CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible] start. I gather an explanation has already been given to those present, that the delay today is due to obtaining certain information and was not as a result of any action by the Committee itself.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, Visser on record. May I be allowed to report back on the issue of the letter of yesterday. Indeed what we did Mr Chairman, is we removed the portions from the letter, we've blocked out that which may incriminate people perhaps innocently and we placed it before you. We have given my learned friend, Mr Bizos the letter yesterday afternoon. I suppose it will be marked Exhibit H, Mr Chairman. It's before you. Thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Bizos, do you agree with that?

MR BIZOS: Yes, I agree with it.

CHAIRPERSON: I gather there's no need to take any further action in that regard?

MR BIZOS: That is so. I'm indebted to my learned friend for agreeing to the compromise solution. I accept Mr Chairman, that the blanks will refer to names and incidents but in the absence of information in the letter identifying a particular prospective applicant with any particular incident, it would have been of no use to us in addressing any meaningful questions to the witness, and we therefore allow the matter to rest there, Mr Chairman.


MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, we are indebted to the Committee for giving us an opportunity to eventually trace the evidence of Mr J H Cronje in another application. We are only going to put in three pages of a lengthy record because we believe for our purposes those are the only relevant pages. There are in fact four Mr Chairman, I'm sorry. We have made copies available and have placed them before you, pages 461 to page 464. Page 461 to the middle of page 462 is only there for background information.

We have noticed in the record Mr Chairman, that the Chairman, you Judge Wilson, actually was part of the Committee in this application if we read the record correctly, as was the member of the Committee, Advocate de Jager. So we will just very briefly indicate that this was an application for amnesty, among others the death of Doctor and Mrs Ribeiro in Pretoria, Mr Chairman.

The evidence that we are going to examine General Coetzee on is on page 462. We made copies available and I am informed Mr Chairman, that General Coetzee has had an opportunity of reading the extract because that is what he is going to be examined on.

I don't know whether you and the Members of the Committee, Mr Chairman, have had an opportunity during the short period available since they were handed to you to read them or not. It may expedite matters if you have but if you haven't then I will read it out Mr Chairman.

MR LEVINE: Mr Chairman, I don't want to lengthen matters but I don't think that we all have copies.

MR BIZOS: Well Mr Chairman, here is a copy for Mr Levine. We apologise for, we didn't know that he would have particular interest in it but obviously his client is involved and we have now handed him a copy, Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, if I may. I would be foregoing my duty unless I yet again with monotonous irregularity point out Mr Chairman, that where my learned friend refers to relevant pages, we again say there's nothing relevant about this evidence to the present hearing. My learned friend is not opposing the application of General Coetzee, he has no locus standi to do that and I just want to place it on record yet again Mr Chairman, and I leave it in your discretion.

CHAIRPERSON: Let's continue and get finished with this Mr Visser, we've waited two hours this morning for this.

MR VISSER: Could we give it a ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Shall we give it a number. Do we follow the traditional thing of not using I but going onto J?


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BIZOS: (continued) General Coetzee, was Mr Cronje on your staff at the time of the Doctor Ribeiro death? Was he in the Security Police?

GEN COETZEE: The Security Police stationed in Pretoria Sir.

MR BIZOS: In Pretoria. And it was during your stewardship as Commissioner?

GEN COETZEE: I was a Commissioner of Police just before my retirement.

MR BIZOS: Yes. And Paul van Vuuren, was he a member of the Security Police?

GEN COETZEE: No, I cannot remember. I know Brigadier Cronje, I know him well.

MR BIZOS: Yes. And Jacques Hechter?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, I know him.

MR BIZOS: A member of the Security Police?


MR BIZOS: Yes. Now we know that the murder took place on the - it's given here, if you'll bear with me Mr Chairman. Yes, we'll give the precise date but it was in '86. Now after the death, says Mr Cronje at page 462:

"I heard from Captain Hechter that two black Angolan men had been flown in by Special Forces from somewhere in the then South West Africa, that these two Angolan men had shot Doctor Ribeiro and his wife. Subsequently I also had been informed or heard that Brigadier Basie Smit of the Detective Branch, and that he had determined that Noel Robie's vehicle, which I must mention was registered in Noel Robie's name although it was a SADF vehicle, that Noel Robie had picked up the black Angolan man from somewhere after they shot the Ribeiros and that he removed them from the scene of the crime. Basie Smit I believe had determined from Leyland who manufactures the Landrover, that this particular vehicle was in fact sold to the SADF. After I had heard this, General Joubert of Special Forces phoned me and requested me that Captain Hechter and myself would attend a meeting at their headquarters. At this meeting the following person were present: General Joubert" ...[intervention]

Do you know him, or the Army?

GEN COETZEE: I've met him at the Armed Forces Hearing of the TRC. I may have met him once or twice before.


"Colonel Joe Verster"

GEN COETZEE: I don't know him at all Sir.

MR BIZOS: Not at all?



"Commandant Charl Naude"

GEN COETZEE: No, I don't know him personally.


"Lieutenant Colonel Charl Naude"

GEN COETZEE: Isn't it perhaps the same names?

MR BIZOS: Do you know them?

GEN COETZEE: I don't know that Sir.

MR BIZOS: You don't know.

"General Joubert informed me that Basie Smit had determined that the Landrover did belong to the SADF and that Noel Robie was in fact in command of the vehicle and had driven the vehicle"

Now you as Commissioner, had you appointed Basie Smit as an investigating officer?

GEN COETZEE: Not at all Sir.

MR BIZOS: Who had done that?

GEN COETZEE: He was working - I think the Chief of the CID at that stage was General Conradie who must have appointed him if he was appointed. I know that he has written, after this appeared in the press, a letter or an affidavit to the Commission to say that he knows nothing about this at all.

MR BIZOS: Well let me ask you this. You as Commissioner, if it came to your notice that one of the policemen under your command, even of the rank of Mr Basie Smit, went and disclosed to another person whose, to another General whose men were suspect of a murder and informed him of what evidence was available, what steps would you have taken?

GEN COETZEE: I would have investigated the matter Sir. I would have investigated this allegation.

MR BIZOS: And if you found it to be true?

GEN COETZEE: Then I would have taken steps, either in the courts of the law or departmentally.

MR BIZOS: Would it have been completely improper to apprise any suspect or their superiors of the evidence available that may connect them with the crime of murder?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, Sir, He denies it but if assuming that he did it, it was wrong.


"He requested me not to assist Basie Smit's investigation and in fact to ruin it in one way or another and I told him that I would do whatever I could in this regard. The following evening I received a message at home from Brigadier Schoon, that the Commissioner, General Johan Coetzee would be visiting me the next morning or that he wanted to see me the next morning"

Do you admit or deny that?

GEN COETZEE: No, it's quite possible that I've asked that he should come and see me.

MR BIZOS: Right. He says why you wanted to come and see him.

"Early the next morning before I was able to get to head office, Captain Hechter phoned me and informed me that General Joubert had visited General Coetzee the previous evening and that the matter was discussed at meeting"

Did General Joubert ever visit you at your home shortly after the Ribeiro death?

GEN COETZEE: No, not at all Sir. General Gleeson, Ian Gleeson of the Army, he may have been accompanied by others but he was the man that approached me in my office.

MR BIZOS: In connection with the Ribeiro killing?

GEN COETZEE: Quite correct Sir.

MR BIZOS: Now, well we'll just get your version before we get down to the probabilities of the matter, General. "Subsequently I went to Brigadier Schoon who took me along to General Coetzee's office"

Did he come to your office?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, he came to - I summoned him.

MR BIZOS: You summoned him? Why did you summon him?

GEN COETZEE: Because of the allegations Sir, that the police had co-operated with the army in operations, which was forbidden by my instructions.

MR BIZOS: So did he -

"General Coetzee asked me whether I knew about the Ribeiro matter. I told him that I did and I also told him that this was an operation of Special Forces"

Is that true?

GEN COETZEE: No, I deny that Sir. He asked me whether I know anything about Ribeiro, anything whatsoever. That is what I asked him and he said he was part of a venture to give information to the army and which was quite normal. That is what he told me.

MR BIZOS: What - information in relation to whom?

GEN COETZEE: To Mr Ribeiro.

MR BIZOS: To Doctor Ribeiro?

GEN COETZEE: Doctor Ribeiro.

MR BIZOS: Yes. And why did the army require information about Doctor Ribeiro?

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, it was absolutely normal procedure that, and it was instructions from the government that information should be shared amongst all the Security Services. At that stage Sir, the army was deployed in the townships in support of the police in combating riots and unrest. If they wanted information, that was their right. Who the leading people were, what organisations were involved and so on. I would not have objected to that, that was normal.

MR BIZOS: Did you ask him how long before Doctor Ribeiro’s murder he was asked by the Special Forces to give information to them about Doctor Ribeiro?

GEN COETZEE: No, I didn't cross-question him Sir.

MR BIZOS: No, the cross-questioning is one thing, the question is, did you ask him?

GEN COETZEE: I didn't ask him Sir.

MR BIZOS: Why not?

GEN COETZEE: He told me that he was requested for information about the activists in connection with the unrest, that he had consulted with Brigadier Schoon about it, who had said: "Well you're entitled, this the arrangement", and that was that.

MR BIZOS: How long before - I beg your pardon, how long after the death of Doctor Ribeiro, which you came to know about from newspapers and others, did this visit by Cronje in your office occur?

GEN COETZEE: A few days Sir.

MR BIZOS: A few days. Now did it occur to you that if the Special Forces wanted information, that they may have orchestrated or executed the murder of Doctor Ribeiro?

GEN COETZEE: No, not at all Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Why not?

GEN COETZEE: Because when General Gleeson came to see me, which before the visit of Brigadier Cronje to my office, he never intimated to me at all about their involvement at all in the murder or a murder plot at all. He was complaining about the fact that the Defence Force's name was continuously mentioned for three days in the press about an agent of theirs who was supposed to be involved. That was his complaint Sir.

MR BIZOS: There was information that the Special Forces of the Army were involved. One of the senior officers in the Security Police says to you that he gave information to the army, was General Joubert the head of the Special Forces by the way?

GEN COETZEE: I don't know Sir.

MR BIZOS: Did you ask?

GEN COETZEE: What I've heard was afterwards at the TRC meeting about the armed forces. Many of these things were discussed and cleared out there, what their planning was and what their situation was and which I must say does not tally at all with what is said here.

MR BIZOS: Now we know that Mr Cronje applied for amnesty for 40 murders including the Ribeiro murder, that he was involved in it. You as Commissioner, you will tell us you knew nothing about any of the activities of Mr Cronje?

GEN COETZEE: About the 40 murders?

MR BIZOS: About the illegal activities, the murders that Mr Cronje committed of such a frightening number.

GEN COETZEE: I'm not aware of, I'm aware of this one incident Sir, that I've read about in the press. I haven't read his application about the other matters. I may mention Sir, that there was one that I'm also aware of and that is the case of a Mr Ntuli somewhere, and that was completely, completely, this man should have been supported. So whoever decided that went completely against my instructions and my, but the fact is here Sir, it was never said to me that there was complicity in a murder, it was said that information was in the normal course conveyed to the South African Defence Force, as was the arrangement.

MR BIZOS: But now this proximity of Special Forces alleged to have killed Doctor Ribeiro and his wife, allegations that they did it and the person that gave them information is in your office, what reason if any did he have to mislead you?

GEN COETZEE: But never ever Sir, did a senior police officer come to my office - and he wasn't there on his own Sir, he was in the company of other police officers, the present, and he said to me: "All that I did General, all that I know of this affair that is in the ordinary course of events, not only Doctor Ribeiro’s name, a list of names of people and I think organisations involved in this unrest was furnished to the army". This is what he told me.

MR BIZOS: Let us have a look what he told the Amnesty Committee, at line 27.


That is you.

"Then informed me that General Joubert and General Gleeson the previous evening had visited them at home with regard to the Ribeiro or the Ribeiro death"

Did you tell him that?

GEN COETZEE: No, I told him that at office - in that self same Commissioner's office, General Gleeson had come to see me and expressed his concern about the allegations in the press that the South African Defence Force was involved.

I must add Mr Chairman, that at that stage the press had already searched for and unearthed, if I may use that word, this Mr Robie and there were allegations in the press that he was working for the South African Defence Force and that he was an ex-Rhodesian Special Force person. That was the concern of General Gleeson that came to see me, not to interfere at all about the investigation.

MR BIZOS: Right. Can you advance any reason why Mr Cronje should falsely implicate you as to having said what he says you've said?

GEN COETZEE: All that I can say Sir, is that his memory, he must have a background knowledge and he must think. He may be absolutely convinced in his own mind that he explained certain matters to me, whereas in front of other police officers who can be called as witnesses, all that he said to me: "All that I did, after I'd cleared it out in the normal course of events with my Commander, my superior, I've given a name list of people to Special Forces", or to the army, not even Special Forces, to the army. Which was a normal position.

