DAY: 13

--------------------------------------------------------------------------CHAIRPERSON: I am Judge Pillay. I'm just announcing myself for the purpose of the record. I would ask my colleagues to do the same, as well as the various representatives.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: I am Judge Khampepe.

ADV BOSMAN: Adv F.J. Bosman.

MR LAMEY: Thank you Chairperson. Lamey from the firm Rooth and Wessels, Pretoria. I represent the applicant Nortje.

MS PATEL: Ramula Patel.

MR MARIBANA: J.C. Maribana.

CHAIRPERSON: Spell your name please.



MR MARIBANA: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: You're for the victims?

MR MARIBANA: That is correct.


MR HUGO: Thank you Mr Chairman. My name is S.W. Hugo. I'm acting on behalf of applicant A de Kock and Simon Radebe.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct- no microhpone)

MR HUGO: That's right, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: Thank you Mr Chairman. My name is Christo Nel, I am an attorney and I act for Lawrence John Hanton.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you Mr Chairman. My name is Francois van der Merwe. I act for Johan Hendrik Tait, Wilhelm Riaan Bellingan and Johan Albert Hoffman.

CHAIRPERSON: Just repeat Mr van der Merwe.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Johan Hendrik Tait, Wilhelm Riaan Bellingan and Johan Albert Hoffman.

MR CORNELIUS: Thank you Mr Chairman, Wim Cornelius. I act on behalf of the fifth applicant, Nicholaas Johannes Vermeulen.

MR JANSEN: Thank you Chair. Adv R Jansen, instructions Julian Night attorneys. I act for applicant Ras.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that all?

MR JANSEN: That's all.





EXAMINATION BY MR HUGO: seems to be, out of bundle two, to be the 11th December 1988.

MR HUGO: Very well, could you just tell the Honourable Committee how it happened that you became involved in this operation and what information you heard that led to the launching of this operation?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chairperson, Lt Ras received information from the Bophuthatswana Intelligence Services about an ANC transit house that was in view of the Botswana border and then the former homeland of that border and that was Bophuthatswana. As a result of this information, Lt Ras observed the house with a very strong camera with a very strong lens as well as a telescope that was used for 24 hour observation and all information that was then obtained was around this complex and it was then very clear that the two rooms in the outside rooms were used by the ANC members according, to the information of a young man that was a cattle slaughterer and in this whole kraal, was part of a transit house or facility. We also then received information from the Western Transvaal and also from the Intelligence Service of Bophuthatswana before we went ahead with this operation and on the 11th of December the group of C1 members executed the operation and then destroyed this transit house.

The two South African Defence Force members who were from the Special Forces accompanied us because Botswana at that stage, according to the guidelines or the internal guidelines, were under the control of the Defence Force for any operations.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: ...(indistinct)

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chairperson just in short, there was an internal meeting in Rustenburg somewhere in 1985, at the end of 84, where I was present and where the decision was made that Swaziland must fall under the Security Police.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: For what purpose?

MR DE KOCK: For operations and actions concerning the ANC.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: It is important then to ask, especially because of the problems that we had in the previous hearing.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: When did you make the decision that Swaziland will fall under the South African Police?

MR DE KOCK: Well, Mr Chairperson, at that stage the Security Branch or section of Middelburg dealt with the Swaziland Government and then also the Forces and I can say that the internal friendship situation was of such a nature that the SAP could work with them.

CHAIRPERSON: I understand that, but we heard earlier on that external actions or actions from abroad were army incidents, can you remember that?


CHAIRPERSON: All the evidence that we got that it was illegal, that anybody other could - that somebody else could do it.

MR DE KOCK: I'll give you two reasons. In the first place a decision was made that Mozambique, Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia, in other words all those neighbouring states and then also Zimbabwe, fell under the government or sorry, fell under the Defence Force or the South African Police's Security Branch and then as far as or as late as 93, or September 83, I was involved in an operation where Zwele Banzi Nyanda was killed in Swaziland and we were also decorated for that, myself, Brig Jack Cronje and then six or seven other members and one of the askaris was injured and the information at that stage was that in 1979 there were actions. I think Officer Vermeulen was involved in those actions where members of the ANC were also killed across the border, under the leadership of Gen Vikter, so it was an internal ruling that Swaziland would fall under the SAP.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know who made that decision?

MR DE KOCK: No, Mr Chairperson, I was too low in the hierarchy. There were problems because Soweto Security Branch had established structures in Botswana without informing the other intelligence services and some of these structures that they established lost control and then became ANC structures and that was the core of the problem.

CHAIRPERSON: You then said that Swaziland would fall under the Security Police?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Do I understand you correctly that it was for the purpose of attack?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, you see the police gathered information in Zimbabwe or in Botswana and Lesotho, but for attack purposes Swaziland was an SAP district.

CHAIRPERSON: And this excluded the Defence Force?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Mr Chairperson, so much so that in 1986 at Christmas, I was busy with an operation in Swaziland. It was in a flat just outside of Manzini and that was the Special Forces of the ANC and if I can remember correctly, Mr Bellingan came from the border where he had to co-ordinate and said that we must withdraw because the BSB is on its way, CCB is on its way, because after that withdrawal from the attack, the next morning we got members from Special Forces who wanted to know from us if we could identify members of the ANC at Piet Retief and where I then identified Grace Cele and had to remove her from bodies and I took them back to Swaziland, just to give you an idea of what happened.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Just to come back to what I initially requested you to explain to me about the internal guidelines, you state that these were as a result of the meeting that took place around 1985, which meeting was held in Rustenburg.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Mr Chairperson, if I remember correctly it was in Rustenburg. At that stage I was however a Captain. I'm not quite sure, it was a high-level meeting but that was the basic guidelines that I picked up there, but previously these guidelines had to exist. I came back from South West from the operation koevoet, that was at the end of May 1983. In September I executed my first attack under the Command of Jack Cronje in Swaziland where members of the ANC were killed, so in other before that it occurred.



JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Mr Nyanda was killed in 1984, approximately, but it was before 1985.

MR DE KOCK: In 1983, yes, Mr Chairperson, because I was then just back two or three months.

CHAIRPERSON: It was just before 83.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And did you attend this meeting in Rustenburg?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, I was present. I can still remember the situation that was pertinent was the aspect of the handling of sources and Swaziland lost control over it. That then led to the advantage of the ANC and they complained that there was no information for them and that they were not informed that Soweto was operating in that area.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Who amongst the Security Forces attended this meeting when you referred to a meeting having been attended by people who were highly placed?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Mr Chairperson, I went with Brig Schoon. Stadler I saw there, he was then also a Brigadier. The Section Head of the Western Transvaal, he was there, as well as the head of Soweto. There were others but these are the people that I can remember.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And in terms of this decision, the SAP was to participate in illegal covert operations in Swaziland?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Mr Chairperson. I wouldn't say that the specific decision was made there, already in 1983 we operated there and then before that in 1979, so it was only a confirmation, it was only to make it take responsibility for these areas on a permanent basis.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: At least guidelines were laid down for the SAP's operation.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, definitely because in this instance the members of the Special Forces, we had to take these members with us and that was to make their presence known.


ADV BOSMAN: Mr de Kock, it's not quite clear to me, who was present at the meeting? Only Security Branches of the Police or also representatives of the Defence Force in that area?

MR DE KOCK: As far as I know it was only the Security Police. I do not want to speculate, but you can accept that it was a problem at a high level at that stage, but as far as I know there were only Security Police.

ADV BOSMAN: Was there any indication who made the initial decision that such a division should take place?

MR DE KOCK: No, Mr Chairperson, I came in at a very low level and I was a bystander at that stage.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you.

MR HUGO: You may continue. Maybe you should just elaborate on the preparations that were taken before you executed this operation. How long did it take and what preparations did you make?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chairperson, I know that Mr Ras came with the information three to four months before the operation and I told him to continue with the development and gathering of information. At that stage we did not get permission from Brig Schoon because it was in his operation because later, three months later, Mr Ras did write a report. It was supported with photographs concerning times, log-in times, description of vehicles. Brig Schoon then gave us permission to act, but I had to liaise with the Special Forces or the CCB because it was in their influential area. I liaised with a person who was second in command. He was appointed by Mr Joe Verster as the liaison officer at Vlakplaas. Mr Fourie then gave two members to us, I can only remember two member, to then accompany us.

MR HUGO: Can you remember who these people were?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, it was Mr J C Erasmus and a Mr Boucher, Billy Boucher. I can remember him from the Caprivi where he, amongst others, was involved with koevoet with which we started initially.

MR HUGO: Very well. Was there any liaison with the head of the Security Police in the Western Transvaal in this period?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Mr Chairperson, I did not liaise with him personally but I asked Lt Ras to liaise with them. As I said, I earmarked him for more active operations, especially cross-border operations and it was part of his initiation.

MR HUGO: Very well. Did you then get permission that you could execute this operation?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Mr Chairperson, the permission came from Brig Schoon and the Brig Loots. He was then informed and he was then kept informed of the operation. We could not execute this attack before we got the permission of, I think Lt Ras, who contacted him on a daily basis

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Who did Lt Ras contact?

MR DE KOCK: Brig Loots, he was the Security Branch head of the Western Transvaal. Yes, Mr Chairperson.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Why was it important to liaise with Brig Loots, having obtained permission from Brig Schoon to proceed with the operation?

MR DE KOCK: Because it was a Vlakplaas operation and because Brig Schoon was in charge of our group, but for the purpose of control and discipline, we also then fell under Loots because we worked in his area and because it was Vlakplaas members, funds and vehicles that were used, for example a Vlakplaas member cannot just disappear for 10 days and nobody knows where you are, so Brig Schoon's permission we had to ask.

MR HUGO: And can you recall which of your soldiers were tasked to perform in this operation?

