DATE: 29TH MAY 2000




DAY: 1

--------------------------------------------------------------------------CHAIRPERSON: We are about to start the proceedings. For the record it is Monday the 29th May 2000. We are continuing with the amnesty applications of Coetzee and others in respect of the Simelane ... The Panel is constituted as previously indicated on the record and the appearances are the same as before. We were dealing with the evidence on the last occasion of Mr Thwala, Gilbert Thwala and Mr van den Berg, I think that you've completed your evidence-in-chief, have you?

MR VAN DEN BERG: That is correct, Mr Chairperson and it was now for my learned friend, Mr Visser, to commence his cross-examination.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well. Mr Thwala, can I just - perhaps I should re-administer the oath to you.

GILBERT THWALA: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Visser you were to commence with your cross-examination.

MR VISSER: Good morning Chairperson. Yes indeed, that is correct. I was informed by my learned friend Mr van den Berg before we started that there is one correction which he needs to make to the record. Perhaps it's convenient for him to do so before us.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van den Berg, do you want to deal with that?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairperson. I think all the parties have been provided with a copy of the record and insofar as the evidence of Mr Thwala is concerned, as I have it, on page 2195 at the top of the page Mr Chairperson, the record reads:

"has been led, that Justice Ngedi was arrested as a result of what they call SWT66, Nokuthula Simelane"

the word "not" has been omitted between SWT66 and Nokuthula Simelane. 2195, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - no microphone) Oh yes. Oh right at the top of the page, I've got it. I'm sorry, can you just repeat that Mr van den Berg I couldn't follow that, I was trying to ascertain where this portion is of the record.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Thank you Mr Chairperson. On the second line from the top of 2195 it says:

"they call SWT66"

and the word not should then be inserted, in other words it now reads:

"SWT66, not Nokuthula Simelane"

CHAIRPERSON: I've got that. Thank you very much. Is that the only amendment at this stage?


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Yes Mr Visser, I think then you can proceed.


Mr Thwala, would I be correct to have interpreted your evidence that you were in fact quite high up in the command structure of MK in Swaziland? Is that correct?

MR THWALA: Of Transvaal Urban Machinery, yes.

MR VISSER: I'm sorry, I can't hear you.

MR THWALA: Of Transvaal Urban Machinery.

MR VISSER: Yes. You reported directly to them - can you just push your red button and hold it? Thank you. You reported directly to Mr Siphiwe Nyanda, is that correct?

MR THWALA: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: And is it correct that when people were chosen for the command structure of MK, they were screened beforehand, isn't that so?

MR THWALA: Yes, that's correct.

MR VISSER: And it was a thorough screening?

MR THWALA: That's correct, yes.

MR VISSER: Would it be correct to say that headquarters in Lusaka would have known about you and you would have known people at headquarters in Lusaka, would that be correct?

MR THWALA: From Swaziland we reported to Maputo, then Maputo reports to Lusaka.

MR VISSER: So did you have ...

MR THWALA: Then you report in Lusaka to Military Section of the ANC, that is MK HQ, not ANC.



MR VISSER: So are you saying that you have ...(microphone turned off due to problems with microphones)




CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I gather that we are back on air. I see there's a note here that says that Channel 1 is Afrikaans, Channel 2 is English, Channel 3 is Sotho and Channel 4 is Zulu. So that might be useful information. Mr Visser.


Thank you Chairperson. Mr Thwala, just to recap, before the microphones let us down you said that you reported to your Commander who was Mr Nyanda and he in turn reported to MK Military Headquarters in Maputo and MK Military Headquarters in Maputo reported to the ANC in Lusaka, have I got that right?


MR VISSER: Well, will you please tell me?

MR THWALA: In Maputo he reports to the Eastern Command of MK and then that Eastern Command reports to MK HQ in Lusaka.

MR VISSER: Alright. Are you saying then that you could not have direct contact with MK HQ in Lusaka if you wished to have?

MR THWALA: If I wanted to, ...

MR VISSER: You could?

MR THWALA: I would arrange such things, but normally I would have to go through all the other structures, that's the normal procedure.

MR VISSER: Alright, fine. Now let's come to your evidence about the units that you knew about in the Transvaal Military Machinery. Did I hear correctly that you had one unit under you in Swaziland, or were there more than one unit?

MR THWALA: I belonged to the Urban Machinery in Swaziland, the other units for instance Eastern Cape, Natal, Norther Transvaal, Rural etc, etc, so mine was the Transvaal Urban Machinery.

MR VISSER: Yes, I'm talking about Units now, because reading the record at page 2185, I read that you said that you had an MK unit in Swaziland under you. Have I got that wrong?

MR THWALA: Unfortunately I don't have a copy of that with me.

MR VISSER: Well, just tell us. Did you or didn't you have an MK unit under you in Swaziland?

MR THWALA: I said I belonged to Transvaal Urban Machinery.

MR VISSER: Okay, so can't you answer that question? Alright. Now let's talk about the units in the Transvaal. There was a unit of Duma Nkosi, is that right, of which he was the Commander?


MR VISSER: He was in Soweto?


MR VISSER: And then we had the Vaal One Unit and that was under the command of Ms Simelane?


MR VISSER: Am I wrong? Well perhaps we should just look at the record then. Was Ms Simelane the Commander of any unit?

MR THWALA: Ms Simelane was servicing Vaal One.

MR VISSER: What does that mean?

MR THWALA: She was a courier. It means what she was doing, she was the communication link between Swaziland and the Vaal One, but I think I did mention that the situation was developing such that we were developing people to remain, the likes of Simelane, to remain in Swaziland, so that everybody moves in, so that her role as a courier would have been upgraded.

MR VISSER: Yes, that's exactly ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: Would have been upgraded. At that time she didn't command a unit, she was servicing the unit.

MR VISSER: Yes, you're quite emphatic about that? Would have been upgraded. You're quite emphatic about that, is that correct? I hear no answer from you.

MR THWALA: What do you want me to say?

MR VISSER: I want to ask, I want to know from you whether you're quite emphatic about that, whether you're quite certain about that, whether you're quite certain about that?

MR THWALA: You are saying she was a Commander, I'm saying to you she wasn't. I'm explaining exactly what I'm saying to you, that with developments, then she would have been upgraded. If you say it's emphatic, that's your own opinion, you can take it that way.

MR VISSER: She would have been.

MR THWALA: If want me to confirm such things to you.

MR VISSER: Can I read to you what you said in your evidence-in-chief? I'm going to start at the bottom of page 2185, it's the third last paragraph, the second last sentence, the words, you say:

"She was handling a unit that was operating in the Vaal Triangle"

Is that correct so far?

MR THWALA: You are reading it so it's correct.

MR VISSER: Mr Thwala, we're just trying to get to the truth here.

"The unit we used to call Vaal One, she was a courier of that unit."

MR VAN DEN BERG: When you describe somebody as a courier, what are their roles?"

And then you said this:

"MR THWALA: Basically a courier, it is a person who normally liaise between a unit that would be operating in South Africa and the command structure in Swaziland. She was the person who would then make sure that the communication between the two do happen, would link up with the unit in terms of the mechanisms that we used, like the dead letter boxes, etc., etc."

I will come to that in a moment. Then I want you to please pay particular attention to what I'm going to read to you now:

"But with the Vaal Unit, we had upgraded her status, she was responsible, not only a courier and the reason for that was that it was evident during that period that we will have to move into South Africa, all of us, and if we do move into South Africa, all of us, we needed reliable people in Swaziland who would be able to link us with Maputo and Lusaka etc."

"We had upgraded her status", what do you say to that?

MR THWALA: You're reading that.

MR VISSER: Yes. I'm asking you what do you say of that, because that's in direct contradiction of what you've just told us this morning.

MR THWALA: The first thing that I said, I don't have a copy of that, that's the first thing I said. Secondly, what you are saying and what I'm saying, there's no problem with it except that there I've said she had and I'm saying she would have been and those instruction, while still in Swaziland her role remained the same. The fact that at that time she was not - that was not implemented and if there's a big problem between would have been and had already, well you can record it the way you want it and we pass on because the difference here, it's only there would have been and had already.

MR VISSER: You see Mr Thwala, 2186 is the page reference and it's the third line from the top, if you want to read it.

MR THWALA: I don't want to read it.

MR VISSER: Well, you see - well let me rather ask you. You at least regarded Ms Simelane as leadership material, is that correct? If I say you, I mean the royal you, MK, MK Urban Machinery in Swaziland. Would I be wrong in saying that?

MR THWALA: I've never asked the other people how they felt about her.

MR VISSER: How did you feel?

MR THWALA: Like as a person, myself yes, I did.

MR VISSER: Alright. Now let's just run through this. There was also another unit, not so? The unit of Scotch and Langa that you referred to, is that correct?


MR VISSER: How many members did that unit consist of?


MR VISSER: Have you ever heard of a person called Ben?


MR VISSER: Will it surprise you to know that that unit consisted of three members?

MR THWALA: That's not correct.

MR VISSER: You deny that?


MR VISSER: Okay. What - where did Curtis fit in?

MR THWALA: In the photo that was circulated here, the person there was called by my name, they said it was Mpo and that person is Curtis.

MR VISSER: Was he connected to any unit?

MR THWALA: He had his unit with Keith, originally they were operating I think in Eikenhof, they had nothing to do with Nokuthula, they were an independent unit that had its own tasks and it had its own courier, so it was completely independent.


MR THWALA: Curtis came in because you circulated the photo and said you arrested this man as a result of Nokuthula, that was the evidence that was given here.

MR VISSER: Was Curtis this gentleman's correct name, or was that an MK name?

MR THWALA: Both. His name is Curtis Norman Mhlambe.

MR VISSER: Curtis Norman Mhlambe. Alright. He didn't have an MK name of Mpo, did he?


MR VISSER: Now who was the Mpo of Eikenhof that you referred to in your evidence?

MR THWALA: I didn't refer to Mpo in Eikenhof. You circulated, in the evidence, you circulated a photo and you said this is MK Mpo who was arrested as a result of Nokuthula Simelane and you called that person Mpo and you can't bring that to me and there were two people, it was Keith and Curtis.


MR THWALA: They may have developed their structure that ...(indistinct), but there were two of them.

MR VISSER: I see. So there wasn't an Mpo, apart from Curtis in Eikenhof? The person in Eikenhof was Curtis as far as you're concerned? Is that ...?

MR THWALA: The photo you circulated, it's Curtis.

MR VISSER: Forget about the Curtis - the photo, I'm talking about units under your control or that you knew about that were under the control of the Transvaal Urban Machinery in Swaziland, that were operating in the Transvaal and we are now with Curtis. In Curtis's unit, was there also a person called Mpo? That's all I asked you that you know of.

MR THWALA: There were two people, Keith and Curtis, that's it.

MR VISSER: That's it. Thank you, now that makes it clear. You see, why I'm asking you this, well let me make this as plain as I can from your evidence, did you have a position of command over all these units that were operating in the Transvaal, in other words, would they report to you?

MR THWALA: Operationally they reported to me.

MR VISSER: Yes, okay.

MR THWALA: And they may not report directly to me, but ultimately they will come to me.

MR VISSER: Yes, alright. So in that sense they were under your control, is that what you meant when you said that these - you had units under you? Is that what you meant?

MR THWALA: Oh yes, if they're under you what does it mean?

MR VISSER: Mr Thwala, please don't take offence at being asked questions, we're just trying to discover what the correct evidence is here and I'm trying to find out some information from you which will hopefully be of assistance to the Committee. Would you please accept it in that spirit?

MR THWALA: There's no spirit that you're talking about here. You ask me a question, I'll answer it. If you are telling me that people are under my command, what does it mean? You ask it differently, you expect me to respond again.

MR VISSER: Alright, Mr Thwala, I'm going to step off that. I'll make some submissions to the Committee about your attitude at the argument stage.

You see, because you gave evidence to say that after Simelane had disappeared, you informed the units under you about that disappearance.

