About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

25 Aug 1990: Twala, Linda

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POM     You have just been saying that the launching of the ANC branch in Alexandra and that some people were surprised that they had to start paying money to be members of the ANC. What response was given to this?

LT     We did explain to the people that the National Party, its members are paying lots and lots of money in order to keep apartheid and we want to start paying for the ANC to get rid of apartheid and to live in a free country.

POM     For a moment let's go back to the 2nd February and Mr de Klerk's speech on that occasion. In this community did what he had to say take people by surprise and why do you think he did it? Why do you think he did all these actions, releasing Mandela, unbanning the ANC and the SACP?

LT     I think it's because he saw that there was no other way, he had to release Mandela, there was no other way.

POM     When you say 'there was no other way', what do you mean?

LT     I mean keeping him in jail, that was not going to help, it was not going to solve any problems.

POM     How about talking to the ANC and the SACP?

LT     Yes.

POM     Did people think it was because of trade sanctions or because of the armed struggle or because of international pressure?

LT     Well there was that international pressure from all the countries, even here, but otherwise in reality he was just going to be released, there was no other way.

POM     What do people think is going to happen now?

LT     Most of our people, much as they have been struggling for all the years, would like to see themselves living an equal life with whites and those, of course, that are educated would like to see them leading us, would like to see them in parliament doing the right things for us because the wrong things have been done in the past years.

POM     What are people expecting to happen now?

LT     In reality can you see how Alexandra is? Alexandra is just a square mile and we are all crammed up in a square mile and we are more than 250,000, whereas if you get to white areas you will find there are yards that can accommodate in our area maybe more than 100 families and there is only one family staying there. Now we would like to be given the opportunity to live wherever we want to. We must not be told that this is a white area, you are not supposed to live here. We haven't sinned by being black but we need to be recognised that we are also human beings and we would like to be given a share of everything even in the economy of this country.

POM     Are people expecting a new government, representative of the black majority, to come to power?

LT     Yes, as soon as possible because I know one would say blacks are not yet ready for that. I mean the Afrikaners when they took over power they were not ready. They went overseas to get expertise to come here and help them and so we will do the same too. If need be we will also do the same like they did and go and get those people who are supporting us, those people who are supporting SA to be a free country, they will come here and help us.

POM     When this takes over what changes do people expect to take place in their lives?

LT     Firstly, I, as somebody who is not educated that much, see ourselves getting a better education because that's the most important thing. We have been deprived of education and hence you see most of our people are unemployed, are not educated, they are the cause of that apartheid. Now there are people who are thinking that as soon as we get that freedom we are going to be owning businesses and we will run. We would like to see our children going into these multi-racial schools. We would like to see our children fly these aeroplanes one day. We would like to see our children doing all the work that they have never done before because when you are a black man and you're educated all you must do you must either be a teacher or a nurse or a government servant or a social worker, but there are other things such as civil engineering. We want to see ourselves being brought there.

POM     So you have to have education. What else will people be expecting?

LT     Mostly education and of course the living conditions. It's just a pity because we will no longer be able to get land wherever we want because when they bought land some centuries back land was very cheap. Nowadays you can imagine, as a black man if I were to buy land in Sandton they would tell me R60,000 before I can put up a house there, I could not afford it. If there was no apartheid from 1912 maybe up until now we should have been all equal in owning land in SA.

POM     So you would expect the government to do something about giving blacks access to land?

LT     Yes they should give blacks access to land and to the economy of this country and to own businesses in town. We must not be bundled up in locations where we are going to be told that you can only own a vegetable shop or a fruit shop. We are having blacks at least who are broad minded, people who are capable of doing things if they can be given a chance but they are not being given a chance.

POM     When you talk about that people will expect a change in their living conditions, like what for example? How would they expect their living conditions to change?

LT     When they started with education obviously their living conditions are going to change if they can get a living wage, unlike what we are being paid now.

POM     How about things like electricity and sewage? You had organised a clean-up here last week. I assume you will expect that the garbage will be picked up every week?

LT     The thing is again, it goes back to the authorities. We are trying to educate our people to keep their places clean and we have been doing that in the past years but the government here, our City Council, they don't want to pay the right amount for this refuse removal business because we are having a place like Tembisa where you've got 30,000 families and because that contract is being done by white men they are getting about R500,000 and in Alexandra that contract is being done by a black man that's my friend and we are getting peanuts.

