MR BERGER: Mr Hattingh.


Yes, I was busy. Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Nortje, I do not think that the differences between your and Mr de Kock's version is so essential, but there may be other persons who will differ with me, so I shall deal with it briefly. May I just ask you beforehand, on previous occasions you have conceded that your memory with regard to the events of the past, there at Vlakplaas, is somewhat vague, is that correct?

MR NORTJE: That is correct, yes.

MR HATTINGH: And you were involved in many, many operations, legal and illegal operations.

MR NORTJE: That's correct, yes.

MR HATTINGH: Is it also correct then that you did not have any dealings with Mr McCaskill yourself?

MR NORTJE: No, I did not.

MR HATTINGH: Can you go as far as to say that you had anything to do with him at all in your personal capacity, a face to face situation?

MR NORTJE: Not beforehand, no.

MR HATTINGH: So if your version differs from what Mr de Kock says with regard to contact with Mr McCaskill and what was discussed there with him, then you will concede that Mr de Kock's version is probably more reliable than yours.

MR NORTJE: Yes, I shall agree with that.

MR HATTINGH: And the same goes with regard to the plan for the operation. In your evidence-in-chief you said that, or you used words to the effect that you do not know exactly how the operation was planned, is that correct?

MR NORTJE: Yes, that's true.

MR HATTINGH: And the planning was Mr de Kock's.

MR NORTJE: Yes, that's right.

MR HATTINGH: And once again, if there are differences between your evidence and his with regard to the planning, then you will probably concede that his version is probably more reliable.

MR NORTJE: Yes, I heard him and I shall go along with that.

MR HATTINGH: Did I also understand you correctly that you were not sure whether before the operation was executed, whether you had entered Maseru?

MR NORTJE: I cannot pertinently recall it, but it only makes sense that we would have done some reconnaissance before the time, but I cannot recall it as such.

MR HATTINGH: Very well then. And my impression of your evidence was that when you arrived in Lesotho, after you had crossed the river, that you did not even know where the house was.

MR NORTJE: No, I did not drive there myself and I cannot recall that I showed the road, I think I was disorientated, I did not know which direction we were going in.

MR HATTINGH: In your statement on page 19 of Volume 1, the third last paragraph you say:

"One night we crossed the river to the outskirts of Maseru to a certain house that the source had pointed out to us."

What did you mean by that, Mr Nortje?

MR NORTJE: No, as I have said yesterday, I want to imagine that at some stage when we went in the house was pointed out to us, I would not say by the source specifically but Mr de Kock showed us the house, because I think the source showed the house to him and he said "That's that house".

MR HATTINGH: So you did not express yourself correctly there, is that correct?

MR NORTJE: Yes, not entirely.

MR HATTINGH: And then with regard to the photo albums which you have mentioned, were you present when photos were shown to Mr McCaskill which were contained in an album?

MR NORTJE: No, I cannot recall that I was present.

MR HATTINGH: So if it happened then you heard about it, so you refer here to hearsay?

MR NORTJE: Yes, that's correct.

MR HATTINGH: You said that Mr de Kock, according to your recollection, left about 5 o'clock that afternoon to go to Lesotho to execute the operation.

MR NORTJE: Yes, that's correct.

MR HATTINGH: How far was the border from where he departed?

MR NORTJE: Approximately 10 kilometres, I would say.

MR HATTINGH: Yes, and you do not know at what time he crossed the border?

MR NORTJE: No, I cannot give you the exact time but it was before it was dark.

MR HATTINGH: It was before dark when he departed?

MR NORTJE: Yes, that's correct.

MR HATTINGH: But you do not know what time he crossed the border?

MR NORTJE: No, I do not know.

MR HATTINGH: And then another aspect of your evidence was the meeting with Mr McCaskill that evening of the operation, your evidence was that you crossed the border, this is now yourself and Mr Vermeulen and Mr Coetser, am I correct?

MR NORTJE: Yes, I suspect that he accompanied us. As I have said, I do not know whether it was he or Bosch. MR HATTINGH: I might be misleading you now, are you not sure if it was Coetser or Bosch?


MR HATTINGH: Because I imagine at some stage you said that Coetser went in the vehicles, are you not certain?


MR HATTINGH: It's not that important, that's not what it's about, but however that may be, whoever was there with you, were you met on the other side?

