DATE: 30TH AUGUST 2000

NAME: MARTINUS DAWID RAS

APPLICATION NO: AM5183/96

DAY: 11

--------------------------------------------------------------------------CHAIRPERSON: I believe we finished with one applicant yesterday, who is the next?

MR JANSEN: Thank you, Chair, Jansen on record. The agreement between the representatives is that applicant Ras will testify next.

CHAIRPERSON: Is he with us?

MR JANSEN: He's with us and I wish to call him in support of his own application. He's be testifying in Afrikaans. Thank you, Chair. And he will take the oath.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Jansen.

MARTINUS DAWID RAS: (sworn states)

ADV BOSMAN: The applicant is duly sworn, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Jansen?

EXAMINATION BY MR JANSEN: Thank you, Chair.

Mr Ras, you are one of the applicants in this application to which we can refer to as the Khanya House application, is that correct?

MR RAS: Yes, that is correct.

MR JANSEN: And your written application which you submitted initially to the TRC, appears on page 267 and onwards in these documents.

MR RAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR JANSEN: In preparation for this hearing you once again studied your application.

MR RAS: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: Furthermore, you studied some of the other applicants' applications and allegations in as far as it was of application to yours.

MR RAS: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: Just for the sake of background, at the stage when you compiled your application, did you have any access to the versions of any of the other applicants, whether it be by means of access to their applications or their versions and discussions and so forth?

MR RAS: No.

MR JANSEN: Did you have any other documentation or something other with which you could refresh your memory?

MR RAS: No.

MR JANSEN: With the exception of certain qualifications and additions which you will bring about in your verbal evidence, do you confirm the content of your application, both regarding the political motivation and political background, as well as the facts of the case itself?

MR RAS: Yes.

MR JANSEN: You are aware that some of the evidence which was heard at the beginning of the so-called De Kock clusters pertaining to Vlakplaas, its background and its working methods.

MR RAS: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: And you wish for that evidence which was given during those proceedings to be incorporated with your application in this matter.

MR RAS: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: With regard to the incident at Khanya House, there are a number of versions which were put by the other applicants, which differ somewhat from yours. The first difference is that you state the involvement of one, Blackie Swart, who is not an applicant in this matter and has been put on the record by his legal representative as not being involved in the case, what is your commentary regarding this?

MR RAS: Chairperson, at that stage I believed that he was involved. I have rethought my belief and I cannot place him at this case with a specific date.

MR JANSEN: Therefore you accept that you may be mistaken with regard to his involvement?

MR RAS: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: The following is an allegation which you make in your application, namely that a television was removed from the scene by Mr Brits, now Mr Brits states that it was a computer. Furthermore he states that he did not leave there on foot. Did you ever see him with this article that you have mentioned?

MR RAS: No, Chairperson, it was a jocular statement which was made on the farm at that stage, I did not see him remove a television physically as such.

MR JANSEN: Therefore it was hearsay that you heard later?

MR RAS: Yes, Chairperson.

MR JANSEN: Very well. You also made an allegation regarding an identikit which Gen Engelbrecht brought to the farm and that the identikit had the face of Mr de Kock on it. Once again, Mr de Kock states that there were identikits but that no-one who was depicted on those identikits could clearly refer to him, what is your commentary?

MR RAS: I will accept Mr de Kock's version, I did not see the identikits myself. Once again it was mentioned at a certain point on the farm where someone made a comment about it. It is possible that this person didn't see the identikit himself and simply drew an inference that Mr de Kock had indeed been identified and that he was on one of the identikits, meaning that he would have been confronted by one of the policemen that night.

MR JANSEN: Another aspect is the application of Mr Flores. You state that you held watch outside the building with Mr Flores.

MR RAS: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: Mr Flores states in his application that he was standing guard with Mr du Plessis outside the building, what is your commentary?

MR RAS: No, as far as I can recall to this day, it was Mr Flores and I who stood guard together outside the overhead roof next to the building which was burnt down.

MR JANSEN: So you will maintain your version?

MR RAS: Yes.

MR JANSEN: And you were also armed, according to your recollection.

MR RAS: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: And the purpose was in the eventuality of someone arriving at the scene, you would have to shoot or kill such a person.

MR RAS: Yes, that is correct.

MR JANSEN: Just with regard to this, with the exception that there was always the inherent danger for an operation to go awry, what were your orders? Was the operation aimed in any way at the injury or death of any persons?

MR RAS: No, Chairperson, the idea was to prevent or avoid injuries or loss of life in as far as it was possible.

MR JANSEN: You were not involved in the identification of Khanya House as a target, is that correct?

MR RAS: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: Furthermore, you were not involved in the evaluation of Khanya House as a legitimate target?

MR RAS: No, Chairperson.

MR JANSEN: What, according to your recollection, was the purpose of the operation as it was related to you?

MR RAS: It was a Stratcom action in the sense that the printing press had to be destroyed because propaganda material was being published by means of this printing press.

MR JANSEN: Did you regard your actions with regard to this incident as part of your duties there at Vlakplaas?

MR RAS: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR JANSEN: Did you regard it as an action which was aimed at the safety of the State dispensation at that stage?

MR RAS: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: Did you receive any special remuneration for this operation?

MR RAS: No, Chairperson.

MR JANSEN: Before or during the operation, were you aware of the presence of persons in Khanya House?

MR RAS: No.

MR JANSEN: Mr Flores alleges that, or at least one would infer from the context of his allegation, that during the operation there was a realisation that there were persons in the building, but nonetheless the operation continued. According to you, could that statement be correct?

MR RAS: No, Chairperson, as far as I know, Mr Flores was with me and as far as I can recall, as far as I know, at that stage when we were executing the orders we did not know and during the action we did not know. Perhaps subsequent to the operation it was mentioned or it was heard that there were persons in the building.

MR JANSEN: You've stated that it could have been Mr de Kock that said so.

MR RAS: Yes, or it could have been in the papers.

MR JANSEN: When could that admission have been?

MR RAS: I cannot recall if it was that same night or the following day.

MR JANSEN: But would it have been subsequent to the operation?

MR RAS: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: In your application you are not specific regarding the offences for which you have applied for amnesty, but you apply for arson and to the extent that the fact corroborate this, attempted murder or any other offences which may emanate from the facts.

MR RAS: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: Thank you, Chair, nothing further.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR JANSEN

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Jansen. Mr Hattingh?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HATTINGH: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Ras, you and Mr Flores were armed in order to thwart any danger to the operation from the outside, is that correct?

MR RAS: I wouldn't say from the outside, I would say that if any kind of situation occurred on the premises, but we were not aware of any persons on the premises or any guards on the premises.

MR HATTINGH: So you did not expect to find anybody there?

MR RAS: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: Was it important to you that this operation be kept as secret as possible because you as Vlakplaas members were involved in this operation at Khanya House?

MR RAS: I think that any police involvement and not necessarily only Vlakplaas involvement, should have to be kept secret at any cost.

MR HATTINGH: Thank you, Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR HATTINGH

MR VAN DER MERWE: Van der Merwe on record, no questions thank you, Chair.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nel?

MR NEL: Thank you Chair, I have no questions for Mr Ras.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR NEL

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Wagener?

MR WAGENER: Chairman, I have no questions, thank you.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR WAGENER

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Joubert?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR JOUBERT: Thank you, Chair, just one or two questions.

Mr Ras, on page 273 of your application where you summarise the Nature and the Particulars, you state that Col de Kock told you that Col McIntyre directed the request for Unit C1 or Vlakplaas, to become involved in the operation. You do not have any personal knowledge that Brig McIntyre indeed made this request?

MR RAS: No.

MR JOUBERT: No further questions, thank you Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR JOUBERT

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Lamey?

MR LAMEY: I've got no questions, thank you Chairperson.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR LAMEY

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr du Plessis?

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

NO QUESTIONS BY MR DU PLESSIS

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Cornelius?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR CORNELIUS: Thank you, Mr Chair.

Mr Ras, Mr Flores will testify that although you were under the impression that he was armed, he did not have a weapon but a stick, do you know anything about this?

MR RAS: No, Chairperson, I cannot recall anything like that.

MR CORNELIUS: And then you moved around rather freely on the ground level and the first storey.

MR RAS: No, we were outside the building under the overhead roof.

MR CORNELIUS: The other parties were in the building?

MR RAS: Yes, the others were inside the building and on the ground floor as far as I know, but we were outside.

MR CORNELIUS: So it was clear that you would not have moved around as freely if you thought that there were people in the building?

MR RAS: Yes, the idea at that stage was that it was not necessary to render the place secure on this inside, but on the outside.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you attend the hearings yesterday?

MR RAS: No.

MR CORNELIUS: I will quote to you from Exhibit C, which is a document called: "After the Fire", in which the statement is made:

"It seems that the arsonists were under the impression that there was no-one in the building, as they moved around fairly freely on the ground and first floors, Brother Jude said at a press conference shortly after the attack."

That is also your sentiment?

MR RAS: Yes, that is how it was.

MR CORNELIUS: Thank you, Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR CORNELIUS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Cornelius. Ms Cambanis?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chair.

Sir, were you part of the surveillance teams?

MR JANSEN: Mr Chair, just a technical problem.

MS CAMBANIS: We're just waiting for headphones. Thank you, Chair.

Sir, were you part of any of the so-called recces that were undertaken prior to this event, action?

MR RAS: Not as far as I can recall.

MS CAMBANIS: When were you first briefed about this operation?

MR RAS: As far as I can recall it was the afternoon before the operation was to take place. I do not recall whether it was any longer before the time.

MS CAMBANIS: And who was present at this briefing?

MR RAS: As far as I can recall it was everyone who was to be involved that evening.

MS CAMBANIS: Briefed by Mr de Kock?

MR RAS: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: And as you remember, the purpose of this operation was to destroy the printing press, you say.

MR RAS: Yes, the printing press, that is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: Were you briefed about the layout of the building?

MR RAS: No, Chairperson, I would have served in a protective capacity, primarily on the outside for the other members who were on the inside.

MS CAMBANIS: Was it not explained that the printing press was actually housed in a separate building to Khanya House? As you remember.

MR RAS: Chairperson, it is possible that it may have been explained to other persons who specifically were involved with the task itself, I was not. It was my task to protect from the outside and I was not directly briefed regarding the printing press. It may be that I was briefed, but I cannot really recall because it didn't really have any bearing on me.

CHAIRPERSON: If I may interpose here, Ms Cambanis.

When you were briefed the afternoon before the attack, were you people not all together at Vlakplaas, or were you briefed separately? Because what I understood you to say is that everyone who was to be involved was briefed the afternoon before, but now you cannot recall what obtained in the briefing.

MR RAS: Chairperson, there were various task groups who were also briefed separately regarding their specific tasks. In general we were explained what we were supposed to do, then subsequently, the individual members were given the individual tasks. As far as I can recall, Flores and I were involved in securing the area and providing protection. There wasn't a briefing session where every person had to remember everything that was going to take place.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, you may proceed Ms Cambanis.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you.

At the general briefing what was told to you, as far as you remember now?

MR RAS: As far as I can recall, weapons were issued to us and we were informed that we were supposed to provide protection for those members who were to enter the premises and that they were going to destroy the printing press by means of fire. We were not informed regarding how it was going to be burned and so forth, I was just very briefly informed regarding what was going to happen.

MS CAMBANIS: Are you saying that weapons were issued to everyone at the general briefing?

MR RAS: No, as I have already explained, we were separately briefed, Leon Flores and I were separately briefed. As far as I can recall the two of us were issued with weapons. It is possible that he was issued with something else, but I was issued with a .22 fitted with a silencer.

MS CAMBANIS: Sorry about the confusion, Mr Ras, I asked at the general briefing, please tell us what you recall from the general briefing.

MR RAS: Chairperson, as far as I can recall, during the general briefing session it was said to us that there was a request from McIntyre from Head Office, that a Stratcom action was to take place, that things were being published at that stage for the purposes of propaganda against the government, that the premises and the printing press were being used for that and that the printing press had to be destroyed and that the operation would take place that night.

I cannot recall that all of us were at that point briefed regarding what every person would do and it wasn't necessary for every person to know what every other person was going to do, everyone had a specific task. As far as I can recall, Leon Flores and I were briefed regarding what our task was, it was protection, I was issued with a .22. That is what we did that evening.

MS CAMBANIS: At the general briefing, was a map or a drawing of the general layout of Khanya House shown to the people who would be participating in the operation?

MR RAS: Chairperson, I cannot recall, I don't know at all.

MS CAMBANIS: Is it possible that maps were shown, or plans were shown?

MR RAS: Well I would have to speculate, but the fact is that it is a possibility and the same possibility exists that Pretoria branch must have been familiar with the premises and that people had entered the premises on previous occasions. However, I didn't have any concrete knowledge of that, I didn't know for certain whether this had indeed taken place.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr Ras, isn't it the Vlakplaas operatives who entered the building to distribute the inflammable liquid?

MR RAS: Not all of us were from Vlakplaas.

MS CAMBANIS: From where?

MR RAS: There were members of the Technical Unit, they had to open the locks, there was also a member of the Demolitions Unit, they could have had a map of the layout of the building. No map was ever shown to me, I didn't see anything like that.

MS CAMBANIS: As I understood Mr de Kock's evidence yesterday, and Mr Hattingh can help me, it was the Vlakplaas operatives who entered and distributed the petrol within the building. Is that correct, Mr Hattingh?

MR HATTINGH: Not only Vlakplaas operatives, Mr Chairman.

MR LAMEY: Sorry, my impression was also not all of them.

MS CAMBANIS: I apologise, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr Ras, do you know - you heard Mr Brits yesterday, he's one of your colleagues from Vlakplaas, he's one of the persons who entered the building. Did you attend - were you present when he was briefed about how to distribute and what to do with the petrol once you got to the building?

MR RAS: Chairperson, in the first place, I was not present here yesterday afternoon and in the second place, I cannot recall that I was briefed with him regarding what his work was.

MS CAMBANIS: So as you understand it then, a series of briefings took place, one with the outside guards, one with the people to distribute petrol or whatever it is? You just remember what you had to do.

MR RAS: Well every person was briefed regarding what he was supposed to do and in my opinion everybody then did what they were supposed to do.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr Ras, what do you know about the explosives that were planted at Khanya House?

MR RAS: I had no knowledge of that.

MS CAMBANIS: Prior to the operation you had no knowledge of that?

MR RAS: No, Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: And subsequent to the operation, did you know that explosives had been planted at Vlakplaas(sic)?

MR RAS: Yes, Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Who planted the explosives at Khanya House?

MR RAS: I don't know.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr de Kock has said that it was from Vlakplaas, are you telling me that amongst yourselves you don't know who planted it? The explosives.

CHAIRPERSON: If they were briefed separately and he had to stand guard, how would he? Because apparently, if I understood his testimony, after they were told generally about Khanya House, each group was briefed with the task they had to perform

MS CAMBANIS: Yes Chair, I asked afterwards if he found out.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, thank you.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you.

MR RAS: No, Chairperson, the way I came to find out that there were explosives on the scene was that we had a discussion and ...(intervention)

INTERPRETER: I beg your pardon, the Interpreter did not get the name of the person that the witness has mentioned. Could the witness please repeat the name of the person who he's just mentioned.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Ras, the Interpreter asks for you to repeat the name that you mentioned, she did not hear it.

MR RAS: Chairperson, as far as I can recall, the following or the day thereafter my father who at that stage was second-in-command at the branch, mentioned that during the cleaning up session after the fire explosives were found, but he was not aware of my involvement with the incident.

INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone.

MS CAMBANIS: Sorry. As far as you were concerned, I thought you'd said that you knew that explosives had been planted at Khanya House - earlier in your evidence. Did you not say that, Mr Ras?

MR RAS: Yes, you asked me if I found out at a later stage, and yes, I did. A day or two afterwards it was mentioned to me and not by one of the members of Vlakplaas, but my father told me, who worked at the branch at that stage.

MS CAMBANIS: Sir, you said that you stood guard - I thought you said that you stood guard on the overhead roof, if my translation, did you say that?

MR RAS: Yes, as far as I can recall the overhead roof on the outside, yes there were on the outside and that's where we stood.

MS CAMBANIS: Is that an office that's attached to the main building of Khanya House, or is it a different structure that you're talking about?

MR RAS: As far as I know it was a vehicle garage.

CHAIRPERSON: Would that be translated into a car port?

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chair.

Mr Ras, is that on the premises of Khanya House?

MR RAS: Yes, as far as I can recall.

MS CAMBANIS: And do you recall what time did you arrive at the scene?

MR RAS: I will have to speculate now, it was approximately 10 or 11 o'clock, it could be any time. I cannot recall.

MS CAMBANIS: And when you arrived at the scene to the time that you left the scene, how long do you think that was? An estimate, obviously.

MR RAS: 10 minutes, I do not know, it wasn't very long.

MS CAMBANIS: You arrived in a kombi, is that correct?

MR RAS: That is correct, yes.

MS CAMBANIS: You got out of the kombi and you were, were you told then that you must go and stand guard?

MR RAS: No, it was told to me at the farm and that is where I got the weapon as well.

MS CAMBANIS: And that is the first time that you'd been to Khanya House?

MR RAS: That is correct, yes, some of the other members were supposed to have been there by that stage, I do not know who, because we came from the church's side.

MS CAMBANIS: So you mean a second group should have been there already, arriving earlier than you?

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

MS CAMBANIS: Please explain.

MR RAS: No, I'm not saying that there was a second group, I'm saying that some of the members at a previous time did some reconnaissance, observations, who knew the terrain and then when we got out of the kombi we went round the back, climbed over the fence, but some of the members knew the whole set-up of the area or the terrain.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr Ras, one of the applicants that I can't recall right now, has referred to Khanya House as the residence, as a residence, do you recall that information being given to you? At page 313 of the bundle - Mr du Toit.

CHAIRPERSON: They normally refer to him as WAL.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: WAL du Toit.

MR RAS: No, Mr Chairperson, I cannot recall that, what was told to me was that there was a printing press and this had to be destroyed.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Mr Ras. Thank you Chair, I have nothing further.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS CAMBANIS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Cambanis. Ms Patel?

MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson, I have no questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Bosman?

ADV BOSMAN: Just one question, thank you.

Mr Ras, something that is strange is that in your application you testified on, or implicated people on hearsay, why did you do it?

MR RAS: Mr Chairperson, because it was not a court hearing and we had to disclose everything that we knew and that is why I did it.

ADV BOSMAN: But the fact that you connected Mr Brits with a television and you just heard in a joke that somebody took a television, why would you include a joke in your full disclosure?

MR RAS: Mr Chairperson, let me put it like this, at the stage I was in front of McAdam, he assisted me, it was approximately 24 hours that we took to write all these documents, it could have been that it was included in the statement and when I read the statement for the second time I saw that it was mentioned there. I cannot give you an explanation, except that I was quite tired after all the statements that I made at that stage. I tried to - I did not want to include Mr Brits in any way, it's just something that happened, I cannot really explain it.

ADV BOSMAN: I do know that you wanted to tell the truth, but it's just strange that you would mention something like this that was a joke and that you heard from somebody else. In as far as it pertains to Mr Engelbrecht or Brig Engelbrecht, did you specifically ask him or mention something that looks as if it was just added?

MR RAS: Well he did come forward with identikits and it was mentioned that people were identified, but I personally did not see the identikits and at that stage when I mentioned it, I included it.

ADV BOSMAN: If you now look at your statement, what made you think of Brig Engelbrecht?

MR RAS: Because he was directly involved in the investigation, because he arrived on the farm with the identikits.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Sandi?

ADV SANDI: I hope in your testimony today you have not included any jokes, Mr Ras, have you?

MR RAS: Yes Mr Chairperson, I do not see this whole process as a joke.

ADV SANDI: Thank you. Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Advocate Sandi. Any re-examination, Mr Jansen?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR JANSEN: Thank you, Chair, just one very small issue.

Mr Ras, you referred to your father who worked at the branch, who was involved at the branch, and you are referring to the Pretoria branch of the Security force.

MR RAS: Yes, it was the Northern Transvaal branch.

MR JANSEN: Yes. Thank you very much, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR JANSEN

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Jansen. Thank you, Mr Ras. May I say "junior", just to make it clear that we are not talking about your father. You are excused.

