DATE: 21ST OCTOBER 1999
NAME: DANIEL JACOBUS KRUGER
APPLICATION NO: AM5233/97
--------------------------------------------------------------------------CHAIRPERSON: We shall be commencing with the application of Mr Kruger, is that so Ms van der Walt?
MS VAN DER WALT: That is correct.
DANIEL JACOBUS KRUGER: (sworn states)
EXAMINATION BY MS VAN DER WALT: Mr Kruger your amnesty application appears in bundle 1 from page 355 to 365, or 357. That would be the official application form and the incident for which you are appearing before this Honourable Committee in terms of amnesty, appears from page 358 to 360 and the motivation for, political motivation is from page 365. Where were you stationed during the time of the incident?
MR KRUGER: At the Security Branch in Compol building, Section C, Pretoria.
MS VAN DER WALT: And who was your Commander?
MR KRUGER: Capt. Prinsloo.
MS VAN DER WALT: You have heard the evidence of the other witnesses. You yourself did not participate in any investigation or interrogation with regard to this person known as Mandla?
MR KRUGER: That is correct, Chairperson.
MS VAN DER WALT: And such is the information which was conveyed to you, indicated from page 358 paragraph 2 to page 359 paragraph 9. You received this information from whom? This information which is embodied in these pages.
MR KRUGER: From Capt Prinsloo.
MS VAN DER WALT: What was your task on the farm when Mandla was detained?
MR KRUGER: Chairperson, it was merely to guard him, to safeguard him.
MS VAN DER WALT: Were you aware that he had been abducted?
MR KRUGER: Yes, I knew about that.
MS VAN DER WALT: And you were aware that he was not on the farm under legal arrest?
MR KRUGER: Yes, that is correct.
MS VAN DER WALT: Who are the persons who guarded him with you there?
MR KRUGER: It was Sgt Luddick, Lieut Roodt, Matjeni and Mathebula.
MS VAN DER WALT: You state in paragraph 4 that Lieut Roodt undertook interrogation, is that an error?
MR KRUGER: Yes, that is an error.
MS VAN DER WALT: And do you then request that the Honourable Committee amend this?
MR KRUGER: Yes.
MS VAN DER WALT: That it indicates that he simply guarded Mandla?
MR KRUGER: That is correct.
MS VAN DER WALT: One morning after you had awoken, you noticed something on the farm, what was it?
MR KRUGER: Chairperson, Matjeni and Mathebula came to me and told me that this man, Mandla, who was known to me as Mandla, had been burned by certain persons and that I had to come and take a look. I went to look outside. I saw that the man was naked, that he was bound to a water tank, that he had been burned on the forehead, that he had also been burned on the testicles and at the back between the buttocks.
MS VAN DER WALT: What did you do?
MR KRUGER: I loosened him and I had Betadine ointment which I applied to his forehead and I asked the other members to apply the ointment to the other parts of his body which had been affected.
MS VAN DER WALT: What happened to him?
MR KRUGER: I then let him put on his trousers and he went to sit inside the tent. He said he didn't want to put on his shirt. He was clearly in pain.
MS VAN DER WALT: Did you have anything further to do with him?
MR KRUGER: Nothing.
MS VAN DER WALT: What happened later that day on the farm?
MR KRUGER: Capt Prinsloo arrived there. He was very upset. He chased all of us away from there and I drove. That is all that I know about the incident.
MS VAN DER WALT: I note that you state in paragraph 7 that you went to sleep that evening and that the following morning Mandla was no longer on the farm. What do you say about that paragraph?
MR KRUGER: That is not correct.
MS VAN DER WALT: Why do you wish for it to be amended? When did you realise that you had made an error?
MR KRUGER: After I had consulted with you and studied my affidavit, I saw that there was an error and that this was not the truth.
MS VAN DER WALT: On that same day, you were chased away from the farm.
MR KRUGER: Yes, indeed.
MS VAN DER WALT: And you have no further knowledge of what happened to Mandla subsequently?
MR KRUGER: No.
MS VAN DER WALT: And do you then request that the Honourable Committee grant you amnesty for any offence which may emanate from the actions, such as the assault which you knew about, and the abduction of Mandla, is that correct?
MR KRUGER: Yes, that is correct.
MS VAN DER WALT: As well as for any delictuable accountability which may emanate therefrom?
MR KRUGER: That is correct.
MS VAN DER WALT: Nothing further, thank you Chairperson.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS VAN DER WALT
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms van der Walt. Mr Botha?
MR BOTHA: No questions, Madam Chair.
NO QUESTIONS BY MR BOTHA
CHAIRPERSON: That will be in respect of Mr Goosen and Mr Momberg?
MR BOTHA: That's correct.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr du Plessis.
MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Madam Chair.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Kruger, as I understand your evidence now, it differs from what was stated yesterday that you would testify, or that it was put that you would testify that you loosened him the following morning, and now your evidence has differed.
MS VAN DER WALT: There is no difference in his evidence, that is still what he says.
MR DU PLESSIS: Did you loosen him the following morning?
MR KRUGER: Yes, that is correct Chairperson.
MR DU PLESSIS: Did he spend the entire night bound to the water tank?
MR KRUGER: I assume so, I cannot say.
MR DU PLESSIS: You were not present during the interrogation when he was burned with a log?
MR KRUGER: No.
MR DU PLESSIS: So you don't know what took place there?
MR KRUGER: That is correct.
MR DU PLESSIS: Madam Chair, my instructions from my client and especially Brig Cronje, are that we do not oppose Mr Kruger's application and therefore, apart from pointing out this one discrepancy, I'm not of a view to carry on cross-examining
Mr Kruger. As it pleases you.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR DU PLESSIS
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Jansen.
MR JANSEN: Thank you Chair.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR JANSEN: Mr Kruger, your version differs only in one aspect from that of my client and that is the fact of whether or not you were involved in the official arrest. I don't wish for you to concede that you are mistaken, but would you concede that you have to recall an incident which took place many years ago in terms of your affidavit and that you may have used persons like Mr Prinsloo to refresh your memory?
MR KRUGER: Yes, that is correct. I may have been mistaken. It is all hearsay. I simply heard it.
MR JANSEN: Thank you Chair, I have no further questions.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR JANSEN
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prinsloo.
ADV PRINSLOO: No questions, thank you Madam Chairperson.
NO QUESTIONS BY MR PRINSLOO
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Joubert.
MR JOUBERT: Thank you Madam Chair.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR JOUBERT: Just the same aspect as what Mr Jansen has discussed with you with regard to the arrest and Mr Mathebula. I suppose the same with the application with Mr Mathebula, you simply heard about the arrest, it is based on hearsay?
MR KRUGER: That is correct.
MR JOUBERT: Thank you Chairperson, nothing further.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR JOUBERT
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Van Heerden.
MR VAN HEERDEN: No questions, Madam Chair, thank you.
NO QUESTIONS BY MR VAN HEERDEN
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Steenkamp.
MR STEENKAMP: No questions, thank you Chairlady.
NO QUESTIONS BY MR STEENKAMP
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Kruger, when you state on page 359 paragraph 4 that Mr Mbizana was intensively interrogated by Capt Crafford, Lieut Jaap van Jaarsveld, you've just conceded that Mr Roodt was not there, how do you know of this intensive interrogation?
MR KRUGER: Chairperson, all of this is hearsay, I was not present, I did not see it. These are things which the people who were there guarding with me, told me, I didn't see these things myself.
CHAIRPERSON: Who told you?
MR KRUGER: Matjeni or Mathebula, I'm not certain which of
the two, but both of them were heavily upset. It was clear to me that this was the first time that they had witnessed something like this.
CHAIRPERSON: The ointment, the Betadine Ointment that you applied on Mr Mbizana, where did you get it?
MR KRUGER: Chairperson I had a cut, I am a diabetic, I use the ointment myself, and I simply applied it to him because I had it on me.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. You are excused, Mr Kruger.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. The next applicant is Brig Cronje, Mr du Plessis?
MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct, Madam Chair.
CHAIRPERSON: And that will be the last applicant in respect of this incident?
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, that is correct.
NAME: JAN HATTING CRONJE
APPLICATION NO: AM2773/96
MATTER: ABDUCTION, ASSAULT AND MURDER OF JUSTICE MANDLA MBIZANA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------JAN HATTING CRONJE: (sworn states)
MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Madam Chair, may I proceed?
CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed.
MR DU PLESSIS: You will find his application in the separate document which was handed to you and the evidence starts at page 11, the facts of the matter. The application itself starts at page 10 and it goes over to page 16.
EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: Brig Cronje, with the exception of one amendment which we will discuss momentarily, do you confirm the correctness of pages 10 to 16?
MR CRONJE: Yes, that is correct.
MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. On page 11 where you describe the nature and particulars of the incident, you state in the second paragraph that Capt Hendrik Prinsloo approached you and informed you that a very effective MK member had been killed by him during interrogation and the words "by him" must be deleted, That is not correct?
MR CRONJE: Yes, that is so.
MR DU PLESSIS: He never stated that he was responsible for the death of Mandla as such, not at that stage?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MR DU PLESSIS: Now Brig Cronje, I just want to ask you a number of questions regarding your version. You have heard the evidence which has been presented by Capt Prinsloo and particularly the discrepancy with regard to your evidence regarding the request of Capt Prinsloo to you and the order which was issued regarding your evidence and his evidence. Your evidence was or is in terms of the second paragraph on page 11 that Prinsloo approached you and said that this Mandla had been killed during interrogation and that he asked you which way could be used to dispose of the body?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MR DU PLESSIS: Now can we just examine this hypothetically, Brigadier? If Capt Prinsloo had approached you and presented the facts to you at that stage, as we are now aware are most probably the true facts, namely that Mandla was interrogated and that he was involved in the incident which Capt Prinsloo has set out in his application, that he knew about the informers with the Security Branch, that he was involved in planning attacks on the residences of policemen or at least that it was his objective to do so, that he was a trained MK terrorist, that he was interrogated intensively for an extended period of time, that he refused to disclose or confess anything and that he also refused to undertake any identifications. If we accept hypothetically that Capt Prinsloo came to you and said: "These are the facts" and that he wanted to eliminate Mandla, what would you have said?
MR CRONJE: I would have issued the order for him to be eliminated Chairperson.
MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. And the reason or reasons, let us examine these for a while, the reasons why you would have done so. Would it have been possible for you to charge him at that stage, in your opinion?
MR CRONJE: I doubted that. I doubted whether, with the available evidence, we could successfully charge him and then he was also in possession of information regarding us and the members of the Security Branch and policemen that he would have wanted to eliminate as well as the particulars of the informer and I felt that he could not be released at that stage.
MR DU PLESSIS: Who felt that way?
MR CRONJE: I felt that way.
MR MALAN: I beg your pardon, Mr du Plessis, but Mr Cronje it's not whether or not you would have released him, the question is whether you would have charged him. Naturally you would not have released him
MR CRONJE: If there was sufficient evidence, I would have charged him.
MR DU PLESSIS: If you would grant me the opportunity I will examine this further.
MR MALAN: No, I am responding to his answer.
MR DU PLESSIS: Brigadier, once again, hypothetically speaking, taking all the facts into consideration, if Prinsloo had come to you and said: "I have a confession, he has made certain identifications, should I eliminate him or should I charge him?" What would you then have said?
MR CRONJE: I would probably have said charge him, but once again, as a result of this other information that he had and that we could not obtain from him, I would most probably have said again, eliminate him.
MR DU PLESSIS: Could you just clarify your answer somewhat? If it had been said, or if he had said to you that there was a confession and that identifications were made, would you have doubted regarding what you were supposed to do?
MR CRONJE: I would have thought twice about it.
MR DU PLESSIS: Now Brig Cronje,...(intervention)
MR MALAN: I am not certain whether I understand your answer, Mr du Plessis. What would he have doubted, Mr du Plessis?
MR DU PLESSIS: Brigadier please just explain this to the Committee please. If he had said to you that there were confessions and perhaps I could put the question simply, would you have doubted the elimination or the charge?
MR CRONJE: The elimination Chairperson.
MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Malan.
CHAIRPERSON: Let me understand you, Brigadier Cronje. If he had come to you with the information that he had confessions from Mr Mbizana, your immediate reaction would have been to charge Mr Mbizana?
MR CRONJE: That is correct, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Proceed Mr du Plessis.
MR DU PLESSIS: Now Brigadier, the following question is also a hypothetical question. If you had then decided for him to be eliminated, let us just presume that there were no identifications or confessions and you decided to eliminate him, is it possible that you would have considered for example using Mr van Vuuren for the elimination or anybody else, except Mr Prinsloo?
MR CRONJE: It would have occurred to me that I should rather use Hechter and van Vuuren who had engaged in such activities previously.
MR DU PLESSIS: At any stage before or after this incident did you give any orders to Capt Prinsloo to eliminate anybody?
MR CRONJE: No.
MR DU PLESSIS: Brigadier, were you aware of the particular camp where Mandla was being detained?
MR CRONJE: Only on the morning or the day that he was taken there did Prinsloo request my permission to interrogate him on a farm near Hammanskraal.
MR DU PLESSIS: As far as you know, do you know whether or not this was a temporary or a permanent base?
MR CRONJE: It was a temporary base, as far as I know.
MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. And Brigadier if we could just examine the method of elimination, if you would have been requested by Capt Prinsloo to agree to an elimination, what would have been your commentary regarding the explosion by means of explosives? Was that a regular method of intimidation?
MR CRONJE: Not for a living person, Chairperson. The person would first have to be eliminated and then blown up.
MR DU PLESSIS: And would the elimination have taken place by means of another method then, hypothetically speaking?
MR CRONJE: Gunshot, strangulation, assault.
MR DU PLESSIS: Very well.
CHAIRPERSON: May I interpose, Mr du Plessis? Was it necessary in all instances of eliminations or of blowing up a person that he be eliminated first? Could he be immobilised without having to eliminate him, for purposes of blowing him up?
MR CRONJE: It was possible Chairperson, it could have been done if he could have been effectively immobilised so that he was not even aware of the explosives which would ultimately blow him up. I would then answer yes, it was possible.
MR DU PLESSIS: Brigadier my question is actually whether this was ever done according to this method, according to your knowledge?
MR CRONJE: No.
MR DU PLESSIS: In any other cases?
MR CRONJE: No.
MR DU PLESSIS: And what was the custom with regard to bodies and the removal of bodies?
MR CRONJE: These would be destroyed by means of explosives, so that firstly, the identity could not be established and secondly so that the South African public would be brought under the impression that they were so badly trained that they would blow themselves up.
MR DU PLESSIS: You heard what I asked Momberg and Goosen. Do you agree with their evidence that they were demolitions experts?
MR CRONJE: Yes, that is correct.
MR DU PLESSIS: And do you know why you gave Momberg and Goosen the order to blow up the body?
MR CRONJE: If I recall correctly, they were the only persons who were available at that stage.
MR DU PLESSIS: Now Brigadier, there was also talk of Capt Crafford's position with regard to Capt Prinsloo's position. Could you perhaps explain to the Committee how things functioned? Who was the senior person and where Capt Crafford came from?
MR CRONJE: Chairperson, Capt Crafford was an experienced detective. He was transferred to my division. I specifically wanted to place him with the investigating and interrogating unit. He was the senior to Prinsloo, but as Prinsloo stated rightfully, he was not very experienced in Security interrogation, nonetheless, he was the Commander.
MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. Brigadier as I have understood your evidence, you knew that the interrogation would later be continued on the farm?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MR DU PLESSIS: And did you foresee or accept that assaults could take place during this interrogation?
MR CRONJE: Yes, Chairperson. A man would not simply be interrogated without any form of assault and I was thoroughly aware that he could indeed be assaulted.
MR DU PLESSIS: And this enjoyed your approval?
MR CRONJE: Yes, it did.
MR DU PLESSIS: And Brigadier, did you foresee, when you knew that he would be interrogated in the field, that the possibility existed that he could die as a result of the interrogation?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
MR DU PLESSIS: Furthermore Brigadier, when Capt Prinsloo approached you, if we could accept for a moment that his evidence is correct, which we are naturally disputing, but if we accept that he asked you whether he could eliminate Mandla, when would you have issued the order? Would you have issued the order to him immediately, or would you have waited a while? When, where and how would you have issued the order?
MR CRONJE: I would have discussed it with him immediately there, I would not first have cleared it with junior members, or arranged anything with junior members.
MR DU PLESSIS: And upon your evidence that Momberg and Goosen had to assist Prinsloo with the blowing up of the body, what was your view with regard to orders given by Prinsloo which Momberg and Goosen received? Were they obliged to carry out these orders? What was the position?
MR CRONJE: My order to Momberg and Goosen was to receive further orders from Prinsloo.
MR DU PLESSIS: Brigadier did Momberg and Goosen ever tell you subsequently what exactly had happened?
MR CRONJE: No, Chairperson, it was Prinsloo's duty as the senior officer to report back to me.
MR DU PLESSIS: Mention has been made of your family relationship with Momberg, that he was married to your daughter.
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MR DU PLESSIS: How did you treat him?
MR CRONJE: I never discussed any of these persons with him, with the exact purpose to prevent people thinking that he was telling stories to me about people, because then he would have been ostracised from his colleagues and he also knew, I treated him worse than any other member and he knew that if he put his foot wrong, there'd be big trouble. I would almost venture to say that he didn't really like me much.
MR MALAN: Does anybody ever really like their father-in-law? That isn't a serious statement, it may be on record and then my own father-in-law would come to hear of this. Brigadier and the assaults of which we have heard, that Strydom and Crafford gave evidence about, this was during the interrogation of Mandla, what was your approach to the facts of whether or not they were authorised to do so? What do you say about that?
MR CRONJE: I didn't know about it, but if it had come to my knowledge, I would have approved it.
MR MALAN: I beg your pardon. Can we obtain particulars about what you say would have been approved?
MR CRONJE: Any form of assault on the suspect.
MR MALAN: Including the burning by means of the log, would you have approved it?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I would have approved it because in my mind the ends justified the means.
CHAIRPERSON: So within your approval, there would have been no point beyond which your members couldn't go in applying whatever violent means during an interrogation?
MR CRONJE: That is correct, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: And within that context, was it necessary for any of your members to obtain your approval, prior to applying violent means during an interrogation?
MR CRONJE: No, Chairperson, they knew that I had given permission to interrogate and all of us knew that if a man was interrogated there, there was only one way and he would be assaulted.
CHAIRPERSON: So there was no need for any of your members to come to you to obtain an approval, firstly to interrogate and secondly to apply violent means during an interrogation?
MR CRONJE: That is correct, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: If Mr Prinsloo says that he sought such an approval from you, prior to an interrogation, what would be your comment?
MR CRONJE: He knew it, so I don't see why he needed to request my permission. Everybody knew.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr du Plessis.
MR MALAN: I beg your pardon, may I just follow up on this? If we were to read a scenario into this as the case may be with a number of the applicants, that this was not an interrogation, but sports. You have heard the innuendoes and the evidence?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I have.
MR MALAN: Would you have approved this, because it was a terrorist?
MR CRONJE: No, not at all.
MR MALAN: Would you have acted, if you knew about it?
MR CRONJE: If I knew that this was simply for pleasure, as you put it, I would not have approved it at all.
CHAIRPERSON: Proceed, Mr du Plessis.
MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Madam Chair. Brigadier Cronje, W/O Strydom testified that he and Crafford were sent away on the Monday after the assault which he testified about took place on the Saturday, can you explain to us the reason why Crafford and Strydom were sent away?
MR CRONJE: Prinsloo was not very happy with the fact that Crafford was there and in order to diffuse the situation diplomatically I couldn't just tell Crafford to stay away from there because that would have been very undiplomatic, so I withdrew Strydom and Crafford and sent them to Swaziland.
MR DU PLESSIS: Now Brigadier, I will once again put a hypothetical question...(intervention)
MR MALAN: Sorry, before you continue, can we just continue with this point in terms of the facts? I infer from your point that Prinsloo had spoken to you regarding the presence of Strydom and Crafford on the farm and then specifically also the assault?
MR CRONJE: Yes, he mentioned the assault. He mentioned that the suspect had been burned and that Crafford had the tendency to take over the interrogation, but Prinsloo was the investigating officer and he was actually responsible for it, so that is why I withdrew Crafford.
MR MALAN: So he reported to you completely regarding the assault? Did he tell you that this was against his instructions?
MR CRONJE: He did not refer to anything being against his instructions, he said that the man had been burned and that he was not satisfied with the situation.
MR MALAN: Did he tell you specifically that they had interrogated him?
MR CRONJE: He did tell me that they had interrogated him and that Crafford was tending to take over the whole interrogation.
MR MALAN: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: May I, Mr du Plessis, just for my own clarity? This discussion that you had with Mr Prinsloo regarding the fact that Mr Mbizana, or regarding the fact that a suspect had been interrogated and assaulted by Mr Crafford, at that stage did Mr Prinsloo identify who the suspect was? Did he mention his name?
MR CRONJE: Chairperson I knew that the man was being detained and I knew who he was.
CHAIRPERSON: And was this prior to you giving an order that his body could be disposed of?
MR CRONJE: Prior to that, yes.
