CHAIRPERSON: Before we start with todayís hearing there is one matter that I thought about over the weekend and I may have got it wrong but Iím not sure, and that is Mr Raven drew a sketch on the board there, of the device that he constructed. Is there any copy of that drawing available for the record?

MR RAVEN: Mr Chairman, as I remember correctly, Advocate du Plessis did hand in an exhibit which was drawn in exactly the same fashion during consultation. I canít remember the exact exhibits ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: If it has been, I didnít have my exhibits with me to check, but if it has been thatís -because the other maps or plans we have had handed in appear to be a little uncertain. Now I say so again, having had the benefit of looking at a map that Mr Visser made available of the City of London, which didnít seem to - north seemed to be in a somewhat different place from that in the plans we had. It is Exhibit LL, so it is there so we neednít bother about it.

MR BIZOS: Thank you Mr Chairman. We call Ms Gillian Slovo as the next witness who will affirm to speak the truth.

GILLIAN SLOVO: (affirms)

EXAMINATION BY MR BIZOS: Ms Slovo you are the middle daughter of the late Joe Slovo and Ruth First.

MS SLOVO: Thatís right.

MR BIZOS: And you and your two sisters, Sean and Robyn have been attending these hearings?

MS SLOVO: Yes we have.

MR BIZOS: I want you to briefly tell us about your parents whilst they were in South Africa. Was your father a member of the Johannesburg Bar?

MS SLOVO: He was.

MR BIZOS: Until the early sixties?

MS SLOVO: Until he left the country.

MR BIZOS: And was your mother a journalist?

MS SLOVO: She was a journalist until she was banned from being a journalist and then she was training to be a librarian.

MR BIZOS: And during the fifties, or even earlier whilst they were at university, did they identify themselves with the struggle of the disadvantaged and disenfranchised people in South Africa?

MS SLOVO: They did.

MR BIZOS: Did they identify themselves with the African National Congress and the Communist Party and the Congress of Democrats?

MS SLOVO: Yes, they were both members of the Communist Party and of the Congress of Democrats. I donít think you could be a member of the African National Congress if you were white in those days.

MR BIZOS: Yes, but they identified themselves with the aims and objects of the African National Congress?

MS SLOVO: They did.

MR BIZOS: On the 5th of December 1956 were they both arrested on a charge of treason?

MS SLOVO: They were.

MR BIZOS: And did your father and mother remain accused throughout the preparatory examination?

MS SLOVO: They did.

MR BIZOS: Were the charges withdrawn against them when the indictment, those who drew the indictment had problems during the late Ď50's, in 1958?

MS SLOVO: Yes, they were.

MR BIZOS: Now after the banning of the African National Congress in April 1960 and the State of Emergency that followed, did your father leave the country?

MS SLOVO: Yes, I think it must have been in 1962 that he left the country.

MR BIZOS: And you and your sisters and your mother remained behind?

MS SLOVO: Yes, that is right.

MR BIZOS: Now a film was made about your mother and we have been given notice by the representatives of the applicants in various forms as to the content of the film and what was supposed to have been said and - you have copy of this film?

MS SLOVO: Yes, I do.

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman we will seek, in view of the attitude taken by Counsel for the applicants, to show that film. We are in your - the Committeeís hands, Mr Chairman, as to when it is thought advisable that we should do so. We can do it now or we can do it after Ms Slovo has given her evidence. It may avoid laying background evidence, Mr Chairman, if we show it now.

CHAIRPERSON: It seems to me that that would be the probable effect and you would be able to merely refer to incidents in the film that you want any further evidence about rather than have to cover it first because I donít know if you will remember or if you do remember every word that appears ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: No, no I am sure not, Mr Chairman. Perhaps the portions can be identified. Yes could we show that film please.

CHAIRPERSON: If any members of the public wish to see the film there are one or two chairs available on the right otherwise they can come forward, they will have to Iím afraid sit on the floor here in front of me.

CHAIRPERSON: This is video no. 7 isnít it?

MR BIZOS: Yes Exhibit No.7. This is an original Mr Chairman, we understand that our learned friends have a copy. We would ask if their copy could actually become the exhibit, but if need be another copy can possibly be made. But I see that Mr Levine is tendering the copy as an exhibit. We are indebted to him for his kindness, Mr Chairman.

May we start Mr Chairman? Thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Before we go on this may be a convenient stage to take a short adjournment. Before we do, Mr Bizos, I would like to raise a matter with you which you can then raise with the witness. A great deal of what we have seen in the film, the video, appears in a book written by this witness.


CHAIRPERSON: I do not propose to suggest that it should go in as evidence as to the truth of all its contents but if she - I would be interested to know whether she is prepared to confirm to contents as ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: I will discuss it with her, Iím sure she will be only to happy to do that.

CHAIRPERSON: I think that it appears to be a carefully written book which she, I think she should be able to but if you could discuss it.

MR BIZOS: Thank you Mr Chairman, we will.

CHAIRPERSON: We will now take the short adjournment until 11 oíclock.





Ms Slovo you wrote a book called "Every Secret Thing - My Family, My Country."

MS SLOVO: Yes I did.

MR BIZOS: And did you purport to write official history or?

MS SLOVO: No, it is a book about my history and my familyís history through my eyes. But it is as accurate as I could get it.

MR BIZOS: Yes, and did you believe that what you wrote here relating to your parents, I beg your pardon - do you regard what is in here in relation to your parents and your own feelings about it to be correct?

MS SLOVO: Yes, I really tried to be true to them and to myself in the book.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Mr Chairman, judging by the number of copies are being floating on our tables I am reasonably certain that reference will be made to certain passages by our colleagues. It may be as well to put it in as an exhibit now, Mr Chairman. This belongs to my learned friend, but he says not this one but we will make a copy available as an exhibit if we could give it an exhibit number Mr Chairman. I think a numerical rather than an alphabetical one.


MR BIZOS: Exhibit 8, thank you Mr Chairman.

There are a few questions that I want to ask you about the film that we have seen. Who made it?

MS SLOVO: It was made by a director called Adam Louw and a film crew and with my co-operation.

MR BIZOS: Who edited the film?

MS SLOVO: Adam Louw and an editor.

MR BIZOS: And who had the final say as to what goes in and what comes out?

MS SLOVO: The director and the editor did although they did consult with me.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Who was asking the questions that were asked in the video?

MS SLOVO: That was the director, Adam Louw.

MR BIZOS: Do you know who is the person ....(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Before you go on from there - is there another film, "A World Apart"?

MS SLOVO: Yes there is. That is a film that was written by my sister.

CHAIRPERSON: And that has nothing to do with this film.

MS SLOVO: It has nothing to do with this film.


MR BIZOS: We can make it available if it is required, Mr Chairman but no reference has been made to it, itís a...

CHAIRPERSON: I merely saw reference to it in the book.

MR BIZOS: In the book, yes. Do you know who made the speech at your motherís funeral in Mozambique?

MS SLOVO: The speech that was on the film, I donít even know if it was made at my motherís funeral. I think itís either a voice over that was put on the film that they showed in Mozambique or it could have been Samora Machel, I have no idea.

MR BIZOS: Now we heard a phrase that your mother fought in the trenches. Did she?

MS SLOVO: Not with her shoes. No I think that, you know that was a metaphor for the way my mother spoke out against apartheid.

MR BIZOS: Yes, now let us get some more about your mother.

What did she do when you were in the United Kingdom?

MS SLOVO: She worked as a freelance journalist first off. She wrote a number of books the first of which was an account of her time in solitary detention and then she wrote a book on Libya, a book on coups in Africa, a book on South West Africa, a book with two other people on sanctions in South Africa and with a co-author a book on Olive Schreiner, a biography on Olive Schreiner. And in the Ď70's she took a job a Durham University teaching sociology.

MR BIZOS: Was she politically active whilst she was in the United Kingdom and before she went to Mozambique?

MS SLOVO: She was very active inside the anti-apartheid movement, both in Britain and throughout Europe. She was much in demand as a speaker.

MR BIZOS: Do you know whether she was a member of the Communist Party in exile?

MS SLOVO: She was a member of the Communist Party and of the ANC.

MR BIZOS: There has been a suggestion that she was a member of the central committee of the Communist Party whilst she was in the United Kingdom and possibly thereafter. What do you say about that?

MS SLOVO: She was not a member of the central committee of the Communist Party. She was far too critical of the Communist Party to ever want to be a member or for them to want her to be.

MR BIZOS: What was the nature of your motherís criticism of the Communist Party?

MS SLOVO: She was very critical of the Soviet Union and the way it was organised.

MR BIZOS: Was that criticism by your mother well received by the other members of the Communist Party leadership?

MS SLOVO: No it wasnít. My mother was rather outspoken, unusually outspoken for the circles that she moved in and I remember my father once telling me that if it wasnít for his position in the South African Communist Party, my mother might have been expelled because she spoke out against things she didnít like in a way that was not generally accepted you were allowed to speak.

MR BIZOS: Labels have been bandied about here, what do you say about these labels relating to your mother? Was she a Trotskyite?

MS SLOVO: No she was never a Trotskyite? My mother was of the left. She never left the Communist Party, I think because, possibly of what it might mean if she had left and the publicity that would accrue. But her hopes were for a democracy in South Africa. That is what she used her intellect and her pen and her tongue to argue for.

MR BIZOS: It has also been suggested that she was on the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress - what do you say about that?

MS SLOVO: She was never on anything.

MR BIZOS: Was she invited to high profile ANC, Communist Party meetings, like the Moromorov(?) Conference or any of those?

MS SLOVO: No she was not.

MR BIZOS: For how long did she teach at the university in the United Kingdom?

MS SLOVO: Three or four years, Iím not sure.

MR BIZOS: Why, how did she come to go to Mozambique?

MS SLOVO: I think it was the time that the Mozambicans were establishing the university there and she was invited to go for a short term to help set up the Centre of African Studies, and she took a sabbatical from her post at the university of Durham and went initially for a year. She continued to stay there but did not actually formally give notice to Durham University until about five months before she was killed.

CHAIRPERSON: She must have been highly thought of by the University in that as I understand it, she remained nominally a member of their staff for about five years while she was in Mozambique. The whole time, almost the whole time she was in Mozambique, they were content to have her as one of their staff.

MS SLOVO: I think she was very highly thought of. She was very widely published which is always a bonus in an English university. She had written a lot of books and I think she was a very good teacher and in fact I and my sister, my eldest sister Sean went to Durham on the celebration of the election in 1994 because they were - Durham City Council has named a building after our mother and we met a number of her students who many years later had come to tell us what a fantastic teacher she was.

MR BIZOS: There is a clip there with her students around her in Mozambique, apparently speaking about the Freedom Charter. What was she really teaching - was she teaching South African guerrilla fighters or others?

MS SLOVO: South African guerrilla fighters did not speak Portuguese. She was teaching her students the history of the region in which they lived, Southern Africa and the place that the Freedom Charter had had in the contemporary history of South Africa. You know I think it is interesting that my mother who was always very bad with languages spoke such good Portuguese and the reason she did was she had to, because that is where her work was. Her students were Mozambicans who didnít speak English and she had to learn how to speak the language fluently, unlike my father who never learnt to say more than "thank you" and "please", because he spent his working life and his living life with South Africans who spoke English.

MR BIZOS: We have a short filial exchange Mr Chairman, Iím sure that nobody will take it amiss. But what was she researching or doing or writing about at the time of her death?

MS SLOVO: She had devised a project for the Centre of African Studies which was that they, she and her colleagues were training Mozambican students in research techniques, in sociological research techniques at the same time as actually doing actual research into the country that was much needed by the government which had no understanding really of the economy that they had inherited because the Portuguese had just left. And what they were specifically concentrating on was the relationships between Mozambican miners and the South African mines. I think nobody knew at the time whether the South African mines were subsidising Mozambican peasantry or whether it was the other way round, that the fact that the South African mines could pay Mozambican workers so low because inside Mozambique there was a subsistence agriculture that was subsidising them and they were working on this. In fact she was working on a book which was "The Completed Report", which was almost finished when she was killed and was subsequently published posthumously, it was called, "Black Gold".

MR BIZOS: Who was the breadwinner in the family from the time that you and your family went into exile?

MS SLOVO: It was always our mother, once we were in exile.

MR BIZOS: She earned a university salary.

MS SLOVO: She earned money first as a freelance journalist and book writer and then her university salary.

MR BIZOS: Your father, was he well paid in the work he had undertaken?

MS SLOVO: My father was full-time for the ANC and it wasnít a great salary. I think they paid some of the mortgage on the house and his living expenses and I think he used to get a clothes allowance occasionally but for the family needs my mother was the breadwinner.

MR BIZOS: Now what contact did you have with your mother whilst she was in Mozambique?

MS SLOVO: I visited her I think three times in the time she was there and we wrote to each other constantly. She was a very faithful correspondent and wrote to all her three daughters separately and we replied to her. And she would come to England once a year to see us and her mother who was then living in London.

MR BIZOS: Did you address the letters to her in a code name?

MS SLOVO: We addressed the letters to her under the name that she had always used, Ruth First and sent them openly to the University of Edward de Mindanao, which was her address.

MR BIZOS: Did she ever suggest to you that you shouldnít use the post in order to communicate with her?

MS SLOVO: Absolutely not.

MR BIZOS: Was that the same with your father?

MS SLOVO: No, I mean we would never have written a letter to our father with his name on it. We were - it was quite clear that our father was a target by the South African government and the security forces and that a letter would never go in his name. He had no postal address in Mozambique. I mean I assumed if people wanted to write to him they would have had to forward it to the ANC who would then check the letter and then pass it on to him.

MR BIZOS: Would your mother have opened the letter addressed to your father?

MS SLOVO: Absolutely not. Not only was she fully aware of the danger that my father was in but my parents were also very respectful of each other. He would not have opened a letter addressed to her and she would not have opened a letter addressed to him.

MR BIZOS: Did your mother consider herself as a possible target for assassination?

MS SLOVO: At this point no, I mean her mail was not checked. She lived openly. She worked in the university. Her energies were actually concentrated on Mozambique and I think it was a wonderful experience for my mother because she had always been rather critical of the movements in which she had made her contribution and in Mozambique I think she felt that she was really making a contribution towards helping a developing country get on its feet with the skills that she had got over the years.

MR BIZOS: Was she part of the armed struggle in Mozambique?

MS SLOVO: She was not.

MR BIZOS: Why do you say that?

MS SLOVO: Well to be part of the armed struggle sheíd have to either be having a planning capacity or be a soldier. She did neither of that and in fact my mother had her criticisms of the armed struggle. She felt the ANC was spending too much of its energy and resources on an armed struggle that she thought could never win the country and that she felt that more work should be put into political organising.

MR BIZOS: Did she keep those views to herself or did she express them freely?

MS SLOVO: My mother never kept any of her views to herself. She expressed them freely in front of us to my father and to very many other people around.

MR BIZOS: If any sort of efficient intelligence gathering service took the trouble to find out what your mother was doing and what view she had in relation to the things happening at the time, do you believe that they would have had any difficulty in finding out the facts?

MS SLOVO: I donít. My mother was well known internationally and her life was lived quite in the open. I mean it, I cannot believe that a man like Craig Williamson who spent many years abroad moving in the kind of circles that my mother would have moved in, did not know fully what she was doing and what her interests were.

MR BIZOS: You have heard Mr Williamsonís account that the letter that he caused to be sent to your mother with a bomb in it was addressed to your father, care of your mother. What do you want to say about that?

MS SLOVO: I do not believe it. I cannot imagine how he could expect that any of us would believe it. My mother would never have opened a letter addressed to my father, care-of her or anything else.

MR BIZOS: Or that it was addressed to your father and mother jointly - what do you say about that?

MS SLOVO: I donít believe that either. They had lived very separate lives as far as their working lives were concerned. As far as I can gather that envelope was taken out of the post and was some kind of official envelope, perhaps UN related. The UN and various bodies would write quite often to my mother, in fact the conference that she had organised and was finishing on the day she was killed, I think was sponsored by the UN. But they would never have written to my father. They had no common interest in them and they would not have written to my father and my mother together. There was no reason.

MR BIZOS: Where was your mother living at the time of her death?

MS SLOVO: She was living with my father in what was some kind of government protected compound. It was a relatively recent move. Until that point they had lived together in a flat in Maputo but the Mozambican government, I think it must have been after the Matolo Raid had decided that it was too dangerous for my father to be living so out in the open and had therefore persuaded them, much against my motherís will, to move into this government compound.

MR BIZOS: Was she known to any wide circle of people as Mrs Slovo?

MS SLOVO: Since my childhood, my mother had always used her maiden name, Ruth First. She used it on everything she wrote. I think, and I think I am right on this, she actually when she got a British passport went through a whole palaver to get the passport changed from Slovo to First because when she travelled she always did it under the name Ruth First and she didnít want the ticket and the passport to have different names on them. And I also remember her talking about what a relief it was to be in Mozambique because under Portuguese custom it is not unusual for a woman to use their maiden name for banking and filing purposes so for once in her life people werenít questioning her as to why arenít you using your husbandís name?

MR BIZOS: Youíve heard of the false story, deliberately put out that your father was responsible for your motherís death using the euphemism, strat kop which requires explanation. Would you please tell us how you and your sisters felt about this false story that was put out by the security police?

MS SLOVO: I canít describe it because I think it had no place in our understanding of what behaviour is about. Of course we knew it was an absolute falsehood. And that somebody could write that about our mother whom they had blown up and about our father who was left so devastated by it. And in fact for our father it was one of the few times that I ever saw him really angry. And of all the slanders that were printed about him in his years of exile, it is the only one that he sued because he was so angry that they should sink so low to do that.

MR BIZOS: Yes, the newspaper that published that did not submit itself to the jurisdiction of the English courts but judgment was nevertheless given against them in absentia.

MS SLOVO: It was and in fact they eventually did pay the damages that my father was awarded and he gave that money to, I think it was a childrenís charity in Mozambique.

MR BIZOS: Do you believe that Mr Williamson and Mr Raven did not know that that bomb was addressed to your mother?