MR DE KOCK: I cannot recall all of them and I didn't want to simply mention the names of persons who later would appear not to have been there. Persons that I can recall are Mr Simon Radebe, his brother Jacob was not involved in the incident, we left him at the base to guard the base while we were launching the attack, because he was a bit more on the elderly side.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - no microhpone)

MR DE KOCK: No Chairperson, Jacob Radebe lived on the base. There was another person with him. Because we left all our service weapons and other equipment there that we were not using in the operation, we lived in a caravan by the dam at that stage, Mr Radebe, myself, Mr Ras, the two Special Forces members, Mr Nortje and I am not certain who else, I think Mr Willemse might have been there at a certain stage, but I wouldn't like to mention any other names, otherwise I would have to accept that I could be incorrect, we were about 8 or 9 members.

MR HUGO: Very well and you have just stated that there was regular observation. On what basis was this observation conducted?

MR DE KOCK: On a 24 hour basis, Chairperson. There was a hiding place. Yes, Chairperson, but it was from the South African or the Bop side that we conducted the observation.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - no microhpone)

INTERPRETER: The Chairperson's microphone is not on.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson. The camera lenses were 1000mm lenses for proper photographs and the telescopic function was also very strong, very advanced.

MR HUGO: Could you just tell the Honourable Committee where the equipment came from, the sophisticated equipment which you used in order to conduct your surveillance?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Radebe collected it for us. I'm not certain where he obtained the telescope from. I think the camera came from our technical division, but I would have to depend upon his evidence in that regard and I would then have to underwrite that because I did not arrange for the equipment to be brought in.

INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone.

CHAIRPERSON: There were binoculars and telescopes?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, we had binoculars and telescopes and night lenses. The telescopes were not the sort that we would have used on a daily basis.

MR HUGO: Very well. And you said that it was 24 hour observation, for how long?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson it was approximately before we launched this attack, so I would say between 10 days and 14 days. What took place was that as far as I can recall, Mr Ras and the others went at night and they dug out a trench of sorts, some place in the ground, which was covered with grass and camouflage nets. I think there was some form of shrubbery or bushes in that area and we then rotated the persons so that early in the morning, say 2 or 3 o'clock we would exchange the group that stayed there and then they would remain there for the rest of the day until the following morning, at the same time approximately when they would be exchanged once more, so there was no observable movement from the Botswana side and then these persons would remain in that position permanently and conduct surveillance and make notes.

MR HUGO: Very well. And from this surveillance you suspected and there was also information that there were ANC activists who wee active in the area. What exactly did you determine from the surveillance? What information could they convey to you?

MR DE KOCK: That there was indeed movement Chairperson. I know that on one evening vehicles arrived. The one was a land cruiser and there was another vehicle as well and there was a whole group of persons who disembarked at these two rooms which were used by this ANC group and Lt Ras contacted Brig Loots and asked him whether or not we could launch the attack, upon which the Brigadier responded no, we cannot launch an attack that evening. We did not launch the attack and the following evening he did indeed extend the permission for us to launch the attack and we did so. Now all information and all movements indicated that it was an ANC transit facility. There were other sources from the Bophuthatswana Intelligence Service who confirmed this information aside from our observations and our information that emanated from the observations.

MR HUGO: Very well. Perhaps just for the sake of clarity you could explain to us how the building complex appeared as well as the surrounding buildings, including the kraal. If you could just give us a description of that.

MR DE KOCK: As I recall today it wasn't a kraal complex as one would find in the rural areas of Zululand or in those areas, it was a room, there were two rooms which were adjacent to each other. I cannot recall the precise size.

CHAIRPERSON: Were they brick buildings?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, it was the only brick construction.

CHAIRPERSON: Like a regular house?

MR DE KOCK: No, not a house, but rooms. One could say the same as outside buildings.

MR HUGO: Such as outside rooms?

MR DE KOCK: Just larger than your averaged sized bedroom. There was some form of a branch cover and a thatched roof facility on the southerly side of that which served as some sort of an eating and cooking facility, that is how I recall it. However, there were no huts or kraals as far as I can recall.

MR HUGO: Very well. Initially Brig Loots refused that you launched the attack and then he gave permission. What happened after you obtained permission?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, ...(intervention)

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: May I interpose, Mr Hugo? Why did Brig Loots refuse you permission initially to launch the attack? I'm bearing in mind the fact that you've already testified that Brig Schoon had given you the go ahead to carry out this operation. Why did it take Mr Loots to stop you from carrying out this operation?

MR DE KOCK: We resorted under the Western Transvaal Command for the purposes of this operation for the time of our stay in their area. I've given evidence about this quite regularly. If Vlakplaas members launched an operation in Durban, they would be under the command of the Command there.

CHAIRPERSON: I think the question is aimed at determining why he said no initially.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, if I were to speculate and really this would be pure speculation, I could only suspect that there was someone whom they didn't want shot dead, that there was perhaps somebody among that group at the vehicles, who was not to be shot dead, but that is wild speculation.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you ever informed why, on that evening, they refused permission?

MR DE KOCK: No Chairperson, it was simply refused, but if I had to infer I would have said that perhaps they had a source among that group, but as I've said, it is purely speculation.

MR HUGO: Whatever the case may be, you received permission to launch the attack and could you just explain to us briefly whether any further preparations were made and how the operation was then completed?

MR DE KOCK: My own members were issued with uzzis, I had a Pachette, it was a sort of an adjusted Sterling. The weapons were all silenced, they had silencers. The ammunition was not traceable to us. Then there were also hand grenades of Russian fabrication which we also had in our possession. We departed from our place of residence to the border in vehicles. I cannot recall who drove and we were dropped off there. At the vehicles, I left persons, not only to guard the vehicles, but in the event of us having to return swiftly there, so it was cover fire and also as a point of early warning if they were to notice anything, such as border patrols and the like. From that point onwards we proceeded to a point approximately 50 metres from the buildings and at that point we monitored the buildings first.

We then moved in and took up position on the eastern side of the buildings so that we would be directly opposite the two front doors of the brick building. In the meantime, Mr Vermeulen had a charge and I just want to rectify something, it was actually a 30 kg charge. The 50 Kg that is noted in the documents is incorrect. He placed that against the wall and he and another person were busy rolling out the electrical cables by which we would detonate the charges. Then a person emerged from the right-hand room and moved in our direction. He was approximately 5 metres away from us, perhaps 4 metres where he then urinated. One of the members fired. His gun backfired. This person who came out of the building jumped back and ran back to the room and from inside the rooms we heard the AK47's being cocked. It was very clear. I came out from behind the tree where I was situated and moved in the direction of the rooms, when Mr Vermeulen and the others detonated the charges. They'd also heard the AK47's and decided to detonate the charges immediately. in the process a person emerged from the left room and he tossed a hand grenade in the direction of Lt Ras and the others. They shot him. I can recall that there was another person in the left room who was also shot. He had a gun as well as hand grenades and then the right-hand room against which the charge was placed, collapsed completely. I could observe one person there because I could see his hand and it was lifeless. Well he was dead, it was lifeless. There was no sign of muscular spasm or life. I deduced that this person must have died, because there was no chance of survival for him. I do recall that I saw a person running away in a south westerly direction, away from the left-hand room. Whether or not this was an MK member, I cannot tell you today, but I do suspect so because after the branch shade and the other constructions began to burn, we moved away. In the event of someone firing at us, we would have been very clear targets.

We left the AK's and the hand grenades there as well as the weapons, but we did take photographs and we then returned to the border. I reported this incident to Brig Schoon and Gen Johan van der Merwe was informed I believe by Brig Schoon and the reason why I say this is, approximately a day or two later, Mr Dawie Fourie from the CCB contacted me. He requested a meeting and then asked me why I had reported it, because he regarded it or reported it as a Special Forces matter to Gen Gleeson and when Gen van der Merwe was at a meeting, he told Gen Gleeson that the SAP had executed an effective operation, but then Gen Gleeson said that it was a CCB operation and there were a few ill feelings which emanated from that, which then broke off Vlakplaas' liaison with the CCB at that point. I don't know what was going on.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: From your understanding, whose operation was it?

MR DE KOCK: It was a Vlakplaas operation definitely because I explained to Dawie Fourie that so many of my members were involved, funds were involved, vehicles were involved as well as vehicles. We spent 10 days away from home. We couldn't just disappear, it was impossible.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: What was the importance of involving the two Special Forces members that were part of your operation, if this was your operation entirely?

MR DE KOCK: It was because it was their area that they were responsible for, pertaining to operations. As I've said, I can almost say that they acted as diplomats for Special Forces, so to speak, so that Special Forces would enjoy some kind of presence there as a result of these established guidelines. It would take place under the guise of Special Forces, but it would be Vlakplaas executing the operation as such.

MR HUGO: What was Brig Schoon's reaction when you subsequently reported to him that the operation had been successfully completed?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, he was very satisfied. As usual he didn't ask many questions and I believe that he reported it to Gen van der Merwe and I can tell you why I have inferred this. We didn't discuss the operations much.

MR HUGO: Very well, over and beyond the inquiries made by Mr Fourie, were any other inquiries ever directed at you with regard to this operation?

MR DE KOCK: No. The operation was completed and that was that.

MR HUGO: And then just briefly, with regard to your political motivation, why did you launch this operation and which objective did you seek to accomplish?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, the political motivation was to prevent that ANC members or armed ANC members would cross the border and commit acts of terrorism on the South African side of the border, to prevent the planting of land mines and the general prevention of terrorism.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Patel, just for the record, I just want to confirm that Mr Schoon and Mr van der Merwe have been notified.

MS PATEL: Yes, they have, Honourable Chairperson. In fact Mr Wagener last week had indicated that he would come here this morning, but I haven't seen him today.

CHAIRPERSON: He's acknowledge the notice.