CHAIRPERSON: How soon after, did you give an order for a body to be disposed of by means of explosives, after you had had this discussion with Mr Prinsloo, where he indicated his great unhappiness about the situation and about particularly the fact that Mr Crafford had interrogated and assaulted this person?
MR CRONJE: Chairperson, I cannot recall precisely when this took place. Prinsloo regularly brought me up to speed with regard to the interrogation, so I cannot recall at which stage this was.
CHAIRPERSON: Was it on the same day that you gave the order for the body to be disposed of?
MR CRONJE: I don't believe so.
CHAIRPERSON: Could it be only a day after, or a few days thereafter, that such an order was given.
MR CRONJE: It could be. It may have been a day before the time, or after the time.
CHAIRPERSON: It may have been a day before the actual disposal of the body?
MR CRONJE: Yes, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr du Plessis you may proceed.
MR MALAN: I beg your pardon, Chairperson, there is something that I wish to clarify. You've heard the evidence here and if I summarised this correctly according to my recollection, without consulting the specific notes, the evidence of Mr Prinsloo was that at an earlier stage, he had asked you about the elimination of Mandla and the disposal of his body and that you said that Goosen and Momberg could be contacted and that they would assist him. That you would make the arrangements. You have heard the evidence. The evidence of Momberg and Goosen is also that they went to his office approximately two days later and that he asked them whether or not they were ready and that they went out that evening. In the meantime they had built a bomb and so forth. Simultaneously the evidence is that the elimination took place on the day after the assault. Now how does that correlate? How could he have approached you after the assault if, as per his evidence, he already knew before the assault that the man would be eliminated?
MR CRONJE: Do you mean that Prinsloo approached me?
MR MALAN: Yes.
MR CRONJE: Prinsloo approached me various times with information which the man had provided.
MR MALAN: I think that we have misunderstood each other. Perhaps I have misunderstood you. The evidence of Prinsloo is that he received permission to eliminate Mandla, at least two days before the alleged assaults and the burning with the log.
MR CRONJE: Chairperson, I don't believe so.
MR MALAN: Your evidence indicates that he asked you, I assume after the assault.
MR CRONJE: It may have been after the assault.
MR MALAN: It couldn't have been, because the day after the assault he was removed from the farm. Goosen and Momberg gave evidence that it took them two days to prepare the limpet mines and to get to the office again. Can you really recall this incident clearly or are you basically just leading us in terms of your statement?
MR CRONJE: Chairperson, I really cannot recall all that clearly because it doesn't sound logical to me either.
MR MALAN: But you have testified very specifically that you gave permission for the elimination, after you hear about the assault, it would appear to me.
MR CRONJE: I did not give permission for the elimination.
MR MALAN: Or at least for the disposal of the body?
MR CRONJE: After the what?
MR MALAN: You must have given permission for the explosion of the body, according to your version after you came to hear about the assault. You could not have given permission to blow up Mandla's body before you had been informed that Mandla had been assaulted and burned with a log. That is logical isn't it?
MR CRONJE: I didn't know whether he had died as a result of the log that he had been burned with, or whether he had died by any other manner.
MR MALAN: If he was dead - you see I'm trying to clarify the picture, I don't want to put you under any cross-examination. You couldn't have thought he was dead as a result of the burning because then there would have been no reason to send Crafford away from the interrogation, which was the responsibility of Prinsloo. If he was dead, then the interrogation didn't matter anymore and you removed Crafford because he wanted to take over the interrogation as per Prinsloo's version.
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MR MALAN: In other words, when you received that knowledge and you removed Crafford, according to your knowledge Mandla must still have been alive?
MR CRONJE: Yes, he must have been alive and the interrogation was to continue.
MR MALAN: Yes, that is correct. In terms of all the other evidence, it would appear that the body was blown up at least a day after the assault.
QUESTION: May I just interpose? As I have understood the evidence, I cannot recall precisely what Capt Prinsloo's evidence was regarding this, but as I understood the evidence of Momberg and Goosen, it was merely an estimation of the time. In other words, if the order had come to Crafford for example on the Monday, as I understood it, it would still have been possible that Capt Prinsloo could subsequently have gone to Brig Cronje and told him that they wanted to blow up the body and that Brig Cronje then gave the instruction to Goosen and Momberg and this does not clash with the version of Goosen and Momberg, it only clashes with Prinsloo's evidence, as I understand, because he says that the order for the elimination came before the assault which was led by Crafford. That is how I understand the evidence, but I may be speaking under correction.
QUESTION: Chairperson, may I just issue one point?
MR MALAN: I don't think that we should commence with an argument here. I don't wish to argue with either Mr du Plessis or Mr Prinsloo in terms of who said what, I just want clarity in the way I understand this. My question to Mr Cronje is simply this, according to the best of your recollection in terms of your reconstruction, it must be that you were informed that Mandla had died and that his body had to be blown up after the assault took place?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MR MALAN: And you heard how Goosen testified that he had prepared the explosive device and had waited for approximately two days, according to his recollection, before he went to Prinsloo's office.
MR CRONJE: I don't know for how long.
MR MALAN: I'm not asking you whether you know that, I'm asking you whether you heard that?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
MR MALAN: Well I think that then we can leave it at that.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis, take control of Mr Cronje's evidence in chief.
MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you. I'm...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: If we overstep the line, won't you be kind enough to say so?
MR DU PLESSIS: Alright.
CHAIRPERSON: We don't want to assume your responsibility, you are in charge, you are leading his evidence in chief.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes. No, Madam Chair if the truth has to come out earlier than later, it doesn't matter, the truth is the truth, so it doesn't really matter. I've got no objection against you asking questions, that's the point I'm trying to make. Brig Cronje, may I just ask you a question following on the question that Mr Malan has asked and I don't know whether I understood it correctly, but it may be a concern, is the question whether you would have given permission for his elimination because of injuries to him during the assault? Would that have been a consideration?
MR CRONJE: No, Chairperson, I would have never given permission to eliminate a person in order to cover up an assault.
MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. And Brigadier in the previous amnesty applications, you gave comprehensive evidence with regard to your memory and the effect of your memory and there was also a psychiatric report handed in.
MR CRONJE: That's correct.
MR DU PLESSIS: So it may be that, with regard to certain aspects your memory is not quite certain and do you testify according to your memory, as you recall it today?
MR CRONJE: Yes, Chairperson.
MR DU PLESSIS: Brigadier Cronje, during the previous applications, I think it is necessary that we hand it up to the Committee once more because Adv Motata and I don't know whether Mr Malan has seen it, it entails the motivation with regard to eliminations and bomb attacks. May I ask for permission to hand the documents up?
ADV MOTATA: Shall we mark it B?
MR DU PLESSIS: I'm not sure which exhibit we ...B, thank you very much. Brigadier you have testified extensively about this in the past and I will not ask you in detail. The only reason why I hand up this document is because I wish to refer you to page 79 of this particular document, up to page 82. There is general background, there is the general motive for interrogations there, do you recall? And this was divided into two categories. It starts on page 79. Two categories, intimidation firstly and the obtaining of information secondly. Is that correct?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
MR DU PLESSIS: And were these two separate purposes with regard to interrogation?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
MR DU PLESSIS: And you would not find it strange that intimidation therefore was a purpose of interrogation?
MR CRONJE: No, Chairperson.
MR DU PLESSIS: And there it is said under intimidation:
"When activists are questioned, they are intimidated
to stop their actions and to inform other activists
they have to understand the question that these are
And in the second paragraph it is said that these were also trying to turn them to become informers for the police.
MR CRONJE: That's correct.
MR DU PLESSIS: That is only in general, I just ask you in general. And then finally Brigadier, you have now heard, here are several applicants before the Committee who operated under your command. The applicants appearing before the Committee are Mr Strydom, Mr Roodt, Goosen, Momberg, Mathebula, Matjeni, Mr Kruger as well as Captain Prinsloo. Let us leave Capt Prinsloo there, the other applicants, what is you attitude with regard to your responsibility as Commanding Officer of those applicants?
MR CRONJE: Chairperson, I accept the full responsibility for what they have done and I accept responsibility for Mandla's death. I am indirectly responsible for it. With regard to these members, what they had done on the farm, was under my instruction and with my approval.
MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. And Brigadier we know there is a dispute between yourself and Capt Prinsloo with regard to the instruction and what was told to you and the instruction which you gave with regard to this incident and you will probably, I don't know, be cross-examined extensively by his legal representative, but can you tell the Committee with regard to what is your attitude in terms of Capt Prinsloo?
MR CRONJE: Chairperson, I accept responsibility for what Capt Prinsloo has done. If he used his own discretion to eliminate the man, then I did not have a problem with it, I would not have had a problem with it, because he felt then like I, that the man could not be released because of the information we could not obtain from him and the possible killing of other police officers, but he did not know what my attitude was. He did not know whether I would say "eliminate the man", but if he used his own discretion then I accept it and I accept responsibility for it.
CHAIRPERSON: May I question you on that? Did he have authority to use his discretion to eliminate a person whom he was interrogating?
MR CRONJE: Chairperson, as I have said, if he felt like I did and he had that information that I had told you of now and he felt that this man could not be released, but he did not know whether I would grant my permission for this elimination, then it is correct, he could eliminate the man. I would not have objected.
MR DU PLESSIS: Could I ask you a question following on this and to join up with this? Let us suppose that Capt Prinsloo came to you afterwards and told you: "Brigadier, I have told you lies, what had actually happened was the following, the man was still alive, I wanted to eliminate him, I actually did not want to ask you about it because I was not certain what you would say of it, but actually I lied to you, the man was eliminated in this manner. He did not die during interrogation." What would your attitude then be?
MR CRONJE: I would still have approved of it, but I would have been very dissatisfied because he had lied to me.
CHAIRPERSON: So he had authority to eliminate a person he was interrogating, without having to seek your approval before doing the elimination?
MR CRONJE: Not in so far that he knew that he would have had my approval. As I have said, I would have had no objection, but that he had permission or knew that he could continue, that is not so.
CHAIRPERSON: I understand you on that.
MR CRONJE: He did not have direct permission from me, he did not have authorisation.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes. So he didn't have authority to proceed to eliminate a suspect he was interrogating without first seeking your approval, that is my question.
MR CRONJE: That is correct, Chairperson.
ADV MOTATA: If I may interpose, would this be within, if we look at page 78, would it be within 1 or 2, it was necessary to eliminate activists because information was obtained during interrogation had to be protected and the identity of informants and sources of the Security Police, also had to be protected?
MR CRONJE: That is so.
ADV MOTATA: Would this entail that?
MR CRONJE: Yes, Chairperson.
MR MALAN: I beg your pardon, may I just put a question? I would just like to determine the degree of your permission. Are you saying that although permission had to be sought for all elimination and in the back of your mind, although you would have been very angry, you would have ex post facto approved of any elimination of any terrorist?
MR CRONJE: If I was satisfied that it was a terrorist, that he fulfilled all the criteria, then I would have done so, Chairperson.
MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Malan, may I just place on record, I know you and Mr Motata were not involved, but Brigadier Cronje was extensively, right from the start in the first series of amnesty applications, questioned about this point and Judge Khampepe will, I think, confirm this, there was extensive evidence and cross-examination on this point, because you will recall that Hechter and van Vuuren operated in respect of various incidents where the Brigadier did not know about it before hand, but when he came to know of it and when he was told about it, he didn't do anything about it and he actually gave his authority for it, as long as it fell within the limits of when a person had to be eliminated.
CHAIRPERSON: Which is not the case with regard to the incident we areseized with, Mr du Plessis, in regard to those incidents, we are told that if you qualified within the umbrella of what was termed a "high profile activist".
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON: Then a member seized with that suspect, could then have authority, inherent authority, to eliminate him.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, but I think the evidence went further, Madam Chair, to also include trained terrorists, it went as far as that, as far as I recall.
CHAIRPERSON: A high profile activist was actually explained amongst the people who qualified as a high profile activist, were trained terrorists, people who had done certain things and I don't think this matter really falls within that particular scenario because we are dealing with the evidence of Mr Prinsloo which does not allude to the fact that the people identified as high profile terrorists, had to be eliminated immediately by virtue of the fact that they were classified as high profile activists.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, except Madam Chair, I don't want to argue this, but the information that was available about the operations that this Mandla was involved in previously, the information that he had that had to be safeguarded and the fact that he was a trained MK operative, in my respectful submission, would have placed him within that category.
CHAIRPERSON: That's a matter for argument.
MR DU PLESSIS: That's a matter for argument.
CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct- talking simultaneously) will be argued differently by Mr Prinsloo, based on the evidence that is before us.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I don't know what his legal representatives will argue.
CHAIRPERSON: But you know his evidence so far.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes. If you will just afford me one second. Brigadier may I just finally, in conclusion, ask of you if you, in your position as Commander, would direct a request to the Committee with regard to amnesty in this incident with regard to all the persons, including Capt Prinsloo, who were under your command, what would your request be?
MR CRONJE: My request, Chairperson, is that amnesty be granted to these people, because I, they acted under my instructions and with my approval.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR DU PLESSIS
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Botha, let's commence with you. Do you have any questions to put to Brig Cronje?
MR BOTHA: Thank you, Madam Chair, I've got a few.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BOTHA: Brigadier, many statements about hypothesis have been put forward here now this morning. Do I understand you correctly that your instruction to Goosen and Momberg was to assist Prinsloo with the blowing up of a deceased person?
MR CRONJE: That is correct, Chairperson.
MR BOTHA: And they had to receive their instructions from Prinsloo and carry out his instructions?
MR CRONJE: That is correct, Chairperson.
MR BOTHA: So then the word, in your application on page 11 and the third paragraph, the third line: "All my commands," should be all his commands?
MR CRONJE: Yes, Chairperson.
MR BOTHA: Is that correct?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MR BOTHA: Is it not true that Momberg and Goosen were previously used of already deceased persons as at the Pienaar's River?
MR CRONJE: I don't know whether this was before or after this incident.
MR BOTHA: And if I, it is a bit vague in your evidence in chief, but as I listened to your evidence, sometimes it was expected of members to take decisions at ground level, at the scene itself?
MR CRONJE: If they were there and they had to take decisions, then it is so.
MR BOTHA: Let us take Momberg and Goosen's instance. Their instruction was to destroy the identity of a corpse, that's how they understood it and later they saw that the man was not yet a corpse, it was a living person, do you agree?
MR CRONJE: I agree.
MR BOTHA: And there they as subordinates had to be of assistance in the killing of the person?
MR CRONJE: Yes, that is correct.
MR BOTHA: They actually had to immobilise a living person or had to look on while this man was eliminated?
MR CRONJE: That's correct.
MR BOTHA: And this was expected of them as subordinates?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
MR BOTHA: Thank you Madam Chair, no more questions.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR BOTHA
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Botha. You posed those questions to Brigadier Cronje for both Mr Momberg and Mr Goosen?
MR BOTHA: That is correct, Madam Chair.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Jansen, do you have any questions to put to Brig Cronje?
MR JANSEN: Thank you Chair, no questions.
NO QUESTIONS BY MR JANSEN
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prinsloo?
ADV PRINSLOO: Thank you, Chairperson.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ADV PRINSLOO: Brig Cronje, during that time Capt Prinsloo was tasked with the arrest, collection of intelligence, handling or management of informants of many ANC terrorists who were actively and intensively operative in the Pretoria area.
MR CRONJE: That is correct, Chairperson and I have mentioned that he did his work quite well.
ADV PRINSLOO: So much so Brigadier, in the matter of Obert Masina and others and the matter of Thoka and others that followed, a large group caused much rein of terror. There was the group of Broederstroom that he investigated, this all with your satisfaction?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
ADV PRINSLOO: And this was over a period of time. Thoka and his group was in 88, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
ADV PRINSLOO: And Capt Prinsloo at all times, kept you up to speed with his investigations and arrests of such persons?
MR CRONJE: He did, Chairperson.
ADV PRINSLOO: Brigadier, as in this particular instance of Obert Masina and his group and as it was indicated in the judgement of that matter and according to the evidence, Masina was a highly trained terrorist and his group, it was a person that was specifically appointed by the deceased Chris Hani, as a leader of an assassination group, is that correct? It is written in the case as such. I will read it to you. If your memory fails you, to be fair towards you, you apparently have a problem with your memory and I have sympathy with. One moment. Honourable Chairperson, this appears on page 715 of the judgement of the State vs Masina, Volume 4 SA 709 and in particular at 715, paragraph (i) to (j):
"He came into contact with Chris Hani, MK's military Commissar who appointed him as Chief of Assassinations Unit. Arrangements were subsequently made for him and second appellant to return to the Republic, which he did, armed with AKs, hand grenades and pistols."
So you see there he was a member of the Murder and Assassination Unit and His Honourable Judge de Klerk, of how well these persons were trained and how intensively they acted, so what you dealt with here is a person who had a total onslaught which was moved against Pretoria.
MR CRONJE: That's correct.
ADV PRINSLOO: It was expected of the public and the government that drastic steps had to be taken here.
MR CRONJE: That's correct.
ADV PRINSLOO: And those drastic steps had your approval, am I correct?
MR CRONJE: That's correct.
ADV PRINSLOO: And the arrest of this person and of the deceased Mandla, did you know of it?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
ADV PRINSLOO: And did you know that he was a well-trained person?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
ADV PRINSLOO: That he associated himself with these persons?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
ADV PRINSLOO: And you also knew in Mamelodi there was assistance given from other quarters in order to help the ANC in their objective, from the public, collaborators of the ANC, massive mobilisation, is that correct Brigadier Cronje?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
ADV PRINSLOO: And you knew what type of information this man Mandla, or maybe you might not recall it because of your memory, that he was made available to Prinsloo?
MR CRONJE: Please repeat that.
ADV PRINSLOO: Did you know what information Mandla gave to Prinsloo?
MR CRONJE: Prinsloo did inform me.
ADV PRINSLOO: And did you know what his plans were with regard to informers and police officers who had to be eliminated in future?
MR CRONJE: I've already said so, Chairperson.
ADV PRINSLOO: And you have said the collaborators executed this by executing Vuma and others? I will not repeat that.
MR CRONJE: Yes.
ADV PRINSLOO: And here Brigadier, feedback was given very clearly to you with regard to this investigation, am I correct?
MR CRONJE: That is correct, Chairperson.
ADV PRINSLOO: Mandla himself was questioned by Prinsloo and you know his method of interrogation, that he mainly acted alone and makes a breakthrough?
MR CRONJE: That's correct.
ADV PRINSLOO: And you have heard what his plans were, to turn this man, to obtain information of what he wanted to do, or to use him as an Askari?
MR CRONJE: Correct. That was entirely possible, it was not discussed with me, but it was entirely possible.
ADV PRINSLOO: Can you not recall it?
MR CRONJE: No. He did not tell me that, but it is possible that he wanted to do that. I don't dispute that at all.
ADV PRINSLOO: But Brigadier, you know that that information with regard to documents which existed of plans that they had and contacts had to be chased, that this man had to stay inside?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
ADV PRINSLOO: So it would have served no purpose at that stage to detain the person under Section 29, where his family had to be informed of his arrest? It would have served no purpose in charging him and having him make a confession and then he has an open road to disclose information which he should not do?
MR CRONJE: That's correct.
ADV PRINSLOO: This would have endangered the country and the people of the country?
MR CRONJE: That's correct.
ADV PRINSLOO: In order to supply that information, if it was conveyed to you, would you have given permission for Prinsloo to eliminate him?
MR CRONJE: I have already said so, Chairperson.
ADV PRINSLOO: Brigadier, you must please listen carefully. I am not fighting with you, you have a problem with your memory, but now you are saying that Prinsloo tells you he has a corpse that has to be blown up, is that correct?
MR CRONJE: That is correct.
ADV PRINSLOO: And according to you, did you know that corpse was the corpse of Mandla?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
ADV PRINSLOO: Did you investigate as to how it happened that the man had died?
MR CRONJE: He told me that the man had died under interrogation and this meant one thing, that this man was killed.
ADV PRINSLOO: Did you accept that Prinsloo killed him?
MR CRONJE: No, not at all.
ADV PRINSLOO: Because, Brigadier, why I want to treat you fairly is because the statement which appears on page 11, with the particulars and nature, you give very vague details and you say that you are depending on your memory initially before you amended that under interrogation was killed by him.
MR CRONJE: No, I said that that was not correct.
ADV PRINSLOO: But Brigadier, you would have certainly, if this had taken place during interrogation, you would have certainly ensured that this man was killed in a manner that was justified in the situation that reigned at that stage. in other words, if he was killed during interrogation, where it was necessary to use violence and an excess of violence was used in order to obtain this information, could this have been justified?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I have already said that I knew of the assault. I foresaw that he could die.
ADV PRINSLOO: You would have had to justify for yourself that this man had been killed under circumstances which were fair, in other words that it was not just for sports, as it has been put here and that this did not happen out of revenge.
MR CRONJE: No, but I did not expect that of this person. ADV PRINSLOO: Did you ask these people, "What happened? Give me the facts." Did you do that?
MR CRONJE: No, I did not because he said, he told me that the man had been killed under interrogation. I knew the man had been assaulted.
ADV PRINSLOO: But this could have happened in many ways.
MR CRONJE: It was not necessary for me to ask him.
ADV PRINSLOO: Do you know how many investigations were undertaken in this country and there were extensive investigations where officers in command always ensured that they knew what happened with the death of a person, is that not so?
