TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
APPLICATION IN TERMS OF SECTION 18 OF THE PROMOTION OF NATIONAL UNITY AND RECONCILIATION ACT NO. 34 OF 1995.
CARL CASTELING BOTHA 1ST APPLICANT
LEON ANDRE MAREE 2ND APPLICANT
WOUTER JACOBUS BASSON 3RD APPLICANT
ABRAM VAN ZYL 4TH APPLICANT
DANIEL DU TOIT BURGER 5TH APPLICANT
PIETER JOHAN VERSTER 6TH APPLICANT
EDWARD WEBB 7TH APPLICANT
FERDINAND BARNARD 8TH APPLICANT
The applicants are all former members of the Civil cooperation Bureau (the CCB) and apply for amnesty in respect of offences committed by them on behalf of that organisation. The CCB was a unit of Special Forces which was part of the South African Defence Force (the SADF), more particularly the Army. It operated unconventionally and all of its operations were carried out in a covert manner. It was divided into a number of Regions and operatives were usually attached to a particular region. Most of the regions were concerned with operations beyond the borders of South Africa. It was only Region Six that operated internally, within South Africa. The applications for amnesty in this matter relate only to certain operations carried out by Region Six.
The Commanding Officer of the CCB at all material times was General Edward Webb (Webb). He was referred to as the Chairman. He was, at the same time, the Commanding Officer of Special Forces. He become Commanding Officer during January 1989, having taken over from General Joop Joubert. The person in charge of the management and day-to-day running of the CCB was Pieter Johan Verster (Verster). He was referred to as the Managing Director. Wouter Jacobus Basson (Basson) acted as a coordinator for Region Six. prior to becoming members of the CCB, Webb, Verster and Basson were all soldiers in the Army, with Verster and Basson being attached to Special Forces The manager of Region Six was David du Toit Burger (Burger). He was the Head of the Brixton Murder and Robbery Unit of the South African Police (the SAP) and was recruited into the CCB by Verster on 1 June 1988 after he had approached Verster for a position in Special Forces. He left the SAP under controversial circumstances as certain members of his unit had been involved in the murder of drug dealers.
Burger in turn recruited Abram van Zyl (Van Zyl), Leon Andre Maree (Maree) and Carl Casteling Botha (Botha) into the CCB from the Brixton Murder and Robbery Unit. All three of them regarded the move from the SAP into the CCB as a good career opportunity with better remuneration. Ferdinand Barnard (Barnard) joined the SAP during 1976. He was, during 1984, convicted of murder and sentenced to an effective term of six years imprisonment. He was released on parole after serving three years imprisonment. He testified that he was personally recruited into the CCB by Verster. His handler in the CCB was one Lafras Luitingh.
Besides their salary, CCB operatives were paid production bonuses They also, on being recruited, received an amount in cash for the purchase of a motor vehicle for their own use. All payments made to them were made directly by the CCB and not through the normal Army accounting system.
The CCB operatives acted under cover. They all used false names and at least those in Region Six, had to have a "blue plan". A blue plan was a front business or activity which they ran as civilians. They each received funds from the CCB to assist them in setting up a business and the profits made by the business accrued to themselves. So, for instance, Van Zyl established a private investigation business and Maree established a front company called "Lema" which was involved in the export of electronic goods to African countries.
The CCB operatives were also required to have "red plans", i.e. operations to be carried out for the CCB against the enemy. Such operations varied in nature and included the monitoring of persons, the destruction of property and assassinations. The operatives did not, however, have carte blanche to carry out operations and commit crimes on behalf of the CCB. Certain internal rules had to be followed and authority had to be given before an operation could be executed.
