TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
DATE: 12 DECEMBER 2000
HELD AT: DURBAN
NAME: D P BOTHA
MATTER: RECONSIDERATION OF AMNESTY APPLICATION PREVIOUSLY NOT GRANTED
ADV PRIOR: May it please the Panel. Mr Chairman, this is the amnesty application of Mr D P Botha, amnesty number 57 of 96 which was previously before the Amnesty Committee. The refusal of amnesty was taken on review and that was set aside by order of His Lordship Mr Justice Smit. The Order is found at page 314 and 315 of the bundle before the Panel and the matter is presently for reconsideration before the Amnesty Committee. Thank you Mr Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps it should be placed on record that the order was that the matter should be referred back to the original Committee, but the Committee has changed in that since that day the Chairman Judge Mall has unfortunately died and the other member of the Committee at the time, Acting Justice de Jager, has recused himself from this hearing in the light of objections taken by various parties, but the three other members of the Committee remain the same.
ADV PRIOR: May it please the Chair, may the identities of all the parties be placed on record for purposes of the transcribers?
CHAIRPERSON: Well should we start with you? My name is Wilson, I am the Chairman of the Committee. I'm sitting with Judge Ngoepe and Judge Khampepe.
ADV PRIOR: Adv P C Prior, representing the Amnesty Department, as Evidence Leader.
MR BIZOS: Bizos, Mr Chairman, I am instructed by the Legal Resources Centre, the Durban office, in particular Mr Mahendra Tsheki of the Durban Office on behalf of the persons that objected to the applications for amnesty and most of whom are here today, Mr Chairman.
MR MOSTERT: Daan Mostert for the applicant.
MR BIZOS: We on behalf of the persons opposing, who oppose the application for amnesty wish to place on record that the application which was filed in the Transvaal Provincial Division, Pretoria, you will observe did not make provision for any Respondents other than the Commission. Not only were the objectors not cited as Respondents but no notice was given to any of them of the application and the order that was being sought. Had they had such notice, we are instructed that they would have asked the Legal Resources Centre that acted on their behalf previously, to appear, to file papers objecting to the setting aside of the refusal to grant amnesty. The objectors only learned about this after they received information that the amnesty refusal had been taken on review and that the Committee's decision was set aside.
Mr Chairman, we wish to place on record that we were placed in a difficult position whether to try and set aside the order of His Lordship Mr Justice Smit for failure to give notice and for the failure of the applicants to comply with the elementary and well-known rule that no proceedings should be brought without notice to persons who have an interest in the matter, but having regard to the fact that that would have been procedurally difficult and if I may say so with respect cumbersome procedure of asking the Learned Judge for leave to appeal, that he was probably functus officio, that we would have to go to the Appellate Division to set his order aside, come back and rejoin and argue it before him and another Judge, we have for the purposes of this hearing, taken what we believed to have been the practical route out of not pursuing the remedies that we had, to come and, before the Committee and to try and persuade you again that the decision was correct, that there were in fact no misdirections and it's not something that, we are not precluded from making that submission, because we were not given notice. This Judgment is not binding on persons who did not have an opportunity to persuade the Judge what the correct decision would have been.
Be that as it may, we are here and we will participate in the procedure, in the process and oppose the application for the grant of amnesty by this Committee and persist in our objection, that amnesty should be refused to the applicant, Mr Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
MR MOSTERT: It is then my duty to answer certain of the statements made by Mr Bizos.
I acted for the applicant in this High Court application. The way I interpreted this Act of National Truth and Reconciliation, that it was the purpose of this Act to establish a few Committees. The Amnesty Committee's purpose in this regard was to hear amnesty applications within the context of the purpose of the Act, as described in the Act and then to grant or refuse amnesty in terms of the Act. The role that victims play with amnesty hearings, the way I interpret this Act, is for them to testify so that the Committee can make a finding that they are indeed victims of gross human rights violations for the purposes of this Act and then refer them to another Committee to do the necessary reparations. Then in terms of Section 30 (6) of this Act, the individual persons that were victims have to apply for the necessary reparations to the other Committee. That is the role that the victims are playing as I see that.
Now in terms of Section 20 (1) of this Act, there are three grounds, that if an applicant makes out a case in terms of that ground, then this Committee has to grant him amnesty, regardless of the morals of the applicant, regardless of the morals of the victims. Each and every one of us does have lots of sympathy and pity with the victims, that is a fact of life, but to have opposition to this application was done in full before this Committee, when this case was heard in 1996.
Now the Committee in terms of that hearing, made a decision and it was only that decision that was taken to the High Court. Only that decision, not the merits of the case, nothing, only the decision in terms of standing South African Law for review purposes and in terms of that application, an order was granted and that's why we're here today, so I have to place on record that I do differ with Mr Bizos' argument on this one. Thank you.
JUDGE NGOEPE: One of the relief your clients sought was not only to set aside this decision, but also to grant amnesty, that was one of your prayers? One of your prayers before the High Court in Pretoria, was that the applicant, your client, actually be granted amnesty?
MR MOSTERT: That is a fact, ja.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Despite the fact that the victims were not aware of the proceedings and were not joined, something which they opposed before us.
MR MOSTERT: As I've explained already, the purpose of victims testifying before this Amnesty Committee, for the purposes of this Act, is purely to give a broader indication as to what happened in this scenario and in the second place for this Committee to refer them to another Committee for reparations. Now their testimony is relevant in regard to these proceedings as to put this Committee in a better position to come to a decision, but the crux of the - how can I say it? The prescription for this Committee is Section 20 (1), that's three:
"If you comply with the requirements of the Act, if the offence was committed with a political objective in the course of the differences of the past and (3) if you have made full disclosure of facts before the Committee, then the Committee will grant you amnesty."
And that is what it is. That is what it's all about, so we only differ, not with the testimony of the people that testified as victims, we only differ with the decision of the Committee and that is why we brought the application in the High Court with only the Committee as Respondent. Nothing in this hall that the victims could have done or said, would have changed the scenario. The Committee, in terms of this Act, if I understand this Act correctly, there is not even - provision was not even made in this Act for an applicant's lawyers to give notice to victims' lawyers, in terms of this Act. It all worked through the Amnesty Committee and the Amnesty Committee's offices to notify all people, so I'm of the opinion that the way we went about this was done in the correct way. Thank you.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Mr Mostert, I think you are correct in saying that in terms of the Act Section 19(4) requires the Amnesty Committee to notify victims of any intended application to be heard by the Amnesty Committee, particularly because they play an important role in the whole process of fact finding in relation to the offence or mission or act, in respect of which amnesty is sought by an applicant. They don't just come in as victims for purposes of being considered for reparation, but in terms of Section 19 (4) they are important parties to the process of facilitating amnesty for the Amnesty Committee in that they have a right to adduce any evidence that is material to issues to be considered by the Committee as to whether to grant or to refuse amnesty to an applicant. To that extent you might be correct, but you will also be aware of the legal consequences of being granted amnesty in terms of 20 (7) (a) of our Act, in that a victim loses out an important right and that is the right of a victim to claim for damages, civil damages, as a result of the act, offence or omission in respect of which an applicant has been granted amnesty, so to that extent I think one might have thought that where you seek amnesty as a prayer before the High Court, you would also join a person who would also have a right to say: "I object to amnesty being granted to the applicant because of this evidence which is before me".
MR MOSTERT: Mr Chairperson, the situation is like this, that we asked for an order for amnesty was put into the application, but I can state categorically that we knew at that stage, that we would not succeed with that request because that request is not in terms of South African Law, even to be considered by the Judge and the Judge handled it accordingly. At that stage we had a problem. The only reason that we actually put it was ex abundante cautela to just make sure that if there were any problems with a quorum, we had knowledge that Judge Moll was very ill and everything, we could not see in the future that anything happen, even if this Committee wasn't functioning any more, that we can have then a Judge decide over it, but that as it may, the way you pointed out to me, the fact of the matter is and I want to reiterate, that the victims did testify, the victims' testimony was on record. The Judge of the High Court had it in front of him, he considered it, so it was only a fight between the applicant, if I can use the word fight, and the Committee, because the applicant was of the opinion that the Committee did not make the right decision and the Committee was of the opinion that they did make the right decision and therefore the Amnesty Committee had the chance to oppose the application, which they did in the first instance and then later they said: "No, we abide by the ruling of the Judge", so that's all I can say to you.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Mr Mostert, of course we do appreciate that these are points of law which possibly could have been argued at another forum and perhaps we should not go into them in detail. One never knows, they may yet be argued at another forum, but all one can say from the point of view of the Committee is that legal arguments as such, we would have thought that the whole process of amnesty is to pursue or to bring about reconciliation in the country. It will not help that process if amnesty is granted or refused in Durban where we sat. The incident took place in Durban where a number of people were killed, a number of people were injured and through an agreement between yourself on the one hand and the Amnesty or the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, you decide to launch an application in Pretoria, some 600 kilometres away from the people, from the victims, some of whom are still maimed today. One would have thought that purely as a matter and in the spirit of the whole process of reconciliation, the application would have been launched in the are where that incident took place and indeed where we sat, that is why we are sitting here in Durban, that's why we, in the first place, we elected not to sit in Pretoria, but in Durban. I will say nothing about these difficult questions of issues, but all I can say is that thank God the Judge in Pretoria did not accede to the applicant's request to grant amnesty. I say thank God because it would have been unfortunate if the Judge had granted amnesty, not only in the absence of the victims, but indeed without even the knowledge of the victims. One hopes that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in future, when it receives a request of that nature, to launch an application of this kind elsewhere other than at the place were we sat, we took the trouble to come and sit, at a place other than the place where the incident took place, careful thought will be given to the feelings of the victims and their families.
MR BIZOS: ...(indistinct - mike not on) response to the applicants. This is not a matter of the interpretation of the Act that you are administering, Mr Chairman. Any elementary book on civil procedure taught to candidate attorneys, indicates very clearly that every one who has an interest of the outcome of a proceeding, that you are instituting, must be given notice, firstly. Secondly the reference to a number of the cases in which review applications have been made against the Committee, would have clearly indicated to anyone who took any trouble to find out how these matters may be fairly done, would have seen that the victims are joined as Respondents. That's all I wish to say. Thank you Mr Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON: I think we have heard the views of both of you. We know what your views are. This is not a matter we have to make a decision on. Mr Bizos had indicated that they are taking no further steps in this matter at the time and I think we should proceed with the hearing.
MR MOSTERT: Thank you Mr Chairperson. To proceed with this matter, we have decided for the broader purposes of this Act, to call Mr Piet Rudolph to testify so that his side of the story can be put on record and that this Committee will have the advantage of seeing the historical background that developed into this bizarre act when they people were shot at, in the light from the point of Mr Rudolph and of, in terms of the Boerevolk's policy, so I would like to call Mr Piet Rudolph. Thank you.
ADV PRIOR: Mr Chairman, may I place on record, while the witness is proceeding to the stand, that we had difficulty setting up the video screen in order to look at the video before we started with this witness's evidence, so hopefully that facility will be up and running a little later in the proceedings.
CHAIRPERSON: Well before we start with this witness, has he got earphones? Yes, he has.
PIET RUDOLPH: (sworn states)
MR MOSTERT: Chairperson Mr Rudolph indicates that he wants to testify in Afrikaans. For the purposes of the victims, sometimes he will proceed in English, but his English is not so up to standard as far as he's concerned. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: His evidence will be translated as he gives it and the victims, as I think you can see, all have earphones, will be getting a translated version of his evidence.
MR MOSTERT: Thank you Chairperson. May I proceed?
CHAIRPERSON: I would ask him to remember though that it is being translated, so he mustn't talk too fast.
MR MOSTERT: May I then proceed? Thank you.
EXAMINATION BY MR MOSTERT: Mr Rudolph, you were the leader and founder of the Orde Boerevolk, is that correct?
MR RUDOLPH: That is correct, Chairperson.
MR MOSTERT: When was the Orde Boerevolk established?
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson, I myself have submitted an amnesty application and I believe that the documents can be found before you. I will refer to page 324 of my own application and in paragraph 1.1 on page 324 it says:
"1.1 Background. After a visit to the former State President Mr F W de Klerk and Mr Gerrit Viljoen at the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 1989, along with members of the AWB, Boerestaat Party and the Transvaal Separatists, the State President and Viljoen informed the delegation that they could not respond to the claim, or the demand for the restoration of the freedom of the Boereland, that being the Transvaal and the OFS. Their reason was that they did not know who we were representing. It was the recommendation of the State President that the delegation should first go to the ballot to determine how much support there would be for the concept of the restoration of the Boer Republics."
Chairperson, that was the foundation which was laid for the establishment of the Orde Boerevolk as a liberation movement.
MR BIZOS: With the greatest respect, a simple question was asked. When was the Boere Orde established? One would have thought that a date and a year was ...(indistinct) and not a platform for the historical motivation for its formation. I would submit, Mr Chairman, that you will ask the applicant's attorney to ask questions to be answered. We have read the documents. It is unnecessary for the witness to read them to us.
MR MOSTERT: Chairperson ...
CHAIRPERSON: What is the answer to the question that was put to you Mr Rudolph, that was when was it established?
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson, this is not a criminal trial, this is a Commission of Inquiry and I have come here and I was not given a previous opportunity to come here to come and explain to you regarding the Orde of the Boerevolk is and why we are here today. With the greatest respect to Mr Bizos and his superior knowledge, I will make use of the opportunity for the sake of the truth in order to address you properly.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Mr Rudolph, I think what - nobody is preventing you from doing what you want to do, but I think what is being suggested is that your attorney should lead you step by step and guide you as to what vital issues, issues which he regards to be of importance to his client's application. The idea is that the attorney will ask you questions to guide you to the important areas. It may be that at some point he will say to you: "Mr Rudolph, now give us the background of what happened" and then you'll do that. Otherwise your attorney is not going to be in control of his witness, he will lose control of his witness and that may be detrimental to his client's application. You see, that is the problem where a witness does not allow himself to be guided by a lawyer representing his client.
MR RUDOLPH: I bow to your superior knowledge, My Lord.
MR MOSTERT: When was the Orde of the Boerevolk established?
MR RUDOLPH: The Orde of the Boerevolk was established after a visit to the State President, the former State President, in 1989. In February 1990 the former State President unbanned the ANC, PAC and SACP.
MR MOSTERT: Very well, on this point, could you please give us the background of the events, how it took place and how it came to be that the Orde of the Boerevolk was established.