MR THWALA: I informed units that Nokuthula would know of. I wouldn't inform a unit that had nothing to do with Nokuthula because it doesn't affect them, but units that Nokuthula would be able to contact in South Africa in case she breaks down, she'll be able to say: "There's so and so here", those are the units that I informed.

MR VISSER: Yes, now can you see the relevance of my questions now?

MR THWALA: No, there's no relevance at all.

MR VISSER: I see. Now which units did you inform?

MR THWALA: I informed Duma, I think it's written, why don't you read here?

MR VISSER: Why don't you just tell us?

MR THWALA: Duma, I did, Vaal One I did, also it's not a unit, but her family. I wanted to find out where she is, so they got to know.

MR VISSER: So you informed two units?


MR VISSER: Duma and Vaal One?


MR VISSER: Duma and Vaal One.


MR VISSER: How many members - of how many members did the Duma Unit consist?

MR THWALA: But is it relevant? Is it relevant? If for instance they had twenty-five, is it relevant to the evidence that I've given and if I give that instruction, I'll give to the Commander, I'll tell Duma: "This is the situation" and maybe may I point out something else. If Duma expands his unit, we may know the figure, but we may not know the details, because if I get arrested, I may sell out the whole unit, so we had security checks to make sure that if there's a damage, we're able to control that damage, but to me what is important is, is it relevant how many people belonged to Duma's unit, is it relevant?

MR VISSER: Why don't you want to tell us?

MR THWALA: Why do you want to know?

MR VISSER: Pardon?

MR THWALA: Why do you want to know that?

MR VISSER: Mr Thwala, why don't you want to tell us how many ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: No, just tell me, why do you want to know? How is it relevant here?

MR VISSER: I will make submissions to the Committee on the relevance of that.

MR THWALA: If I say six, does it matter?

MR VISSER: It matters, yes. It matters.

MR THWALA: I told the Commander Sections, Duma who commanded that unit and Don who commanded the Vaal Unit, that ...(indistinct) instructions are 1, 2, 3, 4, that's it.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Thwala, is the fact of the matter that you were not sure at any given point in time exactly how many members in a unit? You liaised with Duma?

MR THWALA: We would not know the exact names, but the figure, we would definitely know how many people are there.

MR VISSER: Thank you, Chairperson. Am I to understand that you are not prepared to tell us how many there were?

MR THWALA: If you tell me the relevance of that, then I can tell you.

MR VISSER: Are you prepared to tell us how many members there were in the Vaal One unit?

MR THWALA: Ja, if you tell me why you want to know how many people were there, fine, I'll tell you.

MR VISSER: Right. I'll tell you what the relevance is. I'm going to suggest at the end of this hearing to the Committee that you knew that Simelane had disappeared by the Saturday when she was arrested already. By the Sunday you realised that she was in the hands of the Security Branch, is that correct, or is that wrong?

MR THWALA: It is true that I knew on Saturday when she didn't return back to Duma's place, that something amiss had happened. I did not know what had happened to her.

MR VISSER: And on the Sunday, didn't you realise that she ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: On Sunday I went to enquire again as to what has happened. Now there were possibilities that she was in the hands of the police.


MR THWALA: One possibility. One possibility was that from 11 o'clock, because the appointment was at 11, she could be finding her way to Swaziland, or she could be finding her way to Lesotho, or Botswana. The other one, she could be lying low in South Africa. So there were so many possibilities there. Now if you tell me that on Sunday I knew that she was in the hands of Security Police, how did I know that? What I knew at that time, because I had got a report that one of Scotch or Frank had come to Swaziland and said they'd had a car accident, and I think in my evidence I did mention that I asked if we can keep that person till we get to know what has happened to Nokuthula.

MR VISSER: By when did you realise that she was in the hands of the Security Police?

MR THWALA: It was very difficult for me because immediately, if she's in the hands of the police, there should be action on the units that she knew about, there should be action on Duma Nkosi where she was staying, so what became a problem was that nothing happened to Duma, nothing happened to her handbag and other things she had left at Duma's place, so normally we would say it is possible, but if it is possible, we think this would happen. If this doesn't happen, what other scenarios we would work on. So to conclude, be conclusive, unless I get confirmation from maybe our headquarters in Lusaka that yes, they can confirm that, but other than that there were so many scenarios that are possible.

MR VISSER: So you never regarded it as probable that she's in the hands ...

MR THWALA: I've said to you, one of the scenarios is that she could be in their hands.

MR VISSER: Mr Thwala, just answer the question.

MR THWALA: I said to you, one of the scenarios is that she could be arrested, one of the scenarios is on her way out, one of the scenarios is lying low, so it's one of them. Do you want me to ...(indistinct) it for you and say ja, it's one of them. If that makes you happy, fine, it's one of them, yes.

MR VISSER: Did you never regard it as probable that she's in the hands of the Security Police, Mr Thwala?

MR THWALA: That's one of the scenarios.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairperson, I think that the question's been asked, and I think that it has been answered.

MR VISSER: No, it hasn't, he's been giving possibilities Chairperson. I'm now asking him about what he thought was probable. It's a vastly different matter.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Thwala, are you able to respond to that question about the probabilities?

MR THWALA: Mr Chair, I think I've answered the question and I can answer it for the sixth time. I said, one scenario could be that she could have been in the hands of the police, but the problem we had was that certain things are not happening, that's one probability and the second and the third.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Mr Visser, I think ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: I'm happy with that answer, Chairperson. Will you just press your button please? You see, I'm just explaining to you the relevance and in doing that, can I ask you this? What exactly did you tell your unit about what you thought had happened to Ms Simelane?

MR THWALA: I didn't tell them what I thought had happened to Simelane, I said they must cease communication. They don't respond to any communication whatsoever.

MR VISSER: I see. Alright. And clearly that was on the basis that she might have been in the hands of the Security Police?

MR THWALA: Of one of the scenarios which I painted.

MR VISSER: Yes. Yes alright. Incidentally, what was her MK name, Ms Simelane's MK name?

MR THWALA: At different places she would call her different. Vaal Unit knew about another name, but it normal, the usual name would be Sibongile.

MR VISSER: Sibongile. Alright. You see, I'm going to argue and that's why I'm giving you an opportunity which you've refused to take, to give your side of the evidence, I'm going to argue to this Committee that when you put out the word that Ms Simelane had disappeared and when it became clear that she might be in the hands of the Security Branch, she had become fair game for MK/ANC supporters.

MR THWALA: She became what?

MR VISSER: Fair game?

MR THWALA: What is fair game?

MR VISSER: Fair game? Well, let me explain to you. Well let me ask you this - what did the ANC supporters do with people that they suspected of being a traitor?

MR THWALA: Can I know what is fair game? I want to know what is fair game.

MR VISSER: Somebody who could be killed, that's fair game.


MR VISSER: Didn't you know that?

MR THWALA: No, I didn't.

MR VISSER: Alright. Now my question to you is, what did the ANC supporters do with people that they suspected ... (intervention)

MR THWALA: Supporters? ANC supporters?

MR VISSER: Yes, ANC supporters do to people that they suspected of being a traitor?

MR THWALA: I don't know. They would respond to a situation as it exists.

MR VISSER: You don't know?

MR THWALA: They will respond to a situation that exists.

MR VISSER: That's an answer that means nothing.

MR THWALA: Fine, because I don't know who were those supporters. The circumstances, I don't know those - if you are a member of the ANC, you are different from a supporter. There are certain things that I expected of you. There was a code of conduct that this is what you are going to do, 1, 2, 3, 4 in case you capture somebody, in case you suspect somebody, but supporters, people who are not card-carrying members, who are not under discipline of the ANC, they can do anything they want and I think there are cases where some of them have done anything that they thought was correct.

MR VISSER: What about MK members?

MR THWALA: MK members if they suspect, they would then definitely report to our Intelligence Unit which is going to come back to them and tell them investigate and come back to them with an answer.

MR VISSER: Alright.

MR THWALA: And in some instances they would then suggest that temporarily the person should be withdrawn, because to work with a person that you suspect, is problematic. But ANC members knew what to do. If they don't do it, that's their own business, but they knew what to do.

MR VISSER: Do you now know of any instances where MK members murdered people that they suspected of being traitors, without going through the system that you are suggesting?

MR THWALA: I don't know of such a case, never heard of such a case. I have never heard of such a case.

MR VISSER: I see. You see, you keep on drawing a distinction between the ANC and MK, but MK was the military wing of the ANC, isn't that correct?


MR VISSER: Did you know that it was one of the policies of the ANC to root out informers of the South African Government, Government stooges, members of the Security Forces and people who assisted them? Did you know that?

NR THWALA: Once again your question.

MR VISSER: What part of the question didn't you understand?

MR THWALA: All of it, start from scratch.

MR VISSER: Was it the policy of the ANC to root out members and supporters of the Government, we're talking about black people, to whom they referred to as Government stooges, councillors and the like, members of the Security Forces and people who assisted them? Was there such a policy of the ANC?

MR THWALA: Yes, we had a broad policy, the details and tactics that people are going to use at different levels, as long as they are confined within the broad structures of the ANC, that will be fine. Anybody who stands on the way towards our liberation, the ANC would deal with those people and in some instances some councillors would not necessarily be regarded as enemy agents, those were people who were keeping law and order, making sure there's electricity, there's water, they may not be regarded as enemy agents, but if you speak of Security Police, people who are - whose task directly is to find out ANC members and deal with them, those are different, so the police of the ANC and tactics you are going to employ, would be different. If you take Rev Alan Buti in Alexander, for instance, he was a man of the people, but he was a councillor and there's many more who have been such, so once you club these people together, that's your own opinion, you then can stay with that.

MR VISSER: Let's separate them. Was it the policy of the ANC that people who were suspected of being informers of the Security Branch were legitimate targets of MK?

MR THWALA: Not suspected, once you suspect a person, that person is not a legitimate target, you suspect, no. The policy of the ANC is that when it has been confirmed that this person is an agent, yes that becomes a legitimate target.

MR VISSER: I see. So ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: And there are options that people can take. They can turn this person, maybe that person is a double agent, they can take that person out of the country, or they deal with that person.

MR VISSER: How do they deal with a person?

MR THWALA: Enemy agents or members of Security Police were legitimate targets, so military targets and we'll attack them.

MR VISSER: If you got hold of a person that you suspected of being, one of the ANC people that you suspected of being an informer of the Security Branch, how would you deal with him?

MR THWALA: I hope I'm answering this question for the last time. If you are a suspect, I have no right to do anything with you until it has been confirmed.

MR VISSER: I'm sorry ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: I said to you there are options that we can do. First of all is either you turn the person, you turn him to be a double agent to work for you, you can do that, that's an option. If you can't do that, you take this person out of the country because there's some instances where people find themselves in that situation because of blackmail or whatever, so you take the person outside the country, so that he can contribute positive towards the struggle and thirdly, if there's no other option, then you eliminate that person, when you are certain, not a suspect, because if you begin to say a suspect, you'll be suspecting everybody who looks at you. You'll see ...(indistinct) who fancies you and you'll think this is an agent, you'll start suspecting everybody.

MR VISSER: Yes and you say that never happened as far as you're concerned.


MR VISSER: What you've just said.

MR THWALA: What has never happened?

MR VISSER: That people were never eliminated merely because they were suspected of ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: Suspects, no, no we don't eliminate the suspect.

MR VISSER: Okay. Did Ms Simelane receive military training?

MR THWALA: Yes, she did underwent a training course.

MR VISSER: Can you tell us where she received military training?

MR THWALA: She received her training in Vienna.

MR VISSER: In Vienna and what would that consist of?

MR THWALA: Why is it relevant?

MR VISSER: If you don't want to answer it, just say so.

MR THWALA: She received a crash course in Vienna.

MR VISSER: You're not prepared to tell us what that comprised of?

MR THWALA: I don't - we can ask the instructors about what the syllabus went.

MR VISSER: If you don't know, then say so. Don't you know?

MR THWALA: She underwent a crash course in Vienna.

MR VISSER: Did you have contact with Ms Simelane in Swaziland before her disappearance?

MR THWALA: How do I send her to South Africa if I don't have contact with her?

MR VISSER: How often did you have contact?

