DATE: 24TH MAY 2000




DAY: 2


CHAIRPERSON: Good morning everybody. My name is Motata, I'll be chairing this hearing of the application of Mr Loots and another, for the incident that occurred at Hammanskraal. I would invite my colleagues to place their names on record.

MR MALAN: Wynand Malan.

MR LAX: Ilan Lax.

CHAIRPERSON: I would request the legal representatives to do the same.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I'm Roelof du Plessis, assisted by my learned friend, Mr Roux, of the Pretoria Bar. We act on instruction of Strydom Britz Attorneys, and we act on behalf of the two applicants, Mr Loots and Mr Ras. Thank you.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you, Mr Chairperson. Eric van den Berg, from the firm Bell, Dewar and Hall, I act on behalf of Gloria Hlabangane, the mother of Irene Motasi, one of the deceased, in her personal capacity and also in her capacity as the guardian of Seditso Charles Motasi, the son of the deceased couple.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you ready to kick-start, Mr du Plessis?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, Mr Chairman, I'm ready. Thank you very much.

May I just deal with one aspect before I call Mr Loots, as the first witness and the first applicant, and that is the situation pertaining to Mr Ras' health position. You will recall that previously the application was postponed because of the fact that he had a heart operation, and I have been presented a medical report of this operation and what it entailed, and just for record purposes I would wish to hand copies in to you. There are three copies, may I hand them to you?

And may I just place on record, he had a - and I'm at a loss for the English word, he had a heart bypass operation on the 3rd of February. He was committed to hospital again on the 21st of April. That's just the report of the first operation. He was committed to - I nearly said jail, to hospital on the 21st of April when there were complications and he was admitted again to Medforum on the 13th of May, with certain further complications. Mr Ras has informed me that he feels healthy enough to deal with the evidence today, but I would request leave from you to call Mr Loots first. And I will endeavour to place certain facts before you through Mr Loots, and hopefully be able to answer all the questions through Mr Loots, so as to spare Mr Ras with reference to his health situation, under the circumstances.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Could we first give the medical certificate a number, would A do?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, thank you, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: In what language would Mr Loots testify?

MR DU PLESSIS: Afrikaans, if it pleases you, Mr Chair.

MR LOOTS: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, in the main bundle you will Mr Loot's amnesty application and it starts on page 51. The particulars of the incident start on page 51, obviously, page 50 actually, the rest of the application commences earlier. And then you will also find the evidence that Mr Loots has already given at the previous hearing of Brig Cronje, Capt Hechter and Mr van Vuuren, and you will find the evidence in this regard, from page 241 onwards until page 251. As it pleases.

Mr Loots, do you confirm the correctness of your amnesty application from page 4 of this particular bundle, to page 51, which would then present all the background evidence and your personal particulars?

MR LOOTS: Yes, I confirm this, Chairperson.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you. And before the commencement of this application you have studied your written application as well as the portions of evidence in the record to which I have referred the Committee.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR DU PLESSIS: And with the exception of those aspects which we will elaborate on today, do you confirm the correctness thereof?

MR LOOTS: Yes, I confirm the correctness this.

MR DU PLESSIS: That would be the correctness of this which has been embodied in your amnesty application from page 51 to 63, do you confirm this as correct?

MR LOOTS: I confirm this as correct, Chairperson.

MR DU PLESSIS: And do you also confirm the correctness of the evidence which was presented from 241 of the bundle, to page 251? It is your evidence from the previous application.

MR LOOTS: Yes, I confirm this.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. There are a number of aspects that I would for you to elaborate on for the Committee, for the purposes of this application and your own position. And I'm not going to refer you specifically to the bundle, I just want you to explain these aspects to the Committee. Could you briefly describe or explain the structure of the various divisions of the South African Police and the Security Branch, which is relevant for this application, with specific reference to the Northern Transvaal Security Branch, the Security Head Office, the Detective Branch, where some of the persons were involved, and the position occupied by Gen Stemmet. Could you explain these aspects to the Committee and sketch how these various divisions functioned with one another.

MR LOOTS: I will try to be as brief as possible, Chairperson. However, where you feel that I have been scant in my information, please indicate so to me.

"The South African Police consisted of a head office and underneath this head office was the South African Police, which was divided into RSA divisions. Every such a division of the South African Police, had a Divisional Commissioner as divisional head.

The division was then further sub-divided into districts. For example, Northern Transvaal was divided into districts such as Centurion, Pretoria Central, Pretoria North, and every district had a District Commandant. Within the division there were also Detective Branches, Unrest Units, Security Branches, with their Commanders.

In the incident which has been presented before you today, for which I'm applying for amnesty, the Divisional Commander for the Division Northern Transvaal, was Brig Stemmet. He had to account directly to head office."

MR DU PLESSIS: What was his accurate title?

MR LOOTS: Divisional Commissioner, or Commissar, Division Northern Transvaal. Is that what you wanted to know, or his actual names?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, I just wanted to know what his position was and how one would have addressed him in his position.


"Everyone within the division had to account directly to the Divisional Commissar. In my particular position at the Security Branch Division Northern Transvaal, the Security Branch Commander was accountable to the Divisional Commissar, with regard to Security matters within the Division Northern Transvaal."

MR DU PLESSIS: I beg your pardon, the Commander of the Northern Transvaal Division, who was that?

MR LOOTS: It was Brig Jack Cronje, during this particular incident.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well, proceed.


"My fellow applicant, Gen Martiens Ras, at that stage occupied the rank of a Lieut-Col. He was the Senior Staff Officer. Brig Cronje was absent with sick leave and Col Martiens Ras at that stage acted as the Security Branch Commander of the Northern Transvaal Division, and he then would have been directly accountable to Gen Stemmet. There was no-one between him and Gen Stemmet."

Perhaps I should just ask whether or not I should explain the various desks of the Security Branch.

MR MALAN: It isn't necessary, the evidence has been presented to us and it is in the bundle where it is thoroughly described.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. Is it possible for you to describe one aspect to the Committee. The Security Branch of the Northern Transvaal, stood in the direct line of command from Gen Steyn.

MR LOOTS: That is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: Could you also explain this relationship from within a command point of view, the relationship between the Northern Transvaal Division and the Security Head Office.


"For every desk within any Security Branch Division, let us say if there was a Churches Desk, there was also a Security Head Office Desk for Churches. If there was a Black Power Desk at a Security Branch, then there would be a similar desk at Security Head Office. So we had a line of command in terms of the Security Branches which ran directly to Security Head Office."

MR MALAN: I beg your pardon, I must just ask a few questions. I don't know whether or not I've been misled or if I've ended up in the dark by accident, in this structure you did not refer to Security Head Office, I would assume that this has to do with the SAP Head Office?

MR LOOTS: Yes, that is correct, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Very well. You have stated that Stemmet was not part of the Security Branch, he came from head office, but not from the Security Branch as such.

MR LOOTS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: So the line of command was directly to Stemmet and accountability ran directly to Stemmet?


MR MALAN: But if I understand correctly with regard to security matters, Mr Ras would have reported directly to Security Head Office, not via Stemmet.

MR DU PLESSIS: I was actually on my way there, Chairperson, that is actually the point that I was attempting to illustrate with regard to lines of command. If you would just grant me a moment's indulgence.

MR MALAN: I beg your pardon, Mr du Plessis.

MR DU PLESSIS: I would like for you to explain, Mr Loots, with regard to lines of command, we have established that there was a definite line of command from Brig Stemmet running to you ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: No, I want an explanation of the nature of that line of command.

MR DU PLESSIS: I am on my way there, Chairperson. What I want you to explain to the Committee is whether or not there were different lines of command, one to the Security Branch, one to Brig Stemmet, one to the Divisional Commissar. What the difference was between those various lines of command and how they operate.

MR LOOTS: I will attempt to clarify it as such. You may intervene if you wish.

With regard to general policing we would have accounted directly to Brig Stemmet, with regard to security matters, clinical security matters within the Security Branches, for which desks were created in Security Head Office as well. In other words, pure security matters would involve direct clarification with Security Head Office.

MR DU PLESSIS: And under certain circumstances, would certain orders have been issued to you by Brig Stemmet and then under different circumstances orders would have been issued to you by head office?

MR LOOTS: Yes, under specific circumstances.

MR DU PLESSIS: And was there any overlapping between these two lines of command at any time? Could this have been possible?


MR DU PLESSIS: Did this ever occur?

MR LOOTS: Chairperson, yes I think to a lesser extent there may have been some degree of overlapping.

MR MALAN: You have already stated that there could have been, the question now is, was there?

MR LOOTS: Chairperson, I would say that during my time there, there was overlapping, yes.

MR MALAN: Provide an example.

MR LOOTS: For example, in the heat of the struggle there was a so-called mass rolling action, which was a programme designed to render the country ungovernable, by means of stay-away actions, boycotts, school boycotts and so forth and in order to counter this, there would have to be a contingency plan in order to determine how we would go about in reducing this problem, and simultaneously there may have been a request from Security Head Office for a contingency plan regarding how we would address the problem, and simultaneous to this, more-or-less the same order could have come from the Divisional head regarding how we as the Security Branch would address this problem.

MR MALAN: But those are not orders, those are requests for planning and the question was put with regard to the command structures and whether or not any commands overlapped.

MR LOOTS: It would have been orders, Chairperson, "present contingency plans."

MR MALAN: Very well.

MR DU PLESSIS: Would it have been within the power of Brig Stemmet to issue direct orders to Brig Cronje?

MR LOOTS: Yes, absolutely, he was the Divisional Commissar.

MR DU PLESSIS: And would the Northern Transvaal Security Branch have been obliged to carry out those orders?


MR DU PLESSIS: And would Brig Cronje also have been able to receive orders from the Security Head Office?


MR DU PLESSIS: And he would have been obliged to carry out these orders.

MR LOOTS: That is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: Could you explain to the Committee whether there was any dynamics among the various divisions, for example between the Security Division and other divisions of the Security Forces, such as the Detective Branches. Was there any information exchanged, how did this take place, what were the dynamics? And I pose this question with specific reference to crime conferences with regard to this particular matter.


"We as the Security Branch had unit heads of all the units which I have presented to you. The unit heads within the Security Branch convened with the head of the Security Branch, where the relevant information was exchanged regarding that which had occurred in the security field and that which was expected to occur within this field.

Every morning of every day there was a Crime Conference, which was held at the office of the Divisional Commander. Our Divisional Commander was then obliged to attend this Crime Conference, with regard to information which had been presented to him by his unit heads. Because these crime conferences took place every day, National Intelligence had session, Military Intelligence also had a session, the Detective Branch was also represented there, the Division Unrest Units were also represented there, as well as the Department of Education and Training."

MR DU PLESSIS: Was there an exchange of information among the various divisions or departments at these conferences?

MR LOOTS: Yes, that was the specific purpose with these conferences.

MR DU PLESSIS: So if one refers to a conference, one does not refer to a conference in the normal sense, indicating a congress lasting there days at some place where everybody gathers to congress for three days, and that this would happen once in a year or so?


MR MALAN: Is there any kind disregard for gambling places, Mr du Plessis, especially while we are seated in the church?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, I don't have any particular disregard for such places, seeing as I have acted on behalf of certain parties to obtain gambling licences.

This particular conference, where would it have taken place?

MR LOOTS: If the office the Divisional Commander could accommodate us, it would have taken place in his office, which was the case most of the time. If there were more delegates to the conference there was a conference hall near his office where we also gathered from time to time, under the chairpersonship of the Commissar.

MR DU PLESSIS: And who from the Northern Transvaal Security Branch would attend these conferences regularly?

MR LOOTS: Brig Cronje, as the Divisional Commander, and if he was absent, it would have been the most senior Staff Officer, or the Acting Security Branch Commander, in that case Col Ras, and even if he was absent, Col Ras, as Staff Officer, identified three other persons for that purpose and I was one of these three.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. This evidence has been covered in various other cases, can I just ask you then to briefly explain what your approach was and what your was normal approach if you received a direct instruction from Brig Stemmet, with regard to asking questions or getting more information. What would your reaction have been?

MR LOOTS: Mr Chairperson, I'm a Captain within a structure where I have to deal with a person who has a rank of a Brigadier and specifically in the capacity of a Divisional Head or Commissioner, and I do not question his authority, he gives instructions and I follow those instructions.

MR DU PLESSIS: And what was your approach with regards to the specific instructions that you received in this instance?

MR LOOTS: That I will not question it and that I will do what I was told.

MR MALAN: Can I just go back to the nature of the instruction, it is about instructions from the Security head and the Divisional Commissioner. We are still talking about the terminology of command, but if they did not overlap, what was the nature of the instructions that you received from the Divisional Commissioner?

MR LOOTS: If I'm talking of the area, I'm talking of the section or division, and that is to stabilise.

MR DU PLESSIS: Can you give us a specific concrete example of this?

MR LOOTS: For example, Mr Chairperson, during the school boycotts it was sufficient for Security Head Office if we reported each morning which schools in the different residential areas functioned and if they functioned, what percentage of students did attend school. That we could do telephonically. The Divisional Commander was not satisfied with this ...(intervention) ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR DU PLESSIS: Let me put it this way, maybe you should testify with the specific term "Divisional head", that is now Brig Stemmet. Was it strange that you would received an instruction from Stemmet to act illegally?

MR LOOTS: No, it was not at all.

MR DU PLESSIS: Why do you say this?

MR DU PLESSIS: He was our direct head within the division and it was in his capacity and in his position to issue such orders.

MR DU PLESSIS: Did you know, Mr Loots, if Brig Stemmet at that stage was aware of the illegal counter-revolutionary measures to the Northern Transvaal Security Branch?

MR LOOTS: Yes, according to my knowledge, definitely.

MR MALAN: We're not asking your opinion, we're asking if he knew.

MR LOOTS: Yes, he knew about it.

MR MALAN: Why do you say that?

MR LOOTS: The two men who were identified as the hit squad, and they also refer to themselves as the hit squad, were the two men that worked under my direct command, Capt Hechter and W/O van Vuuren.

MR MALAN: Was this the first time that you can refer to an opportunity where Stemmet knew about it, or did he know about it at an earlier stage?

MR LOOTS: Mr Chairperson, as I've said, we had crime conferences and at these conferences we did talk about Hechter and van Vuuren. It was not only us, but it was an open secret.

MR MALAN: Are you trying to tell us that at these crime conferences, where all the Security Branches were, where Education and Training sat in, it was an open secret that Hechter and van Vuuren murdered people? ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR LOOTS: No, no, no.

MR MALAN: But then you must tell us what you say, because that is precisely what you are now saying.

MR LOOTS: I apologise if you think that I tried to mislead you, what I'm trying to say is that there was opportunity when we were gathered there, there where the others had left, there was opportunity then to discuss security matters within the section.

MR MALAN: Mr Loots, of course there were opportunities to discuss this with anybody, but it was never done within the conference itself?

MR LOOTS: No, no.

MR MALAN: What it ever discussed with you during such a conference?

MR LOOTS: It could be.

MR MALAN: I'm not asking if it could be.

MR LOOTS: No, I cannot remember.

MR MALAN: Stemmet never addressed you about Hechter and van Vuuren who eliminated people?

MR LOOTS: No, I cannot remember.

MR MALAN: So you did not know if he knew or not, you can only base on the allegation and it only remains an allegation that Stemmet told you to give Hechter and van Vuuren the instructions. So you do not know if he knew about it otherwise?


MR MALAN: Thank you very much.

MR LOOTS: I apologise, Chairperson.

MR LAX: Can I just interpose for a moment. You were asked earlier and you didn't get to the question, what other instances of unlawful conduct, and Mr du Plessis then interrupted your answer, you were busy going into it, that you'd first spoken about this Crime Conference. What other instances of unlawful conduct, irregular conduct did Stemmet, to your knowledge and your personal knowledge, or via the other applicant, get involved in?

MR LOOTS: Insofar as it was illegal commands or instructions, I cannot remember anything. Apart from the specific one, I cannot remember anything else.

MR LAX: This is the only instance then?

MR LOOTS: This is the only one that I can recall, yes, Chairperson.