The usual procedure was that an operative would put forward a proposal to the Manager. The Manager would then discuss the proposal with the Managing Director and if it was felt that the proposed operation was feasible and worthwhile, Management would then instruct the operative to do a "pre-study". The pre-study involved an in-depth investigation and culminated in a report being submitted to the manager. An "in-house" meeting was then held which was usually attended by the operative, the Manager, the Coordinator, the Managing Director and on occasion the Chairman. Prior to the holding of the in-house meeting, information contained in the report was, according to the evidence, verified by other intelligence organisations as being reliable. If the planned operation was accepted at the in-house, the operative who was responsible for the execution of the operation had to adhere to the terms of the plan as approved at the in-house. Plans which involved acts of violence had to be approved by Webb and if the plan involved loss of life, or the possible loss of life, then Webb had to obtain higher authority from either the Chief of the Army of the Chief of Staff.
A further rule that applied was that operatives should not be directly involved in the carrying out of acts required for the execution of an operation. Such acts had to be carried out by so-called "unaware members". Unaware members were persons who were hired by the operatives to perform certain deeds. They were usually gangsters and they were not aware that they were working for the CCB. Barnard, according to his evidence, was an exception to this rule. He states that he was recruited into the CCB mainly to operate as a hit man because of the extraordinary skills he possessed in that respect.
Each operative was meant to work in a particular area. Van Zyl operated in the Western Province, Maree initially worked in the Transvaal and was then later allocated Natal. Botha and Barnard worked in the Transvaal.
The amnesty applications in this matter relate to four separate incidents, namely the explosion at the Early Learning Centre, Athlone, Cape Town, (the ELC) the conspiracy to assassinate Mr Dullah Omar, the conspiracy to assassinate Mr Gavin Evans and the so-called Project Apie.
Botha applies for amnesty in respect of the ELC incident. Maree applies in respect of the conspiracy to assassinate Gavin Evans. Basson, Van Zyl and Burger apply in respect of all four incidents. Verster applies in respect of the ELC explosion and the conspiracies to assassinate Dullah Omar and Gavin Evans. Webb applies in respect of the ELC incident and Project Apie and Basson applies for amnesty in respect of the conspiracy to assassinate Dullah Omar and Project Apie.
An explosion occurred at the ELC in Athlone at approximately 20h35 on 31 August 1989. The explosion was caused by the purposeful detonation by remote control of a limpet mine which had been hidden in a hall in the Centre. Besides the hall the Centre consists of a number of other rooms. It is used during the day as a kindergarten school and after school hours it is used as a type of community centre and is a meeting place for youth organisations and sports clubs.
The explosion resulted in extensive damage to the hall and a few people receiving minor injuries. A meeting of the Kewtown Youth Committee (the KTY) which was held in the hall had terminated shortly before the explosion. At the time of the explosion members of a local soccer club were in the foyer outside the hall. They were about to hold a meeting in the hall. It was some of these persons who received the minor injuries.
Also at the time of the explosion a meeting of the Cape Youth Organisation (CYO) was being held in another room in the centre.
The explosion was an operation of the CCB which had been initiated by Van Zyl. He received information from one of his informants in Cape Town, one Gakkie Hardien, (Hardien) that the hall in the ELC was being used by United Democratic Front (UDF) activists. Van Zyl reported this to Burger who instructed him to carry out further investigation and to prepare a pre-study report. According to the evidence given by Van Zyl at the hearing of this matter, further information to the effect that the bombing of a post office and a police station had been planned at the ELC and that members of the KTY were members of the UDF was received. There is also evidence from Webb that the KTY were planning to start a fire in Khayelitsha and that they planned to disrupt the forthcoming tri-cameral elections by attacking candidates.
Van Zyl prepared a pre-study report which was presented to management and approval for the operation was given. According to the evidence of the applicants concerned, the plan involved placing a limpet mine in the hall and detonating it at 21h00 on 31 August which would be shortly after the ending of a KTY meeting at the hall and when the hall would be deserted. The detonation would be done by remote control. The mine would be placed in the hall by Hardien prior to the meeting of the KTY and Hardien would operate the remote control device. The prime objective of the operation would be to damage the hall so that no further meetings could be held there and to send a warning message to the KTY. A secondary objective was that the police may suspect that the mine, which would be of Eastern Bloc origin, was a mine which belonged to the KTY. Hardien would be paid R30 000 for his services.