POM     The City Council, for example, of Alexandra would be a black City Council?

LT     It is a black City Council but mixed with whites.

POM     Oh? Is this for Alexandra?

LT     Yes.

POM     Are there white people living in Alexandra?

LT     No there are no white people living in Alexandra. They have offices there.

POM     Oh the administrator could be a white?

LT     Yes.

POM     So who makes the decisions? The Council or - ?

LT     They say the Council is making the decisions but to me it's as if they are being told what decision to make because right now, let me just make an example, we've got people who are black builders who are able to build but up until now we've been battling to get land to build so that we can build our own houses. We have never been given that opportunity because we have these giants like Gough Cooper and Murray & Roberts who will come forward and grab everything. For instance, this very contract I am having whites are running after it, they want it because they can see if they get it they are going to make a fortune. Now on the other hand we are not being given a chance to expose ourselves and fail if need be. If we can be given a chance like these Portuguese guys have been given a chance from Portugal, they came here, they could not even write their names but they were given money to open up businesses. Today they are thriving in the cities, they are having big properties in the white areas and we've got nothing and yet we also have the material and the people who can be capable of doing all these things.

POM     How do people regard the City Councillors? Are they held in high esteem or in low esteem? Are you considered to be a collaborator if you run for City Council?

LT     They look at you as a collaborator because they think you're working hand in hand with the government and yet in reality you have to have some civic body.

POM     Who looks on them as collaborators?

LT     The political organisations because at times they tend not to serve the community but to serve the needs of the government but not the needs of the people. That's where the problem is.

POM     How about young people? How do young people regard them?

LT     Even the young people too, even the young people too, though among them there are those who are genuine, who would like to serve the community, but under those structures it makes things difficult because if I were to come to them and say I am approaching you, I need to build or we need to have a retirement village for these senior citizens, or whatever, with blacks it's not easy for them to get that whereas if we have the white administrators requesting that from the government they just get it through a telephone call.

POM     What about young people in general? We hear a lot about this generation of young people, the post-Soweto generation of 1976 who have very little education, who didn't go to school, it was liberation before education, who are unemployed. Are there a large number of unemployed youth in Alexandra?

LT     Very large, a very large number, and they never said education later and liberation now. They requested that Afrikaans be scrapped and English must be the language medium and the government didn't do that, it didn't respond to that, hence we are having so many children who are unemployed and who could not get the qualification or the right education because they were demanding that they be given what they want. Up until now it's still a battle that's going on.

POM     How did the young people here respond to Mr Mandela's announcement of a cease-fire?

LT     The thing is with our youth is they respond well because when he speaks they listen and unlike other organisations when that time comes where they fight, like you know there's fighting going on, you find people killing even children or even elderly people. In the ANC that has never happened. It's just unfortunate, we don't know what's going to happen in future because when the ANC is carrying some weapons they will be taken but when the others organisations are carrying weapons they won't be taken from them.

POM     Let's talk about that for a moment and the awful amount of violence that's been happening in the last ten or eleven days in Soweto and other places in the Transvaal. What do people around here believe is happening, what is the violence due to?

LT     If you ask the people they would say they don't know what they are fighting for and maybe they don't know because before, you could understand when there were faction fights among themselves but now lately you go to the hostels where these fights are going on and you ask them what is happening, they don't know. These Inkathas, there are of course Xhosas there, and just because you're a Xhosa it's clear you're an ANC member, they will attack you, and yet even on the Zulu side most Zulus are not Inkatha members. They are neutral or they are ANC members but now that there happen to be Zulus within that place they must then be seen to be Inkatha people and that is not true and some of them are now leaving accommodation because of that, because whenever you see a hostel dweller you now think he's an Inkatha member and yet it's not true. And to address this problem you have to call public meetings to tell people or to address people and tell them the right thing but now that these public meetings are going to be banned it's going to be a problem.

POM     Who do you think is to blame for the violence?

LT     For the violence? At this stage I would say the government is to blame though the government will say no, partly because even in Natal when people were fighting there, take for instance the time when it was AZAPO and ANC, they discovered later that the police were interfering in the fighting there. But at the time we have now the Inkatha, we have the ANC and there's a group that is being backed up by the police and it's known publicly that's Inkatha.

POM     Inkatha is being backed?