MR DU PLESSIS: Let me put it this way, was this the only illegal instruction from Brig Stemmet, that had to do with you? That was relevant to you?

MR LOOTS: Yes, definitely.

MR MALAN: Can I just follow that up. You were asked by Mr du Plessis, was it strange to receive such an illegal instruction from Brig Stemmet, and you said "No", and you based it on the fact that he was your direct head and it was within his capacity to give such an order.

MR LOOTS: Now you're going to reprimand me again. I did not think of an illegal command, but I thought of general instructions, and it wouldn't have been strange that he would have given me any instructions, but as far as the illegal nature of it, I would have thought it strange, yes.

MR MALAN: Was it then strange? That was the question that was posed to you: "Was it not strange to you that Stemmet gave you an illegal instruction?" That is the question which Mr du Plessis put to you. You immediately answered: "No." Immediately. And to explain this you said that it was within the framework of his position and that it was within capacity to give such an instruction. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR LOOTS: Yes, Chairperson, yes.

MR MALAN: Now I'm going to ask you again, do not consider this now, when he gave you the instruction - and this is the question, was it then strange?


MR DU PLESSIS: At that stage were you aware of the general instruction of Gen Viktor, that Capt Hechter and van Vuuren and Brig Cronje acted upon? I'm not asking if you were aware of their actions, I'm talking about if you were aware of this instruction.

MR LOOTS: Yes, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Can I just come back to the following point. In another case you said, and we can go back to the transcription, Mr Roux was present where I asked you specifically and you said, no, you were not aware of this general instruction. You then explained after interrogation, that you only knew about things that happened and you specifically said that you did not know of this. I know it's in the application and there's a reference made to it, but they've all got the same working, yours and Mr Ras'. I'm talking about your personal knowledge.

MR MALAN: I'm sorry, Mr du Plessis.

Do you remember that you testified under oath in this specific question at a previous opportunity, that was last week, or I think it was Monday ...

MR LOOTS: It was the day before yesterday, yes.

MR MALAN: And there you specifically testified - and we can go back to the record, but you will probably remember your testimony, that you were not aware of such an instruction.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairperson, I do not know in which context the question was put to my client and what the period was and the date to which this question was relevant.

MR MALAN: You can consult with Mr Roux if you want to, and I'm sure Mr Chairperson will not mind giving you a short adjournment, but then he must specifically be able to tell us at which stage he became aware of this so-called - and it remains "so-called", because it is still in dispute, and it was also not the finding, there's a dispute about the nature of the finding of the first original Amnesty Committee, that it was understood as such or if it indeed was an instruction. But then he must be able to explain to us precisely when he became aware of it. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR DU PLESSIS: May I answer to that, Chairperson? There was a specific stage where Brig Viktor gave such an instruction. It appears to me that it was forgotten and it was at a specific opportunity in Boksburg or in Benoni, where I cross-examined Viktor about this specific command and I was never asked to specifically argue this point. Mr Wagener and Visser were very uncomfortable about it and they tried to talk this fact away, and Mr Viktor under my cross-examination, was not trustworthy, it was - that if it is needed that I must debate this, I'll just have to place it on record that I did question him on this.

MR MALAN: It is not really relevant, and for the purposes of the other applications, it is accepted with regard to Cronje, Viktor Jnr, I can't remember who was the other person, I think it was Hechter, that they indeed did understand it in such a way. But the general instruction was to these three persons.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, the general instruction was to Hechter, Viktor Jnr and van Jaarsveld. Yes, van Jaarsveld specifically, and I think van Jaarsveld under oath confirmed that he did receive such an instruction. But can I just add that I can recall that Brig Viktor, for example, under cross-examination denied that he had any knowledge of these counter-revolutionary actions of the Security Police.

MR MALAN: But it is not really relevant what ...(indistinct), but what is relevant is that it was a general command to three people and it was never sent out further, it was only these three persons who acted on this. And the question is now, Mr Loots' knowledge concerning this instruction.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I do understand this. May I just come back to the point that you made, and that is the question that appeared in the previous evidence that he gave at a previous hearing and the questioning that came out of that. Maybe Mr Loots can explain to us.

MR LAX: Perhaps I could be helpful here. I've just asked Mr Steenkamp to check for me what the time frame was in the matter that he did testify about in relation to this, and it was the Mkatchwa matter, and it was around the same command structure. That was the primary issue in Mkatchwa as well, and it was 1987, which this matter was also in 1987, and whether it was a few months before, a few months after, the gist of your client's evidence was that he had no personal knowledge of that. In fact, it was something he heard about long after the event, and he was making assumptions that he knew about it at the time, but in fact he conceded he didn't know about it at the time. So I'm sure that he will concede that I am putting the gist of his evidence correctly.

MR DU PLESSIS: Perhaps the gist - maybe I can frame the question that I asked, in a specific way.

Mr Loots, various evidence was given before the Committee, specifically concerning the illegal or unlawful actions of the Security Police right through the country, in the light a general approach under which Brig Viktor's command was one of many such commands, there were actions in East London, in Natal. The question that I would like to put to you is, if because you knew of this, with reference to Brig Viktor's command or order, that the Security Branch acted illegally or unlawfully? And in your answer you can maybe just expand on that.

MR LOOTS: If I can answer you as follows - if you can just assist me in this, inasfar as it was illegal or unlawful actions with regard to action taken by the Security Police, yes, I knew of such illegal or unlawful actions in order to fight the onslaught.

MR DU PLESSIS: There are various other amnesty applications where such illegal actions did take place.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: Can you just maybe deal with the command or order of General Viktor. You were not involved when that command was given?

MR LOOTS: Capt van Jaarsveld was there, I was not present.

MR DU PLESSIS: Were you aware of the general authorisation to act illegally?

MR LOOTS: Mr Chairperson, I think I became aware of that illegal instruction during my participation, or in the process of the amnesty hearings, where I attended sittings and evidence was given by Hechter.

MR DU PLESSIS: And at the stage when this command was given by Brig Stemmet to you, were you aware of a general broader approach that there's an authorisation to act illegally?

MR LOOTS: Yes, I was under that impression.

MR DU PLESSIS: To act illegally?


MR MALAN: I would just like to place directly on record. You did not know specifically of this command that was issued by Viktor?

MR LOOTS: That is correct, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: That would have been my following question, yes.

There was never specifically explained to you what the contents was of this command issued by Viktor?


MR DU PLESSIS: But you were aware of a broader instruction given.

MR MALAN: I beg your pardon, but you did not know that the authorisation came from Viktor?


MR MALAN: You knew that it was a pattern, and that is what you testified earlier on.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, yes.

MR MALAN: That you did not know that it was an authorisation but that things were done in such a way and that nobody was reprimanded if they did it in such a way.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, yes.

MR MALAN: Thank you.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. Mr Loots, as you saw it, would there have been any reason for you to have questioned the basis of the instruction given by Mr Viktor?


MR DU PLESSIS: What was your personal view with regards to the question? What did you think, on which ground would Brig Stemmet give this instruction? What did you accept? Can you just explain this to the Committee?

MR LOOTS: Mr Chairperson, it wasn't just myself, but I think the whole Security Branch and their Commanders of Northern Transvaal respected Brig Stemmet, and I think in terms of being a policeman and doing your task as it was expected of you, he was a role model for various policemen and he would never have taken any decision lightly, especially such a decision. So according to my opinion it had to be something concrete that brought him to such a point to make such a decision and to ask that a person be eliminated.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. Then a question that has already been put to you, and something that you've already testified about, but I'd like to deal with that again. Why did you not make any further investigations concerning this instruction that you received?

MR LOOTS: The commander came from the Divisional Commissar, "eliminate the man". Even if I went and did investigations I would not have been able to go back to Brig Stemmet. As I have said, he does not get questioned. With this was the fact that it would have been a very time consuming job and in the process attention would have been focused on me, because on the one hand you are investigating the movements of a person and the next moment for instance, he is murdered ...(intervention)

MR LAX: Just hang on a second, if I may interpose. Isn't the fact of the matter that you wouldn't even have contemplated doing any investigation? You've already told us that, so why are you telling us now that there might have been this and there might have been that? It didn't even enter your head to question it or to investigate it.

MR LOOTS: That is true, yes. As you said, I did not even think of it.

MR LAX: So it's no good explaining to us what might have happened if you had investigated it, it never entered your head, it wasn't even a consideration.

MR LOOTS: That is so, Chairperson.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I'm presenting the evidence simply to try and indicate on the probabilities, if he had entered into his mind, and I think I probably framed the question incorrectly.

MR LAX: It's just that the two are mutually exclusive proposition, in the sense that if it didn't enter his head, he would never even have thought of doing it. The fact that he might have - what might have happened had he done it, doesn't even come into it.

MR DU PLESSIS: No, but I think the intention was to ask the question on the basis that if it did enter his head, would he have done anything about it? Would he have acted, would he have asked questions and would it have led to any result if he had asked the questions.

CHAIRPERSON: I'll allow it, I think it's legitimate. You may proceed on those basis.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Loots, let us put the question again. I understand your evidence and Mr Lax also clarified it, that you did not even think of asking further questions, you just received an instruction, and that was your evidence now. But if you asked yourself "shouldn't I do an investigation?", would that have been your reaction?

MR LOOTS: Yes, that would have been.

MR DU PLESSIS: At that stage, or at a given stage, was the Security Branch infiltrated by ANC members?

MR LOOTS: Yes, Chairperson.

MR DU PLESSIS: Can you just expand on that?

MR LOOTS: Two of our most trustworthy persons - I did yesterday or the day before, as Commissioner Malan pointed out, explain about the units. These two persons over and above an investigating duty and responsibility, had access to post interception as well as phone tapping. I identify them as - I don't have the man's real name, his nickname was "Spyker" and his surname was Mokgabudi and the other man was Cedric Rabuli. They were members of our Anti-Terrorist Unit, Terrorist "opspooring" and Interrogation unit, Unit C. They were arrested as spies who carried information and files to a policeman who had connections with the ANC in Middelburg, if I have it right, Chairperson. They were charged, convicted, found guilty and were given a prison sentence. I'm not sure about the sentence, but I think it was five years, Chairperson. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR MALAN: When was that?

MR LOOTS: Chairperson, I have to guess, it was in the mid-80s I think when all these incidents took place.

MR MALAN: Was it before or after this incident?

MR LOOTS: I cannot remember.

MR MALAN: I assume that you will follow up on similar incidents, or do you want me to ask this question?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I would hear that. As it pleases.

Mr Loots, can you explain to the Committee with regard to the actions of couriers, meaning persons who were couriers of the ANC and informers of the ANC, just in general according to your knowledge, how they handled intelligence and documentation. Just in a broad perspective.

MR LOOTS: There would not have been a difference between the Security Branch handling of couriers and agents and that of the ANC. Agents were viewed at places which had been previously identified by the handler, regarding reports. It depended upon which sort of agent it was, could the person read or write, could he make notes. In the case where a person could write, he would never write his name on any document, he had a code number and only the code number was ever inscribed on the documents, and the agent would then be identified in terms of these numbers. Two persons knew, the handler himself and then the Divisional Commander. In his own safe in his office, to which he had the key, he had a complete list of all the code numbers of all the agents and informers and their names corresponding to the numbers.

The so-called dead letter boxes or DLBs were also used. It could have been a postbox of which the handler had a key and the agent or informer had a key. Post would be inserted and removed. It occurred that an agent or informer and handler never saw each other at any time and simply exchanged post with each other. It may be that an informer may have had a document at home, but it is improbable. However, a courier would never have kept anything at home which could ever have exposed or betrayed him, that would have been pure suicide. They were too well trained for that.

MR DU PLESSIS: May I more specific with regard to this matter. The question is, why while you were waiting for Mr Motasi, you did not search the house for documents?

MR MALAN: No, I think you misunderstood me, the question was, why didn't you charge him?

MR DU PLESSIS: I am getting to that, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: But you are jumping from an order or a command to a searching the house.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I was continuing to another aspect because I wanted to consider the point that you had made to me, I wanted to come back to that. I understand what you have asked me and I will return to it, I'm simply considering it and I want to be certain that I have understood your question correctly when I pursue the point.

I just want to complete this aspect and then we can return to the question which was posed by Mr Malan. The question - may I ask you like this, why the house of Mr Motasi was never searched for any documents while you waited for him?

MR LOOTS: I don't think that it would have served any purpose whatsoever. As I have said to the Committee, this man had been identified to us as an agent and it was highly improbable that anything of interest would have been in his home. And on the other side, I also assumed, as I've explained previously to the Committee, that there was already sufficient information in the possession of the Divisional Commissioner, already at that stage, in order to assist him to come to his decision.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Loots, the information that you testified about regarding what Mr Stemmet told you pertaining to Mr Motasi's involvement with the ANC, had to do with the fact that he was conveying information to the Zimbabwean side and that he also had contact with persons in Johannesburg.

MR LOOTS: Yes, that is correct. That particular aspect occurs to me vaguely, that it was said that this agent had contact with people in Johannesburg. That is something that I'm not entirely certain of.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. Mr Loots, did you have any other information, were you aware of any other information which could have been in the possession of Brig Stemmet, which you were not aware of?


MR DU PLESSIS: Is it possible, Mr Loots, that Brig Stemmet did not provide all the information that was in his possession to you?

MR LOOTS: It is possible.

MR MALAN: Is it not relatively certain that what he conveyed to you? He didn't tell you anything, he simply told you: "Here is an ANC person, take him out". He didn't give you any other information, other than: "There is a traitor in our midst, take him out"?

MR LOOTS: That is how short and concise it was, Chairperson.

MR DU PLESSIS: In your mind, Mr Loots, could you sketch the degree of certainty that you had with regard to the information which was conveyed to you by Brig Stemmet? In other words, how did you regard Mr Motasi?

MR LOOTS: Chairperson, if we consider that here we have to do with a Divisional Detective Officer, a Divisional Commissar and an acting Branch Commander of the Security Branch, I would be able to say that I accepted with great certainty what they told to me, that this man was ANC, that he was dangerous to the police and the security of the State.

MR MALAN: I beg your pardon, you refer now to Stemmet, Klopper and Ras?

MR LOOTS: That's correct.

MR MALAN: Did all three of them convey this information to you?

MR LOOTS: Chairperson, I spoke to General Ras in his office, or at least he called me in and told me that Stemmet had information indicating that the man was an agent and that I had to go and see him. I ran into him in the passage, he started talking and I indicated to him that I was on my way to Stemmet. He turned around, walked in with me to Stemmet's office and this when, what you said was said. In other words, "We have an agent here, he's a danger to us, he must be eliminated."

MR MALAN: Thank you, Chair.

MR DU PLESSIS: And Mr Loots, are there any other cases of which you are aware during which - well we know that evidence has been presented in various cases where Eugene de Kock and others were involved, where persons in the Security Forces who were informers for the ANC, were eliminated. Are you aware of any other cases where persons were not eliminated but charged, with the exception of the matters regarding which you have already testified?

MR LOOTS: There may be, but I cannot call any to mind at the moment.

MR DU PLESSIS: I think that Mr Malan wanted to know whether or not you could offer any explanation as to why the two persons regarding whom you have testified, who worked for you and who were informers for the ANC, were charged, while Mr Motasi was eliminated.

MR LOOTS: I believe that the person who took the decision there decided that there was more than enough evidence to charge these persons with.

MR DU PLESSIS: Can you recall the circumstances?

MR LOOTS: No, it wasn't part of my unit, I wasn't part of that investigation.

MR MALAN: May I also ask you, you were aware that Motasi was not a member of the Security Branch, he was an ordinary policeman.

MR LOOTS: Yes, I knew that he was a policeman from Hammanskraal. That is what I knew. Security policemen knew one another.

MR MALAN: But the two who were charged were security policemen.

MR LOOTS: Yes, that is correct.

MR MALAN: Yes, very well.

MR LAX: If I may interpose again. It seems to me you're being asked about why this man wasn't charged. You didn't even think about whether he'd be charged or not, it didn't even occur to you, you got an order and you carried it out.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR DU PLESSIS: If I were to ask you to explain why certain persons were charged and others were eliminated, it would be pure speculation?

