DAY: 1


CHAIRPERSON: This is the application involving applicant, Mr Coetzee. For the purposes of the record, I am Judge Pillay, I'm going to ask my colleagues on the Panel to identify themselves for the purpose of the record and so too, the various representatives.

JUDGE MOTATA: I am Judge Motata.

MR MALAN: My name is Wynand Malan.

MR VISSER: Chairperson, may it please you and the Honourable Members of the Committee, I am Louis Visser from the Pretoria Bar, instructed by Wagener Muller. I appear on behalf of Mr Coetzee in this application.

MR MOTLOUNG: Thank you, Mr Chairman. My name is Ike Motloung, an attorney from Germiston. ...(indistinct) and Associates is the firm. I'm acting on behalf of Mr Modise Pitse, that I'm told is the father of the late Mr Pitse in this matter.

CHAIRPERSON: Why would Mr Pitse senior be an interested party in this matter?

MR MOTLOUNG: Judge, my understanding is that he's merely coming in as the next-of-kin of the deceased. The deceased is no-more there. This is the next-of-kin that is available to attend the matter and they have an interest in the matter. That's my understanding.

CHAIRPERSON: What interest do they have?

MR MOTLOUNG: As the next-of-kin, Judge. I don't think I can take it any further. I would imagine that if they are indeed the next-of-kin, it will go without reasoning that ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: You see, the problem I have is that the victim in this application may very well not have opposed the matter. I don't know if it's for anybody else to make that decision. If, however, the victim had been killed and been a deceased relative to this application, the next-of-kin may very well have an important interest in the matter, and that is my difficulty. But I don't want to waste time, I just draw my concerns to your attention, so that we don't waste time during the course of this application. This application, I understand, relates to an abduction and an act of sabotage, not the death of the victim.

MR MOTLOUNG: Yes, that's how I understand it, Judge.


MR VISSER: Mr Steenkamp, I think must just place himself on record as well.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, I'm sorry.

ADV STEENKAMP: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Andre Steenkamp, I'll be the Evidence Leader. Thank you, Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Chairperson, this is the application of Mr Coetzee, Willem Helm Coetzee, application number 4122/96, in regards to the abduction of Mr Pitse - I'm told it is spelt: P-i-t-s-e, and a further act which involves sabotage in the Northern Transvaal. Chairperson, I beg leave to call Mr Coetzee to give evidence. He is available and he has no objection to taking the oath. He wishes to address you in Afrikaans.

WILLEM HELM COETZEE: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Visser, I would appreciate it if you would lead your client please.

MR VISSER: I will do so, Chairperson. Chairperson, perhaps just before I commence, may I just give a little bit more clarity on what the amnesty application that is applied for is about. Chairperson, you will hear evidence of an arrest of Mr Pitse, which we will submit on the facts, was an unlawful arrest and the detention that followed was similarly unlawful. It is arguable, Chairperson, that that could amount to abduction or man-stealing, and therefore we would ask for the crimes of abduction, man-stealing, in that regard. At the same time during the abduction, Chairperson, there was also an assault, which you will evidence about by the applicant on Mr Pitse. And the second phase of the events led to an act, actually two acts of sabotage in which explosive devices were placed at the University of ...(indistinct) in the Northern Transvaal, near Pietersburg, and where damage was caused to property. And in the process use was made of an explosive device or explosives which were in the unlawful possession of the applicant. And that is the scope of the application.

CHAIRPERSON: According to the documents, one of the acts of sabotage was where an explosive device was placed near a wall, when it exploded it resulted in the damage to the wall, flower bed or something and a gate. That was one. Is that one or two?

MR VISSER: I thought that was two, Chairperson, perhaps we could get clarity on that. I thought the gate was the second one, but I stand to be corrected.

CHAIRPERSON: Well let's find out then.

EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: Mr Coetzee, the application that you handed in, you have that before you, do you confirm the truth and correctness thereof, as far as your knowledge goes of that document?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: You have also been requested to supply further particulars to the TRC, and you have done so by means of your attorney. Do you also confirm that that information, to the best of your knowledge, is true and correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: You have also seen the document that has served before the Committee for the past year, called the General Background to Amnesty Applications. You have studied it?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Can you from your own knowledge and experience of the struggle of the past, confirm the information in that document?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And you request that this be incorporated into your evidence?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Mr Coetzee, your application has already been confirmed by you. You have given a comprehensive set-out of the events with regard to the incident for which you apply. I would like to ask you to tell the Committee in your own words, what had exactly happened with regard to Mr Pitse.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, during the years 1988, by means of one of my agents, R114, I received information regarding the presence of Mr Pitse in South Africa. Mr Pitse was well-known to R114 ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: May I just interrupt you? Please explain to the Committee what does R and the number mean?

MS COETZEE: It was a contracted member of the Force at that stage, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And they had numbers that were registered at Head Office.

MS COETZEE: That's correct, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And this informer or agent was known as R114?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: What did he tell you?

MR COETZEE: He briefly confirmed that an externally trained person had infiltrated the RSA and that the person was to be found in the Soweto vicinity and he had, amongst others, received instructions from Lusaka and Botswana to later establish himself in the Pietersburg area, from where MK underground cell structures had to be established, and this included the recruitment of members for MK ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: Will you please go somewhat slower.

MR COETZEE: The recruitment of members internally for MK and the external and internal training of these persons, the establishment of DLBs ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: And a DLB means?

MR COETZEE: A dead letter box where they would store arms later, for use in the RSA against targets that were identified by handlers outside the country to establish courier networks for purposes of communication and their command elements in Zambia and Botswana, and then the mobilisation of the masses.

MR VISSER: On page 5 of the bundle you say that these events and the information that you received was approximately during June to September of 1988.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Can you recall during that time period what the situation was at the University of Turfloop in the Northern Transvaal?

MR COETZEE: At that stage the Army had been permanently placed on a campus terrain. There was a multitude of problems on the campus that was singular to the university.

MR VISSER: Were there unrests?

MR COETZEE: Yes, and there were continual class boycotts as well, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: During that time in 1988, where were you stationed then?

MR COETZEE: At Security Head Office.



MR VISSER: Or is it Section D?

MR COETZEE: Unit D, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And who was your immediate Commander there?

MR COETZEE: It was Brig Oosthuizen.

MR VISSER: Was this Brig Alfred Oosthuizen?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: By the way, Mr Oosthuizen is aware of the fact that you applied for amnesty, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And he had decided that he would not apply for amnesty for this incident.

MR COETZEE: That's correct, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: What was his rank then?

MR COETZEE: Colonel, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Very well. Please continue.

MR COETZEE: On the basis of the information supplied by R114 and under my instruction, his movements were continually monitored and this led later to information that I received from R114, this was more-or-less August of 1988,

where he received instructions from Mr Pitse to meet with his Commanders from Botswana. And at that stage it was already known to us that his visits across the border had a dual purpose, one, to introduce R114 to his handlers as one of his newly recruited members, as one of his cell members, and secondly, to receive in arms ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: In Botswana?

MR COETZEE: In Botswana. There was a second message given by Mr Pitse, which was sent to his handlers to some post office box, sent in Gaberone, and the visit took place. We authorised R114 to move across the border with the vehicle. At the end of the day upon his arrival in Botswana, upon instruction of Mr Pitse, went to the Oasis Motel ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: Mr Coetzee, I think you might be going too fast, I see there's pandemonium with the Interpreters. Can you accept that your Afrikaans is being translated to English and from English it is being translated to other languages? So basically there are two translations that have to take place. Please keep that in mind while you give your evidence and go somewhat slower.

MR COETZEE: I beg your pardon, Chairperson. I shall repeat.

R114 was authorised and upon instruction from Mr Pitse he went outside the country.

MR VISSER: Did Mr Pitse accompany him, or did R114 go by himself?

MR COETZEE: He went by himself Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Was there a meeting in Botswana?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, at the Oasis Motel. And this ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: Forget about that. Did R114 report to you whom he had met there?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: What did he say?

