The South African
Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Videotape Collection

at the Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Library






Basic Conventions Used

Tape #: number of tapes in collection

Episode #: episode number per SABC

To request a tape, refer to the episode number that is on the label. The episode number, rather than the tape number, is also the reference on the SA tape (along with the SA version of the date, i.e. dd/mm/yy)

Date: note that the South African date convention is dd/mm/yy, e.g. 5 September 1999 is 05/09/1999

Spelling: uses British/South African convention


Places, Incidents, Concepts

Violence by liberation movements: includes all liberation movements and/or their armed wings, i.e. ANC (MK), PAC (APLA)

Cross border operations: includes all activity in Southern Africa (such as Lesotho, Angola, Mozambique, Namibia) as well as overseas (such as London, Seychelles)

Actions such as torture, shooting, bombing etc are defined by default as those actions undertaken by the South African apartheid government. If actions were taken by others (such as liberation movements, vigilantes, IFP) they are specified by the name of the incident (e.g. Magoo’s Bar Bombing) and captured in the category “violence by liberation movements” or “vigilantes” etc

Victims are also defined by default as victims of South African apartheid government activities. If victims are victims of violence by others (such as liberation movements, vigilante actions, or gangs) they are designated as such



On the whole, individual names of people are followed by a designation of whether they are a victim or perpetrator. For those who suffered violations of human rights, such individuals are generally classified as a victim or relative (of a victim) and then further classified in terms of the kind of testimony offered in the episode: witness, interview, or mention. For those who committed human rights violations, such individuals are classified as perpetrator and then further classified in terms of the kind of testimony offered in the episode: witness, interview, or mention. If they apply to the TRC for amnesty, they are classified as such. If the Special Report provides information regarding the outcome of the individual’s amnesty application, a designation of granted or refused is included.

Victim: person who suffered a violation of human rights

Relative: person related to the victim who offers testimony or interview; exact relationship not specified

Victim or Relative Opposing amnesty: if victim or relative appears as witness or claims in an interview that they are opposed to the amnesty application of an individual

Perpetrator: individual named as such by themselves, a witness, or by Special Report

Amnesty applicant: individual tagged as such if information is provided; note some people may have applied for amnesty but not be described as such in this index if this information was not disclosed

Amnesty applicant ­ granted or refused: designated as such if this information was provided in the Special Report; note, some amnesty applicants were granted amnesty for some actions but denied amnesty for other actions and all decisions may not be reflected in this index; also, some decisions which were made will not be captured in this index if it was not mentioned

Witness: If testimony by individual at TRC is shown

Interview: If individual is interviewed by Special Report

Mentioned: If individual’s name is mentioned by witness, interviewee or reporter

An individual can be one of the above or all three depending on which episode you view.

Titles and organizational affiliation are captured when mentioned

The spelling of many names have been verified or spelled according to Special Report subtitles; however, some are based on phonetic interpretations and may not be exact. Also, for some names, there are multiple spelling options.

If the first name is unintelligible or not mentioned, the individual is tagged as Mr. or Ms.

Definitions of Abbreviations Used



African National Congress


Azanian People’s Liberation Army, military wing of the PAC [1]


Afrikaner Weerstands Beweging (Afrikaner Resistance Movement)


Civil Cooperation Bureau, covert security branch unit which also acted as a hit squad


Convention for a Democratic South Africa, first convened in December 1991 to discuss power sharing between the National Party government, the ANC and other political parties [2]


Congress of South African Students


Congress of South African Trade Unions [3]


Dutch Reformed Church also known as NGK (Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk) [4]


Foundation of African Business & Consumer Services [5]


Human Rights Violations hearings at the TRC


Inkatha Freedom Party


Mandela Crisis Committee, formed by UDF in response to the activities of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and the Mandela United Football Club [6]


Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”) military wing of ANC [7]


Member of Parliament


Pan Africanist Congress


Port Elizabeth Black Civic Organisation


Progressive Federal Party originally the United Party, official parliamentary opposition during Apartheid


Mozambique political party and resistance movement opposed to FRELIMO [8]


South African Broadcasting Company; television and radio


South African Council of Churches


South Africa Communist Party


South African Defense Force


South African Special Risks Insurance Association; originally established in the wake of the 1976 Soweto Uprising to cover potential calamities such as civil disturbances which normal insurers would not consider; funds demanded by some to help fulfill TRC reparations mandate [9]


Self Defense Unit; ANC aligned structure


Self Protection Unit; IFP aligned structure


South West Africa People's Organization active prior to Namibia’s independence [10]


United Democratic Front, umbrella anti-apartheid movement operating inside South Africa from early 1980s; generally seen to be aligned with the ANC [11]


Angolan political party and resistance movement [12]

Definitions of Names, Places, Practices:



ex-MK members who became state operatives[13]

Individuals who became collaborators with the state security forces, often after being captured and/or tortured

Kiswahili word for soldier [14]


Young political activists affiliated to the ANC

Death farms

Rural areas (literally farms) where apartheid third force/covert security force operatives killed and/or buried many anti-apartheid activists. [15] The TRC helped identify these areas and performed exhumations on behalf of the families of the deceased. See also hit squads such as Vlakplaas and CCB.


Title: Reverend in the Afrikaans church.


Accommodation for migrant workers in the urban areas; dormitory style, single sex, and overcrowded; often a place from which violence erupted between hostel dwellers and residents of informal settlements and/or townships [16]


Special Constables [17]

“The emergency period of the 1980s had seen the state appoint a large number of inadequately trained municipal policemen or “kitskonstabels” literally “instant constables” in a bid to crack down on political opponents. The municipal police, or “green beans” (named after the colour of their uniform), were notorious for their brutality and were more often vigilante groups than anything resembling a policing agency.” [18]


The burning to death of selected individuals, with the aid of inflammable liquid and/or motor tyres [19]

“Many of those killed [were] brutally executed by fire, a practice commonly referred to as necklacing, in which a tire filled with gasoline is placed around the victim's neck and set aflame. This vicious form of public execution is usually reserved for those black South Africans who are accused of collaborating with the government or refuse to cooperate fully with the activities of the terrorists.” [20]

Quatro Camp

ANC military detention camp in Angola, also known as Morris Seabalo Centre and/or Camp 32 [21]

Episodes Missing








Possible Good Teaching Episodes

45: overview of TRC process after first year of operations

46: Brian Mitchell (security policeman, amnesty applicant) face-face attempt to reconcile with Trust Feed community where 11 people were killed

54: HRV overview with snippets of testimonies by victims and highlights of some of the most emotional moments; “day in the life” of HRV hearings at TRC from perspective of victim and commissioners

56: amnesty application hearings on St James Church Massacre and Amy Biehl killing, both incidents of violence by liberation movements, includes footage of some face-face confrontations and attempts at reconciliation

57: Jeffrey Benzien (security policeman, amnesty applicant) testimony about methods of torture and some face-face confrontation at the hearings between Benzien and former victims

69A/B: Special Hearings on Armed Forces (the Police, the SADF, MK and APLA) including political motivations of APLA and assassination attempts by apartheid regime. (episode B slightly better than A)

70A/B: Special Hearings on the State Security Council with testimony by four former Cabinet Ministers. 70A covers issues such as orders to assassinate, assessing responsibility for gross human rights violations, and expressions of regret; 70B contains expressions of remorse and the assumption of responsibility by one former Cabinet member; this episode also contains an overview of the HRV hearings similar to episode 54.

71A: This episode contains a number of segments on amnesty hearings and the amnesty process generally, including statistics on amnesty applications and amnesties granted and refused; the criteria for the granting of amnesty; and the issue of remorse and repentance