CHAIRPERSON: It is slightly after nine o'clock, we have been awaiting the arrival of one of the legal representatives. You had finished, Mr Nel?

MR NEL: Yes, Mr Chairman, I had concluded my questioning, thank you Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Any questions?


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR KUBONI: Mr Chairman, I have one or two questions for the applicant. Mr Bennetts, at the time that you operated in Chesterville, didn't you keep any pocketbook or investigation diary?

MR BENNETTS: I did keep pocketbooks, they would have been handed in at the Riot Unit offices, I cannot tell you whatever became of them.

MR KUBONI: Okay. And did you record down all these incidents, that is when you went to assault these guys, or went you went to assault these activists, did you record it down, whatever that you had ...

MR BENNETTS: No, I would not have.

MR KUBONI: Okay, right. And then Mr Hlozi ...

CHAIRPERSON: Before we go on, I think it is entirely theoretical because my experience is that pocketbooks get destroyed after a certain time, but you would not have written

down when you went to assault people, but when you were investigating matters, you would have written down the names of the persons you were interviewing, what have you, wouldn't you?


MR KUBONI: Thank you Mr Chair. I understand that you confirm most of the allegations that are made by Mr Hlozi in his affidavit?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, I am not able to dispute any of the allegations, no.

MR KUBONI: Okay, but the way I understood from your evidence, you said that in so far as the incident, the incidents at Westville Prison, you say you were not involved in that?

MR BENNETTS: I don't believe I would have been given access to book someone out at night from Westville Prison.

MR KUBONI: But my understanding is that Mr Hlozi knows you. In my view, he could not have made a mistake that somebody else other than you, could have come and take, I mean could have come and taken him out of the prison?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, what I am saying is it is possible, I just don't recall having it happen, but it is likely, it is possible. I don't know, it is a long time ago.

CHAIRPERSON: But surely if you did something unusual like going to Westville Prison at night and taking a prisoner out of the prison to assault him and then return him to the prison, you would remember such an incident?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, I am sure I would, and I don't.

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


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS MOHAMED: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Bennetts, it was your evidence at some stage that other members of your Riot Unit in the Chesterville area passed themselves off as Sgt Frank?

MR BENNETTS: That is correct, yes.

MS MOHAMED: Just for the record, each of the victims that I am on record as representing, specifically maintain and have identified you to be the person that actually perpetrated the acts as stated in their statements.

MR BENNETTS: I would agree to that, yes.

MS MOHAMED: Thank you Mr Bennetts. I want to take you to the second incident that you are applying for, sorry, before I get to that, you are aware that various victims have submitted and it has been your evidence, in fact it was placed before us on record, that you have read these statements and you have responded to it accordingly?

MR BENNETTS: That is correct, yes.

MS MOHAMED: Thank you. Now the second incident that you are applying for amnesty for, this framing of the activist where the envelope was given, did you know the person that the envelope was intended for?

MR BENNETTS: No, I did not.

MS MOHAMED: So you did not have any idea as to what his name was, how old he was, or what his occupation was?

MR BENNETTS: None whatsoever.

MS MOHAMED: Mr Bennetts, if you would just turn to Bundle D, which is the Section 29 transcript, I am going to refer you to two portions, firstly page 77, do you have that?

MR BENNETTS: I have it, thank you.

MS MOHAMED: Okay, midway down that page, I think Mr Govender is asking you, I am not sure if it is one of the Commissioners, which says -

"... this person who subsequently died, who was he, do you know?"

Have you found the reference?

MR BENNETTS: I have found that.

MS MOHAMED: Okay, and then you go on to say -

"... I believe a school teacher."

Okay, and then later on on page 92, this is Mr Govender's question which is right at the bottom of the page there, it says, it starts off with -

"... Mr Bennetts, the incident that you described earlier on where a sum of money was handed over to the school teacher who was subsequently necklaced, you were approached by Kruger ...",

etc, and it goes on, now even at that stage, you didn't say anything about him not being a school teacher? Maybe you can just explain.

CHAIRPERSON: What page is that?

MS MOHAMED: Page 92, Mr Chairman. If you could just give us an explanation as to how it is that you came to refer to this deceased as a school teacher or you came to know that he was a school teacher?

MR BENNETTS: I cannot give an explanation. I sat last night, going through notes and things as well, and I also noticed this in some hand-written notes I had at home, that I had made between the two dates of these two hearings and I had also written there that I think along the line that this guy may have been a school teacher. I cannot tell you, right now, I don't know.

CHAIRPERSON: That question indicates the money was handed over to him, which is clearly not consistent with your evidence, is it?

MR BENNETTS: No Sir, no, it was handed to a female.

MS MOHAMED: Mr Bennetts, the deceased in that particular incident, his family who I represent, have instructed me that the deceased was not a school teacher.

MR BENNETTS: Like I say, at the time, trying to think back, at the time of this, I don't know what you call it, a 129 hearing or something, at the previous TRC hearings that I testified at on those two dates, as I was saying, I went in there totally unprepared, I was subpoenaed and I walked in and I was bombarded with these questions and I tried my best to answer them as best that I could remember at the time.

At the time, I am assuming that I would have thought this guy was a school teacher, somewhere along the line, trying to sit there as I am sitting in front of you now, with the question being asked, trying to think back. In all likelihood I was wrong, it appears that I was wrong.

You know, there are going to be inconsistencies in what I said there, I am going back, I think I testified at this hearing about two years ago, if I am not mistaken, to sit now and also try and remember what I said there, is difficult. I am sitting here now, trying to remember the facts as I would know them, and that is what I am testifying to.

MS MOHAMED: Thank you Mr Chairman, I have no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: You have given us evidence of quite a few things, you did, but do you remember the birthday present that Shaun Fourie gave you when you and he went out with guns to shoot somebody?

MR BENNETTS: Sir, I remember that incident clearly, because I was actually asked about it at the previous hearing. It didn't actually occur as was alleged at the time. It happened to be on my birthday and Shaun Fourie passed a comment to me either when we came on duty or soon after we left the police station, you know "being your birthday, come we will see if we can get you a present and shoot someone", we didn't go out intentionally and go and shoot someone. Circumstances so happened that it occurred that this guy was shot at by Shaun Fourie.

I recall the incident, because at the time I had either an injured knee or an injured foot, I cannot remember, and I couldn't run or walk properly.

ADV SIGODI: Mr Bennetts, how old were you during this time, roundabout 1987, 1988?

MR BENNETTS: I just want to work it out, I was born in 1963, 24 years old in 1987 if I am calculating correctly.

ADV SIGODI: The people that you were targeting in particularly Chesterville, were mostly UDF people, is that correct, I mean from the statements that I've got from the victims?

MR BENNETTS: Yes Ma'am, that is correct.

ADV SIGODI: Now with the UDF people, you were targeting certain people, you couldn't target everybody, I am sure you would look and choose people who were leaders so to speak, is that correct?

MR BENNETTS: Initially yes, and with the persons whom we had been necklacing, tubing, shocking, etc, we would extract from them names of other persons and it followed on in that sort of event type system, where A would name B and C and then in a few days' time, we would go and look for B and C and they would be tortured, they would be tubed, they would be necklaced and whatever they gave us, we would follow up again.

ADV SIGODI: In other words you were just targeting members of the UDF, not necessarily leaders of the UDF?

MR BENNETTS: That is correct, yes.

ADV SIGODI: Because from the statements of the victims, it seems that you used to harass these people on a frequent basis, that you used to go to their houses more often, not just once, not twice, but on a regular basis?

MR BENNETTS: Ma'am, there were certain of the chaps, I remember one house for example, more or less at the corner of, it is not actually on the corner, at the intersection if I can put it that way, of Road 8 and Road 12 if I am not mistaken, I cannot recall the surname, but one of the guys from that house had been identified and also we followed information or names that were also given to us from the A-Team, and he was one of the guys. When we visited the house, he was never, ever there, and that was one of the houses that I chose out and it was one that we shot at with teargas on a regular basis.

When I say regular, I mean probably once or twice a month, maybe even more. Yes, so it was a chap who wasn't found and we targeted the family and we harassed them on a semi-permanent basis.

ADV SIGODI: Yes, but then wouldn't that make reason for you to remember the surname at least, of that particular house if you went there on a more regular basis?

MR BENNETTS: I cannot say with hundred percent accuracy, but I think it might be this Mngadi that is referred to here. I think, I cannot say with hundred percent accuracy, but I could go back to the house and show you where the house is, or I could give you a drawn description of exactly where the house is located. It is on the intersection where Road 8 runs up, it is almost on an uphill and where Road 12 joins on, it is directly opposite where Road 12 joins on, slightly lower than the street level.

ADV SIGODI: What is of concern to me is the fact that you don't seem to remember any of the names of the people that you were harassing, and one would imagine that if there were certain people who were targets, one would at least remember the names of the people who were targeted?

MR BENNETTS: Ma'am, honestly, honestly, honestly, I just cannot, I have tried, I have tried to wrack my mind and the best explanation I can give to you is because it happened so regular and so often. Let me put it to you this way, I attended a number of accidents in the Police Force during my career as well, and only certain of them actually stick out.

I cannot sit down and recall things. I have tried my best to really try and say - I know I did this, it was a long time, it was a four year period, more or less if I am not mistaken in which almost like four nights a week, five nights a week, we were harassing and torturing people. More than that I cannot say, I can go back and I can point out certain of the houses that we went to.

One of the chaps who I know we drove around for a long time looking for, was a chap by the name of Charles Ngcobo and he lived in the road, I don't know the road number, I think it was maybe Road 16, just above the cemetery. He was one of the guys that had been identified, in fact him and his brother had been identified by the CID's as being wanted on various cases.

At one point his brother was arrested by us and he was taken, he denied to be a chap by the name of Siphiwe Ngcobo. Again, you see, there is a name I can recall, Siphiwe Ngcobo was taken because he denied his identity as Siphiwe Ngcobo, he was taken out to Claremont where he alleged he came from and given the opportunity to show where he lived, and he ran away there, from us, he broke free from the Defence Force chap who was with us and he was shot and killed, attempting to flee.

That, he was not murdered, it was a genuine case, he ran away, and he was shot and killed. But subsequent ...

CHAIRPERSON: Was that normal Police procedure, when somebody had not been proved to commit an offence to kill them if they tried to escape?

MR BENNETTS: Sir, we had statements and there were warrants of arrest with the Detectives for that specific gentleman. We only took him to Claremont to give him the opportunity to prove that he was not the person who had been identified to us as being Siphiwe Ngcobo and he fled and they chased him down the alleyway and they soldier shot him. But what I actually want to get to here is that subsequent to this, I spent a lot of time personally, harassing his brother, Charles Ngcobo. He was one of the chaps, I think I mentioned earlier in my evidence, we drove around in a casspir with loudspeakers on during all hours of the night, keeping everybody awake and one of the things, I was driving around, probably for about three months if I am not mistaken, almost every night, driving around with these loudspeakers on calling to Charles Ngcobo and telling him I am going to shoot him like I shot his brother. It is an incident that sticks out in my mind.

It is not an incident, it was a long drawn out, protracted thing. Yes, there is a name that I can remember, Sir. I attended and I testified at an inquest into Siphiwe's shooting, here at Pinetown court in fact. I am not trying to hide things from the Committee here, I just, I genuinely just cannot remember names, I cannot remember dates and I cannot remember specific incidents. One or two stick out in my mind, and that is it, the rest of it just became, or that is it, that is what we were doing today and that is what we were doing yesterday and that is what we did the next day and the next week and the next month.

ADV SIGODI: Thank you Chair.

MR MALAN: Mr Bennetts, I just want some more information to really understand your involvement after being seconded, after having been seconded to the Security Branch as you say.

Please explain your role to us.

MR BENNETTS: Okay, Sir, initially we went over, the group that I had been working with in Chesterville plus a similar group that had been operating in Lamontville under Sgt van der Berg, were seconded over to the Security Branch.

Upon our arrival, the first thing that we did was we were introduced to who was then Maj Andy Taylor and we all had to sign a copy of the official Secrets Act. That was the first thing he insisted being done, before anybody did anything. Under his direct command, what we did was for quite some time, I only refer to it in Afrikaans, because that is how I know it, these "landverlater" files ...

MR MALAN: Can you repeat that, you have used that on a number of times, but I cannot hear it.

MR BENNETTS: It is "landverlater".

MR MALAN: "Landsverlater"?

MR BENNETTS: "Landsverlater", yes Sir.

MR MALAN: Exiles?



MR BENNETTS: Okay, we worked on those files.

MR MALAN: Sorry, what about the "landsverlaters"?

MR BENNETTS: That is the files that we worked on initially when we got there.

MR MALAN: "Landsverlater" files?


MR MALAN: Exile files? Okay.

MR BENNETTS: All right, now what we would do is, we were supplied from the people at the office a list of suspected persons who or persons who had been suspected of having left the country for training or for other purposes illegally.


MR BENNETTS: All right, we would take that name and address of that person and go and visit the residence in question, albeit in kwaMashu, Lamontville, wherever.

MR MALAN: Visit the residences, the addresses that you had?



MR BENNETTS: Okay, we would interview the family and attempt to establish the whereabouts of the person.


MR BENNETTS: Irrespective of whether we were told, I mean I don't recall anyone actually ever telling me "he has left the country to join the ANC", but irrespective of that, the persons were then advised that we had information that they had left the country. We had a roneod form which we completed and handed to these persons. We attempted to obtain, by going through their photo albums and things, a photograph of the person involved and this was all taken back, a file and a report completed and handed back in at C.R. Swart Square's office.

MR MALAN: That didn't go with any intimidation or assaults or torture, this was simply a ...

MR BENNETTS: No, no, there was nothing like that Sir, it was just simply like an administrative type thing. I think that they just didn't have sufficient people there at the time to do all of this, because there was a hang of a lot of them at the time.

MR MALAN: Yes, any other responsibilities?

MR BENNETTS: Yes. Then we also gradually because I had had some investigative experience, we gradually started to get more and more involved in the investigations. When I say investigations, I think I actually referred to them as petty investigations. From the Security Branch point of view I say they were petty investigations.

That was simply matters where the then Riot Unit, etc, may have arrested somebody with an AK47 or a handgrenade or an unlicensed firearm and it may have been political, like a Makarov or a Tokarev and we would then take over that docket, it wouldn't be handled by the normal CID's at the stations. It was handled, again it was investigated by the people at C-Section.

We carried, I carried quite a few of those dockets towards the end of the period before I left to go up to The Farm with Mr Taylor. Again, during that period there wasn't that I recall any assaults, intimidations or anything like that happening. It was basically straight forward matters that just had to go through the course of events, but because it was East bloc firearms, the Security Branch handled those dockets.

Again I think it was just to alleviate the more experienced investigators like Mr Fivaz and these guys, who were involved with the investigations like for example the Magoo’s car bomb docket and that sort of thing, those sort of cases I was never personally involved, but some of the junior chaps that were with us, for example for the want of having the paperwork wound up, had to go and take statements from all the persons whose windows were damaged. It was just a straight forward, almost an administrative thing, just to see that it was done, "I live in flat number so and so, I had four windows knocked out, value X".

That was basically what we did there. We, again because of the few number of people if I can put it that, actually on the C-Section of Security Branch itself, where information was received of an arms cache or a trained person and that, quite a large number of us went out, although physically we were there to do nothing than, bar, just extra hands on the scene if needed for something. If something came up with the investigations that needed to be followed up quickly, in a hurry, at another address somewhere, there were people available with vehicles and all that, to go shooting through.

MR MALAN: Who was your immediate Commander at that stage?

MR BENNETTS: Initially it was Maj Andy Taylor.

MR MALAN: But if you were going out on these petty crime investigations which you talk, petty matters, who would instruct you, Taylor himself?

MR BENNETTS: Taylor himself, yes, Sir.

MR MALAN: No one in between?

MR BENNETTS: No. Well in between there were other officers between, below him was ...

MR MALAN: I am asking about your immediate Commander, not the top, not the Head of the Office.

MR BENNETTS: No, that would have probably been Capt Cloete.

MR MALAN: Capt Kruger?


MR MALAN: What do you mean "it would have probably been" him?

MR BENNETTS: Well, he was more involved with the whole investigation and the docket side of things.

MR MALAN: So he would have given you instructions?

MR BENNETTS: He would have given instructions.

MR MALAN: He would have handed you the docket?


MR MALAN: So he is responsible ...

MR BENNETTS: He wouldn't have had the docket. What would have happened is you would have had a call that had come in from say for example out in Toti area somewhere, and he would contact us and say "right, they found a chap there with a grenade or something, go out and go and see what needs to be done", the docket would be registered there, we would sign for it and bring it back.

MR MALAN: Open a docket?

MR BENNETTS: He would then decide whether we would continue with that investigation or he would hand it to someone else like Shaun Fourie or Fernandez or one of these guys to do.

MR MALAN: So was Kruger in charge of this Unit, that did this investigation, this petty crime?

MR BENNETTS: No, Kruger had already left before we went to the Security Branch.

MR MALAN: But I have just asked you who was your Commander when you were at the Security Branch?

MR BENNETTS: It was Cloete, Sir.

MR MALAN: Oh, Cloete?

MR BENNETTS: Yes Sir, Cloete. Capt Cloete.

MR MALAN: I thought you said Kruger and I repeated Kruger and you said yes? But then we didn't hear each other, Cloete?

MR BENNETTS: I am sorry, it was Capt Cloete Sir, yes.

MR MALAN: Now was Cloete ever involved in any of these, in the second and third incident to your knowledge?

MR BENNETTS: No Sir. No, not that I know of at all, Sir.

MR MALAN: Can you advance any explanation as to why you and Shaun Fourie would get a call but Cloete, not to get involved in this ...

MR BENNETTS: Capt Cloete was very seldom out in the field with us, he was in the office most of the time.

MR MALAN: And you said you cannot remember where this call came from for you to attend that meeting at the time when this conspiracy was concluded?

