TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
HELD AT: KLERKSDORP
NAME: L N DLOVA
APPLICATION NO: AM 6596
--------------------------------------------------------------------------CHAIRPERSON: Good Morning everybody, I apologise for the late start this morning. We had a logistical problem. One of the interpreters came late so we could not start until the arrival of that person. We have two matters to be heard in Klerksdorp this week, the first one that we are going to hear is the application of Mr N L Dlova and then that will be followed by the application of Messrs P J Rudolph and E N Terre’blanche.
CHAIRPERSON EXPLAINS TRANSLATION EQUIPMENT
I would just like to introduce the Panel to you. On my right is Adv Bosman, she is a Member of the Amnesty Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She is an Advocate and comes from the Cape. On my right is Adv Ntsiki Sandi, also a Member of the Amnesty Committee, and he is from East London, and I am Selwyn Miller and I am a Judge of the High Court from the Eastern Cape as well.
Mr Mbandazayo, could I ask you please to place yourself on the record in respect of the first matter.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Chairperson and Honourable Members of the Committee. My name is Lungelo Mbandazayo. I am representing the applicant in this matter. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Mbandazayo. Mr Mbandazayo, are you ready to commence?
MS PATEL: Sorry.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I have overlooked Ms Ramula Patel, sorry Ramula.
MS PATEL: That’s quite alright Judge. Ramula Patel, Leader of Evidence for the Amnesty Committee. Before we proceed, I would like to place on record that unfortunately the docket in this matter is not available, that we have made efforts to try to trace certain of the victims, but have been unsuccessful. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mbandazayo?
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, Chairperson. May the applicant, Mr Dlova be sworn in, Chairperson?
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Dlova, do you have any objection to taking the oath or do you wish to make an affirmation?
L N DLOVA: (sworn states)
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mbandazayo.
EXAMINATION BY MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, Chairperson. Mr Dlova, the affidavit which is in front of you is
also before the Honourable Committee, Members of the Committee, do you confirm that this affidavit was made by yourselves and do you abide by its contents?
MR DLOVA: Yes, that is correct.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, I will proceed and read the affidavit and after that I will go through with the applicant for explanation of certain issues before he is cross-examined.
The affidavit reads thus:
"I, the undersigned, Luinkuleka(?) Dlova, do hereby make an oath and state that I am the applicant in the Lichtenburg operation. The facts to which I depose are true and correct and within my personal knowledge, unless the content indicates otherwise.
I was born in Cape Town at Kwalanga Township on the 28th day of November 1962 and grew up in the Western Cape. I did my primary education at Thembanilo Primary and did my Junior Secondary at Moshes Junior Secondary. I did standard 8 and 9 at Langa High School and standard 9 at Matanzima High School at Xala in the former Transkei. I left school in standard nine, due to financial problems as I was born of a single parent.
I joined PAC in 1980 through Azanyo. I was then a member of Langa Youth Movement under the guidance of Rev Moletsane. I left the country in April 1986 to Zimbabwe via Botswana where I joined Apla. I left Zimbabwe in June 1986 for Libya and Yugoslavia where I did my military training. In Libya I was trained in infantry, explosive and guerrilla warfare tactics.
In Yugoslavia I did an intermediate course on intelligence and security. We were 26 cadres of APLA who underwent this training. I only remember, amongst those I trained with, Tsepho Mtwetu, Sipho Mhlango and Medisi Ketelo. I came back from Yugoslavia to Zimbabwe in February 1988. In Zimbabwe I became involved with PAC/APLA security under the command of the late comrade Mozi Mdluli, until I was deployed inside the country in July 1988.
As APLA operative, my general instructions from APLA High Command was to prosecute the armed struggle with all means against the then racist minority regime which was undemocratic and oppressive.
The said armed struggle was in essence, a gorilla warfare, during which we as APLA cadres had to seek and attack the bastions and minions of the then aforesaid regime. The ultimate objective of the PAC and APLA was not only to topple the then racist minority regime, but to eventually return the land to the majority of the African people.
The bastions and minions of the then erstwhile regime were in terms of APLA prospective, the members of the South African Defence Force, the members of the South African Police and reservists in general, the farmers, as they belonged to the commando structures over and above the fact that they occupied the farms from which we had to drive them away so as to widen our territorial operational base, which was aimed at eventually consolidating the liberated and repossessed land, the white homes which were garrisons of apartheid.
My general instruction was to seek and identify and attack the enemy who was seen in the context of the above bastions and minions of the regime and also to train other cadres and command them in whatever operation that is being embarked upon.
In consequence of, and in pursuit of the above stated objectives, during or about July 1988 I was called by the late comrade Mozi Mdluli, who told me that I was to be deployed inside the country and further briefing will be given to me in Bulawayo by the late comrade Mato Damiole. I travelled by train to Bulawayo and I was met by Comrade Mandla at the station, who took me to a safe house. In this house, I met the late Comrade Mato Damiole, Ike, Castro and Bonge Mabuto. Thereafter, Comrades Sipho Mhlango, Medisi Ketelo and Tsepho Mtwetu arrived.
The late Comrade Mato Damiole briefed us that we were to be deployed inside the country to seek, identify and attack the enemy who was seen in the context of the above bastions and minions of the regime. That was the order that was given to us by the late Comrade Mato Damiole. Comrade Sipho Mhlango was appointed the commander of the unit and I was appointed the Political Commissar of the unit.
We were given the following arms and ammunition: 1 scorpion, 4 submachine guns, 6 grenades each, that is 2 Chinese grenades each, 2 F1 grenades each, 2 defensive grenades each, made in Yugoslavia, dynamite, TNT, detonating cords, electric capsules, 6 magazines each and extra boxes of magazines ..."
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, before you proceed Mr Mbandazayo, perhaps if Mr Dlova could tell us what a scorpion is.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Chairperson.
MR DLOVA: The scorpion is a sub-machine pistol. You can use it as a submachine and you can use it as a pistol with a range of 75 to 150 meters. It is larger than a pistol, it's from 75 to 150 meters.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Chairperson.
"We travelled by Landrover from Bulawayo to Botswana borders. The Landrover was driven by Comrade Ike and Comrade Castro also accompanied us to Botswana. The arms and ammunition were in our bags. Comrade Ike dropped us at the borders and we crossed the borders by jumping the fence, accompanied by Castro. We were met on the other side of the border by Comrade Chand, Nseki and Junior. We were taken to Comrade Chand's house where we stayed from Friday night until between 12 midnight and 1 a.m. on Sunday morning. We were taken by Comrades Nseki, Keith and Chand to Ramatlhapane border post. We crossed the border post by jumping the fence to the side of the former Boputhatswana homeland. Comrade Tsepho, the commander was the person who knew the route we were going to.
"... we were going to"
"We walked until we got a lift which dropped us next to Boputhatswana stadium. Comrade Tsepho and Medisi left us to get transport and they came back with a taxi which took us to the rank. We took a taxi mini-bus to Johannesburg. In the taxi were certain different seats. Comrade Tsepho was in the front seat and I was in the back seat. The other two comrades were in the middle seats. The taxi mini-bus drove to Johannesburg. The taxi was stopped at Lichtenburg in a police roadblock. One policeman came to the driver and spoke to him and after that all the passengers were told to alight with their bags or luggage and that we must be next to our bags or luggage.
Whilst we were still standing in an almost half moon order next to the fence, the commander comrade Tsepho said: 'green' and we knew what that meant. He threw one F1 grenade to the police and the police started shooting and I also threw an F1 grenade and there was confusion and police were shooting randomly.
I ran away during that confusion and hid myself behind a building which I thought it was a church. When I arrived behind this building, comrade Tsepho was already there. We then observed from a distance and I saw comrade Medisi talking to other people around the scene. Since I was a Political Commissar of the unit, I took over the command of the unit because I was sure that the way the police were shooting at comrade Tsepho after he threw the first grenade, he will not survive. I told comrade Tsepho to take a taxi to Klerksdorp and we would meet there at the taxi rank. I told him that I would try to signal to comrade Medisi to do the same thing, but I did not manage.
I took a taxi to Klerksdorp and passed at a distance from the scene of the shooting as motor vehicles were being diverted. On my arrival at Klerksdorp, I waited for comrade Tsepho and comrade Medisi, but they never arrived. I then decided to take a taxi to Johannesburg.
At Johannesburg, I met a person by the name Ranchero. I asked him to help me with accommodation. He took me to Alexander township, where he accommodated me. I read from the newspaper on a Monday morning that one of our comrades was arrested and the other two died. There were conflicting reports as to how many people died and were injured in the shoot-out. After some days, I told this person who was accommodating me, that I want to leave the country and he arranged that I meet a certain person in Messina who will help me go to Zimbabwe.
After a week, I was accompanied by another person to Messina to meet this person who was to help me to Zimbabwe. When we arrived at Messina, this person was not present but had gone to Venda. I came back to Johannesburg and from Johannesburg I went to Ficksburg and I crossed the borders on foot to Lesotho. I went to the offices of the PAC at Sea Point(sic). It was at Lesotho where I received the information that the person who was arrested was comrade Tsepho. That also, comrade Medisi died. It was alleged that he died when he tried to throw a grenade.
In Lesotho I made contact with Harare and arrangements were made for me to travel to Tanzania. I did travel to Tanzania and stayed for about a month before I went back to Zimbabwe. I was again deployed inside the country at the end of 1991, and was stationed in Umtata where I became a head of intelligence of APLA in the former Transkei homeland. I held that position until the beginning of 1995, when I joined National Intelligence Agency. I am currently employed as Liaison Officer of National Intelligence agency.
I respectfully submit that my application complies with the requirements of the Act and that I have made full and proper disclosure of my involvement in this operation."
Chairperson, with your permission, if the Committee would allow me, if the Committee has no questions, I will start at paragraph 6 of the affidavit, if there's no questions ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: No, I think you can proceed Mr Mbandazayo.
Mr Dlova, in paragraph 6 you said you became involved in PAC security under the command of the late comrade Mozi, can you tell the Committee who is comrade Mozi Mdluli and how did he die, if you know about that?
MR DLOVA: He was one of the commanders of security in Zimbabwe from Tanzania. He was then transferred from Tanzania to Zimbabwe. He was working under the security or intelligence of the PAC. I worked with him until 1991 when I came back to this country. After 1994, he became the general manager of the security of intelligence and in 1995 or early 1996, he was found dead in his car in Pretoria. Up until today, we don’t know whether he killed himself or he was killed. So I don’t know whether I am leaving something out.
ADV BOSMAN: Mr Mbandazayo, I don’t know whether I have perhaps missed something, but has your client confirmed the contents of the ...(intervention)
MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes.
