TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

AMNESTY HEARING

DATE: 21ST SEPTEMBER 1998

NAME: J L McPHERSON

MATTER: LONDON BOMB & BOMBING OF ANC OFFICES IN LUSAKA

APPLICATION NO: AM 7040/97

DAY : 10

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MR VISSER: Chairman, might you allow me to set something right for the record for the benefit of my learned friend, Mr Bizos or his stand-in.

Mr Chairman, you will recall that at one point my learned friend, Mr Bizos made a statement to the witness, Williamson to say that Dirk Coetzee, Captain Dirk Coetzee did not implicate General Johan Coetzee in the Ruth First murder, and at that time I drew your attention to a part of the Mauritius, the so-called Mauritius statement and my learned friend, Mr Jansen then corrected me to say that it really refers to Griffiths Mxenge, the part which I quoted to you. I've check that Mr Chairman, and my learned friend is quite correct and therefore my learned friend, Mr Bizos was quite entitled and quite in order to have put what he did put. I just thought I might straighten the record as far as that

is concerned.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR BERGER: Chairperson, my name is Danny Berger, I'm the stand-in. Mr Bizos will not be here, at least for the morning, he might be here this afternoon but I will convey it to him when I see him.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, are we now continuing with the application of Mr McPherson?

MR CORNELIUS: That is correct, Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, Cornelius for the record. I act on behalf of the applicant, J L McPherson. We are ready to proceed.

CHAIRPERSON: Before we go on perhaps it should be recorded that we have - I'm talking now on behalf of members of the Committee and I trust the rest of you too have received copies of Exhibit Z.

J L McPHERSON: (sworn states)

MR BERGER: Chairperson, I'm sorry, before my learned friend continues, could I ask if the camera person could move his camera away a bit, we can see Mr McPherson.

EXAMINATION BY MR CORNELIUS: Thank you Mr Chairman.

Mr McPherson, you are the applicant in this matter and you apply for amnesty for your part in the London bomb explosion on the 14th of March 1982, and the explosion of the Lusaka ANC headquarters in 1985, is that correct? ...[transcriber's own translation]

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: I put it to you that you have complied with Section 20(1)A of Act 34 of '95 in that you timeously submitted your application within the prescribed time, on the prescribed form and that you have given your full co-operation to the national investigator of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, is that correct? ...[transcriber's own translation]

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: "Nou die aanhef" of your application you complied with Article 20 (2) and (3) of the Act and that your actions were aimed in accordance with the political "oogmerke" in the milieu of the conflicts of the past of the previous government, is that correct? ...[transcriber's own translation]

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: And then you also mention that you acted in terms of the execution of your duties within the police services and in compliance with orders that you were given against the so-called enemy of the previous government and at all times you acted in a bona fide manner, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: You identified yourself with the policy of the previous government but you fought against the ANC/SACP alliance as enemies of the previous government, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Your career appears in your application. Chairperson, I refer you to the bundle marked Bundle 3. The Afrikaans version appears on page 118 to 137. I refer the Honourable Chairperson to page 131 where your career is set out as in the South African Police Service and you would like the Chairperson and the Committee to see this piece as read into the minutes of these procedures?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: What is of note is that you entered into Stratcom in 1989, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR CORNELIUS: And just to get the times correct, in 1982 with the London Bomb incident you were working at the intelligence sections at A5 at headquarters in Pretoria?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR CORNELIUS: And with the bomb in Lusaka at the ANC office in 1985, you were still in the same unit?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: We've heard testimony to that effect but it common cause that the instruction for the bomb in London came from a higher authority, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR CORNELIUS: And according to your knowledge, from which source did this instruction come?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, at the beginning of 1982, I think it was around January, the then Major Craig Williamson approached me and we had a meeting in the coffee bar close to headquarters here in Pretoria and he put it to me that at a high authority, at an administrative level or ministerial level it was decided that we, the Intelligence Unit would launch an action against the ANC and that would be their offices in London.

MR CORNELIUS: Could you explain to the Committee how the preparations for this took place?

MR McPHERSON: He told me that it was retribution against the ANC. At that stage policemen were killed, injured and many police stations were attacked and destroyed.

MR CORNELIUS: Here in South Africa?

MR McPHERSON: That's right. And the purpose was to hit back at the ANC.

MR CORNELIUS: I understand from your testimony then that the further purpose was to serve as a symbolic symbolism that other countries should not house the ANC, specifically the United Kingdom, and the purpose was to show the ANC that they could not feel safe anywhere in the world.

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairperson.

...[no English translation]

MR CORNELIUS: How many targets were determined?

MR McPHERSON: I was told that we would concentrate on the ANC offices in Penton Street and that we would at the SACP offices in Goodge Street in London.

MR CORNELIUS: Please tell the Committee about the preparations here in South Africa.

MR McPHERSON: Craig Williamson asked me if I was prepared to drive the getaway car. Initial he said that a member of the task force would accompany me and I asked him that I would rather take the then Captain Jimmy Taylor from Durban along because I trusted Jimmy and I knew his capabilities. And where he came from England, he was born I think in Liverpool, he had the correct accent so that we would not draw attention to ourselves.

MR CORNELIUS: And where did this preparation take place?

MR McPHERSON: It was at headquarters on the fifth floor. Jerry Raven showed me a metallic object that was about the size of a brick, a container, and he said that the explosives would be transported in there to England. As I understood it, it would be conveyed in a diplomatic bag and we would have made it known that it was radio equipment. On the outside there were all kinds of aerials and other things so that it looked like a radio. MR CORNELIUS: This metal container had to be airtight, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman. As I understood it, the Technical Unit would assist in the production of such a container.

MR CORNELIUS: Continue please.

MR McPHERSON: During the week before we left for London, it was the last week in February '82, we as a team went to Daisy, that is our espionage training farm outside Pretoria.

MR CORNELIUS: Who were the team members?

MR McPHERSON: It was the late Brigadier Goosen, Major Craig Williamson, myself, Warrant Officer Jerry Raven, Captain Eugene de Kock, Captain John Adam and Captain Jimmy Taylor.

MR CORNELIUS: At Daisy Farm, can you tell the Committee how the preparations took place there?

MR McPHERSON: Major Derek Broon I think at that time was a Captain, assisted us with the preparations and this included the study of road maps and photos of the ANC offices and photos of the SACP offices. We had to make preparations with regard to our documents. We all had false South African passports with other names. We all devised a legend for ourselves that would serve as a background in England.

We had foreign international driver's licenses from the AA offices here in Pretoria, under these false names. We had cheque books and credit cards. We made reservations for the different hotels and we received traveller's cheques and we bought clothes so as to fit in in the cold conditions that we would experience over there.

MR CORNELIUS: Were there any other protection mechanism or devices taken with you?

MR McPHERSON: Because we could not take any weapons with us to protect us, General Lothar Neethling, he was from the forensic laboratory, gave us gas canisters. They were underarm spray containers and had the "Playboy" logo on the. This had to serve as protection if anybody caught is at the scene.

MR CORNELIUS: Was it a type of teargas?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, it was teargas. And these containers were also conveyed in this diplomatic bag to England.

MR CORNELIUS: When did you leave South Africa?

MR McPHERSON: As far as I can remember, Jimmy Taylor and myself left on the 28th of February, it was the last day of February. In the evening from Jan Smuts Airport to England and we arrived there the next morning, the 1st of March. We landed at Heathrow airport.

MR CORNELIUS: Was the team divided or did you stay together?

MR McPHERSON: The team was divided into different groups, groups of two. I think Eugene de Kock and John Adam was put together, Jerry was alone. I think Craig Williamson and Brigadier Goosen were together. On our arrival in England Jimmy Taylor and myself moved into a furnished flat and we made ourselves at home there. We had a Mercedes Benz or we hired a Mercedes Benz vehicle. After the second day we experienced problems with this Mercedes Benz and I went and exchanged it for a Ford Grenada, 2.8. The registration number I can recall very well, it was OAU150.

The task of Jimmy and myself was to look at the infrastructure of London, be well conversed with the infrastructure of London. We drove around, taking turns so that we could get used to the traffic. We tried out all the freeways and sometimes we took the railway network or we used the railway network so that we could move through London. We used the buses as well as the underground trains.

MR CORNELIUS: You needed to get escape routes if something went wrong?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that was the purpose. Our task was, at the scene if something went wrong, to get the team away from there as quickly as possible and we had to know which was the quickest route out of there, the shortest route to the airport or just to know how to lead these people out of there so that we can get away quickly.

MR CORNELIUS: The building itself, the offices of the ANC in Goodge Street and the one in Penton, did you watch the buildings?

MR McPHERSON: That was the other task. We had to monitor the movement of people in vehicles at the scene and for those purposes we visited the offices at different times every day, amongst others the police station that was close to the ANC offices in Penton Street.

We monitored that as well and we determined that they changed their shifts at the same that we do here in South Africa, 10 o'clock and at 6 o'clock. We followed the two bobbies and we wanted to find out how long it takes them to get to their furthest turning point. We could then determine at night when they would be the furthest away from us and it would be the safest moment to enter the ANC offices.

MR CORNELIUS: So your instruction, as Mr Williamson had said people must not be injured?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that was told to us, it was stated pertinently to us that the instruction was that nobody had to be injured, especially no British citizens had to be killed or injured. And no members of the ANC had to be injured because it would have caused big problems for us.

MR CORNELIUS: So part of this observation, looking at the public, was this to determine how many people moved around the area there?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR CORNELIUS: What was your cover there?

MR McPHERSON: We pretended to be tourists but my cover, I received a letter from a friend in Durban, that I was a representative for a bookshop. This person imported books from London and I had instructions to buy books and I had documentation to prove this but we acted like tourists, we visited all the tourist attractions.

MR CORNELIUS: As I understand it, the first week in London you met again?

MR McPHERSON: We met Craig Williamson at a pub there, an old pub. I think it was 300 years old. It was quite unique to visit such a place.

MR CORNELIUS: You met there, and what was the reason for this meeting?

MR McPHERSON: Just to receive further instructions from Craig and at this meeting we heard that John Adam and Eugene de Kock were being followed.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you meet with them as well?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, we had discussions with them as well.

MR CORNELIUS: And Friday the 12th of March you had another meeting, according to the testimony of Mr Williams. Can you tell the Committee about this?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, I think it was a Friday evening, I have a feeling that it was a Friday evening, two days or a day before we would place the bomb. The whole team, with Brigadier Piet Goosen who was then a Colonel, Craig, Eugene, John, Jerry, visited us at our flat, myself and Jimmy's flat and we went and first bought food and we prepared a meal for them that evening.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you report back to each other at this meeting?

MR McPHERSON: Colonel Piet Goosen asked for feedback from every mini team, to give their input as to what their observations were concerning the offices and he said that permission was received that we could continue with the placing of this bomb at the ANC offices.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you then decided not to bomb the SACP offices?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR CORNELIUS: Was there a specific reason for that?

MR McPHERSON: From Jimmy Taylor and my observation we saw that there was an office where one could buy paint, a paint shop on the ground floor and we saw that there were two old people in the building and this would have had been a big risk if we had placed the bomb there.

MR CORNELIUS: Can you tell the Committee what happened on Saturday, the 13th of March?

MR McPHERSON: Jimmy Taylor and myself went to the scene. We met with Eugene de Kock and John Adams. We met them along the way and we picked them up. At about quarter to ten we arrived at the scene. We positioned ourselves in such a manner so that we could see from all sides if any person would approach the building.

CHAIRPERSON: A quarter to ten in the morning or evening?

MR McPHERSON: I'm sorry, in the evening Sir.

MR CORNELIUS: Sorry Mr Chairman.

Yes, continue?

MR McPHERSON: We positioned ourselves ...[intervention]

MR CORNELIUS: When you say "ourselves", there were four of you to be on the lookout, who was this?

MR McPHERSON: This was Jimmy Taylor and myself, Eugene de Kock and John Adam.

MR CORNELIUS: And you all took your positions, then what happened?

MR McPHERSON: At that stage Lieutenant Peter Castleton who is now deceased, and Jerry Raven arrived at the scene with the bomb.

MR CORNELIUS: In what was the bomb?

MR McPHERSON: The bomb was in a large sports bag, a green sports bag.

MR CORNELIUS: And when you arrived at the scene, was the property locked, could you get in there?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, a few days before we determined that the gate had been locked with a large lock but this did not put us off. I helped Jerry Raven to scale the gate and I folded my hands in this manner and he stepped on my hands and he got over there. Eugene climbed over the gate himself and I passed the bomb to them and they went and placed it.

MR CORNELIUS: You could not see where they placed the bomb, could you?

MR McPHERSON: No, I could not see because part of the building was obscuring my view but I understand that it was placed along the rear side of the building.

MR CORNELIUS: Inside the building, what was the target inside the building actually?

MR McPHERSON: There was a printing press Mr Chairman, there was a small room and there was an annexe, like an annexure to the large building and this printing press was used for the pressing of Sechaba which was the official mouthpiece of the ANC. I think this was printed on a monthly basis and it was then distributed in our country and also world-wide.

MR CORNELIUS: And that was part of the target you had to destroy?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR CORNELIUS: And the bomb was set and when was it supposed to go off?

MR McPHERSON: It was set to explode about after eight or around eight the next morning. The reason for that was that at that time there was minimal movement or there was no movement at that time of the morning because it's an industrial area and not a residential area.

MR CORNELIUS: And I understand this was in Winter?

MR McPHERSON: It was in ...[intervention]

MR CORNELIUS: Yes, March.

MR McPHERSON: Yes, about Spring.

MR CORNELIUS: Now after the bomb was placed and set, what happened then?

MR McPHERSON: Jimmy Taylor and myself and Eugene de Kock and John Adam and Jerry Raven left the scene and we made contact with Craig Williamson and Peter Castleton. There we removed our shoes and gloves and balaclavas, everything that we wore at the scene and which could have placed us back on the scene, like mud on the shoes or anything that could connect us with the scene and gave everything to Craig and Peter Castleton. As I understood it was thrown into the Thames River.

...[end of tape]

...[inaudible] and the morning at five, Jimmy Taylor and myself booked out of our flat and we returned the vehicle that we had hired and we went to Heathrow Airport by taxi. We caught an aeroplane to Frankfurt in Germany and in the morning at about ten to 11 we landed there.

MR CORNELIUS: Who was with you on this flight?

MR McPHERSON: It was Eugene de Kock, Jimmy Taylor, John Adam and myself.

MR CORNELIUS: And where would you have stayed then?

MR McPHERSON: Initially to throw people off our tail we wanted to lie low in Holland for five days but the previous week we received a message that we had to return immediately. We then reserved seats on a flight back to South Africa and we returned the afternoon.

MR CORNELIUS: And this was at Frankfurt Airport?

MR McPHERSON: Yes.

MR CORNELIUS: Very well.

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairperson, while we were waiting at Frankfurt Airport there was an announcement in German over the intercom that Joseph Slovo had to return to the information counter. So that day Joe was there with us at the airport and when we heard that we realised that something did happen in London.

MR CORNELIUS: Well you draw the inference that he was there?

MR McPHERSON: I just heard the announcement.

MR CORNELIUS: You arrived in South Africa, what happened then?

MR McPHERSON: Upon our arrival at Jan Smuts Airport we were picked up in a minibus by other members of the Intelligence Division and taken to Daisy Farm for debriefing.

MR CORNELIUS: And we will then accept, and we've heard this in evidence as well, that in September 1982 you received an award or a declaration for your participation in this operation, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, that was the 13th of September. That was the day on which the order was issued. Me and the other members of the team received the Police Star, it was a declaration for exceptional service, abbreviated to SOE, from the Minister, Louis le Grange in the Civitas Building in his office. That is where we receive it.

MR CORNELIUS: General Johan Coetzee, was he present?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, he was.

MR CORNELIUS: Chairperson, that is the evidence regarding the London Bomb incident. I intend to go forward to the Lusaka bombing of the ANC offices in Zambia.

ADV DE JAGER: Would this be in the same volume?

MR CORNELIUS: No, that is in the 2nd volume.

CHAIRPERSON: Isn't it the first volume?

MR CORNELIUS: I beg your pardon Chairperson, I'm not at my usual desk. It would appear that this is Bundle 1, and his application appears from page 55 to 70 of Bundle 1. We are now only dealing with the Lusaka incident there.

Mr McPherson, in May/June 1985 you were still in A5 Section of Intelligence, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you receive the instruction - let me rather phrase it like this, Captain Pretorius, could you explain to the Committee how you came to know him?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, in 1985 I was the desk chief of the Africa desk at Intelligence of the Security Branch. Our offices were in Sandton, inside the Sandton Police Station and away from head office.

MR CORNELIUS: Very well, could you just assist me then, who was our immediate chief at that stage?

MR McPHERSON: Craig Williamson was at that stage still officially the Section Head of the Intelligence Unit, however he made plans to leave the force and took quite a number of month's leave. In his absence, our acting Head of the Section of the Intelligence Unit was Major Derek Broon.

MR CORNELIUS: Just to clarify this for the Committee, I understand that you had various desks, you had a foreign desk, an internal desk, a training desk and then the Africa desk from which you served.

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: And Captain Pretorius, did he serve under your command at the Africa desk?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that is correct.

MR CORNELIUS: Could you explain to the Committee what occurred in May 1985 when he reported back to you?

MR McPHERSON: Towards the end of May 1985, Captain Kobus Pretorius informed me that he had heard or that he had an informer in Swaziland, an Indian businessman who was doing business with the ANC, among others in Lusaka. He had a factory at the Matsapa Airport road, outside Mbabane on the way to Manzini.

MR CORNELIUS: Very well.

MR McPHERSON: He also informed me that this informer, due to his liaison with the ANC and among others, Joe Slovo, was in a position, by means of his access to the ANC offices in Cha Cha Cha Road, Lusaka, he was in the position therefore to place and improvised bomb there for us.

MR CORNELIUS: Inside the ANC offices?

MR McPHERSON: Inside the ANC offices.

MR CORNELIUS: These ANC offices, were these the head offices in Lusaka?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that was the International Head Office of the ANC.

MR CORNELIUS: I also see that the informer's name was published in the press.

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct. In the Mail and Guardian my entire for amnesty was published.

MR CORNELIUS: But that was quite some time ago when the publication took place?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct Chairperson, a number of months after I had submitted my application at the Cape Town Office of the Truth Commission. It was then that it was leaked out to the Mail and Guardian.

MR CORNELIUS: And by nature of the situation, this was without your permission?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: Just to take you back, you had the information then from an agent who had access to the ANC offices, what did you then do with this information?

MR McPHERSON: Once again I would like to reiterate that this informer was prepared to place this improvised explosive device in the office if Slovo should be in that office. He was prepared to leave it there and in so doing injure him.

MR CORNELIUS: What did you then do with this information?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, Kobus and I ...[intervention]

MR CORNELIUS: Let's make this easier, that's Captain Kobus Pretorius.

MR McPHERSON: Yes. Captain Kobus Pretorius and I discussed the matter with Derek Broon, who was our acting head. Derek Broon suggested that we discuss the matter with General Coetzee at head office. Captain Kobus Pretorius was of the opinion that for the informer to carry out such a task, along with the risk which he would be taking, in the light of this we would have to offer him considerable compensation.

MR CORNELIUS: What amount was considered?

MR McPHERSON: We suggested that the amount of R20 000 should be sufficient to remunerate him. And in that year, 1985, R20 000 was a considerable amount of money.

MR CORNELIUS: Who would approve this R20 000?

MR McPHERSON: During those times someone like a group head would be able to approve any amount up to a thousand rand. The Head of Security could approve up to the amount of approximately R15 000, and only the Commissioner could approve amounts of R15 000 and higher.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you and Captain Pretorius then go where?

MR McPHERSON: We then made an appointment with General Johan Coetzee and we visited him in his office ...[intervention]

MR CORNELIUS: Just to assist you, that was during 1983 to 1987 when he was the Commissioner?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that is correct.

MR CORNELIUS: The proposal was then put to him, as I've explained earlier, about the informer and his access and that he was able to possible injure Mr Joe Slovo by means of this improvised explosive device.

MR CORNELIUS: What was the Commissioner's response?

MR McPHERSON: I requested preliminary permission from the Commissioner to put in an informers claim of R20 000 and to have this paid to the informer should he be successful in his task of injuring Mr Joe Slovo.

MR CORNELIUS: In a covert operation, would the merits thereof be placed on paper or not?

MR McPHERSON: Because by nature of the situation, one could never write a memorandum as motivation or explanation that one was about to seriously injure someone, one could never put that in writing and that is why we had to create a cover story. We told the Commissioner that we would write a cover-up.

This informer had access to ANC information with specific regard to the movements of highly placed persons within the ranks of the ANC, and on the basis of that we could compile a motivation that he should be remunerated for information which he had delivered and for these purposes we would then have requested R20 000. Nowhere was it put in writing that we were requesting money for a bomb which was to be placed.

