adjournment because we never knew that there was reference to the fact that that document was a Stratcom document.
MR MOKOENA: I didn't link it to the Stratcom document. The point I was trying to make was the fact that yes Mama asked me about that document and in my mind I thought that that document that she asked about was that one of - which was a product of a meeting which was held at Dobsonville. Which meeting troubled her because it took positions that meant that she must be isolated, et cetera, et cetera. And there was an impression created that that document was sanctioned by the Mandela Crisis Committee. So I was saying then to be consistent with our submission that document is not owned by the Crisis Committee.
MR MUFAMADI: Chairman, I want to say that I have no recollection of a discussion between myself and Mrs Mandela about the report which was written by this committee to Mr Oliver Tambo. I don't remember any discussion with her about Stratcom. If she had a discussion with anybody about Stratcom it can't have been myself.
MR MOKOENA: Can I just before you say that, I think it is important, Chairperson, to actually put it on record that this document Annexure C was produced by members of the committee, that is why we attached it here. And that in
the annexure B on page 2 the paragraph 2 from below until after they left the Mandelas' temporary Diepkloof home, both Mono and Mekgwe persistently maintained that they came to the house willingly and that they were not assaulted. A confidential letter which was sent to the then president of the African National Congress, Mr O R Tambo, does indicate that save for Katiza Cebekhulu the other two maintained this position until they left the Diepkloof house. The letter to Mr Tambo was written by members of this committee who were Sidney Mufamadi and Aubrey Mokoena and Sister Bernard. I am just using a document of 1992 because at that time we referred to the document which was this same document. And this was a public statement so it was reported publicly.
MR VALLY: We will come back to that document. All right, I want to go on to where we were when we left off yesterday. I am now looking at page 88 of the first section 29. I want to read you an extract from page 88 onwards. I am saying this in relationship to your - page 2 of your submission where you say the burning of the Mandela house and the origins of the Mandela Crisis Committee. I understood you to say that after Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's house was burnt it created an intervention by prominent members of the community who later came to be known as the Mandela Crisis Committee to try and mediate the issue and also assist in rebuilding the house. I want to put to you what Mrs Madikizela-Mandela said about this issue. On page 88 I asked the question
"What information can you give us about the attack on your Orlando West home by the Daliwonga students in February 1987?"
"I was hoping someone would come and apply for amnesty and let me know and give me included that information".
"No, my house was bombed as much as I was bombed in Brandfort. Three times. It was nothing new to me because ...."
"But in this particular case, initially at least, a number of youths from the Daliwonga school were in fact charged".
"Was it not of the burning down of your house in Orlando West that what was referred to in the early stages as the Mandela Crisis Committee and subsequently as the Soweto Crisis Committee, was formed to mediate between the Mandela United Football Club and the scholars from Daliwonga?"
"No, I know nothing about that distortion of facts. I don't know the Crisis Committee to have anything to do with the burning of the house in Orlando. That is news to me".
"When did you know about the Crisis Committee? This is now Aubrey Mokoena, Rev Frank Chikane, Sister Bernard, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, Rev Beyers Naude, Mr Sidney Mufamadi?"
"No, I think the people who formed the Crisis Committee, the way it was formed would be able to help us in that regard. I was not part of the formation".
"You yourself, when did you become aware of the existence of this group of people calling themselves the Soweto Crisis?"
"Well some community leaders just came home, I didn't even know they were in Crisis Committee. I was not formally informed there was a Crisis Committee formed, nor was I informed where it was informed".
"... by whom it was formed. A group of community leaders did visit me, although I wouldn't remember all of them".
"We will come back to that. So regarding the burning down of your house in 1988 did the Crisis Committee have nothing to do with it in terms of trying to mediate to the best of your knowledge?"
"They did come to talk to me. I wouldn't remember the details now, it is a long time ago, it was during all those difficult times anyway but there is a court record to that effect and I believe you would have access to it if you want to question us about the Crisis Committee all that is documented".
Anyway, it went on like that. The question is it appears as if Mrs Madikizela-Mandela wasn't aware that you were there to mediate between the youth in her house and the Daliwonga students. Did you make it clear to her what your proposed role was?
paragraph 6 up to paragraph 19 all of that deals with the matter related to the burning of the house and I do say there that I arrived at the house and found their house burning, felt the consequences of that would be grave and then I convened an urgent meeting of selected group of respected leaders in paragraph 9 in the community who if you look at the background I referred to yesterday were strategically placed in different organisations at that particular moment so it wasn't a random type of selection. And the main objectives of this group as I understood it at that moment, and I convened it, was to reach out to the community before midnight to stop any reaction by the community which would lead to further violent acts and possible loss of life. The second objective was to consider ways in which the Mandela house could be restored to its original state and then we indicate down that submission to say that we did brief everybody we thought would help us to understand why the house actually got burned and in the course of that debriefing we identified people who could be useful on the ground, not the national leaders but people on the ground in the area and we visited a number of houses that night, up to two o'clock in the night. But if you look at paragraph 3 subsequent to - 13, I am sorry, paragraph 13, subsequent to this a visit was also made to the Daliwonga High School as it was alleged that some of the children from the school were involved in the burning of the house. That was the reason we were trying to reach out to everybody else and the committee members had occasion with the assistance of the principal, we talked to the principal, the teachers, the SRC to allow us to address the students and we addressed
the entire student body of Daliwonga High School. The committee appealed for calm and was given an assurance that there would be no offensive action initiated from that school. We wanted an assurance because we didn't want to see more violence in that situation. If you continue with that text it then deals with the arrangements for security guards for the house. The two houses and the group which ended up being called committee managed the process of the reconstruction of the house and Mr Aubrey Mokoena...
REV CHIKANE: She knew that this group was in operation because we interacted with her. At the beginning as I said it wasn't called Mandela Crisis Committee. Later in the documents you realise it was called Mandela Crisis Committee. But we operated - it was quite an operation to - look I have a letter here from Beyers Naude for instance, a note which is sending an account to the Crisis Committee, which says you know there is an account for the security guards addressed to Frank Chikane. Frank Chikane, Mandela Crisis Committee. And it attaches the account.
DR BORAINE: Mr Chikane, I am sorry to interrupt you but really we don't need to go into all that length. All we want to know is there is an allegation that Mrs Mandela from herself didn't know about this committee and either you worked with her or you didn't. That is all we want to know. We have read your report.
REV CHIKANE: Exactly. In fact all the other issues, you know, Stompie and the young people were after the fact. This was really, the burning of the house was the reason for this group coming together. The rest of the others, as we referred in a later paragraph where other responsibilities are assumed during the course of our handling the family matters.
"A house of one of the most respected leaders of the people was on fire. An extreme anger was written all over the faces of the people who came to witness this deed".
REV CHIKANE: I refer specifically to the anger of the people I found around the house. Remember that the people who were around were just community members who saw Mandela's house burning and came around there. Didn't know the circumstances but were just angry that their leader's house is burning.
MR MUFAMADI: The problem is that we have got only one microphone and we have to ... I am sorry that I will take the Commission back a little bit just to make the point that after we were asked by Reverend Chikane to get together and we were briefed about the problem, indeed we did talk to a number of people who we thought could help us understand the origin of the problem. That, as we say in the submission, includes members of the Mandela family. I remember quite distinctly that we spoke to Mrs Mandela and we spoke to Zinzi Mandela. We spoke to young boys who were said to be members of the Mandela United Football Club and it was during that consultation that we were told that the people who were suspected to have been responsible for burning the house were students from Daliwonga, which will then explain why we subsequent went to Daliwonga to speak to the students. We felt it necessary even before going to Daliwonga High School to seek the commitment of in particular the boys who were introduced to us as members of the Mandela United Football Club, that there was going to be no attempt at retaliating. Because if we were going to talk to the students at Daliwonga we should then be able to say we have the commitment of members of the Mandela United Football Club that there will be an end to the conflict. When we spoke to the students, even before we spoke to the students at Daliwonga, as the Reverend Chikane is saying we visited a number of - I wouldn't even remember some of
the names - but young people in the area, especially those who were known to be Cosas activists. As you were talking to them you would find that yes people were angry for a number of reasons. One of them was the fact that the house which belonged to the Mandela family was burnt. But also people were expressing anger about what they considered to be shall I say bullying actions by members of the Mandela United Football Club, which would therefore explain from their side why some students would have been involved possibly in the burning of the house. So indeed we spoke to the students, we secured their commitment that there was not going to be any offensive action initiated from their side. We reported this back to the Mandela family, it was necessary that we report that back. Because there was no way in which we could have achieved what we went out to achieve, namely diffusing the conflict, the tension if we did not report back that the parties to the conflict are willing to end the conflict.
REV CHIKANE: As I said earlier, in the course of debriefing the various people allegations to the effect that actions which would border on the criminal were undertaken by members of the Mandela Football Club, those allegations were made to us.
MR VALLY: If this was - and I refer to your statement on paragraph 12 - if this was your I assume preliminary analysis what basis did you have to state in paragraphs 14 and 15 that you intuitively felt there was a third force
REV CHIKANE: You are starting from the premise here that there was conflict in the country and there were attacks on the Mandela house prior to that. Hand grenades and other issues and exception. And then you have a group of young people who then come and congregate around Mrs Mandela and they are alleged to be engaged in certain activities which were criminal in terms of the allegations which were made. We were suspicious that somebody must be engaged because there was this black on black violence concept. Somebody must be engaged in creating the conflict to discredit the Mandelas and therefore the liberation movement. I must also add, Chairperson, that I happened from the SACC point of view, happened to be managing a project through staff which took care of young people who had run away from all sorts of places and in the course of dealing with those children we also found that there were people who infiltrated into those centres to create conflict within. And so we were bound to be suspicious about it.
MR VALLY: Did you bring this to the attention of Mrs Madikizela-Mandela? The criminal activity that you are talking about and the possible infiltration by state elements and what was her reaction to that?
REV CHIKANE: I don't remember us discussing it as an item but it was mentioned in the course of reports and discussions on those matters, that we believed that I mean the young people were in fact infiltrated and that they were dangerous. That is why we wanted to remove them.
REV CHIKANE: You know the reaction of Mama on these particular issues was for me like a person who is under siege, who felt everybody else around here were enemy, including from time to time the Crisis Committee when you dealt with very difficult issues that it looks like you are turning against me as well and so the reaction was to say you know you are talking like you know the system as such rather than you know deal with the issue and in my opinion that was communicated from time to time we were very concerned about it and that the football club was no good news for the Mandela name in general.
MR MUFAMADI: If I could just add there that part of the explanation could be that Mama as a social worker would be clouded by social concerns and sympathy and would not see the wood for the trees. She wouldn't see the danger that is hiding behind exactly what she was trying to protect. She was overcome by - I would say she was overcome by altruism.
MS SOOKA: I would like to know was she informed in detail about the activities that the Mandela Football Club had been involved in, was she aware of the fact that there were allegations of rape and beatings on the students?
MR MOKOENA: Our role as we explained in the submission was not that of a detective nature to systematically look at things and said who did what where. The overacting role was to manage the crisis, to ensure that it doesn't really escalate and also our conviction that the Mandela Football Club should actually be removed from that house. So that was our approach.
told about what the football club was getting up to and how the community felt about it? Because you must have had some basis for insisting that these members of the football club should be removed from the house.
MS ?: I think that question was answered by Sidney because after our intervention with the students at Daliwonga we came back as to report the findings why the students decided, some of them, to burn the house. It was also actually (indistinct) that the boys from the club were actually abusing the schoolgirls in the area.
CHAIRPERSON: Now let's get it straight. You told Mrs Mandela the (indistinct) football club are, it is alleged, engaged in criminal activities, i.e. rape, et cetera, assault and so on. Did you say that specifically? And the answer is yes. No.
MR VALLY: Thank you. If you look at your last sentence in paragraph 19. In addition to the altruistic motivation that Mrs Madikizela-Mandela may have had in keeping these young people at her house you also state, and I quote
"She also insisted that the football club was important to her since some of its members served as her security personnel".
Now in the first section 29 enquiry, page 86 Mrs Madikizela-Mandela was asked this question by me. Referring to the youth at her house. Referring to Mandela United Football Club youth. I asked the question:
"They were not used to guard the house for me but they monitored the house for themselves because three-quarters of them would be on the run for one thing or another from the police".
That is the first response - that is the response from a section 29 enquiry. There is an interview with Mrs Madikizela-Mandela on NBC News on the 1st February 1989 and I apologise, Arch, for not sending you a section 30 notice here. The question was:
"Why then are people like Desmond Tutu then taking shots at you through the football team saying it should be disbanded?"
"I am quite surprised at him because he is well aware of the situation back home. I understand that he made that statement overseas. Firstly Desmond Tutu knows that I have no bodyguards. I do not need bodyguards. I do not need to be protected from my people. Such reference to the youth (indistinct) from the SACC can only be mischievous..."
REV CHIKANE: We stand by our submission that ... to remove the lot and arrange. That is why in one paragraph, I don't know which one, which where we refer to we offered that we would find other ways of dealing with the security situation because indeed that house was attacked a number of times.
MR ?: The security - Tulani security guards were for the house, specifically their two houses. (Indistinct) responsible for securing the services of Tulani security guards to assist in the maintenance of security during that time. And for which we have just learned now that an account was (indistinct) and also that of construction (indistinct). Archbishop you interrupted the Reverend Frank Chikane when he was talking about the construction costs which are still due to me. And all those sub-contractors who assisted me in trying to repair those houses.
REV CHIKANE: Can we just emphasise for the record in terms of this question that the two houses which were secured by the Tulani security guards were the one which was burned and was being reconstructed and the new one. Both of them were not occupied so we made provision arrangements so that the two houses would be secure. So it wasn't security guards for herself in this particular case.
REV CHIKANE: Let me try to deal with time. That is very difficult. After these reports were made - I can't put a date on it but it was during January, early January. Members of the committee went to the house in Diepkloof, the Diepkloof residence where Mrs Mandela stayed. And that is where we explained and we talked to the family first about these allegations of children who were kidnapped and then thereinafter we were allowed to talk with the young people who were alleged to have been kidnapped. At that time they were still in the house. Some of them were still in the house.
MR VALLY: I am sorry I am stopping you here. The reason I am stopping you here is dates are quite crucial because a lot happened in a short period. I have given you full copies of Bishop Storey's submissions (indistinct). If you look at page 24th January 1989. Aubrey Mokoena goes to - I must warn you sorry just for your records, the top of the page says mid-December 1988 and the 28th January should read December, 29th January should read December. Anyway we now - if you look at the item under the 4th January - I will read it out to you
"Aubrey Mokoena goes to Mrs Mandela enquiring about the abduction and is told that he is misinformed. He does not get to see the children".
MR MOKOENA: I didn't go alone, Chairperson. We went there as a team, it was not individual (indistinct) except (indistinct) my expertise I would normally go there just to make sure that the material was there in time so that (indistinct).
MR MOKOENA: Now I have got a difficulty in answering that question because it gives the impression that I went alone and as we have already have seen I would normally not go there alone and say can I see the kids. It is not usual because I was (indistinct) because (indistinct) that one person (indistinct). And then if I went there on the instructions of (indistinct) then I wouldn't (indistinct) to go and worry about the (indistinct). So an aspect like this (indistinct). I deny (indistinct).
MS SOOKA: Sorry, may I (indistinct). If I accept that you say that you could not have gone alone and we accept that you (indistinct) I think the question is did you go to the house to ask to see these kids (indistinct) and then were you told that you had been (indistinct) and that in fact you did not get to see the children there?
MR MOKOENA: That question is out of character because I will say that the matter that we are dealing with was a very weighty one and it was not possible that what (indistinct) can be (indistinct) one person (indistinct) sufficient (indistinct) we decided to avoid such instances where one person may be exposed to one thing and the others not ...
MS SOOKA: I am sorry to stop you in your full flow but I think I said that we accept that you didn't go alone and that you were working together. So the second part of my question is did you ask to see the youth firstly, as a group, and then secondly were you told that you had been misinformed. And then my third question is did you get to see the children.
MR MOKOENA: To answer your question yes in the sense of (indistinct) yes we did go there as a group to see (indistinct) and we saw the kids, I mean the young people, and that is how we began to (indistinct) to find out how they got to come to the place and what circumstances (indistinct) to come there and that is how we even (indistinct) himself and got to know (indistinct) because we say that he broke down and confessed that he was actually working for (indistinct) and that (indistinct).
MR MOKOENA: It is difficult to think of a date (indistinct) notes here. It must have been in January if I am not mistaken, 1989. Ja, let's go over paragraph 25 because (indistinct) it is difficult to (indistinct) special form. Yes, it is paragraph 25. It was the 13th January 1989.
MR MOKOENA: Can I ask a question? I don't know (indistinct). We said the reference here to the fact that I went to the Mandela family and (indistinct) the abduction and I was told (indistinct) and I didn't get to see the children. Who made this (indistinct). How would he have known?
