History for the Future

Afrikaner who broke ranks with Nats says PW should have been held to account

Wynand Malan entered politics in 1977 and was elected as a National Party Member of Parliament. But Malan grew disillusioned, and became estranged from the apartheid regime under PW Botha in what he felt was a reign of terror.

In 1987 Malan resigned from the NP and a year later formed the national democratic Movement (NDM), which later formed part of a merger that became the Democratic party in 1989.

Journalist Pippa Green talks to him about leaving the national party, and his view that PW Botha should have been grilled at the TRC.

People were being detained, disappearing, and no one could ask any questions about security at the time, especially not to the President.

Wynand Malan, former TRC commissioner.

Nobody dared. They were dead scared of him, because he provided the shield.

Wynand Malan, former TRC commissioner.

Malan says it was a mistake not to hold PW Botha to account at the TRC hearings.

I still think it was a major mistake, an opportunity lost, when initially the TRC did not get PW Botha to give us a framework of his understanding of conflicts of the past. He answered some questions, but only late in the process.

Wynand Malan, former TRC commissioner.

History for the Future , is a series in which 13 TRC commissioners look back at the experience of the TRC from the first human rights violation hearing 20 years ago until the conclusion of the report. They explore strengths of the TRC and its weaknesses.

They also reflect on where we are now as a nation, and answer the critical question: where to from here?

Listen to this episode below, and click on CapeTalk or 702 to hear other episodes in the series.

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