MR CORNELIUS: And that was also for the purposes of the Auditor-General because part of this had a financial audit aspect?

MR McPHERSON: After the Eschel Roodie information scandal things became very difficult when it came to secret funding. One had to be extremely cautious with regard to what one wrote and how one motivated your issue for rewards.

MR CORNELIUS: Were any other tasks or instructions given by the Commissioner?

MR McPHERSON: General Johan Coetzee proposed that when I went to speak to the informer I should have a mini tape recorder with me and make a recording while I was giving him his instructions and I should also make this recording openly. And also that in the instructions I should instruct him to place the explosive device in such a way that nobody was to be injured and I should then switch it off and give further instructions which would not then be recorded on tape.

These instructions were of the effect that if indeed he was to injure Joe Slovo, he would receive an amount of R20 000.

MR CORNELIUS: Any reason why he told you this?

MR McPHERSON: General Johan Coetzee said that we should consider the future deeds or the future of our deeds, that our deeds might have future repercussions and that this was to serve as a precautionary measure, should we in any event be called to account of that which we had carried out.

CHAIRPERSON: So this was to be used to deceive anybody in the Auditor-General's staff or elsewhere in the Police Force or Security Forces?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR CORNELIUS: After you had negotiated with General Johan Coetzee, what did you do then?

MR McPHERSON: Captain Kobus Pretorius and I, I think this was in the beginning of June, we went through to Swaziland where we met the informer in an hotel just outside Mbabane. I think it was the Ezelwini Sun. He was then informed there that we had received permission for the amount of R20 000 for that which he was about to do.

MR CORNELIUS: For the action, for planting the bomb in Lusaka?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: Very well.

MR McPHERSON: Captain Kobus Pretorius and I took his light brown attaché case to South Africa in order to build the explosive device inside it.

MR CORNELIUS: You said it was an old attaché case which was quite familiar in the ANC offices and that the informers were quite familiar with this case?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that was the case with which he travelled regularly to Lusaka, and it wouldn't have drawn any attention should he have visited the offices with that case.

MR CORNELIUS: Very well. You brought the case back to South Africa?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct. Captain Kobus Pretorius and I took the case to SPESKOP, that is the head offices of Special Forces of the South African Defence Force. It was just outside Pretoria, on the western side of Pretoria. We took the case there to be built.

MR CORNELIUS: Let me just ask you the following question: Was it abnormal for you to take this case to the Special Forces Division of the South African Defence Force for the construction of the bomb? Is that abnormal action?

MR McPHERSON: I suppose one could see this as abnormal in the sense that we had our own technical unit, we had our own demolitionís experts, but at that stage we worked very closely with Special Forces and also at that stage we were deeply involved in planning with intelligence reports which we conveyed to Special Forces. They were in quite an advanced stage of their planning to carry out the Gaberone raid. I think that took place on the 13th of June.

MR CORNELIUS: Yes, it followed shortly.

MR McPHERSON: We worked very narrowly together and we came to know the Special Forces offices very well, we knew what their capabilities were. They also had an excellent technical division or a technical support unit.

MR CORNELIUS: So therefore it wasn't abnormal for you to make use of the Technical Division of Special Forces?

MR McPHERSON: No. We gave the case to a Major who had an English surname but I can't remember exactly what his surname was. He had very good degrees in the electronic engineering and electronics direction. He was consulted and immediately declared his willingness to manufacture such a device in the case.

MR CORNELIUS: Could you sketch to the Committee how the bomb was constructed, what type of bomb it was and how it was built.

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, he explained to me, this is now the Major, that he would use spring-charge on the sides of the case and then he explained to us ...[intervention]

MR CORNELIUS: Could I just interrupt you. You explained to me that this type of charge was the size of an A4 piece of paper, it was a very thin layer of explosive, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: Well I'm not an explosives expert but I have heard of this sheet explosive, you can pack them on layers.

MR CORNELIUS: Where in the case was this built in?

MR McPHERSON: As I understand it, on the upper opening level where you open the case and then also on the bottom level.

MR CORNELIUS: And what was the so-called detonator?

MR McPHERSON: This Major had a Hewlett Packard pocket calculator of his own which he used and which would then serve as the offset mechanism. Also in the case there was something like a thick koki pen which was lined with explosives which would then serve as a booster before the eventual explosion would occur in the sheet explosive.

MR CORNELIUS: So the koki pen was the first phase and the sheet explosives was the second phase?

MR McPHERSON: The pocket calculator had to do with the first phase because that would explode and then the explosion would run through into the koki pen and the koki pen had been placed against the opening level and the koki which was the second would run into the sheet explosive phase which was the third phase.

MR CORNELIUS: How was the mechanism detonated?

MR McPHERSON: In order to initiate the process there had to be a pin number, personal identification number which had to be punched in by a person. It had to be four numbers, something like 4293. And upon that specific unique number the time would then run back into the calculator or the computer for twenty minutes and then the explosion would occur.

MR CORNELIUS: When was the bomb ready?

MR McPHERSON: Approximately a week later, if I can recall correctly, we again returned to Swaziland.

MR CORNELIUS: If you say "we", who do you mean?

MR McPHERSON: Kobus Pretorius and I. We loaded the bomb or the case at least, into the boot of the car and drove to Swaziland. I must just mention that superficially one couldn't surmise anything about the case which would lead you to believe that there were explosives inside.

MR CORNELIUS: I'm accepting that you went directly to the informer.

MR McPHERSON: We went back to the informer, we met him again in a hotel in Swaziland and upon this meeting I told him, while I was giving him his instructions, that I was making a tape recording. He agreed with that. I then gave him his instructions.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you place the tape recorder anywhere?

MR McPHERSON: I placed it on the bed and I told him: "Your instructions are: here is the case, there's a bomb inside and your instruction is that you should the bomb in the ANC offices but in such a position that you would ensure that nobody would be injured.

MR CORNELIUS: Very well, and then?

MR McPHERSON: Then I switched off the tape recorder and said that the further instruction was that should he successfully injure Joe Slovo, he would receive the

R20 000.

MR CORNELIUS: A bomb explosion could kill someone as well?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

ADV DE JAGER: Can we just have some clarity. If he were to injure of kill him, he would receive R20 000?

MR McPHERSON: That is so.

ADV DE JAGER: Was any arrangement made in the event of him not killing or injuring him?

MR McPHERSON: No, there was no such arrangement.

ADV DE JAGER: Would he then also receive any remuneration?

MR McPHERSON: If nothing was to happen he would not receive any monetary remuneration.

ADV DE JAGER: If it had been an unsuccessful attempt?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, all I said to him was that should injure Joe Slovo, he would receive R20 000. There was no negotiation regarding lesser amounts for less successful operations or other operations.

ADV DE JAGER: So therefore he was prepared to do this for nothing, without any remuneration if there had been no injuries?

MR McPHERSON: No, Chairperson, we promised him the

R20 000 and the instruction was, should he injure Joe Slovo he would then receive R20 000. There was no negotiation should he not be successful.

MR CORNELIUS: But the instruction was therefore partially recorded on tape, where the bombing of the offices was discussed, but the other aspect of injuring was not discussed or recorded on tape?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: What happened then?

MR McPHERSON: Upon our arrival back from Swaziland, Kobus Pretorius and I went to General Coetzee's office and handed the cassette to him. He said that he would keep this in his safe for the future.

MR CORNELIUS: That would be the safe in his office?

MR McPHERSON: I'm assuming that.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you report back to him?

MR McPHERSON: After a number of days the informer reported back to Captain Kobus Pretorius that the bomb had killed Joe Slovo. However, I saw a news report in the Pretoria News which reported, it was a very small article, which reported that bomb had gone off in the ANC offices in Cha Cha Cha Road, Lusaka and that steel gates in front had been damaged or removed and that all the windows in the entire environment of the offices had been shattered.

According to the report no injuries of any people were noted. It was also reported to Kobus from other informers, that the bomb had indeed exploded.

MR CORNELIUS: Were there any injuries according to them?

MR McPHERSON: No injuries were noted, and Joe Slovo was definitely not hurt or definitely not killed during the incident.

MR CORNELIUS: Do you know whether or not he was present during the bombing?

MR McPHERSON: I don't know. In any event, this bomb according to the report, exploded at 21H00 that evening in front of the gates.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you once again report back to General Coetzee?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, I reported to General Coetzee that nothing had happened to Joe Slovo but that the informer had indeed planted the bomb and that we would definitely not be able to give the R20 000. It was agreed that the amount of R15 000 would be paid to him.

MR CORNELIUS: Was any motivation submitted for that?

MR McPHERSON: Captain Kobus Pretorius handled the informer and because of this he was the one who submitted the necessary motivational request and received the money from the secret fund.

MR CORNELIUS: How much was eventually paid out from the secret fund?

MR McPHERSON: I think that Captain Pretorius during July 1985, went to the Legogo Sun, that was approximately 10 kilometres outside Mbabane. We had an appointment with the informer to pay him.

Upon our arrival in the parking area, while were busy taking out our luggage, we noticed two Indian men who were in a vehicle with a Dundee registration and were busy taking photographs of me and Kobus Pretorius. I immediately walked over to them and asked why they were photographing us.

They said that they were actually photographing the hotel and the environment. I told them that I didn't believe their story and grabbed the camera out of the one man's hands and told them that they had better tell us right away upon whose instructions they had been photographing us.

They then took us to the informer's room, it was on the same level, the ground level, as the parking area. We walked in and found the informer in the room and confronted him with these two persons and asked him what he was trying to do, was he trying to get a hold on us. I opened the camera and exposed the film to the light and gave the camera back to the Indian men and asked then to leave the room.

The informer still tried to persuade us that he had injured Joe Slovo, and I confronted him with the news report and said that he was telling lies. It was decided that he would only receive R15 000. We gave him the money and he signed a receipt which was undersigned by Kobus Pretorius and I as witness.

MR CORNELIUS: And the matter was concluded?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, the matter was then concluded.

CHAIRPERSON: So you gave R15 000 to a man who had lied to you, tried to cheat you?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Why?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, in the intelligence game you sometimes have to use even cheaters and sometimes liars. The man was still of value to us. He was still of still - he was still in a position to have given us information into the future as he still had access and this was then money to, you can say to buy him for the future.

CHAIRPERSON: To buy someone who exposed you to two other people that you apparently knew nothing about?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: That didn't bother you?

MR McPHERSON: No, it didn't Mr Chairman.

MR CORNELIUS: Mr McPherson, I presume you also had to buy his silence?

MR McPHERSON: That is also one of the factors involved Mr Chairman.

MR CORNELIUS: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

These two deeds which you committed in London and Lusaka, did you do this in any way to exact personal malice or vengeance from your side?

MR McPHERSON: No, Chairperson, we found ourselves within a revolutionary war situation. The ANC and the SACP had murdered some of our colleagues. One of my very best friends, Sergeant Nkosi was shot dead by them and twenty minutes after he had been shot by MK members I was on the scene. I found him in the passage and I found his wife in bed where she had been shot in the stomach.

MR CORNELIUS: So you didn't do this out of a sense of personal vengeance?

MR McPHERSON: No, not personal vengeance.

MR CORNELIUS: What would have the consequences have been if you had not carried out your instructions from your higher ranking officers?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, to have been a member of the Security Branch in those days, was to be a member of an elite selected group of policemen. If you didn't carry out your tasks it would have meant that your fellow colleagues had no confidence or trust in you and that you would be discharged for other services within the South African Police.

ADV DE JAGER: Can you just explain to me whose instructions you carried out?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairperson, in the case of the London Bomb incident?

ADV DE JAGER: No, I'm referring to this case.

MR McPHERSON: In this case it was with the knowledge and the permission of General Johan Coetzee.

ADV DE JAGER: Yes, but he didn't initially give you an order?

MR McPHERSON: No, we went to him with the proposal.

ADV DE JAGER: And Pretorius was your junior?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, he was my junior.

MR CORNELIUS: You are applying for amnesty in terms of the relevant Act, with respect to both of these incidents in which you were involved, with all the civil implications and direct implications?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: Thank you Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR CORNELIUS

CHAIRPERSON: We'll take the short adjournment.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

J L McPHERSON: (s.u.o.)

MR CORNELIUS: We have once again moved, we are over here now and the applicant is next to me. We concluded our evidence Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, do you want me to kick off?

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, I think you might as well. We have - follow the same order.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: Thank you Mr Chairman. Louis Visser on record.

Mr McPherson, can we just discuss the London Bomb incident?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct Mr Chairperson.

MR VISSER: As I understand your evidence this was a cross-border operation. This whole project, the whole operation, it would seem was planned to the finest detail, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR VISSER: So the reason therefore would be that you were to ensure that nothing could go wrong as far as you could possibly plan for, with this operation?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Just by the way, would it be correct if Mr Taylor tells me that he did not know precisely what the target would be before the two of you were in London? Would this concur with your recollection?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman. The whole incident was carried out on a need to know basis and I knew from the start. I don't know who of the other persons did not know.

MR VISSER: Mr McPherson, you gave us a description of the building and of this part that was built on, if I could say, to the rear of the ANC offices, that would be the northern end where this printing press was housed. I would like to ask you, when you gave evidence this morning that you went to this building, did you mean that you or Taylor or both of you were inside the building or is that not what you meant?

MR McPHERSON: No, Mr Chairman, in the time that we made our observations, the 13 days prior to the placing of the bomb, Captain Jimmy Taylor and myself visited the offices every day. When I say that, I mean we visited the area, and at times when the gate was left open we even entered the premises but not into the building itself.

MR VISSER: I wonder if, just to assist the Committee Members, you just would like to make a rough sketch to show the Committee. We can re-draw it later and hand it in as an Exhibit so that one has an idea of how precisely this building was situated and where the parking lot was ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Visser, if you regard this as part of your cross-examination, would your client not have had time to make one that could be handed in later? But if you see it as part of your cross-examination I will understand.

MR VISSER: With respect Mr Chairman, it would not be part of my cross-examination but I thought it would be convenient. Here is a man that says he was there, that he just draws a sketch, but if you feel it will waste time then we can do it later in the other manner, it's not a problem. ...[transcriber's own translation]

ADV DE JAGER: Nee miskien kan hy dit vinnig doen.

MR VISSER: Maybe to assist you Mr McPherson, Penton Street runs, according to this map I have of London it runs from East to West and on the Eastern side of the building there is a street by the name of Pentonville Road and the west side there is a street by the name of White Lion Street: L-I-O-N.

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, can we not use this sketch which is in his possession?

MR VISSER: You see Chairman, I've already made a sketch but somebody told me that it might not be correct.

APPLICANT DRAWS SKETCH

MR VISSER: We will re-draw this sketch as the witness is drawing it now.

Could you just mark the place where, according to your knowledge, the bomb was placed.

MR McPHERSON: We have a rough draft.

MR VISSER: Thank you Mr McPherson, we'll redraft it.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Visser, the question remains whether Mr de Kock and the other people will agree with it. At the old end is it a correct map which we have or is it one drawn on a witness's memory? ...[transcriber's own translation]

MR VISSER: Mr Chairperson, I can tell you that Mr Taylor will agree with that map and the other people can say if they do not agree. Not much turns on it but the Committee members asked questions as to what it looks like there and just to clarify the situation we'd like to give you that sketch.

MR BERGER: I'm sorry to interrupt Chairperson. At some point could we also have a look at that sketch please?

CHAIRPERSON: I think before you do, I would like Mr Williamson to have a look at it.

MR BERGER: As it pleases.

CHAIRPERSON: He can express an opinion if he accepts it as basically correct.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, I'm sure this is basically as it was. The building was definitely in that L-shape. The only problem I've got is with the gate.

Is this the gate shown?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, it is ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Well could you pass it on to the others.

MR VISSER: Mr McPherson, now ...[intervention]

MR WILLIAMSON: If this is the gate Mr Chairman, at the back there.

MR VISSER: Was there a fence surrounding this building Mr McPherson?

MR McPHERSON: As far as I can recall there was a wall. The wall was in the White Lion Street and then the gate, which was a wire gate of approximately 2 metres. There were two gates approximately 2 metres high. I would say approximately 3 metres wide.

MR VISSER: And was there a school in the area?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, there was a school. If we look at the northern side where there was a wall, behind that wall there was a school building two storeys high.

MR VISSER: And on the other side of the wall that you mentioned, what was there?

MR McPHERSON: I cannot recall. Do you mean when one walks into the gate?

MR VISSER: Yes.

MR McPHERSON: I think there was only a wall on the other side .

MR VISSER: And what was the are in front of the wall on the ANC's side, what was it used for?

MR McPHERSON: There was a building, an industrial type building ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Visser, you are now referring to the other side of the wall on the ANC offices side and we don't know what you are asking about here.

MR VISSER: The area or the building is surrounded by a wall and the witness has just said that on the other side of the wall, in other words on the outside of the premises where the ANC offices was there is a school on the northern side.

ADV DE JAGER: On the northern side, yes.

MR VISSER: On the northern side, but I'm referring now to the southern side.

ADV DE JAGER: No, you didn't ask about the southern side otherwise I would understand it.

MR VISSER: I'm asking him now Mr Chairperson.

On the southern side, what was that area and for what was that used?

MR McPHERSON: That was a parking area, some nights we found taxis on the premises, rented cars.

MR VISSER: In the case of the London bomb we know now that the instruction came from Mr Louis le Grange through General Coetzee, through Brigadier Goosen and apparently through Mr Williamson to your level, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: If we get to the Lusaka bomb incident, with all this experience that you have had as to how the London bombing was planned to the finest detail, am I wrong when I say that this Lusaka bomb was actually a by the way situation, no planning was done, a bomb was given to an informer who would take it through the border posts and he had to plant it in circumstances where you or Mr Pretorius had no control over the situation? Would I be correct if I have drawn that inference?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Now please tell the Committee, when you had decided that this was a good plan and you decided to convey it to General Coetzee, did you think at that stage that this was illegal or did you think that in the light of the policy of attacking bases of the enemy across the border where attacks on South Africa were being planned, did you think that this was a legitimate operation that you were busy with?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, I saw it as a legitimate operation in the sense that at that time we were planning along with the Special Forces for cross-border operations into the neighbouring states, for example the Gaberone raid. This operation I saw as an addition to the central operation.

MR VISSER: So in other words against the background of lawful cross-border operations you then viewed it in that sense as a authorised operation?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: You see Mr McPherson, I have problems in understanding your evidence here. You say that there was nothing written about this planning and this was the explanation why you did not give General Coetzee a written motivation, as was the normal procedure. What do you say about that?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, as I've explained, we prepared a cover motivation but the General would have had knowledge of the real purpose of the payment. ...[transcriber's own translation]

MR VISSER: Sir, what cover are you now talking of?

MR McPHERSON: The cover story was that we would have handed in a motivation to remunerate the informer for services rendered, that is information that he gave to us or gave to Captain Pretorius over a period of time, reporting on movements of high placed ANC/SACP members. The motivation would have served as payment for this informer and mention would not be made anywhere about a bomb at the ANC offices.

MR VISSER: But why not? If you regarded it as a lawful, authorised action, why not?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, we would have had to draw up a memorandum and it would have had to go via the General to the State Security Council for discussion and approval and by doing it the other way we do away with all the other time it would have taken to get this authorisation.

MR VISSER: Mr McPherson, we know that from time to time in the Security Forces people made jumps by jumping over authority but that is not what this about. The question here is this, you say that the moment when you mention a bomb for Lusaka, it would have had to be done in writing, is that how I understand you?

MR McPHERSON: Yes. We would then have to, or I would then have to draw up a memorandum to give to the Commissioner and he would have had to clarify it at a higher level.

MR VISSER: You are speculating now. The fact is you say you would have had to hand over a written memorandum to General Coetzee.

MR McPHERSON: With proper planning as to how and where and in which manner the operation had to be carried out.

MR VISSER: But this is exactly what he had said here. He said that is what he expected. Now the question I have for you is why was the memorandum not drawn up and handed in? Is the only reason for this the fact that you spoke of a bomb?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairperson.

MR VISSER: How does that make a difference Mr McPherson?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, by giving the cover story for the remuneration for this informer, to get this as quickly as possible, we saved a lot of time by doing it in this manner.

MR VISSER: Who was the section head at that stage?

MR McPHERSON: It was Major Craig Williamson who was the Head of the Intelligence Section and at that stage he was on leave and Mr Derek Broon was the acting head, the acting section head or one could say the head of the unit.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm afraid I'm getting a little confused. I understood that the reason why you put up this motivation and made no mention of the bomb was that the motivation would have to be approved by the Commissioner and then sent to the Auditor-General and others, who would not have approved of the bomb and you didn't want them to know about the bomb and that is why you drafted a false motivation suggesting the payment was for services rendered over a long time, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: So it was to avoid following the normal routine?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: But you had not control over the normal routine above General Coetzee, is that not correct?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: You have referred it, or wanted to refer it to the State Security Council or the State President. You had no control over that.

