CHAIRPERSON: Morning everybody. Shortly after we adjourned yesterday the extract of the evidence given by Mr Verster before the Harms Commission, became available and since then copies have been made. We've just received it a few minutes ago. You will recall that at the end, just shortly before the end of the proceedings a document also dealing with the evidence given by Mr Verster, was received as Exhibit G. I think in the circumstances we will scrap that document and disregard it and call the new document Exhibit G.

Mr Wessels, have you had an opportunity to go through this document? And Mr du Plessis?

MR WESSELS: Yes, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you ready to proceed?

MR WESSELS: We are ready.



CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis?


Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Verster, let us cut it short. I put it to you that the evidence that you have delivered before this Commission with regard to the Evans and Omar incident, is contrary to the evidence you had given at the Harms Commission.

MR VERSTER: That is indeed so, Chairperson.

MR H DU PLESSIS: So did you now lie to this Commission or did you lie to the Harms Commission?

MR VERSTER: Chairperson, if you would grant me the opportunity to answer that question. In documentation that was available to me, documents of the past eleven or ten years, I would just like to say as background that there was a dispute before the Harms Commission between myself and Gen Webb. That dispute entailed the fact that I had authorised the project but that Gen Webb could not recall it.

The Harms Commission - and I think today it is still true, that the approaches and the evidence of the previous government's side was in my opinion an attempt to firstly assist the Police and secondly to expose the CCB, and thirdly to grant the opportunity to the previous government to get away. I opposed it. I was at the Harms Commission against my own will. I said here that I had claimed privilege to certain things, I later corrected everything and in terms of documents I did correct those things.

And it happened to me in the Harms Commission that at some stage I stayed away from the Harms Commission when I had to lead evidence because I said that I had a problem with the Harms Commission and then the government, by 10 o'clock that evening, would tell me that they would withdraw my legal team if I did not appear the following day in the Commission. All these things are in writing. So I do admit that then for those reasons I had misled the Harms Commission and I do admit that I did so because I was in complete isolation. For example, it was quite obvious to me and I have put it here before you already, that newspaper reports from the State's side with regard to for example the financial plan, the financial plan was forged before me and there was said that there was a distinction between internal operations and external operations, which was never the case. For example, this made me think that Gen Webb could be told by the higher structures of the State, it could have been a direct instruction from the Minister, that under no circumstances should internal action be approved because now we have made a distinction with regard to the financial plan. The money that was spent for Dullah Omar and Evans and so forth, were irregular expenditures in terms of a financial plan that was forged after three years as if that was the policy. The implication of that forgery was that we had used money from 1986 in such a manner which had now changed in 1989, according to which we had been audited now.

Furthermore, Gen Badenhorst told me that "leave Slang van Zyl, I will look after him, I'll speak to him."

CHAIRPERSON: Who was that?

MR VERSTER: Gen Badenhorst, who handled the investigation for the Army.

Mr Slang van Zyl approached me at a stage during that time and told me I will thank him one day for what happened there, and I was under the impression that here was an orchestrated endeavour in which Gen Webb and the Generals sat on the one side, where within Region 6, Region 6 could be told what to do and promises were made to them and be employed in such a manner that I would be presented. And you should keep in mind that there was no clear law with regard to amnesty as we have now.

I am also not here to attack the personality of Gen Webb, but that incident was the direct cause of my attitude that was applicable in the Harms Commission, which place in documents all over. And in 1993, later, I think it was in 1993, there was an application for amnesty where even my legal representation told me that I have to apply in terms of the law and I insisted that a statement of mine be attached to it in which I said that what happens here and what happened with the Harms Commission, it was against my will, I did not want to apply for amnesty, it is the government who are trying to expose these aspects, they are trying to find the culprit for the whole system and at that stage with regard to the - I concentrated on the monitoring because that dispute had not been resolved yet and for the reasons I have put forward here. And later when I made contact with Region 6 again, I found out that they were under the same pressure as I. I did not have access to my premises, I did not have access to the files there, I did not have an income, I was locked up and placed under detention as the Managing Director, and this indicated the ambit of the problem and I later corrected it and ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Verster, when were you locked up?

MR VERSTER: Chairperson, I think it was approximately May, during the first part of 1990.

CHAIRPERSON: And for how long were you there?

MR VERSTER: About a week. And in that week - you must keep in mind that the statements of, I think, Kalla Botha and Ferdi Barnard and Slang and the rest, their statements were already there and the police then tried to interrogate me, but I did not speak to anyone. I think eventually I answered a question for 15 minutes in detention but it was part of this intimidation attempt. I do know the names of the persons. And during the Harms Commission I was there to supplement this thing about another incident for which I've already received amnesty, when I said that I will no longer lie along and according to the State's plans and I was called by a Brigadier and he said that "the Minister says that tonight we will withdraw your legal team if you do not speak up the following morning 8 o'clock." And that night I decided I shall not speak to anyone any longer and that night I decided that to prevent the further lies, I will not go to the Commission at all, but nobody knew this.

The following morning the telephone rang and it was Gen Jan Geldenhuys and Gen Jan Geldenhuys then said that he wishes me luck - this was the first time that he called me, and they were all concerned whether I would expose them the following day or not. Then I just stayed away and the reaction to this stay-away of mine as a witness, who was the Managing Director of this terrible CCB, said that they will get me in future. To me it was as if it was a confirmation that things were happening here in the Commission that were purposefully aimed against the CCB and myself as a person.

I would like to just get back to the authorisation. I understand what the current circumstances are, I feel that I am not dependent on the approval of Gen Webb, I am not afraid to admit anything, I'm not afraid of anyone. I admit - and it is in writing, that I had signed the documents, but it is not practically possible in the financial plan as it was originally correct, that I could commence projects that I under the command of Gen Webb, could steal money from his headquarters where I may not go or could receive a limpet mine from his stores where I could not go. Or whatever came from Special Forces, it was not possible for me to go there to go and get it. But there was a written principle guideline for all Commanders, and that was that a Commander functions two levels down. That means that Gen Webb can speak to me at my level and he can speak to Staal Burger, I can speak to Christo Britz and Slang van Zyl, or I may speak to Christo Britz and Staal Burger, but the detail on the ground, I do not have the direct facts, but my responsibility is to those two levels and ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, with respect, a simple question was asked, I would appeal to you, Mr Chairman, to direct the witness to answer this simple question. He has been speaking for the last 10 minutes. He has counsel to re-examine him, Mr Chairman. If we are to make any progress, I would appeal to you, Mr Chairman, that the witness be directed to answer the questions directly so that we can get on with the matter.

MR VERSTER: Chairperson, may I just ask, I am of the opinion, it is an attempt on my side to put the facts forward so that questions can be asked of me, because we will ask questions about the same thing for the next three weeks. I thought that maybe I should provide you with the guidelines in order to assist the Commission. And this is all in regard to what I had asked now and now I am speaking with regard to the authorisation itself, whether an authorisation was given or not.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes I think, Mr Bizos, he's explaining why his evidence as transcribed in this document, is so very different to what he's saying. I'll allow him to proceed, but I'll ask you to bear in mind just to restrict your answer to the explanations as to why it's different. I think we've a good idea of what your attitude was at that time, that you felt that - well you strongly felt that you and the people of Region 6 were being made scapegoats etcetera, etcetera, and we've got that, so ...

MR VERSTER: I understand that, thank you very much, Chairperson.

With regard to the authorisation I wish to say that all these projects, whether they were monitoring or not, developed over a period of time, over a period of time of a few months, which was accompanied by a procedure which I could not forge, that I could not conspire to do it differently because I did not have it in me personally to find money and equipment to do what I wanted to do with it, and we had our weekly meetings. So it could have easily have happened that we spoke about Region 6 and I present all the regions to the Chairperson, the General, he knows what the projects were, but there could have been a misunderstanding, the way I interpreted it, where he said yes. But that project was not just put together just like that, it was just a following step that had developed over five months, in yearly, quarterly and half-yearly presentations and the final presentation was before there was a clear decision about it. And I will accede that Gen Webb may have misunderstood me. I have already said that I authorised it. Now that authorisation was part of the State's manner to prove that Verster was doing what he wanted to do, Verster had developed and established a secret organisation and used 30-million and used this to make war. I stand by my point that that is not what I did. And afterwards I realised that the region would have a further problem if I do not stand by what we have said, and that is that the project had been authorised and that we had received money in a legal manner and equipment was received in a legal way, and everywhere I put it in that manner. Thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Verster.

MR H DU PLESSIS: Mr Verster, we can continue for a very long time like this, and you say that then there was a dispute with regard to the authorisation. Your evidence at the Harms Commission indicates that there was no dispute with regard to the authorisation, but let us read from page 1629 and 1630 and further. Exhibit G, Chairperson.

"Now we are ad idem that there was a project with regard to, existed with regard to Gavin Evans. That is as I have told you, it was with regard to monitoring."

"No, I refer to a project to eliminate Gavin Evans."

"No, there was no such authorisation."

"There was no such authorisation. So in other words, if there is evidence before this Commission that there was a project launched to kill Gavin Evans, it was not submitted to yourself or Gen Webb?"

Then you give another explanation and then you continue and -

"You say there was no authorisation to eliminate him?"

"That's correct."

"There was no authorisation by Gen Webb, do I have it correctly?"

And your answer -

"To eliminate him?"

"Yes, and there was no authorisation by yourself?"

"That is how I said it, yes."

"Was there a submission made to you for his elimination?"

"No, except monitoring, there was not."

So I put it to you this is contrary to what you are saying today. And I continue on page 1631, at the bottom -

"If money was spent on a plan that was aimed to eliminate Mr Gavin Evans, then you do not have any knowledge of this?"

"That is correct."

And then it is put to you that the persons could have done anything - all these things on their own. You may comment on it, I won't go any further.

MR VERSTER: I would like to comment ...(intervention)

MR H DU PLESSIS: May I just finish my statements? Adv Bertelsman(?) who asked you -

"And similarly we come to the same conclusion with regard to the proposed elimination of Dullah Omar?"

"No, there was no proposed elimination."

Now you can comment.

MR VERSTER: The comment which I would like to make is that the first part I said that if it was so, then I plead privilege. I think that is how it was put in this document, I explained exactly why I did this. I say once again I was in complete isolation, that is in regard to what I have now discussed here with you, and I could have been locked up again. I could one again have submitted that I did these things on my own. There was a history from the time when we experienced problems, where Gen Webb disappeared as Commander, he was not available to me, he told me to continue on my own.

Now afterwards it is easy to speak of it, he knew what his responsibilities were and it is indeed because he did not want to own up that we had managed a joint project, he knew exactly what the role and function of the CCB was, maximal destruction of the enemy, and the whole attitude was that "you, Verster, take responsibility for this, I don't know of anything". And I understand why he did this, but in Act 44/97, and it is put in writing by myself as such, there are specific actions which we call "conduct in action", how a Commander in the face of the enemy - this was a revolutionary war and this was the enemy, how a Commander had to act with regard to his subordinates. And I put it to Gen Webb, Mr Chairperson, and I put it to the rest of the Army, they knew what instructions they gave me and they did not on the same level look at me and acted against me as I looked at my persons. And that is why there is no more documentation why Gen Webb tried to convince the government and how he tried to iron out the projects and how we acted as a link between the CCB and the Generals in Staff, or the rest of the State. So in that regard it was exactly against that background which I've explained to you that I am being asked now.

MR H DU PLESSIS: I'm almost done, Mr Verster. One of your motivations why you would have said this to Gen Webb, you said that you did not have access to arms except through the channel to the top, is that correct?

MR VERSTER: That is how the channels worked, yes.

MR H DU PLESSIS: You had no other source of firearms except for your channel to the top?

MR VERSTER: No, I had no personal source of any arms within the structure.

MR H DU PLESSIS: Let us see what you told the Harms Commission, Mr Verster. I refer you to page 1646 of the same exhibit. 1646, Chairperson, in the centre of the page.

"The point that is important is that the CCB could and supplied its own firearms."

"Yes, it has to be so, we were a private sector."

"And you did not receive it from the Army?"

"We also received arms from the Army, yes."

"But you could and did receive arms from outside the Army?"

"That's correct."

So once again that is not correct what you told the Commission, or the Committee?

MR VERSTER: I explained to you in which context I told this. There were external projects which had nothing to do with this and those were survival techniques because I was all alone, I did not have a General who helped me, I had no subordinates who helped, I sat at home by myself. And at this stage I want to put it to you, Chairperson, that right up to today this dispute is not between the CCB and the current government, the current government in my regard are being misled by what is said here because it was planned that way eleven years ago and it's working today, that plan is working. Our dispute is how senior officers and politicians of the previous government had acted against persons whom they sent to their death and how they functioned and how they took steps and how they forged financial plans and how in newspaper reports - I can speak of an incident, an investigation was submitted or was done in the Harms Commission, about a bomb that was exploded at Centurion, which was told to the Commission in a such thick report that it was I and Pieter Botes and I planted a bomb at him. I never made any statement within that investigation but it was handed in and eventually it was found that Pieter Botes himself detonated the bomb, but the truth was it was the police who caused that friction, the police detonated the bomb, so that it would appear as if I or him did this. And this was placed before the Harms Commission and that very same evening - and then I speak to the SABC and then I tell them how do you tell - "how can you say that I planted to bomb?" Then the SABC would tell me "it's orchestrated attempts, we can say what we want to. Direct lies, it was orchestrated.

MR H DU PLESSIS: A final aspect, Mr Verster. Adv Bizos put it to you that the evidence in the Webster investigation - and he read the part to you where Gen Webb gave evidence, maybe I should read it to you once again -

"Can you tell the Committee had happened there?

"Gen Badenhorst called me in and it came out that Dullah Omar and Evans, according to information, was to be eliminated. That's what came out there."

"Who were all at this meeting?"

"It was Gen Badenhorst, Brig Engelbrecht of the SAP, Col Verster, I think Christo Britz and myself were there. I cannot recall whether there were any other persons there."

"You all sat there and discussed the matter."

"It was actually not a discussion, it was feedback from Gen Badenhorst to myself."

"What was Col Verster's reaction to these allegations?"

"That evening I asked him at which level was Omar and Evans authorised and he said at his level."


MR LAX: Mr du Plessis, sorry, before you ask the next question, just give us the reference to that.

MR H DU PLESSIS: It's a document that Adv Bizos ...(intervention)

MR LAX: Yes, I know it's an exhibit, it's probably E if I remember right, but just which page are you referring to?

MR H DU PLESSIS: Page 1674 at the bottom and page 1675 at the top, from line 20 on page 1674 and then the first few lines from the top.

MR LAX: I don't need to read it, I just wanted to make a note of the actual place it was. Thank you.

MR H DU PLESSIS: And then Adv Bizos put it to you that that evidence was directly contradictory to your evidence right here and then you answered, you accept that it is in conflict and whether it is correct is another matter. Is that correct?

MR VERSTER: Yes, that's what I said.

MR H DU PLESSIS: And then Adv Bizos put it to you that Gen Webb did not apply for amnesty for these two instances and then you gave the following answer -

"We over a period of time of eleven or twelve years had a specific dispute with regard to this. There may be other evidence but I said it was discussed with the Chairperson. Over twelve years it's said that I authorised it, maybe I handled it at my level."

Is that correct?

MR VERSTER: I did say that, yes. That specific point is what I thought about, Chairperson, when I mentioned it earlier that I signed the document. The approval I never denied that I used my name there and said Jack van Staden I authorised this. But that authorisation could not be an instant authorisation, as I have said earlier, because it had to take place over a period of time. In other words the yearly and quarterly authorisation of the monitoring and the development of the project was a written standing working procedure. And the dispute emanated when the bomb exploded all the Generals started thinking in blocks, he only recalled what threatened his life and he was not prepared to say in any other manner that "I accept that this was a project of the CCB, I accept the maximal disruption and I accept that there may have been some misunderstanding."

And I put it to you, the only General in the South African Army that said this straight out to a Judge was Gen Joop Joubert, and I feel that on that basis I later also - because I realised what the implication of my subordinates was, I said that they may have done it. Whether I did this differently in the Harms Commission or whatever I did, there was a stage where Gen Badenhorst assaulted me, where he jumped up and tried to slap me because I did not want to cooperate with him.

It was a totally chaotic situation where I maintained myself in and whatever I said in the Harms Commission was for survival because I did not want to cooperate with the lies of the previous government.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis.

MR H DU PLESSIS: I have no further questions, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Wessels, do you have any re-examination?

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, I want to put a number of questions that have arisen as a result of this.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that document wasn't before ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: I will not be long, I don't want to ...

CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps Mr Bizos, seeing that this document has just come, if I can just take the normal line and ask whether other people want to put questions.

Mr Martini, just on this latest ...(intervention)

MR MARTINI: No questions, Mr Commissioner.


CHAIRPERSON: P du Plessis?

MR P DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I haven't got anything arising out of this document, but you did indicate that you were going to give us the opportunity to put questions arising from ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: That we'll give to you, we're just dealing with this document which wasn't available, so that it can be covered by re-examination, then as I said I'll give an opportunity for questions arising from questions that were put by the Panel. Mr Coetzee?

MR COETZEE: I've got no questions, thank you.



MR VAN ECK: I've got no questions from this document, Mr Chairman.



Mr Verster, at the beginning of the proceedings yesterday you protested at some length that you were falsely accused of having lied to the Harms Commission, you recall that?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR BIZOS: This was - this protest of the false accusation against you, was before Exhibit G was available to all of us.

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR BIZOS: You've had an opportunity of reading this document overnight.

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: Do you agree that your accusation that the suggestion that you lied to the Harms Commission was false and part of a conspiracy to besmirch your good name, was false?

MR VERSTER: Chairperson, no I do not agree because the only thing that happened here is that new facts were placed in front of me, it happened over eleven years and there are some of the aspects where I ask for privilege and the only grey area that exists with me at this point is at which stage, where was the transition stage where we got better control of the circumstances.

MR BIZOS: Yesterday you said that the allegation that you lied to the Harms Commission was false and it was a conspiracy by people to defame you on the SABC and everywhere else and you did not tell any lies to the Commission, do you recall that?

MR VERSTER: I did concentrate on the privilege ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Do you recall saying that?

MR VERSTER: I remember that I said that ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Was it false?

MR VERSTER: ... everyone changed ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Was it false when you said it, Sir?

MR VERSTER: You don't have to shout at me, Mr Bizos, I've already admitted.

MR BIZOS: Was it false?

MR VERSTER: It was not false.

CHAIRPERSON: I think what Mr Bizos is asking you is - let me put it this way, we've got the evidence of the Harms Commission, your evidence in which you say certain things, which you in your explanation given today explain why you didn't tell the truth there, you've admitted that this isn't the correct reflection and it's not the same as what you've said. What Mr Bizos is putting to you is that yesterday you said that the accusations that what you said and which is contained in here are lies, is false. Now are you saying that they're not false? In other words, if you answer in the negative to Mr Bizos' question, then the necessary inference is that what is contained in here is the truth.

MR VERSTER: I understand that very clearly, Chairperson, but what I want to point out to you is that in my conscience it was about privilege and yesterday morning, and I think my legal representative also admitted to this, and yesterday I was under the impression and I will still say that I was under the impression that where I had asked for privilege for these aspects was in the Harms Commission, until after eleven years I once again saw these documents. In other words - and last night I saw that there was a part in which I did speak about privilege and another part where I did not speak about it and I would admit that what I said yesterday morning as a result of a lack of facts in front of me, I wrongfully, with no intention not to speak the truth, but I have no problem and I do understand that I can apply for amnesty on my own as I understand the Act, and that I could be granted amnesty in terms of the stipulations in the Act. So I have no reason to speak anything other than the truth now.


MR BIZOS: Not only did you say yesterday that you did not lie to the Commission, but in admitting that you did lie today, you're trying to make some profit out of your untruthfulness and I'm going to read certain passages from this document to you, in order to show that your lies were really self-serving lies and not for the benefit of the country or because of any dispute with the Generals or any pressure that was put on you. Listen to what I have to say and please tell me whether it's correct or not.

Now you've read this document, is there anything recorded in this document which you did not say? Do you accept the correctness of this document - as a record?

MR VERSTER: I accept it as a record.

MR BIZOS: Alright. Now let's turn to page 1561, question 36 - do you see that 1561?

"Did the CCB monitor the following people?"

And you say -

"Frank Chikane, Bruce White, Gavin Evans, Dullah Omar, J Naidoo, Boetie van der Merwe, Daniel ...(indistinct) Karero, Gen-Maj Basie Smit."

