DATE: 24TH JUNE 1998

NAME: J VENTER - AM6477/97

J P NEL - AM6469/97

P STEYN - AM6478/97

DAY : 6

--------------------------------------------------------------------------MR PRINSLOO: Chairperson the next applicant is number 8, Mr J Venter. He is sitting in the witness seat.

MR BRACHER: Well I will be here whenever there are other witnesses relevant to the case.

CHAIRPERSON: As you know that the representatives of the applicants plan to consult this afternoon with possible witnesses and they will only be in a position to indicate who and how many they are calling I suppose tomorrow morning. So if you can contact the evidence leader perhaps.

MR BRACHER: I will do that. I have got a cell phone number.

CHAIRPERSON: Then you would be in the know.

MR BRACHER: I will excuse myself if you don't mind. Mr Sinjatsi will be here just now to sit in. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: You are excused.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Venter, do you have any objection to taking the oath?

MR J J VENTER: (sworn states)

MR PRINSLOO: The application of the applicant appears page 138 up to 151 and the B section, 214 to 223. May I continue?

CHAIRPERSON: ...(inaudible)

EXAMINATION BY MR PRINSLOO: 214 to 223. Thank you.

Mr Venter, you together with your co-applicants were prosecuted in the High Court in the Witwatersrand and Judge Flemming found you guilty on what is now generally known as the pipe bomb incidents in the Randfontein area as well as the Pretoria pipe bomb attacks.

MR PRINSLOO: From that there were charges of murder in Pretoria and also attempts to murder for the Western area, Randfontein and also incidents of deliberate damage of property, do you confirm that?


MR PRINSLOO: And also for the possession of explosives?

MR VENTER: That is correct Chairperson.

MR PRINSLOO: And on these charges you were sentenced for 21 years.

MR VENTER: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And at the moment you are out on bail.

MR VENTER: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And you are applying for amnesty on all those charges as well as the murder charges in Pretoria as well as explosives and the damage of property, is that correct?


MR PRINSLOO: Mr Venter, you were involved with the Ystergarde of AWB, is that correct? You were a member of that?

MR VENTER: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: Did you have any rank?

MR VENTER: I had the rank of captain.

MR PRINSLOO: And how long were you in the service of the AWB?

MR VENTER: For the AWB as such, beginning of the '80's I joined the AWB and I got actively involved in 1988 and in 1990 I joined the Garde.

MR PRINSLOO: And what was your relationship with the leader of the AWB?

MR VENTER: For a time I worked at Ventersdorp as the bodyguard of the leader and also I worked as a Garde at the head office.

MR PRINSLOO: Sorry, Mr Venter, while you were a member of the AWB did you attend specific meetings if you get close to the events which happened in 1993, 1994?

MR VENTER: Yes Chairperson.

MR PRINSLOO: And these meetings you attended were they addressed by the leader, Mr Eugene Terreblanche, amongst others?

MR VENTER: Yes, amongst others the leader himself and also at other meetings which we attended there was Ferdie Hartzenberg and Constand Viljoen as well, as well as the rest of the right-wing groups.

MR PRINSLOO: Were these open meetings or were some of them closed meetings? What was the position?

MR VENTER: Some of the meetings were open meetings in public and I would say ninety percent of the meetings which I attended with the leader were closed meetings at predetermined places, for example restaurants.

MR PRINSLOO: Now some of these closed meetings that you attended, you already mentioned Constand Viljoen's name as well as that of Ferdie Hartzenberg, was there some of the Generals of staff present?


MR PRINSLOO: And what was the message in these meetings, shortly?

MR VENTER: Shortly it basically came down to the fact that we had to prepare ourselves for the fight that was lying ahead or the war as they called it. We must prepare ourselves for the struggle as we are going to fight for our Volkstaat. We must gather ammunition and weapons and at each meeting this was more and more emphasised.

MR PRINSLOO: Did you mean Volkstaat?

MR VENTER: Yes, I meant Volkstaat.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Venter did you also look at news reports?

MR VENTER: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Venter, you are also aware of a specific broadcast with regards to a video which can be shown to the Committee, do you know about that?

MR VENTER: Yes. It is a point that can be emphasised or it can be proven, the fact that the leader made certain utterances.

MR PRINSLOO: And the incident you are referring to now what is that concerned with?

MR VENTER: Mr Terreblanche, I do not know if it is a punishment but he has got a way of whipping the people and it was very expressive and strongly emphasised that we are going to fight and we are going to pull it off.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Chairperson we would like to show you a video. It is quite short. This is what has been conveyed to me and we would like to show you. If it hasn't been done yet we can go onto something else until it is ready. Apparently there is a technical problem at this stage Chairperson, so we will do it shortly. We are going onto another aspect.

Mr Venter were there any instructions with regard to preparations given or not?

MR VENTER: Yes, there were instructions with preparations, we had to get food, medical supplies, ammunition. We had to get it all ready so if there is call-up instructions as they put it to us, that it would be ready for the war.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Venter if you look at page 6 of the typed, it is 147 of the records in front of you and paragraph 14 of the statement in front of you. Can you tell the Chairperson or the Committee what was the run-up to your involvement with Clifton Barnard who is also a co-accused in this matter?

MR VENTER: Chairperson if I can I would just like to start by saying that I was called up from Lushof which is just outside of the Lichtenburg district, and after the call-up instruction on the Wednesday I went to Ventersdorp. I arrived in Ventersdorp and Mr Clifton Barnard asked me on the Friday or he told me rather that I must accompany him the next morning on a mission. We are going to pick up a person.

I also worked with Clifton Barnard in head office where he was my direct senior under Mr Leon van der Merwe. After Mr Barnard approached me and told me: "Look we have got a mission to fulfil", I accepted it coming from a senior instruction as I know him before at head office.

MR PRINSLOO: And where was this mission, where did you go with Mr Barnard?

MR VENTER: He did not tell me what the destination was on the Friday night. The Saturday morning we got into the car and we arrived in Welkom.

MR PRINSLOO: Is that the Saturday?

MR VENTER: That is the Saturday morning.

MR PRINSLOO: Who accompanied you?

MR VENTER: Philip van Coller and together with Clifton Barnard in his vehicle was Koper Myburgh.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr van Coller was he also a member of the AWB?

MR VENTER: Yes of the AWB and the Ystergarde.

ADV BOSMAN: Sorry Mr Prinsloo. Can you just give us the date when you and Mr Barnard went to Welkom?

MR VENTER: That is the Friday before the elections when I arrived at the Garde house in Ventersdorp, the Saturday before the elections we left.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Venter in your statement you say it is the Saturday. It is supposed to be the Friday when you saw Barnard and the Saturday morning you left?

MR VENTER: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And then what happened when you arrived there?

MR VENTER: We arrived in Welkom, there is a big parking lot at the circle at the Holiday Inn and Cliff Barnard there told me that I had to wait there in the vehicle they are quickly going to conclude their business.

MR PRINSLOO: You did not know what business he was referring to?

MR VENTER: No Chairperson.

MR PRINSLOO: Well when was the business was concluded?

MR VENTER: Well that was about 45 minutes to an hour later then Mr Myburgh alone arrived, Cliff Barnard was not in the vehicle. I noticed that the vehicle was heavily loaded and I asked Koper what do you have in the boot of the car, why is the car so heavy, and he said: "fertiliser". That is where we finished the conversation.

MR PRINSLOO: And that same day after Koper and Barnard arrived was there an incident where another person turned up?

MR VENTER: Yes. Myburgh told us at that stage that we had to wait there, he specifically is waiting for Barnard and about 15 to 20 minutes later a vehicle arrived. At that stage it was an unknown person to me. Mr Barnard got out of the car together with Koper Myburgh got into their vehicle and we left and returned to Ventersdorp.

MR PRINSLOO: And that person, is he still unknown to you today, his identity?

MR VENTER: Afterwards I made enquiries and I found out that it was the Commanding Officer, the General of Bloemfontein and Welkom district.

MR PRINSLOO: And what was his name? ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Venter, the glasses you are wearing, are they prescribed glasses?

MR VENTER: Yes, I have light-sensitive eyes so they are prescribed glasses.

MR PRINSLOO: So did you determine what that person's name was, the unknown person that is, the General of the Free State?

MR VENTER: Yes. I forgot his name now, I will get back to it.

MR PRINSLOO: Very well. From there you went to Klerksdorp, is that correct?

MR VENTER: Ja, on their way to Ventersdorp Koper turned off at Klerksdorp and we went around a small holding and when we stopped there Cliff Barnard told me to take the Golf of Philip van Coller and to reverse it in so that we can pick up things at the specific smallholding.

MR PRINSLOO: Can you remember the colour of that Golf?

MR VENTER: It was yellow.

MR PRINSLOO: And then what happened?

MR VENTER: I reversed the vehicle under the verandah. There were sand bags or plastic bags which the army used. We got the bags from that and underneath that there were still other bags, so Cliff told me to make room, we must make room in the car so we can load these things and then I realised that it was heavy and I asked why is it heavy and at that stage I was told it was the pipe bombs which we must take up to Ventersdorp.

MR PRINSLOO: And from there you left?

MR VENTER: Directly after we packed the Golf we went to Ventersdorp.

MR PRINSLOO: And did you go to the game farm?

MR VENTER: When we arrived at Ventersdorp we just got our kit from Garde house and we followed Koper Myburgh. I didn't know where this place was until we actually got there.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Venter just explain how do the pipe bombs work? What is a pipe bomb?

MR VENTER: Chairperson at that stage of the fight I did not actually see the things, they were inside the bags. I just asked what is it and they said it is pipe bombs and I said: "Are they safe"? and they said no they are already loaded and the fuses are already inside them. I rebelled a bit against that, I didn't actually take it out and looked at them. I loaded them into the vehicle and at the game farm I only heard what the form is and how they work.

CHAIRPERSON: Please describe them to us?

MR VENTER: Chairperson for me at that stage a pipe bomb is a pipe that is a bomb and when I saw the things physically in front of me, there were long ones, there were short ones, thick, thin ones, they had different shapes. What I could determine from what I saw in front of me, it is a normal piece of metal like a water pipe which they welded together at the bottom and then they threw explosives inside of it and at the top it is covered up and it was nutted, there was a bit of metal there and the fuse stuck out of that and that is where you ignite it and then you throw it. That is all I know about these things Chairperson.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Venter, at the game farm on Sunday the 24th of April, were there certain specific instructions given to you and others with regards to the pipe bombs?

MR VENTER: The Sunday evening, yes. During the day we did guard duties that type of thing and we slept the evening we woken up or I was woken up and I was told to go outside. I got outside and the men were already busy explaining the pipe bombs to the people and they told the people that they wanted specific groups to go and do certain missions.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Venter were you chosen to accompany a specific group?

MR VENTER: Yes a specific person, Cruywagen that is, asked me if I know the Randfontein area and I said I know it well and they asked me to be the driver of a vehicle and to accompany them to Randfontein.

MR PRINSLOO: In your group you have mentioned Cruywagen?

MR VENTER: It was me, Cruywagen and Clint Ellish.

MR PRINSLOO: Ellish. What was the target?

MR VENTER: We were told that we must target a taxi rank in Randfontein.

MR PRINSLOO: You and Ellish and Cruywagen, did you then go to Randfontein?

MR VENTER: The next morning early we left the game farm and we went to Randfontein, that is correct yes.

MR PRINSLOO: So was there a target targeted and was there an explosion?

MR VENTER: Yes, we arrived in Randfontein, we approached the taxi rank in Randfontein, we drove up and down a few times to make sure we are at the right spot. The bomb was planted at the taxi rank in Randfontein in a toilet and when we left, several seconds afterwards the bomb exploded and we returned to the game farm.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Venter, you already told the Committee of what you were found guilty, would you just go to page 9, it is at page 150 of the record and in this paragraph 21 of yours you say amongst others: -

"I identified myself with these deeds because I was doing it for the freedom struggle"

And this is with regards to the explosion in Johannesburg?

MR VENTER: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: Were you involved in any way with the explosion in Johannesburg in Bree Street?

MR VENTER: Chairperson, I became involved when I arrived at Ventersdorp until I knew that the fertiliser was loaded into the vehicle. I was tasked to load pipe bombs and from there we went to the game farm, at the game farm. During the whole Sunday the bomb exploded in Bree Street. After the bomb exploded - we had a television at the game farm, during that time I realised that this was the struggle for freedom which is now in progress, this is the war they were talking about, this vehicle bomb which exploded and I identified myself with that.

CHAIRPERSON: How did you contribute to the explosion in Bree Street?

MR VENTER: No, I did not contribute to that at all. No I was not involved at all.

CHAIRPERSON: Not at all?

MR VENTER: Not, at all.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you know it was going to explode?

MR VENTER: No, I didn't know it was planned.

CHAIRPERSON: You were not part of the plans?

MR VENTER: No, I was not.

CHAIRPERSON: So first time you heard about this was when you heard that it actually exploded?

MR VENTER: Yes, only afterwards.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it seen on television?

MR VENTER: Yes, I saw it on television.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Venter, did you know what was happening at Koesterfontein?


MR PRINSLOO: And the bomb in Bree Street which exploded did you learn who was responsible for it?

MR VENTER: Yes. After the bomb actually exploded, first we heard it on the radio and at a later stage I saw it on television and on television I made the conclusion that it was Koper Myburgh's vehicle in which they were driving because I went from Ventersdorp to Welkom and back to Ventersdorp and I was in that vehicle so I noticed the parts in the street where the cameraman took the shots and I turned to Koper Myburgh and I said that is your vehicle.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Venter, was there any specific reason why you had to make a bomb go off at a taxi rank?

MR VENTER: Chairperson, the reasons of the commanding officers at that stage was about the freedom struggle, the war that is now raging and my instruction was to take a bomb and to stop the elections which is only a few days away. We had to sow panic and we had to withhold the people from taking part in the elections.

MR PRINSLOO: At the taxi rank were there mostly black people or what was the situation?

MR VENTER: I think the person who gave the instruction had his purpose because it was definitely a black taxi rank.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you know Mr Venter anything about the planning of the Germiston bomb, do you know anything about that?

MR VENTER: No, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you contribute to the explosion of the Germiston bomb?


CHAIRPERSON: Did you know it was going to go off?

MR VENTER: No I did not know at all about the proceedings or the things which were happening at Koesterfontein, I did not know anything about that.

CHAIRPERSON: And you were found guilty of that?


CHAIRPERSON: And Bree Street?


CHAIRPERSON: You were not found guilty?

MR VENTER: Bree Street, Jan Smuts, Koesterfontein I wasn't found guilty of any of those things.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Venter, do you confirm the statements as they are contained in Annexure A and B?

MR VENTER: Yes I confirm them.

MR PRINSLOO: Now since these explosions have happened ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Before you continue Mr Prinsloo. Mr Venter when you started testifying you said you are applying for amnesty for all the charges?

MR VENTER: Yes, all the charges I was found guilty of.

CHAIRPERSON: Of which you were found guilty?

MR VENTER: Yes. I was found guilty of the incident in Pretoria.

CHAIRPERSON: Please go a bit slower, I want to write it down. For which cases did you apply for amnesty?

MR VENTER: I apply for Randfontein where I was personally involved and then in court because of conspiracy I was found guilty of Pretoria, Western area and I am not sure about the others, attempt to murder, possession of explosives.

CHAIRPERSON: This attempt for murder where did this take place?

MR VENTER: Pretoria and I think Western area and Randfontein.

CHAIRPERSON: Western area, Pretoria and Randfontein is it those three incidents?


CHAIRPERSON: So everything that you have been found guilty of happened at one of these incidents?

MR VENTER: Yes, at these pipe bomb expeditions.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Venter, how do you feel about these specific deeds that you were found guilty of and the specific application and with regards to the people who were involved?

MR VENTER: Chairperson, the people who were involved and the people who lost people because of the bombs, my sympathy, my condolences for the family. It was a freedom struggle that we had to fight, it was war. After all these things happened, the bombs and also the criminal case, I came to the conclusion that it was not really our goal, it was the leaders and the people behind us who motivated us to do these things but they did not even assist us in what we were doing. I am sorry that we fought a senseless battle and that people died from that and they had to experience senseless suffering. Once again I can only emphasise that I am really sympathetic towards all the people who suffered because of what we did and because of us who did not really have a goal, did not really have a purpose after these things were indoctrinated into us.

CHAIRPERSON: A question was asked yesterday with regards to a message which was sent to a specific family after the case. Do you know about that?

MR VENTER: I do not know about it. I was in prison for three years and (...intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: No, this is in the court.

MR VENTER: No, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: You do not know?

MR VENTER: No. I learned it yesterday here but otherwise I do not know anything about it.

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible] yesterday asked that after the case was concluded or finished or during the court case a message was sent to one of the victim's family members to say that they are really sorry that a white child died or something to that effect and this was not accepted on the condition that a message must go to all the victims' families and afterwards there weren't any other messages sent. This witness says he doesn't know anything about the message.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr Chair, the message was not from the applicant but from a wife of one of the applicants.

CHAIRPERSON: I misunderstood it.

MS CAMBANIS: Sorry, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: But you do not carry any knowledge with regards to any message being sent?

MR VENTER: No, not at all.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Venter, are you still a member of the AWB?

MR VENTER: No, Chairperson.

MR PRINSLOO: No further questions Chairperson.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS CAMBANIS: Thank you Mr Chair. So you are not applying for the Bree Street, you are not applying for amnesty for Bree Street, is that correct?

MR VENTER: That is correct yes.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you. You said that you realised in paragraph 21 page 150 that the AWB was responsible?

MR VENTER: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: But you also say that, that is only an assumption that you made (...indistinct)

MR VENTER: Okay I made that assumption afterwards. While I was there busy with the war as they called it, I knew that with all the meetings and all the leader figures that was involved with this, that it had to come out of the AWB. I also know that all these bombs and all these things wouldn't have been prepared if it was not for the leaders in this that had actually gave the order for this to happen.

MS CAMBANIS: But you were never told that the AWB were responsible for the Bree Street bomb?

MR VENTER: I knew they were responsible.

MS CAMBANIS: But you were never told that by anyone in the AWB?

MR VENTER: The people that were involved are direct from head office, direct people in the leader network there and it had to come from the head office itself.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Venter, you say the first time that you heard about this was on the television that evening.

MR VENTER: That it was these specific people who were involved in?

CHAIRPERSON: No, that the bomb exploded there.

MR VENTER: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: I assume it was approximately 8 'o clock that evening when this news report was on television?

MR VENTER: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Was there no suggestion in that report that the SACP were involved, or can you not remember or did you not hear that?

MR VENTER: At that stage what I saw and observed what I did the day before in transporting the bombs and when I saw the vehicle on the television I immediately asked Koper Myburgh and I said to him: "It is your vehicle". I do not know what was said on the television and what the people or who the people thought planted the bomb but my conclusion was that I immediately went back to Koper Myburgh and said to him: "It is your vehicle".

CHAIRPERSON: Where did you see Koper Myburgh's vehicle?

MR VENTER: On the television, and the car was in pieces and it was lying almost in a radius of two blocks.

CHAIRPERSON: And you just saw it on the television, the Bree Street bomb was that evening on the television?

MR VENTER: Yes, and when they showed it I saw that it was that Audi with which Koper Myburgh and Cliff Barnard drove and directly after that I took it up with him.

CHAIRPERSON: This Audi was that close to the explosion where it occurred?

MR VENTER: It was the car bomb.

CHAIRPERSON: I see, I see it was the car bomb.

MR VENTER: And then I knew it was them.

MR PRIOR: Mr Chairperson, can I just say that the video material is now available if the Committee would like to see it.

CHAIRPERSON: Would you still like to show it Mr Prinsloo?

MR PRINSLOO: Honourable Chairperson, we would like to show it if some of the members would like to see it first and then continue with their questions later. I do not want to interrupt them. We can show it now. We will show it now, can it be set up?

MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman apart from what they have I would like to say that the video material regarding the Bree Street bomb and the car it is available on video if necessary.

MS CAMBANIS: Sorry Mr Chair, I understood that we were also going to see the video material of the remnants of the Audi in order to establish whether, if I could place it on record that I would like to view the remnants.

Mr Chair, may I reserve further questions until we have had an opportunity to see that video.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(inaudible)

MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman, I indicated to the legal representatives that I had the material. We could have arranged and we still can arrange a private viewing for their benefit if they require to ask questions. I simply said it is available if necessary. Yes, we can probably do it later on in the day.


MR PRINSLOO: Mr Chairperson, the video material that was showed to you now, we have got a transcription of it and we will have to make copies of it and submit it as to what the specific words were.

CHAIRPERSON: If you think it is necessary yes.

MR PRINSLOO: If it was clear enough to you then we do accept it. Can I just clear this aspect up with the applicant?

Mr Venter you saw this material on video, what is your comment concerning this?

MR VENTER: Mr Chairperson, the action there was every day

or it occurred every day and in various other meetings it also happened like this: "Prepare yourself, find weapons, get ammunition the war is on its way".

CHAIRPERSON: The way I understood your evidence earlier on was one of the main reasons for this Volkstaat is that the country was taken away from the Afrikaner volk by the British etc, did I understand you correctly?

MR VENTER: By the British, the then National Party. It was struggle that we wanted to fight with the background of the AWB against these people because they basically signed our country away and took it away.