MR CRONJE: I foresaw that he would die, he could have died, so how he died and who assaulted him, did not matter to me.
ADV PRINSLOO: Brigadier at this stage it did not matter to you who killed him during interrogation?
MR CRONJE: No, Chairperson.
ADV PRINSLOO: So let us suppose that he was killed by Crafford. What would your attitude have been towards Crafford if he approached you with these facts?
MR CRONJE: The same as with Prinsloo.
ADV PRINSLOO: Mr Cronje, please let us return to the facts of the matter, as they have been put before this Honourable Committee. You have heard the evidence, which I will submit has been led here, that Prinsloo had interrogated this man at Compol. He afterwards interrogated him on the farm on occasion and according to the evidence that stands, he never assaulted the man on the farm. Do you agree with that? I am not asking if you saw this, but did you hear this?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I heard this.
ADV PRINSLOO: And Brigadier, you furthermore heard that Prinsloo was very upset when he arrived there when this man was assaulted in this manner. Did you hear that?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
ADV PRINSLOO: And you have also heard the evidence that on the very same day that this assault had taken place, he chased the other members away and the very same day, the man, the very same evening the man was taken out. Did you hear that?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I heard that.
ADV PRINSLOO: If we look at those facts, how does your evidence fit in, within the facts that have been put forward before the Committee, that Goosen and Momberg were persons who were apparently quite close to you, that they, two days before, had prepared for the blowing up of this man.
MR CRONJE: I don't know if that's correct.
ADV PRINSLOO: You cannot dispute that it is otherwise?
MR CRONJE: I can't recall that Goosen and Momberg testified that they knew about the assault which took place by Capt Crafford and that they got their orders two days prior to that. I'm not sure that that was the evidence.
CHAIRPERSON: That's not what Mr Prinsloo is saying.
MR DU PLESSIS: That's Mr Prinsloo's evidence, but that wasn't Goosen and Momberg's evidence.
CHAIRPERSON: No, that's not what Mr Prinsloo the counsel is putting to Mr Cronje. What he is putting to Mr Cronje is that according to the evidence of Mr Goosen and Momberg, two days prior to the actual explosion of Mr Mbizana's body, they had already done the preparation, they had prepared the device with a view of executing the order received from Brig Cronje. That's what he is putting to him.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I'm just trying to correct the insinuation that that happened two days before Crafford's interrogation. That could have happened the two days after Crafford's interrogation too, so it depends on Prinsloo's evidence.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prinsloo, won't you again just - I don't understand you to be putting that to Brig Cronje.
ADV PRINSLOO: With respect, Madam Chairperson, I never put that to Mr Cronje. Mr du Plessis is quoting it out of context.
ADV PRINSLOO: With respect.
CHAIRPERSON: Won't you again, for the sake of Mr du Plessis, put again to Mr Cronje what you want to put to him.
ADV PRINSLOO: As you please, Madam Chair.
CHAIRPERSON: I understand where you are getting to.
ADV PRINSLOO: Thank you Madam Chairperson. Brig Cronje, in order to exclude any confusion in anybody's mind, is it so that Momberg and Goosen, two days before this man was blown up, had received instructions from you to blow up this person's corpse, is that correct? And that is the evidence before this Honourable Committee.
MR CRONJE: Chairperson, the very same day that Prinsloo spoke to me, the very same day I gave the instruction.
ADV PRINSLOO: And this was two days before this person was taken out.
MR DU PLESSIS: But that was Prinsloo's evidence, that was not as I understood it, Goosen and Momberg's evidence, that's the point I'm trying to make.
MR MALAN: No, Mr du Plessis, it was also Goosen and Momberg's evidence.
CHAIRPERSON: That was Mr Goosen and Momberg's evidence, Mr du Plessis, that two days before they had already been contacted by Mr Cronje and been ordered to be available to assist Mr Prinsloo.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, but ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: And already two days before, a device had already been prepared.
MR DU PLESSIS: Two days before the blowing up of Mandla took place.
CHAIRPERSON: The blowing up, yes.
MR DU PLESSIS: Not two days before the assaults by Crafford.
MR DU PLESSIS: Two days before the blowing up of Mandla took place.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes. And they didn't testify, as I understood it, that the blowing up of Mandla took place on the same day as...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: They don't know.
MR DU PLESSIS: As Crafford testified.
CHAIRPERSON: They have no knowledge thereof.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, that's the point I'm trying to make.
ADV PRINSLOO: May I proceed, Madam Chairperson?
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you may proceed.
ADV PRINSLOO: Thank you. Brig Cronje, you will also recall the evidence before this Honourable Committee is that Prinsloo arrived on the day when it was found that the person had been injured, do you recall that?
MR CRONJE: That is what I heard.
ADV PRINSLOO: And the very same evening that person was taken out and executed, killed and all blown up. You have heard that evidence.
MR CRONJE: Please ask that question again.
ADV PRINSLOO: You have heard the evidence that on the day that Prinsloo arrived at the farm and he found that the deceased Mandla had been assaulted and the persons were chased away and the very same evening he was executed, taken out, did you hear that?
MR CRONJE: I heard that.
ADV PRINSLOO: And that evidence I would like to tell you is supported by Mathebula, by Matjeni and is supported by Kruger. They say when Prinsloo arrived there that day they were chased away.
INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone is not on.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prinsloo, may I correct you? Mr Mathebula is not that precise with regard to when Mr Mbizana was killed. I think, he earlier on in his application, stated that he was killed after, a day after he was assaulted by Mr Crafford.
ADV PRINSLOO: Madam Chairperson, I ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: And he then went on to say when Mr Prinsloo arrived, he was upset, he left for a few days and then later on came in and that's when, after a night or so, he discovered that Mandla was not longer on the farm. He wasn't that precise with regard to exactly when he was, he disappeared after Mr Prinsloo had been to the farm and had seen the state of his injuries.
ADV PRINSLOO: Madam Chairperson, with respect, I respectfully submit, when Mr Mathebula gave evidence yesterday and I didn't cross-examine him on that point, in his evidence he said explicitly that that same day Prinsloo arrived and that the next day the man was gone. That was his evidence and on that basis I did not challenge him as to what he said in his statement and that was the basis of me not cross-examining him, but his evidence was explicit when he was led by Mr Joubert with regard to this particular aspect.
CHAIRPERSON: Do you agree, Mr Joubert?
MR JOUBERT: Madam Chair, I indeed agree with that.
MR JOUBERT: That was the evidence.
CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed then, Mr Prinsloo.
ADV PRINSLOO: Thank you, Madam Chairperson. Brigadier, if you look at that evidence, it is quite evident that on that day Mandla was taken out and he was killed, when Prinsloo arrived at the farm and you, two days before, instructed Goosen and Momberg to blow up this person, do you agree with that?
MR CRONJE: No, I do not agree that that day when Prinsloo came to me and told me the man was assaulted, that very same day I spoke to Goosen and Momberg.
ADV PRINSLOO: I put it to you, Brigadier that your evidence is not correct and that your memory fails you. Prinsloo, when he approached you, there was no mention of assault, because he was not assaulted yet. Prinsloo did not even know yet. He could not have known. It doesn't matter what you say.
MR CRONJE: That is Prinsloo's version, Chairperson.
ADV PRINSLOO: Mr Cronje, this is supported by the other people. How do you explain that? Can you explain this to the Honourable Committee?
MR CRONJE: I cannot explain that, but as far as I know, the very same day that Prinsloo told me that the man was assaulted, that very day I instructed Goosen and Momberg.
ADV PRINSLOO: I will not take that point any further. It is on record. Brigadier, you knew that a large part of your staff was on that farm because there were several persons there who had other tasks and they operated from there and Prinsloo, who had an interest in this man.
MR CRONJE: I did not know who was there, but I knew that some of the staff were there.
ADV PRINSLOO: Did you know Crafford was there?
MR CRONJE: Yes, I expected that Crafford and Prinsloo would closely co-operate and that Crafford had to be present during the interrogation so that he could build up some experience.
ADV PRINSLOO: Was this something that you had in your own mind, or was this something that you told to Prinsloo?
MR CRONJE: I told this to Crafford. I told Crafford to be present. I cannot recall if I told Prinsloo this, because, I mean this man was Prinsloo's senior and Prinsloo would have never told him he may not interrogate because then there was war. Crafford would have come to tell me.
ADV PRINSLOO: Brigadier, I accept the instructions which you gave to Crafford, that Prinsloo was not aware of, but what Prinsloo's objective was and what you told him, its clear that he will interrogate Mandla there and he will report back to you.
MR CRONJE: That was my instruction to Prinsloo. He's the investigative official, he will undertake the interrogation.
ADV PRINSLOO: Very well. Brigadier, I will put it to you that Prinsloo approached you with the facts, as he has testified and not what you are trying to tell the Committee and that your memory fails you.
MR CRONJE: No Chairperson.
ADV PRINSLOO: The evidence of Mr Prinsloo is on record. I won't take it any further and waste anymore time. Thank you, Honourable Chairperson.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY ADV PRINSLOO
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Prinsloo. Ms van der Walt, do you wish to put any questions to Mr Cronje?
MS VAN DER WALT: No questions, thank you.
NO QUESTIONS BY MS VAN DER WALT
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Joubert?
MR JOUBERT: I have no questions, thank you Madam Chair.
NO QUESTIONS BY MR JOUBERT
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Joubert. Mr van Heerden?
MR VAN HEERDEN: No questions, Madam Chair.
NO QUESTIONS BY MR VAN HEERDEN
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Steenkamp?
MR STEENKAMP: No questions, Madam Chair.
NO QUESTIONS BY MR STEENKAMP
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Malan?
MR MALAN: Chairperson, I do not want to take up much time, but attempts have been made to explain these two days that have got lost somewhere. I asked you earlier about your memory and many a time in your evidence in chief it was put to you that your memory is not so good, but it seems that you recall everything about this incident.
MR CRONJE: No, Chairperson, I would not say that, I may be mistaken.
MR MALAN: Can you recall that Prinsloo told you that this man was co-operating?
MR CRONJE: Initially in the office, yes, when he arrived there.
MR MALAN: And you were saying he was in contact with you on a daily basis and he regularly reported to you?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
MR MALAN: And according to his evidence, Mandla was there for 7 days, up to the point where he all of a sudden did not give his co-operation.
MR CRONJE: Yes.
MR MALAN: So you know that for seven days Prinsloo obtained information from Mandla without having to assault him?
MR CRONJE: I did not say that.
MR MALAN: No, I am saying that you would have known if he reported that to you.
MR CRONJE: Yes, he would have told me.
MR MALAN: He told you, according to his evidence.
MR CRONJE: I assume so.
MR MALAN: Now according to your evidence, what did he tell you?
MR CRONJE: With regard to the interrogation?
MR MALAN: Yes, with regard to the interrogation, whether he was assaulting him, or whether he was obtaining information.
MR CRONJE: He would not have told me that he assaulted him and I doubt whether Prinsloo assaulted him, I never said he assaulted him, but he told me that the man refuses to make a confession and he refuses to make any identifications and he has information with regard to the houses of police officers and police officers that had to be eliminated and the chart had been drawn up about these police officers and he knows the informer and that as soon as he had the opportunity he would send this through to the ANC.
MR MALAN: At which stage, can you recall, when he said this to you?
MR CRONJE: I cannot recall, Chairperson.
MR MALAN: Before or after the assault?
MR CRONJE: I don't know.
MR MALAN: You see, he should have told this to you before the assault, according to your evidence, because after the assault he was dead, according to your evidence. You say that you were informed that he had died because of the interrogation.
MR CRONJE: That is correct, Chairperson, yes.
MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Malan may I just, ...
MR MALAN: If you will help me here, because I am not sure whether I understand this properly.
MR DU PLESSIS: I don't know sounds I hear on the other side of the hall, but may I continue? The evidence of Brig Cronje was that he was informed that he had died during interrogation. Brig Cronje did not testify, as far as I can recall, that he knew exactly when this man was assaulted during the interrogations. Now on the supposition that Mr Prinsloo has put to Brig Cronje and if one accepts Brig Cronje's evidence, one has to accept that Capt Prinsloo assaulted him during interrogation and the only point I am trying to make is that Brig Cronje's evidence was not that he knew of each and every interrogation and that therefore he knew that he was approached directly after the interrogation of Crafford. According to the facts it has to be like that, I make the point.
MR MALAN: Mr du Plessis, with great respect, the evidence of Mr Cronje is very clear that and he has now repeated to him, it would not have been told to him that he was assaulted during interrogation. May I just finish? He only knew of the one assault and in his evidence in chief on questions where I interrupted you, said that this included the burning with the log and he said he assumed that because that is so, he had died. That was the point that was put to him.
MR DU PLESSIS: I beg your pardon, then maybe I did not understand the point entirely.
MR MALAN: Do I understand you correctly? You assumed that he died because of the assault which included the burning with the log, because you did not know of any other assault?
MR CRONJE: I did not know of any assault except for the bottle that he was struck with.
MR MALAN: Now you're bringing the bottle in. Who told you about the bottle?
MR CRONJE: Strydom. Strydom testified here.
MR MALAN: No, we are talking about what you knew then, not what you heard now.
MR CRONJE: No, I did not know.
MR MALAN: You did not then know of the bottle?
MR CRONJE: No, I did not.
MR MALAN: May I follow this up. The other things that really concerns me is, your evidence sounds to me as, specifically in your acceptance of accountability on the behalf of all the applicants and you request that all of them be granted amnesty, as if you say that you carried on recklessly and all negative things in the Security Branch that had taken place ex post facto would have been approved by you and in this instance, that you did not investigate. You did not try to find out how he had died, what was the nature of the assault which led to his demise, you did not try to find what information they had obtained from him, you did not undertake any investigation.
MR CRONJE: The information that was obtained from him, I heard of that from Prinsloo.
MR MALAN: But on that point, what information did Prinsloo tell you that he obtained from the man?
MR CRONJE: That he was involved in Molopo's death and Siki Vuma's death.
MR MALAN: No, but you knew that long before he was arrested. Before he was arrested, you knew that. Indeed you were even looking for him because of that. I am asking what information did he tell you that he obtained from Mandla because of the interrogation, not what you had in your office. Can you recall that?
MR CRONJE: That he had done reconnaissance of police officers' houses, that he had drawn up the chart, that he wanted to eliminate those people or would have them eliminated and that he knew the source and would have the source eliminated.
MR MALAN: Did you know who the informer was?
MR CRONJE: I cannot recall his name.
MR MALAN: I am asking whether you tried to find out?
MR CRONJE: No.
MR MALAN: Did you try to find out whether that information was correct?
MR CRONJE: I accepted Prinsloo's word.
MR MALAN: The fact that he knew where police officers resided, was this not general knowledge to everybody in the town?
MR CRONJE: Chairperson, I don't think those who came from abroad knew where the police officers lived.
MR MALAN: But he lived in Eersterus at that stage, he had already infiltrated. He could have found out from anybody where the police officers lived and anybody who wanted to assist him could find out where police officers lived.
MR CRONJE: Well at that stage I did not know which police officers he had targeted. He said he had drawn up the chart and we could not find the chart. He did not want to give us the chart.
MR MALAN: Very well. And you are absolutely convinced, according to your memory, that the only discussion with you for permission to dispose of a corpse was on the opportunity where it was, or occasion where it was told to you that he was assaulted and burned with a log and because of that, had died?
MR CRONJE: Yes, Chairperson and the very same day, I gave instructions to Goosen and Momberg.
MR MALAN: Would Goosen and Momberg, if they had that morning, if we accept that it could not have been any other time that Mr Prinsloo had found out that he had died, would you immediately give instruction to Goosen and Momberg?
MR CRONJE: That very same morning I gave instruction to the two officers.
MR MALAN: And within the hour they could prepare a bomb and go through to Prinsloo and travel and blow up the body the very same evening?
MR CRONJE: I believe they could, Chairperson.
MR MALAN: Very well. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Motata, do you have any questions?
ADV MOTATA: I've got none, Madam Chair, thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Cronje, I just have one question for my own clarity. You said the reason why Capt Crafford was on the farm was to enable him to build up experience. That was your evidence.
MR CRONJE: That's correct, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: So what were your instructions to him with regard to the unlawful detention of Mr Mbizana? Did you instruct him to interrogate Mr Mbizana?
MR CRONJE: I never told him that he specifically had to undertake interrogation on his own, I said he had to do it with Prinsloo.
CHAIRPERSON: So if there is evidence to indicate that he did not interrogate Mr Mbizana with Prinsloo, then they would have gone against your orders?
MR CRONJE: Correct, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Were you aware who else had been taken by Mr Crafford to the farm?
MR CRONJE: I later heard that it was Strydom, but at that stage I did not know.
CHAIRPERSON: When you gave him instructions to go to the farm, was it his understanding, could he have reasonably assumed that he had a right to bring other members, other junior members with him to be part of this interrogation?
MR CRONJE: Yes, Chairperson. These persons were all attached to one unit, except for van Jaarsveld. I don't know about van Jaarsveld. van Jaarsveld did not have any business there.
CHAIRPERSON: Would you have informed Mr Prinsloo as a person who was directly involved in the interrogation of Mr Mbizana, that you had further instructed Mr Crafford, his senior, to be part of the interrogating unit?
MR CRONJE: I would have told Prinsloo this.
CHAIRPERSON: At which stage did you instruct Mr Crafford to be part of the interrogating unit on Mr Mbizana?
MR CRONJE: I think it would have possibly been on the day when they told me that they were taking him to the farm.
CHAIRPERSON: So it was quite at an early stage that he was involved in Mbizana's interrogation?
MR CRONJE: Yes, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Did you hear immediately after you had given him orders to be part of that interrogating unit, did you hear any complaint being lodged by Mr Prinsloo about his involvement in that interrogation?
MR CRONJE: I said Prinsloo at some stage arrived at my office. I don't know when and said Crafford tried to take over the interrogation and that is why I decided to take Crafford away.
CHAIRPERSON: You heard that complaint after Mbizana had been assaulted, after Prinsloo had told you that Crafford had assaulted Mbizana, is it not so?
MR CRONJE: It could be so, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: But prior to that incident, did you hear any complaint being lodged by Mr Prinsloo about Crafford's involvement in the interrogation?
MR CRONJE: No.
CHAIRPERSON: Why I'm asking this question is that it has been Mr Prinsloo's evidence, and I must say he has been insistent in his evidence, that everybody knew that his style of interrogation did not have room for any other person, other than himself, to be part of the interrogation.
MR CRONJE: That was the method of Prinsloo's interrogation, but because I wanted Crafford to build up some experience, I wanted him to be present. ...(end of tape)
CHAIRPERSON: ... to your recollection, after Mbizana had been taken to the farm, did you hear Prinsloo complaining about Mr Mbizana's assault?
MR CRONJE: I cannot recall at which stage this was told to me Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Could it have been a day after you had been told that he was going to be taken to the farm?
MR CRONJE: Could be a day or two days, I don't know.
CHAIRPERSON: You also stated that you would have agreed for Mbizana to be eliminated because at that stage you had information with regard to certain policemen he had reconnoitred and we already have evidence that sketch plans had already been drawn with regard to those police who had been identified for elimination, in retaliation for the Masina group's arrest. Now why, in your opinion, would it have mattered which officers had been particularly targeted by Mandla for elimination? Why would that have mattered?
MR CRONJE: Chairperson, I only knew that the chart had been drawn up of these persons. I did not know who these persons were, but it would not have mattered to me what their names were or who they were but if there was a possibility that they would kill another police officer, then it would be so.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I understood your evidence the other way, that's why I'm putting it to you, because the evidence before us, I think from you, was that once a policeman, a policeman was a threat, he was a target, any policeman was a target, so it wouldn't have mattered really which particular policeman had been targeted by Mandla, is it not so?
MR CRONJE: If we knew beforehand which police officer it was, we could have made arrangements to take those persons away.
CHAIRPERSON: But every policeman in the township was a target for elimination by the ANC and the PAC?
MR CRONJE: That is so, but we wanted to know which specific policemen this man had targeted, so that we could protect them or remove them from their homes.
MR MALAN: May I just follow up on this point? I tried to ask you this earlier. The fact that Mandla was taken out, was murdered, how does that protect the policeman?
MR CRONJE: That information could then not be conveyed to the ANC of which specific police officers had to die.
CHAIRPERSON: But my problem, Mr Cronje, with that piece of evidence is that we already have evidence from the police that any policeman in the township was a target. It didn't matter who that policeman was and where he stayed. Every policeman was a target. As long as we had policemen in the township, you're a potential target for elimination at any time, whether it be the Mandla group or any other group that you might not have known about at that stage, isn't that so?
MR CRONJE: That is correct Chairperson, but if we knew who these persons were, we could protect them.
CHAIRPERSON: But it was only for purposes of protecting those particular policemen you would have known, otherwise you knew at that stage that any policeman in the township was a target.
MR CRONJE: I knew all of them were a target, but then we at least knew in this case which of them were targets and we could protect them and take them away.
CHAIRPERSON: But Mandla did not possess the information that was so special, so unique, so extra-ordinary to have necessitated him to have been taken, simply because he had reconnoitred some policemen, because it was within your knowledge that black policemen in the township were targets?