WITNESS EXCUSED

MR CORNELIUS: Thank you, Mr Chair, I believe by agreement with my learned colleagues not calling any witnesses, I'm next with Mr Vermeulen.

NAME: NICOLAAS JOHANNES VERMEULEN

APPLICATION NO: AM4358/96

--------------------------------------------------------------------------CHAIRPERSON: I take it he's going to testify in Afrikaans?

MR CORNELIUS: Correct, Mr Chair.

NICOLAAS JOHANNES VERMEULEN: (sworn states)

ADV BOSMAN: The applicant's duly sworn, Chairperson.

EXAMINATION BY MR CORNELIUS: Thank you, Mr Chair.

Mr Vermeulen, you are an applicant for amnesty in this matter and you've given your full co-operation to the TRC, is that correct?

MR VERMEULEN: That is correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: You were stationed at Vlakplaas, with the general background as has been submitted before to this Committee. What rank did you have at that stage?

MR VERMEULEN: I was a Warrant Officer.

MR CORNELIUS: Can you recall this specific Khanya House incident?

MR VERMEULEN: Yes.

MR CORNELIUS: And you stood under the command of Eugene de Kock and worked on a need-to-know basis and followed all his instructions.

MR VERMEULEN: That is correct.

MR CORNELIUS: Can you tell the Committee what your role was in this incident.

MR VERMEULEN: Mr Chairperson, I was only involved in the dousing of the building, the pouring out of the petrol and the setting alight of the building.

MR CORNELIUS: Was it petrol mixed with something else?

MR VERMEULEN: Yes, as far as I can recall it was ordinary petrol, but there could have been soap that was added to it, I cannot recall.

MR CORNELIUS: You did not mix it?

MR VERMEULEN: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: You've heard the evidence of Col de Kock, what section of the building did you set alight?

MR VERMEULEN: It was on the first floor and the ground floor.

MR CORNELIUS: And according to your knowledge was there anybody in the building?

MR VERMEULEN: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: You walked freely around on the ground floor and the first floor?

MR VERMEULEN: Yes, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you remove anything from the building?

MR VERMEULEN: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: And afterwards, did you then leave or withdraw?

MR VERMEULEN: Yes.

MR CORNELIUS: Were you armed?

MR VERMEULEN: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Was any disciplinary action taken against you for this incident?

MR VERMEULEN: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you receive any remuneration for this?

MR VERMEULEN: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you have any feelings of malice or revenge against the owners of that house?

MR VERMEULEN: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: You apply for amnesty in front of this Committee for arson, damaging of property, conspiracy and any delicts or offences that may emanate from it and anything that may emanate from what I've just mentioned, is that correct?

MR VERMEULEN: Yes, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Thank you, Mr Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR CORNELIUS

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Hattingh?

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

NO QUESTIONS BY MR HATTINGH

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van der Merwe?

MR VAN DER MERWE: No questions, thank you Chair

NO QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nel?

MR NEL: Thank you, Chair, no questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR NEL

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Wagener?

MR WAGENER: I have no questions, Chairman.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR WAGENER

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Jansen.

MR JANSEN: No questions, thank you Chair.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR JANSEN

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Joubert?

MR JOUBERT: No questions, thank you Mr Chair.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR JOUBERT

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Lamey?

MR LAMEY: Thank you. No questions, Chairperson.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR LAMEY

CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis?

MR DU PLESSIS: No questions, Mr Chairman, thank you.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR DU PLESSIS

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Cambanis?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chair.

Mr Vermeulen, who went onto the second and third floor of the building?

MR VERMEULEN: I do not know, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Do you know whether people went onto the second and third floor of the building?

MR VERMEULEN: I'm not quite sure, I was just involved in the first floor and the ground floor. There could have been people who could have gone upstairs, but as far as I know I cannot recall that the building had so many floors or levels.

MS CAMBANIS: We know now that there were seven people who were asleep on the second floor of the building, have you heard that, been informed of that?

MR VERMEULEN: Yes, Mr Chairperson, but that was after the operation.

MS CAMBANIS: Did you hear it the following day, that seven people had been asleep on the second floor?

MR VERMEULEN: I'm not quite sure when I heard it, but I think it was the next day or sometime afterwards.

MS CAMBANIS: And you don't know who was responsible for going onto the second and third floors?

MR VERMEULEN: No, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: You never asked questions?

MR VERMEULEN: No, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: It was never discussed between yourselves?

MR VERMEULEN: No, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Do you know if there is an applicant who is going to come forward and say they were on the second or third floor? Do you know that, Mr Vermeulen?

MR VERMEULEN: I think there will be one.

MS CAMBANIS: On person?

MR VERMEULEN: Yes.

MS CAMBANIS: And that you know from discussing outside?

MR VERMEULEN: That's correct.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes. When was the first time that you ever went to Khanya House, was it that night?

MR VERMEULEN: That night, yes, Mr Chairman.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chairperson, no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MS CAMBANIS: Sorry, Chairperson, I do, I've made a mistake.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay.

MS CAMBANIS: On the ground floor, Sir, do you remember which structures you entered?

MR VERMEULEN: As far as I can know I just went into the passage and I sprinkled the petrol and I opened a couple of doors that were closed, but they weren't locked. That's all, Mr Chairman.

MS CAMBANIS: Do you remember a room that looked like it had shelves full of documents? The documentation centre, full of papers, an office?

MR VERMEULEN: No, Mr Chairman.

MS CAMBANIS: You didn't yourself enter that?

MR VERMEULEN: No.

MS CAMBANIS: Do remember that there was another office jutting out of the building that was not doused at all?

MR VERMEULEN: No, I didn't know about that, Mr Chairman.

MS CAMBANIS: Did you have any instructions to leave certain offices not doused in petrol?

MR VERMEULEN: No, Mr Chairman.

MS CAMBANIS: When did you attend the briefing session?

MR VERMEULEN: The afternoon before the operation.

MS CAMBANIS: And you've heard what Mr Ras has said about the briefing.

MR VERMEULEN: That's correct.

MS CAMBANIS: And is that your recollection?

MR VERMEULEN: Yes, Mr Chairman.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chair, now I definitely do not have any further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS CAMBANIS

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Vermeulen, was the building lit when you entered it?

MR VERMEULEN: Just repeat that question please, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Was the building lit, was there light when you entered through the passages?

MR VERMEULEN: Yes, yes, it wasn't completely dark, we could see where we're going.

CHAIRPERSON: No, no, I'm not saying it's semi or what, was there light like we are in this room?

MR VERMEULEN: As far as I can recollect it was, ja, there were lights in the passage, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: The other rooms which you found not locked, was there light in them?

MR VERMEULEN: Not all of them, as far as I can recall, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Vermeulen. Ms Patel?

MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson, I have no questions for this witness.

NO QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Bosman?

ADV BOSMAN: I have no questions, thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Sandi?

ADV SANDI: No questions, thank you Chair.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Excuse me Chair, with your permission, through your questions there's just one aspect which I have to put to the witness of evidence that will come.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Thank you, you may do so, Mr van der Merwe.

ADV SANDI: Just before that, I've said I have no questions, I do in fact have one.

Can I just ask you, you've just said ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Could we have Mr van der Merwe first and then the Panel last.

ADV SANDI: Okay, sorry.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Mr Chair.

Mr Vermeulen, I appear on behalf of Kobus Kok and my instructions from him were that when he did go into the building he did switch off all the lights on all the levels, do you know about that?

MR VERMEULEN: No, I do not bear knowledge of that.

MR VAN DER MERWE: So when they entered the building they did switch off the power.

MR VERMEULEN: As far as I can recall it was light because we could see what we were doing.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr van der Merwe. Advocate Sandi, I'm sorry about that.

ADV SANDI: Thank you, Chair.

You've just said there was light in the building, but were you not concerned that you could be identified?

MR VERMEULEN: No, Mr Chair.

ADV SANDI: Weren't you wearing a balaclava or something?

MR VERMEULEN: I had one on when we were travelling in the bus, but I don't think I had it on, I took it off because it was quite hot, Mr Chair.

ADV SANDI: Were you the only one who had a balaclava covering his head?

MR VERMEULEN: Not as far as I know, I think there were more people, Mr Chairman.

ADV SANDI: Thank you. Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Now finally, any re-examination, Mr Cornelius?

MR CORNELIUS: I've no re-examination, that concludes this application. Thank you, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Vermeulen, you are excused.

MR VERMEULEN: Thank you, Sir.

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: Are you leading further evidence in respect of Mr Vermeulen, or are you calling another applicant, Mr Cornelius?

MR VAN DER MERWE: I'm not leading any further evidence. My learned colleague, Mr Nel will proceed with Mr Hanton, Mr Chair. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Nel?

MR NEL: Thank you, Mr Chair, my client Mr Hanton and Oom Snor will be travelling to Durban after he's testified and ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: He's travelling with Mr Snor.

MR NEL: He's travelling with Mr Snor.

CHAIRPERSON: Not Mr Snor, Oom Snor.

MR NEL: Mr Chairman, Mr Hanton will be testifying in English and he will take the oath.

NAME: LARRY JOHN HANTON

APPLICATION NO: AM4076/96

--------------------------------------------------------------------------LARRY JOHN HANTON: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Hanton, you may be seated. Mr Nel?

EXAMINATION BY MR NEL: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Hanton, you're an applicant in these proceedings and your application is found in the bundle on page 151 and onwards, is that correct?

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR NEL: You've also attached in amplification of your political objectives, the submissions made by Gen van der Merwe to the TRC, which was dated the 21st of October '96, do you ask this Committee to incorporate that as part of your evidence?

MR HANTON: I do, Mr Chairperson.

MR NEL: Do you confirm the correctness of your affidavit, save for corrections that we'll make?

MR HANTON: I do, Mr Chairperson.

MR NEL: Just before we carry on, is it correct at a previous hearing we handed in documentation to prove that you suffer

from post-traumatic stress disorder and the result of that is that you suffer from poor memory?

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR NEL: And that was accepted by the Committee then.

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR NEL: At the time of this incident you were a member of the police, stationed at Vlakplaas, under the command of Col de Kock.

MR HANTON: I was, Mr Chairperson.

MR NEL: This incident specifically, you were tasked to be one of the guards outside Khanya House.

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR NEL: You did not enter the premises at all?

MR HANTON: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR NEL: Were you carrying a weapon at all on the evening?

MR HANTON: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR NEL: Did you know at all when you went to Khanya House that there were people in the building?

MR HANTON: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR NEL: You heard later or after the event that there in fact people in the building?

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairperson, although I can't remember how I heard, when I heard.

MR NEL: Did you receive a reward for your participation in this event?

MR HANTON: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR NEL: You ask then for amnesty for arson and any other offence that goes along with your participation in this event, is that correct?

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR NEL: Thank you, Mr Chairman, that is the evidence.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR NEL

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Nel. Mr Hattingh, any questions?

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

NO QUESTIONS BY MR HATTINGH

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van der Merwe?

MR VAN DER MERWE: I have no questions thank you, Mr Chair.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Wagener?

MR WAGENER: Chairman, I have no questions, thank you.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR WAGENER

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Jansen?

MR JANSEN: Thank you Chair, no questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR JANSEN

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Joubert?

MR JOUBERT: Thank you Chair, no questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR JOUBERT

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Lamey?

MR LAMEY: No questions, thank you.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR LAMEY

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr du Plessis?

MR DU PLESSIS: No questions, Mr Chairman.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR DU PLESSIS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Cornelius?

MR CORNELIUS: I have no questions, thank you Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Cambanis?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chair.

Mr Hanton, I assume it was the first time that you'd been to Khanya House, that evening?

MR HANTON: It was, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: And you stood outside, you know nothing about the inside of Khanya House, is that correct?

MR HANTON: No, I don't, Mr Chairperson.

ADV SANDI: Sorry, can I just ask.

Did you know of this place before you went there? Did you know about it?

MR HANTON: No, I heard it the day of the operation.

ADV SANDI: No, what I'm asking, did you know that there was this place known as Khanya House, before you went there?

MR HANTON: Oh, when I went there, yes that night, yes. I heard about it yes, before. Before the briefing I didn't know about it.

ADV SANDI: Thank you.

MS CAMBANIS: And the whole time you were outside, so you know nothing about what happened inside the building, is that correct?

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: And after the operation, it wasn't discussed amongst yourselves due to secrecy of who done what, is that correct?

MR HANTON: That's correct, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: At the briefing I'm sure you were not told anything about the building being a residence, were you?

MR HANTON: Not that I can remember, Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes. And you definitely don't recall who else was involved, is that correct?

MR HANTON: That is correct, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chairperson, there is nothing further.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS CAMBANIS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Cambanis. Ms Patel?

MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson, no questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Bosman?

ADV BOSMAN: No questions, thank you Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Sandi?

ADV SANDI: Yes, just one question.

If you were not armed whilst you were standing outside, how were you hoping to protect and defend yourself if anyone came to attack you?

MR HANTON: Chairperson, I can't remember what I had, but it was possible I had the so-called cosh, basically a lead ball covered in leather, which is highly effective if used correctly.

ADV SANDI: Thank you. Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you recall when you started supporting Inkatha?

MR HANTON: It was during the period that I was transferred. I was at Durban Security Branch, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: That would be during the '70s?

MR HANTON: No, no, it was early '90s, Mr Chairperson, the '90s.

CHAIRPERSON: And prior to the '90s, did you support any political party?

MR HANTON: That National Party, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Nel, any re-examination?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR NEL: Just one question on the question of Adv Sandi, as to what my client would have used in defence.

Mr Hanton, is it correct that during this incident you were a lot slimmer and fitter than what you are now?

MR HANTON: Very much so, Mr Chairperson.

MR NEL: I have nothing further, thank you Mr Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR NEL

CHAIRPERSON: Is it because there's not much activity now?

MR NEL: Vlakplaas has been disbanded, Sir.

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

WITNESS EXCUSED

ADV BOSMAN: I was going to say, Mr Hanton, that I wouldn't quarrel with you in your present condition.

MR NEL: It's a good thing I'm his attorney, Ma'am.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, what is the arrangement?

MR CORNELIUS: Mr Chair, I believe I'm on the podium again, I call Mr Flores.

NAME: LEON WILLIAM JOHN FLORES

APPLICATION NO: AM4361/96

--------------------------------------------------------------------------ADV BOSMAN: Will you be testifying in Afrikaans?

MR FLORES: In English.

ADV BOSMAN: In English, well it's over to the Chairman then.

CHAIRPERSON: Could you give us your full names for the record, Mr Flores.

LEON WILLIAM JOHN FLORES: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much, you may be seated Mr Flores.

EXAMINATION BY MR CORNELIUS: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Flores, you're an applicant for amnesty in this matter and your application is to be found on folio 245 of the bundle, is that correct?

MR FLORES: That is correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Just for the sake of completeness, as far as paragraph 7(a) and 7(b) is concerned, were you a supporter of the National Party?

MR FLORES: That's correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: We find your political objectives set out from page 245 up until page 263 of the bundle, is that correct?

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: Do you confirm this to be your political belief at that time?

MR FLORES: That's correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: At the time this operation took place you were station at Vlakplaas, is that correct?

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: What was your rank?

MR FLORES: Sergeant, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Now on page 263 you refer to Kagiso House operation, what are you referring to? That's page 263, Mr Chair.

MR FLORES: I'm referring to Khanya House, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Do you wish that to be corrected then? Is that the way you thought the spelling used to be at that time?

MR FLORES: I don't know where I got that word from, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Fine, but this obviously refers to the Khanya House operation?

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: Could you give a brief outline of what your actions were that specific day?

MR FLORES: Mr Chairperson, yes, after we were briefed we were allocated certain ...(intervention)

MR CORNELIUS: Where were you briefed?

MR FLORES: At Vlakplaas.

MR CORNELIUS: What was your brief?

MR FLORES: We were basically just briefed what the set-up was of Khanya House and that the main objective was to destroy a printing press situated in the premises.

MR CORNELIUS: By what means?

MR FLORES: Arson, by burning it.

MR CORNELIUS: Were you involved in the direct planning or was this done on a different level?

MR FLORES: I was just at the briefing but in the direct planning, not at all, I wasn't present.

MR CORNELIUS: I see. There's evidence that has been led which was not disputed, that professional locksmiths were taken with to gain entrance, is that correct?

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: Now what did you exactly do on the scene, what was your actions at Khanya House?

MR FLORES: My task, Mr Chairperson, I had to just, once they opened the gates we had to enter and we were allocated to certain positions just to secure the perimeter.

MR CORNELIUS: What did you do?

MR FLORES: I went, if I can recall correctly, to the north side of the building. As I put in my application, I was accompanied with Capt du Plessis, but as previous applicants said, I was apparently with Mr Ras, which could be possible, I may have been confused.

MR CORNELIUS: I see. You're in doubt about that fact?

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: I see. Were you armed?

MR FLORES: I was armed with a pick handle.

MR CORNELIUS: Mr Ras said there's a possibility that you might have had a .22, what have you got to say about that?

MR FLORES: I cannot recall that. I won't dispute it, but I cannot recall it.

MR CORNELIUS: As far as you are concerned you had pick axe?

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: Was that purely to attack or of a defensive nature?

MR FLORES: Defensive, just in case someone did come in, we had to apprehend them, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Now you made two statements on page 265 or your application which we don't find in any other applications, where you say you received information:

"while we were busy with the operation that there were nuns on the top floor in Kagiso House, who were apparently resident there"

and then you say:

"We decided to carry on with our operation, notwithstanding the fact that they were in the building."

Are you sure about these facts?

MR FLORES: That is in my application, Mr Chairperson, but in the last two days listening to other applicants, definitely I was confused there, I must have heard that just after the incident or ...(indistinct)

MR CORNELIUS: When you drew your amnesty applications, did you have a long period of time to consider all the merits and did you have a period of time where you could consult with the other members involved?

MR FLORES: Not at all, I had 24 hours, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: And how many applications did you have to draw? Were you under pressure from the investigation team?

MR FLORES: Yes, I was, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: And if I recall correctly, you were also under pressure to be assistant with the exhumation of bodies and various things which placed a lot of pressure on you, is that correct?

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: In this 24-hour period of time, how many applications did you have to prepare?

MR FLORES: 18 in total, 18 different incidents, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Is that at your place of residence in Phalaborwa?

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: Was it done at the local hotel, if I remember correctly?

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you have knowledge that there were people in the building?

MR FLORES: Prior to the execution of the ...?

MR CORNELIUS: Yes, prior to the execution.

MR FLORES: Not at all.

MR CORNELIUS: When did it come to your knowledge that there were people in the building?

MR FLORES: As I've just said, Mr Chairperson, in my application I've stated that, as I've just said it was wrong, that while we were doing the security of the perimeter, but only afterwards.

MR CORNELIUS: How did it come to your knowledge then?

MR FLORES: It could have been later the evening when we returned back to Vlakplaas, that Col de Kock ...(intervention)

MR CORNELIUS: Are you sure of this fact or are you guessing?

MR FLORES: I'm just speculating by myself.

MR CORNELIUS: Yes, you must be precise. Did you move around freely in the building?

MR FLORES: No, I was just securing that one section.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you get any impression that there were people sleeping there?

MR FLORES: Not at all.

MR CORNELIUS: You heard what I read previously to a previous witness, Exhibit E, that it seems to be the impression of certain people at press conferences as well, that you people didn't know that there were people there, is that correct?

MR FLORES: That's correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you receive any bonus, except your salary, for your participation in this project?

MR FLORES: Nothing whatsoever, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Did you have any hate directed against the owners of the building?

MR FLORES: None whatsoever.

MR CORNELIUS: You are applying for amnesty to be granted for arson, malicious damage to property, conspiracy to commit a crime, possible offences under the Explosives Act, obviously defeating the ends of justice because you didn't disclose your participation and the true facts and then all delicts that may flow from your acts, is that correct?

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: Thank you, Mr Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR CORNELIUS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Cornelius. Mr Hattingh?

MR HATTINGH: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I do not have any questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR HATTINGH

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr van der Merwe?

MR VAN DER MERWE: No questions thank you, Mr Chair.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nel?

MR NEL: No questions, thank you Chairman.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR NEL

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Wagener?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR WAGENER: Mr Flores, I am appearing on behalf of Capt du Plessis and I just want to be certain, he will testify - I'm sorry, the witness gave evidence in English.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that's correct. He doesn't have earphones, would you attempt to communicate with him in English?