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR VISSER: And it didn't matter to you, as we know now.

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR VISSER: I want to know from you, you said that Williamson or in his place acting as your Section Head, Mr Derek Broon but who was Mr Derek Broon's head in that situation?

MR McPHERSON: As far as I can recall it was Brigadier Herman Stadler, he was the group head.

MR VISSER: Is the normal procedure if you have this bright idea to bomb the ANC offices, to go to your head, Brigadier Stadler and to clarify this with him?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, Captain Kobus Pretorius and myself went to Major Derek Broon, who was our immediate head and if he took it further to Brigadier Stadler, I do not know, I just reacted to what he told me.

MR VISSER: So then there is the possibility that Brigadier Stadler would have known about this?

MR McPHERSON: I cannot say whether he had knowledge of this.

MR VISSER: Let's talk straight with each other, you were a junior officer at that time and Pretorius as well?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR VISSER: And you say that you go to the Commissioner of Police and you say: "Listen, we have this bright idea, we can place a bomb at Lusaka head office and we can get to Joe Slovo at the same time without going through the normal procedures?"

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Why would this have been such an exception?

MR McPHERSON: As I said Mr Chairman, I went by the instructions of Mr Derek Broon and it was not unusual that we could consult with the Commissioner.

MR VISSER: Who was the Head of Security at that stage?

MR McPHERSON: As far as I recall it was General Schutte.

MR VISSER: Well you went behind him also?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR VISSER: And the Commissioner of Police, General Coetzee, he just accepts this, if we are to believe what you have to say, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: I would like to put it to you Mr McPherson, that your story in this regard is so improbable that it cannot be true, but let's continue.

Do I understand you correctly, that there was indeed a written motivation that did not refer to the bomb but that was given to Derek Broon or do I understand you incorrectly?

MR McPHERSON: We did draw up a motivation. Captain Pretorius did this for the remuneration to this informer.

MR VISSER: And this was in writing?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, this was in writing.

MR VISSER: And you saw it?

MR McPHERSON: I did not see it Mr Chairman, but Kobus as the handler of this informer would have handed it to Major Derek Broon and he would have taken it to head office.

MR VISSER: You did not ask Pretorius what was written in there because you were going along with him to see your Commissioner, and you wouldn't have seen what the Commissioner has in front of him?

MR McPHERSON: When we visited the Commissioner we had nothing in writing.

MR VISSER: And this motivation, when was it drawn up? I just understood from you now that Pretorius drafted a motivation for the payout to this informer, he put this in writing and handed it to Derek Broon and he would have taken it to the Commissioner, isn't that what you said now?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairperson.

MR VISSER: So in other words you say this came after you spoke to General Coetzee?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairman.

MR VISSER: But I don't understand you at all now Sir, because I thought you said that the reason why you went directly to the Commissioner was because Broon said: "Listen, don't go to Schutte, don't go to Stadler, go directly to the Commissioner", after he heard what you wanted to do and now you say that was written motivation?

MR McPHERSON: After the time ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Didn't he tell us, Mr Visser, that he went to the Commissioner to get permission to pay the R20 000 because it had to come from the Commissioner. He couldn't have put the proposal in writing. They told the Commissioner that they would prepare a motivation that he would be paid for services rendered in the past?

MR VISSER: Yes, but the witness also told you, Mr Chairman, that the reason why he reached the Commissioner directly and jumped the intermediate officers was because Broon, after he had heard what their motivation or what their plan was, sent them directly to the Commissioner. That is the only point I'm making, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Who had to authorise R20 000.

MR VISSER: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And he told the Commissioner they would give him written motivation. You are now asking about: "Why did you only prepare the motivation", but that was, as I understand his evidence, what he'd arranged with the Commissioner.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, fair enough.

MR VISSER: You arrive at the Commissioner's office and you tell him that Pretorius is looking for money for Allie, and he is looking for a lot of money, a substantial amount. Did you tell the Commissioner exactly what you had planned, that the bomb had to be taken to Lusaka or exported to Lusaka and the idea was that Joe Slovo had to be injured - that was your words not mine, Joe Slovo had to be injured in this operation? Did you tell the Commissioner there and then?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: And he says: "Hey, this is a bright idea, I think you must do this"?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: And he doesn't ask anything about this informer, whether you can trust him, what his status is, who he is, what he has done before for you, no questions?

MR McPHERSON: No, Mr Chairman. I would not want to speculate as to what the Commissioner was thinking.

MR VISSER: That is not what I'm asking you, I asked you whether he never asked any questions.

MR McPHERSON: No, Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: And he doesn't ask you: "Who is going to manufacture this device, have you spoken to Mr Raven?

MR McPHERSON: No, Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Would he have accepted that you would discuss this afterwards with Mr Raven, what do you think?

MR McPHERSON: We never discussed the how, the what and the where, Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: You see what is really suspicious here is that with this project that has to be financed, according to you, from the secret funds from the Auditor-General as police project but now you go to the Defence Force to have the bomb manufactured there.

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Now please explain to us how you arrived at this decision.

MR McPHERSON: As I have testified at that stage those of us who were specifically involved at the Africa desk in Intelligence worked very closely with the Special Forces of the South African Defence Force. We were in contact with them on a weekly and often a daily basis. We often visited SPESKOP and we were also involved in the gathering of intelligence regarding facilities and targets of the ANC, persons, individuals and other such persons who were in neighbouring states and therefore we had knowledge of them, of their capabilities or capacities. When we approached the Major he immediately declared his willingness and stated that he would gladly do this for us.

MR VISSER: Did you tell General Johan Coetzee: "I'm going to ask the military to make this bomb for me"?

MR McPHERSON: No.

MR VISSER: Why not?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, that was operational detail and how we were going to do this specific operation was not the type of detail that we provided to the General.

MR VISSER: Once again Mr McPherson, it is astounding if one compares the project of the London bombing with what you have told the Committee here today with regard to how you planned and executed the Lusaka operation. Are you actually trying to tell us that you didn't regard it as necessary to inform General Coetzee and tell him: "I want the army to manufacture this bomb, I want Special Forces to manufacture this bomb rather than our own Technical Unit here at the police?" Is that what you're saying?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that is correct.

MR VISSER: What do you think would have been his reaction if you had said it to him?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, as I have already said we worked very closely together on intelligence level ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: Yes, you have stated that.

MR McPHERSON: And the General was thoroughly aware that we liaised with Special Forces on a daily basis.

MR VISSER: Yes, you said with regard to the exchange of intelligence and information and so forth.

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR VISSER: Well you didn't launch joint operations. I'm putting this to you, Mr McPherson, because the prescribed policy at that stage was that the army would act internally in support of the police and we heard about all the reasons for that, not so?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, during those times as I've already said, we worked very closely with Special Forces and especially with regard to cross-border operations. We assisted with observation of houses, facilities and so forth and the co-operation was of such a nature that we offered guidance on a regular basis and made presentations to them in order to assist them in carrying out their duties.

MR VISSER: Is there any other reason why you would have wanted the bomb to be manufactured at Special Forces and not at the police?

MR McPHERSON: No.

MR VISSER: Because you see this morning in your evidence in chief you provided another reason, you added after you had said that: "We worked narrowly with Special Forces" - according to my notes and my memory, "They had made a considerable amount of progress with the planning for the Gaberone raid on the 13th of June".

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR VISSER: Then I'd like to ask you, is this another reason why you wanted the bomb to be manufactured at Special Forces and not at the Technical Division of the Police Force?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR VISSER: Then I'd like to ask you the following: What does the Gaberone raid have to do with a bomb in Lusaka? Could you explain that to us please.

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, I'm of the opinion that such an operation such as a bomb in Lusaka would have fallen within the same time frame as the raid on Gaberone, so it would have been an additional action against an ANC institution at more or less the same time.

MR VISSER: Well that can't possibly be a reason, Mr McPherson, if the police had made the bomb the incident could have coincided with the Gaberone incident.

MR McPHERSON: Mr Raven also had the capacity but we asked Special Forces to do it.

MR VISSER: Yes, we realise that but we'd like to know why. Why are you busy with this operation and while you are busy with this operation you are basically ignoring every single rule in the book? Do you agree that you didn't follow the normal procedure in this regard?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: Well then the question is, why did you go to Special Forces to have a bomb manufactured when in the building, and we've heard evidence to support this, in your head office building there were people who knew this sort of thing?

Well let me just make a long story short for you by asking you the following: Is Mr Williamson not absolutely correct when he says that according to what he knew this was a Special Forces operation and not a police operation?

MR McPHERSON: No, Mr Williamson is incorrect. It was our informer and it was from our intelligence that the initiative came.

MR VISSER: And the police only provided intelligence with regard to target identification, that is intelligence with regard to Special Forces?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct. However with regard to other actions during that time our involvement was also at the order of the day.

MR VISSER: Did you know that the Commissioner of Police, when parliament was in session it was part of his task to attend parliamentary sessions?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: What would you say if I put it to you that in June 1985 parliament was in session in Cape Town?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR VISSER: What would you say if I put it to you that General Coetzee, with the exception of two mornings when he had Generals in staff meetings in June 1985, was not at all in Pretoria?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, when I saw him he was in Pretoria.

MR VISSER: Did he come up from Cape Town especially to listen to this project which you two junior officers had devised?

MR McPHERSON: I don't know.

MR VISSER: Are you saying to this Committee today that General Coetzee made the proposal for a tape recording that you should initially say to the informer on the tape: "Go and place the bomb", and after that you'd switch off the recorder and tell him: "Place the bomb and injure Slovo and then we'll pay you R20 000"? Do I understand that correctly?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: Did you tell anybody this story which I've just repeated to you at any stage before today?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR VISSER: Well I'm quite surprised with this story because it was never put to General Coetzee in the way that I have put it to you now. What was put to General Coetzee was that he suggested that a tape recording be made of the conversation between you, that is now you and Pretorius, and the informer and that this tape recording should be given back to him so that he could lock it in the safe. Am I incorrect in my recollection?

MR McPHERSON: I think you are correct.

MR VISSER: Well then can you understand that there is an essential difference between these two versions because you are pretending today that General Coetzee in actual fact acted in a very secretive and deceitful manner in manufacturing evidence which would serve as an excuse or a form of defence, should there be a problem, and he did this in a very dishonest fashion? That is the one scenario.

The other scenario was that he said: "Make a tape recording", you did that, you took back and he locked it up. Do you see the difference between the two versions?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, my legal representative did not put it to the Commissioner like this, perhaps he could just help out here.

MR CORNELIUS: That is correct. I put it that a tape recording was made, as it appears in his amnesty application as well, Mr Chairperson.

MR McPHERSON: Well that just confirms that the question is correct. Now the question remains, did you tell your attorney about this other version?

MR McPHERSON: Yes.

MR VISSER: Well then we'll leave that for argument. Okay, let's look at this strange story from the viewpoint of the informer. You said that you arrived at the informer and you told him: "Listen, we're going to make a tape recording here". Now that is what you told the informer. I want to put it to you that any good-natured normal informer, had you said that to him, would have run away from you. What do you think about that proposition which I have just put to you?

MR McPHERSON: I would say that under normal circumstances the informer perhaps would have thought that you didn't trust him.

MR VISSER: Well you're trying to catch him out, you want to trap him, you're making a tape recording of him.

MR McPHERSON: Yes, but I also recall that that would probably have been the reason why he sent two Indian men to photograph us in order to gain some kind of grasp on us in turn.

MR VISSER: In this world no-one could trust anybody it was a rather foolish thing to do, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: I don't believe so.

MR VISSER: But what's more you told the informer: "We're going to record you and while we're telling you to go and plant the bomb in Lusaka we will record you and after that we'll switch off the tape recorder and then tell you to plant the bomb in Lusaka and injure Joe Slovo, upon which we'll pay you R20 000", is that your version?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Well in a world of normal intelligence people how could you explain this to that informer, what would be the reason why you were doing this?

MR McPHERSON: I simply told him that I'd received instructions to make an open tape recording.

MR VISSER: And that informer was so trusting that he simply went along with this whole project even though he knew that he had been recorded on tape and that he didn't have any idea what you were going to do with that tape recording?

ADV DE JAGER: I beg your pardon. Mr Visser, you said that: "You had instructions to simply make a tape recording", you didn't use any other word before tape recording. I'm not sure, I don't believe so.

MR VISSER: Ja, not surreptitiously, with his permission.

MR McPHERSON: Yes.

MR VISSER: So we know that he's aware of it. Very well, I'd like to move away from this now but I want to put it to you Mr McPherson, that really, that you as an experienced, if you were an experienced policeman at that stage, had made a recording of a conversation between you and an informer, a recording of which he was aware, is highly unlikely because you would have lost that informer immediately. He wouldn't have known what your intentions were with that tape recording, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: Well Chairperson, in the case of this man, he still went ahead to deliver a service to us.

MR VISSER: Well now we get to the following strange aspect, let's discuss the money. General Coetzee said that R20 000 was acceptable?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR VISSER: Then you arrived at the informer and you told him: "You have to go and plant the bomb", you switch off the tape recorder and then you tell him: "Plant the bomb, injure Joe Slovo and then we will pay you R20 000".

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR VISSER: Now, what did you say to each other in the vent of Joe Slovo not being injured, what would he be paid then?

MR McPHERSON: At that stage we hadn't thought about that. We hadn't discussed it because we believe that he would get the bomb to Joe Slovo, because that was the objective.

MR VISSER: Didn't the informer ask you that obvious question: "What happens now, what happens if I don't find him there and I plant the bomb, what are you going to pay me then"? Didn't he ask you that question?

MR McPHERSON: His response was: "I will make sure that Joe Slovo will be killed".

MR VISSER: No, no, with all respect Mr McPherson, injured, that is the evidence.

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that is the instruction which I gave but his own words in response to my instructions were, he will make sure that Joe Slovo is killed.

MR VISSER: Isn't that worth more than R20 000, other than just injuring him? If one could permanently get rid of this thorn in the side of the Defence Force, wouldn't that have been worth more than R20 000?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, in 1985 R20 000 was a lot of money, that was when the rand was still looking good.

MR VISSER: But you're not answering my question. If you were prepared to pay the informer R20 000, or at least if General Coetzee was prepared to pay him

R20 000 should Joe Slovo be injured, the question is simply wouldn't it have been worth so much more if the informer could ensure that Joe Slovo be eliminated? That's logical isn't it?

MR McPHERSON: No, I don't agree.

MR VISSER: The fact the he would expose himself to a very serious offence of murder as opposed to injury didn't make any difference, it was still R20 000, that's what it was worth?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, that was sufficient for the informer.

MR VISSER: Now he comes back and there's the story which you told us about the two people taking photos, were they both taking photos or just the one?

MR McPHERSON: Just the one.

MR VISSER: Now it must be clear to you even that relations had faltered between you and Pretorius on the one hand and the informer on the other hand, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR VISSER: And you confronted these individuals, they took you to the informer and there was an exchange of words, the film was exposed to light and then you told the informer: "Okay we're here now, here's R15 000 for you, we're leaving". Is that your evidence?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: "We are deducting R5 000 because you lied to us, Joe Slovo was not injured".

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR VISSER: And he accepted that as a matter of course?

CHAIRPERSON: I understood your evidence to be that he insisted in saying that he had injured Slovo.

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman, he persisted ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: When the came back with the photographers he said he had injured Slovo.

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: So what Mr Visser put to you was not correct.

MR VISSER: No, no, no, Mr Chairman with respect, his evidence is that they paid him R15 000 because they didn't believe him.

CHAIRPERSON: But that was after he had said he injured Slovo and after he had produced his newspaper cutting which he showed to him. They didn't just walk in and say: "Here's R15 000", which is what you put Mr Visser.

MR VISSER: No, no, Mr Chairman, if I did that then I'm sorry and then I apologise. I thought I made it quite clear to you Mr McPherson, that after you had accosted these two people, the photographers, they had taken you to the informer and there had been the confrontation, he knew that there was a breakdown in trust. Do I have it correct so far?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, there was definitely a breakdown in trust.

MR VISSER: Yes. And after all these things which happened you simply just gave him the R15 000 while he insisted that he had injured or killed Joe Slovo or whatever and your information and your evidence was that this was not true. This wasn't actually about the background anymore but about the fact that instead of the R20 000 which you had promised him, you were now giving him R15 000.

MR McPHERSON: Yes, he didn't realise that apart from him we also had other informers in Lusaka who could report that only an explosion had taken place, as well as the Pretoria News article. We could convince him, where initially before we had placed our cards on the table he insisted that he had killed Joe Slovo.

MR VISSER: Oh, I see.

MR McPHERSON: But then we convinced him.

MR VISSER: So you managed to convince him that he was lying to you, is that what you're saying?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR VISSER: Okay, I see.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you suggesting that this informer whom you have told us was a businessman, a man who had traded with the ANC over some period, who knew you were both police officer, was seriously suggesting to you that he had killed Joe Slovo and that you wouldn't be able to find out this was incorrect, that he was lying?

MR McPHERSON: We knew that he was lying, due to sources ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: But what I'm putting to you is, he must have known that you would find out within a day or two that Joe Slovo wasn't dead.

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman, but ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: But he nevertheless lied to you knowing that you were police officers, to fraudulently get

R20 000 from you?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, Mr Chairman, he took a chance hoping that we would not have intelligence on what took place on the scene and hoping that we would have believed him and have given him the R20 000 and by the time, thinking that by the time we found out the true situation he would have then had the money in hand and there was then no way in which we could have taken or asked him to give part of the money back again.

MR VISSER: Sorry - have you finished Mr Chairman?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR VISSER: Mr McPherson, really, that cannot possibly be correct. You told this Committee this morning that you went to pay him in July 1985, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: Can you remember that ...[end of tape]

MR McPHERSON: That is how I remember it.

MR VISSER: Well when did the bomb explosion occur in Lusaka?

MR McPHERSON: I'm not sure. I went to the Pretoria News last week to consult their archives to see if I can find the report and strangely enough their file on Zambia and the ANC is also missing now.

MR VISSER: Well that's not really the answer, with respect, you can't remember in other words?

MR McPHERSON: As far as I can recall the explosion took place in June.

MR VISSER: Well you can't remember when in June?

MR McPHERSON: No.

ADV DE JAGER: I beg your pardon Mr McPherson, did the payment take place a day after the incident, ten days after the incident?

MR McPHERSON: I would say approximately three weeks after the incident. Usually we would go to Swaziland every third week, so it was short while afterwards, definitely a while after the explosion took place.

MR VISSER: As Commissioner de Jager has just said to you, two or three weeks later. I'm satisfied with two or three weeks, however it was at least a week or two after the explosion that you saw the informer?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that is correct Mr Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And you want to say today and you want to lead this Committee to believe that he actually believed that within a week or two weeks time the Security Police would not be able to determine whether or not Joe Slovo had been killed or injured?

MR McPHERSON: Well he was rather narrow minded.

MR VISSER: Well that leads me to believe that he is a rather strange person because with the knowledge, according to your evidence, that a breakdown in communications had originated, something which you agreed with earlier, you placed him at a disadvantage by handing over R15 000, R5 000 less. Didn't you think that this would finally damage the relationship of trust between you and this informer who had already sent people to photograph you, whom you had recorded on tape and from his perspective you were deducting R5 000 from his fee? Didn't you think that that was a rather dangerous thing to do?

MR McPHERSON: To a certain degree it was a dangerous thing to do, however Kobus Pretorius and I decided to risk it anyway.

MR VISSER: Did I understand correctly from you that you conceded, and please correct me if I'm wrong because this is my recollection, I don't have any form of note in front of me, that it was General Coetzee who suggested that seeing as he hadn't injured Joe Slovo or killed Joe Slovo that would be the reason why you would be paying him only R15 000 and not R20 000?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: I see the Chairman shakes his head.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you say General Coetzee agreed that you should only pay him R15 000?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, because ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: When was that?

MR McPHERSON: That was when we went to report to the General that the explosion took place but that Joe Slovo wasn't killed and we had to go and see the informer to pay him but because he didn't succeed in his objective he should be paid R15 000 instead of R20 000 and General Coetzee agreed to it.

MR VISSER: So in other words it was your suggestion and the suggestion of Captain Pretorius to General Coetzee, that the informer should be paid R5 000 less because he had not injured or killed Joe Slovo, do I have it correctly?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, you do.

MR VISSER: There had never been any doubt within you regarding this aspect of evidence?

MR McPHERSON: No.

MR VISSER: Well then I'd like to refer you to page 69 of Volume 1, and I have just seen from where my recollection originated, the second last paragraph at the bottom of the page, the final sentence. Mr Chairman, I'm not sure whether it's the second last paragraph, it does like it. The words are - perhaps we should just begin before this:

"He lied to us ..."

That is the informer.

"... saying that Joe Slovo was killed by the bomb. We however knew that he placed the bomb just outside the gates of the premises at about 21H00, causing minimal damage to the gates and some windows".

And now the sentence which I want to put you:

"General Coetzee said that we should only pay him R15 000, which we did".

