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Special Report Transcript Episode 57, Section 4, Time 22:00

In 1993, just before the St. James thing what actually sparked that, what was the motive in the St. James attack? // I think it’s confusing for us because the talks were already taking place and the date for the election had already been set, so it was almost as if we were working together already towards peace. We’re just confused …. // As far as I know the situation in the country it was against anyone old and young, so I grew up seeing those things, people being shot, arrested, people running away from the country, going into exile. // Did you see anyone getting shot? // Many times. // What happened? // Peaceful demonstrations, students demanding their rights, the problem of funds, school fees, those years, ’85, ’84, demand of the release of Mandela, I mean not a violent demonstration, just peaceful demonstrations that’s how you see how the police they come and answer with a bullet. // So even you as part of APLA you didn’t feel that the country was heading towards any kind of reconciliation process? Did you feel it was a necessary thing to go and shoot? // What we have to understand is only one thing, there’s no one who have a right to kill anyone. // Do you believe that? // Yes. // OK. // Even that time I was involved in APLA operations I know that what I was doing at this moment, this time, it is wrong to kill people but the agenda is the reason. Why I took part in these APLA attacks is because of an understanding that the land of the African people was robbed from them, through the barrel of the gun. // Personally now, I know you were under command I mean as a soldier you have to obey, but personally if you had to go back and do it again do you think you would? Camera and everything aside, I don’t know… // As a soldier you obey orders, whether you see these people are praying or they are in a party as long as the commander says you have to shoot to kill, that’s what you do. Not that I was not having a problem, I was having a problem but I know an order, you don’t question an order. There is a time, after the whole thing, you have that chance to ask, why the church? Because even now I would like to know. // They were showing photographs of people and all the blood and everything and my father and my brother they were talking and they were saying, we don’t have any hatred, we forgive the killers. When you saw that, what did you feel? // I’m a human being, I have feelings. It was bad, but unfortunately it already took place, the people are already dead, no matter how I feel now at this moment that it was bad. There is nothing which I was going to do. // We don’t feel hate towards you, but we don’t exactly know how to feel towards you because we haven’t met you before. We can’t openly express now that we forgive what have happened, because it’s difficult for us. Because beforehand it was just always three men came in or two men came in and it was just a person, there was just a person there, and now this person has a face. // And you can be really angry with what happened; I hated what happened, I hated it. It was horrible, but I never felt anything about you. That’s why I actually wanted to meet you, just to find out, because of think something that has affected me so personally and changed my life, it affected me so much and you think, I wonder if anybody actually know who I am … to meet you and Martin, I wonder if the people who did this actually want to know what they done or whether they don’t really care. // Did you think about it? Do you wonder whatever happened to those people or how their lives were changed? // Many times I think about the stories I hear, the stories I read from books about the people who survived, Dimitri, many stories. As a human being, I think what I did is really horrible. It was very brutal, but there is only one thing which I know, it was the situation in the country. // Did you think it was necessary? // In a war, because what was happening here, we were in a war. // I’m glad that I met you. I’ve also been wanting to meet you for a long time. It’s important for me because I can now go home and think about what you say as well. I can now relate to you on a human, person to person basis and not just a figure. // It’s very important and it’s very meaningful to me, because it’s a certain relief, emotionally. There is a certain relief emotionally.

Notes: Gillian Schermbrucker; Liezl Ackerman; Gcinikhaya Makoma; Schermbrucker; Makoma; Schermbrucker; Makoma; Schermbrucker; Makoma; Ackerman; Makoma; Ackerman; Makoma; Schermbrucker; Makoma; Ackerman; Makoma; Ackerman; Schermbrucker; Ackerman; Makoma; Schermbrucker; Makoma; Ackerman; Makoma

References: there are no references for this transcript

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