MR NORTJE: Yes, that's correct.

MR HATTINGH: And in your statement on page 19 once again, the last paragraph, you say there:

"Approximately 23H00 that night, Snor, Douw, Joe and I went over the river where we joined the other members with the vehicles."

Now you have already said that Douw was not there. That is also a mistake.

MR NORTJE: Yes, that is a mistake.

MR HATTINGH: And you say from there the group was divided into two and the impression that I have is that when you met there the group was divided into two for purposes of going to two different houses.

MR NORTJE: No, I apologise, that is not correct, that is not how it happened, I did not express myself correctly. As I have explained yesterday I recall it as it happened. We did divide there but then we sat there and waited for Mr de Kock and he later returned to us, but we did not go to the house where the party was held, only later when he once again joined us and then split the group again.

MR HATTINGH: But are you certain that it was stated incorrectly there, because you continue, saying that:

"De Kock, myself, Snor and Steve went to the house where the ANC members were partying."

MR NORTJE: That only happened later, yes.

MR HATTINGH: So that only happened later. Very well then. And then you say in your evidence yesterday that you were waiting at a place, can you recall where that place was?

MR NORTJE: It was from where we drove from the river into the populated area. I know that we were sitting in a street amongst houses. It appeared that it was some street, or it was a lane, it was not very wide. At that stage we were waiting for them and waiting for Mr de Kock to return.

MR HATTINGH: Mr McCaskill in his statement, Volume 2 page 71, says:

"We went to fetch another car next to a garage"

Was there a garage?

MR LAMEY: I beg your pardon, Mr Hattingh, I'm just trying to find the page number for Mr Nortje.

MR HATTINGH: I apologise, page 71 of Volume 2, paragraph 19. There more-or-less in the third line he says:

"We went to fetch another car next to a garage?

Can you recall whether there was a garage?

MR NORTJE: No, I don't know about that.

MR HATTINGH: In any case, I assume that Mr de Kock and the rest drove with you up to that point where you had to wait.

MR NORTJE: Yes, as far as I can recall, because we did not have any means of communication, so ...

MR HATTINGH: He had to know where to find you again?

MR NORTJE: That's correct, yes.

MR HATTINGH: And would you agree with him that that was a safe place from the perspective of the possible meeting up with any patrols?

MR NORTJE: I will agree with that under the circumstances, yes.

MR HATTINGH: And then can I just deal with something else, I shall come back to this point. Mr de Kock as a Commander was a person who was very strict and insisted that his orders be followed to the letter.


MR HATTINGH: And he was an experienced Commander, in the sense that for quite a number of years he was a Commander in Koevoet, is that correct?


MR HATTINGH: And you also served under him there.


MR HATTINGH: And you learnt to know him as a person who planned his operations very well, so that provision could be made for any eventualities.


MR HATTINGH: And then I return, you say that you were waiting at this point, did Mr de Kock arrive there?

MR NORTJE: Yes, at some stage he joined us. He would have been driving with the other Jetta and then we left there.

MR HATTINGH: But before you left he joined you where you were waiting?


MR HATTINGH: And what happened then?

MR NORTJE: I cannot recall, I don't know whether he said we should follow him. I cannot recall that anything specific happened there.

MR HATTINGH: So you have no recollection of what he told you there when he joined you, whether anything had happened?


MR HATTINGH: But you do have a recollection that you departed from there?

MR NORTJE: Yes, we drove from there to another point where he met with McCaskill.

MR HATTINGH: Very well. Now this other point, where was that Mr Nortje?

MR NORTJE: That was at the post office.

MR HATTINGH: Are you certain?

MR NORTJE: I am not entirely certain. It was at some T-junction on the main road.

MR HATTINGH: Was this in Leboa Jonathan road?

MR NORTJE: Yes, I think that's where it happened. The post office has to be there because that is where we departed from each other.

MR HATTINGH: So this was a very busy junction where you met?

MR NORTJE: No, we did not see any cars there.

MR HATTINGH: But usually - I do not know whether you know, but that's a crossing on the main road.

MR NORTJE: Yes, but there were not many other cars, or any other cars there.

MR HATTINGH: What about patrols?

MR NORTJE: I only saw one patrol and that was the one, the police vehicle that passed us while we were sitting there waiting.

