Mothers of Ten depicts
my imaginary view of the grieving mothers of ten black youth, aged 14-19
who were brutally killed on June 26, 1986 by the Western Transvaal
Security Branch. The youth who were suspected of being activists,
had been recruited by the Security Branch on the pretext that they would
receive military training and then were brutally murdered in one of the
most notorious cases to appear before the TRC.
30" x 40" Oil &
The TRC provided
counsellors to work with the mothers to help them prepare to testify.
The TRC also took the mothers to the alleged place where their sons were
killed and held a ceremony for burial although their were no remains.
This case, known as the Nietverdiend Ten, involved Sgt. Joe Mamasela who
had recruited the ten youth and then drove them in a mini-bus towards the
border with Botswana. They stopped en route to pick up an escort
which was a car loaded with members of the Security Branch. They
entered a dense bushy area; the mini-bus was stopped and the youth were
instructed to climb out and lie face down, surrounded by a group of
soldiers all dressed in camouflage uniforms. The youthís trousers
were removed and Commandant Charl Naude injected them with a sedative or
other chemical substance. The victims were loaded onto the vehicle
which was driven to a selected spot in Bophuthatswana, a neighboring
homeland. The mini-bus with the victims inside was left to roll down
a steep hill, crashed into a wall and was blown up.
Four AK-47ís were placed in the destroyed vehicle and a number of
political pamphlets by Azapo were scattered around the area. It was
not clear when the victims died - on impact; from the explosion of the
car, or from the injected substance. The bodies were so charred they
could not be identified.
Brigadier J. Cronje who planned the operation was congratulated by a
General in the SADF and Sgt. Mamasela was given R1,000 bounty money and
two weeks holiday in reward.
In testimony to the TRC, Brigadier J. Cronje stated:
ďI donít think I have to say Iím sorry and Iím not going to say it
for what I did. Iím sorry for the relatives and the victims, yes,
but what I did Iím not sorry about, cause I was doing my job and I
thought it was right.Ē
The victims, based on information from their families are believed to be: