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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

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EpisodeBroadcast DateDescription
6117 Aug 1997This episode focuses on the Amnesty Committee hearings of Chris Hani?s killers, Janusz Walus and Clive Derby-Lewis (held in Pretoria). Derby-Lewis is cross examined by human rights lawyer George Bizos, questioning him on previously lying to the court and on whether the Conservative Party sanctioned the assassination, a prerequisite for amnesty. The episode also provides some background to the killing and its aftermath. Section IndexWatch Episode
6224 Aug 1997This episode focuses on the ongoing Amnesty Committee hearings of Chris Hani?s killers (held in Pretoria). George Bizos continued his cross examination of co conspirator, Clive Derby-Lewis this week and Hani?s assassin, Janusz Walus, finally took the stand. The final segment comprises an update on the latest amnesty decisions.Section IndexWatch Episode
6331 Aug 1997The first segment of this episode focuses on the amnesty applications of six APLA members heard in Bloemfontein this week (25 to 29 August). Their attack on Wesselsdal Farm was part of the PAC?s ?Operation Great Storm? launched during the negotiations era that targeted white areas and farmers in a quest to reclaim ?stolen? land. The following segment examines the root of conflict in KwaZulu-Natal, especially the role Caprivi trainees played in the ongoing violence - evidence of which emerged during the Caprivi Group Hearings (held in Durban, 4 to 8 August) and Caprivi trainees? amnesty applications for killings in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands (Pietermaritzburg, 28 July to1 August). The segment also includes interviews with widows from both sides of the Inkatha / ANC battle who talk about their loss. In the final segment Chilean writer Ariel Dorfman speaks to former Robben Island warder, Gerald Brand, now a caretaker at the Robben Island Museum.Section IndexWatch Episode
6407 Sep 1997This episode focuses on the covert military unit, the CCB implicated in the assassinations of David Webster, Anton Lubowski and Tsitsi Chiliza and the attempted assassinations of Albie Sachs and Jeremy Brickhill fore grounded this week with the arrest of CCB agent Ferdi Barnard. The episode also includes segments on former police spy and ANC detainee, Pat Hlongwane?s admission to lying to the TRC; on the kinds of abuse directed at detained women; and on the evidence of former police informer Nelson Ngo, who gave testimony during the Amnesty Committee hearings in Bloemfontein (1 ? 12 September 1997) implicating 23 security policemen in incidents of murder, attempted murder, torture and arson. The final segment covers the latest amnesty finding, questioning whether the motive for killing was political or racial. Section IndexWatch Episode
6514 Sep 1997The first segment investigates allegations that Winnie Mandela personally killed Stompei Seipei and ordered the killing of Abubaker Asvat and Lolo Sono. Former leader of the MUFC, Jerry Richardson, in an interview with Special Report disclosed killing Koekie Zwane on Winnie Mandela?s orders and being responsible for Stompie?s death. The following segment focuses on former Eastern Cape security branch members? requests for amnesty for killing Black Consciousness leader, Steve Biko (held in Port Elizabeth, 8 to 11 September). The segment includes interviews with Biko?s friends and relatives and the unveiling of a Steve Biko public sculpture by Nelson Mandela.Section IndexWatch Episode
6621 Sep 1997This episode reports on the media hearings held in Johannesburg (15 to 17 September) It focuses at the SABC?s role as chief propagandists of the state, including clips from the Verwoerd, Vorster and Botha eras? pro-state anti-liberation movement propaganda films. It also looks at the police spies who infiltrated newspapers, including interviews with former media spies John Horak, Vic McPherson, Craig Williamson and Craig Kotze. In the final segment we hear testimonies from journalists like Don Mattera speaking of the experiences of black journalists in white dominated newsrooms and the media bosses responding to allegations of discrimination and collusion with the apartheid state.Section IndexWatch Episode
6728 Sep 1997The main focus of this episode is the amnesty hearings held in Port Elizabeth (22 to 26 September 1997) where the men responsible for the abduction, torture and killing of activists Siphiwo Mtimkulu and Topsy Mdaka finally owned up to the killing, but denies poisoning Mtimkulu. In the following section the Special Report interviews Thabiso Mono, survivor of torture by the MUFC, who speaks of the abduction and assault of himself, Stompie Seipei, Kenny Kgase and Pelo Mekgwe.Section IndexWatch Episode
6805 Oct 1997The first segment of this episode reports on this week?s amnesty hearings held in Port Elizabeth (29 September to 3 October 1997). Former policemen involved in the Motherwell car bomb - that killed three fellow Eastern Cape policemen - gave testimony, including former Vlakplaas commander Eugene de Kock who delivered a frank testimony alleging the bomb was a cover-up and questioning the moral integrity of former generals and leaders. The following segment focuses on Zahrah Narkedien a former MK cadre, who speaks of the experience of solitary confinement. The episode also includes a report on the destruction of records kept by the state and security forces and a profile of Truth Commissioner and chairperson of the Reparation and Rehabilitation Committee Hlengiwe Mkhize. A segment on the poisoning of activists includes interviews with Frank Chikane and with Dr Francis Aims, who diagnosed Siphiwo Mtimkulu with thallium poisoning. In the final segment the Special Report responds to Winnie Madikizela?s accusations of spreading misinformation. Section IndexWatch Episode
6912 Oct 1997This episode focuses on the special hearing on Armed Forces held in Cape Town (7 to 10 October). APLA, MK, the former SAP and SADF presented their submissions to the TRC. APLA was questioned on their failure to distinguish between civilian ?soft? targets and ?hard? targets, thereby contravening international law. Apartheid?s last commissioner of police challenged the NP?s stance that it had never authorised human rights violations carried out by the SAP and the security police boss responsible for Vlakplaas confirmed that the NP leadership was aware of and never disciplined him for authorizing illegal actions. The SADF was less forthcoming especially on covert units like the CCB and DCC. Former Commander of Special Forces did however give evidence on Special Forces deployed inside the country to support the SAP in fighting government opponents. This segment includes a report on the killing of the Ribeiro couple ? a joint security branch and Special Forces operation ? and on the meaning of the word ?eliminate? debated by former policemen and commissioners. MK representative, Mac Maharaj, challenges claims made by former police commissioners that unconventional policing methods were only brought into practice in the 1980s to counter methods used by revolutionary forces. Section IndexWatch Episode
7019 Oct 1997This episode provides background to the special hearings on the State Security Council held in Johannesburg (14 October). Former cabinet ministers Pik Botha, former Adriaan Vlok, Roelf Meyer and Leon Wessels gave testimony at the hearing. Although they all expressed regret for past evils, Leon Wessels alone delivered an apology in which he admitted knowledge at least of illegal actions carried out by security forces. The following segment comprises an overview of HRV hearings and the final segment a report on the role that Intelezi, or muti, plays in the conflict in KwaZulu-Natal.Section IndexWatch Episode
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