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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 2 of Episode 41

01:00In 1991 PAC’s military high command launched operation ‘Great Storm.’ Farmers and their families started dying on the Free State and Eastern Cape platteland [countryside]. One of those who died was the elderly Mr. JJ Fourie. He was ambushed by four APLA members late one afternoon here at the gate to his farm, ‘Stormberg’ in the Verkeerdevlei district.Full Transcript and References
01:35We took different strategic positions. He came back from town at about six o’clock. When he stopped at the gate I called upon the ‘Great Storm’ soldiers in my company as their commander so that they should be on the alert. On his arrival, after opening the gate as he, Mr. Fourie, went back to the car I attacked him with a gun. After he had fallen I called upon Magoda and May to come and pick him up and put him into some bushes nearby. I called Mr. Petrus Nkgwedi to catch the white woman.Full Transcript
02:20Mr. Fourie’s female companion, Mrs. May, was not killed but taken back to the homestead and assaulted. The four men then robbed the house.Full Transcript
02:33We found the fire arms, the two fire arms. There were three, including ours. We also took clothing and we took old coins. // The car was to be sold in Lesotho so that the money that we get from that should be used to buy arms in order to further the struggle for APLA. // So, the money remained with you, the clothing remained with you, the motorcar remained with you. What about the camera you stole? Where did that go? // We do not associate ourselves with stealing. // I’m not asking you to make a political speech. I’m asking you for the facts. Did these articles remain with you people? // Yes…no, they were in the car.Full Transcript
03:49Hendrick Leeuw received the death penalty for this offence. So did Meshack May. Petrus Nkgwedi was sentenced to 26 years in prison and Daniel Magoda to 22 years. Now the four want amnesty for the murder and the robbery that took place that afternoon. They say they were simply carrying out orders from the APLA commander and that the murder and the robbery had a very specific political motive.Full Transcript
04:19Our objective was to reclaim the land so that it could be given back to its original owners, the African people. // The farmers…you must understand that they form part or they were part of the oppressors at that time, because the farmers, you could actually define them twofold: they can be police reservists or army reservists; they are the people who were always ready for call-ups.Full Transcript
05:05But why was Mr. Fourie specifically targeted? Two of those who carried out the attack say they and their families had lived and worked on Stormberg farm and that they knew Mr. Fourie well. Was he a simple military target with a political motive or were there elements of personal revenge to the attack?Full Transcript
05:28Every morning when he found us in the stores he wanted us to say, ‘good morning sir,’ but I wanted to know why doesn’t he greet us first because he found us there as Africans. He should greet first. We used to fight over that because he wanted me to greet him first and say ‘good morning sir,’ ‘môre baas.’ Briefly, for he didn’t have a good relationship with the Africans, because he had a big role in the oppression of the white people. I personally know this, I saw this myself, because most Africans were complaining about Fourie’s handling. Even my own father stayed with him a long time and he was crying, because the cows that he for himself took from him. Full Transcript
06:40All farmers are not the same. Some of them have sympathy for Africans. For example within the PAC there are farmers who understand our policy, who work hand in hand with the PAC, the right way. Such farmers are known, especially those that are not harsh to Africans and as a result would not be attacked easily. I used to stay at Fourie’s farm. He used to have bad human relations with his workers, but as a soldier I cannot use the fact that I knew him as an excuse.Full Transcript
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