How to Fend Off Hate

April 29, 2024 Bradley Steyn Season 1 Episode 5
How to Fend Off Hate
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How to Fend Off Hate
Apr 29, 2024 Season 1 Episode 5
Bradley Steyn

Bradley Steyn and Janet Smith talk to MK veteran and former Cabinet minister Charles Nqakula and Nicolette Kinnear, wife of assassinated top cop Charl Kinnear, as they connect on pursuing the truth when everything seems to be against you.

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Bradley Steyn and Janet Smith talk to MK veteran and former Cabinet minister Charles Nqakula and Nicolette Kinnear, wife of assassinated top cop Charl Kinnear, as they connect on pursuing the truth when everything seems to be against you.

Support the Show.

Thank You to our Sponsors :

  • FNB
  • BiB Africa's Library (My Bib)

End Music Provided by :

Contact Information :

Let's work together :

Grab a copy of the Book :

Undercover with Mandela’s Spies (audiobook version) available at BiB Africa's Library :

Download - App search for Mandela’s Spies

[Bradley Steyn]

My name is Bradley Steyn. I was born in Pretoria, South Africa. Growing up, I witnessed firsthand the brutality of hate and apartheid.

And as a teenager in 1988, I survived a massacre that would change the course of my life forever. And that's why I decided to take a stand and join the intelligence unit of Nelson Mandela's spy network. In the course of our dedicated efforts during that time, we successfully unearthed a sinister plot to assassinate Nelson Mandela at his 1994 inauguration.

This was a pivotal moment in South African history. Would we go into civil war? Would there be peace?

But it also marked a significant stride towards advancing human rights for all South Africans. Little did I know, a hit was placed on us. And I just managed to escape South Africa and find refuge abroad.

I used my experiences and my expertise and teamed up with leading security professionals, where I was fortunate enough to work with some of the most fascinating people in the world. Now I'm back in South Africa, ready to take on the rising tide of crime, murder, and corruption that has tainted South Africa's journey towards liberation and our democracy. Join me, Bradley Steyn, your co-host, along with journalist and author Janet Smith, and our special lineup of guests as we go undercover.

In this series, we will be declassifying our past, while we bring you the untold stories of our silent warriors, activists, and patriots. We'll also get a different perspective from our youth, where our democracy is today, 30 years later. Through these conversations together, we can shape the future we aspire to.

[Janet Smith]

Barend Strydom's racist massacre on a public square in Pretoria was one of the defining events of the last years of apartheid. It was November 1988. Global condemnation and international boycotts were finally grinding the world's supremacist outpost to a halt.

But even as expectations grew that there could be a peaceful transition to democracy, some, like Strydom, believed whites were being betrayed. The former policemen and army conscripts set out to make his statements in the most horrifying way possible. In total, eight black people were the victims of his rage.

The blood that covered the piazza outside the state theatre also came to mark the boundary between freedom and a form of captivity for Bradley Steyn, who was a teenager when he walked into the mass shooting. Bradley's life was spared by the killer because he was white. Yet that bloodied boundary was so destructive to his mental health that Bradley eventually put down those experiences and the astonishing true life events which followed into a non-fiction thriller undercover with Mandela's spies.

This podcast takes you on a journey with Bradley and a number of extraordinary guests to examine the toll South Africa's battlefields has taken on our minds and how we can continue to work on our shared recovery. I am Janet Smith, and in this episode, we welcome MK and UDF veteran Operation Vula Commander, former journalist, Cabinet Minister and Ambassador Charles Nqakula, and Nicolette Kinnear, who has become an activist and a patron of kindness and love and compassion, partly through the murder of her husband, Charles Kinnear, and partly as a patriot. Please join us for How to Fend Off Hate, which is created in honor of Strydom's fifth victim, 88-year-old Satsawana Selina Nguna.

Satsawana was shot in the stomach and chest while selling her wares as a hawker, sitting on the corner of Bruce and Prince Louis streets. Thank you for joining us. I'll hand over to Bradley now to welcome our guests and introduce them to each other.

[Bradley Steyn]

Thank you, Janet. Nicolette, thank you so very much for joining us. Nikki, I'm inspired by your bravery to bring people to task.

Your husband's death could have been prevented. The poor leadership in the South African police, under the leadership of the National Commissioner Sitole, was politically motivated. Your husband was at the tip of the spear in investigating corruption and SAPs at the very top.

