1998: Witnessing torture for the first time

After I became friends with Booysen, as a civilian I witnessed some of the members of police Murder and Robbery Unit torturing African suspects.

Thanks to my friendship with the Booysen family, members of his Durban Murder and Robbery Unit trusted me enough to allow me to watch them interrogate and torture suspects at their offices.

At the time I was driven to the unit’s offices, in Rossburgh by some Durban Murder and Robbery Unit members, who the commander of the unit, JW Booysen sent to pick me up, as he wanted to show me his place of work. JW Booysen who was present, later drove me personally for lunch and back to my business premises. I was too naïve, confused and inexperienced at the time to understand, as well as digest the reality that was presented in front of me. He strongly maintained that the Africans were subhuman, the good old days of Apartheid were the best times ever for the country and all its people, after Mandela became the president Africans were destroying South Africa, whites were getting killed and the only way to deal with the crime problem was to torture or shoot to kill African suspects.

On arrival , they gave me a tour of the premises. In one of the rooms I was taken into, there were two African men naked on a chair. They were surrounded by unknown policemen without  uniforms at the time, and I was asked by Olivier (the same Apartheid policeman implicated with Booysen, by Goldstone Commission investigation into human rights violations), to approach one of the suspects from the front and suggested that I place my feet on one of the suspects legs, as he was dangerous and he might try to escape. I was overwhelmed with emotions and intimidation at the time and did not comply but I froze. The members started to choke the suspect and the African man urinated due to his agony and pain. Some of the urination wet my pants and I moved back and ran out of the room in shock. Booysen came out of another room laughing. He told me that I had just been initiated by the unit, since a black suspect had urinated on me!

Apparently the joke was on me.