TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
NAME: EUGENE N TERRE’BLANCHE
APPLICATION NO: AM 7994
MATTER: VENTERSDORP INCIDENT
HELD AT: KLERKSDORP
CHAIRPERSON: Good Morning everybody. You will recall that yesterday we commenced the hearing and then an application was made by both Messrs Rudolph and Terre’blanche, the applicants, in relation to the Ventersdorp incident and that thereafter we proceeded with the evidence of Mr Terre’blanche in regard to the other incidents in respect of which he applies for amnesty.
We dealt with the evidence concerning the Van Jaarsveld incident. I think it would probably be more convenient at this stage, Mr Terre’blanche, if we just - I am sure it will not take long, deal with the weapons incident and then get back to the Ventersdorp incident and then we will deal with the two of you together instead of going back to the Ventersdorp and then back to your own application later.
So if we can, at this stage then, proceed with the application relating to the weapons and essentially this application is a chamber matter really, because it doesn’t involve any form of gross human rights violation as defined in the Act, but we would appreciate it if you would just give us some information relating particularly to a description of the weapons used, the amount and type of weapons and the reason why they were in your possession, perhaps, and anything else that you wish to tell us about that.
So if we could proceed on that basis and I would remind you that you are still under your declaration to tell the truth.
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: (s.u.c.)
I thank you Mr Chairman. I would just like to request you to allow me to use a minute or so in order to get to the part with regard to the documentation on the weapons.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes I think if you take a look, it's ...(intervention)
MS PATEL: 29.
CHAIRPERSON: I refer you to pages 29 to 36 of the documentation. That is page 34 then, very well.
MR TERRE'BLANCHE ADDRESSES COMMITTEE: Mr Chairman, during 1982, the AWB got hold of some weapons. In court it was said at the time, that the weapons, the ammunition of which I had never seen the identity, but as was described in court it was parts of AK47s and would I suppose one or two pistols. These weapons, members of the AWB got it from a member of the, Mr Kees Moos, an erstwhile member of the AWB. I became aware of that when later it was shown at a house in Delmas and the allegation was made that the ammunition was up in a cupboard and parts of weapons were stored in trunks. The idea with regard to the getting hold of the weapons was to keep those should the erstwhile government capitulate in the same way that the white colonial governments, in a very short time span, handed over their power to a majority government and the fear was voiced by members of the AWB that the same fate could be that of the whites in South Africa with a very fast taking over of power resulting in chaos, that as is the case of the Belgian Congo, as was the case with the Belgian Congo and other places, murder would take place and people would lose their lives.
I was confronted by this situation and even though I - and that was also said in the Supreme Court and it could not be refuted, to say that I should get rid of these things, it was a trap because the man who I obtained it from had, it was a Dutch person, Mr Moos, who also fled from the country. I received it from him, because I didn’t trust him.
Be that as it may, the weapons were taken to my brother’s farm and I became aware of it when it arrived there. We then buried the weapons with the purpose that should we need to one day protect ourselves, our property, homes, as in the case with the Portuguese in the Congo and to have it at hand if there was no order in which to protect ourselves.
That was also our defence in the Supreme Court and the verdict of the judge was that we would in any case not be allowed to possess those weapons even though the intention would be to use it in order to protect ourselves. We therefore had the weapons in our possession illegally. We had those weapons in our possession.
The judge did say in his verdict that we, to a great extent, were the victims of circumstances. I reconciled myself with the idea at the time that under those circumstances it would be well and right that the weapons should not be given, handed over to the police but for political reasons we were to keep them should the history repeat itself and we are being confronted and being put in chaos and evolution by other forces.
I humbly submit that I do qualify for amnesty for the possession of these weapons. It was the organisation, the AWB, who accepted responsibility for those weapons. I, as leader of the AWB, finally accepted responsibility. We kept it there and it had to stay there until a situation would arise that we would perhaps need it in a situation of chaos and warfare. That is my side of the story, Sir.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. On this issue relating to the weapons, Ms Patel to you have any questions?
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS PATEL: Yes, perhaps just one.
You stated in your application that you received the weapons from an agent from the South African Police, could you perhaps just give us the details as to how that came about? Was there an agreement between you and this agent, or can you give us the specific manner in which he got the weapons and gave them, handed them over to you or your organisation as such.
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: Mr Chairman, I would firstly like to say that in a later court case, exhibits at my disposal, I would have evidence where Mr Moos during another court case prior to this case prior to this case - unfortunately I did not have the information at my disposal during my court case, when in court he was asked whether he worked for the Security Police, he answered:
"Yes, I work for the Security police"
At a later stage he was asked again: "Do you at this stage currently work for the Security Police?"
... upon which Mr Moos said:
"Yes, I currently work for the Security police".
With that knowledge at my disposal, I immediately came to realise that Mr Moos is in fact an agent of the Security Police. Where he got those weapons from, I do not know. He told us that he had bought them. The weapons were fetched from his plot by a one Mr du Plessis from Delmas and a one Mr Jan Groeneveld from Pretoria. The weapons were then transported to Delmas to the Du Plessis' farm.
I was then called to Delmas, upon which I was told that they had weapons in a cupboard, that they were came from Mr Moos. I then gave a directive that we should get rid of them. That was never doubted in the Supreme Court. The person who was responsible for removing those weapons then again said in court that he did not know how to get rid of them and that he then took it to his good friend, my brother’s farm where one of them buried them.
It was two trucks were filled with weapons and like as I have said before, pieces of ammunition. The weapons in most cases were dissembled. There was also ammunition. I then came to my, went to my brother and this person to his farm upon which I agreed that we should not transport it any further and therefore we buried it there. That is the information I have at my disposal. It happened 10 years or more ago. It was a decade. I am therefore not as sure ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: I think it was 1982, it's 17 years ago.
MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL
ADV BOSMAN: I have no questions, thank you Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you.
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: Mr Chairman, may I just at this stage, because I don’t know what the proceedings are going to be like, mention that in all three of these cases there never were any gross human rights violations. If I could just refer back to the tarring and feathering situation again during which an historian was tarred and feathered. I would just like to mention that often, especially with regard to the statement being read here yesterday, quite often people stand outside of politics in a specific career, but because of their knowledge and the opportunity play a large political role and could move political thinking in a certain direction. Churches do the same as well as historians. Professor Heyns, because of standpoints he took, gave a specific direction to politics and played a large role to the extent that everything points to the fact that it was political activists who also killed the professor.
I would like to mention those two cases and I would immediately like to add that it was not the style of the AWB to, either within the act of politics or those people getting direction in politics, to kill those people or to in any way harm them bodily. The furtherest the movement went in our case was to tar and feather the person without there ever being an intention of doing bodily harm to him.
Coming to the Ventersdorp situation, I would also like to have something to say on that. I thank you for your patience Mr Chairman.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Terre’blanche. Then this just leaves us with the Ventersdorp incident. Do you wish to say something now, before I make my ruling on the applications or afterwards? You said you will say something on the Ventersdorp incident.
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: Mr Chairperson, I have just received a piece of information, if you would just allow me to read through it, it won’t take a minute.
Chairperson, no, as regards Ventersdorp, I just want to keep to the standpoint that the intensity in the whole matter was that Mr de Klerk should speak. We wanted him to appear here and to talk. We wanted to put questions to him which we believed would bring him great political embarrassment. We wanted to prove that in places such as Ventersdorp, the rural areas, that he was no longer acceptable.
You will remember that Ventersdorp was then already a seat for the Conservative Party and that he had defeated Deputy Minister Wilkins there in the previous election. We wanted to challenge Mr de Klerk. It was a few of his, some of his promises which he never kept. We had the situation of growing squatter camps in the surrounding areas, but what is most important is that we wanted to destroy him politically in Ventersdorp by giving him a - the fact that we did not trust him in Ventersdorp, that we had lost all confidence in him and that he was no longer acceptable as President and as leader of the country.
I also want to say that, as a result of the arrival of the police and the dogs and the Defence Force and the arrogance which the State President had already dealt with before this situation, before the election, as a result of the media’s constant publication that conflict was looming between the AWB and the State President, the inciting of, the interest that was created and the high octane publicity that it received affected not only the AWB but all members who were not members of the National Party. ...(indistinct) prepared these people spiritually for one or other form of confrontation.
I also want to mention, which I did not mention yesterday and that is that the member of the Assembly of the Conservative Party, Mr Fanie van Vuuren was between the first three of people who walked to the hall where Mr de Klerk was. There were many members from the Conservative Party and other parties and that members of the Conservative Party and members of the AWB had armed themselves with sticks etc., with which to hit the dogs who were set loose upon them. That is true. A situation of war was created by the media.
I also want to emphasise that I did have a letter in which it was said that a delegation would meet Mr Amie Coetzee and General Malan who had come to see them in order to make arrangements that these people would be allowed to ask Mr de Klerk questions. This was at my request and at the request of Mr Rudolph. Unfortunately, I reached, this document reached me very late and on receipt thereof, because I had decided to hold my own meeting at the town hall, Ferdie Hartzenberg and I from the Conservative Party, Ferdie had held his meeting that afternoon already. I don’t know whether he had left Ventersdorp but at seven thirty I decided that I would hold a meeting, which we then did.
However, when the document reached me, that they were prepared to talk, I regarded this as the ideal opportunity and as a breakthrough because I wanted to be in that hall. I think that I was prepared to meet Mr de Klerk politically and by means of arguments to defeat him there. On my way to the hall the masses shouted that the would go with and no-one, as was testified, could prevent these people who were not only from the AWB, from also asking questions. These were very extreme circumstances and then unfortunately the incident took place which I mentioned yesterday and I will reply to any questions that you might still have regarding this matter. I thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. As indicated yesterday there was this application - as indicated earlier, there was this application to have Mr de Klerk subpoenaed. I would like, at this stage, just to make the ruling on that before we proceed with the matter.