MR LOOTS: Absolutely.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. Mr Chairman, if you'll just bear with me for one moment. Thank you, Mr Chairman, I have no further questions.


MR LAX: Can I just ask one question while this issue is still alive? It's a follow-up on my last question, which is, why didn't you think about whether he should be charged? We know you didn't think about it, I want to know why you didn't think about it. Why didn't it occur to you as a consideration, to even say to somebody, "But hang on, shouldn't this man be charged before we kill him"?

MR LOOTS: Chairperson, there was an order from the Divisional Commander to eliminate the man, the order was not to investigate and charge the man. That is the reason why I never considered the other possibilities, because I would never question the orders from a Commander.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van den Berg.


Mr Loots, if I look at your amnesty application I see that you joined the Security Branch in 1980 or '81, is that correct?

MR LOOTS: Yes, that is correct.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And then there were two matters regarding which you were involved in in South West Africa, Namibia, with the bush war.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: The time preceding 1980, during this time you were a regular policeman, you were not involved in security matters as such? It does not appear in your application.

MR LOOTS: No, Chairperson, from 1968 up to and including 1980, I was a uniform man, of which the greatest proportion of my career was spent as a Station Commander. In 1980 I spent eight months in Pretoria, where I was a District Commandant and I was also sent on an officer's course and during the officer's course, Chairperson, I was identified and interviewed to become part of the Security Branch.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And that background, in conjunction with the work that you performed at the Security Branch, was all about intelligence, information, follow-up work, searching for facts?

MR LOOTS: Yes, that is correct.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Would I be further correct in saying that a specific fact could mean nothing to one person, but for you under different circumstances, it could take a matter further?

MR LOOTS: Yes, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: What other information did you receive with regard to Motasi - and let us take it step for step, what information with regard to Mr Motasi did you receive from Mr Ras?

MR LOOTS: Very well, Chairperson. Col Ras at that stage asked me to come into his office, which I did, and I took Hechter and van Vuuren with me. All three of us were present with Col Ras, and in the presence of the three of us he told us that Brig Stemmet possessed very reliable information indicating that there was a policeman from Hammanskraal who was an ANC agent, who was conveying information to Zimbabwe. The man also had connections with people in Johannesburg. I don't know who these people were specifically, we may have been told, but I cannot recall.

At that stage I left Hechter and van Vuuren with Ras, and went over to Stemmet ...(intervention)

MR VAN DEN BERG: May I just interrupt you there. There are two aspects, one is that he was an ANC agent who was conveying information to Zimbabwe and that he had connections in Johannesburg, is that how you recall it?

MR LOOTS: Yes, from Ras.

MR VAN DEN BERG: If you examine the evidence on page 178 of the bundle, that would be Capt Hechter's evidence ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Which page?

MR VAN DEN BERG: 178 of the bundle, Mr Chairperson.

Capt Hechter is testifying here with regard to the same incident. If perhaps we could begin at the bottom of page 177, this is the English translation:

"He called us (this is now Ras) called us to his office and told us there was an instruction from the Divisional Commissioner, that an agent, an ANC agent who is also a policeman attached to Hammanskraal training centre, had given very damaging information to the Zimbabwean forces, which led to the death of many of our agents. He also had information about police stations in the vicinity, what they looked like, what was happening there etcetera."

That second aspect with regard to the police stations, do you have any knowledge about that?

MR LOOTS: It may have been said, but I cannot recall it.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You do not recall?

MR LOOTS: I do not recall.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Very well, if we could take it further. You then left Ras' office and went to Stemmet's office?

MR LOOTS: Yes, that is correct.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And what took place there? What information did you receive there?

MR LOOTS: That which was said in Ras' office was merely reiterated in Stemmet's office, but in this case with Stemmet, I cannot recall specifically whether or not we discussed the liaison between this agent and the people in Johannesburg. This is a vague suspicion in my mind, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And then there was also a discussion with Mr Klopper in the passage, from the time that you encountered him until the time that you reached Mr Stemmet's office. Was there any additional information that you received at that time?

MR LOOTS: No, to tell you the truth, there wasn't really a discussion as such, he simply started talking to me and then I told him that with regard to this actual incident I was on my way to Brig Stemmet's office. Specifically what he said to me or tried to tell me, I can no longer recall in particular.

MR VAN DEN BERG: This information which you received from Ras regarding the information which was being carried out to Zimbabwe, and then the fact that this actual information had led to the death of agents in Zimbabwe, did you discuss this any further?


MR VAN DEN BERG: Didn't you ask who the agents were?

MR LOOTS: No, Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did you ask from whence the information had emerged?


MR VAN DEN BERG: There was evidence during various of these amnesty applications, particularly during the de Kock incidents, that the line of authority was relatively flat and that a Sergeant, for example, could have issued an order to a more senior person, depending of course on the circumstances ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, may I perhaps just come in here. May I just put the evidence that was led in context, I think the evidence of Mr de Kock, specifically related to Vlakplaas and the situation that pertained at Vlakplaas, and the Northern Transvaal Security Branch was a totally different place and a totally different situation, under these circumstances. Although there has been evidence, and I think specifically in this matter about the specific fact, but in general the evidence that my learned friend refers to is the evidence pertaining to Vlakplaas and not the Northern Transvaal Security Branch.

CHAIRPERSON: Could we, Mr van den Berg, hence we would be going back to transcripts and all that, which would take us a longer time, firstly look at the Northern Transvaal, so that we have a better shape? And if you had to refer to Vlakplaas, but it must have a relation of the contacts they may have had from time to time. I think that would be of assistance.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairperson, where I was going has already been answered by Mr du Plessis, it was really a question of whether the same kind of structures applied at the Security Branch, as applied at Vlakplaas. We all accept that Vlakplaas is a most unusual situation, and I wanted to know whether that situation pertained at Northern Transvaal or not, but Mr du Plessis has already answered the question.

MR DU PLESSIS: That wasn't my intention to answer the question, perhaps the witness can answer the question. I just wanted to make the distinction.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, let's not have a situation where we have a transcript finding that counsel testifies as well.

MR DU PLESSIS: No, that wasn't the intention, I just think that what I wanted to do, what I wanted to do is I wanted to point out that the evidence my learned friend refers to, specifically the evidence in the de Kock trials, and I think he referred to the de Kock trials, was related to Vlakplaas. That's the point I tried to make. Perhaps Mr Loots can answer the question.

CHAIRPERSON: I think for better understanding, you may put it to the witness, let the witness answer that.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Loots, there was evidence during various matters pertaining to de Kock, and specifically to Vlakplaas, that the authority structure was relatively flat and that for example, a Sergeant could issue an order to someone of a higher rank. Do you know anything about this?

MR LOOTS: Within our structures it definitely did not operate that way.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And then to follow that up, would you have discussed the information that Ras received from Stemmet, with Ras, and debated this information? In other words, to say: "It's strange, it's unusual", any such form of discussion?

MR LOOTS: No, I did not discuss it with him.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And then I may have asked you before, but names were not mentioned with regard to agents who were killed in Zimbabwe.

MR LOOTS: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Before you continue, Mr van den Berg, concerning this point.

Mr Loots, if I understand it correctly, you first received information directly from Ras.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, Yes.

MR MALAN: And then Ras informed you about what happened, he gave you almost all the information except for the address and the name of the person. You cannot remember that.


MR MALAN: Are you saying that he did not give you the name? I think in his application he did not know what the name was.

MR LOOTS: He could have given me the name, but what you just said is correct.

MR MALAN: Klopper just started talking about Motasi with you, but he did not give you as complete a briefing as Ras gave you, he only gave you the - he did not discuss the details of the case.

MR LOOTS: I only received what I - or knew what I heard from Ras, that he was an ANC informant ...

CHAIRPERSON: No, I think his evidence is that when they entered Stemmet's office, Stemmet merely repeated what he has heard from Ras. I think that's your evidence-in-chief.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, yes.

MR MALAN: What I'd like to know is, the briefing at Ras, was this more complete than Stemmet's? I'm not trying to confuse you here and I do not want you to just answer this question and that I will be the person who will then bring you into trouble. I want an idea also with regards to Mr Ras' application.

MR LOOTS: I think in the case of Brig Stemmet's briefing, it would have been more complete because there at least I would have received the name and the address, but I cannot remember that I got this from Ras. I would say the briefings were similar.

MR MALAN: If I understand this correctly, and also from Hechter's evidence and also the fact that you confirmed his evidence and that you understood it, then you walked into Ras' office, he told you about the case, he fully briefed you, or basically fully briefed you about it, you cannot really specifically remember if Stemmet told you more or less. As far as you're concerned, Stemmet told you more-or-less the same as what Ras told you, and Ras just said that you have to go to Stemmet to get the name and the address.

MR LOOTS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: And that is also Hechter's evidence.

MR LOOTS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: So you did not expect that Stemmet will again give you the full briefing, you just expected that he would give you the name and the address.

MR LOOTS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: But you are certain that Stemmet again discussed it with you and again told you everything.

MR LOOTS: Yes, he repeated everything that Ras told me.

MR MALAN: Everything?

MR LOOTS: I cannot remember if it was everything, but we did talk about it. As I said, I cannot even remember if Stemmet referred to contact of people in Johannesburg, it is very vague. If Stemmet told me, I cannot deny it.

MR MALAN: But if I understand your evidence correctly, Ras told you that Motasi is going to be eliminated, or the policeman is going to be eliminated.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, yes.

MR MALAN: That was your instruction.


MR MALAN: You must go and get the name and the address from Stemmet. So your original instruction came from Ras, as you understood it, and it was confirmed by Stemmet?

MR LOOTS: Yes, it was confirmed by Stemmet.

MR MALAN: Thank you.

MR VAN DEN BERG: The issue that is interesting to me is the fact that there was an affidavit in the bundle on page 334: " Jacob Gabriel le Roux Stemmet". If you look on page 335, he says at the bottom of the page:

"Currently I have got no recollection that I was personally involved in any matter concerning Sgt Motasi. As the Section or Divisional Commissioner, there were various cases that appeared in front of me and I cannot remember that in this case I was ever involved or knew about it. That it could have happened is possible."

Then the following page:

"It is therefore also possible that I received personal information concerning Motasi and conveyed this to the Security Branch. I do deny that I gave any instruction or in any way took part in the murder of any person, including Sgt Motasi. It is therefore - I cannot understand why I was involved in this specific murder. I also deny any allegation against me in this case, being it false and ask that this affidavit must be incorporated at the Amnesty Committee."

Can you make any comment on this?

MR LOOTS: That he did not physically take part in the murder of this person, I do agree with that, but I will never agree that I never received such an instruction from him.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, may I just for record purposes make our position clear pertaining to this kind of affidavit, which we have experienced throughout the process. We have experienced time and again that the people who were in command and who gave the orders, apparently never knew anything about anything, and we find it incomprehensible that these people, every time this happens, they supply the Committee with affidavits, they do not have the guts to come and testify here before the Committee to back up their version, they hide behind their affidavits. And in that regard we have argued before and we will argue again, that this evidence is open to doubt, we do not have the opportunity to cross-examine this person, and therefore that we will argue that the evidentiary weight of this is nothing. I just want to place that on record for record purposes.

CHAIRPERSON: Until we hear Mr van den Berg, would we have an idea whether such a person would be called in this instance?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairperson, I think it's really a matter for argument. I did address a letter to the Amnesty Committee, requesting that both Stemmet and Klopper be subpoenaed, that request was turned down. So it is out of my hands. They're represented - at least Stemmet is represented by Wagener and they won't appear unless there is a subpoena. I understand that there are various other tangential arguments as to whether the subpoena is proper, that they were given a 19(4) notice and so on and so forth, but I can't really take that debate any further.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. But I cannot stop you from asking from the affidavit, but to bear in mind what Mr du Plessis has said, that we would address it later in argument.

MR VAN DEN BERG: I think that that is the appropriate place to deal with it.

During the time when you received the information concerning Mr Motasi, did they ever mention Mrs Motasi?

MR LOOTS: At no stage, Mr Chairperson.

MR VAN DEN BERG: If I can then refer you to the bundle, page 194, and I would like to ask you if you confirm Hechter's evidence here. It is about the murder of Mrs Motasi, and in the middle of the page - it's once again in the English translation ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, although I'm not sure that I dealt with it at the beginning, I understood that Mr Loots confirms Mr Hechter's evidence as well, and if I didn't do that properly, then I would request an opportunity to do that. I think that was understood by everybody.

CHAIRPERSON: What happened at the beginning is that you asked him to confirm the correctness of pages 4 to 51, 51 to 63, "confirm the correctness of the evidence of Hechter - confirm the correctness of the evidence from page 241 to 261".

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I'm not sure that I dealt with it and - yes, then it was an oversight on my part, and may I request that the question does not just include this page, but includes the whole evidence of Mr Hechter.

CHAIRPERSON: May you take it that way, because from what I've read, unless anybody can say I took the notes incorrectly, but this portion has been left out.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Loots, you have the bundle of documents that was prepared by the Amnesty Committee, this bundle that is titled "The Killing of Tumelo Richard and Busisizwe Irene Motasi on 1 December 1987". It contains 333 pages and later on also the additional documentation up until page 347. You do have those documents?

MR LOOTS: Yes, up until page 333.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And you also went through the documentation, is that correct?

MR LOOTS: Yes, I did.

MR VAN DEN BERG: On page 172, the evidence appears - or it's maybe a bit later. If we look at page 177, where Hechter testified on the same matter.

MR LOOTS: I have it in front of me, yes.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did you read that section up until page ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I'm sorry, I'm actually wasting time here because I see in Mr Loot's evidence which he now confirmed from page 241, at that time he confirmed the correctness of Capt Hechter's evidence and he confirmed the correctness of his evidence. So really, he has confirmed then his evidence, the correctness of Capt Hechter's evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: So flowing from that you may just proceed with your questioning.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Then, Mr Chairman, I take it I don't have to deal specifically with these paragraphs at 194 and I can simply argue them to you. That's the death of Irene Motasi and the fact that he agrees and that he associated himself with it.

CHAIRPERSON: I am not going to rule how you should cross-examine or ask questions, it's entirely upon you whether you want to do that or you want to argue later. I would leave it in your hands. But I was merely saying, since there's confirmation, you can take it that he has done so and you proceed with your questioning.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Loots, you did associate yourself, or reconcile yourself with the death of Mrs Motasi, and in the way in which Hechter described it.

MR LOOTS: That's correct, yes.

MR VAN DEN BERG: If you would grant me a moment, Mr Chairperson, I think there's just one aspect that I still wanted to canvass. Mr Chairperson, it's really contained in the line that we've dealt with already, and I don't need to pose the question. I have no further questions, Mr Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr van den Berg. Mr Steenkamp?

ADV STEENKAMP: No questions, thank you Honourable Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Any re-examination?

MR DU PLESSIS: I have no re-examination, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Members of my Panel? With you first, Mr Lax.

MR LAX: If you refer to your affidavit, Mr Loots, which is at page 300-odd, your specific affidavit is at page 343, you raise the question about not having any time to carry out any investigations, because this matter was executed so quickly. Paragraph 7, do you see that?

CHAIRPERSON: That's Ras' evidence.

MR LAX: My humble apologies.

MR LOOTS: That's Mr Ras' affidavit.

MR LAX: Sorry, I'm getting confused, I beg your pardon.

MR LOOTS: Thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: You will find his on page 341.

MR LAX: Yes, it's the wrong affidavit. Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Whilst you're looking at your notes, Mr Malan might just continue.

MR MALAN: Mr Loots, Hechter in his evidence, and that is contained from 179 of the volume in front of us, makes the statement, it is in the second line on the top of page 179:

"Capt Loots decided he would accompany us on this operation."

In other words, the conclusion that can be made - and it also appears in other places in the evidence, and I can refer to it in the bundle, that the instruction was actually - and I think you also testified about it, that Hechter and van Vuuren were tasked for this work and not yourself.

MR LOOTS: No, Mr Chairperson, you are correct.

MR MALAN: In other words, it is made very clear to Hechter and van Vuuren that it was their work and they had to do it. Why did you decided to go with them?

