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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 3 of Episode 26

12:49 1986 was a dark year for Mamelodi activists, Dr Fabian Ribeiro and his wife Florence. In March that year their house was fire bombed. Eye witnesses said that the SADF were the culprits. About six months later there was an attempt to bomb the surgery. The third attempt on their lives by gunmen on the first of December was successful. // There were two blacks and one white person and a third black was waiting in the getaway car, but I won’t be able to identify them to say, if I see them, these are them.Full Transcript and References
13:26Chris Ribeiro was the first person on the scene. He was standing in the street when he saw them coming out of the yard. They shot at him and he ran back to the house where he found his parents. // When I came in I found my father slumped at the drain and my mother lying over here spread eagled here. My father was lying over here, his one leg this way and the other one crumpled under him and with his back against the wall. My father had about 20 15 bullet holes in his head. I held my mother in my arms and she just sighed and that was her last breath. // Ten years later Brigadier Jack Cronje told the Committee he was requested by special forces to compile a memorandum on Dr Ribeiro’s activities. Full Transcript
14:21Hechter told me later that Special Forces, specifically Charl Naude and one of his men, Noel Robey asked him to assist in planning the elimination of Dr Ribeiro. // The Land Rover that picked up the men was registered in the name of Noel Robey, a special forces agent. // After the act was committed, Capt Hechter told me that two black Angolans who were flown in by Special Forces from South West Africa shot Dr and Mrs. Ribeiro. // Hechter did not tell the Commission more and to the Ribeiro’s the information that did come out did not help much. They still don’t know who killed their parents.Full Transcript
15:44In the same year that the Ribeiro’s were assassinated, in 1986, Piet Ntuli was minister of the interior in the former homeland of KwaNdebele. He was put there by the South African government but then they lost control over him. As Jack Cronje tells it Ntuli became leader of Imbokodo, a reactionary vigilante group and turned it into his own personal army. They instigated boycotts and committed arson and murder. Ntuli was also suspected of flirting with the ANC.Full Transcript and References
16:19I received an instruction that Piet Ntuli had to be eliminated because he destabilized the area in KwaNdebele and in reality, furthered the aims of the ANC. // Cronje is not sure where the decision to eliminate Ntuli came from. It could have been the security forces’ counter insurgency unit, or it could have been the joint information centre in which case it would have been confirmed by the State Security Council. Full Transcript
16:50Special Forces designed the bomb for us. // Who in particular was involved? // They had a technical section, I don’t know who did it but Joe Verster handed the bomb to Capt Hechter. // The secretive Joe Verster was the commander of the CCB. // The bomb was made of plastic explosives, about 4 kg. // And you personally attached the bomb, is that correct? // That is correct.Full Transcript
17:29I personally, I cannot forgive them. // As in the case of the Ribeiro’s the Ntuli’s want to know who gave the orders. Members of the SADF special forces and the CCB have to explain their involvement and senior police members have to explain why they covered up investigations. The remaining mysteries may only be cleared up when those implicated appear before the Committee in February next year.Full Transcript
18:02He was a Catholic priest but also a prominent leader of the United Democratic Front. But for the South African police he was a communist and an ANC supporter and therefore a legitimate target for elimination. Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, today Deputy Minister of Education would say that God was with him, because he lived to hear two former policemen describe their attempts to kill him.Full Transcript and References
18:26There is no doubt that the Northern Transvaal security branch unit was an effective and slick hit squad machine. But, in what might be called divine intervention one of its prime targets, a pastor from Shoshanguve escaped two assassination attempts. Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa who had for 18 years preached both about the bible and politics to his flock heard for the first time this week how he had come to be the state’s target. Full Transcript
18:58To deduce that this could have been the only reason why it was decided that Father Mkhatshwa had to be eliminated that it must have been due to his involvement with youth and their violent actions subsequently. That would have been the only way in which to neutralize such violent actions. // The plan was to assassinate him on his arrival at Durban airport. Special rifles with silencers were assembled for the hit.Full Transcript
19:31And as Father Mkhatshwa walked closer and became ever clearer this woman was in between him and us all the time which meant that we could not fire on him. Mister van Vuuren who grew up on a farm would have been the shot. Subsequently, when he had passed us, we decided that we would follow him to see if we could not eliminate him along the road with an AK47 rifle.Full Transcript
20:07The AK47 was never put to use. Because of a driver’s slowness at the exit point the assassins lost their target. This is the man who passed on the instruction, Capt Flip Loodts, who was then Hechter’s immediate superior. Loodts claimed that the order came directly from general Basie Smit. Full Transcript
20:29I want to say categorically I’m not involved, I’ve never been involved. As I’ve put it to Judge Goldstone, not today, not tomorrow, not in a million years I was involved.Full Transcript
20:39In 1988 General Smit came up with a second bizarre execution. // Then Brigadier Smit, he gave instructions to myself and warrant officer Paul van Vuuren calling us to his office and being aware of our covert operations called us to his office and gave us instructions to plant a quantity of mandrax tablets on Father Mkhatshwa and that we had to force some down his throat so that it would appear he died from an overdose.Full Transcript
21:23When I moved into the hall and saw the five gentlemen for the first time and when Capt Hechter stood up and stretched out his hand I had ambivalent feelings. The first feeling was one of uncertainty, of hesitation, but also of deep scepticism for the simple reason that the last time I think when Capt Hechter and I met he had a gun in his hand pointed at my forehead. Doors were broken down, that’s how he, Capt Loodts and others gained entrance. At the same time, because of my deep felt belief as a Christian, but because also of the policy of the government of national unity - they made emphasis on reconciliation and building a new nation - my second sentiment immediately said to me straight out your hand and meet Capt Hechter. Full Transcript
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