MR COETZEE: One of the persons he identified was Comrade A, Lambert Maloi.

MR VISSER: How was he identified?

MR COETZEE: By means of a photo album.

MR VISSER: Was this after R114 returned?

MR COETZEE: Yes, upon his return.

MR VISSER: He was in Botswana, he met these people, and what happened then?

MR COETZEE: His vehicle was taken away from him and at a later stage his vehicle was given back to him. He was allowed to return to the RSA. We had already undertaken static observation at the border post as we had agreed beforehand, in order to control and to accompany R114, the source.

MR VISSER: Did you meet him when he came through the border post?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Where did you go then?

MR COETZEE: We accompanied him as far as Rustenburg, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Did you search the vehicle?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: What did you find?

MR COETZEE: We found two AK47 rifles sealed in plastic bags, six magazines, a multitude of mini-limpet mines, detonators, handgrenades, RDG5 and F1, which were hidden in the vehicle.

MR VISSER: On page 7 you also refer to a Makarov pistol, was that also found there?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Did you do anything with regard to the arms that were in the vehicle where you were in Rustenburg?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, at that stage we took photos of where the arms were hidden in the vehicle and upon his debriefing he informed us, Chairperson, that upon his arrival in Soweto he had to give the arms to Mr Pitse.

MR VISSER: Did you confiscate the arms, or what was the position?

MR COETZEE: At that stage we could not confiscate the arms, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Very well. So that would have jeopardised the credibility of R114?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: So you allowed him to drive to Soweto with the arms in his vehicle, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: What happened then?

MR COETZEE: The arms on occasion upon his arrival in Soweto, was handed over to Mr Pitse and we then succeeded, by means of R114, to withdraw some of the arms.

MR VISSER: Yes, you are now telling the story in telegraph style and the Committee might not understand what you are saying. Were the arms shown to Mr Pitse by R114, according to what was reported to you?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Did he remove any of the arms or take some of the arms for himself?

MR COETZEE: Yes, initially the arms were removed from the vehicle, later it was placed in the care of R144, with the exception of the Makarov pistol.

MR VISSER: What happened to that?

MR COETZEE: He armed himself at that stage.

MR VISSER: Who was this?

MR COETZEE: Mr Pitse, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: What had to happen then with the arms that were still in the possession of R114?

MR COETZEE: It was left in his possession temporarily, Chairperson. It had eventually to be placed in a DLB in the far North Transvaal.

MR VISSER: Please continue.

MR COETZEE: At that stage there was already a safe cache point established by Mr Pitse in the far North Transvaal.

MR VISSER: Who would take the arms there?

MR COETZEE: He himself would do so with the assistance of R114. It was his instruction, Chairperson, to also establish a weapons cache point in Pietersburg/Turfloop vicinity where they would later use the arms for operations there.

MR VISSER: What happened to the arms then Mr Coetzee?

MR COETZEE: We succeeded Chairperson, to withdraw these arms and these arms were in my possession temporarily, I had control of the arms without the knowledge of Mr Pitse, that the arms had already been in my possession.

MR SIBANYONI: What followed on these events?

MR COETZEE: We, on a continual basis, monitored his movements. We withdrew much information with regard to the persons whom he had contact with in the far Northern Transvaal and against the background that he wanted to move the arms at a later opportunity and according to his instructions, to place it in a DLB.

MR VISSER: And you have already said this was in order to attack targets. Did you receive any information as to what the targets were that were identified?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, it was the South African Defence Force members. At that stage the Defence Force were physically present there at the campus. The campus was under the control of the SADF, because of the problems that had manifested at the campus.

MR MALAN: I wonder, Mr Visser, the information is rather comprehensive in the documents, is it necessary for him to go through everything after he had confirmed it? Can he not briefly just tell us about the nature of the assault?

MR VISSER: I beg your pardon, Chairperson, if we have taken too long to get there, it is difficult to determine from here what the Committee is most interested in, but I hear what Mr Malan says.