MR WAGENER: Capt du Plessis will testify that he was in fact one of the people that went into the building with petrol and that he did not stay outside with you. That will be his evidence.

MR FLORES: I won't dispute that, Mr Chairperson.

MR WAGENER: Thank you, Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR WAGENER

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Wagener. Mr Jansen?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR JANSEN: Thank you, Chair.

Mr Flores, your role was purely that of a minor operative in this operation.

MR FLORES: That's correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR JANSEN: If something had gone wrong inside the building or outside the building, it would not have been your decision to abandon the operation or to continue with it?

MR FLORES: Not at all, Mr Chairperson.

MR JANSEN: I know there's been a lot of argument in the entire process of the TRC, as to who has what discretion at what stage, but at least at the very most, either the people inside the building would have made such a decision to either continue or withdraw, or they would have relayed information to Col de Kock and he would have made those major decisions, correct?

MR FLORES: That is correct.

MR JANSEN: At the time that you were guarding this building, you did not have contact with either the people inside the building or with Mr de Kock?

MR FLORES: Not at all, Mr Chairperson.

MR JANSEN: Did you have any other contact with any of the other operatives guarding the building on the outside?

MR FLORES: Nothing whatsoever, except for the person with me.

MR JANSEN: Yes, and that was Ras?

MR FLORES: That's correct, I understood it now.

MR JANSEN: Thank you, Chair, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR JANSEN

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Jansen. Mr Joubert?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR JOUBERT: Thank you, Chair. Mr Flores, just a single question. When you refer to a directive, it's on page 263 of your application, received from the Security Branch in Pretoria, are you merely referring to the instructions that were given to you by Col de Kock during the briefing session?

MR FLORES: That's correct, I actually assumed it was the Security Branch and only at these hearings heard that it was Stratcom.

MR JOUBERT: I have no further questions, thank you Mr Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR JOUBERT

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Lamey?

MR LAMEY: I've got no questions, thank you Chairperson.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR LAMEY

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr du Plessis?

MR DU PLESSIS: I have no questions, Chairperson, thank you.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR DU PLESSIS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Cambanis?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chair.

Sir, are we to understand from your evidence today that you did not at all enter the structure of Khanya House?

MR FLORES: Not all, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Where were you?

MR FLORES: I was placed, designated on the north side, as I stated, and when Mr Ras gave his version his version just now I did recall that he was correct, at a gate under like a dome, if that's the right word I'm using.

CHAIRPERSON: You may take them off, he's testifying in English. You may take the earphones off, he's testifying in English.

MS CAMBANIS: Chairperson, I have a ...

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, an ear problem.

MS CAMBANIS: Sorry.

CHAIRPERSON: No, no that's okay.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr Ras said that as he recalled, that he was positioned on a carport, a roof of a carport, I think was the translation.

MR FLORES: That could be possible.

MS CAMBANIS: Your legal representative is pointing to a picture on page 7, if you can just look at that, of Exhibit E.

MR FLORES: That could be possible.

MS CAMBANIS: It's possible that it's that?

MR FLORES: Yes, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Just read the writing next to it. It says it is the remains of Khanya House print unit.

MR FLORES: That's correct, as I said, it could be possible. The evening we entered was the first time I ever saw the premises and have never been back since, so it's difficult to recall exactly where I was.

MS CAMBANIS: But the place that you were standing, were there operatives that entered the building that you were standing on?

MR FLORES: No, no, if I recall correctly there was some sort of gate.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes. Sir, I don't know your previous evidence, Sir, were you involved in how many arson attempts? How many applications involving arson have you applied to, to the TRC?

MR FLORES: Including this one, two, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: What was the other one?

MR FLORES: The other one hasn't been heard yet, it's still coming forth. It's an incident in Witbank.

MS CAMBANIS: Does the incident in Witbank involve a church?

MR FLORES: Yes, it does.

MS CAMBANIS: In which there were occupants at the time of the ...?

MR FLORES: No, there wasn't occupants, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Of the two arson events for which you apply, is this the only one which involved people being in the structure at the time that the operation was carried out?

MR FLORES: Just repeat that please.

MS CAMBANIS: You apply for two arson incidents.

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MS CAMBANIS: This one and the one in Witbank.

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MS CAMBANIS: The one in Witbank, no occupants at the time of the operation?

MR FLORES: That's correct, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: So therefore this is the only one that people were in during the time?

MR FLORES: That's correct, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Just look again at page 265, Mr Flores. Before you look at that, in any of your other applications for anything else, were nuns involved?

MR FLORES: No, no, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Was the church involved?

MR FLORES: Yes, Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Which one?

MR FLORES: The one in Witbank, I don't know what church it was, what denomination it was, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Now Sir, as it turns out the fact is that there were people in Khanya House that night and your sentence is factually correct to the extent that people were there at the time of the event, you know that now.

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MS CAMBANIS: Just please, it baffles me, can you explain to me where this sentence comes from?

MR FLORES: If I can put it as such, I think I totally misplaced and misphrased this section, Mr Chairperson, and as I previously stated as well, I did 18 different incidents within 24 hours.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes, Sir, and that is why I asked you about the nature of the operations and whether you were confusing it with one of the other 17 or 18 events.

MR FLORES: That's correct, but I think one can make a mistake, Mr Chairperson, if you are told after the incident that there were people in, like Mr de Kock gave in his evidence, saying that he saw a lady or a woman being carried down by fire department people and being a church, one would say that obviously it's going to be nuns and in that case it's just totally confused. If I can refer, I've got different names, I'm misplacing people, so this whole application of mine is a confusing one at present.

MS CAMBANIS: No, no, where have you misplaced names, Sir?

MR FLORES: I placed Mr du Plessis ...(intervention)

MS CAMBANIS: One error, yes? What other error is there?

MR FLORES: I said Kagiso House and not Khanya House.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes, and what else?

MR FLORES: I referred to Mr Ras saying I had a weapon and I say I had a pick handle.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes.

MR FLORES: That's basically it.

MS CAMBANIS: Sir, just please tell me this, can we agree that there is no other of your applications which you could have confused with this incident?

MR FLORES: That's correct, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes. As a matter of interest, why do you say it being a church you would have associated it with nuns?

MR FLORES: Being Catholic, they say it was Catholic, so I refer to women in Catholic churches as nuns.

MS CAMBANIS: And the Bishops that were present?

MR FLORES: It could have been Fathers.

MS CAMBANIS: Is this a laughing matter, Sir?

MR FLORES: Are you referring to me now?

MS CAMBANIS: Yes, I'm referring to you.

MR FLORES: I wasn't laughing now, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Being frivolous, Sir.

MR FLORES: Not at all.

MS CAMBANIS: Do you have anything to say to the people, the 70-year old nun, it being Catholic, that had to be rescued from the second floor that night?

MR FLORES: I can just state as Mr de Kock and Mr McIntyre have stated, is that my humble apologies for any inconvenience and the trauma they had at that stage and I apologise, I'm sorry for what happened.

MS CAMBANIS: Are you aware that seven people were trapped on the second floor that night?

MR FLORES: Only afterwards we were notified, yes.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes. Now if you look at page 265, you've made this inconceivable error, look at the next sentence:

"We decided to carry on with our operation, notwithstanding the fact that they were in the building."

MR FLORES: That's correct that I state it there, but that is also wrong there.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes, I've heard you say that is wrong. Do you see that that stands separately, that's a separate concept to the one in the second?

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MS CAMBANIS: And what do you say about besides that it is wrong? How is it possible?

MR FLORES: Mr Chairperson, I can't answer on that.

MS CAMBANIS: When you were writing this, who is the "we" that you refer to? At the time that you make this application, who is "we decided"?

MR FLORES: I presume if one would write "we" in the statement, it would say everyone involved in that specific incident.

MS CAMBANIS: And as you recall when you were recalling at the time of making the statement, how would that decision have been made out, amongst all of you in the operation?

MR FLORES: Mr Chairperson, one again, this is totally misinterpreted by me in the wrong manner and I can't answer on that.

MS CAMBANIS: Look at page 264, Mr Flores, the third sentence:

"The operation was carried out with military precision"

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MS CAMBANIS: Is that still correct today?

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MS CAMBANIS: Explain to us what you mean by that please.

MR FLORES: Military precision is terminology we use that there was a planning of the operation, certain people were allocated certain tasks and the Intelligence network and in covert operations one would refer to as military precision, Mr Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chair, I have nothing further for this witness.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS CAMBANIS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Cambanis. Ms Patel?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson.

Mr Flores, in your evidence-in-chief you stated that you were briefed at Vlakplaas, can you recall whether this was a general briefing session with all the operatives present?

MR FLORES: If I recall correctly, I could be wrong, Mr Chairperson, I presume we are all present at the general briefing.

MS PATEL: You also stated that you were told what the set-up of Khanya House was, what did you mean by that, can you elaborate?

MR FLORES: Yes, Mr Chairperson, basically the set-up is where we would enter, the north side where I was allocated to, what side the printing works would be, basically the infrastructure how it would be. I mean we wouldn't just enter not knowing where to go, what position.

MS PATEL: Okay. So was there a map or a plan there that was drawn, where you were shown where you were to be positioned?

MR FLORES: I can't recall any photos or plans as such, Mr Chairperson.

MS PATEL: But the layout of the building was definitely described to you.

MR FLORES: Yes, it would have been.

MS PATEL: Then also, you've stated in your, you give quite a lot of detail in your application, amongst others you state that a device was planted in the printing works and your instructions were to apprehend anyone who gained access to that area. You also say that a certain Capt Kotze planted the device and set it, do you confirm that?

MR FLORES: That's what I stated there, Mr Chairperson.

MS PATEL: But you stand by that testimony?

MR FLORES: I can't say that, listening to all the previous applicants, that Mr Kotze did plant it.

MS PATEL: Then there's not much that one can then rely on in terms of your application, because you're basically retracting a lot of it.

MR FLORES: Mr Chairperson, if I could just notify the Commission as well, as I've stated I did 18 applications in 24 hours, the original copy was then lodged in Cape Town at the TRC's offices, we had to then rewrite everything again, which was not on any computer disk or anything.

MS PATEL: And your application was lodged in 1996, is that correct?

MR FLORES: '97 or '7, that is possible.

MS PATEL: It's '96. And you've had four years in-between, well almost four years in-between then and now, to think about the various incidents and to supplement your papers before you came here and before you listened to the testimony of everyone, not so?

MR FLORES: That's correct.

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

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Patel. Advocate Bosman?

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Flores, just one question. How many of your applications have been heard thusfar? You said you applied for 18 incidents.

MR FLORES: I think it's 11, Mr Chairperson.

ADV BOSMAN: About 11. Have you had the same difficulties in those applications, that your evidence, your oral evidence did not correspond with the written applications?

MR FLORES: There are a couple, Mr Chairperson.

ADV BOSMAN: What do you sort of, how do you explain it? It's a general occurrence that you have difficulty with the discrepancies between the document and the oral evidence.

MR FLORES: Chairperson, well I'm human, I make mistakes, I can't recall everything.

ADV BOSMAN: No, no, that I understand, but is there no other explanation except that it's a memory problem?

MR FLORES: It could be a memory problem, I don't know, I haven't been checked on that, Mr Chairperson, I can't ...

ADV BOSMAN: So as far as you know you're not suffering from a general memory disability problem at all?

MR FLORES: Up till now not, I hope not.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Advocate Bosman. Advocate Sandi?

ADV SANDI: Thank you, Chair.

The Witbank incident you've mentioned, is that also a Roman Catholic Church?

MR FLORES: I have no idea what denomination that one is, Mr Chairperson, the church.

ADV SANDI: If it had been discovered that there were people inside the Khanya House building, would it have been decided that - I know that this would not have been your decision, what would have happened, would it have been decided that you carry on with the burning down of the place, nevertheless?

MR FLORES: Mr Chairperson, would that be prior to entering the premises? The knowledge of persons ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Let's say when you entered the premises before it was doused with petrol.

MR FLORES: There persons in charge would have aborted the mission.

ADV SANDI: Ja, but why did you - just as part of the enquiry to get some explanation of the mistake you say you have made, but why do you say:

"We decided to carry on with our operation, notwithstanding the fact that they were in the building"

Why do you say that there?

MR FLORES: Mr Chairperson, I've no idea why I stated this, those two, three sentences as such.

ADV SANDI: Thank you. Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Flores, just on page 245, this is what I don't understand, 8(b) you say:

"(1) Sergeant: 15 years

(2) No rank: 2 years"

Is that within the Police Services?

MR FLORES: Mr Chairperson, could you just repeat that paragraph, so I could just find it.

CHAIRPERSON: 8(b). 245, the written portion of the application.

MR FLORES: Yes, number (1) where I say:

"Sergeant: 15 years"

that was while I was a member of the South African Police at that time.

CHAIRPERSON: And the "no rank" one?

MR FLORES: "No rank" was, I was a member of the Directorate of Covert Collection, Military Intelligence.

CHAIRPERSON: Director?

MR FLORES: Directorate of Covert Collection.

CHAIRPERSON: But does that not fall within the Police?

MR FLORES: I was appointed as a civilian working for Military Intelligence, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Any re-exam?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR CORNELIUS: Thank you, Mr Chair.

Mr Flores, if I recall correctly, you were under treatment of Dr Russel Matthews, a Clinical Psychologist at one stage, is that correct?

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: That was following quite a severe nervous breakdown.

MR FLORES: That's correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Furthermore, you were the rank of a Sergeant at the time this Khanya House attack took place, was that the lowest rank available on the scene that day or not? Of all the operatives at the project, were you the lowest rank?

MR FLORES: Chairperson, yes, I don't think our unit had Constables at that stage, so a Sergeant would be the lowest then.

MR CORNELIUS: Yes. And you worked on the need-to-know basis, you testified that.

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: Would it have been expected of you to make decisions on the ground?

MR FLORES: Not at all, Mr Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: This was a highly planned operation, I can see it clearly from the documents.

MR FLORES: That's correct.

MR CORNELIUS: Thank you, Mr Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR CORNELIUS

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Chairman, may I just ask one more questions, if you will allow me please.

CHAIRPERSON: Ja, I would.

Mr Flores, what is your level of education?

MR FLORES: Standard eight.

ADV BOSMAN: And 15 years in the Police and you reached the rank of Sergeant, is that not rather slow progress?

MR FLORES: That is correct.

ADV BOSMAN: What is that due to?

MR FLORES: Maybe I just didn't have it up here, Ma'am.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Flores, you are excused.

MR FLORES: Thank you.

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: I see we have just gone past eleven, we'll take the tea break. We'll adjourn for 15 minutes.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

CHAIRPERSON: Who is next?

MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Mr Chair. Van der Merwe on record, the next applicant will be Mr Tait.

NAME: JOHAN HENDRIK TAIT

APPLICATION NO: AM3922/96

--------------------------------------------------------------------------ADV BOSMAN: Will Mr Tait be testifying in Afrikaans?

MR VAN DER MERWE: He will speak Afrikaans and he will take the oath, thank you Chairperson.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Tait, will please give your full names for the purposes of the record.

JOHAN HENDRIK TAIT: (sworn states)

ADV BOSMAN: The applicant is duly sworn, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Advocate Bosman. You may be seated, Mr Tait. Mr van der Merwe.

EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Tait, you are an applicant in this matter and your application appears in the bundle from page 141 to 148, is that correct?

MR TAIT: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You confirm the truth and the correctness of the contents of your application as it appears in the bundle.

MR TAIT: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And you also confirm that you were a member of the operation to damage Khanya House and to set it alight.

MR TAIT: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: On page 144 and 145 to 146, you have set out your recollection of how this operation took place, is that correct?

MR TAIT: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Could you briefly tell the Committee what your specific role was on that evening with this operation?

MR TAIT: It was my task to assist in setting the adjacent building in which the printing press was alight and to douse the building with petrol.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Which building did you douse with petrol?

MR TAIT: It was the building that stood to the one side in which the printing press was housed.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Were you ever in the main building?

MR TAIT: Under no circumstances.

MR VAN DER MERWE: In your political motivation you have mentioned the ANC and the externally trained MK cadres, when you compiled your amnesty application, did you have any contact with any of the other applicants who are also part of this matter?

MR TAIT: I had no contact with them.

MR VAN DER MERWE: In other words, the motivation that you set down there was the motivation as you had it according to your recollection?

MR TAIT: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: If the evidence will be from the victims in this matter that there were no trained MK cadres in the building or that it was not a haven for ANC cadres, would you differ from it?

MR TAIT: I don't understand.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Would you differ if the members of the church that they never harboured MK members or that they ever accommodated weapons there, would you differ with that version?

MR TAIT: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: However, in this matter you were a member of Vlakplaas and you received your orders and instructions from Mr de Kock to participate in this operation.

MR TAIT: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Did you have any independent knowledge pertaining to Khanya House, did you know what was going on there or what was happening there, before you received the instruction?

MR TAIT: No, Chairperson.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Were you ever previously in Khanya House?

MR TAIT: No.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Chairperson, nothing further.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Hattingh?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HATTINGH: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Tait, on page 7 of Exhibit E, it is not in the bundle, it is an exhibit, you can look at my copy of it. There we have a building which appears to be an adjacent building which is not part of the main building, is that the building in which you doused the fuel and which you set alight?

MR TAIT: Yes, it appears to me to be so.

MR HATTINGH: Thank you, Chairperson, nothing further.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR HATTINGH

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Hattingh. Mr Nel?

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

NO QUESTIONS BY MR NEL

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Wagener?

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

NO QUESTIONS BY MR WAGENER

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR BUNN: Mr Chairman, Adv Jansen had to go and attend to some urgent business, Steven Bunn on behalf of applicant Ras, I have no questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR BUNN

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Joubert?

MR JOUBERT: Thank you, Mr Chair, I have no questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR JOUBERT

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Lamey?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR LAMEY: Just one question, Chairperson.

Mr Tait, could you look at Exhibit E, page 2, it is page 2, do you have it? There is says:

"the sound of breaking glass"

MR TAIT: Yes, I have it.

MR LAMEY: Could you compare that photograph with the one on page 7. What I want to ask you is that on page 2, the photo there, is that on the same outside section as what appears on page 7?

MR TAIT: It may be. I cannot recall the scene that well in my recollection any longer.

MR LAMEY: Very well. I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR LAMEY

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr du Plessis?

MR DU PLESSIS: I have no questions, Mr Chairperson, thank you.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR DU PLESSIS

]CHAIRPERSON: Mr Cornelius?

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

NO QUESTIONS BY MR CORNELIUS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Cambanis?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chair.

Mr Tait, your legal representative has referred you already to page 146, where you said that the political objective, at paragraph 10(a) you say:

"To damage by means of fire, the hiding place which the ANC used in order to store weapons and ammunition and to harbour trained MK cadres"

Is that correct?

MR TAIT: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: Where did you get this information from?

MR TAIT: Chairperson, if I recall correctly it was what was conveyed to us as the reason why the building had to be burnt down, because it was utilised by the ANC.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes, who said that to you?

MR TAIT: It was during the afternoon, during the planning of the operation that I assume I would have heard it.

MS CAMBANIS: At the planning meeting? Sorry, did you say at the planning meeting?

MR TAIT: Yes, that is where I would have heard it.

MS CAMBANIS: What happened, what was discussed at the planning meeting?

MR TAIT: There was a discussion regarding every person's participation in the operation, what it would be.

MS CAMBANIS: Who decided that?

MR TAIT: Mr de Kock would have decided who was supposed to do what during the operation.

MS CAMBANIS: And is it Mr de Kock who would have said that this Khanya House had been used as a shelter for ANC persons?

MR TAIT: That is how I have recalled it.

MS CAMBANIS: And would he have said that weapons and ammunition was being kept on the premises?

MR TAIT: Chairperson, that is how I understood it. If he didn't say it as such, it was my own interpretation.

MS CAMBANIS: Do you know that explosives were in fact found on the premises the following day?

MR TAIT: Chairperson, not that I can recall it.

MS CAMBANIS: Do you know anything about explosives being planted at Khanya House?

MR TAIT: Chairperson, no.

MS CAMBANIS: Sir, on page 145 of your application, in the last paragraph the fifth line you refer:

"I am certain that Dawid Brits was indeed in my presence."

MR TAIT: That is correct, Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Chairperson, I assume that is the same Mr Brits who has already given evidence before this Commission.