LT     Yes. And how can we then solve the problems of the country when you get the other group with guns and you don't arrest them but the other group you arrest them and take the guns from them?

POM     Do people find it difficult to understand that on the one hand you have Mr Mandela and Mr de Klerk meeting and Mr Mandela calling Mr de Klerk a man of integrity, and on the other hand you have the police who seem to be siding with Inkatha, inclined to kill members of the ANC?

LT     I think this is being done to retard progress so that we should not achieve that goal of ruling, of being involved in the parliament in this country so that when other places overseas when they look upon us they will look upon us as people who are killers or people who are doing nasty things and yet these things are being organised.  For instance, the nine people that died in Katlehong, whatever, in Thokoza, the nine people that died there after that, people went and killed more than 154 and when they investigated the people who died they were Xhosa people. Then who killed them? Who killed them? That is now a big question, who killed them? The persons came with the gun and sprayed bullets in the window.

POM     Who do people believe killed them?

LT     Well it's obvious, you can see, it is those people who are supporting Inkatha.

POM     Do you see it as really it's the people who are supporting Inkatha who are killing people who are Xhosa?

LT     Yes, it's known, I mean they have that ethnicity problem that they don't want to be ruled by Xhosas, maybe something like that. But in reality we are not looking upon Mandela as a Xhosa, we are looking upon Mandela as somebody who is going to help us and liberate us in this country because he stayed in jail for 27 years and the others have never stayed in jail for so long and they've only looked upon their pockets and their luxury homes and they never bothered about for instance, we are having people from the homelands here. They are struggling, they've got no work, they've got no pass books, things like that, but their Chiefs wherever they are, they live a comfortable life. And Mandela has been in jail for all the years because he wanted to see blacks and whites living together in a free country, he's not just fighting for blacks.

POM     What I still don't get is that here you have the police and they're siding with Inkatha and the people see that. How do the people then continue to have any trust in the government, to have any trust in Mr de Klerk if on the one hand he's saying, "I want a peaceful solution", and on the other hand he's letting his police act in this way?

LT     I think it's not Mr de Klerk. It's obvious there are some policemen who are not for Mr de Klerk, who are for AWB, and if they are in authority they will do anything that can help to discredit blacks so that they must not reach that goal.

POM     To go back to the young people for a minute, what's the overall level of unemployment in Alexandra, what percentage of the people would be unemployed?

LT     In Alexandra it's a very, very high percentage unfortunately. I don't remember the percentage but very high.

POM     What future do the young people expect when a majority government takes over?

LT     Some of them want to go back to school. Some of them want to further their studies and they want to be employed. Unfortunately, most factories are gone but if all those factories come back these people will be employed and will be paid a living wage. In Alexandra that's where everything starts because it's an old location and when one starts off in Alexandra it's not easy to stop that fire.

POM     Are there hostels around here? Are those hostels close to the main road?

LT     Yes, they're very close.

POM     Are they Zulu?

LT     Zulus and Xhosas there. I think when it was about to start some people who are in the leadership they went quickly to diffuse the situation because it was about to start and on that very day when it was about to start most women and children fled Alexandra and went to sleep in the cemetery. They went to sleep in the cemetery there because they were afraid that a fire would start and what happened was that some leaders went to these Inkatha members and went to the ANC members and they met and they discussed this problem. Up until now we are still hoping that it's going to be quiet because in this area we are having many Xhosas and we are having many Zulus.

POM     Do people think that Chief Buthelezi is behind the violence, that Inkatha is his organisation and that he is orchestrating it?

LT     I wouldn't say so, I'm sort of confused about what is happening because Chief Gatsha has never attempted to go and pay a visit in the hospitals to see these people who are wounded, but Mandela did, he went to the hospitals to see the people and to see that there is family.

POM     I suppose my question is, if Inkatha is behind the violence, is causing it, if Inkatha is doing this at Chief Buthelezi's bidding, is he ordering them to do this?

LT     No, I doubt if he's ordering them but you know it's going to appear as if he's ordering them if he's unable to address them and tell them not to do these things.

POM     Who in Inkatha, who is giving the orders to these people?

LT     There may be some people who are giving orders because the only way Gatsha can stop this, he must also attend these rallies. There have been some few rallies here and I haven't heard that Gatsha was there. Whatever decisions they take there he had to be involved somehow because he is the man leading Inkatha.