Nikki, I wanted to ask you, could you just paint a picture for the world of who this brave, extraordinary patriot was who wanted to fight for a crime-free South Africa, who wanted to clean our streets up, and wanted to protect our communities and somebody that was loved so much?

[ Nicolette Kinnear]

Hi, Bradley, good afternoon and thank you for inviting me to the show. Who was Charl? Local boytjie, grew up, born, and bred in Bishop Lovers.

Both of us did. And for us, community was always of utmost importance. So a lot of people asked, why did we never move?

We just simply, both of us just believed. Where you come from, where you live, did not define you. And that is how we raised our boys.

When making decisions on them attending school, we sort of went Christian-based education, so they attended school out of the area. And also partially because of Dad's job, we needed to find ways in how to protect our kids. So obviously smaller school environment, that was better.

Charl believed that, I often told him that he sometimes had that attitude that he was a thousand or a million people. He believed he could make change and he wouldn't, once he started something, he wouldn't let it go. So if an appliance heaven forebid broke, I shouldn't have asked him to fix it because he would keep on going and going and going.

And I think that is how he approached his work as well. I think it was like a cycle when he sadly would enter what would be at a scene, most probably a murder scene. And that is where his chapter would start.

And it was, he was meticulous in how he did it. You wouldn't, I remember him then, Helen Zille was the mayor, and he nearly arrested her one evening because she dared to cross his yellow line at a scene. He didn't care who you were.

If it was his scene, it was his scene and you did not come and contaminate his scene. And I think for him, his chapter started at the scene. And I think when he walks down the corridors of be it the high court or regional court and there is a conviction, I think that is when he wrote the end to a particular chapter or book, if we could refer to it as that.

He was relentless. He would keep on going. He was passionate.

By him, and it was always very difficult for people to understand that, and if I could, maybe I can refer to the late Pete Mihalik, for example. And in a case there, Pete Mihalik was the defending attorney and he, Charl was obviously representing the state and Pete Mihalik was representing some of the accused and they ripped at each other. I know to a point where he actually lashed at Charl with his cheap shoes and then I think it was about a year, not quite, even two years thereafter when Pete was assassinated.

And Charl was the first person to be at the scene and that is how quick you could go and he always saw it as his client, because now Pete became his client and irrespective of what happened in courtrooms previously, he now needed to work to solve his murder and do his job. And that is how he did it. He had a line that he walked and whether you wore a uniform, whether you were family, if you were all from that line, there wasn't a grey area.

[Bradley Steyn]


[ Nicolette Kinnear]

You were either on the right side or not. He stood firm in what he believed and I think for me and my journey since his assassination, because it's difficult. You are bothered with so many things every day and you need to make decisions with your head and you need to make decisions with your heart.

And how do you do both and how do you maintain a balance? And then I started to realise, but you know what, because often since Charl's passing, I would ask, how did you do this? How did you get up with everything as his investigation is unfolding and the negligence and the corruption?

And then I ask myself, how did you get up every day, diligently, at quarter past four, with you got into bed at two o'clock in the morning, you were up, you were passionate, you were fighting these battles behind the closed doors that nobody knew. How did you continue this drive and this passion? And then I realised that it was never about him.

It was always a bigger picture, a bigger community, South Africa. And I think that is why I've been fighting as hard as what I have because if it was about myself and only our kids, Charl could have made a decision. Is it worth it?

Is it worth it? Because the reality is that we knew that his life was in danger. As a family, we had to put certain things in place, drive in different cars, and not move together, he had to tell our boys, if we do come under attack, where do you hide.

Which no parent, it's not normal to have to do it. So we knew this. So he could have made the easy decision and say, you know what.

It's not worth it. At the end of the day, I'm responsible for my family and that is what I'm going to do now. I'm going to take care of my wife and my kids.

But because of the bigger picture, it kept him going.

[Bradley Steyn]

Wow. Nikki, I want to bring in Charles into this conversation because Charl was such a patriot. Janet, do you want to go ahead and lead this off for us?

[Janet Smith]

Hello, Charles. Thank you very much for joining us. It's a privilege to have you here, just as it is a privilege to have Nikki here.

The reason why we wanted to bring you and Nikki together is because you have this shared love of your country. You have the shared aim and the shared goal of seeing your country overcome myriad difficulties. Both of you have experienced the death of a beloved family member.

