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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 2 of Episode 3

01:29 In 1969, there were about seven people, including my father who died in custody. That such a thing should happen... Aki Amikote, number one, my father who passed away on the fourth of February 1969, Nicodimas Kgoathe. Solomon Modipane who also passed away on the 28th of February 1969, James Lengwe who passed away on the tenth of March 1969, Taylor Mayikiso who passed in June 1969, Jacob Munagudla who also died in 1969, Amem Harrow … all these cases … on September 27th 1969. Is that possible?Full Transcript and References
02:39Detention without trial became a permanent feature of South African law in 1963. The General Law’s Amendments Act allowed detention for 90 days, then for 180 days. By 1990, 78 000 had been in custody of whom 73 died and when they died cause of death was investigated and established by the courts. In 33 instances inquests proclaimed these deaths suicides. ”Sometimes fairies are found falling from a window, sometimes fairies are found falling down the stairs,” is how poet Essop Patel describes it. // Suliman Saloojee, the law said, did just that: fell to his death from a seventh floor window. He was 32, an attorney’s clerk, who had been detained in July 1964. By September 9 of that year he became a statistic, the fourth to die in detention. // Rokaya Saloojee, his widow, learnt about fairies and falling the hard way.Full Transcript and References
03:36In the mean time everybody knew what happened to my husband but I didn’t, because maybe I didn’t want to believe it. There was a press fellow by the name of Terry and he said to me, ‘Mrs Saloojee, he says, I’d like a statement from you’. So I said ‘Terry, how can I make a statement, when I don’t even know where my husband is?’ And I think he didn’t think, he says ‘your husband is in the mortuary.’ // Then she learnt about the law the hard way.Full Transcript
04:05On the inquest, when I did take the clothing, the inquest lasted about five minutes. The magistrate, or whoever it is, when I went up to the witness stand, I could only mention my name and where I stay, and who was my husband. When I said ‘I’d like to say something, I’d like to know why is there blood on my husband, why was there blood on my husband’s clothing.’ And the magistrate said, ‘that would be all’. Full Transcript
04:42J Strydom, he was not in a position to conclude that any person was to blame for my father’s death. That surprised us. // Ben Kgoathe and his family had reason to be surprised by this inquest finding. His father, Nicodimas Kgoathe, also died in police custody, three years after Saloojee. He was said to have slipped on a bar of soap while bathing. He sustained head injuries and developed pneumonia the court said. This, despite evidence by at least two doctors, that Nicodimas had been tortured before his death. // The first evidence was given by Dr PJ Joubert who was the District Surgeon. He spoke how he saw … when he examined my late father. // What were his findings? // They found my father had a lot of marks, that he’d been whipped with a sjambok, he had also been beaten with the buckle of a belt on his body. Even the doctor, Joubert, had also been told by my father before he died that he’d slipped from a soap, but when the doctor said, ‘No, no, no this couldn’t have ...moreFull Transcript and References
06:13By the time Ahmed Timol reportedly fell to his death from the tenth story of John Vorster Square late in 1971 public disbelief in falling and slipping detainees developed a hard edge. A huge outcry and demand for a serious public inquiry into his death was launched. To this day, neither his mother nor his family believed he committed suicide in custody, rather that he was murdered. Full Transcript and References
06:37They hit my son tremendously. They arrested him on a Friday and they killed him and said he committed suicide. I want to know who assaulted him and I want to know who lodged the complaint about my son. It took me difficulty to raise my children, it is 25 years now. I will not forget what happened. I ask the Almighty that I will not forget what happened and that I need to know who lodged the complaint and what happened. I will not forget what happened. I need to know. Full Transcript
07:40At the end of the day whether we don’t know why he was killed in detention or whether he actually took his own life; I think for myself the difference is not particularly substantial. What we do know is that if he hadn’t been detained he wouldn’t have died. Full Transcript and References
07:55For Elizabeth Lloyd, partner and fellow activist colleague of Neil Aggett who was found hanging from the steel bars of his prison cell in 1981 death was ultimately the objective of detention. Medical doctor and trade unionist Aggett was the first and last white person to die in detention.Full Transcript
08:13If you look at the reaction of the security police under those circumstances, their reaction was not so much to kind of feel bad about what they had done but to be very angry about being caught out on it and what we have seen since then is that deaths in detention have been consistently hidden. They couldn’t afford another Neil Aggett. Full Transcript
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