MS SLOVO: No, I donít believe it. Iíve listened carefully to what they have to say and I just think it is inconceivable that first of all that they wouldnít have known who the envelope was addressed to. These, you know, ridiculous tales of seeing the logo and the stamp and the address but not the name for Mr Williamson and Mr Raven actually tried to get us to believe that you can a bomb and put it in an envelope without ever seeing the name on the envelope. Apart from that as far as I can understand from what they are both saying, they are expecting my mother to have taken an envelope that had my fatherís name on it which she would never have opened, and not only open it once but open it twice, in front of other people, open an envelope and find another envelope inside. My mother was not a stupid woman. She would not have done that.

MR BIZOS: Now, were you living in Cape Town in 1994 and 1995?

MS SLOVO: I was.

MR BIZOS: And is that where you started writing?

MS SLOVO: I didnít start writing there. I did the research. I actually wrote the book in London.

MR BIZOS: What is now known as Exhibit 8. Did you interview Mr Dirk Coetzee?

MS SLOVO: I did.

MR BIZOS: Where and when did that interview take place?

MS SLOVO: It took place sometime in November Ď94, in Pretoria in the offices of a legal resources centre of some kind. I have forgotten...

MR BIZOS: Yes. And what were you told about your motherís death?

MS SLOVO: I went to ask Dirk Coetzee what he knew about the men that had killed my mother and what he said to me is that he had met Craig Williamson in the corridor after the news of her death had broken and that Craig Williamson had said to him, "Did you see?". And that phrase was enough for Dirk Coetzee to know that Craig Williamson had had something to do with the bomb that had killed her.

MR BIZOS: Did you want to find out more about your motherís death?

MS SLOVO: I wanted to put a face and a name to the men who had killed her and I wanted to find out why they did it.

MR BIZOS: Did you eventually establish personal contact with Mr Williamson?

MS SLOVO: I did and I eventually saw him in Ď95, early Ď95.

MR BIZOS: Where did you see him?

MS SLOVO: I saw him in his offices, somewhere in Johannesburg and again I am afraid I have forgotten the address.

MR BIZOS: Did you record your conversation?

MS SLOVO: I did. I asked his permission and I recorded it on a small dictaphone machine and at the same time I wrote contemporaneous notes.

MR BIZOS: Can you give us some idea of they type of tape that you used for that, for the first interview?

MS SLOVO: It is a dictaphone machine that uses those small micro cassettes.

MR BIZOS: And did you have a second interview with him?

MS SLOVO: I saw him a month, maybe six weeks later at another - at a house of a friend of mine and that time because when I listened to the first tapes they were not very clear I used a proper cassette tape-recorder.

MR BIZOS: Also with his consent?

MS SLOVO: Also with his consent.

MR BIZOS: Before either the first or the second interview with Mr Williamson, did you see any newspaper article in relation to your motherís death?

MS SLOVO: Within a few days of my first meeting with Mr Williamson, the Philip van Niekerk article came out in The Observer where Mr Williamson admitted what he had told me and also named Jerry Raven. And at the same time in that article I saw that he had also admitted involvement in the murders of Jeanette and Katryn Schoon.

MR BIZOS: The Observer article is an exhibit before the committee. Was it available to you before the second interview?

MS SLOVO: It was.

MR BIZOS: During your interview did Mr Williamson dissociate himself with any statement of fact made in the newspaper report?

MS SLOVO: He did not.

MR BIZOS: When did you decide to make the film?

MS SLOVO: In early 1996.

MR BIZOS: You went to interview Mr Raven?

MS SLOVO: Yes I did.

MR BIZOS: Who accompanied you?

MS SLOVO: I was accompanied into his shop by the cameraman and the sound recorders.

MR BIZOS: You didnít make an appointment with him?

MS SLOVO: I didnít. I had heard that he was very angry that Craig Williamson had named him and that he would have refused to talk to journalists. And I thought if I surprised him that maybe I would be able to get the truth out of him. As it turns out I was wrong.

MR BIZOS: Was it important for you to get the truth about everyone that was involved in your motherís death?

MS SLOVO: Yes. I think we all, we wanted to know. We wanted to know who did it and why they did it.

MR BIZOS: As a professional writer and a journalist, would you, in the ordinary course of events, go and confront someone with a cameraman and ask him whether or not he was guilty of murder?

MS SLOVO: I would not and this is the first time I have ever done it and I hope I never have to do it again.

MR BIZOS: Why did you do it this way?

MS SLOVO: Because I thought that it might be the only way that I would be able to get the truth out of him and also I think that the cameraman and the sound recorders felt like protection for me. I thought that if he grew violent with me and, after all I had never met the man, all I knew was that he was a bomb-maker, that I would have some protection there.

MR BIZOS: How did his reaction in, more fully shown in the previous tape that was put in, Exhibit 7, 6 I beg your pardon, Exhibit 6, what inferences did you draw about the manner in which he denied it and the other things which he said?

MS SLOVO: When I first went in I suppose I expected a lot of reactions. The one thing I didnít expect was for him to say, Ďabsolutely not - he didnít do ití, and he seemed so extremely calm and composed about it and so sure of himself and - I mean I had known that he had been named a year before in an article in an English newspaper which was then in a South African newspaper and I wondered whether he had been waiting for this moment when somebody would walk in on him and had prepared what he was going to say.

But the thing that amazed me about it was his calm and also the fact that he didnít tell me to leave and the fact, you know if I was sitting in my place of work and somebody came in and accused me of being involved in a murder, I would call the police and if they didnít come I would walk out and I think the fact that he sat there for as long as he did confirmed to me that he had had something to do with it.

MR BIZOS: I want to deal with - do you know Mr Robert McBride?

MS SLOVO: I have met him.

MR BIZOS: Did you hear whether he knew anything about your motherís death?

MS SLOVO: Before I went to see Craig Williamson I heard that Craig Williamson had had conversations with Robert McBride about his past and I was given Robert McBrideís number and I phoned him, and again because I was fearful about going on my own, asked him if he would come in with me and he said he thought it would be fine and that I should go in on my own. And that if I wanted, after I had seen Craig Williamson, I should come and see him, which is what I did. I went to the Gauteng Legislature where he had an office.

MR BIZOS: Did he tell you whether or not he had any information about your motherís death?

MS SLOVO: He told me that Craig Williamson had talked to him of it and that he had taped Craig Williamson and he played a small section of his tape where Craig Williamson was talking about that and I think also reference was made to the Schoons in that section and with his permission I taped that onto my micro cassette.

MR BIZOS: Did Mr McBride say whether he had taped Mr Williamson with or without his consent?

MS SLOVO: He didnít tell me.

MR BIZOS: Where did you record the recording that Mr McBride had?

MS SLOVO: I recorded it in Mr McBrideís office onto my dictaphone machine, onto a separate little tape.

MR BIZOS: And letís deal with what you did with the tapes. Did you try to transcribe them and for what purpose in the United Kingdom?

MS SLOVO: I did try and transcribe them. I was writing my book and although of the whole book there is only one chapter that deals with my meetings with Craig Williamson, I wanted to make absolutely sure that when I quoted him, that I was completely accurate in representing him, in how I represented him. So although I had very full notes which are usually pretty reliable, I wanted to make absolutely sure that every word was right but I couldnít because I couldnít find a dictaphone machine in the whole of England that would use those micro cassettes. The format of those little dictaphones is different in the UK than it is in South Africa. And so later on, I asked somebody to transfer those micro cassettes onto a cassette that I could listen to.

MR BIZOS: And who did that?

MS SLOVO: It was done in a sound studio here in South Africa. I canít remember who did it but Iím sure I could find out.

MR BIZOS: Did you yourself, either by accident or design, interfere with the content of the tapes that you had taken of Mr Williamson?

MS SLOVO: No I did not and I had absolutely no reason to either.

MR BIZOS: What did you bring to South Africa when you came for the purposes of this hearing?

MS SLOVO: I posted from England before I came, copies of the cassette tapes that I had asked a friend to re-copy for me because I donít ever like to send by post originals to South Africa.

MR BIZOS: Were you in consultation asked to make the tapes available and the services of some transcribing service to make transcripts of?

MS SLOVO: My attorney did that - sent it to a transcribing service while I was still in England.

MR BIZOS: Were a number of attempts made to make proper transcripts of these?

MS SLOVO: When I came to South Africa I was asked to read the transcripts to see whether they seemed to be an accurate reflection of what I remembered had happened and at that point when I read them I had the tape that I had sent by post, and listening to it realised that my friend who had copied the original cassette had somehow not copied one side, so I had the original cassettes fedexed(?) out and another transcription was made of that side which was then added into the whole.

I then listened to the tapes at the same time as reading the transcription and trying to make sure that what was on the page was as accurate as possible to what was on the tape.

MR BIZOS: Did you make corrections on the..?

MS SLOVO: I made corrections, yes.

MR BIZOS: Did you intend the portion of McBrideís interview with Mr Williamson to be put before the committee?

MS SLOVO: I did not. What I hadnít realised was that when I gave the micro cassettes to somebody to put them onto cassette, I had also given the micro cassette that had Robert McBrideís portion with Craig Williamson and only when I saw the transcript did I see that there was a Mr - (dash) and only when I listened to the tape did I realise that that was Robert McBrideís voice and I told my attorney that was not part of my interview with Craig Williamson.

MR BIZOS: Nobody would mistake Mr McBrideís voice for yours.


MR BIZOS: It has been suggested by some of the legal representatives here that you were party to some sort of conspiracy to mislead the committee by putting up the last three or four pages of Exhibit X2. What do you say about that?

MS SLOVO: Itís ridiculous.

MR BIZOS: Now, you were in this hearing, did you hear Mr Williamson deny any portion of those passages put to him in any material respect?

MS SLOVO: No I did not.

MR BIZOS: You had this conversation, told us that you have contemporaneous notes, you listened to the tapes - was your ear more attuned to what was being said than any typist or transcriber that came new to it?

MS SLOVO: It was, I mean particularly in relation to my own voice which the typist had considerable difficulty deciphering because I was further away from the tape recorder than Mr Williamson and because my accent I think is hard for people to understand here. But the typist as well I think had some difficulty following what was going on because she was not aware of the subject matter and made quite a few what I would see as obvious mistakes in the sense that when Sharpeville was mentioned, she wrote "Saru", so it made no sense. Quite often she wrote instead of "police", a word that Mr Williamson used a lot, she wrote "fleet". So I had to actually listen very carefully to the tapes to then get them to reflect what actually is on the tapes and I was quite careful to, if I could not hear, put a question mark.

MR BIZOS: You have seen the corrections made by Mr Williamsonís legal representatives in Exhibit X2A..

CHAIRPERSON: Isnít it X2B, Mr Bizos?

MR BIZOS: B is it Mr Chairman, no I think it is A, Mr Chairman. Is it B? Iím sorry about that. Weíll change our marking.

Do you consider those amendments made to the transcript of any material importance, particularly in relation to the passages admitted by Mr Williamson to be correct?

MS SLOVO: I thought the changes that were made were extremely minor. I canít tell whether they were accurate unless I also listened to the tape again and looked at what they had done but I donít think they actually covered much of what Mr Williamson had conceded was true.

MR BIZOS: I want to read to you what Mr Williamson said in his application for amnesty. Page 5, Bundle 1-

"State political objectives sought to be achieved.

To weaken the ANC/SACP revolutionary alliance through killing or injuring key personnel involved in planning strategy against the South African state and in particular to disrupt SACP/Frelimo links in Mozambique."

Now letís take it one step at a time. Was your mother involved in planning and strategy against the South African State?

MS SLOVO: No she was not.

MR BIZOS: Some reference was made by Mr Williamson expanding this that ex post facto, because he says that he didnít send the bomb to your mother, your mother would have been a legitimate target and he expanded on this reason because of the influence he says your mother had, or may have had prior to her death in relation to the rapprochement that was taking place between the Mozambican government and the South African government. What do you say about that?

MS SLOVO: As far as I am aware, my mother was totally unaware of any rapprochement that was happening between the Mozambicans and the South African government by the time she died and not only that but as far as I am aware, so was the ANC. My mother I donít think would ever have given up her job in Durham if she had thought Nkomati was going to happen. It would have been a foolish thing for her to do because she would have known then that my father would no longer be in Mozambique and that things would become more insecure for her there. So it doesnít seem to make any sense to me.

MR BIZOS: Your mother was murdered in 1982. When was the Nkomati Accord?

MS SLOVO: I think it was Ď84.

MR BIZOS: Did it come as a surprise to your father and to others when it was announced?

MS SLOVO: It came as a very bad shock. Just a few days before my father was expelled from Mozambique he was informed that he was about to be expelled. He had known nothing about it beforehand.

MR BIZOS: Yes. So this reason that the killing was done for the purposes ...(tape ends) signing of the Nkomati Accord - has it any basis of fact as far as you are concerned and what you knew the state of mind of your father and mother was in 1982 about future relations of Mozambique and South Africa?

MS SLOVO: No, it was not.

MR BIZOS: Two, and the second reason is-

"To psychologically destabilise and so to politically weaken the ANC/SACP by causing fear and confusion within their ranks, especially through killing or injuring high ranking officials".

Was your mother a high ranking official of either the ANC or the SACP?

MS SLOVO: She was not.

MR BIZOS: Do you know what position, if any she held in the ANC at the time or about the time of her death?

MS SLOVO: She held no official position. She was an ordinary member.

MR BIZOS: There is talk about being a member of a unit. How high up is a unit in the structure of the ANC?

MS SLOVO: Every member of the ANC as their most minimum requirement has to attend a unit which is usually in my experience a combination of a discussion of whatís happening in South Africa, report-backs on news reports, a discussion of various aspects of theory and in my experience, an interminable discussion on fund-raising.

MR BIZOS: What do you say to the suggestion, Ďthat it would destabilise and prevent people from lending their support to the ANC.í? What affect did your motherís death have, in your view, on the resolve of the people involved in the struggle?

MS SLOVO: I think it made them angry that people in South Africa thought that they could send a bomb and kill my mother and in fact I think it probably made them have more resolve. It worked that way on me.

Up till the time that my mother was murdered I had very little to do with South African politics. I had certainly never attended an ANC meeting in my life but after she was killed I joined the ANC because I felt that they cannot do this. They cannot think that they can just send bombs to people in order to scare people off of having anything to do with what is happening in our country.

MR BIZOS: Well, you have dealt with the reasons that Mr Williamson gives as the purported reasons as to why he sent the bomb to your mother. Have you in your search for the truth, having heard the evidence here, come to any conclusion for yourself as to why your mother was sent a bomb?

MS SLOVO: I have listened carefully to what Mr Williamson said and I have seen the anger in his face as he, at his outburst where he said, ĎI donít care whether I killed Joe Slovo or Ruth First.í And the only conclusion that I can draw as to why this ridiculous story about envelopes and not seeing her name, is that he knows that she was not even in his terms, "a legitimate target", and that he killed her because he could not kill my father. It is obvious to me from the way that he has talked about the basement room, the jokes that he has made about my father - that he hated my father, as did many people in the security forces and I have had to listen to Mr Williamson saying as an aside something like, ĎI had respect for that grey old foxí, or however he referred to my father, thus getting a sort of fond laugh from this room and I think to myself how dare he tell that lie. He never had respect for my father, he hated him. He actually told a journalist after my father had died, as a joke, that you know on the day that - that it was hot in Johannesburg because they had forgotten to close the door when my father went in. i.e, that they had forgotten to close the door of hell. And this of a man who died of multiple myeloma which is one of the most excruciating cancers, most medical doctors will tell you, that you can possibly die of.

MR BIZOS: Mr Raven said that his heart goes out to you on the film and that he feels that he regrets that your mother was killed but that he was merely a bomb- maker. What do you say about this, these statements by Mr Raven?

MS SLOVO: Mr Raven said his heart went out to me at the same time as he was lying to me for twenty minutes about his lack of involvement in the bomb that killed my mother. But I can even understand that, I can understand that he got a fright, I walked in with a camera crew - he told the original lie and then he had to continue. That doesnít seem to be that crucial to me. What I cannot tolerate is the contempt in which we have been treated here. He is not even here today. But that also when he gave his so-called apology, he has been facing us for three weeks, myself and my two sisters, Sean and Robyn and he did not have the courtesy to even apologise to them and he thinks that he can come here and use my Christian name as if we are somehow friends in some venture.

MR BIZOS: Yes it isnít necessary to ask you about what Mr Williamson said because he didnít really say anything about that.

(Someone is finding it difficult to hear Mr Bizos)

CHAIRPERSON: That is why I am using the earphones that we are supplied with.

MR BIZOS: I am sorry Mr Chairman. I will try and speak a little louder.

Mr Williamson didnít say anything about that so we donít have to deal with Mr Williamsonís attitude.

Thank you Mr Chairman, I have no other questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Will we stay with the same order, Mr Visser?

MR VISSER: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, we do not appear for an applicant, nor do we appear for an implicated person which is involved at all in the Ruth First incident. We believe under those circumstances we have no right or locus standi to ask any questions, Mr Chairman and therefore we have no questions to the witness. Thank you.

MR BRITZ: Mr Chairman we agreed that we go in the order of the applications or applicants and it is going to be Mr Levine first.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR LEVINE: Mr Chairman, it is a little bit difficult to put questions to Ms Slovo at this angle. I wonder if it wouldnít be more convenient if my learned friend and Ms Slovo do not mind if she could sit on that empty space next to Mr Wagener?

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, for reasons which I do not wish to expand, Ms Slovo would prefer to remain where she is. We will move out Mr Chairman and my learned friend can move out onto that side and the angle situation will be solved, Mr Chairman. We will move out.

MR LEVINE: Mr Chairman, I really donít...

CHAIRPERSON: I think we will adjourn for five minutes and you can surely in that time sort out an answer to the problem. And bear in mind that it will not only affect Mr Levine, it may affect certain other persons who wish to question the witness and they can determine what arrangements they wish to make.

MR BIZOS: Let me assure you Mr Chairman, that - well it is an open hearing Mr Chairman. Ms Slovo feels very uncomfortable at the manner in which Mr Williamson looks at her, Mr Chairman and this is why we have made this arrangement.