In Nikki's case, it was her husband, Charles. In your case, it was your beloved son, Chumani. I want to take us back a little bit to 2006, when you were the Minister of Safety and Security.

Famously or infamously, depending on where people sit on a political spectrum, you responded to opposition MPs in Parliament who were not satisfied that enough was being done to counter crime. You said that South Africans who complain about the country's crime rate should stop whining and leave the country. Now, you were not reported correctly, but those words kind of stayed with you.

Fortunately, there were many other issues around you which allowed people to see you as a whole person, a figure of considerable weight beyond that. But then, nine years later, Chumani was killed, Charles, and you and your wife were left without your son through crime, but also mental health challenges and your son was killed by somebody you knew well. So I wonder if you might talk to us and talk to Nikki about that issue in terms of loss and still keeping your eye on the prize of your country.

[Charles Nqakula]

Well, thank you very much, Janet. We've had some discussions with Brad on a number of things, and we thought that at this stage in the life of our democracy, there are so many things we ought to have been able to do to provide for our people security and comfort. And those issues go hand in hand with providing people with the safety that they need, both in the streets where they work and in the homes where they live, but particularly people who have been assigned responsibilities to do certain tasks that relate to their safety and security.

But allow me, first of all, to just say to Nikki, I'm sure that there are many, many people who sent you and your family messages of condolence with the passing away of your husband. What I want to express at this point is solidarity with you, solidarity that arises from a number of things in yours and my life, because I'm sure, like me, you have been, I mean from a very, very young age, been thinking of South Africa as a country where all of us would live together in peace and harmony and that we would not be experiencing the crime that is resulting in South Africa in so many deaths of our people.

Of course, some of these things are preventable, but unfortunately, our government, part of which I was, has not provided us with the necessary means to deal with issues effectively relating to crime and criminology. Now, one of the reasons for that is that the way we have defined our democracy is wrong, because we believe that democracy, just by saying that we have now a democratic dispensation, means that that democracy has therefore defeated all the ills of our communities. But that is not true.

And in a sense, because we were guided by this concept of democracy, there are certain decisions that we took, including one decision that personally I don't understand, that when our courts sentences, our courts sentence people to life imprisonment, for instance, life imprisonment has become shorter than when a person, for instance, is given 30 years. Because our life simply means that you serve a portion of 25 years, and this is supposed to be life, 25 years is supposed to be life. But those who have been sentenced to life don't even serve for 25 years.

When it is 20 years, they are already eligible for parole. Now, I don't understand those things, of course. I do agree with our justices when they decided that we would no longer espouse this concept of a life for a life.

In other words, they decided that our people, we would not, as a country, want our people to be executed simply because they committed these dastardly crimes. And therefore, we banned capital punishment on the basis of that concept. Now, the issue of our son, and you are correct, Janet, what I had done on that day in Parliament was I read a letter in the Star by somebody who had, one of the readers of that newspaper, who had written a letter to the editor, and it is he who had said, people must not whinge all the time because once they do that, it has a particular negative impact on the people as a whole.

It would be better, and I kept on saying this when I was Minister of Safety and Security at the time, that crime is one of those issues where there ought not to be opposition. We have to be united as a country to deal with crime, and we approach it from the point of view of the unity of purpose of our people to deal with issues of crime and criminality. And I said, Clive was coming from that kind of background.

Well, those who want to continue to whinge and not make an input in terms of uniting to deal with crime and criminality should rather migrate and leave South Africa. This is what I was saying. I was not saying, in a sense, that anybody who complains about crime must leave.

Rather, I wanted to emphasize what I had always been saying, that we must be united. Issues of crime, issues of education, issues of health, all of those matters, we need to be united as a country and work together, both the ruling party and opposition parties. We don't have to be in opposition to one another on those matters.

My son, one of the biggest problems relevant to that matter is the fact that both my wife and I were out of the country when this happened. And you are correct, Janet, to say that it was somebody that we knew. Now, when you lose a loved one in the way that Nikki has lost her husband, in the way that we lost our son, when you lose them, you will never forget about that moment.

So you keep on talking about it. But I always say to my family that the best thing to do in those circumstances is to remember those things that your loved one did which made you laugh, which ensured that there was joyousness when you remembered such a person. And this is what personally I do.

