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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 527

Paragraph Numbers 72 to 76

Volume 6

Section 4

Chapter 1

Subsection 7


72. Aside from missing persons known to have been abducted or arrested and those known to have gone into exile, an additional 117 people who are still missing disappeared during periods of heightened unrest. Unlike the abduction and exile categories, little is known about the circumstances of these disappearances, save that the area in which the disappeared person lived or worked was in the th roes of political upheaval at the time. In some instances, people may have been killed and not identified; in others, it is possible that they fled the area or were abducted. It is also possible that some of these disappearances may simply have coincided with a period of unrest and were not directly associated with the political context. In other words, further investigation or research is required in order to ascertain the nature of certain disappearances.

73. Here again, most disappearances took place in the latter half of the 1980s (27 %) and the early 1990s (61%), and the primary sites of disappearance were Natal (46%) and the Transvaal (44%), both areas of intense political upheaval. Where political affiliation is specified, 26 per cent of those missing are believed to have had no political affiliation or to have been politically neutral. This is a significantly higher percentage than the overall percentage of missing persons with no political affiliation (16%), testifying to the extent to which entire communities w e re engulfed in the political conflict.

74. Mr Maqhilane Nodosha [EC2064/97ETK], Mr Nyangilizwe Bele [EC2066/97ETK], Mr Sijumbo Mlandwelwa [EC0880/96ETK] and Mr Madodana Ndzoyiyana [EC/1659/97ETK] all went missing from Bizana and Flagstaff during the Pondoland revolt in 1960. Mr Phineas Shirinda [JB06393/02NPPTB], Mr James Mogadi Penya [JB00196/01GTSOW] and Mr Mandla Khoza [KZN/SANG/013/DN] went missing from Soweto and Alexandra on 16 and 17 June 1976, while several other persons were reported missing in the ensuing months of the Soweto uprising. Mr Matshediso Mofekeng [JB05732/03VT] went missing in Sebokeng on 3 September 1984, the date marking the start of a period of extensive political violence in the Vaal Triangle.

75. Twelve - year-old Nkazimulo Mabele [KZN/KM/559/DN] went missing one night during a period of ongoing political violence in KwaMakutha, Natal. His mother testified to the Commission that the family was woken one night by youths who w e re guarding the area, and was forced to flee for fear of an impending attack by IFP supporters. In the panic-stricken flight, nobody realised that Nkazimulo had been left behind. It was only when they gathered several hours later and returned home that they discovered that he was not with them. Mrs Mabele did not know whether he had been taken by the youths guarding the area or by the attacking party, or whether he had simply run away. Another son, Zakile, later left the violence-torn area and was killed in uncertain circumstances. Mrs Mabele appealed to the Commission:

I can’t live like this. It’s much better – I can live with the other. When you’ve seen your child dying and you bury him that is something that you can comprehend , but the other I cannot live with that.

76. Out-of-mandate cases are cases that fall outside of the Commission’s mandate period – 21 March 1961 to 10 May 1994 – or where there is no political motive or intent for the disappearance. In general, the Commission placed cases in this category only when it was possible to make a clear determination. Numerous cases in which no political context was directly evident from the HRV statement w e re placed in the category ‘cases of indeterminate cause’. This is largely because ruling a case out-of-mandate effectively precluded the Commission f rom investigating and thus from the possibility of granting reparation. There are forty - three missing persons in this category.

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