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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 2 of Episode 5

00:25For 14 years the mother has waited for this day. To tell the world of the policeman who had tortured her son before he finally disappeared. This morning, Elizabeth Mtimkulu is going to the Truth Commission. // I am thanking God that this day has come. That’s what kept me … // She and her husband Sipho are armed with a set of diaries Siphiwo Mtimkulu wrote in detention. It tells the story of a gang of Eastern Cape security policemen who savaged and brutalised the young man. // Although he is dead he can still talk. He is talking now. I’m glad about that.Full Transcript and References
01:08 Siphiwo Maxwell Mtimkulu, leader of the Congress of South African Students. // He told me then. ‘Even if they can kill me, as long as they will be killing me for truth, and I am not doing what I’m doing for myself. I am doing it for my child for my grandchild and my grand grandchild. I am doing it for the whole world, not only for my family. I can even die now for it. Even now I can die.’ Full Transcript
01:53Mtimkulu was leading a resurgence of student militancy in the Eastern Cape. On the 31st of May 1981, he was arrested during anti-republic day demonstrations in Port Elizabeth. Mtimkulu was in perfect health when he was incarcerated. When he emerged from detention five months later he was a shadow of his former self. // I remember his words, when he was telling his father that they’ve finished me this time, father, I don’t think I will be right anymore. Because now, even my memory is not like before. I don’t think that I will be that Siphiwo of yours again. // I wanted to know of him. How do you feel, what happened there inside? He said to me. I’m finished because torturing is making me finish inside, because I see myself … that room, he could not walk …Full Transcript
03:24Two days after his release he was unable to walk, his hair fell out. Medical tests showed he had been poisoned with Thallium. Two weeks later Siphiwo and a friend, Topsy Madaka, disappeared, they were never seen again. Mtimkulu must be dead. But he left something behind: a set of diaries. // The very day of release, after being released, he wrote that diary. I even kept his hair that fell off from his head in Cape Town. As you can see it, this was flesh from his head, this. You can see it for yourselves that it’s not a lie. Even professor Aims who treated him in Cape Town can prove this to you. Full Transcript
??Mtimkulu spent months in hospital recovering. In April 1992 he sued the minister of police for torturing and poisoning him. Two weeks later Siphiwo Mtimkulu and a friend, Topsy Madaka disappeared, they were never seen again. Mtimkulu must be dead, but he left something behind: a set of diaries. // After being released he wrote the diary. I’m releasing it now because I want these people to be exposed for what they did to Siphiwo. // ‘I still had on only my underpants, Niewoudt left the office with the towel. He returned, the towel was wet and dripping with water. He tied it over my nose and mouth. As I inhaled, water entered my nasal passage. Breathing was difficult. I lost consciousness and fell. The towel was removed. This was done until I lost consciousness several times. Each time I fell on my back. At times he will sit on my back and hit me. The others would kick me like …Dunster while doing pushups. The moment I stood up he would start boxing me … that is Dunster now… ...moreFull Transcript
06:18The Eastern Cape’s most notorious former security policeman: Lieutenant Colonel Gideon Niewoudt. According to Siphiwo one of the men who tortured him. But Gideon Niewoudt had been a visitor to the Mtimkulu household before the detention and disappearance of Siphiwo. // He came here pretending as if he is a priest with a white collar. // He’s putting a bible here, he’s got a collar on, that’s a gun … here. // That’s how he came to trap us, it is only Siphiwo told us that it is Niewoudt, those are Niewoudt’s tricks. And he’s very dangerous. You must be careful of Niewoudt. That’s what he said to us. // Oh! He’s a policeman? Yes, he is a policeman that man. I didn’t know. Myself I don’t know. Full Transcript
07:19Niewoudt obtained a court order last month to prevent Elizabeth Mtimkulu from naming him unless he had been given ample time to respond to her allegations. He denies any involvement in any killing or torture. // I felt, I was very worried, and I felt depressed. I was cross with Niewoudt and them. Because I don’t know why they do all these things. I’m sure they know that they are going to be exposed. I felt very bad. // During the first sitting of the Truth Commission in East London last month he was already implicated in torture. In the same week, former Vlakplaas assassin Joe Mamasela confessed on this programme his complicity in the kidnapping, torture and murder of three Eastern Cape activists in May 1985. He also implicated Gideon Niewoudt. // Lieutenant Niewoudt beat them up with an iron pipe into their heads, so severely that … they were kicked, they were punched, they were stomped; they were jumped over their heads. And they were killed, yes they died. They died one by ...moreFull Transcript and References
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