A meeting was held in a hotel in Johannesburg prior to Van Zyl leaving for Cape Town. The meeting was attended by Van Zyl, Burger, Basson and another person from the Medical Corp. Basson provided Van Zyl with the mine and the remote control device. Van Zyl, who was not an explosives expert, expressed concern about using the mine and requested that Botha accompany him to Cape Town. Botha was an explosives expert and had not been involved in an operation for some time as he was being disciplined for breaking the rule of personally monitoring a person and being arrested in the process. Burger gave authority for Botha to assist in the operation. Van Zyl and Burger drove to Cape Town on 30 August 1989.
The original plan was that Hardien would be provided the limpet mine and remote control device and that he would then, on his own, place the mine in the hall and detonate it at the determined time. Van Zyl changed this part of the plan as he did not fully trust Hardien. It was decided that Hardien would place the mine in the hall but that he and Botha would keep the remote control device and would be present when the mine was detonated.
Hardien hid the mine under a cardboard box in the hall. According to the evidence of Van Zyl and Botha given at the hearing of this matter, they, together with Hardien, arrived at the vicinity of the hall in a motor vehicle at approximately 17h45. Shortly after their arrival, Hardien was sent to check whether the hall was still being used by the KTY. He returned and said that the hall was still being used and that they should wait.
The vehicle that they were in was then parked at the back of the ELC not far from the fenced in parking lot. They waited and saw people leaving. Hardien named some of those persons. They waited until there were no more cars in the parking lot and when they believed that all the people ha left the hall, Van Zyl attempted to detonate the mine. He pressed the button on the remote control two or three times but it didn't work. Botha then took the device and detonated the mine. They then drove to the airport and Van Zyl and Botha flew back to Johannesburg. Van Zyl later paid Hardien R18 000 for his participation.
Hardien also testified at the hearing of this matter. he too, like Van Zyl and Botha, said that all the cars had left the parking lot when the mine was detonated. He also said that when he went to check whether the hall was empty he met and spoke to Peter Williams, a member of KTY. He informed him that a bomb was about to go off in the hall.
Oesman Alexander, a member of KTY at the time, also testified. He stated, inter alia, that he arrived late, at approximately 20h10, for the KTY meeting but it was already finished. He was also a member of the CYO Committee who were planning to hold a meeting at the Centre that night. He and Peter Williams were to attend that meeting The other members of KTY left the Centre. He confirmed that the hall was to be used by members of a soccer club for a meeting that night. He stated that at the time of the explosion there were many lights on in the centre and that there were three vehicles belonging to the Centre and one owned by Nazeema Mohamed parked in the parking lot at the back of the Centre. He denied that the KTY were involved in acts of violence such as the blowing up of a post office or a magistrates' court. He also denied that the KTY was planning any acts of violence.
Barnard, in his testimony given at the hearing of this matter, stated that Van Zyl told him that the ELC explosion was intended to kill the people at the meeting and that he, Van Zyl, had attached four kilograms of nails to the mine.
Van Zyl testified, with regard to the conspiracy to murder of Dullah Omar (Omar), that he received some information regarding the political activities of Omar from one Peaches Gordon, his informer, who was a gangster from Cape Town. he passed this information on to his superiors, not with, he says, the intention that he should be a target for elimination. However, the project to assassinate Omar was approved during or about April 1989 and an in-house was held. Van Zyl states that he was not part of the decision to kill Omar. The initial plan was that Peaches would secure the services of two other people to carry out the killing and that Peaches would be paid R15 000 from which he would pay the other two persons R5 000 each. The plan was that Omar would be shot at his place of residence in Athlone when he parked his car in his garage. Van Zyl was told by Burger approximately two weeks after the holding of the in-house that approval had been given to proceed with the operation.