POM     In a hostel who would be telling the members of Inkatha there to go out and kill Xhosas? Why are they doing it now?

LT     You see this is very, very strange because what happens is, for instance, they were ready for Inkatha and at the hostels some people go there because they were now flying over the windows, trying to run out of the windows when they were told that Inkatha people are attacking and the police were there and no-one knows whether the police said it to these people that Inkatha is here, no-one knows. Who told the people to flee to the cemetery to go and seek refuge in the cemetery because they did not know what to do. We were all here, we wanted to find out where were the members of Inkatha, they were nowhere to be seen. So I think they are still trying to stir some trouble here, I think it's late for that now.

POM     Do you think that Mr Mandela should meet with Gatsha?

LT     Yes really they should meet because to tell the truth some of the Inkatha people, they are not just Inkatha because they wanted to be Inkatha. When you are to seek a business in Zululand they press you to produce that certificate, Inkatha certificate and some people, maybe half of them who did not just join because they wanted to be Inkatha members but because they wanted businesses or they wanted to be recognised and get some loans or whatever, things like that.

POM     If, say, next year there's an election and there is a majority government, let's just say that Mr Mandela becomes State President and it was an occasion of great celebration. If five years after that you're sitting here and look out the window and nothing has really changed, the dirt is still piled up, the housing hasn't got any better, there haven't been adequate sewage facilities put it, how would you feel?

LT     I doubt that would happen.

POM     If it does?

LT     If it does then it's going to be incredible though I still doubt it would happen because the outside world, countries from overseas, they're all looking upon SA to come and help. Anybody who comes into Alex, for example, feels pitiful, they wish they could help and by then if Mandela takes over we would be then opening up links overseas to invite overseas people to come and invest in SA so that we should be able to pay these high rentals. We are going to be able at least to do things on our own given that we are now feeling that we are now real citizens of SA; unlike when you have to be told by somebody that you don't belong here, this is a white SA. That's also discouraging, that's why at some stage you find people not wanting to clean and when you ask them why don't you clean your place, they will tell you that, "Well I'm from the homelands, my home is there, I have no home here." Now we want to stamp that out. When a person lives in Alexandra he must know that he lives in SA in his own home.

POM     To go back, if things don't change a lot?

LT     If they don't change and by then it's a black government?  They are bound to change. If you look it's bad luck, they are bound to change, really they are bound to change. Not unless if we can be isolated by the outside world, overseas countries, then that's another thing because I know that with whites in this country they are rich, they are having all the wealth of this country and maybe by the time when we are starting to scrape where they have left we won't get anything but we are still hopeful that if we get people from overseas and if they do come here to come and invest and if they are sympathetic to whatever we are doing there will be no problem there.

POM     In government circles and in other white circles and even among some blacks you find that they wonder about this association between the ANC and the SACP. Does anyone in this community ever raise the question of the close connection of the SACP to the ANC?

LT     I would say that's one organisation that just maybe the name and objectives are a bit different but it's still one organisation unlike if you were to say PAC, that's another organisation.

POM     What do people associate the Communist Party with? Or do they associate it with anything?

LT     At this stage people are still learning to know this. They know a lot about ANC. Now they haven't learned a lot about the Communist Party except for the youth, the youth at this stage do have a knowledge of the Communist Party.

POM     Do the youth support the communists?

LT     They do.

POM     Why do they support the Communist Party?

LT     I think it's because they feel that the Communist Party has to be there, they call it uMkhonto weSizwe. Without it we won't succeed in this battle.

POM     About the PAC, does that enjoy any support here?

LT     They do enjoy some support just as at this stage if I were to be given a chance to say something in politics I would say, "Brothers, let us unite", because the strategy of PAC at times tends not to want maybe whites or whatever. I don't know much about PAC. But with ANC I am happy because it caters for everybody be you yellow or white in the end or coloured, it stands for every South African in this country. So that's what we like with it.

POM     What do you see as the biggest obstacles that Mr Mandela faces as he tries to manage this negotiation process through to the majority rule government? What are the biggest problems he faces that arise within the black community?

LT     I don't see any problems with blacks but I only foresee problems with whites, especially the right wingers, the AWB. They are the ones who are going to be causing problems in the townships because even in Zimbabwe there was the same problem, Rev. Ndabaninge Sithole and Mugabe and all that. Here it's going to be the same but firstly because you can see this man's direction, that he is trying his level best to fight for everybody not for individuals. Now we will be having people like the AWB who may take this opportunity among themselves and support the other group or whatever. This is what is going to be happening as from now.