MR TAIT: I assume so, Chairperson. I wasn't here when he testified, but I assume it is the same person.

MR VAN DER MERWE: May I assist, Mr Chairman, it's affirmative, it's the same Mr Brits.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Sir.

Now what do you mean that you are sure:

"I am certain that Dawid Brits was in my presence"

MR TAIT: That I was certain that he was with me during, or at least, as far as I can recall. When I made this application with my legal representative it was part of my recollection that Dawid Brits was with me, if he says that he wasn't with me, it may be so, but I cannot dispute it. But that is how I recalled it during the deposition of my statement.

MS CAMBANIS: And that would mean that he had assisted you in your work at the printing house? He was with you when you did your work in the printing house. That's what you remember.

MR TAIT: That is as far as I had it in my recollection, that he was indeed with me.

MS CAMBANIS: And do you know if Mr Brits entered into Khanya House itself, later that evening?

MR TAIT: No, Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Would he have left at the same time with you?

ADV BOSMAN: Excuse me, Ms Cambanis, that was really an ambiguous answer. Can you just repeat your question, because he gave a rather ambiguous answer there.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes. Do you remember if Mr Brits left the premises with you at the same time after the operation?

MR TAIT: Yes, as far as I can recall all of us who participated in the operation left the premises together in vehicles and returned to Vlakplaas.

CHAIRPERSON: When you left the places where you were dousing petrol and you say you were sure that you were with Brits, did you leave from that end towards the cars at the same time?

MR TAIT: Yes, I cannot recall, it may be that Brits and I moved to the vehicles together, but I cannot recall to such an extent that I would say that we were precisely a pace away from each other as we moved back to the vehicles.

ADV BOSMAN: May I just clarify this again because it's still worrying me.

The question was whether you and Mr Brits entered Khanya House and you said no, can you recall whether he entered Khanya House or not? Could you just clarify that?

MR TAIT: If you refer to Khanya House, the reason why I said no, I'm referring to the big building itself. Are you referring to the main building or the adjacent room?

ADV BOSMAN: There was the adjacent room and then the main building and if I understood Ms Cambanis correctly, she wanted to know whether Mr Brits entered the main building.

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

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you. I'm sorry for the interruption, but I was a little confused with his answer. Thank you, Ms Cambanis.

MS CAMBANIS: But what you do remember is that Mr Brits was with you during the operation.

MR TAIT: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: And you confirm that you yourself did not enter the main building.

MR TAIT: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr Tait, I don't know if you've given this, were you part of a surveillance team prior to this event?

MR TAIT: No, Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Is it your evidence that the first time you knew of this operation was the afternoon or the day of the incident? Is that your evidence?

MR TAIT: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: Do you know who was in charge of the - I don't know in English, "brand tou"?

MR TAIT: No, Chairperson.

MR NEL: Mr Chairman, may I perhaps come in here, my client Mr Hammond says that it's called an igniter cord, a "brand tou", in English.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you very much.

Was igniter cord not used to set the printing room alight?

MR TAIT: Chairperson, I cannot give a precise answer to that because my share was only to douse the building with petrol and to leave.

MS CAMBANIS: And regarding the printing room you do not know how that was actually set on fire?

MR TAIT: No, I would not be able to answer that.

MS CAMBANIS: Sir, do you recall what time you arrived at the premises that evening?

MR TAIT: No, I cannot recall a specific time.

MS CAMBANIS: And how long did you stay in the vicinity? From your arrival, did the operation and left, how long would you say that was?

MR TAIT: Chairperson, if I had to estimate, I would say that it could not have been longer than 30 minutes.

MS CAMBANIS: While you were outside the main building, did you see any lights being put on or off inside the building?

MR TAIT: No, Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Do you recall that there - you've seen from the photographs there's a ground floor and three storeys.

MR TAIT: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: And when you arrived, were the lights on in the building?

MR TAIT: I cannot recall.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chairperson, I have nothing further.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS CAMBANIS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Cambanis. Ms Patel?

MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson, if you would just grant me one moment please.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, certainly.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS PATEL: Sir, just one aspect that I'm not entirely sure on, I believe you might have answered it. You state in your application on page 145, that you're certain that Dawid Brits was in your presence and then you say:

"Afterwards we took a can containing petrol and doused the inside of the building with the petrol"

Does that mean Mr Brits assisted you in dousing the section where the printing press would have been?

MR TAIT: It may have been like that, Chairperson, but I know that I had a can of petrol and that I doused the area with petrol. I don't know whether Brits had petrol on him. There wasn't only one person sent into a building to do the job, it would not have been like that.

MS PATEL: And then you state further that after whatever you did in the building, you say:

"And immediately withdrew"

which means that Mr Brits then departed immediately with you, is that what you mean to say by that?

MR TAIT: That is correct, Chairperson. If one withdrew, then everyone who was in the building would automatically withdraw with that person.

MS PATEL: And then finally, given that the information that was handed to you at the briefing session prior to operation, was that the building was used a harbouring place for ANC/MK cadres and that arms and ammunitions were in fact kept there, what was the instruction specifically?

MR VAN DER MERWE: Mr Chairman, may I just come in here, it's not a fair question. My clients answer was that that is his recollection of what was told to him, he did not confirm that that is actually what was said, it was his recollection, and I don't think it's fair to put it to the witness that that is what was told to him.

ADV BOSMAN: He actually added that it might be his interpretation.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Correct.

MS PATEL: My colleague, Ms Cambanis seems to recall that that was only in connection with, or in relation to the arms and ammunitions and not in relation to the harbouring of ANC activists.

MR VAN DER MERWE: I beg to differ, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: He was asked about 10(a), on page 146.

MS PATEL: Alright, Honourable Chairperson, I will leave it there, but if I may rephrase my question.

Given that it is your recollection, or you might have interpreted the information given to you at the planning meeting, if you can recall, given that that might have been the information handed to you, what was the specific instruction that was given in respect of what was to be done at the operation? Was it that only the building was to be set alight, or can you recall whether there were any specific instructions with regard to what was to be done if anyone was to be found on the premises?

MR TAIT: According to my recollection, we were to destroy the building by setting it on fire.

MS PATEL: There was no planning in terms of what is to be done if anybody is found on the premises?

MR TAIT: Not that I can recall, there may have been such a plan, it may have been mentioned, but I cannot recall anything about that.

MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Bosman?

ADV BOSMAN: I have no questions, thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Sandi?

ADV SANDI: Also no questions, thank you Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: If you have a look at page 145, just the last sentence on page 145:

"At this stage however, I am not at all certain how the outside room's fire was co-ordinated with the fire in the main building."

Do you see that sentence? What you were briefed on before your departure, or that afternoon at Vlakplaas, were all the buildings to be destroyed which were on the premises?

MR TAIT: That is how I have it, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And you were tasked only with dousing of the adjacent building?

MR TAIT: That is correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: When you got to Vlakplaas, was there a discussion of whether this was a success or not?

MR TAIT: Not that I can recall.

CHAIRPERSON: Because on page 146 you say:

"After we withdrew we left the scene immediately and returned to Vlakplaas, after which all of us departed for our homes."

MR TAIT: That's correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: That's what your recollection is?

MR TAIT: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: You were a member of Vlakplaas.

MR TAIT: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr van der Merwe?

MR VAN DER MERWE: I have nothing further to add, thank you Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: No, I thought you would re-examine him, not add.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Through with the examination, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, thank you. Mr Tait, thank you very much, you are excused.

WITNESS EXCUSED

MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Mr Chair, I do not propose to lead any further evidence to support Mr Tait's amnesty application. The next applicant will be Mr W R Bellingan, who will give his evidence in Afrikaans, and he's prepared to take the oath.

NAME: WILHELM RIAAN BELLINGAN

APPLICATION NO: AM5283/96

--------------------------------------------------------------------------WILHELM RIAAN BELLINGAN: (sworn states)

ADV BOSMAN: The applicant is sworn, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Advocate Bosman. Mr van der Merwe.

EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Mr Chair.

Mr Bellingan, you are an applicant in this matter and your application appears on page 120 up until page 345, is that correct?

MR BELLINGAN: Yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Do you confirm the correctness and truthfulness of your application in as far as your recollection goes?

MR BELLINGAN: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Your application is specifically then contained, concerning this matter, from page 337 in the bundle.

MR BELLINGAN: That's correct, Mr Chairperson.

MR VAN DER MERWE: During this incident you were a member of Vlakplaas and you fell under the commander of the Commander, Mr Eugene de Kock.

MR BELLINGAN: That is correct, yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Do you confirm that you were not involved before in this incident and that you were only involved by Col de Kock, who gave you the instructions to participate in it?

MR BELLINGAN: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Your role in this operation, can you just shortly tell the Committee what you had to do.

MR BELLINGAN: Mr Chairperson, I drove the covert kombi to transport the people who were involved in this, from Vlakplaas to the scene, I then waited in that area and then observed certain areas and monitored the police radio for the police and while they were busy and got into the kombi, I then took a detour and took them back to Vlakplaas.

MR VAN DER MERWE: In other words, you yourself were never in the building itself?

MR BELLINGAN: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Mr de Kock testified yesterday that you were in charge of a group of people and that you were also tasked to, I think, monitor the fire brigade.

MR BELLINGAN: That's correct, Chairperson, or anybody in that area who could give us any problems at that stage.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You confirm that in this matter you had nothing to do with Khanya House.

MR BELLINGAN: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Was this the first time that you were in the area of Khanya House with an operation of this nature?

MR BELLINGAN: That is correct, yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Did you return back to the scene at any stage?

MR BELLINGAN: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR VAN DER MERWE: During the planning session that took place at Vlakplaas, can you assist us if there was an indication that they expected people to be in this building?

MR BELLINGAN: No, not as far as I can recall, Mr Chairperson.

MR VAN DER MERWE: The instruction that was given to you and the reason why you had to participate in this operation, what was the purpose of it?

MR BELLINGAN: It was to set Khanya House alight because it was used by terrorists, that was the explanation that was given to us as far as I can recall.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Very well. If I can just ask you briefly and if I'm not going to ask you this, my learned colleague will, your political motive to participate in this operation, appears on page 341 and the purpose was to destroy a building that was used by the ANC as a basis for the revolutionary war against the Republic of South Africa. Ms Cambanis has mentioned before that the ANC did not make use of this building but the church used it, but was this the way in which you interpreted this instruction?

MR BELLINGAN: Yes, that's they way I interpreted it, because we got the instruction from the Stratcom desk and I do not think they would have attacked an innocent church building, there was a reason behind it and that's how it was explained to me.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You yourself did not have any evidence that the ANC specifically operated from this building?

MR BELLINGAN: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You were a footsoldier in this matter, who followed the instructions of Col de Kock, and did not have a say in the choosing of the target or the evaluation of the target.

MR BELLINGAN: That is correct, yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Hattingh?

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

NO QUESTIONS BY MR HATTINGH

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nel?

MR NEL: Thank you, Mr Chair, I've got no questions for Mr Bellingan.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR NEL

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Wagener?

MR WAGENER: I have no questions, thank you Chair.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR WAGENER

MR BUNN: Thank you, Mr Chair, I have no questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR BUNN

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Joubert?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR JOUBERT: Thank you, Honourable Chair, I only have one issue which I'd like to clarify.

Mr Bellingan, on page 338 you refer in the first paragraph that Col de Kock also mentioned to you that Brig McIntyre, the Head of the Stratcom desk, gave him the instruction for this specific task. Mr McIntyre's evidence is that there was never any communication between him and Col de Kock, can you deny that or dispute it?

MR BELLINGAN: No, I cannot.

MR JOUBERT: And you then furthermore will accept that any instruction which you received from Col de Kock, possibly was channelled via Col Hattingh and the other persons? ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR BELLINGAN: That is correct, yes, as I later heard.

MR JOUBERT: I've got no further questions, thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR JOUBERT

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Joubert. Mr Lamey?

MR LAMEY: Thank you, Chairperson, no questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR LAMEY

CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis?

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

NO QUESTIONS BY MR DU PLESSIS

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Cornelius?

MR CORNELIUS: I have no questions, thank you Mr Chair.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR CORNELIUS

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Cambanis?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chair.

Sir, I just want to understand your answer, you said if it transpired that this wasn't used as an ANC base.

MR BELLINGAN: That is correct, as I mentioned on page 341, "the destruction of a building that was used by the ANC as a basis for the revolutionary warfare against the Republic" is a

very wide statement. That is how I interpreted it, today they say it was not the ANC who was involved in it, but that's how I interpreted it when I applied for amnesty.

MS CAMBANIS: But your understanding of what your job was at that point, would be that if it wasn't the base for the ANC, then you have no reason to attack, is that how you understood your job at the time?

MR BELLINGAN: I received an instruction and I followed it.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes, Sir, I accept that, I accept your are a footsoldier and you're following instructions.

MR BELLINGAN: That is correct, yes.

MS CAMBANIS: But why you did follow this instruction was because you were told it was an ANC base.

MR BELLINGAN: Yes, and I believed what they told me.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes. Sir, where was your kombi parked during this operation?

MR BELLINGAN: It was parked at various points around that block, it was Skinner, Bosman and Visagie, or Potgieter or Schubart Streets, because the police bothered me so I had to move around. I was then on the south side or north side and I moved around.

MS CAMBANIS: So when you were in Visagie Street you had sight of Khanya House, the main building?

MR BELLINGAN: Yes, it could be so, or it could have been that I drove past it in Schubart Street, I cannot say exactly where, under which tree I stood or where I was.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes, but could you see Khanya House from where you were, at some stage?

MR BELLINGAN: Yes, it could be so, I will not dispute that.

MS CAMBANIS: And what did you notice about the building? Lighting?

MR BELLINGAN: I cannot recall today, I will have to lie if I say.

MS CAMBANIS: You don't recall that lights were being put on and off in the building?

MR BELLINGAN: Not what I can recall, no.

MS CAMBANIS: Now Sir, this radio that you refer to at page 338, I don't understand, is that a radio that you would be in communication with Col de Kock, or is that - how does it work, this radio?

MR BELLINGAN: I may have had two radios for internal communication and one to monitor the police patrol frequency, because if I can hear that the stations say there's some suspicious looking characters, I could then warn them through the other radio. If you understand my answer.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes, thank you. The radio control with the members in the operation, was that - what kind of radio was used for that communication?

MR BELLINGAN: It could have been some of our security radios with a closed channel, walkie-talkies.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes, walkie-talkies. And that would have also been for the people who were inside on the operation?

MR BELLINGAN: That is correct, yes.

MS CAMBANIS: And what would be the purpose of having walkie-talkie communication with the people inside the building?

MR BELLINGAN: It would be that if I see suspicious uniformed members or police activities outside and then they had to leave the scene immediately and I would have been able to warn them. That is why I was in contact with Col de Kock and also why I had a monitoring radio.

MS CAMBANIS: Because the main - your first prize is to keep your own men safe?

MR BELLINGAN: That is correct, yes.

MS CAMBANIS: And it's unthinkable that in an operation like this involving so many people, you wouldn't have planned to keep your own men safe?

MR BELLINGAN: Yes, that is definitely a possibility.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes. Mr Bellingan, on the top of 338, if I understand, what you understood from the instruction was that it was to destroy - sorry if I could just go back, just over the page:

"The building was used for publishing of terrorist propaganda material"

MR BELLINGAN: That's how I interpreted it, yes.

MS CAMBANIS: And the witness prior to you, Mr Tait, you don't recall that it was used as a base for the ANC cadres? What do you recall?

MR BELLINGAN: I will not dispute that.

MS CAMBANIS: But you don't recall hearing that?

MR BELLINGAN: No.

MS CAMBANIS: Could you assist us, do you know at your briefing session, was there subsequent briefing sessions? It seems to be that there were several briefing sessions to different groups.

MR BELLINGAN: I cannot say with certainty, but it could be that we were briefed together and also separately in different groups.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr de Kock has given evidence that there had been some recces carried out prior to the briefing session you attended.

MR BELLINGAN: It may be so that I was part of the late afternoon, driving by, just looking at what the place looks like, it could be so. It's possible that I accompanied him or went alone. I will not dispute it because I do know Pretoria, I had my own vehicle there, so it's not an impossible target that I did not know where it was. I could have gone with them on this reconnaissance.

MS CAMBANIS: And it's possible you were on reconnaissance, do you remember who else was on the reconnaissance?

MR BELLINGAN: I cannot recall today, no.

MS CAMBANIS: Were you told - if you look at WAL du Toit's application on page 313, he talks about the residents of the Catholic Church.

MR BELLINGAN: I cannot recall such a thing, no, I was never in the terrain.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Mr Bellingan. It's become a habit with me, Mr Chair, I apologise, I have to just put something else.

274 of the bundle, Mr Bellingan - I beg your pardon, 275, the top paragraph, it refers to the visit by one, Brig Engelbrecht to Vlakplaas, do you recall being at a - do you recall Brig Engelbrecht visiting Vlakplaas after this?

MR BELLINGAN: I know that I saw him on Vlakplaas, if it was immediately after the incident or when it was, I cannot say with certainty.

MS CAMBANIS: Do you recall identikits being brought to Vlakplaas?

MR BELLINGAN: There was a rumour yes, that some identikits were shown. I do not know who it was, because I never saw it, but I did know about Mr Rasí evidence in this regard. I was never confronted or questioned about it though.

MS CAMBANIS: And from the rumours that were going around, did you hear that it was alleged that you were recognisable in one of the identikits?

MR BELLINGAN: It was rumour that I heard at a later stage.

MS CAMBANIS: That you were identifiable, that was the rumour?

MR BELLINGAN: No, there was just an identikit and the one looks like me, but I never saw it.

MS CAMBANIS: And was the rumour also that the other identikit looked like Mr Eugene de Kock?

MR BELLINGAN: It's once again a rumour, I never experienced that.

MS CAMBANIS: But from what you heard, you agree with this applicant's information?

MR BELLINGAN: Yes.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr Bellingan, do you know who was armed - were you armed that night?

MR BELLINGAN: I believe I would have had my official weapon with me, a false police record. If we were confronted we would have said we were from the Diamond Branch, but I'm sure that I had my own weapon with me.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr Bellingan, in the bundle there's reference to a witness noticing a kombi vehicle with false registration plates. That would have been the modus operandi, Mr de Kock has already said that you would have used false ...

MR BELLINGAN: Yes.

MS CAMBANIS: That same witness refers to citing 11 persons inside the kombi and cites that were black people present, black members.

MR BELLINGAN: Chairperson, I cannot recall, it is possible. I do not see any of the applicants that are black, because I do know that it was a covert kombi, it was a closed one that you cannot see from the outside in and it could be that there were other people.

MS CAMBANIS: It's possible that some of the black members of the police were present that night?

MR BELLINGAN: Yes, but I cannot say with any certainty.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes.

MR BELLINGAN: I have got no recollection of it.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Mr Bellingan. Thank you, Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS CAMBANIS

CHAIRPERSON: Before I give you an opportunity, Ms Patel, I've been requested to make an announcement that a white bakkie with the registration letters and numbers, DNC 521 NW, is blocking some way. If such a person is with us here, could you quickly just move the bakkie.

Thank you, you may proceed Ms Patel.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson.

Mr Bellingan, just one aspect. Was there a report-back meeting after the operation, at Vlakplaas?

MR BELLINGAN: I believe we did gather together to hand in the weapons again, but I believe Col de Kock would have reported to somebody, it's logical, but there wasn't again a very big meeting or something like that.

MS PATEL: Okay. So at this meeting - the purpose of that meeting would have been just to see that everybody is safe, there wouldn't have been a report-back, as far as you recall?

MR BELLINGAN: Yes, and all equipment was safe, we could not leave behind a weapon or something like that.

MS PATEL: Alright. Thank you, Honourable Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Bosman?

ADV BOSMAN: I have no questions, thank you Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Sandi?

ADV SANDI: I've got no questions, thank you Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Any re-examination?

MR VAN DER MERWE: No thank you, Mr Chair.

NO RE-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Bellingan, you are excused.

WITNESS EXCUSED

MR VAN DER MERWE: Mr Chairman, that concludes the evidence to be adduced on behalf of Mr Bellingan, I believe that Mr Wagener will now be leading Mr du Plessis.

MR WAGENER: Mr Chairman, the next applicant will be Mr du Plessis. You will find his application in the bundle from page 208 and onwards. He will testify in Afrikaans and he will take the oath.

