CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. Today is Friday 1 September 2000. I was advised that it's spring day because I saw people who were scantily dressed and ...(indistinct) said it's spring day. Whatever it means, we don't know it in the legal profession. Ms Cambanis?

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you Chairperson. I beg leave to call Mr Nunes to give evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: What language will he testify in?

MS CAMBANIS: In English.


EXAMINATION BY MS CAMBANIS: Thank you. Mr Nunes, we know that you were one of the persons that was in the building during the event on the 12th October, is that correct?

MR NUNES: That is correct, yes.

MS CAMBANIS: Can you please tell the Committee for what purpose you were at Khanya House that evening?

MR NUNES: Well I arrived in the morning of that Tuesday from Cape Town for a meeting of the Commission for Church and Work which is a Committee of the Bishops Conference which looks at the relationship between church and the world of work and we had a meeting the whole day. We had supper in the evening, we continued our meeting after supper. We finished at about 10 o'clock in the evening. At that point some of us, I think it was Rob Lambert and Jonathan Williams and myself, decided to go out. We went out through the front door. We went into Pretoria, down the road, looking for a cafe where we could get some cool drinks and stuff and we must have come back, I suppose, around about eleven, just after eleven and then so we were in the ground floor for a little while and then we went up ...(intervention)

MS CAMBANIS: Sorry. Sorry to interrupt you. When you say the front door, is that the door in Visagie Street?

MR NUNES: The door in Visagie Street, that's right.

MS CAMBANIS: Yes. Sorry and you got back at about what time?

MR NUNES: I reckon just after eleven, it could have been between eleven and half past eleven.

We then - I think we were downstairs for a few minutes but then we went up to bed. I myself didn't go to sleep immediately because this was quite an important meeting for me seeing that I was, at this meeting, it was decided that I would become the new Secretary of the Commission, I was going to replace Rob Lambert who was then going to Australia.

MS CAMBANIS: Sorry to interrupt you again but you said you then went up to bed. Where, in Khanya House, where did you go?

MR NUNES: Okay, my bedroom in fact - all the other members of the commission, we were all going to sleep on the second floor and my bedroom was on the side of the building closest to the, what I later discovered, was the printing room, on that side of the building.

MS CAMBANIS: If I can just refer you to Exhibit E on page 2, can you just orientate the Committee in relation to that photograph?

MR NUNES: Yes, in relation to that photograph I was on the second floor, that's the last floor of the balcony, you can see it, and I think I was in the third bedroom along from the end of the building. So the middle more or less.

MS CAMBANIS: So in other words your bedroom is visible in this photograph?


MS CAMBANIS: Thank you. Please proceed?

MR NUNES: Well I mean, I was in bed. I was sort of just reflecting on the events of the day and especially the rest of the meeting which we would have had the following day and I at one point I heard noises in the passage. I didn't take much notice because I thought it was simply somebody going to the toilet, sort of. After that I think I must have dozed off because the next thing that I remember is that I was woken up with the sound of what I thought first of all was something like hail or something and I got out of bed and went to the window to sort of see what it was. In fact I discovered no, it wasn't raining but then I looked down and it was the windows of the printing unit which I suppose must have exploded or got smashed or something and so I noticed that that building was burning, sort of. I then realised that well there was at least a fire there, I didn't at that point know what else might have been going on in the building so I tried to switch on the light but there was no electricity in the room. I tried first the light next to the bed. That wasn't working any more and also the room light which was switched on next to the door and at that point I got out into the passage and there, I mean, I bumped into other people who were at this stage in the passage. Somebody was shouting that there was a fire, I think it was Rob Lambert and it was something almost like kind of misty inside the passage. It was darkish but I could still see people that were close to me. I immediately moved to where the lift was which is towards the back of the building. Unfortunately, this was the first time I was sleeping there, I didn't know where the emergency exits were and so I just sort of stood near the lift and then I think it was Rosemary who mentioned to me that Sister Bridget was still in her room so we decided to go in ...(intervention)

MS CAMBANIS: Sorry, Rosemary is Mrs Rosemary Cook who testified yesterday?

MR NUNES: That's right, yes. Yes. So now Rosemary's room was just next to the lift so we went into her room. Each room had two doors, one door onto the passage which was in the centre of the building and one door onto the balcony. So we moved through into her bedroom and through her bedroom onto her balcony and from the balcony side then moved on the other side of the building to my room towards where Sister Bridget was and we tried to sort of wake her up from outside. She wasn't waking up so eventually Rob Lambert broke the glass of the window so that he could open the window and get inside and also open the door from the inside so that we could then get in.

So we woke up Sister Bridget and then we moved out of the room. As far as I can remember then we also closed the balcony door of that room and then we were trapped on the balcony. At that point I looked from the balcony downwards. Now on the other side of the building where Sister Bridget and Rosemary were sleeping, on the ground floor there was like a sort of balcony, I suppose, which had been there originally which had then been closed in to make a sort of something like a tea-room or something. So we, who looked down from the balcony, were looking onto the roof of this balcony which jutted out from the building on the ground floor and that's where I first noticed fire coming from this building. I considered jumping onto the roof but I soon realised that the roof itself was too hot and then a few minutes after, I noticed the fire coming from the windows of that lower balcony. The roof itself collapsed and at that point the flames jumped up out of that balcony area almost to the level of our balcony and so, we were sort of trapped between two fires on the side of Sister Bridget's room. The fire was sort of licking at the door to her room, the door then between the passage and her room and at that point I realised that we were going to die, that I mean either we were going to be engulfed by the fumes but I expected that we were going to be burnt and that we would die. I didn't see any other alternative because the fire was on both sides and I imagined that as soon as the door was burnt down the fire would be in the room and once it would be in the room then we would be exactly, I mean closely between those two fires and we would start ourselves to be burnt and so I just - for me it was the end. I expected my death, I imagined what my funeral would be like, I imagined who would speak at the funeral and so on. And then, suddenly, we noticed that the fire brigade had arrived and we didn't know what was going to happen because the garden around was surrounded by a wall. It was difficult to see how the fire engine was going to get into the property but what they managed to do was to park the vehicle between the trees and the wall of Khanya House on Visagie Street side and then shoot a ladder above the level of the sort off retaining wall of the property straight up to the balcony on the second floor. But that took some time and I realised afterwards that what they were trying to do, that in fact they were trying to get out the fire in the tea room or on the ground floor area because otherwise they would have been trying to get us out of the building over this fire and possibly it wasn't going to be possible. But eventually, they put up the ladder and then a fireman came up and took us off one by one and then I was the last person to go down.

From there we were taken to the presbytery which is in -well behind the cathedral in Skinner Street or the next property to Khanya House. We went there, we had some coffee, we talked for some time and my recollection is that I tried to go back to Khanya House a bit later but by the time I arrived at Khanya House again the building had been cordoned off and we were told that we couldn't enter and it was much later in the morning when the fire department - because I said, look I'm in my pyjamas, I'm barefoot, all my clothes are in this building, how am I going to get home. It was a bit awkward walking around the streets of Pretoria that time of the morning in my pyjamas barefoot so I asked if we could at some point at least try to recover our clothes.

So later on in the morning, I can't remember when exactly, but I think it was around eleven o'clock, we were allowed back into the building, we were escorted by somebody from the fire department who allowed us to get back into our rooms. I then was able to recover my clothes and well, get out of the building.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr Nunes, you've mentioned that you were barefoot. When you entered the passage outside your room could you just explain?

MR NUNES: Yes, well when I came out of my room I was a bit confused as to what was going on. I realised there was a fire in that small building next door. I didn't know what was happening in our building at that point. I could see that there was smoke on our floor. I felt on the carpet of the passage a cold liquid and in my innocence at that point I thought it was water. It sort of reassured me that if there was a fire, I thought I was going to be okay because I thought this stuff that was on the floor was water at that point. It was only later when I went into the building for the second time that I discovered that no, in fact it had been something more different from water.

MS CAMBANIS: Meaning? It was?

MR NUNES: Well some sort of an inflammable mixture. I didn't know at that stage what it was, I mean, later - some sort of inflammable mixture because it had burnt that whole passage, in fact it burnt.

MS CAMBANIS: Mr Nunes, you've heard the evidence that it was not expected that people would be in - sleeping in the building that evening. Would you just give your comments on that?

MR NUNES: Yes, frankly I'm unhappy because as I have listened to this hearing and the professional nature in which the operation was done, it really sort of amazed me that the surveillance that they said they did on the building seems to have been so casual. I mean I would have though simply to have tapped a telephone at Khanya House would have immediately given information to people that there was going to be a meeting because the Secretariat of the Church and Work Commission was in Durban and the arrangements had to be made about people arriving at different times, about meals to be had in the building and the booking itself for the overnight accommodation. For me it's just amazing that while the operation itself seems to have been done in a very careful way, the surveillance or the enquiry as to whether there were people who might be in the building on that day seems to have been rather casual and the other thing that really worries me about everything that I've heard so far is the fact that I know that there were people on the second floor that night because I heard sounds of a person or people moving down the passage and we checked with each other afterwards to discover, you know, did anybody go to the toilet after they went to bed and we discovered no one did. So clearly there were other people than ourselves on that second floor on that night and it's worried me that this just hasn't come out here in this hearing.

MS CAMBANIS: Thanks. I should have asked you, Mr Nunes, did you make a statement to the Police at any stage?

MR NUNES: Yes I did on that very morning, the morning of the 12th the Police came to make a formal investigation as to what had happened.

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you. Is there anything else you would like to tell the Committee?

MR NUNES: Nothing, thanks.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Chairperson. That is the evidence of Mr Nunes.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Cambanis. Mr Hattingh?


Mr Nunes, were you also requested to make a statement by the Bishops Conference later on?

MR NUNES: I can't remember too well but I think possibly I was. I don't remember whether I actually made that statement or not.

MR HATTINGH: If you'd been asked to make one surely you would have done so?

MR NUNES: Well, you see I just can't remember at this point. I think there were two problems I remember at the time. I remember that I was a little bit fed up with the whole process because once it had been discovered that there were these limpet mines that had been planted and there was this whole thing in the newspapers, it became clear to me - I, you know, when I went in with the fire department I asked them, you know, was this an electrical fault, a mistake? They said no, no, no, this is a carefully planned arson attempt on this building and they showed me traces of what they said were cordite fuses on the staircase as we were going up and so they said well, the fire had been propagated from floor to floor through these fuse wires or whatever and at that point it was clear to me that was either the Security Police who did this or the right wing and soon as the thing about this arms cache planting came out, I knew in my mind that more than likely this was a Security Police job and it was done to try and discredit the Catholic Church and therefore I was not very enthusiastic about the Police investigation. I thought it was just like a joke or a cover up that was on the go so I remember not being very enthusiastic. So I can't say whether eventually I made that statement and submitted it to the Bishops Conference or not. All I can remember is that I was not very interested in the Police investigation because I just thought it was a cover up that was going on.

MR HATTINGH: But so far we haven't heard evidence that you were requested to make such statements for purposes of the Police investigation?

MR NUNES: That's true, yes.

MR HATTINGH: So if you were requested to make a statement by the Bishops Conference, would you not have made a statement, given them a statement?

MR NUNES: Well, I mean, I can just tell you my feelings at the time and I can't remember whether I eventually made that statement or not.

MR HATTINGH: Because at that stage you'd already made a statement to the Police? The Police had their statement, they weren't looking for further statements, not so?

MR NUNES: That is correct.

MR HATTINGH: Very well. Talking about the staircase. Was there carpets on the staircase?

MR NUNES: That I can't remember.

MR HATTINGH: You can't remember?

MR NUNES: You know, I only came up the staircase after the fire. You know, I'm not a staircase person, I'm more a lift person and I'd used the lift up until the fire. So the first time I really knew, I mean, the inside of that staircase was when I climbed up it with the fire department to get my stuff.

