CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible] proceedings. I would like to explain and apologise on behalf of the Committee for the delay this morning. As I told you yesterday, one of the members of the Committee was obliged to attend a meeting this morning. Unfortunately they had the same sort of technical problems as we had yesterday, which is the reason for the delay. Iím sorry for all of you, that you had to sit waiting as you have. Thank you. Can we now continue?


MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, Visser on record. Iím just wondering whether I can make a remark in order to be of assistance to my learned friend, Mr Bizos.

Mr Bizos yesterday put to General Coetzee that the medals that were handed over for the persons mentioned on Exhibit F were handed on the same occasion and there was a certain amount of doubt as to whether that could have been because of the variation in the dates. We have made enquiries and my learned friend was quite correct in his assumption that they were on the same day, and for that reason the Committee can go out from the point of view thatís itís common cause that the people mentioned on Exhibit F received their medals on the same occasion, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Itís not only the same day but the same occasion.

MR BIZOS: Iím indebted to my learned friend Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, before the proceedings commence and as a result of certain speculations as to what the General may have meant when he used the word: "personal" in relation to the late Ruth First, he in the presence of my attorney approached me and indicated that he wants to make a statement by way of personal explanation. I certainly have no objection in relation to it, and I asked him, subject to the Committeeís concurrence, if he be allowed to make that personal explanation, Mr Chairman.

GEN COETZEE: Thank you Mr Chairman. The position is Sir, when I used those words in my evidence in chief, I did not imply, nor do I want an inference to be made that I meant by that, that there was any improper relationship, either on a personal level or on a work level, between Mrs Ruth Slovo and myself. Thank you Sir.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BIZOS: (continues) Yes. Perhaps General, you could explain what you meant by it, and you mentioned an incident to me - well, I actually know about it, so let me ask you the questions.

You were in the Security Police in the Ď50ís, were you not?

GEN ERASMUS: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: And you were the only one that Mr Vernon Berringer could not find fault with in his evidence, because you had the advantage of writing in shorthand what were the speeches were made in relation to the congress of the people?

GEN COETZEE: Well, I donít know that he couldnít find fault with me. In one instance he did find fault.

MR BIZOS: Well not serious fault anyway. And this was a time in the preparatory examination where there were no less 156 accused.

GEN COETZEE: That is correct Sir.

MR BIZOS: And the late Ruth First was one of those one of those accused and she was also in charge of producing what you would have called some sort of name, but letís call it a left-wing newspaper called "New Age".

GEN COETZEE: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: Yes. And during the period of the preparatory examination, in those day was the relationship between the Security Police and the people participating in political activity as sharp as it was in the Ď60ís or Ď70ís or not?

GEN COETZEE: No, I would say that it was much better than later on.

MR BIZOS: Much better than later on. And did you have chats with Ruth First during the adjournment, as you have here with members of the bar and the attorneys that are appearing against your side, so to speak?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, that is true. Mr Chairman, on very many occasions, and in addition to that, she occupied offices which just around the corner from the offices of the Security Branch.

MR BIZOS: Yes. And she went as far as to give you Doctor Rouxís book, "Time longer than Rope"?

GEN COETZEE: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: She didnít succeed in converting you to Marxism?

GEN COETZEE: No, because it was alleged that trotskiest orientated.

MR BIZOS: Well I donít know if you want to add anything else, thatís what you meant when you said that?

GEN COETZEE: I only meant that Iíve known her for a very long time ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Well Iím glad to have been able to clear the air in relation to that. We have sufficient problems without any sort of innuendos being suggested. General, ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: Before you continue, Mr Bizos, this morning I was rather surprised to see the headline in the Afrikaans newspaper which insinuated that there may have been a relationship. I donít think that that was a justifiable inference with could be drawn from yesterdayís evidence. And I must in all earnest to ask those newspaper representatives to bear it in mind that those type of loose allegations could be very harmful to certain people and that is completely unnecessary with regard to these proceedings.

MR BIZOS: Thank you Mr Chairman, may I proceed?

Now at the time, from Ď81, Ď82, Ď83, Ď84, whilst you were Head of the Security Police, well up to Ď83 anyway.

GEN COETZEE: Thatís right Sir.

MR BIZOS: The most important enemy of the Security Police must have been Mr Joe Slovo, if not the most, certainly on top of the list.

GEN COETZEE: Yes, I would say he would have been an important enemy, if you want to use that term.

MR BIZOS: And important enemy. And if he was eliminated the purposes of the Security Police would have been well served.

GEN COETZEE: If he disappeared Sir, I didnít say eliminate. I donít go along with the word: "eliminate". If he disappeared from the scene, meaning also his influence disappeared from the scene.

MR BIZOS: Yes. If he disappeared from the scene, is that a euphemism for being killed, General?

GEN COETZEE: No, I donít use it as a euphemism or the intent to be construed as a euphemism for anything Sir.

MR BIZOS: Well how could he have disappeared, did you think he was likely to be persuaded to give up the struggle? How was he going to be, to disappear other than by being eliminated or killed or permanently removed from society or any other euphemism that was in common currency at the time?

GEN COETZEE: I only mean, Mr Chairman, that if he disappeared from the scene, if his influence disappeared from the scene, thatís all that I mean. I donít imply with that that I thought he should be killed or he should be assassinated or that he should be killed, or that he should leave the country or anything of that nature.

MR BIZOS: He wasnít in the country.

GEN COETZEE: I beg your pardon?

MR BIZOS: He wasnít in the country at that time. Weíre talking about Ď82, Ď83, Ď84.

GEN COETZEE: But in any ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Mr Slovo was not in the country.

GEN COETZEE: In any event Sir, he was recognised and identified by the Security Police and by other intelligence agencies as an important cog in the conspiracy against South Africa. In that sense, if he disappeared it would have been to our benefit.

MR BIZOS: And if he died it would have been to your benefit?

GEN COETZEE: Well naturally.


GEN COETZEE: If he disappeared, that includes ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Why are you so reluctant to use the ugly word General?

MR VISSER: No, with respect, with respect. My learned friend has put to the witness: "Did you mean that that is euphemism for kill"? Now weíre on die. Really Mr Chairman, my learned friend is not - anyway, Iíve made my objection.

MR BIZOS: May I proceed Mr Chairman?

Why are you afraid to use the ugly word, General?

GEN COETZEE: Because that was never in my mind, Mr Bizos. In my own mind was never an idea that he should be killed, that is why Iím reluctant to use that word.

MR BIZOS: General, was not the main purpose of the 1981 operation against the Mozambican ANC base, the main purpose, the hope of actually killing Slovo and his top operatives in relation to whom you had information were in Maputo at the time, or outside Maputo at the time?

GEN COETZEE: I had no information at that stage, Mr Chairman, particularly that Mr Slovo might have been in Maputo at the time.

MR BIZOS: If anyone ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: Could I please just continue, Sir?


GEN COETZEE: What I did Sir, and this is what I mean by disappear from the scene, when I was Chairman of the Security Commission with Mozambique, I wanted an assurance, I demanded an assurance from the Mozambican authorities that Mr Slovo, who was at that stage reported to be the Head of the Umkhonto weSizwe organisation, that he should not be allowed into the country. Thatís what I mean by: "he should disappear", for instance. Thatís the type of disappearance that Iím talking about.

MR BIZOS: We passed that hurdle, General. Letís deal with the question that I am now asking. If anyone from your side were to have ever suggested that the main purpose of going across South Africaís borders was in order to get Joe Slovo and his chief lieutenants because they were responsible for the sabotage attacks against South Africa, would that person be speaking the truth or not?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, as a general statement, Sir, Iíd go along with it.

MR BIZOS: So that the killing of Joe Slovo, when in 1983, I beg your pardon, in 1981 there was this crossing of the border, was to kill Joe Slovo?

GEN COETZEE: No, not at all Sir, it was to destabilise the African National Congressís bases that included the whole logistical support system in Matola or in Maputo, Sir.

MR BIZOS: Outside Maputo, Matola. You were right in the first place.

GEN COETZEE: Ja. So it wasnít meant primarily because there was information that Mr Joe Slovo was there and he was a particular target of an air strike, it wasnít so as far as I am concerned.

MR BIZOS: Well what would have been a bigger prize, the biggest prize of all, for transgressing the borders - what would have been a greater prize than the killing of the Commander in Chief of Umkhonto weSizwe, Joe Slovo, the leader of the Communist Party or a leader of the Communist Party, what would have been a greater prize for those that organised the 1981 raid, General?

GEN COETZEE: The complete destruction of the whole logistical support system would have been of great value, Sir.

MR BIZOS: But was not there a reservation that is Slovo escaped it - and yet he will just start over again with his friends in the Soviet Union and elsewhere in Eastern Europe in the Security Policeís way of thinking.

GEN COETZEE: My thinking was Sir, that at that stage, at that stage, that he was a very important target, from which must not be inferred that I would select him individually for an attempted assassination.

MR BIZOS: Can we agree then that it would have been a big plus?


MR BIZOS: A big plus.

CHAIRPERSON: Can I interrupt at this stage please? My memory is not all that good and it is quite clear that the two of you both know what the target was, what was done. Iím afraid I cannot recollect what I would have read in the papers some 20 odd years ago, could you tell us please, you obviously both know, what was the target and how much damage was done?

MR BIZOS: Iíll ask a few questions in relation to that, Mr Chairman.

The target was a facility at which it was common cause - this is 1981, in which 13 ANC members were killed, in which Africa, the first Defence Force Commanders crossed into Mozambique border and drove some 70 kilometres into Mozambique to a place called Matola: M-A-T-O-L-A, outside Maputo. They destroyed three houses, they killed 13 ANC guerrillas and a Portuguese citizen passing by.

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, I donít want to interrupt but that is not the incident that Iím referring to at all. In my original submission to the TRC, I said it was an occasion where the South African Airforce went ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Weíll clarify that. Just let me finish this and then I will ask questions and get clarification. I can understand, with great respect, the Judgeís position.

Now this was where, Iím putting to you, it was believed Joe Slovo was at the time, in 1981, and that the 13 ANC people killed were the most important operatives in Mr Slovoís MK organisation. That is the one that Iím talking about.

GEN COETZEE: I wasnít on the State Security Council when it was discussed, I know nothing about that particular matter. So you ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: The Head of the Security Police knew nothing about 13 of the top ANC people that were killed in a neighbouring country, is that what your answer is?

GEN COETZEE: My answer is Sir, that at that stage I was not a member, 1981 I was not a member of the State Security Council. The information that the South African Police could have had, and we were mainly concerned with matters inside the country, could have had about that particular issue would have been given, through the structures, to the Secretariat of the State Security Council where the decision was taken.

What they decided there and whom they, theyíve structured their target and why theyíve chosen that target and given it to the South African Defence Force to go and attack, I donít know.

MR BIZOS: Did you as Head of the Security Police, have an input in 1981 in relation to the attack of these three houses in Maputo, yes or no?

GEN COETZEE: All that I can say is that itís quite possible that the Security Branch was requested to give an input, Sir.

MR BIZOS: Please answer the question, General.

GEN COETZEE: I said itís quite possible, Iím prepared to say itís even likely Sir, that they would have been ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Not "they", the question related to you General.

GEN COETZEE: No, I cannot remember that I was requested particularly myself to give an input Sir. My personnel working with that type of matter, where for instance, for instance, statements were stored, information was collected, collated and stored, about the activities of the ANC in Maputo, obviously they would have been requested to give an input through the structures of the State Security Council.

MR BIZOS: With your knowledge or behind your back?

GEN COETZEE: No, Sir, they would probably have discussed it with me.

MR BIZOS: Why donít you admit the obvious General, that the head - let me finish my question please, that the Head of the Security Police must of necessity have been party to a planned raid in a neighbouring country in which three houses were to be destroyed and the occupants killed. Why donít you admit the obvious?

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, to me, with my knowledge, with my recollection, not remembering the incident itself, not being involved in a discussion particularly about it, it would be impossible for me to comment really objectively about that matter. All I can say is that as the officer commanding in 1981, the Security Branch with the information, relevant information, to me itís also obvious that the Security Police would have been involved, would have been requested to make their information ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: The Security Police canít give evidence, it canít give evidence in court, it canít be put in the dock, we are looking for individuals General. We are looking for you and your knowledge and your assistance, your authorisation, your association with this attack. That is what we are asking.

GEN COETZEE: I donít ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: And that Mr Chairman, with great respect, is my objection against this kind of cross-examination. My learned is looking for accused persons, heís on an inquisition here regarding something which is utterly irrelevant to the application of General Coetzee, and he is fact not even on the correct incident, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: What he is asking about as I understand it, and I donít want to take it as far as Mr Bizos has, that if there is evidence that 13 of the leading Umkhonto weSizwe people in Mozambique were killed in one operation and that evidence is available, I donít know if it is to Mr Bizos, I would certainly consider it extremely surprising that the Head of the Security Police was not informed of that because they were obviously a very real danger to our country, stationed as they were in a neighbouring state 70 kilometres from our border.

I understand Mr Bizos will be making that point in argument, that the applicant has not been frank but the applicant says he doesnít know, so he canít say there were 13 prominent leading members of Umkhonto, he doesnít know. But if that evidence is led later, I think it only fair for me to say, speaking for myself, I would find it very surprising that the Head of the Security Police had not at some stage been informed of this.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman yes, the basis just of what we find unacceptable, is that we are wondering further and further afield, away from what we are busy with, but if that is your ruling Mr Chairman, we accept it.

MR BIZOS: May I proceed Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: May I ask, are you saying you were never told that there had been this successful raid on an ANC base, I think we can call it, where 13 of the leading members of Umkhonto we Sizwe had been killed?

GEN COETZEE: I say Mr Chairman, that I cannot recollect that on a particular occasion I was informed, personally informed about it. That I took notice of it, even itís from newspaper reports and even from my desk with dealt with this type of matter, that they would have briefed me, seems to me quite obvious and natural Sir. The desk which has got a list of all the people in Mozambique, as far as it was known to us from sworn statements in our, or statements made by returned communists in our possession, surely they would have been identified as these people had been killed. So from that point of view yes, I would have been informed.

MR BIZOS: If an officer of your Security Police says that the main purpose of that raid was to get Slovo, would you be able to admit or deny it?

GEN COETZEE: I wonít know about it, it hasnít been, I havenít been informed. As far as Iím concerned I donít know how that operation which was carried out by the army, what their instructions were. I donít know that Sir ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: You donít know or did you ever know?

GEN COETZEE: I must have been informed that there was a strike intended or envisaged by the South African Defence Force. My department must have been given an input.

MR BIZOS: You had ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: I think perhaps, I donít know whether youíre understanding the question correctly, but I think there is two aspects to this. Were you involved in the planning of the strike?

GEN COETZEE: My personnel must have been involved in the planning because they had knowledge of the type of target that was going to be attacked, Sir.

ADV DE JAGER: Did your personnel inform you that this base would be attacked?

GEN COETZEE: That is very likely so, that at a briefing in the morning when the different officers gave their briefing to me, that they would have said that, informed me. That is very likely, Sir.

ADV DE JAGER: So you knew about it but you yourself didnít take the initiative in planning the strike?

GEN COETZEE: That is quite correct, Sir.

MR BIZOS: Are you saying - General, letís just get a bit of a more complete picture in order to help you come out of this selective amnesia that you apparently suffer from. Every Monday morning you had a meeting at which, which was called: "A Sanhedrin Meeting":

S-A-N-H-E-D-R-I-N, is that correct?

GEN COETZEE: Thatís a biblical expression.

MR BIZOS: Is that a biblical expression? I see. What does it mean?

GEN COETZEE: I donít know, but in the Bible, I think even the ...[indistinct] that they talk about the Sanhedrin.

MR BIZOS: What does that mean?

GEN COETZEE: It means a meeting.

MR BIZOS: It means a meeting?

GEN COETZEE: As far as I am ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Presumably where the truth would be told, if it comes from the Bible?

GEN COETZEE: There was a meeting every Monday morning as far as I remember, Sir.

MR BIZOS: We have established that, the question was, where the truth was expected to be told.

GEN COETZEE: Briefings were supposed to be given, to be furnished by the ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Where the truth was supposed to be told?

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Bizos, must you go on and on with this?

MR BIZOS: Iíll leave it, Iím sorry that I repeated it Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, if we undertake to be courteous to Mr Bizosí witnesses, would he not also just be courteous to our witness, with respect.

MR BIZOS: Iíll try Mr Chairman.

At these meetingswhat was to be done and what was done was discussed?

GEN COETZEE: At these meetings Mr Chairman, which were also attended by representatives of National Intelligence, sometimes Foreign Affairs, the Prisons Department, by the Military Intelligence, briefings were furnished by the different desk officers of the Security Branch of what had occurred, usually occurred in the past week. That is briefings and the developments and the tendencies and forecasts and ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Planning?

GEN COETZEE: No, planning was ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Why not?

GEN COETZEE: Planning was done Sir, when I was with the Security Branch, at an ad hoc committee on which a member of the Security Police would serve. I believe after it became known as Trevits or something like that, after my departure, but in my time there was an ad hoc committee established if it was necessary to discuss or to plan for a particular target outside the country.

MR BIZOS: Are you suggesting that this operation was planned without your knowledge and consent and support?

GEN COETZEE: I would have been informed that this is envisaged, ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: No, but you must have taken part in the planning General, because ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: Not me personally Sir.

MR NEL: Not - well, I donít want to ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: Remember we had desks, different desks and I think you had the organogram, youíll see that there would be a desk dealing with terrorism. On that desk served Sir, a number of senior officers. It was their job, throughout the world, to gather, to collect, to collate, and all the information regarding the terrorist organisations and the individuals, including their MK names, their agenda, their legends etc., all the information is obtained. Now obviously - and where they were at a particular stage, how they moved about, where they were, what they were doing and what they were planning and what they were being trained in, all the information was collected by this particular desk Sir. Now if there was a request from the State Security Council or one of, it was through the Minister, through the Commissioner to me to participate, I would have sent one of those officers of that particular desk with and say: "Take all your available information about the geographical situation and all the information that you have, take it to that ad hoc planning committee that will eventually attack a base in ...[indistinct]".