PAT     People tell us that the PAC is going around saying that it is the youth that Mandela is selling out. Do you believe that?

LT     I don't actually believe that because what is he selling out? They don't believe that. It's just that they have their own party but I think it's time when they should come together now and thrash out these problems. Even Inkatha, they should meet with the ANC because the outside world are now looking upon us as fools sooner or later because of somebody sitting at a corner stirring trouble where there was no trouble. We know that in Alexandra any time we are waiting and anything can spark it off. Somebody can just from out of the blue go in the hostel there and shoot and make sure that they shoot Inkatha this time so that there are people, Inkatha people who will start inviting those who are in town, in Soweto, to start attacking people here and when you investigate this you will find that half the people who are involved they don't know but somebody is behind them, sitting somewhere in a corner stirring trouble.

POM     Who do you think that someone is?

LT     The people who do not want to see this country free.

POM     Those would be do you think the right wing, the AWB is behind it?

LT     Yes.

POM     Orchestrating the violence with Inkatha?

LT     Yes they are doing that. And Inkatha is unaware. They will also fight amongst the blacks.

POM     But the Inkatha people aren't aware of it?

LT     They are not aware. To make these people aware, the various leaders they must meet and they must all call public meetings and address these people because really when I was looking at the interviews on TV, ordinary men say, "What are you fighting for?" they don't know. They don't know. And other tribes they don't know what is happening but they are struggling for that and the innocent are dying.

POM     Mr Mandela has been out of prison now for six, seven months; has his performance met your expectations, exceeded your expectations, or is there anything that he has done or hasn't done that has disappointed you?

LT     Well there's hope that better things are coming. Nobody ever expected that teachers could be heard. Before, when you're a government person you didn't dare strike or hold a protest meeting, but today it is happening with nurses, with teachers demanding their rights.

POM     The way he has performed, do you think he's met all your expectations?

LT     He hasn't met them all as yet because if he can meet them we will see when we are being recognised by the whites of this country as human beings because at times you fail to understand whether it is safe to be black in this country or not. I see no reason why shouldn't our children be schooling with whites. Why shouldn't we be staying with whites, because we accepted this. I organised a clean-up campaign where I invited more than 500 whites and when they came and took part in the cleaning up of Alexandra our intention was not that we wanted them to clean Alexandra, we were merely just trying to build bridges between whites and blacks and that happened and they came and slept in Alexandra and to come and see the living conditions because it was their first time. They live across the road but they did not know the living conditions in Alex and when they experienced that we have to sleep in our one-roomed houses, we take chairs and put them on top of the table and children sleep under the table. To them it was a big shock. There were about five who slept here but most of them wanted to sleep in these one-roomed houses and they really did and they went out and made noise and that noise ,of course, led to the R93 million that was given to Alexandra by the government, though I know they won't admit that but I know that those were some pressures from the white group. Even now as you have been here you are still going to make some noise and say, but how can the living conditions be changed in Alexandra? Because we'd like to see habitable houses next to the golden city, Johannesburg, not what you are seeing now.

POM     What about Mr de Klerk? What do the people feel about him?

LT     Oh Mr de Klerk is a darling. I would say he is a darling because at least he has attempted to do something unlike others who kept on doing nothing. When you are to give the bone to a dog you keep on doing this, it was to hold it. But Mr de Klerk attempted to do something though he hasn't done almost everything but he has done something. I think for what he has done some of his people, if they can get him in a nice tight corner, they can kill him for that.

POM     Finally, how will things be this time next year? If I'm talking to you this time next year what do you think will have changed?

LT     We don't know. We are hoping that things will change . We want this year from now on whether the black man's voice is going to be heard or not. So it's judging things from now on, we will see then what will be happening in another six months or a year.

POM     What will disappoint you if it hasn't happened? Say this time next year the Group Areas Act is still on the books, will you be disappointed?

LT     Well I would be disappointed because I thought maybe by the time De Klerk meets with Mandela he knows what they are meeting for. Those are the things that must just vanish. They must not even be discussed. They are a disgrace, they must not even be discussed, they must just vanish.

POM     Well if they're still there this time next year?

LT     If they're still there then I would say I would feel disappointed because this is the time. I mean we are not saying give us money, we will work for money, but at least those things must go away. Those are the things that are retarding progress.

