Muziwakhe Ngwenya – Thami Zulu or TZ – ANC

 

Quatro camps (quadro) – All of them have more than one name, even Mandela have another name.   Muziwakhe Ngwenya, better known as Thami Zulu or TZ, was one of the ANC’s 1976 recruits. He rose rapidly through the ranks and by 1983 he was head of Umkhonto we Sizwe’s Natal underground machinery and a senior official of the Communist Party. In 1988 one of his senior comrades confessed to having been a spy. TZ was detained by ANC security or Mbokodo, of which he was a senior officer. There was no trial.

Image for Mbokodo: Inside MK: Mwezi Twala - A Soldier's Story

He became very ill in detention and shortly after his release in November 1989, he died. Despite four internal commissions of inquiry appointed by the ANC no satisfactory explanation for his death has been given. The first inquiry found he was poisoned and that he had TB and AIDS. The ANC this week repeated that the organisation was not to blame for his death. Thami Zulu’s parents pleaded strongly with the Truth Commission this week.

http://sabctrc.saha.org.za/tvseries/episode12/section3/transcript1.htm?tab=victims

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Muziwakhe Ngwenya, better known as Thami Zulu or TZ, was one of the ANC’s 1976 recruits. He rose rapidly through the ranks and by 1983 he was head of Umkhonto we Sizwe’s Natal underground machinery and a senior official of the Communist Party. In 1988 one of his senior comrades confessed to having been a spy.

TZ was detained by ANC security or Mbokodo, of which he was a senior officer. There was no trial. He became very ill in detention and shortly after his release in November 1989, he died. Despite four internal commissions of inquiry appointed by the ANC no satisfactory explanation for his death has been given. The first inquiry found he was poisoned and that he had TB and AIDS. The ANC this week repeated that the organisation was not to blame for his death. Thami Zulu’s parents pleaded strongly with the Truth Commission this week.

 

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AT THE TRC  –  FAMILY OF THAMI ZULU

DATE: 26.07.1996 NAME: MR & MRS P NGWENYA

MS MKHIZE: Mr and mrs Ngwenya, once more, good morning. I will ask with you, Mr Ngwenya, and ask you to tell us a little bit about your son, give us his name and what kind of a person was he, so that the Commissioners can have a picture of whom we are talking about.

MS MGWENYA: Commissioners, allow me to say this even before I read my submission. The submission that I shall make here is not an assault on the ANC as a movement, but something to point out some of their atrocities and the violation of human rights by some of the members of the ANC in exile.

This is my submission. I am Philemon Ngwenya. I started teaching in 1947, became principal in 1958. Now this is my submission.

I, Philemon Moboti Ngwenya, residing at 2245 Protea

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North, Soweto, wish to make a formal application to the TRC to find the truth about the death in exile of my son, Tamizulu Umzake Ngwenya in 1989.

My story is as follows.

MS MKHIZE: Before you tell your story, Mr Ngwenya, can you just tell the Commissioner – sorry, Mr Ngwenya, can you just tell the Commission a little bit about your son. You know, as you saw him growing up, what kind of a person he was, his good qualities, just in brief.

MR NGWENYA: TZ, as I shall refer to him, was born on the 5th of October in 1954 in Soweto. He did his primary schooling in Soweto and his secondary education as a boarder at Salesian High School, Manzini in Swaziland. He passed his O levels and proceeded to Waterford Khamklaba where he his A levels. That’s my son.

MS MKHIZE: Did he do well at school?

MR NGWENYA: Very well, he passed his Std 6 in first class. His O levels, he had three distinctions and did very well at Waterford. He even did something that was strange to me. He wrote, he made a submission in the publication on Black Theology. Of course, I didn’t understand what that was. Then proceeded to Kwalazini University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.

MS MKHIZE: Thank you. You can go ahead with your statement. Thank you.

MR NGWENYA: Well, by 1975 TZ had finished one year of a BSc degree in Kwalazini University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. He then disappeared. Rumour had it that he was in Russia. It was only in 1981 that we discovered that he had joined the ANC. We had been told that he was killed in Russia and we contacted the ANC in Swaziland. They

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confirmed that he was alive and arranged for me and my wife to see him in Swaziland.

From 1975 onwards there were constant night raids by the security police on my house. I was also interrogated in John Vorster Square about his whereabouts. My wife and I met TZ on a number of occasions in Swaziland and Mozambique. We supported him with clothes and money.

By 1981 we knew he was a commander in MK, Umkhonto weSizwe. During this period I paid for his marriage in Mozambique. He was married in a catholic church and had a white wedding. They were blessed with a child, a daughter who is now roughly aged 12, and at boarding school in Harare. It is a multi-racial school.