MR HATTINGH: Yes, but you could not be certain that a military patrol would not pass there?

MR NORTJE: Well that could have happened at any time.

MR HATTINGH: And in your evidence yesterday - I am just trying to find my notes, I have a note here and you said - this is now telegraph style, it's definitely not complete because you were going fast:

"After while, de Kock came to fetch us to a place. Accept it was at the post office. There they met with McCaskill."

That is my note. I want to emphasise it's my note that said you accepted it was at the post office.

MR NORTJE: That's correct.

MR HATTINGH: So why did you accept that?

MR NORTJE: I cannot recall that I saw the post office specifically, but I went along with what he said, "We were at the post office", And I know at some stage I went along with what he said "We were at the post office" and I know at some stage there was a post office in a conversation, but I assumed that it was the post office. I don't know of any other place but the place that we met was at a T-junction and there was a building opposite. I cannot pertinently recall whether that was the post office, I assume that was the post office.

MR HATTINGH: And was Mr McCaskill waiting for you there?

MR NORTJE: I am not entirely certain whether he was standing there waiting for us, or under a tree or whatever, but I know that we found him there and when Mr de Kock returned he told us this is the situation and he spoke to Mr McCaskill and then we split up.

MR HATTINGH: But Mr Nortje, was there a vehicle in which Mr McCaskill had arrived in at that point?

MR NORTJE: I cannot recall seeing any vehicle.

MR HATTINGH: And when you departed from there, was Mr McCaskill with you?

MR NORTJE: No, he then drove with Adamson and the rest.

MR HATTINGH: He drove with Adamson?


MR HATTINGH: And you did not see that he - did he climb into the Jetta there and then?

MR NORTJE: I cannot say that I saw him climbing in, but I may have seen it, but I do not have a recollection thereof.

MR HATTINGH: You see Mr Nortje, it is my impression that your memory with regard to this part of the events is extremely vague, am I correct?

MR NORTJE: I cannot recall everything, no.

MR HATTINGH: Indeed you recall very little, you cannot recall whether Mr McCaskill was standing there, whether he was under a tree, you cannot recall whether he climbed into a vehicle, you cannot recall whether there was a vehicle that he arrived in.

MR NORTJE: I did not think about this afterwards and I did not think that I would have to talk about it again.

MR HATTINGH: Yes, I accept that, but that explains why I put it to you that your memory with regard to these events is really vague.

MR NORTJE: Yes, that is how I recall it.

MR HATTINGH: And will you concede that your memory might be incorrect?

MR NORTJE: I would not say that I am entirely incorrect, I cannot recall small details as to which side of the car he climbed in, but I know the last point where I saw him was there before we went to the house.

MR HATTINGH: You cannot recall seeing him climbing into the vehicle?


MR HATTINGH: And are you saying that Mr de Kock climbed out of the car when you met him there?

MR NORTJE: No, I cannot recall, because he would have been with Adamson in their car.

MR HATTINGH: Who is this "he" that you refer to?

MR NORTJE: Mr de Kock must have been with Adamson in the other vehicle.

MR HATTINGH: When you arrived there?

MR NORTJE: As I have said, he fetched us along with the other two members.

MR HATTINGH: And so now you drove in a convoy to a certain point.


MR HATTINGH: And you arrived there at the same time.


MR HATTINGH: And Mr de Kock at that stage was not in your vehicle?

MR NORTJE: No, he was not.

MR HATTINGH: Did you see him climbing out of the vehicle?

MR NORTJE: I cannot recall.

MR HATTINGH: His vehicle must have been in front because you did not know where you were going to.


MR HATTINGH: So when you stopped, he must have stopped in front of you?


MR HATTINGH: And now you were looking at a scene in front of you and you cannot say whether Mr de Kock climbed out of his vehicle?

MR NORTJE: I cannot recall exactly what I saw there.

MR HATTINGH: Were there street lights? Are you familiar with the vicinity there?

MR NORTJE: There was some light. What I recall specifically was that at some stage when he came walking to us, he had already had his weapon with him and the other vehicle left and he returned and he climbed into our vehicle, along with myself, Bosch and Vermeulen.

MR HATTINGH: According to your version it was not necessary for Mr McCaskill to drive in the vehicle of Coetser, in his own vehicle, in order to go and leave his vehicle at some place?

