TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

AMNESTY HEARING

DATE: 03-05-1999

HELD AT: JOHANNESBURG

NAME: JAN CAREL COETZEE

APPLICATION NO: AM4120/96

MATTER: COSAS FOUR

DAY: 1

--------------------------------------------------------------------------CHAIRPERSON: This is a sitting of the Amnesty Committee at the Central Methodist Church, Johannesburg. The panel is chaired by myself, Denzil Potgieter. I am assisted by Adv de Jager and Adv Gcabashe. We will be hearing the Amnesty Applications of J C Coetzee, Amnesty Reference AM4210/96, A Grobbelaar Amnesty Reference AM4143/96, W.F. Schoon Amnesty Reference AM 4396/96 and E.T. Mfalapitsa Amnesty Reference AM3592/96A I am going to ask the parties to put themselves on record. Adv Visser, would you start off.

MR VISSER: Yes Chairperson, may it please you and members of your Committee. My name is Louis Visser. I am instructed by Attorneys Wagener Muller of Pretoria. I donít think thereís much point in placing on record, perhaps I should. In the first application before you we will be appearing for Schoon, Coetzee and Grobbelaar.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes thank you Mr Visser. Mr Knight, or is it Adv Jansen.

MR JANSEN: Thank you Mr Chairman. Adv Jansen on instructions of Julian Knight Attorneys. We act for Mr Mfalapitsa in the initial hearing relating to the Cosas Members.

Thank you.

MS VAN DER WALT: Meneer die Voorsitter, daar is een aspek. Ek het die Waarheidskomissie daarvan in kennis gestel maar dit blyk dat dit wil vir my voorkom of u bundels nie volledig is nie, want daar is nog Ďn applikant, Mnr C. Rorich. Sy aansoek is deur die Komissie as Aanhangsel "A" ingebund. So syne moet net bykom, ek het nou nie sy verwysingsnommer by my.

CHAIRPERSON: 5011/97

MS VAN DER WALT: Ek is L van der Walt. Ek verskyn saam met Adv H.J. Prinsloo.

CHAIRPERSON: Goed, dankie Adv van der Walt.

For the victim.

MR TSHABALALA: Thank you Mr Chairman. My name is Tshabalala, initials T.Z. I am for the victims Mr Musi and the other family, Madikela family, Madagwane and Thlapo.

CHAIRPERSON: Is it on behalf of Mr Musi and the next of kin of the other three deceased?

MR TSHABALALA: Thatís correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Tshabalala. Ms Thabethe.

MS THABETHE: I am Ms Thabethe, the evidence leader for the TRC. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you very much. Adv Jansen, your client Mr Mfalapitsa is apparently not physically present at the proceedings. We have been given an indication that you donít have any difficulty with us starting off the proceedings. Would you just deal with that?

MR JANSEN: Yes, thank you Mr Chairman, I actually omitted to place that on record, that I have that problem at the moment. Arrangements are apparently being made at present to bring him here as soon as possible. We donít have a problem if, subject to your arrangements, the proceedings proceed with the other witnesses and that if something unexpected is said during evidence or so on that affects my position I will certainly let you know, but I donít foresee any such problems as far as the applicants themselves are concerned. Thank you Mr Chairman.

May I also place another matter on record? There was an affidavit drafted for Mr Mfalapitsa two or three weeks ago in accordance with an agreement we made with various parties at the round table meeting we had with Mr Justice Wilson and unfortunately that affidavit, basically just confirming the Amnesty Application and giving some background, was apparently not circulated to the other parties. I have done so this morning, circulated unsigned copies. I donít think thereís anything contentious or new in them other than some background and I will be handing that to yourselves as soon as is necessary. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Mr Jansen. Yes, I assume that if there were any difficulty in regard to the arrangement concerning the presence of Mr Mfalapitsa, the other parties would raise it. I assume that there is no problem with that. Under those circumstances we would proceed in the temporary absence of Mr Mfalapitsa, who will join us as soon as he is available. We have also noted the issue around the affidavit, Mr Jansen.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Knight, you told us that Mr Mfalapitsa would probably only be available tomorrow but weíd like the people to make arrangements to see whether we could have him here by lunch-time.

MR JANSEN: I believe that is taking place already. The witness protection people have gone to fetch him.

MR TSHABALALA: With regard to the unsigned affidavit, I havenít received it.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes I think Mr Jansen is furnishing one to you now. And for the Evidence Leader as well. I assume the other parties are in possession of it. Very well.

MR JANSEN: Chairperson before we start may we ask an indulgence to remove our jackets if you donít mind.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I assume thereís no problem with that.

MR VISSER: Chairperson, we are aware that the Amnesty Committees, before which we have appeared in the past, have appreciated all efforts that we could make in order to facilitate matters and to expedite matters. In the past, Mr Chairperson, and this is the first time I am appearing before you, in the past what we have done was for every witness in every application to have prepared a fairly extensive document which included background of the applicant, the political background, the conflict of the past and matters related thereto. We have discovered, Chairperson, that much of that has by passage of time, become common cause. We all know of the conflict of the past and we have all now heard, including you I am certain Mr Chairperson, of what the position of the security force members was during those times.

With that in mind we have decided, Chairperson, that instead of burdening the records with a repetition of evidence for each and every applicant, we have taken the liberty of drafting one document which we call Algemene Agtergrond and which I will ask you to accept as an exhibit. At this stage may I be permitted just to say that what the document purports to do is to give a general background and it is hoped that in the case of most of the applicants it would apply to them. We undertake, when we start leading the evidence of every applicant which we will call as a witness, that he will indicate to you if there is anything in that document which he feels does not apply to him and in that process we hope, Chairperson, that we might be able to contribute to accelerating the process a little more. If I may then ask you to accept the document which we have prepared, it is some twenty-two pages, twenty-one pages, Chairperson, and if you are satisfied with the background which I have sketched, to accept this document. I would ask you to mark this document "Exhibit A". All my witnesses will refer to this document. I might scan through the document with you once youíve got it before you. They will not repeat the evidence, but they will incorporate this into their evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Mr Visser. I have no objection to my receiving this as "Exhibit A". It will then be "Exhibit A", the document headed 'Algemene Agtergrond tot Amnestie Aansoeke'.

MR VISSER: As it pleases the Committee. Chairperson, may I take you through this document very briefly? It will take a few minutes but it will save a lot of time later on. The document starts with a reference. I am just wondering whether the sound engineer canít turn the sound a little bit down. Anyway, Chairperson, it starts with a reference to other evidence which the Amnesty Committee, or various Amnesty Committees have heard since the inception of the Amnesty proceedings. It refers to the Stigting vir Gelykheid voor die Reg which you are well aware of. Thatís the document which was handed in by us already in the beginning of 1997 and it was marked an Exhibit P45. The reason for that Chairperson was precisely in order to attempt to avoid reproduction of the document for every single application in which we would appear.

That has been summarised in a book "The Other Side of the Story" by Herman Stadler, which I am sure you are well acquainted with. Then there is a presentation which was made by Gen van der Merwe which was Exhibit P46 and a statement by ex-Commissioners of the South African Police which was attached to P46 but weíve marked that P47. Those documents are not before you today but as I say, and I say again, it is voluminous and we cannot expect the TRC to reproduce that volume of documents every time that we appear for applicants before you.

Then there was the evidence in Paragraph 4 of General van der Merwe, delivered before the original Amnesty Committee on 21 October and 27 February and in his evidence in the Stanza Bopape hearing, where Commissioner Gcabashe was in fact a Commissioner, I believe that Commissioner De Jager may also have been involved there, although I canít remember.

And then in, most importantly, point 5, the evidence of Gen van der Merwe and ex-Minister of Law and Order, Mr Adriaan Vlok, in the Amnesty Applications regarding the Cosatu House, Khotso House and Cry Freedom. Again its quite voluminous Chairperson, but what you have in 22 pages before you now really contains extracts from those various portions of written and oral evidence and we wanted to make a point, Chairperson, we gave you an exact extract quotation from those documents so that it wonít really be necessary to study the documents in detail.

Chairperson, we then go on at page 2, dealing with the background and experiences of policemen. Here we are in the fortunate position that in the Amnesty Decision of the original Amnesty Committee at page 2, most of what we have argued before under this heading has been summarised and we give you the summary where the Amnesty Committee said, at page 2 "almost all policemen giving evidence before us etc. etc" and we will all rely on that passage to page three.

Chairperson, the typical experience of members of the police during the conflict of the past is set out from paragraph 8 onwards, it speaks for itself.

Again the Amnesty Committee at page 5 summarised accurately and concisely what the applicants up to now have been trying to tell the Amnesty Committees before whom they appeared. Also at page 6 thereís a reference to van der Merwe, it speaks for itself. And then as far as the question of the political background is concerned, we have given you at page 7 an extract of Adriaan Vlokís evidence and we will not read that, it is there for you to read, it also is self-explanatory.

Chairperson, it goes on up to page 10 where we deal very concisely with the conflict of the past, the four pillars of the struggle and we give certain extracts of quotations, which we believe you will find helpful and which we believe are relevant to this issue. One of the quotations is fairly long and it deals with how the communistic danger was viewed, as expressed by Mr Adriaan Vlok.

Chairperson, I am sorry, I am mistaken, I am referring to the Amnesty Decision in Brig Cronjeís case, where the background is dealt with and where reference is made actually to the evidence of Mr Adriaan Vlok and Gen van der Merwe and where it is clear from the decision of the original Amnesty Committee, in our respectful submission Mr Chairperson, that it was intended to bind future Amnesty Committees in their hearings of applications.

If I may pause here for a moment. I donít want to indulge in an argument on the stare decisis doctrine, but we know that in a commission of inquiry there is no such thing as stare decisis, but we would like to believe Chairperson, that where the original Amnesty Committee under the chairmanship and vice-chairmanship of Justices Moore and Wilson, invited applicants in future not to give a full account of the issues which they refer to but merely to refer to that evidence of Gen van der Merwe and Mr Vlok, that you will also accept and hold yourself bound to that decision.

Chairperson, the rest of this document you will find if you read it in your own good time, contains nothing which I really need to refer you to. As I said before, it really contains extracts from the evidence. I didnít give cross-references for every single paragraph, but all of this comes out of the evidence which I have just referred to and where we do want to draw your attention, such as at the bottom of page 14, to particular evidence, we did so. In that case was, the one that I referred to just earlier of the Groot Gevaar, the communist expansionism and how South Africans viewed it.

Chairperson, at the bottom of page 15 we dealt with the role which was played by the neighbouring countries around South Africa and the influence that that had on the conflict of the past from the point of view of the security forces and we deal in turn with Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho. In Swaziland also there is included Mozambique.

Chairperson, in the present hearings Botswana will again feature when we come to take five (ľ indistinct) each of these and Swaziland will feature and Mozambique will feature, but we have done this in the sense that it is here before you if you want to refer to the other countries, we have made a very brief synopsis just to say how the applicants experienced the role and importance of those countries.

Chairperson now if I may, just on the question of these topics, say that of course there is far more evidence available regarding activities in our neighbouring countries during the conflict of the past than what we have placed before you. It was not intended that what you should get now before you to be exhaustive. For example, Commissioner de Jager will confirm that in the last hearings which we had in April there were incidents concerned with infiltration and weapon smuggling from Botswana in which we handed in documentation of voluminous format. When we realised that we were again going to talk about Botswana before you today, Chairperson, we just felt that it is just too unreasonable to expect that those documents be reproduced every time and what we have done is, therefore, given you a very brief synopsis. We believe Chairperson that most of this is also common cause. We know that the neighbouring countries were used as springboards and we know that the South African Police had no jurisdiction to act against activists in those countries. That is the reason also why there are applicants before you applying for amnesty in regard to what they did across the borders in our neighbouring countries.

Chairperson, we briefly deal at page 20 with the importance of information. The reason for that is that in many applications one finds that applicants will tell you that the acts, omission or offence which they committed had to do with the protection of identity, identities rather, of informers and it speaks for itself. Many applicants have told the Amnesty Committee that without information they were not able to effectively resist the revolutionary attack. We just made a few points for consideration under that last heading.

Chairperson, thank you for having listened to me. We hope that this may facilitate matters. The applicants will simply refer to that document, Exhibit A, insofar as it is applicable to them.

Chairperson, what we have also done, and I must say it was a very brief time which we had to prepare for the hearing, is to commence with drawing written notes of the evidence which the applicants will give before you. We believe that it will also accelerate matters. We have reached a point where we can now already give you the statements of today and the rest of the week will probably be available as well. What we have seen fit to do at this stage, just to facilitate your record holding of the exhibits, was to draw a preliminary list of exhibits. Not all these exhibits will be handed in to you straight away but they will be handed in to you as time goes on and as we have discussed it and confirmed it with the applicants. Chairperson, may I hand that up, its just a list of exhibits, nothing turns on it, if youíre not happy with it we

can change it, its not a problem.

By way of introduction thatís all I have to say at this stage, Chairperson, and if youíre satisfied so far, I would call Lieut Col Coetzee. I donít think Iíve handed in his written statement to you, may I do so as well? That will now be Exhibit A as marked on the list. Exhibit B. Yes B.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Is Lieutenant Colonel Coetzee available? Thank you. Wonít you please stand? Can you give your full names for the record please.

JAN CAREL COETZEE: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: Mr Coetzee, I am going to address you as Mr Coetzee. Your rank, or the last rank that you had was Lieutenant Colonel.

MR COETZEE: Thatís correct.

MR VISSER: You apply for amnesty for an incident where four Cosas members were involved close to Krugersdorp and in which three of them were killed and one of them was injured. Is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Your Amnesty Application appears in bundle one, on page 202, Chairperson. Have you gone through the Amnesty Application on page 202 and are you satisfied that it is correct.

MR COETZEE: Yes, I have gone through it.

MR VISSER: And except for some elaborations and aspects which we will point out, do you confirm the correctness of it?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: And in paragraph 7(a) there is a question which leads "if you were a member or office bearer or supporter of any political organisation, please mention the name" and on your form the letters not applicable appear, is that correct, or is that wrong? Were you a supporter of a political party?

MR COETZEE: Yes.

MR VISSER: Which party?

MR COETZEE: National Party.

MR VISSER: And you were a supporter?

MR COETZEE: Thatís correct.

MR VISSER: If we go to Exhibit B you asked the Committee to incorporate the contents of Exhibit A into you evidence, is that correct? Are there any aspects in Exhibit A which are not applicable to you?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, the whole document is applicable to me and also the evidence which is referred to in Exhibit A. That is correct.

MR VISSER: Chairperson, perhaps I should leave for Argument in each case paragraph 1 because it deals with the various offences which may be involved. I donít see much point in going through that with the witness, itís a matter of argument really.

Page 2 at paragraph 2. Can you just start there and tell us what your role was and what the background was to this incident? May I just put it to you by introduction that, is it correct that in February 1992 you were the newly appointed commander of Vlakplaas?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: Operational Commander, Chairperson. And one of the first tasks you performed was to move with the Askaris in the vicinity of Soweto and the surrounding areas where you attempted to identify terrorists. Is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: And once again, just by way of introduction, the manner in which you acted, can you

tell the Committee briefly how the Askaris acted in order to perform this task.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, the Askaris and the black members of the force traveled in different vehicles in these areas specifically taxi ranks, railway stations etc. and the white members were stationed at other places in our own vehicles and in radio contact with them.

MR VISSER: And if they had noted anyone and they wanted to execute an arrest, what would be the position?

MR COETZEE: If it was possible, Chairperson, they would call us and we would assist them.

MR VISSER: Yes, and was it true that because black members of the police were there they could execute arrests?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: Very well. And in your Amnesty application Mr Coetzee, there is a reference to Joe Mamasela and Mfalapitsa.

MR COETZEE: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Who were they at that stage in February 1992.

MR COETZEE: They formed part of that specific group at that stage in that area, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Were they members of the police or the Askaris?

MR COETZEE: They were both Askaris. Iím not sure of Mfalapitsa.

