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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 3 of Episode 82

TimeSummary
19:54The former government and their security forces had a very aggressive attitude towards their neighbours with very little respect for international borders. The first operations of the South African armed forces across the borders of South Africa date back to the late sixties with police actions against the Namibian liberation movement, SWAPO and the support given to white Rhodesians in their war against the Zimbabwean liberation movements. And from 1975 until 1989 the South African military fought a bloody war against the Angolan government forces and their allies, the Cubans. During the same period, attacks against ANC facilities in Southern Africa cost many lives and created much suffering. The story of South Africa’s regional wars and the destabilization of neighbouring states is too big a story for the Truth Commission to deal with and it is certainly too big to tell in this programme. So, let’s focus on the brutal raids across our borders which targeted individuals, offices ...moreFull Transcript and References
20:54The raids in Lesotho, 1982, 1985; the raids in Matola 1981; the raids in Swaziland; the raids in Mozambique; the raids in Angola; the raids in Zambia; the raids in Zimbabwe; the raids in Botswana; all were because of the policies of PW Botha. We must never forget our history. Full Transcript
21:16 Between 1979 and 1990 South Africa attacked three African capitals, launched six major raids into four neighbouring countries and routinely sent bands of hit men on missions to murder in the frontline states.Full Transcript
21:37We have identified about 250 individual cases of gross human rights violations in the region. // By 1980 South Africa was surrounded by unfriendly neighbours. Most of the frontline states played host to the liberation movements who kept personnel bases and transit camps as close to home as they could. In 1980 the ANC made their presence felt with the raid on the Sasol oil refinery.Full Transcript and References
22:06We had deep penetrations operations, so this led to the same kind of operations here against the military bases of the liberation movements within the neighbouring countries. So, that part of the war is how that developed and it was therefore an absolute necessity for the defence of South Africa to embark on these kinds of operations. Now that led to the concept of cross-border operations.Full Transcript
22:32They saw themselves as part of a western anti-communist crusade and in this of course they were largely encouraged particularly during the Reagan-Thatcher era, to think along those lines.Full Transcript
22:44‘Ons is in die huidige oomblik in ‘n intense rewolusionere aanslag gewikkel’ [We are currently involved in an intense revolutionary onslaught].Full Transcript
22:51The other dimension of course was a perception which was deeply held, particularly by PW Botha and the State Security Council up until 1985 and that was that the primary threat to South Africa was external.Full Transcript
23:05‘Matola Mozambique January 1981’ // The Matola raid was in January 1981, it was a combined operation in a planning sense; it was planned by two senior figures in the security establishment. Jacques Buchner was one from the SAP side and a Major Steijn from the South African Defence Force. They planned the operation, they provided the intelligence, they got the intelligence through interrogations, through their sources in Mozambique, they gave the information about the houses and who one can expect to find in the houses. The actual operation was conducted by special forces, specifically 5 Recce which was based in Phalaborwa.Full Transcript and References
23:51ANC member of Parliament Professor Rob Davies was in the capital Maputo in January 1981 when the special forces attacked suspected ANC bases in the suburb of Matola.Full Transcript
24:04What happened was a South African commando crossed the border secretly and drove the 70 or 80 miles, or whatever it was, to Matola. Basically I think one of the things which was a feature of this was that they just opened fire indiscriminately and the houses that they targeted. I think the basic modus operandi was to shoot first and ask questions afterwards.Full Transcript
24:27A large number of the operatives in that attack were actually Rhodesians; these were Rhodesians who had enormous experience of cross-border operations, particularly in Mozambique during their war and who had come down south, had been recruited into special forces after 1980 and in fact the two who died, the two attackers who died both were Rhodesian.Full Transcript
24:48Krishna Rabilal was among the 12 ANC cadres slain that night. He was a student visiting Maputo from Swaziland. His brother saw the aftermath of the attack. // I was shocked to see the hundreds of bullet holes on the walls and the ceilings, it actually gave me an idea about the extent to which these people were so brutal. And apparently my brother survived the attack initially and he had crawled to a cupboard but I think the SADF soldiers followed the trail of blood and shot into the cupboard without opening the cupboard and he was riddled with bullets.Full Transcript
25:35You have to be able to morally justify the means that you use for this attack. Can I put it simply? You don’t bomb the whole of Maputo for housing a small ANC base in Maputo; you try to pick out the base itself. Secondly, again proportionality, the force you use must be proportional to what you want to achieve and then thirdly what is also very important is that you must take all the necessary steps in order to minimize effect on non-combatants. Full Transcript
26:12‘Maseru Lesotho December 1982’ // The first Maseru raid, that’s the December 1982 raid where 42 were killed, 30 South Africans, 12 Basotho, that again was jointly planned, the same individuals Buchner and Steijn who were involved in the planning of the Matola raid. And again special forces.Full Transcript and References
26:36In 1977 lawyer Phyllis Naidoo escaped arrest by the security police by skipping across the border into Lesotho. She was at home in Maseru on the night the special forces attacked. // I worked till about midnight and then had a shower, it was a hot day, and went to bed. It was a beautiful moonlight night and I drew the curtains and I was just watching the trees in the moonlight and then I heard a shot. I didn’t lie on the bed, I sat on the floor and then there were several shots and then I covered my ears with the pillow because I couldn’t take the noise.Full Transcript
27:25By morning much of the ANC community in Maseru was dead. Phyllis Naidoo and her fellow survivors faced a grim task. // The first house I went to was Zola’s. Zola was our chief rep and I walked through and everything was just blown to smithereens and blood…I mean it was like an abattoir. And just to see Zola’s body there, you know with these red tartan underpants and he was such a shy human being, you know, gentle, gentle, gentle.Full Transcript
28:09‘Gaborone Botswana June 1985’ // Their intelligence seems to have been least good in regard to Botswana where in a number of the raids they killed non South Africans and even some of the South Africans who were killed were not MK operatives, they were exiles, they were refugees, but mostly they were involved in sort of cultural resistance.Full Transcript and References
28:34I was inside with broke in and started shooting. I was inside, so I just… Luckily, I went under the bed and my brother and my sister tried to lie down just next to me and when they walked in they shot them. // Are you a member of the ANC? // I’m not, I’m not, but my brother was.Full Transcript
28:54Good evening. Worldwide anger continues to grow in the wake of the commando raid on alleged ANC bases in the Botswana capital of Gaborone. Foreign minister, Minister Pik Botha said in September last year that the Botswana government had not been able to reach acceptable understanding with the South African government on the combating of acts of terror against South Africa from Botswana territory. // ‘The targets that we attacked one can describe as the nerve centre of the ANC, the alternative which they developed after the Komati accord. They then decided to operate through Botswana. // ‘Wat die militere implikasies betref dink ek het ons vir ons gasheer lande of liewer moet ek se vir die gasheer lande van die terroriste sowel as vir die terrorist self twee duidelike boodskappe gegee. Die eerste een is, die Suid Afrikaanse regering maak nie ydele dreigemente nie. En die tweede een is, die Suid Afrikaanse weermag is in staat om hierdie terroris neste by te kom en uit te haal waar ...moreFull Transcript
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