NAME: HENDRIK CHRISTOFFEL DU PLESSIS

--------------------------------------------------------------------------HENDRIK CHRISTOFFEL DU PLESSIS: (sworn states)

ADV BOSMAN: The applicant has been duly sworn in.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. You may be seated, Mr du Plessis. Yes, Mr Wagener.

EXAMINATION BY MR WAGENER: Mr du Plessis, during November 1996, you completed an amnesty application which can be found in the bundle from page 208 to 219, is that correct?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, that is correct.

MR WAGENER: I see on page 208 you state that you are still in service of the South African Police. This was at the time that you signed your application, what is your position today?

MR DU PLESSIS: At the end of October 1997, I was discharged from the police due to medical reasons.

MR WAGENER: Very well. Pertaining to the matter that we are here for today, you deal with this from page 217 to 218 of the bundle, and I will request Mr van der Merwe just to place this before you.

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MR WAGENER: Firstly, Mr du Plessis, in the first paragraph you refer to a church building, namely Khanya House, which is in the first paragraph, can you see it?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MR WAGENER: And then in the following paragraph you refer to a group which entered the church building and that you yourself also entered the church building and that you doused the place with petrol. Which church building are you referring to?

MR DU PLESSIS: I am referring to Khanya House.

MR WAGENER: Just to be completely certain whether or not you were involved in the same incident as the other applicants, if you look at Exhibit E, on the cover page there is a photo and then on page 2 there is also a photo, is that the place where you were?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MR WAGENER: And then in the first paragraph on page 217 you state that you think that the incident took place during 1989, we now know that Khanya House was burnt down on the 12th of October 1988. Would you agree with that?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MR WAGENER: Furthermore, in the first paragraph you refer that you were told that there was an earlier attempt to burn this place, namely Khanya House, that you had been informed of this, how certain are you of that?

MR DU PLESSIS: I think my memory has failed somewhat, I may have confused this matter with another.

MR WAGENER: Indeed, Mr du Plessis, we have heard evidence indicating that it was with either Khotso House or Cosatu House where there was a previous abortive attempt to attack the place, before the final attack took place. Would you dispute this?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, I would agree with it.

MR WAGENER: Then in the second paragraph on page 217 you state, or perhaps I should just take a step back. At the time of this incident you were also a member of the Vlakplaas unit.

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MR WAGENER: What was your rank at that stage?

MR DU PLESSIS: I was a Captain.

MR WAGENER: And you also served under the command of Mr de Kock.

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MR WAGENER: We heard of an occasion upon which you gathered together at Vlakplaas and received an order with regard to the current incident, were you involved or present during that?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I was.

MR WAGENER: What was the order that you received?

MR DU PLESSIS: We had to destroy Khanya House by means of arson.

MR WAGENER: Can you recall the reason?

MR DU PLESSIS: Because it was being used for revolutionary objectives by the ANC and the enemy.

MR WAGENER: In the second paragraph you state:

"We conducted thorough observation of the place"

Were you involved in that observation?

MR DU PLESSIS: We were informed during the briefing that observation had been conducted. I cannot recall whether it was the day before or that same morning upon which I drove past the place by myself. I stopped and walked up and down on the pavement, that was my share.

MR WAGENER: What was the purpose with that?

MR DU PLESSIS: I wanted to see what the place looked like.

MR WAGENER: During the operation itself, what was your task?

MR DU PLESSIS: I was part of the group that penetrated the main building and doused the interior with petrol.

MR WAGENER: Did you yourself also carry petrol?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I did.

MR WAGENER: Where in the building were you?

MR DU PLESSIS: I was on the ground level and the first level.

MR WAGENER: Was that where you doused the area with petrol?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MR WAGENER: Are you aware of any explosives which were taken with that evening?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, I do not know about that.

MR WAGENER: There is apparent evidence of explosives which were found in a section of the building which was known as the documentation centre and apparently this is on the ground floor, do you know anything about this?

MR DU PLESSIS: I heard about it after the incident, but I don't have any further knowledge pertaining to that.

MR WAGENER: Furthermore, you heard the initial allegation of Mr Flores in his application that you and he were outside the building together, what is your commentary regarding that?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, he was not with me, I was a member of the group that entered the main building.

MR WAGENER: And then on page 218 of the bundle you mention the names of the persons who were present according to you, during the operation. Are you certain of these names?

MR DU PLESSIS: It took place a long time ago and my memory may have failed me, I may have accidentally mentioned persons in this list who in actual fact were not part of the operation. I would be prepared to conceded to that.

MR WAGENER: It would appear to me that you've actually omitted the names of other persons who were in actual fact there, as we now know.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, that is correct.

MR WAGENER: As qualified by your evidence, do you then confirm the correctness of your written application as truthful and correct?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, that is correct.

MR WAGENER: Thank you, Chair, that is the evidence-in-chief.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR WAGENER

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Wagener. Mr Hattingh?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HATTINGH: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr du Plessis, among the names that you have mentioned on page 218, the names of Paul van Dyk and Piet Snyders appear, were you here when Mr de Kock testified?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I was present.

MR HATTINGH: And can you recall that he said that he recalled that these two persons were indeed present?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I recall that.

MR HATTINGH: So according to your evidence, is it possible that they may have been there?

MR DU PLESSIS: I spoke to Mr Snyders upon my arrival here in Pretoria and he told me that at the time of the incident he was on study leave, but Mr van Dyk, I don't know, he may have been there.

MR DU PLESSIS: Then I just want to know from you, how much petrol did you have that you were planning to douse the inside of the building with?

MR DU PLESSIS: Every one of us carried a can, I think it was 20 litres that we carried in.

MR HATTINGH: How many of you were there that carried petrol in?

MR DU PLESSIS: It was about eight or nine of us who entered the building and every person carried a can.

MR HATTINGH: And the Kok brothers were the ones who unlocked the doors for you?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: Can you recall the position with regard to lighting in the building, when you first entered the building?

MR DU PLESSIS: I cannot think or recall that there was light, but as far as I recall no lights were on.

MR HATTINGH: The only light came from the street lamps which shone in through the windows from the outside.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes.

MR HATTINGH: Did that provide sufficient light for you to be able to see what you were doing?

MR DU PLESSIS: We walked around in the dark there, along with the light that came from the street lamps.

MR HATTINGH: Did you have any precautions in order to render the operation as quiet as possible, or did you move about comfortably, safe in the knowledge that no-one was in the building?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: Is it the latter-mentioned?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: You accepted that were not people in the building.

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: And therefore you didn't take any measures to soften your voices or to avoid any noise as such?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: Did you communicate with one another from long distances, such as 10 to 15 metres from one another?

MR DU PLESSIS: Not that I can recall.

MR HATTINGH: Do you recall that you went to the first floor?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: Can you recall whether there were any persons higher up in the building, according to what you can remember seeing?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, I don't know about any other persons who moved higher up in the building.

MR HATTINGH: And after the operation at any stage, did you hear that there had indeed been persons in the building at the time of the incident?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, that is correct.

MR HATTINGH: Were you surprised at this knowledge?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I was.

MR HATTINGH: Thank you, Chairperson, I have nothing further.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR HATTINGH

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Hattingh. Mr van der Merwe?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Mr Chair.

Mr du Plessis, just one statement that I would like to put. You have already conceded, and I'm also appearing on behalf of Dave Baker, my instructions in this regard are that he was not involved in this incident, but that he was involved in another similar incident but not this one precisely, and you are not certain whether or not he was there.

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr van der Merwe. Mr Nel?

MR NEL: Chairperson, I have no questions, thank you.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR NEL

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, Sir?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BUNN: Mr du Plessis, just one question relating to page 218, obviously my client, Mr Ras isn't there, you'd concede that you might very well be incorrect and he was involved?

MR DU PLESSIS: That's correct, Chairperson. As I've already stated, there are persons who have testified before the Committee, who were indeed there, whom I could not recall when I compiled my application, so I would concede that my memory has indeed failed me.

MR BUNN: Thank you, Mr Chairman, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR BUNN

CHAIRPERSON: Thanks a lot. Mr Joubert?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR JOUBERT: Thank you, Chairperson, only one aspect.

Mr du Plessis, you have already stated on page 217 of your evidence-in-chief that there was a previous abortive attempt to burn the place down. I just want to confirm with you, it is my instruction from Mr McIntyre that there was no such previous attempt by Stratcom on Khanya House.

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct, I concede that I have perhaps made a mistake.

MR JOUBERT: Than you, Chairperson, nothing further.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR JOUBERT

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr du Plessis?

ADV DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Chairman, I have no questions and insofar as I'm looking after the interests of my learned friend, Mr Lamey, there are no questions in that regard either.

NO QUESTIONS BY ADV DU PLESSIS

NO QUESTIONS BY MR LAMEY

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Mr Cornelius?

MR CORNELIUS: I have no questions, thank you Mr Chair.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR CORNELIUS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Cambanis?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chair.

Mr du Plessis, the amount of petrol that was taken into Khanya House that evening by yourself and your colleagues, do you have any idea how much that was?

MR DU PLESSIS: I think that every person carried a 20 litre can.

MS CAMBANIS: And were there instructions to pour petrol on each and every floor of the building?

MR DU PLESSIS: If I recall correctly, yes.

MS CAMBANIS: And how was this going to be set alight?

MR DU PLESSIS: I heard that it would be done by means of an ignition cord.

MS CAMBANIS: And that would be from each floor?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, not as far as I can recall. I cannot testify about that, I don't know how it would have been done.

MS CAMBANIS: You see, unfortunately we don't have the police docket but apparently the fire brigade reports would be that there was this from the outside of the building up unto second floor.

MR DU PLESSIS: It may have been like that, Chairperson, I cannot testify about it, I simply poured the petrol out, I didn't have anything to do with the ignition itself.

MS CAMBANIS: It would be - and if there was in fact petrol on all the floors with this ignition tape, once it was lit, what would you expect to have happened to that building? Isn't it that within minutes it would be ...

MR DU PLESSIS: It is possible that it could have burnt down like that, Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: And were you aware that there was a fire brigade just one or two blocks away from Khanya House?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, I did not know about that.

MS CAMBANIS: Subsequently, did you hear that the fire brigade was on the scene, very shortly after the fire was reported?

MR DU PLESSIS: I heard that, I don't know if it was the same evening or the day after the incident, but I heard that they were present there.

MS CAMBANIS: In your experience would you have expected that building to burn out in a very short period of time, with the amount of petrol and preparation that had gone into setting the fire?

MR DU PLESSIS: I think so, Chairperson, I would not be able to say how quickly, but it would have been like that.

MS CAMBANIS: Quickly, meaning minutes?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, such a large building would not burn down in a question of minutes.

MS CAMBANIS: We understand from the reports that we don't have, that it's the opinion of the fire brigade that it would have actually have been burnt out very rapidly. Can you disagree with that?

MR DU PLESSIS: I would not be able to make any statements on that, but it certainly is possible.

MS CAMBANIS: And similarly that had the fire brigade not been on the scene as quickly as it was, due to its location, people would have been trapped and died in the building.

MR DU PLESSIS: It could have been that way, yes Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Now you say that you think you attended some of the surveillance. Did you say that?

MR DU PLESSIS: No.

MS CAMBANIS: No. You did your own surveillance?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: What did you observe when you walked past Khanya House?

MR DU PLESSIS: I only saw the building, I didn't see any movement or anything else, there was nothing else that I observed on the premises, it was simply the building standing there.

MS CAMBANIS: I think this happened on a Wednesday, it was a week day.

MR DU PLESSIS: I cannot recall, it must be.

MS CAMBANIS: It definitely wasn't over the weekend.

MR DU PLESSIS: No.

MS CAMBANIS: And what did you do, you walked on the pavement outside Khanya House?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I simply walked past so that I could see what the building looked like, that was the extent of my observation.

MS CAMBANIS: Morning, afternoon, when was that?

MR DU PLESSIS: I cannot recall, I really don't know.

MS CAMBANIS: But during daylight?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes.

MS CAMBANIS: And you didn't see anybody in that building?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, I did not observe anything.

MS CAMBANIS: You will recall that there were open balconies at that time at Khanya House?

MR DU PLESSIS: I cannot recall.

MS CAMBANIS: Look at page 2 of Exhibit E, please. Do you see the second floor?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I see it.

MS CAMBANIS: The first and second floor's got open balconies and it's in fact on that second floor where people were sleeping that night, some on this side, on various side, but we'll get to that.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I see it on the photo.

MS CAMBANIS: You didn't see anyone moving around on the balconies?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, I didn't look that way.

MS CAMBANIS: Or in the yard?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, I did not see anybody in the yard.

MS CAMBANIS: Or in the offices on the ground floor?

MR DU PLESSIS: Not at all.

MS CAMBANIS: Sir, just explain more fully, at 217 where Mr Wagener has already asked you, your reference:

"We conducted thorough surveillance of the place"

Now as an operative at Vlakplaas, that would be the modus operandi, before an operation there would be surveillance of the area? That's what one would expect.

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: Do you know of any operation where this procedure wasn't followed?

MR DU PLESSIS: I cannot imagine anything like that.

MS CAMBANIS: And in this case you were briefed that thorough observation had been done?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: And that would include - sorry, would that include entering the building to check the layout of the building?

MR DU PLESSIS: From previous evidence before the Committee I've heard that such surveillance was conducted, but I was not involved with that, I wasn't part of that, Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Because Mr du Plessis, what we still do not understand is the second and third floors were sleeping quarters and if anyone had have entered, they would have seen very clearly that there were bedrooms on the second and third floor.

MR DU PLESSIS: I would concede that it could have been that way, if someone entered the premises they would have seen that.

MS CAMBANIS: You've also explained that you were told it was a "kerk gebou'.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, a church building, Khanya. I don't know precisely how to express it, but Khanya House is actually what I meant in my application.

MS CAMBANIS: But what you said at 215, which you've already been taken through:

"Received an order"

fourth paragraph.

"Received an order to set a church building in Pretoria on fire"

And then you repeat that on page 217, relating to the second incident.

MR DU PLESSIS: What I actually mean is a building which belonged to the church, that is what I meant.

MS CAMBANIS: That is what you mean today?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr du Plessis, which of your colleagues went onto the second and third floor that evening?

MR DU PLESSIS: I would not be able to testify about that, I really don't know.

MS CAMBANIS: But the instructions were to go onto the second and third floor?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Did you see, even though you can't remember who, that people did move to the second and third floor? Or the second floor, at least.

MR DU PLESSIS: I didn't see anybody who went up there, Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr Kok in his application says that his task was to open the doors, including on the first floor - Chairperson, I just want to get the reference.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MS CAMBANIS: Page 120, Mr du Plessis. Sorry, if you can just start at 119, page 119 at the bottom he says that his instructions were to open all the doors on the first floor so that the operatives from Vlakplaas could search the offices. Did Mr Kok carry out this instruction, did he open up the doors on the first floor? You were on the first floor, you said.

MR DU PLESSIS: I was there, he unlocked the doors.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes, and then the offices were searched?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, our order was to pour the petrol out, we did not search any rooms or offices, there wasn't any time for that anyway.

MS CAMBANIS: So what happened is that the doors were opened and then you and the other operatives would go into the offices, throw petrol and then go to the next one, is that correct?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: And that was what your instructions were for the first floor, second floor and third floor?

MR DU PLESSIS: Correct.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you Chair, that is all. Thank you, Mr du Plessis.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS CAMBANIS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Cambanis. Ms Patel?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson.

Just one question, Mr du Plessis. Can you recall whether the igniting cord, Mr Kok says that was wound or it was put on the different levels including the place where the printing press was kept, do you have any recollection of this, can you confirm?

MR DU PLESSIS: I cannot answer that no, I do not know.

MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS CAMBANIS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Bosman?

ADV BOSMAN: I have no questions, thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Sandi?

ADV SANDI: No questions, thank you Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Any re-examination?

MR WAGENER: Mr Chairman, no, I've got no re-examination, but I would request, on request of Mr du Plessis, he has business to attend to in Kimberly, whether he would be excused from further attendance, if there's no objection?

NO RE-EXAMINATION BY MR WAGENER

CHAIRPERSON: Any objection?

MR HATTINGH: No objection, thank you Mr Chairman.

MR VAN DER MERWE: No objection, Mr Chairman.

MR WAGENER: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis, you are excused from further attendance of these proceedings.

WITNESS EXCUSED

MR WAGENER: Thank you Mr Chairman, that is the evidence by and on behalf of Mr du Plessis.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Patel, yesterday you spoke of documents and I stopped you because when you addressed me on that Ms Cambanis was outside taking instructions, this I think is an opportune moment to do so.

MS PATEL: Yes, thank you Honourable Chairperson. Ms Cambanis, what I'd placed on record yesterday was that I'd in fact obtained the report that you had requested in respect of the missing docket and that a copy of the report was handed to you and that you were satisfied with the contents of the report.

MS CAMBANIS: I confirm that, thank you Chair.

MR HATTINGH: May we also have sight of that report, Mr Chairman?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MS CAMBANIS: Well especially Mr Wagener, Chairperson, it actually concerns his client, Mr Engelbrecht.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, certainly. Do you have sufficient copies, Ms Patel?

MS PATEL: I'll have to have extras made, Honourable Chairperson, I'll attend to it now during the lunch break.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Mr Chairman, I thought that at this stage we would have reached openness that these things would be given to us so that we don't have to ask for it.

CHAIRPERSON: I closed it yesterday, it was open. Ms Patel, I'll give you an opportunity to make those copies and not impinge on your lunch time. We'll take our lunch adjournment earlier today. Thank you, we'll adjourn until? 0What do you suggest, one thirty? Is that okay with everybody?

MR JOUBERT: Mr Chair, sorry, you will recall I requested you to excuse me at about quarter to one, I have a consultation at one with my leader, I'm just afraid I may not be back by half past one, I anticipated that you'd only be adjourning at 1 o'clock. If I could request that ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Quarter to two?

MR JOUBERT: I'll do my best to be back by quarter to two, otherwise I'll make arrangements with one of my colleagues just to keep watch for me for the few minutes that I may be absent, with your approval.

CHAIRPERSON: Well we would reconvene at quarter to two.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

CHAIRPERSON: We are proceeding with this hearing. I'm in the hands of legal representatives not to break the agreement they had reached. I shall be guided by the legal representatives who is next to testify.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Very well, Mr Chairman, Francois van der Merwe on record, the next applicant will be Wybrand Andreas Lodewikus du Toit, and he will be giving his testimony in Afrikaans and he will take the oath.

NAME: WYBRAND ANDREAS LODEWIKUS DU TOIT

APPLICATION NO: AM5184/96

--------------------------------------------------------------------------WYBRAND ANDREAS LODEWIKUS DU TOIT: (sworn states)

ADV BOSMAN: The applicant is duly sworn, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr van der Merwe?

MR VAN DER MERWE: Mr Chairman, just before we proceed with this witness, I have had a consultation with my other client, Mr Kok, which is Mr Jakobus Kok, and I must correct a statement that I put to Mr Vermeulen yesterday, which was in error. I put to Mr Vermeulen on behalf of Mr Jakobus Kok, that he switched the electricity off on all the floors of this building, my instructions from Mr Kok is, who I have spoken to in the lunch adjournment, that he only switched off the electricity on the floor where he worked and which was the first floor. So it was my mistake to assume that he switched it off on all the floors. He was not on the other floors, he switched it off on the first floor where he worked.

CHAIRPERSON: Wouldn't it be appropriate that you make that when Mr Kok takes the stand?

MR VAN DER MERWE: I just wanted, because this is entwined, just to place it on record, it can be taken up with him at a later stage.

CHAIRPERSON: I hear you.

EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Mr Chair.

Mr du Toit, your application appears in the bundle from page 306 up until page 319 of this bundle, is that correct?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct, yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: During the - when you submitted your application you were not represented by any attorney and you compiled these applications yourself.

MR DU TOIT: That is correct, yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: For that purpose you then worked with personnel of the TRC, in the preparation of your application for amnesty.

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: It is a person Chris McAdam?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: The position that you held during this incident was the Commander of the Mechanical Unit or the Technical that fell under the Head Office of the Security Police.

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: At the stage of the Khanya House incident, both the Kok brothers, Japie and Kobus Kok resorted under you and worked directly under your command, is that correct?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And just to clarify it, Mr Paul Hattingh who already testified, worked in a different section or leg of the Technical Unit and you stood opposing each other and not under each other?