R U L I N G
Both the applicants have applied for Mr F W de Klerk, the former State President, to be called as a witness and to testify as a witness in this matter. They have both expressed the belief that the actions taken by Mr de Klerk were the proximate cause of the so-called battle of Ventersdorp, and accordingly that it was he and the members of the forces acting on his behalf who were responsible therefore. They have both stated that Mr de Klerk should be compelled to testify at this hearing so that they may put questions to him and so that he may explain inter alia why he
visited Ventersdorp on the day in question and also to explain the actions of the members of the Security Forces on that day.
Section 29 1(c) of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act number 34 of 1995, that is the Act that establishes the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and which governs the conduct of these proceedings, provides that:
"The Commission made for purposes of the holding of a hearing by notice, in writing, call upon any person to appear before the Commission and to give evidence or to answer questions relevant to the subject matter of the hearing."
It is clear from this that the decision to subpoena a person to testify at a hearing rests entirely with the Commission. Before such a decision is taken this Committee must be satisfied that it is both essential and necessary for such person to testify in order to enable it to arrive at a just decision in regard to the granting or refusal of amnesty.
We, after consideration of the information placed before us, including the submissions of the applicants and the written applications, are of the view that the evidence of Mr de Klerk would not be essential and necessary in order to enable us to arrive at a just decision in this matter.
Our duty is to determine whether the applicants have satisfied the criteria set out in the aforesaid Act for the granting of amnesty, namely that the acts committed by them were acts associated with a political objective as defined in the Act. That they have made a full disclosure of their own participation and that their applications comply with the requirements of the Act. We are satisfied that such a determination will be able to be arrived at without the testimony of Mr de Klerk.
In deciding whether the above criteria have been satisfied, it will not be necessary to establish which side involved in the conflict was guilty of causing the conflict. This is not an investigation into the causes of the Battle of Ventersdorp but is an amnesty application of the two applicants. The applicants will neither be prejudiced nor compromised in the absence of the testimony of Mr de Klerk.
We accordingly rule that the application to have Mr de Klerk subpoenaed as a witness in this matter be REFUSED.
We have been informed that Mr de Klerk did receive notification in terms of Section 19 4 of the Act, and that he was informed of his rights to attend this hearing and to adduce evidence if he so desires. Obviously he has elected not to attend or to adduce evidence. So that is the ruling.
I would just like to stress that this ruling in no way prejudices your applications at all. We just want to hear the role that the two of you played in the conflict and are just looking forward to a full disclosure and we feel that, with regard to the third criteria, namely that your applications comply with the requirements of the Act, that has already been fulfilled. That is a technical matter relating to the submission of your application, the completion of them, times etc., and they are in order, so it is just a question of the political objective and full disclosure. And as I have said, we are of the view that we don’t have to hear the evidence of the former State President, to determine whether you participated with a political objective and whether or not you've have made a full disclosure. In this regard, it is not necessary for us to make a finding of what was the cause of the battle, who was the guilty side in the battle etc. I hope you understand that.
So, I think then if we can then proceed with what actually happened on the day in question and what the roles were that you played in that so-called battle. I think, in this regard - I don’t know if you still want Mr Rudolph to commence with the testimony as you indicated earlier, and then we will continue with the testimony of Mr Terre’blanche.
Mr Rudolph, I would just like to remind you as well that you are still under your former declaration to tell the truth and then if you could just tell us what happened on the day in question and particularly the part that you played in it.
P J RUDOLPH: (s.u.c.)
Thank you Your Honour, I abide by your decision. As a lay person who is not familiar with the law but as somebody having a great interest in that, I thought in their definition of the total disclosure, to get Mr de Klerk here, I abide by your decision. Nevertheless, I have considered to withdraw my application so that you would then have to deal with the situation regarding Ventersdorp. After a quick consultation it was his decision. I appreciate that, that I then also will proceed with my application. May I then proceed?
I would just like to say to you that you are going to have to accept that in the idiom of the total disclosure it is a fairly long process and I am going to have to get certain exhibits to you. The fact that I am going to read it should perhaps make things a little quicker.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I think before you start, Mr Rudolph, if I could ask my secretary to be on hand to make photocopies of those when you've finished reading them so that they don’t get mislaid somewhere along the line. Thank you. Yes, Mr Rudolph, you may commence.
Sorry, Mr Rudolph, if I could just speak to my secretary quickly. Yes, Mr Rudolph?
MR RUDOLPH: Your Honour, in the first instance I am going to tell you about a part of my application, as I called it then the application for amnesty. I am going to give you the background and the reasons, the political events and the events at Ventersdorp.
When I read this to you, I will attempt to do this in the third person rather than the first person. I am going to read this and if I speak about the applicant I am referring to myself.
At that stage the applicant was 58 years old, Afrikaans-speaking and residing at Plot 25, Wildebeeshoek, Dewild. The application is the founder of the Order of the Boerevolk movement which is therefore the reinstatement of the two Boer Republics as it existed in 1902, before Great Britain took over. Under the ...(indistinct) of the movement the applicant was involved in the incidents of political ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Rudolph, could you please go a bit slower, Mr Rudolph, it's is very difficult for the interpreter.
MR RUDOLPH: Must I start from the beginning?
CHAIRPERSON: You can continue.
"The raising of the Transvaal "Vierkleur" at the, and the bomb attack at Melrose House in Pretoria where the Peace of Vereeniging was concluded in 1902. On this terrain the Vierkleur was raised as well. As a result of this and other attacks, the applicant on the 17th of September 1990, was arrested and charged with the theft of weapons, sabotage and other offences.
With the agreement between the then government and the ANC, the applicant was also set free on the 18th of March 1991. After his release, the applicant had a post as Secretary-General at the AWB. In that capacity he became involved in the events at Ventersdorp for which he is now requesting amnesty.
The political objectives was that in order to achieve political stability, the reinstatement of the former Boer Republics as sovereign independent countries within Southern Africa, to be acknowledged as such. The African’s further viewpoint was that the independence of the Boer Republics could be achieved in two ways, namely by negotiating and by fighting for it. The previous applicant pledged himself to the negotiation process and this was still his point of departure.
With this point of departure, the applicant and others, during August 1991, they decided to attend the public political meeting of the former State President, Mr FW de Klerk at Ventersdorp and to put questions to him regarding the independence of the Boer Republics' political prisoners who were still in prison and who are still there, squatters on Boer land which was a matter of actual importance and interest at Ventersdorp at that stage.
It has to be noted that at the time of the Ventersdorp event he was a resident of Ventersdorp."
CHAIRPERSON: You said that you decided to attend a public meeting of the State President, was the meeting advertised as a public meeting?
MR RUDOLPH: Your Honour, I am not following you. What advertisement are you referring to, our attendance there or what?
CHAIRPERSON: No, you said - I just want to get this matter cleared up, you said that in August 1991 you decided to attend a public meeting of the State President, which was to be held in Ventersdorp. Now we have also heard earlier that that meeting was then said to be a meeting just for members of the National Party etc. Now this question of whether it was a public meeting or a closed meeting for a limited class of persons, namely members of the party, you have said it was a public meeting, why do you say it was a public meeting, was it advertised as such? This is all I just want to know at this stage.
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, the meeting was advertised as a public meeting. It was advertised by means of placards and posters on the lamp posts. Posters were placed on notice boards and even in the media.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, you may continue.
"With the visit of Mr de Klerk to Ventersdorp, tension was brought about and there was great interest, not only about Mr de Klerk’s address but also regarding the standpoint of the so-called right-wingers regarding an incident regarding squatters at Goedgevonden, in which some Boers were shot at and some were injured.
Secondly, discussions between the government and members of the black liberation movements, which had reached a critical stage. It was then already clear that these changes, or that the changes would not leave South Africa unchanged. Seen against that background the AWB decided to go to Mr de Klerk’s meeting with the objective of putting the demands of the Boere people. Media speculation and public interest created a climate for confrontation.
On the 8th of August 1991 -(excuse me for a moment, I want to make sure about a point. Thank you, Your Honour. I am not sure but in my application it says the 8th of August 1991). Late the afternoon a message was received by the applicant personally that a cabinet minister would address members of the AWB, with the objective of allowing them admission to the meeting. The applicant conveyed the message to the leader of the AWB. (And just allow me to tell you that Mr Terre’blanche was away at that moment and that that message was only conveyed to him quite late. We will refer to that later again).
As a result of that, a march took place to the hall where the meeting was to be held and a confrontation with the police, which opposed the invitation to speak to the Cabinet Minister. The applicant tried to get past a police cordon but was arrested at the hall where the meeting took place and held in a police van until he was charged later that evening.
Although there was a shooting incident and people were killed, the magistrate found that the applicant had already been arrested and therefore could not have had any part in the events.
With that I want to tell you that my involvement or responsibility, that I am not trying to get away from my responsibility with that statement. The applicant was charged with conspiracy and public violence and found guilty. The crime which the applicant was found guilty of which the applicant still denies was a crime had political objectives and was the main reason for the application for amnesty.
The applicant appealed against the sentence because reconsideration did not exist. The applicant keeps to his conviction that he had a meeting with the Cabinet Minister and was illegally prevented by the former SAP to attend this meeting. The appeal has since been rejected."
At the hearing, Your Honour, I used, made use of my right to give an explanation to the court. As I had said that I was not guilty, I will use my civil right to explain this to the court. And at this stage I also want to say to you that perhaps it is not in such legal terms as preferable but this is the attempt of a lay person. If the charge sheet includes a crime then the person who has incited the crime is absent at this hearing. His name is FW de Klerk.