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson, because we as the Boers, I am not the Afrikaner, because we were concerned regarding the course of events and because it was very clear that the National Party of F W de Klerk would capitulate at a certain point, we as the Boers fought just as much against the National Party Government, since 1968, as other institutions did. In fact Chairperson, we regarded the National Party Government as a continuation of the occupation forces and of the conquest of Great Britain over the Boer nation in 1902 and this was the reason why we went to Mr de Klerk. The Orde of the Boerevolk was a movement which was established in the same fashion as Umkhonto weSizwe. In fact, Chairperson, we knew that the Boer nation would ultimately have to fight for its freedom. Our consistent viewpoint throughout the years was that there were only two manners in which a nation could regain its freedom. One was negotiation and if that road was closed as the ANC also experienced, then one would have to fight for one's freedom. Chairperson, furthermore it was clear to me and I also stated it as such from political platforms in public gatherings, that the National Party would stab the Boer nation in the back, would deliver them to a black government, which would not recognise the claims of the Boer nation and would create a fear psychosis among white voters, that we would ultimately be delivered to a black majority government and by nature of the situation, we believed that the situation in South Africa, would ultimately develop into a state where white people, and I'm not referring only to the Boer nation, I'm referring to white people, would be oppressed by black people.
Chairperson, during these gatherings I presented to the people that as it was for the first time during the Rivonia trial, for Nelson Mandela who later became State President and all the others who were involved in those proceedings, as it was presented, it was presented that the weaklings had to be fearlessly attacked and that there had to be a shameless fleeing away from the stronger. Chairperson, I also presented the events in the Congo and in Angola, specially regarding the invasion of Holden Roberto and the later advice to Dr Augustino Neto by Admiral Rosa Cortinio, that women, children and the elderly had to be removed. Chairperson, this was the fear psychosis which abated among us as the white people.
Allow me, Chairperson, to state at this point that I am very grateful to be able to tell you today that due to one great man, namely Mr Nelson Mandela, it did not take place and the situation has changed completely for us, but by means of the Orde of the Boerevolk we wanted to insist upon the restoration of the Boer Republics as they were in 1902 and we wanted to illuminate this as the total sovereign and independent area for the Boer nation, that was the duty.
MR MOSTERT: May I just interrupt you at this point? Did you attempt any negotiations with the National Party Government and what was their response to this?
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson, the visit to F W de Klerk in 1989 at the Union Buildings was undertaken with the express purpose to negotiate with them. I can tell you that I regard F W de Klerk as the biggest traitor that has ever existed in history.
MR MOSTERT: Please continue.
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson, thank you, my attorney has pointed out to me quite justifiably that my language usage has been somewhat sharp. Before we could continue with the negotiations with the Government, the events of February 1990 took place and as a result of this and the month of April in 1990, an opportunity presented itself to steal the Air Force weapons in Pretoria. I went to steal weapons there because I believed that if we were to enter into a black and white struggle the white people would have been delivered to their mercy without being armed. We foresaw a revolution.
MR MOSTERT: I just want to interrupt you once more. Did the previous Government tell you clearly that they would not be negotiating with you any further?
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson, Mr de Klerk, upon our visit, referred us to the Ballot. He was not prepared to enter into any further negotiations and what shocked me was that subsequently he unbanned the ANC and other organisations without referring them to a ballot in turn. Initially I was involved in a Boer umbrella organisation, known as the Boer Separatists and the aim was to establish a referendum to point out to the Government and other institutions, the magnitude of the Boere nations' desire for freedom.
MR MOSTERT: And when did you do this, under instruction of the Government with the Separatists?
MR RUDOLPH: It was in January 1990 that we began with that and the visit to Mr de Klerk was late in November 1989. At that stage, Chairperson, I would just like to point out to you, I was the Deputy Leader of the Boerestaat Party.
MR MOSTERT: Then just to return to the arms theft. Was that an Order of the Boerevolk operation?
MR RUDOLPH: It was an out and out operation of the Order of the Boerevolk in order to obtain weapons with which we would be able to wage the necessary war.
MR MOSTERT: In your amnesty application and I refer the Committee to page 325 paragraph 3, there you mentioned a video recording and you stated there in 3.1:
"During June 1993 and in Heidelberg, while I was underground..."
you gathered the men in balaclavas and made the video, is that correct?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, that is correct.
MR MOSTERT: And the date, is the date correct?
MR RUDOLPH: The date in the application is incorrect. The date should read not June 1993, but June 1990.
MR MOSTERT: Very well. This is the video that we brought with as an exhibit and which we will later display. We will return to that later. However, what is of importance is at which point did you declare war?
MR RUDOLPH: At that stage, when we made the video, Chairperson.
MR MOSTERT: What did your declaration of war involve?
MR RUDOLPH: It involved that we realised to what the situation in South Africa was leading up to, that it was absolutely vital for the South African Government to be overthrown, that we would have to win our freedom back and that anyone who would oppose us in that process, would be regarded as our enemy.
MR MOSTERT: Very well. The arms theft, did you commit this with the objective of this planned war?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, to take the Boer struggle further. I must just add at this point that during the political meetings and rallies I realised that the white people were reasonably unarmed and I attempted to collect approximately R2 000 000 so that we would be able to assist our people in obtaining legal arms. However this was unsuccessful.
MR MOSTERT: Can you tell the Committee how did you plan - or shall I put it as follows, what was the policy of war of the Orde Boerevolk?
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson, the policy of the Orde Boerevolk in which we believed, represented the Boer nation, was to go into war against the National Party and the Government and by means of sabotage and persons at that stage, at that stage South Africa in general, but in particular in the Transvaal and in the Free State, there were many people who were willing and who openly declared themselves to be willing to take up arms against the National Party. That is why in the recording that you will see later, Chairperson, I encouraged our people that those who wanted to shoot, should do so. The nation was called up for what we called a liberation struggle.
MR MOSTERT: Let us look at the structures of the "Orde Boerevolk. How did the Orde Boerevolk function?
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson, I went out and I started organising our people into cells and the instruction was that no more than five persons were to belong to a cell and the instruction was quite clear that no one in the Order would be allowed that (a) had a drinking problem, (b) could not be disciplined and (c) that could not shut up. It was vital to organise the Order into cells and to run it as a secret organisation in order to continue the struggle underground and the existing political parties and organisations bound themselves to the constitution and my observation was that we had to move away from this organisation in a cell structure and had to operate in a cell structure and in this process, in order to make sure that we would not be infiltrated by the security structures, I drew up an oath that has already been presented to you during this hearing, Chairperson and while we are at that point I would like to refer you to the oath that was taken by persons whom were regarded as members, those were people whom we could place under the discipline of the Orde Boerevolk and what I would like to present to you Chairperson, is the last paragraph of this oath:
"Further I declare under oath that no instruction from any other organisation which I would go by any organisation that would go against the organisations of the Transvaal and the Free State, whether this be verbally, in writing, or in whatever form it may be."
You as learned persons and this is what I would like to present to you because here I plead for forgiveness:
"furthermore that I undertake never to talk about any actions by any person who is in the struggle and not to report any such things to any person and lastly, that I would never in any Court of whatever form, against any existing or former member, or any organisation of the Order, I would not testify against such persons"
and the import of the situation brought about that today I have to look past that oath and I hope that I shall be forgiven for that.
MR MOSTERT: Do I understand you correct, the whole purpose of the Orde Boerevolk was to establish the reparation of the Boere Republics as they were known?
MR RUDOLPH: That's correct, Chairperson. The Orde Boerevolk was a liberation movement similar to the ANC and similar to the PAC. We in the Orde Boerevolk did not fight for voting powers, we wanted to fight for our liberation and with that purpose in mind, the movement was established and the instructions were given and we started organising this thing.
Unfortunately Chairperson, after the video that you will see, the National Party Government promised a reward of R50 000 for my head, which drove me underground, just as well as other people who were subjected to restrictions, because I could not do as I wanted to do previously.
MR MOSTERT: Now the recruitment of members, how did this happen?
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson, I primarily concentrated on the recruitment of people that I knew felt the same way as I did, since I came into public life in 1968 and secondly, I had a reasonable number of people that I recruited from the AWB because those persons were aware from the constitutional politics and they had greater comprehension for the possibility of a liberation struggle and I hasten to add, Chairperson and point out to you, that unfortunately amongst those people, there were people who actually did not understand and comprehend the struggle of the Boer nation and they had to be taught this.
MR MOSTERT: Very well. The applicant, Mr Piet Botha, do you know him, did you know him at that stage?
MR RUDOLPH: At that stage I did not know him. I knew about him, Chairperson, he was a Commandant in the Richards Bay area and we in the Orde Boerevolk, this part of Northern Natal, Vryheid and Kliprivier, who sat on the ZAR organisation, this we regarded, if we wanted our liberation back these were parts that had to come back to the Boerevolk. There was the possibility in that set-up to regard Richards Bay as a haven and it was important to recruit people from that area that would promote the struggle of the Orde Boerevolk.
MR MOSTERT: Very well. You are aware of the events that led up to this application. This conduct by Mr Botha, was this under the instruction of the Orde Boerevolk?
MR RUDOLPH: If you would grant me, I shall answer the question as follows: I told you that the Orde Boerevolk was a liberation movement. Anyone who identified with the liberation movement we regarded as possible candidates with the conditions that I mentioned previously. Piet Botha was a good candidate and he became a member of the Orde Boerevolk. Piet Botha, as a Commandant of the AWB, was already in a position of leadership and he could go out and recruit people to become part of the Orde Boerevolk.
MR MOSTERT: The question is actually was his action, did this concur with the instructions of the Orde Boerevolk?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, Chairperson, they concurred, but I would like to qualify that.
MR MOSTERT: Please continue.
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson, on the 17th of September 1990, I was arrested. This was after I was forced underground. I was detained in terms of Section 29 and any one who was detained under Section 29 will know how draconian this was. At the time of these events, after the video, after we compiled the video Chairperson, there was an attack on mine workers in the Free State Goldfields. At that stage I gave instructions that where people were attacked, where white people were attacked by black people with a political objective, that we have to hit back and hit back hard and the instance of the Free State Goldfields was a unique situation in the sense that it was black mineworkers who stayed in ...(indistinct) and who had attacked white persons and to hit back there, that would have meant that one had to limit casualties and I was indeed arranging that that ...(indistinct) would be attacked with a RKG 7. In our struggle, Chairperson, there was no possibility that we could make use of Afrikaans newspapers, or the radio or television in order to tell people of our struggle. I had established contact with a lady who was on the editorial team in Pretoria and I do not want to submit anything else here, but this is what she wrote:
"I will shoot ten blacks for every white - Rudolph"
This was written by Esther Mall and she says the following:
"Former City Councillor and Right Wing activist, Mr Piet Rudolph, yesterday vowed he would shoot ten blacks for every white killed in Welkom. Mr Rudolph, who has been in hiding for more than a month, said he was involved in the shooting at Sebokeng in which at least 14 people were killed on March 26. He said Law and Order, Minister, Adriaan Vlok's talks with various groups in Welkom had resulted in nothing"
and I am quoted Chairperson for the first time:
"was not worth the paper it was written on".
And then still in quotation marks:
"Our people are still being sold out and will have to take the law into their own hands. We will use the same weapons as those stolen from the South African Air Force", Mr Rudolph told the Pretoria News in a telephone call. He urged Mr Vlok to solve the racial crisis in Welkom immediately."
And once again in quotation marks:
"'Otherwise I will give an order for the people to shoot.' Referring to the shooting in Sebokeng,"
and this is what she writes, Chairperson,
"Mr Rudolph said it was not only the police who shot the people"
And then she quotes me:
"'Regarding the stolen car of Col ...(indistinct) Brits,"
I am just quoting the whole thing to you Chairperson.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Mr Mostert, which question exactly is your witness answering? I'll tell you why I'm asking you this, because at one stage I thought you asked him whether that which the applicant had done was as a result of the order he had received from the OB and then Mr Rudolph tried to answer that question by reference to liberation movements and then you came back and you asked the question, before he could really give an answer to that one, you then asked the question, as I understood it, you asked him whether that which the applicant had done was "in ooreenstemming met die beleid ..." or whatever, which is quite different from the first question, so I'm not sure whether, what the witness is answering is the first question, or whether it is the second one, or which one, which question are we dealing with.
MR MOSTERT: The second one. I asked him whether this was in concurrence with the instructions of the Orde Boerevolk and he said yes. He did not use the word "yes", he said in concurrence, meaning yes and then he said that he wanted to specify to the Committee and that is what he's doing at this stage, so I am giving him free reign, so that he can tell his whole story to you.
JUDGE NGOEPE: What about the first question? Will we come back to that?
MR MOSTERT: What was it? If you can remind me.
MR RUDOLPH: If you can remind me, the first question, what was it?
JUDGE NGOEPE: Let me leave it there, I'll see maybe in the end you've covered it. If I have a problem with it, I'll raise it.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Mr Mostert, is he qualifying the answer he gave to you when you asked whether the action by Mr Botha was done under the instruction of the OB, he said yes and then he wanted to qualify. Is he still qualifying the positive answer he gave?
MR MOSTERT: That is correct.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And this qualification entails the details about the article that appeared in Pretoria News?
MR MOSTERT: The way I understand it, he can clarify it for us, but the way I understand it, that instructions were given in the Welkom case and that that was then the official policy, as I understand it, of the Orde Boerevolk.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: I just want to, on the same page with Mr Rudolph, I just want to know whether he is still qualifying the positive answer he gave to you.
MR MOSTERT: That is how I understand it. Is that so?
MR RUDOLPH: I am still qualifying it, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: You see what I don't understand is does he agree that what this woman wrote is what he said, or does he not, because time and again he has said: "She wrote" something, not I said. If he's merely quoting an article written by someone which he doesn't claim credit for himself, what's the value of it?
MR MOSTERT: I will come to that the moment he's finished reading it. I will ask him.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Is it necessary for him to read it, if he doesn't agree with what is written?
MR MOSTERT: At this stage we don't know whether he's agreeing or not, so I'll let him read it and I'll ask him what he's agreeing and what not. May I proceed?
JUDGE NGOEPE: No, we should ask him now.
CHAIRPERSON: Wouldn't it be better to do it as you go through it? If you let him go through the whole of the article and then say: "What do you agree with", he's then got to start at the beginning again.
MR MOSTERT: Alright we can do it then. With what in that article do you agree, what is correct and what's not correct? Can you explain to the Committee please?
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson, what I am trying to do in all honesty, is to tell you where this thing came from and what was the run-up that eventually led to the events here in Natal and this is what I'm trying to tell you, because I told you initially that already on the 17th of September I was arrested and detained in terms of Section 29. These events took place on the 9th of October 1990 when I was already in detention.
MR MOSTERT: Yes, but the Committee's problem is the following. That woman writes you will kill ten blacks for each white, is that correct?