MR BIZOS: Well that's what you say, let's hear what he says.

"He then asked my why I was co-operating with the SADF, and I told him that Brigadier Schoon had given me instructions to co-operated with the Special Forces and that Schoon had in fact claimed that General Coetzee had given him this instruction and Brigadier Schoon did not deny that he had done so"

What do you say to that? First of all it's in two parts, could I just split it up please?


MR BIZOS: Do you say that the first part is correct or incorrect?

GEN COETZEE: I'd say ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: That you asked why he was co-operating with the SADF?

GEN COETZEE: Ja, Sir, I told him: "You, there are standing instructions which you are aware of and which Brigadier Schoon was present at this meeting inter alia, that you must under no circumstances get involved in any operation of the South African Army. All that you're entitled to do if they request it, that's in terms of agreements over very many years, you can furnish them with information". He didn't say: "But I was involved", he didn't say that at all. I did some planning ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: No. He said that he - just listen to what he says. Do you admit or deny that you asked him why he was co-operating with the SADF? Did you ask him that or not?

GEN COETZEE: Mr Bizos, you must remember that the previous evening, the evening before this happened, General Gleeson of the army came to me and he referred to press cuttings which he had with him and in which it was alleged on the front page, that the army was responsible for this and that the journalists had information about this Mr Robie. So it was there, it was there, and that was the concern and General Gleeson denied this. He said: "General, it isn't so but we're worried about this, about these allegations". All that I said is: "What did you do, how were you involved"? He said: "We gave a name list on the instructions of Brigadier Schoon".

MR BIZOS: As a result of your request? As a result of your request to Mr Cronje, he said that he Cronje gave information?

GEN COETZEE: I asked him what the police's participation with the army entailed and he said: "Only giving, furnishing as is the standard procedure, names of people and organisations involved". That is what he said.

MR BIZOS: Right.

GEN COETZEE: He didn't to me say: "Listen we were involved, I was involved, my men were involved in an assignment or a conspiracy of any nature".

CHAIRPERSON: Who told you that the police were involved?

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, no-one said that in the newspapers. In the newspapers only appeared ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: I'm not asking about the newspapers, I'm asking who told you?

GEN COETZEE: No-one ever told me that Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Well why did you summon Cronje? I thought your evidence was: "I summoned Cronje to my office because of allegations that the police had co-operated with the army against my instructions".


CHAIRPERSON: Well who told you this?

GEN COETZEE: It was told by Brigadier Schoon, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Did Brigadier Schoon come and tell you that Cronje had co-operated with the army?

GEN COETZEE: No, I phoned Cronje, Schoon Mr Chairman, the evening, that self same evening whilst General Gleeson was in my office. I phone him and I said: "Do you know" ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Who did you phone?

GEN COETZEE: I phoned Brigadier Schoon.

CHAIRPERSON: Schoon, right.

GEN COETZEE: And I asked him: "Listen, there was this occurrence there in Mamelodi, are you aware of anything of this nature? Are you aware of this murder, that there was any complicity by the police"? And he assured me not, he was not aware. I said: "Then you should please clear it out with the officer commanding the Security Branch", and I said: "You must also clear it out, if there is such a possibility, with the officer commanding, not the branch but the overall commander which was General van der Merwe". General van der Merwe phoned me afterwards and he said he does not know anything about this whole event. Subsequently, Brigadier Schoon phoned me and he said: "General, all that Cronje now says to me is that all that he knows about the whole affair is that they've given names and addresses of people and organisations to the South African Army.

CHAIRPERSON: So the answer is very simple: "Brigadier Schoon told me that Cronje had given information to the army?

GEN COETZEE: That's right Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Why can't you answer questions? I didn't ask you to tell me a long story, I asked you: "Who told you"? It was Brigadier Schoon?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, that's right Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Was Brigadier Schoon the commander of the Northern Transvaal Security Branch?

GEN COETZEE: No, of the whole country Sir. Brigadier Schoon was in charge of a desk at headquarters under which that type of ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: I'm sorry, it was a mistake on my part. Was Mr Cronje the head of the Northern Transvaal?

GEN COETZEE: That is correct Sir.

MR BIZOS: Does that include Mamelodi?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, that would include Mamelodi.

MR BIZOS: Oh, I see. Now he says, on top of page 464 in answer to your question, that he had been given instructions to co-operate with Special Forces and that Schoon had in fact claimed that General Coetzee had given him this instruction and Brigadier Schoon did not deny that he had done so. Now what do you say to that?

GEN COETZEE: No, that is completely wrong, it never happened.

MR BIZOS: It never happened.


MR BIZOS: If it is true then at the very least a couple of days after the Ribeiro murder you were being, in your presence, being accused that you had authorised the information to be given?

GEN COETZEE: I'm sorry Mr Bizos?

MR BIZOS: You, in your presence, if it's true, were told that you had authorised the information?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, Sir, but the fact is I did not and the fact is Sir, if I want to speculate it I can, I know why this misunderstanding could have happened.


GEN COETZEE: From the Armed Forces Hearing it transpired - and I do not want to place in jeopardy the application of General Joubert, that in this instance General Joubert had on the instructions of the Chief of the South African Army, developed a plan or a scheme or a strategy to do certain things which he says in a certain way he cleared out with the Chief of the Army who was General Geldenhuys at the time and who was supposed to have come and informed me about it. He was supposed to have done it.

At the Armed Forces Hearing, General Geldenhuys specifically said that he never spoke to me at all. He said that under oath. Brigadier or General Joubert again was under the impression, that's what he says, he was under the impression that the Chief of the Army had spoken to me about it. So that is where this whole misunderstanding developed Sir.

MR BIZOS: Another misunderstanding in which two - a chain of events that lead to two murders?

GEN COETZEE: That was the attitude also at the Armed Forces Hearing, Sir, and that the Chief of the Army was confronted with.


ADV DE JAGER: General, but as far as information was concerned, you in fact instructed or allowed or whatever it may be, or authorised the people to give information to the army?

GEN COETZEE: It was not a specific instruction from me Sir, that was standard usage since the day of the so-called Kobie Coetzee Conference and the Simonstown Agreement and subsequently the instructions from the government, that the departments must not everyone develop their own Intelligence Services and overlap, which was not cost effected, they must share information. So the army was entitled to come and ask, and they did it on a regular basis. This was not an isolated affair.

ADV DE JAGER: So at the top of page 464:

"Brigadier Schoon had given me instructions to co-operated with Special Forces. I don't ...[indistinct] co-operated in what sense but it was standing policy that they could or should apply, should give information"

GEN COETZEE: Yes, Sir, I do not want to elaborate again. It was the army's policy spelt out directly, that if the situation in South African deteriorated to such an extent that they had to take over, they could not do it in an intelligence vacuum, so they were entitled to all the information available for them to mount their own operations. This was going on for a long time, years as a matter of fact. So when it was reported to me Sir, - and I don't want to add on to it, "This is what we've done", it was not out of the ordinary.

MR BIZOS: I understood from what you told us had happened at the Commission Hearing, the Armed Forces Hearing, that the Head of the Army was expected to discuss the matter with you.

GEN COETZEE: That is correct Sir, the recommendation of General Joubert to him.

MR BIZOS: Yes. General Joubert suggested to General Geldenhuys - yes, that was the Head of the Army at the time thank you, to contact you about the specific information in relation to the Ribeiros?

GEN COETZEE: No, no, no, Sir.


GEN COETZEE: No, there was a whole scheme, a strategy developed by General Joubert. That's how I understood his evidence before the Armed Forces Committee, not about a specific person. A whole strategy, what the South African Army proposed to do in relation to the threat.

He went to General Geldenhuys, the Commander of the South African Defence Force and he says that he understood as a result of a conversation that he had with him, that General Geldenhuys acquiesced in this scheme and that he would inform me, that he would come and tell me about the scheme of the army, which never occurred.

And General Geldenhuys frankly says under oath at the Armed Forces Committee, that in fact he never ever spoke a word to me about this whole scheme. So I was unaware of this so-called scheme of theirs Sir.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, perhaps I might be of assistance. It turns out that incidentally I have General Joubert's amnesty application before me and there's just one paragraph that will clarify the matter so that we can all understand it. If my learned friend wants me to do it, I can read it into the record quickly.

MR BIZOS: ...[inaudible]

MR VISSER: Well it is an Exhibit before the Committee in any event Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well thank you for drawing attention to it, we will ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: It's his amnesty application Mr Chairman, paragraph 4.2.5.

CHAIRPERSON: What volume?

MR VISSER: His amnesty application, it's not before you.

CHAIRPERSON: It's not before us?

MR VISSER: It's not now before you.

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible]

MR VISSER: No, it's not. My attorney has just reminded me that this is probably privileged so I shouldn't read it.

MR BIZOS: Well my learned friend can decide whether he wants to show it to me or not. If he was prepared to read it to you, perhaps he will consider showing it to us.

Now he then goes on to say that:

"General Coetzee then took the investigation away from Basie Smit and gave it to Brigadier van Wyk. He tasked Brigadier van Wyk with the investigation"

GEN COETZEE: That is completely wrong Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: I beg your pardon?

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, may I perhaps just come in here. I know my learned friend hasn't read the whole record and in respect of this you will recall that in cross-examination - and just to be fair to Mr Bizos, in cross-examination I think Brigadier Cronje conceded in respect of questions you yourself asked Mr Chairman, as well as Mr de Jager, that that was a deduction he made. He gave this evidence and then he conceded in cross-examination that was a deduction he made. I'm just a bit apprehensive to go ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Yes, thank you. I will accept that Mr Chairman and then I will proceed.

We know now that General Basie Smit had come across a number-plate which seems to have plagued Security Policemen.

MR VISSER: No, that's not the evidence Mr Chairman.

GEN COETZEE: No, that is not so, I don't know anything about that.

MR BIZOS: You don't know anything about it?

GEN COETZEE: He denies it and he denies it under oath.

MR BIZOS: He denies it under oath.


MR BIZOS: But when did you hear the allegations that General Basie Smit had found a number-plate which never surfaced?

GEN COETZEE: I never heard those allegations, I may have read in the press about it.

MR BIZOS: You may have read it, yes.

GEN COETZEE: I think it was a press report as a result of the Harms Commission of Inquiry. I think that was the first time that I heard about such an allegation Sir.

MR BIZOS: Was Basie Smit in fact taken off the investigation?

GEN COETZEE: He was never on the investigation, Sir.

MR BIZOS: Well when was Mr van Wyk appointed as the investigating officer?

GEN COETZEE: He was appointed by the CID Chief and not by myself because of the allegations and the press reports the Chief of the CID whom I think at that stage was General Conradie, thought it unfit to have a liaison officer appointed or an assisting officer appointed. The investigation was in the hands of General Britz throughout.

MR BIZOS: You were Commissioner and you could have directed both the Security Police Head and the CID Head what to do?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, if it was necessary for me I could have directed.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Well I'm going to put to you that on the basis of this evidence of Mr Cronje, that this is an example where you actually came to know of the wrongdoing at the time and you did nothing about it, despite your duty as a Commissioner of Police to bring criminals to book.

GEN COETZEE: I deny that Mr Bizos, categorically. As a matter of fact I want to add that nowhere, at no time did I speak to the investigating officer or one of them or anyone else subsequent to this murder to tell them not do it properly under(?) the ordinary way that a crime is committed.

MR BIZOS: And that having regard to the deduction made by Mr Cronje in relation to your interference with the investigation, having regard to a number of other cases in which sweepers were appointed, I am going to put to you that it was not an unreasonable inference to be drawn by Mr Cronje as he records it in his evidence in his amnesty application.

GEN COETZEE: Mr Bizos, I cannot really go along with that. The fact is that in this case no so-called sweeper was ever employed, as far as I am concerned.

MR BIZOS: Now there is just one brief final issue that I want to ask you questions about General.

FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, may I please just come in here in respect of this. Obviously Mr Coetzee has now given evidence which I would want to cross-examine him on, I just want to place this on record, I'm not going to do it now, it's not the right forum. I just want to place on record that there are parts of his evidence that contradicts Brigadier Cronje and at the right forum when the other SADF amnesty application hearings will take place, then I will put the proper questions to him and cross-examine him. I'm just making that point here so that it ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: You don't want anybody to say you sat here and did nothing?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, thank you Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: One final issue that I will deal with as briefly as I can.

General, do you remember Joyce Sikhakane?

GEN COETZEE: I remember the name.

MR BIZOS: Would you come forward please, Mr Joyce Sikhakane? Take of your spectacles, yes.

Mr Chairman, if she does give evidence she will give evidence under the name of Joyce Sikhakane Rankin. Sikhakane is spelt: S-I-K-H-A-K-A-N-E, Rankin: R-A-N-K-I-N, Mr Chairman.

Do you recognise her?

GEN COETZEE: I think she was - I know her because of, that is my recollection Sir, I may be wrong, of speeches that I took down as a stenographer.