MR BENNETTS: It would have been someone from the C-Section because all of us at Security Branch worked on a totally separate radio channel to the rest of the guys.

MR MALAN: Yes, it would have been someone from the C-Section, you were part of the C-Section?


MR MALAN: On your evidence?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, that is right.

MR MALAN: I am asking you whether you can recall where in C-Section more or less, that would have come from? Would it have been Fivaz calling on you?

MR BENNETTS: Sir, I cannot recall. It could have been Fivaz or it could have been Cloete.

MR MALAN: It could have been anyone in the office?

MR BENNETTS: It could have been anyone else in the office, just to say there is a ...

MR MALAN: Radioing you specifically as the most junior, as you described yourself ...

MR BENNETTS: No, not only myself Sir, not only myself.

MR MALAN: Yourself and Fourie?

MR BENNETTS: Myself and Fourie were in a vehicle, so we were also contacted and told to attend the meeting.

MR MALAN: Who else were told to attend the meeting?

MR BENNETTS: I cannot recall on the radio, but I am assuming the other people that may have been at the office, and they went from there to the meeting. Myself and Fourie, if I recall at the time, were probably out in Umlazi or something like that, we were called on the radio and told to come back for a meeting.

MR MALAN: How do you know that the others were also radioed?

MR BENNETTS: I don't know if they were radioed or if they were in the office, I cannot recall.

MR MALAN: Well, please Mr Bennetts, my question is to your knowledge, you know only that Fourie and yourself were radioed?

MR BENNETTS: Were radioed, as far as I recall.

MR MALAN: You don't know whether any other individual was radioed?

MR BENNETTS: I don't know, Sir.

MR MALAN: So why do you say that not only, it is not only the two of you, everybody else was radioed?

MR BENNETTS: No, I don't say they were radioed Sir, I say they may have been back at the office and gone from there. They may not necessarily have been called on the radio and sent there.

MR MALAN: Now who else pitched for that meeting?

MR BENNETTS: As I said, we arrived there late.


MR BENNETTS: But present at the time was Fivaz, Fernandez.

MR MALAN: De Jager? De Jager, maybe Piet Nel?

MR BENNETTS: De Jager, I don't know if Piet Nel was there.

MR MALAN: Yes, maybe Piet Nel?

MR BENNETTS: Maybe Piet Nel and then myself and Fourie who arrived subsequent and inside the room, were members of the Reaction Unit there also, in their camouflage uniform.

MR MALAN: How many of them?

MR BENNETTS: Quite a few, probably about 10 or 12. It was at their office where the meeting was held.

MR MALAN: Okay, so it was at their office where a meeting was held which on your evidence, they apparently attended because they were there when you arrived?


MR MALAN: And the meeting was ending or had just ended?


MR MALAN: But they were part of that meeting?


MR MALAN: Where they talked about the details of a plan to assassinate an individual?

MR BENNETTS: I don't believe that would have been talked about in that meeting, to everybody who was present, I don't believe that would have happened. I believe what would have happened is the address would have been given, the location, the area, a description of the person involved and that sort of thing.

That is information the Reaction Unit would have needed to be able to go into the house, and go and fetch the person. I believe amongst that meeting, a privy few were probably spoken to or maybe afterwards or maybe even beforehand.

MR MALAN: Okay. Do you know of any other person who attended that meeting, either at the planning stage or after the meeting had completed, who came into the room, yourself and Fourie, who were told - just listen to the question - who were told that this was really an exercise to assassinate that individual?

MR BENNETTS: Sir, I don't know of anyone else. I only know of a conversation that took place between myself and Fivaz.

MR MALAN: So Fivaz chose and this was more or less a question from Mr Nel to you yesterday, to inform you that they had this conspiracy to take out an individual whereas at that meeting, for all intends and purposes because I assume this was also your information, that it was an exercise to grab hold of an individual?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, that is what I assumed at first, yes Sir.

MR MALAN: That is what was told to everybody when you arrived?


MR MALAN: At no stage in that meeting was there any mention made that you have knowledge of, that this person was to be taken out?

MR BENNETTS: I wasn't at the meeting Sir, I don't know what was actually discussed there.

MR MALAN: Yes, to your knowledge, you have no such knowledge?

MR BENNETTS: No such knowledge, no Sir.

MR MALAN: And you think, that is what you said to us, that it would not have been discussed?

MR BENNETTS: I don't think it would have.

MR MALAN: You think the planning was simply there to move to this place and to apprehend this individual?


MR MALAN: And your only knowledge about the killing was

Fivaz telling you that this was a planned assassination and you were asked to bring a dud handgrenade?

MR BENNETTS: Fernandez afterwards ...

MR MALAN: Yes, Fernandez.

MR BENNETTS: Asked me to bring a dud grenade, yes Sir.

MR MALAN: Fivaz tells you "we are going to kill this guy", Fernandez asks you to bring your dud memento?


MR MALAN: That is your only knowledge?

MR BENNETTS: That is my only knowledge of it.

MR MALAN: And you were, I just want to get clarity in my mind again, you were sitting in your car while this operation was going on?

MR BENNETTS: In the car or next to the car, not in the car the whole time. We were stopping people from walking along the road, or traffic driving up the road, passed the house.

MR MALAN: Somewhere, maybe the Chair can follow this up, but somewhere in your Section 29 evidence you said that there were about three or four I think, I don't have the page reference, Riot Unit people present at the exercise? Oh, sorry, at the meeting not at the exercise, the meeting, planning, three or four?

MR BENNETTS: Sir, look, like I say, when we went into the office, when we arrived at the office, they were sitting, you've got to understand how the Reaction Unit office was laid out, it was more or less a long, because it is the old Point Prison, so I am assuming it would have been one of the cells or something like that because it still had one of those big cell doors that could get locked up, in there. We were, what I am talking about is when I approached, Fivaz and them on the opposite end to where the door was and up there were sitting a few of the Reaction Unit guys. Further back in their main office, was the rest of the group. The whole group is made out with this camouflage netting and blankets and bunks and they've got lockers and all sorts of things. In the context of the entire section that you can call is their office section, which is made up of one or two rooms, partitioned by lockers and things.

MR MALAN: But that meeting would have been held in a room?

MR BENNETTS: In a section of that one long room, yes.

MR MALAN: Yes. And you wouldn't be able to see others, or others wouldn't be participating in that specific meeting?

MR BENNETTS: No Sir, I don't think so.

MR MALAN: They are in their offices or sections or whatever you could call it?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, well, in that one section, yes.

MR MALAN: So present were Fivaz and the others that you mentioned, were three or four?

MR BENNETTS: Were only a few.

MR MALAN: Only a few?

MR BENNETTS: Only a few, yes Sir.

MR MALAN: Thank you.

MR BENNETTS: Sir, again, I went through last night and I tried to read through all of this and I went through hand-written notes I had made and all that at the time too, and again, you are asking me if I know of anyone else who was in that meeting, I don't, but I found in my hand-written notes last night, that I had noted that of those three or four, one of them was then a Warrant Officer Cook, Robbie Cook, was one of the three or four who was standing there.

The others I don't know, by name, anyway.

MR MALAN: So did he participate in the exercise, Cook?

MR BENNETTS: No, I don't think he did, Sir.

MR MALAN: So why do you remember him being there?

MR BENNETTS: I don't remember him being there, but I, what I am saying is I found a reference to him in my notes. Previously, two years ago, at the TRC hearings, I had made a note, a hand-written note to say that he had been part of that initial small group up the front.

I couldn't even tell you, he may have walked in afterwards, I don't know but he was present.

MR MALAN: Then just a last question, did you ever discuss this with anyone after the incident, the planting of the grenade and the conspiracy to indeed kill but not apprehend?


MR MALAN: You never talked to anyone about this?


MR MALAN: Not to Shaun Fourie?

MR BENNETTS: Well, Shaun Fourie, we had discussed it in the car and that sort of thing on the way up, yes. He was aware of what was happening, he was standing with me when we were there with Fivaz.

MR MALAN: Fivaz did not only approach you, he approached yourself and Fourie?

MR BENNETTS: Myself and Shaun Fourie walked in, but Fivaz spoke to me, Sir.

MR MALAN: Where was this?

MR BENNETTS: At, after that meeting.

MR MALAN: I thought you walked into the meeting?

MR BENNETTS: No, myself and Shaun Fourie arrived together and we walked in.


MR BENNETTS: We both walked up, we were standing together, Fivaz addressed me.

MR MALAN: While the others were still in the room?

MR BENNETTS: No, we walked one side.

MR MALAN: In that same room?

MR BENNETTS: In that same room, yes Sir.

MR MALAN: But the others were still in the room?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, but it is a distance from here to ...

MR MALAN: And then Fivaz comes to - sorry - and then Fivaz comes to, walks up to you in the corner and he tells you clandestinely that this is a conspiracy and "we are going to take out someone"?

MR BENNETTS: Sir, it is not quite the way that you are describing it here, because when we arrived, we were there for a little while before Fivaz spoke to us, where we were enlightened about the operation, they were all going up, we had to get together at a certain time at C.R. Swart and he took us, afterwards, because we were enlightened, we were not in that meeting.

MR MALAN: Just take it bit for bit. You came into the room and the exercise was discussed or were you informed?

MR BENNETTS: No, we were informed by Fivaz. When we walked in there were ...

MR MALAN: They had already planned everything?

MR BENNETTS: Everything had been planned, we were ...

MR MALAN: So Fivaz takes off the time to give you the detail, to yourself and Fourie?

MR BENNETTS: Very, very briefly of what the plan was about going to Inanda and arresting this guy.

MR MALAN: All right.

MR BENNETTS: At that stage, if I recall correctly, we were still around the table where these three Reaction Unit guys were, where Chris de Jager was standing, where Fernandez was standing, in other words it was a group of probably about eight of us, where myself and Shaun Fourie were enlightened as to what the general plan was.

Afterwards when we walked away from the table, further out in the room and that Fivaz said to us "listen", the way I recall it, I cannot remember the exact wording, but "this guy is going to be shot, he has to be killed, because otherwise he is going to identify Pacman".

MR MALAN: Okay, but he didn't expect of you to kill him?


MR MALAN: But he informs you that he will be killed?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, he informed us that he will be killed.

MR MALAN: Yet at the same time you are telling us you do not believe that that would have been discussed in the full meeting?

MR BENNETTS: I do not believe it would have been discussed in the full meeting.

MR MALAN: Now, why would he ...

MR BENNETTS: I think it would have been discussed with the one or two who had planned to go into the house.

MR MALAN: Why would he have told you if he did not have a role for you in the execution of that conspiracy, the killing?

MR BENNETTS: Sir, again, you are asking me to make a presumption here. From that point of view, yes, that is all I can make here, is a presumption. Mr Nel made reference to some forms of reports that have been made, that sort of thing, I bear no knowledge of that. All I can assume is, I know that Mr Fivaz had a lot of respect and a lot of time for Shaun Fourie and in fact, I know that at one stage he worked with Shaun Fourie's father, who was also in the Police Force and he was in fact, I believe, crippled or he lost a leg or something during the Cato Manor raids of the 1970's at some time. I have never met Shaun's father.

But he was apparently a close friend and a colleague of Fivaz. I think Fivaz, all I can assume is that Fivaz was taking a chance, whether he was now going to be prepared to start to bring us in a bit more, I don't know.

MR MALAN: So your explanation is that he told you because he trusted Shaun?

MR BENNETTS: Well, we were standing there together, myself and Shaun.

MR MALAN: Yes, but you said earlier that he addressed you?

MR BENNETTS: But he addressed me, yes, I was the senior member out of myself and Shaun. I am standing to the two of you here, I am talking to you, in fact, I am addressing the Chair. The two of us stood there, in front of him, but the conversation as far as I recall, took place more or less addressed to me. He didn't look me in the eye the entire time he was talking, the two of us were standing there, but the conversation was said to me.

MR MALAN: Was this person, Cook, your senior or your junior?

MR BENNETTS: Cook was the Head of the Reaction Unit.

MR MALAN: So you were the most junior, except for Shaun Fourie there?

MR BENNETTS: No, I think I was still senior to Fernandez service wise, that is how it worked. I am assuming because of the reputation and stuff, we had from Chesterville, that Mr Fivaz decided he is going to trust us there. I don't know. Perhaps if things had worked out, we might have been trusted at a later stage with more, I don't know.

MR MALAN: Okay, apart from having signed this declaration of confidentiality when you went over, taking the oath of confidentiality, were any other paperwork done for your secondment?

MR BENNETTS: No Sir. Like I say we still theoretically were stationed at the Reaction Unit, our payslip and our paypoint remained the same.

MR MALAN: Formally you remained a member of the Reaction Unit?

MR BENNETTS: Formally we remained a member of the Reaction Unit and we simply worked, in fact for the first period at the Security Branch, we still drove around in the marked Police vehicles while we were (indistinct)

MR MALAN: So, as far as you are concerned, you were not a member of the Security Branch, but you were a backup from the Riot Unit to the Security Branch?


MR MALAN: So you were never a Security Branch policeman?

MR BENNETTS: I was before I went out to The Farm with Andy Taylor. I then was formally transferred, but by then I think we had been there for about 18 months or so, working with them.

MR MALAN: So you did formally join the Security Branch at some stage?

MR BENNETTS: At a later stage, yes Sir.

MR MALAN: What was done then, how did that happen?

MR BENNETTS: Nothing, I was just advised that the transfer had taken place.

MR MALAN: Did your payslips then change?

MR BENNETTS: The paypoint number eventually changed, yes. I think from, if I recall, I am going right back, your paypoint number was the district number and when I was still stationed at the Uniform Branch at C.R. Swart for example, it was paypoint number 4601.

MR MALAN: Yes, you can leave those details, it is not important.


MR MALAN: The last question on this, if I understood you correctly, and just confirm again, Fivaz did not accompany you on the trip to the house of the person who was killed?

MR BENNETTS: No, he did not. Chris de Jager was to all intends and purposes in charge of that entire operation. He was the senior therefore.

MR MALAN: Do you know whether there was a report back to Fivaz?

MR BENNETTS: I am assuming there would have been, yes.

MR MALAN: No, I am asking you whether you know?

MR BENNETTS: No, I don't know.

MR MALAN: And you never discussed it with anyone again?


MR MALAN: Thank you. Thank you Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Can I carry on a bit on this. At the, when you gave evidence at the Section 29 proceedings, you talked about coming to where this meeting had been held and saying who was there and you said -

"... and I think three or four of the chaps from the Reaction Unit only".

MR BENNETTS: Sir again, I've got to try and describe to you what this whole office looks like.

CHAIRPERSON: I am not asking you, I am asking you said "three and four of the chaps from the Reaction Unit only"?

MR BENNETTS: Okay, they were in the section ...

CHAIRPERSON: So that is you only knew of three or four?

MR BENNETTS: Well, this is what I am saying to you, to get to where I met with Fivaz, Judge please, I've got to try and explain this to you, I don't know how to explain it otherwise, you've got to walk through an area of this Reaction Unit, it is like a long cell, you come in on one end. Okay, and they've got lockers, they've got tables. There were a number of guys, up towards the end of it, they had put lockers in as room dividers and we went through that section into the front. There was a table, I assume one of their own tables, it was their own office, there were the three or four guys, Fivaz and the others that I have mentioned, Chris de Jager, etc. That is where we got to.

We went through a group of probably about 20 down the bottom end.

CHAIRPERSON: But they were not at the meeting, they didn't seem to have been at the meeting, you said three or four only?

MR BENNETTS: Three or four around the table where we got to, yes Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: And you went on on the next page to say -"... these four members of the Reaction Unit who would be so to say the Penetration Team, would ensure they would shoot the guy in the house and make it look like he had tried to resist in some way".

MR BENNETTS: Again, that is as I assumed or as I was advised by Fivaz.

CHAIRPERSON: But you were not going to go into the house?


CHAIRPERSON: You were really there to control traffic?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, well as I say, let's assume this would have been an operation as all the others would have been where no one was to be shot, as a group we would have gone with in any event. As I have said earlier, if something was found to be followed up in a hurry, there were people there, there were people to assist from the Security Branch and also from the Reaction Unit.

CHAIRPERSON: In this incident you were not to play any active part?


CHAIRPERSON: Why did Fivaz tell you secretly, away from the others, who were going to be the people who actually penetrated the house?

MR BENNETTS: Sir, I cannot answer that.

CHAIRPERSON: Why should he tell you separately that this man was to be killed, it does not make sense?

MR BENNETTS: Judge, I just, I cannot answer that. It is a fact and it happened and that is what I am testifying to. I cannot answer that, I cannot speak for Mr Fivaz.

MR MALAN: May I just follow up on this question? I really find it very difficult to understand because I asked you exactly what Fivaz discussed with you. You said that there was, you believed that there would not have been a discussion on the planned assassination in that meeting, yet in the hearing and you have confirmed it now again, you said Fivaz told you that, when the Chair asked you, that at that stage when Fivaz approached yourself and Shaun, Shaun Fourie, he told you that those three or four members from the Reaction Unit would be the people who would go in and shoot the individual, that is the evidence you gave at the Section 29 hearing, when this was read out to you, you now confirmed that now again as having been told to you by Fivaz?

MR BENNETTS: Sir again, yes, that is as I recall it happening.

MR MALAN: Why didn't you tell that to us earlier?

MR BENNETTS: I didn't remember it.

MR MALAN: You said Fivaz only told you that this guy was to be killed?

MR BENNETTS: No, no, Sir, I am not saying that. I don't know what happened before I got there. This is the whole thing, I cannot tell you what ...

MR MALAN: We are talking about what Fivaz told you, Mr Bennetts. What did Fivaz tell you?

MR BENNETTS: Exactly as I have said.


MR BENNETTS: Myself and Shaun Fourie walked in, initially there was a group around the table, the main basic operation was discussed there with Fivaz explaining to us what had been planned, these are the guys that are going to go into the house, we've got this information and so it was discussed.