MR RUDOLPH: That is correct yes. But this was said, not meaning that one white life is the equivalent, or worth ten black lives, this was mean to indicate the veracity of the situation if something like this happened, because we felt that we were on the eve of a racial war and if this happened and one white person was killed, then we will stand back and ten blacks would be killed and that is why I tell you, Chairperson, that this was the thing. What I am telling you is I accept responsibility for what Piet Botha has done, but this instruction was not given by me personally to Piet Botha, because if I was able to convey to him, it may have been in different words and it may have been qualified much better, but unfortunately I found out in public life that if you do not have a legal background, you must not open doors into politics.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Mr Rudolph, do you mean any ten black people, whether it be children at school, women, people coming from Church?
MR RUDOLPH: No, Sir, that is the tragic thing and that is why I asked you initially if I could speak to the victims in English, I would like to qualify the question by telling you we as Boers lost 27 000 children and women in the war against the English, they were killed in the camps and I do not want to be part of an organisation that kills children and women, Sir and today I have to sit here and look you in the eyes and speak to you about people that were simply killed, or were injured along the road, because of a political act that I cannot qualify properly, that is what I am trying to tell you.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Just a minute please, I'm not talking about this particular incident. I'm trying to understand your statement: "One white person, ten black people". What I want to know is, would it be any, in the way that you yourself understood it, not in a way, let's leave the applicant for a moment, in the way that you yourself understood that statement, did you mean to say any black, any ten black people, or - well let me stop there, I don't want to put words in your mouth.
MR RUDOLPH: Thank you Mr Commissioner. I would like to tell you, that is why I am trying to qualify this thing, by telling you that the Welkom set-up where this instruction went out was entirely different because that was in ...(indistinct) and the people who attacked the white persons lived there in that camp and the last thing that I wanted to see was that innocent persons and specifically children and women would be injured in this process, whether they be white or black, or whatever they may be, it would not have my approval, that is what I am trying to tell you. But this instruction with regard to the ten was not an instruction that I personally conveyed to Piet Botha, this was conveyed by other persons and I was in detention and there was nothing that I could do about it, I was the victim of circumstances, just like there were other people who were victims of circumstances who drove in busses.
MR MOSTERT: But the question I want to ask you is can you confirm to the Committee that the instruction that Piet Botha received, forget about Natal, that for one white man who is killed, ten black people would be killed, can you confirm that that such instructions were given to him?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, I confirm that. The people who did the recruitment on my behalf conveyed these instructions.
JUDGE NGOEPE: When was that?
MR RUDOLPH: I think Chairperson, if I recall correctly, Mr Botha, September 20th or the 24th, he was recruited somewhere around there as a member of the Order. Already on the 17th of September I was arrested. In other words what I am trying to tell you is that there was no way that I could communicate with him, or he could communicate with me with regard to this particular incident and it was on the basis of what was conveyed to him by people who recruited him, he went and executed an order as he saw it and I agree with that because he went and executed an order and we are soldiers.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Mr Mostert, I'm still putting questions to the witness. Mr Rudolph, I asked you and at some stage I felt I should not put words into your mouth because you kept on referring to the incident in the Free State where specific people had killed white people and your plan was that those people living in the compound who were the culprits should also be attacked. Now I want to know whether by your statement of one to ten, you meant killing the ten culprits or people associated with the culprits, ...(indistinct) in the Free State on the mines, or any ten black people. I think I'm going to insist on this question being answered, it's very vital.
MR RUDOLPH: Mr Commissioner, I have a problem that I don't understand you correctly, what you are actually referring to. That is why I took this thing away, so I can hear properly what you are asking me. What do you want to know of me? Do I understand the question correct? You want to know whether, if a white man was killed for any political reason, would any number of black people be killed, do I understand you correctly?
JUDGE NGOEPE: And I give you an example, whether it's children coming from school or women coming from church, any black person, or a group of black men coming from wherever? Any is it? I want to understand whether by that you mean any black person, or a group of ten people connected with the attack that killed a white person, that is what I want to know.
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, my instruction would be that those people who are involved, would be the persons to be attacked. I told you and I will reiterate and I hope that I qualified it properly.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Is that how you yourself understood your own statement of one white person to ten black people? Is that how you yourself understood that statement?
MR RUDOLPH: About the number? The number was just ...(intervention)
JUDGE NGOEPE: No I am not referring to the number, I'm asking whether you yourself, that's how you yourself understood the statement, to say the ten people should be the people previously connected with the killing of a white person, that is what I want to know.
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, that is so, but you were also asking whether this would be women and children and I am telling you categorically, under no circumstances.
CHAIRPERSON: Not only would it not be women and children, it wouldn't be innocent passers-by, it would be the people who had participated in the attack on the white, is that what you mean?
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson, that is why I have these things here. I would like to answer the question directly, but I am telling you now because we will get to this, because with white people there was a perception that they were threatened by black people and black people had the perception that they were threatened by white people, this tended to a racial war and in circumstances where races would attack each other, that is what I'm trying to tell you.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Mr ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: But I am asking you, where you say your organisation would retaliate by killing people, would they retaliate only by killing the attackers, or people who belonged to the group who attacked?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, but innocent people could be injured in the process, just on the basis of the fact that they are black, because it's an attack on black people. That is what happened here and therefore I accept responsibility because people could have understood it in that manner.
CHAIRPERSON: So in this instance where there was an attack on people in a bus, apparently going home from work, who had taken no part in any attack on the whites, you justified it, you accept it, is that what I understand your evidence to be? That that was the policy of your party?
MR RUDOLPH: You understand correctly.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: I'm getting a little confused, Mr Rudolph. I thought in response to what was put to you by Judge Ngoepe, your response was that the intention behind the policy that, or the instruction you gave was that for each and every white person killed, you've got to hit hard on those black people who were connected to the killing of that white person, have I misunderstood you?
MR RUDOLPH: No you understood me correctly, that is what I am trying to explain to you with regard to the situation in the Free State.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Yes and did it matter to you whether the person, the white person who would have been killed, belonged to the Nationalist Party?
MR RUDOLPH: No Chairperson, the only thing that mattered was that if that person was killed for political reasons, that is what mattered, that was the criteria.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Didn't it matter if the person who had been killed was in fact a policeman who supported the Nationalist Party, who stood in our path of the liberation of the Boerevolk? Is that correct?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, you see that's a very good hypothesis. I would like to tell you unequivocally that I would - maybe I should qualify that, when I say white people for a political reason, other than the State against whom we declared war.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: So the white person did not include a person who supported the Nationalist Party, like a Security Policeman?
MR RUDOLPH: No, if it was a Security Policeman, or if it was a well-known member of the National Party like Mr F W de Klerk, or Vlok, if they were killed I would not protect them or give an instruction to that effect. The thing did not have a racial connotation for me, the only racial connotation, Madam Chairperson, was that by black persons a perception was created with white people and at that stage when these events took place, we were in a situation of war and we knew that the Government would capitulate and the expectation was created with white people that their time was up and that was the only thing that would happen to them was they would be slaughtered and the expectation was created with black people, because of the conduct of the National Party, that this surrender was at hand and all that they had to go and do was to go out and attack people. I am not the only one who says this. If you will grant me, Chairperson:
"attack on Durban whites was response to killing by Strydom"
I would like to hand this up,
Events ...(indistinct) shootings"
and this was a man who appeared before this Committee to apply for amnesty, his name is Gregory Sithole. He said:
"This led to a meeting of more than 15 PAC members on Durban's beach front to prepare for their attack the next day"
and if you look at the video then you will see that it was a declared enemy, the PAC in itself, although not mentioned by name, but qualified as a collaborator of the ANC, was a target in itself and this is what I would submit to you because I would be omitting my duties if I do not,
"the Government was oppressive".
MR MOSTERT: In which newspaper was that?
MR RUDOLPH: Pretoria News, Monday the 31st of Friday the 31st of March 2000.
CHAIRPERSON: Have we got a copy of the previous newspaper article that he's been quoting from?
MR MOSTERT: They haven't put a date on record and a name but we have
INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone is not on.
MR MOSTERT: Sorry, we didn't put the date on record, but we can supply the Committee with a copy of it.
CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - mike not on) If you could do so please. I don't think we need a copy of the latest one, do we? Do you want a copy of this one he's just read? The previous one, not this one.
MR RUDOLPH: I would like to submit this as well Chairperson, because here it is significant to demonstrate regarding my response to Judge Khampepe. Just to conclude, Sithole said his compensation for his part in the incident was the liberation enjoyed today.
MR MOSTERT: Mr Rudolph, there is something that I need to clarify in terms of the question which have been put by the Committee, these persons who were shot who were in the bus in this incident, would they qualify as targets in terms of the policy of the Order of the Boerevolk?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, unfortunately they would have qualified at that stage although, and I just want to qualify this Chairperson, if I had been outside, if I had not been detained, then it may have been a completely different type of attack and it would not have been on persons who were in a bus on their way home.
JUDGE NGOEPE: I don't understand that. How can people - how can whether or not people qualify as targets depend on whether or not you are in detention?
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Taking into account that you've already testified that you actually gave, delegated authority to those who approached me Mr D P Botha and gave him instructions with regard to who has to be attacked and under what circumstances.
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson, I am struggling with this set-up because I am trying to follow the question in English and then I get an Afrikaans interpretation. Is it possible for me to remove the device when you speak to me in English, so that I can listen to what you are asking me, otherwise I will not understand you correctly?
JUDGE NGOEPE: I asked you how can whether or not people qualify as targets depend on whether or not you were in detention. What I'm saying to you is that policy is policy, you don't take policy into detention with you, it remains behind, it is there for anybody to follow, so either in terms of your policy they qualified as targets or they didn't qualify as targets. I therefore do not understand the qualification you are trying to put. If policy is there, policy is there, whether you are in detention of not. In terms of the policy as you knew it, as you articulated it yourself of one to ten, did the people in the bus qualify as targets?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, they qualified and will reiterate this, that is the most unfortunate thing about it for me. I would like to sit here and tell you about the struggle of the Boer nation.
JUDGE NGOEPE: On what basis did they qualify?
MR RUDOLPH: On the basis of the fact that they were black people.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Simply because they were black?
MR RUDOLPH: Simply because they were black, because it was an attack on white people. It was an attack on white people and I wish that we could change it, that is what I'm trying to tell you. I wish that we could have changed that, however, I was in detention.
JUDGE NGOEPE: So any black person would have qualified as a target, is that what you're trying to say?
MR RUDOLPH: At that stage that was the case. At that stage it was like that, yes. However and during the first hearing you put this question, I think it may have been you or Commissioner Khampepe who put the question at that stage, if they had been white PACs in the bus, they would also have been attacked, and I am telling you now unequivocally, yes, if they had been white people who had been in the bus and if there was knowledge that they were PACs who were aiming to take the PAC struggle further, they would have been attacked in the process. What I am trying to tell you is that it wasn't only because people were black that they were attacked in this process, but there was a perception in South Africa at that stage, and that is what I am trying to convey to you, there was a perception at that stage that the time of the white people was up and that the black people would be those who would take over the process and that they would ultimately exterminate the whites.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Would you have been looking for PAC people that day, or black people?
MR RUDOLPH: I personally?
JUDGE NGOEPE: Yes.
MR RUDOLPH: I personally would tell you that if I had been on the outside I would have gone looking for the PAC. I would have gone looking for the people of the PAC, but I can understand and that is what I'm also trying to convey to you, I can understand that a man on the basis of what has been conveyed to him, would get to the point where he would attack a bus of people because they were black.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Mr Rudolph, I'm just going back to what you stated before that had you not been detained at the time of the operation carried out by Mr Botha, things would have been different and I just want you to clarify for me how things would have been different had you not been detained.
MR RUDOLPH: The question has partially been answered by the question which was put by Judge Ngoepe. If at that stage in 1990 when I was detained, we were already at a negotiations stage, the liberations movements had been unbanned, they were allowed to have offices, they were allowed to be identified and my point would have been to go for the PAC based upon what the PAC did here. That is my response to you. I would have gone for the PAC instead of a situation that we have now where people who were innocently travelling on a bus were targeted, that due to their skin colour, they were classified as possible targets. It is a terrible thing that I am saying to you now, but there is no other way for me to define it.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: My further question, just latching on that one. Had you not been detained, would you have expected Mr Botha to have made contact with you prior to his execution of this operation?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, naturally. However, I beg your pardon Madam Commissioner, I do not wish to bring you under the wrong impression and perhaps that is why I might sound long-winded, I just want to tell you in terms of your question regarding the nature and scope of the organisation of the Order of the Boerevolk that there was an instruction of those persons who were mobilising people. I knew that I would have to assume responsibility at some or other point for things that were going on and that is why there was an instruction that in as far as it was possible, persons would have to liaise with me, especially when it came to the question surrounding the possibility of loss of life. If I may just give you a further indication? We did not only go out to kill black people. In my era of being underground, Mr de Klerk held a meeting at Vryheid and it was there that we made arrangements with the organisation that during that public rally Mr F W de Klerk would be driven out of the hall with tear gas and once he was outside and we had a person in possession, a sharp shooter, Mr de Klerk would have been shot dead. However, the circumstances were not in our favour. Mr de Klerk was indeed driven out, but due to the convergence of people, there was never any opportunity to take a clear shot at him.
MR MOSTERT: Mr Rudolph, what is your comment regarding Mr Botha's evidence when he testified before the Committee and said that in this case the attackers wrote the rules and that he simply launched his action according to the same rules?
MR RUDOLPH: My comment on that Chairperson is very clear. We were involved in a situation of warfare, however minor or major our attempt in comparison to the other organisations, we were nonetheless involved in a situation of warfare and the mere action of the PAC that morning created the pretext for this attack on the bus. Let me just present to you and I do so from this book: "Armed and Dangerous, my under cover struggle against apartheid" Ronnie Kasrils and I refer you to page 239 and he writes about a matter in Swaziland where there were possibly people who may have been RSA Government agents and Mr Kasrils who went as far as Deputy Minister of Defence and who knew warfare said:
"In war it is necessary to act when the opportunity presents itself."
That's what he says and if I could qualify it even further, he writes further:
"The incident of the three men had been a revealing one for me. I felt myself on the spot, ready to pronounce on their fate and to this day feel we should have acted in time"
and that is what I am trying to submit to you. It was a situation of warfare Chairperson, it was not a set of normal circumstances. We lived in abnormal times. Today perhaps we are living closer to normality than before.
CHAIRPERSON: Well you said you would naturally have expected Mr Botha to have contacted you as there was an instruction that people had to liaise with you particularly when there was loss of life. That is correct, is it?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, that is correct.
CHAIRPERSON: And the leader of a cell would have known this?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, he would have been aware of it because the leader of a cell was also aware that I was in detention and if a cell leader found himself in that position, he was justified in taking decisions and actions.
CHAIRPERSON: There were still Chiefs of Staff present, were there not?
MR RUDOLPH: We were busy with our organisation, Chairperson. The only Chief of Staff in Natal was a man by the name of Nick Fourie who, as with Mr Botha, was a member of the AWB, but Mr Botha didn't know about Mr Fourie.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Botha contacted the Chief of Staff the next morning. He did know about him.