MR BIZOS: As a stenographer? No, she's not as old as that General. I'll remind you because you and I have been along this crossing paths for some time. She was one ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Before you do, perhaps we should place on record that a lady came into the body of the hearing and stood in front of the General, she was identified by you as Joyce Sikhakane and she confirmed that she is that person.


CHAIRPERSON: She was wearing glasses which she took off and she is now wearing again. Right, carry on Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: Yes, thank you Mr Chairman.

She was one of the accused in the Ndau(?) case in which you were one of the investigating officers. Do you remember Ndau, or accused number one in which the other accused were Mrs Winnie Mandela, Mr Peter Magobane, in Pretoria?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, I remember. My involvement was not as an investigating officer, my involvement at that case Sir, was to interrogate Mrs Winnie Mandela.

MR BIZOS: Yes, yes. Which you did?


MR BIZOS: And she, Mrs Joyce Sikhakane was closely allied to Mrs Mandela at that time.

GEN COETZEE: That may be so Sir.

MR BIZOS: Do you remember that?


MR BIZOS: She had been a reporter on the Rand Daily Mail, you recall that?

GEN COETZEE: No, I don't but I accept that Sir.

MR BIZOS: Right. You came in - may the prospective witness be seated at the back of the court. You can sit down, thank you.

You needed a witness against Mrs Mandela in that case?

GEN COETZEE: No, not at all Sir. My only association with that case was to take a statement from her which ran into more than a hundred or two hundred pages and which I recorded on a tape recording.

MR BIZOS: Yes, whilst she was a detainee under Section 6?

GEN COETZEE: That is right.

MR BIZOS: And which couldn't be used in evidence.

GEN COETZEE: I beg your pardon?

MR BIZOS: Which could not be used in evidence.

GEN COETZEE: It was subsequently used in a civil case in evidence where the allegations were that we had maltreated and tortured people, and that particular tape recording was handed in to that case.

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

ADV DE JAGER: The statement, was it taken from this prospective witness or from?

CHAIRPERSON: From Winnie Mandela.

ADV DE JAGER: Thank you.

GEN COETZEE: Mr Commissioner, I interrogated only one person, that was Mrs Winnie Mandela.

MR BIZOS: Yes, the co-accused of Mrs Sikhakane?

GEN COETZEE: I beg your pardon?

MR BIZOS: The co-accused of Mr Sikhakane?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, I didn't attend the trial, I don't know if there was a trial but there was a civil case afterwards.

MR BIZOS: Oh, you remember the trial well enough but don't let's become side-tracked, I just want to ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, with respect. The witness says he doesn't remember a trial. Now my learned friend made allude suggestion that there some sinister reason why he now suddenly can't remember. With respect Mr Chairman, if he has evidence let him put it to the witness.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Let me remind you why I suggest that you should remember the trial, because it was before Mr Justice Bekker in the old Synagogue which you, having taken a statement from Mrs Mandela and having been involved in the investigation, you from time to time attended, that the Attorney-General was instructed by the Minister of Justice probably at the instance of the Security Police, to withdraw the proceedings and the accused were acquitted. They were then re-detained and brought before Mr Justice Viljoen in which one of the leading cases of double jeopardy in the country resulted and Mr Justice Viljoen ruled that the withdrawal prevented the state from re-charging them. Do you remember all that?

GEN COETZEE: I remember that incident, that's correct.

MR BIZOS: Yes, that is why - I didn't want to put matters on record unnecessarily but I want to assure my learned friend that when I suggest that you do remember I have good ground for believing it ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: I think you reminded him about facts that reminded him and he could remember it ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: No, no, I'm merely defending myself against my learned friend's suggestion Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: Ja, I think it was a wrong statement to say: "But you do remember it". He could have remember it after he'd been reminded about the facts.

MR BIZOS: Yes, now he remembers it. May I proceed from that basis?

Did you ask Mrs Sikhakane to become a state witness against Mrs Mandela in order to prove the facts that you had, you say you had from Mrs Mandela?

GEN COETZEE: I don't remember that but ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: You would not be able to deny it?

GEN COETZEE: I won't be able to deny it Sir. It was part of my job to get prospective state witnesses.

MR BIZOS: State witnesses, yes. And now do you remember for how long Mrs Sikhakane had been in detention by the time you approached her?

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, I want to please reiterate, I wasn't the investigating officer.


GEN COETZEE: I was called from Johannesburg because of, it was indicated during the preliminary interrogation of Mrs Mandela, that she was prepared to make a very lengthy statement. It took me three weeks or a month to take her statement which I recorded on a tape recorder.

MR BIZOS: General, the question was ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: And I cannot remember that after that - and the man that assisted me was a Mr Botha, he became a Brigadier afterwards, that's all that we basically did, all that I did. Afterwards I didn't investigate the matter. That I was then requested as a result of this information or instructed: "Please approach Mrs Sikhakane, she's mentioned in this statement, the statement is available somewhere, approach her whether she is prepared to give evidence", I would say: "Yes, that's a possibility".

MR BIZOS: The question was a simple one. Can you remember for how long Mrs Sikhakane had been detained under Section 6 at the time that she says you approached her?

GEN COETZEE: I don't know Sir.

MR BIZOS: Right. If I were to put to you that it had been a substantial period of time by the time you approached her?

GEN COETZEE: I cannot comment on it at all Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Yes. And was then - was Mr Swanepoel one of the interrogators of Mrs Sikhakane and others in that trial, either as accused or prospective state witnesses?

GEN COETZEE: Was Mr Swanepoel?

MR BIZOS: Mr Swanepoel, Rooiroos(?) Swanepoel.


MR BIZOS: Was he one of the interrogators?

GEN COETZEE: He may have been Sir, I don't know. I took - let me get the facts straight. I remember I took Mrs Winnie Mandela, removed her from where the ordinary investigation was being conducted and for about a month I spent with her to take this about 200 page statement from her.

MR BIZOS: Yes, you've told us that. You can't deny that Mr Swanepoel was one of, you can't remember and can't deny her statement that Swanepoel was one of her interrogators?

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, at that stage ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: The answer is: "No".

GEN COETZEE: There were ten or twenty interrogators ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: You can't remember.

GEN COETZEE: I can't remember, that's what I say.

MR BIZOS: No. Let's proceed, it's "No" and let's proceed.

GEN COETZEE: May I just ask how many prospective accused were there?

MR BIZOS: 22 were charged and there were as many people detained. Please you know, I ask you if you remember whether this person was there or not. If you don't remember, that's fine.


MR BIZOS: Thank you. Now do you recall that in open court before His Lordship, Mr Justice Bekker, the state witnesses claimed that they had been tortured?

GEN COETZEE: I remember Sir, that eventually these allegations went to a civil claim. I remember that there were allegations like there were in just about every case of that nature Sir.

MR BIZOS: Just listen to the question please. Do you remember that allegations were made before Mr Justice Bekker, of the witnesses having been tortured whilst they were under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act?

GEN COETZEE: I don't remember that.

MR BIZOS: You don't remember.

GEN COETZEE: But I don't deny it.

MR BIZOS: And if she says so.

GEN COETZEE: If it's on record it's so.

MR BIZOS: If she says so, you won't be able to deny it?

GEN COETZEE: Exactly Sir.

MR BIZOS: Now I'm coming to the point, to the direct point General Coetzee, that you came and you tried to cajole her to become as state witness, do you recall that?

GEN COETZEE: Not only her Sir, I would have done it with every loyal South African citizen.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Some people would disagree with the adjective but let's carry on.


MR BIZOS: Do you recall that you actually told her that you never dirtied your hands, your boys did it for you?

GEN COETZEE: No, Sir, I would never have said anything like that. What boys Sir, referring to whom?

MR BIZOS: Your subordinate officers in the Security Police.

GEN COETZEE: Sir, at that stage I had a very low rank myself.

MR BIZOS: Major you were at the time, she remembers it very well.


MR BIZOS: Yes. Couldn't a Major order his Captains, his Lieutenants, his Warrant Officers, his Sergeants, his Constables to do his work for him so that he wouldn't dirty his hands? I can't understand your answer General.

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, that answer elicits from me - that question elicits from me an answer Sir, that I was the Officer Commanding the Security Police in Johannesburg for three years, no suicides, no claims of assault. That's my track record Sir.

MR BIZOS: No claims of assault against anybody or against you?

GEN COETZEE: Against me. There was never since my days as a Constable or a Sergeant, throughout my career there is not one case on record Sir, where I was accused of having assaulted a person.

MR BIZOS: Well Mrs Sikhakane would probably agree with that because she says that you said: "I don't dirty my hands, I get my boys to do it".

GEN COETZEE: I would from my experience and from my own style of work never have said that Sir.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, Visser on record. We are listening to this character assassination which is going on and I am now strenuously opposing the line of cross-examination which my learned friend has been following and is following presently.

May I remind you Mr Chairman, that General Coetzee has applied for amnesty in regard to his participation in the London Bomb incident. Credibility will support my learned friend only so far. Whatever General Coetzee may have said in early '60's or late '60's it of absolutely no assistance to this Committee in determining whether he has made a full disclosure in regard to the application which he is applying for.

In fact Mr Chairman, my learned friend, Mr Bizos does not even oppose General Coetzee's application for amnesty because he has no loco standi.

CHAIRPERSON: You've said that very many times, you needn't repeat it every time Mr Visser.

MR VISSER: But Mr Chairman, with respect, there must be an end to this.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Bizos, what is the relevance of all this?

MR BIZOS: I was going to make it clear by putting my final question.

CHAIRPERSON: Well perhaps you can put your final question now.

MR BIZOS: Thank you.

My final question is, that this is what you are doing in this whole process of amnesty seeking and non-seeking. You wanted to be known as the person who didn't dirty his hands but in truth and in fact you were pivotal to the wrongs that were committed during your period as Head of the Security Police and as Commissioner.

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairman, I reject that completely. And I must say I find it very strange that nearly 20 years after my retirement, more than 10 years after my retirement this is the first time that such an accusation has been levelled against me. I've given evidence in very, very, many trials throughout the length and breadth of this country where very able lawyers and advocates have cross-examined me on the instructions of their clients, and never ever was this allegation levelled against me.

MR BIZOS: And included in those deaths are the deaths of Ruth First, Jeanette Schoon and Katryn Schoon. That you must known about, that you must have authorised, that you covered up as you did in over a hundred other instances.

GEN COETZEE: That's such a broad sweeping statement Sir, that I do not want, I cannot really objectively respond to that but if I have to narrow ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: It's not a question, it's a statement by Bizos.

MR BIZOS: You deny it?


MR BIZOS: Thank you. The other thing is ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: I thought that was your final question Mr Bizos?

MR BIZOS: The response Mr Chairman, the response leads to another relevant question, with respect, which I ask for leave to give it.

You say that these allegations have not been made before against you?

GEN COETZEE: That is right Sir.

MR BIZOS: That is because there was a conspiracy of silence among your junior officers not to speak but they are now speaking and this is the reason why I am putting this to you now General.

GEN COETZEE: I'm completely unaware of this conspiracy Sir, and if I have to comment on that relating to the present allegation about my conspiracy with Mr Williamson which you've alleged Sir, it must be very obvious to you that if I needed support for my application, if I needed support for my application before this Committee, it would have been regarding the London Bomb. All the other matters I'm not implicated in.

That's where I need support and there I didn't go to Major Williamson and say: "Please remain quiet about my involvement", but I took the lead Sir, in contrast to what you alleged in the beginning, that I only applied for amnesty after other people have applied. I applied first Sir. Thank you Sir.


CHAIRPERSON: That concludes the cross-examination.

There is one point. I notice that one of the implicated parties who was here on the first day and indicated he was not represented by counsel has returned. I take it he hasn't come with the desire to ask any questions. Mr Botha?

MR BOTHA: Not of this witness.

CHAIRPERSON: Not of this witness. Thank you.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, perhaps Mr Botha could be invited to come and sit closer here. I'm not sure whether he wants to sit in the audience. There are some seats available here for him.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Botha, I don't know how well you can hear what's going on from where you're sitting but if you want to come and sit up here there will either be seats here or we'll make a seat available for you.

MR BOTHA: ...[inaudible]

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR PENZHORN: Mr Chairman, I did indicate that I have -for the record, it's Penzhorn on behalf of the implicated party, Mr P W Botha, that I have a few questions to this applicant. If I may proceed.

General, I think that at the beginning I should just say that other than my learned predecessor with regard to the questions which are being put here, we do not oppose your application, however with regard to evidence which was led and questions which were put to you, there are just a number of questions for clarification.

I would like to take you back. For the last two days we have turned away quite far from the London Bomb incident and I would like to take you back specifically to the London Bomb incident, especially with regard to the first meeting which occurred. I think it occurred in Mr le Grange's office, during which the initial order was given to you. Do I understand it correctly that during this first meeting both you and the former Commissioner, General Geldenhuys were present?