MR VISSER: Just give us some background to Mr Mfalapitsa, but you mention this on page 3 paragraph 4.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, Mfalapitsa was earlier an ANC terrorist who received military training in Eastern Europe and after he returned to South Africa he handed himself over to the security forces and became a member of my unit at Vlakplaas.

MR VISSER: And that would be as an Askari?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: Continue please.

MR COETZEE: Mr Mfalapitsa was back in the country and this was not generally known to the public and to the people who knew him and this was advantageous from the viewpoint as to the role which he could play at the security branch, in other words he could act anonymously.

MR VISSER: People thought that he was still a supporter of the ANC?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: At the start of paragraph 6 the story begins with how this incident took place. Can you please mention in to the Committee.

MR COETZEE: Yes Chairperson, on a certain day Mfalapitsa reported the following to me, that a certain Zandile Musi, that he had met this person and that he had known him from a previous occasion. This Musi had two brothers with whom Mfalapitsa received military training abroad and I understand that they left the country together. Musiís two brothers, who were also trained terrorists, were at that stage not back in South Africa and Musi approached Mfalapitsa and told him that he and three of his friends who were members of the Congress of South African Students, Cosas members, that they wanted to kill Warrant Officer Nkosi.

MR VISSER: May I just interrupt you here? Will you please just go a little slower to allow the interpretation to take place.

CHAIRPERSON: His evidence is just about the same as what he gives here but he does not read the sentences in that order. I know that the interpreters have these documents before them and interpret from there and if he feels that he doesnít want to give it in this manner he must just give his evidence but when (ľ indistinct) with the documents it would be easier, but otherwise he has to say that he is diverting from the document.

MR VISSER: Thank you Chairperson. I agree and comprehend. Would you just stick to the document and if you want to add anything there, please tell us so, but please stick to the document.

You had spoken of W/O Nkosi whom they wanted to kill. Is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That is correct Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Where was he stationed?

MR COETZEE: He was stationed at Security Branch, Krugersdorp.

MR VISSER: And what was the request from Musi according to your report, with the request to Mfalapitsa?

MR COETZEE: It was in the last sentence of paragraph 6. His request was that Mfalapitsa had to train them in weaponry and that he had to supply them with weapons. Do I continue?

MR VISSER: Yes please.

MR COETZEE: This was a time of large scale violence directed at police officers and Black Council members which included the burning down of houses and several murders of members and their family members. My attention was drawn to the fact that Mfalapitsa had applied for Amnesty and that he has also spoken of the plans of the group to kill one Matsibitso who was a teacher and member of the Council. I cannot recall it but I would accept that it was so.

MR VISSER: Chairperson it really starts at page 237 at the bottom and it runs over the page, where you will find that evidence. Please continue with paragraph 9 on page 4.

MR COETZEE: I then decided to discuss the problem with Brig Willem Schoon, the Commander of C Unit at

Headquarters. I gave him the information and I explained the problem to him.

MR VISSER: Can you just pause here. For the members who do not know Brig Willem Schoon was the overall Commander of Vlakplaas, was that not so?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: And that is the reason why you went to him?

MR COETZEE: Yes, he was my immediate Commander.

MR VISSER: He was your Commander?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: Please continue. Paragraph 10.

MR COETZEE: He instructed me to tell Mfalapitsa to convince the members of Cosas not to go through with their plans and I executed this instruction and gave the necessary instructions to Mfalapitsa. A day later Mfalapitsa reported back to me that these Cosas members did not want to forego their plan and that they were quite serious and they still had a sketched plan whereby certain houses were marked for attacks and they wanted to do something for the struggle. It seemed that there was nothing to do about the situation and that Nkosiís life was in real danger. I discussed the matter with Brig Schoon. The problem that we had was that if these youths had been arrested this would lead to the exposure of Mfalapitsa. Not only would it mean that Mfalapitsa would be of no use or little use to the police, but it would also place his life and the lives of his family members in danger. The security branchís success was dependent on information. Askaris played a valuable role in the identification of ANC supporters. Without the help of Askaris and informants the security branch would not be able to stop the revolutionary onslaught and the circumstances therefore was a dilemma for us. The plans Ė we discussed a few possibilities which included arrest. This could not be executed because of the following reasons and considerations:-

To arrest him immediately would necessarily mean that Mfalapitsa had to be a stateís witness and the Cosas members would be aware of the fact that he was working with the security forces and even if he disguised himself while giving evidence, the Cosas members would be able to deduce his identity from his evidence.

If Mfalapitsa could not be used as a state witness they would be found guilty of illegal possession of weapons, ammunition and explosives. This offence was not so serious that it would be sure that they would be removed from the community for a long time.

MR VISSER: You mean that they would not be sent to jail for a long time?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

There was also the danger that if they were to be charged with a crime, they could mention or name Mfalapitsa as the person whom they received the weapons from and this would necessarily lead to the exposure of the fact that he was an Askari. I then suggested that there was just one option and this was to kill them. I suggested that weapons and/or explosive devices be given to them and that I find a suitable place at some mine where this instruction would take place and that an explosion be orchestrated which would point to the fact that they had blown themselves up.

Brig Schoon undertook to receive instructions to this and that he would inform me at a later stage.

Brig Schoon contacted me later and informed me that the matter would be considered properly to eliminate these youths and he gave me the authorisation to continue with my plan.

I have said in my Amnesty Application, as I have understood this instruction it was correct because this pointed to the safeguarding of a police officer and his family. By that I did not mean to give notice that I acted legally, justified would be a better word to use. I was aware that this action would be a crime and is an irregular action and in co-operation with an explosives expert from the SAP at that stage, it was Lieut C Rorich, explosives were placed in the room where the training of these youths would take place.

MR VISSER: If I could just interrupt you there.

On page 203 of your Amnesty Application you referred to the date as 15 February. How do you know that this is the date, 15 February 1982?

MR COETZEE: I cannot recall the date, Chairperson. This incident took place 17 years ago. I read the date in the newspaper.

MR VISSER: Would you please continue with paragraph 20 on page 7.

MR COETZEE: Joe Mamasela transported the youths and Mfalapitsa to this house where the explosives were. There were two or three F1 Russian hand grenades which I had found at Vlakplaas and these I gave to Mfalapitsa to hand to Cosas members. There could have been a pistol.

MR VISSER: You refer to the pistol.

MR COETZEE: Once again because in newspaper reports a pistol was mentioned. That is correct, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Please continue.

MR COETZEE: These Cosas members and Mfalapitsa were in the room busy with their training in weapons and at some stage Mfalapitsa came outside and Lieut Rorich executed the explosion while Col Grobbelaar and I and one of his staff members observed the premises and after the explosion we left the scene immediately.

MR VISSER: To prevent any identification, the member to which you refer was not identified here, who is it?

MR COETZEE: It was W/O van Tonder, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Chairperson, we refer to paragraph 22, and where is Mr van Toner today?

MR COETZEE: He has died in a motor vehicle accident.

MR VISSER: Very well, continue.

MR COETZEE: And after the explosion we immediately left the scene to prevent any identification. It seemed later that the three youths, B Madikela, N Matabane and S Mohlapo were killed in this explosion and that Sandile Musi was injured.

MR VISSER: Mr Coetzee, where did you get these names from?

MR COETZEE: Once again from a report, but the name of Musi I can remember.

The act, this was to the instructions of members of security branch at headquarters and the following day I reported to Brig Schoon that the incident had been concluded and that three of the Cosas members had been killed and one had escaped, but it has to be that one had survived, Chairperson.

Post mortem inquests were carried out, normal inquests were carried out by the other branches of the force and as it appears in 1P47 later, I request that my amnesty be granted to me for my role in this tragic event on the grounds of the considerations as it is put here and in the general background document. I want to emphasise that my action took place during the struggle of the past, that it was aimed at the supporters of the liberation struggle in the safeguarding and maintenance of the previous government and that I bona fide believed that my action was part of my task as a police officer and in the execution of my tasks as a police officer and request that amnesty be granted to me for my actions in this incident.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VISSER

CHAIRPERSON: For no other reason than logistical, Iíll start with you Ms van der Walt, you are right next to Mr Visser.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS VAN DER WALT: Mr Coetzee, Mr Rorich who is my client, his Amnesty Application is filed under Annexure A and these applications were not bound in a bundle. I want to know if you have seen this application.

MR COETZEE: No I have not, Chairperson.

MS VAN DER WALT: I would just like to point out certain aspects to you. According to Mr Rorich he was stationed at Ermeloís security branch. Is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That is correct, Chairperson.

MS VAN DER WALT: Why did you approach him?

MR COETZEE: The first reason was because I trusted him. The second reason was because I did not have the means to cause an explosion and I was aware of the fact that he could.

MS VAN DER WALT: Is it correct that he is an explosives expert?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: And is it correct, because in his application in Annexure A9 he was not tasked with the investigation to these youths, the only purpose for which you approached him was to execute this explosion?

MR COETZEE: Correct, Chairperson.

MS VAN DER WALT: You also mention in paragraph 23 and it was put to you where you got these names from and you said it was from a newspaper report, I would like to put it to you that Mr Rorich has only taken note of the names now in your application.

No further questions, Chairperson, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Ms van der Walt.

Adv Jansen.

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

Mr Coetzee just a few aspects which I want you to confirm as to the practice of Vlakplaas. Is it so that the members of Vlakplaas, when they undertook this identification of insurgents of the ANC, did they work in groups?

MR COETZEE: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR JANSEN: And these groups were to some extent territorial in the sense that some of them worked in the Eastern Transvaal, some of them in the Western Transvaal, depending on where they had knowledge of the area.

MR COETZEE: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR JANSEN: And it was logical that a person like Mr Mfalapitsa who knew Botswana, would be deployed to a group who worked in Western Transvaal and on the West Rand?

MR COETZEE: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR JANSEN: I would assume that, except for the work of this person so as to identify a person who would be an insurgent from Botswana to South Africa, this was also part, to identify people who wanted to go out for training abroad who were supporters of the ANC or were otherwise actively involved in ANC activities.

MR COETZEE: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR JANSEN: I donít know if you have had regard for the Affidavit of Mr Mfalapitsa but there is one aspect where he differs from you in the sense that he cannot remember something that you have mentioned. You mentioned that you gave him instructions to convince the four Cosas members not to continue with their plan to kill the policeman. He says that he has no recollection of that instruction and I just put it to you, would you like to comment?

MR COETZEE: Chairman, my comment is that the statement that I had made is the truth as I recall it. I know that I have had sleepless nights because of this and I have done everything in my power to prevent that these persons who undertook this training and committed the murder, I had indeed told Mfalapitsa that he had to try to convince them and I told him, mention it that your brothers are still abroad and they must wait till the Cadres come back, and must reconsider it. They are children, they donít know anything of these activities.

MR JANSEN: I would like to take it up with you. Can you recall where this discussion took place?

MR COETZEE: No I cannot.

MR JANSEN: No further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR JANSEN

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Tshabalala?

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

Mr Coetzee, when Mfalapitsa reported to you the Cosas wanted to go ahead with their plan, did you have any alternative plan?

MR COETZEE: My alternative plan was to eliminate them, Chairperson.

MR TSHABALALA: You mentioned that you took into account the family and the life of W/O Nkosi in taking out the instructions that the deceased should be eliminated. Did you ever think about the deceased and their families at the time?

MR COETZEE: I did and this matter weighed very heavily upon me and today, with great humility, I would like to express my sincere sympathy to the next of kin of the victims because this is not something that I would have wanted.

MR TSHABALALA: I take it that the security laws at the time were tough and efficient for the State. It provided wide powers for the security police at the time to keep people in custody. Was it not possible for yourself to use these powers provided by the law?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I have already stated in my evidence why that route wasnít followed. I donít know whether or not I could elaborate any further about that.

MR TSHABALALA: Well, I would like you to elaborate.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I mentioned the options which were considered. In the first place there was arrest, detention without trial, all these options would have led to Mfalapitsaís exposure and for us it was a dilemma.

MR TSHABALALA: Did you ever think that he would be exposed at any time?

MR COETZEE: At that stage I didnít think so.

MR TSHABALALA: At the time did you think that eliminating the deceased, was it proportional to your duties at the time?

MR COETZEE: At that stage as a result of the terrible conditions under which this country was, I felt that it was justifiable.

MR TSHABALALA: Will you still think the same today?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, as a result of the political changes since that time, we are no longer under the same conditions and for that reason I donít have the same opinion as what I held in 1982.

MR TSHABALALA: Did you ever find out whether you were dealing with highly politically matured persons or with youths who were caught in the political situation at the time?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, at that stage the youth, especially from 16 June 1976 when the RSA started burning, the youth especially was used effectively by the ANC SACP Alliance by means of various organisations namely the U D F, Cosas, the Civics, the Defence Units and so forth. They were used to promote the objectives of the ANC, to topple the government of the day by means of violence and to create chaos in the country, with the effect that the security forces would then not be able to execute their duties and that would render the country ungovernable. I could carry on.

MR TSHABALALA: This is probably what made you to want to convince Mfalapitsa to convince again the deceased not to go ahead with their plan.

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR TSHABALALA: Yet you knew that these people are being used by the liberation movement.

MR COETZEE: That is correct, Chairperson, and I couldnít do anything about that personally.

MR TSHABALALA: What was the response of your superiors after you carried out your plan?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, do you mean superiors such as Brig Schoon or somebody else?

MR TSHABLALA: The top of the security forces or whoever you are reporting to.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, the only person at head office with whom I had a discussion regarding this matter was Brig Schoon and nobody else. When I informed him about what had happened afterwards, I donít believe that he had anything to say, I canít recall what his reaction was.

MR TSHABALALA: What remuneration did you get for executing the plans.

MR COETZEE: Absolutely nothing. Zero.

MR TSHABALALA: Another question. You mentioned that you found out about the names of the other deceased in the papers but Musi you knew. Why did you know Musi and the others you donít know?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, for several years I was stationed at Krugersdorp in the security branch before 1982 and thereafter once again and I was up to date with the circumstances of the Musi family. I was aware of the fact that two brothers namely Benjamin and Wellington had left the country and underwent military training abroad. At Krugersdorp there were files of these persons for illegal

defection and terrorist training, there were files about them which I studied and, in other words, I was completely aware of their circumstances. It was not strange to me, and I knew that there were other brothers at that house because now and then we would visit the premises in order to determine whether or not these persons had returned home.

MR TSHABALALA: I put it to you that the youth and including Zandisile Musi, were not planning to kill W/O Nkosi.

MR COETZEE: Thatís incorrect.

MR TSHABALALA: Thank you Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Tshabalala.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR TSHABALALA

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Tshabalala.

Ms Thabethe.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS THABETHE: Thank you Mr Chair, just one aspect.

Mr Coetzee, I donít know whether I heard you correctly, did you say you made the decision yourself, you took that decision yourself to kill the victims?

MR COETZEE: Let me put it as follows: It does not matter which decision I would have taken in this regard, the decision which was conveyed to me from Head office by Brig Schoon, was the decision that I would have stuck by.

MS THABETHE: I am saying you didnít make that decision yourself, you were given orders from Head office.

MR COETZEE: Thatís correct.

MS THABETHE: Okay, I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS THABETHE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Thabethe

Mr Coetzee, is it correct to say that you are the person who proposed the plan. You were the source of the idea to kill these persons.

MR COETZEE: Thatís true.

CHAIRPERSON: What information did you have surrounding

the persons against whom action had to be taken?

MR COETZEE: Information that I had about them was everything which Mfalapitsa, who was the middleman, had told me. I never dealt with them personally, I didnít know who they were.

CHAIRPERSON: So in your work situation you have never dealt with any one of the deceased or the survivor?

MR COETZEE: I had absolutely nothing to do with the three deceased. As I have mentioned, there were times that I went to the house of this Musi and I recall that I saw him there and understood that he was one of the children of that home.

CHAIRPERSON: But you had no reason to pay any attention to him within the context of your duties as a security police officer?

MR COETZEE: No, not at that stage.

CHAIRPERSON: What did Mfalapitsa tell you with regard to these four persons?

