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TRC Final Report
Page Number (Original) 134
Paragraph Numbers 56 to 58
‘LEFTOVERS FROM THE STRUGGLE’: THE STORY OF MR XOLILE DYABOOI
56. In 1987, Mr Xolile Dyabooi was detained by the Bophuthatswana Police. He was tortured in Mmabatho and held in solitary confinement in Brandvlei prison, before being convicted of terrorism and jailed for five years. He was released as part of the indemnity process in December 1990.
57. In Mr Dyabooi’s view, reconciliation can only effectively be achieved when those who have suffered are given an opportunity to participate in rebuilding society. As a person who fought on the side of what became the present government , he told the Commission:6 4
What I am saying is that we contributed a lot to the struggle: our contribution can never be necessarily only paid on money, there are many things. But now after all these things I feel the other people tend to forget our role. There are those who might benefit from our victories. So now feel that we are people who a re leftovers from the struggle.
Because we were supposed to be given an opportunity, like of using the skills we got from our times in the struggles, in terms of building reconstruction, I mean in terms of building reconciliation, because I don’t believe reconciliation can only come through Mandela or Thabo Mbeki’s speeches. I believe that people on the ground, who experienced those things, must be able to be given opportunities, like opportunities in terms of work, bursaries and all those things. But I strongly believe that the contribution we can be, like we need to be on the ground, and all that, to do something. But now our skills instead of being used, they are wasted, you see. Because after the whole thing you don’t feel comfortable in this situation, ja.
I am still suffering. I’m still at my home. My life is in ruins. I don’t have hope for tomorrow. Maybe I will survive. I don’t know. I am just a human that goes up and down like a zombie. Although there are some sung heroes who are there. So I believe that we are unsung heroes. We contributed to the struggle, then we w e re banned until the new order came and even the new order banned us. D o n ’t talk, maybe someone from above will come and address these things. We waited until now.
58. Mr Dyabooi expressed anger at the present government and at the Commission, which he sees as working closely with the government :
Ja, when I went to the TRC I hoped for better life. I thought I would get better life in terms of – in terms of – like I asked for education, I asked for – I mean, how can I say now – I asked for accommodation and whatsoever. Although those people promised that they will consider my request, I waited until now, nothing has happened. I just hoped each and every month and years. I waited and waited but today, now, I won’t wait.
In the beginning the government promised to give us reparation, but at the end the gove rnment now is trying to play hideandseek. They don’t give us a opportunity to express our views. They don’t call us into their commissions, to present our ideas or our feelings about the whole thing – they just sum up, and go and take decisions on their own.
So therefore I am saying, there can’t be reconciliation without taking those people who were victims into their board.64 Interview conducted with deponent by the Commission, 2000 .