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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 3 of Episode 34

05:30The South African Defence Force was never involved in Zimbabwe after its independence in 1980. That is the official version, yet in 1982 three white South African soldiers died on Zimbabwean soil. The SADF had a quick explanation, but could it have been a smoke screen for South African involvement in the Matebele land uprising in the early 1980s?Full Transcript and References
05:57‘The government has ordered an investigation into a claim by Zimbabwe that three South African soldiers have been killed inside Zimbabwean territory.’ // ‘The three soldiers killed and the bodies that were displaced in Harare were all members of the ex-Rhodesian forces who fled or came to South Africa and we employed them on a probation period for one year.’ // ‘Journalists who saw the bodies in a hospital in Harare said they were clad in different camouflage uniforms: Zimbabwean, Mozambican and Ethiopian.’ // ‘The soldiers received information on their own about a camp in which some of their friends are political detainees in south eastern portion of Zimbabwe was kept. And they decided on their own, unauthorized, to try to attack this camp and to set them free.”Full Transcript
07:04This week, the mother of Robert Beech told the Truth Commission in Benoni that this was just one of many Defence Force lies. Robert was awarded a Pro Patria Medal and an accompanying letter stated that he would not have received it had the mission been unauthorized. In its submission to the Truth Commission last year the Defence Force made no mention of any cross border operations into Zimbabwe. // ‘They crossed the border on Sunday the 15th and they probably wandered over the south eastern part of Zimbabwe for about two days until they got into contact with the Zimbabwean forces on Wednesday the 18th around about 11:30.Full Transcript
07:45But according to his mother, his salary that was due three days earlier on the 15th was not paid out, which means he must have died before that date. // The death certificate showed us that he was killed of multiple injuries in Pretoria, well he was supposed to be killed in Zimbabwe, where was he killed? // The bodies were never returned to South Africa, the Zimbabwean government later announced that they had done away with it. According to them there was never any official communication between South Africa and Zimbabwe about the bodies. But the SADF was certainly informed. They told Pat Beech not to go to Zimbabwe. They denied the Beech family any contact with the black soldiers who had survived the same mission.Full Transcript
08:34I think 15 years now the open story needs to come to a close and I think there are two answers that need to be answered. The one is, where is my brothers’ remains till today? Are they in a burial site that we can go to? If that’s not the case then they must bring the body back. All we want to know is where the body is. // I don’t feel happy about the situation because they lied. All we want is Robert back. We don’t even get a reply let alone ”I’m sorry.” Nothing. Full Transcript
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