MR DU TOIT: No, Mr Chairperson, Mr Hattingh was not part of the Technical Unit, he was part of the Bomb Disposal Unit.

MR VAN DER MERWE: I'm sorry. But you were not under his command structure?

MR DU TOIT: No, I wasn't.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Your application then appears on page 313 of the documents. In this application I would like to make it very clear that you yourself dealt with the technical aspects in the police and did not deal with information gathering or operation authorisation or verifications, is that correct?

MR DU TOIT: Yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: In this regard, your unit was mainly applied as a support unit that assisted some of the other units who operated in the field.

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You mention in this application that you were then approached, that you tasked Japie and Kobus Kok to assist with this specific operation for which you apply for amnesty.

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You yourself were not involved, as I said, in the planning or preparation of this operation, is that correct?

MR DU TOIT: Also not with the physical execution thereof, that's correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: So your involvement in the operation was the fact that you tasked the two members working under you to assist in this operation.

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Did you at any stage know about Khanya House before this incident?

MR DU TOIT: Very superficially, yes, in terms of possible political involvement. If I could just correct myself, in terms of a possible threat that can come from that side, I was not kept up to date with the finer details or particulars of what occurred there.

MR VAN DER MERWE: In this matter, after you received the request from Mr de Kock that they had to assist, you verified that this was an instruction that was authorised on a higher level and that this was a command that was given, is that correct?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And in your application you do not mention who you spoke to, but Mr Hattingh already testified that he was of the opinion that he discussed it with you. Will you agree with that?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairperson, I will agree with that, but at that stage when I compiled this document I was not kept up to date about the Commander of the Bomb Disposal Unit, I didn't know who he was at that stage, but I do agree that it could have been Mr Hattingh.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Mr McIntyre has already testified here that he gave the instruction for this operation, and you do not have a problem with this because you do not know who gave the instruction when you took part in it, is that correct?

MR DU TOIT: Yes, at that stage somebody could have mentioned it to me, but I have no recollection of it.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Did they mention to you what the aspects of this operation would be?

MR DU TOIT: It came down to the damaging of an infrastructure, the planning and the logistics around it was not known to me.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You do however confirm that you regarded this instruction and your participation as an instruction from Head Office, and that it was carried out as part of the struggle, as you set out on page 315 and 316, which is your political motivation. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR DU TOIT: That is correct, yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You yourself were never involved in the verification or the collection of information surrounding the decision to execute this operation, is that correct?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You then also confirm the contents of your application as correct and truthful.

MR DU TOIT: I confirm it, Chairperson.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Mr Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr van der Merwe. Mr Hattingh?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HATTINGH: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr du Toit, can I refer you to page 313 of your application. Under the heading Khanya House you say that:

"In the above-mentioned operations members of my personnel were tasked to assist in a covert offensive operation launched against a press and living quarters of a Catholic church in Pretoria central. Information indicated that both facilities were used in the promotion of the objectives of the liberation movements and in the struggle against the government and the people of the Republic."

Then I would also like to refer you to page 316 of your statement. Once again under (b), the third paragraph you say that:

"Khanya House consisted of living quarters and a press that were both used to promote the liberation organisations in their struggle against the Republic, by providing accommodation to exiles as well as the printing of pamphlets, banners and other literature in the undermining of the government and its supporters."

Where did you get that information from?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairperson, I cannot specifically say where I got this information from, but what I know is that it was a general perception that I had with regard to the living quarters and the press. At this stage and even then when I compiled this document, I was not up to date with what the buildings were on that premises. It could be that I was influenced by the reports in the media and the information that you heard and that may have influenced me to make this statement, but there was the perception that there was negative activities at that premises.

MR HATTINGH: Did you know that during the operation in which this building was set alight, that there were people sleeping in the building? Did you hear about that after the operation?

MR DU TOIT: Yes, I did, I think it was also mentioned in the media.

MR HATTINGH: And before the operation when they came to ask you for assistance, were you given any information concerning activists, or maybe if I can use your words, that accommodation was provided to exiles, as you call them? Was that information made known to you?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairperson, no I cannot place it or that I heard it from a specific individual or some authority, I'm not quite sure about that aspect. I do accept that what happened afterwards, that this could have influenced me, what was mentioned in the press or media.

MR HATTINGH: Is this now the statement concerning the living quarters?

MR DU TOIT: Yes.

MR HATTINGH: Did they tell you when you were approached for assistance, that the instructions were to damage to destroy this building?

MR DU TOIT: Yes, definite instructions were given that the building and especially the press had to be damaged. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR HATTINGH: Was there a possibility, or did they mention to you that there is a possibility that people will be in the building when they attacked this house?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairperson, no, I think at that stage the information that I cannot verify at this stage and that also came from a different source, I was not an information or intelligence person, and the information indicated that at that stage there will not be people in that building.

MR HATTINGH: Can I just ask you, were you an applicant in the Khotso House incident?

MR DU TOIT: Yes, I was.

MR HATTINGH: And in the Cosatu House incident?

MR DU TOIT: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR HATTINGH: At the Khotso House incident, were there any people in the building when it was blown up?

MR DU TOIT: No, Mr Chairperson, the information that I had at that stage, and in both cases I do mention it in my application, was that all preparations were made that there would be no loss of life or trauma as a result of the attack.

MR HATTINGH: Do you also say it with regards to Khanya House?

MR DU TOIT: Yes, in both cases.

MR HATTINGH: And you just focused my attention to it.

MR DU TOIT: I'm referring to page 314, the top paragraph:

"I was therefore sure that it was not done in our own interests, but it was done to prevent any personal trauma."

MR HATTINGH: Was this mentioned to you before?

MR DU TOIT: Yes.

MR HATTINGH: And in Khotso House it also then seemed to be the case.

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: Was that, according to you, an attack on a building and not an attack directed at people? ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR DU TOIT: Yes, definitely not directed to the people.

MR HATTINGH: Thank you, Mr Chairperson, I've got no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR HATTINGH

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Hattingh.

MR NEL: Thank you, Chairperson, Nel on record, I have no questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR NEL

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Wagener.

MR WAGENER: Jan Wagener, Mr Chairman, no questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR WAGENER

MR BUNN: Steven Bunn, Mr Chairman, no questions thank you.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR BUNN

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Joubert?

MR JOUBERT: I have no questions, thank you Mr Chair.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR JOUBERT

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Are you starting with yourself or Mr Lamey?

MR DU PLESSIS: I'm not sure which one, Mr Chair. I have no questions on behalf of either or us, thank you Mr Chairperson.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR DU PLESSIS

NO QUESTIONS BY MR LAMEY

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Cornelius?

MR CORNELIUS: I've got no questions, thank you Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Cambanis?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chair.

Sir, did I understand that the instruction was not given to you by Mr Hattingh?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct, yes.

MS CAMBANIS: And it was that he needed assistance from your department, is that correct?

MR DU TOIT: That's correct, Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: To do what?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairperson, there were certain - we had certain expertise at this unit where I worked and in this case and in many others, it was around the access or the penetration of a building, that it was done in such a way that nobody would find out afterwards that there would be - if people were in the surrounding area. We had the expertise to pick certain locks, if I may use the English, to do it also on a professional way and it was specially for this then that we were tasked for.

MS CAMBANIS: And this kind of expertise, the chaps at Vlakplaas would have this kind of expertise?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairperson, some of the people there also underwent certain training. But if you allow me the following statement, I think most of the expertise fell under the Technical Unit.

MS CAMBANIS: Sorry, but they did have amongst their members, certain people who had undergone the courses and were capable of performing this task.

MR DU TOIT: Yes, with limited knowledge.

MS CAMBANIS: And then Sir, was it your decision to instruct the Kok brothers?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct, I was approached to assist in this regard and then they also indicated to me, or explained to me that this was an authorised operation that was sanctioned from Head Office. I approached these members to support this operation.

MS CAMBANIS: Sorry, that's Mr Hattingh that explained to you that this is an authorised operation?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: No-one else was there during this instruction to you?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairperson, as I testified earlier on, I could not even recall who the person was, I just made the assumption and if Mr Hattingh says he was with me or there with me, I'd agree with him.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you. Amongst your staff, were there more people than the Kok bothers that could have carried out this task? Did you have several people that could have done this?

MR DU TOIT: No, Mr Chairperson, I did not, they were the only two.

MS CAMBANIS: That was the two specialists in this area available?

MR DU TOIT: They were the two best men I had, yes.

MS CAMBANIS: And after the operation, did they report back to you?

MR DU TOIT: I think the next day they did inform me about what happened there.

MS CAMBANIS: Do you know what task they had been given for that evening? Not the evening, the incident.

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairperson, no, I was not present at this reconnaissance or observation or the tasking thereof, I only made them available for the operation, I do not have any other knowledge concerning it.

MS CAMBANIS: You made them available to who? To Mr Hattingh?

MR DU TOIT: To Mr Hattingh, yes.

MS CAMBANIS: What did they report to you the next day, or whenever it was?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairperson, I now have to make use of the recollection that I have of that time, I've got limited recollection of it. They just told me that they penetrated this place, that they used petrol to set alight this place and the press was damaged and the building next door, whatever that may have been.

MS CAMBANIS: They said they had used petrol, the Kok brothers?

MR DU TOIT: No, they did not say that they used it, they just said that petrol was used there at the scene.

MS CAMBANIS: And at that time did you know that people had been trapped in the building during the incident?

MR DU TOIT: No, Mr Chairperson, I think we read about it in the media. I did not know about it.

MS CAMBANIS: And did you have any discussion about that? With the brothers Kok?

MR DU TOIT: I do not have a recollection, no. Possibly we did talk about it, but I cannot specifically recall it.

MS CAMBANIS: And what were your thoughts when you read in the press that people had been trapped inside?

MR DU TOIT: Well Mr Chairperson, it was not the intention and I do accept that the information was not correct concerning this aspect. As I said, our task was from the beginning that nobody had to be injured in the process.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes. Sir, when you completed your application form you were quite clear in your own mind, isn't it, that it was the residence of a Catholic Church in Pretoria central?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct, yes.

MS CAMBANIS: And that is the same certainty that you had at the time that you instructed the Kok brothers to assist Mr Hattingh?

MR DU TOIT: No, Mr Chairperson, that is not what I testified. I think I mentioned earlier on that it could have influenced me when I compiled this document, that the reports or articles in the media refreshed my memory about ... corrections ... and I tried to explain it as best as possible.

MS CAMBANIS: If at the time that you gave the instruction you thought it was the residence of the Catholic Church, would you still have assisted Mr Hattingh?

MR DU TOIT: Definitely not if there were people's lives in danger.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr du Toit, where in your application does it say that "I did not know at the time that I gave the instructions that it was not occupied", or anything like that? Where does it say in your application that you didn't know it was a residence?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairperson, it does not appear in my application, but if you see what I'm applying for amnesty for, you will see that it was for the damaging of property and not for attempt to murder. I was under the impression that during the execution of this incident, that it was not directed towards people but against the infrastructure.

MS CAMBANIS: But why do you not mention that in your application? You use the word specifically, "resident".

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: And your application is quite lengthy.

MR DU TOIT: My whole application is very long, but concerning this specific incident it's actually very short. I do not think it's very long, I think it's about a page and a half and as I mentioned to you earlier on, I attempted to give as thorough as possible explanation of what happened.

MS CAMBANIS: When Sir, did you decide that your perception that it was the residence of the Catholic Church, had been informed by the subsequent press reports? When did you make that decision?

MR DU TOIT: I did not make such a decision, I just mentioned that it is a possibility. I cannot say with certainty that it is so.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Sir. Thanks, Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS CAMBANIS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Patel?

MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson, I have no questions for this witness.

NO QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Bosman?

ADV BOSMAN: I have no questions, thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Sandi?

ADV SANDI: Thank you, Chair.

Mr du Toit, I understood you - this is in your evidence-in-chief now, I understood you to say that all preparations were made to ensure that there would be no loss of life, but if your information was that there were no people in this building, then the possibility of endangering any person's life does not even begin to arise.

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairperson, I just referred to it as an umbrella concept, as it was in the case of some of the other incidents where some of my staff were involved. It was a prerequisite that they had to do everything possible and it was not just for them, but it was also the overall command of the operation, that it was not accompanied by any personal trauma or loss of life. In this specific incident I cannot tell you that it was different, it is a general rule.

ADV SANDI: And before the execution of this operation, did you know of any surveillance that was conducted?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairperson, I personally was not involved in it, I cannot testify about it, I do not know anything about it.

ADV SANDI: Now when you say "information indicated that there would be no people in the building", what information are you referring to? Who did this information come from?

MR DU TOIT: The briefing that I received, whether it was from Mr Hattingh or members of his staff, it was probably contained in that and that is the reason why I mentioned it.

ADV SANDI: Before you drew up your application, did you have any opportunity to discuss the incident with one of the applicants or any person who was involved in the incident?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairperson, no, it is a bit difficult to explain it on a technical level, but I can just mention that my specific application was submitted a week or ten days before the cut-off date and the instructions of the Commission were that I must not do it with the assistance of a legal representative, that I must not liaise with anybody else, so I compiled this by myself and this is my own input done only by myself.

ADV SANDI: Yes, and after compiling and submitting your application to the Amnesty Committee, did you ever have an opportunity to discuss the matter with your co-applicants, by way of refreshing your memory as to what could have happened at the time?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairperson, the people I could have discussed it with were probably people of my staff, it couldn't have really helped me a lot, I do not thin that we could really add anything more than what I've already put down on paper, concerning my involvement in this.

ADV SANDI: Thank you, Mr du Toit. Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Advocate Sandi? Any re-examination?

MR VAN DER MERWE: No re-examination, thank you Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr du Toit, you are excused.

WITNESS EXCUSED

MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Mr Chairman, that is the evidence on behalf of Mr du Toit. I do not envisage to lead any further evidence. The next witness in this matter will then be Jakob Francois Kok who will be testifying in Afrikaans, he will take the oath.

NAME: JAKOB FRANCOIS KOK

APPLICATION NO: AM3812/96

--------------------------------------------------------------------------JAKOB FRANCOIS KOK: (sworn states)

ADV BOSMAN: The applicant is duly sworn, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Advocate Bosman. Mr van der Merwe?

EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Mr Chair.

Mr Kok, you are an applicant in this matter and your application is embodied in the bundle, from page 128 to ...(end of side B of tape) At the time of the incident for which application has been made at this stage, you were a Captain and you resorted under the command of Mr du Toit, who has just testified.

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: In this matter you were approached by Mr Kotze, is that how you became aware for the first time, of this matter?

MR J F KOK: That is correct, Mr Kotze and Mr Hammond approached me for assistance with the operation.

MR VAN DER MERWE: At that stage, was there any indication to you that this was an instruction from Head Office?

MR J F KOK: That is how I recall it. They told me that the instructions came from Head Office, via Brig McIntyre.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Can you recall what the instruction involved?

MR J F KOK: As I can recall the instruction was to destroy or damage the building structure of Khanya House, to such an extent that it could not be used.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And was there any talk of a printing press at that point?

MR J F KOK: Yes, it was the building and the printing press which were at issue.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Just to explain to the Committee the working method of your unit, would you at this stage have been able to become involved in the operation without the authorisation of your direct head, Mr du Toit?

MR J F KOK: No, I would not have become involved in such an operation without the authorisation of my immediate head, Mr du Toit, and from that reason we went together to speak to Mr du Toit, we told him of the request and requested whether or not it was possible to continue.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And you then received the approval from Mr du Toit to go ahead with the operation?

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Mr de Kock has already testified as having been the operation Commander of this operation, do you agree with this?

MR J F KOK: Yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And he was also the person who bore the highest rank of all of those who took part in this operation? ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR J F KOK: Yes, operationally he was the highest member of the team which participated in this operation.

MR VAN DER MERWE: At the stage when you received the instruction, was there any discussion regarding the method which would be applied in damaging the building, or was it left to the operatives?

MR J F KOK: As far as I can recall the request was to damage the building and the idea was initially to use explosives, but we had a mutual discussion about the request, me, Col de Kock, Hennie Kotze and George Hammond, and I think that the request came from Mr de Kock's side, he said that he would assist but that he could not associate with an explosion to destroy the building. That is how we arrived at the conclusion that we should use fire.

MR VAN DER MERWE: In the events leading up to the operation you were also involved in a reconnaissance operation, as it is stated on page 135 of your statement, is that correct?

MR J F KOK: That is correct. It was basically just one evening approximately a week before the time, we went in to determine for ourselves what the layout of the building was like on the ground floor. We also wanted to determine where the printing press was, because at that stage we didn't really have concrete information which could determine what the precise layout of the building was.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Who accompanied you during this reconnaissance mission?

MR J F KOK: It was me, Col de Kock and another person, but I cannot recall who that third person was.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Very well. You were not here but Col de Kock has already testified that according to his recollection, he did not enter the building, did you enter the building physically and conduct an inspection and who was with you?

MR J F KOK: We physically entered the building and as far as I can recall, Mr de Kock was with me, because at one point I struggled with a lock and he held the torch over my shoulder.

MR VAN DER MERWE: At any stage during the issue of this order or during the reconnaissance mission, did it come to your knowledge that people were living on a permanent basis in that building?

MR J F KOK: At no stage did we have any knowledge that there were indeed people living in the building. With the pre-reconnaissance we did not find anybody there. At no stage were we disturbed in our activities or did we encounter anybody during the preparation or planning phase.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And during the reconnaissance, you were not on the first, second or third floors?

MR J F KOK: I think we may have been on the first floor where the offices were, but we did not go any further into the building.

MR VAN DER MERWE: The preceding time up to the operation you had a meeting at Vlakplaas.

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And it was there that Col de Kock divided you into different teams and expressed specific tasks and expectations to the different teams, is that correct?

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: With reference to yourself, could you tell the Committee what your task was that you had to perform during this particular operation.

MR J F KOK: Automatically I would have to go in first, I would have to walk ahead to open the doors so that we could achieve access to the building and then all the locks that had to be picked at the bottom, I would do that and then I would also gain access to the adjacent building or outside room where the printing press was.

MR VAN DER MERWE: With regard to your capacity to open locks, who would you say between you and your brother was the most experienced when it came to picking locks?

MR J F KOK: I was the most experienced when it came to that.

MR VAN DER MERWE: What would your brother's role have been, according to your knowledge?

MR J F KOK: As far as I can recall he had to open the locks on the first floor.

MR VAN DER MERWE: In your statement on page 136 you state that your brother was responsible for the doors on the top floors, is that correct?

MR J F KOK: I stated it as such on that page, but it is ...

MR VAN DER MERWE: Is it not correct?

MR J F KOK: Well it is somewhat problematic. As I read the statement now, I made my statements by myself at that stage, there are many spelling errors and I wrote down what I could recall at that point.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Perhaps just for the sake of completion I could put this before the Committee. You yourself prepared your application before the cut-off date, without the assistance of a legal representative and not in co-operation with members of the TRC.

MR J F KOK: I did this completely alone.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Therefore you didn't have any assistance from anybody?

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: After you entered the building, did you play any other role, with the exception of opening the doors on the ground floor and opening the doors to the printing press room?

MR J F KOK: No.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You were not involved in the pouring of petrol and the physical lighting of the petrol, is that correct?

MR J F KOK: No, it was impossible to perform both tasks simultaneously.

MR VAN DER MERWE: How long would you say did the operation last from the moment that you opened the first door until the moment that you withdrew from the scene?

MR J F KOK: It is very difficult to recall, but it could not have been very long, if it was 10 minutes, then it was long enough.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You yourself were not armed, is that correct?

MR J F KOK: No, I was not armed.

MR VAN DER MERWE: At the time of this action you thus acted under the instructions of your command, as you received them?

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And you were under the impression that this operation was to be executed as part of the political struggle which waged at that stage between the government and the anti-governmental powers.

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: After this action you departed for Vlakplaas in one of the kombis, is that correct?

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And from that point onwards you went home.

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: At the time of the operation, did you at any stage find out whether or not people were present in the building?

MR J F KOK: At no stage did I find out that there were people in the building.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Perhaps just, Mr Kok, for the sake of information, if one were to kill people in this building, would arson have been an effective method?