MR NORTJE: I cannot recall that I saw another vehicle, no.

MR HATTINGH: But if there was one, Mr Nortje, you would have recalled it.

MR NORTJE: I am not able to say.

MR HATTINGH: You see Mr McCaskill says in his statement and Mr de Kock also says that he thinks that had to be the case, that Mr McCaskill was there in his own vehicle and Mr McCaskill says that from there he drove in his own vehicle.

MR NORTJE: That may be so that he had his vehicle there, but I cannot recall his vehicle.

MR HATTINGH: Not only that he had his vehicle there but from there he departed in his vehicle.

MR NORTJE: I cannot recall that.

MR HATTINGH: And this Commander who was so strict on his planning of the operation and who was aware of the possibility of patrols passing, is now openly walking around with his automatic machine gun in the main road, Leboa Jonathan, and he walked up to your vehicle and climbed into your vehicle.

MR NORTJE: Yes, he came from the front across the road.

MR HATTINGH: That's a bit irresponsible, is it not?

MR NORTJE: Yes, it is.

MR HATTINGH: And is that how you knew him?

MR NORTJE: If a vehicle was passing he would have left there, but there was no-one that saw us and he saw that there was no-one looking.

MR HATTINGH: Were there no people in the houses or buildings who might have seen him?

MR NORTJE: I don't know, I didn't observe any.

MR HATTINGH: You say there where you, according to your recollection, met Mr McCaskill, the split took place.


MR HATTINGH: And from that point did you go straight to the house where you launched your attack?

MR NORTJE: That's correct.

MR HATTINGH: I want to put it to you, Mr Nortje, that Mr de Kock's version and as Mr McCaskill will also testify, is the correct version, that at some stage you did wait for him at some point and he possibly arrived there. He cannot recall, his recollection is that he drove around but eventually they did join you where you were waiting with Mr McCaskill in his vehicle with them and that division or the split of the manpower had taken place there.

MR NORTJE: I do not recall it as such.

MR HATTINGH: Is it possible, Mr Nortje, that your recollection of this is not reliable?

MR NORTJE: It is possible, but as I have said yesterday, my recollection is that Vermeulen, Bosch and I were sitting and waiting at a point and they came to us, or Mr de Kock came to us, we drove up to a certain point which I assumed was the post office. It was just a moment, those two persons were already in the vehicle. Adamson and Coetser and McCaskill drove with them and de Kock climbed into our car and we drove away. That's how I recall it.

MR HATTINGH: Very well. May I just read my note to you. I'm not entirely certain whether I wrote it down correctly, please correct me if it is not correct. If you will just grant me a moment, Chairperson. I cannot find that note now but I shall come back it.

May I just question you about the balaclava that you had. Were you the only one with a balaclava?

MR NORTJE: Well I definitely had one.

MR HATTINGH: Can you recall whether the others had balaclavas?

MR NORTJE: It only makes sense that the others would have had.

MR HATTINGH: Can you recall whether Mr de Kock had a balaclava when he came walking with his firearm in his hand to your car?

MR NORTJE: No, I cannot recall it now, but it is something ...

MR HATTINGH: This would have been even more suspicious if he, in summer was walking around with a balaclava on his head, is that not so?

MR NORTJE: Yes, it would have been if he pulled it down.

MR HATTINGH: But not otherwise?

MR NORTJE: Well the fact that a white person was walking around there with a firearm would have drawn attention definitely and that I recall specifically.

MR HATTINGH: Mr de Kock's version, you are aware of his version, would you agree with me that that version is a more logical version than your version?

MR LAMEY: Chairperson, with respect, I think that is a matter of argument and my learned fried is moving on the terrain of argument with the witness now, whether it's probable or logical, the version of Mr de Kock as opposed to that of Mr Nortje with regard to this aspect.

MR HATTINGH: With respect, not, Chairperson, it is about the planning of a military operation and everything accompanying that and from that perspective Mr de Kock's version makes more sense than that of the witness.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Lamey, he's not asking for an opinion, he's asking for the witness to concede that what has been put to him compared to his own version is the more likely to have occurred, it's based on fact. He's not asked for an opinion.