MR CRONJE: That is correct, Chairperson and there was also an informer involved.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I'm not worried for a moment about the question of an informer, I'm just talking to the reconnoitred policemen and the sketch plans drawn as a result of that reconnaissance.
MR CRONJE: I agree, all the police officers were in danger but if we knew which police officers had specifically been targeted, we could have done something about it.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you.
MR MALAN: Just on that point, let me just take the question to its consequences for myself. How does it assist you to kill him? How are you helping in protecting the police officers better by killing him?
MR CRONJE: We could have prevented that that information with regard to those specific police officers and the informer, be conveyed or channelled through to the ANC.
CHAIRPERSON: Without begging this question further Mr Cronje, you must have known the policemen in the township were targets?
MR CRONJE: I knew that, Chairperson. So whether you killed Mandla, they still remained a target.
MR CRONJE: That's correct, but as I said, if I knew which police officers, then we could protect them. We could prevent that. If we knew those specific police officers were killed, then it wouldn't have been right for me.
CHAIRPERSON: I don't think there is any point in taking this matter further. You've given your response to the best of your ability. I will not take it any further.
MR MALAN: I want to return to Mr Prinsloo's evidence. The evidence and on your insistence on this frame, does this not give credibility to the evidence of Mr Prinsloo that indeed, for this reason, he had to be eliminated and therefore he asked your permission for the elimination?
MR CRONJE: I have already said, Chairperson, he could not have known what I would have said and he may have thought the same as I.
MR MALAN: You see Prinsloo says he asked your permission to have him taken out. You agreed. You gave the command on the grounds that that would prevent that the ANC obtained the information which would lead to the possible murders of police officers.
MR CRONJE: If I knew the man was still alive, but he told me that the man was already dead.
CHAIRPERSON: Your response is on issues ex post facto, is it not so? You are only responding to what could have happened, had you know?
MR CRONJE: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON: You are excused, Mr Cronje.
MR DU PLESSIS: May I be afforded the opportunity to re-examine?
CHAIRPERSON: Oh, I'm sorry Mr du Plessis. We had not done that before putting questions. You may re-examine Mr Cronje.
RE-EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: Brig Cronje, do you know whether the plans which Mandla was in possession of contained more information than only names? Do you know for example whether they contained plans of the homes of the policemen, or any further information regarding that?
MR CRONJE: I do not know.
MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. Did Prinsloo know that it was your order for Crafford to accompany him with the interrogation?
MR CRONJE: Yes, he did.
MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. And Brigadier, you, or let me ask you this way, do you know whether Prinsloo assaulted him during the interrogations?
MR CRONJE: No.
MR DU PLESSIS: Is it possible?
MR CRONJE: Yes, it may be possible, I don't know.
MR DU PLESSIS: Now Brigadier - if you'll just bear with me Madam Chair, may I perhaps request, we haven't had an adjournment, that we take the adjournment, let me just consider my position. I think I'm finished, I just want to make sure, please.
JAN HATTINGH CRONJE: (s.u.o.)
CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis we adjourned to enable you to consider whether you want to conduct further re-examination on Mr Cronje.
Thank you Madam Chair. I have no further questions. Thank you.
NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR DU PLESSIS
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: This being the case, this now brings us to time for argument. Are we in a position to proceed with argument?
MR DU PLESSIS: Madam Chair, perhaps, could I perhaps just deal with the affidavit which you approached me about, about tomorrow's matter, before we proceed with the argument?
CHAIRPERSON: No, let's deal with that later. I have very good reasons why I'm not allowing you to do that, just in case some questions should emanate therefrom.
MR DU PLESSIS: I'm ready to proceed.
CHAIRPERSON: I will, however, commence with Ms van der Walt.
MS VAN DER WALT: Thank you, Madam Chair.
MS VAN DER WALT IN ARGUMENT: Honourable Chairperson and Committee Members, my client, Mr Kruger, had a very minor share in the amnesty application which has been served before the Committee. He testified and I wish to submit to the Honourable Committee that he has convinced the Committee that he has indeed made a full disclosure of facts with regard to his share. At a stage I wondered whether it was necessary at all for him to have applied in the first place, but upon consultation he told me that he knew that the person had been abducted although he was not at all involved in it, he knew that he was being held illegally and he also knew that the person was seriously assaulted and naturally he did not report this, with the result then that his application is a valid application before you.
Furthermore, I wish to submit to you that he has disclosed all the relevant facts to you in an honest manner. In his evidence there was nothing that contradicted his evidence and I wished to say that he fulfils to Section 20(ii)(b) and then also Section 20(ii)(f) and I would request the Committee to grant him amnesty with regard to any offence which may emanate as a result of his share, up to and including the assault of the deceased. The events which ensued thereafter with regard to the deceased, are events that he was not aware of and furthermore, he also applies with regard to any delictual accountability which may emanate from the facts. As it pleases the Committee.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms van der Walt.
MS VAN DER WALT: Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Who wishes to commence?
ADV PRINSLOO: Can I start Madam Chairperson, if no one else wants to start.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you may start, Mr Prinsloo.
ADV PRINSLOO IN ARGUMENT: Honourable Chairperson, the evidence which has been submitted before the Honourable Committee, where there appears to be a difference in facts, I would like to deal with that. The argument is based upon, and I will try to be as brief as possible, the arrest of Mr Mandla and the interrogation in Compol, the removal from Compol and the interrogation at a farm near Hammanskraal, where he was assaulted and removed by Prinsloo and then later blown up.
With respect, Honourable Chairperson, it is clear from the evidence that the deceased was interrogated in Compol. There is a dispute regarding the period of time that he was detained. But Mr Prinsloo, who was directly involved in this, stated that his detention in Compol was overnight, after which he was removed,
but Mathebula and Matjeni state that it was longer than that and I wish to argue, with respect, that Mr Prinsloo, who was directly involved therein, should be accepted in terms of his evidence.
Furthermore, Brig Cronje gave permission for a further interrogation at the farm and it is clear that there was no extended interrogation in Compol. Prinsloo denies that he assaulted the man in Compol, although Mathebula has testified that there was indeed an assault which took place in Compol, which he said was of a short duration. He states that he is not completely certain whether Prinsloo was present, so there was doubt about that, with respect, Chairperson, but Matjeni says that no assault took place in his presence. It would appear very clearly that Prinsloo, according to his modus operandi, clearly undertook a solo interrogation with regard to his investigative activities. What appears to be clear, according to Prinsloo's evidence, is that this person disclosed information to Prinsloo. Furthermore, this fact is supported by Brig Cronje himself, that Prinsloo reported to him with regard to the progress and with regard to which information was disclosed and upon that basis, I would like to argue, with respect, that there can be no dispute surrounding that.
Prinsloo's version that he did not wish to charge this person, due to the fact that he was in possession of information which was intended to eliminate policemen and informers specifically. With respect, Honourable Chairperson, upon a question which was put by the Chairperson to Mr Cronje that all black policemen were targets at that stage, I would like to submit with respect to the Committee, that one must consider the evidence in this particular case of State vs Masina, which formed part of this group of which the deceased was a member and it appears to be the contrary. There it was clear that determined persons were to be identified and that they would be murdered and for that reason one cannot look at page 751, the statement of the first appellant who was Masina at that stage, it is clear that he identifies a specific policeman by the name of Mhlube, that he was to kill and that this was his order.
Then if one looks at page 761, next to the letter A, according to the first appellant's confession dated the 23rd of September 1986, he and second appellant were to search for a certain policeman, Siki Vuma. They located Vuma at his home in Mamelodi where they shot and killed him. With respect, Honourable Chairperson, it is clear that specific targets were in mind here. Furthermore on the same page, reference is made to a specific person, a former Minister of Kangwane, Lukele and this appears next to the letters E to G. I will not read that out aloud. It is quite clear. He was also specifically tasked to kill that person, so there are specific targets that these persons had in eye. With respect, the ANC was well organised. The ANC undertook thorough planning and they knew when the person would be coming home. This Vuma, specifically on the evening when he returned home from duty and went home, as he put down his sandwiches, he was shot through the window with an AK47 and this indicates specifically on this matter. I mention this with respect, that Brig Cronje, who was well familiar with this case, has been failed by his memory in this regard, because this would have been well-known to him. It appears in the confessions of those witnesses, those persons who applied at that stage.
With respect, Honourable Chairperson, we have to do here with highly trained individuals, persons who were regarded as an assassination squad of which the deceased, according to Prinsloo's evidence, was a member and this cannot be in dispute, with respect.
Furthermore Chairperson, taking this into consideration, what Prinsloo had in mind was not to charge this person at that stage because the information that the informers had given to him over which this subject would have had possession, had to be obtained, otherwise specific persons would be killed. With respect then, Chairperson, it would have been the easiest thing on earth, if the police knew that policeman A, policeman B and policeman C were part of a plan to be killed by the ANC, they could have taken them out of the situation, or guarded them. That would have combated the terrorism, as in many other cases where there was a plan to commit certain acts of terrorism within the country, which was prevented by arresting these persons timeously or leading them into an ambush, these specific ANC member.
Honourable Chairperson, Prinsloo's evidence is substantiated that on the farm he interrogated this person Mandla, that he never assaulted the person on the farm. If it was Prinsloo's methodology at that stage with this person to assault him, he would definitely have used every opportunity to assault the person on that farm. Indeed, this did not take place according to all the evidence which has been presented to the Committee and that includes the evidence of Prinsloo. His evidence was that this person did not want to co-operate anymore later and that he was not aware of the reason for that. He did not know what had happened on the farm, I think he had suspicions. That was his evidence.
Another aspect which has created a cleavage here and I don't know why is we have Crafford's camp on the one side and Prinsloo on the other. Under cross-examination he said specifically, Cronje stated specifically that he had deployed Crafford to interrogate with Prinsloo in order to gain experience and upon a question by the Honourable Chairperson, he stated the opposite and under re-examination by Mr du Plessis, he stated once again that he had told Prinsloo this. Clearly this is contradictory to evidence Chairperson and if one studies the application of Brig Cronje, then I have sympathy with him. I can see that he has a problem with his memory if one looks at the brief nature of his statement, which has to do with these events. It is a very brief sketch and there he has stated, before the amendment this morning that:
"Capt Hendrik Prinsloo approached me and told me that a highly effective MK member had been killed by him during interrogation"
and with respect, Chairperson, for him at that stage during consultation to make such a mistake and to amend it today and to make various other concessions today, I say with respect that one cannot rely on the memory of Brig Cronje in this regard. It would appear that he was involved in many cases and for that reason, I do have sympathy with his lack of memory, but with respect, Capt Prinsloo's version has been substantiated consistently with regard to the duration of time and the facts of this matter and this has been proven by other evidence, indicating that Mandla was not assaulted until the last day, when Prinsloo arrived on the farm and found him in an assaulted condition. Shortly before this there was an assault during which he was not present and the other witnesses here have given evidence about that assault regarding who was involved and what took place and that Prinsloo was heavily upset regarding this aspect.
With respect, Chairperson, he stated then to them to leave the farm and he took the person away and according to his version, that evening the person was blown up. With respect if one considers the evidence of the applicants including Momberg and Goosen, that according to Brig Cronje he would have said to them to blow up a body two days before, with respect Chairperson, there can be no other day, other than the day that Prinsloo has given evidence about because the other witnesses say that the following day Mandla was no longer there. It is very clear. The explanation that Brig Cronje offered in his evidence substantiates Prinsloo's version of events. It does not counter his version, with the exception that he said that Prinsloo said it was a dead person. It could never have been that way, with respect. The version of Prinsloo after intensive examination by the Committee and all other interested parties here, he was made out to be a liar but Messrs du Plessis and Alberts, there was intensive, all encompassing cross-examination and I must submit that under such circumstances where this process is supposed to achieve reconciliation was an underlying dispute which was completely unnecessary. The fact of the matter is that this person was arrested, interrogated in Compol, those are the relevant facts. He was a trained person. He had information which the Committee is already aware of, subsequently and this was pointed out to Brig Cronje that this person had information and Brig Cronje conceded that, based upon that aspect, he would have allowed for him to be eliminated and he was eliminated due to those facts and I wish to argue, with respect, that the Committee accepts the evidence offered by Prinsloo, that he has appropriately responded to all relevant facts of the matter, that he has been open, he has been thoroughly examined regarding how he administered the tablets, from where he had obtained the tablets and regarding those aspects, he gave full information. He included the names of persons that he did not wish to incriminate. Why would he do this? He said where the farm was, he stated the farmer's dissatisfaction with what had taken place on the farm. Everything fits in logically into the sketch which has been presented to the Committee.
Furthermore, Momberg and Goosen received an order from Brig Cronje to blow up a corpse and to their surprise they saw a living person. With respect, Chairperson, at that particular point, they are not honest because they didn't do anything about it. The order was to blow up a corpse and I wish to argue that it is quite clear if one looks at the facts, that Momberg and Goosen are situated quite close to Brig Cronje. I don't wish to blow this out of proportion, but in terms of the relevant facts, ultimately it would be necessary for the Committee to decide whether or not they met at Compol, what was said at the side of the road. The fact of the matter is that all of them admit and I include Momberg, Goosen and Prinsloo, that they killed this man and that they blew him up and that this person was Mandla and in that regard the relevant facts have been made available to the Committee and under the circumstances, I wish to argue that amnesty be granted to Mr Prinsloo for the time that he arrested Mandla and it was clear that his intention was not to detain him legally but to detain him illegally and to transfer him to the farm and after that also the decision that he presented to Brig Cronje, the suggestion that he made, Cronje's approval thereof, the suggestion being that he be killed, if the relevant facts are considered, amnesty should be granted with regard to the facts of the offence which have been presented. This will then be abduction, from the point when he was taken from the police station to the farm. Furthermore, defeating the ends of justice due to the fact that he did disclose the death or the detention of the person, then there's also of course the case of murder of Mandla and any other delictual accountability which may emanate as a result of these acts.
The sections based upon which I request amnesty would be sections 20 (ii)(b) and 20 (ii)2(f). If there is anything further that may assist you, I will attempt to do so. Thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Prinsloo. Do you wish to question him?
MR MALAN: There is just one question. You say that there are minor differences in facts that we don't need to take into consideration and you said that there are much more major aspects which affect the material nature of the case, the question of the assault and when the order was issued. The course of time and the possibilities connected to the course of time, is that material or not? The question about two days before or two days after and so forth.
ADV PRINSLOO: With respect, Chairperson, these are essential aspects because the evidence is clear. When Prinsloo, according to his version, went to speak to Brig Cronje, the man had not yet been assaulted, because the course of time proves this beyond any reasonable doubt and that is that when Prinsloo went to see him, the man didn't want to co-operate anymore. He regarded this as the only resort and subsequently the man was assaulted. The day when he was supposed to take him out, two days later, that is when Goosen and Momberg were already in the process of planning how they would blow the person up so it is completely improbable that it could have been subsequent to his assault, but it was only then that he would have been taken out. Considering the evidence of Kruger, Mathebula and Matjeni with regard to this fact, it is very clear. And also the evidence of Momberg and Goosen, when they took him, he was alive. This was a living person that they received and that they blew up and they said that the period of time was two days, with respect, Chairperson.
MR MALAN: When you say that this is essential, according to your argument both Prinsloo and Cronje cannot receive amnesty.
ADV PRINSLOO: It is relevant with regard to a decision, with regard to the order the Prinsloo received and I will once again state that the problem that Brig Cronje is experiencing is obvious, his memory is failing him. That is the problem. I don't wish to speak on his behalf, but this would appear to be the problem to me in this case because Prinsloo is the man who dealt with the situation, it is clear in his mind. Why would Prinsloo want to change the facts of this case when it would appear that this would lead to division into two camps. If he had assaulted and killed the man and then put the responsibility for this at the other person's door, he would have said to him - he could have said to him Cronje, "Some of your men such as Crafford seriously assaulted this man. That's why we have to take him out", but he didn't do that. That is why I say the problem that exists here is the fact that Brig Cronje's memory is failing him and I do understand that he has this problem. Thank you, Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prinsloo, you will recall that according to Mr Prinsloo, the initial intention to arrest was in order to conduct a court directed investigation on Mr Mbizana. Can you submit that a good reason has now been advanced as to why and when there was this sudden change of plan?
ADV PRINSLOO: Madam Chairperson, the evidence of the applicant is clear with regard to this aspect. When he questioned Mr Mbizana in Compol building and Mr Mbizana imparted certain information to him and he was then of the view, in view of the personality of Mr Mbizana and that he was a well-trained person, that he could turn him, in all probability, as a possible askari. At that stage he decided to take him to the farm. With respect Madam Chairperson, at that stage already he had in mind not to proceed with the normal procedure, otherwise, if he had taken him to the farm and taken him thereafter for a confession, such confession would not have been admissible because he was never detained. As in accordance to the law, he would have had to be detained, as you know, immediately when he got to the police station, following the correct procedure because obviously that would have been apparent here in the trial that he was illegally detained at some stage. Madam Chairperson, but it's apparent from the evidence of Prinsloo and the circumstances that that was not his intention to charge him at that stage, but to use him at that stage and when he changed, when he refused to impart the information which was really necessary and imperative with regard to the informers and the policemen which they planned to assassinate.
CHAIRPERSON: Wasn't it Mr Prinsloo's intention, prior to arresting him, to launch a legal arrest and that's why he was taken to Compol and that's before he had actually divulged any important information. Now why doesn't he arrest him using the proper means at Compol? Why doesn't he enter his arrest at Compol in the normal register?
ADV PRINSLOO: I respectfully submit, Madam Chairperson, if one looks at the evidence, it is clear when Prinsloo had spoken to the person and his evidence was on the way already this person started to talk to him, Mr Mbizana, if I recall correctly.
CHAIRPERSON: Not with regard to vital information. The valuable information was disclosed to him at Compol but not en route to Compol from Eersterus, that's how I recall the evidence.
ADV PRINSLOO: But at Compol, Madam Chairperson, Prinsloo decided not to charge that person, to follow the normal procedure.
CHAIRPERSON: Arresting procedure.
ADV PRINSLOO: Arresting procedures, detention procedures, in other words to keep it a secret. Bearing in mind, with respect, Madam Chairperson, if he had divulged that by detaining him in the cells, then it would have been known to everyone and it would, at that stage already, have jeopardised the investigation because his informer, according to him, had information pertaining to this particular person, Mbizana, as to what they were planning.
CHAIRPERSON: But so did Masina. Masina had already implicated Mr Mbizana during interrogation by Mr Prinsloo.
ADV PRINSLOO: I respectfully submit Madam Chairperson that the information divulged by Masina and his group, had regard to incidents which had already occurred, but these events were events which they planned to commit in the future and it was that particular information which was relevant, necessary and vital for the police in order to prevent that innocent people be killed, that their aims be furthered by killing more policemen and informers, in particular, persons in particular and as I've already referred the Honourable Committee, Madam Chairperson, to this particular case of Masina, it's apparent that they planned to kill particular persons, not just policemen at large. Certain policemen which they identified as legitimate targets in their view, to justify their actions and I respectfully submit, on that basis, that Prinsloo's actions in this investigation and bearing in mind Mr Chairperson, there was also a murder investigation being conducted and terrorism in Bophuthatswana, and this was also future events that were being planned and committed, which had to be prevented. For that reason ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: He changed his plan once he reached Compol and after he had obtained Mandla's immediate co-operation.
ADV PRINSLOO: Madam Chairperson, on the evidence it would appear so, that he obtained his co-operation at Compol.
CHAIRPERSON: And that's where invaluable information was obtained from Mandla.
ADV PRINSLOO: Correct. Madam Chairperson, if you also look at the evidence, which is corroborated and that he was taken out of Compol in the trunk so his identity could not be disclosed to anyone, it was a secret that he was taken out to this farm and it follows that, the glowing thread that follows from there is that Prinsloo never assaults him on the farm.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, on his evidence that it wasn't his style to assault. That's his evidence.
ADV PRINSLOO: And that's also the evidence of the other people on the farm.
ADV PRINSLOO: That he was never assaulted. I respectfully submit that the probabilities, Madam Chairperson, that his evidence is correct on this point, that he was getting the co-operation of this person, but it seems, Madam Chairperson, there was some misunderstanding, that other people came in also doing their bit in questioning this person and this caused the upset, why he wasn't co-operating. That's speculation, I'm not asking you to make a finding on that.
CHAIRPERSON: No, I know that but his modus operandi, even if he had not obtained Mr Mahlango's co-operation, would not have been to assault him, because he has given evidence that it wasn't his style to assault during interrogation.
ADV PRINSLOO: No, that's correct, Madam Chairperson, that is so.
ADV MOTATA: Just probably two aspects and one emanating from what the Chairperson has asked you, because I do not follow your argument in this respect, that you refer us to the case of State vs Masina and emanating from questions you say no, those spoke of no police who had already been attacked or died and that with Mbizana it was a different case. Just clarify me on this, referring to that, that for instance, had he been charged like the others and he had information which he did not want to disclose about further attacks, if he had received life sentence, how would these other police and other informers lives be endangered?