CHAIRPERSON: And in this Volkstaat would only Afrikaans speaking people be allowed there?

MR VENTER: At that stage yes, that was my conclusion. They told us that it would be a purely white city or town. We would have workers or labourers but it would have been a white state. I would not say only Afrikaans speaking people, there are English speaking people, there are Germans or Dutch people as well. The conclusion I made it was for the people who identified themselves with us and who were on our side.

CHAIRPERSON: Do I understand you correctly, a child that is born between a German and Dutch person would be a pure Afrikaner?

MR VENTER: For me, my personal view was that it will not be the Boer speaking person, there would be other languages, English or whatever. Concerning the strives and goals of the Volkstaat, they would be involved in this struggle for the Volkstaat.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you please tell me what is an Afrikaner?

MR VENTER: It is a Boer, not necessarily someone who plant mielies or tobacco. It is a white South African Boer who were born in this country, grew up here.

CHAIRPERSON: What is a Boer if he is not on a farm?

MR VENTER: Our ancestors, all of them were basically farmers and in South Africa in the first few days the existence of the white race in South Africa, during that time when they formed Afrikaans in South Africa ninety percent of those people were farmers and the way South Africa developed people starting taking up other jobs but Boer comes from the South African Boer or farmer. That is my view Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: You see I was told that I was born in South Africa, I see myself as a South African but I was told by my parents that my ancestors came from India and that they farmed in the sugar plantations in Natal, would they also be considered as a Boer? ...[transcriber's own translation]

MR VENTER: Mr Chairperson, in order to prevent confusion, I am not a politician, I am not in the leader element who did the planning and who told you what to do and not to do, I feel today that I was a usable chess piece in the struggle and what their ideals were and differs from mine I do not know but my conclusion of this whole matter was that a Volkstaat would be for the white farmer. If they had other view points and said that it was racist in saying that an Indian person or a Jewish person were not allowed there, they did not inform me about that and now to have a conversation with you which is not within my league, I cannot answer you.

CHAIRPERSON: You see why I asked this question was your view of this whole thing was or why did you become a member of the AWB and why did you take part in everything that you did? That is why I asked the question.

MR VENTER: Mr Chairperson, you make it difficult for me. The question was do I identify myself with the ideology of the AWB? Yes, when I was an AWB member I do reject, I reject the ideology and the view points of the AWB and the right-wing. Through that ideology they opened my eyes of their viewpoints or motivational points. I thought yes, after the Defence Force and National Party government this is what we need, let us do it. They motivated us to do it. That motivational point, the using of us as pawns, their ideology now means nothing to me because they said with the conclusion that you can make that these people would assist us for God, fatherland and the nation so I cannot follow their ideology. I reject it completely. So now that my view point has changed, I cannot now talk about it because I cannot place myself in that situation again.

CHAIRPERSON: You see the important point is that you apply for amnesty on the basis of what you thought at that stage and that is why I ask it.

MR VENTER: That is correct yes, it was my ideology. I followed them through thick and thin for what they promised us. After all these things I realised it was not my struggle or strives. At that stage yes, I agreed with them and I fought in a war, in a struggle against ANC, the National Party, SACP, for a Volkstaat and under that motivation I did it as a freedom fighter but today I can tell you that I reject it. I was there, I am not there any more.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Venter, how old were you when you joined the AWB?

MR VENTER: Mr Chairperson, I am not very good at dates but I was still in the Defence Force in the mid eighties, 1984, 1985.

CHAIRPERSON: How old were you then approximately? Was it just after school, you must certainly know.

MR VENTER: No, I was 16 when I left school and I then went to the Defence Force. It was the beginning of the eighties so I would say 21, 22.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you.


Chairperson. As I indicated earlier on my biggest interest is the Germiston bombings so I would limit my cross-examination to that.

Mr Venter let us talk straight, you said that you were a usable pawn?

MR VENTER: That is correct yes.

MR PRINSLOO: With respect Mr Chairperson, I think my learned friend, although he has got no interest in the other bombs, on what basis are these questions then put to him? Can he just indicate that to us please?

MR KRIEL: In order to find out the truth.

CHAIRPERSON: Continue please.


MR KRIEL: When you left the Defence Force you were ready for war, is that correct, or were tired of war?

MR VENTER: Yes, I was tired.

MR KRIEL: The time when you did border service did you ever see a communist or did you ever catch a communist?

MR VENTER: Is this relevant to my application?

MR KRIEL: You mentioned that you went to Angola?

MR VENTER: Yes, during that period I fought for the government. We did tracking, we caught a lot of communists, we were in contact with them yes.

MR KRIEL: And then you left the South African Defence Force and the AWB was for you a similar vehicle during that period?

MR VENTER: What I experienced in the Defence Force was for me a new principle, a new idea. Although I was member I was not active, I was involved in the Defence Force but when I left, the ideology and the objective something that I could make my own because of the circumstances why I left the Defence Force after they handed over Angola and South West and handed over the struggle that we fought.

MR KRIEL: That is a point I wanted to make, that at that stage the head of the Defence Force was Viljoen in other words your leader in that war used you, is that correct?

MR VENTER: I would not say my leader at that stage but my commanding officer yes.

MR KRIEL: He was your commanding officer?


MR KRIEL: And then your next commanding officer was Mr Terreblanche?

MR VENTER: That is correct yes.

MR KRIEL: And he also forced you to eat dirt.

MR VENTER: I think it is in the Afrikaner's bloodline.

MR KRIEL: Sir, concerning Welkom, if you look at the statements of Mr Barnard and Myburgh, they didn't want you to know anything about what was going on there, you and van Coller just drove with them. Your words was "We drove shotgun."

MR VENTER: He said that I must go with him. He gave me the order that he needs a vehicle. He did not give us a destination. He didn't give a reason or a purpose, he said that we are going to pick up an undercover person and that was the impression that I was placed under and that is why I drove with him.

MR KRIEL: You drove shotgun and you did nothing else?

MR VENTER: Yes, that is correct.

MR KRIEL: And the Saturday afternoon, I assume it is the 23rd, that was the weekend 23rd, 24th, you arrived together and then you went to a smallholding in Klerksdorp?

MR VENTER: When we turned from Welkom, yes. Basically when you come from Welkom through Klerksdorp on the left-hand side there are a few smallholdings and we directly went in there, it is directly next to the tar road.

MR KRIEL: Whose smallholding was it?

MR VENTER: No, I do not know.

MR KRIEL: When you loaded the items did you know that they were pipe bombs?

MR VENTER: I did make enquiries and they said: "Yes, they are pipe bombs".

MR KRIEL: And this was taking to the game farm?

MR VENTER: Yes, through Ventersdorp where we first got something and then went to the game farm.

MR KRIEL: If you look at Barnard and Myburgh's statements it seems as if those pipe bombs were immediately taken to Koesterfontein?

MR VENTER: When we arrived at the game farm we opened the doors, lit a cigarette and immediately the people were there and they said to us we must take the bags, the pipe bombs out of the vehicle. Some of the pipe bombs that I observed, I was not involved in the unloading of it, some of the pipe bombs in the bags let us say were put the hall there where we slept. We took them to one of the toilets in this building.

MR KRIEL: It did not go back to Koesterfontein?

MR VENTER: I do not know. That it where my involvement with the pipe bombs ended.

MR KRIEL: So in that day you were used as a pawn?


MR KRIEL: You did not do anything actively?

MR VENTER: No, I just had a headache of the explosives in the vehicle.

MR KRIEL: Fertiliser or explosives?

MR VENTER: No, the pipe bombs were in our vehicle, and it is a terrible headache that you get from it.

MR KRIEL: And you continued with the actual order that was given to you and that is to remain at the game farm in order to protect the borders and the farmers in that area?

MR VENTER: That is correct, that is what was told to us and the reason why we have to go to the game farm.

MR KRIEL: And that is what you did there up till the Sunday evening when Prinsloo and Myburgh arrived.

MR VENTER: Prinsloo and Myburgh?

MR KRIEL: General Prinsloo and Koper Myburgh.

MR VENTER: I do not know when they arrived there.

MR KRIEL: But later that Sunday evening you were woken up and I assume at that stage that Koper Myburgh and Nico Prinsloo were already there?

MR VENTER: I did not see Nico Prinsloo, I saw Koper Myburgh and Clifton Barnard and the people who were with us in the hall I did see them.

MR KRIEL: So you didn't see any leader figure?

MR PRINSLOO: With respect the applicant said there was no leader. He said he did not observe them or see them and they woke him up and there was a meeting before that and he was woken up for that. It is misleading to say that there were no leading figures there. To go to the point that was referred to the time and the run-up of events, with respect Mr Chairperson.

MR KRIEL: Mr Chairperson, if I can just put it as follows:

Did you see any leaders at the game farm?

MR VENTER: Yes, but not on that specific question that you put to me.

MR KRIEL: Who were the leaders at the game farm?

MR VENTER: At one stage I saw Nico Prinsloo, Brigadier Leon van der Merwe, Cliff was there, one General Cruywagen as well as at a later stage General Ackerman.

MR KRIEL: But Cliff and Koper were your co-colleagues who worked with you in the office, they were not leaders as such in the Generals and staff?

MR VENTER: No, they are not general staff.

MR KRIEL: Did any person whose name you just mentioned of the Generals in staff that Sunday evening give you instructions and told you: "Men you must take pipe bombs and target taxi ranks in order for them to explode there, the target is black"? Any of the Generals in staff did they ever convey that to you?

MR VENTER: Mr Chairperson, I did not see any of the Generals in staff. The orders were given to us, as a militant person, a person who comes from the Defence Force, the officer above me will not give me an order if he did not receive an order so my conclusion or view there was or what I accepted was that it came directly from them. I did not find a General who said go plant a bomb J J. I had Commandants and people above me who gave me those orders.

MR KRIEL: So although there were generals in staff that Sunday evening at the game farm, did not one of them the officers from the officers corps of your men give such an order?

MR VENTER: After I saw the Generals and with the orders that I received it would have come from them but a General did not directly give me an order.



INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MOTLAUNG: I hope you heard that one?

MR VENTER: Ja, I heard you.

MR MOTLAUNG: Okay thank you. Sir, having had a glimpse of that video excerpt I have some idea of the war talk that you say went around. Now tell me during this war talk was it ever mentioned to you as to who your targets would be in the war?

MR VENTER: Is this now before the election, before the bombings, in the meetings itself?

MR MOTLAUNG: Let me put it this way, at any stage before the bombings.

MR VENTER: I can put it to you this way, that the general target in this time and period in every meeting or in any meeting at that stage was the people that was against us for the Volkstaat,

in other words I will say the majority were black, the ANC, the SACP and of course the National Party but ninety nine percent I will say yes, it was black.

MR MOTLAUNG: Including the people who belonged to the IFP?

MR VENTER: No, that is the one percent of the blacks that we weren't against because we were together with the IFP.

MR MOTLAUNG: So is it fair to say that the way you saw it you saw black people generally as a legitimate target, any black person for you was a legitimate target?

MR PRINSLOO: That is not what the witness said. He said he saw black people and Generals that targeted, he clearly stated he saw black people with the exception of the IFP so it is not correct to say generally he saw black people as a target.

CHAIRPERSON: Well if ninety nine percent isn't general I don't know what is. The witness himself said the one percent they regarded as the IFP who were with them and they were not against the IFP. Ninety nine percent of the black were, he associated ninety nine percent of the black population as against the AWB, as I understood it. Do you want to clear it up with him? I will give you an opportunity to clear it up just now if you want to.

MR PRINSLOO: Thank you.

MR MOTLAUNG: Thank you. Sir, just to take the matter further, would it be fair to say that when you looked at the black people, bearing in mind that for you ninety nine percent do not belong to the IFP, you wouldn't in fact be able to detect where the one percent lied within the black community?

MR VENTER: On your previous question, if I may make a statement there, what I meant is for the majority of people on the black side was ANC. If that person wasn't ANC I really wouldn't have known then. I didn't go about and ask the person are you ANC or IFP, I knew that the IFP's was Inkatha Freedom Party and the rest of the people I saw as ANC, not individuals as in: "Listen are you ANC or not", I saw them as ANC.

MR MOTLAUNG: I see. Did anybody, up to the stage that you went about throwing bombs, did anybody specifically say to you that black people generally should be targeted by these bombs?

MR VENTER: Beforehand and with the orders that were given it was not said especially: "Don't kill blacks", it was said: "Go plant the bomb at taxi ranks", and that is what we did.

MR MOTLAUNG: In fact if I understand your evidence well - in fact let me put it the other way around, may you please look at your application, page 149 paragraph 18 and I quote:

"And then we went to Randfontein and I drove the vehicle, considering the fact that I knew the area well. We must ourselves choose an appropriate target and our target was the taxi rank at Randfontein."

Is that correct what is stated there?


MR MOTLAUNG: So you chose the target yourself?

MR VENTER: No. I was told to go to Randfontein and plant a bomb at the taxi rank.

MR MOTLAUNG: Yes, I am talking about this particular taxi rank was your own choice?

MR VENTER: Alright.


MR VENTER: No, I was told to go there. Now I got there and I saw that this is the taxi rank in Randfontein, so I knew where my target was. We brought the car to a standstill and we planted the bomb at the taxi rank where it was told to be planted. I didn't go and say: "Ah is this taxi, no it has got two or three or ten people in it", my order was to go and plant it at the taxi rank so I didn't go pick and choose. I just did and saw. alright this is the general area that I must plant it and I planted it there.

MR MOTLAUNG: What does this phrase mean:

"We had to find an appropriate target ourselves"

MR VENTER: That is what I just explained to you.

MR MOTLAUNG: But what does it mean Sir? You yourself had to choose a target?

MR VENTER: The appropriate target yes, and we did. The taxi rank in Randfontein, that was the target.

MR MOTLAUNG: Who chose it?

MR VENTER: I was told to go there, I didn't choose it. I got my order to go to Randfontein taxi rank and I got in the car and drove to Randfontein taxi rank.

MR MOTLAUNG: Yes, I think I hear what you are saying but ...(intervention)

MR VENTER: So that was not my choice.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Venter your application reads as follows:

"We had to ourselves find an appropriate target and our target was the taxi rank in Randfontein."

I think the problem lies with the fact that your application reads:

"We had to find an appropriate target ourselves."

So he understands that it was the instruction, but who told you that it has got to be a specific taxi rank? Did some one tell you that or did you yourself choose it? Out of all the taxi ranks did you choose this specific taxi rank yourself?

MR VENTER: Chairperson, then I refer back to the circumstances where I became involved at the bomb mission with regards to Randfontein. People asked me: "Do you know Randfontein", I said: "Yes". They said: "Okay you are going to drive the car, you are going to Randfontein". There were already people chosen to go to Randfontein. They wanted some one else to go and the instruction was: "A taxi rank". So the general direction in which we had to head was Randfontein and the choice about the planting of the bomb was a taxi rank and that is the conclusion I made. It was said that we must go to Randfontein, we went there. The instruction was to place a bomb at a taxi rank, a taxi rank at Randfontein. That is what I was informed.

CHAIRPERSON: What do you mean when you said: "We ourselves had to find an appropriate target"?

MR VENTER: At the taxi rank itself, an appropriate target.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, okay. An appropriate target?

MR VENTER: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Carry on Mr Motlaung.

MR MOTLAUNG: Thank you Mr Chairman.

Mr Venter, I put it to you that the interpretation that you now wish we should attach to your evidence cannot be because if you look at the same sentence that I quoted, you say:

"We ourselves had to find an appropriate target and our target was the taxi rank Randfontein."

It cannot be that you intended here that you actually mean a specific target now at this same taxi rank. You make it clear that the target was the taxi rank, Sir.

MR VENTER: Okay can you go to paragraph 18, the first sentence, what does it say there?

"In our mission to Randfontein"

Do you see it there?

"In our mission to Randfontein I drove the vehicle"

My order at the game farm was the taxi rank.

MR MOTLAUNG: Any taxi rank, you were not told which specific one, correct?

MR VENTER: Okay but we were on our way to Randfontein. MR MOTLAUNG: Were you told which specific taxi rank in Randfontein, Sir?

MR VENTER: No, that wasn't a specific taxi rank. If there were six or ten I really didn't know.

MR MOTLAUNG: So this specific one was chosen by yourself, correct?

MR VENTER: Yes, if you ask the question that way, yes. If you come to the point to say I chose that exact taxi rank, yes, because I didn't know if there was 5 or 6 but if you say my objective was that my choice, no, that was an order.

MR MOTLAUNG: Okay Sir, let's talk now about your target being taxi ranks. What made you think that an appropriate target for you would be a black taxi rank?

MR VENTER: That was not my choice Sir.

MR MOTLAUNG: Whose choice was it?

MR VENTER: The people, the superiors that gave me the order, that was their decision and their choice.

MR MOTLAUNG: So their decision and their choice was specifically to say to you that it must be a black taxi rank?

MR VENTER: That is correct Sir. I just did what was asked and told to do.

MR MOTLAUNG: And Sir, looking at the position that you held within the Ystergarde, the meetings that you say you attended, particularly apparently also the closed meetings which one may term closed meetings, I get the impression that you were very close to decisions that were being taken at the highest levels within the AWB, is that impression correct?

MR VENTER: No, that is the wrong impression you've got Sir, I was mere a bodyguard. A bodyguard looks after the leader as Terreblanche now. I had no say in what they decided or when it was decided, I just protected the person itself.

MR MOTLAUNG: But when they discussed things you were present?


MR MOTLAUNG: Were you not there?

MR VENTER: No. Some of the times, minor meetings yes, I was present in the vicinity standing 10 or 5 yards away from Terreblanche himself but in closed meetings in this capacity we got feedback to what was said via Mr Terreblanche himself but we did perimeter protection. Perimeter protection is like these people standing outside now, they don't know what is going on inside here, but I was there and I got feedback from what was said and this is what we are going to do, this is how we are going to fight, we need arms, we need this. That is in a manner that I served Mr Terreblanche.

MR MOTLAUNG: And Sir almost finally tell me, you know the way you talk about how Barnard gave you certain instructions, how Koper Myburgh also gave you certain instructions, it looks like, and correct the impression if it is wrong, it looks like there was a big secret that they were busy about, Barnard and Myburgh. Even you the people who were in the Ystergarde, fairly higher levels within the Ystergarde, did not know what they were up to, is that correct?

MR VENTER: Sir, if I must put it to you this way: At that stage I left the head office and I was farming in the Lushof district which is between Lichtenburg and Mafeking, when these people phoned me and said: "Listen this is time, now you must come up to head office". I did not know of any bombs, any pipe bombs or vehicle bombs or whatever they planned, I didn't know of it. I walked into a situation where they told me: "From now on you do this and that". At that stage I was told to do it, I was given a command.

MR MOTLAUNG: I understand but it seems to me even at that time, this command there was something secret about it because initially you were told that look there is some business that we want to finish, that is what Barnard told you, and then at some later stage Koper Myburgh told you that what was loaded in the car apparently was something like manure if I understood the term correctly.

MR VENTER: No, Sir, not manure.

MR MOTLAUNG: Okay, fertiliser. Now I mean, can you see that they were not even being open with yourself?

MR VENTER: I don't know, I don't know if I must even try to put you into that frame of mind. In a circumstance like this I cannot ask questions to those people and I can't question them for what their ideas and goals were because they were told to do something, they got an order, the way I see it. I am not there to go and question them: "Listen what were you told, what is the plan of action here"? I cannot go question them on that. So if he doesn't tell me about it I am not going to ask him about it. If its secret and if it is kept one side, that is his business because he has been delegated to do that and I can't question him on that. That is how I see it from the Army's side, that is how I saw it as a para-military organisation in the AWB. I cannot go and question him.

MR MOTLAUNG: Sir, let me put it this way ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: ...(inaudible)

MR VENTER: Or manure.

MR MOTLAUNG: Let me put it this way, did you expect Barnard and Koper Myburgh, that when you ask questions, they should give you sincere answers?

MR VENTER: When I asked Koper Myburgh what was in the car, because I mean it is so obvious the car came there empty and now he comes back to the Holiday Inn parking and this car is packed like this, and I asked him: "What's that mate?", and he said: "kunsmus". I mean I am not an explosives expert, I don't know. I mean "kunsmus" for me goes into a mielie land, so he said "kunsmus" and I took it "kunsmus", "What the hell you going to do with kunsmus?" was not my question, I accepted that it was "kunsmus."

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible] symptoms were evident before this whole operation started.

ADV GCABASHE: Mr Venter, you know with simply following orders in this manner and with this whole secrecy issue, didn't you run the risk of being drawn into a splinter group in the sense that the splinter group would not being doing what the AWB has authorised as an organisation? If you didn't ask questions would it not be running that risk or did it not matter?

MR VENTER: Mr Chairman, at that time I did not know what these people were planning. I was told to go to Ventersdorp and from there I would have gone up to the "wildplaas" or wherever

they were because I didn't know. But at that stage when these two people approached me and said I must drive shotgun for them I did not know what it was for. Yes, maybe if we had to get to Welkom and they had to assassinate somebody or plant a bomb there yes, I would have been involved but I didn't know what it was and they didn't tell me, I walked blindly into something.

At the stage where we stopped at Klerksdorp and we loaded the pipe bombs, it came to, well I realised bang, here is it now. They spoke about war and: "Get the things and we going into it", and here is it now back to reality here is the stuff here in front of me. I accepted it, I didn't ask questions.

