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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 2 of Episode 45

TimeSummary
01:5814 March this year. A farm in Kwazulu-Natal. The rich soil is turned endlessly, but the furious digging and scooping, digging and scooping is not to prepare the land for harvest, it is to unearth some of the secrets of the past: bodies, skeletal remains of ANC activists, thought to have disappeared, now known to have been killed and buried on South Africa’s death farms. 14 March this year, Nason Ndwandwe, waiting outside a Pietermaritzburg mortuary; waiting to discover exactly what the earth has revealed. He has waited to hear what has happened to his eldest daughter for nine years. This will be the day he gets an answer. Full Transcript and References
03:08The skull is his daughter’s, Phila Portia Ndwandwe, 24 when she died. An Umkhonto we Sizwe commander in Natal; mother of baby Thabang, born in Swaziland in 1987. In October 1988 Ndwandwe was abducted from Manzini to Pietermaritzburg. The people who sold her out were comrades. Her abductors: four men in the South African Police. Their aim: to turn her into an askari through torture. Ndwandwe refused. They killed her and buried her body on Elandskop Dairy Farm in KwaZulu-Natal.Full Transcript and References
03:57I wasn’t really sure whether she was alive or whether she was actually dead. When we came to know that she has died I had to reconcile with the whole feeling again, firstly of explaining to my son that he doesn’t have a mother…Full Transcript
04:10Yesterday, the Ndwandwe family prepared to bury their daughter in dignity. They were not the only ones to gather for a last viewing of the remains of their loved one. Four other families shared a similar pain.Full Transcript
05:00‘Mndeni ka Bheki Tekere Mkwanazi, mndeni ka Mbovane Dion Cele Mzimela, mndeni ka Mbuso Tshabalala, mndeni ka Charles Ndaba, sinithwesa izimphahla zegwalagwala.’ To the families our message is, we share your sorrow, we share your rage and we share your pride. Know that South Africans for generations to come will remember these heroes. Revolutions are not made by leaders; they are made by the men and women who serve as foot soldiers on the long walk to freedom. Their names are inscribed on the nation’s roll of honour.’Full Transcript
06:31‘Izothathwa indondana, indondana encane ithathela uMama, ithathela uMama, yayi ne minyaka ewu-ten ngenkathi, yayi ne zinyanga eziwu-ten, ngenkathi amabunu a bulala uMama uPortia. Yashinya uMama nge zinyange zingu-ten kuphela.’ Long live the spirit of Portia Ndwandwe, long live! ‘Wathinta abafazi! Uzokufa! Wathinta imbokodo!’ Amandla!Full Transcript
07:37Nine year old Thabang put his parent ANC guerrilla, Phila Ndwandwe to rest and a cycle of sorts was closed. In this cemetery in Chesterville the late Phila Nwandwe’s mother was buried in 1979. But another cycle had also started. Four generations and two sets of families, the Ndwandwe’s and the Mabusa’s had found themselves together for the first time in a circle of loss and love.Full Transcript
08:18I am very proud. I’m very proud of her. I think she was really brave. // At least to know the truth that Phila was in actual fact a hero; I’m feeling very good about that, because we were misled as to, we were told that Phila turned to be an askari, which now we know that was not true. So, we are happy that we know that Phila is in this cemetery. Whenever we want to come and make contact with her, we’ll be able to do so. At the same time we are happy because we managed to get hold of her baby whom we’ve never met before, only in photographs. Full Transcript
09:02Paternal grandparents were not aware, so there was a mix-up and confusion, and what I needed to do was to track the father once more and make the reunion between the grandfather and the father of the child. You remember that the grandfather was very unhappy about the fact that there was a child; that this child was not returned to the grandparents. And that then brought what to me is in a sense the immortality that Phila conveyed through her child. Here is something that will remind us forever of the brilliant comrade she was.Full Transcript
09:42How do you feel now that you have a grandson in your family? // … And he’s a replica of Phila. Having him here is like having Phila again, reborned.Full Transcript
 
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