TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
DATE: 21ST SEPTEMBER 1998
NAME: ONTLAMETSE BERNSTEIN MENYATSOE
MATTER: MURDER OF AWB MEMBERS
DAY : 1
CHAIRPERSON: Last time we were here at the beginning of August this matter was called and postponed. At that stage we did put ourselves on record but Iíd, notwithstanding that, like to again just introduce the panel that will be hearing this matter.
On the extreme right is Advocate Sigodi, she is from the Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth. On my immediate right is Advocate Motata who is a member of the Bar in Johannesburg. On my left is Advocate Bosman, who is from the Cape and I am Selwyn Miller, also from the Eastern Cape, a Judge in the Transkei Division of the High Court.
Iíd also like to ask the legal representatives, once again to place themselves on record and any other persons who wish to do so.
ADV HENDRICKSE: May it please you Mr Chairman, my surname is Hendrickse. I represent the applicant in this matter.
MR TERREBLANCHE; My name is Terreblanche, I represent the AWB.
ADV VAN DER BERG: Mr Chairman, my name is Gerhard Van Der Berg. I am from the Pretoria Bar and represent Mrs Uys in this application.
ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, Members of the Committee, J M Mpshe for the Truth Commission, in particular the Amnesty Committee, thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Before coming in we were informed by the representatives that weíd be starting with the showing of a video and that was also the reason for the delay and the late start, for which I apologise. I am informed that everything is ready now, Mr Mpshe?
ADV MPSHE: That is correct, Mr Chairman. Everything is ready. The TV has been set and the video we are ready to kick off with.
CHAIRPERSON: And the channels. Do you know what they are? Channel one is on the little device, channel one is Afrikaans, channel two is English and channel three is Tswana.
ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, may I just put something on record before I hand over to my learned friend. That as already informed in chambers, Advocate Johan Engelbrecht has withdrawn. He was the representative for the AWB, and Mr Terreblanche is going to conduct the questioning and evidence when it starts on behalf of the AWB.
And further aspect Mr Chairman, that the Chairman of the Committee will recall that the last time one of the postponed, one of the reasons for this postponement was to secure the attendance of two journalists, Mr Ray Hartley and Mr Peter de Ionne, and it was put on record that Mr Engelbrecht is to contact me and give me the particulars of the relevant journalists which then he did not do, but on my own, after I had been phoned by one of the journalists, I contacted them. I spoke to them, I served them with the necessary notices and they were willing to come. But I arranged with them that they be here only tomorrow.
Now I mention this, Mr Chairman because the person who wanted them in attendance is no more in this forum, which would mean that I will have to stop their coming because I donít need them. They are wanted by AWB, but our agreement with Mr Van Der Berg is to the effect that he may want to use them later but we can only get an indication at lunch time. I just wanted this to be on record because I will have to inform them if we are going to cause them unnecessary if they have to come. One is from Joíburg, one is from Cape Town. Thank you Mr Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mpshe. Mr Hendrickse?
MR HENDRICKSE: Thank you Mr Chairman and Members of the Commission. Mr Chairman, right from the onset, as agreed with my learned friends, I would ask the Commission and my learned friends to view a certain video footage. It is not that long. It will set out a background to the events that led to this application. I am calling upon the personnel to put on the video.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Hendrickse.
CHAIRPERSON: Who took the video, who made the video?
MR HENDRICKSE: Mr Chairman, the video comes from the then known Bophuthatswana Television. Iím, I donít know who actually filmed the video or who is the narrator thereof.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Hendrickse.
SHOWING OF VIDEO
ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, just to confirm what my learned friend has just said, I secured the video from the then Bop TV, through the director of the station. I could assume that it was filmed by the crew that was on the scene, that day. But I obtained them.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Hendrickse?
MR HENDRICKSE: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman from the onset I would like to apply for an amendment of the application form of the applicant. The form is marked on the right top, there is a letter 1. It is the very first page of the application form, paragraph 7a, thereof, after the words
May the following words be inserted:
Ďand supporter of the ANCí.
That is the amendment. Thank you Mr Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON: Any objections to this amendment?
MR VAN DER BERG: In this issue, it was quite a surprise that this insertion is only made now. Now they only think about it politically and now they add the insertion. If that was the intention and the meaning from the start then it should have been there from the start. If it was his case that he belonged to the ANC, he did not belong to the ANC if you looked at the documents so now it is the first time that he inserts it. So it is my submission, they should not be allowed, because if it was his case, he should have said that from the start.
MR HENDRICKSE: Mr Chairman, and Honourable Members. This is an application for amendment. Amendments can be applied for at any stage and it is my submission that has ground and evidence will be presented that will show that an amendment is necessary under the circumstances. I ask this Honourable Committee to grant amendment to the application form. Thank you.
ADV MOTATA: Mr Hendrickse, wouldnít it be proper that we have full grounds for the amendment since there is an objection that we should sit down and make up our minds whether we allow the amendment or not. But if you say later, you would provide evidence to support the amendment would that be the right thing to do at this juncture?
MR HENDRICKSE: Honourable Member, it is my submission that after consultation it became clear that the applicant was indeed a supporter of the ANC. When this form was completed, it was not included. Before this hearing was postponed in August of this year I took it up with my learned friend who is the Leader of Evidence in this TRC. We agreed that we will viva voce, apply for an amendment. Under the circumstances I took it that it was not necessary to apply on paper for an amendment before hand and that is the reason why I am applying for the amendment now.
MR VAN DER BERG: Chairperson, my instructions in this case is to oppose this application. What the applicant is doing now, his things werenít quite up to scratch and now at this application, now he is supplementing his documents and saying now I belong to the ANC and he wants to give it a political colour. And with all respect, this amendment cannot be granted because he has only done this afterwards. He wants to supplement his documents, and if you look at bundle A, this is the bundle that has all the affidavits, nowhere these allegations are made. If those allegations were made in the affidavits or if the evidence was given to the TRC, then maybe one can say, I want to supplement it now, but that case was never decided on so I believe that his amendment cannot be made because he is supplementing it now.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Chairperson, I also offer an objection considering the fact that the applicant was a member of the police, of the Bophuthatswana Police and also in his documents, he says that he did what the people wanted to do and he was forced by people to do that. He had enough time to say in those documents that he was in fact a member of the opposition party, and that is of Mr Mangope. And so I also make objection to this.
ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, perhaps as requested by Committee Member, Adv Motata, I want to support what he said. Seeing that this amendment impacts actually on full disclosure and it has got a bearing on Section 20, Subsection 2 of the Act, I would have expected my learned friend to give reasons why an amendment is done now and why he could not, why this was not mentioned in all the documents, seeing that it is of vital importance in as far as the act is concerned. If he can give reasons why this amendment then I have no objection to the application.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Mr Hendrickse, just to take it further from what Adv Mpshe has put up. If one takes a look at Section 11b of the application form, the applicant describes his actions, Ďas being done while acting in my official capacity as a member of the Bop Policeí. I think that in the light of this, perhaps what Adv Mpshe and Adv Motata have said there should perhaps be more substantial reasons for the application and perhaps that can be done at a later stage in the hearing. Give you some time to do it. I donít think we need delay the start of the matter. Weíll proceed with the matter on the application as it is and then if you wish to make this application at a later stage, then that can be considered then but I donít think that should delay the matter now. And in any event, it is not going to affect the hearing really because the question from what I have gathered from Mr van der Berg and Mr Terreblanche will be put on issue whether he was acting as a supporter of the ANC as opposed to his capacity as a policeman.
MR HENDRICKSE: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, I will now call upon the applicant, Mr Menyatsoe to give evidence.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Menyatsoe, do you have any objection to taking the oath?
MR MENYATSOE: I have no objection, Sir.
CHAIRPERSON: Would you please rise.
ONTLAMETSE BERNSTEIN MENYATSOE: (sworn states)
EXAMINATION BY MR HENDRICKSE: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Menyatsoe, on the 10th day of March 1994, you were then a member of the then Bophuthatswana Police Force.
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct Sir.
MR HENDRICKSE: Is it also correct that you were stationed at head office here in Mmabatho, Mafikeng?
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct Sir.
MR HENDRICKSE: Please relate to this Commission ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Hendrickse, if you donít mind me interrupting you. Adv Sigodi has got a problem with the device for, the recording device, the translating device.
Thank you Mr Hendrickse, you may proceed.
MR HENDRICKSE: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Menyatsoe, please relate to this Commission the events that occurred on the 10th March 1994, starting from the 10th March 1994.
MR MENYATSOE: In 1994 I was at my residential place in Siweding(?). It was in the afternoon whilst I was still in the house I heard some noise outside, some people who were shouting. I went outside to see as to exactly what was happening. When I got there I saw people running around on the streets and singing ANC songs and they were raising their hands saying that Mangopeís government has fallen. They were running towards Mega City and saying Mega City was on fire. When I looked in that direction of Mega City I saw a huge smoke there.
Whilst we were sleeping at night, it was at about ten oíclock, when one of the members of the defence force of the Bophuthatswana who also residing in the same yard, knocked on my door and explained to me as to how the AWB has arrived in Mafikeng and had taken control over the aviation defence force. I became quite nervous when I heard him saying this because I knew that the defence was the stronghold of the government. And therefore I was scared that us as the police wonít be able to control the situation should war start.
I slept and in the morning I was supposed to be on duty from 6 oíclock but one neighbour who is also a policeman came to me and told me that he had made a call to the station and he was told that it is not safe to go dressed in uniform because of all the unrest. He told me not to dress in the uniform and we should drive in his car to TTA to go and see what was happening there. And we did that.
We drove off in his car and on our way we saw some, the roads blocked with car scraps and stones and people were screaming that Mangope has fallen down and viva ANC. We drove up to the head office and when we got there the situation was completely changed. It was not the head office that we knew. The police were standing in small groups as if they did not know where they belonged. We parted with my neighbour and we went to our different offices.
When I got to my office, I found some of the policemen who I work with not dressed in uniform like me. A car was taken out so that we should go and dress in our uniforms and we were given firearms. I was given an R4 rifle. We got into the car and drove home to take our uniforms.
People were passing in front of us and screaming viva ANC. We could see that it is not possible for the Mangope government to go on because people showed that they were sick and tired of it. And we also raised our arms and showed them that we are in support of what they were saying. (The sound is cutting - the interpretation cannot pick up all the information)
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Menyatsoe, they are having difficulty translating. There is something wrong with the machine. It is cutting out from time to time Iím told. I think if you could just go back to the stage where you said that you had taken your R4 and you had gone home to get your uniform and people shouting, viva ANC - if you could just go off from there.
MR MENYATSOE: I was given an R4 rifle and we went into the car and we drove off and we passed by groups of people who were singing songs, screaming viva ANC and down with Mangope. We did the same, we lifted our arms and called out viva, viva.
When I arrived at my residential place I took my uniform. I put it in a bag and when on my way into the car, my landlord told me that I should not come with a police car in his premises because I will land him into trouble. Well I went into the car and we drove off helping the others to pick up their uniforms as well and we drove back to the headquarters of the police.
And on our arrival there we went into the barracks to get dressed into our uniforms and thereafter, back to the offices. One police officer, whose name I cannot recall, called the policemen and explained to them as to what has happened to the police and the armed forces. And he said that we must stay alert because the AWB can come to the police to take over. We dispersed and we were just around the TTA yard.
Between 12 oíclock and 1 oíclock in the afternoon we went to the kitchen to have our lunch. Whilst we were sitting there and having our lunch we heard some firearms shooting outside and I became nervous because I did not know what was happening and as to what is going to happen to us and our dear lives.
I went outside and I saw the main gate of TTA and there were vans passing by full of white men dressed in khaki and they were armed with guns and I heard a gun shot from those cars and that hit in front of my foot and I landed on the ground. I was diving for cover. I crawled to the wall which is the perimeter(?) wall of TTA. I stayed there and the gun firing was gosrging on.