ADV PRINSLOO: I respectfully submit, Madam Chairperson, on the question of Commissioner Motata, it is clear from the evidence of Prinsloo that Mbizana was in possession of documents, of plans of particular informers and particular policemen. If he was charged and the ANC had access to him or relatives or anyone, that information could have been conveyed to them where that particular information is and that could have furthered their plans in that way because bearing in mind, with respect Madam Chairperson, the mass mobilisation plan of the ANC and the way it was carried out with absolute precision, to get information from one to another, from even the cells and the police station, they would have had access to him after he was charged and it's a long term process, the attacks, that's apparent from the process that was planned in killing people. My respectful submission is that that particular information would have been able to have been channelled to the ANC by means, or rather because he had already obtained the information and he was already tasked to get that information, so his Commander could have said: "Follow that up and get it through." There are many means, with respect Madam Chairperson.
ADV MOTATA: Now in respect of him having been interrogated at Compol and where he gave valuable information and the view thereafter formulated that he could be used as an askari hence his secret removal to the farm, it would not appear that that view was followed thoroughly because then he is further interrogated instead of now being utilised or turned into an askari, because the view is that he had to speak about Kebuza somewhere in Swaziland but now that view which had already, despite him not being told, is still not carried out but he undergoes further interrogation after valuable information and the confirmations of what Mr Prinsloo then heard, how could we say there's a golden thread, as you argue?
ADV PRINSLOO: I respectfully submit, Madam Chairperson, that Prinsloo's evidence is that he followed up the information already divulged by Mbizana but he wanted him to produce the document which he had with regard to the information pertaining to the killing of the policemen and that information he refused to divulge and with respect, Madam Chairperson, if he wasn't going to co-operate, it would have been - in other words for him showing good faith, he would not turn him into an askari at that stage, so he had to follow it up and make sure that he's going to participate. Every person that's turned into an askari and I know of instances where people were turned into askaris without going to Vlakplaas, but with respect, the information which Prinsloo followed up which was valuable and he continued interrogation in order to ensure that he was getting the information which he had sought, that is the killing of the policemen and the informers.
CHAIRPERSON: Are you arguing or submitting, Mr Prinsloo, that during the time he was taken to Klipdrift farm and up to the time when he suddenly changed his attitude to that of non-co-operation, Mr Prinsloo was still making a follow-up and assessing how far this person would go into being turned into an askari and as a matter of process, the information which he was still seeking from him was that which related to the reconnoitred policemen's houses and the sketch plans he had in relation to those reconnoitred places?
ADV PRINSLOO: That's correct, Madam Chairperson. As you will recall, the evidence of Prinsloo that at some stage he then declined to divulge any information, or to co-operate any further and he made that known to him and for that reason he approached Brig Cronje. It was clear and with respect, if one follows the fact that he went and he interrogated him, he followed and said "Keep others away". I respectfully submit that Prinsloo was still following-up and was dedicated to the cause of getting that information from him.
CHAIRPERSON: And he was in the process of making his assessment as to the probability of ultimately turning him into an askari, is that your submission?
ADV PRINSLOO: Correct, Madam Chairperson. What I'm saying in that respect is, it was not Prinsloo's plan to kill him at the outset but that only emerged at the time when he realised that the deceased was no longer going to co-operate and it's futile to even proceed with any further questioning of this person in any respect and then he approached Brig Cronje and he suggested to him the killing of this person.
ADV MOTATA: Just clarify me on this aspect. The evidence, as I understood it, from Capt Prinsloo, was that he ground the sleeping tablets at Compol or some other place, but he ground them, in any event, before he went to the farm and where I want you to clarify me on is that he became upset when he arrived at the farm and found that Mbizana had been burned and assaulted and that's where he gave him the spiked coke. What was this intention, because to me, I must be open to you, is that if I listen to that kind of evidence, it would appear he had known of these assaults, hence when he left the Compol offices where he spiked the coke, it was his intention that now it's time for him to go.
ADV PRINSLOO: I respectfully submit, Madam Chairperson, that was not the evidence. Madam Chairperson, that was not the evidence. The evidence was that he sought the permission from Brig Cronje. The evidence was further that he had a meeting with Momberg and Goosen for that particular evening and it was then that he had taken along the coke with him to this farm. There were already arrangements made for a meeting that particular evening in order to execute his plan, that's a part of his evidence and it's then when he took the coke along. Then he first met with the farmer and the farmer corroborates what the evidence is and that he confirms that there were shots fired, he didn't know about that, it's apparent from the evidence Madam Chairperson and then he discovered the assault because there was an outrage when he arrived there. If he had known about it, it would have been different, he would have gone immediately. How would he have known what was the extent of the injuries, whether it justified taking the person out? If that was the course, with respect Madam Chairperson, then he would have had to collude with the others and on the evidence and you see the attitudes, that's totally the opposite as what's been presented to the Committee.
CHAIRPERSON: I think what is of confusion here is obviously the period as ...(indistinct) to by Mr Goosen and Mr Momberg, it creates a little bit of a confusion with me in particular as to when Brig Cronje gave the order that the body could be eliminated and when Mr Prinsloo discovered that Mr Mbizana had been assaulted and acted then on the instruction of Brig Cronje to dispose of the body, or to eliminate Mr Mbizana.
ADV PRINSLOO: I respectfully submit, Madam Chairperson, the evidence is that two days prior to this person being executed did Brig Cronje give his instructions to Momberg and Goosen.
ADV PRINSLOO: That being the case, when Prinsloo arrived on the farm and he discovered that the man was assaulted, on that same day the farm was evacuated and on that same night Mandla disappeared. On that same night he was, on the evidence, I respectfully submit, executed.
ADV MOTATA: No, no, but the duration as the Chairperson says, that we know that he obtained an order from Brig Cronje and according to Momberg and Goosen, or rather let's start with Goosen, that the next day he started his preparations and the second or third day, that's when they were asked by Capt Prinsloo if they are ready to execute the job they had been mandated to do. Now we say just there and if we look at the spiking, the correlation would appear not to be a golden thread, as you say.
ADV PRINSLOO: I respectfully submit, Madam Chairperson, the golden thread I was referring to is Prinsloo's whole actions from the word go, in questioning this person up to a point when he decided and realised he was not going to get any further co-operation from this particular person, that's when he approached Cronje and it was then decided to eliminate this person. Cronje gave his instructions and then there was a preparation because that's the evidence that stands unchallenged and that is that Goosen and Momberg, for those two days until Prinsloo's meeting with them and my submission is with respect, what stands out which removes any doubt, is the fact of the other independent witnesses that is Matjeni, Mathebula, Kruger as to what happened on that farm when Prinsloo arrived, when a man was injured, it's apparent that he was assaulted and burned during that night, then Prinsloo arrived the next day. That is apparent, with respect Madam Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: But from Mr Prinsloo's evidence, when had he obtained an order from Brig Cronje to eliminate Mandla? Was that prior to the assault or immediately before the assault? How many days before he was assaulted?
ADV PRINSLOO: Madam Chairperson in my calculation as I recall the evidence, at least two days prior to that, or maybe three days, but at least two days prior to that that he obtained the permission from Brig Cronje and the order, because then the order was already given to Momberg and to Goosen by Brig Cronje. If that is the case, then surely with respect ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: It balances out.
ADV PRINSLOO: It balances out and there can be no doubt, because all the differences had been ironed out in the evidence by all the witnesses here, with respect Madam Chairperson.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes. If that is the evidence, I would agree with you, but I'm not sure if that is the evidence.
ADV PRINSLOO: Madam Chairperson, with respect, there is no other evidence that can be relied upon and with respect Madam Chairperson, the people had said he was assaulted on this night and the next day he was gone, so there's not evidence - Prinsloo would have had to keep him at some place, would have had to kill him of his own accord and then go and blow him up and with respect Madam Chairperson, here we have to do with Momberg and Goosen who see a person that's alive. Surely Goosen and Momberg would have told Brig Cronje "What we blew up wasn't a dead person, it was a live person. What instruction did you give us?" And that's on the probabilities, with respect Madam Chairperson, but that's the reliance of Brig Cronje's evidence.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis, can you be next to give us your submissions?
MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Madam Chair.
MR DU PLESSIS IN ARGUMENT: May I deal with this last argument, Madam Chair and may I try to deal with it in a way that shows a little bit of clear thinking on this issue, with respect to you?
CHAIRPERSON: Good, I appreciate any clear thinking. Don't take us to the mud though.
MR DU PLESSIS: I have considered this position, Madam Chair and there's one thing that concerns me about the submissions my learned friend Mr Prinsloo has made. Mr Prinsloo argues the following, and can I ask for purposes of the argument, to make it clearer, when we talk of the days that we accept Mr Strydom's evidence that the interrogation took place on the Saturday, the burning interrogation took place on the Saturday?
MR DU PLESSIS: My learned friend, Mr Prinsloo, now argues that on that same day Capt Prinsloo arrived at the farm, saw the result of the interrogation and that evening he was eliminated, that's how I understand his argument.
CHAIRPERSON: Isn't that also the evidence of Mr Strydom? That the burning took place on Saturday and the next day when he came in, he found Mr Prinsloo who was obviously livid in seeing the condition in which Mr Mbizana was as a result of the assault which had taken place on that Saturday?
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I have got no dispute with that. Sorry, may I just correct something? I think the argument was that on the next day he was killed, the Sunday, yes.
MR DU PLESSIS: That would then be the Sunday. Then he takes Goosen and Momberg's evidence that they prepared for two days. That means that you have to go back two days, that means Friday, alright? Then he says that means that Goosen and Momberg got their instruction on the Friday. Alright? So the instruction must have then been the day before the assault and Goosen and Momberg got their instruction on the Friday. So now all the versions still tally. Now he says that that also accords with everybody else's version because they all say that the next morning the camp was broken up and Mandla wasn't there anymore, the Sunday, they all say that, everybody else, Kruger, Mathebula, Matjeni, that's what Mr Prinsloo argues. That's his argument and then it follows that the order that he says Brig Cronje gave to eliminate was given on the Friday because it was given to Momberg and Goosen on the Friday or maybe on the Thursday, but it was before the assault. Right.
The one thing that concerns me about this is, can you turn to Mathebula's application which he confirmed in his evidence, to page 138. You will see there that what Mathebula says is, he says, paragraph 8, there was this interrogation and the burning incident. Paragraph 9, what does he say there? He says:
"Approximately a day or two later Capt Prinsloo once again arrived at the farm"
CHAIRPERSON: Didn't he concede during his viva voce with regard to those days?
MR DU PLESSIS: Well the fact of the matter is, he gave a different version in his evidence, now the point I'm trying to make is, I'm trying to point out to you what kind of reliance one can place upon his evidence, alright, so as to rely on this whole calculation on his evidence. That's what he said in his affidavit. He said:
"Approximately a day or two later Prinsloo once again arrived at the farm"
and then he interrogated him again and then paragraph 10 he says:
"Captain Prinsloo arrived there again a day later"
so that really contradicts Mr Prinsloo's calculation. Now it is clear that in the evidence, viva voce evidence, I can't remember it 100%, but as I remember he was led to say that it was possible that it was the next day.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, during cross-examination.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes. So there's a conflict in his evidence between his application and what he was led to concede and the possibility, I'm stressing that as a possibility. Then if we look at what Matjeni says. Matjeni says, on page 87, paragraph 4, the third sentence:
"That very same day or the following day, Prinsloo requested the black member to go and to return again the following day. Upon our return the following day, Mbizana was no longer there."
That doesn't mean that Mbizana was removed on the same day. CHAIRPERSON: Just go a little higher, Mr du Plessis, third line.
MR DU PLESSIS:
"The following day Prinsloo arrived at the farm and noted that the man had been assaulted. That very same day, or the following day Prinsloo requested the member to go and to return once more the following day."
On the Saturday he said to them to go, or on the Sunday.
CHAIRPERSON: No, just follow, that's now ...
MR DU PLESSIS: "Op die volgende dag" (not translated)
MR DU PLESSIS: Either the Saturday or the Sunday, he told them to leave.
MR MALAN: Either the Sunday or the Monday.
CHAIRPERSON: The Sunday he rocks up, then Sunday or Monday ...(intervention)
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I'm sorry.
CHAIRPERSON: The Sunday or Monday he's now taking it to Monday.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I'm sorry.
MR DU PLESSIS: Sunday or Monday.
"and to return ,once more the following day. Upon our return the following day, Mbizana was no longer there."
He doesn't say that Mbizana left on Sunday. He doesn't say that.
CHAIRPERSON: No, he doesn't.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes. Now the argument of Mr Prinsloo is based on the premise that everybody else confirmed that the camp, everything was packed up on the Sunday and everybody left on the Sunday. Yes, with respect, that is his argument. He says on the Saturday the assault took place. On the Sunday he arrived there, he saw it and he took Mbizana and the evidence of the other witnesses was that the day after the assault,...(intervention).
MR MALAN: Which is the Sunday.
MR DU PLESSIS: Which is the Sunday, everybody packed up and left. Now according to Matjeni's evidence here, it is possible that it couldn't have been the Sunday, but the Monday.
MR DU PLESSIS: According to the version of Mathebula in his application ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: It could even be Tuesday.
MR DU PLESSIS: It was three days later and Kruger only says, page 359, paragraph 7, he says:
"That evening I went to sleep and the following morning Mandla was not on the farm anymore."
Mandla left before he woke up, or that same evening, Saturday evening.
CHAIRPERSON: What paragraph are you ...(intervention)
MR DU PLESSIS: Paragraph 7.
MR MALAN: With the greatest respect, Mr du Plessis, you are not giving us clear ideas, but you are actually confusing matters. I'm not saying you are doing this with motive, but we are completely confused because paragraph 7 refers quite clearly to the day after he had applied the ointment. In other words he was still there for the day. He was not one of those who had been chased away.
MR DU PLESSIS: Well what he said, as I understand it is the following:
"One morning when I arrived at Mandla I noticed that he had been burned between the buttocks and the legs."
MR MALAN: Yes, that was the Sunday. I beg your pardon.
MR DU PLESSIS: In other words, what he states is that this was on the Sunday. On the Sunday he went to sleep, on the Monday when he awoke, Mandla was no longer on the farm.
MR MALAN: Is that not in correlation with the evidence given by Prinsloo?
MR DU PLESSIS: No, no, with respect, Mr Prinsloo argues on the basis that on the Sunday everybody had left. The day after the assault everyone was gone and I specifically noted this, about 6 times in his argument this was stated. It must have been 6 times and based upon this identification that I have indicated to you, one can draw the conclusion that all these witnesses, if one wants to draw or accept a determined version from any one of these witnesses, one of them said that it was on the Sunday. The entire premise of Mr Prinsloo's argument is not based upon standing facts, it's based upon possibilities and one concession during cross-examination of Mr Mathebula and various other possibilities. Now if one comes to that conclusion... Let's look at the facts just a little bit differently. If we accept that on the Sunday the interrogation took place, the Saturday, I beg your pardon, on the Saturday, on the Sunday Prinsloo saw what happened. On the Monday Crafford and Strydom are sent away. Alright? And on the Monday, the same day, Prinsloo complains about Crafford's actions.
MR DU PLESSIS: On the Monday and the discussion takes place, Prinsloo says to Brig Cronje, "This person has been assaulted", according to Brig Cronje, "and I want him eliminated on the Monday." On the same day, according to Brig Cronje ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: That's not Prinsloo's evidence.
MR DU PLESSIS: No, no I'm ...(intervention).
CHAIRPERSON: He wasn't to be eliminated because he had been assaulted.
MR DU PLESSIS: No, I'm arguing Brig Cronje's version and trying to reconcile it with everybody else's version, the same as my learned friend Mr Prinsloo tried to do. So on the Monday he says to Brig Cronje: "There were assaults, the person was killed as a result of the interrogation, we have to dispose of the body on the Monday." Cronje goes and he gives the order to Goosen and Momberg on the Monday, the same day, that's his evidence. Goosen and Momberg say in their application page 95 of the small bundle, Goosen says, page 95 the 8th line he says:
"Approximately two days after I had received my order, I was summoned to Capt Prinsloo's office by him"
and the last sentences in that paragraph,
"Prinsloo told us that approximately 8 o'clock he would pick us up in front of the building."
So two days after the order, this incident happened that ...(indistinct). Now that can either be the expiry of the Monday and the Tuesday evening or one can say if you take two clear days, the Tuesday and the Wednesday evening. Now the only leg of the exercise which now has to be considered together with that, is the evidence of Mathebula and Matjeni and can one fit that into this. Now let's just look at the Tuesday point that the action took place, the elimination took place on the Tuesday. If we look at what Mathebula said in his application.
MR DU PLESSIS: 138, he says:
"A day or two later Prinsloo arrived again on the farm."
That would either be the Sunday or the Monday. Paragraph 10:
"Capt Prinsloo arrived there a day later again."
That could either be the Monday or the Tuesday.
"And told us to spend the evening at our homes and to return the following morning"
and then he says:
"The following morning we returned and found Prinsloo, Pienaar and Putter on the farm."
So if one accepts this version of Mathebula, it fits totally in with, or it can be reconciled with Cronje's evidence, Goosen's evidence and Momberg's evidence.
CHAIRPERSON: Now according to this version, paragraph 9 would take us to Monday, a day or two would be Sunday or Monday.
MR DU PLESSIS: Sunday or Monday. The next paragraph takes us to Monday or Tuesday.
CHAIRPERSON: And that takes us to Monday or Tuesday.
MR DU PLESSIS: Monday or Tuesday, yes. Right so give a day here or there, it can be reconciled. It can actually be reconciled if you accept that the two days which Goosen and Momberg spoke about were the Monday and the Tuesday. Tuesday evening the elimination takes place. If one takes this on the longer calculation of these days you get to the Tuesday evening too. With Matjeni you end up on the Monday and then with Kruger it's a different story. The reason why I'm doing this exercise, Madam Chair, is to really show to you that it's futile to, 10 years after the incident, to sit and do this kind of exercise. The way Mr Prinsloo tried to justify his version of the facts, I have now done from Brig Cronje's side and Goosen and Momberg's side. So at the end of the day, we sit with the situation that you have to decide who is speaking the truth and who is not speaking the truth, without trying to reconcile these different versions pertaining to was it one day, was it two days, where you have people testifying 10 years after the time, the question is, was Goosen credible, was Momberg credible in their evidence? Was Cronje credible in his evidence? And that's the question Madam Chair, when we deal with full disclosure.
CHAIRPERSON: And what are we do to with very obvious inconsistencies?
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I was coming to that. Either Prinsloo is correct that he received an order for elimination or Cronje is correct that he gave an order to blow up the body. That's irreconcilable. One cannot reconcile that. If you accept Prinsloo's evidence, then Cronje didn't make a full disclosure, if you accept Cronje's evidence, then Prinsloo didn't make a full disclosure and that is very, very unfortunate, may I say, I have been accused somewhat because I attacked Prinsloo's credibility in this Hearing, but I had no choice, I had to do it because I perceive the case as being there on that point and that just goes pertaining to Prinsloo and Cronje. Obviously the other witnesses, in so far as their evidence may fit into the evidence of either Cronje or Prinsloo, one would have to consider. In my submission, Goosen, Momberg and Cronje's evidence, fits in together, it works together, it makes senses and in that sense, when you consider Cronje's credibility, you also have to consider Goosen and Momberg's credibility at the same time. The other members, Mathebula, Matjeni, Roodt and Strydom really gave evidence about certain issues in respect of which there were certain discrepancies, but not really important ones. I have done Heads of Argument, I'll get to those arguments now. May I please hand up to you the Heads of Argument? Obviously I didn't deal with this argument that I addressed to you now in the heads because I didn't know it was going to be relevant.
MR MALAN: While they are being handed out, may I just ask you if you say that the test is of credibility, who is speaking the truth, Cronje or Prinsloo, wouldn't you say that the aspect of the day exercise must be accepted in terms of your synchronisation of the three witnesses?
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, that is my submission. If one calculates synchronisation and studies it and attempts to determine with which one would be able to incorporate the most individuals, then the one that I have submitted to you which correlates with Goosen, Momberg, Cronje and Mathebula's evidence, that would be the one that is the closest and that is my submission. Mr Prinsloo has to take a retrospective action, he has to accept a given and then go two days back and then get to his evidence and he was then compelled to say that the evidence of the three others is the same which was not the correct submission.
MR MALAN: Then on this point, may I ask you, is there any suggestion why Mr Prinsloo would have prepared his application upon this basis, or at least have submitted it on this basis to us?
MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Cronje did refer to that briefly in his evidence and I don't think that anybody realised what he was actually trying to tell you and it was that he said in his evidence at a certain stage, according to his opinion Prinsloo was not certain if he had approached Cronje regarding an elimination, what exactly Cronje would have said about it and that correlates with Cronje's evidence that never before or after that, had he ever given Prinsloo an order to eliminate anyone or had he ever involved him in any elimination action and one must observe this within the context of the relationship of confidence that existed between Cronje on the one hand and Hechter and van Vuuren, which meant that these things happened on a relatively large scale. To me it is a very acceptable explanation as to why Prinsloo lied to Cronje and why Prinsloo did not want to tell Cronje or what his ultimate aim was. In my Heads of Argument, I'm going to try to be as quick as possible.
MR DU PLESSIS: I refer at paragraph 4 to the decision in the London Bomb incident where the Committee presiding in that matter dealt with what is relevant and what is not and I refer you to that excerpt there.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we have that, we don't have a precedent system.
MR DU PLESSIS: I know, I just do it for purposes of trying to persuade you that that is correct and that's ...
CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - speaking simultaneously) of persuasive value only.
MR DU PLESSIS: Correct. Yes.
CHAIRPERSON: That's the value thereof.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes. I don't know who wrote this Judgment, that may also be of persuasive value, but I won't make any submissions regarding that. Paragraph 6 is the important one Madam Chair, where I say:
"However, the incident took place while Cronje was the senior officer and therefore Cronje accepts responsibility. Cronje also testified that he would have ordered, in any event, that Mandla should be eliminated if he had known that Mandla had refused to sign a confession or to be of any assistance further, as well as because of the following."
The submissions I make are relating to the credibility of Mr Prinsloo and I have listed all the points which I've dealt with in cross-examination, where I tried to show the probabilities of his version and where I tried to show that because of that, one can come to the conclusion that he was not - sorry I'm at paragraph 9, that he was not a credible witness. I list those aspects there. Paragraph 9.1, Prinsloo tried to place the blame for everything on Cronje, Goosen and Momberg, it's improbable that Cronje would have given Prinsloo an order to eliminate with Hechter and van Vuuren available. Mandla was taken to the farm but Prinsloo never assaulted him during interrogations, that's very strange.
CHAIRPERSON: May I interrupt. I don't want to do that whilst you are busy with your submissions but it somehow occurred to me that during his evidence in chief, as a result of a question that you put to him, he did concede that he foresaw the possibility of Mr Mbizana being killed during his interrogation.
MR DU PLESSIS: Who is that? Brig Cronje?
CHAIRPERSON: Brig Cronje.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON: If that is so, he must have foreseen the possibility of killing at the hands of Mr Prinsloo?
MR DU PLESSIS: Of killing at the hands of Mr Prinsloo?
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, but that would only, Madam Chair, that would only have been as a result of the interrogation in a way where Brig Cronje doesn't give a direct order and say "kill him". That would be something that would flow from the interrogation itself. That's a different story from giving somebody an order to say, "eliminate that person" and there's a distinction between that. There is a distinction between that.
CHAIRPERSON: I'm aware of that distinction but shouldn't we also take Mr Prinsloo's evidence in context in relation to that? His evidence is that there was an order that in fact to use Mr Prinsloo, arrangements would be made for Mandla's elimination. It's not like he was given an order to personally eliminate him, that's not his direct evidence.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, yes, maybe this was then not correct to say Cronje would have given, it's improbable that Cronje would have given Prinsloo an order because he never gave Prinsloo an order.
CHAIRPERSON: He never gave and it's not Mr Prinsloo's evidence that he was given a specific order to eliminate.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, but then it becomes more strange, because can you turn to paragraph 9.8 where I make the point. His evidence about the order to eliminate by Cronje is confusing as the order was not given directly to Prinsloo and apparently also not to Momberg and Goosen. It's further improbable that Cronje would have told Momberg and Goosen to execute the elimination instead of Prinsloo. That is very, very, very strange and very improbable. Here you have this senior man, a Captain, he asks "Should we eliminate him?" Cronje says "We'll make arrangements". Cronje goes, he calls the two most junior people, or of the most junior people at the whole Security Branch there, he gets them together, he says to them: "Go and eliminate this person, blow him up". He doesn't speak to Prinsloo. He doesn't give Prinsloo orders, he just sort of accepts that these junior people will now sort of convey this order to Prinsloo and Prinsloo will haphazardly and happy-go-lucky go and carry out this. It's totally, totally improbable that version. If I could go back to paragraph 9.3, Brig Cronje testified very clearly that one doesn't take a person to the farm to go and speak nicely to him. When one takes somebody out of the Compol building to go and ask him questions, part of that is assaults and it is simply not credible that Prinsloo never assaulted him. With respect, we have heard evidence of certain Security policemen who were frank with committees all over the country, who said that that's the practice and then we had other applications, such as this one, where a person comes and he says "No, no, no I was very nice to this guy. He's a trained MK terrorist who is a person who is probably trained in handling interrogations and now I just talked to him and I'm so good, he just gives me the information because my techniques are so great." It's simply totally improbable, with respect.
Then 9.4, Prinsloo wanted to make Mandla an askari but then he took him to the farm where he knew he would probably be assaulted. If he wanted to make him an askari, he would have made friends with him at Compol building, he would have treated him nicely and he wouldn't have taken him to a place where he would probably have been assaulted.
MR MALAN: If I could just examine this point, or I'll rather do it at the end, thank you.
MR DU PLESSIS: Strangely enough, Prinsloo is unhappy about the assaults at a time when he had already received, according to him, an order to eliminate Mandla. He knows he's going to kill this man today, but now he's very sorry about this assault and actually he asks forgiveness and he says that's not the way and he's very unhappy about it but he knows tonight he's going to kill him and in fact that night he hits him with a shovel over the head. That is very strange. May I add something to that which has occurred to me, which is not in the Heads of Argument. On Mr Harry Prinsloo's argument of Mr Prinsloo[s version where he tried to reconcile these different versions, the elimination order of Cronje would have happened either on the Thursday or the Friday, so when he arrived there on the farm on the Sunday and he saw assaults took place, he knew that there was already an order to eliminate him. What is strange is that Mathebula, in his evidence on page 138 paragraph 10, this is now after the assault, says:
"Capt Prinsloo arrived there a day later again."
I'm sorry, paragraph 9.
"Approximately a day or two later Prinsloo arrived at the farm again. He saw the man and was concerned, due to the fact that the man was burned so badly and inquired from Oom Strys why he had been burned. The man was then once again interrogated by Prinsloo and Prinsloo then returned to Pretoria."
It wasn't challenged in cross-examination, as far as I can remember. So Matjeni says Prinsloo interrogated this man again, after the major assault. Now if one accepts this evidence...(intervention)
MR DU PLESSIS: Mathebula. If one accepts Mathebula's evidence as correct, it means that Prinsloo interrogated him again after he had already received an order to eliminate after Mandla had already stopped giving co-operation.
CHAIRPERSON: But wouldn't you infer from Mr Mathebula, who was not part of the interrogating team and he has already conceded that it was Mr Prinsloo's style to do this interrogation all by himself, and not involve other people, wouldn't you infer that what he means by interrogation is maybe the fact that there was this exchange of words between them?
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, it is possible, I can't argue.
CHAIRPERSON: When Mr Prinsloo apologised for the fact that he had been assaulted.
MR DU PLESSIS: It is possible, I can't argue differently. Something else that occurred to me as well is Crafford, clearly on the Saturday, conducted an interrogation after Cronje had apparently on the Thursday or the Friday given Prinsloo an order to eliminate him. Now one doesn't know if Crafford was just not told about this or what is the case, but I find that quite strange. If there was an order or steps taken to eliminate him, I find it strange that Crafford would not have known about it and would have carried on with the interrogation on the Saturday.
MR MALAN: The only evidence relating to this alleged interrogation is from Mathebula, Matjeni and from Oom Strys Strydom. The evidence at the same time strongly indicates that the people were under the influence of liquor and that it wasn't an interrogation in the true sense of the word. What should we make of that?
MR DU PLESSIS: I'm coming to that, Mr Malan. Then paragraph 9.6, Mandla spends 5 days at the farm. Prinsloo does not assault him once. Mandla is a dedicated, trained terrorist but he gives the information freely during his interrogation at Compol building, according to Prinsloo.
9.9, Prinsloo's evidence about the sleeping pills is totally not credible evidence and it goes to show that his other evidence should be dealt with in a careful manner.
Paragraph 9.10, Mandla voluntarily drinks a second doctored coke, he doesn't say anything about it, he just drinks it.
CHAIRPERSON: Why should that not be believed? After you had been so severely assaulted and all these gruesome assaults had been conducted on you and you are still in the hands of the Security police, wouldn't you just do anything that you were instructed to do by anyone?
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, it is possible. I'm just making the point, for what it is worth, I dealt with it in cross-examination and I'm not saying that that is the strongest point that I'm posing.
Paragraph 9.12, the use of explosives for purposes of elimination is not usual and that was corroborated by Goosen and Momberg and Cronje testified that. Then Prinsloo cannot explain this sudden change in Mandla during the interrogation. You see, he had to say that to give him a reason to testify that he had to ask Brig Cronje for an order to eliminate and in my submission, that should not be believed.
Paragraph 9.14, he did not assault him when Mandla did not want to co-operate any more, that is not probable.
9.15, he did not get other members to participate in the interrogation when Mandla did not want to co-operate any more, that's also improbable.
9.16, Brig Cronje testified, if Prinsloo was the person to eliminate, Cronje would have discussed it with him immediately when Prinsloo approached Cronje, he would not have say I'll make arrangements.
9.17, Crafford had an interest in the interrogation of Mandla as a result of Ramango. Now Mr Malan, that partly deals with it, but I'll come back to that. Then it is more probable that he was assaulted by Crafford, Strydom and probably also by Prinsloo during this period.
Then paragraph 10, I make the submission that it should be found that the version of Cronje, Goosen and Momberg is the correct version and that amnesty should be granted to Brig Cronje for murder, kidnapping, all other criminal offences and all delicts. Now may I just stop there. We have a situation here where Brig Cronje's evidence pertaining to murder is evidence that he accepted that Mandla may die as a result of the interrogations, but what happened was he didn't die as a result of the interrogations. He either died because of the spade or he died because of the explosion. Probably because of the explosion and the question really is, does Brig Cronje's intention, which is recall dolus eventualis, go as far as to substantiate an argument that he could be found guilty for murder? In my submission and I must say I haven't had time to look at the law the way I wanted to on this issue, because I know there are different cases on that, State vs Goliath, I think also deals with this where the person was, I can't remember, he was held by another person and then he was killed by a knife which wasn't intended for him or he was killed by a bullet which wasn't intended for him, but it's the same kind of scenario and in my submission the facts are enough to at least make it doubtful whether he should or should not be prosecuted for murder and on that basis he should be granted amnesty. If one says that it's a difficult case, it's an arguable case, he should be prosecuted for murder.
CHAIRPERSON: On the basis of Section 20 (ii), would you say he planned, he directed, committed?
MR DU PLESSIS: No, but he assisted.
CHAIRPERSON: He assisted how?
MR DU PLESSIS: He made it possible, he made, his actions made it possible for Prinsloo to eliminate him. He did not place control measures in place which could have prohibited this kind of action and he foresaw that he could have died either in any way whatsoever, he foresaw that, on his evidence one must accept that he foresaw that a situation may arise that Mandla would have to be eliminated, that that refers to the hypothetical questions I asked him. Now the question is, should the misleading of Prinsloo be the fact that deprives him from amnesty for murder because Prinsloo misled him about the situation and because he eventually just gave an order to blow the body up, should that be the fact, the nobus octus really, which cuts the causal chain?
CHAIRPERSON: He foresaw that Mandla could die as a result of his interrogation.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON: But did he die from his interrogation?
MR DU PLESSIS: No, he didn't, but that's the old problem of a person not intending another person to die of a specific consequence and then he dies of another consequence but there were certain actions that this person took which put the other person in the position where he died, now the question is, should you foresee the exact method with which this person is going to die, or when you act with dolus eventualis in respect of a specific person and he dies of another reason, how far can you draw the causal chain and that's the legal argument on causation. Madam Chair if you want me to, I can do research and present you with a full legal argument on this with references, State vs Goliath I think and other cases. I think my learned friend Mr Jansen may know a little bit more about the criminal law than I do on this point and he may perhaps be able to assist me when he argues, but if you want me to, I will do so and then present you with such written argument.
CHAIRPERSON: I think we would rather place the onus on you to do that than on Mr Jansen.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I'm just asking him to help me if he can. Maybe he knows a case out of his head. Then Madam Chair, but would you grant me the opportunity to do so?
CHAIRPERSON: I would grant you an opportunity to do that.
MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you. Then I deal with Strydom, paragraph 13. Strydom has been honest and frank with the Committee by admitting that he participated in assaults during interrogations, both Strydom and Crafford testified and questions were asked during the interrogation which they participated in and also when Mandla was burned with a piece of wood, Matjeni could not confirm or deny this, Mathebula admitted that questions were asked, even though he found the interrogation strange. It must be accepted however, that Capt Crafford had a motive to interrogate Mandla, that he was the senior person and that he regarded it as necessary to interrogate Mandla in the way he did. We have a problem here in the sense that we could not ask Capt Crafford questions about this. It is possible that if Capt Crafford was here, he could have assisted Mr Strydom a great deal in respect of this issue and in respect of the questions which were asked and the reason for those questions, etc and the submission I want to make is that it should not be held against Mr Strydom as the junior person during that exercise, that the senior person is not here to explain the actions and therefore he should be prejudiced or detrimentally affected by that. At the end of the day when one reads Crafford's affidavit and application, one sees that he had a motive to interrogate him, according to Crafford's affidavit that was an interrogation, it wasn't just something that was done for fun and that accords with Mr Strydom's version and in my submission, on that basis, you can find that the actions there did take place with a political motive and that a full disclosure was made.
CHAIRPERSON: What are we to make of the evidence tendered by Mr Mathebula that this wasn't an interrogation?
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes. Mr Mathebula tendered that evidence, but during my cross-examination he conceded that there were questions asked.
MR DU PLESSIS: He said, "Well he doesn't ...(intervention).
CHAIRPERSON: Which couldn't have been expected to have been followed by a response from Mr Mbizana, would you call that an interrogation? Isn't an interrogation a two-way, where you ask questions and you expect the person to respond? Now according to the evidence of Mr Mathebula, questions were put definitely not with any purpose of obtaining information.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, Madam Chair ...
CHAIRPERSON: Mbizana was in no position to have been able to respond to any questions.
MR DU PLESSIS: The problem I have with that Madam Chair, I made that point during cross-examination of Mr Mathebula, is that that version was never put to Mr Strydom in cross-examination. He was never given the opportunity to answer to that, as is the normal practice, plus that version doesn't appear in Mathebula's application. Now that creates a serious problem because in a normal court of law, the court would simply ignore that evidence, because it was never put during cross-examination.
CHAIRPERSON: What was the evidence given by Mr Mathebula, viva voce, that they were busy drinking and there was a J & B bottle that was running around being shared by the members during this fun kind of interrogation?
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I'm coming to that. In paragraph 19 I deal with that. I say there he submitted that the use of alcohol is not relevant for purposes of full disclosure pertaining to assault, as it has nothing to do with the assault, even though there may be conflict in evidence between Strydom and Mathebula in this regard, it should be kept in mind that Crafford could not testify and is not available to testify. Crafford did not mention anything about the use of alcohol. Even if it is accepted that alcohol was used, there is no evidence that the questioning could not have had a purpose and could not have been meaningful. Mathebula testified that he did not know what questions were put to him and what answers were given." Maybe I should add there that he ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: He didn't say what answers were given.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, he testified that he couldn't give answers.
CHAIRPERSON: He said clearly he could not have been in a position to respond to questions.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, you're right, so when I did this this morning, I was wrong, but to come back to your question, there is no evidence how much alcohol they consumed. There's no evidence how much they drank. Only Mr Mathebula said that they were drunk and that's what he said, but that doesn't mean, with respect, that they were so drunk that they didn't know what they were doing.
CHAIRPERSON: If a person can't walk, if a person can't walk normally, if the speech is slurred.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, but Madam Chair, the question is, is this really a relevant point upon which you can find that there wasn't full disclosure? You have the one version of Mr Strydom and you have the version of Mr Mathebula on the other hand and the question is, is this issue so important that at the end of the day one should accept the one version, reject the other version and make a finding of not having fully disclosed all the facts against a person whose version you reject?
CHAIRPERSON: Only in so far as whether there was really any interrogation or not.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, but at the end of the day, Madam Chair, that's why I make the point of Crafford, because Crafford's evidence and the only evidence you can have regard to is on the affidavit before you about this, where Crafford says that it was an interrogation and that he asked him questions. If I can refer you to that, Crafford says on page 497, he says clearly at the top of that page, second sentence:
"During Mandla's detention I interrogated him again one evening. During the interrogation I assaulted him and also burned him with a burning log. I held my pistol against Mandla's head and fired various shots. I did this to intimidate him. Mandla repeated the information that he had already given and I was satisfied that he did not possess any further information. I assaulted him simply to obtain further information. It would have been of great importance for the Security Branch at that stage. My motive was political. Suffice to say that assault was regarded as an acceptable manner in which to obtain information from a subject during interrogation."
One should look at Crafford's affidavit and take that as an indication that on the probabilities there was an interrogation of some sort.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes. To corroborate Strydom's version.
MR DU PLESSIS: To corroborate Strydom's version.
CHAIRPERSON: Strydom's version is not that he personally participated with Crafford in more than one interrogation, his evidence has been that there was only one interrogation.
MR DU PLESSIS: And that was the one ...
CHAIRPERSON: Because if you read Crafford's affidavit, the portion that you've read to us, this seems to suggest that there was more than one interrogation.
MR DU PLESSIS: If one looks at the word "weer".
CHAIRPERSON: Yes and then having regard to the evidence of Mr Prinsloo that he was the only person who interrogated Mr Mbizana.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, but on the other hand, if you look at Mathebula's application on page 137, you will see that he mentions Crafford twice.
CHAIRPERSON: I'm aware. Mr Prinsloo and Mr Crafford as having been present, but he also conceded ...(intervention)
MR DU PLESSIS: No, with respect Madam Chair, what he does on page 137,
MR DU PLESSIS: He mentions two incidents where Crafford was present.
MR DU PLESSIS: One incident the first morning where Crafford and Prinsloo were present.
CHAIRPERSON: At Compol.
MR DU PLESSIS: No, no at the farm, with respect, 137, paragraph 7.
MR DU PLESSIS:
"The following morning Sakkie Crafford, van Jaarsveld, Strydom and Putter arrived there. The man was once again interrogated. One afternoon it was very cold. We decided to make a fire..."
Now it's not clear if it's the same incident or not, but it looks like two incidents.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but he also puts Strydom in that incident and Strydom has clearly stated that he was only involved in one incident.
MR DU PLESSIS: Correct. Yes, but at the end of the day, Madam Chair, the question is, was there a full disclosure about the assault and was the assault done with a political motive and in my submission Crafford's affidavit is the over riding factor to at least say that there is doubt in your mind and on the probabilities there may have been some sort of interrogation with a political motive, firstly and secondly that a full disclosure was made pertaining to the burning issue and everything surrounding that except the one other little difference between Strydom's evidence and Mathebula's evidence and I think Kruger's evidence as well, or actually two differences, the one is the water tank and the one is did he have clothes on or not. Now the question arises, here you have two contradicting versions again, the question arises here, are these facts really for purposes of the assault, so relevant that one again has to make a decision between the two versions and deny one person amnesty because the one guy says he was tied to a tank and the other one says he was tied to a tree. It's like the one guy says he drove a white car and the other one says he drove a blue car, kind of thing.
MR MALAN: But may I just on this score ask you, the evidence also is by Mr Strydom that he found him tied to a tree when they arrived on the farm, whereas the others said that the deceased was called out, called to undress, tied and then assaulted. Now isn't that an integral part of the assault, or further burned, not assaulted, burn with the stump. Isn't that integral? If we talk about full disclosure, isn't that extremely important and isn't it true that in cross-examination you never canvassed that with any of the other witnesses?
MR DU PLESSIS: Are you referring to the point of the fact that he was tied to a tree?
MR DU PLESSIS: When they arrived there?
MR MALAN: Yes and the issue of the nakedness, or not.
MR DU PLESSIS: In my submission the issue of the nakedness is again a contradicting situation, where you have to decide who is speaking the truth and who is not. At the end of the day the question is if that is relevant pertaining to the assault and I'll come to the submission that I want to make there. The question if he was tied to a tree, really is a fact that happened before the assault happened so in respect of that Mr Strydom is not asking for amnesty for anything relating to the tying of the tree. What one has to look at and that's the submission I'm trying to make, when you ask what are the relevant facts pertaining to a full disclosure of assault, Strydom's case is, "I participated in an interrogation where assaults took place. I didn't participate personally in the assault, but where assaults took place by Capt Crafford on this person." Now do you have to look at the facta probanda of that specific criminal offence, or do you have to go much wider and ask yourself the question at what time of night did it take place, was it dark or was it full moon, was he tied to a water tank, or was he tied to a tree, was he lying in his bed before, was he sitting on a chair beforehand, was he died to the tree before they started with the interrogation and in my submission those facts are not relevant facts for purposes of the proof of such a criminal offence, if one had to prove it in a criminal court, those issues would have been surrounding issues which would not have been the facta probanda which you have to prove to find a person guilty. At the end of the day he came to this Committee, he said "I was there, this interrogation took place, this is how the assaults took place." He doesn't deny that the person was burned with a piece of wood, he doesn't deny, he says he hit him over the head, he tells everything pertaining to the assault and those are the relevant facts pertaining to the assault.
CHAIRPERSON: But he personally goes further and says when he got there this person had already been assaulted.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes.
