CHAIRPERSON: Good morning everybody. This morning we'll be continuing with the evidence of Mr Erasmus. Before we start I would just like Mr du Plessis to place himself on record.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Chairman. I'm representing Mr Gary Pollock, P J du Plessis, from the firm David Botha Du Plessis and Kruger Attorneys, Johannesburg.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr du Plessis.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr McAslin. Sorry, Mr Bizos.


...(indistinct - mike not on) There are one or two specific things that I want to put to you, Mr Erasmus. Firstly in relation to Mr Naidoo, you've already told us that you stole his clock, did you?

MR ERASMUS: I'm sorry, I can't hear Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: There is some uncertainty. Did you or did you not say that you stole a clock from Mr Naidoo?

MR ERASMUS: Mr J Naidoo, I believe. I referred to it in a broad outline, but later, it was in fact during the South African Police raid on COSATU House, ...

MR BIZOS: Oh, Mr J Naidoo, oh I beg your pardon. Okay. Yes, another Naidoo. Because Mr Shanty Naidoo says that the family

house was broken into and family jewellery was taken away, do you know anything about that?

MR ERASMUS: No, I don't Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Well do you know anything about a house-breaking into their house?

MR ERASMUS: Mr Chairman, no, housebreaking was part of my portfolio, but I don't know anything about the Naidoo residence. As I explained Mr Naidoo, or the Naidoo family wasn't under our portfolio. I certainly never heard about it. I really don't know anything about it.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now if a group of people raided, you wouldn't necessarily know what the searchers helped themselves to?

MR ERASMUS: Not always. I would know what I helped myself to and some of the others, but ...

MR BIZOS: And would it be part of the campaign of one or other of them taking a clock away, taking away family documents, letters, cards, not particularly of any material value, but merely to upset the people whose possessions they were.

MR ERASMUS: Absolutely.

MR BIZOS: In relation to women, was sexual harassment over the telephone practised?

MR ERASMUS: I know it would happen, Mr Bizos. It wasn't my personal forte to use the sexual side of things. I was - I did do it on occasion, I can't remember in respect of who.

MR BIZOS: Yes, because Dr Liz Floyd says that she was the victim of this type of harassment over the telephone over the years.

MR ERASMUS: I would certainly accede that I probably made some of those calls, in fact I can't remember specifically, but there were many of us, all I can say we did do these type of things and at various times something might have come to attention of our Commanders or to the Security Branch in respect of Mrs Floyd and she would have during that period had a spate of these type of calls and activities being carried out by myself and by other people.

MR BIZOS: And would - the purpose of that was to persuade her to leave the country?

MR ERASMUS: No necessarily to leave the country, just to intimidate and terrorise.

MR BIZOS: Now there was a raid on her family home where approximately ten people came, five of whom were armed with what appeared to her to be machine guns or multiple sort of a - I don't know ...

CHAIRPERSON: Automatic rifles.

MR BIZOS: Automatic rifles, yes, automatic rifles, thank you Mr Chairman. What was the purpose of that raid?

MR ERASMUS: I presume Mr Chairman this would have been during the State of Emergency, if Mr Bizos is referring to a raid on Dr Floyd's home, yes I was in command of a group of about ten people. Our standing instructions were to be heavily armed at all times, visibly heavily armed. It was, I think, part of the State of Emergency, we had lists of people that we were arresting and houses that we were searching in terms of the emergency regulations. Certainly the arms would have been, on the off chance that we encountered people of our adversaries that were likewise armed, so we were ready for that but there was another purpose and that certainly was intimidation. I think the incident that you're referring to is the one where I and a group stole pot plants and this tent, I remember that Dr Floyd wasn't at that house and if my memory is correct, it was in Hunter Street, somewhere in Yeoville. I think Hunter Street. I can't remember Mr Bizos, we raided...(intervention)

MR BIZOS: Who ordered this raid on the house?

MR ERASMUS: It was police policy - not police policy, these were standing instructions from our seniors, in this case I think it would have been Brig Oosthuizen, my Section Head. We worked around the clock, we had lists drawn up and we hit one house after the other in groups, heavily armed groups.

MR BIZOS: And was intimidation the main purpose?

MR ERASMUS: Well obviously intimidation was a purpose. Our aims were to arrest the people, it was seen by the powers that be, the Government and the State Security Council that the country was in dire straits and that everybody that was involved in this onslaught against us, had to be neutralised one way or the other, hence the detention of so many people under the emergency regulations.

MR BIZOS: You see, it may sound just a detail, but on this occasion Dr Liz Floyd's husband, opened the door holding a baby.

MR ERASMUS: I don't remember that, Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: Because she remembers that on subsequent raids, she came to the door and the question was: "Where's your husband to open the door this time?" What would have been the point of that?

MR ERASMUS: I don't recall that Mr Chairman, I honestly don't know.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Bizos, if I could just ask a question about that raid. You say that you went there in command of about ten people to the house in order to search it in terms of the emergency regulations, so I take it you went there openly as policemen to conduct such a search?

MR ERASMUS: Absolutely, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Now when you say that you stole stuff, you say that I think you took a pot plant and a tent, would that have been stolen surreptitiously or would you have openly taken the articles?

MR ERASMUS: It's just the way the opportunity presented itself. By the time we had left the place, I think it was standing knowledge amongst the ...(indistinct) or the people that were our victims, that stuff was missing. It would have been done not openly in front of them while the person was watching you.

CHAIRPERSON: So I would have thought that it wouldn't have been done openly because they, you would have been laying yourself open to a charge of theft, but if it was taken surreptitiously, can it be said that the motive for taking it was personal gain?

MR ERASMUS: In most cases not, after those raids we were in a position to, from Stratcom, to prepare, we had documents, copies of people's handwritings, personal letters, we had greater insights, we were able to arm the Intelligence Unit and our Agents better, some of it would have been for personal gain, I would accede that. We were sent, for example, I might just mention, by our Section Head on more occasions than I can remember, to raid the entire Khotso House and it was a standing joke that we all arrived with empty suitcases and left with our suitcases bulging. But they referred to these as stationary raids.


MR BIZOS: Did you break into Dr Floyd's house?


MR BIZOS: Do you know whether any of your colleagues did?

MR ERASMUS: I'm not aware if my colleagues did.

MR BIZOS: Do you know about the theft of an I.D. Book, a cheque book, a diary?

MR ERASMUS: I don't know about that Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: On the assumption that it was done by your colleagues without your knowledge, what would the purpose of that have been?

MR ERASMUS: I personally, and I still have in my possession, cheque books relating to various suspects and/or organisations. I have still, after all these years, I have a South African Council of Churches cheque book, I have a cheque book of Mr Neil Coleman. Once again it was just a way of putting pressure on, although this did lead to tragic results later, from our side, they would have to go and apply for a new cheque book, or we would go and write out cheques which was my forte, it was my little artistic ability, write out outrageous cheques and try and embarrass the person concerned. I can give you an example of this Mr Bizos, it was me that discredited Dr Dave Dalling by forging a cheque and having it printed in the Sunday Times, in the Star, on the front page of the Star, which was a government action to embarrass him. So these type of things like cheque books would be useful.

