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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 68

Paragraph Numbers 121 to 128

Volume 3

Chapter 2

Subsection 13

Vigilantes

121 In Grahamstown in 1980, some parents opposed to the school boycotts formed a vigilante group called the Peacemakers. On 14 May, Peacemakers member Mthantiso Alfred Soya [EC0437/96ALB] was attacked with pangas and stoned to death by youths in the grounds of a Grahamstown school, following a clash between scholars and police supported by the Peacemakers. Several youths were later convicted in connection with this murder. The widow, Ms Nomilile Phyllis Thandiwe Soya, told the Commission:

The youth did not attend schools. As a result, the parents were disturbed by this; they tried by all means to persuade children to go back to school. It was then that the Peacemakers were formed … we decided that we are going to ask the Peacemakers to persuade the children to go back to school
… The parents decided to ask the Peacemakers, not the police because the police might shoot the children.

122 The Peacemakers did not succeed in ending the boycott; instead, there was a violent clash involving students, Peacemakers and police at Andrew Moyake School in Joza, Grahamstown. Ms Soya added that the police had assaulted the children and the children had retaliated.

Resistance and revolutionary groupings

123 Black police officers — especially the Security Branch — township municipal councillors and people regarded by UDF supporters as collaborating with the state were targets of attack.

Resistance to homeland rule

124 Transkei’s independence in October 1976 was ushered in by a wave of detentions of anti-homeland rule campaigners. A similar intolerance of dissent marked Ciskei’s independence in 1982. The South African Proclamations 400 and 413, issued in 1960 to help suppress the Pondoland Revolt in Transkei, were replaced by the Transkei Public Security Act of 1977. By 1980, Transkei had declared a state of emergency in terms of this Act.

125 Although forced removals were not defined as violations in terms of the Commission’s mandate, they were a significant part of repression in the homelands. The use of forced removals to consolidate the homelands was well under way by this period. The Commission received individual statements from people who had opposed such removals.

126 Banishment was one tool used to silence dissent. People could be banished to another area in the homeland, from South Africa to a homeland, or even expelled from a homeland.

The case of Ezra Zeera Mtshontshi
Mr Ezra Zeera Mtshontshi [EC0969/96ELN] was first detained in 1963 in connection with PAC activities after being deported from Zimbabwe. In 1976, he was detained in Transkei for opposing Transkei independence. In 1980, he avoided being served with a Transkei banishment order by fleeing over the border to King William’s Town.
The case of Phindile Mfeti
Trade unionist Phindile Mfeti [EC0020/96STK] was detained in 1977, banned on his release and banished from Transvaal to Butterworth in Transkei. Mr Mfeti disappeared permanently while in Durban in April 1987.
The cases of Chiefs Mbeki and Anderson Joyi and Others
In 1978, Chiefs Mbeki Marhelane Bangilizwe Joyi [EC0259/96UTA] and Anderson Dalagubhe Joyi [EC2437/97UTA] were banished along with their followers to different places within Transkei, after opposing the Matanzima government. In 1980, their homes were demolished, apparently on government orders. They were able to return home only after the military coup of 1987.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT THE TRANSKEI HOMELAND AUTHORITY, THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT PARAMOUNT CHIEF KAISER DALIWONGA MATANZIMA, WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR ORDERING OR SANCTIONING VARIOUS ACTS WHICH AMOUNT TO GROSS VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS – INCLUDING THE DETENTION OF MR EZRA ZEERA MTSHONTSHI, THE DETENTION OF MR PHINDILE MFETI AND THE BANISHMENT AND DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTIES OF MR BANGILIZWE JOYI AND MR DALAGUBHE JOYI.
Unions

127 In Ciskei, the new homeland government targeted emergent trade unions, effectively outlawing unionism in the territory. The South African Allied Workers’ Union (SAAWU) was formed in 1979 with a base in East London, just outside Ciskei, and organised among workers who worked in East London but returned home across the Ciskei border to Mdantsane at night. SAAWU had a substantial impact on the emergence of unionism in the region. Unionists were sometimes detained by the SAP and were handed across the border to the Ciskei Police.

128 SAAWU leader Thozamile Gqweta was repeatedly detained and his family harassed. His mother was killed in a petrol bomb attack on his home in 1981.

The case of Deliswa Roxiso
After attending the funeral of Gqweta’s mother in Peelton on about 8 November, Ms Deliswa Roxiso [EC0377/96ELN] was shot dead by Ciskei police. Her mother, Ms Philda Novula Roxiso told the Commission:
“On their arrival at Mdantsane Highway and while they were alighting from the buses, the police started firing at them. It is said that my daughter was first shot at the leg and then on the head. She then fell on the ground. She was then dragged by the same members of the police force into the back of the police van.”
Ms Philda Roxiso said her husband had tried to find Deliswa, but police initially refused to talk to him. Eventually he was able to meet with Ciskei security chief Charles Sebe, who told him that Deliswa had been shot by the police.
The case of Bonisile Norushe
Mr Bonisile Philemon Norushe [EC0389/96ELN], a branch secretary for the African Food and Canning Workers’ Union, was detained by the Cambridge security police in East London after a 16 June commemoration service in 1980. He told the Commission of his assault in detention:
“One policeman … who was leading the attack, pushed his middle fingers into both my ears. He kicked me on the groin and that blow lifted me up and I hit the roof with my head and fell down unconscious.”
Norushe still suffers from the after-effects of the assaults. The police held him for a year, telling him they were planning to bring sabotage charges against him. Instead, he was called as a state witness in the trial of another unionist, Mr Mandla Gxanyana. On refusing to give evidence in that case, he was jailed for about a year.
In 1983, a year after his release, the Cambridge security police again detained him and handed him over to the Ciskei police. He and his wife eventually fled into exile.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT THE CISKEI HOMELAND AUTHORITY, THROUGH ITS PRESIDENT CHIEF LENNOX SEBE AND THE HEAD OF THE CISKEI SECURITY FORCES GENERAL CHARLES SEBE, WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR ORDERING OR SANCTIONING VARIOUS ACTS WHICH AMOUNT TO GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS — INCLUDING THE SEVERE HARASSMENT, DETENTION AND TORTURE OF THE LEADING MEMBERS OF SAAWU AND THE KILLING OF MS DELISWA ROXISO.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT THE ACTIONS OF THE TRANSKEI AND CISKEI HOMELAND AUTHORITIES AMOUNTED TO GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS FOR WHICH PARAMOUNT CHIEF KAISER DALIWONGA MATANZIMA AND CHIEF LENNOX WONGAMA SEBE, IN THEIR CAPACITIES AS HEADS OF THESE AUTHORITIES, ARE HELD RESPONSIBLE.
 
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