ADV DE JAGER: If perhaps I think legal representatives could sit up a little nearer to the podium it may assist us in hearing them not so far down in the...

MR BIZOS: My learned friend has got no questions up there Mr Chairman. If he doesnít mind I think that that would suit Mr Levineís purposes.

CHAIRPERSON: Well we will adjourn to enable you to make those arrangements.




CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR LEVINE: Ms Slovo, I sympathise with you under the circumstances in which you have come to give evidence however I need to get some information from you and I trust you will understand and accept this.

You have just heard your Counsel stating that you do not like the way that Mr Williamson has been looking at you. Is that correct?

MS SLOVO: That is correct.

MR LEVINE: Now, of course you did not mind looking at Mr Williamson when you interviewed him twice at two venues in Johannesburg in 1985. That wasnít offensive in any way?

MS SLOVO: I didnít actually like being in the same room as him but I did look at him, yes.

MR LEVINE: Mr Williamsonís demeanour at this inquiry, at this hearing - has it in any way been offensive to you, by his actions and if so, could you explain how?

MS SLOVO: I think there have been certain points when Mr Williamson looks as if he is on the point of losing his temper and what has been difficult for me is the hatred that I feel emanating out of him towards my family.

MR LEVINE: Are you someone who has some degree or qualifications in psychology or sociology that you are able to deal with the behavioural patterns of individuals?

MS SLOVO: Mr Levine, I am telling you how I feel about him. I donít think I need to have a degree to be able to tell you that.

MR LEVINE: Well, let me draw an issue with you on what you have just said about Mr Williamsonís manifestations of anger and unpleasantness. I want to put to you that Mr Williamson has been the essence of decorum, patience and control throughout a very lengthy cross-examination and very lengthy evidence. Would you disagree with that?

MS SLOVO: Um, Mr Williamson is applying for amnesty. He seems to me to be doing what every applicant has had to do, including ones who have sat for three weeks in this room and not yet spoken.

MR LEVINE: Can we now get back to the question please?

MS SLOVO: Could you repeat the question?

MR LEVINE: Certainly. My, the question which I put to Ms Slovo was that Mr Williamson has been the essence of decorum, patience and good manners throughout a very lengthy cross-examination and throughout the giving of his evidence.

MS SLOVO: Well my experience is, Mr Williamson has controlled himself very well except for one morning which was after the tapes of my interviews with him had been handed in and I saw him looking at me, red in the face and glaring at me with a kind of triumph in his face when I was accused of doctoring the tapes.

MR LEVINE: Nobody accused you of doctoring tapes, Ms Slovo?

MR BIZOS: That is not a correct statement, Mr Chairman. We were accused of a conspiracy in relation to the tapes, tampering with them.

MR LEVINE: I do not recall that but let me clarify it for my purposes. I certainly did not accuse you of a conspiracy or of tampering with any tapes. Is that correct?

MS SLOVO: I think that is correct. I think it was Mr du Plessis.

MR LEVINE: Very well. Now, just to deal with something at the end of my learned friendís examination-in-chief, he said that he does not have to deal with what Mr Williamson had said because Mr Williamson said nothing about the issues in regard to your late mother and late father, in the manner in which you apparently were upset that Mr Raven dealt with it, And that therefore was nothing to put to you on what Mr Williamson had said. Do you recall that?

MS SLOVO: I recall it.

MR LEVINE: It is not correctly reflected because my express understanding of what Mr Williamson said was that he was extremely sorry for what had happened and he ended with his evidence by apologising profusely for what had taken place. Do you remember Mr Williamsonís apology?

MS SLOVO: I donít.

MR LEVINE: You donít. Well the record will speak for itself, Mr Chairman.

When your mother passed away, you were approximately some thirty years old, is that correct?

MS SLOVO: When my mother was killed I was, yes I was over thirty.

MR LEVINE: Yes, and how old were your sisters when your mother died?

MS SLOVO: My elder sister, Sean is two years older than me and my younger sister, Robyn is two years younger than me.

MR LEVINE: Right. Was there a close bond between you and your late mother?

MS SLOVO: There was.

MR LEVINE: Not withstanding that your mother left you at a relatively young age?

MS SLOVO: What would you call a relatively young age?

MR LEVINE: Well I donít suppose it was that young, it was the late Ď70's when she went to Mozambique - is that correct?

MS SLOVO: I had already left home, I had gone to university and I had graduated.

MR LEVINE: Ms Slovo, I was given to understand that you had certain pressing business in London which you were originally going to have to leave South Africa last Friday evening to attend to. Is that correct?

MS SLOVO: I donít know whether you are given to understand that I had pressing business. What I have in London is my work life and my family and a twelve year old child whom I had told I would be back on Saturday 26th.

MR LEVINE: Was this the only reason why you had had to get back as originally planned by leaving on the night of the 25th?

MS SLOVO: This was the reason. I mean when I was first told about this hearing, I was told that it would not continue after the 25th which is why I booked to return on the 25th and told my daughter thatís when I was going to come back.

MR LEVINE: Yes, in fact we were all of that view when it was originally scheduled.

Ms Slovo, how was your airfare financed?

MS SLOVO: The TRC has agreed to pay one of the three fares for myself and my sisters.

MR LEVINE: The actual TRC itself, through its administrative offices?

MS SLOVO: I donít know how it pays it. This is what my attorney told me.

MR LEVINE: Ms Slovo, was Mozambique a Marxist state in 1997 through to 1982, 1977 through to 1982?

MS SLOVO: I believe it could be described as that, yes.

MR LEVINE: Are you aware of the state of relations between Mozambique and the Republic of South Africa at that time?

MS SLOVO: I was aware of the fact that the Republic of South Africa spent quite considerable resources trying to destabilise the Mozambican government and I was also aware of the fact that the Republic of South Africa did not like the fact that there were ANC personnel in Mozambique.

MR LEVINE: Was your late mother close to the Frelimo leaders to your knowledge?

MS SLOVO: She knew some of them. I donít know what you mean by close?

MR LEVINE: Well, was she on a friendly basis with them?

MS SLOVO: I think she was on friendly basis with Marcelina dos Santos, who was then a vice-president and she had met, in fact there is a picture of her with the President Samora Machel. I donít think she was particularly friendly with him.

MR LEVINE: Do you know whether the Frelimo government was supportive of the ANCís armed and political struggle against South Africa?

MS SLOVO: I think we all know that they were.

MR LEVINE: Did your late mother encourage or support Frelimoís support of the ANCís struggle?

MS SLOVO: In what way, in words, in deeds, in what way?

MR LEVINE: Words or deeds?

MS SLOVO: Not to my knowledge.

MR LEVINE: If your mother was consulted on her impression between the Republic and Frelimo, what do you think her attitude would have been?

MS SLOVO: I think she would have warned the Mozambicans not to trust the South Africans.

MR LEVINE: Do you think your mother, your late mother would have fought the Nkomati Accord vigorously?

MS SLOVO: Fought it in what way, Mr Levine? She was not a soldier.


MS SLOVO: She would have argued against it. Yes Iím sure she would have.

MR LEVINE: You have already heard this morning again that your mother was not a Trotskyite. Was your mother a communist?

MS SLOVO: My mother was a member of the Communist Party who had serious disagreements with some of the things the South African Communist Party did and a lot of the things that the Soviet Union was doing. But yes, I guess she would have said she was a communist.

MR LEVINE: Now, wonít you have a look at the cover of Exhibit 8, that is a book, one of the books you have written. Does communism espouse amongst other things a sybaritic form of lifestyle?

MS SLOVO: This is embarrassing for me as a writer but what does sybaritic mean?

MR LEVINE: Sybaritic from the best of my investigations means, living in the lap of luxury with various benefits. Sybaris was a Greek town in southern Italy where Sybarites were said to have come from and a sybaritic lifestyle is a lifestyle of luxury. And my question to you provided you are happy with that explanation is, does communism espouse a sybaritic lifestyle?

MS SLOVO: Communism as far as I know has nothing to say, per se on a sybaritic lifestyle. What it says is, you know there should be justice and freedom for all and that people should be equal. Iím not sure that Marx wrote anything about sybaritic lifestyles.

MR LEVINE: Doesnít communism deal with equal distribution from the fruits of labour?

MS SLOVO: It does.

MR LEVINE: It does. Now having a look on the picture- at the picture on this book on the front, does that look anything like a freedom fighterís type of lifestyle? How many bottles of alcohol and wine do we find there?

MS SLOVO: Iím really trying to follow you but I just donít know how I can answer that question. Is there a freedom fighterís type of lifestyle that is laid down in a book and what you wear and what you drink and what you do? And are all the people in this picture freedom-fighters? I mean what is the question mean?

MR LEVINE: Well, what I am illustrating to you is the dichotomy between what you have conceded is laid down by communism and the picture which depicts rather luxurious lifestyle on the front page of this book.

MS SLOVO: I think you have to understand, Mr Levine, that at the time this picture was happening, was taken, the Communist Party was one of the only organisations where white people could talk out, could speak out against what was happening in their country. The fact that these people, some of these people are members of the Communist Party in this picture and that they are drinking wine has nothing to do with the fact that they had joined together to resist the injustices of apartheid in this country.

MR LEVINE: And you make specific mention to the white people in this picture.

MS SLOVO: The people in this picture are all white.

MR LEVINE: Yes. Now could you identify the parties please. If you could move in a clockwise direction?

MS SLOVO: Joe Slovo, Mary Turok, Ben Turok, Sonia Bunting, Jack Hodson, Ruth First.

MR LEVINE: Very well. Just before we leave that I would like to put to you that this picture illustrates all the trappings of luxury, liquor, pearls, fancy outfits and everything that goes with a luxurious lifestyle.

MS SLOVO: This picture illustrates to me a group of friends celebrating New Yearís Eve sometime in the late Ď50's.

MR LEVINE: Very well. How was your book described, this particular book, described by the media?

MS SLOVO: I donít think the media gave it one description.

MR LEVINE: Well I have on the very first printed page a number of descriptions and Iíd like you to consider the description which is the fourth last on the page from The Independent on Sunday.

MS SLOVO: Iím sorry I cannot do that because you obviously have a paperback there and I have got a hardback and the reviews were written after the hardback came out so I canít see them.

MR LEVINE: Well let me read it to you and you tell me if there is anything that I read inaccurately or which you dispute.

"Independent on Sunday - the first, your book has been the testament of a proud daughter. It is a song of tortured life to two complex, generous and ruthlessly dedicated people."

MS SLOVO: I take your word for it thatís what the Independent on Sunday said.

MR LEVINE: Now, who were the two ruthlessly dedicated people?

MS SLOVO: Those are not my words. Those are not the way I would describe my parents and that is one of the occupational hazards of being a writer, that when you write a book reviewers then say what it is they think about their book they have written and quite often disagree about it. In fact (new tape) wrote the review, why they said that.

MR LEVINE: Now you said that in the seven years in which your mother was in Mozambique before her death, you visited her on three occasions. Is that correct?

MS SLOVO: I donít believe she was in Mozambique for seven years.

MR LEVINE: I believe she went to Mozambique in or about 1977, no she was there, quite correct for five years.

MS SLOVO: Thatís right.

MR LEVINE: You said you visited her on three occasions.

MS SLOVO: Thatís right.

MR LEVINE: And she visited you in England.

MS SLOVO: Yes thatís right.

MR LEVINE: When you were visiting with your mother did you ever notice whether she received mail?

MS SLOVO: No I did not because she received mail in the university where she worked and I didnít actually go to the university with her.

MR LEVINE: Because your evidence was that you could not conceive of her opening an envelope either addressed to your late father or addressed to your late father, care of her.

MS SLOVO: And I cannot conceive of it, yes.

MR LEVINE: Now, is there any behavioural pattern or conduct of your late mother which leads you to your inability to conceive of this situation?

MS SLOVO: Yes, my parents had tremendous respect for each other and for their separate lives. They would not have opened each other's post. My mother was a fierce feminist in her own way. She would have considered it beneath her to be opening her husband's post or for him to be opening hers. And at the same time, as I said, we all knew, and they certainly did know the danger that my father was in and it would have been foolish for her to open an envelope that was addressed to my father, never mind to open two envelopes that had his name on.

MR LEVINE: Now, you made tape recordings of the two interviews with Mr Williamson, with his permission?

MS SLOVO: I did.

MR LEVINE: Can you cast your mind back - your evidence was that you made these recordings on mini- cassettes.

MS SLOVO: That I made the first meeting with him on mini-cassettes, not the second. Micro cassettes is what I called them.

MR LEVINE: Micro cassettes is quite correct. Now in the video there is a shot of your handling certain cassettes of tapes. Do you recall that?

MS SLOVO: Yes I do.

MR LEVINE: Those are certainly not micro cassettes, they are larger cassettes.

MS SLOVO: As I have explained to Mr Bizos, those micro cassettes were transferred to ordinary cassette so that I could actually listen to them.

MR LEVINE: Where did this transfer take place?

MS SLOVO: I believe inside South Africa. I believe the sound technician of the film did it. I would have to check.

MR LEVINE: After the film had been shot?

MS SLOVO: No before the film was shot.

MR LEVINE: And you say it was done by the sound technician?

MS SLOVO: I believe it was.

MR LEVINE: For what purpose?

MS SLOVO: For the purposes of listening to.

MR LEVINE: Were the micro cassette recordings not satisfactory or acceptable?

MS SLOVO: I could not listen to them in England because the format of micro cassettes in England and of dictaphone machines is for some strange reason different in Europe than it is in England.

MR LEVINE: Yes you are quite correct. I think the machines there are slightly smaller so the micro cassettes do not fit.

MS SLOVO: I donít know, I canít remember. I tried a few and I couldnít manage to make them play. It could be smaller or bigger - I am not sure.

MR LEVINE: How come side two of the first interview appears to have been blank?

MS SLOVO: Side two of the first interview isnít blank. What was blank was the side two of the copy that I had sent to my attorney. In fact I then re-sent from the tape that it had been copied and side two wasnít blank although I am sure that you have heard when you listened to the tape, there is a bit of that tape which is so indistinct it is almost impossible to hear and it is when Mr Williamson is talking about his parents and whether they knew that he was a spy.

MR LEVINE: I donít remember anything that is so indistinct, but it is not important for the purposes of this debate we are having.

And how did the tape of Mr Williamson and Mr McBrideís discussion find its way onto your tape?

MS SLOVO: I thought that I had already described that. Would you want me to go through it again?

MR LEVINE: I would appreciate it.

MS SLOVO: When I taped Mr Williamsonís conversation, the bit of it that Mr McBride played to me, I taped it on to a small dictaphone machine micro cassette, the same one that I had used to interview Mr Williamson with because it was just afterwards. When I gave the micro cassettes to the sound technician to transfer them onto cassette I must have given that without noticing what it was, and then he, not knowing what it was stuck it on the end. The micro cassettes I had were labelled CW1, CW2. The other cassette was labelled CW with RMB. He didnít look it and transferred them. Thatís how it got there.

MR LEVINE: Now of course, we have heard that the micro cassettes were in England. This was the evidence given when the tapes and the transcripts, rather when the transcripts were first introduced. Do you remember that?


MR LEVINE: And we were promised those micro cassettes which I understand were being sent out by air courier?

MS SLOVO: Thatís right.

MR LEVINE: Have they arrived?

MS SLOVO: They have. Most of them have arrived. They are with my attorney. What hasnít arrived is the, I, I used three micro cassettes on that first interview with Craig Williamson. The first one hasnít arrived. I will have to go and look when I am in London to see where it has got to, but it is that portion of the interview that involves Craig Williamson talking to me about his early childhood and how he joined the police and what he did and how he became a spy. It is on the interview No.1 which I think for some reason is X2. From about page 1 to page 18 hasnít arrived. The rest have arrived and are with my attorney.

MR LEVINE: Do you know of any reason why they werenít given to us as tendered?

MS SLOVO: They only arrived a few days ago.

MR LEVINE: Do you know of any reason why they were not given to us as tendered?

CHAIRPERSON: Isnít that a matter for your attorney to ask her attorney, Mr Levine. If this was a matter -she did not tender anything. This was done by her counsel wasnít it? Didnít he tender it or her attorney?

MR LEVINE: That is, by counsel.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and there are bailiff people to raise it with.

MR LEVINE: I shall. Thank you Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: May I indicate Mr Chairman that our attorney is not present for reasons which were made clear to the Committee. We thought that we would wait for all of them to come and give them as a group which may have enabled them, deprived them of some of them for a couple of days but we regret that omission Mr Chairman, but I donít think that a - Iíll stop there, never mind. Thank you Mr Chairman.

MR LEVINE: Well I donít know why my learned friend stopped himself in mid-sentence but Iím sure he has good reason for that.

MR BIZOS: Yes I will tell the good reason, Mr Chairman for Mr Levineís suspicious mind. I did not want to enter into a debate with him Mr Chairman. I would have thought that if his attorney was so anxious about it, he would have communicated with our attorney. We havenít heard anything from them about these tapes from the moment these allegations were made on the first or second day of the hearing or the examination of Mr Williamson. Thatís why, Mr Chairman. And they can have them and they can do all the tests that they want. There is no reason that I wanted to hide, that is the reason why I stopped. I try and avoid having arguments with Mr Levine about my nushea, Mr Chairman.

MR LEVINE: Mr Chairman, I do not know why there has to be a reference to what he has termed my suspicious mind. I am only doing a job.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but what is the point of asking this person about it unless you are trying to stir up something, Mr Levine. She has said she gave them to her attorney. From then on it is a matter between attorneys isnít it?

MR LEVINE: Because ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: It is not the clientís business when her attorney should hand something over is it?

MR LEVINE: Because, Mr Chairman, it is this witness who was in control of the original ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: And she said I gave it to my attorney. Surely that is an end to the question?

MR LEVINE: She did not say that at all.

CHAIRPERSON: She did, Mr Levine.

MR LEVINE: She said she gave the, two of the tapes - one hasnít arrived yet.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, she gave them to her attorney.


CHAIRPERSON: And you asked why hadnít the attorney handed it over?

MR LEVINE: I didnít ask that. I said is there any reason why it hasnít been ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Doesnít that mean, why hasnít the attorney handed it over? Iím not playing with words, Mr Levine.