Basson acquired a Makarov pistol and provided it to Van Zyl to be used in the operation. Van Zyl, in turn, gave the pistol to Peaches and instructed him to proceed with the assassination. Some months passed and nothing occurred. Van Zyl was informed by Peaches that the opportunity did not present itself for the murder to take place as Omar usually arrived home in the company of other people. Van Zyl then took it upon himself to involve Barnard in the operation. In so doing, he was acting in an undisciplined manner and against the instructions of his superiors. He stated that he involved Barnard only to monitor Omar's movements. He denied that he asked Barnard to carry out the murder.
Barnard visited Cape Town on more than one occasion in connection with the operation. According to Van Zyl no attempt was made to shoot Omar. He later heard from Peaches that Omar had suffered a heart attack. The plan to shoot Omar was then discarded and it was decided that he should be poisoned. The plan to poison Omar was Van Zyl's idea. Peaches was instructed to get hold of some pills which Omar used for his heart ailment. This he did. The plan was that poisoned pills would be made to look the same as pills that Omar used.
During September 1989 a person by the name of Nick met Van Zyl and advised him that the poisoned pills could not be manufactured. He gave him a powder which would induce a heart attack. Van Zyl then gave the powder to Peaches and instructed him to sprinkle it on Omar's food. Peaches did not carry out the instruction and the project was then abandoned.
Van Zyl testified that he paid Barnard an amount of R7 000 in respect of the operation to kill Omar, but that amount was merely to cover Barnard's travel and hotel costs. After the project had been abandoned he telephoned Peaches and requested him to get rid of the Makarov pistol.
Barnard testified that Van Zyl included him in the Omar operation specifically to kill Omar. He went to Cape Town and got the Makarov pistol from Peaches. He carried out surveillance on the Omar residence. This was during or about July 1989. He made another trip to Cape Town when he again carried out surveillance. He made a third trip to Cape Town during September 1989. On this occasion he, at night, entered the Omar residence armed with the Makarov pistol and waited for Omar to return home. His intention was to shoot Omar and make it look like a robbery had taken place. Omar arrived in a motor vehicle but he was in the company of a woman. Barnard then withdrew without firing a shot. He said that Van Zyl was very angry when he reported to him that he had not killed Omar. Van Zyl paid him
R7 000 to cover his expenses.
Verster testified that the necessary approval to murder Omar had been given by Webb. Webb, on the other hand, denied that he had given approval for the operation. His evidence was that he was not even aware of the operation.
Gavin Evan's name appeared on a CCB priority list. Burger and Basson had a discussion about him. Their information was that he was a journalist and also a member of the End Conscription Campaign.
They instructed Maree to monitor him and establish his residential address. Verster was given the information available and later informed that it had been verified. He also advised that Gavin Evans was involved with Hein Grosskopf. Burger and Basson did a pre-study on Evans.
The plan was to assassinate Gavin Evans by means of stabbing him. Verster advised that the operation had been approved. Maree did not regard his task in establishing the residential address by telephoning the newspaper where Evans worked and pretending to be his friend. Maree was involved in other matters and was taken off the project.
Van Zyl was called to a meeting and was instructed by Burger to recruit Peaches Gordon and another person to carry out the assassination of Evans. peaches was to be paid R5 000 for the killing. Peaches and another person went to Johannesburg from Cape Town and proceeded to the address which had been obtained by Maree with the purpose of killing Evans. It turned out that it was an incorrect address and the project was aborted. Peaches was paid R2 000 to cover his expenses.
Once again, as in the Omar incident, there is a conflict between the evidence of Verster and Webb. Webb denied that he ever gave approval for the murder of Gavin Evans.
