“I Saw a Nightmare…”
Doing Violence to Memory: The Soweto Uprising, June 16, 1976
by Helena Pohlandt-McCormick
<< Go Back

The Narrative: Police

1

Warning 1: Late in the afternoon of the day before, June 15, 1976, Bantoesersant (Bantu sergeant) Joel Masopha was at his home in Meadowlands, Soweto, when his son, Moses, reported to him that five African men, Bantoemans, had come to his school in Orlando-North to speak to the schoolchildren. That same night he called Lieutenant Colonel Kleingeld with the information. (See: Police statement by Joel Masopha.)

Morning: The morning of June 16, 1976, at 7:45, Police Sergeant Joel Masopha relayed the information his son had given him to Lieutenant Brand, who sent him to investigate whether there was any "moeilikheid" (trouble) among the black schoolchildren. In Xorile Street, no more than a mile from Orlando West High School, he and his men came upon a few hundred schoolchildren, "seuns and meisies deurmekaar" (boys and girls mixed up). He gave the order to turn back and reported what he had seen to Lieutenant Brand waiting at the Orlando police station.1 (See: Police statement by Joel Masopha; Anonymous Witness 1 Cillié Testimony, September 1976.)

Participation: In most cases, predictably, the police tried to underplay the universality of the grievances that had brought the children onto the streets, arguing that the percentage of people who actually took part in the uprising was small and that people had felt compelled by mass hysteria or threat rather than by political motivation:2

Baie van hulle was natuurlik opgesweep, hulle het sommer massa histeries gehad en hulle het net aangesluit by die optog. Daar is baie van die mense wat ek ondervra het, mense wat my kom sien het, afvaardigings wat my kom sien het, dat ek vir hulle die vraag gestel het waaromtrent gaan dit, dat die mense nie in staat is om vir my te sê waaromtrent gaan dit. Hy het deelgeneem aan daardie optog, hy het deelgeneem aan die vernietiging van hierdie gebou, maar hy weet nie eintlik nie, hy het gedink hulle wil net drank kry of wat ook al uit die bottelstoor uit… Ek het van die mense self ondervra wat aan my erken het dat as hulle nie daar deelneem nie, dan word hulle om die lewe gebring of word aangerand.
Many of them were of course incited, they had mass hysteria and they just joined the march. There were many of those I questioned, people who came to see me, delegations that came to see me, whom I asked the question what this was all about, who were not able to say what it was about. He took part in this march, he took part in the destruction of that building, but he doesn't really know, he thought they were going to get alcohol or something like that out of the bottle store… I questioned some of those people myself who admitted to me that if they had not taken part, then they would have been killed or assaulted.
What's this?

Leaders: The police were preoccupied with identifying who had led or instigated the uprising:

5
Lt.-Kol. Kleingeld: … die kinders of die skare van plus-minus 1,000 tot 2,000 was saamgetrek voor die Orlando-Wes Hoërskool. Die eerste waarneming was dat daar 'n Bantoe man voor die skare stelling ingeneem het. Hy het 'n kierie in sy linkerhand gehad en wat vir my na 'n halwe baksteen gelyk het in sy regterhand. Hy het rondgedans en gespring en die skare opgesweep. Dit het vir my nou baie duidelik geword as gevolg van die geskreeu veral, dat die toestand baie plofbaar is.

Dr. Yutar: Hierdie Bantoe man was hy een van die skoliere of was hy 'n volwassene?

Kleingeld: Ek mag net hier sê dat ons sal later daarby kom, maar ek het hom geskat so 20, 21, 22 jaar, dit was 'n volwasse Bantoe man. Hy was later deur 'n patoloog toevallig sy ouderdom geskat op 26 jaar, maar dit is die Bantoe man wat heel voor gestaan het met die kierie en die ander opgesweep het. Almal het rond gespring en geraas en geskreeu, eers 'n paar enkeles agter hom en dan weer so 'n meter of wat agter hom die massa. Ek het gemerk dat daar verskeie volwasse Bantoe mans tussen die skare was. Ek het ook opgemerk dat baie in die skare nie in skooldrag was nie.
Lt. Col. Kleingeld: … the children or the crowds of plus-minus 1,000 to 2,000 was gathered in front of Orlando-West High School. he first observation was that a Bantu man who took up position in front of the crowds. He had a stick in his left hand and what looked to me like half a brick in his other hand. He danced and jumped around and whipped up the crowd. It was very clear to me then, especially because of the screaming, that the situation was very explosive.