MR LAMEY: Mr Chairman, as I understand the question, Mr Nortje has got a version that Mr de Kock walked with his gun and climbed into the car, now Mr Hattingh puts it to him that that is illogic or improbable, the suggestion is it's improbable that he did that. That is Mr Nortje's version. Whether that is illogic or improbable, given the nature of the operation, is something for argument.

CHAIRPERSON: That's not what has been put to the witness, what has been put to the witness is that the version which has been put to him on behalf of Mr de Kock, is more logical than his own version. That's what's been put to him.

MR LAMEY: Yes no, I understand that, Chairperson, but I submit that if you put that, that is a question of argument, whether that version is more probable or more logic than this witness's version.

CHAIRPERSON: Well what's wrong with the witness commenting on that? The witness after all by his own admission was there.

MR LAMEY: The unreasonability of this is that the witness must judge his own probability and logic of his answer. That is his version and that is what he testifies. But I'll leave it, Chairperson, if the witness can comment on that. I just wanted to raise that. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nortje, we have now listened to your version and certain statements have been put to you on behalf of Mr de Kock, part thereof fits in with your version, there are aspects that differ from your version, many of those aspects are aspects about which you have a vague recollection. I understand with that poor memory with regard to those aspects, it is difficult to place you in a position to say yes or no or to confirm what Mr de Kock's representative is putting to you, but in the general course of things, as you and the other policemen knew it at that stage, what is the more probable version of what would have happened there?

I am only referring to the aspects where there are differences.

MR NORTJE: Chairperson, I can say that I am only trying to give my version as I recall it. I can concede that Mr de Kock is also correct, because we do not see everything the same, but certain things I can pertinently recall. I am not saying that he walked from the other side of the road, openly walked, I said he came from the vehicle to us. Maybe the picture has not been sketched properly, but I saw him with the firearm. This remained with me from that evening, that is why I mention it. I am not saying that he openly walked from wherever, it may have been a very short distance but he walked with his weapon to my car.

MR HATTINGH: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Nortje, maybe it has not been put to you clearly, I am not limiting the statement that I made to you to the fact that you say that Mr de Kock came walking to you with the firearm, I am referring to all the events there, that you say that he came to fetch you at a point where you were waiting and took you to a crossing on a busy main road and there men are split and he walks around with a firearm, while his version is "No, I went back to the post office and I met Mr McCaskill there who told me everything is ready and from there we drove to you and there the split took place."

CHAIRPERSON: Before you give that answer ... Mr Hattingh, how busy do we know a road is in Lesotho at approximately 10 o'clock in the evening?

MR HATTINGH: Maybe I should not refer to a busy street but to a main road as opposed to a place that was safe and that was specifically chosen for them to wait.

CHAIRPERSON: The reason why I ask this question is because the probabilities are affected if it was a busy road.

MR HATTINGH: Indeed, I should not have referred to a busy road, I should to a main road where there is lighting and so forth and buildings, that is what I mean. His whole planning from a military strategic perspective, according to his version, is much better planned than as it happened according to your version, do you not agree?

MR NORTJE: Yes, I shall agree with that.

MR HATTINGH: Very well. Can we then finally, I have found the note that I was looking for and immediately I want to tell you that I am not certain that I heard it correctly. I have a note here that says - this is just after you said:

"De Kock arrived there with weapon in hand"

and my note reads:

"De Kock and company (those are now the people who were with him) left, came back and said Joe was gone from the house."

This was after you were at the place where he met McCaskill, according to you. My note, it seems that he said that they drove from there and they came back and said Joe was gone from the house. Did I understand you I correctly?

MR NORTJE: That's not exactly what I meant. As I have explained now ...

MR HATTINGH: I think we need to press the buttons together. Is it on?

MR NORTJE: Yes, it's on.

MR HATTINGH: Very well. Finally, let us go to the issue of Special Forces. In your statement you say, on page 19 of Volume 1, in the centre of the page:

"During this time members of Special Forces were also planning for the same operation. De Kock had the initiative and refused that the source cooperate with Special Forces. We then continued on our own with the planning."

That sounds somewhat different than your evidence yesterday, and once again I shall tell you that my impression of your evidence yesterday was that he did not want the source to be made available to Special Forces.

MR NORTJE: May I answer?

MR HATTINGH: I beg your pardon, will you repeat, Mr Nortje?

MR NORTJE: I was not present during the discussions, what I was telling was what I heard from him.