Is that not different to what you have just testified?

MR McPHERSON: The suggestion came from me and Pretorius and Coetzee agreed to it.

MR VISSER: And do you agree that these words as they appear in the amnesty application, create the opposite impression, namely that General Coetzee gave you the instruction to do it in that manner? Do you agree that it creates that impression?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, it could create that impression.

MR VISSER: You see that which is really transgressing the borders of all comprehension is the following: you say that you paid him the R15 000 - just forget about the aspect that he's losing out on R5 000, because in future you would want to get more service from him as well as information, is that what you said?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: Well can you please explain the logic of that argument to us, because here we have a man, who according to your evidence, was suspicious, you recorded him on a tape recording, he didn't know what you were going to do with it, he sent people to photograph you apparently with the intention of applying it against you, you trapped these people, you were aware of it, you paid him R5 000 too little, and now I would like to ask you, what hope did you think existed that a close co-operative relationship would perpetuate with this informer in future? Could you just explain that to us please.

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, Captain Kobus Pretorius and I were of the opinion that the informer, despite what had happened, could still be of use to us because there was a mistrust with regard to him. Regardless of the fact that there was mistrust with regard to him, we were still of the opinion that we'd be able to exercise control over him and still make use of his services in future.

MR VISSER: And you as an experienced policeman actually believed that, is that what you are saying?

MR McPHERSON: Yes.

MR VISSER: Very well. Please tell me Mr McPherson, were you approached by anybody on behalf of the Attorney-General with regard to this Lusaka incident?

MR McPHERSON: At a certain stage I was at the offices of the Attorney-General. Brigadier Human, the Chief Investigating Officer called me in and they questioned me with regard to the London bomb and - I'm just trying to remember whether or not they asked me about the Lusaka incident, but they mainly questioned me about the London bomb because they were investigating a case of internal conspiracy with regard to acts of terrorism in foreign countries.

MR VISSER: Did they suspect that you were a guilty party?

MR McPHERSON: I was a so-called conspirator.

MR VISSER: A suspect?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: Did they ask you to make a written statement?

MR McPHERSON: No, they simply held an interview with me. I think there was a Captain Jordaan.

MR VISSER: And what was the ultimate end of this, were you arrested?

MR McPHERSON: No, not yet.

MR VISSER: Were there any undertakings communicated to you by the Attorney-General?

MR McPHERSON: No.

MR VISSER: I want to put it to you Mr McPherson, that our story of the Lusaka bomb is so improbable in so many aspects that your story simply cannot be true insofar as it involves General Johan Coetzee in this affair. Would you like to comment on that?

MR McPHERSON: I don't agree Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Because I want to put it to you that especially with regard to the person of General Johan Coetzee, you as a junior officer would probably not have reached his office with a project like this without having consulted with your chiefs and the chiefs of security. Do you agree?

MR McPHERSON: In this case I went directly to the General and there were several instances where we had direct access to the General.

MR VISSER: That which is strange with regard to the probabilities, and I will argue it as such, is that when General Johan Coetzee decided to participate in the amnesty process, and that was right from the beginning, that for some or other incomprehensible reason he decided not to apply for this case but he applied for the London bomb. It's an improbability that indicates that your allegation of his involvement simply cannot be true.

MR McPHERSON: I don't agree.

MR VISSER: Who paid for this project, do you know? Was it the police, was it the secret fund, was it the Defence Force budget? Do you know personally who actually would have paid for this amount of R15 000?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, Chairperson, it came from the secret fund of the Security Branch, that is within the South African Police it came from the secret fund budget.

MR VISSER: How do you know this?

MR McPHERSON: Because Kobus Pretorius withdrew the money on the roof where our offices were and when we paid the informer he signed a police receipt upon which the person's name appeared, then the amount was included: "With this I acknowledge the receipt of R15 000". It would be written out: Fifteen Thousand Rand and then also be indicated in figures. The amount was received for services rendered to the South African Police. Then the informer would sign, he signed for the amount and Kobus Pretorius and I signed as witnesses. Upon every handing over of informer's fees two witnesses had to sign to confirm the receipt of the money.

MR VISSER: Was there a secret fund's office?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that is correct.

MR VISSER: Where was it situated?

MR McPHERSON: It was on the roof of the "Wagthuis" which went from the Security Branch side to the top floor and the very top level was where the secret fund's office would be, with the safe and so forth.

MR VISSER: You testified that Mr Pretorius would have gone to the office to withdraw the money, is that what you said?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct. I was not present when he withdrew the money.

MR VISSER: So you don't know exactly where he got it from?

MR McPHERSON: I know because of the receipt.

MR VISSER: Yes, but that's a receipt which logically had to be signed by an informer and it would be the police which would be contacting him, so therefore I don't have any problem with the fact that it was a police receipt, that's not what I'm after. I want to ask you a very simple question, you don't know where that money came from?

MR McPHERSON: I don't know where the money came from but I'm convinced that it definitely came from our funds.

MR VISSER: No further questions, thank you Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VISSER

CHAIRPERSON: Before we go on, there's one point I'd like to clear in the light of what we have been told about General Coetzee's activities that month. You have told us that you went to see General Coetzee and you got his authority for the operation.

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: And that was in June.

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that would have been in June.

CHAIRPERSON: And you the went to see him again before you went to see the informer, and he told you to use a small tape recorder.

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Was that also in June?

MR McPHERSON: That would have been in June.

CHAIRPERSON: So there were two visits to the General in June. Were they during the working week, can you remember?

MR McPHERSON: It would have been during the working week.

CHAIRPERSON: And the third visit would have been in July would it, after the attack?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Chairman.

Mr McPherson, I'm going to ask you a number of questions about a couple of aspects. One of the aspects will be the London bomb and another aspect will be a number of questions regarding the Lusaka bomb incident and then I'll just have a number of questions regarding general aspects of which evidence has been given by, among others, Mr Williamson and I would just like to know if you agree with some of those aspects. These are also aspects regarding which my client, Mr Raven is going to testify later.

Can we just begin with the London bomb. Could you just turn to page 157 of Volume 3? You don't have to page there, I'm only giving the reference and I will tell you know what it is about. Mr Raven says in the second paragraph on page 157:

"I requested to be sent out ahead of the team so that I could acquaint myself with the different transport systems".

And then he goes further to say what he did. Your evidence was that there was a meeting at Daisy Farm at a certain stage before you went to London, and as I understood you you gave evidence that Mr Raven was present during those meetings at Daisy Farm. I would like to put it to you that Mr Raven will testify that he went ahead to London, before the rest of you and that he had not been present at the meeting which was held at Daisy Farm. Would you argue that in any way?

MR McPHERSON: No, I don't have a problem with that. I also said that Brigadier Piet Goosen had been on the farm but Brigadier Goosen was actually at the offices. He only joined us there from time to time. We spent a week on the farm doing preparations and I remember that Jerry left for London before the rest of us.

MR DU PLESSIS: Did you know anything about the bomb, the weight of the bomb or anything with regard to the technical aspects regarding this bomb?

MR McPHERSON: As I have put it I'm not an explosives expert. I could only remember about the metal container which Jerry Raven showed me one day. I see that he has written here that there was 4 x 250gms of plastic explosives, so regarding the mass I would agree that that would have been the mass.

MR DU PLESSIS: You wouldn't argue that?

MR McPHERSON: No, I wouldn't argue that at all.

MR DU PLESSIS: Because you see it's put there during cross-examination of Mr Bizos of Mr Williamson, we don't know where this comes from but I'm sure we'll probably hear this at some point during the evidence presented by Mr Bizos, that the explosives actually weighed four and a half kilograms, can you comment on that?

MR McPHERSON: I didn't have an idea of what the actual mass was.

MR DU PLESSIS: If we look at the map which was handed in. Mr Chairman, I'm not sure if this has been made an exhibit, could I perhaps suggest that we do that?

CHAIRPERSON: BB.

MR DU PLESSIS: BB.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Visser said that it would be re-sketched and perhaps just be written a bit neater.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr McPherson, I'd just like to refer you to the plan which you sketched. If I could refer you to the place where it says: "Buildings", then there's a cross and then a circle next to which it says: "Bomb", is that he place where the bomb was placed?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, according to my opinion that would be the spot. I was not present at the scene when the bomb was placed, I stood outside the gate but I could see that Jerry Raven and Eugene de Kock, after they had gone over the gate in that general direction, walked past the printing press building or chamber or office where the printing press was. They walked around there, disappeared around the corner and I knew that there was a door which led to the back of the building.

MR DU PLESSIS: Would that be the two stripes which you have indicated?

MR McPHERSON: That would be the circle with the cross.

MR DU PLESSIS: Okay. And on the opposite side you've indicated a parking area.

MR McPHERSON: That would be towards the north. It was a backyard and it was used ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: While you're on this, where is north on this plan?

MR DU PLESSIS: At the bottom Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: At the bottom.

MR McPHERSON: Yes, if you look where it says: "Parkeer area" ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: No, I see now, it's an arrow and an "N". I thought it was just a scribble.

MR McPHERSON: That's right.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR DU PLESSIS: We're working with a very roughly sketched map. I'm sure it will look a little bit better once we have re-sketched it but in broad terms I don't think we should have a problem regarding questioning with this.

This parking area, could you indicate approximately the size of this area? Let's say on the scale of a rugby field.

MR McPHERSON: If I remember correctly, let's say in line with the lady in red, looking back towards the wall, that would have been the area of the parking area.

MR DU PLESSIS: That would be about 12 to 15 metres. And in the other direction?

MR McPHERSON: Which would include the building?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes.

MR McPHERSON: Which direction do you mean?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, I'm just trying to get an indication here, if you could just indicate the size of the block to us. How big would the other side have been?

MR McPHERSON: I would say approximately the same size.

MR DU PLESSIS: So it's approximately a square area?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: And did you know why it was used or for what it was used?

MR McPHERSON: According to our observation, in the evenings there were taxis stored there.

MR DU PLESSIS: And I see that you've indicated on the right-hand side of the map, you wrote: "Pub".

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: Would that be the Dirty Dicks Pub?

MR McPHERSON: No, it's another pub. It was for the workers who worked by day in that industrial area. After they had finished work at approximately half past four, they would usually go and have a drink there and on Sunday mornings, as far as we could establish, it was always closed.

MR DU PLESSIS: And there is a street running in-between there?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, White Lion Street.

MR DU PLESSIS: Is that the street's name?

MR McPHERSON: Yes. Please forgive my terrible handwriting.

MR DU PLESSIS: Can you remember what the other buildings were along the road?

MR McPHERSON: Those were industrial buildings, small industries such as engineering parks and other such business premises, those types of industries.

MR DU PLESSIS: And on the left-hand side?

MR McPHERSON: The street's name is Pentonville.

MR DU PLESSIS: What sort of buildings would you find there?

MR McPHERSON: It was almost like a highway and I can't really remember anymore what was on the opposite side of the road. The road ran through to the underground trains and train stations, the main road through to the inner city of London.

MR DU PLESSIS: Do you know why the taxis parked there?

MR McPHERSON: I believe it was a taxi owner who used the place at night for safekeeping. He had the use thereof with the permission of the ANC.

MR DU PLESSIS: So the taxis didn't pick people up there?

MR McPHERSON: No, they didn't, well not that I know of. It was more of a safe parking area for them. They operated from a taxi rank in that area, but as far as I know they didn't pick any people up or transport any people from there.

MR DU PLESSIS: As I remember, you mentioned something about a school in your evidence.

MR McPHERSON: Yes, on the northern side of the premises, I didn't include it, however if you see where it's written: "Pub", on your right-hand wall then, just right of that wall there was a school. I think it was a two story building.

MR DU PLESSIS: Let's just make sure about this. Is this further right from where "Pub" is indicated?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, further to the right but where I have written: "Parking Area", right of that is a wall, in other words, the back end of the premises and just next to that wall ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: Where you placed the letter: "N"?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, "N" is for north and that is where the school was.

MR DU PLESSIS: There's no street between the parking area and the school premises?

MR McPHERSON: No, they are directly connected.

MR DU PLESSIS: And did the school premises or building begin right on the edge of the parking area or was there anything else in-between?

MR McPHERSON: One could only see the building, and I'm sure that the school area was to the extreme right. I think the playground was to the extreme right, if one had to move right off the piece of paper now.

MR DU PLESSIS: That would be the playground?

MR McPHERSON: Yes. One couldn't see that from the ANC's position, one couldn't see the playground from their premises.

MR DU PLESSIS: If you'll just look at this map, it's a map which Mr Visser used his talents to sketch. It looks much better than the map which you drew. Do you confirm that it's correct?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, it's a lovely map. I must say that my sketch is rather abstract but it appears to be correct. I think that the proportions of the buildings are just a little bit off. The building was more oblong than square but it is according to scale.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr McPherson, would any children have been at this crèche on a Sunday morning?

MR McPHERSON: Well I had the idea that it was more a primary school and not a pre-school, that is the impression which I gained. It was a school for larger children and there was nothing going on there on a Sunday or at least at the time that we were there, on a Sunday.

MR DU PLESSIS: And the direction of the impact of the bomb, would that have moved to the south or to the north?

MR McPHERSON: As far as I understood, the focal point of the bomb was aimed at the back end of the ANC building. That would have be, if it had been against a door it would have burst through the door and into the building itself, other than running back to the school.

As I understood it, the windows of the school were shattered.

MR DU PLESSIS: Can I ask you in this manner then, the impact of the power of this bomb, would it have moved into the side of the building and not in the direction parking area or the school or the pub or Pentonville Street?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: According to your observation would there have been any people expected at this parking area on a Sunday morning?

MR McPHERSON: According to our information we knew of a Sharpeville meeting that was to be held elsewhere and we believed that all the ANC people would be actively involved in this meeting and nobody would be in the building.

MR DU PLESSIS: Can you recall where this meeting was held in London?

MR McPHERSON: I think it was at Hyde Park. I'm not sure but I think it was Hyde Park.

MR DU PLESSIS: And how far is Hyde Park from these offices?

MR McPHERSON: Many kilometres. It's in the city centre of London and Islington lies right on the outskirts of London, in an industrial area. It's very far, at least 30 kilometres.

MR DU PLESSIS: Are you sure it was Hyde Park or are you not sure?

MR McPHERSON: I cannot recall specifically but I knew where it happened, it was quite far from the ANC offices.

MR DU PLESSIS: You see because we will hear testimony from Mr Bizos according to that, although he hasn't put anything about that in cross-examination and I find it very strange. What I really would like your comment about in addition to this is what Mr Bizos did put, and that was that there was a group of people, young people, before they went to this so-called rally, would firstly get together at these offices to fetch certain things there. Do you have any knowledge of this?

MR McPHERSON: No, Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: I think it was banners and pamphlets that they were collecting. You don't bear any knowledge of that?

MR McPHERSON: No, Mr Chairman. I think we heard that their banners were destroyed or I understand they came afterwards and the banners were destroyed but I don't want to elaborate any further on that.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. Now this person who lived in the building, did you have any knowledge of him?

MR McPHERSON: I personally did not know of him. During the day normal persons had access to this building. I did not see him in the building at any time but I understand that he lived on the fourth floor.

MR DU PLESSIS: According to the knowledge that you had, were you aware of any so-called refugees who lived in the building or who were present in the building?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, I did not see them.

MR DU PLESSIS: And would you have expected that the information that you had in relation to this would contain such information?

MR McPHERSON: If there was such information then I'm sure that Mr Craig Williamson would have told us in the week before we left, but we never received such information.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr McPherson, am I correct when I say that not you or anybody else who was involved in this operation knew how the bomb or by whom the bomb in the diplomatic channels or at the diplomatic surface was responsible for the transport of this bomb in the diplomatic bag?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, I have sent many postal articles world-wide to agents by means of a diplomatic bag and the method used is that if you come to the office of Foreign Affairs then you must open that bag, or envelope or carton.

There is a person who works there and he inspects that which goes out. As I understand, this bomb was in the form of radio equipment, in other words it looked like a radio if you saw it from the outside and I believe the person who took this bomb or the plastic explosives to Foreign Affairs would have opened it and the person there would have seen radio equipment and then sealed the carton and allowed it to go with the diplomatic bag to London.

So the person who worked at Foreign Affairs would not have known it is a bomb and he would have accepted, bona fide that this is radio equipment and is needed by the Embassy or by the Military Attaché or personnel in London.

I don't believe that Foreign Affairs had personal knowledge that there is now plastic explosives going through to London. ...[transcriber's own translation]

MR DU PLESSIS: Do I understand you correctly ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: From what you've just said, I understand that this was the position generally, that when you sent things over you wouldn't tell Foreign Affairs what it was, you would lead them to believe it was something else?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr McPherson, you were in the Mr Williamson's unit and under his command from 1981 to 1985?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: So you were there under his command with regard to the Ruth First and Jeannette Schoon incidents?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman

MR DU PLESSIS: But you had no knowledge of those incidents?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, I was not involved with these two incidents.

MR DU PLESSIS: Can I ask you this then, you were in the Intelligence Department, at that time you knew who Ruth First was?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Could you tell us then what was your perception of Ruth First, the knowledge that you had in the Intelligence Department? ...[transcriber's own translation]

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, I regarded her as a revolutionary activist.

MR DU PLESSIS: Was your perception that she was a reasonably important person in the ANC structures?

MR McPHERSON: She was regarded as a high profile person in the ANC/SACP Alliance.

MR DU PLESSIS: And at that time would you have described her as an influential person in the ANC structures?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: And at that time was there any doubt with you that she supported the ANC and their policies and for that which they stood?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairperson.

MR DU PLESSIS: There was no doubt by you?

MR McPHERSON: There was no doubt.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. And if you at that time in any manner, and we know now it did not happen, I'm asking you a pathetic question, were informed that she was a target of the Security Forces, would it have surprised you?

MR McPHERSON: Not at all Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Were you aware of Marius and Jeannette Schoon?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: And what was your perception of them?

MR McPHERSON: Also that they were high profile members of the ANC/SACP Alliance and I was aware that Mr Schoon was in Angola as part of the ANC structures.

MR DU PLESSIS: Did you regard them as influential persons within the ANC structures?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairperson.

MR DU PLESSIS: And did you keep track of what they were involved in and was information collected as to their actions?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: And at that time did you have any doubt whether they supported the ANC and its policies?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: There was no doubt?

MR McPHERSON: Not at all Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Let's just ask the same question, if hypothetically you were told whether Mr Schoon or Mrs Schoon was a target of the Security Forces, would this have come as a surprise to you?

MR McPHERSON: Not at all Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Do you have any knowledge of what was happening at Lobango in 1983/1984?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, I had knowledge of the four training camps in Angola. I think one was Vuyana but specific knowledge regarding Mr Schoon I cannot recall right now.

MR DU PLESSIS: Let's just leave Mr and Mrs Schoon there, let's just speak of Lobango in general. Can you recall if Lobango had a military base?

MR McPHERSON: I believe so. I can recall that the Cubans were also there at that stage in Angola and supported the MPLA forces.

MR DU PLESSIS: At that stage they were known as the FAPLA forces?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: Can you recall if Lobango was one of the more important bases of FAPLA at that stage?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: And do you know if there was an Airforce base?

MR McPHERSON: I do not know Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Can you recall Mr McPherson, you were now in the Intelligence Department of the Police and that is why I'm asking these questions, can you remember whether the ANC gave support to SWAPO at that time in Angola?

MR McPHERSON: There was co-operation yes, but with regard to the training camps, the ANC cadres were involved with their own people's training away from the SWAPO bases.

MR DU PLESSIS: Do you know if these military trained ANC people were fighting on the side of SWAPO or FAPLA?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, I was aware that because the ANC at a stage wanted their fighters to get practical experience, they then made some of the ANC cadres available to FAPLA to then take active part in fights against UNITA and some of these ANC people were killed in some of these fights with UNITA.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I will take it further with Mr Williamson, but can I put it to you that in ANC's first submission to the TRC, there was a long list of ANC people that were killed in skirmishes with UNITA. Does this concur with your knowledge and evidence?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, in total I think there was 268 persons killed, ANC persons killed in Angola in the time when they had their training camps there. With the mutiny some of them were killed and some of them were tortured to death when they were seen as spies and some of them were killed in other Africa sectors, but I think the total was 268.

MR DU PLESSIS: I would just like to ask you about the division where you worked, and I think you were present when Mr Williamson testified to that effect. Would it be possible for you to receive an instruction from somebody who did not work in your division and who was of the same rank as Mr Williamson? Would you have to comply with that instruction?

MR McPHERSON: In any military structure when your senior gives you an instruction you have to comply with that but because of good manners a group head who was a Colonel and the head of another group would give you an instruction then he would first speak to your commander and then give the instruction to you.

MR DU PLESSIS: But it didn't always happen in this manner?

MR McPHERSON: I believe that sometimes this rule was not followed.