ADV BOSMAN: I’m sorry.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, if there are no questions on that point, I will proceed to paragraph 11 of the affidavit.
At paragraph 11 you mentioned the late comrade Mato Damiole. Can you tell the Committee about Mato Damiole?
MR DLOVA: Comrade Mato was the head of operations. He was based in Bulawayo. He was the one who was giving out instructions. After the High Command gave orders, he would be the one who would brief us or he would be the one giving instructions about where the unit was going to operate and what kind of weapons were going to be used.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Can you also enlighten the Committee, because I understand he is also late, do you know how he died?
MR DLOVA: He was very sick. I think it was in 1990 when he died in Bulawayo and he was buried in Harare.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you. Can you also tell the Committee about the other comrades, comrade Mandla, Ike, Castro and Bonge Mabuto, whether they are still alive and if they are alive where are they. You mentioned this in paragraph 11 and if you can start with Mandla, if you know.
MR DLOVA: Mandla died in 1996 and Bonge Mabuto was involved in a car accident in Botswana. He died there. Castro is still around, he is working at the South African Defence Force. Ike is still around, he is working for a private security company and Sipho, Sipho Mhlangu, we met for the first time in Zimbabwe. He arranged for us to be trained in 1986. We then went to Libya with Medisi and Sipho. When we came back from Libya, we went from Libya to Yugoslavia and we all went to Zimbabwe. They then went to Bulawayo and I was in Harare, but we met again when we were coming back to this country, when we were going to infiltrate this country. Sipho died in an operation and Medisi and Tsepho was the one who was arrested and he worked, he joined the police, he worked with the police.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, if there are no more questions ...
CHAIRPERSON: Just one question, Mr Dlova, you say that you got your orders in Bulawayo to get back into South Africa and then attack the enemy as set out above in your affidavit. So, all of you who infiltrated, were you all part of one unit and how were you going to work? Would you pick up orders from anyone else in South Africa once you were there or was it in the discretion of that unit itself to identify targets and attack them and act as either an attacking unit or a repossession unit or whatever? Could you just give us an idea.
MR DLOVA: First of all, we were one unit and Sipho was appointed as a commander and I was commissar. Tsepho and Medisi were going to help us with logistic stuff. That was our unit and what was happening was - as you can see from these weapons that are written here, our duty was to attack the enemy and since there are also explosives here and we were going to attack the buildings that were used by the enemy. And one other thing is that we were trained to do all this, we were trained to use explosives.
Our unit had nobody inside the country to direct us but Tsepho was going to be in charge because he knew the direction and the accommodation and we were supposed to identify the target as we were trained and as we knew what was needed from us before we attacked the target. I don’t know whether I have answered your question.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you have, thank you.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Chairperson. Chairperson, I will then move briefly to paragraph 13.
Mr Dlova, can you for - if the Committee have no questions regarding other weapons, can you explain to the Committee what was detonating cords and electric capsules are, what were you going to use them for?
MR DLOVA: Detonating cords and electric capsules were going to be used to combine dynamite and TNT for explosives. We were using them as charges of explosives when we targeted a place. To target, we were going to place them, the charges. For example, the electric capsule is like an electric cord, you would use it in connecting other stuff and when there is electricity in the building you can connect this cord, these detonating cords and then it will explode when it combines with electricity and the building would explode and you would burn it.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Mr Chairperson, if there are no further questions I'm moving to paragraph 14. In paragraph 14, can you tell the Committee about Chand, Medisi and Junior. Where are they and what are they doing now presently, and what were their positions within APLA? -Chand, Medisi and Junior.
MR DLOVA: Chand was the person who was bringing people from Botswana inside this country. His car was used and his house was used. So he was using transport and in accommodation. Junior and Medisi and Castro, they were responsible for Botswana in two ways. First of all they were responsible for their recruits from Botswana who were going to join APLA. Secondly, they were responsible for people who were from outside the country who were coming inside the country. They were responsible for telling those people what time to come in and thirdly, they were responsible for reconnoitring the place to make sure that the road was safe for people to go.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Can you tell the Committee, where are they, Chand, Medisi and Junior.
MR DLOVA: Chand died in 1990, if I am not mistaken. His house in Botswana there explosives there and Medisi's working for South African Defence Force. He is one of the Commanders there. And Junior is a Lieutenant Colonel in South African National Defence Force.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, I will move to paragraph 16, 17 and I will combine them.
Can you, Mr Dlova, just give us, give the Committee a brief picture about what actually happened at the roadblock starting from where you boarded a taxi to Johannesburg until you were at the roadblock and what happened after the roadblock, in detail, so that you give the Committee the full picture. Since all of us were not there, you are the only person who ...(indistinct)
TAPE FAULTY - POWER FAILURE
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mbandazayo, you were about to deal with the actual incident itself that took place in Lichtenburg, as set out in paragraph 16 and 17 of the affidavit.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, Chairperson. If I may repeat the question in case it was not recorded because of the power failure.
Mr Dlova, if you can take the Committee through what happened when you arrived at Mmabatho up until the after incident. Take the Committee to details, give the Committee a picture of what happened as all of us were not there. You are the only one who knows what actually happened.
MR DLOVA: On this particular day, it was on a Sunday, a Sunday morning when we arrived in Mmabatho. We went next to Mmabatho stadium. Sipho and Medisi left me, and Tsepho and I and they went looking for a taxi. They found a taxi and they took us to the taxi rank. When we arrived at the taxi rank, we got another taxi that was going to Jo'burg. We then boarded that taxi and Sipho gave us instructions that we were going to get into this taxi. It was going to take us to Johannesburg.
In this taxi, we pretended as not knowing each another. Sipho was sitting in the front seat, Medisi was sitting at the next seat and Tsepho in the middle seat of the taxi. I was sitting at the back seat in a corner, on the right corner.
CHAIRPERSON: Can you give us an approximation of the number of people in the taxi?
MR DLOVA: Together with us, the taxi was a fifteen-seater, so we were fifteen. The taxi left for Jo'burg from Mmabatho. I am not sure about the kilometres, how many kilometres from Mmabatho to where the roadblock was. When we stopped at the roadblock one policeman came, he spoke with the driver. After that, we were told to get out of the taxi and each person was to stand next to his bag.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Dlova, if I may interrupt. These weapons that you brought in, that you have set out in your affidavit, the weapons and the other equipment, were each of you carrying some in your bags or was it all in one bag with only one person carrying all those weapons?
MR DLOVA: If we can look at this affidavit, each of us had his own bag with weapons.
When we got out of the taxi, they told us to stand next to our bags. Comrade Sipho was the one who first got out of the taxi and he was looking on the other side when I was getting out of the taxi. The police were on his bag. And he had grenades with him. When I was going towards the place that I was supposed to stand in, he then used the term "green" and then he took out a grenade. After taking that grenade out, he threw it and then the shooting started. There were police next to me. They were standing at the back of the Casspir. Then they told the taxi to go on the side so it was next to the Casspir. I then threw one grenade. What happened is, the police were just shooting randomly because they did not know what was going on.
CHAIRPERSON: Where did you throw your grenade, in which direction, or at any specific target?
MR DLOVA: I threw it to the police, those that were standing behind the Casspir. Because we were standing in a moon shape, I was the last person, so the police were not far from where I was standing, because after Sipho threw his grenade, they all looked at him. As they were busy shooting at Sipho’s side I took out my grenade and there was that confusion and I found a chance to run away. That’s what happened and then I met Tsepho when I was running away. I found him in a church building. I am not sure if it was a church building or what. When I got to Tsepho, he told me that my right eye was bleeding, it was injured.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Dlova, so this took place in a town, it wasn’t in the countryside? - seeing that there was a church close by.
MR DLOVA: It was in Lichtenburg next to a circle, that is where the roadblock happened. It was not in town, because in that ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: On the outskirts of the town?
MR DLOVA: Yes
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Mr Mbandazayo?
ADV BOSMAN: Mr Mbandazayo, just before you proceed, may I just ask Mr Dlova, at the time when you threw the grenade, what was your intention, why did you throw it? Your evidence was that in the confusion you got a chance to get away, but why did you throw it?
MR DLOVA: First of all, because of our duty inside this country we were here to fight the security forces of the time, so because there was that roadblock I saw them as targets because if we didn’t fight with them we would have been arrested, so our job would be useless then and one of the laws of APLA - we were told not to surrender to the enemy, we were told not to surrender weapons or anything. That was my intention.
ADV BOSMAN: Mr Dlova, just to put it bluntly, your intention was to kill if necessary? I just want clarity on that.
MR DLOVA: In a war people die and others get injured, so the fact that I had weapons from outside of this country, the aim was that when I meet an enemy, I would shoot. If he gets injured, he would be injured, if he gets killed, he would be killed. He would be fortunate to get injured.
ADV BOSMAN: Thank you, that clarifies. Thank you very much.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Mr Dlova, can you then - after the incident, after the shoot-out, that confusion, after you had thrown the grenade, can you tell the Committee, thereafter what happened.
MR DLOVA: After that, after meeting Tsepho inside, behind this building we tried to go back to the people there, because the people who were in that taxi were also confused. I went to Tsepho and I told him that Sipho was injured or he might be killed. I was going to be the one who would take over and I told him that we must leave the scene before there would be any reinforcement so that we could be safe. I then told him that we would try to meet with Medisi and we would take a taxi to Klerksdorp where we would meet and from there we would see what to do, either we would contact people from outside, give them a signal about what happened or we stay for a while and observe the situation.
When I told Tsepho this he agreed on condition that he would try to call Medisi and then I left them, both of them. I took a taxi and after all this, the police, I think there were two police who were trying to stop the cars and after 30 minutes they opened for the cars so that the cars would pass. I took a taxi and then I passed the scene. I took a taxi to Klerksdorp. That was the last time I saw Medisi and Sipho. When I arrived in Klerksdorp at the taxi rank, I stood there or I stayed there for a while and they didn’t arrive. I took another taxi to Johannesburg. That’s where I found out, the following day, from the newspapers. When I was reading a newspaper, I found out that two people who were expected to be guerrillas, they died and one was arrested and one ran away, escaped. So I didn’t know who those people were between Medisi and Tsepho, who was arrested or who died, but I was sure that, as they were saying one person had died, I thought that it was Sipho but I was not sure about the other two, and as it is already stated in the affidavit, I found out when I arrived in Lesotho, I found out who was arrested between Medisi and Tsepho.
MR MBANDAZAYO: That’s all Chairperson.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MBANDAZAYO
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mbandazayo.
Ms Patel, do you have any questions that you would like to put to the applicant?
MS PATEL: No, thank you, Honourable chairperson.
NO QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL
CHAIRPERSON: Adv Sandi, do you have any questions you would like to put?