If I was involved in anything which is referred to as common purpose on the charge sheet, then that purpose was to appeal for a place in the sun for my people and my religion and for the reinstatement of my peoples' freedom on the land which was taken from our forefathers by Britain. Such action I do not regard as illegal, even less so that it was done with criminal intentions.
If I had a common purpose with anyone, then it was not to commit a crime, but in order to protect our people against the criminality of the government, led by its chief leader who used the police illegally to further its political purpose and objective, namely the destruction of any opposition against its policy of abdication. Mr de Klerk’s purpose and objective was so big that he did not want to allow any political opponents at his meetings but he was prepared to have his own people killed in the streets and he directly or indirectly gave such an instruction.
To anyone who has the experience of the Goedgevonden incident in Ventersdorp and what happened in Ventersdorp before this and who shares in this experience, it should have been clear that Mr de Klerk has before him too, Jan Smuts, will have no doubt to have his people, people who oppose him, to have been killed.
In opposition to this I tried to warn and tried to take precautions by suggesting specific action. The public life sets high demands to those who are called to act on behalf of a cause. Those demands require personal safety, position and status to be placed on the alter of the nation. One cannot say that you are a leader and then doubt when the struggle, when faced with the struggle.
When one is in the position of leadership and when not only the honour of your people but also its continued existence is being threatened and you are moving to a place where you have to act on behalf of your people and your religion, where you have a meeting, not only with a Cabinet Minister, but also with the future of your people, you do not allow yourself to be interrupted by misleading ... (end of tape) ... for the continued existence sets a high price.
Therefore, I could not disrupt public calm. I am a registered voter in the constituency of Ventersdorp - at that stage I was. At the time of the event I was an inhabitant of Ventersdorp. During my stay in Ventersdorp, the town was, had peace and calm while I was present there, which was most of the time. FW de Klerk is not a registered voter in the constituency of Ventersdorp, nor was he a resident of Ventersdorp.
During his visit to the town, accompanied by a large contingency of policemen, there was no peace and calm in the town. The unrest is then therefore clearly to be placed in front of his door than in front of mine. I did not disrupt the members of the community. As a matter of fact, if the history of this time is one day seen in perspective, it can be said of me that I protected those specific rights.
I am not the one who did not acknowledge the rights of the members of the community by refusing them attendance to the public meeting. I was not the one who denied the rights of the public community by trying to prevent them by means of violence, from keeping a meeting with Minister Amie Venter in front of the town hall. I was not the one who made, who disrupted the lives of the people of the community by placing barbed wire there and using police dogs to attack them. In this regard it would have been much more suitable to use the commander of the SAP during the Ventersdorp incident and to call him before court.
I did not affect the authority of the South African Police. The SAP has no other authority than to restore and to maintain law and order. It does not fall within that authority to erect barbed wire, use teargas, bullets and vicious dogs and to take a stand against people who, for peaceful reasons, want to state a civil case. Such action is tyranny at the highest level and it calls against, it shouts against everything that is democratic and civilised and such a State deserves absolutely no continued existence and I am very glad that that State has been destroyed.
What is said to me in this statement is therefore not true at all. If the State is to say that it is a crime that it is a - to fight for the survival of the Boer people and to be counted for those people and stand up for them, it is proof of only one thing which is that that State is rotten in its core.
With regard to the charge sheet, the following: I did nothing which could substantiate me firing at the police with a firearm. During the incident I did have a firearm on me but I never fired at anything or anybody, not even when I was provoked twice and I was assaulted by the police.
I did not fire with a firearm at members of the public, I did not fire at anybody or anything, but I do know that members of the South African Police did fire at members of the general public and some of the members of the public were shot dead by the South African Police. So in this matter the court implicated the wrong person.
I did not assault members of the general public, on the contrary, I can say that members of the general public during this incident were assaulted by members of the South African Police. In fact I myself am one of the members of the general public who was assaulted by the South African Police. I still bear the consequences of that in that since this incident I suffer from headaches and my right arm was injured. I have not assaulted members of the South African Police.
Also with regard to this charge, the wrong person again is in the, is being accused. They have attacked me, I have not attacked them. I honestly must tell you I cannot understand why the investigating officer wants to prosecute me. I never - I find it senseless to fight vehicles in any way. I haven't damaged property. I did not want to break through a police cordon. In my official capacity as Secretary General at the time I had an appointment to meet Mr Amie Venter in front of the hall.
Any person who wants to avoid a member of the public to make an appointment, is acting irregularly. I see the police cordon as nothing but an infringement on my right as a member of the public. I haven’t in any way damaged police dogs. I have the right to protect myself if somebody instigates a vicious dog to attack me.
I deny that I have worked together with anybody to commit a crime. In the Ventersdorp episode I did see signs of conspiracy but on the side of Mr de Klerk and the South African Police and on their side Mr de Klerk, the South African Police, the South African Defence Force without conspiracy taking place beforehand, we would not have a very unpopular political personality. A Police Force with barbed wire, an armed Police Force with infantry and vehicles, we would not have that simultaneously at the same place. I am not guilty of an offence as is being made out in terms of Section 3. I was on my way to the meeting of one FW de Klerk, to exercise my civilian right and responsibility and I also had an appointment to meet a Cabinet Minister in front of the hall.
Despite the efforts of the police not to allow me to my right I did move up to the hall where I was assaulted for a second time by the police. I was not allowed to attend the meeting, I was arrested and I was illegally detained.
I am, as I have already said, a registered voter in the Ventersdorp constituency and at the time I was living in Ventersdorp. I have a democratic right to attend a meeting as a leader of a registered political party and to listen to the abdicating State President. Mr de Klerk was at Ventersdorp in his capacity as State President and if that was not the case I would have liked to have questioned him about that if the State was to call him as witness.
Your Honour, could I then at this stage just ask, there are certain exhibits then which will not be relevant. I would nevertheless like to hand in the document so that you could then later use it or do you expect me to rather go through the total document?
CHAIRPERSON: No, Mr Rudolph, it will be fine if it could be handed in as an exhibit and we will certainly read the rest of the document. So I think if we can just arrange for a copy to be made then that will be, I think it’s Exhibit F. That document will be Exhibit F.
MR RUDOLPH: Thank you very much Your Honour.
I would just like to say to you that you are going to have to take into consideration that this incident, Ventersdorp took place over a period of many days and weeks. There were 28 volumes of the court information. I only brought along my own to work through those, but even that one is a hefty volume. I do not want to waste your time, neither would I like to waste my colleague’s time. I am therefore a little at sea and I don’t know whether I should go through the entire document, but I don’t want anything to go astray.
CHAIRPERSON: I don't think it will be necessary to go through 28 volumes of a document, we have got the picture. I'm sure my colleagues on the Panel have a picture now of what occurred, of what the issues were, of how the people felt, certainly the people that were members of your organisation felt, and it won’t be necessary for us in this forum to have the complete knowledge of every single small incident that may have occurred over that period of time leading up to it.
I think you have left us with the impression that it was certainly a political meeting that was to take place and that you were to attend the meeting in your capacity as political people.
I wonder if this might not be a convenient time to take a short tea adjournment. I see that it is 11 o’clock. We’ll take a short tea adjournment for 20 minutes and then resume after tea and then you can carry on with whatever you want to see after tea. Thank you, we will take a short tea adjournment now.
MS PATEL: Will everyone please rise.
P J RUDOLPH: (s.u.c.)
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Rudolph, you may continue.
MR RUDOLPH: Thank you, Chairperson.
Mr Chairperson, in terms of the information that these documents are in your possession and that volumes are available, I thought to perhaps cut out some of these and only concentrate on those that are important to me. If I have to approach some of them, concentrate on some of them, you can give me an indication. I would just like to say to you and mention certain ideas with regard to the trial where I gave evidence.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Mr Rudolph, that approach would be fine. If at the end of your evidence, there is any matter or aspect that we would like clarification on we will ask you questions, so you don’t have to worry about not covering every single aspect. If there is any aspect that isn’t covered that we feel we should know, we will ask a question from you, so in that way we will ensure that at the end of your testimony we would have received the information that we require.
MR RUDOLPH: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Chairperson, after we were found guilty in the magistrate’s court in Potchefstroom, as was the case in courts, we were given the opportunity to give evidence in mitigation. I then used that opportunity. I am just quickly going to briefly mention a few things from that evidence in mitigation in my plea.
I told the magistrate who was responsible for the hearing that in this case the police action played a very important role to the extent that you should also give a verdict on that. We gave our reasons for these in public and you also found it necessary not to emphasise what happened at the police station. It was the afternoon at Ventersdorp prior to the meeting during which we tried to get the police to arrange for the charges. If the, during the, if you were present at that meeting that afternoon - may I read a little faster now? I do not hear the interpreter.
CHAIRPERSON: He indicates ja.
MR RUDOLPH: Thank you very much. I would like to say to you, if the afternoon before the meeting of the, - was present, you would have seen the person who gave evidence before you, General Malan, and in which you gave a verdict and I have no problem with that. I believe that General Malan should have made a good impression on the court, but it was placed on record that there was tension between myself and General Malan. And I respectfully submit that if you were present that afternoon, you would also have come to the conclusion to which I came, that General Malan and his people, because they wanted to fight, were prepared to treat people very badly to say the least of it.
I have seen the glowing of war in his eyes. You saw him at the coals of the burnt out fire, and it was astounding if one looked at the role of the police that old friends such as Brigadier Scholtz and those people who were house, friends moved past one another in order to contact one another telephonically while it could have been sorted out in a different way if we were prepared to look one another in the eye. I refer to this Your Honour because you have that document in your possession.