And your answer -

"The persons number 2, 3, 4 and 7 were monitored."

And we know that 3 is Gavin Evans and 4 is Dullah Omar, there was no confusion in your mind. And was that evidence given clearly and correctly as the truth at that time?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, at that stage I thought so.

MR BIZOS: But now why should you think that you only monitored Gavin Evans and Dullah Omar in 1990, and come to the Amnesty Committee ten years later and say you were guilty of a conspiracy or an attempted murder of these two? When was your memory fresher, in 1990 when you deliberately lied to the Commission or now when you are making admissions for the purposes of getting amnesty?

MR VERSTER: No, Chairperson, I think I've already answered that, I said that he ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: If you - I'm sorry to interrupt you, please do not repeat the 10/12 minute speech that you made this morning, the question is a simple one. Was your memory better in relation to these events in 1990 than it was in the year 2000? Just answer that question please.

MR VERSTER: I'm answering it as I want to, Chairperson. I said it in my previous discussion that when I understood the circumstances of my isolation better, I started to talk to Region 6 and I confirmed that they - that there were not any other intentions with the region and I accepted it, and later on an Act was on the books with the new government, which allowed me to apply for amnesty and to be granted amnesty, and at that stage I was an enemy of the previous government.

MR BIZOS: Please answer the question. When was your memory better, in 1990, a year after the event or in 2000, after eleven years? Please answer that question.

MR VERSTER: I think it is a logical answer, that at this moment with the facts at my disposal, I understand it better. And for this reason ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Memory is not understanding, Sir, memory is not understanding. Will you please explain, in relation to your memory, why you had a lapse of memory in 1990 and all of a sudden you remembered and which persisted until yesterday, but now your memory has come back to you?

MR VERSTER: That is because I have the information in front of me at this point and I've already answered it, I answered it several times.

MR BIZOS: Now you see, I am going to put to you that at the time that you gave your evidence you already knew that Mr van Zyl and others had made statements to the - had made statements which were available to the Commission, that you were guilty of attempted murder or conspiracy of murder of these two persons. So that in admitting it, you were not protecting anybody - or rather, in denying it you were protecting no-one other than yourself.

MR VERSTER: I have already explained what the circumstances were, you may have your own opinion. I told you exactly what the circumstances were at that stage. Just in addition, Chairperson, there was a process where they started talking about amnesty and general amnesty and we still relied upon the amnesty approach that is current for soldiers within Act 44/57, and there was no other way, no protection from any other side for the reasons that I have already mentioned. So based on that, I did this and I also changed it. In other words, I specifically changed to be able to get to the truth and 90% of what I am telling you at this point can be found in documentation. Even this documentation we asked for because we were wrongfully under the impression that privilege worked like this. It is not asked from Mr Bizos, it came from us. So 90% of what I have said here this morning is in writing.

MR BIZOS: Why don't you answer my question? Do you agree that your denial that you were guilty of conspiracy or attempted murder of Evans and Omar, was to your personal advantage at that time?

MR VERSTER: Naturally I deny it, and obviously I will deny that it was just about me.

MR BIZOS: No, no, I didn't say only, I said do you agree that it was to your personal advantage?

MR VERSTER: I deny it.

MR BIZOS: You thought that there would no advantage to you if you denied that you were guilty of conspiracy or attempted murder of these two, is that what you are denying?

MR VERSTER: I was playing for time, Chairperson, to be able to find out what was happening with the regions and what the plan was of the Defence Force, with the CCB, were we all going to be locked up, what were they busy doing, were they busy bribing the members of Region 6? I was playing for time to be able to gain information so that I can make a better ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: If I could just ask a question on this point - sorry, Mr Bizos to interrupt you. Why didn't you just take the attitude of saying "I refuse to answer that question"? If something was put to you which inculpated you before the Harms Commission, why not just say "it's inculpatory, I refuse to answer", rather than saying something that was false?

MR WESSELS: Mr Chairman, before the witness answers, perhaps there's something in the record that I should just draw his attention to.

MR BIZOS: ...(indistinct - no microphone) there's a conditional - if it is so, then I would ask for privilege, if it is so. I think that we can proceed on that basis, Mr Chairman. It is on the record, I have seen it. If it is so, then I would ask for ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, alright.

MR LAX: Just alert us to the reference, it would be quite helpful.

MR WESSELS: Page 1630.

MR VERSTER: Chairperson, in terms of this I did say that if there was something like this, that I would then ask for privilege, but I would like to add that the reason why I acted like this, if I think back now it is probably due to the uncertainty because there was no definite point of view, certainly not from my direct head, there was no definite point of view from the Chief of the Defence Force and I acted under the circumstances as I had thought it good, so that I could survive. Unfortunately I have no better answer.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Bizos, you can continue.

MR BIZOS: You told us that you lied, that came very much later in your evidence. We are still on page 1561, we'll see how you behaved later. At the time when you told this lie that we're dealing with on page 1561, and which you persisted in that it was not a lie until this morning, you said you were playing for time. Are we to say that you are a person who in order to gain time you are prepared to commit perjury? Which you did on your own version before the Commission, in order to play for time.

MR VERSTER: I do not agree that up until this morning I avoided it, I said expressly Chairperson, that there was a transition time. Unfortunately I do not have the facts at my disposal regarding at which stage this transition time that I had started to talk to Region again and where they reminded me of exactly what happened. I did not have files like you have in front of you, or documentation, because I was isolated. And when they presented it to you and they told me what they had and then I said "well in that case, I will have to stand by the region and I'll have to admit to ..." ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: But you know there is such a vast difference between just reconnoitring persons and agreeing and making money available to have them killed and provide poisons and money for the persons that were going to do the killing. Do you say that you didn't remember these things when you lied on page 1561?

MR VERSTER: No, this is not what I'm saying, I've already given you reasons, Sir.

MR BIZOS: No, but I don't understand what the documents had to do with it. You know, Mr Verster, I want to appeal to you to at least try now in your own interests, to answer honestly. You tell us that you were playing for time and that you didn't have documents, I am asking you, did you need documents or time to distinguish, a person with a university degree, to distinguish between monitoring and providing guns and poison in order to kill people? Did you need time or documents a year after the event to remember that? Please answer that question.

MR VERSTER: Yes, Chairperson, I'm of the opinion that I have answered the question ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Then answer it again.

MR VERSTER: ... what I want to say about this is, what happened here is that for my survival in the Harms Commission, I acted in a certain manner and after that because there were many projects in the CCB, when I sat down with the region and I spoke about the facts that came to light, I realised and I was reminded of the exact circumstances. It is not that we took it up lightly, it is just that there were many things that were on my conscience as an individual and in this regard it is how I acted. There was nothing that I specifically had to remember regarding the monitoring, it was mainly about the dispute, it was about the fact that Gen Webb was not prepared to say that he did know about it or that he was involved with it, and I reacted on this.

MR LAX: Sorry, Mr Bizos, can I just interpose for one second.

Why didn't you then in those circumstances that you've now sketched, simply say to the Harms Commission "look, I've been isolated from all my documentation, I've been isolated from all my comrades, I've been involved in hundreds of incidents, I can't answer these questions unless you allow me access to all my things"?

MR VERSTER: I do not know whether I maybe did say it in any case. I don't know if I've said it here, but the first day that the CCB was uncovered and we had to - I think I said it yesterday, every incident was presented to my legal team and at the Minister's level it was said "what did you do?" I was under the impression that I was honest in everything that I could get from the regions and I did present it ...(intervention)

MR LAX: You see, you're not answering my question, with respect, and I know you haven't finished, but I can see exactly where you're going. It's really a simple matter. You're confronted with this statement you made, why isn't there an explanation here in relation to this statement which appears at this place, that says "listen, these things as I put them here are the best as I can recall then now, but without access to all my documentation, I can't answer anything more"?

MR VERSTER: My answer to you just now was that I'm not sure whether I didn't do that in any case. That was my first ...(intervention)

MR LAX: But it doesn't appear anywhere here. We've been through this section before.

MR VERSTER: Very well, but I can give no better answer than saying that I acted back then under these circumstances in this way, under the pressure that I was.

MR BIZOS: You see if we go to 1566, you repeat the untruth in relation to Evans and Dullah Omar, we'll confine ourselves to those two. Do you see it, 1566, paragraph (b) -

"Above-mentioned persons were monitored by members of the CCB, as part of the CCB's normal working procedure in order to gather information."

That was a deliberate untruth - well, it was untrue. Let's start with one thing at a time, it was untrue.

MR VERSTER: I've answered this several times ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Is that untrue? And was it repeated?

MR VERSTER: I have told you ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: I beg your pardon?

MR VERSTER: I have told you ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Is it untrue? Just say yes, so that we can on with it.

MR VERSTER: At that stage it was the untruth.

MR BIZOS: Right, thank you, let's proceed. Now you see, in answer to the Chairman, His Lordship asked you -"Why didn't you claim privilege?"

And I don't remember the precise terms of your answer, but this question of privilege must have been in the forefront of your mind because on page 567, this is the very next page, on top of the page, you actually claimed privilege for the Athlone Bomb incident and the Apie project. Now tell us, why was this in the forefront of your mind, and you claimed privilege, but you lied about Omar and Evans?

CHAIRPERSON: Just before you answer, just for record purposes, at page 1567, paragraph (h) is the reference there.

MR VERSTER: I have answered that. There's a specific reason for that because Gen Webb and myself had a dispute that was unsolved.

MR BIZOS: No, that's not correct, because you don't only speak about the bomb, you also speak about the Apie incident and the Apie incident as far as we've heard up to now, was not a matter of dispute between you and Gen Webb. The question is, if the question of privilege was uppermost in your minds, why did you not avail of this right available to you that was not available to your victims whom you sentenced them to death? Why didn't you avail yourself of that right?

MR VERSTER: Because the circumstances of the Commission and what they were busy with I did not trust and because there had been a dispute between myself and Gen Webb and it was not solved at the time that the Commission met, Chairperson.

MR BIZOS: You see, ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Bizos. The pure monitoring of a person, be it Mr Bruce White or Mr Dullah Omar, would that be an offence in any way? Just the monitoring, forget about anything beyond the monitoring. So there wouldn't be any need to claim privilege just to monitor somebody. I mean you just follow the person, watch where he goes, make some notes, there's no offence as far as I can see, unless of course that involves bugging telephones etcetera, which might constitute in certain circumstances, an invasion of privacy.

MR VERSTER: Yes, that's right.

CHAIRPERSON: But normal monitoring is not an offence.

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that why you didn't claim privilege for those, because you just restricted it to monitoring?

MR VERSTER: Yes, that is correct, Chairperson.

MR BIZOS: Yes. You see your line about Omar and Evans, far from helping your colleagues sitting behind you who were actually responsible for this and who had made statements to this effect, you were really letting them down for your benefit, that you were not guilty of anything, you only told them to monitor these two, but knowing that they had gone further and attempted to conspire to murder, you were denying it and thereby leaving them in the lurch. Is there anything wrong with that statement, or did it occur to you that that was the effect of your lying?

MR VERSTER: Mr Bizos, your attempt does not impress me at all. In fact I can say that at that point it was the other way around, the fact that members of the region acted in a certain manner in which they were not allowed to act, the fact that certain statements and reports in the media started appearing, and at that time I reasoned that these members were busy turning against the management, that these members were possibly busy with an attempt to speak to Gen Badenhorst, to speak to Krappies Engelbrecht and to turn around and say that they didn't want to do any of these things but one person kept on telling them to do everything. And there are many contradictions that I in good faith accepted later and that I later realised that these people tried really hard, and at least we tried to turn this around so that we could improve the situation. And that is why I'm sitting here today, to arrive at that point. So this attempt to play for the audience and to ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Let me assure you, Sir, that I have no intention whatsoever of impressing you, my questions are directed in order to be able to argue at the end that you are a witness who cannot be believed. Now did you know that His Lordship Mr Justice Harms, was appointed to hear the truth?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: You knew that in relation to Omar and Evans, your subordinates had told the truth, that there was a conspiracy and/or an attempted murder of the two of them, is that correct?

MR VERSTER: Yes, but I did not at that stage know all the circumstances.

MR BIZOS: No, you knew, you knew - please, never mind all the circumstances, you knew at the time that you gave evidence that some of your subordinate officers had told in statements - never mind the newspapers, in statements, and they had or were going to give evidence before the Commission that they attempted to murder these two gentlemen. You knew that. Did you?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: Right. Now did you not feel that you owed it to your subordinate officers and as an officer and a gentlemen, to tell His Lordship Mr Justice Harms, the truth? Didn't you feel that you were obliged to do that?

MR VERSTER: No, definitely not, Chairperson, because the Harms Commission, the way in which it was manipulated was not by Judge Harms, but in an attempt - and I was proved correct, everything that happened. You can go back, I proved to have been correct, that was that that which was presented for the Police was all blamed on us and for the evidence that I am now asked about was Police activities, it was projected on us, so I tried as an individual to go against that. I did not have it against the Judge or the system, but if the State and other elements of the State are busy trying to blame one structure, then that is the best way I could oppose it. And it has nothing to do with an officer and a gentleman, I was out of the Defence Force at that time.

MR BIZOS: Yes, well were you not out of the Army at the time of the Harms Commission?

MR VERSTER: I stopped long before that, I think in 1988.

MR BIZOS: Oh I see, you didn't consider yourself as an officer anymore?

MR VERSTER: I was no longer an officer.

MR BIZOS: Oh I see, that may explain some of your conduct. But let us just proceed, on page 1569 ...(intervention)

MR VERSTER: ...(indistinct)

MR BIZOS: I beg your pardon, Sir?

MR VERSTER: I understood the interjection.

MR BIZOS: Let us go on to 1569, there is a sentence there that I want you to confirm please, in about line 13 -

"We did, and I am now talking about this era, about five years ago we did have an emergency plan at that stage which was part of the planning and this emergency plan was if there was any internal political changes, then as part of that we would like to have control of our documentation."

Is that a correct statement of fact?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, there was ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Thank you, we must make progress. Now as a result of that you were asked many questions about the documents, the protection of people and the destruction of documents. I want to read to you a few passages and I just want you to confirm them.

CHAIRPERSON: Page number?

MR BIZOS: Page 1574, the middle of the page about line 15 -

"Good. I do not want to go to the detail, but at a stage - and this is now on the 29th of March, this would then have been a week later, do you know that the Auditor-General arrived as Speskop?"

"That is correct, that is the incident that I can remember telling about."

What was Speskop?

MR VERSTER: That was Special Forces' Headquarters where I could not go to.

MR BIZOS: Thank you.

"Let's just stand still with this incident. And Braam then came to unlock the place. I as a rule never went there but I know that I gave him instructions that he would have to be there as a representative."

Who was Braam?

MR VERSTER: That was the Administrative Manager, the person who would look at the files.

MR BIZOS: What was his name?

MR VERSTER: I can't remember his correct name, I do not know. We never used his correct name.

MR BIZOS: Then we proceed -

"Good. Then on that day the file with which Mr Britz and the auditor was busy was gone."

"So the Goldie file disappeared, in other words between the 22nd and the 29th of March?"

"I do not know if this was so. I couldn't get there."

"Now you say that there are people who are protecting you, is this correct?"

"This is correct."

"Who are these people who are protecting you?"

"We have, and it is any of the members within the structure. I cannot mention a specific name because ..."

"But who told you that they had the documents or took the documents?"

"That is what I want to tell you, that one evening I received a call - we had a system according to which your tone of voice could be changed, and a person contacted me and I told him that you have a problem and you can get us in problems and we will take the files, we will be keeping it in terms of the emergency plan and we are not prepared to tell you anything further regarding this."

"I accept that people who know about this emergency plan would have to be people within the command structure above you."

"Above me?"


Now here already you are speaking about protecting persons, was that the same loyalty that you had and protection, for protection of your colleagues as to why you were not prepared to give us any details? You remember the names that I referred to you in the Commission's Report, Exhibit D?

CHAIRPERSON: Is it the extract from the Final Report, is it not?

MR BIZOS: ...(indistinct - no microphone)

MR LAX: Mr Bizos, your mike.

MR BIZOS: Sorry. This is why you were not prepared to give us the details of the persons who are named in the Commission's Report, in the paragraphs that we were dealing with. I just want to find the paragraphs, yes 395, and because of your lack of co-operation I didn't put the names to you of 398. Now did that intention to protect that you had in 1990, carry through when you gave evidence before the Commission under Section 29 here, not the 29 of 1990, the Section 29 of the TRC Act, and is that the same reason why you were not prepared to give details in relation to the persons' names in 395 and 398? A yes or no will do.

MR VERSTER: Mr Chairperson, there is no relation between the two. I did not say that, I said that I cannot recall what the particulars were. And the names which you put to me, if I be reminded of it and I could see the statement, I will tell you. I am here to try and obtain amnesty within the ambit of the law.

MR BIZOS: Now I want to read to you the passage in which you were questioned by His Lordship Mr Justice Harms. On page 1579, Mr Chairman. Do you see there: Chairperson -

"But you see I have a serious problem, I think this affidavit is misleading, do you agree? You keep quiet about the fact that there was an emergency plan, is that correct, and why?"

"There was no specific reason. I have - the files are still handled within an emergency plan or within a conventional plan in regions."

"I think what you just told me now that you are satisfied that members of management of the regions were not in possession of Region 6 files."

"What is meant by that is only the handling. In other words, if something has to be done with regard to the files, that was the intention that you."

"No, no, listen, earlier on you told me that according to this emergency plan these members of Region 6 are not in possession of Region 6 files and because of the institution of the emergency plan, is that correct"?


"Now why did you say here in this affidavit - 'Up to date of this I was not able to contact all the members of management of the region and consequently I could not determine where the files were which have regard to this region.'?"

"That is now Region 6?"

"That is correct."

"But that is an untruth because you knew that they were not in possession of it, because the emergency plan was already instituted."

"But perhaps when I drew up this statement I did not think that the files would be such a great issue."

"Come on now, that is why for that reason you did not speak the truth."

"No, I did not speak an untruth, I perhaps did not see it in that manner at that stage."

"What did you not see?"

"That now as you have put it now."

"That it is an untruth?"

"No, I did not intend it as an untruth."

"But it is an untruth as it is stated there, do you agree?"

"Under the circumstances I did not look at it with the same insight. I do not think that I spoke an untruth here."

"As it is stated there, is it not an untruth?"

"No, as it is stated there it is to me the truth."

"Then I don't know what the truth is, then I have serious problems comprehending what you are trying to tell me. An emergency plan is instituted, the members of Region 6 as consequence of this, were not in possession of the files, but now you have admitted that you could not contact the members of region 6. Can you not tell me where the files are? And you said that you did not know that the files were of import but you give a three page long or two page long explanation that you cannot tell them your story what projects were internal or what projects were external because you do not know where the files are. So you are saying that it is not important?"

"No, the files are important. You may have understood me incorrectly."

And then Mr McNally takes over -

"Let us deal with it on the basis of the difference of the evidence here today and the evidence in this affidavit. Do you agree that there is a difference between what you are saying here, namely that you could not find the files because you could not get into contact with the persons from Region 6, although today you are saying that Region 6 files were not even with the Region 6 people." "The approach is that the people could know, it can be obvious that someone within a region knows of the files or it may be that he does not know of them. Within an emergency plan it is hidden somewhere that I do not know of. I therefore feel that it would be obvious if to enquire from anyone who is involved with the CCB. It can be with someone who does not usually deals with it, but I specifically do not have the exact particulars with regard to where the files are being kept."

"What is your suspicion?"

"At this moment I do not have any suspicions."

I want to take that with something else that was asked of you by the Chairman in relation to this before asking you to comment. If you would just bear with me, I just want ... Can we please go to page 1589, I'll read the portion which you have repeated here. On a number of occasions you complained -

"It is not normal to lock up a Regional Manager under Section 29."

And then the Judge says -

"No, but I think one has to keep a little perspective here because we are losing perspective. You activated the emergency plan in the middle of January because you were afraid that there would be a Commission of Inquiry."

"That is correct."

"This has nothing to do with you being locked up, that had taken place much later?"

"It made my control at that point much more difficult."

"But to give that answer every time gives a false perspective to events, and the complaint or the allegations about it you always knew. The whole thing had its origin with the death of Dr Webster, and this led to that it was found that there was a bomb explosion. Is that not so?"

And so it goes on.

"So therefore I do not know who you should blame for the fact that such allegations or accusations were made."