ADV GCABASHE: So if indeed they are found to have been on a frolic of their own to have done things that were not authorised by the organisation, where does your amnesty application fit in with that, because you are saying to us you were acting as a member of the organisation?

MR VENTER: Yes, Ma'am.

ADV GCABASHE: Where would that fit in, because it has been submitted that these were things that were done by people who were not necessarily following orders.

MR VENTER: No, Ma'am.

ADV GCABASHE: What do we then do with your application?

MR VENTER: That is how these people might see it. The way I saw it I come from head office or used to work at head office, I must add that I used to work there. I left for a couple of reasons that time but at that stage people working at head office, being at head office in the Ystergarde house, Cliff Barnard came to me and asked me: "Have you got a vehicle available"? and I said: "Yes, he said: "Right come, we are going or you must drive shotgun for us", I said: "Okay".

But my state of mind at that time was AWB and everybody in it, Terreblanche, the General staff, Cliff Barnard, Koper Myburgh, myself and whoever was involved at that time already, so I did not question whether this was direct from ET himself or from the Generals staff or from whom. I accepted that this was a AWB's decision and I acted as an AWB on that decision.

So if they had to tell me jump in the sea I think I would have followed them because that is what they wanted me to do, and I went for it because I saw it as AWB. I didn't know there was a splinter group. I didn't know maybe Mr Barnard had his own agenda, I really didn't know. We or myself in my view acted as a AWB at that stage.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you now think that it was in fact a splinter group?

MR VENTER: No, it was a direct order, as I see it and I understand it and know of it, that it comes from a General staff and Mr Terreblanche had to know about it because all these things were in preparation for this weekend. All these trips that we made to Welkom was in preparation for this weekend, the pipe bombs and all.

CHAIRPERSON: You see Mr Venter let's think about it now and relate it to the circumstances of the time. Here Mr Terreblanche gets onto television and he makes all types of statements openly, publicly. The whole world knows what the AWB's attitude and principles are in respect on a number of matters including the elections, but here in preparation for this war everything is so secretive amongst its own battalion, why?

MR VENTER: Mr Chairman, at that stage being involved in a couple of other incidents, I think these people what I see now is not what they did, it is what I say now. I see these people were very secretive about it for one good reason, we had so many elements inside the AWB, inside the "Boervolk" that was back-stabbers.

One of these people in front here, the attorney asked me earlier on how do I see it and that is how it is. So they were secretive because of so many elements inside of us that were back stabbers, hey, people made money out of this selling information.

So I think these people were okay stupid in planting bombs but also clever enough not to get back-stabbed before the time. That is why it was so secretive. That is my motivation of it.

CHAIRPERSON: Let me ask you this then, you seem to insist that Terreblanche must have known about all ...[intervention]

MR VENTER: He had to yes.

CHAIRPERSON: What about the other possibility that he didn't know it and it was in fact a splinter group, do you discount that?

MR VENTER: In my small brain capacity as a little Captain in the Ystergarde no way he had to know, he had to know because the elements and the people right around him, the Generals staff, I mean him and Barnard is like brothers, wherever he goes Barnard is there. They have done so many things on their own that I cannot even explain to you what they did.

CHAIRPERSON: Would you include the Generals staff then also must have known about all these things?

MR VENTER: Yes of course. The way I see it Generals staff as in total all the other Generals, alright there might be a couple of Generals that did not know about it but the Generals who was involved at those certain meetings at Ventersdorp, at that Trim Park, on the "skietbaan" and on the "wildplaas", those Generals including Ackerman, Cruywagen, Smit, General Terreblanche himself, ET's brother and Nico Prinsloo. I mean that was the main frame of the General staff, those were the main peanuts in the packet and they had to know about it, they had to know about it.

CHAIRPERSON: Very interesting example.

MR VENTER: That is how I see it Sir, that is how I see it.

CHAIRPERSON: But why couldn't - I am just investigating I am not saying that you are wrong or right.

MR VENTER: No, I am not wrong Sir. I am definitely right.

CHAIRPERSON: You are drawing your conclusions which may be correct.

MR VENTER: Yes, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: I am just investigating other alternatives, why could it not be that those Generals whom you refer to, why could they not be the splinter group?

MR VENTER: Without Terreblanche's knowledge? No ways Sir.


MR VENTER: Then he was part of the splinter group as well.

CHAIRPERSON: Why do you insist that he would have had knowledge of that?

MR VENTER: As I said they were the main peanuts in the packet, they knew exactly what he knew and he knew what they knew.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you saying their relationship was so close that they could not be separated?

MR VENTER: Yes, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: And what was his relationship with his brother who was also a General, close?

MR VENTER: Close yes, very close.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you saying that ...(intervention)

MR VENTER: Some days ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: There is no way that Mr Terreblanche the General would keep secrets from his brother the leader?

MR VENTER: There I must just correct myself. General Terreblanche although he was a bigger brother between him and Terreblanche, sometimes I think the AWB would have gone much further if he was the leader because he had the heart for it, he had the, I mean his heart was like, he is a good "ou". Some things were sometimes in a very big fighting mood between them, amongst them. Because ET did things that General Terreblanche didn't agree with, so I cannot say he knew about the bombs ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Does ...(indistinct)

MR VENTER: Maybe Terreblanche kept it from him but I think they knew.

CHAIRPERSON: It increases the possibilities that Terreblanche senior may very well have been part of a splinter group acting without the knowledge of the leader, is that not so?

MR VENTER: Sir, I wouldn't know.

CHAIRPERSON: Given that they had disagreements also.

MR VENTER: Yes, then I will say yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you concede that as a possibility? I am not saying it is so.

MR VENTER: As a possibility yes.

ADV BOSMAN: Did you attend the meeting at Trim Park Mr Venter?

MR VENTER: No, Ma'am.

ADV BOSMAN: But there was evidence yesterday that at the Trim Park ET as you call him said that all this war talk must first be sort of investigated, people should go back to their commanders and enquire whether they are in fact ready for war. Is it not possible that there from that could have come a split between Mr Terreblanche and his Generals who were all hyped up and psyched up to fight? I am just asking your opinion, obviously you can't say whether this was so.

MR VENTER: Okay, if I can correct my opinion that side. If I say the way I saw it, it was not said: "Go and find out if your people are ready", "go and make them ready, get them ready, let them get medical supplies, let them get their arms, their ammunition, let them be at a readiness level for this order that is supposed to come". I didn't see it as go and find out, I saw it as: "Get the people ready for that what was coming".

CHAIRPERSON: You see that enquiry in terms of the evidence that we have heard, was a direct result of a call to war by one of the Generals. And then according to the evidence Mr Terreblanche said: "Hokaai, let us find out if our people really want war or are prepared for war".

MR VENTER: Okay there I cannot say what happened there Sir. What I can say is I got the feedback on my farm where I was told these were the decisions made in Ventersdorp so you must prepare yourself for whatever is on its way, and I did my preparation.

CHAIRPERSON: Which message, which information may have been incorrect that you received, although you believed it?

MR VENTER: Yes it might be.

MR MALAN: May I just follow up on this splinter group which might have been lead by the General Terreblanche as a scenario or possibility. You said if I heard you correctly that the General was a good "ou" and he had a heart like this and you made a gesture. Are you saying that compared to the leader he is a softy or a toughie?

MR VENTER: No, no, no I didn't say he was a softie. I said ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Or more caring or?

MR VENTER: More caring.

MR MALAN: More human?

MR VENTER: Much more so.

MR MALAN: Now if that is so would it be likely that he would lead a splinter group that would take harsher decisions than the leader would approve of because that is how I understood you initially and I want to make sure what the frame is.

MR VENTER: No, General Terreblanche himself won't lead a splinter group like that, he would not even suggest it.

MR MALAN: He would rather be a check on his brother than sort of fire under ...(intervention)

MR VENTER: The aggressor yeah.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay thank you. Did you mean then that his brother would have gone further than?

MR VENTER: No, he would have been a better leader that is why I say because his got the heart for it. He would look after his people. He won't drop them in the deep side and turn around and walk away.


ADV GCABASHE: Just to round that off. But if you compared the two brothers the one more likely to get cold feet would be junior, ET not senior the General?

MR VENTER: In your words yes Ma'am.

ADV GCABASHE: Are you agreeing with that?

MR VENTER: Correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

MR MALAN: Please explain what do you meaning with getting cold feet? I am now confused because I get two messages please.

MR VENTER: I just want to bring it under your attention that what I am saying here is totally my words and my view. While I was in the AWB it was Ystergarde special task force and the elite and all that and we were boosted by the AWB the leader, this is my man or this is the greatest or this one is a good captain or whatever, but when it comes to the question of cold feet I refer back to the bombing. As the lady next to you said cold feet I will say, once the ...[indistinct] hit the fan and he had to give us full back-up on it and said: "Listen these are my people, they did it for us". He could have got up and said it but he never did, that is why I say cold feet, not as much as cold feet. I think he wasn't there to get the cold feet.

We did it in belief for the leader that stood with us that said "sa dood." Now when the "sa dood" was done there was nobody for us and I think he got cold feet. That is why he sent you a fax, he didn't come here in person and deliver it.

MR MOTLAUNG: Thank you Mr Chairman. Sir talking about the Germiston bomb would it then be fair to say that as far as that particular bomb is concerned for you as an AWB member it came as a shock? You knew nothing about it or had an idea that something like this would happen in Germiston?

MR VENTER: I didn't know Germiston was going to happen but when it happened I knew it was us. It didn't come to a shock to me because the previous day there was a bomb that went off and this is the struggle, this is the struggle that is going on, this is what we were told to do and we went for it. So the Bree Street bomb I think was the ignition, the beginning of it and when the pipe bombs went out and Germiston went, it was just a snowball effect and it was running.

MR MOTLAUNG: Sir let's put it this way. As far as the pipe bombs were concerned you knew about them and that they were going to go off, correct?

MR VENTER: That is correct, yes.

MR MOTLAUNG: As far as the Bree Street bomb is concerned you had no glue, no slightest idea that it was going to go off, correct?

MR VENTER: No, I did not know about the Bree Street bomb, only afterwards I found out then I made the assumption that we were involved.

MR MOTLAUNG: Yes, because look for me I may be prepared to accept that certain people who belonged to the AWB planted these bombs but now I am saying, and I want you to go along and guide me, I am saying to myself these may have been some very few individuals within the AWB who decided to do their own thing at that particular stage?

MR VENTER: No, Sir. I do not agree with that because coming from the West Transvaal, my area Lichtenburg, North West as it is being called now, there was a lot of AWB's Wen Kommando that was gathered there. There were so many people gathered all over the West Transvaal where the Volkstaat would have been, so I did not see it as a splinter group or just a couple of us that was doing the terror. I accepted, I waited for the rest of the people to get up and go, to get active as well because that was what was said, that was what was told that they are going to do as well, they are going to pick up the arms and take over and defend. Alright, back to reality, it never happened because they didn't go that far, we went and we did it not as a splinter group, we got the command to do it. We expected the other people that were called up to certain areas to go about and do exactly the same. Okay not exactly the same as plant bombs but also to fight the struggle and it never happened because back to the reality again, once two or three people got arrested, the rest ran like cowards back to their houses, they weren't there for support for us.

MR MOTLAUNG: Sir, in conclusion, what I am saying to you is the following: When the Bree Street bomb went off and when the Germiston bomb went off you loved the result, as an individual you loved the fact that black people were dying there but you had no prior knowledge that this is what the AWB planned?

MR VENTER: Can you just turn your question because I never agreed to saying I loved what happened, I did it because I was a soldier and it was my task to do it. I won't go toyi-toyi if your brains lies on the floor. That was something we had to do, I didn't love it, I did it because I was a freedom fighter. So you can state your question again, just don't use love.

MR MOTLAUNG: Okay. Look, you see the possibility that I am seriously looking at here is that I am actually shocked in the first place that bearing in mind what position you held within the AWB and the Ystergarde and that you were not somewhere here in Jo'burg, you were at the place where the things were happening. That when these bombs come for you they also come when you didn't expected them. You didn't expect the Germiston bomb, you didn't expect the Bree Street bomb, correct?

MR VENTER: No, I did not.

MR MOTLAUNG: And tell me if anything, if you later find out that anything has been done by an AWB member, do I understand your state of mind correctly that you would then assume that it must necessarily have come from the leadership?

MR VENTER: Sir, Mr Chairman, in this situation that we were placed in there is no doubt in my mind that it did not come from head office, that it did not come from the superiors and the Generals staff. There is no doubt in my mind that it was a splinter group that had to do this, it was the AWB. It was told and said by the leaders and the General staff to do it and we went and did it. Where I got involved my state of mind said pipe bombs in the back of my vehicle, I associated myself planting pipe bombs. When it came to my surprise that it was a Bree Street bomb, as soon as I saw it I questioned Koper Myburgh on it. The next thing that went off I was not at Koesterfontein, I was at the "wildsplaas." The next thing that came to my mind is this big bang down in Germiston and that I only heard when I came back from Randfontein. I did not know about Germiston bomb that left because this was done at a different spot, more or less as you heard the other evidence 30 km, 15 or 10 or whatever. I wasn't there. I never went there and I never discussed it what was going on there, so when those bombs went that is when I knew about it.

CHAIRPERSON: You see Mr Venter I think what Mr Motlaung is asking or suggesting to you, that while you may not have expected certain explosions, the overall intended chaos when it did come to your knowledge that certain bombs had gone off, it was gratifying given the policy as you understood it where the targets would be mainly blacks. Now that is what he is suggesting to you, that the successes was gratifying to you.

MR VENTER: If I can put it in different words I can say that every bomb that went off I knew it was us that put it off. For every bomb that went off I knew it was us that put it off.

ADV BOSMAN: I think Mr Motlaung goes further, he said that you experienced a feeling of success.

MR VENTER: I did reach my goal, no success, it was not successful. I did follow my order and reach my objective. There is never success there is always the loss of life, so for me I would just like to refer you back to my statement. It stands here that

three of the pipe bombs were a success and the Krugersdorp group buried their bomb next to the road. I wrote in here because the word success I don't deserve.

I wrote here three of the pipe bomb missions were executed according to the plans and that is my view. It was a plan, it was delegated and said do it and that is how I saw it, I did it and I think the other people they went and did the same was also in the same state of mind of doing it. I won't say a success. I will say yes, we accomplished our goal.

MR MALAN: Mr Venter, I cannot think that you were completely uninvolved in this, you either had to feel positive or negative about it if you saw this. In other words it is either at least on the way of reaching your goal or it was a negative feeling or awareness that was left with you. Now the question to you was did you support it, were you satisfied with that. You said that you wrote it in here, it was executed according to the planning, do you not feel positive about it?

MR VENTER: I was positively motivated yes.

MR MALAN: But the question that was put to you what was your reaction?

MR VENTER: I would just like to move away from the word success which this person used. I did not feel excited or feel really good about it and jumped up and shouted yes. Positive, I would say that we reached our objective. In the whole set-up I was motivated for the goal or I would say that we did obtain or reach our goals.

MR MOTLAUNG: Thank you Mr Chairman.

And Sir tell me as a trained soldier looking back, would you say that you have killed innocent civilians by your conduct?

MR VENTER: In this situation of the pre-election bombing?

CHAIRPERSON: I think he conceded that.

MR VENTER: Just to come back to your question yes.

MR MOTLAUNG: And at the time that you went about your deeds, did you realise that in the process you will kill innocent civilians?

MR VENTER: Yes, Sir but my motivation was for Volkstaat, for this determination of the Boer and the Afrikaner. I did it in that manner. Now I can say we killed innocent people.

MR MOTLAUNG: Yes. Just as a parting shot, you see why I am saying these things is that I will be inclined to argue maybe later that maybe you had a just war to fight the way you perceived it, but looking at it the way you went about it that you didn't have a target, you chose innocent civilians.

MR VENTER: No, Sir I do not agree there.

MR MOTLAUNG: Okay thank you.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman there is not much left for me but there is one or two points that I may, thank you.

MR PRIOR: Mr Venter reference was made to Exhibit F, that was a statement attributed to Mr Eugene Terreblanche on the 8th of February 1994, where he said inter alia that the bombs that had gone off in the Western Transvaal and the Free State, he said that this would increase if the Afrikaners never obtained their Volkstaat. My question is were you aware of that speech or that report, that is before you went up to the "wildsplaas"?

MR VENTER: Yes, Sir, I was aware of this and I was also aware of the bombs that went off before the free election.

MR PRIOR: So when you heard on the Sunday that the 24th on the news that the Bree Street bomb had gone off you weren't surprised that this bomb had in fact gone off. This was now the start of something because the bombings had been around for some time.

MR VENTER: Ja. It was going on for a while.

MR PRIOR: Another thing that strikes my eye when I went through the bundle is that there was a substantial amount of weaponry seized by the police from the "skietbaan."

That appears at page 19 and 20 of bundle 2, that is volume 2 Mr Chairman.

I noticed there were 16 machine guns or automatic weapons. Mainly R1's, R4's and R5's.

MR VENTER: That is correct ja.

MR PRIOR: Something like 30 000 plus rounds of ammunition of various calibre, there were about 11 unlicensed weapons and 40 licensed weapons amidst the whole host of explosives. Were you aware of that type of weaponry available at the "wildsplaas"?

MR VENTER: Yes Sir, it was told that we must steal otherwise get otherwise bring, but we brought it. I knew that there was a lot of people with R1's and R4's and R5's and ammo and that.

MR PRIOR: The point of my question is at the "wildsplaas," this camp that we have heard of, Mr Fourie said the camp was set up more or less along the lines of a conventional army camp operating in a war type situation, was there a central place where weapons were stored and ammunition was stored?


MR PRIOR: So where was the - I beg your pardon, this was found at the shooting range, but in the camp itself where was the explosives held or where was the thousands of rounds of ammunition, where was that kept?

MR VENTER: Okay the explosives I wouldn't know where it was kept but I know for a fact that each and every individual person there carried their arms and ammunition with them, if not in a kit bag in the car or wherever but these people had their own little arsenal of rounds of ammunition.

MR PRIOR: My next question, was there an expectation that weapons, conventional weapons like machine guns, etc., would have to be used over that period? Was that told to you, that there may be an attack or there may not be an attack or why there was a necessity for such a large amount of weaponry?

MR VENTER: You see the idea that I formed around this whole this whole situation is for us to protect ourselves as an individual, as Ystergarde Captain or whatever the rank may be, is to bring your own firearms and as many rounds as possible to protect yourself and if needed, because the whole idea was going out to the farms and protect them, to have enough arms and ammunition to be able to do this for the Volkstaat when the "oorlog" would have come and we had to protect the borders of that. So yes, I think that was, in the back of your mind you prepared yourself for this type of war.

MR PRIOR: Let me get closer to what I am actually driving at, were you ever instructed or informed that you would have to attack for example a military type installation for example the military if they never supported you or the police if they were against you or for example the ANC if they were going to take up weapons to stop what you were doing up in the Western Transvaal?

MR VENTER: It was said we will get our Volkstaat over the barrel of a gun.

MR PRIOR: Who said that?

MR VENTER: Eugene Terreblanche.

MR PRIOR: But wasn't that just political rhetoric, hot air?

MR VENTER: Hot air if you see it that way but for me every time he spoke, every time he got to the act of: we had to do this, that was all a growing stage for this "oorlog" he was planning.

MR PRIOR: Did you ever question what Eugene Terreblanche was saying at meetings?

MR VENTER: To whom am I going to put that question, to him?

MR PRIOR: Well were you not - was it not a democratic type organisation?

MR VENTER: No, Sir, you don't ask that man any questions.

MR PRIOR: Well I needed to ask you. You indicated that after the Bree Street bomb and certainly after the Germiston bomb and the pipe bombs, there were 4 or so Generals at the "wildsplaas" and/or "skietbaan."

MR VENTER: Before and after yes.

MR PRIOR: I need to know from you did any of those Generals at any stage say anything about the bombs, whether they agreed with that or it was to continue or not to continue?

MR VENTER: If they had anything to say about it negatively, if they had to say: "Hey, why did you do it"?, I think he would have shouted it out and shot us or kicked us in or something, but they walked around satisfied with smiles on their faces. They didn't say: "Hey gents that what you have done is wrong", never not once so they knew what was going on.

MR PRIOR: That was from their silence that you are drawing that assumption?

MR VENTER: No, they went about normally. So he walks up to you, you meet him or you greet him say: "Morning or afternoon or evening General". They didn't say: "Hey, you people just made big ...(indistinct) in this country", they were happy with it.

MR PRIOR: What I need to know was there ever a order group or a meeting where the Generals, those who you have mentioned: Terreblanche, Prinsloo, Cruywagen, etc., called the men there together and said: "Listen what has been happening here is not our policy or it is our policy"?

MR VENTER: They never came back and said this that what happened wasn't our policy, they never said that.

MR PRIOR: Or did they say to the men there that it was their policy?

MR VENTER: Well we were carrying on what was told.

MR PRIOR: Just answer the question. Did they ever say positively that it was their policy or are you simply assuming it from their conduct, the smiles and the way they greeted you and greeted the men and treated the men?

MR VENTER: I think for the General to discuss that manner with me as a Captain would never happen. He had his people that they spoke to, so that line of me going into a General's office and say do you like the idea that I planted a bomb is out.