MR DU PLESSIS: And sometimes in the chain from top to bottom, from time to time people were overlooked with regard to certain instructions and with operations that were planned?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: According to your own testimony what happened in the Lusaka bomb incident is a perfect example of that?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: And I don't know if you were present when I put other examples to Mr Williamson, that came directly from the Ministers from time to time, which was not conveyed to every person in the chain of command and it went past certain persons from time to time.

MR McPHERSON: That is quite possible Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: You would not find anything to that effect strange?

MR McPHERSON: No, I would not find it strange at all.

MR DU PLESSIS: And in certain instances decisions had to be taken in certain circumstances and you couldn't take it up with people at the top?

MR McPHERSON: That is also possible Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: In the instances where there was lots of pressure and you had to make a quick decision?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: And you've also heard the evidence of Mr Williamson regarding the understanding of "need to know"? Is it correct if I state that in a specific operation or in certain types of operations, in covert operations, as few people as possible had to know about this operation.

MR McPHERSON: That is how it worked Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: And that is also how it worked in the Lusaka bomb incident?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Can you remember anything about Trevits?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, there was a committee or a centre and the other day I tried to recall what Trevits stands for, what the abbreviation for Trevits is, it's got something to do with targets.

MR DU PLESSIS: There are two different names, they are Counterrevolutionary Target Information Centre and the other name for it was Counterrevolutionary Target Identification.

ADV DE JAGER: Target identification.

MR DU PLESSIS: Target Information Centre. That was the two names which appeared.

ADV DE JAGER: Because they did target identification.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes.

MR McPHERSON: Yes, I was aware of such a centre. I personally never served on it and I didn't attend any of their meetings but I know that because of the nature of our work and the intelligence work that we did, we did have our input in there and some of the information was relayed to Trevits.

MR DU PLESSIS: Now Mr McPherson, you were involved in the London bomb operation and the Lusaka bomb operation. I don't know of any other deeds which you apply for amnesty for. Are you aware of any queries that were sent to your office by anybody of the Security Forces, State Security Council, the Cabinet or the President, regarding any of these two operations?

MR McPHERSON: Is this now the London bomb or the Lusaka bomb?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, I want to know about both. Did anybody inquire why you were involved here, did anybody ask for an explanation, did anybody ask if it was you?

MR McPHERSON: Not that I am aware of. No such an inquiry was put to us Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. And were there ever any such inquiries about any other cross-border operations where the Security Police were involved, do you know?

MR McPHERSON: Not that I know of Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: You have heard the evidence of Mr Williamson. According to the interpretation of the word: "eliminate", it was put in the Kannemeyer Report and I would just like to ask you broadly, do you differ from the evidence that Mr Williamson gave here according to that interpretation or do you agree with it?

MR McPHERSON: I agree with what Mr Williamson said as to how the word was interpreted.

MR DU PLESSIS: Now Mr McPherson, when you were involved in this unit, was the perception that you were keeping the National Party in power?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman, the National Party was the government of the day.

MR DU PLESSIS: And thereby also the policy of the National Party?

MR McPHERSON: That was the police of the state.

MR DU PLESSIS: And your perception was that the whole fight was being fought against communism?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: I would just like to ask you the following: In Mr Raven's amnesty application, on page 144 he explains among others ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: Which volume?

MR DU PLESSIS: Volume 3 Mr Chairman, sorry.

He explains the purpose of elimination firstly and secondly the purpose of bomb attacks. Now I just want to put it to you and hear whether you agree with this. He says about elimination:

"This was to prevent further action taken by then and to take preventative measures and to eliminate potential activists and terrorists".

Page 144.

MR McPHERSON: No, I see it.

MR DU PLESSIS: Do you agree with that?

MR McPHERSON: I agree with that.

MR DU PLESSIS:

"Freedom organisations such as the ANC were being dissuaded to give public support and momentum to the freedom struggle".

MR CORNELIUS: Mr Chairman, I'm terribly sorry, it's under the heading: "Intimidation", not "Elimination". That is very important, the heading is: "Intimidation".

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, if you turn to page 143, it's stated there.

"The purpose of the elimination was threefold, intimidation of activists and terrorist, influencing of white voters".

And then ...[indistinct]. And we are now dealing with: "Intimidation".

Let me ask you in this way, was one of the main characteristics of elimination and bomb attacks intimidation?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: If we go to point 3, a further goal with intimidation:

"There was a total feeling of distrust between MK members and supporters as to who to trust and who not".

MR McPHERSON: That was correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS:

"The modus operandi was the same as the Mosad(?) being that all involved in the war against the apartheid government were aware that the Security Police immediately retaliated after operations of activists, supporters and terrorists in a similar way, which would even lead to the elimination of activists and terrorists".

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS:

"Elimination usually took place in regard to high profile activists".

What do you say with regard to that?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: 6:

"All the above had to lead to the demoralising of MK and other military wings of freedom fighters which led thereto that they could not act as sufficiently in the struggle to reach the targets and goals of the liberation movement".

Do you agree with that?

MR McPHERSON: I agree with that Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I don't want to read everything.

Could you please just quickly read through page 145 and say if you agree with that?

MR McPHERSON: I agree with the first sub-paragraph. I agree with the second paragraph. I agree with the third paragraph. I agree with paragraph four. Paragraph five I agree with. Paragraph six I do agree with as well as paragraph seven, Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: And then if we page to page 147, at bomb attacks. You will see it's also divided into intimidation and disinformation. Would you just go through page 147 to 148 and just quickly give us an indication whether you agree with it or not?

MR McPHERSON: I agree with paragraph one and paragraph two. I agree with the third paragraph. I agree with the fourth paragraph.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. And just before lunch time, the last paragraphs on page 148 please.

MR McPHERSON: I agree with the first paragraph. I agree with paragraph two as well as paragraph three and four and paragraph five as well.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, maybe this is an appropriate time.

CHAIRPERSON: We'll now take the adjournment till quarter to two.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

J L McPHERSON: (s.u.o.)

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible]

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: (cont)

He was checking on the veracity of all the allegations surrounding the days, Mr Chairman.

Mr McPherson, you have now given evidence about the Lusaka bomb incident and Mr Visser has cross-examined you extensively. I would just like to tell you that General Coetzee does not oppose your application.

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. I just want to ask you a few questions which I think are important with regard to that incident. Can we just deal with the first incident, the co-operation with Special Forces. You said that it was not strange that you and Special Forces co-operated.

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairperson.

MR DU PLESSIS: It was a common thing that there was co-operation, is that not so?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct and it was also well structured.

MR DU PLESSIS: And it happened because the Security Police and SPES Forces most of the time had the same objectives?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairperson. The two organisations stood at the forefront, we were the front line against the enemy.

MR DU PLESSIS: I don't know whether you know Mr McPherson but there were several other examples placed before the Amnesty Committee about co-operation with SPES Forces by the Security Police and the three cases that I can specifically think of is the Ribeiro matter, Piet Nthuli and the Nietverdiend 10 matter. Do you bear knowledge of that?

MR McPHERSON: I do not have personal knowledge of that but I will accept it like that.

I would just like to put it to you that it would be not be strange then that you co-operated with the Special Forces.

MR McPHERSON: That would not be strange to me, Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. Can I just understand correctly, you never said that Mr Raven was aware of the Lusaka bomb or was in any way involved there?

MR McPHERSON: Can you repeat the question again?

MR DU PLESSIS: You have never said that Mr Raven was aware of, or was involved in the Lusaka bomb incident?

MR McPHERSON: No, I did not allege any of that and I don't think he had any knowledge of it.

MR DU PLESSIS: As I understand your evidence - let me put the question in this way: Can you please explain once again, at one stage you said that the incident was discussed with Brigadier Stadler, was this before or after the operation?

MR McPHERSON: Under the circumstances Mr Derek Broon, and I speak hypothetically because I'm not personally aware of it, he would have taken the motivation ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: But if you don't know of it, if you have reason to say you have indirect knowledge of it but if you don't know of it at all and you want to speculate, that would not help us in any manner.

MR McPHERSON: Well then I withdraw myself there Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Let me ask you in this fashion then, you testified that you discussed the matter with General Coetzee.

MR McPHERSON: That's correct Chairperson.

MR DU PLESSIS: Would you have carried out the operation without clearing it with an authority from above?

MR McPHERSON: Under no circumstances, Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. And lastly - or excuse me, there are one or two more questions that I want to ask. You have given evidence about the informer, can you tell us what type of informer was he and what type of information did you get from him? Was he an A1 informer, did you get A1 information from him or what was the position?

MR McPHERSON: He was registered informer for the Headquarters of Security Branch and persons who were registered in this fashion received a monthly allowance for services rendered in that specific month. The amount of the monthly payment that he would have received at that time would have been around R500 per month. His direction in which he was tasked was around individuals in the African National Congress and seeing that he travelled in Africa, whenever he came across these individuals he was specifically tasked to give us information of these persons.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. Did you regard him as an important source in Botswana?

MR McPHERSON: In Lusaka.

MR DU PLESSIS: In Lusaka, I beg your pardon.

MR McPHERSON: Yes, in Lusaka and then he also travelled to Mozambique, Maputo and naturally he was also based in Swaziland.

MR DU PLESSIS: And if I understand you correctly it was not a source that you wanted to lose?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: And if you did not pay him you would have lost him as a source, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Did you approach him more carefully or more cautiously after that because he lied to you?

MR McPHERSON: Well in future we would have measured his information with confirmation from other trustworthy informers and only then we would have given that information through as correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr McPherson, can I just one thing to you which I'm going to argue. Following up on what Mr Visser put to you that your version of the Lusaka bomb incident is so improbable that it couldn't be true as far as it refers to General Coetzee.

Now the only reason why I make this statement and why I'm going to argue this point before the Committee is the fact there are several disputes between persons whom I represent here and General Johan Coetzee. The statement which I want to put to you and which I am going to argue here and in other applications to be heard in the future is that I find it extremely strange that General Johan Coetzee is named by several security officers in several operations as to the fact that he gave authorisation for these operations and gave his approval and he knew of these operations. I think specifically with the Ribeiro incident and incidents to which Mr de Kock will give evidence, and I'm going to put it to you that I'm going to argue that I find it extremely improbable that so many people at so many incidents would allege that General Coetzee was involved and knew of it and that when he says that he has no knowledge of these incidents or that he gave approval for any of these incidents, that he is not speaking the truth. What is you comment?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, I could just comment on my own happenings and I have no knowledge of the other incidents and therefore I would not like to comment on any of these other incidents.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. Finally Mr McPherson, I would like to ask you about the atmosphere with regard to cross-border operations. If I remember correctly - and we don't have to go into detail, there were several cross-border operations from 1981 to 1985, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: And can you recall if anybody in the Security Police or in the Army or in the government at that stage was against any cross-border operations?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, I know of instance which was a cross-border operation into Tanzania and which was called off.

MR DU PLESSIS: But do you know of any public speech from any politician or any person in the Army, the Police who publicly said: "We should not do this, it is wrong"?

MR McPHERSON: I don't know of anyone Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: Excuse me, the Tanzania cross-border operation, who opposed it?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Chairman, I apply for a Tanzanian operation. The National Executive Committee of the ANC met in Morogoro ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: We don't want to hear evidence of that, I just want to know who opposed it, that it should not happen.

MR McPHERSON: That was turned down by the government. As I understood it from the Colonel who was in charge of the Defence Force, he received a phone call from his Officer Commanding and the Officer Commanding said: "We must withdraw because ...", and I quote him as he told me about it, "Minister Pik Botha said the operation cannot continue because Doctor Neil Barnard, of the National Intelligence Service, because he was then the Director General, told him that there was some of his agents who infiltrated the ANC who would be present on the platform and that we couldn't afford to lose those people". What I'm telling you now is a quote from the Colonel who was in charge. I do not have personal knowledge as to whether there was ever such a conversation with Mr Pik Botha or that he would have said something like that.

MR DU PLESSIS: Let me ask you whether you agree with a statement which Mr Pik Botha made during cross-examination of General Coetzee, namely that not only he but various other persons, I can't remember the exact words but the line was that members of the Defence Force, people at rugby, people at braais throughout the country approved these actions against terrorists outside the country and said that it was correct that we were doing this, was that your impression?

MR McPHERSON: If I remember correctly he said that everybody said: "destroy the enemy".

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, and that was your perception?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: The last question. Now under those circumstances and with that perception you never doubted that whatever you were doing was being approved by everybody in the country and you were supported, or not everybody in the country but all those on the side of the Security Forces and you were being supported in general by the government?

MR McPHERSON: That was my perception Mr Chairperson.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. Thank you Chairperson, I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR DU PLESSIS

MR JANSEN: Thank you Mr Chairman. Sticking to the previous arrangement, I will continue questioning at this stage.

TAPE BLANK

CHAIRPERSON: Do you withdraw that now?

MR JANSEN: ...[inaudible]

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Botha, do you have some questions you wish to put?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BOTHA: Mr Chairperson, may I proceed to raise a few matters and put a few questions to Mr McPherson?

CHAIRPERSON: Carry on.

MR BOTHA: Thank you.

Mr McPherson, correct me if I did not hear you correctly, but is it correct before the adjournment you said that the person who would have taken the ingredients of the bomb to Foreign Affairs disguised it in the form of a radio and that the person at the Department of Foreign Affairs or the people who would then be in control of the diplomatic bags and who must accept responsibility for the contents which is sent via diplomatic bags, that they would not have known that there were explosives and ingredients of a bomb in the radio? Is that a correct version of what you said?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: I think he said that the container looked like a radio but it was not a radio.

MR McPHERSON: No, it was not a radio as such, it looked like radio equipment.

MR BOTHA: Do you know that the Department of Defence, the Defence Force, the National Intelligence had their own diplomatic bags which had absolutely nothing to do with Foreign Affairs? ...[transcriber's own translation]

MR McPHERSON: That is possible, I would believe that there would have been such an arrangement but I don't bear any personal knowledge thereof.

MR BOTHA: I can put it to you as a fact that that was the practice world-wide, that everywhere where the Defence Force had an Attaché, a National Intelligence Service representative, they not only had their own diplomatic bags but they had their own isolated independent communication system and that Foreign Affairs were not allowed to even fiddle with their bags or to ask what was therein. Will you accept that? ...[transcriber's own translation]

MR McPHERSON: I will accept that Mr Chairman.

MR BOTHA: Do you perhaps know whether Mr Craig Williamson at some stage said that it was a military diplomatic bag which took these explosives to London?

MR McPHERSON: I did not hear it.

MR BOTHA: I see. Did you know a person in London who was in the service of the army and who was attached to the Embassy by the name of Mr Jack Klew?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Joseph Klew, better known as Joe Klew.

MR BOTHA: Joe Klew?

MR McPHERSON: Yes. He was attached to the London Embassy as a Military Attaché.

MR BOTHA: Yes. Can I just make very sure that we have clarity about this? What were the functions of a Military Attaché?

MR McPHERSON: Mainly liaison with other military instances in the country where he was based.

MR BOTHA: I was not military orientated but is it so that these attaches of other departments who were attached to these embassies received their instructions directly from their head offices?

MR McPHERSON: I believe that is how it worked Mr Chairman.

MR BOTHA: Thank you. Would you regard the transport of contraband, a bomb or its ingredients in a diplomatic bag as utterly irresponsible and risky and dangerous?

MR McPHERSON: As far as I understand Mr Chairperson, the plastic explosives were in an airtight container and it was stable and it would not be risky by transporting it in a diplomatic bag.

MR BOTHA: The transport of such ingredients, is it not prohibited by South African law to be on any South African Airways flight or aeroplane or any other aeroplane which departs from here?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairperson.

MR BOTHA: Trevits, what was Trevits?

MR McPHERSON: As I stated earlier I don't know under who they resorted but it was a Target Identification Centre and the Security Forces served there, Military Intelligence served there and I believe National Intelligence would also have served on it. This was to determine where the enemy is located, where their facilities are, where their transit houses, their camps, their bases, their offices are world-wide.

Information was fed through to Trevits who, if there was any planning as with the Gaberone raids, that they would be in a position to immediately establish who finds himself where outside our borders and then to establish, should there be an onslaught, which places would be hit. That is how I understood it Mr Chairman.

MR BOTHA: And did the Department of Foreign Affairs serve on Trevits?

MR McPHERSON: Not as far as I know.

MR BOTHA: I see.

MR McPHERSON: I think it was purely a military type of centre, operational type of centre.

MR BOTHA: Thank you. You have said that after the London bomb explosion there was no inquiry from any side regarding the explosion of the bomb, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman. I accept that there would have been a factual report in the Weekly Overview which was drawn up by the Defence Force but I do not bear knowledge of inquiries which were made outside our intelligence community to the police.

MR BOTHA: Do you know what the Minister of Police, he was not the Minister of Law and Order, he was just the Minister of Police, what he had said when the media and press inquired about the London bomb incident? There was evidence led here about that.

MR McPHERSON: There was such a newspaper report which appeared in England where he did comment on it. I cannot recall who he blamed but he said somebody was responsible. I don't know which group he said was responsible for it. I think Craig might be able to help us here because I think he handed the report in.

MR BOTHA: I can tell you that it was handed in to the Honourable Committee last week and I think I can read that piece to you. It's a report in the Argus but it was reported right through by the South African media:

"The Minister of Police, Mr Louis le Grange said today that he did not think it necessary to react to laughable suggestions that the South African Police had been involved in bombing the ANC's London offices".

MR McPHERSON: That is correct, I remember the report Mr Chairman.

MR BOTHA: Thank you. Do you perhaps know what the Foreign Affairs Department's reaction was to this?

MR McPHERSON: I don't know Mr Chairman, I cannot remember.

MR BOTHA: Mr Chairman, my eyes are not so good anymore, I'm trying to get hold of my glasses.

"Doctor Brand Fourie, Director General of the Department of Foreign Affairs replied angrily to the ANC's accusations last night. He said: 'Why should we defend ourselves against all the groundless allegations put out by these groups. These groups hammer each other and then blame South Africa. We cannot reply to all these nonsensical accusations'".

Report in the Rand Daily Mail of 15 March, 1982. Mr Chairperson, I didn't know but luckily I made copies of these extracts. There are more but this is included in there. I do not know what number it must be numbered so you must please assist me there but it's the report in the Rand Daily Mail of 15 March, 1982.

CHAIRPERSON: CC1. Is it just one report? CC.

MR BOTHA: There are a couple.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, the bundle can be CC if it's bundled together.

MR BOTHA: The first one I believe was handed in to you last week, so that might be a duplicate.

"ANC blames boss bomber for London blast"

That was Mr le Grange's reaction which I read. The second one here was the Department of Foreign Affairs.

I put it to you Mr McPherson that the same report in the Rand Daily May ...[intervention]

MR BERGER: I'm sorry Mr Chairman to interrupt Mr Botha, but apparently there weren't enough copies to come down our way. Could we ask someone to share?

MR BOTHA: Well I made 10, and it's quite expensive and the TRC doesn't pay me a cent.

MR BERGER: We're only asking for one.

MR BOTHA: I'm awfully sorry. I made 10 because Ernst Penzhorn said to me that's what he usually makes. I apologise.

MR BERGER: We have it now, thank you.

MR BOTHA: Mr McPherson, in the same report:

"The ANC's claim that South Africans were responsible was speculation said Inspector Cole(?) ..."

That is the United Kingdom inspector who dealt with the matter on the British side.

"... was pure speculation"

I put it to you that if the Minister of Police says it's laughable or ridiculous and the British Police say it's pure speculation, upon which basis should the department or the Minister of Foreign Affairs tell his colleague, the Minister of Police: "Honourable colleague, I don't believe you, I think you're lying. I think you were in fact involved and I think you should tell me"? Do you think that is the manner in which the Minister of Foreign Affairs could act in such a situation?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, it's difficult to comment on these statements. If we accept that it is true that Mr Louis le Grange knew about the operation and had approved it and had given the order, then I think that the commentary which he gave then was to be expected. The operation was a covert operation and most probably on ministerial level also handled on a need to know basis and therefore he wouldn't have informed any other Ministers about it.

MR BOTHA: And if the Minister of Foreign Affairs then felt, and given those circumstances, that it was so far reached, I would almost go as far as saying impossible, inconceivable, that the South African Police during that time would have exploded a bomb in London, would you agree that this is reflected by Brand Fourie's reaction, namely that it is ridiculous?

MR McPHERSON: I agree with you 100%.

MR BOTHA: And do you coincidentally know what the circumstances were at that stage in South Africa and in South Africa's relations with Britain at that time?

MR McPHERSON: At that time the relations were rather good, in my opinion. Co-operation on those levels was very good. We still had Military Attaches there. At a certain stage when things were going worse we didn't have Military Attaches anymore but at that time things were going well.

MR BOTHA: So therefore there were good relations?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, good relations, that's correct.

MR BOTHA: And do you know what the chief preoccupation or problems of the Minister of Foreign Affairs would have been at that given point in time?