I expected Brigadier Scholtz to at least - because he was a friend of Mr Terre’blanche, I thought that he would go to trouble to go to Mr Terre’blanche’s house. He was well known to us, he wouldn’t have been an enemy. I would like to tell you Your Honour that if in the process I bent over backwards to - when Brigadier Scholtz gave me the message, to be more accommodating instead of telling him that I could not get hold of Mr Terre’blanche and it was water under the bridge, that whole incident could have had a different course.
I think then that I have done my duty as the Secretary General of the AWB. I haven’t done it properly when I haven’t tried to get hold of Mr Terre’blanche. That however is water under the bridge, but in front of the post office in Ventersdorp I knew that the police became those people in the hands of the people who referred to that voice of the people, but they did not realise that it was a symphony of freedom and the ringing out of gunshots would ... Long ago other people also wanted to hear the voice of black nationalists and today that voice speaks louder and, Your Honour, one of these days it will be the voice of the government. That is what I said in court.
In Ventersdorp I was under the leadership of the AWB and then I further said about this matter, Your Honour, never the situation with regard to our nation was darker. We had lost our freedom for the second time in an exhausting war. We have lost so many people in the union. We became a member of the - however it didn’t make an end to that war, the Republic of South Africa would also be in the same situation. That Republic didn’t bring freedom, in fact it only brought about further problems. A late ...(indistinct) Premier and State President Mr Vorster, during the war, was arrested and held by a government who regarded him as somebody they did not need but he became the Minister of Justice when his people again put the Mandelas and Sisulus in jail.
Today those same people are getting ready to become the government of tomorrow. Our road is a road of struggle. I mentioned these dangers to the court in order to demonstrate that the law plays an important role in the development of a nation. People standing today in court may tomorrow have power in their hands. In other words what is going wrong today could be correct tomorrow, what is right today could be proved wrong tomorrow.
In saying this, I do not want to say that you should not proceed in doing your duty. What I do tell you is that if you look at the community’s interests, you should also take into consideration that it is fluid and in our case that there is division. I also tell you this because I asked you before that when you listen to all these, you should not look at it as though we are ordinary criminals in order to murder people, rape people. In fact the same motivation was the motivation which motivated people here and internationally to the position of coming into power.
The fact that the government refused to speak to its opponents does not make that but a heavy penalty cannot silence you. In my time I could tell my political enemies behind the walls of the jail, your ideals grow even further and it becomes larger in life and therefore you don’t have to look at me. The best example is Mr Nelson Mandela.
The meeting at Ventersdorp which caused this was a meeting that was held by the State President. If people worried about the course of things, there was no better man than the State President to allay those fears. Prior to that there were problems with the squatters at Goedgevonden, squatters who took the land of the Boers because they were being threatened and they became the minority in their own country. The only place in the world where there is a comparative example is in Palestine, where the Jews came in and the result was that to this day there is not peace there.
In such a situation, no peace is possible neither in Palestine nor in Transvaal. A problem that needs to be solved is the position of the Boer nation in South Africa. The government is speaking to the ANC and even minority parties with regard to a new dispensation and it is being pretended as if the Boers do not exist and as if it doesn’t matter. I want to say categorically that I experience among the whites that there are more people supporting the Boer State than communists supporting Joe Slovo, but he is in Kempton Park as an important negotiator while the Boers want freedom.
The day will dawn that these walls will also be evidence that there were farmers or Boers who tried very hard to bring about freedom. A place where it should be done was in Potchefstroom, but Ventersdorp in the commando hall, it wanted to stop the State President and with the role name of Rex, they wanted to keep their opponents away.
In the case of Mr de Klerk, it was Rex vs the Truth. Mr de Klerk had to seek refuge in a Casspir. He didn’t - another matter that needs to be solved are those Boers in the, on death row. Mr de Klerk was at Ventersdorp during the darkest crisis in our nation’s history, when all of us doubted where the road would take us to. He preferred not to allay those fears. It wasn’t allayed. We will see it again and it will be even worse that Ventersdorp but for that Mr de Klerk has to stand farther. The fact that I am not a member of the AWB does not mean that I have stopped my fight.
And then I would quickly like to refer to another document which I held at Mr Cyrus Vance who is not of importance here. I further said in desperation, I had to correspond with the ANC. In this regard I also sent a letter to Mr Mandela as an indication of the fact that I wanted rather to talk instead of to shoot. I couldn’t speak to Mr de Klerk but because of the temporary situation with regard to Mr de Klerk I would rather speak to Mr Mandela, which is an indication of my approach.
Then Your Honour, I also said in that court, as I have done yesterday, and I would just like to repeat it quickly. In conclusion, I would like to quote quickly with regard to the flame in my chest, paining in my chest, so that you can know that it is not only in my chest but also in the hearts of other people. We are part of history. We are part and witnesses of this and if I know you would understand it. I would like to quote from a court case which took place in 1962, in October which was the Rivonia trial of the current State President on 22 October 1962, and in that Mr Mandela said:
"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."
The same could be said about the Boer people. He further says:
"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 are always moved by their conscience."
I then concluded by saying, Your Honour, the ANC’s fight was a fight against apartheid, against a social order in order to gain the vote. My fight and that of the AWB is a fight to put right the problem at Vereeniging. That will always burn in my heart no matter what I am being sentenced. It cannot stop it. I thank you. That is what I said there Your Honour.
I would like to conclude with that and I would like to conclude by telling you that what we have done here, at least I and I also know my colleague here next to me did the same, was to say to you that there is not a difference between the fight of the Boers and that of the other people in front of us, which took us to Ventersdorp was the freedom of the Boer nation and the Boer people. That will stay alive. And if I told you that I do not recognise the current government, Your Honour, I would also like to say to you in the same breath that the previous government for the same reason was not acknowledged by me. I thought that we could perhaps in all honesty tell you what motivates us and like my good friend here told you yesterday, I stand here for one simple reason and that is that I would like to clear my record.
I am not a criminal, I never was one, but if I am being regarded as a criminal when I pleaded for my nation, then it is a crime. And my people - if I go to bed at night I tell myself it was not I who shot people dead and killed people, it wasn’t me who caused people to be bitten by dogs. It wasn’t me who tried to belittle the fight of the Boer people and to intimidate those activists. I thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Rudolph.
Mr Terre’blanche, do you have any questions that you would like to ask Mr Rudolph, not to give evidence now, but if there are any questions you would like to ask him in your capacity as a co-applicant?
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: Mr Chairman, thank you very much. I don’t want to put questions to Mr Rudolph, I also do not want to give evidence. The evidence of Mr Rudolph is proof at least and
that is that this matter was politically driven. For your information I would also like to mention, Mr Rudolph, for the past half decade is no member of the AWB and that is evidence was done in all honesty.
I am grateful that on both sides, there is supportive evidence that wasn’t changed by legal advisors and nothing was said prior to this and that it is a great privilege for me to my dignity, to see the truth and the relevance of that of a person who is no member of my party
In conclusion, I would just like to say, like Mr Rudolph, that night I did not shoot anybody. In fact my weapon was in a briefcase with my documents. That was my briefing order to ask Mr de Klerk questions. I did not have any weapons on me.
What happened that night, the AWB was not responsible for. The AWB tried to prevent - because we were prevented from going to that meeting, people were killed by order of De la Roosa who misused the police in order for political gains. In future, this should never happen again, that people in senior positions, when they want to promote their own political motives, use the State machinery and our security forces in order to build their political image and even go so far as to endanger peoples’ lives.
In conclusion then, neither Mr Rudolph nor myself could get any political gain - sorry, financial gain from this and that there was no motivation about personal hate and revenge in any way. It was politically motivated and that in the end we have been convicted as criminals, without having the privileges of the criminal where they could at least enrich either one. We did not assault people who we have been cross with or wanted to do that. We did not even have that satisfaction of somebody who assaulted somebody else because he proved himself as being in a superior position.
I leave this case in your hands. And I would like to associate myself with Mr Rudolph when he said that it stays the ideal, it is the right of each individual and it is the right of a nation to fight for him, for that nation. I thank you for your patience and I hope that the mere fact that we who have been regarded as the far rights - and I have been, it has been mentioned that I was somebody with his colleagues, that we actually, and his cronies.
In the other two cases for which I am applying as well, it was never a situation of white against black or an effort to promote Mr de Klerk or his government. I suppose you have been confronted in the first opportunity here that it was about real Boers, Christians who fought against a watered down compromising government, which once again has been proved in this matter. They used the South African Police and the South African Defence Force to save themselves whilst they could not come up with a political solution and never went to the nation or the other nations and opposition who were living with them in the same country.
This was politically motivated without any serious human rights violations. And we belong to the Boer nation which was through the Covenant of Blood River, in which we confirmed that we are bound to the God of our fathers. I thank you Chairman and Judges, thank you very much.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Terre'blanche.
Ms Patel, do you have any questions to ask Mr Rudolph?
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS PATEL: Yes, I do, thank you Honourable Chairman.
Mr Rudolph, just a couple of clarifying questions. Testimony was given at the trial that there was a meeting held by the AWB on the 6th of August 1991, in which certain discussions were had and proposals were made in terms of the planning around how Mr de Klerk’s meeting was going to be dealt with, were you present at that meeting of the 6th, can you recall?
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, Your Honour, I was present there.
MS PATEL: Okay, could you briefly just for the sake of giving us the full picture of what had in fact occurred during those few days, could you tell us briefly what the discussions were about and what decisions, if any, were made by the AWB at that meeting.
MR RUDOLPH: Your Honour, that meeting to which the State is referring to now was a meeting which was called by Mr Terre’blanche in which he told the secretary of the organisation to also tell me to attend that meeting. As it is custom in the, customary in the political set up that meeting should take place in order to discuss that meeting with regard to Mr de Klerk’s visit and to do planning.