CHAIRPERSON: And in the process of being assaulted, he was tied onto a tree.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, but that doesn't really form part of the facts that he had to place before you to prove that he's entitled to amnesty for the assault that he participated in, because his evidence is not that he participated in that other assault and if one takes into account the time lapse, the ten year time lapse, it may be that is his recollection, but that recollection is wrong. Now is one to say because of that, simply because of that fact, this person who has come here and who has been frank and who has said "I participated in an assault of that nature" and who has given you the facts surrounding the assault, are you going to deny him amnesty because he may remember something in a way that happened differently, or that he may remember that the guy was tied to a tree but actually he was tied to a water tank, or the other way around? That's the point, Madam Chair, if one has to be fair in this process, one has to ask yourself the question, did he disclose relevant facts pertaining to the criminal offence and if one had to prove the case against him in a criminal court, would the fact that he was assaulted before by somebody else and then tied to a tree, be relevant for the proof of the criminal offence of assault in which he participated? It wouldn't be relevant. The fact that he was tied to a tree or tied to a water tank wouldn't be relevant. It could perhaps only be relevant in that sense on the basis of credibility, but here the essential facts pertaining to the assault, there's no credibility question about it, there's no real dispute in respect of the assault itself and in my submission, if one has to look at this little small facts and deny a person who comes here and who says "I participated in that" amnesty on that basis, it leads to an unfair situation and in my submission one has to be very careful when you look at all these small little differences 10/15 years ago, to deny somebody amnesty. In my submission and I think it was said in previous judgements too, this Committee is not here to deny amnesty, this Committee is here to give amnesty unless you find that there are no reasons - there are reasons for denying amnesty.
MR MALAN: I think the word is "facilitate" amnesty.
MR DU PLESSIS: Facilitate amnesty, thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: Not to give, to facilitate only to those people who are in a position to enable the Commission to make a bigger picture of the conflict of the past with the view of building a firm bridge.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes. In my submission, if one looks at the broad picture, Mathebula, Matjeni, Kruger, Strydom, Crafford, what are the differences? He had clothes on or not, he was tied to a tank or a tree. You know, at the end of the day, if one perhaps takes into account the situation let's say where four of these witnesses all differ on one issue, the one said he was tied to a tank, the other one said he was tied to a chair, the other one said he was tied to a tree and the other one says he was tied to a car, would it mean that you would then have to make a decision and just take the one version and reject the others? That can never be the intention. So at the end of the day, my submission, all these people should get amnesty before you, every one of them.
CHAIRPERSON: Irrespective of the inconsistencies?
MR DU PLESSIS: Irrespective of the inconsistencies, with respect, because the essential facta probanda of this incident was placed before you by all of them.
MR MALAN: Mr du Plessis, may I just as you again because you move again to the facta probanda approach. My question was a very specific one. What entails the assault? What all is the assault? Is it not indeed the fetching of the guy, the treating of the guy, the unclothing of the guy, the tying of the individual there? Where on the evidence of all the others, the applicant, Mr Strydom, was part of the group that facilitated that whole process of assault, denying any knowledge thereof, denying the person being nude, even giving a version of burning through his clothes, which does not tie up with any of the other evidence. Is that full disclosure?
MR DU PLESSIS: Well at the end of the day he was burned, if it was through one piece of cloth or ...(intervention)
MR MALAN: No, but I'm not sure whether you hear me or do not hear me.
MR DU PLESSIS: I understand.
MR MALAN: My question to you is, is your definition of the assault only the physical burning, a once-off, with a log or a burning piece of wood on the forehead?
MR DU PLESSIS: My definition of assault, Madam Chair, with the greatest of respect, if one looks at assault and what is assault, it is the - can I say this in Afrikaans? That would be the attack on the physical integrity of the person, which would be to injure him.
MR MALAN: I beg your pardon for interrupting you, I think you have misunderstood me once again, my question is the involvement with a greater process which includes one incident of assault. In this case Strydom admits only to certain aspects thereof. Other aspects are denied and specifically opposed. Is such a denial, or an active contradiction, not an argument for a case against full disclosure? It has been found in the past and I cannot refer to any specific decisions, but such findings have been made by other Panels
MR DU PLESSIS: Then may I just refer you to the strict legal, technical definition of assault which would be the purposeful direct or indirect application of violence to the body of another person.
MR MALAN: You haven't heard me, that is not what I dispute. I'm referring to the occasion of this assault being a broader process. We have common cause even on your argument that more happened than what your client has testified about. You do not dispute that the assault was limited to the incident that he has disclosed and I would just like to know whether this is part of what happened. If there were to be a finding made by the Committee that certain things were withheld for whichever reason that may be and not purely due to a weak memory, would that not disqualify a person? That is the question of credibility.
MR DU PLESSIS: But Mr Malan, that is where this entire process comes from, that is the basis of my submission. Where is the cut-off point? I have argued this previously in another argument. Where is the cut-off point? Where do you stop, saying "Now the facts are no longer relevant". Which facts does one examine in order to determine what is relevant or not. For example, let us ask the question, we were discussing his clothing, but is it relevant or not he was wearing shoes? Is it relevant whether or not he had a handkerchief to wipe his forehead with? Is it relevant what his state of mind was? The submission that I am attempting to make is, which facts must one regard as relevant for the purposes of disclosure and which facts are irrelevant and the submission that I am attempting to make is that those facts which indicate upon the commission of a crime.
ADV MOTATA: When we look at the broader picture we say, the offence for which you ask for facilitation of amnesty should firstly be criminally liable in a court of law. Then we have an Act which facilitates the process. That says, to do that you must also come now with a fuller disclosure of what actually obtained when probably this assault took place and would it not be of relevance that, for instance, that disclosure should be given that for instance when we burned him with this piece of wood, that he was naked, as we have the evidence before us. Then he says, "no, no, no, he was fully clad and there was just a little small smoke that emanated from the clothing" because we are entitled, probably let me speak for myself, that we accept that in a court of law it would have been sufficient just to say there was this grievous bodily harm. That would be sufficient, but when we come here we want to know how that grievous bodily harm was done, then that constitutes full disclosure.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I understand that, but my argument remains that in what detail do you look at this? Does it now become relevant? May I just make a submission please?
MR DU PLESSIS: Does it now become relevant, let's say for instance, different people burned him with pieces of wood. Does it become relevant now who burned him first and who burned him second? Does it become relevant who burned him on his forehead and who burned him on his buttocks and let's say, for instance, there was a dispute about this. Mr A says "I burned him first", Mr B says "I burned him first". I mean it could, this approach could have all sorts of very difficult scenarios.
CHAIRPERSON: But that's not what we are saying, Mr du Plessis, with due respect. What we are saying is, isn't it sufficiently relevant for Mr Strydom to disclose that if the person was burned whilst he was naked, he was still burned, because at the end of the day we must actually take into account the probability. Is it probable that you can burn someone in his private parts, in the manner that has been described by Mr Kruger, by Mr Mathebula, by Mr Matjeni, the extent of those injuries, when he had his clothing on and nothing happened to the clothing? I mean, there were no holes where the logs were placed in his private parts, if the private part was burned to the extent to which we have actually been told it was.
MR DU PLESSIS: With the utmost respect, I don't think there was evidence about the question of holes in the clothes, but ...(intervention).
CHAIRPERSON: No, there - Mr Strydom says he was burned whilst he was still clothed and nothing happened to the clothing. All they had to do was to pour water and a little smoke came out.
MR DU PLESSIS: But the question with respect Madam Chair is, what you are putting to me, is that you are saying that notwithstanding the disclosure of the full offence and all the relevant facta probanda in respect of which he could have been found guilty, notwithstanding that one must go further and make a decision if he had all his clothes on or not, if he was naked or not, if he was tied to a tree or tied to a water tank and at the end of the day, if there is conflict in versions, one can only decide the one version and the other person who sits here who says to you: "I did assault" and gives you all the information about the assault, he's denied amnesty because he says it was a water tank and the other person says it was a tree, or he says the person had clothes on, the other person says he hadn't clothes on. In my respectful submission, Madam Chair, that just makes the process, in my submission, unfair. The intention of this process is to give amnesty to people who committed offences, who can be prosecuted for offences but who acted with a political motive and give all relevant facts and if you read the Act it says, it refers to in Section 20 - sorry if you'll just bear with me - it refers in Section 20, paragraph (i)(b) to the act, omission or offence. You have to decide if the act, omission or offence to which the application relates, is an act associated with a political objective and in the same section it goes further and it says, and paragraph (c):
"The application has made a fully disclosure of all relevant facts."
Now if you read relevant facts together with the act, omission or offence, the only interpretation that one could place on the use of the words "relevant facts" in this statute, is that it should be relevant facts pertaining to the proof of the act, omission or offence.
CHAIRPERSON: So it doesn't matter whether Mr Mbizana was burned, how he was burned, wouldn't that be a relevant fact to consider by this Committee?
MR DU PLESSIS: Well, what is not before the Committee, may I say that, is how many times he was burned because that wasn't asked. Now if you argument is correct, Madam Chair...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: That wasn't asked, Mr du Plessis.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes that mean...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: Are we not supposed to sit here and hear full disclosure from applicants? Is it out duty now to be asking questions? Isn't it the duty of an applicant to fully disclose all the relevant facts pertaining to an offence for which he is seeking amnesty?
MR DU PLESSIS: But with respect, on your argument, none of the applicants should then get amnesty, because there wasn't a full disclosure on exactly who burned him, where was he burned, how many times was he burned and what damage was caused by each and every burn.
CHAIRPERSON: I have the evidence of Mr Strydom, what he used and where he used it and the cut that resulted from the blow he administered on Mr Mbizana by using a soda water bottle, I have that evidence. I also have evidence from Mr Strydom that he didn't participate in burning Mr Mbizana with any burning log. That's the evidence I have.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, that's the evidence you have. Now if you decide ...(intervention)
CHAIRPERSON: In relation to his application for an assault.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, now you also have the evidence of Mathebula, Matjeni and these people who say they saw the burning with a log, but they didn't go into further detail than that. If you decide that the meaning of all relevant facts would mean that it would have to be placed before you how many times he was burned, what specific action caused what specific injury, what specific injuries he had, then none of the applicants have proven their case, then they shouldn't get amnesty. That includes Mr Mathebula, Mr Matjeni and everybody. I'm just trying to submit to you the difficulty of going beyond the facta probanda because where do you go to? Where do you go to? If there was evidence, conflicting evidence placed before you about how many times he was burned, the question arises then, would that have become relevant? If Mathebula had said he was burned four times and Strydom had said he was burned twice, would have regarded that as relevant? That's the difficulty Madam Chair you're faced with with this beast, if you go wider than applying the test of facta probanda but I don't want to spend too much time.
CHAIRPERSON: I don't have any difficulties Mr du Plessis, apart from the one that you are trying to put to me.
MR MALAN: Mr du Plessis, may I take you back to your page two of you heads of argument and let's look at the definition that you quote and apparently with your approval. It says clearly the relevant facts by whom, when, where, how, why and under what circumstances, what happened immediately prior and what happened to the corpse in this instance. Now the point I'm putting to you is, here's an assault. The assault is not the burning with the stick or the hitting with the bottle, it's a conspiracy, conspiracy is the wrong word, what's the word I'm looking for, perhaps I should speak Afrikaans to you, like you did with me. It was a co-operation within a join consistent assault situation. Is an applicant entitled, if the facts are found, that the applicant went to fetch someone, removed his clothing, tied him up, hit him with a bottle, burned him with a log and was then chased away from the scene, are those the relevant facts if the applicant comes forward and says "I assaulted him. I'm making a disclosure of the fact that I hit him with a bottle. However I did nothing further and saw nothing further." Would he then be entitled to amnesty, because that is the questions?
MR DU PLESSIS: May I then rephrase your question? The question is the one applicant comes forward and ways the man was brought to the fire, his clothing was removed, he was burned by Mr A with a log, he doesn't say anything about the blow with the bottle, he merely says that the man was burned with a log.
MR MALAN: I beg your pardon but the point is, when he is questioned about it, he admits it. He says, oh yes, he was also hit with a bottle, or he says "No, I don't know anything about that."
MR DU PLESSIS: I cannot recall what he said.
MR MALAN: No, I'm not referring to the facts, I'm referring to our construct, I am trying to construct a scenario. I am asking you, when the Committee finds that someone was aware or had knowledge that this was the process or the circumstances before and after the where, the when, the why, the what time, the who and this person is only prepared to share one small aspect with us and not the rest, if that were to be our finding ultimately and I ask this for purposes of the argument, if that is what we present to you, whether it was with a stick or a water pipe, whether it was five or six times, I think certain once, or 99 times, doesn't really make a material difference.
MR DU PLESSIS: May I then respond to that and say that the whole question of my submission appears to me to be the following. If the one witness says, "My recollection is that he was burned while he was clothed and tied to a tree and I did not burn him with the log" and the other witness states that he was burned without clothing, that he was tied to a water tank and that he was burned with the log, if what you put to me is simply the question of which one of these two versions would be correct, if I accept the one version, then that means that the other party has not disclosed to me what he should have disclosed because I then accept one set of facts and even though this other person has sketched his full participation as he recalls it, he will not receive amnesty.
MR MALAN: I will conceded to what you have just put to me in principle. I don't have a problem with that but if the proposition of the other party is that this supposition is not correct, because it is not only a question of whether or not he was tied to a tree, it is who tied him to a tree. Coincidentally it was the other one who tied him up, that is the evidence before us, not whether he was naked or not, but who the person was that disrobed him, that is the issue before us and then we have the recollection of the deeds, if we accept those facts that the man was clothed. When we arrived there he was tied to a tree and that is what I am asking you. Are these not essential differences and is this not part of the aspect of the assault? Let us not neglect the point. That is my question to you.
MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I understand, but the argument still returns to the result. If you apply it on this fine technical basis, let us just suppose in this case for example that Mr Strydom's memory has failed him, let us suppose that this man recalls that the man was clothed and he is incorrect because that is possible after 10 years or so, the effect of your approach would then be that he, who recalled it as such, even though his recollection is incorrect, will receive amnesty. That is the effect of what you have put to me and, with respect, with my submission that it is unfair and I state in my submission that if the facts are essential with regard to the particular act of assault and it affects the particular facts which must be proven in a court for the sake of proving an assault, then so be it, otherwise I do not say that the rest is irrelevant, I must just say that one must be circumspect when dealing with one minor fact which may have been affected by the memory of a person, when using such a fact to reach the ultimate conclusion that one person can receive amnesty and another cannot and my experience of the Committee has been that they will not very easily use such minor differences to refuse amnesty to four persons and to grant amnesty to one person where such differences exist. Then my submission in this case, we here have the situation where Crafford says that he alone burned, where Strydom says that Crafford burned and Mathebula says that Strydom burned. The question is, what must one do with this? Must one accept only one version and reject the others, or should one come to the conclusion that perhaps these persons cannot recall all that well because at the end of the day the core question is whether or not the facts before the Committee which indicate that Mandla was burned with a log, whether he was clothed or unclothed, he was burned with a log and these other facts are not sufficient, with respect, to refuse amnesty. I do not wish to be too expedient with time.
I see that my learned colleagues on my left-hand side are quite irritated with the fact that my submission has lasted this long. I think I have made the points that I want to make.
CHAIRPERSON: You have exhausted your submission with regard to what constitutes relevant facts for the purposes of granting amnesty.
MR DU PLESSIS: I have. I have done so in another matter too and I thank you for the opportunity to argue this again, but I have made my submissions.
CHAIRPERSON: Do you still want to proceed with your further submissions?
MR DU PLESSIS: No, thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: That concludes your argument?
MR DU PLESSIS: Thank concludes my argument, thank you.
CHAIRPERSON: We'll take a lunch adjournment and we'll reconvene at quarter to three.
CHAIRPERSON: Because of the nature of the incident we are dealing with, pertinently with regard to issues which are inconsistent in so far as the evidence of Mr Prinsloo the applicant and those of Mr Cronje and Mr Strydom who are being represented by Mr du Plessis, I will give an opportunity to Mr Prinsloo at this stage to respond to Mr du Plessis's argument, if he so wishes.
ADV PRINSLOO IN REPLY: Madam Chairperson, in as far as the argument goes with regard to when this incident occurred, when the decision by Prinsloo to take the person away on a day in question, it was clear that person testified on the same day that he discovered that the deceased was assaulted, on that same day the deceased was removed by him. That particular aspect was never challenged, either by Mr du Plessis, or Mr Alberts who appeared on behalf of Mr Momberg, or Goosen. It was never disputed at all and that evidence still stands. The other aspect is, with respect Madam Chairperson, is that at no stage did Momberg or Goosen address anything to Mr Cronje that the person they blew up was not a dead person but a live person and the probability is they would definitely have told him that it was a live person they blew up.
Furthermore Madam Chairperson, it's apparent from the evidence and the chain is that the person that was blown up was Mandla, there's no dispute about his identity and the chain of events, it's clear from the evidence, that it could only have occurred on the day as suggested by Mr Prinsloo and the evidence is also clear of Mr Mathebula, which he said in his evidence in chief, that on that same day Prinsloo removed this person. The evidence of Mr Strydom is on that same day when Prinsloo arrived, he was very cross and on that day he moved away. There's no dispute about that and on that version, Madam Chairperson, it's clear that Prinsloo removed him on that day, otherwise on Mr du Plessis's version and his argument, it would have meant that Prinsloo would have had Mandla in his possession for two days. Where did he keep him? There's no such evidence. It would be absurd, with respect, Madam Chairperson that that could have been the chain of events.
Other than that, I've already dealt with the facts as I presented to the Honourable Committee. I don't think there's anything else I would like to add unless there's anything in particular which needs any reference. Thank you, Madam Chairperson.
ADV MOTATA: ...(indistinct) Madame Chair, of Mr du Plessis's argument on arithmetic, taking the days into account, is firstly that if we look at when he was supposed to have been taken away to be blown, there's great doubt for the following reasons that the only opportunity which Mr Prinsloo had to report to Cronje that Crafford was interrogating and he's not happy with that fact, could have only happened the Monday, hence he was sent away to Swaziland diplomatically by Cronje to avoid further interrogation. That's the import of the arithmetic as he was working it out.
ADV PRINSLOO: Madam Chairperson, that is not at all because the evidence is clear that after this assault was detected by Prinsloo, immediately on that day he took action and on that day he had already received his instructions to eliminate the deceased and that instruction he'd received two days prior to that. The arithmetic and the calculation behind Mr du Plessis, I respectfully submit is pure speculation, to say it was a Friday evening. It's apparent from the evidence that this assault took place during the night and the following day the person was removed from the tree trunk or from the water tank, whatever, and he was treated by Kruger, but on that same day, Madam Chairperson, Prinsloo arrived because you recall, with respect, that the farmer had complained about shots being fired and that's common cause that shots were fired by Crafford and the inquiry addressed by Prinsloo to the farmer and on that day they moved out because on the following day and that's the clear evidence, Mandla was no longer there and they'd all gone. Some had been sent off, the removal of their camp and that, that may have happened the day after that. With respect Chairperson, is that day after Prinsloo had sent them off, Mandla was no longer at that camp and that is crystal clear, with respect. The address by Mr du Plessis, with respect, with regard to statements made by witnesses, where they said X in their statements and then in evidence in chief or cross-examination, elucidate on that and be more specific, like Mathebula for instance. He was specific in his evidence in chief, that on the same day that Prinsloo arrived, on that day they went home and the next day he discovered Mathebula was no longer there. With respect, I beg your pardon Mandla, Chairperson, so there could be no doubt about that in the Committee's mind, with respect. That's my submission.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Thank you, Mr Prinsloo. Mr du Plessis, you have approached me in chambers to indicate that you wish to be excused for the duration of today's proceedings because of a personal pressing matter.
MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct, Madam Chair, would that be possible at this moment?
CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you may now be excused.
MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you very much. I appreciate it Madam Chair. I'm going to hand the affidavits of tomorrow's hearing to Mr Steenkamp, just to place that on record.
MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Madam Chair, I appreciate it.
CHAIRPERSON: Mr Jansen.
MR JANSEN IN ARGUMENT: Thank you. Madam Chair, Members of the Committee, to deal with the formal prerequisite to you granting amnesty, I will take my argument, starting from Section 20 (i) and the (a) that the application must comply with the requirements of the Act, that I submit has been canvassed. It's contained - the fact that there's compliance in this regard is contained in Exhibits B and C and you are aware of the history of those people that fall in the same category as applicant Matjeni in that their initial applications just made references to, or incorporated certain other applications, but it's there. As far as Section 20 (b) is concerned, Madam Chair, that incorporates (ii) and (iii). I respectfully submit (ii) is not controversial in this matter. Mr Matjeni clearly falls under (b) or (f). A fair amount of argument has been addressed at other hearings exactly what the meanings of (b) and (f) are and what the differences are. I don't believe that that should be repeated here.
CHAIRPERSON: That is not necessary.
MR JANSEN: Yes, that is not controversial in this matter. As far as (iii) is concerned, Madam Chair, it is so that some matters could be raised in respect of the incident as a whole, how serious the offence was and the proportionality, but I respectfully submit again that all those issues raised are not controversial in respect of Mr Matjeni's application. In that sense he's in the same category as Mr Mathebula and they, whatever your findings are on all the other controversial issues, it does not concern them. That was conceded by all the other people, all the people in their senior positions and therefore I don't believe that (b) is controversial either.