Thereafter I heard people approaching and they were screaming and shaking the gate of the TTA saying that the police must give them the firearms. When they entered they saw me lying there and they asked me to give them the firearm or else protect them or defend them. But because I knew what was the policy about the handling of firearms, I refused giving them the firearms but decided to defend them rather.
I had no choice because there were so many in number. I went out with them. I was in the middle, went across the tar road in front of TTA and I lied in some bushes around there. After some time I heard these people screaming out loudly, AWB, AWB. And after sometime a blue Mercedes Benz was approaching and they were shooting and they went past where I was lying and at that time I could not shoot because there were so many people who were in front of me and I did not want to injure them.
And I asked them to please stay clear and they did that. I shot one warning shot in the air, trying to scare these gentlemen in the blue Mercedes Benz., but they continued shooting. And that is when I saw that this is a war. And I shot back at them. As I was shooting I heard somebody screaming saying that they have just shot me. And as I was looking this person was bleeding on his thigh. I continued shooting until the Mercedes Benz came to a standstill at the "STOP" next to the TTA and I ran towards it.
On my way I went past some woman who was lying on her back bleeding in her belly. And this raised my emotions and I was very hurt and upset by the way that the black nation was being destroyed by these white men. I was very angry and nervous and hurt. When I got to these three AWB men I asked them where are they from? One of them of which I donít recall, as to at which side was he, he answered by saying that he is from Naaboomspruit.
I asked again as to what are you doing here and who called you? The one answered saying, go and ask your State President. I was very nervous. But his response or his answer, it just showed that there is tension, there is war and one called out saying that they want some ambulance and I answered back and said why didnít you bring your ambulance here. As I was talking to him, one of them moved and as he was moving his hand went underneath and I thought that he was pulling a firearm and I realised now that the trouble had started and then I started shooting them, one by one with my R4 rifle and thereafter I went back into the TTA yard.
What I am here for today is to ask for amnesty and forgiveness from the family members of Uys, Wolfaardt and Fourie. It is because I know that it is very painful to lose a husband, a father and a family member, but please pardon me for what I have done. There was no alternative because I thought that it was a situation of war prevailing.
If we can look back, people who were killed in Bophuthatswana who were helpless and who knew nothing about handling firearms were killed and injured here in Bophuthatswana, who have never actually laid their hands on the arms, they have just seen them in the newspapers and in the televisions. People who were just going about their own daily routines and in their own country were killed, innocent as they were.
But anyway, Fourie and Wolfaardt and the Uys families must please forgive me for what happened but it happened under a war situation. It has, it was thought that Sergeant Nare was the one who did these. And he suffered because of these and him and his family went through all the trouble and he was suspended from his work. Therefore I saw it necessary for me to come forward to this Commission and say the truth that Nare is not responsible for all these but myself, Menyatsoe.
Iím here today because I want to help Nare because he was being blamed for all these. I am clearing his name and I am here today to tell the whole country that I am the one who killed the three AWB members, your soldiers, Mr Eugene Terreblanche. I am their killer but I want to tell you this. You know as well that it was a war and unrest situation and that is why you sent in your soldiers in Bophuthatswana who destroyed and hurt and killed the black people. And they didnít even show respect towards our people.
You came here because you knew that youíll just come and kill and youíd never be killed. But all I want to say to you is that I beg you for forgiveness for what happened to your soldiers. And again to the family members of the deceased, please forgive me . There was no other way that I could have done myself, Menyatsoe. It was a war situation. Thank you.
MR HENDRICKSE: Mr Menyatsoe, at that time were you a member or a supporter of any political organisation?
MR MENYATSOE: I was a supporter, but because of the fact the I was a member of the Bophuthatswana Police I could not become a fully active member of the ANC simply because Bophuthatswana was against the ANC. And moreover, being a Bophuthatswana Police was told that he shouldnít be a member of any political organisation, you are a member of the UCDP.
MR HENDRICKSE: The UCDP, which party was that?
MR MENYATSOE: It was the organisation of the former Bophuthatswana regime.
MR HENDRICKSE: And of which party were you a supporter?
MR MENYATSOE: I was supporting the ANC.
MR HENDRICKSE: Thank you Mr Chairman, I have no further questions.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR HENDRICKSE
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Hendrickse. Mr Van Der Berg do you have any questions to ask the witness?
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Chairperson, Yes. Mr Terreblanche will ask questions first.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR TERREBLANCHE: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Yes I have a few questions Iíd like to ask. Sir, or Mr Menyatsoe, where were you born and where did you grow up?
MR MENYATSOE: I grew up in Lifurudzi.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Iím asking you if you went to school there and what your training was, what educational level you reached, what standard have you got?
TRANSLATOR: We canít hear the applicant. Interpretater cannot hear the applicant.
CHAIRPERSON: The translator is informing me that she cannot hear the applicant. There must be another problem with the machine. If you could just bear with us for a while while it is taken a look at.
INTERPRETER: We can proceed.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. If you could please just repeat the last question, Mr Terreblanche.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Chairperson, the question asked of Mr Menyatsoe was: "Where did you go to school and what was your scholastic training, to what standard did you go"?
MR MENYATSOE: I schooled in Lifurudzi up to Std 9.
CHAIRPERSON: Continue please Mr Terreblanche.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Iím sorry I did not receive the answer.
TRANSLATOR: The answer was he attended his school in Lifurudzi, that is in the Zeerust area, up to Standard nine. Did you hear that?
CHAIRPERSON: I think the answer, Iím getting an answer on channel 2, the English channel. Perhaps we should take a short adjournment while they just sort out the question of the translation.
Ok, we will try again. If you could please repeat the answer to the last question, namely what schooling and what standard did the applicant achieve at school.
MR MENYATSOE: I went to school up to Standard nine in Lifurudzi.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Menyatsoe, you did receive a certificate for standard nine, in other words you just had one year left in order to complete your education. After that you went to the police or what happened?
MR MENYATSOE: Please repeat your question, Mr Terreblanche.
MR TERREBLANCHE: I am saying Mr Menyatsoe, when you completed your standard nine and received the certificate, which was a good educational level at that stage. When you went to go and look for work, did you go to the police immediately or what career did you follow after that?
MR MENYATSOE: I went job hunting.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Let me put it to you in another way. After you obtained your academic qualifications did you do any other work in between and what work did you do before you went to the police?
MR MENYATSOE: I worked in the mines.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Thank you Mr Menyatsoe, and then you decided to join the Bophuthatswana Police. In what year did you do this?
MR MENYATSOE: It was in 1991.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Thank you. And then you were in service of the Bophuthatswana Police up and to the matter occurred. How many years of service did you have when this incident occurred?
MR MENYATSOE: I served from. I started from 1991 up until the 1994 when these occurred.
MR TERREBLANCHE: You were a fully trained member of the Bophuthatswana Police. Can you tell us in what section you were, was it a detective, there was security, safety, the unrest unit. In what section did you serve or receive training in the Bophuthatswana Police?
MR MENYATSOE: I was under the protective unit, the protection unit. I was serving in it.
MR TERREBLANCHE: What did you have to protect, Mr Menyatsoe?
MR MENYATSOE: I was in the Main gate of the State President here in Mafikeng and thereafter I was transferred to Thaba N'Chu but then transferred back to Mafikeng after three years or rather two years. In 1994 I was back to the head office where I worked in the former General Silikeís house here in Bophuthatswana.
MR TERREBLANCHE: So is it correct if I say you mainly was a security official protecting very important people, the General and the President. You had to protect the high officials of this country. Is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: Please repeat your question Mr Terreblanche.
MR TERREBLANCHE: I am asking if it was correct that if I say that you were mainly in the protection unit. You had to protect the State President, you went from head office to the Free State and then you were transferred back here where you protected a General. We know that there are different sections in the police, but your task was exclusively protection and you were entrusted with the lives of the high officials of the country, the President, the Generals lives. Is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: Yes I was protecting the President and again I was protecting the General together with all the Bophuthatswana people.
MR TERREBLANCHE: I am very grateful for the fact that you also wanted to protect the people, but was it your task to just protect Bophuthatswana people. But as a task as a policeman was it there to protect or to provide protection against crime and people who wanted to kill others and chaos, what was the task or what is the task of a policeman? Can you tell us, is, probably had an oath where you put your hand up and say that you will swear that you will be loyal to an oath. What is the first most important task of a member of the Bophuthatswana Police? You have received your training and there they taught you what your actual task was. You are not a soldier that going into a war, you must protect. Now can you tell us then, what can you remember concerning the oath of loyalty that you took?
MR MENYATSOE: Mr Terreblanche, it seems you do not understand me well. If you are a policeman or in the police force you are trained as under general training and from there you are given various posts and then again you can be taken from a particular unit to a different unit. So the policeman works anyway where he is based.
MR TERREBLANCHE: I am asking these questions for a good reason. I am asking you specifically. What was your task? You have already told me that your task was that of protecting important people, that is the State President included. When I asked you what other training you received, you did not answer the question. I am happy if you tell me that you were exclusively tasked with protecting. With regards to, except for all your other training, were you exclusively tasked for protecting the State President and the General? You were a security person, is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: As I have already explained, Mr Terreblanche, I was a policeman at that time. Any work of the police I was given I would do it. I acted like any other police.
MR TERREBLANCHE: So you performed any tasks which was given to you by a senior. You always performed those tasks. Is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: May you please repeat your question.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Menyatsoe, I am only asking in order to confirm what you have already said. You said that you performed instruction or tasks, and now I am asking you, any instruction which was given to you by your seniors, did you follow that instruction to the best of your ability? Did you listen to them when the senior person told you do this and do that? Did you receive those orders and did you follow them strictly so you never worked outside of the instructions you got, please?
MR MENYATSOE: I didnít do as I pleased. I did whatever I did as I was trained when I joined the police and abide by all the rules that were given at the police. I didnít do as I pleased. I followed instructions.
MR TERREBLANCHE: So Mr Menyatsoe, who gave you as a member of the Bop Police, to go and shoot or kill injured people. Shoot them in the back of the head while he was facing the ground. Whose instructions were those which you followed?
MR MENYATSOE: At that time there was no Commanding Officer. That is why I said right from the onset that it was a war situation and even a Commanding Officer at that time would be fending for his life at that time, but there was no Commanding Officer around but I used my discretion as a policeman to kill your soldiers because it was a war situation. I used my own discretion as a trained policeman that whilst on duty you have a right to use your own discretion.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Menyatsoe, please do not tell me what my rights are. I am asking you what were your rights? You are saying that you had the right and according to your training, because you say you are a trained policeman, it was your right to go to three wounded people, this is now after the war situation, after it passed.
Because you said yourself, it was the last vehicle that was around. All the other vehicles had already left and you said this in the document, all the other vehicles had left, this was the last vehicle, we ran towards it. There werenít any other vehicles around. The total AWB force was gone, they had already left for the Transvaal.
They left Bophuthatswana and these media people, did you see the media, Mr Menyatsoe? Were there members of the media, were there other policemen? You say there were no other Officers. Were there members of the defence force? You were completely on your own. You are a Constable, the lowest rank within the police force and there is nobody else who has got a higher rank than you at the scene of the crime, is that correct?
ADV MOTATA: Would we ask you to have shorter sentences because in the process you asked three questions in one question and I think having problems with the applicant. Just confine your sentences, ask one fact per question so that we get it, so that we are not confused as to what is happening please.
CHAIRPERSON: And also please, Mr Terreblanche, if you could just speak a little slower because the interpreters have to translate simultaneously and it is difficult for them to keep up with you, so just a little bit slower, thank you.
MR TERREBLANCHE: With all due respect Chairperson and honourable members, I am really sorry. This is a strange place for me and Iíd like to adapt to it.
CHAIRPERSON: I can assure you, I say this at every hearing I attend I have to tell people to speak a bit slower so you are not unique in that regard.