MR PRIOR: Are you saying from their general demeanour?


MR PRIOR: You certainly accepted or assumed or believed that they knew?

MR VENTER: Accepted and believed yes.

MR PRIOR: What was going on.

MR VENTER: That is correct, Sir.

MR PRIOR: There is just one other aspect I need to ask you about. The Ystergarde, were there any ordinary troops in the Ystergarde because we know that there were either lieutenants or captains?

MR VENTER: We had what they called candidate officers.

MR PRIOR: Sorry and candidate officers.

MR VENTER: Yes Sir, that is the lowest form of rank that was in the iron guard, candidate officer.

MR PRIOR: How did you understand it, could you take as a lieutenant now could you give another lieutenant orders?

MR VENTER: Sir, as a para-military unit as is called the AWB Ystergarde, if we look at the rank structure if I am a Captain and let's say Vlok or whoever is also a Captain and you as Brigadier came to me and told me to do something.

MR PRIOR: Brigadier who? The Wen Kommando?

MR VENTER: Yes, even a brigadier of the Wen Kommando.

MR PRIOR: Sorry I don't want to confuse the issue let's stay with Ystergarde candidate officers, Lieutenants, Captains and who was in overall control of the Ystergarde?

MR VENTER: Brigadier Leon van der Merwe.

MR PRIOR: So he was the only other rank other than a captain or the captain to give ...(intervention)

MR VENTER: No, no we had Majors, we had Commandant Major, Brigadier.

MR PRIOR: Sorry I was, now it is more clear to me.

MR VENTER: Okay so out of that structure if one told, if the higher ranking officer told a lieutenant to tell another lieutenant to do something he had to do it because that instruction came from the brigadier or from the major or whoever. He never questioned that, he had to do it.

MR PRIOR: There seems to have been some confusion of orders filtering down whether it was from a person in the Wen Kommando or the Generals staff passing it on to for example some one like Cliffy Barnard. A lot of the men or the applicants testified here that they didn't know really who he was accept that he was close to the leader and they didn't know what his rank was.

MR VENTER: Cliffy Barnard acted like the "Skim". He was underground always busy with something different to what you were busy, so you never knew what Cliffy Barnard was doing only he himself knew what he was doing.

MR PRIOR: But you say he was very close to the leader?

MR VENTER: Yes, he was.

MR PRIOR: So he wasn't just an ordinary office worker?

MR VENTER: No, he was not.

MR PRIOR: In the head office. He was some one that?

MR VENTER: He was the trustee of Terreblanche.

MR PRIOR: Did he have recognition in the Ystergarde?

MR VENTER: Yes because of his rank in the Wen Kommando - look I also had two posts that I filled. In the Wen Kommando ...(intervention)

MR PRIOR: What were you in the Wen Kommando?

MR VENTER: Commandant.

MR PRIOR: A Commandant?

MR VENTER: Yes, until the decision came through from head office that we had to make the choice of the split, do I want to serve just the iron guard or do I want to serve the Wen Kommando.

MR PRIOR: So if you serve, let me interrupt you there, so if you served only in the Ystergarde you would be a captain?


MR PRIOR: So some one in the Wen Kommando a commandant could give you orders and tell you what to do or was he not allowed to give orders to Ystergarde?

MR VENTER: If it was accepted by my chief in charge, Leon van der Merwe, if he went to Leon and said listen we going to use Captain Venter in this and this area is it allowed then I had to take orders from that man yes.

MR PRIOR: But then that would have to be imparted to the men, that the order was approved of by some one senior?

MR VENTER: Yes, and that was every time said. That is how we accepted Clifford Barnard as our superior officer.

MR PRIOR: I want to ask you just one thing finally, of the 10 applicants that we have with us today, are they all Ystergarde?

MR VENTER: Yes, Sir.

MR PRIOR: Is no one of the applicants that you know of is just purely Wen Kommando?

MR VENTER: They had posts in the Wen Kommando.


MR VENTER: Ja, but not just Wen Kommando no Sir.

MR PRIOR: The people that were called up to and were stationed at the "wildsplaas" in Magaliesberg district were all Ystergarde?

MR VENTER: Out of us here yes but there was Natalians as well.

MR PRIOR: I will come to the Natalians. The Natalians seemed to have done very little there that weekend.

MR VENTER: No they were ...(intervention)

MR PRIOR: They weren't chosen to go and through pipe bombs or to go and assist.

MR VENTER: Yes, they were.

MR PRIOR: Alright. There was just one other thing.

ADV GCABASHE: Again of the applicants who are here today, how many do you know of were ET's personal bodyguards?

MR VENTER: Each and every one of us.

ADV GCABASHE: I thought so. No, no, no except for Mr du Plessis. I didn't get that impression from Mr du Plessis, and Mr du Plessis?

MR VENTER: Can I just correct the whole idea here. When Mr Terreblanche went to Durban, there was iron guard protecting him there as bodyguard, when he went to the Cape or West Transvaal there was bodyguards to do that in those areas but out of head office it was myself, Jan de Wet and Mr Vlok that were directly there with the leader. Okay, we were a couple of other people as well but in each and every district as we travelled for the meetings we had people there. We couldn't take 10 people from head office there. We had people in the areas so one or two goes with the leader to a certain area and there we get the other people as bodyguards doing the protection there.

ADV GCABASHE: But are you then saying that every member of the Ystergarde was therefore a bodyguard no that is not what you are saying?

MR VENTER: They were trained for bodyguards but they weren't always in a bodyguard position. Ninety nine percent or most of the time as a training instructors for the Wen Kommando.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

MR PRIOR: Leading on from that would I be correct in suggesting then to you that the people responsible for the bombings were mainly or exclusively Ystergarde personnel?

MR VENTER: We served Eugene Terreblanche as his guard, so he picked us specifically for that task, yes it was.

MR PRIOR: Ja, but he never picked you specifically to go and plant bombs, that was your assumption that the order came from him. You got the order at the "wildsplaas" on the 24th.

MR VENTER: Now my question is why would it just be Ystergarde?

MR PRIOR: That is my question Mr Venter. It seems to me from listening to all the evidence that the only people responsible with the bombings were Ystergarde.

MR VENTER: There was a couple of Natalians of the Wen Kommando, they call themselves special task force or ...(intervention)

MR PRIOR: Who were they that went along, are you able to name any names? Were they part of the 26 too?

MR VENTER: Yes, in the court there were 5 or 6 of them.

MR PRIOR: Alright, I don't want to leave the Committee with the wrong impression that it was only Ystergarde from Ventersdorp that were ...(intervention)

MR VENTER: No, there was Natalians involved. There were 5 or 6 of them involved in the court case itself. There were a couple of them that got sentenced as well with us.

MR PRIOR: But they haven't asked for amnesty?

MR VENTER: I am not sure, I think Oelie.

MR PRIOR: Is he one of the Natalians?


MR PRIOR: Okay. I think that is all thank you Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Mrs van der Walt, you have no questions?

MS VAN DER WALT: No, no questions.



MR PRINSLOO: No questions thank you.


MR MALAN: Mr Venter, the thing which is bothering me all the time is also this question of the "Ystergarde", it seems to me the Ystergarde members were called from all over the country to Ventersdorp despite the fact that as the evidence has been lead, there was different places where people gathered together in the Western Transvaal. Do you know of another place in the Western Transvaal where there was a big concentration of "Ystergaard" members?

MR VENTER: No, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: So it would seem at least one person had an agenda which was to bring together the "Ystergarde" members who had a lot of experience, bring them together at one point?

MR VENTER: That is correct.

MR MALAN: And you say this must have come from the Generals in staff, that is your evidence? You say that the Generals in staff must have planned this. Would that include the call-up instructions?

MR VENTER: That is correct. Mr Terreblanche would have known about us being together there.

MR MALAN: Ja but this is still looking at the other possibility, why for example could Cliffy Barnard not have had his own agenda, and whilst he had contact with all the "Ystergaard" members he could have gotten them there himself?

MR VENTER: No, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Or General Nico Prinsloo but an individual might have had his own agenda with regards to this big gathering of people.

MR VENTER: Then it would not have happened in this context. Let me put it this way, we had the two divisions, the ones making the car bombs and the others the pipe bombs. The two operations would have been separate completely if that was the case. Mr Terreblanche had to know because the Generals in staff were involved, the Generals in staff were involved because Nico Prinsloo knew about, Nico knew it because Cliffy was involved, Cliffy because Koper was involved. There was no way if you look at the circumstances of the AWB and the head office, there is no way that this could have happened any other way because then everybody could have gotten into a vehicle and like the previous bombs exploded, then everybody would have gone separate into a vehicle and go and plant a bomb and then come back, everything under the table, then it could have happened like that but in this situation it was planned and it was given to us in that fashion otherwise it would not have happened.

MR MALAN: But then it seems to me that it must have been planned that whichever bombs went out, whether from the game farm or the shooting range, it doesn't seem that there were any other bombs going from any other gathering point.

MR VENTER: That is correct, that is why I am saying it was very well planned attempt, a pre-prepared attempt to do these things. That is why I am saying we had to go and get the explosives. Somebody told us to go and get the explosives in Welkom. The pipe bombs had to go and get loaded after loads of them were made in Klerksdorp, so it was fine planning, it wasn't a question of like okay let's go and make pipe bombs, let's make things. The bombs were already there, that was the reason and that is why they got us together to go and do all the dirty work.

MR MALAN: Do you know how many pipe bombs there were in total?

MR VENTER: I do not know, I did not count them, they were in bags but the Golf's boot was loaded.

MR MALAN: Would you know about the pipes that you took out and you talked about thick pipes, would you say they were 80, 300?

MR VENTER: With the evidence that came out they talk about round about 20. There was these big sand bags - there might have been one or two in a bag. We stuffed them underneath the seats. We let the seats down and we placed all these bombs there right up into the boot. And later we learnt in the court that there must have been around 20. I did not go around and count them.

MR MALAN: Thank you very much.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you. A related question in a sense. It would therefore be correct for me to say that all the other people you say were gathered at other farms who had responded to the call-up those people really responded to the call-up on a defensive note. They had come together to be together with people of their kind to defend themselves. They weren't in an offensive mode as your specific group was. Would that be fair?

MR VENTER: No Ma'am. I was under the conclusion that these people were called-up for war. It was put, it was said, it was told, it was brainwashed this is going to be "oorlog". This is going to be war. And once the things happened they disappeared. Not to say that this was a question of they were for the offensive. They were there to fight with us. And they never came to it. It never came to - the order weren't given to them to carry on from there. The people sold their houses, sold their cars got caravans and bought packets and packets of tin food for this war. I mean why the hell will a man sell his car and his house to go to war and then two days later or a week later sit in the middle of the street with nothing. They were prepared to go to war but they turned around and ran away. So I say they went for war. Nothing else.

ADV GCABASHE: You see because my interpretation just in my own head of the turning around and running away is a natural reaction where there is no major upheaval as had been predicted in the country generally. I mean black people were collecting all kinds of things. Because everybody thought we will be under siege, there is going to be a problem. So it wasn't just anything the Boere or the AWB's were doing as a special group. Everybody had a fear that things would go wrong. But this is why again I say in my interpretation of the events therefore is that they were there thinking that things would go wrong, they gathered with their families and friends and the people they are related to and when things did not go wrong they then went home or went back to where they thought they could pick up the pieces again. So they were there to look after themselves, to protect themselves and the people they identified with. Not to come and offend against others.

MR VENTER: In a sense yes Ma'am. I can say that some of them went back to pick up the pieces. Others went back to nothing. They couldn't pick up pieces. So their motivation to get rid of those things to be on just you know protect the people around me and my family no ways. There were a more superior command or they had a different point of view to this because they would not go as far as leaving - I mean family splitted up, man and husband, divorce. Why would you go to this extreme measurements of just sitting at a place and waiting for might this happen or not? They went for it fully and it gone wrong. They had nowhere to go after that except walk back like dogs with their tails between their legs because there was nothing. And I won't I mean if I tell you we are going to war you sell your car and you motivated for this what is going to happen the next day if there is not war? To whom are you going to turn? That is the motivation I say these people had to go to war because they were prepared to do all these things and they turned around and they had nowhere to go. So the motivation behind this was for war, for empty promises that was made for us to believe in. And there was nothing at the end of the day.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Venter I just want to ask you one question. And this is with regards to the background of the evidence you have given earlier. How do you feel about those ideals which you no longer identify with. If I listen to your evidence in the last ten minutes are you not glad, happy that everything went wrong in the end? Do you not think that it could have been a slaughter and nothing would have come out of it anyway?

MR VENTER: Because of the leadership we had if it went further it would have been chaos. I think it would have been the greatest defeat the Afrikaner Boer could ever have experienced. We were motivated yes but it would have lead to disaster because we were told stories and we were motivated by things like for example the army is going to be there. The police is going to help us. There is going to be a "Volkstaat." And at the end of the day there was nothing. And all those people would have fought against us. So it would have been terrible. I agree with you.

CHAIRPERSON: But also you talk about the defeat of the Afrikaner Boer but also the destruction that you would have caused if it was planned better and it was executed better the whole concept. I am referring to the whole concept now. Are you not glad that the whole concept failed?

MR VENTER: I am glad about that.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Venter the video which we looked at I am not sure whether this is on record. When did Mr Terreblanche make that speech? The date have you got any idea?

MR VENTER: It was the beginning of the year of the elections, so January, February, March.

ADV BOSMAN: I don't want to force you. I don't want to put pressure on you to give us a date. It is no worries. Now with regards to you ending your membership there was evidence here about people who just did not continue paying their subscription fees or their membership fees. How did you end your membership with the AWB?

MR VENTER: I packed my bag, I turned around and I walked away. Afterwards I wrote in a written resignation.

ADV BOSMAN: But you actively resigned?

MR VENTER: Yes I have.

ADV BOSMAN: About the pipe bombs in Randfontein. What time of the morning did you plant them? I was wondering how it was so easy for you to get into the toilets.

MR VENTER: I think it was just before eight if I am not wrong. The taxi ranks is at the back of these toilets, behind the toilets and the people from the taxi rank had access to these toilets. It was public toilet.

ADV BOSMAN: Can you tell me how busy it was that morning?

MR VENTER: There were 4 taxis there at the taxi rank.

ADV BOSMAN: And people, how many people were in the vicinity?

MR VENTER: Chairperson from what I can conclude at that stage you do not really look around because your state of mind is a bit messed up. You are not functioning properly.

ADV BOSMAN: Let's put it in general terms. Eight 'o clock in the morning in Randfontein is it quite a busy time or not?

MR VENTER: It is quite busy.

ADV BOSMAN: Then on further question. Maybe it is not very relevant but I would like to know. Who guarded Terreblanche when all you "Ystergaard" members were at the game farm?

MR VENTER: There were people who were delegated or were tasked to guard him during that time.

ADV BOSMAN: Was it Ystergarde members?


ADV BOSMAN: Do you know where he was when everybody was at the game farm?

MR VENTER: At his house and also on his farm in Ventersdorp.

ADV BOSMAN: At the head office?

MR VENTER: I cannot tell you whether he was at the head office.

ADV BOSMAN: But I mean that Ventersdorp is the head office?

MR VENTER: That is correct yes.

ADV BOSMAN: And now I am just very curious. Where does a Western Transvaler learn to speak English the way you do? I was just wondering.

MR VENTER: Now we are getting to the purity of race. I grew up in an English home. I went to school in Nelspruit.

ADV BOSMAN: Are you an English speaking Boer?

MR VENTER: That is correct yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Venter how long were you a member of the AWB?

MR VENTER: I finished there in 1996 after I got out of prison. '85,'86 I joined them, so around about ten years.

CHAIRPERSON: And in all that time there was only one leader which is Mr Terreblanche?

MR VENTER: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And I understand that he has been the leader for 21 years already?

MR VENTER: 21 years I think that was in the early nineties. That was the birthday. I think then he was leader for 21 years. I think now it is about 28 years that he has been the leader.

CHAIRPERSON: If I understand your evidence he is a man you do not ask questions, you cannot ask him questions he'll shoot you or kick you or do whatever he wants. It is a strange question which I am going to ask. Was there democracy within the AWB? Was there an attempt made to get another leader?

MR VENTER: I know for a fact that because of medical which Mr Terreblanche is suffering from diseases or whatever at one stage there was a sub- or vice-leader chosen who would take over if Terreblanche died or if something happened to him. I do not know why they decided before that to get a new leader but I know a vice-leader was chosen.

CHAIRPERSON: It seems to me that he would have been a leader of the Volkstaat as well.

MR VENTER: I do not know.

CHAIRPERSON: You said that during these incidents in general the black people were the target at that it worked out that way?

MR VENTER: I wouldn't say the black people. I would say our enemy the ANC. If you look at the time in which we acted we were told that the ANC/SACP alliance was our enemy and the political struggle which was in progress at that time we were told that an ANC/SACP was our enemy. I wouldn't say all the black people or all the races outside of the white race. I would say ANC/SACP.

CHAIRPERSON: It is also said that this Volkstaat black people would be able to live there but they would not have a vote to right?

MR VENTER: That is how I accepted it.

CHAIRPERSON: Now that you have left the AWB what is your attitude towards black people?

MR VENTER: I am now in the position where I have got the approval of the ANC, their youth league and some of their other institutions in the area where I work. A good friend of mine a mayor of Phalaborwa, Joe Matabula. I am building wooden houses.

CHAIRPERSON: No I am not talking about your job or anything.

MR VENTER: But this is now what I am saying. The circumstances I do not know what the word is but my interaction with these people on a daily basis changed completely. I never thought that I would go to the ANC and ask for help in building houses. So my motivation changed completely.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you now live with black people?

MR VENTER: Yes I do get along with them. I have got no problem with that.

CHAIRPERSON: Things now changed since 1990, life changed a few peoples' lives improved and life continues. Can you live in the New South Africa?

MR VENTER: Well I am here to ask you if I can live in the New South Africa because the sentence I have got I find it difficult.

CHAIRPERSON: Let us put it this way. We grant you amnesty will you be satisfied in the New South Africa?

MR VENTER: Yes I am satisfied.

CHAIRPERSON: Haven't you got plans or looking forward to living in a Volkstaat now that you get to know these people?

MR VENTER: No like I have said to you I have rejected all these principles.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. You are excused.

CHAIRPERSON: What do you mean by building wooden houses?

MR VENTER: That is the business I am in. I am in timber frame houses. I physically build wooden houses. And they were also fabricated for the RDP project.

CHAIRPERSON: Now that you are involved in this project the money that you make out of this job is that not the reason why you are willing to change or is it from your heart? If you will now make money out of it or not.

MR VENTER: I haven't made money out of it yet. We are still working on that to get the money in to say that we are making money. No the motivational point is not now that I will become rich out of the RDP. They gave me a possibility to begin a business. They created a possibility to do something for myself. I could not have done that if they did not make it possible. So it is not about the money.

CHAIRPERSON: Your feeling?

MR VENTER: It is about the feeling. It is about I have got a work and I live compared to what I had when I left jail.

CHAIRPERSON: And the change towards people is that from your heart or is it connected to what you can make out of this?

MR VENTER: It comes from my heart otherwise I wouldn't have told these people how I felt under these circumstances.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. You are excused. Let's take a 15 minute adjournment.





DATE: 24 JUNE 1998

NAME: J P NEL - AM6469/97



CHAIRPERSON: Sit please.

J P NEL: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR PRINSLOO: The applicant's application Mr Chairperson appears on page 152 and 171 and 214 to 233. May I continue Mr Chairperson?

Mr Nel together with your co-applicants you were charged in the High Court on various charges of murder, etc and you were then found guilty of charges related to what is known to this Committee as the pipe bombs Western area, Randfontein and Pretoria. As well as attempted murder, damaging of property and the possession of explosives.

MR NEL: Yes that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And that is why you ask for amnesty in front of this honourable Committee. And you were also convicted to 21 years of prison sentence. Mr Nel in your application on page 160 it would be your page 2 paragraph 4 there is a typing error, the second sentence of paragraph 4 the word AWB must be deleted and it must be said ANC. It is very clear what is said there. It is line 2, ANC must be AWB. Just a moment please.

Mr Nel I refer to page 167 paragraph 23 at the game farm there where you were gathered together the Saturday evening the 23rd of April 1994 are you aware or not that Generals who gathered there at that game farm?

MR NEL: Yes Mr Chairperson after we returned from the vehicle mission everybody went to sleep and in the evening the Generals arrived there and had a meeting and I was placed as a guard at the door.

MR PRINSLOO: Who were these Generals? Can you please name them?

MR NEL: It was General Andries Terreblanche, General Etsabeth, General Nico Prinsloo, General Dirk Ackerman, his brother also Mr Ackerman and then it was Brigadier Leon van der Merwe as well as General Cruywagen and General Smit.

MR PRINSLOO: And after this meeting that evening did they leave there or do you know what happened to them?

MR NEL: They held their meeting in the room where Nico Prinsloo and van der Merwe stayed in the camp. And when they finished they got into the vehicles and left.

MR PRINSLOO: Sunday evening the 24th of April 1994 you received instructions to create certain explosions?

MR NEL: Yes that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: What was the target?

MR NEL: Commandant Johan du Plessis told me directly that the target was a taxi rank in Pretoria.

MR PRINSLOO: The following day did you then go to Pretoria together with Piet Steyn and Gert Fourie?

