CHAIRPERSON: Good morning everybody. When we adjourned yesterday Mr Martini wanted to make sure that he had covered all the aspects. Mr van Zyl may I just remind you that you are still under former oath.

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


A few question, Chairperson.

Mr van Zyl, as regards the information that you received from the unaware operatives, if you can call them that - was it part of your duties within your employment with the CCB to verify that information?

MR VAN ZYL: Chairperson, no. I understood that my services would entail that the information that I received from unaware members would be sent through the prescribed channels, in other words to the Co-ordinator and it was the function of the intelligence structure with whom the Co-ordinator had contact would then verify that information and then would find if it was true or not at the end of the day.

MR MARTINI: Mr van Zyl, I want to go through each of the incidents, in respect of the Dullah Omar incident, were you acting on orders from your hierarchy?

MR VAN ZYL: That is so, Chairperson. It was an approved project and it was submitted according to the prescriptions and I received my instructions from my Regional Manager who was my immediate commander.

MR MARTINI: Who was that?

MR VAN ZYL: It was Staal Burger.

MR MARTINI: Now I don't want to go through each act, I take it - can you confirm that in respect of the Evans, Early Learning Bombing and Bishop Tutu incidents the same applied, exactly the same, your acting on orders as you stated earlier?

MR VAN ZYL: That is indeed so Chairperson. I would just like to point out that in with regard to the Evans matter I personally did not do the submission to the Chairperson, it was not my project. Only at the eleventh hour was I instructed by Staal Burger to execute the operation for the project with regard to the ape foetus matter at the Archbishop's house, I did not do any submissions, I received a direct instruction from the Regional Manager to do what I had done as I have testified yesterday.

MR MARTINI: Mr van Zyl, do you have Exhibit D before you, that's the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Report?

MR VAN ZYL: I have it.

MR MARTINI: I just want to read two paragraphs and ask you to comment. Paragraph 141 and I'll read it. No, there's another one. The heading is "1985 to 1989 The War Comes Home".

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, this is the one where there are two 141, two paragraphs, 141 is the second one.

MR MARTINI: It's under the heading "The War Comes Home", Chairperson, paragraph 141:

"However, by the second half of 1985 unrest is spread throughout South Africa whereas previously unrest had occurred sporadically in the homelands and in the rural areas. In the post 1985 period it became more sustained. The widespread demonstrations and more violent forms of dissent and opposition which began in the Vaal Triangle in August 1994 surprised not only the government but also the ANC."

I want to read paragraph 144:

"The opposition of MK in this period can be categorised as follows. Firstly there were bomb attacks on urban targets. 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. The reasons included technical incompetence, faulty devices, poor reconnaissance, poor judgement or misunderstanding by operatives. In addition there were some deliberate blurring of the lines which gave operatives the leeway to vent their anger of placing bombs in targets that were not strictly military. Lastly, there were instances where explosives were tampered with or Security Force infiltration resulted in civilian deaths."

Now I want to take you 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 till mid 1990."

164, the first sentence:

"In the year after the imposition of the national state of emergency the full force of the strategy of counter-revolutionary warfare unfolded domestically."

Is that how you understood the situation to be prevailing in South Africa at the time that you were employed by the Special Forces, by CCB being the Special Force unit of the South African Defence Force at the time?

MR VAN ZYL: That is so.

MR MARTINI: Now 384, when you agree with the statement of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission:

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

MR VAN ZYL: Yes that is correct.

MR MARTINI: Thank you. Now Mr van Zyl, we come to the victims. Let's start with the Dullah Omar incident. You were in Court when you heard Minister Omar make a statement to the Commission, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: When the statement was read by his daughter, yes.

MR MARTINI: Now is it correct, Mr van Zyl, that in respect of the Dullah Omar incident you've already been given immunity from prosecution by a judge of the Supreme Court?

MR VAN ZYL: That is the case.

MR MARTINI: Now Mr van Zyl, before these hearings had you ever had occasion to meet Minister Omar before testifying, let me put it that way.

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chairperson, I had an occasion on Tuesday morning and I used this occasion to apologise to Minister Omar personally for my part that I played in the conspiracy to kill him and I did this because of my human and Christian convictions, there was no pressure put on me, I know it is not expected of me but I think it is nothing more than just right.

MR MARTINI: You did it voluntarily and not in the presence of all these proceedings?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct, yes.

MR MARTINI: Now Mr van Zyl, in respect of Gavin Evans, had you ever had occasion to meet Mr Gavin Evans prior to these hearings?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes Mr Chairperson, as long ago as March 1990 I had the occasion to meet Mr Evans, I see his parents are sitting at the back here, I assume that those are his parents. In these proceedings and at that occasion this was in the Cape at the Somerset West, Strand. I used this occasion to apologise to him for what I was involved in referring to the project aimed against him.

MR MARTINI: So you also apologised to Mr Evans before these hearings?

MR VAN ZYL: Long ago, ten years ago.

MR MARTINI: Had you ever had occasion to meet Bishop Tutu?

MR VAN ZYL: No unfortunately I've never had the occasion and I hope that in the future I will have the occasion but I would like to use the occasion to apologise regarding the Archbishop Tutu matter and I am sure that he is a very good person, he is a Christian person and I believe that he will understand the circumstances and he will accept my apology.

MR MARTINI: Now Mr van Zyl, have you ever had occasion to meet any of the victims of the Kewtown Youth Movement or we've heard that Mr Sonn in these hearings is a trustee of the trust that owns the building, have you ever had the occasion to meet the representatives of the owners of the Early Learning bombing centre prior to these hearings?

MR VAN ZYL: I have never.

MR MARTINI: Do you have anything to say to those victims?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, regarding the owners of the building, Mr Sonn, as I understand it. I also saw some of the statements of the people who were injured although the injuries weren't very serious. The after effects of those injuries is known to me and I apologised to everyone. I also apologised to those people who are not at the proceedings today, to me it is wider than just the representation today. It is about the community out there, the Athlone Community, the children who could not go to school the next morning and the disruption that happened as a result of it and I know it is very difficult for the people to understand why we acted in the way that we did but it was in a situation of an undeclared war. Unfortunately the war was not fair play and it is regrettable that it had to happen like that and I hope that my role in the future in the country and as I could do it for the past couple of years will prove to everyone in the country that I am determined and I'm also committed to make my life and also the new South Africa a success.

MR MARTINI: Mr van Zyl, have you now accepted the new political dispensation which prevails in the Republic of South Africa at present?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes I have, I have no problem with it.

MR MARTINI: Mr van Zyl, finally, as you sit here today, how do you feel and reflect on the deeds you committed approximately eleven years back when you were employed by an institution which was an organ of the State then obviously controlled by the Nationalist Party?

MR VAN ZYL: I have often answered that question, Mr Chairperson, or the question had been posed to me quite often in the past and I always said that it is regrettable that the then National Party and the ANC and also other organisations could not sit around a table to solve the problems and that people like myself and other freedom fighters on all sides and soldiers were used in able to reach political goals and score political points. It is regrettable that this happened, it happened on the other hand, it is part of our history and we cannot change it. I am today very glad and I hear that as many of you will say and it is often spoken about warfare and I know I was part of a warfare system. War is not the solution, it is not a solution for any country or for any problem and I am a lot wiser than I was ten years ago, I support what is happening in the country, I support it one hundred percent and naturally there are processes and there are things that happened that one doesn't totally agree with but everyone can have his own opinion but in principle I have not problem and I will never ever again and I am on record as saying this, I will never ever again avail myself for any government organisation or any other organisation whatever the case may be to do what I did ten years ago.

MR MARTINI: Thank you Mr van Zyl.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Wessels, do you have any questions you would like to put to Mr van Zyl?

MR WESSELS: No questions, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr P du Plessis?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Chairperson, just one aspect.

Mr van Zyl, I just want to get some clarity about the events immediately after the CCB was made public. Mr Joe Verster acted a little bit like a cat on coals and I just want to get some clarity here. According to your knowledge, your personal experience, were the CCB senior officers prepared to make the CCB public directly after your arrest?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Mr Chairperson, on the contrary it was said to me very clearly that no admittance would be made and that under the circumstances I would have to run the risk on my own to possibly be prosecuted. So the senior management of the CCB in as far as I understood it in as far as I experienced it, distanced themselves from what I testified at the Harms Commission.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Maybe we can just go a little bit further back and I want to put it, I don't think it came out clearly on the record, you were arrested in accordance with Section 29 of the Internal Security Act in December 1989, in January 1990, am I correct?

MR VAN ZYL: It was on the 1st February 1990 that I was detained until 28th February 1990, Mr Chairperson, in accordance with Section 29.

MR P DU PLESSIS: There was an application to have you freed, it was not successful, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That is true, an application was brought by my then spouse, I did not know about this application, I had no contact with anyone outside my cell.

MR P DU PLESSIS: After you were released you did hear about this, is this true?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: There was then an order for cost made out against your wife, the applicant?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct, Mr Chairperson. There was an order given against me because it failed and the Defence Force distanced themselves from this application and according to me this was due to the fact that I had made statements and I was prepared to testify in front of the Harms Commission and those costs which were about R20 - R25000, I paid them off over a time of four years.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And you personally had to stand in for this and the Defence Force did not help you at all?

MR VAN ZYL: That is true.

MR P DU PLESSIS: After your release and your decision - well let me put it to you in the following way, your decision to cooperate was amongst others based on the then State President's call to the operators to cooperate and as he put it to disclose the entire matter, do you remember those words of the State President?

MR VAN ZYL: I remember it very well, I did that as a result of the request that had been made but I also want to tell you, Mr Chairperson, that for me it was very clear at that stage that myself and possibly of my other colleagues would be set aside and possibly be made scapegoats and there were attempts to connect us to far right organisation which would have been false and I decided that in the interests of my own survival I would have to do what is right and what is true.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And the evidence that you gave here yesterday and also today is exactly what you said ten, eleven years ago?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Maybe just one aspect, after you were released from detention is it correct that you were even called to meetings with the legal representatives of the senior officers in Pretoria and Adv Burger where Gen Witkop Badenhorst was also present?