MS PATEL: Yes, no, that is correct.

MR HUGO: Thank you Mr Chairman, that is the evidence. Thank you.


JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Before we break Chair, can we just establish from Ms Patel if Mr Basie Riekert has also been informed.

MS PATEL: I believe that he has. If I can just double check my records, I will get back to you on that.





CHAIRPERSON: Mr Lamey, have you got any questions?

MR LAMEY: Chairperson perhaps just one.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR LAMEY: Mr de Kock, it was very dark on that evening, there were no lights around the house?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct, Chairperson. It was raining and as I said it was an overcast day.

MR LAMEY: That was also the next aspect that I wanted to talk about. Thank you Mr Chairperson, I've got no further questions.



MR NEL: I've got no questions, thank you Mr Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr van der Merwe.

MR VAN DER MERWE: I have no questions, thank you Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Cornelius.

MR CORNELIUS: Thank you Mr Chairperson, I've got no questions.



MR JANSEN: Thank you Chair. Jansen on behalf of Ras. I do have a few questions.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR JANSEN: Mr de Kock, did you at a certain stage while you worked at Vlakplaas during the amnesty process before the TRC, did you hear about the Simonstown meeting of Generals of the Defence Force and Police?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, I heard about this meeting, but I do not have any further knowledge concerning this because the way I understand it is that the evidence of Gen van der Merwe was that at that meeting they talked about the division of South Africa in certain spheres.

MR JANSEN: On the one side the Defence Force and the other side the Police.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Mr Chairperson, I believe but it was conveyed to us in a written form and it went through the proper lines of command.

MR JANSEN: Mr Ras said that he can remember that one of the problems that the Defence Force Personnel had was at that stage, two Defence Force members were in jail in Botswana, they were sentenced to jail. Can you remember that?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Mr Chairperson. They were caught in a roadblock on their way to attack an ANC house in Gaborone. It came from an askari, or no, sorry, not an askari but from a terrorist or ANC MK member that we caught in Durban that morning. He was caught by members of Vlakplaas. That MK members was then flown to Pretoria with a plane given by the CCB and that same evening this group went into Botswana with this MK member. They drove into a roadblock, it was one of the Botswana policeman, he fired 23 shots at a BSB member and then two people were caught and the rest of them managed to escape.

MR JANSEN: This operation in Botswana, it was not the first cross-border operation in which Vlakplaas members were involved?

MR DE KOCK: No, it was not the first one.

MR JANSEN: And not the last one.

MR HUGO: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR JANSEN: It is also so that, if I can take you back to the evidence of that hearing concerning Vlakplaas as such, I'd just like to highlight certain aspects, it is so that Vlakplaas operated right through the country?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is correct, nationally and also abroad.

MR JANSEN: And then typically they operated in teams?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: In which area did Mr Ras work?

MR DE KOCK: Traditionally he worked in the Western Transvaal and then the bordering areas.

MR JANSEN: So you would agree then that Mr Ras would say that he would be the person then in Vlakplaas to take a leading role on an operational level in this instance because he knew the Western Transvaal and he knew the Botswana border?

MR DE KOCK: No, at the Chand attack I already earmarked him for that. He had another operational background. He served in koevoet, where he distinguished himself. He had very strong leadership qualities and I started looking at his tactical abilities and then his development in that area because I was getting older and somebody had to take over.

MR JANSEN: Very well. Just another aspect.

MR HUGO: Mr Chairman, maybe I must just come in here. I think a mistake has been made here, the Chand incident was in 1990, which was after this particular incident, just for record purposes.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that's true, I'm sorry. But very well, he did do that.

MR JANSEN: You have also mentioned or realised that in Mr Ras's application he mentions approval from the Commissioner of the Police concerning this incident. Do you have any recollection?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I have a very vague recollection of it, especially Mr Ras and some of the members, not all of them, but those who were involved right from the start. I applied for them for a medal for good service. It was not a decoration as such and it was just above the 30 year service medal and I do not know what happened to it, but according to his statement it says that there was a certificate that was handed over to them for good service.



MR MARIBANA: Thank you Chairperson.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MARIBANA: Mr de Kock, ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Before you proceed, Mr Maribana, you've indicated that the application is being opposed. On what basis?

MR MARIBANA: Thank you Mr Chairperson. The application - or let me just state that I'm appearing on behalf of the Thika family and the Mapua family. I will start with the Thika family instructions. Mr Chairperson, it is my instruction to oppose the application for reasons that Rapula Thika wasn't involved in politics and he was just a head boy who went to visit one of his friends at the house during the incident. He was just a visitor at that house just to see his friends and then had nothing to do with politics.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Was he a South African citizen or a Botswana citizen?

MR MARIBANA: Chairperson, it is my instruction that Rapula Thika was a Botswana citizen.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: How old was he?

MR MARIBANA: Chairperson, at that time of the incident, it is my instructions that Rapula was 15 years old. May I proceed Mr Chairperson?


MR MARIBANA: Mr Chairperson, as far as Mapua is concerned, it is my instruction from the family that at this stage they don't know actually what happened and they can't be able to divulge instructions as to whether should we oppose amnesty at this stage or what. It is my instruction that they would like to hear from the applicant, Chairperson, as to what happened and then if the full information as far as his death ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: They'll then decide.

MR MARIBANA: That's correct, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Fine. Do you want to go through all the applicants firs before that decision is made? I would think that's the better way to do it.

MR MARIBANA: That is correct, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Then proceed.

MR MARIBANA: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Let me just get something clear. You see, while I think - while I've said that that may be the better way to go, it concerns me that if after all the applicants have testified, your clients Mapua decide they want certain issues to be clarified, then you'd have to recall all these witnesses. I don't know if we've got time for that. I wonder - they've heard the basic story, the version, it is more than likely to be repeated in broad terms by the other applicants. If there are differences it will be on specific issues but I don't think there will be a different version as to what happened there. I wonder if I don't give you time now, maybe 15 minutes, to talk to the Mapua family and see whether they want to proceed, because really, you can't cross-examine now on their behalf because we don't know what your instructions are. Do you follow what I'm saying?

MR MARIBANA: I do follow.

CHAIRPERSON: What would you like to do? Do you want some time to talk to them since they've heard the initial and what is likely to be the broader story?

MR MARIBANA: I'll really appreciate that.

CHAIRPERSON: Let's adjourn for at most 15 minutes. If you are ready to proceed before then, then tell us.

MR MARIBANA: Thank you Mr Chairperson.




MR MARIBANA: Thank you Mr Chairperson, for the opportunity. Mr Chairperson, I've consulted with the Mapua family and I've explained to them, each person concerned and they've even taken that into consideration, Mr Chairperson. However, they've decided to reserve their rights Mr Chairperson to make a decision at a later stage on reasons that from the evidence of the first applicant, they feel that there's no full disclosure, more in particular on the manner how their son was killed and by whom and the reason why he was killed, so they'll need clarity on that. Until such time they're satisfied that there's full information and disclosure on the disposal, they will make a decision.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Mr Maribana, is this the Mapua family, is the deceased's name Mr Ronald, T M Mapua?

MR MARIBANA: Thank you Madam Chair, let me just ...



JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Thank you, you may proceed.

MR MARIBANA: Thank you.


Mr De Kock, this information that the ANC were in the transit house, did Ras tell you where did you get it?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, it emanated from information which he obtained from the Bophuthatswana Intelligence Services and then also from his own surveillance and also from reports which were submitted to Head Office.

MR MARIBANA: And did you ever find out from him as to how long did he obtain that information?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, this operation came into existence approximately three to three and a half months before the attack and the information was upgraded on a continuous basis.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Mr de Kock, are you saying that Mr Ras obtained information about this transit house in Botswana three months prior to the execution of the operation?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, my recollection is that it came to his attention approximately three to three and a half months before the attack was executed and that the development took place from that point.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Yes. You've obviously read Mr Ras's affidavit?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, I have studied it.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And you are aware that he has made mention to several separate observations having been conducted in respect of this house?

MR DE KOCK: I cannot give you thorough information about that because I do not have it at my disposal. I cannot recall it particularly, but he did work continuously on that facility. I think that with his evidence, many aspects will be clarified. That is my belief. However, I cannot give you specific aspects because I operated on a National Level and he reported to me, but I will not be able to provide you with the full particulars because that is unfortunately the case.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: But at least as far as you are concerned, you were brought into the picture about Mr Ras's information about this transit house, approximately three and a half months prior to the execution of the operation?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.


MR MARIBANA: Thank you Chairperson. Mr de Kock, after receiving that information from Mr Ras, did you make any follow up on it?

MR DE KOCK: No not personally, except that he reported his progress to me. It may have been verbal. He did maintain a file with documents and I do believe that he will be able to give more thorough evidence about that.

MR MARIBANA: In your evidence-in-chief you made mention of the fact that you instructed Mr Ras to keep or maybe to keep on surveying the said transit houses, is that so?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR MARIBANA: And how many security officers were involved in the observation of this transit house?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I am not certain. The rotation basis would have operated on two persons during the day and two persons during the night who were exchanged at night time so that they would not be noticed. The one would rest while the other one would observe, unless there was any sign of movement. If there was such movement, he would awaken the other person.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Is it not a fact Mr de Kock that you had not hand in the actual observation?


JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And you are in no position to give us any evidence with regard to how that was conducted because it was an area that was handled by Mr Ras?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, that is entirely correct. It is a recollection that I have as information was given to me I had an operational interest in it because I'd never underestimated my enemy. If we did not observe them thoroughly they could have lured us into an ambush. They could have lured us into the room for example and detonated the room. These were things that we had to consider and that would be translated as not underestimating the enemy.

MR MARIBANA: Thank you Madam Chair. And Mr de Kock since you were saying that the operation was planned three to four months before the execution, for how long did Mr Ras with your instructions, keep that house under observation?

