CapeTalk Celebrating 20 years
banner-pic-charlottejpg

1999: Covering the Urban Terror campaign with Charlotte Kilbane

This October, CapeTalk is celebrating its 20th birthday by reliving some of the most impactful stories of the past twenty years, as told by some of our favourite personalities.

The bombing campaign that plagued South Africa in 1999 kept most journalists in the country pretty much locked up in news rooms covering a "national story of enormous importance, that just didn't stop".

Charlotte Kilbane was a young and budding journalist at the time covering these bombings, popularly known as the Urban Terror campaign, for Eyewitness News.

The bombings were linked to the Islamic vigilante group People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD).

Kilbane reflects on the Urban Terror campaign that took place in Cape Town in 1999.

The People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (Pagad) with national coordinator, Abdus Salaam Ebrahim led a motorcade in Manenberg and Heideveld against gangsterism and drugs on Wednesday 31 July 2013. Picture: Graeme Raubenheimer/EWN -

In 1999 I was a baby then. I was 23 years old new in the business, pretty much an idiot.

Charlotte Kilbane, EWN news editor

We found ourselves as young in the new news room, thrust into this national story of enormous importance that just didn't stop.

Charlotte Kilbane, EWN news editor

Many people will think of the bombing of Planet Hollywood as the beginning of the Urban Terror campaign but that wasn't the beginning. Before that, there was a series of bomb attacks on private homes, businesses and in places like Retreat and Gatesville.

Charlotte Kilbane, EWN news editor
PAGAD poster 2014.

Kilbane remembers the bombing of Mano's in Green Point on Christmas Eve, as she was getting ready to go out for a night on the town.

We got a call as we were getting ready... we ran off to the scene of the bomb blast, the bomb had actually gone off. It was detonated through a cellphone... I literally filed a story in a micro-mini and high heels...

Charlotte Kilbane, EWN news editor

It was wonderful to sit and reflect on this because CapeTalk has always been such a nexus for people in the city. I feel sentimental about this 20 years on and feel quite emotional about it.

Charlotte Kilbane, EWN news editor

Watch Charlotte Kilbane reflect on the happenings of 1999 as CapeTalk celebrates its 20th birthday:

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
2011: Gaye Davis recalls South Africa's 'Black Tuesday'

2011: Gaye Davis recalls South Africa's 'Black Tuesday'

As we continue to remember 20 years of impactful stories on CapeTalk, EWN reporter Gaye Davis joins us to discuss the Info Bill.

2010: Aden Thomas recalls the 2010 World Cup euphoria

2010: Aden Thomas recalls the 2010 World Cup euphoria

In 2010, all eyes were on SA as we hosted soccer's biggest event. Aden Thomas recalls that month as we celebrate 20 years of CapeTalk.

2009: Bruce Whitfield recalls the financial crisis

2009: Bruce Whitfield recalls the financial crisis

As we look back on 20 years of CapeTalk, The Money Show's Bruce Whitfield recalls the events that shook the financial system across the globe.

1998: Bobby Brown remembers the Waterfront Planet Hollywood bombing

In a series of CapeTalk's 20th birthday memories, former EWN journalist Bobby Brown relives one of the biggest stories of 1998.

1997: Brett Hilton-Barber remembers CapeTalk's first morning on air

The first interview in a series celebrating CapeTalk's 20th birthday, Hilton-Barber remembers that first morning on air.

South Africa gets 1st new bank since 1999

Ray White interviews Coenraad Jonker, Chairperson at Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Popular articles
Are you eating good fish or bad fish?

Are you eating good fish or bad fish?

Author of Eat-Ting, Anna Trapido talks to #WeekendBreakfast host Phemelo Motene about the SASSI coded fish system.

[LISTEN] Five, grade five learners caught drinking alcohol at school

[LISTEN] Five, grade five learners caught drinking alcohol at school

Dr Sue Goldstein, Director at the Soul City Institute for Social Justice chats about parents drinking booze in front of children.

Why low sexual desire is not 'abnormal'

Why low sexual desire is not 'abnormal'

Low sex drive is common and non-sexual relationships can also be fulfilling, explains clinical sexologist Dr Eve.

Man wants end to six-year marriage after wife refuses to cook for him

Man wants end to six-year marriage after wife refuses to cook for him

Geoffrey Matovu filed for divorce in the Family Division of the High Court accusing Ms Tryphena Nakiyingi of being disrespectful.

Jerome Booysen of Sexy Boy's life could be under threat

Jerome Booysen of Sexy Boy's life could be under threat

A fight broke at a hospital where Booysen was admitted and it is believed Booysen was the target of the scuffle.

Estate agent Aida admits it’s the source of SA’s largest data hack ever

Estate agent Aida admits it’s the source of SA’s largest data hack ever

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews Stuff magazine’s Toby Shapshak.

Going to be hard to look the other way - Steven Powell on FBI probing Guptas

Going to be hard to look the other way - Steven Powell on FBI probing Guptas

Bruce Whitfield interviews Peter Hain (Wits Business School) and Steven Powell (Director in Forensics at ENS Africa).

UCT engineering student creates affordable grey water system

UCT engineering student creates affordable grey water system

Nkosinathi Nkomo came up with a system that could turn grey water into usable water amidst the Cape Town water crisis.