MR HATTINGH: Very well. You were shown some remnants of some sort of a cord, you said?


MR HATTINGH: On the staircase?


MR HATTINGH: Whereabouts on the staircase?

MR NUNES: Well that I can't remember.

MR HATTINGH: Could it have been on the ...(intervention)

MR NUNES: It could have been, you know, either between ground and first or first and second.

MR HATTINGH: Yes, alright.

MR NUNES: No, I don't remember.

MR HATTINGH: You can't say that you saw it, on the staircase ...(intervention)

MR NUNES: No, no, no. I mean I was just interested to - at that point I wanted to know from the fire department what did they thing, you know, what caused the fire and I wanted to be sure that it wasn't some sort of electrical fault or something like that and they, you know, confirmed with me. No, no, no, the people who were in this buildings were professionals so they knew what they were doing.

MR HATTINGH: When you entered the building, you heard the evidence of some of the applicants that there was a lot of water in the building at that stage?


MR HATTINGH: Can you confirm that?

MR NUNES: Well I - definitely on the ground floor, I don't remember on the other floors what the condition was like.

MR HATTINGH: When you saw the fire brigade busy trying to put out the fire were they using fire hoses?

MR NUNES: I'm not too sure but I think so yes because I mean they concentrated especially on the area below the balcony which was, as I said, it was just covered in stoep if you like, which was on the ground floor because they wanted to get that fire out so that they could get us off the balcony.

MR HATTINGH: Yes but that's the only area that you could see from where you were, isn't it?

MR NUNES: That's right, yes.

MR HATTINGH: You don't know whether ......(intervention)

MR NUNES: Oh no, I don't know what was happening in the rest of the building, no.

MR HATTINGH: Very well, now let's come to the night in question. You retired to bed and you say that you were sort of reminiscing about the meeting that took place that day and then you heard sounds. What were these sounds?

MR NUNES: Well I mean it sounded like, you know, footsteps, a person crossing over, passing my room, going from sort of front of the building, that's Visagie Street side towards the bathrooms at the back and I mean I didn't take much notice because I just assumed that it was somebody going to the toilet.

MR HATTINGH: Do you know what was under the carpets in the corridor? A wooden floor or a concrete floor?

MR NUNES: No I don't but I seem to remember, I think it was a wooden building because what I remember about it, I know that the building for example was originally a young ladies hostel that had been built like that, I think just after the war and it was a very old building if I can remember. It was creaky, noisy, you know, you heard sounds as people moved around in the building. But I assume it was wood.

MR HATTINGH: But you're not even able to say whether the noise that you heard was caused by one or more persons?

MR NUNES: No, that I'm not sure of, no.

MR HATTINGH: And that was the only sounds that you heard from the passage?

MR NUNES: Those were the only sounds you heard from the passage, yes.

MR HATTINGH: And after you heard those sounds you say you must have dozed off?

MR NUNES: I think so because the next thing I remember was as I said, it sounded to me like a hail storm and I got up and went to the window to try and see what was going on, I mean was it raining or what and then I noticed that in fact there was smoke coming up and I looked. I think I even must have even got onto the balcony and looked down and then I saw that this building that I later discovered was the printing unit was on fire and I then - well I mean I realised that this sort of sound that I'd heard must have been probably the sound of the windows exploding whatever.

MR HATTINGH: Yes. Did you give your version of the events that occurred that night to the Brother Jude? Did you explain to him what you heard and what you saw and what you experienced?

MR NUNES: Look, I can't remember exactly who was present in the presbytery because what happened is that the Police came and they interviewed us and we, I think we had a general meeting with them and then I think they took statements. So I can't remember if Brother Jude was with us at that time or if he was on site at Khanya House but personally he would have been informed of what, you know, what we had said about what had happened.

MR HATTINGH: But he wasn't in the building with you at the time of the attack?

MR NUNES: No, no. No, he arrived at about six in the morning I think, yes. Because we had to inform him that this had happened, you know?

MR HATTINGH: In this little booklet which was issued by whom? By the Bishops Conference?


MR HATTINGH: This is Exhibit E on page 5, we find the piece that we quoted to many of the applicants already.


MR HATTINGH: Where he is quoted as having said the following, because what is printed here is in inverted commas:

"It seems the arsonist were under the impression that there was no one in the building, as they moved around fairly freely on the ground and first floors."

Now did you give such information to Brother Jude?

MR NUNES: I can't remember, I don't think so but I think, you know, I mean it's Bishop Verstrate who was Chairperson of the Commission and he was the one probably who gave a detailed report to Brother Jude so I don't know where he got this information from. Maybe it was just from looking at the building afterwards, I don't know.

MR HATTINGH: You couldn't have given him such information because that wasn't your experience?


MR HATTINGH: But you certainly heard no one moving around on the ground floor?

MR NUNES: No, I mean I only heard what I heard.


MR NUNES: Which is a person or persons but I think a person passing by in the corridor on the second floor.

MR HATTINGH: Yes and can you give us some indication as to how long after you heard that person passing your door you fell asleep?

MR NUNES: Man, I'm not sure but you know, it could have been a few minutes. The point is I was lying in bed, I was reflecting on, you know, what had happened during the day and at some point I heard these noises in the passage. I didn't take much notice because you know, I had no reason to. I just assumed well, it's somebody going to the toilet, that's that and at some point I must have fallen asleep but I don't know when because the point is the next thing that happened to me is I woke up with the sound of what I thought was hail and then I went ...(intervention)

MR HATTINGH: When you discovered that the lights weren't working, you then moved into the corridor, into the passage? MR NUNES: Yes, well I first went to the door to try and switch on the main room light and then I went into the corridor, yes.

MR HATTINGH: And it must have been dark there?

MR NUNES: Well it was darkish, it was not pitch black and I can't say why it was like that, I don't know - I mean I can't remember the structure of Khanya House. I don't know if there were windows on the staircase side in Visagie Street or if there were windows at the back which gave light onto the corridor, that I can't remember but it's possible that there were and definitely there was, I mean, some light in my room from the outside so maybe some of the doors were open, I don't know but all I remember is that it was like a very thick fog, it was difficult to see clearly but you were able to see something.

MR HATTINGH: Was it smoke, Mr Nunes, that you saw?

MR NUNES: Yes, what I saw at the time that it was smoke but I'd already seen the fire in the printing room. I didn't at that stage know there was fire in our building but when I was in the passage and I sort of - it was misty and then I thought to myself, well this probably means that there's fire underneath us and this is the smoke coming up.

MR HATTINGH: Now in between that space of time when you heard footsteps or the sounds that you heard going past your door in the corridor and the time that you fell asleep, you noticed nothing untoward?

MR NUNES: No, no.

MR HATTINGH: You didn't smell anything?

MR NUNES: No, but then you know I'm not - I don't have a good sense of smell and I suffer from sinusitis and I sometimes have flu and so on and I'm not good at picking up smells. I did not smell anything untoward at that point.

MR HATTINGH: And when you went into the corridor did you then ...(intervention)

MR NUNES: Well there also, you know, as I said I mean that my first impression was my feet were wet, I mean I was standing on a carpet that was saturated with something and I didn't know what it was at that point. I thought it was water.

MR HATTINGH: You couldn't smell petrol or anything?

MR NUNES: I couldn't smell no.

MR HATTINGH: Very well. Now you're in the passage and you see some of the other people who were sleeping on the same floor also in the corridor at that stage, is that correct?


MR HATTINGH: And were you more or less standing in front of your bedroom door at that stage?

MR NUNES: I think when I came out I moved towards the lift which is a little bit back, further back into the building. I didn't know how to get out, that was my problem, I didn't know where the emergency exits were in the building and so when I got to where the lift was, I just didn't know where to go and then by that stage Rosemary was also there and I think Rob and then she mentioned about not seeing Sister Bridget and then we decided to go back for her and we decided to go through Rosemary's room onto the balcony and try to get into Bridget's room from the balcony side.

MR HATTINGH: So she mentioned the fact that if Sister Bridget wasn't there whilst she was still standing in the vicinity of the lifts?

MR NUNES: Yes I think that's right, yes.

MR HATTINGH: And from there to get to her bedroom door, can you give ...(intervention)

MR NUNES: Well that was right at her bedroom door, towards the - her room was the last room before the lift.

MR HATTINGH: And at that stage apart from the smoke you noticed nothing else, you couldn't see flames or the glow of a fire?


MR HATTINGH: Alright, so then you entered her room, you went through her room onto the balcony and from there to Sister Bridget's ...(intervention)

MR NUNES: That's right, we sort of moved backwards along the balcony towards Visagie Street until we were opposite Sister Bridget's room yes.

MR HATTINGH: Were you rushing to get to her room or were you just walking?

MR NUNES: Well that I can't remember but we were moving, I mean, towards the room.

MR HATTINGH: And I think you said that - correct me if I'm mistaken, when you entered her room did you close her bedroom door?

MR NUNES: I can't remember who closed the door, you know. I went into the room, we all went into the room.

MR HATTINGH: Was it closed?

MR NUNES: Who was the last one in and who closed the door and that I'm not sure but I know that we were in the room and we moved through the room to the balcony.

MR HATTINGH: Was the door closed by somebody, it doesn't matter who?

MR NUNES: I think so.


MR NUNES: Because I mean, what I remember is that, you know, my sort of how can I say, fire drill training says don't feed a fire so I remember that we needed to close doors and keep, I mean, keep the outside air out of the building, that would assist the fire not to sort of increase. So I'm fairly sure that somebody closed the door, yes.

MR HATTINGH: And when you went into her room can you recall who went in first and who went in last? Did somebody precede you into the room?

MR NUNES: That I don't remember but I don't think I was the last person who came into the room and I don't think I stayed long in the room because I moved, as far as I remember, almost immediately to the other door into the balcony and then from the balcony moved backwards towards Visagie Street.

MR HATTINGH: Can you recall whether Mrs Cook went into her room before you did?

MR NUNES: No, I don't remember, no. I don't think I was the last one coming into the room.

MR HATTINGH: Now later on you say you went back to the building to fetch your belongings?

MR NUNES: That's right, yes.

MR HATTINGH: Did you find your belongings in your room?

MR NUNES: Yes I did. I mean I found, you know, the passage badly burnt. The room itself had been filled with smoke because what I remember is, it was like you burn a rubber tyre or something. It was that sort of soot that was on my suitcase and in particular I remember because I had sort of a light leather toilet bag and that was, you know, completely changed colour and I actually kept it as a souvenir for a number of years. It was sort of imprinted with this soot of the smoke. So I managed to get my clothes back.

MR HATTINGH: Yes but there was no fire damage as such inside the room itself?

MR NUNES: Not that I can remember, you know? I can't, I mean what I remember is that I was able to get my stuff out of the cupboard and my clothes were okay. They were, I mean, sooty if you like but they were okay. They were not burnt.

MR HATTINGH: Were you the only one who went back for your belongings?

MR NUNES: I don't remember but I think we were two or three who went back. You know, I tried to go back the first time and then I was told no, the building has been cordoned off, no one was allowed in so then I made this request please can we be allowed to get into the building once the fire brigade has secured the place and I think that request must have been put to the fire brigade people because at some point in the morning, but I think it was quite late, we were told yes, we could be accompanied in by a fire officer and we could go to our rooms and take our stuff.

MR HATTINGH: Now that was the first time that any of you were allowed back into the building?

MR NUNES: I'm not sure about that. All I know is I spent some time at the presbytery having coffee and sort of trying to sort of calm down and relax a little bit. So by the time I went back to Khanya House I know that the place was cordoned off. Whether others were able to get in before that I don't know.

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


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

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



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



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


MR CORNELIUS: Thank you Mr Chairperson, no questions


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Joubert?

MR JOUBERT: Thank you Chairperson, no questions.



MR LAMEY: No questions, thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis?

MR DU PLESSIS: Chairperson, I'm just giving consideration if I do have any questions if you'll just bear with me for a moment please?


