Irving (right) arrives at Swakopmund airport --
on the edge of the desert -- during a 1989
speaking tour of southern
SMUGGLES POLICE TERROR FILM OUT OF
AUTHOR and historian David
Irving returned from South Africa this morning
Monday with sharp criticism of Sir Richard
Attenborough's film "Cry Freedom," and more:
gruesome secret film footage shot (or confiscated)
by the South African police and army during
counter-insurgency operations in the cities and
Black townships last year.
BETWEEN 1986 and 1992 I
toured South Africa several times speaking
to large audiences.
On one of these
tours, a Johannesburg woman, later a high
ranking diplomat, provided me with the two
secret videotapes referred to in this
press release. The originals were held in
Soweto police archives, used for training
greenhorn police officials on what they
might expect to confront.
The S.A. television of
course never showed such nightmare scenes
as these videos contained.
Several British public
schools accepted my offer and showed the
horrific films to Sixth Formers -- a good
example of Real History in action.
"These censored films have S.A. police stamps on
them," says Irving. "They include some of the
ugliest scenes that I have ever witnessed."
The Pretoria regime has never allowed the
release of such films. Irving obtained them from
dissident police officials in Natal province last
week who believe that although the footage often
shows the security authorities acting with undue
severity, it also grimly illustrates the
unprecedented terror methods used by the banned ANC
(African National Congress) and the UDF (United
Democratic Front), the ANC's political arm inside
South Africa. In one shot, "uniformed" UDF marshals
are seen hounding a Black man out of his cottage,
stabbing him to death, and hacking him with a meat
Irving proposes to make this authentic police
film archive available to a number of British
public schools for showing to selected Sixth
Formers taking classes in international politics.
"It will be up to individual headmasters to decide
if some of the scenes are too horrific," he says.
Other scenes include the ANC "necklacing" of a
Black woman whose hands have first been pinioned
with barbed wire; the rescue by security forces of
three badly mutilated Blacks who have been
sentenced by a UDF "court" to whipping and
"necklacing;" the shooting of an eight-year old
Black boy suspected of throwing a petrol bomb; and
extraordinary scenes of frenzied Black crowds, with
thousands of marching and whirling demonstrators
singing, brandishing weapons, and chanting the name
of Oliver Tambo, the ANC leader who first
endorsed its hardline tactics.
"If Attenborough has the stomach to see what
Black crowd scenes really look like in South
Africa," says Irving, "I'll be happy to lend him
this film footage."
Selected speeches by David
(see entry for Nov 20, 1987)