MR VALLY: Bishop Storey at this stage was keeping contemporaneous notes and keeping a close eye on the whole situation. He was in touch with various role players and he advised that he had liaised with the community and not acted on his own (indistinct) issue. I did ask him the basis on which he kept these notes and this is what he advised me. But let me just ask that question again. Did you ever ask for access to the children, Mr Mokoena, and were you able to (indistinct).
MR MOKOENA: No, no let me just - I have answered this question (indistinct) but I would just like (indistinct) I also wanted to (indistinct). Bishop Storey (indistinct) how would he even know - he does not say I left - this statement here doesn't say I travelled. It says Aubrey Mokoena goes. He actually sees me going to Mandela's house and you know to enquire about the abduction (indistinct) authority.
REV CHIKANE: May I just (indistinct). When Bishop Storey came there he made it very clear that those were notes that he kept from the information that he was related to him by his lawyers, by community leaders, and that by the Crisis Committee and in the context in which if you want (indistinct) to that portion when you read the record you will (indistinct) that he has indicated that he has indicated that he probably got this from me or from any other person. He never (indistinct) very, very careful in saying all the things that he said except where he personally was involved within that (indistinct).
MR VALLY: If I could go on. Your paragraph 24 it talks of concerns of the community about the whereabouts of the young people when the community was drawn in to help resolve this matter. Who brought this to your attention?
MR MOKOENA: Well I need to recollect that the Methodist Church (indistinct) at that time (indistinct) Council of Churches and so they were wanting (indistinct) but there was also communication from (indistinct).
REV CHIKANE: Yes, there was communication from members of the (indistinct) who were engaged in (indistinct) and which passed as members of the Crisis Committee and an indication of the expectation that we must use whatever influence we were perceived to have, even our earlier involvement with the (indistinct) to try and (indistinct).
MR VALLY: One can assume that if the people, the youngsters were taken from the Methodist manse, and the Methodist church had contacted the Crisis Committee and if people from his home town of (indistinct) had contacted the Crisis Committee it would have been early on in the saga, it would be shortly after the youth were abducted.
MR VALLY: If I go on to your paragraph 25 and you look at page 3 of Bishop Storey's memorandum and he talks about Wednesday the 11th January and Thursday the 12th January, look at the 12th January. Chikane reports to PJS, that is Bishop Storey, that
"... he Aubrey Mokoena, Sister Bernard, Dube and - sorry, and Sidney Mufamadi visited Mrs Mandela on Wednesday the 11th. She had said she was protecting them and they were not abducted and were there of their own request. Initially agreed that the committee would have access immediately but later changed her mind and told them to come back later in the day. Chikane also reports to Bishop Storey serious concern for Verryn's life".
"... Zinzi Mandela indicated that one of the youths had escaped. Committee chose to ignore this remark but noted the word escaped. When access was granted the Committee note that Gabriel Pelo and Ntsebezo had fresh wounds to their bodies. Katiza did not. All three youths maintained they were there of their own free will and they were subjected to sexual advances by Verryn. One of them, however, Katiza, finding himself alone with the Committee broke down under questioning and admitted they were being held against their will and they were going to tell the story of the sexual advances. He said 'I am going to die anyway so I may as well tell the truth'".
REV CHIKANE: Chairperson I (indistinct) and in fact I wouldn't even (indistinct) find out when actually (indistinct) I would not commit myself and a number of reasons. We mentioned one which was material (indistinct) subjective so it is a content in that (indistinct) rather than (indistinct) and it would have been a collective of the events that happened which accumulated in that particular way so I wouldn't really debate (indistinct) the number of times. We went there a number of times. I have been there (indistinct) times. It was a very big (indistinct) so - but I would be very careful, Chairperson, to - I am beginning to get worried like Aubrey Mokoena about (indistinct) taken that (indistinct) may have been (indistinct) because then it will be taking (indistinct) and I am a bit worried (indistinct).
"Interestingly Zinzi later told us that (indistinct) had escaped. She made no mention of Stompie. This reinforced our suspicions about Stompie. We also kept mum about Stompie at that stage".
The question is this, one of the youths breaks down and tells you they had been assaulted - that is Katiza Cebekhulu. The other two youths have got fresh wounds on their body which you note. Zinzi Mandela advises you that Kenny had escaped and the fact that she doesn't mention Stompie concerns you in that you were worried about his whereabouts. Surely there was some degree of urgency by this stage. Surely you could have taken more drastic action. Why didn't you?
MR MUFAMADI: I think it is important to take the context really into account here. The leadership of the Methodist church told us that the young people were kidnapped or abducted from the church, taken against their will to Mrs Mandela's residence. Mrs Mandela maintained to us that they, namely the young people, came voluntarily because they wanted to run away from the situation where they were being sodomised. Now these are two different versions. We have no way of knowing in the first instance who was telling the truth. If we knew that one of them was not telling the truth perhaps the route we would have taken was to informed (indistinct) been important for us to be advised as to what is meant by drastic action. We spoke - we asked for access to the children. From the information given to us by the leadership of the Methodist church we were talking about five children. We were told that one of them is dead, which is where they claimed they got most of their information from about what happened to the children subsequent to them being taken to the house. (Indistinct) particular person (indistinct) but when we went there we asked to see the children and when they were ultimately brought to us we noted that they brought only three. But we couldn't just go there and say we thought there were five because we were trying to understand what is happening. We were already told that according to Kenny Stompie was so injured after he was assaulted that he had been (indistinct) and Kenny feared the worst could have happened. Now we are sitting there, Stompie (indistinct) there are three children, here for us their names who are you because we didn't know them. And we know that none of them says I am Kenny which means the Methodist church could be right, Kenny has left.
We get worried, none of them says I am Stompie. Then I wouldn't remember whether it was exactly in the first encounter but what the record (indistinct) is actually true that we were told that somebody, that Kenny had escaped. I must say that we found it very strange, here are the children that come to Mrs Mandela's residence voluntarily because they believe that they are safer there, then one of them escapes. Just one. (Indistinct) when we personally (indistinct) Katiza started telling us a different version from what they told us (indistinct) and so on. But it was at a time when we were questioning them one by one in the absence of (indistinct). We didn't deem it prudent at that stage to confront Mrs Mandela with what Katiza told us because we knew at that stage in the absence of an agreement between us and Mrs Mandela that we were not going to take the children away with us. If allegations of assault were true we could not guarantee Katiza's safety in that sense if we had said this is what he has told us. We told the Commission in this submission that we are noticed what we thought were (indistinct) marks (indistinct) young people. They said (indistinct). If you look at the one report of Mr Tambo (indistinct) but we could not prove (indistinct). But to some extent we were concerned about what we ourselves could do about the situation. It is not inconceivable for instance that had we taken them ourselves against their will away from the Mandela residence then possibly we would have been charged with kidnapping ourselves. I am saying it is not inconceivable because there are the young people (indistinct) why should we take them therefore away from a place in which they weren't (indistinct).
MR VALLY: Mr Mufamadi, whatever July 1988 you already know that there are some criminal activities being carried out by a group of young people staying at Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's house, on your own evidence, after the Daliwonga incident when you mediated the issue. Number 1. Number 2, a youth who has escaped tells you what has happened. The fact that he has escaped is confirmed to you by Zinzi Mandela and you merely make a note of the fact that the word escape is used, meaning the people are not held of their own free will. Number 3, you yourselves observed injuries on them. Number 4, and this is where I go back to Bishop Storey's memorandum, page 4, the last paragraph. Bishop Storey and Rev Verryn meet the Crisis team again at 3 pm. This is the 30th January, the same date that you give for the meeting with the youth. Page 4, the last paragraph. Do you have it? Okay.
"Bishop Storey and Rev Verryn meet Crisis team again at 3 pm and ask if they could give evidence. Answer in the negative. 'We don't have a mandate'. Aubrey Mokoena counsels very strongly that we should not proceed legally because we would lose without the evidence and Verryn would be the scapegoat. Major concerns (indistinct) discussion in the safety of the remaining children. Crisis Committee members more confident about this now because they believe they could no longer be armed because they were needed to establish case against Paul. Nevertheless if anything moved too precipitously they could be done away with and we would be told they had decided to leave. Also (indistinct) understanding of any action by the church (indistinct) informed. Crisis Committee ... "
What I am saying and this is what I meant by drastic action, why did you not support the Methodist Church, you people had first hand evidence, Zinzi Mandela told you about the escaping, the injuries, Cebekhulu and (indistinct) escape (indistinct). Why did you not support them in their application for an interdict to restrain them from assaulting - Mrs Madikizela-Mandela and
REV CHIKANE: Firstly I think it is important to say this. What we are talking about here (indistinct) that come (indistinct), it is not our (indistinct). I wouldn't dispute necessarily everything that (indistinct) here. I wouldn't remember for instance that at any stage when we were discussing with anybody we said we can't do that (indistinct). We explained yesterday that we were not ourselves as this committee constituted by an organisation that would say we will give you a mandate to go to Mrs Mandela's house at eight o'clock and not at nine. So we were acting we thought as the collective of the responsible (indistinct) in the community to try and help find a solution to a problem which we thought had certain implications, not just for a family or for a number of families that were immediately affected but for the community at large. Therefore such discussions as we may have heard with the leadership of the Methodist church were not based on them making this request or that request and we say we accept this, we reject that. We exchanged views from time to time about how the best possible way of finding a solution to the problem. I put into this note here Bishop Storey is supposed to have recorded that we said or that (indistinct) in a discussions with us that the major concern throughout these discussions was the safety of the remaining children and I think I did say earlier that yes we were worried about the remaining children. The point at which we were told about this problem we were told that Stompie was feared dead. When we interviewed we were not shown Stompie but certainly our action had to take into account the necessity to ensure that they were secure. The children that we were shown, and I am saying that in the course of further discussions possibly that we told them what we thought would be the best way to go about the problem. But I think an impression should not be created that when they themselves thought about a better way of solving the problem we became an obstruction because I think that we (indistinct).
MR MUFAMADI: Can I just latch on to that by saying that without casting aspersions at everybody who (indistinct). It is possible (indistinct) to clarify one's mind. And as I say I am not casting aspersions so I don't like (indistinct) direct evidence. That is why we are here (indistinct) account not (indistinct) which might be (indistinct). Number 2 is that we (indistinct) for the church as a locus standi (indistinct). There is nothing that stops the church from issuing any action (indistinct) we didn't have the locus standi and we (indistinct) they were perfectly within their rights to proceed and not (indistinct).
REV CHIKANE: Chairperson I just want to deal with that question of why drastic action has not been taken. I agree with Mr Mufamadi (indistinct). I would like to say, Chairperson, the impression should not be taken that responsible people like ourselves would actually have just (indistinct). If you note at paragraph 31 of our submission we felt this is of vital importance there are two things which (indistinct). When we got (indistinct) about that situation we took two actions basically. One action was to communicate with Mr Mandela himself (indistinct) difficult (indistinct) and I negotiated with the lawyers to communicate this and just to ask Mr Mandela to persuade Mrs Mandela to do the following, hand over the young people alleged to be missing to be community leaders as a way of assuring the community that the youth are still alive because there was a suspicion they were dead, and to allow the Crisis Committee to assist with the dismantling of the club and to relocate its members away from Mrs Mandela. And 3 make alternative security arrangements for her outside the club members. And at the same time I was troubled and I took the opportunity to meet Mr Tambo himself and I even suggested, and this is the first time (indistinct) that I suggested a very drastic step. We don't have a police force (indistinct). We believe the police force (indistinct). But at that time we did not have a police force (indistinct). Both the police force and the army at the time were (indistinct) and there was no way (indistinct). And I then said to (indistinct) Tambo why can't you (indistinct) you know to get these people out of the house. And that was a very, very drastic thing to say because if we tried we would have had to organise a (indistinct) so it wasn't as easy as that that we actually ignored the (indistinct). It was a political crisis of the time that there was no credible police force we could resort to because the same policemen who managed that situation like in the Khotso House bombing I now learned that the policemen who came first to investigate about the bombing was the one who managed the operation. And so you couldn't go to that police force and that (indistinct) to we felt the ultimate people in the liberation movement at that time was Mr Mandela himself and Mr Tambo. And that between them they would find a way of doing whatever they need to do. The same applies to the bombing of the (indistinct) office in Braamfontein. The same position, the bomb (indistinct) office in Braamfontein next to the (indistinct) and tried (indistinct) tried to blame us for attempting to blow our own offices and I think Mr Vally you will know that (indistinct) they locked us up together (indistinct).
MR NTSEBEZA: Can I just ask was an interdict ever discussed with you by Bishop Storey? Was it ever discussed at any stage, let alone (indistinct). Did he ever raise the issue of whether you as people who had visited the house and had made the observations that (indistinct). Did he ever raise the possibility of getting an interdict and did he ever solicit your opinion by way of (indistinct) to support that allegation?
MR MOKOENA: Well I don't remember a formal approach of that nature (indistinct) committee members are saying the same. I have just been advised, Chairperson, that I have used the words remove the young people and that it could be misunderstood. What I was referring to in particular, you see there were young people amongst the club who were said to me MK members themselves. And therefore the submission to President Tambo is that if there are MK members in the club why can't you remove them (indistinct) because they should be under the command of the MK. Then you deal with the rest of the others easier because they become welfare cases, we can take them to places when the SACC was running centres like (indistinct). I just wanted to correct it because I will be misunderstood.
REV CHIKANE: Also in fairness to Bishop Storey we indicated at some point that we were (indistinct) and sometimes some members of this committee would be at a particular place in the absence of the others and matters would be raised with them and when we do meet together we would share information and so on. What I noticed here in this particular entry, it was an entry into a diary, is that it is not said as to who from the Crisis Committee he met on that particular day to discuss this matter except that they do make reference to Mr Aubrey Mokoena. But I am saying that we don't have the members of the Crisis Committee that he may have met to discuss this with. And perhaps that will also help if we can try to establish from him who in particular (indistinct) because that can take us forward but as far as we who are here are concerned we are saying we have no recollection of a discussion about an interdict, an discussion in which we said we have no mandate to be of assistance.
CHAIRPERSON: Just to be fair to Peter Storey he is in fact saying that in a - he used the expression (indistinct) that you were not quite certain - you were not the same - it wasn't the same personnel that he met with because of the exigencies of the period so that is a point he would accept.
MR MOKOENA: No, no Chairperson, with due respect. He uses the word team here you see. On page 4 he says PJS and Verryn meet Crisis team. Now a team is never one person in my language and that vindicates the point that Mr (indistinct) is making.
MR VALLY: Just one comment before I move on to another point, Arch, which is this, that on this particular issue as stands in this memorandum, both Bishop Storey and Bishop Verryn were personally present. This is not hearsay, this is correct evidence, both of whom have given evidence to us on this issue. But I want to move on now, Arch. You have mentioned to us that one of the actions you have taken was in contacting the ANC. I refer you to page 74 of the second section 29. 74.
MR VALLY: After having asked Mrs Madikizela-Mandela about the statement made by the ANC, that's on your earlier page 73 and this is part of your annexure, I believe it's annexure E, Mrs Madikizela-Mandela answers on page 74,
"I do not know anything about that statement Mr Chairman and therefore I have no such answer for you".
"Were you ever asked to give an account regarding certain allegations made about the soccer team by the ANC?"
"Did you ever receive a message from Mr Nelson Mandela via his lawyers, attorney Ismail Ayob regarding the Mandela United Football Club?
"I specifically want to know about the Mandela United Football Club, did you ever receive any message regarding the Mandela United Football Club from Mr Nelson Mandela?"
"I did receive a message from Mr Ayob about not necessarily the Mandela United, about the youths who were in my presence."
Let me talk about the first part of it because in your memorandum and as you have repeated if you look at, among others, paragraph 37 page 10 of your submission I beg your pardon, you talk about telephone calls that you received from Mr Oliver Tambo the then President of the ANC where he asks the Reverend Frank Chikane to go to the residence, this is on the 18th of February already, and he also informed Reverend Chikane that he had spoken to Mrs Mandela personally and Mrs Mandela was expecting the Reverend Frank Chikane. Bearing in mind what you say in your submission the statement by Mrs Madikizela-Mandela to the question,
REV CHIKANE: Ja Chairperson our submission stands. This particular call on paragraph 37 was a very extraordinary call. President Tambo during that time never communicated with me directly like this calling right in my home in Kimberley but that showed that he actually took this issue seriously and he explained the details to say I am concerned about this situation, if it was possible for me to be there I would go there myself. I am asking you to go there on my behalf. So this particular visit was a mandated visit which was a particular instruction. It was a command, he gave that command in a sense and he said to me, I said to him have you talked to Mama about this because how will she believe me, you know, because I had to ask that and he said yes I've talked to her she is expecting you there.