Then I want to page 1590, the middle of the page. Chairperson -

"But there is a very simple answer to what you are putting, and let us call it the Omar project. All the persons whose identities could be disclosed with regard to the Omar project has already been disclosed, not so? Is that correct?"

"I do not want to speculate about that now."

I stop there and ask you, did you know that Slang van Zyl had already given evidence before you, and that his evidence was published? It became well-known, did you know that?

MR VERSTER: I can accept that. I don't know whether it was in the Commission or whether he just made a statement, but I know that they spoke beforehand.

MR BIZOS: So that was - that you knew.

"But your speculation will not get you anywhere because we know who was involved with Omar, is that not so? We have all the particulars. Correct or incorrect, but we do. Is that correct?"

"No, I do not know whether that is correct."

Now you see - anyway I won't comment at this stage.

"So you don't know of anyone else that was contaminated by Omar?"

"No, from the top of my head I am not able to say."

"Now you say that with regard to Omar it was just purely monitoring, correct?"

"Yes, that is correct."

"Other people say that that was an attempt to murder him. You know that, don't you?"

"It could be."

So that - don't let me comment, we'll comment at the argument stage of how consistent you are in avoiding questions.

"So if the file is available, then it can only serve for the purpose where one can see what the instruction was or what the approval was, is that not so?"

"That is so."

"Then I do not understand your problem."

"My problem is that I am sitting with continued projects."

"No, but let us deal only with Omar. In other words, the person who had the Omar file in his possession or the documents with regard to Omar, is doing the CCB a disfavour and he's doing you a disfavour."

"That may be so."

"And you are saying because the file should prove your innocence, is that not so?"

"That could be."

"So you are saying 'I do not have do not have access to the file otherwise I would have made it available to you.'"

Is this correctly recorded?

CHAIRPERSON: I think he's already made that admission ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: We don't have to go - right.

Now please tell the Committee whether you had anything to do with the disappearance of the file or not, yes or no.

MR VERSTER: Mr Chairperson, I'm of the opinion that I have already explained it.

MR BIZOS: No, just say yes or no.

MR VERSTER: I shall say what I want to say, Mr Chairperson. The entire endeavour was to prevent that information reaches the Harms Commission which was applicable during those times, for the reasons that I have mentioned. And I would like to add by saying, if one looks at what - I did not get an opportunity to say this earlier, when Braam went to Special Forces Headquarters, I would like to put it to you that although I was not present it was said to me at that stage that there was another reason why these files were being looked for. This was in order to remove documentation from the files. The reason was to withhold the State's accountability with regard to these files and from my side I am trying to make this evidence available. So the whole endeavour in the Harms Commission was within that context as I have sketched to you, there was no other intention other than survival.

CHAIRPERSON: I got the impression yesterday or the day before that with regard to the disappearance of the file you were invited to attend the burning ceremony or whatever it was, but you declined to go. Was that long after this?

MR VERSTER: This was after the whole process of the conclusion of the CCB.

CHAIRPERSON: So when would that have been, the burning of the files that you were speaking about the other day, yesterday?

MR VERSTER: What I referred to was in terms of the financial plan after the CCB had been disbanded entirely. I never again, not even in this instance had anything to do with the files, I did not even know in whose possession it was. And then we received official documents from the documents that were - from people who were responsible for documents, and they told us that we could be present when the files are destroyed.

CHAIRPERSON: And prior to that were any files removed or hidden or put in another place or destroyed?

MR VERSTER: We attempted before the Harms Commission and during the Harms Commission, to protect the documentation and the proof that we had. So at the time when I could still go to my premises, we did that Mr Chairperson. But for example, later this became a game in the media when the files were back, according to my knowledge at that stage, they were back in the office but it was still told to the media that the files were still missing.

CHAIRPERSON: Just correct me if I'm wrong - sorry, Mr Bizos to interrupt.

If you've got a file which says, just for instance "Dullah Omar File", it's been decided to monitor Mr Omar and also to kill him, in the file, that is the authorisation given down to the ground, there in the file, then you go to the Harms Commission, but prior to going to the Harms Commission that file is hidden away, right, no-one can have access to it. Then you go to the Harms Commission and then nothing comes out about the conspiracy, from your evidence, wouldn't you be in a worse position to return that file afterwards? Wouldn't it be better to destroy that file forever? Because if it comes back again, then they can see that what you said in the Commission and what is contained in the file is wrong.

MR VERSTER: That is indeed so, but I was then isolated, Mr Chairperson, I could not reach any files. I was excluded from the premises, I was entirely isolated and ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: So what happened to those files that were hidden before?

MR VERSTER: I don't know, Mr Chairperson, I never again went there and what I had said in the Commission the other day was that some of the people who along with me had attempted to oppose our handling, someone went back and later reported that he placed documentation in these files and that was in the premises where I could not go any longer. I think I told you the first or second day.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, and just one aspect on the - so there were files for all these projects?

MR VERSTER: For every activity there was a file.

CHAIRPERSON: Notwithstanding the fact that they were covert?

MR VERSTER: It was written in project names and administrative approaches, but we knew how it worked.

MR LAX: Sorry, Mr Bizos, if I could just interpose again please, just on this issue because I'm now confused totally.

MR BIZOS: Yes, of course.

MR LAX: I understood, certainly from what's been read here in this Harms transcript and what the Chair's put to you, that at some point you yourself gave an instruction for those files, as part of that "noodplan", to be removed.

MR VERSTER: Yes, that is correct. That was before the Harms Commission.

MR LAX: Precisely.

MR VERSTER: It was part of the process.

MR LAX: So you knew exactly where the files were because you had given the instruction for them to be removed in terms of a plan which you had drawn up.

MR VERSTER: This plan broadly was, as I recall it, it was actually a process according to which files were kept at a point, a DLB system and that was it. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR LAX: Yes no, I understand that. So you didn't know the exact location of the files, but you knew they were under someone's control in terms of a plan, and that you had in fact authorised the removal of those files.

MR VERSTER: According to a procedure, yes.

MR LAX: What I don't understand is, you've spoken at length about this conspiracy against the CCB, as you saw it, why put the files back where they were supposed to be?

MR VERSTER: I was no longer there anymore, I don't know, I could not go to those premises anymore.

CHAIRPERSON: I think that's similar to what I was trying to ask. Why weren't the files destroyed, what's the point in keeping a highly dangerous or potentially dangerous file, a file that could cause a lot of problems?

MR VERSTER: Mr Chairperson, I don't know whether the audit had already been completed or whether it was then still about irregular expenditures, but during that time I was sacked and then the Court appoints me again and then I am sacked again, so during that time when these files - I cannot even recall whether it was after the Harms Commission, whether they were destroyed or not.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you take the files yourself when you ...(intervention)

MR VERSTER: No, no, I didn't.

CHAIRPERSON: You just ordered somebody to do it. Was that Braam?

MR VERSTER: Before then we had a plan and that was if there was a problem and we have to use these files later in order to prove ourselves, certain of the files were in my safe initially and then we took the files away.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: When was this invitation to go and take part in this bonfire or witness this bonfire of the files?

MR VERSTER: It must have been at the middle or the end of '94, or somewhere in 1994 or the end of '93, I cannot ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: In any event, long after the Harms Commission had done the work as best it could and the report had been filed.

MR VERSTER: That's correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR BIZOS: I'll come back to that, but I just want to finish the passage on 1591 until the top of 1592, and then I'll ask you to comment.

"No, I do not understand the motivation of the unknown persons, if they bring the Goldie file and show to me that there is no reference to Dr Webster."

"I do not know why you do not understand it."

You say to the Judge.

"Now I would like - I have put my problem to you and we all know who Region 6's persons were and you functioned on a cell structure, you did not know what the problem was."

"Yes, but there were unaware members whom I do not know of."

"Yes, but these unaware members could not confiscate the files because they did not know about the emergency plan. An unaware member could in any plan be informed. In other words, you say that unaware members had access to CCB files?"

"Not to CCB files, but probably specific files, that is possible."

"But all the internal files?"

"No, I cannot say because they left together. I don't know, but it could be, it's possible."

"But that is preposterous."

Says His Lordship.

"No, Chairperson."

"How can an unaware member firstly know where the offices are and what the emergency plan is? Then he should be an aware member."

"No, it could have been handed over somewhere in a chain, where I cannot tell you now who in that chain handled it. It doesn't even have to be a member of the CCB."

"Yes, Mr Verster!"

And the Court adjourned.

Now in this passage His Lordship says that on your version, as you had told him at the time, that you were innocent of any attempted murder or conspiracy to murder Omar and Evans, the file would have been of absolute importance to you, do you agree?

MR VERSTER: That's correct, Chairperson.

MR BIZOS: If you had been telling the Commission the truth you would produced the file and said "daar's hy", it didn't go beyond reconnoitring, but you knew that you were lying to the Commission and that if the file was brought, it would have made you guilty of conspiracy or attempted murder or Omar and Evans. Do you agree?

MR VERSTER: No, I do not agree, because I have already explained what the circumstances were, the whole process, the whole attempt on which we sat in at that stage was in order to prevent that the police get particulars to focus more on us than on themselves. And I've already put forward the reasons here this morning. So everything was a struggle for survival because we were being blamed in place of the police. And you are repeatedly saying that Chairperson, and I feel that I have already explained why we did everything that is now being read with regard to the Harms Commission.

There was no certainty on our side that we would not be locked up again, that particulars would not be removed from files, that we would be held responsible for strange conduct which someone else is responsible for, but they are saying that this is us. And did happen later that way.

MR BIZOS: And opportunity was given to you by His Lordship Mr Justice Harms, to corroborate yourself, why aren't you anxious to get the Omar file and the Evans, so that you can prove your innocence the way you are telling me here? And the reason for my question, Sir, is whether the Committee can believe in what you said to the Commission and what you are saying to the Committee, because the denial that you were guilty of attempted murder of these two, was a wilful untruth and this is why you took, amongst other reasons, extraordinary steps not to make the files available when you could have done so. You want to say anything about that?

MR VERSTER: I've already told you what it is, but have you thought about it that there could have been guidelines that came from other structures that said "hide the files, you will get into problems"? If you see it in the full context - the more you concentrate on my project, I understand why you do it, Mr Chairperson, but the fact of the matter is that I had to make a decision on my own concerning this matter and I decided in this way at that time, but I've explained to you that between then and now - otherwise I would not have been here today, an Act appeared, another approach was taken, there was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and I am now trying to on this basis obtain amnesty and this is why I did this.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Bizos, I think this will be a convenient time.

MR BIZOS: May I just put one, because I want his reaction as to whether I'm going to read him any more passages.


MR BIZOS: I'm going to put to you that there are numerous occasions on which Mr McNally and His Lordship Mr Justice Harms implore you to cooperate and to help the Commission by assisting them to locate these files and produce them, and do you agree that you promise on a number of occasions to do all that but with always a bit of a tail that it may be beyond your knowledge or ability to do so? Do you agree that I have correctly summarised your answers in order to spare time? I have them marked if you want me to read them, but do you agree that that is the position?

MR VERSTER: I agree, for the reasons that I have given you.

MR BIZOS: Right.

CHAIRPERSON: This would be a convenient time to take the short tea adjournment, tea for approximately 20 minutes. Thank you.






Thank you ...(indistinct - no microphone)

Now that you have admitted that you were untruthful to the Commission in the respects that you have mentioned, are you prepared to admit that the conclusion that the learned Judge came to in bundle D, page 39 - I will read it to you -

"The Commission has a serious problem about relying to any significant extent, on any of the witnesses that gave evidence on the various internal projects of the CCB. On the one hand there are witnesses such as Verster, Christo Britz, Braam Cilliers and Shaun du Plooy, whose evidence is so vague or contradictory that at various points it is of no value."

Are you prepared to agree with that judgment in view of your admission that you were untruthful?

CHAIRPERSON: First of all, perhaps - insofar as it refers to yourself.

MR VERSTER: That was for a reason, so I do not agree with it. I accept that that was the Judge's opinion, for the reasons that I have mentioned.



MR BIZOS: I would like you to please explain to the Commission what the reason was why you chose to claim privilege for the bomb blast and the Apie incident on the one hand, and you chose to be untruthful about the attempted murder of Omar and Evans. Did you make a deliberate choice?

MR VERSTER: Mr Chairperson, it was a result of the unsolved dispute between myself and the General and because I signed it and the General totally distanced himself from it.

MR BIZOS: Now did you know or did you think that nobody had been injured at the bomb incident?

MR VERSTER: Mr Chairperson, I might have forgotten it, but I was at some stage under the impression that no-one was injured. Later on I heard that someone was injured.

MR BIZOS: Yes. At the time that you made the decision to claim privilege in relation to that, you didn't know that anybody had been injured.

MR VERSTER: Yes, that might be the case.

MR BIZOS: You also regarded the Bishop Tutu happening as a joke.

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: The punishment that you might have expected if convicted of taking part in a joke and in an explosion which no-one was injured on the one hand and two counts of attempted murder or the other, didn't have anything to do in your choice?

MR VERSTER: No, I've already given the reasons why I did that.

MR BIZOS: I asked you whether the seriousness of the two offences of attempted murder as against the less serious aspects of the other two matters, played any part in your conscious decision to claim privilege for the two lesser ones and lie about the two more serious ones.

MR VERSTER: No, it had to do with the way in which it was admitted that it was approved or not approved.

MR BIZOS: But now that doesn't make sense because Gen Webb denies that he knew anything about Omar and Evans, so those two according to Gen Webb, were unauthorised. Where is the difference in the distinction that you say you made as a reason for admitting, or rather for claiming privilege for the two and lying about the other two?

MR VERSTER: I do not understand the question, if you can please repeat it.

MR BIZOS: No, you see it's simple logic which doesn't require a university degree'd graduate like yourself to understand. You tell us that the reason why you chose the two to claim privilege was because there was a dispute about the authorisation, did I understand you correctly?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: But in respect of the two that you did not claim privilege but you lied about, Gen Webb didn't support you at all, he says - you know he hasn't applied for amnesty, surely you must have known at the time that he knows nothing about it. So the distinction that you make is not supported by the facts because if there were differences of opinion, then you wouldn't have distinguished the two because there is no distinction.

MR VERSTER: That was how I handled it back then. It happened a long time ago, Mr Chairperson, I've already said in which context it was done.

MR BIZOS: And there was no dispute between you and Gen Webb in relation to the bombed centre, because he and you have applied for amnesty. So the distinction that you make, once we put the facts on the table, does not make sense. If I am correct in that logical analysis I will ask you again, that the only difference that appears to us to be a logical one and a practical one in the circumstances, because you knew that the probability was ten years imprisonment for each one of the attempted murders, but something much less if there was going to be a prosecution at all at that time in your mind, in relation to minor, comparatively minor matters. That's why you made that distinction. Do you understand that?

MR VERSTER: I do understand that, but I have no comment.

MR BIZOS: Well other than this faulty logical reason that you have given, can you think of any other reason that the one that I have suggested to you?

MR VERSTER: Those are all the reasons about the situation at that time, before and also during the Harms Commission, and that dealt with everything that I have said earlier on today, Mr Chairperson.

MR BIZOS: Your personal criminal liability would not have been affected whatever Gen Webb was going to say, was it?

CHAIRPERSON: Do you mean in respect of any of the incidents?

MR BIZOS: In respect of ...(inaudible)

MR VERSTER: I did not know what would happen to me or anyone else, I was afraid that I would once again be locked up. This would make it impossible for me to do anything about the whole situation at that time as it existed, and as I have explained it.

MR BIZOS: Did you tell either your first counsel or your second counsel that you were guilty of the attempted murder of Omar and Evans?

MR WESSELS: With respect, Mr Chairman, that question needn't be answered.

MR BIZOS: Well he has admitted it in open Court now, Mr Chairman, he has waived any privilege that there may have been. Let us be practical about this. He's waived it, we're not dealing with a criminal trial, we are dealing with an amnesty application where he admitted it.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but it does go to attorney/client privilege if he ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: It's valid until it is waived, Mr Chairman, and if a person stands up in a public forum and says that "I am guilty of this", there is absolute waiver. But I'll rephrase the question in order to avoid ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, it might even put that counsel in a spot, I don't know what the answer would be or what ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Well if that counsel is put in a spot, maybe he deserves to be put in a spot, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but I think that is what the privilege is there for.

MR BIZOS: Anyway, I'll put it this way, Mr Chairman.

I am going to suggest to you that if you had told your counsel that you were guilty of these two attempted murders, he would have advised you to claim privilege as you claimed for the other two. Have you got any comment to make on that?

MR VERSTER: No comment.

MR BIZOS: Very well. Now there is one aspect, a final aspect that I want to deal with. Did you consider that if you took part in an attempted murder, that you were legally committing a criminal act in terms of the law of South Africa?

MR VERSTER: I did consider that, definitely, but I had the sovereignty of the State in mind and I did my work.

MR BIZOS: No, well let me - because you see some of the things let's say, confuse me, but let us just say this. All these actions, the secrecy, the hiding of files, the untruthfulness, all this was for the purposes of hiding the fact that criminal offences were being committed in the country.

MR VERSTER: Why was the structure then put there with the budget? So that it could function.

MR BIZOS: Some servants of the government are criminals.

MR VERSTER: That is not true, that is a direct insult. I can say the same to you ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: ...(inaudible) And if money was made available for attempted murder, isn't the person who did it a criminal?

MR VERSTER: I saw that as a military operation and I approached it from a military point of view.

MR BIZOS: Where in the criminal law did you find that you can commit attempted murder or murder or malicious injury to property because you are a military man? Where did that stand anywhere in South African law? Or do you consider to be above the law?

MR VERSTER: Mr Bizos, three-quarters of the people who are in the government today did exactly what I did and they are sitting in management positions in this country, so you are not impressing me with your approach.

MR BIZOS: No, answer my question please. If somebody wants to ask those people those questions, they can ask them, and you can't answer my question by posing another question. I want to know, did you consider yourself above the law?

MR VERSTER: Definitely not, I said just now I ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Yes. You didn't say that you were ignorant of the law.

MR VERSTER: In any case that is not an excuse.

MR BIZOS: Yes, of course not. And I want to say finally, that it is clear from your answers in the Harms Commission and before this Committee that you actually have no insight into yourself, Sir, and the nature of the acts that you committed and the harm that you have done. You have insight into yourself.

MR VERSTER: That is your opinion.

MR BIZOS: Thank you, Mr Chairman.



FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR WILLIAMS: Yes thank you, Mr Chairman. I just want to say that I received Exhibit G about two minutes before we commenced this morning ...(no sound) I'm prepared nonetheless to just canvass one issue with the witness. Thank you.

Mr Verster, yesterday Mr H du Plessis asked you a question and according to my notes this is the answer that you gave -

"At the Harms Commission I could have had another legal team. There was no pressure put on me and I gave the correct answers at place."

Or words to that effect. Now did you tell this Commission those words yesterday?

MR VERSTER: I did put it like that yesterday, yes Chairperson.

MR WILLIAMS: And did you tell this same Committee this morning that the evidence that you are giving here is contrary to the evidence that you gave the Harms Commission and -

"I was under pressure at the Harms Commission."

MR VERSTER: That is correct, I did say that.

MR WILLIAMS: Would you agree with me that the answer that you gave this morning is in direct contradiction to the answer that you gave yesterday?

MR VERSTER: I think I qualified it yesterday, I said that I was under the impression that there had been documentation and I'm still under that impression. Certain aspects I asked for privilege and certain aspects I said were grey to me, and after I saw the documentation of eleven years ago or ten years ago, a long time ago, I came to the realisation what had happened and I tried to rectify it because I am here in front of this Committee to be granted amnesty and that which is happening now.

MR WILLIAMS: Sir, would you mind focusing on the question. The question is, would you agree that the answer you gave this morning stands in direct contradiction to the answer you gave yesterday? Yes or no?

MR VERSTER: It is for the reasons that I have given.

MR WILLIAMS: Now I want to ask you again, was pressure applied to you during the Harms Commission by anyone, or by your legal team specifically?

MR VERSTER: It was pressure regarding a whole system, it was regarding an entire government that pressure was applied. Especially after I saw the documentation yesterday, I was once again reminded of everything that happened.

MR WILLIAMS: Yesterday you specifically told this Commission that there was no pressure on you. Can you recall having told the Commission that?

MR VERSTER: We've already said that, but it was in a different context and it had to do with the approach before I had the documentation in my possession and I was reminded of it.