MR BIZOS: I want to return to the Aggett inquisition. When you were travelling around in order to obtain information about Dr Aggett with Whitehead when you met the Generals, when you discussed the matter with Maj or Col Cronwright, did you have discussions with them as to what they thought the effect of the disclosure of torture would have on them?

MR ERASMUS: I missed those last words, Mr Bizos, I'm sorry.

MR BIZOS: Yes, did you discuss what the effect of the disclosure of systematic torture of the large group of detainees, what affect that would have on the Government and its reputation, or the administration of justice, did you discuss those things with them?

MR ERASMUS: Yes, oh yes.

MR BIZOS: How did they feel about that, your superiors?

MR ERASMUS: They would have been absolutely mortified, if that's the right word, at the prospect of that type of scenario developing, vis a vis the negative publicity or propaganda which would be used against the country and the Security Branch.

MR BIZOS: You told us that they said that they could not afford another Biko.

MR ERASMUS: That's right.

MR BIZOS: That the embarrassment of the disclosure of the Aggett inquest, were they considered as embarrassing as the Biko, or less or more so?

MR ERASMUS: Mr Chairman, I may be walking on a tight-rope here. Dr Aggett was not just the fifth person who died in detention, he was the first, I'm speaking under correction, he was the first white person who died in detention and I think this maybe affected the psyche of the powers that be, a little bit more than if it was a non white person. Here was a white person, one of us, that has died and a doctor to boot. I remember at the time hearing and being told in fact about the devastation to this country that Biko's death caused. There were five submarines which were about to be delivered. The rand fell, there was this disastrous set of events that enfolded under it and at all cost, and this was what we were told throughout, was this damage control had to be instituted, the inquest had to be won, hence us being sent on a trip like this.

MR BIZOS: Now it has been suggested by analysts of the pattern of state of violence and the suggestion has been made, the statement that there is evidence, that in order to avoid the embarrassment of Biko and Aggett type of inquests, the Security Forces, with the authority of the Security Council and the Government, authorised hit squads to kill people, dispose of their bodies, create scenarios that they tried to escape, in order to avoid the embarrassment of having inquests where people died in detention under torture in order to obtain information. Now you were involved in the Aggett inquest. What do you say, what did you hear, what do you know about that thesis that has been held out by people who analysed the patter of violence in South Africa particularly from '82 onwards?

MR ERASMUS: Mr Bizos, where do I start? Certainly I would hypothesise that after the inquest of Dr Aggett more emphasis was given to totally illegal acts, as in murder of suspects, which did transpire and which I will be talking about, I believe in another forum. I might just mention to you that I, at a later stage in my career, was given the most horrendous poisons under my command and I would have probably been able with the knowledge that I'd accrued by that time, to kill a person like yourself Mr Bizos, unnoticed, before you could get out of that door, by simply inducing a heart attack with digitalis or curare, we had valium, we had a whole variety of stuff in an actual box that was under my command, so to answering that part of the question, yes, most certainly, the very fact that Vlakplaas was brought about confirms the statement that you've just made, the State-sponsored hit squad. It was easier to kill a person and certainly to let it look like it was an accident and we started to specialise in these things. I was trained in various ways. I know how to sabotage a car, the brakes, where the car would roll and somebody would hopefully be killed. We were officially trained and steered in that direction. In another forum Mr Bizos, I have documents where these things are officially written and they used words like "saboteering, elimineering", the famous statement about permanent removal. Yes, those situations certainly did come around and it is interesting that maybe the death of Dr Aggett and the surrounding hullabaloo and the 28 day inquisition afterwards, with the eyes of the world on this, was bad for the system.

MR BIZOS: It was actually 42.

MR ERASMUS: I'm sorry, 42 days.

MR BIZOS: How confident were you, or what were your fears that time?

MR ERASMUS: I beg your pardon?

MR BIZOS: What were your fears that justice may catch up with you or did you feel quite safe that you were immune from the supposedly long arm of the law?

MR ERASMUS: Mr Bizos, at that time, ja, something like untouchable, we were untouchable. Here I'd gone through a situation as with Dr Aggett, a whole court case had been rigged, the Head of our branch and we all knew the most powerful man in South African Police and probably arguably the most powerful man in the intelligence community in this country, can sit and make a couple of phone calls and I wasn't that stupid, I might certainly have been young and a little bit ...(indistinct), not as wise as the people around me, what it took to rig a court case like that, there was the General at the top, phones the Attorney-General, the Regional Magistrate who heard the case must have been in on it.

MR BIZOS: Why do you say that?

MR ERASMUS: It was quite apparent to me Mr Bizos, I stood in the box, I had the fine money in my pocket, I knew that I was going to be sentenced and the Magistrate gave me, I think about - I can't remember off-hand, I was terrified, I was about to get married by the way and the Magistrate launched into this long thing about serving the interests of justice and for a time I was worried, I thought maybe the old man's not going to come through for us, he is going to jail me and he launched into this long thing about the agony of Mr and Mrs Aggett, I think Mr Aggett was sitting in court, if I remember, but what - would the interests of justice be served, this is a young man who was over zealous in his approach, he's about to get married, he brought in and all this type of stuff and that's where the suspended sentence and the R200 came, I walked out of there with a big sigh of relief. I didn't even have to worry about delving into my lousy police salary, because the secret fund had given me the R200, so the whole thing and I will state that very unequivocally, that whole thing was rigged from the top down and everybody that was part of it must have been told, this is how it's going to work and this is what is going to happen. The only area that I'm not clear about is how they rigged that the charges against Whitehead were withdrawn. There I heard some interesting theories that there was some sort of trade-off, but I don't know about that, I can't comment on that.

MR BIZOS: Sorry, I didn't hear the first part of ...

CHAIRPERSON: About - he has difficulty in trying to work out how the charges against Whitehead were withdrawn. But he wasn't actually at the house?

MR ERASMUS: No he wasn't.

CHAIRPERSON: That might have facilitated that aspect of it.

MR ERASMUS: Ja, I think that's probably correct, Mr Chairman. I'm not certain on that terrain.

MR BIZOS: Was the fact that a substantial number of detainees were to come up to give evidence before the Magistrate in the inquest? Were they confident that they would be absolved from any blame by the Magistrate, or were they nervous that there may be an adverse decision?

MR ERASMUS: I find it hard to answer the question, because I'm a bit uncertain. Could you maybe rephrase it?

MR BIZOS: Yes. How did they feel when one after the other detainees took the stand before the Magistrate and described the torture and they knew that there were more to come? How did they feel about that? Did they believe that there would be a finding against them or were they confident that they would be absolved by the Magistrate?

MR ERASMUS: Mr Bizos I didn't follow that inquest maybe as much as I should have. I was involved with other areas. I remember going to the Court the one day and standing a metre away and talking to Maj Cronwright. He in fact told me - made some hectic commands on them. To answer your question, no I don't know. I know that, you mentioned this to me yesterday, they were obviously very upset. As I said to you before, that whole thing, everybody there had to fight nail and tooth and inquests had to be won at all costs.