At one stage TZ was arrested and tried in Swaziland and deported to Lusaka. I visited him in detention in Swaziland at the time. After he was deported to Swaziland, he came back to both Swaziland and Mozambique, where my wife and I continued to meet him from time to time.

In 1989 we heard he was in detention in Lusaka. The South African Council of Churches gave my wife and I two air tickets to proceed to Lusaka. In Lusaka I met Mr Nzo, then secretary-general of the African National Congress. Mr Mkobi, treasurer-general, Mr Joe Mhlantha, chief of intelligence and Mr Zuma, Jacob.

We told them we had come to find out why our son was in detention. They told us that our son was not detained. Of course this was proved afterwards to have been a lie. The ANC brought TZ to us in our hotel. TZ asked us to withdraw our request to the International Red Cross because I had already given the matter over to the International Red Cross for investigation. TZ told us this was a minor domestic

 

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matter, which would soon be settled.

Of course we wanted to find out from this gentlemen here, whom I have earlier mentioned, why our son was in detention. Their explanation I still repeat, they emphasised that he was not detained. He had come only for a routine report and enquiry and he would soon be released and join his family in Mozambique. There was nothing serious that our son had committed.

In 1989 we heard he was in detention again in Lusaka. His wife phoned us, of course. The South African Council of Churches – I am sorry. I am making a mistake here. Didn’t I read this? I did. Sorry, where I am is here.

After we had been to Lusaka and came back home, six months later his wife phoned me to say TZ was now in an ANC cell and in solitary confinement and that he was being tortured. At my expense, because the SACC could no longer finance me to fly over to Lusaka, I bought my own air ticket and could not afford the second one for my wife. I reached Lusaka by air and was received by Dr Ralph Nipijima at the airport. This time no ANC official from headquarters would see me. I persistently asked to see Mr Nzo and Mr Jacob Zuma, and this was all in vain. At the time Zuma was in Swaziland I was told and would soon return to Lusaka. On his return from Swaziland to Lusaka he still would not see me. I got to his headquarters, called the Green House. Of course to the young cadres this was a notorious place and they actually made it clear to me that I was not supposed to get there, you know, get near. They gave me directions, but told me that I should not reveal their names, that they had given me directions to go to the Green House in Lusaka.

On getting there, I really found the place. I found the SOWETO HEARING TRC/GAUTENG

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place and got there. We met a certain Mr Sindiso Mfenyana who was a kind of a jailer, I would say. I explained who I was and whom I had come to see. Now he told me that I would not see my son, TZ unless Mr Zuma gives permission and Mr Zuma was away on official business in Swaziland. From Swaziland he would proceed to Harare. I gave this gentleman the capsules which my wife had given me, capsules that would build him. They were a nutrition and I gave him also a packet of cigarettes, 200. I knew that he smoked Stuyvesant Mild, and left without seeing my son.

From there it was a question of going to headquarters daily, waiting for Mr Zuma to come back. On his return Mr Zuma would not see me personally when I got to Green House. He spoke to me through this gentleman Sindisiwayo and told me that he would send my son to the hotel, which thing they never did.

I waited and waited and altogether, I remained in Lusaka for 18 days, and in the 18 days I hadn’t seen my son. At headquarters, ANC headquarters I pressed to see Mr Nzo. Mr Nzo would send a message through his secretary, that he was too busy.

Young boys who came from Soweto were even very sympathetic to me and waylaid Mr Nzo. So one morning as he came into his office by car, the boys tipped me and told me Babba, here is Mr Nzo coming in. I rushed into his office. Again met his secretary, Mogalo, and on asking him that I would like to see Mr Nzo, he went in, came back to me and said Nzo is too busy and would not see me.

I had gone to Lusaka at great expense and my money was running out. I had left the hotel and I was taken over by a family, a Catholic family far out of Lusaka. That’s where

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I would sleep and have my breakfast and soon thereafter, I was again on the way, trying to meet these gentlemen, trying to plead with these gentlemen, to allow me to see my son.

When Mrs Sisulu and Sister Ngway in Lusaka, I appealed to Mrs Sisulu to plead with these people to allow me to see my son. Nothing came out of it.

One night on television I saw Mr Oliver Thambo coming back from a conference in Tanzania. He was at State House with Dr Kaunda, and I thought now I will have an opportunity to meet this gentleman. The following morning, early the following morning I went to the ANC headquarters, to meet him. He wasn’t there, he was at State House. I walked because my money had run out, I walked to State House to meet them. It was such a distance from that morning until I got to the State House, enquiring where he was, walking on foot, the conference was over. I could not, I hadn’t seen Mr Oliver Thambo. I was trying to waylay him, of course.