MR WILLIAMS: Mr Chairman, I'm going to leave it there, I just wanted to canvass that one issue with him. Thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Williams. Mr Hockey?

MR HOCKEY: No thank you, Mr Chairman, no questions.



MS COLERIDGE: Excuse me, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Ms Coleridge, I didn't intentionally mean to omit you, please go ahead.


I just want to ask you a question in relation to Gen Webb. Let's say hypothetically that he did not authorise the Gavin Evans incident and the Dullah Omar incident, okay, at which stage did he find out about these incidents that your men were involved with these two incidents? You know, give me some stage, before the Harms Commission, after the Harms Commission? What can you remember in relation to Gen Webb, when did he find out about these incidents?

MR VERSTER: That is a hypothetical question, I do not know. I cannot answer that, it happened too long ago.

MS COLERIDGE: Why I'm asking this of you, after the Harms Commission, I mean he'd seen van Zyl's statement, Barnard's statement, was he aware of those statements?

MR VERSTER: You will have to ask him that, I assume so.

MS COLERIDGE: We assume that he was. So we can say after 1990, or just during that period he did become aware of these incidents, is that correct?

MR VERSTER: Yes, it should have been like that.

MS COLERIDGE: And then just in relation to who was charged with this incident, I know in the Dullah Omar incident, Mr Barnard was charged and sentence for the conspiracy to murder Dullah Omar, was any of your other members at any stage charged with those offences? Any of those two.

MR VERSTER: I know that apart from Barnard there were two other members, it was Mr Kalla Botha and Mr Slang van Zyl. They were detained, not about that matter, but it was about the involvement with the CCB. In other words, it was in that context.

MS COLERIDGE: But they were never sentenced and there was no trial per se in relation to Kalla Botha and Slang van Zyl?

MR VERSTER: No, it was a whole political game about things that were seen in the press releases.

MS COLERIDGE: Thank you, Chairperson, I have no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Coleridge. Mr ...(intervention)


Mr Verster, who was your counsel - after Mr Burger went out of the picture, who was your counsel?

MR VERSTER: It was Mr Paul Havenga, he was the attorney and then later on it was Mr Flip Hattingh.

MR BIZOS: Was he the Advocate?


MR BIZOS: The Flip Hattingh from the Johannesburg Bar?


MR BIZOS: Did he have a junior?

MR VERSTER: And Mr Jurie Wessels.

MR BIZOS: Well they are both colleagues of mine and I would never believe - and in fairness to them I want to say to you, I never believe that they would have put any pressure on you as your legal representatives, Sir.

I thought that - it actually came to my notice that Mr Jurie Wessels was one of the counsel and in view of the exchange I thought in fairness to him I would put that on record, Mr Chairman.

MR VERSTER: Chairperson, I just want to minute it that I - as I understood the question, I placed it in the context of the pressure regarding the entire system, it had nothing to do with the legal representatives.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Wessels - sorry, we'll eventually get to the re-examination.

MR LAX: Sorry, there was just one question that was going to ask before tea and I thought in the interests of letting everything go, I'd do it now. Just in relation to your files and the production of those files, Mr Bizos raised with you the question on those files, why didn't you raise them before the Harms Commission and so on, and it just occurred to me that, why didn't you just doctor the files and give them to the Harms Commission? In other words, take out everything that was in conflict with the version you wanted to put and just put them before the Harms Commission?

MR VERSTER: Chairperson, I do not know, there isn't a specific reason for that.

MR LAX: That would have been a simple solution to your problem.

MR VERSTER: There were many things that were done.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Wessels, do you have any re-examination?

MR WESSELS: Mr Chairman, Mr du Plessis indicated to me that he wanted to ask more questions.

CHAIRPERSON: This is for the record, Mr P du Plessis.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman. You were going to give us just an opportunity to ask questions arising.

CHAIRPERSON: Maybe I do it differently to other Chairmen, I normally do that - the leading of Mr Verster has been a little bit piecemeal, what I normally do at these hearings is the evidence is led by the applicant, I then give opportunities to cross-examine, I then ask for re-examination and then I give the Panel any opportunity and then give everybody a chance to ask questions arising. So we'll keep that till the end.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Re-examination, Mr Wessels?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR WESSELS: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Verster, in the Harms Commission it was your attitude and also your evidence that the Omar and Evans incidents were only monitoring incidents, is that correct?

MR VERSTER: That's correct, Chairperson.

MR WESSELS: Did you only ...(inaudible)

INTERPRETER: The speaker's mike.

MR WESSELS: ... when you on page 1590 admitted that it might have been the case that it was an attempted murder?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR WESSELS: Your point of view appears from the record and after that you were then asked by the Chairperson, Judge Harms, specifically on page 191(sic), that if the files are available, it could be to prove your innocence. In other words, to corroborate what you are saying, that it was only a monitoring.

CHAIRPERSON: Which pages were these?

MR WESSELS: Page 1591.

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR WESSELS: So if those files had been made available at that time, what would the files indeed have indicated?

MR VERSTER: It would have confirmed that it happened in that way and what the aim was and that the aim was what I am applying for. In other words, it could have been very prejudicial to me at that stage and also for the organisation.

MR WESSELS: In other words, would the files then have indicated that the version put before this Committee that there was an attempted murder and that that was the correct version?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR WESSELS: Why were these files not destroyed completely?

MR VERSTER: It was precisely to show that it was part of an official structure and that we did not want to do it on our own, that it was part of the working procedures that existed within Special Forces and specifically the CCB, as part of a system.

MR WESSELS: In other words do I understand you correctly that you needed it as evidence that indeed you were a State organisation and that you acted on behalf of the State at that time?

MR VERSTER: That is specifically why we kept it.

MR WESSELS: Were there any suggestions or statements made that the CCB was an unauthorised organisation of which the Minister of Defence had no knowledge at that time?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, that was done.

MR WESSELS: Was there a denial of your contractual relationship with the South African Defence Force?

MR VERSTER: That was the whole attempt that was made, it was directly said to us that we had to forget about it.

MR WESSELS: And you were indeed dismissed as you gave evidence, and you took steps in Court in the face of this.

MR VERSTER: Chairperson, there were two occasions where we went to the Supreme Court, where we applied in the Supreme Court that dealt specifically with this.

MR WESSELS: And at the end of the day the State did honour your contracts.

MR VERSTER: That is correct, it was accepted like that afterwards.

MR WESSELS: After what period of time?

MR VERSTER: It was about the middle of '95, so it's approximately after five years from '98, approximately a five year period.

MR WESSELS: Thank you, Chairperson, I have no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Wessels. Mr Martini, do you have any questions arising out of questions that were put by Members of the Panel? If you can remember that far back.

MR MARTINI: No, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Wessels, do you have any questions arising out of what we've put?

MR WESSELS: No, I don't.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr P du Plessis?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Just one aspect arising from the questions put by Mr Lax.

Mr Verster, Mr Lax asked you questions concerning the proportionality of the steps and the actions, for example in the case of the Early Learning Centre and also concerning the Omar and Evans cases, but due to the nature of these things it is also important for my clients because certain proposals were made by you and they acted on instructions from your side, so I just want to clear up this matter with you.

The whole situation around the CCB - or let me start like this, Section 6 was first formed in 1988, is that correct?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: But the CCB structure as such, if I understand it correctly, goes back to a few years before that, in the year '85, is that correct?

MR VERSTER: It is 1986.


MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: The whole forming of the CCB and the necessity of such a structure, did this flow from the situation in the country at that time?

MR VERSTER: It was directly as a result of the revolutionary climate in the country, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: The decisions that you took in 1989, in the face of the actions of Region 6, did you make these decisions while taking into account the situation in the country at that time?

MR VERSTER: It was based on the intelligence picture in the country at that time and it was related directly to that.

MR P DU PLESSIS: I want to propose to you what can be found in Exhibit D and that is the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to the President, and then I would like you to tell me if you agree or disagree with what is said, and then I'm going to in the face of this, ask you if this was the paradigm from where you acted and on which you based your decisions. I will firstly refer you - there aren't any page numbers, but let me say paragraph 140, if you have the document in front of you. I don't want to read everything into the record, I don't want to waste time, but there are a few important aspects that I think we need to look at.

If you look at the top, at the top of paragraph 140, there is a heading -

"1985 to 1989 - The War Comes Home"

Do you see that?

CHAIRPERSON: Paragraph 140, Exhibit D.



CHAIRPERSON: I wonder, I think Mr Wessels if you could during the next adjournment speak to Ms Coleridge and see that you get the same copy as everyone else has.



MS COLERIDGE: There's two 140s, it's probably taken out of separate volumes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

You've found the place. And then I refer in this regard to paragraph 142, paragraph 140, 141, deals with, especially paragraph 141, with unrest within South Africa. You've probably seen these paragraphs, do you confirm that this was your perception at that time?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And paragraph 142, I read the first sentence.

"At its Kabwe Conference in 1985, the ANC formulated the strategic response which it hoped would enable it to capitalise on the popular revolt and turn it into a people's war, possibly even insurrection."

This information, was this available to you during this time, '85 to '89?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Do you agree with this perception?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: 143, you've gone through that, I will not handle this specifically, but you do take note of it?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And will you also confirm that was your perception?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And then we will continue to 144, and I want to read this to you, a sentence or two -

"The military operations of MK in this period, can be categorised as follows: Firstly, there were bomb attacks on urban targets."

Was that your information?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.


"The targets selected were meant to be Security Force related, but the reality is that more civilians than Security Force personnel were killed in such explosions."

Was that available to you?

MR VERSTER: That's correct, Chairperson.


"The reasons included technical incompetence, faulty devices, poor reconnaissance and poor judgement or misunderstanding by operatives."

It refers to the so-called enemy which according to your declared perceptions, was the enemy.

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.


"In addition, there was some deliberate blurring of the lines, which gave operatives the leeway to vent their anger by placing bombs in targets that were not strictly military."

Was that your information?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And without dealing in big detail with what is said there I want to go to the next page, paragraph 164 -

"In the year after the imposition of the national State of Emergency, the full force of a strategy of counter-revolutionary warfare unfolded domestically."

Was that your perception during 1989 when these events took place, that this amnesty application is about?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, there were direct instructions in this regard.

MR P DU PLESSIS: But your instructions were that there was a war situation in South Africa, and in the Commission's Report, as it is put there -

"1985 to 1989 - The War Comes Home"

MR VERSTER: That's correct, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And that it was an internal war, is that correct?

MR VERSTER: Not exclusively, but it was also internally definitely.

MR P DU PLESSIS: I'm not speaking about exclusively, but we're looking at internal actions here.

MR VERSTER: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: That inside South Africa there was an undeclared war, is that correct?

MR VERSTER: That's correct, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And then if one goes to paragraph 163 -

"Finally, the above took place in the context of a nation-wide State of Emergency that effectively remained in place from June 1986 to mid-1990."

MR VERSTER: That's correct, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: A crisis emergency situation.

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And it is in this time that the CCB was formed, is that correct?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Concerning proportionality, it would also be accompanied by - and I'm not saying that this is the perception that Mr Lax tried to create, but the perception might exist that you were on a picnic of your own in this case and that you decided how people could be damaged and it was your decision solely and that officers higher up in the Defence Force were not involved with it. I want to refer you to paragraph 382 of the same Report. If you can please look at that. Do you have it?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: A person by the name of Gen AJM Joop Joubert is mentioned there, is this the person that you referred to as your Commanding Officer before Gen Webb took over?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: It is written there, with reference to the aforegoing that I, amongst others, referred to -

"The above details are corroborated in the amnesty application of the GOC Special Forces, November 1985 to January 1989, Gen AJM Joop Joubert."

Just by the way, this same Gen Joubert during 1988 he - my clients Burger and Maree and also Mr Slang van Zyl and Kalla Botha were welcomed in the CCB by him, is that correct?

MR VERSTER: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And he also gave them some information.

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: In your presence?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: He says there -

"In the mid to late '80s, one of the major goals of national security policy and strategy was to bring the revolutionary organisation and mobilisation by the liberation movements, particularly the ANC, to a halt. By this time it was also clear that the ANC was not going to be stopped by normal conventional methods and that the revolutionary methods would have to be used.

As the institution for external operations, Special Forces would also have to intensify its external operations, since the necessity for unconventional and revolutionary action was already clear. It was also clear that clandestine and covert operations would have to take place internally, for which Special Forces members would be used."

Is that the correct situation?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.


"It was more-or-less then that the name CCB was adopted as a replacement for D40 or Barnacle."

Is that correct?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.


"The revolutionary and covert nature of the plan amongst other things, involved:

(a) That ANC leaders and people who substantially contributed to the struggle, would be eliminated."

Were those your instructions, Sir, from officers like Gen Joubert?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, that was part of the priorities as I have mentioned them.

MR P DU PLESSIS: One now has to look, he says -

"ANC leaders and people who substantially contributed to the struggle."

So it would then have been collaborators with the ANC that were not necessarily ANC, is that correct?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.


"(b) That ANC facilities and support services would be destroyed."

MR VERSTER: That's correct.


"(c) Activists, sympathisers, fighters and people who supported them would also be eliminated."

Was that the higher officers' instructions to you, amongst others?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: In the next paragraph the CCB is amongst others described in the last sentence as a -

"civilian strike force."

Would you agree that that was amongst others, one of the aims?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And then the next significant finding by this Commission, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission says -

"... which neither the government nor the SADF would acknowledge publicly."

Was that your perception?

MR VERSTER: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And this was to the definition of covert action and this was also, isn't it correct Sir, the attitude of these people after the CCB was made public, that they did not want to admit to the nature of the CCB?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And amongst others, my clients and also Mr van Zyl and Mr Botha who did want to make public this information, they were discouraged from doing it, is this correct?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And at that stage, and I'm talking about the Harms Commission, and I see this was the 16th of May 1990, a day after the first Indemnity Act was approved by the President, and at that stage there was a lot of uncertainty about the protection that you would receive, if any. Is this correct?

MR VERSTER: This is correct, there was a lot of uncertainty regarding that.

MR P DU PLESSIS: I just want to look at 384 -

"Thus the CCB represented a new method of State directed warfare in a South African context part of Special Forces but structured and functioning in a way intended to make it seem it was not."

If one goes back to the sentence, do you agree with the whole sentence?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Do you agree with the description that it was -

"... State directed warfare"

MR VERSTER: It was always, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: It was as it was told to you and as you gave it to my clients, Mr Basson, Mr Maree and Mr Burger, amongst others.

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And that is the impression under which those people were at all times, that they were busy with "State directed warfare" against the enemies of the State, is that correct?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: If one then returns to the proportionality of what had happened and the decisions that were taken around Messrs Omar and Evans and also the Early Learning Centre, was your decision - when it dealt with the bomb explosion at the Early Learning Centre, was your decision based upon the circumstances in the country at that time and upon the instruction as put out by Gen Joubert?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, that was within the total plan.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And would you agree with me that my clients' participation, Mr Burger, Maree and Mr Wouter Basson, was also within this policy?

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, with the greatest of respect, where there is an identity of interest between a group of people, it is an elementary rule of our practice that leading questions are to be avoided if any serious effort is going to be made to rely on the answers. I ...(inaudible) because ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: It is a form of cross-examination in the sense which is ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Yes, but where there is an identity of interest, then it doesn't ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I know, I take that point.

MR BIZOS: But Mr Chairman, the last question has a - and this is why I object to this one, that it has actually - this witness is being asked to express an opinion about the state of mind of other applicants and I don't think that ...

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I don't think it's going to get us any further, Mr du Plessis.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I take the point, I will cast it differently but I had to address it shortly. I just don't want to waste any time, that's why I referred to the findings of this Commission, it's not something which I got somewhere in a storybook.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, and I must say we as a Panel here are not bound by the findings of the Commission.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman. No, I realised that and that is why I thought it fit to take it up with this witness, so it can be on record here, so that I can work on these facts later on when it comes to my clients. Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Now just before I refer to certain incidents which I just want you to confirm or deny, may I ask you whether you perused the findings of the Commission regarding the CCB specifically, the objectives, the wide-ranging nature of the CCB's activities? Did you read it?

MR VERSTER: Yes, I did go through it.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And do you confirm it?

MR VERSTER: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So I can safely at a later stage refer to this and argue that Mr Verster confirmed the CCB's nature as contained in the findings of the Truth Commission?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, we can discuss specific things maybe, but I accept the broad aspects.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, then I will just continue.

When it comes to my clients - or firstly, only Mr Basson, he was in any case a member of the Defence Force and of the CCB for a very long time before 1989, is that correct?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And he was part of the whole structure that you have laid out here.

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And he would also have been one of the officers before he was freed from the Defence Force, who would then specifically have received the same instructions and information that you received from the higher structures, is that correct?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And then I just specifically want to get to my clients, Burger and Maree, to their position. During May 1988 they were recruited, is that correct?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: I do not know if - I will naturally put things to you and you can confirm it or not, I realise it might be leading but I don't think it is anything new, it is in statements ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: With respect, once we deal with the facts I would object to leading questions, Mr Chairman, because there is an identity of interest between ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: If you could just avoid leading questions, Mr du Plessis.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I will.

MR BIZOS: ...(inaudible - no microphone)

INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone is not on.

MR BIZOS: ... because of the identity of interest. He can do it if he likes, but the weight that we - anyway.

CHAIRPERSON: ... the weight of anything else, but I think probably the best way, although you would be entitled in certain circumstances to put leading questions, just to avoid them.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I'll do it as far as possible, but without - I don't want to take up too much time.

In May 1988 these people were recruited, is this correct?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: With their recruitment were they trained?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, it was systematically developed.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And for the duration of 1989, they were not activated, is that correct? For 1988.

MR VERSTER: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: The training that had been given to them, did this involve any intelligence that was given to them?

MR VERSTER: That is correct. Basically what you read to me, the political climate in the country, and their instructions were to develop us accordingly to be able to counter the revolutionary climate in the country.

MR P DU PLESSIS: The aims of the CCB, were they discussed with them completely?

MR VERSTER: Yes, that was done.

MR HOCKEY: With respect, Mr Chairman, I can't see how these questions that Mr du Plessis asked this witness now stems from the questions that were asked by the Panel. Maybe he can just clarify that.

CHAIRPERSON: I think it's in relation to the - Mr du Plessis said the question of proportionality. I think what he's endeavouring to get across is that their acts were in relation to the prevailing political circumstances, the prevailing struggle that was reigning.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: And that they were acting in terms of the orders, or in fulfilment of the general orders of Joubert, as set out in the Report which is referred to.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I'm nearly finished. I think I've covered virtually everything.

Was the matter of protection by the State in the case of disclosure where irregular deeds were relevant, was that handled with them?

MR VERSTER: It was discussed with them, Mr Chairperson, but I do know that in the statements of some of the people there is the perception that they would be protected. It could have been understood by the members who worked for me, that the structure would organise legal representation and that we were in a bigger system and how we functioned and how attempts would be made to help anyone who ran into difficulties. But I think that in some of the witnesses, or some of the evidence, I was quoted as saying that we would receive indemnity and it could be in the handling of the Defence Act, and there is a section in the Defence Act where it is said that amnesty and the treatment of the safety of the State and that under this element of the Defence Act, it would be transferred. And it is in this regard that members thought that they would get indemnity and it was treated like this and it was discussed and from my side it was undertaken to give them protection.

MR P DU PLESSIS: But you would agree with me that this could have been the perception of all my clients?

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: That is what you told them, that State protection in such a case would be given.

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR LAX: Sorry Mr du Plessis.

Did you have that perception yourself?

MR VERSTER: Mr Chairperson, on my level in terms of the Act I felt that yes, but I doubted a lot. I knew that let's say in the interests of the country and in terms of our role and our mission I doubted the hierarchy's attempt although I was part of the decision-making process, where someone would have a problem and then money would be made available for legal representation for that person ...(intervention)

MR LAX: No, no, I'm talking specifically about the indemnity in terms of the Defence Act. Do you think it applied to you?


CHAIRPERSON: At the time of the operations of the CCB.

MR VERSTER: Yes, in terms of the Act I thought that we could if we negotiated it correctly, we could receive it although I personally doubted it.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, what were your doubts?

MR VERSTER: Purely in the loyalty of the politicians towards soldiers in an internal situation.


MR P DU PLESSIS: Sorry Mr Chairman, just one last aspect, perhaps not directly arising but I would just like to put this to the witness for his comment, with your leave.

