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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 586
Paragraph Numbers 211
The case of Tshifhiwa Isaac Muofhe
Mr Tshifhiwa Isaac Muofhe [JB00540/02NPVEN], president of BECO and an underground agent of the ANC, died on 12 November 1981, two days after being detained by Venda police. Captain Ramaligela and Constable Managa, members of the Venda Security Force, arrested Mr Muofhe on suspicion of being involved in the Sibasa bomb explosion. They interrogated him and later took him out in an open Landrover to point out particular places.
They alleged that Muofhe tried to escape by jumping from the vehicle in which they were travelling. Muofhe was taken back and detained at Matashe, the Venda central prison in Vondwe, near Sibasa. He was found dead the next morning.
A post mortem was performed which concluded that the cause of death was internal bleeding. An inquest was subsequently held at the Sibasa magistrate’s court in August 1982. Ramaligela and Managa were charged with Muofhe’s murder, found not guilty and discharged.
This was the third time that Muofhe had been arrested. In 1977 he was detained for ninety days at Sibasa police station, then moved to several other prisons before his release. In 1978, he was again detained for a weekend in Messina, tortured and given electric shocks by the SAP, who alleged that he was a terrorist.
The case of Pastor Simon Farisani
Shortly after Muofhe’s death in November 1981, Venda security force members Ramaligela, Managa, Nesamari and Rambuda detained and tortured Pastor Simon Farisani in connection with the Sibasa police station bomb explosion and Muofe’s alleged involvement in it.
Pastor Farisani claimed that an attempt was made to force him to write statements to this effect and that he was tortured when he refused. He alleged that Venda police brought in a white policeman experienced in electric shock torture. Farisani was taken to a room where a bag was put over his head. A glue-like substance was poured on his hair, ears, thighs and private parts. He was given electric shocks, made to stand on his head and thrown onto concrete. He described his torture:
“I was just waiting for any fist that could hit on me so that I should die. And as I was praying, I was pleading to God to die … They said I was not cooperating. I was beaten again. It was deep harassment. I was just beaten. This head felt a lot of pain. I don’t know why I am not mad. Blood was flowing [from] my mouth; I couldn’t see … because my eyes were swollen … They again said I wasn’t co-operating, I was still laying there. Ramaligela said, “Just boil water in your kettle, we want to pour this water in his anus.” Whilst I was laying there, my problem was that – just to pour water in my anus, boiling water in my anus. It didn’t mean that I could die there and then – I was – such a case never happened to me. I know such a place is very delicate.”
The case of Pastor Ndanganeni Petrus Phaswana
Pastor Ndanganeni Petrus Phaswana [JB01501/02NPVEN] was accused of being involved in the bombing of the Sibasa police station. He was arrested by Captain Ramaligela and Detective Managa on 5 January 1982.
Pastor Phaswana was severely assaulted and tortured. His beard and pubic hair were pulled out; a hood was placed over his head and a cold liquid substance was poured over his body. Electrodes were clipped onto his earlobes over the canvas bag and he was subjected to electric shocks for several hours.