MR COETZEE: He said that these four persons, or at least firstly Musi, approached him alone.

CHAIRPERSON: I am sorry I am going to interrupt you now. I donít want you to explain the plans that they had, I want you to tell us what he told you about those four persons, who they were and what the situation was. What did he inform you about? You said that all that you knew about these four persons was what Mfalapitsa had told you.

MR COETZEE: Thatís correct. He mentioned to me that they were youths and I was aware of the fact that Cosas members were youths. So that wasnít new to me.

CHAIRPERSON: And what else did he say? He mentioned that they were youths.

MR COETZEE: Yes he said they were youths and that they had certain objectives as a group, certain actions that they were going to execute. However, that they were not sufficiently trained to execute this alone and that they did not have suitable weaponry to do so. They were aware of the fact that Mfalapitsa was a trained ANC terrorist and they wanted him to help them with their plans.

CHAIRPERSON: Thus the image that Mfalapitsa conveyed to you was of these four youths who had this idea that they didnít have the personal capacity to undertake their idea, they didnít have the weapons and they didnít have the training. So basically you had four kids with an idea.

MR COETZEE: Yes, thatís correct, but I must mention that initially it was an idea as you have put it, but upon the next meeting when Mfalapitsa came to me and said "These guys have a sketch plan which indicates the streets and Nkosiís house and the homes of Council members and theyíre serious, they want to carry this out", I was in a dilemma really.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, and still they didnít have the personal capacity to execute this plan which they had put on paper without the assistance of Mfalapitsa.

MR COETZEE: Well Chairperson, let me put it as follows, with Mfalapitsaís assistance they would perhaps have been able to do a best job. It was commonly known that the youths during those years would throw petrol bombs everywhere. They would have been able to apply that method without Mfalapitsa, its possible, I donít know but for more effective elimination of Nkosi and his family by means of training and suitable weaponry would have rendered a more effective onslaught.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, so in other words there was always the possibility of petrol bombs but what they had in mind and what they held by was for Mfalapitsa to train them and to provide weaponry for them to execute this plan.

MR COETZEE: Thatís correct.

CHAIRPERSON: According to the information which you received, did these persons have any political profile?

MR COETZEE: Not that I knew of.

CHAIRPERSON: Would it be correct to say that you were motivated basically by your concerns regarding the safety of Nkosi?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson. I might just mention to you that this specific Nkosi was a man with whom I had worked for several years. He was a highly respected figure in the community. He was the best black security member in Krugersdorp. I knew him very well personally as well as his family and that year had been the first occasion upon which black members had been allocated a housing subsidy.

He built a beautiful brick house for himself in Kagiso and I could really not see why I should sit still and watch this man and his family be murdered and see his home torched and so forth. It weighed very heavily upon me.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but do I understand you correctly that this was the basic consideration which you held for your actions, the protection of Nkosi and his family?

MR COETZEE: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Was there no other way in which you could protect Nkosi and his family except for the killing of these four youths.

MR COETZEE: No Chairperson. I know it sounds very strange to say that one murder is committed in order to prevent another. I understand that many people struggle to accept this, but unfortunately that was the genuine state of play.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you consider anything else? Did you try to think of other plans or ways in which you could protect Nkosi and his family, placing guards or removing them from that residential area?

MR COETZEE: I warned Nkosi, I told him that I had information that these guys wanted to get him. I told him to be careful.

CHAIRPERSON: But did you still deem it necessary to kill the deceased?

MR COETZEE: Yes, that was my reasoning.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well. Has the panel got any other questions?

ADV DE JAGER: You approached Rorich to offer assistance. What rank did you have and what rank did he have?

MR COETZEE: At that stage I was a Captain and I am not certain whether or not he was a Warrant Officer or a lieutenant.

ADV DE JAGER: But you occupied a higher rank than he did?

MR COETZEE: Yes, thatís correct.

ADV DE JAGER: And if you requested or gave him orders, was he to obey you?

MR COETZEE: Yes, under normal circumstances, but this was not a legal order.

ADV DE JAGER: Yes I understand that but under normal circumstances with normal commands or orders,

He would have to obey you?

MR COETZEE: Yes, thatís correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Just a follow-up on that aspect. Would you have to inform his Commander that you had a task for him, Rorichís Commander?

MR COETZEE: It would be appropriate for his Commander to be informed.

ADV GCABASHE: Did you do that?

MR COETZEE: I did not. I did not contact his Commander or any other person with regard to this matter.

ADV GCABASHE: Therefore did he come and assist you where his own command structure did not know about the task on hand?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, because the order came from Brig. Schoon who was the overall Commander of the security office. There is an old saying which says that the less you know about something, the better for you. So in other words there were no wide discussions about these matters with every Tom, Dick and Harry.

ADV GCABASHE: Did you tell him that Brig Schoon had authorised this particular operation?

MR COETZEE: I did.

ADV GCABASHE: And you explained to him that this involved the killing of certain people?

MR COETZEE: No, thatís correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

Can I come to Brig Schoon. Do you know who he got his orders from?

MR COETZEE: I donít know.

ADV GCABASHE: And was it not your business to find out either?

MR COETZEE: Not at all. We also had a restriction of work.

ADV GCABASHE: Did he question you on your recommendation that these four youths were dangerous, just to summarise the whole matter.

MR COETZEE: Yes, we did discuss that. I presented all the possibilities to him. He asked me whether I couldnít do this or couldnít do that. We had a discussion about it, that is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: You were at the scene and, correct me if Iím wrong, when Mfalapitsa and Mamasela arrived with the youths. You were somewhere in the vicinity?

MR COETZEE: Thatís correct.

ADV GCABASHE: But you obviously couldnít be seen by them.

MR COETZEE: No.

ADV GCABASHE: Can you recall how long it was before Mfalapitsa came out of the mine area, when he came back, time?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I cannot tell you with regard to the course of time because at that stage I was moving back to the vehicle which had been parked in the bushes, so Mfalapitsa was not within my sight, I couldnít see him.

ADV GCABASHE: As I understand the general evidence, as soon as he came out the idea was that the explosives would then be detonated?

MR COETZEE: That is correct and Rorich was the person who could see Mfalapitsa, not me.

ADV GCABASHE: Then one last aspect. You say in paragraph 23 of I think this is Exhibit B, your statement, that it later turned out that these particular youths, three had died and one had been injured.

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: How much later was that?

MR COETZEE: The following day.

ADV GCABASHE: Out of the police contingent that came to do Iíll call it a clearing up job, you did not come then?

MR COETZEE: Not at all.

ADV GCABASHE: Were those policemen instructed by you at all to go to this particular scene? Just explain those circumstances as far as you know of those.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, regarding that matter, the local police handled it as they would have handled any regular explosion and any other unnatural death and so forth. With regard to that matter, my group and I had nothing to do with it. The cover was that these people had blown themselves up in other words. I hope you understand.

CHAIRPERSON: I donít think you understand the question. How did the police come to hear of it?

MR COETZEE: I donít know.

CHAIRPERSON: You did not notify them?

MR COETZEE: No.

ADV DE JAGER: And a previous question you were asked, how long after they arrived there did Mamasela come out of the house. Did you hear the explosion?

MR COETZEE: Yes.

ADV DE JAGER: How long after their arrival did the explosion take place?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, youíre asking me about something which took place 17 years ago and if I had to give you an accurate time, I would be lying. Really, I hope you can accept that.

ADV DE JAGER: Yes, you have told us that you canít tell us in terms of minutes, but was it quite a while, a long while, or was it a short while?

MR COETZEE: I really canít remember. I donít wish to compromise my evidence by saying that it was a half hour or 45 minutes, it could have been just a few minutes, Iím not sure.

ADV GCABASHE: One final aspect. Mfalapitsa had known the Musi brothers previously.

MR COETZEE: Thatís correct.

ADV GCABASHE: He knew the family?

MR COETZEE: He went to school with them as far as I understood.

ADV GCABASHE: Iím just thinking broadly here. Were you sure at the time, and are you sure today, that there was nothing personal between the Musi family and Mfalapitsa that might have lead to this

particular incident? I am simply asking whether you considered that at all.

MR COETZEE: I wasnít aware of any actions between the Musi family and Mfalapitsa. He did not mention

this to me so I could not have known about something like that.

CHAIRPERSON: Adv Visser, re-examination?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: One aspect, Chairperson. Your leave, I think it has been dealt with but just one aspect. You have told the Committee that youths were applied by the ANC SACP Alliance in order to promote their interests in the struggle.

MR COETZEE: Thatís correct.

MR VISSER: I think the question of the Chairperson was, if they did not supply weapons to these four persons, there wouldnít really be a problem. Would you have regarded it as such?

MR COETZEE: I could not regard it as such. Nkosi could have been killed in many other ways. He could have been stabbed.

MR VISSER: And you referred to the use of petrol bombs.

MR COETZEE: Thatís correct.

MR VISSER: Was that a generally common thing which appeared or was it not as regular?

MR COETZEE: It was a very common occurrence, almost on a daily basis.

MR VISSER: And with regard to the political aspect Mr Coetzee, which political sentiments do you think these persons held? Of which groups or parties were they members or supporters?

MR COETZEE: I have no doubt that the entire Musi family were either supporters of or members of the

ANC and I can motivate why I make that statement.

In terms of section 118 of the Post Office Act, all postal items to that house were intercepted by the security police. The family of a certain organisation overseas, it was Amnesty International, gave assistance to families of those who had defected and offered material assistance to them, so there was no doubt within my mind that they were members of the ANC. Regarding the other members, I cannot offer any opinion because I didnít know.

With Cosas, an organisation which was affiliated with a political organisation or party, you will know that Cosas was an affiliate of the UDF and that the UDF was the internal wing of the ANC and one could continue as such.

MR VISSER: Is that the reason why you say that your action was committed against supporters of the liberation movement?

MR COETZEE: Thatís correct.

MR VISSER: Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes Adv Gcabashe.

ADV GCABASHE: There is just one aspect I forgot, one question I forgot to ask. The R1 000 that was paid to Mfalapitsa, what was the purpose of paying that?

MR VISSER: Chairperson, it was the policy of the government and/or the security Head office to reward black, and I emphasise the word black, members for actions that would be with the identification or arrests of insurgents and so forth. White members never received any reward in this relation according to my recollection, the reason for that being that blood is thicker than water and the rewards were offered in order to secure the loyalty of these persons towards us.

ADV GCABASHE: Would you then say, just your own opinion, that the fact that he knew that he would get this money, I mean it was general practice in the security forces, the fact that he knew he would get this money would not have motivated him to put particular things in a particular way.

MR COETZEE: He didnít know that he would be rewarded for his actions. On the contrary Mfalapitsa had only been back in the country for a few weeks and this was the first matter, according to my knowledge, in which he was involved. I can guarantee that it was not presented to him that he would do A, B and C and receive a reward for his actions. That was not what was told to him.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you Chair.

MR VISSER: I know that you will probably want to take an adjournment but the last question has now prompted re-examination on that issue.

CHAIRPERSON: I suspected that Mr Visser but before you do that I also have, just in that regard, a question or two and you might want to take them all together.

Would the black members who were working for you all have been aware that they were established members of this unit? Would they all have been aware of this policy of rewards for actions?

MR COETZEE: I believe so.

CHAIRPERSON: So to be specific, Mamasela, was he at that stage an established member of the units?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I speak under correction but I would believe that on 27 February Mamasela was sworn in as a full member of the security police and that he was affiliated to Vlakplaas on a full time basis thereafter. It was a few days before the incident.

CHAIRPERSON: You are speaking of being formally sworn in, but did he work at Vlakplaas?

MR COETZEE: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: For a time before this incident?

MR COETZEE: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Would he have been aware of this police or rewarding black members?

MR COETZEE: I believe so, but I donít want to say that with regard to all incidents the black members were rewarded, I wouldnít be able to say that. It was even the policy to reward members of the public. If you provided any information about any weaponry you would receive a reward.

CHAIRPERSON: But would it be reasonable to say that the average black member who was involved with Vlakplaas knew that there was money involved in actions?

MR COETZEE: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: You say that Mamasela was with Mfalapitsa on the evening or during the day of the incident?

MR COETZEE: Yes. He took him there and left the scene afterwards.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. So he transported Mfalapitsa and the Cosas members from one place to the place where the incident took place?

MR COETZEE: That is correct?

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Visser.

MR VISSER: Thank you Chairperson.

Mr Coetzee you may be confused. He referred to black members and you do not distinguish between policemen and Askari members. Is there a distinction with regard to these rewards that you have mentioned or was there no distinction?

MR COETZEE: There is indeed a distinction. The opinion that black members also worked for a salary like we did and for that reason they did not receive those rewards and that only turned or rehabilitated Askaris would receive rewards.

MR VISSER: I think for that reason previous evidence may have been confusing. So policemen were not rewarded.

MR COETZEE: Thatís correct. However, there were exceptional cases for which there was a procedure. Commissioner de Jager will recall that in the Northern Transvaal there was an Amnesty Application during which a black member had received a reward. He was a policeman, but there was a special procedure. In such a case the Commander would send a memo to Head office in which he would recommend a reward.

MR VISSER: And that would be for exceptional bravery or the uncommon adherence to duties. You were aware of such a situation?

MR COETZEE: Yes I heard of that.

MR VISSER: But this is not what we are talking about here. We are talking about actions during the struggle of the past and you would concur then as I understand you, that policemen were not rewarded.

MR COETZEE: Thatís correct.

MR VISSER: But the Askaris were a completely different issue because they didnít receive any salaries.

MR COETZEE: Yes, thatís correct.

MR VISSER: And mostly they received money for services rendered. In other words upon achievement.

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: Now that achievement, was that the

commission of illegal acts for which they were rewarded with money or was it about arrests, about legal actions?

MR COETZEE: I would say that it was mostly about legal actions.

MR VISSER: And let it not be said that we have said something which once again creates confusion.

It is true that later, Iím not entirely sure exactly when, but later the Askaris were paid a salary.

MR COETZEE: Later some of them were sworn in as full members of the South African Police in order to overcome that problem because then they would be receiving a salary and they wouldnít be paid these rewards any further.

ADV GCABASHE: I am sorry there is just one answer I did not get. Did you say they would be paid for legal or illegal actions, the translation didnít quite come through.

MR COETZEE: For legal actions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VISSER

CHAIRPERSON: Adv Jansen have you got anything ...(indistinct)

MR JANSEN: Yes Mr Chairman I do.

Mr Coetzee I would just like to remind you of a number of facts and ask you to say what you can confirm and what not. But what you knew of Vlakplaas before you took over there as the Commander, is it correct that Vlakplaas, before its division into these formal detection groups, offered accommodation for these Askaris through the years, from the beginning in the 1970ís.

MR COETZEE: Yes, thatís correct.

MR JANSEN: And the Askaris, that being ANC members who had joined the SAP or had started working for the S A P, were always registered as Head office informers and that they were paid in that way.

MR COETZEE: Yes, thatís correct.

MR JANSEN: In 1981 for example Joe Mamasela was a registered informer who worked for you in the West Rand.

MR COETZEE: Yes, thatís correct.

MR JANSEN: However, he lived at Vlakplaas for security reasons.

MR COETZEE: At a stage, yes indeed. He didnít live there full time, intermittently, thatís correct.

MR JANSEN: And when you took over in 1982, I think it was in the beginning of January.

MR COETZEE: Yes, thatís correct.

MR JANSEN: Was that the logical consequence of your connection with Mamasela, that he would go over to Vlakplaas on a permanent basis.

MR COETZEE: Yes.

MR JANSEN: If I understand Capt. Dirk Coetzee, your predecessorís evidence in this matter correctly, at that stage at the beginning of 1982 the policy with regard to Askaris was changing, in other words a decision was taken to have all Askaris join as full members of the S A P at some or other point after a gradual process.

MR COETZEE: Let me explain it as follows. In other words such an Askari would have to prove himself first. He would have to prove himself to be reliable and trustworthy.