MR VAN ZYL: That is true.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And is it true that the aim of this meeting and also another meeting in Johannesburg where the involved persons were present, what was to convince you to say nothing about the CCB?

MR VAN ZYL: That is the case, Mr Chairperson, but I have to confirm that the meetings that I had had with Gen Witkop Badenhorst at that time and also with Gen Krappies Engelbrecht of the SACP and Gen Witkop Badenhorst who was from the South African Defence Force, that was before my detention in terms of Section 29.

MR P DU PLESSIS: In any case you confirm, we are limiting ourselves here to Gen Witkop Badenhorst, can you please tell us what his job description was at that time?

MR VAN ZYL: I'm not completely sure, I think he was the Chief Staff of the Intelligence, something to that extent.

MR P DU PLESSIS: But it was a very senior post here in the South African Defence Force?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And it was specifically aimed at keeping you quiet so that you would not give the necessary co-operation?

MR VAN ZYL: That is true.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And could I put it in the following way that the other operators that are mentioned here were applying for amnesty, I'm talking about Burger and Maree and Basson, that I am personally representing, also experienced the same pressure according to you?

MR VAN ZYL: That is true, Mr Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr H du Plessis, do you have any questions you'd like to put to the applicant?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR H DU PLESSIS: Thank you Chairperson, I have a few questions. Mr van Zyl, when did you meet Gen Webb, the Chairperson for the first time?

MR VAN ZYL: I met Gen Webb the same day or the day after I was released, in other words it could have been the 28th February or the 1st March 1990.

MR H DU PLESSIS: This was long after the CCB had been exposed?

MR VAN ZYL: That is true.

MR H DU PLESSIS: During your time at the CCB did you make any submissions directly to the General, Gen Webb now?


MR H DU PLESSIS: So in your evidence yesterday and today when you referred to projects not being your own you did not make the submissions to the General yourself, that is mistaken?

MR VAN ZYL: Please repeat that?

MR H DU PLESSIS: At several occasions you have said now amongst others when the attorney asked you with regard to the evidence to the Evans matter, you said that it was not your project and you did not make the submissions to the Chairperson personally?

MR VAN ZYL: I beg your pardon, I meant the Managing Director, not the Chairperson because we as operatives did not do any submissions to the Chairperson. The highest level with whom we communicated was the Managing Director.

MR H DU PLESSIS: Those are also my instructions, I just wish to clear that up with you. Am I correct to say that with regard to you personally if there is an approval by the Chairperson it is always an inference you draw or hearsay because you were not personally there?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR H DU PLESSIS: I have no further questions at this stage, thank you Chairperson.



Mr van Zyl, from your evidence yesterday it would appear that when it was discussed that Mr Botha was in your cell although it is my instruction you said that it maybe happened at times that a specific submission was made where the others were not involved and such a person would be requested to leave the building. Do you have knowledge of such usage?

MR VAN ZYL: That is indeed so, Chairperson, what I meant in my statement if I for example referred to a cell meeting where the following persons were present I mean everyone was present there but not necessarily that Chap Maree was present when I made a submission with regard to the Early Learning Centre project to the Co-ordinator or to the Regional Manager. As it is stated there it could be somewhat misleading, I hear what Mr van Eck says. With regard to the ape foetus it was a direct instruction that the Regional Manager, Burger, gave to me and I am not able to say whether Kalla heard this or whether he saw it, but I did not discuss the project with him up to the time after it was completed.

MR VAN ECK: But it will be Mr Botha's evidence that he had no knowledge or it and it was not discussed with him?

MR VAN ZYL: I cannot dispute that.

MR VAN ECK: Very well then, when we refer to the bomb incident, at which stage was Mr Botha informed to become involved in the bomb incident?

MR VAN ZYL: Botha, upon my request to the Regional Manager, Burger, was involved and this was at a stage if I recall correctly that when Botha was as we had tried to define yesterday while Botha was still on ice and this was upon instruction from the Regional Manager, Burger, that Botha should join with me and then he was present up to the time of the explosion, that was approximately a day later.

MR VAN ECK: Did he have anything to do with the preparation, the planning and the choice of premises?

MR VAN ZYL: Not at all.

MR VAN ECK: Thank you Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Yes thank you. Mr Bizos do you have any questions you'd like to put to the applicant?

MR BIZOS: No, thank you, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Khanovitz, do you have any questions?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR KHANOVITZ: Yes Mr Chairperson, for the record my surname is spelt K-H-A-N-O-V-I-T-Z.

Mr van Zyl, you've mentioned that in the criminal prosecution against Ferdi Barnard you've received an indemnity in terms of Section 204 of the criminal procedure act. How do you know that?

MR VAN ZYL: Chairperson, the Prosecutor in that matter was Adv Anton Akkerman and Adv Akkerman confirmed to me that the judge would grant me that indemnity and I am in contact with their office because I was identified as a witness in the Dr Wouter Basson matter where the same Section 204 came up and I discussed it with Adv Pretorius who discussed this with Mr Bulalani Ncguka’s office. You can accept from me that I received 204 indemnity. After my evidence in the Ferdi Barnard case, I don't have any documents but because one does not get any documents that confirms something like that.

MR KHANOVITZ: But you weren't called back to Court by the judge who informed you that you've been granted indemnity in terms of Section 204?

MR VAN ZYL: No, not at all.

MR KHANOVITZ: On the assumption that you have been granted indemnity why are you applying for amnesty in respect of the Omar incident?

MR VAN ZYL: Chairperson, I applied for indemnity to all these matters for the first time in 1990. Thereafter I applied for indemnity with regard to all these incidents in 1994 so it was long before I gave any evidence in the Ferdi Barnard matter but I would also like to add that whether I received indemnity or not from the previous government, it is my personal opinion that the Truth Commission is the only forum that is recognised by the broader community and it is for that purpose and in order to participate in those proceedings that I came here to give my co-operation in order to get amnesty from this forum.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van Zyl, when was the Barnard hearing?

MR VAN ZYL: Chairperson, the Barnard trial was in 1998, if I recall correctly.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Khanovitz.

MR KHANOVITZ: Chairperson, you have been handed an extract of that judgment but I don't know if there's a date on the document, there doesn't appear to be one.

Mr van Zyl, as regards the apologies that you've now made to various victims, you'll agree with me that where someone waits ten years to make an apology it tends to weaken it somewhat?

MR VAN ZYL: Chairperson, I would like my circumstances to be considered. I do realise that it is so but circumstances unfortunately did not allow me with regard to Mr Omar do it any sooner. I was involved during the last few years and as far back as four years ago at a specific matter where a matter of Dr Omar Sabadia was investigated or of his wife and I understood because the father of the deceased in that matter was also an ANC representative in the then Northern Transvaal Region and I understood that there was contact between that Mr Omar and Adv Dullah Omar and even during that investigation we spoke of it and I tried to send through my apology to Mr Omar via that structure so it is not that I am sitting here today and try to pretend something which is false, that is not the case.

MR KHANOVITZ: You'll agree with me there was nothing to stop you sending a letter to Minister Omar nine years ago without any fanfare asking to meet with him privately?

MR VAN ZYL: That is so.

MR KHANOVITZ: The Evans family that you say are sitting in this hearing, are those the people that you met?

MR VAN ZYL: No, I met Gavin Evans personally not his parents, in March of 1990.

MR KHANOVITZ: What made you assume that the couple sitting over there are the parents of Gavin Evans.

MR VAN ZYL: It's an inference that I drew.

MR KHANOVITZ: Well it's an incorrect assumption that you made. Your business that you're operating at the moment, the one with 300 employees, are you doing work for the government?

MR VAN ZYL: No. I have a security firm and I have an investigations business. From an investigation's capacity I was involved where the senior structure of Shell House was assisted with the submission of projects to senior Ministers with regard to the combat of crime amongst others here in the Western Cape Region but I was not financially remunerated for that. I did this because those persons, I met with those persons from the ANC structures and we befriended each other.

MR KHANOVITZ: You'll also agree with me there was nothing whatsoever to stop you from making any apology that you saw fit in the application documents that you filed with the TRC?

MR VAN ZYL: I agree, yes, I would just like to tell you that today is not the first time that I apologise for my involvement in the CCB. I'm a person because of my investigation capabilities and because of the high profile matters that I in the past was approached by persons from the press with regard to how I feel about my past and already there I have rendered those apologies as far as six years back, Chairperson.

MR KHANOVITZ: As regards Mr Evans, did he approach you or did you approach him?

MR VAN ZYL: We approached Mr Evans. At that stage Mr Piet du Plessis was my legal representative and we approached him, he came in. There was a press conference after we met.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr Chairperson, I'm going to have to get instructions from Mr Evans, I can't take ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes I understand that Mr Khanovitz.

MR KHANOVITZ: You've made, besides the statement that you read out yesterday, there are various statements of your contained in bundle B. Have you had an opportunity to read those statements?

MR VAN ZYL: May I just have a look to what you are referring to?

MR KHANOVITZ: I'm referring to the statements that start at page 11 of Bundle B and run through to ...(intervention)

MR VAN ZYL: You are now referring to the Section 29 statements. I had an opportunity to read it about a hundred times in the past.

MR KHANOVITZ: Can I just find out at this stage, just for purposes of the record, there are in fact three statements there, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That may be so, yes.

MR KHANOVITZ: Now do any of those statements contain untruths that you would like to tell us about now as opposed to later on in the cross-examination?

MR VAN ZYL: Chairperson, I would like to place it on record that there are certain aspects in the Section 29 statement which was brought to my attention which are incorrect and one of the specific matters where I can recall is where I said that Chap made a submission to the Chairperson in terms of the Lubowski matter. That was an inference that was drawn, it was an interpretation by the officer that had taken a statement from me that put it down as such. Factually that is not correct but in essence not one of my Section 29 statements differs factually drastically form the statement that I have put forward before this Commission therefore I shall propose, go through the Section 29 statement, paragraph for paragraph and then I shall comment on it and I shall tell you what I feel is factually correct or not and you may get technical. I don't want to do it that way and I'm not willing to do it that way.