MR BIZOS: What was your attitude and your activities in relation to trade union activity at the time?

MR ERASMUS: Mr Chairman we had a desk, as we had a church desk, we had a trade union desk which I never worked on. I knew some of the investigators that worked there. I never investigated trade unionism at any stage right through my career.

MR BIZOS: Would - did you hear about damage of trade union property, trade union motor cars, attacks on trade unionists?

MR ERASMUS: Yes. Well the best example is that I, as all of the Security Policemen at that time plus half of the uniform police of Johannesburg, raided COSATU house, when I think two and a half million rands worth of damage was done. I know about other raids on trade unions so yes, I participated in some of them, it's not in my amnesty application.

MR SIBANYONI: And then who was heading the trade union desk?

MR ERASMUS: Maj Marx. M-A-R-X.

MR SIBANYONI: Thank you.

MR BIZOS: Was there a period when trade unionists travelling in motor cars were involved in more accidents than other people involved in different occupations and did interference with motor cars have anything to do with it?

MR ERASMUS: Yes, there was. Can I have a moment to - I've just realised something. You know Mr Chairman, I have to mention this to you, there are incidents now that my memory runs along this line, that I haven't applied for amnesty for. Can I talk about them, or?

CHAIRPERSON: Well it's up to you Mr Erasmus, if you haven't applied for amnesty in respect of certain incidents and you talk about them, there is a risk that, I've got to inform you of that, that you might be confessing to some unlawful acts and I don't know whether or not any action might be taken by the authorities, that is the position.

MR McASLIN: Sorry Mr Chairman, can I confer one minute with my client?


MR McASLIN: My client has elected to make full disclosure and to the extent that it's relevant, he apologises to the Committee. It's an incident which he maintains he had actually forgotten about, but he's prepared to tell the Committee everything and also the extent of his involvement in those proceedings.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. Thank you Mr Erasmus.

MR BIZOS: I'm instructed that trade unionists in particular were liable to have the tyre pressure on their motor cars interfered with by increasing substantially the pressure of the tyres on one side and reducing the pressure of the tyres on the other side.


MR BIZOS: And this was discovered and the preventative measure was that no trade unionists ventured out on a motor car without checking the tyre pressure, which was often found to be so different that it could not be accidental. Do you know anything about that?

MR ERASMUS: I recall that particular trick. I can just say that I personally never did that, not that one anyway. You had thousands of such ...

MR BIZOS: There were many ways in which you could interfere with motor cars, you say.

MR ERASMUS: Absolutely.

MR BIZOS: Did you hear of this as part of your work at the time?

MR ERASMUS: Mr Chairman, this is now a matter of recollection. I don't remember the offices. Maybe somebody in this hearing could tell me where it was. Just below John Vorster Square in the road under the highway, there was a trade union office around the corner. I went there on several occasions with numerous members and the window was smashed. Whichever union it was eventually replaced this window with a bullet-proof glass. Now I had a considerable knowledge of firearms and various types of bullets and so on and I actually manufactured an armour piercing round after numerous attempts were made and it was me that shot that window out, armour-plated or not, I put a bullet right through it and the whole thing fell to pieces. I don't remember the union, I didn't investigate them, I was with guys that investigated trade unions. The second thing which I would admit to now which I've recalled now, there was yet another person I don't know, relating to your question about motor cars, a black man who worked for a trade union, he was terrified of the Security Police. I was given instructions to terrorise him. He had a yellow Volkswagen beetle and he was either hurt or killed, I don't know the circumstances. I didn't do anything physically, but the car rolled. I used to terrorise him about this motor car and eventually he did have an accident in it. I don't know the circumstances, I can't remember the guy's name. That I just recall this morning Mr Chairman. What can I say. I couldn't think of everything when I prepared this 300 to 400 or 500 events.

MR BIZOS: We know that two very prominent trade unionists, Joe Marvi of the Johannesburg Municipal Workers Union, died in a motor car accident and Mr Sisa Njikelane, who incidentally was one of the detainees in the Aggett investigation, he was very seriously injured. Were these matters discussed in your circles at all at any time?

MR ERASMUS: All I can say, Mr Chairman, with as much honesty as possible, obviously vehicles were a target and I could sit and bore this Commission or tie the Commission up for the next hour in different ways that vehicles can be interfered with. I was given personal instructions by none other than W/O Jerry Raven, the London Bomb, about how to blow somebody's car up and how to damage the brakes, not on one occasions and by many of my colleagues, by simply opening - the most easy one was getting the bonnet open and pouring water into the brake fluid system. The brakes will work for a while and then there will be total failure as the pressure drops and the water seeps through and does whatever it does. The incident, if I remember the guy that was hurt, if you can check this out, it was a Volkswagen, I remember if was a yellow Volkswagen, it was driven by a trade unionist. The reason I cannot supply you, Mr Bizos, with any further stuff, I never worked, specialised and didn't have much to do with anything relating to trade unionists.

MR BIZOS: Did you know that Ahmed Timol died as a result of falling from the 10th floor?

MR ERASMUS: Yes, before my time.

MR BIZOS: Before your time.


MR BIZOS: But when detainees came there or people were there, was any reference made to them in relation to Timol's death.

MR ERASMUS: I beg your - I didn't ...

MR BIZOS: Was any mention made to detainees when they were brought to John Vorster Square to remind them of Timol's death?

MR ERASMUS: I'm trying to think of a specific incident. Timol's death was talked about and in fact joked about and speculated on for many years and during my time on the Security Branch. I worked with the people, I'm still not certain who apparently did it, they either hung him out of the window to make him talk, I heard various stories, some of them were funny at the time, it wasn't supposed to happen but they'd forgotten that he had shoes and socks on, incidents like that, Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: Who would talk about those things?

MR ERASMUS: The staff members. I mean obviously we were all curious and who was it that did it and there were various people that were mooted, in fact most of the staff.

MR BIZOS: What was this about shoes and socks?

MR ERASMUS: One of the stories that I heard was that Timol was hung out of the window to terrorise him into talking, but whoever was doing it was holding him by his shoes and didn't realise that his feet would pull out with his own body weight, stories like that, I never heard something which I regarded as the truth, as regards Timol's death.

MR BIZOS: Was John Vorster Square referred to as Timol Heights?

MR ERASMUS: That's correct.

MR BIZOS: Mr Erasmus, I'm informed that all this has had an effect on your own attitude to what was happening at the time and also has had an effect on your health and other matters. The people that were there at the Aggett death, where is Brig Muller, do you know?

MR ERASMUS: Brig Muller?


MR ERASMUS: I don't know. I last heard of him three, four years ago. I don't know what's happened to him. If he's still alive - I know he certainly went off medically unfit at that time. He was staying in Ontdekkers Road, the corner of Ontdekkers and Golf Club Crescent. I'd been to his house several times on various errands. Whether he's still there, whether he's still alive I don't know.

