DATE: 08-09-1998




DAY: 1

--------------------------------------------------------------------------CHAIRPERSON: Before we start this morning, there are a couple of technical matters I would like to attend to. The first is I would suggest that we number the bundles for ease of quick reference.

The bundle relating to the bombing of ANC offices in London becomes number 1; the murder Jeanette and Katryn Schoon, bundle 2; Ruth First and Joe Slovo, bundle 3; the bundle from Mr De Kock, bundle 4; bundle from Mr Taylor, bundle 5.

With reference to the last two bundles, I would also like to state that we would request that in future, where applicants wish to file bundles of this nature, they should before doing so, get in touch with the Leader of Evidence, to ascertain whether such bundles are in fact available to the Committee and whether they can be referred to, the bundle which is already been handed in as in this case, and that thereafter the parties should merely submit the pages that they intend to refer to so that the Amnesty Committee can arrange to make the bundles available to the members of the Committee, if those bundles had been handed in at prior hearings on matters of that nature. Thank you.

All right, we now proceed with the application relating to the bombing of the ANC offices in London. The Committee consists of myself, Andrew Wilson, Chris de Jager and Jonas Sibanyoni. We have been asked, and I think we better do it today for the benefit of those preparing the record, that the representatives and the applicants should put themselves on record.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, my name is Visser. I am instructed by Wagener & Muller and I appear Mr Chairman, for the following applicants: Gen Coetzee, Colonel Taylor and Brigadier Schoon. I don't know whether you wish at this stage for me to identify the incidents as well Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't think that is necessary.

MR VISSER: Thank you Mr Chairman, and I appear also for the following implicated persons: Gen Mike Geldenhuys, Gen Dreyer, Gen Johan Coetzee, Mr Rudi Crause and - I am sorry, Mr Jan Coetzee, not Gen Coetzee, Mr Jan Coetzee.

Mr Chairman, if I may ask you whether you are not prepared to revoke part of your order or amend it, which you have just made in regard to the numbering of the bundles.

We have as we usually do, drafted written notes on the evidence that will be presented for the people for whom we appear and we have followed the numbering as was agreed apparently at the pre-trial conference, and that concerns only bundles 1 and 3 Mr Chairman.

As we have it and as it is now reflected in papers which we drafted for the Committee, the amnesty application in regard to the ANC office in London was bundle 3, not 1, and 1, Ruth First, was the one that you have marked 3, was 1 in terms of the - if you ...

CHAIRPERSON: That causes no problem, we can do that.

MR VISSER: Thank you Mr Chairman. So the Ruth First and the Lusaka bomb will be bundle 1, bundle 2 stays as it is, and the London bombing is bundle 3, if that pleases you Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, Roelof du Plessis, I am from the Pretoria Bar, I am instructed by Strydom, Britz Attorneys. My Attorney Mr Britz, is next to me, and we represent Mr Jerry Raven in the London bomb incident, the Ruth First incident and the Schoon incident.

MR PENZHORN: Mr Chairman, Ernest Penzhorn, I represent Mr P.W. Botha, an implicated party in these proceedings.

MR CORNELIUS: Mr Chairman, Wim Cornelius, I act on behalf of J.L. McPherson.

MR JANSEN: Thank you Mr Chairman, Jansen is the surname, on instructions of Mr Julian Knight and Associates. We act in the London bomb incident, on behalf of Mr John Adams, applicant number 7 and we also act for Mr Dirk Coetzee, an implicated person in respect of Mr Marius Schoon. Thank you Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, I appear on behalf of a number of objectors, whom I will identify. My name is Bizos. I together with my learned friend, Mr Danny Berger instructed by the firm of Attorneys in Johannesburg, David Dison, Norval, Ameer and Ndlovu and the persons that we are appearing on behalf of Mr Chairman, are Mr Marius Schoon, Master Fritz Schoon, the husband and son of the late Jeanette Schoon who was killed and also on behalf of Ms Sherry McLain who is the adoptive mother of Master Fritz Schoon.

We also appear on behalf of Ms Shaun Slovo, Ms Robyn Slovo and Ms Julian Slovo on whose behalf we will pose the application for the murder of their mother, Ruth First and also in respect of what is now referred to as the Lusaka bomb. It is a matter on which our attitude to that may be different to the application on behalf of Ruth First Mr Chairman.

MS PATEL: Ramula Patel, Leader of Evidence for the Amnesty Committee.

MR BIZOS: Oh, I may mention Mr Chairman that also naturally that the young Katryn, the six year old daughter of the Schoon's, who was also murdered, regarded as one event.

MR HUGO: Mr Chairman, my name is Schalk Hugo from the firm Solomon, Nicolson, Rein & Verster. I act on behalf of Mr Eugene Alexander de Kock.

MR BOOYENS: Kobus Booyens, instructed by Attorney Frans van der Merwe Mr Chairman. I appear on behalf of Mr Waal du Toit, who appears as applicant number 6 in volume 3. We also represent the interested party, Mr Clue, who is referred to in the evidence of Mr Williamson at page 3 of volume 3.

MR ROSSOUW: Thank you Mr Chairman, my name is Fanie Rossouw from the Firm Rooth & Wessels in Pretoria. I represent Mr Steve Bosch in bundle 2.

MR LEVIN: Mr Chairman, Mr Commissioners, the name is Allan Levin of the Firm Allan Levin & Associates, Johannesburg, telephone 4476171. I appear for the applicant Mr Craig Williamson in regard to the matters under cover of bundles 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you gentlemen.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Penzhorn, are you only appearing for one Mr Botha?

MR PENZHORN: That is correct Mr Commissioner. I think Mr Botha will appear in person. I have been asked, Mr Botha will not be available this afternoon and I have been briefed on a watching brief as far as that is concerned.

The implicated Mr R.F. Botha will be present in persona.

CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps we could place on record that Mr Botha had the courtesy to approach the Committee personally to explain the problem he had about his appearance this afternoon, and we agreed that it would be proper for him to attend the other function.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, I am afraid I was selected at the pre-trial hearing to kick off first. May I then call the witness Gen P.J. van der Merwe, I am sorry, Coetzee, P.J. Coetzee, Mr Chairman.

Mr Chairman, I have already alluded to this, we have drafted for your possible convenience, notes of the evidence which Gen Coetzee is about to give. My Attorney has made arrangements for them to be handed to all the interested parties, as well as to members of the Committee Mr Chairman.

While there is a lull Mr Chairman, have you got the document before you? May I refer you Mr Chairman, to this application, this is ...

CHAIRPERSON: Shall we call this bundle A?

MR VISSER: Exhibit A.


MR VISSER: As it pleases you Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, this is an application by the applicant for amnesty for any unlawful act, omission or offence perpetrated by him through the issue of instructions, conspiracy, planning, preparatory steps arranged and taken and any other offence Mr Chairman, or delict committed by him in regard to two matters Mr Chairman, first of all the damaging of the ANC offices situated at 28 Penton Street, Pentonville, London, United Kingdom by explosive detonation on or about the 14th of March 1982, and secondly the planned damaging of the SACP offices situated at 39 Gooch Street, London, United Kingdom also by explosive detonation during or about March 1982.

Mr Chairman, you will hear that at a late stage the evidence will be from other witnesses, for example by Mr James Taylor, that it was decided not to go ahead with that planned attack, so it is really an attempt in that regard Mr Chairman.

And may we add Mr Chairman, that the application for amnesty is also for any act, omission or offence perpetrated by the applicant in regard to what events may have followed and his acts which followed the event. His application, you will find Mr Chairman, in volume 3 at pages 87 to 117 in volume 3.

Referring your attention immediately to page 87, Mr Chairman, there are a few matters which need to be rectified from the point of view of the applicant in the documentation, and those you will find from points 1 - 4, on page 2 of Exhibit A. Mr Chairman, at page 88, paragraph 7(a) and (b) presently read not applicable, and we are moving Mr Chairman, for an amendment to insert the words National Party in paragraph 7(a) and supporter in paragraph 7(b), Mr Chairman.

Mr Chairman, we have moved similar applications in regard to a number of applicants before this very Committee and before other Committees of the Amnesty Committee and explanations were given as to how it came about, that that question was incorrectly interpreted at the time when these applications were drawn in 1996 Mr Chairman.

We would ask you to consider granting that application. MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, I am sorry to interrupt, I always understood that the one document that you could not amend in our practice, was an affidavit. You can explain that you will give evidence to say that you want to add to it or subtract from it, but certainly it isn't for a Committee with great respect, to amend an affidavit Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, with respect, there is authority that affidavits may be amended. There is in fact ample precedent before this Committee, where it has been done time and again and with respect Mr Chairman, absolutely no prejudice can result to anyone from these amendments.

CHAIRPERSON: I think the argument is more about the word than anything else. What we have done is we have changed the application form by allowing something to be put in there that would accord with the evidence that then is going to be given.

In connection with this, I take it that in this case as so far as my recollection go, in others, when they say they are now a member of the National Party, it does not imply that they were politically active in that party, but merely they were one of the many people in this country who supported the government in power, although not playing an active part in the role of the party.

Is that the position here?

MR VISSER: That is precisely that Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: It is not amending it to suggest that he was an active member of the party.

MR BIZOS: I do not intend taking it further Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, if I may refer your attention to paragraph 9, at page 89, the wording there is unfortunate under (i) it says extraterritorial operations, which obliquely correct, but more precisely Mr Chairman, we would ask you to read into that paragraph as we have stated it at paragraph 2 on page 2 of Exhibit A, the damaging by explosive detonation etc, Mr Chairman, as we have stated it there.

In paragraph (ii) of paragraph 9(a) at page 89, by striking out the words 1980 - 1987 Mr Chairman, and substituting 1982, because there is now clarity in the minds of everybody that this incident took place in March 1982 and then consequently, paragraph 9(a)(iii) to bring it in line Mr Chairman, by striking out the words various neighbouring countries, and substituting therefore the words in the RSA and the United Kingdom, because that is what this application is about.

We would ask you then Mr Chairman, to allow those amendments.

CHAIRPERSON: Allow those alterations to the - and extensions to the applications. These are the type of alterations that have in many instances been made at the request of the Amnesty Committee where an application has been lodged, as for example the present form which says extraterritorial operations, and one has no idea what that means.

He is now explaining what is meant by that term, rather than adding any new matter to his application. Very well.

MR VISSER: Thank you Mr Chairman and other Commissioners. Gen Coetzee has not been sworn in Mr Chairman.


EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: Gen Coetzee, you are an applicant in this matter and you heard in my introduction what you apply for amnesty for, is that correct as I have stated it on record?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: You wish this Committee to regard as being incorporated into your evidence, certain Exhibits which have been handed to the original Amnesty Committee, being Exhibits P45, which is a written submission by the Foundation for Equality before the Law, Exhibit P46, which is a written submission by Gen Johannes Velde van der Merwe to the TRC, Exhibit 47, which is a declaration or a written statement signed by Generals of which you are one of the co-signatories, which is attached to Exhibit P46, before the Committee, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That is quite correct sir.

MR VISSER: You have been informed and you have taken note of portions of the evidence which was given by Mr Adriaan Johannes Vlok and Johannes Velde van der Merwe, presented tot he amnesty Committee, during the amnesty hearings in regard to the bombing of Cosatu House, Khotso House and the Cry Freedom incidents, and you also wish to incorporate their views and their evidence regarding the political background in your own evidence, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Will you continue then with your own personal particulars and address ...

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Visser, before proceeding, I think the Chairperson has pointed out to you that we would like if possible, to have references to the particular pages of the Exhibits being referred to as regards this particular matter.

We will appreciate it if at the end of the hearing you could supply us with references to the particular pages, so that we need not read all the evidence of for instance Min Vlok or Van der Merwe or whoever it is.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, yes, thank you, I should have added Mr Chairman, that the portions upon which Gen Coetzee will rely, will become clear from his evidence, but certainly, we will do in addition do what Commissioner De Jager has suggested. It seems to us an eminently practical way of doing it.

Gen Coetzee, will you address the Committee ...

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, I am going to assume that we are going to get copies of this, either from the applicant or the Commission, because we can't really prepare without copies of these documents.

My learned friend probably appeared in that case for the persons who applied for amnesty and he has these documents available, we don't.

CHAIRPERSON: I think the first two were documents submitted to the TRC, weren't they?

MR VISSER: The first three.

CHAIRPERSON: The first three? If you wish to make arrangements to obtain copies from the TRC, I am sure they will make them available to you at the proper cost of the documents. These are documents Mr Bizos, that has been referred to time and time again since then.

MR BIZOS: We have heard about them, but we haven't got copies Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: They will make available to you the portions that he refers to. The documents look something like this. Have you seen bundle 5?

MR BIZOS: My Attorney asks what is bundle 5, so I assume My Lord, that - I don't know what number 5 is. Apparently we do not have it.

I understand that the reason is Mr chairman, because we were not given the London bombing documents and that may be an explanation, but we will try and sort it out with the Commission Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: General, will you then please go ahead?

MR COETZEE: Thank you Mr Chairman. I was born 70 years ago in Smithfield in the Orange Free State on the 3rd of March 1928. I was raised in a conservative family environment.