ADV SANDI: No, no questions chairperson, thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Adv Bosman?
ADV BOSMAN: Thank you, Chairperson.
Mr Dlova, just once again for clarity, if you turn to your application form, paragraph 7(b) - it's just a technical matter, but it we could just get it right for the record, it says there:
"State capacity in which you served in the organisation, institute, body or liberation movement concerned. If applicable, and membership number, if any."
It says there: "ordinary member". Your evidence was, if I am correct, that you were a Political Commissar of APLA. Is that correct?
MR DLOVA: Yes, that is correct. I was a Political Commissar of that unit that was going inside this country.
ADV BOSMAN: And that was an APLA unit?
MR DLOVA: Yes.
ADV BOSMAN: Then, did you at the time - your evidence was that you were going to attack buildings, did you at the time, identify any particular buildings when you were going to Johannesburg? Was there any specific planning or were you just going to play it by ear once you arrived in Johannesburg?
MR DLOVA: We - at that time, there was no target that was identified yet, we just thought that when we were inside this country we would reconnoitre places and then consider security and when we had selected the area, we would consider the political implications of that and we would also look at the effect of what APLA was going to gain or to achieve.
ADV BOSMAN: Just one more question. What arms or explosives did you, just in broad outline, carry personally?
MR DLOVA: In my bag there were submachine guns, six grenades, TNT, dynamite and these weapons as they were written here, each and every bag had these weapons, and there were also extra boxes of magazines.
ADV BOSMAN: And then lastly, Mr Dlova, your legal representative surely advised you that the possession of arms and ammunition and possession of explosives are offences, and the illegal entry into the country are offences. Do you understand that?
MR DLOVA: That question had a problem because we were fighting the unlawful government because ...(intervention)
ADV BOSMAN: We are not setting a trap for you. We just want you to make it quite clear what you are applying for. You have given evidence that you had come into the country illegally, all I want to establish is, is that correct? It’s a technical matter at this stage.
CHAIRPERSON: Whether you agree with the law as it existed then or not, do you agree that if you were to have been arrested you could have been charged in court and convicted for entering into the country illegally and also for being in unlawful possession of firearms in addition to the attempted murder?
MR DLOVA: Yes, it was going to be like that. They were going to charge me with these weapons and because I came to this country not legally. And I apply for amnesty as it is written here, that there was confusion, people died and people got injured but there were different reports of how many people were injured and how many people were killed.
CHAIRPERSON: Am I correct in saying here, Mr Dlova, that you are applying for amnesty in respect of, from what you've mentioned now, the illegal entry into the country, the unlawful possession of firearms and any crime or delict that may have arisen out of the throwing of the hand grenade as you did in Lichtenburg?
MR DLOVA: Yes, that is correct.
ADV BOSMAN: Thank you Chairperson, that is all.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
Mr Mbandazayo, do you have any other - sorry Mr Dlova, that then concludes your testimony, thank you.
Do you have any other witnesses you are calling or not?
MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, Chairperson, I have only one witness, just on a small point, it will be General Fihla.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson may the witness be sworn in please.
GEN FIHLA: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON: Do you have any objection to taking the oath?
MBULELE RAYMOND FIHLA: (sworn states)
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mbandazayo?
EXAMINATION BY MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Chairperson. Mr Fihla, can you for the record tell the Committee, what are you presently doing and where are you presently placed.
CHAIRPERSON: That is besides sitting in the chair in this hall giving evidence.
GEN FIHLA: Your Honour, I am presently a member of the South African National Defence Force, working with Defence Intelligence and my rank is that of a Brigadier-General.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Mr Fihla. Mr Fihla, can you, for the benefit of the Committee tell the Committee, do you know the applicant who just testified a few minutes ago?
GEN FIHLA: Yes, I know him.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Can you just briefly tell the Committee, how do you know the applicant?
GEN FIHLA: I think I know him from when he came outside the country. I first met him in Harare when they went for military training, because I was already based in Harare at the time.
CHAIRPERSON: So, were you a member of APLA at the time?
GEN FIHLA: I was already a member of APLA at that time. And then subsequently, I met him again in Dar-es-Salaam immediately after he had come back from Lesotho after his operation he is applying amnesty for and immediately thereafter as well, he also served under me because he was appointed Regional Intelligence Officer in the Transkei and at the time I was appointed Director for APLA Intelligence.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Can you for the benefit of the Committee, tell the Committee whether you know anything about the operation and some of the people he mentioned that they gave him orders to come inside the country?
GEN FIHLA: Yes, I know all the people who gave him the instructions to come inside the country because they were members of the APLA High Command and they were my colleagues and the only information I had pertaining to the operation itself, was based on the reports which I subsequently received. When he came back from the country - at that time, I was at a military attaché in Tanzania and the one who went with Lieutenant-Colonel Ndabene(?) to go and collect him from the airport when he came back.
CHAIRPERSON: So you are confirming that what the applicant says about the infiltration into the country with the weapons, was in accordance with APLA policies and instructions?
GEN FIHLA: Yes, I do.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, that is the short evidence I want to relate on this aspect just to confirm that the applicant was a member of APLA and when he came inside the country, he was on the direct orders of the High Command of which Brigadier-General Fihla was a member of the High Command at the time.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MBANDAZAYO
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Mbandazayo. Ms Patel, do you have any questions to ask the General?
MS PATEL: No, thank you, Honourable Chairperson.
NO QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL
CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Sandi, do you have any questions?
ADV SANDI: No, thank you, Chair, no questions.
CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Bosman?
ADV BOSMAN: I have no questions, thank you Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, General Fihla, that concludes your testimony, you may stand down. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mbandazayo?
MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, that is the evidence of the applicant, thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Patel?
MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson there is no opposition from my side. I won’t be calling any witnesses either. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mbandazayo, are you in a position to make submissions?
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, Chairperson, I am in a position, Chairperson, I will just be brief.
ADV SANDI: Sorry, Mr Mbandazayo, can I just for a moment, I just want to clarify something with the Chair.
MR MBANDAZAYO IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Chairperson and Honourable Members of the Committee. Chairperson, it is my submission that the applicant has met the requirement of Section 20(1) and (2) of the Act and that he was clearly acting on behalf of APLA, a publicly known political organisation and a liberation movement which was engaged in a political struggle against the state at the time.
Chairperson, there is evidence which is undisputed, that at the time when the applicant came inside the country and was involved in this incident, he was clearly acting on the instructions of APLA and that has been confirmed by the member of the High Command. Chairperson, further, as one of the requirements of the Act, the applicant has made full and proper disclosure with regard to his role in this incident and also it has been established clearly that he did not act for any personal gain when he conducted the operation.
Having said that, Chairperson, I wouldn’t like to detain the Committee with any argument with regard to this matter, suffice to say that the Committee is well aware, according to the submission of the PAC with regard to its policy as is also clearly stated in the affidavit of the applicant, that the South African Defence Force and the South African Police generally were regarded as pillars of apartheid and that in order to destroy the apartheid you have to fight against those pillars and you have to destroy them. And it was in that context that the applicant was engaged in the Lichtenburg roadblock with the police. He was pursuing those goals and those objectives which had been set by the APLA High Command and PAC and as such Chairperson, it is therefore my humble submission to this Honourable Committee, that the applicant met all the requirements of the Act as prescribed and that he should be granted amnesty.
Thank you Chairperson, unless the Committee wants me to address it on any other specific points.
CHAIRPERSON: No, thank you Mr Mbandazayo, it seems to be a pretty straightforward matter, this one. A written decision will be handed down as soon as possible in this matter.
MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, so we will then just reserve the decision in order to reduce it to writing and a written decision will be handed down in the very near future. That then concludes this particular hearing. We will now take the lunch adjournment, I see it is almost lunch time in any event and we will start with the next hearing at half past one or as soon thereafter as is possible. Thank you. Thank you very much Mr Mbandazayo, thank you for your assistance in this matter.
MS PATEL: Would everyone please rise.
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
HELD AT: KLERKSDORP
NAME: EUGENE N TERRE’BLANCHE
P J RUDOLPH
MATTER: VAN JAARSVELD AND VENTERSDORP INCIDENTS
APPLICATION NOS: AM 7994
CHAIRPERSON: Good afternoon everybody. We will now commence with the second application, namely that of Messrs P J Rudolph and E N Terre’blanche. This morning I did introduce the Panel to you but I will do it again seeing that we are starting a new hearing. On my left is Advocate Bosman, a Member of the Amnesty Committee and she is from the Cape. On my left is Advocate Ntsiki Sandi also a Member of the Amnesty Committee. He is from East London. I am Selwyn Miller, I am a judge of the High Court from the Eastern Cape attached to the Transkei Division thereof.
CHAIRPERSON EXPLAINS TRANSLATION EQUIPMENT
CHAIRPERSON: I would just like to ask the persons to put themselves on record. Mr Rudolph and Mr Terre’blanche, you appear on behalf of yourselves, is that correct?
MR TERRE'BLANCHE AND MR RUDOLPH: That's correct.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Olivier?
MR OLIVIER: I am appearing on behalf of the Van Jaarsveld Family, Mr Chairperson.
MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson, Ramula Patel, Leader of Evidence.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Rudolph, Mr Terre’blanche, I don’t know what order you are going to start with, who is going to start?
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: Mr Chairperson, Your Honour and Honourable judges, I think it is of real importance that after a discussion that I had with Mr Rudolph in order to facilitate the matter for speedy completion, that Mr Rudolph should go first.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, well, the choice is yours. Mr Rudolph are you going to give evidence?
ADV BOSMAN: Mr Rudolph, can you please stand, do you prefer to take the oath.
P J RUDOLPH: (confirms)
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, you may be seated. Yes, Mr Rudolph?
MR RUDOLPH ADDRESSES COMMITTEE: Chairperson, thank you very much for this opportunity. It is the first time that we have really been given the opportunity to put the case of our people. At the outset, I want to tell you that I am here because I am a farmer, I am not an Afrikaner. The word "Boer" in Afrikaans and Afrikaner is sometimes confused and that is why it is so that no notice is taken of the freedom struggle or liberation struggle of the Boer people. Further, I also want to say that I am not a supporter of the government. I do not trust the government and its structures, but I would like to make use of the opportunity to put our case here today.
In 1996, after a television debate between the Minister of justice, Dullah Omar, I wrote a letter to him and decided to apply for amnesty. Mr Omar thought well, in his debate on television, to divide people into two categories who are going to apply for amnesty, namely those who fought for apartheid and those who fought against apartheid and therefore I notified him that as regards the Ventersdorp matter, I was going to apply for amnesty because we were at Ventersdorp, not to fight either for or against apartheid, but for the liberation of the Boer people which was of great importance to us at that stage.