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Nunes, have you read the other statements that were provided to us?

MR NUNES: Yes I did, I read them last night.

MR DU PLESSIS: And do you agree with them or do you disagree?

MR NUNES: With most of them I agree. I think I just found a few points in Bishop Mkumesi's statement that I would not agree with hundred percent.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, which ones are those?

MR NUNES: Well on the - what page is this, I think it's the first page where he talks about thick darkness. Well I think it's maybe his turn of phrase. I don't know what he means by thick darkness but I would say yes, the atmosphere was thick with smoke but it wasn't pitch black, put it that way. It was dark but not absolutely dark.

MR DU PLESSIS: Right, what else?

MR NUNES: And then the page 2, that first paragraph, he said that we closed ourselves inside Sister Bridget's room. Well in fact no, we from that room we carried Sister Bridget out onto the balcony and we closed the room door because the room in fact was our sort of buffer strip if you like between the fire and ourselves on that side and he says about breaking the window of the room and jumping onto the balcony. In fact it was the other way around. We were on the balcony and broke the window in order to get into the room to get Sister Bridget out.

MR DU PLESSIS: Alright, is that everything?

MR NUNES: And the last, I think the last point is he says they immediately stretched out an extension ladder on page 2. Well no, they didn't do that immediately and that's why we were panicking but actually, at least I realised that what they had to do was to put the fire out underneath us otherwise they couldn't get us off. So it wasn't immediately but it was after a few minutes. And then he says there on page 3:

"After a few minutes we all went back to Khanya House to collect our clothes."

Well that wasn't the case for me, I stayed at the presbytery for some time and he might well have gone back at that point and he might have just walked into the building and got his things, I don't know but in my case what happened is by the time I got back to Khanya House it was cordoned off and no one, including the staff, were allowed into the building and then, as I said, I made this request can I please at some stage when you think it's safe can I get in, at least back to my room so that I can get my clothes and then that was granted but much later in the morning, I think at about 11 o'clock or so.

MR DU PLESSIS: And when exactly - alright, is that everything pertaining to that?

MR NUNES: Yes, that's everything.

MR DU PLESSIS: So when exactly did you for the first time see fire?

MR NUNES: Well, I personally for the first - well, I for the first time saw fire when I woke up, that's to say fire in the printing room in that outside building but as far as fire inside Khanya House itself is concerned, I personally first saw the fire when I was on the balcony and that was the fire then that was on the tea-room which was like the stoep, the built-in stoep on the ground floor and first the fire was coming out from the windows of that stoep and then the roof collapsed and then the flames came up directly through the roof and then the flames were licking at the door of Sister Bridget's room, in other words from the passage but I can't say at what stage I noticed those flames.

MR DU PLESSIS: Now let's just determine this. When you saw the fire in respect of the building itself, not the adjacent building but the building itself, when exactly was that?

MR NUNES: Well time wise I can't say but that was when we reached the balcony where Sister Bridget's room was, in other words when I looked down.

MR DU PLESSIS: On your way to Sister Bridget's room?

MR NUNES: That's right.

MR DU PLESSIS: Is that when you saw it?

MR NUNES: Yes and what I saw was the fire then which was then on the ground floor.

MR DU PLESSIS: And at that time you also saw the flames licking at Sister Bridget's ...(intervention)

MR NUNES: No, I think that was a bit later. I'm not aware of flames at the door when we were actually in the room but then again I wasn't concentrating on that at that point, I was concentrating on us getting out with Sister Bridget onto the balcony again. I think when I became aware of flames licking under the door is once we were back on the balcony and we closed the door from Sister Bridget's room onto the balcony.

MR DU PLESSIS: After everybody had left Sister Bridget's room and went onto the balcony ...(intervention)

MR NUNES: Yes I think that's it.

MR DU PLESSIS: Alright. When you were in the passage were your eyes affected at all?

MR NUNES: Look I can't remember definitely but I think, I presume so.

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


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Cornelius?

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


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Patel?

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


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Advocate Bosman?

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you Chairperson. Just one question, Mr Nunes. At the time when you were standing with Mrs Cook near the lift before you went to the balcony, did you see any glow in the passage?

MR NUNES: Yes I did but you know, I mean I've tried to try and work out what this thing was and - or I mean I'm still confused as to what it could be. I mean it was something like a sort of phosphorescent light. Now something like, you know, when you - I don't know if you know red tide or plankton in the sea at night, it glows. Now to me, to my understanding, it could have been two things. I don't know whether cordite glows in the dark or not. It could also have been some sort of a fluorescent lamp or something which had been dropped by one of the people who had come into the building, that I don't know but I do remember a sort of a phosphorescent glow.

ADV BOSMAN: Did you find this strange? Did you find it unusual?

MR NUNES: I found it scary yes because I didn't know what it was doing there or whether it was radio-active or what it was, I mean it was a strange glowing thing but what exactly it was I don't know and as I didn't go towards the main staircase in Visagie Street, I didn't have that opportunity of actually passing that point where it was, I was a short distance from it so ...(intervention)

ADV BOSMAN: The reason why I'm asking you this is if you did find it strange did you mention it to anybody, did you discuss it with anybody?

MR NUNES: I think we did talk about it after the event when we gathered to talk among ourselves and later to talk with the Police.

ADV BOSMAN: You cannot remember with whom you discussed it?

MR NUNES: No, I can't.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Cambanis, any re-examination?

MS CAMBANIS: None thank you Chairperson.


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

MR NUNES: Thank you very much.


MS CAMBANIS: Thank you Chairperson. I beg leave to call the next person, Brother Jude, to give evidence. Chairperson, Brother Jude will give his evidence in English and under oath.


GERALD PIETERSE: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Is there any particular reason why the church calls you Brother Jude?

MR PIETERSE: I belong to a religious order of brothers. We're not priests, we're not in the church in that sense but I'm actually normally involved in education but I was co-opted, requested by the bishops to come through and take on the job as Secretary General of the Bishops Conference beginning of 1988.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Ms Cambanis?


Brother Jude, you've confirmed that in 1988 at the time of this event you were the Secretary General of the conference?

MR PIETERSE: That is correct.

MS CAMBANIS: You have been attending these hearings since Monday and you've also had sight of the written documentation that was presented in the bundle prior to the commencement of this hearing, is that correct?


MS CAMBANIS: And you've also been in communication with Archbishop Napier in relationship to this matter and reporting to him throughout - not throughout, but when possible regarding this matter?

MR PIETERSE: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And as a result of that do you have some thoughts and some communications that you want to place before this Committee?


MS CAMBANIS: Please would you proceed to do that?

MR PIETERSE: Chairperson, I know this is a serious occasion but sometimes it's good to be able to laugh and I'm not too sure whether this is under oath or not.

CHAIRPERSON: You can laugh.

MR PIETERSE: But I think it was on Tuesday, Sister Bridget who is now 82 and was with us for a few days and around with her stick, she said to me there on one occasion: "Do you know, Jude, I think the only good thing that came out of this whole event was being carried down that ladder in the arms of a handsome young man."

CHAIRPERSON: She could even see in the dark that he's young and he is handsome. Surrounded by smoke she would have had a very good eyesight.

MR PIETERSE: Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to address this hearing. I do so on behalf of Archbishop Napier, the current President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference and coincidentally, the President at the time of the arson attack on Khanya House. I do so as well as the Secretary General of the Bishops Conference at the time. As Secretary General, the running of the secretariat at Khanya House was my direct responsibility and I was answerable to the bishops for this.

I would like to take this opportunity to make three points:

1. At the outset, I would like to set the record straight with regard to the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference. Much has been said in the various submissions about what the SACBC supposedly stood for and supported.

MS CAMBANIS: Sorry, I notice the Committee taking notes down. He has prepared a typed statement.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, thank you, which would be made available later?

MS CAMBANIS: Yes Chairperson, thank you.


MR PIETERSE: Let me state clearly, at no stage did the SACBC set out to promote ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Can I just for the moment interrupt you and say let's have the statements so that we are with you and we will mark it Exhibit J Ms Cambanis. Thank you, you may proceed?

MR PIETERSE: Let me state clearly, at no stage did the SACBC set out to promote the ideals and aims of any liberation movement or political party. As far as the Catholic Bishops were concerned, their gospel mandate was to denounce evil, the evil that they saw apartheid to be and to promote and work for justice for all the people of South Africa in the light of the social teachings of the church. These teachings are based on the gospel in junctions of respect for all people as common children of God, of caring for the poor and downtrodden, of clothing the naked, of feeding the hungry and of ministering to the sick and the imprisoned. These teachings also highlight the social implications of scripture and stress the need for a just society in which the political, social and economic structures serve people and not the other way round and promote the common good of all for their words and actions in actions in pursuit of these aims, the Bishops make no apology and insofar as any of these matters fell within the aims and actions of any of the liberation movements or political parties, that was to be welcomed.

We have heard some selective quoting of what the Bishops have said at different times. We have read statements implicating them in a range of things including the storing of arms and the promotion of violence. For anyone really interested in the Catholic Church's position on questions such as violence, the armed struggle and many more things, there is abundant material available. Even a glance through the Bishops speak, a collection of statements of the Bishops over the years, will provide ample evidence of their condemnation of violence from whatever quarter.

Perhaps, Mr Chairperson, let me just quote from one of those statements or start with one of those statements:

"SACBC condemns Johannesburg car bomb blast, 21st May 1987. Absolutely appalled by the bombing in Johannesburg, the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference condemned the deed in the strongest terms possible"

And goes on from there. I won't read the rest of it. The position of the church was very clear.

As regards Khanya House, it served as the administrative headquarters of the Catholic Bishops of Southern Africa. Besides the normal office facilities it also had accommodation for people from all over the region attending meetings associated with the various church committees. Some meetings may have lasted a day while others would have gone on for several days. Accommodation was used therefore on an on and off basis. For a place that was within walking distance of the headquarters of the various intelligence services, how it was possible for the level of the information gathered to be so poor and faulty amazes me.

I've been absolutely astounded to read about all the things that were supposed to have been printed at Khanya House and all on an office offset machine and a photocopier. If people were so convinced of all the material that was supposedly been printed at Khanya House, why were the many legal options that were available, particularly here in a state of emergency, not invoked instead of the action that was taken? I was pleased to hear the frank statement by Mr Kotze yesterday that in no way could one consider the equipment that was on the property as a printing press.

One would hope that those sections of the media who, following the arson attack and the discovery of the explosives on the property, were so quick to make defamatory statements about the alleged involvement of the SACBC in all sorts of illegal activities will now set the record straight so that in the minds of ordinary South Africans, the integrity of the SACBC and its work for justice and peace can be acknowledged.

2. Following the arson attack there were a number of disturbing aspects. In the first place we had to contend with the Police disinformation with regard to the explosives on the property that we found and reported.

Secondly, there was the intimidation of staff by members of the Security Police in the days immediately following the arson attack and allegations by Brigadier Engelbrecht that members of my staff were responsible for the fire. One reason he advanced for this was that unforced entry had clearly been gained through the back door and that only staff would have been able to get access to a key.

Thirdly, as we tried to reconstruct what had actually taken place, there was the worrying aspect of why the work of the arsonists appeared not to have been completed. It was clear that in the documentation room, the room in which the explosives were found, petrol had only been poured at the entrance whereas the rest of the ground floor had clearly been thoroughly doused. Why was the top floor left untouched? Had the arsonists unexpectedly found that there were people in the building and decided to get out immediately? Had the plans got to such an advanced stage that there was no going back on the decision to set the place ablaze? Questions which we asked ourselves as we tried to reconstruct what had happened.

