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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 2 of Episode 62

00:56This is the Vaal Triangle, home of Eskom, Sasol and many other big industries. Also home to millions of people who work at these industries and their families. They live in grim townships such as Sebokeng, Sharpeville, Bophelong and Boipatong. For some, mostly men from KwaZulu-Natal, this is only a temporary home. They live in hostels and their families remain on the land. Back in 1961 the world took notice of this area when the police killed a large number of peaceful demonstrators in Sharpeville; other names, written in blood, have since been added to that of Sharpeville like the Sebokeng night vigil massacre of ’91 and the Boipatong slaughter of ’92.Full Transcript and References
01:43Christopher Nangalembe was an ANC Youth League member and organizer of the civil protection unit in Sebokeng’s notorious Zone 7. On the 5th of January 1991 he was abducted and murdered. At the Truth Commission hearings this week Mandla Nangalembe identified his brother’s kidnappers as members of a local gang affiliated to Inkatha and allegedly armed by the police. A vigil was held on the night before the funeral. The family had been warned that violence was likely and so they asked police for protection, but the police were nowhere to be seen.Full Transcript and References
02:19The tent was that side of the house, here; it goes along the fence there. It was so big that it can accommodate plus minus 300 people and most of these people were there and they were sitting inside.Full Transcript
02:35It was two o’clock in the morning of the 12 of January 1991.Full Transcript
02:40I didn’t see anything. I cannot explain what happened … during the shooting, but it lasted about 7 to 8 minutes, the shooting going on. When I stood up the only thing that I heard my sister saying ‘please come and phone most of the people are injured outside here.’ People who knew him whilst he was still alive wanted to come and pay their last respect in a night vigil because in the night vigil there were people who were going to express themselves, show sympathy to the family, condole the family members as well as the people in the community. That’s the reason why a lot of people attended the night vigil. I understand my brother was abducted but when people who came to give their last respect and be mowed down like that. I mean, a normal human being cannot do that, unless somebody’s been hired, trained, to do that.Full Transcript
03:36Among the attackers were the same men who had abducted Chris Nangalembe a week before, but the killers who shot down the mourners in the tent were strangers.Full Transcript
03:45As we were busy loading the people into the ambulances they told me that the police were looking for me and they said I should get into the car because they were taking me with. I was very confused at that time. I got into the caspir, but as I was inside I was asking myself as to where they were taking me and somehow I felt that probably they were the ones who had shot at us and I asked them as to where they were taking me. They said I should not ask them because they were doing their job. As we were going, this car who had shot people and abducted my brother was following us. I pointed this car to them and said this is the car that had abducted my brother. They said I must keep quiet because they were doing their job. They took me back. There were four Boer police. They did not even look at the corpses; they just collected the bullets that were strewn, the cartridges that were strewn around the yard. They just ignored the corpses. They even ignored the people who needed first aid ...moreFull Transcript
05:0938 men and women died that night. Mandla Nangalembe insists the police were involved in the massacre, but his allegations have never been thoroughly been investigated and no one has been convicted for the slaughter.Full Transcript
05:23During the trial, the policeman which was handling the case had difficulty and committed suicide. The following day, I think two days after the trial, Zandi was killed. So you can see that there was something that is ... that the very police cannot handle it. So I did even predict that those people will be acquitted from this, because the magistrate of course said, because of lack of evidence.Full Transcript
05:50The day after the Sebokeng night vigil massacre the house of Emma Kheswa and her son, Khetisi Kheswa, was burned down. It was retaliation. Many believed that Khetisi was responsible, not only for the death of Christopher Nangalembe, but for the killing of 38 people at the vigil one week later.Full Transcript and References
06:08Victor Khetisi Kheswa terrorized the Vaal Triangle in the early nineties and quickly earned the name, the Vaal monster. Ernest Sotsu blames Kheswa for the murders of his wife, daughter and grandson in 1991.Full Transcript and References
06:24On the third July, 1991, whilst attending the African National Congress, the first national congress in Durban, my family was attacked. My wife Constance, my daughter Margaret and grandson, Sabata were shot dead with AK47s at close range. Two of my grandchildren, Vuyani and Vusi, narrowly escaped death but were seriously injured with bullet wounds and as a result they were kept in the intensive care of Sebokeng Hospital for two months. I called on the investigating officer at that time for an identification parade and I told him that I am prepared to put my neck on a block; I’ll bring my two children, who were recently out of hospital, to come and identify Khetisi who was then known, a result of that attack at my place and other places, as a vile monster. They successfully identified him among the other four murderers who killed my family on the night of the third. Full Transcript and References
08:10The first incident is the one that I had already related that he forced a certain woman to drink acid and that woman died. Full Transcript
08:21There were many allegations that Khetisi was working for the police. Full Transcript
08:25He was repeatedly arrested and convicted to a term of imprisonment but was inexplicably released…Full Transcript
08:33Regardless of what Khetisi Kheswa was guilty of, his mother, Emma, testified that he was innocent of the murder of Chris Nangalembe. Chris’ brother, Mandla, confirmed this. A few days before Chris’ death Khetisi had appeared before a people’s court where he was shot. Full Transcript
08:50On the following day we went to the hospital, we got him…. he was admitted at the hospital. He said he had only been given Panado’s, but he was never formally admitted. I asked him why he wasn’t admitted and put into a ward; then he said they said they couldn’t admit him because he was an IFP member. On the day that he was discharged I took him to Boksburg Hospital. I showed him a card that he was at the Sebokeng Hospital but they discharged him despite the fact that he was as sick as he was. As we were still having this discussion one of the boys died, the name of that boy was Christopher. It was alleged that my son Khetisi had killed Christopher. At that time Khetisi was still not there, he was at the Boksburg Hospital. Full Transcript and References
09:54When Chris was abducted at Zone 12 the people I had mentioned were Hunter, Zandi as well as Themba. And when the people saw those people, these names were mentioned – three people – but Khetisi was not mentioned.Full Transcript
10:18Khetisi Kheswa was arrested in connection with a spate of mass killings in the Vaal Triangle on the 9th of July 1993. The next day he was dead.Full Transcript
10:26That was that very same evening when the police had come to fetch us. That was the last time that I saw him alive. Then, on the following day, they were busy asking me as to where they could get him. I rested on a Thursday and Friday, then Saturday afternoon they came to tell me that he had died.Full Transcript
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