MR TERREBLANCHE: I thank you Chairperson. Mr Menyatsoe , letís start again from the beginning. You say that you are a trained Constable and you acted on your own initiative and responsibility when you killed the unarmed, injured people. Is that correct? You decided yourself that you are going to do that.
MR MENYATSOE: Yes, I took the decision on my own.
MR TERREBLANCHE: You also said that there were no other senior members, or people with higher rank present. Is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: Yes I said that.
MR TERREBLANCHE: So, everybody who was there, Mr Menyatsoe were Constables. There were no Sergeants or any higher ranks. Here in this war situation, where the war is fought with Constables or by means of Constables, only Constables. Is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: I did not say that there were Constables only. What I said is that there was no Commanding Officer at that time and even the Constable can be in charge of other Constables in that situation but I did not say that it was just only the Constables who were in the war, but I am telling about somebody who would have taken instructions from.
I had the capacity to give instructions at that time but there was no one specifically responsible at that time. I did not say that it was only Constables involved, please hear me correct Sir.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Menyatsoe, we will leave it with your answer. It is correct that that was the last vehicle, the blue Mercedes Benz. It was a vehicle which was separated from the other vehicles, they were there on their own. All the other vehicles have already left. Is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: Mr Terreblanche I did not say that the Mercedes Benz was that last car. Please donít try and commit me. I did not say that.
CHAIRPERSON: The question, Mr Menyatsoe being put to you is, was the Mercedes Benz the last car there? Do you know?
MR MENYATSOE: I do not know Sir.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Did you see other vehicles behind the Mercedes Benz, you followed the Mercedes Benz with your eyes up to the point where it got to a standstill? Were there other vehicles behind them, behind this Mercedes? Can you please just answer me that?
MR MENYATSOE: I was concentrating solely on the blue Mercedes car and I went there and I shot your soldiers and thereafter I went back to the yard. That is why I say that I do not know whether this Mercedes Benz was the last car. I did not see if there were any cars thereafter. I just shot your soldiers and went back into the yard. That is why I say I did not see if it was the last car or not.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Menyatsoe, you say that this was a war situation. But you saw no other vehicles behind or around this Mercedes but you are only concerned with the one vehicle. You saw no other vehicles behind the Mercedes. Can you remember which vehicles which were in front of the Mercedes?
MR MENYATSOE: Mr Terreblanche, I told you that there were open vans loading your soldiers and the Mercedes Benz was following them and at that time I was still in the yard when they went past and I have explained that to you.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Thank you Mr Menyatsoe. So the Mercedes went to a standstill and you moved towards this Mercedes Benz. Would you please tell us what exactly happened. You got to the Mercedes and what did you find there? When you walked towards the Mercedes Benz, here is the vehicle, what did you find there? Please just answer that.
MR MENYATSOE: I ran towards this Mercedes Benz and there I found three of your soldiers next to this Mercedes Benz and I asked them what they were doing there and where were they from and one of them responded that they were from Naaboomspruit. And I asked them again what are you doing here? And the other one said go and ask your State President. After that one of them said, they need an ambulance and I answered him back by saying, why didnít he bring his own ambulance? And one of them moved and the way he was moving, I thought he was intending to draw a gun and I shot them all at once and I stepped back into the yard.
MR TERREBLANCHE: You were a trained policeman. You alleged that these people were shooting at other people. Did you look whether they had weapons with them? One is against the wheel, one, or two are lying on the ground. The first thing you had to do was to take their arms, to disarm them. Did you see if they had arms, did you look for arms?
MR MENYATSOE: I did not do that Mr Terreblanche, because it was a war situation. Even if we were to fight, me and you and if I were to fall on the ground, you wouldnít take me to the hospital if I landed on the ground because of injuries. Thus I am not fully satisfied by your question.
MR TERREBLANCHE: I donít think you could ever be very happy with questions like this which charge you against the Geneva Conventions. No person could be happy after he had killed people in those circumstances but you have got to take the pain now and just listen to when I am talking to you.
Mr Menyatsoe, I asked you a simple question. Did you look to see if the people who were lying there, if they had indeed weapons with them or if they were not armed? You yourself has a R4 rifle with you which can kill people. Did you look? Did you ask them if they had weapons?
MR MENYATSOE: I did not ask them because I saw them shooting people and even in my direction as well, before coming to that stop. And therefore I noticed that they were armed. There was no need and I didnít see the need to ask them as to whether they were armed or not because I saw them shooting in my direction and they had shot somebody who was next to me. I saw everything.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Menyatsoe on that, sorry Mr Terreblanche, if I might just intervene. When you say you saw them shooting, did you notice the type of firearm that they were shooting with. In other words were the firearms used rifles or hand guns?
MR MENYATSOE: Whilst they were shooting from this Mercedes I could not see what kind of firearms they were using. I just heard shots.
ADV MOTATA: Mr Terreblanche if I may just for a second. And when you got to the car, that is the question you have been asked, when you got to the car did you see any firearms? That is the question Mr Terreblanche has been asking. Did you see any firearms?
MR MENYATSOE: I never noticed or saw any firearms.
ADV BOSMAN: Mr Menyatsoe, can I just get some clarity on this. When you got there what was the position, physical position of the three people who were killed?
MR MENYATSOE: One of them was sitting up leaning against a car with his back and one was lying on his belly. I donít remember the third oneís position.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Menyatsoe, so you didnít see any firearms and you felt so safe there because you do not see any firearms. You see a man who is lying down. He cannot talk and you see two other men, one is sitting and one is still lying and now you start talking to them. The war situation has passed.
You could never see, this is now in answer to the question of the Honourable Judge, you could never see with what they were firing whilst they were in the vehicle. This is now beforehand. Now you get there and you see well there is no firearms. I want to put it to you Mr Menyatsoe that you knew that there werenít any firearms because before you got there they were already disarmed by another member of the police force. Are you aware of that?
MR MENYATSOE: I have already explained that when I arrived there I did not notice as to whether they were armed or not. I wouldnít believe that they did not have guns or they had guns because the person who was there at the time, during that incident is myself. At that time, Mr Terreblanche, you were not personally in the scene. I do not understand that you are telling me that those people were not armed. I donít know whatís the purpose because you were not there at that particular time, at the scene.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Yes, Mr Menyatsoe, I was not there. Maybe you thought that I was the person with the beard if I were there. Maybe somebody else paid for me or for my life, like somebody else who carried the guilt, this sergeant in that everybody believed that he committed these murders and you were in hiding and we hear about this now.
I would just like to ask you, as a member of the police, I did ask you that before, but I was not ready with the equipment and everything and I spoke too fast. This oath of loyalty that you took there where you also a while ago put your hand in the air and swore an oath of loyalty and truth, what can you remember about that oath that you took while you were in the police? What did this oath say? To whom must you be loyal?
MR MENYATSOE: May you please repeat your question, Mr Terreblanche.
MR TERREBLANCHE: I am trying to make it as easy as possible. To be a member of the police you have to take a oath of loyalty, that is now for any police, in any country. Who did you work for, to whom must you be loyal? Must you be loyal to the authorities? Must you uphold the laws of the country? Must you arrest criminals? Must you protect the authorities against people who break the law? Can you remember what you actually did there? For what did you get that payment, your salary cheque at the end of the month?
MR MENYATSOE: You are flowing, I donít understand your question. Can you try to be precise in your questions because I donít understand them. I hear the summary of your questions. Can you be precise.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Menyatsoe, the initial question asked by Mr Terreblanche, can you remember the oath that you took when you became a policeman and if so, tell us what you can remember of that oath.
MR MENYATSOE: I took an oath that I would work for the community, I would protect the community, the government and to die for the nation.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Thank you very much. Your oath you took before God and that said or entailed that you must protect the government, and that you must even die for the government and the people and authorities. Therefore if the government needed you, you could die for them or for other reasons in the oath.
MR MENYATSOE: I donít understand your question.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Is it correct that you took an oath that you will die for the state if it is in danger?
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Now Mr Menyatsoe, when you then had that discussion with people who were lying there on the ground, then you realised that these people are coming to help the President. Is that correct? They are not coming to help the people around you but they are coming to help the President or what idea did you have of the situation?
MR MENYATSOE: May you please repeat that question.
CHAIRPERSON: The question was that after you had spoken to those three people who were lying next to the vehicle, did you realise that they had come to Bophuthatswana to help the President, the then President of Bophuthatswana. That was the question.
MR MENYATSOE: I didnít say those people said so. They said to me go and ask your President. I did not say they were coming to help ...(indistinct)
CHAIRPERSON: I was getting the English and Afrikaans at the same time and I think that it happened with the other mics. I wonder if the interpreters could just please repeat the answer to that question.
MR MENYATSOE: I did not say that these people said to me that they have come to assist the Bophuthatswana President, but what I said is, they said to me I should go and ask my President. I did not say that they said they have come to help my President.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Menyatsoe, you were then angry at the President. You then yourself said that he did not want the people to vote. You were angry at him. You even said that you left and walked over the road, or crossed the road to go and help or to support the people there. You were angry at him. He did not want you to vote, is that not correct?
MR MENYATSOE: Mr Terreblanche, I did not say that I did not want the President, I never said that.
CHAIRPERSON: At that stage were you angry with the President because of the situation relating to the voting?
MR MENYATSOE: I was angry and hurt because of what was happening to the black nation that being trodden and destroyed by your people and this happened in front of my eyes. The whole Mafikeng.
ADV MOTATA: I wonder if I may interpose here. Mr Menyatsoe, you should understand the context of the question asked by Mr Terreblanche, that therein, it is not only what you have said but also what you said in the papers before us and I would invite you to look at page 14S ?, where you are trying to explain the political objective. Just there you say, "Government of the ex-Bophuthatswana, who through their leader, the ex-President, Lucas Mangope, refused to participate in the elections." You see that?
MR MENYATSOE: Yes I see that.
ADV MOTATA: What I am saying, I am not going to suggest an answer to you but when Mr Terreblanche is asking questions he has also read your papers, these questions also impact on the papers before us. Thank you.
MR MENYATSOE: Yes, I understand Sir.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Can we then say that you were very angry at the President and that you did not like any of his decisions? Can we accept it, you were very angry at him?
MR MENYATSOE: Yes, Sir.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Menyatsoe, you were very angry at the President and you knew that the AWB had come because someone had told you or that the whites are sleeping there at the defence force base and they are entertained there. You knew they were there. Someone said to you that they took over the whole thing. Is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: What is the question in fact here? Is this a phrase or a question?
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Menyatsoe, I asked you a simple question. You knew that the AWB is at the defence force headquarters. Did you know this? Yes or no?
MR MENYATSOE: Yes I was aware.
MR TERREBLANCHE: You knew that if the AWB was not welcome there then there would have been war between Mangopeís forces, Mangope himself as President and the AWB, because the AWB comes from another country and they have come into your country and they are staying at the defence force headquarters and there is no shots being fired. In other words you knew that Mr Mangope had no objection in them being there.
MR MENYATSOE: I did not know as to whether he was anti or for them, but what I just heard is that the AWB soldiers were in the defence headquarters. As to whether he called them or not, Mr Mangope, I did not know. What I know is that yourself and your army were in the air base. That is all I know.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Menyatsoe, now I understand. It is not the AWB who angered you, that you would leave your post and walk across the road and go to the ANC people. It was not the AWB people because you did not know or knew that Mangope wanted us there. You were just angry at Mangope. You were so angry that you lifted your rifle in the air and shouted with the others. Is that correct? It was not the AWB.
MR MENYATSOE: Please repeat your question.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Your answer that you did not know if the AWB was welcome there or not, this is now at the defence force base. Is that correct? Is that what you said? Now I am asking you, I was under the impression that you were so angry at the AWB because they were helping Mangope who did not want the people to vote and now you are saying, no. It is not why you were angry or you said you did not understand. Can you just explain this to me. Why did you walk over to the ANC people, the people who broke the windows and sang and shouted? Is it not in these documents that you went over to the people across the road?