There were also targets of the SAP that were identified and from all these circumstances, did you then hold conversations with the then Col Alfred Oosthuizen, your Commander?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And did you then consider certain options as to what to do?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: One was court directed action against Mr Pitse.


MR VISSER: What was the problem with that?

MR MALAN: Mr Visser, now you are taking him verbatim through his statement. It's all there. I think what is not clear here is what are the circumstances exactly with regard the arrest and the assault.

MR VISSER: We will get to that momentarily. May I just, to carry on through with this, your Commander decided against prosecution and with Oosthuizen's knowledge and approval, you decided to try to turn his heard, so called turning his head.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Mr Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And that would mean that you would grab him and try to convince him to become an agent or an informer of the police.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: How did you then go about executing this?

MR COETZEE: At that stage, I would just like to add, Chairperson, I was on the point of - he was on the point of moving the arms to the north, the arms would have left our control at a stage. I instructed R114 to take the person to a rendezvous point with Sgt Mkonza, as a new recruit.

MR VISSER: So Sgt Mkonza would be a new recruit?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And this took place in some ally in Braamfontein?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, under my instruction.

MR VISSER: What happened there? Was it during the day or was it in the evening?

MR COETZEE: It was during the day, more-or-less 2p.m., Chairperson. And upon the arrival of R114, he, upon my instruction, moved into the ally, we had already been positioned in the ally.

MR VISSER: And was Pitse with him in the vehicle?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, as the passenger. We immediately grabbed Pitse ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: Who was this?

MR COETZEE: It was myself, Sgt Moshaliba and Sgt Mkonza.

MR VISSER: Did Mkonza and Moshaliba know about the planning of the turning, or what was their knowledge?

MR COETZEE: Their knowledge at that stage was only that I would grab the person, that I would arrest him.

MR VISSER: Very well. What happened then?

MR COETZEE: Thereafter he was loaded into a minibus, R114 was allowed to move away and it was during this occasion that with my open hand I struck Mr Pitse on his chest.

MR VISSER: Why did you do this?

MR COETZEE: At that stage I instructed him to speak the truth, I also confronted him with everything that I had available to me.

MR VISSER: There in the minibus?

MR COETZEE: Yes. Upon which he immediately, the information which I had already had, he confirmed this information and I confronted him at that stage with all the arms that I had already had in my possession. And I think it was quite clear to him, Chairperson, that I had monitored all his movements and that he was caught in a police intelligence network. I placed handcuffs and leg-irons on him ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: Where did you take him then? Can you recall?

MR COETZEE: My first stop was at our safehouse in the Midrand, Chairperson. At that stage I already knew the following people, with regard to Mr Pitse's arrest, it's Gen F Coetzee from Soweto. They had previously been informed about the movements of such a person in Soweto. Secondly, Division Western Transvaal, Brig Loots who was informed in terms of the infiltration ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: You have already told us. It is indeed the place where I interrupted you previously.

MR VISSER: Yes, but the only point is that Gen Coetzee or Brig Loots, did they know of any illegality with regard to Pitse at that stage?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Did they accept that it was an activist that you had arrested?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Was the person then taken to Nietverdiend?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And over a period of 48 hours, in your statement you say that that he was questioned.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Did Gen Coetzee participate ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: I beg your pardon for interrupting you, Mr Visser. I do not understand if you lead the applicant and he says that Loots and Coetzee did not know of any unlawful activities, because at the bottom of page 9 he said specifically that this was discussed by him with Coetzee and Loots:

"The arrest and developments afterwards, with reference the recruitment of Pitse was immediately discussed, amongst others, with Oosthuizen, Coetzee and Loots."

MR VISSER: That's correct, but he did not discuss anything unlawful with them.

MR MALAN: Thank you.

MR VISSER: Very well. Was he then questioned as you said on page 10?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Did he supply any new information that you can mention to the Committee?