CHAIRPERSON: Get on with your questioning.

MR LEVINE: I shall, Mr Chairman.

Ms Slovo, did you ever have discussions with Mr McBride about the portion of the tape recording featuring himself and Mr Williamson?

MS SLOVO: Yes, when I went to his office, he told me that he had had discussions with Mr Williamson, that he had taped them and to help me in my search for who had killed, the truth about who had killed my mother, he played me a portion of that tape. That is as far as our discussions went and he allowed me to tape that portion of the tape.

MR LEVINE: Now when do you believe your mother ceased to be actively involved in an armed struggle?

MS SLOVO: My mother was never actively involved in the armed struggle.

MR LEVINE: Would you have a look please at Exhibit L which is styled, "A Tribute to Comrade Ruth First.", by Comrade Muzala.

MS SLOVO: Yes I have it.

MR LEVINE: Iíd like you to look at page 47 please, about...


MR LEVINE: 67, about three fifths of the page down. ĎComrade Ruth however, and this will certainly come as a shock to those enemies of the ANC and the SACP whose propaganda seeks in vain to show that the ANC is lead by white Communists, was a one time member of an ANC unit in Mozambique of which I was Chairman. It was in this unit that I first met and worked with her, albeit for a short while.í

Do you see that?

MS SLOVO: I see it.

MR LEVINE: It then goes on to say, it goes on to describe your late mother as "a brilliant and seasoned revolutionary activist".

MS SLOVO: And it then goes on to say, "educating and encouraging us with her example". Yes it says that.

MR LEVINE: Oh yes. What, how would you describe a revolutionary activist?

MS SLOVO: If I was describing my mother, I would say that she used her considerable intellect and experience to argue passionately against apartheid in South Africa ...(intervention)

MR LEVINE: And that ...(intervention)

MS SLOVO: But I have heard Mr Williamson specifically exclude the fact that people who were just anti-apartheid activists, who argued against apartheid, were legitimate targets, even in his terms.

MR LEVINE: And a revolutionary activist includes someone who is merely a person who argues against a standpoint?

MS SLOVO: If we are talking about my mother, then that is what she did. I donít think this is a theoretical question. It isnít a fact that you put a word on somebody and that makes them into something. You know at the time, as far as I know who wrote, this Comrade Muzala, was writing a tribute both to Ruth and a call for people to gird up their loins. It is the kind of language that was used. However, I know and everybody in the world who knew of my mother, knew that what she, that her contribution to the struggle against apartheid was to use her passion, her pen and her tongue to argue against it.

MR LEVINE: Would you be good enough to turn to page 68? It is the second paragraph. Do you have it before you?

MS SLOVO: I have.

MR LEVINE: I wonder if you would be good enough to read from the line that starts, ĎWhat maybe made her..."

MS SLOVO: ĎWhat maybe made her quite distinct from the rest of us was her staunchness to the ANC, her tireless fulfilment of every assignment given to her by the unit which was mainly composed of young cadres of our movement. When each of us asked, what manner of person is this? What kind of revolutionary is this? Those who knew her more closely replied that Comrade Ruth was a Communist but it was her Marxist/Leninist ideals that motivated her.í

Do you want me to go on?

MR LEVINE: No, thank you. May I refer you, and again I think we are going to have the same difficulty, Iím looking at the soft-covered book, not the hard-cover. It is chapter 4. It is the sixth paragraph on page 21 of the soft-covered book and starts with the words, ĎWe laughed about it..í

MS SLOVO: Yes, I have got that paragraph

MR LEVINE: You have that. And the fourth sentence is, ĎThe method that..í, the third sentence,

ĎWeíd been brought up that way to tune out whispered conversations. The method that my parents had used on the beach at Ponta do Ouro wasnít new. It had its origins long ago in South Africa.í

and so on.

What was the need for the whispered conversations that you knew way back in South African times?

MS SLOVO: My parents were arguing and working against the apartheid government and as a result of this, almost everything they did, including their parties, broke some apartheid law or other. That was the need for whispered conversations. I assume, because I didnít actually hear them, it was about meeting places. It was about things that were happening. It was about demonstrations. It could have been about articles my mother was writing.

MR LEVINE: Even in Maputo?

MS SLOVO: Oh, I thought you were talking about way back.

MR LEVINE: No, Iím talking about, Iím sorry you misunderstood. Perhaps I didnít phrase it as articulately as I should have. That was the South African situation. What about the situation described in your book of, Ďwhispered conversations used on the beach at Ponta do Ouro?

MS SLOVO: Again I have to say that I can only surmise what they were talking about since I never heard what it was. It is possible they were talking about some aspects of my fatherís work. That is possible. My parents had been married for 32 years. But the fact that my father spoke to my mother occasionally about her work, does not make her a legitimate target in Craig Williamsonís terms otherwise if Mr Williamson spoke to his wife about anything he would do, would that make his wife a target?

MR LEVINE: It depends on the perception of the individuals and precisely what those individuals were doing but I wonít debate that.

MS SLOVO: But Mr Levine, Iíd like to debate that because I donít think it depends only on perception. I think it depends on the reality of the situation. Because Mr Williamson says something was so, does not make it reality. He was the one who said my father was a KGB agent. Him and his colleagues let out that story to the papers and many white South Africans believed it, but that does not mean it was so and neither does it mean that he ever believed it was so since he created the ...(intervention)

MR LEVINE: Are you talking about the disparity in rank? Where he was created to be a Colonel and he wasnít or ...(intervention)

MS SLOVO: I am not talking about the disparity in rank, Mr Levine. Mr Williamson knows as well as I do that my father was never a member of the KGB and this was a myth put out to scare the white constituency in this country.

MR LEVINE: Now, would your mother, would it be fair to have defined your mother or described her as a woman who had given her life to the struggle?

MS SLOVO: In her own way, yes. In her own way her passion was for freedom in South Africa and democracy in South Africa. I think, I mean I think that might be a phrase that I have even used.


MS SLOVO: I think more accurately, having sat in this room, I think what I would now say was that her life was taken away from her - rather than that she gave it.

MR LEVINE: Well I am only quoting from your ...(intervention)

MS SLOVO: Iím telling you, I mean we writers, do develop with time.

MR LEVINE: You remember, as you have said in your book, discussions in code on the beach in Maputo. Do you remember, do you have any recollection as to what this discussion was about or the discussions?

MS SLOVO: I think that is where our confusion maybe arose. I think if you look at the sentence, it talks about the discussions in code on the rolling lawns, by which I am referring to their time in South Africa ...(intervention)

MR LEVINE: In Rooseveld Park.

MS SLOVO: Yes, when I was a child. And I can only assume the discussions were about whatever they were doing at that time.

MR LEVINE: Now, do you remember any discussions between your late mother and your late father in regard to the damage done to Sasol?

MS SLOVO: I donít, I wasnít present when they discussed it, no.

MR LEVINE: Or in regard to the missiles at Voortrekker ...?

MS SLOVO: I wasnít present when they discussed that.

MR LEVINE: Were any of these attacks to your knowledge carried out by young cadres who were members of the ANC in Maputo?

MS SLOVO: Um, I think you saw me in that film with two of the people who carried out the attack on Sasol and I assume they might have been based in Maputo at some time. I didnít ask them where they were based.


MS SLOVO: But I am not arguing with you over what my father was doing in Mozambique or what the armed struggle was doing in Mozambique. We are talking about my mother.

MR LEVINE: During the armed struggle, your late father was the armed strategist of the ANC?

MS SLOVO: My father was chief of staff of the ANCís army, uMkhonto weSizwe.

MR LEVINE: Did he enjoy the support of your late mother?

MS SLOVO: In what way?

MR LEVINE: In his job?

MS SLOVO: It is a difficult question to answer. My mother was actually quite critical of the attention paid to the military struggle in the general strategy of the ANC, so I donít know whether I can actually say that he enjoyed her support. They had fierce arguments about it but that was throughout my childhood and my adulthood. Something I was quite used to. My parents would have quite fierce disagreements about issues of politics. Something that actually Craig Williamson obviously knew about since he exploited it or he and his colleagues exploited it in a Stratcom they put out after my mother was killed by them.

MR LEVINE: These arguments, is that what we were talking about or what was discussed earlier at this meeting in regard to proportionality?

MS SLOVO: Iím sorry, I donít understand the question.

MR LEVINE: We will leave it for the time being.

Your father was the chief of staff of the armed forces of the ANC and he went about doing his job, did that have the support of your late mother?

MS SLOVO: It is possible that she had general support for him, but as I say she was also extremely critical of the resources being put into the armed struggle which she thought didnít actually ever have a hope of winning in South Africa and that she felt the only way was a political, was to politically organise inside the country.

MR LEVINE: Well, you have said that she was critical of the resources being ploughed into the armed struggle. Was she critical of the armed struggle itself?

MS SLOVO: I think she understood, like many of us did, like thousands of South African exiles and like hundreds of thousands of non-South Africans throughout the world, why the ANC was forced to go into the armed struggle. I think she understood that there came a point in the South Africa's history where the ANC had to realise that peaceful protest would make no difference to the government. And yes, like myself and many, many hundreds of thousands of people, I think there was a general understanding of why this difficult decision was embarked upon.

MR LEVINE: And was she supportive of your fatherís cause which he was fighting?

MS SLOVO: I think I have answered that, Mr Levine.

MR LEVINE: No, you havenít actually. Youíve steered away from it whilst appearing to give an answer. What you have said was, she was critical of the funds that were being ploughed into the armed struggle. What you said was, like many exiled South Africans and like many other people in the world, she realised that the only way that some finality was going to be achieved is not by reason and by talking but the question is, was she supportive of your fatherís cause as the chief of the armed strategy?

MS SLOVO: I have to say, Mr Levine, that your paraphrasing of what I said is not exactly what Iíve said, but leaving that aside. I think my mother understood what my father was doing, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: You also told us, which Mr Levine has not repeated to you, that it is possible that she had general support for him.

MS SLOVO: That is right.

MR LEVINE: Iím indebted to you Mr Chairman.

Now your late father and your late mother were then Communists who fought against, amongst other things, the apartheid regime?

MS SLOVO: That is right, but I mean the reason I have to say something here is that what I am hearing in this room is the fact that Communist makes you a legitimate target and the use of the word, fight against the regime, yes in their own ways they did "fight the regime". My mother by using her considerable intellect and her skill at writing and arguing and her passion, yes, she argued against the apartheid regime and perhaps was very effective in the West, but by the time that my mother was killed her energies were actually concentrated on Mozambique. That is what she spent her time thinking about and working on.

MR LEVINE: And I believe - my recollection of the speech by President Mandela when he praised the efforts of your late mother, I think she was referred to, either in that particular speech or in some other address, as a devastatingly effective critic of apartheid.

MS SLOVO: She was an effective critic of apartheid yes. Does that make her a target?

MR LEVINE: And the by-line in the video tape was, and this was a little heading towards the first third, I'd say, of the video tape, she fell fighting in the trenches?

MS SLOVO: Yes, I think that is the metaphor that was used by the unknown voice. I have no idea who that was.

MR LEVINE: But that certainly is not the sort of comment that one would expect to be made of a non-activist?

MS SLOVO: I am not denying that my mother was an activist. She quite obviously was an activist. She was an activist when she was in South Africa. She was considered an activist when she was banned as a journalist. She was an activist when she was tried with treason. She was an activist when she was held in solitary confinement for a 117 days and when she left South Africa, she became an anti-apartheid activist who was very effective. She stood on platforms at Trafalgar Square at anti-apartheid rallies. She spoke throughout the world. Does that make her a target?

MR LEVINE: She was fervently and actively involved in the freedom fight and she was a dedicated enemy of the South African Government at that time?

MS SLOVO: She opposed the South African Government with all the skill and the passion that she had, yes.

MR LEVINE: Now I want to deal with another topic please.

CHAIRPERSON: We will now take the adjournment to quarter to two.




CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR LEVINE: (continued) Ms Slovo, you recall in the video there's some footage of you visiting Mr Mo Shake? Now did Mo Shake say that Mr Williamson was hardest on himself for what had taken place?

MS SLOVO: No, he did not.


MS SLOVO: I actually said it. I said that Mr Williamson was harder on himself than Mo Shake was on Mr Williamson.

MR LEVINE: I understand. In fact Mr Williamson's answer to your question as to who was responsible for your late mother's death was: "morally, all of us were responsible".

MS SLOVO: Yes and you'd have to ask Mr Williamson what he meant by that.

MR LEVINE: Is it not clear what he meant?

MS SLOVO: Not to me it isn't. I don't know who "us" is in that sentence.

MR LEVINE: Well, I want to accord and get some guidance from you as to what you understood by Mr Williamson's remarks but if you can't give such assistance, there's no point in pursuing that issue with you. Now on the two occasions you came to interview Mr Williamson, you had a whole number of questions that had obviously been very carefully detailed by you prior to meeting with Mr Williamson?

MS SLOVO: Actually, normally when I go on an interview I do have a set of prepared questions, but in this case no, I did not. I wanted to know whether he had anything to do with killing my mother and why he did it if he did and that was the question I went in with.

MR LEVINE: Had it not been made clear to you from various media articles that Mr Williamson was involved?

MS SLOVO: No it had not. I went to see Mr Williamson before the Philip van Niekerk article happened. In fact it was a few days before the Philip van Niekerk article came out and on that visit I was living in Cape Town. When I was in Johannesburg, as I was on my way back, I started receiving messages from journalists wanting to talk to me and asking me and telling me that Craig Williamson had publicly said that he was involved in my mother's death, but before I went to see him this was not publicly known as far as I knew.

MR LEVINE: Of course you might be wrong?

MS SLOVO: I don't think I am wrong.

MR LEVINE: Now you say you had prepared no questions at all for Mr Williamson?

MS SLOVO: I had a general idea what I wanted to ask him was who killed my mother and why they killed her.

MR LEVINE: Did you discuss your general idea on the questions to be put to Mr Williamson with anyone else?

MS SLOVO: I'm sure I must have discussed them with my partner, I usually discussed most things with him. I might even have asked other people, I can't remember anybody specifically. Do you have somebody in mind?

MR LEVINE: No, by your partner do you mean Mr Metcalfe?

MS SLOVO: That's right.

MR LEVINE: I see. And not with anybody else, legal advisors or anyone of that nature?

MS SLOVO: Certainly not with legal advisors unless I discussed it with a friend who was a lawyer but not in terms of getting legal advice, no.

MR LEVINE: And did the same position pertain when you went to see Mr Jerry Raven at his shop?

MS SLOVO: I didn't discuss going there with legal advisors, no.

MR LEVINE: With whom did you discuss that?

MS SLOVO: With the film crew with whom I was working.

MR LEVINE: Into what depth did you go in those discussions?

MS SLOVO: Into what depth in what sense?

MR LEVINE: What details, what particularities?

MS SLOVO: Well, it was the same thing really, I wanted to go in and say I had one question which I had in my mind which was to say, tell him what my name was, tell him who my mother was and say that I had heard that from Craig Williamson or that Craig Williamson had said that he was involved in making the bomb. That's what I went in with. There wasn't anything else I could go in with because I had no idea what he was going to reply.

MR LEVINE: So there's no question of any assistance from anyone, professional or otherwise, in regard to the questions which you put both to Mr Williamson and to Mr Raven?

MS SLOVO: I really don't understand what you mean by assistance, Mr Levine, I tend to talk to people that I trust and like and particularly to my partner, Andy Metcalfe, when I am doing a piece of work, so I'm sure I was given some assistance by them.

MR LEVINE: And you limit it at that?


MR LEVINE: Now Mr Bizos, who appears on your behalf, put a hypothetical question to Mr Williamson. He prefaced the question by saying "and this is a hypothetical question" and if you remember I objected, I said Mr Williamson can't answer hypothetical questions. Do you remember that?

MS SLOVO: I'm sorry, I don't remember. You'd have to tell me what the question was.

MR LEVINE: The question was something along these lines. What would have happened if Mr Joe Slovo had come to meet Mrs First on a beach in Mozambique? Do you remember that hypothetical or what was said to be a hypothetical question of that nature being put to Mr Williamson?

MS SLOVO: I'm afraid I don't, but if you say so.

MR LEVINE: Yes well I'll try my very best not in any way to mislead you, but all I really want to deal with on that is whether in fact that was a hypothetical question because did it not come both from your book, that is that portion of the beach at Ponta do Ouro and from the video?

MS SLOVO: If you're asking me whether my parents ever walked along the beach at Ponta do Ouro, the answer would be yes, they were both living in Maputo, they were married, they lived in the same flat together. I'm sure they went for a walk on the beach but I don't quite understand what else you're asking.

MR LEVINE: You see I think that, I may be wrong, but my advices are that Ponta do Ouro is on the South African side of the border near KwaZulu. Oh, it is the border, Ponta do Ouro, abutting on KwaZulu?

MS SLOVO: There is a beach in Ponta do Ouro which is in Mozambique and there is a point at that beach where South Africa begins, yes.

MR LEVINE: You said that your mother, your late mother and late father lived together in a flat in Maputo?

MS SLOVO: That's right.

MR LEVINE: And you inferred that this - you described this as a reason why they might walk together at the beach at Ponta do Ouro?

MS SLOVO: Well I think in particular when I was talking about them walking at the beach in Ponta do Ouro, the reason that they happened to be at that particular beach is that I and my partner were on holiday visiting them and we all went for a weekend. I don't know if you've ever been to Ponta do Ouro, but it's a huge tourist complex that at that time was pretty deserted because the tourists used to be South Africans and they'd stopped going. And when I described that beach at Ponta do Ouro, that is what I'm remembering. In fact I think I might even in the book have described the fact that we went almost to the South African border and my father or my mother said to me: "There is South Africa, that is how close we are to South Africa".

MR LEVINE: All I'm pointing out to you is that there's no connection between the beach at Ponta do Ouro and the fact that your parents lived in an apartment together in Maputo?

MS SLOVO: That is true.

MR LEVINE: Yes. Do you know the extent to which your mother was involved in the struggle?

