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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 552
Paragraph Numbers 96 to 99
96 Chief Gilbert Rangoezi Tshikalange [JB01421/02NPVEN] was first imprisoned for three months and later banished to the northern Cape because of his refusal to accept the newly established homeland administration in Venda. Born into the Tshikalange royal family at Tshififi, a traditional area in the magisterial district of Thohoyandou in Venda, Tshikalange worked in Johannesburg during the 1950s, where he joined the ANC. When his father died in 1963, Tshikalange succeeded him as a chief at Tshififi. However, Tshikalange soon clashed with the government’s newly established Bantu Authorities under whose jurisdiction he was placed and was sentenced to a period of three months imprisonment. In 1966, Tshikalange was forcefully deposed and a chief from another area, Mr Mudzhadzi Mphaphuli, was imposed as ruler of Tshififi.
97 When the Tshififi community rejected the imposed chief, the Bantu Authorities banished Tshikalange. In 1969, he was deported to Kuruman in the northern Cape, thousands of miles from his home. Tshikalange’s banishment lasted seven years until it was finally lifted in October 1976. Tshikalange and his wife were restricted to an isolated farm where they were not allowed to have contact with anyone except the local police.
98 The Commission received statements about an ongoing dispute in 1974–76 regarding the succession of the Bataung chief in Bophuthatswana. The dispute was exacerbated by the government’s attempt to control the process and ensure that a chief sympathetic to its policies was installed, supporting a bid by a Mr Tshajwa against Chief Lion, the popular choice. Commission deponents reported that Tshajwa and his followers were responsible for intimidating Chief Lion’s supporters. In her statement to the Commission, Ms Pileng Maria Lenisa [JB04248/03NWRUS] described the stoning and burning of her house in Taung in 1976:
The problem was these two chiefs, Mr Tshajwa did not want to give Mr Lion his position. Instead of giving it back to him, Mr Tshajwa’s followers burned houses of Mr Lion’s followers. I had to sleep without a blanket for five days and manage to make a shack for my family, until now, I’m still living in that shack.
99 In total, fourteen statements were received referring to this conflict – eleven cases relating to destruction of property, one of severe beating, one of mental torture and one of severe ill treatment.
THE COMMISSION FINDS THE FORMER STATE AND THE TRIBAL AUTHORITIES DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SEVERE ILL TREATMENT OF CHIEF TSHIKALANGE.
IN REVIEWING THE EVIDENCE RECEIVED, THE COMMISSION FINDS THAT THE ONGOING CHIEFTAINSHIP SUCCESSION DISPUTE IN RESPECT OF THE BATAUNG CHIEF IN BOPHUTHATSWANA WAS EXPLOITED BY THE FORMER STATE IN AN ATTEMPT TO IMPOSE A CHIEF ON THE BATAUNG PEOPLE. THE ENSUING CONFLICT LED TO THE TORTURE AND SEVERE ILL TREATMENT. FOR THESE VIOLATIONS, THE COMMISSION HOLDS THE FORMER STATE, THE BANTU AUTHORITIES AND CHIEF TSHAJWA ACCOUNTABLE.