I also told Mr Dullah Omar - and that is the matter I want to raise here, because then you will know where you stand with me, I wrote to him and told him that I would like to know whether, if it was for or against apartheid, who did Stompie Sepei die for, was it for or against apartheid? Our motivation was the reinstatement of the Boer Republics, which in 1902 was taken away from us by Great Britain.
Since 1902, the Boer people of which I am a part, have been involved in a freedom struggle and our Republic has never yet been given back to us. For a second reason I want to refer to Mr de Klerk’s meeting at Ventersdorp that evening and that was to speak to him about the political prisoners who at that stage were still in jail and some of them are still there today.
Let me just remind you, Your Honour that on the 18th of March 1991, I was released after the Groote Schuur and Pretoria Minutes and I was definitely released mainly as a result of the inputs from the ANC.
Sir, I also went there to speak about the squatters, but before I get to the squatters I just want to tell you that on the 6th of April 1991, Mr Chris Hani, the late Mr Chris Hani and Mrs Winnie Mandela had a meeting at Church Square in Pretoria and there Mr Hani was quoted as having said that there cannot be peace in South Africa before all political prisoners have not been released. That was one of the reasons for the motivation which took me there. Just before the meeting of Mr de Klerk at Ventersdorp, there was also the matter regarding the squatters at Goedgevonden. It was, and is still today a very emotional matter, people who just squat on land which belongs to other people.
This brings me to the point I want to make. I do not think that your Committee will be able to see justice done if one of our requests, or my requests, is not complied with. What I told, or wanted to tell Mr de Klerk that evening was exactly what I have just told you, and that is that we did not go there to fight for or against apartheid and to demonstrate against apartheid, but simply for our freedom. Mr de Klerk chose to destroy us. He employed his forces there and thought well to set the police on us in an unbridled manner.
In the beginning, I told you Mr Chairperson, that the freedom struggle of the Boer people is a struggle just like any other liberation struggle, the same as the one the ANC had. We can quite easily compare our struggle to that of the ANC. In the activities of your Commission and the TRC, you have made use in certain cases, of minutes from the State Security Council in support of that which you envisaged and I quote from Beeld of the 2nd of August 1997:
"86 meeting in which FW was present made public, Cape Town. The TRC quotes from the minutes of the State Security Council in order to make its standpoint that Mr de Klerk should have known about the gross violation of human rights by the Security Forces."
And then the minutes are being dealt with. I am not going to deal with the whole thing. They were dealt with in minutes of April 1986 in which, where Mr de Klerk was present and these are now made public for the first time at this meeting under the heading:
‘The Reinstatement of Law and Order’
... was referred to specific objectives under which, in order to neutralise enemy leaders, eliminate them and break the influence which they exerted. According to the Commission, the ...(indistinct) positioning of elimination only means one thing, namely murder. In order to, under this objective, they are referring to grabbing operations, turning operations, legal action, arrest and prosecution and detention without trial and linkings with the Security Council had to be avoided at all costs. And then, furthermore to, by means of legal action, to place legal action on people and give out interdicts against Security Forces and to financially destroy them and get them involved in long and very expensive legal action.
On our side as well, so called right wing side, we were exposed to the same situation. We were placed in the position by the freedom or liberation forces in which disinformation was spread about us, our labour spheres, in our places of work. We were prosecuted by the Security Police, there was intimidation, our families were bothered and in some cases even led to divorce, where families were destroyed. The same situation that we know today as a result of your Committee’s proceedings which apply to the ANC, they have applied to us as well.
On our way, Your Honour, and I want to make it very clear to you, we also had to deal with the Adriaan Nieuwoudt’s, the Roelf Venter's, the Jack Cronje’s and those who wanted to promote the objective of the National Party and denigrated us in the process. We were also affected at Goedgevonden. At Goedgevonden where I was not present at all, a card of mine was picked up and the newspapers made a great deal about this. I am just mentioning this to show you how they acted against us.
If we want justice today, then I do not think that with my appeal I can go much further than to say that if we are not going to make a plan to get Mr FW de Klerk to testify in front of this Commission, he must come and say why he went to Ventersdorp with so many policemen as well as the Defence Force. He must come and say why the Town Council of Ventersdorp, which took a lot of trouble to try to neutralise the question, the matter of the Ventersdorp incident, why the Town Council of Ventersdorp were not given an answer.
I want to read to you a letter from the Town Clerk, Mr G R Herman, which he wrote on the 9th of August 1991, the day of the Ventersdorp incident which was addressed to the Police Commissioner:
"Action by Security Forces in Ventersdorp. Now the town clerk says, amongst others, the Town Council acknowledges the fact that security measures must be limited but are these measures which are taken in Ventersdorp, out of order seen as the Honourable State President as acting on behalf of a political party and not in an official capacity as well as seen in the light of the fact that the general electorate will not have access to the meeting. It is not a known thing that the Security Forces act in a town without informing the Town Council either in a formal or informal manner."
Unfortunately, I do not have copies of these but I can make them available at a later stage.
CHAIRPERSON: We can make arrangements for copies to be made at a later stage, Mr Rudolph.
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, surely.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, that will then be Exhibit A and the quote from the Beeld will be A and the letter will be B.
MR RUDOLPH: May I proceed please. Thank you.
On the 5th of September 1991, the Town Clerk, Mr Herman, wrote a letter to the Commander of the North Western Commander Military Base, Potchefstroom. That was four days before the battle of Ventersdorp. He wrote that the council knows that the Defence Force is supposed to react but expresses his great concern and disappointment about the way in which they are involved in a political connotation. They must realise that the inhabitants and parents of officers in the army are inclined to doubt the bona fides of the Defence Force. Here, the Executive Officer of a Town Council is appealing to the officials so that the situation which was going to arise at Ventersdorp could be solved and this is all about the military forces and the presence of the police force there.
Mr de Klerk came to say, if there are people who today have to stand here, then it was not the people or the members of the AWB or other people, the people who should have stood here today are the Security Forces. Mr de Klerk should have been here today. The people who were responsible for the shooting of people in Ventersdorp streets just because they wore Khaki clothes not even because they belonged to the AWB. These are the Security Forces. The damage which was done, was done, and it is my contention - and I mentioned this at the court case in Ventersdorp, that this was done by the Security Forces. If you look at those photos which were submitted in the court case and you see how those vehicles were painted and messed up, then you can only come to the one conclusion that it was one person who did that and we had to take responsibility for that.
Mr de Klerk must give us an explanation of the police’s planning and their actions which came out fully in the court. The magistrate thought well to denigrate it as being worth nothing, but in the same breath he found - and this will be, I think, Exhibit 4, if I am correct.
CHAIRPERSON: I think Exhibit C will be the letter of 5th September, and which is this?
MR RUDOLPH: This is a piece from the court case in Ventersdorp in which the magistrate came to the following conclusion - I was accused number 2 and Mr Terre’blanche number 13, if they were part of a conspiracy who planned this extent, then a long term jail sentence would have been the most suitable punishment. After consideration the court could not find this way. This is then Exhibit D.
The situation is simply that what happened at Ventersdorp was aroused by His Honour President de Klerk who was the leader of the National Party at that stage. He did not come to Ventersdorp in his capacity of State President, he went there as the leader of a political party to gain political points and he arrived there with a helicopter and fell out of the air like manna and after the battle had passed, he disappeared in a Casspir with his tail between his legs.
There is evidence that the police exerted pressure on witnesses to testify. The magistrate praised the police for their credibility and now I say today that we know that the police and Security Forces on numerous occasions, misled magistrates and judges with their testimony. That is what Mr de Klerk must come and tell us. He must come and tell us why it was necessary to use policemen and security men to act there in khaki clothes as if they were part of the AWB, people who swore at other people. And testimony was given to this and this resulted in confrontation. Mr de Klerk must come and tell us that, by means of Mr Amie Venter and Barend du Plessis, that he invited the AWB to have a discussion with him that evening before the meeting and that they, the police, then went and formed a cordon between the hotel and the post office of seven men in depth. While we were on our way from the town hall to the roadblock, there were policemen and organisations which told us to follow this way and when we reached the scene where a policeman told Mr Terre’blanche "go the other way".
At Ventersdorp we were led into a trap. Mr de Klerk and his cronies set a trap for us which would lead to our death and we would have been destroyed that evening had it not been for guidance from above. Mr de Klerk, then is the man who has to come and say what he came to do at Ventersdorp on that specific evening, why it was essential for him to have the meeting as he did and for him to come and say, when we wanted to summons him to testify at Ventersdorp, why he went to the Supreme Court or to the High Court and therefore to prevent him his testimony.
For him a wonderful example has been set by a grey beard, Mr Nelson Mandela, the present President of South Africa. In the Sarfu matter, he testified as to the execution of his duty as State President and one of the reasons which was given was that he did not apply his mind. I think that, Mr de Klerk, as leader of the National Party, and not in his capacity as State President, should also come to these proceedings and explain to us how he applied his mind to the Ventersdorp matter.
Therefore I want to ask you Mr Chairperson, that in order to enable us to put our case effectively, I want to apply that you be of assistance and enable me to get Mr de Klerk here so that we can have all the real facts which would help you to make a decision. For another reason, I want to appeal for an extension. The idea for amnesty is that a person should give a political instruction or mandate and therefore these people were not given amnesty because they were supposed to not have this instruction. I am not sitting here because I want to say that I had been given instructions. At that stage I was a member of the AWB, I was the Secretary General of the AWB and I was involved with some of the arrangements that evening. I was at the side of the leader of the AWB and it was my duty as his Chief Executive Officer, but my conscience took me to Ventersdorp. And had I not been a member of the AWB I would have gone to Ventersdorp that evening to state the demands of what I feel are those of the Boer people to Mr de Klerk. There is just such a wonderful example, Your Honour, which drives me and has driven the person who is much older than I am.
I want to quote from a hearing which took place on 22 October 1962, and in this the accused says:
"Government violence can only do one thing and that is to bring counter-violence. If there is no dawning of sanity on the part of the government, the dispute between the government and my people will finish up being settled in violence and by force."
That man is the State President, the Honourable Mr Nelson Mandela, and he said that, Your Honour, and I said the same thing in Ventersdorp that the Chairperson: "Whatever sentence Your Worship sees fit to impose upon me for the crime of which I have been convicted before this Court, may he rest assured that when my sentence has been completed, I will still be moved as men, as men are always moved by their conscience."
I would also like to give that to you as an exhibit, Your Honour.
CHAIRPERSON: That would be Exhibit E then.
MR RUDOLPH: Thank you so much. I unfortunately don’t have a copy of that either.