MS SLOVO: I know that she argued vociferously against apartheid at every opportunity that she could. I know that she was a member of the ANC and of the SACP, and that by the time she was killed she was not an office bearer of either and I know that her energies were concentrated inside Mozambique and in her work at the university.

MR LEVINE: So Comrade Mazala's tributes to her were not tributes current at the time of her death?

MS SLOVO: I beg your pardon, I thought you said this was a tribute at the time of her death?

MR LEVINE: No, her activities at the time of her death, on your version, do not accord with the tributes of Comrade Mazala?

MS SLOVO: Mr Levine, I do not have a version, I am trying as best I can to tell the truth about what my mother was doing, this is not a game to me. If Comrade Mazala says that she was a revolutionary thinker or she was zealous, that was his way of putting something. I am talking to you what I know about my mother at the time of her death.

MR LEVINE: I don't think it's a game either Ms Slovo and that is the basis upon which I commenced my questioning to you. If you recall, I expressed sympathy for the circumstances under which you were giving evidence?


MR LEVINE: So there's no game I can assure you. However, on your understanding of the position at the time of your mother's death, she was on any version a supporter and active member of the ANC and the SACP?

MS SLOVO: It depends how you define an active member.

MR LEVINE: She was a strong supporter.

MS SLOVO: She was a supporter of the struggle for liberation inside South Africa, yes.

MR LEVINE: Was her death something which you would describe as a severe loss to the ANC?

MS SLOVO: It was a severe loss to her family and I think it was a severe loss to South Africa and I think South Africa today is the poorer for the loss of her.

MR LEVINE: Is or was her death that which you would describe as having been a severe loss to the ANC?

MS SLOVO: Well, I hesitate to say this because how you measure one person's contribution against another's, but I suppose history has proved that it wasn't a totally severe loss, no. The position of the ANC strengthened after my father's death, I think. Perhaps after my mother's death I think perhaps my father became even more dedicated. But, how can one tell if one individual's death is a severe loss to an organisation. I feel she was a severe loss yes, I feel we are all the poorer for her death.

MR LEVINE: Yes and that is why, amongst others, Comrade Mazala wrote the tribute which he did. Would you agree with that?

MS SLOVO: I would have to read this tribute again but I think it goes into something else rather than my mother's death at the end. I don't know why he wrote it. I think he was giving testimony to a woman who had chosen, unlike most white South Africans in this country, to speak out against the barbarity of the system that was in this country and I think he was paying tribute to that woman.

MR LEVINE: You said you would need to read it again. Would you care for an adjournment or is that not necessary? If you want to read it ...[intervention]

MS SLOVO: Have I not answered the question adequately?

MR LEVINE: I do not want to be accused ever of stultifying your arguments. You made the point. If you don't think it necessary, please tell us and we'll move on. If you think it necessary, then obviously I'm sure Mr Chairman would agree to a short adjournment?

CHAIRPERSON: Well she's given us what she thought. You are going to argue that this means something else, aren't you?

MR LEVINE: Mr Chairman, the witness said that she would have to read the article again.

CHAIRPERSON: Well ask her the parts you want her to read, draw her attention to them. You've only questioned her on about two, no, four, six sentences so far in the article?

MR LEVINE: That is correct, but if she says she wants to read it again, I certainly will not stand in her way, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you want to read it again, Ms Slovo?

MS SLOVO: No, it's fine.

MR LEVINE: There we are, we have an answer to that. You spoke in your discussion with Mr Raven, I think it was video number 6, you referred to the following:

"Someone as prominent as my mother"

Do you recall that?

MS SLOVO: I don't recall it but it's quite possible. I think I have made it clear, my mother was a prominent anti-apartheid person who was known throughout the world. I do not deny that. What I say is, does that make her a legitimate target in Craig Williamson's eyes?

MR LEVINE: You say that she was prominent because of her high position in the ANC?

MS SLOVO: I don't remember saying that.

CHAIRPERSON: She has not said - you put to her then, Mr Levine, you say she was prominent because of her high position in the ANC. That is not what she has said. She has not once said that she held a high position in the ANC, so will you please not put something to a witness that they have not said.

MR LEVINE: What precisely did you say in defining your words "Someone as prominent as my mother"?

MS SLOVO: I would have to see it again, I could not have said she was a high position in the ANC, she was not in a high position in the ANC. I think I did notice today that there are some words of mine cut out and I think what they are is: "A woman who was not politically active". I think that's what it says but we would have to recheck.

MR LEVINE: Who were you speaking to on the first tape which is video 6 when you were leaving Mr Raven's shop, that is the unedited tape?

MS SLOVO: The director of the film, Adam Louw.

MR LEVINE: And you mentioned the name of a photographer, I think it was Mr Archemer?

MS SLOVO: I think it's pronounced Archamer, but I could be wrong.


MS SLOVO: He was the camera man of that film.

MR LEVINE: Of the film of your discussions with Mr Raven?

MS SLOVO: He operated the camera for that film we've seen today. My discussions with Mr Raven were a longer version of what was finally put into the film. So yes, he was the camera-man for both.

MR LEVINE: For both. How did you meet Mr Archemer?

MS SLOVO: He was hired by the film company to operate the camera, I think that was the first time I met him, was when I came to South Africa for the film. He is actually a well-known and rather good South Africa documentary cameraman.

MR LEVINE: What, Ms Slovo, is your attitude to the TRC processes?

MS SLOVO: I - it's a hard thing for me to say, I feel quite complicated about it. I understand why the TRC was set up, I understand there was a compromise made in this country in order to save human lives and I totally support that. I think the victims' hearings, some of them have been extremely moving and I think it is wonderful that people have been given a voice in order for their pain, the pain of this country to be heard in public for the first time. I found the amnesty process very difficult. It is very difficult sitting in a room with people who killed your mother and who are continuing to not tell the truth about it and therefore I have quite complicated feelings about the TRC. In general it is a process that I would support.

MR LEVINE: And you support the TRC?

MS SLOVO: In general I would support.

ADV DE JAGER: In all fairness, whether Ms Slovo is supporting the TRC or not supporting the TRC, it's not one of the prerequisites of the requirements of the Act as far as your client is concerned as to what she may think, whether she's supportive or not supportive. So I think we could speed up matters if we keep to the requirements of the Act and ask questions about that and try to ask the relevant things that could assist us in concluding whether the requirements of the Act has been met or not.

MR LEVINE: Well Mr de Jager, I would agree with you but I merely wanted to know whether I could infer the support and this would have been my next question, the support of the TRC by virtue of the fact that she accepted the funding of an air ticket paid by the TRC?

ADV DE JAGER: Honestly, even that can't influence us whether she's been. All victims are supported by the TRC to attend the hearings and whether she enjoyed that support or not couldn't be relevant in our decision whether we should grant amnesty or not.

MR LEVINE: I don't for one moment suggest that it would influence your decision, but I asked it for one other reason and that is because when Mr Williamson was giving evidence in Cape Town in June of this year, a request was directed to the TRC to fund the air ticket of a witness who was indeed called from Lisbon to give evidence on matters relating to the Samora Machel issue and the TRC flatly refused such assistance.

ADV DE JAGER: But surely Ms Slovo can't be blamed for that?

MR LEVINE: Not at all.

ADV DE JAGER: Ja, so she mightn't even know about it?

MR LEVINE: I don't seek to ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: Ja, if that's criticism against the TRC, well level your criticism to the secretary or to who else it may be, but really this forum is not the place for that?

MR LEVINE: I will on further consideration decide whether to level that criticism and to whom but I'm indebted to you for your advice and that concludes my examination of Ms Slovo. Thank you.


MR CORNELIUS: Mr Chairman, Cornelius on behalf of J.L. McPherson. My client is not implicated in this Ruth First tragedy and we've got no questions, thank you.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BRITZ: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Ms Slovo, on behalf of myself and Advocate du Plessis also our sympathy with the way your mother died and Jerry Raven has asked me to once again express his regret in the way that your mother died.

Right Ms Slovo, in the video that was shown, you refer to - your mother died at the peak of an intellectual career, devastatingly critical of apartheid. Can you explain what you meant by that?

MS SLOVO: My mother had spent a lot of her time perfecting her writing and then her teaching skills. I think by the time that she reached Mozambique, she really had something to offer to this emerging society. She was really good at what she did, she was really able to help this developing country get on it's feet and to transmit her skills to students who had never had the opportunity to be taught in the way that she was able to teach them. I think it was told me at the time that, you know, in 1977 when the Frelimo Government took over, there were two graduates in the whole of Mozambique, you know, people had gone to university so I think she was really able to help people to develop their ability to work towards a society and in that's what I meant, that she was at the peak of her intellectual career and I think she was a very good speaker and a very good writer. She was much in demand because she was a woman who didn't speak in slogans, my mother was a very clever, very astute and highly critical thinker who didn't just say the easy things. You know we've talked we've talked about her criticisms of various parts of ANC or of the Communist Party policy and she ...[inaudible] Mozambican country and in fact, you know, when I went to make this film and was sitting in the film institute in a cafe and people asked me what am I doing and who am I and they said: "Oh, you're the daughter of our Ruth". Those were Mozambicans, they still regarded her as "our Ruth" because they saw what she was doing for that country.

MR BRITZ: Thank you. What I was more interested in was the use of the word devastatingly critical of apartheid.

MS SLOVO: Well, effectively critical of apartheid I suppose would be another way.

MR BRITZ: Effectively in what sense?

MS SLOVO: In the sense that she was a highly articulate critic of apartheid who was able to talk about what was happening in this country.

MR BRITZ: And with that talking she sort of mobilised then other people in the struggle against apartheid?

MS SLOVO: She mobilised people in the anti-apartheid movement. Did that make her a target?

MR BRITZ: No, no, that's not the question. I'm not going to argue with you whether it was a legitimate target, I'm just asking questions and doing my work here. You testified in respect of visits, during the five year period, you testified you visited her three times during that period while she was stationed in Mozambique, is that correct?

MS SLOVO: That's correct.

MR BRITZ: And how many times did she visit you in the U.K.?

MS SLOVO: I think she came every summer, once a year, you know. She might have come more often. If she was travelling for work she might have come more often but I can't remember.

MR BRITZ: And how often did you write letters to each other?

MS SLOVO: Every six weeks, every two months, sometimes sooner. She was a very good correspondent, I might not have been as good.

MR BRITZ: And during that period of five years, you've just testified you must have seen her not more than eight times, is that correct?

MS SLOVO: Well on eight separate occasions, I didn't only see her once at each time that I saw her.

MR BRITZ: Yes, on eight separate occasions and during these occasions what were you specifically discussing with your mother at these visits, were the discussions of a political nature or was it family matters that was discussed?

MS SLOVO: It wasn't a visit as you would visit somebody in a hospital, she would come to London for a period of two or three, four weeks and I would see her, we might go to the movies together or when I went to Mozambique, we would for example go to Ponta do Ouro for a weekend. I might travel separately, I stayed in her flat. The discussions we had were very wide ranging, they were about my life and her life.

MR BRITZ: And never during that period or did she mention involvement in the anti-apartheid struggle at that time?

MS SLOVO: She would mention if she was writing an article if she was talking somewhere. Of course she would mention it, it was part of her work.

MR BRITZ: And did you ever go into detail during these discussions in respect of her own involvement in the struggle?

MS SLOVO: I went into detail with her about her attitude to what was going on and I heard her debating furiously with my father, various aspects of what was going on.

MR BRITZ: So it was mainly - the discussions were mainly in respect of her attitude towards apartheid at that stage?

MS SLOVO: Her attitude towards apartheid?

MR BRITZ: Her attitude towards apartheid, being opposed to that?

MS SLOVO: It was her - they were mainly about her thoughts and feelings about what was happening in South Africa but she used to concentrate and was much more interested in her work in Mozambique, so for example we spent a long time discussing how you develop agriculture in Mozambique.

My mother felt very strongly and this is one of her criticisms of the Soviet Union, that to collectivise agriculture in a country is to destroy peoples ability to grow food and it was much better if people had small scale agricultural production. This is where her passion was at that time, this was where her work was. When we spent time with people, they were usually what is called corporants, which is foreign workers that went to Mozambique. My mother's colleagues, some of them were agricultural economists, some of them were different kinds of economists, some of them were sociologists and what they used to talk about is their work in the university.

MR BRITZ: So she never told you how she was involved in the struggle, it was only in respect of her attitude, is that correct?

MS SLOVO: If you're saying did we ever have an interview where I said are you a member of the central committee of the Communist Party, no we never had that but I knew she was not a member of the central committee of the Communist Party and I knew she was not a member of the National Executive of the ANC and I knew she was paid by the university of Edwardo Mondlane.

MR BRITZ: No, my question wasn't in respect of her position that she held, it was her direct involvement in the struggle, you never discuss that, you only discussed her attitude towards that ...[intervention]

MS SLOVO: I think that ...[intervention]

MR BRITZ: Sorry, the reason why I ask you this is in the video you said that only now you realise that your father was the commander of uMkhonto weSizwe at that time?

MS SLOVO: No, I don't believe that is what I say, actually, I don't believe that is true ...[intervention]

MR BRITZ: Can you then correct me, when ...[intervention]

MS SLOVO: What I said was, only now do I have some of the answers to the questions that I couldn't ask my father at that time. I think I knew he was Chief of Staff of Umkhonto weSizwe, I think it was actually in the paper, we all knew.

MR BRITZ: But in respect of the strategy to be followed, what discussions did you and your mother have at that time? You testified to the effect that she wasn't against violence but it was in respect of that, in respect of the armed struggle, but it was in respect of the implementation of a strategy to overthrow the government. Am I understanding you correctly in respect of that?

MS SLOVO: I didn't actually testify that she wasn't against violence. I did say that she like many hundreds of thousands of people understood why the ANC decided to form an army, but actually at the time that my mother was killed, I think it is true to say and maybe I'm wrong, that the ANC's military attacks were actually at installations and not against people, I never discussed with her what her attitude was to the killing of people.

MR BRITZ: I can refresh your memory in respect of the Silverton Volkskas Bank, there was civilians killed in respect of that. I'll move on. Wouldn't you say your father and comrades at that stage actively involved in Mozambique would seriously have the best knowledge of how your mother was involved during that period of time, taking into consideration the fact that you only saw her at eight occasions, eight different occasions, weren't they the real people that knew how she was involved actively or on the basis as you say now?

MS SLOVO: I would say my father yes, would know. As to the comrades, I guess it is how well they knew her and how they met her. I don't think everybody in the ANC knew everybody's business or what they were doing, no.

MR BRITZ: You see why I ask this, Mr Chairman, I refer to the book again "Every Secret Thing", I think it's Exhibit 8 and more specifically page 16 thereof. That's in this book, and if I may read it, I quote:

"but he had something he wanted to say"

this was immediately after ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Before you go on, could we perhaps record that there are two editions of this book. One a hard cover which is the copy that the witness has and one a soft cover which is the copy which counsel and Members of the Committee have, so could you check each time you refer to something, I'm not sure that your page 8 is the same as the applicant's page 8.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Britz you can't - Mr Bizos, sorry, you can't perhaps give a soft, the same copy for reference purposes to keep before her?

MR BIZOS: Not now, not now Advocate de Jager.

MS SLOVO: The page are in fact the same.

MR BIZOS: I think the pages are the same.

ADV DE JAGER: Are they the same? Oh.

ADV BIZOS: The printers found it very convenient to keep them that way.

MR BRITZ: May I continue Mr Chairman?


MR BRITZ: And this version page 16:

"but he had something he wanted to say"

This was a discussion with yourself the evening after your mother's death.

"They target her because of who she was, letting slip the guilt which must have been consuming him, the fear that they had killed her because they had not been able to get him. "It was the work she was doing, he continued, "it was dangerous to them."

Is that correct? Is that how your father informed you, that evening, is this factually correct?

MS SLOVO: That's factually correct.

MR BRITZ: I continue:

"He could have been right. The research unit that my mother headed was investigating Mozambique's dependence on it's powerful neighbour. What she uncovered would have helped the Mozambique government sever it's economic ties with South Africa, simultaneously lessening South Africa's power to stop Mozambique from giving ANC guerrillaís succour and more than that, my mother was a symbol of resistance to apartheid. Bright, attractive, fiercely independent, she stood as a constant reminder that whites could choose to stand up and be counted. All this was true and yet, was it reason enough for them to kill her?"

Have you got any comment in respect of this?

MS SLOVO: Well, I mean I think, I have a twofold comment. I think, can you imagine what it have must of been like for my father to contemplate the fact that she was killed because they couldn't kill him? I think that part of this conversation, and that is why I talk about the guilt that he felt, was him saying "it wasn't just 'cause they couldn't get me". Can you imagine what that must have been to live with that, because of what he did, they targeted his wife because they couldn't get him.

And the other thing I think is, yes, my mother was, as I've said over and over again, a forthright anti-apartheid activist, if you want to use that word, who was helping Mozambique get on it's feet, if it is considered that anybody who did that was a legitimate target.

MR BRITZ: Thank you. Do you know whether such an report has ever been brought out as envisaged here on page 70 in respect of South African's involvement in Mozambique?

MS SLOVO: I think this refers to the book that my mother was writing with her colleagues at Edwardo Mondlane that I referred to, a book called "Black Gold" which is not the most readable of my mother's books in the sense it is quite an academic treatise on the relationship between Black Mozambican miners and the South African Mines.

MR BRITZ: That doesn't really say that, it says:

"The research unit that my mother headed was investigating Mozambiqueís dependence on it's powerful neighbour"

That's not writing a book.

MS SLOVO: Yes, as I tried to explain before and I'm sorry if I didn't explain it properly, the work that my mother was doing in relation to Mozambique and miners, at that time it wasn't known whether the facts that miners went into South Africa and got paid a salary, was supporting the Mozambican economy or detracting from the Mozambican economy. It was nobody had ever done that research, it had always been assumed that the fact that these miners went into South Africa and produced cash which they then put back into the Mozambican market, was a way of keeping the Mozambican economy afloat. In fact, I think and I could be wrong on this, as I say it was a very academic book that she wrote and I haven't read for a long time, is one of the things they discovered was that actually Mozambique was supporting the South African economy but because those miners were paid such low wages, they were being supported by the people back home who were growing food and in fact subsidising South Africa.

