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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 2 of Episode 39

01:26Phila Ndwandwe was a University of Durban-Westville student in 1985 when she was recruited into ‘Operation Butterfly,’ a unit of the military wing of the African National Congress, by this man. Phila was a comrade with outstanding qualities, although she was young, she was exceptionally bright. She had a very strong commitment to the liberation of our people and she had great courage.Full Transcript and References
01:56Within three years of joining the ANC underground Phila was commanding all Umkhonto we Sizwe operations in Natal from her base in Swaziland. She was 24, with a makarov pistol on one hip and a baby boy on the other, but the same leadership qualities which turned tiny Phila Ndwande into respected MK Zandi also alerted the security branch. In October 1988 this man drove into Swaziland at the Golela border post accompanied by Col Hentie Botha Lt-Col Sam du Preez and Warrant Officer Louis Wasserman. We’d like to show you what these men look like but the South African Police Service says using their personal photos would infringe on these men and their constitutional right to privacy. Col Andy Taylor was in Swaziland on the orders of Gen JA Steyn, and in turn Taylor gave orders to informers within the ANC’s military wing. Phila Ndwandwe, guerrilla commander and breastfeeding mother was kidnapped in Manzini by people she trusted and taken to Pietermaritzburg.Full Transcript
03:00The aim of the operation was to recruit her as soon as possible as an informer and to send her back to Swaziland immediately. Much success has been achieved with this method in the past. She still did not want to cooperate. After consideration and weighing all options Maj Gen Steyn gave Gen Taylor and me permission to eliminate her. While Lt-Col Du Preez and W/O Wasserman dug a grave outside the safe house, Col Taylor and I made sure whether she was not prepared to give her cooperation. It was clear from this interrogation that she was proud of her actions and boasted about it. We nevertheless tried to recruit her. After this effort also failed Lt-Col Sam du Preez and W/O Wasserman took her out of the house, eliminated and buried her.Full Transcript
03:38Was Phila that bad, so bad that you had to kill her? Just wait and see their reaction, what their reactions would be. Nason and Nothandisile Ndwandwe have spent nine years hunting for their daughter. On Friday at the Pietermaritzburg mortuary they found her. Truth Commission investigators dug up Phile’s skeleton on an Elandskop dairy farm, rented by the police. Full Transcript
04:37Phila’s death was not an isolated occurrence. A member of Umkhonto we Sizwe’s special operations unit a man known as Raymond Mkhwanazi, or MK Tekere was kidnapped from Swaziland a month after Phile. His was one of the bodies found this week and a local newspaper investigation claims that the third body belonged to Dion Cele, abducted out of Swaziland by a serving South African policeman Captain Jerry Brookes just three months before they took Phila. ‘The skeleton is that of Dion Cele. The witness discovered his name from mortuary records at the Alexandra Police Station. His name was subsequently deleted by TRC investigation co-ordinator Magistrate Ashin Singh on the basis that the identity of the deceased has not been conclusively proven. It has been verified that Captain Jerry Brookes of Pietermaritzburg (still serving in the SAPS) has made an amnesty application admitting his involvement in the abduction only.’ About the same time that the Ndwandwe family was viewing their ...moreFull Transcript and References
06:00I’m not sure whether we will hear more from these particular policemen who have applied for amnesty but I certainly think this is not all that happened in this province.Full Transcript
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