MR THWALA: Whenever I wanted.

MR VISSER: So she was freely available to you to contact at any time in Swaziland that you wished to speak to her?

MR THWALA: Whenever I wanted to, if she's available. She doesn't sit there and wait for me. Initially she was a student.


MR THWALA: And if she was at school, she's not waiting for me to take her out of a lecture hall.

MR VISSER: Alright.

MR THWALA: And if she has gone to her errands, she's not waiting for me for that, but if I wanted to contact her, I would contact her.

MR VISSER: Did you have meetings with Ms Simelane and other members of the unit under you in Swaziland from time to time?

MR THWALA: The meeting that I would have with Simelane would be with ...(indistinct), members of the unit, not necessarily because it had nothing to do with her.

MR VISSER: Alright. Are you saying that you had meetings with Mr Siphiwe Nyanda where you would be present, Ms Simelane would be present and other members of the unit in Swaziland, of the machinery in Swaziland would be present, is that what you're saying?

MR THWALA: I didn't say that.

MR VISSER: Well, what are you saying?

MR THWALA: You must listen, then. I said Siphiwe Nyanda and me and Simelane would meet. The other people may be irrelevant. Within the machinery there's a person who trains people. Of what relevance is he on a mission of Nokuthula Simelane?

MR VISSER: Okay. Now ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: So only relevant people would attend a meeting.

MR VISSER: And you remember meetings like the one you've just explained of the three of you together in Swaziland. you remember such meetings?

MR THWALA: I've told you of that meeting.

MR VISSER: Why are you so aggressive, Mr Thwala?

MR THWALA: I mean, I tell you that there's a meeting, three people, you tell me do I remember it again. What do you think of me? I tell you there was a meeting, myself, Siphiwe, Simelane.

MR VISSER: I'll tell you what I ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: And you say to me, do I remember such a meeting?

MR VISSER: Yes, alright.

MR THWALA: I'm telling you about. How do I remember it again?

MR VISSER: What would be discussed at a meeting like that?

MR THWALA: Relevant operational issues.

MR VISSER: Like for example the position of DLBs in ...(intervention)


MR VISSER: Why is that not relevant operational issues?

MR THWALA: Siphiwe Sipho is the Commander, was the Commander of Urban Machinery, he doesn't need to know that in Sebokeng at this pole there's a DLB, that's details, he doesn't know it.

MR VISSER: I'm talking about Ms Simelane. ...(indistinct - speaking simultaneously)

MR THWALA: The meeting there's three of us, there's Nyanda, myself, Simelane. We can't ...(indistinct)

MR VISSER: Alright. Did you ever discuss with Simelane the position or the location of DLB's in the Transvaal?

MR THWALA: Only relevant DLB's, yes I would discuss them.

MR VISSER: Did you ever discuss with her target selection that had to be attacked in the Transvaal?


MR VISSER: Why not? Why not?

MR THWALA: Targets are a matter of the operational unit. It will be the operational unit that can discuss targets.

MR VISSER: Which is the operational unit now?

MR THWALA: The Transvaal Urban Machinery, the Command of Transvaal Urban Machinery.

MR VISSER: But they're sitting in Swaziland Mr Thwala.

MR THWALA: Yes. So what about people who discuss targets?

MR VISSER: Somebody in the Transvaal has to execute the commands of the machinery in Swaziland. Somebody has to be told int he Transvaal what they have to do and what they have to attack and what not, etc. Am I wrong, or am I right?

MR THWALA: You are wrong. You have your facts wrong. Can I tell you?

MR VISSER: Well, please tell me where I'm wrong.

MR THWALA: Can I tell you how we operated in terms of targets? We had broad targets, we'll define broad targets, economic targets, military targets, we've defined them, they are broad and we would say for instance, I'll make a living example, Sasol or any commercial targets, viable commercial targets, but the people in the Vaal, we cannot in Swaziland tell them that go to this one, because we don't know who guards that unit, we don't know the proximity to the police station, we don't know the roadblocks there. They know that, so with that broad briefing that they got that for instance police stations are legitimate, they will select a police station where they think if they attack it they will be successful, two, they will be able to get away quite nicely, three, the possibilities of roadblocks etc., etc are minimal. They select it, we can't select it for them. We give them broad targets, so there is no way that we would say to them: "You go and hit this particular sub-station", no, but if they know that sub-stations in general, they are legitimate targets, yes, and then if they have conducted any type of reconnaissance, they will come to us and recommend that this is what we saw, this is the situation, we discuss it with them and we can give them the go ahead, especially sensitive targets, but the normal ones, they take decisions on the ground, they've got Commanders on the ground who've got that attitude to take decisions on the ground, so we don't converse that information through couriers, no we don't do that.

MR VISSER: Have you finished? So from your long answer, can I accept then, and we accept then that you would have given a broad target selection to say: "attack power sub-stations"?

MR THWALA: To who?

MR VISSER: To who do you think? To the fairies?


MR VISSER: Chairperson, I'm not going to waste time. I'm going to step off this. If the man doesn't want to answer questions, I'll make submissions to you in the end.

Now, there has been evidence that Ms Simelane was instructed to meet with Mr Mkhonza at the Carlton Centre to inform him of targets that had been selected. What do you say to that?

MR THWALA: That's incorrect.

MR VISSER: Incorrect.

MR THWALA: It's misinformation.


MR THWALA: Can I also explain what was her task there, so that once and for all I've answered this question. She was supposed to pick up communication channels of that unit, there was no target designation that was given to Nokuthula, she was supposed to pick up communication channels of that unit, so that unit must not come to Swaziland anymore, they must operate from South Africa, they must get their own courier who is going to do the up and down, not them coming to Swaziland. That's why she came here.

MR VISSER: Why did you need a courier? Why don't you use a telephone?

MR THWALA: You were listening to them, isn't it? That's the first thing, you listened to them. If you follow.

MR VISSER: You see, after her disappearance, your evidence was that you had no trouble contacting Duma Nkosi on the telephone, you found out everything you wanted to know from him about Ms Simelane, you contacted ...(intervention)



MR THWALA: What is it I wanted? I didn't find out anything I wanted, Duma didn't know where was Nokuthula, he didn't know.

MR VISSER: You found out from him that she'd left her handbag there, that she left her clothes there, that she went to the Carlton Centre to meet somebody, that she hasn't returned.

MR THWALA: No, no. First of all Duma didn't know that Nokuthula went to Carlton Centre, it was not Duma's business.

MR VISSER: Alright.

MR THWALA: Duma accommodated Nokuthula and Nokuthula had tasks that Duma didn't know of.

MR VISSER: Alright, fair enough, but you found out that she was there, that she left her clothes there and you found that out over the telephone.


MR VISSER: No, but how did you find that out then?

MR THWALA: First of all in my evidence I did mention that at one time I met Ms Simelane in Swaziland, whom I told to go and pick up whatever was left at Duma's place.


MR THWALA: What I found out, let me tell you so that you don't have a problem of thinking what I found out, I'm telling you. I found out that Nokuthula had not returned, that is what I found out.

MR VISSER: From where?

MR THWALA: From Duma. Nokuthula had not returned.

MR VISSER: From Duma?


MR VISSER: You found that out from Duma? Returned from where?

MR THWALA: From wherever she had gone to.

MR VISSER: Alright.

MR THWALA: Nokuthula left there going to - I knew that she was going to Carlton Centre, Duma did not know.

MR VISSER: Alright.

MR THWALA: So when I ...(indistinct) I found out that Nokuthula had not returned. Later on I contacted Duma. I told him that: "Duma, you do 1, 2, 3, 4, you don't respond to any communication. Remove anything that is within the vicinity of your place and don't - stop or cease all operations. Then the question came that other things are left there, so this is what I got from Duma.


MR THWALA: Justice Ngedi, what was his MK name? Can you remember?

MR THWALA: It was Wally.


MR THWALA: Wally, he was Cheche, he was anything else wherever he would find himself.

MR VISSER: Was he also Mpo?


MR VISSER: Anything except Mpo? Alright.

MR THWALA: You see if for instance he decides he's Mpo, "I am Mpo", there's a lot of confusion, so when we chose our pseudonyms, we knew what we were doing, we are not just doing it for the sake of doing it. If somebody comes and says he has met Mpo, we will want to find out which Mpo, so that's why there was one Mpo.

MR VISSER: Well, you've just made the point I was going to ask you about. There were more than one Mpo, it wasn't only you, is that correct?

MR THWALA: No, it was me, I was Mpo.

MR VISSER: Yes, but there was more than one person that called himself Mpo.


MR VISSER: All over the show in South Africa, in Swaziland.

MR THWALA: We are not talking about South Africa general, we are talking about Transvaal Urban Machinery and events that led to Nokuthula's disappearance, so to me that's the context. Don't tell me about South Africa.

MR VISSER: Okay. Are you saying in Swaziland there was no other person with the MK name of Mpo?

MR THWALA: With Transvaal Urban Machinery.


MR THWALA: So when you say Swaziland, I explained to you earlier on there's many units in Swaziland, so be very clear, in Transvaal Urban Machinery, I was the only one.

MR VISSER: Okay. Thank you. Did Mr Justice Ngedi have anything to do with Ms Simelane in Swaziland?

MR THWALA: Operationally he had nothing to do with Nokuthula.

MR VISSER: What was his, that is Ngedi's position in Swaziland? Was he part of the Urban Machinery?

MR THWALA: He was part of Urban Machinery, responsible for training, training the people who come out of Swaziland to South Africa, to Swaziland for crash courses, he trains those people.

MR VISSER: And you were responsible for communications and operations.


MR VISSER: Isn't that slightly abnormal?

MR THWALA: You want to tell how MK structure should function?

MR VISSER: Yes, I'm asking you.

MR THWALA: Okay define it, define it. How should MK operate?

MR VISSER: Would it not normally be two people, separate people, different people who would run each of those aspects, communications and operations?

MR THWALA: No, with us it's expedient that one person, I was dealing with it. If I had problems with it, then I would ask other people to come in, but if you want to define another MK structure, you are free to do so.

MR VISSER: Why do you say that he was unaware that Ms Simelane was sent to the Republic?

MR THWALA: That's what I'm saying exactly, he did not know.

MR VISSER: Why do you say that?

MR THWALA: Because he did not know.

MR VISSER: But how do you know?

MR THWALA: I was responsible for those tasks.

MR VISSER: I'm not asking you that.

MR THWALA: I'm trying to explain.

MR VISSER: Alright.

MR THWALA: I'm answering the question.

MR VISSER: Alright.

MR THWALA: These operations were exclusively in my domain and the person I was reporting to was Nyanda. His responsibilities were to train people so he'll get to know if there's somebody to train, that he would know and this particular one, when Nokuthula was sent, Siphiwe knew that he was going at one time or the other, but the person who knew exactly when she was leaving, where she was going and those arrangements, I was the only one and we normally do that in order to make sure if anything happens, we can know that Nokuthula got arrested because of this one and this one, we cannot have six people who knew about it and Nokuthula knew about her departure a day before, I went, I spoke to her and the following day I came, I finalised my briefing and she left. When later on I reported to then, Wally came to me and said, I think one of these guys was there over that weekend, I said: "We are keeping this guy because Nokuthula has not returned", he said to me: "Where is Nokuthula? Why is she linked to this?" So Wally did not know, that's why I say Wally didn't know anything about it.

MR VISSER: Isn't it correct that the ANC had communication problems with its units and members in the Republic of South Africa from Swaziland?

MR THWALA: When you say ANC, how do I know how other ANC units communicated. If you speak about Transvaal Urban Machinery, I am able to answer you.

MR VISSER: You did not have direct and immediately communication between you as a Commander and a cadre on the ground in the Transvaal, did you?

MR THWALA: It was not necessary.

MR VISSER: I'm asking you whether you did or whether you didn't.

MR THWALA: It was not necessary.

MR VISSER: Did you, or did you not have direct and immediate communication with cadres on the ground?

MR THWALA: It was not necessary for me to have communication with cadres on the ground. The communication I would have is that a Commander of that Unit, the Commander of that unit, not cadres on the ground. How many people were operating? How do I keep tab of everybody there? It's not feasible, you can't do that.