POM     What other things if they weren't gone would disappoint you? You've got the Population Registration Act.

LT     For instance, we are having a very big number of unemployed people. If maybe by that time these people haven't had enough work or not enough food for their families I would still feel disappointed because it shall have been the government. We know that if they crack this apartheid immediately, if apartheid goes, we will be having funds from overseas coming to invest in SA and we won't be having the high number of unemployment and, of course, with unemployment brings criminals because of hunger. They have to make a living but if there's no work they will still be doing all this harassment among other people who are working.

POM     As you walk around the community, what are the biggest problems on people's minds?  What are the problems that people most frequently talk to you about?

LT     You mean in Alexandra?

POM     Yes.

LT     People are wanting to see themselves in better housing. For instance, I as a Habitat for Humanity member, I am battling hard to help people build houses on their own because they don't qualify for these loans from the Building Societies. So now people want to see themselves in habitable homes. They want to see themselves, for instance, nobody wants to see this bucket system in Alexandra which is not even moved. They would like to see a healthy Alexandra and there have to be people who will be more at peace for the people of Alexandra. We are having the very councillors right now but still the bucket system is still there, still buckets are not being moved but they are there.

POM     The bucket system is?

LT     The night soil. I mean we've got no sewerage in other areas in Alexandra. We've never had a sewer system in Alexandra, we are using buckets. Some are moved, some are not being moved. Now you can imagine nobody wants to live in an environment like that and if you look back and you ask yourself what is the cause, the cause is the apartheid system. Were it not for apartheid there wouldn't have been all this. Alexandra would be a model city today. It wouldn't be like this. If our parents' properties were never expropriated, were never taken from our parents and they were given those freehold rights like they were given before, this area would have been a model city, you would have been seeing wonders here, but instead you're seeing shambles because of apartheid.

POM     Thanks very much. It's been terrific.

LT     I am just hoping that from now on they won't be bombing our homes because today I have no home, my home was bombed by the police. What you see here, these are things I've been given by sympathetic people. So I am hoping that from now on instead of sending hit squads to kill us or sending people to get rid of us, at least they must send messages of hope unlike the things they were saying. It is fortunate that I live because some of our brothers are dead. What I have owned all the years it's all gone.

POM     When was your house burned?

LT     In 1986.

POM     It was burned?

LT     Yes, it was bombed by the police. It appeared in the papers, even on the BBC overseas. And partly because of my involvement in politics most of the youth they used to hold meetings there, these political meetings. They used to hold them in my garage and in this garage we were serving the people of Alexandra. I have been using it for the senior citizens, to give them food or whatever in the cold but when it was bombed I was a bit discouraged. When somebody is trying to do good things some people don't appreciate it. It took me some time to recover. I'm just happy because my children were safe, they were running out of the back door otherwise they were all going to die in the house. People who came gave them clothes, jackets. I still thank them even now because if it were not for them I don't know what would have happened.

POM     Are you hopeful about the future?

LT     I am hopeful. Before we reach that goal there has to be some pain somewhere along the line. People will have to die, people will have to suffer but we feel that we've suffered enough.

POM     How important is religion to the people in this community?

LT     People are very religious. If you come here on a Sunday almost everybody is in church excepting for those who are drinking and trying to enjoy themselves in shebeens but most of the people are in church. Now it's the opposite because whites came with religion and we took it up. We think we are doing better than them and yet they've got beautiful churches but we wonder what do they preach in those churches.

PAT     What role would what we would call witchdoctors play? What do they understand about that?

LT     Well witchdoctors have been there for centuries and they will always be there because they will still be it's the culture that they should be there. They used to have, for instance, I never believed in witchcraft but I was once broken, my leg was broken. When it was to be amputated somebody came and dug a hole and when they put my leg in there with some medicine and the bones and when the cows grazed, they have special medicine they give to that cow and But most of them, of course, are liars. They just hijack this thing, it is not a gift from the ancestors.

PAT     Do you believe in witchcraft? The youngsters?

LT     Some do. Because, for instance, if somebody in that family maybe they will take him to hospital and in hospital they will operate but when somebody who knows witchcraft won't operate but will give him some medicine to take that thing out. And when people were fighting you find that instead of seeing people you'd see those things coming at you and those are human beings. Those things did happen.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.