At its inception, I found myself in agreement with the policy of apartheid because I considered it to be based on the ideal of separate but equal development. I therefore considered the policy morally justifiable.

During the progress of time, it became apparent that the policy could only be supported by implementing draconian laws. The practicalities of the South African situation were such that the policy could not succeed because it was unacceptable to the vast majority of the citizens of this country. In later years I became aware of the rising political consciousness among black people.

I became convinced that the status quo could not be maintained. Still later it became very evident to me and I also propagated the idea that the solution to the problems of South Africa, could only be attained through a political solution.

MR VISSER: General, may I interrupt you please. Just to explain to you how matters are done before this Committee. There are some people who might be interested in hearing your evidence in a different language, therefore whatever you say, you can take for granted, will be interpreted into probably Afrikaans and other languages, so when you read from your document, will you please bear that in mind, and go a bit slower with the view of allowing the translations to be done by the Translators. If you will just bear that in mind, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Have they got a copy of the document?

MR VISSER: I am told by my Attorney, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: That confirms it.

MR VISSER: But just go a little slower and pause perhaps at the end of each sentence, so that they can just catch up to you.

MR COETZEE: Then paragraph 6, Mr Chairman, with the benefit of hindsight, it is easy today to realise the injustices that were suffered by the greater majority of the population in this country. At the time however, it was not so clear to the average South African citizen to comprehend the iniquities.

The whole question of the policy of the government, became interwoven with the Western world's opposition to international communism. The latter was perceived by me and by others, to be "partners in crime", of the ANC.

It, Mr Chairman, (communism), represented to me and to many South Africans everything which was detestable and unacceptable. If there were only two political options on the table, namely the policy of the government and the policy of the ANC/SACP alliance, there was little choice but to choose the former.

I am indeed the author of a Masters Degree thesis on contemporary history in which I dealt inter alia with some of the tactics and techniques of the South African Communist Party to manipulate South African politics with a view of obtaining dominance of the sub-continent.

It is relevant that during the time frame of the Cold War, communism was in fact Stalinism, which is today generally accepted to have been wrong, even by modern day communists. I submit therefore that there was a lot of sense to fight the SACP/ANC onslaught at the time.

While it is not possible to rectify all the wrongs that were done, the least that can be done is for everyone to participate in the process of reconciliation which was made possible for all the citizens of this country by the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation.

Paragraph 10, however, it remains a fact that as a serving Policeman during the turbulent days of the struggle, many experiences served as a powerful influence on one's views. My own experience certainly had the effect of me wanting to resist the revolutionary onslaught against the government of the day, with all the powers at my disposal.

As I shall point out later, this was also the standpoint of the National Party and the government. I continue Mr Chairman, with my Police career.

I joined the South African Police in 1946 ...

CHAIRPERSON: Is it necessary for the witness to read all of this, can't he just confirm?

MR VISSER: If you are satisfied Mr Chairman. Why I let the witness go so far is that you will have observed from his application form, that at page 88, that there were only two sentences, and this is really quite a material extension on that, but if you are satisfied, he can just confirm paragraph 11 Mr Chairman and go on with paragraph 12.

You have dealt with your Police career or the important aspects of your Police career. In paragraph 11 you have checked that, and that is correct, is that?

MR COETZEE: That is quite so Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Will you then continue at page 7, paragraph 12 with your experiences as a Policeman?

MR COETZEE: Which is entitled or headed by the words Experiences as a Policeman. During my term of office as a Policeman and later as a member of the Security Branch, then as the Head of the Security Branch and later as the Commissioner of the South African Police, many experiences served as impulses upon me to resist attacks against the government and the people of the country with all the ingenuity at my disposal.

The history of the political struggle waged by the liberation movements of this country, is marked by the many deaths, injuries to persons and destruction of property. At first assaults took the form of attacks against government installations and commercial objectives.

Later the target selection changed to include people. The first phase can generally be described as the sabotage phase and the latter as the terrorist phase. It was particularly during the latter phase that most serving Policemen became abhorred with bloodshed, the pain and the suffering caused by the revolutionary onslaught.

This is also true in my case. Incidents which I personally experienced are the Volkskas Silverton seige in 1981 in which five people died, three terrorists and two civilians; second the Church Street bomb on the 20th of March 1983 in which ...

MR VISSER: Just a moment, you are going a bit too fast and you wrote here the 20th of May, not March.

MR COETZEE: Sorry, the 20th of May 1983, in which 19 people died, (including the two terrorists who planted the bomb), and more than 200 people were injured. Pretoria and Johannesburg Wimpy Bar explosions; the Morocco Police station attack with projectiles in which one Policeman was killed; the Orlando Police station attack with projectiles in which two Policemen were killed and two injured; the Booysens Police station attack with rockets and automatic weapons; the attack on the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station; the Voortrekkerhoogte Rocket attack on the 12th of August 1981 and the last mentioned, itemised here Mr Chairman, the bomb attack at the Johannesburg Magistrate's court on the 20th of May 1987 in which four Policemen were killed and several persons injured, and then I say and others.

Experiences as bomb blasts at the Air Force Headquarters in Pretoria, the Magistrate's court in Krugersdorp, the Supreme Court in Johannesburg, the Wimpy Bars as well as other attacks on and in public places, could only have served to strengthen the resolve of every Policeman to do more and to act more vigorously to resist the attack by the Liberation Forces.

Then I have a portion which is headed Mr Chairman, the role of the SAP in the struggle. The essential role of the typical Policeman is that of protecting the lives and property of citizens. Section 5 of the Police Act of 1957 charges Policemen with duties which can be summarised by describing them as prosecution orientated.

This includes the investigation of crime, the preparation of cases for purposes prosecution and matters attendant thereupon.

When Section 7 of the previous Police Act, that is the original Act, Mr Chairman, 14 of 1912, was amended by substitution with the Police Act, 8 of 1957, the Police duties were amended by the incorporation into Section 5 of the Police Act, to include the maintenance of internal security.

As a result a new dimension was added to the work description of the Police. In addition, it ushered in a chapter in the Police history where the Police, especially the Security Branch Police became more and more embroiled in politics and the sense of fighting a political struggle against political opponents of the government.

Then on the same page Mr Chairman, I've got headed by or entitled the Policies and Aims of Liberation Movements. The aims of the liberation movements were geared to its toppling the government of the day through violence. In their attempts to do so, they adopted policies and selected targets which they perceived would assist their purpose.

In due course the policy of the ANC/SACP alliance manifested itself as the so-called four pillars of the struggle. First the mobilisation of the masses, secondly the establishment of underground structures, thirdly the fighting of a war through Umkhonto weSizwe and fourthly the international isolation of the RSA.

The ANC/SACP alliance's objective was to "turn every patriot", that was the term that was used, Mr Chairman, into a soldier through mobilising the masses. This presented a very real problem for the Security Forces, we had to fight against an enemy whose fighters were unidentified and faceless.

Any person who might casually roam a public place, might be a terrorist. It is understandable that the Police would have become sensitive to this reality. It is also understandable that these circumstances and experiences, prompted some Policemen to act outside the law, depending on the circumstances.

Then I've got a portion headed The Policy of the Government, National Party. The National Party government had to defend itself against the violent onslaught of the liberation movements. It was the policy and aims of the government to resist the onslaught with all the means at its disposal.

This policy was made known to other governments as will appear from an aide-mémoire, presented to the British government through the Department of Foreign Affairs on the 2nd of September 1983 which reads as follows: "All these, I suppose it is, all these who seek to bring about a revolutionary change in South Africa by violent means, must be viewed by the South African authorities in general and the Security Forces in particular, as a serious threat to the peace and security of the RSA.

The Soviet Union and its satellite surrogates and proxies pose, through their intentions their terrorism and their political warfare, a substantial threat to the very existence of the Republic of South Africa. Thus they pose a threat to the stability, peace and stability of the entire Southern African region and ultimately to the world.

Neither South Africa, nor the Security Forces intend to stand idly by whilst the enemy progresses. Soviet strategy is being taken seriously by the leading nations of the West and the time is now right for the various components of the West to increase co-operation amongst themselves for a counter strategy against the Soviet Union, its terrorist movement and their political supporters".

Logically as far as combating the internal struggle was concerned, the most important component of available State institutions to fight its battle against a revolutionary onslaught, were the Security Forces.

In this regard, it is of importance to mention that the role which the South African Defence Force could fulfil inside South Africa, was limited by the very nature and purpose of the Defence Force, namely the defence of the sovereignty of a country and the integrity of its borders.

The South African Defence Force could consequently not be fully and effectively deployed within the country to act against its own citizens.

Soldiers had no authority to arrest, to search, to detain, investigate offenders and offences. They had no schooling in court directed processes, Mr Chairman, (leaving aside the situation which pertained in times of states of emergency and at the present time).

Then I've got sir, the portion which reads, which is headed by the Position of the SAP (Security Branch). A consequence of the above was that the brunt of the defence against the revolutionary onslaught had to be borne by the Security Branch of the South African Police.

Reference is again made to a passage from the aide-mémoire, dated the 2nd of September 1983. In the same aide-mémoire, it is clear that the policy of the government was implemented by the Security Forces and how they were expected to implement it - "however the above steps can only be really successful if joint and co-ordinated action on this level is initiated throughout the West. Such steps will eliminate the advantages accruing to terrorists due to the protective effect of national boundaries and strictly defined areas of legal jurisdiction. In the final analyses, it is clear that co-operation in these areas, Western Security Intelligence organisations and governments would go far towards disrupting this particular Soviet strategy. Then in emphasis, supplied by ourselves Mr Chairman, the RSA has a clear and successful Security Intelligence policy which will be applied wherever the enemies of South Africa are to be found and the South African Police stand ready to cooperate with anybody in the interest of the preservation of civilisation, peace and security in Southern Africa and the world."

Continue with paragraph 26 Mr Chairman, Policemen in general also became subjected to yet another circumstance. They were sent across our borders to do combat against members of liberation movements who infiltrated the then Rhodesia and South West Africa. In that situation Policemen were expected to act as soldiers, in seeking and destroying the enemy. There was no question of the arresting and charging of criminals in court in that situation.

What is of fundamental importance is to realise that the enemy which was fought in foreign countries, was the same enemy that had to be fought inside the borders of the Republic of South Africa.

Having been subjected to the mentality of a soldier, and having acted as one, upon his return to South Africa, he, that is the Policeman, became once again expected to conduct his actions according to prevailing statutory rules and regulations.

It may fairly be accepted that most Policemen were able to make the adaptation, or the adaption, adaptation I think, but it is equally clear that some of them, could not.

I believe that it is probable that to some such returnees, the boundaries of what was lawful and what not, must have become blurred.

Add to that, the fact that in some instances, situations arose which could not effectively be dealt with in the normal conventional way, in accordance with rules and regulations. Gen Johan van der Merwe gave evidence, I am informed before the Amnesty Committee, that he believes that circumstances which prevailed during the struggle, served to cause a grey area to have developed in the minds of some members of the Security Branch as to what was legal and what was illegal.

I fully subscribe to this sentiment, in fact, this sentiment was expressed in Exhibit P47 which I co-signed, and this is one of the documents referred to initially.

MR VISSER: The reference is page 10, paragraph 30 and onwards.

MR COETZEE: That is correct. I continue Mr Chairman, in the bitter struggle were lives were lost and the country was burning, the pressure exerted from the government became more and more concerted.

A phase in our history was entered during which war talk became the norm. In my evidence before the TRC in Cape Town in the Armed Forces Hearings, I attempted to explain to the Commission that words such as "eliminate" and similar expressions do not have a dictionary meaning which includes "killing", however in the spirit and context of the struggle, such words and phrases, gained a new meaning in the language of politicians and in the minds of the public.

In short sir, the Security Branch was expected to fight a war whilst the government of the day, refused to officially recognise the fact that there was a de facto war in progress.

This rendered the situation worse than that of a conventional war situation, because in such a case, there would have been the benefit of the protection and authority provided by martial law.

It is also pertinent to mention that the public including all sectors thereof, broadly supported the efforts of the government, through the Security Forces in its endeavours to combat this, the onslaught.

In fact, truth of the matter is that there were pressures brought to bear upon the Police by the private and business sectors to normalise the situation.

One of the applicants here, sir, Major Craig Williamson, expressed this sentiment pithily in his evidence in the Armed Forces Hearings before the Human Rights Violation Committee when he said at pages 101 - 102, "my Security Force colleagues and I did not see the liberation movements and their members, as fellow citizens of our society. We regarded them as an alien enemy which threatened our society. Our job was to eliminate that threat. It is therefore not only the task of the members of the Security Forces to examine themselves and their deeds, it is for every member of the society which we serve, to do so. Our weapons, ammunition, uniforms, vehicles, radio's and other equipment, were all developed and provided by Industry. Our finances and banking were done by bankers who even gave us covert credit cards, for covert operations. Our chaplains prayed for our victory and our universities educated us in war. Our propaganda was carried by the media and our political masters were voted back into power, time after time with ever increasing majorities".

These were the conditions and circumstances under which members of the Police were expected to do their duties. Successes obtained by the Police in their fight against the onslaught, were lauded. Failures were frowned upon. Pressure brought to bear, was enormous. All Policemen were subjected to this, from the Generals to the foot soldiers.

