|Hello. We as journalists have been reporting on the appearances of activists, guerrillas, soldiers and policemen before the Truth Commission week after week the last 18 months, but we ourselves could not escape the wide net of the Truth Commission because they are supposed to get as detailed a picture as possible of what went wrong in South Africa’s past. For three days this week the Truth Commission focused on the media during the apartheid years. If we had done our jobs properly would people today have been able to say about the horrors of apartheid ‘we did not know?’ Tonight we report on ourselves. We take a look at the SABC’s role as chief propagandists of the state, the police spies who infiltrated newspapers, the experiences of black journalists in a white dominated environment and the response of the media bosses. Let’s look at the SABC first. Television came to South Africa only in 1976. While the rest of the world was enthralled by the magic box the National Party ...more
|Clips from propaganda films. Censorship notes e.g. ‘Total embargo’ on Sharpeville documentary
|Full Transcript and References
|‘Wat ons gedoen het het ons vir Suid Afrika gedoen.’ [We did what we did for South Africa] // ‘Hierdie briljante man vervang die woord ‘apartheid’ met ‘afsonderlike ontwikkeling.’ Die herwonne vryheid is nou vyf jaar oud, ‘n Vryheid wat nie sonder moeite verwerf is nie.’ [This brilliant man replaces the word ‘apartheid’ with ‘separate development.’ The newly won freedom is now five years old, a freedom that did not come without hardship.] // ‘This land has indeed been acquired by blood and sweat and tears. All shall not be in vain. The spirit of tenacity of our forefathers is still ours. We are a proud nation. Our young men and women will be in the vanguard of any struggle for existence the future may bring. We have no fear. We love South Africa. This is our hand of hope and glory. We shall not fail her or any of those who depend upon us. Be of good cheer. The … through is there. We could not do otherwise. We have no other country, no other home. Here we ...more
|‘Intussen versterk Vorster sy stryd teen ondermyners. Op 11 Junie 1963 word ‘n klopjag op Arthur Goldreich se huis in Rivonia uitgevoer. Baie mense word in hegtenis geneem … vermoor ‘n verstandelike versteurde parlementsbode Dr Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd, die man wat allerwee bestempel was as die vader van Suid Afrika.’ [In the meantime Vorster tightened his battle on opponents. On 11 June 1963 in a raid on the house of Arthur Goldreich many people were imprisoned … Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd, called the father of South Africa is murdered by a mentally disturbed parliamentary messenger].
|‘This government will not be intimidated and instructions have been given to maintain law and order at all costs. Those educational institutions at which blacks are destroying their own amenities will be closed for an indefinite period. // Law and order in South Africa is more important to me than anything else.’
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|[Good evening and welcome to tonight’s programme. In Network tonight, an interview with General Coetzee, the Commissioner of the South African Police…] // [The General’s salute for General Coetzee, the Commissioner of the South African Police. He is often described as the enemy’s biggest but also most respected enemy. Some of South Africa’s most successful spies were his brain children. Secret agents like Gerhard Ludi and Craig Williamson were supported in great secrecy while they infiltrated communist parties and operated as far as Moscow]
|‘The ANC is being used as a first stage of a three part objective by the Soviets to control all of Africa’
|Well, we’ve stopped just this moment outside the ANC offices in London. You can see them vaguely, the green offices behind me over my right soldier.
|‘Former terrorists who defected from the ANC’ // ‘I was trained in Russia by the Russian soldiers, Russian officers who were training the other organisations. We were trained how to lay land mines, how to use …’
|‘This man, PW, is quite fearless, sometimes to a point that drives his security men to distraction. Threats, bomb scares, even two actual bomb explosions in Paris, but PW wants to go for a stroll in the Bois de Boulogne.
|‘He’s a very neat and a very tidy man. That is, I suppose, the reason why he always chooses and selects his own clothes.’
|‘Together through the years these men and their machines have provided an umbrella of protection and security which has now become virtually redundant. This because successful political processes are removing both the stigma and the suffering of a war which has cast a shadow over South West Africa / Namibia for the past 23 years.’
|‘Kyk ‘n mens terug oor die afgelope twee dae is dit veral die geesdrif and vasbeslotenheid van die SAP lede wat getref het.’ [When you look back over the past two days, one is struck by the enthusiasm and determination of the SAP members]
|[We are part of a winning team. Each of us is an important member of that team.]
|‘In a multitude of publications the ANC proudly demonstrates that it is inextricably involved in the business of violence and terrorism. The slogans are ‘Attack! Advance! Give the enemy no quarter!’ // So it’s not surprising that South Africa has not been spared the revolutionary abuse of children for political ends. News of children to try to fan the flames of violence has increased at an alarming rate over recent years. As with other revolutionary movements the use of child revolutionaries and their abuse has become an established strategy of the African National Congress.’
|PW Botha at SADF parade, horse riding, taking a stroll to national anthem die Stem
|It was so crude it was almost entertaining. On Monday, two of the old SABC’s news bosses, a board member and a black TV producer came to the Truth Commission to explain why it went so wrong.
|We regarded SABC till of course recently as what would one call an Afrikaner homeland. You had to have a correct surname to move up the ladder in terms of promotion as well as in terms of filling new posts as an outsider. If you were a black you would not even hope to be a lowest level manager.
|Being the public or state broadcaster we ran a greater risk of being taken to task, so we had to tow the line. As you can see Mr. Chairman, not an easy ride. Another important factor which affected the lives of journalists before 1994 was the constant pressure on us from politicians.
|Mister Chair, for a period of approximately one year, not quite a full year, in my capacity as chief editor in news strategy and environmental survey I was requested on a two weekly basis to attend a State Security Council sub-committee, the so-called STRATCOM committee. It is quite difficult to talk about this, because the impression had already been created in the media that STRATCOM would be behind many of the incredible deeds that were committed in the name of State Security.
|Full Transcript and References