GEN COETZEE: Honourable Chair, I hope that I haven't created the impression that the first time when the matter was discussed and that an order was give at that time, that's not correct. The matter was discussed, the possibilities were discussed, the Commissioner then expressed his opposition and in a subsequent meeting with the Minister who I had regular meetings with, the viewpoint was taken that this would be a direct order. CHAIRPERSON: General Geldenhuys was there during the first meeting?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR PENZHORN: In other words, am I correct in my inference that during this first meeting, if I understand your evidence correctly, it followed in the wake of the Voortrekkerhoogte bomb?

GEN COETZEE: Honourable Chair, I would not like to say that that was the only discussion which took place, though Voortrekkerhoogte projectile attack in late 1961, I think it was August 1961 or 1981 was a trigger with the effect that in the meeting with regard to the ANC presence in London and other issues, it was the trigger. Basically what it meant was: "Look at what the ANC is doing to us, look at how they're attacking us, we have to do something to react". How far is the investigation, who is involved, all these issues were discussed with the Minister. This followed on various preceding discussion wherein which these issues were discussed.

MR PENZHORN: I think in all fairness towards you, you said in your evidence that you couldn't remember precisely how many meetings took place and who exactly was present during those meetings, but during some of these meetings, did General Geldenhuys already then express his opposition to possible retaliation or retaliatory action or where these discussions more about possible actions which could be taken against the British as a result of the available information?

GEN COETZEE: These were meetings which were conducted across a broad spectrum but it was tentatively stated that we would obliged according to the circumstances, to take action at some or other point. The possibility of the type of action was discussed. And at that early stage already the then Commissioner expressed his opposition regarding a possibility that action be taken in England.

MR PENZHORN: At that stage the Commissioner, General Geldenhuys also had a seat of the Security Council?

GEN COETZEE: That's correct.

MR PENZHORN: And this could be speculatory, but could we accept that in deed such a discussion regarding action in England had been discussed at the SSC, he would also have expressed his opposition to that during such a meeting?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, I would assume that he would have opposed it on the same grounds during such a meeting.

MR PENZHORN: The situation developed to such an extent that towards the end after General Geldenhuys had expressed his opposition to the matter, that you and the Minister were in direct communication regarding this possible action in London itself?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, after that the Minister was in direct communication with the leader of the operation, during which I was present once or twice but he held discussions with the Minister himself, alone.

MR PENZHORN: And the leader of the operation, that would be Colonel Schoon?

GEN COETZEE: No, it was Brigadier Goosen.

MR PENZHORN: At no point in time when you were still in discussion with the Minister did he indicate to you, and I think that your evidence was that the Minister said something to the effect of: "The government has decided".

GEN COETZEE: The Minister definitely used those words, however he did not inform me in which capacity or structure the decision had been taken or who had consulted, whether it be one person, three persons or a sub-committee or whichever body. His words were that the government had decided.

MR PENZHORN: Therefore, regarding you, the Minister never said that this had been an instruction given by Mr P W Botha personally or the Cabinet or the SSC or for that matter any other Minister, such as Mr Pik Botha or any other such Minister?

GEN COETZEE: I have stated in my evidence in chief that this or those were the precise words of Mr le Grange and he did not inform me anything else of supplementary nature. By nature of the situation he informed me of something and his was of informing was sufficient.

MR PENZHORN: Nothing else was specified to you with regard to the government?

GEN COETZEE: No, no other specification was made regarding who exactly was involved in the government.

MR PENZHORN: The Minister of Police at that stage was a member of the government of the day.

GEN COETZEE: Yes, that's correct.

MR PENZHORN: And is it also correct that in that capacity he as Political Head of Police would make statements on behalf of the government to the public?

GEN COETZEE: I would assume that, he could have done that.

MR PENZHORN: In other words the fact that Mr le Grange had stated that the government had decided with regard to the police specifically could actually, due to a lack of any further or supplementary knowledge, could have been Mr le Grange's decision?

GEN COETZEE: In my evidence in chief I said that in my opinion the entire spectrum of possibilities had been discussed, he could have made his own decision and informed me. Personally, in my experience of Mr le Grange, I would say that he would not have done something like that, however I could be wrong.

MR PENZHORN: Did you in your position as the Head of Security and later Commissioner of Police, I think your evidence was that you never received an order of the SSC to take any unlawful action within the country.

GEN COETZEE: That was my evidence.

MR PENZHORN: And furthermore, you never received any similar such order as the order for the London Bomb incident from either the SSC or the Cabinet?

GEN COETZEE: I have testified according, that's correct.

MR PENZHORN: You also gave evidence regarding the diplomatic implications which could follow should things go wrong with this specific operation.

GEN COETZEE: Yes, I did give evidence regarding that.

MR PENZHORN: Would you agree that given the time frame and the situation at that time, that a successful operation would also lead to diplomatic implications?

GEN COETZEE: If it were to be directly admitted from the South African camp, that they had been involved, then that would naturally be the situation.

MR PENZHORN: Is it correct that during that period in time it was the high point of sanctions and boycotts against the country?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, I would accept that statement.

MR PENZHORN: Is it also correct that Mrs Thatcher's government at that stage was one of the few economic friends of the Republic of South Africa?

GEN COETZEE: Generally I would accept that statement. I would have thought that the political problems as proof of this situation would have damaged South Africa's image and that is why I maintain that I don't think that Mr le Grange, well this is actually one of the issues that we discussed, the consequences of such an attack if it were to be made known that South Africa had been involved. And one wouldn't be able to keep this quiet if it involved serving policemen.

MR PENZHORN: After that, according to your evidence yesterday, you also served at the Department of Foreign Affairs, that is subsequent to your retirement, and you must have achieved quite a reasonable level of insight regarding the developments within that specific department and their view of the situation?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, that is correct, I worked for them for three years after I retired as Commissioner of Police.

MR PENZHORN: Is it correct that the main task of the Department of Foreign Affairs at that stage was to attempt to prevent the extension of sanctions and to encourage relations with western states?

GEN COETZEE: Well that would be the traditional task of the Department of Foreign Affairs and that was also my experience while I was working for Foreign Affairs, that the Minister worked very hard in this regard.

MR PENZHORN: We have heard evidence in previous amnesty hearings, that when it came to security matters the Department of Foreign Affairs was always the coward so to speak, when it came to these issues because it actually made that task of theirs much more difficult.

GEN COETZEE: I should think by nature of the situation that that would be correct because that was their traditional task, to normalise relations, to prevent disturbances of relations, especially on economic, political and national levels. That was their task, in particular for them to prevent that international relations be placed at a disadvantage.

MR PENZHORN: And if this specific operation at the level of the SSC and the Cabinet had been discussed and among others if the Minister of Foreign Affairs had been present there, would he in light of what we have discussed now, have tendered any kind of objection towards the plans? Is that a reasonable inference?

GEN COETZEE: I'm prepared to say that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, by nature of his official position, would definitely have questioned such an order. He might have questioned it rather seriously. However, in his position as Minister he also made strong statements on a period level regarding the activities of the Security Services and their possible actions.

MR PENZHORN: The funding or financing for this particular operation, it was said that the budget for the Security Forces did not provide for an operation of this nature.

GEN COETZEE: Yes, I testified to that.

MR PENZHORN: And that the Minister had to make the arrangements regarding this operation.

GEN COETZEE: He was the only person who had the authority to do so.

MR PENZHORN: Is it correct that within the Department of Police as it was then known, he would have shuffled the request for this kind of funding?

GEN COETZEE: No, I think that's basically impossible because the police budget was structured absolutely according to certain services and it was expected by the Department of Finance that these departments would be financed and they would undertake the auditing of the affairs of the department.

MR PENZHORN: We have also heard evidence, as a result of cross-examination which was put to you, about so-called cover-ups, can you recall whether in this specific case, in the planning stage or during your meetings with the Minister, that any provision was made for so-called a cover-up?

GEN COETZEE: No, I can't recall whether any special provision was made. I'm assuming that there would have been something like that.

MR PENZHORN: You wouldn't know what the content of such a cover-up would be?

GEN COETZEE: No, it would not have been managed by me because by nature of the situation the police and their involvement would not have been made public.

MR PENZHORN: Are you aware whether anything was made public after the operation, to Mr Botha or members of the Cabinet, that the police had been involved?

GEN COETZEE: I have no firsthand knowledge of that.

MR PENZHORN: In other words - I'll tell you why I'm asking you this, because it would appear that the Department of Foreign Affairs through mediation with the Ambassador on London issued a statement after the explosion, in which it was denied that the South African Government had been involved.

GEN COETZEE: That would have been the normal procedure.

MR PENZHORN: Are you aware of a statement which was made by the Minster of Police, Mr Louis le Grange, during an interview which he conducted after the explosion?

GEN COETZEE: Well he must have conducted quite a number of interview.

MR PENZHORN: With the press?

GEN COETZEE: I think there was an interview which he conducted with the press, however I wasn't present during that interview.

MR PENZHORN: I might just read something to you from a newspaper report. I could show it to you if you like. I have made copies for my learned friends and for the Committee. This is a report which appeared in the Argus of 15 March and I'd like to refer you to page 2 thereof. There you will find the Ministers reaction or response. If I might just read it for the record:

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

That was the official statement. If the newspaper had indeed quoted Mr le Grange correctly, that would have been the viewpoint of the Minister at that time?

GEN COETZEE: Chairperson, I would not have expected anything else.

MR PENZHORN: In other words, also with regard to and based upon this and the statements which were issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs we could accept that what the State President and the Cabinet and the rest of the members, unless they were specifically informed by Mr le Grange that this was faulty, that they would not have known about the involvement of the South African Police in this incident?

GEN COETZEE: Chairperson, in my evidence in chief and upon further questioning, I've already said that Mr le Grange did not inform me whom he had consulted, if he had consulted anyone.

It's very difficult for me to comment on that, except as I have qualified and as I understood the politics of that time, as I came to know politics at that time, I would not have thought and I would not accept that he would have done this alone.

MR PENZHORN: You have testified that at a certain stage the communication between the Minister and the police went past you with regard to this operation, it went past you and the Minister liaised directly with Lieutenant Goosen, made arrangements, gave orders with regard to the operation?

GEN COETZEE: Minister le Grange, as far as I can recall, had two very important points. The first was that a political problem or issue would not occur as a result of the attack. That was his first major problem. He wanted complete assurance that the preventative measures which were taken by the police would be effective in that if something were to happen to members in the UK, if they were to be arrested and accused, that their instructions were clear, that is was aimed at the ANC. That was his first problem.

His second problem or second concern, as I understood it, was that we should ensure that indeed or if the explosion took place, that the members of the South African Police who had participated would have already left the UK by that stage.

Regarding the discussions about which the Honourable Advocate has asked me, there were certain instances during which I was with Colonel Goosen and the Minister and when we were alone the Minister would ask me: "How are the preparations going"? There were also other instances when Colonel Goosen would have meetings with the Minister alone and discuss the issue.

MR PENZHORN: Did you ever have any discussions with the members who took part in this attack? Did you ever tell them that this operation had been approved by

Mr P W Botha, members of the Cabinet and that Mr Pik Botha was also aware of it?

GEN COETZEE: The head of the operation and I think the second in command of the operation were told by me that the Minister had said that the matter had been approved by the government. I would have done that.

MR PENZHORN: However you did not have any details about this government sanction?

GEN COETZEE: I did not tell them exactly which persons in government had sanctioned the operation.

MR PENZHORN: General perhaps on a more philosophical level as a result of certain questions which my learned friend Mr Bizos put to you in connection with Frazer's book, General Frazer's book. At that point in time you were quite narrowly involved with the entire Security Management System?

GEN COETZEE: I was involved with the State Security Council and the Working Committee of the State Security Council, those two structures upon which I served.

MR PENZHORN: Is it correct that as part of the management system which was applied at that time and largely formulated by the SSC, that there were major components not only in the Security Management System but also in the Social Management System, that the various sectors were addressed by this management system?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, I'd like to put it differently though. The viewpoint of the government at that stage as I experienced it was that the state at all its basis of power, including social and political and other factors, was being attacked and that on all those levels the state had to formulate an answer for the onslaught. That is how I understood it.

MR PENZHORN: Is it correct that the accent or the emphasis on counterrevolutionary warfare was focused on the so-called: "Winning the hearts and minds of the people"?

GEN COETZEE: That was an important component of the State Security Council's work, in emphasising that.

MR PENZHORN: And that the viewpoints which my learned friend has quoted from Frazer, that the state should become a terrorist in combating terrorism, that this would actually be contradictory to the idea of winning the hearts and minds of the people?

CHAIRPERSON: Isn't this just a philosophical discussion that can be done in argument? You're merely asking him his political views.

MR PENZHORN: Mr Chairman, why I posed it is because of the cross-examination which was done by my learned friend in this regard and in regard to Frazer's book, where the evidence was that that was actually the policy of the day. If you would suggest that it would be better canvassed in argument, that can be done.