Add to that, the fact that Policemen were declared legitimate targets by the ANC/SACP alliance, which on its part, brought fear, anxiety and pressure from that direction as well and in this situation of pressures from all sides, the Security Branch Policemen were expected to "normalise the situation".

It is also important sir to comprehend that the main thrust and attack and conspiracy against the government and the citizens of this country, were planned and ordered in foreign countries. This fact led to a sentiment that it was preferable to stop assaults upon the government and the people of the country, outside the borders of the Republic, rather than to attempt to combat these attacks inside the country.

This sentiment played a notable role in the actions against targets in foreign countries, such as the incidents presently on the table before this Committee.

MR VISSER: You then deal with your knowledge and your participation in the incident regarding the London offices of the ANC and the SACP in 1982, from paragraph 37 onwards, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Will you then continue.

MR VISSER: Thank you sir. During 1982, I was the Head of the Security Branch of the South African Police. At the time, it was common knowledge that the ANC and the SACP were permitted by the British government to occupy offices in London in the United Kingdom.

I am also aware sir, that overtures were made by the South African government to the British government, particularly concerning the fact that the terrorists involved in the Voortrekkerhoogte rocket attack in 1981, possess British passports and gave addresses in the United Kingdom.

In this respect I refer sir, to a memorandum submitted to the Department of Foreign Affairs by the then Colonel H.D. Baker, that is in volume 3, pages 10 - 13 sir. I was Colonel Baker's superior at that stage.

MR VISSER: That documentation, the volume 3 you are referring to, is the volume now presently before the Committee?

MR COETZEE: That is right sir.


MR COETZEE: In attempts to address the situation, that is the situation which has developed, but without success. I continue sir, in South Africa terrorist activities escalated, especially from 1980, onwards.

Already alluded to the sentiment that it was necessary to stop attacks against the Republic where they were planned abroad. When required to give evidence before the TRC, upon their request, I dealt with various known cross-border operations, inter alia I also dealt with the attack on the ANC offices in London in the United Kingdom.

MR VISSER: That portion, or the written portion thereof, is attached to your application presently?

MR COETZEE: That is correct sir. Volume 3, pages 182, 188.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, perhaps just for your information, the full document was not included as it should have been from page 96 onwards, but may we refer you to the application of Mr James Taylor. Mr Chairman, that is also in the same volume, at page 182 and the reason why we mention this Mr Chairman, you will find a more comprehensible document there, full document from page 182 which should have been at page 96.

Will you then continue, that is the reason why we refer to page 182 to 188?

MR COETZEE: That is right.

MR VISSER: Please continue General.

MR COETZEE: In that particular Annexure sir, I stated that I am aware of the fact that especially during 1981, the South African government launched actions of a diplomatic nature in order to persuade Western nations (especially the United States and the United Kingdom), that the onslaught against South Africa was communist inspired and part and parcel of the East/West conflict raging throughout the world.

It was an ongoing process which lasted for a considerable period. I am referring here sir to the overtures.

Previous overtures were made to the British government, both before and after the attack on the ANC offices in this regard. I refer in this regard to the documentation attacked to the application of Major Craig Williamson, that is in volume 3 sir, pages 33 - 37, page 38 and pages 82 - 85.

I continue sir, it is therefore not surprising that the government decided to strike at the offices of the ANC and the SACP in London.

In this regard, I wish to make it quite clear that the objective of the attack was not the British government, but the ANC/SACP. The secondary accomplishment was demonstrating to the British government, South Africa's disenchantment at allowing the ANC and the SACP to operate from its soil, which was a bonus.

The fact is sir, that it was forcefully brought to the attention of the ANC/SACP alliance that they cannot feel safe to plan and orchestrate acts of terrorism against the Republic from foreign countries.

MR VISSER: Would you just stop there for a moment? This Committee General, has from time to time heard the term Stratcom being used. Evidence in the past attempted to explain that there was a so-called Hard Stratcom or a soft Stratcom. How do you understand, well, first of all, there wasn't much of that at the time when you were Head of Security, am I correct?

MR COETZEE: That is correct sir.

MR VISSER: As it developed and as you understand Stratcom actions, and particularly in regard to what you have just informed the Committee about, can you just give us a background from your perspective?

MR COETZEE: Mr Chairman, I will endeavour to do so. I must quite frankly say that to define it into a watertight or compartmentalised definition, would be very difficult. I would suggest sir, that as we go along with this presentation, I would regard this type of action firstly by the African National Congress which also employed, utilised, what one can loosely term armed propaganda. I think that is a term that they have used for it, and South African terminology the word developed into Stratcom, Strategic Communication, but I think these two incidents to some extent sir, demonstrate what Stratcom in fact was.

I can perhaps at the end of this, say why I say this is the position sir, after I have read the following portion.

MR VISSER: All right, we can return to that, just go on.

MR COETZEE: Paragraph 45 sir, I say Mr Le Grange, Mr Le Grange being Mr Louis Le Grange was the Minister of Police. I think that was before the Rabie Commission when he became Minister of Law and Order, he was Minister of Police at that stage, intimated to the then Commissioner of Police, Gen Mike Geldenhuys and myself, myself being the Head of Security in early 1982 that the government had resolved to demonstrate to the ANC and to the SACP that they were vulnerable in the United Kingdom, whilst at the same time sending the message of the Republic's disenchantment with the refusal of the British government to exceed to the overtures made by the South African government in regard to the hospitality given to the ANC and the SACP in Britain.

This sir, included the refusal by the British authorities to the Republic of South Africa to allow the investigation of the alleged complicity of British citizens in England in the Voortrekkerhoogte attack as well as its refusal to refuse sanctuary to the ANC/SACP in London.

Gen Geldenhuys criticised the notion to strike at buildings in the United Kingdom. As far as I am aware sir, the General did not have anything further to do with the whole aspect of planning and carrying out the attack in London.

MR VISSER: He did not agree with it and he distanced himself completely from it, is that your recollection?

MR COETZEE: My recollection is sir, that he said it would result in diplomatic, if the people were arrested there, there would be on a diplomatic level, there would be problems.

He also felt sir, that serving Policemen easily identifiable in South Africa as serving Policemen, should not be employed in that.

MR VISSER: He walked away and what happened then?

MR COETZEE: Min Le Grange sir, remained adamant about this matter and spoke to me quite a few times, broaching this subject and subsequently sir, Brigadier P. Goosen was identified as the leader of the contemplated mission.

As his second in command, he chose Major Craig Williamson, a natural choice, because of his experience and background. Members of the Task Team ...

ADV DE JAGER: General, paragraph 47 Mr Le Grange was adamant about this matter and did you say he on further occasions, had further interviews with you?

MR COETZEE: Yes, I had sir, I don't know if at this stage it is necessary, I had very many interviews with the Minister about this and related and other matters, sometimes as many as twice a day.


MR COETZEE: And I do not want to pretend that every time he was adamant, but when he broached this subject, he was adamant.

MR VISSER: You say members of the Task Team was later identified?

MR COETZEE: Yes, to my knowledge, the offices of the ANC in Penton, London were damaged by the detonation of explosives on the 14th of March 1982.

The intended attack on the offices of the SACP, was not proceeded with due to the danger to public lives. I was sir, part and parcel of the operation and I fully agreed with the preparation and execution thereof.

I cannot today remember precisely what instructions I gave, but I accept full responsibility for having been part of the planning, arrangements and logistical support for the operation. The money which was necessary for the carrying out of the operation, came from the government.

I was later informed about the result of the operation.

MR VISSER: Was there also a suggestion at the time that there were instructions given to this Task Team to assassinate ANC Executive members?

MR COETZEE: No, that is not so Mr Chairman. As a matter of fact, the contrary, contrary instructions were very explicitly given to the Task Team and to the leader, Mr Goosen and I think personally by myself, to Craig Williamson that under no circumstances or rather that all steps had to be taken to ensure that lives, especially British lives, were not in jeopardy.

MR VISSER: Either by way of injury or death?

MR COETZEE: That is correct sir.


MR COETZEE: I say there is absolutely no truth in the allegation that there was any instruction to kill ANC Executive members. No such information was ever presented to me sir.

From the very nature of things, objectively speaking, that would have been too great a risk. The arrest of South African agents in the United Kingdom engaged upon sabotaging a building, would already have been serious diplomatic repercussions which the government of the day I was told, was prepared to face, in view of the seriousness of the allegations against certain British subjects, as previously referred to, but could never have included the killing of any person.

Everyone associated with the mission, understood this vital aspect and therefore acted accordingly. I gave permission for Brigadier Goosen to proceed with the operation sir. This occurred during March 1982.

53 sir, I say I am unaware of the identity of the persons in government, whom the Minister had consulted in this regard, as he never informed me, but I say sir, I doubt whether Mr Le Grange would have decided upon the operation on his own.

MR VISSER: Is it not correct that in your application, is it not correct that in your application when you refer to this matter, you said you were told we had decided, the government had decided?

MR COETZEE: The last is the correct version sir. I was told the government had decided.

MR VISSER: All right, will you then continue please.

MR COETZEE: I do not know whether discussions took place within the State Security Council regarding this matter sir, because I was not a member of the State Security Council.

Some time after the return of the members concerned to South Africa, I was informed that the Minister had decided to decorate the members concerned with a decoration which only he could bestow. I attended the occasion.

MR VISSER: Not that it is all that important, but just while we are on that point, you stated in your application that you remembered Gen Mike Geldenhuys being present. How clear are you in that recollection of yours?

MR COETZEE: As far as I recollect Gen Geldenhuys attended, but I must also at the same time say sir, that both he and I have attended very, very numerous so-called medal parades and I may be wrong, that he did not attend.

But as far as my recollection which may be at fault, is concerned, he did attend.

MR VISSER: General, I am not going to ask you to read all of that. You deal from page 20, paragraph 56 onwards with political objectives. You refer to the communist invasion threat to the Republic of South Africa and how the average South African viewed that prospect.

You also referred to the expansion of the communist expansionism during the 1980's as a matter which concerned most Western governments and you say your political views and objectives at the time was to oppose and combat that threat of communist expansionism in South Africa.

The South African government as you have explained had a policy of combating pressures which came, and attacks which came from that side, as well as that from the ANC, and you also went on to say in paragraph 58 that it was important to ensure that the public did not loose confidence in the National Party, and what you did was really keeping the National Party in the cushions as it were.

In the meantime as a Policeman, you also made a point of attempting to prevent damage and injury and death to members of the society and in all of this, you were embroiled in a political battle with a political enemy of the government, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes sir, I think that will be a correct summary of the situation.

MR VISSER: Yes, you in any event confirm what you have stated from paragraph 56 to 62 as you also confirm the contents of your application in volume 3, from pages 87 to page 117, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That is correct sir.

MR VISSER: General, just by way of explanation, you stated a little earlier that you were not a member of the State Security Council at the time, in 1982, but we know that you were Chief of Security at that stage?

MR COETZEE: That is correct sir.

MR VISSER: Is it then the position that the Chief of Security did not have permanent session in meetings of the State Security Council, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: As a matter of fact, we never had it sir.

MR VISSER: Yes, but as Commissioner of Police which you later became, was that also the position or did you then have session on the meetings of the State Security Council?

MR COETZEE: I then attended the meetings of the State Security Council sir.

MR VISSER: You are implicated in what is referred to in these hearings, or what will be referred to in these hearings as the Lusaka bomb, which is an incident referred to inter alia by Mr McPherson in volume 1 at page 69 of the bundles before this Committee.

At the bottom of that page, there is a reference to a Captain Kobus Pretorius who allegedly with Mr McPherson approached you in your office to inform you that Captain Pretorius had an Indian source called Allie, apparently in Swaziland and that this person had access to the ANC offices in Lusaka and that he was prepared to convey or take a bomb to that building in a briefcase and to leave it on the premises of the ANC in Lusaka where they had offices and that you in fact gave permission for that project to be proceeded with.

We are talking about June 1985, remember and he also stated, did Mr McPherson, that later on you gave instructions as to how much money was to be paid to Allie after he had apparently taken a bomb there which exploded as I understand the position to be on an outer wall which surrounds this property.

Is this evidence correct as far as it implicates you?

MR COETZEE: No. Mr Chairman, I've got no knowledge whatsoever of this particular incident. The evidence is counter to the procedures which had to be followed in this regard.

This seems to be an approach directly to the Commissioner bypassing all the other Section Heads and Security Officers, but I've got no independent knowledge at all of this particular incident.

MR VISSER: All right, then there is Captain Dirk Coetzee whom you have heard of and whom you knew, who stated and in due course we will give the references to the Committee, but who at one point or another stated that he was called in by Brigadier Willem Schoon and given an instruction to assassinate Mr Marius Schoon, who was at that time resident in Botswana.

He stated that before anything could be done, well, he states a number of things, he says before the act was accomplished, it was countermanded by Brigadier Jan du Preez and he says that Jan du Preez told him that that was on your instructions, that that project had to be cancelled. What do you say about that?

MR COETZEE: I say again sir that no plan was ever directly or indirectly furnished to me or presented to me concerning the assassination or the murder of Mr Schoon.

MR VISSER: You knew nothing about it?

MR COETZEE: I knew nothing about it.