MR BIZOS: What suburb is that?

MR ERASMUS: Roodepoort.

MR BIZOS: What has happened to Whitehead?

MR ERASMUS: Steven Whitehead has, what I've heard, done very well. He has a seven figure bank account, he owns a computer, I'm not sure if its hardware of software company in Mid Rand apparently. I haven't see him for the best part of ten, twelve years.

MR BIZOS: We know that Cronwright has passed away.

MR ERASMUS: Col Cronwright's dead?

MR BIZOS: So we are told, you don't know?

MR ERASMUS: No. I'm actually - that comes as a bit of a shock because I got to know him in his older age and I found a lot of pity for him.

MR BIZOS: Where did you find him?

MR ERASMUS: I say, I found a lot of pity for Col Cronwright.

MR BIZOS: Yes, but where did you see him? You say you saw him.

MR ERASMUS: Mr Bizos, my ex-wife and I were the only police guests at Col Cronwright's, I think it must have been his fourth wedding, or his fifth wedding. I took the photographs at his wedding and I saw him a couple of times and I saw a different side of him, so I'm sorry to hear that, I really am.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Thank you Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Bizos. Ms Patel do you have any questions you'd like to put to Mr Erasmus?

MS PATEL: No, thank you, Honourable Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr McAslin, do you have any re-examination?

MR McASLIN: I have only one question in re-examination, Mr Chairman.

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR McASLIN: Mr Erasmus, your superior officers, were they beyond absolving themselves from any blame by cleaning up after themselves?

MR ERASMUS: Absolutely. I would like to mention to the Commission that what happened here yesterday morning, is actually an indication of this because literally before I opened my mouth, Gen Coetzee's attorneys had served a paper here stating that he denies any knowledge of anything that I'm going to say. But this is the golden thread of everything that has happened in these hearings in the TRC, one of the many golden threads, is that we've been thrown away by these people, who can sit back with their massive police pensions, in his case on a farm in Graaff-Reinet, which is probably stolen, and he can sit there and he can outgun me because I don't have batteries of attorneys and millions of rand and he can make statements like that which like I received yesterday and I must confess Mr Chairman, that makes me upset. The fact that people like Gary and I and Smit and little Eric Goosen sit here and face things like perjury when these guys can cover up murders, ...(indistinct) court cases and they can walk around, I mean there's not enough corpses for them to even get to ... sorry. I'm sorry.

MR McASLIN: Mr Erasmus can I refer you to page 131 of volume 2?

CHAIRPERSON: This is your statement that was made on the 14th of May 1982 that you described was made in Pretoria.

MR ERASMUS: Correct, Mr Chairman.

MR McASLIN: This is, Mr Erasmus, also the statement, if you compare it to the one that appears previously in the bundle, at pages 120 and onward. You'll see the statement at page 131 is the same, except that it has no reference or does not contain the handwriting and of course then has no reference to Brig Muller or any other superior officers, yet as Mr Bizos pointed out yesterday, this appears to be the statement which was drawn from the police docket in Somerset West, has the number at the top. Can you perhaps explain to the Committee how it could come about that this statement without any reference to any of your superior officers, is the one which was found in the police docket?

MR ERASMUS: I'm very confused as to how this worked. These statements, as I mentioned, I obtained when I realised that I would need stuff somewhere in my life to defend myself. I broke into my own Security Branch offices and my own file and I stole all of the stuff. I don't know how these statements moved around, I'm very uncertain about that.

MR McASLIN: Thank you Mr Chairman, there's no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr McAslin. Adv Bosman, do you have any questions you'd like to put to Mr Erasmus?

ADV BOSMAN: ...(indistinct - mike not on)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibanyoni?

MR SIBANYONI: Just one point, Chairperson. Mr Erasmus, don't regard what I'm asking you as if I'm countering your evidence, but I just want to share my knowledge of John Vorster Square. During my time at John Vorster Square, black policemen were never allocated cases to handle, to interrogate detainees as they like and instead they were just used to take detainees from John Vorster Square to a Security Office which was situated in Sandton, or perhaps to a District Surgeon or out on investigations, but I've never seen a black police person handling a case like heading an investigation. I just want to hear your comment about that.

MR ERASMUS: I know of personal witness to interrogations and I know of personal investigations being headed - of an investigation headed by a black Lieutenant at John Vorster Square.

MR SIBANYONI: Okay. Was it often, apart from that black Lieutenant, others were ...?

MR ERASMUS: I would agree with you there, Mr Chairman, that was an exception, that was an exception. Generally the investigation staff were white, staffed by white members and you are right, Sir, the black members performed minor flunky type activities, drove people around, took them back to the cells, saw that their food was in, you are right in that respect.

MR SIBANYONI: Yes and some of them were Sergeants, those who were driving detainees around.

MR ERASMUS: That's correct.

MR SIBANYONI: Thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Erasmus my personal experience in a number of these hearings, we've heard of applicants, members of the Security Forces, who have suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome and I've seen letters and reports put up by psychologists and psychiatrists saying this ... a very detrimental effect on their memory, on particular applicants' memories, in fact I've come across a couple of applicants who state that they can hardly remember anything because of this condition. I don't get that impression from your testimony, obviously you don't remember every detail, because you were involved in so many things, but your memory, from the evidence that you've given here, seems to be reasonably good. What effect has that stress had on you?

MR ERASMUS: Mr Chairman, I lost the three things that I loved most in life. I've lost my wife, I've lost my daughter. My son, my wife and my daughter have been traumatised. I've personally been hospitalised for stress. I went totally off my head 14 times. Starting the late 80's, I got to a stage where I couldn't live with myself any more. 1991, when the chips really came down, I tried to get out, only to discover that I was then seen as a threat and have Col Eugene Alexander de Kock on his way to atomise Linda, my ex-wife, my two beautiful children, in yet another little propaganda scheme engineered by these people that we used to call politicians, so I have suffered. In the next two months, I would like to, in another forum, explain to the Commission just how insidious, and I think my colleague over here, Gary, has been the situation that us amnesty applicants have found ourselves in. We've had to deal with many issues. We've had to betray our friends. We've had to hear just the horrible side or the horrors of what has happened in the Security establishment. I'm not proud of what I have done. If I could turn the clock back, I would do anything. I'm literally at the stage now, apart from that I have a commitment to my child, I'm quite prepared to go to jail and C Max, if de Klerk and Botha and Magnus and Vlok and Constand Viljoen and all of them, the people that not only were the architects of this, sanctioned it and used our loyalties, misused our loyalty and our patriotism, they come out and they face trials like we face trials, because I think the golden threat and forgive me if I sound critical of the TRC, and something which has been lost, is that it's been a systematic betrayal of the people that did the job, the foot soldiers and as I mentioned this morning, this general, sorry Mr Coetzee's statement already that he denies anything that I will say. Now I don't have the resources to fight that man off. If he's going to drag me through a Supreme Court like de Klerk did when he raped the TRC's report in a slick political move and once again condemned us all down the river, so we are all here and what's going to happen at the end of this Commission I don't know, but I certainly pray to God for mercy, some sort of mercy for us and that our situations be given cognisance, all of us, and this applies not only for Security Force people. I don't know what the situation is with people on the other side of the fence. I presume and I understand that there are people that, when the liberation movements that are sitting with similar things - there was one golden thread, several golden threads that have run through this whole process. The first one that relates to us was betrayal by de Klerk. Frederik Willem de Klerk has alleged that I was a renegade, some sort of criminal genius, that I could have done all of this, set up multi million rand projects, run operations which affected the British Government and the United States Government, a warrant officer in the police, I must deserve statues at least for having this ingenuity to do it. I did it on my own, he referred to me as a renegade in the system and I say to him he's a liar, he's a thief, he's a con-man and he must give that Nobel prize back. He's even raped the Nobel prize process and that line, Mr Chairman, goes all the way down through these people, it's us, the Gary Pollocks and poor old Smittie that walked out of there and has now thrown in his lot, that have got to take the hammer, but the people that did this, in this case Mr Bizos, Mr Whitehead, I was shocked to hear that Whitehead has never applied for amnesty for this.

