Issued by: Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Staff of the TRC's Amnesty Committee are to issue formal notices to those named in testimony before the Committee yesterday, affording them the opportunity to make representations or to give evidence before the Committee.
Notices will be sent by tomorrow to Mr F W de Klerk, President Nelson Mandela, Judge Richard Goldstone, Mr Kobie Coetsee and Mr Jan D'Oliveira SC, informing them that they were named in evidence yesterday as having been provided with information during the early 1990s about illegal police activities in the 1980s. The Amnesty Committee was given no prior notice of the statements made yesterday.
The notices are being sent in terms of Section 30 of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, which says, inter alia, that if during any hearing "...any person is implicated in a manner which may be to his or her detriment.... the Commission shall, if such person is available, afford him or her an opportunity to submit representations to the Commission within a specified time with regard to the matter under consideration or to give evidence at a hearing of the Commission."
The notices will inform those receiving them that transcripts of yesterday's evidence will be available next Monday to enable them to study the text of what was said before taking a decision on how to respond to the notices.
A meeting of the full Commission was convened urgently today to discuss the allegations made yesterday.
The Commission noted that it had been alleged in press reports that there was a conflict between what was said yesterday and what Mr de Klerk said when he gave evidence before the full Commission in 1996 and 1997. Not having transcripts of what was said yesterday, the Commission was unable to express an opinion.
The Commission resolved that since the matter had been raised before the Amnesty Committee and in the context of an ongoing amnesty hearing, it would be appropriate for that Committee, and not the full Commission, to deal with it.