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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 3 of Episode 21

07:4116 December 1991. Many Afrikaner families celebrated the day of the Vaal or Dingaan’s day, the commemoration of the battle of Blood river. Umkhonto we Sizwe celebrated its thirtieth birthday on the same day. But CODESA was on the horizon, the ruling National Party and the liberation movements were on the verge of negotiating a peaceful transition to democracy. The dawn of a new South Africa was breaking. Not in Klerksdorp. On this day a bomb rocked the town’s multiracial school. This is Nantie Steyn’s report. Full Transcript and References
08:17The police investigation into the bombing of the Klerksdorp Christian Academy has to this day yielded no clues. Helena de Kock, principal of the multiracial and multidenominational school believes she knows where to start looking. // Well, it’s clear, according to the date – the 16th of December – it was a sacrifice; they sacrificed us to their forefathers’ spirits. It must have been right wingers. Full Transcript and References
08:44Helena and her husband Andre started the school with 20 children. The De Kock’s were average white Afrikaans South Africans with a dream. // In living in this country we had the desire in our innermost hearts and beings to establish something that we can do well for the whole nation not just for certain sectors of the nation. And just to pour our lives into that school, because we are educators, to pour our lives into it and just to offer our people in this nation something to bring back dignity to the nation, to bring back self-respect to the nation, to uplift people. Full Transcript
09:31They were in for a rude wake up call. The bombing of the school was the combination of endless problems Helena de Kock experienced right from the start. The government, the Klerksdorp city council and the white community seemed determined to see them fail. They could not register the school until they had 20 white children. The city council would not approve building plans or even give permission to build the school and they did not have the money to expand.Full Transcript
09:59We were really at the stage where we would have been closed down and one of the parents brought me a number on a little, small piece of paper and said, just for the last time contact these people. And this was a German trust, a Christian development trust and they came out here and they looked at the project. I mean they didn’t know us from nowhere and they listened to us and they agreed to help.Full Transcript
10:29With their greatest battles behind them the war was not yet over. When the number of black students increased the white parents withdrew their children. They ran back to enjoy the privileges of apartheid, because I don’t care who we are, we had a period where all the whites enjoyed the privileges of apartheid. And the price that a white person has got to pay is a bit too much for them.Full Transcript
11:01By the time that we enrolled the 30 little black students, there were 64 white students at that stage. So the survival of the school was really placed in jeopardy when they walked out. Actually we had to restart the school. That was the first restart; the second restart was after the bomb.Full Transcript
11:30‘Sowat ‘n half miljoen rand se skade is vanoggend vroeg op Klerksdorp aangerig toe ‘n kragtige ontploffing die hoofgebou van …’ [Early this morning, a powerful explosion … the main building of …in Klerksdorp, causing damages of approximately half a million rand.] // I remember the 15th of December I was standing there with great thankfulness and happiness in our hearts and then the night of the 16th we had a phone call twenty past one to come out there because the school was bombed. When the light came we went out there and realized that we’ve lost literally everything. There was just dirt and rubble and a mess, and corrugated iron all over and it looked like a war zone. Afterwards the parents come to you and they looked me straight in the face and they said, Helena, are you also going to turn your back on us now? And I said God forbid that I do that. I don’t know how we are going to make it, we’ve got nothing left, we are totally, literally bankrupt. We had to ...moreFull Transcript
12:48Today the school has 600 pupils and 24 classrooms. It stands a testimony to determination and vision spread out over the various properties the De Kock’s have bought around the original structure. Although Helena’s struggle with the city council continues her submission to the Truth Commission seems to have born some fruit. Council Iqbal Mutala said he was unaware of the difficulties she experienced.Full Transcript
13:13I’m a little disappointed that Mrs. de Kock did not make use of her prerogative, to pick up the phone, not deal with officials, if her perception was that officials were obstructing her, but to deal directly with the elected councillors. Having said that I want to give you the assurance and give Mrs. de Kock the assurance as well that we will deal with this matter very urgently.Full Transcript
13:39Right wing terror took many forms in the old Western Transvaal. Here, in the heartland of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging right-wingers behaved as if South Africa belonged to them only. Many people fell victim to their indiscriminate violence. William Nxanxa, a taxi driver was parked beside the road outside Ottosdal one morning in September 1990.Full Transcript and References
14:02Four boers approached us and they asked us why were we parking there and we told them that we have just parked. We’re doing nothing. The other one got out of the car and broke the window and he grabbed me by my arm. They got hold of me and they assaulted me; they even fiddled with my private parts. They took me to their farm and they locked me in a store room and they released their dogs.Full Transcript
14:38In Boitumelong in 1993 the ANC started a consumer boycott of the white town Bloemhof. The Indian community pledged its support. Styles Haffejee, a devout Muslim paid dearly for this. // I noticed a vehicle coming up to our area, the only vehicle for the day, a blue Toyota bakkie. Came in at high speed, reversed itself. Out jumped two white men, with sporties or half balaclavas on. Sporties I think. He had a bag, a big white plastic bag, you couldn’t see through. They came into the shop. Now you must imagine that the shop was full of customers, Saturday afternoon. They ripped open the bag, my wife is busy on the phone, and they said ‘dit is vir jou’ [this is for you]. They let out a pig, a live pig in my shop. But to me as a Muslim, I belong to the faith of Islam, I’m a Muslim, it was one of the deepest, most unjust cruelest forms of a thing which can be done to another person. Full Transcript and References
15:51Simon Phiri’s mother died as the result of an AWB attack on his home in 1991. He was sleeping in his car when it happened. // They just laughed and they jumped the fence and they went into the field shouting AWB! AWB! I got out of the car as soon as they were away and I got into the house. Everything was not in an ordinary order and I wanted to see members of my family. I couldn’t see them because they were under the furniture that was lying all over. I saw drops of blood and I followed these drops of blood until I was in the street and I saw my mother lying and her head was injured, her whole body was also injured. And I picked her up; I took her back into the house. My hands were full of her blood.Full Transcript and References
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