MR VISSER: Gen Coetzee, we have condensed your evidence into Exhibit A, is it correct that you could give a very long recitation on the political background, your views on the political dimensions of the struggle which we experienced in our history and what you really did here, was to extract main points in order to make as much sense as you can from a point of view of a short presentation thereof to this Committee, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That is so sir.

MR VISSER: If there is anything further which the Committee might wish you to elaborate upon, you are quite happy to do so, am I correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes sir, it is only the matter of the Stratcom still.

MR VISSER: Yes, we are coming to that presently. How, just give us now your view on the Stratcom value of the London operation as you saw it then, and as you see it now?

MR COETZEE: Well, I saw it then Mr Chairman and I still see it the same dimensions or light today, that in a certain sense it was a Stratcom operation, so was the attack by the African National Congress on Voortrekkerhoogte, its got another name now sir.

I don't think I will start with the second portion first, I don't think the ANC thought when they planned it or conspired to do it, that they were going to dent South Africa's military capabilities, but the worth psychologically of attacking South Africa in its Military Headquarters, was immense psychologically for propaganda purposes.

In the same way sir, I don't think we ever thought that by damaging the offices of the ANC in London, we would blunt the attack, sabotage attacks and the training programmes of the ANC at all, I don't think. It was a demonstration in that sense sir, and that is what either armed propaganda, it is the support of the arms struggle yes, and Stratcom, is about, that is how I understood it sir.

MR VISSER: General, you apply to this Committee for amnesty and you request the Committee to do so in the light of what you have referred to and in the light of your evidence and for the incident, for the two incidents, the attempt on the SACP offices in London and for the actual blowing up of the ANC in London?

MR COETZEE: That is correct sir.

MR VISSER: Would you just allow me a moment Mr Chairperson? That concludes the evidence in chief of the applicant Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Gentlemen, you were going to arrange amongst yourselves the order of cross-examination.

One of my fellow Committee members has just raised with me the fact that as we understand it, Mr Botha is present, is appearing on his own behalf. Has he been given a copy of Exhibit A, could one be made available to him? Mr Botha, you have not had a copy, a chance of seeing the document on which the evidence was based. The witness has largely been reading from it, but you will now be given a copy of it.

MS PATEL: Honourable Chairperson, if I may just inform Mr Botha this set of documents were only made available to all parties this morning.

ADV DE JAGER: But some of the parties are represented by Counsel and certainly an implicated person is entitled to appear in person, and he should be treated in the same way as an implicated party, represented by a Counsel? He's got the same rights as the Counsel would have?

MR VISSER: Undoubtedly Mr Chairman, may I extend my apologies. I wasn't aware of this oversight.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, carry on.

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, the arrangement was that it would be the first applicant after Gen Coetzee that would start. There seems to be confusion about that, everybody is remaining silent.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR LEVIN: Mr Chairman, I think in a logical scheme of things Mr Williamson will be giving evidence in support of his application after Gen Coetzee, so that for good form, I should commence. Thank you.

Gen Coetzee, could I ask you to turn to page 12 of Exhibit A. You do have it before you sir?

MR COETZEE: Yes sir.

MR LEVIN: Would you have a look at the words in italics under 25.

MR COETZEE: Yes, that is correct sir.

MR LEVIN: Do you know who the author of that particular passage is?

MR COETZEE: No, I don't know sir.

MR LEVIN: Would you dispute that that is also Mr Williamson?

MR COETZEE: No, I won't dispute that sir.

MR LEVIN: Very well. Paragraph 27 deals with the fundamental importance to realise that the enemy which was being fought in foreign countries, was the same enemy as had to be fought inside the borders?

MR COETZEE: That is how it was perceived sir, by the Intelligence operatives.

MR LEVIN: And of course by our superiors as well?

MR COETZEE: Yes, correct sir.

MR LEVIN: From whom you at all times, took instructions?

MR COETZEE: Yes, from my own Minister, that was his perception also sir.

MR LEVIN: That is ...

MR COETZEE: That basically the same enemy that was attacking South Africa from outside the borders and to some extent, inside the borders, it was the same conspiracy with very many facets, very many tentacles, but it was basically the same conspiracy and the same people and persons.

MR LEVIN: General in paragraph 30 you made reference to Exhibit P47, unfortunately I do not have such a document and might I ask you to arrange to let me have that in case there is anything that arises there from.

I do believe that my learned friend Mr Visser, has it available. Now, you associate yourself am I correct, in paragraph 33 of Exhibit A with the sentiments expressed by Mr Williamson at the Armed Forces Hearings for the Human Rights Violations Committee?

MR COETZEE: That is so sir.

MR LEVIN: And that is what appears in parenthesis at the top of page 15 of Exhibit A?

MR COETZEE: That is correct sir.

MR LEVIN: Of course you have said that the sentiment evolved that it was preferable to stop assaults upon the government and the people of the country, outside the borders rather than to attempt to combat such attacks inside the country? Could you elaborate on that shortly please?

MR COETZEE: Yes sir, there were very many conferences in South Africa, very many seminars were held where basically a policy or a directive was discussed or policy was discussed, a counter insurgency policy was discussed, it was dissected, and one of the main issues that was discussed at many of these discussion venues, I think even when I gave evidence before the Rabie Commission I referred to it that a problem, the problem which arises when one has to combat an insurgency war sir, and again definitions in this regard are never watertight, whether you call it a low intensity war or a counter insurgency war or what terrorist onslaught or whatever, but one, the main problem that you have is that the main conspirators remain and are outside your legal jurisdiction.

You cannot arrest them, you cannot detain them, you cannot bring them before Court. That was a very big problem as far as the South African counter to this onslaught was concerned.

MR LEVIN: Yes sir, we are not subject to any local jurisdictions.

MR COETZEE: No sir, they were outside the jurisdiction of the South African Courts.

CHAIRPERSON: Wasn't it more important to you that they were outside the jurisdiction of the South African Police?

MR COETZEE: That also in particular sir. But in general Mr Chairman, I do not want to waste time at all, that was a problem which was a world-wide problem.

In discussions with other Police Forces and Intelligence Agencies, I have come across the same problem. I can mention incidents of that nature or tendencies of that nature.

MR LEVIN: General, I would like to exhibit to you two documents which I think came about after the crystallisation of the sentiments in regard to counter revolutionary activities and the first is a document dated the 15th of October 1986. I think it would be convenient Mr Chairman, if that would become Exhibit B.

We have A, which is the General's statement, so with your permission, I will mark it Exhibit B. Would you be good enough to have a look at that document, I will have it placed in front of you.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Levin, have you got copies of the documents?

MR LEVIN: Not at this stage, but they will be done at the first adjournment, and will be made available to the Commission.

ADV DE JAGER: I thought that was the purpose of the pre-trial conference that you could arrange for all copies to be made so that everybody would be in possession of copies.

MR LEVIN: Sir, that is indeed correct, but there documents were only placed before us this morning. You have my apologies and I would seek your indulgence in that regard.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, subject to a request by myself that I could just see the document before my witness starts answering questions. Thank you Mr Chairman.

MR LEVIN: Thank you, may I proceed? I would ask you please to have a look at the heading below the date, 15 October and if you would be good enough to read that heading into the record.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Mr Chairman, the heading reads in Afrikaans South African Defence Force Guidelines for Strategy against the Revolutionary Onslaught of the RSA Departmental Action to Achieve these Objectives.

MR LEVIN: If you would look at the second page, second page of your document, it would be page 9 of the actual document, similarly to my learned friend Mr Chairman, we have not incorporated other pages into this document that is going before the Commissioners, but of course those pages will be available should anyone wish to see them.

Do you have that before you General?

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, I seem to have a copy if you want to follow.


MR LEVIN: I am indebted to my learned friend. On the second page of the document of Exhibit B which is page 9 of the document itself, could you read into the record General, the last item that is alongside the n?

MR COETZEE: Sir before I do that I must quite frankly, and I am not advised by my legal advisor say, I am not aware of the real status of this document. It seems to be a South African Defence Force document which I am handed now, so I doubt whether I can really give an authoritative reply to what is written here but I will read it and give you my answer.

MR LEVIN: If you would.

MR COETZEE: With that sir as a preamble that I don't, this is not a directive from the Police or to the Police, and so on, but here it is stated n, insurgency and terrorism has to be within capabilities, be combated at the source wherever in the world it might be and with or without the co-operation of the host countries.

MR LEVIN: In the middle column?

MR COETZEE: The middle column sir, it says "voer toepaslike operasies" and then in the last column, "all anti-RSA terrorist organisations".

MR LEVIN: You have read that in, not in any way being associated with the document in question.

MR COETZEE: No, I am not in any way associated with it.

MR LEVIN: Very well, and I would like then for you to have a look at the next document, which I will place before you again, the same criticisms would apply in regard to the lateness of the document, being placed before us.

I would like you to look at the first page and page 11. It is from the Secretary or the Secretariat of the State Security Council. Were you at that stage General, involved in the State Security Council? It is the 24th of January 1987?

MR COETZEE: Yes sir, I was a member of the State Security Council.

MR LEVIN: So this document shouldn't take you by surprise?

MR COETZEE: No sir, I was not responsible for formulating the minutes after the State Security Council meeting, to the different departments, and I have already described the procedures to the Committee, how it was then distributed to the different departments.

Again just sir, with the comments that it is not a Police document, I am not the author of it, so it is difficult for me to give what appears to be an authoritative point of view about this.

MR LEVIN: I appreciate that General, but under the same caveat, would you read the heading on page 1 of that document?

MR COETZEE: Yes, it is dated the 24th of January 1987 sir, and it purports to go to all the members of, to the structure sir actually of the State Security Management Committee. I think that is what it was termed in English, to all the members of the Joint Management Working Group, it is a working group.

It is headed Strategic Considerations in terms of the Contra-mobilisation in the RSA. It is a document drawn up sir by the State Security, Secretariat of the State Security Council meant for its structures.

CHAIRPERSON: Would that be Exhibit C?

MR LEVIN: That would be C Mr Chairman, and I apologise for the oversight. I have marked it Exhibit C with your permission.

Would you turn to what is page 11 of that document, it is the second page of the document before you. It lays down certain guide rules and it appears in the second sentence at the top, the following measures can be considered. Do you see that sir? I draw your attention specifically to numbered sub-paragraph (c). Would you read that into the record?

MR COETZEE: It reads as follows sir, physical destruction of the revolutionary organisations and in brackets people facilities, funds, etc in and outside the country by any covert or overt method, for example not to allow that any funds is received from outside the country.

MR LEVIN: So it talks about the physical destruction of revolutionary organisations and for clarification it talks of personnel, facilities and funds?

MR COETZEE: Sir, I have already given evidence that during my term of office on the State Security Council, I was never under the impression that there was a directive or instruction that people should be killed.

I have said also then sir, that there was an unfortunate choice of words in some cases, I have read the annexures to the directives that came to the Police and although it could be misunderstood and misconstrued, there was never ever a direct order coming from the State Security Council, that people should be assassinated or annihilated by assassination.

I want to add to that sir, perhaps this is a case, and this is a document that I haven't seen before, I don't know its real origin, I don't know to whom it is directed, where such a misunderstanding could have occurred. It is obvious.

But as a member of the State Security Council sir, I must say that there was never ever discussions of that nature.

MR LEVIN: And does your answer apply equally both within and outside of the Republic of South Africa?

MR COETZEE: Obviously sir, if at the State Security Council meeting there were discussions about operations outside the country that was to be executed by for instance either the Air Force or by military personnel from the very nature of things, everyone would have understood that there would be people dying under those circumstances.

MR LEVIN: So, there is a dichotomy, there is a difference between within the republic and outside of the republic as you have just explained it?

MR COETZEE: Mr Chairman, I think it would be nearer the truth to say that there was a general acceptance by the government that within the republic, the borders of the republic, operations again with the qualification sir which I have tried to bring out sir, in my application, that within the republic with the battery of Security Laws available to the government, it would be preferable to proceed by way of existing Security Laws.

Obviously sir, that did not prevail as far as outside operations are concerned. It could not prevail, so there was this general attitude sir. I don't think it was spelt out in the particular directive that these were the exact words, but this is how I understood it sir.

MR LEVIN: Would you say a blanket understanding?

MR COETZEE: I would say there was a general understanding that inside the country, one should proceed according to the laws of the country, and you couldn't by the very nature of things sir, couldn't do that outside the country.

MR LEVIN: Of course you couldn't arrest or detain outside the country?

MR COETZEE: That is quite correct sir.

MR LEVIN: Thank you General. I would like to now advert to paragraph 47 of Exhibit A, wherein you state that Min Le Grange was adamant about the matter, that is the strike at buildings in the United Kingdom and subsequently Brigadier Goosen was identified as leader of the contemplated mission. As his second in command he chose Major Craig Williamson.

Now, looking at the line of authority, it would be correct to say would it not, that it was within the prerogative and entitlement of the senior officer, Brigadier Goosen, to choose his second in command, whomsoever that may have been?

MR COETZEE: Yes, I think that would be true.

MR LEVIN: At page 19 of Exhibit A, paragraph 49, you mention in the final sentence the money which was necessary for the carrying out of the operation, came from the government?