Your Honour, the other reason that motivates me to ask for this, is that right at the beginning I said that I really don’t trust even this Commission. I cannot understand, Your Honour, I applied for three matters for amnesty. This one, a case in which a reporter was attacked because of something that was said about Mr Clive Derby-Lewis and a weapon used to shoot Mr Hani with and then also an attack on a bus in Natal, for which I take the full responsibility as the commander or the fact that I gave the commands that that should be done.
Mr Terre’blanche has been called here, Your Honour, and I understood from him this morning, that he is not only appearing in front of you because of the Ventersdorp case but also for two further matters that took place years ago. There is no reason why my appeal cannot be finished together with his and I cannot find sufficient reason as to why I only have to appear because of the Ventersdorp case here.
I would also like to, when Mr Terre’blanche’s case is finished, because only then he will really be called as a witness in my case so that I again then can appear in front of you and if you then help me, Your Honour to bring Mr de Klerk here, I would also like to ask you to assist me to get Mr Terre’blanche here. I would like to ask for postponement of my case so that Mr de Klerk can be called and I think at that stage, Mr Terre’blanche may be freer in order to aide me in my case.
Your Honour, I would also like to say, because it might be important that it be said now, and that is that I have no problems with what happened the night and the evening at Ventersdorp. I really am sorry that people were killed and that they were injured in my - also in front of the court I said that of those people convicted at this stage I was the eldest and of those people who were injured and who died because of that, also could be some of my children.
But I would also like to add, Your Honour, that I stick to the AWB and its leader and I stand by them and he knows that with regard to the truth in this matter, he can trust me. I am at his side. I would like, Your Honour, that you listen to me so patiently. Unfortunately, I also, in political terms, am longwinded as they say in English perhaps, and I hope I haven’t bored me. Thank you so much.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Rudolph, those other incidents you applied in respect of - I just want this for information, you say one was for an attack on a reporter and another on a bus in Natal. Did you fill in separate applications forms? Did you fill in three separate application forms, because I see that this one is only public violence as regards Ventersdorp.
MR RUDOLPH: That is correct, Your Honour.
CHAIRPERSON: And, you say that the attack on the bus was in Natal and the other attack on the reporter, where about did that take place, the incident itself? Was that, which part of the country?
MR RUDOLPH: The first one, Your Honour, took place in 1991 in Natal while, in terms of Section 29, I was in detention, I was not directly involved in that, so in my humble submission, we cannot really refer to gross violations. It was simply a matter that two people received amnesty while the first one, there indicates that the third one there is litigation in the Supreme Court with regard to the reporter. That happened in Pretoria. I was found guilty there. I applied for amnesty in order to clear my record, Your Honour.
There were also not gross violations of human rights. If you would say, as far as I am concerned, that is not a gross violation of human rights.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Terre’blanche do you have anything to add?
MR TERRE’BLANCHE ADDRESSES COMMITTEE: Mr Chairperson, Your Honour, pardon Sir. Mr Chairman, Your Honour, Judges, as a matter of fact it is true that these two applications for amnesty, that of Mr Rudolph and myself is about one matter, the same matter. And I obviously very much agree with what Mr Rudolph said when he refers to the fact that, to Mr de Klerk, the person whom it is all about in that after all this time during which we walked around with a criminal record, actually should be called to this court in order to afford us the opportunity to ask him some questions.
Mr de Klerk, in fact as the leader of the National Party, came to Ventersdorp. Initially, it would have been a public meeting which would be reported widely and which all tax-payers and all voters be able to apply that, to be there, but a week before that Mr de Klerk decided that it wasn’t necessary for him to give certain answers to tax-payers and he then indeed made this meeting a National Party meeting at which only members of his party could be. That, at a late stage appeared on the placards.
Mr de Klerk however, still as the State President, abused his power in that he used the state machinery in order to defend himself and protect himself and to give him a power display in Ventersdorp. I, Your Honour, do not at this stage would like to elaborate on the details in this matter, but I would like to say to you that when Mr de Klerk eventually left there, there were dead people lying in the streets and that the police was used in order to shoot on members of the public, those who were not Nationalists.
However, Your Honour, Mr Chairperson, that was not only what happened. Mr de Klerk, in a short while afterwards, had a similar meeting in Boipatong I would suggest, and also running away from there, about six people, dead people, were also lying in the streets. Mr Rudolph gave you a proper picture of what in fact happened there that night. I would therefore like to support Mr Rudolph in his effort to apply that the one person who would be able to give answers with regard to the taking of lives of people, Mr de Klerk, should appear in front of your Committee so that we could ask him some questions, who could perhaps give us information.
I, Mr Chairperson and Honourable Judges, do not plan to be branded as a criminal in terms of the law so that it can appear in history because I made myself guilty of public violence while the public violence was forced down by Mr de Klerk and his party, not even his government.
In all modesty, in a time of reconciliation and us seeking for it, I feel I am, should no longer be branded as a criminal while the basic right of, I wanted to exercise the basic right of the electorate and I wanted to be at a meeting led by Mr de Klerk with me and the tax-payers' money and the likes of me. The total abuse of the South African Police and the Defence Force in order to enable him there and to then in the long run walk off while we are being branded as people seeking violence, who actually go there to break up the so-called meeting.
I would like to conclude by saying the following. Mr Chairman, Honourable Judges, there is no proof that the AWB wanted to break up the meeting and to stop Mr de Klerk from addressing those people. The AWB’s standpoint was that we had to speak there, that we had to be present in order to ask him very important questions. Even more, to state to him our disgust as State President and as party by attracting more votes in order not to give him a vote of support in Ventersdorp. We did not get that opportunity in Ventersdorp. And once again my humble submission is that in the Court it was also said that while the order "shoot to kill" by a certain Brigadier de la Roosa - and in fact there were, shots rang out. It was me who, in the street between two groups of teargas bombs, pulled in an aged man behind a car, I moved to the centre of the road, I pushed up my hands in the air and I asked them not to shoot. I said: "don’t shoot". I say this in all - in being very humble that I believe, Chairperson, that it was me, through the mercy of the Lord, who stopped further blood loss, killing, because then the shooting was immediately stopped while I was standing there and the shots rang out all around me. And therefore I was prepared to give my body in order to save people’s lives. I no longer want to have a record as being found guilty of public violence while the, those people who actually did it do not even have to appear before you, Your Honour.
I would then therefore support Mr Rudolph strongly and I would therefore like to ask that you reconsider the possibility of calling Mr de Klerk here. I think that at the weekend - we had reports that Mr de Klerk found himself at Sun City, he therefore is in this vicinity at some of the big casinos. I know it will not be comfortable, perhaps, he perhaps enjoys it there, but for the sake of justice we would quickly like to ask him before he once again leaves the Republic on the Greek Yacht.
MACHINE SWITCHED OFF
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Rudolph mentioned when he was making his address that you've have applied for two other matters that aren’t on the roll today, is that correct? What were they, what do you have to say in relation ...
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: Mr Chairman, the two matters he referred to is a matter in which I probably - if he wants to use me as a witness, would be willing to appear. The other matters at which I, you seek my appearance, is the tarring and feathering of one Professor van Jaarsveld, a decade or so ago and the possession of weapons, for which I am prepared and ready to give evidence as you so wished.
CHAIRPERSON: Ms Patel, do you have any submissions to make on the application has been made by the applicants? Just correct me Mr Rudolph, you’ve made two applications? Mr Rudolph has made two applications, one for Mr de Klerk to be subpoenaed for the Ventersdorp incident, which application has also been made by Mr Terre’blanche, and then Mr Rudolph has made a further application that his matter be postponed. You want to hear all your matters together, is that correct, the Natal bus incident and the Pretoria incident involving the reporter? That is how I understand it. Do you have anything to say on those applications?
MS PATEL ADDRESSES COMMITTEE: Thank you Honourable Chairperson, I will deal with the latter application first. In respect of Mr Rudolph’s other applications that he has submitted, I would like to say that those applications are receiving the consideration of the Committee. The Committee are however not ready for a hearing and that is the reason why is has not been set down now.
The reason that the Ventersdorp application of Mr Rudolph has been set down is because it was, in fact, ready for a hearing and that it could conveniently be joined with Mr Terre’blanche’s application. I can see no reason why we cannot at this stage split his applications and hear it separately. I would however also like to point out that we are operating under serious time constraints, that we are being put under pressure to finalise the work of the Committee as soon as possible and that we are trying to finish our matters as and when they are ready.
In respect of the second application that Mr de Klerk be subpoenaed, I would like to state at the outset that, I think the problem has risen that this is the first time that we're hearing of this because both the applicants are in fact unrepresented, that our offices hadn’t, up until now, received notification of both the applicants’ desire to in fact have Mr de Klerk subpoenaed. Be that as it may, I would however like to state that, in my respectful submission, I am not certain that having Mr de Klerk present is going to take the applicants’ case very much further in respect of what they have applied for. I think the merits of the case have been adequately dealt with at the trial, the judgement, a copy of which has been placed before Your Honourable Chairperson. It is my respectful submission that we proceed with this hearing. Thank you.
MACHINE SWITCHED OFF
CHAIRPERSON: ...(inaudible) given to Mr de Klerk about this hearing?
ADV BOSMAN: I will have to double check, Honourable Chairperson as to whether he was, in fact, notified or not.
If I may? Just on his question of notification, if indeed he was notified he would have been notified as an interested party and he would then have had the option of deciding whether he wanted to appear or not to contribute to the hearings or not. I am not sure that that would help us or take the matter much further. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Do you have anything further to say Mr Rudolph or Mr Terre’blanche?
MR RUDOLPH: Mr Chairman, the mere fact that the Act makes provision - and I am a lay person, but as I understand the law is that where a person is implied, he should be notified of the fact that he has been implied is to my mind the responsibility of the Committee.
The situation with regard to Mr de Klerk as the person who caused the whole problem at Ventersdorp we'd sketched to you, and that is part of the case as the representative of the State and that is why, therefore I cannot see why in the case of the Ventersdorp case we could not receive amnesty and the matter being solved in chambers for the simple reason that neither I nor Mr Terre’blanche were involved in gross human rights violations and why then we have this in public, I simply cease to understand.
MR TERRE'BLANCHE: Mr Chairman, it is my humble submission that I would also like to request if it is about justice and reconciliation it is only logical that the matter should be tested from both sides. We are willing to allow the evidence we are giving here to be tested by Mr de Klerk’s presence and most certainly some of the best legal experts assisting him.