Project Apie was a Region Nine Project but Region Six assisted in its execution. Verster informed Burger that Region Six was assisting Region Nine in the project and instructed him to collect a baboon foetus from one Anton. This was done and the foetus was supplied to Van Zyl.
Van Zyl and Barnard then, during the night, entered the grounds of Archbishop Tutu's residence in Bishop's Court, Cape Town. They hung the foetus in the grounds and drove a number of nails in the ground.
It is not clear what the objective of the project was. It was either to intimidate the Bishop or to discredit him in the eyes of his employees or it may have been one phase in a project directed against Trevor Tutu, the Archbishop's son. Barnard testified that Van Zyl told him that it was one phase of a five phase project that would culminate in the poisoning of Trevor Tutu. Van Zyl denied that he ever told Barnard this and states that he does not know what the objective was. Webb was aware of Project Apie, but only in regard to the planting of the foetus in the Archbishop's garden. Basson was not involved in the project but was aware of the fact that the foetus was hung in the garden.
Section 20(1) of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, No 34 of 1995 ("the Act") provides that amnesty shall be granted in respect of an act, omission or offence if the Committee, after considering an application for amnesty is satisfied that the application complies with the requirements of the Act, the applicant has made a full disclosure of all relevant facts and the act, omission or offence to which the application relates is an act associated with a political objective committed in the course of the conflicts of the past in accordance with the provisions of subsections (2) and (3) of Section 20.
The first of these requirements has been met in all the applications in that the applications of all the applicants were submitted timeously and in the proper form.
Extensive and thorough submissions have been made concerning the other two requirements by the legal representatives of the applicants and the victims.
It has been argued on behalf of some of the applicants that the phrase "is satisfied" as used in section 20(1) of the Act is required to the making of full disclosure should be interpreted to mean the provision of a version that is reasonably possibly true rather than reasonably probably true. We cannot and do not agree with this submission. The effect of a grant of amnesty is far-reaching and includes indemnity from criminal and civil liability in respect of the act or offence for which amnesty is granted. The preamble to the Act also implores that it is "necessary to establish the truth in relation to past events as well as the motives for and circumstances in which gross violations of human rights have occurred and to make the finding known in order to prevent a repetition of such acts in future". We do not believe that such effects can be justified or such objective achieved by the provision from an applicant of a version that may only be reasonably possibly true. The test to be applied in our view must be on the balance of probabilities. See Afrikaanse Pers Beperk vs Neser 1958(2) SA295 (C) at 297.
After careful consideration of all the evidence and documentation placed before us and of the submissions made to us, we are of the view that all the offences committed by all of the applicants were committed by them acting as members of the security forces of the State as contemplated in Section 20(2)(b) and as defined in section 1 of the Act. It is clear that the CCB was a section of the Special Forces Division of the Army. Webb, its chairman, was a serving general. Verster and Basson were both officers in the army prior to their deployment to the CCB. In addition, the CCB was funded by State money. The fact that Burger, Van Zyl, Botha and Maree resigned from the SAP to join the CCB and that they benefited financially in making that move does not persuade us that their motivation for their actions in the incidents concerned was merely personal gain. They were, at all times, subject to the rules and procedures of the CCB, unconventional as they were. Barnard too, despite the fact that he was handled in a different way to other members, was, at the time of the Omar and baboon foetus incidents, a member of the CCB and acting as such. He, as already stated was recruited into the CCB by Verster for his special skills, he received a motor vehicle which he retained throughout the relevant period, he was remunerated with CCB funds and after the dissolution of the CCB he was absorbed into the DCC.
We are also of the view, without making the finding that the offences committed by each of the applicants were acts committed with a political objective as envisaged by section 20 of the Act, that the operations directed against the KTY, Omar, Evans and Archbishop Tutu were operations conducted by members of the security forces against, at least in their minds, members or supporters of a publicly known liberation movement. A careful analysis of the evidence of the applicants reveals many unsatisfactory aspects and features.
