This story examines the issue of whether human rights abuses are ever justified in the name of a greater goal.
In 1986, the South African army began conducting cross- border raids, bombing African National Congress (ANC) strongholds in neighboring countries and often killing civilians in the process.
In response, ANC member Robert McBride planned and participated in the carbombing of Magoo's Bar, a popular hangout for the South African Security Police forces in Durban.
Three white women pedestrians were killed when the bomb exploded, and many bar patrons were wounded. In an era when bombings were commonplace, McBride was regarded as a particularly notorious criminal.
Dubbed "Bomber McBride" by the press, he became the focus of pro-apartheid hatred because of the unusual circumstances of the bombing: the victims were white, and McBride himself was coloured, making his choice to violently side with the principally black anti-apartheid movement all the more horrifying to many white South Africans.
McBride and a companion were convicted of the bombing, and McBride was sentenced to execution. A pardon negotiated by Nelson Mandela saved McBride from death row. McBride then became a diplomat in the new South African government. He has applied for amnesty from the TRC, but stands by the bombing, saying that if he was in the same situation, he would do it again.
The families of the victims are vehemently opposing his application. A charismatic, eloquent speaker, McBride explained the rationale for his actions at the hearing, which took place in the fall of 1999. This story documents the drama of his testimony and witnesses how the victims' families were affected by his justification for the bombing.