MR HATTINGH: So this is all hearsay and it may be that you recall incorrectly?

MR NORTJE: Yes, but that is how I recall it.

MR HATTINGH: Because the impression I have is that you want to say with this that Mr de Kock was jealous or envious, that he wanted to execute the operation and not Special Forces.

MR NORTJE: No, I shall not say that.

MR HATTINGH: Is it possible that he was concerned about it? He did not testify about this because this issue was not put clearly to him in cross-examination, is it possible that he was concerned about the possibility that you and Special Forces were busy with the same operation and that you might jeopardise each other's operations?

MR NORTJE: Yes, that's very possible.

MR HATTINGH: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I have no further questions.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: Thank you, Chairperson, Visser on record.

Mr Nortje, while we keep in mind that these things had taken place quite a while ago and it is clear that your memory is somewhat poor, I would just like to point out that in two places in your statement you refer that the planning of the attack lasted approximately ten days and yesterday in your evidence-in-chief you said that it could not have been more than seven days. I would like to put it to you that according to the evidence of Gen van der Merwe and Brig Schoon, their memory was that it was a day or two and it was conceded that it could be somewhat longer but it was briefly after the giving of the instruction that the attack had taken place. Now I want to ask you how certain are you that it could have been 10 days?

MR NORTJE: When the instruction came specifically I do not know, but as I recall the events we foresaw the possibility that an operation would be launched, but the detail with regard to when exactly the instruction came, I had no knowledge.

MR VISSER: Yes, but as I understood your evidence, months before you were already in that vicinity.

MR NORTJE: Yes, we were working there.

MR VISSER: Thank you, Chairperson.


MR CORNELIUS: Thank you, Mr Chair. Cornelius for Vermeulen, I have no questions.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR JOUBERT: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Joubert on behalf of McCaskill.

Mr Nortje, in your evidence you stated, or you referred to the names of Leon Meyer and Mary Mini, you said that you were not certain whether you obtained these names from Mr McCaskill, you are not able to say whether this information was given to Mr de Kock by Mr McCaskill, or whether it was information which was given to Mr McCaskill and he was asked whether he knew these persons.


MR JOUBERT: I shall not touch upon the aspect with regard to the vehicles and the meeting, I do not want you to refer to that, Mr Hattingh has done it completely. I would just like to put to you that the version of Mr McCaskill concurs with the version of Mr de Kock. You have already conceded that you cannot recall the detail there.

MR NORTJE: That's correct, yes.

MR JOUBERT: And also in your evidence-in-chief you said that - and if I remember it correctly, you said:

"I heard that there was information that Mr McCaskill was approached to bring the group into South Africa"

and you think that was the Saturday. Can you recall that?

MR NORTJE: I recall that there was talk that the group would infiltrate on the Saturday, that is just something that I recalled which was said at some stage.

MR JOUBERT: But you cannot recall at which stage it was said?

MR NORTJE: I do not recall how long before the time it was said.

MR JOUBERT: Can you tell us, was it during the planning of that week or was it the evening of the incident that it was stated?

MR NORTJE: I am not certain.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: May I interpose, Mr Joubert.

But can you recall whether this was something that you overheard being said whilst you were stationed in Ladybrand?

MR NORTJE: Yes, I assume that is where I heard it. That is why we then launched the operation on that Friday evening.

MR JOUBERT: Thank you, Judge.

But if I understand you correctly, this information was available before the attack.


MR JOUBERT: Are you certain thereof?

MR NORTJE: That the party would be held?

MR JOUBERT: No, that Mr McCaskill was approached to bring the group into South Africa.

MR NORTJE: Yes, that was known beforehand.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: And you are saying that is the reason why you had to launch this attack before they could infiltrate the country that Saturday?

MR NORTJE: I assume that was part of the arrangement, yes. As I have said yesterday, my inference was that we would not have had any control over him, they at the eleventh hour could have changed their plans and they may have disappeared in another direction and we might have missed them and that was another reason that led to us launching the attack.

MR JOUBERT: You in cross-examination have said that the place where you met was close to a T-junction ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nortje, was that aspect discussed amongst you, that we should enter Lesotho, kill them because if the initial plan was implemented, then it's possible that they may take another route or something may go wrong? Was that discussed?

MR NORTJE: I cannot recall that specifically, Chairperson, but that's a logical inference.