MR McPHERSON: I think that at that point in time you would have had very close negotiations with your counterpart in the British Government and your department would have carried out the diplomatic task accordingly.

MR BOTHA: Thank you. I want to refresh your memory and then get to my main question:

"At the beginning of March there occurred a major split in the ranks of the ruling party, the National Party, with the late Doctor Treurnicht's departure and the leadership of the Transvaal National Party was at stake".

Would you agree that an event of that nature causes quite a headache?

MR McPHERSON: I would agree with that Mr Chairman.

MR BOTHA:

"The discord between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Argentina over the Falkland Islands was heating up to the point of war. We had good relations with both the United Kingdom and Argentina and decided to adopt a neutral stance ..."

It was my proposal and it was accepted.

"... to adopt a neutral stance in the conflict but it was a very delicately balanced position, particularly because of the Cape's strategic location. A policy of neutrality puts the neutral party in a vulnerable state because the opposing forces clearly watch the behaviour or the neutral party very closely. The neutral party must be on its guard all the time not to do or say anything which one of the opposing forces could consider as favouring its enemy."

Would you agree with that?

MR McPHERSON: I was aware of that crisis during those years and I agree.

MR BOTHA:

"Thirdly, the second phase for implementing Resolution 435 of the Security Council of the United Nations was announced by me in February 1982. This was the more important phase of the implementation process because it entailed a long list of difficult subjects which had to be negotiated and agreed upon between South Africa, Angola, Cuba and the United Nations, together with the diversity of parties in South West Africa, as the territory was then known. The permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations, which included the United Kingdom, played a pivotal role in this process. It was after all their resolution that had to be implemented. From my point of view as Minister of Foreign Affairs, it was of great importance to maintain the best possible relations with the United States, the United Kingdom and France and even the Soviet Union. These were the permanent members of the Security Council who were permanent members."

Would you agree that for the Minister of Foreign Affairs in those circumstances to agree to the explosion of a bomb in London, would be rather improper and inexplicable?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, with the knowledge that you as Minister of Foreign Affairs were tasked to achieve better co-operation with England through your authority and your conduct, I think that Minister Louis le Grange would not have informed you.

MR BOTHA: Thank you.

MR BOTHA:

"Fourthly. Closer to home I was responsible for arranging a meeting scheduled for 30 April 1982, between Prime Minister P W Botha and Doctor Kenneth Kaunda, President of Zambia, the leading leader in the front-line states and a Commonwealth member. The meeting was to take place on the Botswana/South Africa border in the veld. As Doctor Kaunda did not want to come to South Africa for the meeting we eventually agreed, after weeks and weeks of confidential talks, that we will get a farm on the border with Botswana North on the northern border of the farmer's farm but also constituting the national border. The practical arrangements presented me with severe problems and obstacles but the meeting was of decisive importance to us. Doctor Kaunda played an important role in the equation of the tensions and conflict in Southern Africa".

I would fiercely have opposed any action on the part of the South African Government which might have jeopardised the proposals of the positive meeting, of the prospects of a positive meeting with President Kaunda. Do you agree with that?

MR McPHERSON: I agree with that Chairperson.

MR BOTHA: Thank you. Thank you Mr Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR BOTHA

CHAIRPERSON: Shall we try again, Mr Jansen? Thank you.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR JANSEN: Thank you Mr Chairman. Jansen on record.

Mr McPherson, just a number of questions of general nature. You heard Mr Williamson's evidence regarding how he saw himself at that time and how he sees it now in retrospect. He maintained that he would not have done anything if he had thought that it would not have enjoyed the approval of Johan Coetzee. You heard that statement of his?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR JANSEN: So, regarding yourself, you would agree with that statement?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, I do agree with it.

MR JANSEN: Let us just forget the individual, Johan Coetzee for a moment. Would you say that this is also of application to what you as a junior officer initially and later as a senior officer thought about all the persons who were Chief of Security or those who went on to become Commissioner of Police, after having served in the Security Forces? In other words, you would not have done anything that you thought would not have enjoyed their approval?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR JANSEN: If one takes this perception of yours and compares it with the evidence of General Johan Coetzee where he says that if he had known that people would have done this, he would have taken disciplinary steps, and furthermore he says that you couldn't really have been under the illusion because he was very well known for the fact that he made it clear that no unlawful action was to be taken, would you regard this as a realistic description for your perceptions at that stage?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR JANSEN: What is correct?

MR McPHERSON: The statement which you have just made.

MR JANSEN: I don't think you've really understood the question. You're saying that you would accept that there is an apparent discrepancy between what Coetzee says on the one hand, that you should have known that it would not have enjoyed his approval and your evidence which states that you thought that it would enjoy his approval, do you agree that there is a discrepancy?

MR McPHERSON: Do you mean with regard to my own application?

MR JANSEN: No, the question has been put in very general terms, it has to do with what you thought your bosses would have done if they had found out that you had been involved in something unlawful.

MR McPHERSON: They would definitely have taken action against us.

MR JANSEN: Was any action ever taken against you?

MR McPHERSON: Not that I personally know of.

MR JANSEN: And once again, regarding the politicians, I've also used the example of a coventry four with Mr Williamson, certainly it must have created the perception that if you ran into trouble overseas, politicians, although this was in later years, the politicians would attempt to help or protect you?

MR McPHERSON: We were told before we left that if we were to be caught the state would see to us, defend us and we were also told not to admit under any circumstances that we were policemen and maintain our cover-up as long as possible because an admission would be official and Foreign Affairs would have had to intervene and it would have created a lot of problems and turned it into a political incident between two countries.

MR JANSEN: Thank you Mr Chairman, I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR JANSEN

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HUGO: Thank you Mr Chairman.

Mr McPherson, just a number of aspects which I wish to address regarding the preparation for the operation which took place. This preparation took place at Daisy Farm. How long before your departure for London did this preparation take place?

MR McPHERSON: We had a number of informers in London on ground level ...[intervention]

MR HUGO: I beg your pardon for interrupting you. The physical planning of this operation, I'm not really interested in the year long establishment of contacts and informers and planning and so forth. I would just like to know how long before the operation did the physical planning take place?

MR McPHERSON: Well the physical planning, do you mean before we would have gone over into operation?

MR HUGO: That's correct.

MR McPHERSON: That was a week, a week in which we isolated ourselves at Daisy Farm so that we could specifically focus on the task at hand.

MR HUGO: And who was in control of the operational planning when you went into isolation?

MR McPHERSON: That was Mr Craig Williamson.

MR HUGO: You have given evidence among others, that part of the planning involved the obtaining of false identity documents?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR HUGO: False passports, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR HUGO: As well as credit cards?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR HUGO: And traveller's cheques?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR HUGO: Can you remember in what name your ID and passport book and credit card and traveller's cheques were issued?

MR McPHERSON: I went as Klaus Dietricht.

MR HUGO: Do you remember who made the arrangements with regard to obtaining these false identify documents?

MR McPHERSON: I think he was a Major at that stage, his name was Andre Beukes. He was the Liaison Officer with Foreign Affairs. He liaised on a very high level. We completed the forms there on the farm, took the photos and he went through with the documents to the Civitas Building, handed them in and the passports were manufactured for us under our new false identities.

MR HUGO: Did Major Beukes know exactly what this operation was about?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, he knew exactly what it was about. He knew that it was about false passports for the team for an operation. If I could just correct myself? I personally didn't know whether Beukes had personal knowledge of what the ultimate purpose of the operation was, however he knew that we were going overseas as a team for a specific task, that he knew.

MR HUGO: But one aspect which remains is that he knew that he was busy manufacturing false documentation?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, for a planned covert operation.

MR HUGO: And that he in all probability had contacts with Internal Affairs who would make these documents available to him?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR HUGO: Could you recall how large the amount of money was which was appropriated for your credit cards and traveller's cheques?

MR McPHERSON: I tried to remember today. I know that it was a package of traveller's cheques in pound sterling. There were a number of cheques to the value of 500 pounds and in other denominations, such as a hundred pounds, fifty pounds and ten pounds.

The apartment which I hired was a furnished apartment and I think we paid approximately a thousand pounds a week. We also hired a vehicle for which I paid a deposit of approximately one thousand pounds which I deposited before our arrival. Naturally we also had gold cards, credit cards from Nedbank and with that we could also, if we should suddenly be in need of money, we'd be able to make purchases with the gold card on the false name.

MR HUGO: Is it correct to say that you had more than enough financial assistance for this operation?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that is correct.

MR HUGO: Might I just ask you, to the best of your recollection could you tell us where this financing for this operation came from?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, as I see it the funds came from our secret fund because we were given an instruction to keep receipts of everything. Our Euro Cards for the train systems to travel on for two weeks, we had to bring those back.

We had to bring back proof of our accommodation costs, hiring transport. Even if we used the bus or a train, even if it was only small amounts we had to bring back proof of all of that. We handed it in. We had to fill out a travel and accommodation form in order to claim back the money. I think that it was approximately R200 per day allowance for travel and accommodation. So therefore we had an official claim which we made from the secret fund upon our arrival back.

MR HUGO: But you received orders to ensure that every single receipt and documentary document which was issued be brought back so that there could be proper accounting at the end of the day?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, that's correct. We received the money from Colonel Louis Koekemoer at the secret fund office. In order to purchase our traveller's cheques and so forth we received an advance.

MR HUGO: Could I just ask you, who gave you the instruction to keep all the documents and upon the completion of the operation, to bring back these documents?

MR McPHERSON: That came from Williamson.

MR HUGO: You heard in Coetzee's evidence, I think it was in his words, that the fund was depleted and that funds actually came from a different source. Is that how you understood the financing of this operation?

MR McPHERSON: My comprehension was not at all that funds had been obtained from any other department or division of the state, and not that this would be necessary.

I didn't see any documentation but the way I understood it, a memorandum would have had to have been compiled because the ultimate amount was approximately 60 000 or something like that, for the operation and a possible cover-up would have had to be written, for example that we went abroad in order to inspect operations and projects there and so forth.

MR HUGO: Could I just I just ask you further, I accept that with regard to the entire appropriation with regard to traveller's cheques and credit cards, you didn't use everything?

MR McPHERSON: No, I went to an unfamiliar bank to purchase the traveller's cheques and I had to sign for the traveller's cheques as Klaus Dietricht and when it came to the last cheque I was completely relaxed and I started signing J L instead of K and then I went ahead with the Dietricht. However I did not use that 500 pound cheque because I'd signed it incorrectly.

MR HUGO: Let me just ask you, the cheque which you did not accept, you had that cheque and you had other cash with you when you came back, what did you do with it?

MR McPHERSON: We paid it back into the fund ...[intervention]

MR HUGO: I beg your pardon for interrupting. When you say you paid it back to the fund, to who did you account?

MR McPHERSON: It would have been either Colonel Louis Koekemoer or Loggie Steyn.

MR HUGO: Were any receipts given to you in corroboration of these amounts which you had handed back?

MR McPHERSON: We compiled an inventory from day to day in which we recorded all our expenses.

MR HUGO: And was this amount once again put back into the secret fund?

MR McPHERSON: Yes.

MR HUGO: Then I just want to ask you ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: And what did you say to Koekemoer and Loggie Steyn, for what did you need the money?

MR McPHERSON: Upon our return they knew that it had been used for a covert operation because they had to audit our department.

ADV DE JAGER: And what cover-up did you use?

MR McPHERSON: As I've said, a cover-up was discussed, I didn't see the memorandum itself, but it was discussed that we'd gone overseas because we had various projects in London and in Europe and we would have gone overseas to visit those projects and those agents.

ADV DE JAGER: But when you handed the money back didn't you say: "Well this is the money remaining from the London bomb operation"?

MR McPHERSON: I think I said something like that to Louis Koekemoer because then it was common knowledge at head office.

MR HUGO: Just a further aspect with regard to the preparation for the operation. You testified and said that you could not really take much weaponry with you because this would have created problems going through customs and so forth.

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR HUGO: But with regard to the planning of the operation, could you just tell me who told you that there would be other protective measures or forms of weaponry to be taken with, other than the conventional form such as pistols or guns?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Craig Williamson said that General Lothar Neethling had made teargas containers available to us. It had the appearance of a normal underarm spray container.

MR HUGO: Can I just interrupt you once more. Is it correct if I accept that this container did not look like a conventional teargas container which would be used in dealing with unrest and so forth?

MR McPHERSON: Not at all because it was white, if I remember correctly, with a red nozzle on top.

MR HUGO: And am I correct in understanding that a great level of expertise had to go into the manufacturing of such devices?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, definitely.

MR HUGO: And how potent were these gas containers or was it not indicated to you?

MR McPHERSON: It was extremely potent. We were told that up until a distance of 18 feet this gas container would make the victims eyes run and tear.

MR HUGO: Who is the person that told you this?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Craig Williamson. I don't know who went to fetch it.

MR HUGO: Well that was going to be my next question.

MR McPHERSON: I don't know who went to fetch it.

MR HUGO: Can you remember?

MR McPHERSON: No.

MR HUGO: Was it ever said to you that General Lothar Neethling knew about the purpose of these gas containers?

MR McPHERSON: No, I don't know about that.

MR HUGO: And after the London operation, what happened to these gas containers?

MR McPHERSON: I brought mine back and I kept it for a number of years, then it began to leak in the cupboard and I threw it away.

MR HUGO: So nobody asked you to hand it back in?

MR McPHERSON: No.

MR HUGO: I've got no further questions, thank you Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR HUGO

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you Mr Chairman. Van der Merwe on record for du Toit and Klew.

Mr McPherson, were you aware who manufactured the metal container which was shown to you by Jerry Raven?

MR McPHERSON: As far as I know it was told to me by Jerry Raven that the Technical Unit was responsible for it and at that stage I believed that that would have been Colonel Waal du Toit who would have manufactured it.

MR VAN DER MERWE: But you didn't have personal knowledge?

MR McPHERSON: No, I didn't have personal knowledge thereof and nothing was every said to me about it by Waal du Toit.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And then furthermore, in dealing with Mr Klew, he was not the Military Attaché at the office in London?

MR McPHERSON: No, he would not have been the Military Attaché. I think he was a Warrant Officer or something like that.

MR VAN DER MERWE: But your instruction was that he was a WO2 or a Sergeant Major and that he was assigned to the Staff Service Core, so he didn't really have a specific intelligence role to fulfil, would you agree with that?

MR McPHERSON: I would agree with that.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you Mr Chairman, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR ROUSSOUW: Thank you Mr Chairman. Roussouw on behalf of applicant Bosch.

Mr McPherson, just one question. You were asked to give your perception of the war situation ...[end of tape]

MR McPHERSON: ...[inaudible]

MR ROUSSOUW: And other than your answer that it would result in career suicide so to speak, would you agree that there was another reason, and that was that members of the Security Forces, particularly in the Security Branch, carried out orders because they saw it as their contribution to the struggle against the onslaught against the government of the day?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct, we believed in what we were doing.

MR ROUSSOUW: And under those circumstances orders would never be questioned?

MR McPHERSON: It was never questioned.

MR ROUSSOUW: Thank you Mr Chairman, I've got no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR ROUSSOUW

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BERGER: Chairperson, I think it's me now.

Mr McPherson, I will put my questions in English ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Put yourself on record.

MR BERGER: Berger on record. That is B-E-R-G-E-R.

Mr McPherson, I will put my questions in English and if you want to you can answer in Afrikaans or English, whichever you wish.

MR McPHERSON: Thank you.

MR BERGER: You told the Committee that you went to London to Klaus Dietricht?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BERGER: Can you tell the Committee what the other members of the team went to London as, and I'll go through them. If you can tell the Committee what Mr Williamson's name was.

MR McPHERSON: I think he was Mr Steyn: S-T-E-Y-N.

MR BERGER: Do you remember his first name?

MR McPHERSON: Probably Arthur or no, it was an Afrikaans names, probably Piet. He had an ordinary Afrikaans first name which I can't remember now.

MR BERGER: And Brigadier Goosen?

MR McPHERSON: I can't remember.

MR BERGER: And Warrant Officer Raven?

MR McPHERSON: I think he went as Mr Rouen: R-O-U-E-N, spelt like that.

MR BERGER: And his first name?

MR McPHERSON: I can't remember.

MR BERGER: Mr de Kock?

MR McPHERSON: I think Mr de Kock went as Mr de Wet, but I can't remember his first name now.

MR BERGER: Mr Taylor?

MR McPHERSON: You know I've forgotten his name.

MR BERGER: Wasn't he the person that you were moving with?

MR McPHERSON: That's right, and I've been thinking this week under what name he went.

MR BERGER: Mr Adam?

MR McPHERSON: I also don't know, I can't remember under which name he went.

MR BERGER: And finally, Mr Castleton?

MR McPHERSON: Mr Castleton was in England under his own name. He stayed in London and he was Peter Castleton.

MR BERGER: Were all the passports that you went over on South African passports?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, may I enquire what the relevance of these questions are? I don't understand my learned is opposing the applications in respect of the London bomb. It seems to me that the enquiry relates to possible inquiries to be made in England about this whole operation, and if that is the intention of the examination I object to it, Mr Chairman.

MR BERGER: Chairperson, there's the issue of credibility, not only of this witness but there's the issue of credibility of other witnesses who although involved in the London bombing are also applying for amnesty in relation to the death of Ruth First, Jeannette Schoon and Katryn Schoon. My learned friend's client is one of those.

MR DU PLESSIS: But Mr Chairman, what is the, how is credibility going to be relevant in respect of pseudo names? Perhaps my learned friend could tell us because otherwise it seems to be that there is an ulterior motive to these questions which could prejudice my client, not only my client but other applicants as well, and I want to oppose this kind of questioning.

CHAIRPERSON: If it prejudices, doesn't that indicate that it's affecting their credibility?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, Mr Chairman, it doesn't us in respect of credibility but if the ulterior motive is to assist the English Police or anybody else who may be interested in any prosecutions in England, Mr Chairman, then this is not the correct forum to do that.

CHAIRPERSON: I agree with that.

Is that your intention?

MR BERGER: Chairperson, I don't know where my learned friend gets that information from. I have not been consulting with any of the English detectives on anything which might assist their case. I am not attempting to extract information to assist the English detectives, and my learned friend seems to be pursuing the line of this wider conspiracy that he alleges is against his client. I am not asking questions for any purpose other than the purposes of my clients.

CHAIRPERSON: Well let's go on and see.

MR BERGER: Mr McPherson, ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: For the sake of the record, is it correct that Mr Castleton remained in England, he was arrested, charged and convicted and he then left England and has since died?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

MR BERGER: I'm happy to ...[intervention]

MR JANSEN: Mr Chairman, sorry. If I can maybe just come in at this stage because I acted for Mr Castleton at some stage. It was correct that he was later on arrested but that was some two years later and not for this incident. That was for the burglary of ANC and PAC offices at a much later stage.

CHAIRPERSON: The burglary of the ANC?

MR JANSEN: Yes, Mr Chairman.

MR BERGER: I thank my learned friend. I was going to make the same point as well.

Mr McPherson, these names that you used, were they in relation to the passports, the traveller's cheques and the credit cards issued by Nedbank?

MR McPHERSON: That is absolutely correct Mr Chairman.

MR BERGER: So Mr Castleton then didn't use any traveller's cheques or credit cards?

MR McPHERSON: No, Mr Chairman, Mr Castleton had his own fund in England and because he was stationed there there was no necessity to assist him financially.

MR BERGER: Mr McPherson, you told the Committee about a meeting at Daisy Farm prior to your leaving for London and that meeting took place approximately a week before your departure, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: Yes. We stayed on the farm for a whole week and in that week we prepared ourselves for the London trip.

MR BERGER: Yes. And that was - the entire team gathered, well with the exception of Mr Castleton.

MR McPHERSON: And Colonel Piet Goosen.

CHAIRPERSON: Was Mr Raven there? I thought you'd agreed that he went off earlier.

MR McPHERSON: Yes, sorry, I stand corrected. Warrant Officer Raven had by that time already left, that's correct.

MR BERGER: So who would have been left then at Daisy would have been yourself, Mr Williamson, Mr de Kock, Mr Adam and Mr Taylor?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, and then we had a Major Derek Broon who was in charge of training on the farm. We used the farm as a training school for our agents and Derek Broon assisted us in the preparation of our legends and he also had us to look at road maps and photographs. And because he had been to the ANC offices before in his investigations, for intelligence gathering, he knew the vicinity, he knew what it looked like there and he could give us a first-hand account of what we would find there.

MR BERGER: You described Daisy earlier in your evidence today as an espionage training farm, would that be correct?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, I said: "spionasie opleidings plaas". That would be an espionage training farm, school, whatever.

MR BERGER: I think my translation was correct. And it was clear to everyone on the farm during that week that your mission in London was to go and blow up the ANC offices and the SACP offices?

MR McPHERSON: I can only speak about my own perceptions because Mr Craig Williamson approached me, must have been six weeks before the time, and I was made aware of what is expected from the government, from us. On the farm we basically discussed the ANC offices but I was under the impression that everybody knew, I was under the impression but we didn't discuss it there, the actual bombing. I haven't discussed the bombing as such with the members present.

