CHAIRPERSON: Are we ready to continue?

MS COLERIDGE: Yes, Chairperson. Adv Seth Nthai is cross-examining Mr Nofomela.

MR NTHAI: Thank you Mr Chairman.



Mr Nofomela, you say that you were given instructions to eliminate these people in Mr Pienaar's office. Who was there when you received these instructions?

MR NOFOMELA: Those that I remember at the T-junction, it's Mr van Dyk, Mr Badenhorst, Willemse and Mr Mgadi and Mr Pienaar.

MR NTHAI: Are you counting people who were in the office when you received instructions?


MR NTHAI: Is this the same place where you were given the firearms? Was it the same day, same place?

MR NOFOMELA: I don't quite remember. I don't remember the time.

MR NTHAI: No, but you can't even remember whether you were given the firearms on that day or in Mr Pienaar's office?

MR NOFOMELA: I don't remember that, ...(indistinct) when we were given the firearms.

MR NTHAI: Was it the same day when you were going there, or it was the a before when you had this meeting when you received instructions? In other words, did you receive instructions and proceeded to the place?

MR NOFOMELA: Yes, it was the very same day.

MR NTHAI: So you should remember as to where you got the firearm that day.

MR NOFOMELA: But I don't remember being given them in the office. We might have been given at night but then it was during the day when we were in the office.

CHAIRPERSON: Where did the firearms come from?

MR NOFOMELA: I don't quite remember who gave it to us, it might be van Dyk or de Kock, but I can't quite remember who it is between the two.

CHAIRPERSON: Had you see these firearms before, did you know them?

MR NOFOMELA: Yes, I know those firearms.

CHAIRPERSON: Are they Vlakplaas firearms?


CHAIRPERSON: And had they been brought there for the other operation?

MR NOFOMELA: Yes, it's like that.


MR NTHAI: Thank you. We have heard evidence that there was a meeting at a safe house where instructions were given, were you there?

MR NOFOMELA: No, I wasn't there.

MR NTHAI: You don't recall going to a safe house during that time?

MR NOFOMELA: No, I don't remember.

MR LAX: Now Mr Nthai, just to put it fairly to the witness, it wasn't a safe house, it was a safe farm.


MR LAX: That's the evidence so far.

MR NTHAI: A safe farm, we can call it a farm, you don't remember going to a place like that?

MR NOFOMELA: No, I don't recall going there.

MR LAX: Sorry, if I may, this office that you spoke about, where was this office?

MR NOFOMELA: Right in town in Piet Retief.

MR LAX: Was it in a police station or was it police offices, what was it?

MR NOFOMELA: It's Mr Pienaar's office, Security Office.

MR LAX: Thank you.

MR NTHAI: I take it that your firearm also had a silencer, is that correct?

MR NOFOMELA: Yes, it's so.

MR NTHAI: Were you told why you had to have the silencers?

MR NOFOMELA: No, I wasn't told.

MR NTHAI: You were just given the firearm with a silencer?


MR NTHAI: When you arrived at the scene, was there at any stage where Mr van Dyk changed the orders as were given by Mr de Kock?

MR NOFOMELA: Yes, I can say so, because Mr de Kock said we should wait there at the T-junction, await those people who would be coming, all of us we were there when he was saying that, but on our arrival there Mr van Dyk said Mr Mgadi and himself will go down towards Nerston border gate and the three of us should remain behind.

MR NTHAI: Did he also change the order about eliminating? In other words, did he say no, you don't have to kill these people, you have to allow them to return so that they can show us the other person the other side?

MR NOFOMELA: No, he didn't say anything like that.

MR NTHAI: Now this order by Mr de Kock, where was it given to you, was it in Mr Pienaar's office?

MR NOFOMELA: Yes, it is so.

MR NTHAI: So Mr de Kock was also present there?

MR NOFOMELA: He was the one who was speaking.

MR NTHAI: And he was saying that I mean the shooting of these people, now we know that Mr Sindane was also there, this was done by your group, you are certain about that?

MR NOFOMELA: Yes, it is so.

MR NTHAI: You heard Mr van Dyk say that he also participated in the shooting of these people, what do you say to that?

MR NOFOMELA: I disagree with that, he wasn't there.

MR NTHAI: Why should he claim that he shot this person?

MR NOFOMELA: I'm not sure, I have no explanation. What I can say is that it's not for the first time he's not telling the truth about this incident. Initially we went to the Harms Commission and he said I wasn't there and today he says I was there and he was there. I take it that as a person who was in a senior position in this group, he wants to be the person who knows everything that was going on and takes responsibility, that's my imagination.

MR NTHAI: So are you saying that at the Harms Commission he said you were never there? You were never there when the shooting took place?

MR NTHAI: He said I wasn't there, I'm lying, I wasn't there.

MR NTHAI: You said that you him one, as they were going to the van, you saw one of the people having an AK rifle, is that correct?

MR NTHAI: Yes, I did see at that time.

MR NTHAI: How did you manage to see that because that was before the torch was used, according to you?

MR NOFOMELA: We could see people and we were not that far from them.

MR NTHAI: So it was not dark, is that what you're saying?

MR NOFOMELA: It wasn't that dark.

MR NTHAI: Was there any moon?

MR NOFOMELA: Yes, I can say that.

MR NTHAI: And when these people were then coming back, before the shooting, did you see the firearm that one of them had?

MR NOFOMELA: No, I didn't see it.

MR NTHAI: What prevented you from seeing it, because there was a moon, you saw the AK as they were passing?

MR NOFOMELA: The AK is bigger that - they were as small as a pistol, so that might be the possibility that I couldn't see the gun.

MR LAX: Sorry, can I just clarify something? It's been translated as a pistol, what kind of firearm was this that was thrown away by the person ...(indistinct), Mr Sindane?

MR NOFOMELA: It was a small one. It was a small gun, it wasn't a big one like an AK47.

MR LAX: If you look at Annexure or Exhibit B, Exhibit A, I beg your pardon, is that firearm there anywhere, or one like it?

MR NOFOMELA: I can't quite remember.

MR LAX: So you're not sure?

MR NOFOMELA: No, I'm not sure.

MR LAX: You see, if you look at the bottom picture on Exhibit A, just so you know for the record, the firearm that is reputed to be the one Mr Sindane was carrying according to the evidence we've heard so far, is the one second from the right at the bottom. Do you see it next to those hand grenades?

MR NOFOMELA: Yes, I can see.

MR LAX: That's what he was supposed to have been carrying, according to the evidence.

MR NOFOMELA: I wouldn't deny that.

MR LAX: Ja, but you can't remember?

MR NOFOMELA: No, I don't remember.

MR NTHAI: And you couldn't see if one of them was carrying something, I mean before you shot them?

MR NOFOMELA: Before shooting them when they came back, we were too close to them and we didn't even take into consideration what they were carrying, we were just looking forward to shooting them.

MR NOFOMELA: You mean you were closer to them than before when they were still going to the van?


MR NTHAI: Now you are saying that Mr van Dyk was not in your group. Who was then in charge of this group that was with you?

MR NOFOMELA: It was one between, it can either be Badenhorst or Willemse. The only instruction that I got is that we should move closer towards the fence. One of them uttered those words because we were far when those people were on their way, but when they came back, then one of them said we should come closer to the fence.

MR NTHAI: And who gave that order?

MR NOFOMELA: I don't quite remember between the two.

MR NTHAI: And you are saying that immediately after shooting these people, you then started chasing the other person, is that correct?

MR NOFOMELA: We didn't chase him immediately after shooting, when they were just closer to the fence, when we were on the other side of the fence, then Mr van Dyk came with the torch, immediately after this one ran away, after we've actually jumped the fence.

MR NTHAI: He came with the torch and went to this other person who was lying down, is that what you're saying, and you all gathered there?


MR NTHAI: So in other words, the group that was with Mr van Dyk joined you there? Is that correct?

MR NOFOMELA: Yes, it's right.

MR NTHAI: And then what then happened?

MR NOFOMELA: It is then that we followed the one who ran away. It seems like Mr Mgadi and Willemse were the ones who remained behind, but it was two people who remained. Myself, van Dyk and the other one, we actually followed the one who was running away.

MR NTHAI: Mr van Dyk said that he did not see the person who was lying before they chased the other person, he only saw him when they came back from chasing the other one, what do you say to that, is that correct?

MR NOFOMELA: He saw him before going, chasing the other one.

MR NTHAI: So he's not telling the truth again?

MR NOFOMELA: Yes, he's not telling the truth.

MR LAX: Just while you're busy there, Mr Nthai, how was it that van Dyk arrived at the scene after the shooting? You were using silencers, how did he know to come there? Did you call him, someone call him on the radio, what? Do you know at all how he got there? Why he came at that moment in time?

MR NOFOMELA: I think he wasn't that far from us and they could hear what was happening and when we were shooting, although the silencer doesn't make any sound.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, it does make a sound, doesn't it, although it doesn't make the sound of the explosion that one hears in ordinary shooting?

MR LAX: So you think he was close enough to hear the sound of the silencer, of the shots being fired even with the silencer?

MR NOFOMELA: I think so because nobody called him. I think he did hear the sound of the silencer.

MR LAX: So you're not sure how far away he was, but he may well have been within earshot? This must be logical to presume that.

MR NOFOMELA: I wouldn't be sure.

MR LAX: If he was as close as that, is it possible that he also took part in the shooting, but you just didn't see him, so you weren't sure about it?

MR NOFOMELA: I disagree with that, because there were only three of us, myself, Willemse and nobody else besides the three of us, we did the shooting, so that was not possible.

MR LAX: Yes, but you see my point is, is it possible that he was close by, he opened fire, you just didn't see him, you couldn't see him? You're not sure where he was.

MR NOFOMELA: I'm not sure, however I wouldn't agree with that, but he did shoot because we were so close to these people. A person who wasn't there, wouldn't be able to partake in the shooting.

MR LAX: No fair enough.

MR NTHAI: Did it take him a long time - just to follow on that, did it take him a long time to arrive there after the shooting? How long did it take him?

MR NOFOMELA: I wouldn't be sure about time, but it was after the shooting and we jumped the fence. After jumping the fence with these people that I was with, joining this other person, it was then that he arrived.

MR NTHAI: Now tell me, after the shooting the following day, did you ever see Mr Sindane?

MR NOFOMELA: I don't remember. It's possible because I did hear that they did find him in a certain place and we went to Mr Pienaar's office. It's possible that I did see him.

MR NTHAI: Are you saying you went to Mr Pienaar's office the following day after the shooting?


MR NTHAI: And you can't recall whether there was any person you don't know there?

MR NOFOMELA: There were some people there, there were some people.

MR NTHAI: Inside Mr Pienaar's office?


MR NTHAI: Who were those people?

MR NOFOMELA: Others were the police, I think there was somebody else who wasn't a police who was there, who was being questioned.

MR NTHAI: But was this person injured, Mr Sindane was he injured? You should have seen that obviously. I mean this person who was questioned, was he injured?

MR NOFOMELA: I didn't take any consideration of that.

MR NTHAI: No, no, but where was he? Was he in the office where you were? Where was he?

MR NOFOMELA: He was - we weren't in the same office, he was in the next office. You see there are various rooms in that place, so he was on the other side in the other office.

MR NTHAI: So it was not Mr Pienaar's office where this person was being interrogated?

MR NOFOMELA: When I'm saying it was Pienaar's office, it's because he was the person who was in charge in that Security office, but it has various rooms. This person was in another room, but in the same place.

MR NTHAI: Oh you mean when you say Mr Pienaar's office, you mean the offices, all those offices there?


MR NTHAI: You are saying that you were told about Mr Sindane?

MR NOFOMELA: Yes, I was told.

MR NTHAI: Who told you that?

MR NOFOMELA: We were at our base in Moolman and Mr van Wyk said there was a message that they did find Mr Sindane.

MR NTHAI: Are you saying Mr van Wyk?


MR NTHAI: And you don't recall seeing him at all?


MR NTHAI: I have no further questions.


MS COLERIDGE: Thank you Chairperson. I have just got a few questions in relation to the dropping of the firearm.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS COLERIDGE: Did you not see Mr Sindane drop the firearm after you had shot him?