MR BIZOS: I can understand that in relation to logistical details General, what I am asking you is whether a decision to make such an attack would have been kept away from you or not?

GEN COETZEE: No, I would have been informed that it was done at the State Security Council or at Cabinet level, I would have been informed through my Minister.

MR BIZOS: And what about the people that actually were working on the details, would they keep the fact that this is what they were doing in your offices secret from you?

GEN COETZEE: No, not at all.

MR BIZOS: Now do you recall whether the South African Government, whenever it performed an extraterritorial attack, gave out a supposed justification for that attack?

GEN COETZEE: I do recall that in - I donít recall that in every instance it was done Sir, but I do recall that in some instances it was done and even briefings were given to all the political parties represented in Parliament.

MR BIZOS: What was the justification given for this attack in which 13 leading MK people were killed and where we are going to prove the main target was Mr Slovo? What was the justification?

GEN COETZEE: I donít know Sir, I donít know the wording of the press statement at all, by whom it was given, through what office it was given at all, I donít know. I canít remember that in this particular incident there was a particular press statement.

MR BIZOS: Well, how long before this attack was Sasol attacked by the MK people? Well let me cut it short. The reasons given was that it was a revenge attack for MKís attack on Sasol.

GEN COETZEE: That may be so Sir, that my be quite true, I wonít be surprised if it is.

MR BIZOS: You wonít be surprised?


MR BIZOS: But I am surprised that you donít remember it or any details about this, but letís proceed. Now the Ď83 attack on Mozambique was an air strike.

GEN COETZEE: That is the one that Iíve referred to Sir.

MR BIZOS: Yes. And a reason was given for that, and it was different to the first, that was in response to the Pretoria bomb, do you recall that?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, I think that that was discussed at the, I think it was discussed at the SRC. Iím not very sure whether I was a member then but at least there were discussions with my Minister at that stage and inter alia the Pretoria bomb explosion was mentioned as a catalyst for that attack.

I did serve at that stage, itís quite correct, I did serve, I just commenced serving on the State Security Council, either as an Assistant Commissioner or taking, or in the place of the Commissioner who was ill at the time, but I did attend a meeting of the State Security Council where it was decided that an air strike would be done on certain capacities of the ANC in Maputo.

MR BIZOS: Certain capacities of the ANC, yes. Whatever may have been intended, you recall that a jam factory was actually destroyed?

GEN COETZEE: Well that is what was alleged by the Maputo Government afterwards Sir.

MR BIZOS: Well we donít - I merely mention it for the purposes of separating the two incidents for the benefit of the Committee, so that we know what ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: I do remember that Sir, that in that instance there were different houses in a particular suburb, different houses that the ANCís facilities were harboured and that it was very difficult to pinpoint the particular house for an air strike.

MR BIZOS: I merely for the purposes of a ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: So thatís why I remember it. There were certain logistical problems.

MR BIZOS: Logistical problems. Now let us get back to this. We suggest to you that it will be proved that Joe Slovo was, because of his position, was a target. Do you know ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: Iím sorry Mr Chairman, is that in the second raid as well? Is that what is being put?

MR BIZOS: No, no, no, the first raid, Iím sorry, the Ď81 raid. Weíll leave it at that for the moment.

Do you know that those who actually physically took part in the planning and manufacture of the bomb canít make up their minds apparently, as to whether the Ď81 bomb was directed against Mr Slovo or Mrs Slovo or Ď82, I beg your pardon, or both. This is the bomb in Ď82. Are you aware of that, have you seen the papers in this case?

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I donít understand that question at all. You talk about a bomb in Ď81 and a bomb in Ď82 ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Iím sorry, I beg your pardon, Iím sorry.

Let me put it again, I was - the Ruth - the bomb that killed Ruth First, it would appear from the documents before the Committee that some of those responsible appear to vacillate as to whether the bomb was intended for Ruth First or Joe Slovo or both.

GEN COETZEE: I donít know about their planning Sir, I donít know about the prospective target, it was never discussed with me, so I cannot really comment on that. But Mr Chairman, coming back to the former questions, Iím very sorry to do that Sir, but I, if there was a particular request from whoever was doing the targeting planning, that is the Ď81 so-called Matola Raid, if that was so Iím sure that the desk officer would have come to me and said: "We want a photograph, a blown up photograph of Mr Slovo to identify him". I would think that soldiers would not know him at all. I would think that is the type of thing that would have been requested from the police, where does he stay particularly, in what house and what facility, where is he there.

To attack a whole facility with the particular aim of killing a particular person, I would think that the planning would be narrowed down to that particular person only if he was the primary cause of the target. In that sense I would have known about it, I would have been informed but I wasnít informed of that, then I would have remembered.

MR BIZOS: General, how many photographs in how many poses and in how many positions do you estimate were in the Security Police files of Mr Slovo?

GEN COETZEE: Very many Mr Chairman, but not in the files of soldiers or ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: No, but there were joint meetings General. Iím trying to defend an indefensible position by introducing this photograph question. There were joint meetings at which Security Police Intelligence, Army Intelligence, National Intelligence, co-operated in relation to these matters, they wouldnít have had to come to you for a photograph.

GEN COETZEE: No, Iím just saying Sir, that if that was so I think I would have known about it. Iím trying to explain to you that even though I knew about the raid, I think if a particular target was chosen for a particular reason, at least I would have remembered about it. Iím just mentioning that as an ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Yes. Well the question that I would want to ask you is, if a request was made to send a letter bomb to Mr Slovo, would you have authorised it?

GEN COETZEE: Not at all, and Iíve said so Sir.

MR BIZOS: Why not?

GEN COETZEE: Because Sir, I personally, I personally have never authorised anything of that nature and Iíve said I find that just as reprehensible as placing a car and a bomb in a street in Pretoria or putting a bank under seige. All those act to me represent ...[indistinct] and I would not have, I was not requested and I would not have sanctioned it.

MR BIZOS: Well you agreed by clear implication with the Ď81 attack in order to kill MK guerrillas, did you not?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, Sir, quite so.

MR BIZOS: That would have been legitimate, killing 13 is in order but killing one is morally reprehensible?

GEN COETZEE: No, no, I did not mean to convey that to the Commission at all Sir. I find all killings Sir, whether itís legitimate or illegitimate, all killings of human beings morally repugnant, I personally. If there is in a state an organisation whose particular duty it is to authorise that type of strike and Iím there, I will still say to me personally itís repugnant but I will go along with the necessity to do that.

MR BIZOS: You speak as if your were a conscientious objector General.

GEN COETZEE: No, not at all Sir. I agreed that outside the country where ANC people could not be reached to be arrested, detained, taken to court and specifically Sir, where there was a destruction of their facilities, their structures, I would have agreed that yes, Iím ad idem with that intention.

MR BIZOS: Destroying three houses and killing 13 people with the distinct possibility or probability, even on your own version, that Mr Joe Slovo was expected to be there, you thought was okay.




MR BIZOS: But if you were asked to authorise a letter-bomb to Mr Slovo, you would not have done it?

GEN COETZEE: Absolutely correct Sir.


GEN COETZEE: Because in the instance Sir, the whole state and its apparatus takes responsibility for that. They issue a statement about it, they say itís us. Itís done all over the world Sir, itís not only the South African situation. And all those possibilities which you say existed then, that innocent people even could be killed, but the state takes that collective responsibility.

It is after proper, proper briefing, proper discussions and through the channels which were created for that. Iím not created a channel, I wasnít created a channel to assassinate people, I didnít see it in that way so I wouldnít have done it.

MR BIZOS: If they came to you and said: "Put the proper procedures to the highest possible level, we want to send a bomb to kill Mr Slovo", would you have done it?

GEN COETZEE: I would just have laughed at it Sir, because Iíve said at the State Security Council meetings I was never instructed, nor did I go there with a briefing to say that I think that I can by way of parcel bomb or personal assassination remove this person. It was never done that way Sir.

What was discussed, and that is why I said in my presentation to the TRC, I regard three of these matters where I was in the State Security Council, I regard it as state sanctioned.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now in order that you may be believed or not General, I want you to please listen carefully to what facts Iím going to give you and you can be thinking in the meantime whether it was a mere coincidence.

Iím going to put to you, from 1981 onwards there was a deliberate policy to eliminate or to kill the important heads of the ANC personnel in the neighbouring countries, do you agree or disagree?

GEN COETZEE: No, I disagree with that Sir.

MR BIZOS: Now, listen to the facts and perhaps you can explain them. Mr Joe Gwabe(?) in 1981 in Zimbabwe, Mr Z Mbale in 1982 in Lesotho, Mr Petrus Mzima in Swaziland in 1982, Ruth First, probably intended for Joe Slovo if we are to believe it, in 1982, the Schoons in 1984, and it continued thereafter, even beyond your term of office. Chief representatives of the ANC were marked for assassination.

In order to explain the coincidence, like Dulcie September in France, but that was in 1988, but letís confine to during the period of your stewardship of the Security Police and as Commissioner. Do you say that those killings were coincidental?

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, some of those names at least youíve mentioned yesterday to me, some, Joe Gwabe for instance.


GEN COETZEE: Heís a person that Iíve known well in South Africa.


GEN COETZEE: And Iíve told you that I know nothing about their killings, you will remember that Sir. In addition Sir, there was never ever, either a written directive or orally was I directed by anyone that there now exists a deliberate policy by the state through any of its structures, any of the stateís structures, to go and kill outside the country the leading figures of the liberation movement. Iím unaware of such a directive, particular directive of that nature Sir, and Iím unaware of an instruction of that nature.

MR BIZOS: Well if that was in fact done by the Security Forces, it must have been done behind your back?

GEN COETZEE: Iím not responsible for what happens outside the country Sir, it was not my jurisdiction.

MR BIZOS: Answer the question.

CHAIRPERSON: Can he be held responsible for everything done by the Security Forces?

MR BIZOS: No, no, no ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: You asked him about the Security Forces, not the Security Police.

MR BIZOS: No, I ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: He can accept responsibility for the Security Police, but the Security Forces ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: I beg your pardon. I meant behind you - if it were done by members of the Security Police or with the participation of the Security Police, it was done behind your back?

GEN COETZEE: I didnít know about it. If you want to use the term "behind my back", I didnít know about that at all Sir.

MR BIZOS: But now, as the Head of the Security Police and as Commissioner, these killings were a Godsend to the Security Policeís fight against the ANC.

GEN COETZEE: Sir, I really do not think that the killing or the assassination of one person, however important that person is within the subversive organisations, as we termed it then, liberation movements, that the killing of one particular person who could be replaced quite easily, they had lots of support throughout the world and in South Africa, would really have been very useful.

I donít think that the assassination of one particular person would really have influenced the course of these unfortunate turbulent years Sir. I personally donít think so.

MR BIZOS: The facts show that you as the Head of the Security Police and as the Commissioner were out of touch, if your evidence is true. You remember that there was a query yesterday as to how many people were killed by the Security Police or the Security Forces, do you recall that?

GEN COETZEE: I remember that you told me Sir, that the 84 people who during the period of my so-called stewardship were killed in South Africa, and there was some political connotation with those killings.


GEN COETZEE: And I responded to say thatís about as many people that gets killed every long-weekend in Soweto Sir, people that Iím more responsible and was more responsible for.

ADV DE JAGER: I donít know but you mentioned 84 and my recollection was it was 48 yesterday.

GEN COETZEE: Iím sorry Sir, yes, the other way around, 48. That was what was mentioned to me. But my responsibility, my prime responsibility was with the people, the lawful people going about their lawful business in South Africa, Sir, not with known and identified, as youíve termed it Sir, the enemies of the State. Surely that was not my main concern. I shouldnít have spent a lot of energy, I wouldnít have spent a lot of energy to investigate that particularly because it was mainly as youíve said, outside the borders, without my jurisdiction and particularly it was as far as I am concerned, done in a clandestine way.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, Visser on record. Iím terribly sorry to interrupt my learned friend, but just so we know what weíre busy with. Are these questions put to General Coetzee on the basis that there will be evidence that Joe Gwabe and Mbale and Mzima and First, rather those three were in fact killed by Security Police? So that we just know what we are talking about because the term: "Security Forces" are bandied around and frankly, itís not very helpful because one wouldnít know. So if my learned friend could just perhaps inform that witness and ourselves, it would be very helpful.

CHAIRPERSON: I take it that this will happen and also that we will be told how they were killed. Was it in a motor accident, was it in a letter bomb, was it an assassination, was it in a highjacking?

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, they were assassinations and they were done by the Security Forces and we ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Well, will there be evidence to this effect Mr Bizos, that is the question.

MR BIZOS: Yes, there will evidence to this effect and admissions Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: I think Mr Visser is asking whether you could perhaps distinguish between Security Forces and Security Police.

MR BIZOS: Well itís an interesting question Mr Chairman, that Mr Visser is interested in. What I say is that we will show that it was the Security Forces that acted in concert, that is the Army, the Police, National Intelligence, Military Intelligence, the people that had meetings every Monday morning, Mr Chairman, in order to decide what was to be done.

GEN COETZEE: I want to respond about the Monday Morning meetings Sir, which is within my personal knowledge Sir. Never ever was there the assassination of any person discussed in my presence at a Monday morning meeting where I was the chairman, Sir.

MR BIZOS: So you say General.


MR BIZOS: Now Mr Chairman, I want to place on record information that I have obtained from three of my colleagues after the adjournment yesterday.

My learned friend, Mr du Plessis, Mr Chairman, has informed me, and I say this, I use this method of putting the matter on record because the data base of the Commission apparently there is some difficulty with but for my purpose I will use this information that was given to me in the presence of my colleagues and put it on record.

My learned friend, Mr du Plessis has appeared for police officers in which 37 people were killed for political reasons. My learned friend, Mr van der Merwe has informed me that he has appeared for police officers in which 15 people were killed for political purposes and who like the 37, these 15 have applied for amnesty.

My learned friend, Mr Visser ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: So you say like the 37, these 15 have applied for amnesty?

MR BIZOS: No, no, the perpetrators of these deceased persons applied for amnesty, Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: Could we just have that clarified too. Sitting on Committees dealing with this, we are aware that Mr du Plessisí clients and Mr van der Merweís clients applied for the same incidents.

MR BIZOS: I think - I donít know what overlapping there is Mr Chairman. I asked him questions with overlapping and that they should be excluded and there was some exclusion but we were not unmindful, we were not unmindful of this and particularly in relation to my learned friend, Mr Visser who has represented most of the persons. May I just finish the figures Sir, and then we can always make an allowance for possible mistakes and duplication?

Mr Visser has informed me that he has represented members of the Security Forces who have applied for amnesty - I use the expression "Security Forces" because he has raised that matter, but I understood that they were primarily if not exclusively, police officers that he as acted for, in which 50 victims were murdered Mr Chairman, by the persons applying for amnesty for political reasons.

Now I merely put that on record Mr Chairman. Iím sure that my learned friends would demur if I have in any way not placed the position correctly. May I proceed Mr Chairman, to ask questions on it relating to ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, just after I demurred, with respect. Visser on record. Mr Chairman, - and I donít blame my learned friend for this, but clearly there are a few misunderstandings. First of all we never intended to suggest that we have already appeared for applicants in which a figure of 50 people were killed for political purposes.

What we - on the request of my learned friend, which we were happy to be helpful with, on his request we intimated to him that first of all we donít know, weíll have to go and make a head count, but if we think off the top of our heads of all our applicants whose applications have not come before the Committee - weíre only busy with our sixth or seventh one and there are over 60, Mr Chairman, with respect, still in the pipeline, but so in other words it is not what we have appeared for but if we look at our whole schedule, all the applications, we said there are probably 50 victims of political assassinations, if one wants to put it bluntly like that. Well assassinations, Iím just using the term without intending any particular inference to be drawn from it, but the victims that were victims of killings for political purposes. I donít know how else one wants to put it, more euphemistically.

But Mr Chairman, as Commissioner de Jager has pointed out, we intimated also to my learned friend that there must be a substantial amount of overlapping, and we mentioned some examples. The Nietverdiend matter which is still going to come on, there were 10 ANC terrorists killed and we know that there are a number of attorneys or counsel that are going to act there, inter alia I believe, Mr du Plessis. He nods his head in agreement. So itís an unknown factor Mr Chairman, and at the end of the day what we are looking at is a figure probably around 100, probably in toto around 100. That figure, as my learned friend, Mr Bizos has pointed out, may be a little off the mark, perhaps even substantially off the mark. So frankly Mr Chairman, - and we conveyed this to my learned friend, the figures being placed before you now are so inaccurate that they really donít go to prove anything except that itís a figure of around 100, perhaps maximum 200 but we donít know. And it is only in the light of that, Mr Chairman, with respect, that you must look at our consent to a figure of approximately 50. Would you just bear with me a moment Mr Chairman?

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, may we perhaps just make our position clear? I gave Mr Bizos the figure yesterday just from recollection. We went and - I discussed it with my attorney yesterday evening and the figures look a little bit different Mr Bizos. We have appeared in amnesty applications where approximately 75 people have died. We have already appeared in those applications.

We are still to appear in approximately another 25 to 30, applications where 25 to 30 have died. The matters that we include in those figures are matters that overlap with Mr Visserís clients and with Mr van der Merweís clients. So I think Mr Visserís estimate of 100 is perhaps a little bit low, 125 perhaps between the three groups of us. That doesnít include other applications of other people.

MR VISSER: Yes, Mr Chairman, my learned friend, Mr du Plessis is correct because I did place one aspect incorrectly before you and my attorney has just drawn my attention to it.

My attorney makes a distinction in regard to matters in which applications for amnesty are made which flowed from confrontations or skirmishes as well.

My learned friend, Mr Bizos, I think confines his approach to so-called assassinations, so thatís another factor. Thatís why I stated Mr Chairman, if you want to confine it to assassinations, the figure is around 100 and I still believe Iím correct, but if you want to include people killed fortuitously in skirmishes, in seek and destroy everything, then clearly the figure will be higher and it will be around 200.

The only point Iím trying to make Mr Chairman, is please donít keep us bound, hold us bound to a figure of 50 as it may differ later.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Visser, thatís exactly what my problem is in certain instances. Now weíve got the one side of the story, so many people, and tomorrow youíll have the newspapers printing one side of the story and not a balanced side.