MR MALAN: Nothing about the shooting of him?

MR BENNETTS: Nothing about the shooting there. All right, when we walked away from the table, a few paces, we stood huddled in a little group there, myself and Shaun and Fivaz and as far as I can say, to me it appeared then and I still think so, at the time, that the main gist of the conversation that Fivaz had, was addressed to me.

MR MALAN: Yes. And what did he say to you?

MR BENNETTS: He said to us that, basically as I recall it, they are going to kill this guy because he will be able to identify "Pacman", so he is going to be taken out.

MR MALAN: Did he tell you who was going to kill him?

MR BENNETTS: No Sir, he did not.

MR MALAN: You just told us that he said to you that these three or four guys from the Reaction Unit ...

MR BENNETTS: Yes, but he didn't say to me ...

MR MALAN: Would do the shooting?

MR BENNETTS: Piet or Jo or what have you, he didn't identify them in that way, in that sense.

MR MALAN: Did he identify the three or four as a group?

MR BENNETTS: He identified, what he said to us was that the guys were going to go into the house, the Reaction Unit are going with and he is going to be taken out. I am assuming from what he said, these are the Penetration Team, and they are going to take this guy out.

MR MALAN: Now you say Cook was one of the guys?

MR BENNETTS: Cook was present there in front as far as I recall.

MR MALAN: As far you recall, he was there?


MR MALAN: Did he go into the house?

MR BENNETTS: No, as far as I, I don't even know if Cook went with.

MR MALAN: That is right, that is the reason for my asking this question, yet, you are telling us that he told you that those three or four people would be the Penetration Team and they would be going in and shoot the individual?


MR MALAN: And Cook was one of them present, if I understood you correctly, but now you say Cook did not even accompany you as far as you can recall?

MR BENNETTS: Mr Malan, what I am trying to say here is, he didn't go and identify individual people. The guys were sitting at the table, the same as I sit here now and I say "the victims of Chesterville are here at the back". You cannot conclude that everybody here is from Chesterville and everybody here is a victim. That is what I am trying to say, it was a very brief conversation, "these guys are going to go into the house and the guy has to be shot".

MR MALAN: Cook was standing there?

MR BENNETTS: I don't know, maybe plans changed later, I don't know. I really don't know. At the end of the day Mr Malan, I didn't even have to apply for amnesty for this thing, I am the only person who has come forward on this matter.

MR MALAN: You see, Mr Bennetts, this is our problem. We are trying to work out this thing, what you are applying for and if we cannot find a crime, we have to ask ourselves, why are you applying? Maybe you should just in your own words explain to me what really are you applying for on the second incident, which is this one, the killing of the PAC ...


MR MALAN: Sorry, the third incident, the killing of the PAC.

MR BENNETTS: Okay, what I am saying is I have sat down subsequent to the whole thing happening and at the previous hearing, and from the little I know about the law, from being in the Police Force, and again my application and everything was made without legal assistance ...

MR MALAN: No, but let's not talk about that, you have since ...

MR BENNETTS: Yes, I had to sit and figure this one out myself, this is what I am trying to say.

MR MALAN: Mr Bennetts, just a second. You had access to an Attorney, you drafted a new and followed up supplementary affidavit in which you disclosed everything. My question is what was the wrong that you did, what was your crime, your crime as you see it in connection with this incident?

MR BENNETTS: All right, I was aware that there was going to be a murder that took place and I believe by supplying the handgrenade, my involvement was just more than casual.

MR MALAN: And that is all?

MR BENNETTS: And that is all, yes Sir. I believe I am therefore an accessory, probably before the fact, maybe even after the fact because I didn't say anything.

MR MALAN: You don't see yourself as being guilty of a murder charge?

MR BENNETTS: No, well, I don't know.

MR MALAN: I am asking you how you see yourself?

MR BENNETTS: I see myself being guilty of an accessory to this murder, yes Sir.

MR MALAN: Having knowledge of it being planned and not doing anything to prevent it?

MR BENNETTS: Correct, yes Sir.

MR MALAN: And then after the event not to report it?


MR MALAN: And that is what you are applying for amnesty for, as you see it?

MR BENNETTS: Yes Sir, as I see it, yes Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: May I come in there. You said I think also, that you took part in the planning by supplying the grenade, or you took part in the preparation.

MR BENNETTS: By supplying the grenade, yes Sir, knowing it was in all likelihood going to be planted there.

MR MALAN: A last question from my side, what was your relationship with Capt Kruger?

MR BENNETTS: Warrant Officer Kruger?

MR MALAN: Warrant Officer Kruger?

MR BENNETTS: Back at the Reaction Unit?


MR BENNETTS: I mean at the Riot Unit, sorry. Not close at all Sir, simply a working relationship. I mean we never went to his home, bar picking him up and dropping him off, we never socialised outside. The only thing with the relationship with him, towards the end of the time that he was with us there, a couple of the guys, including Shaun Fourie approached me and they refused to work with him, because they felt that he was actually starting to loose his head, go mad, if I can put it that way.

Me, being the second senior chap amongst our group, all of them, van Loggerenberg, Fourie, the whole lot said that they cannot work with this guy, he is going off his head, and I approached ...

MR MALAN: In which way? Was he dissatisfied with your service?

MR BENNETTS: No, no, he was actually losing, to me losing his mind, he was starting to, spooks were starting to give him information, he was talking to pigeons, he was really going off his head.

MR MALAN: You mean literally, not related to the work situation?

MR BENNETTS: Literally, yes Sir. Well, whether he was ...

MR MALAN: You thought he was a mental case?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, he got to the point where he was running around with torch beams and pointing out suspects and things. I approached Capt Hunter, I said "the guys are refusing to work with this guy".

MR MALAN: Where did you take your instructions from then? Because you say in your application that Kruger was present at all of these and ...

MR BENNETTS: Up until the point ...

MR MALAN: Everything under his command?

MR BENNETTS: Sir, Kruger was there up until the point where, like I say he started to lose his head and he left, then I continued probably for a few more months before we went to the Security Branch. There was a period between the time, not a very long period, from the time that Kruger eventually was transferred, I think I have said it somewhere in here, he was transferred as far as I know, back to Jan Smuts Airport.

MR MALAN: You also said in your application that at all relevant times, you were acting under the control and command of Kruger, you didn't disclose to us that you were taking over the command and that you did this on your own bat, for some part of the period at least. Why didn't you tell us that?

MR BENNETTS: I am sorry, it was not intentional to try and mislead anyone.

MR MALAN: Why did you say specifically that Kruger was always in command and always present? Why that statement so specifically?

MR BENNETTS: I am sorry, I cannot explain to you why I said such a statement. Kruger did leave, there was a brief period between the time that he was eventually transferred and the time that we went to the Security Branch.

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, sorry, if I could just mention, the statement of the applicant says that "during the period 1985 to 1989 I worked the direct command of Warrant Officer Kruger" and then he furthermore states later in the affidavit, in paragraph 20, "I recall that most of these incidents took place in the presence of Warrant Officer Kruger", not all of them.

MR MALAN: Yes. Well, the point that I am making is that he does not disclose to us that he took charge after Kruger had left, and on his evidence now, he was there for at least a number of months in that position.

MR BENNETTS: Yes, I was Sir. That is a mistake, I don't know what to say.

MR MALAN: Well, you see ...

MR BENNETTS: I am not ...

MR MALAN: You see Mr Bennetts, in your application you are saying, you know, "yes, I did terrorise the community, I did assault and torture people, but I did this at the instructions of Kruger", now it appears that for at least some period you did that off your own bat, you, yourself taking the decision?


MR MALAN: And probably commanding them, others, doing the same thing?

MR BENNETTS: Yes Sir. There were instances during the period that Kruger was my Commander as well, when he wasn't at work, and I then took over and did it myself too. I didn't mean to mislead anyone by not saying so. I am trying to cover a lot of points here.

MR MALAN: Sorry, thank you Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you sure that Mr Fivaz was present to tell you these things before you went on to the site of the third event?

MR BENNETTS: Sir, I am one hundred percent certain.

CHAIRPERSON: You did hear evidence to the contrary earlier, didn't you?


CHAIRPERSON: By your colleague, Mr Fernandez?

MR BENNETTS: I didn't hear evidence by Mr Fernandez, Sir. I have seen a statement of Mr Fernandez.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Sorry, any further re-examination?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR FALCONER: Yes, a few points, thank you Mr Chairman. Just following on one of the last question of one of the Committee members, Mr Malan, has requested you in regard to the period of absence of Warrant Officer Kruger, for that intervening period until you were seconded to the Security Branch, under whose command did you then fall?

MR BENNETTS: I answered then, if I recall correctly, to a Warrant Officer Roets who was the Overall for want of a better description, the Station Commander at Chesterville at the time.

MR FALCONER: Was Warrant Officer Roets aware of your activities in Chesterville at the time?

MR BENNETTS: I cannot say for certain he was aware, but I am certain he was. Let me put it to you this way, I believe he probably chose to ignore most of them. I am certain he would have known about it, but he wasn't directly involved, no. Also I must add during that period after Kruger left, and before we went to the Security Branch, as a Unit, we went and worked on the South Coast, Port Shepstone and Umkomaas for a two month period, right out of Chesterville, just assisting down there as well. Soon after Kruger left, and it was soon after we returned, that we actually went over to the Security Branch.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you in charge of the Unit on the South Coast?

MR BENNETTS: No, I think, I cannot remember if Sgt van der Berg went with, I cannot recall. All we did was assist at the local Police and we did patrols and things down there.

There was a group of us that went down. No, in fact Sgt van der Berg was not there Sir. I am just thinking back now, I was there, we went down with three vehicles and it was six of us that went.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you in charge?

MR BENNETTS: I was in charge, we were then answerable to a Lieutenant, I cannot remember his surname, German surname who was working out of Umkomaas, out of, I think he was the Station Commander at Margate, they made us just answerable to him.

CHAIRPERSON: And when your Unit went to the Special Branch, were you in charge of the Unit?

MR BENNETTS: No Sir, then we fell under Andy Taylor, Sgt van der Berg was with us, so he basically, Sgt van der Berg ran, what we were doing, from the "landverlater" files, sort of thing, he was my senior, he had come from Lamontville.


MR FALCONER: Mr Bennetts, I am referring you to a statement deposed to by Mrs Gertrude Mngadi. This can be found at Bundle A, at page 9, Mr Chairman. You have mentioned Mrs Mngadi during the course of your testimony and cross-examination. In paragraph 1 of that statement you will note that Mrs Mngadi refers to certain unlawful acts perpetrated on her son, Hector and about half way down the first paragraph she says -

"... it was always Frank Bennetts who would come during searching and arresting. He came with other Security Branch members, I do not know their names. There also used to be a tall Indian policeman with them. Sometimes Frank Bennetts would come with one of those Police jackets that tie at the bottom and under it, he would have handgrenades and he would plant them in my house saying he found them there."

Now firstly, do you ever recall having been involved in the harassment and unlawful treatment of Mrs Mngadi's son, Hector?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, I think this is probably the house I was referring to earlier, at the intersection of Road 8 and Road 12. I think this is the house I was referring to, where we had been harassing that house, shooting teargas, etc, at it. I never had or planted handgrenades, no. The only tall Indian that possibly could have been there for a brief period, when I first got to Chesterville, was Sgt Moodley.

MR FALCONER: You have had an opportunity to read Mrs Mngadi's statement. Do you agree that the allegations made against you by Mrs Mngadi are correct?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, bar what ...

CHAIRPERSON: He has just told us that he didn't plant handgrenades, didn't he?

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, I am asking him what ...

CHAIRPERSON: Didn't you say a minute ago that you didn't plant handgrenades?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, I did Sir.

MR FALCONER: Sorry, if I could rephrase the question Mr Chairman. Besides the allegation of planting handgrenades, do you agree with the balance of the allegations that are made against you in this statement?


MR MALAN: Before you leave that point, does that include the taking of her son Hector, on many occasions, detaining him, releasing him?

MR BENNETTS: Sir, the name Hector Mngadi is familiar to me. As I said earlier, I don't actually recall picking up Hector Mngadi, but I do recall teargassing the house, etc.

MR MALAN: Mr Bennetts, why do you confirm everything to be true if you don't recall it or are you leading him wrongly, Mr Falconer?

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, my intention is most certainly not to mislead him, I haven't, since he has been testifying, traversed these statements with him. I am trying to establish because this together with the statement which you will find in the same Bundle at page 35, are two statements which I wish to traverse with him purely because they are the only two that he hasn't addressed in his evidence, either in his affidavit or vocally in his testimony here, Mr Chairman. My intention is most certainly not to mislead him.

MR MALAN: Well, you are either confusing him or the Amnesty Committee if you put it in general terms.

MR FALCONER: Well, it is my apology if that is what is occurring.

Mr Bennetts, then if you could please turn to page 35 of the Bundle, you will note that that is a statement of Prince Jabulani Ngcobo. Would you take your time and just familiarise yourself once again with that statement.

... the deponent of this statement, Mr Prince Jabulani Ngcobo?

MR BENNETTS: No, I do not.

MR FALCONER: You will note in the statement that you have been identified as being a person who was involved with perpetrating certain unlawful acts upon him. What do you say in regard to the alleged acts that you perpetrated?

MR BENNETTS: Okay, can I start with, in so far as paragraph 2 is concerned, it is quite possible, it is consistent with what we were doing. As far as paragraph 3 ...

MR MALAN: Does that include your always wearing jeans and tackies?

MR BENNETTS: Most of the time I wore jeans and tackies, and sometimes I wore a Police jacket over it, yes.

Sometimes we were in uniform. It depended Sir, if we were working at night or that sort of thing, I would go around in civvies, during the day we wore uniform.

MR MALAN: You may continue Mr Falconer.

MR FALCONER: Paragraph 3, there is a reference there to removing Mr Ngcobo to the Chesterville satellite Police Station where they put the people into separate rooms, is that in accordance with your recollection?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, it is possible. We did take people there, it was an old beer hall, so there was a section with these like steel drop down, shutter windows, if I can call it that, where we would put the people in and interview them in there.

MR FALCONER: Would interrogation take place there?

MR BENNETTS: On occasion, yes, but not too much, because you had Defence Force guys who had been called up, doing camps, who were also living there, and you wouldn't have wanted to do too much in front of these guys, they would have been witnesses.

MR FALCONER: The next, the second and third sentences of that paragraph 3 read as follows -

"... Frank Bennetts began interrogating me while hitting me all the time, he kept asking who the other people were and where were the guns and the grenades."

Is that consistent with the nature of the interrogation you would carry out?

MR BENNETTS: Yes. At the Police Station, I probably would have slapped the guys, hit them. And then the next sentence he refers here to Siphiwe. Siphiwe is the chap that I mentioned earlier in my evidence, that was shot at Claremont, that is Siphiwe Ngcobo. I am assuming it is the same person he is referring to here.

MR FALCONER: If you look at paragraph 4, Mr Bennetts, Mr Ngcobo states that he was then removed by a kombi to a bush near Ridgeview Reservoir. Did events of that nature take place?

MR BENNETTS: I don't know where the Ridgeview Reservoir is, but yes, they were taken normally up towards the quarry, that area of Cato Manor, it was all open bush. There was like a shooting range and stuff there, that is normally where we went. Whether that is the area around Ridgeview Reservoir, I don't know.

CHAIRPERSON: Why wasn't this dealt with in-chief? It doesn't arise from cross-examination, does it?

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, it is the issue of Mngadi arose in the cross-examination, because that was the one witness. This and regrettably Mr Chairman, and it is my error, of Prince Jabulani Ngcobo, I did not traverse in evidence-in-chief because I had formulated a course that I was going to pursue in traversing all the witness' statements and because I was advised that both of it was already on record, in my error, I overlooked it.

CHAIRPERSON: There may have to be further cross-examination in that regard. Carry on.

MR FALCONER: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Bennetts, in paragraph 4 it is further stated that you became even more vicious -

"... he was kicking and trampling me and shouting all the time that if I don't talk, he is going to kill me like he killed Siphiwe. They even electrocuted me."

He goes on to describe in further detail the nature of the torture that he received. Is this consistent with the treatment that was meted out?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, it is.

MR FALCONER: If you would please have regard to paragraph 7. It is stated there that you also threatened while torturing Mr Ngcobo that if he did not speak, you would the A-Team onto him and they would make him talk. Did you ever make threats of that nature?

MR BENNETTS: I may have yes, possibly I did.

MR FALCONER: Paragraph 8 it is suggested that it was a well known fact that you used to hand people over to the A-Team to make them talk and you had also used the A-Team to point out comrades. Did you ever hand people over to the A-Team?

MR BENNETTS: No, I never handed people over to the A-Team. There were occasions, yes, we did use the A-Team to identify people, I have said that earlier as well. I have never physically handed someone over to the A-Team to go and take off and go and assault. I did it myself.

MR FALCONER: Mr Bennetts, I would like to please refer you to the incident, number two, which involves the necklacing of the male in Chesterville in the vicinity of the High School.

The statement of Mrs T.E. Nkosi which can be found at A48, indicates that the necklacing took place in the vicinity of Road 18. If you would look at midway through paragraph 2 of that statement. Is that consistent with the location of the necklacing that you attended whereafter Warrant Officer Kruger informed you that the mission had been successful?

This is described as Road 18, just opposite the church. Is this the similar location to where you had ...

MR BENNETTS: Yes, it sounds, I cannot recall a church, but it sounds like it probably is the same place. It was in the circle, Road 18 forms a big U shape, it ends in a circle behind the High School.

MR FALCONER: So is Road 18 in the vicinity of the High School which you have described in your evidence?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, it is.

MR FALCONER: In your evidence?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, it is. There may be a church right there, I cannot recall.

MR FALCONER: Mrs Nkosi in her statement in paragraph 1 says that -

"... Bongani Mkhize, her son was staying at a relative's house in Road 24, 1079",

is that within the same vicinity of the area that you visited with Warrant Officer Kruger to deliver the envelope?