MR MENYATSOE: Still I am waiting the question about the air base and now you already into the TTA. You are actually confusing me.
MR TERREBLANCHE: I think, Mr Menyatsoe, we made it very clear. I will not continue with this question. I want to know that it was your task to protect the government. Is that correct, you have said that earlier on. Did you then protect the government? Or did you kill people who were killing your people?
MR MENYATSOE: Please be aware of the fact that Mr Mangope is not the government himself only. Government is formed by the nation as well. When I say that I was protecting or defending Mr Mangope, does not necessarily mean I have to neglect the nation. He was not the sole government, Mr Mangope. You as well, Mr Terreblanche, you cannot operate on your own, that is why you have got your supporters or your assistants there next to you. I also had to serve the nation.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Menyatsoe, Iím asking you just to answer what I am putting to you. I will repeat it. Did you serve the nation and the government when you shot and killed the people who were injured and was lying there without any weapons? Was that part of your instructions? Did you do it because you wanted to serve the government and the nation at the same time? You were a police officer, did you resign before you killed them or were you at that stage a policeman? I will start again, did you serve the nation and the government when you killed those people?
MR MENYATSOE: I did that for the nation and for the government and the nation that was being killed by your army at that time. That is why I say I was protecting the very nation that we are following of Bophuthatswana. I was trying to stop your army from the continuous killings that were going on. That is why immediately thereafter the incident of your three soldiers when I actually killed them and thereafter the shootings in Mmabatho actually minimised. I think you do agree with me that after this incident there were few killings here in Mafikeng.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Can you just answer my question. I am not here to listen to a political summary of your opinions, I just want the answer to my question. This is about the cold-blooded murder of people. It is about your application for amnesty. The panel have to decide if you will receive amnesty and will walk out here as a free person or if this deed stands directly opposed to the rights of humans and if it is against conventions decided on an international level. Can you just answer my question please.
MR HENDRICKSE: Mr Chairman, I am sorry to interrupt. I donít want to interrupt cross-examination of Mr Terreblanche. I ask that Mr Terreblanche must ask his questions in short, simple sentences so that the applicant can understand what the question actually is and not give a whole speech before asking a question.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I think if he could keep the questions as short as possible please Mr Terreblanche, to avoid any confusion that may result from long questions.
The question that was asked you was, were you protecting the nation, the government and the nation when you shot those three people.
MR MENYATSOE: According to my discretion I was protecting the nation.
MR TERREBLANCHE: I will ask you a very short question and you have got a lot of time to answer this. Mr Chairperson, I am objecting, I am trying to keep to the questions, I am not making speeches, so I think that this objection is not relevant.
I am now asking you a question Mr Menyatsoe. How do you protect the government of President Mangope? The whole government who did not want to take part in voting by killing Fourie, Uys and Wolfaardt, who did not have any weapons and who were pleading for medical aid?
MR MENYATSOE: Mr Terreblanche, please be precise. I donít understand your question.
MR TERREBLANCHE: I am convinced that you do not want to answer this question but I will try. Were you afraid of one person who was apparently almost dead, and one who was severely injured and pleading for an ambulance and another person? Were you afraid you afraid that they will jump up and here I will have to elaborate because otherwise you do not understand again.
That they will jump up with weapons they did not have, and that President Mangope, and they are threatening President Mangopeís safety and that they will kill the people standing around them. That they will threaten their safety. The AWB left, they gone. How do you protect the government and the people by killing people who had nothing with them? How can you protect them if you do that? I hope you understand now.
MR MENYATSOE: I do understand your question, Mr Terreblanche. I did not say that these people were not armed. I killed your soldiers because of the war that they had brought into this area. I shot them because I knew that they were armed.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Let us leave the question there. The following, you saw one of the three attempting to shoot you. Can you exactly or explain what you testified. They were lying there, then you saw someone, you were talking to them, they said that they were injured and that they wanted help. Then you saw someone, one of them make a movement and that he was going to shoot you. Is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Then you reacted very quickly, because this person wants to shoot me. Is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct.
MR TERREBLANCHE: You thought that you would shoot him first.
MR MENYATSOE: I do not remember which one I shot first of those three.
MR TERREBLANCHE: But you can remember which one wanted to shoot you. Can you remember that? It is terrible, these people are lying in front of you and one of them wants to shoot you. You must charge him in front of this Honourable Committee, he now wants to shoot you. Which one of the three, it cannot be all three. Which one was it? Can you remember?
MR MENYATSOE: At that time, Mr Terreblanche, I was very angry and emotional. I could not see which one was trying to shoot me. I do not recall clearly because this happened years ago. I cannot recall everything to the detail.
MR TERREBLANCHE: You cannot remember what the Committee really wants to hear. You only remember what you want to remember, but because to say that I am shooting out of self-defence, somebody wants to shoot me. It is only one of the three, who, which one of the three wanted to shoot you? If you cannot tell us which one of them wanted to shoot you then I donít think we can rely on your evidence. I donít think we can believe you then.
Can I make it easier. If you are going to make a charge, or lay a charge, I was somewhere and somebody hit me, who hit me? A man with a green shirt or maybe you donít know the name, but there is only three people here. One is apparently already dead. One speaks, he is lying flat on his stomach and the other one sitting against the carís wheel. Which one of them wants to shoot you and you say you cannot remember. Out of self-defence you shot all three of them but you canít remember which one of them wanted to shoot you, Mr Menyatsoe?
MR MENYATSOE: Mr Terreblanche, if you were in the situation I was in at that time, you would realise that it is possible not to notice everything that happens at the time. Some, you might be able to notice, but as time goes on, moreover given the time that has gone by, you wouldnít be able to recall.
CHAIRPERSON: When you were giving in chief, this is my notes, correct me if it is wrong. You said that after you spoke with these people who were lying on the ground. One moved and his hand went underneath, I thought he pulling a gun and I then shot all three of them. That is my notes of your evidence. Can you remember a hand going underneath? You said that in your evidence in chief, unless my note is wrong.
MR MENYATSOE: I said so, but I do not recall clearly which one of the three. That is my answer. I do not recall which one of the three.
MR TERREBLANCHE: I will leave it there.
ADV BOSMAN: Can I just intervene. Mr Menyatsoe, now the word underneath is a translated word, but what did you mean by saying I saw a hand going underneath?
MR MENYATSOE: His hand was going in the side that one would normally carry oneís firearm.
CHAIRPERSON: Was it going underneath his body? Was he moving his hand under his body, what precisely did you see?
MR MENYATSOE: He was moving his arm as the applicant is indicating. It might be to the side or to the back, where ever one normally puts oneís firearm.
CHAIRPERSON: By moving his left arm down to the side and behind to the back of his body, going down towards the waist.
Mr Terreblanche, you said that you were moving onto another question. I think this might be a convenient time to take the lunch adjournment. I see that it is just before 1 oíclock. Weíll now just adjourn for the lunch interval.
ONTLAMETSE BERNSTEIN MENYATSOE: (s.u.o.)
CROSS-EXAMINATION MR TERREBLANCHE: (cont)
Thank you very much, Chairperson.
Mr Menyatsoe, before lunch we were busy with how you saw that one of the persons, menís hand moved down to where he would carry his weapon. Usually where does a person or an AWB person, where does one carry a firearm. Which side and where, what part of his body does he carry his weapon?
MR MENYATSOE: I cannot be able to respond to that, Iím not an AWB member and I never take note of them, how do they carry their arms.
MR TERREBLANCHE: But letís leave the AWB out of this, letís say where does a person usually carry his firearm? On which side?
MR MENYATSOE: You asked me about AWB as to how do they carry their arms and now you are changing the question to just an ordinary person. Now let me respond to the first version of your question. I do not know how do the AWB carry their arms.
CHAIRPERSON: And the second part?
MR TERREBLANCHE: The second part is what you have said in evidence or as in response to the question. He moved his hand downwards to where one would usually carry his firearm. Where does one usually carry his firearm?
MR MENYATSOE: He moved his hand around his waist.
MR TERREBLANCHE: To his left or right hip or waist?
MR MENYATSOE: I do not recall.
MR TERREBLANCHE: In which position was he lying when he dropped his hand?
MR MENYATSOE: I do not recall.
MR TERREBLANCHE: You only remember that he dropped his hand?
MR MENYATSOE: I do not recall.
MR TERREBLANCHE: You canít remember that he moved his hand downwards. That is the question I am asking you?
MR MENYATSOE: I do recall the fact that he did move his hand. As to which hand I do not recall and as to whether, how was he positioned, I do not recall as well.
MR TERREBLANCHE: So Mr Menyatsoe, he moved his hand. You canít remember how he lied, you canít remember which hand he moved, but still you said that he moved his hand towards where one would usually carry his firearm so his hand moved to his hip.
MR MENYATSOE: Mr Terreblanche, when you are in a war situation, any ordinary person when you holding a hostage, the moment that person moves, you expect anything to happen. That movement can result in anything. You have to be careful.
MR TERREBLANCHE: That is my point, one has to be careful. The specific situation in which you find yourself, therefore it is funny for me that when you got to them, that you did not look and make sure whether they had weapons. One has to be careful, you said that you kept them hostage, but you donít see whether they have weapons with them when he moved his hand. Maybe he had a bullet in his leg or in his hip and he is touching the place which is painful, then one has to be so careful that you are actually shooting. Is that what you mean with being careful?
MR MENYATSOE: Mr Terreblanche, let me respond to your question by saying, my intentions of going to your soldiers was not to see as to whether they were armed or not but to kill them in order to protect the nation.
MR TERREBLANCHE: So the goal was to kill them, not to see if they are armed, not to see if they maybe want to shoot. The purpose was to kill them in order to protect the nation, even if they were not armed, is that correct? You wanted to kill them, even if they had no weapons with them, is that what you are saying?
MR MENYATSOE: I have already explained that. I was going to do what came to my mind which is to kill them in the very same manner that they killed people here in Bophuthatswana.
MR TERREBLANCHE: So you did what came into your mind. What came to your mind was to kill these people, those three people who were lying there. Is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: Please repeat your question.
MR TERREBLANCHE: It came into your mind that you had to protect the nation and to do so you must kill these people: "That is why I went there, to kill these people". That is what you told me, I just donít know if I heard you correctly.
MR MENYATSOE: Mr Terreblanche, we were in a war situation and in that situation you donít go to see if somebody is armed or not.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Yes you only kill, that is what you are saying. I accept that you wanted to kill them.
You say, you did that because these three people killed other people. Did you see these people killing someone else? These three people who you have read about in the documents and there were allegations that there were people on a pick-up who were shooting at people but these three people in the blue Mercedes?
MR MENYATSOE: As I have already explained they had already shot somebody who was standing next to me in the thigh.
MR TERREBLANCHE: They shot him dead.
MR MENYATSOE: They shot him in the thigh and they did not kill him.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Someone else?
MR MENYATSOE: And the other one was shot in the belly. As to whether he or she died, I do not know.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Now do you know which of these three people killed or shot the one guy in the thigh and the other one in the belly?
MR MENYATSOE: I do not know, but because he was one of the AWB members who was firing, that is why I did what I did which is shooting them.
Furthermore, if somebody is shooting from a car, you cannot notice as to which one is shooting of the three and what kind of a firearm is he or she using.
MR TERREBLANCHE: So because you do not know who shot you decided that because this person is a member of the AWB, you decide you will kill all the members of the AWB you find. You found three members of the AWB, you shot all of them. If there were four would you have shot all of them as well?
MR MENYATSOE: I wonít answer that.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Because I am saying you couldnít tell whether they were AWB members, maybe you could tell one was an AWB member, but how did you know all of them were AWB? Did you know that they were AWB?
MR MENYATSOE: Please repeat the question. Please repeat your question.
MR TERREBLANCHE: How did you know that they were AWB members? You said that because you couldnít see and they were AWB members, you shot all three of them. Now I am asking you, how did you know they were AWB members?