MR RUDOLPH: He didn't know of Nick Fourie per se, he had a contact number where he could establish contact, but he wouldn't know that the contact number was actually Nick Fourie.
CHAIRPERSON: No, but he would know it was the Chief of Staff to whom he could report and get instructions.
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, he would have known that he may have been speaking to a Chief of Staff, but he wouldn't have known which Chief of Staff, or the identity of the person. He would never have been able to identify the person. That was a precautionary measure in order to combat infiltrations and also to deal with situations of arrest.
CHAIRPERSON: A Chief of Staff was a superior officer from whom he could get instructions, was he not? You as Head of the organisation were not longer available, there was however, there were however other more senior persons such as the Chief of Staff, is that not so?
MR RUDOLPH: Naturally there were because Nick Fourie was the Commander of the total Natal set-up. What I'm trying to submit to you, Chairperson, because we were underground and because we functioned according to a cell system, Piet Botha would not have know with whom he was liaising in the process, otherwise ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: He would know it was a Chief of Staff.
MR RUDOLPH: He could have known this, but he would not have know who the Chief of Staff was, that is what I am trying to submit to you.
CHAIRPERSON: But he would know that it was someone holding that rank, wouldn't he? He has told us in his evidence:
"The following day, that is the 10th of October, I did report back to the Chief of Staff of the Orde Boerevolk."
MR RUDOLPH: What is the question?
CHAIRPERSON: So he knew that he could report to the Chiefs of Staff, he didn't have to know their names, did he?
MR RUDOLPH: He couldn't have known the name, but he could have reported to somebody who was the Chief of Staff, yes that is correct, that is what I told you.
CHAIRPERSON: And got instructions from them and permission to carry out an operation.
MR RUDOLPH: No. No, he couldn't.
CHAIRPERSON: Why not?
MR RUDOLPH: Very simple Sir, particularly because under these circumstances where lives were at stake, the instruction from my side was that I would be the person that would have to be contacted and for those purposes there was a number which was available and the person who figured here in Natal as the Chief of Staff, if you want to put it that way, in my personal opinion he was the Chief of the entire Natal set-up, this was the man by the name of Nick Fourie, but Piet Botha did not know about Nick Fourie, he didn't know who he was. He may have known that there was somebody to whom he would have reported, because in his turn Nick Fourie reported to me. We worked with a pager set-up for the simple reason to avoid the possibility of infiltration and arrest, that is all that I'm trying to tell you.
CHAIRPERSON: But that is the point I am making, that there was a Chief of Staff who ranked between Mr Botha and you and you being unavailable, he could have contacted the Chief of Staff to get instructions.
MR RUDOLPH: That was not the instruction. That was not the instruction. He could simply have reported back to that man. He could only have reported that he did something, but he as the Commander of a cell, also had the right to decide according to his best judgment and that is indeed what he did. Indeed he did so. He told you that he made decisions about certain things. It is in his evidence.
CHAIRPERSON: So you are telling us that in our organisation you had no command structure which persons could apply to for advice or orders, they were left entirely to themselves, each cell of five men, that is your organisation, is it?
MR RUDOLPH: No, that is not what I am saying and I never said that.
CHAIRPERSON: You have just told me that he couldn't have applied to the Chief of Staff for permission or orders to carry out an operation, that he had to decide. That is what you've just said Mr Rudolph.
MR RUDOLPH: And in my turn I said to you that where it was about the question of life and the decision regarding that, I would be the man to make the decision and he would report to me. He could have reported about anything, but when it came to a decision which had to be taken, he would have had to inform me in the process because I knew in this country we have a thing such as common purpose and I would have to accept responsibility for certain things and that is what I have tried to submit to you here. Another man would not have been able to decide on my behalf regarding the potential loss of life.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Mr Rudolph ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: Carry on.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Mr Rudolph, I need to understand you properly in this regard, particularly in view of the evidence that has already been led by Mr Botha. Are you telling us that Mr Botha knew that operations which involved loss of life, had to be liaised with you before they were carried out?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, that is what I am telling you unequivocally.
MR MOSTERT: May I proceed? So if you say that, did you say that to him personally?
MR RUDOLPH: No I did not convey it to him, as I have said, at a certain stage he became a member of the Order when I had already been arrested, or perhaps shortly thereafter, so the whole command set-up collapsed and that is what I am trying to explain to you. The Commandant or the person in charge of the cell would also be in a position where he would have to make decisions for himself and Piet Botha was prepared to do so.
MR MOSTERT: And then I just want to bring it all together as such because there is a reasonable measure of uncertainty regarding certain aspects. Piet Botha's action and the decision that he took in terms of the attack on the Durban beach front, the actions that he executed in an attack on the bus, is that entirely in line with the Order of the Boerevolk's policy? Is that acceptable to you that he did so? Did he act on behalf of your organisation?
MR RUDOLPH: Naturally.
MR MOSTERT: Is there anything further that you wish to bring to the Committee's attention?
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson I wanted to bring to the Committee's attention page 17, Piet Botha states, regarding the liaison with a newspaper he states on page 17 at the very top of the page, or on the previous page at the bottom:
"I once again contacted the Natal Mercury's offices:
and then he says that:
"this sort of news would normally be suppressed by the Government and the threat would be that if it was not published and if they did not state that the Order of the Boerevolk had launched the attack, a similar attack would be launched."
It is difficult to have the type of situation in an underground structure where you can explain to people what is happening above ground. As a cell leader and as a Commander, he could not come running to me with every single thing that happened in this area. He understood what the situation was. I simply had this qualification and fortunately it was never necessary for it to happen again. I had the qualification that if it was about loss of life, whether it was Mr de Klerk or whether it was somebody else, I would have to be aware of it and I would have given my approval.
MR MOSTERT: Very well. Then I want to ask you as follows in order to comply with the requirements of the Act, firstly, Mr Botha testifies that he received an instruction when he was recruited that for every white person who died regardless of their political connections or affinity or affiliation, ten blacks would have to die, also under similar circumstances, that is his evidence of his instructions. Can you dispute that this was the case?
MR RUDOLPH: I am not aware that Mr Botha testified that for every white man ten blacks would have to die. If I have it correctly, he testified regarding the political implications of the Durban beach front incident and the person who was stabbed to death with a knife.
MR MOSTERT: But this is the question, let us just suppose that it was indeed his evidence ...(intervention)
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Don't we know whether or not that was his evidence? Wouldn't you rather put the evidence that's before us?
MR MOSTERT: That is indeed his evidence. Perhaps you would be able to assist me if I am mistaken.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: That's his evidence.
MR MOSTERT: That's his evidence.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Yes. You've got to put it to Mr Rudolph as Mr Botha's evidence.
MR MOSTERT: I actually have done so already. Mr Botha's evidence was as follows: As I've already put it to you, can you deny categorically that he received such instructions or is it possible that he may have received such instructions?
MR RUDOLPH: I accept that he received such instruction. I accept it absolutely and he would have received those instructions during his recruitment which took place in the Free State.
MR MOSTERT: So then in that case, if he had received such instructions, would it still have been necessary for him, in a case where there was loss of life, to confirm this with you?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, it would have. I am not certain whether or not with his instructions in this regard, he also received an instruction to report back to us in that event. I do not know about this because I did not give him the instruction but that would have been the situation otherwise.
MR MOSTERT: I want to put it to you as such, Mr Botha's evidence is that he had such an instruction so you cannot deny this, you cannot deny that this was possible?
MR RUDOLPH: I am not denying it and I accept responsibility for it. I accept unconditional responsibility for the instruction which was conveyed to him in the manner in which he said it was.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: But you have just stated earlier on that you still would have expected him to have liaised with you, is it not so?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, I would still have expected of him to liaise with me if it was possible.
MR MOSTERT: And you evidence was that it was not possible?
MR RUDOLPH: No, it was not possible.
MR MOSTERT: For him to liaise with you?
MR RUDOLPH: No, it wasn't.
MR MOSTERT: Therefore under those circumstances, as an officer or a sole leader, was it his duty to take such decisions himself?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes that is correct because he took an oath that he would do so, that he would take the struggle of the Boer nation further.
MR MOSTERT: So even though he did not have your specific instruction, are you still satisfied that he had an instruction that he indeed acted on behalf of the Order of the Boerevolk?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes.
MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, this is not a permissible question, the form in which it was put. He is asked to comment upon the credibility of the applicant who he has come here to support. His opinion is irrelevant, Mr Chairman.
MR MOSTERT: Chairperson, just to make this somewhat easier, I will rephrase. Botha's action, are you in your capacity as the leader of the Order of the Boerevolk, satisfied that he acted appropriately as a member of the Order of the Boerevolk?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, I am.
MR MOSTERT: Is there anything further that you wish to tell the Committee?
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson, would you grant me the opportunity to elaborate on what I have already told you? Today I would much rather be seated before you to tell you about what we did to propagate the struggle of the Boer nation. This to me is a tragic event and I would like to make use of this opportunity to say to the victims that they are here today and I have not had a prior opportunity because I did not have the documents previously, I would like to tell them that I have a deep sense of regret within my heart and also with my comrade and fellow soldier, Mr Botha, who has already expressed this to the Arch Bishop Tutu. After I read these documents, I was filled with a deep sense of regret and the knowledge that this situation was one of the mistakes of our past. I will state unequivocally that it was a mistake and I would like to say that if I look at the harm which emanates from the documents, I tried to contact one of the persons, I have a cellular number here, I wanted to contact him in order to discuss this with him, but unfortunately I could not establish contact with him on his cell number. When I descended the stairway here this morning I immediately identified one of the victims, namely Mr Zulu who is seated at the back and this friendly, radiant man, who has no objection toward me as a white man embraced me, I don't know if he will still do so. Even if I tell you whatever I wanted today before this Committee, I know it cannot make any difference to those people and it cannot return their loved ones to them, that is why I say that it was a mistake.
I did not consult with my attorney, however I would like to submit something to you, that in the depth of the night when I worked on these documents, when this idea emerged in my mind, it dawned upon me that today I am completely poor as a result of politics, there was a document that I wanted to fax and I couldn't do so because I didn't have a fax machine and I didn't know if it would be the appropriate thing to do, not even Mr Mostert knows about this, I wrote a letter to a person at the Legal Resources Centre in Durban:
"Sir, regarding the amnesty application of D P Botha, you acted on behalf of the victims of the incident which took place on the 9th of October 1990, I have been offered the opportunity to give evidence in the proceedings pertaining to this incident. I will do so because I accept complete responsibility as a soldier of and leader of the Order of the Boerevolk. The documents were sent to me for the first time regarding the session of the 12th to the 13th of October. I have studied these documents and this is the reason for my letter. After I read the evidence of the victims, I became aware of their heartbreaking suffering. I wish to express to you my sincere regret and sympathy for these persons. I hope to have a further opportunity to do so when we are in Durban. As I write this I am aware that nothing that I can say or do and that the depths of my regret cannot change anything for these persons, that it cannot bring back their loved ones to them. I don't know if my regret will be acceptable to the victims, but after I have studied the documents given to me by the TRC, I know that the pain and suffering which has been endured by these victims, will stay with me for the rest of my days. When I wake in the middle of the night, their suffering is with me and I know that I will have to give an account of this one day to my Creator. Due to politics today I am a poor man without many prospects and I have a scant income which many of the victims do not even have, but if it is possible to establish a fund or a monthly contribution of say R100 which can be used for the victims, I would like to do so. I look forward to hearing from you and I would like to tell you categorically that I am a direct descendant of the Voortrekkers who fought against the Zulus in 1838. I have only understanding and sympathy for the Zulu nation because I always thought that if we could establish our Boer nation, these would be the persons with whom we would be able to liaise because they know the flame of freedom which burns in the heart of the Boer nation. I thank you."
MR MOSTERT: Thank you Chairperson. No more questions.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MOSTERT
MR MOSTERT: Chairperson, may - there's one aspect, the video tape. He is still under oath in any case, but I do not think that I might have a problem, we can continue with cross-examination, we can see the video later, but I leave it in your hands.
ADV PRIOR: Mr Chairman, the video is ready.
MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, I think it always takes 10 or 15 minutes to put it together and we took up half an hour this morning in the attempt. Could we ask them to do it during the time that the Committee adjourns and could we take the time available to ask questions, because they're going to be the same, whatever there may or may not be on the video?
CHAIRPERSON: Well it's now quarter to one, I think we could go on to one o'clock. How long would you want to adjourn for?
...(indistinct - mike not on)
MR MOSTERT: Chairperson, I don't have any problem, I'll leave it to Mr Bizos.
CHAIRPERSON: ... adjournment to half past and then we'll commence - ask them please to have the video ready at half past one.
MR MOSTERT: Thank you. I'll have a chat with Mr Prior.
CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - mike not on)
MR MOSTERT: Thank you Mr Chairman.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BIZOS: Sir, I have listened to your evidence carefully, particularly the questions that were put to you by the Members of the Committee. May I appeal to you to listen to the question that I have to put to you carefully and try and answer it as briefly as possible and only that question? You were the leader of the Orde Boerevolk.
MR RUDOLPH: That is correct.
MR BIZOS: You say in your statement that you annex to your application, that you were the person that personally established the Orde Boerevolk.
MR RUDOLPH: That is correct.
MR BIZOS: You also said that you were the person who invited persons to join its main top structure.
MR RUDOLPH: That is correct.
MR BIZOS: And surely in matters relating to life and death the top rank of the organisation must make decisions and take responsibility?
MR RUDOLPH: That is correct.
MR BIZOS: Was the applicant in this case, Mr Botha, on that top rank, or was he a level below the top rank of the Orde Boerevolk?
MR RUDOLPH: Basically he was on the same level as the top structure and I say basically because I was the top structure and we were in the process of organising.
MR BIZOS: Do you say that the top structure was only you and not the Chief of Staff and the Area or Provincial Commanders?
MR RUDOLPH: They were not part of the top structure and there was a reason for that.
MR BIZOS: Who was not - well, can I have an unequivocal answer? Was Mr Botha part of the top structure or not?
MR RUDOLPH: No, he was not a member of the top structure.
MR BIZOS: And this is why you told the Judges of the Committee that in matters of life and death, he would have to refer to you?
MR RUDOLPH: That is correct.
MR BIZOS: Who else was in the top structure, please give us the names, your organisation who had the right to decide whether people should live or die?
MR RUDOLPH: When it came to life or death, I was the only one who could decide.
MR BIZOS: Right. Does that mean that if you were not available nobody had the right to take other people's lives?
MR RUDOLPH: No, that is not what I'm saying.
MR BIZOS: But it follows as nightfall follows day, as a result of what you have already told us, that if you were the only person who could decide on matter of life and death, no one else could have decided, it follows. Why do you deny it? Have you any explanation why you deny it?