MR COETZEE: Yes, there was a multitude of information, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Is there anything else than what you have already said in the documents?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: It is on page 10 that you refer to that information.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: After this interrogation at Nietverdiend, was he taken elsewhere?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, after 48 hours we returned to the safehouse in Midrand, on the grounds of the fact that he had already, from the start he was prepared to cooperate with us.

MR VISSER: How long did you hold him there?

MR COETZEE: We were there more-or-less between seven and fourteen days.

MR VISSER: And during that time, were you satisfied that he was recruited as an agent?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And after his recruitment, did you register him as a registered contract worker?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And what happened later with Mr Pitse?

MR COETZEE: He was employed as a full member of the service.

MR VISSER: And you say in your statement this was approximately six months after this abduction and recruitment of his?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Was there any further operation with regard to Mr Pitse, regarding his credibility?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: On the bottom of page 11 you refer to that. Did you discuss this with Brig Oosthuizen?

MR COETZEE: Yes, upon my return and after we completed the operation.

MR VISSER: What was the purpose of the operation?

MR COETZEE: It was in order to establish his credibility.

MR VISSER: What would you do?

MR COETZEE: There were two mini-limpet mines that had been dropped off, that had been placed at two points at the University of the North ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: Before you get there, where did these two mines come from?

MR COETZEE: It was part of his consignment of arms to the RSA.

MR VISSER: Which you had confiscated, that come from Botswana?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Can you just explain at how many points limpet mines were placed and where this was.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson yes, there were two points. The reason - I would just like to point out here, the South African Defence Force was primarily one of the targets because of the continual problem between the students and the Defence Force, and the Defence Force at that stage, physically occupied the campus and it was one of its primary targets ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: Army members?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Defence Force members. These members ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Mr Coetzee please, Mr Visser asked you to tell us where the points were. You've already told us this.

MR COETZEE: I beg your pardon, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: I don't know whether you cannot recall that you told us already what the targets are. You've already told us. Mr Visser only asked you to tell us where the two points are.

MR COETZEE: The two points were the main entrance and a side entrance.

MR VISSER: And at the main entrance, will you please tell the Committee where exactly you placed the explosive device.

MR COETZEE: Mr Pitse was allowed to place it in a flower bed.

MR VISSER: Were there Defence Force members who were on guard there?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Did you make any arrangements that they should not be killed and/or injured?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, they were on the other side of the gate.

MR VISSER: What was in-between them and the explosion?

MR COETZEE: The wall, the gate's infrastructure.

MR VISSER: And where was the other point?

MR COETZEE: The other point was at the side entrance.

MR VISSER: Can you describe that? Was this built with brick?

MR COETZEE: Yes, it was brick and metal gates and this was on the northern side of the campus, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: How far approximately from the other explosion?

MR COETZEE: More-or-less a kilometre or two, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: That far?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And were the explosives detonated?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Was there damage because of the explosions?

MR COETZEE: Yes minor damage, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Did you report to Mr Oosthuizen?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Who exactly went to Pietersburg to undertake this sabotage?

MR COETZEE: If I recall correctly, Chairperson, myself, Mr Pitse and R114.

MR VISSER: And before the explosion, did you do reconnaissance work to see what was going on there and in order to determine where to place the devices?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: And did you also participate in this?

MR COETZEE: Yes, I participated and they were under my control.

MR VISSER: Now you have said that Mr Pitse became a police officer. What happened to Mr Pitse?

MR COETZEE: Mr Pitse, until he died in 19 ... I assume it was 1995 or '96, he was a serving member of the South African Police Services.

MR VISSER: And how did he die?

MR COETZEE: I only know that he committed suicide.

MR VISSER: Was anyone injured or killed during this operation in the Northern Transvaal?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: You say that this credibility exercise did not have the wanted effect and the operational programme of Mr Pitse was suspended and you just mention that for information, is that correct.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Because it was determined that his action was weak because no-one was injured.

MR COETZEE: That's correct.

MR VISSER: You've already said in your application as to why you acted in the manner you did and you have also referred to the general background. This incident took place against the background of the struggle of the past and you request amnesty for the acts that were committed by you, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VISSER: Thank you, Mr Chairman.