MR LOOTS: Mr Chairperson, it was the first time that I had received such an instruction from this Divisional Commander or head, that he personally conveyed this instruction and it was for that reason that I decided to go with.

MR MALAN: Didn't you ever receive a personal instruction or order from the Commander?

MR LOOTS: Not of this nature.

MR MALAN: But it was the only one of this nature, according to your evidence. It was the only one according to your evidence.

MR LOOTS: Yes, that is correct.

MR MALAN: Now the question is, why did you decide to go with?

MR LOOTS: Mr Chairperson, to see that the instruction that was given was done well, apart from the fact that I did trust Hechter and van Vuuren.

MR MALAN: And did you know about what was going to happen?

MR LOOTS: Yes, I knew about it.

MR MALAN: And also knew about it beforehand, but you were never involved in that line of their duties, it came from Cronje directly to them.


MR MALAN: So this was the first time that you were added into this line of command, he asked you to convey it to them.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, yes.

MR MALAN: You see I don't understand why suddenly you were added into the line of command, while in all the other applications of Hechter, Cronje liaised directly with Hechter.

MR LOOTS: Mr Chairperson, I'm asking - I'm just saying that in this instance Brig Stemmet asked Col Ras "Send Loots to me."

MR MALAN: That is also strange because Stemmet would have said "Send Loots to me", while if Stemmet had the information from Cronje or Ras, then he would have said that the hit squad was Hechter and van Vuuren.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, yes.

MR MALAN: And they were specifically asked to do this, they were tasked with this work, but Mr Loots is being involved, who has never been involved in such a matter before, his name has never been mentioned.

MR LOOTS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: Now have you asked yourself why you were involved in this, because this is the first and only time according to your evidence.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, yes. That is true, it was the first and the only time.

MR MALAN: Was it not then strange that Stemmet specifically asked that Loots must be brought to him and to bring Hechter and van Vuuren with?

MR LOOTS: If under sober circumstances you think of it, it does seem strange, yes.

MR MALAN: Yes, we have to weigh it against the denial, even if it was just an affidavit of Stemmet, that he ever did something like this.

MR LOOTS: I understand, I understand what you're saying.

MR MALAN: Very well. Now the other question that I'd like to ask you is, Col van Zyl who is in the middle of this dispute of the reason why Motasi had to be killed, do you know him?

MR LOOTS: No, I've heard of him but I've never met him before and I've never spoken to him.

MR MALAN: You do not know who he is?

MR LOOTS: No, I've got no idea who he is.

MR MALAN: After you heard his name did you try to find out where he came from, who he is?

MR LOOTS: No, Mr Chairperson, no I didn't.

MR MALAN: Up to today you still do not know who he is?

MR LOOTS: Yes, that's correct.

MR MALAN: Very well. It was your evidence also at the application of Hechter and van Vuuren, that this was indeed the only instance where you were involved in the murder or death of a person, or where you were called in.

MR LOOTS: Yes, that is true, that's the first and only time.

MR MALAN: And your responsibility, according to your position in the line of command, was to Ras, you did not report back to Stemmet directly.

MR LOOTS: No, I didn't.

MR MALAN: According to your evidence you reported back afterwards, after the death of Motasi and Mrs Motasi.

MR LOOTS: Yes, that was the following morning.

MR MALAN: You rely on the instructions of Stemmet.

MR LOOTS: Yes, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: You say that's where you see your instructions coming from.

MR LOOTS: Yes, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: That was the first instruction, that Ras will give the instruction, that Stemmet will just give you the address.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: But when you got to Ras you already understood that you had the instruction to go ahead.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, yes.

MR MALAN: So the person who gave you the instructions was Ras, it wasn't Stemmet? Why didn't you go to Stemmet and tell him, because now you rely on Stemmet to give the instructions? He had all the information, it seemed as if he was very hasty, he wanted it to be done very quickly, but you did not go to him.

MR LOOTS: Mr Chairperson, I have tried to explain before, it was an abnormal time, everything was abnormal, I do not think that people really thought very clearly about things and I think the quicker you do what is been said you had to do, the better, nobody really thought about things in a sober way. And I do not really have a concrete answer.

MR NEL: I do understand it was abnormal times, but in this instance it was abnormal within the abnormal, it's the first and only time where you were given an instruction to kill and where you saw it as an instruction.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, yes.

MR MALAN: The murder or the witnessing and experience of the murder and saw yourself as being in command at the house where the murder was committed.

MR LOOTS: Yes, I was the most senior person there.

MR MALAN: You were also the Commander, and according to your evidence you saw yourself as being in command, and you said this instruction came from the highest authority and of a person that you respected, that you would not question what he has said to you. He would have had all the information, but you do not report back to him.

MR LOOTS: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Why didn't you tell Ras: "Are you going to tell Stemmet, or must I do it"? Why did you just report back to Ras?

MR LOOTS: Mr Chairperson, before I could get to Ras to report back, before I could do that he told me to come down to his office and when I got there - that was very early in the morning, Col Ras was the person who was at the office when the sun came up, it was very early, then Col Klopper was already with him in the office, it was that early in the morning.

MR MALAN: We are talking about Stemmet now. Klopper didn't give you the instruction.

MR LOOTS: No, I'm talking about the report-back.

MR MALAN: Why didn't you try and find out if Stemmet would have heard of it, because he is the one who was hasty about it?

MR LOOTS: I could have done it, yes, I could have foresaw it, but before I decided about how I must report back, before I could make this decision concerning the report-back, I was already in Ras' office. That was before I could even discuss it with anybody.

MR MALAN: So do you say that you were planning to report back to Stemmet?

MR LOOTS: No, I would have reported back to Col Ras.


MR LOOTS: He was my Security Branch head.

CHAIRPERSON: But the question is that because you had an opportunity to speak to Stemmet and you got probably even the address from him, why couldn't you go to him even though Ras was your senior? Why couldn't you go to Ras, because you had this opportunity.

MR MALAN: Stemmet.

CHAIRPERSON: Stemmet rather, sorry.

MR LOOTS: I believe I foresaw that Ras would have walked over for the Crime Conference and he would have been with Stemmet, as it happened every day, and that he could then convey the information. I cannot think of any other reason.

MR MALAN: You see in everything that appears in front of us, it seems out of the documents that you were fully informed by Ras, you did not get anything else from Stemmet, except for the name and the address.

MR LOOTS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: And then in your evidence, the same information.

MR LOOTS: Yes, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: When you got to Ras with Hechter and van Vuuren you knew that there was an instruction and you accepted that it came from Ras, you are just going to get a name and address from Stemmet.

MR LOOTS: Yes, Mr Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Stemmet went to go and fetch it and he said: "Come back to me and we will then execute this operation." Is this not how it happened?

MR LOOTS: Yes, Mr Chairperson, I think ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: You see the reason I'm asking you this - I know I'm not giving you the chance to answer, but that answer is not really important for the purposes of my question. What I want to know from you is, why did you rely so strongly on an instruction of Stemmet, why didn't you stay with the instructions that you received from Ras? Why didn't you say in the documents that you received instructions from him, "I did go to Stemmet who gave me the details"?

MR LOOTS: That is for the purposes for amnesty. I must give all information and I must make a full disclosure of what I knew about how things happened and for the incident that I'm applying for amnesty, and that is part of the whole picture.

MR MALAN: Just to be fair to you, do you consider, or do you see the instructions having come from Ras or Stemmet? Was it your instruction, not Ras' instruction? Did you receive it from Ras or Stemmet?

MR LOOTS: Mr Chairperson, this question has been put to me before during my evidence, I do not know if it was Judge Wilson or Hall, who asked me did I see it as two instructions that I received, and my answer to that was: "Yes, I received my instructions from two people." It does appear somewhere, yes.

MR MALAN: And the first instruction?

MR LOOTS: The first instruction was from then, General or Col Ras.

MR MALAN: Thank you very much.

CHAIRPERSON: If I may ask, you were asked a question by Mr Malan and you say during that time a lot of things were happening and it would appear people were not thinking straight, did I follow you correctly?

MR LOOTS: That was what my personal experience was, yes, that is correct. You are correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Now what I want to know from you is, we had this - you had this onslaught and you wanted to curtail the onslaught and you had to have contingency plans, that's what you said in your evidence, where did this confusion arise, the impression probably you gained? Let me speak about you personally.

MR LOOTS: I beg your pardon, Mr Chairperson ...

CHAIRPERSON: Will he follow in English?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, he will be able to follow the English. I think it's easier than listening to the Afrikaans.

MR LOOTS: I beg your pardon, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: We want just that somebody follows properly, you don't have to apologise. I say we had this onslaught and contingency plans had to be put in place to curtain this onslaught, now according to you, how would you, with this confusion, what were you preparing to do when confusion reigned amongst you people? Or probably let me say personally to you, let me not speak about people, because that was your impression.

MR LOOTS: At that stage I personally felt I would have done anything to fight this onslaught and insofar as possible bring normality back.

CHAIRPERSON: Now in these meetings where you said in some instances you would be ...(indistinct), these meetings which you called them conferences - bear with me, I prefer to call them meetings, conferences to me, it's a wider connotation, these meetings, were you not discussing contingency plans how to curtail this onslaught?

MR LOOTS: There was contingency planning yes, definitely.

CHAIRPERSON: Now you would bear with me, I came late into these proceedings and I got my bundle this morning, so if anything has been covered, merely say it has been, but I want through my own understanding, to be able to contribute in this matter. That when we had a person like Motasi, who was a danger, not only speaking to Zimbabwe, but also having contacts in Johannesburg, wouldn't this be discussed in that meeting, or was this just a mundane matter?

MR LOOTS: I believe that if they were truly the subject of the discussion at the crime conference and if they wanted to make it a topic they could have, but I do not believe that they wanted to deal with it at that level. I personally assume that they already decided on what will happen and that it will not be dealt with at the crime conference. I cannot believe why, or I do not know why it was not dealt with there.

CHAIRPERSON: Why I'm asking you is, somewhere in the bundle, to me it appears, he was now a high profile because he was speaking to everybody, even the Ministers, even parliament. He was not just a person who was doing his own thing. There were troubles he had, but he never said this is where it ends, he was even communicating with everybody within the Security Branch, parliament, even members of the opposition, if I'm correct. So it would appear he's a high profile person, he's not only a person who could be quickly eliminated. Why wouldn't he have been dealt with in those meetings and say: "Here's a troublesome person, how do we deal with him"? Because I'll tell you my impression, I read through the papers fleetingly - bear with me, is that they even offered him transfers, where he said: "I'm not, I'm staying here, my family is going to be indisposed if they were to leave the Hammanskraal area." You know, those kind of things. I say we are not just speaking of a person who in some way within the police force is sneaking out information and keeping quiet, but he's also facing the authorities head on.

MR LOOTS: Mr Chairperson, in this bundle on page 333, I read Judge Bennet Ngoepe's recommendation for granting amnesty, and right at the bottom of the page he mentions the belief that the applicants in this case knew the true reasons why this person was murdered, because he was such a high profile man, who had problems with head office, who butted heads with the government of the day, with his own commanding officers, Chairperson. And I wish to say to you honestly, and I have great respect for his Lordship, Justice Bennet Ngoepe, that the applicants in this matter, of whom I am one, never ever knew, never ever knew that there was a civil action against the Minister of Police or the Minister of Law and Order. We didn't know this man butted heads with his commanding officers in the training college or with head office. We honestly didn't know that. The first time, the first time that I heard of it that he was this high profile man who moved against that background, Chairperson, was when Paul van Vuuren telephoned me when his amnesty application was being processed, and he told me: "Colonel, Capt de Jongh from the A-G's Investigation Unit, contacted me and told me we people who murdered the policeman from Hammanskraal, are in trouble - "trouble" is only a nice word, he used other words for "trouble", much bigger words for "trouble", he was killed because he had a civil action against either the Minister of Law and Order or the South African Police as such." Mr Chairperson, in all honesty, not one of us applicants ever knew it, that the man butted heads with someone. I only saw later what type of profile person we had to do with here, when Mr van der Berg's colleague, Mr Currin, Mr Brian Currin, showed us a book which a John Miles wrote about this policeman. It's a thick book about this policeman. And later there was a full length film made entitled: "Deadening Silence", about this policeman's career, which as far as my knowledge goes, it could be more times, but I know at least of two times that the film was shown on the SABC channels, Chairperson. This is the first time, the very first time that I saw that this man had rubbed shoulders with other people, his commanding officers, head office and the government of the day. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

CHAIRPERSON: Let me firstly assure you, I saw what you referred to me and I close my eyes to it because I want to have a clean head in this matter, in my approach. I haven't those judgments, I can assure you. That I would read them later obviously because they're contained in the bundle, but I haven't. Let's break for lunch. Could we take forty five minutes, is that sufficient, and we'll come back. Let's adjourn for lunch.




MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, may I just place on record that they've switched places and it is not because Mr Loots subtly wants to indicate that he has finished answering his questions, but simply because Mr Ras is deaf in his right ear and we don't want to move while we're finished(sic), so we just changed places.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't have my glasses, I don't see who is who. I'll refocus.

MR MALAN: Mr Loots, I would like for you to assist me on a practical aspect. According to the documents, this Col van Zyl was at Hammanskraal at the police college, did you see this in the documents or not?

MR LOOTS: I did read the documents and I accept that he was at the training college in Hammanskraal.

MR MALAN: Is that also your impression in the documents?

MR LOOTS: In the documents, yes, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: Hammanskraal area, the geography of that, it falls within the Northern Transvaal.

MR LOOTS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: Did the police college report to Northern Transvaal, or to head office?

MR LOOTS: Chairperson, I would like to assist you ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: If you don't know, then just say so.

MR LOOTS: No, I don't know.

MR MALAN: You cannot recall that they ever reported to Northern Transvaal?

MR LOOTS: No, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: I wouldn't imagine that a region would be responsible for a national responsibility.

MR LOOTS: No, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: We can also put this to Mr Ras, perhaps he will be able to assist us. Thank you. Thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps just following what I asked you before we adjourned for lunch, but I'll have a slight shift from that, and bear with me. That now when it came to the execution of the operation, Mamasela I think, was sent out to find out whether he's there or not, you recall this kind of evidence within the papers?

MR LOOTS: I beg your pardon, Chair. Yes, that is entirely correct.

CHAIRPERSON: But from my understanding of the documentation, is that even the colour and what car he was driving was known, would I be correct?

MR LOOTS: Yes, your inference is entirely correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Now the question is, why should Mamasela still go and establish whether the man is there or not?

MR LOOTS: Chairperson, we had the address on a little note, we were not entirely certain of where precisely the house was situated. We would have to go to the house at night, so we needed to know the precise route to take to the house so that we would be able to arrive there at night, because we didn't know exactly where the house was, although we had the address.

CHAIRPERSON: No, is it not the understanding contained in the papers before us, that Mamasela was sent out to go and establish such information, where he precisely lives, what sort of car he's driving and all of that? Is that not what is contained in the papers?

MR LOOTS: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So I take it then that Mamasela must have given this kind of information and he knew precisely where the man lives.

MR LOOTS: After he had investigated, yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Then my question is, because Mamasela was in your company, the address, whether you had it on a piece of paper or not, did not matter because Mamasela would have taken you to the house.

MR LOOTS: Only if he had known where the house was.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - no microphone) clarify this to me. Like I said, I just came in at the late stages, that's why I beg for your pardon if I misread the papers, because reading fleetingly and really concentrating are two different things.

MR LOOTS: I understand your situation, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Now Mrs Motasi. Was Mamasela masked when he went and knocked for the first occasion? When you came with the kombi and stopped some distance away and Mamasela had to go and establish whether Mr Motasi is there, did he have anything on like a balaclava for instance, that nobody could recognise who this person is?

MR LOOTS: Yes, he was wearing a balaclava, but it was rolled up to a point where it was level with his ears.

MR MALAN: I beg your pardon, I just want to be certain. Is that when he went out alone?

INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone.

MR LOOTS: That is when he went out alone, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And when ...(indistinct - no microphone) you nevertheless took the decision that you were going to wait for the man even though Mamasela had been seen?