MR MARTINI: Mr Chairperson, well I would submit that would be a fair way of doing it, there's so much paper in this matter, to make a bold statement and say have you memorised your statements that you made years ago under the security legislation and then come today and say, "well you see you've misled us, you've told us it's all correct." I think the fair approach to the witness bearing in mind the volume is that Mr Khanovitz takes up the offer and goes through the statement and asks my client is that correct or isn't it correct?

CHAIRPERSON: We understand what you say but I don't want to tell Mr Khanovitz how to cross-examine. If what you say occurs we take into account your remarks, we're fully aware somebody's asked questions about documents that are made long ago and makes a bold statement and then it just depends on the nature of the contradictions now but I'm not going to tell Mr Khanovitz how to conduct his cross-examination, it's an unfair question. I shouldn't use the word cross-examination, I should use your questioning strictly speaking, we're not in a trial here.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr Chairperson, I'm not willing to question the witness on that basis, I'm quite happy for the witness to come and say I've had an opportunity to look at those statements now, I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that this, that and the other thing is factually incorrect. The reason it is factually incorrect is the Investigating Officer forced me to ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: If that's the way you want to do it then maybe Mr van Zyl might need a bit of time to read them now. I don't know when he last read them, he said he's read them hundreds of times, I don't know if he is in a position to say well, there's three statements here and they're fairly lengthy statements, you know page 8, line 13, page 9 line 4, is incorrect and to do it your way he would need time to perhaps read them and mark where he thinks there might be differences.

MR MARTINI: Chairperson, might I make a suggestion. I'm not telling Mr Khanovitz how to question but I'm here to ensure that my client is asked fair questions. Now the way he wants to do it is certainly not fair. Mr Khanovitz has heard the evidence. If he believes there's evidence in conflict with what my client has already testified then he can say in the statement, look at the statement, is this paragraph correct, my client can have a look at it?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes but there might be statements contained in the statements, he might have made statements here which have no bearing at all on matters contained in this statement therefore there's no evidence before us as to certain aspects of the statements.

MR MARTINI: Well then Chairperson, to be fair to the witness then maybe we should read the statement, adjourn now, let us read through it, there are three I've heard and let's deal with it. I do not want the situation, Chairperson, sorry Chairperson, this is very important, because to question this way and then later argue well I gave you the opportunity, you told me you knew the statements, you've read them and now you've contradicted yourself. I don't want that situation to arise and that wouldn't be fair to my client. We're here, there's public gallery, my client is a businessman, there are press reporting and if he does make a mistake and the report, the way press certainly do report, it might have implications for my client and that would be very, very unfair.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr Chairperson, might I say the following, all three of those statements are sworn statements. Mr van Zyl, as he has said has had an opportunity to look at those statements on many occasions. One would have thought that if there were falsehoods or inaccuracies in those statements, Mr Martini when he was leading his client in chief would have drawn the Commission's attention to those falsehoods or inaccuracies, explained the circumstances under which that had come about and then one could have proceeded on that basis. I'm keen to avoid the kind of situation that arose with Joe Verster's testimony where as soon as you refer the witness to a paragraph there's going to be some counsel at the Pretoria bar put those words into my mouth and so on and so forth. The witness is in a position to read the statements, say in advance whether there's anything in those statements which is untrue or he can stand by his statements. I cannot cross-examine him on the basis that every time I point a statement that he previously made and then it transpires that what's therein contained is untrue then we hear a reason for the first time as to why that inaccuracy has come to the fore.

MR MARTINI: Chairperson, then I submit I don't want to prolong these proceedings but I'm here to protect my client so if that's what Mr Khanovitz wants to do then we'll adjourn, we'll read the statement, the first one, if we're going to deal with the first one. We can then question on that statement. If he really wants to go onto the next one we'll adjourn and read that one. He can laugh in the gallery but I'm not exposing my client to this type of ambush, Chairperson, because it's clearly to say to a man you were in jail, you were pressurised to sign this statement years ago, now come here years later and say you've read it, you know it backwards, I'm going to ask you questions. We know what's going to happen. There might be a loss of memory and there's going to be an argument that my client had not been honest and I don't want that prejudice, Chairperson.

MR KHANOVITZ: Chairperson, Mr van Zyl is free to say that those statements were made under duress, they contain a host of inaccuracies. If that's his version I don't know what his version is. Might I suggest in the interests of progress the following, that I will endeavour to take up as much time as possible cross-examining him without reference to those statements that when we come back on the next occasion he will then be given an opportunity to point out any falsehoods or inaccuracies in those statements and we can proceed on that basis.

MR MARTINI: That's fair Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and they are quite lengthy statements, I think that might be the way seeing we're only sitting for a short while today.

MR MARTINI: Chairperson, I accept, I think that would be practical, we can carry on with that at the next hearing.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Khanovitz?

MR KHANOVITZ: Chairperson, I'm going to ask Mr van Zyl exactly the same question about the evidence which he gave at the Harms Commission except in this case, Mr van Zyl, you'll agree with me that you've already stated in your amnesty application that all the evidence which you gave at the Harms Commission was true, is that not so?

MR VAN ZYL: That is so.

MR KHANOVITZ: So you don't need to reread your evidence at the Harms Commission with a view to ascertaining whether it was true or not?

MR VAN ZYL: Not at all.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, you would though be in a position at this stage to tell us whether any of those three statements were made under duress in the sense that somebody forced you to sign something against your will?

MR VAN ZYL: Chairperson, I think it is common knowledge that any Section 29 statement is done under duress. However, I am of the opinion that there is nothing in any of those three statements that if it is contradictory to what I had testified to this Commission or before the Harms Commission or in any criminal trial that I cannot explain.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, maybe you can just answer the question. Did you tell any untruths in those signed statements due to pressure which was exerted on you?

MR VAN ZYL: Definitely.



MR KHANOVITZ: Well, if you're aware of that surely you are now in a position to tell us as we sit here now which aspects of those statements are untrue?

MR MARTINI: Sorry Chairperson, we've dealt with this, you know...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes I think Mr Khanovitz has already said that he will go into the detail and the next hearing after Mr van Zyl has had the opportunity of reading the statements with that question in mind but there won't be any pressure, I can assure you, we're not going to hold it against him. He mentioned some aspects that are untrue but not all of them. It's a long statement made a long time ago. I'm not going to hold it against Mr van Zyl and I'm sure Mr Khanovitz won't at this stage either because he has already said let him read the statement before he answers it fully but Mr van Zyl has said, look there's definitely, he used the word "beslis", definitely untruths. The question is what can you tell us, perhaps he should just make the question slightly more vague to eliminate any later argument. Can you tell us of some examples of that?

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, you heard the question posed by the Chairperson, you obviously are aware of certain material aspects of those statements that you know are untrue. Could you just draw our attention to those in broad terms?

MR VAN ZYL: Chairperson, if I may refer to the Early Learning Centre incident I can refer to the Omar incident, I can refer to the Evans incident and I can refer to the monkey incident and as I sit here now there are no contradictions in my Section 29 statement or in my statement before the Commission here.

MR KHANOVITZ: And nothing that you said in relation to those four incidents was stated under duress?


MR KHANOVITZ: So what you're really saying is that if there are untruths in those statements, they might relate to other issues such as for instance the Lubowski issue?

MR VAN ZYL: That is what I'd like to say, yes.

MR KHANOVITZ: I would still ask you though when you do return in June to draw our attention to those inaccuracies and untruths?

MR VAN ZYL: I shall do that definitely, Chairperson, if there are any.

MR KHANOVITZ: Now you will have heard when Mr Verster gave his evidence that on several occasions he said "I was a soldier obeying orders" do you recall that phrase?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes I heard that.

MR KHANOVITZ: Now let's just clarify the situation in your case. Wouldn't it be correct to say that you were certainly not a soldier in the sense that you were a member of the South Africa Defence Force subject to the military disciplinary code?

MR VAN ZYL: I agree with that statement, yes.

MR KHANOVITZ: In other words a captain in an infantry unit could not give you an order which you had to obey?


MR KHANOVITZ: And it follows from that ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Khanovitz, may I just intervene here just on one aspect?

MR KHANOVITZ: We know that the CCB was attached to Special Forces and that you were civilians as such, one of the guys as civilians, did you have for your own purposes any sort of ranking system there. Were you the equivalent although you weren't given the actual rank, were you regarded as being at the rank of lieutenant or at the rank of captain or any other rank and Mr Botha the same and Mr Maree and all of you or were you just ordinary civilians or regarded yourself as ordinary civilians although you were attached to the army? I'm talking other than Mr Verster who we know was an army man and Gen Webb obviously, but you people who were pulled in from the Police?

MR VAN ZYL: No Chairperson, I regarded myself as a member of the Defence Force but not a member of any rank. There was no rank structure available to us, we were known as a common operative. In the covert structures that is not rank, that is just a definition.

CHAIRPERSON: Were they linked to ranks?

MR VAN ZYL: The first rank, if one wants to call it that or the position of seniority would only come in at the level of the Regional Manager, Chairperson, because Mr Burger was addressed as Mr because he had that title or he had that post and in the same way Mr Verster was addressed as Mr because he held the position of Managing Director and the General we always addressed as General.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry counsel.

MR KHANOVITZ: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

Mr van Zyl, as an ex-policeman you know that for instance in the Police Force you are as a member of the SAP who were obliged to obey a lawful command?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR KHANOVITZ: And the same would apply as a member of the Defence Force, you are obliged to obey a lawful command?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR KHANOVITZ: But the same would not have applied to the CCB because as you've already pointed out, the military disciplinary code did not apply to the CCB?

MR VAN ZYL: We had our own code of conduct and our own rules which was underlined in the Defence Force structure but we did not work in uniform so the uniform and specific units in the Defence Force's code of conduct was not applicable to us.

MR KHANOVITZ: Maybe if I can just put to you what was quite obviously a logical proposition. The system of orders in Defence Force was governed by the Defence Act, are you aware of that?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR KHANOVITZ: The CCB could hardly have fallen under the Defence Act because the CCB went out of it's way to distance itself from the SADF and to set itself up separately as a private civilian company, correct?