MR JANSEN: Yes, Iím sorry to interrupt you. I didnít understand that anybody would automatically join the police after being stationed at Vlakplaas.

MR COETZEE: It wouldnít happen immediately but it would take place after a period of time.

MR JANSEN: But Head office didnít want to continue the policy or the practice of paying Askaris a monthly amount as so-called Head office informers, they wanted them to be full members.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson my knowledge about that subject with regard to the previous practice of paying these individuals a monthly amount created problems because the police budget came from secret funds and funds were limited and so forth and in order to overcome that financial problem it was decided to make them policemen and pay them a salary and keep the reward, because those rewards would

have to be requested every month along with motivations for why these rewards were required and this was creating problems and that was the reason why, after a while when it was determined that they were reliable and trustworthy, the decision was taken to make them police members.

MR JANSEN: But would you confirm that upon the arrival of such a person at Vlakplaas, such a person would be registered as a Head office informer.

MR COETZEE: Yes, thatís correct.

MR JANSEN: And such a person would then be paid on a discreet basis with regards to information received and the practice at that stage of monthly payments and so forth.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, I donít believe that all payments signified the same amount.

MR JANSEN: But it was not an uncommon practice for a person to pay his informer a monthly amount?

MR COETZEE: If it was justifiable, it would be done in such a way.

MR JANSEN: There would be certain typical practices of payment according to which a person would be paid on a monthly basis, but there would also be practices according to which informers would be paid per occasion for their supply of information.

MR COETZEE: Yes, thatís correct. I must just mention that you must draw the distinction. There were also agents. There were agents and sources. Agents were paid a fixed salary on a monthly basis but these Askaris were not agents as far as I knew, they were sources. In other words, they were rewarded occasionally and these rewards differed according to circumstances.

MR JANSEN: At this stage I would just like to place it on record, unfortunately I donít have the opportunity to receive instructions with regard to these rewards with Mfalapitsa. As soon as he is present I will do so. I did not foresee this Chairperson, it did not appear from the documents and I am assuming that, due to that fact I did not take it up with Mr Mfalapitsa when I was in consultation with him. It is an omission on my behalf and I ask that you understand my position, that I have not received instructions with regard to this aspect.

CHAIRPERSON: So you cannot confirm that R1 000 was paid?

MR JANSEN: No, I cannot confirm that.

MR COETZEE: Excuse me Chairperson, maybe I can be of assistance. I cannot say whether he was rewarded with R1 000 but I know that headquarters gave me an amount of money and I gave it to him. He signed a receipt. I was not under the impression that it was R1 000. I donít know if that can be of any assistance to you.

MR VISSER: Chairperson, may I just refer you to page 225 and perhaps my learned friend could take this up with his client, you will see that there is a discrepancy of R100.00 as opposed to R1 000.00. One of the two must be wrong, so it may be R100.00.

MR JANSEN: Sorry Mr Chairman, I see that now and I actually went through this application with my client and for some or other reason it doesnít come back to me now but I accept that that must obviously be then confirmation of that and I assume that it would seem from the context, that it refers to this specific incident and not the other one. I note the discrepancy and Iíll take that up and weíll confirm whatever the position to be. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I think we did anticipate that you might have this kind of situation developing in the absence of your client and I think that is why we felt that perhaps its advisable that they should bring him here as soon as we can, but we have noted your position and obviously if something does arise from all this which we need to put to Mr Coetzee, then you know weíll allow you an opportunity to do so at that stage.

MR JANSEN: Yes I apologise, Mr Chairman. I think the reason why it doesnít come back to me, why I donít recollect, Iíd never thought this aspect to be contentious as I recollect my consultation, so I donít think it should create a problem. Thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Visser, is there anything else.

MR VISSER: Except that we might consider taking a tea adjournment now.

CHAIRPERSON: I thought we would be at a stage where we could excuse the applicant, which I assume we can do. We will excuse you Mr Coetzee. It may be that further questions will be put to you later when we have regard for Mr Mfalapitsaís position, but unfortunately he is not present.

MR VISSER: He is going to have to stay on until my learned friend has clarified his position because Mr Coetzee is from Durban and when he leaves it will be difficult to get him back. I suggest he rather stays and not be excused.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that makes sense. Do you follow Mr Coetzee?

MR COETZEE: Yes I do.

CHAIRPERSON: We want to take a brief adjournment. Weíll stand down for 15 minutes. Weíll reconvene at 12.15.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

NAME: W.F. SCHOON

APPLICATION NO: AM4396/96

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MR VISSER: We go to the next witness but before we do so, may I refer you to a bundle which we compiled, which is before you. It starts with the cover page of the Shell Bomb. Might I suggest that this be called Bundle 5. We will not immediately refer to it, the only reason why I mention it now is by virtue of certain questions that have been asked regarding Vlakplaas.

Just to draw your attention to the fact that at page 54 of bundle 5, right through to the end, which is page 88, you will find documentation relating to Vlakplaas, dealing with its establishment and its development and what was considered the purpose of Vlakplaas. It is not really important now, but the second point is that at page 54 youíll see a P J Coetzee there. I just want to draw your attention to the fact that that is not the previous witness, that is General Petrus Johannes Coetzee.

Apart from that, and placing that on record Chairperson, I then call Brig Schoon. We have in his case also drawn a statement which will be C1 and we beg leave to hand that up to you. Brig Schoon will give his evidence in Afrikaans Chairperson.

W F SCHOON: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: They are not in possession of Exhibit C1, Mr Visser.

EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: Theyíve got it right in front of them, Chairperson.

Mr Schoon, you are the applicant in this matter where you ask for amnesty in the incident of the death of three Cosas members and the injury to one other. Is that correct?

MR SCHOON: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Your written application appears in Bundle 1 at page 10 and following. And this particular incident is found on page 72 of Bundle 1, is that correct?

MR SCHOON: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Do you confirm the contents of your written application as true and correct?

MR SCHOON: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And you would ask that this be incorporated into your evidence.

MR SCHOON: That is correct.

MR VISSER: And before you, you also have Exhibit C1 and this is a statement which was drawn up for you which you would use as a basis for your evidence, is that correct?

MR SCHOON: That is correct Chairperson.

MR VISSER: On page 1 you refer to relevant testimony, you refer to Exhibit A and the evidence mentioned in Exhibit A, you want to incorporate that into your evidence, is that correct?

MR SCHOON: That is correct.

MR VISSER: And then in C you refer to evidence which was rendered by yourself.

ADV DE JAGER: Just for the record, in paragraph 8 the exhibit was not numbered. I want to draw your attention to that.

MR VISSER: Thank you Commissioner de Jager. That would be Exhibit a, small a and small b. We did not know at that stage what the order of the exhibits would be.

From C onwards you refer to your own evidence. The first was on 19 November 1996 after a Subpoena which you received in terms of Section 29 of the TRC Act when you gave evidence before the Human Rights Commission. Is that correct?

MR SCHOON : That is correct.

MR VISSER: And at that instance you made a written submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, is that correct?

MR SCHOON: Yes.

MR VISSER: And this, Chairperson, one finds in bundle 5, the new bundle 5, from page 36 and following. At this stage we are not going to refer to that further, this will be relevant later when we get to the Mnege Application.

And in E you mentioned that there also appeared in the armed forces hearing before the Human Rights Committee in October 1997 and as well in the COSATU House and KHOTSO House and the Amnesty Application of the attempted murder of Mr Marius Schoon in Botswana. You have also given evidence there, is that correct?

MR SCHOON: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Our current application deals with the murder of 3 Cosas members, their names are mentioned in paragraph 1 on page 2. Where did you get these names from?

MR SCHOON: From the pieces of the previous witness, Col Coetzee.

MR VISSER: And with regard to the date, is it the same?

MR SCHOON: Yes, itís the same.

MR VISSER: Could you please tell us Brigadier, excuse me, Mr Schoon, you retired with the rank of Brigadier?

MR SCHOON: Thatís correct.

MR VISSER: And in 1982 when this incident took place, what was your position then?

MR SCHOON: I was a colonel and in command of Group C at security headquarters in Pretoria.

MR VISSER: Group C, what did this include?

MR SCHOON: This dealt with the combating of terrorism, handling of arrested terrorists, the Askaris.

MR VISSER: And were you also in command in that capacity of Vlakplaas?

MR SCHOON: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Very well. Can we then just arrive at the current incident. If you have regard for page 3 and paragraph 3, would you please inform the

Committee from there onwards? This is in Exhibit C1.

MR SCHOON: Paragraph 2 on page three, 1982, Col J.C. Coetzee, then Captain, was the Commander of Vlakplaas at this stage. Early in 1982 he was busy with investigation work and the finding of terrorists in the Soweto region. He received information from a new Askari who handed himself over to the police after he received training abroad.

MR VISSER: Please just go a touch slower.

MR SCHOON: Namely one Ephraim Mfalapitsa. I was aware that Ephraim Mfalapitsa had handed himself over to the SAP when he returned to the country. The fact that he was back in South Africa was not generally known and this had certain advantages from the viewpoint of the role that he could play for the security branch. The information which was conveyed to Col Jan Coetzee by Mfalapitsa was that he was, he had met with a certain Musi. This Musi had two brothers with whom Mfalapitsa had left the country to receive military training. Musiís two brothers were not back in the R S A. Musi approached Mfalapitsa to inform him that he (that he and three other Cosas members) wanted to kill one W/O Nkosi who was stationed at Krugersdorp security branch. Musi asked Mfalapitsa to assist them with the supply of weapons and training in these weapons to execute this intention of killing Nkosi.

My attention was drawn to the fact that Mfalapitsa had also applied for amnesty and that he had spoken of this intention of this group to kill a black Council member, a teacher Matsidisa. This is in Bundle 1, page 231.

Because the incident came from a new Askari member who had to be protected at all costs, Col Coetzee decided to discuss the matter with me at my office.

MR VISSER: Very well Mr Schoon. The incident there should be information.

MR SCHOON: This is information received from the new Askari. Thatís correct.

During February 1982 a discussion took place where Coetzee explained the problem with regard to the intended attack on Nkosi and his family and he asked me for my guidance. The incident also included the protection of Mfalapitsaís identity.

After I discussed the incident with Col Jan Coetzee, I then suggested that he give Mfalapitsa instruction to speak to the four Cosas members to dissuade them from their plan. A few days later Col Jan Coetzee once again had discussion with me at my office. He told me that he had told Mfalapitsa about the instruction and that Mfalapitsa reported back to him that the Cosas members did not want to stop with their plan and that they were quite serious, that they had already drawn up a sketch plan. Certain houses were marked for attack and that they wanted to do something for the struggle and it had seemed then that there was nothing to do in the situation and that Nkosiís life was in real danger.

I considered the matter seriously. The security branchís success was dependent on information. Askaris played a valuable role in the identification of ANC supporters. Without the help of informants and Askaris, the security branch would not be able to stop the revolutionary onslaught.

Mfalapitsaís participance with the security branch was not known to the Cosas members. This made him a very valuable person because he was not under suspicion from the ANC supporters. These circumstances then led to a dilemma and the options which we discussed was firstly the possibility of an arrest. This was not possible because of the following reasons and considerations. To arrest them immediately would mean that Mfalapitsa had to be a state witness and then the Cosas members would be made aware of the fact that he worked for the security branch. Even if he was disguised the Cosas members would deduce from the evidence that it was Mfalapitsa.

If Mfalapitsa couldnít be applied as a state witness they would have been found guilty of illegal possession of either weapons, ammunition or explosive devices. This offence did not mean that they could be removed from the community.

MR VISSER: Meaning that they could not be sent to jail for a long period of time.

MR SCHOON: No, except for that if they were to be charged with some offence they would name Mfalapitsa as the person whom they received the weapons from and this would lead to the exposure of the fact that he was an Askari.

Col Jan Coetzee then proposed that there was just one option and this was to kill them. He suggested that weapons and/or explosive devices be given to them and that an explosion be established which would point to the fact that they had blown themselves up with weapons which they had in their possession.

I undertook to discuss the matter with a higher authority and he then left. I had discussion with Brig Jan du Preez and explained the whole matter to him. He was second in command of security branch at Headquarters. He did not need much convincing to give authorisation and to continue with the plan as it was suggested by Col Jan du Preez. The three of us reached consensus that this action was necessary to prevent that the ANC SACP Alliance by means of the four Cosas members, could exploit the situation surrounding Nkosi and to safeguard the lives of Nkosi and his family and to protect the identity and life of Mfalapitsa at all costs. If the four Cosas members were arrested, such action would expose Mfalapitsaís identity and would place his life and the lives of his family members in danger.

If Nkosi or Mfalapitsa or any member of their family had died or been injured, it would, in my opinion, have led to the fact that it would have been used as propaganda to further the revolutionary struggle. This could lead that there would be separation between the members of the security branch and the black community in that community.

The situation would then lead to further suspense and conflict which would further the climate of unrest and revolution. It was therefore necessary to avoid this situation. I conveyed the decision of Brig Jan du Preez to Col Jan Coetzee.

The planning and execution of the action was not discussed by myself or Brig Jan du Preez and it was left to the operatives on the ground. I was however aware of the fact that the plan would be the following. Mfalapitsa would supply weapons to the Cosas members which came from Vlakplaas. He would then pretend to train the four Cosas members. A place was chosen close to a mine heap close to Krugersdorp where there was a pump house which was chosen for this purpose. As soon as the four Cosas members arrived with Mfalapitsa at the pump house, Mfalapitsa would find a reason to excuse himself and as soon as he exited the pump house, explosives which were planted there beforehand, would be detonated and thereby the four Cosas members would be killed.

I have studied the relevant parts of Col Coetzeeís Amnesty Application in so far as it deals with the execution of the operation and I accord therewith, specifically with regard to the role that was filled by myself.

MR VISSER: You have also heard his evidence this morning.

MR SCHOON: That is correct Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And do you agree with that?

MR SCHOON: Yes I do.

MR VISSER: And three persons were killed and one was injured, we know their names, but severe damage was caused to the small building, presumably the pump house, and this happened at an abandoned mine.

I am told its between Krugersdorp and Randfontein.

MR SCHOON: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Did Jan Coetzee report to you?

MR SCHOON: Yes he reported to me that three of the members had died.

MR VISSER: And you say one had escaped, but the Chairperson used the words had survived.

MR SCHOON: Yes, he had survived.

MR VISSER: And you refer to the fact that there was and Inquest held. Did you have anything to do with the Inquest?

MR SCHOON: Nothing at all, Chairperson.

I request that Amnesty be granted to me for my participation in this incident on the ground of the consideration herein, with and in the general background document as put before you. I want to emphasise that my action took place before the struggle of the past, that it was aimed at the supporters of a liberation movement and in the maintenance and protection of the previous political dispensation and that I had bona fide believed that my action was part of my duties as a policeman and that I was authorized in the execution of my duties and a request that amnesty be granted to me for my actions in this instance.

MR VISSER: Mr Schoon, you say that the instruction came from Brig. Jan du Preez.

MR SCHOON: That is correct Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Did you agree with the instruction?

MR SCHOON: Yes.

MR VISSER: For the reasons as you have put forward.

MR SCHOON: Thatís correct.

MR VISSER: Was it suggested to you, if it was suggested to you, that the whole thing was done to protect Nkosi?

MR SCHOON: No, Nkosi was a small particle in what had to be protected. Indeed it was the South African Government that had to be protected.

MR VISSER: For the reasons you have named.

MR SCHOON: For the reasons which I have named.

MR VISSER: It is also so that police officers and black civic members or council members were targets of the ANC SACP Alliance and other liberation movements.

MR SCHOON: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: The issue with regard to reward was applicable for work that was done. It is sometimes referred to as silence money, but according to your knowledge, in which instances were such rewards paid out Mr Schoon?

MR SCHOON: There were several categories. Firstly we had the normal informant, he was rewarded for information that was conveyed to the security branch and then a written request was handed in for his remuneration which had to be recommended by his Commander and had to be approved at Head office and a month or so afterward he would receive his reward.

MR VISSER: It was the same system that police forces all over the world used?