On my return I was picked up by someone and I got to Lusaka, where my new tenant – sorry, would pick me up. So whenever it was morning, I had breakfast and these people, I would travel with these people as far as Lusaka, remain at ANC headquarters, trying to plead my way through and this gentleman would not allow me.

When my son was detained – this is his photo – was a healthy, strong young man. Of course, when he came out I am told he was a bag of bones. Around December Rev Frank Chikane phoned me to say my son had been released by the ANC and was very sick. I should fly over, he said, because my son needed my moral support. It was very strange. Very sick, a bag of bones, instead of being taken to hospital, he is thrown into the street, to look after himself.

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This is what the military of the ANC had to say about him, after his death:

“A tribute to Muziwake Ngwenya.

We of Umkhonto weSizwe, the glorious army of our people, salute you. Dear Comrade Muzi, in doing so we warmly remember you as one of our young and outstanding commanders. We remember your efficiency and competence, both as a commander and chief of staff, of our camps in Angola. We recall with sheer pride and admiration how you transformed qualitatively the training and administration of these camps. We shall ever treaure the meticulous and lucid nature of your reports and analysis. We shall never forget your theoretical and practical contributions to our armed struggle. Your thoughts and ideas will always be enshrined in the annals of the history of Umkhonto weSizwe. When we appointed you the commander of the Natal region of our country, there was a clear and dramatic change in the nature of operations. The operations multiplied and under your command Durban earned the title of the most bombed city in South Africa.

Commander Muzi, we gave you this task, knowing fully the hazards of carrying out operations against the racist army.

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You performed your task with distinction and remarkable courage. As a consequence of your daring work, the enemy earmarked you for assassination and liquidation. But all these dangers to your live never deterred you from fulfilling the tasks of our revolution. During the period of your command, the graph of our operations went up. With Natal, occupying a leading position. Commander Muzi, we remember you as an outstanding strategist, who contributed to the military strategy and doctrine of this movement. Your views and clear thinking will always stand out as lifelong contributions to our armed struggle. Young as you were, you were one of those who displayed leadership qualities which were discernible for all to see. Your relentless drive and your stamina for work and your zeal for positive achievements will always be remembered and will act as a firm foundation for our inevitable victories. Umkhonto weSizwe is conveying heartfelt condolences to Babba and Mamma Ngwenya, to Muzi’s wife, Thabesele, to his daughter Lindi, his brothers and sisters and to the in-laws, declares that Muzi, a son and husband respectively, was an inseparable and integral part of a big

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family.

We know that his untimely death at such an early age has shattered you. We are also deeply saddened by the loss of one so young and talented, who has left a gap which will be difficult to fill. We are proud that Ngwenyas produced this giant and gallant fighter. He became what he was because of the way you brought him up. To the youth of our country and to our army we say, pick up his arm and intensify the struggle until the racist regime is vanquished.

We dip our revolutionary banner in fond memory of this gallant warrior and we say …”

This is in Zulu:

“Farewell, farewell, hero, heroes.”

In Sesotho:

“Rest in peace, Tamizulu.

To the Nygwenya family we say …”

In Zulu:

“Be comfortable, what has happened we know is painful.

The struggle continues and victory is certain.”

Signed by Joe Modise, Chris Hani, chief of staff, Joe Modise, army commander.

 

What I ask of the TRC is the following. From the investigation unit I want to know why it is that TZ was detained by the ANC. Was he given a chance to defend himself in a court or council in the ANC? Where was he

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detained. Was he in solitary confinement? I know he was. If he was, what rights did he have. Was he tortured? If so, by whom and why? Why was he not allowed – I am sorry. Why was I not allowed by Mr Zuma to see my son for 18 days. Even under the most cruel regime, apartheid regime, people were allowed visitors. The ANC doctor was Dr Prehm, a junior Dr Mpijima and somewhere it is said – well, I will leave that to my wife handle, he had Aids. It is a question mark. Who poisoned my son and why? Who poisoined my son and why? In the media it is reported that he was poisoned.

Soon after his release he died, four days thereafter. He had ingested a poison and my wife will mention what poison. There were very few people who saw him after his release. It was Dr Ralph Mpijima, my wife will mention that and the names of those people, but one of them was Dr Ralph Mpijima.

Now the media, Africa Confidential has this to say, that is the media now. I have just read the tribute by the ANC high military command. The media says, African Confidential:

“TZ is a highly respected commander. One of the 1976 generation. He rose rapidly through the ranks to become the first chief of staff in the important Katenga camp in Southern Angola. Working with Commissar Frances Nelly, an AS and SACP lumina Prof Jack Simons. In 1980 TZ was delegated to the extended meeting of the central committee in Berlin. TZ’s rise continued with his appointment in 1983, of the Natal Military Command. TZ

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chaired some sessions of the important internal reconstruction commissar.”