3. As regards the amnesty applications that are under consideration, the position of the Catholic Bishops Conference has been, that despite its limitations, they have supported the whole TRC process and would therefore, provided that the conditions for amnesty were met, not opposed amnesty. At the outset I wish to make it clear that I, personally, have not questioned that the applicants acted out of some form of political motivation no matter how misguided and misinformed it may have been in my opinion. I again state that I do not believe that the applicants were aware at the commencement of their operation that there were people in Khanya house. My observation of what had actually transpired, I was convinced of that. Whether at any stage those in the building became aware of the presence in the building during the course of their time in Khanya House remains a question. I am, however, prepared to accept that having learned of the nature of the operation and the speed with which it had to be carried out, some of my earlier questions could well be answered.

I do, however, still find it strange that we can find no one claiming responsibility for even going to the second floor. Never mind pouring petrol on the second floor where seven people were sleeping on the night of the attack, the passage of which was in fact petrolled. A fact that would have been verified readily at the documentation including the report of the fire department not gone missing. Anyone who walked down that corridor could not have been convinced otherwise.

While Mr de Kock, in his clear evidence, has admitted giving orders for the planting of the explosives in the building, no one has admitted actually doing so. It has been suggested that people responsible for these acts may well not have applied for amnesty. While the possibility exists there are doubts. Anyone who has not come clean with this will have to live with this fact for the rest of his life. Rather minor, perhaps, in the overall picture but to set the record straight with regard to some of the points that were raised yesterday:

(i) I was under the impression that Advocate Cambanis had received all the relevant documentation with regard to this matter and it was not only not until yesterday that I became aware that she did not have the statements that were tabled yesterday afternoon. My apologies for that, I got back from being out of the country on Sunday night and was faced with 400 pages of midnight reading, so my apologies for that.

(ii) In fact I was the person who requested those who were in the building on the night of the arson to give me a written report on their recollections of what had happened. The morning following there were all sorts of things going on. People eventually left and I wanted some record of that and you will also recall that for several weeks we had no telephones, nothing, we had to try and start from the beginning so there was a time delay and it was a question of trying to get that.

(iii) Other than some areas of the ground floor and the balconies of the building, the floors of the building were in fact wooden. Oregon pine, so the people told me afterwards. There was an unstated but clear inference in some of the questions of yesterday afternoon, that there could not have been petrol in the passage of the second floor of the building because if there had been it would have spread rapidly to say the least. Anyone who saw the state of that passageway after the fire would have no doubt at all that there was indeed petrol there. I have no doubt as well that the missing report of the fire department would have verified this fact. Both Mr Kotze and Mr Hammond made it clear in their submissions that an essential requisite for petrol to burn rapidly was an adequate supply of oxygen. It does not take much imagination to realise the stairwell and the passages of the two upper floors of the building formed a very confined space and initially closed area which rapidly became choked with smoke as the fire took hold on the ground and first floors. You could add to that if you wanted to, questions and my recollection is and I would agree with what Mr Hammond said yesterday, that the ignitive cord actually came from the first floor down, that there was no ignitive - my recollection, is there was no ignitive cord from the first floor up onto the second floor. Secondly, whether the stairs themselves were doused from the first to the second is a moot, I've no idea. But I just want to state from my point of view, having been there, there was no doubt that there was petrol in the passageway of the ground floor. There was a very distinct difference between what happened on the ground floor and the first floor and then the second floor and then the fourth floor. The ground and first floors, the rooms expect for the documentation room and my office, which whoever was responsible - thank you, they didn't touch and at least I had all my papers left because the room right at the back door, so I don't know if it was the first room they would have come to. I was at least able to carry on with some work. But everything was done and the heat was so intense that there were crucifixes on the building, where the corpus - the metal thing, actually just melted and that was the intensity of the heat. The same thing was on the first floor, where the office doors had been opened, everything was destroyed. On the second floor the destruction was down the passageway and again it was as you started from the South side, the doors became less and less burnt as you went up. But soot, heavy soot everywhere and the same on the top floor, it was just coated, coated with heavy, heavy, soot. I mean it was incredible, you couldn't move. I mean, I also know to some people saying they didn't go through the building because they got dirty but for weeks after that, that was the experience as you tried to get bits and pieces.

Last night I again conveyed to Archbishop Napier a summary of the days proceedings. I am here representing the Bishops Conference. Archbishop Napier apologises that he is not able to be present, he is the Archbishop of Durban and has commitments down there which he has to attend to. He has now instructed me to respond on behalf of the Southern African Bishops Conference as follows. I quote now from the facts that I got this morning from Archbishop Napier:

"Besides the near tragic loss of life of seven people, the Catholic Church was heavily discredited in the minds of many ordinary South Africans by the well publicised accusation that the Bishops Conference had been harbouring weapons at Khanya House and had been responsible for the printing of a whole range of subversive materials. The clear admissions that have emerged during the course of the past few days have laid these two allegations to rest. We had the earlier testimony of Mr de Kock that he gave orders for the planting of those explosives. We had the clear testimony yesterday too of Mr Kotze that by no means what was there could be described as a printing press. However, the Southern African Bishops Conference still finds itself not fully informed of all the circumstances surrounding the fire bombing of its headquarters, Khanya House. Specifically:

(i) the name of the person/persons responsible for dousing the second floor of the building with petrol.

(ii) Whether the fact that the arsonist later discovered that there were people in residence is responsible for the lacuna in the information admitted.

(iii) Who was actually responsible for planting the explosives? Given the need to know principle followed by the arsonists, the evidence so far heard may indeed represent the fullest possible disclosure from the applicants and it may indeed by impossible morally or physically to know the names of others involved, senior or junior to those applying for amnesty."

In summary, while unanswered questions remain, there is the possibility that others who have not applied for amnesty could have been involved. Therefore, given the perceived genuine efforts on the part of some of those who participated, to set the record state, particularly with regard to the two points mentioned above and in order to foster the process of reconciliation in our country, the Southern African Bishops Conference is willing not to oppose the applications for amnesty of the applicants.

Finally and on behalf of Archbishop Napier and the Southern African Bishops Conference, I've been ask to thank all those responsible for bringing the TRC into being and for all who have so tirelessly and selflessly over the past few years, to bring the truth to light and to make reconciliation in our land possible. Thank you Sir.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Brother Jude. Mr Hattingh?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HATTINGH: Thank you. Mr Brother Jude, during your testimony I started making notes on certain aspects that I was going to cross-examine you but in the light of what you said in the last penultimate paragraph of

your statement what you've just read out, I've decided to ask you no questions save to express the gratitude on behalf of Mr de Kock for the attitude which you have no expressed on behalf of the Bishops Conference. Thank you.


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

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


CHAIRPERSON: And no comment?

MR VAN DER MERWE: Well Mr Chairperson, I would wish to make a lot of comments but at this stage maybe I'll speak to Brother Jude after we've adjourned. Thank you.



CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR WAGENER: Chairperson, I came prepared for rather lengthy cross-examination this morning. In view of what has happened now, I would only request a very few questions only and I promise I'll be very short.

CHAIRPERSON: I'll keep tab on that.

MR WAGENER: Sir, I'm not sure how I should address you, is that Brother Jude or Mr Pieterse?

MR PIETERSE: Brother is fine.


MR PIETERSE: Brother is fine.

CHAIRPERSON: A rule that is referred to as Brother Jude.

MR WAGENER: Thank you. On the question of the printing works in Khanya House, whether it was a printing works or not, I have here a document "Info South Africa". Was that the kind of document printed in Khanya House?

MR PIETERSE: I'm not too sure which one that would have been but it could well have been I'm not - was that published by the Social Communications, department of communications?

MR WAGENER: I must admit the documents that I have largely went back to 1987 because I was involved in the New Nation matter that I've made mention earlier and that was the end of 1987 but this is a publication, it says:

"Info South Africa - a Southern African Bishops Conference news service"

And at the end it says:

"Address, SACBC, General Secretariat, P O Box 941, Pretoria."

MR PIETERSE: That would have been printed there.

MR WAGENER: And at the bottom it says:

"Printed by the SACBC printing division, address as above."

MR PIETERSE: Correct, that would have come from there.

MR WAGENER: So you had a printing division of some sorts?

MR PIETERSE: Offset printer, yes.

MR WAGENER: And documents such as this which seems to be a newsletter was generated on those premises?

MR PIETERSE: I accept that.

MR WAGENER: Although the ones that I have are all dated 1987 but in your time 1988 as well?

MR PIETERSE: I accept that, Mr Chair.

MR WAGENER: Now we can have long debates on this, Sir, but I see in the documents that I have in 1987 issues clear support being given to certain organisations in our country for instance COSATU, trade union movements, organisations like that?

MR PIETERSE: I would imagine that is possible insofar as what the particular event was or incident was. I can't comment not having seen what is in front of you.

MR WAGENER: No, all I'm saying is, your bishops say here we send messages of support to COSATU in respect of huge strikes in our country causing a lot of damages and loss of lives and things like that. The bishops sent their support and that is noted, things like that, it was noted in this "Info South Africa" document?

MR PIETERSE: I accept your word for that.

MR WAGENER: Now I'll let you have it afterwards. It's 1987, I must stress again.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairperson, maybe I can come in here? I'm not going to ask questions on these documents but I have had copies prepared, so if my learned friend wishes to hand up copies of these documents he is welcome. I have copies available.

MR WAGENER: Mr Chairperson no, I do not intend doing that if there's agreement. It is merely to show certain aspects in general, why I'm asking these questions, but the whole concept of the printing works in my mind, I have documents referring to printing division in Khanya House so it seems as if we are ad idem on that score.

MR PIETERSE: Yes, there was a small room at the back of the building on the left hand side that had an offset printer and a photocopier.

MR WAGENER: And at the end of each of these circulars was printed in bold things like this:

"Please do not keep the information of this publication to yourselves. Spread to as wide a readership and an audience as possible."

That was the message that was mentioned in this document. How was this document "Info South Africa", how was it distributed? Amongst whom?

MR PIETERSE: I could not respond to that question, I was not there at the time.

MR WAGENER: Did this document end before you ...(intervention)

MR PIETERSE: No, we had a publication. Whether it was actually called "Info South Africa" or not, there was a publication and that was posted to the best of my knowledge. It may have been distributed locally but it would have gone to the church's diocese throughout the country.

MR WAGENER: And the readers were encouraged to spread the word, if I may call it that?

MR PIETERSE: That's what it states on that one, Sir.

MR WAGENER: The publication "The New Nation", that was also the publication of the bishop's conference?

MR PIETERSE: It fell under the Catholic Bishops publishing company, yes.

MR WAGENER: Yes but we all know that it was a publication of the Bishops Conference?


MR WAGENER: And you know what happened at the end of 1987 with the New Nation?


MR WAGENER: It was banned. It was banned because it was publishing in a systematic way and repeatedly, material that was causing a threat to the safety of the public and to the maintenance of public order?

MR PIETERSE: That is an opinion, Sir, which is an opinion which I don't think we would necessarily agree with.

MR WAGENER: Yes but this went to the courts of our country and to the highest courts of our country.

MR PIETERSE: I accept that, Chair, but I don't - I'd say there was a difference of opinion on that.

MR WAGENER: Now with quick reference to Exhibit C, you say that, the document that was earlier handed up, this open letter to detainees? Can you dispute that what led to the emergency, the national emergency in our country was the fact that masses of people were causing havoc, trying to make the country ungovernable and that basically led to the national emergency in our country from 1986 onwards. Would you agree with that?

MR PIETERSE: Could you rephrase that please?

MR WAGENER: Well one can phrase it in different ways.

MR PIETERSE: No, no, repeat it, sorry?

MR WAGENER: I'm trying to be as brief as possible but since the early '80s we had on the security front we had a deteriorating situation in our country because more and more people turned to violence in an effort to make the country ungovernable and that led basically to our state of national emergency?

CHAIRPERSON: Is that not a perception that brought us here today because of that conflict? Others said we wanted democracy, hence others said no and the convergence because if you were to have regard to the policy of the African National Congress, they said we are forced now to take up arms because we are not believed because we have tried peacefully to do all that but we instead we are met with force. So wouldn't you say it's a perception that those who were in power felt that those who were opposing them were therefore using violence against the State?