And then of course when I was there in the house in paragraph 38 which I say lasted five hours, it was a very long discussion, a very difficult discussion, and basically what made it long and Zinzi would remember that because she was partly in the discussion, what made it difficult is that we started talking about annexure - I was confronted with annexure C, and so we couldn't start talking because of that annexure C. We spent lots of time dealing with that and at that time I had not consulted with members of the Committee so it was like I just arrived from overseas, and so when we came to the stage where Mrs Mandela then said we will make arrangements for you to get Cebekhulu and etc because he was in a house in Johannesburg here, she then said to me Mr Mandela had already advised that the children should leave the house. And so that's as I remember it and I've recorded it.
MR VALLY: Let me move on to another issue. You've mentioned a few times that amongst the youths staying at the house there were MK members and this was one of the reasons why you also were contacting the ANC?
REV CHIKANE: We were made to - I actually formed that opinion myself that there would be MK members amongst them and because I couldn't understand how all these young people who could be so risky would be around there, and so I thought the ANC through its own network can sort out this, can say so and so is our member, so and so is not, MK, and recall their members because I was convinced at that stage that even if there was an Umkhonto weSizwe unit there because of the infiltration it would even be dangerous for them and therefore it was important for President Tambo to recall them out of that situation or re-deploy them elsewhere if they wanted to. And he took the report and I don't know what happened so I....
"How could cadres who have infiltrated back into the country be members of the Football Club? They infiltrated back into the country and the purpose was in fact to protect them and keep them in safe places, how could they be members of the Club?"
"Mr Chairman that would be the height of madness to keep an infiltrating soldier in that kind of house which was a police station, that would have been suicide".
REV CHIKANE: Well I must answer the question, I said that I didn't know who was an MK member, I had no way of knowing that, but I formed an opinion that there could have been because in terms of security of Mrs Mandela it couldn't be that just ordinary people would be walking around, it was too difficult those days to do that. Even for myself during those days, I mean there were people who came when I appeared in a hit list and the community arranged for people to be around my house. So the days were themselves difficult and so I was saying to President Tambo, through your own network you know who you have deployed, if there are people who are in MK their lives are in danger anyway, I mean they shouldn't be there and therefore needs to be withdrawn from there, so I can't confirm and say so and so was you know MK member and etc.
MR VALLY: Let me move on to another issue. Paragraph 33 of your submission, this is the visit by the Crisis Committee on the 14th of January to Dr Asvat. What we would like to know is we know that Katiza Cebekhulu was taken to Dr Asvat by Mrs Madikizela-Mandela and I think there were other people accompanying her, but it's not contested, did Dr Asvat tell you about the visit to his surgery by Katiza Cebekhulu?
MIN MUFAMADI: No he didn't but perhaps what is important to explain here is that we went to him and we asked him if he had seen the children, so Katiza would have been one of them, and if he then medically examined them, and if he would be in a position to confirm either that they were assaulted or that they were sodomised, and he denied having seen the children for those purposes.
DR BORAINE: Thank you Chairperson. I know that Mr Vally has moved on and I certainly don't want to delay the proceedings but I think there is a fairly critical question that I would like to put to you and I would like to refer you to your submission in paragraph 27 on page 7, and then I want to link that with page 2 of annexure C and I will give you the exact paragraph in a moment.
What I would like to know is you tell us in your report that you asked the children about the whereabouts of Stompie, do you see that, on paragraphs 27, and they said they didn't know. Did you ask Mrs Mandela the same question and did you ask Zinzi the same question and if not why not? And then in your report to the then President of the ANC you mention, and I quote,
"Interestingly Zinzi later told us that Kenny had escaped. She made no mention of Stompie. This reinforced our suspicions about Stompie".
because it does seem to me that a great deal hinges on this very critical question. Your main concern was the safety of the children, that was your main concern and I am confused as to why you didn't put these questions when you seemed to think that Stompie was under threat or may even have suffer a worse fate. Thank you.
MIN MUFAMADI: I will try to start where you started which is our main submission, paragraph 27. We put the question to the children and indeed they said they did not know where Stompie was. You will recall it was at a time when they would not say they were assaulted, it was at a time when they wouldn't say they were brought where they were against their will. Now coming to annexure C ...(intervention)
REV CHIKANE: Chairperson if I remember well we did ask that question because we had a meeting first with the family and at that time, if I recall, my colleagues will maybe confirm that is that it was indicated that Stompie had you know run away or left or I don't remember what words were there but it was confirmed at one stage he was not there.
MIN MUFAMADI: Ja but perhaps also to explain what appears in our annexure, personally I don't have a recollection of specifically asking Mrs Mandela about Stompie but I don't want to say that we didn't. At the time when we were still questioning the children closely I think I explained the rationale for our not divulging, even to Mrs Mandela, certain things that we found questionable, because we were looking for the best possible way of getting her co-operation as opposed to getting her to move into the defensive all the time. So I am saying that would explain why at a particular stage we did not confront her with everything that we thought we knew. For instance we did not walk in and say where is Kenny? We asked questions and in the course of asking questions we were given certain answers which reinforced suspicions that we had as we walked into the house.
DR BORAINE: I have a last comment I want to make really is in the form of a question and I really am very sympathetic as to the whole state of affairs in South Africa let alone in that part of South Africa, but looking at it now, bearing in mind what happened to Stompie, have you any views as to whether or not you should have been a little less sensitive and a little more direct and that that may have saved his life?
MIN MUFAMADI: Firstly I think that indeed we wish the time at which we were informed about this problem was a time when everybody was still alive, I am talking about the children, because perhaps that would not have complicated even the situation for us, we would have intervened and the fact of our intervention would have possibly constrained anybody who was thinking of assaulting any other person. From what we learned subsequently none of the children was assaulted or allegedly assaulted after we had intervened. So I am saying that I wish we were informed earlier when everybody was still alive and therefore our intervention would have helped matters.
So I think if you look at what came out in court it doesn't appear that our intervention would have saved Stompie because he was no more, I mean if you look at what subsequently came out in court. But as I am saying I wish we had the possibility to save his life and possibly the lives of others who might have died in a similar way.
DR RANDERA: Reverend Chikane I just want to go back to the formation of the Crisis Committee. You've said that it came into existence at the time of the burning of the house and the Daliwonga incident, would it be true to say that there were already rumours circulating in Soweto and elsewhere of the Mandela United Football Club and the activities of that Club, both criminal and otherwise, that as leaders in the community you were aware already, or was it only at that time that you had become aware of the Mandela United Football Club's activities?
MIN MUFAMADI: Ja I will speak as somebody who was part of the leadership of the Mass Democratic Movement at the time, we were aware of these rumours, but if you look at our submission it was not as if Mrs Mandela was, as far as we knew, a member of this or that affiliate of the UDF whom you could bring into a structure of the UDF and confront her with these allegations.
DR RANDERA: Can I just come back to the burning of the house and your recommendations subsequent to the burning of the house which was essentially as I understand it, that the Football Club, given your understanding at the time that the Club may have been infiltrated by a third force, the recommendation was to disband the Football Club, now that incident took place in August of 1988 of I am right, the burning of the house. We now take ourselves to January of 1989, what actually happened to that recommendation? Because I would also understand as you were communicating with the ANC outside the country, perhaps it was taking place at that time as well, why was the Club not disbanded and why was your influence not brought to bear?
REV CHIKANE: Well at that stage I mean I am not sure about our influence on her, but she says - she refused that we remove the children, that's what our submission says and had reasons for it, and so we couldn't do much. We communicated to the ANC and given those dark days it was difficult and so we expected them to resolve the matter.
MR VALLY: Thank you Arch. We were at paragraph 33 of your submission and I just want to get clarity. There is dispute about which date Katiza Cebekhulu was taken to see Dr Asvat together with Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Xoliswa Falati, but there is agreement that they were at Dr Asvat's surgery to examine Katiza Cebekhulu and there is in fact a medical record by Dr Asvat to show this. Did Dr Asvat deny that he had ever examined Katiza Cebekhulu on this date, the 14th of January 1989 when you people went to see him?
MIN MUFAMADI: Well he denied having examined the children and we understood that to include Katiza, but we did not ask him one by one did you examine Stompie, yes or no, did you examine Katiza, yes or no, he denied having seen and examined the children.
MR VALLY: I want to refer you to the second submission, the second Section 29 Inquiry I beg your pardon, page 79 and 80. I asked, and I would like your comments on this issue please. After I had raised the issues of the various statements by the message by the Mandela Crisis Committee to Mr Oliver Tambo and the statement by the Mass Democratic Movement, some of the issues I've put to you already. I asked the question, and if you look at midway down page 79, let me read the whole part
"I put it to you that Mr Ismail Ayob came to you with a message from Mr Nelson Mandela about the same issue..."
"...on the basis of that I am putting to you, was the presence of members of Mandela United Football Club on your premises not an issue of controversy in the community?"
"I really do not know what sort of an answer you expect from me because there was - that's right up - there was that Stratcom exercise, all that information and from exercises they had decided to put it in place at the time, now you want me to give a view from a perspective of the communities, how the communities viewed me. I am unable to say, I do not know what you actually want me to say".
"I was aware of all the write up in the newspapers as has always been the case, even right up to now all the sorts of things that get said".
"Can you tell me in a yes or no was the issue of the members of the Mandela United Football Club their presence on your premises an issue of controversy?"
"It is those people who felt that that was a controversial issue who would say that. As far as I am concerned there was nothing wrong with the Football Club".
"And I am hoping that this in fact, Commission, is going to show us these notorious Football Club members, I am hoping they will appear before you here. As far as I am concerned, I was concerned that was not my view".
If you look a bit further and I mention various groupings of people on page 81 I talk about the Mass Democratic Movement which consisted of Cosatu, UDF, I talked about the statements made in Lusaka by the ANC. I talked about the message which came from Mr Nelson Mandela and Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's response is,
"We would similarly quote to you how Stratcom decided to operate in those days. We have a document here which can tell you precisely how they operated those days. I am unable to tell from individuals who was who in the Stratcom fraternity, so I am unable to express any view on that view because this is my belief and this is what has been stated publicly".
I need to ask the Crisis Committee as active members of the communities and various political organisations, was the issue of the Football Club and especially their presence on the premises of Mrs Madikizela-Mandela an issue of controversy or not?
MR VALLY: My final question, in view of what Reverend Chikane said about the community putting guards at his house, was the Crisis Committee and/or the individual members of the Crisis Committee, were they intimidated by Mrs Madikizela-Mandela?
MR SEMENYA: Thank you Chairperson. Can I in the first instance attempt to deal with various nomenclatures. In the first place am I correct that Reverend Chikane, when you called various individuals you did not constitute yourself into a committee?
MIN MUFAMADI: I would say that as our convenor said we didn't see ourselves as having a final say on issues and we didn't have a - I will go back to legal parlance, and I am a lay person, to say that we didn't have a locus standi.
REV CHIKANE: Chairperson just to be more direct about that question I will put it the way I understood it because I was the convenor of the Committee, I brought the comrades here into this issue and I believed we had a crisis in our hands and it needed a particular group of people. And as you can see from their background, they were people who were involved who were coming from different - Release Mandela Campaign, Cosatu, Fedro, MUM etc, so I picked up people I thought had influence in the community to deal with the burning of the house, and they, because of the project of repairing the house ended up staying longer and becoming a formal type of committee with you know accounts being sent to it etc.
MR SEMENYA: What I was attempting to establish is you did not go about as a committee representing yourselves as a committee, even when people say we were talking to the Mandela Crisis Committee that's not how you presented yourselves to people as a committee?
MR SEMENYA: No I am just talking about the designation because these descriptions are the ones which in my judgement may be creating the confusion. Did you say as we speak to you we speak as members of the Crisis Committee?
REV CHIKANE: As far as I am concerned I mean we didn't have to announce that when we did that. The point is that we had a group of people, it wasn't the type of group with a constitution etc, that's not the issue, the issue was you needed a collective which could deal with the issues under questioning.
MR SEMENYA: Now again if we go back to the timeframe where this thing happened there was none of you people who were openly ANC members, is that correct? Though all of us we knew but you hadn't projected yourselves that I am an ANC member, we must understand the context.
MR SEMENYA: In fact to illustrate the point I am advised that Jerry Richardson is here with a tracksuit of the Mandela United Football Club, today, in 1997. Now the point I am trying to make is even when the Club was disbanded anybody who saw any of these young children with the tracksuit they would say these are the members of the Mandela United Football Club, is that a fair statement to make?
MIN MUFAMADI: Well I don't know what they would say, but what I do know is that Jerry Richardson was introduced to us in Mrs Mandela's house and we were told that he was the coach of the Mandela United Football Club.
MR SEMENYA: But the point I am making, with respect, Mr Minister is even today somebody will point him out an say this is the coach of the Mandela Football Club and we know the Club doesn't exist and we know he is not a coach today.
MR SEMENYA: Yes the point I am trying to make again with respect is, the designation of people was in those loose terms, the designation of people at the time was in those loose terms, he was described to you as a coach of the Mandela Football Club when there was no coaching at the time, would you accept that?
MR SEMENYA: Okay maybe let me put it this way, since you were not a member of the Football Club Mr Minister, as far as our information is concerned Gabriel Pelo, Thabiso Mono were not members of the Football team, at least Pelo says that much, are you able to dispute that?
MR MOKOENA: I understand your question to mean that because he confessed to us that he was working for C R Swarts police station in Durban when he came to be associated with the Club the deeds, the negative deeds that occurred there were associated with him, is that the question?
MR SEMENYA: Now can we just shortly deal with this. Are you able, Reverend Chikane, to say whether you gained an impression that Mrs Mandela, whether rightly or wrongly, believed that the children had a complaint against Bishop Verryn?
MIN MUFAMADI: They denied when they were still at the Mandela residence. But when they were no longer at the Mandela residence - your question was whether they confirmed whether they were sodomised or not? Just put the question again please.
MIN MUFAMADI: Yes they confirmed when they were still at the Mandela residence, but when they came out of the Mandela residence and we met them in Dobsonville at this what I would call, big meeting, because there were representatives of various community organisations, they said to that meeting they were primed to lie, they were not sodomised.
MR SEMENYA: Now we know that they have since retracted it, I am trying to test the information as you had it when you went about this issue in the residence. One you had a version by them that they were indeed sodomised, is that factually correct?
MR SEMENYA: With respect I am trying to ascertain before we - we know it was retracted down the line, I am trying to measure the understanding of issues at least within the Mandela residence at the time that you were there, that one of two - two things happened, the boys at least asserted that they were sodomised, is that factually correct?
MIN MUFAMADI: There was nothing to be benefited from continuing to say they have retracted because at any rate that discussion was intended to determine whether they were relatively safer at the Mandela's residence in the light of the allegations and counter-allegations or whether they were relatively safer when they were at the Methodist manse.
MR SEMENYA: Now again one understands the political climate at the time and the nature in which communication would have been made during that time, is it factually correct that your communication to the then President of the ANC, Comrade Oliver Tambo, that communication you did not make it known to Mrs Mandela?
MR SEMENYA: No I am trying to address an obvious issue that whenever she sees these comments she would then say it cannot be original because the people who it purports it comes from are very close to me.
MIN MUFAMADI: We will explain that because if that is what you are trying to get at, Mr Chikane will speak also on this because he said he went to Mrs Mandela's residence and she confronted him about this report. I think it will be interesting for you to find out what he said to her.
If you look also at Annexure A of our documents you will see that we released, or rather B, you will see that in 1992 on the 18th of April we got together to release a statement and that statement does make reference to this particular document which was a report to Mr Tambo. So indeed as I said we did not go to her and say we are writing a report to Lusaka, but I am not aware that there was a discussion at least with us in which we said we disown this report to her.
MR SEMENYA: I will come to that point whether you disowned it or not. I am merely asking that neither of these documents were presented to her and said look this is our document, this is what we propose to do with it.
MIN MUFAMADI: Well we didn't because it was in a context where we thought that there could have been many other cases of a similar kind, but we thought that what we needed to look for was a global solution to the problem.
MR SEMENYA: Now with respect Mr Minister you are saying you formed an impression that there may be police operatives who were sowing this disunity and this disunity is causing the community crisis that is there and you now confirm that you have information that one of the boys is a police operative and you don't make this disclosure to Mrs Mandela?
MIN MUFAMADI: Let me explain myself. In the course of our discussions with Mrs Mandela about the entire problem of the Football club, I am going back to it for reasons which will become obvious, we did tell her there are allegations coming from various people in the community about the actions of members of the Football Club. We did say to her we doubt if anybody could vouch for all the individuals that you have around you here. So I am saying in the context of the earlier discussion we did advise on the basis of these suspicions that we had that perhaps her interest will be best served by her agreeing that the Football Club be dissolved. I will come to the point I want to make about the issue of Katiza.
