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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 2 of Episode 81

TimeSummary
01:35Valentine’s day in 1994. South Africa is run by a transitional executive council and preparations for the first ever democratic elections are well under way. But in the bustling coal mining town of New Castle however preparations of a different kind are being made.Full Transcript and References
01:53Instructions I got from Johns were that myself and Andile will be my assistant in that unit as an assistant commander. He also led me to two gentlemen and also gave us instruction that we should go to New Castle, and fire arms are already New Castle, and when we arrive in New Castle we’ll attack places which are usually frequented by white people.Full Transcript
02:42 APLA operatives Walter Falibango Tanda and Andile Schiceka went to New Castle as ordered and after a brief reconnaissance they identified their targets. Tanda, Shiceka and Bongani Malevu appeared before the TRC amnesty committee this week.Full Transcript
03:01Who decided on attacking the Crazy Beat disco? // The decision was taken by Tanda. The reason was because two targets were selected, a restaurant and the Crazy Beat disco. If we failed to attack one; we had the option to attack the other one. Either the restaurant or the Crazy Beat.Full Transcript
03:42Malevu gave them each a R4 rifle and a hand grenade. Early that evening Tanda and Shiceka set off. First they hijacked a car and then enlisted the help of three more men before setting off on their mission, the Crazy Beat Disco.Full Transcript
03:58When we arrived at the disco I went out and looked around in the disco. I went back to the car, I instructed Shiceka to get out. I also instructed Funani to give us a firing cover behind so that while we’re attacking the place he can … Dube was sitting in the car just to protect the driver.Full Transcript
04:42Tanda and Shiceka then fired into the disco through the burglar bars of an open doorway. The attack lasted less than five seconds.Full Transcript
04:51Gunmen attacked a discotheque at New Castle in Natal last night killing one person and wounding another. Two men wearing balaclavas and armed with automatic weapons turned up at the Crazy Beat Disco at about ten o’clock last night and opened fire through the security door. They killed 31 year old Mrs Gerda van Wyk of New Castle and wounded Mr Chris Malone of Ladysmith. The attackers then fled in a white Toyata Crusida.Full Transcript
05:21We went to the disco at about eight o’clock that night and it was Valentine’s night, it was supposed to be a special night for couples or married people.Full Transcript
05:39I cannot specifically say the number and I won’t be able to know that, because I didn’t count them. I only looked at the place and I saw that there were people inside and there were many. I don’t know how many there were.Full Transcript
05:58Gerhard Wolfaard was in the disco that night with his six month pregnant wife. // At about ten o’clock that night I heard a shot go off and I first thought it was a bomb cracker and then I heard another two shots and I realized, but look this is no game now, that’s no bomb crackers anymore, this is live ammunition that is flying around here. Then we heard the guns go off automatic when I dived my wife down on the ground and a guy with the name of Chris Malone, he was busy dancing with my wife’s sister. The way that they shot him in his legs, he fell to the front, he fell on top of her and it was only the one woman that got killed that night, which … we’re all very lucky.Full Transcript
07:00Our aim was to kill as many people as possible.Full Transcript
07:12According to me more people could have been killed that night if it wasn’t to the quick reaction of the people. The white guys basically, well all of them who’s got military training, so when you pick up a shot or when you hear shots going off you know automatically what to do. Full Transcript
07:36Two previous APLA operations, the St James Church and the Heidelberg Tavern attacks, had raised several questions. Those questions came up yet again this week. When exactly did APLA suspend the armed struggle and what role did race play in the attacks? Full Transcript
07:53During the conference of December 1993, that was in Umtata was it not? // That’s correct. // You say the armed struggle or the idea of the armed struggle was to continue; that was the resolution that was taken at that conference. // That’s correct. // Was that a clear signal that went out from the leadership; that the armed struggle was to continue during 1994? // In the conference it wasn’t only leaders speaking, it was a whole conference that resolved the struggle should continue. // Was there any disagreement that the struggle should continue in the run-up to the elections in April of ’94? // There were two views. The other view was that it should be suspended; the other one was that it should continue. However those who were in favour of the continuation of the armed struggle won the vote. // An attack in those circumstances against white people, predominantly white people, how was that going to assist in overthrowing the regime? Or how was it going to assist in achieving ...moreFull Transcript
10:04Perhaps the most vexing question was why the attack on the disco was carried out at a time when the end of white minority rule was imminent. // Looking at the situation now, can you think of how the attack on the discotheque in any way assisted the move to democracy in South Africa? // I don’t understand how your question fit into all this. However the aim of all these attacks was to fight to get back our land. Therefore, as I’m saying, there’s nothing racial, it was just an order that I had to carry out.Full Transcript
10:54The anger and anguish that prevailed in the aftermath of the attack came to a head when Maria Swarts agreed to meet the men who had ended the life of her beloved daughter.Full Transcript
11:05Gentlemen, Mrs Swart has agreed to meet with you and speak to you. She appreciates that you made that offer.Full Transcript
11:12Under the circumstances I know that it is difficult for you to forgive. // It’s God’s will OK, God will … away, not you and me. // I truly respect you feelings and I do apologise for what happened. It’s not that I’ve done that because I hate white people but because of the circumstances at that point in time. My duty was to pursuit the aims and objectives of my organisation, although the situation have changed now. I sympathize with your feelings and again I ask for your forgiveness, though I feel it’s very difficult for you to simply say you forgive me at this point in time but I can ask for your forgiveness. // My name is Walter Tanda, I come from the Eastern Cape and am a member of APLA. I got instruction from the high commander of APLA. I didn’t kill your daughter because it was my decision. I am saying sorry and that everyone in South Africa is ... the conflict between the oppressed people and the oppressor. Now that thing now, I think that war is over. Thank you ...moreFull Transcript
 
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