If I once again turn to the Report of the TRC, paragraph 393, let me just read the one sentence -

"Those who were recruited into the CCB from the ranks of the SADF or Police, did not regard themselves as operating outside the rubric of the State Security system."

If my clients would tell the Commission at a later stage that at all times they thought and they knew that they were part of the South African Defence Force's security system and that they were employed by the State, would you confirm this?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr H du Plessis, any questions arising?

MR H DU PLESSIS: I have no further questions, Mr Chairperson.


UNIDENTIFIED COUNSEL: I also have no further questions.




Just flowing from certain questions asked by Mr Lax, Mr Verster we are talking about incidents or an incident that happened more than ten years ago and where these meetings were held in certain places, the so-called in-house meetings, and we can accept that your memory became vague and that you won't remember all the details. Would you agree with this?

MR VERSTER: This is correct, Sir.

MR VAN ECK: And you were asked about actions in Gauteng and your answer was with reference to Evans as one of the things that happened there, can you remember that?

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR VAN ECK: And in your evidence throughout you referred to amongst others, the person who was responsible for Evans, and he was my client Kalla Botha.

MR VERSTER: That is correct, I was under that impression, Mr Chairperson.

MR VAN ECK: And then if one goes and looks at the documentation and who applied for the specific incidents, I think that it's very clear from bundle A that Mr Botha only applied for the Early Learning Centre bomb explosion and that Messrs Maree and van Zyl applied for the Evans incident.

MR VERSTER: That is correct, I realised this later and that was my mistake.

MR VAN ECK: So one can then assume that if you refer to Botha regarding Evans, that you made a mistake.

MR VERSTER: That is correct, Sir.

MR VAN ECK: There was amongst others, reference made by Mr Hockey to the use of certain people, did you at any stage in the Ponti Building in Brixton, Jo'burg, receive presentations and listen to these presentations?

MR VERSTER: Yes I did, several times.

MR VAN ECK: And I assume that certain members of Region 6 were present at these presentations, not necessarily always the same people.

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR VAN ECK: A name was mentioned yesterday of a Mr Anton Roskam(?), does this ring a bell?

MR VERSTER: Yes, I remember the name from the past.

MR VAN ECK: The name also appears, amongst others, from the Section 29 statement of Mr Botha. And that is an incident that is referred to of a vehicle that was burnt out that Mr Botha did not apply for amnesty.

MR VERSTER: That is correct.

MR VAN ECK: My instructions from Mr Botha were that that was one of the only presentations that he had done personally and this was a submission that was done the Ponti building.

MR VERSTER: I cannot remember it, Mr Chairperson, I think that I also stated it like that, and I accept that it could possibly have happened but I do not remember such a presentation or a submission.

MR VAN ECK: Now he will also give evidence that he, Mr Burger and Basson were present there.

MR VERSTER: I cannot remember that, Mr Chairperson, but it is in any case not a gross human rights violation, that whole incident as I understood it. But I cannot remember that incident at all, there were many projects.

MR VAN ECK: Yes, but you will not deny that something like this could happen or could have happened?

MR VERSTER: I will not, no.

MR VAN ECK: And he will if he gives evidence, he will give reasons why this incident - he did not apply for amnesty for this incident, but this is not applicable now.

MR VERSTER: Very well.

MR VAN ECK: Thank you, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Bizos, do you have any questions arising?

FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BIZOS: ...(inaudible) out of the questions asked by Mr du Plessis for the sake of completeness, Mr Chairman, but I will be very brief and by reference.

You readily agreed with the conclusions and statements of the Commission, do you agree with paragraph 395? You can look at it quickly. I don't want to read it out, just tell us whether you agree or disagree, in order to test your fair-mindedness. Do you agree with paragraph 395?

MR VERSTER: There are small differences, but in broad it is correct. For example ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Correct. Thank you, let's proceed ...

MNR VERSTER: "... Lafras Luitingh was ook 'n koördineerder."

MR BIZOS: Let's go to paragraph 397, do you agree with that one?

MR VERSTER: Correct, Chairperson.

MR BIZOS: Thank you. Then let's go to 407, do you agree with that one?


MR BIZOS: 407.

MR VERSTER: No, Chairperson, here are elements, specifically external things and certain names that I do not know in that paragraph. I said in general I do agree, but specifically if I look at that paragraph there's doubt.

MR BIZOS: You're not prepared to tell us whether you did any of those things or not.

MR VERSTER: No, Chairperson.

MR BIZOS: Right. Will you please look at paragraph 411, do you agree with that?

MR VERSTER: I agree with the approach, but not the last part of the sentence. In terms of the law I can see that it can be so.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Do you agree with the general conclusion on page 408, in paragraph 418?

MR VERSTER: The only part that I do not agree with, Chairperson, is the "systematic pattern of abuse", the rest I can read in terms of the law as I understand it. As it is presented here a while back our actions were purely within the context of a counter-revolutionary struggle.

MR BIZOS: You don't like the use of the word "abuse"?

MR VERSTER: No, I do not like it.

MR BIZOS: Yes well, we'll argue that part.

Thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Bizos. Mr Williams, any questions arising?

MR WILLIAMS: No questions, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Hockey, any questions arising?

FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HOCKEY: Yes just one or two, Mr Chairperson, thank you.

Mr Verster, Mr du Plessis pointed out to you the development of what was called the war inside the country and you confirmed that that was indeed the case. Now do you still say or agree that whatever the ANC and anti-apartheid activists were doing inside or outside the country was unacceptable and immoral?

MR VERSTER: I can understand that there was a liberation struggle, but the methods they used were the same as ours, but I think it was immoral, the terrorism part of it.

MR HOCKEY: And the methods that were used by the CCB and Vlakplaas, was that according to you acceptable behaviour?

MR VERSTER: No, it was fighting fire with fire, it was exactly the same as the ANC did.

MR HOCKEY: So do you consider that also as immoral? Your activities.

MR VERSTER: I regard it - in a war situation we all acted wrongly.

MR HOCKEY: You also testified yesterday that - in fact it's in your statement, statement A attached to your application, you said that if you have the chance again to do what you did, you'd do it again.

MR VERSTER: Insofar as if there was another revolutionary struggle in the country and I was involved with it, then on the same basis I will wager a counter-revolutionary war against them and act against them.

MR HOCKEY: Would you have chosen that the apartheid government stayed in power up till today?

MNR VERSTER: "Dis 'n politieke vraag wat ek nie ...(tussenbeide)"

MR WESSELS: Mr Chairman, I object against this, we're now revisiting ...(inaudible) that we dealt with three days ago ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I think it is also arising out of what was put by the Panel.

MR HOCKEY: The question relates to - it's from the proportionality. I will leave that there. The witness already testified to that effect yesterday and I just wanted him to confirm that to put the record straight, Mr Chairman.

Mr Verster, the conclusion of the Commission, you did refer to it and you said that you disagreed with it ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: He said he disagreed with the use of the term "systematic abuse".

MR HOCKEY: Now that conclusion, Mr Verster, just to put the record straight as well, is that -

"The CCB as a result of the development in the country, engaged in activities which constituted (the Commission's says), a system pattern of abuse which entailed a deliberate planning on the part of the leadership of the CCB and the SADF. The Commission finds these institutions and their members accountable for this aforesaid gross violations of human rights."

Now you're saying that you agree with that, but you don't consider your acts as an abuse, is that right?

MR VERSTER: That's correct, I was a soldier. I have great problems with whoever wrote this paragraph, but I know that in terms of the law it could be seen as such and therefore I accept it.

MR HOCKEY: Thank you, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Ms Coleridge, any questions arising?

MS COLERIDGE: No questions thank you, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Verster, that concludes your testimony, you may stand down now.

MR VERSTER: Thank you, Chairperson.

MR LAX: Sorry, Mr Verster before you go, I just thought I'd, once we'd concluded your evidence - yesterday you raised an issue about the proceedings in the Commission and how you felt about, in a sense, the perception that you have about our proceedings and who is coming before it, and I just thought I'd share with you the fact that people of all ranks, of all persuasions from every liberation movement and State structure have appeared before us and I've sat through many amnesty hearings, everybody is applying for amnesty, literally. Yes, there are certain high-ranking people that haven't, we accept that, that's common knowledge, but I just thought I should share with you the fact that in fact your perception that only certain people are being made to beg for forgiveness is not quite what is happening, in the sense that we are experiencing people from all different organisations and structures applying for amnesty. What their personal approaches to amnesty are, well that's neither here nor there, I don't intend to deal with that. I just thought I'd share that with you.

MR VERSTER: I accept that, thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Verster.


CHAIRPERSON: Is the next applicant going to be Mr van Zyl, Mr Martini?

MR MARTINI: Yes, Chairperson.





MR BIZOS: ... between the person that is being led and his legal representative, Mr Chairman. These chummy discussions are not ...(indistinct - no microphone) my chair for one of them to come here, Mr Chair, so that we can ...(intervention)

MR MARTINI: Sorry, Mr Chairman, I object to this, my client - this is a Commission, this is not a court case ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Bizos, I know that usually they sit next to each other, even in huge halls the applicant and the ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Sorry, but this has not been my experience, we always put the passage between us and the witness, but I don't want to make a big point out of it. It has the effect of, Mr Chairman, sometimes them speaking too softly, which is not a problem here because of the smallness of the room, but also this consultation and showing documents. I know it's a Commission, but he's a witness and the legal representative, Mr Chairman, and there must be some distance between them, with respect.

MR MARTINI: Mr Chairperson, I certainly don't understand what Mr Bizos is getting to, is he suggesting that I'm going to be helping my witness answering questions? What is Mr Bizos' suggestion? We haven't even started and he's making innuendoes. My client's entitled to sit here, we're at the Commission, there might be times where I have to confer with my client, he might want legal advice under cross, are we going to then adjourn the proceedings for me to walk around that end and consult? There's no basis for this ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I think we can proceed as we are now. If it appears as if there's any assistance being rendered by showing documents without invitation or reference, then the matter can be raised again and we can see if we can make a plan.

MR MARTINI: Chairperson, thank you. Chairperson, we were going to lead the evidence as we had discussed in chambers the other morning, by confirming the statement, but having seen what has transpired, we believe in the interest of the public who do not have these documents, my client's entire statement, subject to other questioning which will flow from me and obviously from the Commission, we intend leading his evidence by reading his statement which is before the Commission. Subject of course, Mr Chairperson, to me questioning my client on certain issues and thereafter obviously the victims, Mr Bizos, and all other parties, are entitled to question the witness.


ABRAM VAN ZYL: (sworn states)


EXAMINATION BY MR MARTINI: Chairperson, I call Mr van Zyl to lead his evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: Could you just give us the reference.

MR MARTINI: Sorry, Mr Chairperson. It is bundle A and it appears at pages 75 to page 128, of bundle A.

MR VAN ZYL: Thank you Chairperson. I shall continue.

"I, Abram van Zyl, declare hereby under oath:

I live in Florida and own my own business in Sandton. I have received a summons, signed by Col Eager, during my release from detention and according to Section 29 of the Act of Internal Security. It is following on that summons that I am appearing here now and that I make this statement.

I confirm that no promises have been made by anyone to me and in particular, I confirm that I will not be used as a State witness or that any other guarantee has been given to me.

I confirm that no promises have been made by my legal representatives to me in any regard. After I initially considered using the privilege of self-incrimination, I decided to speak openly with regard to the subject of this investigation before this Committee in so far as it is within my knowledge.

On the 31st of December 1960 I was born in Tulbagh and completed my schooling at the high school of Tulbagh in 1978 and in November 1978 I joined the South African Police Force and delivered service as follows to the South African Police:

Constable, Bramley Police Station 1979 to approximately 1981. Constable at Jeppe Crime Unit for approximately 2 years and thereafter attached to Diepkloof Unrest Unit for a month after the Crime Unit had been disbanded. Sergeant and Warrant Officer from 1983 and 1984 at Detective Branch for Criminal Matters at John Vorster Square. Warrant Officer 1985, Brixton Murder and Robbery Unit and Lieutenant in 1987.

In 1988 I married and have a two month old son. During May 1988 I went from the Brixton Murder and Robbery Unit where I was still a Lieutenant and I was transferred to Pietermaritzburg Murder and Robbery Unit where I was Second in Command of that branch, but before my transferral, Staal Burger, previously a Colonel in the South African Police and previously Chief of the Brixton Murder and Robbery Unit, he approached me and told me that he himself, Chappie Maree and Kalla Botha would be working for Matthysen Bus Transport Business. I was also informed by Burger that Matthysen was only a front and that they would work for the South African Defence Force at the division Special Forces for the South African Defence Force, that they would practically retain their ranks and that they would be paid attractive salaries. Burger said that I should have an interview with Mr Joe Verster who was the Chief of Special Forces. He said that himself, Maree and Botha would go along in a few days to speak to Joe Verster. I agreed.

It was during May 1988 that I held my interview with Joe Verster, whom I heard was a Colonel in South African Defence Force, as well as the Managing Director of the CCB, the Civil Co-operation Bureau, in the Ponti Building in Johannesburg. There I met Joe Verster and one Christo Britz.

Verster spoke to me alone in a room and told me that he was part of the South African Defence Force and that there was a unit, the CCB, within Special Forces. He indicated that these were citizens who operated along with the army and although their objectives were not spelled out at this stage in detail to me, I was told that this was in order to disrupt the enemies of South Africa. He informed me that South African Defence Force would establish an internal region, namely Region 6, in order to disrupt the enemies of the Republic of South Africa.

The following general motivation was put forward by Verster of which certain facts were known personally to me. During the last few years of the 1980's the emphasis in South Africa moved from crime related matters to security related matters. I was granted the opportunity to work with an elite unit of the Defence Force and this I regarded as a great honour. I was aware of the fact that the enemy of the Republic of South Africa at this stage had launched a serious onslaught on the country in order to usurp the Government. I was convinced, or of the conviction after my discussion with Verster that the Security Forces of the Republic were in a secret war situation with the enemy. It was a situation which, because of survival, had joggled my sympathy and interest. It was clear to me that the conventional manner in which the warfare had been done out of the country, was not sufficient and I would also like to mention that internal attacks by means of bomb explosions and others by the ANC and others had led to great loss of life and damage in the Republic of South Africa.

There was also the background of the internal onslaught from 1984 to 1986, within which attempts were made by the enemy in the Republic in order to render the Republic ungovernable by the internal actions. I, on a form, provided my proper name where I applied for the job and I was informed that I would go through security clearance and then that the army would get back to me afterwards. I was also informed that my salary would be more than I would receive at the Police, but the exact salary would later be supplied to me. I completed the form and handed it to Verster.

Later I was informed that I was appointed from the beginning of May 1988 and that I would receive a salary of approximately R3 500 per month. There was a written salary proposal made to me by Verster. I was informed that I would get a motor vehicle allowance whereby a vehicle could be bought worth R30 000, which was supplied by Matthysen Bus Transport to me. I bought a BMW 318i. I have to mention that the money was supplied by the South African Defence Force via Matthysen Bus transport. I also understood that a petrol allowance of 18 cents per kilometre would be paid and that my further expenditure during the course of my service would be paid by the South African Defence Force as part of my work for the CCB.

I was also informed that there was a pension contribution of approximately R800 per month and in May or June 1988, I received one year's contributions. These contributions bought a policy which would see to my pension.

I would also like to mentioned that later I received a telephone allowance on a monthly basis from the South African Defence Force as well as my medical costs which would be paid by the South African Defence Force, therefore I was able to acquire a home loan via and with the assistance of the Army.

From approximately 1988 I worked for Matthysen Bus Transport, which was a front for the CCB. During the six months from May up to the end of 1988, there were meetings at Ponti Building with Verster and Britz. During this period of time, I met General Joubert of the South African Defence Force on two occasions in this Ponti Building. He was introduced to me by Verster and I understood that Gen Joubert was the Chairperson of the Unit which was known as the CCB. I was informed by Gen Joubert that he was a member of the Generals staff of the army and he was the Chairperson of the CCB. We were also informed that there was a code of conduct between the army and the South African Police where a member comes from the one institution to the other institution and there would be some time upon which he would not actively become involved in incidents, in order to avoid any problems, so therefore we would not be active for the first six months. During January 1989, we started functioning actively for the CCB, although certain smaller tasks were already performed.

During the months when I was inactive, I still received a salary on a monthly basis. I later understood that twice a year, a production bonus would be available for qualifying members. It was paid out in May and November. I qualified for the May bonus in 1989 and received approximately R3 000.

Tax was deducted from my salary by Matthysen Transport, approximately R406-00. The money was in an envelope and handed over in cash and usually the R406-00 tax was in another envelope and therefore from May 1988 I was a full-time member of the South African Defence Force, attached to the Civil Co-operation Bureau Region 6, part of the Special Forces of the South African Defence and in the service of the State and from that date, I received perks as I have mentioned.

Early in 1989, I underwent a course with Burger, Maree and Botha at the South African Defence Force farm outside Pretoria. The course lasted five days. There were several persons who gave us lessons during this course including Jaco Verster and a person by the name of Heine. During the course we were informed with regard to this unit and what we would do. We were informed that this unit and specifically our region were an Intelligence Unit, but that certain actions would be launched from information that was gathered, in order to disrupt the enemies of the Government maximally or entirely. Although from time to time we gathered information, it was told to us that our most important task would be the disruption of the enemy within the country, the enemies of South Africa within the country, as well as outside. We were informed as such about the structure of the CCB.

There was an outer circle and an inner circle. The inner circle were the members of the CCB, meaning that we worked for the Defence Force on a full time basis and we were aware that we were working for the Defence Force on a full-time basis. These were the so-called aware members and the outer circle, they were persons who were used by us who were not full-time members of the Defence Force, who also did not know that they were working for the Army or for the CCB and we referred to them as outsiders. These were the so-called unaware members.

The immediate unit within which we worked, was a cell and the inner circle comprised a number of members as indicated above, as well as a Co-ordinator, who was the liaison between the cell and the Managing Director of the CCB. He chiefly dealt with the financing, the instructions, the approval of projects and so forth. The Regional Manager was the Chief of the region and had direct contact with the Managing Director and the Chairperson. The Regional Manager was the Chief, in the immediate sense of the word, of that region and we received our instructions from him or from the Managing Director himself. We had to comply with his instructions. The Managing Director was in command of all the regions in general and was indeed in command of the CCB. The Chairperson was a member of South African Defence Force, Generals staff and the overall commander of the CCB.

We were also informed that our work would entail the gathering of intelligence, the submission of reports and the execution of instructions in the form of approved projects. The CCB was the priority class to enemies and the enemies were identified as South African Communistic Party, the ANC and the other banned organisations, their members both on left and right.

We were informed that the Regional Manager would draw up a report which would be handed to the co-ordinator and then the co-ordinator would hand it over to the Managing Director and he would deal with it further. If a project was appointed, from the information and report we would get to do a pre-study and then it would be submitted for approval. When the approval is obtained from the Managing Director and the Chairperson approved the project, later the Managing Director would give feedback with regard to the project.

We were also informed that the disruption of the enemy could, for example, entail ..."


CHAIRPERSON: Mr van Zyl, I've been requested, if you could please just read a little bit slower, the translators who are giving a simultaneous translation, are finding that you're going a bit too quick and it's very difficult for them to properly translate simultaneously. It's difficult to translate and read. Just carry on for about approximately another five minutes then we'll take the lunch adjournment. Thank you.


"We were also informed that the disruption of the enemy could, for example, entail from the breaking of a window to the killing of a person and that it depended on the priority class. The organisation would identify targets, chiefly from available information, after which we would receive our instructions. Various non de plumes were used and we also had to take the oath in terms of the law or the Act on the Internal Security or the security of Intelligence. We were also informed that the CCB would be a covert organisation.

During the course we were told that we would recruit unaware members who would not be able to determine our real identities. Before the commencement of the course the name Andries Rossouw was given to me. I would also like to mention that during the course the Managing Director told us that we were indemnified from any prosecution for any acts of violence which we would commit during the execution of approved projects. We had to see to it that our actions could not be traced back to the Defence Force. The argument was put forward that the Defence Force and therefore the State had approved the projects for execution and therefore we would not be prosecuted because the country internally was also in a situation of war.

We were also informed that the acts against the enemy of the Republic, were aimed at the enemies of the Republic of South Africa. We were also informed that these enemies were persons who endangered State Security and against whom the South African Police could not act and that such persons were the targets of the CCB. These targets would receive priority class. I should also mention that persons of far right organisations who would endanger the State, would also be targets for the CCB, as we were informed.