MR COETZEE: Yes sir, the position was that at that stage the so-called Secret Fund of the Police either being because it was depleted, in any event was such a small amount that an operation of this nature, could not be funded from it, so Min Le Grange undertook to get funds from another source.

MR LEVIN: Within the government?

MR COETZEE: Within the government to fund it.

MR LEVIN: Yes, you don't know from what particular section these funds were obtained?

MR COETZEE: I was not involved in those discussions sir, that was his prerogative.

MR LEVIN: Very well. At paragraph 51 of your address, Annexure A, the third sentence contains an interpolation of certain words by you and it read previously, the arrest of South African agents in the UK engaged upon sabotaging a building, would already have had serious diplomatic repercussions which the government of the day was prepared to face.

You interpolated into that sentence the words, after government of the day, I was told was prepared to face.

MR COETZEE: Yes, that is correct.

MR LEVIN: Who are you able to identify, who told you that information?

MR COETZEE: Mr Le Grange told me that.

MR LEVIN: Mr Le Grange told you?

MR COETZEE: Yes, he told me that also referring back to the objections by the Commissioner of Police, also my own views about this matter at that stage, that the government was adamant that this should be done and in fact I considered it to be an instruction from him.

I would have been foolish not to think sir, that he was conferring somewhere, somehow with someone else.

MR LEVIN: Or that he was on a frolic of his own?

MR COETZEE: No, I have come to know Mr Le Grange afterwards very well, and I know that he would not have placed his own political career in jeopardy by doing that sir.

MR LEVIN: He would have been following a direct line of order?

MR COETZEE: No, I cannot comment sir on what line he followed, besides that he said the government, so he must have conferred with whoever he thought it was necessary to confer with sir and that can open up a whole indulging in conjecture, because it can mean the whole Cabinet, it can mean a lot of other persons and Directors, Generals of departments, etc, or it can on the other side of the spectrum mean that he only spoke to one or two people that he thought was necessary.

MR LEVIN: Well, General, we won't indulge in conjecture. In paragraph 52 you made mention of the fact that you gave permission for Brigadier Goosen to proceed with the operation which occurred during March 1982?

MR COETZEE: That is correct sir, yes.

MR LEVIN: That was again in line with the line of authority which was followed?

MR COETZEE: Yes, that is correct sir, that is so.

MR LEVIN: Could you give me one moment Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, I have no further questions for Gen Coetzee. I am indebted for the time given to me by the Commission.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Du Plessis. General, I am going to question you in Afrikaans. This action, this London bomb operation, would you agree with me that one of the purposes was you did not testify that it was a Stratcom operation, but one of the objectives was intimidation, was it not? Do you agree?

MR COETZEE: If you mean intimidation of the ANC, then I would agree.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, that is what I mean.

MR COETZEE: That is to illustrate to them that they do not have a safe haven in Britain and they could be the victim of physical attacks even there.

MR DU PLESSIS: If I understand you correctly you testified that they hit the heart of the South African Defence Force at Voortrekkerhoogte and that is why you decided on a similar attack on the ANC, am I correct in my inference there?

MR COETZEE: It must not be interpreted Mr Chairperson, that it was the only motivation. The fact that they launched an attack at Voortrekkerhoogte, that was maybe a - it would have been the trigger in a certain sense, but their presence there from where they acted operationally against South Africa, was a thorn in the flesh of the South African government.

Their operational actions from there in terms of the physical attack against South Africa.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, but General what I want to know is, the argument, wouldn't the argument be that they hit us at a place where it hurt us so we will hit them back where it would hurt them? Was that not the approach?

MR COETZEE: I think Mr Chairperson, the two targets are so comparable, in the one you are hit in the heart of your defence in your country, and I think surely the perception in the world would have been that you are vulnerable, your military Head Office is vulnerable and the other was not a target of such importance.

It was an important target because it was the operational Headquarters of the ANC, from where they gave orders, operational orders from, but I cannot - I don't think it is identical in its nature component.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, but General let's be practical for one moment. Can I just determine here, let me ask you in this manner, can one describe it is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth?

MR COETZEE: In a certain sense yes, Chairperson. You can reason in that manner that if in a Western country, you are able to despite the consequences you are willing to accept those consequences, if you sabotage in a foreign country, then you demonstrate to them, to the ANC that you are vulnerable and that was the primary objective of this operation.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you General. This is also part of the government's counter revolutionary strategy, is that not so?

MR COETZEE: Yes, that is how I accepted it.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well, because you see can I just put it to you, I will argue it also, there is testimony before the different Committees of the Amnesty Committee with reference to similar instructions, that there has to be hit back. Would you like to comment on that?

MR COETZEE: Honourable Chairperson, I would thought that as a general statement, not as a formulated defined, but the nature of the revolutionary onslaught was as an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth, that is the general approach.

MR DU PLESSIS: You also gave evidence and you were certain of your evidence, that during the discussions with Min Le Grange it was clearly indicated to you that the order to act against the ANC offices in London was a governmental order and you also gave evidence that you knew Min Le Grange so well that you knew that he would never issue an order like that, out of his own, without having cleared it with the people on the high levels of government.

MR COETZEE: That was definitely my impression and it was based upon my knowledge of Min Le Grange, as well as taking into account all the objective factors and I was of the opinion, and still am of the opinion that he alone would not have taken responsibility for such a decision.

ADV DE JAGER: General, I don't fully understand your answer. Are you saying that he was so afraid of loosing his job, that he wouldn't have taken the responsibility upon his own shoulders?

MR COETZEE: That might be a very shallow interpretation.

ADV DE JAGER: Well, I don't wish for it to be incorrectly interpreted.

MR COETZEE: I don't think he was actually afraid, I think that he was cautious. He was cautious because his political career could be threatened if there were no guarantees that something like this could be leaked.

You see Mr Chairperson, these discussions over a longer period of time than the one or two that I have mentioned here, had much more facets. Apart from the application of serving Policemen for such a task, within the period of time which is being discussed, various operations were at the order of the day and carried out by various institutions on global level. We were the target of cross-border operations, which were launched from elsewhere.

However the fact that we had economic and political relationships with Britain would certainly, if the people had been arrested there and by nature of the situation, one could not refuse to accept them on the basis of a task which was approved by us, Mr Le Grange's position may have been threatened in what way or by whom, I am not certain, because it is not possible for me to predict what may have happened.

However, it may have had repercussions.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. General, if we look back at that time, with whom and you could probably remember much better than I could, having been a member of the government at that stage, from who would Min Le Grange have received the orders?

MR COETZEE: I have already stated that I don't have any first hand knowledge regarding that. I could possibly implicate certain people falsely and I wouldn't like to wager any opinion.

MR DU PLESSIS: How long did you serve on the State Security Council, for the full period that you were Commissioner?

MR COETZEE: Yes, that is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: And you were fully aware of how the State Security Council operated?

MR COETZEE: The State Security Council was an advisory body for the Cabinet according to legislation.

The Prime Minister and later on, the State President was at the Head of this body and if anything was discussed during sessions of the SSC of which I am not aware and when these discussions took place, if they ever took place, the State President would certainly have known about it, and in the final instance, have given his approval therefore.

However, such issues or cases would not necessarily have gone to the State Security Council. It could have gone directly to the Cabinet or any other Committee or body within the State machinery. It could have gone over to a "bosberaad". I am not certain.

MR DU PLESSIS: Well, let's just examine a number of aspects General. According to your evidence, during the time that you served on the State Security Council, there were indeed discussions about external operations?

MR COETZEE: Yes, previously before the Committee I have reported regarding that. I have given evidence regarding that.

MR DU PLESSIS: We are not talking about the operations that you are discussing today, we are discussing other operations. You don't have to supply details, I am just asking whether or not other operations were discussed.

MR COETZEE: Yes, they were.

MR DU PLESSIS: You said that internal operations were not discussed within your period of service?

MR COETZEE: Internal operations?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, internal operations. Internal actions against terrorism?

MR COETZEE: No, not similar to externally orientated operations, however the discussions at the SSC were chiefly regarding the combating of terrorism within South Africa, that was the whole objective of the SSC.

MR DU PLESSIS: We are talking about unlawful actions internally?

MR COETZEE: I have already given evidence Chairperson, that operations which necessarily such as an external operation were structured, where lives would be lost, such operations in my presence, were never discussed at the SSC on an internal level.

MR DU PLESSIS: Were any other unlawful operations ever discussed, any unlawful internal operations at the SSC?

MR COETZEE: No unlawful operations were ever discussed in my presence at the SSC.

MR DU PLESSIS: General, you have also incorporated certain documents in your application. I understand that you have read these documents?

MR COETZEE: Yes, that is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: You are also incorporating certain evidence, among others evidence given by Gen Van der Merwe and Min Vlok at previous hearings.

MR COETZEE: Yes, that is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: And you have also read the documentation thereof?

MR VISSER: But I have made that so abundantly clear. He never said that he read it, he said that he was familiar with the main ideas in those documents.

MR DU PLESSIS: However, the witness has just answered that he has read it.

MR COETZEE: Well, I have been informed about it.

MR DU PLESSIS: By who were you informed?

MR COETZEE: I was informed while we were compiling and formulating my application. During that period of time I read certain documents of which I myself was the compiler and the main themes of the documents, in so far as they are synchronised with my current application, were made known to me.

MR DU PLESSIS: I accept that for purposes of this, I suppose this is an important aspect, that the evidence regarding the functions and the activities of the SSC and the Cabinet meetings, especially those which were given by Min Vlok, were made known to you?

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, may I enquire, perhaps my learned friend will keep it a secret no longer, what the relevance of this is to the evidence of an applicant who comes to the Committee, who tells him I have received instructions from my Minister, I gave instructions, they were carried out as far as I am aware and as far as war reported to me.

What has the State Security Council and what may or may not have happened there, to do with this issue when the witness says I don't even know whether this was ever discussed at the State Security Council?

With respect, my learned friend wants to accuse other people than those who are already implicated, then this is not the forum for that. This is not an inquisition Mr Chairman. If it deals with the credibility of this witness, it seems very (indistinct) Mr Chairman, but I have a problem with the relevance of this evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: The problem is as far as I can see, the only aspect is credibility, whether he has in fact, whether this witness has honestly told the Committee as to what happened, or whether he is trying to cover up other facts that he knew of.

If that is not the point, I don't know what the purpose of the cross-examination is.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairperson, perhaps I should answer it like this Chairperson, the question which led me in this direction was the issue of whether the witness had any idea of where this order came to Mr Le Grange. He is the person who spoke to Mr Le Grange, he knew the persons who occupied certain positions with regard to this whole issue.

I was trying to establish whether he knew and I am sure that you will recall and I will ask the question again in my explanation, Mr Vlok testified that at certain occasions, informal discussions were held with members of the Cabinet and informal discussions were given by Mr P.W. Botha.

My question to this witness would be whether he knew of any such informal procedures or whether any informal orders were given of which he is aware and perhaps he can answer this question right now.

MR COETZEE: Mr Chairperson, whether members of the Cabinet had informal discussions with one another regarding certain cases, would be impossible for me to comment about.

I am assuming within the range of my experience over a number of years, that there may be a case where a Minister said to someone that he had discussed a case or an issue with somebody else, perhaps a financial matter, and that this would be his order for me.

I would have accepted it as such. However, if Mr Le Grange himself solely had given this order, I personally would have been in exactly the same position, it was an order which I received from my Minister, and I would have had the option of executing it or resigning. Those were my options during that period in time.

However, for me to attempt to comment regarding the entire broad spectrum and who spoke to who, and which discussions possibly may have taken place, in other circumstances or under similar circumstances, would be impossible for me to comment on in a meaningful fashion.

MR DU PLESSIS: Let me explain to you what I am going to argue about and that would be the probability that you would be the only person who would have reported to, or the only person who Louis le Grange would have reported to and taken orders from, would have been P.W. Botha?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I may also be of that opinion, however, I have nothing to base that opinion on.

MR DU PLESSIS: You have no personal knowledge thereof then?

MR COETZEE: Yes, that is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: Did you report back regarding this operation to anybody?

MR COETZEE: My regulation was that as soon as the operation had been finished, that I should by means of a telephonic conversation be given instruction, or inform, there would be a sort of code message and this message would then indicate that the task had been successfully completed, would then be relayed by me through to Mr Le Grange.

MR DU PLESSIS: General, you also testified that congratulations were extended at a certain point in time to those who had been involved in the operation. Would you agree with me, I think that this was the effect of the evidence by Mr Vlok and Mr Van der Merwe, regarding such congratulations, that this could have created the atmosphere within which operatives would have accepted that unlawful actions were sanctioned from above. Would you agree?

MR COETZEE: What I would admit Chairperson, and I think initially I did not testify regarding this, that one of the objections by the former Commissioner, was that the minute you were made guilty of an unlawful act, you would be placed within the influence of possible blackmailers.

This does not indicate that bona fide unlawful acts may have taken place within the milieu which I have attempted to sketch for you. However, I would concur with the gentleman to my right, that it was that type of action, it was the action to congratulate people without sanitations or without making known for what reason these congratulations were extended, and along with these actions, a situation was created which could have been interpreted by certain individuals that approval or sanction was granted for such actions.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you General. In conjunction with that, you would then agree with me and I am not trying to enter into a debate with you regarding the exact meaning of the word eliminate, would you agree with me that subordinates from perhaps the misuse or badly judged use of the document, could have understood the meaning of the word eliminate in the official documents, as to kill?