MR LOOTS: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Why I'm asking you this is that I want an understanding that people would take responsibility that when Mrs Motasi was taken to another room, that when Mamasela, when it was not arranged even, shot at the lady, that people would take responsibility and say in any event he was going to recognise Mamasela, because for the first time you could have seen who this man is, why was that necessary?

MR LOOTS: Chairperson, if one thinks back under these clear circumstances to the planning and the execution of the order and how it took place, I should have made provision for it, you are correct, and I didn't.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. My colleague has still some questions, Mr Loots.

MR LAX: Thanks, Chairperson.

MR LAX: The first part we've just confirmed, that Hammanskraal fell - let's just touch together and then it will stay on, okay, it's fine, Hammanskraal fell within the broad area that you had responsibility for, in other words, Norther Transvaal division.

MR LOOTS: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR LAX: And you, or at least you at that stage were - what was your specific post in relation to Northern Transvaal division? Security Branch.

MR LOOTS: Chairperson, I was the unit head of unit B. Unit B dealt with all black power matters.

MR LAX: So a person who was an agent of the ANC, would have fallen within your area of operational activity.

MR LOOTS: Not necessarily, Chairperson, away from us we also had Unit C, and Unit C dealt specifically with terrorists, terrorist organisations, tracing and interrogation, but it could be that the activities of individuals would also have ended up at our desk at Unit B.

MR LAX: Now you've told us that this person who was identified as a black policeman, who was an agent for the ANC, that information which he had conveyed had resulted in the deaths of a number of policemen and other people.

MR LOOTS: That is how I understood it, yes Chairperson.

MR LAX: And those deaths and that information and the connections between those two, would have clearly brought that person under the Security Branch's eye?


MR LAX: These were matters that had happened prior to you getting this instruction, correct?

MR LOOTS: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAX: Now it's clear from the testimony that you and others have already given, that nobody had a file on this person.

MR LOOTS: I personally cannot recall that there was ever a file regarding that person, you are correct.

MR LAX: And Hechter and van Vuuren also didn't know of any file on this person, they'd never heard of him, they had no knowledge of him whatsoever.

MR LOOTS: I was present during their evidence, that is correct.

MR LAX: Now what unit were Hechter and Vuuren in?

MR LOOTS: They were members of my unit.

MR LAX: Were they not involved in the tracing of so-called, to use the term of that day, terrorist people involved in the struggle?

MR LOOTS: It could be that they received a direct order from someone like Brig Cronje, they did not necessarily have to liaise with me. These were times when they liaised directly with Cronje and executed orders which were not within my knowledge.

MR LAX: Did you ever check with C-Unit, whether - or C-Section as it was called, whether they had a file on Motasi?

MR LOOTS: No, I never consulted with anybody in Section C.

MR LAX: Even after this happened?

MR LOOTS: Even after the incident, no, Chairperson.

MR LAX: Weren't you curious?

MR LOOTS: No, Chairperson, I don't believe so, it was an order that had been executed and completed and I don't believe that I was at all curious.

MR LAX: Now looking at these facts, here was a man who was responsible for the deaths of policemen and other people, surely those deaths would have come to your knowledge in some way or other, you being involved in the Black Power Desk.

MR LOOTS: This morning we spoke about someone like Phillip Selepe, who on the evening before his leaving the Security Force, was murdered. There may be other cases that are similar to this. I don't know, whether the information which was conveyed by this man specifically led to the death of policeman, but as you know many policemen were murdered during that time.

MR LAX: Yes, that's true, but the fact of the matter is that if the information was being conveyed to Zimbabwe and being conveyed to other possible contacts in Johannesburg, which is very vague and unspecific at this point, but that that kind of information web, let's call it, would have been something that you would have come to hear about.

MR LOOTS: Yes, I may have heard of it.

MR LAX: And it would have been something that you would have created a file for, or dealt with, because it was directly within your general area of investigation.

MR LOOTS: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAX: You see that why, certainly it strikes me as so strange, that nobody in your unit had ever, ever heard of this man.

MR LOOTS: Unless he was a remarkable agent and had not managed to gain attention before this incident, it could also be, but that would be speculating. You found good agents who managed to collect information without drawing any attention. It is possible, but I don't know.

MR LAX: Well you see I want to add to the fact that he was an agent, the facts that we now know, which you didn't know at the time you say, and that was that this man was bringing a lawsuit against the police, there were problems with his pension and his sick fund, his medical aid, he was in hospital, he was refusing to obey orders, he was the subject of two disciplinary inquiries. Now, if there had been the remotest doubt that this man was an agent and you add that together with all this other stuff, those things would have all been in a file that would have come to your attention. Because here is a man who is dissatisfied with his situation and it's precisely that dissatisfaction that makes him a prime candidate for being an agent, isn't that so?

MR LOOTS: I understand what you have said, Chairperson, but regarding the facts pertaining to who had what specific information in this regard, I would not be able to answer you, I cannot tell you. You are completely correct, if that information had come to the attention of me or Unit C, a file would definitely have been opened, and I believe that although I managed many files, that either Hechter or I would have recalled something like that, but I unfortunately I do not know.

MR LAX: You see what I would suggest to you is, that in the light of the unusual nature of this instruction in your own experience as a policeman at that time, the name would have immediately rang a bell with you, if it was anything to do with something that you knew about, because you had so few occasions in which to do something like this. Isn't that so?

MR LOOTS: Chairperson, definitely. If he had come to my attention previously, if the name had emerged, if he had drawn attention previously, then I would have recalled the name, I would concede to that.

MR LAX: Now just one last aspect, and it was canvassed in the previous hearing and in all this evidence here, but I'd just like to get your opinion on it. Knowing what you now know about who Motasi was and what his position was, in the time leading up to his killing the man was in and out of hospital, he wasn't even on duty the majority of the time, he was suspended the majority of the time, what kind of information could he have been privy to, that he could have given to the Zimbabweans or the ANC or anybody else? Isn't it logic to assume that there's precious little that he could have got hold of at that time?

MR LOOTS: Chairperson, it was with great surprise that I heard of the man's history with the Hammanskraal Police College, rubbing shoulders with his commanders and people at the head office. I would like for you to accept that we did not know this. If we had eliminated that man simply because he was a thorn in the side of his commanders or head office, or somebody in government, then it would border on the ridiculous, because I would not have gone over into elimination based purely upon the facts.

MR LAX: You haven't answered my question, my question is focused on this issue, knowing what you now know about him and having read everything that happened to him in that six month period prior to his death and earlier even, he was not the sort of man who had access to the kind of information that could have done the police any great harm.

MR LOOTS: It doesn't appear to be so.

MR LAX: I mean unless he lived a completely dull life, where somehow in whatever other hours he had, apart from everything else that he was doing, he somehow managed to in James Bond kind-of style, dig up all sorts of funny things in a shadow life, because really the probabilities don't favour that. You'll agree with that.

MR LOOTS: I concede to you, Chairperson.

MR LAX: Thank you. Thank you, I have no further questions, Chair.

MR MALAN: I just want to be certain, I would like to come back to the responsibilities of Unit B, which dealt with black power, that would have included black activists and general political activities.

MR LOOTS: I beg your pardon, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: You didn't really have anything to do with terrorists, if you had come upon anything related to terrorists you would have given it over to Unit C.

MR LOOTS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: So Unit B didn't really have any responsibility to act against terrorists.


MR MALAN: So the order from Ras or Stemmet or whoever, was quite an unusual order for Unit B.

MR LOOTS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: But Hechter and van Vuuren upon their previous evidence, were actually convened by Cronje, also on his evidence, as the unit to implement the Viktor order, among others.

MR LOOTS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: And that returns us to the question of where your name and Mr Ras' name fits into this set-up, if the chain of command ran directly to Cronje, one could understand that if Cronje was ill disposed, Ras would have taken his place, but it remains a mystery why your name was mentioned.

MR LOOTS: I understand what you have said to me, Chairperson, but both van Vuuren and Hechter were members of my unit, Unit B.

MR MALAN: Yes, but you also knew that they were involved with other tasks, you knew it at that stage already.

MR LOOTS: Yes, I knew this.

MR MALAN: And you also knew that they worked directly under Cronje in an informal unit.


MR MALAN: And you were never a member of that unit.

MR LOOTS: No, no, I never was. There wasn't really any time to be involved with that unit on a full time basis as well. You are correct.

MR MALAN: So in terms of your formal or informal responsibilities, this would never have resorted under you?

MR LOOTS: No, not actually. You are correct.

MR MALAN: Despite the fact that you receive an order from Stemmet to take out a man and you accompany the group. Or did you see yourself as the link among Hechter and van Vuuren and the others?

MR LOOTS: I saw myself as the link, yes.

MR MALAN: Because Cronje was absent, or why? Because this was never the case in any other case and you knew that these things were happening and you knew that Hechter and van Vuuren had taken out others, before and after this incident. Did you never ask yourself why you were never included in those matters?

MR LOOTS: I may have asked myself that question, Chairperson, but I cannot think.

MR MALAN: You see the other aspect is that if any of the other senior officers knew of the existence of this unit consisting of Cronje, Hechter and van Vuuren, just to call it the unit - I'm sure they had an informal name among themselves, if any other senior officer knew about it, they would have know about it specifically and they would not have run the risk of drawing any other person in. Where would Stemmet have come up with your name?

MR LOOTS: We could speculate about it, perhaps he heard that they were members of Unit B and they knew that I was the head of Unit B, and I was not unknown to Stemmet, not at all. In the cases where the Divisional Commander or the Senior Staff Officer could not attend the crime conferences, I attended such conferences.

MR MALAN: He knew of you?


MR MALAN: But he would also have known that it wasn't your task, that you were not involved in it. If he knew of their activities. He would have known that you were not involved. If he was aware to such an extent of the unit, wouldn't he have been aware of all the persons who were directly involved in it?

MR LOOTS: Yes, he would have known who was involved.

MR MALAN: Particularly when considering the evidence in the amnesty application that Stemmet would have told Ras to task Hechter or van Vuuren for the job, not Loots, "task Hechter and van Vuuren for the job."

MR LOOTS: I follow you, Chairperson.

MR MALAN: You don't have any explanation for this?

MR LOOTS: No, it remains strange to me.

MR MALAN: Thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Just lastly, Mr Loots, and I promise that's the last one. When the order was received it was of an urgent nature, but it never had a time period within which this policeman should be eliminated.

MR LOOTS: Honourable Chair, yes, before Judge Mall, who was the Chairperson at that stage, the question was also posed to me and I responded that nobody told me at any stage what date or time or place the operation would be executed.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Loots.

MR MALAN: Just on the point, Chairperson.

Did you send Mamasela, or did Hechter send him?

MR LOOTS: I told Hechter to send Mamasela.

MR MALAN: Why did you tell him to send Mamasela?

MR LOOTS: So that we would be certain of the address.

MR MALAN: How did you know about Mamasela?

MR LOOTS: They were sitting in the same passage as me. There were limited offices, Mamasela, Hechter and van Vuuren had the same office, they shared the same office.

MR MALAN: So you knew that Mamasela was involved with their unit?


MR MALAN: And he actually went to reconnoitre the precise location of the house.


MR MALAN: Did you know that he had spoken to Mrs Motasi during his visit?

MR LOOTS: No, I don't know whether or not he spoke to Mrs Motasi.

MR MALAN: I don't know if you and Mr Lax understood each other correctly, there has been information in the bundle that he didn't speak to anybody and that he merely went to locate the house and that he reported back and that the operation was executed that evening.

MR LOOTS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: And you say that when he departed you saw him depart and that he was wearing a balaclava.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I think the - may I just make the remark that I think the evidence or the question related to when they went out for the operation and Mamasela went to knock on the door.

MR MALAN: Then I may have it wrong.

MR LAX: Sorry, it was a question by the Chair, who was trying to find out whether he had covered his face or not and I understood him to be talking about the point at which you had already embarked upon the operation and then Mamasela went to the door, to knock on the door, to find out if Motasi was at home or not.

CHAIRPERSON: I may just confirm that was the import of my question to Mr Loots.

MR MALAN: In other words, you knew - or let me put it this way, did Mamasela have a responsibility in the unit, other than working with Hechter and van Vuuren?

MR LOOTS: Apart from that I do not know what he did at the Security Branch.

MR MALAN: So you never worked in any other way with him?


MR MALAN: So why did you decide to send Mamasela?

MR LOOTS: He was the man who usually was used by Hechter and van Vuuren to do reconnaissance.

MR MALAN: I do accept that you take responsibility for the fact that he went out, but did you give instructions to Hechter to send out Mamasela, or did Hechter mention it to you, that he wanted to send out Mamasela to go and look at the house?

MR LOOTS: No, I told Hechter to tell Mamasela to go to the house.

MR MALAN: And he went then?


MR MALAN: In other words, I make the inference that you had a lot of knowledge about how they operated in their unit.

MR LOOTS: Yes, as their Unit Commander they trusted me. I think I was well aware of how they operated.

MR MALAN: But they never reported to you, they directly reported back to Cronje.

MR LOOTS: Some mornings if they worked in the evenings they would not come to the meeting in the morning and I knew I wasn't supposed to ask any questions, that they may have did something the previous night.

MR MALAN: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr du Plessis, anything arising from what the Panel asked?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, just one question, Mr Chairman.

Mr Loots, do you have any knowledge what knowledge Brig Stemmet had about the workings of Hechter and van Vuuren and what he knew about them?

MR LOOTS: No, I have no knowledge about it.

MR DU PLESSIS: And would the contact with regards to this incident, if Brig Cronje was there, be between Brig Cronje and Brig Stemmet? ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR LOOTS: Yes, I believe so.

MR DU PLESSIS: Very well. I have no further questions, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr van den Berg, anything arising from what the Committee asked?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Nothing, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Steenkamp?

ADV STEENKAMP: Nothing, Mr Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: The ball is back in your court, Mr du Plessis.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I'll call the next witness. May Mr Loots be excused.

CHAIRPERSON: Certainly. Mr Loots, you are excused.


MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman. I call General Ras.



MR RAS: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Ras, if you page to page 100 of the bundle, or maybe you can page firstly to page 78 of the bundle. On page 78 up until page 116, your amnesty application appears with regard to this incident, do you confirm the contents thereof as correct?

MR RAS: I confirm it.

MR DU PLESSIS: And your evidence in the previous amnesty application of Hechter, van Vuuren and Cronje appears on page 251 and it goes over to page 266, did you read that?

MR RAS: I did read that.

MR DU PLESSIS: Do you confirm it is correct?

MR RAS: That is so.

MR DU PLESSIS: And you also read the evidence of Capt Hechter, is that correct?

MR RAS: That's correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: In that hearing, do you confirm that it is correct as far as it's got to do with you?

MR RAS: Yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: And you also heard the evidence of Mr Loots today, with regards to this incident, do you confirm his evidence as far as it has got to do with you?

MR RAS: I do confirm it.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr van den Berg.


Mr Ras, if we can begin on page 101, there you describe the information that you received from Stemmet, and it is basically that there is an agent that was conveying information with regards to informants in Zimbabwe. Can you remember that and do you confirm that?


"I can remember yes, and I would like to confirm it but there are two parts to this. In the meeting or conference, Koos Klopper mentioned it to me that there's an agent working at the Hammanskraal police, that he was an ANC agent and that he was active. There that stopped, because there were various other people from other branches who had no part of it, it did not have any relevance to them, but after the conference or the meeting, Brig Stemmet, Koos Klopper, myself, we left and we went to the lifts. At the lift, or on the way to the lift, Gen Stemmet told me: "You know you are very soft with the enemy, you have to be more harsh or harder with them. With regards to this agent, I want you to get Hekter and van Vuuren to get involved in this job." Then Klopper said: "Not Hekter, but Hechter" and at the same time Brig Stemmet also said: "Send Flippie", meaning Col Loots, then Capt Loots, "to me."

The name of that policeman was not mentioned to me at that stage. I do not know who he was, I did not know where he lived, I did not know who his Commander was. Brig Stemmet mentioned to me that this man had to be eliminated. He then told me: "Send Flippie to me" - this I have mentioned already, "and then get van Vuuren and Hechter to do the job."