We said earlier that when Katiza made this confession to us it was not the only issue that he raised with us in that sense confidentially, because he claimed that he participated himself in assaulting the other children and he claimed that the other children were assaulted. Now we had to work out what to do with all this information that he was giving us and we didn't deem it prudent at that stage to say to Mrs Mandela this is what Katiza is saying to us, especially because we thought that we did not have the possibility to take Katiza away from the Mandela residence at the time, so we did not know what the consequences on Katiza would have been had we divulged everything that he told us in that sense in confidence.
MR SEMENYA: No maybe I couldn't follow your answer. I am saying you have the following facts according to you, that Katiza is a police informer, that there are possibilities of a third force operating there. He confirms that he participated in the assault himself, you now know these three facts, shouldn't prudence have dictated that you disclose these facts to Mrs Mandela as a reason why these boys must leave?
MIN MUFAMADI: You will appreciate also that Katiza was not the only person we were dealing with, he was one of the three children that we spoke to. It was his word against the other two children whom he claims to have assaulted and they said to us they were not assaulted.
MR SEMENYA: But Mr Minister you are saying yourself you did not disbelieve him, so it's not a question of credibility. He has given you a version which you have every reason to believe and this reason precipitates the environment which you are trying to dissolve, why don't you take this information and say to her Mrs Mandela precisely for this reason isn't it now convincing data to you that these people must leave the house, maybe the problem would be solved?
MIN MUFAMADI: Ja again I think I must take you into the concrete situation that prevailed then. We did not disbelieve him, Mrs Mandela herself before she allowed us access to the children she said this is my story, the children came voluntarily, they were not assaulted, they will confirm this to you. The other two children confirmed her version, Katiza in their presence, in the presence of the other children was saying the same thing as they were saying, it was only when there was a possibility for him to discuss with us confidentially that he started to disagree with the others. So I am saying in the circumstances that prevailed at the time in our view it would not have been prudent, that is in our view it would not have been prudent to raise the matters in the way that you suggest we should have raised with Mrs Mandela.
MR SEMENYA: Well maybe that is your final answer on that subject. But I seem to hear you use the words with respect very gratuitously. You say now before she allowed us access, had she denied you access before?
"We approached Winnie who promised to give us access to the kids so that we could see them for ourselves. She immediately asserted that they came to her house voluntarily because they were tired of being sodomised by the priest who was giving them sanctuary. She promised that the kids would confirm that to us when we see them".
MIN MUFAMADI: I hope we can go back to the record, I don't remember using the words before she allowed us access. Anyway I don't want to create an impression, if I said so and the impression you gained was that she refused us access.
REV CHIKANE: Chairperson the reality is that we didn't make an appointment before we arrived there to say may we see the children. You know there was no such an appointment. We had to come in into the house and negotiate first and there was this position which said these children were sodomised and we rescued them etc, but we had to enter into a discussion to say may we talk to the children themselves, so it was a process which then led to us being able to talk to the children.
CHAIRPERSON: Could I - I mean I am not asking a question, I am not interrupting, is it a useful thing mainly for us to agree that they were not children. I mean I think it is probably we are getting ourselves into a bit of a bind ...(intervention)
MR MOKOENA: I wouldn't specifically remember if there were two kids that were taken by the Daliwonga students, but I think what happened was that - our main mission there was to prevent retaliatory action from the Daliwonga students to come back to the house, that's one thing. But then what happened when we were actually there Daliwonga students did keep some of those students there, some of the members of the Club in the place, during that time when we were there and we had to negotiate for their release. They kind of captured them.
MR SEMENYA: And basically again given that moment, I don't know you can tell me that I am wrong, the province of your participation in that area was not really to verify whether there has been criminal conduct of this nature and whether it is supported by proper evidence, it was more a question of diffusing that tension wherever the blame lay.
MIN MUFAMADI: I think particularly Katiza did, but I am not very sure. To the best of my recollection I think he did aver that they were seen by a doctor not only when we were talking to them as they were still in the residence but I think he repeated that at the Dobsonville meeting.
MR SEMENYA: I think what Mrs Mandela said was that she did take Katiza to the doctor which is fair, but what I am trying to establish is whether they doctor came to the residence and my information is not. Do you own any information inconsistent with mine?
MR SEMENYA: According to my information Mr Mokoena is that prior to the occasion of the burning of the house there was a dispute involving the soccer players in the proper sense of the word and some other team whose members belonged to the Daliwonga School, do you recall that?
MR MOKOENA: Yes I do recall that there was a bit of a rivalry about the name. You know young people are very impressionable so there are these who felt they also want to share in the name and why should the one group call itself by such a glorious name and not themselves. So there were these boyish recriminations.
MR MOKOENA: I wouldn't specially remember but I wouldn't also rule it out because of what I have just said here now that here was a group of youth and you know, or perhaps arrogated to themselves the use or the appellation of a Mandela Football Club and then the other youngsters were jealous about the use of that name which appeared exclusive to the one group and not to the other. So I wouldn't rule out the fact that there could have been certain negative events that might have culminated into what you have just said now purely because of the choice of the appellation "Mandela". But as I say it was just part of the rumours really, that story that we had informally banned it, so one can't really crystallise them and say in a formalistic sense that was the case.
MR SEMENYA: Am I correct though that at the time even the Daliwonga students themselves carried with them a particular tag like boys from that school were associated with the jack-rolling which was the term at the time?
MR MOKOENA: I wouldn't say specifically from Daliwonga school but you see jack-rolling became a plague in the township like the Wire Gang and what not, and so quite a lot of young people were involved in those devious acts. It was quite possible that some of those might have been Daliwonga students.
MR SEMENYA: My information again is long before the burning of the house Mrs Mandela having arrived from seeing Mr Mandela at the time came back and dissolved the team, do you have any information to gainsay that?
MR MOKOENA: The team was ultimately dissolved but I do not know at what point really, my memory is a bit blurred. I do remember that she did go to see our father, President Mandela and came back and ultimately the team petered out.
MS SOOKA: Mr Semenya I don't want to interfere in your cross-examination but I really want to get a clear answer on this, are you Mr Mokoena saying in your evidence that the team was disbanded and that when you visited the house these were just boys who were wearing the Mandela club uniform?
MR MOKOENA: No, no that's not what we are saying, I am not saying that, I am saying the Club petered out, right and when it petered out I do not know at exactly what point it petered out and whether it was immediately after Mrs Mandela had been to see President Mandela or not, and the fact that people kept on wearing you know these tracksuits and so on and so on, even after there was a de facto admission that the Club had been disbanded. That's what I am saying.
MR MOKOENA: That it's a question of communication. I am responding to a question that is unfolding, the climax of which is the fact that the Club ultimately got disbanded, now what is germane here is, when did it disband, and I don't recollect precisely when it disbanded. And I know that Mrs Mandela went to see Mr Mandela about this issue here and subsequently the Club petered out, right. That's the one part I am saying.
Then the question is asked, am I aware that some of the youth kept on wearing the uniform etc etc, and I say that it's a, it was a kind of a fashion for them to carry on doing that even if the Club was disbanded because they liked the aura and that was where the resistance was of these youngsters in not wanting to disband because they were basking in the glory of the Mandela Football Club, I mean that's quite obvious. There was no ceremony where they burnt all the T-shirts and their uniforms, that's the point I am trying to make.
REV CHIKANE: Ja I think I mean the questions to Aubrey Mokoena are related to events before and thereinafter and some, not all of us would know all that. From the way in which I recollect these events is that I really didn't come close to finding out what the Club is doing, who are members of the Club, and where do they play their football, that's what they were called and we were looking at the collective in the house ultimately, in its totality irrespective of whether one is in the Club or not. The question for us was the young people in the house where - was our concern, that was the issue, I wouldn't know when, whether the Club dissolved or .....
MR SEMENYA: Now maybe just to tidy up that area a little, when you make the communication and you describe them as a football team on what did you base that description, that they were a football team?
MR SEMENYA: No, no I respect that, but I am trying to say that the articulation of the scenario was described in loose terms, now to have the benefit of your presence at that point what was there that you saw that constituted a football team?
REV CHIKANE: From my perspective the - I worked on the base there was general reference to the young people there as Football Club, that's how it started in the first place. Whatever happened thereinafter, you know the group there was understood as such and referred to as such and maybe loosely so but that's how we referred to them. And that's why we referred to as young people who are in the house etc, and called them Club or whatever, but the point is that from my perspective I was dealing with the totality of the young people who were in that house which was the concern, whatever description they are given.
CHAIRPERSON: Let me just say I lived in Soweto and the fact of the matter is that if there was no Football Club they really not to have gone on wearing - I think that Mrs Mandela should have said the Club is finished, because we continued to see in the community the same uniform that was worn by these boys around her, and I think I mean the concession you are getting, if they give it, is not valid.
MR SEMENYA: Well Chairperson I am saying with respect, that today as the Commission is sitting we have somebody who is in prison wearing the same uniform and I don't know how Mrs Mandela would make sure that he does not wear this tracksuit.
CHAIRPERSON: I am only saying that for the sake of the community, what people, the perception of people, because it was not announced that now this thing, at least I am not aware of it, and even if it was I think I mean that the most straightforward, the most obvious way of telling the community that this thing is finished would surely have been don't wear things that seem to indicate that we have a football club. But more than that I think what they were saying really is that it is not good for you that you have got these young people for the kind of reasons that they have given, but I am just saying as it was not just they, it was everybody in the community who believed that there was a Football Club or a Club that had this name.
MR MOKOENA: To try and answer that if you will be fair, would be, as I have said that there was no formal ceremony like in the case where an arms cache is discovered and gets confiscated, gets publicly destroyed and so on, in this case here when the Club did desist from operating and petered out there was no formal ceremony of burning all the uniforms which is what the Chairperson is trying to say. So it's quite possible as I said that one would observe, one or two people you know in the Football Club outfits like it normally happens in some of the organisations. It is a symbol. Like I know I was in SASOL and it was a very long time ago but I am still having a SASOL T-shirt, so it is quite possible and then if I do one or two things that might be traced back to SASOL and then have an impact on that. So it's a symbol, a status symbol, you know you must understand that it was prestige for these boys to belong to this Club. It was some of them with dubious backgrounds thought they could class themselves by merely coming and wearing these uniforms, like Cebekhulu for instance.
MR SEMENYA: The point is I think one of the responses was that the presence of the Football Team was a controversial issue, that's what precipitates this, that was there a team or was it, as the Chairperson says, a perception based on the uniform that was worn at the time?
MIN MUFAMADI: Maybe let's draw an analogy. We are being referred to in this hearing as the Mandela Crisis Committee, and we are not interjecting at every turn to say don't call us the Mandela Crisis Committee. Now we can't at all times be saying what was perceived as the team was controversial, the fact of the matter is that we are saying, all of us here as this collective, that we were told there are these activities of the Mandela United Football Club which the community finds distasteful, that is by some members of the community. So I don't know whether the request is that at all times when we refer to the Football Club we must say what was perceived to be the Football Club. We can do that if that is the request.
MR MOKOENA: The thing that was so punctilious about appellation I should quickly point out that I am not a deputy speaker in Parliament I am a chairperson of committees in case that is used against me next time you......
MR JOSEPH: May I - my surname is Joseph, I represent Mr Cebekhulu and Mrs Nicholson. May I read to you an extract which I find in a statement prepared by Mr Cachalia and submitted to this particular Commission. For the purposes of completeness Mr Cachalia is currently employed by the government of the Republic of South Africa as head of the Secretariat for Safety and Security with the Department of Safety and Security. There is a four page document ...(intervention)
MR VALLY: I would object to that Mr Chairperson, the persons have submitted their statements to us, they are still about to present it to us shortly after these witnesses and to refer to it in this context is both wrong and it's not in terms of what we are trying to achieve here.
MR JOSEPH: During this period of time when these incidents occurred, '88, '89 there was tremendous dislocation in the society which existed in Soweto. Street gangs were in existence, people were being assaulted by misdirected youth here and there and everywhere. The lines of communication between the ANC High Command in Lusaka or wherever existed and the people on the ground was very, very difficult. It was difficult to control people in Soweto from doing things. Would that be correct?
REV CHIKANE: I can't really speak about the ANC from Lusaka controlling people in Soweto. I think the leadership in Soweto took responsibility for what was happening in Soweto and you will realise that the reference to the ANC were they would be helpful especially with people they were dealing with. But I was part of the leadership of Soweto, I was in the Civic Association at one stage, we took responsibility.
"Street committees had been set up and there was very, very little discipline over the people in control of street committees. Street committees had been set up with proper intentions but there was very little control over the street committees and unfortunately violent acts occurred".
MIN MUFAMADI: Ja well you know I was part of the leadership of the Anti-apartheid movement and I resided in Soweto and I will recall that at all times, looking at the structures that we had established in the community we would be concerned about ensuring that we give the necessary direction. There were times when our capacity to give direction was impaired and that was during, in particular, the period of the state of emergency.
MR JOSEPH: At times he would prevail and other times he would not prevail things would take place. I have no intention to try and embarrass anybody, my only intention is to try to elicit from you eminent people information which could be used by this Committee in order to do their task. I am not antagonistic. I accept that everything you say is the truth and that you have no hidden agenda or anything but it is to people like you that we look to find assistance because you were on the ground and you knew what was going on. And one of the difficulties you had in controlling loyal members of the ANC is manifested by what happened with Mrs Mandela. You, your Committee, you as individuals formed a view that what was going on in the Mandela household was not in the interest of anybody. Is that correct?
MR JOSEPH: You did not have sufficient authority yourselves to impose any discipline on Mrs Mandela and as a result of that you went to the unusual length of communicating directly with her husband who was in prison and at the same time communicating in writing to the President of the ANC, correct?
MR JOSEPH: I have read your submissions and the documents and I get the distinct impression that your Committee formed the view that the allegations which were made against Mrs Mandela, primarily by the members of the community whose integrity you accepted and who you've excluded as being part of any third force, that their allegations relating to her unlawful acts, I do not want to be specific, we can take that a little further, but in regard to her unlawful acts, when I say unlawful acts let me qualify it and perhaps temper my language, the unlawful acts committed by young men who paraded about as members of this Club, you were satisfied that they were doing things that were wrong, correct?
MR JOSEPH: Mr Mokoena I am trying to avoid getting involved in debates and having problems with language and semantics. I recognise, I think I understand the purpose of this Commission, now I repeat, your Committee formed the view that the members of the Mandela Football Club, under the tutelage or any other word you want to use to describe their relationship with Mrs Mandela, that these young men were not behaving correctly, is that correct?
MR JOSEPH: Let me try and expand on what I mean by behaviour and then I'll use the word behaviour so as to reduce the length of the sentence and we know what we mean. Their behaviour included allegations of rape, it included allegations of assault, it included allegations of kidnapping and it included allegations of murder, you came -is that correct?
REV CHIKANE: Can I just clarify this issue Chairperson. That's why I have been careful when I answer that I say when it's my own opinion say this is my personal opinion so that, because we are a collective and we remember things differently and were involved in different things, and I have been careful in saying those things which we agree on and we had a common understanding documented and we say so. But on those issues that are personal opinions we declare that they are. And we didn't plan that one person will answer for us. I think we will try to manage that situation better.
MR JOSEPH: My standpoint throughout is to try and elicit from you eminent people information or views that you had arrived at after mature consideration and after consulting with people in the community. And my lasting impression of the document you sent to the President of the ANC is that you were satisfied in your own mind that this behaviour was taking place, I do not define the word behaviour any longer, that this behaviour was taking place, that you had brought this to the attention of Mrs Mandela, may I pause and ask for an answer.
MR JOSEPH: That Mrs Mandela was not prepared to heed your warnings, that you found yourselves at that time as being activists without any recourse to any structure of law, that you at that stage were then forced to go to the leader of the movement and ask the leader of the movement to use his influence to bring this situation to an end.
MR JOSEPH: That's true. I also do not propose to waste time by taking you to documents to show that perhaps my memory is correct. If my memory is incorrect then forgive me and somebody will correct me. Mrs Mandela in fact threatened you gentlemen in this way, she was not prepared to heed your warnings and told you that she going to announce that she was going to resign from the ANC.
"She told us that she was contemplating holding a press conference in which she will publicly announce that she is resigning from the ANC".
MR JOSEPH: Now I want to do, I am not going to become involved in the detail, I just want to articulate a view that I hold, based on my knowledge of you eminent people and that is this, that you would not have formed a view that members were behaving in this manner without making use of your own reliable sources and there is an illusion in your document to your own sources. In other words you went to the community, you talked about your information and you were satisfied that there was merit in the allegations against the club, correct?
Unfortunately, in Commissions of this nature it becomes necessary to determine who is telling the truth and on the route to determining the truth, there are lots of collateral issues which arise. Some of those collateral issues have been put by learned friend Mr Vally. The two collateral I wish to refer to is: (1) the denial that your anonymous committee went to Mrs Mandela and questioned her about the children, she gives an unequivocal answer that this did not happen and I put it to you that this is a lie. I say itís a lie because a woman in her position would in no way have been confused as to the purpose of your meeting. Is that correct?