MR COETZEE: I have testified earlier Chairperson, before the Investigative Unit that it is an unfortunate choice of words, for which I was not responsible. I did not serve on the Secretariat of the SSC, and that this could indeed have resulted in unauthorised actions, unlawful actions, that I have clearly stated.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well General, just one final aspect regarding this. I would like to put it to you that there is an extremely useful practical example which I have been made aware, that would be the Kannemeyer report and the incident regarding that, I am sure that you can recall the report and the incident?

MR COETZEE: Yes, I testified before Justice Kannemeyer regarding incidents which took place in Port Elizabeth and I would agree that there was also an unfortunate choice of words in Police communication, which could have resulted and I think that the Honourable Justice did in fact accept it as such.

This choice of words could have led to unlawful actions.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairperson, I am not going to pursue this issue at this hearing further. I am making that point, I will make available to you if you are interested, a copy of the Kannemeyer report. What happened there is that there was an official instruction in respect of which there was a reference to the word eliminate.

It was directly interpreted by Policemen as meaning kill people who were involved in a march and that eventually happened, and there was a whole enquiry in that regard. It is a practical example of the misinterpretation of such a word. Not in this hearing, it is ...

ADV DE JAGER: Regarding this instance, there was an express direct instruction, there was no misinterpretation, nobody alleges that there was any misinterpretation. The order was issued, go and blow up this building.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I did not even want to mention this, but evidence has been presented this regarding this by Gen Coetzee, and it was necessary for me to bring this to light.

General, I also would like to ask you whether anybody asked you any questions about this operation, whether any queries were made regarding the operation from the side of government?


MR DU PLESSIS: Did you receive any queries from the Department or Foreign Affairs?


MR DU PLESSIS: Any queries from Mr Pik Botha?

MR COETZEE: No Chairperson, I never discussed the incident with him, I never had that sort of relationship with him wherein which I would discuss such matters with him.

MR DU PLESSIS: Do you know whether he or his Department posed any questions to any other persons who were involved in the operation?

MR COETZEE: No, I am not aware of anything like that.

MR DU PLESSIS: And the same is of application to Mr P.W. Botha?

MR COETZEE: He never discussed that with me.

MR DU PLESSIS: Can we also then accept General that for the same political reasons that you were involved in the operation, you also remained silent regarding the operation and did nothing else about it?

MR COETZEE: No, it wasn't about political convictions in as much as it was about the fact that within the situation, the principle of need to know was strictly maintained. It wasn't about discussions, discussing things with other politicians or colleagues.

The need to know principle was applied throughout the Security Services on a very strict basis.

MR DU PLESSIS: But the point of that would be to protect the Security Forces?

MR COETZEE: The objective of that would be primarily to ensure that people of your opposition would not penetrate your ranks and obtain certain information.

MR DU PLESSIS: That was part of the struggle?

MR COETZEE: Yes, that is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: Would you agree General with evidence which has been given on previous occasions regarding the role of the Security Police in that in reality it was the political arm of the Police in the sense that they were involved, or more politically involved with the struggle than other wings of the Police?

MR COETZEE: I have tried to sketch this in my submission to you that the Security Branch, by nature of the situation, was involved on the political level. I qualify this by saying politically subversive terrorist oriented actions, the Security Police was primarily the institution which had to combat the total onslaught.

I have tried to sketch this to you as thoroughly as possible.

MR DU PLESSIS: General, you would then also agree with me that any subordinates below you, regarding this operation, would have acted with the same conviction as you did, with the same political convictions?

MR COETZEE: Yes, I would have accepted this with the proviso that they were only informed in Britain because of the need to know principle, they were only involved in Britain regarding the nature of the target.

Before they left the Republic, they were not informed regarding the nature of the operation. Once again the application of the need to know principle.

I should think that the question is correct regarding the convictions and that according to their convictions, they would be prepared to execute the operation.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes General, a final question. I understand your evidence and I am asking this question in a broad sense, do I understand your evidence correctly regarding the action of the South African Police in that in many instances, the South African Security Police was of a military nature and that the Police often co-operated with the Defence Force?

MR COETZEE: No Chairperson, I don't think that that is entirely, structurally correct. The entire Police Services, including members of the Security Forces, over a long period of time, participated in projects and operations which were Defence Force oriented.

That goes back into legislation regarding South African Police and it goes as far as actions within the First World War and the Second World War, the actions in Rhodesia, the actions in the former South West Africa. However, to a large extent, this is of application to the entire South African Police.

There was of course co-operation and liaison between the Police and the Security Branch. The Security Branch was more specifically task oriented, however the Police Forces were involved in many of these actions.

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


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR CORNELIUS: Mr Chairman, Cornelius, I act on behalf of applicant Vic McPherson. General, I am interested in the secret funding. Could you advise the Chairman and the Members of the Board, how this operated.

How was an award given or reward given to somebody who in fact participated in an operation?

MR COETZEE: Mr Chairman, I can only comment on the time that I was the Officer Commanding the Security Branch. I cannot comment on what the position was before that, or subsequent to that.

When I became the Officer Commanding the Security, it was the aftermath of the so-called Information Scandal. At that stage, the Department, I suppose the Treasury Department, Department of Finance, decided for the first time, to audit the Secret Fund of the Departments.

An auditor was sent to the South African Police, to the Security Branch, and he audited this Fund, which at that stage sir, amounted I am under correction, to something like R1 million, of which R250 000 was meant for the Gold and Diamond Branch and R750 000 for the Security Branch.

He then, together with myself, worked out a procedure how this Fund should be allotted and how authorisation should be given for its use. More or less sir, as far as I recollect, local Commanders outside Headquarters were authorised to authorise an amount of R5 000 on a particular issue and not above that.

The Officer Commanding the Security Branch was authorised under correction, to authorise something like R10 000 or R15 000. The Commissioner something like, I think sir, R50 000, beyond which it had to go to the Minister of Law and Order.

This procedure entailed a memorandum. If it went to either the Officer Commanding Security, and or the Commissioner specifically, there had to be a memorandum why this amount was necessary.

There was also the position that members could apply for authorisation in which case, they submitted an application, a confidential application and when the money was eventually disbursed, witnesses besides, Police witnesses besides the received, had to sign the receipt which had to be returned to Police Headquarters. That was the position in my time.

MR CORNELIUS: Thank you for a very complete answer. In 1985 you were Commissioner of Police?

MR COETZEE: That is right, yes.

MR CORNELIUS: In 1985 you were to authorise an award for R20 000, who would authorise that award?

MR COETZEE: Inn 1985?


MR COETZEE: I would only have authorised it sir, if a complete memorandum entailing all the needs had been provided to me. And it had its origin in the Officer Commanding the Security Branch.

MR CORNELIUS: I see. You see, my applicant Mr McPherson will state that there was an authorisation granted for a R20 000 award to be given to the Indian chap called Allie. Would you dispute that?

MR COETZEE: I have got not recollection, I have said sir, that I've got no recollection, but if it was authorised, it must have come through the ordinary channels to me.

MR CORNELIUS: Yes, so there should have been a memorandum or at least a letter?

MR COETZEE: And signed by the Officer Commanding the Security Branch.

MR CORNELIUS: I presume sir. The operation itself is not recorded in writing, obviously due to the covertness of it, the nature of the operation?

MR COETZEE: No, but sir, the operation, any operation of that nature, would entail at least - how can I authorise it, the auditor will eventually see the authorisation, just in a vacuum, that is impossible.

MR CORNELIUS: Can you recall out of your own knowledge that an amount of R15 000 was ever paid to an Indian chap called Allie?

MR COETZEE: No, I've got no knowledge of that sir.

MR CORNELIUS: Is it possible due to the duration, that it is almost 13 years ago that this had occurred, that you have forgotten?

MR COETZEE: Sir, I've got no knowledge, it is possible that there were many authorisations out of that Fund when I was Commissioner which I had signed, which I have authorised, it is possible.

MR CORNELIUS: I understand. I understand that you were also fondly known as the Father of Intelligence, is that correct, or don't you know?

MR COETZEE: No, I don't know that.

MR CORNELIUS: At the time in 1985, my client will testify when he applied for the reward, Mr Craig Williamson in fact, was on leave.

MR COETZEE: Was on leave sir?

MR CORNELIUS: Yes. It is obviously difficult to comment on that I would say? Could I put it to you, Mr Joe Slovo, would you consider him as an enemy of the State at that time?

MR COETZEE: Would I consider him?

MR CORNELIUS: Yes? Yes, would you in 1985 have considered Mr Joe Slovo as an enemy of the State?

MR COETZEE: In the sense sir, that Mr Joe Slovo was a member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party, in the sense sir, that Mr Joe Slovo was also one of the Commanders of the uMkhonto weSizwe organisation which had as a declared policy the overthrow of the South African State, I would say yes sir. I would have regarded him as an enemy of the State in that ...

MR CORNELIUS: I think he was Chief of Staff at that time of Umkhonto weSizwe, wasn't he?

MR COETZEE: Well, I don't sir, after 18 years, after my pension, after being pensioned, I cannot comment cogently now on positions at that stage of different people.

MR CORNELIUS: I appreciate that. The explosion in Lusaka, that obviously came to your notice?

MR COETZEE: The what sir?

MR CORNELIUS: The explosion in Lusaka at the Catachara, that obviously came to your notice?

MR COETZEE: It could have. I won't deny that he visited Lusaka if there was operational Headquarters in Lusaka of Umkhonto weSizwe, that was well known sir.


MR COETZEE: And it would have been natural for him to visit that.


ADV DE JAGER: I think the question was actually not whether any person visited it, whether it came to your knowledge that there was an explosion at the offices in Lusaka?

MR COETZEE: No, it never came to my knowledge.

MR CORNELIUS: Not at all, I mean here is a direct hit on one of the Headquarters in Lusaka of the ANC, the declared enemy of the previous enemy. Didn't that draw your attention?

MR COETZEE: No sir, I think you must understand the situation which obtained then, which prevailed then. As Commissioner, just as an aside sir, as Commissioner I was confronted every day, every morning with voluminous reports.

MR CORNELIUS: I understand.

MR COETZEE: And if a thing was not completely out of the ordinary, murders in South Africa at that stage sir, ordinary murders, assassinations and suicides, entailed reading, just that, entailed reading through a quarter of a chapter of a book.

Unless my attention was drawn specifically by someone and also someone senior, who could approach me in my office as Commissioner, it would have - I wouldn't have taken notice of it.

MR CORNELIUS: I see. Would you have authorised this type of attack on the Headquarters in Lusaka?

MR COETZEE: If sir, it was properly motivated, if it had gone through the correct channels and I was approached, I would probably in the circumstances, have authorised it.

MR CORNELIUS: I see, because the bomb in London was obviously properly authorised, so there would have been no problem to authorise this in Lusaka?

MR COETZEE: I must say sir, I do not want to go into a long discussion sir, but the information available to me at this stage, looks just like a haphazard attempt of some nature.

MR CORNELIUS: Yes. You see my applicant, Mr McPherson is desirous to make a full disclosure and he in fact will say that he approached you with Captain Kobus Pretorius to authorise the engagement of the services of the Indian man, Allie, as he states in his application?

MR COETZEE: All that I can repeat again sir, that I don't say it is completely, completely impossible, but it would have been completely out of the recognised procedure for him not to approach his own Commanding Officer of the Security Branch and in turn, provide me with a proper memorandum and I depending upon the circumstances, would surely have discussed it with the Minister, because even at that stage, there was overtures between South Africa and Zambia and I was part and parcel of those overtures sir, to try and make peace in the sub-continent.

All things concerned, I have, I am very reluctant to say this, but I've got very serious doubts whether this could have happened.

ADV DE JAGER: At that stage, you were not the Head of the Security Police?

MR COETZEE: No, I was the Commissioner sir at that stage.

ADV DE JAGER: Dealing with all Police functions?

MR COETZEE: Correct sir.

ADV DE JAGER: And who was the Head of Security at that stage?



MR COETZEE: 1985, it would have been General Steenkamp or Schutte sir. Steenkamp.

MR CORNELIUS: Before we adjourn for lunch, I just want to make the statement, that it would be obvious that my client would approach you as a reward was involved of R20 000, so obviously there would have to be some type of approval by the Commissioner of Police?

MR COETZEE: It had to come for approval with a memorandum, signed by the Officer Commanding that particular Branch. That was the procedure. If that was not adopted then sir, every Security Branch Policeman in South Africa, could at random crop up at my office and say, I've got this plan, please authorise this. This is not the position sir. This is not what happened.

MR CORNELIUS: I appreciate that. Mr Chairman, I think this might be an appropriate time to adjourn for lunch.

CHAIRPERSON: We will adjourn now until two o'clock.



PETRUS JOHANNES COETZEE: (still under oath)

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR CORNELIUS: (continued) General Coetzee, my client will testify before this Committee and he will state that he in fact occasioned your office on three occasions. He approached you on three occasions regarding the 1985 Lusaka bomb. Can you recall that?