CHAIRPERSON: No, but you testified that:

"That is also a reason why we entered Lesotho."

So it is a factor that definitely played a role in the decision to enter Lesotho, it must have. Why do you say that if it was not discussed?

MR NORTJE: I cannot recall pertinently at which stage it was specifically said, it is only a logical inference that I draw.

CHAIRPERSON: No, that may be so, but why do you say that is also a reason?

MR NORTJE: I think it was also reason.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes Mr Joubert.

MR JOUBERT: Thank you, Chairperson.

You said the meeting that you had was close to a T-junction, there where you met Mr de Kock once again and where Mr McCaskill was also. I would just like to put it to you that the meeting was at a T-junction but this T-junction was not close to the post office, it was close to a garage. Would you dispute that?

MR NORTJE: No, I am not able to.

MR JOUBERT: You also testified further with regard to the attack of Mr Meyer and Ms Quinn, you said that you were informed by Mr Adamson that Mr McCaskill knocked on the door.


MR JOUBERT: I just tell you that Mr McCaskill's evidence would be that he indeed did knock on the door, he concurs with that aspect. And then with regard to Mr McCaskill's statement, Volume 2 page 69, paragraph 7 thereof, there's a reference to the meeting in the hotel, reference is made to Eugene de Kock and his men. You denied that you were present there.

MR NORTJE: No, I was definitely not there.

MR JOUBERT: Mr McCaskill will testify that it was indeed Mr de Kock and some of his men, but he does not recall them. You cannot dispute such a meeting taking place?

MR NORTJE: No, I do not know.

MR JOUBERT: And then the following paragraph, paragraph 8 on the same page, with reference to the braai and the discussion there, your evidence was that you could not recall it. Is it correct to say that you do not dispute that it had indeed taken place but that you cannot recall it?

MR NORTJE: I do not recall that no, I cannot imagine a braai, but it is possible that something like that could have happened, but I do not have a specific recollection thereof.

MR JOUBERT: And then on the following page, page 70, paragraph 13, you were also questioned about this by your legal representative with regard to the other party that was arranged beforehand where no action could be taken and you said that you could not recall that another party had been arranged, is that correct?

MR NORTJE: That's correct, yes.

MR JOUBERT: Is it possible that such arrangements could have been made, that it had taken place, but you do not know about it?

MR NORTJE: Possibly, I cannot say that.

MR JOUBERT: So you would not dispute it?


MR JOUBERT: In Mr McCaskill's statement he also refers to a pistol which was handed over to him, or which was taken through to the border post and was then handed over to him, a weapon that he had to use to set up an ambush for Mr Meyer. You would not know if anything like that happened?

MR NORTJE: No, I cannot recall it.

MR JOUBERT: But it is possible?

MR NORTJE: I could not have been present because I cannot comment on that, I do not know.

MR JOUBERT: But it's possible, you will concede that it is possible?

MR NORTJE: Yes, it's possible, they contacted him many times.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Joubert, what does Mr McCaskill say?

MR JOUBERT: Chairperson, Mr McCaskill's evidence was not with reference to Mr Nortje, he says the weapon was handed over to him by Mr Adamson. There is no evidence with regard to the specific persons who were involved there. He cannot recall.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you asking him whether he was present or whether he knows about it? What does Mr McCaskill say, was he present or was he not present?

MR JOUBERT: Mr Nortje, Mr McCaskill cannot recall specifically who were the members who were present, he specifically recalls Mr de Kock and he recalls that the firearm was given to Mr Adamson to bring it to him in Lesotho. That is the specific persons involvement that he can recall. With regard to the other specific members, he cannot recall who was there and who was not there.

MR NORTJE: No, I was not there, I do not know about this.

MR JOUBERT: And then a final point, the residence where you and Mr de Kock went to and penetrated the house, can you tell us whether there was an outside room there?

MR NORTJE: I did not observe any.

MR JOUBERT: Mr McCaskill will testify that there was an outside room and it is indeed there where some of his family members and friends were.

MR NORTJE: Yes. that's possible.

MR JOUBERT: You also mentioned in your evidence ...(intervention)

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Mr Joubert, is that an outside room or a garage?