MR NOFOMELA: No, I didn't.

MS COLERIDGE: How far were you from Mr Sindane when you shot at them?

MR NOFOMELA: I was close but it can be from here up to that white thing. From where I'm sitting, the white thing that is pointing.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct)

MR LAX: Loudspeaker.

CHAIRPERSON: Three to four paces.

MR LAX: Max, ja.

CHAIRPERSON: Three to four paces.

MS COLERIDGE: Thanks Chairperson. After you had shot at the two persons, what was Mr Sindane's reaction? What did he do after that?

MR NOFOMELA: What I can say is that I didn't take any notice what anybody else was doing, what I know is that I was shooting and then, when I was shooting, I was trying to run away, that's all that I realised.

MS COLERIDGE: Because Mr van Dyk can remember shooting Mr Sindane and then also him running away and dropping his firearm, that's what he can recall. Do you think that it was possible for him to have seen Mr Sindane dropping the firearm from where he was at that point in time?

MR NOFOMELA: He wouldn't because I was told by somebody between Willemse and Badenhorst that one of them dropped the gun and ran away and I was there and I didn't see that.

CHAIRPERSON: Did van Dyk say he saw it, or he reconstructed it?

Ms COLERIDGE: I think he said that he reconstructed it.

MR LAX: I remember asking him questions to that effect, that he didn't actually see it happen.

MS COLERIDGE: That is correct.

MR LAX: And that's why I just raised the issue now.

MS COLERIDGE: That is correct, Chairperson, I'm indebted to you.

MR LAX: So in fact he made the assumption that that's what must have happened because they found the firearm there afterwards.

MS COLERIDGE: Thank you Chairperson, that does assist me a lot in this instance. So you said that Mr Willemse and Mr Badenhorst had informed you that Sindane had dropped the firearm, or was it one of them or both of them?

MR NOFOMELA: Yes, it was one of them who told me.

MS COLERIDGE: And did they tell this to Mr van Dyk as well?

MR NOFOMELA: I think so, because how does he know it?

MS COLERIDGE: But were you present when they informed van Dyk regarding that shooting incident?

MR NOFOMELA: I wasn't there.

MS COLERIDGE: Thank you Chairperson, I have no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Re-examination?

MR RAMAWELE: I've got none, thank you.


MR SIBANYONI: Mr Nofomela, you said there was a moon on this evening. Why were the MK people not able to notice you, to see you?

MR NOFOMELA: We were under the trees and it was dark where we were because there were a lot of trees.

MR SIBANYONI: What was the reason for Mr van Dyk and Mr Mgadi not to be with you at the T-junction and to be away towards Nerston's border post?

MR NOFOMELA: van Dyk said there was another route behind us, I don't know and said those people might take that route. In case they take that route, so they would be able to see them on that route.

MR SIBANYONI: Thank you Mr Chairperson, no further questions.

MR LAX: Can I just clarify one thing and that was about the Harms Commission? Did this matter come before the Harms Commission, this particular incident?

MR NOFOMELA: Will you repeat your question?

MR LAX: Was this particular incident that we're dealing with here, was it dealt with by the Harms Commission?


MR LAX: And you testified about it at the Harms Commission, you said?


MR LAX: And you indicated that the reason van Dyk said that you weren't present at the scene was to make you out to be a liar? In other words, to cover up what happened?


MR LAX: Are you sure about that?

MR NOFOMELA: Yes, I'm sure because he said what I'm talking about doesn't exist, it didn't happen. What was happening is that they were shooting because of self-defence, so I was lying when I say these people were being shot when they were passing, without shooting at them.

MR LAX: What do you say to his testimony here before us that the reason he left you out was that he was trying to protect you, that's why he put you on - somewhere else?

MR NOFOMELA: He couldn't, it doesn't make any sense. If he was protecting us, he should have told us not to go there.

MR LAX: Did they - did he discuss with you what was - the fact that there were going to be these statements for the inquest and that you were going to be put somewhere else and that you had to remember that in fact you weren't where you thought you were, but you were in some other place, in case you were ever asked to make a statement? Was that ever discussed with you?


MR LAX: Thanks, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: You have told us, haven't you, that the incident that you were involved with only happened after the inquest, or after they made the affidavits for the inquest?

MR NOFOMELA: Please repeat the question.

CHAIRPERSON: Haven't you given evidence that the incident in which you were involved only took place some time after this incident and after van Dyk had made his affidavit?

MR NOFOMELA: When I was questioned about Mr van Dyk's motive for not putting me at the scene, I responded that at that time I had not committed any crime because the only crime that I committed happened afterwards.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Who else, if anybody, of those who are applying for amnesty here, testified before the Harms Commission about this?

MR NOFOMELA: I cannot say with certainty because I was not present when they testified at the Harms Commission but I did have access to the records, so I read about what had happened there and I realised from their statements that they had implicated me as a liar, so I will say all my former colleagues from Vlakplaas disputed what I had stated before the Harms Commission.

MR LAX: Were there any other cases pending against you at the time of this incident? I know you were convicted for the Brits matter, but were there any other cases, other than that matter, that might have been pending against you at that time of this incident?

MR NOFOMELA: No, there was no other case.

MR LAX: So you weren't under investigation in any other way at that time that you know of?

MR NOFOMELA: No, there were no other investigations.

MR LAX: Thank you.



CHAIRPERSON: ...conclude the evidence for the applicant?

MR RAMAWELE: Yes, Mr Chairman, it does conclude it, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Is there any evidence for the victims or affected parties?

MR NTHAI: Yes, Mr Chairman, I want to present the evidence of Mr Sindane.

CHAIRPERSON: Please call him. Can we have your full names please?


EXAMINATION BY MR NTHAI: Mr Sindane, you were involved in what is known today as the Nerston incident, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Yes, it is correct.

MR NTHAI: At that time you were a member of the ANC Military Wing, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Yes, it is correct.

MR NTHAI: What was your position at the time?

MR SINDANE: I was a member of the Command Machinery for the Transvaal Machinery, based in Swaziland.

MR NTHAI: And who served in that Transvaal Machinery?

MR SINDANE: It was Paul who was the Commander, September whom we called Sebatha, myself, Scotch who is now here referred to as Mandla Maseko.

MR NTHAI: And who was senior amongst you all politically?

MR SINDANE: ... indistinct

MR NTHAI: And between you and September Sedibe, who was senior?

MR SINDANE: No, I wouldn't say who was senior but he was longer in Swaziland and of course on the role of leadership there in Swaziland, but I was also in ... (indistinct) and in Botswana at some stage, also in the role of leadership or Commander, so I wouldn't say he was senior or I was senior to him.

MR NTHAI: Now Mr Sindane, it is common cause that in that incident you were shot, arrested and also tried later on, correct?

MR SINDANE: Yes, it is correct.

MR NTHAI: And later on you deposed to an affidavit which appears in Bundle 2, that is page 75, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Yes, it is correct.

MR NTHAI: During consultation with me, you indicated that certain aspects in that affidavit were not correct, is that so?

MR SINDANE: Yes, it is correct.

MR NTHAI: Now, can you explain to this Committee how that affidavit was taken to you and where and whether you were told as to why the affidavit was being taken?

MR SINDANE: This affidavit, Mr Chairman, was compiled when I was doing my term on Robben Island. We were just called by the warders, or I was called by a warder who informed me that I had to go and have a talk with somebody and I did not know that person and when I arrived at the place which was prescribed, we sat and had a chat with the gentleman. He informed me that he had come to find out information about the incident in Nerston and he asked me what happened there and I described to him what had happened there and he then posed certain questions about the incident and I disputed some of the points that he made and after that we parted. I never saw him again.

MR NTHAI: And ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, while you were having this discussion, was he writing down what you said?

MR SINDANE: Yes, Mr Chairman, he was taking notes.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, did he make an affidavit?

MR SINDANE: I understood when I met with Mr Nthai that this was an affidavit that resulted from that discussion.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, so he, the man who took the affidavit, Mr Montgomery, was not the person you had the discussion with?

MR SINDANE: No, Mr Chairman, he was not the man with whom I had the discussion.

CHAIRPERSON: Was the affidavit sent later for you to swear to?

MR SINDANE: This is the puzzle until now, which I cannot work out, but I want to believe that something had happened that the affidavit got to my attention afterwards and of course Mr Montgomery would have been one of the warders there, but it was not the same person who took the affidavit from me.

CHAIRPERSON: Do I understand you can't remember how the affidavit came to be made?

MR SINDANE: Well, if this is the affidavit which emanates from the discussions which I held on Robben Island with a particular gentleman, then this will be the result of that discussion, which therefore is the affidavit in front of me, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, do you remember an affidavit being presented to you?

MR SINDANE: This is what I say, Mr Chairman, is what is puzzling to me because what I remember is that there was no document subsequently which was brought to me, was read to me and I confirmed its contents, that process I cannot remember and of course I am not surprised, Mr Chairman, that this was not the case because things on Robben Island would have been done in a way that is not normally the practice.

MR LAX: Can I just check, is this your signature on page 80?

MR SINDANE: Yes, Mr Chairman, this is my signature.

MR LAX: And your initials on all the other pages?

MR SINDANE: Yes, the VNS will be my initials.

MR LAX: Yes and just one thing, you don't know where this man was from, what unit or what instance, or why - did he tell you, I mean he must have introduced himself to you and said where he was from and why he wanted this information.

MR SINDANE: I have tried my best and I would prefer not to make assumptions of what transpired there. Under those conditions on Robben Island a man coming, explaining himself, that he had come to find out more information about the incident in Nerston and telling me about what had happened there and confirming what did I know about the incident and either denying or accepting what he had said and me parting, that would have not meant much to me because I saw myself as being in prison and that that statement would have had any implications for me, that did not bother me at all.

MR LAX: Yes, so - and was that the only time anyone ever came and took a statement about this incident from you, as far as you can recall?

MR SINDANE: As far as I can recall, that is the only time when anybody came to me and took a statement, yes, Chairperson.

MR NTHAI: Okay. I want to refer you to the affidavit itself. Now just before I do that, I mean save what you will indicate as not being correct, to a large extent you confirm the correctness of the contents of this document, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: It's correct, yes, Mr Chairman.

MR NTHAI: Now I want you to look at paragraph 1 and 2 and 3.0

MR SINDANE: Well, I think first of all, Mr Chairman, paragraph 2 refers to the fact that the contents of this affidavit are, unless otherwise stated, or if it appears from the context otherwise within my own knowledge, and are to the best of my knowledge both true and correct, from what I read here and from what happened when I first read it when I saw it from my legal representative, I confirmed with him that I had not gone through this process, so I did not confirm as far as this is written, but in the conversation this is what happened, but I never read this before.

MR NTHAI: And do you confirm that there are two number twos, that you confirmed the other number two, that you were a member of the ...(indistinct - speaking very softly and indistinctly) police in Swaziland?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I confirm this as a fact.

MR NTHAI: And then let's go to paragraph number 3. Can you look at paragraph number 3?

MR SINDANE: Mr Chairman, as far as this paragraph is concerned it says the bakkie which was being used by Mr Msolo Sithole, in my view it implies that the bakkie belonged to Mr Sithole because it says he transported people in his bakkie to certain destinations in South Africa. In my view this was not Mr Sithole's bakkie, but it is true that he would transport people to destinations inside South Africa in this bakkie.

MR NTHAI: While we are on that paragraph, was Sithole a member of the ANC?

MR SINDANE: No, he was not a member of the ANC as far as I'm concerned, Mr Chairman.

MR NTHAI: I also just want to clear something with you. What about ...(indistinct) Dlamini, was he a member of the ANC?

MR SINDANE: He too, as far as I'm concerned Mr Chairman, he was not a member of the ANC.

MR NTHAI: Let's move over to paragraph number 4.

MR LAX: Maybe, sorry, before you go, who was Nox Dlamini? What was his role? What was his position?

MR SINDANE: Nox Dlamini was the gentleman who drove us up to the border point on the night when we were to cross into South Africa. He returned back to Swaziland subsequently apparently, or rather he returned back into the interior of the country, because he was after all still in Swaziland.