MR MENYATSOE: These men were dressed in khaki, khaki uniforms of which you always identify with the AWB whenever you see them in the television and in the newspapers. And moreover I had already learnt that the AWB members were in Mafikeng and I know that is the dress code of the AWB. Moreover they were coming from the direction of Mmabatho.
MR TERREBLANCHE: It was the dress code of the AWB to do what? Do you mean the clothes or do you mean their way of behaving?
ADV MOTATA: Mr Terreblanche, the three who were shot, is it in dispute whether they were members of the AWB? Are we disputing this?
MR TERREBLANCHE: Honourable Judge, because he said, because they were AWB members, he shot them. Now it is in dispute. I want to know how did he know they were AWB?
CHAIRPERSON: Is what the witness has said is that he reached the conclusion that they were AWB members because they were dressed in khaki and because he had heard that the AWB were in town. And that was the conclusion reached by him. You can ask him if he specifically knew whether those three particular people were card carrying members, but I donít think you will get anywhere on that one.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Chairperson, I just want to ask the applicant, behind me we have three members in khaki clothes, they are colleagues of his. They are security police. I am also in khaki outfit. The question I want to ask is you are saying because they were AWB, you shot them. So you wanted to shoot AWB people and you accepted that they were AWB because they were dressed in khaki. You are not shooting now because, because somebody now tried to go for his weapon.
CHAIRPERSON: That they were dressed in khaki and that he had learnt that the AWB were in town.
ADV MOTATA: And further that when he first noticed the car they were shooting out of the car, that is his evidence and in his mind he concluded immediately that these are the AWB members.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Thank you, Chairperson. I went through the documents and you have mentioned that the Volksfront and the AWB had different groupings, here now I want to ask you, did you think that all the people who were there were AWBís dressed in khaki?
MR MENYATSOE: Mr Terreblanche, I told you in depth that I had learnt that the AWB were in the defence force base in Bophuthatswana. I told you that.
MR TERREBLANCHE: The question is simply ...(intervention)
ADV SIGODI: Mr Terreblanche, is it your case, or is it the case of the victimís families that people who were shot were not AWB members because I donít think this line of questioning is going to take us any further if they were in fact AWB people. Is that what you are going to put to the witness that they were not AWB people?
MR TERREBLANCHE: No, Chairperson. What I want to put to the witness is that they were white people and that he shot white people.
ADV SIGODI: The crux of the matter is that do you dispute that they were AWB people?
MR TERREBLANCHE: No it is not in dispute.
ADV SIGODI: take us any further to pursue this point if they were in fact AWB people.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Chairperson, with all respect, the point I am trying to make is, the witness shot these people because they were white and he wants to politicise this issue by saying that they were AWB because he says specifically, I shot them because they were AWB. That was his answer to my question. So I still have a problem with this. I shoot them because they were AWB and I am asking him, how did you know they were AWB, I accept now his answer that he thought they were AWB but he canít say that he knew it at that stage because the Volksfront, the BKA, the ANC was also here and none of them shot a single shot. But Iíd leave it there. Thank you for you time.
The AWB, Mr Menyatsoe, you have no regard for the AWB, you donít like them at all, is that true?
MR MENYATSOE: That is not true. Iíve never said I hate the AWB and I will never hate it.
MR TERREBLANCHE: I did not speak about hate. I said you had no regards for them. You did not like them. Do you like the AWB or donít you like them?
MR MENYATSOE: What I am saying is that I do not hate them which simply means I like them as human beings. They are human beings. We exist in the same earth. I love them as just ordinary human beings, but they did not respect the black people.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Is that today or all time? What is your information that they never respected people? Was it only that day they didnít respect them or did they never respect them?
MR MENYATSOE: According to my knowledge, the AWB has undermined and disrespected the black people from the 10th to the 11th by attacking them. That is according to my experience and knowledge.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Menyatsoe, do you have any other knowledge of the AWB? Do you know what they stand for? Do you know what their principles are? Do you know what they want? What does the AWB want? What are they working for?
MR MENYATSOE: I do not know anything and I donít have or never had any interest about their wants and their interests etc.
MR TERREBLANCHE: In other words, you do not know what the program of principles are of the AWB?
MR MENYATSOE: At all Sir.
MR TERREBLANCHE: You do not know if they want apartheid?
MR MENYATSOE: Mr Terreblanche, please do not repeat your question. I told you that I do not know, I did not know and I was never interested in knowing, Sir.
MR TERREBLANCHE: You see, Mr Menyatsoe, the reason why I am asking this is in the politics of the AWB and the politics you support, you killed these people. Because you say you do not know anything about the AWB. In other words, it is not about politics that you killed them.
MR MENYATSOE: I killed them because they wanted to kill the black nation, that is why I was defending the nation. I had to protect the nation, it was my duty to protect them, should they be endangered and the danger was caused by your army.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Yes, Mr Menyatsoe, it is of course not my defence force, but let us leave it there.
This nation that the AWB wanted to kill, this black nation. Are you referring to two incidents or cases where one of those vehicles shot or fired shots, is that what you are talking about now? Are you now talking about this nation. They were then on their was out of Bophuthatswana. You killed them because they wanted to kill the black nation.
MR MENYATSOE: Mr Terreblanche, when this Commission started here, you were watching the television there and it showed you how your own soldiers killed people from the 10th til the morning of the 11th up until I stopped them by killing them myself.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Menyatsoe, I am not asking or telling you to tell me what was on the television. I am asking you to tell me personally, when did you, I asked you earlier on, where did the AWB kill people and you said they shot two persons. That was the morning of the 11th, you cannot now tell me that you saw on television what happened on the 10th.
The morning of the 11th, you said that they killed two people or shot or injured, two people in front of you. That was it. Now you say that the AWB wants to kill the black nation and I cannot leave it there. I have to ask this to you.
MR MENYATSOE: Mr Terreblanche, the AWB members had already killed many people. I heard how your soldiers killed or injured black people and furthermore I witnessed it myself when I saw this blue Mercedes Benz and the vans that were going across Mafikeng shooting. Therefore it was quite clear that the killings were going to continue and I decided that rather than to leave these people to destroy the black people, it wonít do me any good, but the only alternative is to do away with them and that is exactly what I did.
After having shot these people as I have already told you and you witnessed it yourself that after this incident there was cease fire here in Mafikeng.
MR TERREBLANCHE: So Mr Menyatsoe, you are saying, saying to this Commission that by killing the injured, the decision you made yourself, you will stop the AWB who wants to kill the black nation. You do not have any knowledge about the AWB. You told me this, you do not know what their programs or principles are. You did not want to tell me if the AWB supported apartheid or not. You do not know anything about this but you will kill three of them. Then all of these things that was in your head at that stage would then stop.
Lucas Mangope, that is now the next question, his government, how did Mr Mangope became the President of Bophuthatswana?
MR MENYATSOE: I donít know that history.
MR TERREBLANCHE: If I tell you that he was elected as President, as a Tswana captain or chief, he was chosen as President, will you disagree with me?
MR MENYATSOE: Because you know that how he was put into power, why do you ask me that question because you know the answer to that question. I donít know the answer about that question, I hear from you.
MR TERREBLANCHE: That is all that I wanted to know, just that you do not know what the answer was.
What does one do with a President that you do not like? How do you get rid of him, how did you perceive this? The people wanted to go and vote, the President and his cabinet do not want to vote. What do you do if you do not like your President or do not agree with him in Bophuthatswana?
ADV MOTATA: Before the applicant replies to that question, I think our, your cross-examination, Mr Terreblanche should be confined to the incident because when asking questions, you should have his evidence and even that written on paper in full context, because his evidence in chief and some under cross-examination, he did not say he was fighting for Mangope. He said his aversion was that the AWB people, or the people he perceived to be AWB were killing his own people, that is the black people. Now if we are going to come and say how Mangope came into power within Bophuthatswana we would be moving out of the ambient of what we have got to decide because it should be very clear that did he act with a political motive or did he give a full disclosure of his actions? I think that would take us nearer to what we want.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Chairperson, I would just like to get to the point then where the applicant decided as in the document that he did indeed acted against his own government without the instructions of any of his Commanders and that he killed people in this process. The fact is, Mr Chairperson, that the right wing who were here, if it was the AWB or the BKA, they were here to support Mangope.
The applicant indicated very clearly that although he was a policeman in that government he did not support Mangopeís views concerning the elections and that he did not support Mangopeís allies and that he killed them. I just wanted to make this point that the manner of his dissatisfaction was to have a election and that is to out-vote that person. And my question is if it would be a democratic government then or not? Thank you very much
CHAIRPERSON: Except we are really not interested in the applicantís extent of his knowledge in political theory but if you want to put any question directly, you can put it as long as it is relevant to any submissions that you will be making at the end of these proceedings.
MR TERREBLANCHE: I hesitate now to ask further questions in order to prove that the actions was not politically motivated and it was because he was scared and shocked and angry at the AWB who shot these people. I would like to reveal the debt of his political motive if you do not allow me to do this, I will then follow the rules and leave it there.
CHAIRPERSON: But as long as the questions are relevant. We donít have to go into asking the witness how a President is elected etc or how do you get rid of a President. Just ask direct questions as to establish what he knows or doesnít know with regard to the situation as it then prevailed.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Then in those circumstances, those people who were dissatisfied with Mr Mangope, what did they do here in the streets. You are a peace officer, you have to uphold the peace, there is a war situation. What did the people in Mmabatho do, those who were not satisfied with Mr Mangopeís decision?
MR MENYATSOE: You saw how they were burning. You know that the Mega City has been built for the second time.
ADV MOTATA: Mr Menyatsoe, I think it would help us instead of saying what is in Mr Terreblancheís personal knowledge. He asked you a question. I think the proper answer if I listen to you well, would say, Mega City was burnt. Not that Mr Terreblanche knows about that. I donít think that is a proper answer. Please just answer the questions directly and not hedge.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Menyatsoe, what is Mega City?
MR MENYATSOE: Mega City is the town just on the right hand side from this side, here in Mmabatho, a mole-like type of complex.
MR TERREBLANCHE: I did not know that it was burnt down. You will have to tell me about this. So these people who did not like Mangope then burnt this shopping centre.
MR MENYATSOE: Yes, that is correct. They barricaded the roads, they burnt police peopleís houses. Civil servants were not going to work. The hospitals were closed because health workers did not go to work. They were saying they donít want Mangopeís government any more.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Did they also throw stones when they blockaded the roads. Did they break windows in shops?
MR MENYATSOE: Yes they barricaded the roads, they broke windows and burnt houses and shops. They were not going to work.
MR TERREBLANCHE: If a road is then blocked, what happens to those vehicles there? Must they go back or must they remain there?
MR MENYATSOE: It will depend on the driver as to whether which direction it takes. Everyone would take his own decision.
MR TERREBLANCHE: The fact is that he could not continue because the road was blocked.
MR MENYATSOE: You would not pass easily or youíll not pass at all if youíll not go out of your car and shift.
MR TERREBLANCHE: In other words you had to get out of the vehicle if you wanted to get away from there. Is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: I have explained that it would depend on the driver at that particular time. That would come from the driverís mind what decision what to do thereafter.
MR TERREBLANCHE: The driver decided that he drives along this road ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Terreblanche, is this getting us anywhere, what happens at a road. He hasnít said each and every road was road blocked, he just in response to a question he said that there was burning, there was barricading of roads, there was civil servants not going to work, the hospital was closed. And now is it really relevant for us to know what a particular driver, unknown driver, would do when he gets to a road block?
MR TERREBLANCHE: Yes, Mr Chairperson, it is relevant in the sense that according to my information and that is why I would like to put this question. Road blocks were held when the AWB left Bophuthatswana, that stones were thrown and that out of fear, exactly what Mr Menyatsoe now answered, people protected themselves by shooting, if it was in the air or not. Because at these road blocks if they were, could not continue, the windows would have been broken and would be then taken out of a crowd and be killed on their way back to the old South Africa. It is very relevant to me.