MR SCHOON: Thatís correct.

And then the Askaris, they were rewarded for work or for duties performed for example the arrests of returning terrorists or information that they had conveyed, or finding of weapons ľ(indistinct) and they were also rewarded by means of a fixed amount every month and a request was handed in which was approved that a certain amount of money would be paid to him for every month and a request was handed in which was approved that a certain amount of money would be paid to him for every month, but initially the amount was R200.00 and this gradually increased to R400.00.

MR VISSER: And Mr Coetzee who gave evidence before you said that his impression was that this was from the secret fund.

MR SCHOON: Yes I think so.

MR VISSER: And who was in charge of this secret fund at Head office in 1982?

MR SCHOON: Gen. Coetzee was the appointed official.

MR VISSER: The accounting official?

MR SCHOON: No, the accounting official.

And the person who administered the funds was Col Piet Goosen at that stage.

MR VISSER: And the normal budget of the police, who administered that?

MR SCHOON: This was done by the Commissioner.

MR VISSER: You have heard from questions which my learned friend Mr Jansen had put to Mr Coetzee that from 1982 a standpoint was taken that Askaris become police officers instead of remaining Askaris. Is this, according to your recollection, correct?

MR SCHOON: That is correct Chairperson.

And for this reason the Askaris became more and the secret fund at that stage, which was not very large, this made a whole in the secret.

MR VISSER: You donít speak of their children, you mean of new Askaris coming there.

MR SCHOON: That is correct.

MR VISSER: With regard to normal police officers, were they rewarded for duties performed?

MR SCHOON: Chairperson, to the best of my recollection no, not in the same manner as the Askaris.

MR VISSER: But there are some exceptions which you are aware of and this is the matter of and this is the matter of Griffiths Mxenge.

MR SCHOON: Yes.

MR VISSER: We will eventually get there, but you say that according to you police officers were not rewarded for duties performed but Askaris indeed receive incentive bonuses.

Thank you Chairperson that is the evidence-in- chief.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Visser. Ms van der Walt.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VISSER

EXAMINATION BY MS VAN DER WALT: Thank you Chairperson.

Mr Schoon is it correct if Mr Rorich would testify that you were in command of all the security branches from your position at Head office?

MR SCHOON: No it is not actually so. I was in charge of a certain desk and the security branches which had to report back, would report back to me and then I would channel it further.

MS VAN DER WALT: At that stage was Mr Rorich a Warrant Officer and in his application for Amnesty he mentions that he received instructions from Col Coetzee and he received instructions for Brig du Preez and he accepted that the instruction came from you?

MR SCHOON: It is possible, Chairperson, because I just told Col Coetzee that he must continue and he

had to do the necessary to conclude the operation, therefore I would accept that he would say that.

MS VAN DER WALT: Was it also true that with such instructions that were given it was on a need to know basis. Other people were not informed about it.

MR SCHOON: No it was on a need to know basis.

MS VAN DER WALT: So just the persons who would be involved would know thereof.

MR SCHOON: Yes.

MS VAN DER WALT: No further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS VAN DER WALT

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms van der Walt.

Mr Jansen.

EXAMINATION BY MR JANSEN: Brigadier, just a few aspects with which you can be of assistance.

Firstly with regard to the structure of the security police, is it correct that except for Head office which was stationed at Pretoria, it was divided into divisions which were in the regions and the regions were divided into branches?

MR SCHOON: Yes. Some regions had branches and there were divisions where they only had the one branch for example Witwatersrand, like for example the Eastern Transvaal would have a branch Ermelo.

MR JANSEN: Yes, now in Head office it was divided into the Commissionerís office, and then the divisions A,B,C,D and E and so forth. Is that correct?

MR SCHOON: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: You were in command of C Section.

MR SCHOON: This was at the security branch, not with the Commissioner.

MR JANSEN: Excuse me Iím wrong here. Head of the security police. When we speak of the Commissioner, there would be, the head of one of the branches of the police would be the security police and the head of the security police had these sections A,B,C under him.

MR SCHOON: ľ(indistinct) command, he was the senior staff officer.

MR JANSEN: So somebody like Johan du Preez, if he would for example have the same rank as somebody who

was the head of a division, he would be functionally his senior.

MR SCHOON: Yes, that is correct.

MR JANSEN: With regard to Cosas, for record purposes we would accept that it is general knowledge that Cosas was the Congress of South African Students.

MR SCHOON: Thatís correct.

MR JANSEN: And itís a student organisation which is affiliated to the ANC.

MR SCHOON: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR JANSEN: As we have student organisations like Parcel who was affiliated to the PAC and Azasco who were affiliated to Azapo so one could accept that a person who is a member of Cosas would be in all reality, or one could say with all certainty that he was a supporter of the ANC.

MR SCHOON: Yes, that is correct.

MR JANSEN: And once again, for the sake of completion, in your evidence you also say you are the source of the instruction that Mfalapitsa had to dissuade these four Cosas members and I would like to put Mr Mfalapitsaís version to you that he does not remember this. Would you like to comment on it?

MR SCHOON: No, I have no comment.

MR JANSEN: Chairperson, thank you, I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR JANSEN

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Jansen. Mr Tshabalala.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR TSHABALALA.

MR TSHABALALA: Thank you Chair.

Mr Schoon, when Mr Coetzee reported to you about the Cosas four, what was your reaction to it?

MR SCHOON: Chairperson, I have missed the question. I am looking for the correct channel.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you repeat the question please?

MR TSHABLALA: Mr Schoon, I will repeat my question.

When Mr Coetzee reported to you about the Cosas four, what was you reaction to the situation then?

MS THABETHE: Channel 1 is Afrikaans. Channel 2 is English.

CHAIRPERSON: Just a minute, please. Whereís the technician? Please come and assist this witness here, he wants to listen to the original question in English.

Mr Schoon, would you like to listen to the question?

MR SCHOON: I cannot hear you, Iím hard of hearing.

CHAIRPERSON: Just a minute then please.

Can I ask for order please. Look if you canít solve the problem then Iím going to adjourn.

MR TSHABALALA: Mr Schoon, when Mr Coetzee reported to you about the Cosas four, what was your reaction to the situation then?

MR SCHOON: At first I wanted to know more and the report that he initially submitted to me was somewhat scarce. I wanted him to go back and notify the people via Mfalapitsa to not go along with their plan because this was an illegal act and he undertook to go back and convey this message to them.

MR TSHABALALA: A written report, or you just spoke?

MR SCHOON: That was the original report which Coetzee submitted to me upon which this was my reaction.

MR TSHABALALA: The question is whether the report was written or oral. Whether the report was written or oral.

MR SCHOON: I canít hear you.

ADV DE JAGER: Was it a written or an oral report?

MR SCHOON: It was an oral report.

MR TSHABALALA: Did you ever enquire about the age of the youths.

MR SCHOON: No.

MR TSHABALALA: Did you ever talk with Mr Coetzee about the alternatives you could pursue?

MR SCHOON: Yes we did discuss this and ultimately the action which was executed was decided upon as the only alternative at our disposal.

MR TSHABALALA: Mr Coetzee, in his evidence, mentioned that there was a plan to assassinate W/O Nkosi.

MR SCHOON: That is correct.

MR TSHABALALA: He even mentioned that there was a sketch which was already mapped out.

MR SCHOON: The sketch was discussed upon his second visit to me not his first visit and he added that these men were very serious and that they wanted to go over into action and that they didnít want to wait any longer.

MR TSHABALALA: Did he ever show you the sketch?

MR SCHOON: No, he had only heard about it.

MR TSHABALALA: When Mr Coetzee discussed with you about the planned assassination of Mr Nkosi, did you ever ask him whether Nkosi knows or not?

MR SCHOON: No Chairperson, I didnít ask him.

MR TSHABALALA: Will you say Nkosiís life was more important than the Cosas four.

MR SCHOON: Chairperson, I accepted that he would have informed Nkosi because Nkosi was one of their men in Krugersdorp.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Schoon, thatís not the question. The question which was posed to you a few moments ago is whether you regarded Nkosiís life as more important than the lives of the Cosas members.

MR SCHOON: Chairperson, during those times I did because we had to rely heavily upon black members and if they were to be murdered we would have found less black members who were willing to work for us.

Secondly, they tried by means of their actions, to topple the dispensation of that time and it was part

of my duties as a police officer to ensure that the stateís dispensation remain in tact.

MR TSHABALALA: Did Mr Coetzee discuss his relationship with Mr Nkosi to you?

MR SCHOON: No Chairperson, I simply knew that they were comrades.

MR TSHABALALA: When Mr Coetzee suggested the plan to you did you try to dissuade him from suggesting that plan?

MR SCHOON: No Chairperson, he informed me that they had already discussed other possibilities and the only conclusion which they could reach, that would be him and Mfalapitsa, was the action which was ultimately planned.

MR TSHABALALA: I put it to you that the motive was not to safeguard Nkosi but to kill the Cosas four.

MR SCHOON: No Chairperson, that is not so.

MR TSHABALALA: What was your reaction when Nkosi reported to you that the job has been done?

MR SCHOON: I accepted it as a task which had been concluded. Yes, I congratulated him. I simply told him "Well done".

MR TSHABALALA: Did you report to your superior?

MR SCHOON: Yes I did.

MR TSHABALALA: And what was his reaction?

MR SCHOON: The same, that they were satisfied with the results.

MR TSHABALALA: Did you ever receive anything in reward for the job done?

MR SCHOON: No Chairperson, except my monthly salary.

MR TSHABALALA: Will you regard your actions then as proportional to the objectives which you were pursuing at the time?

MR SCHOON: That is correct. We were in a struggle against the ANC SACP and the Communist Alliance whose objective it was to bring the Republic of that time down by means of an armed struggle by using infiltration and agents, by sowing unrest. I regarded it as my duty to attempt to avoid the emergence of anarchy and chaos in the country.

MR TSHABALALA: So is it correct to say that the issue was not Nkosi but to prevent the ANC SACP Alliance from overthrowing the government?

MR SCHOON: Nkosi was a very small pawn that had to be protected. The actual protection was aimed at the government of the day.

MR TSHABALALA: I put it to you that there was no plan to kill Nkosi.

MR SCHOON: That is not what was conveyed to me.

MR TSHABALALA: With regard to the rewards which were paid to the Askaris at the time, do you have any knowledge that the rewards were standard or were according to the job done.

MR SCHOON: Chairperson, I donít know what remuneration they received. I didnít have any knowledge of that.

MR TSHABALALA: Apart from Mr Coetzee, did you know of the other people who were involved within the securityľ(indistinct)

MR SCHOON: No, he came to me with the plan, I cleared it with Brig Cronje and left it up to him to do the necessary. I did not prescribe to him what he was supposed to do. I also didnít ask who was going to be involved in it.

MR TSHABALALA: So you were not interested to know

who were the people involved there, who will be involved in carrying out the operation?

MR SCHOON: I had no interest in that at that stage.

MR TSHABALALA: When did you tell Mr Coetzee to continue?

MR SCHOON: The second time, or the second visit that he paid to me in this regard.

MR TSHABALALA: In the first instance when you met you said he should dissuade Cosas Four from carrying out their plan. Is that correct?

MR SCHOON: That is correct.

MR TSHABALALA: And the second time when he came back to you?

MR SCHOON: He reported to me that the Cosas members were not about to abandon their plan and that they were already in possession of plans and I undertook to clear this story up further with a higher authority. Afterwards I told him to continue, that this had been cleared.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Tshabalala, is it convenient, I want to adjourn for lunch?

MR TSHABALALA: Chair, I just have two questions.

What will you say to the families today of the deceased and the survivor himself?

MR VISSER: With respect I object to that question Chairperson. This is an Amnesty Application, it is not a hearing before the Human Rights Violation Committee and this witness ought not to be placed in a position where he has to answer that question.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, technically of course Mr Visser you are correct. It is not unheard of that some people use even this process, which is really part of a broader one, to try and reach broader objectives than simply a technical sort of inquiry, but I mean you are quite correct, it is not, strictly speaking, an issue that calls to be decided here.

MR VISSER: Thank you Chairperson, having given myself one second to rethink the matter I think you are rather correct and I believe that seeing that this process is all geared towards national reconciliation, I withdraw my objection. You are absolutely correct.

MR TSHABALALA: With respect, Chair, I withdraw my question too.

Did you know of the involvement of the explosives expert?

MR SCHOON: No I didnít know about that.

MR TSHABALALA: No further questions Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR TSHABALALA

CHAIRPERSON: Weíll adjourn for lunch and reconvene at 2 oíclock.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Schoon I would remind you that you are still under oath.

W F SCHOON: (s.u.o.)

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS THABETHE: Mr Schoon, can you please explain why was it so important for you to protect Mr Nkosi.

MR SCHOON: Chairperson, it was important to protect the policeman because he was a symbol of the government of the day and if something were to happen to him it would have been an advantage for the ANC.

MS THABETHE: If thatís the case why didnít you consider something like moving him out of that community in order to protect him?

MR SCHOON: Chairperson, he wasnít the only target. It also came to light that there were other persons and it wouldnít have helped simply to move or

transfer him because weíd just be transferring the problem.

MS THABETHE: Coming to that decision that was taken to kill the victims, you indicated to us that it would have been critical for you to arrest these people because then it would have meant you have to expose a lot of people. Is that correct?

MR SCHOON: Yes Chairperson, in this regard it would have exposed the person who was involved in the case, that would have been Mfalapitsa and that would have meant that we would have lost a very important source.

MS THABETHE: Did you maybe consider detaining them without trial?

MR SCHOON: I beg your pardon?

MS THABETHE: Did you consider detaining the victims without trial?

MR SCHOON: Yes Chairperson, it was considered and it was decided that this was not the solution.

MS THABETHE: Why?

MR SCHOON: Because it would not have put them out of circulation for long enough.

MS THABETHE: Can you also briefly explain what was political about your act of protecting Mr Nkosi, just briefly.

MR SCHOON: Could you please repeat that?

MS THABETHE: Iíll rephrase my question to be more clear. I understand that you had to protect Mr Nkosi because he formed part of the government, is that correct?

MR SCHOON: Yes.

MS THABETHE: Now what I want to know is that how was his protection going to advance the objectives of the government of the day?

MR SCHOON: Chairperson, by protecting him we could make use of his services in the future. If he were to be exposed at that stage, his services would be lost for the government and at that time it was very difficult to obtain reliable and good agents. We didnít want to run the risk of losing him.

MS THABETHE: Would it be correct for me to say that you committed all these acts to further the objectives of the government of that day?

MR SCHOON: That is correct.

MS THABETHE: No further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS THABETHE

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Schoon what happened to Jan du Preez?

MR SCHOON: I canít hear you.

CHAIRPERSON: What happened to Jan du Preez?

MR SCHOON: He is still alive, he lives in Pretoria.

MR VISSER: Chairperson, may I come in here? I made enquiries from Ms Thabethe, Mr du Preez received notice of his implication on the 9 April and he has elected apparently not to participate in the proceedings. My Attorney just wants to tell me something. All that we do know is that he is very ill, in fact Iím just reminded, he is so ill that I just remembered, and I apologise, I should have remembered this before, General van der Merwe was asked by the TRC to serve papers on him and his doctor wouldnít allow that to be done, but they told his wife about it.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Visser.

You say that he gave the order to kill these people?

MR SCHOON: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: You went to him and explained the position to him and according to that he gave you the order there and then to execute the plan to kill the people.

MR SCHOON: Yes, thatís correct.

CHAIRPERSON: In what position of authority was he?

MR SCHOON: He was second in command of the security branch.

CHAIRPERSON: And you say that there was a head of the security branch. Was it Mr van der Merwe?

MR SCHOON: No, at that stage it was General Johan Coetzee.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Coetzee. So there were other persons who occupied a higher position of authority that Mr du Preez?

MR SCHOON: Yes, thatís correct.

CHAIRPERSON: How did you understand from where he obtained his authority to authorise such order.