MR LAX: But, - so was that all he ever did? Did he drive you or was he a Swazi citizen, or was he a South African, was he an exile?

MR SINDANE: Well I understood him, when I was introduced to him first of all, that he was befriended by my comrades and to me he very much looked like a Swazi citizen.

MR LAX: Was he just a general supporter?

MR SINDANE: I would regard him as a general supporter, yes, Mr Chairman.

MR NTHAI: And then ...(intervention)

MR SIBANYONI: Sorry Mr Nthai, before moving, you said this was not Sithole's bakkie, do you know whose bakkie it was?

MR SINDANE: Yes, it was the ANC's bakkie, or rather the MK's bakkie.

MR NTHAI: What about Mzwandile? Was Mzwandile a trained person?

MR SINDANE: I didn't know Mzwandile as a trained person.

MR NTHAI: How did you know him?

MR SINDANE: I just knew him as a young man who was also acquainted to some of the comrades.

MR NTHAI: Did you know whether he was from South Africa or not, whether he was in exile there?

MR SINDANE: Well I only could deduct that he would have been a South African but I was not sure whether he was a South African or not and whether he was in exile or not, but from his ways, he would have given me the impression that he's either South African or a Swazi young man, I wouldn't make any certain identification of him.

MR NTHAI: And then can we go to paragraph number 4, can you go through it and confirm whether ...

MR SINDANE: Well Your Honour as far as this paragraph is concerned, it refers to Mr Sithole. Mr Sithole was supposed to be meeting the group at a distance of approximately 100 metres from the T-junction. I would not have had any knowledge of the distance where the bakkie was going to stop, so this 100 metres is not from me and of course also the bakkie, even if it was an MK bakkie, it was not staying with us, I only came in touch - in contact with the bakkie on occasions when it had to be involved in trips outside the country which happened about twice or so and I did not have time to master its registration number, so even this detail about the registration numbers would not have come from me, Your Honour.

MR NTHAI: And then paragraph number 5.

MR SINDANE: Ja, this paragraph number 5 would be correct you know.

MR NTHAI: Paragraph number 6.

MR SINDANE: Well paragraph 6 is also correct, Your Honour, save to say that the house can not really be said to be belonging to Mr Paul Dikeledi, although it would have been registered perhaps under some persons name and Paul would be responsible for that, but it was not really where Paul resided. Seven will be correct.

MR NTHAI: And then 9.

MR LAX: What about 8?

MR NTHAI: Sorry, 8.

MR SINDANE: 8 is correct as well.

CHAIRPERSON: Will you look at Exhibit A?

MR LAX: Perhaps he can look at the original.

CHAIRPERSON: There's a sub-machine gun shown in the photograph whose barrel ...(intervention)

INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone is not on.

CHAIRPERSON: There's a sub-machine gun shown in the photograph, the original photograph with its barrel against two red jars, do you recognise that gun?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I'm looking at it. Well it looks very similar to the one that we would have used, Your Honour.


MR LAX: Did your one have a shoulder strap? No, I'm not saying that one, the one you used?

MR SINDANE: It's possible that it would have had a shoulder strap. If I recall, I think it would have had a shoulder strap.

MR LAX: While we are still on this, do you confirm that those were the bags that were being carried?

MR SINDANE: Well I should accept that they could have been the bags, but it's not very easy to remember the bags. I was not very close to the bags as such but I could accept that these would have been the bags.

MR SINDANE: Did you know the contents? Did you see the contents, what they were carrying?

MR SINDANE: I had an idea but not full detail of what they contained.

MR NTHAI: So you won't be able to confirm whether these things were part of the things that were being carried, the hand grenades and ...

MR SINDANE: No, I can't confirm everything, I didn't see the packing, when the packing took place I was not there.

MR NTHAI: Initially during consultation you had indicated that you doubted whether the TNT would have been part of the weapons that were carried by those ...(indistinct)

MR SINDANE: Yes, Your Honour, the period when I was in Swaziland and even in the period before that in Botswana, we had stopped in the circuits where I was, we had stopped using the TNT, we were more into the use of limpet mines, so I wasn't very sure whether this package would have had any TNT in it, but subsequent of course I confirmed that TNT would have been there.

MR NTHAI: And this you confirmed from?

MR SINDANE: I confirmed from a colleague from Swaziland at the time but operating in a different machinery, who is currently a Brigadier General in the Defence Force, Brig Gen Choke, in fact he says he's the one who gave to Paul Dikeledi some of the equipment which included TNT because he says in Swaziland from their side, they were still using TNT extensively, but I was not very certain of that as far as my background was concerned.

MR NTHAI: Can we move over then to paragraph number 9?

MR SINDANE: Paragraph number 9 is correct.

MR NTHAI: Paragraph number 10.

MR SINDANE: Paragraph number 10 is correct, Your Honour.

MR NTHAI: Paragraph number 11.

MR SINDANE: Your Honour as far as paragraph number 11 is concerned, I only will query the fact that we were walking towards the T-junction because I didn't know about whether there was a T-junction or anything of the sort in the area. I had not been in the area long, so I was still familiarising myself, so I wouldn't have known at that time whether we were moving to a direction of a T-junction and also the last sentence that on our right was a barbed wire fence and beyond that a plantation, I was aware that there was a plantation on our right and a wire, but I wouldn't be sure that it was a barbed wire fence. Also on my left, there was also another wire which was partitioning the footpath from the main tarred road, so just those little points, I cannot confirm them.

MR NTHAI: And then paragraph number 12.

MR SINDANE: I confirm number 13, Sir.

MR NTHAI: No 12, we are still on 12, number 12.

MR SINDANE: Number 12 is correct.

MR NTHAI: While we're on paragraph number 12, there is evidence that at the time when there was shooting, you were warned to stop and also that you also fired at members of the Security Police that night, what do you say to that?

MR SINDANE: I deny this. This is also what this gentleman when he spoke to me on Robben Island brought to my attention which I also denied at that point.

MR NTHAI: You have already confirmed paragraph number 13 and then can you move over to paragraph number 14?

MR SINDANE: As far as paragraph number 14, I can only confirm that when I was fired at and I ran, I was not aware that I was running to the direction of the border, as this paragraph purports, so this is just one query I have. I was just running in a direction which I knew to be the opposite direction from where the shots were coming because of course on running to that direction, after a while I turned a right angle and moved towards the left and after a while I turned again another right angle and moved backwards, because I knew that the border was behind me which is the direction where these people were but it was already at a far distance.

MR NTHAI: And then can we move over to paragraph number 15?

MR SINDANE: Well as far as paragraph number 15, Your Honour, this paragraph says that I lost my way because I was in a confused state, which was caused by the pain of my wounds. I think the confused state was not caused by the pain of my wounds, it was caused by my lack of mastery of the area, so I was not sure of where the border fence was, so the wounds and the pain did not contribute a lot in that and of course throughout my escape, I could hear vehicles following and dogs barking and some lights being shown and this was not only taking place around 4 o'clock in the morning and of course I kept on taking small breaks in the process until at some point where I took a break which was quite early in the morning and throughout I tried to cover my tracks of course.

MR NTHAI: Then paragraph number 16.

MR SINDANE: Paragraph 16 is correct, Your Honour.

MR NTHAI: Paragraph number 17.

MR SINDANE: Paragraph number 17 is correct, Your Honour.

CHAIRPERSON: We're now going on to a somewhat different aspect of his treatment, so perhaps it would be convenient to take the short adjournment now.

MR NTHAI: Thank you.




CHAIRPERSON: Right we carry on, you're still under your former oath and you'd just dealt with paragraph 17.



Can we now move over to paragraph number 18?

MR SINDANE: This paragraph is correct, Your Honour.

MR NTHAI: You have heard that it is being denied that you were assaulted, what do you say to that?

MR SINDANE: No, I was assaulted Your Honour.

MR LAX: Let me just clarify that. It's not being denied he was assaulted, it's being denied that the people he alleges assaulted him, assaulted him, it's a subtle difference there.

MR NTHAI: Could you recognise some of the people who assaulted you?

MR SINDANE: Well the first time I was assaulted was when I was being arrested by the troops, when they found me in the village and also when they got me to this camp, which now I understand was called Stafford, I was dragged down the track with the ropes tied round my neck and there people also started assaulting me. I was taken into a room where I was on the floor and there I was assaulted too. That afternoon when I was being transported, later I landed in Piet Retief.

On the way we stopped at a place which I could assume was a farm. There I was assaulted by a gentleman yesterday I recognised and I got to know that he is Mr van Dyk. These are the occasions when I was assaulted.

MR NTHAI: Can we move over to paragraph number 19?

MR SINDANE: I think I want to make a small remark as far as this paragraph is concerned. W/O Pienaar, I am certain that it is W/O Pienaar because I understood him to be Mr Pienaar still on the day before I was sentenced, this W/O Botha being referred to here, I cannot know whom it was being referred to here, but I now know who Mr Botha is and he was there, so this is the point I wish to make and this Mr Botha is the Mr Botha who gave evidence yesterday, which is not the case as far as what I had earlier referred to as Mr Botha. I think there's a bit of a confusion, but whom I referred to as Mr Botha.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, I don't understand that.

MR LAX: Sorry, maybe you could - if I could assist here. I understood you to say earlier that in relation to the assault at the farm, you had said a person called Botha assaulted you there and that that person was in fact van Dyk.


MR LAX: You testified yesterday.


MR LAX: Now you then refer to Botha who testified yesterday, are you saying he's not the man?

MR SINDANE: No, I say this Botha who testified yesterday, I'm certain that he was there in the camp.

MR LAX: He was present there?

MR SINDANE: Yes, he was present there.

MR LAX: Did he assault you?

MR SINDANE: Well, I could not tell whether he did because I was blindfolded, but when I woke, when they removed the cloth they had used to blindfold me, he was there amongst the people who were standing above me, but I cannot tell whether he did actually assault me.

MR LAX: And van Dyk?

MR SINDANE: Van Dyk, I'm not sure about him. I'm not certain about him. All I am certain about him is that he's the one who assaulted me in the farm.

MR LAX: Okay.

MR NTHAI: That will be paragraph number 20 where you're mentioning that you were beaten by W/O Botha, not so?


MR NTHAI: It's supposed to be W/O - it's supposed to be van Dyk, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Yes, Your Honour.

MR NTHAI: Now initially you had confirmed that these two paragraphs were correct and yesterday of course you changed it. What made you to put W/O Botha there, can you explain?

MR SINDANE: Well when we met on Robben Island, myself and Maseko who was also one of the detainees under Section 29 in Piet Retief at some stage in 86, we started recollecting what would have happened and he gave me the version of what had happened on his side and I gave him the version of what had happened on my side and then we tried to construct the people who were involved in our incidents and it is here where, when I described an individual then he suggested to me that that person would have been Mr Botha and at that point I was in fact referring to what now I know to be Mr van Dyk, van Wyk, that's when I started to associate the name Botha with a person, from Robben Island when we had a chat with Mr Maseko.

MR NTHAI: So then paragraph number 20 will then be correct, except the question of Warrant Botha?

MR SINDANE: Paragraph change is correct, Your Honour.

MR NTHAI: And then 21.

MR SINDANE: Paragraph 21 is correct, Your Honour.

MR NTHAI: And paragraph number 22?

MR SINDANE: Paragraph 22 is not reflecting the incident during this conversation, because I never overheard anybody making mention of the person September, it's just what I deducted from the happenings there that September could have been or might have been in the vicinity.

MR NTHAI: How did you deduct that?

MR SINDANE: Well as the people were asking me about my ANC activities and I was telling them what I was doing in Swaziland, they were specifically interested in knowing what it is that I was doing in Swaziland and I was telling them what I was doing and of course part of what I was telling them was not true. One person would go out to a room somewhere or some place somewhere and come back and say to me that I "praat kak" and tell me the exact thing which in fact would be accurate and from the intricacy of the kind of information that was in question, none other than a person who would have been involved in the machinery, would have known about such things and having known that September was not, or had been arrested in Swaziland and having know the character of the Swazi police, it was not remote to imagine that September could have been in the vicinity and of course, with that type of possibility, I inferred that that type of information would have been found from a person who might have been September.