MR VISSER: Let me read to you what the same Siphiwe Nyanda said in his amnesty application a little while ago. Reading to you page 19 of a bundle that served in the amnesty application before Judge Miller, Judge Motata and Mr Sibanyoni in Johannesburg. Page 19, paragraph 4, he says the following:

"It was the very nature of the ANC's armed struggle that the overwhelming majority of its operations within South Africa had to be conducted in a covert manner and without the advantage of direct and immediate communication between a Commander such as myself, and the cadre who actually carried out the operation, as a result the selection of the particular date, place and target of an operation inevitably had to be made by the cadre without a specific order in relation thereto being made by me. By the same token, there could not in most cases, be a report from a cadre to myself after an operation had been carried. These factors however do not detract from my responsibility as a Commander for all these operations",

he said. The point is this, you didn't have direct communica-tions with your units in the Transvaal, did you?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Sorry, Mr Chairperson, if I might interject. The quote was in respect of cadres on the ground and now the question is in respect of units.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, well that is true, Mr Visser.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairperson, with great respect, just - let's just follow through. The person who's going to choose the target and who is going to execute it, if he's a cadre who is not in a unit, clearly he will do that on his own and that is what Mr Nyanda is talking about. I have no problem with that, but now we have a Commander of a unit in the Transvaal. You would not communicate with the cadres himself, he would communi-cate with the Commander, not so?

MR THWALA: This is what I have said. I don't know what's the relevance of what you are reading to what I am saying. I've said to you I communicated with Commanders, there is no need to go to the cadres on the ground because there's a lot of them, you communicate with the Commander.

MR VISSER: Mr Thwala ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: So if there's a unit, like Duma's unit, I communicate with Duma, I don't need to communicate with ...(indistinct) and that's what Siphiwe is saying essentially, and it's clear for him to get any report, it will go through me, to him, so that's the means of communication, so what's the relevance of what you have read, to what I have said?

MR VISSER: You see, that's why I asked you the question which you wouldn't reply to, did you have a direct line of communication with Mr Duma Nkosi, yes or no?

MR THWALA: Do I have to answer?

MR VISSER: You see, there again you don't want to answer.

MR THWALA: With respect to you. I think he asked the question.

MR VISSER: Alright.

MR THWALA: He said, did I have communication with units down there? I said to him, there is no need to communicate with units down there and individual cadres, but you communicate with the Commander and I've answered the question that I gave instruction to the Commander, one of them Duma Nkosi and Don at Vaal unit, that's what I've said and now he asks me again that, did you have communication with Duma? That's what I've told him.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Mr Visser, that seems to be the answer, that Mr Thwala only communicated with the Commanders, not with the cadres on the ground, the foot soldiers.

MR VISSER: Thank you Chairperson. What was the necessity for a courier if you had direct communication with the Commander?

MR THWALA: A courier does a lot of things. Sometimes a courier brings verbal briefing.


MR THWALA: Because if I'll phone Duma and tell him: "Duma, all units will be acting on day X", you are listening to that, so if I give instructions and say: "Duma look, operations that begin on Saturday", Duma would know what is it, but this person will just transmit and empty message, that's the first thing, if it's verbatim. Secondly, we used to use secret write and the courier when he goes there, he's got this thing which is written, which he can't decipher, he gives to the unit and thirdly, in some instances in terms of the political direction of the movement and things that are happening within the movement, we would talk to couriers and tell them: "In the January 8 statement, if you haven't received it, this is the trust this year, this is the year of X and this is what is going to happen" and the other thing is financial, we need to give those people money and this is the person who is going to do it and in case we have established another replenishment ...(indistinct) for the unit, the courier will bring a sketch which is there and give it to those people.

MR VISSER: Yes, I see.

MR THWALA: So, there's so much that a courier does with those people and also to find out, does the unit exist because we can find out we are communicating with you, whilst the unit doesn't exist anymore.

MR VISSER: You see, now we've gone full circle and we've come back to my original question which I didn't get an answer to. Did Simelane know of the position of DLB's in the Transvaal?

MR THWALA: If Simelane would know DLB's, that means if she gets arrested, she'll take out all the DLB's in Transvaal. It's ridiculous. It can't be. The Transvaal, from Vaal up to up there, that's Transvaal, that's what Transvaal is. She wouldn't even know DLB's of the unit that she doesn't deal with in Transvaal Urban Machinery. The DLB that she would know, is DLB of communication between herself and her units ...(indistinct) she's down there.

MR VISSER: Would she know of no DLB's containing weapons and ammunition?


MR VISSER: Pardon?


MR VISSER: So you didn't trust her with that, is that right?

MR THWALA: It's not Nokuthula, I think you said I saw potential of leadership in Nokuthula, I trusted her, she had proved herself, but the fact of the matter is, why would she know things that she ought not to know?

MR VISSER: What were these lines of communication that you wanted to establish with Scotch and Langa?

MR THWALA: We had a problem with this unit. This unit belonged to Wally and it needed taking over after Wally had trained. Our problem with this unit was that if - they were coming to Swaziland too frequent and to me their base was in South Africa, they must stay in South Africa. They must conduct their operations in South Africa, like any other unit which existed and therefore I had given Wally instruction that this unit must stay in South Africa now, there is no need for this unit to come into Swaziland. They've got their hardware, they've been trained, why do they come to Swaziland and therefore they must establish communication lines first of all ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: What communication lines?

MR THWALA: First of all they must establish how, they must tell us how we are going to - they were trained by the way. They will tell us how we are going to - normal communication, if we want them within 24 hours they need to pass a particular spot to find out if there's anybody who wants to see them. That's a normal communication. Secondly they must know what emergency communication measures we have on the ground so that in case of emergencies, how do you contact them. Thirdly, they must then identify possible spots where we can be able to channel funds, because they were permanent in South Africa, you channel funds and other things that they would need for operational purposes, literature, etc., etc and also then they must know how - when they send their courier to Swaziland, where does this courier go, how do you know that there's somebody around? Those are the lines of communication that they were supposed to give Nokuthula.

MR VISSER: Okay. Would she have had a full briefing on exactly what lines of communication you wanted them to follow, for her to tell them that?

MR THWALA: She was going to pick up an envelope which contained exactly what we wanted from them. She was going to bring that envelope to us.

MR VISSER: No, no, no, but the point that I thought you were just making is that you conveyed, you wanted to convey a message to them as to how and what communication lines they were supposed to follow.

MR THWALA: No, can you get this right? I wanted to stop those people coming to Swaziland, instruction to them was that they must establish 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, put in an envelope, somebody's going to pick it up at Carlton Centre at 11 at a restaurant and as soon as it was ready, they were contacted and said - a message was given to them which they deciphered to mean that then they must be ready to hand over the envelope with the communication to the person they are going to meet at Carlton Centre.

MR VISSER: I see. So in fact what you're saying now is that Simelane actually had to go and pick up a communication from them which had been previously arranged. ...(indistinct - speaking simultaneously)

MR THWALA: ...that they would tell us exactly. I've explained to you that - what normal lines of communication, they will tell us, the pole X at this place, that is where we will have our main DLB. Alternative one will be this one. ...(indistinct - speaking too fast) all those, there was a list given to them that you go and arrange this, this, this, this and this, you put all this in an envelope, somebody's going to pick it up at Carlton Centre.

MR VISSER: Okay. Now I'm just referring to that communication. Did you communicate to either Mkhonza or Langa about that, that you wanted them to do that?

MR THWALA: When one of them was in Swaziland, they were given a list of what to prepare and then they are going to give to a person who's going to be sent. What was pre-arranged was the spot where they are going to meet this person and how this person is going to identify them.

MR VISSER: I see. I see. Alright. You see because Mr Mkhonza's evidence was that he was to receive material from Ms Simelane.

MR THWALA: No. We can go through the records.

MR VISSER: Did Ms Simelane know that Scotch and Langa, as you called them, that unit, belonged to Mr Ngedi? Did she know that?

MR THWALA: What Ms Simelane knew was that she's going to pick up that communication to whoever, and how she's going to identify that person and that's all that she knew.

MR VISSER: Did she know that that unit belonged to Ngedi?

MR THWALA: She didn't know anything else, except that she's going to pick up that communication, that envelope and bring it to us. That's all she knew.

MR VISSER: Why would that have been kept a secret from her, that this unit was Ngedi's unit?

MR THWALA: Why would she know? Nokuthula serviced her own unit in the Vaal, that will be her focus, to develop Vaal at a later stage, so her hands would be full with Vaal. You can't give her a unit in Johannesburg again because if we tell her that, that this unit belongs to Justice Ngedi, why will you tell her that? She doesn't need that. What she needs, what is it that she's going to do and she's got to do it and come back, that's all.

MR VISSER: Well because you see you send her to this unit. What was wrong, by just telling her that she's got to go and see the members of this unit and establish lines of communication and that this unit is the unit of Ngedi.

MR THWALA: Why would I tell her that?

MR VISSER: Well, why didn't you tell her that?

MR THWALA: Because she had nothing - it was irrelevant to her. All she would know is matters pertaining to her unit in the Vaal, that's all.

MR VISSER: Yes. I'll tell you what, I want to put to you that for some reason it is important to you to deny that Justice Ngedi knew about Simelane's trip to Johannesburg and that she was going to meet somebody of this unit in Johannesburg, for some reason or other, I don't know why, but I want to suggest to you that the most logical thing in the world is that if Simelane was as trusted as you say she was by you, there's no reason in the world why she wouldn't have known that this unit was the unit of Ngedi, that she would have talked to him before she left Swaziland and told him that she was going to see members of his unit and that he might have asked her to do things for him at the same time.

MR THWALA: Perhaps here it's a question of knowing how we operated. Yes, under normal circumstances in the world where people are living normal lives, where there's no underground work involved, yes, when you go to Durban, you'll tell anybody, "I'm going to Durban, I'm going to meet so and so". Here we're dealing with lives of people, we're dealing with security matters, we're dealing with sensitive issues. I think in submission of your people they speak of need to know rule, that you only know what you need to know. In MK you call it ...(ethnic), you don't ask what you are not supposed to know and therefore what would be relevant for Nokuthula Simelane to be telling Wally that she's going to a unit, what for? Because if Wally, let's say for instance Wally was an enemy agent, he phones and he tells the others: "Hey, Nokuthula is coming" and Nokuthula is gone and therefore if, as it happened, something happened to Nokuthula, I knew it was myself who knew, I'm the only who knew and where she came at Duma's place and the unit that she was supposed to meet, so one of the three must have done something wrong for the disappearance of Nokuthula. It's easy to track as to what went wrong where. Obviously in a normal world that's what will happen, but we never operated that way. We don't tell people things they aren't supposed to know.

MR VISSER: Why didn't you want Scotch and Langa to come to Swaziland?

MR THWALA: If Duma was to come to Swaziland, he's got a reason why he comes to Swaziland. If Security Police picks him up, he's got relatives in Swaziland, he's schooled in Swaziland, so he's got a hundred and one reasons to go to Swaziland, now if Security Police were to pick up Scotch and Frank, they would ask them what are they doing in Swaziland and they'll need to have good reasons why they keep on going to Swaziland.

MR VISSER: Is that the only reason?

MR THWALA: No, as ...(indistinct - background noise) in Swaziland our modus operandi is that our units operate in South Africa, not in Swaziland. We establish lines of communication with them, because their task is in South Africa not in Swaziland.

MR VISSER: But sensitive information and weapons that have to be transported into the RSA, why couldn't that be picked up by members of this unit, Langa and Mkhonza for example, in Swaziland?

MR THWALA: In case we wanted them to come for anything, those lines of communication would enable us to tell them: "You come down", if we want them to come, but the way we convey material in South Africa, it's either we had an independent courier who deals with that and what he brings to us, its a sketch and say this is where the stuff is. We convey it to those people and say: "You go and dig at this place, you'll find it." so that's one way how we conveyed our material and therefore the reason that they were frequenting Swaziland so much that we didn't need that type of thing.