I must tell you, Your Honour, that that was in August. On the 18th of March I was freed and released after a hunger strike of 30 days. I had stomach problems and from time to time I could not attend those meetings. It was a long time ago, but I do recall that amongst other things, matters were discussed, those matters which should be asked of Mr de Klerk if we could get access and how that access should be negotiated. There was also the possibility being mentioned because we knew the National Party would use the police and how they went about things, that we foresaw problems and how to combat those problems.
I know that a lot was said about the fact that the AWB had a first aid tent and equipped it. Your Honour, prior to the Ventersdorp situation shots were fired at farmers at Goedgevonden and people were injured, but it was a practice over a number of years of the AWB to, during such meetings, have an emergency tent because we had people who handled weapons and knopkierries and batons that was planned there because that meeting at a stage had to be rounded off where I was not present. It was to be discussed how Mr de Klerk’s visit should be handled.
One thing is for certain and that is that the leader insisted that we, unlike the other parties, should not prevent Mr de Klerk from having his meeting, that we would allow him to have his meeting and then give him a motion of no confidence. I hope that is an answer to your question Ms Patel.
MS PATEL: Yes, thank you, Mr Rudolph. Can I just ask you, at that meeting was a decision taken that members of the AWB would have to arm themselves with firearms as well? - besides your normal knopkierries and batons whatever.
MR RUDOLPH: Your Honour, I would just like to say to you that the evening of that meeting there were many people present. Not all those present were AWB’s and if there were some there who came there with knopkierries or as night guards that was them. What happened there was that we lived in times of turmoil, worse than today and people had to travel long distance with weapons. If you left your weapons at home and it got stolen, you had problems, if you left it in your car and it was stolen, you had problems, and there was a question as to whether people would be allowed to bring along their weapons. Mr Terre’blanche insisted then that if weapons were being brought there, they should be licensed weapons because we accepted that the police would have blockades along the road. That was the reason for the presence of the weapons there.
I would like to say to you, however, even if you were to count all those weapons and put them together that appears in the court case as well and you were to look at the evidence of General Malan and then later at the summary of the magistrate, you would see that there was an arsenal brought by the police to Ventersdorp. And if a brief were to be given that weapons were to be brought along and it is understood from that that people had prepared themselves to use those, I would like to say to you that the evening at Ventersdorp the leader of the AWB, chief leader, because there were more leaders, but the chief leader of the AWB actually man alone went out to the streets when shots rang out and he said: "for heavens’ sake do not shoot". For any reasonable person who could deduce from that that the AWB went to that meeting to shoot I would like to say to you that the AWB proved them wrong.
CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry, Ms Patel.
Mr Rudolph, could you just give us an idea of the numbers? At the time the conflict broke out, approximately how many members and supporters were there of the AWB on the one hand and approximately what were the numbers of the Security Force members and others on the other side of the conflict?
MR RUDOLPH: Regarding the security forces, there were more than 1000 men who were brought there with Ratels and who were all armed. I have the figure here. If you will allow me I will provide you with the details at a later stage. As regards the other people, the people who did not agree with Mr de Klerk, in that week arrangements also made by the Conservative Party and the Farmers’ Crisis Action and Dr Ferdie Hartzenberg then had a meeting of the Conservative Party before Mr Terre’blanche at the town hall. So there were many people, it was not just AWB people on the whole, but when we walked there were a whole number of people but the people marched together with the AWB with the expectation of gaining access to the hall because that was the impression that Mr Terre’blanche was supposed to leave them with after I had told him that there had been an invitation to meet with and to speak to Mr Armie Venter regarding access to the hall.
I just want to say further that the AWB people were there in uniform or most of them were in uniform and I think that we accepted responsibility for those people. The fact that some of the people who were killed, who had been wearing khaki clothes and who did not wear the signs of the AWB, should serve as an indication of who could all have been present. There was also of course the other situation. There was one policeman who testified in court that he had been clothed in khaki clothes and that he mixed with the people there. So how many agents provocateurs there were present, I cannot tell you.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. Ms Patel?
MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson. For the record, if one looks at page 220 of the bundle, the number of police that was estimated at the time of the trial, was in fact 900, and there is also a list on page 220 onwards as to the amount of weapons that they had in their possession from the Security Forces' side.
There was also an allegation, Mr Rudolph, at the trial that members not only from the AWB but from the group of marches had teargas in their possession and had in fact hurled it at the police, could you perhaps comment on that?
MR RUDOLPH: I would like to say that I was right in front with the leader when we walked down and were confronted by the dogs. There were many people gathered together. Yesterday I told you that it was just a wonder that we weren’t killed there. There were people who were armed with cans of doom and teargas and I think that what really saved us there was that there were people from the back who also started throwing teargas, whether it was the police or opponents, I cannot tell you, but that teargas did not only, was not only spread over us but on the police as well, which resulted in the fact that the police and the demonstrators actually all got confused and got mixed up because on the roof of the hotel policemen were seen with guns and my information from our sources was that these were sharpshooters which police had there, but that teargas was thrown and by the public as well, that is true.
MS PATEL: Just finally, the question of the lights in the town having been switched off, can you enlighten us on how that had occurred, did you have any knowledge of that power? Was that planned by you or was it just somebody who did it on his own? Can you just briefly enlighten us please.
MR RUDOLPH: I am not an electrical engineer but I do understand how electricity works. Allow me then to just start at the beginning. At the offices of the AWB, there was a person, a certain Mr Stoekie. In the court case Mr Stoekie alleged that a discussion between the leader and another leader was heard regarding the lights which had to be switched off.
I personally was confronted regarding a discussion six months later when a reporter asked me how I saw the struggle of the Boer people in future and I said that we would have to do it not from the public stage but under cover of darkness as liberation fighters do it throughout the world. This was held against me in the court case that I was supposed to have put off the lights. I know nothing about putting off the lights, but the man who said that he was an enemy of Mr Terre’blanche and he heard him talk to another member regarding putting off the lights, was as far as I know also an informer of the South African Police, because what had happened was that the police went to the power station and waited there for people, but as fate would have it a funeral procession from the Transkei passed by at that specific moment when the struggle was erupting and they entered Ventersdorp and when they saw these masses of white people - because you know this is the problem we have in South Africa, I hope this will disappear that white people are afraid of black people and black people are afraid of white people, and when these poor people entered Ventersdorp and they saw these masses of white people, then one of these taxis drove into a power box. At one stage - the police were there at that stage and Mr Terre’blanche, accused number one, went there to see if he could rectify it and see why the lights were off, but that this fuse box had been knocked over and resulted in an electrical power failure. He was unaware of this and while he was there he was found there by policemen who asked him what he was doing there and in the process arrested him.
So, if there was a calculated attempt at putting the lights off I cannot tell you, but I can tell you that there were circumstances which indicate that the knocking down of the fuse box could have been the cause of the short-circuit or power failure.
I can also just explain that the person who worked at the office, Mr Stoekie, was also the man, the first witness who was called by the State as an accomplice, and he testified before the magistrate in that hearing that I wanted to shoot down the helicopter of Mr F W de Klerk and that the meeting had stopped me from doing this. While General Malan who was not in favour of me testified that no-one could have known that Mr de Klerk, that evening at Ventersdorp, would have arrived there in a helicopter. I am just telling this to show to you as to what the attitude was of people that evening at Ventersdorp.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Patel?
MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson. If you would just grant me a moment I think there is just one other point, one final point that I wanted to raise.
ADV SANDI: Sorry, Ms Patel, if I can just ask Mr Rudolph something whilst you're paging through your paper.
Mr Rudolph you mentioned something about people who were coming from a funeral in the Transkei, was there a clash, any conflict between your group and these people who were trying to go past here, what happened?
MR RUDOLPH: Commissioner, the situation or my situation rather, was when that incident took place I had already been arrested. So what I am now telling you is total here say, but what happened is that these people were on the way from the Transkei, with a corpse to a funeral and these masses of people, it was not near the hall where we were, they drove into them and in the process a person was knocked down and that person later died as a result of his injuries and this sparked the conflict in that process and that is how the fuse or distributor box was knocked down in the process. It was not done on purpose. I do not think that these people wanted to injure anybody but at seven thirty on a winter’s evening in a small town, I can just imagine that if you are in that state of mind, you are on your way to a funeral, you are a black man and you enter a town where there are signs of teargas, then I would have said that I would have been worried myself. As regards the confrontation, I cannot be of much assistance.
CHAIRPERSON: Ms Patel?
MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson. If I may just confirm the applicant’s version that he was in fact arrested before the shooting in the subsequent accidents in which people had died had taken place, that that is in fact so that he was in fact arrested almost at the very start of this incident. I just can’t find however the ...
CHAIRPERSON: I will ask Advocate Bosman if she wants questions, you carry on looking and if you find what you want to ask you can do so later.
Advocate Bosman, do you have any questions you would like to ask Mr Rudolph?
ADV BOSMAN: Mr Chairperson if I could just confer with you for a minute I know I ...
MACHINE SWITCHED OFF
ADV BOSMAN: Mr Rudolph, if this Committee should afford you or grant you amnesty, then we must identify the different victims of this incident. Can I ask you to page to page 113 and 114 and then ask you whether you are able to tell us which of these victims are known to you and what their affiliation was on this specific evening. I am not asking whether you knew them well personally, but whether you can identify them as belonging to a specific group.
