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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 4 of Episode 78

24:06This past week the last amnesty hearing of the year took place in Port Elizabeth. Next year the Truth Commission process will be dominated by amnesty hearings starting in late January. Slowly a picture is forming of how the amnesty committee thinks and which human rights violations they consider to be pardonable and which ones not. Let’s take a look at some of the most recent judgements handed down by the Amnesty Committee.Full Transcript
24:31The Amnesty Committee has now processed more than 7000 amnesty applications, the majority of which have been rejected. Only 738 amnesties have been granted. One of the most recent judgements is in one of the applications of notorious Eastern Cape security policeman Gideon Niewoudt. He has applied for amnesty for his role in the car bomb that killed three policemen in Motherwell, the murders of the Pebco Three, the Cradock Four, Siphiwo Mtimkulu, Topsy Mdaka and Steven Bantu Biko. The judgements in all these cases are still pending, but the amnesty committee has refused him amnesty for the 1985 assault of UDF activist Mkhuseli Jack. They refused on the grounds that Niewoudt ”…did not make a full disclosure.” In its judgement the panel said that the versions given by the amnesty applicant and the victim differ materially. They rejected Niewoudt’s version that he had simply struck Jack a few times with a sjambok and accepted Jack’s version of a far more vicious assault and ...moreFull Transcript and References
25:51Which methods did you apply? // I referred to the assault as the method and because his resistance was broken down I then had an interview with him.Full Transcript
26:13Gideon Niewoudt’s legal team has now asked that all other amnesty applications by Niewoudt should be heard by a different committee than the one that handed down this recent decision. They argued that the same committee would be biased in other cases. The application was granted and Niewoudt will now be heard separately from other Eastern Cape applicants and by a different committee. Full Transcript
26:36Another contentious recent judgement is the granting of amnesty to 37 ANC members including Deputy President Thabo Mbeki, Defence Minister Joe Modise and other members of the cabinet. The ANC collectively applied for all actions committed during the liberation struggle. The Committee accepted this collective application and granted amnesty collectively. They found that all the conditions for granting of amnesty had been met and that there was no need for a public hearing of applications. They also said that the acts applied for by the ANC’s collective application ”did not constitute gross violation of human rights.” // Opposition parties, including the National Party, objected to these findings saying that amnesty could not be granted collectively but only for specific acts. They lodged a complaint with the Commission and the Commission has now asked for independent legal advice on these findings.Full Transcript and References
27:43The Committee has also refused amnesty to right winger Johannes Slippers. Slippers killed a black man during a white by night campaign in Belfast in 1990. He is serving a ten year prison sentence for this murder.Full Transcript and References
28:00I identified myself with the objectives of the AWB and believed that they could bring about the necessary political challenges.Full Transcript
28:12Judge Bernard Ngoepe and Advocate Sisi Kampepe disagreed with a third member on the panel, Advocate Chris de Jager. They said Slippers should be refused amnesty because the killing was ”grossly out of proportion with the AWB objective” of keeping blacks out of the town. They also said the act was ”not associated with a political motive.” De Jager said amnesty should be granted to slippers but the majority decision was handed down and amnesty was refused.Full Transcript
28:45After the short break, the boys on the border.Full Transcript
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