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
|81||15 Feb 1998||The first segment of this episode covers the amnesty hearings held in Pietermaritzburg (9 to 11 February). Three APLA soldiers applied for amnesty for the attack on the Crazy Beat Disco, Newcastle, two months before South Africa’s first democratic elections. The APLA men meet with the mother of the deceased after the hearing. The following two segments investigate the assassinations of anti-apartheid activist David Webster and SWAPO executive member Anton Lubowski and provide some background to CCB agent and convicted killer Ferdi Barnard’s involvement. In the fourth segment, Special Report interviews Alex Boraine on the SADF’s submission to the Public Protector and their attack on the TRC. The following segment provides a profile of Truth Commissioner Dumisa Ntsebeza. This is followed by coverage of the amnesty hearing of the four policemen responsible for killing Sizwe Kondile (held in Cape Town 9 to 13 February 1998) The policemen’s testimonies contradicts that of Dirk Coetzee’s who is also applying for amnesty for his involvement with the incident. The segment also includes an interview with Charity Kondile, Sizwe’s mother. A report on the amnesty hearing (held in Pietermaritzburg, 9 to 11 February) of two IFP perpetrators responsible for an attack on a pro ANC village shows the reconciliatory meeting of perpetrators with community members after the hearing. The episode ends showing Archbishop Tutu handing out roses to female TRC staff on St Valentine’s Day. ||Section IndexWatch Episode|
|82||22 Feb 1998||In the first segment of this episode theologians Beyers Naude and Sach Mokgoeba, Anglican priest Michael Lapsley, Deputy Minister of Education Fr. Smangaliso Mkatshwa, political philosopher Andre du Toit, as well as security police amnesty applicants Paul van Vuuren and Wouter Mentz respond to the question ‘what is evil?’ The second segment examines cross border raids and includes an interview with TRC researcher John Daniel who provides background to the 1981 Matola, 1982 Maseru, 1985 Gaborone, 1985 Maseru and 1988 Manzini raids. The following segment provides a profile of Truth Commissioner Dr. Fazel Randera. The final segment explores the meaning of reconciliation and includes interviews with Ngila Muendane from the PAC, Vice Chancellor of the UCT Mamphela Ramphele, ANC politicians Tony Yengeni and Patrick Lekota and Pieter Mulder from the Freedom Front. ||Section IndexWatch Episode|
|83||01 Mar 1998||The first segment of this episode reports on the amnesty hearing of ten policemen responsible for the death of Stanza Bopape and subsequent cover-up (held in Pretoria, 23 to 27 February). The applicants gave details of Bopape’ death during torture and the disposal of his body and disclosed the elaborate cover-up they created. The second segment reports on the amnesty hearings of the policemen responsible for killing the Cradock Four, held in Port Elizabeth (23 February to 3 March). The segment includes interviews with the deceased’s relatives, who do not believe the applicants were making full disclosures. The following segment provides a profile on Truth Commissioner Adv. Denzil Potgieter. The final segment looks at the South African right wing during the transition era and includes interviews with right wing leaders Eugene Terreblanche and Dries Kriel. ||Section IndexWatch Episode|
|84||08 Mar 1998||The first segment of this episode reports on hearings of amnesty applicants from ANC self defence unit members (held in Boksburg 2 to 10 March). The applicants killed ANC Youth League members in what appeared to be a retaliatory attack. The second segment reports on the amnesty hearings of policemen responsible for killing the Cradock Four that continued in PE this week (23 February to 3 March). Applicants gave more detailed descriptions of the men’s deaths, however their testimonies differ from evidence given by Vlakplaas commander Eugene de Kock and do not disclose where the order for the killings came from. The following segments provide a profile on Truth Commissioner Bongani Finca and a report on the history and vibrant culture of Sophiatown, the forced removals and demolitions of 1955 and the suburb’s recent renaming. The Special Report also examines the practice of necklacing in an interview with journalist Sandile Dikeni. The following segment reports on the SADF’s devastating attack on a SWAPO settlement and refugee centre in Cassinga, Angola that left hundreds of guerrillas and civilians dead. The final segment re-screens a profile of Communist Party member and lawyer, Bram Fischer including his daughters’ testimonies on their father’s ill treatment in prison.||Section IndexWatch Episode|
|85||15 Mar 1998||The first segment of this episode the Special Report looks at issues surrounding the TRC - including public opinion of the process, whether the TRC has contributed to reconciliation, whether the TRC is biased and whether the TRC has been successful in unearthing the truth - in a discussion with journalist, author and former newspaper editor Donald Woods, director of human resources at Spoornet Maki Mandela, IFP member of parliament Abraham Mzizi and UCT academic and political commentator Herman Giliomee. The second segment provides a profile of Truth Commissioner Rev. Khoza Mgojo and the final segment reports on the amnesty hearings into the abductions and murders of the Pebco Three (held in Port Elizabeth 9 to 12 March). State witness Joe Mamasela was the last witness to give evidence at the hearing, this week and his testimony differed significantly from that of applicants’ testimonies. ||Section IndexWatch Episode|
|86||22 Mar 1998||The first segment of this episode covers the exhumations that took place during the past week on Vlakplaas, Boshoek farm near Rustenburg and Thabazimbi and includes interviews with relatives of the deceased and with TRC personnel. The second segment examines the importance of remorse in the process of reconciliation, although this was not a legal requirement for the granting of amnesty. The following segment provides profiles on Truth Commissioners Richard Lyster, Mary Burton, Yasmin Sooka and Sisi Khampepe. The final segment is a report on CCB members Staal Burger, Slang van Zyl and Callas Botha who as before, at the Harms Commission and the David Webster inquests, gave what seems to be ‘arranged’ accounts of certain CCB ‘projects’ in their amnesty applications and at the criminal trial of Ferdi Barnard. ||Section IndexWatch Episode|
|87||29 Mar 1998||The last episode of the series provides an overview of the proceeds of four TRC components, the Human Rights Violations Committee, the Amnesty Committee, special hearings (set up to explore the history and context of apartheid) and the Reparations and Rehabilitation Committee. The second segment examines the meaning of and the effect the TRC has had on fostering a new morality in South African society and includes interviews with Former NP Minister and co-leader of the United Democratic Movement, Roelf Meyer, Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry Kader Asmal, and Moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church Freek Swanepoel. In the final segment Archbishop Tutu addresses victims and survivors and explains the process of application for urgent interim reparations and responds to questions on the refusal of judges to appear before the TRC, on the controversial decision to collectively grant amnesty to 37 ANC leaders and on the final report of the TRC.||Section IndexWatch Episode|
|99||09 Sep 1997||This special edition of the TRC Special Report covers the controversy surrounding Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's 1991 kidnapping trial. This involved allegations about Mandela made by Nicolas Dlamini, who was serving a life sentence for the 1989 murder of Dr Abu Baker Asvat. Statements made by him were similar to those made by Katiza Cebekhulu, who was a key witness in Mandela’s trial. The episode was launched on the same day that British MP Emma Nicholson, who was sheltering Cebekhulu, met senior members of the TRC’s investigative unit. This meeting took place a few hours before the launch of British journalist Fred Bridgland’s book about Cebekhulu. Mandela died that she had ordered the murder of Dr Asvat, claiming that such allegations were depraved, and that he had been a ‘personal friend, a family doctor and a man of deep compassion.’ A few weeks before his murder, Asvat had conducted an autopsy on the body of murdered teenage activist, Stompie Seipei.||Section IndexWatch Episode||