Now at this juncture I would like to hand over to my wife on my left.

MS MKHIZE: Thank you very much, Mr Zulu.

MR NGWENYA: Ngwenya.

MS MKHIZE: I’m sorry.

MR NGWENYA: His combat name was Mr TZ Zulu.

MS MKHIZE: Thank you very much, I’m sorry. Mrs Ngwenya, I will ask you to continue or if you want to add on whatever has been said, like the qualities of your child before and then come to your story.

MRS MGWENYA: The Commissioners, there could be a lot that I have to say about my son, but I think the most important things have been mentioned. What I want to say, he was just an outstanding kid. Right through his school career he has been distinguishing himself, getting first class pass right from the primary school, right up to the university. He had a very good nature. He was a very good boy. This can be proved by the work that he did for the ANC when he was in command in Swaziland. Whoever got married in the ANC, we were called upon here as parents in Soweto, to buy them clothing, wedding clothes. My daughter used to do that. She used to transport them to Swaziland. Not only that, there were videos that were bought because we wanted to keep this young man happy. So he would send that these things should be bought and we used to take the risk and transport these things to Swaziland.

He actually wanted us all to be members of the ANC. At one stage or the other, we were called upon to buy cars for the ANC in our name and transport them to Swaziland, in the

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manner he was dedicated to his work.

We did a lot of work, despite the harassment that we suffered from the police. But because we were supporting him in the good work that he was doing, we did it without complaint.

Now I am presenting my story. There have been several commissions that have been conducted into TZ’s death. We have not been invited to sit in these commissions, not any one of them. There are several questions that these commissions have raised, which we as the family would like to be addressed by the ANC.

One, my focus today is on the Stewart Commission. On page 7 of this commission, it is stated that from 1983 till 1988 when TZ was commander of Natal Mission. The losses during this period were extremely high. We find this a contradiction to the tribute written by the military, which was just read by my husband, which said TZ was a very successful commander, and in that very period Natal became the most bombed city – I mean Durban became the most bombed city. Hence we think that is why there were so many hit squads that were there, because of the work that he did there.

Number two. On page 2 of the report Comrade Raph reports on how comrades with Aids are treated by the ANC health department. Why was TZ not given the same treatment because according to the report, TZ was found to be HIV positive whilst in detention.

Again on page 12 of the report, it states that TZ’s illness progressed over months. Why was he not sent to a hospital and why poison the man who is dying?

Number three. On page 13 of the report, the poison,

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Dyzonone that was found in TZ, would have been ingested two days before his death. There were very few people who were in contact with TZ during that period. When he was released he was released to Dr Djmini. There are very few people who were with him. So the ANC could have followed that up and by now we would be knowing who poisoned him.

Some of them, some of these people were Chris Hani, Jackie Modise, Dr Zakes Zumukai and Dr Ralph Djmini. Why is the ANC not finding out who poisoned TZ.

On page 15 of the report, the medical treatment of detainees was said to be left in the hands of a medical orderly, and not doctors. We have evidence to prove Dr Prem was treating TZ, who was Dr Prem reporting to? Because the head of health says no one reported to him about TZ.

Number five. Again, the report states that none of the detainees reported torture in detention. We have been informed that TZ refused to be taken to the University Teaching Hospital in Zambia. He feared for his life. He thought security would follow him there and finish him. Is that a sign of a person who report that he had not been tortured? That was after he was released.

He refused to go to that hospital. He pressed on Mr Modise to take him to Zimbabwe, because he feared the security would finish him off there. If he was not tortured, why did he make such a request?

Six. The report states that when TZ was detained, he was a healthy man, who was actually overweight. It is stated also in the Press there.

Now where did he get the Aids virus? Was he at some time detained with other persons in jail, were there some men or some women that he was detained with? This was a

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healthy man. We saw him shortly after he had been detained. He was healthy, overweight. Now why did he get the Aids. Before he was detained we saw him, but then where did he get the Aids from?

His wife and daughter have not been found to be HIV positive.

Number 7. It has been reported in several commissions of inquiry, that TZ, despite advice sent nine comrades to their certain death and proceeded thereafter to press the ANC to give him a passport to go on holiday with his wife.

The wife has told us that military headquarters approved the holiday, long before the massacre occurred. I emphasise, he was given permission long before that massacre that he may go, by the military wing, because they knew he was a competent man and would deserve the holiday, because he was very much upset by that massacre. But now the impression in the report, it is as if he was negligent. Many ugly things were said of him.