Now I think in a very small way, for Mozambique to know about this and to know about how their economy was organised, was a way of helping Mozambique to sever it's economic dependence on South Africa.

MR BRITZ: Two years later the Nkomati Accord was signed?

MS SLOVO: That's right.

MR BRITZ: You've heard the - Ms Slovo, you've heard the testimony of Jerry Raven in respect of his view of the difference between a terrorist and an activist. Need I remind you?

MS SLOVO: You do need to remind me, yes.

MR BRITZ: He said a terrorist was the soldier who was fighting on ground level, who was doing and committing all these acts. The activists were the people behind the terrorists, providing them with the infrastructure and logistics and logistics, inter alia motivational talks, motivate your soldiers. Would you agree with that view?

MS SLOVO: If you are prepared to include the then leader of the opposition in England, Neil Kinnock, of the Labour Party, the opposition of the Government as an activist, yes. I would say that is a broad definition of an activist. If you're going to include all the people who marched in demonstrations in England against South Africa, I would say yes they are activists too.

MR BRITZ: No, you see, we would only like to include those activists recognised by the ANC in respect of their involvement in the struggle and in this instance I refer you to Exhibit KK which is an address by Mr Nelson Mandela to the closing session of the 50th National Conference of the ANC. The third paragraph from the bottom.

MS SLOVO: I don't have it, I'm sorry. Thank you.

MR BRITZ: There he refers to all the fallen comrades and the fourth line from that paragraph:

"But for the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune"

And he mentions the following names in context with your mother: Oliver Tambo, Moses Kotane, Yusuf Dado, J.B. Marks, Lilian Mongoyi - Mungoy . Thank you Mr Bizos, maybe you can help me with the pronunciation of the next one as well? Florence Mposhosho, Cake Mulali, Alex Laguma, Helen Joseph, your father, Joe Slovo, Braam Fischer, Moses Madiba and Ruth First.

MS SLOVO: ...[inaudible]

MR BRITZ: Sorry, I apologise for the pronunciation, it's not intentional. That's the activists in the perception and I put that to you in the perception of people like Jerry Raven, who was the legitimate target at that time for the Security Forces. Have you got any comment on that?

MS SLOVO: I have actually. The comment I have is just because Mr Raven has a perception against something, first of all this was a speech in 1997.

MR BRITZ: Correct.

MS SLOVO: So this list presumably, he wasn't going to try and kill all these people.

MR BRITZ: No, no.

MS SLOVO: Who are a list of the dead, in fact. You know, a perception, saying something does not make it so. This is a list of people that Nelson Mandela had also known when he was a young man and who either died while he was in prison or died soon after and I think we have also heard Nelson Mandela recently, in America, talking about, the fact is that he does not forget his friends. My mother also was a friend of Nelson Mandela.

MR BRITZ: Again in context, the first submission of the ANC to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in, I think, August 1996, a list of ANC members who died in exile is provided there including your mother's name. Now it's two pages alone or more, people that died in exile and only but for a few of these people that died here was included in the address that Mr Mandela made end of last year?

MS SLOVO: I assume if Mr Mandela was going to name every single one of the fallen in his speech as in that list, the speech would go on forever. You would have to ask him why he selected those people, but this is a speech made in 1997. What has it got to do with Craig Williamson and Jerry Raven sending my mother a bomb?

MR BRITZ: It gives the necessary recognition that your mother deserves and quite correctly, Mr Mandela has drawn the line, he's drawn the line at the people that were actively and high profile, on a high profile basis, involved. I'm going to leave it at that, Mr Chairman. Let's move on.

In respect of, again your book, page 8, I don't know, your hard copy? There you give the - and I know and I've got sympathy with that, it's not easy to testify in respect of this, you've mentioned or you've given explanation of what happened on that fateful day at the bomb scene. Now the reason why I'm going to ask you the questions is that numerous suggestions were put at Mr Raven without us knowing exactly what evidence is going to be led and what's going to come forward from that, so I want to ask you, who did you speak to when you wrote this book, in respect of the day the bomb exploded at the university?

MS SLOVO: I spoke to Pallo Jordan and I might have spoken to Brigitte O'Lochlan, but certainly not recently and not for a long time.

MR BRITZ: What did Mr Jordan tell you this specific day? Can I ask, without wasting time, have you instructed your attorneys to see that Mr Jordan is going to come and testify at these proceedings in February?

MS SLOVO: I haven't instructed my attorneys, no, but he might be coming to testify.

MR BRITZ: So you won't have a problem if I ask you questions in respect of what he told you what happened to test what he's going to come and testify about?

MS SLOVO: I'm sorry, this is my first time I've ever testified, I do not know if I have a problem on that, I mean ...[intervention]

MR BRITZ: No, no, no, no, that's fine I'm sure, Mr Bizos, if there's a problem, Mr Bizos will object to that. What did Mr Jordan tell you about that day with specific reference to what can he remember who the envelope was addressed to?

MS SLOVO: Mr Jordan has told me in general terms that that envelope was addressed to my mother, but he didn't tell me how he knew that.

MR BRITZ: You didn't ask him?

MS SLOVO: I didn't, no.

MR BRITZ: Wasn't it important for you?

MS SLOVO: I know the envelope was addressed to my mother, for all the reasons I have given, I know there wasn't a letter. You know, I don't know it a hundred percent but in all probability, knowing my mother, knowing her life, knowing that this envelope was taken out of the post, she did not get letters to Ms Ruth First and Mr Slovo, that was not how their life was organised, I know she would not have opened a letter to my father ever, because of the danger and because they lived such separate lives and I also know she would not have opened two envelopes, one, when the outside one had my father's name on it.

MR BRITZ: Your knowledge is not knowledge on fact, it's surmising on the way you knew your father and ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: And it explains does it not, why she didn't ask any questions?

MR BRITZ: That's right, Mr Chairman.

Did Mr Jordan tell you where your mother was standing at that time of the explosion?

MS SLOVO: He might have told me but I am not good on these details, partly because I don't want to have to think about it.

MR BRITZ: The reason why I ask you inter alia is there were suggestions that it could have been a parcel bomb. Did Mr Jordan tell you anything to that effect?

MS SLOVO: I don't think he did, I mean, part of it - you know I have assumptions that I made from having talked to Craig Williamson about this and in talking to me he did talk about a parcel. He is no longer talking about a parcel, he's talking about an A4 envelope.

MR BRITZ: Can I read then the last two paragraphs of your book just to refresh your memory? Quotation:

"Returned soon afterwards carrying her own bundle. She stood by one of the windows, sorting through. Pallo was sitting nearby at a table, Aquina opposite him, Brigitte slightly to one side. 'Look at this', Aquina said, stretching across the table, holding a letter out to Pallo and it was at that moment that Ruth must have split open the buff envelope that had been sent to her. In doing so, she broke the circuit that had been carefully laid inside. The bomb went off. The men who had planned her death had taken no chances. The force of the explosion was powerful enough to blow out the window, sending half of the industrial air-conditioning unit thudding to the ground."

Who told you this?

MS SLOVO: Pallo told me what had happened and where they were standing. The air-conditioning unit, I think I was told by Mozambicans that that is what happened to the room.

MR BRITZ: You've got no idea what other evidence will be led in this forum in respect of that explosion?

MS SLOVO: ...[inaudible]

MR BRITZ: I know my learned friend, Mr Levine, has touched on it, on the process of Truth and Reconciliation and Mr Chairman I won't labour the point. What I want to ask from the witness, in your perception, should there have been a provision or a distinction in the Act in respect of the struggle between a just war being the - and we've heard numerous conversations and suggestions in respect of that, the just war of the liberation movement and the war on the side of the Security Forces, to your mind?

MS SLOVO: To my mind, there is a distinction between those wars yes, but if you're asking me in the Act should there have been a distinction made, I am not here to rewrite history or to rewrite an Act. That Act was made at a certain time in history and it was necessary to save lives and in that way I support it.

MR BRITZ: If you say you can't, in your mind there should be a distinction now, can you draw the extinction or distinction between for instance, the Church Street bomb and the killing of your mother? On a moral basis?

MS SLOVO: It is very difficult for me to do that. What I know is that men sat in an office in Pretoria and they sent a bomb to my mother with her name on it, knowing that when she opened it, she would be killed. That's what I know. I am not here to judge the actions of anybody and I'm not here to judge the actions of those who did the Church Street bomb. I do know that it was a year after my mother was killed.

MR BRITZ: Well I can ask you the same in respect of the Volkskas handgrenade but I don't want you to make, I'm just putting this because I'm getting to the point what I'll ask you. Will you accept during that period of time and as stated in - I don't know whether you've read the book of Mr Mandela "Long Walk to Freedom", there he states that one of his wardens, when some of the privileges were taken away, he said he understands that person that he could do something like that because that specific warden would have thought at that time, because he was indoctrinated by the politicians, that if he's going to give Mr Mandela the privileges, they're going to come out of the jail and chase all the whites into the sea. Now would you agree with me that the Security Police, at that time and it's subjectively not in their mind, I'm asking you in their mind, in the context of the struggle, in the context to what I've just said to you, that they were indoctrinated to believe at that time that they were fighting against the enemy, perceived by them to be communists, Marxist, activist and terrorist, who wanted to take their country by force and they had to protect their country at all cost?

MS SLOVO: There was a time not so long ago when I would have accepted that without question, yes, and that was before I came to these hearings, but what I've heard here is the men who created that threat in people's minds, who made my father into a KGB Colonel, in order to let the white population of this country think that there was that threat, now those men knew what they were doing, so I would say yes, some members of the Security Police that might be true of but I no longer believed that it was true for all the members of the Security Police.

They knew what they were doing, they created the Red threat and in fact in the amnesty applications they actually use that as a reason, you know, for justification in order to get the white population on their way. Well they can't both tell lies to get the white population on their side and then say they were fooled by these lies. You can't make up the lie and believe it.

MR BRITZ: You can't seriously expect us to believe that it was only Mr Craig Williamson that created the perception that your father was enemy number one to the white South Africans?

MS SLOVO: I didn't actually say it was Mr Craig Williamson who single-mindedly did it, but I have heard Mr Craig Williamson telling me that one day he and others decided to make my father a KGB Colonel and they chose a Colonel because they didn't know what the ranks in the KGB were. So yes, I think they did create that myth.

MR BRITZ: Not alone. So subjectively and I put that to you, they thought that they were fighting also a just war although now, afterwards, it seems that it was wrong in the context of what's democracy at this stage?

MS SLOVO: I say again, perhaps some of them did think they were fighting a just war and the others were just fighting a war to win and they didn't care who got killed in the process.

MR BRITZ: Would you say that Mr Jerry Raven, being the Warrant Officer and the lowest ranking officer at that time, not selecting targets personally, would fall into this category that you've just said now, that might have believed that they were fighting a just war?

MS SLOVO: I really don't know what to say about that, I mean I might have said that if I hadn't had to sit and listen to Mr Jerry Raven telling the most ludicrous stories about envelopes and making bombs in them without seeing the name, so I don't know what to believe in relation to him. I don't know what he has said is the truth, I think yes it is true, somebody who was lower down in the ranks was more likely to be able to use the excuse "I was just following orders and I believed in what they were telling me". Yes, that is probable but I wish Jerry Raven had told us the truth.

MR BRITZ: Wouldn't you say it would have been easier for Jerry Raven if he did testify that he knew your mother or your father was the target?

MS SLOVO: I think it would be easier for him to testify if he knew that my father was the target but I think if he knew that my mother was the target and he also knows that she was not in their own terms a legitimate target, I think that makes it very difficult for him to testify that he knew that she was the target.

MR BRITZ: Will you accept that Mr Raven did not know your mother and father personally?

MS SLOVO: I would accept that that's highly likely.

CHAIRPERSON: Would you accept also that your mother was a high profile person? That it's a name, that if you see the name, it's a name you would remember?

MS SLOVO: Yes I would accept that.

MR BRITZ: Ja, that's my next point. He knew of them because of intelligence reports and even media reports, as you stated your mother was a high profile person. Would you further then agree with me that Mr Raven, and I'm not delivering the point whether he knew or not knew, couldn't have any personal gain or personal malice in building these bombs or this bomb that ultimately killed your mother?

MS SLOVO: I would accept that only to the extent - yes, I suppose I would accept that.

MR BRITZ: And would you accept that it was Mr Raven's motive to fight the liberation movements and the struggle at that time when he was busy building the bomb?

MS SLOVO: No, I would not accept that. I'm not denying it, I think it was Mr Raven's motive to do what he was told to do and he has shown that, you know, he doesn't think it was any of his responsibility to know who the bomb was directed to.

MR BRITZ: Right but ...[intervention]

MS SLOVO: I don't know whether I can ascribe any higher motive to Mr Raven but I mean, you know him better than me.

MR BRITZ: So you can't deny - if he testified that was his motive, you can't deny that?


MR BRITZ: Thank you. The context ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Well I understand your evidence insofar as it's relevant to this question that you were saying that you do, you have no problem with the thing that Mr Raven was just carrying out orders, that he was a foot soldier and if he was told to do something, he'd do it. There was not personal malice at all on his part when he was carrying out an order?

MS SLOVO: What I'm trying to say I think, Your Honour, is that I see a difference between Mr Raven and Mr Williamson and the difference is on what I would expect, that they each knew about my mother. Mr Williamson had been out of South Africa for a considerable period of time, moving in very similar circles to my mother's, he would have known who she was and what she was doing. I wouldn't expect that of Mr Raven.

MR BRITZ: And you would agree, in the context of what was happening in 1992 with the Volkskas Bank, the attacks on SASOL, that there was a full scale war between the liberation movements and the Security Forces at that time?

MS SLOVO: I believe you're talking about 1982?

MR BRITZ: 1982, my apologies.

MS SLOVO: I would not say that there was an equal full scale war going on no, but I think that the South African Government had declared and was waging war against its people inside South Africa for a lot longer than before '82. There was military action between the two sides, yes. I don't know how you classify a full scale war. I think Mr Williamson himself has said that the military aspect of what was going on in '82 wasn't particularly great at that point.

MR BRITZ: And you've testified to a question of the Chairperson that you accept that Mr Raven was acting on orders at that time from Mr Williamson?

MS SLOVO: I'm prepared to accept that, yes.

MR BRITZ: And are you willing to accept that Mr Raven in his subjective vision of the struggle thought that what he was doing in either, without him knowing it, accepting the word of his superior officers, was if successful in either your mother and/or your father, was putting back the operations of the liberation movement in respect of further military action and/or operations within the country and with outside the country?

MS SLOVO: I have no idea, I have no access to Mr Raven's subjectivity.

MR BRITZ: And you'll accept that if he testifies to that, you've got no facts so say that that's not the truth?


MR BRITZ: Then what was important, you did testify in chief that it was important for you to put a face to the person that built the bomb. What was also important for you when you came here in respect of these proceedings?

MS SLOVO: I thought that coming here would give me, and I think both my sisters thought it, some sense of peace and some completion, that this episode has been closed in a proper manner, that people have complied with the Act, whatever we think of it, that they have come here and told the truth. And I have been quite shaken up in that belief because I don't think we have heard anything like the truth and I don't think, you know, this constant harping on envelope was meant for my mother or my father and that neither of the men concerned knew who the envelope was addressed to, I cannot believe it and I cannot believe that my mother was even in their terms, a legitimate target.

MR BRITZ: You were here when Mr Raven testified that if he saw the envelope was addressed to your mother he would anyway proceed with the building of the bomb and likewise in respect of your father? Doesn't that make a difference? Only in respect of Mr Raven's application, he's come ...[intervention]

MS SLOVO: It makes me understand Mr Raven more, yes.

MR BRITZ: In what sense?

MS SLOVO: In the sense that what he is saying is that he would have obeyed any order that was given to him.

MR BRITZ: And you'll accept that?

MS SLOVO: I think that's probably true, yes.

MR BRITZ: Because he takes responsibility, and I'm putting that to you, he takes responsibility now after the fact for the death of your mother. If he had any intention to deny it, he would have done so right from the outset.

MS SLOVO: I don't actually think he's taken responsibility for the death of my mother because he hasn't admitted that he sent that bomb to her and that would be taking responsibility. He's hiding behind the fact that he didn't see who the letter was addressed to. It seems to me, taking responsibility is to actually look us in the face and say: "Yes, I did do it, I was instructed to send a bomb to your mother and I obeyed orders and I sent a bomb to your mother."

MR BRITZ: But isn't that what Mr Raven did?

MS SLOVO: No, Mr Raven said he sent a bomb to somebody and he didn't know who it was for. He said here in answer to a question from one of the panel, that he would have sent it to himself because he didn't look at it, but in fact he didn't send a bomb to himself, he sent a bomb to my mother.

MR BRITZ: If you could bear with me a moment Mr Chairman?

Only a question in respect of the tapes. Did you read the transcript of Exhibit X1 and X2 before it was handed in by your legal team as exhibits?

MS SLOVO: I read them before the corrections that I made were made and then I read them as they were being handed in which was when I pointed out to - I'm sorry in England you use different, lawyer, I have to use, I've forgotten, you know, that there was a problem with them because whereas before in the transcript that I had read it had said Mr - because the transcriber knew it was a man's voice but didn't know who it was - that had been changed to Ms Slovo and as soon as I saw that as they were being handed in, I pointed it out to our lawyers which is why Mr Bizos then said that there was a problem with the end of the tape.

MR BRITZ: So, and I'm surmising, so at the stage when this was handed in as an exhibit you weren't sure of the correctness of each and every sentence that was typed down?

MS SLOVO: As soon as I looked at it, I could see where my interview with Mr Williamson had ended, I could see because I could not remember having an interview with Mr Williamson that included those particular bits of it and you must understand, I have thought quite a lot about my interview with Mr Williamson. As I've said I made notes, I do know it fairly well and I do know when it was no longer my interview with Mr Williamson.

MR BRITZ: And the first time before it was handed in you had a look at it again was the morning here?

MS SLOVO: Yes, after it had been retyped.

MR BRITZ: Ms Slovo, you're not a South African citizen?


MR BRITZ: Are you planning in coming back to the country or not?