But recently, there is something that happened which again indicated that maybe as a country we are not doing things correctly that are designed to be part and parcel of the framework of our democracy. My wife comes into the house and she was crying bitterly. In the beginning, she was even unable to tell me what had happened.

And I thought that somebody in our family had passed on. Only to learn that you should remember the person who murdered our son lives in our neighborhood and my wife saw him in front of their home. Now, this person did not stand trial on the basis that a report was submitted to the court indicating that he did not have the necessary mental capacity for him to understand the kind of crime he had committed and therefore was subjected to mental observation.

Now, in a situation like that, when you are sent to a mental institution precisely because they are trying to get you at least to improve your health when there is an indication that your health has been improved, it is only justices who can then give the go-ahead for such a person to be released. That never happened. There was no court that said where there was a proper assessment of the person's mental aptitude.

He was simply released. We wrote a letter to the Ministry of Justice and, of course, to the Judicial Services Institute just to pose a question. Now, this was a while back.

We have not as yet received any communication from them. They have not explained why this person was released without the proper processes. And one of the questions we asked, of course, was is there no injunction that under such situations the concerned family would surely be advised that we have now arrived at this point that this person must be released and the reason for this is the following.

And then you bring both the affected family and the family of the accused. And all of you then have an interaction. We would have indeed said, no, we didn't want him in the first instance to rot in jail.

We would have said, no, we are happy for him to be released. But when that does not happen, it means that, again, there is a void in terms of the understanding of what our democracy dictates. And people simply were looking at this boy and in that situation where he was in a mental hospital and somebody there must have said, no, we are satisfied that he is now OK and does not need any further medication, so let's release him.

But this is not done in that way.

[Janet Smith]

Let's bear in mind, Charles, that you were a former minister. You were not only the Minister of Safety and Security, you were the Minister of Defence, you had an illustrious struggle history, and so on. And you did not receive that, let's say at its very core, that comfort.

And Bradley will bring Nicolette back into the conversation around this relative pain of not receiving even a minimum of comfort for your questions, for your expressions of fear around your own safety to come.

[Bradley Steyn]

Yeah. And thank you, Charles, for that. Nikki, I'm just, again, just so inspired by your resilience and your fight to continue Charles' activism and exposing the rot and the corruption within this great organization that some of my mentors have been involved in as well.

I know that you're continuing his legacy to expose the rot behind what he had uncovered. And, you know, you're a mom, you know, you're not a spy, you're not a law enforcement person, you're a citizen, you're somebody that wants to put things right. Can you explain to us and the listeners what this journey is about?

[Nicolette Kinnear]

I think one of the biggest challenges that I've experienced is a lack of accountability.

I want to cringe if I hear report. I want to cringe if I hear investigation or ongoing investigation because I think we've become and commissions and because that has become the norm is the new buzzword just to get people to not ask questions. It's convenient to say there's an ongoing investigation.

We are awaiting a report. So for me, I also think what is important is that I sometimes wish I could wake up in the morning and I maybe had some form of anger or bitterness or hatred or, you know, towards the organization, but I don't. Because my husband and I were together for 36 years.

He was in SAPS for 31 prior to his to his death. So we were part of this blue family. I believe with you doesn't matter what you do.

If a partner does not, if we don't buy into each other's careers, I think it's going to be very difficult for anyone to be successful anyway. And I think we both of us, we bought into each other's careers. So my kids very easily, very quickly or at a very early age realized that what our dad was doing was different.

They became used to sort of having to take a back seat. There's always two cell phones, a personal one and a standby phone. And you knew, I mean, there were days when you you're ready, you're on your way to a function and that standby phone rings.

And then that was the end of the outing. So we supported each other in that regard. I'm sure believe that when a child or person decides to binge watch a series or play PlayStation, it must be because you want to not because you cannot go outside because of gunfire or being fearful.

But that is how we are rearing our kids. We're buying them devices and things and everything to keep them inside, because that for us is our way of keeping them safe. And he believed.

So in a way, I think he wanted to recreate what we were able to experience as kids, despite the apartheid era and all of that. But we could play in the street and when we wanted to and you could walk in and our kids can't do that. So and I think all of my as a family, we bought into that.

And I think hence why Charl sort of had that freedom to do that and to live his passion. Many asked, knowing what I did, did I ever give him an ultimatum to tell him or ask him, look, now you've got to decide it's either me and the boys or your job. No, I never did.