MR JOSEPH: She lies when she says: "You can speak to these gentlemen, these gentlemen will tell you that this is not an authentic document. She lies because - not because she says itís not an authentic document, because she never spoke to you gentlemen - that is the lie.
CRISIS COMMITTEE: I would like to say that the document is annexed as ... We have declared that Annexure C is part of the documentation and submission of ...[indistinct] I really want to say something because in terms of the record as it was read to us - and if I misunderstood I stand to be corrected, in terms of that record Mrs Mandela is supposed to have said that she had a discussion with me and in the course the discussion - on behalf of this Committee, I disowned this particular document which is today annexed to our submission.
MR MUFAMADI: Now I want to say, that is incorrect and I wouldnít even say itís a mis-perception because thereís no mis-perception on my part but if somebody has misperceived something, they will explain themselves.
MR JOSEPH: It is very, very difficult for anyone to understand or accept that a document of that importance presented to a woman who holds the high office that she does and dealing with the personalities who she mentions over here, she say on oath that she spoke to you about the document and according to your evidence she never spoke to you.
I am not the tryer of fact and Iím not going to decide whether she consciously told an untruth, the fact of the matter is that is incorrect and she will have to explain it. Let me go and tell you about an enormous improbability - in fact a matter which is not improbable, it just does not stand up to scrutiny and that is this, there were allegations that I think, four males had been sodomised and that they had been rescued and that they were being cared for by Mrs Mandela - thatís on the one side, on the other side thereís the allegation that four males were kidnapped and were being held against their will by Mrs Mandela or by the Mandela Club.
If you put in to these conflicting allegations, facts which cannot be disputed, it seems to me that thereís only one answer. The facts that I have left out are these, you have a 29 year old man, you have a 20 year old man, you have a 17 year of man or an 18 year old man, now how on earth a 29 year old man - how on earth these young adults if they were sodomised against their will, how on earth they required in the first instance to be rescued by a wisp of a woman like Miss Falati and why they then required to be protected by Mrs Mandela. Did this not strike you as being so improbable?
And let me just add into it about the rescue etc., so the drama is seen in itís real context, who are they being rescued from? Theyíre being rescued from a man who did not appear to me to be tremendously bit, heís an ordinary slight man, heís on holiday more or less, over this period of time and he is a minister who is not a jailer. So when you were told that men of this age were rescued and were now being protected by Mrs Mandela, did this not seem to you to be so improbable that you could not believe it?
CRISIS COMMITTEE: I may be making a wrong assumption that you are addressing your remarks to the Commission so that they must take your assessment into account when they determine whether the truth ...[intervention]
CRISIS COMMITTEE: At that stage I wouldnít have known the ages myself and so I would not have actually have used that as a determining fact but we listened to everybody else, tried to determine what the issue are and the key issue for me ultimately was: "Where are those young people"? That was the critical issue, it wasnít establishing whether they were sodomised.
When a team went to Doctor Asvat, it was really to collect as much information to understand the context and the circumstances but the key issue for me was where are the children, were they assaulted, not assaulted, should we remove them etc., it was a rescue operation in a sense of intervention so I didnít have to form an opinion at that stage in terms of probabilities. You could have it but itís probabilities and we are not working on probabilities, we wanted to track down - to make sure that those young people were okay, that was the primary responsibility.
CRISIS COMMITTEE: I think itís important - I mean this issue about children and young people, I actually never knew their age, I didnít ask them how old they were but the language in the community at that time was "children" and in the media as well, it was children so I wouldnít have formulated my position in terms of whether they were called young people or not young people.
MR JOSEPH: ...[inaudible] you explained perfectly the material that you had available and which you relied upon in order to form your opinions and views. All Iím suggesting to you - Iím not arguing with you, is that it is incredulous to believe that a 29, 20 year old, 17 required to be rescued and protected. Would you agree with me?
CRISIS COMMITTEE: We didnít - as our convenor said, we did not behave like sleuths - detectives who have got that approach that you are talking about. If that was our mind set, then that would have been fair to ask that question.
If I can just put the questions I want to ask you into some sort of context, Iím sure that many of the facts as have come out over the years will be known to you but on the 2nd of October this year, Mrs Mandela issued a press statement in which she very sharply criticises Miss Falati and in effect blames her for the kidnapping and subsequent death of Stompie.
Now, if I may just start by asking - the submission was made to you that the football club had already been disbanded by the time that you had come into the picture and had attempted to mediate in the crisis and my first question is: "Did Mrs Mandela give any of you the impression that the football club had been disbanded"?
MR KUNY: The next question I have is for Mr Mokoena and it arises out of this question - this issue that you raised about notes and so-called diaries that have been presented before the Commission, it particular by Bishop Storey and you indicated that you had some problem with the fact that notes were being presented and you had some difficulty with this that it was not - in your words so to speak, direct evidence. Could you just explain what was your objection?
MR MOKOENA: My objection is evidential, anybody can sit in an office and try and recollect, take a diary - a few diaries that are in my office there, and I can try - if Iím faced with a situation, to try and recollect, nothing prevents me from ...[indistinct] that diary and Iím not casting aspersions.
Therefore if I present you with a diary which is untested, one cannot rely on that as ...[inaudible] it could just be hearsay, that was my problem. I didnít have a problem with the notes per say but I have a problem with a point where the notes in the diary are elevated and given the status of credence.
MR MOKOENA: No. I was just making an example that I could be having diaries in my office and if Iím preparing a submission, I could go there and try and refresh my memory but I must say in all honesty that these are just my own notes that I jotted. Those notes ...[indistinct] be elevated to the status of evidence because theyíre untested, theyíre just my recollections that I jotted down.
The pages open letís say, on the 12th of 1977 or Ď78 and one will have to undergo forensic tests to test the ink to test the ink, how recent, what is the age of that thing, was that done yesterday or was it genuinely done on that day. That is the complexity Iím trying to show.
MR KUNY: Mr Mokoena, if I may just ask you then, if Bishop Storey tells the Commission that at the time the events were unfolding he made notes of these events, do you have any reason to doubt the accuracy of his notes?
MR SEMENYA: Chairperson, can I with respect say in fairness to the witnesses, it must be pointed to them that one occasion Bishop Storey said there are two incidents under one date and they could not have happened on the same date, so we cannot project those dates to be contemporaneous and as fact necessarily - this information is useful for the witnesses to know.
CRISIS COMMITTEE: Mr Chairman, I really just wanted to say that firstly an impression should not created that we are questioning Bishop Storeyís bona fides as far as this diary is concerned. When trying to recollect what happened, he had a diary that he could rely upon. We were not relying on his diary because it was not collectively kept by us and him, therefore it might well be that as he was noting events, noting discussions with certain people, he used certain words which we feel may not reflect necessarily what we discussed with him.
At no stage for instance, did he come to us and say: "I have recorded here that you said you have no mandate, do you confirm this as a true reflection of our discussion or not"? Iím just giving you that as an example. So, the point Iím making therefore is that to the best of his ability he reconstructed the events relying on his diary. We should not for Godís sake, be obliged to agree word for word with everything that he has recorded in his personal diary, I think that will be wrong.
MR KUNY: I want to refer you Mr Mokoena, specifically to an entry which Bishop Storey made on page 2 of his notes. He states that Aubrey Mokoena goes to Mrs Mandela enquiring about the abduction and is told that the young people were not at her home.
MR MOKOENA: Iíve already said earlier on - unless perhaps if I didnít communicate or if perhaps you didnít hear me through the Chairperson, I refuted this, I denied this, I have no knowledge of this. In fact I said so pro-actively, I didnít have to wait for this direct question.
MR MOKOENA: You see the point is, I do not want to very categorical about dates but what Iím certain about are the facts contained here. It could have been the 19th, it could have been the 25th but I deny the allegation that is contained here, that I went to Mrs Mandelaís house and enquired about the abduction. I explained that we were operating as a collective and a matter of this nature, I wouldnít have taken it upon myself to go there and leave everybody else behind.
I would have gone there in a another capacity as a person who was assisting in the refurbishment and reconstruction of the house. ...[inaudible] the people were working there, the paint was there, the material, etc., etc., that is explainable. If this sentence read there that I went there and had a discussion about security and construction, I would never deny it.
MR KUNY: Iím sorry, I must interrupt. If you could just answer the question, when did you first obtain information about the kidnapping of the youths from the Methodist Centre? We know that you subsequently went to her house, Iím interested in when you first obtained information about the fact that they had been kidnapped.
MR MOKOENA: Yes, but Iím just explaining the difficulty that I have because you see you are linking this up with this reference which is a personal reference and thatís what Iíve got difficulty with. Iíve already explained that Iíve got difficulty ...[intervention]
CRISIS COMMITTEE: I wouldnít remember, I think we got it as soon as - I mean it became public and we were approached by various people to do something about it. I would not remember the exact date when it happened.
So it is not as if we are able ourselves to say: "On such and such a date" but weíre saying there were allegations that some young people were removed and so on, so we canít with precision say when did we come to know about this.
MR MOKOENA: I donít remember - Doctor Motlana is a family doctor, I donít remember approaching him about rumours that were circulating about this particular matter. ...[inaudible] would be in the context of him being my family doctor.
MR KUNY: If we can just go to the meeting of the 13th of January. You state in your memorandum that the family insisted that the youths were not kidnapped and they were actually rescued from Reverend P Verryn, is that correct - paragraph 25, do you see that?
MR MOKOENA: You heard when we started that our approach was a holistic one to try and resolve the conflict and not to be too attacking and antagonistic, I think that was what the Chairperson was saying - our convenor said. Perhaps you would like him to repeat?
CRISIS COMMITTEE: Chairperson, we heard allegations - we put them to Mrs Mandela, that is why we wanted to see the children, otherwise there would be no reason to ask for the children, so we did put the allegations - not in a confrontational manner, but we put the allegations to her.
CRISIS COMMITTEE: No, what I recall is that on any issue under discussion with her, all of us would speak, so I wouldnít remember who specifically said what but as a group we are certain that ...[intervention]
MR KUNY: Let me put it to you on this basis - weíre dealing with two separate allegations, weíre dealing with a kidnapping and weíre dealing with an assault. Did you attempt to find out more information about possibly where an assault may have been committed and by whom an assault may have been committed - Iím talking about from Mrs Mandela now?
MR CHIKANE: For that particular meeting on that particular day, we put the allegations that children are alleged - the young people have been alleged to have been kidnapped and assaulted and we wanted to know whether that is true or not and she said itís not true and she explained why they were removed from the house and then of course we asked to talked to them.
MR KUNY: You see Mr Chikane, the difficulty I have with your answer is that - what youíre saying is that as far as the kidnapping was concerned, she offered and explanation which was that the children had not been kidnapped, theyíd been taken to her house in order to ensure their safety, is that correct?
MR CHIKANE: The answer was, these children were removed from that place willingly and that there was no kidnap, no assault, they were brought for safekeeping and therefore those questions were answered.
CHAIRPERSON: I think you keep repeating, I mean you are going round and round and youíre saying the same thing. They put the allegations to her, she denied them and if it is two allegations, then you canít say: "She answered that one but what about this allegation" because they say they put to her that these young people have been assaulted and she says - on both those counts, "It is not so". Now, why do you say: "She denied that" ...[inaudible]
MR KUNY: If I understand your evidence correctly then, the first time that the assault would have been confirmed to you would have been when you actually saw the young persons? I see Sister Benedict made a response to my question, I beg your pardon, Bernard.
MR KUNY: My question is, the first actual confirmation that you had had - that the youths had been assaulted as opposed to what youíd heard from other people, were when you actually saw the youths at Mrs Mandelaís house, is that correct or not?
CRISIS COMMITTEE: I think itís one person which we canít just answer in terms of yes or no - let me explain. We saw the marks - this is what we say in our reports, which suggested that they sustained injuries. Of course to use it meant that there could be some truth in the allegation that they were assaulted but they gave an explanation as to where and how they sustained those injuries.
MR KUNY: Let me put it on this basis, what you saw of the youths - what you saw when you saw the youths, was consistent with what had been told to you earlier by community members in the Dobsonville meeting, is that not correct?
MR NTSEBEZA: Mr Kuny, I would have thought that you would really canvass new issues, issues that have not been canvassed either sufficiently or at all by any of the people, either in the panel or by other of your colleagues or by anybody. That was canvassed Doctor Boraine at length and Iím sure the record will show that.
CRISIS COMMITTEE: We answered the question - I mean the question at one stage, I donít remember at which stage, it was said that Stompie had either - I did explain, had either left or disappeared - I wouldnít remember the exact words but I have said that already.
MR KUNY: Did you not find it extremely suspicious and strange that the boys had given the explanation that theyíd fallen out of a tree? Apparently two young boys - both of who have been alleged to have been sexually assaulted, have fallen out of trees.
CRISIS COMMITTEE: In our report to Mr Tambo, we actually did say that we found it strange and we actually used a word - formulation: "Improbable coincidence", I donít know if you find it legally acceptable.
May I take you to paragraph 25 of your submission and can we look at the sequence in paragraphs 25 and 26. On the 13th of January of 1989, you visited the residence of Mrs Mandela to assess the situation and you say that you had discussions with the Mandela family. Can you tell us who were present at those discussions? Was it Mrs Mandela and her two daughters?
MR KADES: So may I then ask with regard to the following paragraph, the Committee was informed that some of them were taken to Doctor Abu-Baker Asvat for treatment, who was it that informed the Committee that they had been taken to Abu-Baker Asvat? Was it one of them that made the statement and they all concurred?
CRISIS COMMITTEE: I think this question helps me to remember that Xoliswa was definitely there because Xoliswa and Mrs Mandela are the ones who particularly said that the children were - the young people were taken to Doctor Asvat for treatment.
CRISIS COMMITTEE: I think - I mean thatís a long time ago, but my recollection is that it was said in general terms because it was a part of the argument about the young people being sexually assaulted - I mean abused, and therefore the doctor - they even went to a doctor so we then went to the doctor to talk to the doctor.
MR KADES: One of the problems facing the Asvat family - with regard to the terrible event that overtook their family, is their inability to have determined information which - what information was in fact factual and truthful and what information was just rumours circulating in the community.
The purpose of these questions Reverend Chikane, is an endeavour to ascertain - on what is the last occasion probably that these questions can be asked, as to circumstances - suspicious circumstances or peculiar circumstances, regarding the death of Doctor Asvat.
"We were told by Mrs Winnie Mandela, Xoliswa Falati and others that while at the Methodist the young men were abused sexually etc., and we were further told that Doctor Asvat saw the young men and had medical evidence to collaborate these claims - corroborate these claims"
MR CHIKANE: I donít think that question was put to the children themselves because we werenít really sitting in a court case to cross-examine. It was trying to find out what has happened and so we thought talking to that doctor might be the best way.
MR KADES: Yes. And the explanation Reverend, that the boys had fallen from a tree - I think youíve told us already, was an unacceptable explanation. After the death of Doctor Asvat, did the Crisis Committee - which had already existed for a period of in excess of six months, did the Committee make any effort to investigate or to ascertain circumstances surrounding the death of Doctor Asvat because after all he was said to hold important information?
May I just ask you one other question that interests me and that is, during your interviews with Mrs Mandela relating to the abduction or rescue of the boys on the 29th of December of 1988, did she ever tell you that she was in Brandfort on that day?
CRISIS COMMITTEE: I donít think we said to him: "Mrs Mandela says you are in possession of medical evidence" but what we did say to him was that we were told that he has seen the children and the he has examined them, would he be willing to share with us what his findings were when he examined them. That is what we said to him and that the request we made to him.
MR SOLLER: Mr Minister, Peter Soller on behalf Zekele Mbatha. In the years that youíve been involved with the investigation into the killing of the late Doctor Asvat, have you for one moment thought that it could not have been a killing for any motive other an ulterior political motive?
MR MUFAMADI: Well, I think I must put it to you that I was not involved in the investigation of the killing of Doctor Asvat and Iím saying personally directly. I was approached by the family of Doctor Asvat years later after the incident and they were approaching me in my capacity as Minister of Safety and Security.
They will attest to the fact that I agreed - I concerted to their request that the matter be reopened for investigation. I think that when the police come here they will tell you about what leads they followed, what statements they put before the Attorney General and I think the police are best placed - together with the Attorney General, to really answer your question because one of the things that Iíve never done in this case and in any other case, was to call for these statements which must be given to the Attorney General to be given to me.
MR SOLLER: Thank you Mr Minister. As the present head of the South African Police Services - Head, Minister of South African Police Services, would you be prepared in the fact of an undertaking by Mr Mbatha who as you know received the death sentence for the ghastly occurrence, would you be prepared to reopen and allow Mr Mbatha to tell you what he really believes you ought to know as the Minister involved.
MR MUFAMADI: You know, my instruction to the National Commissioner of the South African Police Services is that, should there be a request for any investigation to be re-opened - and that includes this one specifically, the investigation must be re-opened.
