TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
APPLICATION IN TERMS OF SECTION 18 OF THE PROMOTION OF NATIONAL UNITY AND RECONCILIATION ACT NO. 34 OF 1995.
CHARLES ALFRED ZEELIE APPLICANT
This is an application for amnesty in terms of the provisions of Section 18 of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, No. 34 of 1995 ("the Act"). The Applicant had applied for amnesty in respect of a number of incidents, most whereof had already been finalised by the Committee. The present matter is being decided in chambers. Applicant's personal circumstances and his activities as a member of the security branch of the then South African Police are fully dealt with in the matters already finalised and no useful purpose would be served by repeating the same herein.
The specific incidents forming the subject matter of this decision will be dealt with separately.
EXPLOSIONS AT JOUBERT PARK AND J.G STRYDOM HOSPITAL
These incidents happened on 27 July 1989. Applicant was not a party to the perpetration of the actual incidents. To his knowledge, however, some of his colleagues in the South African Police were responsible for the incidents which were false flag operations. Applicant held the position of head of the Bomb Disposal Unit at Witwatersrand at the time. It was in this capacity that he was involved in aiding the objective of the operations which were aimed at discrediting the African National Congress ("ANC") by creating the impression that the organisation was responsible for the explosions. Applicant's specific role was to visit the sites of the explosions on investigation in his capacity as an explosives expert and later submitting false statements supporting the impression that the explosives were caused by operatives of the ANC.
Having considered the matter, we are satisfied that the incident is directly associated with the political struggle of the then government and its security forces against the ANC. We are, moreover, satisfied that the incident constitutes an act associated with a political objective. Amnesty is accordingly hereby GRANTED to the Applicant in respect of all offences directly resulting from his conduct, as specified above, in regard to explosions at Joubert Park and J.G. Strydom Hospital at Johannesburg on 27 July 1989.
SHOOTING INCIDENT AT CORLETT DRIVE
The incident in question occurred on 4 August 1987. In the course of his duties, Applicant was informed that the police were planning an operation against a group of Pan Africanist Congress ("PAC") operatives who were involved in armed robberies to raise funds for the PAC.
On the day in question, Applicant was informed over the Police radio that members of the Johannesburg Murder and Robbery Unit were pursuing the group of PAC operatives on the M1 freeway. Applicant subsequently arrived at the scene where the operatives had been apprehended by the Police. He noticed that all of the occupants of the vehicle, being used by the PAC operatives, had been shot and killed. It was apparent to applicant that the group was in effect executed by the Police. Applicant then participated in rigging the scene by placing handgrenades and Scorpion machine pistols in the possession of the deceased in order to create the impression that they were about to attack the Police when they were shot. He subsequently deposed to a statement ostensibly corroborating this false impression.
Having considered the matter, we are satisfied that the incident was directly associated with the political conflict between the then government, supported by its security forces and liberation movements such as the PAC. Applicant was clearly acting within the course and scope of his duties and the operation fell within the modus operandi followed at the time by the security forces. We are accordingly satisfied that the incident constitutes an act associated with a political objective as envisaged in the Act and that the application complies with all of the other requirements of the Act. In the circumstances, amnesty is hereby GRANTED to the Applicant in respect of all offences directly resulting from his conduct, as specified above, relating to a shooting incident involving PAC operatives at Corlett Drive, Johannesburg on 4 August 1987.
FALSE FLAG ATTACK UPON FLYING SQUAD HEADQUARTERS, BRIXTON
This incident happened during 1989. The circumstances briefly were that Applicant was ordered by his superiors to participate in a false flag attack upon the headquarters of the Flying Squad in Brixton, Johannesburg. The objective was to create the impression that the ANC was responsible for the attack. The incident occurred shortly prior to the all-white referendum and the intention was to discredit the ANC among the white electorate. A RGD-5 handgrenade and an AK-47 assault rifle were utilised in the attack. Applicant and a group of his colleagues drove past the offices of the Flying Squad and caused the handgrenade to explode near the entrance. They also fired shots at the wall near the entrance with the AK-47 assault rifle. They ensured that no one would be injured in the incident. Minor damage was caused to the entrance to the complex.
Having considered the matter, we are satisfied that the incident was directly associated with the then political conflict involving the government of the day and liberation movements, including the ANC. We are accordingly satisfied that the incident constitutes an act associated with a political objective as envisaged in the Act and that the application complies with all of the other requirements of the Act. In the circumstances, amnesty is hereby GRANTED to the Applicant in respect of all offences directly resulting from a false flag operation involving an attack on the headquarters of the Flying Squad, Brixton, Johannesburg during or about 1989.
BOMBING OF VEHICLE OF CHARLES LANDMAN
Applicant is unable to recall the specific date of the incident, although he confirms that it occurred during the widely publicized criminal trial of the ANC members charged with the murders committed at Eikenhof. Applicant was approached at the time by members of the Civil Cooperation Bureau ("CCB"), a covert project of the South African Defence Force, to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident, Charles Landman. In view of the fact that Applicant was an explosives expert, he agreed to participate in the operation. The plan was to use a mini-limpet mine to cause the explosion. Applicant formed the impression that Charles Landman was also involved in the planning. On the night of the incident, Applicant met the member of the CCB who was supposed to assist in executing the operation. Applicant, however, decided against proceeding with the operation when he saw that, contrary to the arrangement, other persons were accompanying the CCB member. Applicant left the scene and returned home. He learnt from newspaper reports the following day that the vehicle of Charles Landman was in fact bombed.
No one was injured in the incident although damage was caused to the police vehicle of Charles Landman. Applicant never took any steps to report the matter for investigation by the Police.
Having considered the matter, we are satisfied that the incident was directly associated with the political struggle waged at the time against the liberation movements, including the ANC. We are accordingly satisfied that Applicant's conduct constitutes an act associated with a political objective as envisaged in the Act. In the circumstances, amnesty is hereby GRANTED to the Applicant in respect of all offences directly resulting from his participation in the events which resulted in the bombing of the police vehicle of Charles Landman, as specified above.
DATED AT CAPE TOWN THIS DAY OF 2001.