MR VAN ZYL: I do not know if I can agree with you one hundred percent because at the end of the day it doesn't matter how one looks at it, Mr Chairperson, the CCB was still a Defence Force structure. Although we worked as civilian people outside our command structure at senior level was a General of the Defence Force, it was a General who was in command of Special Forces and we were a division of that special force. In other words you certainly cannot take the CCB away from the Defence Force structure.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl but the simple point would be this, if Staal Burger gave you what you might wish to call an order or an instruction and you said "I'm not going to comply", you could not have been locked up in the military detention barracks, correct?

MR VAN ZYL: In all probability not but I think I would have lost my job.

MR KHANOVITZ: Well you would have lost your work in the sense of any employee who doesn't obey an instruction from their boss?

MR VAN ZYL: I believe that is the case, yes.

MR KHANOVITZ: You could also not have been charged under the Defence Act for failing to obey a lawful command from a superior officer?

MR VAN ZYL: I do not believe so.

MR KHANOVITZ: You would also agree with me that even if there had been such a thing as a lawful command in the CCB, you would know from your experience in the South African Police Force that you are never obliged to obey an unlawful command?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR KHANOVITZ: And you will agree with me that no commanding officer would ever be in a position to give a lawful command to a soldier or policeman to go and murder a civilian?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Chairperson, under normal circumstances yes I would agree one hundred percent with that but I think the circumstances under which we functioned were not normal. It was abnormal, it was a unit in the Defence Force who were specifically created to commit these crimes and to execute these unlawful instructions and in that context I would like to disagree with you.

MR KHANOVITZ: I don't understand your answer, Mr van Zyl, in what circumstances - let me preface this question by the following, how many years experience did you have in the South African Police?

MR VAN ZYL: Ten years.

MR KHANOVITZ: During that time you would have received both training and experience in the area of criminal law?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Chairperson, I know what a crime is and I know what a crime is not. The question to me was did I know, indirectly did I know that I was committing a crime? Yes I knew it. Why did I do it? Because it was an instruction. Why did I execute an unlawful instruction? I did not see it as an unlawful instruction, Mr Chairperson, I saw it as a lawful instruction within the context of what the aims were of the CCB and in the context of the existence of the CCB.

MR KHANOVITZ: Well I can't accept your answer. How is it possible for anybody to ever give a lawful instruction to murder someone?

MR VAN ZYL: No I agree with you, technically it is impossible to do that, I agree with that one hundred percent but my evaluation of that instruction was not based on a legal technical basis, it was done in the context of we are busy with an undeclared war and you have heard this story a hundred times before this Commission.

MR KHANOVITZ: But Mr van Zyl, the word lawful has a legal technical meaning, there's no other way of understanding what is lawful other than by looking at the law?

MR VAN ZYL: I agree with you.

MR KHANOVITZ: So would you agree with me you can never give somebody a lawful command to murder a citizen of the Republic of South Africa?

MR VAN ZYL: I agree with that.

MR KHANOVITZ: You would also no doubt agree with me that if the uniformed members of the South African Defence Force had been free to commit crimes in order to disrupt the enemy there would have been no need for a unit such as the CCB?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR KHANOVITZ: You could have just sent a unit from the castle to Adv Omar's chambers, taken him out and shot him, correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR KHANOVITZ: Now as far as people who collaborated in CCB projects to eliminate people were concerned, it would seem to me - now I want to deal with certain general propositions with you, that if a person who was involved in one of these projects is asked to explain their reasons as to why they complied with an instruction say from a Regional Manager to kill a civilian, they could say one of the following things and I'm going to give you some options and ask you where you would fit yourself in, one of the things you could say is I was an unaware member of the CCB, in fact I was a gangster, I did it purely for money, I had no political objective. You'll agree with me, that's one option?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR KHANOVITZ: Another option you could take is you could say I was an aware member of the CCB, let's assume it's a project to eliminate Frank Chikane, you could say I was an aware member until I received the instruction to kill Frank Chikane I'd never even heard of him, I never asked why he was being targeted because it wasn't my project but I still agreed to comply with the instruction, don't ask me whether Mr Chikane was an enemy of the State or not, it didn't concern me. Do you agree that that's an option?

MR VAN ZYL: I hear what you are saying.

MR KHANOVITZ: Do you agree with me that that's an option?

MR VAN ZYL: That is an option.

MR KHANOVITZ: A third option is you can say I was an aware member, Frank Chikane was my project, I agreed to kill him because I personally believed that it was necessary to kill him to protect the people of South Africa against the total onslaught?

MR VAN ZYL: I hear what you're saying.

MR KHANOVITZ: Alright. Now I'm going to ask you in each of the cases that you've applied for amnesty, which of the scenarios applied to you and please, in answering the question I want you to consider what was happening at the time that you agreed to comply with the instruction, not anything you'd heard afterwards about these people? In the case of Gavin Evans, can I ask you did you personally believe that Gavin Evans was an enemy of the State?

MR VAN ZYL: My knowledge regarding Gavin Evans at that stage was somewhat limited, I did know that he was a reasonably prominent figure within the End Conscription Campaign. We also had a little bit of information, let me put it in the following way, I also gathered some information in the hallways that he then had a connection or a very close connection with Johan Grosskopf - Hein Grosskopf, it was limited and I would say that in this case scenario number two would be applicable.

MR KHANOVITZ: Well your answer actually is in terms of scenario two because scenario two is one where you say "I didn't really know why this man was being targeted, I can't tell you whether he was or wasn't an enemy of the State, I just agreed to comply with an instruction that came from Staal Burger"?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Chairperson, I think that scenario number two would be more applicable in this case rather than the first scenario or the third scenario.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't think those scenarios cover each and every option available as there's three, there might be ten options? It may be two and a half or one and a quarter?

MR KHANOVITZ: Can I just clarify Mr van Zyl, are you saying that at the time you agreed to comply with the plan to eliminate Mr Evans, can I just understand correctly, you're saying you did know that he was an enemy of the State?

MR VAN ZYL: No, what I'm telling you is I accepted and assumed as I understood the system in the CCB, the way we worked, that when a name was given to me that I should concentrate on as in this case with Mr Evans that he had been identified properly as a target by the people who were working on that level and whose function it was to do that. Mr Chairperson, I was an operator, my functions were to give operational execution, my primary task basically was to give operational execution to certain instructions and that is why I'm saying that I think scenario two is more applicable.

MR KHANOVITZ: There's a second leg here, the first leg is what we've discussed, is this person an enemy of the State. The second leg is you'll agree with me not every enemy of the State needs to be killed?

MR VAN ZYL: I agree with you.

MR KHANOVITZ: Did you know why Mr Evans had to be killed as compared to say having his window broken?

MR VAN ZYL: No, I received my instructions in this way and I accepted my instructions as such and I tried to execute them in that way. I do not know if there were alternatives, it was not discussed with me. Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question for you.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, you will agree with me that as somebody who is either not obliged to obey an unlawful command or as somebody who doesn't even fall under the concept of superior orders you have a choice as to whether or not to comply with an instruction to facilitate the killing of someone such as Mr Evans?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Chairperson, I tried to explain it this morning that we were an organisation and a cell structure who within that organisation was specifically created there in order to maximally disrupt the enemies of the then government. It was not expected of us and I understood with this and it was presented to us during courses and it was said to us that in certain cases it could mean that such a person would have to be eliminated. I associated myself with this and it doesn't take a very intelligent person to understand what was said to us during that course. I accepted it like that one hundred percent that that was part of an approved structure and that under the circumstances the necessary protection would be given to us if we required it and that is why I executed those instructions. We were not there to organise a tea party with the enemy. We had to do what other forces, being the Police or the Defence Force or National Intelligence, did not have the competence or what they could not do, we were told that we would be acting against targets, against whom the other forces could not act in such an effective way, so we were seen as a more effective way to act against the enemy or the then enemy of the then government.

MR KHANOVITZ: But Mr van Zyl, how can you possibly justify agreeing to assist in the elimination of Gavin Evans in circumstances when you don't even know why it is that he has to die?

MR VAN ZYL: I think it is a matter of obedience, I think it's a matter of naiveté, I think it is a matter of we were all brainwashed to a large degree at that time when it was done. I know today that what I did back then is wrong but I mean how can I sit here today and tell you ten years afterwards in a totally different South Africa and tell you about why I thought back then it was correct other than saying to you that I had an instruction and I felt that that instruction had to be executed within the set up that I was employed.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, I want to put it to you that you personally had no political motive for wanting to murder Gavin Evans. You couldn't have had a political motive because you didn't even know why it was that he had to be killed?

MR VAN ZYL: I would differ with you in the sense that although I did not have personal knowledge of what the things were, the good things that Gavin Evans did and what the wrong things were that he had done, if he had done any wrong things. I'm saying that I accepted that as the system that had been created to act against the enemy of the Republic of South Africa, against the then National Party, if a person was identified by that structure and he was the pointed out to me as a target then I accepted that it was for a political reason, I accepted that it was done to protect the government of the day. How can that not be a political reason?

MR KHANOVITZ: But Mr van Zyl, what you're saying amounts to the following. If Staal Burger gives me a name and points me in that direction and says here's a name of this person, go and kill this person, I just accept that that person is a legitimate target, I don't even need to know why it is that they have to die.

MR VAN ZYL: Let me put it in this way that in the case of Mr Gavin Evans, in the case of Mr Omar, in the case of the Early Learning Centre, I think sufficient proof existed that they were persons or that they were structured that form part of the then let's call it enemy, so I do not want to - I see myself as a reasonably intelligent person, I think if Staal Burger came to me in the early '90s or in the late 1980's and told me listen, go and kill F W de Klerk or go and kill someone who didn't give me any indication that he could possibly have been an enemy of the State then I would have differed with him.

MR KHANOVITZ: But Mr van Zyl, the truth is and I'm going to show you your own version, at the time that you agreed to participate in Mr Evans' assassination on your own version you knew next to nothing about who he was an what he did?

MR VAN ZYL: That is so.

MR KHANOVITZ: Is that so?