ADV DE JAGER: Could anybody inform me how many police were killed during those periods?

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, we were going to deal with that in our re-examination or by way of further ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: ...[inaudible] Well leave it if youíre going to deal with it.

MR VISSER: Yes, Mr Chairman. We havenít got figures which we can with certainty place before you at this stage, beyond saying Mr Chairman, that we know that over the period of 1976 to 1990, there were more than 9 000 incidents but we will come to that Mr Chairman, with your leave, when we either re-examine General Coetzee.

And while Iím addressing that issue, we are going to ask you to let his re-examination stand down because for obvious reasons we donít want to consult with him right now to find our what his knowledge is about those statistics and whether it will be necessary for us to call other evidence.

Mr Chairman, I can assure you, just looking at police casualties, they run into hundreds, just police casualties. And we are going to submit of course, to reply to Mr Jagerís question, that there were other targets as well which were regarded as legitimate targets for example, informers, politicians, who were perceived to work with the erstwhile government. They were all legitimate targets and they in themselves represent very many.

And then of course Mr Chairman, there is the third category of civilians, and they run into hundreds. Just the Church Street Bomb, Mr Chairman, deliver 11 but I donít want to mention it now. We are considering placing that evidence before you because of the cross-examination, to find some sort of an equilibrium so that people will know both sides of the story. We do consider that, thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Well in Volume 5, the submissions to the TRC by General van der Merwe, page 17, he sets out the police members killed:

"From Ď73 to Ď79: 76

From Ď80 to Ď90: 270

From Ď91 and Ď92, in that two year period 385"

He also sets out the politically motivate attacks on policemen in that year, Ď92 and Ď93.

MR VISSER: Yes, thank you Mr Chairman, youíre quite correct. He also gave evidence of course before you in the Cosatu house, where he also repeated figures under oath, but you can see for yourself Mr Chairman, itís hundreds. Thatís 500, 6-7, 800, itís probably over a thousand, just looking at these figures Mr Chairman, policemen killed mainly by ANC guerrillas, Mr Chairman.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, we also have official figures, if you are interested, of people who were burnt in unrest incidents, people who were necklaced in unrest incidents over that period.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr du Plessis, I only asked this because I donít know what the relevance is of putting figures on the one side and not the relevance of putting figures on the other side.

MR DU PLESSIS: Well weíve got a balanced ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: Thatís why I asked it. I donít think, for purposes of this application, we need all the details about every killing that occurred in South Africa.

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, I find myself constrained to explain for the benefit of the Member of the Committee that raised the question of the number of police officers killed and for my learned friends who put figures before you.

The purpose for which, which I thought was obvious and which I explained yesterday, and that is this Mr Chairman, that we have the Head of the Security Police in the witness box and who says that: "I did not know that any political assassinations took place". It is in order to test his credibility that I want those figures on record Mr Chairman.

It may well be that many policemen were killed, many civilians were killed and every death is regrettable. There is however the question that we are concerned with here, is whether the General is telling the truth, that he remained ignorant of political assassinations.

I donít want to argue the other side of the case. We are not concerned in this issue Mr Chairman, as to whether there was blame on what is usually referred to on the other side. There have been amnesty applications, they have admitted what they have done. The difference is that we are not hearing from the General how it came about that at least 100 and possibly 200 political assassinations took place over a period of time without the Head of the Security Police and the Commissioner of Police not knowing anything about it. That is the purpose Mr Chairman, and not for the purposes of printing numbers in newspapers. This is the basis upon which I want to cross-examine and I would ask for leave to continue Mr Chairman. Thank you Mr Chairman.

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, I must just say that I - if you will allow me Sir, I never said I didnít know, I said I didnít sanction. I never said ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Answer the questions as they come please.

GEN COETZEE: Yes. But I never said that and itís wrong to say that I said that.

MR BIZOS: Well the record will speak for itself, but letís proceed.

Do you now say that you did know that political assassinations took place in South Africa?

GEN COETZEE: I said that it was obvious to everyone, not only to me Sir, that there were assassinations.

MR BIZOS: Right.

GEN COETZEE: I mean, if the press reports - itís outside South Africa, Mrs Dulcie September is killed in Paris by an explosive, obviously itís an assassination and obviously I take notice of that. That is the ...[indistinct].

If Mr Joe Gwabe was killed in Zimbabwe by whoever did it and he was assassinated, surely I would know about it. What I said specifically, two things I said Sir, I said three things, with great respect, the first is I must confine myself to during the period that I was in charge specifically of the Security Branch of the South African Police. That is the so-called or the assassinations which occurred then. That I, reasonably speaking I could have taken notice of.

I also said Sir, that I personally never sanctioned any assassination whatsoever, I personally didnít do it.

Thirdly, I said Sir, Iím not aware of any policy directive by anyone, either written or orally, that people should be assassinated, coming from the State Security Council, coming from my Minister through to me, Iím unaware of any such, even a suggestion.

MR BIZOS: Iíll now ask my question, General. If you knew that there were political assassinations taking place in the country, and more than a hundred or probably two hundred political assassinations took place, a substantial number of them during the period that you were a security policeman, Deputy Head of the Security Police, Head of the Security Police and Commissioner of Police, did it never occur to you that these assassinations were taking place by members of the Security Forces in South Africa and more particularly the police?

GEN COETZEE: No, it never occurred to me Sir, except in the sense in which Iíve given the background to the whole situation which existed but it never occurred to me that policemen per se had instructions to do that.

MR BIZOS: No, not that they had instructions, that they did it.

GEN COETZEE: If they did it Sir, it must have been within that climate that Iíve tried to explain, as Iíve said, imperfectly, to the court. I understand that and I have sympathy with it but I never instructed them to do it. As a matter of fact I warned against that type of thing.

MR BIZOS: No, General, we will come to this twilight zone that and other senior police officers and politicians speak of. Deal with the question. Did you know or reasonably suspect that the purposes of these political assassinations served the South African Government and did you suspect that police officers or Security Force people were guilty of assassinating political activists?

GEN COETZEE: I did not suspect that, Sir.

MR BIZOS: Well ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: That the Security Police or the South African Police were involved in that, I did not suspect.

MR BIZOS: Well who did you think committed over a hundred assassinations? The probabilities are that there are more than two hundred but letís deal with the hundred. Who did you think committed these assassinations?

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, youíve mentioned during my Security Branch stewardship or commanding, you mentioned five names to me. Now it seems that you want to confront me with a whole number of persons over a number of years. Surely I can only comment on specific incidents in a specific time, where I was, what I knew and what I should have known.

MR BIZOS: We gave you the ones that you were in a particular capacity and probably there were many more as a result of the admissions made by my learned friends and many more as a result of the evidence given by, that has been given by Mr de Kock and others. Whose purposes was served by the political assassinations within and outside South Africa, other than the then South African Government?

GEN COETZEE: Let me say Mr Chairman, that Mr de Kock was never operational except as far as I know, the London bomb affair. He never served under me. I was already retired when ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: You donít come to terms with the question General.

GEN COETZEE: Ja, but that is my problem Sir, that Iím confronted with a broad picture of things that happened outside my term of office Sir.

MR BIZOS: We gave you details yesterday - let me confine my question to the ones that you, that we put to you yesterday, during your stewardship of the Security Police and the South African Police.

GEN COETZEE: Thatís right.

MR BIZOS: Whose benefit - who benefited by those political assassinations that were committed during your period of office, other than the apartheid government?

GEN COETZEE: I personally would be of the opinion that no-one benefited from that. I personally am of the opinion that it was counterproductive to do a thing like that, but in a certain sense, yes, and Iíve said it Sir, that there is a saying that my enemiesí enemy are my friends. It would be wrong for me to sit like the three monkeys and say: "I never heard any evil, I never saw any evil, and I never spoke any evil". That would also be wrong. ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Yes, your evidence comes ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, may the witness to complete his answer because weíre getting all confused here, with great respect.

MR BIZOS: Have you finished General?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, thank you Sir.

MR BIZOS: May I ask the next question? And I will try not to interrupt. Who had the strongest possible motive to kill, to assassinate the political activists in the ANC within and outside the country during your stewardship of the Security Police and the South African Police?

GEN COETZEE: Who had the strongest motive?


GEN COETZEE: Yes, I suppose depending upon the factors that Iíve tried to place before ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Just name the person please or persons or organisation. Who had the strongest possible motive and who received the greatest political benefit, albeit misguided, during your stewardship?

GEN COETZEE: I would think that as far as the first portion of the question is concerned, the Security Forces.


GEN COETZEE: I would think that they would think that their activities benefited the state, which at that stage was the National Party. I would think so.

MR BIZOS: Thank you for that answer General. What, in your capacity, what steps did you take as Head of the Security Police and as Commissioner of Police to investigate, determine, arrest and prosecute anyone in the Security Forces for a political, politically motivated reason of any ANC or other liberation movement figures, what steps did you take?

GEN COETZEE: First Sir, the normal steps taken by a police force to have every unnatural death inside the country where my jurisdiction stopped, inside the borders of the country, investigated properly. I never gave any instruction that any unnatural death of any person, of any political affiliation should be stopped or not be properly investigated. But I can give you instances Sir, I can give you the case of a Mr Ras who interrogating a political activist in Soweto, and Iíve said it before the TRC, Sir, his father was a police officer, he shot this man, this prisoner or this detainee through the head.

MR BIZOS: In the police station?

GEN COETZEE: In the police station, in the interrogation room Sir.

MR BIZOS: And the uniform barge were good enough ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: Iím sorry, van As.

MR BIZOS: It doesnít matter, itís the incident that is important.

GEN COETZEE: Yes, the incident.

MR BIZOS: It happened in the police station and this uniformed police officer immediate, with his service pistol and immediately this was taken care of by the people running the police station?

GEN COETZEE: No, no, no, Sir, youíre facts are wrong Sir. The position was that this was an interrogator in civil clothes, he was interrogating a detainee, he was alone with the detainee.

MR BIZOS: At the Protea Police Station?

GEN COETZEE: At the Protea Police Station.


GEN COETZEE: That was his version Sir. His version was that this man was standing on his knees before him, or something like that and grabbed hold of his service revolver and the result being that this detainee was shot through the head. That was his version initially when the matter was investigated.

The only person Sir, the only person that could give evidence otherwise at that stage, was General Lothar Neethling. He had gone there on my instructions to investigate the matter and to look the trajectory of the bullet wound. I was informed afterwards by the Attorney-General who prosecuted in this case, that his evidence was absolutely essential for a conviction. That didnít stop me Sir, that didnít stop me.

This policeman was convicted and I think sentenced to something like ten years in prison. What is more Sir, the officer commanding this station was retarded in his promotion because I said he did not properly supervise the men under his command.

Iíve dealt Sir, during my stewardship as Commissioner, with very many breaches of discipline by police regarding political detainees, very many. Some of them discipline, and there are the cases on record where people were cashiered from the police. So I never stopped proper investigations to proceed by independent - and this was the procedure of the police, the CID was completely independent, they could with the assistance of the Public Prosecutors of this country, they could make their investigations uninhibited by instructions from me and carried out the law as far as ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Give us another case of a high-profile political activist and not a Soweto youth, that was being interrogated by a junior policeman. Give us a planned assassination which was investigated and anybody was brought to book, General.

GEN COETZEE: In South Africa, Sir?


GEN COETZEE: During my Commissionership?


GEN COETZEE: Iíll have to have time to think about ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Yes, you had lots of time because this was the one example that you could give the Commission at the Armed Forces Hearing and itís the only example that you can give us here.

Iím asking you to give us what is your ...[indistinct] to my question. One high profile political activist whose killing was now admittedly planned and executed by the Security Forces, where your Security Police or your police force, whilst you were Commissioner, arrested anybody, apprehended somebody, arrested him and brought him before the court, give us one example.

GEN COETZEE: Offhand Sir, I cannot but Iím sure if I do research into this matter I will be able to answer that.

MR BIZOS: Well, ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: But my point is Sir, that Iíve never interfered - Iím mentioned yesterday the case of Doctor Ribeiro. That was a proper investigation, there was a court case. I cannot help it if in the course of that investigation it does not develop the way which you seem to think it should have developed. I cannot help that Sir.

MR BIZOS: You mentioned Ribeiro. The police or the Security Forces in fact defeated the ends of justice in

that case because they were not discovered. They lied, the people that were really responsible - itís all very well having a preparatory examination for those who have alibis and other things but the Ribeiro case wasnít solved.

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, what I said is that the CID, to the best of their ability, be that ability very poor, without any interference from my side, went along and they investigated, they took statements from ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Yes, youíve told us all that.

GEN COETZEE: From everyone concerned, everyone that could give evidence. And I personally didnít stop that and say: "No, listen this" ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: I know that you didnít stop it because - I know that you didnít stop it General, because other did, the sweepers that were actually defeating the ends of justice at many inquests, at many investigations, and this is why there was no-one that you can mention that was held responsible although security policemen have admitted, many of them admitted that they planned and executed assassinations.

Now you canít tell me of any planned and executed assassination where the police succeeded in finding the culprits. Is this because you were incompetent or because you turned a blind eye or because you as a Security Force, as Intelligence Services, as Army actually planned them and those who planned murders, particularly if theyíre experience officers can cover up their steps? Of the three alternatives, which do you choose. Or perhaps you can think of another one.

GEN COETZEE: Yes. What I say Sir, that in this what was really in fact a 30 years war, if one wants to term it that way, in fact a 30 year war, people got killed, people got assassinated and obviously I would have known about it.

On both sides many policemen where I stood at - I do not want to be dramatic like, with respect Sir, you do, I stood at the gravesides with the wives and the children Sir, of those policemen and very seldom were we able to trace the suspects or the murderers Sir. At this stage, for instance Sir, in his book, Mr Joe Slovo describes the murder at his instruction of a man in Durban, Mr Nkosi. Those people havenít come forward and asked for amnesty as far as Iím concerned. So yes, Sir, we were just as inefficient then as far as tracing the suspects or the murderers of all these members of police, of all the civilians Sir.

So I say, in a 30 year war, what was in fact a war and perceived as such by the Security Forces, eventually a grey area developed where it was not necessary, it was not necessary to issue a direct instruction or for the state to do that. In this grey area people bona fide, bona fide thought or may have thought - Iíve given that evidence Sir, may have thought that theyíve got the support of the government of the day. They may even have thought that theyíve got my support for it, which wasnít so ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Weíll come to that ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: That is what they may have thought. This is the picture that Iím trying to portray Sir, to this Commission. That in this situation that unless a particular incident in its time frame is mentioned to me with all its particulars ... To make a broad statement and then to come to me and to say: "Now what do you say about all these matters", I say to you Sir, we perceived it, we experienced it as a war. This is how the Security Forces perceived it.

MR BIZOS: Weíve heard that General.


MR BIZOS: Iíll repeat my question. Was it incompetence, was it turning a blind eye or was it overall complicity? Out of the three which would you choose?

GEN COETZEE: I would choose Sir, in a certain respect incompetence. It wasnít an overall conspiracy.

MR BIZOS: Incompetence, right.

GEN COETZEE: Would a conspiracy, stretching from where to where do you suggest?

MR BIZOS: No, but you see during this period when these political assassinations took place, would you agree that there was disquiet within the country and that statements were made by people not connected with the ANC or the PAC or any other liberation movement, that the conclusion was inevitable that these assassinations were done by servants or agents of the state? Do you recall that these statements were made by responsible people?

GEN COETZEE: I recall such allegations Sir, that ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Statements, yes?


MR BIZOS: Within parliament from the few members of parliament that were in opposition?

GEN COETZEE: There were allegations of that nature Sir, that, over a broad spectrum Sir.

MR BIZOS: Well letís deal with them one by one. Parliamentarians who were in opposition?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, about activities of which Iím concerned with, the police, which was illegal and which resulted in the death of persons. Now youíve challenged me Sir ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: No, no, were such statements made in Parliament?


MR BIZOS: Please listen to my questions. Were responsible newspapers regularly writing editorials saying that the conclusion is inevitable, that these political assassinations are committed either at the instance of the police or the police or Security Forces themselves, were there such editorials?

GEN COETZEE: I would be surprised Sir, if there were not such, at that stage, such editorials.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Why donít you admit that there were?

GEN COETZEE: But I would be surprised if it wasnít so Sir.

MR BIZOS: Okay, right. So they were?


MR BIZOS: Yes. The persons, lawyers from international organised human rights organisations that came to the country to observe inquests for unnatural deaths, trained people who made public statements within and outside the country that the conclusion was inevitable, that these assassinations could not possibly have been done without the police turning a blind eye to them, were there such reports and statements?

GEN COETZEE: I donít know Sir, but again I suppose that there would have been cases like that Sir.

MR BIZOS: Yes, yes. Well you remember the Head of the Solicitors of the United Kingdom, Sir David Napley at the Biko inquest where you were there and taking a very active part. Didnít you bother to read his report?

GEN COETZEE: An active part in what Sir? Iím sorry, I ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: In the proceedings in the inquest, General.

GEN COETZEE: What proceedings at what inquest, Sir?

MR BIZOS: At the Biko inquest General.

GEN COETZEE: I was there as an observer Sir, I was not there as a participant, as a witness, except for the one small item which I referred to, I was not concerned in the whole Biko inquest at all Sir.

Iíve met the gentleman concerned, he spoke to me, and I will tell you what he told me. I remember that well. He said he thinks itís wrong that the South African Police has got the image of a military police instead of a civil image. That is what he said to me. Strangely enough Sir, afterwards when I was one of the people structuring the new police force I remembered those words and we structured another police force.

MR BIZOS: More relevantly, what did he say about the conduct of the police in relation to Mr Biko and Mr Goosen in particular?

GEN COETZEE: I didnít read his subsequent report. I said what he said to me in particular Sir.

MR BIZOS: I see.

GEN COETZEE: But I take it, with respect Sir, that yes, he may have made, submitted a report to some organisation, Amnesty International for instance or to the lawyers for the ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: No, to the legal profession in the United Kingdom.

GEN COETZEE: In the United Kingdom, which itís very unlikely I would have had access to but I take thatís possible. That is why he was here Sir, that heíd make a report to them.