MR SCHOON: He was second in command of the security branch and normally when the Commander wasnít there one would go to him. Even if the Commander was there, he was the senior staff officer and consequently he managed many of the commanding officerís tasks.

CHAIRPERSON: So he had the authority to give an order to have somebody killed without consulting anybody else?

MR SCHOON: Chairperson, if he felt that way he could have told me directly yes, do it, or he could have told me, I would like to consult a higher authority first. The priority was his.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that how you understood the position?

MR SCHOON: Yes. He could have told me "no, wait a minute, letís discuss this with Gen Coetzee" or we could even go to the Commissioner or to the Minister but there and then he gave me the green light and said "go ahead".

CHAIRPERSON: And how did you understand from where that authority originated? What was his rank, was he a Brigadier?

MR SCHOON: He was a Senior Brigadier.

CHAIRPERSON: How did you understand from where his authority originated?

MR SCHOON: Chairperson, it was simply a culture which developed gradually within the security branch.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it a culture?

MR SCHOON: Well thatís how I perceived it.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you uncertain whether or not he did have the authority to do this?

MR SCHOON: Well he did it and thatís why Iím assuming that he did indeed possess the authority.

CHAIRPERSON: So then we must understand that what youíre saying to us is that youíre not entirely certain but that you accepted it like that under those circumstances?

MR SCHOON: He gave me the necessary permission and for that reason I accept that he did have the authority.

CHAIRPERSON: But you never saw any documents or any written form of official authority which was given to him?

MR SCHOON: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you attempt to make enquiries as to what would happen if there was a refusal for the request regarding the youths if Mfalapitsa did not react positively to the request?

MR SCHOON: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you consider this as a possible manner in which to handle the situation?

MR SCHOON: The first time that Capt Coetzee came to me I did consider it and asked that they should try to bring these persons to other insights and then it appeared that this group of young people were very serious about this whole story, given the plan and the sketch. That is what I assumed, that they were serious, that they werenít going to be dissuaded.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you consider it as an option to tell Mr Coetzee to give Mfalapitsa an order not to train them and not to give them any weapons, that you would see to it that Nkosi would be warned and that steps would be taken to ensure that Nkosi would be protected?

MR SCHOON: No I did not consider that.

CHAIRPERSON: You did not?

MR SCHOON: No I didnít.

CHAIRPERSON: Was there any specific reason why you didnít?

MR SCHOON: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Any other questions from the panel?

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you Chair. Just one aspect Mr Schoon. Mfalapitsa, you didnít know him personally, did you?

MR SCHOON: Yes I did and I was aware that he was a person who had given himself over and offered his services.

ADV GCABASHE: That was going to be my next question. He offered his services, you say. In his affidavit on Bundle 1 page 230 line 1,2,3 it is really one sentence, right at the top he says "I was forced to join the South African Security Branch based at Vlakplaas". You see that?

MR SCHOON: I see that.

ADV GCABASHE: You would obviously disagree with that statement?

MR SCHOON: Chairperson, I donít know what makes him say that but at that stage he was fully prepared to work for us.

ADV GCABASHE: Do you recall the circumstances under which he actually approached you or do you know anything about it?

MR SCHOON: What I know about him is based upon hearsay.

MR JANSEN: If I may just assist in that, that word Ďforcedí in that sense is dealt with in this additional affidavit by Mfalapitsa which you donít have. Maybe it is an appropriate time, seeing that its been mentioned now, to hand up, we have now copies of his signed affidavit. Briefly what his version was there was when he handed himself to the South African Police at the Botswana border, he was then debriefed and visited by the Commander of the Western Transvaal region and after being debriefed, his wish officially was just to be returned to civilian life, but that that was not acceptable to the police. For obvious reasons of not knowing whether he should be trusted under those circumstances and that is what he meant by the word forced, but he will be dealing with that in his evidence. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Mr Jansen. We will follow the list that Mr Visser had presented to us earlier which would mean that this affidavit would be Exhibit H.

ADV GCABASHE: Just to confirm, Mr Schoon, you of course know nothing of those particular circumstances.

You just understand him to have voluntarily offered to work for you.

MR SCHOON: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Visser have you got any re-examination?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: Chairperson, yes, it has already been touched on by Commissioner Gcabashe and my re-examination doesnít flow from anything that was put, but rather from something that was not put.

At the last page of bundle 1, not the last page, page 232, Chairperson, there is a reference to the Commissioner of Police, which wasnít the Commissioner it was the Security Chief, Gen Johan Coetzee and I just want to ask one question about that.

In the application of Mr Mfalapitsa on page 232 in bundle 1 he mentions that he drew the inference that Gen Johan Coetzee must have known about this incident. My question to you is whether you had any contact with the former security head about this.

MR SCHOON: No I did not discuss with him.

MR VISSER: Is there any reason that you could offer in terms of why he ought to have known about the incident.

MR SCHOON: Well, the only reason that I could think of is that there was a weekly security review or report that was compiled on a weekly basis and he would necessarily have seen or read about these incidents in that security review.

MR VISSER: That would depend on whether or not it had been reported during the meetings.

MR SCHOON: It would have been reported.

MR VISSER: Thank you.

MR SCHOON: Perhaps I should add that an incident would not necessarily be defined in terms of who or what initiated it.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Schoon, you are excused.

MR SCHOON: Thank you Chairperson.

MR SCHOON EXCUSED

MR VISSER: Chairperson, the next witness will be Mr Grobbelaar. He is the person sitting in the wheelchair and he will be wheeling himself into the witness box in due course. His statement has been prepared and that will be further down the list, Exhibit D. The reason why that has been done is because, this being the Schoon cycle, we intend completing further statements for Brig Schoon as well and we have made provision for them in the list of exhibits.

NAME: A. GROBBELAAR

APPLICATION NO: AM 4143/96

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CHAIRPERSON: Mr Grobbelaar, its not possible for you to rise so you will have to be seated while you take the oath. The witness would like to testify in Afrikaans.

ABRAHAM GROBBELAAR: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Visser.

EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: Thank you Chairperson.

I would like to know if that microphone could be moved just a little bit closer to Mr Grobbelaar, thank you.

Mr Grobbelaar, Exhibit D is a summary of your evidence. Is that correct?

MR GROBBELAAR: Thatís correct.

MR VISSER: You have studied it and you confirm the correctness thereof.

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes.

MR VISSER: You are also applying for the death of three Cosas members and the injury of one.

MR GROBBELAAR: Thatís correct.

MR VISSER: You refer to the background document, Exhibit A, and you request that that information also be incorporated with your evidence.

MR GROBBELAAR: Thatís correct.

MR VISSER: Is there any aspect of Exhibit A which you feel is not of application to you?

MR GROBBELAAR: No.

MR VISSER: Your Amnesty Application appears in Bundle 1 page 214 and following up to page 220.

Do you confirm the correctness of the content of that document?

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes I confirm this.

MR VISSER: In paragraph 7(a) where you were asked whether or not you were the supporter of a political party you stated non applicable. Is that answer correct?

MR GROBBELAAR: I did indeed belong to a political organisation and that was the National Party.

MR VISSER: Thus 7(a) should actually read National Party and (b) should reader supporter. Is that correct?

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes, thatís correct.

MR VISSER: If we could then come to this particular event on page 2 paragraph 2, would you submit to the Committee regarding your knowledge and involvement in the incident?

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes.

In 1982 I was stationed in Soweto. Col J.C. Coetzee who was then a Captain, was the Commander of Vlakplaas. At a stage earlier in 1982 he was busy with investigation and detection of terrorists in the Soweto environment. That was also my work in Soweto and it led to the fact that he and I began to exchange information.

MR VISSER: Might I just interrupt you? What was your rank during that year?

MR GROBBELAAR: I was also a Captain.

MR VISSER: And what were your duties in the security branch?

MR GROBBELAAR: My duties were the detection of terrorists and then I was also in command of the investigative unit and the detection unit.

MR VISSER: As well as intelligence gathering?

MR GROBBELAAR: Partially the gathering of intelligence but that was not the most important component because we could obtain information from other sources as well.

MR VISSER: Very well, continue, paragraph 4.

MR GROBBELAAR: One day he told me that he had received a report from a new Askari that he had met a certain Musi. Apparently Musi has asked Mfalapitsa to assist him and some of his Cosas friends with the supply of weapons and weapons training because it was their intention to murder W/A Nkosi who was stationed at the security branch in Krugersdorp.

My attention was fixed upon the fact that Mfalapitsa has also applied for amnesty and that he has also discussed the intention of the group to kill a teacher and black council member, Matsidisa. That is in Bundle 1 page 231. I do not recall that this was discussed with me but I do not deny that it may have been so.

MR VISSER: Just before you continue, Cosas members are discussed here. There in the Soweto environment what were the activities according to your knowledge and experience of Cosas members during the time of the struggle of the past?

MR GROBBELAAR: My experience was that they were very active in the regard that they intimidated people. They attacked places with bombs, they injured people and murdered people and they were a prominent aspect of the organisation of the ANC which operated on an underground basis.

MR VISSER: Did they contribute to the intensification of the revolutionary climate?

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes, thatís correct.

MR VISSER: Would you continue, paragraph 6 regarding that which was told to you by Col Coetzee?

MR GROBBELAAR: My attention was fixed on the fact that Mfalapitsa

MR VISSER: No you have already completed that. Continue with paragraph 6.

MR GROBBELAAR: Seeing as the matter emanated from a new Askari member who had to be protected at all costs, Col Coetzee decided to discuss the matter with Brig Schoon at Head office.

Later I was informed by Coetzee that Brig Schoon had recommended that Mfalapitsa should receive an order to dissuade the four Cosas members from their plans. A few days later Col Jan Coetzee informed me that things had changed. He informed me that Mfalapitsa had reported that the Cosas members were not prepared to leave their plans and that they were so serious that they had already compiled a sketch plan upon which certain houses were marked for assault and that they were anxious to do something for the struggle. It appeared that there was nothing else to be done about the situation and that Nkosiís life was in danger.

Col Coetzee went to speak to Brig Schoon once again and later he informed me that the Cosas members were to be eliminated and that he required my assistance. I reconciled myself with the decision to eliminate the persons.

The security branchís success depended on intelligence. Askaris played a valuable role in the identification of ANC supporters. Without informers and the Askaris the Security Branch would not have been capable of combating the revolutionary struggle. The identity of such persons had to be protected at all costs. Court directed action would, according to my opinion and the facts at my disposal, undoubtedly have led to the exposure of Mfalapitsa as an Askari. It would have endangered

his life and it would have diminished his value for the security branch to a great measure. Apart from that, it was clear that the life of W/O Nkosi and his family was in grave danger.

MR VISSER: You heard what Brig Schoon said regarding this about the broader picture and the possibility that Nkosi would be killed. Did you listen to that?

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes I did.

MR VISSER: Would you agree with that?

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes I do.

MR VISSER: And it is also so that in the struggle of the past black council members, who were regarded as sellouts by the ANC SACP Alliance, were also regarded as legitimate targets and were murdered.

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes.

MR VISSER: And that was in the promotion of the struggle against the former government?

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes thatís correct.

MR VISSER: Continue.

MR GROBBELAAR: The plan was that weapons and/or explosive devices would be given to them and that an explosion would be arranged which would indicate that they had blown themselves up. I understood that the approval for the action came from Head office, from Brig. Schoon and higher.

For the execution of the plan a building on a mining premises near Krugersdorp was selected.

Thatís a typing error, the bit where it says "where there were buildings".

As soon as the four Cosas members were in the building with Mfalapitsa, Mfalapitsa would give a reason to excuse himself. As soon as he had exited the pump house explosives, which had been planted there before the time, would be detonated and the four Cosas members would be killed.

I have studied the applicable part of Col J C Coetzeeís Amnesty Application with regard to the

operation and I agree with it especially with regard to the role fulfilled by myself.

MR VISSER: I beg your pardon, if I might once again interrupt you, there was a member of your unit on the scene, he has since passed away, a Mr van Tonder.

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes, thatís correct.

MR VISSER: Continue.

Yes, we know that three persons were killed and one was injured and considerable damage was brought to the building. Is that correct?

MR GROBBELAAR: Thatís correct.

MR VISSER: You are also aware that in your presence Col Coetzee telephonically reported to Brig Schoon about the matter.

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes, thatís correct.

MR VISSER: This is a bit of a repetition as a result of my error but in paragraph 19 the third sentence, could you read that?

MR GROBBELAAR: At all times I was aware of what the objective had been with the relevant operation and I was with Lieut Col Coetzee and Lieut Rorich when the explosion took place which killed the victims and injured the other person.

MR VISSER: Yes we are aware of the post mortem inquests. Did you see Mfalapitsa exiting the building at the scene?

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes.

MR VISSER: Yes, and where did he go?

MR GROBBELAAR: He ran towards me and Lieut Rorich where we were hiding.

MR VISSER: And when was the explosive device set off?

MR GROBBELAAR: Just as he arrived at us Lieut Rorich set the device off.

MR VISSER: Paragraph 22.

MR GROBBELAAR: I want to emphasis that my action took place during the struggle of the past, that it was aimed against supporters of a liberation movement, in protection and maintenance of the former political dispensation and that I believe bona fide that my action was proportional to my duties as a policeman and in the execution of my duties as authorised.

I request, with respect, that my Amnesty Application be granted for my actions and offences in this regard.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VISSER

EXAMINATION BY MS VAN DER WALT: Just one question. You mentioned on page 6 of Exhibit E at paragraph 19 of a Lieut Rorich, I would like to put it to you that during that action he was a Warrant Officer.

MR GROBBELAAR: It is possible. I cannot recall what his rank was and that might be quite correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: No further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS VAN DER WALT

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms van der Walt. Mr Jansen.

MR JANSEN: I have no questions, thank you Chairperson.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR TSHABALALA: When they told you about the Cosas four did you suggest any other plan that the killing of the four?

MR GROBBELAAR: No, Chairperson.

MR TSHABALALA: I take it you agreed with the plan to kill the four?

MR GROBBELAAR: That is so.

MR TSHABALALA: Before agreeing, did you ask for more information about the four?

MR GROBBELAAR: No Chairperson, all that I knew was that Mr Coetzee had at a previous stage told me what would happen and where it happened and to the stage where they did not want to listen any more and that they wanted to go over to action.

MR TSHABALALA: And you immediately agreed with the plan?

MR GROBBELAAR: That is correct, chairperson.

MR TSHABALALA: With regard to Mfalapitsa, the question that Mfalapitsa had requested for amnesty, what persuasive value did it have in you?

MR GROBBELAAR: I donít follow you. Could you please repeat?

MR TSHABALALA: The fact that Mfalapitsa had requested amnesty, did you trust him for that? Did you trust Mfalapitsa because he requested for amnesty?

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes I trusted him.

ADV GCABASHE: Mr Tshabalala, can I just understand the question. You are talking about the fact that he voluntarily agreed to join the security forces, not his current amnesty application?

MR TSHABALALA: If I may respond, the applicant had mentioned that Mfalapitsa had requested for amnesty

And I gather that with the old laws there were amnesty laws. I stand to be corrected, in fact its indemnity. Mfalapitsa had requested for indemnity. I wanted to know whether that issue ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: Iím sorry Chairperson, thereís complete confusion. All that this witness said that he was told that Mfalapitsa applied for amnesty in these hearings, in the amnesty process, thatís all that he said.

CHAIRPERSON: Isnít he perhaps referring, Mr Tshabalala, to when he came into the country he was met by police and then he asked to be left sort of in peace to go on with his life, but they wouldnít allow it. Isnít that what youíre referring to?

MR TSHABALALA: Okay, Chair, my understanding was, I heard that Mfalapitsa had asked for amnesty. I understood it to be indemnity, so because of this confusion I will withdraw this question and then continue. My apologies, Chair.

MR TSHABALALA: Did they inform you about Nkosi?

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes Mr Coetzee conveyed this to me.

MT TSHABALALA: What did they say about Nkosi? Can you elaborate?

MR GROBBELAAR: Mr Coetzee told me that W/O Nkosi was the target whom these four intended to kill.