MR NTHAI: So at the time when you left Swaziland, already you knew that September was arrested by the Swazi police?

MR SINDANE: Yes, Your Honour.

MR NTHAI: Let's move over to paragraph number 23.

MR SINDANE: Well, Your Honour, as far as paragraph 23 is concerned, the first sentence reads that:

"I was taken to a cell in the police station."

I think I want to just straighten here that I wasn't taken out of the building where we were, but it was a room adjacent to the office where we were and it is through this, through the door of this room adjacent to the office where we were, where I saw this individual, but I was not taken out to a place which maybe I can regard as a police station, unless I refer to a police station as a particular place where I was being interrogated.

MR NTHAI: Do you still remember who took you through to the peep hole?

MR SINDANE: I cannot recollect exactly who took me to the peep hole, it could have been any of the gentlemen.

MR NTHAI: And at the time, who were the people who were involved in interrogating you?

MR SINDANE: I can remember vividly. Mr Botha who was here, that I suspect in fact was the one who was going to the other room, I can remember Mr Pienaar and I can remember Mr van Wyk and there were other gentlemen, but I can't tell who they were now.

MR LAX: Sorry, you keep referring to Mr van Wyk.

MR SINDANE: Mr van Dyk, ja, I'm just confusing the D and the W.

MR NTHAI: Can we move over to paragraph number 24?

MR SINDANE: Well as far as paragraph 24, Your Honour, the interrogation continued into the evening but I had been taken to the hospital in the late afternoon. I think that's the point I can refer to as far as this paragraph is concerned, otherwise everything else is correct.

MR NTHAI: Paragraph number 25.

MR SINDANE: Paragraph number 25 is correct, Your Honour.

MR NTHAI: Paragraph number 26.

MR SINDANE: Paragraph number 26 is correct, Your Honour.

MR NTHAI: Do you recall who showed you these photos that you are talking about?

MR SINDANE: The photos were shown to me by Mr van Dyk, Your Honour.

MR NTHAI: The applicants who testified here are denying that there was such a person who you saw in the photos. What do you say to that?

MR SINDANE: I say the applicants, when they deny, they are being untruthful Your Honour.

MR NTHAI: Can we move over to paragraph number 27?

MR SINDANE: Paragraph number 27 is correct, Your Honour.

MR NTHAI: Paragraph number 28.

CHAIRPERSON: Before he answers that, has he got a copy of the annexures, VLS 1, VLS 2 and VLS 3 which he comments on in paragraph 38? We have not been given copies.

MR NTHAI: Yes, Mr Chairman, I think that is what he's going to clarify about this paragraph.

MR SINDANE: Your Honour, I think as far as this paragraph is concerned, first of all I was never made to read affidavits of the said people, van Dyk and Sgt Badenhorst, Sgt Willemse, I was never made to read any of such affidavits and therefore I would not have been able to deny any of the contents thereof.

MR NTHAI: Were you possibly told, well look, this is what these people are saying in broad terms, that they told you to stop and they shone their torches on you etc?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I was told about that.

MR LAX: And then you would have said no well, as you say here, that was just an ambush.


MR LAX: Straight forward.

MR SINDANE: I was told, as I said earlier, I was told about a few things that those people were alleging and some of which I disputed.

MR NTHAI: And then paragraph number 29.

MR SINDANE: Paragraph number 29. The first 29 is correct, the second 29, as far as it refer to the affidavits, I think the incident described in this paragraph is correct, Your Honour.

MR NTHAI: That will be the evidence, Mr Chairman.


MR LAX: Just one thing, before the other parties start. Sithole, what was his role apart from driving people in and out? Was he a Swazi National, was he a South African exile?

MR SINDANE: Well Your Honour, when I first met Sithole, I got the impression that he was a Swazi citizen, but on getting to meet him more, I understood that in fact he had been, he had settled in South Africa before and at a particular stage decided to leave South Africa and emigrate to Swaziland.

MR LAX: Ja and what was his involvement with the movement at that time?

MR SINDANE: Well when I first him, we were going to discuss with him a question of bringing people inside the country and he was involved in such things, as far as I was concerned, assisting in ferrying people into South Africa, or materials, and he had one or two such trips before this incident when I was present.

MR LAX: And that's all you know about him?

MR SINDANE: Yes, otherwise he was a farmer, he had a stock of cattle and crops that he was cultivating and he was just a farmer.

MR LAX: Thank you.

MR HATTINGH: Thank you Mr Chairman, Hattingh on record.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HATTINGH: Mr Sindane, for how long prior to this incident, had you been active as a member of MK in Swaziland?

MR SINDANE: Well, I think I will refer to my activism in Swaziland as the period that I stayed in Swaziland because I stayed in that context of being an activist in Swaziland which was about six months.

MR HATTINGH: So you arrived there about six months prior to this incident?

MR SINDANE: Yes, Your Honour.

MR HATTINGH: And were you therefore aware of the fact that members of your group were responsible for carrying out attacks inside the Republic of South Africa?

MR SINDANE: If Your Honour means that members of my group refers to MK activities inside the country, yes, I was aware Your Honour.

MR HATTINGH: How many MK members did your group consist of?

MR SINDANE: Well MK was quite a big organisation and therefore my group would have been the Head Quarters but which from time to time would be receiving people that had to be deployed for various activities inside the country, so which in number was not very static.

MR HATTINGH: The people who were sent from Swaziland to carry out attacks in the Republic of South Africa, did they return to Swaziland after they carried out the attacks?

MR SINDANE: Those that I was aware of did not return to Swaziland.

MR HATTINGH: These two gentlemen who were killed in the bakkie, were they supposed to come back to Swaziland after they had done whatever they were supposed to do?

MR SINDANE: I assume that at some point they would have come back to Swaziland but I was not certain where they were required to return to Swaziland as a matter of short period.

MR HATTINGH: Were you not involved in the arrangement of this incident?

MR SINDANE: Not to the details.

MR HATTINGH: To what extent were you involved?

MR SINDANE: I was involved in as far as knowing that they were supposed to come into the country and they were going to be deployed in a particular part of the country and that was the detail I knew and the date when they were going to depart, that's all that I do know.

MR HATTINGH: And what were you to do about it?

MR SINDANE: Well I was going to help them to be ferried into the country, which is what I did.

MR HATTINGH: And where did they get the armaments from?

MR SINDANE; The armament they got from the machinery, but I learned subsequently that in fact this armament, part of it was got from different machinery.

MR HATTINGH: But did you know who actually handed it over to them? Were you present when that was done?

MR SINDANE: In the house where this was done, I was present.

MR HATTINGH: Yes, and you knew that those bags contained weapons and some explosive devices?

MR SINDANE: That's correct.

MR HATTINGH: You were under the impression that they were limpet mines or things like that, or land mines?

MR SINDANE: No, I was under the impression that these were military equipment which would have included land mines and a bazooka or something like that.

MR HATTINGH: Yes, yes. And Mr Sithole, did he know what these people were bringing into the Republic?

MR SINDANE: Yes, he had an idea.

MR HATTINGH: Well why do you say he had an idea? He must have had more than an idea, not so?

MR SINDANE: I would not be able therefore to say what an idea will mean for me and an idea will mean for you, Your Honour, but I will say that as far as I'm concerned, he knew that he was bringing people who had military equipment with them and what nature he would not have had a full idea.

MR HATTINGH: Yes. And he must have known therefore that they were coming to carry out attacks in the Republic of South Africa?

MR SINDANE: I assume that he would have concluded that way.

MR HATTINGH: Yes. And when you travelled to the border, you were carrying your rifle or whatever it was quite openly, not so?

MR SINDANE: Yes, Your Honour.

MR HATTINGH: You had it ready for self-defence?

MR SINDANE: Yes, Your Honour.

MR HATTINGH: Yes. And that was also the position when you arrived at the bakkie where the other two people were picked up?

MR SINDANE: Yes Your Honour.

MR HATTINGH: Did the driver get out of the bakkie when you arrived at the bakkie?

MR SINDANE: He did not.

MR HATTINGH: Did you speak to him?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I went to greet him.

MR HATTINGH: And at that stage you had your firearm with you?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I had it, yes.

MR HATTINGH: And do you know whether he was supposed to bring these people back to Swaziland?

MR SINDANE: No, I did not know that.

MR HATTINGH: You said that as far as you were aware, he brought people into the Republic on two, did you say one or two, or two or three previous occasions?

MR SINDANE: He assisted people into the country and he did not bring them back.

MR HATTINGH: And on those occasions when he brought people to the Republic, did those people also have firearms and explosive devices with them?

MR SINDANE: Yes, they did.

MR HATTINGH: So you must have been fully aware of what was going on, not so?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I was fully aware.

MR HATTINGH: What information did he possess, other than the fact that he was bringing people in with weaponry, about the ANC's activities in Swaziland?

MR SINDANE: I wouldn't know, I wouldn't know what else he knew.

MR HATTINGH: Did you not have regular contact with him?


MR HATTINGH: How frequently did you have contact with him?

MR SINDANE: I met him on those occasions when we were going to request him to do something, at least when I was present.

MR HATTINGH: So the two or three times that you mentioned, were you involved in those incidents as well?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I was involved.

MR HATTINGH: Did you - were you present when the people got into his vehicle?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I was present.

MR HATTINGH: In the same way as you were in this particular incident?

MR SINDANE: Well, not exactly the same way, but similar ...(intervention)

MR HATTINGH: Broadly speaking.


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


MR RAMAWELE: Thank you Mr Chairman. I've got no questions, thank you.


MR LAMEY: Thank you Chairperson.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR LAMEY: Mr Sindane, I represent one of the applicants here, Mr Fourie. Just a couple of questions. Did you know in which area the people that you assisted to bring in would be deployed?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I knew.

MR LAMEY: In which area would they be deployed?

MR SINDANE: In what we call Gauteng.

MR LAMEY: I see. Could there have been other instances where you were not involved in bringing in people that will infiltrate, where Mr Sithole would have brought people in without your assistance?

MR SINDANE: I would not want to make an assumption.

MR LAMEY: Okay, you can only speak about the occasions that you ...?


MR LAMEY: Okay. Can you just perhaps give an indication as to how long, what period of time, Mr Sithole was a trusted person to bring in people to infiltrate?

MR SINDANE: Well, having been in Swaziland for about six months and having met Mr Sithole with the kind of person that he was and the kind of confidence that was shown in him, I only could say to myself that he had been involved in the circuits of the comrades for a while before.

MR LAMEY: For a while before the six months?

MR SINDANE: Before I was there, yes.

MR LAMEY: So when you met him the first time in the six month period, well you came there approximately six months before this incident, is that correct? So the first time that you met him, he was already a trusted person in MK circles, and assisted people to infiltrate, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: It's my assumption, it's my assumption.

MR LAMEY: Under those circumstances at the time when you brought people through, I gathered that use was also made of what was called guides, local people that knew the area in order to bring the people through because you didn't know the area so well, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: That's correct.

MR LAMEY: Although you went along, that was the purpose of Mr Mzwandile, is that correct?

M SINDANE: That's correct.

MR LAMEY: And did you also gather that Mzwandile was a trusted person and a guide in this regard?

MR SINDANE: I did not know him before this occasion and there was not much said about him, but that he was used for this purpose, I could only conclude that he was known from the previous engagements.

MR LAMEY: And do you know whether the guides that knew the area, brought the people through, had knowledge of certain points through the border which would be a safe point to bring the people through? Knowing the area, they would normally know which place, to determine the place at the border where they would come through and which route to follow, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Can you repeat the question please?

MR LAMEY: Was the reason for using the guides firstly because they knew the area and secondly that they would know which route to follow and where would be a safe place to bring the people through?

MR SINDANE: That's correct.

MR LAMEY: These guides, did they have also direct contact with the MK members in Swaziland, or the MK Command structure, or how did it work?

MR SINDANE: That is correct.

MR LAMEY: You testified that you carried this sub-machine gun for self-defence, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: That is correct.