MR PIETERSE: Mr Chairperson no, with greatest of respect, I'm not trying to debate the merits of the issue. I'm stating as a fact that because of what was happening in our country, the normal laws of the country could not cope and therefore a state of emergency was declared by the then State President. I'm not trying to debate the merits of whatever side of the conflict.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, I heard you stating it as a fact. But then our existence is rendered nugatory because how would we heal the past or bring it to the fore, that there should be reconciliation if we still have the perception which is stated as a fact? It's somewhat worries me.

MR WAGENER: Mr Chairperson, maybe we're at cross purposes here. All I'm saying is because of what was happening in our country, during the mid '80s, whether right or wrong, it led to a situation where the then State President had to declare a national state of emergency. That's all I'm saying.

CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed Mr Wagener.

MR WAGENER: Now in terms of the regulations, in terms of the state of emergency, many people were detained as you well know. They were detained for having committed acts, threatening the internal safety of the State?

MR PIETERSE: I would contest that through the Chair. There were many people who were detained or who would also detest.

MR HATTINGH: Contest that particular statement that you have just made?


MR WAGENER: Although I can speak of personal experience that many of those people approached the courts of the country without success.

MS CAMBANIS: Chairperson, with respect, I represented many of the detainees from the mid '80s onwards who had actually, who were never charged, never brought to trial and there was never any - they were innocent bystanders. In one case, if Mr Wagener wants to go there, there was an old gentleman visiting from the Transkei who happened to be staying with the family house in Alexander, who was detained for a period of months before we could persuade the authorities that he was visiting this area. So what the purpose of the ...(indistinct) is to be put to, in the terms of Mr Wagener, is I find objectionable and I object.

MR WAGENER: Mr Chairperson, this purpose is very simple. During March 1987, your conference sent an open letter to all detainees, do you see that?


MR WAGENER: All detainees and you say there - well you ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Rather published an open letter.

MR WAGENER: Sorry? Published in a newspaper, yes.

There you say you give them the assurance of your solidarity and you say "We will continue the work that you have been doing." Now I'm going to argue, therefore I'm raising this issue with you, that a person in detention or people like that reading this will accept the Southern African Bishops Conference, they are supporting what I've been doing. Do you agree?

MR PIETERSE: That's your position, yes.

MR WAGENER: Well ...(intervention)

MR PIETERSE: It was meant as a letter of encouragement, certainly.

MR WAGENER: Yes. "We will continue the work that you have been doing." What does that mean otherwise? It can only mean one thing, do you agree?

MR PIETERSE: I'm not too sure what is implied in your question, Sir. The work, of course, we will continue the work. Working for a better, a just South Africa, yes.

MR WAGENER: No, what I'm implying is and I want to ...(intervention)

MR PIETERSE: Through the Chair, if you're implying that the bishops were supporting every bit of violence and so on, then that is incorrect. To work for a just, a new South Africa, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: I think the last bit of that is that, to put it in perspective, "we will also continue to work for your freedom and we pray that God our Father will give us the wisdom, courage and strength to work continuously for the liberation of our country."

MR WAGENER: Sure. No, once again I want to be very fair with you that I will argue at the end that in the perception of the Security Police, what you were doing and you meaning the conference, what you were doing was supporting movements, structures, people, that were out to destroy the then government of the day whether right or wrong and Mr Chairperson, I'm not trying to enter into any debate on that.

CHAIRPERSON: No, no, good.

MR PIETERSE: It think this actually needs to be dealt with in a far more or given a situation of far more time. I have in front of me as well a letter to the State President, taken out of the same thing. So if we are going to be selective then we are losing the context of the whole thing. My point I made at the beginning was that Bishops never spoke on behalf of any organisation. They had very distinct principles and they worked to those. In saying they supported any particular action or whatever, it would always have been within that framework of striving for justice, for peace in our country. They under no circumstances promoted violence.

MR WAGENER: That I accept, Sir. All I'm trying to show is in the perception of the Security Branch, what the position of your conference was?

MR PIETERSE: Chair, I did in my statement that I made that I was not questioning the motivation, the political motivation of those people who were involved. I've worked with young people right across the spectrum. I know what has taken place. I've spoken to people within the security force, outside the security force. I've spoken to people within the army, people who have been all over, in Angola, elsewhere. I've had to counsel people. I'm not contesting the political motivation of any person who was present here.

MR WAGENER: Okay, thank you Sir because then we can cut it very short. I would have taken you through the policy of the ANC over the years where they stressed their thanks to the church in our country for their contribution to the struggle of the ANC but now that you accept what you've just said, I can perhaps just leave it there then. Thank you Sir.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Wagener.

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


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Joubert?

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


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Lamey?

MR LAMEY: No questions thank you, Chairperson.



MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Mr Chairperson, I have a few things to say. I've no questions.

CHAIRPERSON: You are free to say so.

MR DU PLESSIS ADDRESSES: Firstly, I have instructions from my clients, Mr Hammond and Mr Kotze to distance ourselves from the approach adopted by my learned friend, Mr Wagener. Now I, asking questions under these circumstances and questioning the evidence of Brother Judge, my instructions are not to do so. Firstly.

Secondly, I want to say something from my personal perspective. Unbeknown to you, I have had in my personal capacity as a member of a Dutch Reformed Church, discussions

with all the representatives of the church during lunch breaks. I did so because of the fact that I was concerned about the effect and the message that the opposition to these applications would have pertaining to the Catholic Church and pertaining to Christianity in general and I must say that personally, for myself, I want to express my deepest gratitude to Brother Jude and the Catholic Church for the approach they have adopted today. It has restored my personal confidence in the religion we share although I'm a Protestant. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Cornelius?

MR CORNELIUS ADDRESSES: Thank you Chairperson. I can't agree more with my learned brother than what he said now and on behalf of my three clients, we also want to express our gratitude to Brother Jude for his attitude taken in his testimony. I was most impressed by his testimony. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Cornelius. Ms Patel from the Amnesty Committee?

MS PATEL ADDRESSES: Thank you Honourable Chairperson. To Brother Jude, these moments are very few and far between that we experience during this process and I must say to you that - in fact I can't even find the words to express my

gratitude for rekindling my faith, not only in this process but in the future of this country. Thank you very much.

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Bosman?

ADV BOSMAN: Chairperson, I am sure that you will express the appreciation of the Committee for the manner in which we ended this but I personally had a long association with a Catholic school as a Latin teacher, believe it or not, Brother Jude and for me personally, I just want to say that this is the sort of attitude I would have expected from the Catholic Church and I do appreciate it on a personal level. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Advocate Bosman. Advocate Sandi?

ADV SANDI: I don't have a question Chairperson, I accept that - I can only say to Brother Jude I'm personally aware of what you're talking about when you refer to the work your church is doing for destitute people here, I'm fully aware. I've been away over the years, of course. Thank you. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Cambanis, you're not going to re-examine?

MS CAMBANIS: No but Brother Jude would just like to make a comment.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Brother Jude?

MR PIETERSE: I would just like to make it clear that I am only here representing Archbishop Napier so I thank you for which you have said about me but really, what the last section of this report, what Archbishop Napier faxed to me, it was on my fax machine this morning and I typed it out just before coming here. So it's really Archbishop Napier speaking as President of the Southern African Bishops Conference, that this statement is made. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Brother Jude. You are excused and I think we will take this moment to have tea for 15 minutes. We are adjourned for 15 minutes.




CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Cambanis, have you concluded the evidence you wish to lead?

MS CAMBANIS: Yes I have, thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I suppose we're all ready to make submissions?

MR JOUBERT: If I may just interpose, before we proceed to argue, there's just one aspect I want to place on record. You will recall at the outset, Mr McIntyre when he testified he referred to the letter which had been handed to Mr Tim Williams?


MR JOUBERT: In the meantime my learned colleague, Ms Patel, has been in telephonic contact with Mr Williams who has confirmed that the documents were handed to him. He has, however, been unable to trace that but I just referred to that and I said that if possible, we would obtain those documents and submit them. We have been unable to get them up to date from ...(indistinct). Well also from Mr Williams, he has now spoken to Ms Patel and he is not quite sure what he did with them.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. We will give Mr Hattingh the first fight in submissions.

MR HATTINGH IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Mr Chairperson, Members of the Committee. Once again I'm going to be very brief, Chairperson.

Mr de Kock's application is a very simple one. He was approached by Capt Kotze to render assistance. He was told that the order came from Brig. McIntyre. Mr Kotze confirmed that Mr de Kock told him that he would first have to get his own commanding officer's approval and De Kock told you that he in fact spoke to Brig. Schoon who not only authorised him but instructed him to render the necessary assistance. I put it to Brig. McIntyre that he must have told Capt Kotze, Lt. Hammond the reasons for the attack on Khanya House, the political objective of which they wished to achieve which he confirmed and Mr de Kock testified that he was told why it was necessary to destroy Khanya House and that he accepted that it was necessary. Whether objectively speaking, it was in fact necessary to do so is immaterial, Chairperson. Mr de Kock was informed that the head of the - I forget what the department of Mr McAllistair was called.


MR HATTINGH: Stratcom was of the opinion that assistance was rendered to the liberation forces from within Khanya House and it was therefore reasonable for Mr de Kock to accept that that is the type of information that they would be possessed of. It was reasonable for him to accept that that was therefore necessary to act against Khanya House and he then carried out his instructions.

He did a reconnaissance on the building. On his evidence he saw no signs that the building was occupied during the night. We have the evidence that the people who were in the building on this particular night were only there for that night. There is no evidence that in the week or two prior to the attack people had been sleeping and that that should have been obvious to them when they carried out their reconnaissance operation and therefore, Chairperson, I submit that Mr de Kock had every reason to believe that the building was not used to accommodate people overnight and that it was as far as he was concerned an office building and he therefore gave instructions for the building to be destroyed. He frankly admitted that he also gave instructions for limpet mines and grenades and AK magazines to be place there to create the impression and that the occupants of Khanya House were indeed involved in the so-called struggle to the extent that they even had these ...(indistinct) weapons on the premises. That was his way of thinking, Chairperson. He also told you that that was not his commanding officer's way of thinking because he was severely reprimanded by Brig. Schoon for having done that.

Mr de Kock did not enter the building itself on the night of the attack so he wouldn't know what happened inside, Chairperson. He wouldn't know whether people only went into the ground, onto the first floor or whether they also went onto the second floor and poured petrol in the passage of the second floor. He wouldn't know about that, Chairperson, there was no evidence to the effect that he was told that they'd gone onto the second floor, there was no evidence from himself that he was aware of that fact. But even if he was aware of that fact, Chairperson, that doesn't necessarily mean that he was aware of the fact that there were people sleeping on the second floor at that stage.

We, at some stage, it was put to one of the witnesses, I can't remember who it was, that one of the people who had been sleeping on the second floor had closed and I can't remember whether it was put that he'd actually locked the door of his bedroom, but certainly that he'd closed the bedroom door when he went to bed and that when he woke up the door was open. Not a single witness was called to testify to that effect, Chairperson and you would not find such an allegation in any of the statements presented to you from those people who in fact slept on the second floor on that particular night. There's therefore no evidence whatsoever to the effect that Mr de Kock did become aware of the fact that there were people sleeping on the second floor and that he nevertheless ordered or authorised the attack to proceed.

I submit therefore, Chairperson, that Mr de Kock made a full disclosure of the role that he played during this operation, that he has established a political motive and I submit that he is entitled to receive amnesty in respect of the operation in question, Chairperson and I therefore ask for amnesty. I did mention the possibility that I might be seeking amnesty for attempted murder. On reconsideration, I'm not asking for attempted murder. I agree, with respect, with your remark Chairperson that I don't see any cord holding that he had the necessary intent to commit murder on this particular evening.