MS SLOVO: Not at the moment.

MR BRITZ: Well we may invite you because this is a great country, you and your family will be safe here. I've no further questions in respect of this witness.


MR BIZOS: Sorry, is there no-one else, Mr Chair?

CHAIRPERSON: I don't know.

MR JANSEN: Thank you Mr Chairman, Jansen for the record. I have no questions.


MR HUGO: Thank you Mr Chairman. It's Hugo on behalf of Mr de Kock. I have no questions.


MR BOOYENS: Booyens, Mr Chairman. My client doesn't apply for amnesty in respect of this incident and accordingly I have got no questions for this witness.


CHAIRPERSON: Changing you seat doesn't give you another turn, Mr Visser. That I think does complete ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: No re-examination.


CHAIRPERSON: No re-examination.

MR SIBANYONI: I've got no questions, Mr Chairperson.

ADV DE JAGER: When you visited your parents in Mozambique on the three occasions, for how long did you stay with them?

MS SLOVO: I went for about three weeks but I didn't necessarily stay with them the whole time. On one occasion I went with my partner and we travelled for about five days, out of Maputo on our own.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't know what the position is now. Mr Bizos, would this witness like to leave or choose to further attend?

MR BIZOS: Yes, she would like to get back to her child.

CHAIRPERSON: Well if she has a daughter waiting for her I can well understand it. Does anybody have any objection? It is recorded that nobody has any objection to this witness being released from further hearings.

MS SLOVO: Thank you.



ADV DE JAGER: There may be one thing Mr Bizos, and that's about the tape that's still coming or I don't know whether that would be disputed or whether it's been checked or that kind of thing.

MR BIZOS: Well Mr Chairman we are confident that no material part that was used in this hearing is really disputable but if it necessary, if something is going to be suggested that this witness did anything, she said that she did nothing with it to interfere with the tape, she has not been cross-examined, it has not been put to her either by Mr Levine or my learned friend from Mr Raven that there was anything wrong, materially wrong in the tape. It would be passing strange if at some time in the future somebody would say that there is something wrong. This is not a tape of which is outside their knowledge, it's a tape of Mr Williamson. Mr Williamson must have a pretty good idea as to whether there's anything wrong with it or not, so we will take the moral chance of excusing her. They will have to justify with fairly strong reasons why she should be called back for that or any other purpose, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Is there any intention to correct the transcripts?

MR BIZOS: We intend Mr Chairman, for the sake of completeness, to sit down and once our attorney has a time during the intervening period when the matter is going to be adjourned, we hope that there will be co-operation amongst the attorneys to sit down in order to put in an agreed version for the sake of completeness. But I would submit, with respect, that once the portions that we have put to Mr Williamson have been admitted and once the tape as it stands hasn't been challenged, it may well be that when the originals are here there may be words that may be changed. We are also sufficiently experienced and we're not going to take up time and costs about it to say well, there's a word that was left out. I don't think that it's a serious problem, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: No, because it would appear Mr Bizos, that in the one night, I think you might say it was the one night, that Mr Levine and his attorney had the tapes, they made quite a lot of corrections to the 40 pages or so that they were able to go through. Not just one word left out but words put in and it's matters of that nature that I'm thinking about, but I think it should be done by agreement.

MR BIZOS: It will most certainly.

CHAIRPERSON: And co-operation between the parties.

MR BIZOS: Thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: It was only a night wasn't it, Mr Levine? I think you said you and your attorney had to work late that night?

MR LEVINE: Yes and I don't dispute that and of course we will co-operate to try and see that you get an accurate transcript. And to the extent that there may be any argument between us as to what is correct or not, if necessary once we get the original micro cassettes we could play them to the Committee, but I think it would be unnecessary to anticipate.

CHAIRPERSON: I would rather you played them to some expert in the field than the Committee.

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, who the next applicant is to give evidence is not in my hands so I think that your eyes should be directed elsewhere, with respect.

CHAIRPERSON: I understood we were dealing with these applications and you were going to call other witnesses?

MR BIZOS: No, Mr Chairman, specifically I said I would not be able to deal without further witnesses because my attorney isn't here, Mr Chairman. And Mr Berger was not supposed to be here but because of the importance of the witness, he made other arrangements, but he will not be here tomorrow or the day after or the rest of the week. So that we agreed that the evidence that I have to lead will be led at the meeting when it resumes Mr Chairman. And I assured I think the Committee and my learned friends, that I would stay here in order to deal with the applicants for amnesty, Mr Chairman, of the London bomb, Mr Chairman. That is my recollection of the discussion, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Well a great deal of the discussion took place between the legal advisors which we were not party to. I must say that I had understood we were going to try to finish the Slovo and Schoon applications this week and that it was the other ones that would be adjourned, and we were told that Mr Adam is not available for the whole of this week?

MS PATEL: Mr Chairman, with respect, I do believe that we'd agreed that all the matters save for the London bombing would be finalised this week and that those other incidents would be postponed to a date that has been agreed to by all the parties present, being the second and the third week of February.

CHAIRPERSON: So we go on with which, the London?

MS PATEL: With the London bombing.

CHAIRPERSON: And is Mr Adam available?

MS PATEL: No he is not.

CHAIRPERSON: So that would have to be adjourned too?


ADV DE JAGER: But Mr Jansen is representing him.

MR JANSEN: Yes Mr Chairman, as I explained my position how I understood it, we'd be finishing the London bomb incident this week save for the evidence of Mr Adam who will then return upon the adjourned date together with the other evidence in the Slovo and Schoon matters.

MR VISSER: Well Mr Chairman, Visser on record, I must admit I am confused because I thought I heard my learned friend, Mr Bizos say that he's got to deal with his witnesses now because some of his witnesses are prospective or actual parliamentarians who can't be here in February and I understood him to say that they've got to be dealt with now because in February they will be attending parliament and frankly I admit that if I misunderstood it, then it is my fault. Mr Chairman, I don't know what to suggest in order - I really don't know what to suggest but we have one witness to go as well, on the London bomb issue. Is the idea that Mr Adam is not going to be here this week at all?


MR VISSER: Well, if my learned friend, Mr Bizos, is going to be here, can't we then go on with the Schoon matter?

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, counsel for the Commission has got the agreement correctly, Mr Chairman, that is what was agreed on. I did indicate that Mr Schoon was under pressure from his employer to return to work and he has gone off to work with, once that matter was agreed on. My learned friend is partly correct that there was discussion about the availability of parliamentarians. Mr Chairman and then I made it clear that they could not be heard this week because we did not have an attorney. We have not seen any of them although we've had telephone conversations with them and we have been negotiating on the basis of a date before parliament opens but unfortunately Mr Levine isn't available for some of the time, others are not available for some of the time and we said well come what may, it may well be that even though parliament may be sitting the second week of February that they will have to come so that there was no suggestion that parliamentarians or any other witnesses besides any of our witnesses that have to go overseas to want to be excused, would be called this week. Counsel for the Commission has got it absolutely correct because she has been negotiating for dates, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Well I understood Mr Bizos, that you couldn't call your witnesses last week because they were in parliament, but when parliament adjourned on Thursday I had hoped that they would now be available.

MR BIZOS: If we had an attorney Mr Chairman and if those arrangements could be made and we could have done it this week, we would have done it but Mr Chairman, this week was - Mr Berger is not available, my attorney isn't here and I made it quite clear that I could not both consult witnesses, prepare statements and lead them and be in court, Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Bizos, the only thing I think you'll have to find out about the first and second week in February, because then you've got the, in the old days it was called the motion of no confidence, a debate on the President's speech and so on?


ADV DE JAGER: So it would be very difficult for Ministers to be absent from parliament in the first and second week of February.

MR BIZOS: We are mindful of that and this is why we tried to put it down at a time when they would be available but we could not get consensus. Every time a date was mentioned, somebody had a difficulty about it and the parliamentarians were not here to say that we want to hear the President's address, which is going to be the Friday before, the last day of the first week, the Friday of February. But Mr Chairman, that is another matter but I have no other witnesses to call now and that was made quite clear to everyone concerned including counsel for the ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: Well Mr Chairman, Visser on record again. May I be permitted to say this. We have shown we are most accommodating as far as we possibly can to Mr Bizos with all his problems, sans witnesses, sans attorneys, etc. etc. But if we're going to grind to a halt because of that, Mr Chairman, after all this is the time that has been set aside for applicants to bring their amnesty applications, then I am going to move seriously, that you should continue hearing the witnesses as they are available and then, although being very sorry for my learned friend, by this time he must have taken instructions from Marius Schoon as to what to cross-examine Mr Willem Schoon on about his application and as far as the London bomb was concerned, this remains a source of constant confusion to me, Mr Chairman, what my learned friend has to do there because he is not involved in that matter and we can surely continue with those issues, with respect, Mr Chairman. If not this afternoon then first thing tomorrow morning.

CHAIRPERSON: But that was the proposal, the proposal was that we should continue with the London bomb, that is what - that we should now hear the next applicant who would be Mr Du Toit.

MS PATEL: Honourable Chairperson, for the London bomb we still have three applicants that must still testify. I would respectfully suggest that ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: You say Taylor is the next one?

MS PATEL: Ja, so there's Taylor, there's Du Toit and there's De Kock that must still testify. I suggest we complete them.

MR VISSER: We have a problem with that Mr Chairman and that is that we, my attorney has given an undertaking to Mr Penzhorn, who is interested in the evidence of Taylor, that we will not commence with Taylor's evidence unless he is here. My attorney, I must add myself, never considered that we would reach the point this afternoon where we would have to call any of our witnesses, along the lines of our understanding which I have articulated here. But Mr Chairman, it would seem that if we can be of any assistance to save time, certainly we will put our witnesses in, we will gladly put Mr Taylor in. As far as we're concerned, there is Mr Taylor across the room from me, we can leave his evidence barring the undertaking that my learned friend has done and barring also Mr Chairman, that surely Mr Taylor isn't the only witness that has to go. We've got Mr Eugene de Kock who is also involved in the London bomb and why can't he for example go?

MR HUGO: Mr Chairman yes, Hugo on behalf of Mr de Kock. We're perfectly happy to start except that if Mr de Kock would just start now, it's going to run over into tomorrow and my proposal is, and subject to what Mr Booyens says, is that his client starts. His version is relatively short and I think we would be able to finish him this afternoon but we're perfectly happy to start if you want us to start.

CHAIRPERSON: How long will he be in chief?

MR HUGO: Mr Chairman I would think about an hour, hour and a half.

CHAIRPERSON: Well shouldn't we hear his evidence in chief? We will not allow cross-examination to commence this afternoon?

MR HUGO: As it pleases you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: We record our gratitude to you and to your client to having volunteered to come forward and hope that this sets an example to others.

MR HUGO: Mr Chairman do you want the applicant to move across or can he sit next to me?

CHAIRPERSON: Well, it's difficult for you questioning somebody sitting next to you. Which would you prefer? We have up to now met the convenience of counsel by allowing the person they are questioning to sit opposite them.

MR HUGO: I'd prefer him to sit next to me, Mr Chairman, in the sense that I can show him the documents.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, if that suits you. Perhaps it's only right that you should stop having a lady on either side of you.

MR HUGO: Mr Chairman, then if I can just ask one last indulgence, I've just received instructions that Mr de Kock just wants five minutes before we start?

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, we will take a short adjournment.








DAY : 14




EXAMINATION BY MR HUGO: Thank you Mr Chairman, the witness will testify in Afrikaans.

Mr de Kock, you are the applicant in this matter and you are applying for amnesty ...[inaudible] to planning or preparatory steps and the implementation thereof or any other offence or delict which was committed by you with regard to the damage of the ANC's offices in Penton Street, number 28, in Pentonville, London on the 14th March 1982?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct

MR HUGO: Mr de Kock is it also correct that your are also applying for amnesty for the planning of the damage to the South African Communist Party's offices in Goodge Street in London also during March 1982?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct..

MR HUGO: Is it also correct that your application is contained in bundle 3 of the paginated pieces before the Committee and more specifically from page 208 up to and including page 215 as well as the entirety of bundle 4, is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR HUGO: And is it also true that the facts contained within these documents are true and correct and that you have personal knowledge thereof, that it has been appropriately undersigned within the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR HUGO: Mr de Kock, is it also correct that you request that the evidence which is delivered by the former Minister of Law and Order, Adriaan Johannes Vlok, as well as the former Commissioner of Police, General Johan van der Merwe, which was presented to this Honourable Committee with regard to the Khotso and Cosatu House applications also be incorporated with this?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR HUGO: Mr Chairman, may I just mention that we have the specific references and we will let you have these references when we argue the matter at the end, unless you want the references now?

MR DE KOCK: Could you please just grant me an opportunity? Do you have a problem with me?

MR HUGO: No, Mr de Kock, not at all. We are talking about something completely different.

CHAIRPERSON: I have heard that evidence and I have seen that evidence. I'm quite happy that you refer to it during your address, but I don't know if the other gentlemen here might want to see it with a view to questioning the applicant about anything contained therein. I don't know if they've all seen it. I think it's fairly safe to assume that everybody has seen General van der Merwe's representations? That was published as a separate booklet really, but I'm not sure that they would have seen Minister Vlok's.

MR HUGO: Well, I'm in the Committee's hands. If the Committee wants us to make copies of that particular portion, we're actually relying on the affidavit that was handed in by Mr Vlok at the commencement of his evidence which was a separate affidavit.

CHAIRPERSON: Well I think you should it make it available to your colleagues if they want, if they would indicate to you if they want to have sight of it.

MR HUGO: Thank you Mr Chairman.

Mr de Kock, I would just like to discuss your background very briefly. At various prior occasions it has been discussed and this is contained in Volume 4 of the paginated pieces, is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR HUGO: And more specifically it has referred to your background on page 54 and 55 of the annexed pieces, where there has been a brief representation of your background that you were born in George in the Cape Province?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR HUGO: That you grew up in Springs?

MR DE KOCK: Yes Chairperson, that is correct.

MR HUGO: Your primary school career was completed at Boksburg as well as your high school education?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR HUGO: And in the same pieces ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Is your bundle 4 paginated?

MR HUGO: Yes Mr Chairman it is.

CHAIRPERSON: Where? Well ours is not properly paginated, we have pagination from page 5 to 54 and then we started with - go back to 1.

MR HUGO: It's strange Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Well we can perhaps do something about that during the adjournment. What page have you referred to now?

MR HUGO: Mr Chairman, the pages that I have been referring to are pages 54 and 55. It's part of a Professor van der Hovenís report that we used during the criminal trial where she just set out the general background and the history and his schooling etc. I'm going to be very brief on the background if that might help you, Mr Chairman. Professor van der Hovenís report starts immediately after page 54 of Volume 4. This is the same volume that we used during the Cosatu and Khotso House applications.

CHAIRPERSON: Well I've got a copy of that bundle upstairs which may be paginated. The one we've been given in this one isn't. Read the top of the page that you're referring him to.

MR HUGO: Mr Chairman, the top of the page that I'm referring to says "Evaluation Report" and that's by Professor A. van der Hoven.


MR HUGO: That's where the report starts and she deals with his background and history etc. Mr Chairman I understand that you ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: The first one is by a person by the name of Du Plessis?

MR HUGO: That is correct.

ADV DE JAGER: And then there is one by Rovello?

MR HUGO: No the first report is by Professor van der Hoven.

CHAIRPERSON: End of page 54. Go to page 54 from the beginning. 55, 56, go on. There you are. We found it.

MR HUGO: I apologise Mr Chairman, I was led to understand that you would be in possession of the previous bundle as used in the Cosatu and Khotso House.

Mr de Kock, on page 61 of the documents, a brief description is given of your police training which you commenced in 1968 in Benoni?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR HUGO: You were then also called up for a counter-insurgency course in Rhodesia in the same year?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR HUGO: And then you were also in the State President's guard?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR HUGO: And after that you went back to Benoni in 1974?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that's correct.

MR HUGO: Mention is also made of the fact that you participated in the unrest control situation in 1976 in the East Rand in the black residential areas?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR HUGO: And then closer to your current application, you were transferred in 1977 to South West Africa and you became the Station Commander of Ruakana?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes that is correct.

MR HUGO: In 1979, that is when Operation Koevoet commenced?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR HUGO: And you were connected to the Koevoet unit until May 1983?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR HUGO: And just for the sake of clarity for the Honourable Committee, it's probably general knowledge and common cause that you were found guilty of a number of offences for which you are applying for amnesty. However, is it correct that your current application which has been served to the Committee is not one which has been judged by the criminal court?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR HUGO: Then Mr de Kock, I would just like to study the initial planning phase of this operation which eventually led to the damage of the ANC offices in London. When did you meet Craig Williamson for the first time?

MR DE KOCK: That was in the early '80's. It could have been a bit earlier. That is when he visited the operational area in Ovambo.

MR HUGO: And can you remember what the purpose of this visit was?

MR DE KOCK: As far as I can recall, he wanted to bring himself up to date with the operational area and the operational situation and we accommodated this as such.

MR HUGO: Might I ask you directly, was the London operation ever discussed during this visit with you personally?


MR HUGO: And is it correct that you were called in by the Commanding Officer of your unit of Koevoet, General Hans Dreyer?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR HUGO: And what did he tell you?

MR DE KOCK: He told me along with Lieutenant Adam that we were to go to Pretoria, that we were needed. He didn't even say that it was for an operation, he simply said that we were needed in that regard and on the contrary we were, both of us, quite surprised, Lieutenant Adam and myself.

MR HUGO: He didn't inform you that he had any knowledge of the purpose of the proposed operation or where you were on your way to or how long you'd be away?

MR DE KOCK: No, he simply said that we had to report to head office and that we had to report to Brigadier Goosen.

MR HUGO: Very well, when you arrived in Pretoria, might I just by the way ask you how you arrived in Pretoria?

MR DE KOCK: We flew with Air Force traffic.

MR HUGO: And when you arrived in Pretoria, who met you?

MR DE KOCK: I can't remember who fetched us from the airport. I can't recall that at all, however, I do remember that we reported to Brigadier Goosen. If I'm not mistaken it might have been on that very same day.

