Issued by: Truth and Reconciliation Commission
STATEMENT BY COMMISSIONER DUMISA NTSEBEZA, HEAD OF THE INVESTIGATIVE UNIT OF THE TRC
The Investigative Unit (IU) of the TRC has subpoenaed two former Civil Cooperation Bureau (CCB) members to appear at separate investigative inquiries during the next month. Both testified in closed inquiries, conducted in terms of Section 29 of the act governing the Commission, in August last year, and were warned that they may be recalled.
The two are: former CCB Managing Director, Mr Joe Verster; and its treasurer, Mr Wouter Jacobus Basson, alias Christo Brits. (Basson is not to be confused with Dr Wouter Basson of the former SADF's Seventh Medical Battalion.) They are requested in terms of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act to give evidence and/or answer questions in relation to various matters under investigation by the TRC's Investigative Unit.
Among the alleged violations they will be questioned on are - The bombing of the Early Learning Centre in Athlone in August 1989; - The death and role in the CCB of Mr Edward "Peaches" Gordon, and - Alleged cross-border atrocities, such as the 1989 assassination of Namibian activist, Adv Anton Lubowski and the parcel bomb that maimed Father Michael Lapsley of the Anglican Church in Harare in 1990.
Verster will appear before the Commission on 2 and 3 March and Basson on March 5. Both testified before the Harms Commission of Inquiry during 1990. Both hearings will be held in camera. The media will, however, be able to take photographs of them in terms of a ruling made in August last year.
During their last appearance, Verster, Basson and former CCB member Abram "Slang" van Zyl were warned to answer questions on the CCB's foreign operations and operatives. When they refused, transcripts of records of the inquiries were handed to the Western Cape Attorney General with a request by the Commission that charges be laid against them.
The TRC's complaint is still under investigation by the Attorney General. However, the Commission is proceeding to deal with outstanding questions and issues.
Those subpoenaed are entitled to appoint legal representatives. If they are not financially capable of doing so, the TRC may appoint legal representatives to assist them.