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TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
SUBMISSIONS - QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
DATE: 17.04.96 NAME: MXOLISI RWEQANA
CASE: EC0050/96 - EAST LONDON
DR BORAINE: The hour is quite late, we've had a very exhausting day, but we want to take one final witness who will be supported by an eye witness, so I call to the witness stand Mxolisi Rweqana and Mzwoxolo Matoto Nano.
You are Mr Rweqana? Welcome. Thank you very much for coming and for waiting so long. We are glad that we can see you today rather than tomorrow, because otherwise you have to wait yet another anxious night. Will you please stand?
MXOLISI RWEQANA: (sworn states)
MZWOXOLO MATOTONANO: (sworn states)
DR BORAINE: The stories that you are going to tell in many ways are very discouraging because there are so many stories like this and yet every story is so so important, and we want you to know that you are important whether you start in the early morning or whether you are the final witness in the day. You count and we would like you to take your time and relax, and you will be led in the evidence by Mr Sandi and I hope you will feel ready now to tell your story. Thank you.
MR SANDI: I'll start with you Mr Rweqana. I understand that you have lodged a complaint on behalf of your brother Andile Rweqana.
MR RWEQANA: Yes it is so.
MR SANDI: Can you tell us what happened about him?
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MR RWEQANA: Andile Rweqana was my younger brother. When I came here at Pagamisa, I went to see them. I received a message through my sister saying, Andile went away a day before because he was called by Madodana and then he went to his house. Again she said Andile didn't come back but there was also a message which was unconfirmed. It was said he people who were also there in the house of Madodana were arrested and some of them have been shot dead. This continued and the information was still unconfirmed until Tuesday. The police came in on this Tuesday and they came to say that we must go and identify the body.
After the family members went there, they confirmed that it was indeed Andile who had died. We tried to make preparations for the funeral. A few days before it I was sent to Zwelitscha, one of the townships where I met Pumele Lori. When I asked Pumele what happened and I wanted him to confirm and state what had happened, because he was a policeman. He said he was on leave but when he came back he learned about what had happened.
MR SANDI: Who is Pumele Lebani?
MR RWEQANA: It is Pumele Lelori. After a few days before the funeral, there were people who came from the security forces. This person identified himself as Zishruba, he was amongst the people who visited us. He said he was sent by the police and the office to give orders about the way in which the funeral arrangements should be carried out. I was staying with Sisnama Tamsanga at the time. We asked Mr Zishruba who sent them and then asked whose funeral they were giving orders for. They said it is Andile's funeral and then we asked who it was that killed Andile? They were shocked also and said, haven't we learned from the police or EAST LONDON HEARING TRC/EASTERN CAPE
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the office that this child was dead and when we said no, they apologised, because they didn't know that we were not aware of what had happened to Andile.
We were making preparations until the day of the funeral. In the morning of one of those days there was a messenger who came to say the school children and the people who were coming to the funeral had been turned away by the police. These people were ordered not to attend the funeral. The few people who were able to attend the funeral were the people who arrived the day before. Even the day of the funeral there were a lot of police.
After the funeral, there was a continuous visit. There were always motorcars opposite our neighbours and in front of the family house, we didn't know what they were looking for. What happened is that we were told that we were wanted at the offices and it was said that one of the lawyers want us, and we were told that there are other people who are handling our case. We didn't know where to go, we didn't even know who the lawyer was and we never lodged any complaint. We spent a short period and after that when we didn't respond we were called again, and then we went to this lawyer. We asked him who gave him permission to continue with the case because we didn't lodge any complaint. We requested that if there is a file there, we wanted it to be submitted to us and then we said we'll take it to our own lawyer.
There was no progress in the case and we were able to write to the Attorney General. At the time it was the Ciskeian Homeland. Jurgens said there is nobody that he can prosecute about this happening.
MR SANDI: Without disturbing you, what was your brother
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doing, was he a teacher?
MR RWEQANA: Yes he was a teacher. He was a teacher at Ngqzulu.
MR SANDI: Is it his friend who is next to you on your right?
MR RWEQANA: I cannot say he is his friend.
MR SANDI: Are there any indications of what happened before you r brother was shot?
MR RWEQANA: Yes there things that happened. On the 15th of June they were arrested, it was Andile and Mr Nano and a few others. It was alleged that they were distributing pamphlets for June 15th/16th. All those people were arrested, they never appeared in court, they were released on the day of the 11th July and he died on the 17th, the same month.
MR SANDI: What did he say took place when he was arrested?
MR RWEQANA: We didn't have a lot of time to talk about what happened...(end of tape 15)
(incomplete -------- next tape missing)