MR BIZOS: ...(indistinct - mike not on) told us that he has information that Mr Whitehead is alive, I beg your pardon that Mr Cronwright is alive ...(indistinct - mike not on) from our clients because I was naturally interested to hear where he was and this is what we were told but ...(indistinct - mike not on)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you.

MR ERASMUS: I'm sorry, I got carried away, I just had to get that off my chest. I've just got one last thing, Mr Chairman, I would like the guarantee of the Commission that the other matters relating to here, that I would be given the opportunity on those. I know you did mention it yesterday, so I would just like some sort of clarity.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, well I can't give any guarantees on behalf of the Commission because I wouldn't like to bind myself, but as I mentioned earlier, as far as I'm aware, they're preparing a further hearing. It's not for me to issue guarantees. Yes, thank you. Are there any questions arising out of questions that have been put by the members of the Panel?

MR McASLIN: No, Mr Chairman.




CHAIRPERSON: Mr Erasmus thank you, that concludes your testimony. You may stand down.

MR ERASMUS: Mr Chairman, could I just say something.


MR ERASMUS: The people here that suffered under this thing. All I can say is I'm sorry, I wish it was otherwise. Dr Floyd and yourself Mr Bizos, what can I say? I'm sorry.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Chairman. May I just inquire, the application by Mr Pollock, has it been handed in as yet as an exhibit? It's contained in a bundle which also contains Smit's and Bosch's applications.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - mike not on)

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: It's volume 1 page 59. Do you have the volumes, Mr du Plessis?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes. I do have, it's volume 1.


MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, that is correct. Thank you Mr Chairman, may I then proceed?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, certainly.





GARY LEON POLLOCK: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Pollock, you are the applicant for amnesty in several matters. Now these are all contained in volume 1 from page 59 onwards to page 70. Now this application is in terms of Act 34 of 1995 and a form was signed by yourself on the 3rd of July 1996 at Boksburg Prison, is that correct?

MR POLLOCK: That's correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: Now we'll deal with your incarceration a bit later. Mr Chairman I believe that we're only going to deal with one aspect today and that is on page 65(iv), the Barbara Hogan matter, that is our understanding, so I'm only going to lead Mr Pollock a bit in general for background and then I'm only going to deal with that aspect. Mr Pollock before we turn to the specific incident regarding Barbara Hogan, I would just like you to give a short background to the Committee, personal background. It is actually contained in your statement as from page 62 volume 1. If you could just briefly deal with that. You're a South African citizen. You state there that you grew up in Johannesburg and you matriculated here, correct, 1979?

MR POLLOCK: That is correct, yes.

MR BIZOS: Chairman, may I put something on record which may be of assistance to the applicant and my Learned Friend, that we have instructions not to oppose this application, Mr Chairman, so that it can be dealt with more speedily than would otherwise have been necessary.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Bizos.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Bizos. Fine. Now Mr Pollock let's just get straight to the point where you joined the South African Police Force in 84 and subsequently you resigned and re-joined in 1987, is that correct?

MR POLLOCK: Actually I joined in 1980 and I left in 1984, January 84 and then I was recruited in May 87.

MR DU PLESSIS: That is when you joined the Security Branch, Johannesburg Police?

MR POLLOCK: That's right.

MR DU PLESSIS: Now I would just like you to then sketch briefly your career in the Security Police and then get up to the stage when the Barbara Hogan incident actually took place. You don't have a specific date here, but I believe it was in 1992.


MR DU PLESSIS: Now just take us very briefly through your career with the Security Police.

MR POLLOCK: As I say, I was recruited in 1987. I went to a unit called I.J., Intelligence Johannesburg, which was the Intelligence Division, a division of Intelligence of the Security Branch. It was a surveillance unit, seconded from the John Vorster Square. I spent almost a year there and from there I was sent to Alexandra Security Branch which fell under John Vorster Square where I was a general field worker and I also recruited and handled informers and I was there until 1992, whereupon I asked for a transfer to the Durban Security Branch and I was transferred in January 1993 to the Durban Security Branch.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes and you were employed at the Durban Security Branch until your arrest on certain charges of possession of automatic firearms, is that correct?

MR POLLOCK: That is correct. I was arrested on the 11th of June 1993.

MR DU PLESSIS: And you were subsequently convicted and sentenced to six years imprisonment.

MR POLLOCK: That is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: Of which you served four months imprisonment.

MR POLLOCK: That's right.

MR DU PLESSIS: And you were then released.

MR POLLOCK: I was released.

MR DU PLESSIS: Fine. Now you've mentioned that at Alexandra Security Branch you were handling several informers, is that correct?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, I recruited up to 30, sometimes 40 informers and handled them, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: Now you have dealt in your application with several incidents, some of them happened before February 1990, when the so-called new dispensation was announced or at least Mr de Klerk indicated a complete change of policy and then after February 1990, you were also involved in certain incidents, one of which there is the Barbara Hogan incident where you set her vehicle alight. Is that correct?

MR POLLOCK: That's correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: Now let's deal with the situation then. We will not then be dealing at this stage with the situation before February 1990. After February 1990, why were the Security Police, or was the Security Police section then still involved in this kind of conduct?

MR POLLOCK: What transpired was, the Pretoria Minute and the Groote Schuur second was established and it was then agreed that hostilities would cease, both on the side of the Security Branch and the Security Forces as well as the ANC. We were no longer supposed to recruit informers and carry on working as we did before and neither were the ANC supposed to recruit and arm youths at the township any more. This caused great concern and great confusion amongst the Security Branch members and at that time three Generals, Gen le Roux, Gen Engelbrecht and Gen Basie Smit came and spoke to 14 of our members at Alexandra and assured us that our tasks were still the same and that they needed a lot of leverage in the negotiating process at CODESA, so we were to step up our activities to assist them in this end.

MR DU PLESSIS: How would that now come to fruition? How would they get any benefit from that?

