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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 4 of Episode 25

18:39These were all human rights violations stories we’ve listened to so far. That is what the Truth Commission has been concentrating on in its first six months. The Truth Commission has now entered a new phase, a phase where the perpetrators rather than the victims will get prominence. If one looks back at six months of testimony by victims a few clear trends emerge. The first is that the brutalities of apartheid were not confined to cities and big townships. It reached into every village and location. De Aar, Toyandu, Brandfort, Colesburg, Mtubatuba, Aliwal-North, Indwe, Potchefstroom, New Castle. Another trend is the insistence that truth is a precondition to forgiveness. And very few victims asked for financial compensation. They asked for the remains of their relatives, for heroes’ acres or walls of remembrance, for hearing aids, for medical assistance or education bursaries. In the 1960s and 70s there were a lot of deaths in police detention. In the 80s and early 90s activists ...moreFull Transcript and References
20:46The revolutionary strategies adopted by the government’s opponents, blurred traditional distinctions between combatants and non-combatants, between legitimate and illegitimate targets, and between acceptable and unacceptable methods. The normal processes of law and even the government’s tough security measures seemed incapable of dealing with this situation. Full Transcript and References
21:16Two former generals echoed these sentiments this week. Again, they concentrated on the atrocities and strategies of the resistance movements with lots of statistics and death tolls. But they were silent about the victims and consequences of their own actions. Major- General Deon Mortimer presented the Defence Force’s submission to the Truth Commission. And former police commissioner Gen Johan van der Merwe addressed the Amnesty Committee on behalf of five security policemen.Full Transcript
21:46 Mister Botha put it as follows. ‘There is an attempt under Marxist leadership to bring about the revolution in southern Africa, more specifically in the Republic of South Africa. This can no longer be denied. The revolutionary elements are there and nothing can satisfy the hunger of those powers. They want nothing but the overthrow of the present order. They want nothing but the overthrow of the civilization in this country.’Full Transcript and References
22:16After analyzing the situation in the Republic during 1983 and again in 1985 the ANC came to the conclusion that the masses had entered a new era in their struggle. It foresaw political demonstrations followed by semi-armed actions by the masses using rudimentary weapons at first, such as sticks, stones and pangas. During 1983 the political military council of the ANC issued a document planning for people’s war. According to this document the ANC directed its attention towards a protected guerrilla war, mass uprising, arming the masses and preparing them for a people’s war for the establishment of alternative structures and the revolutionary basis. In this document the ANC visualized accelerating the activation of the masses in proceeding from peaceful non-violent political demonstrations to demonstrations with emphasis on violence and insurrection. The stone was ultimately to be replaced by a petrol bomb, acid bomb and hand grenade while firearms such as the AK47 assault rifle ...moreFull Transcript and References
23:17In parliament it was stressed that the only counter strategy against the total onslaught with any hope of success is also a total strategy. Total resistance must be offered. Fragmentary and ad hoc efforts in any sphere would be futile and pointless. The onslaught must be resisted on a national basis in all spheres, by all national groups and inhabitants of the South African subcontinent.Full Transcript and References
23:44The State Security Council was the body under chairmanship of the state president and this body coordinated all security matters of national interest.Full Transcript and References
23:58The strategy against the ANC included the following tasks for the South African Defence Force a) the development of the required military infrastructure for effective counter-insurgency operations, b) the prevention of terrorism against the RSA including military actions against bases and training facilities in neighbouring states, c) the disruption and immobilization of the ANC operational command structures and centres.Full Transcript
24:07As a result of the way in which the South African police were utilized in Zimbabwe and Namibia, where they were actually used as ordinary soldiers. They hunted people, tried to kill them and eliminate them. Then these members of the South African Police came back to the Republic and were then expected to act within the law.Full Transcript and References
24:56Within the context of the previously sketched war situation there were circumstances under which activists had to be eliminated by killing them. It’s the only way in this war situation in which activists could be effectively acted against. Merely arresting them in terms of security legislation was insufficient as it was of a limited and brief duration. To charge such a person and take them through the former legal structures and procedures was cumbersome and insufficient and impossible. There was no other choice than to take normal war action and to eliminate activists. This was considered necessary under these circumstances. Reports with regards to the death of activists were passed onto head office and there were never any repudiation or instructions to stop these eliminations.Full Transcript