MR SOLLER: Iím indebted to you Mr Minister, and that tender is formally made on behalf of my client. Iím indebted to you Mr Minister, and that tender is formally made on behalf of my client Mr Mbatha.
CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible] people on my right, you are actually very, very, good, youíve been very, very, nice. Order, order! Thank you. I was just saying that the people on my right, these wonderful lawyers here have been very good and disciplined, Iím giving you five minutes.
MR UNTERHALTER: Thank you Mr Chair. My name David Unterhalter and I act for the Sono, Shabalala and Chili families, all of whom have suffered in various ways as a result of the activities of the Mandela Football Club.
Perhaps I could begin Reverend Chikane, by asking you a question. As I understood it, one of your concerns was that the football club could be used by agents of the regime to discredit and even endanger Mrs Mandela, is that correct?
MR UNTERHALTER: But am I also correct in thinking that you had another concern and that was that members of the football club were actually committing unlawful acts and endangering the community in various ways?
MR UNTERHALTER: But even before the Dobsonville meeting - and if I can refer you specifically to the incidents surrounding the burning down of Mrs Mandelaís house, the allegations included for example, rapes that had been committed upon school girls, is that correct?
MR UNTERHALTER: Now, youíve explained to us how you sort to mediate the problems that arose at the time of the burning down of Mrs Mandelaís house and youíve also told us that the complaints of the community were put to Mrs Mandela, what was her response to those complaints as to the football club and itís activities?
MR CHIKANE: We have answered the question and itís in our submission that we have put those allegations to Mrs Mandela around the alleged kidnapping and assault. And later in the process when we were dealing with those young people and recommending they leave, we indicated - there were all sorts allegations, the best way is simply to remove them from there.
MR UNTERHALTER: Sorry, weíre at cross-purposes Reverend Chikane, Iím referring to the earlier time when the house was burnt down and the communities complaints were about rape. You put those to Mrs Mandela - thatís what youíve told us already, what was her response to what was being put to her by you?
MR UNTERHALTER: So it would be true therefore that the club continued in existence at the time when you came later to investigate the incidents around the abduction of the young people and the Stompie incident, is that correct?
MR UNTERHALTER: Yes, Iím just simply seeking to establish one point because it was a bit unclear earlier, which is that it was Mrs Mandela who wanted the club to remain in existence when you had requested her to disband the club, is that correct?
MR UNTERHALTER: Yes. And therefore my other question - and perhaps Mr Mufamadi, you could answer it was that at the time that you then came to see Mrs Mandela and investigate the abductions and the young people in the house, at that stage the club was still in existence? Is that correct?
MR MUFAMADI: Iím afraid again Iím mindful of the earlier discussion about the perception that there was a club and somebody would want to say it was not really a club and so on, but the fact of the matter is that the young people who were understood to be members of the football club were still there.
MR UNTERHALTER: Yes, I take that answer with all the qualifications that you give it. I want then to turn again - and perhaps Mr Mufamadi, I can ask this of you because my client Dudu Chili will say that she informed certain structures of which she was a member - particularly the Soweto Womenís Committee, as early as the 30th of December 1988, of the abduction of the boys or the young people from the Manse and that it was then reported on in the UDF structures from that time. Is that anything that you would know about?
MR MUFAMADI: ...[inaudible] by whom? Well, let me say this much as well, if you look at what we did around the issue of the burning of the house and if you follow our submission very closely, you will realise that there came a time when we sort of became a little bit dormant until we received requests - Iím talking ourselves as this collective, we received a request to assist with the issue of the children.
MR UNTERHALTER: Mr Mufamadi, perhaps I can then turn to your visits to the Mandela house and particularly with Mrs Mandela - Iím not concerned as to exactly when it happened, we know that you had these visits and you did your investigations. Youíve noted in your summary and your presentation that there were problems that you encountered, there were things troubled and concerned you and Stompie was one, what Katiza had to say was another and the strange explanations about the assaults but you principal concern was the safety of the young people, is that correct?
Now, what I want to ask you is this - just for the record, the Minister nodded his head at that point and assented. What I really want to ask you is this, it was evident was it not that you actually had to secure the release of these young people, is that correct?
MR UNTERHALTER: It was not a situation where you walked into the house, you said: "I believe there are people living here" and the people were just brought and asked whether they wanted to come and go as they chose, that was not the position?
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mokoena, please the answer has been given. Unless you disagree with the answer which seems to be presented, do that but please do it through me. I donít want to appear tough but do answer through me.
MR MOKOENA: I was conscious of the fact that the word: "key" was used and perhaps I need to explain. Iím a family man and if you come to my house and you want to have somebody who is in my house - with my permission remove from my house, I hold the key.
MR MOKOENA: Yes, the point Iím making is - in that situation we knew if we negotiated and we were successful with Mrs Mandela, we would have secured the release of the children and thatís the point Iím making.
Reverend Chikane, I just want to ask you this, you spoke of a five hour meeting with Mrs Mandela at which meeting the contents of Annexure C was discussed and that was one of the reasons why it took time to make progress, is that correct?
MR UNTERHALTER: Reverend Chikane finally, are you aware of the fact that Dudu Chiliís house was attacked an destroyed and we say that was at the instance of the Mandela Football Club, do you know of the destruction of her house?
MR UNTERHALTER: I can get you the details of it but Iíll tell you what my client will say - that she had a conversation with you about this incident and that you showed considerable interest and concern about it in and around February 1989 and thereafter she heard nothing more from you. Can you confirm or deny that?
MR CHIKANE: I donít remember that, thatís why Iím asking which house because I remember I was called to a house in Dube at one stage which was attacked etc., I would remember the name of the person and the owner, Iíve no idea.
MR RICHARD: Yes Chairman, thank you. I represent Mr Jerry Vusimuzi Richardson and I think the Committee knows by now that my client has applied for amnesty for various atrocities including the death of Stompie Seipei, the Sono and Shabalala disappearances and so on - the record speaks.
MR RICHARD: So, I need not go further down that line. The next issue that I need to canvass is, when you negotiated with - what Iím going to call collectively, the Winnie Madikezelaís house, who is it that you met with?
MR MOKOENA: Well, there could have been a few other people around the house. A house like that and at that time of crisis, there were relatives, there were people from the community, many stars etc., so itís difficult to say it was exclusively that audience - if one has to put it, that congregation of people.
MR RICHARD: Thank you. Now, what is correct to say is that - as the Reverend Bishop Story said yesterday, it was very similar to a hostage negotiation where you had to be very, very tactful, very sensitive and very careful as to how you were moving.
MR RICHARD: Thatís the thrust of your evidence. Now, I am also correct to say that there were no other significant role players in your negotiations other than your Committee and Mrs Mandela and her daughter Zinzi - I know Iíve completed a circle.
MR MOKOENA: I donít think we held the monopoly of intervening in that type of situation, I should imagine that a number of people are going to come to testify - church people, so I wouldnít say that - you see we didnít pose ourselves as the repository of knowledge and negotiation, we didnít say we are an institution.
MR RICHARD: Thank you. The point that Iím making is that at the Mandela house the role players from that side of the negotiation were Mrs Mandela and her daughter Zinzi Mandela, there were no others, true or false?
MR RICHARD: Now, my clientís submission and evidence will be that everything that was done, was done with the full knowledge, participation, authority and on the instructions of Mrs Mandela. Do you have any reason to dispute that statement?
MR RICHARD: As to the football club or the collective of individuals who styled themselves a football club, yesterday when I questioned Bishop Verryn, I put it to him: "How did people come to stay in either the Mandela house or the Methodist Mission house, who referred them to those places"?
MR RICHARD: Iím asking you the same question. The people who stayed in the house - whether it be the collective of individuals styled the football club or the collective of people who went to the mission house ...[intervention]
MR MOKOENA: I wouldnít know, except that from the interviews that we had with the displaced youths as you are saying - some of them were fleeing the violence of the country in Natal etc., etc., and others went to the SACC and they were redirected to come to Mrs Mandela, so this is what they said. Now, I canít say itís true or not.
Minister, Iím Michael Miller, I represent Tulani Dlamini and I also want to put the question to you. If Tulani Dlamini made a confession to this Commission of exactly what happened in the murder of Abu-Baker Asvat, would you be prepared to re-open the enquiry.
MR MUFAMADI: Chairman, I want to start off by apologising to the Asvat family because earlier on I thought that question was being asked on behalf of the Asvat family and I thought it would have been a wrong question if it was being asked on behalf of the Asvat family because of the history of interaction between my department and the Asvat family.
But now that Iím informed that the question is being asked on behalf of Mr Tulani Dlamini, if he makes a confession to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, itís perfectly competent - thatís how I understand things, to make recommendations as to what should happen once that confession has been made. And I can tell you know that the Department of Safety and Security will consider any recommendation which the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will make, reasonably.
I wonder if anyone of the witnesses could just refer to the note of Thursday the 12th of January. Itís been suggested that in some respects Bishopís Storeyís notes may not be accurate and thereís just one particular aspect I would ask anyone of the witnesses to comment on, itís on page 3.
"It was initially agreed that the Committee could have access immediately but changed her mind and told them to come back later in the day"
MR MUFAMADI: No, except that I think itís important for us to put on record what - once more, what Reverend Chikane said, that we negotiated to see the children and we were given permission to see the children. What I wouldnít remember is what time did we start those negotiations and at what time did we actually see the children but we did see the children.
MR MGOJO: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Can I refer the team to Annexure C, the last paragraph, part 1 on page 2. In your Annexure there seems to a suggestion here that at the meeting at Soweto the two young men Gabriel and Thabiso, did declare to you that they were assaulted by the football club and also they do say that they were not taken to the doctor for treatment but were treated by the members of the football club. What type of treatment was given to them, did you ever ask?
CRISIS COMMITTEE: Sir, you will notice that according to that report, that is the information they gave to a meeting - big meeting of representatives of various formations of the MDM, which was attended also by at least two members of this Committee. I donít remember anybody probing as to the nature of treatment and so on but indeed we noted the fact that they said this.
I would just like to know whether in your in-depth interviews - somewhere you said: "We had to break them", did he say about the other experiences like for instance, he was coming from Hammarsdale, young people there had been detained, they have been brutalised, they learnt to kill, to do all sorts of things, did he say any other thing about that? The relevance of that question is around number 1, which we say we have called you because of our interest in understanding the formation of this youth grouping.
CRISIS COMMITTEE: Well, he didnít elaborate on the exact details of the nature of his working with special branch at C R Swart. We must also say that on our side, we did not delve in detail into that matter because the main thrust of our being there was to save the young people and had we started now delving into everything that was arising, itís possible that we would have - it would have been really a diversion so to speak.
MS MKHIZE: Iím interested in this because I would like to hear whether you picked up - that as a grouping together, they were a danger to each other or to themselves? It really important for us to understand this formation.
CRISIS COMMITTEE: If the young man says he was working for the special branch, then I guess a lot of questions would go on in your mind and perhaps you wouldnít get all the answers. Who directed him to come to Paul Verrynís house, is he a free agent as heís playing a particular role with regard to the conflict between what we understood then to be the Mandela Football Club and the Methodist Church?
Iím saying those questions you would ask yourself but we thought that if we spent a lot of time investigating that, we would have moved away from the main task which we thought we were attending to at the time.
MS MKHIZE: Chairperson, the reason why Iím also interested in this question is because in our own minds there are reasons why you didnít act timeously - in terms of rescuing this situation, are not yet clear because in your own words you have all said you were not intimidated by Mrs Madikizela Mandela, so she wasnít an issue. But at the same time we donít get an impression that you acted in a particular way. You interacted with children who had been exposed to violence, the killings, who have held a gun, so that part is not clear as to what you did.
MS SOOKA: Sorry before you begin, when you answer that question, I wonder if you could just indicate whether if you had passed that information on, something might not have happened to the person concerned because really there was a paranoia out there about informers and I was wondering what impact that had on any of your decisions.
MR CHIKANE: Chairperson, firstly before I answer the second question, I think the first question we had already indicated. Short of negotiating to get the young people handed over to us, the next you needed to do is to go to Mr Mandela himself and Mr Tambo and thatís what we did and it was done within that same time around the 13th, 14th etc, all of it happened around that particular time so that was the action.
I put it on record Chairperson, that thereís reference to Mrs Mandela not responsible to any structure and my understanding at that time was that Mr O R Tambo himself was in fact the one who interacted with her and thatís why we actually did exactly that.
On the issue of Cebekhulu, I think itís important to be a bit careful about how you handle information of a person who said I worked for police stations C R Swart in Durban, Hammarsdale. You donít take that word and communicate that as it is because it could cause somebodyís death and so you need to be careful whether or not this is true and if it is true, why did he run away.
There were many questions that were involved, why did both the Inkatha Freedom Party and the UDF reject him? There were many questions but even when we learnt about a list of informers amongst us, we were careful in handling that type of thing because you could also have information fed in and then you kill each other in the process.
MS MKHIZE: Because there isnít much time, I will the Chairperson to ask two related questions. Yesterday when we heard Bishop Storey, it wasnít clear in our own minds as to why he didnít intervene as a matter of urgency directly but he gave us an explanation that he had to work through community structures.
I for one was left with an assumption which I would like to clear with you, whether were political interests, ambitions and aspirations a factor in not really taking vigorous steps? I know this issue has been raised but the feeling is that this is an important question and you must explain it.
CRISIS COMMITTEE: Chairperson, I think it would actually - this is a Commission - a public hearing or setting, we canít interact to discuss this issue because I think it would actually be interesting to know what rigorous steps, the intervention, etc., - this word has been referred to a number of times, because we are saying we did the ultimate at that particular moment short of us organising as a particular ...[indistinct] and break into a house etc.,
So, what we are saying is, at that particular moment we did what needed to be done and tried our best and indeed within the possibilities and indeed we did at the end have all those children except Stompie. But as evidence shows, by the time we came to the scene there wasnít any possibility that we could have saved Stompieís life.
Reverend Frank Chikane, there is a matter you might assist us with, you recall it on page 11 of your submission on paragraph 40 and you also refer to Annexure D. And I think the crisp question that I need to ask in connection therewith is the following - we know now - and it has nothing to do with ...[indistinct] but we now know on an objective assessment of all the evidence, that Katiza Cebekhulu was found in a Zambian jail.
And your own part was to arrange for him - on an analysis of what you considered his state of mind and health, for him to be placed in a Johannesburg hospital. Now, I do not know if you are able to assist us but I didnít want to leave it unasked. If any of you or you in particular, is able to tell us how he then landed in the Zambian jail away from the Johannesburg hospital where you had arranged for him to be placed at - thatís the question.
The second question to Minister Mufamadi and then I will shut up - Iím asking this question to you Mr Minister in your capacity now. We know that Cebekhulu left or did not appear at his trial at which he was charged or was going to be a witness or I do not know right away, but he did not appear at his trial.
As a consequence thereof a warrant for his arrest was issued - a warrant which was still active as at the time that we began these proceedings and we had to get the intervention of the Minister of Justice for that warrant to be lifted for him to be able to be here. Now, to the extent that one can rely on anything that he said, a person here who called himself Jabu Sithole, came here and told us that - though he didnít say so, like Cebekhulu he jumped bail whilst he was facing serious charges.
On his word for political reasons he found himself abroad, he came back, he is gainfully employed in protection services at one of our airports. The police know that he is here and from all indications, there has not been any warrant of arrest and therefore there hasnít been any need for any warrant for his arrest to be lifted in the manner in which Cebekhuluís case there has been that need.
MR CHIKANE: Chairperson, I arranged to receive Cebekhulu in Braamfontein, took him to the hospital myself and when I arrived at the hospital the police arrived as well because they were either looking for him for other things or they had heard he had disappeared and is missing.
So when we announced Iíve got him the police also came and so I only negotiated with the police that they must not interfere with ...[end of tape] chose to leave the hospital himself and I didnít know what happened thereafter because it wasnít in my hands then. And then of course there was a trial and then he jumped - so I donít know, I donít have first hand information about all the details.
MR MUFAMADI: Sir, with regard to the questions that youíve asked, I am informed that members of the South African Police service - the detective branch who were responsible for investigating some of the cases including the case that we have referred to involving Katiza Cebekhulu and Jabu Sithole, will be appearing before this Commission later today - they are probably here already.
I need to say this, I have heard a lot about Katiza - read about him, Iíve met him but I donít remember meeting Jabu Sithole, so some of the things that you find puzzling, I found them puzzling too when I was listening here yesterday to Jabu Sithole and his responses to your questions.
I am hoping that after the police have appeared before you, we will all understand what exactly happened and what exactly is happening but at the end of the day this Commission will have - in my view, to recommend the next course of action and I want - speaking in my capacity, present capacity because that is the capacity in which you asked me the question, to assure the Commission that the Department of Safety and Security will co-operate with the Commission.
