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Special Report Transcript Episode 25, Section 2, Time 01:11

Doctor 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 because a shot was fired and he was hit. At the time I didn’t realize it was a shot, I thought a bomb had exploded on the stoep because the bang was deafening and was accompanied by a brilliant flash of light. I jumped out of my bed and went to help dad.

Notes: Report by Anneliese Burgess; Photos: Richard Turner; Family photographs; Jann and Kim Turner as children; TRC testimony: Jann Turner

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Hearing Transcripts TRC Final Report TRC Victims
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