There are - people were killed that evening and we would like to prove to this court that we indeed are not responsible for the death of those people and that it was indeed our people who died there, not members of the government and its forces, but it was our people who were killed. The order was that our people should be shot dead and the person who for a reason that cannot be understood, held a meeting, not in order to exercise his democratic right and to gain votes prior to the election but a person who said he now held a meeting for those people who already voted for him. He changes and makes nonsense of the basic principle of the democracy by changing his own democratic meeting to a National Party and for that reason he used strong parts of the South African Defence Force, a big part of the South African Police and he knows, Mr Chairman, what he was doing because this is why he had the people there, that it could lead to conflict.
The crux of what we, of our problem is why Mr de Klerk decided to not like other politicians, have a public meeting and put his case, that privilege members of the opposition parties never had before but Mr de Klerk can arrange a National Party meeting while he uses the privilege of the State President and/or the costs involved he uses.
I would like to ask you respectfully, I would like to ask the Honourable lady who is responsible for the arrangements here if it is possible at all for this amnesty application and the refusal of this application for myself and Mr Rudolph because of a lack of evidence which cannot prove the correctness of what we said if Mr de Klerk is not being brought here and if our application for amnesty is not successful because of that, then I think the reason for the existence of your Reconciliation Committee, in fact ceases to exist.
There are two parties in this case. It was the members of not only the AWB, also the members of those people who oppose Mr de Klerk and the others - the others are Mr de Klerk himself and the Police Force and the Defence Force he brought along there. I would like to complete by again saying that it cannot be a coincidence that when Mr de Klerk had to immediately leave Boipatong, leaving six corpses again, it is not a coincidence that what happened at Ventersdorp, Mr de Klerk simply did not care what happened as long as he could arrive in a helicopter and he could flee in a Casspir. Leaving people behind lying in streets, that did not matter to him. In fact he never showed any sympathy with my people who were killed in the streets of Ventersdorp. I thank you, and I hope that our humble submission with regard to the request regarding Mr de Klerk would meet your favourable approval.
CHAIRPERSON: First of all, I just want for purposes of the record, you've both said that you are appearing for yourselves, are you doing that out of choice? Are you aware of your rights that you are entitled to Legal Aid representation?
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: Mr Chairman, we are very much aware of that, but in the situation in which we find ourselves, or let me rather speak for myself, I am fully aware of that but I prefer, because my case is clean and I am honest in this matter, to go to the Truth Commission without having to use a third or a second person. I trust the process and I trust my case and the correctness of my behaviour so as not to use Legal Aid.
Nevertheless, we thank you. We are aware of the fact that you are prepared to pay for this. We save the State rather that amount then.
MR RUDOLPH: Mr Chairperson, I would also just like to say that I cannot afford legal help and in any case I am not prepared to simply come walking in here with just any attorney or advocate because this is an important case with great implications. I have told you that I am, do not trust the government and I do not trust its structures and therefore I will not use the Legal Aid Board. In that case, I will have no conscience. I trust you, so ...
MACHINE SWITCHED OFF
MR TERRE'BLANCHE: Mr Chairperson, what I have feared, I notice in nearly each and every paragraph of this statement, that is to say the least, a cold blooded attack on my dignity, my person, which has purposefully been compiled so that the press should carry this information. And then the right is reserved of the family that the accusations and the statements which are made about me that I cannot defend myself by means of cross-examination to say the least. Will I allow this statement to be read under my own protest, but then at least I expect that after this statement I am allowed to reply and that I can put my case in which I am being insulted.
I cannot see that why such a great deal is being made of Reconciliation and Truth in this piece, that this statement can bring about reconciliation. And it is my submission that you, the Committee, are being used in this instance by the family to criticise me and to launch attacks on me which are not being tested and if not you, but in which the public media can send out an untested attack on me to the world. It is then my request that after - if this statement is allowed to be read, that I be allowed at least to reply, otherwise I have been brought before this Committee to be criticised without being allowed to defend myself and I do not think that this is the task, and I say this with the greatest piety and respect, that it is a task that opportunities be created for criticism to be expressed in the presence of you, the Judges and the audience as well as the media. I find this very strange. I thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Terre’blanche. Mr Terre'blanche, you will certainly be given an opportunity to reply to any statement made. Mr Olivier, this statement, is it defamatory in any way?
MR OLIVIER: It is not defamatory as far as we are concerned, it merely states the views of the family. We have no objection to any reply by Mr Terre’blanche.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. Then the statement may be read to the record and you will be given an opportunity to reply.
MR VAN JAARSVELD READS STATEMENT INTO RECORD: Mr Chairman, thank you very much for the opportunity given to me. As provided for in the Act on the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation, our ...
TAPE FAULTY - NO FURTHER RECORDING IN THAT REGARD
MR TERRE'BLANCHE: ... in the presence of his audience where he was delivering a paper on the promise which was made at Blood River, to speak about that promise and with pieces which we obtained beforehand as information, the AWB decided that Professor van Jaarsveld would be tarred and feathered so that the claim can be, that the emphasis can be placed on the fact that we regarded his, the contents of his speech as the breaking of a promise which we had been bound by to our God, the Holy Trinity and the God of Blood River, who brought, who gave us the victory at Blood River.
Without tiring you, as background I do want to mention that I grew up in the Western Transvaal as a boy in a Christian home and that the history of the Boer nation was fed to me from my birth, that I was assured of the fact that my parents who were my first educators were very religious Christians.
Nothing in their lives could ever make me doubt at all that what they would convey to me would not be true and correct, as true as the ten commandments which I promised with them from church to church in the same way as true, was the promise made by Blood River by the leader Sarel Cillier.
I do not have this here as an exhibit, but I do not believe that Sarel Cillier’s promise which was noted by the State Secretary, one Bandjies, by the objectors, the Van Jaarsveld family’s official legal representative, that this will be doubted at all.
Bandjies says that Sarel Cillier stands on the cannon wagon and he lifts his hands to the heavens and he says, and now I am going to mention a few elements.
"Here we stand in front of a holy creator of heaven and earth to make a promise to him that if he will be with us and if he will surrender the enemy to us, that this day and this date will always be commemorated" and I quote out of Dutch: 'as one day of thanksgiving is the day Sabbath day, that we will build a house to the honour of his name and that we will tell our children of all generations that the honour of victory belongs to God alone.'
The promise made by Sarel Cillier was noted as Bandjies and used at festivals. I want to mention that my father, for 20 years, has been chosen uninterrupted by the festival committees as the Chairperson of the Ventersdorp Committee. Every year the opportunity was given for the people to elect another chairperson. My father was chosen time and again. My father was involved in the building of a house in the honour of his name, the Festival House, at the Ventersdorp Town Council land and my father read the promise of Cillier annually and said that the honour of the victory at Blood River belongs to God alone. Perhaps to a greater extent than a Sabbath, this was commemorated.
On a Saturday, or rather the day before history was spoken about, when the people got together and games were played, but the Day of the Covenant was held and a speech was made and the covenant was read and the people had to pledge themselves once again to give all honour to God. The part was that we were to, the promise was that we had to tell this to our children, to the furtherest generations and this was done there. It was God, it was not a myth. It was God who protected the 440 trekkers in The Lager against the assaulting or attacking forces of Tambohlane. It was God, who on the evening of the attack prevented the attack on the small lager, when mistiness and wet weather came from the Seekoei gat and the river. It was God who did not let the chief Induna see storm lanterns but angels before them.
I must say that the English historian, Shadwick from Natal declares that there were between 15 000 and 30 000. Gustav Preller said, after long deliberation and research, Zulus said who survived, told him that the Zulus did not attack that evening because of the spirits of the forefathers were hanging above the lager. I see no reason why the Zulus could not see that the Boers were lighting their lanterns. I, often, in speeches on Covenant Day said: "Who am I to say that the Zulu did not see the angels of God who were hanging protectively over the lager".
I want to go further and say that I believe that they did see the Angels because for seven days from the Sabbath to the Sabbath, the Voortrekkers repeated the Covenant to God. Cillier went as far as to say that if there is one single person here present who does not want to form part of this covenant of this contract between us and God, that if he gives us the victory that we will Honour him and him alone and that we will say that God was on the side of the Boers at this battle. If there is one who does not believe this, let him remove himself for seven days. This was prayed for.
The result of Blood River is known throughout the world. The history of Blood River is not so well-known to the people of today, but it is noted and stands in contrast with certain allegations that Blood River, the battle of Blood River was there as a result of the abilities of Andries Pretorius and Cillier and their military force and power.
The intervention of God took place when one notes that in the small lager hundreds of cattle and horses were gathered who, when the instruction came at daybreak from the throats of tens of thousands "Bulelani Abatagati", kill the magicians. And the tremendous rattling of the assegais and the stamping of ten thousands of feet and the shouting from strong manly chests and the firing of the cannons and the shots that rang out as compared to the tremendous sound and noise, the oxen stood still and none of the horses became afraid. A confrontation or situation in which neither ox nor horse was in history, it was as if God himself had whispered to these animals and they stood still.
I confess here in the presence of you Sir, who, with regard to this matter indeed are justice from the soil that my God from Blood River that I believe it was him who in fact brought the victory to the extent that Pretorius alone was only wounded lightly and that the river henceforth would carry the name of Blood River and in the terrible battle and the victory which took place there.
Mr Chairman, Honourable Judges, I am being confronted today because I with my whole heart and soul, believe that God brought the victory for us. With my whole heart and soul I believe that I have a brief and that I am bound to God, and that that day should be a Sabbath day henceforth. And that year the press would report widely that Professor van Jaarsveld, in the position he has as professor in history, that he would develop a different view about history with specific reference to Blood River, after having studied his paper. The least that could be said about that is that the Sarel Cillier vow was being put a slur over. The report over that paper, that total paper, that the Boers cannot claim that God was on their side, that it cannot be said with conviction that the Sabbath clause should be removed. Mr Chairman, if the Sabbath clause were to be removed and this day would then be declared a holiday and not a Sabbath day then we have not graced God in any way and we did not give him a single day on which he should be thanked. We should remember that the government of the day also was the member of the nation who was responsible for the Covenant of Blood River.
It should be borne in mind that it could only be the Sunday clause that should be removed and that the day itself could be left as such, but this is a matter between a human and God. For the AWB there was no other way than to object to what we regarded as a gross violation and indeed a motion of no confidence in the God of Blood River. The AWB has decided to, when the Honourable Professor - and I would immediately like to add that there could be no hate with regard to his person because we did not know him and that it was purely about what we had seen as the fact that the Covenant was distrusted and that in fact we had to object to that.