MR VALLY: Just a few minor final questions. Firstly Reverend Chikane and maybe all the gentlemen and Sister Bernard, before the 28th or 29th of December 1988, after the Mandela Crisis Committee had itís genesis after the Daliwonga incident when you people visited Mrs Madikizela Mandelaís house, did you ever see Katiza Cebekhulu there - any of you?
MR CHIKANE: Well, I didnít hand him over to the police, in fact I was resisting that. The interesting thing was that one of senior policemen who came there leading the team was the one who tortured me at John Vorster, so there was no way I could myself say: "Hand over". I said to them that I have no way in which I can stop them and I canít obstruct them because they would arrest me for obstructing the course of justice.
I only negotiated that they must not interfere with the treatment of the young man and whatever they wanted to do, the priority was that he be treated and thatís all that I said. Katiza himself was not prepared to talk to them.
MR CHIKANE: No, because he was handed over to me and he was in a state of mind that I think he needed medical attention and I sent him to - thatís why I didnít want the police to question him and so I couldnít question a person in that condition.
CRISIS COMMITTEE: ..[indistinct] except that I just saw an article in the Sunday Times and he was standing in front of the Supreme Court saying: "The police are looking for me, here I am, why canít they find me" and then he disappeared.
MR VALLY: One final question, are any of you aware that on the 28th of January 1989, after the football club was supposed to be disbanded, they appeared at Doctor Asvat funeral in Lenasia in their track suits - a number of young men, accompanied by Mrs Madikizela Mandela in the coaster bus they usually used and driven the usual driver Mr John Morgan. Are any of you aware of that?
MR VALLY: Did the Crisis Committee ever take this up with Mrs Madikizela Mandela, that since she was supposed to have disbanded her club by that stage or was your perception that the club had been disbanded - a fallacious suggestion on the part of Mrs Madikizela Mandela?
MR CHIKANE: I just say that I really never worked on the basis that the club existed or didnít exit because those young people appeared a number of times, even during the time when the leaders got released they were in those T-shirts so I would not have even raised the question because I didnít actually work on that basis.
We know that this wasnít your normal everyday soccer club, the track suits were there with that name on it but in terms a group of young men with yellow track suits with green lettering, travelling around in a group and usually around Mrs Madikizela Mandela, how long - how many months, how many years after she stated that the group of men or the soccer club had been disbanded?
Did you people still note that she was moving around with them - you mentioned up to the point when the leaders were released, was this happening up to that period and can you just give us an indication of the year and the month?
MR CHIKANE: I wouldnít remember because as Iím saying, I wasnít timing when the club was disbanded really. The issue is, we advised that the young people be removed from the place and the advice was not taken and that was it, so we passed it over. We couldnít have gone back to say: "Is the club still existing" etc.
MR CHIKANE: Chairperson and the Commission, I was going to ask for this opportunity at the end when all the questions have been asked. I would like to say that itís very difficult - how many years later, 7 or 8 years later, to actually appreciate the conditions under which people worked at that time.
Now that we have normalised, it makes it very difficult to refer backwards into the particular conditions under which we were working. This Committee - I still have to make sure about whatís happening around me. Chairperson, this collective - I would like to call it a collective, was brought in into this situation by myself and I believed that they were going to assist in dealing with problem weíre face with and I would like to say now because I have not said it before, that I thank them for having been co-operative to do that.
It was a responsibility that would not be envied by anybody to do that and that we did whatever we could do at that stage to save lives, to avoid further lives being lost and there were difficulties in doing that. We talked to as many leaders as you could find in dealing with these issues and that was the best that we could do at that particular moment.
I would like to repeat once more again that we do express our condolences to the families which have been involved especially because thereís been some feeling that the Committee has information it doesnít have and we could give you as much as we could give you to assist you in whichever way that would assist the Commission to execute itís responsibilities and we wish you luck in that.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. As I said at the beginning, we are deeply grateful to you and of course weíve taken more time than we thought but it has been worthwhile and we are enormously grateful. You are free now to stand down.
CHAIRPERSON: We call Doctor Motlana. Doctor Motlana, the Reverend Otto Mbangula and Father Mkhatsa? Order please, order, order! Please can we settle, we are running a bit late and we crave your co-operation.
Dear friends, we are enormously grateful to you and in anticipation we also say thank you - it is not in anticipation, it is after the fact because you should probably been here yesterday and youíve had to sit around waiting. We are deeply grateful that you have made the time available to assist this Commission which is set up for the good of the country and we also want to pay tribute to the roles that you played in the difficult times, part of which are the subject of our concern. ...[inaudible] I donít know - I presume you are going to speak in English?
MR PIGOU: Thanks, just for your interest, theyíre very brief statements, theyíre only one page each and weíre not really going to be referring to them very much. Thank you, Iíd like to start by asking Doctor Motlana some questions and then Iíll move on to some questions for Reverend Mbangula and Father Mkhatsa.
MR MADLOPA: Thank you for this opportunity Chairperson and as it has been explained, Doctor Motlana has in fact prepared a brief statement relating to the invitation that he has received in terms of Section 29 of the Act, that is Act 34 of 1995 and for the record I would appreciate it if Doctor Motlana were to in fact read into the record his statement as his submission.
"Iíve been invited by the TRC in terms of Section 29 of he promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, number 34 of 1995, to provide the TRC with evidence and/or answers to questions relevant to the TRCís investigation into one
While it is my intention to assist the TRC in itís function in conducting the investigations into the matters referred to above being 1 - 7, I can only provide such assistance to the best of my recollection and ability and only in relation to matters which are personally within my knowledge as such. Iím therefore not in position to give evidence nor answers to the matters raised in 1 - 7, as those matters are not within my personal knowledge.
Insofar as my name may have been mentioned during these proceedings, I hereunder proffer information that may assist the TRC in itís investigation and such information does not necessarily fall within the matters under investigation mentioned above in 1 - 7"
"I have known Mrs Madikizela Mandela since 1955 when she was then a medical social worker at the Baragwanath Hospital and I was a senior houseman at the hospital. In around 1958, I became the family doctor of the Mandela family and has been so till 1994.
As the Mandela family doctor I have occasion to visit the Mandela residence on various occasions to provide medical assistance to the family and in the process became a family friend which I still am.
Insofar as I can recollect, I remember receiving a telephone call form the Reverend Peter Storey regarding allegations that Mrs Madikizela Mandela allegedly made against Reverend Paul Verryn relating to the sexual assault of certain minors by Paul Verryn and was requested to intervene with Mrs Madikizela Mandela in this regard.
I recall discussion the matter with Mrs Madikizela Mandela and emphasised to her the need to desist from making such allegations, if indeed she had made them. Again during the early part of 1989 - I canít remember the date, I further recall a meeting with certain members of the clergy at my house at Diepkloof, amongst whom were Reverend Peter Story.
At this meeting I recall that the matter of certain minors who were allegedly held against their will at the home of Mrs Madikizela Mandela, being discussed. At this meeting I was requested by the said members of the clergy as a concerned member of the community and a friend of the Mandela family, to intervene and attempt to have the said minors released.
I had forgotten about all this Mr Chairman, but my wife recalls that a certain gentleman by the name of Richardson brought three minors early one morning during my absence - our house in Diepkloof. My wife informs that she requested the said Richardson to take the children back to the Mandela residence from whence I would then fetch them later of when I got back from the city - Johannesburg.
MR MBANGULA: Briefly. As Iíve said, it is important to locate the proper context in terms of the sequence of events as they are reflected in Bishop Storeyís submission. On page 9, paragraph 5, it is alleged that our visit took place on Friday the 18th of January 1989, I think that is a mistake. Firstly, the 19th of January was not on a Friday but was on a Wednesday.
Bishop Storeyís submission itself talks about events happening on a Tuesday the 17th in the previous paragraph and thereís a gap between the two, so thatís the first thing. I think this clarification is important in order for the Commission to understand our purpose in visiting Mrs Mandela. Our visit happened on the 13th, on a Friday the 13th and not the 18th and therefore I would like to go to my statement with that background.
"Iím an ordained Minister of the Methodist Church, Southern Africa. In 1987 I was appointed by the conference of my church to Jabavu in Soweto as a Superintendent Minister. From the 7th of December 1988 to the 5th of January 1989, I was away on holiday. On my return I received a report from the second steward Mr James Sebe, that young men who were living at our Orlando Mission House were removed from there by Xoliswa Falati and some members of the Mandela Football Team.
It was further reported to me that the stewards did not know what to do as Reverend Verryn was on holiday. I immediately reported the matter to Bishop Storey, then our district Bishop and he suggested that it would be good if I could attend a meeting by community leaders which was scheduled meet - correction, in the following week to deliberate on the matter.
Fortunately in that meeting which happened on the 12th of January now, I could not get an answer to my concern. It became clear that maybe a meeting with Mrs Mandela - as she seemed to be a key person who could through some light on the whole matter, was needed - correction, so that I could provide clarification to the congregants in my ...[indistinct] as there was a deep concern about what was happening around the church at that time.
As the matter was of a national concern by then, it seemed wise to request other church leaders to join me in the consultation with Mrs Mandela. I then requested Bishop Manas Buthelezi and Father Mangaliso Mkhatsa to accompany me to Mrs Mandelaís place.
That she was informed that the children - thatís what she said at the time, the children were being sexually abused by the Minister at the mission house. She had sent some people to collect the young men so as to ensure their protection from what she perceived then abuse.
We asked her about the whereabouts of the young men, she told us that they were safe and sound and she promised that they will be returned to Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg for safekeeping at Bishop Storey. We prayed and we left".
MR MKHATSA: Chairperson, Commissioners, just for the record I want the Commissioners to know that we faxed a copy of my statement yesterday already and I think this is quite correct because there are a lot people who are in possession of this statement already, so I really apologise that for some reason you havenít got a copy - this Government believes in efficiency I can assure you.
"Just for the record, Iím a Catholic Priest, a member of Parliament and the Deputy Minister of Education. Chairperson, Iíve accepted your invitation to this hearing in the belief that my evidence will enhance the course of justice for all interested parties.
In the Ď80ís I was an active member of the United Democratic Front, the Civil Movement and most important of course, I was the Pastor of the Catholic Church Soshanguve. In that capacity I interacted with organisations of young people, students, workers, cadres, religious leaders and a broad spectrum of political leadership in and around Pretoria and beyond itís borders.
Most of my activities took place in Soshanguve, a Black township North West of Pretoria. During January 1989, Reverend Mbangula of the Methodist Church communicated with me expressing his concern that certain children had been removed from the mission house belonging to the Methodist Church at Orlando in Soweto.
Reverend Mbangula requested me to accompany him and Bishop Manas Buthelezi to visit Mrs Mandela. On Wednesday, 13th January 1989, we met Mrs Mandela at her home and enquired about the alleged removal of the children from the Methodist Mission Home. Mrs Mandela informed me, Reverend Mbangula and Bishop Buthelezi that she had been advised that children were being abused at the mission home and that she had decided to take them into her home as protection.
The visit ended with a prayer in which Mrs Mandela and her daughter Zinzi participated. At the time of the visit none of the children were at Mrs Mandelaís home. Iíve no other knowledge at all of the matters referred in the Subpoena which had been served on me to appear before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission during the period 24th November to 28th November 1997"
MR PIGOU: Doctor Motlana, I realise - and actually this is 2 or 3 as an opening sort of section, I realise that we will have some difficulty in remembering the sequence of events, so Iím going to try and probe some of these things because thereís a little bit of confusion that Iím getting out of some of the statements here.
Doctor Motlana, on the second page of your statement you refer to a request from Peter Storey - at the last paragraph, a request from Peter Storey regarding allegations that Mrs Madikizela Mandela had allegedly made against Paul Verryn, could you tell me - I believe we made available to you a copy of Peter Storeyís memorandum?
MR MADLOPA: That statement has never been made to us actually, in fact if anything, we had sight of that statement only yesterday during these proceedings, so itís not correct and accurate that this statement has been made available to Doctor Motlana.
CHAIRPERSON: It was made available yesterday, that is what heís saying now letís find out whether there will be a problem. You heard it yesterday and if in fact you are unable to answer the questions arising from it, your client is free to say that he canít answer but I would have thought that the things that were being dealt with there were almost common cause.
To return, you remember receiving a phone call from Peter Storey regarding allegations allegedly made against Paul Verryn, relating to sexual assault of certain minors and were requested to intervene with Mrs Madikizela Mandela in this regard. Iíd like to just refer you to page 10 of Peter Storeyís memorandum and to the section of Sunday 29th of January where it talks about the Sunday Times headline in which: "Mrs Mandela links the Murder of Doctor Asvat" and the City Press carried: "Lurid Sex Emphasis".
Underneath - the paragraph underneath, it says: "Peter Storey sets about convening Meeting with Key Community Leaders, speaks to Motlana who simply says: "Sheís lying", no Medical Evidence is possible" - "Motlana says he will see her right away to warn her of the consequences of her statements" - "(Peter Storey learns later that she refused to see him)".
Is this the same sequence in the bottom of page two of your statement? Are you referring to a conversation that you had with Peter Storey about the allegations that had been made in the press at that stage?
MR MOTLANA: This statement came to me yesterday as something of a surprise that Iíd said simply: "Sheís lying" - no doctor would make such a statement. If Mrs Mandela and the press had indeed made allegations about evidence of sexual abuse, I wouldnít go on a limb and say: "Sheís lying".
MR PIGOU: Do you recall whether the conversation is related to the statement that you have made to the Commission now at the bottom of page two, when you say: "receiving a call", was it at the end of January after those newspapers articles came out on Sunday the 29th, two days after Doctor Asvat had been shot?
MR MOTLANA: Mr Chairman, my memory - again Iíll plead age, is not as good as it should be but all I recall about that event is received a telephone call from Peter Storey and telling me about the concerns of the church over the allegations that they had heard. And my intervention was specifically to try and stop further statements like that - full stop.
MR MOTLANA: I would say - by hindsight Mr Chairman, that it was very positive. I think she appreciated the gravity of that kind of situation. As I say, I said to her: "If indeed you have made such allegations, please desist because the church is about ...[indistinct] the Supreme Court is threatening to have an interdict to stop you from making all these statements.
MR PIGOU: I donít want to say when or when you didnít say those things to Mrs Madikizela Mandela but if we presume that this would have been sometime in January of possibly early February 1989, are you aware that statements were made by Mrs Madikizela Mandela again making allegations against the church and against Reverend Paul Verryn on the 1st of February in an interview with the NBC and then again on the 21st of February in an interview with Hennie Serfontein? Are you aware of those allegations?
MR MOTLANA: No, Iím not aware Mr Chairman. If I had seen those allegations, clearly my mission would have been a failure. I had hoped that after that discussion, Mrs Mandela would in fact desist and Iím not aware that she made subsequent statements.
MR PIGOU: Doctor Motlana, on page 2 of Peter Storeyís memorandum on the 6th of January - the penultimate section, thereís a reference to you going to see Mrs Mandela and Mrs Mandela admits the children are there but refuses to give access when he asked: "to examine them".
In page 3 of your own submission in the 3rd paragraph, you say you recall attending at Mrs Madikizela Mandelaís residence and discussion the concerns that had been raise with you regarding the said minors and requested that they be released. Is it possible that this is the same meeting that youíre referring to?
MR PIGOU: Sorry Doctor Motlana, let me make this clearer - Iím not asking whether she would have refused to see you, Iím asking whether she refused you access to those children or did you not indeed ask to see those children?
MR PIGOU: And were you aware - when you were approached by Bishop Storey and the other people in relation to this to approach Mrs Madikizela Mandela, that there had been a very serious allegation of an abduction and even an assault at the Manse of one of the residents there? Were you aware of the gravity of the situation when you approach Mrs Madikizela Mandela?
MR PIGOU: Could you perhaps tell us why you didnít ask to have access to those people is there was indeed an allegation that they were being held against their will? Surely you would have wanted to establish from the people themselves - the young men themselves, what the actual situation was?
MR MOTLANA: Mr Chairman, may I repeat myself for the third time, I was asked by the members of the clergy to assist in having those youngsters released. And Mr Chairman, I succeeded, I personally was given custody of those children, I personally fetched them from the Mandelaís, I took them into the custody of one Chris Naidoo at the Carton Centre - they were given to me.
MR PIGOU: I see, but not during this interchange or was it during this meeting? What Iím trying to establish is that there is a 10 day period between the time that Bishop Storey says that you went there - which is the 6th of January, to the day that they were actually released into your custody and that you took them to Chris Naidoo on the 16th of January. So, we have a sort of a crucial 10 day period and Iím trying to establish why nothing was done by you on the first meeting on the 6th of January.
MR MOTLANA: My memory is not that good Mr Chairman, all I can say is that I went to Mrs Mandela, asked her to have the children released to the custody of the church or my custody and that subsequently that is exactly what happened.