MR DE KOCK: The information came approximately three to three and a half months before the time. The attack was arranged approximately three to three and a half weeks before the time. That is when the preparations commenced.

MR MARIBANA: Mr de Kock, if I can just say, I didn't get your answer. I'm saying, for how long with your instructions, did Mr Ras keep the transit house under observation?

MR DE KOCK: Before the attack I cannot really tell you. It may have been on and off and we could also have conducted further investigations and attempted to infiltrate sources. However, I cannot give you any further information regarding that. He would be the person who would really be able to sketch the corner of it for us.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you not testify that it was approximately two weeks?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, between two and three weeks before the attack, we would have commenced our operational planning at the scene.

CHAIRPERSON: I think your response to that question when Mr Hugo examined you, was ten days to fourteen days.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson.

MR MARIBANA: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Mr de Kock, I just want to find out here, or let me just say, was Mr Ras and other people, were they reporting direct to you as far as the mainland or anything concerning the transit house?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, they did report to me but I cannot testify whether or not they simultaneously conveyed the same information to Brig Loots and what information they would have conveyed to the Botswana Intelligence Services. I would accept that he would have given them feedback, but I cannot give any evidence about that. He did however report to me.

MR MARIBANA: And in your evidence-in-chief you made mention of the fact that permission was to be obtained from Brig Loots or Schoon. Who was supposed to ask for that permission?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I requested it and a written submission was given by Mr Ras with regard to this operation before we launched it.

MR MARIBANA: And would one be correct to say that you requested it on the information you have gathered or you have obtained from Mr Ras?

MR DE KOCK: Could you repeat please?

MR MARIBANA: Would one be correct maybe to say that okay, at that time when you requested that permission, you were satisfied that you have gathered I can say enough information from Mr Ras and ...

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson. Well I was satisfied and Brig Schoon was also satisfied.

MR MARIBANA: Mr de Kock, if one - we have just passed - did they tell you as to how did they come to the conclusion that ANC people are visiting or are using the said house?

MR DE KOCK: As a result of the photographic observation and the identifications as well as information which was collected on ground level, along with information from the Bophuthatswana Intelligence Services in conjunction with our own Intelligence observation and gathering, it was very clear that this was an ANC transit house, but in order to sketch this for you completely, I would once again have to depend upon my colleague Mr Ras, because he was directly involved in the matter.

CHAIRPERSON: What do they mean when they say that a house is a transit house?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, it would be a house which is not used as a permanent residence, but as a house for groups of persons who are exfiltrating and persons who would be infiltrating would also use the house in order to infiltrate over the border. It was basically a point of thoroughfare.

CHAIRPERSON: Were persons who went through there ever arrested?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, not that I know of. There was and is information that a reasonable group of persons infiltrated through that facility, however I am not aware of any arrests which I can immediately recall.

CHAIRPERSON: You see what concerns me is that we have the police here in South Africa who were watching the whole thing for three months, allowing the persons to go through and out of the country and nothing was done about that, yet at a certain stage, you decide to blow up the house.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, it may sound simplistic to say that we were just sitting there watching them go in and out. One cannot rely upon 100% situations here, however the information indicated and this information was confirmed, that it was indeed a transit house.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we have confirmed that.

MR DE KOCK: I do understand your argument Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: But I cannot understand how you could allow persons to go through that point in and out of the country and leave those persons to be just like that.

MR DE KOCK: If we were to speculate, we were not very certain at that stage. We took the time to be certain that this was indeed a transit facility, that it was a point of thoroughfare for MK members and after we had clarified that, the premises were attacked.

MR MARIBANA: Thank you Mr Chair. Mr de Kock, one would like to know actually as to, if maybe you may be in a position to explain to this Honourable Committee, actually what made you people to be I can say 100% sure that that was not a residential home, but a transit house for the ANC?

MR DE KOCK: We had to work with the information which was collected by Mr Ras and from that information along with the photo observation, it was clear that it was a transit facility. Once again I would have to depend upon him, because he possesses most of the information. I cannot give evidence about it because I cannot recall.

MR MARIBANA: And if one may just ask, the information about, or did you - or let me just say, the information about that house, didn't or one may just say it may have been not true that that was a transit house. Did you maybe try to make a thorough finding as far as that information?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson according to the information which was submitted by me and Lt Ras to Brig Schoon, the information was thorough and it was undeniably a transit house.

MR MARIBANA: And Mr de Kock, I've got instructions that that house was used as a residential, or it was used for residential purposes by the Donyema family. What is your comment on that?

MR DE KOCK: No Chairperson, the members that we found in those buildings were MK members, with their weapons. Unless the family was armed with AK47's and hand grenades, it was definitely a group of MK members.

MR MARIBANA: But my question is, Mr de Kock, will you dispute the fact that that house was used for residential purposes?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson I would say yes, because the MK members would not allow members of the public or members of the local environment to live there with them, they were very strict when it came to security.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: May I understand you on this, Mr de Kock? Are you saying and from what you have already stated in your definition of a transit house, are you saying that a transit house, to your knowledge and the way you comprehend it, was never used as a permanent residence?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And this is the definition that you've given us as a result of your experience?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, the situation pertaining to covert operations and guerilla warfare was never stable, that is a fact. What could have been a house at 12 o'clock, could have been declared as a transit facility by 6 o'clock. In other words, the people could withdraw and it could simply turn into an overnight place. In this case however, it was never a permanent residence. People used the premises to infiltrate and exfiltrate.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: You've already defined a transit house as a house which was not used as a permanent residence but used as a point of thoroughfare.

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And in my little experience, emanating from the hearings of this nature within the TRC, I have been privy to listen to evidence being led where transit houses were in fact places of permanent residence and in particular in Botswana.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I believe that one could have encountered such a situation in Gaborone or any of the suburbs of Gaborone, where families would grant one or two persons brief residence in their homes, but we are referring to a structure which was visible from the border and in this case the observations indicated that it was not a permanent residence but that it was in fact an infiltration route.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: You were involved in the Kahn operation, were you not?

MR DE KOCK: In what?


MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And was Mr Kahn's house not similarly situated as the house in question?

MR DE KOCK: Yes it was.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And was it not a permanent residence of the Kahn family?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is correct, it was so.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: So if that is so, how different would it be then to the house in question, to the Donyema house?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson yes, I do understand the discrepancy. What I am trying to tell you is that this house was not used as a permanent residence in terms of the information that we had after our observations. Our information indicated that it was a house which was part of an infiltration route.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: So if I were to understand your evidence correctly, it is that it was a transit house. It was a transit house, not because of the fact that it was not a permanent residence of someone, it was a transit house based on the information that you obtained and the information indicated that it was not used for permanent residence?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.


MR MARIBANA: Thank you Mr Chairperson. And Mr de Kock, just to make a follow-up on that house, if one understands you correctly, you are saying that as a result of the information, the said house was not used for permanent residential purposes, is that so?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct yes. That is as far as I can remember it today.

MR MARIBANA: And I think I have asked this question before. You've just indicated that you can dispute maybe the fact that that house was used for residential purpose.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, it is based on the information that we received. It cannot be on anything else.

MR MARIBANA: And what would you say if one could say that the information you have received was not the correct information?

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Mr Maribana, haven't you already put that to him and also elicited his response? You've already put to him that the house was used as a permanent residence for the Donyema family and he has denied that on the basis of the information which was at his disposal at the time. Doesn't that exhaust the issue and it's for you to argue?

MR MARIBANA: Thank you Chairperson. I thank you for the information which was highlighted to me and then I think that as of now, that will close that aspect of whether the house was used as a transit or residential purposes and under the circumstances, I will proceed with other questions. Thank you. Mr de Kock, now you've got this permission to execute the said house, what was the first step that you took?

MR DE KOCK: In terms of what, Mr Chairperson?

CHAIRPERSON: How was the attack executed and planned?

MR DE KOCK: Firstly we found ourselves a safe area that was next to a dam in the area. It was called the Disaneng Dam, where we had a caravan and tents. We seemed as if we were a holiday group there. We did rotation of the surveillance groups and those who worked the previous night would then rest and those just kept themselves busy with the cleaning of weapons and equipment. That was the basic element of it. Out of the surveillances that were done, the people who were at the surveillance point, we then further worked in terms of what route or method we would take, the formation and then the attack itself. Then it also happened that at a certain stage we decided, based on the information that when we crossed the border and entered Botswana, that we followed the route as planned and then from then on, executed the actions as we planned it beforehand and the nature. There were other plans made, for example if we meet up with the Botswana Defence we would move back, we would split up in small groups, we would then meet up at a later stage and everything that went with that.

MR MARIBANA: And how far, or if one may just ask, I'll just go back a little bit, what was the distance from the place where Mr Ras made his observations from the said house?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chairperson, I would say it could have been a kilometre plus, up to 200 to 400 metres. Between, up to a kilometre to 1,4 kilometres. It's a very vague estimate.

MR MARIBANA: And now this safe place, was it at the same position where Mr Ras and these people made observations? How far were they from each other, if they were not from the same place?

MR DE KOCK: That would be the total distance between the place that was attacked and the surveillance point, the protected point where we executed our operation from.