MR THWALA: Whenever they will be in Swaziland, you'll find that Wally, it means Wally for that weekend he's busy with them. What are they doing, because they have been trained, they've got their material in the country, let them stay in the country. So they were not ...(indistinct) Unit, they had to stay in the country and do their work in the country.

MR VISSER: Are you saying that they had their material? I'm talking about weapons and ammunition now, in the country and that was part of the reason why they didn't have to come to Swaziland any longer?

MR THWALA: Operationally, they don't come to Swaziland. If there's anything they want, we are able to ferry it to them, hence the lines of communication.

MR VISSER: Would it surprise you that Mr Langa collected a car load of weapons and ammunition approximately a week after the arrest of Ms Simelane in Swaziland?

MR THWALA: When you speak of a car load, I think it's a gross exaggeration.

MR VISSER: Alright. Weapons and ammunition in a motor car.

MR THWALA: Probably the people who can tell you that are people who are dealing with that material. As far as I know, their material was already inside the country and if they wanted any replenishment, they would have spoken to me. I would have sanctioned it.

MR VISSER: Okay. Are you denying that approximately a week after the arrest of Ms Simelane, Langa collected weapons and ammunition from Swaziland, from MK?

MR THWALA: He didn't get that unit - first of all he didn't come a week after the arrest of Simelane. One of them came immediately that weekend.

MR VISSER: Alright.

MR THWALA: One of them came and as far as I know, no material was given to those people.


MR THWALA: And if ever they wanted more material, I would have been contacted.

MR VISSER: Yes. You see actually you gave a long explanation about the arrest of certain people. Let me just see whether I can quickly find it. You refer to Ngedi and you refer to Curtis. Yes, incidentally Richard Nhlapo and Jabo Ngobese, remember?


MR VISSER: Yes. Jabo Ngobese, incidentally, was he part of the Swaziland Urban Machinery? Transvaal Urban Machinery, Ja. The Transvaal Urban Machinery, was Mr Ngobese part of that Machinery?

MR THWALA: He belonged to a unit in that Machinery.

MR VISSER: What was his MK name?

MR THWALA: Sipho Kakulama.




MR THWALA: Can I answer this question of Mpo?

MR VISSER: No, no ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: Within Transvaal Urban Machinery, to avoid confusion, no one would get the name Mpo, never, so can I not get that question again.

MR VISSER: No, you've told us that. Now the point about - this is page 2192, page 2193 for your record Chairperson, now isn't it correct that some of these people were arrested because of arms, because there was a message sent to you in Swaziland, you personally, to MK in Swaziland that they couldn't find a DLB and others were sent in to come and look or show the DLB?

MR THWALA: Which people are you talking about?

MR VISSER: Well, let's talk about Mr Ngedi.



MR THWALA: Ngedi was not arrested because of DLB. I think in the evidence of Lazarus Selamolela he said they went to Swaziland with SWT66. They went to pick up Ngedi and when they reached the border, they handed Ngedi over, so there was no material involved, he didn't want any DLB. Mpume handed over Wally to the Security Police. Can you go to your second one?

MR VISSER: I don't want to wonder too far off the main road. The only point that I'm making to you now is this. Do you know that weapons and ammunition came into the country after Ms Simelane was arrested from Swaziland?

MR THWALA: Obviously after the arrest of Nokuthula, it didn't mean that operation ceases.

MR VISSER: No of course not.

MR THWALA: Only the units that - Duma's unit and Don in Vaal, which Nokuthula knew, those yes, operations ceased, but the normal operations would go ahead.

MR VISSER: Alright.

MR THWALA: But I want to go back to the people that we are talking about, the arrest, because I explained Justice Ngedi and you mentioned Jabo, you mentioned Curtis and you mentioned Richard as well. I thought you had dealt with one of them.

MR VISSER: You see, did you hear around the 10th of September 1983, there were explosions, power stations, sub-power stations were attacked and a railway line? Did you have knowledge of that?

MR THWALA: I heard that such a thing took place.

MR VISSER: Did you think it was MK cadres who were responsible for that?

MR THWALA: I think a report from Wally did indicate that was the case.

MR VISSER: Yes. And those were carried out with weapons that had come in just previously from Swaziland.


MR VISSER: I see. How do you know?

MR THWALA: You carried that out with you own weapons. That's what came in the affidavit as you presented. What happened with Frank and Scotch, one of them went back to Swaziland during that week and he reported that the other one can't come because they had a car accident and therefore they didn't go to Carlton centre and they carried out their operation and they asked, because I didn't meet them at that time, I didn't know who they are. I said: "Let's keep those people till we get to know what has happened to Nokuthula." I think I did mention that in my evidence, so there was no - no weapons came in between the arrest of Nokuthula and that weekend. There were two days in between there. Nothing happened between that time.

MR VISSER: Yes. Alright. Just bear with me a moment, Chairperson. You see, not that it really matters all that much, but my information is that Ngedi came into this Republic and he was arrested at Nersden and he was taken to Johannesburg and he identified a DLB of MK and that he then telephoned Mr Nyanda from Johannesburg to tell him that he couldn't find a DLB and then another person was sent in by Mr Nyanda to come and find the DLB and he was arrested as well and that person, if I understand correctly, was Richard Nhlapo, not that it matters much.

MR THWALA: No, it matters.

MR VISSER: Oh, does it matter? Alright, well fine.

MR THWALA: Because there's a distortion here. Richard Nhlapo, for starters, was based in South Africa. He was just a schoolmate of mine. He was arrested as a result of Curtis's group. Justice Ngedi, it's true that he was arrested at the border post because he was handed over but I think in my evidence I did mention that the arrest that they were told that were a result of Nokuthula Simelane and I think if you would remember, we were shown this paper that police ...(indistinct) ANC and in the original document there were no dates indicated there and the date here, it was the 22nd of June 1984, and we were told as a result of Nokuthula's information, this is what happened and if you read this article, it states that the Minister of Police at that time, ...(indistinct) says in the last three months, and if you take June to March, it was the last three months after Umkomati Accord and we are told that as a result Nokuthula was arrested, that would be nine months earlier, so in my evidence I did mention that the arrests that took place were as a result of arrest of Justice Ngedi and I did mention that after the first arrest, he didn't call the person to show a DLB, he went through the arrangements. He called the person to join him, a unit, Little Dan, he called him, he came in, he was arrested.

MR VISSER: Who was he?

MR THWALA: Little Dan.

MR VISSER: Little Dan. I'm sorry, I didn't have my mike on. You say the person that he called to join was Little Dan. Do you have another name for Little Dan?

MR THWALA: No. Then the second person to call was then Jabo Ngobese, it's not Richard Nhlapo, it was Jabo Ngobese to show him the DLB, he was arrested again. So we had these strings of arrest that led to these 18 people. They start at Justice Ngedi and I think Selamolela and Veyi collaborated this information and this is what happened. Nokuthula had nothing to do with it.

MR VISSER: You say Ngedi was arrested because of SWT 66 and Langa? Is that correct?

MR THWALA: Selamolela in his evidence said he went to Swaziland to pick up Ngedi, himself and SWT 66, they went to the border, they were arrested.


MR THWALA: He didn't mention Langa at all.

MR VISSER: Okay. Fair enough. Fair enough. Fact is, SWT 66 had something to do with this and was it your evidence then that the arrest of Jabo Ngobese was because they traced him through the person who had brought Ngedi into the country? That is your evidence, isn't it?

MR THWALA: Richard Nhlapo, not Ngedi. Richard Nhlapo, they traced him because of Curtis who was arrested for your information, with the photo you branded, that person was arrested, I think in December, he says on December 5th, that's the day he was arrested in Cape Town, so if you are saying you attribute that to Nokuthula, it's December and Nokuthula was arrested in September, thirteen months later and I told you that's what led to the arrest - Nokuthula led to that arrest, that's the first thing. Second thing is that the person you are speaking about is Jabo Ngobese who was called by Wally. He said he can't find the DLB. He came in and they arrested him as they did with Little Dan and I think there were more other people who were arrested similarly.

MR VISSER: Okay, now let me ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: But these are the people that you spoke about, these are the people I'm talking about.

MR VISSER: Let me just stop there then please. Let's just try and keep this simple. Jabo Ngobese comes into the country and he's arrested. Did you know soon after his arrest that he was in fact arrested?


MR VISSER: Yes, you.

MR THWALA: Unfortunately I was not available during that time.

MR VISSER: Okay. Did you know that Justice Ngedi had been arrested soon after he was arrested?

MR THWALA: Can I just stop you there? I was not operational from Ngedi's arrest. I was not available in Swaziland, so don't ask me about what happened. What happened are reports at Transvaal Urban Machinery.

MR VISSER: When did you leave Swaziland?

MR THWALA: I think it was August. ...(indistinct) The day Ngedi was arrested in the country, I was arrested as well, so during that period I was in prison in Swaziland. I used to get reports as to what is happening.

MR VISSER: Oh I see, you didn't leave the country, you were just ...

MR THWALA: I was arrested, yes.

MR VISSER: You were incapacitated and when were you arrested?


MR VISSER: May of?

MR THWALA: May 1984.

MR VISSER: That's the next year after Simelane had ...

MR THWALA: Yes, Ngedi was arrested in May, the following month in May.

MR VISSER: Oh. I thought that Mr van den Berg presented evidence to say that it was in January. Please stop me if I'm wrong.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairperson I had put to I think Mr Coetzee that it was the 25th of March, but you will recall if you go through the record, that I correct that towards the end and it was in fact the 25th of May.

MR VISSER: Fine. Thank you. Now, what I want to know from you is, when these people were arrested and when you heard about these arrests, didn't you suspect that there was a leak?

MR THWALA: When these people were arrested, yes, I thought there was some confusion. In fact what came into mind was that operationally they didn't do the right thing because first of all they were not supposed to even release Little Dan for starters. Second Jabo Nkosi, they weren't supposed to release jabo Nkosi from Swaziland and obviously, if I ...(indistinct) come back, because my interest is about Nokuthula Simelane, not the shortcomings of our Urban Machinery. Nokuthula Simelane was not involved at all.

MR VISSER: How do you know that?

MR THWALA: Because Nokuthula Simelane didn't know even facially, didn't know Jabo Ngobese, she didn't know him. Of those people you are speaking about, the only person she knew, she had met, it's Justice Ngedi. The rest, she didn't know them, how does she identify people she didn't know. How does she lead to arrest of people she doesn't even know that they're in the country, that they're members of the ANC?

MR VISSER: How is it that you, in the Transvaal Urban Machinery in Swaziland had a unit in Swaziland who didn't know each other?

MR THWALA: Because you only know what you are supposed to know. Nokuthula Simelane knew Don, Vaal One and she had to know Duma because she passed there, that's the place she stayed in. About the other people, those are, some of them, were people who come from Maputo, stay in an underground in Swaziland, they don't go out and they move into the country, so Nokuthula wouldn't know them.

MR VISSER: Yes, but we're not talking about that kind of people.

MR THWALA: These people are taking 18 people, those are the kind of people.

MR VISSER: Are they that kind of people?

MR THWALA: Yes, these 18 people are the kind of people.

MR VISSER: Yes, alright. Now we know that she was arrested on a Saturday, we're not sure about the date, but it's not important. Your evidence was that on that particular day, you already discovered that something was amiss, something was wrong, is that correct?


MR VISSER Yes. I think I've asked you the question before and if I have, please forgive me. Was there any stage when you became firmly convinced, at all, any stage until today, no I can't say that - any stage for a period before the amnesty process started, that you became convinced that she was in the hands of the Security Branch?

MR THWALA: I think in 1986 I got a report in Lusaka from our Intelligence Unit that I think they said Scotch or Frank was in Protea, that's when I realised that this led to her arrest, it was because these people were enemy agents.

MR VISSER: Yes and that was for three years you didn't put that down as a certainty and then three years later, then you realised.

MR THWALA: Yes, because 1) if she was arrested and she spoke, then we would have been affected in Swaziland. The unit in Vaal would have been affected and something would have happened.

