SABC News | Sport | TV | Radio | Education | TV Licenses | Contact Us


A listing of transcripts of the dialogue and narrative of this section.


The list provides the transcript, info about the text, and links to references contained in the text.

Special Report
Transcripts for Section 2 of Episode 25

01:11Doctor Richard Turner was an activist and left wing academic in Durban during the seventies. The South African government found his thoughts and ideas so dangerous that he was followed, harassed, his phones tapped and house bugged. In 1973 he was placed under a 5 year banning order ending his teaching career in politics and philosophy at the University of Natal. But despite a life lived in the shadow of constant police surveillance there were also the ordinary, normal things like family, friends and summer holidays. December, 1978. Rick Turner’s wife Foszia was away in Botswana. His two daughters, 13 year old Jann and nine year old Kim had come to visit him for the school holidays. They were the only ones in the house on the night of 8 January. Just after midnight Jann was woken by her father’s voice calling out, ‘who’s there?’ to someone outside. // From my bed I saw him pull the curtain aside and look out. Surprise registered clearly on his face, but only momentarily ...moreFull Transcript and References
02:48The room was quiet and Jann’s bed empty. The door to the hallway was open and from the bed I saw what I thought was a large pool of water. I lay in bed for some time and all kinds of childish scenarios were going through my head. I imagined that my sister had woken up and asked daddy for some water to drink and then dropped it in the hallway. And that was the pool of water that I saw. When I finally got up and went through into the living room a very different scene confronted me there. My father was lying on the floor, just near the entrance to the kitchen and there was blood everywhere.Full Transcript
03:22He died probably 20 minutes after he was hit. I had tried during those 20 minutes to talk to him to ask him who he’d seen at the window. What had happened? But he never regained consciousness.Full Transcript
03:34It was very lonely in that house that night. We all had a sense of being a long way away from everyone. I sat on a chair in front of where my father lay dying. I think I must have been in shock as I sat there; rigid, unable to move, even when my sister begged me to hold my father while she got up to go to the loo. It is hard for me to recall the exact sequence of events that night. But time passed, the phone was dead and we waited for someone to come. The police arrived over an hour after we’d made the one call to them before the phone had stopped working and it was only when I talked to the ambulance man that I let myself realize what I knew was true. And that my father wasn’t going to be alright and in fact he died sometime before.Full Transcript
04:22I flew up to Durban and Jann and Kim was still in the clothes they had manage to scramble on. Their hair was full of blood, and I will never forget the smell of dried blood in my children’s hair.Full Transcript
04:38Rick Turner was laid to rest in the Brook street Muslim cemetery in Durban and for those who gathered at his graveside again this week the question is the same one they asked at his funeral 18 years ago. Who killed our father, husband, friend, comrade and colleague?Full Transcript
05:00There is something we do not understand. We need to know who it was who pulled that trigger. We know that the events of that night are known to the people who watched us. // It seems to me more than strange that the Durban murder and robbery unit, a unit with an excellent record of solving crimes has never come up with even a strong lead let alone a murderer. It was rare for the killer of a white person in a white neighbourhood in 1978 not to be apprehended. Even more unusual when the victim was under surveillance, as we know my father has been almost constantly for at least five years. An ex BOSS agent, Martin Dolinscheck recently pointed out to me that surveillance could be withdrawn and was often withdrawn if necessary. Was our house under surveillance the night my father was killed? If not, who called it off? Whoever killed my father did so with extreme efficiency and had the best assistance in covering up their tracks. It seems to me that the only people capable of acting in such ...moreFull Transcript
06:22And until that happens, the person who killed Rick Turner must live with the guilt of those other lives he ripped apart with the same 9 mm bullet. // The night of my father’s death has never really left me and I imagine it never really will. We all carry these psychological scars and on top of that I’ve had to live without a father for 18 years. I hate to think of all those things that he’s missed in those years, from the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990 to South Africa’s first democratic elections as well as the birth of his first grandchild in 1993 and the fact that he never got to see Monty Python’s Life of Brian, the film I know he would have loved. And that’s all I have to say.Full Transcript
07:16Rick Turner’s murder was not an isolated attack, a number of other well known Durban activists survived assassination attempts during the seventies.Full Transcript
07:26There was a knock at the door. Maggie got up, my wife, opened the door and there was this young man stark naked, except for his underpants and smeared all over with oil with a pistol in his hands which he fired at me and missed from five paces. Well I ducked a little and the bullet went straight through the wall, because it was a wood and iron house I say and the walls inside were made of asbestos sheeting. It was an amazing sight, because I’ve seen many things exploding in my time, but I’ve never been in front of something going off like that. There was quite a beautiful circle of lace like smoke … and he was gone.Full Transcript and References
08:22In 1977, the very next year, an assassination attempt was made on me. We were at home, my husband and I, telling stories to my nieces who had been staying with me at the time, when my daughter Sheraaz sounded the alarm that our garage was on fire. This immediately got me rushing to the door. Fortunately for me, staying with us at the time was a friend, Zwelini Nkoba and he preceded me by seconds or minutes to the door. He is a tall man; I am a short woman as is obvious. And he was shot twice on the shoulder and when I got to the door he was already lying there bleeding, and he said to me. Please go away, they are calling your name and they are swearing at you. Had I been the first to open the door I would have been shot in the head and I would not have been here today to tell the story.Full Transcript and References
09:35At quarter to three in the morning my wife and I were asleep in a big double bed at the front of the house when somebody fired over the gate with an assault rifle, firing fully automatic. And it’s a dreadful sound you know, the rat-tat-tat. And there was the smell of explosive and the sound of splinters and bits of masonry flying all over and … By the time of Rick’s murder there had been so many murders and such a lot of death. I’d spend so many months in solitary confinement in Pretoria Central, listening to people getting hanged that I wasn’t shocked by Rick’s death or anybody’s death. I wasn’t even shocked by my number coming up on the hit list.Full Transcript
Broadcasting for Total Citizen Empowerment
SABC © 2019