Click below to hear a cassette tape (presented in two parts) that was recorded at the Tower Mill prior to, during, and after the second police charge and police riot on Saturday 24th July 1971.
This recording serves to bring the passion and intensity of whole event back to life rather vividly.
It was recorded by a law student acting as a legal observer. The recording is about 19 minutes in duration.
Part A is a record of the build up to the police charge/police riot recorded as a series of short grabs between (roughly) 4pm and 7pm.
Part B is a recording of on-the-spot depositions taken immediately afterwards. Several of these statements capture the high drama and the emotional intensity of the moment. At the end of the tape, there are a few more of these depositions taken in the relative calm of the uni refec a little later (after 8:30pm). Here is a list of some of the slogans used as chants heard that night:
"Go Home (reply) Springboks Out"
"Springboks Out (reply) Go Home"
00:31 "Off the footpath, on the streets"
1:05 Jump, Jump, Jump (chanted when Springboks appear on motel balcony)
More chants heard that night.......
"Go Home Springboks"
"The Whole World's Watching"
You will hear the police making periodic announcements over a loud hailer (which are roughly transcribed below). These announcements were heard intermittently over a period of about three-quarters
of an hour before the police charge erupted. The voice over the loud hailer was identified as being Whitrod himself:
01:11 "Why don't you move back and behave like grown up people?"
"There are stones thrown and people wounded by stones."
"There are stones been thrown and there are people who are being hit by stones."
"You have to move from the streets."
"I'll give you five minutes to clear the street. Clear the streets."
"People are being hit by stones...will you please now clear the streets."
"You must move back. Please move back, you are still on the road."
A volley of loud chanting "Go Home Springboks"
7:30 "The police are being hit by stones. You will have to move, you will have to move because stones have been thrown."
"Please now clear the streets. You must move back. Please move back you are still on the road."
"You will have to move."
08:24 "Please made plans to move peacefully. Move off the roadway. Please go home."
9:12 (Spoken time stamp on recording of 6:53pm which is only a few minutes before the police charged)
9:19 "I direct you to move. You are obstructing the police."
9:50 "I've given you more than your two minutes......
9:56 "police clear the road please"
Then the second police charge took place shortly before 7pm.
During the police charge, you will hear a voice repeating a directive he apparently heard moments before. He calls out: "All police back up, all up. (pause) All police back to the top."
A short while later there is another voice in the background of the recording shouting out (presumably directed to the police): "You've all been ordered back".
I'm wondering if these two people in the crowd are echoing or relaying the order they just hear Whitrod shouting out over a loud hailer? So this may be indirect evidence that Whitrod tried to call back the police stampede that night (as was reported later).