MR BENNETTS: I don't know where 1079 is, but Road 24 is not a long road. It's probably only got about, or at the time, I don't know if it has been developed or anything, there were probably only about 20, maybe 30 houses in that entire road.

MR FALCONER: Is it in the area that you visited with Warrant Officer Kruger?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, it is, it is in Road 24.

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, I have no further questions, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Any questions?

MR NEL: I have no questions, thank you Mr Chairman.


MR KUBONI: No questions, Mr Chair.


FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS MOHAMED: I just have a few arising out of this statements that have been made, Mr Chairman, thank you. Mr Bennetts, I want to refer you to Mrs Mngadi's statement which is in Bundle A, page 9. It has been your evidence before this Committee a few minutes ago that you would have never taken handgrenades under your jacket and planted them in Mrs Mngadi's house. Is that correct?

MR BENNETTS: That is correct. At that stage I had no access to any handgrenades.

MS MOHAMED: Okay, Mrs Mngadi has been emphatic in my consultations with her that the contents, in fact all the victims that I have consulted with, are emphatic that the contents of their statements did in fact happen. What I am saying is Mrs Mngadi is quite clear that this is something that would have happened, this is something that did happen.

MR BENNETTS: Ma'am, I can only answer that by surmising two things here. If it happened, there must be a record somewhere, I am assuming they wouldn't have been planted and taken away without anyone being charged. The other thing is she might be referring to, I don't know, the only thing that we had, that we would have had access to were teargas grenades or smoke grenades which we were issued with. But I have never planted anything in the house, I would have done so, if it had occurred, I am assuming it would have been to attempt to arrest someone and trump up charges. I certainly never did anything like that at that house.

MS MOHAMED: But is it then possible that you had done this at somebody else's house?

MR BENNETTS: No, no, I have never planted anything to trump anything up. She also refers to Security Branch members at the time, at that time, I was not involved with the Security Branch, so perhaps she is confusing me with someone else who was there. I don't know if there were any charges or anything that came out of that. I don't know.

MS MOHAMED: Mr Bennetts, Mr Mngadi is quite clear on the fact that when she refers to Frank Bennetts, she is referring to you and she says if she says you came in and you did that, that is what happened. It would never have been any other Police Officers?

MR BENNETTS: Ma'am, I've got no reason to sit here and say it didn't happen if in fact it did, other than to say planting of a handgrenade somewhere, I am assuming would be with the intention to have somebody arrested or to trump up a charge. My recollection is that that has never ever happened.

MS MOHAMED: Because you see in as much as you have said to the Committee, it has been your evidence thus far, that you cannot place, or you cannot recall any of these victims individually, each of these individuals have been, during that period, severely traumatised by members of the Police, but be that as it may, whilst the Police came there in groups and perpetrated these acts, each of these victims have specifically identified you.

MR BENNETTS: I don't understand, is that a question?

MS MOHAMED: I am just bringing it to your attention that they have identified you, so whilst you say that there were other Security Branch members there and you are not sure if they could have been involved in this, this is arising out of Mrs Mngadi's statement.

MR BENNETTS: What can I say, she also makes reference to a tall Indian policeman with him. The only guy that I know of, an Indian policeman in Chesterville at the time as I said, was a Sgt Moodley and he was there prior to my arrival in Chesterville, and he left shortly afterwards when they delivered a tyre with his name on it, to the Police Station.

But I am emphatic, I never planted grenades at her house. I would have no reason to sit here and say I didn't, you know, I am trying to come clean with what I can remember. I certainly would not have done so. I cannot recall having done so, I would not have had handgrenades.

At that stage I wouldn't even have had access to them.

MR MALAN: Sorry for interrupting you, Ms Mohamed. Why do you say at this stage you were not with the Security Police?

MR BENNETTS: Because she is saying it was in the 1980's, and I am assuming, because I remember harassing them at the house and I remember shooting teargas at the house, and it was at that stage that I was still in Chesterville.

MR MALAN: Well she also says that the reason why they were targeted, this is paragraph 3, was -

"... because the Police knew I had a son called Tutu Mngadi who left the country and joined MK."

In other words a "landverlater"? What is more, what is more, I think you have told us that you joined the Security Branch towards 1987, 1988 somewhere. This was still the 1980's, was it not?

MR BENNETTS: Yes, it was, I have never had dealings with Tutu Mngadi. I don't know him at all.

MR MALAN: But you know no one, you don't know any of the victims who made statements and on the basis of him not knowing, you say no, this is not so, whereas in all the other instances, you are saying this might have been possible, it is consistent?

MR BENNETTS: Sir, I never had access to grenades to plant at this house. I never planted grenades at this house.

MR MALAN: Yes, I am talking about the probable timespan, the period when this took place. You were emphatic when you gave, when you responded, you said "I was not in the Security Branch at that time".

MR BENNETTS: Yes Sir, I am referring to the period in which I spent harassing the people at this house and shooting teargas at the house. I was not in the Security Branch at that time, I was in the Riot Unit.

MR MALAN: Well, you are not sure, you are not even sure that it is this house. You are saying it is possible.

MR BENNETTS: I am saying from the description and the address ...

MR MALAN: It could be, that is what you said.

MR BENNETTS: It could be, yes Sir.

MR MALAN: Yes, it could be?

MR BENNETTS: Yes Sir, that is what I am saying, it could be. It is a house that I recall.

MR MALAN: So when you were in the Security Branch, following up on so-called "landsverlaters" you didn't harass people, is that what you are saying?

MR BENNETTS: That is what I am saying, yes Sir.

MR MALAN: Okay, so it has nothing to do with the 1980's, it is with the incident?

MR BENNETTS: It is with the incident, yes Sir.

MR MALAN: If this did take place, if you were involved, you would not have been with the Security Branch yet?

MR BENNETTS: It could not have taken place while I was with the Reaction Unit, I mean in so far as planting of grenades go, while I was at the Riot Unit because there was no way I could lay my hands on grenades at that point to go and plant.

MR MALAN: And it could not have happened while you were at the Security Branch, because you didn't spray teargas?

MR BENNETTS: Because I didn't spray teargas. I remember harassing these people at the house. You know I am asked if I remember people, I am talking about names here, everything I am referring to are names in statements, I said to the Attorney earlier, there is a lady sitting here, there at the back, out of all of these people, I have had a look at all the faces here and there is a face I remember, that is familiar to me from Chesterville. Who she is, I don't know. I must have had dealings with her at some stage. I am assuming she is here because she is one of the victims.

Again, I can put a face to it, it is a lady sitting right at the back, with the blue floral dress on. I have had dealings with her, I don't know who she is. She might be Mrs Mngadi, she might be someone else, I don't know.

MR MALAN: Sorry Ms Mohamed, you may proceed.

MS MOHAMED: Thank you honourable member. The person the applicant has in fact pointed out, is in fact Mrs Mngadi. She is seated right at the back in the floral blue dress.

Mr Bennetts, I want to take you to Mr Ngcobo's statement, particularly those paragraphs which makes reference to the A-Team, that is the numbered paragraph 8 on page 37. Now it has been my instructions from Mr Ngcobo that this was one of, this threat in fact was something that was very real to them, when this incident was occurring. I know you denied this in your evidence, when you were led on the statement, you said you at no stage handed people over to the A-Team.

MR BENNETTS: That is absolutely correct yes.

MS MOHAMED: But Mr Ngcobo said you had this reputation of working with the A-Team and you did in fact hand people over to the A-Team?

MR BENNETTS: We did work with the A-Team, we did use the A-Team. I never handed anybody over to the A-Team, there was no reason to, I am telling you I assaulted people and I shocked people, I did it myself.

There was no one ever handed over to the A-Team for any reason. There were occasions when the A-Team were present when people were shocked and all that, yes, but no one was ever handed over to the A-Team and as far as I recall, no one from the A-Team ever took part in my presence, in assaulting or shocking people.

But I did, and the other members with me, certainly did, yes.

MS MOHAMED: Thank you Mr Chairman, I have nothing further.




MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, I have no further witnesses to call.

CHAIRPERSON: Can we proceed now to the implicated parties?

MR NEL: Mr Chairman, I intend calling two witnesses, but may I ask that we possibly just adjourn or maybe take the tea adjournment just to organise the seating arrangement, I see there is a microphone short. If it would please the Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: It is quarter to eleven now. If we take the short adjournment now, you can sort out, I can see that arrangements are already being made.



MR NEL: Thank you Mr Chairman. I have explained Mr Fivaz' legal rights to him, that he is not compelled to give evidence here today, but he has indicated that he is willing and wants to give evidence to clear up a few matters. I then call Mr Fivaz, who will be testifying in English and his full names are Andries Hermanus Fivaz.


MR MALAN: You may be seated, thank you. Sworn in Chair.


EXAMINATION BY MR NEL: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Fivaz, may I start off by asking you to give the Committee a brief outline of your Police career, we know that you are not any longer in the Police Services, just outline your Police career for the Commission.

MR FIVAZ: Mr Chairman, I joined the Police in 1959. I was stationed at the time at Cato Manor, from there at Mayville and I was later on transferred to Pinetown and also as Branch Commander at Westville, where I became a Warrant Officer in the Detective Branch.

I was there for about 18 years as Branch Commander, investigating housebreaking, murder cases, etc, criminal cases. At the time when Robert McBride was arrested by the Security Branch in Durban, I was as a Detective called to help with the investigation in that case, which I did. Me and a man by the name of Stuart assisted Major de Beer, Z. de Beer, in the investigation.

MR NEL: At that point in time, you were not a member of the Security Branch yet?

MR FIVAZ: Sir, as a matter of fact, I was never appointed as a member of the Security Branch.

At one stage I wanted to return to my station and Brig Steyn told me "what is important to you, your housebreaking dockets or your country's safety", and I said to him "my country's safety" and he said "you stay here". I never applied, I never put anything in writing, I never signed an oath or anything at the Security Branch, I was there as an Investigator.

MR NEL: Mr Fivaz, we have heard that you were in charge or the Head of the PAC desk. How did that come about?

MR FIVAZ: The way it came about, because of certain arrests that I had made, and where I recruited certain members of the PAC, eventually I had a network of about five to six members of the PAC.

MR NEL: Which you handled as informers, I take it?

MR FIVAZ: Which I handled as informers, Your Worship, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: Now Mr Fivaz, who worked closely with you on the PAC desk?

MR FIVAZ: I later needed assistance and I got Piet Nel to work with me.

MR NEL: Did you in fact share an office with him?

MR FIVAZ: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: Now if I may digress for a minute, during consultation you have explained to me when I questioned you about certain facts that I received from the Evidence Leader, regarding a certain "Pacman", can you just tell the Committee what you know about "Pacman"?

MR FIVAZ: Mr Chairman, the only person that was called "Pacman" by general members of the Security Branch, was myself but often I referred to a member of the PAC as a Pacman. MR NEL: How did it come about that you were referred to as "Pacman"?

MR FIVAZ: Because I was working on the PAC desk, Your Worship, and they put a notice on my board, I think it was a printout on the computer, that some of the members put on there, it was the words "Pacman & Son", was written on it.

MR NEL: This was humouristically done in the passage of the Security Branch where you worked?

MR FIVAZ: That is correct.

MR NEL: And in fact this notice was placed on your door to indicate you as "Pacman" and Piet Nel I take it was the son?

MR FIVAZ: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: Did you ever have the opportunity to work with the applicant, Mr Bennetts?

MR FIVAZ: Never Mr Chairman. I never worked with Mr Bennetts. He worked on the same floor as I worked, our offices were there, actually we had offices there, the big office where the whole lot of them, the people that dealt with the exile files were sitting together in that office. Bennetts was one of them.

MR NEL: Now, what is important for the purposes of this hearing, Mr Fivaz is this incident where a certain person which we know as Mr Maake or alias Zaba or Ncophoyi was killed. Before you talk about the actual incident, what did you know about this person?

MR FIVAZ: Mr Chairman, I know the person as Themba Ncophoyi. I got information that Themba Ncophoyi was sent to Inanda to a certain house, the house of Bongani Zachariah Zungu, from where he will organise local members of the PAC, local trained members of the PAC to make a Black Sunday on the South Beach in Durban.

MR NEL: Can you just, before we carry on, just elaborate on what you understood a Black Sunday to be, please Mr Fivaz?

MR FIVAZ: It is by shooting white people on that particular Sunday.

MR NEL: This was information which you had received from an informer or an agent who you had recruited?

MR FIVAZ: That is correct Your Worship, and it was a very reliable informer because he also gave me information at the same time, that five AK47's is coming from Swaziland and he gave me the names of the people who were bringing the five AK47's in from over the border for this operation and they were arrested in a roadblock which was confirmed by the Swazi Police, a roadblock in Swaziland and I think they got seven years imprisonment there in that country because they also alleged that they were going to make an onslaught on the King of Swaziland at the time.

That is what the Police alleged, the Swazi Police.

MR NEL: Now, I don't want you to tell the Committee who this informer was, but you have told me that this informer subsequently, or this informer that gave you the information about Mr Ncophoyi is subsequently dead, he died?

MR FIVAZ: Yes, he died of AIDS, Your Worship, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: Why was it important for you to have the deceased, Mr Ncophoyi arrested?

MR FIVAZ: Because Mr Ncophoyi would have been able to give me information about the Transkei Operation because at that particular time, there were quite a lot of farms in the Republic that were attacked by members of the PAC, farms burnt down. The King Williamstown Golf Club was attacked, the St James Church in Cape Town was attacked by members of the PAC, Mr Chairman, and the only person that I know from here that was involved in those things, was a man called Albino.

That is all I knew about these operations from the Transkei into the Republic. I was very keen to get, seeing that I heard that Mr Ncophoyi was the Operational Commander and that he was responsible for most operations that was initiated in the Transkei, given instructions by a man by the name of Vuma Nkosi and Tukinsi, alias Sizwe. This is all I knew about them, apart from their address in Umtata. I think I can still remember that, it was 27 Mqwelazani Street, Umtata, where they lived.

I also heard of certain information from this source of mine that the Transkeian Army at times used to supply these people with R1's and firearms, and you know, I was keen to get that type of information out of Mr Ncophoyi. That is why I had ambitions of detaining him under Section 29 to get the true story and maybe he could identify certain of the infiltrators and culprits responsible for the deeds of terror in King Williamstown and the Cape and also the farms.

MR NEL: Now, on that score, if we can then turn to the planning of the arrest of Ncophoyi. Did you initiate that and if so, what, please tell the Committee about that?

MR FIVAZ: Yes Mr Chairman, what I did is, my informer gave me a plan, with my help and questioning on a piece of foolscap, of the house of Bongani Zachariah Zungu in Inanda, the address, the height of the fence, how many doors, front-door, back-door, windows, etc. He also told, made a cross on the sketchplan where Mr Ncophoyi usually sit at a certain time of the evening, I think it was six o'clock, in a chair, watching television.

I gave all this information to the Reaction Unit, I also, the only other member that was present, was Mr Chris de Jager, because he was the member on call, that was supposed to go with the Reaction Unit to this house in Inanda to arrest the man.

MR NEL: Now you talk about Mr de Jager. Let's talk about Mr Fernandez at the same time. Do you recall Mr Fernandez or shall I rather say, was Mr Fernandez at this meeting which was at the Reaction Unit offices?

MR FIVAZ: Definitely not Mr Chairman. Fernandez was not there and I don't recall seeing the applicant, Mr Bennetts or Shaun Fourie at that meeting or after the meeting as he stated, because I never asked him to come to the meeting in any case.

MR NEL: Mr Fivaz, why did you involve the Reaction Unit for this particular arrest or operation?

MR FIVAZ: It is because Sir the information was that this Themba Ncophoyi was in possession of weapons, Your Worship. They were supposed to go to the house, make the house safe and then call de Jager and de Jager must search the house, find anything and hand it over. De Jager was the Investigator on the scene and then they must take the man and bring him to me.

MR NEL: Is it then standard practice to involve the Reaction Unit when it comes to house penetration?

MR FIVAZ: It was Mr Chairman, and actually all, from previous experience that Lt Cook, I think he was a Lieutenant at the time, he later became a Captain, but he insisted on a sketchplan and proper information about this house penetration because he would not send his men in to compromise them if they don't know the detail about the operation.

MR NEL: And you say that you knew that Ncophoyi was going to be at home at six o'clock and that is more or less the time when the operation took place, am I correct?

MR FIVAZ: That is more or less the time in the evening, yes, Your Worship, in the afternoon.

MR NEL: You didn't accompany them to the house?

MR FIVAZ: I never accompanied them, as a matter of fact I left and I went home where I, only the next morning when I came to work I heard from Capt Cloete that Ncophoyi was killed.

MR NEL: What was your reaction on hearing that news, Mr Fivaz?

MR FIVAZ: I was very upset Your Worship, and actually I swore at Chris de Jager because I thought he was the person that shot Ncophoyi despite the fact that I gave such detailed instructions how urgent it was and how important it was that I need the man alive, because I needed information from him.

MR NEL: Just to come back one step, how many members do you recall approximately being, not the Security Branch members or members with you from the Reaction Unit at the meeting at the office?

MR FIVAZ: Mr Chairman, I think it was 15 to 20.

MR NEL: And these were the Reaction Unit people who were trained to penetration?

MR FIVAZ: That is correct Your Worship. I have been with them on previous penetrations and nobody from the Security Branch was allowed to come near a house unless they first tell you it is clear, you can come.

MR NEL: Now you say Mr Fernandez was not at this meeting. Do you know what was the purpose of him accompanying the rest of the squad to the house in Inanda?

MR FIVAZ: I presume he must have, it was part of the investigation team and he was an Explosives Expert. I don't know who gave the instructions for the rest of the squad to go with the Reaction Unit, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: Is it also standard practice that an Inspector of Explosives would go on an operation where there might be weapons or explosives found?

