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Special Report Transcript Episode 43, Section 6, Time 25:33

The former Defence Force was also the topic of the controversy this week stirred up by a report of the investigation task board. The board was appointed in September 1994 to investigate organized hit squad activity in KwaZulu-Natal. A few significant facts emerged very clearly from this report. The first is that Inkatha Freedom Party leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi met with senior officers of Military Intelligence late in 1985 to request his own paramilitary force to protect Inkatha and attack its opponents. On December 20, 1986 the State Security Council discussed Buthelezi’s request and at a meeting on the 3rd of February 1986? They agreed to form such a unit. National Party leader FW de Klerk was present at both these meetings. The Defence Force implemented the State Security Council decision and called it ‘Operation Marion.’ Two hundred Inkatha recruits were trained in secret in Caprivi in Northern Namibia in 1986 and put under the control of IFP leader MZ Khumalo. One of the first attacks of the Operation Marion Caprivi group was the massacre of 13 people, mostly women and children at KwaMakhutha on 20 January 1987. The report also gives detail of the proposals for a third force agreed to by the State Security Council, again at meetings where De Klerk was present. The aim was a force not linked to the SADF or the police which would attack the government’s opponents ruthlessly and use methods of terrorism. Ministers Magnus Malan and Adriaan Vlok were closely involved with these proposals. But FW de Klerk is quite correct when he states that the third force was never established as a separate force. But listen to this: According to the minutes of the State Security Council former president PW Botha asked on 20 June 1988 what had happened to the Third Force proposals. The then Commissioner of Police, General de Wit told him that the establishment of the municipal police, the kitskonstabels and the extension of the riot squad did away with the need for another force. We know from the evidence before the Truth Commission through last year what role the kitskonstabels played. But the fact that the third force was never established as a force with a unit name and command structure does not mean that the third force did not exist. It is very clear from the evidence in this document that Operation Marion was essentially the third force. It did exactly what the proposals before the Sate Security Council asked for. It was not the only element of the third force, the army special forces took part in train violence in the 1980s as part of a third force. And Vlakplaas and the army’s Directorate Covert Collection also acted as a third force in attacks such as the Boipatong massacre. We can only hope that FW de Klerk, Magnus Malan and Adriaan Vlok will explain this fully to the Truth Commission before the end of this year. The Special Report will throw more light on exactly this topic with a special documentary on the KwaMakhutha massacre next week. We’ll see you then, good bye.

Notes: Max du Preez

References select each tab to search for references

TRC Final Report Glossary
138 On 2 June 1986, Chief Lent Maqoma, a one-time ally of Lennox Sebe, launched his Ciskei People’s Rights Protection Party; this was followed a few months later by the launch by the rebel group in Transkei of the ‘armed wing’ of this party, Iliso Lomzi. It seems that both were launched ...
■ THE ‘THIRD FORCE’ 497 This section focuses on the notion that a ‘third force’ or ‘third force’ elements were involved in perpetrating the violence of the early 1990s. The Commission wishes to restrict the understanding of this phenomenon to the post-1990 period and specifically ...
Killings by Extra Judicial Tribunals 433 The Commission received reports of killings performed by UDF/ANC-aligned individuals, after findings of extra-judicial tribunals or area committees. Victims included IFP office-bearers and individuals associated with the former state and former state ...
Volume TWO Chapter SEVEN Political Violence in the Era of Negotiations andTransition, 1990-1994 ■ INTRODUCTION 1 The Commission had considerable success in uncovering violations that took place before 1990. This was not true of the 1990s period. Information before the Commission shows that ...
170 When David Ntombela of Mncane in Vulindlela became the induna of KwaMncane, the money he collected from people for a ‘co-operative store’ allegedly went into building his own store. Ntombela became known for spearheading attacks against UDF supporters who had begun to infiltrate the ...
 
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