MR MARIBANA: Okay. Now let us get to a point whereby - let us say we have already reached the said transit house. May you be in a position to tell this Honourable Committee as to - I can say you positioned yourselves at the said house?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chairperson, a group of us, except for Mr Vermeulen and another person that I cannot place at the moment, Mr Vermeulen and this other person approached the house from the northern direction, the purpose to place the backpack with the detonators against the wall of the brick building and then to do the preparation of it and you take the electrical wiring from there to approximately 100 metres from the wall. It was not a safe distance, but it was the best we could do. In the meantime Mr Ras and myself and the other members approached from the eastern side, or took up our positions, approximately 20 or 30 metres from the rooms and we waited for the explosion, when we would then continue with our operation. At that stage a person came out from the right-hand building or room. He walked towards us. He was approximately 4 or 5 metres from us and as I said, he urinated and after two attempts of Mr Ras whose weapon misfired, this person ran back to his room and they started cocking their weapons and we could clearly hear this. With this attempt then, I moved from behind the tree where I was to prevent the person from leaving into the night because then it would be a big problem for us because then they immediately would then escape. Mr Vermeulen, at that stage I think they were approximately 40 metres from the house, they then pressed the wiring on the battery and the detonation occurred and afterwards we acted. A person threw a hand grenade to Mr Ras, a person from the left-hand room and he fired shots. Another person was shot in the left-hand or left room. A third person came from the right room, but I could only see his hand.

MR MARIBANA: Okay, Mr de Kock. If or let me just ask, how many security officers were with you when the said house or the operation was executed?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chairperson, I think we were between 8 and 10 people. As I said, I cannot remember all of them. I did not want to just name names to involve people in this, but I mentioned those whom I could. I think we were approximately 8 or 10.

MR MARIBANA: And if Mr de Kock, you would be in a position just to explain to us from - okay, now you were at the transit house and then this person appeared from your right-hand as you've indicated, at that stage were you through with your preparations around that house?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Mr Chairperson, we were already in position and we waited for the explosion before we acted and in that time, between the time where Mr Vermeulen was busy rolling the electrical wire away from the house, this person moved out of the room and moved towards us.

MR MARIBANA: Okay and after this person or let me just say, the actual act started when this person who was urinating was at your side. Is that so?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson. At that stage Mr Ras took the initiative. I would have done the same thing if I was in his position. He then fired. This weapon however misfired. I would just like to mention at this stage, just for clarity sake, that operations never go the same way that you planned them, because you only have half of the script. You either expect them to act according to your plan, but this is one of the examples where things did not work according to the way in which you thought they would.

MR MARIBANA: So if one understands you correctly, he might be correct to say that actually this person, one can say, he disturbed you?

MR DE KOCK: I won't say that he disturbed us, but the initial planning we then had to adjust.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: May I interpose, Mr Maribana. What was your initial plan? You've already testified that Mr Vermeulen had approached the house ahead of you, from the eastern side or the northern side, with a view of placing the explosives around the walls of the house. Now what did you intend to do after the explosives had been detonated by Vermeulen and this person whose name you cannot recall?

MR DE KOCK: We would have moved immediately ahead and those who were left behind, we would then confront them and if any of the other members of MK were found, we would then kill them. This was not an operation to bring people back.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Yes, no prisoners of war.

MR DE KOCK: No, Mr Chairman.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: How many people had your observation indicated would be inside the house?


JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And these were confirmed or suspect ANC members, MK members?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is correct.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Were they confirmed or suspected?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I'm not quite sure what the information was. I cannot recall, but there's no doubt that they were MK members, let me put it that way. If we had the records here today, they would have been of great value.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And you've already testified that after Mr Ras's firearm had misfired, you then heard the cocking of AK47's inside the house?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Mr Chairperson. The second time Lt Ras cocked his weapon, fired again and with the second time, when his weapon did not want to fire, the people ran around the house and there was no doubt and we could clearly hear the cocking of AK47's. There's no doubt concerning this and I can - it is a sound that I am very familiar with because it was used very often on me and at a certain stage in Ovamboland, we used AK47's.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: If you are that familiar, you would be in a position to say it wasn't a sound that emanated as a result of one person cocking such an AK47, but from your recollection, it was a sound that was caused by quite a number of people cocking such an AK ...?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, it was more than one person.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Yes and after this operation, two persons were found dead?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Mr Chairperson, the one that came out of the room, as far as I can remember, was lying where he was shot. That is the one who threw the hand grenade. The second one, as far as I can remember, was in the left-hand side room and was under the wall that fell on top of him from the right-hand side.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And was there any sign of other people who managed to escape?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I have the recollection that from my peripheral vision, I saw a person running away in a south westerly direction. In other words he came from the left room and ran past me. I cannot quite identify him, but it was a person that ran away and that was the person who most likely was one of the MK members that got away, that is why we also moved away after the place started burning, because we were scared that we were very clear targets against the fire and we had to move out.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And were there any attempts made to pursue the person who was running away?

MR DE KOCK: No, we do not do this at all during the night and not if a person's got an AK47. It is fatal.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: I am trying to understand the building. You said this was like the outbuilding, it was a two-roomed house?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Mr Chairperson.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And with how many exits? How many doors?

MR DE KOCK: There was only one door. There were no back doors and there was one window. I would say normal sized window for such a building. The one was one the southern direction and the other was on the northern side and both, or both the doors faced the northern direction.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Thank you Mr Maribana.

MR MARIBANA: Thank you, Chairperson. Okay, Mr de Kock, I just want to get a clear picture from the stage where Mr Ras misfired, will you maybe be able to tell the Committee as to after the misfiring of Lt. Ras's firearm, what was - let me just say, what happened as far as the charges are concerned?

MR DE KOCK: I did not hear very well, could you just repeat your question please?

MR MARIBANA: Let me just put it in this way.

MR DE KOCK: I am sorry, it is my fault. I couldn't quite make out your question.

MR MARIBANA: Thank you. Let us say - now I'm saying we are at a stage whereby Mr Ras's firearm has misfired. Now I just want to find out from you as to maybe did the charges explode immediately afterwards, or what happened actually?

MR DE KOCK: No, Mr Chairperson, when the AK47's were cocked, I immediately jumped from behind the tree and ran towards the rooms. The big thing was now to keep the people in the rooms. If they escape in the night, more shots would be fired and in that time Mr Vermeulen took the initiative and detonated the explosives by putting the wires on the battery.

MR MARIBANA: Okay. If one understand you correctly, what happened was Lt Ras's firearm misfired and all of a sudden you hear people cocking AK47's and thereafter that is when Mr Vermeulen detonated the charges, is that how things happened?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is how it happened.

MR MARIBANA: And during your testimony, you've indicated, if I'm not wrong, that some people, or you saw a person who was shot at and then how he ran away towards the westerly direction, will you maybe be able to tell this Committee as to who actually fired a shot towards the people in that house?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chairperson, the first person who was shot at was the person who came out of the left room and who threw the hand grenade to Mr Ras, that was the first person who was shot and the second person was shot in the room, that is now the left room, as far as I can remember and the person in the right room was not shot, we could only see his hand, so nobody fired any shots towards him, or at him.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Who shot the person who was shot inside the building?

MR DE KOCK: I do not know, I cannot say. I could just mention that as I moved from behind the tree and stormed towards the rooms, they detonated the explosives. I was thrown to the ground and I lost my glasses and my rifle and for a while I couldn't hear anything and in that time, Mr Ras moved, I for example couldn't see the hand grenade being thrown but I could see the light and it took me a while to gather my senses. I'm not using this as an excuse, but I'm just trying to give you an idea of what the circumstances were.

MR MARIBANA: Thank you. Mr de Kock, through your recollection, it came - as you were saying that the first person who was shot was the one who threw a hand grenade towards Lt Ras. I mean, would you be able to tell us as to actually who shot that person?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chairperson, I cannot say because more than one person started firing. It would have made it more difficult because all the weapons had silencers on and it creates confusion so I cannot say exactly who shot that person.

MR MARIBANA: And if I listened correctly, you won't even be in a position to tell as to who shot the one inside the building, is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: Could you just repeat your question, please?

MR MARIBANA: I'm saying, if I understand you correctly, you cannot even tell us as to who actually shot the one person inside the house?

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Hasn't he already testified to that Mr Maribana?


JUDGE KHAMPEPE: He has already testified to that in response to my question.

MR MARIBANA: Thank you Chairperson. Now, Mr de Kock, if I understand you correctly, there was, I can say, firing of firearms from both sides, or was it from your side only?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chairperson, as far as I can remember, it was only from my side.

CHAIRPERSON: I think the family's case, or I'm going to try and put it to you, one of the deceased, a 15 year old citizen from Botswana who, according to his parents, was not involved in politics, I assume whether it was South African politics or Botswana politics doesn't really matter, can you deny that?

MR DE KOCK: No, I cannot.

CHAIRPERSON: I think now that the question that the family would like to ask and would like to be answered, how thorough was the surveillance to prevent ...(end of side B of tape)

MR DE KOCK: The equipment we had could not have been compared with the equipment that others had, Chairperson ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Because he was there.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, yes, if he arrived in that time where we moved from the border to the house, or if he was there and we did not see him, I cannot say. I can describe it as a tragic incident as we really ensured that no children or women were killed in this operation.

CHAIRPERSON: But you agree then that the so-called man on the street or woman on the street cannot think that you as the SAP cared who were killed? I understand that you say that you did, but from their side would you agree with me that it is not an ...(indistinct) conclusion to make?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I do not know. If we did not care in Valkplaas we would have killed thousands of people with the weaponry that we had. With the support, technically or otherwise, we could have killed thousands, we're not even talking about wounding or injuring, and we didn't do it. If there was something that we could have done, we would have.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes Mr Maribana, is there anything else?

MR MARIBANA: Thank you, Mr Chair. Mr Chair, I think with regard to your questions you have covered some of the things I was intending to ask and I would say I don't have further questions at this stage.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson.

Can I just ask Mr de Kock, in terms of the planning of the operation on the ground itself, was Mr Ras in charge of that?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson.

MS PATEL: Okay, so he determined who would do what in terms of the planning on the night of the operation.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, and if necessary I would have given my input.

MS PATEL: Okay. To the best of your knowledge, was that - the incident that you speak of now, was that the only time where there was an operation launched, or an attempted operation, at that house?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, where I was present it was the first operation. There could have been more, but then either I didn't know or I wasn't involved.