Projects, we were informed, could be executed by aware members of the CCB after it was approved, when it was a low-risk project. Unaware members, also known as indirect members, would be used for the execution of high risk projects which were approved. The reason for this was that the conduct should not be traced back to the CCB.

During the course, it was repeatedly told to us that the four members on the course would form a new cell, who would be active internally and which would be known as Region 6."

Chairperson, if I may pause here, it would be an appropriate time.

CHAIRPERSON: This will be a convenient period to take the lunch adjournment. If we could take the adjournment until quarter to two. Thank you.




ABRAM VAN ZYL: (s.u.o.)

My project name was Goldie and the projects which I undertook would be registered under that name. Our Region 6 also had a project name, "Choice". The administrative procedures which were prescribed were explained to us during the course and basically it agrees with the procedures as described by Brig Veil. We were also informed that Region 6 would be the only region that would be active internally, but we were not informed whether we would be the only cell in Region 6 and whether there would be other cells active in the same region. We were informed that the cells should not be aware of each others' activities. During the course, we were also informed how the presentation and approval of the projects would happen. An aware member would gather information from which a project could be given to him and in which who or what the target would be would be mentioned and full particulars would be given along with motivation. This is called a pre-study. Unaware members who were used during these projects, their names would also be mentioned with the part that such a member would have in such a project. A budget would then be approximated for the proposed project and this would be part of the presentation. The aware member who had to motivate the project, would sign it and this would then be handed over to the co-ordinator, who would give it to the Regional Manager. If the Regional Manager approved it, he would sign the pre-study and he would give it to the Managing Director with his proposals. If the project is approved, a so-called in-house would be held by the Regional Manager and the Managing Director with the member. During such an in-house, an oral presentation would be made by the co-ordinator to the Managing Director in the presence of the member, the Co-ordinator, the Regional Manager and the Managing Director. A discussion would then take place after which the in-house would be placed in writing and approved by the Managing Director and he would then present it to the Chairperson of the CCB. This presentation is known as the second in-house, which is held when the Managing Director, the Co-ordinator and the Chairperson are present. The Chairperson can approve or reject the project. All projects had to be approved by the Chairperson.

The concept red plan and blue plan was explained to us during the course. The red plan entailed those activities of the members that would be aimed at the promotion of the aims of the CCB. The blue plan entailed a private profession or business enterprise that every one of us had to manage and that would be a front and would also be a security arrangement. The arrangement was that gains by such a private enterprise, would go to the specific member.

The first blue plan that we had was Matthysen Bus Transport. My monthly salary was received by me in cash and then I would give the cash to Matthysen. The necessary income tax was gathered and a company cheque in the name of Matthysen Bus Transport was given to me. From May 1988 to the end of March 1989, I received my salary monthly by these means. During May 1988 an amount of R30 000 was given to Matthysen and he bought the vehicle with which I would do my work for the CCB, namely a BMW 318i. The registration certificates relating to the vehicle were in my own name, but I signed a blank change of ownership right, as a precaution for when I would leave the organisation. I could use my vehicle for the blue plan and also the red plan and I could also use it for private means. I kept a monthly travel book.

In 1988 I bought a pager which was supposed to be used for the red plans. I rented this pager for a time of 1 year at the cost of about R1 200 per year and the money was paid by the CCB. The aim of the pager basically so that unaware members could be contacted. I also want to mention that Matthysen had no knowledge of any of our projects or activities as far as I know.

At a stage, the Managing Director gave instructions that we had to get our own fronts and that everyone should not work with Matthysen Bus Transport anymore. On the 1st of March or the 1st of April 1989, I left Matthysen and I started my own business enterprise. The CCB, amongst others, paid for the rent of my offices and other secretarial services. My blue plan business enterprise was very successful. Later on I got someone else in the business but his expenses and his salary were carried by the enterprise itself. I also want to mention that my partner was not connected to the CCB although he was informed of this after I left the CCB, as I will describe underneath here.

The other members of the cell also started blue plans which were approved, after the blue plans had been presented to the CCB's Managing Director, and I am aware of it that the blue plans were supported financially.

I started acting actively in the CCB organisation from the 1st of January 1989. I was informed that the approval that we could now become active, came from the Chairperson of the CCB, Gen Joubert. I was informed that the Cape Province was allocated to me as the region that I would be responsible for.

In 1988 I had already visited Cape Town to recruit an unaware member that I could use. I informed my brother telephonically that I was looking for a person with contacts in the criminal world, who was a criminal himself and who could be an informer for theft at Matthysen Bus Transport. I did not inform my brother about my involvement with the CCB and he told me that he would be looking for a suitable person. Later he introduced me to a person by the name of Peaches and I introduced myself as Tinus to Peaches. I told Peaches that I wanted to meet him regarding business interests and we arranged a meeting, to meet each other at the Golden Acre in Cape Town. I went to a hotel in Cape Town where I met Peaches and where I introduced him to the Regional Manager. The Regional Manager had an interview with Peaches and Peaches was informed that we were working for a group of businessmen from overseas and that we were trying to protect the group's business interests in South Africa. Peaches shouldn't know that we were working for the State or the CCB. Peaches was asked if he had any contacts within the ANC or UDF and other radical organisations. He answered that he knew quite a lot of people. He was informed that our organisation - that we were interested in the organisation because their actions against the Government were putting the investments of the people that we were working for in danger and that he would be remunerated for the work that he was doing for us. Peaches agreed to work for us and then we gave Peaches R200 in cash. I told Peaches that I would contact him telephonically and he left the hotel room. Myself and the Regional Manager went to Johannesburg the next day by plane.

In Johannesburg I put the details of Peaches in writing and I signed the report with the Regional Manager and this was handed over to the Co-ordinator. The report contained full details of Peaches and I am of the opinion that the report was aimed at the Managing Director and that it would be in the file "Goldie". Peaches was an unaware member of the CCB, in other words, and about two weeks later I contacted Peaches from Jo'burg and he wanted to know from me if I was not a member of the Security Police. I denied this and I assumed that he believed me. I further told him that I would see him early in January in 1989 in the Cape.

In January 1989 I went by plane to the Cape in order to check Peaches' reliability, on instructions of the Regional Manager and also the Co-ordinator. In the Cape I contacted Peaches at a restaurant where we ate a meal and where I gave him a package that I sealed, with the instructions that he would have to go and deliver it at a cafe. I told him that there was a firearm in the packet which he should not open under any circumstances. Inside the packet, which consisted of a cardboard box, there were only two rocks. The instructions were that Peaches had to deliver the packet the next morning at 10HOO. Arrangements were made at the cafe that the packet would be received and that it would be taken and the next day at about 10HOO in the morning I went to the cafe, where Kalla Botha, who was with me in the Cape, went to fetch the packet. Botha gave me the packet and I was satisfied that Peaches had executed his instructions. I gave Peaches an amount of R200 for delivering the packet. I also informed him that I would contact him later and myself and Botha went back to Jo'burg the same day, or the next day.

A report concerning the project was made to the Managing Director in writing and the Co-ordinator also sent it through according to the prescribed manner.

From time to time I did contact Peaches and he contacted me. He used the pager that I kept with me. He used the pager that I had with me and he knew me as Tinus de Wet.

Early in February I received the names and addresses of six persons from the Co-ordinator and also the Regional Manager. My instructions were to confirm the particulars of these people who allegedly were members of Swapo. The names and addresses I cannot remember, but it was in the Cape.

My application for an amount of money I handed in and also the instruction that I received and in February 1989 I went to the Cape by plane where I met Peaches. I gave Peaches the particulars of the people with the instructions that he would have to check and confirm these particulars. It was still in February 1989 when Peaches contacted me on my pager and informed me that he had found one of the six persons and that he gave me particulars regarding an address in Athlone. I gave the particulars, or reported the particulars to the Co-ordinator.

At the end of February or the beginning of March 1989, I went down to the Cape again where I met Peaches in order to discuss the particulars of the above mentioned persons. He also mentioned to me that he had recruited two other people who would then be working for me. I received the particulars of the Swapo member orally from Peaches who then told me that the Swapo member had a microbus with which he daily transported ANC and UDF members to a terrorist hearing that was taking place in the Cape. He gave the particulars of the microbus and also the address where the bus would be parked. I also received the particulars of the two people that would now be working for me from Peaches, namely the particulars of two coloured men, Ismail and Isgak, also known as Gakkie. The same day I met the two people at the hotel and I presented myself to them as Tinus de Wet with the same version that I gave to Peaches. They indicated that they would work with me and I undertook to contact them again. I also gave them the number of my pager and I requested them to infiltrate banned organisations like the ANC and the UDF. I gave them each R200.

That evening I went back by plane to Jo'burg and I gave all the particulars concerning the member of Swapo and also the two members in writing to the Co-ordinator. The Co-ordinator gave me instructions about a week later to do a pre-study for a project and to hand it in, so that the involved microbus could be burned out. I did organise such a project and I gave it to the Co-ordinator, who then presented it to the Regional Manager. The proposal was that the microbus would be burned out by Ismail at the address where it would be parked in Athlone in the evenings. An in-house was then held and later I received approval for the project and also the cash amount of about R1 500 which would be paid to Ismail after the execution of the project.

During the first two weeks of March 1989, I went to the Cape where I met Ismail and I informed him of what he had to do. I gave Ismail particulars of the microbus and also the place. The instruction was that he would have to burn the microbus in the evening and that he would then meet me the next day when the instructions had been executed. The next morning at the hotel where I was staying, he came to speak to me and he informed me that the bus had been burned out. I wanted to ensure that he was telling the truth and I phoned Peaches who confirmed this fact. After I was satisfied, upon his confirmation that the bus had been burned out, I gave R1 500 in cash to Ismail and the same day I flew back to Jo'burg, where I gave a report in the normal fashion. I never again made use of Ismail after this incident. I also have to mention that I determined later that the bus was never burned out because such a bus did not exist.

A budget was handed in for the monthly salary of Peaches and a decision was made that he would receive R1 480 per month and upon two occasions, I paid this amount into his account and also on a third occasion where I handed it over to him. This was during March 1989 and I became of the opinion that the quality of Peaches' work was not satisfactory and a decision was made that he would only be remunerated for work that he did and that the monthly payments would not happen anymore. I discussed this with the Regional Manager. At a stage I, as a result of an instruction from the Regional Manager, requested Peaches to gain information in respect of prominent radical figures in the Western Cape. Peaches gave me particulars about Adv Omar at the end of March 1989. This information, amongst others, entailed that he was the Regional Secretary of the UDF in the Western Cape and that he was also associated with the Executive Management of various other banned organisations, but I cannot remember the names of those organisations at the moment. I was also informed that these organisations were fronts for the organising of unrest and violence in order to usurp the Government. The information that I got hold of was then handed over to the Co-ordinator in writing and a few days later, in a flat, the Co-ordinator confirmed this information with me and he gave me instructions to do a pre-study in order to eliminate Omar. Later I received instructions from the Co-ordinator to register a project in this regard. A week later I went to the Cape by plane where I met Peaches and then I told him that he would have to present a plan to eliminate Omar. Peaches suggested that he gets hold of two people so that they can shoot Omar in his house, that they could kill him in such a way and he also gave me the necessary particulars and I returned to Jo'burg where I then presented the project. It was signed and it was presented to the Co-ordinator. The Regional Manager signed the report and it was sent through to the Managing Director. A week later I was informed by the Regional Manager that I would have to attend an in-house regarding this matter. This in-house was held in the Rosebank Hotel, in a room where myself, the Co-ordinator, the Regional Manager and also the Managing Director discussed the matter and it was decided that Omar would be shot at his house with a Makarov pistol. The weapon had to have a silencer so that attention would not be drawn to it. Two unaware members that Peaches would recruit and who were unknown to me, would commit the deed. Peaches would remunerate the two people and he would receive a total amount of R15 000 form which he then would have to remunerate the two people. The CCB would give me a weapon and a silencer with a magazine and seven rounds. The Managing Director approved the project and he said that he would motivate it to the Chairperson.

A few days later I was notified by the Regional Manager that the project as presented was approved and that he would give me the weapon. A day or so later, I met the Regional Manager at his house where he gave me a Makarov pistol with a silencer and a full magazine. This was in a blue plastic bag. He took out the pistol and he showed me how it worked and I kept the pistol in my baggage.

I went to the Cape by motor car and I gave Peaches the weapon in the blue plastic bag in a briefcase. He told me that he knew how the weapon worked and I told Peaches that he would receive R15 000 and the next day I went to Jo'burg.

I received no rewards for this project or any other project, apart from my salary. In Johannesburg I orally told the Regional Manager about the progress of the project. Three days afterwards I was informed by Peaches, after he paged me, that he had found two people to do the work and that the two people would each receive R2 500 beforehand and that they wanted this amount of money. The Regional Manager then gave me instructions to fill in an application for an amount of R15 000 and I then handed it in with the Co-ordinator. Shortly afterwards I received the amount in cash from the Co-ordinator and I paid it into the bank account of Peaches in Jo'burg, in other words R5 000 of this money. The R10 000 that remained I put in the safe in my house.

Peaches would contact me by pager with the message: "The sun is shining", if the project had been executed. The project dragged on for four to five months and Peaches made no progress with the project. Upon this I asked Ferdi Barnard to monitor Omar during July, August and September 1989. I just want to add that my distrust around Peaches was discussed with the Regional Manager on more than one occasion.

Ferdi Barnard went to the Cape during July 1989. If I can remember correctly, that was for the first time and he met me there in a hotel. I informed Barnard regarding the approved project, that had to do with Omar. I mentioned to him that I was worried about the reliability of Peaches. I gave Peaches's particulars to Barnard and I also introduced Peaches to Ferdi Barnard. Later I was informed by Barnard that Omar arrived home at different times and that people would normally arrive at home with him. The problems surrounding the project, I reported to the Regional Manager and we decided to continue with the project. At this stage a lot of pressure was put on me that the Omar project had to progress and I went back to Jo'burg where, at about the middle of August 1989, I decided that Barnard would once again have to be sent down to Cape Town in order to go and monitor Omar again. In the meantime, during the cell meeting in August 1989 with the Regional Manager, the Co-ordinator, Botha and Maree who were present in a hotel room close to Sandton, instructions were given by the Regional Manager that myself, the Regional Manager and Maree had to go to the Cape to hang a foetus of an ape in a jam bottle in Desmond Tutu's place. We were informed that this instruction came from the Chairperson. Maree could not accompany us. Myself and the Regional Manager would then go on our own.

I received an amount in order to cover the expenses and I went to the Cape by plane on my own. The foetus in the bottle had already been received by me from the Regional Manager and it was in my baggage. Barnard was in an hotel in the Cape regarding the Omar project and I was informed that the Regional Manager would later come down to the Cape. In the meantime I told Barnard of the new instructions and I also showed him the foetus.

The morning, just after midnight, Peaches met us at an hotel and I told him to go to Bishop's Court, or to drive to Bishop's Court. Barnard accompanied me and the project was executed in the following way, upon guidelines that we received from the Regional Manager. There were eight long nails that would be doctored by a witch doctor that during the hanging up of the foetus on both sides of the driveway, would have to be hammered into the ground. The nails, along with the orders of the Regional Manager, were received. There was an unknown coloured man accompanying Peaches who drove the vehicle.

At Bishop's Court myself, Peaches and Barnard went over the fence of the plot and then I hung the foetus of the ape as described from one of the branches of a tree while Barnard knocked in the nails on both sides of his driveway. The nails were knocked in with the sharp side downwards. We went back to the hotel where I gave Peaches R200 plus petrol money. The next morning I reported back to the Regional Manager that the project had been finished. Because the Omar project was still continuing, Barnard would stay in the Cape and the following day I went back to Jo'burg by plane.

After a few days Barnard returned to Jo'burg without the Omar project having been executed. I received information that Omar had a heart attack and that he was at home and this apparently jeopardised the project. Barnard proposed that the project regarding Omar had to be postponed for a few weeks. According to instructions from the Regional Manager, I contacted Peaches and I asked him if he could get hold of Omar's heart pills and he told me that he would try and get hold of them. The issue of the pills was discussed with the Regional Manager in the presence of the Co-ordinator, Nick Botha and Chappie Maree, by me. There was another person who was present there whose name I cannot remember, but who was previously in the Medical Regiment of the Defence Force. He was responsible for the logistical support, in other words, he would help with the pills.

I did mention that an attempt would be made to get hold of a pill of Omar's and I was told by the Regional Manager to give the pill to the unknown person who was present. He said that they would make a similar pill that would look exactly like the pill that was given to him and that Omar, after he had taken it, would then die of a heart attack. The Regional Manager said that he would have to discuss the matter via the Managing Director with the Chairperson, seeing as there had already been an approved project concerning Omar. I then received an order from the Regional Manager to continue with the project and to try and get hold of the pill.

Shortly afterwards, during August 1989, I received two small white tablets from Peaches. I was informed that these were the pills that Omar drank for his heart and during the cell meeting I handed the pills in an hotel room to the person who was involved with the Medical Regiment. I cannot remember who was present at this meeting.

At the beginning of August 1989 I sent Isgak to South West Africa in accordance with an order from the Regional Manager, to ascertain details of about four vehicles with South West African registration plates. These numbers I received from the Regional Manager and I gave them to Isgak. I was told to give Isgak orders to get the particulars of these buses, in other words where these buses were parked and to monitor the movement of these buses. He returned from South West Africa and he gave me the particulars that I then gave to the Regional Manager. I understood that some of these buses were registered in the name of the South African Council of Churches. The particulars were handed over to the Co-ordinator by means of a report and Isgak went back to the Cape.

At the end of August 1989, approximately the 25th, I received an order from the Regional Manager that Isgak would have to go to South West Africa again and the particulars of one of the microbuses was given to me by the Regional Manager and I gave it to Isgak. The order was that he would have to go to Windhoek and that he would then receive the order there from the Regional Manager, through me. I remember that it dealt with one of the buses that Isgak would have to damage in Windhoek. It was not my project. Money was given to Isgak for his travel and also his accommodation costs. Isgak went to South West Africa by plane but the next day I was informed by the Regional Manager that all projects in South West Africa were stopped and that Isgak would immediately have to come back. Two days afterwards he went back to Jo'burg, as I instructed him to do.

In the meantime I had gathered information over a period of time of about one month, amongst others, by means of Isgak, in relation to the violent disruptions of the September elections in the Cape, especially the coloured elections. The information was in relation to a hall which was known as the Early Learning Centre in Athlone which was used by prominent UDF and ANC activists. Secret meetings were held there where deeds of sabotage and terror were discussed and planned against the State. It appeared that the UDF and ANC activists who, according to emergency regulations, who were under emergency regulation limits, were now under a new organisation by the name of the Kewtown Youth Movement.

The aims of this organisation were to try and usurp the coming elections and to disrupt the coming elections that would be held on the 6th of September 1989 in South Africa and my information was that the organisation was responsible for, or helped with the planning of several school boycotts and also deeds of terror which included explosions. My information was that the organisation was responsible or helped with the bomb explosions in Athlone Magistrates Court, which happened right next to the police station and also the Athlone Post Office. With the limpet mine explosions in the Magistrates Court in Athlone, two people who were purportedly there to set the mine, had died. The two people were, according to my information, members of the above-mentioned organisation. The Post Office that was damaged in the explosion was an election venue for the elections in 1989.

I also received other information, including documentation, which indicated that the persons who died in the explosions and other persons related to the organisation, were involved with the bomb explosions and that further bomb explosions were planned up to and including the 6th of September 1989 in the Cape. The apparent reason for the bomb explosions was the intimidation of people, in order to intimidate them so that they would not take part in the election that was also meant for the coloured people. Amongst others, I was in possession of a letter that the same organisation had written to one of the candidates in that election, Mr Alex Anthony, in which he was warned that he should not take part in the racist elections. All these facts were, on about the 10th of August, presented to the Co-ordinator during the pre-study, in written form, where the in-house was organised on about the 25th of August by the Regional Manager.

As a result of information that I presented, the destruction of the hall that is known as the Early Learning Centre, was identified as a project and I proposed that it be done by the placing and activating of a limpet mine. I actually - I did not want to use only the limpet mine because that would possibly lead to the loss of life and that is why I proposed that the limpet mine would have to have a detonation mechanism. The motivation for this project was to disrupt the members of the organisation or the people responsible for the bomb explosion in the Cape area and to give them a fright so that they would not continue with their violent campaign. The organisation had to be disrupted so that the planned violent campaign against the election and also the Government, could not continue. The aim was to prevent further deeds of terror and also possible loss of life in the Cape.