Then General, just a further issue. I don't wish to place all that evidence before you but I'd like to say that I studied the minutes of the State Security Council for the years before and after the incident, as well as the Cabinet minutes and nowhere is any mention made of this operation in those minutes. I cannot trace anything about it. Do you have any commentary regarding that?

GEN COETZEE: No, I have nothing to say.

MR PENZHORN: Just a final aspect. It is not my intention to confront the philosophical here, but this is with regard to Mr de Jager's questions to you ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: I hope you're not implying that I'm a philosopher?

MR PENZHORN: I would be prepared to debate that issue with the Commissioner.

With regard to the words: "eliminate", "take out" and so forth which Commissioner de Jager put to you, as I understand your evidence it was that regarding the SSC and its committees the persons involved there knew exactly what these words meant within the specific context.

GEN COETZEE: Chairperson, I have stated that in the discussions within the State Security Council where I was involved, it was never said or suggested to me that the killing of persons or the murder of person was implied, it never happened.

I have said that in the minutes of the discussions, the department which had undertaken it, which would be the Department of the South African Defence Force, used words which were generic or unique to their culture. It is an unfortunate choice of words which in its devolution to the various structures which existed could have resulted in the misinterpretation of these words by certain individuals.

Regarding the police and that which was given to me by the Truth Commission, the implications of those words in the annexures are clearly defined with regard to their meaning. Police officers also had access and seats on other structures within the security system.

MR PENZHORN: With regard to minutes of Working Committees and SSC Committees, those minutes were, and I wouldn't want to say exclusively, but they were usually classified as strictly confidential with a very small circulatory list.

GEN COETZEE: Yes, that is correct.

MR PENZHORN: In other words, is it your evidence that these people, and it was circulated to those who had attended the meeting, your evidence would be in others words that the persons who had attended the meetings and received those minutes knew what had been discussed and consequently if any of these words had been used they would know exactly what was meant by those words?

GEN COETZEE: I have said that the minutes would not be thoroughly formulated and circulated to the relevant departments, only those aspects which were of application to your specific department with regard to departmental orders would be sent to you via the Minister. How it arrived at other departments and the Security Management per se which was a structure on its own is unknown to me.

MR PENZHORN: Then in conjunction with Commissioner de Jager's question regarding the actual problem which arose with the collapse of these documents and the dissemination of this information in whatever way to persons who originally had not been directly involved and the possible misunderstandings due to misinterpretation thereof, what do you have to say about that?

GEN COETZEE: I did not say anything like that, I merely said that it was an unfortunate choice of words in definition which had been included in the minutes or at least have been used in the minutes, not included. I did not say Chairperson, that the breaking down of these minutes in their distribution action had resulted in this. I don't know how it happened, this was not part of my task, this was done by the secretary. How they broke it down and who they made it available to is not known to me otherwise I would be able to comment regarding that.

MR PENZHORN: Well in all fairness I did not wish to suggest that is what you said, those were my words. I was actually seeking your commentary regarding that.

I have no further questions.



MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I have two or three questions which I want to ask this witness, flowing from not just my learned friend's questions but questions posed by Mr Bizos overall. Would you allow me the indulgence?

CHAIRPERSON: Two or three and that's all. We're not going to have long repeated questioning.

MR DU PLESSIS: No, two or three, I promise you Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, may I beg an indulgence of a very short adjournment, five minutes or so? It's an uncomfortably long session Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Well before we do, can I just clarify one matter. Are we handing this in, the newspaper, as Exhibit K? Now looking at it it appears to indicate that a Mr Mbatha was an ANC researcher in the building. I don't know if he is the person who was mentioned the other day. If it was it would seem that he narrowly escaped injury but an elderly woman was taken to hospital as a result of shock. I don't want to commit anyone but it would appear from this article that those were the sole injuries at the scene. Is there any necessity for any further information to be obtained in this regard? I know questions were asked two days ago about it and we endeavoured to get some information from you and Mr Mbatha's name was mentioned. We now have some information indicating that one person was treated for shock. I don't want to waste anybody's time trying to dig up more. Does anybody want any further information in this regard? Very well, thank you. We will take a short adjournment now.




CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: General, we've heard from Mr Penzhorn that the London Bomb incident was never included in the minutes of the State Security Council or the minutes of the Cabinet. Your testimony was that Mr le Grange probably would have noted it with authority from above. It could have been either the Cabinet or Mr P W Botha, am I correct?

GEN COETZEE: It could have been Mr P W Botha or other members who served in the Cabinet whom he saw fit to inform.

MR DU PLESSIS: Well we would accept that it was not discussed in the Cabinet and it was not discussed in the State Security Council. Isn't it probable that he discussed it with Mr P W Botha?

GEN COETZEE: Mr Chairperson, I would gladly wish to comment but I would do an injustice if I speculated in this manner.

MR DU PLESSIS: You knew Mr le Grange, that is why asked the question. He is deceased, we cannot ask him the question. Who are the most probable persons with whom he would have discussed it?

GEN COETZEE: Probably Mr P W Botha.

MR DU PLESSIS: And who would you think that he would have discussed it with?

GEN COETZEE: I would have thought, and it is pure speculation, that for example he would have spoken to the Minister of Defence. That is a possibility. I think that he would have had a short discussion with the Minister of Foreign Affairs but I don't know, that is pure speculation on my side.

I think to safeguard his own political career he would have probably have discussed it with the State President. That is why I say Mr Chairperson, that I am of the opinion that he definitely discussed with someone because he did not want to take the risk as I knew him, to take sole responsibility for this instruction, giving this instruction to us despite our protest.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. In other words, such an instruction or authorisation, and I would just like to know from you if it is a possibility because you knew these people, would have been, would take place not with the full sanction of the Cabinet but with one or two members of the Cabinet or between Mr P W Botha and Mr le Grange?

GEN COETZEE: It could have been discussed with selective members of the Cabinet, that he selected. I cannot speculate about it.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. I would just like to make sure, I think I have asked you this question already, you were never requested by any department, whether it be foreign affairs or by the Cabinet or by the SSC or the President to comment on the London Bomb incident, or if the police were involved there?

GEN COETZEE: No, it was never requested of me.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well General, let me ask you this question. Mr le Grange knew of the operation?

GEN COETZEE: Definitely, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: And you say that Mr le Grange would probably have taken it up with other members of the Cabinet. So do I understand your evidence that as you knew these people it would have been probable, or do you say that it's not probable that Mr le Grange would have gone on a frolic of his own and

taken the decision himself?

GEN COETZEE: I've tried to explain Mr Chairperson, that I did not believe then or even now that Mr le Grange would solely take such a decision.

MR DU PLESSIS: And then the last question. You referred to the statements that Mr P W Botha made in terms of cross-border raids on the terrorists in the, outside the country. Would you agree that that would have cultivated an atmosphere with the subordinates that they could, that such operations were sanctioned?

GEN COETZEE: As a general statement Mr Chairperson, I would think that such utterances would not, not just from Mr Botha, but such utterances from politicians would come to the attention of police officers and this would have an influence on their thoughts in this instance. To me it would have been a normal instance.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Any re-examination?

MS PATEL: Honourable Chairperson, if I may, I have just one question that flows from my learned colleague, Mr Penzhorn's cross-examination of the applicant. If I may, it's just one question.

CHAIRPERSON: As I've said we are not going to go on and on and let questions arising questions. There's one question you may put.

FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS PATEL: General Coetzee, you've stated on page 96 of your application that:

"We were informed that the government had decided to demonstrate to the British Government that there were serious risks involved in continuing to allow the ANC to operate from the United Kingdom".

In the light of the official denial of responsibility for the attack, as we have noted from the Exhibit which was tendered by Mr Penzhorn, I'd just like to ask, how does one teach another country a lesson by denying responsibility for the very attack that is meant to teach that country a lesson? It somehow flies in the face of logic for me, perhaps you can clarify that for us.

GEN COETZEE: I'll explain it to you, with great respect to the member or members of Scotland Yard whom I believe are here. Like we did in the case of the Voortrekkerhoogte attack after thorough investigation knew that it was people, even if they've used pseudonyms, people with British passports who gave addresses in the United Kingdom. So I'm very sure that the British Police, efficient as they were and are, after having fought the IRA for very many years in Britain, experienced policemen, knew very shortly or should have known very shortly after the attack what the origin was.

It was also, apart from that, surely apparent to them who the enemies were of that particular organisation, they would surely also have known of the protests by South Africa of the presence in the United Kingdom of this particular organisation. All these things together, I don't think there was much ignorance where the attack came from.

MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson.


MR BOTHA: Mr Chairman, I indicated earlier that I have no questions to put to General Coetzee but in the light of questions that were now put to him ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, you haven't had a chance before. If you want to put any questions, do so.

MR P BOTHA: Thank you very much.

General, I will try to be brief. Who did the planning against terrorism?

GEN COETZEE: Every department.

MR BOTHA: Who did the planning for actions against terrorism?

GEN COETZEE: It would have been the South African Police and the South African Defence Force, and to an extent assisted by National Intelligence.

MR BOTHA: Thank you. What was the traditional attitude of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Foreign Affairs in committee meetings where such issues were discussed? What was the traditional attitude regarding the international implications of such actions?

GEN COETZEE: Normally Mr Chairperson, the attitude of Foreign Affairs, and I would like to put it in English: "Don't rock the boat".

MR BOTHA: Thank you. Around 1982, was the Minister of Foreign Affairs the only one in this land who said terrorist must be opposed?

GEN COETZEE: No, not at all. I hope I didn't ...[intervention]

MR BOTHA: No, a question which was put to you a while ago implied this to a certain extent. In parliament, at the church council's meetings, at the tennis, at the rugby, after the Pretoria bomb attack, every person in this country who was a white supporter of the National Party said that they had to be destroyed, is that correct?

GEN COETZEE: That is what I tried to say in my evidence in chief and as I have already said, maybe not in a perfect manner but that is the milieu in which the Security Branch and the Security Services functioned.

MR BOTHA: You were referred to Swaziland, can you recall that early in the morning on that day when those two persons were kidnapped that you flew into Swaziland to have discussions with the Commissioner of the Swaziland Police and to explain the situation to him?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, I can remember that I flew into Swaziland. I've already said on many occasions I went there but on the one instance when I fly there I can remember that.

MR BOTHA: That you reported to him that the police had just caught 11 terrorists who were planning to turn Durban and all the beaches on the South Coast in a hell that Christmas?

GEN COETZEE: Yes, that is correct Chairperson, it was the so-called: "Black Christmas Information".

MR BOTHA: And if the Minister of Foreign Affairs goes on television and says that he agrees that it had to be prevented.

GEN COETZEE: I would not have found that strange.

MR BOTHA: I have no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Visser, we'll try again.

MR VISSER: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, I did intimate to you yesterday that for obvious reasons we could not confer with General Coetzee while he was under cross-examination and we would like to do so before we do his re-examination.

I may mention to you that there are certain aspects which I

could deal with immediately. I don't know what you find more convenient for another witness to interpose now or for me to deal with part of the re-examination and deal with part of it later. Perhaps one should imagine that another witness must afresh. I don't know Mr Chairman, I'm in your hands.

CHAIRPERSON: Let's ask Mr Levine what his attitude would be to starting now and continuing uninterruptedly till 2 o'clock. We will not interrupt his witness this afternoon.

MR LEVINE: Mr Commissioner, Mr Chairman, I am ready to do whatever the Commission recommends. I am certainly not at any stretch of the imagination going to finish by 2 o'clock.

CHAIRPERSON: No, that we are well aware of. There are going to as I understand, you haven't told us but various other people have, be interruptions from time to time during the course of the witnesses evidence, when use will be made of the television and what have you. So perhaps we could start and if we come to a ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, may I say something about the application to allow the re-examination to stand down. I thought Mr Chairman, that it was thought at the very least most undesirable to consult for the purposes of re-examination. It certainly the rule that is universally applied in the courts, Mr Chairman. I don't know whether any different rules should apply here. I take it no further than that Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: I think you're right Mr Bizos. Certainly to me it is a departure from normal practice, that when a witness has been cross-examined there should then be an opportunity for a consultation. I see that several of the counsel here are nodding their heads in agreement.

Mr Visser, is this not a complete departure from normal practice? Can't you go on and finish your witness?

MR VISSER: What I had in mind Mr Chairman, is first of all my learned friend Mr Bizos put a whole number of issues, as you are well aware, to this witness. I don't know of which of those issues the witness has knowledge. The least I must is to find out whether he has knowledge Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Well ask him Mr Visser.

MR VISSER: Well it's going to take a lot of time then Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: If you think it necessary to cover all those aspects. You repeatedly during the cross-examination told us that this has nothing to do with the applicants application. Do you now want to dig further into that pile?

MR VISSER: Well Mr Chairman, if the Committee shares that sentiment the re-examination is going to be very brief. Shall I just go on Mr Chairman?