MR BIZOS: Now General, what is apparent we will submit, this dismal failure to hold anybody responsible for the political assassinations, particularly now that we know that your underlings were responsible for these assassinations.

GEN COETZEE: Well some of them.

MR BIZOS: Some of them?


MR BIZOS: The conclusion is inevitable, that any reasonable competent police officer would have brought to book these assassins during your period of stewardship.

GEN COETZEE: No, I cannot agree with that sweeping statement Sir. Whilst you challenged me, I remember a case in the Eastern Cape where two policemen had killed a person, in a political situation, they were convicted Sir, and sentenced to death by the Judge-President of the Cape Division of the Supreme Court and that was that Sir. I didnít interfere with that matter so I ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Which case was that?

GEN COETZEE: I think the oneís name was Goosen, van der Merwe and Goosen, Sir.

MR BIZOS: When was that?

GEN COETZEE: During my stewardship, Sir.

MR BIZOS: What year?

GEN COETZEE: I cannot remember the year.

MR BIZOS: Yes, well alright, then youíve mentioned two cases.

GEN COETZEE: All that I did Sir, was in cases like that where policemen were convicted after proper investigation.

MR BIZOS: Was this a planned assassination?

GEN COETZEE: I donít know Sir, I donít know the particulars.

MR BIZOS: Weíre talking about planned assassination, Sir, not killings by policemen purporting to be doing their ordinary work or blaming that is was ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: This was a political matter.

MR VISSER: With respect Mr Chairman, Visser on record, my learned fried is moving the goal posts. The questions were directed: "Can you give us one example of a political assassination where there was a proper investigation or a conviction"? Now heís done so Mr Chairman. My learned friend canít now move the goal posts somewhere else.

MR BIZOS: No Mr Chairman, I talked about planned assassination, but I will leave it at that. We have two cases from the General.

Now General, I want to ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: I didnít realise I must say, speaking for myself, that when you were referring to killings, killings, killings, you were confining yourself only to planned assassinations. Werenít you referring to all assassinations carried out, Mr Bizos?

MR BIZOS: Well assassinations Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. That doesnít necessarily indicate a degree of planning, does it? Weíve all heard of ones that are done suddenly.

MR BIZOS: Well I donít know Mr Chairman, perhaps some assassinations may be spontaneous but I would suggest that generally speaking they are planned, but I will leave it at that.

General, you were visited at half past five in the morning by Mr de Kock and his colleagues.

GEN COETZEE: Thatís right Sir.

MR BIZOS: When I put his version to you, you did not deny that he, you said to him that his hands are so full of blood that you donít know whether you should shake it or take it.

GEN COETZEE: I could possibly have said that Sir, Iím not denying that.

MR BIZOS: Youíre not denying that?


MR BIZOS: Very well. Why would you have said that General?

GEN COETZEE: Sir, what happened was that I was woken up, not being in the initial planning for this particular assignment that they went on, unaware of it because it should have been cleared and I suppose it was cleared out with their security commander at the stage, they came to me and they were being led - firstly it was alleged Sir, by a Brigadier Visser whom I immediately contacted, although Iím 15 or 18 years on pension, and I said: "Do you remember such an incident"?, and he said: "No". That was the evidence initially that appeared in the press. Subsequently it transpired that they were led or the contingent was led by Brigadier Schoon from headquarters so initially when the matter was put to me I did enquire from the person mentioned and he said he was not involved.

Brigadier Schoon came to me, it was a house with guards, not all the policemen came into the house, some of them led by himself. He was the spokesman. He said to me, as far as I recollect: "We had a firefight with members of the ANC. We have got hold of all these documents, valuable documents on an intelligence level". There were two or three at that stage in the kitchen or in the backyard of the policeman and I congratulated them.

They said - it was known people, they may have mentioned their names, I donít recollect that but they said they were important terrorists that they shot. They were in a firefight with them. I donít deny that, I say yes, it probably happened.

MR BIZOS: The question was: "Why did you say to Mr de Kock that: "I donít know whether I should take your hand because itís so full of blood"?

GEN COETZEE: Sir, that again from my part could have been prompted by what Brigadier Schoon or one or the other officers said to me: "This man did the shooting". It could have been, it could have happened that way and I would have congratulated them and I would perhaps have said: "No, Iím not touching your hand, youíre the person that did the shooting". Meaning that. I canít at this stage comment earnestly on what was definitely meant by me if I had said that.

MR BIZOS: Did you believe at any time that in a shoot-out with armed ANC people of an unspecified number and with an unspecified number of police officers confronting them that Mr de Kock alone had spilt blood in that incident?

GEN COETZEE: Sir Iíd like to help the Commission Sir, but I cannot comment. Would I have believed? I said I can only suggest to you Sir, that if I had said that it must have because of the nature of the report submitted to me.

MR BIZOS: The question was, did you believe as a result of the report made to you, that in a gunfight between a number of ANC armed guerrillas and a number of armed police officers that Mr de Kock alone had spilt blood?

GEN COETZEE: That wasnít described to me in detail, that this man fired two shots, this one fired with an automatic firearm or that nature ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: No, answer the question General.

GEN COETZEE: I canít say Sir, after 18 years what I believed then when I was confronted with this situation.

MR BIZOS: Let me read to you what Mr de Kock wrote and which you have not contradicted.

"All the officers went into his house to report on what had happened"

Well that may be you now contradicted slightly by saying not everybody came in, but be that as it may.

"Coetzee shook everybodyís hands"

GEN COETZEE: That was present there.


GEN COETZEE: With respect Sir, ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Let me finish to read to you and ask the question please.


MR VISSER: What page Mr Chairman?

MR BIZOS: 136.

"Coetzee shook everybodyís hands. I remember that he was in his dressing gown. When he got to me he said that he did not know whether he should touch my hands since they were covered in blood"

MR BIZOS: Now if this is correct, and you have not challenged it up to now except that not everybody came in, you made a distinction between Mr de Kock and the others in relation to bloody hands, would you agree that that is so?

GEN COETZEE: No, youíre quite wrong Sir. I said depending upon the nature, which I havenít specified, of the report to me, I could have responded with those words.

MR BIZOS: Yes. This is why, with the words that you -the interpretation that you sought to give as a credible alternative interpretation than the obvious General, was that because he had done the shooting. And Iím asking you, did you believe that in a shoot-out between a number of the policemen on the one hand and a number of ANC guerrillas on the other, the only person that would have spilt blood would have been Mr de Kock?

GEN COETZEE: No, I wouldnít know Sir, and I wouldnít know what to believe.

ADV DE JAGER: How many people were killed in this shoot-out?

MR BIZOS: I think three Mr Chairman, but weíll just check.




CHAIRPERSON: Do you know who was at your house, how many policemen were there?

GEN COETZEE: Sir, as far as I remember and Iíve seen from their applications, something like 12 or more members came to the house, but some say in their applications, with respect Sir, that they remained outside the house. They didnít come into the house. It was the kitchen, my wife made coffee for the, they stood around, they showed me the documents in which I was interested and those people with me in the kitchen I congratulated, I said: "Chaps that was a job well done, to bring for instance these documents, to have a shoot-out".

It was reported merely as a firefight without specifying where or how it had occurred. I didnít know beforehand, I didnít have the knowledge, so they came to my house ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: You donít know who was in the kitchen at that time?


CHAIRPERSON: But we ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: No, I know Brigadier Schoon was in the kitchen ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Schoon and Visser would have been there.

GEN COETZEE: Well, it seems that Visser ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Who took no part in the attack?


CHAIRPERSON: If one looks at de Kockís book which is relied on. So you may - de Kock may have been the only person present who had taken part in the attack? If youíre relying on the book, Mr Bizos?

GEN COETZEE: No, Mr Chairman, I am relying Mr Chairman, on the ordinary meaning of the English words when a number of people - let me get an answer to the question that I have asked first.

ADV DE JAGER: But Mr Bizos, itís also obvious that if only three people were killed, nine of the policemen present at least didnít kill anybody.

MR BIZOS: No, I would have thought that if there is an attack and a counter attack, Mr Chairman, it would be highly improbable that anybody would know who had killed whom or whose bullet had killed whom. I am actually, Mr Chairman, dealing with a premature, contrary interpretation to the meaning of the ordinary English words that have been admitted to have been uttered by the witness. May I proceed on that basis?

ADV DE JAGER: I presume he was speaking in Afrikaans at the time?

MR BIZOS: Well I assume Mr Chairman, that he was speaking in Afrikaans. I have not heard the General say that the translation of the Afrikaans words that were used were incorrectly translated Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: But it was Mr de Kock who killed the three people wasnít it?

MR BIZOS: I beg your pardon?

CHAIRPERSON: It was Mr de Kock who killed the three people?

MR BIZOS: No, not all three Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: If you look at the top of the page:

"I used a silenced weapon and was the first person to shoot, killing two men and a woman, including Sipho Dlamini and Vusi Majola"

On the previous page, at the bottom of page 135 he says:

"Three people were killed in the attack. Another person, Panzu was shot but three people were killed"

They were all killed by de Kock.

MR BIZOS: Let me confine myself to this Mr Chairman. Iím indebted to you Mr Chairman for drawing this to my attention.

Mr de Kock says that this was a planned assassination, is he correct or incorrect in that?

GEN COETZEE: I donít know Sir.

MR BIZOS: You donít know.

GEN COETZEE: I said I wasnít involved in the planning of this thing. I was woken up one morning and I was given a report by Brigadier Schoon, who I suppose will be giving evidence about it. What he said to me - what he has shown to me I congratulated them on. I said - and Iíve never read that book, I donít know about it. What Iíve read is a newspaper report about a Brigadier Visser who I contacted then and I said: "Are you aware of this incident, is it true that I said this"? And he said he wasnít there.

MR BIZOS: Are you saying that you were told that it was a shoot-out and not a planned assassination?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, Sir. I said Iíve used the word: "It was a firefight", meaning that firearms were used in this and which was something that Iím used to, it happened in Soweto between policemen and terrorists and policemen were shot, a terrorist was shot.

MR BIZOS: No, Iím going - did you know that Mr de Kock was at Vlakplaas at that time?


MR BIZOS: Did you know what was his capacity?

GEN COETZEE: No, I was completely unaware. When I left the Security Branch which was directly concerned with Vlakplaas, there was a Lieutenant Colonel Coetzee, not Captain Coetzee, a Lieutenant Colonel Coetzee at Vlakplaas and that was the last time that I ever visited Vlakplaas. During my Commissionership I never visited there.

MR BIZOS: What were they doing in Swaziland? - since you compare it with what happened in Soweto.

GEN COETZEE: I didnít know. It wasnít reported to me that they were in Swaziland Sir, but even if it was, which it wasnít, but even if it was, and Iíve said Sir, Iíve said it during my evidence in chief, Iíve said that if the circumstances about the relationship between Swaziland in particular and South Africa and the police forces were at issue, Iím prepared to give a complete picture as far as that is concerned.

MR BIZOS: Mr de Kock writes that it was in Swaziland, have you any reason to suspect the correctness of that information?

GEN COETZEE: Iím sorry, Mr Bizos?

MR BIZOS: Mr de Kock says that it was in Swaziland, have you any reason to doubt the correctness of that information?

GEN COETZEE: No, if he remember that well, Iím prepared to accept his words Sir.

MR BIZOS: What were they doing in Swaziland?

GEN COETZEE: Oh, they were - with the permission of the Swaziland Police, the South African Police were operating in Swaziland at the time Sir.

MR BIZOS: And did they have carte blanche to assassinate people?

GEN COETZEE: No, not at all Sir.

MR BIZOS: And did you - was it ever raised with you that South African Police officers crossed the border into Swaziland from time to time and assassinated people?

GEN COETZEE: As a result of certain incidents in Swaziland Sir, which I can describe if itís necessary, the King of Swaziland, King Sibuza summoned me. One day I stood at his palace for the whole day and the other day he just came out and he spoke a few words to me. He knew that there was very intimate co-operation between his police force and the South African Police, and he told me, or the interpreter rather who was there told me that His Majesty had written or read an article in the Swazi Times in which it was alleged that Swaziland was but vassal state for South Africa and he felt very unhappy about it and he said that incidents, generally incidents should not occur.

As a result of that Sir, I appointed a liaison officer on a permanent level, a Mr Hancock to the Swaziland Police so that this situation where police officers in South Africa thought that they could at will, at their own will move in because of these good relations, that that be stopped, that itís been done at an organised level.

Yes, I was summoned there, not only by the King but also by police officers. I had very many discussion with them. I gave them equipment. They asked for assistance and I did that, but the co-operation continued Sir, until as Commissioner I attended as an official visitor, the coronation of the present King, Sir.

MR BIZOS: Interesting. But letís deal with the allegations made at the time when you were called in by His Majesty. Were there allegations made that the South African Police at will crossed the border and at times assassinated and/or abducted people from Swaziland?

GEN COETZEE: There were allegations, Sir. The first allegation that I remember, I recollect, because I was at that stage asked by the Commissioner to come to Swaziland, was when an Indian gentleman was abducted by Captain Coetzeeís so-called Askaris and he was subsequently detained in South Africa in terms of security legislation but there was an outcry in Swaziland about this matter, particularly because those selfsame Askaris went back and tried to rob a bank in Swaziland. I went down and eventually after consultations with Foreign Affairs, with the Swazi authorities, this particular gentleman was handed back through the same border post where he was ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Who was that person?

GEN COETZEE: I think his name was either Mr Ebrahim or Mr Pillay, as far as my recollection goes.

MR BIZOS: Well Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim was abducted from Swaziland wasnít he?

GEN COETZEE: I donít know Sir. When was he abducted? Iím referring now to 1981.

MR BIZOS: Yes, that was probably Mr Gonile.


MR BIZOS: Gonile.



MR JANSEN: Sorry, Mr Chairman, that was on the 19th of February. It was Mr Joe Pillay.

GEN COETZEE: Mr Joe Pillay, yes.

MR BIZOS: Mr Joe Pillay.


MR BIZOS: And ...[end of tape] but was not Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim abducted from Swaziland, brought here and eventually convicted, sent to prison and his Lordship Mr Justice Steyn held in the Appellate Division that because of the abduction, the whole process was flawed and he was awarded damages. You donít recall all that?

GEN COETZEE: No, no, I remember Sir, and Iíve said it yesterday, that initially in terms of Maritzburg decision the courts of South Africa held. Now whether this acted as a catalyst for abductions, I donít know. Initially the courts held that they were not concerned ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: How the accused came before the court?

GEN COETZEE: Thatís right.

MR BIZOS: The Appellate Division in the Ebrahim case said that that was completely wrong.

GEN COETZEE: That was after Iíve left the police.

MR BIZOS: Yes, but this is true. This may be that when the Appellate Division held that, but Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim was abducted in Swaziland, brought before the court by a police officer in the Security Police who said to the Supreme Court of South Africa, Transvaal Provincial Division, that he did not know how Mr Ebrahim landed up in his office. Is that something that is new to you?

GEN COETZEE: I donít - what year was that Sir?

MR BIZOS: I told you that I donít remember.

GEN COETZEE: Oh, Iím sorry.

MR BIZOS: But itís hardly ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: I know it from my studies of law, this case.

MR BIZOS: Yes, okay. Well then you can easily find out. But what I want to say to you is that assassinations and abductions into Swaziland were regularly performed and that you in your capacity, one capacity or another turned a blind eye to it if it did not in fact take place with your concurrence.

GEN COETZEE: No, Sir, this is not the position. The position was Sir, that there was a very, very good intimate working relation between the Swazi Police and the South African Police.

I do not want, because it will take me about the whole of the afternoon to describe every fact of it, but to give one, just one incident Sir. When I became Commissioner my successor at security level was General Steenkamp. I introduced him to the Swazi Police where in the meantime Iíve placed a permanent liaison officer who would sit in at Swazi Police briefings about the terrorists in their country every day and report back to the South African Police. And he had confidences with the Swazi Police.

And he came back Sir, after a while with a map drawn up between him and the Swazi authorities, Swazi Police, and which it was suggested that the Swazi Police were unable to police certain border areas of their country and they said they thought they were going to ask that government to ask the South African Police to police those particular areas. That was the type of situation and ...[indistinct] that had evolved Sir, over the years.

ADV DE JAGER: Well General, I know you may feel inclined to give long answers on long questions and that kind of thing, but kindly see whether you could restrict your answers to the very essence of the questions and the facts before you.

GEN COETZEE: Thank you Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: General, whose ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, Visser on record again. I just want to give my learned friend the opportunity. We were give to understand that the drift of the questions regarding abductions from Swaziland was that it was the police who abducted these people, for example Ebrahim. I just want to give him the opportunity of telling me whether that impression is correct or whether he meant something else.

MR BIZOS: No, I will say police and other intelligence and army personnel who worked in close co-operation with one another, Mr Chairman. Mr Ebrahimís version is on record and whatever it is it is.

General, through what diplomatic authority did you, a Security Policeman or a Commissioner of Police go to His Majesty the King of Swaziland?

GEN COETZEE: He summoned me Sir.

MR BIZOS: He summoned you?

GEN COETZEE: Ja. I was told by the Commissioner of Police there that is His Majesty wanted to see me. I had on other occasions seen the Minister of Police, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and other officials Sir, but on that occasion, that particular occasion I was told that His Majesty wanted to speak to me.

MR BIZOS: Did you clear it with the Foreign Affairs Department in the country?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, on some of these occasions they were ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: This particular occasion.

GEN COETZEE: I canít remember whether this - when Iím summoned by the Police Commissioner as Police Commissioner here to visit there Sir, and they knew what the situation was, what our working relationship was, and Iím sure that I phoned and I informed the Foreign Affairs officials on the Africa desk.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Iím going onto a new topic Mr Chairman. I donít know whether you wanted to ...[indistinct]

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible]

MR BIZOS: Oh, I beg your pardon, I misread the seconds dials on my watch which was on 12 at the time.

General, I want to deal with this question of "I didnít give them authority, but they may have thought that they had authority".


MR BIZOS: Now I am going to put to you that that is a fiction that has been created by the Security Forces in order to avoid the responsibility of the Generals and politicians, what do you say to that?

GEN COETZEE: In order to avoid the?

