A listing of the episodes of the TRC Special Report series which aired every week between 21 April 1996 and 29 March 1998, produced and presented by Max du Preez.
The list provides a summary of each episode, and links to the sections within each episode. The sections are transcribed. The list is ordered chronologically, from the first episode screened, to the last.
Special Report - Episode Index
|41||30 Mar 1997||This episode focuses on the Amnesty Committee hearings held in Bloemfontein (24 to 27 March) and the HRV Committee hearings held in Lusikisiki (24 to 26 March). From Bloemfontein we hear testimonies from four APLA members applying for amnesty for killing a white farmer, JJ Fourie, during APLA’s ‘Operation Great Storm’ campaign launched in 1991. We also hear testimony from a policeman and AWB supporter who killed Jonas Ramphalile in retaliation for a farm murder, from applicants who killed white motorists in Kutloanong township and a former ‘Great Storm’ soldier and amnesty applicant who questions TRC commissioners’ political ideology. The report from Lusikisiki focuses on the 1960 Pondoland revolt – when Pondo people fought against the then Black Authorities Act of 1951 and the introduction of taxes by the government. The segment includes interviews with community elders present on the day of the Ngquza hill shooting, which marked the beginning of the revolt. The final segment covers former President FW de Klerk’s new submission to the TRC. ||Section IndexWatch Episode|
|42||06 Apr 1997||This episode comprises a panel discussion between a number of TRC journalists and senior TRC spokespersons Dumisa Ntsebeza, Fazel Randera and Reverend Mcebisi Xundu. The discussion refers to the process and progress of establishing truth and reconciling the nation and raises questions around the delicate relationships between full disclosure, amnesty, reparation and rehabilitation. ||Section IndexWatch Episode|
|43||13 Apr 1997||This episode starts with the Amnesty Committee hearings held in Johannesburg (7 to 11 April) and covers the amnesty applications of two paramilitary right wingers, Leo Froneman and Peter Harmse, for the 1993 Bronkhorstspruit bomb attack and that of Daveyton Youth Congress member, Phineas Ndlovu, for an arson attack on the Masupa family home which left four people dead. The following segment covers the HRV Committee hearings held in Grahamstown (7 to 9 April) from where we hear survivors and victims’ relatives give testimony on incidents of police brutality in the Eastern Cape region. Also included is a report back on the HRV Committee hearings held in Messina, Louis Trichardt and Tzaneen in the Northern Province (8, 9 and 10 April) focusing on two brutal hand grenade attacks by the SADF’s 5 Reconnaissance Commando. The final segment focuses on Investigation Task Board report, which gives details of - amongst other things - the former State Security Council’s approval of ‘Operation Marion,’ an IFP paramilitary force trained by the SADF. ||Section IndexWatch Episode|
|44||20 Apr 1997||The special feature on the KwaMakhutha massacre was supposed to be aired as Episode 44 of the Truth Commission Special Report, but owing to technical difficulties, it was never broadcast. Despite this, transcripts and other relevant information related to the massacre can be found on this product, and the event is captured in other episodes of the show. The KwaMakhutha massacre took place on 21 January 1987, where 13 people, mostly women and children, were killed when gunmen opened fire with AK47s on the home of UDF activist, Mr Bheki Ntuli, at KwaMakhutha, Amanzimtoti, near Durban. ||Section Index|
|45||27 Apr 1997||This episode reports on the honorary reburial of five ANC cadres, members of an Umkhonto we Sizwe cell ‘The Butterfly Unit’ - Phila Ndwandwe, Bheki Mkwanazi and Mbova Mzimela - exhumed from unmarked graves and members of ‘Operation Vula’ - Charles Ndaba and Mbuso Tshabalala - whose bodies were disposed of in the Tugela River. The segment includes interviews with relatives of MK commander Phila Ndwandwe. In the following segment head of the Truth Commission’s Investigations Unit, Dumisa Ntsebeza, speaks about South Africa’s ‘death farms,’ farms used by the security police to torture, sometimes kill and bury activists in secret graves. Also included in this episode is a segment on the surviving member of a KwaMathu MK unit, ‘The Swimmers,’ blown up by security policemen at Phoenix Railway Station. Naye Ngema, suspected of betraying his comrades, was recently cleared when policeman Andy Taylor revealed details of the incident in his amnesty application. The following segment offers a retrospective view on one year of TRC proceedings and the final segment tells of a Vlakplaas plan to spread AIDS amongst black South Africans.||Section IndexWatch Episode|