MR BERGER: Well you told the Committee that you studied photographs of both offices.

MR McPHERSON: That's right, that's right.

MR BERGER: Now surely if all of you were looking at photographs of those offices then it was apparent that those offices were the target of your mission?

MR McPHERSON: I had the feeling, I mean I had the feeling that they should have known.

MR BERGER: Well what was discussed about those two offices, were you just going to go and have a look at them and come back to South Africa or was there more to it? Surely, I'm suggesting to you there was more.

MR McPHERSON: It was discussed - that's right, it was discussed as a target.

MR BERGER: A target for what?

MR McPHERSON: I knew it was for the bombing.

MR BERGER: Well we've got five intelligence agents gathering together at Daisy for a week to discuss photographs of the ANC offices and the SACP offices. I'm sure one of you would have asked: "What is it that we are going to do".

MR McPHERSON: Well it was to my amazement last year or the year before last, I had a discussion with John Adam also an applicant, he works very near to my office and we had coffee and he said he wasn't told and I was quite, before us going he wasn't told, and I was quite amazed that he wasn't told. Apparently he only learnt in England what we were there for, but as I said, I was amazed.

MR BERGER: Well then I ask you again Mr McPherson, what was discussed in relation to the ANC and SACP offices during that week at Daisy?

MR McPHERSON: That we will have to surveil the premises for 14 days and that we should try and ascertain the movement of people in and out of the building over different hours, in other words the routine of the people visiting the building had to be noted, the routine of the police station and the police members, the bobbies on the beat, their routine should be noted.

We were given those instructions and I believed it was for the purpose of bombing the place and I believed the other people also saw it that way.

CHAIRPERSON: Well you've told us I think, that you knew it was for the purpose of bombing.

MR McPHERSON: Yes, yes, I knew, Mr Chairman.

MR BERGER: Well you knew that Warrant Officer Raven had gone on ahead, correct?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct, and I've seen that container and I was told about it. I knew.

MR BERGER: And the others knew that Warrant Officer Raven had gone on ahead?

MR McPHERSON: I'm not sure about that. I don't know whether they were told that Jerry had gone ahead.

MR DU PLESSIS: I'm sorry, Mr Chairman. May I interpose please. Mr Chairman, a thought has suddenly struck me about the situation here and I believe it is important that I raise it now. If you overrule me then that is fine but then that point is on record. And that is the question, Mr Chairman, insofar as a party who does not oppose an application for amnesty, in what capacity and under what circumstances is such a party allowed to cross-examine an applicant in an application for amnesty where that party's clients are not implicated in that application.

We are dealing here with three different applications or four actually: The first incident: The Schoon Incident, The London Bomb Incident and the Lusaka Bomb Incident. Now Mr Chairman, if the answer is that each applicant in the London bomb incident can be cross-examined pertaining to the credibility of Mr Raven and Mr Williamson in respect of the First and Schoon incidents, the permeations are immense.

I was thinking now suddenly about the result of this. This would mean that, and if I can use a concrete example, the dispute that I have with my learned friend, Mr Visser, on the Ribeiro matter, between his client, General Coetzee and my clients, Hechter and Cronje. This would mean that each and every amnesty application, let's say for instance that General Coetzee had ten other applications, I would be able to arrive at his amnesty application, sit down and say that the credibility of General Coetzee, in respect of each and every of his applications, is relevant to my clients and I want to cross-examine him.

If this is going to be allowed Mr Chairman, then we are going to end up in a situation where you are going to have hundreds of lawyers arriving at each and every person's amnesty application with which he has a dispute, and saying: "I am entitled to cross-examine on credibility". The fact that we're all here together in the same hall for convenience sake, hearing three different applications at the same time, shouldn't allow my learned friend or give my learned friend the opportunity to cross-examine other witnesses in detail on the basis that he does it.

CHAIRPERSON: Isn't it relevant and fair if we are to get at the truth, that should be able to question him on other occasions?

MR DU PLESSIS: Well Mr Chairman, that is my question and I'm raising that now, and that is why I've said if you overrule the point that I make and you give a ruling today that that is just and fair under the circumstances Mr Chairman, I accept that, and that opens the door obviously for us to reconsider our attitude towards other applications. I'm just saying that Mr Chairman, because if we allow it today, you may be faced possibly in the future with such an application where you have allowed it already today and have set a precedent, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Well that is one of the problems that I anticipated, where we have certain members of the Security Forces who are implicated in very many, I think we all know Mr de Kock is, in very many matters and I think impossible to say well, we'll take each one as a separate little thing and we don't, if we are going to assess credibility, we don't look elsewhere. Can you seriously argue that that is a welcome approach?

MR DU PLESSIS: Well Mr Chairman, I don't want to take issue with you here now on your view of the importance of credibility, that's another argument for another time. I have argued that before. But the question to be answered here under these circumstances, Mr Chairman, is if this kind of situation should be allowed or should there be a limitation upon parties who ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: You see the problem here is that the applicants in the, some of the applicants in the London bomb are also applicants in the other matter, they are not separate hearings, they are similar people and if one can, as I understand and I don't really know how far it can go, but I understand the possibility is, that has been adopted, is to try to show a consistent policy to say that all the Security Police are bad, they all do this all the time. I don't want to comment on the prospects of that being successful but it's very difficult to say you shouldn't question a man who is giving evidence and is an applicant in our case, where he is involved in other matters, who's also giving evidence at the same hearing.

MR DU PLESSIS; Yes, Mr Chairman, although with respect, the fact that it's at the same venue at the same time, it still makes it four different applications but ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: Mr du Plessis, say for instance Mr de Kock is involved in 50 incidents, he's applying for amnesty here now, would the victims in all those incidents, the 50 incidents, be entitled to be represented here and to question Mr de Kock?

MR DU PLESSIS: Well that's the point. If this situation is allowed, Mr Chairman, that is going to be the permeation. Somebody could walk in here now or ten different lawyers can walk in here now and say: "Look, we're not opposing Mr de Kock's application for the London bomb, we actually don't have any fight with him on it, but we are involved in another application where Mr de Kock is an applicant where we say he's laying and we want to test his evidence on the London bomb incident to test his credibility to be able to eventually in the other matter show that he is lying".

Now Mr Chairman, that could have serious consequences for this whole process and with respect, I submit that it's possibly the right time to consider this and to make a ruling in that regard Mr Chairman. I must tell you that in respect of the Coetzee matter, I will seriously consider cross-examining General Coetzee wherever he appears. If he testifies again in any other hearing or any of the other Generals who, like for instance Brigadier Viktor, who deny that they have given orders, I'm going to be there every time, Mr Chairman, and that is going to cause serious implications for this process.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, Visser on record, if I may. As they say: "Politics make strange bedfellows". I find myself heartily in agreement with my learned friend. What strikes me, Mr Chairman, is that the arguments we hear from the bench today as it were, were the arguments which were advanced by myself at the beginning when I asked you on behalf of implicated persons, to cross-examine and the Committee, the original Committee as it then was, you will recall, Mr Chairman, made a ruling to say that in each case where a person who is implicated in a matter, leave aside my learned friend, Mr Berger's situation, I mean that fell completely outside in the cold, but where a person is implicated, whether his legal representative would be allowed to ask questions would be on application to the Committee and that there would be certain conditions with which he would have to comply and one of the first of which was, that he had to be opposing the application.

You will remember that ruling, Mr Chairman, and we all accepted the ruling for the time being, although some us, with great respect, didn't agree with it, I was one. But this Committee to this day has never changed that ruling and that ruling went further, Mr Chairman, it said that "we will allow you to ask questions only insofar as it is directly relevant to the interests of your client".

CHAIRPERSON: That is a degree of implication and in what way he is implicated, because there are certain implicated parties where the implication is of a highly technical nature. There are others where it is a direct attack on their credibility, on their status.

MR VISSER: But that is, with respect Mr Chairman, where my learned friend, Mr du Plessis is correct. There is just no relevance for my learned friend, Mr Berger, to ask any questions regarding the London bombing. And with respect, isn't he also correct, my learned friend, Mr du Plessis, when he says it's just quite by coincidence that these matters have been lumped together? What happens in other matters? Are you going to allow everyone who has an applicant who may, who may differ in opinion or in evidence from an applicant who gives evidence before you down the line at some stage, at some venue, to come and really cross-examine him on issues which have nothing to do with that applicant? With respect, it can't be like that Mr Chairman. We will sit here for another five years instead of another year, if you're going to allow that. May I remind you Mr Chairman, of Motsamai and Ngo, I mean we don't want that horror to re-occur.

MR BERGER: Chairperson, might I say something? Firstly in response to my learned friend, Mr Visser, it's strange that he asked questions of Mr McPherson when his client is not opposing Mr McPherson's application, either for the London bombing or the Lusaka bomb.

Secondly, as far as my learned friend, Mr du Plessis is concerned, he opened the door Chairperson, he asked Mr McPherson about the 4,5 kilogram bomb, he asked him to express an opinion on that, he asked him he express an opinion on the London bombing and mentioned specific - can I finish, and mentioned specifically that Mr Bizos had said X, Y, Z and: "We wonder where Mr Bizos had got the evidence from, can you Mr McPherson please assist in this regard". That was directly in relation to the London bomb.

And finally Chairperson, my learned friend, Mr du Plessis elicited information from the applicant, Mr McPherson in relation to the amnesty applications, well the death of Ruth First, the death of Jeannette and Katryn Schoon, which he intends to use in arguing those particular applications. He's used the evidence of this witness to argue those applications. Similarly we should be entitled to use the evidence of this witness to argue our applications and if that means eliciting information in relation to the London bomb to show that either this witness or other witnesses are not telling the truth, their credibility in relation to our application is at stake. I don't see why my learned friends are allowed to ask certain questions and then suddenly they should want to bar us from asking the same questions.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I may just say that in respect of the asking of questions of Mr Visser and myself, we both act for implicated persons in respect of the London bomb incident. If the argument however is to be drawn through correctly, my learned friend, Mr Berger is in all probability right about the questions I asked in respect of the First and Schoon incidents because of the fact that Mr McPherson is not an applicant in those applications, and for that purpose I'm gladly willing that those questions and that evidence be struck from the record.

ADV DE JAGER: But it's a bit late, Mr du Plessis because if that is the case it was a waste of time asking those questions.

MR DU PLESSIS: I think we spent five minutes on it Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: Ja, that was another five minutes wasted.

MR DU PLESSIS: But the point is Mr Chairman, with respect Mr de Jager, I'm raising this point because I'm foreseeing a problem in future and not just to be difficult.

I don't really have a problem that Mr McPherson is asked these questions, except insofar as it pertains to my client, but I really am of the view that this is going to cause a problem in future Mr Chairman and my respectful submission is that that is where the line should be drawn.

An implicated person should be allowed to ask questions and if you want any guidance in the Act, I think Section 30 is the closest one can get to the question of who is allowed to be involved in a hearing, and that is:

"A person implicated in a manner which may be to his or her detriment. The Commission contemplates making a decision which may be to the detriment of a person who has been implicated or it appears that any person may be a victim".

That is when a person can arrive here and testify at an amnesty application. Implicit in that is probably the right to cross-examine as well. So Mr Chairman, in my submission, to allow Mr Berger further to ask questions ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: And if it would appear that the person is a victim in an incident.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes. In Section 30, ja.

ADV DE JAGER: But you say that should be a victim in that incident, not a victim another incident.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, in that incident. That pertains to a specific investigation or hearing. That's what Section 30 refers to and the heading of Section 30 is:

"Procedure to be followed at investigations and hearings of Commission, Committees and Sub-Committees"

And it says:

"If during any investigation by or any hearing before the Commission"

And then it lists the three categories, it says:

"The Commission shall, if such person is available, afford him or her an opportunity to submit representations to the Commission within a specified time with regard to the matter under consideration or to give evidence at a hearing of the Commission".

And my submission is that giving of evidence, also implicit in that would be the right to cross-examine. So any person who may give evidence would be a person who is implicated in a matter which may be to his detriment, if the Commission contemplates making a decision which may be to the detriment of a person who has been implicated, or a victim.

MR JANSEN: Mr Chairman, I know it's not really turn, it's not my witness and it's not my work to intervene at this stage. It's just that I, on behalf of Mr Dirk Coetzee has been affected by this problem for more than a year now and we have not had a ruling on it. All I want to ask you now is not to make a ruling until such time as I have had the opportunity of addressing you on the issue, if you intend making a ruling. I don't think you should, I think you should allow everything on a provisional basis and let it stand over for argument. I think that's almost the best practical solution that we can have at the moment, because it's a situation that doesn't seem to have an answer.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Jansen, maybe we could provide it on a provisional basis if everybody would be available for the following two weeks. Would counsel agree to that?

MR JANSEN: No, but Mr Chairman, with respect, up to now that's in fact how it has happened. People have been given the widest of latitude during cross-examination. If there has to be a ruling then well, maybe it is time for a ruling but one should then, one would have expected it more ideally at the beginning of the hearing or at least at some stage when it became apparent that people were taking issues very, very widely.

Mr Chairman, as far as my attitude is concerned you are obliged to act according to the rules of natural justice. I think there's ample authority for that and that entails that you have to allow everybody who is affected, the opportunity to confront that evidence which may be to their detriment, the issue of adducing and confronting evidence and along those lines one must come to answers that are fair under the circumstances. I don't at this stage want to take it further than that, just to state on record that we are affected by, it you are contemplating making a ruling that may be of some finality, I would certainly want to be heard. Thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: We'll take a short adjournment now.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

J L McPHERSON: (s.u.o.)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis, to Mr Berger asking certain applicants questions arising from the London bomb incident, where he is not an objector to the application for amnesty despite the fact that he himself asked similar questions and he is supported by Mr Visser who did the same, we do not propose to give a ruling in this regard, we have allowed throughout this hearing a very wide degree of questioning to all the parties concerned.

What we do however intend from now on is to question the relevance of questions and we are not proposed, we do not propose to allow unlimited questioning to continue. If the questioning is relevant to the matters in which the lawyers are engaged, either as applicants, interested parties or victims, I think, and I'm not making a ruling on this, I think justice demands they should be allowed to investigate matters but it should be matters that are relevant to those in which they have an interest. When I say: "they", I mean of course their clients.

So Mr Berger, can you tell us really what the relevance of knowing what names they used and matters of that nature are to the applications in respect of the victims you represent?

MR BERGER: Chairperson, I'd actually moved on from that and my questioning was in relation to what was done in that week at Daisy, what was discussed about the bombing of the London office, and the relevance of that Chairperson, is that General Coetzee I believe it is, in his application says that, and I don't have the exact page now, but says that none of the members of the team were informed in advance, before they left South African, of the nature of the mission they were going to be carrying out.

CHAIRPERSON: That's certainly not my recollection.

MR BERGER: Chairperson, if you'll let me find the reference I will be able to be a bit more accurate.

CHAIRPERSON: Well you have discovered that one of them was told six weeks before by Mr Williamson. Can we continue?

MR BERGER: Chairperson, my learned friend, Mr Visser says that is not so, but if you have a look at page 185 of the bundle, this is part of the memorandum submitted by General Coetzee, it's Annexure D, bundle 3, Chairperson, at the bottom, page 185, paragraph 3.5 in the middle of that paragraph:

"It would be unnatural for Brigadier Goosen not to speak to me at all about the matter but I do not recall the exact detail thereof, except that as far as my memory serves me, one of the safeguards to be employed was that the mission members, although informed that an action against the ANC was planned for the UK, they did not know the exact nature thereof upon departure".

CHAIRPERSON: Isn't that what you've been told?

MR BERGER: No, Chairperson, that's General Coetzee's evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. The present witness told you that he was told, the others weren't, it surprised him that they weren't.

MR BERGER: No, Chairperson, there is only one other person who told him that he wasn't and I was busy canvassing with this witness the question of: "What did they do for a week on Daisy when they were looking at photographs of the two offices"?

MR VISSER: Sorry, there were two witnesses apparently who were not told, Mr Chairman. One is my client, Mr Jeremy Taylor, and I've been putting it on his behalf to the witnesses that he didn't know, although he knew it had something to do with the struggle, he didn't know what it was about. I've now heard of another witness who was also not told.

CHAIRPERSON: And this is relevant to General Coetzee's credibility?

MR BERGER: Indeed, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And what's that relevant to your clients?

MR BERGER: Chairperson, my learned leader, Mr Bizos spent a long time attacking General Coetzee's credibility and advanced argument as to how that affected Major Williamson, I don't know what his correct title is now, and the other applicants, and that has a direct bearing on the credibility in our applications.

CHAIRPERSON: I think you've asked enough questions about that, will you now continue?

MR BERGER: As you please Chairperson.

Mr McPherson, besides looking at photographs of the ANC offices and the SACP offices during that week at Daisy, what else did you do?

MR McPHERSON: We also had a look at maps, road maps, street maps, the whole layout and Derek Broon discussed with us routes because I was told I was to drive a getaway car. I can recall they also the, we also had photographs there of people that were usually visiting the ANC offices, people that frequented the ANC offices.

MR BERGER: During that week, were you told that - in fact you saw the photographs of the ANC offices and you would have seen that the ANC offices were located in a building which was a four story building and that the bottom story or the ground floor level was occupied by shops and that the top three floors, the first, second and third floors above ground floor were all residential, was residential accommodation.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I'm sorry. What does this have to do with General Coetzee firstly. The office where the London bomb was planted of the ANC, what does it have to do Mr Chairman, with Ruth First? Is it stated that she visited the office or what is the link Mr Chairman, or Jeannette Schoon?

With respect Mr Chairman, as I understand your ruling the cross-examination cannot go as wide as credibility on as wide a basis as you want to, it has to have relevance with the incident. Now the question is, where is the relevance pertaining to the application in respect of Ruth First and Jeannette Schoon?

Mr Chairman, I may say at this point in time that it seems to me that Mr Berger holds a brief for the ANC. That is the idea that I'm getting Mr Chairman. If he keeps on asking questions about the ANC offices, and the same line of questioning was followed by his leader, Mr Bizos, and that links up with the probability and the possibilities I raised Friday on what is the basis of their brief. And I object against this cross-examination.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't go so far as to say that but I don't see the relevance of this to the credibility of anyone appertaining to the applications of the First family or the Schoon family.

MR BERGER: Chairperson, all the witness - it's unfortunate that I have to disclose the bottom line of my cross-examination, Chairperson, because ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: We're not here playing games: "Unfortunate I have to disclose". We are here to find out the facts, not to score points. What is the point you wish to make.

MR BERGER: Chairperson, cross-examination, one of the elements of cross-examination is the element of surprise. The point I'm on now, I've moved on from General Coetzee, all the witnesses who have testified so far have said that they were, they had been given strict instructions to make sure that there was no loss of life.

Mr McPherson testified, and he was led on this, that this was an industrial area, there were industrial buildings around the ANC's offices in London. I'm putting to the witness on the basis of the photographs that they looked at, that the top three floors, three out of the four floors of those buildings were occupied by, were people's residences.

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible] two were residential and one was shops. That is what you had said the ANC offices in London consisted of.

MR BERGER: The ground floor ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: A four story building, the ground floor of which were shops and the next three were residential.

MR BERGER: Correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Where did the ANC have its offices?

ADV DE JAGER: Did they occupy the shops or the residential rooms?

MR BERGER: Chairperson, from the photograph that I'm looking at there are residences on either side. It's not one building which stands separate from other building, it's a row of buildings. I understand that this is how many buildings look in London. And on either side of these buildings are residences and on either sides of the ANC's offices there are residences.

CHAIRPERSON: You said: "The ANC office building consisted of". All of us that have been to London know there are buildings, one building and the next. Did the ANC building consist of offices, because if it did you were totally misleading him saying it was three stories of residential.

MR BERGER: Chairperson, can I read what I have in front of me? 28 Penton Street is a four storey building plus cellar and comprises shop and commercial use on the ground floor and residential on the upper three floors. This was part of an application which was directed to the City Council in order to allow the ANC to occupy offices in 28 Penton Street.

What I am saying is that from the photograph it's apparent that right around, obviously the ANC had an office, I'm not suggesting that the ANC personnel lived, had that office as their residence, obviously the ANC's office was there, but all around Chairperson, is what I'm saying, it was residential use. That's what I'm saying.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you saying the ANC did not occupy the building, because up to now the evidence throughout has been the ANC building, as I understood it.

MR BERGER: Chairperson, I don't have instructions from the ANC, that's ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Well you shouldn't question unless you have information.

MR BERGER: Well I'm explaining to you Chairperson, what the information is before me.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that is that the ANC had no offices in the building. There were shops on the ground floor and three storey of residential.

MR BERGER: No, Chairperson, I never said that.

CHAIRPERSON: That is how you started your questioning when I interrupted you, Mr Berger.

