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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 2 of Episode 1

01:56This policeman will tell in chilling detail how he helped murder the husbands of three of the widows who gave evidence this week. They said they would only be able to make peace with their loss once they knew how their husbands had died and who had killed them. Let’s listen to their stories. Full Transcript and References
02:12Monica Godolozi, Elizabeth Hashe and Lumali Galela are the widows of three leaders of the Port Elizabeth Black Civic Organisation, the men known as the Pebco Three. During the early 1980s, Qaqawuli Godolozi, Sipho Hashe and Champion Galela became targets of the security forces and their families suffered continuous harassment. // They last saw their husbands on the 8th of May 1985 when the Pebco Three mysteriously disappeared. They now accept that their husbands must be dead. Full Transcript
02:46I never buried my husband. My wish is that since they killed him and his friends I would like the Commission to investigate where they were killed, how they were killed, and why they were killed. We’d like to know the killers, the killers should come forward to confess, that yes, we killed them, we killed them.Full Transcript
03:10I am asking for assistance. I’ve never liked doing that. I’m a proud person. I still don’t like it. Now I would even ask for assistance from my enemy. Full Transcript
03:24I would like the Truth Commission to assist me. I would even like De Kock’s evidence to be followed up, because I’d like these people to reveal the whole truth. Full Transcript
03:36Tonight we will give the PEBCO family some answers. Colleague Jacques Pauw takes up the story. Full Transcript
03:42Vlakplaas, until recently the base of the police counter-insurgency unit. For 13 years Vlakplaas killed and assassinated anti-apartheid activists. In May 1985 an askari, a former ANC guerrilla that was turned by the security police, received an instruction from his commander.Full Transcript and References
04:09De Kock gave instructions that we should go and help Port Elizabeth Police, because there were some chaps that were making Port Elizabeth ungovernable and those people had to be eliminated.Full Transcript
04:20The people who had to be killed were three United Democratic Front activists: Qaqawuli Godolozi, Sipho Hashe and Champion Galela. They led the Port Elizabeth Black Civic Organisation the so-called Pebco Three. In March 1985 they had organised the three day stay away in the Eastern Cape. Their campaign played a major role in making the region ungovernable. In the 8th of May 1985 the Pebco Three disappeared. They were never seen again. To this day their disappearance has remained a mystery. But now, Joe Mamasela has decided to talk. For several years during the 80’s Joe Mamasela was based at Vlakplaas; he says his job was to kill anti-apartheid activists.Full Transcript
05:27How many people have you killed as a security policeman? // Well, as an individual it’s hard to say how many, but collectively we killed between 30, 35. // Why did you kill these people? // It was instructions from the head office, instructions from immediate commanders. // People like De Kock? // People like De Kock, and if you don’t do these killings, they kill you.Full Transcript
05:52His commander in 1985 was Colonel Eugene de Kock. He is now on trial in the Transvaal Supreme Court on more than a hundred charges ranging from murder to fraud.Full Transcript
06:07The story of the disappearance of the Pebco Three starts on that day in May when they received a mysterious phone call from a so-called British diplomat who had to be fetched at the H. F. Verwoerd airport in Port Elizabeth.Full Transcript
06:26On 8 May my husband came home with Mr. Hashe from their offices and he was carrying food so that I can prepare that for him and he told me that they have to rush to the airport for the British consulate. Full Transcript
06:41A baggage handler at the airport saw the men arrested by the police and taken away. I was looking through the window, it was a big window. I could see well through it. There were the police; they were in two groups. Then I saw the police, they were wearing the camouflaged uniform. They put Godolozi in the police van and his friends in another van. They also drove away in Godolozi’s van.Full Transcript
07:17Nothing was ever heard of the three men again. Police said Norman Fesi had lied and that the Pebco Three had probably left the country. Full Transcript
07:28What happened there was we went to Port Elizabeth security police, we were briefed by the security police of Port Elizabeth to a certain extent that a certain Botha was phoned by the Pebco Three and they wanted some financial help from him. And this Botha reassured them that he will contact his British contact, a certain Mr. Charlson, if I recall well, who will back them up with finance. And the Security forces have bugged their telephone and they intercepted that message and one of the security forces, an English speaking guy, after some few days, he phoned them back … he phoned the Pebco Three … and he pretended to be Mr. Charlson. And he told them that he was at the H. F. Verwoerd airport and he cannot go to the township, he does not know how to go there, he will get lost. And this people told him, assured him that they will come and pick him up at the airport. But I’m telling you that was a clear, clear, clear operation, because, a professional operation, because from Sipho ...moreFull Transcript
10:38According to Mamasela the Pebco Three were driven to this old police station outside Cradock. It was known as Post Chalmers.Full Transcript
10:49 The Pebco Three were driven to a farm house that was turned into a police station long time ago but it was no more used. And they were driven there, they were put into a, what we call an animal shelter, it’s like a big long garage. They were put there for the evening, but they were interrogated first. And the first thing in the morning, at about 9 am, the joint security forces of Cape Town came in. That was Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, and Cradock, they just came in there and they started interrogating these people. And the first person to be interrogated was Sipho Hashe. // How were they interrogated? // It was brutal. It was what in Afrikaans people called ‘broekskeur’. It was terrible. // Were they tortured? // They were tortured severely, they were savaged; they were brutalized. // What was your role in the torture? // My role was to strangle them and to stifle them so they couldn’t make enough noise, because there were some neighbouring farmhouses nearby. So, we carried out ...moreFull Transcript
12:43The two security policemen implicated by Joe Mamasela in the disappearance of the Pebco three are Colonel Roelf Venter and this man, Colonel Gideon Niewoudt. He refused to be interviewed this week, but said in a statement from his lawyer that he was in no way involved in their disappearance or death. But, says a senior military officer, I conducted operations with Niewoudt… // Gideon Niewoudt worked in the operation I was the coordinator of, in ‘86 onwards in the Eastern Cape. Their total brief was to go out at night, to pick up known individuals involved in the United Democratic Front, or their alternative leadership structures. They would kidnap, middle of the night, kick down doors, take the individuals they want, take them back to the complex and then interrogate them up to the third degree. // What do you mean by third degree? // Well we made use of … half drownings, electric shocks, tubing: a favourite term that where you step someone’s face into the inner of a car tyre ...moreFull Transcript
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