Dr. Yutar: This Bantu man, was he one of the students or was he an adult?

Kleingeld: I may just say here that we will get to this later, but I judged him to be around 20, 21, 22 years; he was an adult Bantu-man. Later a pathologist guessed he age at 26 years, but it was a Bantu man who stood right in front with the stick and who whipped up the others. Everyone was jumping around, making a racket and screaming, first a few singly behind him and then about a meter or so behind him, the crowd. I noticed that there were several adult Bantu men in the crowd. I also noticed that many in the crowd were not in school uniform…3

(See: Kleingeld Cillié Testimony, September 1976; Kleingeld Police Statement, June 1976.)

Matthee: [Hy] was baie duidelik een van die leiers van die groep daar hy heelvoor beweeg het en 'n kierie in sy linkerhand en 'n gedeelte van 'n baksteen in sy regterhand gehad het. Hy het ook voortdurend gebare met sy arms gemaak en gepraat… Ek het gemerk dat hy gekleed is in 'n vaal broek en swart bostuk…
Matthee: [He] was very clearly one of the leaders of the group as he moved at the very front and had a (knob)stick in his left hand and part of a brick in his right hand. He also continuously made gestures with his arms and spoke… I noticed that he was dressed in a beige pair of pants and a black top…4
What's this?

(See: KJD Matthee police statement.)

Confrontation: Lieutenant Colonel Kleingeld was in charge of the police who confronted the students in Vilakazi Street. A first look at the group had convinced him that the children seemed "opgesweep" (swept up) and aggressive and that it would not be possible to talk to them. At the inquest into the deaths of victims of the uprising, police witnesses described the crowd as a "waansinnige horde" (insane horde) and a "geweldige oormag van waansinnige, moordlustige en totaal onbeheerbare skares, plunderaars en oproermakers" (violent overwhelming force of deranged, murderous and totally uncontrollable crowds, plunderers and agitators).5 From their aggressive stance he surmised that the demonstration was out to damage property and even endanger lives.6 He turned around and returned to Orlando police station:

My terugkeer was daarop gemik om die nodige versterkings te verkry asook middele wat gebruik kon word om 'n skare uiteen te dryf.
My return was designed to get the necessary reinforcements as well as things that could be used to drive the crowds apart.7
What's this?

(Kleingeld Cillié Testimony, September 1976; Kleingeld Police Statement, June 76.)

Warning 2: Hattingh saw that Kleingeld and the black officers made hand signals, which he assumed were intended to compel the crowd to move back and disperse. The crowd paid them no heed and continued to move forward:

Daar was nog steeds klippe na ons geslinger. Die skare was nou naby en ons moes weg koets om nie raakgegooi te word nie.
Stones were still being hurled at us. The crowds were now close by and we had to duck away not to be hit.8
What's this?

(Hattingh Police Statement June 76 Transcript; Document Images)

10

Tear Gas: But "die traanrook het niks gehelp nie, die skare het van die traanrook granate na ons terug gegooi" (the teargas did not help at all, the crowds threw back some of the teargas grenades at us).9

(Hattingh Police Statement June 76 Transcript; Document Images)

Shooting: Johannes Augustinus Kleingeld, testimony (1976) before the Cillié Commission, September 14, 1976:

