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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 5 of Episode 83

43:16When at last Denzil Potgieter does pack up his bags and go home it will be to his family in Cape Town and his practice there as an advocate. It is probably only Potgieter who will then be surprised when he gets the call to serve his country again. Let’s move on. Just before the 1994 election when almost everyone else in the country was preparing for a united democratic South Africa the white right wing was calling for a whites only ‘volkstaat.’ While the rest of the country was talking peace the right wing was threatening war. They tried to destabilize the country through a series of terrorist attacks and many of them ended up behind bars. Today the Afrikaner Weerstands Beweging and other right wing organisations such as the Bond van Boere- Krygsgevangenes are pleading for amnesty for these right wing prisoners. They claim that, like the ANC they too were engaged in a political struggle for freedom.Full Transcript and References
43:56The Afrikaner Weerstands Beweging was founded by Eugene Terreblanche and a handful of others in Transvaal in 1973. It was launched in direct opposition to the National Party, because its members found the NP’s race policy too liberal. Terreblanche and his neo-Nazi organisation also believed that the Afrikaner was a chosen people of God. // ‘Lank leef die Afrikanerdom’ // By the mid 1980s the AWB was fast gaining a reputation for political thuggery. They disrupted National Party meetings and heckled speakers around the country. In the 1990s, after the unbanning of the ANC, SACP, PAC and other organisations the AWB started flexing its military muscle and threatened the government with war if the ANC ever came to power. // ‘The intention of the ANC is to destroy my people, to destroy everything in sight. My message to the ANC don’t try to put your hands on this fatherland, we paid to dearly for it.Full Transcript and References
45:57In 1994 on the eve of South Africa’s first democratic election there were a spate of bombings and acts of sabotage. This was a last desperate bid by the right wing to create chaos in the country. // ‘If they want the bombings to stop then they must recognize people’s rights of self determination so that each volk can rule themselves. And I say today with great certainty, if we don’t get a republic then South Africa will look like Guy Fawkes within a month. The Boers will burn the entire country.’Full Transcript
46:40Many of the right wingers who planted bombs and committed other acts of terror were speedily arrested. At least 50 of them are still in jail today. Now the AWB and the newly formed ”Bond van Boere-Krygsgevangenes” [Association of Boer Prisoners of War] want the TRC to speed up the amnesty process for their so-called prisoners of war.Full Transcript
47:00I think the AWB is testimony to the struggle. The AWB has rescued the self respect of the volk by not giving away without honour that which is holy and precious without resistance. My volk’s history is a path of struggle, of struggle and resistance. // Myself and other Boer prisoners of war who are in prison feel that we have actually wasted a lot of our time in the AWB. As far as I am concerned I threw my life away by working for the AWB. We made a lot of sacrifices. At this point we would like to distance ourselves from the AWB.Full Transcript
47:58Dries Kriel has come a long way with Terreblanche. He was a brigadier in the AWB until Terreblanche kicked him out of the organisation two months ago. The trouble started when Kriel handed the TRC a submission on behalf of Terreblanche and the AWB, but Terreblanche later denied ever having seen the document.Full Transcript
48:19Dries Kriel does not have a seat on the general staff he also has no access to any other faction of the head office. The part he played was minor, and even that which he had, has also gone. I don’t want to talk about him anymore, it’s gossiping. I don’t talk about old aunties.Full Transcript
48:38There’s clearly a lot of bad blood between these two Afrikaners. Kriel now calls his former leader a coward who incited his young supporters to go out and commit crimes and then left them to rot in jail.Full Transcript
48:50I never deserted anyone. On the contrary I am prepared to give my life for the ideals to which I have chained myself. The ideals, namely, the achievement of our own free independent Boer republic. I’m willing to give my life for friends in the struggle.Full Transcript
49:15Look, I myself have been involved in different bombings. I myself was in command of a region and I gave many orders to sabotage. I established cells, I spoke from platforms … so I do feel responsible co-responsible for the people who are in the prisons. Because I was part of it I feel that I must take the responsibility to give testimony to the people other than the top structures of the AWB Mr. Terreblanche who they say never did anything wrong.Full Transcript
50:04I can’t take responsibility for acts that were not orders from the Generals. My position in the movement is that I am the political leader of the AWB. The ‘Wenkommando’ however falls directly under the general staff they receive their instructions from this staff … I’m not responsible for that. I have never interfered in the paramilitary actions of the general staff.Full Transcript
50:37Dries Kriel visits the prisons regularly and says the prisoners have given his new organisation Die Bond vir Boere-Krygsgevangenes a mandate to speak to the TRC on their behalf. But both he and Terreblanche claim to represent the fifty right wing prisoners.Full Transcript
51:00Dries Kriel and Eugene Terreblanche and their other colleague Gen Olefse said to us that it took some agonizing before they came but they realized that in a sense they reached the end of a line, they spoke of a cal de sac, that they had either to go back to the streets to plant bombs or they had to trust the TRC.Full Transcript
51:19I am not at war with the TRC. I hope and trust that they will do everything in the power to remove the injustices. The injustices in which few right wing members have received amnesty and where thousands of ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe members were not even charged and others of course were set free while Boers still sit in prison.Full Transcript and References
51:50Many of the residents in this land compare us to a bunch of racists who go out to assault people. I think the time has come for us to break away from that. We want to live in peace with the other people of this nation. We want to create a future for our children and our grandchildren. Full Transcript
52:15 In a sense its rather ironic that in a time when Mr PW Botha doesn’t want to come to the TRC that some of the more right wing people are wanting to come to the TRC and I think we owe them that they should have a hearing, or an event where they can put their case. Also for the sake of reconciliation it was very important that they came, because in a few months time the work of the Truth Commission officially will stop. The doors will close but the whole journey of reconciliation has to start and we need them on that journey.Full Transcript
52:50Not so, says Terreblanche. There will be no journey of reconciliation until all political prisoners are free. // I not only have a problem with my people but with all political prisoners. If the government really wants freedom and peace in South Africa then they should release those leaders who are in jail. The AWB and other right wing organisations did not make themselves guilty of any terror during the term of this government. Nevertheless its people still sit in jails. That’s a recipe for conflict and revolution, not for peace.Full Transcript
53:3553 year old Terreblanche has himself applied for amnesty for stashing dangerous weapons and explosives. His also asking for amnesty for the 1978 feathering and tarring of university professor Floors van Jaarsveld who questioned the sanctity of the vow of Blood River. Terreblanche also wants amnesty for the so-called battle of Ventersdorp when AWB supporters armed with teargas and fire arms disrupted FW de Klerk’s political meeting in Ventersdorp. The AWB clashed with the police. At least three people were killed and scores were injured.Full Transcript
54:18I think it was a mistake; we should have read our opponents more carefully and rather stayed away from there. I never thought Boer would shoot Boer. It was a great shock. De Klerk is a tragic example in the history of the Boer volk. Full Transcript
54:39Just like he’ll never forgive De Klerk for entering power sharing negotiations with Nelson Mandela Terreblanche vows that he will never accept the ANC government. He still wants his whites only volkstaat and his rhetoric has not changed with the times.Full Transcript
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