MR RUDOLPH: There are many reason for that. Please do not speak so harshly with me. There are many reasons. At that stage I was in detention, so regarding the top structure, we were in trouble and the person who was below me was in detention and now the entire organisatory set-up fell back to those who were in the cell set-up. The cells, such as those of Piet Botha, did not know about people here in Natal such as Nick Fourie who were in charge of the entire Natal set-up.
MR BIZOS: The question is a simple one. If it was so important that people under you should not decide on matters of life and death, why couldn't this right to kill people be suspended whilst you were in detention or whilst your structures elected another temporary leader so that he could exercise the power of life and death that you took upon yourself?
MR RUDOLPH: I was in detention.
MR BIZOS: You've told us that. Please answer the question that I have asked you.
MR RUDOLPH: And I am busy doing so. I told you that I was in detention. The structure of the Orde Boerevolk collapsed, similarly as the organisation continued while one of the great leaders Nelson Mandela spent 20 years on Robben Island, despite this the ANC organisation still continued. I don't know if anybody or everybody obtained permission from him for everything that happened, I doubt it.
MR BIZOS: You know, you take pride in comparing yourself to the leader of the African National Congress and to the African National Congress, forgetting that it was an organisation with a tradition going back to 1912 and they were, when Mr Mandela was jailed and Mr Sisulu took over and when Mr Sisulu was out of the way, Mr Gwai took over and when Mr Gwai was sent in, other people took over, so please, we are of sufficiently informed not to require your comparisons. The question was a simple one. Why was not the right to kill suspended or the killing suspended until some steps were taken to replace you as leader so that this vital question of life and death should be properly decided by the leader? Have you any answer to that question Sir?
MR RUDOLPH: Then what is the question?
MR BIZOS: Well you would not have any trouble in answering my questions or remembering them if you didn't wait to talk, rather than listen, please listen. I will repeat the question for the fourth time. You see you are again waiting to speak, you do not listen Mr Rudolph, please do so. Why were not steps taken for those that were out of detention to appoint a leader as a substitute to you to decide the question of life and death? Can you explain that? Why no steps were taken to substitute you for this vital decision and why killing was not suspended until that happened?
MR RUDOLPH: ...(indistinct)
MR BIZOS: I'm sorry, I didn't hear your answer.
MR RUDOLPH: I am struggling to follow you. You are so long-winded, that I don't really know what you want. I am going to ask you a question and then you should be satisfied with my answer because I'm also going to be somewhat long-winded. The establishment of the Order of the Boerevolk was at the beginning of January 1990. In the month of April I was driven underground as a result of the ammunitions theft. In July the National Party Government and Mr Vlok offered a R50 000 reward on my head and on the 17th of September I was arrested. The Order of the Boerevolk as an organisation could not continue its activities appropriately. The necessary man to lead them was in detention with me, in fact he was arrested before I was and now I must just tell you and please listen to my answer for a change. You refer to the ANC and that I would be proud to compare myself with the ANC. That is not correct, that is your perception. However Sir, in the same way that the ANC in 1912 was driven out due to the fact that the English were not prepared to listen to black aspirations, they also did not listen to the Boer aspirations and that is the parallel that exists. In the same way that the ANC was forced to become a liberation movement and to make use of violence, we were placed in a similar position and that is what I am trying to tell you.
CHAIRPERSON: As I understand you, you started off saying that on the 17th of September you were arrested and the Orde Boerevolk then could not carry on its activities, it went into a state of collapse.
MR RUDOLPH: That is correct, however my activities collapsed. People who were organised and who wanted to promote the struggle of the Boer nation, were still on the outside. May I just tell you this, because perhaps this would clarify many matters for you? After I was arrested, I made a request to Mr Vlok and the police and I said: "Listen, there are things on the outside which have been planned and which can be executed. Please give me the opportunity to speak to these persons so that we could sort these matters out" and they refused to do so. That is what I am trying to tell you. The organisation of the Order of the Boerevolk did not come to an end, it still exists today, but at that stage I was arrested and our matters were not completely in order.
CHAIRPERSON: But you were not replaced by anyone, which is I understand Mr Bizos' difficulty. Nobody came forward to take over the running of the Orde Boerevolk.
MR RUDOLPH: No one else at that stage could have come forward to assume my position, but while we were in prison I arranged with the Security Police because they were looking for weapons and that class of thing, that people be appointed in temporary positions, but I could not discuss all the plans with them in the process because there was no possibility to appoint someone else as the leader of the Order of the Boerevolk and that is why people like Piet Botha could continue with their activities.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: May I interpose Mr Bizos? Mr Rudolph you have repeatedly alluded to one Nick Fourie who was a member in Natal, that you stated that Mr Botha unfortunately was not aware of. I had understood your evidence to have meant that he was part of your top structure. Was he not?
MR RUDOLPH: He wasn't a member of the top structure per se, he was in charge, he would have been in charge of the Natal set-up and indeed he was in charge as a Staff Officer. However he could not give any instructions regarding the life or death of people, that was not part of his position.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Thank you Mr Bizos.
CHAIRPERSON: Are you going on to something else?
MR BIZOS: Yes, Mr Chairman, it may be a convenient ...
CHAIRPERSON: We'll take the adjournment at this stage till one-thirty when we will meet downstairs hopefully.
SHOWING OF VIDEO
INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot hear the speaker's voice very clearly.
MR MOSTERT: We also wish to demonstrate with this that we will combat the Government with every means possible.
INTERPRETER: The sound quality of the tape is very poor. The interpreters cannot hear the speaker very clearly.
MR MOSTERT: Our struggle is a struggle for freedom and it would appear as if the constitutional options that are available to us are not viable. We are about to enter the struggle with all earnesty. We now see the need to go underground. The promotion of our struggle is our greatest consideration. At this moment I am currently being sought after by the police with regard to the theft of Air Force arms. It has been clear to me that the National Party is following an insane process of application which cannot be prevented and only an underground coup de tat will prevent our downfall. No one can say that we are not at the edge of the cliff. I am making this statement not as a refugee but as someone who is committed to the freedom of the Boer nation. I will walk freely among our nation and organise this process until we can claim our freedom.
INTERPRETER: The speaker is very unclear. The interpret cannot follow the speaker on the tape.
MR MOSTERT: That is why the men who are with me are masked. Their identity will have to be kept secret as long as possible so that we can strike with the greatest force possible against the enemy. This is part of our strategy, not because we are afraid of the Government or the hand of the Government. We are not afraid of walking out of here with Air Force weapons because it has become necessary to fight against the Government and the ANC and the SACP or whoever our enemies may be. We will use the weapons at our disposal with every inch of our might and our actions will be known. In the freedom struggle many have fallen. In the war against the English, 26 000 women and children were killed, many of them died as a result of hunger and starvation, many bodies or corpses of children were found poisoned and were fed to pigs. As Jopie Fourie was shot dead one morning due to his participation in the freedom struggle, he took the bullet for freedom. This is our struggle for freedom.
...(SOUND ON VIDEO TAPE VERY UNCLEAR - NO TRANSLATION)
MR MOSTERT: Mr Chairman, can I ask for a short break, my client has a nature call?
PIET RUDOLPH: (s.u.o.)
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BIZOS: (cont.)
Mr Rudolph, when was this video made?
MR RUDOLPH: Approximately May or June 1990.
MR BIZOS: Was this before you as the sole "stigter" of the Boereorde established your organisation?
MR RUDOLPH: No.
MR BIZOS: Was it before or after?
MR RUDOLPH: It was after.
MR BIZOS: Now where was it made?
MR RUDOLPH: Heidelberg, Transvaal.
MR BIZOS: And judging by the content there were a number of questions put to you from the audience.
MR RUDOLPH: That's correct.
MR BIZOS: Was the top structure of your organisation there?
MR RUDOLPH: No.
MR BIZOS: The four people that, the masked people, were they in the top structure?
MR RUDOLPH: They were members of the Order, not in top structure. May I just add, I beg your pardon, the person who asked the questions was the Deputy Leader and this was just covered up to protect him in this process?
MR BIZOS: What leader was he?
MR RUDOLPH: He was the deputy leader of the Order.
MR BIZOS: What was his name.
MR RUDOLPH: Henk Bredenhaan.
MR BIZOS: ...(indistinct - mike not on)
MR RUDOLPH: I do not know. He disappeared like mist before the morning sun.
MR BIZOS: And could you give us the names of the four people that were on the platform with you?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes. I would like to answer your question directly, although I must tell you that I did not know who was there, I had arranged with Bredenhaan that we would meet the people there. Later when the Security Police started arresting people, they mentioned names to me, whether they were there or not, I am not able to tell you because we worked with balaclavas, but I think on the left side, as they were pointed out, it was Mr Bredenhaan’s brother, the man at the table was Mr Koen Vermaak and the other one who appeared on the video was the brother-in-law of Mr Bredenhaan.
MR BIZOS: Would you agree that it would appear that you were able to arrange secret meetings and make videos in a confidential way and rely on people to do your will, so to speak?
MR RUDOLPH: That is correct, up to that stage when the video was made, thereafter R50 000 was put on my head because of that video.
MR BIZOS: And you managed to avoid arrest for how long?
MR RUDOLPH: From June to September, for two more months.
MR BIZOS: What steps, if any, did you take to, whilst you were on the run and before you were in detention, to appoint a second in command or a person that would see to the discipline of the members, so that the policies of your organisation could be implemented?
MR RUDOLPH: Are you asking what steps I took?
MR BIZOS: Yes, whom did you appoint as ...(intervention)
MR RUDOLPH: Mr Henk Bredenhaan as the deputy leader.
MR BIZOS: Was he detained as well?
MR RUDOLPH: He was arrested a week before me in September of 1990.
MR BIZOS: Now didn't you, whilst you were in hiding, appoint regional leaders or provincial leaders to make sure that the policy that you had for the organisation was properly implemented?
MR RUDOLPH: I wanted to but I could not. I was hunted and I was arrested while I was on my way to the Free State to establish a part of the organisation there. I was exposed, just like the Government used house arrest to limit people, that price was placed on my head and this limited my actions because I could not trust anyone.
MR BIZOS: Now what you have said in the video and you have repeated it here, is that you are a direct descendant of the Voortrekkers and you presumably have a lot of respect for the leaders that carried out the two wars and particularly the second war of the British against the Boers?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, I am a descendant of the Voortrekkers.
MR BIZOS: And an admirer of Generals de Wet and De La Rey, who fought a war against British imperialism?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, similar to Mr Nelson Mandela.
MR BIZOS: I don't know why you find it so necessary to ally yourself with Mr Mandela, after all you didn't have such good things to say about him on the video, or are you now saying things.
MR RUDOLPH: Never mind.
MR BIZOS: Never mind? Okay good, then let's have some questions and answers without Mr Mandela. You were proud of these generals because they fought an honest and heroic struggle against the British?
MR RUDOLPH: That's correct.
MR BIZOS: You hoped that your organisation would lead as honourable and as honest a struggle as the persons that you admired?
MR RUDOLPH: That's correct.
MR BIZOS: One of the great grievances of the Afrikaner people, or the Boere if you so prefer, was that 26 000 women and children were, died in the concentration camps.
MR RUDOLPH: That's correct.
MR BIZOS: You considered that as a shameful act to be done by anyone who uses such methods in any struggle?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, a crime against humanity.
MR BIZOS: Yes. Now and you surely would have wanted your organisation to be a mirror reflection of the honourable way in which the Boer generals fought the enemy?
MR RUDOLPH: That's correct.
MR BIZOS: This is why you no doubt agreed with the members of the Committee that you would not have allowed innocent people to be killed by any one of your members for the wrongs that may have been done to the Boer people?
MR RUDOLPH: Especially not the women and children, that's correct.
MR BIZOS: Yes and a tired man who had been working the whole day and was going to his family before eleven in a bus, would surely also not be an honourable way to behave?
MR RUDOLPH: I would believe so, yes.
MR BIZOS: Yes. So that when you said that if you had been asked by Mr Botha whether or not he should kill people in a bus at eleven o'clock returning home from work, you would have said no?
MR RUDOLPH: I would not have agreed with him.
MR BIZOS: Just would have said no? Would have said no?
MR RUDOLPH: I would not have agreed with him, there's a difference.
MR BIZOS: Well perhaps you can enlighten us of what is the difference between no and "I don't agree with you"?
MR RUDOLPH: I will do that Sir. If Mr Piet Botha had contacted me and said they will go out and attack the bus, they will attack a bus because of the fact that white persons were attacked on the beach, then I would have said: "Listen, let us try to see whether we could not get to the PAC in the process, who, those are the persons responsible for the attack", but if he took such a decision and he was in the area, then I would not have agreed with it but in my opinion it would have been acceptable. He could decide.
MR BIZOS: How could he decide to do something which was contrary to this policy that your organisation had as the successor of the organisation of the glorious generals of the war, how could you have accepted such a decision?
MR RUDOLPH: Sir, I did not accept such a decision. I was in detention, there was nothing I could do. I did not know it was about to happen. I did not know that white people would be stabbed to death on the beach, I was not there, Piet Botha was there.
MR BIZOS: The question was, would you not have agreed that Mr Botha should kill people in the bus if he had asked you? You have already answered that question by saying you would not agree. Do you stand by that?
MR RUDOLPH: I stand by that.
MR BIZOS: Very well. Now would you agree that if a member of the Boereorde killed innocent people and said that he did it in the name of your organisation, it would bring your organisation's reputation into disrepute because it would be contrary to the policy that you had laid down?
MR RUDOLPH: Correct.
MR BIZOS: So therefore, the killing of innocent people in the bus, far from helping your organisation, was counter productive to your organisation's objectives?
MR RUDOLPH: That is so.
MR BIZOS: And if anyone were to suggest that this was, this unauthorised killing was contrary to the policy of your organisation and it did your organisation a lot of good, you would not accept it, it would only be someone who was not portraying the aims and objects of your organisation properly?
MR RUDOLPH: That's correct.
MR BIZOS: Now did you regard your organisation as a political party, Sir?
MR RUDOLPH: No, a liberation Sir, like the ANC, their Umkhonto weSizwe.
MR BIZOS: Okay, have your way, but we'll get down to it despite your references. Now what is the difference between a political organisation in your mind and a liberation movement?
MR RUDOLPH: Sir, a political organisation or a political party is an institution that participates in elections and chooses the constitutional path. In other words they participate in elections, they take up seats in Parliament, that is the constitutional role. A liberation movement like the Orde of the Boerevolk is an unconstitutional movement, it's a movement that is at war and it does not use only it's voting power, it also uses bullets that political parties do not do. That is briefly the difference between the two institutions.
MR BIZOS: So if the ANC that you are so fond of referring to, referred to it as a liberation movement prior to the 16th of December 1961, then it was using the word wrongly? It was not a liberation movement before December 1961?
