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Human Rights Violation Hearings


Starting Date 29 April 1996


Day 1



DR BORAINE: We invite the following witness to the stand, Mrs Madrina Jokazi. You have had a very long wait so let's start straightaway. As you know I have to ask you to take the oath so will you please stand.

MADRINA JOKAZI: (sworn states)

DR BORAINE: Thank you. Mrs Jokazi you have listened today to people telling stories as far back as 1960. Your story is only a few years ago and a very tragic story it is too. And we want you to tell that story now and the remarkable escape of the little child. To assist you to tell your story Commissioner Richard Lyster will guide you. Thank you.

MR LYSTER: We all know that the loss of a child is one of the most tragic things a parent can suffer and we on the Commission offer our deep sympathies to you. I understand that you fortunately were not a witness to the death of your daughter and her husband and the story that you will tell us today is a story that was related to you by other people.

MS JOKAZI: The first thing I would like to do here is to greet all the people and I would also like to thank you for this opportunity to be here. It's been quite a long time that I have been having this desire to come here. I will tell the first story. I do not have a witness. The witness who saw this was only a five-year old child which I pushed



him out of the window.

What I saw I saw on the seven o'clock news and I was told that the people are no more.

MR LYSTER: Mrs Jokazi please take a couple of minutes to recover yourself. Please do - don't feel you have to carry on immediately.

MS JOKAZI: We saw this child that he had died in 1993, we only heard that on the news and they said they didn't know who the parents of this child were.

MR LYSTER: Is it correct that your son Sbongiseni went to the police station and enquired about the incident, is that correct?

MS JOKAZI: Yes, my child went to the police station on Monday the 2nd and we only heard this on the 1st, it was a Sunday evening. On the Monday morning first thing they went to Thembisa police station, they saw my other child was there and some men.

My child Sbongiseni went to look for their sister because they couldn't find out - they were also looking for their nephew in Thembisa. They were told that their sister was killed near the BP garage, both of them were killed there.

They started looking for them so that they could identify them at the mortuary. At the mortuary we couldn't find them, it would seem as if they were just burnt there.

MR LYSTER: There were six other people killed in the same incident, is that right there were six other people killed in the same incident?

MS JOKAZI: Yes there were. There were other people that were killed, but we didn't know that because we couldn't identify any of them. The corpses just simply could not be



identified. They were buried together, eight of them on the 12th of August 1993.

MR LYSTER: Did the police tell you how those people died and how your daughter and your husband died?

MS JOKAZI: I didn't go there. When they went to fetch them they just saw the driver. The driver said he survived because he just took the cash, the money he had, and the other people shot them and burnt them alive, 12 of them.

MR LYSTER: Do you have any idea, or have you ever been told why they shot that taxi and burnt it?

MS JOKAZI: I don't know who did that, I really do not know who these people were who did such a cruel thing. I was just told that the police and the Zulu people were involved. I never got to know those people.

MR LYSTER: Your daughter or her husband were they members of any political party, were they active in politics?

MS JOKAZI: Yes they were ANC people, because they were also buried by the ANC.

MR LYSTER: ... this child after that incident is that correct.


MR LYSTER: Your daughter's child who survived this terrible incident, were you re-united with her after this thing happened?

MS JOKAZI: The one who survived was five years. He is now eight and the twins are now three years. They are still living with me. I am trying to support them with the little money that I get.

MR LYSTER: Do you know from the stories that other people have told you how that five year old child was able to survive? How did he survive that terrible incident?



MS JOKAZI: The five year old child said that when the mother couldn't run out, when they started shooting, the mother managed to push the child out of the window and said run away.

MR LYSTER: So she threw the child out of the window of the taxi as it was being fired upon and the child managed to escape and the mother and the father of the child were killed is that correct?

MS JOKAZI: Yes. The child ran away and the Thembisa police station got hold of this child. That's where we found this child.

MR LYSTER: I understand you got some financial assistance from the Red Cross to bury your daughter and her husband?

MS JOKAZI: Yes the Red Cross arrived after the funeral, we had already buried them. They gave us financial assistance of R1 200.

MR LYSTER: this statement that you have made to the Commission about this incident or about what you would like the Commission to do for you.

MS JOKAZI: I would like the Commission to assist me because these children are still at school. There is nobody to help them. These children have got no parents and when they need these things at school they don't choose whether these children have got parents or not, they all need the same things from them.

MR LYSTER: Was any court case or inquest held after your daughter and her husband were killed, were you ever asked to testify at any other forum?

MS JOKAZI: There was no court case but I did come to Johannesburg to some other lawyers. When they found there the Thembisa Police Station said they didn't know anything



about it. So I went to Thembisa and reported this matter and they gave me a letter and when they gave me this letter I brought it back to the lawyers. They said they could never accept this case because there were conflicts and violence and I said who was fighting who and nobody could give me this explanation.

MR LYSTER: So you've never been given any proper explanation as to why this thing happened, is that right?

MS JOKAZI: The person who discussed this he just said he heard the taxi man talking about this that they killed a lot of people. They were just discussing that among themselves, but nobody ever gave me an account of what actually happened.

MR LYSTER: Mrs Jokazi thank you for the evidence you have given today. I am sorry that it has been so painful to you. I am going to ask any of my fellow Commissioners whether they want to ask you any questions.


DR BORAINE: I am sorry to keep asking questions in your distress. You mentioned that the man who drove the taxi, he escaped with his life?

MS JOKAZI: Yes the man who was driving this taxi they found him at the Thembisa Police Station on Monday when we went to fetch the child when they asked him how - the police said they just hit him with a gun butt and he managed to run away, but they didn't do anything to him, they just took the money.

DR BORAINE: Did he tell you or any of your family who were the people who shot and burnt the taxi and killed all those people, did he ever say who they were and what they looked like?



MS JOKAZI: No, nobody told me who they were. It's only the child on the 12th of August, when we were burying the child we came across the hippo, this child started running away when he saw the hippos, he said my uncle these are the police who shot and killed my mother, those were the police.

DR BORAINE: Was it the little child who escaped when her mother threw her out of the taxi told you that it was the police who had fired on the taxi?

MS JOKAZI: Yes but he only related this on the day that we were burying the mother, when we came across this hippo. This hippo came across and the child started crying and holding onto the uncle and said please uncle help me escape, these are the people who killed and started shooting the combi and killed my mother.

DR RANDERA: Mrs Jokazi can we also just get a little bit more clarification about the other taxi driver who spoke to your son, Sbongiseni, called Pat, do you know what the other name of this ...(intervention)

MS JOKAZI: Pat told Sbongiseni that he just heard other Zulu taxi drivers talking the previous day that they killed people at the garage.

DR RANDERA: (...indistinct) (Microphone not on)

MS JOKAZI: No I did not know them.

CHAIRPERSON: Mamma we would really like to thank you. We do not know what remedy we can give to you to really heal your wound and your spirit, but you must know that all these people who are in front of you they are people who empathise with you. We would ask God to embrace you during this time of pain that you are still feeling even at the moment.

We are going to investigate your request and see how we can assist you. Thank you.

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