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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 4 of Episode 43

TimeSummary
12:26When the Truth Commission started its hearings in the Eastern Cape exactly one year ago us ordinary South Africans knew about the cruel suppression of the Sharpeville and Soweto ’76 uprisings, about the murder of Steve Biko, the Cradock Four, and Griffiths Mxenge. We knew about most of the big and dramatic stories of torture and assassination. Perhaps the one thing we underestimated was the extent of this violation of our society. Every small town experienced actions of cruel policemen. Every village of our country can tell stories of brutality, indiscriminate killing, excessive violence. This is probably more true of the Eastern Cape than anywhere else. It was in the Eastern Cape platteland in Grahamstown that the Human Rights Violations Committee of the Truth Commission heard more than 60 of these stories this week. Full Transcript
13:20In tonight’s bulletin, 17 people killed and more than 30 wounded in unrest in the Eastern Cape. The incident was sparked off by a confrontation between less than 20 policemen and between 3000 and 4000 blacks.Full Transcript
13:40In the morning you would wake up and see a soldier in front of your house with a gun. The whole township was surrounded by the soldiers. This made people to be angry. // We are injured; we have wounds inside because of what they have done to us as black people. They were killing us. // Those who were in government at that time killed my wife. Even today when my wife’s name is mentioned I feel pain in my heart.Full Transcript and References
14:18Many of the witnesses come from the squalor townships around this picturesque city of Grahamstown. Others travel from further afield, little rural settlements in Port Alfred, Cookhouse, Kenton-on-Sea, Adelaide, Alicedale, Fort Beaufort, and Bedford. The detailed stories of their pain and hardship painting a clear picture of the ruthless power of the apartheid state, showing how its evil tentacles delved deep into the heart of the Eastern Cape platteland.Full Transcript
14:54In 1986 in Bedford the police came at night… // It was during the state of emergency in June that year that Bedford resident Nadandile Gertrude Bakauli was taken from her home during the night. Why? Because her sons were members of the UDF, involved in the consumer boycott at the town. // I was sleeping at that time. I was trying to wake up; they took me. I was naked. They took me; they dragged me to the car. I was only wearing underwear. My children came in the morning with my clothes and they told my children that no clothes were allowed.Full Transcript and References
15:37She was released from prison after six months. Many others living in Eastern Cape towns also claimed to have been stripped of their dignity by the police. Ntsikelelo Mentoor says he was assaulted and doused with chemicals during police interrogation in Port Elizabeth. // They would kick me, they would strangle me. They would take my hair and they would tell me to swallow my hair. This happened for a long time. They wanted to know my relationship with Matthew Goniwe and others. I told them that I just heard about Matthew Goniwe.Full Transcript
16:22Derek ‘Mtro’ Mambiso was picked up the police in 1986 for attempting to necklace three young women who had had affairs with municipal policemen. He also testified about ill treatment at the hands of the police. // I would like you telling us your story to emphasise on different ways in which you were tortured. // From quarter past nine to quarter to three they were assaulting us. They would squeeze our private parts and they would close them to a drawer. That is when I got injured. After all this my private parts were swollen up, because of the Boers.Full Transcript and References
17:15The Commission has documented volumes on the activities of white policemen who were hated and feared in the townships, but this week in Grahamstown it was the actions of the black municipal policemen known as kitskonstabels that came under the spotlight. // These municipal police, we know who they are. They were criminals who were recruited and dressed in the green uniform with blue overalls. They had no education and they were given firearms. // They didn’t say what they were beating me for. They took me outside. They assaulted me, saying that they are going to shoot me and they’re going to kill me. // I would definitely like to know why I was shot. I cannot just reconcile or forgive without knowing because we still live with these people. My child is still going to grow up and know about these atrocities that took place, because one can forgive but you cannot necessarily forget. Full Transcript and References
18:26Some of the victims’ families came face to face with perpetrators for the first time when a handful of former kitskonstabels asked to appear before the Commission. Melekila Ncipha and Mzwandile Mtati were implicated in the death of a youth in Alexandria in 1986. In an affidavit read by his legal counsel Mtati claims that he’d shot in self defence, because he’d been surrounded by an angry mob. // I am saying that I do not deny that he was struck by a bullet from my firearm, but I was not aiming at anyone I was firing at a crowd. // His colleague, former kitskonstabel Melekila Ncipha denies any involvement.Full Transcript and References
09:13Nomtandazo Kaleni of Fort Beaufort is still waiting for someone to come forward and claim responsibility for the 1986 shooting of her mentally retarded son. She recalls the day he was killed by SADF soldiers in a passing caspir. Like countless other mothers of victims all she had now is the opportunity to share her tragic story with some measure of dignity. // I have since left the matter in God’s hands. God will answer my prayers and I maintain the same today. I say that God will comfort me, in regard to my child. Full Transcript and References
 
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