MR FIVAZ: That is correct, that is correct Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: Now, Mr Fivaz, we have heard the applicant say that after this meeting had been concluded at the Reaction Unit, you took him and Shaun Fourie a few paces away from where the other people were sitting and you then told them that this Ncophoyi was going to be killed, because he was going to, if I may call it, blow the cover of an informer of yours? What is your comment on that?

MR FIVAZ: Mr Chairman, I heard the applicant state that in his application, and I also heard that he referred to askaris. I know for a fact that the applicant is the only one, him and Andy Taylor that worked on the askari farm similar to the one at Vlakplaas, here at Natal at Stanger. I was at this farm once, I was there once because I had certain information that I telephonically conveyed to Andy Taylor because his family was in danger, especially his son at college and he invited me to come to this place, and he met me on the way and he took me to The Farm and I saw that Frank Bennetts was there and I saw there was a duty list in the office where I was sitting with Andy Taylor and I saw there was lots of names and force numbers on that.

Particularly I looked at this because I was particularly interested in one person whose name was Masami. He was the only PAC askari that I know and he was working with Frank Bennetts and Andy Taylor on The Farm. Actually I put up a report about this Masami at one stage, because on his days off, he used to walk around in the townships, getting drunk, swaying his weapon around, threatening people and everybody knew that he was a PAC askari and I thought his life might be in danger, people might shoot him and I put up a report about him to Mr Andy Taylor and I saw his name was on this list of askaris that I saw there.

I think there was about 30 of this askaris working on this Farm.

MR NEL: Just to return briefly to my initial question, you, the comment, your comment on telling the applicant in the office of the Reaction Unit that Mr Ncophoyi was going to be killed, what is your comment on that?

MR FIVAZ: That is absolutely a fabrication, Mr Chairman, because I will never, never ever, would have spoken to Mr Bennetts about something like that, because in the first place I didn't trust him that much. I actually warned Shaun Fourie about Bennetts, I said to him "he is only going to get you in trouble, I know your father very well and you must not get into trouble with the Police Force now because you are living dangerously by going around with Bennetts." I heard rumours and certain stories about Frank Bennetts and I put up reports on two occasions to his superiors about his behaviour.

MR NEL: During the tea adjournment in fact, and in the cloakrooms here in court, you had the opportunity to meet a person who I believe you mentioned his name during your evidence-in-chief, Mr Zachariah ...

MR FIVAZ: Mr Bongani Zachariah Zungu, Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: He is here?

MR FIVAZ: I met him for the first time, I knew about Mr Zungu, Bongani Zachariah Zungu because it was at his house that Themba Ncophoyi was shot. Members of the PAC thought, because Bongani Zachariah Zungu was not at home that time when Ncophoyi was shot and his wife was also not at home. The PAC thought he was the informer. It didn't come from me, they thought so themselves and a man by the name of Sizwe Vumankosi Mtikinski, alias Sizwe, sent two people from the Transkei. I recall the one's name was John, I cannot remember what was the other name, Themba or somebody, to kill Bongani Zungu, which they did. They shot him with a Makarov through his mouth and the bullet came out behind his ear, according to my information, and the Police found him unconscious in a sugar cane field. They thought he was dead, but he was alive and they took him to hospital and I was very surprised to meet him in the toilet today.

MR NEL: You can confirm here now in public that Mr Zungu was not the informer ?

MR FIVAZ: Mr Zungu was never, ever, in contact with me and never gave me any information. He was innocent.

MR NEL: And as you said to him in the cloakroom, he is very lucky to be alive today?

MR FIVAZ: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR NEL: Mr Fivaz, is there anything else that you would like to add or would like to elaborate on because that concludes what I would like you to say?

MR FIVAZ: Maybe I can clarify that I heard Mr Bennetts mention the name of Charles Ngcobo. All I remember is this man, he was a tall youngster, a young man, very tall, impressive youngster and he was detained in terms of the Emergency Regulations at the Durban Station. Then Frank Bennetts and N.H. Singh and I think it was the other, Neville, Neville somebody, I cannot remember Neville's surname, came to me and they said they want Charles Ngcobo just for ten minutes. I refused, I said to them "you are not going to touch that man because it is my prisoner and I am investigating the case, I am going to take a statement and I am going to - he is under my care and nobody will touch him". They were very cross about that.

They later tried to instigate me, talking rubbish about Brig Steyn and taped me, but a friend of mine, Rassie Erasmus, stole the tape and he gave it to me, and I don't know whether I've still got it at home, I think I have. But it is irrelevant to this, but in any case, when I spoke to Mr Ngcobo, Charles Ngcobo, he told me that Frank Bennetts was riding around in Chesterville location with a loudhailer all night and shouting that he is going to shoot him and he is going to kill him, intimidating him something terrible and he was scared of this man Frank Bennetts.

Then I thought it was not the right thing to do for Mr Bennetts, and I put up a report about this to my superiors. I think the first, initial report was to Capt Buys who sent it to Brig Steyn. Another occasion, yes the second occasion was when I also submitted a report about two people that came to the ground floor of the Security Branch and I think it was Capt Cloete or Maj Taylor at that time, told me to go and see what that people has got to say because there is complaints about Bennetts.

I went to them and it was a male and a female from Chesterville. The male told me that his sister was laying in her bed and in a clash with the A-Team and the comrades, she was killed, because she was sleeping and the bullet went through her tin shack and killed her in the bed where she was sleeping. They said the weapons for the A-Team was supplied by Bennetts and he was present when they let the comrades believe they could attack the A-Team and the A-Team was very well weaponed, and I think they killed about five comrades on that incident.

MR NEL: However, this was never confirmed Sir, we don't ...

MR FIVAZ: That wasn't confirmed, but that was the other report that I put up and I don't know if Mr Bennetts was spoken to, I know he was spoken to Mr Taylor about this and Mr Taylor even asked me if I am happy now because I suggested in this report that he must be removed from Chesterville because he is only causing trouble there.

When he was at The Farm with Andy Taylor, Andy Taylor asked me on one occasion whether I am happy now that Bennetts is not in Chesterville any more.

MR NEL: One last question Mr Fivaz, the informers that you had whilst being in charge of the PAC desk, did any of these informers at any stage come to the office of the Security Branch at C.R. Swart Square?

MR FIVAZ: No, definitely not Mr Chairman. As a matter of fact, I had a safe office in Albany House which the Security Branch paid for out of secret funds, and I had this one room, there was a desk in and three chairs, and that is the only place where I ever met my informers. I taught them also that if they come and see me there on the 10th floor, they must go to the 12th floor, and walk down two flights of stairs and then come to the office.

I used to sit in the office and leave the door open and they came and they had a certain knock before they could enter.

MR NEL: So there is no truth in the statement that ...

MR FIVAZ: Never, I will compromise an informer's identity by taking him into a Police Station.

MR NEL: Thank you Mr Fivaz. Mr Chairman, I have nothing else that I want the witness to say.


MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, this is the first occasion that we have heard of the word Ncophoyi and I am given to understand that the Evidence Leader may be possessed of certain information. It might be appropriate that her cross-examination or my colleagues to my right, proceed ours if that would be suitable with yourself, Mr Chairman.

MS THABETHE: Mr Chairperson, Themba Ncophoyi is Moses Xaba, it is the same person and it is found in Bundle 1, there is - I just want the relevant page - on page 77 of Bundle A there is an Afrikaans statement written by Christiaan de Jager. In paragraph 5 and 6, in paragraph 5 he talks about the man that they found there, who identified himself as Themba Ncophoyi and then later on it was discovered that his name is Moses Maake, that was the name written in his Transkei transport. It is not the first time that this name comes to light.

MR MALAN: Mr Falconer, what really is your problem because it simply identifies the person who was killed, by name as Themba Ncophoyi?

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, in the adjournment this morning the Evidence Leader alluded to the fact that the death of Mr Maake in all probability linked up to the same person identified s Mr Ncophoyi and that this was in some way linked to another amnesty application that had evidently been before the Commission, and I was wondering if there might be cross-examination that might emanate in that direction. Obviously information which neither myself, nor the applicant are privy to, which may be of assistance.

MR MALAN: Would you want to put that simply to the witness, ask him his comment whether he has any comment on that application, Ms Thabethe?

MS THABETHE: Should I proceed to do so now?

MR MALAN: Yes, with the consent of the Chairperson, let's just get that out of the way.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, is there any necessity if you are cross-examining, to have everybody else first? You can ask further questions later.

MR FALCONER: In that event then, I have no objection to proceeding. Thank you Mr Chairman.


MR KUBONI: No Mr Chair, I have no questions.


MS MOHAMED: I have no questions, Mr Chairman.


MR FALCONER: Sorry Mr Chairman, I was going to ask a few questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry. Well, carry on.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR FALCONER: Mr Fivaz, just to clarify issues then. The deceased person who died at Inanda on the 27th of February 1992, you say was the one and the same person described as Thema Ncophoyi?

MR FIVAZ: That is correct Your Worship. I knew, my information was his name was Themba Ncophoyi. I later heard, I definitely heard that he had a passport with another name. I cannot recall what that name was, whether it was Moses Maake or what.

MR FALCONER: In a previous Bundle that we were furnished with in preparation for this hearing and for some reason it does not appear to be in the present Bundle, there was a document referred to or entitled "Identification of Body" and I might be open to correction Mr Chairman, but it does not appear to be in the documentation that is before us in the current Bundles. I do have the old Bundle available if anyone would like to have regard to it.

Mr Fivaz it is stated there that a person who identified herself and I am just trying to read, Diza Elija Nkosinathi Xaba, identified the deceased person as Moses Maake?

MR FIVAZ: That is correct Your Worship. I don't know about that document because I wasn't involved in any identification or investigations. But as I said, you know people in those times had, made use of not their proper names. It is possible that Ncophoyi was just an MK or - as we called it.

MR FALCONER: Could I show you that particular document?

MR NEL: Mr Chairman, if I may just assist, my learned colleague referred to the name of Diza Xaba. I don't read it the same it is spelt N-q-h-a-b-a.

MR FALCONER: No Mr Chairman, I was referring to the name of the person who identified the deceased person as Moses Maake, I didn't mention Ncophoyi in reference to that document.

MR NEL: It might be my mistake, I thought that I heard that the person who identified the deceased as Moses Maake, was Ncophoyi?

MR FIVAZ: Mr Chairman, it is written Moses Maake that she identified. I won't be able to swear that it is one and the same person as Ncophoyi, because this document was done by the person who investigated the inquest or something.

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, I am not sure whether you or your members of your Committee would like to have regard to that document?

You say it is possible that, because people in that time you say used a number of different names, that it is one and the same person?

MR FIVAZ: Correct Your Worship.

MR FALCONER: Does the possibility also exist that the deceased person in this inquest was not the person described as Themba Ncophoyi?

MR FIVAZ: I think, as far as I could see and hear from the evidence, it is quite clear that Ncophoyi and Make was the same person.

MR FALCONER: Which evidence is that that you are referring to Mr Fivaz?

MR FIVAZ: Something that the Evidence Leader there has read from the documents, Mr Chairman.

MR FALCONER: In your evidence Mr Fivaz, you said that Mr Fernandez was present during the raid because he was involved in the investigation, is that correct?

MR FIVAZ: No Your Worship, I don't say that because I don't know who was at the raid. I said it is possible that he was taken on the raid because he was an Explosives Expert, but I don't know who was at the raid. I wasn't there myself.

MR FALCONER: I somehow recall your evidence-in-chief, you said in answer to a question "why was Fernandez to attend to the scene at Inanda", your answer was "well, he was part of the investigation team of the squad".

MR FIVAZ: Yes Sir, but not part of the squad that went to Inanda, part of the investigation team is a different story. It is an investigation team situated at C.R. Swart, that work on certain cases. Mr Bennetts explained to the Chairman, people that worked on exile files, that type of things.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fivaz, the statement of Mr Fernandez that tended to the inquest does not from what I can glean, make reference of the identity of Themba Ncophoyi. Have you had an opportunity to look at Mr Fernandez' statement?

MR FIVAZ: Not really Mr Chairman, I haven't seen that.

MR FALCONER: Would you not have expected someone who was involved in investigations of this nature, and if there was this direct link, to have made it known at the inquest?

MR FIVAZ: No, I wasn't interested in the inquest Mr Chairman, because I believed the story that I was told that the deceased died as a result of a gunshot wound because he wanted to defend himself with a handgrenade or a weapon and the Police were forced to shoot.

I believed that story. I don't think anybody had any reason after my briefing to them, to kill the deceased on purpose.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fivaz, that is not the question, the point I am trying to make is this, if Mr Fernandez was involved in the investigation, he would have, if anyone else, known of the link between the deceased, Mr Moses Maake and Themba Ncophoyi, is that correct?

MR FIVAZ: Sir, I don't know. I don't know whether he knows about it, because I wasn't present at the inquest. I don't know what evidence Fernandez gave at the inquest.

MR FALCONER: If one leaves aside the inquest, would you have expected Fernandez to have known that link?

MR FIVAZ: Not necessarily. If he was on the scene and he saw the passport and he compared the photograph on the passport with the deceased, then he could have seen that Maake was the same person as Ncophoyi.

MR FALCONER: And if he had known of this link, would you think it strange that it not be mentioned by him at an inquest?

MR FIVAZ: No, I don't know Sir, I don't know what was asked of him at the inquest.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fivaz, you have disputed the version of events as have been described by the applicant at the meeting or pursuant to the meeting that was in the process of disbanding at the Reaction Unit, the Riot Unit, in Durban which according to the applicant proceeded the incident at Inanda.

MR FIVAZ: It was definitely untruthful, Mr Chairman, definitely, hundred percent truthful, untruthful.

MR FALCONER: Untruthful you say?

MR FIVAZ: Untruthful.

MR FALCONER: Well, Mr Fivaz, I am instructed that the applicant persists with his version of the events and further instructed that he has no reason to falsify the events as in his version.

MR FIVAZ: Mr Chairman, I don't know whether I am allowed to say it, but I think this implicating other innocent people by the applicant, is really just a smoke screen to hide his real atrocities.

MR FALCONER: Would you bear with me for a minute, please Mr Chairman. Mr Fivaz, you say that the witness who had furnished the information that led to the particular address in Inanda, that particular informer is now deceased?

MR FIVAZ: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

MR FALCONER: When did he die?

MR FIVAZ: He died about a year ago. I was already no longer in the Police and I still had contact with him.

MR FALCONER: When did you leave the South African Police?

MR FIVAZ: In 1992.

MR FALCONER: So if the witness died last year, in 1999, why would it be that you have retained contact with him for a period of seven years since your retirement?

MR FIVAZ: Lots of my informers, still phone me. Even today, ask me how I am, if I am all right and tell me about them. This particular informer used to phone me and tell me he was sick, he needed money because he is very sick and so on and so on. I actually warned him at one stage because he picked up, I think it was syphilis from a woman that he was going out with and I told him not to out with her, he must leave her and eventually he contracted, he was HIV positive. On my insistence I said to him he must go and have an AIDS test, he told me he was positive, he was very ashamed of it and you know, I kept contact with him or at least he kept contact with me on numerous occasions and I have - he was still working with, not as extensive as he was working with me, with members of the Security Branch, giving them certain information. I think more crime related, they were using him.

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, could I just check on one further issue with the applicant for a second?

CHAIRPERSON: Could you put up with the noise for a few moments, or should we adjourn?

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, I have one more question. Mr Fivaz, for the record, I am instructed by the applicant that there were no such lists on the office walls at The Farm as you have described in the offices.

MR FIVAZ: I did see them, and I saw for the first time, I saw that Masami for instance had a force number and I thought the askaris, then I realised that the askaris are really incorporated in the Police Force, they are members of the Police.

MR FALCONER: I have no further questions, thank you Mr Chairman.


MR KUBONI: I have no questions, Your Worship.


MS MOHAMED: I have none, Mr Chairman.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS THABETHE: Thank you Mr Chair, I have a few questions. Mr Fivaz, as indicated in the letter that I wrote to your lawyer, Mr Christo Nel, we had an applicant who alleged that there is an Nhlandla Miaza who was killed because he sold out Themba Ncophoyi. My question to you is would your informer's name happen to have been Nhlandla Miaza?

MR NEL: Before Mr Fivaz answers the question, may I just get that document and show it to him, please Mr Chair?

MS THABETHE: Okay. Mr Fivaz, I had asked you a question as to whether the name of your informer was not Nhlandla Miaza?

MR FIVAZ: Definitely not, Mr Chairman. I know Nhlandla Miaza. He was a PAC man or a Pacman as we called them, and he was detained in terms of Section 29 because, on my initiative, because there was certain information that he was a trained man and that he had handgrenades, "stok" grenades, the old Chinese type of handgrenades with the stick on it and also scorpion, machine pistols.

We recovered some of these things at the time from his room in Marionhill and he was detained and questioned. But he was never an informer for any member of the Security Branch.

MS THABETHE: Was Mr Bennetts present at Inanda where Maake/Ncophoyi was killed?

MR FIVAZ: I don't know who was there Mr Chairman, I know members of the Reaction Unit and as far as I am concerned, Col de Jager was present. That I know because he got direct instructions from me to go there, to Inanda, to arrest Mr Themba Ncophoyi.

MS THABETHE: Was Fernandez there as far as you know?

MR FIVAZ: I also don't know whether he was there. If Fernandez was there, he would have given that instruction, I presume, by Capt Cloete who was the Officer on our floor, and he would have told him as an Explosives Expert to go with, but I don't know whether he was there because I didn't see who went there.

At first I actually presumed Chris de Jager shot Ncophoyi and I was very cross and I actually swore at Chris de Jager, and I later apologised to him.

MS THABETHE: Thank you Mr Chair, I have no further questions.


MR MALAN: I just want to ask you whether you at any stage had a personal talk to Bennetts about the reports that you had on him, the complaints?

MR FIVAZ: No Mr Chairman, I never did. I submitted these reports to his superior and I believe Mr Taylor had a talking to him and questioned him about it.

