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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 5 of Episode 34

16:42Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of the assassination of peace activist Skumbuzo Ngwenya, a man deeply committed to peace between the IFP and ANC. His death demonstrates the inefficiency of the judicial system in the era of dirty tricks and the Truth Commission may not do much better in KwaZulu-Natal if IFP members don’t participate.Full Transcript and References
17:05Yes he was seen certainly as a peace maker, a reconciler but the other side I’m afraid certainly did not like his position as an activist, so he’d been marked for a long time. And I suppose people monitoring his movements decided that this was an opportunity that they should use. And certainly they did. // Five years ago this weekend Peter Kirchoff was the last person to talk to ANC activist and father of three Skumbuzo Ngwenya. Skumbuzo worked with Peter at the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Christians Social Awareness or PACSA. They were having a Saturday night dinner at a local restaurant with a group of visitors.Full Transcript
17:55Skumbuzo was with us. He’d been sharing his programme with the group; he had just come back from a peace maker”s workshop in Johannesburg. And he said he had to leave early and a couple of minutes later we all heard a couple of shots that initially sounded like a backfiring, but within 30 seconds there were a number of other shots. And I said ”no, those are gun shots” and I ran outside to the fence and looked up and down thinking that there was something in the street. I then looked at the tree over there and saw our PACSA bakkie reversed back into the tree and I moved across to the bakkie to try and find out what was happening and inside the bakkie, lying from the driver’s seat across to the other window, I saw Skumbuzo and he was gasping and I realized that he had actually been shot. I suspect he was semi conscious. I heard him gasping and whether that was because of the blood welling up. He had I think at least five shots in his body and head.Full Transcript
18:58One eye witness spoke to the police almost immediately after Skumbuzo’s death claiming she could identify the killers. Within hours Inkatha youth were at her house hunting for her. She fled to Durban. When she tried to make a written statement about Skumbuzo’s death police headquarters turned her away. Eventually three men were charged with his murder: a 16 year old youth, township Mayor Pikalela Ndlovu of the IFP and this man, Deputy Mayor and alleged warlord, Abdul Awetha. // They say I killed Ngwenya.Full Transcript
19:37Three days before Skumbuzo’s death IFP member Abdul Awetha had been ambushed in his car. He survived but three children did not. The prosecution claimed Awetha killed Skumbuzo in revenge. Ballistic testing put Awetha’s gun at the scene of Skumbuzo’s murder, but his gun had been tampered with. Neither the ballistic tests, nor the sometimes conflicting reports of eye witnesses could prove who had pulled the trigger. All three accused were acquitted. // I went to trial and I was not guilty, and so … // You were acquitted. // We were acquitted.Full Transcript
Full Transcript
20:18Skumbuzo Ngwenya’s family may never know who killed him. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission may do better than the courts, as long as the Inkatha Freedom Party stays out of the process, whether as victims or as perpetrators.Full Transcript
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