The evidence of Webb, Verster, Basson, Burger and Van Zyl to the effect that the decision to bomb the hall in the ELC was prompted by information received from intelligence that the KTY were involved in terrorist attacks, that they planned to kill election candidates and that they planned to start a fire in Khayalitsha is not only unsubstantiated but is also implausible. We accept the evidence of Oesman Alexander that the KTY, although opposed to the policies of the government, were not involved in acts of violence, were not involved in acts of violence. We find the evidence of Van Zyl that Hardien handed him a letter written by a member of the KTY, a Mr Ferndale, in which it was stated that the KTY were involved in bombings and were planning further bombings to be so improbable that it should be rejected as being false.
The evidence of all the applicants involved in the ELC bombing incident that it was not the objective to kill or injure but only to send a warning and disrupt the activities of the KTY is improbable and falls to be rejected. On their own version it is improbable that a decision would be made to avoid personal injury of persons they believed were terrorists involved in acts of violence and who were about to take the lives of election candidates when, on the other hand, decisions were made to assassinate Omar and Evans merely because they were anti-government activists.
If it was not the intention to kill or injure then why was the mine exploded at 20h35 when there were people present in the ELC? Why was a remote control device used? Why was the bomb not detonated in the early hours of the morning when it would be certain the hall was empty? Why was it budgeted to pay Hardien R30 000 when the assassins of Omar and Evans were to receive a fraction of that amount? All of these questions were not satisfactorily answered.
Also, the evidence of Van Zyl, Botha and Hardien as to the events of 31 Au gust 1989 lacks credibility and was, to our minds, most unsatisfactory. Hardien was an extremely poor witness. His evidence, which surfaced for the first time at the hearing of this matter, that he, shortly before the explosion, personally warned Peter Williams a member of the KTY, who he spoke to at the ELC, that a bomb was about to go off is patently untruthful. It was an inept attempt by him to support the version that there was no intention to kill or injure.
We also do not accept the evidence of Van Zyl and Botha given at the hearing of this matter that there were no vehicles parked in the parking lot, that they believed all the members of the KTY had left the Centre and that they did not notice any lights in the Centre to be on when the mine was detonated. Van Zyl has given three differing versions as to what happened at the ELC on the night in question. None of these versions are exculpatory but all differ from each other in respect of detail. For example, in his amnesty application form he stated that he activated the mine and in a statement made to the Police when he was in detention he gives a version about driving around the block and trying to activate the mine when about 150 metres from the building before driving closer to the building and the mine being activated by Botha. In his section 29 statement made while he was in detention, Botha stated that Hardien activated the mine.
The evidence that they did not notice lights to be on is unconvincing as it is clear that many lights in the building were on when the explosion occurred and, from the inspection in loco that was held, it would be obvious they were on from the position where they say they parked their vehicle. Oesman Alexander was adamant in his evidence that there were vehicles parked in the parking lot at the time of the explosion, including a vehicle belonging to one Nazeema Mohamed, a member of the CYO Committee and we accept this evidence.
It is also a fact that there were several people, at least fifteen, in the Centre at the time of the explosion and it is incomprehensible that if a reconnaissance or surveillance was undertaken, as alleged by the applicants concerned, that their presence should have gone unnoticed. Also, according to Van Zyl, the bomb was to be activated at 21h00 which, according to his intelligence, would be shortly after the conclusion of the KTY meeting. The mine was not activated at 21h00 but at approximately 20h35.
It is evident from the magnitude of the explosion that if any person had been in the hall at the time of the explosion he or she would have been seriously injured or killed.
Hardien was paid R18 000 for his involvement in the project and not R30 000 as budgeted.
All these factors lead us to the irresistible conclusion that the objective of the operation was to blow up and kill the members of the KTY at the meeting in the hall of the ELC and the evidence of Webb, Verster, Basson, Burger, Van Zyl and Botha to the contrary is rejected as being false.