MR PIGOU: Thank you Doctor Motlana. Tell me, when the boys were released into your custody on the 16th of January, did you notice that there were only two boys or had you been told that there were meant to be three boys and that there was a third boy missing?
MR PIGOU: Okay I beg your pardon, Iím sorry, let me put it this way because we know in retrospect the story of Stompie Seipei, did you not ask any questions about where Stompie Seipei was when you took custody of the youths that you took from Mrs Madikizela Mandelaís house?
MR MOTLANA: I cannot recall Mr Chairman, why I did not ask about the presence of Seipei, I was given three youths and probably I was just happy that at least I got some of them out - I didnít ask about Stompie.
DR RANDERA: Chairperson, you know it seems like Doctor Motlanaís story is very different to Father Mkhatsaís and Mr Mbangulaís story and perhaps we should take questioning of Doctor Motlana first. I think weíre going to get confused otherwise.
MR SEMENYA: Chairperson, may I for the record state the difficulty I have. We are now in the fourth day of the hearing and [end of tape] totally difficult to consult in those circumstances, to authenticate the information that is there, to cross-reference the information and my professional responsibility to client, I think with respect, is being compromised.
CHAIRPERSON: Can I say first of all, we labour under the same problem but more - perhaps more is the fact that I would have thought that is there was substantial matters raised that canvassed a whole range of things, perhaps one might take account of what you are saying because I think that most of the time it has been an overnight situation.
And Iím very, very sensitive to disadvantaging you or disadvantaging your client but I would say that in fact we have sought to be as helpful as we can be in given the general circumstances. I would say you have to raise - because Iím sure you wouldnít want to say that one single page statements raise profound issues of the sort that you raise.
MR SEMENYA: Chairperson, I concede. The case Iím making is not that one statement raises profound difficulties for the execution of my professional task but I must mention that at least - in terms of my professional understanding of my responsibilities, that single page must entail with me the responsibility to consult with client, not consult with her in a sitting of a nature like this to cross-reference the information - even if she only says to me: "That is correct".
Now against that background Iím making this comment for now so that I do not have this difficulty - this was my complaint the first day and I was told: "Youíre going to get all the documents". I donít know if down the line Iím going to find further documentation which make my task very difficult to execute but for the witness I do not have questions Chairperson.
DR RANDERA: Chairperson, I wonder if I could just make one comment about this - and I really do appreciate what is being said, we unfortunately only received the statements from the persons concerned ourselves. If we had them available we would have obviously have tried to make sure that you had them.
Iím not excusing the situation, Iím just saying thatís part of the problem. Not that we have only received it ourselves now but that the Commission has only received the statements today, so weíll do our very best. The one from Doctor Motlana we received this morning - I hope you got it as well before lunch but the other two literally we only got today from the persons concerned.
MR SEMENYA: Deputy Chairperson, Iím just raising that a legal requirement in terms of the Act, is that the witnesses whoíd be referred to in the hearings would be given statements of those witnesses in advance. I understand the practical difficulty, Iím merely saying it also raises practical difficulties for me and itís not consistent with the dictates of the law.
CHAIRPERSON: Do you want to go on or do you want to have a brief adjournment since I think - I mean they more or less cover - at least two of them cover much the same ground, for you to consult - I mean, a 15 minute break - we could just as well go to tea.
MR JOSEPH: Certain concerns - certain matters concerned you and you raised it with Mrs Mandela, I assume that was allegations of abduction or kidnapping and you then simply asked that she release the young adults - you simply asked her to release, is that correct?
MR JOSEPH: The language used - and my learned friend raised with you, people are released when they are held against their will. Now, when you asked Mrs Mandela to release the children, how did she respond? Did she respond saying: "No", did she respond saying: "Yes" or did she respond saying: "They are not held against their will, they are here voluntarily"? How did she respond?
MR MOTLANA: Mr Chairman, Iím going to repeat myself for the fifth time, that I had a discussion with Mrs Mandela that the people are concerned about the children who are held - presumably against their will, will you release them and she did.
MR MOTLANA: I cannot recall what happened in January 1989 - the discussion that took place, all I know is what resulted from those discussions and those held against their will were subsequently released. Whether I had a fight with her, I canít remember but what I recall is that we had ...[indistinct] discussion and the children were released.
MR JOSEPH: Okay. I asked the question because as far as I can recall you referred to them. Now, they were not children, these were young adults and the information we have is one was 29 years old, the other was 19 years old and the other was 20 years old, is that correct? Are you able to confirm that they were round about that age?
MR MADLOPA: Chairperson, this question is very speculative and heís asking information from a client which he does not too clearly know and have in his personal capacity and therefore I canít see how can he in all likelihood answer that question. Itís very speculative Mr Chairman, with respect.
MR JOSEPH: You saw nothing about their physical appearance which would have made it incapable for them to leave a Christian Missionary or a Christian home when the particular individual was not present, the individual who was threatening them or the individual who was abusing them? They were able to walk and they were quite sound and healthy, correct?
MR JOSEPH: It is people as eminent as you three gentlemen who will be able to assist this Commission because what you say is accepted without any reservation, there are other people who give evidence who have obvious reasons not to tell the truth.
MR JOSEPH: having found their way from the Manse to the home of Mrs Mandela, is the allegation that these three young adults were being sexually abused by a cleric who from time to time was not present, was not holding them behind a locked door, did not have a guard looking after them and what we are expected to believe is that in order to save and to protect them from this abuse, these three men were taken to the house of Mrs Mandela where they were being protected. Now, I find that incomprehensible.
From what you were able to observe from the physical appearance - a cursory physical appearance of these men, would you say that they were capable of - if they wished to leave the Manse, to have left the Mans on their own free will - from what you saw?
MR MOTLANA: Mr Chairman, if I may say so and in response to what youíve asked me, my lawyer - my very bright young lawyer, in fact told me yesterday that Iím going to be asked exactly that question: "Youíre going to be asked in what state they were" and I said to him: "I donít know in what sense theyíll be asking that question, if they ask that question from a doctor I would have said to them I didnít examine them".
As a doctor I would have to produce records of that examination but the kind of question youíre asking is purely speculative There are three young men Iím looking at and Iím asked: "Can they run away".
MR JOSEPH: Can you think of any reason based on your observations, to support a view that if they during the day when this particular Minister was not present, this particular Minister whoís alleged to have sodomised them, if they themselves wanted to remove themselves from that particular establishment they had the physical capability of walking to the door, opening the door and walking into the street and leave that particular establishment?
MR JOSEPH: And they are certainly not children - there is talk of different cultures and use of different words in different cultures, in my culture a child is a person under the age of 10 and 11 - that I would call a child. Are you happy with that?
MR KUNY: Doctor Motlana, itís Mr Kuny representing Miss Falati. Thereís only one issue that I want to canvass with you and thatís the question of access to these young men when you came to Mrs Mandelaís house. Now, itís being put to you that there was a note by Reverend Storey in which he says that you went to Mrs Mandelaís house on the 6th of January, do you recall that?
MR MOTLANA: Mr Chairman, ...[indistinct] sense to me, if my going to Mrs Mandela had been to examine the children, then the question of access becomes important but if my request from the clergy was to have the children released the question of access, access, doesnít arise, so I couldnít have asked for access.
MR MOTLANA: Mr Chairman please, I did not go there to debate the question of whether the boys were held against their will or not. Iíd been asked by the clergy to try and have those boys released into their custody ...[indistinct], that was my mission which I would say was accomplished.
MR KUNY: Do you recall - and Bishop Storey gave evidence in this regard, that he hadnít wanted to go to see the youths on his own, he felt that was not wise, do you recall any discussion regarding that issue?
CHAIRPERSON: I also just wanted to find out. I thought that largely one would seek to have confined your interest to the interest of your particular client, that the questions would be related to your client but I think you go all over the place.
"Also confirms to Bishop Storey, Winnie Mandelaís refusal to let him have access when he first visited her"
In other words, did you tell Bishop Storey on this occasion - did you repeat the information that Mrs Mandela refused to let you have access when you first visited her? You seem somewhat confused Doctor Motlana.
CHAIRPERSON: Iím sorry, Mr Kuny I donít think that that is a fair comment and I think that the witnesses are seeking to be as helpful as possible. Heís saying that he isnít as young as he used to be and up to now on the whole you have avoided being either sarcastic or so on and I would you will remain that way or even make people feel that you were insulting.
I will not permit that to be the kind of manner in which we proceed here. If he canít answer the question, he canít answer the question and if he says he canít remember, he canít remember and then let us make the inference.
MR KUNY: May I just make myself clear, Iím not intending to be sarcastic or demeaning in any way and if the witness - if Doctor Motlana is not sure, Iím quite satisfied that he should just say: "I cannot remember" or "Iím not sure".
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, that is what Iím trying to say. I hope that we carry on our proceedings in a way that ensures that itís a sort generally amicable atmosphere that operates, thank you. Yes?
MR SOLLER: Doctor Motlana, Peter Soller on behalf of Sekile Mbatha. Can I ask you one question - looking through an affidavit of Mrs Albertina Sisulu, I see that she says in the practice of Doctor Asvat what they did was it was a standard procedure to take fingerprints of male patients in Doctor Asvat practice. Is that normally a standard procedure in any medical practice in your experience.
DR RANDERA: Doctor Motlana, I want to actually go back before January when you come into contact on this issue of the abduction of young people and thatís what weíve been listening to for the last three to four days and particularly this morning and this afternoon from the leaders of the Crisis Committee when they talked and described the activities of the - whatever you want to call it, Mandela Football Club, young people, so letís not get stuck on the expression.
MR MOTLANA: Mr Chairman, as one who lived in Soweto, who read the newspaper, who heard stories, I also heard about the happenings around the football club but I didnít have personal knowledge about those events or practices.
DR RANDERA: Doctor Motlana, I just want to come to this issue of the 6th of January - and again we may have the dates wrong, so letís not get stuck on the dates but yesterday we heard for Bishop Storey and Bishop Verryn their concern about the abduction and Mr Mbangula also in his statement talks about when he returns from his holiday on the 7th of January that itís reported to him about the abduction. Now one of the concerns - and we had Bishop Verryn actually apologising to Mrs Seipei yesterday, was on this issue of this young boy, a 14 year old, there was this concern about him being an informer and perhaps given the atmosphere of the time, given the culture of the time, that this put him in a great deal of danger.
What Iím trying to understand in your answers to us in terms of the meeting that you had on the 6th or 7th or 8th with Mrs Mandela the first time, did Bishop Storey and the other clergy not discuss these concerns with you at the time? And therefor when you went to see Mrs Mandela, did you not also go with that concern in terms of asking for the release of these young people?
DR RANDERA: Sorry, Doctor Motlana, Iím just going back to your own statement. You see, youíre saying in your statement that you actually meet with the clergy at your house or at somebody elseís house, besides the point of Peter Storey phoning you so thereís actually a meeting that takes place.
DR RANDERA: Where a discussion takes place - I hope over a period of time, between you and the clergy where theyíre expressing all these concerns to you and you then go and see Mrs Mandela as I understand the sequence of events. Iíve known you for a long time, I know you as a very empathetic, sympathetic doctor and human being. Now, when you go to this house therefore, do you not take those concerns with you in your discussion with Mrs Mandela?
MR MOTLANA: Clearly Mr Chairman, I would have done that. My answer to you Sir, is that as a concerned member of the community, as a friend of the family, as a medical attendant to the family, clearly those discussion would have a reason - clearly.
MR MOTLANA: Iíd gone there to ask for the release of the young people because Iíd been asked to do so, it never occurred to me in the course of my GP practice in Soweto that I should go to Mrs Mandela and say: "I believe there are children who are being held against their will in your house". ...[inaudible] I only referred to that because I was asked and the whole thing - if I may say so Mr Chairman, relates back to what had hurt the church namely, the allegations against Paul Verryn. And from then on thereís a whole sequence of events and I got involved over the story of Paul Verryn.
When I first got involved it was really was to say to Mrs Mandela: "There have been these stories about abuse, sodomising of the children, please just stop talking about that". The next time was to say to Mrs Mandela: "There are children about whom there are stories that they are being held against their will, shall we have them released" and I thought - if I may say so, Iíve been successful in having them released to the custody of the church.
DR RANDERA: Doctor Motlana, with the greatest of respect to you, the release that youíre talking about takes place almost 10 days after your first meeting. I think weíve got to actually - I mean, what weíre trying to understand here today, I take your point about the allegations against Bishop Verryn, the Reverend Verryn at the time, but weíve heard several time from Frank Chikane today, from Sydney Mufamadi that the key concern on their part - and I hope on the part of the leaders and you yourself besides being a friend and an eminent GP in the area, you too were a leader in the community, so the concern was for these young people.
MR MOTLANA: Then you must put those issues in context. There was formed in Soweto as you very well know, the Crisis Committee and it was that Crisis Committee that sought to interact with Mrs Mandela, I was not part of that Crisis Committee.
MR MADLOPA: Mr Chairperson, again it is not within the ...[indistinct] of my client to have ensured that the children were release immediately, he was not the so-called - or under a quotation mark "the person who was actually restraining them", so the question is unfair in the first place to ask him as to why he did not ensure that the children were released.
DR RANDERA: But we know now that a gross human rights violation took place, a young boy by the name of Stompie Seipei died. Now, when you went there you werenít aware that he was dead already at that time or may have been dead already and it was that concern I think that most people - that weíve heard today from the Committee, that was the concern that I think you went with. And itís that issue that Iím wrestling with myself in terms of understanding but thatís my point.
MR NTSEBEZA: Thank you Mr Chair. Doctor Motlana, just for the record, the only way I think in which you refer to those minors as children is when you attributed the word to your wife on page three of your statement.
Now, there was a reply that you gave that was very interesting and that was you said: "Perhaps I was just happy to have taken the three away that I found". Now, when you went to intervene, were you aware that there was a person by the name of Stompie who had also allegedly been taken away from the Methodist Manse?
MR NTSEBEZA: And subsequent to your discussions with Bishop as to whether there was one or two or three, were you aware that also central to the concerns expressed was the fact that there was fear that the extent of the assault that were alleged to have taken place on the youths at the house, may have cost - certainly Stompie, his life or was that never discussed in those sort of terms even as a concern?
MR NTSEBEZA: And can you tell us how you felt - if you felt anything, knowing that one of the persons whose release you had to secure was Stompie and now you were going away from that house without him?
MR MOTLANA: I cannot explain that Mr Chairman, in the first place I didnít know how many of those young people will be released into my care and when I got the three - as Iíve indicated, I thought it was partial victory. I didnít ask about Stompie, I wasnít sure what had happened to Stompie.
Doctor, just for linguistic correctness - I hear these words are being used very loosely, did you have a negotiation as we had it with our democratisation with Mrs Mandela or you had a discussion about these children to be for now released? Was it a negotiation or was it a discussion that the children should be released for this purpose?
MR SEMENYA: Discussion. Did you discuss the release of the children or were you negotiating because to my mind this negotiation entails two adversaries negotiating a middle position, that is why Iím saying for linguistic correctness, do you consider your discussion with Mrs Mandela to be a discussion or a negotiation because the two concepts are miles apart?
MR MOTLANA: Now, Iíve got a real problem, I studied science I didnít study linguistics and as far as Iím concerned we scientists are exact, we donít waste time over the nuances and meaning of words you know.
Let me repeat, I went to Mrs Mandela to request her to release these minors into my care so I can pass them on to somebody else. Whether that amounts to a discussion or negotiation Mr Chairman, really I canít tell you.
Let me get to the second point. For some reason - and Iím taking advantage of you knowledge of the Diepkloof residence, that the children were kept their against their will, can conjure in oneís mind that there were high walls there. Were there high walls?
MR MOTLANA: Mr Chairman, the gates to the Mandela residence ...[indistinct] nonsense - concrete wall, that also ...[indistinct] no but the entrance is freely accessible. I think much, much later the security did improve I think after maybe Mrs Mandela had been threatened or something, the security did improve but at those times in 88/89, you could walk in and out.
CHAIRPERSON: I had hoped we were going to have finished with the trio before we took a break for tea. Well, there is tea and we are going on until 7 oíclock tonight, so we probably need to have a bit of a break now. Perhaps we can finish Doctor Motlana, we hope we can finish Doctor Motlana.
MS SOOKA: Doctor Motlana, I really donít want to get caught in a language difficulty because weíre talking about ...[inaudible] but I think the fact of the matter is that there had been a period when different individuals in the community had tried to secure the release of these young boys. You were in fact sent in I think as almost the last resort.
Now, there had been a consultation between you and these church leaders where I think the circumstances had been explained to you about the position these boys were being held in and I assume that when you went in there, you went in with that kind of knowledge. Now why -given the fact that you knew there was this boy Stompie as well, were you unable to raise the questions of where this missing boy was - Stompie Seipei ?
MS SOOKA: You see the one question that I think my learned colleague over there has raised, is that it was possible for these boys to walk from the house and we given this image of the house with possibly wall etc., and so I think the question that one