MR LAMEY: Were you alert that at any stage during such infiltration, anything could happen and that you could be come across or be confronted with police patrols or army patrols or anything like that?

MR SINDANE: Well that was - the alertness was more when we walked in and when we returned and we had not met any police presence as opposed the alertness somewhat reduced.

MR LAMEY: So while walking into South Africa you were very alert, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Yes, we were very alert.

MR LAMEY: Now your gun, would that be loaded with rounds of ammunition?


MR LAMEY: Would it be ready to fire at any stage?


MR LAMEY: And if you had come across a situation which would blow your cover and the purpose of your presence there, you would not hesitate to use it, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Life threatening, yes.

MR LAMEY: Then the person who took your affidavit, did you ask him who he was, what his purpose was there, for what purpose the affidavit had to be taken and so forth?

MR SINDANE: I want to think hard that I would have asked him, but I cannot recollect the circumstances around this whole exercise. I will really be guessing and making assumptions. I cannot recollect the circumstances around the writing of this affidavit.

MR LAMEY: Did you know Mr Dladla and Mr Maseko?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I knew them.

MR LAMEY: Were they also detained at Robben Island?


MR LAMEY: Did you know whether they also made statements to the same person?

MR SINDANE: I think they did, from what I gathered, I think they did.

MR LAMEY: Did you have opportunity to speak to them there at Robben Island, did you have contact with Mr Dladla and Mr Maseko at the time?

MR SINDANE: Yes, we did make contact on those occasions when it was possible.

MR LAMEY: Was it not perhaps a lawyer that took down this statement?

MR SINDANE: It could have been a lawyer, I cannot remember very well, but I think it was a lawyer.

MR LAMEY: You don't know who he, the lawyer, was, who the lawyer represented?

MR SINDANE: I think he did introduce himself but I cannot remember now who he represented.

MR LAMEY: Because I see the affidavit that was neatly prepared and typed and by reference to the annexures like VLS1, VLS2, VLS3, that is usually the type of references to annexures that lawyers use.

MR SINDANE: I saw that in this paragraph.

MR LAMEY: Did this person see you and Mr Maseko and Dladla together, or how did it work?

MR SINDANE: I was on my own.

MR LAMEY: Now did he come again on the day that you had to sign the affidavit in a typed form?

MR SINDANE: I never saw him again.

MR LAMEY: Can you recall how did it happen that you signed the affidavit, or this document, or put your signature on a document?

MR SINDANE: No, I cannot recall, I can only try and work out how it could have happened, but I cannot really say I can recollect ...(indistinct)

MR LAMEY: While you were detained, you were detained in terms of Section 29 in the Bethel prison, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: It's correct.

MR LAMEY: Were you at all assaulted during those times?


MR LAMEY: At Bethel prison.

MR SINDANE: No, in the prison I was not assaulted.

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


MR ROSSOUW: Thank you Chairperson, Rossouw on record.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR ROSSOUW: Mr Sindane, I would just like to clarify one aspect with you flowing from paragraph 28 on page 79 of the affidavit, your affidavit, where you make reference to the annexures, VLS 1, 2 and 3 and the affidavit of Mr Willemse, whom I'm representing specifically. Now you've referred to paragraphs 10, 11, 12 and 15 of Mr Willemse's affidavit which is not correct. Would you mind turning in that bundle to page 13 and 14 and there you'll find an affidavit by Mr Willemse.

MR SINDANE: Can I, Your Honour, just clarify a point here? The gentleman says I referred to an affidavit on this statement which I have said that never occurred, so to make a follow-on on a statement that is non-existent that will not really help us.

MR ROSSOUW: I understand what you testified Mr Sindane. The fact of the matter is that there is a reference in an affidavit you signed to an affidavit by Mr Willemse, it's there. I'm asking you to turn, I know you say that you never read it, you never saw it, I know that, I'm asking you to turn to page 13 of that bundle, bundle 2. Have you got page 13? Yes, you'll see that's an affidavit by Mr Willemse whom I'm representing and if you have regard to paragraph 10, the second last paragraph on that page, it makes reference to the fact that at the point where the people ambushed you, they got up, they shone torches at you and instructed you in English to stand still. Now if you have regard to page 29, you say, you deny, you refer to that paragraph in Willemse's affidavit and then you deny that the said:

"Policemen stood up and shined their torches on Mzwandile and I,"

yourself. So all I'm asking you is the logical conclusion would be that the affidavit you are referring to here is the one that is contained on page 13 and 14, would you agree with that?

MR SINDANE: Well, if you insist that I'm referring to an affidavit, which I say I never saw, there's no way I could have referred to any, then I think we are starting from a wrong premise.

MR ROSSOUW: No, Mr Sindane ...(intervention)

MR SINDANE: So I think if you are making the point that something was shone to me, that your client shone a torch on me, if that's your point, then I deny that anything of that sort ever took place.

MR ROSSOUW: No, Mr Sindane, I'm not saying you saw the affidavit, I'm not saying he shone a torch on you. I'm asking you, I'm trying to find out the reference to an affidavit in your affidavit, whether that could, on the probabilities, be the one that is on page 13 and 14 in the bundle, that's what I'm trying to establish, I'm not saying you saw it, I'm trying to find out whether this could possibly be the one that is being referred to.

MR SINDANE: Possibly.


CHAIRPERSON: Have you compared the other affidavits with it?

MR ROSSOUW: No, Mr Chairman, I've only had a look at Mr Willemse's affidavit.

CHAIRPERSON: You have an affidavit by van Dyk at page 15, it deals with a similar incident.

MR ROSSOUW: All I'm trying to establish Mr Sindane is that, or I'm putting it to you that the evidence here before this Committee has been that these affidavits you find on page 13 of Mr Willemse, page 15 of Mr van Dyk, was made in the inquiry, the inquest that was held, sorry, the inquest that was held. Now you've testified that these affidavits weren't shown to you, but the contents might have been discussed with you, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Correct.

MR ROSSOUW: So it would then be logical to conclude that this affidavit that was drafted for you to sign, was in response or to comment on the affidavits by the policemen in the inquest?

MR LAX: Can you make that proposition, you don't know how many affidavits your client has signed. He may have signed many about the same incident, we're not sure, we don't know that yet. It's not fair to put it to the witness, to expect him to - I think he's given you the confession you really need which is that it's probable that it could be this, but in the absence of you being absolutely sure about how many statements your client may have made, whether he made subsequent one, we can't - we have total speculation otherwise.

MR ROSSOUW: I'll leave it at that Mr Chairman, I'm satisfied that there's a ...(indistinct) between the references. Now the point that I would like to clear with you and I would just like to find out, you are absolutely certain that in your group who were ambushed, nobody shot or fired any rounds at the Security Policemen?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I'm absolutely sure.

MR ROSSOUW: Okay. Well I'm just going to point this out to you in the light of the possibility that there might be other affidavits referred to. In your affidavit you've referred to the specific paragraphs in Mr Willemse's affidavit that were incorrect. The one which I find interesting is paragraph 14 in Mr Willemse's affidavit, on page 14 in bundle 2. You see there it says that the spent cartridges were found on the scene. If this was the affidavit that you refer to, this would obviously also have been incorrect on your version.

MR SINDANE: Yes, it's incorrect.

MR ROSSOUW: Yes. Mr Chairman, that's as far as I can take it at this stage. I have no further questions.


MR PRINSLOO: Thank you Mr Chairman, Prinsloo on record.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR PRINSLOO: Mr Sindane as I understood your evidence, you did not read any affidavits presented to you by the gentlemen who visited you in the Robben Island prison, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: No affidavit was presented to me.

MR PRINSLOO: Did you read any affidavits of any policeman which has been referred to in your affidavit?

MR SINDANE: No, I did not.

MR PRINSLOO: Now if you will turn to page 80 of the record, paragraph 29 Mr Chairman, that's now bundle 2, you have told the Honourable Committee that this particular paragraph is correct, is that so, Mr Sindane?

MR SINDANE: I don't have the paragraph in front of me. Which paragraph?

MR PRINSLOO: Paragraph 29 of bundle 2, page 80 Mr Chairman.

MR SINDANE: Page 80. Well I said about this paragraph that, well the incident described in this paragraph is correct, only what is about this paragraph is that it is referring back to the affidavits which I do not know anything about.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Sindane your reply was this particular paragraph was correct, that's my note, unless - I stand to be correct to the contrary.

MR NTHAI: Mr Chairman, I recollect that he did say that except the affidavit. He did qualify that.

MR LAX: That's my note as well.

MR RAMAWELE: Well I can also confirm that, I even underlined the word paragraph on this page, I mean the word affidavits on this page.

MR LAX: He in fact singled out the two, he dealt with them separately as paragraph 29, the first one and then the second 29 and then in relation to the second 29 he said:

"It's correct except in so far as it refers to the affidavits."

MR PRINSLOO: I'll leave it at that Mr Chairman, thank you. Now Mr Sindane, during April of 1986, were you known - your MK name was that Stan Mhlaba?

MR SINDANE: No, I had many names, one of them was Stan, one of them was Mhlaba.

MR PRINSLOO: Yes. And were you part of the implementation machinery in Swaziland at that stage?

MR SINDANE: That's correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And you already told the Committee that Mr Paul Dikeledi was the person in charge of that particular machinery.

MR SINDANE: That's correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And Capt Mandla Maseko, MK Scotch Dube, he was also part of that machinery, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: That's very correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And is it correct that Mr Maseko, he was assigned, together with one Simon Dladla, to reconnoitre certain places in the Eastern Transvaal, in order to place land mines, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: That's correct.

MR PRINSLOO: It was part of the instructions of that machinery of which you were part of at that stage, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: That's correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And it's also correct that Mr Maseko and Dladla then planted land mines at various places, amongst others at Volksrust, Breyten and the Carolina area, is it correct?

MR SIBANYONI: Is this part of this ...

MR PRINSLOO: I just want to follow this up Mr Chairman, I'm going to a point where Mr Sindane testified later in the Supreme Court in Pretoria. Is that Mr Sindane?

MR SINDANE: Ja, I just want to understand where this is leading to because I don't want to implicate myself about things that are not concerned here.

MR PRINSLOO: So you've already said you were a part of the machinery and you already said Mr Scotch Dube, Mandla Maseko took part in those particular explosions, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Yes, that's correct.

MR PRINSLOO: Right, I won't involve you further in that. You also testified in the Supreme Court in Pretoria as a defence witness in the trial of Mandla Maseko, Simon Dladla and Ebrahim Ismail, Ebrahim, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And that was during the end of 1988?

MR SINDANE: That's correct, I was taken from Robben Island.

MR PRINSLOO: Yes and so at that stage you had the assistance of a legal representative, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Yes, that's correct.

MR PRINSLOO: Now this affidavit you made subsequently, was made in July of 1990, according to the date on this affidavit at page 80 of bundle 2, is that correct Mr Sindane?

MR SINDANE: Yes, that's correct.

MR PRINSLOO: So at that stage you were fully aware and acquainted with the process of court proceedings and affidavits, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: I don't understand what you are trying to drive at.

MR PRINSLOO: Well, do you understand the question, Mr Sindane?

MR SINDANE: No, I don't understand it because I don't understand what it's ...

MR PRINSLOO: Well the question is that during 1990, at that stage you were completely familiar with court proceedings and making affidavits, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Not absolutely, not entirely.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Sindane, for what purpose did you make this affidavit that commences at page 75 of the bundle, up to page 80? For what purpose did you make it?

MR SINDANE: I don't know, it was not explained to me in whole, what the whole thing was going to serve, but somebody came and he was interested in us, giving them a statement about the incident in Nerston and as far as I'm concerned, we were going to give that statement and we did and it had no value, I did not see any aftereffects of that incident because I saw myself in prison and therefore I could do anything and it was not going to have any effect on me.

MR PRINSLOO: At that stage Mr Sindane, you must have been aware that the gentleman who approached you was not from the government, he was a lawyer from your side, will you agree to that?

MR SINDANE: There's a very scanty idea that I have about whether he was on whose side.