MR COETZEE: I didn't hear that well, Your Worship.

MR CORNELIUS: I am terribly sorry, my client will testify and he would say that he in fact approached you at your offices on three different occasions regarding the 1985 Lusaka incident.

MR COETZEE: Is that, may I ask just for, to make sure, whilst I was Commissioner of Police?

MR CORNELIUS: That is correct.

MR COETZEE: Is that correct?

MR CORNELIUS: Yes, Mr Chairman, I see that my learned colleague Mr Bizos isn't present. Should we ...

CHAIRPERSON: I don't know where he is. He indicated that as regards this aspect, he might let someone else listen, that he wasn't particularly interested, didn't he.

MR CORNELIUS: Should I proceed?

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, I think actually he indicated in chambers that he wasn't too interested in the London bomb incident, that is where he indicated someone else if I recall correctly, and this I think, goes about something else, Lusaka.


MR CORNELIUS: Thank you Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: I apologise Mr Chairman, our food arrived seven minutes ago.

CHAIRPERSON: You must find a better restaurant Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: It would not happen again Mr Chairman.

MR CORNELIUS: Thank you Mr Chairman. The applicant, Mr McPherson will testify that he approached you on three occasions at your official offices in your capacity as Commissioner of Police in 1985, regarding the Lusaka bomb incident.

MR COETZEE: I can only repeat what I said before the recess Mr Chairman. I have no recollection of these approaches. I've got no independent recollection of it.

All that I can say is that if it is so, it was outside existing procedures, which existed at the time. I've got no recollection sir.

MR CORNELIUS: Do you in fact concede that there is the possibility that he might have approached you outside the correct procedures, is that what you are saying or not?

MR COETZEE: I am not saying that Mr Chairman. What I am saying is, I've got no recollection whatsoever.

I may add sir, that as a target, as it is described as a target, and I do not want to minimise the effect of my words, it seems to me to be a type of target, if it was presented in the correct format, I would have, I would have authorised it, but I have no recollection whatsoever of this approaches or the situation.

MR CORNELIUS: I appreciate that. My client, I just want to put my client's version to you. He would furthermore testify and indicate that after the permission was granted, he in fact then proceeded and had the bomb built as indicated in his application for amnesty. That is a possibility?

MR COETZEE: I don't know.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you ever scrutinise the audited records of this Secret Fund?

MR COETZEE: Did I scrutinise the ...

MR CORNELIUS: Scrutinise the audited records?

MR COETZEE: I scrutinised the reports of the Auditor's Fund as far as the Police Secret Fund was concerned in 1981, 1982, and 1983.

MR CORNELIUS: I understand sir. Can you recall, there is a possibility you might not, but my client will testify that you in fact instructed him to tape the instructions to Allie on a so-called (indistinct) recorder as to safeguard possible future action after the bombing took place in Lusaka. Do you follow my question?

MR COETZEE: No, I don't.

MR CORNELIUS: I will shorten it. My client will testify that you in fact instructed him to tape the instructions to Allie, and that you would safeguard the tape recording?

MR COETZEE: No, I've got no knowledge of this sir.

MR CORNELIUS: My client would further testify that after his return from Swaziland, after instructing Allie, he once again approached you in your offices in your capacity as Commissioner of the South African Police and that you then undertook, he handed the tape to you and you undertook to lock it away in a so-called secret safe. Can you recall that?

MR COETZEE: No, I don't Mr Chairman.

MR CORNELIUS: He would furthermore testify that on the third occasion, when he once again saw you in your capacity as Commissioner of the South African Police, and it became known through the media that the attempt to injure Joe Slovo was unsuccessful, that it was decided to reduce the award from R20 000 to R15 000, for the efforts of Mr Allie.

MR COETZEE: Mr Chairman, I want to repeat again, I am totally unaware, I cannot recollect any of these incidents.


CHAIRPERSON: This is something that you surely would have recalled if you had agreed to pay someone R20 000 for carrying out an assassination attempt, and then when he made a mess of it, you agreed to pay him R15 000. It is a somewhat unusual agreement, isn't it?

MR COETZEE: Well, Mr Chairman, that is exactly what I am trying to convey to the Commission. It seems to me and I am not in possession of all the information, that this was just a haphazard operation and if it was cleared out with me, it would have come through the proper procedures. I would for instance have wanted to know how does this person propose to get, I believe it was said Swaziland, to Zambia, through what border post, by plane, how does he propose to carry explosives with him, and all those matters.

I would try to clear it out and I would clear it out with the Officer Commanding the Security Branch. I thought about it, there are certain possibilities that could have occurred, that it came through the ordinary normal channels, which I would still have remembered.

But sir, I've got no independent recollection at all, and I want to reiterate that sir, of this, although I cannot unequivocally say today that it did not, it is impossible. But it goes so against the grain of the procedures which existed at the time, that I feel sure that I would have remembered that.

MR CORNELIUS: I appreciate that, but I also noticed that you did not apply for amnesty for this specific incident.

MR COETZEE: Mr Chairman, I think I, I do not want to waste time, surely I am not. The position is sir, if I today commit perjury and say yes, or I had committed perjury before and I applied when I first noticed this application, and eventually through thorough investigation it transpired that this person was wrong, then I am in a predicament.

I cannot apply for amnesty for a matter which I do not recollect and which I feel I wasn't involved in. That is the position.

MR CORNELIUS: I appreciate that. The contrary is also true that you would agree that my client will have no malice to implicate you as Commissioner of the Police Service, in something which he honestly discussed with you?

MR COETZEE: No, I've got no, I don't think he's got particular malice against me or me against him.

MR CORNELIUS: And the normal, almost common question is asked, would there be any reason for him to unnecessarily implicate you?

MR COETZEE: Would there be any reason ...

MR CORNELIUS: For the applicant to implicate you in his application, if it wasn't the fact?

MR COETZEE: Sir, he may be mistaken. That is all that I can say. That he approached someone else, that he spoke to someone else, which would have been the normal procedure, and that he is at fault. That is what I feel the situation is.

MR CORNELIUS: I have no further questions, thank you Mr Chairman and Members of the Committee.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HUGO: Thank you Mr Chairman, it is Hugo on behalf of Mr De Kock. General, just one aspect, just to clarify something. You testified concerning the medal ceremony, that your recollection is not clear whether Gen Mike Geldenhuys was present. Is that correct?

Can I just put it to you Mr De Kock was present there, and he says he has a clear recollection that Gen Mike Geldenhuys was present during the presentation of the medals.

MR COETZEE: I cannot recall that Mr De Kock was there.

MR HUGO: That is all I would wish to put to you. I've got no further questions.

MR COETZEE: I cannot comment further on that. I have said Mr Chairperson, that I have been at literally many medal presentations.

There was no citation and the Minister did not give a speech, it was in his office, but for me to testify here that I saw somebody there personally after all this time, I cannot do that.

MR HUGO: I would just like to put it to you. No further questions, thank you Mr Chairman.


MR ROSSOUW: No questions, Mr Chairman. Rossouw Mr Chairman, on record, I have no questions.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR JANSEN: Thank you Mr Chairman. General, on behalf of Mr Adams, just the one question to clarify something to this Commission.

What was the relationship between Koevoet operations and the Police Security Branch?

MR COETZEE: That is a very broad question sir. Koevoet functioned in South West Africa and was a fighting unit.

MR JANSEN: But what I want to know is, is there any specific reason why members of Koevoet went out on a Security Police operation, was Koevoet part of the Security Branch?

MR COETZEE: Initially they were financed by the Security Branch, initially. Thereafter they were financed by the South West African Police and I speak under correction, there was also funding from the South African Defence Force.

But initially they were financed by the Security Branch, because initially there were six members.

MR JANSEN: But at that stage in 1982, who paid those persons' salaries?

MR COETZEE: Their normal salary was paid by the South African Police because they were regarded as members of the South African Police.

MR JANSEN: Now, with regard to the Marius Schoon incident, you say a plan was never submitted to you, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: To kill him?


MR COETZEE: No, such a plan was never put to me.

MR JANSEN: I have not perused your application, but in your amnesty application is there any incident where a murder or a conspiracy to murder to attempt to murder, is anything like that present in your application?


MR JANSEN: Is there any application with regard to gross violation of human rights, in other words where somebody was tortured?

MR COETZEE: No, because I was not implicated by anyone.

MR JANSEN: No, in your application. In your application in general, is there any incident?

MR COETZEE: No, none.

MR JANSEN: If Jan du Preez, let's accept that he was a Brigadier at that stage, if he mentioned your name with regard to that, he would have used your name idly?

MR COETZEE: Well, usually the highest person's name would be used.

MR JANSEN: So it could have happened possibly that he did that?

MR COETZEE: Do you mean Jan du Preez?


MR COETZEE: It is possible, it could happened.

MR JANSEN: Just concerning the background, in 1980, in January 1980 you took over command of the Security Branch, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: Is it also correct that although Vlakplaas existed for quite some time, and the askaris were settled there, Vlakplaas became an Operational Unit or the beginning of that process was at the end of 1980, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: I would think it was more formally structured than at the end of 1980 in that sense.

MR JANSEN: Well, the whole idea that permanent white officers were stationed at Vlakplaas, it would mean that it had a committed leader. You could just comment on this, this happened in August 1980 when Dirk Coetzee was the Commander there?

MR COETZEE: No sir. I inherited Vlakplaas from my predecessor Gen Victor and he established this Unit, he did all the work there.

For myself, at that stage this and that happened. That is just ...

MR JANSEN: Maybe I can remind you of it, Victor was followed up by Brigadier Schoon?

MR COETZEE: Yes, that is correct.

MR JANSEN: Up to August 1980 there was no permanent white officers stationed at Vlakplaas, am I correct when I say that?

MR COETZEE: The position was that Mr Chairman, initially Gen Victor visited Vlakplaas the whole day, or in the afternoon he went back to Headquarters, that is the position.

MR JANSEN: Well, that would have been the position after there had been people stationed there and in 1980, during August, Victor was still the Commander of that division. However, Vlakplaas became operational in September 1981?

MR COETZEE: No, Vlakplaas was operational or became operational from 1979, when it was founded and all the terrorists who returned, were used operationally in the country.

MR JANSEN: General, the groups, the so-called sleuthhound groups whom the media branded the death squads, those groups became operational in September 1981. Can you recall that?

MR COETZEE: No, I cannot recall it. Even before as Commander of the Security Branch in Johannesburg, we had similar operational actions with so-called returning terrorists. That is how they were used when they arrived at Vlakplaas.

MR JANSEN: So the groups, I did not expect that we would argue this, but tomorrow morning I will make sure that the letter which was signed on the 11th of September would be available.

I would like to put to you that the letter, do you recall the letter that was distributed to the geographical divisions of the Security Branch where you say that there was this new Unit now, because of the increase of the problems in the security situation and that these persons would move out to other areas, do you recall that letter?

MR COETZEE: Yes. That is correct Chairperson, there was a signal to that effect, from me, but previously there were oral instructions given that such a Unit did exist and that it had to be used and I could explain in this manner, why it happened sir, that it was easier to house returning terrorists at a place where they could be controlled, where you could train them.

It would be better than if they were distributed all over the country. I did send such a directive to Security Branches. And the letter is here, it is signed by Brigadier du Preez. I do have it here if you would like to have a look at it.

It was drawn up Brigadier Schoon and signed by Brigadier Du Preez.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, without at all professing to know what the relevance of this is, of Vlakplaas is, there are two directives which I incidentally have Mr Chairman, quite by coincidence. May I give these to my learned friend so that he could get his facts straight.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Jansen, I would assume that you would get to the relevance of the London bomb.

MR JANSEN: No, the Marius Schoon incident.

ADV DE JAGER: Oh, the Marius Schoon incident?

MR JANSEN: Yes, it is just the Marius Schoon incident.

I refer to the document entitled Secret, dated 11 September 1981, and paragraph 3 thereof says this is a relatively new project.

MR COETZEE: It is correct, it says relatively.

MR JANSEN: I would put it to you that with the exception of two incidents, all the other irregular actions from Vlakplaas started on the 13th of September 1981. Would you deny that?

MR COETZEE: I have no idea what you are referring to.

MR JANSEN: All that I want to put to you is that you were then the Head of Security to the middle of 1983, and then Commissioner until the end of 1987, or the middle of 1987?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: Would you tell the Committee that during all that time, none of these irregular actions from Vlakplaas came to your knowledge, during that time?

MR COETZEE: Mr Chairperson, this is a matter which I discussed or gave testimony to at other hearings.

For me now to take pieces out of that testimony that almost took a whole day, I don't think it would be a meaningful statement to give here. I would just like to say that I became aware as Commander of the Security Branch, and Brigadier Schoon informed me that Captain Coetzee was guilty of irresponsible actions, even though he did not serve there for a whole year, and I transferred him immediately.

Thereafter when I became aware of his further actions, I launched an investigation and he was expelled from the Service, dishonourably after his further activities became known to me and investigations brought this to the light.

A departmental hearing before a civil Magistrate was held, because he said he would not get a fair hearing. The first time when I became aware that Captain Coetzee was guilty of irresponsible actions, and I took steps and transferred him from the Security Branch.