Why is the blame placed on TZ only? Oh, sorry, I have jumped a bit here.

Somebody who was directly based in Swaziland, under whose command the Natal region was under. That is during that massacre. Why is the blame placed on TZ only. Did TZ have such blatant authority, I mean blanket authority.

Number seven. TZ’s wife, who is a member of the ANC, was never officially informed of his death. The family never got any assistance from the ANC to help to bury him.

The wife I am referring to, did so much for the ANC. At one time she was assaulted when she was expecting her child, by the South African Police, in Swaziland. She worked so much and yet she did not get the decency of being

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informed that her husband is late, and was not even given the air ticket to go and bury him. She went there on her own expense.

Number eight. Today we as TZ’s family are being called sensationalists. We have waited for seven years, since TZ’s death for official contact from the ANC. Nobody, nobody despite what he did for the organisation, came to us to say we are sorry. Just to offer their sympathy. No one came. We have been just battling on our own, and suffered so much and nobody thought of just coming to say they are sorry. We have received no explanation as to what happened to TZ.

We know for sure that he was starved. We have his last letter with me here, which was written to the security, where he was pleading with them, that they should release him. He also complained in July 1989 that he was not given vegetables, no fruits. Now that, I mean, what was he eating, if he could not be fed with vegetables or fruit? He was pleading that he should be released, but nothing came out of that. It was after we were promised, Mr Zuma told us that we should not worry, there is nothing wrong that he has done. Why did he not write to us and say no, we have decided now to house arrest and to send him to jail because of the following reasons. Nobody had any decency of telling us anything about our child. Thank you.

MR MGWENYA: And the media has this to say:

“Who killed Thamizulu, who killed Thami Zulu.”

That was the Guardian Weekly Mail. This is the Sowetan:

“How did TC really die? How did TZ really die?”

Patrick Lawrence in the Star, in 1992 writes:

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“TZ’s death is a riddle; who killed TZ.”

MRS NGWENYA: In fact, we have the post-mortem, which nobody is aware of, that he was after all poisoned in his last days. Though there is that we have this with us. Thank you.

MR NGWENYA: Ronnie Kasrils, a freedom fighter, had this to write in his book, Armed and Dangerous:

“It is not possible to console the parents of Tami Zulu.”

Console them where, who came from the ANC?

“The MK commander I liked is Tami Zulu.”

That is what Ronnie Kasrils says:

“The MK commander I liked and respected was detained by the ANC security and suffering from an illness, died within days of his release at the end of 1989. Suspicion fell on him, after his Natal missionary suffered many casualties.”

I challenge whoever says TZ was a police agent. The ANC is a free movement now. They should institute a commission of inquiry, headed by a judicial officer, where we are all represented. I challenge them to prove that he ever was or that my family ever had any connection with the special branch. I challenge them. I challenge them. I challenge them. Let them prove that he was an informer or a police agent.

MRS NGWENYA: Another addition. I want the Commission to note this difference. There is some contradiction. The military wing was with him, they supported him right through. Even at the time when his corpse was fetched from Zambia, they were with him. They were working with the

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family. They had nothing against him. The people who were not working with him, that is the security, is the group that had something to do with him. That contradiction, which shows that there was a little clique. One of the papers quoted that there was a struggle of power. And of course we know, my son said it when we had gone to see him the last time, in Zambia. He said that there was bad blood between him and Jacob Zuma. It was mentioned in a number of papers that Jacob Zuma was not happy that he was appointed a commander in Natal. It was found in all the papers. We kept these papers.

This he did mention to me. Actually when I asked him about it, because I confronted him, because already long before his detention, this was said. So when he answered me, he said Mamma, yes, this has been said, but I was not taking it seriously, I just took it, you know, just something silly. Now I can see from the confrontation we have now again with him, that there is something wrong.

MR NGWENYA: That is all, thank you.

MS MKHIZE: Thank you Mr and Mrs Ngwenya. As a Commission we are really honoured and humbled to hear about such a young man who, as it has been said, as you said from his schooling up to his involvement with the MK, we are really honoured.

Also I appreciate your pain that you have lived with for so many years, and the penetrating questions that you are raising before this Commission. I will just ask you a few questions to clarify, to assist you in clarifying whatever you say. Maybe before I do that, with your permission I would ask that our briefers get copies of some of the documents that you read from, including the

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statement. Since both your statements, if we can have copies of those so that they can be filed with the report of this Commission sitting today.

Just as a point of clarification. You mention that he was detained for the first time in Swaziland.