MR VAN ZYL: I say that I knew very little apart from the fact that he - my information was that he was part of structures who functioned against the then government but what he did exactly, all the nice things and all the bad things I was not aware of that.

MR KHANOVITZ: But on your own version you didn't even know that he was part of structures that were operating against the government?

MR VAN ZYL: No, I made a statement in 1990 in which I said that he was part of the End Conscription Campaign structure and that there was connection between him and Hein Grosskopf, how could I have said something like that?

MR KHANOVITZ: Because you found out about that after you'd agreed to participate in the scheme to eliminate him.

MR VAN ZYL: There is no evidence to that effect.

MR KHANOVITZ: If I might just have a minute?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes certainly.

MR LAX: May I just pose something that has occurred to me? I just want to turn to the example you gave of say F W de Klerk as being a target. What I have difficulty with is this. If the very system you relied on identified F W de Klerk as a target, why would you have differed from it, why would you have refused to obey such a command? It was your job?

MR VAN ZYL: Let me explain it in the following way, Mr Chairperson. I mentioned the name of Mr F W de Klerk as an example.

CHAIRPERSON: Let's say the target was a seven year old little girl, don't go an kill that, a little girl who you don't know anything about, what would your reaction have been, I think this is the thrust of Mr ...(intervention)

MR VAN ZYL: I would have refused to execute that instruction.

CHAIRPERSON: What Mr Lax is asking you is why would you, because you've now been given an order to kill?

MR VAN ZYL: Because I think it would not have been logical to me that a seven year old daughter or a son would have to be killed because there is not logic in it, that such a person could have been a risk for the State.

MR LAX: The simple question I'm putting to you is based on this assumption. Either you obeyed orders or you exercised your own discretion. If you exercised your own discretion as you say you would have done because you're then challenging the very thesis of the instruction. You know, either it's not for you to reason why or but for you to do and die, or it is for you to reason why in which case in the very basis upon which your reasoning works is challengeable by everybody present in the sense that we need to then examine what your thought process was and why you arrived to certain conclusions in which case it's also logical that to simply rely on person X being identified as a target isn't good enough, if you follow the logic?

MR VAN ZYL: I understand your logic, I understand your point you're trying to make but I differ with it, with respect. I am saying that I accepted it bona fide that the targets that I am applying for here were well and properly identified target persons or target premises and I would have, as a result of I won't say my discretion but as a result of my logic. I would not just obey an order blindly and kill a seven year old child when such an instruction is given to me, I would refuse to do it.

I would please like to mention to you that after I returned from my vacation just before I quit in October 1989, we were told that no project will continue because - the Regional Manager, Burger, told us this, no project will continue because Mr F W de Klerk then had just taken over as State President from Mr P W Botha and it was then said that Mr F W de Klerk has not yet been informed about the existence of our structure and before that has been done no operational execution could be given to the project.

During those meetings I told them that it does not make sense to me, there was a stage when a monkey foetus was given to me to go and hang on the premises of Archbishop Tutu and now Mr F W de Klerk is coming and he says in his speech that he will be talking to the ANC and other people and banned organisations, and then I said that Bishop Tutu cannot be a target of this organisation any more. And I'm saying this to you, that was my discretion and I mentioned this discretion pertinently to Burger on that day. I may have discretion and an opinion irrespective of whether I'm obeying orders or not. I think so.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Khanovitz?

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, but the crucial point, and you agree with this, you have a discretion, you exercise a moral choice in relation to the example of the seven year old child, correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR KHANOVITZ: There's no difference between the seven year old child and the name that you are given of a 30 year old adult in circumstances where you know next to nothing about that adult?

MR VAN ZYL: No Sir, I differ. I do beg to differ. You cannot in our context of warfare compare a seven year old child to any adult, whether it be Evans or whoever it was. I do differ with you.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, the principle is exactly the same in the sense that you personally as an individual exercising a moral choice had no idea as to why that person whose name was given to you on the list deserved to die?

MR VAN ZYL: No, I've told you, in Mr Evans' case it was known to me that he was a member of the ECC and we all know what the ECC did. Are you aware of what they did?

MR LAX: But what did they do?

MR VAN ZYL: They were an institution that was opposing the Defence Force. They for example advised persons not to report for military duty and not to attend their military service and that was a thorn in the flesh of the Defence Force. I think Mr Evans was detained at some stage because of his involvement there.

MR LAX: Did they commit any acts of violence, other than going to jail?

MR VAN ZYL: No that I know of.

MR KHANOVITZ: But Mr van Zyl, your version boils down to this. If you are given a name of any adult and let's not use the F W de Klerk examples, you don't know who this person is, you've never even heard of them before, you're given the name, as far as you're concerned that person is a legitimate target, it's been through the structures, it must be right?


MR KHANOVITZ: But Mr van Zyl, but then at the end of the day I'm submitting to the Commission that you're basically agreeing to kill that person for money?

MR VAN ZYL: That is not so, not at all. I shall say, Chairperson, that someone who kills a person for money, it could not be at my level and it could be at the level of the unaware member, someone like Peaches, someone like Isgak. These are persons who would have killed Mr Omar for money, these are persons who would have planted a bomb for money, who were involved or endeavoured to kill Mr Evans for money. I am not in that category, money was not the issue with me.

MR KHANOVITZ: I'll get to that later Mr van Zyl. Can I refer you to page 117 of bundle A, your amnesty application?

MR SIBANYONI: Maybe before you ask that question.

Mr van Zyl, would you say money influenced people to join the CCB?

MR VAN ZYL: No, I think it was a small considering factor for me because I earned a better salary in the CCB than what I had earned in the SAP, but I did not join the CCB exclusively for money. I had committed no act within the CCB for a monetary motive, not at all.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry, before you proceed, did everybody get that missing page, 112 the way it's been marked? We were handed it this morning, if you haven't got then I'm sure we'd be able to get it from Ms Coleridge.

MS COLERIDGE: Chairperson, just before we started the proceedings this morning I gave everyone a copy.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Khanovitz?

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, just read to yourself, you don't need to read it aloud. Paragraph 58 of your amnesty application which is really the statement which you handed in to the Harms Commission.

MR VAN ZYL: I have read it, Chairperson.

MR KHANOVITZ: You'll notice just as the timing of the making of this statement this is fairly soon after the event before the Harms Commission had commenced and before you knew that there was going to be an amnesty process and what the criteria for amnesty were, do you agree with me?

MR VAN ZYL: That is so.

CHAIRPERSON: Just for the record, the 18th March 1990.

MR KHANOVITZ: You'll also agree with me that the version that you set out in relation to the person that you referred to as Michael Evans is that -

"It's not my project, it's Maria's project"

and you make no mention whatsoever of Mr Evans' political profile, in fact you set out no reason whatsoever for why Mr Evans has to be eliminated?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR KHANOVITZ: In contrast, when it comes to dealing with the question of why Minister Omar had to be eliminated, you set out at some length in your statement Mr Omar's political profile and the reasons for targeting him?

MR VAN ZYL: That is so.

MR KHANOVITZ: When you gave evidence at the Harms Commission you were being asked questions about the selection of Gavin Evans as a target based on this statement. You were asked the following question - and for purposes of the record it's page 719 of the transcript of the Harms Commission, line 30. The question which was put to you was the following:

"Was he a political figure?"

and the answer was the following:

"I would not say that he was a political figure perhaps."

MR VAN ZYL: That is so, I understood a political figure as a politician.

MR KHANOVITZ: No, I'm sorry, I don't understand your answer.

MR VAN ZYL: Political figure I interpret as a politician. Minister Omar, the State President, those are political figures as I interpret it.

MR KHANOVITZ: And someone who has a profile in the End Conscription Campaign is not?

MR VAN ZYL: No, not in my opinion.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, I must also put it to you on your version the following could have happened. Mr Staal Burger could have given you a name of someone to assassinate and you would have bona fide accepted that that person was a legitimate target. You would have complied with that instruction, killed the person, subsequently found out that the reason Mr Burger put that person's name on the target list was because he was having an affair with Mr Burger's wife?

MR VAN ZYL: Anything is possible but I am just thankful that it did not happen.

MR KHANOVITZ: I assume in most circumstances you wouldn't have been coming to the Amnesty Committee claiming that you had a political motive for killing that person?

MR VAN ZYL: No that would have been very difficult.

MR KHANOVITZ: Now let's deal with Minister Omar. At the time that you agreed to comply with the instruction to eliminate Minister Omar, did you personally believe that Mr Omar was an enemy of the State?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes I was of that view, yes.

MR KHANOVITZ: Why did you hold that view?

MR VAN ZYL: At that stage the information which I received from ground level was that Minister Omar was then involved in the senior management of the UDF, which was a banned organisation, and Mr Omar was also prominent in the defence or involved in the defence of terrorists during terrorist trials. I think at that stage that was the main two reasons.

MR KHANOVITZ: If I follow your logic that would have made Mr Bizos sitting next to me and countless of my colleagues at the bar who defended the people who you call terrorists, legitimate targets, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That is not what I said.

CHAIRPERSON: He mentioned two factors not just the defending in political trials. He mentioned two. No, well I'm just saying that it is not quite fair to put that question because he didn't restrict his reasons to just the one factor to which you are now restricting those people to the one effect.

MR KHANOVITZ: With respect, Mr Chairperson, the witness can say whether it is a relevant factor.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes I'm not disallowing the question, I'm just pointing it out that you should give an example of someone who was involved in defending people and also involved in politics.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, either you're saying it's a relevant factor to the decision to target Adv Omar or it's an irrelevant factor. The weight that you attach that factor is a different issue. You've already said it was a relevant factor in deciding to target him, correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR KHANOVITZ: Now the other was membership of the UDF, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: Correct.

MR KHANOVITZ: Do you have any idea how many members the United Democratic Front had?


MR KHANOVITZ: So how ...(intervention)

MR VAN ZYL: Hundreds of thousands, probably a few million.

MR KHANOVITZ: Were they all legitimate targets?

MR VAN ZYL: I think they were all targets or they could all have been targets for the CCB but not necessarily a target to eliminate. They were classified. If it was a person who was attached to a banned organisation, an organisation at that stage that had limits then usually you would be classified as the enemy of the State.