CHAIRPERSON: Well then if you could put it to him, but for the witness to express an opinion what may or may not happen at a road block isnít very relevant but what you are stating may well be relevant, so if you could put it to him, rather than spend a lot of time finding out what the witness thinks might happen at a road block. Just put it to him, what will happen at a road block and put the version and see what the witness says about it.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Mr Chairperson, I will then place it on record that Mr Menyatsoe said that there were road blocks put up. Mr Menyatsoe is it correct if I say that to show that they are against President Mangope they also made use of road blocks and that they prevented people to continue. I would just like to get your answer on that. In other words then that the driver must then decide if he will get out of the car and walk or take a different route. Is that what you said?
MR MENYATSOE: I said it would depend on a particular driver. I did not know what the driver would think, what to do next in that kind of a situation. I have explained that.
MR TERREBLANCHE: Yes, we then leave it there, Mr Menyatsoe. I have got no further questions. I am convinced that the advocates and his representatives will continue with the questions that I did not mention.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR TERREBLANCHE
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Van Der Berg, do you have any questions to put to the witness?
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DER BERG: As it pleases you, Mr Chairperson, firstly I would like to ask forgiveness because I took out my jacket because of the heat.
CHAIRPERSON: Please you donít have to ask for forgiveness. I should have mentioned it, if anybody wants to remove their jackets, please feel free to do so. It is very hot in here today.
MR VAN DER BERG: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Mr Menyatsoe, do you agree that this
incident took place on the 11th of March, 1994?
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, when did you apply for amnesty?
MR MENYATSOE: I donít remember the day, but it is after I have appeared before the Tebbutt Commission.
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir, will you agree with me that it was 18th January 1997?
CHAIRPERSON: I see the application form is dated the 8th May 1997, page 7 of the document.
MR VAN DER BERG: It is indeed so, yes Mr Chairperson. Sir, when did you go and see the lawyer of human rights or the lawyers of human rights?
MR MENYATSOE: I saw him before I appeared before the Tebbutt Commission.
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir, would you agree that the closing date for amnesty was 10th May. 1997. Is that correct?
CHAIRPERSON: That that was at that stage. It was extended later, but at one stage it was the 10th of May.
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir, then you only two days before this time was extended, you applied for amnesty. Is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: I only knew that the deadline was on that date, but I know that it was extended.
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir, why did you go and see the lawyer for human rights?
MR MENYATSOE: May you please repeat your question?
MR VAN DER BERG: Why did you go and see the lawyer for human rights? Who told you to go and do this, or who recommended this?
MR MENYATSOE: I told myself. I made that decision on my own.
MR VAN DER BERG: When you applied for amnesty, did you know that Sergeant Nare was charged innocently of the murder?
MR MENYATSOE: I knew.
MR VAN DER BERG: When did you know he was charged for murder?
MR MENYATSOE: I donít remember, I heard it from radio. I donít remember the date and the month.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, when you learned that Sergeant Nare was charged for murder, why didnít you immediately go and apply for amnesty?
MR MENYATSOE: Every person does anything he likes at the time he wants.
MR VAN DER BERG: So you have no explanation why you didnít come to the front and say it was you who shot the three AWB members?
MR MENYATSOE: Can you please repeat the question.
MR VAN DER BERG: You did not immediately come to the front after you heard that, or let me put it this way. When you heard Nare was charged, why didnít you immediately come and apply for amnesty?
MR MENYATSOE: I have already told you that every person has the right to do anything he likes at his own time.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, what you have told the Commission today, did you tell the same things to the lawyers of human rights?
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct.
MR VAN DER BERG: Did you tell them everything you told the Commission today? Did you tell all of that to the lawyers of human rights?
MR MENYATSOE: Other information surfaced because of the questions asked.
MR VAN DER BERG: The evidence you have given in chief, all that evidence, did you also give that to the lawyers of human rights?
MR MENYATSOE: May you please repeat your question, Sir.
CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps if you could just explain what evidence in chief is to the witness when you put him the question, Mr Van Der Berg. He might not understand the term.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, when you initially gave your evidence before any cross-questioning actually took place, all that information which you have given to the Commission, before the cross-questioning started. All that information, did you also give that to the lawyers of human rights?
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct.
MR VAN DER BERG: You also took an oath at the Tebbutt Commission on 6th May 1997, is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: I did not take an oath.
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir, do you remember that proceedings took place on the 10th May in front of the Tebbutt Commission, you were there, were you not?
MR MENYATSOE: Will you please repeat your question? There are those I remember, there are those I do not remember.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, you took an oath and gave an affidavit to the Tebbutt Commission with regards to exactly what happened on the day of the 10th May when you shot these people, is that correct.
ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, perhaps to assist my learned friend, the applicant did not testify before the Tebbutt Commission. They only tabled an affidavit which was read into the record. He was never subjected to any cross-examination, nor testimony.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes I see from page 26 of the papers that youíve been speaking about, an affidavit, but here it talks about a statement being read, I donít know if it was ...(intervention)
ADV MPSHE: It is the statement.
CHAIRPERSON: Is it an affidavit?
ADV MPSHE: It was a statement, Mr Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes but affidavits are also statements, but was it a sworn statement or not?
MR HENDRICKSE: Mr Chairman, this was not a sworn statement. This was not an affidavit, it is a statement that was handed in to the Commission.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Hendrickse.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, the statement which you then made to the Tebbutt Commission, was that the truth or was it not the truth?
MR MENYATSOE: That is the truth.
MR VAN DER BERG: So in the information contained in there is the truth, is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: I have explained that it is the truth.
MR VAN DER BERG: Did you also explain to the Tebbutt Commission precisely what you have still explained to the Commission today before the cross-questioning today started, that means, your evidence in chief. Did you also say exactly the same to the Tebbutt Commission?
MR MENYATSOE: Can you shorten your questions so that I will be able to understand what you want from that question.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, everything you said today in your evidence in chief, did you convey it in the same way in that statement you made to the Tebbutt Commission?
MR MENYATSOE: I have explained that.
MR VAN DER BERG: My question is very simple, all the information you have given today, did you give them the same information, the Tebbutt Commission that is? Did you give them the same information?
MR HENDRICKSE: Mr Chairman, maybe my learned friend can just say that this was a statement that was handed in and the applicant did not testify personally before the Tebbutt Commission. He should not confuse the two issues.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, perhaps you can make it clear then. I think the question that you putting, Mr Van Der Berg is, the contents of that statement which was handed in to the Tebbutt Commission, is that the same as your evidence in chief that you have given today? Is that the question you are asking?
MR VAN DER BERG: That is correct.
MR MENYATSOE: I have already explained that.
CHAIRPERSON: What, what, could you just explain again. Was it the same or did it differ?
MR MENYATSOE: They are the same.
MR VAN DER BERG: So you agree that since the incident took place on the 11th March 1994, when the first admission on the 6th May of 1997, was already finished, is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: Can you please repeat your question. Can you please repeat your question, Sir.
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir, it is easy, on the 6th of May, you made a statement in which you said that you shot at three AWB members, is that correct? And it is in that statement was made on the 6th May, 1997, is that correct? And that is in front of the Tebbutt Commission. That is the first time you have said in public that you shot the AWB people.
MR MENYATSOE: Yes.
MR VAN DER BERG: But since the incident took place, up until the time you actually came to the front, that is three years, because the incident took place in March 1994 and only in May 1997 did you come and say that you have done it.
MR MENYATSOE: What is your question?
MR VAN DER BERG: Why did it take such a long time, why did three years lapse before you came to apply for amnesty? Why did it take you so long to admit to what you have done?
MR MENYATSOE: I have explained firstly that I told you that a person does what he likes at his own time. Secondly, my feelings at that, my feelings came at that time that I should reveal my responsibility to the incident.
MR VAN DER BERG: But in the mean time you were aware of the fact that Sergeant Nare was falsely accused of murder and you sat back for three years with out you came forward with the truth.
MR MENYATSOE: That mistake which happened to Sergeant Nare, according to the investigations which were done, he was identified at the identification parade. That is not my mistake that he was falsely accused for these murders. He was identified there in my absence. I did not know even know the place of the identification parade. That is not my responsibility that he was found guilty. That problem lies with that person who identified him, not me. That is not my problem. I did not identify him. The person responsible is the one who identified him at the identification parade.
MR VAN DER BERG: You see, Mr Menyatsoe, the problem I have got today is that in your evidence in chief you said that you have absolute regret about the fact that Nare was prosecuted falsely but this doesnít work because you took three years before you applied for amnesty. So you did not have any regret when he was falsely prosecuted and accused.
ADV SIGODI: Mr Van Der Berg, excuse me. You know for the purposes of this Committee, does it really matter when the applicant lodged his application, as long as it was before the cut-off date? Does it, what is the relevance of it if he didnít apply earlier, if it took him three years to apply, more than three years? Because all we want to know is whether the act was an act associated with a political objective and if he has made a full disclosure in regard to this act. If we could just confine our questions to those two aspects as laid down by the act. That he didnít apply maybe something you could deal with in another forum, not in this forum.
ADV MOTATA: And again, Mr Van Der Berg, if I may come in here. It wouldnít be entirely correct to say it took him three years because the act which has brought us here was in 1995 and he applied in 1997, so it is not entirely correct that it took him three years to apply.
MR VAN DER BERG: Chairperson, with all respect. It is strange to me that Mr Menyatsoe says that he has this regret about this false prosecution of Sergeant Nare because in the mean time he knew that he was the candidate who killed the AWB people and he was also aware of the fact that Nare was prosecuted. And even though he knew that, he didnít do anything, so the regret aspect here is also important and what he said was not true because if he was really regretting what he did he would have come forward with it before.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I think that is certainly a question for argument that you can use but perhaps it would be, it would be established when the Sergeant was prosecuted. I mean if the Sergeant was prosecuted in April 1997, then that argument is weak. If he is prosecuted in 1994 then that might be stronger. Do you know, do you have any idea when it was made public that the other man was going to be prosecuted for this killing? Perhaps that can be established.
ADV BOSMAN: Can I just come in here. I just want to clarify this, you do not submit that regret is a requirement for amnesty.
MR VAN DER BERG: With all respect, no, but it is a question of his credibility. Today he is saying that he has regret today but I know that is not one of the requirements. Chairperson, later on I might get back to this point once we have covered more information regarding this but for the time being I will leave it there.
Mr Menyatsoe, when you were questioned by the police with regards to the death of the deceased, when were you the first time approached by the police?
MR MENYATSOE: May you please repeat your question again, Sir.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, I will make it easy for you. Did the police approach you and question you about the death of the three AWB members?
MR MENYATSOE: Yes that is correct. They came.
MR VAN DER BERG: Was it around the 16th or 17th April, 1997?
MR MENYATSOE: I donít remember the day or the date. I donít remember when.
CHAIRPERSON: Can you remember the year?
MR MENYATSOE: I donít remember well.
ADV BOSMAN: Can you remember how long it was before you went to the lawyers of human rights?
MR MENYATSOE: They came before I consulted the lawyers for human rights.
ADV BOSMAN: You cannot remember how long before that?
MR MENYATSOE: I donít remember.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, is that not after the police questioned you, that you then went to the lawyers of human rights and then applied for amnesty?
MR MENYATSOE: I have explained that those police came to me before I met a lawyer for human rights. Then on that day I sought a lawyer in the presence of the police. I made them to contact my lawyer, then when we left them, they left.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, because it seems to me that if you were not questioned by the police you would not have admitted what you have done. Is that correct? In other words you took a chance.
MR MENYATSOE: I will respond to this question by saying that you just thinking you donít know what came to my mind, or what would have come to my mind.
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir I do not understand your answer, could you please repeat it.
