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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 1 of Episode 70

TimeSummary
27:12And then there was Leon Wessels. Wessels has been a leading ‘verligte’ [liberal] in the National Party since the 1980s. He was the first prominent National Party politician to formally and comprehensively apologise for apartheid back in 1991. After the negotiated settlement he played a leading role, with Cyril Ramaphosa, as deputy chair of the body that gave us our new constitution. Wessels this week went much, much further than any former government minister had ever done in dealing with the past.Full Transcript
27:40I further do not believe that the political defence of ‘I did not know’ is available to me, because in many respects I believe I did not want to know. In my own way I had my suspicions of things that had caused discomfort in official circles, but because I did not have the facts to substantiate my suspicions or I had lacked the courage to shout from the rooftops. I have to confess that I only whispered in the corridors. That I believe is the accusation that people may level at many of us. That ‘us’ is not deleted. We simply did not, and I did not, confront the reports of injustices head on. It may be blunt but I have to say it. Since the days of the Biko tragedy right up to the days of hostel activities, hostel atrocities in the late 90s as we went up to the record of understanding, the National Party did not have an inquisitive mindset. Everybody in this country knew people were tortured. They were tortured. You read it in the alternative press. Anybody who had access to the ...moreFull Transcript
32:07I want to give thanks for our country, for our people. I want to give thanks that you two young men should have … the honesty that you have demonstrated is one that doesn’t come easily to anyone of us I think and it must be at some cost to yourselves. And I just hope you are aware that you have helped, I think, to pour balm on the wounds of very many.Full Transcript
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