MR KHANOVITZ: But Mr van Zyl, the point is that you have a discretion, you've hit on what is the crucial factor. Millions of people fall into the broad category of what you agreed was the enemy. That in and of itself is obviously insufficient justification for their elimination, do you agree with me?

MR VAN ZYL: I agree.

MR KHANOVITZ: There has to be something more. In Adv Omar's case as regards the something more you've listed two factors


MR KHANOVITZ: Now would everybody who satisfied those two characteristics be a legitimate target for elimination?

MR VAN ZYL: No, not at all Chairperson. I would like to state it clearly and I do not want a misconception to exist that Mr Omar did not become a target for the CCB just on the grounds of the information that I received from Peaches and sent through to my Co-ordinator, Basson, this was a phase of an intelligence phase. He became a target after the intelligence structure who was responsible in playing a role in the identification of targets for our unit, had made certain confirmations. I do not know what confirmation they did, I was not a part of that structure. So I wish you to understand that it is unreasonable to say that we acted against Mr Omar just because he was a senior member of the UDF and because he attended terrorist trials, there might have been something else, I am not able to say, I do not have that information, but I would hope and I do believe that there was indeed other information with regard to Mr Omar which was supplied by the intelligence structure upon which a decision was taken to eliminate Mr Omar.

MR KHANOVITZ: I note that you say that you hope - because it's quite obvious then that you never took the trouble at the time to ascertain whether the selection of Mr Omar as opposed to countless other people who were involved in leadership structures of the United Democratic Front, was in fact justified if necessary for purposes of targeting him for elimination?

MR VAN ZYL: I agree Chairperson and that is why I say that was not my function, it was not expected of me to evaluate information whether I received it from ground level or whether that information was received from the Co-ordinator, that was not my duty, it was not my function.

MR KHANOVITZ: You will recall that when my learned friend Mr Bizos attempted to ask Mr Verster to justify the selection of particular targets, every time he said we must ask the people who were on the ground as to how that information came to be collected, do you remember that evidence?

MR VAN ZYL: All too well.

MR KHANOVITZ: You were the eyes and ears of the CCB in the Western Cape, correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That is so.

MR KHANOVITZ: It was your responsibility to gather together and evaluate information for purposes of determining who should be targeted in the Western Cape, correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That was a secondary function, Chairperson, that was not our primary task.

MR KHANOVITZ: Well what was your primary function?

MR VAN ZYL: I've already testified to that effect, Chairperson, our primary function was the execution, the disruption, the maximal disruption of the enemy of the then State. It was the execution of projects, "go and break a window, go and burn a minibus, go and eliminate a person." We weren't an intelligence structure, Chairperson, that was a front that was given at that time by Mr Verster and other persons to discredit me. That was not my function. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR KHANOVITZ: Do you know Mr van Zyl, every time we try to find the person who is going to own up to saying I am the person who evaluated the information, put it together and came to the conclusion that for instance Minister Omar was the person to be eliminated, it's always said "it wasn't really me, it was this other person."

MR VAN ZYL: I understand that, Chairperson and I understand the frustration with regard to this, it is just as frustrating for me. I was a cog in that system but I think it is unfair - I recognise my part in for example the Omar project and in other projects, but I think it is unfair to take the messenger who takes a letter from point A to point B and delivers the letter at point B, and then the person opens the letter and he does not like the contents of the letter and he shoots the messenger dead. That is what they are trying to do to me. Don't hold me responsible for that, hold me responsible for my actions, for that which I did, but don't hold me responsible for the information because that was not my function. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl the explanation you are now giving is completely at variance with the version that you had set out in your amnesty application, the version that you had set out in your amnesty application is the following -

"I was appointed as the member of Region 6 responsible for the Cape."

Correct? We agree on that?

MR VAN ZYL: That is so.


"Accordingly I sought to recruit certain unaware members in order to gather information about the enemies of the State in the Western Cape."


MR VAN ZYL: That is so.


"On the basis of the information that I received from my informant it came to my attention that a certain Dullah Omar was a prime mover in the UDF in the Western Cape."


MR VAN ZYL: That is so.


"Acting on the basis of that information I put together a proposal which I presented to my superiors. In that proposal in the first place I identified Dullah Omar as an enemy of the State."


MR VAN ZYL: No, that is not what is being said there. I would like you to look at my statement, the statement that I had made in 1990, where I firstly said that our primary function was we were an executive and secondly was information. In my statement it is quite clear that the first time that I heard of Mr Omar was from ground level. There was no intensity whatsoever with me to identify Mr Omar as a target whether it be to eliminate him or whether to do whatever with him, there was no intention whatsoever, it was part of my secondary intelligence structure, I took that information, I sent it through to the Co-ordinator, Basson and long afterwards I received feedback and Co-ordinator Basson called me in and said I want you to do a pre-study on Omar. I did not do this, sending the information through, with the intention of choosing Mr Omar as a target.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, your version is quite obviously untrue, you are well aware of what the function of the CCB was and that function incorporated the elimination of people who were perceived to be enemies of the State, correct?

MR VAN ZYL: I understand that, that is so.

MR KHANOVITZ: If you send information into an organisation such as that, identifying a particular person as an enemy of the State you are well aware that one consequence of your conduct could be that that person will be eliminated?

MR VAN ZYL: It could be a consequence, I agree yes.

MR KHANOVITZ: Correct. Joe Verster also testified that the way in which this process worked was that the member of Region 6 who was responsible for the project would not only put forward information in relation to why the person was an enemy of the State, it was also their responsibility to make proposals as to what steps should be taken against that person in order to maximise the disruption to the enemy, correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That is so.

MR KHANOVITZ: Accordingly you must have made certain proposals as to what steps should be taken against Minister Omar?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR KHANOVITZ: And one of the proposals that you must have made was that he should be eliminated?

MR VAN ZYL: What was told to me, my evidence is quite clear in this regard, I received information with regard to Mr Omar, I fed it through the necessary channels and afterwards the Co-ordinator, Basson, came to me and told me do a pre-study in order to eliminate Mr Omar - I beg your pardon, I came down to Cape Town, I spoke to my persons on the ground and I told them this is what we want to do with regard to Mr Omar, where does he stay, how do we go about this, I made those plans, I do not deny it and I made that submission but the instruction that was given to me, it was not an initiative from my side to eliminate Mr Omar, it was an initiative from elsewhere which was fed through to me, through the Co-ordinator, Mr Basson.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, your version doesn't make sense, your version might have made sense if it had been that "one day I was in the CCB offices in Johannesburg and Staal Burger gave me the name of Dullah Omar and said here is your enemy, he lives in Cape Town, go and find him and kill him." That's not what happened, correct?


MR KHANOVITZ: It was through your initiatives that Minister Omar ended up on the CCB's hit list?

MR VAN ZYL: I do not deny that but I am telling you that when for the first time I collected information about Mr Omar I did not collect it with the intention of registering a project to eliminate Mr Omar, that was not my function, that was not my intention, that was a secondary task that came afterwards.

MR KHANOVITZ: But Mr van Zyl, if you had wanted to ensure that no project was registered for the elimination of Dullah Omar, what you would have done in the CCB meeting was to say, look I've identified this person as an enemy of the State, under no circumstances do I recommend that he should be eliminated, he's a small fry, I think you should burn his car?

MR VAN ZYL: Chairperson, I cannot understand that you do not understand my answers. It's as simple as this, the CCB had the facility of an intelligence structure, who that intelligence structure was I do not know, I did not liaise with any person in that intelligence structure, my link to that intelligence structure was just my Co-ordinator, Mr Basson. He is going to have to tell you who that person was. If I receive information in the set up where I worked at the CCB then I would simply do what was expected of me and my secondary function was get the information and I will feed it through, it has to be processed by the intelligence structure whoever that may be and it comes back to me with a further instruction and that is what happened.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, are you endeavouring to disassociate yourself from moral responsibility for the decision to eliminate Dullah Omar?

MR VAN ZYL: No that is not what I'm saying, I'm saying that the first time it was told to me that in terms of an executive project that my first instruction came from my Co-ordinator, Mr Basson, Chairperson. He told me do a pre-study in order to eliminate Omar, that is where my involvement started and my involvement ended as my evidence indicates here before this Commission.

MR KHANOVITZ: You were the primary source as far as we are aware of the CCB's information on the Western Cape, correct?

MR VAN ZYL: I would say I was the primary source of intelligence for Region 6 within the CCB structure. The CCB structure had in all probability an information structure that hopefully was a lot more sophisticated than just my small intelligence structure that I could create in a period of four, five or six months. I was not the only source of information for the CCB, there was a structure specifically for that, who that structure was I do not know.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: He's talking about the primary source here. The other structures to corroborate or to confirm info that was put through them.

MR VAN ZYL: I would say in terms of Region 6 because the Western Cape was allocated to me I would accept responsibility. I was the primary source of information for Region 6 but I think it would be an incorrect inference to say that I was the primary source of information for the whole CCB structure regarding the Western Cape.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, if you'd gone into a meeting where a presentation was being made on whether Minister Omar should be eliminated or some other action taken against him and somebody had stood up in that meeting and said we think the man should be killed. If you disagreed with that, you could stand up and say look, I know about politics in the Western Cape, it makes no sense to kill Dullah Omar in terms of the way in which the CCB defines its targets and its projects, do you agree with me?


MR KHANOVITZ: Did you do that?



MR VAN ZYL: I agreed that Minister Omar had to be eliminated.

MR KHANOVITZ: Can you tell us, give me the names of eight other or five other prominent UDF leadership people in the Western Cape at the time?

MR VAN ZYL: You can remind me, I can't think of any other names at this moment.

MR KHANOVITZ: Well you were the expert on Western Cape policy?

MR VAN ZYL: No please, Mr Chairperson, I do not ...(intervention)

MR MARTINI: It's not what he said, with respect Mr Khanovitz, let him not pay for the gallery, my client at no stage said he was an expert on Western Cape politics.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes but in response to the question can you name any other prominent UDF people in the Western Cape, what's your answer, I didn't catch it?