When I got to the office I called Capt Loots, who was on the third floor, and told him to come and see me and to bring Hechter and van Vuuren him. All three of them arrived in my office. I told them that Brig Stemmet had information concerning an ANC agent that had to be taken out or eliminated. He wanted Hechter and van Vuuren to do the job, and he also requested me, and I told Loots that he requested Loots to go and see Brig Stemmet. I accepted that this "go and see him" was about the name and the address of this person that had to be eliminated.

After Loots left I told Hechter and van Vuuren that it bothers me that their covert activities are so well-known, such an open secret that through other branches they can be tasked to do such a job and that I foresaw some problems in the future."

MR VAN DEN BERG: And the information that was sent to Zimbabwe and the informer's who were deployed in Zimbabwe?

MR RAS: That was part of - Koos Klopper said there was sensitive information that was conveyed to people in Zimbabwe. I cannot remember whether the Johannesburg incident that Loots remembered, it is possible, but I really cannot recall that, but the Zimbabwean story came from Koos Klopper.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And that was in the conference or meeting?

MR RAS: Yes.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Did he mention any names?


MR VAN DEN BERG: Did you discuss it further?

MR RAS: No, not at all.

MR VAN DEN BERG: If I can remember correctly that was approximately at the time when Kit Ngai Borden(?) was arrested in Zimbabwe. Phillip Kunjwayo(?).

MR RAS: I don't know.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Leslie Lesai(?). Those people.

MR RAS: No, I cannot recall.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And you cannot deny that they were military people.

MR RAS: No, I do not know them at all.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You were present when I asked Mr Loots about Stemmet's affidavit, in which he denies the instruction.

MR RAS: If he denies, he is lying.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Very well. On page 105 of the bundle you mentioned a discussion that you had with Klopper.

MR RAS: That is correct, yes. That was on the 12th of November 1996. I contacted Klopper, I mentioned that his name was mentioned in the death of this policeman and it mentioned that he, Klopper, conveyed at a crime conference to the Security Branch, that this policeman was an agent for the ANC. Klopper then said that he's going to get legal representation, that he's not willing to take responsibility for somebody else's problems.

MR VAN DEN BERG: I get the impression that what he conveyed to you was that it conveyed it to you, you took it further and what you did with it had nothing to do with him.

MR RAS: Yes, according to Koos Klopper, that is how it happened and that is how he wanted it.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Very well. Was it normal practice for a senior officer to call a junior officer by his name?

MR RAS: Not always, but we did to it sometimes.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Under which circumstances would this happen?

MR RAS: It was surprising that Gen Stemmet said: "Send Flippie to me", but I know that he knew Capt Loots quite well and that they worked very closely, as far as the unrest concern and the boycotts, as well as the establishment of preplanned prevention measures, and Loots assisted him a lot in that.

MR VAN DEN BERG: You also then say in your own affidavit that was submitted during Hechter and van Vuuren's applications, and you say on page 343, on paragraph 4 thereof - 343, Mr Chairperson.

"I also understood at all relevant times and was under the impression that the final instruction was given by Brig Stemmet to Col Loots. I did not give any direct instruction to eliminate Mr Motasi, to Mr Loots or to Hechter and van Vuuren. Before the operation I was not even aware of the name of the person who had to be eliminated."

MR RAS: That is correct.

MR VAN DEN BERG: And that's how you understood it?

MR RAS: Yes.

MR VAN DEN BERG: What you then tell this Committee is that you did carry knowledge of the death of Richard and his wife.

MR RAS: Yes, morally I am responsible for it because it was people who worked in the personnel.

MR VAN DEN BERG: It was the only murder of which you knew, is that correct?

MR RAS: Look in this open secret environment, where Hechter and van Vuuren and Cronje also were always together, we saw things happen, but I never had any evidence because I was not part of the discussions, I was not part of the planning. They never involved me in their secrets.

MR VAN DEN BERG: I do not know what the Afrikaans is, but here you were a "conduit" for the instruction that was given. ...(transcriber's instruction)

MR RAS: Yes, maybe too good a conduit, maybe I was too good at this.

MR VAN DEN BERG: I have no further questions, Mr Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr van den Berg.

ADV STEENKAMP: No questions, thank you, Mr Chairperson.


MR MALAN: I would just like to know, if I can recall you nowhere said that you reported back to Stemmet.

MR RAS: No, I never did. Koos Klopper was in my office the next morning, him and Brig Stemmet were together in this whole thing and I accepted that because he was responsible for murder cases in his unit, he would take it further.

MR MALAN: Did you call Loots to your office or did he come to your office himself?

MR RAS: I called him that morning while Koos Klopper was in the office with me.

MR MALAN: Why was Koos Klopper in your office? Did he do any enquiries, or was it for normal business?

MR RAS: No, this was - or I accepted that he came to enquire, but he didn't say much and when he came in I said to him: "You probably want to talk to Loots", and I then called him and he then asked Loots how far this thing was and Loots answered: "The task is completed, but unfortunately a woman died in the incident."

MR MALAN: So you just told Loots to come to your office, you did not say that Klopper was there to see him?

MR RAS: No, I didn't say that, I just said: "Come down and come and see me."

MR MALAN: Very well. I asked Mr Loots a question and you heard it, it was concerning the command structure or line of responsibility of Hammanskraal police college. Did it go to Northern Transvaal or where?

MR RAS: The police college fell directly underneath the head office, but Hammanskraal police station was part of the Northern Transvaal area. The police station and the training college are two completely different aspects.

MR MALAN: Maybe I understood it wrong. Was Motasi at the training college?

MR RAS: Yes, they wanted to send him to the police station and then he didn't want to go, or he went, I do not know.

MR MALAN: This Col van Zyl that they are talking about?

MR RAS: I do not know him. We never had contact with each other.

MR MALAN: You never had contact with the training college?

MR RAS: No, never.

MR MALAN: Oh, so you do not know who he was?

MR RAS: No, I would meet him in the street and I wouldn't know who he was.

MR MALAN: But in the structure, if they did not liaise with you they wouldn't have liaised with Stemmet or with Klopper.

MR RAS: No, the college itself could have liaised with Stemmet if Stemmet wanted students, because Stemmet's recruitment attempts went to that college.

MR MALAN: Maybe the choice of words was wrong, I'm not talking about liaison, but I'm talking about the line of command and in reporting. The police college or his Commanders would never have reported back to Stemmet or his Commanders.

MR RAS: No, not as far as I know.

MR MALAN: So in other words, if they knew van Zyl, it would have been a coincidence and not because of their rank?

MR RAS: That is correct, yes.

MR MALAN: I'm talking about the crime conference now. You said Koos Klopper, in the conference or meeting, told you about the policeman who was an agent, he just left it there.

MR RAS: Just left it there. And then that part we continued with after the people left.

MR MALAN: On the way to the lift?

MR RAS: It was myself, the Brigadier and Klopper and we were on our way to the lift.

MR MALAN: Why did - when Klopper said that in the conference, was it not followed up?

MR RAS: It wasn't followed up immediately. I do not know how we stopped talking about it, I think because nobody else had anything to do with it. There were students or people from the Defence Force, training people, the National Intelligence people were there, so we just stopped talking about it.

MR MALAN: You discussed disciplinary measures or the assault or the alleged assault of van Zyl on Motasi, was that in your investigative area in the Northern Transvaal? Would that not have been discussed at such a conference?

MR RAS: Yes, it could have been.

MR MALAN: Because that is part of the crime.

MR RAS: It could have, but it was more about the serious crimes, the threat, it was not about single or isolated incidents where a person was a threat to a police commander.

MR MALAN: Did you see what the relevance was of this dispute and why it wasn't mentioned there? That what was mentioned there was that: "There is a policeman who is giving us a lot of problems" - I'm trying to say it in the way in which it would have been said there, and then they would have said: "Well, I'm sure this person is an ANC agent."

MR RAS: Well it could have been, but it was not how I heard it that morning, no.

MR MALAN: And you said that all that you can recall, and you are quite sure about it, is that it was mentioned in the conference that there's a policeman in Hammanskraal who was a police agent and who had liaised with people in Zimbabwe, and it was not followed up?

MR RAS: No, at that stage not at all.

MR MALAN: Is that not very clear then that a decision would have been taken there about who will take it further?

MR RAS: I said it at a previous opportunity, that at these conferences or meetings there were a lot of snippets of information that was meant only for the Security Branch, it would be written on a piece of paper, I would then take it to Unit A, B or C, for further investigation, or the Security Branch would get something that would be relevant for another unit and I would then give it, for example, to Koos Klopper and say that people are busy with smuggling dagga or they are stealing vehicles, and he would then deal with that, and I would not ask him about anything else.

MR MALAN: That is the purpose of my question. Why did Klopper mention it there if he would have dealt with it himself?

MR RAS: I do not know.

MR MALAN: And you do not know if Klopper reported back to Stemmet?

MR RAS: No, I do not know, but with the next crime conference we never mentioned it again. I didn't talk about it, Stemmet didn't mention it and Koos Klopper never mentioned it either.

MR MALAN: In other words you never talked about it again until the amnesty application?

MR RAS: In 1996, in November, I heard who the person was who died. Before that I did not know the deceased.

MR MALAN: You very quickly gave evidence about how it happened, and I do not want to keep you to it, the order of it. On the way to the lift Stemmet then told you that you are too soft with the enemy.

MR RAS: That is correct, yes.

MR MALAN: He said: "This person is an agent, I want Hekter and van Vuuren to do the job", and Klopper then said: "It's not Hektor, it's Hechter." And then he said: "Send Flippie to me."

MR RAS: That's correct.

MR MALAN: Very well. Then you said Stemmet mentioned that this person had to be eliminated.

MR RAS: That is correct, in that same process.

MR MALAN: Can you remember when?

MR RAS: That was before he said: "Send Flippie to me." "You are too soft with the people, this person has to be eliminated."

MR MALAN: Did he use the term "elimination"?

MR RAS: Yes, he did.

MR MALAN: When you talked about it you said: "Take out", didn't he use the same term?

MR RAS: In our terminology it was more-or-less the same thing. If you wanted to take somebody out, you will terminate him or eliminate him.

MR MALAN: Yes, but you were not part of that terminology because you were not involved in the activities.

MR RAS: I wasn't there, but one does talk about it in that way. It is an open secret that some of our people are doing it. You see today and then you see an explosion, then you see that there are people missing. You see an attack, you see today a threat and the next day the people are gone and you could see that there is something going on.

MR MALAN: The evidence of Mr Loots was that you were the Staff Officer, what was your responsibilities? Broadly speaking.

MR RAS: It was personnel matters, postal matters as it came in, the opening, the filing.

MR MALAN: Operationally, nothing?

MR RAS: No, not operationally, no.

MR MALAN: And Cronje's function was mostly coordinating.

MR RAS: When he left I did not have anybody else to do my job and I had to do what he did. The more serious files, the informant files I had to deal with and I had to get the unit heads to find out if this person is busy with what this file is saying he is, and I could then support, or rely on his support to do it.

MR MALAN: Part of your task was dealing with the post that comes in, so all intelligence documents or files that came in would come from the post right directly to you?

MR RAS: Yes.

MR MALAN: Loots' files would also go to you?

MR RAS: Yes. Yes, he reported back to me. And the same with Unit A, B, C, etcetera. All their reports came to me. I worked from when the sun came up in the mornings till 12 o'clock in the evenings.

MR MALAN: But you never made any decision, you only canalised it.

MR RAS: Yes, and where you can make decisions, for example, when an informant asked for R10, that his work is worth R40.

MR MALAN: But it was more administrative?

MR RAS: Yes.

MR MALAN: So concerning the operational and security aspects thereof, you did not have any control over that?

MR RAS: No, it wasn't.

MR MALAN: So for all practical reasons we can say you were a non-security officer in the Security Branch?

MR RAS: Yes, that is correct.

MR MALAN: Well that is how I understand a Staff Officer. I want to make sure.

MR RAS: Although with a lot of years working in the intelligence, or Security Branch, I knew about a lot of things.

MR MALAN: But before that you did work in other positions.

MR RAS: Yes, I did a lot of security work.

MR MALAN: And you then confirm Mr Loots' - I would like to ask you specifically, that Unit B did not have anything to do with terrorism.

MR RAS: It was not part of his tasks, no, or his job description.

MR MALAN: His job description was the black power areas where the risks were etcetera.

MR RAS: The terrorist activities, or the black power involvements, the crash courses that had to be taken. That was also part of Loots' work.

MR MALAN: Yes, I can understand that a lot of field work was done, but not interrogations and arrests etcetera, not even informally.

MR RAS: No, that was something that we did not immediately see, but the eliminations did occur and it became bigger.

MR MALAN: Just for the purpose of the record, because in your documents you talk about the general command of Viktor, when did you hear about this for the first time?

MR RAS: When somebody told me this.

MR MALAN: When did somebody tell you this?

MR RAS: When I applied for amnesty.

MR MALAN: So you didn't know about it before?


MR MALAN: So according to yourself, you just saw how things developed and you saw that Cronje was part of the Hechter and van Vuuren group and you could not question him.

MR RAS: No, you could never question, you'd be cutting your own throat.

MR MALAN: But you did not bear any knowledge of ...

MR RAS: No, I did not carry any knowledge about it, no.

MR MALAN: Very well, thank you.

MR RAS: There's just another aspect that you asked about, how did Loots become involved in this. It was practice in the police force that members were not called by other branches, it had to be done by Commanders liaising between the units. So it came from Brig Stemmet to myself that I had to send Loots to him.

MR MALAN: I think it is accepted. The question was, how did he know of Loots, and if he knew about the unit of Cronje, Hechter and van Vuuren, why did he suddenly involve Loots? You also said it's an open secret, you did not question it, the same as Mr Loots didn't question it, on his evidence, but now for the first time he's suddenly involved by Stemmet operationally in something. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR RAS: I understand.

MR MALAN: And you said it was on the request of Stemmet to you?

MR RAS: Yes.

MR MALAN: And you stand by it. And if Stemmet denies it, then he denies it for other reasons ... (transcriber's interpretation)

MR RAS: That is correct.

MR MALAN: Very well, thank you.


MR LAX: Thanks, Chair.

General, the activities of this man, this deceased on the version we have before us, the most damage appears to have been done in Zimbabwe, and that's what you say in your application on page 101:

"The people who were eliminated were eliminated in Zimbabwe."

on your version. Is that right?

MR RAS: That is how I received it and accepted it, that it was in Zimbabwe, but it is also true that some of the movements in opposition to us, used Zimbabwe as their point of departure. So the information could have been used by South Africans who were trained in Zimbabwe and had settled in Zimbabwe, for their purposes.

MR LAX: Except that's not what you say in your application, you say they were eliminated by Zimbabweans, not by South Africans in Zimbabwe. And in fact, somewhere else in the papers they refer to Z10, or something to that effect, some unit in Zimbabwe.

MR RAS: I don't know about that. If it was by Zimbabweans, then it would have been how I got it.

MR LAX: Yes. Now who in your unit, that is the Security Branch, dealt with issues in Zimbabwe?

MR RAS: I don't know if Unit B dealt with it, I believe so. I believe they dealt with Zimbabwe matters, but also Unit C, which dealt with terrorist activities, they could also have dealt with Zimbabwe. Thank you.

MR LAX: What I'm trying to understand is, these things happen in Zimbabwe, they filter back to South Africa, which would have been the most likely channel for that information to come back to South Africa?

MR RAS: The channel that you refer to? I don't understand.

MR LAX: Well you see, South African sources, informers, sources of information, get eliminated in Zimbabwe by Zimbabweans, in 1987, that information filters back to South Africa through some channel or other.

MR RAS: I would believe it would have been by the Intelligence Units, but it could also be the Detective Branch. It wouldn't have been with us personally, but Intelligence Units and Military Intelligence Units, yes, it could have come through those channels.

MR LAX: You see what I'm trying to work out is how on earth Klopper, who was a Detective Branch person, who was dealing primarily with ordinary crime - you guys dealt with the political crime, the Detective Branch by and large dealt with ordinary crime, how could they as a matter or course have all this information? And Stemmet had it all because he was the man - not Stemmet, Kloppers had it all because he was the one who told you it all.

