Human Rights Violation Hearing

Starting Date 17 July 1996
Day 1
Case Number 00511
Original File

CHAIRPERSON: Is that a family member with you? Before you begin your testimony I'll ask you to take the oath please. Carry on Mr Malan.


MR MALAN: I will assist you where necessary but I'm sure you will be able to tell us your story. We have a written statement which is concise and yet complete but we would appreciate it if you would go through your story with us so that the public too can hear exactly what you're saying, bearing in mind that we still have some witnesses to hear after you but thank you very much and please if you will tell us what happened?

MRS KUTUMELA: On the fifth of April 1986 I was in my house in Soweto and I received a call and I got a phone message where I was asked if I am Morenanna, and I said yes. They said they want to come and see me and when I asked them who they were they said that they are Lucky's friends and they are going to Moedeloos, and will see me in passing. I agreed but I was a little bit worried because when I came home in 1986 in March I expected my son to come home and he didn't come back. Saturday, Sunday he didn't come and I decided not to go back to Jo'burg. I went to Mukopane hospital and I didn't find him there.

When I was supposed to call Pietersburg, I discovered that I don't have the Pietersburg hospital telephone number, went to the police station and they said he wasn't there. decided to leave, but I left a message that when he comes he must call me. When I arrived there my heart was disturbed because I didn't know where he was. In the afternoon I received a call and he said to me he was in Sishego and he was detained, he was arrested and was in the police station. I felt relieved because I realised that he was still alive. And then later I heard that he was dead.

On the eighth of March I went to Seshego and they told me that he's no longer alive, and when I went there I discovered, it's true, he's dead. I found out he had been injured, his face was swollen, he had been really injured.

On the sixth, it was on Sunday, we wanted to know who else was with him and I found out it was Phiri Gegane, Teredi Kegane, Galedi Tobejane, Jeffrey Mohale, Martha Balitswale, Baledi Silolo and someone else. Actually they were all six, he was the seventh. And they found them in one shebeen, they were sitting there drinking, except for him because he didn't drink liquor, he had a cool drink in front of him. When they were sitting there eleven policemen came and said that these boys were having a comrade meeting, so they took them to the police station. They hit them, they kicked them and they took the seven of them to the charge office. They said that they released seven of them, and they said Jeffrey Mohale, Baledi Silolo, Phiri Gegane, John Teredi Gegane, these four were supposed to be dead, and he was just injured, but they couldn't really walk because they were really injured.

One policeman by the name of Morare asked them if they knew what they were doing, they were killing the children. Then he said that he didn't even want to hear about them, all he wants is to see their corpses the next morning.

From there he couldn't sleep, he had nightmares and blood was flowing all over. Some of them couldn't even walk. Then they said, "Your boy are stubborn, you write in the newspapers that we policemen are killing people". On that newspaper it was written that police were killing people and they were accusing him of writing that. They took him to one police station which they called Stadium. They assaulted my son and they told him they are going to kill him because he was reporting nonsense to people, telling them that the police are killing people.

One of them by the name of Amos Rampedi kicked him in his private parts. The next morning they discovered that he was dead. Then Tobejane was admitted in Rankuwa. After that they conducted an inquest. In 1987 we needed lawyers to conduct the inquest and then we were told that Lucky was killed. Dr Tlatla and Gadimeni and Richard Ramodiba, conducted a post mortem on Lucky's body and they discovered that he was killed by 41 sjambok marks, and afterwards the started conducting the inquest.

In March 1988 they told us that police are now in Pieprus. Mr Mabuza who was a magistrate, he found that the police were guilty because this kid was killed by 41 sjambok marks, and then the case was referred to a regional court. We didn't even know that Lucky's case was on and we heard afterwards when sentence was supposed to be announced.

Jeffrey Mohale's mother and myself went to the regional court and we discovered that the policemen were there and they were discharged. They were found not guilty.

We tried again to write to the Justice Department from 10th January 1994, we asked Mr Vosloo and he advised us that this case is an old case and therefore it will be difficult. We explained to him that we have been trying to do this for a long time and Mr Boyd is the one who destroyed this case. They told us that this case been for over two years. They kept on doing that. When we were supposed to go to court, we were not told and they told us this case has no witnesses so it's going to be difficult. They were found innocent. The witnesses were there but they were not called and that's how I see this whole case. I tried to work on it but nothing happened.

MR MALAN: Thank you very much Mrs Kutumela. I'm sure some of the Commissioners will have questions. I have no follow-up at the moment I want to thank you for giving clear evidence on something that must be a traumatic experience again.

MR MANTHATA: Mrs Kutumela, the way you're relating your story is that you are telling us that, according to you who is guilty here, is it the police or the court.

MRS KUTUMELA: The policemen because they're the ones who killed my son, and afterwards they went and looked for their own witnesses in order to be found innocent. We were not even told when the case was on, we just found out afterwards that the case had been on and the police were found innocent. Therefore I find the police to be the guilty party, not the court.

DR ALLY: Do you have any idea why in the court case, these men were found not guilty, because you say in the court, in the first inquest, it was said that they were responsible for his death, given that it was shown clearly that he had died of these 41 sjambok marks.

MRS KUTUMELA: I'm saying that we were not told and we were supposed to be told when to go to court. They didn't even tell us in time when the case would be and they looked for their own witnesses so that they could be found innocent.

DR ALLY: What is presently happening to Lucky's case, is it still being handled by the lawyers?

MRS KUTUMELA: Yes the lawyers are still busy on that case. Don Kadumeng is the lawyer. Because the people who are guilty.

CHAIRPERSON: Kadumeng who is the lawyer, what is he presently doing, is he suing the police or what is the status of the case?

MRS KUTUMELA: This case is still on hold because when we are supposed to go to court, they hold the witnesses. Now the Government has taken over, that's why we are here today.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mrs Kutumela, we will certainly be in touch with your lawyer Mr Kadumeng and see how we as the Truth Commission can be of assistance in this matter. Thank you very for relating what I know must be a very painful experience and hurtful memories. Thank you.