MR NGWENYA: I mentioned that. In Swaziland it was an arrest by the Swaziland police and not himself alone, but 14 others. I left here and spent two weeks in Swaziland, fearing that the boers would abduct him and that the Swazi police, who were corrupt mostly, would hand him over. So every day, during the two weeks, I used to get to prison and see, ask for permission to see him, if he was still there. I did that for two weeks until they were all deported to Lusaka. But unfortunately he didn’t stay long in Lusaka. We heard he had come back again. At what time he was broadcast over Swazi radio, as a fugitive, armed and dangerous. He could have been shot at any time. It was broadcast throughout Swaziland and the Swazis knew him, because he had spent more than eight years studying in Swaziland.

MS MKHIZE: I am going to assist you in getting clarify on your statement. Regarding the 1989 detention in Lusaka, you say the African National Congress official told you that he was not detained. You didn’t give us the name of that official. You went on to say they actually brought him to you at the hotel. Can you just tell the Commission as to who said he wasn’t detained in 1989 and who brought him to you at the hotel to see him?

MRS NGWENYA: It is Mr Nzo who said to us he was not detained. He was with the others, Mr Nzo and Mr (indistinct) and Mr Mkobi, they were the three there with us. Yes, Jacob Zuma is the one who said that, that he was

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not detained. He was escorted to us, it was during the time when he started with his detention.

MS MKHIZE: Thank you. If you say he was escorted, did you maybe have difficulties in talking to him, when he asked you to withdraw the statement, the request to the International Red Cross? I would imagine that you had an opportunity of talking to him closely as to what exactly has happened.

You said earlier on, you used to do a lot of things for them. You even intended buying cars in their name.

MR NGWENYA: No, no, not buying cars, but they bought. They send the money over secretly.

MS MKHIZE: Yes, but in your name, those cars were bought in your name.

MRS NGWENYA: Yes, we bought in our son’s name, because they could not buy cars here.

MS MKHIZE: So what I am saying, when then there was this problem, I would imagine that you wanted to know from him that what was gone wrong, since you have been so much emotionally involved with this liberation movement.

MR NGWENYA: You know, we did not feel comfortable because he was driven to us and there is a young man who kept his distance. We were not very comfortable in a foreign country.

MRS NGWENYA: But all the same we were able to say as much as we wanted to him, and he was aware, he was told because he told us that he was actually threatened. It was said to him because we have asked for the help of Red Cross, we as parents would – what do you call it …

MR NGWENYA: Regarded as collaborators. Not only that, at that time we would be necklaced, we would be necklaced.

MRS NGWENYA: For including the Red Cross. But when he said SOWETO HEARING TRC/GAUTENG

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that we should withdraw the Red Cross, he was quite free and sincere. In fact, he felt so innocent that he felt no need for it, because he thought, he knew he was innocent and he did not need anbody to assist him. He would just go back to the family.

MS MKHIZE: You have just said that at that time you were also threatened, you feared for your life since you were in a foreign country. Did he mention any names that he was really worried about at that time? I am talking about the section where you say he was brought to you at the hotel. Did he mention any names of people who were portrayed as a real threat?

MRS NGWENYA: Actually if I heard my wife well, what she said, at that time he was more concerned about the ANC and the Red Cross investigating the ANC and he wanted to protect his movement and pleaded with us that we should withdraw our request that the ANC and his detention should be investigated. The Red Cross were their enemy, that is what he said. And he would prefer this matter handled within, it was domestic, there was nothing to fear. And that is the biggest mistake of my life I ever made to listen to him. The biggest mistake. Because these people were lying and dishonest.

MS MKHIZE: Also just to clarify what you said for the Commission. There is a time where you said the SACC was not in a position to assist you to fly out and see him. Can you just clarify the Commission about the discussion that transpired between you and the SACC secretary-general at that time?

MR NGWENYA: Well, I went over. It was a very pressing matter and my passport had expired. I asked for a temporary

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passport, and then I went to Rev Chikane. He told me unfortunately they no longer assist with air tickets. That was discontinued, could I not raise money. So I paid for my air ticket and because I could not afford more, I left my wife behind.

MS MKHIZE: You also described a certain place which you call the Green House, since you were talking to people, even informally. Can you just explain, tell us how the people saw the Green House?

MR NGWENYA: Well, as far as the cadres were concerned, it was a notorious place and nobody from home was allowed to get near. I was given direction very secretly. These young people were intimidated and I would dare not reveal names here, but as a man who was known by, well-known by the community of Duga, and many of our sons and daughters were in Lusaka then, I was given secretly direction where this place was where he was detained. That is the Green House. And it was a great surprise for Mr Zuma, Jacob Zuma and company that I had found out this place. But it didn’t help me, because even then I could not see my son. It is far out of Lusaka, it was very expensive to get there by taxi. But I got there three times.