MR JOUBERT: It is an outside room. There is a motor garage with an outside room just behind it, or attached to it.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Can't you just put it to Mr Nortje in proper perspective, because you make it sound like it's a single dwelling whereas it is a garage attached to an outside room.

MR JOUBERT: Mr Nortje, there was a garage on the premises and just attached behind the garage there was a room there, did you notice that?

MR NORTJE: No, I did not have a look there, I cannot recall that I saw it.

MR JOUBERT: So you will not dispute that such a room did exist there?

MR NORTJE: No, it was not part of the house itself.

MR JOUBERT: With reference to the arrangement you said that there was an arrangement that he would remove his people from the house, do you know when this issue was discussed?

MR NORTJE: No, this is something that I heard. I do not know at which stage this was discussed, but it was something that was discussed.

MR JOUBERT: But Mr McCaskill will say that he did have a concern with regard to his family and/or friends who were present and he brought it to the specific attention of Mr de Kock and thereupon he returned to the premises to remove those persons.

MR NORTJE: I suspect that I heard this afterwards but I do recall that when Mr de Kock climbed into the house he said something about his wife or his cousin who may possibly be there.

MR JOUBERT: Thank you, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nortje, earlier you were questioned regarding the reasons why you entered Lesotho, you stated that it was one of the factors, or that you inferred that it was one of the reasons that if they were allowed to enter the country they would be able to change their plans or their directions. What were the other reasons why you entered Lesotho?

MR NORTJE: The reason was that we had the source who was in place, we could get the people together.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, it is about the fact that the attack or the plan had been changed, he wasn't going to lead them into South Africa anymore, therefore it follows that he would have to bring them together at a certain place, for your purposes, but you speak as if there were various reasons, at least two reasons why you entered Lesotho and did not stick to the original plan. We have already dealt with one of those reasons. What are the other reasons?

MR NORTJE: I cannot think of any more specific reasons that we discussed, Chairperson. As I have stated, I thought that that was the other reason because ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Then what's the first reason if that's the other reason?

MR NORTJE: The first reason is that it was decided that it would be executed in Lesotho with the assistance of the source, and that is all that we had in mind at that stage.

CHAIRPERSON: But if the original plan was permitted, would they have infiltrated with the assistance of the source? The similar factors would have applied.

MR NORTJE: I don't really understand.

CHAIRPERSON: You speak as if there was more than one reason and I'm trying to establish if this was indeed the case.

MR NORTJE: There were not any other reasons, the only reason was that we would find them there in their own territory.


MR BERGER: Chairperson, I understood that you didn't want me to start today because the chances of my finishing before 1 o'clock are quite remote and then Mr Nortje would be in the middle of my cross-examination between now and the 4th of September, and I'm quite happy that my cross-examination stands over until the 4th of September.

Mr Lamey also asked me, he said that Mr Nortje still being under cross-examination created a problem for him because he would have to consult with him on other matters and I said that I had no problem with him consulting with Mr Nortje between now and the 4th of September.

CHAIRPERSON: It seems that we have no option but to postpone this matter. The dates we had spoken about is to postpone it to the 4th of September, for that week, and then to resume on the 26th of September, for the balance of that week. I would expect us to finish this hearing in that period and I also expect that everybody would be able to fit in argument within that period, insofar as they think it is necessary to argue.

MR VISSER: Chairperson, if you're through with the business of the day, may we be allowed to wish Judge Khampepe well with her exciting time that's lying ahead for her and we hope that both she and the baby fair well.

JUDGE KHAMPEPE: Thank you, Mr Visser.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Patel, I would ask you to inform Mr Toweel of this arrangement because he's got an interest in this matter and hopefully - well, we have to deal with his client during that period as well.

MS PATEL: Yes, I will, Honourable Chairperson, as I will inform Mr Albertyn as he has indicated an interest to argue at the end of the matter on behalf of his client, Dr Barnard.

MR HATTINGH: Mr Chairman, may I just enquire what time you intend to start the hearing on Monday?

CHAIRPERSON: This coming Monday?


CHAIRPERSON: Mr van der Merwe, attorney, has asked me and I've granted him permission, to consult on certain issues before we start, so I would imagine that maybe 11 o'clock or whatever, after tea would be a suitable starting time. Does that suit you?

MR BERGER: Thank you, Mr Chairman, because I would also need some time to consult with Mr de Kock. Thank you.