I therefore ask for amnesty in respect of arson, malicious damage to property, possession, any offence under the Explosives Act or the Arms and Ammunition Act, Chairperson, conspiracy to commit arson or malicious damage to property and also, Chairperson, for defeating the ends of justice and then for any other offence, flowing from the particular operation, Chairperson.

And then lastly I ask for amnesty in respect of all delictual claims against him arising from this particular operation. Thank you Mr Chairperson.

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

MR VAN DER MERWE IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Mr Chairperson. I will address you firstly on the role of Mr Hattingh. Chairperson, it is the evidence before this Commission that Mr Hattingh was called in by Brig. McIntyre and he received an instruction from Brig. McIntyre. He also received a short motivation for this instruction and his whole role in this incident is the fact that he relayed this instruction to the lower ranks. He was not involved in the planning or execution of this operation. I would submit to this Committee in view of the submissions made by Brother Jude on behalf of the Bishop that the Committee, with respect, has to accept that there was motive on the part of the operatives and the people who instructed this operation even though it might be factually correctly, subjectively they had the necessary political motive for this operation. He then passed it on, he had no reason to doubt these instructions he received since it came from the head of the division of the Security Branch in head office and as such, my submission on behalf of him would be that he made a full disclosure and he is entitled to amnesty for his role, albeit very limited in this operation. I will then proceed to the three members of the technical section which will be Du Toit and the brothers Kok. As in various previous amnesty applications, Chairperson, they were co-opted, they were as I can put it, pulled in from the side specifically for their expert knowledge.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't know what happened in the previous applications so I won't consider that in my decision.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Yes, Chairperson. They were pulled it in, as it were, from the side. They are people who were acting on instructions which was verified to them that it came from head office and that it was cleared out at head office level. They were requested to lend their specific expertise to this operation.

As far as Mr du Toit is concerned, the role he played in this whole operation was merely as the head of the brothers Kok to confirm the instruction after he cleared it out with Hattingh and therefore he played no further part save for granting permission for his people under his control to participate in this operation.

As far as the Kok brothers is concerned, I will refer to Japie Kok first which is Jacob Francois Kok. He played a more active role, he was part of the reconnaissance in this operation and his evidence as well before this Committee which is supported by Mr de Kock is that at no stage were they aware that there would be people in this building even during his reconnaissance of this building. He did not experience any people or have any reason to believe that there would be people in this building on the night of the operation. They acted specifically on instructions from the top and fell as far as this operation was concerned under the operational command of Mr de Kock, as Mr de Kock has told the Committee that he assumed responsibility as the operational commander.

It is quite clear that Mr Japie Kok was involved on the ground floor and at what was referred to as the printing press. He never engaged in any other activity on the scene except on those floors.

Mr Jacobus Kok was instructed to work on the first floor and was engaged in picking locks on the first floor. As far as anybody else possibly being on the second floor, Chairperson, I'm not in a position to hold to this Committee that there was no one on the second floor, it is quite possible that there could have been someone on the second floor, we don't know. What I am holding to this Committee and submitting to this Committee, with the greatest of respect, is that the Committee cannot make a finding that one of the applicants at this hearing was aware or should have been aware of whoever was on the second floor if we for argument's sake accept that there were people on the second floor. It is possible, Chairperson, for argument's sake that whoever was on the second floor might have realised there's people there and because of the fact that he was scared to communicate back, just kept quiet and cleared out of the building. We don't know. I would, however, submit to the Committee that as far as the members I represent who were in the building, the two brothers Kok, that they definitely were not aware of any people in the building and therefore ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: But they were responsible for opening up the building and doors? The Kok brothers?

MR VAN DER MERWE: That is correct, Chairperson. There is no evidence being presented to this Committee, Chairperson, with all due respect, that a door was locked, was unlocked on the second floor. There was a statement put to one of the witnesses but there is no evidence before this Committee to make that finding.

CHAIRPERSON: What is of concern is that people would pour petrol after doors unlocked and if people which we don't know up to now had gone to the second floor, they must have made sure that we pour petrol because someone has gone to unlock the second floor.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Chairperson, it is also apparently clear that no petrol was poured into any room on the second floor. The evidence before this Committee, it was only the passage carpets that were wet so it is quite clear that rooms weren't entered be it because in all the statements I've seen before this Commission, there is not one single statement that says their door was unlocked. Whether it was locked or not, I don't know. So there is no evidence before this Committee with all due respect that the Committee can find that doors were unlocked on the second floor. The evidence which was heard this morning was that it was only the carpet of the passage of the second floor that was burnt and the rest was just smoke and soot damage in the rooms. I would submit to this Committee if the doors were unlocked or if there was an operation where people threw petrol into the rooms on the second floor, that there should have been some extent of fire damage on the second floor. I will, however, not take that any further as it could become speculative.

Maybe just as a departing point from this, Chairperson, it is also so that the brothers Kok who were doing the unlocking, the only instruction was to pick the locks and open the doors. They were not asked to look into the rooms or check the rooms but the evidence in the end still only points to the fact that they were on the first and ground floor level and not on any other floor, them specifically.

As far as the other two applicants are concerned that I represent, which is Mr Bellingan and Mr Tait, I would submit that they were, to you Mr Chairperson, that Mr Bellingan was part of the logistics component of this operation. The evidence is clear that he never entered the building, he transported people to the scene and transported them from the scene and his role was monitoring the activity around Khanya House as a back up team to prevent the operators from being caught in the act.

Mr Tait has also given his evidence and his role was simply the press or the room where they kept the printing material and as far as that's concerned, I don't think anything is in dispute there.

Chairperson, in all I would submit to this Committee that all the clients that I represent have made a full disclosure. There is no evidence to the alternative on which the evidence can be rejected. They did this with the necessary political motive, as I've already spelt out and as Mr Hattingh before me and I'm sure my learned colleague on behalf of Brig. McIntyre will still address you. But on their level, I would submit that they had the necessary, subjectively had the necessary political motive to take part in this operation and although, as we have heard, the evidence of Brother Jude, the Catholic Bishops Conference were upset by the claims that they were involved in supporting these people or the fight against the government. The real fact that remains is that subjectively in the mind of the operators, they had to rely on information and propaganda from Government's side which was given to them and which they had to believe. They had no reason not to believe that and if the facts prove it was the truth, the test to be applied is whether they had a reasonable belief in this position. I would submit that that should be accepted by the Committee, Chairperson.

As far as the crimes which I would request the Committee to consider to grant amnesty for, it would obviously be arson and malicious damage to property, possession of explosives and any other crime under the Arms and Ammunitions Act. Something which I have just thought of is the possible housebreaking with the intent to commit arson because this building was locked, conspiracy by all of them to be part of this operation and any of the abovementioned crimes, possibly defeating the ends of justice in direct or indirect way in that they also kept quiet as police officers and not revealing their role in this operation and then all delicts which would also form part of the facts before this Committee. And that would be my submission to this Committee. Thank you Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr van der Merwe. Mr Wagener?

MR WAGENER IN ARGUMENT: Thank you. Chairperson, at the time of this incident, that was 1988, we all know that there was an undeclared war raging in our country between the liberation movements on the one side and the security forces on the other side. For a brief summary or background to this, I can refer you to the first six pages of the Cronje judgement by the original Amnesty Committee, giving a very clear synopsis of this.

CHAIRPERSON: I'll get hold of that, you may continue with your submissions.

MR WAGENER: And also, Chairperson, we now know that at the time there was a general perception in the minds of the members of the Security Police that what the proprietors of Khanya House was doing at the time amounted to supporting the cause of the ANC in its political struggle against the State. So therefore, Chairperson, my client had no hesitation when he received instructions via his commanders to partake in this operation even though it was clearly unlawful in nature. He gave evidence, that's Mr du Plessis, regarding his own role which, I submit, was not disputed. I do not intend repeating now in argument what he had said, merely to state, Chairperson, that in my submission he has complied with the requirements in terms of Section 20(i), both a, b and c. He filed his application in the prescribed form timeously. Regarding a full disclosure, Chairperson, I'm fully aware of the somewhat worrying aspect regarding the explosives and that the person Mr Hammond referred to he saw has not come forward in these proceedings. Still, Chairperson, I submit that on behalf of my client at least, there's no evidence that he, in his personal capacity, failed to make a disclosure of any facts that he should have or that he was aware of because surely the test can only be to disclose what you know and if certain facts clearly fall outside your knowledge, you cannot be blamed for not disclosing that you don't know about. So, Chairperson, I would submit that you should also have cognisance in this regard to the judgements in the COSATU, that's specifically the Khotso House matter, which we'll know to place - I think it was about two months earlier.

CHAIRPERSON: Two months before.

MR WAGENER: But in the same time frame and the result of that judgement, I realise it was different panels or a different panel, but in terms of fair and just administrative action I would submit that you should lean heavily on these judgements on reaching a finding in the present matter.

Chairperson, I'm asking for amnesty on behalf of my client ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Before you do?

MR WAGENER: Oh, sorry. Yes?

CHAIRPERSON: Before you tell us what you're asking for, should we, in our judgement, make a finding in respect of what Mr de Kock has said that he cleared this with Mr Schoon, Brig. Schoon? That is his evidence and that's what contained in the documents.

MR WAGENER: Yes Chairperson, I took it up with Brigadier Schoon. I gave his version, I put that to Mr de Kock. Brigadier Schoon did not do anything further about the matter so I submit as the evidence stands you would be entitled to make such finding.


MR WAGENER: You will note, Chairperson, that in his original written application Mr du Plessis did not try to specify the specific crimes he's applying for amnesty. He merely stated that he is asking for amnesty for any crime or delict based upon his own involvement in this situation. Mr Chairperson, that is still my submission to you today. It is not required of an applicant to try and list all the possible crimes. He should merely put the facts before you of his own involvement and he is asking for amnesty for that. We've had long arguments on this issue at previous hearings showing what can happen if one tries to start listing all possible crimes. I had for instance a quick look at the Internal Security Act for crimes like sabotage and even terrorism and I can imagine lawyers advancing long argument that maybe my client or some of the other applicants here may have committed even crimes like that. Mr Chairperson, my submission is therefore it is suffice to say that my client asks for amnesty for any crime and any delict based upon his personal involvement as testified by himself. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Wagener.

MR JANSEN IN ARGUMENT: My client, Mr Ras' role was in a very limited way in this matter. He was approached by Col. de Kock to take part in the operation. He had no reason whatsoever to question Mr de Kock's orders. He did not take part in the reconnaissance of the building. During the operation he merely stood outside the building, he stood guard, he did not go into the building. I mean he'd obviously not be in a position to give evidence on whether there was anybody on the second floor. Yes, shortly there's been no evidence to place my client's version in question in any respect. I submit that he has established a political motive and has made full disclosure and therefore apply for amnesty for the following crimes. Arson, malicious damage to property, conspiracy to commit arson or malicious damage to property and any delicts arising from the facts surrounding this application. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Joubert?

MR JOUBERT IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Chairperson. At the outset I accept that the question pertaining to political motive has by now been sufficiently dealt with and I submit that with regards to my client, Mr McIntyre who is the one who made the decision for which this incident emanated, had a sufficient political motive for the actions which he took. I submit that the evidence that he provided and presented substantiates this argument and then furthermore, I would submit that he has complied with the requirements of the Act and specifically the formal requirements in that his application was submitted timeously and I would only address you more in detail pertaining to the question of whether a full disclosure was made. Now with reference to the question of full disclosure, I submit that the evidence presented by Mr McIntyre is indicative of the fact that he presented this Committee with everything or every bit of knowledge that he had and that he could recall. I would point out that he indicated in his application the letter of the State Security Council to which he referred and from which he also deduced his authority to act and make the decisions. This was indicated to the Committee right at the outset. He has made every endeavour possible to obtain copies of these documents. We have also made available the information at our disposal to the Committee as to where the documents are. This has been confirmed by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Tim Williams, who took these documents into possession and he has confirmed this personally to the Evidence Leader, Ms Ramula Patel. Due to the fact that the documents are either in his possession or in that of Nehawu, we have been unable to gain access to that and I would respectfully submit that that not be held against Mr McIntyre. His hands are bound, he cannot obtain them personally.