MR VISSER: You see, I want to tell you Mr Thwala, that what you're now telling us isn't entirely true. The moment Simelane disappeared, she didn't come out and you waited and she didn't rock up in Swaziland and nobody heard of her, I put it to you that you as an MK soldier would immediately have realised that she's fallen into the hands of the enemy.

MR THWALA: Perhaps you are not a type of MK soldier who just despairs for nothing. Here, if Nokuthula had fallen, then certain things would have happened in Swaziland, that's why her case was puzzling and only now we got to know that she didn't utter a word, hence we survived and her unit survived.

MR VISSER: You see ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: Now a number of people have been arrested, were arrested and some even gave information and once they give information, our enemy will act on that information. In this particular case, though no information was given, that's what became puzzling. If she's arrested, she is not giving any information because certain things remain in place, the unit was told to continue operating and nothing happened.

MR VISSER: But isn't it also true that you had safe houses evacuated in Swaziland, that you had those houses observed by your people to see whether members of the Security Branch visited those houses, Duma's Unit and the Vaal One Unit were deactivated, isn't that correct?


MR VISSER: Why would you have done that, unless you thought that she was in the hands of the Security Police?

MR THWALA: I think I explained. I'm going to explain for the last time now. I said to you when she disappeared there were three things that we thought of. 1) that she's in the hands of Security Police, and if she is in the hands of Security Police, she's got a latitude to - normally for 24 hours you are supposed to resist and don't say any thing, and your comrades are expected within that 24 hours, to act accordingly and that's what I did. That's what I did. Now the other possibility was that I expected after 24 hours, then they will go and get her bag, they will go and look for the unit in the Vaal, they will come to Swaziland and try and especially go to the houses she knew. Some of them, they were rented on her name. They'll go to those houses within that ...(indistinct). So after it had happened, we went back to our mode of operation and obviously those houses were changed after some time, but at one time those Units were activated and they went on till Duma was arrested, after the arrest of Justice Ngedi.

MR VISSER: Yes. You gave evidence-in-chief that according to you the ANC did not kill Ms Simelane.

MR THWALA: Not according to me, it's a fact.

MR VISSER: It's a fact. Yes.

MR THWALA: Simelane didn't come back to the ANC because if she had come back to the ANC, I explained.

MR VISSER: Yes, yes I don't want you to go through that again please.

MR THWALA: She didn't.

MR VISSER: But in fact your evidence was that the ANC didn't kill her, that is correct? Have I got that right?

MR THWALA: The ANC didn't kill her.

MR VISSER: Alright. And you explained that there were really two reasons why you say so, the one is that there are processes that are followed when you suspect somebody of having turned, is that right, and the other is you referred to the ANC written presentations to the TRC and you indicated some lists where her name does not appear, remember? You remember?

MR THWALA: ...(indistinct)

MR VISSER: Thank you. Now I want to talk to you about the processes, first of all. In 1983 was there a Department of Intelligence and Security in the ANC?


MR VISSER: That was called the Umbogotho, is that correct?


MR VISSER: I'm told Umbogotho means milling stone, stone that you use to ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: I don't know what it means.

MR VISSER: You don't know. I'm told, just for the sake of interest, that it is something that you use to mill mielies, or what, it's to crush mielies, anyway. And was it their duty to root out dissention and to see to - generally see to the security within the ranks of the ANC?


MR VISSER: Would it be fair to say that they were harsh on people whom they suspected or found to have been working with the Security Branch of the previous government?

MR VAN DEN BERG: Sorry, Mr Chairperson, I don't - I suppose he's answered the question. We had the lengthy debate about our suspicion and proof and maybe that needs to be clarified so that we don't have the same debate.

MR VISSER: Well that's why i asked him on both legs this time, Chairperson, I asked him on both. Now, is this the process that you were referring to, that ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: I think, read the process there because I did explain it. If you check with the page. Which page was it, because I explained the process. I explained.

MR VISSER: Well, will you give me your page number that you are now?

CHAIRPERSON: You want it re-explained Mr Visser? Ja, perhaps we should try and move the process because ...

MR VISSER: I don't want to have him explain it again Chairperson, I just want to know whether this is the process that he was talking about.


MR THWALA: ...(indistinct - no microphone) why it happens if a person is suspected. I explained. The cardinal point that I wanted to bring forward is, I would be involved, I went to Lusaka after that, for your information, so in Lusaka I would have been involved in interrogation of Nokuthula, I would have been involved. I would have been involved in Luanda, if she went to Luanda, I would have been involved, because there's nobody else, I explained earlier on, I knew what had happened, I sent her, so it was myself, it was Duma who knew that Nokuthula had gone to South Africa at this particular time, so I would be involved, so if Umbogotho would want anything, Umbogotho would come to you and say: "This lady, do you know her? This is what she says" and I'll have to corroborate that information. That's why I move to the next stage from being a suspect and then they can definitely say yes, you are, but they do investigation.

MR VISSER: Yes, alright. But they will have to know that there's a complaint against her, or that there is a possibility that she may have turned, before they do anything to her, surely?

MR THWALA: That's obvious.

MR VISSER: Alright. And any member of MK could report any other member of MK if he has a suspicion about him to the Umbogotho?

MR THWALA: First of all, if you have a problem, you report to your Commander.

MR VISSER: Yes, you can do that. I'm asking you whether you can also go to the Department of Safety and Security and report there.

MR THWALA: Perhaps there occur such cases, but normally it doesn't happen, you report to your unit, because if you suspect, it means people must take certain measures there, you can't go somewhere else.

MR VISSER: Did this Department always act in terms of the rules of conduct as far as you know, as far as your knowledge goes?

MR THWALA: I don't know Umbogotho, I've not stayed long enough to know of their mode of operation, I was operational in Maputo, Swaziland and South Africa.

MR VISSER: Alright. Do you know whether they executed people?

MR THWALA: I think they did mention people, names of people who were executed and people who were executed, it means those are people who were tried, who went before a Tribunal and those were shot, If the sentence was death, those were shot, they've got names of those. They've got names of people that were sentenced to whatever term in prison and they've got names of those people who were given whatever sentences, it is listed, everything is there.

MR VISSER: Is it your view that the people that were executed by the Umbogotho ... (intervention)

MR THWALA: No, Umbogotho does not execute. You go to a military Tribunal, you are sentenced - if you are sentenced to be shot you go to prison and the Commanders there would then decide on which day, what to do. Umbogotho is not involved there.

MR VISSER: Is it your opinion that all the people who had been executed by the ANC, by a military tribunal or whatever, that their names have been given?


MR VISSER: And that there are no other people who may have disappeared and may have been killed whose names have not been stated by the ANC?

MR THWALA: ANC has given all records.

MR VISSER: All the records.

MR THWALA: All the records.

MR VISSER: And as far as you're concerned, was there any exception to this "process" being followed, when a person was suspected?

MR THWALA: I don't know of any such case. I think I explained earlier on. I said I didn't stay with Umbogotho to get to know all what was happening there. I think the question will be relevant to people who are working in Umbogotho. They will tell you exactly that there was this exception, we made a mistake here. They'll tell you ...(indistinct), or if you go to ...(indistinct) Library, you'll get the archives, it is written there. I'm not in a position to tell you that.

MR VISSER: Have you heard of Commissions of Enquiry into ANC missing persons?

MR THWALA: Yes, I have.

MR VISSER: Have you heard of the Motsoanyane Commission?


MR VISSER: Perhaps I should spell that for the record, Chairperson. M-O-T-S-U-N-Y-A-N-E. Now will you accept that that report inter alia deals with what happened with a lot of ANC people who died at the hands of the ANC, where the so-called processes that you referred to, were indeed followed. In other words, what I'm putting to you is that the Motsoanyane Commission dealt with people identified by the ANC as people having been killed, but that was after the process had been followed, investigations, enquiries, interrogation, tribunals etc.

MR THWALA: As I understand Motsoanyane Commission, I've got a report of Motsoanyane Commission, there was a group of 32 people who were held at one time at camp 32. They came with complaints and the ANC instituted that Commission and it sat and listened to the complaints of those people and everything, as is listed there as to what happened at camp 32.

MR VISSER: Alright. But can we agree at least on one thing that the Motsoanyane Commission could not investigate instances of which - of whom - of people of whom there were no records, didn't know their names, from the ANC etc? It wouldn't have been possible.

MR THWALA: No, let's start here, before we agree there. what was the purpose of Motsoanyane Commission? To investigate the complaints of those 32 people and what transpired there, they came with their complaints and they put them and said: "So and so did this, so and so ..." now if there's no name, no record, what do you investigate? You can't even go Motsoanyane, because there's no record, you can't investigate something that is not there, but they are dealing exactly with the complaints of ANC detainees and that's what they did.

MR VISSER: That's the answer to the question I asked, thank you. Perhaps you want to look at the Motsoanyane Commission report, you say you have it in front of you?


MR VISSER: You'll see - I haven't got the full one in front of me now, ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: But before you go there, what's the relevance of a report by 32 people who were detained at one time by the ANC, who came back to South Africa and said: "ANC mistreated us." A Commission was established to listen to what transpired there and there were recommendations in relation to the complaints that these people raised, to Nokuthula Simelane who disappeared at Carlton Centre, what's the relevance?

MR VISSER: I'll tell you what the relevance is, because I'm suggesting to you that Nokuthula Simelane was placed back in Swaziland and she was killed by the ANC, that is the relevance and you say she wasn't because processes were followed.

MR THWALA: No, no, no. no. I'm saying, don't put words into my mouth. What I said, I said if Nokuthula Simelane went back to the ANC, there'd be processes that would be followed and I would be involved. I said "if". Now in the submission of your people, they speak of RS ...(indistinct). They've never told us the codename of Nokuthula Simelane and whenever you register an agent, you'll have the codename of that person. They tell us of SWT66 and RS 269, those were agents. Nokuthula does not have, why? Because she was never placed there and it is convenient that the people who claimed that they're the people who placed her in Swaziland, all of them have perished.

MR VISSER: Mr Thwala, Nokuthula Simelane could never have become an agent, because an agent was a policeman. Nokuthula Simelane became an informer, it's an entirely different matter, but I don't want to argue with you about that.

MR THWALA: No, I want to take you on that. I want to take you - an agent, you place somebody in us, becomes an agent, you place him there, he's your agent, he's your man there, he's an agent.

MR VISSER: Well, you know, Mr Coetzee gave evidence about agents etc and his evidence was never challenged, so I'm going to leave it at that, but coming back to the relevance of the Motsoanyane Commission, you are dealing, you are saying that processes would have been followed, and I asked you specifically whether the process that you're talking about, is the process that had to go through the Department of Intelligence and Security and I understood you to say yes, that's the process you're talking about.

MR THWALA: Through you, Mr Chairman. I think you did ask Mr Visser whether does he want us to go through those processes and he said, no, he doesn't want us to go through the processes, now he comes back, he wants me to go through the processes.

MR VISSER: I don't want you to do that.

MR THWALA: Okay, what do you want exactly? Can you say exactly what you want?

MR VISSER: You're an intelligent man, Mr Thwala, you know exactly what I'm asking you, but you don't want to answer. Let's go on. In the Motsoanyane Commission at page (iii) paragraph 2.1, this is one of the findings of the Motsoanyane Commission and I want to read it to you. You can follow it if you like, it's in front of you, paragraph 2.7:

"Ultimately the systems put in place under the code of conduct failed"

and he's talking about the Department of Safety and Security and paragraph (iii) and then paragraph 2.8, at the bottom of the page there's a little (iii). Is your's different? I'm told that mine's different. We seem to have different copies of the report here, Chairperson. Oh it is indeed little (iii), at the bottom of the page, it is in fact the third page from the beginning, the second page, well there's a letter, there's a table of contents and then its printed on both sides of the page, it starts with "Executive Summary" and (2) is "Findings". Do you see the findings, paragraph 2? Now there's a whole lot that is relevant, but I just want to refer you to paragraph 2.7. ultimately, see that?

MR THWALA: No, it's different here.