MR NEL: The Monday I left I was the driver of my vehicle and Piet Steyn sat behind and Gert on the passenger's seat.

MR PRINSLOO: Your target was in Pretoria?

MR NEL: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And Mr Nel when you left for Pretoria did you get to a taxi rank or what happened?

MR NEL: I know Pretoria well. I drove in. I directly drove to the taxi rank in Bloed Street and van der Walt Street. When we arrived there I identified it but there were too many police in that area. I drove past and did not plant the bomb there.

MR PRINSLOO: Did you place the bomb later at a different place?

MR NEL: That evening we left again and went to go and look at the taxi rank again. The policing was still strong there and from there we drove, I wanted to go and look in Pretoria North at the station there is another taxi rank. I was on my way there when I saw this area in Bloed Street and thought that it would have the same effect and we detonated the bomb on the side on the pavement of the building.

MR PRINSLOO: Why didn't you detonate the bomb at a taxi rank?

MR NEL: Because we believed that it would have the same effect if it was planted at a taxi rank.

MR PRINSLOO: Was there any policing there?

MR NEL: No there were no policing at that stage but there were black people who moved around there. And that is the reason why I placed it there.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Nel do you confirm that the application that appears before this honourable Committee as it is in the record?

MR NEL: Yes that it is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And Mr Nel today as you sit there how do you feel about the occurrences that happened in terms of lives that were lost, injuries and damage to property?

MR NEL: Mr Chairperson I feel bad about it. I am unhappy about it. If I could I would like to ask the people personally or apologise to them personally. I would like to talk to them and by doing that also state my side of this whole matter and explain why I did it and to tell them that I am sorry that I did it. And that they were in the wrong circumstances at the wrong time.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Nel are you presently still a member of the AWB?

MR NEL: No not at all.

MR PRINSLOO: Thank you Mr Chairperson.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR KRIEL: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Just a few aspects. If you look at paragraph 22 of your application page 166.

MR NEL: That is correct.

MR KRIEL: "The men went to a game farm in Magaliesberg where our instruction was to provide security for the farmers in that area."

MR NEL: That is correct yes.

MR KRIEL: In other words that was the main purpose why you went to the game farm or were you sent there?

MR NEL: No Mr Chairperson in my call-up instructions the day when I was called-up Major Johan Smit told me directly that today we going to fight the war. We must establish our Volkstaat and that we must move up and then we will receive further instructions in Ventersdorp.

MR KRIEL: And in Ventersdorp you were given the instructions to go to the game farm for security and protection of the farmers?

MR NEL: There Brigadier Leon van der Merwe at the Trim Park once again said to us. First we went to Clifton Barnard's farm and the day when we left to the game farm Major Smit once again came to me and said we going to Magaliesberg now to the game farm. I did not know where it was. I drove with other people there. And there he said to us that we will be on the borders of the Volkstaat close to the PWV area.

MR KRIEL: But your words and that is the point that I want to make is that the instruction was the protection of farmers in the area. And this aspect runs right through all the applications and that is the protection and security of the farmers in that area.

MR NEL: During that time we would still have looked after the people in that area. We did go on patrols where we did look after the farmers.

MR KRIEL: That is exactly the point that I would like to make. Can I just take you back for a moment. The group that went to Bophuthatswana or was sent there in order to secure Bophuthatswana when did this happen?

MR NEL: I do not carry any knowledge of that. I was not involved in that.

MR KRIEL: Did you not see on television people who were killed there or shot there?

MR NEL: I did see that people were killed there and shot there but I carry no knowledge of that.

MR KRIEL: But what I would like to find out when was this?

MR NEL: If I get my dates right I think it was in March or February.

MR KRIEL: When you went to the West Rand, to this Volkstaat area am I correct if I accept that you then forgot about Natal and the Free State and that is why you gathered in the Western Transvaal?

MR NEL: Yes Mr Chairperson for me my instruction was we are going to move up. The Volkstaat area - if I can just go back there was a meeting in February where we did security. It was a closed meeting where Mr Ackerman indicated on a map that we would use the Western Transvaal and implement that as a "Volkstaat." And that is why we went up to the Western Transvaal. When the Volkstaat then became a bit smaller we forgot about Natal and the Free State. We just want a part of the Western Transvaal.

MR KRIEL: And here is an election that is going to take place. Did you see this election as a threat?

MR NEL: Yes Mr Chairperson?

MR KRIEL: That is exactly the point that I would like to make. That is why you gathered in the Western Transvaal and you specifically were called together to protect that area as well as to protect the farmers who lived in that area.

MR NEL: Mr Chairperson we were a large number of people who were called up for the protection of the Western Transvaal. I do not know where the people gathered but according to my knowledge we would go to Ventersdorp and the rest of the people would be called up in the rest of the Western Transvaal.

MR KRIEL: But the Western Transvaal the AWB divided into parts and groups were sent to protect the certain areas or parts and you were there to do protection in this area close to the game farm.

MR NEL: In that area as well as in areas where the Wen Kommando could not cope with it.

MR KRIEL: That is now my following point. If the Wen Kommando could not be able to handle the situation you at the game farm you are Ystergarde you would then assist them. Is that correct?

MR NEL: Yes.

MR KRIEL: Paragraph 23 why did the theft of four by four vehicles, why didn't you succeed in that?

MR NEL: We went out that evening. We went to Klerksdorp. Jannie Kruger knew the area. He identified a garage and the people who went in first came back and from there we drove back to the camp. I do not know why it did not take place at the end of the day because they immediately said that we must retreat.

MR KRIEL: So you used the word things went wrong so you cannot say why?

MR NEL: Yes we did retreat there.

MR KRIEL: That Sunday evening that was when you were tasked regarding the pipe bombs?

MR NEL: Yes that is correct.

MR KRIEL: After you received this task did you remain the evening at the game farm and the next morning you went to Pretoria?

MR NEL: That is correct yes.

MR KRIEL: You could not continue with the planting of the bomb. You then went to friends where you remained the day?

MR NEL: Yes that is correct.

MR KRIEL: What did you do during that day?

MR NEL: The morning we ate and from there we left. I got false number plates at a place and we waited for it.

MR KRIEL: I assume that you were the whole day there?

MR NEL: Yes.

MR KRIEL: Did you watch television?

MR NEL: No we did not. There wasn't a television.

MR KRIEL: Did you listen to the radio?

MR NEL: No not at all. We sat in the car and I think at one stage I went to go and sleep as well.

MR KRIEL: So you did not follow the elections or the happenings or whatever? You did not discuss that?

MR NEL: No not at all.

MR KRIEL: What time did you plant this bomb approximately?

MR NEL: It was approximately eight 'o clock that evening.

MR KRIEL: And during that day because I accept that you probably arrived in Pretoria early that morning?

MR NEL: Yes.

MR KRIEL: The whole day did you in any way try and make contact with head office in Ventersdorp to say people there are problems. We cannot execute our order. We are going to be here longer than we thought?

MR NEL: No Mr Chairperson because my instruction was that we have to detonate the bomb and I waited for an opportunity to go and detonate it. I did not contact the head office because my direct commander was at the game farm and he gave me instructions there.

MR KRIEL: But the game farm was in radio contact with the head office?

MR NEL: Yes that is correct.

MR KRIEL: So if you wanted to inform them that there is a problem you could have done it?

MR NEL: I did not know if the radio connection worked at all times.

MR KRIEL: But you also did not try and find out?

MR NEL: No I did not.

MR KRIEL: After you ignited the pipe bomb you left to a resort at the Hartebeespoort dam?

MR NEL: That is correct yes Mr Chairperson.

MR KRIEL: Why did you have time now to go to a resort?

MR NEL: The same people who we stayed at in the flat that day said that they will leave and go there and from Pretoria we drove there and I first went around to go and visit them.

MR KRIEL: To do what? You are busy with a war if I understand the applicants' testimony.

MR NEL: Mr Chairperson some of the people they were two blind men and I was quite good friends with them and they asked us that evening. They did not know what we were doing and they said that if we return that evening they asked if we could just go around at their place.

MR KRIEL: And so the whole day you spent with them?

MR NEL: No they were not there the whole day.

MR KRIEL: That is the impression that was created. You go and plant your bomb and you socialise at a resort at the Hartebeespoort dam.

MR NEL: That was early the morning we arrived there at the flat and we ate there and a while later they left. They gave the flat to me to spend time there. I did not give them any reason I just asked them if we could stay over and they said yes. And I asked for the number plates. After we had received the number plates we waited till it had become dark and then we drove and detonated the bomb.

MR KRIEL: But at the resort you stayed there till three 'o clock the morning?

MR NEL: Yes.

MR KRIEL: Sir I put it to you that is not a war situation.

MR NEL: Sir the circumstances in which we were when we went to the resort was for me was something different. I went to go to friends and we visited there. And now suddenly if you leave there in a hurry or do something wrong they would like to know why can't you sit still.

MR KRIEL: Did you only talk that evening, no drinks taken, nothing of that sort? ...[transcriber's own translation]

MR NEL: We didn't drink at all no. We sang Boer songs.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nel after the operation who did you have to report to?

MR NEL: I would have reported back to Commandant du Plessis, the person who gave me the instruction Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: You are now on operation you go and plant the bomb. It is a war situation and it was controlled from a head office or from a farm. Why didn't you think it good to go straight back and to report back whether you had a success or whether it was a failure?

MR NEL: Chairperson after we detonated the bomb I thought of the people whom I said I will go and visit them so I drove there. I cannot explain to you why I didn't go back to head office.

CHAIRPERSON: Why didn't you go back - did you go back and report to du Plessis?

MR NEL: When I got back at the game farm du Plessis wasn't there. They were already busy with preparations to leave for the shooting range in Rustenburg.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you ever report back to him that you have planted the bomb and what the consequences of it was?

MR NEL: When I got into the hall - when we walked into the hall me and Fourie, this is now after we returned Major Smit shouted very loudly in this hall. Sorry my language his words were: "Where are you now coming from?" And everybody in the hall heard that. It wasn't necessary for me to report back.

CHAIRPERSON: In a war situation I am not surprised he shouted at you. How did you explain it to him?

MR NEL: That was his attitude at all times Major Smit's that is. He always gave threats that he is going to shoot you and that you cannot turn back and that you had to complete your instructions.

CHAIRPERSON: How did you explain? What did you say where did you come from?

MR NEL: He knew I was on a mission because he was there when everybody was issued with their missions.

CHAIRPERSON: That is my point.

MR NEL: Commandant du Plessis gave the instructions and Major Smit knew where we were. And because we did not return the day we were supposed to return because the bomb was supposed to be detonated that morning and we only returned the next morning. That is why he shouted "Where you now coming from?"

CHAIRPERSON: And what was your answer?

MR NEL: I didn't answer him.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you not think that you must explain yourself?

MR NEL: I only explained to him that we had problems. That is all I said we had problems and I didn't say anything else.

MR KRIEL: Your behaviour lead to the fact that you and all the other applicants or let me put it this way that most of the accused in the High Court was arrested. Is that not correct?

MR NEL: Please repeat the question?

MR KRIEL: Your behaviour lead to the fact that most of your colleagues were arrested at the shooting range. Because they would never had been there. They would have been at the game farm. But because you stayed away they fled to the shooting range.

MR NEL: Their decision making I cannot justify that. I do not know why they took that decision. Afterwards I found out they said that they took the decision to go to the shooting range because we arrived there late.

MR KRIEL: And because they were scared you were arrested?

MR NEL: That is correct. That is what I heard Chairperson.

MR KRIEL: And at the shooting range did the men ask A B Fourie can't they rather visit their wives. Is that correct?

MR NEL: That is correct Chairperson.

MR KRIEL: And you decided to go back to the Hartebeespoort dam?

MR NEL: That is correct Chairperson.

MR KRIEL: No further questions under those circumstances.


MR MOTLAUNG: I've got no questions Mr Chairman.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR PRIOR: Thank you. Mr Nel after your mission you returned to the game farm. Is that correct?

MR NEL: That is correct Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And you did not really report back to anybody about what you have done or whether the mission was successful or not?

MR NEL: No Commandant du Plessis who was there and he gave me the instructions was not there so I couldn't report back to him. And Major Smit shouted it out in the hall so I believe at that stage that everybody knew what was going on.

MR PRIOR: But you were grown-ups. Wasn't it a question of the fact that the major treated you as a teacher would treat

pupils? You were a grown man you were a soldier and you had to go and kill people and you realised that you were going to kill people. Is that correct?

MR NEL: In a war situation yes.

MR PRIOR: Forget the war. You took two pipe bombs and you detonated them in Bloed Street in Pretoria. This was close to a place where people were sitting drinking. Is that not true? And then you return and this man says to you where the hell have you been. And because the fact that you are not around we thought you were arrested and you don't say anything.

MR NEL: I explained to him that we had a problem.

MR PRIOR: What did you say what was the problem?

MR NEL: Because we couldn't place the bomb that morning because of the police.

MR PRIOR: Did you explain it to him the way you testifying now?

MR NEL: Because he wasn't my commanding officer I didn't.

MR PRIOR: You only said you had a problem?

MR NEL: Yes.

MR PRIOR: And he accepted it like that.

MR NEL: Yes he did. And just to put a thing right. It wasn't two bombs it was only one.

MR PRIOR: In Bloed Street what did you see when you were standing around there? Was there a shop there, was there a building there? Was there some or other structure?

MR NEL: We saw the building and there were black people moving around there.

MR PRIOR: And where was this bomb actually planted?

MR NEL: On the side of the road on 7th Street, at the side of the building.

MR PRIOR: In other words the people inside did not see what was going on outside?

MR NEL: Not as far as I can imagine.

MR PRIOR: How many people were inside this building?

MR NEL: I cannot say how many were inside.

MR PRIOR: Was it your intent to kill all those people in that building?

MR NEL: It was our intention to create a psychosis of fear so that the elections would be stopped because of that and because there were black people around the building we thought that it had the same effect as if we would have placed it at the taxi rank. Because the majority of ANC members according to us were black. And I saw the black people and I placed the bomb there and we thought it would have the same effect as at the taxi rank.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nel before we continue. When you signed these documents did you read the documents? Are you happy that they are correct?

MR NEL: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Look at page 169 paragraph 28. That is your application?

MR NEL: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: The last two sentences would you please read it.


"Piet Steyn ignited the pipe bomb's fuse and he threw it out of the vehicle's door and we left immediately."

CHAIRPERSON: That is not placed?

MR NEL: Well we threw it out. He detonated it. To me it is the same thing.

CHAIRPERSON: No Mr Nel it doesn't sound right to me and I want to give you an opportunity to explain this. You testified all the time now about how the pipe bomb was planted next to a shop where there were people, black people.

MR NEL: Yes Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And it was ignited and then you left?

MR NEL: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: It doesn't sound to me as if you lit it in the car and then threw it out of the window.

MR NEL: Chairperson in Bloed Street we moved up in Bloed Street and we turned right into 7th Street and right in front of this building we stopped. Steyn ignited the bomb, he opened the door and threw it out onto the side-walk and from there we went.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that all you can explain?

MR NEL: That is how it happened Chairperson.

MR PRINSLOO: The word "planted" was never really used by the witness. My learned colleague, Mr Prior used the word plant.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prinsloo whether we speak about plant or put down or whatever. It is very different from throwing something out of the window of a car that is what I am saying.

MR PRINSLOO: The witness confirmed to what was said in his application. Mr Prior said to him he planted the bomb and it is very loose terminology the way he puts it in any case.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Prinsloo I heard it very clearly that after Mr Prior's question I did put the question that way but then the witness did say the bomb was planted or placed on the side of the pavement.

MR PRINSLOO: This would be splitting hairs to say that because in his statement it is quite evident that where the bomb came to be it might have been placed there.

MR PRIOR: Whatever can you remember clearly now that the bomb was then thrown out of the car?

MR NEL: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: It is not a question of somebody getting out of the car, walked to the building and there next to the structure there placed the bomb?

MR NEL: No Chairperson.

MR PRIOR: It was never your intention?

MR NEL: No Chairperson.

MR PRIOR: It was not your intention to create this impression?

MR NEL: No it wasn't.

MR PRIOR: Mr Nel you received instruction from Mr du Plessis?

MR NEL: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: To place this bomb at a taxi rank and that morning you went to Bloed Street where there was a taxi rank. Why didn't you just plant that bomb that morning? Why was it necessary to drive away?

MR NEL: Chairperson as I have already said when we arrived there, there was so many police and policing that we decided not to place the bomb there. We didn't want to create further problems and we expected to be arrested or something like that might have happened.

MR PRIOR: That is why you put forged registration plates on your car. You were scared of being arrested?

MR NEL: That is correct Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And then you would have liked to use the dark to plant or detonate your bomb rather than in daylight?

MR NEL: That is correct Chairperson.

MR PRIOR: But weren't there other taxi ranks in Pretoria where black people would use taxis?

MR NEL: That is why when we left there we made the registration plates and the night we drove I drove in the direction of DF Malan towards Pretoria North the station there because I knew there was a taxi rank there.

MR PRIOR: Why didn't you go back to the same rank?

MR NEL: We were there.

MR PRIOR: But now you found a drinking spot, Sanny's Cafe?

MR NEL: I did testify that we did return. We did go and have a look and the policing was still strong there and we accepted that we could be arrested then. And from there we left and we would have gone to the next taxi rank and at the end of the day this building we identified it and I thought it would have the same effect.

CHAIRPERSON: What was your instruction when you left there with the pipe bombs? What was the target?

MR NEL: We were told a taxi rank.

CHAIRPERSON: Who decided to throw the bomb somewhere else?

MR NEL: Chairperson we identified that building ourselves after we drove.

CHAIRPERSON: Who in the car did this?

MR NEL: Please repeat?

CHAIRPERSON: Who in the car made that decision?

MR NEL: We decided it together, the three of us who were together in the vehicle.

CHAIRPERSON: And that was one of the opportunities where you could have used your own discretion?

MR NEL: Because we did not place it that morning at the taxi rank because of the strong presence of the police I thought that if they were at one rank they could also be at another rank. So we went from the one to the other and then we identified the place and we placed the bomb there.

CHAIRPERSON: How far away from the taxi rank did you throw this bomb?

MR NEL: I would say about three or four kilometres.


MR PRIOR: I do not understand the reason why you did not immediately drive back to the game farm and that you rather went to a resort up until three in the morning where you sang Boer songs or folk songs. Why didn't you immediately go back and report back to your commander?

MR NEL: I cannot really say.

MR PRIOR: Sir please you are a soldier. You were busy with a war. You go to Hartebeesfontein and you visit there and you sang songs. Did somebody have a guitar there?

MR NEL: Yes Chairperson.

MR PRIOR: And you are saying there was no liquor involved?

MR NEL: Yes Chairperson.

MR PRIOR: Till three 'o clock in the morning you sang and you didn't drink a drop of liquor?

MR NEL: That is correct Chairperson.

MR PRIOR: Did you have a braai?

MR NEL: No Chairperson.

MR PRIOR: Nothing to eat? Anything?

MR NEL: Nothing.

MR PRIOR: Did you drink soda?


MR PRIOR: Not even coffee?

MR NEL: Nothing.

MR PRIOR: Well you surprise me. And you cannot give us a reason why you did it?

MR NEL: The only reason I can give is that, that morning I told you I will go around there.

MR PRIOR: And you felt obligated to go and see these two friends of yours and to go and visit there because you told them you would?

MR NEL: Yes Chairperson.

MR PRIOR: And what about the Ystergarde and your obligations towards the other men at the game farm?

MR NEL: This resort if on the way back to the game farm.

MR PRIOR: Did you realise that there was a security risk with regards to your mission?

MR NEL: I do not know what they thought?

MR PRIOR: So in other words you placed your men in danger. The longer you stayed away the bigger the chance was that you will be arrested?

MR NEL: Yes Chairperson.

MR PRIOR: Did you realise it?

MR NEL: Not at that stage.

MR PRIOR: Did you ask for permission to go and see your wife?

MR NEL: We asked if we can go and see the wives?

MR PRIOR: Did you ask?

MR NEL: I was together with the group who asked.

MR PRIOR: When was this?

MR NEL: It was the 26th, the Tuesday.

MR PRIOR: When did you go to the game farm? You said in your application on the 14th of April you received the call-instruction.

MR NEL: That is correct Chairperson.

MR PRIOR: Did you leave immediately?

MR NEL: Yes.

MR PRIOR: Did you sell your house?


MR PRIOR: Where were you living at that stage?

MR NEL: I was staying in Pretoria and my wife and my children - it was just on my child's birthday she refused to go with.

MR PRIOR: So she stayed behind?

MR NEL: Yes.

MR PRIOR: Was this house in your own name or did you rent this house?

MR NEL: We rented the house.

MR PRIOR: And your job - where did you work?

MR NEL: I worked at Transnet as a train driver.

MR PRIOR: Did you resign?

MR NEL: No Chairperson I put in leave.

MR PRIOR: You put in leave?

MR NEL: I had leave. I was on leave.

MR PRIOR: Up until when?

MR NEL: I was on leave till late in April. I was on sick leave because I had my leg in a cast.

MR PRIOR: So after your leave you would have returned to your job if you could. Was that your intention?

MR NEL: Please repeat?

MR PRIOR: You would have returned to work after your sick leave.

MR NEL: If there weren't any call-up instructions yes.

MR PRIOR: Why do you think you were going to Ventersdorp?