MR PRINSLOO: Okay. Now Mr Sindane, if you look at page 77 of your affidavit, paragraph 16, Mr Chairman, you give a lot of detail there and you claimed that paragraph was correct. That detail could only have come from you, from no-one else. That gentleman would not have had that detail, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: I did challenge this detail, so it is not entirely correct, this detail.

MR PRINSLOO: You challenged it in what respect Mr Sindane, because as I understood you to say it was correct, that particular paragraph.

MR SINDANE: I didn't challenge this one.

MR PRINSLOO: Yes. So do you agree that this particular detail could only have come from you and not from this gentleman who took the affidavit?

MR SINDANE: I agree.

MR PRINSLOO: Yes. So you must have given a lot of detail to this particular gentleman and you're now claiming that you didn't read any affidavits which were purportedly made by the police.

MR SINDANE: I don't see the connection between giving the detail and the person leaving with the detail and that the person actually came back and got me to read the detail.

MR PRINSLOO: Are you suggesting Mr Sindane that the gentleman who compiled this affidavit would merely have put this in without your knowledge and you subsequently thereto signing it?

MR SINDANE: No, all I'm saying is that I was under the situation on Robben Island where it is possible that the gentleman took the information from us, left, got it typed and got it brought back to Robben Island and the warder there got me to sign the document, without me having my eyes on the document.

MR PRINSLOO: Are you telling the Committee Mr Sindane that when you signed this particular affidavit, you never read it?

MR SINDANE: No, I never read it.

MR PRINSLOO: And it was not read over to you either?

MR SINDANE: And I don't even think I had a full idea that it was - that it contained the information that is shown here, I don't remember if I had an idea that it was the affidavit that I'd written because it came as a surprise that there were certain things that are being said here which are purported to have been said by me, when in fact it was not the case.

MR PRINSLOO: And were you asked to attest to this affidavit, to take the oath, to say it's the truth what's contained herein?

MR SINDANE: Perhaps when we did the initial sitting, but that is what I cannot remember, whether I was made to - maybe I was made to attest, but I don't remember that process.

MR PRINSLOO: So you will notice at page 80 of the bundle 2, Mr Chairman, it's also initialled on the side. Whose initials will that be, where the date from May was changed to July?

MR SINDANE: I don't know whose initials are these.

MR PRINSLOO: Not your initials?


CHAIRPERSON: You have put to him that this affidavit was taken by someone who came from his side, who was that person?

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Chairman, that was a question, I didn't put it as a fact.

CHAIRPERSON: I understood it to be as a fact.

MR PRINSLOO: Then I must correct myself, Mr Chairman, that's my inference, I deduct it from that, I don't put it as a fact. I must correct it then, Mr Chairman, if that was conveyed in that way. I apologise.

MR NTHAI: Mr Chairman, can we also clarify whether he is saying its a fact that the person who took the affidavit was a lawyer, or he's also making an inference? Are you putting it as a fact that the person who took the affidavit was a lawyer?

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Chairman, I respectfully submit, a question by my colleague, it was conceded by Mr Sindane, it was from that stage that I merely examined that as to whether it was an attorney or not.

MR LAX: Not as a fact, as a possibility. We are all speculating here as to who took the affidavit, we don't have any facts.

MR PRINSLOO: So am I Mr Chairman with respect, I have not put it as a fact that he was an attorney, that was not my question.

MR LAX: You've put it as a fact that he was very, very familiar with supreme court proceedings and lawyers and affidavits and things of that kind, you're putting it to him on that basis, you know, so I think maybe if you want to clarify the basis you're putting it to him on, because we don't know anything about this affidavit, nobody knows where it comes from.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Chairman, I respectfully submit it was in pursuance of a question put to him in which he concede it was probably an attorney.

MR LAX: He said it was probably a lawyer, with the greatest of respect and a lawyer could be an advocate, an attorney, it could be a legal professor, it could be anybody.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Chairman, without me going into this in detail, as I recall Mr Lamey saying this is the style how an attorney compiles an affidavit.

MR LAX: Lawyer, that was his precise word.

MR PRINSLOO: Well I stand to be correct with that, that would be a lawyer then Mr Chairman.

MR NTHAI: Mr Chairman, just to add, he went further to say a lawyer on his side, on Mr Sindane's side, that's what you said.

MR PRINSLOO: I never put that as a fact, Mr Chairman, the record will speak for itself.

CHAIRPERSON: I thought you had just withdrawn that.

MR PRINSLOO: That is so Mr Chairman, I never put it as a fact.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, well you did.

MR PRINSLOO: Well if I did ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: And you have now withdrawn it.

MR PRINSLOO: I've withdrawn it then, Mr Chairman, it's not put as a fact.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Sindane, Nox Dlamini, was he a supporter of the ANC?

MR SINDANE: Yes, he was a supporter of the ANC.

MR PRINSLOO: And Mzwandile, was he also a supporter of the ANC?

MR SINDANE: Yes, he was also a supporter of the ANC.

MR PRINSLOO: And was he - were they both aware of this particular activity that took place on the night in question?

MR SINDANE: Yes they were aware.

MR PRINSLOO: Taking weapons and explosives across the border?

MR SINDANE: Yes, they were aware.

MR PRINSLOO: Alright. Now turning to your arrest by the Defence Force, you testified you were taken to a particular camp, which you say you later learned to be a Stafford Camp, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Stafford, yes.

MR PRINSLOO: Now at this particular came, were there only soldiers there initially, or what was the position?

MR SINDANE: Well I was brought there blindfolded and the people I saw when the blindfolding was removed, were soldiers and these civilians that I described earlier.

MR PRINSLOO: And was it before you were assaulted or after?

MR SINDANE: I was assaulted and then even when I was dragged down the track, I was already getting my kicks, so the assaulting was already in process.

MR PRINSLOO: But at a stage when your blindfold was removed, who was present?

MR SINDANE: I saw soldiers and people in civilian clothes.

MR PRINSLOO: Did you recognise any of the people in civilian clothes?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I knew Mr Pienaar and Mr Botha.

MR PRINSLOO: But you cannot say as a fact that either Botha or Pienaar assaulted you?

MR SINDANE: No, I cannot say as a fact.

MR PRINSLOO: Yes. You've heard Mr Pienaar's evidence that he denied that he assaulted you or any assault took place in his presence, you've heard that.

MR SINDANE: No, in fact I believe he's the one who told them to stop.

MR PRINSLOO: But did you tell your legal representative that, that Mr Pienaar is the one who told them to stop?

MR SINDANE: No, I might not have told him.

MR PRINSLOO: Okay, so Mr Pienaar never took part in any assault whatsoever if he told them to stop?

MR SINDANE: No, he could have beaten me and then at a point instructed the other people and himself also stopped.

MR PRINSLOO: But that's merely speculation on your part?

MR SINDANE: Very true.

MR PRINSLOO: And you don't know at what stage Pienaar arrived at the camp?

MR SINDANE: No well I don't know, I wouldn't tell.

MR PRINSLOO: And the same would apply to Botha then, for that matter?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I wouldn't tell.

MR PRINSLOO: Yes. And the people who investigated this particular case for which you were subsequently tried int he Regional Court in Ermelo, that is for this particular instant, for the possession of the weapons and other issues, who investigated that case? Who was the Investigating Officer, do you know?

MR SINDANE: Well I don't know but I was always with Captain, I know that he is now Col Deetlefs, Mr Pienaar was always there, Mr van Wyk from time to time, Mr Botha from time to time, so I don't know who investigated this. I don't know who was investigating, there were also some black chaps involved in this whole thing, Special Branch.

MR PRINSLOO: When Mr Pienaar gave evidence he told the Committee that he took certain statements for that particular case. There was no mention ever made that van Dyk ever assisted him in any investigation and you were present here, you saw Mr van Dyk present here. Did you tell your representative that Mr van Dyk was also involved?

MR SINDANE: I think what also should be clear here is that as far as my case was concerned, I think I got the Security Police to labour under false impression for a while and as a result, I didn't see much of investigation taking place. In the first place they had one or two senior MK officers in their hands so that as far as information is concerned they had much about MK, is concerned and also the fact that when they were beating me and when I thought that they were going to suffocate me, I raised my hands and I pleaded with them that I'm going to work for them, I think also that got them to lower their guards as far as investigation is concerned because they thought I'm going to work for them as a fact and that's why I cannot point at any person as one who was in fact responsible for the investigation because they were just changing between themselves. The prominent people were Deetlefs and Pienaar, those were prominent.

MR PRINSLOO: Now at your trial in Ermelo, did you plead guilty to the charges or not guilty?

MR SINDANE: Yes, my lawyer said, or my advocate said I must plead guilty.

MR PRINSLOO: And you were subsequently found guilty and sentenced for being in possession of all these weapons as depicted on the photograph.

MR SINDANE: Yes, for everything, I was found guilty for everything.

MR PRINSLOO: Yes. Now from the Stanford Camp, Stafford Camp I beg your pardon Mr Chairman, were you then taken to the police station or a farm? I didn't quite understand your evidence.

MR SINDANE: Ja, we stopped at the farm first.

MR PRINSLOO: And who took you to that farm?

MR SINDANE: I cannot remember who took me there, but the person I remember who slapped me in that farm, is the gentleman who was here yesterday.

MR PRINSLOO: And Pienaar, was he present at that stage?

MR SINDANE: Ja, he was somewhere, I think he was, but I can't remember where he was because there was a party there, people were celebrating something.

MR PRINSLOO: Yes. And was Botha present there?

MR SINDANE: I didn't see him. I didn't even go and join the party there, I was left in the car.

MR PRINSLOO: You have heard Pienaar denying that he was present at any assault, you've heard that?

MR SINDANE: I didn't hear him.


CHAIRPERSON: You say at the farm you were left in the car?

MR SINDANE: Yes, Your Honour, I was left in the car.

MR PRINSLOO: Was anyone guarding you whilst in the car?

MR SINDANE: No I was in wound at that point, I don't think they saw the need to leave any guard for me, but I was in sight of everybody and they knew I couldn't run, because I wouldn't be able to run.

MR PRINSLOO: Now this incident you say where you peeped through a hole in the door, where did this take place, at the police station, or at the Security Branch offices, or where?

MR SINDANE: Well maybe it's the Security Branch office, maybe I should say it's the Security Branch office, because I didn't see police vans around and high fence in the vicinity and where I got through, it was just a simple door. I went upstairs, there was a chap standing on the door which I regarded as an askari and there on the first floor, I went into some office where there was no indication of big doors and whatever, grilles and those things.

MR PRINSLOO: Because I put it to you that the Security Branch offices at that stage were far away from the main police station, it's in the main street of Piet Retief and it's a private building which was leased by the police at the time and the police station is a properly constructed police building, known as such, in a different street.

MR SINDANE: Ja, no this place is as I described it.

MR PRINSLOO: Now are you then saying that you peeped through a hole in the door at the Security Branch Offices?

MR SINDANE: Yes, if that was the Security Branch offices.

MR PRINSLOO: So it wasn't through a cell door?


MR PRINSLOO: And you say that particular person whom you saw inside, his photograph was later shown to you at Ermelo?

MR SINDANE: The corpse of the person.

MR PRINSLOO: The body, I beg your pardon, yes, of that person. Yes.

MR SINDANE: There were two in that photograph lying side by side. Mzwandile and that person.

MR PRINSLOO: And who showed you the photographs?

MR SINDANE: Mr van Dyk.

MR PRINSLOO: Was Pienaar present at all?

MR SINDANE: No, he was not present.

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


MS VAN DER WALT: Louisa van der Walt on record, Chairperson.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS VAN DER WALT: Mr Sindane, just to return to your affidavit and page 75 up to page 80 thereof, certain questions were put to you pertaining to this affidavit and according to your evidence, there is a riddle surrounding the events pertaining to the deposition of this affidavit, that is how you testified during your evidence-in-chief, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Yes, very correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: I have read this affidavit numerous times since you commenced your evidence and I would like to tell you that I don't really understand why you would say that there is a riddle regarding this affidavit, because if one studies your affidavit, with the exception of a few errors which are corrected, you basically agree with the affidavit and there isn't anything negative regarding you, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Well I don't know if its correct to say its correct so easy, because there a number of things that I disputed. Now whether you regard those as insignificant, I would not regard those as being that insignificant.