MR MENYATSOE: My answer is, I disagree with you. You did not know what were my intentions or my intentions of coming to this Commission would actually occur to me. As I did not know as well, because it just occurred to me unexpectedly.
MR VAN DER BERG: What did you not yourself know?
MR MENYATSOE: I did not know as to when will the feeling or the intentions occur to me to come in front of this Commission. Maybe just explain it in this way, I would not know what my intentions or what I would do in the next hour. I cannot anticipate.
MR VAN DER BERG: In other words you just felt that now you must admit. So it was just a feeling and that is why you admitted and applied for amnesty.
MR MENYATSOE: Yes, the feelings came at their own time and when the moment came, I decided to come forward to this Commission.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, is it your case that you acted in self-defence and also to protect innocent civilians?
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct Sir.
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir, when the police came to question you for the first time, that was 16th or 17th April, I can provide you with the evidence of the Captain. Did you ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: Is that 1997? (Push your button again)
MR VAN DER BERG: Indeed so, Mr Chairman, that was in 1997.
When the police came to question you did you then go and get an automatic rifle from the store or the ammunition depot?
MR HENDRICKSE: Mr Chairman, with due respect, I do not understand this question?
CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps he can repeat the question. I think the question as I understood it was, it was put to the witness that the police went to him on the 16th or 17th April, 1997 and when they went to him he was taken, or could you just repeat that last bit - was he taken or did the witness take the police to a store where a firearm was shown.
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir, I will repeat my question in a different manner. When you heard that the police are looking for you concerning the death of the three AWB members, did you go and get a R4 or R3 rifle from the storeroom?
MR MENYATSOE: Let me put it this way, on that particular day I was somewhere else and when I arrived at home somebody told me that four policemen came looking for me and I wanted to know what it was in connection with. They told me the policemen were from Mafikeng and they were in company of another policeman who is my colleague in Thaba N'Chu. I asked this particular policeman as to who these policemen are and what is this in connection with. He said to me that they said that they wanted me in connection with some work here in Mafikeng and I went back to my home and on my arrival there as I was sitting I heard a knock and it was people and when they entered it was two of my Captains and these three policemen and two white people and another Inspector Racudu. The Captain told me that these men are policemen and they are looking for you regarding the, what happened in 1994 and I asked my Captain as to do you believe yourself that these people are policemen and he said yes.
I showed them my ID card that I am a policeman. So I asked them to produce their cards as well. They were standing next to the door and they had firearms in their waist and standing by the door they said that this bloody bastard does not cooperate. They said that in Afrikaans, in their language and this showed me or it came to me that it was not safe to go with these people although I did not know what was it was actually all about.
Although I had asked my Captain and he just told me that it is about what happened in 1994 in Mafikeng. Then I asked him, exactly what of the 1994 happenings? I asked them to go out and they did that and I phoned my lawyer but what is surprising is that they told me that the following day, I must appear in front of the Tebbutt Commission.
According to my knowledge, at that time the Tebbutt Commission was on recess. I spoke to the lawyer and when I told him that they are taking me to the Tebbutt Commission he wondered as to which commission are they are talking about because the Tebbutt Commission is in recess. He said I must let him speak to one of them on the phone and I gave them the phone and he did.
And they went away and waited for me at the police station thereafter. I sat and had a discussion with my lawyer who advised me not to go with these people and he will try to talk to them so they should wait for you there at the Tebbutt Commission and I will bring you there, but you must not go with them. That was the advice from my lawyer.
CHAIRPERSON: Did you at any stage get an R4 rifle from a storeroom or an R3?
MR MENYATSOE: I never took a rifle or a firearm on that day and I didnít even have any arm on me on that particular day and the policemen who were on duty on that particular day can clearly explain that I was not armed on that particular day and I never touched any rifle on that day. These men came scaring me carrying their firearms. They were threatening me.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, there is a bundle prepared with all the affidavits and documents in. I want you to page to page 27 of this bundle. Have you got such a bundle in front of you? Have you got the bundle in front of you?
MR MENYATSOE: Yes
MR VAN DER BERG: Is that the statement you gave to the Tebbutt Commission? It begins at the top of the page. Is that the statement that you made to the Tebbutt Commission?
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct Sir.
MR VAN DER BERG: Is the content thereof correct?
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct Sir.
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir, if you look at approximately in the middle of the page of page 27, the paragraph starts, "The guarding of General Silikeís residence.."
MR MENYATSOE: Yes I see that.
MR VAN DER BERG: In other words, your main duty was as a guard of this General, is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: I was a policeman and my duty was to guard this General.
MR VAN DER BERG: If you look at the following sentence, it starts with, "On the 10th March, 1994, at about 2200 hours I was sleeping at my place when my neighbour who was in the Bophuthatswana Defence Force came to my place. He informed me about the presence of the armed AWB members at the Bophuthatswana Air Force Base. He said that they had virtually taken over from the regular Bophuthatswana army. He informed me that the near presence of the AWB was not acceptable to the Bophuthatswana Defence Force members." Is that correct?
Is it also true that on the 10th March, 1994 at 10 oíclock that evening you became aware of the AWB forces at the Air Force Base, is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct.
MR VAN DER BERG: Am I also correct that if your neighbour did not inform you about this you would not have been aware of this fact?
MR MENYATSOE: Yes, according to him I would not have known.
MR VAN DER BERG: Is it also correct that at that stage you did not know anything about the AWB or about their presence?
MR MENYATSOE: I heard about these for the first time from this man.
MR VAN DER BERG: You did not know anything about the AWBís activities or goals is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct Sir.
MR VAN DER BERG: If you look at page 27, the third line from the bottom. It is written,
"They had virtually taken over from the regular Bophuthatswana army."
Who are the Ďtheyí you referred to?
MR MENYATSOE: I am referring to the AWB.
MR VAN DER BERG: Is it correct to say that the AWB enforcement was at the Army base at that time?
MR MENYATSOE: I only heard about the AWB.
MR VAN DER BERG: But you know that the Volksfront was there as well. Today we know that.
MR MENYATSOE: Please repeat your question, Sir
MR VAN DER BERG: Today we know, Mr Menyatsoe, that the AWB as well as the Volksfront, that the specific evening, both of them were there at the Air Force Base. Is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: Yes, today we know. That is correct.
MR VAN DER BERG: You were not aware yourself that the AWB actually took over the Bophuthatswana Defence Force. Is that correct? It is only what your neighbour told you. You did not carry any knowledge of this on your own. It is, you learnt everything from your neighbour. Is that correct?
CHAIRPERSON: I think he has said that Mr Van Der Berg. We can accept that.
MR VAN DER BERG: As it pleases you. Is it also correct that your neighbour told you that the mere presence of the AWB was not acceptable to the black Bophuthatswana Defence Force members?
MR MENYATSOE: Yes, he told me that they were against the presence of the AWB and they donít know what is the purpose of their presence and as to who called them.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, the dissatisfaction about the AWBís presence relied with your neighbour. He was the one, not really yourself, is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: Please repeat that question.
MR VAN DER BERG: Look on page 27, second last sentence from the bottom, it begins with, "He informed me that mere presence of the AWB was not acceptable to the local Defence Force members." Now I am telling you that it is your neighbour who was unhappy about this, not you with regards to the presence of the AWB.
MR MENYATSOE: Yes according to this sentence that is his feeling that he was against their presence because he is a soldier. I am not a soldier. I am a policeman. So it is his feeling expressed here.
MR VAN DER BERG: But didnít the AWBís presence bother you at that stage?
MR MENYATSOE: I explained that this disturbed me because of the fact that they took over the Defence Force. Simply because us as the police, cannot do anything if the backbone of the security, which is the Defence Force has been taken over, I would not know what was going to happen to us at the ultimate end.
MR VAN DER BERG: Did it bother you in any sense that your neighbour told you that the AWB took over the Defence Force. Did this bother you, the fact that the Defence Force was taken over by the AWB?
CHAIRPERSON: He has just said so, Mr Van Der Berg. He said it disturbed him because he was then concerned that the police wouldnít be able to control the situation as the backbone of the security was the defence force.
MR VAN DER BERG: Very well, Chairperson. If your neighbour didnít tell you all of this, you wouldnít have known about it, is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: I have already responded to that.
MR VAN DER BERG: The information, did you try and verify this information your neighbour gave you to make sure that it is in fact correct?
CHAIRPERSON: Is this getting us anywhere, Mr Van Der Berg, whether he verified it. Because he said that he went to, in his evidence in chief he said he went to sleep and then the next morning he went to work without his uniform on because he wasnít sure what the situation was. If he verified, I mean if you are told at ten at night, I mean he would have said if he went to verify it I am sure. But does it make any difference whether he did or didnít?
MR VAN DER BERG: It seems that later on, ? , he had already made up his mind to put it that way about what he would do the next day. The point of the issue is, the clarity he had was based on the here say which he received from his neighbours. These are the two allegations. That is why it is now important whether he verified this information or not.
CHAIRPERSON: I canít see the importance.
MR VAN DER BERG: Chairperson, I get back to this aspect later. Mr Menyatsoe, if the AWB came, were they there at the invitation of the government in Bophuthatswana?
MR MENYATSOE: Please repeat the question.
MR VAN DER BERG: The AWB, were they in Mmabatho on the invitation of the government in Bophuthatswana?
MR MENYATSOE: I have explained earlier on that I did not know what was the purpose of the AWB and who called them. I have previously explained that.
MR VAN DER BERG: So you are saying now, that you do not know whether they invited to go there or not. Is that what you are saying?
MR MENYATSOE: You are repeating the same question. I told you that I did not know.
MR VAN DER BERG: In the bundle on page 3, if you look there, paragraph 10a to the very last paragraph. I am going to read this to you, the last paragraph. It reads as follows, "I believe that on the invitation of the Bop government the right wingers, including the AWB and AVF came to Bophuthatswana."
According to your own version, the AWB was there on the invitation from the Bop government.
MR MENYATSOE: It is so, they came here and they attacked the people of Bophuthatswana.
CHAIRPERSON: But I think what is being put to you by Mr Van Der Berg is that, stressing that it was on the invitation of the Bophuthatswana government that they went. Because it says, "I believe that on the invitation of the Bop government the right wingers came to Bophuthatswana".
MR VAN DER BERG: Because, you see, if the AWB came to Bophuthatswana on the invitation of the government, surely they would have formed part of the same team. In other words the AWB comes there on invitation of the government and of course they all form part of the same team, theyíll strive for the same goals or strive to obtain the same goals.
ADV MOTATA: But Mr Van Der Berg does it matter, because if you have regard to the page you referred to earlier, his informant, the neighbour said the Bophuthatswana Defence Force was not happy with the AWB being there. Now if we come back and focus on your question that they would have formed the same base, that fighting for the same ideals, but remember has already shown some dissatisfaction, that is your line of cross-examination. It doesnít talley if you come with such disjointed cross-examination.
ADV SIGODI: Further, because the applicant has stated that ... The way I think you should put the question is that at the time this happened, did he know, that was your question, if these people had come with the invitation of the Bop government. And he has said he didnít. I think the proper way is to ask that when did you know about it and that at the time that you filled in the form, did you know about this or had he known about it before. Just to clarify when he got to know that these people had come on the invitation of the Bop government.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, can you then tell the Commission when did you learn that the AWB came to Bophuthatswana on the invitation of the Bop government?
MR MENYATSOE: I knew before writing the statement.
ADV BOSMAN: Mr Menyatsoe, was it before or after the incident that you got to know whether the, whether it was at the invitation of the Bop government?
MR MENYATSOE: I learnt about this on the 11th, on the day of this incident.
ADV MOTATA: Was it, sorry ...(intervention)
ADV BOSMAN: Was it, sorry. Was it before or after the shooting that you learnt about it?
MR MENYATSOE: It was before the shooting.
MR VAN DER BERG: How did you determine that, Mr Menyatsoe?