MS MKHIZE: Also there is something which you referred to, which is a three-month period between his detention and his death. Have you – I mean, I suppose you have spoken to his wife. Surely he would have disclosed as to what exactly had happened to him while he was in detention, although he was weak, the wife should be able to give as much details as possible, which will help the Commission to understand what had gone wrong then.

MRS NGWENYA: The wife was not at Lusaka, she was in

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Mozambique. But there are people who were there in Lusaka, that he revealed everything to, about what happened to him when he was in detention. But people so fear, that when we approach him to find out whether they could come with us in this Commission, they feared for their positions. They are holdin ghigh positions and they know a lot. There are many things which are not mentioned here, even about the treatment he got and what happened to him when he was in that jail. But we can’t, because we have no proof, because people are not prepared to give evidence. But as we mentioned in our presentation, Dr Makajimi is the one who received him when he was from jail.

MS MKHIZE: I have noted that, but can you just give the Commission even the hearsay, what people say what happened to him. You know, the description or explanation or whatever experiences that he shared with them, without referring to people’s names. Was he tortured, how, what happened, whatever had been done to him.

MRS NGWENYA: He was starved, is what happened to him mostly. In fact, those who knew him could not recognise him when he came out of jail. His feet were swollen. He was just another man. He actually mentioned to them that he was fed on bread and water.

MR NGWENYA: Even there we got to know that the soldiers, the soldiers of Umkhonto weSizwe would not assault him, they wouldn’t torture him, they refused to. And someone imported a special torturer from Botswana, who was administering the assaults and torturing him, a man unknown to him, who didn’t know who he was handling, that he was handling such a great man.

MS MKHIZE: Before I hand over to the Chairperson, Yasmin

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Sooka, can I just ask you whether you did have your own doctor to do a post-mortem before you buried him?

MRS NGWENYA: Unfortunately no.

MR NGWENYA: We were not even informed about the autopsy and I wonder if any inquest was conducted. We have not heard that report. We would have made representation.

MRS NGWENYA: But we have seen the post-mortem that was conducted in a hospital in Lusaka. We have seen it, and when it comes to push we will present it, which will prove that he was poisoned, poison was found in his blood.

MS MKHIZE: Thank you very much Mr and Mrs Ngwenya. I will hand you over to the Chairperson, Yasmin Sooka.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Glenda?

MS WILDSCHUT: Mrs Mgwenya, you refer to the several questions you have, and you are referring to the Stewart Commission. On page 13 you say that the poison was found and you mentioned the name of the poison. Could you just repeat that name again, please.

MR NGWENYA: I suppose it is the question of pronunciation, but it is D-I-A-Z-O-N-O-N. I don’t know, Diazonon, is it?

MS WILDSCHUT: Okay. You also mention some of the names of the other doctors that were with Dr Mgijimi. You mentioned Dr Prem. Do you know what his surname is?

MR NGWENYA: Naicker.

MS WILDSCHUT: And any of the other orderlies who were attending to your son, do you know any of them, and do you know what kind of training they had received at all?

MRS NGWENYA: No, we don’t know the training.

MS WILDSCHUT: Thank you.

MR LEWIN: Could I ask just one question, going back to the International Red Cross. I would just like to clarify the

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ICRC were not permitted into the Green House. Is that the case?

MR NGWENYA: You are using abbreviated international names.

MR LEWIN: Sorry, the Red Cross.

MR NGWENYA: Actually, even before they took action they had accepted to take over the case, because I reported the case in Johannesburg. It was reported to the headquarters of the International Red Cross, in Pretoria. They were taking up the matter, and within that period we got to Lusaka, and our son pleaded with us, that please withdraw, you are embarrassing our movement.

MR LEWIN: So they would still have some records?

MR NGWENYA: Yes.

MR LEWIN: Do you know the name of – or would that have been 1989?

MR NGWENYA: Yes, 1989.

MR LEWIN: Fine, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Ngewenya, I just want to ask you a few questions. You say in 1989 you heard that he was in detention. Who informed you that he was in detention?

MR NGWENYA: His wife. She was actually appealing that I go there and intervene.

CHAIRPERSON: So yuo actually, before you left for Lusaka, you reported the matter to the International Red Cross.

MR NGWENYA: Well, the first time, the first time I reported it, yes, definitely.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it your impression, it seems that the first time round, the SACC was able to assist you.

MR NGWENYA: Yes, correct.

CHAIRPERSON: I just want to clarify from what you have said, that it was a policy decision not to pay for the

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tickets, which led to them not assisting you the second time round. Is that correct?

MR NGWENYA: Actually everybody was pulling back the second time, because even Dr Beyers Naude, we appealed to him to assist us in this matter, and during a DRC Conference in Lusaka, he went to them and investigated this matter, but I suppose when he came back he told us that he could no more.