MR MALAN: So he was never directly under your command at any stage?

MR FIVAZ: Never, never.

MR MALAN: If he says that he acted under your orders at any stage, that would be wrong?

MR FIVAZ: That would be definitely wrong, Mr Chairman.

MR MALAN: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Re-examination?

MR NEL: I've got no re-examination, thank you Mr Chairman.



MR FIVAZ: May I be excused?

MR NEL: May the witness be excused for the time being, he will still be present, but may he be excused now?

CHAIRPERSON: Do you want him to remain present? You said yesterday that he was having problems with his health, do you want him to remain present?

MR NEL: I don't particularly want him to remain present, I think that he would like to remain present. If he feels uncomfortable, then ...

CHAIRPERSON: He can let you know, we can make arrangements?

MR NEL: Thank you Mr Chairman.


MR NEL: Mr Chairman, I would like to call Mr Fernandez to give evidence. Mr Chairman, I have been informed by Mr Fernandez that he would like to testify in Afrikaans.

ROWAN FERNANDEZ: (sworn states)

MR MALAN: Thank you, you may be seated. The witness has been sworn in.

EXAMINATION BY MR NEL: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Mr Fernandez, currently you are still in the South African Police Services, is that correct?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, that is correct.

MR NEL: Where are you stationed currently?

MR FERNANDEZ: I am stationed at the Forensic Scientific Laboratory at the Demolitions Unit in Durban, more commonly known as the Bomb Squad in Durban.

MR NEL: May I just ask you to proceed somewhat slower because your Afrikaans has to be interpreted for the community and they would require of you just to speak somewhat slower for these purposes.

ADV SIGODI: Sorry, the interpreter is requesting the implicated person to speak slowly for interpretation, because its also go to be interpreted.

MR NEL: As it pleases you Ma'am. Would you then just proceed somewhat slower?


MR NEL: When did you go over to the Forensic Division, Mr Fernandez?

MR FERNANDEZ: I think just for the sake of clarification to the Committee perhaps, the Bomb Disposal Unit was always part of the Security Branch, or the Bomb Squad at least, was always part of the Security Branch up to and including 1996. In 1996 we separated from the Security Branch and shifted over to the Technical Support Unit of the South African Police Services after which at the beginning of this year, in January 2000, we were once again shifted away from the Technical Support Unit to the Forensic Scientific Laboratory.

MR NEL: I then deduce and confirm that you are an Inspector of Explosives?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, that is correct. Since the 1st of August 1991 I have been occupying that position.

MR NEL: And you were stationed here in Durban?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, that is correct.

MR NEL: Mr Fernandez, I would like to begin immediately by asking you to comment on an allegation which was made that you were present during a meeting at the Reaction Unit offices at the old Point Prison where an operation was planned to arrest a certain person, according to Mr Fivaz. What do you say about that?

MR FERNANDEZ: I definitely did not attend that meeting. There is no reason why I would attempt to conceal any presence at such a meeting, but I did not attend that meeting at all.

MR NEL: And then from that question, I would like to ask you, it is common cause because I put it as such to the applicant that you were at the scene where a certain Mr Ncophoyi was killed in Inanda?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, that is correct.

MR NEL: Why were you there?

MR FERNANDEZ: At C-Section we operated in two units. The one was the Defectors' Section and the other was the Investigating Team. Both these sections fell beneath the command of Capt Cloete.

In this light we also had service lists for assistance because weaponry would not be only found during office hours, on the contrary most of the time, this would take place after hours. I was one of the members of the Investigating Team, along with Sgt de Jager, we were on standby during this period, however, I was also on standby with Herman Potgieter for demolitions.

So basically I was on two service lists and I was responsible for two separate things. How this would have operated in practice, I don't know if the Committee would like to hear details about that.

MR NEL: Please proceed.

MR FERNANDEZ: How this functioned in practice was the following, if we visited a scene and for example there were handgrenades or any explosives at the scene, then I would not assume the role of the Investigating Officer, I would assume the role of the demolitions member.

That is why we operated in teams of two. Then Sgt de Jager would deal with the investigation of the scene and I would deal with demolitions at the scene. If no explosives were found and only weapons were found, then we would have taken turns regarding who would have dealt with the dossier at the end of the day.

MR NEL: Now the allegation is Mr Fernandez, that you had a discussion with the applicant, Mr Bennetts, and that you would have asked him to provide a handgrenade at the scene where this Themba Ncophoyi was killed. What do you say about that?

MR FERNANDEZ: It is completely absurd to me in the light that I am a demolitions man, who has access to the official safe in which all the exhibits as well as explosives which were used by us, were kept. It wouldn't have been necessary for me to request anything from another member.

MR NEL: If for example you wanted to plant a limpet mine at a scene or any other type of explosive, you would have had access to these explosives and you would have been able to obtain them yourself?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, I would have been able to. I would have had access to it, but I didn't have any necessity throughout my entire career to plant any evidence or exhibits at any scene. But for the sake of argument, I did have access to it, and I still have access to the storage room. I need this in order to be able to execute my tasks from day to day.

MR NEL: Currently you are still presenting lectures during which you display handgrenades and that sort of thing?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, that is correct, we present quite a number of lectures. I wouldn't want to say how many I have already presented, but it would be way over 200 by now.

I work with explosives on a daily basis.

MR NEL: I would like to ask you to look at the photographs which were submitted during the post-mortem inquest regarding this particular case and I refer you to the photographs which are found in Bundle A from page 108.

These photos were taken at the scene by a Police photographer and in particular I want to refer you to a photograph on page 110 and on the right hand side of that photo there is a handgrenade. Could you identify this handgrenade, please?

MR FERNANDEZ: The photograph on page 110 of Bundle A, the handgrenade at the bottom right is a F1 handgrenade. It is manufactured in former Eastern bloc countries, I don't know whether the Committee requires the specifics regarding this sort of handgrenade but for the sake of this, the handgrenade contains 60g of TNT. TNT stands for Trinitrotoluene. I do not expect the interpreter to interpret that, so my apologies to the interpreter.

Next to the handgrenade is the detonator, and the name of this detonator is the UZRGM. It functions with a delay element which could be anything between zero seconds up to and including 4,2 seconds. 4,2 seconds is ideal, however as a result of mass production, sometimes it was omitted to attach this delay mechanism to the detonator.

This particular detonator on the photograph is according to my opinion, live, because the detonator is intact. The other handgrenade on the photo is a M26 handgrenade. It is manufactured by the Denelle group in South Africa. This specific handgrenade I can tell you is a pre-1984 grenade, due to the following reasons: the detonator has been unscrewed. All grenades which were manufactured after 1984 by Denelle, their detonators cannot be unscrewed and that grenade is also live. I cannot view the inside of these grenades from the photos, so therefore I cannot determine whether or not there are explosives inside, but at face value, these grenades appear to be live to me.

MR NEL: If I may ask you, if any, what would be the difference between the live detonator on this photograph, in your opinion, and as the applicant has stated, a fired detonator?

MR FERNANDEZ: If I may refer to the photograph, the bottom section, in scale, approximately the bottom centimetre of the photograph would not be there any more if this detonator had been applied or used. It would be absent.

MR NEL: Is there anything else?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, the safety mechanism would not be present, although it could be reconstructed with a bit of patience.

The reason why I say this Chairperson, is because when we present lectures, we need to be able to give an example to members of the public and the Force of a handgrenade as they would see it.

MR NEL: Mr Fernandez, then in conclusion, I just want to refer you to page 16 of the applicant's application, as found in Bundle B or rather page 15 where the applicant states in paragraph 36 -

"... my role was to supply a dud handgrenade which would be planted on the scene if necessary. Fernandez was aware that I had in my possession two handgrenades with no detonators or explosives in, which I kept as mementoes."

He continues on page 16, in paragraph 37 where he states with reference to you -

"... he then came out and requested me to contact an ambulance and the Duty Officer. We then proceeded (this is Mr Bennetts and you, we then proceeded) to my vehicle and called for them on the radio. Whilst at the vehicle, I handed to Fernandez the grenade as requested and he then returned to the house."

Do you wish to comment on those paragraphs and statements?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, I would like to Chairperson. As I have stated earlier today, it is completely absurd to me that I would request a handgrenade from a colleague that I would then obtain, an incomplete handgrenade from him, while I have the keys to a storage room where I would be able to obtain such items.

What ultimately is suggested here is that I received the handgrenade from Mr Bennetts and that afterwards, in some or other way, I would have had to go to the storage room in either event, in order to obtain a detonator. But as Mr Bennetts has stated, or as he alleges, the handgrenade was in his possession. Then the handgrenade which was in his possession, would have been incomplete, and as viewed from the photographs which have been shown to me, a complete handgrenade was found at the scene, so somewhere along the line, I must have obtained a detonator and added it to the handgrenade in order to leave a complete handgrenade at the scene. I think it is completely absurd. Under no circumstances did I request a handgrenade from Mr Bennetts. Under no circumstances did Mr Bennetts hand over any handgrenade to me and that is all.

MR MALAN: Were you aware that he had such grenades as mementoes in his possession?

MR FERNANDEZ: I would have to answer yes to that. I must just explain the large office in which all the Defection Unit's members sat. There were many cleaned explosive weapons in that office. Among others mortars and various handgrenades.

If you come to my office you will see that I also have quite a large variety in my office. So my answer to your question is affirmative.

MR MALAN: Do you then say that at that time you also had such harmless grenades in your office, with the exception of those that Bennetts would have had?

MR FERNANDEZ: At that stage I had only one. Most of us, bomb disposers, had an empty Mills handgrenade on our tables. Why, I cannot tell you, but it was just one of those things regarding the bomb disposers in South Africa.

The rest of the empty handgrenades and such things, would have been locked up in the safe. At that stage, I wasn't in that big office, I had my own office.

MR MALAN: I don't understand you. My question to you was whether or not you were aware that Mr Bennetts himself kept such grenades as mementoes and I think that you said that you would have to answer yes?

MR FERNANDEZ: That is correct.

MR MALAN: Does that mean yes, you knew that he had two grenades in his possession which were not functional, which he kept as mementoes?

MR FERNANDEZ: That is correct.

MR MALAN: How did you know this?

MR FERNANDEZ: They were on his table.

MR MALAN: Thank you.

MR NEL: Mr Fernandez, do you know whether these handgrenades which were found at the scene, were ever destroyed?

MR FERNANDEZ: Chairperson I cannot say definitely whether or not the grenades were destroyed. I would assume for the following reason, during the investigation of this sort of case, we always locked away the evidence until after the court date, or sometimes before the court date and then we would do what we would refer to as mass destruction, we would take all the exhibits after they had been photographed, we would take these items to a suitable place where various explosives or demolitions members would destroy these items. That is why I have stated that it is difficult to state according to the registers and the exhibits, which were conveyed to the Technical Backup Units, these items were definitely destroyed.

Who specifically destroyed them, would be difficult to say. It may have been me during a mass destruction session, it may have been a colleague of mine. When we prepared the charges, one person would switch the charge off. If that constitutes that the person destroyed it, then that is so, however, it is very difficult to explain. We were four or five who would go along, we would do the parcel charges, we would set them off and then we would inspect the scene after the explosion, but it is very difficult to pinpoint who exactly did it.

MR NEL: Then lastly, in terms of your affidavit which was submitted after the post-mortem inquest, and this can be found on page 81 Chairperson, of Bundle A, there you state in paragraph 17 -

"... I left the house and gave Mr Bennetts the order to call the ambulance and the Service Officer."

Did that take place?


MR NEL: But you did not plant a handgrenade at the scene after you gave this instruction?

MR FERNANDEZ: No, I did not.

MR NEL: I have no further questions for Mr Fernandez, thank you Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Did anybody else, any other Explosives Expert, come to the scene?

MR FERNANDEZ: That is correct Chairperson, Capt Herman Potgieter. The reason for that is that there is a post-mortem inquest which was launched the minute that the deceased passed away.

Seeing as I was present, and from my investigative experience, it would be unpermissible in the first place, and secondly, unethical to continue with the investigation because I would not be the Investigating Officer from the inquest team. That is why Capt Potgieter was called to the scene, so that he could take the exhibits which were demolitions related, away from the scene and safeguard them, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: So if this grenade had been cleaned of explosives, it would have weighed 60g less than a normal such grenade?

MR FERNANDEZ: That is correct Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: So if you were going to plant this grenade, you would not only have had to find a detonator, you would have had to find 60g of something else to put inside the grenade, otherwise Capt Potgieter would have noticed it when he picked it up?

MR FERNANDEZ: That is correct Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I imagine one of you experts, if you pick up a grenade that's got nothing in it, would immediately notice?

MR FERNANDEZ: That is correct Chairperson.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR FALCONER: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Mr Fernandez, do you have any objection if I put my questions in English to you?

MR FERNANDEZ: None whatsoever, please continue.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fernandez, your Attorney has pointed out to you paragraph 17 of your affidavit, which formed part of the inquest documents at Bundle A, page 81. You mentioned that Sgt Bennetts was at the scene. How would it have come about that Sgt Bennetts was there?

MR FERNANDEZ: Do you want to know what the applicant was doing there?

MR FALCONER: How would it have come about that he was at the scene?

MR FERNANDEZ: All right. Very well, I will explain. In order to understand the matter better, you have to understand the modus operandi of C-Section. C-Section's modus operandi was that if we went to any place, the members who were on standby would be accompanied, more than once, by members from the other Unit. It would not only be the members who were on standby who would go to the scene of an incident.

I am confusing you. There was a distinction between the certain types of scenes, I have already distinguished between a demolitions scene and a non-demolitions scene. Now, I want to distinguish, I would like to distinguish between scenes which we would react to based upon information of our own, we would refer to this as a Reactive Scene. An example of a Reactive Scene is for example if members of the Detective Branch arrest a man who is in possession of a handgrenade, that is a Reactive Scene which would only be attended by standby members of Demolitions and Investigations.

If there was a scene that we were following up, it would be common practice to take other members of the Unit with for co-ordination with the scene, the deposition of statements and so forth. It was nothing strange that Mr Bennetts was there, I did not give him an order to go there, but it is not strange to me that he was there.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fernandez, who would have tasked Mr Bennetts to be there?

MR FERNANDEZ: Well, I do not wish to speculate Chairperson, because it definitely was not my instruction to have Mr Bennetts there. I don't want to speculate. I don't know who sent him there.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fernandez, do you recall an incident before the one that we refer to here as having happened at Inanda on the 27th of February 1992, an incident which happened some time before then where the Umbumbulu Police Station was attacked?

MR FERNANDEZ: I know that the Police Station was attacked, but I don't know whether I dealt with that scene. I don't know whether I was there. I don't know.

MR FALCONER: The applicant instructs me that following that attack, he was tasked to investigate the scene of the crime, and he together with members of the South African Defence Force, conducted a search where they proceeded through the veld and recovered a considerable number of handgrenades. Do you remember that?

MR FERNANDEZ: It will be news to me. I cannot recall that I dealt with any such scene.

MR FALCONER: You may not have done the scene yourself, but do you recall an incident where ...

MR FERNANDEZ: Not at this moment in time, no.

MR FALCONER: The applicant instructs me further, he actually kept two handgrenades that were seized during that search on that scene and that he had kept these in his possession in the office for a considerable time, do you recall that?

MR FERNANDEZ: I cannot say that, I can only comment on it. Mr Bennetts is not a Demolitions member, Mr Bennetts did not have the capacity to have any explosives in his possession. If Mr Bennetts had done so, he would be disobeying the law.

CHAIRPERSON: You said he kept them where, he had the two handgrenades in his possession and he kept them?

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, my instructions are that he kept them in his desk at his place of work.

MR FERNANDEZ: May I just ask Mr Chairperson, are these live grenades?

MR FALCONER: They were live at one stage.

MR FERNANDEZ: I don't know about that.

MR FALCONER: Now Mr Fernandez, my instruction are further that in fact Mr Bennetts asked you to kindly make these grenades safe and remove the explosives from within them, to ensure that they were therefore no longer live if I can put it that way. Do you recall that?

MR FERNANDEZ: No, I don't. On the contrary, I would also not have cleaned handgrenades for my colleagues, for what purpose? The only people who had the authorisation to do that sort of thing, would be our Bomb Disposal and Research Head Office in Pretoria.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fernandez, what you are saying to me is that it is a serious offence to be in possession of handgrenades of that nature?

MR FERNANDEZ: Section 32(1)(e) ...

MR FALCONER: Just answer the question, yes or no.

MR FERNANDEZ: That is correct, yes. It appears in the Arms and Ammunitions Act.

MR FALCONER: You say you saw grenades on the applicant's desk?

MR FERNANDEZ: They were empty grenades. Those that you have suggested to me, and that is why I asked you whether or not they were live grenades, upon which you answered affirmatively, to have live grenades in your possession, would be a contravention of the Act. That is correct, that is why I asked you this question.

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, could I get clarity of instructions on one point please.

Now, you say that you saw, if we can call them, safe grenades on the applicant's desk, two of them?

MR FERNANDEZ: I cannot recall whether or not there were two. As I stated earlier, there was quite a lot of cleaned out demolitions weaponry in that office.

MR FALCONER: Were those what you described as F1 grenades on the applicant's desk?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes. It is very difficult to recall. You are asking me to think back over a period of approximately 10 years to what was on a desk. I just know that there were handgrenades, mortars, cleaned out demolitions weaponry in that office. Where it was on Mr Bennetts office, table, how many there were on his desk, I cannot tell you, I cannot remember.

MR FALCONER: I've got clarity from the applicant that he initially, he instructs me, initially he had live grenades pursuant to the search at the Umbumbulu Police Station and the vicinity, and thereafter he had requested you to make him safe, but you didn't make them safe, in fact they lay around for a few weeks until someone else from your particular grouping, made them safe. Are you in a position to dispute that?

MR FERNANDEZ: I don't know about it. I cannot comment on it, because I don't know about it.

MR FALCONER: Do you recall a Craig who worked with you?