MS VAN DER WALT: Very well, with the exception of paragraph 28 on page 79, there are singular amendments that you made to this affidavit. There isn't any actual untruth which prejudices you regarding this affidavit, but if I'm mistaken, please indicate to me which paragraph prejudices you.

MR SINDANE: Well I think the main, I don't know whether I can pinpoint it, the particular aspect is the main prejudice because I'm not able to gauge the extent of prejudice, but ...

MR LAX: What is the relevance of prejudice? What do you mean by prejudice? What's the object of prejudice in this forum anyway?

MS VAN DER WALT: Honourable Chairperson, I would like to understand why he says it is a riddle to him because I have put it to him, with the exception of paragraph 28 which he denies completely, there cannot be anything prejudicial about this.

MR LAX: The problem is here that he hasn't said the issue is prejudiced, he hasn't said that at all.

MS VAN DER WALT: But I'm asking him.

MR LAX: He's explained why he doesn't understand quite clearly and it's been canvassed by your colleagues already. He's explained that he doesn't recall the circumstances under which he made this affidavit or under which he signed it. He doesn't recall who came and took it from him and where that person came from, that's the riddle.

MS VAN DER WALT: Well that is not my question Chairperson, with respect.

MR LAX: Well then you're misrepresenting what the riddle is about. The riddle isn't about prejudice. No one's put that so far to him at all.

MS VAN DER WALT: But I am asking him. I am asking him, with respect Chairperson, whether there is anything in the affidavit which prejudices him.

MR LAX: Well then ask the question in a way that the riddle that you're referring to is about the prejudice to him and not about the circumstances under which he made it.

MS VAN DER WALT: No, I am not asking about the circumstances, I am putting it to him that there is nothing in the affidavit which prejudices him.

MR LAX: That's why I'm saying your question is confusing because you first dealt with the issue of a riddle and you got him to confirm that there's a riddle. However the riddle, as he's testified, is not about whether there's prejudice to him or not on about the content of the affidavit, the riddle is about how he came to make it and by then doing the jump from the riddle to prejudice and that's now the implication, you're creating completely the wrong impression and confusing us all, me certainly.

MS VAN DER WALT: May I then put the question?

MR LAX: Ja, but I think clarify it, if you are going to ask it.

MS VAN DER WALT: Mr Sindane is there anything in this affidavit which prejudices you, with the exception of paragraph 28 which I have referred to?

MR SINDANE: Well Your Honour, I'm not very sure if I should again repeat those areas which my legal representative was running through and I was disputing and accepting, because that's the process of the prejudice that I can identify with as far as the affidavit is concerned.

MS VAN DER WALT: Very well. Then are you prejudiced where you state in paragraph 3 that the persons who were transported across the border, were in Sithole's bakkie, his bakkie, you amended that it was not his bakkie because it was not registered in his name, that's a minor error, isn't that so?

MR SINDANE: Well to you, but to me not.

MS VAN DER WALT: Therefore are you prejudiced by that, because it was stated that the bakkie was his?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I am, if it is accepted as such.

MS VAN DER WALT: How can you be prejudiced?

MR SINDANE: Because the ANC had its own resources, it was not using individual's private resources for its own liberation struggle.

MS VAN DER WALT: So in that regard you are prejudiced? Very well. But then I want to put it to you, paragraph 9 on page 76, you stated that that was correct, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Paragraph 9?


MR SINDANE: It's the same thing. If you want to pursue it's Sithole's bakkie, I mean that point was already corrected there. I didn't comment about that because the point was made earlier.

MS VAN DER WALT: That's so, I did not ask you to discuss Sithole's bakkie, I want to know whether or not paragraph 9 was correct, that was all that I asked.

MR SINDANE: Well we arrived at that bakkie, which is referred to as Sithole's bakkie, yes it is correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: Very well. You say:

"At approximately 21h00 we arrived at Sithole's bakkie which was parked at the pre-arranged point."

Is that correct? I am not referring to Sithole's bakkie, you have already stated that it was the ANC's bakkie and I accept that, but is the content of that paragraph correct?

MR SINDANE: That is correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: Where was the pre-arranged point?

MR SINDANE: Along the road.


MR SINDANE: Where the bakkie was parked.

MS VAN DER WALT: Yes, but you state that you were at the bakkie at the pre-arranged point, now where was that point?

MR SINDANE: And I answered, I say that point is where the bakkie was parked.

MS VAN DER WALT: How would you have known where the bakkie was parked?

MR SINDANE: Because we went straight to where the bakkie was parked.

MS VAN DER WALT: But you must have known where that point would be situated.

MR SINDANE: It was pre-arranged, that's why we went straight there.

MS VAN DER WALT: So you know where it was?

MR SINDANE: Yes, we knew where it was.

MS VAN DER WALT: So, prior to the time it was arranged that the bakkie would be at that particular point and you found it there as well?

MR SINDANE: Yes, that's correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: Then I tell you that you knew that the bakkie would be at the road leading to Amsterdam, which forms a T-junction with the ...(indistinct) Nerston Road, is that correct? Because that's where you found the bakkie.

MR SINDANE: Ja. No, unless I don't understand what you are leading to, but I say yes, that is correct. I think you should understand that I am referring to going to the bakkie where it was parked because we were a collective, there was a guide amongst us.

MS VAN DER WALT: Yes, you knew that you were going to a bakkie, that was your response. You knew that you were going to the bakkie, you knew where it was parked, you knew that the bakkie would be on the Amsterdam Road forming a T-junction with the Nerston/Lofer road, you knew precisely where the point was. You have just stated that, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Yes, we knew, and I knew too, in that sense.

MS VAN DER WALT: Very well, then I want to tell you with reference to paragraph 4 on page 75 where you make a singular amendment and you state that you were not familiar with the area and you didn't know that the pre-arranged point would be on a road near Amsterdam, approximately 100 metres away from the T-junction. You change the 100 metres because you state that you were not familiar with the area. So what appears in this paragraph, paragraph 4, is actually correct because you have just stated that you knew where the bakkie would be.

MR SINDANE: No, the point Your Honour that is being made now is a misrepresentation because I think what should be understood is that having had a guide with us, we knew where we were going and in that sense I say I knew where I was going. I've done this work before, but when the person came to Robben Island and asked me the questions he asked, and then it appears here in this affidavit that the distance from one point to another was 100 metres and I say I deny it, it is true, because at that point we were not going according to where the junction was and it was 100 metres or so, we were going to a point which is along the road, which is a common thing and there is no, there was no necessity for me to know whether there is a point which is a junction or what, but it was sufficient to go to a particular area where there's a road and the van will be parked somewhere around there. As far as that is concerned, we knew very precisely, but when we were going back, to know that there was 100 metres junction, that detail I did not have and I didn't need.

MS VAN DER WALT: You see Sir, it is quite interesting that you wish to amend the 100 metres and would change the fact in your evidence in chief that you didn't know that you were turning back towards a T-junction because I put it to you that Mr van Dyk testified and gave precisely the same description of where the bakkie stood. He testified to that here now in the year 2000 and you make an affidavit in 1990 which gives the precise description and I put it to you that you have changed it now because you simply want to discredit Mr van Dyk's evidence so that it would not appear to be truthful. Do you want to comment on that?

MR SINDANE: Well I am far from wanting to influence the evidence that has been given by Mr van Dyk, all I am saying is that I was very recent in Swaziland and I did not have a good idea of the area where we were crossing people and so forth and this is precisely the reason why there had to be a guide to assist to and from the points where we dropped people and if there was an arrangement that the bakkie will be at a particular point and the description was made by our guide that it will be around the T-junction and so forth, that would not have really been a necessity for me to know, which in fact was the case, I did not know about that detail, but we went and we crossed the fence. We went to that point where the bakkie was parked. I didn't see any T-junction, it was in the dark, it was the first time I was in that area and we went back and going back we were following the route that we followed when we got to the point, so the question of the T-junction and that there was 100 metres involved there, is not something that I could have known, that's why I want to put the record straight that the person who compiled this information made these mistakes when he did the compilation because it is clear that he had knowledge of the area more than I did, but he cannot attribute that knowledge to me.

MS VAN DER WALT: So you have no reason why he would have put this in the affidavit? Can you not think of any reason why facts which are correct would be in the affidavit?

MR SINDANE: I think the person was trying to make justice, well I want to assume that the person was trying to make justice to the information that I provided and because he had this information he added it, or she added it, but this is not what I can admit to be from my knowledge, that's why I want to point it as such for the record.

MS VAN DER WALT: What do you mean when you say that he wanted to make justice? Is it the truth that appears here?

MR SINDANE: Well, I'm trying to be positive and in my trying to be positive I say he wanted to furnish enough information for a purpose of this gathering so that people have a clear picture of what in fact - what is being referred to, but the true intention I will not vouch for.

MS VAN DER WALT: I would like to take you to page 78 Yesterday and today you have told the Honourable committee that the person who assaulted you on the farm, is Mr van Dyk, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: That's correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: I would like to put it to you that when Mr Pienaar was cross-examined by your legal representative, on page 1408 Chairperson, your legal representative mentioned and he was in contact with you on a cell phone, that paragraphs 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 are definitely not going to change and that you would not change those paragraphs, did you see that?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I saw that.

MS VAN DER WALT: But yesterday when you saw Mr van Dyk, you changed your instruction to him and then you said that it was indeed van Dyk who had assaulted you.

MR SINDANE: That's correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: You have now testified that you and Maseko spoke on Robben Island regarding the events that had taken place with both of you there in Piet Retief and regarding certain given factors, you decided it was Pienaar and Botha who had assaulted you, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: No, that is not correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: Well, what did you testify? What did you and Maseko do?

MR SINDANE: I said we tried to recollect the events and we tried to place people to those events and in the process of describing individuals and when I thought I was describing a gentleman that I saw here yesterday, which I even saw the last time I was here, I was describing this person and in his conception, in his understanding, Mr Maseko understood that I was describing Mr Botha and he said it was Botha and then I assumed from then on that this gentleman is Mr Botha.

MS VAN DER WALT: How did you describe Mr van Dyk who assaulted you?

MR SINDANE: I said he was tall, bearded, and had a body, big body.

MS VAN DER WALT: And you saw that Mr Botha had a completely different look, he didn't have a beard, he wasn't as large and as well-built as Mr van Dyk.

MR SINDANE: I can't remember - understand your question again, can you repeat it please?

MS VAN DER WALT: You saw Mr Botha yesterday, you also saw Mr van Dyk. There is a big difference between Mr van Dyk and Mr Botha. Mr van Dyk is a particularly big man, as you have described, he is rather well-built whereas Mr Botha has a far slighter build and he doesn't have a beard.

MR SINDANE: Well, I think this is obvious, that it was a misunderstanding on Mr Maseko's side. The fact now is that the person who assaulted me, I saw him and it is him. Mr Maseko is not here, but if he was here I would say to him: "This is the man I was referring to."

MS VAN DER WALT: And previously you also saw Mr van Dyk, why didn't you then tell your legal representative to amend these paragraphs and to state: "This is the man who assaulted me, not Mr Botha."

MR SINDANE: No, I told him, but I didn't know that he was Mr van Dyk, I thought still, I still thought he was Mr Botha, but I told him that that was the man who assaulted me.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did you ever see Mr van Dyk in the Piet Retief offices while you were interrogated?

MR SINDANE: Well, I cannot be certain, but I think he was there also.

MS VAN DER WALT: Why are you not certain?

MR SINDANE: No, I'm not certain.

MS VAN DER WALT: You see because Mr van Dyk was working at Vlakplaas which was near Pretoria, there were only certain operations which took them to Piet Retief.

MR SINDANE: I don't know whether I have got anything to do with that because he could have come there, because this was one of those operations.

MS VAN DER WALT: Yesterday you encountered Mr Botha here in the passage, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Yes, I did.

MS VAN DER WALT: And you spoke to him?