MR POLLOCK: Well they'd create an environment of instability. It was a classic divide and rule structure where they made opponents of the ANC, for example INKATHA Freedom Party. We must continue stirring the pot and make sure that the violence just kept on going, thereby the ANC would lose credibility. They would be termed just another terrorist organisation, as they were trying to remove or move from a terrorist organisation to a political party, so it was seen.

MR DU PLESSIS: And black unity would also at that stage then be countered?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, well you know the more you could divide the leftists, the stronger your position would be as a white government.

MR DU PLESSIS: And these things were set out to you by the generals whom you mentioned?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, that's right.

MR DU PLESSIS: Now let's then straight away move to the Barbara Hogan incident. What happened there? Why did you get involved in this situation where the vehicle was set alight?

MR POLLOCK: Well when I was working at I.J., we never used to call them suspects, we called them subjects. Barbara Hogan was one of our subjects. It was widely believed that she was a very prominent member of the underground structures of the ANC and she was involved in Operation VULA, to some extent, so I'd heard of her name before and I knew that she was - I didn't know whether she was MK trained, but I knew she was involved in underground structures and one night I was asked to remain after work by my Commanding Officer.

CHAIRPERSON: Who was he?

MR POLLOCK: Col van Huyssteen and I remained, we remained after work and well there were two incidents, the one incident is noted there in (3), but specifically Barbara Hogan. Ja we got addresses, we went after ...(indistinct) he got addresses out of his car and he decided that we should go and target Barbara Hogan. We climbed in the car and we drove to her house. I didn't know where it was, he knew where it was. We drove to her house in Yeoville and there was a Toyota vehicle in the driveway and we torched it, we set it alight.

MR DU PLESSIS: Were you in fact told that that vehicle belonged to Barbara Hogan?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, I was under the impression that it was hers.

MR DU PLESSIS: This wasn't your own information?


MR DU PLESSIS: How many people were involved from the Security Branch?

MR POLLOCK: There were four of us.

MR DU PLESSIS: You actually described the situation where, on page 65 of your application, volume 1 (iii) where you were involved in another incident and from there you moved to Barbara Hogan's premises and then the car was set alight, is that correct?

MR POLLOCK: That's correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: Now did you consider this also as a political incident?

MR POLLOCK: Ja, well Barbara Hogan was thought of, as I did and many others, that she was a terrorist and she was involved in the underground struggle, so she was a legitimate target in our minds.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you recall Mr Pollock more or less when this occurred, the date?

MR POLLOCK: It's very hard, it was sometime in 92 I think.

CHAIRPERSON: Some time in 1992.

MR DU PLESSIS: Now you have then already mentioned your political views at this stage. I'm not going to deal at length with that. You were obviously a supporter of the old dispensation, even before February 1990, is that correct?

MR POLLOCK: That's true, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: Believing that the sovereignty of the white state had to be protected, is that correct?

MR POLLOCK: Absolutely.

MR DU PLESSIS: And after February 1990, you were of the view that the new dispensation had to be as favourable to people from the old dispensation who were then in power as possible, is that correct?

MR POLLOCK: That's true.

MR DU PLESSIS: And because of all that, you committed these crimes?

MR POLLOCK: That's right.

MR DU PLESSIS: Just perhaps to round off. Today you're still living in South Africa. In what business are you?

MR POLLOCK: In the plant hire business.

MR DU PLESSIS: Your own business?

MR POLLOCK: It's my own business, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: And as far as the new democratic dispensation is concerned, do you support it?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, it wasn't as bad as it was made out to be all those years back. With hindsight we can see that.

MR DU PLESSIS: And how do you feel about the incidents you were involved in as listed in your ...

MR POLLOCK: Well, I'm very disgusted in my role in all of this. As Paul said, you know, these young minds, impressionable minds, I must say I worked in a township where I saw the revolution first hand and that helped me to - it spurred me on to doing most of these things, but I'm a different person, I've changed my point of view. Even if you differ with somebody it doesn't mean to say you've got to go out and lynch them.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Chairman, Members ...


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr du Plessis. Mr McAslin, do you have any questions you'd like to put to Mr du Plessis?

MR McASLIN: No questions, Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Bizos, do you have any questions you'd like to put?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BIZOS: Mr Pollock, you were in the Security Police in the 90's?

MR POLLOCK: In 87 to 92, yes, 93 rather.

MR BIZOS: Up to what date in 93?

MR POLLOCK: The 11th of June 93.

MR BIZOS: During that period, in the early 90's, many innocent people were killed on the trains, at taxi ranks, by men with balaclavas and with automatic weapons. Now being in the Security Police, was it a concern of the Security Police to discover who was responsible for that violence?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, we were actually involved in investigations especially in the taxi violence where, near the end of my tenor at Alexandra, we were in the process of recruiting informers within the taxi structures, to stop that violence, yes.

MR BIZOS: And what about the indiscriminate ...(indistinct) of killing innocent people on the trains, was that ever investigated by the Security Police?

MR POLLOCK: You see, I was at Alexandra Branch, so that would have fallen under John Vorster Square. I was seconded to Alexandra and we kept ourselves generally busy with Alexandra things, but I would imagine, I would imagine that they did, but not to my knowledge.

MR BIZOS: Did you ever come across any information as to who might be responsible for that violence?

MR POLLOCK: I never had information. I had my suspicions but never information, no.

MR BIZOS: Well once you speak of suspicion, your job was to destabilise the country, in order to show that what was called the possible new dispensation, would not be able to rule the country. These people committing these acts of violence were not caught, therefore not prosecuted and there was fear among people to use the trains. Did that fit in with your purposes, destabilisation purposes? Did you think that it was parallel to your own function?

MR POLLOCK: Yes I would.

MR BIZOS: Were there discussions amongst yourselves? After all the Security Police were responsible for protecting the public at large. Were there discussions among yourselves what was happening to so many innocent people on the trains, at the taxi ranks?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, well as I said, especially the taxi ranks, there was discussion amongst us where plans were underfoot at the time that I left to start recruiting people amongst the taxi organisations to address that. As I said, the trains were a different story. There wasn't a station near Alex, so I can't speak for the trains, but certainly amongst the taxis.

MR BIZOS: Trains don't go to Alexandra?

MR POLLOCK: There wasn't a station near there.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now, you were under the orders of the Generals to destabilise the country. Public statements were made by political leaders that there was no third force, that this violence was unrelated to the Government structures. Did you believe those assertions to be true or false?

MR POLLOCK: They were absolutely false. The third force was made up of different people from different organisations. The third force was made up of Security Branch members, of ANC members, of PAC members. It was - that's just the way it was. It was, people were doing perpetrations of violence and things like that and they were blaming this common pool called the third force, so the third force, yes, existed in all of our organisations.

MR BIZOS: Who was paying the bill for that third force?

MR POLLOCK: Well on the part of our side it was the National Party.

MR BIZOS: The National Party or the taxpayers?

MR POLLOCK: The taxpayers eventually, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: When you say the National Party you mean the Government?