During the in-house all the documentation that I have just referred to and also the information was made available to the Managing Director. I asked that a remote control limpet mine be given to me through the CCB for the execution of this project. The limpet mine would be given to Isgak, who would then place it in the hall and he would then activate the limpet mine, although I would help him if problems occurred. Isgak, at that stage, in principle, had already agreed to help with the placing of the limpet mine in the hall. R30 000, via the Regional Manager, would be asked for for this project and the explosion was planned for the 31st of August 1989, during the evening.

On Wednesday 30 August 1989, I was requested by the Regional Manager to go to Protea Gardens Hotel in Berea, Johannesburg. There I met the Regional Manager, Nick and the person attached to the Medical Regiment in a room. The Regional Manager then informed me that the project of the Early Learning Centre had been approved and that the Managing Director had indicated that if one more bomb should be activated by the Kewtown Youth Movement, he would regard it as my fault. The Regional Manager informed me that a co-ordinator was on his way with a limpet mine and approximately three quarter's of an hour later, the co-ordinator arrived at the hotel with the limpet mine in a cardboard box. He showed the limpet mine with the remote control to me and demonstrated the function of it.

The limpet mine was a large grey Russian manufactured limpet mine, while the detonating mechanism was a pocket calculator with an aerial. The calculator would detonate the bomb by pressing the minus button on the calculator. I had never worked with any explosives before that and I was concerned that there would be loss of life because I was not an explosives expert. I then requested the Regional Manager and Co-ordinator for assistance and proposed that Botha go with me to the Cape so that he could handle the bomb because he had knowledge of explosives. The Regional Manager then said yes and he paged Botha."

MS COLERIDGE: May I just interrupt at this stage?

CHAIRPERSON: Certainly, Ms Coleridge.

MS COLERIDGE: ... (indistinct - no microphone) we are currently busy with, you'll see that it goes page 90 and then page 92. I see that there's page 91 of the fax, there's 38, 39 is missing Chairperson, just for ...

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but the paragraphs seem to follow.

MR MARTINI: Mr Chairperson while you have this debate, can I go ask for amnesty outside quickly?

CHAIRPERSON: Certainly, Mr Martini. Sorry, I'm not following you. If you get to the bottom of this page, it's page 89, ...

MR LAX: This one here.



MS COLERIDGE: I do believe we have a page there, but just ...

CHAIRPERSON: So it's page 91 that's missing.

MS COLERIDGE: That's right, Chairperson. We will make it available to everyone, if that is okay.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes but Mr van Zyl, do you have it?

MR VAN ZYL: I haven't got it.

CHAIRPERSON: So you're going to have difficulty reading it if you haven't got it?

MS COLERIDGE: We've got one copy so we can just give it to him.

CHAIRPERSON: I wonder if that perhaps could get across just until Mr van Zyl's finished reading page 91. Thank you very much and then we'll get it back to you and a copy will be made for everyone concerned.

MS COLERIDGE: Thank you, Chairperson, I am indebted to you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van Zyl, if you can continue, thank you.


"The Regional Manager agreed and paged Botha, after which Botha arrived at the hotel where the mechanism of the limpet mine was explained to him. Botha agreed to be part of the operation and the necessary arrangements were made. The very same day, 30th August 1989, Botha and I departed for Cape Town in my vehicle, with the limpet mine in a cardboard box in the boot. The remote control I kept in an attaché case.

On the 31st of August 1989, we arrived in the Cape. We slept for approximately 4 hours and after we awoke, I called Isgak and told him to meet me that afternoon on the parking grounds of DF Malan Airport where I would hand over the limpet mine to him. That afternoon I met with Isgak at the Airport and Botha prepared the limpet mine. Thereafter, the bag in which the limpet mine was placed, was placed in the boot of Isgak's vehicle. I gave the following instruction to Isgak. He had to take the bag with the bomb and place it in the hall of the Early Learning Centre in a cupboard there. The instruction was that Isgak would take the bomb straight from the airport to the hall and that that bomb would be activated later, after all persons had left the building. After placing the limpet mine, he had to return to the airport to confirm that he had completed his instruction.

I then gave Isgak instructions to meet Botha and myself that evening at 7 o'clock at the Belville Holiday Inn. At the Airport and after Isgak had departed, I contacted the Regional Manager that the bomb had been placed and he informed me that the Managing Director would be informed. At the same time I arranged with the Managing Director that he would meet Botha and I on the 1st of September. I was planning to take leave and would arrive, with my spouse at Cape Town airport to collect my car for my two weeks leave, which I would spend in Cape Town.

During the course of that afternoon I decided that I would not hand over the remote control to Isgak. I was concerned about the fact that he could have placed the bomb at any other place other than the Learning Centre and that he would activate it at a place and time of his choice. I discussed this with Botha and we decided that we would go along in order to determine that the bomb was placed in the correct place.

The evening of 31st of August 1989, Isgak met Botha and I at the Holiday Inn. We, together in a vehicle, went to the Early Learning Centre Hall and by approximately quarter to Eight, we arrived at the centre. Isgak then pointed out the vicinity of the hall to us, as well as the parking area where vehicles of the members of the organisation were parked. We parked approximately 400 metres from the hall and it was already dark.

I sent Isgak into the hall in order to ensure that children were out of the hall because during the evening a karate class was held for children. He also had to determine which members of the movement had attended the meeting. He returned after half an hour and reported that there were no children in the hall and mentioned that all the management members of the movement were present in the hall. We drove to a street where we had a good view of the parking area and the hall. At approximately 9 p.m. the management members of the Movement left the hall and went to their vehicles. Isgak informed me that everyone had departed from the hall. We were approximately 30 metres from the hall. I then told Ismail to drive around the block, so that I could activate the mine. The mine was activated afterwards and the bomb exploded. Isgak took us back to the airport where he dropped us off and we left by aeroplane back to Johannesburg the very same evening.

On the 1st of September 1989, the Regional Manager and Maree met Botha and I at Jan Smuts Airport and I reported to the Regional Manager. The Regional Manager went to his vehicle and informed us that the Co-ordinator and the Managing Director would be informed that the project had been completed. I saw that he called someone. We then left for home from the airport.

At 10 a.m. on the morning of the 1st of September 1989 I met with the Regional Manager, Co-ordinator, Maree, Botha and Nick in the Rosebank Hotel in a room. This meeting was arranged by the Regional Manager and I handed over the pocket calculator along with my written report with regard to the bomb explosion at the Early Learning Centre, to the Co-ordinator. I then made arrangements that the Regional Manager would apply for a reward for Isgak and that the money would be handed over to me.

The evening of the 1st of September 1989, I and my spouse went to Cape Town by aeroplane on leave. We spent two weeks in Cape Town. On Saturday 2nd September 1989, I spoke to Peaches and Isgak at various times. I wanted to know from Peaches how the Omar project was proceeding and I anted to inform Isgak as to when he would be paid.

The following Saturday, 9th of September 1989, I once again had an appointment with Peaches and Isgak and I met them in the Cape. Peaches reported to me that Omar's movements were back to normal. I paged Barnard in Johannesburg and asked him to meet me on the 11th of September 1989 in Cape Town. I then asked Barnard to monitor Omar and he agreed. I only told him just to monitor Omar. The evening of 11th September 1989, the Regional Manager handed over R25 000 in cash to me. R7 000 of the R25 000 that was handed over to me was added to the R3 000 that was left of the Omar project so that there was R10 000. The reason why there was R7 000 added, was that Barnard was paid with this for the monitoring of Omar and for other tasks that he had performed. The R7 000 was added to the R3 000 of the original R10 000 which was in my safe and therefore I paid back R10 000 to the organisation. On the 12th of September 1989, I handed over R18 000 in cash to Isgak. The Regional Manager reported with regard to the application of the monies.

On Tuesday 12th September 1989 I met with Barnard in Cape Town and wanted to know how the monitoring of Omar was proceeding. I was informed that it was on-going. Later I met with Barnard and Peaches again and Barnard informed me that he was done with the monitoring of Omar and that he would return to Johannesburg. On the same day, I flew back to Johannesburg. Later I met with Botha and Nick at a hotel at the airport where I gave R10 000 back to Nick. The R10 000 was in regard to the Omar project. Nick then gave to me a white coloured powder in a small bottle. Nick informed me that the powder came from the Regional Manager and this had to be put into Omar's food because they could not make the pills themselves. The powder would also cause a heart attack to Omar. I took it and went back to Cape Town. On the same day I met Peaches at DF Malan Airport. I gave this bottle to him with the instruction that the contents had to be strewn over Omar's food. I never again saw Peaches, Isgak or Barnard thereafter.

After a week I called Peaches. He informed me that he could not strew the powder over Omar's food. I told Peaches to destroy the pistol and the powder and to cease the project on Omar as previously arranged by the Regional Manager.

A project where I was involved in the Cape was with regard to a printing press. I cannot recall the name of this printing press. I received information early in 1989 that the printing press was doing printing work for, amongst others, the ANC, the UDF, Cosatu and other banned organisations. The information was given through to the CCB and a project was identified that the place would be burned down. After an in-house with the Managing Director, the Regional Manager told me that the project had been approved and that this place would be burned down. I instructed Isgak to execute this project. Later he reported to me that the place had been burned down and he was paid R2 000. I heard later that the printing press was never burned down.

During March of 1989 I, the Regional Manager and Maree met in a flat in Johannesburg and I was informed that an in-house would be held with regard to a project that would entail the elimination of a man by the name of Michael Gavin Evans. He would be robbed at knife point and I was told to arrange with Peaches to come from Cape Town to Johannesburg and to bring another person along with him, in order to execute this project. Peaches came to Johannesburg and I spoke to him in an hotel room and informed him that Evans was the target of the project. The project was not my project, but the project of Maree and he continued with the project. I gave R2 000 in cash to Peaches in order to cover their expenses and it was arranged that Peaches would receive R5 000 to execute the project.

Later it appeared that the information with regard to Evans was not correct and that he could not be traced. I conveyed this to the Managing Director and he said that the project could not continue. The project was therefore ceased.

On Tuesday 2nd May 1989 it came to my knowledge that David Webster had been killed in an assassination attempt and I recall that I saw it on television news. A few days after the Webster murder, there was a cell meeting in a hotel room where I, the Regional Manager, Maree and Botha were present. We were waiting for the Co-ordinator. While we awaited the Co-ordinator, the Regional Manager said that he went and saw the Managing Director in connection with the Webster matter. He still said that the Managing Director was concerned about the incident and that the Managing Director suspected that our cell was involved in the Webster incident. I know nothing of the Webster murder and do not have any knowledge. I will repeat, I do not know anything of the Webster murder and have no knowledge that his murder was discussed in our cell or at our region. I had nothing to do with the murder of Webster whatsoever.

After I resigned from the organisation, the Managing Director requested me to speak to him. This was close to Verwoerdburg where I met with the Managing Director. He told me that there were problems regarding the Webster incident. He then asked if I was involved with the Webster incident or whether the Regional Manager or any of the other members were involved. I told the Managing Director that I was definitely not involved in the killing of Webster. I also told him that I did not know whether the other three members were involved in the incident. I gained the impression that the Managing Director was concerned and that he had no knowledge with regard to the Webster incident. I told the Managing Director that I believed that other persons were responsible for the act because I would have heard if our members were responsible. The discussion did not take very long and I was taken back by Nick.

At some stage before October 1989, I was informed by the Managing Director that I had to attend a second course during October 1989 but I informed him of my intention to resign. The Regional Manager was present as well as the Co-ordinator, Maree, Botha and Nick. They thought that I was joking, but I emphasised it and the Regional Manager was dissatisfied with this. He alleged that I had misused the organisation in order to establish my business. I denied this and I showed him that my production bonus for November 1989, that I would not take the bonus and I would - that I would not take my 13th salary cheque and my medical costs. I informed the Regional Manager that I was done with the organisation. I excused myself. I walked off and that was the last formal contact that I had with the organisation.

Later I returned the vehicle to the organisation, as well as other facilities that I had used of the organisation, for example a shredding machine, and a telephone scrambler. This I gave back to the CCB. I handed it over to Nick."

Chairperson, consequently from paragraph 62 up to paragraph 63, this dealt with specific questions that Adv Tim McNally has referred to Annexure A, were put to me. Unfortunately I do not have Annexure A here.

CHAIRPERSON: But do you confirm the contents of paragraph 62 as being what you said and as far as you're concerned, being correct?

MR VAN ZYL: I confirm that that is so and that it is correct, yes. And then I would like to continue with paragraph 63.

"During my leave in September 1989, I reconsidered my connection or attachment to the CCB. I realised that the country was entering a new phase of negotiation under the State President, Mr F W de Klerk. I was of the opinion that Mr de Klerk was prepared to speak to the ANC, which would mean that the internal arms struggle would be ceased and that Region 6's objective would become obsolete. The new approach with the enemy enjoyed my support and I looked forward to the day when the CCB's actions were no longer necessary.

In light of the abovementioned and on behalf of my family, I decided to cut off any relationship with the CCB in order to lead a normal life as a South African citizen, with the view of a future in a new peaceful South Africa. I therefore resigned in October 1989 from the CCB."

MR MARTINI: Mr van Zyl, before these acts in respect of which you're asking for amnesty, what were your political objectives? You dealt with them in your amnesty application, if you could please just read that into the record.

MR VAN ZYL: I will accordingly read Bundle A, page 72 to page 74. It is Annexure B:

"The actions referred to in Annexure A, I did with a political aim and for political reasons in the presupposition that a State goal was served, always in the execution of instructions, as set out underneath. I was a member of the Civil Co-operation Bureau, the CCB, and therefore a member of the South African Defence Force. In the Harms report, page 34, the circumstances under which I joined the CCB are set out in paragraph 6 to 24 of my affidavit and I stick to this. I specifically want to draw attention on paragraph 10 of my statement where I said that at that stage I had the opinion at that time as a member of the South African Defence Force, that the enemies of the Republic of South Africa were busy with a secret war against the Republic of South Africa. It was a situation which for survival had my sympathy and also my interests.

It was clear to me that the conventional ways of warfare at that time in the exterior of South Africa, was not efficient and effective and that steps in a secret way were necessary against the enemy.

In paragraph 22 in my affidavit I said that during the training course I was told by the Managing Director of the CCB that I would be indemnified and that I would not be prosecuted and the argument was that the Defence Force and the State approved of these projects and that I would not be prosecuted seeing as how the country was also in a war situation internally. I also summarised the situation like this.

I confirm hence that while I gave evidence in front of the Harms Commission, I also gave evidence to this effect and that I was not contradicted during cross-examination. See Harms Report, page 44, footnote 9. In this regard I would like to point out that other than the CCB, I did follow the higher authority of the State President and the Chief of the Defence Force and the Minister of Defence, and I also confirm that no personal gain was involved in my steps and that my actions always happened with a political motive. I saw my task as a soldier and a member of the South African Force, to protect the government of the day and also to maintain the existing State system. My steps were a reaction to the total onslaught against the government of the day and the enemies of the Republic of South Africa.

I will also respectfully propose that the findings of the Harms Commission would confirm that with my steps I acted with a political goal. I had no other political goal other than the protection of the government."

MR MARTINI: Sorry, Chairperson, I just want to deal with certain issues with my client now. Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr van Zyl, when you joined the CCB in 1988, did you support any particular organisation at the time?

MR VAN ZYL: Chairperson, I think it is apparent that all Afrikaans-speaking or most Afrikaans-speaking white people at that stage supported the government of the day, which was the National Party, and it was also my point of view at that point.

MR MARTINI: Mr van Zyl, you stated that when you joined the CCB you went on a course, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR MARTINI: At the course, did the course entail you being enlightened on the structures that were available to the CCB? Any other organisations which could assist the CCB organisation within the framework of the State organs.

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Chairperson, because the CCB as such was a covert operation there were no details that were given to us concerning which support organisations we could use, but mention was made to us that the CCB did have an intelligence structure at its disposal and that the CCB had a facility at its disposal, which was known as the EMLC. That facility was responsible for the gathering of logistical support, for instance weaponry.

CHAIRPERSON: What does EMLC stand for, do you know?

MR VAN ZYL: I can't remember.

MR LAX: If I remember correctly it's mentioned in someone else's papers, something to do with electromagnetic component, or something like that.

MR VAN ZYL: Something like that, yes.

MR MARTINI: Thank you.

Mr van Zyl, you've heard today and throughout the week quite a lot of debate relating to the Harms Commission, the testimony that you've given here today at the Truth Commission, before the Amnesty Committee, is that the same evidence you've given at the Harms Commission?

MR VAN ZYL: That is the case, Mr Chairperson. This statement was prepared by my legal team at that point and this is the evidence that I gave since March 1990.

CHAIRPERSON: So the evidence which you've read now from the statement, which is now your evidence in this matter, is in certain respects somewhat outdated, I think you talk about having a two-month old child and that sort of thing. That child would now be 10 years old. And that you live in Florida, does that still apply?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Chairperson no, apart from personal situations that have changed, factually regarding the projects that I gave evidence of, the contents of that statement is still the same and correct.

MR MARTINI: Sorry, Mr Chairman. In effect what I'm dealing with is these acts that you're claiming amnesty for, the evidence relating to that is the same evidence as given at the Harms Commission.

MR VAN ZYL: That is the case.

MR MARTINI: Now when you testified at the Harms Commission, were you given any indemnity?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Mr Chairperson, I also state that completely on page 1 of the statement, that no promises were made to me and that I gave the evidence because I felt that I wanted to cooperate with the Harms Commission and that I gave this evidence at that stage during 1990, with the realisation that I could be prosecuted. In spite of this fact, I did give this evidence.

MR MARTINI: Did you claim any privilege at that Commission?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chairperson, I did not use my right to privilege apart from possibly in one case, and that is the Lubowski matter in South West, in Namibia, but I don't believe that that was privilege, that was outside the jurisdiction of the Harms Commission and evidence was not given in this regard.

MR MARTINI: Now I just want to go back while we're dealing with Harms, to certain testimony of Mr Verster this morning which possibly you can enlighten us on. You heard the evidence of Mr Verster, he gave testimony today to the effect that he said that Gen Badenhorst had said "Leave van Zyl out", and thereafter he went on to say that "van Zyl told me", words to the effect that you would thank him, that Verster would thank you one day for what had happened at the Harms Commission.

Now Mr Chairperson, I don't remember the exact words in the Afrikaans, but I understand that was the context, the meaning of his words. The gist.

Now in what context were those words said to you? Did you say those words to Mr Verster?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, I did say those words to Verster and I said them in the context of - there was a difference of opinion between Verster and myself regarding my evidence, he wanted me to use my right to privilege and I didn't want to do that, and it was within this context that I told him that he would one day thank me for the fact that I so open-heatedly testified in this regard.

MR MARTINI: Now when did you resign from the CCB?

MR VAN ZYL: Approximately the 20th or 23rd of October 1989 I resigned from the CCB.

MR MARTINI: Now when you resigned, were you given any packages, financial packages of any kind?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Mr Chairperson, it happened quite quickly, the vehicle that I used while I was working for the CCB, I gave back, as my evidence said, the safe I bought from them and the shredding machine I bought from them. I received no package from them, from the CCB, and I also received no pension from the Defence Force. I gave up all my salaries and my benefits.

CHAIRPERSON: So that money that you used with your first production bonus that you said you'd put in for a pension, was that in a personal endowment-type policy or some other sort of policy, retirement annuity police? What happened to that?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct, Mr Chairperson, that was a sort of a retirement policy and this policy then expired because I could not follow it up after I resigned from the CCB.


MR MARTINI: Thank you, Chairperson.

Now I want to deal with that. There's been suggestions in the cross-examination of Mr Verster and suggestions by certain cross-examination by Mr Hockey, more particularly dealing with your statement, I think it was at page 115, that you stole money or you committed - it was implicit from the question put, that money was stolen and I think it's related to pages 115, relating to you being told by the "Streekbestuurder" to keep R5 000 for yourself. Now have you ever stolen any money from the CCB organisation whilst you were employed there or after you resigned?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Mr Chairperson ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Can we use the word "unlawful appropriate", steal might be ...(inaudible) legally interpreted. Did you in any way unlawfully appropriate monies from the CCB?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Chairperson, I would like to answer no, and I will explain as follows. I was not authorised to incur expenses that were related to Ferdi Barnard, I did that in consultation with my own discretion. Ferdi Barnard upon three occasions flew from Jo'burg to Cape Town and he stayed for quite a while to help me with the monitoring of the Omar project. The only way in which I could see my way clear to pay for the expenses in this regard, was either to go and speak to Staal Burger in this regard, but when the opportunity presented itself after the explosion at the Early Learning Centre and he told me that I could keep R5 000 for myself, and I do not know if he meant it that I could just take it and whether this was a sort of a bonus. I should actually, according to my calculations, have given R20 000 to Gakie(?), the additional R2 000 of this amount I took so that I could then give the full amount of R10 000 back to the CCB. So on my own discretion I spent R7 000 of the State's money on Ferdi Barnard, which was not authorised but this was not money that I in any way used for my own personal gain.