25:52Jack Cronje and four other security policemen, Jacques Hechter, Wouter Mentz, Paul van Vuuren and Roelf Venter are applying for amnesty for more than 40 murders. These were mostly Vlakplaas operations. Vlakplaas and the death squad activities of the police have been the focus of the most recent exposes of state atrocities. The Defence Force somehow has escaped the scrutiny. General Mortimer went into considerable detail explaining the SADF structures. Ears in the audience pricked up when Mortimer started talking about special forces. These included the 5 reconnaissance regiments and one of the most notorious organisations in the apartheid state [the Civil Cooperation Bureau]. Full Transcript and References
26:36During 1985, ‘86 the ANC changed its tactics by intensifying its underground and unconventional methods both externally and internally as has already been discussed in part two. This led the SADF to counter the changing threat and establish a new subdivision in the special forces called the Civil Cooperation Bureau in May 1986. Civilian and demilitarized personal from various sources were appointed under contract to form the Civil Cooperation Bureau.Full Transcript and References
27:11General Mortimer had nothing more to say about the CCB, not that they killed SWAPO leader Anton Lubowski, not that they killed Johannesburg academic David Webster, not that they tried to kill Justice Minister Dullah Omar, not that they bombed and attacked activists and organisations such as the Council of Churches and COSATU, not that they were essentially a terrorist organisation condemned even by the farcical Harms Commission. And these were only some of the acts read out by one of the many cells of the CCB.Full Transcript
27:44The CCB was a good organisation. It did fantastic work. It penetrated the inner circles of the ANC. We prevented a black Christmas in South Africa. We prevented ANC people from coming in and planting bombs and maiming people. Remember they always acted against the civilian sector. And now we have disbanded the CCB because a small element of two or three people possibly stepped out of line. And now we disband this organisation. I can assure you the organisation does not function any longer. But if you ask my honest opinion. I say it was to our detriment that I took that decision but I was forced to do it.Full Transcript
28:26Mortimer did say that he could not find any documents on the CCB. // You make the point that no documentation other than that contained in the records of the Harms Commission is believed to exist. Now, is that in fact the case? // Yes. // Are there no records available of the CCB apart from those few documents that were handed in at the Harms Commission? // In the preparation of this paper we failed to find anything else. // Now if there were records would you have expected to have found it? I’m trying to understand what the position is, because it says, ‘it is believed’ that those are the only records available. // Well, we looked for other records which would I think indicate that one would expect to find them, but we have failed to do so. Full Transcript and References
29:33But the Harms Commission had the same problem. // … wat betref die vermiste projek leers van streek ses wat nooit by die kommissie ingehandig is nie het meneer Staal Burger gese dat hy die leers in Januarie vanjaar aan meneer Christo Brits … [… regarding the missing Region 6 project files that was never submitted to the Commission, Staal Burger said he submitted the files to Christo Brits in January this year…] // The Harms Commission of Inquiry has expressed its concern over the possible loss of vital documents relating to activities of the Civil Cooperation Bureau. The Commission said a real possibility existed that the documents had been destroyed.Full Transcript
29:58Under the heading ‘special projects’ support for anti-Marxist liberation movements, Mortimer talked about SADF support for UNITA in Angola, RENAMO in Mozambique and the Lesotho Liberation Army. And then he dropped in this insignificant little paragraph. // Inkatha. In 1985 chief minister Buthelezi requested paramilitary support from the RSA government. The RSA government decided on the 20th of December 1985 to grant him the support and tasked the SADF to render the support. This project was known as Operation Marion. // Operation Marion? Should I believe that in all these conflicts in the black areas as we blacks and other, what do you call, progressive, what do you call, people in the organisation have been saying that. In these conflicts we have had the hand of a third force. And I know that the government all along has been denying that. I know that you’ve made presentations during the past as if the government all starting from the prime minister and president, they were ...moreFull Transcript and References
31:36General Mortimer’s submission was not received well. // I find it almost unbelievable that in 80 pages there can be no acknowledgement or acceptance that the SADF in implementing a policy of apartheid could bear no responsibility for a single death. I find it impossible to believe that those who were involved did not know of the death of women and children and innocent civilians in the conduct of that, as you described it, war. I find it impossible to believe that those who compiled this report did not know, for example, that the Goniwe inquest found that the SADF as an institution was responsible for the deaths of Goniwe and the other three. I don’t know why that wasn’t included in the submission.Full Transcript and References
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