MR TSHABALALA: And so the plan was to protect him?

The plan to execute the Cosas was out to protect Nkosi. Did they put it to you like that?

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes, that is so, to protect him.

MR TSHABALALA: If I heard you correctly, you said you were also concerned about Mfalapitsaís life. Is that correct?

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes thatís correct.

MR TSHABALALA: When you heard that there was this survivor, didnít you think about the fact that Mfalapitsa would be exposed?

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes, at a later stage, and I cannot recall exactly when it was, but I heard and this was over the radio, that there was an explosion and three were killed and one was injured and I though about the possibility that Mfalapitsa might be exposed.

MR TSHABALALA: Initially you were working towards not exposing Mfalapitsa. What actions did you take then to protect Mfalapitsa after the explosion?

MR GROBBELAAR: I did not do anything further to protect Mfalapitsa because he was directly under Mr Coetzee and the reason therefore was that I could not do anything and he only worked in my area at certain times, sometimes a week, sometimes two weeks and then they would move on to the next area.

MR TSHABALALA: Yet you were concerned about his life?

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes that is so.

MR TSHABALALA: What kind of role did you fulfill in the incident on the 15th?

MR GROBBELAAR: The actual role which I and my mates played was to go along and to be in radio contact with each, so that we or that I could warn Mr Rorich if innocent people came along or were in the vicinity and the explosion would take place, to prevent them from being injured and that he does not continue with the explosion. That was my purpose there and the purpose of Mr van Tonder.

MR TSHABALALA: Did it ever occur to you that when Mfalapitsa went into the room with Cosas 4 that he could be affected by the explosion, bearing in mind that you were concerned about his life.

MR GROBBELAAR: No, because that was the sign for Mr Rorich. The sign would be when Mr Mfalapitsa left the building and then he had to detonate the device. Therefore, he would not have been inside.

MR TSHABALALA: I take it that you were the one who was checking whether he will be coming to you, he would be coming out of the room.

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes, that is so Chairperson that he would come to myself and Mr Rorich.

MR TSHABALALA: And immediately when you saw him you gave an indication the Mfalapitsa is out of the room.

MR GROBBELAAR: No he came directly to us and he was at us when the explosion took place.

MR TSHABALALA: Did you indicate to Rorich that Mfalapitsa is going out of the room?

MR GROBBELAAR: No, Mr Rorich saw it himself because we were together.

MR TSHABALALA: Will you regard your actions at the moment as proportional to the political objectives which you were pursuing at the time?

MR GROBBELAAR: Iím not following you.

MR TSHABALALA: Will you regard your actions proportional to the political objectives you were pursuing at the time?

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes, at that stage I saw it as just, but currently I do not agree with it.

MR TSHABALALA: Even if the acts which they were alleged to be about to commit were not committed, you regarded it as proportional to your political objectives.

MR GROBBELAAR: Yes, that is so.

MR TSHABALALA: Did you know the ages of the people which were involved with Cosas, that is the Cosas Four, did you know their age at the time?

MR GROBBELAAR: No, Chairperson.

No I did not find out I just knew that it was young persons, but I did not know the ages of any of them.

MR TSHABALALA: Did you know the type of weapons used when they were blown up?

MR GROBBELAAR: No, Chairperson.

MR TSHABALALA: No further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR TSHABALALA

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Tshabalala. Ms Thabethe, any questions?

MS THABETHE: No questions, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Grobbelaar, what type of weapons were issued to members of the police like Mr Nkosi?

MR GROBBELAAR: As far as I know they were issued with hand weapons, pistols and then in certain instances, I can speak of only the Soweto Region, but in certain instances where there was danger, they were issued with an R1 rifle. Excuse me, and with a twelve bore shotgun.

CHAIRPERSON: And radios?

MR GROBBELAAR: If radios were available they would be issued to some of the members, but this was a scarce article which was used more by the people who were on duty and had to move around.

CHAIRPERSON: What other steps are taken to safeguard these members? Are visits paid to their houses Soweto?

MR GROBBELAAR: An arrangement was made with the unrest unit to, during their shift, they would make a turn at these particular houses, because it did indeed happen that members who were on duty were very busy but during that time there was much I would not say unrest, but there were many attacks and many other complaints which they had to attend to, but when they had the opportunity the could visit their particular house.

CHAIRPERSON: You say that at that stage you agreed with the actions but you do not now.

MR GROBBELAAR: No.

CHAIRPERSON: What is the current position, why do you not agree with?

MR GROBBELAAR: I as person, I speak for myself, I think things have changed entirely and I think this is the reason why I do not agree anymore. Firstly, it was not nice to be there and be present when somebodyís life was taken. It is another matter if it was self-defence and I think the current situation which reigns now is entirely different.

It is entirely different from that time.

CHAIRPERSON: You will not today kill four young persons.

MR GROBBELAAR: That is correct, Chairperson, I wouldnít.

CHAIRPERSON: But you are convinced that you were right at that stage.

MR GROBBELAAR: At that stage yes I was convinced that I was correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So you have changed your opinion now with regard to the correctness of the action at that stage?

MR GROBBELAAR: No, I regard my action at that time

as correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So you think you were justified in taking part in this operation?

MR GROBBELAAR: That is correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Did it not bother you that it was young people that you were killing?

MR GROBBELAAR: It did.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you ask your colleagues?

MR GROBBELAAR: No I did not Chairperson. From which colleagues do you mean?

CHAIRPERSON: It would seem that you had much contact with Coetzee.

MR GROBBELAAR: I did yes.

CHAIRPERSON: How did Coetzee convince you to participate in the killing of four young persons whom you did not know?

MR GROBBELAAR: I accepted it because I would say he had already attempted to persuade them and when he went to Pretoria and received the instruction there and he came back and conveyed to me that this was the instruction, I then accepted that it was an instruction which came from a higher authority and there was no other solution. I trusted him that it would be so and that is why I accompanied him because he asked for my assistance.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you realise that it was four youths whom apparently had no training in the handling of weapons and secondly, they were not in possession of any weapons.

MR GROBBELAAR: I realised that but I was also aware Chairperson that there were of these young people who committed acts of terror.

CHAIRPERSON: But you did not know these four?

MR GROBBELAAR: No Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So you would not be in a position to judge whether they were indeed in that type of category?

MR GROBBELAAR: No Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Is it not a very difficult thing to do, to kill young persons under those circumstances, nevermind the circumstances.

MR GROBBELAAR: I agree with you completely Chairperson and this is something that stays with one and this was 17 years ago but it still remains with me. But when one asks for forgiveness and you ask for forgiveness for all your wrong deeds, and when one asks God to forgive you, He is the only entity who can forgive me, it helps a little, but it still bothers me.

I would like to apologise the family and the other family members but this will not bring back these persons. I have to find peace within myself and if I cannot find that then I cannot continue.

CHAIRPERSON: I understand what you say and that is why I ask you. What is of note is that no steps were taken to see if there was any method to save this situation without killing these people.

MR GROBBELAAR: Chairperson you have to understand my position. I acted on what Mr Coetzee told me. I trusted him and I trusted what Mr Mfalapitsa told him and I was convinced that steps had been taken to avoid that these people would not continue with their plans, but these people came to a point, they said that we cannot wait any longer, we have to do something now.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, thank you Mr Grobbelaar.

Mr Visser have you got any re-examination?

MR VISSER: No re-examination that you Chairperson. I would like in the exceptional case of Mr Grobbelaar who tells me that he is in a lot of pain, ask for him to be excused. If its necessary for him to be recalled he can come back.

CHAIRPERSON: No there canít be any objection to that.

Mr Grobbelaar we will excuse you from any other attendance at these hearings.

MR GROBBELAAR: Thank you very much Chairperson.

MR GROBBELAAR EXCUSED

MR VISSER: That brings me to the end of my witnesses Chairperson. Iíll hand over to someone else.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Visser.

Yes, I think in respect of this matter is it only your client that still remains in regard to this issue or what?

Mr Rorich - alright, then perhaps we should do that.

NAME: CHRISTIAAN SIEBERT RORICH

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MS VAN DER WALT: Then I will call Mr Rorich because Mr Jansenís client is not here yet. I would just like to find out from the Committee if you have received the Annexure A to the bundles otherwise we cannot continue.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we have it.

MS VAN DER WALT: It was under a covering letter. I see you have it.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Rorich would you just switch on.

CHRISTIAAN SIEBERT RORICH: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MS VAN DER WALT: Mr Rorich your application is contained in an annexure to the bundle which serves before the Honourable Committee and your written application is from A1 to A3 which you had completed in your own handwriting and in this application you mention Annexure A where you describe the happenings and Annexure B deals with questions A and B as they appear in the application form.

MR RORICH: That is correct Chairperson.

MS VAN DER WALT: And with regard to this application, your application in Annexure A on A8 and A9.

MR RORICH: That is correct Chairperson.

MS VAN DER WALT: And do you confirm the content of that part of your application?

MR RORICH: I do so Chairperson.

MS VAN DER WALT: And the political motivation as it appears in Annexure B. Do you confirm the content of Annexure B?

MR RORICH: Yes I do.

MS VAN DER WALT: And in Annexure B in the last paragraph you mention, let me just find the correct page, it is A19 Chairperson, that the Commissioner General J van der Merwe, that his submission also be taken into consideration and you have also had regard for Exhibit A before the Committee. Do you agree that this is also relevant to you? And this is also contained briefly in Annexure B. Is that correct?

MR RORICH: Yes I do.

MS VAN DER WALT: During this incident as it appears on A8, what was your rank?

MR RORICH: At that stage I was a Warrant Officer.

MS VAN DER WALT: And you were stationed where?

MR RORICH: At the security branch, Ermelo.

MS VAN DER WALT: And you are no longer a member of the police force?

MR RORICH: That is correct Chairperson.

MS VAN DER WALT: What was your rank when you resigned?

MR RORICH: I was a Lieutenant Colonel.

MS VAN DER WALT: And when did you resign?

MR RORICH: The 30 June 1997.

MS VAN DER WALT: In paragraph 1 under the heading ĎExplosion at a mine at Krugersdorpí. You didnít know the personsí names and you didnít have any particulars.

MR RORICH: That is correct, Chairperson.

MS VAN DER WALT: And in paragraph 1 you mention that yourself and Col Jan Carel Coetzee from Krugersdorp security branch, came to you on the instruction of Brig Schoon.

MR RORICH: That is correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: And he asked you to execute a certain operation because you were an explosives expert.

MR RORICH: That is correct Chairperson.

MS VAN DER WALT: How did you see this instruction? You mention that it came from Brig Schoon, how did you understand it?

MR RORICH: Chairperson, I understood that if it came from Brig Schoon, it came directly from higher authority in Pretoria at the security offices and it was an instruction which had to be executed.

MS VAN DER WALT: On which grounds did you work? Or let me put it this way, your immediate chief, did you inform him in Ermelo with regard to this operation?

MR RORICH: Not at all.

MS VAN DER WALT: Why not?

MR RORICH: This was handled on a need to know basis and the fewer people who knew about it the better.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did you execute any other instructions which came from Head office?

MR RORICH: Yes, I did Chairperson.

MS VAN DER WALT: The information which was conveyed to you, what was it? You can refer to your application, if you have regard for paragraph 2 page A.

MR RORICH: Chairman, I would like to say that I just knew that I had to place an explosive device in an old pump house because people would come there for training.

MS VAN DER WALT: What type of people would it be? Was it just normal people?

MR RORICH: I accepted that it was activists who wanted to receive internal training.

MS VAN DER WALT: Was this told to you?

MR RORICH: Yes.

MS VAN DER WALT: By whom?

MR RORICH: By Capt Coetzee at that stage.

MS VAN DER WALT: And what did you do then?

MR RORICH: We arrived at the place and a pump house was pointed out to me. I went inside, I placed the explosives device, I connected them electronically, I went back to a hiding place where we waited until a vehicle arrived.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did you have to place it in such a manner that it would seem that these persons had blown themselves up?

MR RORICH: This was the instruction.

MS VAN DER WALT: From whom?

MR RORICH: From Capt Jannie Coetzee.

MS VAN DER WALT: Do you if certain explosive devices were given to these persons on that particular day?

MR RORICH: I just knew that, or it was only told to me that they were to receive instruction in the use of hand grenades and guns. I was not there when anything was handed over to them. I was not there when the plan was devised also.

MS VAN DER WALT: You then placed the explosives devices and what was your further instruction? When did you have to detonate the explosives device?

MR RORICH: Col Jan Coetzee told me that a person would go in with them when the vehicle had stopped and then the kombi would depart immediately and after the departure of the kombi one man would come out of the pump house and he would come directly to us and that was the sign that I had to wait until that man joined us and then we had to hide ourselves.

MS VAN DER WALT: You did not know this man?

MR RORICH: No, I did not. I still do not know him.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did you know any of the persons who went into the house?

MR RORICH: Not at all Chairperson.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did you know what their ages were?

MR RORICH: I had no idea.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did you see them?

MR RORICH: I saw people climbing out of the vehicle but I was far away from them and it was dark and I had no idea of what their ages were.

MS VAN DER WALT: And after these persons had arrived there where you and Mr Grobbelaar sat.

MR RORICH: I just turned the detonator and sent the electrical impulse and the explosion took place.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did you visit the scene thereafter?

MR RORICH: Not at all Chairperson, we immediately departed because that was the instruction and it was the idea that the people had blown themselves up.

MS VAN DER WALT: When you received this instruction and executed it, did you realise that this was indeed an offence?

MR RORICH: Yes Chairperson one can put it in such a manner that under normal circumstances it would be an offence but at that stage we were in a state of war and I saw it as an instruction which was given to me on behalf of the government and I had to execute it.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did you bona fide see it as part of your duties as a policeman?

MR RORICH: For sure.

MS VAN DER WALT: And what was the struggle then?

MR RORICH: It was the struggle in which we were embroiled with the ANC SACP Alliance who wanted to take over the country militarily.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did you receive any personal gain from this deed?

MR RORICH: Not at all Chairperson.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did you do out of malice towards these persons?

MR RORICH: No.

MS VAN DER WALT: Because you did not know them?

MR RORICH: No I did not.

MS VAN DER WALT: You also request the Honourable Committee to grant you amnesty with regard to Murder and any other offence which emanates from your deeds.

MR RORICH: That is correct Chairperson.

MS VAN DER WALT: And after the incident did you know that there was one person who had survived the explosion?

MR RORICH: No Chairperson. I only heard thereof when we drew up these documents.

MS VAN DER WALT: So you then request amnesty for murder, attempted murder and damage to property?

MR RORICH: That is correct Chairperson.

MS VAN DER WALT: No further questions, thank you Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS VAN DER WALT

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Visser.

MR VISSER: No questions Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Visser. Mr Jansen.

MR JANSEN: No questions Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Tshabalala.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR TSHABALALA: Thank you Chair. Who approached you about doing this task? Who approached you about doing the task which was designed for you?

MR RORICH: I did not hear the beginning of your question.

MR TSHABALALA: Who approached you about doing this task?

MR RORICH: It was Col Coetzee.

MR TSHABALALA: When he explained what he wanted to do, did you ever disagree with him?

MR RORICH: No.

MR TSHABALALA: Why not?

MR RORICH: I did not argue with him because if it was an instruction from Head office I had to execute the instruction. If I was the person who was chosen to help, I had to perform my duty and that was it.

MR TSHABALALA: Was it for the first time that you had to perform such a duty?

MS VAN DER WALT: I donít think that is relevant. It is clear from the Amnesty Application that the person already applied for amnesty for other incidents and I donít think it is relevant.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Tshabalala there are other pending applications by this applicant and it is the approach of the Committee not to allow pending matters to be canvassed before the time for them to be heard so I am going to unfortunately overrule you on that one.

MR TSHABALALA: Did you say you didnít know the people who were involved in the Cosas Four?

MR RORICH: In my evidence in chief I did say so, yes Chairperson.

MR TSHABALALA: Didnít you find out who were involved?

MR RORICH: It was not relevant for me.