MR NEL: Major Smit contacted me on the 14th of April and he said now it is time for war. It is now the time we must put everything together we are going to Ventersdorp and we are going to protect our Volkstaat and we are going to wage a war about which we have been told in several meetings.

MR PRIOR: Did you think the Volkstaat was going to be founded?

MR NEL: Yes.

MR PRIOR: So if it happened like that would you have stayed there?

MR NEL: Yes I would have stayed there.

MR PRIOR: And what about your job?

MR NEL: We were told that those who went there for the protection of the Volkstaat that we would be part of the protection of the Volkstaat and you would work for the government of the Volkstaat in a police capacity.

MR PRIOR: What about the Transnet job?

MR NEL: I would have resigned.

MR PRIOR: If you thought you were going to live in the Volkstaat why did you not resign before you left?

MR NEL: But at that stage I was still on sick leave. I wasn't close to my job. I got call-up instruction and I went.

MR PRIOR: But the instruction was to go and fight a war?

MR NEL: Yes.

MR PRIOR: And the war did you think it would be at an end at the end of April?

MR NEL: With the run-up to all these events you cannot say when a war would stop.

MR PRIOR: Exactly that is my point. So you had enough warnings at the 14th of April you had enough time you could have told your employer look I am resigning.

MR NEL: If there is a war and at the end of the day if everything succeeded then I wondered if there would still be a Transnet station.

MR PRIOR: Did you think about that on the 14th of April?

MR NEL: I believed it was war.

MR PRIOR: And what about your wife and children? Would you have left them in Pretoria at the rented house?

MR NEL: She didn't want to go with me at all and I contacted her and if I can call my father he will also testify that I phoned them that they must go and fetch my wife and children because they didn't want to come with me.

MR PRIOR: And your leg was in cast? Could you run?

MR NEL: Yes.

MR PRIOR: With the cast?

MR NEL: Yes.

MR PRIOR: So did it get better?

MR NEL: It was in plaster my leg.

MR PRIOR: Did it get better? Could you run with this leg?

MR NEL: Ja I run races with my leg in plaster.

MR PRIOR: So it didn't bother you? It didn't hold you back?

MR NEL: No Chairperson.

MR PRIOR: Now after this planting of bomb you ask for permission to go and see your wife.

MR NEL: I was with the group who asked to go and visit the wives.


MR NEL: Because we were together in a group there.

MR PRIOR: But the other missions which would have been executed surely this one bomb mission wasn't sufficient?

MR NEL: Please repeat.

MR PRIOR: It seems to me that the only thing you did there was to go to Pretoria for pipe bomb and there to throw it at a cafe?

MR NEL: That was my instruction. I didn't receive any further instructions.

MR PRIOR: Did you shoot at some one at the game farm?


MR PRIOR: So you didn't fire a single shot?


MR PRIOR: But these other bomb expeditions were there not other bomb expeditions planned?

MR NEL: I was not part of the planning. I do not know if there were any further bomb explosion missions.

MR PRIOR: Were there any order groups where you received instructions saying this is the beginning there are going to be, many other are going to follow?

MR NEL: Chairperson several meetings before hand it was said but when we were at the game farm there wasn't an order group telling us. We didn't receive further instructions.

CHAIRPERSON: You stayed in Pretoria?

MR NEL: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: You go on a mission to Pretoria?

MR NEL: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Things didn't work out very nicely. Why do you go to a resort? Why didn't you go home?

MR NEL: Chairperson as far as I know my wife has packed all of her things. The house was empty.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you know that?

MR NEL: I was the morning at my house. It was empty and my wife was angry with me. Because I left her at home.

CHAIRPERSON: That is the day of the mission?

MR NEL: No the 14th of April I already went.

CHAIRPERSON: So you did go to the house?

MR NEL: Yes I was there. That was during the day while we waited for the number plates.

CHAIRPERSON: And what you have done if all the furniture was there?

MR NEL: I would have asked her again to come with me?

CHAIRPERSON: Would you have stayed there that evening?

MR NEL: At my wife?


MR NEL: My mission wasn't completed yet Chairperson. I wouldn't have stayed there.

CHAIRPERSON: But then you go and visit friends.

MR NEL: Afterwards I completed my mission I went for a visit and I went back to the game farm.

CHAIRPERSON: And you said these people were blind?

MR NEL: Yes two blind men.

ADV BOSMAN: Did you try and determine where your wife was at that stage?

MR NEL: At that stage I did not know how to determine that. I did not know how to contact her. I couldn't reach her. I didn't even know where to look for her.

ADV BOSMAN: But you said that your father could testify to that. Where were they living at that stage?

MR NEL: They were in Watervalboven. I contacted him, I phoned him before I left and I asked him before I left and I asked him to please go and have a look at my wife and children.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you.

ADV GCABASHE: Mr Nel can you just get the sequence of this right for me please. On the 25th you detonated this pipe bomb in Bloed Street.

MR NEL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: And you only returned to the camp on the 26th, the following day?

MR NEL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Now as you understood your objectives, your objectives were to cause as much chaos as possible to ensure that the election would be stopped?

MR NEL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: That election was going to take place on the 27th.

MR NEL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: And yet you do two strange things. One you spend critical time, that is the evening of the 25th with friends. And then on the 26th the day before this election that you are trying to derail you go off and decide as a group that you want to visit your wives. I don't understand this. I would have thought this time was so critical that you would spend every moment planning and executing missions to derail this thing that was going to happen so soon. Can you explain this to me? Why people were so relaxed and yet the election was going to take place the very next day. What was your mission in that case?

MR NEL: Chairperson the Committee member asked so many questions I can't remember all of them. Can't she just stipulate one for one what she wants me to say?

ADV GCABASHE: Yes it is just that I am trying to understand what you were thinking of on that day. And I am actually asking you to put it together for me. I will start again. You went out on a mission. It was important to go out on this mission yes?

MR NEL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: You then spent the night of the 25th with friends rather than go straight back to your commander to report back. Yes?

MR NEL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: You returned to camp on the 26th, the day before the election yes?

MR NEL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Now with that in mind my question is your objective was essentially to derail the election of the 27th yes?

MR NEL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Why would you spend critical time visiting friends, asking to visit your wives when the election was pending? It was going to happen the very next day. I would have thought that your purpose, your goal was so important that all the other things could wait. You had to derail this election by all means and yet you all seemed to have been very relaxed and wanting to visit wives and looking after friends you had made promises to. I am just asking you to explain this to me.

MR NEL: Chairperson when I returned from my mission I immediately went and on my way back to the game farm I stopped at these people whom I told that morning that I would come and visit them and from there - in reality we didn't really visit there that long because the explosion happened around eight 'o clock.

CHAIRPERSON: But we've heard all of this. The question is why did you waste time in a time right before the elections? Because, and this is becoming an important question. It is because the election was going to take place the next day.

MR NEL: It was the 26th when we left again.


MR NEL: Chairperson I cannot give you an answer. All I know was that some of the people were worried about the wives on the other farm. I cannot say why we did it.

CHAIRPERSON: You were one of the people asking whether you can go and visit your wives on the other farm. Where would you have found your wife?

MR NEL: I was not in the group that asked. I did not physically ask. I stood with the group when they asked it.

CHAIRPERSON: I thought you asked to leave the farm.

MR NEL: I was together with the group who asked it. I did not personally ask for permission because I couldn't go to my wife directly.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you leave the farm?

MR NEL: Yes I did. And that is why I went to the resort.

CHAIRPERSON: And the people who gave you permission to go to your wife was under the impression that you going to your wife?

MR NEL: No Chairperson Major Smit knew. He dropped me at the resort. He knew where I was.

CHAIRPERSON: Then why did you want to leave the farm?

MR NEL: It was not as if I wanted to leave but when everybody left I said no I will go with them, because the others were going to Pretoria they dropped me off at the resort with the people that I met or visited the previous evening.

CHAIRPERSON: So you just took a holiday from this war? Because you were not worried about the danger of your wife because you did not know where she was.

MR NEL: Mr Chairperson I did not take a holiday from the war. I believed in what was lying ahead and in my principles.

CHAIRPERSON: But you said you took a - it is like you took a break from the war?

MR NEL: I would not say that no. After the men drove back to their wives we would have gone just for the day and then returned.

ADV GCABASHE: You see again your answer suggests to me that the basic purpose for gathering in the Western Transvaal was to protect yourselves, your families, the people you identified with. I put this to Mr Venter, the last witness. These men you left your families at this critical time because I beg your pardon - you left the "wildsplaas" and the "skietbaan" at this critical time because you were going to protect those close and near and dear to you and that in fact is the original purpose for moving up to the Western Transvaal. So the day before all this chaos, all this election fear is supposed to come about you go back to your original purpose for gathering in the Western Transvaal; to protect those you identify with who are close to you. And that is really why people gathered. It wasn't to derail the election. It was to make sure that you as a people were secure until things had settled down.

MR NEL: No Mr Chairperson my instruction was that it would be war. At various other meetings it was said and my instruction was that we are going to fight in this war. And at the game farm we were told that we will disrupt the elections in order to force them to provide us with a "Volkstaat." We believed that if the elections will take place at the end of the day we will not be able to get a Volkstaat with an ANC majority. That is why we went to go and disrupt the elections and to put so much fear in the people that they will not go and vote. We wanted to force the government to give us a "Volkstaat."

ADV GCABASHE: But again the interpretation could be that you were just acting as spoilers, I will use that word just as an easy word, just as spoilers. You didn't really have a political objective. You had a motivation yes, but no real objective when you embarked on these minor missions. You were just acting as spoilers. As a splinter group somebody else might say. What do you say?

MR NEL: No Mr Chairperson I believed that everything was under the hospice of the AWB and that the Generals in staff were present when I was at the meeting that they held. And because of the fact that General Prinsloo was at all times involved with Brigadier Leon van der Merwe and also at the shooting range afterwards when we left to go there General Ackerman Jr. and General Smit with Nico Prinsloo were also present. And I believed that the AWB is giving the instructions. They are leading us in this process and I believed that the AWB is in charge of everything and they will take it further.

MR MALAN: You say that your wife did want to come with you. You did not know but you found out during the day you went to your home?

MR NEL: Yes Mr Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Why didn't she want to go with you?

MR NEL: My wife at that stage was very angry with me because it was my children’s' birthday and the ice cream cake was melting at that stage and I said I was leaving.

MR MALAN: Did you meet your wife after that?

MR NEL: After I was arrested my wife came to visit me with my parents and we did reconcile.

MR MALAN: Are you still married?

MR NEL: Yes we are still married.

MR MALAN: Just to add to what Advocate Gcabashe's question. It does not seem as if you wanted to protect your own family. You went to go and protect the land to take it and protect it if I look at your statement now.

MR NEL: I believed that I will go to protect the Volkstaat and as much as I would like to have my wife and children with me I could not force them over the barrel of a gun to come with me. I believed in the ideology. I believed in what was put to me. I believed in the AWB's objectives and the fact that they wanted to establish a volk and a piece of land for us where we could go there afterwards and if God-willing I could get my wife and children and establish them there with me if they wanted to go with me.

MR MALAN: You see the problem is to understand your evidence is with all these convictions and beliefs that you had and the commitments that you had you go now get a pipe bomb. It takes you more than a day to plant this bomb. You visit till late that night with friends. The next day you go back. You report again or you go back to friends again. How does this fit in that you were not then involved in this war? How does it fit in your commitment to this war that you were rather sort of on holiday away from this war? It is very difficult to understand this.

MR NEL: Mr Chairperson I was involved from the beginning on the 14th of April I went up. I was with the people all the time. And the first opportunity that I got was that the day of the 25th.

MR MALAN: Maybe we must just then investigate that. You said the 14th of April you were called up. You went immediately?

MR NEL: Yes that is correct.

MR MALAN: What did you do from the 14th till the 25th?

MR NEL: The 14th of April we were at Ventersdorp at Trim Park and then we went to Clifton Barnard's farm. There during the days we did guard duty. We protected the leader's wife. We protected the head office and some of the farmers within the direct vicinity of Ventersdorp.

MR MALAN: The leader, was he at Trim Park from the 14th?

MR NEL: No Brigadier Leon van der Merwe was there. The leader was at the head office.

MR MALAN: Were you between Trim Park and head office? You said you protected him.

MR NEL: No our base at that stage where we all gathered with the wives from the Trim Park was Clifton Barnard's farm. And from there after the wives were with us for a stage and then the wives left to Ottosdal. And from Clifton Barnard's farm at various instances we got instructions that we must go to the leader's house.

MR MALAN: Make it simple for us. This we, is all of them who were there. What did you do from the 14th to the 25th?

MR NEL: My instructions there was to protect the leader.

MR MALAN: Were you constantly with the leader?

MR NEL: No not all the time. I was at the farm or at the leader. Then I went back to Clifton Barnard's farm, then I went to his house to protect him there and then went back to the farm. Where he went during that period before we went to the game farm I had the task to go with them.

MR MALAN: Who gave you the instruction to always go to these different places?

MR NEL: Major Smit and Brigadier Leon van der Merwe he was in command there.

MR MALAN: So you accepted that from the 14th of April to the 25th your contribution to the war was the protection of the leader?

MR NEL: Yes and the fact that with a previous meeting at the Trim Park before we were called up we were told, that was in the February month that a fax was found where they would hunt the Ystergarde and would kill us.

MR MALAN: But no actions were planned or talk about actions from the 14th till you received the pipe bomb instructions?

MR NEL: No not at all.

MR MALAN: When did you think would the war start?

MR NEL: Mr Chairperson I thought that from my call-up instructions I thought that we are available. That it could happen any time.

MR MALAN: You said that your children's birthday, your wife is angry with you, you walk away and all that you had to do was to protect the leader but anybody else could have done it and you do not think about the war. Did you have troubles at home before you left or only after you left?

MR NEL: It was only after I left there. When I left there yes.

MR MALAN: I can understand if you had troubles and you want to get away from your wife but it is difficult for me to understand if you do not want to leave your wife.

MR NEL: For me the struggle that we were involved in, the fact that I was called up now is the time I believed that then it was told to me that it is going to happen. So I was ready to be available at any time.

MR MALAN: Do you know if your father then went to go and visit your wife and children?

MR NEL: I do not know if he went to go and fetch them. At the end of the day when I was arrested I contacted him and then I saw them when they visited me in prison.

MR MALAN: You said that you asked him to go and visit them. From the 14th to the 25th you were gone. And immediately after the 14th you asked him to go and visit them?

MR NEL: Yes that is correct.

MR MALAN: But up to the 25th you do not go to any trouble to go and visit them and then you go and see that the house is empty.

MR NEL: I was not at a phone to phone them. We were in the veld or a bush.

MR MALAN: At the leader's house isn't there a telephone or at head office or at Trim Park?

MR NEL: At Trim Park we did not have any telephones and there on the farm, in the veld we did not have any telephones. And at the leader's house where we did guard duty and worked I worked outside. We did not work inside the house.

MR MALAN: So you never worried about your wife and children at that stage?

MR NEL: I believed that God would protect them and look after them. Or my father, sorry my father.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Nel how many people asked to go and visit their families?

MR NEL: I would say approximately 15 people. I cannot say exactly.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you.

MR PRIOR: I have got no further questions Mr Chairperson.


MS VAN DER WALT: No further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prinsloo have you got re-examination?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR PRINSLOO: Thank you Chairperson. Mr Nel initially you were in Western Transvaal and Ventersdorp and then to the game farm. You said that at one stage that at the game farm was centrally positioned close to the PWV area. What do you mean by that?

MR NEL: When they said to us that we are leaving, Major Smit said that we are leaving for the game farm. He said that we are on the border of the Volkstaat that will be established at that it is close to the PWV area. I believed that after the utterances of

Constand Viljoen that he said that the AWB would deal with the city areas, urban areas and the Volksfront would then deal with the rural areas and that is why I believed we were involved.

MR PRINSLOO: Did you personally patrol on the game farm?

MR NEL: No I was more involved with the guard duties. I never myself did patrolling. With the car theft I was involved and the rest of the time I did guard duty. And at the game farm itself ensure that nothing went wrong.

MR PRINSLOO: You gave evidence that at the different taxi ranks there were a lot of police that morning?

MR NEL: Yes that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: According to the evidence in front of this honourable Committee there were other explosions at various taxi rank areas in Randfontein and Western area. Did it have any influence? Do you think that is why there were so many police there?

MR NEL: Yes it could have been a factor. That is why we thought, because there is so many police because there has already been explosions that policing could have resulted because they thought that only taxi ranks would be targeted.

MR PRINSLOO: No further questions.


ADV BOSMAN: One aspect Mr Nel. You mentioned the

Generals where you were on guard duty that had a meeting there.

MR NEL: That is correct yes.

ADV BOSMAN: Can I just get clarity concerning this. It does not appear in your statement in Annexure A.

MR NEL: No Mr Chairperson I did not add that in.

ADV BOSMAN: Did you see that as an important event?

MR NEL: At that stage I did not think of it when I made my application but I did bring it under the attention of my advocate.

ADV BOSMAN: At what stage?

MR NEL: It was with consultation. I did bring it under their attention and that is why they asked me.

ADV BOSMAN: What did you read in that meeting? What relevance do you think that meeting had concerning everything that happened?

MR NEL: The fact that the Generals in staff were there because for me eighty percent of the Generals in staff who were there I believed that in that meeting certain decisions were made about why we were gathered there.

ADV BOSMAN: Did you tell that to your advocate?

MR NEL: Yes I believe so.

ADV BOSMAN: It appears to me as if it is a very crucial event and I find it strange that it now for the first time you mentioning it in this hearing.

MR NEL: That is how I saw it. That is what happened, because I was placed as a guard outside but in the time when we wrote this I did not think of it either.

ADV BOSMAN: When was this meeting?

MR NEL: It was in the evening the people were sleeping and I was outside, a roaming guard. I was moving around and when they moved in.

ADV BOSMAN: Then this makes it more sinister. Here the whole Generals in staff appear midnight in secret and you do not make anything of it and that is strange to me.

MR NEL: They held the meeting and I cannot say why it was held in the night and what was discussed there but I knew that they were there definitely.

ADV BOSMAN: Did you mention it to your fellow soldiers or men, that the Generals in staff were there last night and I wonder what they were talking about?

MR NEL: No not at that stage.

ADV BOSMAN: Not towards anyone?

MR NEL: No I was on guard duty I saw them I think some of them were awake and would have seen them as well and I did not mention it to anyone.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Nel it is not the place but it is strange. If you could that this sinister event followed it up with anybody?

MR NEL: No I did not do it.

MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman there is just one other aspect that I hung on for so long that I forgot about it. If I may with the permission of the panel.

Mr Nel you say that you were on leave when you went to the resort or Major Smit dropped you off at the resort. How long did you stay there?

MR NEL: I was arrested there.

MR PRIOR: The same day?

MR NEL: That morning yes. That afternoon late I went there and the next morning, the 27th I was arrested there.

MR PRIOR: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Is it correct that General Cruywagen was arrested at the same place you were arrested?

MR NEL: Yes that is correct he was four bungalows from me and he was also arrested there.

CHAIRPERSON: Who threw that bomb out of the car?

MR NEL: Who threw the bomb?


MR NEL: Mr Chairperson I drove. Gert Fourie was left in front on the passenger's side and Piet Steyn sat at the back on the left hand side. He ignited it and threw it out of the window.

CHAIRPERSON: The whole operation you wanted it to be a success, is that right?

MR NEL: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: This pipe bomb when it was thrown out of the car wasn't there a risk that the fuse would go out?

MR NEL: Mr Chairperson I do not have knowledge of explosives and stuff. They said that is how you must use it and I do not know if that could be.

CHAIRPERSON: Did they tell you do you throw it?

MR NEL: Yes they said that you must detonate it. They did not tell us that you must put it down or throw it or anything.

CHAIRPERSON: There where you were arrested how many people who were at the hearing were arrested there?

MR NEL: Those were involved in the hearing?

CHAIRPERSON: How many of the people who belonged to the AWB or were involved with the AWB was arrested there where you were?

MR NEL: There was only two of them, me and General Cruywagen and the rest of the people were AWB people. At the holiday resort the people, the blind people with their wives and families they were all AWB people.

CHAIRPERSON: The two blind friends were they also AWB people?

MR NEL: Yes their surname is Snyman.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you visit there?

MR NEL: No before in training camps we would do that at that same resort.

CHAIRPERSON: But what did you do to keep the children busy?

MR NEL: Excuse me?

CHAIRPERSON: What did you do to keep the children busy?

MR NEL: I do not know, I wasn't there during the day to know what they were doing with them.



MR PRINSLOO: Chairperson I spoke to you in chambers with regards to an ethical problem. The result thereof is that I withdraw as the legal representative of the previous applicant, Mr Nel and my colleague, Mrs van der Walt would then look after the interests of that client as we discussed it with you.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that the position Mrs van der Walt?

MS VAN DER WALT: Yes Mr Chairperson. I also discussed this with the client and he is happy to accept me as his representative.

CHAIRPERSON: There seems to be a situation that has developed where Mr Prinsloo who has represented Mr Nel thus far has been ethically compromised. The details are not too clear but I accept that this is the position and I can't see any objection to him withdrawing from representing Mr Nel. I am pleased that Mrs van der Walt is able to represent him hence forth.



