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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 6 of Episode 41

18:00Most of the evidence brought to the Truth Commission in the last 11 months concerned human rights violations in the 1980s. But resistance to white minority rule started many decades ago and we as South Africans should remember the early struggles of our people. That is what the Truth Commission’s Human Rights Violations Committee did in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape this week. This time, the heroes who gave testimony were not angry young lions, they were dignified grandfathers.Full Transcript
18:31Chief Msisa led the Mpondo people from Swaziland into Natal and the Mpondo people are closely associated to the Swazi people. Mpondo’s migrated to the Transkei and occupied the now eastern Pondoland area around 1600. In 1844 paramount Chief Faku was recognized by the British as the Lord of Pondoland. When Faku’s heir died civil war broke out and Pondoland fell back into British rule. It was only in the 1960s that Pondo people took decisive action and stood up against the imposition of Bantu authorities onto them and they were met by considerable force by the government. This oppression was maintained when Chief Kaiser Matanzima, who was prepared to conform with government policy, took over in 1963. Full Transcript and References
19:17These are the Ngquza mountains in Flagstaff where the Pondoland massacre occurred in 1960. The Pondo people were fighting against the then Black Authorities Act of 1951and the introduction of taxes by the government. Mister Clement Gxabu and Simon Silangwe were present during the day of the shooting on Ngquza hill.Full Transcript
19:41In 1960 during the Pondo revolt we were here. We … a mountain overlooking here. We then came closer. On the 13th we crossed from here onto the mountain top. That is where we were disturbed by flying aircraft. We then left that place and on the 6th were down here where we were killed. We were beaten for not wanting the pass system, the fencing off of our land, Bantu education and the introduction of taxes which meant paying for our own cows. Those were the things we did not want. We wanted to be represented at Parliament.Full Transcript and References
20:10It is very important for this event to be placed in history because it is one of the past activities that led to the existence of our new dispensation. It all started because Pondo people striked the way that we did. … a commission was set up led by Mr. Abraham coming from Pretoria, concerned as to what bothered us. We then told him that we did not want eavesdroppers, who were the Boers at the time. A person who represent us but knowing nothing about our culture or beliefs, including problems … we didn’t want to be represented by another nation; the black nation is large enough. Let there be people who will stand for us at Parliament in Cape Town. The Pondo revolt was resistance against the introduction of taxes by the government via the chiefs, which meant Pondo people had to use their livestock as payment. When the revolt started all the chiefs ran away from 1960. Some even went to Mzimkulu. It then came to our attention that people were frustrated. They wanted to farm, they ...moreFull Transcript
21:22What we’ll never forget is the time we went there we saw that we were going to be shot, so we have to bathe ourselves in African medicines. We bathed by a fellow by the name of Mapega; he smeared ointment onto us so that the police would not beat us up. Because we had no guns, but just our traditional weapons he said we should not go to Ngquza mountain. Full Transcript
21:46Adolphus Cele is also one of the victims who were shot on the day of the Ngquza hill massacre. // The chiefs were called in Umtata and there were two things which were decided there. One of them was about the land and the other one about the money and they were made to choose between the two: money or land. Most of them chose the money.Full Transcript and References
22:26It was on the fateful day of June the 6th that the Pondo mountain committee members found themselves helpless and overpowered. The aircraft appeared and circulated above Ngquza mountain. // We are now seated at the foot of the hill, the second one came after that one and then came the helicopter which offloaded policemen at the top of the hill. It never landed. Another came painted with army colours and dropped off some more police on the opposite side of Ngquza hill. They then all started coming towards us. We did not even expect any clashes, because none of us had weapons except Wana Johnson had a gun. He had come with his revolver, our commander. They wasted no time. They had not come to talk; they then fired. Wana Johnson then stood up and called them closer. As he did that, they shot him. He was the first person to be shot. That’s when we saw that they meant war when he fell next to our feet. The second victim was Ningilishe Ncanda. We then jumped. Our young leader Mr. Magaxa ...moreFull Transcript and References
23:58After the events of Ngquza hill rural Pondoland was thrown into turmoil. The government refused to bury the dead. Men were arrested; some disappeared and have never been found since. On the day of the hearings the Truth Commission took time off the victims of the Ngquza mountain massacre and a wreath was laid in their honour.Full Transcript
24:18When we look forward we want a monument to be erected whereby all the names of those who were shot in 1960 must be written on it, including the committee members so that children and their parents can know about the fight for freedom by their great grandfathers and this is where they’re sleeping. Full Transcript
24:37On the 6th of June 1960 eleven people were killed and 58 injured during the Pondoland revolt. All the victims ask for is a monument to be built on this hill for those who died.Full Transcript
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