MR VAN ZYL: I might be able to think of names like - and I stand under correction but what I do know who was also prominent figure in the Western Cape at that stage is our current Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel. He was possibly a member of the UDF, I do not know, you'll have to ask him that.

MR KHANOVITZ: Well maybe you could explain to the Committee why Dullah Omar had to be eliminated and not Trevor Manuel?

MR VAN ZYL: It is simply because I did not know Mr Trevor Manuel's name, I registered a project regarding Mr Omar because I received a specific instruction to do so. If they gave me an instruction to do it in regarding Mr Trevor Manuel instead of Mr Omar then I would have done that.

MR KHANOVITZ: So you will agree with me that if Peaches instead of telling you that Dullah Omar is a person that you should focus on, if instead he'd come and he'd said Trevor Manuel is the person that you should focus on, will Trevor Manuel's name would then have ended up on that list as a target for elimination?

MR VAN ZYL: Not necessarily, but possibly.

MR KHANOVITZ: But Mr van Zyl, it's clear that the process was entirely haphazard?

MR VAN ZYL: What do you mean?

MR VAN ZYL: You know one would expect that if you were a professional organisation making intelligent decisions about which of your enemies should be eliminated in the Western Cape you would have done so on a scientific basis, do you agree with me, an informed basis?

MR VAN ZYL: I agree.

MR KHANOVITZ: You would agree with me that whoever was going to evaluate information to decide whether someone should be killed, that person should have an intimate knowledge of Western Cape extra-parliamentary politics, should have some understanding or guerrilla activity, Umkhonto weSizwe and so on and so forth. Do you agree with me?

MR VAN ZYL: I agree.

MR KHANOVITZ: Otherwise how are they going to know who should be selected as a target?

MR VAN ZYL: That's obvious.

MR KHANOVITZ: And you will agree with me that I don't even need to start testing your knowledge on those aspects you had no intimate knowledge of Western Cape extra-parliamentary politics?

MR VAN ZYL: I did not.

MR KHANOVITZ: Which explain why you might believe the kind of information that someone like Peaches would feed to you?

MR VAN ZYL: The information that I received from Peaches I accepted it in good faith and I processed this information and whether a project on Minister Omar was eventually registered as a result of the initial information that I got hold of and whether this information played a role or not I do not know. I'm trying to explain to the Commission what role I played in the project of Minister Omar.

MR KHANOVITZ: Your legal representative asked you in chief about the use of informers and your evidence was something to the effect that you know this was not unusual standard Police practice, correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR KHANOVITZ: Why do the Police use informers?

MR VAN ZYL: To gain information, Sir, that would otherwise be impossible to get hold of.

MR KHANOVITZ: You'll agree with me it makes sense if you want to find out about what drug dealers are up to, it's useful to get an informer who is involved in the world of drugs?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR KHANOVITZ: If you want to understand politics and the role of political organisations in the Western Cape, what possible sense can it make to rely on information supplied to you by a self-confessed gangster and criminal?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Chairperson, if one looks at our crime history and if one looks at the statistics, the largest and the most amount of crime today in this country and in the past was as a result of information that was gathered by informants. This is a standard practice. In the past there was an informant system and I said this.

MR KHANOVITZ: Sorry, Mr van Zyl, I don't want to confuse issues, if your evidence had been that we recruited somebody on the executive of the United Democratic Front to get information about the United Democratic Front, I wouldn't be crossing swords with you. What I want to know is what possible sense it makes to use a gangster to gather information about politics in the Western Cape?

MR VAN ZYL: Well it's quite logical that that member and that gangster had in all probability had contact with a person who was possibly connected with the UDF and who would be able to gather information from this structure. You would recruit a source not for a specific aim, I mean a vehicle theft source would give you information on a security matter and a security matter source would give you information on a bank robbery that happened. It is a diversified field. He's not given a specific area and he's told that you're only going to give me information regarding the UDF, he can use his own discretion.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Khanovitz, if I could just ask a question, it's not entirely in point but it's got to do with informers before it slips my mind particularly that it might do with the adjournment that we probably will have or that we will have in this matter?

We have heard yesterday that you were the only person in Region 6 who had informants, unaware members reporting directly to you?

MR VAN ZYL: At that stage, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: What I can't understand and I must say that came as somewhat as a surprise to me, taking into account that you were all ex-members of the Police Force, a lot of you were attached to the murder and robbery squads. Now an informer is an informer, surely as policemen you had informers working for you?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Now why should you lose contact with those informers just because you're now working for the CCB? The informer would never know that, why did the others lose informers who were so vital to their function, I just can't understand how the people up in Gauteng, not one of them had an informer when they were all previously murder and robbery squad policemen?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Chairperson, I want to tell you that I don't think we should confuse this aspect. Peaches and also Gakie was primarily recruited not as informants to gain information regarding banned organisations or targets, those persons were recruited to give execution to our projects. In other words I want to give him a weapon and I want to indicate a target for him and I want to tell him please go and shoot this person, please go and kill that person, that is why they were initially recruited and it is for the same reason, Mr Chairperson, that we could not use our old structures because they were informants, they were sources and they could not be used for the means that we wanted to use Isgak and Peaches.

MR LAX: That's why I didn't understand your earlier answer to Mr Khanovitz in relation to these people and that is in relation to a specifically your intention with regard to Omar. You see your intention and it's throughout these documents was to get projects, to develop projects, that was your primary task. Not the gathering of information, that was secondary and so the minute you had information on Mr Omar your intention was to develop a project possibly around that information. That would have been your goal?

MR VAN ZYL: It was not my primary goal at that stage. I saw that as part of my secondary duty and my function. I have information, I have gained this information by making contact with the person that I recruited to kill other people. If he gives me information then I'm not going to take the information, I just ignore it. I process the information, I sent it through to the information officer or through the information channel. Does this answer your question?

MR LAX: Except that you haven't answered this aspect. Why did you send it through there? So that it could be analysed and dealt with but with the primary object in the back of your head constantly, this is a potential project?

MR VAN ZYL: I cannot deny that it could have been a possible project or would have been a possible project but I did not send it through at that time specifically with the aim that I'm now going to exercise pressure on the information office and they have to process this because I want to make the elimination of Minister Omar my project. If they never came back to me they never came back to me, Chairperson, they would have given me some other tasks to perform. I did not have to go and look for my own word at the outside.

MR LAX: You see that's where I'm a little puzzled because at this stage you've gone to the Western Cape to begin to establish a network so that you can have projects to do, that's what you're there for. What other work were you going to look for if you didn't have projects to do?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Chairperson, what happened, I want to state it very clearly, I was given the Western Cape region as an area so that within this area I could give execution to certain projects. I came down here to, let's call them the hit men, to recruit people like Peaches. These are the people that I needed because I was given specific instructions, I could not myself give execution to these projects, I had to get someone else to go and kill person X or shoot person X, it was my exclusive aim with the recruitment of peaches and also the recruitment of Isgak.

MR LAX: I accept your answer but for this simple aspect that worries me underlying all of this and that is that in your documents here, the reasons that you give for why you were looking for people and the reasons you gave your brother when you asked him to look for certain people and that's what you say your reasons were, are not that you were looking for people to recruit as hit men, you were looking for people to recruit for information?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct, Mr Chairperson, but the reason why I said this is that my brother did not know that I was involved with the organisation of the CCB. I told my brother, I misled him, I told him that I am looking for people who can gather information regarding thefts, Matthysen's buses are coming down here because he thought I was working for Matthysen and then they would break into the buses or they would steal some of the vehicles and I am looking for an information network that I want to start but I misled him and this is not the reason why I recruited them.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Khanovitz?

MR SIBANYONI: Sorry, may I just ask one question?

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Sibanyoni?

MR SIBANYONI: Mr van Zyl, I don't know whether I misunderstood you, I heard you saying the UDF was one of the banned organisations? Was the UDF banned at that stage?

MR VAN ZYL: I assume so. I can't say with certainty, Mr Chairperson.

MR SIBANYONI: Okay maybe we'll have to check it and we'll verify it next time during the hearing.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Khanovitz?

MR KHANOVITZ: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

Mr van Zyl, your version that you're giving now as to why you recruited Peaches is at variance with your amnesty application. Look at page 93 of the bundle A. You'll agree with me if you were looking for a hit man whether he had knowledge about politics in the Western Cape was neither here nor there, you just want to send him to a place to assassinate someone on your behalf, do you agree with me?

MR VAN ZYL: In most cases it probably would be like that yes.

MR KHANOVITZ: Look at page 93 where you describe your meeting with Peaches. Approximately the middle of the page.

"Peaches was asked if he had any contacts within the ANC and the UDF and other radical organisations. He answered that he knew quite a lot of people."

And then you go on in the rest of your statement to talk about how you contacted Peaches from time to time and he fed you information. So how can you possibly suggest to the Commission that you recruited Peaches exclusively for the purpose of using him as an offensive person, a hit man?

MR VAN ZYL: I saying this because I knew at that stage that the ANC and also the UDF were seen as the enemies of the State. I recruited someone and I was looking for someone who was close enough or who could move close enough to those people so that that person could act as a hit man for me. It would serve absolutely no purpose to bring a person who did not fit into that community and to ask that person in certain cases to give execution to certain projects. In other cases it is possible but specifically in this context I wanted people who could get close enough to possible target people.

MR KHANOVITZ: But Mr van Zyl, your version doesn't really make sense. Why would a hit man need to be from the community?

MR VAN ZYL: In order to evaluate any project properly you would need as much information as possible. If a person could then go into an environment very well and the better he knows that environment, the better he can do his task.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, those are all reasons that you're giving as to why you might want to use somebody as a source of information, not as a hit man?

MR VAN ZYL: That is not so, that is a difference in opinion. I have tried to explain it ten times now. You don't want to see my point, I'm telling you I did not recruit Peaches as a source of information, I did not recruit Gakie as a source of information, Gakie is still living you can ask him yourself.

MR KHANOVITZ: Well I can give you the example of Adv Lubowski's assassination. There an Irish mercenary was brought in to carry out the hit.