I would also like to say to you that driven by politics, because we believed that at the back door of the University, the Day of the Covenant eventually had to be done away with. It first had to be made suspect and God had to be sent away - was taken away, in other words as to meaning that no longer is the God of the constitution which at that stage we believed in, in which we said he looks over people and that he specifically saw to the survival of the Boers there. As was the case in many other matters in politics, the public and the electorate had to be made used to this idea and eventually it is being passed through Parliament as the Professor of History said that the Sunday clause had to be removed. Then Mr Chairman, we knew that it would not take long before the idea is being made acceptable and the nation eventually no longer believes in God in that simply accepting that the Sunday clause can be done away with.
I could think of no other measure to enable us as a group of young people, to state our case. And in those days the powerful regime of the national party destroyed us and we had no access to the press and the media, who to a great extent did not support us. The power and the force of the communism and the liberalists and the way it could be seen in the press as a cancer. We did not want to injure, cause injury to Professor van Jaarsveld, we did not want to cause damage to the property of the University, we never wanted to injure anybody from the audience. That is clear from the case in which Rapport of 13th May 1979 said the following:
"The tarring or the tarrers and feathers, after the episode at Voortrekker Monument, worshipped the Lord and thanked him because it was not necessary for people to become involved in a physical fight between the public and the so called tarring and feathering, featherers."
I was not - did not stand alone in my conviction. Also true from this report in that it is said that Professor van Jaarsveld received a letter from a lifelong friend, namely Professor Herman Rex, who was the chief of the Reformed Church. In this matter the matter the friend ...(end of tape)
... grass will become rather long before things will be the same between him and Dr Rex.
A friendship of long standing is something of the past because of a different view as regards the Day of the Covenant and the rather strong letter received from him. He said that the letter came as a shock to him in that Rex writes amongst other things, about, with regard to Van Jaarsveld’s view on the Day of the Covenant, the last straw that caused the camel’s back to break. The other straw which was put on top of the back of the camel and which - we don’t know which one that was, but he referred to this one as being the last straw, he said he was through with him because of the vow and he further says - Dr Herman Rex unfortunately, is no longer with us but, until the end of days he, of time he believed in this and he said that he was shocked at the paper and that he had an appreciation for what that - sorry I repeat, that he has appreciation for those men who were responsible for the tarring and feathering of Professor van Jaarsveld.
The political motive for the tarring and feathering, Mr Chairman and Honourable Judges, was indeed to, what we have seen is a clever political move done through the professor at the University to stop that process in order to make an end to the plans in that regard and we had to prove that his paper was untrue for once and for all, as a paper that would bring resentment in the midst of the trekkers.
For that wrong from which I could not really benefit in any way, in which there was no financial benefit for me in which I was - at the time I was a fairly poor Boer boy but I was found guilty of crimen injuria and malicious damage to property.
Some of the tar landed on the carpets, something we should have known perhaps, but in all honesty we never thought of that. There was at least no plan to damage the carpets and the movement did not really want to damage any property. Nevertheless, we were found guilty of that. I then had a criminal record because the pledge of Sarel Cillier, I wanted to protect and because I wanted to commit myself irrevocably because the wrong interpretation through that one should also no longer believe in that pledge.
I would also like to say that my whole life I have been politically committed irrevocably to the principles of a sacrificing Christian and that it was a political game played there and I would not be able to correct by means of a paper or a sermon. The AWB at the time was a political organisation, not a party political organisation but it was a political organisation with a constitution which politically, was motivated and as movement Professor van Jaarsveld was tarred and feathered by us.
Lastly, Mr Chairman and Honourable Judges, because I firmly believed that the attack on the Day of the Covenant was something that would also make an end politically to the Boer nation, also because I believe that God alone was responsible for the battle there, the family of the late Professor van Jaarsveld do not expect false evidence from me by saying that I am sorry. I cannot for the sake of this court and simply lip service, say I am sorry because my Master, Jesus from Nazareth, and the Trinity of God was defended by me because my nation was defended by me. The attack on the Day of the Covenant was seen as a political set. Because I made an end to that, I cannot say that I am sorry. Something that is a pity Chairperson is that it is a pity that we have ever had such a paper and that there ever was such an action.
The fact that, which I stick to what I have said with regard to the fact as to what happened in 1979, taught by my mother and my father and also the Bible, that one should pay your promises to God. I thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you, Mr Terre'blanche, I think what we'll do is we will deal with this Van Jaarsveld incident and when that is finished we will get back to the possession of the weapons incident.
Mr Olivier, are there any questions you would like to put to the applicant?
MR OLIVIER: I am indebted to you, Your Honour, for dealing with this matter ...(indistinct) We have decided - and on proper consideration of the record in which Mr Terre’blanche had been found guilty of crimen injuria, in considering the application that was made to the Commission, that it is our view and the family’s view of the late Professor van Jaarsveld that we are not going to put any further questions to Mr Terre’blanche, that we are not going to formally oppose his application, but that we would make a special plea to yourselves to hear Mr Albert van Jaarsveld, the son of the late Professor van Jaarsveld, to hear what he has to say as to their view, for they are victims in the process as envisaged in the Act and that for that reason they have prepared a particular document, a representation, that they merely would like to read out and that which they wish as a family to be the record of their view of the misplaced and misguided actions of Mr Terre’blanche.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, certainly, but I think before we do that Mr Olivier, I will just ask Ms Patel is she has any questions to ask the applicant.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson, perhaps just one of two.
Mr Terre’blanche, your choosing of, sorry is there a problem?
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: Yes, you did not get through to me, perhaps there is a fault.
MS PATEL: I'll start again.
CHAIRPERSON: Just repeat your question please Ms Patel.
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: It is all right now.
MS PATEL: Mr Terre’blanche you have given us the background to which the incident has taken place. Can I just ask you very simply, did you see Mr van Jaarsveld as a political opponent or when the attack took place, were you motivated simply by his views as an individual and the possible effects that those views could have in terms of your own vision of the promise that was made at the battle of Blood River?
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: Chairperson, of course I did regard Professor van Jaarsveld as a political opponent. As today, those years were also seen against the background or the, those who gave the direction in politics, namely the Afrikaner Broederbond. The Broederbond determined policy without the people and the voters knowing about it. The Broederbond was a secret organisation for the so-called intellectuals in the order of the government and no-one could for example, ever become a minister and very few could even be elected to Parliament had they not been members of the secret Broederbond. To me this was a typical Broederbond onslaught which had been launched from the University, through the press and carried to the public to finally be killed by Parliament.
To me, this was not only an onslaught on my God but also an onslaught on my people who thereafter would never again be able to ask for triumph from God when he had to fight for his continued existence. Yes Mr Chairperson, I definitely did regard Professor van Jaarsveld as a Broederbonde who used his position to propagate Broederbond policy that was politically, it was political and therefore with the political movement the AWB, the decision was taken and we tarred and feathered him.
MS PATEL: However, were you primarily motivated by his differing religious beliefs on that particular promise that was taken at the battle of Blood River? Was that your main source of concern, his different religious beliefs?
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: Chairperson, I was not, and I say this in all fairness, and the family of Professor van Jaarsveld must please excuse me because I do not want to affect the position of Professor van Jaarsveld, but I wasn’t even sure as to what he believed was true, that what he said there, because all the years he had associated himself with what the Vow and the Covenant meant and at that at this stage it was given to those people as a shock that the professor had a totally different point of view. His argument with his friend of many years, Dr Rex, is also proof of this. This was a shock to Rex. And I want to say once again that I think that the viewpoint - and if Professor van Jaarsveld did not know that the implications that his paper would have great political implications that is possible, then we could not have known that he did not know that but what we do know is that his paper was stopped and in later years the Broederbond did follow this up and had the Sunday clause removed. I hope that that satisfies you.
MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Perhaps this would be an opportune time now for Mr van Jaarsveld to make his statement. Perhaps if you ...(intervention)
MR OLIVIER: May I use this particular microphone?
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I think if he can just bring his chair up next to you Mr Olivier and he can use that microphone.
Sorry, Mr van Jaarsveld, what are your full names please?
MR VAN JAARSVELD: My full names are Floris Albertus van Jaarsveld.
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: Mr Chairman, with due respect and please forgive me because I am not familiar with the finer legal points. I do not understand that there is something being read which could have an influence on my amnesty application. If that is the case, I would just like to know whether this can be tested by myself who has to defend myself here, or is it simply something that is being read which in fact will not be relevant when it comes to my application. I am slightly at sea with regard to this.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Olivier, Mr van Jaarsveld's legal representative has indicated that he wishes to respond to you.
MR OLIVIER: We have appreciation for your concern. We have taken it into consideration. What we stand to do here then is simply to record what the late Professor van Jaarsveld and his family feel as victims of what was done and that it should be reported here. It should be placed on record as such in terms of this legislation and we therefore are not trying to convince the Commission to take this into consideration in your application. It is purely a submission by a family member because of your actions.
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: Mr Chairperson, I would like to voice my concerns still that if this, in this certain submissions were to be made such that my arguments with regard to the interpreting of the Vow should be incorrect and I will then be questioned then I - and I do not have sufficient reason to prove my statements and ask questions as well, then I think this opportunity is being used to make me suspect while I have to be in your hands to be tested because of evidence I can do nothing about.
I am very aware that my actions can be tested by the Van Jaarsveld family, which is why we have the legal representative. I am prepared to stand for what I say here and I am prepared to answer all questions after my submission to you and we have to accept that we have a different version of what happened, that is to be sketched here, which is not tested whether for the record of history or if that is the case, I don’t know whether this is the right place to do so if it is not to be tested before the judges without I contest the relevance or the correctness thereof. I object to such document being read out.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Olivier, the content of the document, if you could just give an indication of what it is, does it merely express the effects of the action that it had on the family, or does it take a stand on the correctness of the paper that was to be presented by the Professor? Is it going to place in issue this whole question relating to the sanctity of the Covenant or not?
MR OLIVIER: It merely restates, Chairman, the position that Professor van Jaarsveld held at the time, which is obviously the opposing view of Mr Terre'blanche. It does not really take issue with him on that, but focuses mainly on the effects that it had on this family and what happened following that particular action, therefore explaining their views as victims.
CHAIRPERSON: And just to confirm, your client just wishes to make a statement?
TAPE FAULTY - NO FURTHER RECORDING REGARDING THIS MATTER
MR VAN JAARSVELD READS STATEMENT INTO RECORD: ... van Jaarsveld became a victim of a gross violation of his human rights on 28th March 1979 when he, a respected and prominent historian, was tarred and feathered in front of an audience at the Senate Hall of Unisa.
Eugene Terre’blanche who is applying for amnesty in terms of the abovementioned Act for this deed, has admitted freely to planning and executing the attack together with some of his colleagues in the AWB.
We have decided as, not to formally oppose Mr Terre’blanche’s application for amnesty and this decision has been made after lengthy consultations with our legal advisors and other interested parties.