We were but we are both wired in the way that if I don't know something, it's OK. But if I do, we wouldn't be able to walk away. So just like now, I can't walk away knowing what I know, having gone through what I have as part of the blue family, now sit back on a couch and say, oh, well, sorry, I went through that.

So now it's your turn to. Because for me, then I'm as guilty and I am building on this destruction or this part of the system that's not working, because if we look at crime and how things have, if everything has evolved and I sometimes think that we have gotten stuck in a rut, where an organization such as SAPS, I mean, they've been around forever. So we've been doing things this way for 40, 50 years.

So we're going to continue doing things for 40, 50 years this way. But we can't because the way syndicates operate are different. The way crime is done is different.

But we still want to do things the way we did when our officers were driving around in the yellow vans. And I think that in a way is which sort of added to me being in the situation that I'm in today, because you were expected to be a policeman. You put on a uniform and you go out and you know what you're signing up for.

And that's that's it. And I always say what we asked for, what Charl asked for, wasn't for somebody to do us a favor. He was asking for management with his employer to do their job.

That's all. Because somebody in whatever department had a job to do in ensuring that not only Charl, members are kept safe while doing their job, because everybody speaks about democracy and I've got a right to this and I've got a right to that. Likewise, yes, I've made a choice to become a police officer, but I've also got a right to live.

And I sometimes think that people think when the guys take an oath or the women take an oath, they become these cold statues, not human. Forget that they are somebody's mom, somebody's dad, somebody's brother. And they're just going to just expect it to go on.

If heaven forbid, if I do ask for help, then I'm victimized or I'm transferred. When I raised the issue in terms of security, the question was they wanted to transfer Shaul back to the unit where he was. And I said, I actually asked the provincial commissioner and his commander, and what you're going to do if you transfer him, brainwash him?

Because the problem was not where he was working. The problem was what he had uncovered.

[Bradley Steyn]

And what was that, Nicolette?

[Nicolette Kinnear]

Look, Charl's investigations, he was, even as a youngster coming out of the police training college, he was literally just worked at a unit, which was then the old guard unit, when they used to guard the ministers, etc. He literally worked there for a year. And I think at a very young age, somebody spotted there was something about this youngster.

And I say this very humbly, I think that we, we all cannot be artists, or whatever. I believe a detective is born. There's a certain instinct about and then you get other guys, which we cannot do without either.

They come out of college and into a uniform, and they're in the charge office and, and they retire there. And we need them. And that is their passion and their drive.

That was never my husband's. He was, as I said, he liked to start something. I think he enjoyed the challenge and investigating and unfolding and eventually getting a conviction.

So then, so literally just and then within a year, he was he was drawn into the detective environment. Always sort of worked specialized unit, the old murder, robbery, knife, and those kind of people. So he is always had a special kind of and his job took him, I think also they really saw, as you've also mentioned, is he's come through the ranks with a lot of people, they saw there was something different.

So he was always had these different kind of caseloads on his table, always. And he was also that person, if you sent him to go down the main road, it doesn't didn't necessarily mean that only what I saw on the main road is going to catch my eye. And so obviously, certain investigations led him down certain side roads, and which started, he started investigating.

And Charl, being Charl, obviously, his investigations took him down the road, which we know the underworld, etc. And in investigating the underworld, he also stumbled upon how deep the corruption within SAPs went. And him being the kind of person that he was, and it wasn't fun.

I think people, he you don't touch your own. So he wasn't well liked for that. But he also believed that the moment you stepped outside of that box, you weren't his colleague.

Because you defied your oath.

[Bradley Steyn]

You've crossed the line.

[Nicolette Kinnear]

So not everybody necessarily saw it like that. And then I think because of that, he sort of wasn't liked within, because you came and you arrested somebody because unfortunately, it was his job to maybe on a parade to strip somebody of his ranks and to arrest that person. And it wasn't easy.

You could see even when they were in the force for years, it's not nice to go and have to do this to someone of your own. And now I often sit sometimes and I look at his pics. And I think I don't know what would have been worse for him.

That, which I now know, and that has uncovered over the past, because we nearly 24 months, since his assassination, or the actual bullet that killed him. Because he was so passionate about the organization, and for fighting for the organization and for what it stood for. I think that it would silently have killed him.

Things that have now unfolded. I also deep down believe, Charls job kept him so busy. He had he loved fishing, which he really, really got to do.

