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A-Team (OFS)

Explanation
The A-Team, also known as the 'Phakathis' was a vigilante group set up and headed by a well-known local councillor in the Thabong area of Welkom to counter the activities of the UDF primarily, and in a smaller measure, the ANC. The A-Team carried out a reign of terror in several areas of the province, particularly in Thabong and Parys, under the guise of 'maintaining order'. In at least one case, the A-Team is alleged to have been supported by police and municipal structures.

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In this episode we are introduced to Jeffrey Benzien, the Western Cape policeman notorious for his wet-bag torture method. Benzien appeared before the Amnesty Committee this week for the torture of activists and killing of MK cadre Ashley Kriel and were confronted by some of his torture victims ...
Three good friends get together once or twice a year to talk about the old times. They go way back these guys. They were once cops together at Brixton Murder and Robbery. About 10 years ago all 3 suddenly quit the force for a new career on the other side of the law. Between them they have been ...
There’s an air of anticipation in the Eastern Cape city as Biko’s killers come to ask for amnesty. A large crowd gathers for the public hearing at the community hall in New Brighton. The world’s media have come to witness whether or not the five security policemen, who lied at the 1977 ...
It was the A-Team, Dan Mtembu and Mtombeni family and Mpansa family and Cebekhulu’s boy and many others, and the Isaacs. I won’t forget those, Musa and Popi.
Biko’s interrogation team was headed by Colonel Harold Snyman; it included Brigadier Daantjie Siebert, Warrant Officers Rubin Marx and Johan Beneke and Gideon Niewoudt, better known now as the Motherwell bomber. These men are now applying for amnesty. The missing application is perhaps that of ...
This week our team goes to Port Elizabeth for an amnesty hearing around the killings of the Pebco Three. We’ll meet again next Sunday at six. Good night.
Phemba Mpanza faces the difficult choice of either living in Chesterville after being labelled an impimpi or trying to make a new life elsewhere. He decided to stay. Dan moved out years ago. They agreed that the troubled community is still not addressed. Even today, Angelina Magwaza, is still too ...
I just remember feeling the most incredible rage and anger that he was ignoring me and that he was lying at the time, because he said ‘kandi shishi, kandi shishi,’ he doesn’t know anything. Then I brought the person that we’d captured the day before. They’d been travelling together and I ...
Meanwhile back at the Town Hall Superintendent Gerrit Fourie and his staff carry out the first security check of the day. // Every morning we had to come in and secure the building and bring in the dog unit and the explosive men, they had to sweep the whole building to ensure that there are no ...
The AWB will be with us again next week when six jailed AWB men ask for amnesty from the Truth Commission in Pretoria. Our team will also attend the Human Rights Violation session in Pietersburg. So let’s make an appointment for next Sunday evening at quarter to seven. Good night.
Gideon Niewoudt’s legal team has now asked that all other amnesty applications by Niewoudt should be heard by a different committee than the one that handed down this recent decision. They argued that the same committee would be biased in other cases. The application was granted and Niewoudt will ...
We’ve come to the end of tonight’s programme. Our team is preparing a documentary on the experiences of young white soldiers who were conscripted into the old Defence Force. If you want to share your experience, please contact Annelies Burgess by fax or e-mail. Until next Sunday good night.
Then the other side, those branded informers, started hitting back. People in the township started referring to them as the A-Team after an American television series. Members of the community say the police assisted the A-Team, but they deny this saying that when they were in trouble the police ...
The one man who seemed prepared to go further than denials was Rubin Marx. Marx is an old style policeman who was also part of the interrogation team. // The deceased Mr Biko did not like being told to get up when Siebert told him he must get up when he speak to me in my office. I thought that I ...
If you are considering applying for amnesty we suggest you contact the Truth Commission’s offices in your region at the numbers now on your screen. Please don’t contact the Special Report for this reason. We merely report on the Truth Commission, we have no ties whatsoever with them. The ...
This afternoon a special interfaith service was held in Bloemfontein because that is where the Truth Commission will be sitting this coming week. Of course our team will be there but next Sunday we will also show you the very special film a young woman made about her activist father. Don’t miss ...
In the two decades since Biko’s brutal death in detention his name has become synonymous with black consciousness, black pride; black dignity in South Africa. But the circumstances surrounding his death have always been associated with white police brutality, secrecy and lies. Biko was arrested ...
On Monday morning the TRC leads the family of slain askari, Brian Ngqulunga to his gravesite at Vlakplaas, South Africa’s most notorious death farm. Ngqulunga was one of the black security policemen who lived and died in the dirty sinister world of Vlakplaas. He was part of the team that brutally ...
We’ve come to the end of our programme. The Truth Commission sits in Mmabatho the whole of next week and on Friday the main political parties will make their submissions to the Truth Commission in Cape Town. We leave you with scenes of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Doctor Alex Boraine at the ...
Mr. Chairman were about to see video footage of the interior of the tavern as taken by the police team on the morning after the attack. // Mr. Chairman the camera moves to a raised portion of the interior of the tavern where the other two deceased lay. That is Bernadette Langford and Lindy Fourie. ...
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