CHAIRPERSON: It is the 29th November 2000. The panel that will sit and hear the next application on behalf of Mr Paul Erasmus is the same panel that has been sitting from the beginning of this week and the legal representative for Mr Erasmus will still be Mr van Zyl and Ms Ramula Patel is our Evidence Leader. The incident that we'll hear this morning is the incident 67 on page 16 of our bundle being the assault on Mr Madhav. Am I correct, Ms Patel?

MS PATEL: That is correct, Honourable Chairperson. And for the record I represent Mr Madhav in this matter. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Are we in a position to commence Mr van Zyl?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: There is no need to swear in Mr Erasmus, he can just be reminded that he is still under his former oath.

PAUL ERASMUS: (s.u.o.) I understand, Madame Chair.

EXAMINATION BY MR VAN ZYL: Mr Erasmus, you confirm again for the record paragraphs 1 to 8 in your application that relates to your service history?

MR ERASMUS: That is correct, Madame Chair.

MR VAN ZYL: We are now going to discuss incident 67, that is the assault on Mr Deepak Madhav during roundabout 1988. At the time of this assault who was your superior officer?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, my immediate commanding officer was Col. Jordaan - oh sorry, Col. Venter, forgive me.

MR VAN ZYL: And was he at all times fully appraised of this incident or this surveillance of Mr Madhav?

MR ERASMUS: He was aware of the situation that prevailed on the Saturday morning while we went to monitor the meeting and what happened subsequently.

MR VAN ZYL: Did you act on instructions?

MR ERASMUS: I acted under instructions.

MR VAN ZYL: Was it within the scope of your employ?

MR ERASMUS: It was most definitely in the scope of my employment, Madame Chair.

MR VAN ZYL: Can you then now please give the panel the full facts of this incident?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, it had come to our attention via the informer network that a meeting of the Johannesburg Youth Congress, also known as Joyco, was to take place in, if I remember correctly, Mint Road, Fordsburg, on the Saturday morning in question. I took a junior staff member, Sgt Fourie, Steven Fourie, gave him instructions to accompany me. My job was to hold surveillance on this meeting, if possible identify the persons who attended this meeting and for the record our interest, the Security Branch's interest in Joyco was that Joyco was an affiliate of the UDF, the United Democratic Front. Information that we had at our disposal from the informer network was that Joyco had either direct contact or had made contact with the then banned underground cell of the ANC and so yes, there was a lot of interest in determining who the people were that went to the meetings.

MR VAN ZYL: Was the UDF and Joyco and the ANC political opponents at the time?

MR ERASMUS: They were, Madame Chair.

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, continue please?

MR ERASMUS: We arrived at the meeting and at the conclusion of the meeting, we were sitting in a parked car, my vehicle, about 200 metres from the venue in question, photographing the people or the suspects as they were at that time. We noticed Mr Madhav, the gentleman sitting across from you, and several other people head in a certain direction. They were unknown to us and we started the car. When they got in their car and drove behind them. Our intention was, in terms of the emergency regulations and the powers that were vested in us in accordance with the Police Act 7/1958, to stop them, search the vehicle and identify them which we did. What happened, what immediately raised our suspicions was that Mr Madhav tried to race away which was ...(intervention)

MR VAN ZYL: Was he driving the vehicle?

MR ERASMUS: Mr Madhav, as I recall, was driving the vehicle and for the record, if I remember, it was I think a red car, a Ford Escort. Possibly a Mazda. We then chased after them, I think at one stage I even switched on the siren in my vehicle and stopped them not too far from the venue, conducted a very quick body search of the occupants.

MR VAN ZYL: How many occupants?

MR ERASMUS: I could be incorrect on this, there was Mr Madhav and two others in the vehicle. I don't recall their names or their identities.

MR VAN ZYL: Continue please?

MR ERASMUS: We found pamphlets in the car relating to - which was then an illegal possession of a speech made my Oliver Tambo of the ANC. I think the occasion, it was a speech that he'd made in Lusaka relating to probably the 70th anniversary or one of the ANC's anniversaries. But be that as it may, that was sufficient grounds to arrest Mr Madhav in terms of Act 7/1982 - is that correct? My memory is starting to fail me, Madame Chair, I forget.

CHAIRPERSON: What Act was that?

MR ERASMUS: That was the Internal Security Act. We also acted in terms of the emergency regulations which gave us additional powers of arrest and seizure. We asked Mr Madhav -I asked Mr Madhav for an explanation as to the pamphlet. He was evasive and in fact as far as I was concerned, not telling the truth. He denied that it was his property although it was in the vehicle. There was a lot of arguing. We then took Mr Madhav to his residence.

MR VAN ZYL: Did you immediately take him to the residence or did you first take him to John Vorster Square or not?

MR ERASMUS: I'm a little bit uncertain of that, we might have first taken him to John Vorster Square but what I remember that day is that at a stage we did go to Mr Madhav's residence.

MR VAN ZYL: Okay, continue?

MR ERASMUS: Mr Madhav's mother was present, we went into his bedroom where we found further copies of this pamphlet with the speech on it. Mr Madhav became very upset then because he realised, as we did, that he could no longer deny that the pamphlets were his, we found the exact copies, the same copies in his bedroom.

CHAIRPERSON: Which pamphlets are you referring to?

MR ERASMUS: The pamphlet was Mr Tambo's speech.