|46||04 May 1997||This episode starts with a report back on the reconciliatory meeting between police captain Brian Mitchell and Trust Feed residents. The following segment reports on the HRV Committee hearings held in Parys (28 to 30 April) focusing on methods of torture used by the police and the comrades during the 1980s and 1990s. Also included are segments on the history of Bantu Education and a call from education stakeholders for a special hearing on the violation of education rights; public feedback on the TRC; and Archbishop Tutu’s appeal to soldiers, policemen, guerrillas and self defence units to apply for amnesty in the next six days. ||Section IndexWatch Episode|
|47||11 May 1997||This episode starts with a report on former Minister of Defence Magnus Malan’s submission to the TRC. Malan is questioned on his allegation that Anton Lubowski was a paid agent of SA Military Intelligence, on state sanctioned assassinations and more. The following segment covers right winger Hendrik Slippers’ amnesty application for killing George Mkomane during the AWB’s ‘white by night’ campaign, heard at the Amnesty Committee hearings in Nelspruit (5 – 8 May 1997). Also included is a report on the HRV Committee hearings held in Rustenburg (7 May), focusing on the 1993 Bophuthatswana Police assault of youth activist Solly Bokaba. The final segment reports on the more than 7000 amnesty applications received by the 10th of May deadline, including that of top ANC members Joe Modise, Ronnie Kasrils, Joe Ndlandla, Mac Maharaj and Thabo Mbeki, the former SADF head Constand Viljoen and former CCB members Joe Verster and Staal Burger. ||Section IndexWatch Episode|
|48||18 May 1997||This episode focuses on the ANC and NP’s revised submissions to the TRC. The ANC was asked to explain, amongst other things, civilian casualties and ‘soft’ targets like the Church Street and Magoo’s Bar bombings and their landmine campaign; the practice of necklacing; the chant “Kill the Boer, Kill the Farmer” and the attacks on IFP supporters, in the context of fighting a ‘just war.’ The NP, represented by FW de Klerk, apologised for its discriminatory legislation and policy, but when questioned on incidents of torture, the murder of activists, third force activity and more De Klerk answered defensively and withdrew from participating in the Truth Commission process by the end of the week. ||Section IndexWatch Episode|
|49||26 May 1997||This episode starts with a report back on the special hearing held in Athlone (20 to 21 May) on the October 1985 ‘Trojan Horse’ attack when policeman hid in boxes on an open railway truck and opened fire on stone throwing teenagers. The segment includes TRC testimonies from victims, victims’ relatives and policemen involved in the incident. The following segment reports on the HRV Committee hearings held in Ermelo (22 May) and focuses on violent crimes committed by the Black Cats, a vigilante group formed to protect the community, but that subsequently received military training from the IFP and were infiltrated by police as part of their counter mobilization strategy. The episode also covers the ANC’s Self Defence Unit programme launched in July 1991 and includes an interview with former SDU commander Patrick Ndlubini. The final segment reports back on the latest amnesty findings. ||Section IndexWatch Episode|
|50||01 Jun 1997||This episode reports on the HRV Committee hearings held in Mooiriver (28 to 29 May) and focuses on the ongoing conflict between IFP and ANC supporters in Bruntville in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. The following segment covers the November 1993 abduction and killing of MK operative Claire Stewart from Manguzi, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands and includes interviews with her relatives. At a special hearing in Cape Town (22 May), Cape Flats youth activists spoke about the violations committed against them as teenagers and the difficulties they face today. Also included is a report on the exhumation of Phumezo Nxiweni, an innocent student assumed to be a bomber, murdered and buried on Verulam Farm. The final segment reports on the criminal trial of Dirk Coetzee, Almond Nofemela and David Tshikalanga who were found guilty for the murder of Griffiths Mxenge.||Section IndexWatch Episode||