MRS NGWENYA: In fact, we appealed to quite a number of people, we appealed to Mr Sisulu, immediately he was released. We appealed to Archbishop Tutu and we appealed to Rev Chikane. Rev Chikane is the one who finally, at least, influenced them to release him as he was released later. Because he phoned us to say your son is now out.

CHAIRPERSON: Did Dr Ralph Nijijima ever give you any report back?

MRS NGWENYA: He didn’t give it to us, but he gave the report to my daughter who was there, to the wife and my son’s mother-in-law.

CHAIRPERSON: The Sindiso Mfenyana that you mention as having informed you that your son died, was he the same Sindiso that was his jailer or is there a difference?

MR NGWENYA: No, it is very difficult to distinguish from the voice who it is, because it was a telephone message.

MRS NGWENYA: The first time.

CHAIRPERSON: What I find very strange is that you say that you at great expense flew the body back to Swaziland, where you buried him with no assistance. But you also say later that the military wing supported you, and clearly from the message that you …

MRS NGWENYA: They supported me morally.

CHAIRPERSON: The military wing.

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MRS NGWENYA: They supported us morally.

CHAIRPERSON: Morally, okay. But what I find incongruous is the fact that you have this wonderful message, but not any assistance for his funeral. What I want to know is, was he buried very quietly by yourself or was the ANC assisting you in terms of support, was there a visible ANC presence? Could you give me a little more details about that.

MR NGWENYA: When we learnt that he had died in Lusaka, we sent my daughter over at our expense. His wife flew over at her expense. His mother-in-law flew over at her expense. Getting there, they had to pay undertakers to embalm his body and they had to buy their own material, coffins, steel coffins to transport him by air to Swaziland. Because we were arranging now for the funeral in Swaziland. I had to plead with the Swaziland authorities to accept him. He was not a Swazi citizen. So I had to plead with the Swazi authorities go to Swaziland, they went that way. Everybody was keeping this distance. Mr Nzo even cancelled the memorial service that was to be held by the military command for him at a hole in Lusaka. When everybody was already assembled there, why he did? It must have been malicious. It brings me to the conclusion that it was an orchestrated campaign to eliminate him.

CHAIRPERSON: There have been a number of commissions which have investigated the atrocities in ANC camps. You yourself have referred to the Stewart Commission. There has also been the Motsuyane Commission. Were you ever called to give evidence to that Commission?

MRS NGWENYA: No, as I stated in my presentation. We were not called to any of this. I remember in the case of Motsuyane’s Commission, I even phoned them, asked them if we SOWETO HEARING TRC/GAUTENG

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could not come. They said they will come back to me, they never came back to me.

CHAIRPERSON: In recent times, have you ever received any report from the ANC on this matter?

MRS NGWENYA: No.

MR NGWENYA: I wrote to the ANC in 1992 and took my letter to Shell House. It was acknowledged, because I insisted that it must be acknowledged in writing. It was acknowledged, saying that I have written to them, to the secretary of the ANC, enquiring about the circumstances surrounding my son’s death. In 1992 or 1991. I have got their acknowledgement. Nothing has been done, no reaction, no response.

MRS NGWENYA: In fact, we would not even have come to this Commission, we wanted a meeting with them. We wrote and we sent a letter to Shell House to say they should arrange a meeting. So we just kept on phoning them to find out whether the meeting was coming up, whereas we knew that the Commission was going round. They kept on saying that the vice-President is not available. So that is how we felt that we rather now come to this Commission, because we are not sure whether they would eventually see us.

CHAIRPERSON: The story that you have told is, I think, very heartbreaking and very sad. I think, particularly in this week, we have heard many, many stories of young men who never came home. I think that the price that South Africa is paying is very, very high, because in a sense almost a generation of people have been wiped out by the forces on both sides. We have taken note of the submission that you have made. We hope that you will assist us by giving us all the information that you have in your possession. We will, of course we handing the matter over to our investigation

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unit and we trust that we will at the end of the day be able to assist you. I think for many of us we are very lucky to be alive, because in a sense the flower of our youth have been wiped out and those of them who came back, have scars and clearly centres will need to be set up to deal with the trauma that they suffer, but also the pain of those who have been left behind. Thank you for coming.

http://www.justice.gov.za/trc/hrvtrans/soweto/ngwenya.htm

***

Moorde Killings/Rapes: QUATRO

Zuma, bomme – moorde en plaasmoorde – ook voor 1994

Judiciary and the East German model

Een gedagte oor “Muziwakhe Ngwenya – Thami Zulu or TZ – ANC”

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