Furthermore I would submit that it would have been the easiest way out for Mr McIntyre to come to the Committee and say that he obtained this instruction from General Joubert, General Jaap Joubert, who is deceased and that would have been the end of it. But no, he comes to the Committee and makes a full disclosure in a frank and honest way and says I did not obtain that authority or order from the pre-deceased General, but I deduced that from the document and the perception which was at that stage, the perception that I had at that stage and the position which I had and the information at my disposal. I would submit that this is indicative of a frank and honest approach by Mr McIntyre to this Committee.

Furthermore, without going into any much detail, I will concur with what Mr Wagener has said in relation to the issues pertaining to Khotso House and COSATU House and would request the Honourable Committee to take those decisions into account when considering whether amnesty should be granted in this specific application. In summary then, unless you want to hear me on any specific point, Chairperson, Mr McIntyre will request amnesty for arson, malicious damage to property, conspiracy defeating the ends of justice, any other offence or delict flowing from the incident and upon you will note initially a request was made also for attempted murder. I have decided after reflecting on this specific issue that it is not necessary to apply for amnesty in this regard and concur with yourself and Mr Hattingh's argument in this regard. May it please you, Chairperson.

ADV SANDI: Shouldn't it be, in respect of his case, shouldn't it be conspiracy to commit arson rather than actual arson?

MR JOUBERT: Well Advocate Sandi, arson, conspiracy to commit arson, whatever the evidence may lead to although he was not at the scene at all, he was involved in giving the order and it may be argued by some lawyers at some stage possibly that he was involved to such an extent by giving the order and by ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: That he associated himself.

MR JOUBERT: His association with the acts that there may be a common cause as indicated by one of my learned colleagues.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Lamey, may I take you out of the pensive mood?

MR LAMEY IN ARGUMENT: Chairperson yes, I was thinking of whether I had to say anything further.

CHAIRPERSON: You haven't said anything yet.

MR LAMEY: After my learned friends have I think made submissions that I agree with.

Chairperson yes, two of the applicants that I represent, Mr Nortje and Mr Bosch, Mr Bosch was only involved to the extent that he was the driver of the getaway vehicle and he couldn't really elaborate, enlighten the Committee as to what transpired inside. I would just submit that he has also - he qualifies for being granted amnesty on the same basis of full disclosure as well as sufficient political motive for the following. Arson, malicious damage to property, any offence in terms of the Arms and Ammunition Act and any offence in terms of the Explosives Act and then conspiracy to commit any of those crimes mentioned as well as any delict which may be inferred from the facts.

My same submission applies to Mr Nortje who role was that of cover or back up and observation in the vicinity of the front of the building after he gave some back up to one of the Kok brothers to unlock the first line of entrance to the building and he testified that he was never inside the building which I think can be accepted in the light of all the rest of the evidence that you've heard.

Chairperson, then as far as Mr Willemse is concerned, his position is somewhat unique and I would submit that given the medical report that was submitted to you, his application should be sui generis sort of, is sui generis and should be assessed on the basis of his written application as well as then also in the context of the rest of the evidence and I think from the totality of the evidence read together with his written statements, Chairperson, I submit that he also qualifies for amnesty for the same offences that I have mentioned.

CHAIRPERSON: So that if I refuse the others I may refuse him as well?

MR LAMEY: Chairperson, well I think you have to assess him on his affidavit but if his affidavit ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Not only with his affidavit and the evidence tendered before us.


CHAIRPERSON: As I say, when if I refuse them then he has got to be refused as well. He cannot be an exception.

MR LAMEY: Well I must say I go along with that. If he fails on political objective or if the other - let us classify, categorise it with the foot soldiers, if they fail on political objectives, surely Mr Willemse should also fail and full disclosure, Chairperson, the difficult situation is that a written affidavit does have its limits but I submit under the circumstances what he has stated is the essence and the crux and the relevance of his role in the matter. What he also specifically states in his affidavit is that according to his impression there was nobody in the building. So that accords with all the other evidence, Chairperson and I submit that ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps he was on the second floor?

ADV BOSMAN: Or perhaps he tried to be ...(indistinct)

MR LAMEY: I think I would submit that if it was of particular relevance that he was on the second floor and if he saw somebody on the second floor, I think I submit that would have been a relevant fact which Mr Willemse, if he remembers that, would have stated in his affidavit and from not having made mention of that I don't think any negative inference could be drawn from that.

CHAIRPERSON: Would he because he received medical attention even before he filled in his application form.

MR LAMEY: Chairperson, that is a very good question as to whether Mr Willemse is really capable of relating the events. He has got deficiencies as far as memory is concerned. That's why I say that, you know, his evidence should also actually I think be viewed against also the other evidence and in that regard I submit that there's nothing from the other evidence that we've heard that impacts on his amnesty application. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Lamey. Mr du Plessis?

MR DU PLESSIS IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Chairperson. Chairperson, my approach to the matter on behalf of my clients is a little bit different. May I first make a few submissions on political motive. I submit that in terms of Section 20.3 of the Act one has to show a subjective motive and if you will look at all the different factors set out in Section 20.3, that the conclusion you have to come to and I've argued this on various occasions and it's been accepted in various judgements, the subjective elements of Section 20.3 override the objective elements. So at the end of the day even if a person ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: The political motive we have heard so far has been subjective.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes. Yes and my submission is if he succeeds to prove a political motive from a subjective point of view the objective test doesn't come into play so for instance if he thought that he was acting against a liberation movement but from a subjective point of view that was never the case. From an objective point of view, if it's shown that it was never the case then he would still qualify for amnesty on a political motive test and in my submission all the applicants succeed in respect of that, especially the foot soldiers and the people who executed the order under the circumstances. So if one should accept that the church was never involved in any way with the liberation movements or with the ANC or the struggle, one would still have to accept that the applicants acted with a political motive and they would therefore qualify for amnesty on that basis.

CHAIRPERSON: And qualify the political motive subjectively?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, as it pleases you. Yes. Chairperson, I think the best example of that was the application of Brian Mitchell, Capt Brian Mitchell, which where that exactly happened where the wrong target was hit eventually and innocent people were killed in the process. But from his subjective point of view they were acting against the right, correct target and he received and amnesty and there are various other examples where we have gone through this quite a number of times and I think you've heard me argue this point a number of times.

CHAIRPERSON: You are arguing it for fifth time.

MR DU PLESSIS: Chairperson, I can't remember.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm keeping count.

MR DU PLESSIS: Then from my two clients' point of view, there can be no doubt that they gave a full explanation of their involvement in the matter. They gave detailed evidence about the preparations that they were involved in with the petrol, the paraffin, the ignitive cord. They gave detailed explanation of what happened during the operation, what happened during the reconnaissance part of the operation that Mr Kotze testified about and they also gave a frank and detailed explanation of what happened the next day and their visit to the place. There is in my submission no fact before this Committee which one can argue that they have not disclosed which they perhaps should have disclosed.

A submission, which I want to make pertaining to the question if all the applicants should have known that there were people in the building, it became clear from the cross-examination of Mrs Cook and Mr Nunes that they were only scheduled to sleep there that night so if the surveillance which Brother Jude had suggested should have been done by tapping telephones had not been done, as was the evidence of the applicants, they would not have known on the evidence of the representatives of the church. They would not have known that there would have been people. On the reconnaissance that they did of the building they would not have had that information. The people who were involved in the Security Police who were monitoring perhaps the church would in all probability not have known that people would have been there that night and it is clear that they or one can accept on the evidence, is my submission that they did not expect anybody to be there. It also, in my submission, has to be accepted of the evidence of all the applicants that there was no indication of anybody there that night. There is no evidence of - no other evidence that any of the applicants saw somebody in the building that night. Neither Mrs Cook nor Mr Nunes ...(inaudible) that building so one cannot come to that conclusion.

CHAIRPERSON: So you cannot associate the tip toeing which was heard to the applicants.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I'm coming to that Chairperson but perhaps I should deal with that. The submission I wish to make is that even if one accepts that somebody tip toed along that passage or moved along that passage, there is no clear evidence before you that it was one of the arsonists. One may argue on probabilities that it could have been but there is not evidence before you that it was one of them. I coming to the probabilities in a moment.

So at the end of the day one is left with and I submit the church has in their submission correctly indicated the facts that one could say may or should have been disclosed which were not disclosed and one has to then consider the reasons therefore. Those facts are the name of the person responsible for dousing the second floor with petrol, who was responsible for planting the explosives and whether the arsonists discovered that there were people in residence. You'll find that on page 4, those three issues.

Now from the church's point of view, you will see that they accept that the evidence may indeed represent the fullest disclosure possible and I've already indicated to you that from the point of view of the applicants before this Committee, there is not fact that you can find that any one of them have not disclosed that they had to disclose. What is of importance is what you find on page 5 of the submission of the church where they say that in summary, well unanswered questions remain, there is the possibility that others who have not applied for amnesty could have been involved given the perceived genuine efforts on the part of some of those who had participated, to set the record straight, they are not willing to oppose the applications further. Now there is, in my submission, that possibility. If one looks at the applications of the applicant there were a total of six applicants who applied, who were inside the building. There was evidence I think by more than one witness that there were nine to ten people in the building. There was evidence by Mr de Kock that not everybody who was at Vlakplaas participated in this operation.

CHAIRPERSON: And nine to ten twenty litre cans taken into the building?

MR DU PLESSIS: Correct. So one cannot discount the possibility that whoever was responsible for those two actions are amongst the people who did not apply for amnesty. There is no reason why anybody would come before this Committee and testify about these facts, would not have disclosed it if they were not involved in it and because of that ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, why not take my chance?

MR DU PLESSIS: Well, Chairperson, for what reason would such a person take a chance?

CHAIRPERSON: It might save you prosecution in future.

MR DU PLESSIS: No but I mean, Chairperson, if you come and disclose your participation in this whole process and especially in this incident, why would you not disclose that you planted the arms in the cupboard? There's no reason why you wouldn't disclose that?

CHAIRPERSON: It's a half baked explanation.

MR DU PLESSIS: Pardon Mr Chairperson?

CHAIRPERSON: He'd give you a half baked explanation.

MR DU PLESSIS: No but the kind of prosecution that would flow from that, I mean there's really no possibility that anybody would be prosecuted for doing that. In any event, the kind of prosecution or the kind of offence that you would be prosecuted in respect of that is not worth lying for in this process, is my submission.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't know with the advent of the Scorpions, that's changed the complexion.

MR DU PLESSIS: Chairperson, but if one has to and that is how my argument differs a little bit from the other applicant's arguments, if one has to consider this and you have to ask yourself the question, do I accept the version of all the applicants before this Committee or must I give consideration to the version of the two witnesses on behalf of the church, one has to look at the evidence of the church and analyse that a little bit and I'm going to be very short in that regard but I want to point out to you the differences, firstly, in the evidence of the two witnesses as well as the affidavits before you and also the probabilities thereof.

Firstly, there is difference in the evidence of Mrs Cook and Mr Nunes about where they spoke about Sister Flannigan. The one testified that it was in the passage, the other testified that it was in the room. Now that's a very small difference, I'm just pointing that out. However, a more substantial difference is, the question was there a fire in the passage on the second floor before they went into Mrs Cook's room. According to Mrs Cook there was a fire at the passage close to Sister Bridget's room whereas Mr Nunes testified that he saw fire for the first time when they were already through Mrs Cook's room outside on the balcony on their way to Sister Bridget's room.

