TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
APPLICATION IN TERMS OF SECTION 18 OF THE PROMOTION OF NATIONAL UNITY AND RECONCILIATION ACT NO. 34 OF 1995.
DIRK JOHANNES COETZEE 1ST APPLICANT
WILLEM FREDERICK SCHOON 2ND APPLICANT
IZAK DANIEL BOSCH 3RD APPLICANT
JOHN LOUIS McPHERSON 4TH APPLICANT
These decisions will deal with the following incidents:
1. Attempted murder of Marius Schoon prior to 28 June 1984;
2. Attempted murder of Joe Slovo prior to 17 August 1982;
3. Lusaka Bomb.
RE: APPLICANT BOSCH
The Committee will deal with the application of Bosch (3765/96). He stated in his application that he was once asked by Jerry Raven to glue a number of pages together. According to his memory, this happened during 1983. After hearing of the death of Jeanette Schoon he suspected that these papers might have been used to prepare the bomb that killed Jeanette Schoon. Raven in his evidence before the Committee denied that he made use of documents glued together by Bosch in preparing the bomb to kill the Schoons. Bosch, on advice of his legal representative, removed his application from the roll as it could not be established that the papers glued together were intended to be used to commit an offence. Raven testified that it might have been for the purpose of experiments, but that Bosch was definitely not involved in the preparation of any bomb intended to be used to kill anybody.
RE: APPLICANT COETZEE
Coetzee's application in respect of a conspiracy to murder Marius Schoon was heard by a different panel of the amnesty Committee. A decision will be given by that panel.
RE: APPLICANT WILLEM FREDERICK SCHOON
The Applicant applies for amnesty in respect of any offence or delict relating to a conspiracy or attempt to kill Marius Schoon in Botswana during 1980.
The Applicant stated that the acted as a result of a suggestion by Dirk Coetzee and supplied Coetzee with a revolver and ammunition. This was to be given to a person who would infiltrate Botswana and kill Schoon. According to him Coetzee later reported that the attempt failed because the person was confronted by the ANC in Botswana, attacked and his firearm taken from him. The attempt to murder failed.
He further testified about Marius Schoon's background and the political motivated reasons why he agreed to and co-operated in an attempt to kill Schoon. It is true that his evidence differs from Dirk Coetzee's evidence given before this Committee in certain aspects. These differences belong to the periphery of the incident. They both admitted that they were involved in an attempt to kill Marius Schoon almost 20 years ago. The operation was a failure and it is acceptable that they would differ about details. It is however common cause between them that they were involved in the planning of such an operation.
The Committee is satisfied on the evidence that this conspiracy was associated with a political objective and that the Applicant made a full disclosure of the relevant facts as he at this stage recollects them.
Amnesty is therefore GRANTED to the applicant W.F. Schoon in respect of any offence or delict relating to a conspiracy and/or attempt to kill Marius Schoon in Botswana during 1980.
RE: APPLICANT McPHERSON
The Applicant testified that he and a certain Captain Pretorius, a co-member of the Security Police approached General Johan Coetzee. Pretorius told them that he had an Indian source called Ali who had direct access to the ANC offices in Lusaka. He could take a bomb built into a briefcase into the building and leave it in the offices in a position where it would possibly injure Joe Slovo. According to Applicant, Coetzee gave them permission to proceed with the project. Coetzee testified that he cannot recall the incident but it is probable that he would have approved of such an operation if he had been approached.
The bomb was thereafter prepared and built into a briefcase. It is common cause that the bomb was placed at the gate of the ANC offices at Lusaka by the operative Ali. It exploded and caused minimal damage. No deaths or injuries were reported. They thereafter paid a reward of R15 000.00 to the operative.
The Committee is satisfied that the offence was associated with a political objective and was either authorised or condoned by the Applicant's superiors. The intention was that the bomb should be left in or near the office occupied by Joe Slovo and the explosion would possibly result in him being injured or killed. Slovo was a political opponent and was one of the major targets of the Security Forces.
The Committee is satisfied that the requirements of the Act have been met and amnesty is GRANTED in respect of:
1. all offences relating to the planting of a bomb at or near the ANC offices in Lusaka during June 1985 with the intention to injure or kill members of the ANC including Joe Slovo;
2. malicious damage of property at Lusaka during June 1985;
3. illegal possession of explosives; and
4. all other offences and delicts in causal relationship to the aforementioned acts.
These applications were heard simultaneously with the applications relating to the London Bomb, the murders of Jeanette and Kathryn Schoon and of Ruth First. The prevailing political background was full dealt with in those applications and the evidence led in those cases in this regard was also applicable to these applications.
SIGNED at CAPE TOWN this day of 2000
JUDGE A WILSON
C DE JAGER A.J.
MR J B SIBANYONI