We have also come to the conclusion that the cross-examination of Mr Terre’blanche on the facts of the event and his reasons for planning and executing it, would not contribute him showing any remorse of the understanding of the affects of the deed but would merely serve to provide him with a political platform, a platform which he does not deserve, to further propagate to his pride and repulsive political ideologies. We have however decided to place on record our disgust with that what Mr Terre’blanche stands for as well as what he has done in the past.
In light of the nature of the violation of our father’s human rights committed by Mr Terre’blanche, we can in no way support a finding that amnesty should be granted to him. We do however feel that this decision should be left to the capable and experienced members of the Truth Commission Members, who we believe are more than qualified to achieve the purposes of the Act on the promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation. One of the most important reasons for not supporting the application is that we are of the opinion that Mr Terreblanche’s motive was not done with a political objective as much as it was done for publicity for his newly formed organisation. The tarring and feathering incident was therefore rather a publicity stunt seeing that the organisation and its leader was at that stage still unknown. This occurred at the expense of Professor van Jaarsveld, who overnight was transformed into a man who was looked upon with suspicion by his peers.
I just want to add that, as Mr Terre’blanche alleges that my father was a member of the Broederbond, he was an enemy of the Broederbond and on various occasions he was quoted as having said that he was opposed to the Broederbond and showed his disgust in that organisation. His actions were not as a result of the love for the Afrikaner people but it was a well planned and reckless deed by which various Afrikaans speakers were misled and led on a new Nazism false track with a total regard of freedom of speech. It is also our opinion that at no time in his life my father could be labelled as an active supporter of the government of the day or any organisation left of the government at which Mr Terre’blanche’s actions could possibly have been directed.
Our father was essentially an historian. He spent his days studying events of days gone by and from time to time he would transpose onto these events his own perspective and evaluation of history. His viewpoint in 1979 on the Covenant of the Voortrekkers of Blood River should also be seen as a perspective in time.
How the country has changed since, as well as the Afrikaner's perspective on the Day of the Covenant has ensured that my father was a pioneer. This however, does not give Mr Terre’blanche, who is apparently unable to gain perspective on any situation the right to humiliate and belittle my father at a public conference in front of an audience of his academic peers.
We do not believe that Mr Terre’blanche will realise the effect of his action on a man who was deeply rooted in the Afrikaner culture, who in fact lived and worked within the inner circles of the Afrikaner and then reached a stage in his life when he reflected and reconsidered some historical facts. Mr Terre’blanche’s deed effectively expelled my father from that same community which he so dearly served.
As regards my father’s viewpoint on the Day of the Covenant, Mr Terre’blanche is still spreading lies. It is clear that Professor van Jaarsveld took issue with legislation which effectively was forced upon South Africans other than Afrikaners, who felt themselves bound by the Covenant to celebrate the Day of the Covenant as a Sabbath, which legislation was enacted by the National Party in 1952.
At that stage it was necessary to investigate this legislation seen in the light of the political changes which began to creep into the country. It is clear that he does not want to or cannot understand the information in that paper. Not all the facts surrounding the tarring and feathering incident are known, these include:
No 1: The financial loss suffered by Professor van Jaarsveld because of Afrikaans publishers like Perskor turning their backs on him after the tarring and feathering incident. This was evident in their removing his popular and well known history text books from the market.
In the second place, after the incident, Professor van Jaarsveld went into isolation. Invitations to act as guest speaker dried up, while for more than a decade he was ignored by the SABC where previously he regularly participated in radio programmes, etc.
Point 3: A visit by the Security Police in 1980, to investigate a course regarding the history of communism in South Africa, is a clear proof that he was also a suspect in the government.
Point 4: Directly after the tarring and feathering incident as well as during the criminal case during which the AWB leader and supporters stood on charges, Professor van Jaarsveld was threatened with anonymous telephone calls, hate mail became part of his every day life.
Shortly after Mr Terre’blanche and others were found guilty, there was an attempt made on his life and he was shot at with a crossbow. A telephone call made to Mrs van Jaarsveld, in which she was told that if he did not keep his mouth shut the next crossbow arrow would be through his son’s heart. On occasion a huge stone was thrown through his window of his study.
Point 5: This incident made world headlines and the name of Afrikaans-speaking people was damaged further. This contributed to the perception that Afrikaans-speaking people are violent racists. Since this incident Terre’blanche has never expressed his sympathy and his pities and he keeps on defending it and we would like to point out the next aspects of his past.
On the 29th of June 1979 he was convicted regarding this tarring and feathering incident on malicious damage to property. In June 1976 he was found guilty of assault and attempted murder of a black man and sentenced to six years imprisonment. It is clear after this incident, the last incident in September of 1997 that he submitted his application for amnesty.
It is therefore clear that Mr Terre’blanche’s attempt to wipe his slate clean is not an attempt to let the truth be known and to part with his violent ways of the past. It is much more likely though that this application for amnesty is an attempt to save his own skin from a six year jail sentence after his violent assault on a black man who was left with permanent brain damage.
Whether Mr Terre’blanche is granted amnesty or not, it will make no difference to the damage that has already been caused. The pain which he has inflicted will stick to him as the tar had stuck to Professor van Jaarsveld until his death. There is no place for Terre’blanche in the new South Africa and the community and society must be protected against people like him.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr van Jaarsveld. Mr Terre’blanche?
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: Honourable Mr Chairman, I was indeed correct. I do think that the language in which I am being addressed in this statement is indeed done in defamatory terms.
My legal advisers will in fact determine that at a later stage. I cannot see, and I take the greatest of exception that the fact that this statement was in fact allowed by you. I cannot understand how this in any way could bring further light, why it has to be done before you while it is not tested evidence. The language in which I am being addressed and my so called colleagues, "travante", they are members of the AWB, are addressed is proof of the fact that the same forgiveness that he wants to see in me does not exist with these people. He decided to not formally act against my application for amnesty, but Chairperson, it is my submission that he knows that he cannot act formally and that he cannot fight my application because apart from airy fairy and insulting language which one shouldn’t, wouldn’t find in a man of his stature, there is no proof of any accusations. I was and I am not a new Nazi.
To say that this took place not because I am a Christian, not driven by a religion, is a gross violation of my belief in God, something that cannot be said by Mr van Jaarsveld that makes one think that he is very much like his father, his own father whom he involved here was prepared in his paper to ignore God. The fact that the Lord did not listen to the prayers of the trekkers for seven days, the fact that he was not present at Blood River and because I say God was present there and I actually did something about that, he also decides, Mr van Jaarsveld Junior, that he should also make a decision about me in the same way that his father did about God and the struggle at Blood River.
He then says that I simply did that in order to give publicity to my new movement. With due respect, Chairperson, I was never part of those people who went about with the truth so irresponsibly with regard to this Covenant and Vow which is older than 100 years and this God to whom we are bound in order to gain publicity.
However, something that is important is the fact that from this statement it is clear that Mr van Jaarsveld’s statement wasn’t only fatal to me in the AWB in its incorrectness. According to the evidence by the Van Jaarsveld family, Perskor rejected, not because he was tarred and feathered but they realised that that man does not treat the truth. In school books in which he said these things were removed from the market and were withdrawn. The SABC, for a decade distantiated itself from Mr van Jaarsveld because you could no longer believe Mr van Jaarsveld because the greatest truth, Mr van Jaarsveld and the Boer people, was the truth of God and its presence at Blood River.
In that way, what he said today, his statements, was against the Boer people with its Christian view of life and that even the Security Police went to visit him after his paper delivered about communism. For the first time we have gained new information before you and that is that Professor Floris van Jaarsveld knowingly, wittingly or unwittingly was busy to politically become a danger, not only for the nation, but also at the time to the State. In other words he was not only an historian occupying himself with historians and the historic truths and realities, he used history in a different way in order to fit in with the changed South Africa.
Professor van Jaarsveld therefore did not matter, and it is written in that way too, in the light of the new South Africa, or the new idea of reconciliation to even reach the contract with God. I cannot believe that I am, it was necessary to make me out as a monster because I do not express pity because I see the onslaught on my Creator and the small Boer people and my person is stronger in this statement, even stronger than in the paper that Professor van Jaarsveld delivered.
In other words, my submission to you also has to be recorded and it will stay there, in the same way that his attacks on me will be there. I would also like to add that the professor, indeed, should have suffered financial losses because nobody believed him, because by means of a political organisation such as the AWB, the politicians on the right hand side were to be made aware and they should be warned that Professor van Jaarsveld was changing history and using it in order to be acceptable should the National Party give over power. I think that there should be no doubt in the Committee, especially after this submission, that I have been motivated politically, that the professor himself or his son or his family say that for political reasons he brought about the changes because politically he did not want to force the God of the Boer nation down the throats of other nations.
Ironically, it was not the wish of the AWB to force their God down the throats of others, it was a pledge in terms of which we have the warning in terms of the Bible that a promise to God has to be paid. Professor van Jaarsveld after this was isolated, he no longer acted as guest speaker at cultural meetings.
Mr Chairman all these things did not happen because the professor was tarred and feathered, these things happened because of the incorrect version of the Covenant and the fact that history was twisted, which can be the worse that can happen to a nation if you abuse your power to rewrite history so that you all of a sudden can become acceptable to other nations. If we sit here at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it is scaring to think that the Van Jaarsveld family admit in front of this body seeking Reconciliation and Truth, that his father treated the truth in this way to the extent that his books were no longer published as text books because what he said was not acceptable to students and pupils.
It is a pity and I am sorry to say Chairperson that unfortunately I had to make use of your Committee to a great extent to reply to irrelevant and untested attacks on my person. I regard this as despicable to bring up an irrelevant case such as the so-called attempted murder in which it was said clearly that I would attack a black man in this way. I would like to put it to this Committee, in your experience as judge and also as advocates you often know that the truth only came about in appeal cases.
I would like to go further however, because I have no other choice. I would like to state in front of you that there is fresh evidence with regard to evidence from the State, which is to be applied to the appeal case in which forgiveness is being asked and things were promised because it was said that I attacked somebody or assaulted somebody.
I think Mr Chairman, we are again where we were a few months ago in Mmabatho when I said even, whatever happens let justice be done. I thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: I think it is now a quarter past four. I think this would be a convenient time to adjourn. What will be a convenient time to start tomorrow, would half past nine be convenient? Are you coming through from Ventersdorp? Is half past nine a convenient time for you to start?
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: Half past two, sorry half past nine is correct, my apologies. That is no problem, I thank you for that.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Yes, we will then adjourn now seeing that we have got to the end of the day, quarter past four and we will resume tomorrow at this venue at half past nine in the morning. Thank you. Are you going to be here, are you going to excuse yourselves.
MR OLIVIER: ...(indistinct). Thank you very much.