A look back at Vlakplaas’ Dirk Coetzee


This week SABC3’s award-winning investigative magazine show Special Assignment presents The Final Testimony, which brings viewers some of the revelations about the late Dirk Coetzee, the notorious Vlakplaas commander, that shocked the world.

To be broadcast on Thursday, 14 March at 21h00, the programme also includes some of the confessions that Coetzee himself made at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Coetzee, who died last week Wednesday, will go down in history as a ruthless killer who was happy to kill, maim, burn and torture as part of South Africa’s apartheid era security establishment which served to eliminate those who dared to challenge the country’s unjust laws.

However, the role that Coetzee played in revealing the killings cannot be ignored and some say despite the reasons that motivated him to come forward (ie. the end of apartheid for one), the real extent of the violence that characterised the apartheid regime was exposed to the world and some families were able to find some answers as to what happened to their loved ones.

The programme poses the question – did Coetzee manage to redeem himself through his confessions?


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