Because his investigations took him out of the province. But June, while he was away in Gauteng, and he was busy with these last investigations of his, which had a lot of high brass or high rank officers, which he also needed to arrest. And he messaged me and he said, Ma, I just decided I'm done.

This will be my last case that I'm doing. And I'm going to finish up in December. The boys and I still said we would believe that when we when we, when we see it, because we said, Dad, you can't even sit still when you're on leave.

And so his investigation took him down the blue line. We we unfortunately, uncovered corruption there. And also the underworld.

He documented a 59 page document, which he drafted in 2018. We exposed the abuse of resources. Government SAPS resources being used to investigate him and other senior officers, which has now also been some of them have been discharged, etc.

And it was not an easy task, even though people might think so.

[Bradley Steyn]

But what bravery.

[Janet Smith]

Yeah, it is bravery. And, and Charles, this is where Charles and Nikki, this is where we get to our theme, you know, how to fend off hate. And, you know, Charles has sort of thrown us into a different conversation with him really around Chumani.

Because here, you know, Charles and his wife, Nosiviwe have to perhaps encounter this man, Charles, it is a, it is an event, I think that few of us can understand unless we are, say, Nikki, where she is likely to come across somebody who might have been involved in her husband's death. So in returning to Charles and talking about fending off hate, you have said something earlier on, and I tried to catch Nikki's eye, but I think there's a there's a tremendous strain coming off, coming off of Nikki, which, you know when one feels a great empathy for, you said, you think about Chumani and you think about the things that made you laugh. Is this something that that does give you comfort?

Is it something that helps you to come to terms with the possibility of hate? You haven't had justice, in fact.

[Charles Nqakula]

Well, it is like that. You know, I like to write. I mean, I started toying with this idea of sitting down and just writing things I was seeing, things I was experiencing when I was quite, quite, quite young.

In fact, it was 1956. And in a few weeks time, I'm going to be 80 years old. You can imagine then.

[Janet Smith]

Happy birthday in advance.

[Charles Nqakula]

13th September, correct. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Thank you very much. So even now, you know, at times when I write, suddenly I think about him because I thought that he was also going to be a writer because he would correct things that people would have written, even the mother, and would say this construction is misplaced where it is. Why don't you raise it a little later or early in your paper?

She was preparing for her statements. And so I think about those things, things that actually make us happy. And when I see that on a particular day, my wife is a bit sad as she is thinking about him, I quickly take her away from that and I relate, you know, stories that make us laugh.

And she would quickly then get out of that and be happy, you know, to have had a son like Kumani, because there are so many things that this boy was doing. In fact, we were surprised when we organized his memorial service, which involved only his peers and the stories they were telling about him. Then we would go back to those stories, and remember what one of his friends said about him, even the silly things.

Chumani would wake up in the morning and many of these boys, his friends, were actually sleeping at our home and we did not know anything about it. So he would wake up, take them to school, and he himself would not go to school. You know, things like that make us laugh, you see.

So it is important. I mean, there are so many calamities that our people experience, but it is better always not to be stuck in the past. Just think about those beautiful things that would make your heart melt and not on the negatives, because the negatives in the fullness of time affect even your health.

So I know that it is difficult to say to a person who would have lost their own that, well, you know, don't think about it all the time, because they will think about it all the time. In our home, we think about Chumani all the time. But as I say, it is always better that you think about him in the positive, those things that made you laugh.

[Bradley Steyn]

That's amazing, Charles. Thank you so much for that insight. Charles, I wanted to ask you about this courageous journey that Nicolette is now on, you know, to take on corruption and SAPS and, you know, expose this corruption.

What advice, as a former activist, as somebody who understands the intricacies of government, how can we make a difference? How can Nicolette champion for this so that, you know, we can help make our country better?

[Charles Nqakula]

I'm happy you are raising that question, Brad, because I thought that I was going offline to communicate with you and ask for a number, because I want to be in contact with her, you know, because I want to assist also with regards to this. The first thing I would want to do, if this report that Charl had written is available, I would like to have a copy, because I do want to take it up with the authorities. At least I'm able to speak to people, I'm able to go to them, I'm able to invite them to my house and raise, you know, some of the concerns that I have about, you know, our orientation these days, which is quite negative.