MR RUDOLPH: Can I just point out something to you? You are now making a statement that I am fond of the ANC. That is not what I said, you are saying it and if you will please keep away from saying such things, you will get a correct answer from me. Up to the time of 1961 with the founding of Umkhonto weSizwe by Mr Nelson Mandela and others, the ANC was busy with the struggle, like any other political party in the constitutional set-up although they did not have the vote, they were embroiled in that struggle, that is why in my humble opinion, and you might know better than I, as to why MK was established, because it was another movement other than the ANC itself. I hope that answers your question.
MR BIZOS: I don't think it does. Let me repeat it and try and just answer it directly, if you can. If the ANC was referring to itself as a liberation movement prior to December 1961, it was not using the expression "liberation movement" correctly, if you definition of liberation movement is correct.
MR RUDOLPH: Correct.
MR BIZOS: Yes. Now you see, I am going to suggest to you that this organisation that you put up could more properly be described as a gang rather than a liberation movement. You were not enslaved, you were not discriminated against, were you?
MR RUDOLPH: No, but is that your perception that you have to be discriminated against in order to participate in the liberation struggle? May I ask you that, is that your perception?
MR BIZOS: Well let me answer your question by asking you another. If a liberation movement is to gain liberation, isn't it a misnomer to call yourself a liberation if you were not enslaved, you were not discriminated against? If anything, you and I as whites, were enjoying tremendous privileges, what did we need liberation from you for?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, you are correct. We as whites led a much privileged life, but the Boers struggle, I will get to your question, the Boers' struggle was a liberation struggle because the Boer Republic's freedom was taken away in 1902, it was never repaired and we did not accept the Republic of Dr Verwoerd as the reparation of the Boer Republic and that is why we were prepared to fight against the de Klerk Government and the ANC Government if we get to that point and if we do not get our freedom. I can see what you are confusing the issue with. You are confusing freedom with voting power and I will tell you that the right to vote, just because we had the right to vote as people, the right to vote is just like a dummy for an infant, you prevent it from crying.
MR BIZOS: Did the Afrikaners not rule this country from 1948 and because they were white, didn't they enjoy privileges since 1902?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, but they did not have freedom Sir. Similarly like the ANC, was not taken up in the system and did not have the power to vote to decide for themselves, similarly the Boer nation was forced into a situation and earlier I tried to answer this by telling you about 1910, how the Boers were forced into that National Convention and had to accept political parties, but that did not mean that we accepted the system, that does not mean that I was a NAT, I fought the National Party with all my might, all my life.
JUDGE NGOEPE: I think the question is actually what freedom were you searching for?
MR RUDOLPH: Mr Commissioner, we, the Union State which was known after 1910 as the Union of South Africa and later in 1961 as the Republic of South Africa, we wanted to get away from that unity state, the Union of South Africa which was established by the Brits was only an annexing force for us as Boers and in 1961 when the National Party came about with the Republic of Dr Verwoerd, it was not the reparation of the Boer Republic, it was just a new Republic, we never got our freedom back and that is why I am saying that I am prepared to fight for that area which I regard as my birth land and that is Transvaal. I am not prepared to fight for Transkei, or I am not prepared to fight for the Cape, because that is not part of my home. The home which belonged to my forefathers was the ZAR and that was the Transvaal as we knew it. That is what I tried to convey to you and that is the freedom that we were searching for. The mere fact that we could vote did not mean that we had freedom and the mere fact that the Khoisan now in the Northern Cape can vote, does not mean that they are free because they are also fighting for a land of their own. That is what I'm trying to convey to you. Just like the ANC was involved in the liberation struggle to obtain the rights to vote and participate in the process, but in 1910 when the English at the National Convention here in Durban, decided that the two conquered Boer Republics, the ZAR Transvaal and the Free State will be taken up in the Union of South Africa into one State, similarly in 1910 they did not address the aspirations of black people as to how they saw these things and that is why the ANC was established in 1912, that is what I am trying to tell you. Freedom to me means that I and the country which belonged to my forefathers and for which 27 000 women and children died, that that is my fatherland and I have to get that back and that is the process that we are now negotiating with the ANC, when we get the opportunity, that is why I do not have anything against black people with aspirations, but Sir, just like we were taught as white people that when a black man has nationalist aspirations, he was branded a communist, in the same way we on the right side, when we had aspirations for ourselves, then we were made out as nazis and that type of racist organisations.
JUDGE NGOEPE: If that is the kind of freedom you were striving for, why didn't you start waging the struggle against Verwoerd, right from there, or even Malan?
MR RUDOLPH: Please don't judge me according to my grey hair, I'm not that old.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Well let us start with Verwoerd then.
MR RUDOLPH: Very well, I will begin there. I did not vote for the Republic of Dr Verwoerd.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Why did you not wage the struggle against him?
MR RUDOLPH: I wanted to get to that point. If we had the situation that we had in 1994, we would have had the same situation with Dr Verwoerd. In 1990 or 1989/90 it was clear that F W de Klerk would capitulate, that one couldn't talk to him anymore and that he would give in to a black majority government and that government was for us just as the government from 1910 onwards was, similar to the Government of Dr Verwoerd, simply a government of occupation, but you must also bear in mind what took place in white politics. The white people, it was held against us that the white people in their thousands ran to the National Party because they believed that that was where they belonged and to talk to people at that stage about the restoration of the Boer Republic was an almost impossible task.
JUDGE NGOEPE: So am I wrong then in thinking that your struggle was more against black majority rule, blacks taking over?
MR RUDOLPH: No.
JUDGE NGOEPE: No, I accept that. You don't have to explain. If you say I am wrong, thank you, I accept you ...(intervention)
MR RUDOLPH: I just want to say one thing.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Now leave Mr Bizos to continue his questions.
MR RUDOLPH: No let us just discuss this because we are looking for the truth Sir, let me just inform you, when we established the Orde of the Boerevolk, there were certain deeds that we committed. After we stole the weapons we went to Melrose House where the Boers in 1902 were forced into a situation and we blew that up. We blew up the British Embassy, or we at least attempted to, we targeted the offices of people such as Pik Botha and van der Merwe and Roelf Meyer and we blew up those offices. I explained to you that F W de Klerk was a target. If things had not gone wrong at Vryheid, F W de Klerk would have been a dead man today, because those were the people against whom we wanted to fight.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Mr Rudolph, am I also not understanding your evidence to say that had it not been because of the probable capitulation or what was seen to be a probable capitulation of de Klerk around 1989 to a black majority, you would have been quite happily within the Republic of South Africa as it was?
MR RUDOLPH: No, that is not what I said and we were actively busy. I am sorry that I have to elaborate on all these things, but please just grant me the opportunity. In 1982 I was elected as a Council Member of Pretoria. Ultimately I sat on the Council of Pretoria as the only man who wanted to propagate the restoration of the Boer Republics from that point. I was a representative of the Boerestaat Party which was working towards the re-establishment of the Boer Republics in the Free State and Transvaal. I experienced problems because there was an opportunity for us with the election to propagate our viewpoint, but people were not prepared to do so, so I was busy with this issue for a long time, but in the sixties I was only 22 or 23 years old.
MR BIZOS: You were a secret organisation?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes.
MR BIZOS: You were known as the leader because you chose to become known as the leader, but no other persons were known to the public?
MR RUDOLPH: No, there were no other persons who were know, with the exception perhaps of Henk Bredenhaan.
MR BIZOS: Right. Then you did not hold any meeting or other function at which the principles of your organisation were adopted, you decided what the principles of your organisation were going to be?
MR RUDOLPH: That is correct.
MR BIZOS: You would not have meetings in order to discuss any refinement or change of the policy of this organisation, you would decide what changes were necessary?
MR RUDOLPH: It wasn't possible to establish any such meetings with other people, because I was a fugitive from the police.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: I think that Mr Bizos is referring to the period prior to you being a fugitive from justice, prior to that did you not have a system of organising meetings wherein issues of the organisation would be decided by the public, or members of that organisation?
MR RUDOLPH: No, we could not. I could not properly organise the Order of the Boerevolk, because I was a fugitive.
CHAIRPERSON: Before you were a fugitive?
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: The organisation was established, according to your evidence, in 1989. You became a fugitive from justice from around June of 1990. So before then, from 1989 immediately after it's establishment, until about June 1990, were there no such efforts made at deciding principles of the organisation in meetings, in public meetings?
MR RUDOLPH: I understand what you mean now. Although the movement found its inception in 1989, it only picked up momentum in February 1990 with the release of Mr Mandela and the unbanning of the ANC and the other liberation movements. In April - that was in February and then in April, at that stage already in March, but in April the thing actually followed through. We were busy stealing weapons from the Air Force and when I stole the Air Force weapons in April the police knew immediately that it was me and they began to look for me from this point onwards, so up to my arrest I was a fugitive from the police and I was not in a position to organise properly, but after the video the Government of F W de Klerk put a price of R50 000 on my head and that made it impossible to make arrangements or to organise anything because everybody thought that if they found you, they would be eligible for R50 000 reward so it wasn't very easy. If you want to blame me for the fact that from December 1989 up to April 1990, I did not organise the matter properly, then I would agree with you, but the circumstances were different.
CHAIRPERSON: Can you give us a estimate of how many members there were in April 1990?
MR RUDOLPH: There were very few people in April 1990, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Five, ten?
MR RUDOLPH: No, I think that in total we would have numbered approximately five. There were people who were in the AWB who were favourably inclined to the whole thing and there were also some in the Boerestaat party but it wasn't organised. I must tell you in all earnesty that we didn't really have any idea of how this whole process should be followed through. After the issue of the weapons I was place in a position where I had to organise the whole thing.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: May I just make a follow-up on this Mr Rudolph, before we leave this point? I don't think it was ever stated when the video was made?
MR RUDOLPH: No, in the documents of the application it has been stated. It was the date that my attorney rectified in the documents.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: That's June 1990.
MR RUDOLPH: Yes.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: June 1990, that's the date I rectified.
MR RUDOLPH: Yes.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And you say that the organisation picked up some momentum around February of 1990, after it had been in existence for how long? When in 1989 was it actually established?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, I omitted to tell you something. Since we walked out on Mr de Klerk in 1989 and he told us to go back to the ballot, I received an instruction and I refer to this in my documents, I received an instruction to establish another umbrella organisation and I was busy with that, it was the Boer Separatists, so that at a certain stage we would be able to hold a referendum in order to indicate to the Government that there were people, there was a certain number of people who supported the establishment or the restoration of the Boer Republics, we were actually recruiting people, that is what I was busy with from 1989 to the theft of the weapons in April 1990. I beg your pardon it is ten years ago, so I am struggling to recall the finer details.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: I understand and I appreciate the difficulty that you must be thrown in with regard to the dates, but can you estimate around when in 1989 was this OB established? Was it late 1989, was it mid 1989?
MR RUDOLPH: Madam Commissioner it is also in the documents. In 1989, it appears there, in 1989 when we went to de Klerk to speak to him, because you must recall that Mr de Klerk had just won the election and he was the new State President, that is when we went to speak to him, it was 1989, late November, perhaps the beginning of December, 1989 and it was at that point that he said: "You guys we don't know who you represent. Go to the ballot, if you don't want to go to the ballot, it might mean that you don't have representation" and that is when the decision was taken by the AWB and by the Boerestaat party and by the Free State Separatists that we would have to establish an umbrella organisation which I would organise and that is what I was busy with for quite a reasonable length of time until I went underground.
MR BIZOS: You have given us the membership in April 1990 of approximately 5.
MR RUDOLPH: Yes.
MR BIZOS: Can you please tell us what did it rise to by June?
MR RUDOLPH: In June and I must tell you again it was a secret organisation, we operated underground. For example I don't know how many people Piet Botha had in his own cell, because I was not supposed to know that, so I can tell you that in the Transvaal and in the Free State there were people who assisted with the organisation, but we were very small. I don't know whether at that stage we comprised 10 or 15 people. I hope that - please allow me to finish, because we are all searching for the truth. My objective was to have 500 people and to place them in cells across the former Boer Republics.
MR BIZOS: Let - answer the next question please. If you were ten or fifteen in June, how many would you say you were in October?
MR RUDOLPH: In October I was in jail, that was when I was detained in terms of Section 29, I wouldn't be able to tell you. The men were organising on the outside.
MR BIZOS: So as far as you were concerned, because of the difficulty of you being in detention, the number of fifteen would probably have remained the same or at most it must have gone up to 20 and not more?
MR RUDOLPH: It was a possibility, it was a very small organisation, it was a possibility.
MR BIZOS: Yes. Now before you call yourself a movement or a "beweging", did you look up in the dictionary as to what movement means? Did you understand the question?
MR RUDOLPH: I don't understand your question.
MR BIZOS: Before you called yourself a liberation movement, or a "Vryheids Beweging", did you look up in the dictionary as to what movement or beweging means?
MR RUDOLPH: No, it wasn't necessary and we were not a movement, we were the Order of the Boerevolk.
MR BIZOS: You were not a movement? Thank you. So you were not a movement. Right. And you were not a political party?
MR RUDOLPH: No we were not. We were also not a gang.
MR BIZOS: Nor a political organisation?
MR RUDOLPH: No we were a liberation movement, an underground movement.
MR BIZOS: I see. Alright. You see I am going to suggest to you and I'm giving you an opportunity to deal with it because it may have important consequences for the person that you have assisted, that you have come to assist, Mr Botha, that you were really the sort of people that the section in the Act actually excluded, that is that secret groups that had no public presence, would not be covered by this Act, I'm merely telling you what we are going to submit, based upon your evidence, to the Amnesty Committee and I'd like you to deal with it please, because it's dependent upon your evidence.
MR RUDOLPH: Sir, any suggestion that we were a loose group or that we do not qualify for the Act, I will tell you that we were recognised not only by Governmental institutions, but also by foreign institutions as the Boers, which were rising up and mobilising a liberation movement. We qualified as a liberation movement, and on the grounds of that in 1990, during the month of March, I received amnesty because the Government recognised us as such at that time.
MR BIZOS: Well, let me tell you that you did not receive amnesty in terms of this Act, because this Act was not even drafted at that time. You received an indemnity which was an executive action by President de Klerk, who was in order to stop the violence at the time, was granting indemnities to even people such as yourself in order to try and pacify the country and not because you were a liberation movement or that you were an organisation which was envisaged by this Act. Have you anything else to say on that issue?
MR RUDOLPH: We were a liberation movement.
MR BIZOS: All five of you?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, all five of us. But before us there were two people, before us there were movements consisting of two persons who had started such movements, a liberation movement is not measured in its numbers, it is measured by its objective and what it is prepared to achieve.
MR BIZOS: Once you have mentioned the objective, would you agree that your objective of restoring the glory of the Boer Republics was not only not helped by Mr Botha's act, but in fact it discredited your organisation and put that ideal even further from achievement than it was before he killed these innocent people?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, that may be so, it may be so.