MR VISSER: Do you have a different report from mine. Alright, well that's going to present a difficulty, but I'll tell you what I'll do, I'll just read it into the record and you can tell me whether you agree with this. 2.8 in my copy says:

"A number of persons have been reported missing. The witnesses at the hearing mentioned 29 persons who died, or disappeared. Many more have been reported missing by other sources, although the Commission has determined that some of these persons have in fact been repatriated to South Africa, etc. However, others have died in exile as a result of suicide, ambush, malaria, inadequate medical treatment, execution or natural causes."

So, the people I'm talking about with you, Mr Thwala, are included in the group of Motsoanyane Commission Report here, paragraph 2.8.


MR VISSER: People, who were executed, it says so. I'm not going to argue with you. Then over the page, no not over the page, at page 18 of that report, would you agree that the penalty for treason, espionage, mutiny and desertion included the death penalty?

MR THWALA: That's what it says.

MR VISSER: Thank you. At page 26, the Motsoanyane Commission dealt - in dealing with the Umbogotho, it says at the top of the page, the second paragraph:

"In time, the Department came to be popularly known as Umbogotho, a Xhosa word which means a stone used for grinding maize and other cereals and in some people's minds, a euphemism for the harshness with which the Department treated its victims."

I'm coming to the point in a moment. Under that paragraph 2 at the same page, the Commission considers the weaknesses in the Security Structures and the second paragraph there says:

"Obviously unhappy with how the Security Department was run, the National Executive Council of the ANC created a provisional Directorate of Intelligence and Security to run the Department between 1986 and 1987."

Now I'm informed that what this means, is that the Umbogotho didn't start in 1986, it had been going on before that, but the NEC was very unhappy with the way they had run things, am I right or wrong?

MR THWALA: You are wrong.

MR VISSER: Yes, I wouldn't expect you to agree with anything I suggested. Why am I wrong?

MR THWALA: Because of all the relevance of this to the case in hand.

MR VISSER: Yes, you're not a lawyer here, you're not the person who judges the relevance here, Sir, forget about the relevance.

MR THWALA: I asked you, I asked you, tell me the relevance. You haven't told me that.

MR VISSER: Mr Thwala, I'm not here to answer your questions, you're here to answer mine, please.

MR THWALA: Why is it relevant? The question here is Nokuthula Simelane disappeared, you claim that you put her in Swaziland and if you have put her in Swaziland and if you came to the ANC, she'll go to Siphiwe Nyanda who was in charge, she'll go to Maputo's ...(indistinct) in that Command in Maputo, Siphiwe Nyanda will know about it and there is no record that such a thing happened, so how - this is a complaint of detainees. Those people complained how they were treated when they were in detention in the ANC camp. How is it relevant to find out what happened to Nokuthula?

MR VISSER: Alright, I'll read to you another sentence, perhaps you want to reply to that. Paragraph 26, at the bottom of the page, says this:

"Mr Nhlanhla identified three major and inter-related weaknesses in the Security apparatus at that time."

Now you must listen carefully.

"These were:

1) The mystery which surrounded its operations and its image. People were taken away from their work stations into the hands of the Department of Intelligence and Security and no information was given to them or those remaining behind regarding what was happening."

Do you agree with the Motsoanyane Commission, or do you disagree with them?

MR THWALA: My opinion doesn't matter as to ... (intervention)

MR VISSER: It does you see, it does because ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: It doesn't at all. Here you are speaking of people who were aggrieved by the ANC and they are coming up and they are saying whatever they are saying. What came out of that, it doesn't help me, to me it doesn't explain what happened in Potchefstroom, because evidence that has been led here was that Nokuthula was last seen in Potchefstroom in the boot of a car and other people are saying she was in the car, so if it was going to help us there, yes then it's something that I think I can answer.

MR VISSER: I am saying that Simelane could have disappeared in this cloud of mystery and secrecy, without you knowing about it.

MR THWALA: I would ...(intervention)

MR VAN DEN BERG: Sorry, Mr Thwala. Mr Chairperson, I think that the witness's evidence has been quite clear on that point and it is his view and it has been his evidence consistently through these proceedings that had she returned, he would have to know, he was the point of contact and that none of these processes could have been embarked upon without him being consulted. So what I think my learned friend is doing, really is of a speculative nature and doesn't really deal with the issue that Mr Thwala has raised and that is his personal knowledge.

CHAIRPERSON: And could very well more fruitfully be raised in argument, Mr Visser.

MR VISSER: But Chairperson ...

CHAIRPERSON: you're going to get any further with the witness. The witness disagrees with the suggestion that Ms Simelane was placed in Swaziland and killed by the ANC, that seems to be the bone of contention. You have certain reports that you rely on for an argument, that there is a possibility that she could have gone there and Umbogotho could have killed her without them knowing and so on, those are all arguments, but I don't think it will take you much further to debate that with this witness.

MR VISSER: Chairperson, if I won't be criticised for not having put these points to the witness, I will gladly step off it, but I take your point that he's probably just going to disagree with anything I put to him anyway.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, it appears to me as if you can deal with the Motsoanyane Report fully in your argument and you can rely on the contents of that.


CHAIRPERSON: But it doesn't look as if you're going to get any agreement or assistance from the witness in regard to that.

MR VISSER: Yes. I just feel a little uneasy arguing something which I haven't put to the witness, Chairperson, that's the only thing, but if you accept, as I have done a long time ago, that this witness won't agree to anything I'm going to suggest to him, then I think we can take ...

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, no you clearly have a difference of opinion on the significance of all those things, but it doesn't preclude you from arguing that at all.

MR VISSER: Perhaps, just on the evidence, may I just put my last issue on the Motsoanyane Report and that's at page 35 to this witness Chairperson, the second-last paragraph? This report says:

"In this environment"

and it's talking about the war environment in which the parties found themselves, etc, it says:

"In this environment in which one's bunk mate could be a plant, it was felt that it would be foolhardy not to take the most extensive steps possible to protect the movement against infiltration. The Security Department was therefore given a broad mandate to identify and contain informants and agent provocateurs"

Do you agree with that?

MR THWALA: That was the role of Security, where when they do identify and contain them, they will investigate them, they will come to me and say: "There's a report this person gives, do you know anything?"

MR VISSER: Yes, of course, you said so. So the mystery that you disagree with already, so we won't go into that again. Now, I want to step onto another - the second last point, Chairperson, but this is going to take a little time. Perhaps I can go through it quickly. With your assistance I'd like to try to help you away here, if it's possible, before 1 o'clock. I see we've got 5 minutes, Mr Thwala. Briefly, the ANC in its August 1996 written presentations to the TRC gave the following lists of people, at page 92, members who died at the hands of the enemy. If your attorney wants to check it, we've checked it and double checked it. Page 95, Members killed by Mutineers, page 96, ANC Members who Died of Natural Causes, page 100, Died of Suicides and in the sixth instance, also at page 100, Executed by Order of a Military Tribunal. Now you referred to one of those lists or perhaps two of them and you said Ms Simelane's name does not appear on that list and therefore you drew the inference that she did not die while she was with the ANC.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Mr Chairperson as I recollect the evidence or the question-in-chief was a referral in broad to all of the lists. We didn't specify and we didn't pick out annexure A or annexure B, or whatever it might be.

MR VISSER: Yes, but I thought that's the point I'm trying to make. Now except that at page 95 of that presentation and this perhaps you should look at, on the right-hand page - I'm sorry page 95 in the left column at the bottom under accidents, do you have that list in front of you? Do you have one?

MR VAN DEN BERG: I'm afraid I don't.

MR VISSER: Well, can I show you this list and there's a name marked there and I would like you to have a look at that name and give us your opinion on what that means. First of all, you can just read the name for us, it's the third name, under accidents, persons who died in accidents. What is the third name?

MR THWALA: Sibongile.

MR VISSER: Sibongile. Do you have any comment about that?

MR THWALA: One Sibongile died, I'm sure if you can go to the archives, they'll tell you exactly who that Sibongile was and a possibility that they have gone to the family of the Sibongile to tell them that: "Your daughter died as a result of 1, 2, 3." They have done that.


MR THWALA: So, if you go, because once you present this and say any Sibongile is Nokuthula, that's not correct.

MR VISSER: I just asked you, you see, because that was her MK name as far as you know. The point is that in terms of the Motsoanyane Report, many people were never informed of the death of their loved ones.

MR THWALA: Come on.

MR VISSER: Never informed.

MR THWALA: You don't make such insinuations. First of all, the Motsoanyane Report was concluded in 1992 and the ANC Headquarters in Johannesburg set up a section specifically, it was called the Bereaved Families, they were sending people from 1992 onwards to go to families of those lists that you are talking about and saying so and so died because this and this happened, so and so was found guilty of this and was executed. They went to the families and they specifically told them how their sons and daughters died.

MR VISSER: Yes, that's a matter of argument.

MR THWALA: Now if you speak of - you come and tell us the Motsoanyane Commission, Motsoanyane Commission was at the beginning of people returning, it started in 1991 and it was ...(indistinct) 1992 and that was the process of going to the families to report what happened to their loved ones.

MR VISSER: Yes, and you say as we sit here today, reports have been made to every single family?

MR THWALA: Well, we can go to Luthuli House and ask them: "Have you gone to see ...(indistinct)", but the people that I have been involved with, who fell in South Africa, in Swaziland, I have gone to their families together with that unit, to explain what happened to their families and here I'm speaking of the Machinery that I was responsible for.

MR VISSER: When did you - did you ever inform the family of Ms Nokuthula Simelane that you in fact were the one that sent her to the Republic at the time when she was arrested?


MR VISSER: When did you do that?

MR THWALA: The first time I was in Swaziland. We met in Swaziland 1983, October.


MR THWALA: That's the first time I told them.

MR VISSER: Have you seen a newspaper report, Chairperson Exhibit T was the statement of Mr Coetzee and attached to Exhibit T, was some newspaper report and if you turn to page 23, I think we paginated them, it's page 23, this is an article, news report in the Sowetan, dated 15 February 1995. If you have it in front of you, you'll see that I'm referring to the top portion, the one under the heading "Burden of guilt lifted off Mr X" and there are, from the left-hand side, one, two, three, four, five columns, now the fourth column, if you go from the top there's a little paragraph and then it starts with the words: "No MK person there was able..." See that?


MR VISSER: Alright. I want to read that to you.

"Investigations in Swaziland where she lived with uncles and studied at the University, drew constant blanks and sewed greater confusion. No MK person there was able to give the Simelane's a straight answer. Only ten years after her disappearance did a cadre named Mpo Mpou, alias Mpo Selati, alias Gilbert Thwala confirm that he had sent her on an operation to Johannesburg."

What do you say of that?

MR THWALA: It's true. I informed them. That's what this says.

MR VISSER: Ten years later.

MR THWALA: No. If for instance here I think here when I started, I took an oath, so what I've said here, what I presented in my evidence was under oath, it's not subject to interpretation of any journalist. I said on the very day when Nokuthula did not return on the Saturday, I phoned the family, that's when I started the contact with the family and they came to Swaziland, we discussed with myself, Barney Molekoane and Mr Simelane, we stood outside the car in Lubamba. I explained exactly what happened. The only thing that was mysterious to them was that how can I - because there was a bomb, I think it was a limpet that went off at Carlton Centre during that period, and they were concerned that am I sure she didn't have any limpet when she went to Carlton Centre. That's when I started my contact.

MR VISSER: Mr Thwala, is this report incorrect?

MR THWALA: It's very much incorrect.

MR VISSER: Well, thank you, that's ...

MR THWALA: I went to the newspaper, for your information, is it ...(indistinct)

MR VISSER: That's all I wanted to know.

MR THWALA: I went to her and said to her, "Can I give you my story?", which I did.

MR VISSER: I see. You went and tendered your story? Alright. Now, we now know that Ms Simelane was an important member of one of your units. What precise enquiries did you make as to her whereabouts? And I want you to be specific.

MR THWALA: As the Commander of that unit and Chief of Staff, I filed in a report. We've got channels how you do things. I filed in a report and asked them that - I reported that this is what had happened and I made certain suggestions.

MR VISSER: You what? Sorry.