MR TSHABALALA: You said in your evidence in chief that you were at the scene. Did you see the people, that is the Cosas Four going in to the house with Mfalapitsa?

MR RORICH: Chairperson, as I have said in my evidence in chief, it was dark but I did see people climbing out of the Kombi and going into the building. I only heard here that that was the Cosas Four.

MR TSHABALALA: Couldnít you deduce that they were young children which were going into the house at the time?

MR RORICH: I cannot answer that.

MR TSHABALALA: What type of explosives were used?

MR RORICH: Chairperson I used one kilogram high military plastic explosive which is known as PE4.

MR TSHABALALA: What is the radius of destruction?

MR RORICH: The core of such a device would be a minimum of 25 to 30 metres in radius, Chairperson.

MR TSHABALALA: In your expert knowledge would it be deadly, I mean they were dangerous, the explosives which you used?

MR RORICH: For sure, yes.

MR TSHABALALA: Couldnít you use any other less brutal means than the ones you used?

MR RORICH: Chairperson my instruction was that the persons had to be eliminated in the building so that it would seem that the explosion was caused by themselves.

MR TSHABALALA: Did the people who gave you the instructions describe the people you were going to eliminate?

MR RORICH: No they did not Chairperson.

MR TSHABALALA: You didnít care to find out?

MR RORICH: Except for the fact that they were activists and this was mentioned to me.

MR TSHABALALA: When Mr Coetzee came to you, approached you and voiced this plan to execute the Cosas Four, did you find out whether there were any other possibilities to exploit other than using the explosives?

MR RORICH: Chairperson, that was not my instruction. I was not present at the planning of this operation. The only think where I was involved was to cause the explosion in an old pump house and that the people were not to survive.

MR TSHABALALA: Is it correct to take it that you were just receiving instructions and you carried them out?

MR RORICH: Thatís correct.

MR TSHABALALA: No further questions Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR TSHABALALA

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Tshabalala. Ms Thabethe.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS THABETHE: Thank you Chair.

Mr Rorich, when Mr Coetzee approached you exactly what did he say to you?

MR RORICH: Chairperson, exactly what I said in my evidence in chief, that I had to devise some explosive device in a pump house and eliminate these people and I had to concede and seeing that it was an instruction which came from higher up I had no problem with it.

MS THABETHE: Were you requested to plant this bomb because you were an expert on it or would you say because you were a policeman at that time?

MR RORICH: I was an expert in the South African Police at that time.

MS THABETHE: The explosives that you had used, where did you get them from?

MR RORICH: Chairperson it was available to us because it was necessary to have fresh explosives to destroy any weapons of terror and that is why, in terms of Act 26 of 1956, we were permitted by the Minister to have access to explosives to protect lives and properties.

MS THABETHE: My last question to you is, in you evidence you have stated that you did not know the victims, you did not know who those people were. What then would you say was your political objective for participating in this incident if you didnít know who the victims were?

MR RORICH: Chairperson an activist and an instruction from Head office made clear and place me in a position where I must do the work or I was too scared to do it. I was not scared, I did my work.

MS THABETHE: I didnít get the last part about being scared to do your work, can you repeat that one? The last part, I donít know whether itís the translation, about being scared of doing the work, can you repeat please.

MR RORICH: I see she is looking at the people there.

CHAIRPERSON: Please repeat the last part of your answer.

MR RORICH: Chairperson, I have to explain this to her very slowly. Captain Jan came to me with a certain request and that this was cleared with Head office. I could have refused because I was too scared to do the work, or I could agree and do the work and I agreed to do the work because I was not scared of it.

MS THABETHE: Even though you didnít know who the victims were?

MR RORICH: Exactly, because this was as instruction from Head office.

MS THABETHE: Thank you, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS THABETHE

CHAIRPERSON: You could refuse to participate in this operation?

MR RORICH: I had felt that I had a duty towards my country and the people of my country at that stage and I could not refuse and that is why I agreed and I have already said I was not scared to carry out this order.

CHAIRPERSON: I do understand that, but I am trying to find out because you said that Capt Jan came with a request and you decided to execute this instruction because you were not scared.

MR RORICH: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: That is why I asked you, could you tell Capt Jan that "Iím sorry, I will not participate in this operation."

MR RORICH: I could have taken such a decision but I did not.

CHAIRPERSON: He comes from Krugersdorp and you are in Ermelo?

MR RORICH: That is correct.

But at that stage I was aware of the fact that he was the Commander of Vlakplaas and I was aware that this was the unit which resorted under Brig Schoon and everything with regard to terrorist insurgency was channeled from Head office to Brig Schoon and therefore I had no problem with the instruction and with the request which was directed at me. I saw it as an opportunity to put my own knowledge and productivity to use in the struggle in which we were involved at that stage.

CHAIRPERSON: But in your instance thereís no question of terrorists. You say that now you know that Mr Schoon was the person who dealt with terrorist insurgence but no mention was made of any terrorists here.

MR RORICH: With regard to these people I just knew that they were activists who would receive instruction this evening in the use of weapons and hand grenades and that training would be applied within the country to hurt other people. I did not have a problem with it.

CHAIRPERSON: Were there other explosive experts which the police had letís say in Krugersdorp?

MR RORICH: Its possible.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you and Mr Coetzee good friends?

MR RORICH: I knew him as a Captain. Yes, we have seen each other elsewhere and beforehand, but personal friends and visiting each other at home, no, I do not know his personal circumstances, I do not where he lived, we were colleagues. He was a senior officer as far as I was concerned and I had no problem executing orders from my seniors.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you have any indication why he chose you?

MR RORICH: No and I never asked him about it. I knew that I was in that privileged position that he placed his trust in me to perform my duties to the best of my ability.

CHAIRPERSON: Did he tell you not to tell your own Commander of this operation?

MR RORICH: Chairperson, as I have said in my evidence in chief, we worked on a need to know basis. There are things that your Commander needed to know and then there were things that your Commander did not need to know. If an instruction came from a higher authority, you executed it without asking any questions and afterwards I did not even ask questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Did Mr Coetzee tell you not to tell your Commanding Officer of the operation?

MR RORICH: No. If my Commanding Officer knew of this operation, he would have called me in himself. I considered it a very delicate operation because the instruction came from much higher up and Coetzee who was the Commander of C1 Unit at Vlakplaas, that he personally came to fetch me or came to see me at Ermelo and I regarded this as something which has to stay here and it has nothing to do with anybody else and this is how I dealt with it. Even after the explosion I did not even try to contact anybody or to find out what had happened except of course as Brig Schoon had said earlier in his evidence in chief, that it was practice at that stage that, on a weekly basis, us who are in the rural areas, but we did receive security overviews, and in my position I had access to those security overviews which gave the incidents which had happened right over the country and I accepted that it could have been that thing. That is all. Furthermore I never spoke a single word to anybody else with regard to this incident up till today.

CHAIRPERSON: And you deduced it from the circumstances and from the request.

MR RORICH: It was not necessary, we were all grown-ups.

CHAIRPERSON: And you had to deal with it confidentially?

MR RORICH: Yes we were all security police and if we received an instruction from our senior police officer I have to perform my duty or I leave it and I tell it to him straight, "Capt Jan I will go with you or I stay here." I did not refuse.

CHAIRPERSON: But would it happen that your own Commander did not fit into the picture?

MR RORICH: That was not the first time.

CHAIRPERSON: Are there any other questions?

ADV GCABASHE: Just on that point. This was not a general practice in the security branch that an individual could go and work with another unit without telling his or her Commander, or without that person who requests your assistance checking with your Commander that you are available to assist.

MR RORICH: Chairperson, the fact of the matter is that when Head office gave me an order and I received this from a senior officer, I executed it.

ADV. GCABASHE: Finished? I didnít want to interrupt you, I thought you were still talking.

The question was, was it common practice to do the type of thing you did? That was the questions. I realise that you did do it, thatís why you are here today. The question is, was it common practice? You are an experienced officer.

MR RORICH: It was the case during that time because it was a war situation that we were involved in. Certain people would be applied for certain jobs and this wasnít the first time that something like this happened.

ADV GCABASHE: I am still having difficulty understanding this so youíll just help me understand it. I have listened to a couple of security hearings, I have sat in a few, and this is rather new to me so just help me understand exactly where you are coming from in respect of this application. My understanding has always been that there werenít any loose cannons, for want of a better word, people who just did things because they were asked to assist. There was a command structure. There was a report-back structure. Whether the deed was legal or illegal is not the issue but whenever you did do something you would be authorised to do that by your particular unit, but what you are saying to us today is that your unit didn't have to authorise is. If somebody you trusted, who you thought was in authority, asked you to do something, you would do it, irrespective of which part of the country he may be based in.

MR RORICH: Chairperson, in order to provide an answer I would like to put it as follows. That was my experience at that time that something like that was possible because experts were trained in the security branch for specific work and another guy who might not have had the training for example as a demolitionís expert, would not be able to receive such a request or such a task from anybody at any time because he couldnít send somebody to do a job for which they were not adequately trained. So that wasnít wrong. Perhaps, with respect, you have not dealt with somebody like me.

ADV GCABASHE: You have heard Capt Zeelie for instance, who was based in this area, talk about his activities (ľ indistinct) with the things he was involved in. He was one of the local experts and my understanding of the evidence he has given to us, he operated in his area because he was given particular orders to do particular things and this is why I find it a little strange that you would come all the way from Ermelo, without telling your Commanding Officer, without the person who is requesting your assistance informing your Commanding Officer, so itís a two-way process, you would come to an area and participate in an activity that you know is one of those difficult areas. Its illegal but because of the state of war it was authorised in a sense. This is what I hear you saying. I still find that a little difficult to grasp. You know had you been, just as an example, had you been Capt Zeelie working here Iíd probably understand it better because Iíd probably understand it better because I have probably just listened to him so many times I now understand his position and his expertise which is exactly the same as yours, but he is a local man so I understand his activity. Yours I still have a bit of a difficulty understanding.

MR RORICH: Chairperson, I think that the concern is important because the Commissioner does not understand why I came all the way from the Eastern Transvaal to perform certain tasks. All I knew, and I must tell you this now, was that this was a very delicate operation and the fact that I, as a demolitionís expert, was called in from the outside would perhaps not have threatened the normal policing of this area in terms of them undertaking their regular investigations. In other words the demolitionís expert for this area would have been the designated person. When the police found out about this matter, he would have been the person to investigate the scene, without being partial and without him knowing about me and me knowing about him. Is that clear enough?

ADV GCABASHE: You didnít know the four activists, you did not know Mfalapitsa? You were simply told that somebody will come out of the building, come towards you and then you should detonate the explosives.

MR RORICH: Thatís correct and thatís also the reason why Capt Grobbelaar was with me with the radio so that the right person would be in the building before I activated the device.

ADV GCABASHE: It was dark and you know you couldnít answer a question about the age of these young people because it was dark. Now how did you know that this particular person who came out was the right man?

MR RORICH: I looked at Capt Grobbelaar, he shook his head, I turned around and it was over.

ADV GCABASHE: Where was Mfalapitsa at the time?

MR RORICH: He came into the old building where we were seeking shelter. He came in there with us.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you very much.

ADV DE JAGER: Did the colleagues who approached you know that you were the type of man who wasnít afraid to do things?

MR RORICH: I wouldnít know. I wouldnít know why they selected me. I was a dedicated security policeman in my heart and soul and I fought for my country with everything that I had.

ADV DE JAGER: Was that attitude of yours well known among your colleagues?

MR RORICH: Iím not certain. Perhaps they just surmised from my work that I could keep quiet when I had to keep quiet.

ADV DE JAGER: How far was the building in which you sheltered from the pump house?

MR RORICH: If I had to give an answer I would estimate in the vicinity of 100 metres or more.

ADV DE JAGER: And did you wait until the person who they told you would exit the pump house to be in your shelter before you detonated the device?

MR RORICH: Yes, because the previous witness, Capt. Grobbelaar, had to indicate to me that this was the right person and that there wouldnít be other persons with him, that is why he was the one who handled the radio, that was beyond my control. I was convinced that that was the right person and I did my job.

ADV DE JAGER: You donít know why they selected you?

MR RORICH: No, they might be able to tell you.

ADV DE JAGER: Yes, I also think that the person who selected you would be able to provide a much more satisfactory answer than you could.

MR RORICH: Yes I believe so.

RE-EXAMINATION BY MS VAN DER WALT: You have heard the evidence of Mr Coetzee when the question was put to him as to why you were selected. He said that he trusted you and that you were a demolitionís expert.

MR RORICH: Yes thatís correct. I heard that this morning.

MS VAN DER WALT: And you have just stated that you were not afraid of the work because what you did you did for your country.

MR RORICH: That is completely correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: If I understand your evidence correctly, there was a question which was put by Adv Gcabashe that you would have done this if anybody had trusted you. Is that correct, or did you do it because you knew and you believed that the order came from Head office.

MR RORICH: I knew and believed that this order came from Head office. Capt Jan would never have come to me with a story. I knew and I accepted this even though the name of Brig Schoon was mentioned, I didnít know at all whether the Brig or whoever at Head office had selected me and what the reason for that was.

MS VAN DER WALT: But you believed that the order came from Head office?

MR RORICH: Certainly.

MS VAN DER WALT: You did not act as a Rambo, you did this for your Volk and Fatherland?

MR RORICH: Yes I executed my duties within that context.

MS VAN DER WALT: And you do not know whether any other demolitionís expert was involved?

MR RORICH: No, and I did not question this because it was a delicate operation, as it was put to me.

MS VAN DER WALT: No further questions thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS VAN DER WALT

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms van der Walt.

Mr Rorich you are excused. Thank you very much.

MR RORICH EXCUSED

MS VAN DER WALT: That concludes my evidence for this application.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms van der Walt.

Yes Mr Jansen.

MR JANSEN: Thank you Mr Chairman. Yes, news was at lunch-time unfortunately that Mr Mfalapitsa was not at home when the GLC witness protection people arrived at his home and that they were waiting for him at his house to return. It was already then clear that at the very best theyíd be able to bring him through tonight, and that heíd be available tomorrow. Seeing that its only 10 to 4 its obviously best at this stage to take the adjournment and then to continue with the same incident tomorrow.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and I could perhaps just mention, it appears as if there is and has been slight misunderstanding as well in regard to whether or not your client is strictly speaking under the Commissionís witness protection programme or not. They have assisted and facilitated access to him and they know his whereabouts and so on. So there appear to have been some crossed lines in regard to the notification but they have indicated to us in the meantime as well, in order to at least ensure that these proceedings are not interrupted and disrupted, they will actually take charge of him and make sure that at least they use their infrastructure to have him here at least for tomorrow and for as long as he is actually required.

MR JANSEN: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: We have really only got the evidence of Mr Mfalapitsa left in terms of applicants insofar as the Cosas Four matter is concerned. We have virtually come to the end of the day in any event. We have previously indicated that Mr Mfalapitsa, for various reasons, is not physically present at the proceedings at this stage but steps are being taken to ensure and secure his attendance.

Under those circumstances we are going to adjourn the proceedings until tomorrow morning. We will start slightly later than usual. Unfortunately I have to attend to something tomorrow morning which I wasnít able to attend to this afternoon. I tried my best to do that. So I am going to adjourn the proceedings until 9.30 tomorrow morning and hopefully we can then hear the testimony of Mr Mfalapitsa.

We are adjourned. Just a minute!

ADV DE JAGER: Please when we are proceeding with the next one, that they see to it that if theyíre involved the witnesses would be here.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes in fact perhaps just to make sure that we donít have further misunderstandings - the matter which, according to the Schedule weíve been given, which follows on Cosas Four, is that of the abduction of Joe Pillay, so can we call upon the parties who are involved in that respect to make sure that we are able to proceed to deal with that matter once we are through with the Cosas Four matter tomorrow? I trust that everybody will co-operate to make it possible for us to proceed without any unnecessary interruptions.

We will adjourn and we will reconvene at 9.30 tomorrow morning.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS