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A listing of the episodes of the TRC Special Report series which aired every week between 21 April 1996 and 29 March 1998, produced and presented by Max du Preez.


The list provides a summary of each episode, and links to the sections within each episode. The sections are transcribed. The list is ordered chronologically, from the first episode screened, to the last.


Special Report - Episode Index

Showing 51 to 60 of 88
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EpisodeBroadcast DateDescription
5108 Jun 1997The first segment of this episode shows the meeting between Richard and Irene Motasi?s son, Tshidiso, and one of the policemen involved in the couple?s murder: Paul van Vuuren. The segment includes interviews with other members of the Motasi family. The following segment deals with the detention and torture of suspected informers Quatro in the ANC?s detention centre in Angola,, focusing on the mysterious death of MK commander Thami Zulu in Lusaka and the Commission?s inquiry into the case. The final segment covers the HRV hearings held in Leandra and Middelburg (3 and 4 June) and focuses on the disappearances of three MK cadres: Nokuthula Simelane, Barney Molokoane and Thabo Melato. Section IndexWatch Episode
5215 Jun 1997The first segment of this episode provides some background to the Crossroads informal settlement and the violent clashes between the traditionalist ?headmen? of Crossroads known as Witdoeke and the young, militant activists or Maqabane of its satellite camps. Victims gave testimony at the HRV Committee hearings held in Athlone (9 to 11 June) this week. We also hear testimonies from survivors and victims? relatives of APLA?s Highgate Hotel bombing and the Mdantsane bus boycott from the HRV Committee hearings held in East London (15 June). The Special Report rescreens footage from the June 16, 1976 student uprising in Soweto (and statements made by state politicians at the time) in commemoration of the day. The episode concludes with a formal apology made to the Association of ex Rhodesians who lodged a complaint against the Special Report for suggesting that the practice of incineration was brought to South Africa by the ex Rhodesian security forces. Section IndexWatch Episode
5322 Jun 1997The first segment of this episode focuses on the effects apartheid had on children and youth and features Graca Machel, an international expert on children and violence, speaking at the special children?s hearings held in Johannesburg (12 June). Also featured in this segment is a documentary on a self defence unit from Tokoza, The Tambo Boys: Children and War. The second segment focuses on the health sector hearing held in Cape Town (17 - 18 June) that examined human rights violations committed by health practitioners and includes a report on district surgeons? complicity in Steve Biko?s death. We are also introduced to the Human Rights Violations Committee members from the TRC?s Gauteng office, Joyce Seroke and Hugh Lewin. The final segment provides some background to the upcoming amnesty hearings of Chris Hani?s killers and includes interviews with Tokyo Sexwale and SACP General Secretary Charles Nqakula.Section IndexWatch Episode
5429 Jun 1997As the HRV Committee hearings concluded in Ladybrand this week(24 to 26 June), this episode looks back at 14 months of HRV hearings and presents ?a day in the life of the HRV Committee,? a behind the scenes look of a HRV hearing and includes interviews with TRC interpreters, Committee members and Archbishop Tutu. Section IndexWatch Episode
5506 Jul 1997This episode focuses on amnesty hearings held in Pietersburg (30 June to 4 July) where 14 policemen applied for amnesty for the killing of 6 MK insurgents, during a joint SAP/SADF ambush known as the Eendvogelpan killings. The segment includes interviews with relatives of the deceased who visited the site of the ambush after the hearings took place. The following segment comprises an update on the latest amnesty findings. Also included in this episode is a report on the children?s hearings held in Bloemfontein (June 24) and East London (June 18) that includes testimonies from youth who suffered detention, torture and shooting and from former rural schoolteacher Ellen Gaberone who gave evidence of the abuse of children in farming districts. Section IndexWatch Episode
5613 Jul 1997This episode focuses on the murder of American exchange student, Amy Biehl by PASO (Pan Africanist Student Organisation) members and the APLA attack on the St James Church in Cape Town. Perpetrators appeared before the Amnesty Committee in Cape Town this week (7 to 11 July). The segment includes interviews with survivors, relatives of victims and with APLA leader, Letlapa Mphahlele. The final segment examines whether these killings were racially or politically motivated in a comparison with race based killings committed by right wingers.Section IndexWatch Episode
5720 Jul 1997In this episode we are introduced to Jeffrey Benzien, the Western Cape policeman notorious for his wet-bag torture method. Benzien appeared before the Amnesty Committee this week for the torture of activists and killing of MK cadre Ashley Kriel and were confronted by some of his torture victims Tony Yengeni, Ashley Forbes and Gary Kruser. The Special Report team accompanied Benzien?s victims as they revisited Robben Island. In the following segment former special branch men Paul van Vuuren, Joe Mamasela and Tokkie Bezuidenhout speaks of torture methods used by the police. The final segment shows the meeting between two St. James Church survivors and one of their attackers, Gcinikhaya Makoma.Section IndexWatch Episode
5827 Jul 1997This episode focuses on the special hearings on prisons held in the Old Fort in Johannesburg (21 to 22 July). Veteran Robben Island prisoners spoke of slave working conditions, harsh physical treatment and violations by prison warders. In a segment on capital punishment, a former death row prisoner and prison warder spoke about their experiences and in her submission to the TRC, human rights lawyer Paula McBride described conditions in Pretoria Maximum Security Prison highlighting the racist manner in which the death penalty had been imposed. The following segment profiles Communist Party member and lawyer, Bram Fischer and includes his daughters? testimony on their father?s treatment in prison. In the final segment, a survivor and relative of a detainee who died in the ANC?s notorious Quatro camp spoke of the hard labour, torture and execution suffered by detainees. Section IndexWatch Episode
5903 Aug 1997This episode investigates compulsory military conscription, the war South Africa fought in Angola, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the documentary Borderliners: The Scars of War that includes interviews with former Koevoet soldiers, army medics and an international expert on PTSD.Section IndexWatch Episode
6010 Aug 1997The first segment of this episode focuses on the Caprivi Group, the 200 Inkatha men who were trained by the South African Defence Force in Caprivi in Northern Namibia in 1986. Special hearings were held in Durban (4 to 15 August) where five former Caprivi Group members gave testimony to the killings of UDF and ANC supporters. The following segment shows TRC investigators? search for and exhumation of the remains of missing ANC member Blessing Ninela from an unmarked grave in Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, pointed out by security branch operatives in their amnesty applications. The final segment comprises an update on the latest amnesty findings.Section IndexWatch Episode
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