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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 1 of Episode 70

TimeSummary
00:18Hello. Our main focus tonight is on the four cabinet ministers who appeared before the Truth Commission this past week. But we also have a report on the role that Intelezi, some people call it muti, plays in a conflict in KwaZulu-Natal. Let me introduce you to the four actors who starred in this week”s drama. Pik Botha, Minister of Foreign Affairs between 1977 and 1994. // ”En ek gee nie vanaand om of Oliver Tambo deur Reagan ontmoet word en of hy deur Gorbachev ontmoet word nie en of hy deur Kohl ontmoet word nie en of hy deur Margaret Thatcher ontmoet word nie, of die koningin van Brittanje ontmoet word nie, hierdie regering onderhandel nie met wreedaards en terroriste oor die toekoms van Suid Afrika nie.” [I don’t care whether Oliver Tambo is met by Reagan, Gorbachev or Kohl; if he’s met by Margaret Thatcher or the Queen of Britain, this government will not negotiate with brutes and terrorists over the future of South Africa] // Adriaan Vlok, Deputy Minister of Defence ...moreFull Transcript and References
05:06‘Elimineer,’ eliminate, ‘neutraliseer,’ neutralise, ‘uitwis,’ obliterate or wipe out.Full Transcript and References
05:15‘Ambush and Killing: Cradock 4’ // ‘Vernietig,’ destroy, ‘opspoor en vernietig,’ track down and destroy, ‘houvas breek,’ break their grip.Full Transcript and References
05:32‘Torture and Killing: Stanza Bopape’ // ”Bekamp,” fight against, curb, control, ”stuit,” arrest, stem, ”uit die samelewing verwyder,” remove from society.Full Transcript
05:53‘Booby-trapped hand grenades’ // ‘Permanent uit die samelewing verwyder,’ remove permanently from society.Full Transcript and References
06:10‘Third Force: Operation Marion’ // Now how did it happen, why did it happen?Full Transcript and References
06:25Certainly the questions uppermost in the minds of Archbishop Tutu and his team this week. They”d gathered former State Security Council members Pik Botha, Adriaan Vlok, Roelf Meyer and Leon Wessels to get straight answers. Was the State Security Council a shadow cabinet? What were its precise powers? Did it formulate and order unlawful actions against the men and women who opposed apartheid?Full Transcript
06:52All the decisions were taken to cabinet. You were not dealing with State Security Council decisions; you were dealing with cabinet decisions. Cabinet, it can be proved. Not only factually, but that is the constitutional position. So the cabinet was governing. The State Security Council was a security committee.Full Transcript
07:19With my knowledge and my insight into the mechanisms of the SSC I say that no decisions were taken by it to act illegally.Full Transcript and References
07:26I never had knowledge of any organised attempt within the context of government to identify specific targets or to do planning for the destruction of such targets on the basis of conspiracy.Full Transcript and References
07:42Every decision was taken within the ambit of the law as it was known then.Full Transcript and References
07:48I have no evidence to indicate to me that on any occasion the cabinet that approved the State Security Council decisions ever approved any unlawful act. It would in any case not have been recorded.Full Transcript
08:13As a result of the ever increasing revolutionary climate in the republic during the eighties and especially after the so-called, ”1979 Simonstads Beraad” at which the security forces were told to take the gloves off in the fight against the revolutionary enemy, the security forces came under increasing pressure to perform. The South African Police and its security branch in particular were under special pressure. In this context results became far more important than legality. The eleventh commandment was well known, especially to those in the covert or the special force elements of the security forces. This was ”thou shall not be found out.”Full Transcript
08:55Where does the buck stop? Where does political accountability lie for the killings that have taken place both inside our country and outside of our country?Full Transcript
09:06The news and these revelations are only coming to the fore now and I simply couldn”t believe my eyes and my ears as to what these people were saying. That people were saying that they had gained the impression that they were authorised to do certain things. And they are saying that they gained the impression from documents which are no longer in our possession. So, it wasn”t policy, so the policeman on the ground couldn”t have said that it was in line with your policy.Full Transcript
09:29It was not policy to kill opponents the political bosses said. They said the language used in State Security Council documents must have been misinterpreted by their troops. Either because they were over eager yet acting in good faith or mavericks with their own agendas. But the bottom line was that their words and their policies were misinterpreted.Full Transcript
09:53”Elimineer” means what it says, to kill, that”s clear.Full Transcript
09:58I might be wrong, but I believed in all the time I was involved that the language used was perhaps deliberately vague or all encompassing. I”ll use the term all encompassing rather than vague. So that it could perhaps mean this and it could in fact perhaps mean that, but what it definitely meant was that those problems must be eliminated or neutralized.Full Transcript
10:30I don”t want to be involved in a semantic level regarding the meaning of certain words in this document. I want to emphasise that words like ”eliminate” and ”take out” for the members on the ground, who were in a war situation, referred only to killing people.Full Transcript
10:54If the words ”neutralised,” ”eliminate” were used in reference to hot pursuit cross-border action or terrorist bases in neighbouring countries, then obviously ”neutralise,” ”eliminate” would include the killing of the terrorists. If the phrase ”neutralise eliminate,” was used in respect of actions inside the country then ”neutralization elimination” can indeed mean detention without trial. Removing a person permanently from society can indeed mean detaining that person indefinitely.Full Transcript
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