After more than 30 years, a Kimberley woman is hoping to finally find closure on the death of her son in an African National Congress (ANC) military camp in Angola.
Nombi Flatela’s son, Khotso, was killed in the camp during the 1980s but she is yet to be told exactly what happened to him.
The 75-year-old says she has over the years been sent from pillar to post by individuals within the ANC while trying to get answers. On December 7th 1987, Flatela received a telegraph from ANC headquarters in Lusaka informing her that her son Khotso was dead.
Khotso who was part of a group leading the Free Mandela Campaign in Kimberley during the 1980s left the country at the age of 13 to join the ANC’s military camp during the liberation struggle.
Following his death, Flatela reveals that she met with senior ANC officials – Alfred Nzo and Steve Tshwete in Lusaka, this in an attempt to repatriate his remains. She left Lusaka weeks later without her son’s body or his belongings.
Years later, Flatela says she met with Tshwete once again to find out about her son’s remains. She says the meeting was an acrimonious one.
“He said he has never seen me in his life and he does not know who is Kgotso so I must not bother him. I concluded that they have killed him. That was my conclusion from that discussion with comrade Nzo. I said that they have killed my son.”
Flatela who herself was an anti-Apartheid activist in Kimberley recently wrote a book titled My Life, My Race and My Destination detailing her life’s journey including the death of her son.
She says writing the book has been therapeutic.
“I was bitter for a very long time, very bitter. But now at this present moment, I must tell the honest truth, I am no more bitter. I think after writing the book, when I wrote the book, I healed. I healed myself.”
Flatela is expected to have the opportunity to see what is believed to be her son’s final resting place in Angola after the ANC in the province pledged to take her to the country.