MR BIZOS: The responsibility for the assassinations and other human rights violations that took place in the country, that it was been deliberately worked out as a lie in order to protect the Generals and the politicians.

GEN COETZEE: No, Sir, this is not true. As a matter of fact Sir, if you read my original TRC submission Sir, I stated that some of these structures, that is the joint structures between the Army and the South African Police were chaired by politicians Sir. And surely decided there what they were going to do and what their strategies were going to be in a certain situation. I didnít attend that.

MR BIZOS: What did you ever say to Mr Williamson that might have given him the impression that he was at liberty to arrange a postal bomb for Ruth First and Jeanette Schoon and their daughter?

GEN COETZEE: I couldnít say anything to him because I didnít know.

MR BIZOS: So you ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: I didnít say to him anything about this at all.

MR BIZOS: Nothing at all?


MR BIZOS: Youíve never made any public statements nor any private conversation with him that would have given him the indication that he was authorised to prepare these parcel bombs?

GEN COETZEE: Sir, he was living through these experiences that Iíve described ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: No, no, no, answer the question please General.

GEN COETZEE: Must have impacted on all of us ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: General, answer the question please. Shall I repeat it? Did you either publicly or privately say anything to Mr Williamson that gave him the notion or the idea that had authority for you or persons above you to kill Ruth First and the Schoons? What is the answer, either yes, or no?


MR BIZOS: No. Thank you. Now was there or were there lecture notes, books, lectures given, internal memoranda, in relation to the total onslaught, the war situation? Do you know of any direct statement in any of them that junior officers were entitled to take their own decisions in regard to assassinations?

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, there was a library at Security Branch headquarters dealing with counterinsurgency methods and techniques, low intensity war technics and techniques by various authors, dealing with that type of situation and that type of development or occurrence in the world over a very, very, broad spectrum.

Whether in some of those books there appeared an idea or a statement by anyone of those very many authors, some that came from other countries to lecture in South Africa, whether there were ideas mooted that personnel at a lower level were entitled to do that, I donít know, I cannot comment on that.

That was not my job. All that I know is that there were very many theories about how best to combat it, some as Iíve said, believing that you should do it absolutely on the basis of abnormal, if you want to call it that or draconian legislation. Others that there should be no police involvement because it is a war, itís got all the trappings of a war and it should fought on that level.

There were all these different ideas which existed and it was espoused by different people and different authors and different experts. Whether one of them at some stage or at more than one stage, in the Algerian situation, the Malayan situation and these situations, propagated that, I donít know Sir, itís possible.

MR BIZOS: Weíve often heard ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Iím not interested in the Malayan or the Algerian or any other situation. What I want to know is was there anything, any instructions given to members of the South African Police Force that would lead them to believe that junior officers could make up their own minds as to whether to assassinate people or not.

GEN COETZEE: No instructions, either verbal Sir, or ...[indistinct]

CHAIRPERSON: Right, shall we take the adjournment at this stage?

MR BIZOS: Thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Gentlemen, how soon - I know Mr Bizos has problems but we say tentatively a quarter to two, if we can be back here.

MR BIZOS: Yes, we can.

CHAIRPERSON: Whenever weíre ready we will start.

MR BIZOS: There was an improvement in the situation yesterday ...[indistinct]

CHAIRPERSON: Right, quarter to two gentlemen.



GEN P J COETZEE: (s.u.o.)

MR BIZOS: Are we now ready?


MR BIZOS: Our courts invariably heard, whenever any security policeman was asked whether he performed any irregular act, the usual answer was not only a denial but also: "MíLord, we are a disciplined force, we donít do that sort of thing". I donít know how many times His Lordship heard that in his courts but I certainly heard it very often. Would you agree that that was what the Security Police were proud of, that they were a disciplined force?

GEN COETZEE: I would say, MíLord, that of the force that I commanded which between 70 and 80 000 members, as Commissioner, more than 90% could say so in evidence, and the others, some of them probably lied.

MR BIZOS: Some of the them. Yes, we can accept that. The Security Police in particular, was the gravamen of the question, were proud of the fact that they, and they held themselves out as a disciplined force.

GEN COETZEE: Iíve already in evidence spoken at length about this so-called encompassing cultures and the sub-cultures, and this is really what youíre asking about. I would say, without qualification, yes, I suppose ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: The answer is yes?

GEN COETZEE: Security policemen or many of them would in evidence have said that.

MR BIZOS: Yes. And you would have expected them, as the Head of the Security Police, to be a disciplined force?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, Iíd expect the police to be a disciplined force.

MR BIZOS: And to have been aware of your view that no unauthorised actions, no irregularities, would be overlooked by you, that you would see to it that they were apprehended and punished if anything unlawful was done?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, that would perhaps be describing Sir, the prefect situation.


GEN COETZEE: Which I didnít have to deal with, yes.

MR BIZOS: Yes, but that was your standpoint. You were throughout your stewardship as Security Police Head and as Commissioner, completely clean. You would not commit any unlawful act, you would not permit any unlawful act, you would not condone any unlawful act?

GEN COETZEE: I suppose youíre - with the one exception. Youíre saying that the one in London was obviously not a lawful act?

MR BIZOS: Well, letís leave that exception which youíve made, but generally speaking your force didnít know about your participation in the London bombing. The picture that you gave to your members was that we are a disciplined force, I am the head of it, I will not allow any crime or serious irregularities to happen, if you do it you will have to pay for it.

GEN COETZEE: Yes, Sir, this was my attitude.

MR BIZOS: And this was obviously well-known to all the police officers in the Security Police, particularly in the Security Police Headquarters.

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, policemen are trained, commencing with that, theyíre trained to obey the law. Theyíre thereupon inspected in a hierarchy of inspections, to obey the law. They go to courts where the courts of South Africa expect them to obey the law. This is the legal position.

MR BIZOS: Your question was, did you men what I put to you, and obviously - donít letís go off on tangent, is the answer obviously, yes?


MR BIZOS: Thank you. An appeal was made to you by one the Members of the Commission, weíre almost in the last lap and weíll get on much faster if we just have a yes or no. Iím not constricting you to yes or no, but please let us try.

GEN COETZEE: As long as I donít mislead the court Sir.

MR BIZOS: No, obviously not, nobody expects you to do that, General. Now, we can then take it that is was quite clear as far as you were concerned, you as Head of the Security Police in 1982 and 984 as Commissioner, that as far as you were concerned no illegal or improper acts were to be committed?

GEN COETZEE: That is correct Sir.

MR BIZOS: And that was crystal clear to him?

GEN COETZEE: Well my views were known Sir.

MR BIZOS: Yes, your views were known. And in addition he was close to you, youíd gone back a long time together?

GEN COETZEE: He had worked under me on assignments. I was his desk officer for quite a number of years. And may I add Sir, during that period there was no indication that what we did was illegal or unauthorised.

MR BIZOS: At that time, yes.


MR BIZOS: But in Ď82 and Ď84 he most certainly had heard nothing from you that he was at liberty to go off on a frolic of his own?

GEN COETZEE: No, Sir. Iím just objecting to the term: "frolic of his own" ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Let me redefine it. To perform any illegal or highly improper act.

GEN COETZEE: No, he was not expected to do it as far as Iím concerned Sir. He was not in the situation in the police. In terms of the laws of the country he was expected to obey the laws.

MR BIZOS: And he heard nothing to the contrary at any time from you?

GEN COETZEE: But I - yes, he heard nothing to the contrary from me Sir, but Iíve got to qualify that itís for him to convince, not for me, whether nevertheless that is so.

MR BIZOS: You donít have to argue your case, you just answer the questions General, he has competent legal representation, he will present his case to the best of his ability, which Iím sure he will.

Now General, in relation to this fiction that has been created throughout the hearings for amnesty: "I was not authorised but I thought that I was authorised", and then the Brigadier comes in and says: "Well I told him that the situation was serious, he may have misunderstood that". That certainly does not apply as far as you are concerned, vis a vis, Mr Williamson? Thereís nothing that you said or did at any time which would have given Mr Williamson, and I hear that he had your authority, to perform any criminal of highly improper act?

GEN COETZEE: He, Sir, had no authority from me, what he thought he must explain.

MR BIZOS: Weíll hear from him. Weíll deal with him in due course. Now, you remember that I asked you about the literature, the sort of main authoritative book that was in the library and portions of it were photostatted and handed out and often quoted in lectures and in meetings, was Brigadier Frazerís book, is that right?

GEN COETZEE: Is that an Army General, Sir?

MR BIZOS: Yes. But you know he was the guru of counterrevolutionary warfare.

GEN COETZEE: He was prominent in lectures when I was a young police officer.

MR BIZOS: Well this was a Ď60ís and Ď70ís, that he was prominent. And he is the one that really inspired the Security Forces as to the nature of revolutionary warfare and how to deal with it.

GEN COETZEE: No, Sir, many influences from many authors and from many people and many instances inspired the ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Including Frazer.

GEN COETZEE: Including Frazer.

MR BIZOS: Let me confine myself to Frazer please. You must be familiar with his thesis that the state may have to become a terrorist state. That is - and the way it was interpreted at lectures and elsewhere: "You canít fight an alley-cat without fighting like an alley-cat". Do these words have a ring of recognition in you General?

GEN COETZEE: Not at all Sir, but that type of argument Iíve heard.

MR BIZOS: From General Frazer?

GEN COETZEE: No, not from General Frazer.

MR BIZOS: Oh, from others?


MR BIZOS: But General Frazer says: "Because terrorism by the state can be so counterproductive and so abused. When the state goes over to terrorism every act has to be authorised at the top". Do you know that or do you remember that?

GEN COETZEE: No, I donít remember that at all.

MR BIZOS: Well then ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: In other words itís got to be controlled from the top?

MR BIZOS: Itís got to be controlled from the top. You never heard that?


MR BIZOS: Well did you hear that it had to be controlled, if the state became a terrorist state, its terrorist acts had to be controlled from the top?

GEN COETZEE: If itís written there I suppose he wrote it and I suppose that was his opinion.

MR BIZOS: Yes, but the question is, did those who commit these acts that we are discussing here know that this was the prominent authoritiesí view, that if it was to be done it had to be authorised by those on top?

GEN COETZEE: I donít know Sir, whether - a person that transgresses the law would appeal to the views of inter alia one of the so-called experts on terrorism. I donít know that.

MR BIZOS: Well you must have been singularly ill-informed, having regard to what your juniors have told us they had heard at lectures and at other places, General. How is it that this important qualification that Brigadier Frazer makes was never heard by you?

GEN COETZEE: May I respond Sir? Mr Chairman, again basically, generally speaking, generally speaking Sir, there were during many of, or during this period, two schools of thought. That was generally speaking Sir. That doesnít mean that they were categorised into two defined groups, but generally speaking two schools of thought how to combat terrorism. The one was of the opinion, and Iíve heard that type of speech and that type of argument in seminars and Iíve read it in books, that the state should answer terrorism without recourse to the civil laws which exists in a country. The state should answer it at a certain stage with martial law. That was one type of argument. I donít say that I define it exactly Sir, but more or less that.

The other school of thought of which I was a subscriber said that if you do that you become counterproductive in your efforts against terrorism, you should try and do away with the ills in your society which acts as focal points and as catalysts for terrorism and you should as far as possible, even with abnormal legislation, draconian legislation, you should go through your civil procedures. More or less those schools of thought obtained throughout this period. Iíve heard it propagated at seminars, at meetings, it was discussed even at the Rabie Commission.

These different points of view were held by different persons, how it should be done. I was one at the Rabie Commission who described to the latter view.

MR BIZOS: Do you think what you have said answered the question, how come that you were unaware of this important qualification by Brigadier Frazer, that if you go over to terrorism it has to be controlled and it has to controlled by the top?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, Sir. What I meant with my answer, Mr Chairman, is that if the first option is chosen, obviously it comes right from the top, thatís where the decision is taken.

MR BIZOS: Right.

GEN COETZEE: Marshall law is implemented, itís promulgated, ...[indistinct] done away with civil courts ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Yes, but just one moment ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: May I just ask Mr Chairman, for a page reference to Frazerís work?

MR BIZOS: Itís part of the Commissionís record Mr Chairman. I will undertake to give it to my learned friend. I havenít got it with me. ...[end of tape] should not be repeated. I am sure that I will be able at very short notice to give to my learned friend.

MR VISSER: Well, may I ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: I donít think the Frazerís book or report has ever been mentioned, as far as I know, before the Amnesty Committee. I donít know, I have no recollection of it.

MR BIZOS: Yes, well I have only had one matter before you Sir, but in other matters this was. But we will make it available Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Well I said at the beginning we donít the whole book made available, we want the passage that you rely on.

MR BIZOS: Itís just one page Mr Chairman, underlined.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, I may just enlighten you in that regard. The Frazer book was part of the discussion or investigations which formed part of the Durban State Security Council Meeting of the Human Rights Violations Committee.

But Mr Chairman, more importantly Iíd like just, through the Chair if I may Mr Chairman, ask my learned whether he is suggesting to this witness that Frazer propagated state terrorism. Iíd just like to get clarity on that, because it seems to me that that is what is being suggested, that Frazer propagated that on condition that itís controlled from the top.

MR BIZOS: I made it quite clear Mr Chairman, that in Frazerís book it is stated that if the state goes over to terrorism it has to be controlled from the state. He doesnít say that the state must go over to terrorism. It describes the options that the state has, and if it takes the option of going over to terrorism then it should be controlled from the top. I think that thatís quite clear in my questions.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I just want to state something just to refresh your memory. You will remember that we have introduced evidence to you about the whole development of the counterrevolutionary strategy of the government. There was a report by Captain van Jaarsveld, and he referred to various academic references on which that development of the strategy was based. There were courses in Taiwan that they attended etc., and Frazerís book wasnít mentioned amongst those. I just want to make that clear, in all fairness because that, as far as I know, was the only evidence before the Amnesty Committee about the total strategy.

MR BIZOS: In that case, but it was in others. Mr Chairman, need we take up any more time, we have given an undertaking that we will make this page available and my learned friend will access to it.

You did know I think, General Janse van Rensburg of the Secretariat of the Security Council

GEN COETZEE: No, I donít know.

MR BIZOS: No, surely you knew you knew him.

GEN COETZEE: Was he a ...[indistinct] officer?

MR BIZOS: He was a General in the Army but he was on the Secretariat of the Security Council in 1985 whilst you were Commissioner. He was the Chief Secretary of the Secretariat of the Council that you were on. Do you say that you never met him, that you never heard of him?

GEN COETZEE: No, I donít say that Sir, but I donít particularly remember this gentleman.

MR BIZOS: Alright.

GEN COETZEE: I may have met him, he may have been on the Secretariat which was housed in another building, both in Cape Town and in Pretoria.

MR BIZOS: In Pretoria. He was in Pretoria.

GEN COETZEE: Well he was not housed in Police Headquarters.

MR BIZOS: No, no.

GEN COETZEE: So I mean, I may have met him like Iíve met literally Sir, thousands of army officers.

MR BIZOS: Would the Secretary of the Secretariat of the Security Council have known who was to authorise killings?

GEN COETZEE: If there was such authorisation, yes, I would think so.

MR BIZOS: And what he - the evidence that he gave before his Lordship, Mr Justice Zietsman when it was suggested to him that the request for an execution warrant for Goniwe and others addressed to him, his answer was: "Then it was sent to the wrong address". Flabbergasted we asked the obvious question: "Where should he have sent it to"?, and his answer was: "To the Head of the Army". Will you accept that as a correct statement of what this General gave in evidence?

GEN COETZEE: I havenít got the faintest idea what this ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: No, accept it for the purposes of my next question.


MR BIZOS: Accept it for that. In 1982, would you have been considered as the Head of the Security Police/


MR BIZOS: In and 1984, would you be considered the Head of the Police?

GEN COETZEE: That is correct, Sir.

MR BIZOS: If Frazer read together with the evidence under oath by General van Rensburg is true, and if the advice of Frazer was taken by the South African state in committing acts of terrorism, would you agree that you would have been the Head to be asked?

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Bizos, sorry. Didnít you say it was sent to the wrong address, it should have been sent to the Head of the Army?

MR BIZOS: Yes, because the person who sent it Mr Chairman, was a Brigadier in the Army. Perhaps I should have made that clear.


MR BIZOS: Iíve already said that he was an army person. The person who sent it, Brigadier van der Westhuizen, was an army person and General van Rensburg was an army person at the Secretariat. What I am saying is that the Head of the Police or the Security Police or both, would have had to have been consulted for any terrorist act to be committed by police officers in 1982 and in 1984.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, Visser on record. I just frankly do not understand the question. My learned friend has made a build-up, obviously privy to the South African Defence Force. Itís defence officers who said: "This is the wrong address, it should not have been sent to me, it should have been sent to the Head of the Army", now how - heís laid no foundation at all for a statement which he now makes Mr Chairman, which heís changed. First of all he says: "You as Head of Security, you as Head of the Police was that person, now heís changed it to: "You should have known about it". Thereís no foundation for that Mr Chairman, and my learned friend is being unfair to the witness, with great respect.

CHAIRPERSON: I donít think he said: "You should have known about it", what he seems to be trying to suggest is because somebody in the army thought that there was some procedure in the army, the same applies to the police. I cannot see any justification myself for that assumption.

MR BIZOS: But Mr Chairman, it was justified on the basis that Frazer was what I described as, the witness described as an authority and that is an authority on which the Security Forces rely, and by analogy...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: The witness said: "Frazer was one of the many authorities". You then said: "Well, letís forget about all the others, letís only talk about Frazer". He did not say the Security Forces relied on Frazer, as I understood his evidence.

MR BIZOS: Yes. The question was Mr Chairman, that if General van Rensburgís evidence is correct, coupled with the statement made by Frazer - this was the question, then ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: General van Rensburg was trying to give a clever answer: "It was sent to the wrong address".


CHAIRPERSON: That wasnít anything that but a witness trying to be clever, was it Mr Bizos?

MR BIZOS: No, except that he then identified the person that it should have been sent to.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that what he thinks.


Well youíve already told us that General van Rensburg knew how the system of the Security Council worked.