MR JANSEN: General, I do not wish to argue the smaller points of this detail, but my question did not pertain specifically to Captain Coetzee.

My question concerns the time period of seven years. Are you telling us that you were not aware of any of those irregular actions there?

MR COETZEE: The time when I was at the Security Branch up to 1983, that is the time when I was closely in liaison with Vlakplaas, and I was not aware of any actions for which I did not take any steps.

When they kidnapped people from other countries, I took steps. When they murdered people, I charged that man before a civil Court, he was found guilty and sent to jail. If I became aware of it and there was witness to that, I charged people.

MR JANSEN: So therefore you are saying that the conduct was that of rouge Policemen?

MR COETZEE: Unless Chairperson, I was made aware of the specific incident that I could achieve proper context within the time frame, I would not be able to comment in a meaningful and objective fashion regarding that question.

MR JANSEN: Finally, you have referred to a specific incident regarding which you took immediate steps.

The incident which you have referred to is the abduction of Joe Pillay in January 1981.

MR COETZEE: The incident to which I referred, was amongst others, the abduction against my orders, of a person from a neighbouring country after which there was also an incident which originated in the Free State during which Mr Coetzee became involved in a shooting incident with people on the road, who were allegedly under the influence of alcohol. They were members of the public.

As a result of that, I was informed that Captain Coetzee was not suitable for the position, that he was irresponsible and that he had to be transferred. He recommended that. In September and October of that year, in other words, after a number of months, he was transferred. He was notified of his transfer.

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


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BIZOS: Is it our turn Mr Chairman? Yes? Gen Coetzee, I want to start off where your Counsel started off, by referring to page 89 of your application for amnesty. Please turn to it.


MR BIZOS: Page 89. Your Counsel sought for leave to strike out the letter s, so that you are applying for amnesty for ... (tape ends) ...

MR COETZEE: Correct Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: And you are also asking for leave to delete various neighbouring countries and to substitute for it, the Republic of South Africa and the United Kingdom.

MR COETZEE: That is correct Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: Was this a mistake that you made when you incorporated that there was more than one operation that you were asking for amnesty for and that the one, the more than one operation that you were asking for amnesty, was in various neighbouring countries? Was that a mistake?

MR COETZEE: The position Mr Chairman, is the following. When I was summoned to give evidence before the Investigative Committee of the TRC, I approached the Chairman of the TRC and the co-Chairman, together with other Police Generals, and we sought advice about the legality or otherwise of what we termed State authorised operations in adjacent countries.

A promise was made to us that this matter would be cleared out with the Department of Justice. Subsequently we approached the Commission again and we were informed that no answer was yet forthcoming, the matter was under consideration.

In the meantime I had, I was summoned to give evidence also about extraterritorial operations. After consulting with various legal people, who differed about the legality or otherwise of this type of operation, I decided that I would furnish the Commission with all the operations of an extraterritorial nature, which I then did.

Subsequently it again transpired that there was legal uncertainty up till this stage, about this matter, both in case law, both in international law and both in South African law, and in the circumstances, I do not apply for amnesty for those other operations which was sanctioned by the State Security Council or advised and sanctioned subsequently by Cabinet.

MR BIZOS: Why don't you answer the question General, were the words put there by mistake or were they deliberately put there, in the plural?

MR COETZEE: It was originally in the plural sir, and it referred to ...

MR BIZOS: It was not a mistake?

MR COETZEE: I beg your pardon?

MR BIZOS: It was not a mistake?

MR COETZEE: It was not a mistake.

MR BIZOS: General, I would appeal to you, the question was a simple one, was it a mistake? The answer is, it was not a mistake?


MR BIZOS: Thank you, now we proceed to the next question. Will you please turn to page 94 of your application. If so, that is state particulars of such order or approval and the date thereof, and if known the name and address of the person/s who gave such order or approval. Your answer, at all relevant times, I, as Officer Commanding the Security Branch or as Commissioner of Police, was acting within the cause and scope of my employment and my authority as such.

As set out above, this was usually done, either as directed by a Minister or the State Security Council. Was that paragraph recorded deliberately or by mistake?

MR COETZEE: No, it was recorded deliberately.

MR BIZOS: Thank you. You took the oath before Mr Jacobus Jacobs that everything that you said there, was the truth?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: Now, I ask you directly General, the incorporation of the word usually in subparagraph 11(b) clearly indicates that you were implicated in a number of operations. Yes or no?

MR COETZEE: Extraterritorial or inside the country?

MR BIZOS: No, more than one operation. We will come to the internal and external, please answer the question.


MR BIZOS: Do you agree that the word usually clearly implies that you were involved in more than one operation?


MR BIZOS: How many operations were you involved in once you chose to deliberately use the word usually?

MR COETZEE: In four operations.

MR BIZOS: I beg your pardon?

MR COETZEE: In four operations which is regarded, I am referring here only to operations that is regarded as possibly illegal.

MR BIZOS: Right, which were - which four were specifically authorised either by Minister or the Security Council?

MR COETZEE: Three by the Security Council.

MR BIZOS: Which were they?

MR COETZEE: They were an attack in Lesotho, an attack by the Army in Gaberone and an attack by the South African Air Force in Maputo and the London one by the Minister of Police.

MR BIZOS: Only those four?

MR COETZEE: Just those four.

MR BIZOS: All right. We will examine that in detail in due course. Why have you not applied for amnesty, or rather let me rephrase the question ...

ADV DE JAGER: Sorry Mr Bizos, could I - Lesotho, could you kindly repeat the three that was authorised by the Security Council?

MR COETZEE: I must again say sir, the Security Council was a Committee or a sub-Committee of Cabinet, it advised according to the law, it never approved, but those three were dealt with by the State Security Council, and the one, the London case, matter, was dealt with by the Minister.

ADV DE JAGER: Yes, could you just mention the three please, I couldn't write it down. The one was in Lesotho.

MR COETZEE: The one was in Lesotho, one was in Botswana, the one was in Mozambique and the other one was the London ...

ADV DE JAGER: Thank you.

MR BIZOS: The United Kingdom is not a neighbouring country General?

MR COETZEE: That is why sir, we have applied for an amendment.

MR BIZOS: No, no, we are now trying to say whether when you take the oath before the Commissioner of Oaths, and you swear to tell the truth, whether you told the truth or not.

We will come about the amendment. When you took an oath that you were only involved in matters related, that were committed in the neighbouring countries, do you agree that the United Kingdom is not a neighbouring country?

MR COETZEE: No, but it is an extraterritorial State sir.

MR BIZOS: No, please do you agree that the United Kingdom is not a neighbouring country?

MR COETZEE: It is not an adjacent country.

MR BIZOS: It is not a neighbouring country, why don't you answer the question General?

MR COETZEE: It is a foreign country sir.

MR BIZOS: I beg your pardon?

MR COETZEE: It is a foreign country.

MR BIZOS: Is it a neighbouring country General, please answer the question.

MR COETZEE: It is a question of semantics sir, it is not a neighbouring country.

MR BIZOS: You used the word neighbouring, I am asking you whether the United Kingdom is a neighbouring country or not?

MR COETZEE: No, obviously not.

MR BIZOS: Right, why didn't you say so right at the beginning General, so that we can get on?

Obviously when you signed this affidavit, you did not intend to apply for amnesty for the London bombing?

MR COETZEE: No sir. I did. It was an application for amnesty in terms of so and so, it was an application for amnesty, but at that stage I was under the impression Mr Chairman, that I should apply or that I could apply, for the other three matters as well.

MR BIZOS: Where did you mention ...

MR COETZEE: Page 88.

MR BIZOS: I beg your pardon?

MR COETZEE: Page 88.

MR BIZOS: Page 88, yes.

MR COETZEE: That is the beginning of that affidavit.

MR BIZOS: Yes, what do you say there?

MR COETZEE: I say application for amnesty in terms of Section 18 of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act.

MR BIZOS: Yes, for what offences sir? For offences committed in neighbouring countries, the United Kingdom is not a neighbouring country?

MR COETZEE: But sir ...

MR BIZOS: Show me anything in your application that when you signed it, you seriously intended to apply for amnesty for the London bombing?

MR COETZEE: No, I - in sir, in my evidence under oath to the Investigative Committee, I described the London bombing in detail.

MR BIZOS: When, what date was that? Was it before or after your application for amnesty?

MR COETZEE: It must have been before that. Obviously before that.

MR BIZOS: Yes, but why, why did you use the word neighbouring countries that you were applying for amnesty for, if you intended to say that you had authorised the London bombing to the Amnesty Committee? Any answer?

MR COETZEE: Mr Bizos, all that I can say is that if I said and if I intended to convey that I only asked for extraterritorial, or for adjacent countries, then obviously it did not include the London bomb.

But sir, in my evidence, in my evidence to the Commission right from the start, I gave evidence about it, immediately and I asked them, I requested their views about the legality or illegality of this type of operation, and they couldn't answer me.

So sir, for me to suggest Mr Bizos, that I was trying to hide this thing, I was trying to distance myself from this, is not true sir.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Coetzee, on page 89, the second last paragraph you refer to section (d) of the memorandum with its relevant annexures, dealt with so-called authorised extraterritorial operations ordered by either the State Council.

Now this memorandum is referred in the previous paragraph, the memorandum, it was a memorandum you gave to the Truth Commission, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That is correct Mr Commissioner.

ADV DE JAGER: Have you got the memorandum with you?

MR COETZEE: I have it here.

ADV DE JAGER: Did you refer to the London thing in that memorandum?

MR COETZEE: I did sir, I did. It is here, the evidence that I gave to the Commission is here, and you are welcome, you will see that it is here sir.

MR VISSER: What is more Mr Chairman, is that it is attached to the papers in bundle 3, page 96.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Just let's take it easy please General. You knew, you knew that unless people spoke about it, and were prepared to give evidence about the London bombing, you needn't have applied for amnesty, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: No, not at all sir.

MR BIZOS: Is this application for amnesty ... (problems with machines) Mozambique

MR COETZEE: (Microphone not on)

MR BIZOS: It is not an application? Yes, very well. You say on page 94 that the matters that you were referring to, were authorised either by the Minister or the State Security Council, do you have positive knowledge of that?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: So that you also have positive knowledge that the Security Council authorised the London bombing?

MR COETZEE: No sir, I do not ...

CHAIRPERSON: I am afraid, we have to take an adjournment at this stage, something is happening over there.



PETRUS JOHANNES COETZEE: (still under oath)

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BIZOS: (continued) ... trying to get letters written on behalf of this witness and others, to the Commission without success. We took the opportunity during the course of the adjournment, to ask Mr Wagener, the witness' Attorney, to let us have copies of the letters. They relate to applications for extraterritorial operations. In the first paragraph of the letter that Mr Wagener showed me, reference is made to a list of persons. I requested him to please leave a copy of the letter with me and the replies thereto which the witness has referred to in evidence, he was happy to do so. He has however, refused to make the list available.

I believe that these matters were referred to in evidence by the witness, we are entitled to see it, and the purpose why we want to see it Mr Chairman, is that we want to check, if I remember correctly, there are about 22 names, because they were published at the time, we want to ask Mr Chairman, what act or acts did these persons whose names appear on the list, commit.

So that Mr Chairman, we can see whether or not the two extraterritorial acts that led to the death of the three victims whose relatives we are representing, are there or not. I submit that when a witness makes mention of a document in evidence, which he obviously has, we are entitled to see it and if a document such as a list is referred to, we are entitled to see it.

Mr Chairman, I don't want to ask for an adjournment, I don't want to enter into argument, I merely place these facts on record so that my learned friend, Mr Visser, can consult with his client and with his Attorney in relation to the matter, I will proceed Mr Chairman, onto the next matter, or maybe we will be able to resolve the matter between ourselves.

CHAIRPERSON: When did he mention this list Mr Bizos?

MR BIZOS: No, he didn't mention the list Mr Chairman, he mentioned the letter which he wrote or was written on his behalf together with other, seeking an assurance by the Commission that they would not be prosecuted.

That is the letter that the witness referred to Mr Chairman. The approaches that were made to the Commission. In that letter, in the first paragraph, naturally the Attorney had the good sense to say these are the people I am acting for, I wanted to know on whose behalf that letter was written. The witness, and who else?

But I am not asking for a ruling at this stage Mr Chairman, I merely place it on record, in order that my learned friend can discuss it with us if he wants to after the adjournment or ...

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, you can continue then Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: Thank you Mr Chairman. In relation to this question of the operations outside the country, I want you to please confirm the following: Do you confirm that you said this before the Commission when you gave evidence, firstly on page 49 of that record, I am not aware of any illegal operation and I am not referring now, I am placing that in parenthesis, I am not talking about cross-border operations, but inside the country. I am not aware of any illegal instructions been given by the State Security Council that illegal operations should be embarked upon?

MR COETZEE: Correct.

MR BIZOS: Then the next passage. At my level, on page 60, at my level, I never gave and it was not required of me to give any illegal within the country, any operation of an illegal nature at my level?

MR COETZEE: I don't find it here sir, but I agree with that.

MR BIZOS: On page 60, you agree with it.

MR COETZEE: Of what?

MR BIZOS: Of the same evidence, the Armed Forces hearing ...