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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 3 of Episode 3

08:34Death squads, political assassinations, until recently mainly associated with South American dictatorships. Today South Africa has that dubious honour.Full Transcript
08:45Black consciousness took root after the ANC and PAC went underground and into exile. The silence of the 1960s was transformed into a powerful new voice in the 1970s. Black consciousness spread amongst journalists, students, intellectuals, artists. Onkgopotse Abram Tiro, a Turfloop graduate, was one of the first SASO leaders to die for his belief in black pride. In 1974 he was assassinated by a parcel bomb after he had fled to Botswana.Full Transcript and References
09:13They said to me, ‘your son is dead.’ He tried to open a parcel and the parcel killed him. From there I took initiatives to go to Botswana; I saw my son in pieces. The police from Botswana helped me a lot, they gathered all the pieces, only a few pieces were left there. They took that to the mortuary. Now I wanted to make arrangements for his funeral. We were a family together planning all the funeral arrangements and we asked the South African government to give us permission to transport him to South Africa to bury him here and they said no. Full Transcript
10:21To this day there is no clarity or as to who ordered or delivered the parcel bomb. // I have a request, can you please investigate who really killed my son or maybe God may help you and find him.Full Transcript
10:39In April 1989 Wits anthropologist and human rights activist Doctor David Webster wrote a report on repression in South Africa. It contained details on detentions and disappearances; he called it apartheid’s ultimate weapon. On Workers Day, 1989 Webster fell victim to apartheid’s ultimate weapon himself. His partner Maggie Friedman was there.Full Transcript and References
11:04It was the first of May 1989 which is seven years ago this week and it was a public holiday, almost the first real workers day. David and I left the house early in the morning with our two dogs to go running in David’s bakkie. And we returned to the house at about ten o’clock in the morning. David was driving, he parked the car in our street in front of our house and he got out of the car to go round to the back to let the dogs out the car. And I was getting out more slowly on the passenger side and I was aware of a car coming down the street and then I heard what I thought was a car backfiring and it accelerated down the street. And it was only afterwards I realised something was wrong when I saw David was staggering. And he was holding his chest in the front, and he said, I’ve been shot by a shotgun, get an ambulance. So David obviously saw his killers, he saw the weapon that killed him. Full Transcript
12:21The chain of command and hence responsibility for these illegal acts and conspiracies reach high into the structures of the state and government and certainly included cabinet ministers, Military Intelligence, the CCB, the South African Police, the State Security Council. I believe that David Webster’s murder was ordered and planned from within state structures. So, I call for the indictment and prosecution of the following people. Firstly those immediately involved in the assassination: the CCB Region 6 operatives, Wouter Basson also known as Christo Brits, Staal Burger, Chappie Maree, Ferdi Barnard, Calla Botha, Slang van Zyl. I would also have included Eugene Rily who have since died a violent death, allegedly by suicide. And secondly those having responsibility and knowledge of the planning of the assassination: Magnus Malan, the Minister of Defence, Eddie Webb the head of the CCB, who has been obliged to apply for amnesty for purgatory in his own cover up evidence, Joe Verster ...moreFull Transcript
14:10The list is much longer than Onkgopotse, Tiro and David Webster. Most of these assassinations were planned and executed by military and police death squads in Gauteng. Like Vlakplaas and Daisy, its counterpart for foreign operations, and the CCB base on a small holding near Pretoria. Much is known about Vlakplaas and its commander, Col Eugene de Kock, now on trial on 112 charges of fraud and murder. De Kock decided to kill his Vlakplaas predecessor, Dirk Coetzee who had spilled the beans on death squads and had to flee the country. The Vlakplaas men built a bomb in a Walkman and mailed it to Coetzee in Lusaka. Coetzee thought the parcel suspicious and refused to accept it. It was sent back to the man whose name was put on it as sender by De Kock’s men, lawyer and ANC activist, Bheki Mlangeni. Mlangeni and Coetzee had met earlier to talk about hit squad activities. On February 15, 1991 Mlangeni picked up the parcel from his office and went to watch a movie with his wife of two ...moreFull Transcript and References
15:15From there we went to a tearoom, we sat down there. He took out this parcel it had been wrapped, but it was obvious that it was almost unwrapped and there was a small box with cassettes. One of the boxes was written: Evidence, hit squad. He said he received this parcel, you might find that there is no evidence in this parcel, there is nothing on this cassette. So we took a taxi and we went home. When we arrived at home he didn’t even stay. I was undressing at that time. He just, as he connected the earphones… // Take your time. // I saw him connecting these ear phones, he didn’t hear me because the last thing I said to him, why doesn’t he put it onto the Hi Fi so that I could also listen. I don’t even think he heard a thing of what happened, what was on the cassette, because within seconds I heard a big explosion, a big noise. I thought it was a gun. I ran away. I ran away, I tried to come out of the window, and then I couldn’t get out of the window, and I came through the ...moreFull Transcript
17:35My daughter in law came rushing in and just said ‘Bheki. ’ I just said, ‘what’s wrong with Bheki?’ My daughter in law just said, ‘Mama, Bheki, at the garage.’ I was surprised, what is this garage story about, I couldn’t hear anything, I was feeling very ill. When I came out, they held me. They said, ‘please don’t go in there.’ I just skipped through their legs and went in. I found Bheki, he was in pieces, he was all over. Pieces of him, brains, all of it, was scattered around. That was the end of Bheki. // The person who did this has been found. I want this person to come out. This person is already on trial, it’s Eugene de Kock. What I’d like the Commission to find out from him, I’m not clear how Bheki’s name got involved as a sender in the parcel. Another thing that’s not clear in my mind, when they sent this parcel to Dirk Coetzee, as it was Eugene who claims he wanted to kill Dirk Coetzee. He was an expert in making bombs. When we read about letter ...moreFull Transcript
21:02Parcel bombs have often been used by the security police in their war against the ANC, especially by their foreign division at Daisy commanded in the 1980s by former Steve Biko interrogator, Col Piet Goosen and superspy major Craig Williamson. Williamson has admitted that he was responsible for two parcel bombs that killed two women and a six year old child. Williamson has applied for amnesty at the Truth Commission. // The security police wanted to kill ANC activist, Marius Schoon. They sent a parcel bomb to his home in Angola. He wasn’t at home when the parcel arrived and his wife Jeanette opened it, it killed her and their daughter, Katryn. // Williamson also admits killing leading ANC theoretician, Ruth First. Wife of Communist Party leader and later cabinet minister, Joe Slovo. First was blown up in the Mozambican capital of Maputo in August 1982. Full Transcript and References
21:58Mozambique was an important hunting ground for South African death squads. This country nearly lost one of its most celebrated sons when the CCB unit, commanded by this man, Pieter Botus, decided to kill academic Albie Sachs, today a constitutional court judge. // Maputo, 7 April 1988. In a moment of darkness Sachs loses his arm. Four ribs are broken, his right heel fractured, his liver lacerated, his eardrums ruptured, his body full of shrapnel wounds. But he survives. Although Botus has admitted complicity in the attack, which was planned in this country, he has never been charged. Neither has the squad of CCB men who at the Harms Commission admitted they were involved in sabotage, conspiracy to murder, attempted murder and arson. But Pretoria’s tentacles of death stretched far beyond the borders of the subcontinent.Full Transcript and References
22:51In March 1988, the ANC’s representative in Paris, Dulcie September was gunned down. Pretoria denied complicity but five years later a notorious South African gun runner and police agent, Dirk Stofberg admitted that he had arranged September’s assassination.Full Transcript and References
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