Between September 1984 and August 1989, 771 people were necklaced or doused with fuel and burnt to death. The myth perpetuated by the State then was that this was an example of African brutality. The truth we know now, is that this repulsive form of killing was first started by white Rhodesian security forces in the 1970s and then brought to South Africa by the security police. ...
This outrageous statement was made by presenter Max du Preez on the SATV programme "Truth Commission Special Report" on 9 February 1997.

The Foundation’s National Chairman, Ted Sutton-Pryce, lodged a complaint with the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) regarding this statement, which followed footage of a woman being burnt, stoned and kicked to death by a mob in South Africa. In his letter to the BCCSA, Mr Sutton-Pryce wrote:

As an organisation which represents the interests of former Rhodesians who have settled in South Africa, we take strong exception to this statement and we wish to lodge a complaint against the SABC for what we believe to be misrepresentation of the truth. We contend that the statement referring to "white Rhodesian security forces" above is both untrue and malicious. Necklacing (ie. the burning to death of selected individuals, with the aid of inflammable liquid and/or motor tyres) was never practised (let alone started) by the Rhodesian security forces, black or white, and would have resulted in prosecution of the perpetrators of such a dastardly act if it were ever discovered. The allegation casts doubt on the integrity of all former members of the Rhodesian security forces, and causes distress for their families and friends. Mr Du Preez gave no indication as to the source of this "truth" that he says "we know now". Neither was there any indication in the programme that the "truth" came from testimony presented to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.


The BCCSA held a hearing on 14 March, at which the FLF was represented by Mr Gordon Munro. Mr Max du Preez was not present, but the hearing was attended by members of the SABC’s complaints and legal offices. BCCSA Chairman Professor J.C.W. van Rooyen S.C. was not satisfied with the SABC’s response to the FLF’s complaint and he called upon the SABC to provide further evidence to justify their stand. If the BCCSA is still not satisfied, a further hearing could be scheduled for a later date.

As this matter is at present considered sub-judice, the FLF does not intend making any further public statements until the case has been dealt with by the BCCSA. But Mr Du Preez has been interviewed since the hearing by a reporter from the Mail and Guardian (25 Feb 97). We felt that our members, especially those who might have viewed the SATV programme in question or read about the case in the media, should know that the National Managing Committee is prepared to react to media reports that are blatantly untrue and malign the Rhodesian community in South Africa.

This complaint came to us through a concerned member. If any member hears or reads something that denigrates the Rhodesian community unfairly, please send details to us as soon as possible so that the National Managing Committee can consider it and perhaps respond appropriately.


June 16, 1997

SABC found guilty over claim about necklacing

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA announced yesterday it had found the SABC guilty of contravening the Broadcasting Code by reporting that necklacing was started by white Rhodesian security forces.

The finding follows a complaint by the Flame Lily Foundation about a statement by Truth and Reconciliation Commission special report presenter Max du Preez about necklacing.

"The truth, as we now know, is that this repulsive form of killing was first started by white Rhodesian security forces in the 1970s and then brought to South Africa by the security forces," Du Preez said on TV. The commission came to the following conclusions:

There was no evidence that the SABC or Du Preez had acted from malicious motives.

The commission had not, however, been provided with any evidence that the alleged atrocities in (the then) Rhodesia of the 1970s included the incineration of live people by necklacing.

Accordingly, the statement that these forms of incineration of people originated from the Rhodesian security forces was not substantiated.

"The commission found that the SABC contravened the Broadcasting Code. The Flame Lily Foundation's complaint was accordingly upheld unanimously," the commission said. - Sapa.

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