MR RUDOLPH: Commissioner, I must say to you that I was given information during this hearing. Not one of the people was known to me. Perhaps Mr Terre’blanche can be of more assistance, but I do want to say that not one of these members or one of these people were members. I am now firstly referring to page 113. Those people, Messrs Badenhorst, Conradie and Koen are known to me as members of the AWB. These were right-wingers, they were supporters of political parties etc. On page 114 the persons who were injured testified in court and I heard about the injuries. I do not know any of them. My own name appears there as one who was injured. I won’t take the situation any further.
The other people of the black people who were there and who were injured, many of them did not appear at court, so I did not have the chance to ever listen to them or to know how they had been injured. There were people who had testified in court that they had been thrown, stones had been thrown at them, but I do not know any of them personally. And as I say, I do not know of a single member except for myself who was a member of the AWB and who was injured there.
ADV BOSMAN: Thank you Mr Rudolph, I think you assisted us greatly. Then there are a few things that I want to ask you just for purposes of clarity. Did I understand you correctly that you were aware of the tension that evening?
MR RUDOLPH: You did Commissioner.
ADV BOSMAN: And that you could foresee that there would be a possible conflict.
MR RUDOLPH: Yes, we knew the police and we knew the National Party and these kinds of action. We did envisage this, but the whole week before the meeting there were media statements from the National Party and from other organisations and the letters which came from the Town Council of Ventersdorp and which was sent to the police and the Defence Force in order to defuse this tension, but there was just no stopping it.
ADV BOSMAN: Then in conclusion, Mr Rudolph, I just want to read one paragraph to you from the ruling of the magistrate, and I would appreciate it if you could say whether it is correct or not. It is on page 187 of the bundle which you received from the Committee. It is approximately 10 lines from the bottom and it starts with: "It was decided" - I am going to read it to you.
"It was decided that licensed weapons, arms, would be brought with, that doom insecticide would be used as protection against the dogs, that blankets and coats would be brought to throw over the barbed wire, that plaster of Paris arm protectors would be worn to serve as protection against the dogs and that a first aid post would be established in a flat."
Now I am not trying to set a trap for you. I would just like to know from you whether this is factually correct or not? You do not have to comment.
MR RUDOLPH: It is factually not correct, but perhaps if I do not comment on that I will not be able to inform you properly but the person I am referring to ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: You may comment there.
MR RUDOLPH: Thank you very much. The person who was giving that - who gave that evidence and has been referred to by the magistrate is Mr Stoekie. That is the man who I told you I have good reason to believe was an agent or an informer of the police in the offices of the AWB and who sent out that story about the lights. Regarding Stoekie, the following is the situation. That first aid station which was set up or established in the flat was his responsibility but it was an old arrangement amongst the AWB. The matter of blankets or coats, you know that just as people will not leave their weapons at home they also do not leave their children and in August in the Highveld, I do not know where you come from, but August in the Highveld is extremely cold and this could have been discussed, this matter regarding the blankets and the coats.
As regards the plaster of Paris arm protectors, there was a man who was not a member of the AWB who was charged because he arrived there with arm protectors which he tried to sell amongst these people and for which we had to accept the responsibility and who Mr Terre’blanche neutralised very clearly during the hearing. The doom insecticide had never been discussed.
In my plea I said that I would never have approved the use of Doom because I did not think that Mr de Klerk was an insect who had to be sprayed with Doom.
ADV BOSMAN: Was this intended for the dogs? You would possibly take this analogy further but I would not invite you to do that. Chairperson, that is all.
CHAIRPERSON: Have you found that? If you haven’t, it couldn’t have been too important ...(intervention)
MS PATEL: No, I was just looking for the reference in the transcript that dealt with the questions of the lights being put out and Mr Rudolph’s allegation that in fact a power meter or something was knocked over. I don’t recall that being a part of the evidence that was led, but it doesn’t take it very much further. Thank you Honourable Chairperson.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL
CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Sandi, do you have any questions you would like to ask Mr Rudolph.
ADV SANDI: No, thank you Mr Chairman I haven’t got any questions.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Mr Rudolph, that concludes your testimony.
MR RUDOLPH: May I just, Your Honour, in the end say that yesterday and today I brought you under the impression that I was not in favour of the government. It was not a reference to your expertise and what you are doing. I bend in front of the power of the sword, thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Terre’blanche, is there any further evidence you wish to give in this, regarding this incident?
MR TERRE’BLANCHE: Mr Chairman, no. I would just like to add that the putting off of electricity, in no way could the AWB even in the original court be found guilty of that. The person charged for that was the Chief Electrical Engineer of the City Council of Ventersdorp, and the allegation was made that at a certain stage he would switch it off. That is my knowledge with regard to that. He also had a different defence. The City Council defended him and therefore I don’t think we should apply for amnesty for switching off the electricity. We really did not do that.
CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Rudolph, I should have asked this while you were giving evidence. If I could just ask you one more question please. You mentioned that you were injured and that you suffer from headaches and your right arm was injured. How did that come about, your injury?
MR RUDOLPH: Your Honour, after having passed the blockade and the dogs, I was assaulted by the police with batons and thrown to the ground. I was then manhandled and that caused the injury. I obviously also landed on the ground with my head and probably that is part of the headaches that I have suffered at a stage.
CHAIRPERSON: Do either of the applicants, Mr Rudolph or Mr Terre’blanche, have any intention of calling any witnesses?
MR TERRE'BLANCHE: No Mr Chairman, thank you very much.
CHAIRPERSON: Ms Patel?
MS PATEL: No, I do not intend calling any witnesses, thank you Honourable Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: That then concludes the leading of the evidence in this matter. All that remains at this stage is the making of submissions and then of course later our duty to make a decision.
I wonder if it would be possible to take any early lunch and perhaps then immediately after the lunch we can then start with the submissions and make the submissions you wish to make in regard to your application. Thank you.
We will now take the lunch adjournment and we will resume again in approximately, let’s say, three quarters of an hour's time.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Rudolph are you in a position to make any submissions?
MR RUDOLPH: I haven’t heard you.
CHAIRPERSON: Are you in a position to make any submissions now, are you ready?
MR TERRE'BLANCHE: We are ready, Your Honour.
CHAIRPERSON: You are welcome to sit down.
MR TERRE’BLANCHE IN ARGUMENT: The Honourable Mr Chairman, at the end of this session on my part, my appreciation
for having listened to us and in the spirit in which this application for amnesty and my evidence took place, I would also like to conclude. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to state our case to you. I am also grateful for having been given the opportunity to try to prove to the world outside that we were never criminals in this country, that we never used the laws of the country in order to promote our political motives, but that the acts of the previous government were used to make criminals out of us.
For your information and that of a totally unreliable media, I would like to say that we applied for amnesty in order to prove to our families and our people as well as our nation and our people that we indeed never perpetrated criminal deeds in order to enrich ourselves to in any way support ourselves, to promote ourselves. On the contrary, in these three cases, as far as I am concerned, there was also a lot of humiliation, financial losses were, we had financial losses and that which we have done, we did in the spirit of our conscience and a deep responsibility towards our God. The matters serving before you, we believe qualify for amnesty.
The requirements by your Committee was proved in this Committee. Firstly, certainly there was no proof that the tarring and feathering of Professor van Jaarsveld was not a very strong political motivation, that the mere fact that Professor van Jaarsveld indicated a new direction in his position as Professor of History and which he had to do with the youth, gullible youth and to such an extent he abused the realities of the Covenant that after the attention drawn by the AWB on what was said by him, his text books were even removed from schools.
One thing is sure then, it could never have been a personal attack of revenge and that the AWB acted without substance was indeed proved by Mr van Jaarsveld’s family and their legal advisors, in which they even admitted that the attack on the Vow of my forefathers was done, but also that he indeed was so far from the standpoint of the Boer people that the Security Police approached him about a paper he delivered on communism.
I mention this because that mere fact also supports our political motivation very strongly. Therefore, for political reasons we saw politically motivated that the person, Mr van Jaarsveld, tried to change history and to leave a nation disillusioned and take them away from their God and to tear them away from their vow to God, tear them away from that which was sacred to him and which comprises the biggest part of its culture.
Mr van Jaarsveld, his family, thought to make a personal attack on me as well as that of the other 39 tarrers and featherers. Mr van Jaarsveld in his submission that he read to the world, used the opportunity given to him by the court by even doubting my relationship with my God. Mr van Jaarsveld accused me also that I did not for the sake of my conscience did what I have done but that I did that in order to promote my political career in the AWB. That in itself is proof of the fact that there is a strong political motivation. Mr van Jaarsveld said that it was only merely politics, but in the presence of a Boer peoples' God I have to confess to you and admit that it was not only politics per se, but that there was a strong motivation because of my religion and my responsibility as a Boer to protect the dignity of my God. Nevertheless, I do believe humbly, that I adhere to all the requirements for amnesty with regard to this specific matter.
With regard to the weapons, I would like to draw to your attention that these weapons, that there was never any evidence that these weapons were required to in any way gain from that. Those were not acquired and put under my control were sold for money or any other gain, those weapons were left at Witrandjiesfontein and it was left there should they be needed because of political changes, political instability, which could lead to chaos, revolution and disruption. Those weapons were indeed buried by the AWB but we never took them out again. They could probably still be in the fertile soil of my old family farm. Those weapons were taken away by the Security Police when it suited them, when they wanted to stop the young, up and coming movement which could be a strong opposition to the government. That is why Mr Moos who, without a shadow of doubt had strong ties as was also said by myself to the Security Police was sent out of the country without ever returning.
I believe, humbly, that the weapons there were kept there and were not handed over to the SAP because we as political opponents of the government, could not trust that government. In fact, we saw that government as a government who would like to change the course of history and it would like to end the sacrifices of the nation. Therefore, my humble submission is that in that case, I adhere to all the requirements for amnesty.