MS PATEL: If it was during this period and Mr Ras was involved in it, he would have had to report to you no doubt.

MR DE KOCK: That is correct, Chairperson.

MS PATEL: Okay. The reason I mention this to you is that Mr Ras mentions in his application to us - on page 112(c) he speaks of an aborted operation as a result of heavy rain and they couldn't find the target, the target transit house, do you bear any knowledge of this?

MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, in the first place I do not believe that he would abort an operation or he would report back the abortion of an operation. I do not have any recollection concerning this. And if I was present, we would have found the house.

MS PATEL: Alright, then perhaps Mr Ras must come and explain what happened there. Mr Ras - just to put you in the picture, goes further. After he says that specific operation was aborted, he said they then undertook observations again or reconnaissance of this particular transit house and it's only subsequent to that that this specific operation was then launched.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, he would have to testify because I can testify about what happened before, but I cannot give any evidence concerning this. I do not have any recollection of this, or I do not know anything about this.

MS PATEL: Let me just confirm, to the best of your knowledge, from Mr Ras' report to you immediately prior to the operation taking place, you expected to find four ANC persons in the house.

MR DE KOCK: That is correct, Chairperson.

MS PATEL: And these would have all been adults.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, yes.

MS PATEL: Okay. Because you policy is that children and women are not to be killed.

MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, where you can prevent it will be prevented.

MS PATEL: Alright. You will however concede that in a subsequent, namely the Chand or the Khan incident, that two young boys were killed in that operation.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, yes, I think they were in their early 20s ...(intervention)

MR LAMEY: Chairperson, I was involved in that matter, I don't know whether my learned friend Ms Patel was, but the rumour came around that there were children and young children and eventually it was established that they were children of higher age, children but big children so to speak.

CHAIRPERSON: So what difference does it make? Why is it different from she posed to Mr de Kock? She said there were children involved.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Mr Chairman, may I maybe just assist? These children weren't - they were young men, they were older than 20, they were grown up. Although they were someone's children, they were grown up.

CHAIRPERSON: So because they're older than 20 they qualify for assassination?

MR VAN DER MERWE: Well I'm also a children.

CHAIRPERSON: I believe you, Mr van der Merwe.

MS PATEL: Ja, I would like to confirm that.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I'm sorry to interrupt here, I would just like to add that you may have to look at the relativity of the circumstances and different organisations. If you look at the revolutionary organisations of the United Front in Sierra Leone, they had Majors and Luitenants who were 13/14 years old. I was 17 when I went to the Defence Force, I couldn't drive a car but I could use a machine gun. So that is relative within the organisations that we ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr de Kock, we are not going to argue about ages, but the context within which this question was asked, that it was your policy not to kill children.

MR DE KOCK: That's correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: ... if you could prevent it.

MR DE KOCK: That's correct, Chairperson, it is as such.

CHAIRPERSON: Well what the age of those children were didn't matter if this was the policy.

MR DE KOCK: That is correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I would then think that for any person, whether they are children or not, if it was not necessary according to you policy to kill them, then you wouldn't have.

MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson.

MS PATEL: The reason I raise this, Honourable Chairperson, and for your information Mr de Kock, is that you will recall that we had an argument at the Chand hearing as well about the ages of the two youngest deceased in that matter and also that you said there that it wasn't your policy to kill children or young people, and it was only after the ages of the youngest deceased in that incident was in fact revealed, that we then heard an ex post facto explanation that these children were then seen taking PAC members to the border and thereby assisting, and a subsequent ex post facto motivation was then raised for the murder of those children. And it was vehemently denied by the victims at all time that those younger boys were ever involved in the infiltration or ex-filtration of PAC members.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, the argument was that my recollection thereof was that I saw in a newspaper report that there were children killed and there were no ages given. This is the Chand incident. And as far as I know they were 22 or 28, or something in that regard. You could be 40 years old and still be somebody's child. That is my recollection of where the contention occurred.

MS PATEL: I will that question, that semantic question, for argument later, I can see no purpose in taking that further.

I want to however draw your attention to the ANC's submissions to us, in which they list - well from Botswana, in which they list their members who were either assassinated or killed or injured in bombs or in raids and none of the victims here are on that list. The inference therefore is that they were not ANC members who were killed in this incident, what is your comment?

MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, I cannot agree with that.


MS PATEL: It's page 3 of bundle 2, the supplementary bundle.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: The one whose top name is Alpheus Dlamini, is that the list you are referring to?

MS PATEL: That's correct. And if you look at the dates on this list, no ANC members were killed on the date that this incident in fact occurred.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Mr Chairman with all due respect, I see this list, I don't know what the status of this list is because if you look at number 8 on that list, that person was killed on 000000, so how accurate this list is I don't know. I don't know what the status of the list is and whether we can accept it as all members that were killed or not. - necessarily.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr de Kock, you have conceded upon a question put by me, that at least one of the deceased was quite possibly not involved in politics. You stated that you cannot dispute that.

MR DE KOCK: No, but I wish to qualify that. Three of the persons who were killed in the rooms were MK members, however I was told that some of the kraal guards were also killed. I didn't go and look at them. This appears in my statement. So with the exception of those three, another two or three persons were killed and that is what I keep thinking of, those could have been the persons who were not ANC members.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: But I thought only three persons were killed, Mr de Kock - all in all. Two persons were killed, one was killed outside the building and the other one shot inside the building and then the other one I think was killed as a result of an explosion. That brings us to three.

MR DE KOCK: Yes. Chairperson, on page 5, paragraph 3, I have stated that during the attack as far as I can recall, three ANC members were killed, and then I have also stated that some of the kraal guards. In other words, with the exception of these three ANC members, some of the kraal guards were also killed.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: How would you know that any person who is lying there dead is a kraal guard or not? Can you assist us so that we can understand the evidence better. How did you make that distinction? How did you distinguish between ANC members and kraal guards?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, these persons were not found in the room that we had been observing and they also did not come out of those rooms, the rooms which were detonated, and that is why I have referred to kraal guards. I may also have given them another name, but this is how I have listed it in my statement.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Yes. By kraal guards you mean headmen.

MR DE KOCK: No, persons in control of the complex, in other words those who were taking care of the complex.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Had your observation or surveillance indicated the presence of any person other than the four persons who were identified shortly before permission to launch this attack was sought from Brig Loots?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, during observation it was noted that there was a young man or a youth who was working with some cattle there and according to the observation this person was responsible for watching this area as well as the area beyond the border. I do not wish to testify on hearsay, we will have to consult Mr Ras on this point as well. As far as I know this person was responsible for the cattle and that he moved on a daily basis between the house and the border with the cattle. And as I understand, it was his job also to watch over the area.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And did that information indicate that that young person was staying in the premises?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I am not certain, but I would accept that that is the case.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Once that information was conveyed to you, concerning and relating to the presence of this young person, did you make any enquiries to find out if he was living inside the premises concerned or not?

MR DE KOCK: Not that I can recall, but as far as I know Mr Ras dealt further with that aspect.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: But it is something that you know was dealt with by Mr Ras, it wasn't just left.

MR DE KOCK: No, it is on the basis thereof that I say that this person's function was to watch the area, to observe the area, but from the Botswana side.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: When you say his function was to observe the area, are you suggesting that he was also collaborating with the people who were using the house as a transit house?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Why would he be watching the area, what would be the objective thereof?

MR DE KOCK: Well Chairperson, to look for border patrols or to see whether or not there were points of safe thoroughfare.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Now if that is the information you must have had in your possession, what did you as the person who was in overall command do or instruct with regard to that person?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, according to the information, if he was to assist these persons, we would shoot him if he were to come into our range.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: To your recollection, do you remember giving Mr Ras and his men instructions to shoot this person if he was to be found in the premises?

MR DE KOCK: No, I do not have any recollection of that, but it is possible that I may have done it. If we had all sat in on this discussion, which was our custom to do, the situation would have been tabled and if we discussed this matter, they would have said to me "What of this person?" I would have then have said to them "This person is involved according to all the information" and I would have given the instruction to shoot.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Bearing in mind your evidence that this house was not used as a permanent residence, would you say that you foresaw the possibility of any person other than ANC members using the house, at the time when you launched the attack?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, there were no indications that there were any women or children in this brick building. In other words, when we launched the attack we had no doubt that we would find anybody other than MK members there, we did not foresee that we would find women and children there, it was not an issue for us.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Thank you, Ms Patel.

MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson.

Can you tell me, if you were certain that they were ANC members in that house who were killed, why is it that you couldn't identify them?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, perhaps they were identified, however I do not have a recollection of that. There were photographs of the faces of two or three of them, we would have shown this to our askaris, but I do not recall anything like that at this moment.

MS PATEL: Sorry, which photographs are you referring to and when were they taken?

MR DE KOCK: That would be of the deceased' at the scene of the incident.

MS PATEL: Who took photographs on the scene?

MR DE KOCK: I cannot recall who took the photographs, but there was a camera and photographs were indeed taken.

MS PATEL: But I thought you had to leave the area in great haste, Mr de Kock, and now you say there was time for photographs to be taken.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, it wasn't a question of people posing for photos, one would simply take the photos and get it over and done with, take two photos and get out of there. To photograph two or three persons would not be a very timeous exercise.

CHAIRPERSON: But you can't say as a matter of certainty, whether they were identified as ANC persons subsequent to this operation.

MR DE KOCK: They could have been identified. Also with regard to situations such as, for example Swaziland, where photographs were taken of persons and in other attacks the photographs of the deceased came to us at Vlakplaas for the askaris to identify. And where there was any doubt whether or not the persons were MK, photographs were also sent to us in such cases, therefore I can say with certainty that we did show the photographs to the askaris.