GEN COETZEE: He was no the Secretariat Sir.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Very well, I will leave it at that for the purposes of argument, General. I am going to suggest to you that these, all these actions, not only in relation to the two bombs but the others, were in fact authorised from the top but there is a conspiracy of silence among the Generals and the politicians in order to save themselves and to allow the, what are usually called: "the foot soldiers" to be the brunt of it.

GEN COETZEE: No, Mr Chairman, I disagree with that ultimate statement. There is no conspiracy. Iím not a part of any conspiracy. Iím not talking on behalf of any politician or other General, Iím only speaking on behalf of myself. Sir, Iím not involved in any conspiracy and if there was a conspiracy or if there is a conspiracy, itís beyond my ...[indistinct] Sir.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Before returning to this subject and the letter that I have been asking for, there are a couple of matters that I want to deal with on the facts of the case General.

Were you surprised that the people came to your house at five thirty in the morning, a large group of them?

GEN COETZEE: Well surely when Iím asleep and Iím woken up by the guards at the guardhouse, I must be surprised.

MR BIZOS: Did you ask them why they took the trouble to wake you up at half past five in the morning?


MR BIZOS: Why not?

GEN COETZEE: Sir, I thought when I saw Brigadier Schoon who was a headquarters officer, that he had something important to tell me. Under the circumstances I would not have told him: "Ag man, this could have waited until 9 oíclock or 10 oíclock". I think - Iím not sure but I donít think it was a working day, Iím not sure of this, but I wasnít particularly surprised.

MR BIZOS: Well let me put specifically what the evidence of Mr de Kock is going to be in relation to this matter, an instruction which he gave me when he heard your answers of an innocent explanation for what he said in his book. That Colonel Tiekie de Jager and Brigadier Coetzee came in, you asked for no explanation when they came in, you did not express any surprise why they came in so early in the morning, you said nothing but asked: "Did you get what you wanted to"? Is that evidence correct or incorrect?

GEN COETZEE: No, I cannot remember that, and particularly, the person that came to me was Brigadier Schoon or he was with the group and he reported to me.

MR BIZOS: No, you are unable to deny that before you asked - you did not ask for any explanation for this early interference with your privacy, nor did you ask them what their business was but that: "Did you get what you wanted to"? Youíre unable to deny that?

GEN COETZEE: No, I cannot comment on it Sir, because I do not remember the conversation ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Very well, thatís enough.

GEN COETZEE: As far as I am concerned I greeted them and a report was given by Colonel Schoon, or the then Colonel Schoon, and he had a lot of documents with him which he placed on the table.

I may also say Sir, that as far as I remember the later General Coetzee, I think heís mentioned there, you said ...[intervention]



MR BIZOS: Yes. Thatís the Coetzee weíre talking about.

GEN COETZEE: Ja. That he didnít at all come into the house at that stage, as far as I remember.

MR BIZOS: Well, I am happy with your answer, that you canít deny that you said: "Did you get what you wanted to"?

Mr de Kock is going to say to the Committee that this gave him a clear impression that you, General Coetzee, looked or appeared that you knew beforehand where they had gone to.

GEN COETZEE: No, I didnít know Sir.

MR BIZOS: Well, if his evidence is correct then the Committee will make an ...[inaudible]. That you looked particularly pleased and excited about the finding and that it appeared that that was what you expected them to bring.

GEN COETZEE: Sir, this seems to be a description by another person about what the position was then. I have said Sir, that when the report was made to me I congratulated them. When they said they had been in a firefight with a group of ANC terrorists, prominent ANC terrorists who had been killed, and they have been able to get hold of all these documents which they displayed to me, I was pleased, yes.

MR BIZOS: Yes. He will also say that the fact that you did not ask any questions as to why you were there ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: Why I was there?

MR BIZOS: Why they.

GEN COETZEE: But they told me Sir.

MR BIZOS: No, no, no, why they came to your house. Just listen to me please. "He did not question us as to why we were there", is that correct or not?

GEN COETZEE: I donít know Sir, but let me say that many policemen, many policemen came to my house at all kinds of odd hours.

MR BIZOS: For a man who didnít consider himself concerned with details this may sound strange and you have some other evidence, but let us proceed.

And that from your behaviour he got a distinct impression that they were expected by you.

GEN COETZEE: I didnít expect them because then I would have set an alarm and I would have waited for them Sir. They woke me up - the first woke my wife up, she went out, she made coffee and I then got out of bed and she said there were people there, policemen, and I got up and as I walked into the kitchen I think, of the building Sir, a report was made to me by Brigadier Schoon.

MR BIZOS: Having regard to the fact that they were on an assassination mission maybe they were unable to make a precise time or an appointment with you General, but let us go on.

GEN COETZEE: They could have phoned me Sir.

MR BIZOS: Yes. You didnít query as to why there was such a large group there.

GEN COETZEE: Iíve already said Sir, that some of them remained outside in the grounds and only one or two or three or four, I cannot remember after 18 years exactly how many came into the kitchen but I do remember that they had a lot of documents which they spread on the kitchen table and Brigadier Schoon pointed out certain matters to me and I was pleased with this.

MR BIZOS: And because you did not ask them who had authorised this operation, where did this information come from or any other pertinent information that a surprised Commissioner may have wanted, he came to the distinct conclusion that you had authorised the action and that you knew what they had done.

GEN COETZEE: That is pure speculation Sir.

MR BIZOS: Well if you take it together with the fact that you refused or toyed with the, or made a statement that you didnít know whether you should take his hand or not, perhaps this speculation is not far fetched, General.

GEN COETZEE: No, Mr Chairman, Iíve tried to explain what the situation was. The fact is that Brigadier Schoon made a report to me, he said: "There was a firefight between us Security Branch members and ANC terrorists, theyíre all been killed Sir, theyíre dead and weíve been able to salvage these documents."

And I said it is possible Sir, it is possible that they could have said de Kock played a prominent part or he was the man that was the bravest of the lot. In which case I would not have been surprised Sir, because he had a very good reputation from fighting in South West Africa.

So I would congratulate them, I would shake their hands, Iíd look at the documents and say well in a hour or two, if it was a working day, I would have a full report through the Security Chief. That they thought that what theyíve done was such a good effort, such a breakthrough that they must wake the Commissioner up in the early morning hours, they must explain why they thought that but I had no appointment with them.

MR BIZOS: Yes. There is another incident that has come to Mr de Kockís mind and I want to put it to you, that in 1993, Ď83, Zwenibanzi Nyanda was shot in Swaziland together with Mr McFadden.

CHAIRPERSON: Say that name again.

MR BIZOS: Iíll spell them. Zwenibanzi: Z-W-E-N-I-B-A-N-Z-I, Nyanda: NóY-A-N-D-O was shot in Swaziland together with McFadden. Iím sorry itís Nyanda and not Nyando, Mr Chairman.

You were then either the Chief of the Security Police or the Commissioner of Police. Do you know anything about that death or the death of McFadden?


MR BIZOS: None at all, you never heard of it?

GEN COETZEE: I didnít say that Sir. I may have heard at that stage.

MR BIZOS: At that stage.

GEN COETZEE: At this stage here today the names mean nothing to me.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Approximately seven or eight months after those two killings, the members that killed them, members of the police were again decorated by the police with the same high decorations as were issued with, were issued for the London Bomb.

GEN COETZEE: I cannot deny that that was done or that they were decorated Sir, I donít know that.

MR BIZOS: Again if this be the case, would there be a similar document in the police files about this decoration?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, every decoration Sir, every decoration that authorised there must be some record of it in Police Force orders.

MR BIZOS: Yes. I was going to ask you to get it but I think that we better apply elsewhere. Now again, if these decorations were given for these two murders somebody had to report what these decorations were for.

GEN COETZEE: Every decoration has got to be motivated ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Letís speak about these two.

GEN COETZEE: Every decoration, including those two. I can ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: The answer is: "Yes"?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, has to be motivated.

MR BIZOS: Right.

GEN COETZEE: I cannot Sir, comment on it unless I see the motivation, because you suggest Sir, to me that the motivation for those decorations were explicit, it was for assassinations in Swaziland.

MR BIZOS: No, I didnít say that.


MR BIZOS: I didnít say that. Listen to the question. The question was that for the purposes of granting these decorations a motivation had to be written up.


MR BIZOS: At that time you were either Chief of the Security Police or Commissioner of Police.

GEN COETZEE: If it was eight months after 1983 when you suppose Sir ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: For the purposes of my question it doesnít matter.

GEN COETZEE: I was - itís quite likely that I was a Commissioner of Police.

MR BIZOS: Commissioner of Police?


MR BIZOS: Very well, that makes it a little better, Thank you for that. Now as Commissioner of Police, would you say that the same would have followed, that you would have signed a similar document as Exhibit - weíll just get the exhibit number Mr Chairman - as Exhibit F?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, Sir, I would have signed the force order announcing to the police that these members are entitled to this medal.

MR BIZOS: Without enquiring as to what they did?

GEN COETZEE: It would have been specified in the citation Sir, it would have been specified in the citation.

ADV DE JAGER: General, I think thereís a confusion about two stages in this process. The one stage is before the medal is awarded.


ADV DE JAGER: Then there should be a motivation.

GEN COETZEE: Which goes to the medal section.

ADV DE JAGER: Ja. The other stage is after the medal has been awarded.


ADV DE JAGER: And Exhibit F deals with the position after the medal has been awarded.

GEN COETZEE: That is correct Sir. So that all that I have then to handle Sir, is a concept force order which I must sign together with the motivations if the medals are with me then, depending upon who has got to present these medals but the citation comes to me.

MR BIZOS: Who would have decided whether these persons that had killed these two person deserved to be awarded these medals?

GEN COETZEE: Their commander.

MR BIZOS: Their commander?


MR BIZOS: Who would their commander have been at the time?

GEN COETZEE: In 1983, depending upon the date Mr Chairman, it was quite likely that it was General Steenkamp.

MR BIZOS: General Steenkamp.


CHAIRPERSON: That is quite clear isnít it Mr Bizos?

MR BIZOS: Yes, yes, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: You are relying on Mr de Kockís version?

MR BIZOS: Yes, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Where he says:

"The orders came from Brigadier Schoon and General Steenkamp"

MR BIZOS: Iím sorry I wasnít aware of it Mr Chairman, this was a note that was given to me during the adjournment but Iím indebted to the Chairperson for drawing our ...[intervention]


MR BIZOS: Thank you Mr Chairman.

Now would the General have recommended it if the truth was told to him?

GEN COETZEE: I donít know Sir, I donít know what was told to him.

MR BIZOS: Where is that General now?

GEN COETZEE: Heís still alive as far as I know, I havenít been in contact with him for about 10 years.

MR BIZOS: Yes. I want to turn to the other matter and that is the application for amnesty of Mr McPherson. Now you have already denied that Mr McPherson is speaking the truth when he says that you authorised the bomb intended for Joe Slovo in Lusaka.

GEN COETZEE: I said that Iíve got no recollection and the procedures which he describes very shortly seems to be very strange to me. It was not the procedures that were followed and I say itís very unlikely. I never said it was completely, completely impossible.

MR BIZOS: In relation to the authorisation of the bomb or the authorisation of the payment of the R15 000?

GEN COETZEE: As far as I read in the application, it only refers to me as far as the money matter is concerned.

MR BIZOS: No, youíre quite wrong, please turn to page 69.

GEN COETZEE: Oh, ja. No, no, thatís correct Sir.

MR BIZOS: Let me read it to you.

GEN COETZEE: Ja, Iíve read it now.


"Captain Kobus Pretorius and I approached General Johan Coetzee in his office and said that Captain Pretorius had an Indian source called Allie that had direct access to the ANC offices in Lusaka. He was prepared to take a bomb built into a briefcase and leave it on the premises of the ANC. General Coetzee gave permission that we could proceed with the project".

You say all that is incorrect or you donít remember it?

GEN COETZEE: I donít remember this conversation Sir.

MR BIZOS: Oh, that means you canít deny it?

GEN COETZEE: Well obviously Sir, if I donít remember it. That is why I said, although this is completely against the specified procedures ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: There were not specified procedures for sending out bombs were there?

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, canít the witness be allowed just to reply and get it done with? Weíll make headway much quicker that way Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Please carry on.

GEN COETZEE: Thank you Sir. I said that although this was completely against the accepted procedure that a man with a commander which had access to me would come directly to me and other aspects of it, and I donít remember it, nevertheless then there is always a possibility, not a probability, there is a possibility. I didnít deny that.


GEN COETZEE: That he had such a conversation and that amongst all the thousands of conversations that Iíve had, I donít remember.

MR BIZOS: Well, so that you canít deny the correctness of Mr McPhersonís version?

GEN COETZEE: I say it runs ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: He said itís improbable, Mr Chairman.


GEN COETZEE: I said itís improbable.

MR BIZOS: But you canít deny it General.

GEN COETZEE: And Iíll say why I say itís improbable.


GEN COETZEE: In the first place Sir - I donít know, this Captain Kobus Pretorius, does he ask amnesty for this? Has he requested amnesty?

MR BIZOS: I donít know at this stage but let us overlook that for a moment.

GEN COETZEE: Ja. This Indian guy ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Allie.

GEN COETZEE: Allie. I donít know about him and I would have expected that his file or that a report would have been made to me, even it was verbally, about who he is, how did he have access, there would be a motivation. If they ask for money there had to be a written motivation because it goes to the auditor. So there must be a written authorisation.

Thirdly Sir, I see they say here that they went to the Army, to Special Forces to have this bomb made, whereas they had an expert there as we all know.

MR BIZOS: Yes, weíll come to that, you can argue the case. Listen to the questions please. You say that it was contrary to procedure?

GEN COETZEE: Thatís right.

MR BIZOS: Was there a set procedure for how you went about to bomb ANC premises or bomb - I would appeal to my learned friend if he has an objection to make it but not to make disconcerting noises and body movements which are calculated to interrupt the flow of my questioning Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: I object Mr Chairman. With respect, nothing which the witness has said has given any indication that that is his evidence. He said it was contrary to procedure : "The man has his own Commanding Officer who has access to me, he would not have been allowed, under normal circumstances, to come straight to me". Heís talking about the normal procedure Mr Chairman. There is nothing in his evidence to suggest that there was a so-called normal procedure to bomb people in the area. And it is not proper for my learned friend to put questions on that basis.

MR BIZOS: May I proceed Mr Chairman, by altering the question in order to satisfy my learned friendís question.

General, the placing of bombs is a most unusual police procedure, it would have been a most unusual event and you would not have expect police procedures to be followed?

GEN COETZEE: And I would not have expected police procedures?

MR BIZOS: You would not have expected ordinary police procedures to be respected for preparing and placing bombs in neighbouring countries in order to kill people?

GEN COETZEE: Sir, we mustnít connect this, there is no nexus between the two matters. I said Sir, what I said is that to my mind procedures were followed which should not have been followed. I did not mean to imply by that that there was a set procedure if you wanted to place a bomb somewhere for an illegal purpose. I donít mean that.


GEN COETZEE: I say that the procedures followed here, the fact that they must have known that there were experts, explosion experts in the building, members of the police force, because it seems to me Sir that some people knew it.

I knew there were explosives experts with a certain job, with a certain job that they had to do which I knew about. I visited them from time to time. There was no set procedure to place, to prepare and place bombs in ANC targets.

MR BIZOS: A simple: "No" would have done, would have been sufficient, thank you General. Now a person in, or persons in this position like Mr McPherson, on his version, had to load a bomb in a motorcar and travel to Swaziland, a dangerous undertaking. You nod, is the answer: "Yes"?


MR BIZOS: He may for some reason or other have been stopped along the way.

GEN COETZEE: That is correct Sir.

MR BIZOS: He may have been able to talk his way out of it by police cards and other things but he may not.

GEN COETZEE: Thatís correct Sir.

MR BIZOS: He may have been stopped at the Swaziland border.


MR BIZOS: Because despite the friendly relations there might have been an ANC sympathiser at the gate.

GEN COETZEE: Yes, thatís all possibilities, in the realm of possibilities.

MR BIZOS: Yes, in the realm of possibilities. Weíll come to the point. He could have been arrested in Swaziland at the time he was handing this bomb over to Allie.

GEN COETZEE: Yes, thatís all possibilities Sir.

MR BIZOS: All possibilities. All possibilities that must have gone through the mind of a security policeman of the rank of Mr McPherson who was then a Major, also a possibility?



GEN COETZEE: It depends upon what his arrangements were and that is why I say it was out of the ordinary.

MR BIZOS: Would he not want from you an assurance that if things went wrong he would have your support both within and the friendly police force in Swaziland, wouldnít he want that assurance?

GEN COETZEE: If Sir, if that went through his mind then surely he would have had the mindset or the idea: I would have support from the Commissioner of the South African Police? If it is true ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Might not that have been the reason ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: Exactly the reason why I donít remember it because if that was as he explains it. And that is what Iíve said right at the outset Sir, unless Iím placed in possession of all the facts I cannot really comment on whether I could have had such a conversation, whether I called in his commander for instance and said: "Do you know about it"? I would find it very strange, thatís what I said.

But I must still say Sir, that Mr McPherson and I had worked together for quite a while on some projects in the Security Branch. Perhaps, perhaps Sir, there is a slight, a very slight possibility but not as he described it because his mind can also be at fault about certain of these aspects. And that he did come to me and that he did say something to me and that he asked for instance, and this is what I said Sir :"Would the money be forthcoming, would a reward be forthcoming" because that was really my function.

MR BIZOS: Yes. No, thatís an additional reason and a more direct reason, but you would agree that once there were no prescribed rules in relation as to how you prepare, transport and hand over to an agent or an informer a bomb, there is nothing improbable that Mr McPherson and Captain Kobus Pretorius would have wanted to come to you at the top and ask you so that they would be reassured if things went wrong they would at least have your support?

GEN COETZEE: No, Sir, absolutely no. That is not the position. I would - they didnít approach me for an assurance that is something went wrong I would support them, I would support that action. If their - and thatís what I said right when this matter was first on the table, I said even now it looks to me like a complete haphazard thing.