You see, I joined, Brad, the African National Congress as a youth leaguer in 1959, and I've been with the ANC even when it went underground. I became part of the underground workers of the ANC. I went to exile, I trained as a member of uMkhonto we Sizwe, came back into the country before the ANC was banned, in order for me to continue to build the structures of the ANC.

And I do want to do that even now, and I do want to ensure that I deal with the issue of the conscience of our nation, because many people have now become part and parcel of this corrupt core of our people. I want to talk to people who are like that. I want to show them, you know, that there are ways to not sit with the philosophy of the African National Congress, which is the government of the day.

And I do sit down with people who obviously do not even understand the strategy and tactics of the ANC to bring about democracy, and the things, therefore, that we are enjoined to do on the basis of that belief in a democratic order in South Africa. Therefore, I would like, you know, Nikki, to write about those things that made her family happy in the presence of Charl. And I would be happy to assist, to bring to the fore this report that he had written, to ensure that those people that he actually has identified as part and parcel of this grouping of people who have become so corrupt, and therefore impacting negatively even on the democracies that we are trying to continue to build and strengthen, are outed and dealt with.

So I'd be happy if that could happen. And of course, I do want to have a regular interaction with her and see where I can assist her as an activist with respect to this concept of the safety and security of our people.

[Nicolette Kinnear]

Thank you very much, Charles. Yes, that I think is gravely why I think I feel as passionate, because a lot of people have asked me, aren't you afraid? For me, we know there is corruption within the organisation.

We know that. But we also know that there are men and women in blue that are working tediously behind the scenes that are honest and wanting to make a difference and wanting because they remember, I want to fight for my country. I want democracy.

I want peace. I want harmony. I don't want my community to be living in hostage, not being afraid to go out.

And those are the people that because nothing that I am doing now is going to change my situation. But I always say that Charles was not the only detective. Yes, he had a heavy caseload.

But out there, there are many other detectives carrying these weighted dockets that's currently on the tables. And their family is living in the exact same fear that I was for all these years, and the member in the fear that Charles was in. And what do we do to encourage and to hold up those people's hands?

I'm so sad that sadly, last week, I spoke to a detective that resigned and actually finished at the end of July. And he just said, and the sad situation is, and this has been my plight and my plea and over the past 24 months with government and with SAPS is that help our men and women in blue. If you help them to do their jobs, that is how our communities will be safer.

Here we had an investigator with current cases in our high court role, in high court, and he resigns and he walks away because he says, I cannot see my family having to go through the same thing that you and your family is going through. And it broke my heart because if I can do my job, if I know Brad is there and Janet is there to take that and to move that. And this is all these guys are asking.

But if I know me doing my job is going to endanger myself and my family, but there's nobody there to look after, can we blame this guy for walking away? We can't. So who's the only parties winning here?

The criminal element. Who's the people that's going to continue to bleed? Me and you and the rest of our communities in the streets out there.

And I think that was my husband's passion and drive. And that is mine, my kid's passion and drive. And I, Brad, believe that if we had the opportunity because as I said, he knew that he was on many a hit list.

So it's not as though he didn't know. But if we could ask him, I could guarantee you these and these and these changes within the organization. Charl, I guarantee you that and that and that is going to change.

But in order for that to happen, it would mean you would need to lay your life down. He would probably have said yes. Because that is how he felt about the people and the work that he was doing.

And I want the other officers out there, because I think they feel very lonely as well. Because you feel as though I'm fighting this fight alone. And that we encourage those people, keep going.

Even if you feel lonely and you feel I'm alone and nobody's doing it. And it's like beating against a brick wall. Some way, something has got to give.

Because I'm just thinking, here we're sitting, what message would it have been if at least we could have had a successful conviction? Because these are massive poker cases that's in high court. In terms of the message that we're giving down to the ground.

Because how are we going to beat this little, this elephant bit by bit? So yes, it's 16 from or 20 from 2000. But it's 16 that we have convicted and behind bars that we don't have today.

And that for me is what I want to and that for me is the sad part and that I feel the organization failed me, failed my family, failed us as a country. Because I'm not saying my husband was this infallible, he was the superhero. But if maybe if he had just gotten the support, if you didn't give it to him, at least give it to others.

That we can because as I think Charles mentioned earlier, the only way we're going to win this, the only way we're going to be able to really be free, live as a democratic country, everything that we fought for is if we do it together. If we're all going to be pulling in different directions, we're going to be pulling at each other and going nowhere. And I still think in even today, even though we are so many years down the road of so-called democracy, we have too many of us going in our own direction instead of just joining forces.