In the third instance, with regard to the Battle of Ventersdorp, it is perhaps not to be disputed that it was about politics. In that case, we certainly had the best example of when something is done by being motivated by politics. Such a transgression, offence, could never take place if Mr de Klerk did not force himself down and he tried to gain, not the AWB. He would look stronger and he would show, prove to the world that he would go to the Boers and that he would not give the Boers the opportunity to exercise their democratic right to place Mr de Klerk, to draw the attention to Mr de Klerk. He believed there was a stronger person and apparently he did not care about the corpses left behind in the streets of that town. In my evidence I proved, and I think it is relevant here again, that shortly afterwards he was not again going to a place where it was just as unpopular, this time round however, Boipatong, black community. Mr de Klerk, once again, had to leave the audience. He once again had to flee from the public and behind him in his terrible abuse, as in Ventersdorp of the South African Police and the Defence Force, once again leave dying people behind in the streets.
I believe with regard to the third application that it is simply not able to say that in this case I do not qualify for amnesty. I, Honourable Mr Chairman, also because I am not a legal man, I perhaps at the wrong stages made applications to you which should take place, but I would once again like to point to one thing and unfortunately I have to repeat myself, I once again want to say that these cases took place during a time when the National Party of FW de Klerk ruled and was in power. Our approach towards that government was that we indeed regarded the government as a bad government and a weak one, as party political opportunists for whom it was about own positions in most cases, as a governed without principles to which we could not trust the governance of this country, as an arrogant government who was prepared to allow people to be killed for the sake of his own honour and positions. To allow people to be killed, people of their own nation, but also to allow people of their own security forces to be killed as long as they could prove a political point.
In opposition to this government, the AWB stood and the AWB’s political purposes were directly against the party political opportunists, which could even use power of the Roman Dutch law in order to promote themselves.
I therefore believe that in all three of these cases, my application to you is justified, that I would have the opportunity and that this Committee, being given the opportunity as a law abiding citizen in a country, my beloved country, having given the best days of my life in order to maintain law and order in the South African Police as an ex policeman, who at a stage was even elected. I was even elected to be responsible because of my talents for the safety of the State President and that of the Premier.
Despite the fact that at that stage when I was a member of the unit, the guard who was responsible for the security of the Premier and the State President, my political motivation took me away from politics. I resigned and politically, without violence, I started fighting that infamous government and to the best of my ability I, the de Klerk, Vorster and PW Botha governments, I fought.
My ideal was directly against government policy. I was in favour of a Volksstaat where the Boer people could govern themselves in freedom. I, in my policy, never made provision for the addiction of any nation. The AWB policy spelt out clearly. We were looking for political borders to give freedom to my nation and any other nation. I wanted to lead my people to worthy, to a nation who such as in the case of the British, Germans, the Israelis, whoever. As I saw it at the time, the Zulu, the Xhosa as well as the Venda, that policy did not give protection to the political opportunists such as de Klerk and his other politicians. I was prepared to even show my disgust outside of the acts of the country, as was the case with the tarring and feathering, the illegal weapons, the Ventersdorp meeting which at a late stage all of a sudden we were not allowed to attend.
I place this application in your hands and I am grateful for this body, so that it can be recorded because history is busy to write mercilessly about the actions of all of us who were here and I would like to trust and I record it. I would however, and I know that it is not my right to do so, I would like to make an appeal to this Committee that while this Committee - the biggest task of this Committee is to bring about reconciliation and peace but above all, truth, to ask that what happened in my case, that people coming with allegations and insults are not allowed that they, untested, give it to the press who is still in the hands of the previous government, give them the opportunity to do exactly the contrary of what this Committee wants to achieve, to write that and I refer here to Mr Desmond Thomas(sic), his report in Beeld today.
If you would like to heal, then little men such as Desmond Thompson being to lie, allow to heal and to break, instead of healing to break down and to publish irrelevant evidence as to what is actually happening in your Commission.
The TRC says today whether it accepts FW’s evidence, ET attacked the TRC about tarring and feathering. That was his main report. He never learnt that the freedom of the press is there and that he should be allowed by the State, or he is allowed by the State in this Committee, and that he achieves the freedom or has the freedom to tell the truth. Mr Tutu cannot be so stupid and his level of intelligence so low that what, as not to see what is relevant. And that the tested evidence under you and Ms Patel, leading the evidence, so as not to report that but use this to, in terms of his old pattern, who could write about so many better things, still drives in and causes differences. I will report Mr Thompson to the Media Board in the same way I have done after a media speech in Pretoria. I would just wonder whether we couldn’t come up with a mechanism that this Committee should not be used for sensation-seeking lies by people who still have their own political agendas and who still hate the Boer people, whom I belong to as was the case with the days of Mr de Klerk.
I thank you for your patience and I would like you to forgive me for having abused your time. Perhaps it will be a good thing for the sake of future reports with regard to your amnesty committee in the press. I thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Terre'blanche.
Mr Rudolph, do you have any submissions that you would like to make?
MR RUDOLPH IN ARGUMENT: I am going to be very brief. I would just like to raise the matter of the total disclosure and the political objectives.
Regarding the total disclosure, yesterday, in my ignorance, because I thought it would take the matter a bit further, my request was, that we get Mr de Klerk here because I thought that there should not be an opportunity for the Committee to have heard something which it should not have heard.
When it comes to the judging of my approach, I can just show you the document which was made available by the Committee, on page 2801. I never received this document, I never received anything from the TRC except the wrong address as to where the Commission would sit. On page 2801, the magistrate at Potchefstroom was busy with his ruling and in the second paragraph on the page, it starts with accused number 2:
"Accused number 2 is an outspoken man, fired by the emotions, he does not doubt to express himself as opposed to those who differ from his political objectives nor does he put all facts in front of him, even though this could be to his detriment."
And then - I am sorry am I too quick?
MS PATEL: It is 243 of the bundle, Honourable Chairperson.
"His standpoint that he was not guilty of a crime even though other people would be guilty, is by nature of the case, not acceptable. The evidence shows that the police officer who describes his pistol as a .22 calibre is wrong. He also denies that he said, when he took the baseball bat, 'give the thing that I can hit them with it'.
I deny that today still.
Here the court gives preference to police evidence and in this way the magistrate continues and then he says, in the second last or third last line:
"I do not believe that his denial is a purposeful attempt to excuse himself. I think that the impression gained by the court as a witness, is that he would not stop to acknowledge that even if it is not in his favour."
I believe in regard to the matter of total disclosure or full disclosure which Mr Terre’blanche, my colleague, regarding the Ventersdorp matter, I am in agreement with him.
As regards the political objectives, it is so that today we are in another time-frame but I also told you that my political motives are exactly the same. However, in the time that we have had to deal with the new government, on numerous occasions we have seen a different approach for which I am personally very grateful.
That time at Ventersdorp we were pressed for time and we had to take action. Mr Terre’blanche told you about the role played by the media in our denigration and which denied us the opportunity to state our case properly. This is a tactic, not only used by the National Party, but other organisations as well and is as old as ...(indistinct)
Mr Desmond Thompson is a man who has been writing about politics for a long time and as was true of the National Party mouthpiece, held us up as Nazis or fascists. Just as the same people held up black nationalists as communists, we were regarded as Nazis and fascists when we differed from them.
You were in this court yesterday, the Committee was here, I was here, but the media tells us about yesterday’s events.
"Rudolph and Terre’blanche wore khaki clothes."
Now I would like to say, if I wore khaki clothes yesterday, then Mr Desmond Thompson was drunk. That is the situation which we are faced with and which the press has created because when one wears khaki clothes then I am a Nazi and a fascist. In those terms, Mr Terre’blanche, a Boer nationalist has also been described. I have nothing else to say to you.
I am standing in front of you and I have tried to tell you what is in my heart and what happened that day. I also tried to convey to you that our struggle, a struggle of the Boers, the Boer people and nationalists will continue until we die or until we have scored a victory. That political objective which I had at Ventersdorp, I still have today. I had envisaged no gains, I have no political ambition except for the fact that one day somewhere, there will be a place in the sun for the Boer people and that the liberation flag, the Vierkleur, will once again fly over our country, the Transvaal. That is why I am here today and if the Lord will acknowledge this, I will be found along the way and I hope under different circumstances. I thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Rudolph. Ms Patel, do you have any submissions to make.
MS PATEL IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Honourable Chairperson. I will start in chronological order as the events took place. However, before I start on the merits of, or my submissions in respect of the different events for which amnesty
is being sought, I would however comment on the applicants’ position that they have likened their position in society in a sense to that of the liberation movements. In a sense the flip-side of that submission, Honourable Chairperson, is that neither of the applicants were subject to forced removals under the previous government. They were not subjected to the inferior education system. They were beneficiaries of the apartheid system in respect of the separate development policies. There were questions - not the questions, there was the policy of job reservations and better employment opportunities and most importantly, the were not disenfranchised under the previous regime, Honourable Chairperson. Accordingly, they had the right to mobilise and wield whatever political clout they could muster to achieve their objectives, that in fact a limited democracy reigned supreme in the country during the time in which these offences were committed.
Be that as it may Honourable Chairperson, I would like to move on to the question of the application in respect of Mr van Jaarsveld. It is my respectful submission in response to Mr Terre’blanche’s submission, that he relies on certain ex post facto facts or information that has come to light in terms of the submission made by the late Mr van Jaarsveld’s son, in relying on their political motivation at the time.
It is my respectful submission Honourable Chairperson that the applicant is not entitled to rely on evidence and information that came to light after the incident had in fact taken place in order to support his political motivation at the time.