If it was broached with me initially in this format I would have said: "Bring along your commander, where are your plans"? And I would not even, in many instances or in this particular instance, I would not have given permission if I knew that a life was in jeopardy. I would have wanted to know all these particulars otherwise Sir, it would be a case where just at random, left and right youíre giving permission to everyone who wants to do an illegal act. That was not the position Sir and that is why Iím querying.

I say that I cannot remember this incident. I cannot say that some aspect of it, an approach to me about a component of that, the money matter, is out of the question, itís not so. But I say as it is now presented here it is so out of the ordinary type of procedure that was followed that I donít think I was ever approached in this regard.

MR BIZOS: You conceded earlier when counsel for Mr McPherson was examining you, that you did or probably did give the R15 000, authorised it.

MR VISSER: I must say Mr Chairman, I donít remember that evidence. If it was given I will beg my learned friendís pardon but I definitely have no recollection of that evidence.

MR BIZOS: Iím sorry, the recollection of one of my colleagues Mr Chairman, is that: "Yes I would probably have authorised it". That is my recollection but of course we may have been wrong but perhaps one of the members of the Committee has a note of it.

GEN COETZEE: As far as I remember Sir ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: No, please Mr Chairman, ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, my learned friend is correct in what he is now saying because that was in relation, as I remember it, to another matter. My learned friend was putting to General Coetzee: "But thinking back now sort of thing, is it possible that you could have or would have given permission had you known that this bomb was going to be placed at the ANC offices". And I think in reply to that line of questioning my recollection is, and I may be wrong, was that General Coetzee says: "Yes, itís possible". I think that is correct.

MR CORNELIUS: I recall that as well.

MR BIZOS: Well it may be that but my recollection was in addition at the time that counsel for ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: Iíve got a note here if it could assist anybody: "In 1985 you authorised R20 000" - "I would Sir if a memorandum was presented to me by McPherson asking for authority for R20 000". And then: "For any operation there should be authority. It is possible that I authorised, I authorised many of them". That is as far as this ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Well itís enough for my purposes, thank you Mr de Jager.

CHAIRPERSON: He went on later of the same aspect to say: "If the application had been made through proper channels" he would have authorised it.

MR BIZOS: He would have authorised it, thank you Mr Chairman.

Now I am going to put to you General that what Major McPherson says is correct and that you authorised in furtherance of this policy of eliminating ANC people in the neighbouring countries, you specifically authorised the Zambia bomb, you specifically authorised the payment of R20 000 and you shortchanged a man for his partial failure but that the bomb was really for Mr Joe Slovo.

GEN COETZEE: No, Mr Chairman, it is not so.

MR BIZOS: Now do you accept the correctness of this evidence to the extent that security policemen, through Swaziland, through Allie, placed a bomb at the ANC headquarters in Zambia?

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, if I donít remember I cannot accept it.

MR BIZOS: You do not accept it, alright. Again why should Mr McPherson have undertaken this very dangerous operation if he was not authorised from the top?

GEN COETZEE: Sir, he was under the command of a particular commander who would have, he would have discussed it with him, they would have drawn up a proper plan, they would have then requested with a motivation to me, the authorisation of certain funds.

MR BIZOS: The R20 000?

GEN COETZEE: Whatever they recommended. If it was above a certain amount it had to come to me and above that it had to go to the Minister. Iíve explained that whole procedure to you Sir.

So all that I, and Iíve said it, can surmise is that the whole procedure if it existed exists somewhere else, not in this format that is now presented. And that on that motivation if it is presented to this Commission and that Iíve signed it, because that Iíve got to do, Iíve got to sign it and if like every document which is presented to me and Iíve signed it, I will be able to at least more objectively comment on it. But for me beyond to say that the procedures were not followed, I cannot recollect it, this particular matter, recollect it, perhaps some aspects, some components of this story is true. Like for instance that after the whole matter was discussed and approved by his commander, a proper motivation with that wording which is then in the motivation comes to me I may have approved it. Itís not impossible that this had happened.

MR BIZOS: You wouldnít have expected ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: But until Iíve got those facts before me Sir, I cannot objectively comment. As I say, I say where is the report of Captain Pretorius? Where is the report ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Yes, well the Commission has been trying to find Captain Pretorius and nobody can.

GEN COETZEE: Well Iím sorry.

MR BIZOS: You pose a question and I have this information and I give it to you but you can make ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: Well then perhaps ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Perhaps you can find him.

GEN COETZEE: Perhaps heís at fault Sir. The ...[indistinct] in my opinion that he is at fault with this matter, that his memory may also, he may also have a memory problem about a thing that happened so long ago.

CHAIRPERSON: While youíre on that aspect, it appears that what we have before us is merely extracts from Mr McPhersonís application.

MR BIZOS: Then you had the same problem as we had, there are two pages missing. I was reading from two pages that were given to us later. But I think that the counsel for the Commission is privy to this Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Well what Iím going to suggest, and if anybody has got the whole of his application, if they could read through it and see if there are other mentions of Captain Kobus Pretorius because the way it comes in here it is as if it is someone he has already mentioned as being attached to some unit or other. If you look at page 69, it deals with the bomb at the office of the ANC but that appears to be merely one of the items he deals with. Iím assuming this, I havenít seen the other pages. Iím just asking if anybody has them all to see if they can find any other mention to this gentleman.

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, if I may be of some assistance. If Your Lordship looks at page 69, there is a blank there. We asked about that and we were told that that deals with another incident.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thatís ...[inaudible] Iím assuming there are other incidents that are not before us.

MR BIZOS: Yes, and it may be that the name is mentioned there, but for the rest we believe that if your application goes up to 70 then itís complete. Up to what page does it go Mr Chairman?

CHAIRPERSON: Page 70 is merely the general notice: Application in terms of Section 30.


MR CORNELIUS: Mr Chairman, I will peruse the full application with my colleague and I will report back to the Commission on that.


MR VISSER: Seeing that General Coetzee is implicated, we would really also like to see the whole application Mr Chairman. Thank you Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, there is a question of the letter that was written by Mr Wagener that I want to deal with at this stage because it is almost the last matter that I want to deal with. The letter that I really wanted all the time was identified. My learned friend informed us that he is not prepared to show it to me, he is prepared to put it before the Committee.

I know of no procedure Mr Chairman, that information can be placed before this Committee to which the people affected by it are not entitled to. My knowledge of this newspaper, of this letter or our knowledge of it is based upon a newspaper report, two newspaper reports in fact which have been stapled together, from the Argus and the Daily News. I ask for leave to hand this in.

I donít know whether it is an accurate rendering of what is in the letter but from what has been disclosed and published, it is highly relevant to these proceedings and particularly the credibility of the witness. I would therefore ask for leave to hand these newspaper cuttings and to argue that I am entitled, on the basis of the information contained in these two reports, to the documents upon which the reports are based and which admittedly is in the possession of my learned friend. May I hand them in Mr Chairman?

CHAIRPERSON: Any objection by anyone?

MR VISSER: Thereís no objection by me, Iíd just like to see them Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you not seen them before?

MR VISSER: No, Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes, well ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: What we have done is, we have given a newspaper report which we had in our possession to me learned friend ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: In order to trace the date and things of that nature. Iím sorry, I should really have given you a copy before but here is a copy. I donít know whether any other person has any interest, perhaps they can share a copy Mr Chairman. There are five copies available.

MR VISSER: Is my learned friend through, Mr Chairman? May I answer?

MR BIZOS: Well perhaps ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: Are you still busy?

MR BIZOS: You wanted to see the letter so perhaps youíd better wait for me.

MR VISSER: I will reply without seeing the newspaper reports, Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: Could you give us a minute to see the newspaper reports please?

MR VISSER: Certainly. Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, please allow me to say that this letter, to start off with, is even more irrelevant than my learned friendís cross-examination, for most parts. The background to this letter Mr Chairman, originates prior to the Amnesty Committee commencing with its work, as I remember correctly, when feelers were put out on behalf of police officers who were not certain whether they had sufficient confidence in the procedure created by the Act to participate. It was a highly confidential letter. It was written to Bishop Tutu and Doctor Alex Boraine in their personal capacities, in which feelers were put out.

At that stage none of the police officers had applied for amnesty. You heard Mr Chairman, and we led that evidence specifically from General Johan van der Merwe in the Cosatu House, the background of ...[end of tape] ...[inaudible] and General Johan van der Merwe and others played in convincing policemen to step forward and apply for amnesty.

In order to make a clear breast of it my attorney at the time, in confidence, told the Commission who certain of those people were. He told Bishop Tutu and Doctor Boraine who some of those people were at the time Mr Chairman, and this is very important. There were a lot of people who were brought to him by General van der Merwe inter alia and those names of those people were mentioned in the letter.

Now what is important here is that after that date, after this letter was written, many of those applicants, would be applicants went away, they either didnít apply. So making this letter available would be to their prejudice and my attorney does not appear for them anymore. There are others who have now gone to other attorneys and Iíve been told that they are object to my attorney making this letter public.

What happened then Mr Chairman is, and weíre not pointing any fingers, but the letter somewhere along the lines in the offices of the TRC, became leaked to the press. That gave rise to the press reports, some of them which you have before you: "Top Cops - Top Dogs" and so on: "Confessing to serious crimes" etc., of which four or five were mentioned. Incidently, some of them have been dealt with by you before. There was an objection to that Mr Chairman, and undertakings were given and apologies extended in regard to the leakage of this letter.

Now this is how my learned friend came to know about the letter. Now the question is, how relevant is that letter to the present proceedings? The answer in a nutshell is: it has absolutely no relevance at all. It had nothing to do with General Johan Coetzeeís credibility or for that matter with the credibility of anybody. It doesnít deal with that issue. What it does do Mr Chairman is, it lists the names on behalf of whom my attorney at that time acted and those names Mr Chairman, must be regarded as privileged.

And with great respect Mr Chairman, the letter, weíre prepared to show you the letter because we have no problem with that, we are not prepared to make it available to Mr George Bizos, and he says there is precedent for such a procedure. There is indeed such a precedent, where I object to handing to my opponent in a civil case Mr Chairman, a document and the Judge is asked to decide on its relevance or otherwise in order to adjudicate upon my refusal, of course heís got to see it and we have no problems giving you the letter so that you can see and test whether what I told you is correct or not.

And if you overrule me Mr Chairman, then we will have to deal with it at that stage, but we are, to show our bona fides, quite prepared to let you have a copy of the letter so that you can consider it and in light of the contents of the letter consider my objection of giving this to Mr Bizos. We object, Mr Chairman, and Iíve told my learned friend, Mr Bizos, that I refuse to give him a copy of the letter.

MR BIZOS: I have no objection to you receiving a copy of the letter, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible] what is the relevance of this letter?

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, could I ask you to turn for a very brief response to the Daily News report because itís more succinct Mr Chairman, and the point becomes -

"Top Security Force Generals from the apartheid era, including two former Police Commissioners, have acknowledged collective responsibility for more than 20 major crimes"

It appears in the last paragraph of that page that the witness is one of two Commissioners.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Bizos, the term: "collective responsibility".


ADV DE JAGER: I think in TRC terms, I donít think Iíll be wrong in saying it is the kind of responsibility that for instance Mr Mbeki would accept and say: "I donít know what they did, but I am prepared to accept they acted as ANC members". And the kind of responsibility I think General Viljoen talked about, he said: "Iíve given some orders, I donít know whether theyíve killed anybody or whether they didnít kill anybody but I accept, Iíve been the chief and I accept responsibility for what my soldiers did". I donít know, the term: "collective responsibility", and that was the kind of thing that was ruled that we canít give amnesty for. As far as I know that was the sense in which the word became used in the TRC proceedings. It may have another meaning in that letter, I donít know.

MR BIZOS: May I respond Mr Chairman, before continuing with the argument? With due respect to the member of the Committee, Mr Chairman, yes, I accept that that was the meaning of "collective responsibility" in the sense used by Mr Mbeki and General Viljoen, but then Mr Mbeki said: "I was a member of an organisation that had a policy of violence, which ordered its cadres to go out and damage property and shoot policemen or do this that or the other. I donít know precisely what they did, but because I gave those orders I take, together with my other political colleagues, collective responsibility. That is what collective responsibility means, that I gave orders which in law were unlawful and I apply for amnesty because I gave the orders, and the people, I take responsibility for their actions.

Similarly with General Viljoen. He says that:

"I thought that the 1994 elections should be stopped and I gave orders to my supporters to use violence for the purposes of stopping the election. I take collective responsibility for those acts".

Here we have a witness who says: "I gave no such orders". If he gave no such orders he has no responsibility collective or otherwise, to take on behalf of anybody. But the relevance of this letter Mr Chairman is this, that the letter says that the two Commissioners are Generals van der Merwe and General Coetzee, the witness. They take collective responsibility for the acts of their subordinates. Two of the acts that are specifically mentioned in the newspaper report, and Iím assuming to that extent the newspaper report is correct, are the PEBCO 3 and the Goniwe matter. They both occurred in the first half of 1985 when the witness was Commissioner of Police, for which he is on record as having said through his attorney, if the newspaper report is correct, that he is prepared to take collective responsibility.

I submit that there is no substance whatsoever Mr Chairman, in my learned friendís submission that this is not relevant.

CHAIRPERSON: Heís taking collective responsibility for the bombing of Khotso House and Cosatu House long after he had left the police force.

MR BIZOS: No, no, no, but maybe the letter Mr Chairman, and this is why I want to say we know that one of the Commissioners actually was involved in Khotso House, General van der Merwe, so it was only right that he should take collective responsibility in relation to that. This is why I want to have the letter in order to ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: To see what their attorney wrote on their behalf while he was negotiating, thatís what you want to see. A letter written by their attorney on their behalf negotiating, trying to seek information. Is that what you want Mr Bizos?

MR BIZOS: Let me concede that that is a correct ..(inaudible). What rule of law, what rule of law Mr Chairman, in a statute in which, except in very specific instances, says when matters not be made public, on what basis does that become privileged in any way, Mr Chairman?

CHAIRPERSON: Arenít your letters from your attorney privileged, attorneyís letters written on their clientís behalf?

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, to what effect? What is it Mr Chairman, what is it in relation to ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Well I canít see what you want to get from these letters except to waste another half hour.

MR BIZOS: No, with the greatest respect Mr Chairman, if this letter means, is correctly summarised, this witness may be shown on the letter to have personal knowledge ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: So can I look at the letter and if it doesnít do that I am going to dismiss your application?

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, Iíve already ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Give me the letter please.

MR BIZOS: I have already indicated Mr Chairman, that I have no objection to you seeing the letter but Mr Chairman, may I just say before you actually decide, before you actually decide whether to dismiss my application or not, that I make the principle upon which I say no privilege exists in this? May I complete that submission, Mr Chairman?

CHAIRPERSON: Carry on Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: Yes. That there is no basis Mr Chairman, of any sort of privilege writing to a statutory body asking them whether they are prepared to guarantee that they will get amnesty before they apply. There is no basis for any form of privilege Mr Chairman. And any attempt to equate it to negotiations in civil proceedings is completely, I submit, outside the principle upon which privilege is being played.

ADV DE JAGER: I havenít seen the letter yet, but could I enquire from you, are there portions of the letter that may be revealed?

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, itís a difficult question. To answer, youíve already seen the press reports, that contains the major portion of the letter as it is.

CHAIRPERSON: And this press report in my view, is completely misleading.

MR VISSER: It is misleading, yes of course. I was coming to that Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Shouldnít one, rather than waste time here, indicate to Mr Bizos, or perhaps I can read one sentence to him about collective responsibility. It says:

"Who in certain cases and where applicable will accept collective responsibility"

It is not a general statement as would appear from the press. And there is also no mention of the other matters that Mr Bizos has been cross-examining about, as far as I can see.

MR BIZOS: Do I understand that ...[inaudible] from my learned friend that Pebco and Goniwe are not mentioned in the letter, Mr Chairman?

MR VISSER: Goniwe is not mentioned in this letter.

CHAIRPERSON: Goniwe is not mentioned.

MR VISSER: Pebco is.

MR BIZOS: I see.

CHAIRPERSON: And the bombings are not mentioned, of the Schoon family and the ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, my learned friend - Mr Chairman, with respect, may with respect want to reconsider his position about not wanting me to see this letter. Itís probably in the files of the newspapers Mr Chairman, and if I really want to pursue the matter I can get it from there. Itís become fairly general knowledge that there were these attempts. If he is prepared Mr Chairman, to place it before the Committee, could he be given an opportunity to consider that his case may be better served if he makes the letter available to me and I will return it, and then we can consider whether if in fact there is nothing for General Coetzee to answer to, then we will not ask it Mr Chairman. If there is then itís in the interests of justice that we should be allowed to do so. It will be in the Generalís interest, with due respect, to explain if there is anything cloudy in it rather than leaving it in relation to a matter of considerable public importance, that there is a document which we are being frustrated in having access to when it is in the files of newspaper people and reporters and where substantial portions ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Isnít that merely an assumption Mr Bizos? Could it just as well not have been leaked over a telephone to a reporter?

MR BIZOS: Well itís a theoretical possibility Mr Chairman, but there are certain instructions that Iím receiving Mr Chairman, in relation to this letter, which I want to confirm, that the letter was in fact put in as an annexure at a hearing, in a full amnesty hearing ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, my learned friend is totally misinformed and his attorney ...[indistinct] good.

MR BIZOS: Well we say that this is the information that we have, before our learned friend judges us too harshly Mr Chairman. But perhaps we should be given an opportunity to investigate the matter. And there isnít only this Mr Chairman, there is another matter which came to my attention a short while ago in relation to the specific facts to which this witness has given evidence of some importance on which I am told there was evidence before the Commission in another matter to contradict him, and we would like to trace that Mr Chairman. So it is a matter of some importance. I wouldnít like to identify it at this stage. So unhappily for that reason, irrespective of the letter, we are unable to conclude our cross-examination of the General.

We would ask for leave that he stands down until we have verified these matters so that we can cross-examine him one, and possibly if in fact this letter was made, as we are informed, was made public in another hearing then there is no substantial reason why we should be deprived of it here Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, in the meantime Iíve reconsidered my learned friendís offer and I decline. We would go along on your judgement on what that letter says and compare it to the newspapers reports. May I just make it absolutely clear that my learned friend was incorrect in suggesting to this Committee that General Coetzee made mention or referred to that letter, he never referred to that letter in his evidence because that was the basis in the first place upon which my learned friend brought his application.