MR BERGER: Chairperson, it's obvious that the ANC had offices in the building. My learned leader, Mr Bizos put to Williamson that Ms Jill Marcus had her office in the same office as the printing press. It wasn't suggested that that was residential property.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Berger, my note about your first question: The ANC building consisted of a four story building, the ground floor was shops and the top three floors were residential. So that's why I asked where were the ANC offices. ...[inaudible]

MR BERGER: Chairperson, I don't know if it will help for me to show the photograph that I'm looking at but it's one continuous building. The ANC had offices in that building. Those were not residential, that was not residential property. An application had been made to the Town Council to change it from residential to offices so that the ANC could occupy their offices in that building.

If I could just ...[intervention]

MR CORNELIUS: Chairperson, Cornelius ...[intervention]

MR BERGER: Chairperson, if I made an error to say that the ANC office was, I don't think that I said that the ANC office was on the ground floor but if I gave the impression that there was the ANC office and three floors of residential property above it, then I'm mistaken. What I'm looking at is an application to the City Council to convert part of that building into offices for the purposes of ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: When was that application made?

MR BERGER: Chairperson, I don't know. It was before the ANC moved into the offices. Chairperson, can I just make my point and then perhaps it will be easier for the witness to comment?

Mr McPherson, my point is simply this ...[intervention]

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, the point should be the relevance to Jeannette Schoon and Ruth First, that should be the point.

MR CORNELIUS: That was the basis of my objection as well.

MR DU PLESSIS: The offices in London, the ANC offices, how does that have a bearing to Jeannette Schoon and Ruth First?

MR VISSER: And Mr Chairman, please allow me to add that General Coetzee does not apply in regard to Jeannette Schoon and Ruth First. With reference to that ruling Mr Chairman, in case you're interested, it's page 309 of the Pretoria record.

ADV DE JAGER: ...[inaudible] Pretoria record?

MR VISSER: While my learned friend ...[intervention]

MR BERGER: I'm sorry Mr Chairman, I didn't know that you were waiting for me. I thought my learned friend, Mr Visser was talking.

Mr McPherson, this is my proposition that I'm putting to you, that people were living in the vicinity of the ANC office, and perhaps if I called it a building I'm incorrect, perhaps I should have called it a terrace, would that make a difference?

MR McPHERSON: It could have been possible that there were people staying in the vicinity.

MR CORNELIUS: Mr Chairman, with all due respect, I know this is a ridden horse, what is the relevance of this to First and Schoon?

MR BERGER: The relevance Chairperson, is that the group kept the office under surveillance for a number of days, in fact I think Mr McPherson said two weeks. The reason that the attack on the SACP offices was called off, apparently, is because there was a paint shop nearby or next door and there were two elderly people living above the paint shop and it was thought that if the paint shop caught alight or exploded, the two elderly people would be injured. It was argued or evidence was given by all the witnesses to say that the ANC offices were targeted because there would be no loss of life.

As a matter of credibility if one can establish that there were in fact people living in the vicinity of the ANC offices, very close to the ANC offices, that surely, I would argue, would affect the credibility of the witnesses who say that: "We targeted the ANC offices because we believed that there would be no loss of life".

ADV DE JAGER: In fact there was no loss of life. There was no loss of life, so whether it was luck or whether it was due to their careful planning, that's another thing but the fact of the matter is there was no loss of life.

MR BERGER: But that's the question, Advocate de Jager, whether it was luck or whether it was due to their careful planning. That is the question.

MR CORNELIUS: Mr Chairman, with all due respect, the only question should be relevance.

CHAIRPERSON: And what has that got to do with your two applications you are concerned with? You are not involved in the London bombing, you have not objected.

MR BERGER: Chairperson, you said to Mr Visser last week: "If I find that General Coetzee is a liar about other incidents, not the London bomb, does that really mean that I must give him amnesty in respect of the London bomb"? I'm using that same analogy in reverse.

MR CORNELIUS: Mr Chairman, with respect ...[intervention]

MR BERGER: It tests the evidence of not only this witness, it tests the evidence of Mr Williamson and it will ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Well why didn't you ask Mr Williamson about it? Mr Bizos was not backwards in the questions he asked. Mr Williamson was the man who knew the building, he used to go and visit it. Why wasn't he asked about all this?

MR BERGER: He was asked certain questions, Chairperson, he was asked about the school, which I'm coming to, he was asked about the shops which were damaged 50 metres down the road, he was asked about the possibility of people being injured, he was asked.

CHAIRPERSON: And about people living there?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, I was in fact asked about people living there and I said there were people in the immediate vicinity and that was one of the specific ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: You are not giving evidence now Mr Williamson.

MR WILLIAMSON: Sorry, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Carry on, Mr Berger, let's try and get ...[indistinct]

MR BERGER: Mr McPherson, did you see people living in the area?

MR McPHERSON: Not that I was aware of.

MR BERGER: After two weeks of surveillance, you didn't?

MR McPHERSON: Not that I was aware of, and especially in the building there would have been lights on in the evening higher up, on the higher floor, if any people stayed there. The times I was at the offices I couldn't, I haven't seen any lights on in the building itself.

CHAIRPERSON: The plan you put it and the plan we have later got, Exhibit BB, appears to indicate this building was the only building in the portion between Pentonville Road and White Lion Street facing onto Penton Street.

MR McPHERSON: That is how I still recall it, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Well there is only one building on this plot of land, that is what you've called the ANC building.

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BERGER: Mr McPherson, I'm not going to spend much more time on this but was there not an Italian delicatessen in that row of terraces? Were there not other shops nearby the terraced onto or adjoined onto the building that the ANC's offices were in?

MR McPHERSON: That could be possible Chairperson, however I can't recall it right now. I know that there was a bar and grill restaurant on the western flank against White Lion Street.

MR BERGER: The White Lion School that you're talking about, that was a ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: The White Lion "Straat", Street.

MR McPHERSON: Sorry, Street.

MR BERGER: Was there not a school called the White Lion School?

MR McPHERSON: It is possible.

MR BERGER: In fact the White Lion Free(?) School, to give it its full name.

MR McPHERSON: It is possible Mr Chairman.

MR BERGER: Well you were doing surveillance, you would have seen that.

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR BERGER: And that school was at the rear of the building that the ANC office was housed in.

MR McPHERSON: That is entirely correct, Chairperson.

MR BERGER: And that school went up to 11 years old, did you know that?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, I believe so, I testified to that this morning.

MR BERGER: Is it correct that whilst you were doing surveillance on the office, you were also doing surveillance on Mr Joe Slovo?

MR McPHERSON: I think we went past his house once but it wasn't to target him, it was purely for interest sake to see where he lived.

MR BERGER: Who did you go with to have a look at Mr Slovo's house?

MR McPHERSON: Myself and Captain Jimmy Taylor.

MR BERGER: And the other members of your group know that you had gone to look at Mr Slovo's house?

MR McPHERSON: I don't know Mr Chairman.

MR BERGER: How did you know where Mr Slovo's house was?

MR McPHERSON: We had his address.

MR BERGER: From where?

MR McPHERSON: From our information reports.

MR BERGER: Who gave it to you?

MR McPHERSON: Various agents, I can't remember their names.

MR BERGER: When did they give it to you?

MR McPHERSON: Over a number of years the information was collected regarding the movements of Joe Slovo in London.

MR BERGER: And you had ready access to that information?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, we worked at head office at the Security Branch and files were at the disposal of everyone.

MR BERGER: This was your first trip to London, is that correct?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairperson.

MR BERGER: So you didn't know where Mr Slovo's house was?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BERGER: When did you go and look at Mr Slovo's house?

MR McPHERSON: During those two weeks, I cannot tell you now which day it was.

MR BERGER: When the other members were also in London?

MR McPHERSON: Correct.

MR BERGER: And what did you tell them when you went to have a look at Mr Slovo's house?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, we met that one time on a Friday evening before we went to set the bomb, and I can't recall that I had discussed this with any of the other members.

MR BERGER: Why did you take Mr Slovo's address with you on this trip?

MR McPHERSON: Because out of interest's sake I wanted to go and see where he lived and if I'm correct I think we also went past Ronnie Kasrils' residence.

MR BERGER: You also took Mr Kasrils' address with you on the trip?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR BERGER: Just you, Mr McPherson, no-one else?

MR McPHERSON: No, I don't know about anybody else.

MR BERGER: Wasn't it particularly risky to go through customs with Mr Slovo's address and Mr Kasrils' address on your person?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, I think that under the circumstances I would have memorised it.

MR BERGER: Well what was Mr Slovo's address?

MR McPHERSON: I've forgotten that.

MR BERGER: You can remember the registration number of the car you drove but you can't remember Mr Slovo's address?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Chairperson.

MR BERGER: In what suburb was Mr Slovo's house?

MR McPHERSON: I don't know at this moment in time.

MR BERGER: Was it in central London, north of London, how far from the ANC offices was Mr Slovo's house?

MR McPHERSON: It was in one of the suburbs.

MR BERGER: Which one?

MR McPHERSON: I can't remember.

MR BERGER: How far from the ANC offices?

MR McPHERSON: Easily 40 kilometres.

MR BERGER: And where was Mr Kasrils' house?

MR McPHERSON: It was also in a suburb.

MR BERGER: The same suburb as Mr Slovo's house?

MR McPHERSON: I don't believe so, I think it was adjacent to his suburb.

MR PENZHORN: The next-door suburb?

MR McPHERSON: I believe so.

MR BERGER: And you don't know the name of the suburb either?

MR McPHERSON: No.

MR BERGER: What sort of a house was Mr Slovo living in?

MR McPHERSON: As far as I can remember it was a double story house, the same as these semi-detached houses in a circular road.

MR BERGER: And what type of house, can you please describe, that Mr Kasrils was living in?

MR CORNELIUS: Mr Chairman, with all due respect, I don't want to delay the proceedings but what is the relevance of this? Cornelius for McPherson.

CHAIRPERSON: Now that he has come to Mr Slovo himself, there may well be relevance.

MR CORNELIUS: I note it's 4 o'clock.

CHAIRPERSON: Carry on.

MR BERGER: Thank you Chairperson.

Could you please describe Mr Kasrils' residence?

MR McPHERSON: If I remember correctly it was a similar type of structure, a double story house.

MR BERGER: Also in a semi-circle?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, also in a semi-circle. In order to enter the front door one would have to move down a stairway, if I remember correctly.

MR BERGER: And when you and Mr Taylor got back to the rest of the members of the team, after you had gone to have a look at Mr Slovo's house and Mr Kasrils' house, did you tell them that you'd gone to have a look at Mr Slovo's house and Mr Kasrils' house?

MR McPHERSON: No, I don't believe so. What was of importance to us that evening was the ANC office and we focused on that.

MR BERGER: Now this was on the very Friday that you placed the bomb?

MR McPHERSON: No.

MR BERGER: I beg your pardon, the very Friday that you had your final meeting?

MR McPHERSON: That's right.

MR BERGER: Mr McPherson, I must put it to you that it's absolutely astounding that you go and have a look at Mr Slovo's house and Mr Kasrils' house out of interest and you don't mention it to anyone of your fellow members.

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, we were with Intelligence and for years we worked with these subjects, these suspects, and by nature of the situation I would want to have acquainted myself with the environment where these people were living. If I had to task other agents, I would have to be able to tell them on a first-hand level: "This is where this person is living, this is how the house looks, this is how the environment looks".

MR BERGER: Up to that point in time, how long had you been in the Security Police?

MR McPHERSON: 15 years.

MR BERGER: And this is the first time that you had been sent to London?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct. For 13 years or 14 years I was with the Security Branch in Durban and in August 1981, on the 3rd of August, I joined the Intelligence Unit in Pretoria.

MR BERGER: Isn't it correct that photographs were taken of Mr Slovo?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, various photos were taken.

MR BERGER: No, no, Mr McPherson. On that trip photographs were taken of Mr Slovo?

MR McPHERSON: No, I didn't have a camera with me, or no, I did have a camera with me, however we didn't take any photos of Joe Slovo.

MR BERGER: If I told you that photographs were taken of Mr Slovo carrying a pint of milk and a baguette?

MR McPHERSON: That could be, but I didn't do it.

MR BERGER: Well why is it possible?

MR McPHERSON: Perhaps someone else from the team took a photo, it's very possible.

MR BERGER: And not have told you about it?

MR McPHERSON: That is possible, it's highly possible.

MR BERGER: Were all the members of the team involved going off on frolics of their own? Whilst you were meant to be surveilling the ANC offices and the SACP offices, all the members were going on frolics of their own looking for Joe Slovo?

MR McPHERSON: It could be that Mr Williamson issued other instructions to other members of which we didn't necessarily know. In this case no instruction was given to me to take a photo of Joe Slovo. If he had given this instruction to another member of the team, they would have probably carried it out then.

MR BERGER: It's your evidence that at no stage during your stay in London, did either you or anyone of the members of your group in your presence mention the name Joe Slovo?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

MR BERGER: When you got back to - Chairperson, I see it's five past four, can I continue?

When you got back to your office or to your room that Friday night, you never said to anyone in the group you'd gone to have a look at Joe Slovo's house and we think it might be possible to place a bomb there as well?

MR McPHERSON: Under no circumstances, no.

MR BERGER: Would it have been possible to place a bomb at Mr Slovo's house?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, anything is possible but that's speculative.

MR BERGER: Well it was undesirable to put a bomb at the SACP offices, would you have recommended that a bomb be placed at Mr Slovo's house?

MR McPHERSON: That was not our instruction and therefore I wouldn't have made such a suggestion.

MR BERGER: Well, you went to General Coetzee with a proposition about blowing up Joe Slovo, that wasn't an order to you and yet you thought it's quite alright to go to General Coetzee and offer the suggestion, why didn't you to the same now, to Mr Williamson?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, when one is carrying Intelligence work and when it comes to this sort of action one only deals with a specific instruction. The possibility exists that when you go on one of your own frolics as you have put it, and you accidentally kill someone who is working for European or British Intelligence and you on your own go and kill someone, the consequences could be that a very important liaison person from another Intelligence Services is killed and on the basis of that you lose a lot of information.

ADV DE JAGER: Yes, but you must have known that Mr Slovo was not working for the British Intelligence and also not for your Intelligence.

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, this example which I've mentioned was strictly hypothetical. It was the custom that one could only act according to instructions. It could be that there may be an important South African Agent with Joe Slovo, if we are speaking of him, and he could be garnering very important information from him on a regular basis and now you go and kill Joe Slovo and you could actually be hampering a very important operation.

So one only acted in specific instruction. To kill Joe Slovo was not at all our instruction, it was about the ANC offices and about the SACP offices and this is a principle in which we had been trained in and which was enforced upon us, that we would do only that which we had been tasked with and that one would not move beyond the ambit of one's instruction.

MR BERGER: But Mr McPherson, you had done precisely that when you went to General Coetzee to suggest to him that Mr Slovo be killed.

MR McPHERSON: Yes, I did go to General Coetzee, that's correct, and I went to ask permission. As he said: "You can go ahead", then I would have accepted that General Coetzee knew that by killing Joe Slovo we would not hamper any operation.

MR BERGER: Why didn't report back to Mr Williamson or to Brigadier Goosen that: "We know where Mr Slovo lives, it's possible to place a bomb there and to kill him or to kill him in another way"? And why didn't you make a similar suggestion that Mr Slovo be taken out at that time?

MR McPHERSON: Because our instruction at that point was only involved with the SACP and ANC offices and I didn't see the need for presenting alternative options.

MR BERGER: It also wasn't your task to go and have a look at Mr Slovo's house or Mr Kasrils' house, was it?

MR McPHERSON: No, nobody told me to go and look where he lived, I did this out of interest and also to create background for myself and also in order to expand my task at the Security Office, it was necessary for me to go and see where this person lived because many agents reported back about his movements and to me it was of importance to know where he lived and what his circumstances were there and so forth.

MR BERGER: Which ANC members did you observe in your two weeks surveillance of the ANC offices and the SACP offices? Well let's start with the ANC office, who did you observe?

MR McPHERSON: Personally I didn't notice a specific person that went in that I recognised. There were two events when a person entered the building but I did not recognise them.

MR BERGER: Did you take photographs of any of the people entering or exiting the ANC offices, during your two weeks surveillance?

MR McPHERSON: No, by taking photos on the scene one could have placed oneself in a very complicated situation because it was clear at that time that British Intelligence also had a personal interest in the ANC and especially in the South African Communist Party's offices.

There would have been surveillance from their side and if you went there openly with a camera taking photos, you yourself could be placed under surveillance because the British would immediately realise: "Oh, this is another team, what are they doing here", that's why we didn't take any photos.

CHAIRPERSON: What was your position in Intelligence at that time?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, at that stage I think I was at the Africa desk.

CHAIRPERSON: That's what my recollection was.

MR McPHERSON: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: What function was there - what part of the Africa desk leader's function was it to familiarise himself with houses in London?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, although the Africa desk had been allocated to me, our Intelligence gathering broadened but it was important to concentrate on that aspect of your desk work. There were many of us in the Intelligence Unit at that stage. It was right at the beginning, we were still in the beginning phases of establishing the Intelligence Unit and by nature of the situation, even though one didn't work at the Foreign desk, by means of agents and informers in Africa some of who visited London, if I had first-hand knowledge of the position of Joe Slovo's house then I would have been in a personal position to task my agents better should they visit London from Africa.

MR BERGER: Who did you pass that information on to?

MR McPHERSON: Chairperson, that's a little difficult for me to say to whom I would have conveyed that information, for example I had an agent who was based in Malawi and at a certain stage he also went over to London and this is the sort of person whom we would give guidance to before that person went on a mission, so that we could properly brief him regarding the possible situation which he might find on the other side. It could be that I would have given this type of information to that agent.

MR BERGER: Other than the address which you already had, what other information could you possibly have given to this agent?

MR McPHERSON: Perhaps which bus routes he should take, which underground stations he should stop at and so forth if he were to go in that direction.

MR BERGER: You've forgotten all of that now?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: But didn't you have agents in London?

MR McPHERSON: That's correct, Lieutenant Peter Castleton who was our principal operations agent.

CHAIRPERSON: And others?

MR McPHERSON: There were others, yes.

MR BERGER: And you never shared that information with Mr Castleton, did you?

MR McPHERSON: No, no, ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: He wouldn't need it, he got the information from the files. They knew all about where Joe Slovo lived, didn't they?

MR McPHERSON: Yes, Peter Castleton among others, was in a position to carry out surveillance and during his time in London, when he was posted there, he was the one who took the most photos and sent them through to us. He was placed there, he lived there and it wouldn't have been necessary for me to get Peter Castletonís address.

MR BERGER: Wasn't this bomb intended to kill any ANC leaders who might be in the building?

MR McPHERSON: Not at all Mr Chairman.

MR BERGER: It was 4,5 kilogram bomb, wasn't it?

MR McPHERSON: That is correct.

MR BERGER: Why in response to a question from my learned friend, Mr du Plessis, did you say you had no idea - I see Mr du Plessis was about to object.

MR McPHERSON: If you can remember when I testified I looked and Mr Jerry Raven or Mr Jerry Raven's amnesty application and from his report I read that it was 4 x 250gms.

ADV DE JAGER: How do you arrive at 4,5 kilograms now?

MR McPHERSON: Pardon Mr Chairman, he put it quickly and I didn't think there for a minute. It would have been about 2 kilograms, that's right or 1 kilogram.

CHAIRPERSON: Because you see Mr Bizos put 4,5 kilograms yesterday and today you've repeated that as being the weight.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, Mr Chairman, I wanted to ask what the basis of that is and if there is evidence going to be led about that and if so, that must be put to the witness Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: I think it's in one of the newspaper reports, I think the London newspaper report spoke of a 4,5 kilograms, the Foreign Affairs, Brand Fourie or whoever.

CHAIRPERSON: The headline of the Rand Daily Mail story:

"ANC London office wrecked by powerful 4.5 kilogram bomb"

MR DU PLESSIS: Well if that is the basis then my learned friend should state that he relies on newspaper articles for his facts, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: He hasn't said it, he asked it as I understood it.

MR BERGER: And the witness agreed.

CHAIRPERSON: The witness gave the figure.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, Mr Chairman, the point I'm trying to make is that Mr Berger has asked the question on that basis, he laid the words in the mouth of the witness and Mr Bizos did so too.

The only point I'm trying to make is, if there is any other basis apart from the newspaper article and if there is, if there is going to be evidence, what the evidence going to be and who is going to present it.

MR BERGER: Mr McPherson has just given ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: This was in a newspaper report and I think it's a fair question. The witness had said: "I think it did weigh 4.5 kilograms. That is the answer that he gave.

MR McPHERSON: That is correct Mr Chairman. I think on Friday we had this article here and I think I just remembered, the 4.5 I remembered from the article. It is not from my own knowledge.

CHAIRPERSON: I think we might have got to a stage now when we can adjourn until tomorrow morning 9 o'clock.

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