MR RAS: Yes. I would have to speculate on that. Both Klopper and Brig Stemmet had information with the internal wing of the Police's Intelligence Unit, they also had connections with Military Intelligence. All of these were units which also operated abroad ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: I beg your pardon, but was their liaison with those units not on divisional level?

MR RAS: Yes, it was.

MR MALAN: There was no reason for them to liaise with any head office of any of those units?


MR MALAN: So it would have happened on a local level.

MR RAS: Yes, because there were some of their members who also attended the meetings.

MR LAX: You see that's precisely my point, something that happens in Zimbabwe, which is quite some distance from Hammanskraal and these local areas around Pretoria, you wouldn't expect that the Divisional Detective Commander of the Northern Transvaal Region, would get to know about what was going on somewhere in Zimbabwe. It's not the usual source of that kind of information, is it?

MR RAS: I comprehend the issue, but I would not be able to answer. I myself also have the same concern, I don't know how this took place.

MR LAX: I just want to clarify something. I may be mistaken, or I may have heard correctly, it's just to do with the questions that my colleague, Mr Malan was asking you and that is, did I understand correctly that at an earlier stage of the meeting when everybody was present, this is when Klopper was talking about this agent.

MR RAS: That's correct. While the meeting was under way, Klopper mentioned this and immediately it was suffocated. I don't know who suffocated the issue, but on the way to the lift the two of them joined me and the discussion ensued.

MR LAX: Now you've told us that there were people there from Military Intelligence, people there from National Intelligence and so on, surely some of those people would have pricked up their ears at this matter, that here is a person in our division in contact with people in Zimbabwe, in contact with others, causing elimination of agents, it would have been a matter of general concern.

MR RAS: Yes, I agree with you.

MR LAX: And yet not one soul says anything about it and in fact you drop the subject till after the meeting.

MR RAS: Yes.

MR LAX: It's just totally inexplicable.

MR RAS: I cannot assist you because that is precisely how it occurred.

MR LAX: Now a couple of days later you would have continued to have these crime conferences, isn't that so?

MR RAS: Yes, on every week day.

MR LAX: And even two days later a topic would have arisen in your crime conference, that a policeman was murdered in Hammanskraal, by unknown elements.

MR RAS: It was never mentioned at any time, and I must also tell that I understood that it was in Temba, not in Hammanskraal. At that stage Temba was part of Boputhatswana, which was not part of the South African policing area. In other words, Boputhatswana police would have dealt with that matter.

MR LAX: So it wouldn't have formed part of your division then?

MR RAS: It would not have formed part of the crime report for Division Northern Transvaal.

CHAIRPERSON: But if I may interpose here, Mr Lax.

We have this person staying in Temba, which is part of Boputhatswana, but working in South Africa and under your training college, you mean even then it couldn't be picked up because he was murdered in Temba, it did not matter?

MR RAS: The death report would have been compiled by his Commander and sent to head office, but the investigation would not have been conducted by the Northern Transvaal Division. But all the other documentation pertaining to the death report would have been sent through to head office via the Commander.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. You may proceed, Mr Lax.

MR LAX: The fact remains though, that he was a South African policeman.

MR RAS: Correct.

MR LAX: And whether he was killed in Boputhatswana or not, it would have been a matter or concern that here is another policeman murdered, AK47 are used, all that information was known.

MR RAS: That is correct, however the matter was either suffocated because everyone wanted to conceal his own share - I would believe that that is the actual reason why there was silence regarding it, because we didn't want to expose our share in the matter.

MR LAX: Now as Commander of the Security Branch, and you were Acting Commander, I accept that your normal duties were that of a Staff Officer, but at the time this happened you were actually the Acting Commander.

MR RAS: Yes.

MR LAX: And so you would have been getting reports from all the different desks and units and so on. Now did you at any stage make any enquiry as to whether the information that was leaking, that people were killed in Zimbabwe and so on, was in any way connected to any of your files?


MR LAX: Why? Here you are as a Commander, here is a source of information based in your division, even though the man is taken out, you must want to know whether there's any other threat of compromise to other sources of information in your area.

MR RAS: At that time we lived in a situation of warfare, if something was over it was over, we didn't deal with it any further because there was so much work that the few policemen that were available, couldn't deal with everything and if water had flowed under the bridge, we let it be as such. We didn't return to any matters which would eventually end up being to our detriment.

MR LAX: You see you didn't know whether the threat was over or not, you didn't even bother to find out who this man worked with, what his sources were. One would have thought that that would have been the stuff you would have wanted to follow up, because you want to make sure that nobody else got killed in the process.

MR RAS: I agree with you, but it wasn't done.

MR LAX: You see one understands that you were busy and that you had a whole lot of things to do and we've heard how busy the then Capt Loots was at the time, but the fact is that there were risks, huge risks.

MR RAS: I agree.

MR LAX: The man isn't captured, he isn't abducted, he isn't interrogated to find out all his sources, that's what you would have expected to happen, and then he was eliminated afterwards, isn't that so?

MR RAS: One would have expected it to be that way because that is how many of these things took place ...(intervention)

MR LAX: Sorry, if I could interrupt you, that's how the vast majority of these things happened. People were abducted, they were interrogated, every ounce of information possible was extracted from them and then they were eliminated.

MR RAS: I agree, that is precisely how it happened, but in this case I sent Loots to the Brigadier and told the others that we would have problems with this. I didn't see them again until the following morning and then the job was done, it was over, and I hadn't said a word about it.

MR LAX: Now I want to just take you to your affidavit briefly. You didn't consider the necessity to question the order from Brig Stemmet, and in fact you say in your affidavit that you wouldn't even - no ways you would have questioned that decision.

MR RAS: To this day I have never seen Brig Stemmet laugh. Although I view him as the second-best policeman on the planet, I can also say that he was a very serious man, that he was always the sort of role model that one expected from a policeman. If he issued an order it was a firm order and you executed it. I was by far his junior, I would never query him and if I wanted to investigate his story first, it would have either have placed the operation at risk or I would not have been able to ...(end of tape 2B)

MR LAX: ... the possibility of investigating and making enquiries.

MR RAS: I was not even aware that the operation would take place on that very same evening. Loots and Hechter would not have been able to question it and they would have had to accept it as such.

MR LAX: It's just the first sentence that I'm interested in, which is, you say: "I wasn't aware that it was happening, but in any event there wasn't time for me to do it."

MR RAS: No, there wasn't.

MR LAX: But you wouldn't even have done it.

MR RAS: I would never have done it ...(intervention)

MR LAX: That's why I'm asking why have you introduced that as a possibility as something you might have contemplated when you wouldn't have contemplated it at all. Do you see my concern?

MR RAS: I can understand your concern.

MR LAX: You can't really answer that.

MR RAS: No, I cannot.

MR LAX: Just one final question Chairperson, from my side.

You don't consider yourself as having given this instruction.

MR RAS: No, I had two orders and I executed two orders. I received the order to send Loots and to put Hechter and van Vuuren on the task, those are the two orders that I received and I executed them, but the order to go out and eliminate the man, I did not issue that order. From the very beginning I maintained that Brig Stemmet requested for this man to be eliminated, that he was an agent who was assisting informers in Zimbabwe.

MR LAX: So that if Mr Loots now thinks that you gave him the instruction and not Brig Stemmet, he's mistaken as far as you are concerned?

MR RAS: I believe Loots would know that I gave him the order from Stemmet, but I don't believe would say that I told him to kill the man.

MR LAX: Ja, I'll leave it at that. Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm somewhat, Mr Ras, confused by this, that my understanding, and I'll paraphrase it from your evidence, is that you were given orders to call Flippie ...(intervention)

MR RAS: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: ... to go and see Stemmet, and whatever order was given there, you don't know what kind of order was given.

MR RAS: No, that is correct, Chairperson, I don't know what the order was that was to be issued there, but I understood that it had to do with the reason why I had to task Hechter, van Vuuren and Loots.

CHAIRPERSON: You see the problem that I have is the blameworthiness which you are accepting, that if my colleague here, I say to him I want to see Mr Malan and I speak to Malan and because I have sent him he says: "I've got blameworthiness because I was sent to call so-and-so, so-and-so was given orders which I was not privy to." You see my dilemma? How then would that person attract blameworthiness?

MR RAS: It's difficult for me ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Let's take it what happened in the past, that there were so many people within the Police Force, and let's take the onslaught, that various people were given instructions to do various things and some would be given instructions within the same unit, but other people wouldn't be involved in that, now once that has been executed or the orders have been carried out, how could other people attract blameworthiness, moral blameworthiness for that? Because - assist me, I'm merely wanting to understand, that you might have been senior to other people, some of the people who carried out the orders of Stemmet.

MR RAS: They were members of my staff and that is why I feel a moral responsibility, partially, for that which they did. I feel guilty about it.

CHAIRPERSON: Not that you had a hand in any way ...(intervention)

MR RAS: But because they were members of my staff, they were like my children. They were my children at that stage and I should have kept them on the right path and I didn't.

CHAIRPERSON: No, no, now here's somebody who is a role model, and you had the greatest respect for Stemmet, and a few minutes back you said he was a man who would not even laugh and he said you are soft on people, did I understand you correctly?

MR RAS: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And he takes it upon himself, he says "Call Flippie" - with the greatest apologies, I just want to follow what Mr Ras was saying, not that I'm imputing anything on you, he says "Call those people, I'll give them orders direct." Mention was made of a policeman and it was suffocated before it could be fully discussed, we just know he's an agent, then he calls in people, he takes direct responsibility for personnel on your staff and gives them orders, is that how I understand it?

MR RAS: That is correct, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Now I want to see how you come in, you see. That a person was mentioned and orders were given, you did not know the name of that policeman, you merely knew it was a policeman, it was never taken up again, nor mentioned again and suddenly you say "I am to blame." I cannot follow that kind of reasoning.

MR RAS: You know, some of your people know my son - if you could just pardon me for a while.

CHAIRPERSON: Certainly. Do you perhaps want to take ...(indistinct)



MR RAS: I brought up this son of mind in a certain way ...

CHAIRPERSON: Do you need some few more minutes?

MR RAS: No, no, I will be alright now.


MR RAS: This way of bringing up or educating my son now resulted in that this child is in far more trouble than what I am at this stage.

CHAIRPERSON: Shouldn't I really give you five minutes?

MR RAS: I wish I could stand in his place, so I wish I could have stood in Loots' place.

MR MALAN: Mr Ras, is it not true that in this instance you do not just feel responsible because Loots was a member of your staff, but you knew because Stemmet told you "We are going to take somebody out"?

MR RAS: Yes, that is correct.

MR MALAN: You actively worked with him.

MR RAS: Yes.

MR MALAN: You did what he told you to do, you explained to the other members what their instructions would be.

MR RAS: That is correct, yes.

MR MALAN: So you were completely integrated in this murder, it is not just a moral acceptance of responsibility.

MR RAS: I accept that as such, it is so.

MR MALAN: Thank you.

MR LAX: Just one last thing, General, sorry to ask this. At the time, from what I've read in your evidence and from what I've read in your application, you were actually unaware of the identity of this man or his wife.

MR RAS: Yes.

MR LAX: Because from what you say, all that was reported back to you was the job was done and during the course of it the wife had to be killed because Mamasela's identity was at stake.

MR RAS: Mr Chairperson, that is correct, it came back to me in that way, that the job has been done and the woman was killed in the process.

MR LAX: Now when did you become aware of the identity of the two deceased?

MR RAS: December/November 1996.

MR LAX: 1996. Thank you. Thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr du Plessis, anything arising from the questions asked by the Panel?

MR DU PLESSIS: Nothing, Mr Chairman, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr van den Berg?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Nothing, Mr Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Steenkamp?

ADV STEENKAMP: Nothing, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, Mr Ras, you are excused.

MR RAS: Thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis?

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, I'm going to be very short and brief. The submission which I want to make ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Before you arrive at that, I thought probably you still have a witness.

MR DU PLESSIS: No, I don't have any further witnesses, I'm sorry.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van den Berg, are you calling any witnesses?

MR VAN DEN BERG: No, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: The answer is the same from you, Mr Steenkamp?

ADV STEENKAMP: Correct, Mr Chairman.


MR DU PLESSIS IN ARGUMENT: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Chairman, the evidence of both Mr Ras and Mr Loots today does not in any material way conflict with the evidence that they have given previously. It does not in any material way conflict with the evidence which was given by Mr Hechter and Mr van Vuuren. It is clear from the evidence, and I submit that it has to be accepted, that both Mr Ras and Mr Loots laboured under the impression and thought at all relevant times, that they were acting against a person who was part of the ANC, who was a danger to the Security Police, who provided information which was damaging to the fight against the ANC, and more broadly, seeing the fight against the liberation movements and communism, and from that point of view, subjectively, the motive with which they acted was at all relevant times political.

One could argue that all sorts of factors indicate that the reason for this murder may have been motivated by other parties, not the applicants that I represent, but other parties, that the motive may have been different. It may be that certain probabilities on the facts before you and the documents before you, although it's not evidence, indicate that there may perhaps have been some other reason. We do not have evidence about that and we only have the documents before us. But if we have to apply the test in Section 20(3) of the Act, and I have argued this on numerous occasions and I think the argument has been accepted up to now, the question arises, even if one accepts that from an objective point of view, the motive may not have been political. For argument purposes, how do we treat a person who subjectively acted with a political motive? And the question arises, with reference to Section 20(3), if certain factors indicate the one way if you apply the subjective test and other factors indicate the other way if you apply the objective test. Which one is the overriding one?

And in my submission, the whole gist of the Act, the application thereof up to now, the interpretation of Section 20(3), by the Courts, the interpretation placed upon these principles of Prof Norgaard in South West Africa/Namibia, all indicate that the subjective elements override the objective elements in Section 20(3). Which leads me to the submission that the evidence of Mr Ras and Mr Loots about what they knew or were told, let me put it that way, about Mr Motasi and his alleged involvement with the ANC, was enough for them to have acted the way they did and to have acted with a political motive. My submission therefore is that they have complied with the most important element of Section 20(3).

Furthermore, if one considers the other contentious element in my submission perhaps in (3), is the question if they acted in accordance with an order given to them, one has to say firstly that there may be certain questions that one could rightly ask about this incident. I think a lot has been pointed out in respect of the way the orders were given, the difference between this incident and certain others, and various other different factors. At the end of the day one has to ask oneself the question, "Can I accept that the evidence of Mr Ras and the evidence of Mr Loots, that they received an order from Brig Stemmet? Can I accept that evidence? Is there any fact that I can take ...", if we leave probabilities out for a moment, "... which contradicts their evidence?"

The only aspect that you have before you is an affidavit of Mr Stemmet, who did not see his way open to be here, as most other Generals and Ministers have done in the past and are still doing, who does not even have the - can I use the old-fashioned English word "guts", to come and sit here and say to you that he had never given the order. And the question arises "Why doesn't he do that?" Let's forget about all the probabilities on the one side about how the order happened and took place, in my submission the question and the most important question to be asked is "Why isn't he here? Why doesn't he come and tell you that he never gave the order?" That these people are lying. He is not here, Mr Chairman, for one reason and one reason only, he knows that he gave that order, he knows that he cannot afford to testify here, he knows that if he's subjected to cross-examination and he attempts to lie, that he will be caught out. And that is the reason ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Sorry for interrupting you, isn't another possible deduction to say that he does not see any risk unless he is prosecuted and then can deal with it at that stage? And at this stage he takes, again in his view, an honourable position where he doesn't want to jeopardise the applications of your clients?

MR DU PLESSIS: That may be a possibility, I must conceded that. That may be a possibility.

MR MALAN: I don't think you have to pursue this, but we have taken note of that argument.

MR DU PLESSIS: As it pleases you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Just before you leave it, what are you saying to us, what weight should be give to this affidavit which is a bare denial?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, my submission is that you have to give no weight whatsoever. You can, with respect Mr Chairman, give no weight thereto because it hasn't, the evidence contained therein hasn't been tested in cross-examination.

There is however, and I realise that you indicated to me that I shouldn't pursue this, but there is however just one other point that I would perhaps want to make. And that is that the other possibility would have been for Gen Stemmet to have been here with the applicants under these circumstances.