MR POLLOCK: The Government, yes.


MR POLLOCK: And/or yes.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Now where was this meeting where the Generals gave you these instructions?

MR POLLOCK: It was in our offices at 11th Avenue.

MR BIZOS: Alexandra township?

MR POLLOCK: Just outside the township.

MR BIZOS: What were the ranks of the three senior police officers?

MR POLLOCK: They were all three Generals. I don't know if they were Major Generals or Lieutenant Generals.

MR BIZOS: Just let's have their names again for the sake of clarity.

MR POLLOCK: Krappies Engelbrecht.

MR BIZOS: Krappies Engelbrecht, yes.

MR POLLOCK: Le Roux, that is Johan le Roux and Basie Smit.

MR BIZOS: Yes. Did any of those three Generals have a high profile at the negotiations at CODESA, do you know?

MR POLLOCK: I'm not sure, I can't say for certain. I would imagine, well they told us that they were giving input there, so I wouldn't know what their actual roles were ...(indistinct)

MR BIZOS: Your personal attitude as a result of those instructions, were you in favour of an election taking place, or against it?

MR POLLOCK: At that time I was against it. They were talking about a single voter's roll and obviously we were in a position, we thought that you know obviously if there's an election we're going to lose it and we'll just be overrun by the Communists.

MR BIZOS: And were your activities and the third force activities that you knew or expected to exist, calculated in order to prevent a successful election?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, I think so.

MR BIZOS: Didn't it appear strange to you that three Generals had come to how many of you?

MR POLLOCK: Fourteen of us.

CHAIRPERSON: Was that at your offices in Alexandra?

MR POLLOCK: That's right.

CHAIRPERSON: They made a visit to the Security Branch.

MR POLLOCK: Ja, it was pretty strange, I must say.

MR BIZOS: Do you remember the names of the other thirteen people to whom this was said?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, most of them.

MR BIZOS: Please put them on record.

MR POLLOCK: It was my Commanding Officer, I think it was Capt Britz.

MR BIZOS: Who was your Commanding Officer, Captain Britz?

MR POLLOCK: Captain Britz.


MR POLLOCK: It was Col van Huyssteen, it was myself, it was Sgt Cronje, Sgt Roe, Sgt Alwood, it was everybody that was seconded to Alexandra at that time.

MR BIZOS: In the Security Police. What was it that they have to believe that you would respect the confidentiality of the things that they were telling you?

MR POLLOCK: Well by me, eventually the fact that they asked us to do things which would appear to normal people to be unlawful. They had our allegiance, they knew it, we were totally loyal towards them.

MR BIZOS: What sort of crimes did they expect you to commit?

MR POLLOCK: Well those that I've set out in my amnesty application, that kind of thing.

MR BIZOS: Damage to property?


MR BIZOS: Kill people?

MR POLLOCK: I suppose so.

MR BIZOS: Why do you suppose so?

MR POLLOCK: Well I wasn't asked specifically to kill anybody, but I'm sure people died, we heard about Mr Aggett, I don't know how that happened.

MR BIZOS: Yes, but that was before this time. Thank you Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Bizos. Ms Patel, do you have any questions you'd like to put to Mr Pollock?

MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson. Just one aspect I'd like clarity on.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS PATEL: Can you put a date to the time when the three Generals came to Alex, more or less?

MR POLLOCK: That's hard. I have a bad memory. what had happened was, maybe in that light, just after the signing of the Accord,

MS PATEL: The Groote Schuur Accord?

MR POLLOCK: The Groote Schuur Accord.


MR POLLOCK: There was a lot of concern amongst us because we had to change our whole way of working and a lot of the Security Branch members went for psychiatric help and there were some attempted suicides and things like that amongst us and they came out specifically to talk to us, to reassure us, so it was just within a few months, or weeks actually, after that singing of that Accord.

MS PATEL: Okay. And in respect of Gen Krappies Engelbrecht specifically, are you absolutely certain that he was aware of your unlawful activities at the time, or is this something that you infer?

MR POLLOCK: By mere virtue of the fact that he was in the Security Branch, they have to have known. We learned from them.

MS PATEL: Okay. Thank you Honourable Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Ms Patel. Do you have any re-examination, Mr du Plessis?

MR DU PLESSIS: Nothing thank you Mr Chairman.


CHAIRPERSON: Adv Bosman, do you have any questions you'd like to put to Mr Pollock?

ADV BOSMAN: No questions, thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibanyoni?

MR SIBANYONI: I've got no questions, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Pollock, all these other matters in your application, is this your first hearing you've attended, amnesty hearing?


CHAIRPERSON: Yes thank you Mr Pollock, that concludes your testimony, you may stand down.


CHAIRPERSON: Are any witnesses going to be called, besides the applicant?

MR DU PLESSIS: No Mr Chairman, not from Mr Pollock's side.

MR McASLIN: And neither from Mr Erasmus's side.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Bizos, any witnesses?



MS PATEL: No thank you Honourable Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Well that then concludes the leading of evidence at this hearing. It's now just for submissions to be made. Mr McAslin are you in a position to start?

MR McASLIN: I am in a position to start Mr Chairman. I'm not certain what time the Committee breaks.

CHAIRPERSON: I think you can start. It's twenty to eleven now, so it's not yet tea time.

MR McASLIN: Thank you Mr Chairman.

MR BIZOS: May I indicate, in order to facilitate the proceedings, that we are under specific instructions not to oppose the application for amnesty for Mr Erasmus either. I am particularly instructed by Dr Liz Floyd who is here and who is actually, has participated in the effect of the violence and the sort of contact in her professional capacity, that it is her view that the Commission and the amnesty process was actually enacted for the very purpose of people to speak in the manner in which we have heard these two applicants speak this morning and we are under instructions not to oppose the granting of the amnesty.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Bizos. We appreciate the attitude. Mr McAslin, you need be brief. I think perhaps just one point which we probably have to deal with, the question of personal gain and the taking of goods. With regard to full disclosure, I don't think we need to be convinced on that and also with regard to, generally speaking, the political objective of the actions, we don't have to be persuaded by that. It's just - we'd just like to hear you on the one aspect, we're not saying it's necessarily fatal to the application, but we'd like to hear you on the question of personal gain.

MR McASLIN IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Mr Chairman. I have prepared a full argument with full submissions.

CHAIRPERSON: If you want to state them, please do so, we don't want to have made you work for nothing.

MR McASLIN: No Mr Chairman, I'll take guidance from your words now and I'll address you only on the issue of personal gain.

Mr Chairman, the evidence displays quite clearly that Mr Erasmus had been a member of the Security Branch for a few days only, when he was approached by his Commanding Officer at that time, Col Jordaan and it was explained to him that in addition to his ordinary office tasks, which was to do during office hours, it was expected of him to work after hours and the work entailed the harassment and tormenting of persons perceived to be political opponents. It's also understood from Mr Erasmus's evidence, that there was no added remuneration in regard to these activities. Mr Erasmus testified that his salary throughout was really quite little. No remuneration was received for this after hours service.