RE-EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: Perhaps a logical point to commence is where my learned friend, Mr Bizos almost ended his cross-examination and that was at the point of the Ribeiro murders. Let's just get this straight. Your view is that General, the later General, then Brigadier Basie Smit was never involved in the investigation, is that correct?

GEN COETZEE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, I will refer you to Exhibit T1 which was handed up at that hearing and which was an Exhibit before the Committee at the time, where General Smit in fact denied that he had anything to do with that. Is it - I don't know whether you know about this but just through you, to place this on record, General or rather Brigadier Daantjie van Wyk gave evidence before this Committee, his evidence commenced at page 325 in which he gave identical evidence. Mr Chairman, that's page 325. It's not terribly long, it runs for about 10 pages.

I want to take you back to ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Is that before the Armed Forces?

MR VISSER: No, no, that was before the amnesty application hearing in which the original Amnesty Committee sat under the Chairmanship of Justice Mall and yourself ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Which hearing? We have sat in dozens of hearings.

MR VISSER: That was Jack Cronje, Mr Chairman.


MR VISSER: Yes, yes.


MR VISSER: Here in Pretoria just before Munitoria burnt down Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: While we were sitting.

MR VISSER: May I take you to that meeting, to which reference was made in the amnesty application of Brigadier Cronje, in your office where Brigadier Schoon was present. You said in your evidence today those were the people apart from yourself inter alia who were there. Who else attended that meeting according to your recollection?

GEN COETZEE: Is that the morning after General Gleeson had been to see me?

MR VISSER: Yes, Sir. Yes, yes.

GEN COETZEE: I don't recollect from my own knowledge Sir, who else but Brigadier Schoon who I had phoned the previous evening and Brigadier Cronje. Besides the two of them I cannot recollect who else, at this stage recollect who else was present.

MR VISSER: On the issue that was put to you by my learned friend, Mr Bizos and admittedly and in fairness to him he did not have insight into the record regarding the allegation that you arranged for Brigadier Smit to be taken off the investigation and for Brigadier van Wyk to be placed onto the investigation. My learned friend, Mr du Plessis I believe has already made a point of that. I just want to refer the Committee to page 293. It was during my cross-examination Mr Chairman and I say:

"MR VISSER: I want to put it to you that General Coetzee alleged that your version stating that first Basie Smit, the now General Smit was involved in the investigation in the Ribeiro case, was not correct.

BRIG CRONJE: I made the deduction that Brigadier Smit was involved in the investigation after General Joubert told me that he established that the vehicle belonged to the Defence Force".

And it was then put to him that it was only himself and Suiker Britz that were in fact involved, and I think a third person, and Mr de Bruyn and that he agreed to that.

My learned friend put some questions to you General regarding the writings of Brigadier Frazer. Was he a Brigadier? Lieutenant General Frazer.

GEN COETZEE: Ja, he was an officer in the South African Defence Force Sir, that was I think knowledgeable about counterinsurgency warfare. As far as I remember it was reported at the time that he had attended overseas conferences.

MR VISSER: Yes, Sir, right.

GEN COETZEE: But he was supposed to be an expert of some nature.

MR VISSER: Alright, that person. I understood, and I may be mistaken, that what was put to you was that Frazer propagated state sponsored anti-terrorism, if you wish, as long as it was controlled from the top, broadly speaking. State terrorism must be controlled from the top. Did you understand the questions like that?

GEN COETZEE: Well I understood Sir, that if the state at a certain stage of this type of warfare, it reaches a certain stage then his view was: if there had to be terrorism by the state it had to be controlled from the top. That is how I understood the question to me.

MR VISSER: Right. But is the point about his book not that that was the one thing which he dis-advised, he discouraged at all costs, that is violence from the side of the state? Isn't that what Frazer's book is about?

GEN COETZEE: Well I haven't read it lately so I cannot ...[intervention]

MR VISSER: Let me read some extracts to you. He says at page 18:

"Terrorisme is 'n wapen van revolusionêre oorlogvoering"

I then go on, and the third line of the next paragraph:

"Because the purpose of revolutionary warfare would be control of the population and then terrorism would be a suitable weapon because it can be used against inhabitants".

It then goes on, second last paragraph, and he says:

"Terrorism defeats itself with the Defence Forces because it was a source of disorder and this is what the insurgent wants. Although a government has to avoid using revenge measure, therefore terror has to be used as a countermeasure whether it be used by Security Forces or individuals and it has to be avoided energetically because lack of distinction between passive citizens and rebels would tend to alienate the population and force them into the arms of the enemy".

Insofar - because you see it was put to you that this was basically the only book which the Security Forces or the Security Police regarded as their, as a book which they followed. If anything, that would have been the main message which any policeman who would have read that book would have gained from it, would you agree with that?

GEN COETZEE: I would say Sir, like I've said in answer to the questions of Mr Bizos, that there were authors with many views available to policemen and other people engaged in this. But this is so Sir, this one of the views that was ...[indistinct], that you should not go over to state, what is called state terrorism, you shouldn't be driven to that. That was one of the views that existed at the time.

MR VISSER: Those are the only relevant or vaguely relevant issues which we can remember Mr Chairman, and frankly we don't think there's any merit in trying to pursue all the other issues that were raised, with respect.


MR SIBANYONI: General Coetzee, a few questions for clarification from my side unless maybe the answers give rise to other questions.

General, when you were saying it would appear or it is possible that Minister Louis le Grange might have spoken to some selected members of the Cabinet, would you regard that as a decision or the intention of the Cabinet? Would you say the government is adamant that there should be an attack if only a few selected members requested that?

GEN COETZEE: Mr Commissioner, I think that would really be a questions of administrative law and how far a Minister on his own, acting on his own is able to speak on behalf of the whole Cabinet. The whole question then of collective responsibility by the Cabinet comes into question and all those things.

This is not what I really said Mr Commissioner, I said that I thought, in the circumstances which prevailed at that time and as far as his own position was concerned, he was likely to have consulted with whoever he thought he should consult with. And then I said I don't know who he consulted with. It was for him to have decided.

He knew, for instance, factors or he would have taken factors into consideration which I didn't know. Who were his friends, who was he intimate with, who could he consult and all those matters were influences that I was unaware of. So all that I can say is he gave me the instruction, he pretended then, if that was the right word, to speak on behalf of the government. That is how I understood it.

CHAIRPERSON: As I understood you, what you were indicating was that he would have made sure that his own political position was safeguarded, that he would have talked to whoever he thought it was necessary to talk to to make sure they supported him if something went wrong.

GEN COETZEE: That is generally my impression, it was my impression at the time Sir.

MR SIBANYONI: Which will mean, the overall head of the government should also give support to such an undertaking?

GEN COETZEE: That is not necessarily so Sir. He would speak to - in answer to the Chairman's question Sir, he would speak to, if the circumstances were that he would think that if things went haywire, that his position would be in jeopardy as a politician, I think what he would do he would think of his close colleagues first in Cabinet: who will protect me, what will the constituents say. All those facts will come to his mind, as far as I knew politicians Sir and they are, with great respect Sir, machiavellian from the very nature of politics Sir.

MR SIBANYONI: Now another issue General. You said it was an unfortunate choice of words: "eliminate" and the like. When did you become aware that now there are some people who are misinterpreting those words?

GEN COETZEE: No, I didn't become aware of it Sir, I said that as far as the police was concerned, the police, not referring to the structures in which the police served, the logistical support systems of the State Security Council but the police as such.

When those words appeared they were qualified by annexures which specifically said to the police: In your case eliminate in fact means, and I want to make it very short, eliminate the influence of that person or that organisation, banning, arresting, etc., etc. I then went on to say: "but in this whole State Security structures as it went down, where policemen were throughout the length and breadth of the country involved in this system up till the lowest level, these words could have appeared, could have filtered through, could have become a type, could have created a type of image or perception of: 'This is what we're supposed to do'".

I said that could have influenced one of the influences on the whole situation, that this is what was said to them. I have in my own experiences Sir, come across many cases where it was alleged by people: "But the State Security Council said so and so and so", where I knew it was never so, I know it wasn't so.

So apart from the fact that it was an unfortunate choice of words, apart from the fact that it went down, it filtered through to the lowest ranks and structures, to police station levels etc., where it created a certain climate or a certain atmosphere, it was an unfortunate choice of words. So I didn't particularly become aware of it during my term of office.

MR SIBANYONI: As a Commissioner you never became aware of that?

GEN COETZEE: I had occasion Sir, I had occasion when internally the police used that word to go before a Commission of Inquiry, before a Judge and give evidence about this type of thing, during my Commissionership.

MR SIBANYONI: Anther issue General, you were asked about any name of people who were present in the meeting of the State Security Council. Now it does sometimes happened that when one wants to remember an issue it becomes difficult to remember it at that stage but after some time when you relax and the like, the information will just come automatically in your mind. You have been asked these question since Wednesday by Mr George Bizos. Now from Wednesday up to today were you not able to remember any name of a person who was present in a meeting of the State Security Council, more specifically when the attacks, the cross-border attacks were discussed?

GEN COETZEE: Mr Commissioner, you must remember that I've attended in the four years of my Commissionership, twice monthly meetings of the State Security Council, where generally speaking the same members, generally speaking the same people were present with a lot of exceptions, either they're not available, either they're on vacation, either they're ill, either they've got, in a case for instance of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, assignments elsewhere and they're out of the country, so it makes it difficult for me to pinpoint at a certain level or at a certain stage and say: "Well, at this particular meeting these were the people that were present".

MR SIBANYONI: Now if it was frequent or very often that the same people attended, is it not a factor which will enable you to remember one or two of those people who were present?

GEN COETZEE: No, but I've said who in fact Sir, constituted the ordinary members of the State Security Council. I've said who they were, what Ministers and what officer bearers.

MR SIBANYONI: One but last. You said the - I mean, Mr Cronje gave the names to the Defence Force or ...[intervention]

GEN COETZEE: I said in the ordinary course of his work he would have been entitled to furnish the South African Defence Force with the information that they required Sir.

MR SIBANYONI: These names were given to the Defence Force when there was unrest in Mamelodi during the time when the unrest was high.

GEN COETZEE: Yes, well during that period yes, Sir and which was quite a considerable period.

MR SIBANYONI: We've heard about this phrase: "hit list", would you say those names constituted a hit list or a list of names of people against whom action should be taken?

GEN COETZEE: I have said Sir, that as far as I'm concerned, during my period of Commissionership which was quite a lengthy period, it was always the attitude of the South African Defence Force and often stated at various conferences, that no-one can expect them if they have to take over in a martial law or emergency situation basically the complete defence of South Africa that they must operate in an intelligence vacuum. That was the one aspect. So they were entitled, as things developed, to request the information that they required for their operational purposes. That was standard procedure.

MR SIBANYONI: The last issue I would like to clarify is, I heard you saying - you'll correct me if I'm wrong, I heard you saying that you wanted to defend the government so that people should not lose confidence in the National Party. Am I correct in summarising what you have said?

GEN COETZEE: Yes. It was - to term another or to coin another phrase Sir, we termed it a type of theatre. So it was your job to project the country as safe, as governed well, as a safe place to invest in, as a country that is run on ordinary lines, ordinary governmental lines, that everything was in order. That was your job.

MR SIBANYONI: Yes, but if I maybe ask you in this fashion, that it would appear it was not necessary to defend the government as a party, as the National Party but to defend it was a government so that if tomorrow another government takes over, as a policeman you should be able to continue defending the government and not the party. What is your response to that?

GEN COETZEE: Mr Commissioner, I think what you're talking about is the question of a loyal opposition. Surely in a country, even if you, how you would want to defend South Africa, at that stage a limited democracy or how you define democracy which has got very different definitions, the factor Sir, that we at that stage defended the state in which the National Party was the governing party and that to us indicated that we were defending them.

It doesn't mean that the choice of words is absolutely correct and I can now try and differentiate between the National Party and the state. I understood at that given time that this was the state and the National Party was the governing party.

MR SIBANYONI: Thank you Mr Chairman, no further questions.


MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, General Coetzee is from Graaff-Reinet where he is presently a practising lawyer of all things.

CHAIRPERSON: Some people make stupid choices.

MR VISSER: Perhaps he just wants to show that he can do it better than us. Mr Chairman, I'm wondering whether General Coetzee can't be excused on the undertaking that if it's really necessary to bring him back. He's prepared to travel back if called upon to do so.

CHAIRPERSON: Any objections by anyone?

MR BIZOS: No, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Right. You're excused from further attendance but please keep in touch with your attorney and if your presence is required here we will notify you.

GEN COETZEE: Thank you Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Thank you Mr Chairman.







DAY : 4


CHAIRPERSON: We'll try again, Mr Levine.

MR LEVINE: At least the machine is working. Mr Chairman, I think logistically speaking Mr Williamson should sit behind the sign marked applicant.

CHAIRPERSON: I can understand that both persons questioning him would rather have him facing them than sitting next to them. You may later wish to change over yourself Mr Visser, when you come to cross-examine.


