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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 2 of Episode 6

01:41May 1993, a year before the democratic elections in South Africa in Kimberley in the Northern Cape was the scene for an event that seems strangely out of step with the rest of the country. An ANC protest march, a hand grenade explosion, one dead, more than 40 people injured. The grenade was aimed at the Bophuthatswana consulate in Kimberley but it somehow detonated among the crowd. // Sipho Mbaqa and Nkosinathi Nkohla, leading ANC members, were both sentenced to 12 years for the attack. But this week former MK man, Walter Smiles stood before the Truth Commission and confessed that he threw the grenade. Full Transcript
02:20I would like the people who are in prison to be released because it is not their offence. They weren’t responsible. When we got there, the petitions were handed over, the first petition, the second petition, and the third petition. When it was time to hand over the third petition then there was a sign that I must throw this grenade. And he laid down at the same time. So, when I threw it, I was weak, I had no experience of this type of thing. And then I threw the grenade and then I felt very sad for the harm that I caused. And I heard that somebody had died and I felt very bad. My heart was very, very sore. Full Transcript and References
03:16For Elisabeth Makone, mother of the young COSAS member Ezekiel Makone who died in the attack, his death holds no reason. // It was very, very painful, I still can’t actually believe it, still can’t believe that it happened. That morning when I left home he was still there and he was on his way to school and that was the last time I saw him. Afterwards I just heard that he was dead.Full Transcript and References
03:43Walter Smiles’ unexpected confession created more questions than answers. The two men in jail for the attack believe they were wrongfully convicted. // I formulated a story so that I can be saved from the oppression. Van der … came after I’ve agreed to their story and then they said they were going to take photos at Trust Bank, George street, where this all took place. They alleged that we got training so we had to agree that we got training from that area. They also wanted to know who were responsible for all, some of the things they talked about … and I didn’t know about what they were talking about. But I did agree and admitted that I knew everything that they were talking about. After we did this point outs they asked me, Erasmus and Rossouw asked me if I was prepared to be a state witness. I said no. They then decided to charge me. Full Transcript and References
05:01So when I realised this people, this police were becoming so serious about this matter of Nkosinati. I then decided to tell them the truth. I told them the truth. I told them what the whole situation was. And that situation they have it in their files. If they produced the files, they will find it. I told them exactly what happened. It seems to me they didn’t believe me. At that stage I realised that this people they were just … they wanted me to confirm their story, which was not true. And the story that is the truth that I tell them, they don’t believe it. We’re then put on trial, they obviously cooked evidence. We then battled with that evidence. But they seemingly had enough resources to bring in all sorts of false witnesses to the extent that they brought in even our own comrade.Full Transcript and References
06:24Thembinkosi Nqcele, another young Kimberley activist turned state witness during the trial. He said that he was forced to give false evidence out of fear for his life. // They asked me do I know who is responsible for what happened. I said I don’t know anything about that. The adjutant was the leader of the interrogators. He came time and again and continued with the interrogation. They asked me if I wanted to be released. I said, obviously I do. And then he said, if I want to, then I must speak the truth. I should say that I’ve seen people who have thrown the grenade. And, through the intimidation and when they were trying to show me how they’re going to throw me out of the window I was afraid. At the end I signed because I feared for my life. They said then they are going to release me, but in the end they didn’t. Then they told me I will be going to court and I was supposed to state everything that was signed there. And then they said I must say what I have signed for ...moreFull Transcript and References
07:53The Attorney-General of the Northern Province, Charl du Plessis says Walter Smiles is a liar. The Commission says the truth might be found in a court of law. // So it is possible that the evidence by Smiles and the evidence of Thembinkosi in this particular case may be of a nature that might persuade a court to rehear the matter. Full Transcript
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