Contradictions on material points of fact exist between the evidence of certain applicants in respect of the conspiracy to murder Omar.
Van Zyl testified that he included Barnard in the operation only to monitor the movements of the Omar's whereabouts. Barnard testified that Van Zyl instructed him to shoot and kill Omar and that he was given the Makarov pistol for this purpose. Barnard is a self-admitted earlier and confessed that it is normal practice for him to lie when testifying under oath. His past record as a lying witness was such that Mr Martini, who represented Van Zyl at the hearing of this matter, did not feel that it was necessary to cross-examine him.
His evidence must and has been approached and considered with the greatest caution. We do not take the view that it cannot be considered truthful at all because of his atrocious past performances as a witness. His version in regard to him being instructed by Van Zyl to kill Omar is, in our view, more probable than the version given by Van Zyl that he was requested only to carry out surveillance. The following factors are pertinent in arriving at this conclusion; Peaches Gordon had failed in his mandate to assassinate Omar and there was pressure on Van Zyl to conclude the operation; Barnard's ability to kill was well-known whereas his skills at surveillance were dubious - he and Botha were both arrested in a botched up monitoring operation; it is unlikely, in any event, that Barnard, a white man, would be used solely to monitor in Athlone; Van Zyl's evidence that after the operation was abandoned he telephoned Peaches Gordon and requested him to get rid of the Makarov pistol is so improbable that it falls to be rejected; Barnard's explanation as to why he did not shoot Omar is reasonable.
We are accordingly of the view that Van Zyl's version regarding the inclusion of Barnard in the Omar project is false and find that Barnard was included to carry out the assassination.
There is also a material contradiction of fact between the evidence of Verster and Webb in relation to both the Omar and Evans incidents. Verster testified that both the projects to murder Omar and Evans were duly authorised. This would necessarily entail Webb informing him of such authority. Webb, on the other hand, testified that he was unaware of both of the projects and that he did neither authorise them or seek authorisation for them from his superiors. The argument that insofar as Verster is concerned there is no dispute in this regard because Webb has not applied for amnesty in respect of these projects is untenable. The evidence given by Webb on this aspect is relevant and cannot be ignored in the enquiry merely because he has not applied for amnesty. This conflict cannot be settled on the probabilities and in the circumstances we cannot conclude that the projects to assassinate Omar and Evans were authorised as there is no credible evidence to support such conclusion.
The information produced by the applicants concerned about the Evans project is contradictory and confusing. The evidence given at the hearing was to the effect that Burger and Basson had carried out the pre-study, yet in his application for amnesty Basson stated that the pre-study was prepared by Van Zyl and Burger makes no mention of himself being involved in the pre-study. Maree testified that his only involvement in the project was to establish the residential address of Evans, a task which was not expeditiously performed and which was done telephonically. His statement in his application for amnesty that he gathered intelligence concerning Evans' political activities is admitted by himself to be untrue. The statements by Burger and Basson in their applications that Evans was monitored are also untrue. Van Zyl stated that Maree gave him information concerning the Evans project, but Maree states that he never did so. The evidence at the hearing was that hired killers were flown from Cape Town to Johannesburg and proceeded to the address supplied by Maree to carry out the assassination yet Verster in his application form states that the plan never progressed beyond the stage of preparation.
Project Apie was not a Region Six operation. It was a Region Nine project in which Region Six assisted. Barnard stated that Van Zyl informed him that the placing of the foetus in Archbishop Tutu's garden was only one phase of a five phase plan that would result in the murder of Trevor Tutu, the Archbishop's son Van Zyl denied that he ever made such a statement to Barnard. The other applicants concerned are unaware of a five phase plan and, according to Webb, believed that the objective was to discredit the Archbishop. Barnard has not applied for amnesty in respect of participating in a conspiracy to murder Trevor Tutu and we, on the evidence before us, are unable to find that a five phase plan existed.