MR THWALA: I made suggestions, yes and one of them was not he very weekend that we must keep the guy who had come, who belonged to that unit who said he had an accident, he didn't go to Carlton Centre, I suggested, let's keep that person till you get to know what has happened to Nokuthula. That's the first thing. Therefore, if we had kept that guy, we would have moved him obviously to Maputo and as the situation unfolded, we'd have recommended no, it seems this thing is dragging, let's take him over to Lusaka or Angola so as to find out what exactly happened, because there's three people there. Why normally we don't tell other people, is that our investigation will centre around very few people, so that's what I did and from there on, this matter lied with the MHQ. Later on during - after Kabwe Conference, 1985, I spoke to Military Headquarters in Lusaka and raised this issue, because we wanted to know still ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: When was this?

MR THWALA: 1985. Kabwe Conference was in 1985.

MR VISSER: Yes, 16th of June. Yes?

MR THWALA: No, it was not 16th of June.

MR VISSER: Alright, of course you won't agree. Go on.

MR VAN DEN BERG: Sorry, with respect, Mr Chairperson, I mean it's common cause that that was on the 14th of June.

MR THWALA: Then I spoke to Military Headquarters because at that time the question still hanged that if you Nokuthula was in their hands, what had happened to her because there were no repercussions, they didn't go to the houses, nothing happened. Even those people that she used to rent the houses at, they were never troubled as to: "You are renting the houses to these people, that agents". Those are agents, he knew very well. So all those questions came up as to what has happened to Nokuthula. The Military Headquarters discussed the matter and took my report once again. Further on there was a report, I think in 1986, when one woman was arrested, she was travelling, she belonged to Natal Machinery, she was arrested crossing the border. It came to Lusaka later on that that was Nokuthula and I think the family got the same report again. Later on, around 1991, I went in contact with the Department that deals with Bereaved Families, to find out as to what happened to Nokuthula. They were in their processes. 1992, from 1991, that's the Department that went to all those families, the list that you have there, including that Sibongile, they went to her place and told the parents that this is what happened to your child and I got in touch with one woman they called Sara Bloch, she was an American, who was investigating also the disappearance, I think and other people, but particularly in this case Nokuthula. I gave a statement to her and she was one of the people who were trying then to investigate further as to what transpired. I submitted her name in the bereaved families section in the ANC and I persuaded them, we travelled to Bethal, to formally go and report as to, as far as we know, this is what happened to Nokuthula. We know up to this far and this is what I've done. Further on I read in the newspaper, for you information, that this session was going to sit in Johannesburg. I went there myself, without nobody calling me, because I wanted to know what happened beyond Carlton Centre. I wanted to know. I wanted to pay credit to Nokuthula because I think she didn't say anything, that's why we survived, not only me, many of us and that's why I'm here today.

MR VISSER: The question, if you remember correctly was whether you made any enquiries. Now as I understand you, you suggested that Mr Langa, when he came to Swaziland, had to be detained and had to be questions, perhaps taken to Lusaka, you've now told, to be interrogated as to what happened to her, but he was released by members of your unit, is that correct, so that didn't come to fruition. The only other thing you did, is you referred to Mpume, what did you have to do with her?

MR THWALA: ... (indistinct- no microphone) Mpume, it was in fact Nokuthula who was arrested.

MR VISSER: I know that, but what ...(indistinct - no microphone)

MR THWALA: Because they came to me and said: "The person you have reported to us to investigate, here is this the person?" I said no, I don't think it's the same person.

MR VISSER: I'm sorry, so that's not an enquiry you made. So that's not an answer to my question.

MR THWALA: No problem, you can take it that way.

MR VISSER: Okay. Then in 1991, well in 1985 you spoke to somebody and apparently you asked him about what happened to Simelane, or whether he knew something, is that correct? Who was this? 1985.

MR THWALA: In 1985, it was after Kabwe Conference, I went to the headquarters of Intelligence.

MR VISSER: Oh, I see and you made enquiries there?

MR THWALA: And I said to them, there's this case which was reported, do you have it on record?


MR THWALA: And what - do you have any information about it?

MR VISSER: And they said no.

MR THWALA: They went through and they said: "No, at the moment we don't."

MR VISSER: And fourthly, in 1991 you spoke to the bereaved families organisation that was trying to find them is that correct?

MR THWALA: Yes, I went to the Bereaved Families and asked them the list that they have been given and to find out.

MR VISSER: Yes, I've got two short questions for you on this issue. The first is, the family of Ms Simelane went on a wild goose chase even to Botswana, did you know beforehand that they were going to see Oupa in Botswana?

MR THWALA: How will I know that?

MR VISSER: No, no, I'm asking you ...(intervention)

MR THWALA: How will I know that? Any intelligent person would know that. The family is in Johannesburg, I am in Lusaka, how will I know what they are going to do? how do I know that?

MR VISSER: Chairperson, I have no further questions for this witness. This witness is obviously not co-operating. NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VISSER

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Visser. Mr Lamey, any questions?

MR LAMEY: Just one aspect that I just wish to clarify, thank you Chairperson.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR LAMEY: Mr Thwala, when you speak of material in your - as a term against the background at the time, what do you refer to as material?

MR THWALA: Arms of war.

MR LAMEY: So you specifically refer to arms, military hardware? Okay. Was material perhaps sometimes used in another sense of soft material, like communication, letters also? Not? You see, Mr Mkhonza testified that according to his understanding as an infiltrated agent of the ANC at the time, that material could be hard material, or soft material.

MR THWALA: I don't know where he got that. First of all, he was on crash course in the ANC. He would have very minimal time with the ANC, ...(indistinct - background noise), but when you speak of material, you mean hardware.

MR LAMEY: He received the instructions from you to meet Nokuthula Simelane, is that correct, at the Carlton Centre?

MR THWALA: I think the only time that I met him is when he came to Swaziland and I told him that when I contact you, then you will go to this place which you agreed with him. You'll meet such a person. First of all he did not know who was coming.

MR LAMEY: Ja, he didn't know the person.

MR THWALA: He didn't know, so his was to hand over the envelope of communication, so whether I spoke to him directly or it was Wally - no it's me who directly told him that you go and meet then at that particular agreed spot.

MR LAMEY: Are you sure that you directly instructed him?


MR LAMEY: And what - was he to hand over something to ...?

MR THWALA: Yes, when he left here, the list, that you go and prepare this and this and this. Go and find a spot for this, go and find a spot for this, go and arrange a telephone where we can phone you, the first one, the second one and the third one. That type of thing. So when he went there, Nokuthula was supposed to pick up this envelope from him and bring it back to Swaziland.

MR LAMEY: Is it not the other way around, that he had to receive something from Nokuthula Simelane?

MR THWALA: No, it didn't work that way. It means then if that's the case, they're illegal in the country, that's illegal, so we were not going to expose our people there from Swaziland for communication purposes, rather let them establish their own network and bring it to us, their own courier, so it was not the other way round. She was going to pick up from Frank.

MR LAMEY: Did you give him instructions as to how he would be able to identify ...?


MR LAMEY: Can you recall what those instructions were?

MR THWALA: Well, I think Mkhonza mentioned that.

MR LAMEY: No, but can you independently recall?

MR THWALA: Come on, I can't, how many years ago, but there must have been - normally it would be something unique that the person, when that person is sitting there, you can never mistake that type of arrangement.

MR LAMEY: No, I understand it's a long time ago.

MR THWALA: But I can't remember and of what relevance? If I remember the cigarette was here, or there, or there.

MR LAMEY: No, no.

MR THWALA: But it's something normally unique and it's written there.

MR LAMEY: No, no, I accept that we have a time span here of many years ago and I also accept that you must have given instructions to various people over the years concerning communication and the linking up of communications etc.. is that correct?

MR THWALA: Yes, now how do you expect me to know this exact one?

MR LAMEY: No, exactly, because - all I want to ask you, is it possible because you see for Mr Mkhonza this was the only instance, if I remember correctly, he received instructions from you and I assume that he was in a better position to recall exactly what the instructions from you were, as opposed to you having given many instructions to various people and not precisely recall what the instructions were. But is it possible that you could have instructed him in very short, in a very brief and short way, that he's got to meet this person at the Carlton Centre, that you suggested some identification method, which he elaborated on in his evidence and that you merely said that this person would, the person that he was to meet would hand him some material, but not specifying really what material?


MR LAMEY: Because that was his evidence.

MR THWALA: I won't deny his evidence. It was very clear because the ...(indistinct) I can recall exactly what happened, what was supposed to happen to the unit, the unit was supposed to stay there and not go to Swaziland anymore, so ordinary instructions will be in that direction. If therefore he may have understood that there was something else he's getting from me, it could have been his interpretation, but for me ...(intervention)

MR LAMEY: Something getting from Nokuthula.

MR THWALA: If he says there was something as that issue, it may have been his own interpretation, there was nothing from our side that we needed to arrange, we wanted them to do the arrangements.

MR LAMEY: Thank you, I've got no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Lamey. Ms Thabethe.

MS THABETHE: No questions, Mr Chair.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr van den Berg, any re-examination?

MR VAN DEN BERG: No, I don't think so, Mr Chairperson. I don't have anything.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Thwala, thank you. You are excused.

MR THWALA: Through you, Mr Chair, if I may be allowed. I don't know time constraint, but I would like to say something to the Commission as it stands and also to the family of Nokuthula and this is that I think it has been very long that Nokuthula disappeared and the family not know as to what happened to their daughter.

It happened at a time when probably they were having - they were looking for a joyous occasion where there daughter was going to graduate at the university. I've met other families who knew that their children had passed away and they've gone through it for a shorter period of time, but you have stayed for so long. I do understand how they feel and I think coming to this almost end of the Commission, I do want to say that from our part as the ANC and on behalf of our unit, Transvaal Urban, I think we salute Nokuthula for her contribution and I've mentioned in my evidence and many a times that if Nokuthula had turned, I think we would have been eliminated in Swaziland. It did happen later on, after other people were arrested from Swaziland and we suffered casualties in Swaziland and some members of the National Executive Committee were killed in Swaziland, but with the knowledge that she had, and information she had about Swaziland and about our activities, I think she stayed with it up to the end because as a result, nothing happened and I think the family should regard this as the contribution that Nokuthula has made. A person who stood her ground and died, not giving in her comrades. If you look at the arrests that have been referred to, Justice Ngedi, in the Command, got arrested, and called six people from Swaziland and here is Nokuthula, the unit that she serviced in the Vaal remained in tact. I think for me its important that this is highlighted to the family and all and sundry that we've got this lady who made this contribution, to me she joins the ranks of Pila Ndwandwe from Natal and others who have made this contribution, who are glorified by the ANC, MK and the Women's League of ANC, so that as much as maybe up to now we may not go to the remains and say: "Here are the remains ultimately", but we maybe need to take solace that she made her contribution probably through our branches in ...(indistinct), herself and Victor Khayane, they need to be honoured and as our culture, sometimes it does happened, we should release her. If there are certain traditional things that have to be done, that should be followed because we have come to the end of the road now because we don't know what happened beyond Carlton Centre.

I'm saying up to this day Mama, we have come to an end. If there is anything that we should do, we should do it. But to me, this is what I regard Nokuthula and my unit as well, that some of us survived because of Nokuthula, she didn't budge, she didn't say anything. Thanks Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: I assume you don't have any questions. Yes, as I've indicated, you are excused Mr Thwala. Thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr van den Berg, is there anything else that you intend presenting?

MR VAN DEN BERG: There have been aspects put to this particular witness and I know that Mr Visser has time constraints, so perhaps I could consider my position and we could either certainly be in a position to be ready to argue tomorrow and if there is an additional witness, I imagine that that will be very short, somebody from the family.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, no we did intend to adjourn at this stage. I thought that perhaps you are in a position to give an indication, but if not, then it's neither here nor there. We are going to adjourn in any event at this stage and we will reconvene at 10 o'clock in the hope that there's nothing much else that needs to be done and also in the hope that the legal representatives will honour the indication that they've given that you would have Heads of Argument for us and assist us in following you arguments. Thank you very much. We'll then adjourn and reconvene at 10 o'clock.