MR DU PLESSIS: To have been here with the applicants, to ask for amnesty with the applicants. But I won't pursue that point.

On the probabilities ...(intervention)

MR MALAN: Sorry, which of course he had ample time to do, because his statement is also dated prior to the cut-off date. So one could in the same way argue, if one has to look at probabilities, that if he indeed was guilty he would probably have been granted amnesty here on the basis of the version of the political ... and therefore, why then not apply?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, except that if one looks at that one would obviously firstly have to ask yourself the question, if all four applicants are lying to you about his involvement and if we were in a criminal case and the evidence had to be weighed up and General Stemmet was on the one hand and we had the four witnesses on the other hand, and in respect of this evidence which has been thoroughly tested, I submit in both hearings, one would have probably come to the conclusion that where four witnesses say exactly the same, or more-or-less the same as against one person, you would have to come to the conclusion that you'll probably have to accept the version of the four witnesses. But let me leave that for a moment.

The question about the probabilities, in my submission on the question why Ras and Loots became involved in this matter, can only be answered by or through the fact that Brig Cronje was not at the unit at the time. We do not know what knowledge Brigadier or General Stemmet had about Hechter and van Vuuren's operations. It seems that he must have known something about it, but we do not know if he had known about Loots and Ras' involvement therewith. And it is possible that he may have thought that Ras and Loots knew more about it and were more involved with it than was the case. And therefore it is a possibility, and I submit a real possibility, that that is the reason why Mr Ras and Mr Loots were drawn into this by Brigadier or General Stemmet, which would not have happened if Brig Cronje was at the unit at the time and present at the time. And in my submission that is a probable explanation. There's no reason to think that Mr Ras and Mr Loots would have applied for amnesty for other incidents, and if they were involved in other incidents, that they would not have applied for amnesty for those incidents, especially where you have knowledge of the whole scenario of the Northern Transvaal Security Branch and really had, in my submission, a total openness and frankness about what happened there and what they were involved in.

In respect of the question about - and it wasn't a question of that lots of questions were asked during this hearing, but the question or the facts upon which His Lordship, Mr Justice Ngoepe and Mrs Khampepe, came to the conclusion that Hechter and van Vuuren should not receive amnesty, namely the question about the searching of the house, in my submission there are no facts that really contradict or can contradict their evidence. They were sent to do a specific job, a search of the house may have prejudiced the operation, and in my submission that wasn't good enough ground to refuse amnesty. In fact, that was actually a decision that they were not credible witnesses on the weighing of one improbability in the whole factual scenario that was placed before that Committee. And in my submission, with respect to both of them, and I respect both of them immensely, in my submission their conclusion was wrong in that regard and that in any event insofar as you would want to take that into account, my submission is that you shouldn't.

If we have regard to the murder of Mr Motasi first, in my submission it is quite clear that both Gen Ras and Mr Loots clearly knew that he was going to be murdered, that he would die. They accepted that. And there is no doubt whatsoever that they can be visited with a finding of murder in a criminal case in respect of that. And I include Gen Ras' position there.

Amnesty is therefore sought in respect of Mr Motasi on behalf of both applicants, for murder and also for being accessories after the fact in respect of the murder of Mr Motasi. May I just add that you would have seen in the application that we also seek general amnesty for all delicts which may arise from the facts and all other offences. And here I include the possession of an AK47 at that stage, which was a criminal offence.

CHAIRPERSON: Just not to disturb your flow at this moment, if Mr Ras were to be charged and he appears in the criminal court, what possible charge would be framed against him, in respect of Mr Motasi?

MR DU PLESSIS: In my submission murder, Mr Chairman, and I will submit to you that at the very least, dolus eventualis on his part would be proven. He must have foreseen that there was a possibility that Mr Motasi would die, as a result of his involvement in the matter, his knowledge of the matter and he acted, and he accepted that. In Afrikaans, if I can have reference to the Afrikaans test and the words used there, one would say he reconciled himself with it. He went along with it. He didn't do anything about it, he simply went along with it. So in my submission, at the very least, he would visited with dolus eventualis and he would be found guilty.

MR MALAN: Sorry, I don't want to get out of the decision which in law doesn't good to me, but I fail to see how he'll get dolus eventualis, because there was no other objective than the elimination of Motasi. To come back to the Afrikaans, let us just discuss this. It is not a question of intent with the awareness of possibilities, it is about cooperation on this plan.

MR DU PLESSIS: I made the submission at the very lease, but in my submission it is very clear, directly, without any problem, there was intent, he was part of the plan, he was part of the action, and in my submission there is no doubt whatsoever.

MR MALAN: And he knew what it was about all the time.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, he knew about it all the time, he had the intent. He knew that the order that he would be sending through to Mr Loots, would lead to Motasi's death, he knew that that would be the direct consequence, and in my submission there can be no doubt about that. That is why I made the submission, at the very least, but that would not be the correct finding, in my submission a finding dolus directus would be the correct finding.

The killing of Irene Motasi, in respect of the evidence of Mr Loots and obviously of Mr Ras, although he didn't elaborate on that every much and neither did Mr Loots, but on that evidence, on the evidence of both of them, they never had any idea or intention that she should die. One could perhaps argue that they could have foreseen that a situation may have arisen, that she could be killed or may be killed in the cross-fire, not necessarily in the way she was killed, but perhaps in a different way, and that they accepted that possibility. And in that regard my submission is ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: No, would you say that would be applicable to Mr Loots as well - I mean Mr Ras rather, I beg your pardon.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, obviously it's a bit more difficult in respect of Mr Ras. And my submission, perhaps I should withdraw the submission in respect of Mr Ras, but at least in respect of Mr Loots one could say that that is the position.

MR MALAN: Does Mr Ras not also become an accessory after the fact?

MR DU PLESSIS: I was on my way to say that. Mr Ras at least, was an accessory after the fact in respect of the murder of Irene Motasi, and at the very least, Mr Loots is also an accessory after the fact. In this regard you would have noted that a finding by the previous Committee was made that amnesty was refused in respect of Irene Motasi. In my submission that is not correct, and in respect of Mr Loots, at least a finding of dolus eventualis on his part, would be the proper finding if he was prosecuted in a criminal matter. My submission therefore, is that in respect of Irene Motasi, Mr Loots should be granted amnesty in respect of murder and being an accessory after the fact, as well as for amnesty for any other ciminal offences that may flow from the facts as well as any delicts that may flow from there, and that amnesty could also be awarded to Mr Ras in respect of being an accessory after the fact, with reference to Irene Motasi's murder. And those are my submissions, Mr Chairman, I have no further submissions, unless you want me to address you on something specific.

CHAIRPERSON: No thank you, don't think that because I had my hand I didn't want to see your face, I wanted to but the sun is overwhelming. I would just butt in at any given moment whenever somebody is making submissions and I suppose that's the position my learned friends have taken here. So it would appear there's nothing to ask you at this stage.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van der Berg, ...(indistinct)

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairperson. Would it be in order if we stood down for two minutes?

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - no microphone)

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I have a personal difficulty which I need to attend to.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh certainly, we'll give you the indulgence. We adjourn for two minutes.



MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I know it's out of order, but perhaps it would - before Mr van der Berg argues, and it may cause him not to say anything, request you leave to allow Mr Loots and Mr Ras both to say something in public to the family sitting here at the back. They have, during this adjournment, spoken to them and they have indicated to me that they would like to say something in public, if you would allow it.

CHAIRPERSON: What's your attitude, Mr van der Berg, that we allow something out of turn, that Mr Ras and Mr Loots say something to the family?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairperson, I've always taken the attitude that these are best dealt with privately, but insofar as they want to do so publicly, I'm certainly not going to stand in their way. I don't have specific instructions.

CHAIRPERSON: But if I may say, let them say it and you argue after, I wouldn't be taking the wind out of your sail?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Not at all, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: They may. With whom are we starting first?

MR DU PLESSIS: May I ask General Ras to speak first, Mr Chairman, thank you.


During the break we spoke to the family of the deceased. They were very kind to us and we thank them. We are sorry for everything that happened. I wish that I was in a position to assist them financially. At the moment I am not. If there were to be a break, it would come from my side to theirs and I would attempt to provide for them as much as I could. Once again I would like to thank them and also I would like to thank them for accepting my apology. Thank you.

MR LOOTS ADDRESSES FAMILY OF VICTIMS: Chairperson, I'm also very grateful for this opportunity. With specific reference to the grandmother with whom I spoke, it is clear that at her age she has quite a responsibility to the son who remains, who is still busy with his studies and that it certainly isn't very easy for her to keep a person of the age of 17 years, in the position to which he is accustomed and that through our actions 13 years ago, regarding which I said to her and I have told you, that we are sorry for having placed her in this particularly dis-favourable position. We are sorry for our sins of the past and that if they could forgive us, they should do so. She has indicated that it was a remarkable gesture on our behalf and that she has received our apology with pleasure. We thank her and we wish her and her remaining family strength with their road ahead, as we would also like to turn over a new leaf and start anew. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you both gentlemen, for those encouraging words towards the family. I hope ...(indistinct) as you do, that they have taken note of that. Thank you very much.

I would back to Mr van der Berg.

MR VAN DER BERG IN ARGUMENT: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Insofar as the amnesty applications of Mr Ras and Mr Loots are concerned, I think that in your deliberations you need to take into account a host of difficulties and unanswered aspects. Some of those obviously are created ex post facto, but the things that strike me immediately are the question of the Zimbabwe link. How this came to the attention of a Divisional Commander rather than through military or National Intelligence links. The unusual nature of this instruction and the person from whom it allegedly came. Given its unusual nature, the lack of recollection on the part of the applicants in respect thereof. The fact that both of these were a policeman with a history of - I think at one stage Mr Lax put it "Were you not curious?", and the lack of curiosity as to background and detail. What's not been canvassed fully in this hearing is the actual occurrence on the day, the fact that they were present in the house but that no interrogation, no search, no follow-up investigation was done.

The thrust of my argument, Mr Chairperson, deals with the question of the instruction. The two applicants allege that the instruction came from Gen Stemmet, in his capacity as the Divisional Commander, Northern Transvaal. The difficulty I have with that is the affidavit which is before you. It is on record, and I know that the Committee has dealt with it, was the request that Stemmet be subpoenaed so that we could deal with this factual dispute. In requesting that subpoena, my attitude at the time was that we need to gainsay, "we" on behalf of the victims, need to gainsay the evidence in respect of the instruction. I'm not sure that that onus rests on the family and on the victims. We can only speculate as to why Stemmet isn't here. And that speculation, as was debated with my learned friend, Mr du Plessis, goes both ways.

And one can, as you debated with Mr du Plessis, you can thrash out both aspects of it, as to why he isn't here and what you draw from that, why he should have been here and what you draw from that, why he didn't apply for amnesty, what you can draw from that. I don't think that it takes it much further to rehash those arguments. But essentially I say that there is a factual conflict here, that you can attach weight to the affidavit of Stemmet, and that in the absence of taking it one way or the other, one needs to have a look at what other evidence was before you. I was not alive to it because I wasn't present when Mr Loots testified in respect of Father Mkatchwa, but the whole question of the general instruction and their understanding thereof, it seemed to me, without having being present, and I leave in the Committee's hands, but it seemed to me that he gave one answer on Monday and a different answer today. And that the way in which it was dealt with, well that's another matter altogether. I don't want to take it any further simply because I don't have firsthand knowledge thereof.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - no microphone). I'm saying, are the two of us not in the same position because I just heard their evidence today, I don't know what happened either on Monday or Tuesday. I don' know.

MR VAN DER BERG: Mr Chairperson, I think that we are. My sense of it simply was that at the time that the question was asked and the answer was elicited, that then with Mr Malan's intervention, that that - to use a colloquialism, a patch-up job was done on it. And the manner in which that was dealt with was from my view, with the limited knowledge I have, I accept, unsatisfactory. And there are other aspects of it if you take into consideration the various things that I've raised already, but I don't want to push that too hard simply because of the position that I'm in.

Insofar as this Committee may grant amnesty to these applicants, I'm to place on record that the only direct victim here is Sediso Charles Motasi, presently a minor, aged 17. He has been since the date of the death of his parents, in the case of his grandmother, Gloria Hlabangane. She has taken care of him. That she is presently 68 years old and that she has grave concerns as to what will happen to the child, particularly financially. He's doing a course at the Roodepoort Tek, which will put him in a position to take care of himself, but he's not quite there yet, and she has grave concerns as to what were to happen if she were to disappear from the picture now. Mr Chairperson, I don't have anything else I wish to address you on, unless you want to hear me on anything specific.

CHAIRPERSON: It would appear there's nothing from my colleagues. Adv Steenkamp, do you have any word to put in?

ADV STEENKAMP ADDRESSES: Mr Chairman, the only thing I can maybe add, I've not discussed it yet with my colleagues, but I think this is clearly a matter that needs to be dealt with on an urgent basis and I've undertaken that the information regarding the victims of this specific incident, will be referred to the R&R Committee specifically for intermediate relief at the moment. I've already taken it up with certain of the Members of the R&R Committee and I will refer back to my learned colleague, Mr van der Berg, as soon as I have any indication as to what can be done in the meantime to assist the family. Thank you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: What view, should we grant amnesty, should we have in respect of Gloria Hlabangane, because Mr van der Berg has spoken that the only direct victim is Sediso Motasi, but my impression is that he took care of this child at a tender age?

ADV STEENKAMP: That's correct, Mr Chairman. I think at the previous hearing where I was unfortunately not present, I've had a look at the testimony there and I've spoken to my previous colleague there, I think the view was that that person would also be acknowledged as a victim at least. Thank you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis, any reply?

MR DU PLESSIS IN REPLY: Mr Chairman, may I just make one point? And that is that if you do not have any facts indicating, on a specific point, that the applicants are lying, one can only decide on the probabilities against the applicants, in my submission, if you find that the probabilities are so overwhelming ridiculous that you can come to the conclusion that they've been lying. And in my submission that is not the case here, they have made a full disclosure of the facts. And even though there may be certain instances which Mr van den Berg has pointed out, which may create some questions or which may point to the probabilities being otherwise, if you cannot find that the probabilities are such that they've been lying, they have to be given the benefit of the doubt, in my submission. As it pleases you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. This brings us to the conclusion of the application of the two applicants, Messrs Loots and Ras. I must at the outset thank you the legal representatives profusely for the manner in which they gave assistance. When I was given this bundle this morning I was envisaging three days and thinking of my Friday which I love very much, which is the only day I have, I had those reservations. In applications of this nature I think everybody would agree with me that they have been acrimonious and that was lacking in this one. That I should attribute to the professionalism of the counsel who represented the victims and the applicants. I must thank you very much. And the assistance you have given in your submissions, those are pointed submissions, I think they are going to be of great assistance to the Panel.

That would conclude this hearing as I said initially, and as it is customary, we reserve our decision and the same would be given at the earliest opportunity, because it's got to be in writing and the parties would be advised as soon as possible about that. That includes Mr van den Berg, and the victims would get them through you.

I would turn the Motasi family in its entirely. The pain you had has been rehashed for the second time. I hope this brings the final chapter.

Messrs Ras and Loots thank the family for their understanding. If I were to talk about that again I would spoil the succinct manner in which they said that, but I would say on behalf of the Committee and more specifically my Panel here, that we still say to you, now you can go on with your lives, but I do not think it's as easy as I'm saying from this chair, because I may be an armchair person expressing that, but I say it with all sincerity on behalf of my Panel.

To our interpreters, we always forget them, held up in a box, doing a difficult job, sometimes having to race with the applicants or other witness, we thank you very much, your duties are highly appreciated. And to the Methodist Church, we thank you for having made this venue available to us. And the food we had, I suppose everybody did, but I had wonderful food and I don't think I will have dinner tonight, but that is a fight between me and my wife. I thank you for that.

This hearing is adjourned.

MR RAS: Mr Chairperson, just one small word from my side.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, certainly.

MR RAS: We would like to thank you and your staff and the Panel, who has sat with you, we would like to thank you for the manner in which you have treated us. It is greatly appreciated. Thank you.