DATE: 24TH JUNE 1998



MR PRIOR: Mr Chairman before we continue, Mrs Cambanis asked me to just extend her apology. During the adjournment she was called to the airport to pick up victims. However whatever is going to be said will be recorded and passed to her. So she is not at a disadvantage.

MR PRINSLOO: Chairperson and the next applicant is number 10 Petrus Paulus Steyn. That is the person in the witness stand. Thank you Chairperson. The application appears on page 172 to 186 and also on page 214 to 223. Thank you Chairperson.

PETRUS PAULUS STEYN: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR PRINSLOO: Thank you Chairperson.

Mr Steyn you were arrested and prosecuted in the High Court together with the other applicants with regards to the pipe bomb explosions, that is in Bloed Street Western area and Randfontein. And you were found guilty on these charges and sentenced to 21 years imprisonment because of murder, attempted murder and deliberate damage of property and the possession of explosives. Do you confirm that?

MR STEYN: That is correct Chairperson, except that I wasn't arrested, I gave myself up.

MR PRINSLOO: Let me just get this right, you gave yourself in?

MR STEYN: That is correct. I gave myself up to the police.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Steyn now you are applying for amnesty for these offences which I have just talked about?

MR STEYN: That is correct Chairperson.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Steyn when you moved up to Ventersdorp, it is on page 182, it is actually page 181 and it carries on to page 182 it is paragraph 9. Did you take your family with you or not?

MR STEYN: Not at the beginning Chairperson. I left on my own to Ventersdorp and afterwards I arrived at head office. I first wanted to go and summarise the whole situation and discuss it because I did not receive the call-up instruction very clearly.

When I arrived at Ventersdorp Brigadier Leon van der Merwe and Major Johan Smit I found them there at head office. I explained to them what my situation was and told them that I would like to see my commander Abe Fourie and there they told me that it is impossible, I cannot go and see him because they are on a farm outside of Ventersdorp and if I join them I would not be able to leave that farm again.

MR PRINSLOO: Why would you not be able to leave again Mr Steyn?

MR STEYN: Because apparently the place they were at they told me that a few people was to know about that place. It was quite a secretive place and the women and children and a certain group of people I do not know who exactly was gathered there but that is what they told me and that I cannot go there, and if I wanted to go there at that stage I would have to stay there. I would not be able to leave that place. I assumed after a while that this was the farm of, what's his name, the accused who refuses to appear in front of the Committee.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Barnard?

MR STEYN: That is correct, it was on his farm.

MR PRINSLOO: And your wife and children what happened to them?

MR STEYN: They told me that they recommend me to go and fetch them and my wife at that stage, my children were too small, told me that she was not happy with the situation because you can't just leave everything behind without any clarity and just move up somewhere. And there they persuaded me that I must go back to go and fetch my wife and children.

MR PRINSLOO: Did you do that?

MR STEYN: I did that after they made certain promises to me.

MR PRINSLOO: Who made the promises?

MR STEYN: The promises came from both Major Johan Smit and Brigadier Leon van der Merwe. The promises said that I do not have to be worried about food if we do not have food, I do not have to worry about money either and also I do not have to worry about my job. At that stage I was working in Brakpan, Western Platinum Refinery and I had a permanent post there.

MR PRINSLOO: What did you do then?

MR STEYN: At that stage I was on sick leave so I moved up or rather I went to go and fetch my wife and I convinced her which was quite difficult, but eventually I did convince her that we must go together. Also after they told me that they intercepted a fax of the Ystergarde which said that if they found any Ystergarde anywhere he will be eliminated, he will be killed.

MR PRINSLOO: So did you go to Ventersdorp with your family?

MR STEYN: I went back Friday, I think it was the 22nd. I returned that day to Ventersdorp together with my possessions, the ones I could manage to bring with me. And my smallholding I left it just like that. I locked it up and I left some of my possessions were still there because I couldn't bring it with me and the Friday morning very early I left and around seven or eight o’clock I arrived at Ventersdorp.

MR PRINSLOO: Did your wife accompany you then?


MR PRINSLOO: And your children?

MR STEYN: Yes the children were with us as well.

MR PRINSLOO: And where did your wife and children go? Where were they taken?

MR STEYN: We arrived at head office, at that stage the people at head office were so busy and many people were arriving at head office and as it is at any office they were trying to put things right for the day's tasks and the first things which was given to us they gave me a form which I had to complete, similar to what you would fill in when you go on a border operation. You would put down your religious connections, etc and your particulars, the names of the next-of-kin.

I did that and after that, I am not dead sure but somebody arrived there from the farm and at a later time that day we went to the farm, this is the farm of Cliff Barnard.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Steyn we have already heard evidence that you, Mr Nel and Mr Gert Fourie the three of you went to Pretoria with the pipe bombs. is that correct?

MR STEYN: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And can you tell the Committee what happened in Pretoria, what did you do that day with regards to the pipe bombs?

MR STEYN: Chairperson I do not know where to start. Can I start at Pretoria itself?

MR PRINSLOO: Yes begin with what happened in Pretoria.

MR STEYN: When we arrived in Pretoria after, I do not know Pretoria well not even today. I do not know how to get in and out of Pretoria but the other applicant, Mr Jaco Nel according to myself knew Pretoria very well and when we arrived in Pretoria we went to certain places, amongst others we went to a taxi rank.

There was a lot of police in the vicinity and he said that we cannot then detonate this pipe bomb in that vicinity because we will definitely be arrested if we happen to do that. Afterwards we went to several other places. I am not sure, I do not know Pretoria very well, I know it badly.

MR PRINSLOO: Which place did you go to? What is this place you went to or places? Did I hear you incorrectly did you say a place or places?

MR STEYN: Places amongst others I am not sure. We went to another taxi rank, I am not sure, there were a lot of buses and things there but in that vicinity there was also a lot of police and there were a lot of police activities. Once again we returned to the first taxi rank. I do not know exactly where it was, the circumstances were basically the same. Then he recommended - well actually together we decided that we would not be able to complete that mission then because as soon as we throw the bomb we would be arrested.

MR PRINSLOO: Who of you three was the senior?

MR STEYN: The applicant who has just spoken before, Mr Jaco Nel. His rank was that of Captain.

MR PRINSLOO: Were you his subordinate?

MR STEYN: Yes I was a lieutenant in the Ystergarde and the other applicant who will still appear, Gert Fourie was also a Lieutenant.

MR PRINSLOO: Continue?

MR STEYN: Afterwards after we decided that this attempt of ours would not be successful he recommended that he knew people in a flat, friends of his. It seemed to me as if they were his friends but when we got there it was a female friend of his at a flat. I do not exactly where this was and I would not be able to confirm even today where this was.

We arrived there and we parked the vehicle in the street in front of the flat and the two pipe bombs were in the back in the boot at that stage and then we found the people in the flat. There were two ladies, an older one and a younger one if I remember correctly. The younger girl I do not know exactly how old she was I would say she was about ten.

MR PRINSLOO: Were there any men there?

MR STEYN: No not at all Chairperson. He chatted to them and he introduced us to them and then they offered us some coffee and after we had finished our coffee they were busy with packing. We couldn't determine if they were leaving on holiday or what was going on but afterwards I found out or I learned from them as we were speaking that they were also members of the AWB but they were unknown to me because they did not live in my area or my district.

The two ladies and the young girl, after they packed their things Jaco Nel asked them if we can use their flat just to stay over for the night. I do not know if he gave them any reasons, I cannot really say because I was not with them the whole time. He was moving around quite often within this building, mostly in the foyer where we drank coffee we sat there. He went with them to the room and helped them to pack and they had a vehicle I think it was a blue Golf and they moved around in this vehicle. They had lean to where they parked the car underneath. This was at the flat where they stayed.

I am not sure but I think Jaco asked them if they could not pull the car out and whilst they were putting their luggage into the Golf, Jaco pulled his car underneath this lean-to so that the car wouldn't be visible because at that stage he still had the original registration plates on the car and there was talk that he would put forged number plates on it later.

After a while the people left and when they left Jaco Nel told them that he would see them later because he knew where they were going. Apparently it was a resort at the Hartebeespoort dam where they were going. I still to this day do not know where that place is but I confirm that I was there myself. They used this place for training purposes according to him.

MR PRINSLOO: Let's stick to what happened in Pretoria.

MR STEYN: Afterwards they also said - let's stay with Pretoria, afterwards they left and we were there alone. Then we walked to town. We knew that we couldn't go on a mission then because of the strong presence of the police. I had a shoe problem, the sole of my shoe went loose, this is the shoe I was wearing. If I remember correctly we went to the OK Bazaars and I bought myself a pair of takkies or trainers. I think Jaco also bought something it might have been clothing, everybody bought something there.

MR PRINSLOO: At that stage did you get any number plates?

MR STEYN: This was at the same time that we went to the OK. Jaco said we had to stand on the one side of the road and that he is quickly going to get number plates made, so he went to the place where he made the number plates and he had to wait awhile. In the meantime - he said he will go and fetch it later, so in the meantime we went to the OK and when we went back he got the number plates.

MR PRINSLOO: Were these number plates similar to the ones he had?

MR STEYN: No they were just different.

MR PRINSLOO: So obtained these number plates. And these number plates did you attach it to the vehicle?

MR STEYN: The number plates later that day when we drove we changed the number plates, we removed the original ones.

MR PRINSLOO: Those number plates - did you drive again in the evening with the vehicle or at any other time?

MR STEYN: I am not a hundred percent sure, during that time while we were there I am not sure if Jaco was driving with his vehicle or whether he was driving with the females vehicle. He might have said that he wanted to go around to his wife. At that stage I was not sure of his wife and the problems between the two of them so I did not know anything of that, I assumed that he was going to go to his wife.

MR PRINSLOO: So he left the flat for a while?

MR STEYN: Yes he left alone but myself and Gert Fourie stayed behind on our own at the flat.

MR PRINSLOO: And Jaco Nel, did he return later?

MR STEYN: Yes he returned later.

MR PRINSLOO: Now with regards to that specific evening to come closer to the event, did you drive again? Did you go and look for a target?

MR STEYN: We went back to this taxi rank where there was still a lot of police around but according to me there was even a stronger police presence than it was the morning or the time we were there during the morning. Afterwards Jaco said, I am not sure, he said he was going to drive to another taxi rank, the one we went to the previous day. On the way there, this is a type of a beer hall or something, I don't know what you would call it, we drove past this place and there were quite a lot of people around and vehicles were parked at the side of this building and I assumed these were the peoples' vehicles who were inside the hall. Jaco then said what is wrong with this place.

We looked at the place and we said well whether we throw it at a taxi stand or whether we detonate it here it doesn't matter, as long as we only achieve our goal which was to shock people and to create the psychosis of fear within them so that they would be aware of the fact that bombs are exploding and that they will receive a message some way or another, a message saying that they should not go and vote. That was the instruction which we received, we had to sow panic.

MR PRINSLOO: So did you decide it was an appropriate target?

MR STEYN: Ja we decided it was appropriate but mostly Jaco. It was mostly Jaco's target but we identified ourselves with him because we were his subordinates.

MR PRINSLOO: So it was his instruction, is that what you are saying?


MR PRINSLOO: Now at that stage did you use the pipe bomb?

MR STEYN: I was a passenger, I was sitting on the left at the back of the car and I had the pipe bomb between my legs. At that stage Jaco told me that he was going to drive slowly past this place and I must light this thing and I must throw it out of the car. If I remember correctly there was a telephone pole or a lamp post, he just drove past that and he told me to throw it. The car was kind of idling it was almost standing still so I ignited this thing and I was very stressed and nervous because I have never had to deal with anything like this so I threw it out onto the side-walk and because it was a pipe and it was round it was rolling and it rolled towards the building and then I closed my door and Jaco sped away from there.

Before this happened we put it clearly to Jaco that, we asked him is he aware of this vicinity does he know this street but he assured us he basically grew up in Pretoria. So he knew Pretoria well and the way he drove towards the taxi ranks you could see that he knew the place well. When he sped away from there it was as if it wasn't Jaco any longer, he was shocked. Before the first street we turned off, it was a one-way street, he drove left into a one-way street and a police truck came from the front and we moved closer to this police van. I do not know if the police van was in a rush because he did not pay attention to us. Afterwards he turned left into a right street and it was a double lane as I can remember, then he went left and right and up and down. I do not know where he went from there.

MR PRINSLOO: Why did he act this way?

MR STEYN: Just after the police van passed us we heard the bang, that is when the pipe bomb exploded. I do not know if it was the bang or the loud noise or whether he was shocked, I do not know why that was his reaction but he was in a state. He drove over stop streets and he didn't stop at places where he was supposed to stop. He disobeyed all the traffic rules. I cannot really say what why he acted this way but if I must express my own opinion I think it was a shock to him. I do not think, according to me he did not know anything about bombs or pipe bombs or anything of that nature.

MR PRINSLOO: Were you worried about being arrested?

MR STEYN: Yes we all were worried about this, that is why we postponed this mission all the time and we also said amongst ourselves that the people at the game farm must realise that you would rather be scared than dead. You can't detonate the thing here and the police would see you and will arrest you and you would probably get shot as well.

MR PRINSLOO: He acted in this manner the way you described it and from there where did you go then?

MR STEYN: After that Jaco went to some place, I do not know where. He stopped there - no, I am sorry, I would just like to correct myself, before we went on this mission we went to a place where we put the number plates on or changed the number plates. I almost confused myself there, I wanted to say we took them off there but we drove with those number plates to that holiday resort.

MR PRINSLOO: Why did you go there?

MR STEYN: Jaco apparently said, and he said it in our presence as well, that he would meet the people there and said that he would go around there and that is also what happened. He then drove there and while we were driving there Jaco was still very shocked according to what we observed. He also told us that we will not get very far, we will not be able to go back to the game farm because he knows this Hartebeespoort Dam road and there are usually road-blocks on this road and that they will arrest us if some one may have noticed a vehicle. He was worried about the police van that drove past us in that one-way street. That he possibly, because I assumed he was not very far from where the bomb exploded and they could have thought that this is the vehicle or they could have thought that this is the vehicle, and he could have identified a blue Toyota although he did not have the right number plates. A point that Jaco then made was that we have to stay there that evening before we drive away because of the road-blocks and everything calms down a bit and then whenever we see that things are quietening down we can then go back to the game farm.

MR PRINSLOO: Did you then go to this specific place, this resort?

MR STEYN: Yes I was at this resort. When we arrived there we changed the number plates again, we put on the original ones and in the meantime Jaco went in. The same people were there, the specific two ladies and amongst others, as in his evidence, there were two older men. They were blind yes. They could play very good guitar. They were old Rhodesians, they came from there and they sang songs and they played on the guitars and we sang. We did not sing with them no, we listened to them and in the meantime they told us that they had certain discussions and they said that they are from Rhodesia, etc.

Jaco then went into one of the rooms there. There wasn't a door on this room there was just a curtain. They then went into this room and most of the time we heard them talking. I assumed that what we also told them was that Jaco is not feeling very well because we did not want them to know at that stage that we planted the bomb or threw the bomb.

Afterwards I am not sure if they wanted to see if they could help Jaco or maybe give him some medication or something, I do not know what the situation was. We waited for Jaco and in the meantime we sat in a kitchen area. The older lady came there at one stage and asked us if we wanted coffee and we said yes it would be nice. She made us coffee as well as for the two older men who played the guitar. That was more or less the story.

What we also observed or saw was that there were a lot of other people who we also learnt while we had certain discussions with the two old men, that there were also other people there who were members of the AWB and who gathered there together. I do not know if Jaco was aware of that but according to these two old men they conveyed that to us.

MR PRINSLOO: From there did you then leave the three of you?

MR STEYN: No I am not quite sure. When we left there I was quite tired because the previous evening before we left the game farm I was doing guard duty so I did not have much sleep because when I came back from guard duty we then left there. I tried to sleep in the car but it was very difficult with this bomb that we were carrying with us.

MR PRINSLOO: Can you remember that during your hearing there was a woman who gave evidence against Mr Nel concerning what happened at that resort?

MR STEYN: Yes I am aware of that but I cannot exactly remember what she said.

MR PRINSLOO: You then left from the resort?

MR STEYN: Yes that is true.

MR PRINSLOO: And what time was that, can you say?

MR STEYN: I am not quite sure but if I must say it was around 2 o' clock that morning more or less, I am not quite sure.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Steyn, the history has been told before this Committee how do you feel about the people who were killed and injured as well as the people in Western area, the damages that was done in Randfontein, how do you feel about these actions?

MR STEYN: My personal feeling is that I am very sorry about what happened. I do not know if one can really tell the next-of-kin of those victims, to ask them properly or to tell them properly how sorry you are and convince them, if I can say it as follows, for such a cowardice display or act. At this stage I will put it as such, at that stage I believed in what I was doing was the right thing and I did it for my volk and my fatherland and I believed in what I was doing it was the right thing.

MR PRINSLOO: At that stage did you act by yourself or did you act on behalf of the AWB?

MR STEYN: I acted fully on behalf of the AWB and I identified myself with their objectives.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Steyn, you handed yourself over a while after these events, is that correct? ...[transcriber's own translation]

MR STEYN: Yes that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Steyn, your application, do you confirm the correctness of your application, that is A and B as well as your application.

MR STEYN: Yes that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: Thank you Mr Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Mrs van der Walt have you got any questions?

MS VAN DER WALT: I have got no questions.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR KRIEL: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

Sir what was the objectives of the AWB as you understood it then?

MR STEYN: Mr Chairperson the objectives of the AWB was to obtain an own Volkstaat for the Boerevolk.

MR KRIEL: Is that all?

MR STEYN: No, the objectives were also such that, the AWB's objective was to stop the elections and to undermine the government of the day in order to create chaos during that election time.

MR KRIEL: Was that the only objective of the AWB during April 1994?

MR STEYN: No Mr Chairperson, the objectives, there were various objectives. The main objective was the obtainment of a Volkstaat and that was also why we were called up.

MR KRIEL: Were you called up to found this Volkstaat or to protect a future Volkstaat?

MR STEYN: If there was time we would have established or founded it if we received permission but at that stage there wasn't time because the so-called Volkstaat's borders, we would have been able to protect it and then try and fight and by doing that found the Volkstaat.

MR KRIEL: You see that is the problem. You were there gathered together and right through the evidence I understand, to protect but not to attack, did you understand it in that way that you are there to protect?

MR STEYN: Could you please repeat?

MR KRIEL: You were called up to the Western Transvaal, the Ventersdorp area to protect the farmers and the people and the Volkstaat that will be founded, to protect that.

MR STEYN: I do not understand the question very well.

MR KRIEL: You went to Ventersdorp to protect not to attack, with the original call-up instruction?

MR STEYN: No we did not go there just to protect, we were called up to Ventersdorp to make war. That was our call-up

instructions, they told us that and that is why I accepted it when they call me up, that I must take all my weapons and ammunition and equipment with me and if there would be any situation I would have to execute those orders.

CHAIRPERSON: You see Mr Steyn in a war there are at least two sides, the one attack, the one protect, defend. It does not necessarily mean that when you are called up to make war that you will attack. Now what Mr Kriel is referring to is that during that evidence that we have heard it was said: "We were called up to Ventersdorp to protect the borders of the planned Volkstaat as well as the Boerevolk who were attacked at the farm", do you understand?


CHAIRPERSON: And that is what Mr Kriel is referring to, not to attack but to defend and in so doing to make war.

MR STEYN: Yes that is correct, to protect and defend.


ADV GCABASHE: Thank you, unless you wanted to follow that up with something.

My question again is related to the same aspect. To make war as you understood it - is that alright, to make war as you understood it against whom, because the evidence to date covers the NP, the ANC, communists, black people, where do you fit your political motive in? And the political objective of the AWB as you understood it?

MR STEYN: Mr Chairperson a lot of things were asked to me, maybe if you could just ask it in a shorter way?

MR MALAN: The question - if I can speak Afrikaans to you I will ask them one by one, the question is that the war that you were talking about against whom would this be, the ANC?

MR STEYN: The war would be against the ANC Mr Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Against the SACP?

MR STEYN: Yes the SACP alliance.

MR MALAN: Against black people?

MR STEYN: No not necessarily all the black people.

MR MALAN: Against white people?

MR STEYN: Against white people, we would fight a war if they identified themselves with the ANC's policy.

MR MALAN: Against the National Party?

MR STEYN: At that stage they were also one of our enemies.

MR MALAN: What does such a war look like? Have you ever thought to yourself, if the war is now going on where am I, who do I shoot? Did you have a picture in your mind?

MR STEYN: Mr Chairperson, at that stage I would have believed that all the promises that they made there would be better planning, and I am not saying these things to make war just because our little group did something and they didn't do anything but there were also other people who made promises namely, Constand Viljoen them and people like him, made promises and then great things could have happened in this country.

MR MALAN: Mr Steyn, am I correct if I say that you did not have any idea how that war would be fought, where it is going to begin, who is going to shoot first, where you are going to shoot, you just want to fight in this war and you were satisfied to fight in this war of the AWB?

MR STEYN: I was satisfied with the fighting in a war. I was not, and I think only a few people could say what this war would have looked like and how it would have happened.

MR MALAN: Did you think that on game farm you would sit behind one of the sleeping places and dodge and people are shooting at you? ...[transcriber's own translation]

MR STEYN: But at that stage I still assumed that it was more in a beginning stage, the game farm, and I did not realise the real purpose of the whole situation at that stage.