MR MALAN: May I just ask one follow-up question. On page 14, Mr Coetzee, second paragraph at the asterisk, are you referring to another MK member that infiltrated with Pitse into the RSA and was attested under number 0445840/1 CL Pitse? Is that correct, is that how they were registered, under Pitse's name?

MR COETZEE: Yes, he was taken in employment under his proper name.

MR MALAN: But you are not referring to Pitse, you refer to another MK?

MR COETZEE: The other MK is unknown, Chairperson, the one to which I refer.

MR MALAN: But please listen to the question, Mr Coetzee. In the final sentence you say, that's the third-last line:

"This particular member (this is the unknown member) at a later stage was attested to as a member of the SAP"

and then you give a Pitse number.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I actually refer there to the attestation of Pitse and not to the unknown person.

MR MALAN: The other unknown person, was he also attested?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Then I do not understand the meaning of that paragraph. Can we scrap that? It was only the fear that he had harboured that he would be attached to the arrest of the other member?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Thank you.

MR VISSER: Chairperson, may I explain. The final sentence should be a new paragraph, that would make it quite clear.

MR MALAN: It still does not make it clear, because the other member is still attested as Pitse.

MR VISSER: The problem with the statement was that Pitse is referred to as the particular member and reference is made R114 as the particular agent and it becomes confusing when there is more than one member and more than one agent.

MR MALAN: Very well, thank you.

MR MOTLOUNG: Thank you, Mr Chairperson. Mr Chairperson, may I at this stage ask for a short adjournment, the reason being as follows.


MR MOTLOUNG: I'm asking for your indulgence to quickly consult with the father of the late Mr Pitse. In fact, this morning when I indicated earlier on to Mr Steenkamp that I've never had the opportunity even to consider the documents and/or consult with him, it was mutually suggested between the two of us that having had the opportunity to listen to the evidence that was presented by the applicant, I may, if I so wish, ask the Chairperson for an opportunity to briefly consult with my clients.

CHAIRPERSON: How long is it going to take?

MR MOTLOUNG: Judge, I can't see it exceeding 10 minutes, the maximum. It's just that I wish to make sure that my clients understand what is happening and they have listened to the evidence themselves.





MR MOTLOUNG: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you got any questions?

MR MOTLOUNG: I have one or two, yes Judge.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, carry on.


MR COETZEE: That was a contract member, Chairperson.

MR MOTLOUNG: I'm looking for the name.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, at this stage I would not like to identify any persons.

CHAIRPERSON: Is it absolutely necessary that you want to identify that person?

MR MOTLOUNG: That is so, Mr Chairperson. It is in fact my instructions that as far as the family of the deceased is concerned, this is particularly what they want to know.

CHAIRPERSON: Why? Of what help is that going to be? I'll tell you I ask, why I adopt this attitude. There's a majority decision, not a unanimous decision of this Panel, earlier in an earlier matter, that ruled that it is not necessary for the applicant to answer that question. It falls within the realms of practice of the legal criminal system as we know it.

MR MOTLOUNG: Judge, if you say it I'm prepared to accept it, it is only a great pity that the - I must confess that I was not aware that majority decision. I'm sure that the context within which that decision or ruling was made, would be interesting to know.

CHAIRPERSON: No well look, there was a similar question asked by another representative, there was a refusal and the matter was argued. And while we did not give reasons, the rationale behind the reasons is based on the fact that in the normal course of criminal hearings, in the interests in the machinery of justice, the identity of agents are kept undisclosed.

MR MOTLOUNG: Okay, thank you.

Mr Coetzee, did you know Moses ...(indistinct) Nkabinde?

CHAIRPERSON: I didn't hear the question.

MR MOTLOUNG: Did you know Moses ...(indistinct) Nkabinde?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, yes.

MR MOTLOUNG: And tell me Sir, R114, to your knowledge, is he or she applying for amnesty?

CHAIRPERSON: Is he or she?

MR MOTLOUNG: Is he or she applying for amnesty?

MR COETZEE: I'm the only applicant, Chairperson.

MR MOTLOUNG: I beg your pardon?

CHAIRPERSON: No, amnesty in any matter or this matter?

MR MOTLOUNG: In any matter for that matter.

MR COETZEE: I'm the only applicant, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: No, do you know whether that person has at any time applied for amnesty for anything?

MR COETZEE: I cannot comment on that, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: But most certainly you can say whether you know or don't know.

MR COETZEE: I don't know, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: That's all you have to say.

MR MOTLOUNG: Mr Chairman, I have no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Visser, have you got anything?


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Coetzee, the assault on Mr Pitse, did I hear you correctly that you struck him one blow with the open hand?

MR COETZEE: Yes Chairperson, two or three blows.

CHAIRPERSON: In his face?

MR COETZEE: Not ever again afterwards and thereafter never again.

CHAIRPERSON: But where on his body did you strike him?

MR COETZEE: On his chest, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And that was enough to convince him ... He did not deny that he was an MK member?

MR COETZEE: Not at all, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you convinced that he was a trained member of MK?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And two or three slaps convinced him that he had to admit that he was a member of MK?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, because I confronted him with all the information, as I have testified.

CHAIRPERSON: And how long did it take to convince him that he should become an agent for you?

MR COETZEE: On a continual basis, he right from the start cooperated. He was confronted, Chairperson ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Coetzee, I am asking a simple question, I am not looking for an answer accompanied by the history. I am only asking how long it took from the time that he was arrested to the day that he said yes, I shall become an agent? That is all. It's just a matter of time.

MR COETZEE: I would say within the time period of 48 hours.

CHAIRPERSON: And was he not assaulted during that time?

MR COETZEE: Not at all, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: What convinced him to become an agent?

MR COETZEE: He was caught in a police network, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Now, I'm not certain whether this is the case, but I would imagine somewhere that I read that he was unlawfully detained for approximately 14 days. Unlawfully detained. Is that correct?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So if he, within 48 hours, had agreed to become your agent, then the following 12 days was irrelevant, then he was a willing detainee. Is that not so?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson, but it was my modus operandi.

CHAIRPERSON: No, we are not referring to a modus operandi, we - in order to commit an abduction the detention of a person has to be against his will, is that not so? Do you recall the Act?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So if he was a willing detainee, then you did not commit an abduction from the time period that he agreed.

MR COETZEE: I will state it as such, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So where was he detained afterwards?

MR COETZEE: He lived with me at the safe premises, Chairperson, in the Midrand.

CHAIRPERSON: And before that? Before he agreed, was he in a police cell?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I beg your pardon?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR MOTLOUNG: Where was he detained?

MR COETZEE: As I've already said, at a safehouse in Nietverdiend, where he was questioned Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well. When he was confronted with these arms and he was hit and then he admitted that he was a member of MK, and with all this history that you have supplied to us now, did he know the identity of the other person? He must have worked it out, is that not so?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And tell me, that was the risk you ran by having this man know who the other guy was. Is that not so?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So if he at the end of the day refused to become your agent, after he found out who the other person was, what would have happened to him?

MR COETZEE: We would have charged him, Chairperson.


MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Would you not have killed him as usually?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Because now he knew too much and he knew the identity of the other person?

MR COETZEE: That is why, Chairperson, we would have charged him.

CHAIRPERSON: But he can still disclose the identity of that person to his people.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it not the modus operandi, I'm not saying that it was yours, but the modus operandi usually of the Security Police was that if such important information came into the hands of the enemy, then that person would be killed, because he must not convey such information?

MR COETZEE: Yes, it has been testified to that effect in previous hearings, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: But do you know that that was indeed the case?

MR COETZEE: Not in this regard, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: No, I'm speaking in general.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So why is this the exception?

MR COETZEE: Because he had been infiltrated, I had all the evidence with me and I had the cooperation of 114. They were quite close to each other Chairperson, 114 as well as the other members to whom I refer at the arrest, assisted later in talking to the man and to get him to work with us.