MR MARTINI: Was that R7 000 spent on projects of the CCB?

MR VAN ZYL: It was specifically used for the project of Omar.

MR MARTINI: Now Mr van Zyl, we know from the evidence that ultimately from Mattheysen, the operatives in Region 6 were to set up their own businesses, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR MARTINI: Now did you perform such an act, did you set up your own business whilst in the employ of the CCB?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, we reached a stage where the cover that Mattheysen Bus Transport should have given us was served out or not appropriate anymore and accordingly I decided to get my own cover and I started a business which was called Incom, I-n-c-o-m Investigations. I was planning it that this cover would be managed as a private investigation agency. I started it, and this business was situated in Sandton. I received a monthly amount from the organisation in the form of about R2 000 per month, which would then go to the payment of the renting of offices.

MR MARTINI: When did you start that business?

MR VAN ZYL: This business was started approximately June/July 1989.

MR MARTINI: When you started that business, did you get given a lump sum payment to buy any capital assets or any other assets for that business? - from the CCB.

MR VAN ZYL: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR MARTINI: But the CCB paid for certain expenses, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: The CCB covered the normal monthly expenses like the renting of offices and telephone accounts and secretarial services. I did not have my own secretary, the office was situated inside a business management building where the secretary could be found.

MR MARTINI: Now how long had you been running this business before you resigned from the CCB organisation?

MR VAN ZYL: The business existed for about four months before I resigned from the CCB. But I have to add that as a result of our activities it was at that stage not possible to actively manage the blue plan, and it was for this aim that I then thought to approach a colleague, Ben van Zyl, so that he could do investigation work for me with the blue plan business to in this way, give me an opportunity to actively continue my red plan activities.

MR MARTINI: Now you heard the evidence under cross - or the suggestions - let me rephrase myself, by Mr Bizos that certain operatives got themselves businesses, well was this business worth anything?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Mr Chairperson, the business had no value, that business is managed by me today and it is so that it is a very successful business, but I can give you the assurance that there is no relation between the CCB or the current government or State system.

CHAIRPERSON: When you started that business, did you buy an existing business called Incom Investigations, or did you start it from scratch? Did you form a company, did you register a company or a CC or what? When you talk about business, what was the legal nature of it?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, Mr Chairperson, it was quite simple, it was only a close corporation that was formed and I was the only member of such a corporation. The close corporation had no assets at all and to be able to start the close corporation, at that time only cost R400.

MR MARTINI: While we're on the business, can you explain - are you still conducting this business today?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, I'm still involved at present with the investigation of criminal matters on a private basis and I also have security businesses.

MR MARTINI: Now in that security business, you say - the way I understand you, your business comprises of an investigative unit and furnishing security, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR MARTINI: Now in your security section, do you employ people?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, I have approximately 300 members of staff at the moment.

MR MARTINI: Now in the employment of your staff, are you limited to race or is it an open policy?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chairperson, we accept the same standards and norms that all the businesses accept, race and colour does not play a role at all, it's about qualifications.

MR MARTINI: Have you employed any former, past members of any political organisation in your present business?

MR VAN ZYL: That is the case, I have certain members of the then Umkhonto weSizwe who are currently working for me and - yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you employed any former members of the CCB?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Mr Chairperson, I've learnt my lesson.

MR MARTINI: Mr van Zyl, there have also been suggestions that whilst you were in the CCB, the certain operatives - what were they called, the indirect operatives that you used, were gangsters and criminals, is there anything sinister employing - before I ask you that question, prior to joining the CCB, what did you do, where were you employed?

MR VAN ZYL: As I have already given evidence, I was a member of the South African Police Force, Police Service, and I was last at the Brixton Murder and Robbery Squad.

MR MARTINI: Now in employing gangsters or criminals, is there anything sinister or is it normally something that one does in this type of business, or the Police when they use informers? Do you go and look for squeaky-clean people or do you look for this type of person to provide information?

MR VAN ZYL: I would like to explain it in the following manner, that when it comes to the gathering of information there is necessarily a very broad spectrum and there is a very big community from whom information can be gained, but when working with aspects like these, then one normally does not get your information from the church and then you would have to turn to the gutters and the badder structures to be able to get hold of your information.

MR MARTINI: You read in your evidence that you were given a vehicle when you joined the CCB, I'm not sure if you've given evidence as to what you did with it, but if you haven't, what did you do with the vehicle that you received from the CCB when you joined?

MR VAN ZYL: I gave it back.

MR MARTINI: Mr van Zyl, I just want to clarify how the projects were conducted. Did you receive instructions to formulate plans to eliminate people for example, or were you given an instruction to formulate such a plan? Just in summary, how did it work? Because I understood from your evidence that your function was to gather information, so when it came to a point of having to eliminate a person, was that a decision you took? Just explain how one arrives at that point within the organisation of the CCB at the time.

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Chairperson, our primary task was to maximally disrupt the enemy. Our secondary task was to gather information. If I can refer to the gathering of information, this was a normal daily task, if I can put it like that. Information was gathered from the structures that we worked with, in other words the unaware members, such information was put in writing and then in the prescribed manner was sent through to the co-ordinator, who would then process this information. And then it was the duty of the Co-ordinator and also the Regional Manager, to give specific instructions to us as operators concerning when a specific project had to be registered or when a specific instruction had to be executed.

MR MARTINI: But in essence, did you supply information and from that - who verified that information?

MR VAN ZYL: As I've said already, the information was passed to the Co-ordinator and it was the Co-ordinatorís function that he would with the information that he got from our structures, to verify such information with the structures that the CCB had access to ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Let's take an example, let's take Mr Omar's case, how did you get or under what circumstances did you yourself personally first learn of the name, Dullah Omar and who from?

MR VAN ZYL: The first time I heard of Dullah Omar was when his particulars were given to me by one of my agents, Peaches ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: So in other words, Peaches, for what reason would he give you Mr Omar's name?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Chairperson, as I've given evidence, they were asked to gather information regarding persons that we saw as the enemy of the State and people were connected with banned organisations etcetera, and as the time went on, Peaches gave me the particulars of Adv Omar and those particulars I then gave to the Co-ordinator, who was Wouter Basson. And at a later stage, I mean there was no - I had nothing in mind with this information up to a later stage when the Co-ordinator came back to me and he said that the information regarding Adv Omar was confirmed and they want me to do a pre-study in terms of the elimination of this person.

CHAIRPERSON: And did you ever learn what Peaches' real name was?

MR VAN ZYL: I knew him as Peaches Gordon, I think Gordon was his surname. Edward Gordon was his correct name.

MR MARTINI: But what I'm getting at, the ultimate instruction to come up with a plan to eliminate today's Minister, at the time, Mr Dullah Omar, that instruction was given to you, or did you take that decision yourself to formulate a plan?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Mr Chairperson, we never - the instruction to eliminate someone or the instruction to burn something always came via the Co-ordinator or via the Regional Manager, it was not an initiative from an operator like myself.

MR MARTINI: And in respect of the Early Learning Centre I take it the same principle applied?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR MARTINI: And with the Bishop Tutu incident?

MR VAN ZYL: The same principle applies. This was just a normal order that I received and that I executed.

MR MARTINI: You didn't decide - we've heard suggestions by Mr van Zyl that this was a "grappie", you didn't take it upon yourself and say "well I'm going to go and play this joke on Bishop Tutu", and went and placed this foetus in his garden?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Mr Chairperson, I did not see it as a joke, to me it was an instruction like any other instruction and I executed it as it was required of me.

MR MARTINI: In respect of Gavin Evans you said it was not one of your projects, what did you mean by that?

MR VAN ZYL: The Gavin Evans incident, the Regional Manager, Staal Burger, informed me that the Evans project was the project of Chap Maree and that the project had already been presented to the Regional Manager and that it was an approved project and I was simply requested by him to use Peaches Gordon and another person to execute this project. So what I am telling you, Mr Chairperson, is that I was not present with the presentation of this project to the Chairperson. As I understood it coming from the Regional Manager, Chap did this presentation.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just on that before it slips my mind, we heard that that was a Gauteng project, but what were you doing about it in the Cape then, why were you involved down here?

MR VAN ZYL: I'm sorry, I don't understand the question.

CHAIRPERSON: Why was Peaches involved down in the Cape if it was a Gauteng project? Was Mr Evans from Gauteng or was he from Cape Town?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Mr Chairperson, Peaches Gordon and Isgak, just for the record, are people who stay in Cape Town and the Cape region was given to me, but at that stage when execution had to be given to the project of Mr Gavin Evans, neither Mr Botha or Mr Chap Maree had any unaware members or had access to the use of any unaware members, I was the only person at that stage who had already recruited unaware members and it was for this reason that I was asked by the Regional Manager to make Peaches Gordon and another person available to execute this project.

CHAIRPERSON: So do you know whether Peaches and that other person then went up to ...(intervention)

MR VAN ZYL: They did, they definitely did.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh did they. Thank you.

MR MARTINI: Chairperson, that was the testimony, they came up but the address was incorrect, so they cancelled the project.

Now in respect of the Gavin Evans project, were you asked to formulate a plan to eliminate him?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Mr Chairperson, there had already been a plan that was prepared. I was told that an address would be given where Mr Evans would be residing and I was told that he would have to be stabbed with a knife so that it could look like a robbery.

MR MARTINI: In other words Mr van Zyl, the plan had already been prepared by somebody else, you were just instructed to carry out the plan, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr van Zyl, you said in your evidence that these unaware people were used in high risk type operations and the aware operatives were used in low risk operations just so that in case they were caught then there wouldn't be any link to Special Forces. Monitoring a person - forget about the elimination aspect, but just establishing whether a person is at an address, at a particular house in Johannesburg or wherever it is, or whether he works at a particular place, is there any risk involved in that? Why bring two people all the way from Cape Town just to establish that the person's not at a given address? Why didn't the operatives, the aware members themselves establish whether or not the person was at an address? It's a fairly easy sort of thing to do.

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Chairperson, I agree with what you are saying, but what I gave evidence to was that I had the two people come up to Jo'burg with the specific instructions and the specific intention that they would have to eliminate Gavin Evans, they were not brought up to Jo'burg to confirm his address. I assumed and I accepted that when this address was given to me regarding the place where Evans stayed, that everything was already confirmed and that everything was already correct. It was only after Peaches Gordon and the unknown person who accompanied him gave me feedback that the address was not applicable anymore, that he was not staying there anymore, that was the first time that I then reported it back to the Regional Manager, that was the first time that I became aware of the fact that the information that they gave to me was not applicable anymore.

MR MARTINI: In other words Mr van Zyl, you had no part in establishing the address of Mr Evans.

MR VAN ZYL: Not at all.

MR MARTINI: You had no part in formulating the plan to eliminate Mr Evans.

MR VAN ZYL: Not at all.

MR MARTINI: That was all prearranged by somebody else.

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR MARTINI: Your only instruction was to arrange for operatives to carry out the plan. In other words, to go to the address which you had been furnished and eliminate him.

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR MARTINI: So Peaches and your other operative weren't brought out to go and monitor Mr Evans?

MR VAN ZYL: No, not at all.

CHAIRPERSON: So in that period from 1986 through - at that period of time, that was in 1989, you were the only aware member of the CCB with unaware connections?

MR VAN ZYL: That I knew of, correct Chairperson. Must I perhaps add "as far as I know and at my disposal."

MR MARTINI: Now Mr van Zyl, you did testify in the Barnard trial on the Dullah Omar incident, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR MARTINI: After your evidence - let me put it this way, before testifying in that trial were you offered a 204 indemnity, so if you speak the truth you won't be prosecuted?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR MARTINI: And you testified at that trial on the Dullah Omar incident.

MR VAN ZYL: I did testify.

MR MARTINI: And were you given indemnity by the Presiding Judge?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, by the Honourable Judge Els I was given indemnity.

MR MARTINI: Now Mr van Zyl, on the incident of the Early Learning Centre we heard Mr Williams stating that it maybe through an act of God that he's alive, was it your intention or your instruction to ensure that people were killed when that bomb went off?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Chairperson, I've already testified that the whole purpose of that exercise was to render the whole hall obsolete so that it could not be used further by the organisation of the Kewtown Youth Movement. There was never any intention to injure and/or kill anyone, it was specifically made as such and I requested as such during my presentation of this project, that it had to be detonated by a remote control and I deemed it necessary to accompany Isgak, so that loss of life or injury could be limited to a minimum.

MR MARTINI: Now Mr van Zyl you heard emotive language "kleuterskool", the bomb was placed at the "kleuterskool", what time did the bomb go off? At approximately what time, do you recall?

MR VAN ZYL: If I recall correctly it was approximately quarter to nine to nine o'clock. I'm not exactly certain.

CHAIRPERSON: What day of the week was it, was it a weekend, a week day, can you recall?

MR VAN ZYL: It was during the week, yes.

MR MARTINI: Now you were there, you said about 30 metres.

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, it was probably a bit more than 30 metres, maybe about 60 metres away, but I was there, that is correct. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR MARTINI: Did you see any kindergarten children or "kleuters" in the vicinity at the time?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Chairperson, I did not see any children at that centre at that stage. I would also like to mention that I was there personally, there were no vehicles in the parking area at the stage when the bomb was detonated.

CHAIRPERSON: This place, does it have a parking ground, a place that's meant to be a parking lot for people using the centre? As opposed to just parking in the street.

MR VAN ZYL: There was a small - when I say small, a parking area of approximately 60 square metres, that is the parking area that I refer to. I do not know what the other people in the audience refer to.

CHAIRPERSON: But it would be - as far as you are concerned that place that you are speaking about, if any of us now had to go to the Early Learning Centre to visit there, would park there? It would be he obvious place to park.

MR VAN ZYL: I assume so, Chairperson. That is the parking area, if I can call it, it would probably be on the western side of the building, yes, on the western side.

CHAIRPERSON: I was just wondering - I raised it sometime earlier about the nature of the premises, whether it's just a square hall or whether there are outbuildings, I was just wondering whether it's at all possible to, not to get a plan but just a rough sort-of drawing so that we can agree what it looks like where the car park is.

MR MARTINI: Chairperson, there are photographs annexed in the bundle at 254. We were told - I'm not sure, we were told that photographs would be made available of the originals but not of the outside. Possibly ...

MS COLERIDGE: We don't have pictures of the car park, Chairperson, but I could make the original available.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, because there are things like, I don't know whether anything will be of any importance coming from a plan, but what one imagines if it's an early learning centre, that there's probably sort of classrooms and there's a hall and that if groups go and meet there, it's not necessarily in one particular place, they might use classrooms or whatever. It just might be of assistance.

MR BIZOS: ...(indistinct - no microphone) the community, we'll ask him to do a plan and promise to hand it in.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. It needn't be anything too fancy or ...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Once you do it you might as well do it properly.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but a reasonable impression, I don't want working drawings, yes.

MR BIZOS: As much as we would like to go and do an inspection in order to show that nobody is in danger there, I don't think we should take up time.


MR WILLIAMS: Mr Chairman, maybe one would also want to know what the adjacent area looks like because they claim that they've observed the place. And those factors which might become relevant due to certain facts that I myself will place on that record, for that purpose I would suggest that an in loco inspection would be the best.

MR MARTINI: Mr Chairperson, sorry, I think this is a whole ploy and I think Mr Bizos should keep his snide comments to himself and conduct himself in a dignified manner. This has got nothing to do with the issue. Unfortunately, let's place this on record now, Mr Commissioner, if certain people are bitter that the venue was changed, that is unfortunate. A Judge has ruled in favour of my client, so let's stay away from that issue. The relevance of what it looks like, there is no relevance to it, the fact is a bomb went off, the fact is from all statements before this Commission, is that no-one got hurt save for Mrs Omar who says "I've got a minor cut on the forehead". So what is the relevance of an inspection in loco of the centre, other than to achieve some point because some people are bitter, we appreciate that, unfortunately people should realise that my client also had rights and his rights were enforced by a Judge of the Supreme Court. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: We'll decide later whether or not we need to have an inspection, but I would appreciate some sort of, at this stage at least, a drawing, a layout ...(intervention)

MR COETZEE(?): Mr Chairman, may I suggest a couple of photographs as a good starting point. We've got the facilities, they've got a 1 hour lab, we can have it developed, we can have it tomorrow morning. A couple of good photographs of the vicinity showing the building from a distance could assist the Commission.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, anything that will assist us, give us some idea of what the premises look like.

MR MARTINI: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr van Zyl, after the bomb was detonated were you aware as to whether anybody was injured or killed?

MR VAN ZYL: No, we were not aware of any injuries or any deaths.

MR MARTINI: Mr van Zyl, Mr Verster testified that the object of the CCB unit was "die totale ontwrigting van die vyand", was that put to you when you went on your course or joined the CCB organisation?

MR VAN ZYL: That is so, yes.

MR MARTINI: Now I would like you to look at Exhibit D, which is the Report being handed in, the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I would like you to look at paragraph 382 - this has been dealt with, Mr Chairperson, but I'll deal with it directly with my client. Now I don't want to waste time, if you have a look at paragraph 382, it's referring to Gen Joop Joubert, but just read the last sentence of that paragraph, read with the lettering thereafter. Let's start at -

"The revolutionary ..."

MR VAN ZYL: I've read it, Chairperson.

MR MARTINI: Can I read it for you?

"The revolutionary and covert nature of the plan amongst others things involved:

That ANC leaders and people who substantially contributed to the struggle, would be eliminated. That ANC facilities and support services would be destroyed. Activists, sympathises, fighters and people who supported them, would be eliminated."

Now was that conveyed to you as the objective of the CCB?

MR VAN ZYL: That is so.

MR MARTINI: And did you accept that?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, I accepted it.

MR MARTINI: Were you also told at the time that the so-called war had come home, moved into the country, that the country was now in an internal war?

MR VAN ZYL: That is so, Chairperson.

MR MARTINI: With opponents of the government at the time.

MR VAN ZYL: That is so.

MR MARTINI: Chairperson, are we adjourning at quarter to four?

CHAIRPERSON: No, not necessarily, I think the arrangement has been that Mr Barnard is leaving at quarter to four, the only reason was in respect of Mr Barnard, but he's already left.

MR MARTINI: I just enquired so as to determine what time we'd end because if it was going to end at quarter four, I'd like to use the occasion to just go through certain things with my client just to provide a complete picture.

CHAIRPERSON: If you could go on through to plus-minus 4 o'clock or so, if it's possible.

MR MARTINI: Well Chairperson, I don't have much to ask, save to going through certain things with my client just to make sure we've canvassed certain issues that I wanted to put in-chief, and the only issues left that I'd then deal with, I would like to deal with three issues, but at the end. So if we could adjourn at quarter to four and tomorrow morning I'm sure if we have nothing else to cover, I'll be short and just end off with certain issues.

CHAIRPERSON: Because tomorrow we are having a short day.

MR MARTINI: 11 o'clock?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we've been requested to adjourn at 11 o'clock and that has been agreed to, it's an important religious holiday and we respect that many people require to leave early, so we'll be adjourning early.

MR MARTINI: Are we starting earlier?

CHAIRPERSON: From my point of view, and I'm sure from Mr Sibanyoni's and Mr Lax', we're available to start at any time, yes. I'm not sure about it now, but we'll have to communicate in respect of getting Mr Barnard here. Would eight thirty be a convenient time?

MR COETZEE: Mr Chairman, even if Mr Barnard is not here, I have indicated ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: You'll look after his interests.

MR COETZEE: Yes, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, we appreciate that.

MR COETZEE: So we can start even if he's not here at half past eight.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, then if we could start at eight thirty seeing that we are losing a little bit of time now and we'll be finishing early, it would be better. Thank you.

So we'll now adjourn at this stage and reconvene at eight thirty tomorrow morning, same venue.

MR MARTINI: Thank you, Chairperson.