The aforementioned examples of untruths, inconsistencies, contradictions and improbabilities contained in the evidence of Webb, Verster, Burger, Basson, Van Zyl, Botha and Maree lead us to the conclusion that they have not been open and frank with the Committee and that they have not told the whole truth.
On considering the evidence of Webb, Verster, Burger, Basson, Van Zyl, Botha and Maree given at the hearing of this matter, their statements made in their application for amnesty as well as the evidence given by those in other forums and the previous written statements of those applicants which have been put before us, we are convinced that they have not made a full disclosure of all the relevant facts and also that they have minimised the activities of Region Six and the role that they played in the activities of the CCB.
We, save in regard to Project Apie, are accordingly not satisfied that the requirement of full disclosure has been met by them and are therefore of the view that they are not entitled to be granted amnesty in respect of the offences applied for. There is therefore no need to deal with the requirement relating to political objective in respect of the offences.
Insofar as Barnard is concerned, although he was not an entirely satisfactory witness, we are satisfied that he gave a truthful account of how he attempted to kill Omar. We are, however, not satisfied that his involvement in the Omar project was an act committed with a political objective as envisaged by the provisions of section 20 of the Act. Van Zyl, on his own admission, broke the rules of the CCB by involving him in the project. Barnard too must have known that his involvement was against the rules. Both he and Van Zyl must therefore have been aware that Barnard would not have received a performance bonus had he been successful in the mission of killing Omar. We do not believe that he was driven by patriotism or purely political reasons in undertaking the task of assassinating Omar and the probabilities are overwhelming that he was taking over the role of Peaches Gordon and was acting for personal gain.
With regard to Project Apie, as already stated, we cannot find that tit consisted of five phases. We, in the circumstances, therefore proceed on the basis that Region Six was carrying out the task of placing the foetus in the garden for Region Nine with the intention of discrediting the Archbishop, whom they considered to be their political enemy. The versions given by Van Zyl and Barnard as to how they placed the foetus are in accord and it is accepted that this was, in the yes of the applicants concerned, a minor event carried out in the furtherance of their duties as members of the CCB.
In the result:
1. Carl Botha is REFUSED amnesty in respect of the explosion at the Early Learning Centre;
2. Leon Andre Maree is REFUSED amnesty in respect of the conspiracy to assassinate Gavin Evans;
3. Wouter Jacobus Basson is REFUSED amnesty in respect of the explosion at the Early Learning Centre and the conspiracies to assassinate Dullah Omar and Gavin Evans and is GRANTED amnesty in respect of the placing of a baboon foetus in Archbishop Tutu's garden.
4. Abram van Zyl is REFUSED amnesty in respect of the explosion at the Early Learning Centre and the conspiracies to assassinate Dullah Omar and Gavin Evans and is GRANTED amnesty in respect of the placing of a baboon foetus in Archbishop Tutu's garden;
5. Daniel du Toit Burger is REFUSED amnesty in respect of the explosion at the Early Learning Centre and the conspiracies to assassinate Dullah Omar and Gavin Evans and is GRANTED amnesty in respect of the placing of a baboon foetus in Archbishop Tutu's garden;
6. Pieter Johan Verster is REFUSED amnesty in respect of the explosion at the Early Learning Centre and the conspiracies to assassinate Dullah Omar and Gavin Evans;
7. Edward Webb is REFUSED amnesty in respect of the explosion at the Early Learning Centre and is granted amnesty in respect of the placing of a baboon foetus in Archbishop Tutu's garden;
8. Ferdinand Barnard is REFUSED amnesty in respect of the conspiracy to assassinate Dullah Omar and is GRANTED amnesty in respect of the placing of a baboon foetus in Archbishop Tutu's garden.
DATED AT CAPE TOWN THIS DAY OF 2001.
JUDGE S MILLER
MR J B SIBANYONI
MR I LAX