I donít want to go into the background Mr Chairman, what happened here was yesterday during lunch time. Apparently the attorney of Mr Bizos approached my attorney and said: "I understand that youíve got some letters dealing with extradition as I understand it". He said: "Yes, sure". She said: "Can I see them"? He said: "Sure have a look at them". He gave them to - and then Mr Chairman, this thing developed: "We want to see the other letter, the letter which is referred to in the newspaper". When I came in Mr Chairman, I didnít have an inkling of what had happened because nobody had told me and that is why I was quite flabbergasted. But having seen the letter Mr Chairman, you can judge for yourself.

ADV DE JAGER: I havenít seen the letter Mr Visser, but Iíd like - before a decision is made on this matter, Iíd like it to be fully argued with authority as to whether itís relevant and in which circumstances a document could be a document that should be given to other parties, like a discovery order, when is it relevant, when is it not relevant.

Iím not in a position to make a decision here. I havenít seen that, I havenít heard full argument. Iíd like to hear full argument on this before a decision could be made in the light of all the circumstances pertaining to this letter.

CHAIRPERSON: It seems to me that we cannot on that basis - my colleague is undoubtedly entitled to read the letter, both are, and to hear any further argument they may thing is necessary.

At this stage I do not propose to make any direction. I have told Mr Bizos what - I should however say that the letter does refer to explosions in various places, not to letter bombs or things of that nature. I propose that we will return to you and if you have a copy made, my colleagues can read it during the adjournment and you may wish to consider whether there are certain portions. I can understand and I think you are quite right in that it is wrong that the names of various people who are not party to these proceedings should be disclosed. There may be other portions which you could disclose to Mr Bizos and which may render the whole of these proceedings unnecessary.

MR VISSER: We will look into that tonight Mr Chairman. I propose we adjourn this now until tomorrow morning and we continue ...[intervention]

MS PATEL: Honourable Chairperson, itís Miss Patel speaking. Before we adjourn, regarding your query earlier on regarding Captain Pretorius and whether heíd been mentioned anywhere else in McPhersonís application in fact heís not been.

CHAIRPERSON: Heís not been?

MS PATEL: No, that is the only portion where he has been mentioned.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, Mr Bizos, have you got any other questions for this witness?

MR BIZOS: Not at this stage Mr Chairman, but there are questions on another topic on which I have been informed evidence was given in other proceedings ...[intervention]


CHAIRPERSON: Oh, this is you want to enquire ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: I want to enquire in relation. We may not be ready to do that checking before tomorrow morning Mr Chairman. It may be, it may be Mr Chairman, and I donít know what General Coetzeeís position is, that we most certainly will have the information by Monday. I donít know whether it will suit the General and my learned friendís.

If we are unable to get the information I will not be able to confirm the information, I will not be able to finish him tomorrow. If he wants to go away and come back on Monday or - Iím almost certain we cannot get the record of the proceedings or a copy of it. We may, my attorney says that we may get it. I donít know if the copies of this record are in the Commissionís office in Pretoria or in Johannesburg.

MR VISSER: Yes, but Mr Chairman, ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: Maybe we could be helpful. Iíve got a few records with me, so maybe if you could ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Actually itís easier than I thought. Iím an old fashioned practitioner. I have just been informed that itís probably on the website, which my attorney knows more about than I do and if that be the case then we will be able to confirm it this evening Mr Chairman. So letís adjourn until tomorrow with the prospect of modern technology to be able to finish with General Coetzee.

MR VISSER: If my learned friend could tell us which amnesty application that would also facilitate. We might be able to help him with the record.

MR BIZOS: I am instructed and I agree with the instruction given to me, that we would like to rely on our own resources ...[intervention[]

CHAIRPERSON: Does this so you can surprise the General tomorrow morning?

MR BIZOS: No, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Then what is it? They may want to go and look it up themselves too.


CHAIRPERSON: Well they donít want to be in the position that you start cross-examining on something tomorrow and that youíve looked at on the website and they havenít had a chance to confirm themselves.

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, I make no apologies for saying that surprise is a useful weapon in cross-examination. And itís perfectly permissible in the way I understand our practice. If we do identify and if our information is correct, we will make a copy of the record for our learned ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: The procedure of this forum was that there should be pre-trial hearings three weeks before, where parties should disclose what documents they intend to rely on. That is three weeks before the hearing Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, I have ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: But you are not prepared to give 12 hours.

MR BIZOS: No, no, I am Mr Chairman. I have informed you Mr Chairman that this information has been given to us whilst I have been sitting here.

CHAIRPERSON: Weíre just asking you now the name of the proceedings.

MR BIZOS: Yes, Mr Chairman. Very well, if itís so important. I am informed that in the Doctor Ribeiro hearing, the amnesty application, the applicants indicated that they got their authority from General Coetzee Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Then ask him now, here he is.

MR BIZOS: No, I want to see what they said Mr Chairman, before I cross-examine. But Iíve been guided by Your Lordshipís advice that I should disclose it. I have disclosed it.


MR BIZOS: I am not prepared to cross-examine in blind. If there if evidence I want the evidence before me Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: Is that in the Hechter application? Because that record Iíve got with me, so I could assist you with that.

MR BIZOS: Well that would be very useful, thank you very much Sir.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, thereís just one other matter which my learned could help us to clarify. During his cross-examination yesterday I believe it was, my learned friend commenced, started putting a question to General Coetzee referring to a Captain Louis Koekemoer and I donít know whether it was inadvertent or not but the question was never completed. So we are left in the dark as to what precisely the point was about Captain Louis Koekemoer.

Perhaps my learned friend could enlighten us so we know what that was about. It dealt with the allegation of a firearm, a silenced firearm in a case, it was of the evidence. My learned friend started off by saying: "Do you know a Captain Louis Koekemoer"? And then he went on, and weíre a little bit confused as to how this ties in with whatever point my learned friend was putting.

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, I asked him if - my learned friendís record is correct as to whether Mr Koekemoer was his staff officer and his answer was: "One of the staff officers". Yes, that was the question and that was the answer.

MR VISSER: Thank you Mr Chairman.

MR LEVINE: Just on a point of order, could the newspaper exhibits be given an exhibit number?




CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible]

MS PATEL: Honourable Chairperson, ...[inaudible]

MR PENZHORN: Mr Chairman, I will - I think at the conclusion of Mr Bizosí questioning Iíve got just a few questions which I will put at that stage.

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible]

MS PATEL: Well it doesnít really matter, I can wait if you so wish.

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible]

MS PATEL: Alright, thank you Honourable Chairperson.

General, thereís just one minor point that I seek clarity on and that is this: In your application youíve stated part of your political motivation was to preserve a particular way of life and that you viewed communism as a threat to that way of life. Is that generally correct?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, Madam.

MS PATEL: Alright. The British Government, did you see in your view, did you at that perceive them to be a communist orientated ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: No, not at all.

MS PATEL: Alright. So then that would be the basis I would suppose for reservations in terms of choosing the ANC offices in London as a target, given the repercussions, the diplomatic repercussions that that would have had if you were caught out?

GEN COETZEE: I said in my application Madam, that the primary object of this exercise was directed at against the African

National Congress. The secondary one a bonus I said, it was a

bonus to demonstrate to the British Government that they

shouldnít give sanctuary to terrorist organisations.


GEN COETZEE: But the main thrust, the primary one was to get at the ANC.

MS PATEL: Given your secondary motivation, would it be then correct to state that this was one of the reasons that the instructions that were given to the persons involved in the operations was clear in terms of no person having to be injured or killed?

GEN COETZEE: British subjects more in particular, yes, Madam.

MS PATEL: So are you saying that if an ANC person was killed or was injured by the way, that wouldnít necessarily have affected your instructions to them?

GEN COETZEE: No, Madam, the instructions were quite clear that no persons were to be killed. Even - you referred Madam, to the diplomatic repercussions, even if ANC personnel were killed on that occasion, the implications would have been much worse. So there were not instructions that if the one, the British subjects should not be killed but you may kill ANC personnel. There was no such distinction.

MS PATEL: Alright. In Mr Williamsonís application at page 5, he stated in response to the question whether anybody was in fact killed or injured, he states quite clearly that no persons, no injuries or deaths resulted as a result of this operation. You however in your application have stated in response to that very same question: "unknown". Can I infer from that then that you were never informed after the operation whether anybody was in fact injured or killed?

GEN COETZEE: No, I was informed that no-one was killed ...[intervention]

MS PATEL: And injured?

GEN COETZEE: Or injured. But if you work with explosives in public thereís always, even if itís the slightest possibility, that someone may have been injured. I really donít know, it could transpire afterwards, the British Police could have discovered that there was a person injured. I said: "unknown to me", to me personally except for a report.

MS PATEL: But given the clear nature of the instructions you would have expected the operatives to ensure that those instructions were carried out meticulously, not so?


MS PATEL: My instructions then Sir, from the Scotland Yard in London, is that in fact the caretaker of the building, a certain Mr Mbatha was in fact injured during this operation.

GEN COETZEE: I donít know about that, it is the first time that I hear about it. It was not reported to me at the time, I didnít see it in newspapers at all and that is why I said that if you work with explosives in public there was always a chance, the slightest chance perhaps, that someone could be injured.

MS PATEL: Just finally then to state that one would have expected them to ensure that even the caretaker or somebody who was there permanently would not be injured and to place the bomb perhaps in a part of the building where the chances of anybody being injured were less than in other parts of the building.

GEN COETZEE: I understood, I may be wrong Madam, I understood that the explosive device was placed outside the building. This is what I understood from - it wasnít placed anywhere in the building.

MS PATEL: If you would give me a moment please. I beg to differ with you Sir, the explosive device was in fact placed inside the building.

GEN COETZEE: My - the report back to me Madam, was that the explosive device was placed outside the building, and not, they could not gain entry or they did not attempt to gain entry into the building at all. That was my report back to me.

MS PATEL: Alright, I accept that then. Unfortunately my instructions were incorrect. Finally Sir, just something that I find curious. Given the possible diplomatic repercussions of this operation, it would be highly probable that at least your Department of Foreign Affairs was informed about this operation so should anything happen they would be fully apprised of has happened and be prepared for any eventuality that may arise as a result of this?

GEN COETZEE: Iíve said Mr Chairman, that I donít know who my Minister informed, I was never told.

MS PATEL: The question Sir, is ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: I may be of the opinion and that is an opinion, that he should have done that, that that was - I may even be of opinion that it was logical that he should do it but I have no personal knowledge. I was not informed of what steps he took except to instruct me and to say, and the words Iíve quoted in Afrikaans: "Die Regering het so besluit". It may be him by himself I said that gave that instruction and then he would have taken all the blame or he would have consulted whoever he wanted to consult, which would then answer your question.

CHAIRPERSON: My recollection from evidence led in another matter was that the Minister of Foreign Affairs felt very strongly about acts of violence being committed and would oppose them at any chance he got, so the practise was that he wasnít always told what was going to happen.

MS PATEL: Alright. Thank you, Iím indebted to you. That is the end of my questioning.


MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, Visser on record. Another tentacle has now been added and I must through the Chair, if youíll permit me just to ask Mr Chairman, will there be some sort of proof of the injuries of this person? Is anybody going to come and give evidence that the explosive device was placed inside the building? These questions were just put hanging in the air and frankly we donít know whether there will be such

evidence. Perhaps my learned friend can just tell us.

MS PATEL: Iím sorry, would you repeat that?

MR VISSER: An allegation has been made that a certain Mr Mbatha who was a night-watchman or a caretaker was injured, we would like to obtain information about that, medical reports etc., etc., to these injuries and how serious they were, and who is going to come and say that the bomb was placed inside the building? We would just like to know where the instructions come from.

MS PATEL: Regarding the question of Mr Mbatha, my instructions were verbal. I donít have any written documentation to support that and that is why I placed specifically that my instructions were verbal from Scotland Yard. So there is no evidence that I am able to present because Scotland Yard is also not willing to part with the documentary evidence that they have in that regard.

Secondly, regarding the question of the placing of the bomb inside as opposed to outside, I did withdraw that.

MR VISSER: Oh well, seeing that the Scotland Yard agent is here within the jurisdiction of this Committee, Mr Chairman, perhaps weíll ask for him to be subpoenaed to give the evidence about the injuries, weíll think about that.

CHAIRPERSON: It appears that certain of the applicants are going to be giving evidence of exactly where they placed the bomb. If you look at page 161 of Volume 3 you will see that it was placed, on this evidence:

"We found an old ...[indistinct] placed the bag in a black refuge bag and placed it against the wall. We found an old broken chair lying there and placed it over the bag disguising it further"

It would appear it was outside in the yard.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, Mr Chairman, and Mr de Kock says exactly the same on page 220.

CHAIRPERSON: No other questions? I have one or two and I donít know whether the other members of the Committee have.

Youíve told us that you had an explosives department in your building and that you used to visit these people from time to time.

GEN COETZEE: Yes, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: And was Mr Raven one of them?

GEN COETZEE: The experts were trained Sir, as Iíve described - no, the experts were trained and they in turn trained other experts. Now whether Mr Raven, as far as Iím concerned, was attached to the experts trained by the Chief Inspector of Explosives.

CHAIRPERSON: Was he working in your building?


CHAIRPERSON: He was one of the people you would see from time to time?


CHAIRPERSON: Because it would appear from his evidence that he was asked by Mr Craig Williamson to help with preparing a bomb.

GEN COETZEE: Yes, Sir, quite correct Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: And then he was later asked to prepare two letter bombs.

GEN COETZEE: That I didnít know about but, I didnít know about that Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: So it would appear there was common knowledge that Mr Williamson could go around asking other people working in the building there to do things for him and they did.

GEN COETZEE: Well itís well-known Sir, that in the building there were explosive experts. It was well-known that experts or prospective experts from throughout the country came to that explosive, that department to be trained to become explosive experts.

CHAIRPERSON: And you visited it and spoke to them all from time to time?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, Sir. When they graduated I sometimes spoke to them and I told them what their job was.

CHAIRPERSON: And the people working there whoíd prepared letter bombs would probably tell you about them?

GEN COETZEE: No, Sir, what happened is that the prepared all kinds of explosive devices and they showed me to defuse them. They had all the Russian limpet mines, mines and all that type of equipment there and their job was to acquaint themselves completely with every type of explosive device that was available in the world.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but here Mr Craig Williamson approaches them and says: "Make me two letter bombs", and he says: "Yes, yes, certainly", and he does so.

GEN COETZEE: Well he must answer that Sir. I didnít approach him, I didnít ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: No, but he would have known, Mr Craig Williamson would have known that you were a visitor to that part of the building, you used to come and chat to people from time to time.

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, they were not hidden behind a wall, it was well-known this is the explosives expert office. There was a chief there ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: We havenít heard his evidence yet but it would appear from what he said, that there was no effort of concealment.

GEN COETZEE: Thatís right Sir, everyone knew where they were.

ADV DE JAGER: General, can I just get some clarity on something? Can I ask you in Afrikaans because the words that were used were used in Afrikaans.

GEN COETZEE: Certainly Mr Commissioner.

ADV DE JAGER: You testified that you never gave an instruction that people had to be killed?

GEN COETZEE: That is correct.

ADV DE JAGER: There is evidence before us and documents before us and I think in this matter a document was put before us which mentions that a person had to be permanently removed, he had to be eliminated.

GEN COETZEE: That is correct.

ADV DE JAGER: For the ordinary person such as I who does not know these terms and you come and tell me that I have to eliminate a person in this situation in which we lived in at that time I put it to you that a normal person would have understood: "Kill".

GEN COETZEE: That is quite possible, you are correct. That is how I put it in my testimony before the TRC.

ADV DE JAGER: And if would have the same meaning if you said: "Remove a person"?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, similarly it would have the same meaning.

ADV DE JAGER: General, these documents existed, it was part of the State Security Councilís minutes, these words appeared there.

GEN COETZEE: That is correct.

ADV DE JAGER: Now if those words are tangible for the meaning that I attach to it, why was it not seen to that such words were not used?

GEN COETZEE: Mr Commissioner, the position is as I have testified before the TRC, in incidents where the, I was sent to comment on this, that each of these incidents which you have mentioned where those words appear, there were annexures. I have some of them here where I offer a qualification where the word indeed concerning the different departments, as to what it means. In the case of the South African Army for example, it was said that with eliminate was meant follow-up actions etc.

And in the case of the police they had to be arrested. That is what is meant. When I say here there was an unfortunate use of word here and a possibility thereof, myself Mr Commissioner was not responsible for the choice of the words used by the Secretariat. I never had a hand in there. That is why I said those words in the structure of the State Security Councilís Management System spiraled down and in this process people who saw these documents could become or be under the impression that they could do anything. That is what I meant.

ADV DE JAGER: And you realised at that time ...[no English translation]

GEN COETZEE: I also testified that I never had access to the complete minutes of the State Security Council. The custom and procedure was that only those sections which were of application to your department would come back to you and the rest would be taken out. So I was only left with a departmental order. The original document could have moved from the Secretarial of the State Security Council down the channels and there were also police officers acting there.

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible] no more questions at the present time. Iím afraid weíll have to ask you to be back here - wait a moment. What about tomorrow as against Monday? I donít particularly want to ask you to come back here tomorrow to be here for five minutes and then to go away again and come back again on Monday.

GEN COETZEE: In any event Sir, I will be available tomorrow, if Iím not needed then Iíll leave and come back on Monday.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you sure thatís alright with you?

GEN COETZEE: Thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Well weíll see what we can do about these papers that ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Do I understand that the General will not come tomorrow.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, he will be here.

MR BIZOS: He will be here.

CHAIRPERSON: And my colleague has said that he has those papers and he came make them available to you tomorrow morning.

MR BIZOS: Iím already informed that they have been identified on the website and are in my attorneyís office in Johannesburg.

CHAIRPERSON: But youíll also have the documents here tomorrow, a copy of them?

MR BIZOS: Iíll try Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Which is perhaps more useful for the rest of us than the website.

MR BIZOS: Well ...[inaudible] to look at it on the website.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, weíll now adjourn till 9 oíclock tomorrow morning.