MR MALAN: Sorry Mr Falconer, is this new instructions from your client, because you earlier put the statement to Mr Fernandez that your client's instructions are that Mr Fernandez made the grenade safe?

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, unfortunately they are new instructions, because this evidence, we weren't furnished with statements of Mr Fernandez. I am hearing the evidence now and I am having my client speaking to me in the one ear, to give me instructions on what he is saying.

MR MALAN: But this is not evidence from Mr Fernandez, it is evidence introduced now by way of cross-examination by the applicant?

MR FALCONER: Precisely Mr Chairman, and I am just trying to, I have just got clarification on the one issue that I was unclear on, with him.

MR MALAN: So the statement is not, the accusation is not that Fernandez made these grenades safe, but simply that he was requested and he failed to do so?

MR FALCONER: That is correct Mr Chairman. Do you recall a person by the name of Craig who evidently worked with you?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, currently he is my Commander.

MR FALCONER: Well, I am instructed that it was he who ultimately made these grenades safe, are you in a position to dispute that?

MR FERNANDEZ: No, that is news to me.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fernandez, Mr Fivaz has testified to the effect that you, with your involvement in the investigations, were obviously part of the contingent that attended on the scene at Inanda on that evening. Were you ever aware that the deceased person who was killed on the 27th of February 1992, was one and the same person as Themba Ncophoyi?

MR FERNANDEZ: My response to that is no. On the contrary, since 1996 with the first Section 29 before this Commission, I didn't even know who the deceased was. I cannot comment on that.

This is the same reason why the name of the deceased does not appear in my statement, which was prepared for the post-mortem inquest, because I did not know who the deceased was.

MR FALCONER: Did you work quite closely with Mr Fivaz?

MR FERNANDEZ: May I just ask that you put this to me better?

MR FALCONER: Did you work in an environment where you and Mr Fivaz would be in contact with one another on a regular basis?

MR FERNANDEZ: Mr Fivaz sat five to seven metres away from my office in his office, with Piet Nel. Mr Fivaz had files that he was investigating, Mr Nel had his files that he was investigating. I also had files or dockets that I was investigating.

Upon occasion, Mr Fivaz may have requested from me to take an affidavit for him, for one of his dockets, but I did not investigate any cases collectively with Mr Fivaz so it is difficult to comment on that.

It was like two Detectives working for the same office, each one had his own office, each had his own dockets.

MR FALCONER: You were presumably present when Mr Fivaz testified in regard to how distraught he was that Mr Themba Ncophoyi had actually been killed?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, I was present, that is correct.

MR FALCONER: Now surely Mr Ncophoyi being such a pivotal source and informer for Mr Fivaz and the very fact that you attended on the scene when he was deceased on the 27th of February 1992, surely you would have put two and two together and realised it was one and the same person?

MR FERNANDEZ: May I just ask you to repeat the question, for the reason that you have implied that Mr Ncophoyi was a pertinent informer. Perhaps you could just repeat the question for me.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fivaz had indicated that he was distraught by virtue of the fact that he would have very dearly liked to have spoken with Mr Ncophoyi and that it was Mr Ncophoyi who he thought would be able to give a lot of information in regard to certain issues that he was investigating and that he was upset that in fact this person had been killed.

Did you not ever get to know about that?

MR FERNANDEZ: Let me just explain something to you, because I think it is important and it will place things in a better light.

MR MALAN: Before you explain, just answer the question. The question is whether or not you were aware of it.

MR FERNANDEZ: No, I was not, because Mr Fivaz and Mr Nel dealt with the PAC desk, I didn't deal with that.

MR MALAN: You didn't know that Fivaz was upset because Ncophoyi had been shot, didn't that come to your knowledge?

MR FERNANDEZ: Mr Fivaz didn't tell me at any stage that he was upset. I cannot even recall whether or not I saw Mr Fivaz at the office the next day, he may have had other duties.

MR MALAN: The question is simply whether or not you were aware of the fact that he was upset regarding the death of this person.

MR FERNANDEZ: I heard that he was upset, but not firsthand.

MR MALAN: When did you come to hear of this?

MR FERNANDEZ: It would be difficult to say Chairperson. Probably during general discussions at the office, that sort of thing, hearsay.

MR MALAN: Very well.

MR FALCONER: When do you think you heard that for the first time?

MR FERNANDEZ: I don't want to speculate regarding that. I cannot even recall what day the 27th of February was, if it was a Friday, it could have been the week after that, if it was the Monday, it could have been that week. I don't want to speculate, it is difficult to answer that.

MR FALCONER: Were you aware that Mr Fivaz was concerned with de Jager that de Jager initially, he thought de Jager had, he initially thought that de Jager had shot the deceased?

MR FERNANDEZ: It is obvious that with the hearsay regarding these things, such things would emanate.

MR FALCONER: At the time when you deposed to your affidavit for the inquest and at the time when you testified for the inquest, did you not think that it might assist the Judicial Officer investigating the matter, to know that the deceased person was also known as Themba Ncophoyi and that he was allegedly involved in certain activities?

MR FERNANDEZ: I agree with the argument, but please bear in mind that I was not the Investigating Officer for the inquest team. I was a witness in the inquest, I was put in the witness stand, questions were put to me and I answered these questions. That was my role at the post-mortem inquest. It was not my role to consult with the Investigating Officer in that respect, or anything of that sort.

MR FALCONER: And you as a member of the Police, an of the law, did not think it was necessary to notify the Judicial Officer of this important information that might lead somewhere in their investigations?

MR FERNANDEZ: Well, at that stage, no. I cannot speculate regarding what the Investigating Officer knew and what he did not know. I didn't tell him anything in that regard, because I didn't know anything. As I told you, I didn't even know the identity of the deceased.

MR NEL: If I may just interpose here, Chairperson, I think the witness stated that during the compilation of his statement, he didn't know who Themba Ncophoyi, the deceased was, that is why he never mentioned that name in his statement.

MR FALCONER: I want to go on to a new matter now. Mr Fernandez, whilst you testified before Truth and Reconciliation Commission during November 1996, and here Mr Chairman, I am referring to Bundle A, page 159, I am just going to read you the question that was put to you and the answer that you had given. You had said, the question was -

"... All I am trying to find out from you is what happened to the handgrenade?

Your answer was -

"... Well, the handgrenade would have been booked in the SAP13 and then photographs would have been taken and then it would have been destroyed."

Now, part of the inquest documentation that we have been furnished with contains a ballistic report prepared by Mr Kobus Steyl. He conducts an investigation on the firearms that were recovered on the scene, but we don't see any report anywhere from an expert who examined the handgrenades, does that not seem a bit odd to you?

MR FERNANDEZ: It is strange. My comment on that is that I was not the Investigating Officer for that inquest team. I don't know why the Investigating Officer would not have obtained the statement from the demolitions officer. He omitted to do so.

MR FALCONER: And ordinarily you would expect an Explosives Expert to have ...

MR FERNANDEZ: If I had investigated that matter, then there would definitely have been a statement made by the demolitions member for the inquest, but I wasn't the Investigating Officer for that inquiry.

MR FALCONER: In fact, we don't even know if any Explosives Experts inspected those handgrenades after this incident at all, do we?

MR FERNANDEZ: Not in evidence before the Commission, no.

MR FALCONER: Or before the inquest?

CHAIRPERSON: You say in that on page 59 that Capt Potgieter must then have taken it away?

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, the point I am making is we don't have a report.

CHAIRPERSON: No, but you were saying we don't mention it, anybody else, didn't you?

MR FALCONER: I beg your pardon, Mr Chairman?

CHAIRPERSON: Didn't you just now say we have no mention in the evidence, that anybody else had had any dealings with it? There is evidence that Capt Potgieter would have dealt with it?

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, the question, the intention I was intending to convey was that no one investigated and examined the handgrenades to give a report as to the condition that they were in when they were found.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't understand.

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, from the photographs we see handgrenades, indeed, but we don't have any report from an expert saying precisely what ...

CHAIRPERSON: No, Capt Potgieter, we have got no report from Capt Potgieter, we have got no report from Capt Potgieter, we have evidence that he was called to the scene and he would have been, we have had evidence today that he would have investigated.

For some reason, no report was handed in.

MR FALCONER: Correct Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: And the Magistrate did not ask as far as one can see.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fernandez, if you have a look at the photograph that is at page 110 of Bundle A, you cannot tell us now, you cannot tell us now, can you that that grenade on the right hand side has got explosives in the case or not?

MR FERNANDEZ: Mr Chairperson, I have already answered that question before, but I will repeat it. From the photograph I cannot say if there are explosives in it or not. This photograph was not taken in my presence and it was not taken by myself. I also did not remove these handgrenades from the scene.

It is practice for any Demolitions member to take the evidence from the scene, to make it safe and to inspect it before he removed it. Those things must be transported in a State vehicle, it is common practice.

MR FALCONER: I would like to ask you a hypothetical question then. If there was indeed underhand dealings going on with the set-up of this entire unfortunate event, would you agree that the possibility exists that various exhibits could have been exchanged and swopped?

MR FERNANDEZ: It would be speculation to say, anything is possible.

Well you want to speculate, there could have been three landmines added to these, anything is possible. It is speculation, but I take great exception in, actually great pride in the integrity of my colleagues that work in Bomb Disposal with me. Our people will not get involved in something like this.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fernandez, getting back to another aspect in your evidence-in-chief, you said that it would have been relatively easy for you to acquire handgrenades or explosives or things from your stores where you work, is that correct?

MR FERNANDEZ: I have access to the safe. How you want to view it, yes, I have access to it.

MR FALCONER: But the impression that is being conveyed is that had you wanted to place an object on the scene, such as a handgrenade, you could have readily obtained one elsewhere?

MR FERNANDEZ: If I, hypothetically speaking, if I wanted to plant something, I do not need to ask Mr Bennetts for it, I have these items in my store, and that is why I am saying it is about the integrity of the Bomb Disposal Unit in this country, people do not get involved in things like this.

MR FALCONER: I appreciate what you mentioned about integrity, but does that not convey to you that there may be a lack of control over those stores, if it would be so easy to take things out of there?

MR FERNANDEZ: No, I will not say that at all. There are a few of us who have keys for that safe and since then, things have changed, there is now only one person whose got access to the store, and that is since 1996.

But before that, because we were 14 Bomb Disposal members at the Security Branch, I cannot ask somebody or go to somebody's house to get him to do the disposal and if I do not have the key, some of the members, who have been trained, will have the key at C-Section. I do not know if this answers your question.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fernandez, you deposed to your affidavit which went before the Inquest Officer on the 3rd of March 1992 and from the records, that would appear to be within a very short space of time, from the date of the incident at Inanda on the 27th of February 1992, is that correct?

MR FERNANDEZ: If you are asking me if the statement was made very quickly, can you just repeat the question?

MR FALCONER: All I am asking is that you deposed to your affidavit on the 3rd of March 1992, which appears to be a very short space of time, or very soon after the incident that took place on the 27th of February 1992?

MR FERNANDEZ: I do not know how to answer your question. I am a very thorough worker and this is a statement that had to be put in, and I cannot see how it can be wrong if I put it six days later.

MR FALCONER: No, I am not suggesting there is anything bad in it. Is it correct that you then subsequently testified before that inquest?

MR FERNANDEZ: That is correct, yes.

MR FALCONER: And then again during November 1996, you were brought before a Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission where you again testified on the same subject matter?

MR FERNANDEZ: That is correct.

MR FALCONER: And from my reading of your evidence that you gave there, it seemed that you were treated fairly robustly in the questioning, you weren't let off lightly?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes. That is correct. I wish you could put yourself in my shoes, where you are falsely accused of something that I had nothing to do with and then it is dragged out over a period of five years, where I have to wait for the next time to appear in front of the Commission.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fernandez, have you at any time ever made an application for amnesty before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

MR FERNANDEZ: No, because I've got no reason to apply for amnesty, I have done nothing illegally, I've got a very clean record at the South African Police. I have never been accused of assaults in the Police and I have already testified about this in 1996 and I will repeat it again five years later. I have never had a charge of assault against me.

MR FALCONER: The applicant has given evidence which seriously implicates you in what would effectively amount to an accessory to murder. After having committed yourself to at least three occasions prior to this, under oath, to a certain version of events pertaining to this offence, you are hardly in a position to change your story, would you agree?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, but why must I change the truth? In whose favour?

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, I am not sure whether this is the appropriate stage for the lunch adjournment. I would appreciate an opportunity to canvass with my client whether there are any further issues he would like me to take up with this witness.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, after yesterday, will quarter to two be all right? We will now take the midday adjournment until a quarter to two.





Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Fernandez, I would like to refer you to Bundle A, page 88. That is the statement of Capt Gumbi who was the Duty Officer who attended on the scene of the incident. Can I take you to the third paragraph of that statement which indicates the following -

"... next to him there was a handgrenade."

Then he makes certain observations about the deceased and then the penultimate, sorry the third last paragraph starts as follows -

"... Sgt Fernandez informed me that while searching the house, he had found an AK47 assault rifle, 1.357 Magnum revolver as well as a P38 pistol."

Does that correctly accord with your memory of what you had found and conveyed to Capt Gumbi?

MR FERNANDEZ: No. There was an M26 handgrenade and the F1 handgrenade. But I think he mentioned a handgrenade here. I also see in his statement that he did not mention the M26.

MR FALCONER: Do you specifically remember observing the M26 and the F1 handgrenades yourself, in that residence?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, the F1 and the M26, I think the reason why I remember this was that it had nails that were wrapped around it and that was something a bit different. Usually it is done to create more shrapnel.

MR FALCONER: You see, why I ask you Mr Fernandez, if you have regard to your affidavit that you deposed to for the inquest, it is again in Bundle A, page 80, you don't make mention of the M26, but you do however in paragraph 15, state the following -

"... I also saw a F1 on the left side of the victim."

Nowhere in that statement is the M26 mentioned, that I can see.

MR FERNANDEZ: That is very simple to explain. The reason for this is the M26 was not found by myself. In my statement I said or mentioned what I found and because it was a statement for a post-mortem inquest, I felt that it was necessary to make mention of the M26. I haven't read Sgt de Jager's statement, but I am sure that his statement will mention the M26, it should be because he found it. I only mentioned what I found.

MR FALCONER: Is it according to your knowledge, an offence to be in possession of a handgrenade that we can refer to as not live, in other words, which has had the explosives and the detonator possibly removed from it?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, it is debatable, because of the following reasons - if you look at it in a very confined and strict way, you can find somebody guilty of this offence, but what the Demolitions Unit is doing now is that they are trying to issue a type of license to deal with or to have in possession, some of these items. It will depend, and that will probably answer your question in a better way, whose item it is.

If it is in the possession of one of our Demolitions Unit members, we are being protected by the Demolitions Act.

MR FALCONER: Did it not strike you as strange then that these items were seen at your offices?

MR FERNANDEZ: I would not say that it is strange, because in that office, if I can remember correctly, there were at least two Demolitions Team members, together with the applicant, so it is not strange. If you grow up in the Police and in the environment in which we worked, we worked with handgrenades, etc, I do not find it strange no. For another policeman, it could be strange, yes but not in the context where I worked in.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fernandez, in concluding then, I am instructed that the applicant keeps to his version of the evidence that he has testified to this Commission, and in particular in regard to yourself, that you were present at the time when a meeting at the Reaction Unit had just ended or was ending and that shortly thereafter you and the applicant had a discussion, during which you requested him to attend upon the particular scene at Inanda, with one of the dud handgrenades in his possession.

I am further instructed that at the scene, shortly after the shooting had occurred in the household, you came back towards the vehicles where the applicant was standing, and proceeded with the applicant back to the vehicle, where the ambulance and Duty Officer were radioed and the applicant was requested to furnish you with the handgrenade that he had taken to the scene, which he duly did. He gave it to you and you returned back to the house.

MR FERNANDEZ: Mr Chairperson, every person has got the right to make his own opinion and every person's got the right to make or to have his own perception concerning an incident that occurred in his life.

But I do find it very strange that the applicant feels that he is the only person who is telling the truth and now he implies that not only myself but also various other Police members, are all lying together for some reason or for something that only exists in his mind.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fivaz, can you maybe help me, because this is something that I have been trying to work out.

MR MALAN: Mr Fernandez.

MR FALCONER: I beg your pardon, Mr Fernandez, why would the applicant firstly, if he is to be disbelieved, concoct a statement and a version of events that makes him part of a very serious crime, why would he implicate himself like that?

MR FERNANDEZ: It is very simple to answer. I do not want to sit in front of the Commission and insult a colleague of mine, but if you know Frank Bennetts as we know him, then you will understand this whole issue much better. It is very difficult to answer that question, I do not know. Your client will be able to tell you why.

For me, this whole exercise is a waste of time, because I have to stand up for things that I haven't done and I have to face suggestions that has been made.

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, I have no further questions, thank you.


MR MALAN: Mr Fernandez, the question is why would he concoct such a story and you said it was very simple, but you did not answer the question. If it is so simple, please explain it to us.

MR FERNANDEZ: Very well. Mr Bennetts has a reputation amongst the people who worked with him, he likes to be in charge, he likes to be important in a certain sense. He has been known to tell stories about various things, that in the end is not true. To put it blatantly, I knew him or I got to know him as a liar and now today it is, that suspicion is even stronger.

MR MALAN: Sorry Mr Falconer, do you want to follow up on that?

FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR FALCONER: With your leave, thank you Mr Chairman. So you are saying that you got to know Mr Bennetts as a liar, are you aware of any instances where he was involved in lies and deceit in carrying out his official duties as a policeman?

MR FERNANDEZ: No, I do not want to comment on something like that. The whole purpose of the Commission is not to prove that the applicant is a liar, and I would prefer not to give an answer.

MR FALCONER: Well, it is a very simple question, Mr Fernandez. You either are personally aware of instances where he lied and misled people during the course of his official duties as a policeman or you are not. Now are you aware of such incidents?