It's like I often sometimes I use the analogy of Madiba, the 67 minutes. Everyone is painting this and the one is doing that and all good. But if we had just been three or five of us and we sat around the table and we decided together, collectively, we're going to go into the same place and we're still going to do 67 minutes.

But what difference wouldn't we have been able to make than me going alone and doing something for 67 minutes? And I think that is what we've got to do and to try and get that togetherness, that unity. It's just not there.

[Bradley Steyn]

Yeah. Well, that's truly inspiring. One thing I just do want to focus on and something that you said, which really sticks out to me and that is accountability.

You know, we've had Zondo commissions, we've had Steinhoff debacles, we've had all these things, but where is the accountability? And yeah, Charles in closing, where do you think our accountability is? And, you know, when do we stop, you know, throwing bureaucratic statements like we need to do another investigation or another commission?

You know, when do we just pull the trigger and nip this in the butt so that, you know, we can rise together and live without fear?

[Charles Nqakula]

Well, that is one of the problems that, you know, currently seems to be dictating our course as we move forward. There's no consequence management and people will tell you about all of those things. There will be consequence management and you never see it.

And people do as they like and there's nothing that is happening to them. But I do want to say that I am happy because I'm seeing a number of developments that are happening across the country. Many people, members of the ruling party, are having discussions, they've come together and are beginning to see the problems that are there.

And I believe that sooner rather than later, things are going to change for the better. But that will happen only if those who are activists, like Nikki and many others out there, should indeed come together and decide very strategically what needs to be done so that we can change the situation around. And we must not stop raising our voices to ensure that those who are in authority must understand that we do not like what we see at this time.

And we want change, real change. As you say, Brad, it must not be this kind of thing where people will wake up in the morning, they are going to establish a panel to do this and that, a commission to deal with this thing or that thing. You don't need those things.

You need government to simply say, this is not going to happen because it is not right for our people. And we are going to put a stop to it and this is how we are going to do it. And it is done.

Because I really don't understand that some of the things, which to me seem to be easy to do. I mean, today there was an item on television people who have been waiting for houses. They are living in houses.

In fact, those are not houses, shacks that are falling apart. Then they say in Northwest and they say, there are so many officials, government officials who have come and made promises to us. What is difficult in building houses for people, decent houses for people?

There's nothing difficult in that. You simply ensure that there are people who are given a contract to do this because every year there is an allocation of funding for people to be able to run their governments. And the government is simply a machine that is designed to provide the necessary wherewithal for people to have a good life.

This is what we are talking about. It's part of our slogan. That we would ensure that, yes.

[Bradley Steyn]
I agree. And Charles, I'm just wracking my mind around this conversation because, we can't even protect our whistleblowers and it's just so frustrating, but we gotta wrap up, Charles. I'm gonna let Janet just close us out here.

[Janet Smith]
Well, it's been a discussion that in a way turned our title into something somewhat ironic. Neither of you, Charles, nor Nikki, nor Brad, have expressed hate at all. You haven't spoken about how difficult it is to fend off hate.

In fact, both of you have laid out challenges and problems as they are, but also some solutions to those. And I think you're on the same page around coming together. People coming together in different ways for the same aim.

And it feels idealistic and it feels complicated. But Charles, I really want to thank you for reaching out to Nikki. And I also want to thank you both for being here and for us having a discussion that was more wide ranging even than we intended.

And it was a privilege to speak to you both. And I'm going to give Nikki one minute just to tell us her happiest memory of Charl.

[Nicolette Kinnear]
Sure, there's so many. I think we were together for so long. He would, so I think I met him when I was 12 or 13 years old.

So yeah, and he was actually, he was my Sunday school teacher. He was four years older than what I am. So yeah, he was my Sunday school teacher.

So he would always probably say, if we would speak, he would say, Janet, we've been together so long. When I met her, she was still wearing a vest. So yeah, that would probably be what he would have said.

[Charles Nqakula]
Okay, bye-bye everybody.

[Janet Smith]
Bye-bye. Drive safely and happy birthday. Bye-bye.


South Africa
Justice and Mental Health within the Legal System
Fighting Corruption and Seeking Justice
Championing Against Corruption