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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 446
Paragraph Numbers 213 to 217
213 Oudtshoorn activist Mr Sipho Kroma [CT05702] was detained together with Mr Michael Lukas and Mr Mxolisi Madikane in Uitenhage after the fatal shooting of bus inspector and former SAP member Mr William Blouw on 15 April 1986. Kroma, Lukas and Madikane were severely tortured and forced to make statements implicating Lukas in the death of William Blouw. The torturers were policemen from Oudtshoorn. Kroma told the Commission:
They put me (handcuffed) in the boot of the car. On the way out of KwaNobuhle township, they stopped again. They pulled me out of the boot and the very same show continued – they kicked me, jumping on top of me. Again I went back to my place – the boot – and we drove to the Church Street police station in Uitenhage. When we got there, they first took Michael Lukas in. The only thing that we could hear was Michael screaming. They dealt with him for about two hours. They finished with him and they called me in. They made me sit. They straightened my legs and they brought the SACP flag and they used the flag to tie my legs. And they brought the electric wiring, all ten of my fingers were wired with this thing … three of them were sitting on my legs. The coloured chap’s task was to beat me up and he made sure that he was hurting me. Time and again he would deal with my private parts, to grab at my penis, and my testicles, and punch me in my private parts and also kick me in my private parts. The first [indistinct] of interrogation was trying to link Michael who was with me to a case of Mr Blouw who was shot and killed in the township. They wanted me to admit and agree that Michael said to us that he was responsible for the shooting of Mr Blouw.
Mpondo was the one who was using a khaki T-shirt, they would put it in a bucket of water, and tied it around my face, making it impossible for me to breathe. Mngoma’s task was to ask a question … if he is not satisfied with my explanation, he would give a mandate for them to fire. Firing meant to put on the electric shot … I would be shaking like this when they put on the wire. They dealt with me for about two hours. Then it was the last time that I saw Michael, when I was released from detention and he was charged and ultimately hanged.
214 Mr Michael Lukas [CT00535] and two others were subsequently charged for the murder of Blouw. Lukas was sentenced to death in August 1987 and was executed seven months later.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT EXECUTION FOR POLITICALLY-MOTIVATED OFFENCES CONSTITUTED A GROSS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION.
215 In Worcester, certain police personnel are repeatedly named as torturers, including Warrant Officer Lucas van Loggerenberg. A group of security detainees including Mr Xolile Dyabooi [CT00232], Mr Monwabisi Magoqi [CT00772] and Ms Mary Ngemntu [CCT00404] were assaulted and tortured by Worcester police. Mr Dyabooi stated that:
In 1987 the police who used to take me for torture was Van Loggerenberg ... They used to handcuff me and suffocate me with a plastic bag and tie me in a chair. Then they would punch me and kick me severely. This happened for about three weeks in a row, each and every day.
216 The personnel file of Sergeant H MacDonald [39831H/5] refers to numerous charges of assault and torture against himself, Warrant Officer van Loggerenberg and Lieutenant Gerrit Niewoudt by detainees over several years, all of which are denied by those so charged. In each instance, the Attorney-General declined to prosecute.
217 Ms Yvonne Khutwane [CT00530] of Worcester spoke about her experience in custody:
That was the first time when I was arrested … I was just alone at the back of the hippo [police armoured vehicle] and they were just driving – it was pitch dark outside. They alighted the hippo and then they came to take me out of the hippo. One of them said to me can I see what I have put myself in, and then they asked me when did I last sleep with a man. I was so embarrassed by this question. And I felt so humiliated – I informed them that I have nobody – I didn’t have a partner and then they asked me with whom am I staying. I informed them that I was with my family. The other question that they asked me is how do I feel when they – when I am having intercourse with a man. This was too much for me because they were repeating it time and again, asking me the same question, asking me what do I like with the intercourse do I like the size of the penis or what do I enjoy most. So the other one was just putting his hand inside me through the vagina, I was crying because I was afraid, we have heard that the soldiers are very notorious of raping people. This one continued putting his finger right through me, he kept on penetrating and I was asking for forgiveness and I was asking them what have I done, “I am old enough to be your mother”. “But why are you treating me like this” – this was very, very embarrassing. At the end one of them – I think maybe God just came inside them – and the other one said “let’s let her go”, and then at the end they took me back to the police station and then they locked me up in the cell again.21