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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 5 of Episode 35

15:01The sleepy Karoo town of Cradock is unique. From the mid 1980s it became the centre of rural resistance in the Eastern Cape. This week the Truth Commission made its way there to relive stories of murder and torture rigged on ordinary but militant communities by the state.Full Transcript
15:21In a way one cannot speak about the Eastern Cape, that axis of eighties resistance, without resurrecting the name of the late Matthew Goniwe. Father of Cradock and founder of the United Democratic Front in the region Goniwe’s impact resonated throughout the hearings held in his hometown this week. Xolile Ntozini was a student at Sam Xhallie High when Goniwe was principal. It was 1983, the year a massive opposition front, the UDF would explode onto the South African scene and a year that changed the life of this young man from Middelburg. // Mr. Goniwe was my principal in 1983 and he asked questions like ”is there any organisation going on in Middelburg, such as political organisations?” I said there was nothing going on there that time. And it is when he gave me advice how to explain to my friends, my colleagues, my soccer club members how the whole story is about this United Democratic Front. // And were you inspired by his ideas about the UDF? // Yes I was because here in ...moreFull Transcript and References
17:50A year later Matthew Goniwe was dead. But he left one more comrade in his wake. Xolile became a fiery leader in Middelburg, the security police headquarters for surrounding rural towns. Like Goniwe he was immediately a target for the state. He was detained several times and badly tortured. // By the time I got into the van my upper lip was torn into two. My left eye was closed, swollen. I was bleeding. I was just bleeding, even at the back of the van. Then one police came to peep and asked why I was not taken to hospital and then they said, fuck him. Full Transcript and References
18:42There were other storms brewing one of which affected Doris Hermanus directly. In 1984 the entire Lingelihle village council resigned and were accepted back into the community. They were the first of the black local authorities in the Eastern Cape to resign. Hermanus was one of the councillors, who did so, but before and after this decision she took great pain. House burnt, constant harassment and as a direct result her mother’s death. // In 1984 I was the first mayor, black woman mayor in the Eastern Cape.Full Transcript and References
19:25We resigned on the 28th but our resignation was implemented on the 3rd of January. That whole time I was being ill treated. // I was bitter and that bitterness turned into … in changing my whole life. I lived like a recluse because I couldn’t trust anybody; I didn’t know what is happening around me, I feared humanity like anything. But after some years, as I said, I reconciled myself, I taught myself to forgive unless I be forgiven too. Now that I’ve appeared in the Truth Commission I felt like crying, very much so, because everything was vivid as if I see my mother’s funeral. That’s what was heart breaking. But with me the healing process started and I’m sure now that death … that they could identify the attackers of the late Matthew, because they were the fathers of the community. So, I’m sure the healing process is going to take up. Nobody now is busy querying who killed Matthew, because he was such an astounding, wonderful leader. He had such following and people ...moreFull Transcript
21:26Doris is back in the community and getting on with her life, but for Mxolisi Mgoboza and Thembinkosi Tshabe things are slightly more complicated. Both were shot by Venterstad police in 1993. Mxolisi was 11 and Thembinkosi 15. The youngest ever to speak of violations they came before the Commission to make a claim for a better life. // It is wrong because we were shot for no reason. We were doing nothing at that time and we were at a very young stage our years and we knew nothing about politics. // No it is not right because we were healthy before but we are not now. Our life is shot now, our life is shot now. Full Transcript and References
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