MR BIZOS: Because it was in any even contrary to your policy, correct
MR RUDOLPH: No, it was not contrary to my policy, that is why I submitted that thing to you regarding the violence which would have taken place in the Free State.
MR BIZOS: Well, I don't know, I don't know, you've already conceded that it was not in accordance with your policy for your members to kill innocent people, so we will leave it at that. And ...(intervention)
MR MOSTERT: Chairperson, I would just like to object at this point. There is various evidence regarding that particular point. During cross-examination it was conceded in the form of a specific answer to the question. What I understand from the evidence-in-chief is that which took place was directly in accordance with the policy of the Order of the Boerevolk.
MR BIZOS: No, with a great deal of respect, it may be that that is what he said in his evidence-in-chief, probably from a prepared statement. His answers to each one of the Members of the Committee was clear and he repeated the answer to me on at least two or three occasions.
MR MOSTERT: Perhaps the witness could clarify this for us?
MR BIZOS: Well do you deny that you said that the killing of innocent people by your members was not in accordance with the policy of your organisation and it did not have your authority?
MR RUDOLPH: It could not have had my authorisation because I was in detention. I have stated this repeatedly. Please give me the opportunity, please give me a chance. Piet Botha as a member of the Order, as a recruited member of the Order, gave an oath to execute our policy as he interpreted it, as he saw it, you must bear in mind that Piet Botha became a member of the Order after I was already in prison, that is something else that I also told you.
CHAIRPERSON: You said a short while ago didn't you that you would not have agreed with Botha in killing people going home in the bus? You would have said to him instead: "Let us rather see if we can't get at the PAC"?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, I said that, I said that.
CHAIRPERSON: You said if he was in the are he could decide because if he did it, "it would bring the Order Boerevolk into disrepute, as it was against our policy".
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, the situation, allow me to explain, the situation was that we were involved in a liberation struggle and I was the last one who wanted to create the impression to the outside that we were running around and randomly assaulting people and persecuting people and beating them to death, I did not want to send that impression out into the world.
CHAIRPERSON: It was counter-productive to your organisation's objectives?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, but despite that, I say that I would not have agreed with him, but he was in a position and he had to take a decision and if it had a political objective, then he was permitted to do so.
MR BIZOS: ...(indistinct - mike not on) against the people whom we know, whom we know were killed and injured on the night in question, taking revenge which must certainly have been contrary to the spirit of the Boer Generals whom you would have followed, would it not?
MR RUDOLPH: It would not have been. The Boer Generals that I admired were guerrilla fighters, they were not capable of waging a conventional war, they had to wage a guerrilla war, so it would not have been in contradiction with that.
MR BIZOS: Well would the Boer Generals have shot at women and children in a horse and carriage at that time, because ...(intervention
CHAIRPERSON: We had this time and again, Mr Bizos, that the Boer Generals would not have killed women and children if they could help it, that they were bitterly distressed at the fact that 26 000 of their women and children had been killed in camps.
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson, you have the key concept there. If they could, because in a war terrible things would happen, there is nothing favourable that can be said of a war.
MR BIZOS: Now you see, I want to refer you to a document, I have it Mr Chairman, I do not know whether it was handed in, it's the Plea explanation in the Magistrates Court, was that ever put before you? The Plea Explanation where Mr Botha and the two others were asked to explain their plea. Was that never before you? I've definitely seen it somewhere.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: I don't think it was ever before us Mr Bizos.
MR BIZOS: ...(indistinct - mike not on) A document which was annexed to - I'm sorry that I cannot find it now. We will find it in due course and I will prove it, Mr Chairman, but I want to - you see, when Mr Botha was asked why he did this, when he fist came before the Magistrate, his answer was: "Wraak", that it was an act of revenge. If that is what he said, would it have been completely contrary to the policy of your organisation?
MR RUDOLPH: I don't know within what context he said that. I don't understand. What do you want to know. Did he say that he took revenge?
MR BIZOS: Yes. Would it be contrary to the policy of your organisation?
MR RUDOLPH: I don't follow your question. I don't follow your question.
MR BIZOS: I think I have found it, Mr Chairman. I have the document, but not the one that I have marked. I just want to - yes, it's annexed to the Charge Sheet before the Magistrate at the appearance of, on the 21st of January 1991, before presumably they appeared before the Magistrate. I'm going to read it to you. The prosecutor says, in order to put it in context, on page 8 of that document:
"PROSECUTOR: Your Lordship, might I just say that 18 persons were injured, 9 were not injured. 18 injured and 9 uninjured.
ACCUSED NO. 1: I was informed of that, I do not have the finer details pertaining to that."
That's merely to show that it was Beskuldigde nommer 1, who was Mr Botha.
"I accept it as such, yes.
Why did you do it?
It was in revenge of the attack by the blacks who were attacking the whites in Durban with knives. COURT: With which purpose did you come here to Durban?
ACCUSED NO 1: With the purpose to launch an attack against blacks out of revenge.
COURT: And to injure or kill persons?
ACCUSED NO 1: That is correct.
COURT: And the persons died as a result of injuries or gun shot wounds which they incurred during the attack.
ACCUSED NO 1: I have heard so, yes."
COURT: Do you accept this?
ACCUSED NO 1: Yes, I accept it as such."
Now just for the sake of completeness Mr Chairman, on page 11, we'll make a copy of the document, accused number two was examined regarding the weapon that he used and subsequently the Court stated:
"And quite a number of persons died, seven persons died.
ACCUSED NO 2: That is what I heard yes.
COURT: Why did you fire the gun there?
ACCUSED NO 2: We were taking revenge against the blacks who were hurting people on the beaches.
COURT: Was it your intention to kill persons or to injure them?
ACCUSED NO 2: Only to injure actually.
COURT: I beg your pardon? (The Court stated a pardon)
ACCUSED NO 2: Actually the intention was only to injure and not necessarily to kill."
And on page 13 again, it may be that the number of the accused is wrong, but we will have to clear it up with Mr ...(indistinct - background noise) because it says Accused Number 1 again and it was probably Accused Number 3, but let's just read it into the record.
CHAIRPERSON: Were all three accused in court together? Number 3 asked to change his plea or something, didn't he?
MR BIZOS: Yes. So ...(indistinct - mike not on) Let's just read the record.
INTERPRETER: The Speaker's microphone.
MR BIZOS: Oh no, it's clear, it's number one. On page 13:
"COURT: ... Accused Number 1, the Court will once again in terms of Accused number 2's responses to charge 1 to 7 and 8 up to 34, did you say what your intention was? Why did you fire at these persons?
ACCUSED NO 1: To take revenge for the attack on the whites on the beach front.
COURT: Now was it your intention to kill them?
ACCUSED NO 1: I did not fire, so it is difficult for me to say on behalf of the men who fired the guns, what their intention was with that action.
COURT: But what was the intention of your revenge?
ACCUSED NO 1: The intention was to bring the attention of the blacks to the fact that they could not act against whites without revenge being taken against them and killing persons.
COURT: One would be naive if one thought that one could launch such an attack without the death of certain persons, so I'm assuming that it was accepted that persons would be killed?
ACCUSED NO 1: Yes."
JUDGE NGOEPE: Mr Bizos. I thought you were trying to put to the witness to respond to this question of revenge and hasn't enough been put to him to respond to?
MR BIZOS: ...(indistinct - mike not on) on record only another three lines and I ask for leave to do it, so that our record is complete.
"ACCUSED NO 1: No it was not my intention, it was the intention, as I have stated, to show the blacks that if they entered a white suburb and attacked whites, that vengeance would be exacted. That was the actual meaning or intention with the attack."
Now would you agree that the attacking and killing and the injuring of people was completely contrary to the policy of your organisation and that it would not help to achieve the objectives of your organisation?
MR RUDOLPH: I did not read that document, I don't know within which context it has been stated. I would like to study it first before I give you my response.
MR BIZOS: Well I will make it available to ...(indistinct - mike not on)
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: ...(indistinct - mike not on)
MR BIZOS: Yes and also we have the passages on the record where he was asked and he actually agreed that it was revenge. Yes and we'll refer you to the pages of the record, thank you, ...(indistinct) Now could I just have a moment to go through some of my notes because I don't think that I will be very much longer with the witness, Mr Chairman?
JUDGE NGOEPE: While you do that, Mr Rudolph.
MR RUDOLPH: Sir?
JUDGE NGOEPE: A document has been read to you in which people say that they did what they did in "weerwraak", it has been read to you in Afrikaans. Well surely you must have understood what was being read to you?
MR RUDOLPH: Mr Commissioner, I have a problem with the semantic significance of the word revenge, or retribution or vengeance.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Alright, let us leave that. Now I want to ask, would it be compatible with the policy of the OB for a member of your OB to kill somebody in "weerwraak", in the way that you understand?
MR RUDOLPH: With a political object? Is that what you mean?
JUDGE NGOEPE: I haven't put in any politics. I'm just asking you whether it will be compatible with the policy of the OB, for somebody, for a member thereof to kill another person in "weerwraak"?
MR RUDOLPH: It is a very difficult question to answer, Mr Commissioner. The Order of the Boerevolk was a political movement. If someone was killed there with a political objective and this could be interpreted as revenge or retribution, then it would be a different question and I know that Mr Bizos has a problem with it when I refer to it as such, but for me, retribution or vengeance is just as much an actuality as the ANC would have used it to kill Bartholomew Tliapane who testified against them. I can tell you what the dictionary definition of retribution or vengeance would be. I don't know if that will take the matter any further if I say that a person would be killed on a political basis and whether or not that would constitute vengeance or retribution. I have a problem with that, I cannot explain it.
JUDGE NGOEPE: Sorry Mr Rudolph. If there is no politics around it, it's just pure revenge, it will be against the policy of the Orde Boerevolk?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, naturally.
MR BIZOS: Did you yourself ever use the expression that for every one white there would have to be ten blacks that died, did you yourself ever say so?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, I read it here, I read it to you when I tried to explain to you what the reporter understood by that. I did not actually mean that for every white person who was killed, one would have to go out and kill 10 black persons. I tried to establish some kind of scale in terms of the context within which we saw these things and that is what was said in the Free State and while you are waiting for me, I might as well take you further Mr Bizos. The men who conveyed the message to Mr Botha, who were members of the Order of the Boerevolk, also conveyed a specific message to him, I wasn't there, I don't know what the message was, but did they kill ten people here?
MR BIZOS: Well we don't know whether Mr Botha is going to be believed or not as to whether he was told that. I'm talking about you because I didn't understand you to categorically - listen please, listen because you'll miss the question and we will go off on tangents again. Is what you read out of the Pretoria News correct? Did you say these things to the reporter?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, I admit, I said it, but now I am trying to explain to you what was meant by that.
MR BIZOS: Now where did you get the ten to one from? From what historical example did you get the ten to one from?
MR RUDOLPH: No, there is no historical point of origin for that, it is a question of proportionality as I viewed the matter in my mind. I may also have said four or five or forty.
MR BIZOS: Was it just an accident that the number corresponds with what the formula of the nazis was during the second world war?
MR RUDOLPH: What do you mean by that?
MR BIZOS: What I say, that that was the ratio on which the Nazis executed people whether they were men, women or children, if they - if an officer above the rank of Lieutenant thought that they may have been of some assistance to the guerrilla forces then occupying Europe. You asked me and I've told you. Was it an accident that you picked up the same ratio as the Nazis?
MR RUDOLPH: And now you can answer my question. Are you trying to imply that I am a Nazi? Because I have a serious objection to that.
MR BIZOS: Answer my question please
MR RUDOLPH: I'm asking you, Sir, we are searching for the truth. Just tell me, is that your intention? Are you trying to tell me that I'm a Nazi because I don't know how you arrive at that formula if you are not implicating me in it because if you want to tell me that I am a Nazi, you'd better tell me unequivocally.
MR BIZOS: I'm asking you whether you had any knowledge of that formula by the Nazis?
MR RUDOLPH: No, I have none.
MR BIZOS: I have heard your answer. Now ...(intervention)
MR RUDOLPH: I take exception to that.
MR BIZOS: You can do that, but just answer the next question please. Did you think that one black life was worth ten - one white life was worth ten black lives?
MR RUDOLPH: No.
MR BIZOS: So, why then and you use the word proportionality and we'll have something to say to the Committee about it, but why did you use those proportions if you didn't think that one white person's life was ten times more valuable to our society than a black person's life?
MR RUDOLPH: I don't understand your politics.
MR BIZOS: It's your politics that we are trying to find out about. You used the expression, not me, you used the ten to one formula and it will not help you to try and turn things around. Just answer my questions please.
MR RUDOLPH: Sir, your question is very simple and I will also give you a simple answer. All that the ten to one implies is not that I thought that one white life was worth ten black lives, I simply wanted to illustrate the scale of the seriousness with which we viewed the matter, that is why I could have spoken of five, or fifteen, or more, that is what I am trying to tell you. I am the last one to think that a white life would mean more than a black life.
MR BIZOS: Then give us another reason why you used the ten to one proportion.
MR RUDOLPH: I will accept that this is something that emerged in a discussion.
MR BIZOS: It's not something that emerged in a discussion, you gave it out to a newspaper woman in order to be broadcast to the world.
MR RUDOLPH: That is correct, to say how seriously we viewed the matter, that is what I did.
MR BIZOS: You tried one explanation which you now agree was not a correct one. Try another - give us another explanation as to why you used the ten to one, if you were not a person that was of the view that a white life was ten times more valuable than a black life.
MR RUDOLPH: I have referred you to the proportionality and how I viewed this matter, in which serious light we viewed the question of one white man being killed and the possible consequences of such an act, that is what I tried to tell you.
MR BIZOS: Well let's deal with the act of the person on whose behalf you are giving evidence. Was one death of one white person proportionate to eight deaths and eighteen serious injuries of persons that had absolutely nothing to do with the wrong done to the one white person?
MR RUDOLPH: Perhaps it would be better if you put that question to Mr Botha himself. I am not going to answer on behalf of Mr Botha, I am simply telling you what I regarded as the proportionality, the seriousness with which I viewed the matter and that is what in all probability was conveyed to Mr Botha. I have tried to tell you numerous times, in all probability that was conveyed to him, but in the process as far as I know, Mr Botha did not go out to kill ten black men for the sake of one white man. If I could just state this to you and you can do with it what you want, I don't think that one white life can be compared with ten black lives. I don't believe that one white life can be compared to one black life. I think that when one refers to lives, one refers to the living. People who are killed are killed on the grounds of their political convictions and that is when the scale according to which this is done, comes into consideration.
CHAIRPERSON: The case we're talking about, none of the people were killed because of their political convictions. The people on the beach were not killed for their political convictions. The people in the bus were not killed for their political convictions.