MR J F KOK: That is a very difficult question to answer, I wouldn't know.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Are there more effective methods that you think could have been applied in killing people, if that was what your intention was?

MR J F KOK: Well one could have shot them and then burn the place up.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Chairperson, nothing further.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr van der Merwe. Mr Hattingh?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HATTINGH: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Kok, just a number of general questions. On page 129 of your application, the last paragraph, there you state that in 1983 you obtained your Mechanical Engineering diploma, is that correct?

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: And after that you followed various courses, such as a demolitions course.

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: And as was referred to commonly in the police and here in the application, a lock-picking course.

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: And on page 131 you state that you were also recognised as the best student of this lock-picking course, is that correct?

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: And then you say that subsequently you established a unique capacity in the Security Branch, because you were training operatives on a national basis in lock-picking techniques, is that correct?

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: And these were members of the police who followed these courses under you.

MR J F KOK: Yes, selected members of the Security Branch, Chairperson.

MR HATTINGH: And this course that you presented, was it as comprehensive and intensive as the course that you yourself had followed?

MR J F KOK: It wasn't as comprehensive, but if I could just explain what the course involved. It was basic knowledge that one would acquire and then the development of a practical ability, if one didn't practise these techniques one would not be able to apply them properly.

MR HATTINGH: So with only the theoretical knowledge, one would not be able to practise these techniques?

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: Did you consistently practise these techniques?

MR J F KOK: Because we were specialists and because we performed these tasks on a more regular basis than what they were required, due to the fact that I provided training, I performed these techniques on a regular basis.

MR HATTINGH: Would you then say that you were better equipped to do the job than someone who had actually simply followed the course under your guidance and who had not performed these techniques regularly?

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: You stated that you were better equipped in the lock-picking technique than your brother, is that correct?

MR J F KOK: Yes.

MR HATTINGH: And you opened the doors on the ground level, is that correct?

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: And according to your recollection, he would then take the next floor, being the first floor, is that correct?

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: Was it your plan to open the doors on the second and the third floors as well?

MR J F KOK: As far as I can recall we did not have any such order and it also was not our objective to open the doors on the second and third floors, we didn't have time.

MR HATTINGH: If it had been the objective to do so, to open the locks on all floors, would you have left the first, second and third floors to your brother and only dealt with the locks on the ground floor?

MR J F KOK: No, I would have dealt with a greater portion of the work, I would have assisted him once I had finished my work.

MR HATTINGH: And you did not assist him in any way on the first floor?

MR J F KOK: No, it wasn't necessary.

MR HATTINGH: And you did not go to any of the other floors?

MR J F KOK: No.

MR HATTINGH: What is your knowledge regarding fires or arson and fire prevention, if any?

MR J F KOK: I don't really have any knowledge, the only knowledge that I have regarding arson or the danger of fires, would be knowledge that I have due to the demolitions courses that I followed.

MR HATTINGH: Can you recall where the ignition cord was placed that night?

MR J F KOK: I would not be able to comment on that, I didn't see it and I did not know who was responsible for it.

MR HATTINGH: When you were busy on the ground floor, how was the lighting?

MR J F KOK: It was dark. Our modus operandi was to keep it as dark as possible. We had small torches with which we could work, one would have to place it in one's mouth and work as such in the dark.

MR HATTINGH: So you made use of those small torches.

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: What was the idea, were you supposed to unlock the door and then douse that particular room with petrol?

MR J F KOK: Yes, I had to open the room so that people could get in to douse the rooms with petrol in order to make the whole process possible.

MR HATTINGH: Would the doors be locked subsequently?

MR J F KOK: No, I would not have wasted time in locking doors, I would have left the doors open.

MR HATTINGH: Can you recall how many doors you were supposed to open on the ground floor?

MR J F KOK: It is very difficult to recall at this point.

MR HATTINGH: Was it a question of two or three doors, or were there ten or more doors? Were there many doors or few doors?

MR J F KOK: If I have to think back and estimate, I would say that it would be in the vicinity of four to five doors, Chairperson.

MR HATTINGH: And while you were busy with that, the people who were supposed to douse the rooms with petrol, had already gained access to the building?

MR J F KOK: Yes, as far as they could continue with their tasks they did.

MR HATTINGH: Therefore, as you opened the rooms they would walk through and douse the rooms with petrol?

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: Did you try in any way to perform your tasks in silence, or did you just go about your work in a normal manner, without really trying to neutralise any sound?

MR J F KOK: As far as I can recall, it was a covert task, so one would do so as quietly as possible, one wouldn't want to alert everybody to your presence there.

MR HATTINGH: But anybody who was on the outside of the building, in the street, would they have been able to hear you talking to one another?

MR J F KOK: No, I doubt it.

MR HATTINGH: So it wouldn't have been strange if you had spoken to one another in a normal tone of voice in the building?

MR J F KOK: That must probably be so.

MR HATTINGH: Because information indicates that someone said after the incident during a press conference, that those who were involved in the incident were most probably under the impression that no-one was in the building, because they did not try to conceal their activities there in the building. Would you agree with such a general statement?

MR J F KOK: Yes, one could probably agree, but it is very difficult to remember.

MR HATTINGH: Very well. Can you tell us more-or-less how much time you spent in the building, from the moment that you accessed it to the moment that you exited?

MR J F KOK: I've said that I cannot think that we were there for longer than 10 minutes.

MR HATTINGH: Very well. And then you immediately left the environment as well?

MR J F KOK: Yes, we withdrew immediately and completely.

MR HATTINGH: Just with regard to the reconnaissance operation, you state that Mr de Kock was present.

MR J F KOK: As far as I can recall he was definitely present.

MR HATTINGH: And did you move in from the back of the building?

MR J F KOK: We climbed over the wall on the northern side of the premises. As far as I can recall, I think that we entered the building on the side via a glass door. That was the pre-reconnaissance.

MR HATTINGH: Was anybody left at the door to stand guard?

MR J F KOK: No, if we had conducted such a reconnaissance we would basically have gone in and closed the door so that it would not look suspicious if somebody passed by, Chairperson.

MR HATTINGH: And were you then on the ground floor?

MR J F KOK: Yes, we were busy on the ground floor looking at what was going on.

MR HATTINGH: And did you open any of the other doors?

MR J F KOK: Yes, we did.

MR HATTINGH: Basically to view the layout of the offices, is that correct?

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: And did you find offices there?

MR J F KOK: Yes, what I saw looked like offices, I did not see any bedrooms.

MR HATTINGH: And at any stage during the reconnaissance or the operation itself, did you enter the first floor or the next floor?

MR J F KOK: I cannot recall whether I did so during the reconnaissance, but during the operation I did not go further than the ground floor. During the reconnaissance I would be almost certain to say that we entered the first floor.

MR HATTINGH: Did you see offices or bedrooms?

MR J F KOK: Offices.

MR HATTINGH: Did you have any reason to believe that there was anything other than an office complex in the building?

MR J F KOK: As far as I can recall, according to my perception I did not suspect that there were bedrooms, Chairperson.

MR HATTINGH: You thought it was an office building?

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: And at any point at the time of the operation, did it come to your knowledge that there could possibly be people in the building?

MR J F KOK: At no stage.

MR HATTINGH: Thank you, Chairperson, I have nothing further.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR HATTINGH

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Hattingh.

MR NEL: Chairperson, Nel, no questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR NEL

MR WAGENER: Neither have I, Mr Chairman, it's Jan Wagener.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR WAGENER

MR BUNN: Steven Bunn, I have no questions, thank you Mr Chairman.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR BUNN

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR JOUBERT: Mr Chairman, just one issue.

Mr Kok, on page 135 where you refer to Capt Kotze and Lieut Hammond who approached you to assist with the execution of an order that they received from Brig McIntyre, Brig McIntyre has indicated that he never had direct contact with these persons, so the order would not have gone directly to them, it would have been Mr Hattingh, who has previously testified. Would you accept that?

MR J F KOK: Yes.

MR JOUBERT: Nothing further, Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR JOUBERT

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Joubert. Mr du Plessis?

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman, I have no questions in my capacity as Mr Lamey, but I do have questions in my capacity as du Plessis, yes.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR LAMEY

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, you may proceed, Mr du Plessis.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Kok, this reconnaissance mission that you executed prior to the operation, you stated that you thought there was a third person present, but that you could not recall who it was. That was your evidence, it was you, Mr de Kock and someone else.

MR J F KOK: Yes, we were definitely three persons.

MR DU PLESSIS: You would not dispute when Mr Kotze says that he was also there.

MR J F KOK: No, I would not.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, nothing further.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR DU PLESSIS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr du Plessis.

MR CORNELIUS: I have no questions, thank you Mr Chair.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR CORNELIUS

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Cambanis?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chair.

Sir, please turn to page 136 of the bundle, under "uitvoering".

MR J F KOK: Yes.

MS CAMBANIS: Second paragraph:

"I was responsible for the doors on the ground floor, while my brother Kobus Kok who is also an officer at the Technical division of the Security Police, was responsible for "die deure op die boonste vloere."

Do you see that?

MR J F KOK: Yes.

MS CAMBANIS: It is your evidence-in-chief that this is a spelling mistake?

MR J F KOK: It is how I wrote it, it was very difficult, as I have explained. We sat and typed these things for days and days on end, we sat on our own trying to get these statements compiled, we wrote many things and if I read what I have printed here, I see many spelling errors and the way in which I put it, it's not a spelling error as such, I refer to the top floors but now that one's memory has been refreshed upon hearing all the other evidence, it was clear that there were no other floors to be dealt with, he only had to deal with one floor. I would not have tasked him to deal with the rest of the building if I only had to deal with one floor.

MS CAMBANIS: Sorry, it's not a spelling mistake, it is what?

MR J F KOK: If I could just repeat. What I wrote at that point was something that I did by myself and I had to do it in a very short span of time. I referred to floors, I did not specify the first floor or the second floor. The objective was not to go through the entire building that night or to unlock all the doors, the doors on the first floor for which he was tasked were the doors that were supposed to be opened. So it was an error or recollection on my behalf, not necessarily a spelling error.

MS CAMBANIS: You knew that there was a second and a third floor.

MR J F KOK: I must have known that the building was higher.

MS CAMBANIS: Now when did you decide to change this part of your application?

MR J F KOK: The moment when I began to read it with more clarity. When one views the document and as I've said, if I have to read this document now and see how many errors I have made and how many misformulations of sentences I have made, if I read it in proper perspective and correct the syntax, perhaps I would have put things in a different way.

MS CAMBANIS: Let me tell you when you decided, Sir, I'll put this to you. Seven people were trapped on the second floor, do you know that now?

MR J F KOK: Yes, I am now aware of it, we read it in the papers afterwards.

MS CAMBANIS: Men and woman.

MR J F KOK: Yes.

MS CAMBANIS: Including a 70 year old nun, and it has now become apparent that they were trapped on the second floor. And I put to you that since that information has been exposed at this hearing, we can't get one applicant above the first floor, including you.

MR J F KOK: It is definitely not now that we have started to say this, the moment that the information came through the media that there were people on the top floors, we were not happy about it, it wasn't part of the plan, it wasn't part of the order. We did not go there to cause any injury or death to people.

MS CAMBANIS: I'm putting to you, Sir, that throughout this bundle there's more than one reference to activities that took place above the first floor, but when it comes to giving oral evidence in this hearing, everyone is either on the ground floor or on the first floor.

MR J F KOK: I can only speak of what I know, of what I was involved with, of what I did and there is no way, because I was busy on the ground, I did my work there and I went out to the printing room, I opened the door, I still slid on the petrol which had been poured on the floor, I fell into the petrol literally, there was no way that I could have been above the ground floor during the operation. As far as I know and as far as I knew, it was Kobusí task to unlock the doors on the first floor. He couldn't go any further because there wasn't any time.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I know I'm perhaps a little bit out of line, but my learned friend, Ms Cambanis, put a question in a specific way which puzzles me and that is that she made the statement that everywhere through this bundle the people have said that they were present on the second ...(intervention)

MS CAMBANIS: I did not say that.

MR DU PLESSIS: Well that is how I understood the question. Now if that was the gist of the question, I would like her to point us to those specific passages, because I haven't seen them nor have I heard about them.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Cambanis?

MS CAMBANIS: I would like to know what the interest of this questions is coming from him, I would expect his legal representative to be putting this in the first place.

MR DU PLESSIS: Well Mr Chairman, that is why I said maybe it's not my function to raise this, but it is of concern to me that a question goes onto the record, put in a specific way, which does not portray the correct factual situation and therefore, in so far as it may be of interest to my clients too, I raised this issue. And the gist of the question, as I understood it, was that there were various places in this bundle where reference is made to the fact that the applicants were on the second floor, second and higher floors and I haven't seen those places where it's stated and I would like Ms Cambanis to point that out to us, if she's able to do that.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Cambanis, would you rephrase your question, let it correct the record if that is the ... for the witness to answer. Thank you, Mr du Plessis.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you for affording me the opportunity, Mr Chairman, I appreciate it.

MS CAMBANIS: Chairperson, it was not a question, it was actually something that I was putting to this witness. What I was putting to this witness is that if we look at the bundle and if we listen to the oral evidence that has been given, reference is made that there was activity beyond the first floor of Khanya House that evening.

MR VAN DER MERWE: But surely, Mr Chairman, there are - I have to come in here, I have not found a place like that in this bundle and if my learned colleague can point us to the point where reference is made of people, of activity beyond the first floor, then we can deal with it.

CHAIRPERSON: Hence I have come in and said what I've seen is beyond the ground floor.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chair, then I ask for an adjournment and I will get the page numbers and paragraph numbers.

CHAIRPERSON: Certainly.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: We'll adjourn.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

JAKOBUS FRANCOIS KOK: (s.u.o.)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Cambanis?

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chairperson. I refer to page 120 of the bundle, paragraph 3.5:

"Ignition cord was placed among the various floors and the printing press."

To page 265 ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Let's just get the first one, the first one is 120, paragraph 3.5?

MS CAMBANIS: Yes, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you may proceed. The next one?

MS CAMBANIS: Chairperson, before Mr Flores changed his evidence, at page 265 in the bundle he had referred to the top floor.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MS CAMBANIS: Chairperson, I do not recall to which witness I put the question that someone else would have been involved on the second and third floors, I'm afraid I cannot recall to who I put that question and it was answered that someone else would have dealt with the second and third floors.

I'll put my submission that in several places in the bundles the impression was created that people had been involved on the second and third floors. That was my submission put.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Sorry, Mr Chairman, if I may come in there. The paragraph quoted at page 123.5, refers to my client, Mr Kobus Kok, and quite clearly in plain and simple Afrikaans, that does not refer to the second or third floor, it says:

"Various floors"

which ground floor and first floor is "twee verskillende verdiepings", and I was going to deal with this in re-examination. If you look at paragraph 3.3, it becomes abundantly clear that he's not referring to the second or third floor.

CHAIRPERSON: Is this not subject to argument at the end of the day?

MS CAMBANIS: I accept that, Chair, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR WAGENER: Mr Chairman, maybe I can assist, Jan Wagener speaking. It was put to my client, Mr du Plessis, by Ms Cambanis,

"Were you instructed to pour petrol on each of the floors?"

And according to my notes he says:

"If I recall correctly, yes."

And that as far as I know, is the only relevance to the other floors.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm just looking at what ...(inaudible) but somewhere along the line under cross-examination by Ms Cambanis, he says:

"I did not see somebody going to the second floor"

MR WAGENER: Yes, Mr Chairman, he was then asked by her:

"Did you see anyone go to the second and top floors?"

and he said "No".

CHAIRPERSON: But it's not a ruling, I say rather than deal with semantics at this stage, let's just give the interpretation we wish as convincingly as possible under argument. It would make sense, because to say it's "verskillende verdiepings", it's already interpreted as two floors, ground and first floor. I don't want to hear that at this juncture.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes Chair, I have already accepted that.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MS CAMBANIS: Sir, you said in-chief that you would not have locked ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Could you just wait for a second, my colleague is showing me something.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS CAMBANIS: (Cont)

Thank you, Chair.

Sir, you have said that you did not lock the doors when you left the premises.

MR J F KOK: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: Yet once again in the docket there was a report, and it will be the evidence of Brother Jude, that the door was locked after this incident.

MR J F KOK: Which door?

MS CAMBANIS: The exit or the back door or where you came in.

MR J F KOK: We went in by the back door and we left by that door and I definitely did not lock it.

MS CAMBANIS: In fact, with discussions with Brother Jude, because the doors were locked it was suggested to him that it had been inside job.

MR J F KOK: What I can recall is that the motivation that we had, the way that we wanted to colour the operation was to make it appear that it was a right-wing operation, why would we waste time in locking doors in trying to get out of there?

MS CAMBANIS: If they were locked would that have been done by your brother then?

MR J F KOK: No, he would not have locked them. Our primary objective was to burn the building down and it had to be clear that it was arson and that it could be linked to a right-wing action, that the right-wingers in the country would have to assume responsibility for it. I think that there was a story at one point that the Wit Wolwe would accept responsibility for it, so why would we lock any doors, because that would just be a waste of time and we wanted to get away from the premises as soon as possible.

MS CAMBANIS: Sir, I'm putting to you that the evidence will be that the doors were found to be locked, if we had the docket we could have proved that, and I'm asking you if you and your - if you didn't do it, your brother didn't do it, who else could have done that?

MR J F KOK: I cannot answer you.

MS CAMBANIS: Were you supposed to work in conjunction with someone specifically from Vlakplaas that evening?

MR J F KOK: Willie Nortje would basically protect my back, because the minute one was unlocking the doors, one's attention would be focused solely on the lock, one couldn't keep an eye on what was happening around one, so he had to watch my back and keep and eye on what was happening, Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Was he the person - he was there to look after you, who was the person in charge for operations inside the building?

MR J F KOK: I cannot recall.

MS CAMBANIS: When you went on the recognisance inside the building, previously, had you received or obtained plans of the building beforehand?

MR J F KOK: No, we did not have any plans, that was one of the reasons why we went in. We didn't have any plans of the layout of the building, no-one could really tell me where the printing press would be situated in the building.

MS CAMBANIS: Now one of the previous witnesses has talked about a radio communication via walkie-talkie, you wouldn't be someone who would have had the need to be placed in possession of a walkie-talkie?

MR J F KOK: No. Once again, because I was focusing on the locks, all the other tasks would then be removed from one because one had to concentrate on the locks, that's why I didn't have a radio or anything like that, they had to protect me.

MS CAMBANIS: Do you recall if Mr Nortje had a walkie-talkie with him?

MR J F KOK: I cannot recall.

MS CAMBANIS: Do you remember whether, who did have, or can't you recall who were the people carrying walkie-talkies that evening?

MR J F KOK: I would be lying if I tried to say who was carrying a radio that night.

MS CAMBANIS: Sir, the night that you went on the recognisance of the building, do you know what time of night, midnight, early morning?

MR J F KOK: If I have it correctly, it would have been between 11 and 12 o'clock that night. It was before midnight, not afterwards.

MS CAMBANIS: And is there any particular reason why - did you say you only went on the ground floor and the first floor?

MR J F KOK: We pertinently looked at the layout, because we were looking for the printing press which would not necessarily have been on the first floor. I cannot recall correctly, but it could be that we were also on the first floor, but we were primarily on the ground floor looking for the printing press.

MS CAMBANIS: Any reason why you didn't go to the second and third floors?

MR J F KOK: I cannot recall, there was no motivation. We also didn't want to spend too much time in the building.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes of course. And where did you find the print press?

MR J F KOK: It was the small building adjacent to the main building.

MS CAMBANIS: And have you heard me refer to something called the documentation room? Have you been present?

MR J F KOK: Yes, it was a room under the staircase, there was something that looked like a, something that we call a police basket that was attached to the door.

MS CAMBANIS: And would that be something that would definitely have to be burnt? I mean that would be something that would a priority, do you agree?

MR J F KOK: Yes.

MS CAMBANIS: And if there's going to be evidence that in fact that place was not very damaged and the petrol was only thrown up to the door, what would your comment be?

MR J F KOK: It's difficult to recall what happened that night. I opened up the place and we basically withdrew once our work was done. I cannot recall how large the fire was or the extent of the damage.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you very much, Mr Kok. Thank you, Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS CAMBANIS

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Patel?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson,

Just one aspect. On page 136 of your application Sir, you state under "Uitvoering", if we look at paragraph 4 thereof, you say that:

"Everything went according to plan"

The plan that you refer to, what specifically are you talking about there?