MS PATEL: But you're going on probabilities now, you can't say as a matter of fact that these persons who were killed in this operation were subsequently identified as ANC persons.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, it is a possibility that they may have been identified, I cannot tell you that it is not the case either.

MS PATEL: So then you can't say it as a matter of fact, Mr de Kock. Alright. Can I just ask you, the transit house, was it identified by Trevits at any stage?

MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson.



MS PATEL: Okay. And then you say you were present at the planning of the operation when Mr Ras had decided who would do what, not so?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct, Chairperson.

MS PATEL: Now Mr Hoffman says in his application to us, at page 345, that provision was made for weapons to be planted, do you bear any knowledge of this?

MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, I've also studied his application but I do not have any knowledge of a launcher that we would have taken with us, but I will not dispute it if one was taken with because it would not have been impossible to account for this in the planning as well.

MS PATEL: Alright. And he further states that the reason for taking the weapons with was to plant it at the scene in case no weapons were found there. Now I find this very strange in light of the fact that there's a three month observation of this transit house, you're absolutely certain that there are MK members who are infiltrating from that house and yet you still make provision for weapons to be planted.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, we do not use the plurality of weapons, it was a launcher, an RPG7 launcher, and if I had planted weapons I would have taken some rockets along as well, I would not have done half a job. If the launcher had gone with, it would have been something which would have been accounted for in Mr Ras' planning and that would have been in the eventuality of us running into the Botswana army, and if necessary we would have had to shoot vehicles, if we were trapped, so that there would be no doubt about that.

MS PATEL: Well Mr Hoffman's testimony is clear, he said it was taken with for the purposes of planting in case weapons were not found and he states further that the RPG7 launcher was in fact left behind.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, yes that may be so, it may also be something which took place on the spur of the moment, but a weapon or weapons were not taken with with the purpose of placing ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Or let us put it as such, that you know of.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, of which I know.

CHAIRPERSON: It may be that someone did indeed take such items along, but did not inform you thereof.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, that is a possibility because there was also another plan with regard to which we thought about planting a landmine on a side road which led to the house, in case the military arrived there. It was something which was discussed, although we did not plant the mine. But planting weapons was not necessary because we knew who we were dealing with.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: But let me understand you, Mr de Kock, did your plan include the planting of weapons?

MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, not at all. I can assure that if I were to plant a weapon such as an RPG7 launcher, I would at least leave some of the rockets there as well, I would not have done half a job, I can assure you of that. Because a rocket launcher without rockets would have been completely useless, one could have given it to a child to play with.

MS PATEL: Thank you.

Then finally Mr de Kock, you say that you lost your specs on the scene.

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MS PATEL: Did you retrieve them before you came back?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, definitely.

MS PATEL: Okay, then - I'm sorry, can you refresh my memory, at what stage did you say you lost your spectacles?

MR DE KOCK: When the charge went off.

MS PATEL: Okay, and did you find it before you went into the house to - where you say you saw the person's hand and where you saw people move around from one part of the house, or through the rooms?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, it is very clear that is correct. If they had been shot to pieces - for the sake of completeness, my operational instructions to my members were for every person who wore spectacles to have an alternative pair of spectacles on his person because it could happen, and traditionally in the British and American armies this was also the custom.

MS PATEL: Alright. Thank you, Honourable Chairperson.



RE-EXAMINATION BY MR HUGO: Thank you, Mr Chairman, just one aspect.

Mr de Kock, I must admit I do not quite hear what you said, you have to correct me if I'm wrong. You initially said that there was a meeting with Brig Loots where he said that you could not continue with the operation and you speculated about the reasons, why he said that you could not continue with it.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that's correct, Chairperson, because he did not give any reasons.

MR HUGO: Well after this meeting with them was there a follow-up meeting with Brig Loots?

MR DE KOCK: I would just like to qualify this, it was not a meeting as like we came together and talked about it, Lt Ras liaised with him, he phoned him, the operation or the approval of the attack was given the next day, that we could do it that same evening.

MR HUGO: And you then executed the operation on the approval that you received.

MR DE KOCK: That is correct, yes.

MR HUGO: I've got no further questions.


ADV BOSMAN: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr de Kock, I made a note and it's confusing to me, I may have taken the wrong notes, but my note says that at one stage you said that Mr Schoon did not give you permission for the operation and then later you said that Schoon - or you reported back to Schoon through Mr Ras and that he then gave the permission. Could you just help me.

MR DE KOCK: Well initially there was talk that we want to execute the operation, that is now when we received the information for the first time, then we discussed it with Brig Schoon and he said no, this would be a Special Forces task, or it is their area. And it was only three months later that this written report was given to Brig Schoon to confirm that it was a facility. It was the only written application for an operation ever.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you very much, you did clear that up for me. Then you also mentioned guidelines at the Rustenburg meeting and all that I could get out of that is that you talked about what would be the area for the Special Forces and the Security Police and then Vlakplaas, but guidelines must contain more than that. I mean it is actually just a division of work, it is not quite a guideline.

MNR DE KOCK: "Voorsitter ja, ek het dit in die breë gestel, was dat die gebied vir wat ons sou verantwoordelike wees sou Swaziland wees. Dit beteken nie ek kan nie 'n bron werf wat in Botswana is nie, ek kan daar 'n bron werf en inligting insamel maar dan moet ek - die afdeling sal ek in kennis moet stel van daardie bron."

ADV BOSMAN: Was that the only guideline that was discussed? Were other guidelines also discussed, for example on how to communicate, to correspond? I'm thinking now of the Lesotho incident with the Defence Force's involvement there, were there any guidelines for that?

MR DE KOCK: Well Lesotho also under the South African Defence Force, and when I testify about it - I do not want to bring anything up now, but there were Special Forces involved there, they were not all together though.

ADV BOSMAN: No, I think you are misunderstanding me, I'm talking about the guidelines specifically. We do know that the Special Forces and the Defence Force had guidelines concerning their actions, what they would do in certain incidents where they had to contact the State President etcetera, but at this specific meeting did you receive any guidelines in that line?

MR DE KOCK: No, not really, it wasn't in the broad - well it was only the division of operational areas.

ADV BOSMAN: So you actually used this term guidelines loosely.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, it is a guideline because I cannot just go to Lesotho, I had to go to Brig Schoon, he had to go to Gen van der Merwe and van der Merwe would then give the approval. That is how it worked.

ADV BOSMAN: And then can you just give us a clearer picture of the nature of the border control, there where you did the surveillance. We do not have any idea, was it densely populated, was it the only building in the area?

MR DE KOCK: There were other people around. I would say the closest community was about 500 metres from there, there weren't a lot of people in the area. The border fence is an ordinary cattle fence, there was movement in and out of the country, so it was not quite a border post.

ADV BOSMAN: Was there any control? You talked about border patrols.

MR DE KOCK: There were border patrols, yes.

ADV BOSMAN: By whom?

MR DE KOCK: The Boputhatswana Defence Force did border patrols and although we did not see them, you can accept, because we always had to add them in our calculations.

ADV BOSMAN: Yes, we do know that 500 metres is not very far, that is now contact between people. You said that this house that you observed, that you didn't see any people closer than that.

MR DE KOCK: No, it was raining a lot and there was a lot of moisture and that helped us in that regard.

ADV BOSMAN: But you are talking the cattle guard, could he have come and - did you just assume that he belonged to this transit house, or could he have been from a different house?

MR DE KOCK: I accepted that he belonged to the transit house, Chairperson. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

ADV BOSMAN: Now if there were cattle that had to be looked after, would a person not have expected that there would have been other people in the transit besides ANC/MK members? ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, our surveillance did not give that information, no. There were no other members in that brick building at that stage.

ADV BOSMAN: I may be going a bit too far now with my question, but you said that the shepherds are usually very young, young children.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, traditionally, but I'm not an expert on this, but at a certain stage you do get certain responsibilities and when you are 16 you get more, but it could have been anything. In Ovamboland as well as Rhodesia I found shepherds that were elderly.

ADV BOSMAN: "Het die ouderdom van die veewagter nie ter sprake gekom nie?"

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, he was a young man, there was no estimation of his age - or let me rather say it like this, he was not referred to as a child.

ADV BOSMAN: He wasn't a child?

MR DE KOCK: No. And I did mention, if I'm correct, that he was a young man.

ADV BOSMAN: Yes, but how would you describe a 15-year-old according to you observation, as a young man or as a child?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, I would say that such a person is a child.

ADV BOSMAN: It would appear as if the shepherd could actually be the 15-year-old.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, it is possible.

ADV BOSMAN: If you'll just bear with me for a moment, Chairperson. That will be all, thank you. Thank you, Chairperson.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Thank you, Chair.

Mr de Kock, you say that it would appear that the shepherd could be the 15-year-old person that has now been identified as Mr Thika.

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Mr Ras had conducted quite a lengthy surveillance of this suspected transit house.

MR DE KOCK: That's correct, Chairperson.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And he was in possession of all kinds of machinery, a telescope, a camera I would suppose.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is correct.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: He must have photographed the people who were coming in and going out at all times.

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And such photographs I would imagine, would have been used to identify the persons and their connection to the ANC, is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is correct.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And he must have also photographed this young person, the shepherd.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Now since you are the one who is giving evidence, I am going to put this question to you. Did you have sight of the photograph of the alleged shepherd?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I cannot recall but I may very well have seen the photo, I may well have. I would have - if it had been taken, then I would have seen it.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: You would have seen the photograph.


JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And sitting here today, are you not in a position to indicate whether the persons that were killed subsequent to this operation, involved the shepherd concerned?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I cannot prove it, I will have to depend once again on Mr Ras, and it's not that I wish to off-load everything on him, because then I would have to go through another situation to explain things to you, but I do believe that Mr Ras would be able to provide more thorough answers to these aspects. I will ask my legal representative to recall me if you so desire. I feel that the solution lies there. I cannot speculate on these matters.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: I understand, but the reason why I think I'm asking this question is, you were in overall command of this operation.

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: As a result of pursuant to this operation you compiled a report which you handed up to Brig Schoon.

MR DE KOCK: Correct.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Detailing the manner in which this operation was carried out and the casualties thereof.

MR DE KOCK: Correct.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Now in your report, what did you state with regard to the casualties of the operation?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I am not certain. Briefly, by nature of the situation, it would have sketched the situation as well as the work which was completed with regard to the operation and then the operation itself, as well as the death of three or four MK members. I am not certain whether or not I mentioned that bystanders were killed. I may have mentioned this, however I am not very certain about this point. What I do know is that there were press reports which also made mentioned of this attack, but I also cannot recall the full nature of those reports. They did refer to this attack and the fact that persons were killed.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: After the operation had been carried out, did you not have an occasion to discuss how it was carried out with Mr Ras who was the operational commander thereof?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, after we moved back there wasn't an extensive discussion. On our side we were just pleased that we hadn't suffered any casualties. That was one's own relief. All of us were at the scene and there wasn't really much to discuss. If I had stayed at the camp, I would have held a long debriefing session, but because I myself was present there, I had all the facts at my disposal.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And you say you received some decoration for this operation.

MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, I requested a medal for something such as good service or something of that nature, it wasn't a very prestigious medal. I requested this from Brig Schoon for some of the members, not all of them, and some of the members were then awarded with this medal. But by nature of the situation, one would not recommend oneself for a medal and I have never done so. I've always found that medals were just another trinket. That would be my sentiments regarding this issues, really.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: But, was your request in respect of your members acceded to by Brig Schoon?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, and from that point onwards as far as I know - which Mr Jansen asked me, they received certificates. I don't know who signed the certificates, but we would have to determine from there how far it went.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: If my memory serves me well, I know in the Khan incident some of the operatives were paid money, were none of the operatives in this incident paid any money?

MR DE KOCK: That was a completely different situation and it wasn't for the operation itself, but for an accumulation of operations and services which they had rendered. And this was also a decision which I wrongfully took, but I stood by it and I was sentenced for it.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: I know you have already testified that the reason why you used the two members from Special Forces, was to disguise the operation as if it was that of the Special Forces operation whereas for all ends and purposes it was your operation.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I cannot recall the Afrikaans word here, but they were actually more like envoys to represent Special Forces, that Special Forces would actually have representatives on the scene because it was a Special Forces area. In other words, the police couldn't operate in Botswana independently without the presence of Special Forces. That was actually the situation.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Now what was their role in this operation?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, they did participate. Mr Boucher was shot dead three months ago in the Congo, I might just mention. I don't know on which side he fought. Mr Boucher undertook the reconnaissance for us, he moved ahead with the equipment and as he moved ahead he called us closer and closer, so that we would not fall into an ambush. Mr Erasmus was basically in command of Mr Boucher. Mr Erasmus and I were together behind a large tree when the problems with the person were experienced and when I jumped up, Mr Erasmus still told me "Stay behind the tree, don't get involved." I couldn't wait for the persons to come out of the building wielding their AKs, because that would have meant the end of us. That was when the charge was detonated and the situation unfolded as I have explained to you. So Mr Erasmus didn't really participate in the attack itself. As far as I know Mr Boucher didn't participate either because not even I shot anybody dead.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Now in terms of the original plan, were they not supposed to do something, if your plan had gone according to how it was initially planned?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, they would have followed up with us. If there were more persons and if it unfolded into a situation of full-blown combat, they would have to assist because we also issued them with some of our weapons which were fitted with silencers. They had other types of weapons at that stage, their weapons were not the same as ours, and they would then have participated in the situation because they were fully equipped to participate in full-blown combat if need be.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Thank you. My last question is with regard to at which stage you were brought into the picture by Mr Ras, with regard to the surveillance that he had conducted, which resulted in certain information being obtained which indicated the presence of this transit house.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I think that with the initial intelligence which was collected, I told him to undertake thorough surveillance and this developed over a period of time. The digging of the trench to observe this place took up to three weeks, I would venture to say.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Yes. And as far as you are concerned, you are not aware of any previous surveillance that had been conducted by Mr Ras.

MR DE KOCK: There was, Chairperson, but I cannot sketch the full nature of it because that would be testifying on his behalf. This is after I obtained information. I cannot testify about this because my recollection pertaining to this is not very clear at all.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Thank you, Mr de Kock.

MR DE KOCK: Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr de Kock, for which charges are you applying?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, transgression of the border without moving through the proper border post, in possession of machine guns, machine gun ammunition ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Do you mean illegal possession?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is correct. And then there would be the explosives.

CHAIRPERSON: What sort of firearm was it?

MR DE KOCK: I had a Pachee(?). It was a British weapon which was used by the terrorists. The other persons in my unit had Uzzis, if I recall correctly.

CHAIRPERSON: And what else?

MR DE KOCK: Handgrenades. And then there was also 30 kilogrammes of explosives. I don't know whether or not the explosives were of Eastern Block fabrication. There were also the detonators. Then I've also applied for murder.

CHAIRPERSON: How many murders?

MR DE KOCK: On all the persons because I was there.

CHAIRPERSON: How many would that amount to?

MR DE KOCK: I would say between four and five persons, I cannot say with certainty, I don't ...(end of side A of tape)

And then I would also like to add that I take responsibility for my own actions and for the actions of the members under my command. However, I cannot take responsibility for the officers on the higher levels, especially their decisions or their actions, but I will take responsibility for myself and my men.

CHAIRPERSON: Tell me, did you go and see how the photographs were taken?

MR DE KOCK: In the one room I saw the guns and the handgrenades, that was when the photos had been taken of the person in that room, then there was also the weapons and the ammunition.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you see the photographs after the incident?

MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, I didn't.

CHAIRPERSON: So you cannot tell me whether or not you were present when all the photographs were taken.

MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson. For example, I also didn't go and look at the other persons who had been shot, I was only interested in those who were inside the brick building.

CHAIRPERSON: I beg your pardon?

MR DE KOCK: Those who were inside the brick building, because we were trying to get to the person who was in the right-hand room because we were also looking for documentation. It wasn't only about the weapons, it was also about documentation.

CHAIRPERSON: You say that you have applied for murder, or the charge of murder, also with regard to the two persons outside the house?


CHAIRPERSON: Did you see when they were killed?


CHAIRPERSON: Do you know why the 15-year-old child was killed?

MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson, most probably he died in the cross-fire, that is not impossible. It is possible in such a situation of combat.

CHAIRPERSON: But you were in command, why didn't you ask them how it happened that a 15-year-old child had been murdered?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, the situation was that once it had happened it didn't really help to ask. I have a clean record consistently when it comes to women and children, especially with regard to Ovamboland. I can recall the case of a woman and a child who I had flown down to Windhoek so that they would not be injured. I do recall that a woman was once killed in Angola while I was on leave and when I came back I strongly considered reporting the person responsible for the incident. It was not acceptable to me. And that is the position in short.

CHAIRPERSON: Except for the fact that it is possible that he was killed by accident, is there any other reason why he was killed?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, all that I can think of is the probability that he was a supporter of these persons who were infiltrating. However, I cannot take it any further than this, I cannot prove it.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know who actually shot those two persons outside?

MR DE KOCK: No, I really cannot tell you, and if I had known I would have told you so that it could have been discussed.

CHAIRPERSON: Well hopefully somebody will testify that it was he who is responsible for the two persons outside.


CHAIRPERSON: But you testified that they were outside the house.

MR DE KOCK: That's correct, they were not inside the brick building, definitely not.

CHAIRPERSON: And they were shot?

MR DE KOCK: As far as I know yes, that was my information.

CHAIRPERSON: What I don't understand, and I hope you are in a position to explain this to me, after such a lengthy observation somebody must have known that there was also children who were safeguarding the livestock. They must have known.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I cannot recall. Usually there were kraals into which the livestock were kept. I cannot recall anything about the kraals. I didn't see anything like a kraal.

CHAIRPERSON: Let me put is as such, if they were not usually there and when you launched the attack there were two persons, one of which at least was a child on the scene who shouldn't have been there, it could have been that on the evening of the attack they were there for the first time. Or on the other hand, if they were there regularly, those who undertook the observation initially should have known that they were there as a habit, do you agree?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Now let us examine the first scenario, that they had always been there, then those who undertook the surveillance must have known that one of them was a child who was a shepherd to the livestock. And it appears to me that they were indeed shepherds - although I haven't discussed this with my colleagues, and then we have another witness who will come forward and say that that wasn't the case - I don't know if that will happen but we will have to wait and see. On the other hand if this was the first time upon which those two persons were there and they were not supposed to be there, wouldn't you agree that it must have come to Brig Schoon and it would have said "Yesterday or the day before you said that we couldn't go ahead because there might have been someone there who must not be killed and now we have found that there are two persons who were not part of the target", do you agree?


CHAIRPERSON: Could you then explain why further steps were taken to plant the bomb and to shoot the other two persons on the outside?

MR DE KOCK: I cannot take it any further unfortunATely, Chairperson, but what I will qualify however just for the sake of clarity, is my speculation that we were not supposed to attack because there was someone there who wasn't a target. It might have been somebody who was with a source.

CHAIRPERSON: That is how I understood your evidence initially.

MR DE KOCK: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: And who would you have placed on the highest rank when it came to observations? Who should have known about these two persons who were killed outside the house and the status that they occupied, who would those persons have been?

MR DE KOCK: Me and Mr Ras.

CHAIRPERSON: So you relied upon most of his information?

MR DE KOCK: Well on all the information.

CHAIRPERSON: You say that he should have known regarding these aspects.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, according to the observation, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, that is all.


CHAIRPERSON: We'll adjourn till tomorrow morning -9H30.