4 February 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the passing away of Nicodemus Kgoathe, Solomon Modipane (28 February) and several others from Hebron who were detained under the Terrorism Act of 1967.

Later this year, media will be invited to join the Kgoathe family as we celebrate the life of our father, grandfather and great-grandfather Nicodemus Kgoathe and also remember his fellow Tribal Committee Members in a commemorative event which we are planning for.

The Kgoathe family remain inspired by the story of Ahmed Timol and the relentless quest by his family to find the truth about his death. Timol’s nephew Imtiaz Cajee is a resilient and selfless support to us, volunteering to assist the family in seeking the truth behind the events that led to the arrest and subsequent death of Nicodemus. Thus far we have begun the process, through continuous engagements with the NPA and several others who may hold pieces of truth, to revisit the circumstances under which Nicodemus Kgoathe died in 1969.

Kgoathe’s eldest son, Ben, was the last family member to see him alive at the Silverton police station. Even in his twilight years, Ben is haunted by the unanswered questions around his father’s death, half a century later.

“I was a young lad, 25 years of age when I went to visit my father in police custody. He was battered bruised, and almost comatose, laying on the concrete floor of Silverton Police Station, from hours of interrogation and assault. Half a century on, in the twilight of my life, the question of who killed my father, remains unanswered

A now frail Ben fears he too will leave this life before the mystery of his father’s death is solved.

“Life has not been easy for me ever since I saw my father on those fateful days. Those images of him remain imprinted on my mind to this day. While there was evidence to suggest that Ntate was brutality assaulted before his death, official records do not reflect this. This discrepancy has for many years been a source of pain and curiosity to the family. ”

‘Our story is one of many that have gone ignored or untold that are carried as pain and affliction through generations. For there to be healing, there needs to be closure — which many families were denied even in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission process. Public involvement can be brought about by raising awareness to these cases through the assistance of media. We look forward to your participation in our call for “truth before reconciliation”.’


Family spokesperson: Amon Kgoathe, 083 501 5220, nicodemus.kgoathe1969@gmail.com