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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 2 of Episode 30

01:20The Truth Commission brought several serving and former policemen to the public hearing in Cape Town this past week to talk about their role in a shooting spree in Nyanga in March 1986. In a day of high drama it was revealed for the first time that Vlakplaas members were involved in the gruesome execution of seven young men from Gugulethu ten years ago.Full Transcript and References
01:44These young men were shot and killed by police on March 3rd 1986. It appears that they were at this Gugulethu intersection between NY1 and NY111 because they were planning to attack a police bus which used this route regularly. It is likely that they were members of an underground ANC cell. It is also likely that they were armed on that crisp autumn morning they were shot to pieces. What is not likely is the official story the police told about these deaths ten years ago. Police said they were under attack and had acted purely in self defence. They subsequently harassed and threatened eye witnesses who saw them shoot some of the men at point blank range. They slapped a subpoena on a journalist who interviewed these eye witnesses. They then put a second journalist on trial for reporting untrue police action based on interviews he had done with the families. This week those families continued to grieve and to ask why their sons died the way they did.Full Transcript
03:05Victim Families at the Truth Commission on ThursdayFull Transcript
03:25I don’t know where he emanated from. It was a black man. He was being called by the white man. He lifted his hands up in the air and they took a gun from his waist. They snapped the gun out of his waist. Immediately after that a white man from NY1 just above the restaurants called out saying ‘skiet hom!’ [Shoot him]. He called out again ‘shoot him!’ He was kneed on the back and he fell on his back and was shot, twice. The first bullet went off and the second one and he died.Full Transcript and References
04:24I think it was Cecil Msotho who I saw first and he described the tail end of the shootout in which opposite the dormitory we were in, under a gum tree, police had walked up to a guy, to one of the people they had shot, and had in fact fired a bullet into him while he was prostrate on the ground.Full Transcript and References
04:54On my way over the bridge I was stopped, I came upon a lot of policemen standing in a row, and the army, they were dressed like that, and then I stopped. I stopped the bus. There was a man lying in the road. According to me he was alive, but he never moved. And then amongst the lot that was there a European policeman came out of the crowd and he approached the man lying on the ground. And he took out I don’t know is it a revolver or a pistol and he shot this man twice through the head in front of me, in front of the 13 children that was in the bus plus their house mother.Full Transcript and References
06:00Ten years ago the inquest into the shooting spree found no one responsible. This week police were finally asked to account for themselves. Nine local policemen among them very senior and very well known individuals like the notorious Major Dolf Odendal were subpoenaed to appear before the TRC. Three policemen testified. The most remarkable revelation came from Superintendent Rudolph Liebenberg who reluctantly admitted that the suspected ANC cell had been infiltrated. Then, he even more reluctantly agreed that the infiltrators were Vlakplaas askaris. The infiltrators had informed them of the planned attack. The police and the Vlakplaas operatives then planned their strategy for Monday the 3rd of March. Full Transcript
06:54Major Odendal deployed leaders to various points with the instruction that after the vehicle had been identified its tyres should be shot to force it to a stop and then thereafter the vehicle should be surrounded so that the passengers could be arrested. There was a radio report that the police bus had crossed the intersection at NY1 and NY111 and that it had arrived at Gugulethu police station safely. At approximately 7:20 major Bredell of the riot squad issued an instruction on the radio that the members could withdraw. At approximately 7:25 someone reported to me that there was a group of black men at the corners of NY1 and NY111 who seemed suspect.Full Transcript and References
08:02En route to the intersection we passed five adults, black male. They walked on the right hand side of the road in a westerly direction, in the direction of the intersection. They appeared very suspect because they all walked with their hands in their pockets and did not even pinch a glance in our direction. We slowly drove past them. They continued to ignore us and this appeared very strange to me. After we had passed them we were a bit of a distance past them I asked Warrant Officer Coetzee to turn around and drive back to the five men. While we were moving in the direction of these five men I asked Coetzee to stop in front of the men, a bit of a distance in front of the men, so that I could jump out and could instruct them to stand still so that we could search them. I quickly opened the left front door with my service pistol in my right hand. The vehicle’s door was between myself and the men. Before I could point my firearm properly at them or could say anything the shortest of ...moreFull Transcript and References
10:03We were busy withdrawing and if this person had not thrown a hand grenade there would have been no shooting. // That is exactly my point. Why did that shooting take place? There were several police officers there. There was the possibility that you could prevent that these people could get away. You could confront them with the fact that you were in control of the situation. There were police surrounding you and they couldn’t get away. // No if a person has an AK47 gun and they ran to and fro and they could shoot you it doesn’t work like that.Full Transcript and References
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