EXAMINATION BY MR LEVINE: Mr Williamson, I'd like to deal firstly with some matters of general background. Where were you born?

MR WILLIAMSON: In Johannesburg.


MR WILLIAMSON: 23rd of April 1949.

MR LEVINE: And could you tell the Commission about your schooling, where did you go to school?

MR WILLIAMSON: I attended school in Johannesburg, first at St Stithians and then at St Johns.

MR LEVINE: And did you then attend a university?

MR WILLIAMSON: At later stage I studied at the University of the Witwatersrand and later at the University of South Africa, and also the University of Pretoria.

MR LEVINE: And did you attain any graduate qualifications?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, I have a BA Degree in Political Science.

MR LEVINE: Now Mr Williamson, you have made three applications for amnesty before this Commission at this stage and I'd like to ask you a little bit about the background to those applications. Did you at any stage in any of the matters which are the subject matter of your applications, act for personal gain?

MR WILLIAMSON: No, I did not.

MR LEVINE: Was your conduct governed at all times by a political motive?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, it was.

MR LEVINE: Did you at all times follow orders of a superior officer?


MR LEVINE: In regard to the three applications, who was your direct superior officer?

MR WILLIAMSON: In all cases, Colonel, then Brigadier Goosen, Piet Goosen.

MR LEVINE: Were you at any stage in any of the applications acting under circumstances or considerations of malice, spite or ill-well?

MR WILLIAMSON: No, I was not.

MR LEVINE: Now Mr Williamson, what was your perception of the South African situation from the early 1970's onwards, both inside and outside of the country?

MR WILLIAMSON: It was very clear to me that we were getting more and more deeply involved in a revolutionary war of which I was on one side, the state's side, the South African State's side.

MR LEVINE: And that applied both within and outside of the borders of South Africa?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct.

MR LEVINE: Mr Williamson, you served both in the South African Police and in the South African Defence Force?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR LEVINE: Could we get some time periods for those?

MR WILLIAMSON: I served in the South African Police from approximately May 1968 until the 31st of December 1985 and from the 1st of January 1986 until approximately March or April 1987 I was with the South African Defence Force.

MR LEVINE: What rank did you attain in the South African Police?

MR WILLIAMSON: I attained the rank of Major in the South African Police and I was a Commandant or a Lieutenant Colonel in the South African Defence Force.

MR LEVINE: Now it was said by my learned friend, Mr Bizos, several days ago that General Coetzee was your mentor.

MR WILLIAMSON: I heard that Mr Chairman.

MR LEVINE: How would you react to that particular statement?

MR WILLIAMSON: I had a long and very close association with General Coetzee throughout my career in the South African Police and if I had a mentor it would have been General Coetzee.

MR LEVINE: The statement was also made by my learned friend, Mr Bizos, that you would not have done anything, and that was his wording, without your mentor, General Coetzee. What is your reaction to that?

MR WILLIAMSON: I think that's a simplification of the situation Mr Chairman. I must surely over a number of years done many things that General Coetzee didn't know about. I would never have done anything that I did not believe that General Coetzee would approve of but at the end of the day we were serving in a military hierarchy, and to say that I would not have done anything that General Coetzee did not know about shows a misunderstanding of how in a military hierarchy commands and orders are issued and carried out.

MR LEVINE: Just on a point of order, I understood you to say you would not have done anything that General Coetzee would approve of, I take it you meant you would not have done anything that General Coetzee would not have approved of?

MR WILLIAMSON: Sorry Mr Chairman, what I said, what I thought I said was that I would never have done anything that I did not think General Coetzee would approve of, would not approve of, sorry.

MR LEVINE: We know where we're going, it's just that we haven't got our knots in the correct places.

MR WILLIAMSON: I'm sure I often did things that General Coetzee didn't approve of also Mr Chairman.

MR LEVINE: I would like to move to the London Bomb incident. Do you have that particular application before you?

MR WILLIAMSON: I do Mr Chairman.

MR LEVINE: And it is the bundle number 1 if I'm correct, at pages 1 to 9 with annexures running from pages 10 to 86.

CHAIRPERSON: The number of the bundle has been changed to 3 I think, hasn't it?

MR LEVINE: You're quite correct Chairman, I apologise for that error.

Is that correct Mr Williamson?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR LEVINE: Would you relate to the Commission what took place, how the application, how the operation was muted, what instructions you received in the form of orders and from whom you received such orders.


"Mr Chairman, during January 1982 I received an order from my Group Head, Brigadier Piet Goosen to prepare a plan for an attack on the London headquarters of the ANC". ...[intervention]

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, Mr Chairman, I'm sorry to interrupt my learned friend. The witness is reading the narrative part of the actions which he took. I would submit with respect, that reading out from a prepared document on issues upon which the credibility of the witness has to be weighed is not a satisfactory way of doing it. I can understand that people can read from documents which have some historical relevance but the narrative part, if the witness' credibility is to be assessed, I would submit Mr Chairman, that my learned friend, Mr Levine would be well advised to lead the witness in the ordinary course and not merely ask him to read his application.

CHAIRPERSON: Didn't the previous applicant read out the whole of his statement?

MR BIZOS: No, Mr Chairman, that was not Mr Chairman, a narrative of events which he himself took part in and which are directly related to the main issue in this case. I know that the rules of the Commission Mr Chairman, or the Committee, need not necessarily ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: He dealt in detail in that statement Mr Bizos, with the events that he was applying for amnesty for.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Mr Chairman, if I did not object then, perhaps I should have, but on merit Mr Chairman, I submit with respect, that it is undesirable for a witness to read the narrative part of what he has to say because the Committee cannot assess his credibility merely on what has been prepared in a written document. The Committee I submit, will keep him under observation, see what he, how he answers questions and what he says. His ability to read a prepared statement is not an issue as to whether he is telling the truth or not on every specific issue is in issue Mr Chairman. I may say Mr Chairman ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: I, Mr Bizos, have no objection to him reading save for the time it takes. Will it not be sufficient for him to confirm the facts set out in his application?

MR LEVINE: Well Mr Chairman, ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: And then ask him if you want him to amplify any of them. He has already testified, the application is on oath is it not?

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


CHAIRPERSON: So couldn't he merely confirm and then let you ask him those points that you want him to deal with?

MR LEVINE: Mr Chairman, I'm loathe to then be confronted with an attack that he hasn't given chapter and verse of what he's seeking amnesty for.

CHAIRPERSON: You can remind him of that. I'm not saying you can't remind him, you can lead him.

MR LEVINE: Very well.

CHAIRPERSON: But rather than merely read the document as such. If he says: "This is my application, I confirm the truth of it", and then you ask him to now tell us about this and that.

MR LEVINE: I'm prepared to do that as well. I would have thought the method of placing evidence on record when witnesses appear in person and are able to be cross-examined, would be through the leading of evidence or through the reading of the background factors relating to it. I'm in the hands of the Commission in this particular regard. I'm merely doing what I believe to be correct and indeed a follow-up on the nature of the evidence given by General Coetzee and the manner in which he gave that evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Williamson, do you feel you have to read it or can you tell us what happened?

MR WILLIAMSON: Sir, the incident happened in 1982. I feel that I'm not only here, very importantly to apply for amnesty, I'm also here to attempt to give the fullest possible background information and I'm perfectly prepared to give my version or a summary as long as I am sure that the full statement that I've made is part of the record.

CHAIRPERSON: It is and it was made in 1997.

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: When you obviously remembered all the incidents you put out in your application.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, that is correct Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Not 20 years ago.

MR WILLIAMSON: I'm perfectly prepared to just give ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Well carry on, let's get there.

MR WILLIAMSON: I received an order from Brigadier Goosen to prepare a plan for an attack on the London headquarters of the ANC. I was told that the orders for the attack came from the very top. I worked out first a list of officers who could participate in such an attack and it was finally decided between Brigadier Piet Goosen and myself that Captain Vic(?) McPherson, Captain John Adams, Captain Eugene de Kock, Captain Jimmy Taylor and Warrant Officer Jerry Raven should be designated as part of the team together with myself and the Brigadier to carry out the attack.

I instructed Warrant Officer Raven to obtain the necessary equipment, such as explosives and to make sure that this equipment was put into containers which could be sent to London. The sending of the containers containing the equipment to London was organised by Brigadier Goosen and I understood, though I had no direct knowledge, that this would go via a Military Intelligence/diplomatic bag.

It was also arranged that the, or a staffer Military Intelligence or otherwise but a military related staffer in London, Warrant Officer Klew(?) would deliver the ordinance to an undercover officer of the SAP, a Lieutenant Peter Castleton in London. Some time after these arrangements were made I received information from London that in fact the ordinance had arrived.

Further discussions took place about the operation, very specific instructions were given. Number one, that no non-ANC people or person was to be killed or injured. Secondly, that if possible no person was to be killed or injured, that damage to non-ANC related property was to be kept to the minimum and I was told that the attack was to be of a political and symbolic nature.

MR LEVINE: Now you then went to London during the second week of March 1982, was it?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, that figure there is incorrect, it's 1982.

MR LEVINE: There's a typographical error, and I'd ask you to amend it please Mr Chairman. '86 should read '82.

And your team operated in four groups, could you name them?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, Mr Chairman, we operated in the four groups. First of all the command group was Brigadier Goosen and myself and then three other operational groups made up of Captain McPherson, Captains McPherson and Taylor, Adam and de Kock and Castleton and Raven.

MR LEVINE: What was the next step in the procedure?

MR WILLIAMSON: The team arrived and was safely in London and Warrant Officer Raven had been given instructions to contact Lieutenant Castleton and to manufacture the device.

CHAIRPERSON: I think that at that stage there should also be a correction to the application which alleges that this was in 1996.

MR LEVINE: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: It should be 1982.

MR LEVINE: 1982 Mr Commissioner.

CHAIRPERSON: And the same on the next two paragraphs.

MR LEVINE: They should all read 1982. It's a patent error I would submit.

CHAIRPERSON: Right you've told us then that ...

MR WILLIAMSON: On the evening of the 13th of March 1982 the entire team, which up until that time had not met all together, was assembled and we were given the go-ahead for the operation. Warrant Officer Raven reported that the device had been manufactured and was ready and the team was dispatched to carry out the operation. Brigadier Goosen remained at his accommodation while I manned a checkpoint which each team member had to pass after completing their various tasks.

Later in the evening or in the early hours of Sunday the 14th of March 1982, each member of the team had passed the checkpoint and I was happy that the operation or the device had been placed and that the team was safe. They then proceeded to leave the United Kingdom according to orders which had been given to them individually or in twos.

The Brigadier and I left London for Brussels and we heard that the ANC office in London had been destroyed by a powerful explosion, listening to the BBC news while we were in Brussels.

We returned to South Africa. I continued with my normal activities and I was later informed that everybody in the team had been awarded a declaration, the SOE or the South African Police Star for Outstanding Service, for the successful conclusion of this operation.

MR LEVINE: And do you confirm Mr Williamson, once again that the error in the date should in fact read 1982?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, Mr Chairman, it escapes me how in the proof-reading we didn't pick that up. I apologise.

MR LEVINE: Now on the question of injuries or killings, what were you able to find out in regard to that?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, according to the information I had, there were no injuries in the sense that we would have regarded injuries, i.e. the serious injury to somebody as a result of the bomb. I do remember, and especially after seeing the newspaper article presented this morning ...[intervention]

MR LEVINE: Exhibit K, Mr Chairman.

MR WILLIAMSON: I further remembered that an elderly lady was admitted to hospital for shock and that an ANC member in the building had sustained some minor shock or injury.

MR LEVINE: Is that the Mr Mbatha mentioned in the newspaper article?

MR WILLIAMSON: That is correct, Mr Chairman. My attitude then was that we had achieved what we'd been ordered to do.

MR LEVINE: Did you ever hear about Mr Mbatha again?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, Mr Chairman, I believe he was an ANC member who at a later stage apparently was arrested and convicted of rape, but that's the last I ever heard of him, in the UK.

MR LEVINE: What was the political objective sought to be achieved by this operation?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, as I understood it, there were several. The one was that there would be a symbolic and high profile strike against the ANC, not only in a town and a country where they would have felt safe but also during the year of their 17th anniversary, and as I said, the reason for a symbolic and high profile strike at that time against the ANC was also as a result of the armed propaganda attack which they had launched in 1981 against Voortrekkerhoogte. A further such an attack would obviously lead to a disruption of the activities of the ANC in London, planned in their London offices and aimed against South Africa.

And thirdly, as I understood it, the attack would in some way apply pressure or even given impetus to people in the UK who would be interested in attempting to make sure that the ANC or that military elements of the ANC, terrorists as it were, were excluded from the United Kingdom on the basis of the fact that they were involved in an armed struggle against South Africa and that is there was an attack on the ANC offices it would become clear to people in the UK that to allow these people to have a very important facility in London meant that if the war between the South African state and the ANC spilt over, it could spill over into the streets of London, which would obviously be undesirable.

