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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 2 of Episode 60

00:32The killing fields of KwaZulu-Natal. More than 10 000 people have been killed in this region in the last fifteen years. It hasn’t stopped, only last week recently elected councillors were slaughtered in Richmond. This past week the Truth Commission heard the full story of one of KwaZulu-Natal’s killing machines, the 200 Inkatha men who were trained by the South African Defence Force in Caprivi in Northern Namibia in 1986, who called themselves the Inkatha armed wing. The evidence of three of these men, each with the blood of many supporters of the UDF or ANC on his hands, was fiercely contested. It even led to the IFP’s withdrawal from the present peace talks. It was a difficult hearing; no fewer than 29 attorneys and advocates representing politicians and generals turned up. Most of these lawyers found it difficult to make the switch from the court room to a Commission hearing aimed only at information gathering. It soon became a time consuming circus with many angry exchanges. Full Transcript and References
01:40The witness can’t tell me how I should cross-examine him. // What is your question? // [You are blatantly lying to this Commission.] // May I take a turn quickly Mr. Chairman? // I also have no instructions at this stage. // Please Mr. … let’s get on. // [Yes or no.] // Lawyers who should know better. // I object to this kind of situation Mr. Chairman. // I don’t really understand what’s going on here. // We can read. // What are your instructions ... // Perhaps I’m the one that’s confused. // I’ve not finished my submission if you don’t mind. // Have you finished? // I’m finished thank you very much. // Now… // And this is not in fact a court of law. // My name is Louis Visser. Can you see me? I’m putting up my hand. // This conduct constitutes prima facie offence violation of the provisions of Section 39 (a), (b) and (c) of your Act.Full Transcript
03:20But despite the legal drama and lots of hot air the five witnesses this week gave a whole new insight into the bloody years between 1987 and 1993. This story really starts in the mid 1980s when the UDF rapidly increased its influence in KwaZulu-Natal. In 1985 IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi asked military intelligence for support, partly for protection but also for offensive or attacking capability. This request was agreed to by the then State Security Council and ‘Operation Marion’ was born. In 1986 200 young Inkatha men were secretly flown from Caprivi where they were trained by white Defence Force instructors. When they came back to KwaZulu-Natal many of them became professional killers; they were responsible for hundreds of deaths, among these the KwaMakhutha massacre. This massacre led to a court case last year in which General Magnus Malan and 19 others were charged, but in the end the judge acquitted them. One of the main questions was whether the Caprivi training was for ...moreFull Transcript and References
05:00Gcina Mkhize was one of the young, angry Inkatha supporters who volunteered for training. He told the Commission the trainees were welcomed by white South African soldiers when they arrived at the secret Caprivi base after a clandestine flight.Full Transcript
05:14He told us that what’s important is if we do allow that this country of us be taken by communists we should know that we have stabbed ourselves with our own spear and he said we have to answer to our grandchildren. // How would you characterize the training that you received? // Under ‘offensive,’ because we were taught a lot about attacking. We were doing things like house penetration, like infiltration, camouflage and concealment, tracking, survival and we were also taught more about dangerous arms like RPD, RPK, AK47, arms which involves mortars, limpet mines, explosives like cortex, safety fuses, PE4. I don’t think these are arms which you can use to defend yourself: rocket launchers, RPG7, anti-personal and anti-tanks included; beehives arms which we used to demolish bridges. I don’t think these are arms which we normally use to protect or defend yourself.Full Transcript and References
08:11Daluxolo Luthuli, once an MK guerrilla who served ten years on Robben Island but then switched allegiances to Inkatha was the political commissar of the Caprivi group. // Training was not police training; it was military training, because if it was not military training there was no need for a political commissar. The police force has a commander. There was no need, even the weapons which they were using it was purely military weapons, for instance mortar, where can you use mortar, RPGs like machine guns, AK47, hand grenades, landmines, anti-personal mines, explosives, different explosives, TNT, plastic explosives? I’m mentioning now weapons of war, not police weapons. It was military training, that’s all I can say. If the Defence Force can say there was no secret, it was an open thing, no it can’t be, because when they took these people from Ulundi to Louis Botha they were put in a truck with dark windows; on our way to that base everything were … with black plastic bags, so ...moreFull Transcript and References
10:25Zweli Dlamini, another Caprivi trainee testified in a balaclava because he did not want the people in his village to know about his testimony. // We were dealing with the learning about arms, the attacking of houses. During the demonstration there was a house which was locked and we were shown as to how to penetrate the house and attack and shoot. And we were told when you enter a house you should have a hand grenade, using shot guns and AK47s; these were the firearms that we were taught about. // What would you do once you entered this house? // You would shoot anyone inside the house. // Why was that? // That was supposed to be the ANC inside so we had to shoot everything.Full Transcript and References
11:39The Caprivi group received a warm welcome when they returned to South Africa. // … Called to meet the president of the IFP who arrived and accepted them and welcomed them very positively and was impressed and thanked them for coming back and also emphasized the fact that he was not comfortable and safe. He thought he was being hunted and people threatened to kill him as well and now that they were back, the trainees, he felt so secure and brave enough.Full Transcript
12:28Over the next six years many of the Caprivi men were deployed in KwaZulu-Natal. Luthuli, also known as Mandla Nduna called on them whenever UDF or ANC supporters had to be wiped out. They became efficient killing machines. Full Transcript
12:44If there was an UDF stronghold the Theloweni group will be taken because it knew the place very well. They know they targeted houses, which would be burnt, so when they arrived at night their task will be to throw petrol bombs and run away and the Caprivians will stay behind and they will shoot people running out from the houses. // Can you recall whether there were any prominent leaders who were killed during this pattern of violence you just described by these persons on your instructions? // Yes, I remember Chief Mlaba, Zazi Khuzwayo, Chief Mapumulo, Reggie Hadebe and many others whom I don’t remember.Full Transcript and References
14:24I went to the area to kill all the people who were attacking these people who were running to us. // Did you kill any people and how many people did you kill? // Many things happened, some of them got injured, some died, I can’t remember the number because I used to do this and run away. // Is your evidence that you don’t know how many people you killed, but they were quite a number? You don’t know how many people you injured, there were quite a number. // Yes.Full Transcript
15:19I believe that the Commission should have no difficulty in coming to the conclusion that the Luthuli’s and Mkhize’s, the men on the ground and on the front line, were not conducting a series of unconnected, private frolics but in fact acted at the behest of the most powerful individuals within the apartheid state and surrogate homelands structures. It is evident that the actions that flowed out of ‘Operation Marion’ do not only include criminal offences such as murder; by necessity the cover up of crimes was the order of the day. As has been pointed out this involved senior politicians and the highest police and military officers, including the Commissioner of Police himself. This deception continues through to today. Full Transcript
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