Secondly, or thirdly, there was evidence that they went through the window into Sister Flannagan's room but on the other hand if you look at the affidavits that were presented to us, Sister Flannagan said in her statement that she was woken up by somebody knocking on her door. If I come to the probabilities, Mrs Cook testified that she went down the staircase to the first floor, she saw no fire there and I also asked her if she heard any sound there and she said she didn't hear any sound there.

CHAIRPERSON: What about this situation which I think is a real situation that you wake up and you find yourself in a life threatening situation?


CHAIRPERSON: That would you look where the window is, the door and who is at the door and that kind of thing. Would you under those circumstances?

MR DU PLESSIS: No, Chairperson, obviously. Obviously one must expect that the evidence, one must view the evidence in the light of the situation they were in at that stage. What I'm trying to point out to you is the probability of some of the evidence that they have presented you with and I'm arguing that on the basis and that's just the second leg of the argument. The first leg of the argument was the fact that the possibility and probability that the two versions can be dealt with together without accepting the one version and not accepting the other version by simply accepting that whoever was on the second floor and whoever planted the weapons is not an applicant before this Committee and that's the most probable possibility before you. But if you have to evaluate the evidence and that's the level on which I'm arguing and the second leg on which I'm arguing and I'm just trying to indicate to you the improbability of the version of the two witnesses as indicated, especially by my learned friend, Mr Hattingh, in his cross-examination. She testified that she went up the stairs to the second floor and then the fire - she didn't see a fire on the first floor, she didn't hear a sound on the first floor but when she went up the fire was already on the second floor. Now that is improbable if one accepts that the fire would have spread from the ground to the first floor and then to the second floor. The fire couldn't have been on the second floor if there wasn't a fire on the first floor and there was no sound of fire on the first floor.

Secondly, in respect of the improbabilities, if the fire had reached the second floor, the evidence of Hammond and Kotze was that it would have spread within seconds throughout that floor and throughout the passage. However, if one looks at the evidence of all the parties and especially the affidavits of some of the other people present, the evidence is that after Mrs Cook had went up to the second floor. She went into her bedroom then they discovered that Sister Flannigan wasn't there. Then they went out on the balcony. Then they broke the window of Sister Flannaganís room. Then they went inside the room. Then they took some time, according to the one affidavit, to wake her up. Then she says she put on a blouse and skirt and joined the others on the veranda. So they took time to wake her up. She had time to put on a blouse and a skirt and then went out to the balcony and at that stage one has to accept that the fire, before all of this happened, the fire had already reached the second floor. Now it just sounds improbable that they could have taken such a long time over these actions while the fire had already reached the second floor.

Then there is the question about the door that was opened on the second floor which was put in cross-examination that Bishop Verstrate would say that which was never taken up with any of the other applicants during cross-examination. That was never confirmed in evidence. Then I submit you also have to take into account that none of the evidence of these witnesses were put to any of the other witnesses especially Hammond and Kotze. The probabilities of the previous argument that I put to you could have been tested with Hammond and Kotze and they could have given you, as experts, a very good overview of the probabilities of the fire, the spreading of the fire through the passage if there wasn't petrol in the rooms, what would have happened. Nothing was asked of them in respect of that and in my submission you have to ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: But it depended on the oxygen available.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, but I mean those were the kind of questions that one would have asked or should have asked the experts before this Committee and it wasn't done. In fact none of the evidence given by these witnesses were ever put to my clients. Then if you would just bear with me? The other factor that you have to take into account in annexure E is that Brother Jude referred there to people having moved around only on the ground and the first floors and the question is where did he get that information. In all probability he got that information from people who were in the building.

CHAIRPERSON: It's a reconstruction of what he probably heard when he interviewed those involved.


CHAIRPERSON: Can we take it further than that other than say probably the pictures depicted would give us an indication of the damage there?

MR DU PLESSIS: Well it just goes towards - I'm not saying it goes towards a credibility finding and that you must take that into account but what I'm saying is that goes towards probabilities, not credibility but probabilities. It's just a further indication that on the - if you have to find on the probabilities, you have to make and that's my submission on this leg of the argument, that you have to make a finding against the church in a finding in favour of the applicants on the probabilities.

CHAIRPERSON: That is if I say I reject their evidence or in a fuller explanation then I've got to invoke the leg you are arguing now?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes. Yes, if you reject that and that's just on that basis. And that concludes the argument on the question of probabilities, Chairperson. But in my submission, you don't have to go so far. In my submission the church has really pointed to the essence of the matter in their submission and in my submission you should come to a conclusion that a full disclosure was made by all the applicants before you of their involvement and the question of who planted the weapons, the question of who moved around on the second floor remains an open question but you cannot make a finding that any of the applicants here before you lied about that and that's the essence and the gist of the matter and in my submission, you can make a finding on that, you don't have to go into the probabilities or make a finding that anybody lied before you in this hearing. Thank you.

May I just - sorry, lastly refer you to the actions and the criminal offences amnesty is applied for. Conspiracy - well no, it won't be conspiracy in respect of my clients. Arson, malicious damage to property, housebreaking, being an accessory after the fact possibly, defeating the ends of justice, contraventions of the Arms and Ammunitions Act and the Explosives Act and all competent verdicts under any of these criminal offences and then any liability in respect of any delicts. As it pleases you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr du Plessis. Could you grant us a short, very, very short two minute adjournment?

MR DU PLESSIS: As it pleases you.



CHAIRPERSON: Mr Cornelius?

MR CORNELIUS IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Chairperson, I'll be brief. I've been asked by Mr Christie Nel to also address the Committee on behalf of Mr Larry Hanton, he unfortunately had to leave for a flight to Durban so this will then encompass David Jacobus Brits, Nicolaas Vermeulen, Leon Flores and Larry Hanton.

It is my submission to the Committee that all four of these so-called foot soldiers complied with the requirements of the Act. It is quite clear that a political decision was taken by the top structure of the security command. It is also quite clear that the foot soldiers carried out the instructions. There was no disciplined action taken against any of them. They had the necessary political motive, it's quite clear. They received no reward for their actions. It is also quite clear Mr Brits didn't steal the T.V. as was alleged by one party, that he in fact did remove a computer and ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: No, it was an applicant not a party.

MR CORNELIUS: Correct. It is quite clear, Chairperson, that the four applicants made full disclosure. The impression left by Mr Flores wasn't too good but I think Advocate Bosman cleared that up quite clearly that ...(intervention)

ADV BOSMAN: I was waiting for you to clear it up, Mr Cornelius.

MR CORNELIUS: You did a very, very excellent job of that Advocate. It's quite clear that he was confused and I think as one of the lowest ranks involved in this action he tried to in a certain way boost his position in which he was involved in it. Very elaborate way of sketching things and although he's the only applicant of all the applicants it says that they knew of the presence of the people. He denied it in his evidence and he said he was confused with another incident.

It is quite clear that the implicated party, Blackie Swart, as indicated on page 2 of the summary was not involved. Eugene de Kock clearly testified that he was not involved on a specific question from my side.

Therefore, I apply for amnesty to be granted, Chairperson, for arson, malicious damage to property, offences under Explosives Act, offences under the Arms and Ammunitions Act, obviously the possibility of conspiracy to commit these offences. It will also be apt to ask for theft of the computer component.

CHAIRPERSON: Won't you take me on review and when I say I grant even for the possibility of a conspiracy. Taken on review, I haven't said a thing?

MR CORNELIUS: You're quite right, Chairperson. For conspiracy. Defeating the ends of justice obviously, all offences flowing from these actions and then all delicts which might follow these actions by the applicants. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Cornelius. Ms Cambanis?

MS CAMBANIS: Thank you. The victims have withdrawn their opposition, I therefore have no submission. Thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Let's hear a neutral voice?

MS PATEL: And I choose to remain neutral. Thank you Honourable Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Hattingh, obviously there can't be any reply?

MR HATTINGH: I have nothing further to add. Thank you Chairperson.


MR VAN DER MERWE: Nothing, thank you Chairperson.

MR WAGENER: Nothing, thank you.

MR JANSEN: Nothing Chairperson, thank you.

MR JOUBERT: Nothing, thank you Chairperson.

MR LAMEY: Nothing, thank you Chairperson.

MR DU PLESSIS: Nothing, thank you Chairperson.

MR CORNELIUS: Nothing, thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: This brings us to the end of the applications of Mr de Kock and eighteen others. I wonder if I shouldn't give a decision but before I do so let me say this. I am indebted to all the legal representatives. You kept me awake for an entire week in examining and re-examining, but what is gratifying to me is the invaluable assistance you have given, all of you. That's what sometimes also at the end of the day I could also see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm indebted to the legal profession and especially the gentlemen and ladies who have been before me and my Committee, I hope I'm expressing their sentiments.

We will have to reserve our decision because the Act requires us to give a written judgement. Whilst having thanked the legal representatives, I want again to start with my interpreters. We have had two for the entire three weeks and Mr Coetzee keeps on cropping in my mind, that we had a difficult job to do within the three weeks. Sometimes you would think that I am insensitive in working long hours. I am not, I am thinking of you people and if I have done so, please forgive me, it was not on purpose and to the legal representatives too, I must extend that the willingness everybody has shown to work, it was really making our job easier and this reminds me of the discussions in analysing the matters. What we've heard so far with my Committee, you've made my job very easy.

I must thank in this application we have just finished, the Southern African Bishops Conference and the Catholic Church for your attendance throughout, the interest you have shown and quite appropriately, where the three aspects which have not come to the fore which you had hoped to hear. This is the nature of things and I wish you accept it but for you to openly accept this process. We have done so in 1996 before the Human Rights Violation Committee. You did again in 1997 shown your support towards this process and not only that to heal the wounds of the past but we have had an addendum to that and said the social morality of those involved in this conflict which was supposed to be one country.

For the direct victims and Sister Bridget Flannigan whom I saw, I think, on two days, to relive the life threatening situation that faced you, it shows the true nature of your faith, that once you invite God into yourself you shall withstand anything because with God next to you or around you, if it is not time you shall be saved. We thank you for that and we say to you please invite God for the weekend for the sake of yourselves and for the sake of the applicants that our judgement should be a just one which will also force the other process of reconciliation in this country because we still have to deliberate on that, we haven't made up our minds because argument might have had it the other way around.

And Brother Jude, please transmit our sincere thanks to Bishop Napier for what he has put forward and largely on page 5. I wouldn't call it a paper but what is termed "Arson Attack on Khanya House." We have been very much encouraged by his words and this shows true leadership, that do not look at what faces you but do it with objectivity. This is very encouraging and I say may he lead this church to greater heights because what the church, the Catholic Church, to be precise, stood for over the years, some haven't seen it in their lifetimes but the church which has a longer life than you and I has seen what the church said all along and it has come clear in reading some of the documentation that you did not encourage violence, you discouraged violence wherever it reared its head. That is encouraging.

And lastly, a bold word again to the legal representatives. You have fought the battles of your clients like we say without fear or favour, that's what you have been trained for. I appreciated that. I'd liked even sometimes the little arena, we have been in the boxing arena, it revitalised us and made us see the issues clearly.

I must thank IDASA Centre for having made this venue available to us for over three weeks and also bearing with us that we would work longer hours and they never disturbed us in any way.

Ramula Patel, I left this one as the last for you. I was in Cape Town when you were running around. I know what it meant to you. You have never had sleep over this but this is the job you said you would do for South Africa, not for the amnesty, you did it for South Africa. Thank you very much.

And to the staff of the TRC, I thank you for the support you have given us. Without your support we wouldn't know where we're going. Because people see us here they think we did the work. We never did but it's the staff of the Amnesty Committee that has done all the preparations.

And for the engineers who looked after these devices, because sometimes I had the feeling that you are sabotaging us but we are really fixing them, we thank you.

Thank you everybody, have a nice restful weekend and let's all go to church for this Sunday to pray for a decision in this matter. Thank you. We adjourn.