MR FERNANDEZ: As a policeman, no, but I am talking now on a personal level, that is what I am referring to. I am not referring to incidents where he was involved in.

MR FALCONER: In an official capacity your answer is no, you are not aware of any?

MR FERNANDEZ: No, not in his official capacity as a policeman.

MR FALCONER: Are you aware of any occasions during the course of his service in the Police which spanned some ten years, 16 years, I beg your pardon, where he was ever disciplined for lying or misleading or defrauding or anything like that nature?

MR FERNANDEZ: I would not know Mr Chairperson, but it is ironic that the applicant, and the applicant will be able to testify about this, that more than once have been charged with assault and all these incidents, he was prosecuted or not found guilty.

But in opposition to this, he is sitting in front of the Commission, and admits in his application about all the assaults that he had committed.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fernandez, what I am asking is, are you aware of any incidents where he was officially prosecuted or disciplined for offences that pertained to dishonesty or fraud?

MR FERNANDEZ: I am not his Commander, no, I do not know his disciplinary history. The answer will be no.

MR FALCONER: Do you agree with me that by coming to this forum and testifying to a matter which is effectively a capital offence, is a very serious deed for anyone to do, especially when they are implicating themselves?

MR FERNANDEZ: I agree with that. But I just see it in another light in the sense that there was an inquest and it was justifiable homicide.

I do not know what you are referring to if you are talking about the offence that was committed, because with my knowledge, there was never a murder file opened, concerning this, so I do not know what you are talking about at this stage.

MR FALCONER: Mr Fernandez, you testified that you are personally not aware of any incident where the applicant lied or misled anybody in fulfilling his official functions as a Police Officer. You have also testified that you are not aware of any instances where he was disciplined or charged for any offences relating to dishonesty or fraud. Do you really believe that at this stage, when he is out of the Police Service, trying to earn a private living in the commercial sector, that he stands anything to gain to now come and be dishonest and implicate not only himself but a number of other policemen in a serious offence?

MR FERNANDEZ: I don't know. Everybody has got the right to his own perception. Do you want me to speculate about my own perception? I do not know if it will be relevant because, I do not know, I do not know how to answer your question.

CHAIRPERSON: Try to, you have been asked, can you think of any reason why he should?

MR FERNANDEZ: I do not know if Frank feels that at this stage, or let me put it this way, my personal opinion is that it is hearsay stories, "braaivleis" stories and I do not know why Frank feels that he must apply for amnesty for something - I do not know, it is very difficult for me to explain, Mr Chairperson.

I cannot see the reason behind his actions. I can understand why he is applying for the Chesterville incident, but why we were drawn in to this scene, I do not know. Maybe he is doing this to be more believable in front of the Commission or for Chesterville, and the work that he did there. I do not know.

That is my speculation.

MR FALCONER: Let's be serious Mr Fernandez, do you really think that someone through what you call "braaivleis" stories, is going to implicate himself in an offence relating to a murder of somebody and it is not true?

MR FERNANDEZ: Look, if you apply for amnesty, then you are going to make known everything that you feel you have to make known.

MR FALCONER: Precisely and you are not going to seek amnesty for something you haven't done?

MR FERNANDEZ: I do not know. I do not know what exactly Mr Bennetts did. This is what I cannot understand, because I do not know what Mr Bennetts did concerning this inquest that would give him the reason to apply for amnesty. This is what I do not understand.

MR FALCONER: Well, fortunately Mr Fernandez, it is not my duty to answer questions here, but I am going to.

His evidence was clearly that he believes that by being called upon to furnish a handgrenade and by doing so, he was not only an accessory to murder, but also an accessory after the fact. That is what he seeks amnesty for, in respect of that incident.

If he is to be disbelieved on his evidence, you would have us believe that that offence never took place?

MR FERNANDEZ: I will tell you categorically that no offence was committed at that house.

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, I have no further questions, thank you.


MR MALAN: I am sorry that I have to follow this up again, but once again you referred and Mr Falconer just used it in his next question, but you think that he applied for amnesty because these things were discussed at "braaivleis", around the fire and that other rumours were heard?

MR FERNANDEZ: I will not say that other rumours did the rounds, but it is obvious that certain scenes or incidents will be discussed by the members. For example if I talk about things that I heard around the "braaivleis" fires concerning Vlakplaas, I cannot testify about things that happened at Vlakplaas.

The only thing that I know is the stories that I heard at a "braaivleis". It could be misleading if I put it that way.

MR MALAN: No, but I get the impression that Mr Bennetts probably mentioned the story because he heard such stories around the "braaivleis" fires. Do you know of certain stories that was talked about?


MR MALAN: But why did you mention it?

MR FERNANDEZ: I mentioned it as an example to say that it is a story that for example he heard in the passages. I cannot say that he heard the story in the passages, but I am just referring to the "braaivleis" stories just to say that it could be hearsay stories. That is why I heard, I should have used the word hearsay stories.

MR MALAN: If I understand you correctly you also said that you got to know Mr Bennetts as a liar, but you cannot give any examples and you also conceded that he is not a liar concerning his service?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes Mr Chairperson, but then again the things that Mr Bennetts is applying for, what happened at Chesterville and it is in the public records that on various occasions, he has been charged with assaults.

MR MALAN: We are not talking about that. You also accused him of something else and you said, the impression that I got was that he was almost a pathological liar that wanted to boost his own importance and that is why he is lying about it in his story. That is how I understood his story.

MR FERNANDEZ: It does come down to that, because if you look at the official charges of assault and lied about that, and now apply for amnesty, and this is the perception that I have in my mind.

MR MALAN: I do not understand you. You are now basing your argument on his application, the fact that he did apply, but you said that in the Force you knew him as a liar? Did you lie to us when you told us that?

MR FERNANDEZ: No, I did not lie. What do you want me to explain concerning this?

MR MALAN: You said that he was a liar?

MR FERNANDEZ: And I do stand by that.

MR MALAN: And then you were asked for examples and you couldn't mention any examples, on what basis do you then accuse him of being a liar?

MR FERNANDEZ: On the basis that, on a personal basis in the sense that we will make arrangements with him to meet and go and drink a few beers, then Mr Bennetts will not pitch.

MR MALAN: So somebody who does not arrive for a meeting, you will call that person a liar? I would like to know why are you accusing him of being a liar? Have you got a certain motive behind it?

MR FERNANDEZ: But I also heard in his evidence that he did assault people, and at that stage, he denied, and at certain incidents where he was in court, and he denied that he assaulted persons. This is the perception that I tried to convey to you.

MR MALAN: Very well, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: You say you know of a case where he was charged with assault in court?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes Mr Chairperson. I think the applicant will be able to tell you more about this. There were various incidents, I think everybody knows something about somebody else's business in the office context, and I think Mr Bennetts at various occasions were charged with assault, while I was there, and according to my knowledge, he has never been found guilty.

CHAIRPERSON: And he hasn't elected in his evidence today, to draw our attention to any of those instances and to ask for amnesty for them?

MR FERNANDEZ: I do not know Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Any questions?

FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, I am sorry, could I beg leave to ask one or two further questions arising from the questions of Mr Malan?

Would you correct me if I have misunderstood your evidence please, Mr Fernandez. You say that you are aware of instances where the applicant has been charged with assault and that you were at court at times when he was there, facing these charges, is that correct?

MR FERNANDEZ: I think there was one instance where I think it was in the District Court in Durban, I cannot remember the date or who he assaulted, I do not have those details, but his official documentation in the Police will be able to shed some light on this.

I do not know how many times he had been charged with assault, but I know that he has been.

MR FALCONER: The impression that you are trying to create with this Committee is that through devious means and lying, he got through the net and did not face a conviction for those offences?

MR FERNANDEZ: Well, you said it, Sir.

MR FALCONER: Now, when you were at court, at the Regional Court when he was facing those charges of assault, and you knew he was lying, what did you as an Officer of the law do?

MR FERNANDEZ: I didn't do anything because my evidence was based on hearsay. It was not based on fact, I was not present when he assaulted the people. It was based on hearsay. As an Investigative Officer, the fact that he would be found guilty on hearsay evidence is not ...

MR FALCONER: Now the impression that I am getting is this, you are coming out with a version that you are squeaky clean, but you knew technically that the possession of empty handgrenades was an offence. You say on your version ...

MR MALAN: That was not his evidence. He said it is debatable. It could be an interpretation.

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, I thought I also heard him at the end say "technically yes, it is an offence". I am instructed that it is.

You also now say that you were at the Regional Court on at least one occasion when the applicant was facing charges of assault and you knew that by devious means, possibly misleading the course of justice, he was trying to avoid a conviction of that charge, is that correct?

MR FERNANDEZ: Mr Chairperson, I feel that I have already answered those questions.

MR FALCONER: But then why as an upstanding squeaky clean Officer of the law, did you not do anything about it?

MR FERNANDEZ: As I have already mentioned in the first instance, it was the interpretation thereof is debatable, because I have said that there are other Explosives men or Demolition members in that office, and in the second instance I said that I based my opinion on hearsay evidence and I just explained to you a few minutes ago the chance to find somebody guilty on hearsay evidence is not viable.

MR FALCONER: The applicant informs me that he denies ever having been charged with assault? Are you in a position to dispute that?

MR FERNANDEZ: No, I am not. I do not have his record in front of me and I was not his Commander.

MR FALCONER: So is your answer then that you are not in a position to dispute that? Yes or no?

MR FERNANDEZ: No, I am not in a position to dispute that without being able to see his record and things like that.

MR FALCONER: Then it also follows ...

CHAIRPERSON: I thought you said he was in the Regional Court, you were in the Regional Court in Durban when he was charged with assault?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, that is correct Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, if you were present and saw that he was being charged, can't you dispute his allegation that he has never been charged?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, I can dispute it, maybe I misunderstood the question. But I do not know on what date it was or what court it was. If you want that kind of evidence, I won't be able to give it to you. I will not be able to give it to you off hand.

CHAIRPERSON: But you can say you were in court, the Regional Court, and you saw that he was being charged?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, I don't know if it was the Regional Court, but it was the court there next to the C.R. Swart building. I do not know if it was a Regional Court case, or a District Court case, but it was the court right next to the C.R. Swart building.

MR MALAN: Mr Falconer put it to you that Mr Bennetts said that he was never charged with assault?

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, I've got to correct that, I have just been corrected, he was indeed charged for an offence of assault, but that was long before he ever met this witness. He however denies that this witness would have ever been at court where he would have been charged for assault. I apologise for that.

MR MALAN: Very well, your comment on this, that from the moment that you met him, Mr Bennetts' allegation is that he has never been charged with assault, in other words your statement is false. Can you give your comment on that or dispute it?

MR FERNANDEZ: I can dispute it, but I've got no proof of this. If it is easier to withdraw it, I will do it and apologise to the applicant, but I know that he has been charged with assault and there are various cases where he testified. I will withdraw this and I do apologise to the applicant, I cannot prove this. In other words, I withdraw this.

MR FALCONER: Thank you Mr Chairman, no questions.


CHAIRPERSON: You referred to his Police records, would they still be available?

MR FERNANDEZ: I don't know what the procedure is concerning them, but I do assume there is something we call a SAP96, SAP96, that gives you your records or your history in the Police and then his Personnel file will still be at the Provincial Offices and there is also possibly a Police Station file in Durban and that it is possible to find it there.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR KUBONI: Thank you Mr Chairman. I only have a few questions, Mr Fernandez. Mr Fernandez, what I would like to know is you were working with Mr Bennetts, am I correct by saying that?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, there was a stage where we worked together because I originally came from the Vryheid Security Branch to Durban and I worked for a period of time at the Defectors' Unit and then I started with investigations. So you are correct, yes.

MR KUBONI: And for how long roughly?

MR FERNANDEZ: That is difficult to say. I started investigated cases in the end of 1990, the beginning of 1991, I cannot say exactly.


MR FERNANDEZ: But I worked with Mr Bennetts from 1990 up until the point where he left to go to The Farm. We were still part of the same Section.

MR KUBONI: When he left to which Farm?

MR FERNANDEZ: I do not know what the name of The Farm is, I do not even know where it is, I do know that there is a Farm, and that it is similar to Vlakplaas, but that has already been mentioned.

MR KUBONI: During your work with Mr Bennetts, did you know that offences relating to victims such as these ones who are in this hearing, were being committed?

MR FERNANDEZ: It is once again hearsay evidence, I never worked with Mr Bennetts while he was working in Chesterville. We - although we operated in Chesterville or worked there, in other word searching houses for weapons, etc, but in another capacity, I was not part of the Unrest Unit and did not work with him in that sense. I do not know if that answers your question.

MR KUBONI: Yes, partly yes. What I would like to know, just to make a follow up, if I understood correctly, I understand that you said that you were operating on a two-fold task originally, when you were led?

MR FERNANDEZ: That is correct.

MR KUBONI: That is Demolition, doing demolition work and also ...

MR FERNANDEZ: Investigations.

MR KUBONI: Investigations, yes, thank you Mr Chairman. I would imagine that whenever you were doing this demolition work and investigation, you were also called on the scene when such activities were taking place? Am I correct or incorrect?

MR FERNANDEZ: Can I just ask what activities are you referring to?

MR KUBONI: I am talking about activities such as those which Mr Bennetts has explained, wherein there were some bombs and such kind of things?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, that is correct, but I only arrived in Durban in 1990 and found Mr Bennetts already at the C-Section offices. I do not carry any knowledge of the activities that he is applying for that happened in Chesterville, I do not know anything about what happened there.

I do not know if that answers your question?

MR KUBONI: All right. Just to round up Sir, if any of your colleagues had got involved in activities which are against human rights, which violate human rights, would you have come out to testify voluntarily?

MR FERNANDEZ: Let me put it this way, if that was the case, I would definitely have applied for amnesty.

MR KUBONI: No Sir, I do not think you are answering my question. I am saying would you have come to testify against them, I am not saying you applying for amnesty.

MR FERNANDEZ: I understand, you are implying that if my colleagues committed cross human rights violations, I would come forward and talk about it, yes, definitely.

MR KUBONI: I have no further questions.


MS MOHAMED: I have no questions, Mr Chairman, thank you.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS THABETHE: Can I proceed Mr Chair, thank you. I have two questions for you Mr Fernandez.

You have indicated in your evidence that you were not involved in the planning of the incident that eventually occurred in Inanda, is that correct?

MR FERNANDEZ: That is correct, but there is also in my Section 29 of 1996, I do refer to a meeting that I attended. At this meeting, it was not quite a meeting, it was a briefing, before we followed up on any information and started working with other Units of the South African Police, we came together and sorted out the logistical aspect of this operation, that is the meeting that I am referring to in my Section 29 testimony.

I do not know if you are referring to that. But the meeting at the Reaction Unit, at the Unrest Unit, I did not attend those meetings, I was not there.

MS THABETHE: Actually why I asked you this question, I was going to ask you as to how were you informed of this operation, how did it come about that you knew of this operation, that you knew that you had to be at Inanda, if you were not in the meeting?

MR FERNANDEZ: Oh, Sgt de Jager, I am sorry to interrupt you, Sgt de Jager requested me to stay behind that afternoon, it was after work, and I cannot remember if I first went home or stayed behind immediately, I will have to speculate that, but he said "there is an operation tonight", and I cannot remember what time we met each other in the basement and in the basement, he briefed us, he gave us information about the person, about weapons, possibly explosives in Inanda and then we discussed the logistical aspect of the operation.

Because Sgt de Jager was with me on standby.

MS THABETHE: When he briefed you, did he tell you exactly what your role should be?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, he just asked me to search the house with them and I knew what my role would be, because if there were explosives, I would be responsible for it. But it was not necessary for him to specifically tell me that we are now going to the house and you have to deal with explosives. We do work together, we have a very good working relationship.

MS THABETHE: Now, you also referred in an attempt to answer my first question, you referred to a debriefing meeting?

MR FERNANDEZ: No. Briefing.

MR MALAN: Just a briefing.

MS THABETHE: Yes, a briefing meeting, yes.

MR FERNANDEZ: That is correct.

MS THABETHE: Would that be the same meeting that Mr Bennetts was referring to?

MR FERNANDEZ: No. I think Mr Bennetts is referring to the meeting at the Reaction Unit, I am referring to a meeting, not quite a meeting but more a briefing, that occurred in the basement at the C.R. Swart building, with all the members that were involved in the operation, everybody together.

MS THABETHE: My last question is, exactly how did it come about that Moses Maake was killed?

MR FERNANDEZ: I do not know. As I said in my statement for the inquest, I was not even in the room when Mr Maake died, so I will have to speculate if I say, but the way I understand it, and it is also once again hearsay and I think it was in the inquest when Mr Mouton or Broodryk testified that I understood, and this is the perception I have, that he attempted to throw a handgrenade and that is how I understand it, but I was not present in the room. I ran out of the room and almost injured myself when I fell.

MS THABETHE: Thank you Mr Chair.


ADV SIGODI: You say you were not in the room when he was killed, but do you know who shot him?

MR FERNANDEZ: Yes, I think so Mr Chairperson, it appears in the inquest, I think it was Sgt Mouton who testified concerning that.

MR NEL: I've got no re-examination, thank you Mr Chairman.



MR NEL: Mr Chairman, that concludes the evidence which I purport to lead. I have a number of clients left, which I chose not to call for clarification, I think the matter has been cleared up, as far as I am concerned, and they will not be testifying.

MR KUBONI: I have no witnesses.

MS MOHAMED: Mr Chairman, I will not be calling any witnesses, thank you.

MS THABETHE: The same applies, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: The hearing is now concluded, so we can go on to argument.

MR FALCONER: Mr Chairman, I am not sure whether you would be disposed to adjourning the matter until tomorrow to afford us all an opportunity to collect our thoughts for the argument. I have spoken with my colleagues, and they, from down here in any way, seems collective agreement that they would appreciate an opportunity to formulate their remarks in argument. I accordingly request that Mr Chairman. Thank you Mr Chairman.