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Special Report Transcript Episode 47, Section 2, Time 02:22

I do not suggest that people on both sides did not overstep the bounds of the authority. To keep harping on so-called apartheid crimes, conveniently ignoring the fact that atrocities were also committed by the opponents of apartheid is not conducive to reconciliation and amounts to an attempt to manipulate history. In retrospect both the ANC and the South African Defence Force succeeded in its objectives. The ANC achieved its political goal while the South African Defence Force managed to maintain an acceptable security climate in which negotiations could take place. The members of the previous governments, with a few exceptions, such as mister PW Botha avoid taking a clear comprehensive, collective, political and moral responsibility for the actions of the South African Defence Force and its members. I, as former Chief of the South African Army, Chief of the South African Defence Force and Minister of Defence wish to state clearly before this Commission that I take moral responsibility for the actions of members of the army and the South African Defence Force during the respective periods when I was involved and for the execution of the tasks of the South African Defence Force to uphold the then constitution and to preserve the sovereignty of the Republic of South Africa. Where members of the South African Defence Force acted unlawfully during the period of conflict I wish to offer my unqualified apologies. The background against which such acts were committed must however not be forgotten. The sound judgement of members of the South African Defence Force sometimes suffered in the heat of the battle owing to the abhorrence generated by the deeds of terror committed by the liberation movements. If however moral blame is to be attached to the lawful actions of the South African Defence Force such blame must be leveled at the former governments and not at the individual members of the South African Defence Force. In the eighties South Africa found itself in a unique conflict situation; a brutal revolutionary onslaught utilizing unconventional methods was inflicted upon South Africa. People were burnt alive in the streets. Bombs exploded in shopping centres and restaurants. Innocent women and children died. The sight of dead and mutilated people was not uncommon. During this time the government’s policy was clear: stop the perpetrator of violence at all cost. The carrier of the car bomb, land mine, limpet mine from the neighbouring states had to be destroyed outside our borders or inside the country before they could commit atrocity. The destruction of the terrorist is brace and his capability was the mission of every soldier in the South African Defence Force and was also the policy of the government of the day. In this way the killing of innocent civilians could be prevented.

Notes: TRC testimonial: Magnus Malan; Scenes of blasts, necklacing; SADF Raid: Lesotho, Dec 1985

References: there are no references for this transcript

 
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