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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 4 of Episode 17

21:08KwaMakhutha has become a name often heard on the news nowadays. But it is more than the name of a place or a court case. On January 21 1987, 13 people died during a vicious attack on the house of Victor Ntuli at KwaMakhutha near Amanzimtoti. Wednesday saw the unusual situation where the Truth Commission’s Human Rights Violations Committee focused on the attack on the same day as the Magnus Malan trial in connection with the same matter resumed in the Supreme Court. Hanne Costa prepared this report.Full Transcript and References
21:40Victor Ntuli, a young UDF activist in KwaMakhutha was not home on the 21st of January, but Ernest Thusini was there with his family in an outbuilding of the Ntuli home. // We were sleeping at night. We were awoken by gunfire, just people shooting. One just went and hid on the other side of the bed. That’s how we survived. It was a tragic thing really, because if you just get awoken by gunfire like that, without prior notice. It was a real shock and how one survived it, I don’t know. I can’t tell you. I think only God knows. I think God is great for that. I lost five of my children, five of them, the same night. // Thusini did not go to the Truth Commission this week. He believed the hearings were premature. // There is a court case that is on right now in the Supreme Court in Durban which is going on, in connection with the same incident. So, one is just sitting and waiting and to see that justice prevail. I was waiting for the state to call me to come and put my side of the ...moreFull Transcript
23:34This week, Victor Ntuli’s mother, Kanyesele Ethel Ntuli told the Commission how the event changed her life. She wasn’t there when the incident happened, but her husband and three daughters were killed and her grandchild injured. And she could never go back to her house. // I left my house. I went for two weeks and the person I was with said I should leave because they were not safe, because of my presence. People are scared of associating with us and to be seen as people who are close to us.Full Transcript and References
24:15Ethel Ntuli wants to sell her house but it has been occupied by another family. However, Florence Simamane says it was given to her while she’s waiting for a stand in KwaMakhutha that had been promised to her. She says she will gladly return the house if asked to do so. // I’m feeling very bad about what is happening and understand Mrs. Ntuli’s problems. She is a woman like myself, but however I am pleading her to come and then we discuss this issue and then we solve it. I don’t have anywhere to go. She has to come and negotiate with me. Maybe I’ll get a site and then I’ll move out to that new place. Since I went into that house I’ve been fearing, but what could I do? I’ve got a big family, I can’t go anywhere. But I fear for my life.Full Transcript
25:07Ethel Ntuli was supported during the hearing by her son, Mbusi. Even though her other son, Victor escaped death by not being home during the massacre Ntuli believes that it was the IFP who finally killed him. No inquest was ever held into his death. // In November last year 18 people were arrested for the murders. They included former defence minister, Magnus Malan and Generals Jan Geldenhuys, Kat Liebenberg and Hennie Groenewald. Since then evidence have been heard that the Defence Force heeded a request by Chief Minister Buthelezi to train a covert unit which would be deployed against the UDF. After returning from their training in the Caprivi strip the men chose a target with the help of Inkatha’s MZ Khumalo. According to the evidence the target was Ernest Thusini. A number of armed men were dropped off late at night by Defence Force vehicles with false number plates and they launched their attack.Full Transcript and References
25:58I feel very sorry for the next of kin of the victims. I think it is an atrocity that was committed and I’m very glad they get the opportunity of talking to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee.Full Transcript
26:12We are waiting as are many other people to see what the outcome of that case will be and judgement is expected fairly soon, later in September. And we will decide after judgement has been handed down as to whether we will subpoena those people. They may well apply for amnesty; one would expect them to apply for amnesty if they are convicted. In fact, even if they are not convicted we feel that we may have a lot to learn from some of the people who are facing charges now in the Supreme Court. We may well subpoena some of those people. It would have been nice if they had come to this forum first and told us about their role but as I’ve said they’ve taken the view that they’re innocent and it’s their right to do so and they may or they may not be proven guilty.Full Transcript
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