MR HUGO: Might I just ask you to return to Koevoet and to General Hans Dreyer. Did you have to fill in leave forms from Ondangwa or from the border area or were you just placed in a different mode of service?

MR DE KOCK: No, we had free movement in the operational area, we had no take leave and then were sent for service to head office just to clarify. Koevoet fell directly under the auspices of head office. The direct commanding officer of Koevoet was General Coetzee. With my transfer from the Security Branch to Oshakati, I was transferred to head office with the station as Oshakati. However, therefore I was a member of head office but I was stationed at Oshakati. After that it was General Dreyer and after that it was General Coetzee.

MR HUGO: I would just like to pause for a moment with the preparations which were made for the operation in London. When, after your arrival in Pretoria, did you meet Craig Williamson again?

MR DE KOCK: That could have been on the same day but I don't recall exactly. I know that we reported to Brigadier Goosen and I know that we slept at Daisy on the first evening, myself and Adam and along with us was Lieutenant Taylor and I think eventually, a day or so later, Lieutenant McPherson, also came to stay at Daisy. He was already married but I remember that he was at Daisy for the last two evenings.

MR HUGO: And Brigadier Goosen?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, we simply greeted him. He devolved us later and my recollection is that I met Williamson but that I immediately began working with Captain Brune who began to make arrangements for passports and documentation. He was to create a cover for me and Adam and we compartmentalised in our functions and Brune only worked with my documentation as well as Adam.

MR HUGO: When you say they worked with your things, could you just more specifically tell us which documentation was provided for you and which documentation was obtained for you?

MR DE KOCK: A false passport and after that immunisation certificates were obtained for us as well as international driving licences. I think that that was still obtained in Johannesburg and not locally. Furthermore we were taken to Captain Koekemoer who was still a Lieutenant at that stage and he referred us to Volkskas bank. I think I withdrew approximately 5000 to 6000 dollars in foreign exchange, the same with Adam.

MR HUGO: Is it correct that the money which was withdrawn in the form of credit cards and travellers cheques was done by means of a false name?

MR DE KOCK: I did not receive any credit cards and that actually created some kind of problem for me later in London but we'll get to that later. I had the cash as well as the passport.

MR HUGO: You've also heard there's been evidence given by Mr McPherson regarding the provision of gas containers or canisters. Can you tell us what your recollection is of that?

MR DE KOCK: Yes Chairperson. It was a gas canister of a moderate capacity and by that I would mean the capacity of a usual underarm spray, it was white in colour. It had the usual rabbit ears which was similar to the Playboy logo. The content thereof was told to me by Captain Brune. It would be able to make a person lose his consciousness for at least ten seconds so therefore this person would not be able to defend himself adequately, therefore it wasn't teargas as I knew it in the unrest situation. I don't know how many of the canisters went along to London, however I myself never took one or used one. My function was somewhat different.

MR HUGO: Did you have any knowledge of where these gas canisters came from, who provided these gas canisters?

MR DE KOCK: No, I don't know. It was specially manufactured for the operation but I don't have any other information regarding the canisters.

ADV DE JAGER: I beg your pardon, did you say you yourself never received one?

MR DE KOCK: No, there were enough when we planned, the planning of the bomb, but I didn't take one by nature of the situation. I had dealt with gas quite often enough to know that it could boomerang quite badly on one sometimes.

MR HUGO: Just regarding the preparation, did you have any knowledge of where the funding for this operation came from?

MR DE KOCK: No, I have no knowledge of that, rumours were by certain Koevoet members but I know that his lying.

MR HUGO: Did you have any personal knowledge?


MR HUGO: Then with regard to the objective of this operation, was this discussed with you before the time what the objective of the operation would be and against whom it was aimed?

MR DE KOCK: Yes Chairperson, it was discussed and lectures were presented at Daisy Farm, slides were shown to us, photos were shown to us, it was explained to us surrounding the currency which was used.

MR HUGO: I beg you pardon, before you continue. Let's just put the first aspect on record. Against who was this operation aimed?

MR DE KOCK: Primarily it was aimed against the ANC offices in Penton Street. Secondarily and not as importantly were the offices of the SACP, but both were targets.

MR HUGO: Might I just ask you the following then? I think I put this to you, you were a young lieutenant who came from Ovamboland, what was your attitude at that stage towards the ANC and the South African Communist Party?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson it was nothing other than a continuation of SWAPO and SWAPO objectives, ultimately it was based upon Black Nationalism. In retrospect this was also in conflict with White Nationalism. They were terrorists, whether you were a member of SWAPO, the SACP or the ANC, you were carrying out the objectives of the Kremlin.

MR HUGO: And is it correct that you participated with great enthusiasm in this operation because of the fact that it was aimed against the ANC and the SACP?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, everybody was enthusiastic. People would have had fist fights in order to be first in line. Today of course they're fighting to be last in line but I will tell you that everybody was enthusiastic about it.

MR HUGO: Before I interrupted you, you testified about slides which were shown to you. What else was shown to you at Daisy during the planning phase?

MR DE KOCK: In the general discussions we spoke of the currency, the monetary currency, counter-surveillance, I also remember that we were told that if we suspected that we were being followed we shouldn't immediately start running because then an entire team would follow you and you'd make yourself very obvious. We were shown maps of London, it was made very clear to us how the tube system worked, it was also explained to us what dangers we could expect at customs and excise.

MR HUGO: Once again I'll have to interrupt you. When you say that it was explained to you about certain occurrences which you could expect, who was the chief spokesperson who provided these explanations to you during the planning phase?

MR DE KOCK: That was Captain Williamson.

MR HUGO: Were any other preparations made?

MR DE KOCK: Yes. We received a clothing allowance as a result of the change in climate. We purchased certain items of clothing and in general we were psychologically prepared for this entire situation. It's not something which one could take lightly especially in my case where I'd spent a year or two in the bush and all of a sudden I was jetting off to London. We were all psychologically prepared.

MR HUGO: Could I just ask you if General Johan Coetzee offered any input during this phase?

MR DE KOCK: No, not that I can remember.

MR HUGO: Then just with regards to the documentation, who is the person who provided the documentation to you? I'm talking about the false passport and identity documents as well as the international driving licences?

MR DE KOCK: As far as I can remember Captain Beukes organised this, he organised that we sign the forms for the application for the passport. We were told to practice our signatures so that we could avoid making mistakes on travellers cheques and so forth. You had to start living by your false name, you had to answer to that name, you had to make it a part of your life. It was Captain Beukes.

MR HUGO: Did he know what the objective of this operation was?

MR DE KOCK: Well he didn't appear to know but I'm assuming that he did know.

MR HUGO: Then just one further important aspect which I have to touch on and that is which information was given to you during the planning phase with regard to movement of people within the building which was used by the ANC as well as around the building?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, we had general discussions about this and it would have been decided when we were to blow up the building with regard to the situation on ground level, that is the comprehension that I had of it. People were not to be injured, the information was somewhat scanty in my opinion who would be inside the building and what would be going on in there but I'm assuming that that would be on the basis of that I would know or I wouldn't know what I was supposed to know, but no one was to be injured and a specific date for the explosion had not yet been fixed upon.

MR HUGO: Then with regards to the same subject the size of the charge of the explosive which was to be taken along, was that ever discussed?

MR DE KOCK: No, we had no knowledge of that and that stage I did not know how the spring-charge or explosives would arrive there, how it would be transported there.

MR HUGO: Then after that you went to London and a ticket was issued to you under your false name?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct. Flight KLM to Nairobi, Nairobi to Schipol and after that to London.

MR HUGO: And then with regard to the execution of the operation in London, in which team did you act?

MR DE KOCK: Lieutenant John Adam and I acted as a team or at least as a component.

MR HUGO: You arrived together at Heathrow Airport in London?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that's correct.

MR HUGO: And could you just tell the Honourable Committee what happened then?

MR DE KOCK: I think it began in the R.S.A., we just didn't know about it, but he and I would then move independently of each other but what happened at the airport is that members of the Security Branch from Jan Smuts took our cases and booked them in together on one ticket so therefore the baggage tickets were all issued on one ticket and when we landed at Schipol, it was reasonably early, Lieutenant Adam arranged that we would leave early and he didn't arrange for our baggage to go along with us. When I landed at Heathrow, officials stopped us. I looked for a queue which I thought would be user friendly. There were people in front of me who were much taller than me. I was twentieth in line and when the customs official looked up, he looked me in eye and I knew that we would pick up trouble. And trouble came along in the form of who was with me, why did I have so much money on me, what was I doing there and then at that stage they discovered that Adam and I did not know each other at all but that our baggage had been booked in together on the same ticket. I think he had approximately 4000 dollars in his suitcase, something which the customs officials found rather strange.

I was detained for approximately three to four hours during which they hammered me quite considerably. Two other customs officials joined them but then they allowed me to enter London but not for six months as usual, only for the fourteen which had been indicated on my ticket.

MR HUGO: What other preparatory measures did you take in London directly before the explosion which took place?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson we then acted according to our cover story, that we were tourists. Adam and I had taken a camera from the Technical Division, we took photos, we travelled around and upon three or four occasions, my recollection is a bit shady, we actually did move through Penton Street and in White Lion Street there was a pub directly opposite the gates which gave access to the ANC building and we went there upon two or three occasions. We also learnt to understand the subway system, if it wasn't for Adam I still would be lost in the underground system of London today. I'm not saying that to be funny, I really mean it. We walked quite a lot. By nature of the situation we were followed, that is a fact, we were approached that evening in an hotel and for those in London, if you don't stay in a hotel you can't go into the resting rooms or into the reading rooms and for first six to seven days we were virtually under surveillance. I think that was actually the Narcotics Division or the Customs and Excise Division of the government.

MR HUGO: Very well, we know that it was not decided that the SACP offices would be damaged. Were you part of that decision?


MR HUGO: And ultimately it was told to you that you should proceed with the damage of the ANC offices?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR HUGO: Could I just ask you whether you know how the explosive device and the charges arrived in London?

MR DE KOCK: No, purely upon what I found out later but I can't testify about that.

MR HUGO: And then to the best of your recollection could you tell the Honourable Committee exactly what happened on the morning or on the evening when the explosive device was placed at the ANC offices?

MR DE KOCK: Approximately a day or two before the bomb was to be planted, and that was also our information, the gates at the back of the ANC offices giving access to the backyard were never locked, that they were never closed and the day before we were to plant the bomb, if my recollection is correct, those gates were actually closed. And as far as I know we conveyed this to Brigadier Goosen upon meeting him but we decided to go ahead and that we were going to climb over the gates. I didn't have a problem with that but what worried me was who would know that we were planning something. Had something not worked out, had made a mistake because if we went over the gates Scotland Yard might be waiting for us. I can only speculate that this had to do with the protest which was to take place the following day. However I was not aware of that protest march.

...[inaudible] took the tube and went to the apartment of McPherson and Taylor. I know that there was a vehicle, I think Raven, I'm speaking under correction, but I think Raven was with us or we might have picked him up later. At some distance away from the ANC offices we stopped and as far as I can recall this was in White Lion Street and we moved out at a varying tempo.

McPherson was driving and Raven would present himself as someone who was under the influence of alcohol. He would then go and sit behind the ANC offices on the pavement facing the pub, which was the biggest problem to me with regard to identification or that we might be noticed, I would then move in and Raven would move in a short area behind me. I would then go over the gates. I would search the backyard for a guard or any person who didn't have shelter, a homeless person, someone who might be squatting or sleeping there. I would then give McPherson a signal and then by that stage Raven would be eight to ten paces away from us. If lights were to go on or if there were police officers or if there was to be some kind of skirmish, Raven would go back, he would get rid of the charge and he would get away and it worked out exactly like that.

What happened was that after Raven had climbed I asked where the bag was with the spring-charge and I saw that it was still on the other side of the gate. I climbed onto the gate and asked McPherson to pass the bag to me. He passed the bag to me, it was a canvass bag, I can't recall exactly what colour it was, I hear that it was green but I can't remember. The bag weighed between four to five kilograms, I would say closer to five. I compared it with the weight of a landmine. I gave that to Raven and from there he and I moved to the back wall of the ANC building. I saw him open the bag and we reached the point where I saw a watch which was very similar to a Westclock Zobo watch. I moved away and went to complete my component of the work. I moved about four to five paces away from him and sat on my haunches and kept guard to see that the environment was clear and he carried on with his work.

MR HUGO: And after that?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, after he had set the device we went over the gates, I went behind him and we moved a number of paces away from each other, back to the vehicle, climbed into the vehicle and we stopped at a point, I won't be able to tell you exactly where that was because I can't remember and we met Captain Williamson there. I had gloves which I had to give back. We exchanged shoes and they also wanted that Adam and I meet Castleton. We both said that we didn't want to see him just in case we could be identified later and we left from there for our hotels. The following morning we went to the airport or at least Adam and I went to the airport.

MR HUGO: Can you remember for what time the explosive was set to go off?

MR DE KOCK: I have a reasonable recollection of that. The spring-charge would detonate by the time we were in the air. I'm not sure of exactly what time it was set for but that would be between nine and ten. I have a vague idea that by 9.30 my flight and Adam's flight would be in the air on the way to Brussels and indeed at that time, we were on our way to Brussels, we were already airborne.

MR HUGO: And when you arrived in Brussels, was there an announcement, can you remember what it was about?

MR DE KOCK: Yes there was an announcement shortly after we landed, approximately twenty minutes, that the Intelligence Department or information desk was calling for Joe Slovo. I decided to see if I could find him, I knew what he looked like as a result of photos which I had seen before. He was a very well known figure and what one would have done out of youthful foolhardiness one would have attacked him if one had found him in a secluded spot.

MR HUGO: And then after Brussels, did you go back to South Africa or did you go to Frankfurt first?

MR DE KOCK: I remember that we flew from Brussels but everybody else says Frankfurt, I won't argue. I know that in Brussels we adjusted our tickets, I don't have a problem with that however and I would concede to that.

MR HUGO: Very well, Mr de Kock, you would have heard that Mr Williamson and Mr McPherson said that one of the reasons for the justification of the attack on the ANC offices was the attack which had been launched at Voortrekkerhoogte during which British subjects had been involved. Do you know anything about that?

MR DE KOCK: Yes I had read about that, there had been security reports surrounding the attack at Voortrekkerhoogte. However, as far as I can remember I was still in Ovamboland at that stage, however it reached Oshakati and it had disrupted the military quite a lot. I know that members of the military command over there asked the question: "Why are we fighting here when we should be there?" It had a tremendous psychological impact that people were three thousand kilometres away fighting a war when a war was actually going on at home.

MR HUGO: Is it correct that Mr Williamson testified that one of the objectives of this operation was to show the ANC that they could also be attacked no matter where they may find themselves?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that they also have an Achilles heel.

MR HUGO: Yes and just briefly, I would like to discuss your arrival back in South Africa. Who met you at the airport?

MR DE KOCK: As far as I can remember, members of the Security Branch were at Jan Smuts. I'm not certain whether or not they let us move through Customs and Excise. They took us through the back passages, we didn't have to go through Customs and Excise.

MR HUGO: Who was present when you were met by the Security Branch officials at Jan Smuts and taken through the back channels?

MR DE KOCK: I remember myself, Adam, McPherson and Taylor. I don't remember anything about any of the other members.

MR HUGO: And then, where did you go from the airport?

MR DE KOCK: I can't remember.

MR HUGO: Then you heard that Mr Raven testified there was a meeting in General Coetzee's office directly after your arrival back in South Africa, can you remember that?


MR HUGO: And did a so-called debriefing session take place at Daisy farm after this operation?

MR DE KOCK: Adam and I stayed at Daisy for a further evening or two. We received a day or two off during which he and I went to our respective homes but we had not been away for about three or four days until we flew back to Ovamboland to resume our duties.

MR HUGO: And regarding the travellers cheques and false documentation which was issued to you, what happened to that?

MR DE KOCK: The false documentation, I can still remember that I kept my passport. I'm not certain of Adam. The travellers cheques were all handed back to Captain Koekemoer as well as every receipt, and as absurd as it may sound, as travellers we were supposed to obtain receipts from taxi drivers, something which was firmly entrenched in the security world. For every single activity, for everything, there had to be a receipt which had to be handed back in.

MR HUGO: And then shortly after that you went back to Ovamboland?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that's correct.

MR HUGO: And when you arrived in Ovamboland did you report back to General Dreyer?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, we simply told him that we'd arrived back. He said "Go ahead with your work". It happened exactly like that. I didn't ask him whether he knew, we didn't discuss the operation, he never ever referred to it again after that.

I heard three years later that some of the junior members in my command knew about this bomb explosion two weeks later but I didn't tell them about it, they told me about it later, three years later in fact and it was a surprise to me that neither Dreyer nor I had discussed it but that junior members were aware of it and that was rather surprising.

MR HUGO: Then briefly I would like to discuss the decoration. Can you remember when this decoration was presented to you or awarded to you? It was common cause that you were awarded for this operation.

MR DE KOCK: It was a certain period of time after we arrived back, I didn't know that it was going to be awarded but I can't remember the exact date upon which this took place. I can't give you a time indication but it was a certain period of time after the operation.

MR HUGO: And who was present during the award of this medal?

MR DE KOCK: The group that had gone to London, including Brigadier Goosen and furthermore General Geldenhuys, that's Mike Geldenhuys, General Johan Coetzee, Minister Louis le Grange as well as three other persons who were also present of which I knew only one because he had been one of my spring-charge mentors, but by nature of the situation I did not know what their operation was.

MR HUGO: Very well. After the medal had been physically awarded to you, at a certain point a certificate had been sent to you in memory of this award?

MR DE KOCK: No, I did not receive anything like that. In 1988 or '89 with the Harms Commission, I received a certificate from someone.

MR HUGO: Will you just consult Volume 4 page 167? Is that the certificate to which you are referring?


MR HUGO: 167 Mr Chairman, the last page of bundle 4.

Mr de Kock, just some singular aspects which I'd like to clear up. You heard that Advocate Bizos ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Do you want to clear them up now or would you rather we take the adjournment now and you can continue tomorrow morning?

MR HUGO: I think we should rather continue tomorrow morning.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, we will adjourn till 9 o'clock tomorrow morning.