As far as full disclosure is concerned, Madam Chair, on that I wish to make a few submissions because there are certain differences in the evidence and it is obviously your task to consider which of these differences are material and which ones are not material. Now Madam Chair I'll break the incident up in it's various chronological portions. The first relates to the arrest. The only people that implicate Mr Matjeni in the arrest are applicant Prinsloo and applicant Kruger and if you read their applications, you'll see that they're couched in exactly the same words and it does appear that Kruger in fact wasn't himself at the arrest so that must in fact be completely ignored, there's no basis for him to say that.
CHAIRPERSON: As he has conceded.
MR JANSEN: Yes, as he has conceded and Prinsloo himself conceded in the evidence that Matjeni may not have been there and that's the truth of the matter, with respect, Madam Chair, is the presence at the arrest, or then the start of the abduction, is fairly neutral, it cannot really affects one's - in the greater scheme of things there, there's no reason for somebody to lie about his involvement in that abduction. He clearly testifies about his association with the abduction while they're there at Compol, knowing it to be an unlawful detention and that he actively associates himself with that abduction so that should simply just be considered as a neutral fact and not relevant.
Then Madam Chair there's the period of detention at the Compol building. Again I respectfully submit that the period of the detention there is simply irrelevant unless it can be shown by some or other reason or some or other argument that the people want to be untruthful about the period of detention then and if I may at this stage just make a few submissions about what I understand the concept of full disclosure to mean, I believe that it should be interpreted very closely to what is regarded as truthful disclosure. It simply would never make sense to mean full disclosure is that a certain degree of accuracy is expected of applicants, where their inaccuracies are a result of faulty memory, faulty reconstructions etc, so it must be truthful disclosure and I accept that that truthfulness must relate back to the act, omission or offence in the narrow sense, but I would imagine that it must also relate to the other issues pertinently made relevant by the Act, sub-section (ii), who did you belong to, who gave you your orders, what type of authority did you have within your organisation etc, etc and it must obviously also be truthful in respect of matters relevant for sub-section (iii) and then these issues of personal gain, etc. because that - so it is a fairly wide thing. Exactly how wide it goes, whether it goes wider than this and entails being truthful about detailed evidence which does not relate to any of the requirements of the Act, I don't think this is the occasion to go that far, I think if there are any controversial findings to be made in this hearing, then it specifically relates to motive, that people are not being truthful about their motives for the assaults or the abduction and also for that reason, I don't want to make any submissions further than that, other than maybe also to add that the issue of what is relevant, is a basic problem that one deals with in any investigation, in any judicial inquiry. There's always... (end of tape) there are no quick and sure answers about that. That is a finding that a judicial officer or a tribunal officer makes, with respect, to each and every controversy and factual dispute, to decide what is relevant and what is not relevant. If you find, after a careful consideration of what is important for a specific matter, that something is relevant, then it is relevant and if somebody is untruthful about that then the exercise follows that route. If you decide that somebody hasn't made a full disclosure on something which you regard as relevant, then obviously there is no compliance with sub-section (c).
Now to return then to the detention at Compol, the Committee must, with respect, consider not only what Mr du Plessis referred to in paragraph 3 of his Heads of Argument, that this incident happened more than 10 years ago at the time that the people filled in their applications, but it goes a lot further than that and what makes this process different to other process or ordinary court processes, where one evaluates the evidence of a witness, this was not, the people here are not testifying from a situation of a witness witnessing a crime or a motor vehicle accident or something where they know at the time of witnessing about it, that they may later have to recall it in a court of law and they consciously, as it were, remind themselves of those facts. Here one is dealing with not only the problem with the time span but also the problem that people did not consider that they would later have to testify and recall this evidence and compounding this problem is the further problem that most of these applicants were involved in a host of crimes, similar crimes and it simply has to be taken into account that their memories can confuse one incident with another one, especially when they are talking about certain matters that happened almost routinely. For instance the fact that a person detained, whether lawfully or unlawfully, is assaulted by slapping and kicking and whatever. Now it can not only, as far as Mathebula's evidence that Matjeni may, he also puts it very carefully in his application, he may have been involved in the assault. The fact of the matter is, for all we know he could be confusing this incident with somebody else. The fact that he says that they were there for two or three days means that he may have been confusing it with somebody else and what I want to submit, with respect, in this regard is that in the final analysis, the Committee must remember that you are dealing with separate applications, you are not dealing, as in a civil case or even to some extent in a criminal case, with adversaries in front of you. There is of course an adversarial component in the sense that there may be opposition to the applications, but the fact of the matter is, each application is a separate application and in terms of and in dealing with each and every application, of course you will now take the evidence which was primarily led for purposes of the other applications, you will take that as being part of the evidence relevant for considering that one application, but you have to go through that exercise of doing Section 20 (i) (a), (b) and (c) for each and every applicant and why I say that to some extent you have to compartmentalise it is that one mustn't feel that because you believe one version more probable than the other, you must then feel you're in a position where you can only grant amnesty to the more probable one, that I believe would be incorrect. That is the type of exercise one does as a deadlock breaking mechanism in a civil case where you say the one party's version seems to be more probably than the other one, therefore the law dictates I must give judgment in this way. That is not the case here. Obviously you cannot, you will obviously have to consider all the different probabilities and if they are serious and stark, you can obviously not just say "Well, we can live with them", but on the other hand, before rejecting any specific applicant's amnesty application, I respectfully submit that you must go one step further. You cannot only say there are - we find his version improbable, or we find certain aspects of his version improbably, you have to go one step further and you have to say, the inescapable conclusion that you come to is the fact that there is no full disclosure on a relevant aspect, in other words that the person is probably lying about a crucial issue. Only then, with respect, can there be a rejection of amnesty. For the rest you must accept that you will deal with facts and versions that can be different and can be different in material ways and the reason for that, Madam Chair, is one must always consider the difference between truthfulness and reliability, the Afrikaans words are "geloofwaardigheid en betroubaarheid" (credibility and reliability). Somebody can be truthful but extremely unreliable and I believe that most of the applicants in this application and in many of the other applications, there's always a fairly large amount of unreliability because of the factors which I mentioned just now, but there is also a general principle in the law that one must be very careful to find untruthfulness on the side of a witness. It's only, one can only justify such a finding if all other plausible explanations, or that no other plausible explanation can be found for the unreliability or the incorrectness of the evidence and I believe maybe my submissions are a bit of an overkill as far as the contradictions in respect of the Compol situation is concerned.
The next phase is the detention at the Klipdrift farm. There are certain central differences and differences which you have canvassed with the other legal representatives. Now here I want to deal with some of the probabilities and improbabilities and then with the issues of credibility. Now the only issues of credibility raised against Mr Matjeni was, I think, that Mr du Plessis put it to him that certain issues were not put to the witness Strydom. Now let me just explain as I understood what Mr du Plessis said and what my position in cross-examination was. Firstly, as far as the use of alcohol is concerned, it was a conscious decision of mine not to put it to Mr Strydom. The simple reason being the following. My instructions were that Mr Matjeni did not see them drinking beforehand. He did not see them drinking during that part of the assault where he was present before he left for the tent, but that he was under the impression that they were under the influence. Now again, Madam Chair, that places a cross-examiner in this kind of situation, in a difficult position. Of course it may be relevant if there was drinking and if the people were under the influence of alcohol, but you must consider the fact that we are not opposing Mr Strydom's application, firstly. One enters a dangerous terrain when one starts putting facts to people, suggesting that it's factual when it's based on suppositions and speculation. I agree that the line is to draw, but it does introduce controversy which is not helpful. Mr Matjeni's evidence that they seem to have been under the influence but he doesn't know, isn't very helpful and therefore I believe it was appropriately not introduced into any controversy. Mr Mathebula's instructions in that regard are far more specific and pertinent and that is why, to the extent that Mr Matjeni had something to say about it, I did deal with it in evidence in chief. The other issue was that it was not put to Mr Strydom that they were in fact the ones that tied the deceased to the tank, the water tank or the log. Now it may be that I didn't place the version in all it's specifics to Strydom, but the one thing that was certainly put to him was that there was a complete denial of any assault, that Mr Matjeni cannot remember exactly where the deceased was when they arrived there, that they took him and undressed him, had him undress. Now that clearly implies that any suggestion that the people who were there beforehand, or who were present before they arrived, before Strydom and them arrived, were involved in an assault on the deceased, is placed in dispute. I respectfully submit that that goes to some extent, without saying. Clearly the tying to a tree, or the hanging up strongly suggests that people had been assaulting him.
Now there are other inherent and strong probabilities against such assaults. Apart from the fact that it wasn't pertinently seen, it's just an inference, the one thing that is not, one of the few things that is not in dispute between as it were, the factions on my left and the factions on my right here, is that Prinsloo was extremely unhappy the next morning and the manner in which he spoke to Strydom and what is more Crafford, who is theoretically his senior, makes it improbable that somebody in the position of Mr Matjeni and Mr Mathebula would, as extremely junior officers, specifically tasked with guarding and nothing else, would indulge in assaults upon the deceased, contrary to the wishes of Mr Prinsloo. It is so improbable that even if you do not reject any version which is contrary thereto, you simply have to accept that there are enough probabilities in the version of Mr Matjeni that there was no assault there at the farm. It's supported by enough evidence on the one hand and probabilities on the other hand, to furthermore show that there was also full disclosure in respect of that part of the incident.
Madam Chair I think that sort of concludes my submissions. The issues, there are those two exclusionary issues, whether there was any malice or money received, I don't believe that's controversial. One can, to some extent, want to raise some arguments as to what is the precise nature and ambit of the political motive of a black police officer at the time. Again I think it speaks for itself.
MR JANSEN: You know what the position was.
CHAIRPERSON: We've also read your documents.
MR JANSEN: Yes, thank you and I have no further submissions.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
MR JANSEN: Sorry, Madam Chair, I had drafted a document just setting out the order that we seek. These are merely suggestions as to what I believe should be the case. It could be that the wording should be slightly different. Amnesty is sought for the kidnapping itself. I believe there's sufficient association, an active association after the removal of Mr Mbizana in Eersterus to make them complicit in the kidnapping itself.
As far as the assaults are concerned, in respect of Mr Matjeni, his version does not support, I believe, any active association with any assault, sufficient to make him liable in common purpose, but certainly on the basis that he stood by and certainly did whatever was expected of him to ensure that these actions did not come to the knowledge of the law. (i) and (ii), the wording there relates to the criminal offences that are applicable here. (iii) is the unlawful omission to report or avoid to kidnapping. The reason why that is just done separately here is because in these kind of circumstances the civil liability and criminal liability have different elements. To be criminally liable for assault on common purpose, there has to be an active association. If there's no active association, then there's no crime committed, whereas in civil law there is a duty on a policeman to report crime and to ensure that, or sometimes even to interfere in an assault and the concepts of being an accessory or put it this way, civil liability goes wider than just common purpose, it goes so far, I think we all know those cases, dealing with policemen omitting to interfere or to report and so (iii) deals with the civil liability. Again as far as the wording is concerned, I am to a large extent in your hands, you know what the version of Mr Matjeni is and that is what he asks for. He does not ask amnesty for the murder itself. Thank you, Madam Chair.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Jansen. Mr Joubert.
MR JOUBERT IN ARGUMENT: Thank you, Madam Chair. To start off with, I will most definitely associate myself with the argument presented by my learned friend Mr Jansen and I'm not going to repeat most of what he has said. I just wish to reiterate that I am of the opinion that the only issue which has to be dealt with before this Committee at this stage, is the question of whether there has been full disclosure. I respectfully submit that the other issues pertaining, or that have to be considered, are fully before the Panel and that the Committee is well aware of all the other requirements that I submit, have been met.
I will constrain myself to the question of full disclosure. In this regard, I will also like to break the whole incident up in the sequence in which it has transpired or come to light during the evidence and by starting with the arrest of Mandla, I wish to submit that there is no evidence that Mr Mathebula was indeed present with the arrest. Mr Kruger has conceded that his evidence in that sense was merely hearsay and Mr Prinsloo has also indicated that he cannot recall precisely who the members are that were present. I would submit that in this regard, the version provided by Mr Mathebula reflects a full disclosure. The fact that he was not present, there can be no reason for him to tell a lie in this regard. There is nothing to hide and I submit that if the rest of his application is taken into account, it is clear that he is prepared to make a full disclosure.
Then at Compol, with the detention there, there are some slight differences pertaining to the period of detention and as has been pointed out by previous counsel in this matter, many of these discrepancies are not really material in the sense that it should be taken into account to such an extent to frustrate the application for amnesty of the various applicants. Various of these discrepancies pertaining to where an how long Mandla was detained, can be attributed to issues like poor memory, etc. The fact of the matter is that Mr Mathebula approaches this Committee and comes to the Committee with clean hands, advising them that at Compol, he personally was involved in an assault on Mandla. He, in all honesty says that he is not sure whether Mr Prinsloo was present during this assault, although he thinks that he may have been, but due to the long time span that has elapsed, the fact that his memory cannot, or the fact that he cannot recall the exact detail, he's not prepared or he is not in a position to, as a fact, state the involvement of each and every other person. He can, however, recall his own involvement and that he places before this Committee and states that he was involved in the assault which was of a short duration at the Compol buildings.
Mr Mathebula then furthermore testifies that he was involved in the so-called abduction of Mandla and the taking of Mandla to the farm Klipdrift, where he was tasked to guard Mandla on the farm. Now as has been pointed out by Mr Jansen, Mr Mathebula was a junior member of the police force. He was a constable at that stage and he was merely acting in accordance with the instructions that were given to him by his superiors. He indeed did not partake in any assault on the farm as such and I submit that in all honesty, he would have had not grounds or reason to interrogate or partake in an assault on Mr Mandla at the farm. The assault in which he did partake at Compol, was during a period of interrogation of Mandla and I wish to point out, there is a difference in the fact that there was an interrogation in which he partook at Compol, but on the farm his instructions were merely to guard Mandla and not to interrogate him.
The assault which took place on the farm where the burning of Mandla occurred, in this regard Mr Mathebula has testified to the best of his knowledge and as far as he can recall, he has indicated that the assault did take place there. He has indicated the manner in which the assault took place and has provided as much detail as he can possibly recall at this stage. He has made a full disclosure and has implicated himself in such a way that he was present during this assault and that he did not do anything to prevent it.
With reference to the question of the use of alcohol in which I made a very pertinent statement, that is so, it was my instructions, Mr Mathebula did however concede that he was not aware of the quantity of alcohol that was consumed, but that he was of the opinion that this was not the normal type of interrogation which took place. He also conceded that there may have been questions asked to Mandla during this assault on him, but he was of the opinion that this was not the kind of interrogation he was used to. I submit, with respect, Madam Chair, that Mr Mathebula has shown no malice or indicated any malice towards Mandla or towards any of the other applicants in this application. He has merely stated the facts to the best of his ability and to the best of his recollection. His evidence and his application has been corroborated by many of the applicants and the evidence that has been led in this regard, I can just refer to a few single aspects.
The fact that he alleges that Mandla was tied to a water tank and not a log, this was corroborated by Kruger. Mr Matjeni cannot recall exactly what the position was, but at least he does concede that Mandla was tied to some object.
Furthermore the question of the arrest of Mandla, the evidence of Mr Mathebula is he was not present and all the other witnesses have conceded that they cannot as a fact state that. I would submit this corroborates his version. The question of being chased away from the farm after Mr Prinsloo arrived, is corroborated. I think all the witnesses or all the applicants have testified that upon Mr Prinsloo's arrival, after the assault on the farm, he was very angry and that he indeed then requested all the members to leave the farm. Some were sent on other duties but the fact of the matter is everybody was requested to leave the farm immediately. These are just various smaller issues which I refer to in which corroboration can be found for the total picture which Mr Mathebula has sketched to the Committee and I submit that if the total picture is taken into account, with all the corroboration and then the smaller discrepancies, it is quite clear that a full disclosure, to the best of Mr Mathebula's ability, has been made to this Committee.
I would accordingly then request that amnesty be granted to Mr Mathebula as requested in his application, for the assault on the deceased at Compol building, his involvement in the abduction of the deceased and then in so far as he may be civilly liable pertaining to the assault on the farm, that amnesty in this regard also be granted to Mr Mathebula. This request is in terms of Section 20 (ii) (b) and 20 (ii) (f) of the Act. I don't know if there are any other specific issues on which the Committee would like me to address.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Joubert. Mr Alberts.
MR MALAN: Sorry, may I just ask Mr Joubert. Why would he not have also applied for the assault during that fateful night, where he was sitting, not intervening, watching everything and apparently associating, isn't there some criminal liability there, or couldn't there be?
MR JOUBERT: Madam Chair, in response to the request by Mr Malan, at the time of the assault on the farm, Mr Mathebula distanced him from that as far as possible. He was a very, very junior officer at that stage, being a constable. The senior officers were pursuing some issue with the deceased at that stage over which he had no control whatsoever. If there is any possibility and I doubt whether he can be criminally charged for that, but in addition to that and I think it may be wise then to request that amnesty be granted if a criminal prosecution could follow for that. The request was not made in the initial application. I would then have to ask for an amendment at this stage, to have that incorporated in the request for amnesty.
MR MALAN: I don't think a formal amendment is necessary, but I think you can add it following on what evidence has been placed before us. I'm just asking this question since Matjeni is asking for amnesty for that and he has withdrawn, whereas Mr Mathebula has not withdrawn from those events.
MR JANSEN: Madam Chair, in the light of what has just been said to me, I would also request that amnesty also be granted for any possible prosecution that may arise from the assault on the farm.
CHAIRPERSON: As an accessory?
MR JANSEN: As an accessory.
CHAIRPERSON: Yes. The application will be accordingly amended to include amnesty for being an accessory to the assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm on Mr Justice Mbizana on the farm Klipdrift in Hammanskraal.
MR JANSEN: I'm indebted to the Committee.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Alberts.
MR ALBERTS: Thank you Madam Chair.
MR ALBERTS IN ARGUMENT: Madam Chair I've prepared, Mr Botha and I have in fact prepared joint Heads of Argument, because I think that's a practical way of approaching the applications of both Goosen and Momberg. I set out briefly the facts as contended by those two applicants.
Then at page 10 and onwards, I've mentioned discrepancies in evidence of Goosen and Momberg on the one hand, Prinsloo on the other and I have made certain submissions regarding those which deal only with the requirement of full disclosure and then there are certain concluding remarks after that.
I think the Heads are to the point and unless there is anything specific that you would like to hear me on, or Mr Botha on, those are our arguments and I would request a granted amnesty in respect of Mr Goosen as prayed for in the application.
In Goosen's case the acts, omissions, offences and delicts which are covered are firstly, accessory after the fact in respect of murder and abduction, then murder, abduction, desecration of a corpse, offences under Act 26 of 1956.
CHAIRPERSON: You don't intend to amend the acts for which you have applied for amnesty in respect of ...
MR ALBERTS: No, I don't think there's any necessity for that. And then as a blanket at the end, all delicts or any other offences, I don't think there are offences. If one really had to split hairs I suppose for good measure, you could through in trespassing, but that's all that I can think of further, so as far as Goosen and Momberg are concerned for that matter, I think their applications set out the acts for which they seek amnesty sufficiently.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
MR ALBERTS: Thank you, Madam Chair. Mr van Heerden.
MR VAN HEERDEN IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Madam Chair. I received no specific instructions to oppose any of the applications before this Committee. The family of Justice Mbizana asked me to place on record that he was a proud freedom fighter. Without going into the legalities which have been canvassed for the past few days, they now know to a certain extent what happened to their son, brother and friend. The general feeling of the family is that Justice Mbizana could and should have been prosecuted and that the excuses for not prosecuting him should be disregarded.
MR VAN HEERDEN: They've also asked me to place on record that they've got a major problem with the assault on the farm Klipdrift regarding the political motive in the burning with the log.
Madam Chair, I don't think it's necessary at this stage to go further into the evidence. It has been canvassed fully before you.
CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.
MR VAN HEERDEN: Thank you. Mr Steenkamp.
MR STEENKAMP: Thank you Madam Chair, I have no further comments to add, thank you.
NO ARGUMENT BY MR STEENKAMP
CHAIRPERSON: I think this will bring the evidence in respect of the killing of Mr Justice Mbizana to a close, but before we bring these proceedings to a close, I would like to thank the relatives of Mr Mbizana for having attended these hearings and hope that the evidence that has been placed before this Committee in their presence during these proceedings will go a long way in assuaging their pain and I hope that they will appreciate the gesture by Mr Goosen in his message of condolences to them. This is not a requirement for amnesty and Mr Goosen said what he did because he felt he had to say it. I can only hope that now that they know where the spirit of their loved one was taken, they can be in a position to take care of the necessary traditional requirements that must be taken care of as black people in claiming that spirit and in ultimately closing a page with regard to this incident. I am reliably told that Mr Goosen and I hope Mr Momberg, are prepared to accompany the relatives with a view to showing them the spot where the spirit of their loved one was taken and I know, as a black person, that in so doing, the relatives will themselves ultimately be able to rest in peace and proceed with their lives, difficult as it is without their loved one, who cannot be returned, but at least this act will go a long way in assuaging their pain.
I also wish to thank the legal representatives for the assistance they've been able to render to the Committee in assisting it to come to a just and fair decision and our gratitude to the translators for a very difficult job that they do in having to be able to translate as usual at breath breaking speed and in having afforded us an indulgence to sit as late as we have been able to. My gratitude to every one of you. I thank you. This is the end of the proceedings for Mr Mbizana.