Dit was seker 10:30 tot elfuur plus-minus. Ek is nie presies seker nie, maar dit was omtrent 10:30-elfuur. Ek wil nou net byvoeg dat ek is bewus en op hoogte met die toepassing van die warskuwing soos voorgeskryf in die Wet op Oproerige Byeenkomste, veral Artikel 7 en met dit in gedagte het ek, nadat ek voor my voertuig stelling ingeeem het, albei my hande in die lug gehou en geskreeu "wait" en in hulle eie taal "khahle" het ek geskreeu. Dit was onmoontlik dat iemand dit sou hoor en dit het geen uitwerking op die skare gehad nie. In toepassing van die bepalings van die genoemde wet was dit nou vir my absoluut onmoontlik en dit was vir my nie uitvoerbaar nie. Die rede hiervoor is die aanval van die kant van die skare met klippe en die oorverdowende lawaai as gevolg van die skare se geskreeu. Aangesien die traanrook nie die gewensde uitwerking gehad het nie, was nou besluit om met die honde en 'n knuppel aanval op die skare te loods en uit mekaar te dryf. Die doel was om die skare terug te dryf en om tyd te wen vir hulp om op te daag.
It must have been 10:30 to eleven plus-minus. I am not completely sure, but it was about 10:30-eleven o'clock. I just want to add that I was aware of and up-to-date on the use of warning as directed in the law on Unruly Gatherings, especially Article 7, and with that in mind, after I took up position in front of my car, I put both of my hands into the air, and I shouted "wait," and in their own language "khahle," I shouted. It was impossible that anyone would have heard and it had no effect on the crowd. Following the stipulations of the law I mentioned, was absolutely impossible then and it was just not doable. The reason for this was the attack from the side by crowds with stones and the ear-splitting noise that was the result of the crowds' screaming. Since the teargas did not have the hoped for results, it was decided to launch an attack with the dogs and a baton charge against the crowds and to drive them apart. The goal was to drive the crowds back and to win time for help to show up.
[O]ns was [in gevaar]—ek wil net daar verduidelik dat—net die toneel so min of meer vir u beskryf, dit is ongelukkig so dat die straat aan die linkerkant is daar 'n streep huise, aan die regterkant is die skool, klipkoppietjies, en nog huise, daar is nie 'n pad na regs uit nie. Direk onder, die enigste uitweg onder het die skare gestaan. So ons kon nie beweeg nie. Ek het op een stadium die voertuie probeer—dit is na die klipgooiery in hewigheid toegeneem het, het ek probeer om die voertuie om te draai, maar die minuut as jy roer, het hulle jou so onder klippe gesteek dat jy moes ten alle koste—ek moes ten alle koste moes ek 'n wakende oog oor die skare hou en ons moes daar voor uitkom, ons het nie ander pad gehad om daar uit te kom nie.
[W]e were [in danger]—I just want to explain, just describe the scene for you more or less, it is unfortunately that the street on the left hand side has a line of houses, on the right hand side is the school, a rocky hill, and more houses, there is no road out of there toward the right. Directly below us, the only way out below us was where the crowd stood. So we could not move. I tried at one point to turn the vehicles—that was after the stone throwing got worse, I tried to turn the vehicles around, but the moment you moved, they pelted us with stones so hard that you had to at all costs—I had to at all costs keep a watchful eye over the crowd and we had to forward to get out, we did not have another way to get out of there.
Ja-nee, ons was in dodelike gevaar. Ek het om hulp gevra en die ander voertuie kon nie—ek kon nie die plek waar on was baie mooi beskryf nie en ander patrollies, soos majoor Viljoen hulle, het ons probeer bereik want daar was toe al—die voertuie was toe al stukkend gegooi, sekere van die lede was toe al beseer met die klippe en ek het toe om hulp gevra. Soos ek sê, ons moes daar uitkom en ons moes daar voor uitkom, daar was geen ander uitweg kans nie.
Yes-no,10 we were in deadly danger. I asked for help and the other vehicles couldn't—I couldn't describe the place we were very well and other patrols, such as that of Major Viljoen and them, we tried to reach them because the vehicles were already damaged by stones, some of the officers were already hurt by the stones and I asked for help. As I said, we had to get out of there and we had to get out in the front, there was no other way out of there.
Ek het toe die [bevel gegee om 'n] knuppel aanval op die skare te loods en uit mekaar te dryf. Nou dit was gedoen deur kaptein Loubscher wat aam met my was van die Speurdiens. Hy het dit gedoen omdat op daardie stadium het die kinders om beweeg na die regterkant toe en aan die kante en toe die karre van daardie kant af begin bestook en ook die lede en die grootste groep was direk voor ons en hy het toe met 'n groot gesukkel die Bantoe lede daar uit gekry om 'n aanval te loods reg voor ons met die knuppels en ook met die polisiehonde en nog voordat hy 'n aanval geloods het, was ek genoodsaak om hierdie wat so met klippe gegooi het en vinnig nader te storm, het ek my pistool toe uitgehaal op daardie stadium en twee skote voor hulle verby geskiet in 'n poging om daardie terug te dryf terwyl hy met 'n knuppel stormloop voor ons aan die gang was. In elk geval, die lede het toe 'n knuppel stormloop uitgevoer op die grootste gedeelte van die skare en hulle het teruggeval. Die lede het na die stormloop teruggekeer na die voertuie. Ek het verneem, ek het dit nie self gesien nie, dat een van die honde doodgeslaan was. Ek het toe later vasgestel dat hulle een van die polisie honde doodgeslaan en gesteek het en ook probeer aan die brand steek het.
I then [gave the order to] launch the baton charge on the crowds to drive them apart. Now this was done by Captain Loubscher who was with me from the Criminal Investigations Department. He did it because at that point the children moved around toward the right side and the sides and then pelted the cars from that side and also the officers, and the largest group was directly in front of us and he then, with great difficulty, got the Bantu officers out there to launch an attack directly in front of us with the batons and also with the police dogs and even before he launched the attack, there were those who threw stones and stormed closer, and I was forced to get out my pistol and shoot two shots in front of them in an effort to drive those back while he was busy with the baton charge in front of us. In any case, the officers then conducted a baton charge on the largest part of the crowd and they fell back. The members of my force came back to the vehicles after the baton charge. I heard, I did not myself see, that one of the dogs had been killed. I later determined that they beat one of the police dogs to death and stabbed him and also tried to burn him.
15
Ek het gemerk dat die skare ook vinnig die lede volg na die voertuie en het afgelei dat die skare onder die indruk verkeer het dat die polisie nou vlug en dit was werklik so dat die minuut as jy roer of omdraai, dan storm hulle vinniger voerentoe en toe het die klipgooiery in veelheid toegeneem. Ek het ook gemerk dat ons heeltemal omring was. Die klip aanval het nou vanaf alle rigtings gekom—en dit het toegeneem. Dit was nou vir my baie duidelik dat die lede en veral die Blankes se lewens in gevaar was. Ek sal u sê hoekom ek dit sê. Van agter af was daar swaar voertuie reg teenoor die opening waar hulle deur beweeg het van die kant af, maar hulle het agter die muur uitgekom en alles op die karre hier voor waar die Blankes was, gemik. Daarom noem ek dit nou maar net dat dit het vir my die indruk geskep dat dit alles meeste in elk geval was op die Blankes toegespits. Die Bantoe lede hat agter die voertuie ingeklim en agter die voertuie geskerm weens die hewige aanval.
I noticed that the crowd also followed the members of my force quickly to the vehicles and I deduced that the crowd was under the impression that police were now fleeing and it was really like that, that the minute you moved or turned around, then they stormed forward and then the stone throwing increased in abundance. I also notice that we were completely surrounded. The stone attacks now came from all directions—and it increased. The it was very clear to me that lives of the members of the police, and especially those of the Whites were in danger. I will tell you why I say that. From behind there were heavy vehicles right across the opening through which they came from the sides, but they came from the behind the wall and they aimed everything at the cars in the front where the Whites were. That's why I mentioned this, because it left me with the impression that most of this was directed at the Whites anyway. The Bantu police climbed into the back of the vehicles and sheltered behind the vehicles because of the heavy attack.


Om nog 'n knuppel aanval te loods was onmoontlik want niemand kon my hoor nie en ek was nie in staat om Bantoe lede bymekaar te kry nie. Die enigste uitweg om lewe en eiendom te beskerm was om waarskuwingsskote in die lug af te vuur. Ek het vroeër my eerste twee skote geskiet. Ek het 'n verdere drie skote met my pistool oor en voor die—'n hele entjie voor hulle vasgeskiet. Dit het die gevolg gehad dat hulle ook vir 'n minuut gestuit het, want daar was nou vir ons geen ander manier om hulle weg te hou nie. Die Bantoe lede het in die voertuie gespring en die Blankes het daar gestaan en die ander Bantoe lede het—wat pistole gehad het, het ook daar by ons gestaan. Op daardie manier het ek toe vyf skote met my pistool, 9 mm pistool as waarskuwingskote na hulle geskiet. Dit het—die pistool het nie die nodige uitwerking gehad nie. Die aanval het nie afgeneem nie…
To launch another baton charge was impossible, since no-one could hear me and I was not in a position to get the Bantu police officers together. The only way out to protect lives and property was to shoot warning shots into the air. I had made two shots earlier. I shot another three shots with my pistol above and in front of—quite a bit in front of them. That had the effect that they stopped for a minute, because there was now for us no other way to keep them away. The Bantu police officers jumped into the vehicles and the Whites stood there and the other Bantu officers—those who had pistols also stood with us. In that way I then shot five shots with my 9 mm pistol as warning shots toward them. The pistol did not have the necessary effect. The attack did not diminish.
Enkele oomblikke hierna ten spyte van die skote, was die aanval weer geloods en ten spyte van ons haglike omstandighede was ek nog nie bereid om direk op die skare te vuur en sodoende van hulle te dood of te beseer nie. Ek het nie 'n bevel gegee om te vuur nie, maar daar het wel lede uit desperaatheid skote afgevuur. As bewys dat al die skote waarskuwingsskote was, is die feit dat geen lede van die skare geval het nie.
A few moments after this, despite the shots, the attack was renewed and despite our precarious circumstances I was not yet prepared to fire directly at the crowd and in so doing to kill some of them or hurt them. I did not give an order to fire, but there were indeed members of my force who, out of desperation, fired some shots. As proof that all the shots where warning shots, is the fact that no members of the crowd fell.
Na die sarsie skote het die skare vir 'n oomblik gehuiwer. Kort hierna is die aanval weer voortgesit. Dit was nou vir my duidelik dat die lewens van ons almal nou op die spel was en dat niks die skare sou stuit nie. Ek het daarop die Sten-masjiengeweer en twee magasyne geneem en kort sarsies na die regterkant oor en voor die skare verby gevuur. Ek sal verduidelik dat die wat so regs om gekom het, het so min ag geslaan op die pistool se skote, dat hulle kom agter die muur uit en dat met sy regterhand dan gooi hulle daardie klippe en dan skiet ek 'n sarsie hier voor hulle verby, dit het die effek gehad dat hulle 'n bietjie teruggeval het en die direk voor ons het ek voor my in die grond geskiet met die masjiengeweer op daardie stadium.
After the volley of shots, the crowd hesitated for a moment. Shortly thereafter the attack continued. It was now clear to me that all of our lives were at risk and that nothing would stop the crowds. Thereupon I took the Sten machine gun and two magazines and fired short volleys toward the right over and in front of the crowds. I have to explain that those who came from the right, paid so little attention to the pistol shots, that they came out from behind the wall and with the right hand then they throw those stones and then I fired a round just in front of them, and that had the effect that they fell back a little and directly in front of us I shot into the ground in front of me with the machine gun at that point.
Ek mag dit ook net noem dat die pistool het nie dieselfe demoraliserende uitwerking as wat 'n masjiengeweer het nie; die klank is nie dieselfde nie en ek het gehoop dat dit sou die uitwerking hê om die kinders weg te dryf sodat ek net kon uitkom sonder enige bloedvergieting.
I also just have to mention that the pistol did not have the same demoralizing effect at the machine gun, the sound is not the same, and I had hoped that it would have the effect of driving the children away so that I could just get out without spilling blood.
20
… ek het toe die Sten-geweer gevat en alles tesame, ek het die twee magasyne gehad, elke magasyn neem 32 patrone, en ek het uit die een magasyn 20 patrone op daardie manier afgevuur in sarsies. Alhoewel ek wetlike geregtig en gemagtig was om selfs van die skare te dood, was ek ten spyte van die Sten-geweer nie bereid om enige van die skare te dood of te beseer nie. Die lede wie gevuur het, het dit gedoen uit desperaatheid en 'n laaste poging om 'n gewisse dood vry te spring. Ek wil net daar verduidelik dat al sou ek ook 'n bevel gegee het om te vuur, sou hulle my nie gehoor het nie, weens die geraas, maar ek wou nie 'n bevel gee nie want as ek 'n bevel gege het van vuur, sou daar van miskien die Nie-Blanke lede tussen die skare in gevuur het en ek wou dit vermy het ten alle koste. Ek wou nie op daardie stadium bloedvergieting veroorsaak het nie en daarom het ek gedink ek sal die vuurdery en die skietery op myself neem.
… I then took the Sten-gun and all together, I had those two magazines11, every magazine takes 32 bullets, and I fired 20 bullets from the one magazine in that way in volleys. Although I was legally justified and empowered even to kill some of the crowd, I was, despite the Sten gun, not prepared to kill or wound anyone in that crowd. The members of my force who fired, did it out of desperation and in a last effort to escape certain death. I just want to explain that, even if I had given the order to shoot, they wouldn't have heard me, because of the noise, but I didn't want to give an order because if I had given the order to shoot, then perhaps some of the non-White members of my force would have shot into the crowd and I wanted to prevent that at all costs. I did not want to cause blood to be spilled at that stage, and that's why I thought I would take the firing and the shooting upon myself.
Nou-ja, ek het gevuur en die ander lede het toe ook uit desperaatheid self ook met rewolwers of pistole gevuur.
Well then, I fired and the other members of the force then also fired shots out of desperation with revolvers or pistols.
Daar was nie die minste twyfel nie dat ek was bewus daarvan dat daar op daardie stadium, soos ek reeds gesê het, duisende van hulle in aantog was na daardie selfde plek toe en dat as hulle hulle sou bereik het dan is ek bevrees was ons lewens nie 'n half sent werd nie. Die geraas en demoraliserende uitwerking van die Sten het die gewensde uitwerking gehad sodat die skare teruggeval het. Ek het onmiddellik bevel gegee dat die konvooi uit beweeg na die hoofstraat. Ek het gevoel dat ons was in 'n benarde toestand en al sou dit dan ook nou lyk of ons dan nou vlug, wou ek tog net die mense daar uit gehad het, die voertuie en die polisiebeamptes.
There was not the slightest doubt that I was aware at that stage, as I have said before, that there were thousands of them advancing toward that same place and that if they should have reached them our lives would not have been worth half a cent. The sound and the demoralizing effect of the Sten had the desired effect so that the crowds fell back. I immediately gave orders that the convoy move out to the main road. I felt that we were in a critical position and even if it would now look as if we fled, I did want to get those people out of there, the vehicles and the police men.
Op daardie stadium was daar al etlike polisie beseer, klippe teen die kop, waar bloed van die kop af gestroom het, teen die been gegooi het, die karre was stukkend gegooi, daar was baie min lede wat toe nog nie beseer of een of ander klein beserinkie gehad het as gevolg van die klippe nie en ek wou net die voertuie en die lede ten alle koste daar uit hê met die minste lewensverlies. Vir een of ander rede het hulle toe daardie pad—het hulle daar padgegee en ek het onmiddelilik vir die lede gesê spring in die voertuie en laat ons uit ry in 'n opening waar ons kan hergroepeer om die posisie dan beter dop te hou en te kyk wat gaan aan.
At that stage, several police men had already been hurt, stones against the head, where blood streamed off heads, against the legs, the cars were destroyed, and there were very few members of my force that had at that point not been hurt or had some kind of small wound as a result of the stones, and I just wanted to get the vehicles and the members of my force out of there at all costs and with the least loss of life. For one or the other reason they then gave way on that road and I immediately told my officers to jump into the cars and let us drive out into a space where we can regroup to watch the situation and to see what is going on.
Ek persoonlik het nooit gesien dat 'n persoon gedood of beseer was selfs nie. Ek het later verneem dat hierdie leier en opstoker wat voor met die kierie gestaan het, wel gedood was en dat 'n voertuig hom weggeneem het. Soos ek sê my uitsig was vir 'n rukkie belemmer en blykbaar het hy daar—is hy gedood. Hy is later behoorlik uitgeken as 'n Bantoe met die naam van Hastings Ndlovu. Dit is die persoon wat deur ons gedood was daar.
I personally never saw that a person was killed or wounded. I later heard that that leader or inciter that stood in front with the stick, was indeed killed and that a car took him away. As I said, my view was obscured for a little while and apparently he died there. He was later properly identified as a Bantu man by the name of Hastings Ndlovu. That is the person who was killed there by us.12
What's this?