My second point in respect of that incident, Honourable Chairperson, is the question of whether one is motivated by a difference and a religious dispute, whether that amounts to a political motivation in terms of our enabling legislation. It is my respectful submission Honourable Chairperson, that it in fact does not. The applicant has said time and time again that his attack on Mr van Jaarsveld was in fact motivated by Mr van Jaarsveld trying to change history and more importantly was to tear them, was Mr van Jaarsveld’s motivation to tear them away from God which comprised the bigger part of their culture. If that is indeed the motivation, Honourable Chairperson, where does one then draw the line? Can one then not argue that everything in life where one, that everything in life is in fact political that it affects your culture to a greater or lesser degree. To use an example, let’s assume that under the previous government an applicant stands before us having committed an offence against someone of a different sexual orientation and his argument is that heterosexuality is a part of his culture and that is what he wanted to preserve and that is indeed then his political motivation in that he wants to support a particular way of life. Can we then say that this is the brief of this Commission?
CHAIRPERSON: I think this is not a very apt example because we know at that stage there was a rift amongst the Boer people, the Afrikaner people - I don’t know what term to use without offending anybody, but there was that rift and at the heart of the rift, from what I can understand, was this whole question of a Boer nation, volk, having their own start and all that sort of thing and then we get the situation where a person is standing up and is now making a statement that goes to the very heart of the one faction’s beliefs in respect of their nation, namely the Covenant, one of the most sanctified elements of their culture. So there is that political element in it. It is not just a question of somebody who is heterosexual and somebody who is not and somebody being offended by somebody else’s sexual orientation. There is no sort of political element there whereas in this case, as the applicants have testified, they felt extremely strongly about this and they saw it as a threat, a threat to what they believed in politically, also of course religiously, but there was that political element. And Mr Terre’blanche did concede in his argument, he said there was a political element, but I concede that there was also a large measure of religious motivation because in their ...(indistinct) it was difficult to separate the religion from the politics in that particular situation.
ADV BOSMAN: Ms Patel, perhaps a question one should answer is, can one always divorce politics from religion and the other way around, should one not look at the political philosophy espoused by a particular group and then ask yourself, within that particular group can you divorce politics from religion and the other way around? If one looks at the Irish political system, is that not in a way akin to what we have heard here today?
MS PATEL: It is my respectful submission, Honourable Chairperson, that indeed there is very little in life that one can say is not political. My point of departure however, is that can one argue that the nature of this dispute that took place, can one argue that that dispute falls within the brief of this Commission, purely because it is political in the general sense? That is very simply my submission, Honourable Chairperson. I do not wish to take it any further than that.
ADV SANDI: Sorry, Ms Patel, I hear you saying "a dispute", a dispute between who and who?
MS PATEL: There was a dispute, in terms of the evidence before us, between the applicant and his organisation and Mr van Jaarsveld.
ADV SANDI: Having regard to all the evidence that is being made by the applicants, is it possible to come to any conclusion that there was anything personal between the applicants and the late Professor van Jaarsveld?
MS PATEL: In the evidence before us there was nothing, there was merely the submission by Mr van Jaarsveld yesterday that the motivation was not so much the need to protect his religious beliefs ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: But on that, I think I must just mention that Mr van Jaarsveld elected to make a statement not to subject himself to cross-examination and you know we must take a look at that statement in that light and ...(intervention)
MS PATEL: I was going to concede that the evidentiary value of that statement will have to, by its nature be very limited. My argument is not that there was any personal malice or that the applicant acted for personal gain, that is not my submission. If those allegations have been made by Mr van Jaarsveld, I do not from my point of view, align myself with that. I have no basis, evidentiary basis upon which to align myself with that submission. My submission is very simply based on the question of the religious motivation and whether that falls within the ambit, technically, of this Commission’s brief. I wish to take it no further than that, I wish to make that very clear. Alright.
And then in respect of the Ventersdorp matter, I leave it in your capable hands, Honourable Chairperson. I wish to however come to the defence of Mr Rudolph. He has raised a portion of the transcript in which the Judge - no not the Judge, the Honourable Magistrate is evaluating his evidence, I would however like to state that further on in the judgement, I can’t recall what page exactly, that the evidence or the allegation that Mr Rudolph was in fact in possession of a firearm was rejected by the magistrate. So I mean, there is no way that anybody can rely on that specific part of Mr Venter’s testimony at the trial. It was indeed even rejected then. In respect of both then that incident and Mr Terre’blanche’s application on possession of arms and ammunition, I leave it in your capable hands. Thank you, Honourable Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you, do you have any reply Mr Terre’blanche?
MR TERRE’BLANCHE IN REPLY: Yes, thank you very much Mr Chairperson, I would just like to again repeat that my total political conviction rightly or wrongly is being driven by my education emotionally and my belief in the living God. I thank you in reaction to the statement of the honourable lady, it did say that there are groupings to whom politics are of great importance. Nobody will deny that it is a killing game politically, which took place for 600 years in England.
I am referring to the Irish who are Catholics and the crown. To a certain extent the Boers also see themselves as old testament people. I know you may find it strange but I would like to say to you in honesty that religion, the Boers’ religion, naturally and its politics are very closely related and that is why the Boer in his constitution wrote that he is dependent and that he subject to God the Trinity who is determining peoples’ lives. We believe that God determines the fate of each nation and people and in this case God was asked to determine the fate of the Boer people who were only 440 in an onslaught. The Lord was asked not only to become involved in politics but also the war politically also, but there were negotiations between the trekkers and the Zulus but that move towards war and in that war God was asked to become part of politics and the war and he bound himself by saying that we should tell our children in years to come that God at the Blood River won this war, which was the cruellest form of political strife.
If I was not in politics, Honourable Chairperson, and if there was not an AWB, Van Jaarsveld would not have been tarred and feathered because then there would not have been a political standpoint by a body who carried this out and did not enable us to resist. Somebody who was further from politics and somebody who would have seen the elements of politics because he involved himself in the bible in the same way that Mr van Jaarsveld said here, Mr van Jaarsveld involved himself in the history of politics. The history is the placing on record the situation of what happened, conventions that were entered into, land being claimed and land being lost that is exactly what history is all about. It is the placing on the record and the archiving of the political history and past with regard to the political past of the Boer people at Blood River, the historian said to the opponents of the Boer people not to trust God because he was present at Blood River.
In other words the argument of the AWB and the Trinity, that argument was taken away from the AWB if Van Jaarsveld’s paper was accepted. With the information at my disposal, I would like to say that it was the strongest political onslaught ever on the foundations of which the Boer peoples’ total struggle was to be justified to the world. If the Lord gave the victory which was asked for and whether it was the competency of the Boers there, the fact nevertheless remains that the Boers asked that God should save them and the Generals who were also the political leaders then found this victory. Who then am I or Van Jaarsveld or those coming after him to say that it was not God who heard their, listened to their prayers.
If God is being asked to hear your prayers and he listens to them, who are you or anybody else to say "No, God, I have asked you but I was the good and competent General" or "God I have asked you but Pretorius put up a lager in a very special way. It is not about which religion, to which religion people belong, but the principle of religious freedom and the right that for one to exercise one’s religion and that the Lord has heard your prayers. That should be protected and if it is being protected, it is politics, then it is a political act being made by Parliament saying to people you have religious freedom and if then you question another person’s right and that person stands up and he commits a crime, a political crime, then it brings me here before you today. I believe more essentially this case than the other two cases in which I would like to stand up for my God, my people and my fatherland by means of the tarring and feathering of Professor van Jaarsveld. I thank you for your patience.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. Mr Rudolph, there is no reason for you to reply because Ms Patel did not make any submissions in relation to the Ventersdorp incident which is the only one but if you wish to say something further you may.
MR RUDOLPH: I notice that in the Honourable Lady’s submission. I just did not understand the last part of what she said regarding the magistrate’s remark about the firearm, but it is not necessary to take it any further. The magistrate weighed the two things and said what he agreed with and what he did not. I just want to say, because this might possibly be the only opportunity that we have to say this to one another, when you speak about people who could not vote and people who had to undergo forced removals, when you make that accusation you must do that against the National Party and not against us. But what I do want to tell you is that even if we had the right to vote and not the freedom then that right to vote could be like a lollipop in the hand of a child who wants food. Thank you very much.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
That then brings a conclusion to this hearing. We will reserve judgment and we hope to get the decision out in the very near future. This matter was set out for a week, we finished on Tuesday and we hope to use the rest of the week gainfully in respect of this matter and get that decision out as soon as possible.
Mr Rudolph, it slipped my mind this morning but there was the other question of your two other applications. Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about them here. I don’t know anything about why they were not set down or where they are going to be or anything like that. We merely get a schedule and go to places that we are scheduled to go to and play an active role, but I can assure you that those matters will be set down in due course and there will be proper notification etc. I was also surprised to hear that no documentation was received by Mr Rudolph and I am sure that that shouldn’t have happened and we'll see to it that it won’t happen again in respect of those other matters.
I would just like to, before we adjourn here, thank the church for making the venue available to us, a very nice venue, very convenient. I would also like to thank the translators for the hard work that they have done. It's an extremely difficult task to translate simultaneously and keep up and they have done well. I would like to thank them very much indeed. I'd like to thank the sound technicians for providing the system, the caterers for spoiling us, feeding us so well, not only at lunch time but also tea times, the security provided for us at the venue. None of us I am sure ever felt threatened or the need for security, but I know that it is necessary to have it here and I would like to thank them. I thank Ms Patel, the applicants for their assistance in this matter and everybody concerned in the running of these hearings which have gone very well. They were set down for five days and we finished them in two days, which is an indication that we didn’t have problems despite the fact that we started a bit late yesterday.
So thank you very much indeed and we will now adjourn and hopefully that decision will be out in the very near future. Thank you.
MS PATEL: Would everyone please rise.