MR LEVINE: Now, you go on to mention process of pressure against the ANC/SACP in NATO countries and elsewhere not ending in 1982.

MR WILLIAMSON: No, Mr Chairman, as I understood it, not only was the attack linked with the August 1981 attack on the Voortrekkerhoogte Military Base but there was from 1981, as a result of a plan which had been formulated I believe by the Secretary of State in the United States, the then General Haig, he had a plan to focus the new Reagan administration's policy on countering Soviet inspired international terrorism. At that time the entire western world was becoming very focused on countering Soviet backed terrorism, and the South African idea was to link our struggle against, and particularly at that stage our political struggle, against the ANC on the international level into the western policy which was aimed against all the international terrorist movements which were used by the Soviet Union at that time.

I have Mr Chairman, appended to my application a number of documents and minutes which relate to this policy.

MR LEVINE: Yes. Would you like to deal with those particular appendages?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, I think we should then look first at the document appended to my bundle, marked B.

MR LEVINE: Would you give the page numbers?


MR WILLIAMSON: It begins on page 14. Basically Mr Chairman, this is a, I believe a, I'm not sure what they call it, it's a telex but it's got another name. It's a message from Washington Foreign Affairs to Pretoria and it all, but I think it appears from this to have been addressed for some reason via Bonn. It discusses General Haig's Foreign Affairs priority with regard to combating international terrorism. As a result of my work in Security Headquarters in Pretoria I was aware of this policy.

If I can go on and refer you to the next document on page 17. This is minutes of a sub-committee of what was, of the State Security Council ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: What page?


MR LEVINE: That is described as Annexure C.

MR WILLIAMSON: As Annexure C to my document, which is page 17: the Minutes of a Special Meeting of the Sub-Committee of ISAK. I'm afraid I - if somebody could perhaps help me with what ISAK stands for. I believed it was "Sielkundige Aksie", Psychological Action. And I amongst the number of other people were present at that meeting where South African involvement in attempting to link our international political struggle against the ANC and the Communist Party with this broadly NATO related attack on terrorist organisations by the American and other NATO governments was discussed.

MR LEVINE: You then refer as Annexure D, to a memorandum from General Coetzee to Minister le Grange, dated September 1983, which is marked D.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, Mr Chairman, the reason I appended this is to show that after the attack on the ANC in London, that this policy did not end there. The process of pressure against the ANC and the Communist Party in NATO countries did not end after our attack. Our attack was, as far as I was concerned and as far as I believed, part of an ongoing process and part of this process was for example, the further furnishing of information to foreign governments on the activities of the ANC and the Communist Party, and in particular on their links with international terrorism.

MR LEVINE: Then could you deal with Annexure E which is the Foreign Affairs Director General's Report of September 1983?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, Mr Chairman, this is page 29 and 30. This is all still part of the documentation relating to the general policy, but the reason why I in particular wanted to attach this document, and I have in fact also got it in, I think I submitted it in my evidence to the TRC hearings in Cape Town at which we dealt with the Armed Forces, was because it confirms the belief that I had at the time and that many other or my colleagues in the Security Forces at the time had, that we would defend our interests against the Soviets and their surrogates, and by surrogates I also would then include the ANC and the Communist Party: "selfs met geweld", even with force ...[intervention]

MR LEVINE: That appears in paragraph 3 of Annexure E.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, Mr Chairman, but the important point that I wish to make here is that this statement isn't being made by a member of the Security Forces, this statement is being made by the Director General of Foreign Affairs. By that I'm not alleging or implying that the war against the ANC was being directed by Foreign Affairs. What I'm saying is that throughout South Africa at that time and throughout the South African Government at that time there was a general attitude that the onslaught by, in particular, the terrorist organisations such as the ANC and the Communist Party which were in fact acting at that time as part of a co-ordinated onslaught, not only against South Africa but against the Western World co-ordinated by the Soviet Union, would be met where necessary by force.

So Mr Chairman, what I'm saying there is that where I was given an order to meet this onslaught by force, it did not surprise me. I regarded it as a natural ...[intervention]

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Williamson, could you kindly assist us. In this Annexure E, in which paragraph ...[intervention]

MR WILLIAMSON: Number three, Mr Chairman. If I may read it:

"It was clear that the British team was out to persuade us about the possibility of weaning Angola, and especially Mozambique, from the Russians by means of economic aid, the influence of certain leadership figures in these countries, the cessation of cross-border military action from our side and the prevention of aid to opposition groups in the two countries"

And that Mr Chairman, refers to Renamo and Unita.

"Our reaction to this was that we were very sceptical about this argument, that we had no clarity regarding the measure to which the two governments could take their own decisions without Russian intervention, and in any event that this was an experiment which cost us much. We were thus prepared to have a dialogue but would not waiver to see to our own interests even by means of violence".

And Mr Chairman, this was not a statement made or a documents written in the pubic eye, this was a document after a top, top secret level meeting between British and South African political figures, sorry, civil servants dealing with security matters.

ADV DE JAGER: But it's dated the 29/30th of September 1983.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, that is correct. I said that the action against the ANC in London was part of an ongoing process that went on for several years and that consistently during that time we took the same approach to the ANC, and that besides the political and diplomatic efforts that were being made to stop or to hinder or to frustrate ANC political and international involvement in South Africa's affairs and attacks on South Africa, there was also a physical Security Force related action against the ANC "en dit was geweld", or the use of force.

MR LEVINE: Now Mr Williamson - sorry, Mr Williamson, please carry on.

MR WILLIAMSON: And then Mr Chairman, to go back to the ANC's revolutionary onslaught, and I have appended as the Appendix marked G - I'm getting to the page Mr Chairman, page 39.

ADV DE JAGER: Could you before going to page 39, kindly help me on page 31, there are certain hand-written notes which unfortunately I can't read. I don't know whether you could read it on your copy.

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, page 31 is Annexure F and is a letter from the South African Embassy in London to the Director General of Foreign Affairs in Cape Town and also in Pretoria. The hand-written note on it says, as far as I can read it:

"Brigadier Goosen, would you and Major McPherson discuss something with me"?

And I assume that is "discuss this with me". And that is an instruction, this was procedure. You can see there's another hand-written note more in the middle where it says:

"Major Williamson, please discuss"

And that is Brigadier Goosen's handwriting. The other handwriting I believe could be General Steenkamp, he would have been the head. So there was an order from him to Brigadier Goosen, that Brigadier Goosen and I should discuss it and Brigadier Goosen has sent it on to me with a note saying: please discuss it with him. This relates to a request from the Embassy in London, from Ambassador Marais Steyn, for documents that had been stolen out of the ANC offices by an agent, in fact by Lieutenant Castleton at the time and that the British authorities wanted copies of these documents which we had obtained from the ANC offices.

MR LEVINE: Do you say that Lieutenant Castleton stole the documents from the ANC offices?

MR WILLIAMSON: Mr Chairman, it's well-known that Lieutenant Castleton was at the time, I think, I believe in 1982, was arrested in London, charged and convicted of burglary or conspiracy to burgle because he was responsible for certain burglaries on the ANC and the PAC offices in London and that he had stolen certain documents which he'd sent back to us in South Africa. May I just add Mr Chairman, that those actions of his were in fact while, obviously when they happened the documentation was welcomed, he was in fact called back to South Africa and given the specific instruction at that time by General Coetzee, that he had not been told to do this type of thing and he was told not to do it because he was going to end up in prison, which is exactly what happened.

MR LEVINE: Was he in fact defended, did he have legal representation to your knowledge, in England?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, when he was arrested he was defended. The South African Police paid for his defence and I believe the firm of Sir David Napley in fact undertook his defence.

MR LEVINE: Sir David Napley is the gentleman whose name we heard of yesterday?

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, that's correct, Mr Chairman.

MR LEVINE: Very well.

MR WILLIAMSON: Then if we go Mr Chairman, the Aide Memoir, it's just an example again of the type of information that was being sent through from the South African Government through to the British Government. Obviously a lot of this information had had the origin of, a lot of this information was from the Security Police and other intelligence organs in South Africa.

MR LEVINE: Aide Memoir, are you referring to the letter from the Ambassador, Mr Marais Steyn?

MR WILLIAMSON: No, the ...[intervention]


MR WILLIAMSON: Page 33 there's an Aide Memoir which is an Aide Memoir from the South African Government to the British Government, and this relates to the letter on page 38 of this document which has the heading:

"10 Downing Street"

And this is from the Political Office of the Prime Minister and relates to the type of activities that were going on diplomatically and politically at that time, to make the South African Government's attitude to the British Government absolutely clear in relation to the presence and activity of the ANC and the South African Communist Party in London at the time.

To go on then Mr Chairman. The document G from page 39 is a draft report, a draft chapter from an annual document which is produced or which was produced in my time by the intelligence community in South Africa and presented on an annual basis, like an annual intelligence review, an annual intelligence summary to the South African Government.

Basically the idea of this document was to inform the government of the security matters facing the state, not only some comment on the previous year but a projection of what could be expected in the year to come. And this document is the chapter relating to the: "Revolutionary Onslaught" and to the ANC. It's about the activities planned by the ANC during 1981, going over in to 1982 and gives in-depth, Mr Chairman, an explanation of the internal and external dimension of the struggle that was waging at that time between the ANC and the South African Government.

I think it goes to show clearly Mr Chairman, not only my and other intelligence officers' preoccupation but the preoccupation of the state at that time with the ANC's international and in particular with their activities based in London, the activities carried out and planned against South Africa on a political and a propaganda level from London.

MR LEVINE: And the final set of documentation attached is marked H, and could you just tell Mr Chairman and the Commissioners what you would like to highlight in Annexure H.

MR WILLIAMSON: Well Mr Chairman, it starts at page 58 and it's a document:

"The Communist Threat in South Africa"

With specific reference to ANC and PAC activities in the country and elsewhere. Now this Mr Chairman, is a memorandum that was presented to a delegation of British Foreign Affairs and Security officials at a meeting in Pretoria in 1983. It's the documentation I believe of the meeting which resulted in the memorandum of the document marked E which I referred to at page, the one about "geweld". Yes, the one at page 29.

Now Mr Chairman, I believe also that this document from page 58 is a document from which General Coetzee has quoted in his application if I'm not wrong, and that time my legal representative asked General Coetzee if he knew who the author of this had been and which General Coetzee did not know and he put to him if it was me would it surprise him and he said: "No". Well Mr Chairman, in fact I was the author of this document.

This is a document presented to the British Foreign Affairs and Security officials as the policy, and I was asked to draft this document but once I drafted it it was obviously submitted to higher authority and approved and finally ended up being given at this meeting to the British as the policy of the South African Police and their attitude towards the communist threat in South Africa.

In the last paragraph on page 81, the documents says, and I as the author thereof say that:

"The RSA has a clear and successful security intelligence police which will be applied wherever the enemies of South Africa are to be found. And the South African Police stand ready to co-operate" etc.

Now Mr Chairman, my reason for appending this document is because in the light of the fact that in 1982 we had attacked our enemies, the ANC in London and in the light of the fact that at the meeting with these British Foreign Affairs and Security officials, they had in fact been attempting to convince South Africa to take a more, a softer line on cross-border activities etc.

I have to say that my belief was, and that's why when I authored this document I wrote this sentence, my belief was that we had a clear security intelligence policy which would be applied wherever the enemies of South Africa were to be found and that an element of that security intelligence policy was that we would use force against the terrorists who were using force against the South African State and public.

MR LEVINE: Then Mr Williamson, ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: I don't want to interrupt you, would this not be a convenient stage?

MR LEVINE: Sir, I'm in your hands. I've got two very brief questions and that would end off this chapter.

CHAIRPERSON: It doesn't affect me at all but some people have to catch aeroplanes fairly soon, but let's carry on if you say it's very brief. Let's carry on.

MR LEVINE: It is Mr Chairman. The orders and approval of the operation in London. You've mentioned on page 8 of your affidavit the origins thereof, and could you for the record merely mention that again.

MR WILLIAMSON: Yes, Mr Chairman. The operation was approved during the first week of March 1982, by General Johan Coetzee but the final order to make the attack on the 13th of March 1982, was given to me and the others by Brigadier Piet Goosen.

MR LEVINE: Mr Williamson, you've sworn to the truth and correctness of the affidavit on the 14th of January 1997. I'm pleased that one of the dates would appear to be correct, Mr Chairman. Do you adhere to that particular oath which you've taken?

MR WILLIAMSON: I do Mr Chairman.

MR LEVINE: In each and every respect?

MR WILLIAMSON: In each and every respect. I apologise for the proof-reading error.

MR LEVINE: Mr Chairman, would this be a convenient time?

CHAIRPERSON: I'm afraid I don't know where you gentlemen are all coming from. Monday, nine or ten? Ten? Very well, we'll adjourn till 10 o'clock on Monday morning.