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Special Report Transcript Episode 23, Section 2, Time 03:23
It is only now, two and a half years and the Eugene de Kock trial later, that the full picture is emerging and it is one of not only gun running but also murder, bombings, torture, kidnapping and fraud. Did these two men give birth to the third force in South Africa by ordering Eugene de Kock and his men to arm and train Inkatha? Was the security police behind the train violence of the early nineties, and involved in massacres like Boipatong? To what extend did they order or approve the wave of mayhem and destruction committed by De Kock and his men over a period of nearly ten years? And above all, they must be able to tell the Truth Commission whether politicians like Adriaan Vlok and PW Botha knew of and ordered certain operations. General Engelbrecht was known as the Vlakplaas sweeper. He was the policeman who had to cover up police death squad operations investigated by the Harms Commission in 1990. He was present when security police top command ordered the murder of policeman Brian Ngqulunga because of fear that he might talk. Whenever Vlakplaas murdered, he was the man who destroyed the incriminating evidence. As De Kock’s immediate commanding officer, he must have known about the bombing of COSATU House and the arson at Khanya House, operations for which minister Adriaan Vlok personally congratulated the Vlakplaas unit. Engelbrecht had to know of the bomb sent to kill Dirk Coetzee but killed Bheki Mlangeni when Coetzee refused to receive the parcel in Zambia. And then of course trips on the Vlakplaas gravy train. Engelbrecht told Eugene de Kock that he should ‘look after himself’ when De Kock was retrenched in 1993. But Engelbrecht also stole thousands, as did Basie Smit. Smit drew personally from the police secret funds but also ordered the funding of the initial 100 rifles for the IFP. Later, he approved the provision of AK47s, explosives, hand grenades, landmines and large quantities of ammunition. It was also Basie Smit that decorated the Vlakplaas death squad when they came back from the operation in Lesotho in which Leon Meyer and Jackie Quin were gunned down in December 1985. What we know of these two men might well only be the tip of the iceberg. When they testify before the Truth Commission on 24 and 25 October even more mysteries might be cleared up and understood. Their evidence will be heard in camera.
Notes: Scenes of crimes; Gen Engelbrect; Harms Commission; NP ‘Pebco trio in exile, ex-SP man tells court,’ ‘Missing men have left country – policeman’; Khotso House
References select each tab to search for referencesGlossary
Forty-five people died and 27 others were seriously injured on 17 June 1992 when several hundred IFP-supporting residents of the KwaMadala hostel launched attacks on the Boipatong community, near Vanderbijlpark, Tvl, during a period of escalating violence between the ANC and IFP in the area. ...
Train violence first emerged in July 1900 with a series of attacks on commuters travelling on the Johannesburg-Soweto line, leaving one person dead and about 30 injured. Between 1990 and 1993, approximately 572 people died in more than 600 incidents of train violence. What started as unplanned ...