MR MALAN: Did you think that you will fire the first shot or that people would shoot at you?

MR STEYN: I cannot really say, there we would have had to wait for instructions.

MR MALAN: So you didn't have any idea what this war would look like, you just knew that you were going to fight in a war?

MR STEYN: That is correct yes.

ADV GCABASHE: Now you said in your evidence that the reason you did not take your wife the first time was because you wanted to seek clarity on what exactly was going on, yes?

MR STEYN: That is correct yes.

ADV GCABASHE: But you didn't really get any clarity at all did you?

MR STEYN: After I spoke to Leon van der Merwe and they convinced me, I relied on them in the promises they made and I believed that we could rely on them and I did rely on them.

ADV GCABASHE: But they simply said to you: "We are going to make war", you didn't really know what you would be doing, how exactly you could fulfil your own ambition as an AWB member through your organisation. You were really just there to take instructions.

MR STEYN: That is correct yes.

ADV GCABASHE: So if they had said to you we are going back to, let's take the Bophuthatswana incident, if they had said to you that is where we are going to start, Mangope wants us to do something for him again, you would have done that because they were ordering you to do that and not because you believed you should be going to protect Mangope or prop him up?

MR STEYN: No Mr Chairperson, it was not part of our Volkstaat's ideal.

CHAIRPERSON: Why did you go to Bophuthatswana?

MR STEYN: I beg your pardon?

CHAIRPERSON: Why did the AWB go to Bophuthatswana?

MR STEYN: I carry no knowledge of that, I was not involved there.

CHAIRPERSON: Did the people not say to you: "We are going to Bophuthatswana for this or that?

MR STEYN: I saw it over the news and I heard some of it.

CHAIRPERSON: But in the AWB circles, didn't they discuss it?

MR STEYN: According to me there were a few AWB members involved in the Bophuthatswana incident.

CHAIRPERSON: As far as I can remember they did take responsibility for it or am I wrong?

MR STEYN: I am not quite sure no.


MR KRIEL: Mr Chairperson, as a result of your indication earlier this morning, I can see now that it is 3 o clock, do you want me to continue?

CHAIRPERSON: ...(inaudible)

MR KRIEL: Sir it seems as if you are a very soft person, is that so? This is how it appears to me. I am now talking, I am not a lawyer any more I am talking a man to man.

MR MALAN: ...[inaudible]

CHAIRPERSON: What feeling do you get?

MR KRIEL: That he is a very soft spoken person and gentle person.

MR STEYN: Mr Chairperson, I am gentle but I do not think that you must get me at the wrong side.

MR KRIEL: I would just like to make the comment that you do remind me of Gerrie Coetzee when he was younger. Would you agree with that?


CHAIRPERSON: ...(inaudible)

MR KRIEL: His appearance Mr Chairperson.

You were sent by the then government to go and fight in a war in 1979 to 1981, is that correct?

MR STEYN: Please repeat?

MR KRIEL: You were sent by the then government to go and fight in a war during the period of 1979 to July 1981?

MR STEYN: That is correct yes.

MR KRIEL: What rank did you have while you were busy with those border operations?

MR STEYN: I was a troop.

MR KRIEL: And did that war have any effect on you?

MR STEYN: Mr Chairperson, we went through many things.

MR KRIEL: I am sorry I did not hear your answer.

MR STEYN: Yes it did have an effect on me.

MR KRIEL: What was the effect that it had on you?

MR STEYN: That you were taken from your home, for two years you must do service, suddenly you are at the border, you were sent into an Angola without a passport in another country.

CHAIRPERSON: Would a passport have helped?

MR STEYN: No, I am just mentioning it now. You were sent into an Angola, you are in an operation and you fight for self-determination also at that stage we fought for this country against communism and communism at that time was the ANC government or the present government, the majority of them, and SWAPO and the PAC. There was a lot of loss of life and some of our own people who were with us we lost them there.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Steyn, if there was not an alliance with the communists, what would your attitude have been towards the ANC?

MR STEYN: I do not understand.

CHAIRPERSON: It seems to me that the communism, communistic aspect of the ANC was a problem and that you fought against communism. What would your attitude be towards the ANC if they did not have an alliance with the communists?

MR STEYN: I believe that my attitude would have been different Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: To what effect?

MR STEYN: If they were not part of our enemy then you can classify him differently.

CHAIRPERSON: Now the Nationalists as far as I know did not have a communists aspect in their policy, why were they the enemy?

MR STEYN: Because they were traitors in my eyes.


MR MALAN: I just want to make sure I understand you correctly, you say your attitude towards the ANC would have been different if the communists were not part of them, if you saw the ANC as non-communistic. Now I just want to make sure, would that have meant then that you would have been satisfied that they run the country, the whole country that is? You said that you wanted a Volkstaat?

MR STEYN: That is correct.

MR MALAN: The Volkstaat is an old ideal that comes from the time the AWB was founded, several times before that. Let's try and put it differently, if things - you know who Inkatha is?


MR MALAN: They not communists as far as you are concerned?


MR MALAN: And you were in favour of them?

MR STEYN: That is correct.

MR MALAN: If you realised that Inkatha was going to govern the whole country, they are going to have the majority vote, would you have been happy then?

MR STEYN: Yes Chairperson but we still would have wanted our own Volkstaat where we could have self-determination.

MR MALAN: So the own Volkstaat is non-negotiable whether you are dealing with communists or not?

MR STEYN: That is correct Chairperson.

MR KRIEL: You went through a war in 1979 and 1981 and you saw that it did not work, it did not help, you were completely dissatisfied with what you achieved, is that correct?

MR STEYN: I wasn't dissatisfied we did achieve a lot but the then National government, and if I remember correctly in the nineties the PAC and the ANC they disbanded these organisations and they made them legal if I can put it that way, it was no longer an illegal affair this ANC, PAC. That told me that we did not fight for nothing but if only they helped us at that stage then it would have been different.

MR KRIEL: But in your eyes this country you fought for during the border war this is being given away by the Nationalists now.

MR STEYN: That is correct.

MR KRIEL: Sir why did you want to become involved in a second war?

MR STEYN: Chairperson it is to fight for self-determination, I was willing to give my life for that.

CHAIRPERSON: Sir, a few months before this event the AWB, these were the allegations, they tried to do something to Bophuthatswana and according to reports they lost very badly there. What made you think that you could face the force of South Africa, white and black during the elections?

MR STEYN: Chairperson, as I already testified, according to myself and the information which was available to me there were a very few AWB members who went to Bophuthatswana, the majority of them were Freedom Front people.

CHAIRPERSON: I am not going to argue with you but what made you think that you can face the force of the rest of South Africa and win?

MR STEYN: Chairperson, if we can go back into the history, it is the same as the Battle of Bloodriver where there were only a few Boers and they defeated a great majority of people because their religious life was intact. I think in this case as well, if your religion is right then you don't have to have a massive force behind you in order to be victorious.

MR KRIEL: Sir, when you received your training for the then National government in the army were you indoctrinated?

MR STEYN: Chairperson, I do not understand that word. I have boxed already, I'm sorry.

MR KRIEL: That aspect I will leave Mr Chairman.

Let's continue. You were scared to take your wife with you but when the promises were made you decided well now I am going to take my wife to Ventersdorp, is that correct?

MR STEYN: I wasn't scared to take her, the choice was hers, I just didn't want to leave her there on her own.

MR KRIEL: Where did she live when you moved to Ventersdorp the first time?

MR STEYN: In the Springs district.

MR KRIEL: And they made promises to you and they told you there would be food?

MR STEYN: That is correct.

MR KRIEL: They told you money is not a problem?

MR STEYN: That is so yes.

MR KRIEL: And they told you there is work because we are going to take over and we are going to found this Wesbou and you are going to have a job to protect and secure the towns on the West Rand.

MR STEYN: Not West Rand, West Transvaal.

MR KRIEL: West Transvaal I am sorry. So as a result of those promises you were prepared to go back and fetch your wife and to then further take part in the struggle, is that correct.

MR STEYN: That is correct.

MR KRIEL: You were positioned or posted to the game farm, can you remember which day?

MR STEYN: The 22nd I arrived at Ventersdorp, after that we went to Cliff Barnard's farm and that same day the big group who was there together with them we left for Ottosdal and from there the men went to the game farm.

MR KRIEL: Which day was that, you went to Pretoria on the Monday?

MR STEYN: The Friday the morning I arrived at the head office in Ventersdorp and the Friday afternoon the big group which was at Clifton Barnard's farm left for Ottosdal to another farm which was more appropriate or more fit for the women. That is the conclusion I made.

MR KRIEL: Which day did you arrive at the game farm? Was it the Saturday?

MR STEYN: It was the Saturday morning very early.

MR KRIEL: And you stood guard - let me put it this way, did you know the members of the Generals in staff?

MR STEYN: I knew some of them Chairperson.

MR KRIEL: On the Saturday or the Sunday were there any members of the Generals in staff at the game farm?

MR STEYN: Yes amongst others I saw General Nico Prinsloo there and Brigadier Leon van der Merwe was also there.

MR KRIEL: Were they there all the time or did they move back and forth from this place?

MR STEYN: I didn't see them all the time. I know at one stage Brigadier Leon van der Merwe was there with a motor cycle and then he left and the motor bike was tied to the back of the pick-up. I don't think they were there the whole time.

MR KRIEL: Very well, the Sunday evening when this meeting was called and Koper Myburgh demonstrated the pipe bombs to you, were you there?

MR STEYN: Yes I was there.

MR KRIEL: Was a request then made to people who had vehicles?

MR STEYN: Yes, they were looking for drivers with their own cars.

MR KRIEL: And who asked this, was this Jannie du Plessis?

MR STEYN: Commandant Johan du Plessis.

MR KRIEL: Did he ask for drivers or did he appoint drivers?

MR STEYN: I am not sure now, I think he asked for drivers.

MR KRIEL: Did he say I am looking for four drivers?

MR STEYN: That is correct.

MR KRIEL: With vehicles?

MR STEYN: That is correct.

MR KRIEL: And how is it that you then got together with Jaco Nel, you and Gert Fourie?

MR STEYN: Gert Fourie I do not know about but I know Jaco asked me if I would accompany him and I conceded to that.

MR KRIEL: And Gert Fourie, how was it that he joined you?

MR STEYN: It was only me and Jaco Nel and a while afterwards, from what I could tell Gert Fourie was doing guard duty and then I do not know if he arrived there afterwards, but they asked him if he also wants to accompany us.

MR KRIEL: So he was asked to join you?


ADV GCABASHE: You say Jaco Nel asked you if you would go with him. Was that an instruction or a request?

MR STEYN: In my eyes it was an instruction. If such a person ask you that kind of a question in such a situation then you would see it as an instruction.

ADV GCABASHE: But du Plessis did not instruct you or ask you to go with Nel did he?

MR STEYN: No, du Plessis did not give me an instruction directly.

ADV GCABASHE: Now when Nel asked you was this in du Plessis' presence or were you on your own at that stage?

MR STEYN: I am not sure, du Plessis was in the vicinity but I do not know if he heard him asking me that or if he knew about it.

ADV GCABASHE: Now in those circumstances who was your commanding officer?

MR STEYN: The commanding officer of operations was Commandant "Duppie" du Plessis.

ADV GCABASHE: And yet you took an instruction as you term it or understood it from Nel?

MR STEYN: That is correct. What I understood about the grouping there was that the drivers had to find themselves two people to join them and he approached me and I told him I would go with him.

ADV GCABASHE: So it was at the driver's discretion to pick the people he thought should accompany him on a mission?

MR STEYN: I would assume that yes.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Steyn who said that the drivers must find people to accompany them?

MR STEYN: Chairperson, I am not hundred percent sure but if I must say I will say that instruction came specifically from Johan du Plessis.

ADV BOSMAN: Let me put it this way, you say you are not quite sure. Who was in charge of this grouping?

MR STEYN: It was Johan du Plessis.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you.

MR KRIEL: You went to Pretoria would you agree with me that the events on Monday in Pretoria the way you describe it is not exactly the same as what Jaco Nel said, would you agree with that?

MR STEYN: Would you please repeat?

MR KRIEL: That what happened on the Monday in Pretoria and the way you described it to the Committee it is not the same how Jaco Nel described it, would you agree with that?


MR KRIEL: Now both versions cannot be the truth, would you agree with that?

MR STEYN: No it cannot both be true.

MR KRIEL: So one of you took the Committee into your trust, either you or Jaco Nel.

MR STEYN: I cannot confirm that Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: In other words which one of you are speaking the truth you or Jaco Nel between the two of you?

MR STEYN: I took an oath saying that I will tell the truth and according to me what I am telling you is the truth.

MR KRIEL: Thank you Chairperson, no further questions.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MOTLAUNG: Thank you Mr Chairman. Sir talking about the way you ultimately found yourself going to Pretoria or being part of the Pretorian mission it is not your evidence that "Duppie" Johan du Plessis ever asked you to be party to any mission correct?

MR STEYN: As far as I can remember no.

MR MOTLAUNG: And to the extent that Jaco Nel asked you to accompany him and you say that you agreed to go along, Did you

agree to go along because you viewed him as your senior or because he was one of the drivers that asked you to accompany him?

MR STEYN: Chairperson, I went because he was one of my seniors.

MR MOTLAUNG: When you were now on the mission in Pretoria, was there a commander among the three of you?

MR STEYN: I do not understand the question.

MR MOTLAUNG: Who was the leader of the mission?

MR STEYN: If I must use my own discretion then I would say this is the way we were trained, it would have been Jaco Nel.

MR MOTLAUNG: Understand look apparently it is a conclusion or an inference that you are now making. I am trying to understand at the time when you went on the mission, is that how you understood it that Jaco Nel was the leader, is that how everybody understood it amongst the three of you?

MR STEYN: I do not understand.

CHAIRPERSON: If a decision had be taken amongst the three of you who could have made that decision?

MR STEYN: Definitely Jaco Nel Chairperson.

MR MOTLAUNG: And Sir, were you there when instructions were given by Johan du Plessis about the mission to Pretoria? Let me not put it that way, when - according to paragraph 12 and I quote:

"Every vehicle driver found him two passengers and they were tasked to go and throw pipe bombs in certain towns."

When this happened, the only impression that I get here is that people were told that bombs would have to be thrown or used in certain towns, that is all that that is saying.

MR STEYN: That is correct. Commandant "Duppie" was present when he gave us these instructions. I do not know if he specifically gave me an instruction.

MR MOTLAUNG: As you understood them at the time, did anybody say that the pipe bombs must be used at the taxi ranks?

MR STEYN: That is correct, the pipe bombs had to be thrown at the taxi ranks. I would assume that because you wouldn't often find a white taxi rank.

ADV GCABASHE: No, but the question is one of fact, did you hear anybody say those bombs should be thrown at black taxi ranks? Don't assume, what did you hear?

MR STEYN: Yes Chairperson.

MR MOTLAUNG: Did you hear anybody say that?

MR STEYN: That is correct Chairperson.

MR MOTLAUNG: Who was it?

MR STEYN: It was Commandant "Duppie".

MR MOTLAUNG: Are you sure about that Sir?

MR STEYN: I am almost a hundred percent sure Chairperson.

MR MOTLAUNG: So when you went out to Pretoria you knew that you were going to throw a pipe bomb at the black commuters, is that what you are saying?

MR STEYN: That is correct Chairperson.

MR MOTLAUNG: So your intention was to kill them?

MR STEYN: I wouldn't say to specifically kill them but ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: What did you think what was going to happen if you throw a bomb there?

MR STEYN: The possibility existed that they could have been killed but not in all regards. Can I just make it clear? I did not know the strength or the explosion power of that pipe bomb.

CHAIRPERSON: You must have heard last week it was specifically said that peoples' lives had to be taken. Did you not hear that?

MR STEYN: I did hear it.

CHAIRPERSON: So why are we battling here?

MR STEYN: What I am trying to say Chairperson, is that when we threw the bomb we did not know if people would die or not.

ADV BOSMAN: Can I put it to you this way Mr Steyn, did you have peace whether people die or not?

MR STEYN: It was part of our task and Chairperson if people had to die it was one of those things.

ADV BOSMAN: If you can just give me a simple yes or no. I don't want to push you into a corner, I simply want an answer. You didn't care whether people died or not?


MR MOTLAUNG: Sir, listening to the way you gave your testimony and particularly when you were talking about Jaco Nel I am getting an impression and please correct me if it is wrong, that somewhere you feel like you have been abused, like at some stage he took you to some place, it later turned out it is like this was a girlfriend or things like that. Is that impression correct?

MR STEYN: That is so Chairperson.

MR MOTLAUNG: And finally, Sir tell me when you went to Pretoria you saw yourself executing a mission as endowed or given to you by Johan du Plessis, correct?

MR STEYN: That is correct.

MR MOTLAUNG: And is it also correct that he gave you a particular target that you must go for, correct?

MR STEYN: That is correct.

MR MOTLAUNG: You did not go for the target that you have been given, yourself, Jaco Nel and the other one is Mr Gert Fourie decided within your own wisdom at some stage that you are changing the target, correct?

MR STEYN: That is correct Chairperson. Actually it was not my decision but I identified myself with it. It was impossible to throw the pipe bomb at a taxi rank.

MR MOTLAUNG: Knowing that you operated like a soldier you knew that now you are carrying out your own mission, this is not the mission that you had been sent out on, correct?

MR STEYN: No Chairperson, even though we did use our own discretion at that stage it was put clearly to us that we do not go back unless an explosion takes place.

MR MOTLAUNG: Are you saying that were told that you must go for the black taxi rank or if you can't find a black taxi rank go for anything else otherwise I would have really wanted to hear it before hand. Is that your evidence?

MR PRINSLOO: Chairperson, that is not what he testified, he specifically explained what happened and why they targeted another target.

CHAIRPERSON: But he did add that he used his own discretion or that is the impression he gave us.

MR PRINSLOO: But in all respect the way I understand his evidence was that the bomb had to explode.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but what does it mean when he says you must see that the bomb explode: "You do not return", or words to that effect, "unless you made a bomb explode".

MR PRINSLOO: That is correct he must make sure the bomb goes off but with respect, he doesn't mean that he had to use his own discretion.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh then I do not know.

MR MOTLAUNG: So Mr Steyn, the discretion that you are now talking about is your own discretion that you gave yourself, nobody gave you the discretion about the targets, correct?

MR STEYN: No Mr Chairperson, the discretion was not my responsibility what to do, the discretion was Jaco Nel's, he chose this specific place and we just had to identify with him or reconcile with his decision.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR PRIOR: Mr Steyn just in short three points. I know that it is late but it is not fair to put such limitations. It would have been stupid to detonate the bomb if the police was in the area?

MR STEYN: That is true yes.

MR PRIOR: As I understand your position you wanted to plant the bomb there or throw the bomb there but because the police was there you decided against it?

MR STEYN: Yes that is correct.

MR PRIOR: And then later that evening you threw it at another place?

MR STEYN: Yes were there twice at that specific place.

MR PRIOR: When Mr Myburgh demonstrated these pipe bombs to you he must have surely told you that if you light the fuse you have to get away fast because it will explode?

MR STEYN: That is true.

MR PRIOR: Because if you remain in that area you will blow yourself up so you knew that if you detonate that bomb people can be killed in the process?

MR STEYN: That is correct yes.

MR PRIOR: Was that in your mind when you rolled out the bomb to the structure where people where sitting drinking in Maraba town? In Mr du Plessis' application on page 113 he gave evidence or testified in front of this Committee that the people who were grouped together they said: "choose your own pipe bomb", is that correct?

MR STEYN: That is true yes.

MR PRIOR: What pipe bomb did you choose, a big one, a small one, a round one, which one?

MR STEYN: I cannot really comment on that.

MR PRIOR: Indicate to us how long this pipe bomb was?

MR STEYN: I would say it was approximately 600cm long.

MR PRIOR: Was it one of the biggest ones that was lying around there?

MR STEYN: I cannot comment no, it was in a vehicle's boot.

MR PRIOR: Is it correct that you did not just follow instructions, you identified yourself with the bomb missions that went out from the game farm in order to create chaos and kill people?

MR STEYN: That is correct yes.

MR PRIOR: We don't want to take a long route here now but you went after Myburgh?

MR STEYN: Yes we did identify ourselves with these bombings.

MR PRIOR: When Myburgh demonstrated there after that meeting under the tree outside, did he talk about killing people?

MR STEYN: Yes that is true.

MR PRIOR: Thank you Mr Chairperson.


FURTHER RE-EXAMINATION BY MR PRINSLOO: Mr Steyn, are you aware that Commandant du Plessis took down the names of the different groups that went out? Do you know that?

MR STEYN: No Mr Chairperson but afterwards I did. I understood it that way yes.

MR PRINSLOO: No further questions.


ADV BOSMAN: Just one question. Why did you give yourself up Mr Steyn, because I understand that the AWB people do not betray each other?

MR STEYN: Mr Chairperson I could not be running the whole time because while I was on the run every evening when I went to bed and sleep and wherever I was, I was not aware what was going on with my wife and children.

ADV BOSMAN: In other words it was on behalf of your wife and children that you gave yourself up?


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Steyn.


CHAIRPERSON: It is now approximately the time for us to adjourn. We will adjourn then till nine thirty tomorrow morning, thank you very much.