CHAIRPERSON: No, my question is simple. You have already said that you know that the normal practice if the enemy was supplied with certain information, important information, for example the identity of one of your agents, then he would be taken out. You are saying in this case Mr Pitse would not be taken out, but he would be charged and I am asking why was that the exception.

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, we never got to such a point.

MR MALAN: Mr Coetzee, can I speak to you? Please listen to the question. When you "arrested" him, you arrested him and in your conscience you thought that you would turn his head.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Did you in any way consider what you would do if you were not successful?

MR COETZEE: No, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Did you not consider charging him?

MR COETZEE: To charge him, but there was no alternative.

MR MALAN: I am asking you did you consider what you would do, and you said no. So you say you would then charge him. Very well. And then the question follows that if you charged him, it is logical that you would only be able to charge him if R114's identity was disclosed, because you had to use R114 in that court case?

MR COETZEE: That's correct.

MR MALAN: Now the question from the Chairperson is, why would you disclose R114's identity and place him at risk?

MR COETZEE: At that stage there was only just one agent whose identity would be disclosed.

MR MALAN: That's R114?

MR COETZEE: Yes, R114.

MR MALAN: And R114 could have been killed by the enemy.

MR COETZEE: That is possible.

MR MALAN: Now the Chairperson's question is that you know of cases and you said yes, you know that indeed, because there was such a risk that an agent's identity would be disclosed and it was decided not to prosecute the person or not to release him, but to kill him.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: You know of such cases?


MR MALAN: And you have heard of such cases?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Now the question is, why could R114's identity be disclosed? Was he not important to you, or what was the reason?

MR COETZEE: He was important, Chairperson, but there's an end of the road for each and every agent.

MR MALAN: Did you in other cases come forward with prosecutions where agents who infiltrated, their identities were disclosed?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: So what was the norm for taking such a decision? When would you continue with prosecution and disclose identities and when would you feel - or maybe it's not a fair question to you, but in terms of your experience and your knowledge, is there a norm that was applied as to when you will continue with prosecution or would rather kill the person who was arrested or abducted?

MR COETZEE: I would say, Chairperson, it differs from case to case, Mr Pitse later was used in prosecutions Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: The mines that were planted at the university, was it two different actions or was this done in one go?

MR COETZEE: In one go, Chairperson. The first placing, you can see that in two actions, the first one and then directly afterwards the second one.

CHAIRPERSON: Did it not take place at two different times?

MR COETZEE: One day within 10 minutes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And how long after the one did the other detonate?

MR COETZEE: More-or-less - we were not at the scene Chairperson, but according to the media, 30 minutes thereafter, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Would you be satisfied to describe it as one operation?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: It was meant as one operation?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: To mislead the ANC that this man was still favourably inclined towards them?

MR COETZEE: Yes, Chairperson.



CHAIRPERSON: Mr Visser, are there any other witnesses?

MR VISSER: Thank you Mr Chairperson, no, we have no further evidence to present.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Motloung, have you got any witnesses?

MR MOTLOUNG: No thanks, Judge.

ADV STEENKAMP: No thank you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Motloung, is there still opposition to the application?

MR MOTLOUNG: Mr Chairperson, in the light of the ruling that you have brought to my attention, there will be no opposition to the application.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Visser, just one question, it's an issue of one or two charges or sabotage. What is your attitude?

MR VISSER: Chairperson, with respect, it can obviously be regarded as one action, but technically it's probably two.

CHAIRPERSON: So you would request for two?

MR VISSER: Yes, I would request for two.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Steenkamp, what is your attitude with regard to the application?

ADV STEENKAMP: Chairperson, I have no comment.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Visser, we do not have to hear you.

MR VISSER: Thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: We shall reserve judgment and let you know when we are ready.

MR VISSER: Is there a roll left this week, or is this the last matter?

CHAIRPERSON: I think this is the last case.

ADV STEENKAMP: That will be the roll, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We are adjourned.