MR SINDANE: Nothing, I said nothing to him. I spoke to Mr de Kock, not Mr Botha, Mr van Dyk. I spoke to Mr Botha yes.

MS VAN DER WALT: Yes, that is what I am referring to. You said to Mr Botha:

"All the time I thought it was you who had assaulted me."

Is that correct?

MR SINDANE: That's correct. I was correcting, I was making a point of what I had corrected.

MS VAN DER WALT: You see, because Mr Botha and mr Pienaar are stationed in Piet Retief, they are the ones who dealt with you, not Mr van Dyk, that is the evidence. Mr van Dyk never dealt with interrogations, he worked with Mr de Kock.

MR SINDANE: Well what happened yesterday was a correction of a mistake on my part, which I put to the individual who apparently I mistook for another person and I used his name at a wrong place and I told him as such that: "I used your name at a wrong place, it is not you that I was referring to." That's what I said. That's all I said, but Mr van Dyk, I have got no doubt, I have always had him in my mind, in my memory he will remain vividly.

MS VAN DER WALT: I put it to you that you are once again mistaken, because Mr van Dyk did not assault you. Do you wish to comment on that?

MR SINDANE: If you say Mr van Dyk did not assault me because the point you are making is that he is, or he was stationed in Vlakplaas, I also put it to you that Mr van Dyk is the same person who showed me the photographs, the photograph of the corpse of the two gentlemen, one of whom was Mzwandile and the other gentleman that I was made to peep, to look at through the peep hole. Mr van Dyk is the person who showed me the photograph of that individual, of those corpses.

MS VAN DER WALT: Mr van Dyk also denied this and Mr Pienaar testified that he, Pienaar, and Botha, were involved in the investigation of your matter as well as Maseko and Dladla. van Dyk was not involved with the investigation at all. Can you deny this?

MR SINDANE: Well, I am not able to deny anything because I think this is what those gentlemen told to this august body and if they decided to say what they said, I am saying what I experienced.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you going on to something else now?

MS VAN DER WALT: Just one final aspect and I will conclude my cross-examination. May I finish? I won't be long. I refer you to page 79 of your affidavit, paragraph 29, where you confirm that you had the hand carbine, VZ 25, in your possession that night, paragraph 29.

MR SINDANE: I see that paragraph.

MS VAN DER WALT: Is that correct?

MR SINDANE: Correct, Chair.

MS VAN DER WALT: Then I would like to refer you to page 16 of Mr van Dyk's affidavit, paragraph 14, where he also testified yesterday that cartridges were picked up and handed during the post mortem inquest. In paragraph 13 he states that the cartridges which were picked up and the weapon which was found there match each other. Do you have any comment on that?

MR SINDANE: I heard for the first time about those cartridge shells from the gentleman who took the statement from em on Robben Island and I denied it when I spoke to him.

MS VAN DER WALT: Ja. Mr van Dyk gave evidence about that yesterday afternoon. No further questions, thank you Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Just one point before we take the adjournment. Counsel put to you, before she finished her cross-examination that Pienaar and Botha were involved with you and Maseko and Dladla, what incident was this that they were involved with you and Maseko and Dladla?

MR SINDANE: Well Your Honour, what I understood from what Counsel put to me is that I knew the activities of those gentlemen, and which were activities of course which our machinery was dealing with, but Dladla was only a person who helped and supported and accompanied Dladla when Dladla came into the country when he subsequently got arrested.

MR LAX: You've used Dladla referring to two different people. Do you mean ...

MR SINDANE: Dladla and Maseko.

MR LAX: Yes, who was helping who?

MR SINDANE: Dladla was helping us as a machinery.

MR LAX: But was he helping Maseko on that particular occasion?

MR SINDANE: When they came into the country, yes he was helping.

MR LAX: Sorry, you just said Dladla was helping Dladla, and so I just was correcting that.

CHAIRPERSON: And they both went to Robben Island?

MR SINDANE: Yes, Your Honour, they were both with us.

CHAIRPERSON: And did you discuss this question of affidavits with them?

MR SINDANE: Not in detail Sir, not in detail Your Honour.

CHAIRPERSON: Because it seems that they were, all three of you were - affidavits were taken from all three of you by the same person on the same date for the same purpose.

MR SINDANE: Yes, Your Honour, it's possible that we might have been able to say something to each other, however there were no details that we discussed.

CHAIRPERSON: You don't know what these affidavits were taken for?

MR SINDANE: Well, we did not discuss about what they were for but we understood that it concerned the incident in Nerston but for what end use we were not aware, Your Honour.

CHAIRPERSON: Because I notice that the three affidavits are here, they've altered the date in all three of them and they all three have what appear to be exhibit numbers on them, B201, B202 and B203.

MR LAX: Those are docket numbers.

CHAIRPERSON: Are the docket numbers? You don't know anything about that?

MR SINDANE: No, Your Honour, I don't know much about that.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, we'll take the adjournment now till what, 2 o'clock.




MR ROUX: Roux on record, Chairperson. I have no questions, thank you.


MS COLERIDGE: Thank you Chairperson, I have no questions.


MR SIBANYONI: Maybe just one question. Mr Sindane, when you testified, you gave me an impression that the Swazi police were sort of co-operating with the South African police because you said you knew that September was arrested and that there would be somebody within your Command structure who would be high and giving full details. Did I interpret it correctly?

MR SINDANE: Yes, you did, Your Honour.

MR SIBANYONI: To what extent did they co-operate?

MR SINDANE: Well it's difficult to describe to what extent did they co-operate it's just that one is saying what one is saying out of some experiences. You listen to what - how our comrades used to exist in Swaziland and you see that some of the police, not all the police, but some of the police were definitely on the payroll of the South African Government.

MR SIBANYONI: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

MR LAX: Just, sorry, I just wanted to be clear. There was some confusion in my mind after a question that Ms van der Walt asked you about Nox Dlamini, or it might have been ...(indistinct), I can't recall. Originally you had said that he wasn't going to be waiting at some sort of bakkie for you to return and he wasn't involved on that particular night, is that right? Did I understand that correctly, or am I totally confused?

MR SINDANE: Your Honour, Mr Nox Dlamini was going to wait until we returned, myself ...(intervention)

MR LAX: So he in fact was there, and my impression was incorrect.

MR SINDANE: Yes, he was on the Swaziland side of the border.

MR LAX: Correct.

MR SINDANE: He was waiting for us there.

MR LAX: In another vehicle?

MR SINDANE: In another vehicle, yes.

MR LAX: No excellent, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Right thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Any further evidence?

MR NTHAI: No, just one on re-examination Mr Chairman, just one aspect.

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR NTHAI: Mr Sindane the affidavit that you made, the one that's appearing in bundle 2, was this affidavit used in the trial of Maseko when he went to testify there?

MR SINDANE: No, Your Honour, I cannot remember any affidavit being used in the trial.

MR NTHAI: The testimony that you gave was oral testimony, is that correct?

MR SINDANE: That's correct.

MR NTHAI: Thank you.


MR NTHAI: That will be all Mr Chairman from our side, I'm not calling any other ...

CHAIRPERSON: Right thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: We now come to the problems, gentlemen. The one which the Committee faces, is we heard for the first time today that there had been an investigation into this incident for the Harms Commission, that evidence had been led there, including the evidence of one or more of the applicants and we consider this, it's a matter that should be inquired into by us with a view to ascertaining whether, in the light of such evidence, we wish to recall any of the applicants, because there may be conflicts and there is also the question of full disclosure. Nobody has mentioned that they gave any such evidence.

We are of the view that it would be perhaps prejudicial, to use a word that my colleague objected to on occasions, to ask you to address us on the merits when we may thereafter recall your clients and put certain things to them, so on that basis we are of the view that it might be fairer to all concerned to adjourn this hearing. There's also the question of Mr Willemse's affidavit that may cause certain problems to some or other of you who may feel that they wish to inquire further into it. We have had a discussion about that with his counsel today, who has indicated that he will approach all of you to inquire from you if there are any points that you specifically wish him to get further information on and it is possible, subject to all your agreement, that if there are further points we may have an inquiry before the Committee only. I gather the medical evidence has indicated that cross-examination may have a very serious impact on his well-being, so if there are any points that you just want clarification on a point, we as a Committee may put the question on your behalf, but we wait to see what arises from his affidavit which will be circulated to all of you and you can then express your views.

We think, and this is - we'd like to hear your views on this now, that in those circumstances, it would be preferable to adjourn. If we decide there is no need for any further - having obtained the Harms record which is available to us in Cape Town, that there is no need for anything to be put to any of the applicants or any of the victims, that that matter is concluded, then we think it would be proper to ask you gentlemen, if you agree to it, to submit an argument based on - well, sorry I keep - after you have had a chance of seeing Mr Willemse's affidavit which we hope will be by the week after next. Unfortunately it necessitates his counsel visiting one of the delightful resorts on the Cape Coast with a view to preparing the affidavit, but it should be the week after next and we should be in a position by then to have informed you all whether we wish to have any further hearing. Would you gentlemen agree that the answer then is that you put up written Heads? It may well be, and I can see nothing improper about it, that you may wish to consult with one another and you may or some of you may put up largely combined Heads, but that's a matter for you - can you see any objection to that? As I understand it, you were a unit and I think you can discuss the matter yourselves. Do any of you object to that? Do you wish to address us this afternoon, or tomorrow and then you may have to repeat it on a different basis if we have then received further information? Mr Hattingh.

MR HATTINGH: I will go along with the Committee's suggestions, Mr Chairman.

MR RAMAWELE: I think also Mr Chairman it will be prudent to adjourn and find out first what the Harms Commission's findings were and then after that we can then decide to submit our submissions.

MR LAMEY: Chairperson, I also go along with the Committee's suggestion.

MR ROSSOUW: I share that view Mr Chairman.

MR PRINSLOO: Likewise Mr Chairman, I share that view. Thank you Mr Chairman.

MS VAN DER WALT: I do too, Mr Chairman.

MR ROUX: I so as well, Mr Chairman.

MR NTHAI: Well, it has been my view since this morning.

MS COLERIDGE: I share that view Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: One matter which I have not discussed with the Committee, which I'm going to volunteer my suggestion now, if they disagree they can say so. If there is only one point or one issue in the Harms Inquiry that we think calls for some explanation, we might request the representative of the person concerned, to make a submission in that regard which we would obviously circulate to everybody else, rather than have a public inquiry just to put one point to somebody. Do you gentlemen all agree with that? Very well. Were you going to say something?

MR LAMEY: I was just worrying about one aspect and that is in this matter I do foresee perhaps some debate as to some of the applicants as to whether they qualify for amnesty for the death of a particular person in the course of the events. What I was thinking of on the spur of the moment is that if, after we have submitted Heads and the Committee does have a problem with certain aspects, whether we shouldn't perhaps just - you refer back to us and say address us perhaps more on this aspect, that would have been the advantage of a verbal or oral argument.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I see that. I don't want to, in fact I don't know if one couldn't embark on a brief oral argument now, this is on the question, is it of the two ambushes, call them what you will, or are you - do you ask for amnesty for both, or do you ask for amnesty for the one in which you were concerned?

MR LAMEY: Yes, that is actually the question.

CHAIRPERSON: Do we want to hear argument now? Are you happy? Well I don't see that that can be influenced in any way by the evidence we might or might not obtain and it will not be prejudice, you will not be making any submissions that are prejudicial to your clients, or could be prejudicial in the light of other information. If counsel would like to address us on that now so they don't have to bother about that, if they've ...

MR LAMEY: Chairperson, what I was thinking of is, I don't know whether that is practically feasible, is that we do make the written submissions as to how we see it, but if there is perhaps a problem from the Committee's side and you want to hear us further on that aspect that you then allow us to address you further and also in written argument or by way of a further submission to you on a specific point.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, we have embarked on a slightly different procedure here. We will not cut you short. If we are going to take a different line which you have not dealt with in your Heads, we will notify you to give you the opportunity to make further submissions in that regard, should you wish to do so.

MR LAMEY: Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And I would like to thank all of you for your assistance here and to apologise to you for saying that I thought we were going to start at half-past nine on the first morning. My secretary informs me that that was not the agreement. Thank you all for everything.