The Committee has also heard Mr Erasmus saying that on occasion they would go on what he terms stationery raids, that during these raids photocopiers, telephones etc., would be stolen from various entities and these very photocopiers and other equipment would then be used in the everyday activities as members of the Security Police. Mr Chairman, you also heard Mr Erasmus use the term "untouchables". That was the free range and the scope of authority which these persons had. Almost anything was acceptable and it brings me to my submission, Mr Chairman, on the issue of personal gain. Given the facts outlined now, I submit Mr Chairman, it does not take a quantum leap for any of these members to have justified in their own minds that they were indeed untouchable, that they could operate with absolute impunity and that if a member happened to see an item which he liked, in Mr Erasmus's case a tent, perhaps we don't know what went through his mind, he thought: "Well I don't have a tent, I want a tent", he knew that that was okay in so far as his superior officers were concerned.

CHAIRPERSON: And also it's come across that when they went to do these raids, it wasn't - the prime intention wasn't to steal stuff, but to intimidate, sort of a by product of the raid was the taking of loot.

MR McASLIN: That's entirely correct, Mr Chairman, it was fortuitous pilfering, if I can put it as high as that.

But Mr Chairman, in conclusion, on that point, if I can just refer to my notes, Mr Erasmus in his testimony made that abundantly clear that his motivation in all of this was always to counter the perceived political struggle which was raging at the time and if I may use Mr Erasmus' words, it was never for personal enrichment.

Mr Chairperson, whilst these acts did take place, it was never the sole purpose, it was done under or at least with the approval and the sanctioning of superior officers and it was by virtue of the circumstances, justified in the minds of each member.

Mr Chairman, I'm not certain whether you would want me to address the Committee on anything else.

CHAIRPERSON: No, thank you Mr McAslin. Mr du Plessis.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

MR DU PLESSIS IN ARGUMENT: I'm just going to submit with respect that Mr Pollock's application complies with the requirements of the Act. It is clearly a politically motivated crime and I'm submitting that he made full disclosure.

CHAIRPERSON: It seems that incident of the motor vehicle, he was acting under direct orders as well.

MR DU PLESSIS: Direct orders, yes, of his Commanding Officer. So unless there is anything further, I'm not going to burden the record any further.

CHAIRPERSON: I think it's very straight-forward, thank you Mr Du Plessis. Mr Bizos, I don't know if you want to say anything ...

MR BIZOS: We do not wish to add anything, thank you Mr Chairman.


MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson.

MS PATEL IN ARGUMENT: Just perhaps in respect of the question of personal gain. My respectful submission is that Mr Erasmus cannot qualify or does not qualify for amnesty in respect of the theft of the goods, because they cannot be linked, or my submission is that he hasn't made out a case that the theft is linked to a political motive, Honourable Chairperson, as prescribed in the Act. However, in respect of the other offences that he has applied for, I have no submissions in that regard.

CHAIRPERSON: So what are you saying Ms Patel, that, let's for instance take the case where there's been a raid on a house. They go to the house of an activist with the intention of intimidating, harassing etc and in so doing, they also steal some goods, steal a clock or whatever. Are you saying that that whole incident should be discounted because of the fact that stuff was stolen, or are you just saying the actual theft?

MS PATEL: No I'm limiting my submission to the actual theft.

CHAIRPERSON: But the raid on the house, the other unlawful activity, the intimidation and the trespassing, whatever it is, the breaking of a window.

MS PATEL: Yes, my submission is that that would comply with the requirements of the Act, but not the theft itself.

CHAIRPERSON: Just the actual ...(indistinct)

ADV BOSMAN: Ms Patel in the so-called stationary raids, where the articles were taken for use by the Security Police, surely that would fall within a political objective, what are you views on that? Should one not distinguish those articles that were taken for personal use and articles such as the clock and the tent which are still in the possession of the applicant, but not the computers and technical stuff that was used?

MS PATEL: Yes certainly I should have drawn the distinction between the articles that were then taken, as you have described them and articles such as the tent, etc., that were taken home and perhaps used and are still in their possession.

CHAIRPERSON: Then you get a sort of shady area like a cheque book which was stolen but the cheques were then forged, but with the intention of discrediting the owner of the cheque book.

MS PATEL: My submission is specifically in regard to items that were stolen for personal use, Honourable Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr McAslin, do you have any reply to what Ms Patel has said?

MR McASLIN IN REPLY: Just a brief reply, Mr Chairman and it picks up from what you yourself said, Mr Chairman. These raids during which various items were taken, were primarily conducted with political objectives and each member who participated in that raid was fully aware that almost anything would go, anything was acceptable. Mr Chairman, the Committee has heard of the harassment policy, which had various political objectives and in that respect too it was accepted that anything would be tolerated. If you could achieve the objective through whatever means, including the theft of the pot plant and later phoning the person and saying I know where you pot plant is, then that was, even though you yourself had the pot plant in your possession,

CHAIRPERSON: So you're saying, yes, that the taking of the tent, the pot plant, the clock, wasn't just solely for personal gain, but also had the effect of irritating whatever the victim.

MR McASLIN: That is my submission. It is, I think ...

CHAIRPERSON: Inconveniencing the victim.

MR McASLIN: Mr Chairman I submit that it can be properly explained with regards to what Mr Erasmus said: "The so-called big brother is watching you" and to impress upon these persons that big brother could get to any aspect of your life, no matter how personal you thought it was and in that regard Mr Chairperson, I would submit that there was indeed always a political objective. Thank you Mr Chairman.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr McAslin, surely if it was simply intended to intimidate, or to be of some nuisance value, items such as those, if they had no use for it at the Security Police offices, could have been dumped somewhere. Doesn't this sort of, I would almost say second appropriation for personal use make a difference?

MR McASLIN: I would submit not, Mr Chairperson, as I intimated earlier. It doesn't take a quantum leap to justify in your own mind that this is just reward for what you are doing. If you're not going to be paid by the institution that's instructing you to do this, then you're going to see remuneration in whatever form you can obtain it and so long as the superior officers were not adverse to this form or to these acts, as I stated earlier Mr Chairman, I don't think it's a quantum leap to justify in one's own mind. Whether it can objectively be seen as an act of theft, is an entirely different argument, but whether each member subjectively believed that he was committing the act of theft, my submission is that it can be doubted.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr McAslin. We will be reserving our decision in this as it's our policy to hand down written decisions. The decision will not be long in coming out. We're getting very close towards the end of the process now so we have to have the decision out in the near future.

I would like to thank the legal representatives for their assistance in this matter. Thank you very much. This is now the end of our role. The other matter has been postponed.

MS PATEL: That is so, Honourable Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I would therefore like to thank the owners of this very convenient venue once again for making it available to us. To all the people who made these hearings possible, the camera men, the interpreters for their hard work, the Security people, Joe Jafta our logistics officer, Molly my secretary, thank you very much indeed. If I've left out any names, it hasn't been intentional. Thank you very much. We will now adjourn and as I say, that decision won't be long in forthcoming. Thank you.