MR J F KOK: The plan was to damage the building, to start the fire, so everything went according to plan and we all withdrew.

MS PATEL: So the fact that there were people in the building wasn't part of the plan?

MR J F KOK: No, at that stage I did not know that there were people in the building, it was only on the following day that we heard that there were people in the building.

MS PATEL: Alright. So then everything couldn't have gone according to plan, as stated here?

MR J F KOK: But the plan was not to injure anybody, the plan was to damage the building and that was the plan that we executed.

MS PATEL: Alright. Then just one aspect also, you were asked if the intention was to kill the people present in the building and you suggested as alternatives that they could have been shot and the building could have been exploded, this wouldn't have been a really feasible alternative, given that according to testimony before us that there was a police, that policemen were housed very near to where Khanya House was situated, not so? It would have been problematic to carry out an operation in that way.

MR J F KOK: It was a remark. The question was put and I made a comment, but there are many other ways if you really want to kill someone. I think it's problematic to put a question like that to a person.

MS PATEL: Alright. And then finally, you state that you were approached - if I can just get this correct, you were approached by Hammond and then the two of you went to WAL du Toit for authorisation to assist, is that how it happened or did I get that wrong?

MR J F KOK: It was Kotze and Hammond who came to see me and it was regular practice. I did not do any work before it had been cleared with Col du Toit, if he was available. I would not have done any work without his authorisation and I also would not have discussed it alone with him, the person making the request would have had to come with, and that is why I went to him.

MS PATEL: Okay. And Kotze and Hammond had told you that they were approached by Hattingh, is that right? Do I get the order correct here?

MR J F KOK: Yes, they received an order from Col Hattingh, but it came from McIntyre.

MS PATEL: Alright fine, I just wanted clarity on that, thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Bosman?

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Kok, what was the nature of the locks, can you recall?

MR J F KOK: The lock on the back door was an old type of lock, I'm just trying to remember, one would recall the locks which would be more difficult to open. One of the locks on the inside on the ground floor was a solid cylinder lock which is one that I spent quite some time with the evening of the reconnaissance. The lock leading to the file room - I'm just referring to it as the file room, was a lock with a small police feature on the inside, it was the regular kind of lock that one would find in the domestic situation.

ADV BOSMAN: The reason why I ask is that these were locks that had to be actively locked, it wasn't like a Yale lock that one could accidentally lock by drawing it closed?

MR J F KOK: No, all of those were locks that you had to open actively. I don't know if there was a Yale lock on the back door, but it is very difficult, generally these were locks that you had to lock actively.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you. Thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Sandi?

ADV SANDI: Yes, thank you, Chair.

Mr Kok, when did you become aware for the first time that there were in fact people on the second and the third floor?

MR J F KOK: The following day it was in the media, it came to light, we heard that there were people in the building.

ADV SANDI: How would you describe your feeling at that stage when you saw this thing in the newspaper, this report that there were actually people there?

MR J F KOK: Well one wasn't happy about it, one would be upset by it because it wasn't part of the plan.

ADV SANDI: Would you describe your feeling as one of shock and horror?

MR J F KOK: Yes, one could say so.

ADV SANDI: Did you share your feelings with anyone, having learnt what the situation actually was?

MR J F KOK: We spoke among ourselves and we realised that people could have died, it bothered us, it wasn't part of the plan. Over the period that we worked, we didn't try to target innocent bystanders, if people were involved it would be people who were involved in the struggle. We didn't go around trying to injure or kill people randomly.

ADV SANDI: Now as amongst your colleagues who were involved in this incident, would you say there was this general feeling of shock?

MR J F KOK: My brother and I worked together so we would have shared these things on a more personal level, one wouldn't have operated on a daily level with the others. I think that was basically the line of our conversation, that it wasn't acceptable.

ADV SANDI: If at the time you were busy sprinkling and dousing the place with ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: No, not him, he was just busy with the locks.

ADV SANDI: No, I'm talking about your group, the group of which you were a member, if it had become apparent that there were people in this building, would you be able to say what would have happened? Would you have called it off, what would have happened?

MR J F KOK: I think the norm would have been to withdraw. If one knew that there were people in the building, one couldn't simply set it alight. I don't think that we would have continued.

ADV SANDI: Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Advocate Sandi. Any re-examination?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DER MERWE: Sorry, Mr Chairman, just two aspects.

Mr Kok, your application you submitted on the date stamped on page 140, on the 12th of December 1996, three days before the cut-off date, is that correct?

MR J F KOK: Yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: If we can page back to your brother's application that ends on page 127, his was also signed on the 12/12/1996, is that correct?

MR J F KOK: Yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: In your brother's application on page 120, he at that early stage refers to, in paragraph 3.3:

"After everybody got safe access to the complex, I executed my instructions and opened the doors on the first floor."

Can you confirm that he said that?

MR J F KOK: Yes, if I can read it in the bundle.

MR VAN DER MERWE: The second aspect, you were asked and my learned colleague, Ms Patel said that everything was executed according to plan and at that stage you referred to that stage when you withdrew.

MR J F KOK: Yes, we executed our task.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Mr Chairperson, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Thank you, Mr Kok, you're excused.

WITNESS EXCUSED

MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Chairperson. Mr Chairman, I won't be presenting anymore evidence on behalf of Mr Jakob Francois Kok. The next witness will be Mr Jakobus Kok and he will be testifying in Afrikaans.

NAME: JAKOBUS KOK

APPLICATION NO: AM3811/96

--------------------------------------------------------------------------JAKOBUS KOK: (sworn states)

ADV BOSMAN: The applicant is sworn in, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. You may take a seat, Mr Kok. Mr van der Merwe?

EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Kok, you confirm that your application in this bundle appears on page 108 up and to page 127, is that correct?

MR J KOK: Yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You also confirm that like your brother in this application, you compiled it yourself without the assistance of any legal representatives.

MR J KOK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: The application then appears - or with the specific details of this incident, on page 116, do you confirm that?

MR J KOK: Yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You have already heard the evidence of your brother who testified before you and you do confirm that at that stage you were also a member of the staff of Mr du Toit, who already testified, and that you served under his command, do you confirm that?

MR J KOK: Yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And insofar as it pertains to your brother's evidence, you also confirm that?

MR J KOK: Yes, I do.

MR VAN DER MERWE: In this matter you were approached to lend assistance in this instruction and this instruction came from Head Office.

MR J KOK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Your involvement in this matter directly related to access control or possibilities for the purposes of this operation.

MR J KOK: Yes, I was a support for my brother.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You also confirm that in the area of the picking of locks, your brother is a bit more capable than you are?

MR J KOK: Yes, that is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: If we can then continue. You were not involved at all with regards to the target identification of this operation?

MR J KOK: Yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You were also at no stage involved in the reconnaissance beforehand in order to analyse the target?

MR J KOK: No, I wasn't.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Your involvement took place at the stage when this operation was launched and you had to go and act that evening.

MR J KOK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Can you tell us what your specific instructions were, what did you have to go and do that evening?

MR J KOK: Well it was very clear, Mr Chairperson, I was tasked by my brother to lend support in the access to the building and my instruction was to open all the doors on the first floor and that is where it stopped.

MR VAN DER MERWE: In the run-up to the operation that evening you also assisted in the preparation of the petrol that was placed in containers.

MR J KOK: Yes, we provided them with containers for the petrol and the petrol was mixed on the premises and we also assisted there.

MR VAN DER MERWE: On page 119 of the record, paragraph 2.4.4, you wrote:

"My instruction and support for J F Kok was to open all doors that were locked on the first floor, so that the operatives of Vlakplaas can search them."

Can you confirm that that was your instructions?

MR J KOK: Yes, Mr Chairperson, it was not quite searching but more a scan, if I can put it that way, it was a scan for documents in the offices. If they saw anything that could contain any information they had to seize it.

MR VAN DER MERWE: In the process that evening everything happened very quickly, is that correct?

MR J KOK: Yes, as far as I can recall, yes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: How long would you say was the longest time that you spent in the building? Or the time you spent there in total.

MR J KOK: I would say 10 to 15 minutes.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Mr Kok when he testified said or had the opinion that he was not aware that instructions were given that offices had to be searched, do you have any knowledge if some of the offices were searched that evening or not?

MR J KOK: People did scan documents and documents were removed. I can also expect that there was some record or document removed, and what happened to that I do not know, Mr Chairperson.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Did you at any stage move to any other floor or work on any other floor but the one where you were?

MR J KOK: No, Mr Chairperson, my instructions were the first floor and I stayed on the first floor.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You also confirm your instruction to me that was initially wrong or that I made a mistake where I said that the electricity on the first floor was switched off, is that correct?

MR J KOK: With our consultation on Sunday, and I did not mention it in my statement but with the recollection by the evidence that was given, because it happened 12 years ago, I did recall that our modus operandi was to work in the dark. On the floor on which I worked I did switch off the electricity because I didn't want to be caught kneeling in front of a door with the lights on.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Well at that stage when you launched this operation, were you at any stage aware of the fact that there would be people in this building?

MR J KOK: No, I was no stage aware of the fact that there would be people in the building. I did not know Khanya House at all, I did not know what happened there and I just executed my instructions and that is that.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You also confirm the motivation and the reason why you participated in this operation, was that you were under the impression that this institute was part of a struggle against the government and that they assisted people from this premises.

MR J KOK: Yes, that's how I understood it the day that I was briefed or was given the task to execute this operation. I also associated myself one hundred percent with this. I went to go and fight the struggle.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Did you not find it strange that this was a church building or organisation who was part of this target or who formed a target of this instruction?

MR J KOK: No, Mr Chairperson, it was not strange. I was also involved in the South West conflict and there the churches on a regular basis, lent assistance to the terrorists. And if I can refer to my political motive, the SACP in Setchaba made certain proclamations that the general public will move over or moved over to warfare.

"A war in which the entire nation is engaged. Umkhonto weSizwe, the people's army, workers, the rural masses."

CHAIRPERSON: Where are you reading from?

MR VAN DER MERWE: It's page 124. I beg your pardon, Chairperson, page 124.

MR J KOK:

"MK, the peoples army, workers, the rural masses, women, intellectuals, the religious community, selectively in groups or as organised individuals who used all forms of revolutionary warfare, armed or non-combat, legal and illegal means to attack and destroy all symbols, structures and organs of apartheid power, including all those who manned them."

So I saw it as war and that was part of my motivation, Chairperson.

MR VAN DER MERWE: In this matter you did not have direct information about what was going on in Khanya House and there relied on people higher up in the hierarchy and on information that they received.

MR J KOK: Yes, Mr Chairperson, that is correct. The target identification, the analysing and the decision to act in this regard had already been taken. We were a support unit and we were tasked to lend that support to an operational group. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR VAN DER MERWE: You heard that they referred to, on page 120, paragraph 3.5 where you say that:

"Fire ignition cord was used in the different levels"

MR J KOK: Yes, Mr Chairperson. I heard that when we withdrew that there was a - they left a cord on the ground floor up to the printing press. If I'm talking about the levels, it's the ground floor and the first floor. This is Afrikaans that I'm using.

MR VAN DER MERWE: May I ask you if at any stage you were on the second or the third floor of the building?

MR J KOK: No, at no stage.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you, Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr van der Merwe. Mr Hattingh?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HATTINGH: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

There will be apparent evidence that there was a door which was locked on the second floor but later was found to be unlocked and based upon the conclusion of your evidence-in-chief, you did not go to the second floor to open a lock there.

MR J KOK: No, there wasn't any time for that.

MR HATTINGH: And you didn't see your brother go there either?

MR J KOK: I did not see him there at any point. I didn't see him, I knew that he was busy on the ground floor, I was focusing on my task.

MR HATTINGH: And when you moved out from the first floor, did you exit via the same door that you entered with?

MR J KOK: Yes, that is as far as my memory serves me.

MR HATTINGH: And can you recall whether or not you saw your brother on the ground floor? Could you see whether he was going out of the door or whether he had already left by the time you arrived there?

MR J KOK: We were some of the last people who left the building, because we withdrew after the guys on the ground floor withdrew. It happened quite quickly.

MR HATTINGH: So by the time you got to the ground floor there were no more of the group that was working on the ground floor left?

MR J KOK: If I recall correctly, some of the guys were already at the vehicle that we were going to use to get away from the scene.

MR HATTINGH: These persons who were dousing the first floor with petrol, were they different members than those that were dousing the ground floor with petrol, or did the same team work on the both floors?

MR J KOK: It is difficult to answer, it may be that some of the ground floor team served the first floor as well. I would recall that Snor was with me on the first floor, because I heard his name at a certain point. I didn't really notice who was dousing petrol.

MR HATTINGH: You heard his name while you were busy on the first floor?

MR J KOK: Yes, that is correct.

MR HATTINGH: From that I infer that people were talking to one another.

MR J KOK: Yes, there was communication.

MR HATTINGH: And were they speaking in a regular tone of voice?

MR J KOK: Somewhat silenced but regular, yes.

MR HATTINGH: In your background as you have summarised it in your application, I do not find an indication that you yourself completed a lock-picking course, was that an oversight, or did you indeed complete such formal training in lock-picking, similar to what your brother had?

MR J KOK: That is correct, Chairperson, I did not receive formal training at the same institution as him, I actually received it from him.

MR HATTINGH: Is that why you say that he was much better qualified in those techniques than what you were?

MR J KOK: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: Thank you, Chairperson, I have nothing further.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR HATTINGH

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Hattingh. Mr Nel?

MR NEL: Mr Kok, just one question. After your brother testified, I asked your attorney but apparently he is just as ignorant as I am, what is a "tap gatslot"?

MR J KOK: It is a regular clover lock, it is one that one would use for the regular house keys.

MR NEL: Thank you, Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR NEL

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Wagener?

MR WAGENER: Chairman, I have no questions thank you.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR WAGENER

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Any questions further?

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

NO QUESTIONS BY MR BUNN

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR JOUBERT: Joubert on record. Thank you, Mr Chair, no questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR JOUBERT

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Lamey?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR LAMEY: Thank you, Chairperson, just one question.

Mr Kok, as I understand your application, paragraph 3.3, your brother Japie achieved the first line of access in unlocking the locks, that first line would be the access from the outside to the premises.

MR J KOK: If I recall correctly, Chairperson, we were dropped off in Skinner Street, I'm not certain but there was a steel gate that had to be opened first and then after the steel gate there were a number of doors, so it wouldn't really help if we stopped at the first or the second door and all of us stood there not knowing what to do. So he established the first line of access.

MR LAMEY: That was our terminology and that is where Mr Nortje provided the necessary assistance?

MR J KOK: That is correct.

MR LAMEY: But inside the building it wasn't necessary for Mr Nortje to provide backup, because he wasn't in the building?

MR J KOK: He must have been in the building, Chairperson, because the order was to watch his back, so if he wasn't in the building, he wouldn't be doing his job.

MR LAMEY: But are you certain of that or are you uncertain, because my instructions from Mr Nortje are that he did not enter the building himself?

MR J KOK: I cannot differ from him, I could concede, but if someone is given an order to provide backup, you would have to do so at all times. Going into the building and working there would be dangerous because the unforeseen could always happen. If he says that he didn't go into the building, I cannot dispute it.

MR LAMEY: But at that stage there were also other Vlakplaas members in the building.

MR J KOK: Yes, but they were busy with their own tasks.

MR LAMEY: Very well. I put it to you that his recollection is that he did not enter the building, but that he was outside.

MR J KOK: I cannot dispute it.

MR LAMEY: Then it would appear to me that some of the members remained behind to light the ignition and that the others left, is that correct?

MR J KOK: I cannot say, I don't have any recollection of who ignited the ignition cord or how they did it, at what stage they did it. As far as I can recall we withdrew, the operational group which was in the printing press withdrew and we left in the two minibuses. I don't know who remained behind and why.

MR LAMEY: You don't know if this was some sort of final action which was necessary to light the ignition cord and that it would be necessary for certain individuals, one or two, to remain there?

MR J KOK: It was logical that it was the final action, because one couldn't simply light the cord, there was quite a high level of evaporation, so the fire was going to be quite severe. That would have been the final action, I don't who specifically remained behind.

MR LAMEY: Would you have to be a safe distance from the premises once this was going to happen?

MR J KOK: Yes, that is why there was a delay mechanism mentioned.

MR LAMEY: Thank you, Chairperson, I have nothing further.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR LAMEY

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. He wouldn't have asked questions, would he?

MR DU PLESSIS: No questions, thank you Mr Chairman.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR DU PLESSIS

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Cornelius?

MR CORNELIUS: I don't have any questions, thank you, Mr Chair.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR CORNELIUS

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Cambanis?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Chair.

Sir, did I right that you said that you did switch the light off on the first floor?

MR J KOK: It certainly must be so. It wasn't a light, it was the main switch that I switched off.

MS CAMBANIS: And you said because you didn't want to be caught standing outside a door picking the lock?

MR J KOK: Yes, that is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: That you refer on the first floor?

MR J KOK: In the area where I worked, definitely.

MS CAMBANIS: Who did you think would be able to catch you standing outside a door?

MR J KOK: We were not speculating about who would apprehend us, it's just a modus operandi, it was a standard working procedure, we knew that we were working at night, because we had to do this work when it was dark.

MS CAMBANIS: But you were on the first floor or an unoccupied building, on your evidence.

MR J KOK: I did not say that I knew that there was someone there or not, the unforeseen could always take place. The police had barracks on the opposite side in Potgieter Street and on the other side there was a petrol station with workers, the mint was there, there were all sorts of movements, so we were always prepared for the unforeseen.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes Sir, but you were on the first floor, why were you worried if you were on the first floor, of being caught?

MR J KOK: Chairperson, the office that I was supposed to open might have an access to the street and if there was a light burning at 11 o'clock at night and someone from the street could see it, it would not be to our advantage.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes, that's true, but you said you did not want to be caught standing at the door.

MR J KOK: Chairperson, I hope that we are not engaging in semantics, but it was standard if I were to gain illegal access to a building I would do as much as possible to protect myself and that was my manner of doing so.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Mr Kok. You were at the briefing at Vlakplaas, is that correct?

MR J KOK: During the last presentation or briefing session before the deployment, yes, that evening.

MS CAMBANIS: And is it your understanding that the entire building had to be damaged and burnt? From that briefing session.

MR J KOK: Yes, Chairperson, it had to be damaged, it should be rendered unusable.

MS CAMBANIS: Including the second and third floors?

MR J KOK: It was a necessary consequence of the fire, Chairperson.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes Sir, in Exhibit E page 5, just above the much quoted Brother Jude, he refers to the fact that the corridors of the ground floor and the first and second floors were doused with an inflammable liquid, he speculates probably petrol and paraffin.

MR VAN DER MERWE: May we just ascertain where exactly on that page?

CHAIRPERSON: Page 5.

MS CAMBANIS: Above the ...(inaudible)

MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you.

MS CAMBANIS: Do you have any comment to make?

MR J KOK: Chairperson, as I have stated, I did not have any involvement in the pouring of the petrol, my task was exclusively to deal with the locks. Whether it was thrown or not, I cannot say.

MS CAMBANIS: Did you yourself ...(inaudible)

INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Mr van der Merwe.

Did you observe anyone moving to the second or higher floors?

MR J KOK: Chairperson, my brother also mentioned it earlier, it was dark, one would be using both one's hands to do the job and one would have a torch in the mouth, one couldn't concentrate on anything other than that, so I cannot tell you who did what. I heard Snor's name, I saw George Hammond once on the first floor and that is all.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you, Mr Kok. Thank you, Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS CAMBANIS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Patel?

MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson, I have no questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MS PATEL

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Bosman?

ADV BOSMAN: I have no questions, thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Sandi?

ADV SANDI: No questions, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Any re-examination?

MR VAN DER MERWE: No thank you, Mr Chair.

NO RE-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Kok, you are excused.

WITNESS EXCUSED

MR VAN DER MERWE: That concludes the evidence on behalf of Mr Kok, and my act of leading of witnesses at this hearing. Thank you, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We are a few minutes before four, tomorrow, it's a request that was made last week that we should commence at quarter past eleven tomorrow. We shall commence at quarter past eleven, and I could I implore members of the Correctional Service that they make such arrangements. We adjourn for the day.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS