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TRC Final Report

Page Number (Original) 165

Paragraph Numbers 1 to 12

Volume 2

Chapter 3

Subsection 1

Volume TWO Chapter THREE

The state inside South Africa between 1960 and 1990


1 The security forces used both overt and clandestine methods to suppress resistance and counter armed actions by opponents of apartheid. Overt methods included bannings and banishment, detention without trial, judicial executions and public order policing. More clandestine and covert forms of control included torture, extra-judicial killings and support for surrogate forces.


2 Between 1950 and 1990, the former state restricted the lives and activities of political activists and other individuals it considered a threat through the use of orders of listing, banning and banishment. Although listing was an intrusion on civil liberties, the Commission does not regard it as a gross violation of human rights. A listed person could not be quoted, could not hold parliamentary office and could not practise law.

3 The laws which provided for such restrictions included the Riotous Assemblies Act (1930), the Suppression of Communism Act (1950), the Public Safety Act (1953), the General Laws Amendment Act (1962), the Suppression of Communism Amendment Act (1967, amended 1972), the Terrorism Act (1976), and the Internal Security Acts (1976 & 1982).


4 The 1927 Native Administration Act empowered the Minister of Bantu Administration and Development (acting through the Governor General) to order “any tribe or native” to proceed forthwith to any designated place and not to leave it again without permission “whenever [the Minister deemed] it expedient in the general public interest”. No specific reason for the banishment was needed; the ‘removal’ of the individual was in the interest of “maintaining peace and good order in the tribe”. Banished people were not charged in a court of law and had no opportunity to defend themselves.

5 By 1960, up to ninety-seven people had been banished, most of them chiefs and headmen who had opposed the Bantu Authorities system and other aspects of government policy. In 1986, over forty persons were still banished. Eleven had died in banishment.

6 Banished people were sent to isolated farms on Native Trust land, where they were usually given work as labourers. Some went alone; others were sent to camps built for groups of six or more. Both they and those who visited them speak of their extreme poverty and near-starvation. Those who were not given work were entitled to an allowance of about R4 per month, though not all received this. A banishment order was indefinite and remained in force until the government gave permission for the banished person to return home.

7 Mr Ben Baartman [CT00822/BRE], an active African National Congress (ANC) member in Worcester, was forced to move to the Ngwavuma area in Zululand in 1959. In 1961, he fled to Swaziland.

8 In 1960, the South African Police (SAP) burnt down the houses of Mr Zetule Siqa [EC1770/97ETK] and his father in Bizana, Transkei, under the orders of the local chief Makhosonko Marhelane Sigcawu. Both Siqa and his father were involved in iKongo (ANC) activities. They were then banished to Tabankulu for a period of nine months.

9 In June 1969, Mr Rangoezi G Tshikilange [JB01421/02NPVEN] was deposed as chief of Tshififi in the northern Transvaal, and banished to the farm ‘Ardath’ in the Kuruman district. His wife died in childbirth and their baby died soon afterwards due to lack of medical attention. In February 1974, his banishment order was lifted and replaced with a house arrest order. He lost another child when he was unable to take the child to hospital.

10 Ms Nozithandiso Olga Siliza told the Commission that her husband, Mr Mzwandile Siliza [EC1287/96NWC], was tortured and that she and her family were severely ill treated in Cradock and Queenstown from 1963 to 1987. Her husband, the secretary of the Cradock ANC branch, was arrested and imprisoned on Robben Island from 1963 to 1966. He was assaulted by prison warders and his teeth were broken. After his release, the family were banished from Cradock to Queenstown. As a result of the conditions under which they had to live, Ms Siliza’s baby died after three months. They had no money for a coffin, so it was buried in a cardboard box.

11 Mr Cijimpi Mnyandu [KZN/NN/233/DN] from Umbumbulu on the Natal South Coast was banished to the Sibasa area of Shayandima (later known as Venda). He died of pneumonia at the Tshelethsini hospital in 1964.

12 Mr Jobo Titus was banished to the Transkei after serving six years on Robben Island. After ten years of banishment, on 8 December 1982, Titus fled to Lesotho. The next day he was killed in the South African Defence Force (SADF) cross-border raid in Maseru.

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