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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
Forty-five people died and 27 others were seriously injured on 17 June 1992 when several hundred IFP-supporting residents of the KwaMadala hostel launched attacks on the Boipatong community, near Vanderbijlpark, Tvl, during a period of escalating violence between the ANC and IFP in the area. ...
A state-sponsored paramilitary unit set up to provide the IFP with a covert military capacity. The trainees were given paramilitary training by the SADF in the Caprivi Strip during 1986 and were later deployed in areas around KwaZulu-Natal against the political enemies of the state and Inkatha, ...
(Afrikaans: 'instant constable'); see Special Constables
On 21 January 1987, 13 people, mostly women and children, were killed when gunmen opened fire with AK47s on the home of UDF activist, Mr Bheki Ntuli, at KwaMakhutha, Amanzimtoti, near Durban. Mr Ntuli was not at home at the time. Twenty people, including the former Minister of Defence, General ...
Known colloquially as ' kitskonstabels' (instant constables), 'blue lines', or 'bloupakke' , Special Constables were recruited from urban and rural areas and were usually unemployed African men with few educational qualifications. Many were illiterate and some had criminal convictions. Training was ...
Train violence first emerged in July 1900 with a series of attacks on commuters travelling on the Johannesburg-Soweto line, leaving one person dead and about 30 injured. Between 1990 and 1993, approximately 572 people died in more than 600 incidents of train violence. What started as unplanned ...
a farm near Pretoria used as a base for police hit squads
 
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