(Kleingeld Cillié Testimony, September 1976; Kleingeld Police Statement, June 76; Kleingeld WLD Testimony)

25

Tsotsis: Colonel T. J. Swanepoel was the first member of the South African police to make explicit what he thought was a direct connection between the "tsotsi-element" and the violence in township communities:

Dit is so dat skoolkinders op 'n uitgebreide skaal deelgeneem het aan die onluste. Hierdie kantoor volstaan egter by sy menig dat die Bantoe jeug van Suid-Afrika gebruik is as 'n dekking en Afrikaans as 'n hefboom ten einde 'n goed beplande kommunistiese aanslag teen die gesag van die Staat van stapel te stuur en dat die Bantoe skoliere slegs gebruik is as die lont om die bom te laat ontplof: … Daar is ongetwyfeld op groot skaal gebruik gemaak, veral in die latere fase van die leeglêer en tsotsi elemente om verwoesting te saai. Ek wil net aanvoeg, ons het gister [27/9/1976] gevalle gehad waar 7 Putco busse se vensters uitgegooi was, maar dit was 'n geïsoleerde groepie skoolkinders van een besondere skool en ek dink nie ons moet dit as 'n algemene opstand of onluste beskryf nie, dit was geïsoleerd gewees…
It is true that schoolchildren on a broad scale took part in the unrest. My office, however, stands by its opinion that the Bantu youth of South Africa were used as a cover and that Afrikaans was used as a lever toward the end of launching a well-planned communist attack against the authority of the state and that Bantu students were used as the fuse to let the bomb explode… Without a doubt, use was made at a large scale, especially in the later phases, of the loafer and tsotsi elements to sow destruction. I just want to add that yesterday [27 September 1976] we had cases where 7 Putco busses' windows were smashed in, but this was an isolated group of schoolchildren from one particular school and I don't think we must describe this as a general unrest of riot, this was isolated…13
What's this?

(Alexandra Bus Window; Swanepoel Cillié Testimony, September 1976; Anonymous Witness 2 Cillié Testimony, September 1976.)


Notes:

Note 1: Joel Masopha, (sergeant, South African Police), statement, undated, SAB K345, vol. 86. back

Note 2: Schalk Willem Le Roux (brigadier, South African Police, Soweto), testimony, September 1976, SAB K345, vol. 139, file 2/3, part 1, Commission Testimony vol. 5. Le Roux was the division head for Soweto and had seen 30 years of duty. back

Note 3: Johannes Augustinus Kleingeld (lieutenant colonel, South African Police, Orlando), testimony, 14 September 1976, SAB K345, vol. 139, file 2/3, part 1, Commission vol. 4. back

Note 4: Kasparus Johannes Daniel Matthee (officer, South African Police), statement, 25 June 1976, SAB K345, vol. 86, part 6. back

Note 5: SAB K345, vol. 19 (Justice), case G/O 1371 (1976), Landroshof vir die Streekafdeling van Transvaal, Soweto; Judge, H. S. Van Zyl; Geregtelike Ondersoek van James Barron en Ander (inquest). back

Note 6: Johannes Augustinus Kleingeld (lieutenant colonel, South African Police, Orlando), statement, 29 June 1976, SAB K345, vol. 85, file 2/2/1/12/12, part 4. back

Note 7: Ibid. back

Note 8: M. J. Hattingh (sergeant, South African Police), statement, SAB K345, vol. 85, file 2/2/1/12/12, part 4. back

Note 9: Marthinus Johannes Hattingh (sergeant, South African Police, Soweto), statement, SAB K345 vol. 85, file 2/2/1/12/12, part 4. See also Cillié Report, 1:116: "Scholars used some of the grenades that had not exploded as missiles, and threw them back at the police." back

Note 10: Through this Afrikaans habit of speech, Kleingeld is emphasizing, despite the apparent contradiction, the yes. back

Note 11: Kleingeld repeats himself several times during the testimony, although it is unclear whether it is because he is nervous or because he wants to emphasize certain points. back

Note 12: J. A. Kleingeld (Lieutenant Colonel, South African Police, Orlando), testimony, 14 September 1976, SAB K345, vol. 139, file 2/3, part 1, Commission Testimony vol. 4. See also J. A. Kleingeld, testimony, 18 September 1978, Supreme Court of South Africa, Transvaal Provincial Division, Case No. K/P 281/78, The State versus W. W. C. Twala & 10 Others (the Soweto Eleven), pp. 98-114 and 149-185; copies of the transcripts of this case also available in SAB K345, vol. 50, part 59-60, court cases considered by the Cillié Commission. back

Note 13: Colonel Theunis Jacobus Swanepoel (South African Police Hillbrow), testimony, SAB K345, vol. 140, file no. 2/3, part 3, Commission Testimony vol. 16. There were no witnesses who were residents of Alexandra township who were prepared to come forward to testify before the Cillié Commission. No residents of Alexandra had submitted "verklarings," (statements) or asked to come forward. Swanepoelõs account is based on police incident reports for 1821 June 1976. back