MR VAN ZYL: According to me that is not proven or confirmed at all that Aitchison killed Lubowski.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, informers, your experience in the Police, why do informers normally agree to supply the Police with information?

MR VAN ZYL: In most cases as a result of the money advantages.

MR KHANOVITZ: And you would know from your experience that the information received from informers has to be treated with the greatest of care because often it's unreliable?

MR VAN ZYL: That is the case.

MR KHANOVITZ: Also often informers are people who have a grudge to bear, they want to inform on maybe people who are in competition with them in the sphere of the drug world and so on and so forth, the information is extremely unreliable?

MR VAN ZYL: It could be.

MR KHANOVITZ: Did you regard the information that you received from Peaches as extremely unreliable?

MR VAN ZYL: The information regarding Minister Omar?

MR KHANOVITZ: Well in relation to politics in the Western Cape?

MR VAN ZYL: I received very little information from Peaches, specifically from him and I accepted it on a bona fide basis that information that he gave to me was correct and if I think about it now I can't think of any reason why at that stage I would not trust Peaches regarding the information that he for example would give me in relation to Minister Omar.

CHAIRPERSON: When that information was supplied to you when did you learn that you had been defrauded by Peaches or crooked, was it Peaches involved with the burning of a taxi and money was paid and then you learnt that the taxi wasn't burned and then they were going to burn some other place and money was paid for that job done and then it was learnt that in fact nothing was done because I think in your statement you also said that you didn't - you had your reservations about Peaches, you weren't trusting him fully, obviously you had your suspicions?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes that is the case.

CHAIRPERSON: When in relation to you harbouring those suspicions did you receive the information from him in relating to Mr Omar?

MR VAN ZYL: No that is like that in my statement, Mr Chairperson, I had my suspicions about Peaches and his involvement with the project and his bona fides long after the information was given to me because there was already a project registered at that time and Peaches had already received instructions to help with the elimination of Minister Omar so that was afterwards but beforehand I also had my doubts regarding Peaches but not as much as at approximately the middle of the year in 1989 which is about two or three months after he gave me the information regarding Omar for the first time.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, what is the full name of your brother, the one you contacted?

MR VAN ZYL: Johannes van Zyl.

MR KHANOVITZ: Do you have an address for him?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes he works with me in my office. Are you looking for a telephone number?

MR KHANOVITZ: No I want a physical address.

MR VAN ZYL: Tactical Risk Control.


MR VAN ZYL: Constantia Park Business Centre.

MR KHANOVITZ: Is that Johannesburg?

MR VAN ZYL: Roodepoort.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr Chairperson, I'm not sure what procedure needs to be followed to ask the Committee to issue subpoenas, if I can do so here or if there's another procedure that needs to be followed?

CHAIRPERSON: If a subpoena needs to be issued, you wish somebody to be called then I think the best contact would be through Ms Coleridge and then they issue it administratively but they'd like to have some sort of indication as to why that person is required to testify. We don't like receiving just a whole list of names, completely unaware why they should be called and then issue a subpoena.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, I want to deal briefly with the Early Learning Centre just in relation to the question of what your motivation was at the time that you agreed to comply with the instruction. Now at the time that you agreed to comply with the instruction to bomb the Early Learning Centre, bearing in mind that the Early Learning Centre is a building, did you regard that building as being an enemy of the State?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR KHANOVITZ: Why was the building an enemy of the State?

MR VAN ZYL: It is the facility that was used by persons in order to have meetings, according to our information, where discussions had happened and steps were planned that was aimed against the State. In other words it was the aim of that project to destroy the building, to destroy the facility. The aim of that project was not aimed against the people who attended those meetings and to kill them and that's why I'm telling you that the project was aimed against the building and not the people.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Khanovitz, when it's convenient, when you've finished your line of questioning, we'll take the adjournment.

MR KHANOVITZ: Mr van Zyl, the people who were in the Early Learning Centre at the time of the blast who were not members of the Kewtown Youth, did they fall into your understanding of the enemy?


MR KHANOVITZ: So you would not attempt to justify any harm caused to those people on the grounds that it was in furtherance of a political objective that you were pursuing?


MR KHANOVITZ: That's the end of my questioning for now.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. As mentioned yesterday we are adjourning at 11 o'clock today. I believe a date for the resumed hearing has been agreed upon?

MS COLERIDGE: That is correct, Chairperson. From the 12th June to the 23rd June.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you very much Ms Coleridge. This matter we've now run out of time. It was set down for a week. It's obviously going to last a lot longer than a week. As you've heard the date for the resumed hearing at this matter is the 12th June, it's been set down for two weeks then through to the 23rd June and that is in fact nine days because one of the days in between is a public holiday. I know it's quite far in the future but I can assure you that when you're dealing with eleven plus lawyers to get a date that is convenient and available to all of them it can never be done in short periods of time so we hope to be able to conclude it at the next sitting. We'll now adjourn to the 12th June 2000 and before we adjourn I'd just like to all of those who are celebrating, wish you a blessed and joyous Eid.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairperson, could I just ask one thing? I discussed it just now with Ms Coleridge, can we just get an undertaking from the Commission's side that we get a copy of the record as soon as possible so we can prepare ourselves?

CHAIRPERSON: That would be a good thing, Mr du Plessis and we'll endeavour to obtain the transcripts as soon as possible.

MR BIZOS: Chairperson, could we in view of - and I don't want to raise the temperature here but quite seriously and with the specific request of Minister Dullah Omar and the other victims in this case and the community whose facility was destroyed, serious consideration be given to the change of venue. Mr Chairperson, if anybody feared for his life when we - if we were to have the hearing in Athlone I would submit with the greatest respect with the absence of the security here, if anyone who intended to harm anyone it would have been just as easy to do it on the pavement outside the building because we don't see any policemen around, hardly any policemen around, we don't see any visible security, I don't how, because it is so important to the victims, Mr Chairperson, and to the community, could I appeal for a consensus decision that we have it there where the facilities are available and where people needn't be crowded in the manner that they are here? And insofar as there maybe a feeling that it should not be in the Early Learning Centre, arrangements can be made, there are other facilities there but there are good reasons why justice generally speaking is sought to be administered, Mr Chairperson, at a place where the people affected have access to and there are good historical and other reasons for it and I don't know whether Mr van Zyl who made the application and in view of what has happened since, wants to reconsider his position but they don't have to answer now, Mr Chairperson, but could serious consideration be given by the Committee in consultation with all concerned so that we can return there and have facilities. This, the venue here in this building I thought was going to be the old venue, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: That's been converted into office space because this floor you'll notice is deserted, it's no longer used and we were fortunate to get this on short notice, it's not very adequate I'm sure we'll all agree.

MR BIZOS: Well, we have said what we wanted to say Mr Chairperson and perhaps I see that Mr Martini is ready to push the button.

CHAIRPERSON: I think Ms Coleridge as well, her finger is twitching.

MR BIZOS: Yes, ...(intervention)

MR MARTINI: Who wants to be a millionaire?

MR BIZOS: I don't understand that joke, Mr Chairperson, I'm sorry but could he perhaps take instructions from his client before he makes any decision in relation to the matter?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Mr Bizos. Ms Coleridge?

MS COLERIDGE: Mr Chairperson, I just want to place on record that at our pre-hearing conference, I just want to revert back to that again in relation to the security. We have offered Mr van Zyl security and witness protection if he does so require it and in relation to - and we still obviously want to extend that invitation to Mr van Zyl and anybody else that requires that for our next hearing. In relation to the venue, Chairperson, I can say that Judge Keaney this instance regarded that the venue where the incident occurred was inappropriate and I could suggest that maybe we could get a venue somewhere else in Athlone and not at that particular venue where the incident occurred and I'd just like to extend that invitation for Mr van Zyl and his legal representative just to consider that and that the position of the Commission is still the same that we would obviously extend the invitation that if he requires protection we have full support of the SAP and everybody else in the area, Chairperson.

MR WILLIAMS: Mr Chairperson, before Mr Martini responds can I just add?

CHAIRPERSON: Certainly Mr Williams.

MR WILLIAMS: I have at the outset placed my reservations about this venue on record and I can say that I have personal knowledge of many members of the community and many friends and family members that would like to attend these hearings but due to the fact that it's being held here and it's not only the size of this venue, but it's also the distance, the expenditure attached to that, that the hearing be moved, Mr Chairperson. There is a suitable venue in Athlone itself and that's the Civic Centre. I don't know whether it would be available but I think that should be considered and personally maybe I think I should also as a member that comes from out of the Kewtown community, I think I should tell Mr van Zyl that his fears are groundless, I don't think there's any single member who would want to kill him and I sincerely don't believe that his life is in danger. Thank you Mr Chairperson.

MR MARTINI: Chairperson, we need to catch a plane. This Committee is not a Court of Appeal. There's a Court Order by a judge, this issue has been debated, there's a Court Order, we'll abide the Court Order so a decision has been made, let's stay away from this. This Committee has got no basis - if they want to alter the venue they can do it subject to our reservational rights. Unfortunately all that we've heard here being placed on record has been dealt with fully in affidavits before a judge has made a decision.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, no we're aware of that there's been a decision made, Mr Martini, but I'm also fully aware of the anxiety of the victims and a change of venue, I can assure you, would be done in consultation with yourselves. We had hoped that despite the fact that there's a Court Order, it's not a question of losing face or anything like that, that maybe an agreement can come about with regard to the change of a new venue because I think that where we're sitting now and we're very grateful to have been able to have been given this venue at such short notice, it's not entirely adequate, we're all sitting packed in here, people can watch what other people are writing and all sorts of things, they can hear other people's whisperings, it's not very convenient so endeavours will be made to find an alternative venue, but I can assure you it's not being done to score points or to put stress or anything on anybody, it's just done in an honest endeavour to get something that's more convenient and more acceptable for all of the people and there won't be anything done that will catch you by surprise, it will be done by consensus hopefully with all the persons concerned. Can we leave it at that?

MR MARTINI: Well our rights on the venue are strictly reserved.

CHAIRPERSON: Otherwise I'll carry on talking until you miss your aeroplane. Thank you, we'll now adjourn, thank you.