MR RUDOLPH: That is correct.
CHAIRPERSON: So isn't it true that you can't justify either of the killings?
MR RUDOLPH: Sir I tried to explain that to you. It is not about the issue of how I would want to justify it, I tried to explain to you what the perception was with white people, also with myself as a white man, what was the perception, what would happen in the political climate and now a white man is killed on a beach with persons wearing PAC T-shirts which obviously has political implications and one of the amnesty applicants said: "And then white people go and hit back", retribution, revenge, call it what you want, they hit back on the grounds that a white person was killed and there were political connotations and now I am telling you Chairperson that I would have stopped such a thing if I was there, but now may I just tell you this? At the end of the day you will probably be tired of me, but I will have this off my chest. I find myself in the same position as King David. I cannot build the temple because I have blood on my hands. I did not want blood on my hands. I accept responsibility for what happened, but I did not want blood on my hands. I wanted to take the struggle of the Boer Nation further and now I am sitting in this situation.
MR BIZOS: I would not have asked this question of you if you hadn't said what some of the Security Police Generals are saying: "I didn't authorise this act, but maybe they misunderstood what I said", or "I understand why they felt the way they did when they did this". You are saying exactly the same thing Mr Rudolph, you say: "I didn't authorise it, it was not in accordance with our policy but I understand what Mr Botha has done".
MR RUDOLPH: That is not what I'm saying. I sit here before you today and I accept total responsibility for what Piet Botha did. I'm not trying to shy away from it. I'm trying to give you an explanation so that you can understand me better, but I'm no running away from my responsibilities and if that was Piet Botha's conviction and that is what was told to him on the grounds that what I had said, that ten black people had to be killed for each white person that was killed, then Sir, then I am guilty, then it is my responsibility and I accept it as such.
MR BIZOS: What do you mean that it is your responsibility, Sir? Are you prepared to accept criminal and civil liability for the tremendous loss that the victims have suffered?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, I state that unequivocally. I stand here naked. I am responsible for that, the criminal set-up and the civil set-up. Can I take you just one step further? With the trial of Arrie Botha and Piet Botha and I called the advocate and told him that those people acted upon instructions and I accept that I am responsible for that set-up and you can call me and he told me: "Do you know what the legal implications area?" and I told him that I knew exactly what the legal implications were. Under the old National Party I would have been hanged for that, but I would be prepared to go through that because I am responsible and I erred.
MR BIZOS: Yes. By the way, you know you say that you had a heart to heart talk with Mr Zulu.
MR RUDOLPH: No.
MR BIZOS: He assures me that he never spoke to you and that you're putting on an act.
MR RUDOLPH: That is not what I said. I never spoke to him. I came up the stairs, or I went down the stairs and he came up the stairs and at the bottom of the stairs he looked my way and smiled in my direction. You are not listening to what I'm saying to you.
MR BIZOS: I understood that he smiled at you, but I heard what you said, but I thought that your evidence was that you spoke to your good friend Zulu and this is the impression that my attorney had and this is why I turned in his direction. I don't know what recollection of your evidence there is from the Committee.
MR RUDOLPH: That connotation of "my friend", I never used that word, you used it Sir, for a specific purpose. What I said and that's why I asked my attorney to convey it to the Commission, that if I am going to say something about the victims, please allow me to say it in English, so in my language I can carry it over to them, that if it is translated it is not wrongly translated. It is obvious Sir that it was wrongly translated to you and I say to you now again, I met Mr Zulu on my way down and he was coming up and this friendly man was smiling at me, not because I'm a white man, he was just, it was a friendly gesture and immediately my heart started to bleed for this man when I saw his condition, this is what I was trying to convey to you and that is why I said to you I wanted to phone the other chap, Mr Mabatha, if I'm correct, I had his cell number but I couldn't get through to him. This is the trouble that we have in this country Sir, apart from being white and black, we also have a difficulty with language.
MR BIZOS: And also, what did you say about this letter, that you intended to deliver it to the Legal Resources Centre?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, I ...(intervention)
MR BIZOS: But you didn't?
MR RUDOLPH: No I didn't, because I didn't have a fax and I didn't discuss it with my lawyer and I thought perhaps it will be premature and that's why I said, give me the opportunity so that I can do it here. I am sorry for what happened to them and it will stay with me for the rest of my natural life, Sir.
MR BIZOS: Yes. Now this position that you understand of what Mr Botha did and for which you say that you take responsibility, do you realise what might have happened as a direct result of these seven or eight killings and the eighteen injuries if the black people were to behave the way Mr Botha behaved? They could have gone out and killed white people at random, as an act of revenge.
MR RUDOLPH: Yes.
MR BIZOS: Kill white people that were completely different in their ideas of Mr Botha's.
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, as was done at Eikenhof. It is being done in South Africa.
MR BIZOS: Yes.
MR RUDOLPH: And I think in the previous application of Mr Botha Mr Justice Ngoepe referred to that.
MR BIZOS: Yes.
MR RUDOLPH: Shall we go and do this ad infinitum, the one attacking the other.
MR BIZOS: Yes, yes. Now you also have gone on record in saying that the gun that you stole, shot Mr Hani.
MR RUDOLPH: If you want me to answer that question, I'll do so. Is it relevant for this trial, for this hearing?
MR BIZOS: No, but what I wanted to say - ask you is this, to whom did you give that gun?
MR RUDOLPH: I didn't give it to anybody Sir. You will have to allow me to explain the whole situation and I'll do so gladly.
CHAIRPERSON: Do we want it explained? Has it got ...
MR BIZOS: No Mr Chairman ...(indistinct) it was a matter of pride in this context in which you mentioned it, when you did mention it.
MR RUDOLPH: No, I'm trying to play open cards with you. Accept my honesty when I tell you these things.
MR BIZOS: Yes. Yes. The other is that you said to the reporter that you shot at people at Sebokeng and that the police were not the only people who shot there.
MR RUDOLPH: No, no, that is not what I said. That's what I tried to explain to you. That is what she has written, without me - I said that I was at Sebokeng, I was passing Sebokeng when that was taking place and it was not only the police who were doing the shooting, but also the army that were doing it at the time. That's what I tried to convey to her.
MR BIZOS: Yes. And have you read the evidence of Mr Botha?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, I have.
MR BIZOS: And the purpose was to show your loyalty to him.
MR RUDOLPH: No to take responsibility for my deeds, for my actions, that's what I - not a question of loyalty, he is no longer a member of my organisation. He wrote to the Rev Tutu and said it was a senseless act, so I could have ignored him if I wanted to, but I am responsible for the actions of the Orde Boerevolk, not only to you Sir or to this Committee, but to other people as well.
MR BIZOS: Would you like to look at the context in which the word "wraak" was used in order to give any further explanation ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: Isn't that something which Counsel can argue just as effectively, that some people use the word, Mr Botha when he gave evidence endeavoured to give that explanation and he was question about it, that he may have used the wrong word, or used the word in the wrong sense. I don't think that this witness can now start interpreting Mr Botha's ...
MR BIZOS: ...(indistinct- mike not on) to suggest to you that on your own version this act was not done for and on behalf of your organisation, nor for its benefit in spite your attempt to help Mr Botha and that it was an act of revenge with obvious racist undercurrents or overtones for that matter. Thank you Mr Chair.
MR RUDOLPH: Don't you expect an answer from me?
MR BIZOS: I've asked you a question.
MR RUDOLPH: Your suggestion Sir is completely wrong.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR BIZOS
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prior have you any questions?
ADV PRIOR: I have no questions.
NO QUESTIONS BY MR PRIOR
CHAIRPERSON: Any re-examination?
MR MOSTERT: None Chairperson.
NO RE-EXAMINATION BY MR MOSTERT
MR MOSTERT: ...(indistinct - mike not on)
INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone.
MR MOSTERT: The video, can we hand it up as an exhibit?
MR MOSTERT: I do not know what the sequence is, P or R or whatever.
CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - mike not on)
ADV PRIOR: I think we can mark the video as Exhibit 1 Chairman, thank you.
MR RUDOLPH: Chairperson may I just direct a request to you? I came here with some things that I wanted to submit to this Committee. Because I am not used to court procedures and how these things are done, I want to just present to the Committee the perceptions of white people on the grounds of what leaders in the black community had said. If you do not regard it as relevant, I will leave it there, but I thought that certain things should be placed on record as to why we reacted in the manner that we did.
CHAIRPERSON: Well I think it's a matter for Mr Mostert to decide what evidence he wants to lead. He has not led any such evidence, so we will carry on.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Mr Rudolph, I just wanted to find out what kind of a relationship did your organisation, OB, enjoy with black organisations like the IFP here in Natal?
MR RUDOLPH: No there is no connection. I have the highest regard for Dr Buthelezi and I must tell you when we started explaining our organisation to Vryheid, there was somebody that had some sort of connection with the house of the ...(indistinct), as a member of the AWB. After I came out of jail, I took Mr Pillance to the "Vredesberaad" in Pretoria. I took him to discussion with Mr Mpede of QwaQwa and I took him for consultations with Mr Lukas Mangope in Bophuthatswana because my perception is that as we consider ourselves a freedom movement and we want to reinstate the Boer Republics, we will have to deal with people that have perhaps the same inclination, who are making gestures for their own freedom, to what extent it doesn't matter, what the situation of the Boer will be when we have these areas around us. I never supported the homelands for various reasons, not the homelands in the Transvaal and the Free State I must say, I did not support, for those I considered were homelands that were artificially created on grounds that belonged to the Boer people and ultimately must come back to them.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: So in 1990, from February 1990 when organisation like the ANC were unbanned as well as the PAC, your organisation did not have a political conflict as it were with the IFP?
MR RUDOLPH: I have no political conflict, with the knowledge of hindsight, I have no political conflict with the IFP, nor do I have with the ANC at this stage.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Yes. I'm talking about February 1990.
MR RUDOLPH: Ja, I've had no political conflict whatsoever with the IFP.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And this must have been known to people who recruited cell leaders like the one who recruited Mr Botha?
MR RUDOLPH: No, it's not necessarily that somebody should know about that.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Why not?
MR RUDOLPH: There was no proper communication channels existing at that stage so what happened is when one has a meeting somewhere we would discuss certain issues with certain people and I must also tell you that the question of what was conveyed to Mr Botha, the ten to one situation, there were numerous instructions that were given that were supposed to have been conveyed by word of mouth and now you know Ma'am what is the result of messages conveyed by word of mouth? It comes out wrong on the other side. On the video you will see that I have never mentioned the IFP or the Zulu people. I have the highest regard for the Zulus and for what they stand for.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And neither did you mention any tensions having existed between your organisation and the IFP during your evidence before us today. You never mentioned any tensions having existed between the OB and the IFP.
MR RUDOLPH: No, no, as far as I'm concerned nothing, nothing of the sort.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: How were the persons who were responsible for recruiting cell leaders appointed? Were they appointed personally by you?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes. Where possible, I appointed them myself. If it was at all possible for me, because Piet Botha's name was mentioned to me, if it was at all possible for me to recruit him myself, I would have done so, but on account of the fact that I had this R50 000 on my head, I was forced to lie low and I had to make use of people who are not always sure, carry messages correctly. I don't want to shy away from my responsibility, but I have my doubts.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: But these persons were appointed by you personally?
MR RUDOLPH: Wherever possible. Wherever possible. Nick Fourie for instance in Durban, was appointed by me. We knew each other, because I was also involved with the AWB like he was.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON: Well can you remember who ...(indistinct)
MR RUDOLPH: I cannot say because you see the person responsible for that situation - let me just explain to you what happened. Botha was supposed to come to an AWB meeting in the Free State. His name was mentioned to me. Bredenhaan was supposed to be the man who should go there and do the actual recruitment. Botha was actually recruited or officially sworn in, signing the document after I was arrested, so what actually transpired, I think, is that Bredenhaan had connections with the chaps in the Free State and they were responsible for the recruitment of Piet Botha, at this particular meeting.
CHAIRPERSON: You have no knowledge of it?
MR RUDOLPH: No, no, I know that he was - this I established later that he was recruited.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but you don't know who by, how?
MR RUDOLPH: No, that I don't know, that I don't know.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: ...(indistinct - mike not on)
MR RUDOLPH: I beg your pardon?
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: ...(indistinct - mike not on)
MR RUDOLPH: My deputy?
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Yes.
MR RUDOLPH: No, Ma'am you see Veenendal is a man fond of publicity.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Come again.
MR RUDOLPH: Veenendal is a man fond of publicity. We were detained together and if ever there may be a fit description of somebody who may have had National Socialist inclinations, it may be Veenendal. He's out of the country so he can't defend himself and let us leave it there, but Veenendal appointed himself as Chief of Staff of the Orde Boerevolk without me knowing but be in contact with one Nick Strydom of Heidelberg and then they decided that Veenendal will come and he will recruit Zulus and he will start training them military, I put a stop to that by a press publication, a press statement that I made, if I'm correctly in the vicinity of 1993/94, somewhere, but he was never a Chief of Staff of my ...(indistinct) and let me just put that also straight. The Orde Boerevolk was never intended as a military organisation where we had Chiefs of Staff, or that type of thing. I despise a khaki uniform, let me tell you, because khaki is the colour of the British. I was, on account of being rather undisciplined myself, I couldn't fit in properly with a military organisation and I didn't want to organise the Orde Boerevolk that way.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: I will leave it at that because I thought that your evidence was that Veenendal was the Deputy Leader of your ...(intervention)
MR RUDOLPH: Bredenhaan was.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Oh, Bredenhaan. Are you aware as the leader of the OB, that in or around 1990, there already were white persons who were members of the IFP in Natal?
MR RUDOLPH: If I remember correctly, I think one with the name of Powell was a member of the IFP. That is all that I know about him. I later found out that a man by the name of Koos van der Merwe, who was a lawyer and a member of the Conservative Party, joined the ...
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Yes around 1990. So you were aware?
MR RUDOLPH: I was only aware of I think Mr Powell that was a member.
JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
MR MOSTERT: Chairperson can we adjourn until tomorrow, please?
CHAIRPERSON: Much as I would like to go on a bit longer, some people have been working here all day and looking in their boxes I think they would like to be let out now. What time tomorrow? 9 o'clock? Can arrangements be made to have the applicant here at nine? Can you give us any idea of what is likely to be happening tomorrow?
MR MOSTERT: Chairperson I have the idea that Mr Bizos would want to put certain questions to Mr Botha, therefore we will sort out that situation tomorrow.
MR BIZOS: We have not yet decided whether we are going to ask you to recall Mr Botha or not. The onus is on my Learned Friend what he's going to do. Don't rely on us that we are going to call him.
CHAIRPERSON: You can decide overnight whether you want to or not.
MR MOSTERT: Thank you Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Right. 9 o'clock tomorrow morning, please.