MR MENYATSOE: It is because of the fact that we were told that the AWB were killing people and also what I saw happening in front of my eyes, the AWB shooting people.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, if you look on page 10 of the bundle, paragraph 1.1 to 1.4, was that political goals that you are submitting to the Commission?
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, can we turn to page 28, please of the bundle. And the following paragraph, Iíd like to continue with that, "The following morning at about 800 hours I report for duty at the police headquarters at TTA. When I arrived at the work I was issued with an R4 rifle and we are informed not to leave the camp. One of the senior officials is talked to us to guard the TTA and could be attacked by the right-wingers."
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Menyatsoe, what is the TTA?
MR MENYATSOE: Mr Chairman, TTA is stood for Tswana Territorial Authority.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
MR VAN DER BERG: So was you instructions not to leave the camp. Is that correct? Your instructions was not to leave the camp, is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct.
MR VAN DER BERG: Was your instruction not to leave the camp? Is that correct?
CHAIRPERSON: How many times, I think he said it twice. The instructions were not ...(intervention)
MR VAN DER BERG: I apologise, I didnít hear the interpretation.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, the answer was in the positive. The instructions were not to leave the camp and the answer was "Yes".
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Menyatsoe, you agree with me that when you shot the AWB members that attacks at that stage was already finished, is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: Please repeat your question.
MR VAN DER BERG: Letís go to page 28, maybe I should first submit this paragraph to you. If you look at the paragraph in the middle of the page:
"I went to the kitchen to have my lunch. As I was having lunch with colleagues I heard gunshots fired from outside the building. The shooting was continuous and I became worried about my safety. We then decided to go outside to see what was happening."
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, what is the question?
MR VAN DER BERG: How long did this firing last?
MR MENYATSOE: I cannot recall at all.
CHAIRPERSON: Can you give us an indication. Was it a few seconds, was it a minute? How long was this firing? How long did it last?
MR MENYATSOE: I do not recall.
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir, when you walked to the blue Mercedes was the shooting, did the shooting stop at that stage?
MR MENYATSOE: The shooting was continuous.
MR HENDRICKSE: Mr Chairman, I donít want to interrupt. Maybe my learned friend can just say, at what stage is he referring to be more precise and exact.
CHAIRPERSON: I take it, I understood, just confirm it and also confirm it with the witness that when you say, when you walked to the blue Mercedes Benz, that is after the occupants had got out of the vehicle and you went towards them when they were lying on the ground. Is that the stage you asking about?
MR VAN DER BERG: The time at which I am referring to now is that vehicles drove past and then shooting occurred, that shooting incident did not take very long, then it stopped. That is when the Mercedes Benz stopped and when the Mercedes stopped then there were no more shots fired ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: That was after he himself had shot at the Mercedes?
MR VAN DER BERG: Yes, indeed.
CHAIRPERSON: It is at this stage, so the question is, when you walked up to the blue Mercedes Benz at the stage when the three men were out of the vehicle, had the shooting stopped at that stage? Is that the question?
MR VAN DER BERG: Indeed.
MR MENYATSOE: I have explained that there was shots going on at that time continuously.
MR VAN DER BERG: When did it stop? At one stage or at some stage it had to stop. When did this occur?
MR MENYATSOE: After having shot these men and turning back to TTA, I didnít hear any further shots.
ADV MOTATA: Just to interpose, Mr Van Der Berg. Mr Menyatsoe, when you went to the Mercedes and these three gentlemen you perceived or who you were aware were AWB members, when you went to them, was there still shooting occurring? When you went to them and they had been outside the Mercedes Benz?
MR MENYATSOE: Yes, there was still gun firing.
MR VAN DER BERG: Where did the shots came from?
MR MENYATSOE: I do not know but I just heard the noise, the firing.
MR VAN DER BERG: Did it come from the blue Mercedes Benz?
MR MENYATSOE: I said I do not know, I just heard the gun firing continuing.
MR VAN DER BERG: So in other words, while you were hearing the gun shots you were walking towards the blue Mercedes Benz, is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: I said that.
MR VAN DER BERG: And when you got there, at this Mercedes Benz, were there still gun shots fired?
MR MENYATSOE: When I arrived at the Mercedes, I do not recall clearly as to whether there was gun firing because I was nervous and very agitated and I was concentrating on these three men.
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir, it seems as if you just, if you can just remember things if it suits you. When you arrived there you should have, you should know what happened. People, were there shots fired there where the people were lying next to the car?
MR MENYATSOE: I have already said that I donít remember. I was nervous and I was hurt and
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir, when you arrived at the Mercedes Benz, you immediately shot these three men, is that correct?
CHAIRPERSON: He said that there was a bit of conversation, well not conversation but talk took place before he shot.
MR VAN DER BERG: Indeed so, yes Mr Chairperson. Sir, you then arrived at this blue Mercedes Benz, you then questioned the people lying there, you interviewed him, interviewed them, is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: I have long dealt with that answer, Sir.
MR VAN DER BERG: I would like you to answer it again. I am asking you a question, you sat there and had an interview with them, you asked them questions.
MR MENYATSOE: Yes, there was a conversation between us and I shot them.
MR VAN DER BERG: Before we get to the shooting when you sat there and talking to them, there was no danger, is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: There, none of them was moving at that time and I didnít see myself in any danger but I was, I only started shooting them when I saw the one who was moving his hand.
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir that was not my question. It was, when you got there, there was no danger, is that correct? Otherwise you would have shot immediately?
MR MENYATSOE: According to me, there was still some danger.
MR VAN DER BERG: What danger?
MR MENYATSOE: They could kill me, those people.
MR VAN DER BERG: But not necessarily. Did you saw any security forces who disarmed some of the AWB members? Were you present when this happened?
MR MENYATSOE: I did not see that. I never saw any policemen or any defence force member disarming these people. I saw nobody.
MR VAN DER BERG: Did you not see, at any stage, that anyone, whether from the police or the defence force secure the place and take the AWB memberís weapon? Did you never see that?
MR MENYATSOE: I saw nothing of that sort.
MR VAN DER BERG: When you got to the Mercedes Benz, were the AWB members getting out of the car? What was the situation? Was they already out and lying on the ground?
MR MENYATSOE: I would not tell you of the positions. They were, I was not able to see the situation. It was difficult. It was not easy.
MR VAN DER BERG: So when you got there, after the shooting, you immediately moved towards the vehicle, is that not true?
MR MENYATSOE: Which shooting Sir?
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir, you just said that there was continuous shooting and then you ran or went to the Mercedes Benz when it stopped, didnít you say that?
CHAIRPERSON: No, he said, he said that when he was going, what my understanding was, when he was going towards the vehicle, he could hear shots and he canít recall whether there was shooting at the stage when he actually arrived there. When he was there confronting these three people. He didnít say that he waited for the shooting to stop and then make his approach.
MR VAN DER BERG: Chairperson, indeed. So I did not think he waited for the shooting to stop, but when the Mercedes Benz stopped there, he walked towards the vehicle. That is how I understood his evidence.
CHAIRPERSON: And he said, while he was walking there was continuous gun fire. And then he couldnít answer the question as when it stopped but he said it had stopped by the time he had shot those three people. There was no more gunfire.
MR VAN DER BERG: Indeed Sir, but Mr Menyatsoe, when you got to this Mercedes Benz can you remember if they were getting out of the car, were they inside of the car or outside?
MR MENYATSOE: They were getting outside the car?
MR VAN DER BERG: Then they went to go and lie next to the vehicle, is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: That is correct.
MR VAN DER BERG: How long before the Mercedes Benz stopped and before you shot them, what was the time span between these two occurrences?
CHAIRPERSON: Is all this very relevant, Mr Van Der Beg? It sounds like we are getting into the sort of detail that one normally gets into in a criminal trial. How far were you standing from there, how long between this and how, what is the purpose of this cross-examination? Whether it was twenty seconds or thirty seconds, does it make any difference?
MR VAN DER BERG: With respect, Mr Chairperson, it is of cardinal importance because my point is the following: according to the Tebbutt Commissionís findings there was approximately twenty minutes while the people were lying outside of the vehicle and that is what we heard on the television as well. And in that twenty minutes that we saw on the television there was no fear of shooting or war and the applicant said that there was a war situation but..
Mr Menyatsoe, how long did it take before the Mercedes Benz stopped and the people
got out, what was the time span?
MR MENYATSOE: I donít recall but it took me a very short time which I am not able to estimate, whether it was minutes or seconds.
MR VAN DER BERG: The Tebbutt Commission accepted or found that approximately twenty minutes expired, as well as on the television. We saw that Mr Uys said that they were calling for assistance for approximately fifteen minutes. Is that correct?
MR MENYATSOE: Tebbutt Commission could know that but I donít know how long it took. I am saying I donít know, as to whether the Tebbutt Commission agreed on that time, I would not dispute that fact, but I myself explained this that I do not know how long it took, as to whether seconds or hours or minutes.
ADV BOSMAN: Mr Van Der Berg can you just indicate where it is documented, which part that it was twenty minutes?
MR VAN DER BERG: If you can just give me a moment.
Mr Chairperson, if we look at Volume one of the Tebbutt Commission on page 152, it says there, under last part ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: We are not in possession of that, but if you could give the reference, Volume one,..
MR VAN DER BERG: Volume one, page 152, that is the last part of the page, "The men had lain outside their car for fifteen to twenty minutes before they were shot."
Mr Menyatsoe, did the media also have interviews there or do you not know anything about that?
MR MENYATSOE: On that day, I saw only three AWB members, during that incident of the shooting. After that I left. I did not see anybody.
MR VAN DER BERG: Chairperson, just a moment. Sir, would you say that at the stage when you shot them, would you say that at that stage there was a war situation going on?
MR MENYATSOE: I said the incident of that day was the situation of war.
MR VAN DER BERG: Sir, I am talking specifically at that moment when you shot them, at that stage, was there a state of war or not?
MR MENYATSOE: According to me it was the state of war.
MR VAN DER BERG: What was the state of war to which you are referring to now, at that stage?
MR MENYATSOE: I was afraid that those people would kill me any minute. Anything could have happened from them.
ADV BOSMAN: Mr Menyatsoe, let me put it to you this way, who were the two parties you perceived to be at war?
MR MENYATSOE: When it comes to parties, it will create a problem.
CHAIRPERSON: Well I think maybe that word might have misled you, but who were the two sides in the war?
MR MENYATSOE: AWB was fighting against the Bophuthatswana population, nation.
MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Chairperson, at this stage I think this would be the right moment to maybe adjourn. We have got videos tomorrow morning that could clarify certain matters. I do not know at what stage you still want to go on, I donít know if you want to adjourn now, it is almost 4 oíclock.
CHAIRPERSON: At this stage, I see it is just before 4 oíclock, weíll adjourn. But could we please see the representatives in our room upstairs, just to discuss when, the future running of this hearing. We just want to get some idea of what is going to happen or what may happen.
Until what time should we adjourn tomorrow? Would half past nine be convenient? Yes thank you. We have now come to the end of todayís hearing and we will adjourn.
ADV MPSHE: Sorry, Mr Chairman, for your indulgence. A question was asked as to when was Mr Nare prosecuted. He was scheduled to appear, he was indicted before the High Court of Bophuthatswana, the week starting the 13th March, 1995 and the charges were then suspended on the 31st May, 1995 for him to, for the Tebbutt Commission to finalise its report.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
ADV MPSHE: Mr Chairman, further on another aspect, the issue of the two journalists. My learned friend as I put it on record, indicated that by lunch time we shall be knowing whether they need them or not. I have to know, Mr Chairman, because they may be making arrangements to be here tomorrow morning and they are flying from Cape Town ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: That is one of the issues, why I wanted to see the representatives now, briefly. We can discuss that sort of thing, if, so weíll now adjourn until tomorrow, that is the 22nd September at nine thirty in the morning and if please, the representatives could see us up in our rooms straight away, thank you.