CHAIRPERSON: The speech by Mr Tambo?

MR ERASMUS: That is correct, Madame Chair. We demanded to know where he got the pamphlets, on whose behalf he was distributing them and as an intimidatory measure, I wouldn't even call this, Madame Chair, assault. We shoved Mr Madhav around, I banged him on his chest. At one stage I had a screwdriver that I was stressing points with and I tapped him on his head with it.

CHAIRPERSON: Now you asked Mr Madhav from where he had obtained the pamphlets?

MR ERASMUS: That is correct, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Did he give any reply to your enquiry?

MR ERASMUS: He was evasive throughout. I still don't know to this day where he got the pamphlets from. After this, Madame Chair, to just explain that point to you, he was handed over to the investigation branch at John Vorster Square. I never heard to this day or subsequently that if they'd ever found out how he had got hold of the pamphlets, but be that as it may it was my intention that morning, it was my job to find out where these pamphlets came from.

CHAIRPERSON: Now when you say he was evasive, did he give a response, an indication as to who was in possession of the pamphlet that you had found in his home?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, clearly he was in possession of the pamphlets but it was our ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Why? Was he the only occupant of that house?

MR ERASMUS: As I understood it, it was him staying there with his mother, in fact met her during the search.


MR ERASMUS: And the pamphlets were in his bedroom which to me more than sufficient proof that he knew about them.


MR ERASMUS: And that was also contrary to the explanations that he'd given us previously in the motor car that he knew nothing about them.

MR VAN ZYL: Now what made you assault him?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, it was my job and Fourie's job to find out where these pamphlets had come from as quick as possible as we'd viewed that this was quite a serious matter, obviously. Our belief was that these people were members of the underground ANC, that as quick as possible before other members of the cell or comrades or colleagues of theirs could be informed about them being arrested or apprehended. We wished to move on any possible comrades of theirs and arrest them as well.

MR VAN ZYL: Did you know at the time that he was involved in the cell?

MR ERASMUS: There was no conclusive proof but there had been indications received via the intelligence network prior to the meeting that there was members of Johannesburg Youth Congress that were involved in underground ANC activities.

MR VAN ZYL: So you acted on suspicion?

MR ERASMUS: We acted on suspicion, that is correct, Madame Chair.

MR VAN ZYL: Can you elaborate more on the incident, specifically the assault? That is what we are here actually for.

MR ERASMUS: Well, after a lengthy period of time it became very frustrating because Mr Madhav would not cooperate, they would not give us an explanation for the pamphlets. His demeanour towards me especially was I'd say very much unfounded because I don't think I was an unreasonable person that would have resorted to violence just at the drop of a pin. It was a time during the search of his bedroom that he insulted me and Sgt. Fourie.

MR VAN ZYL: In which way did he insult you?

MR ERASMUS: About we were acting in terms of this illegal regime. I was not a politician, I was merely carrying out orders that I was given and functions and I did not want to listen to this type of rhetoric. It actually annoyed me greatly. Whether it was true or not was not the issue.

CHAIRPERSON: What was the insult?

MR ERASMUS: I beg your pardon?

CHAIRPERSON: What was the insult?

MR ERASMUS: That I had a White skin, that I was a policeman, a Security policeman, the regime was illegal, that he was innocent, the speech was nothing serious in the sense that it was a threat to State security.

CHAIRPERSON: Were these seriously viewed by you as insults the fact that you had a White skin and the fact that you were a policeman, a Security policeman and you were acting in the interest of an illegitimate regime? Did you really regard those as insults?

MR ERASMUS: I wasn't that upset that it was so much a personal insult, it was just that my attitude at the time was that I was doing a job, I was not a politician that made the laws or gave me those powers, whatever. I had, as far as I was concerned, Madame Chair, caught Mr Madhav red handed as it was with prohibited literature. He was lying to me, clearly lying to me and that in fact was I think more of an insult than the usual rhetoric about the illegal regime and everything else.

CHAIRPERSON: I just wanted to find out what you found insolent in the statement that you had a White skin, because in any case you are White, you don't have any other skin as than that of a White person?

MR ERASMUS: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And you were a member of the Security Police.

MR ERASMUS: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And you were acting on behalf of the South African government which was regarded by the majority of the Black people in the country as ...(intervention)

MR ERASMUS: As illegitimate.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Now why did you find that insulting?

MR ERASMUS: The facts that upset me at the time, Madame Chair, was that he refused to cooperate. I had caught him red handed, I think that was the insult more than anything, was that we were wasting time not getting any answers.

CHAIRPERSON: Is it not correct that you were insulted that he had to speak out?

MR ERASMUS: I think that might have been part of it at that time, Madame Chair, yes I would agree with that.

MR VAN ZYL: The object of the assault, was it part of your modus operandi?

MR ERASMUS: The object of the assault was to intimate Mr Madhav.

CHAIRPERSON: Of the assault?

MR ERASMUS: Yes, if you can call it assault. He was certainly not hurt I don't believe to any extreme. It was more to make him uncomfortable and scare him into revealing the names of other people as was the situation. Who had printed these pamphlets, where he got them, where did he get them from and his involvement in similar activities in the ANC. I wanted to leave Mr Madhav with no impression that if he didn't cooperate or he didn't divulge the information to us his future would have been very uncertain as in we would have beaten him up severely.

MR VAN ZYL: After this assault which was, you said, a screwdriver and hands and fists. Now in your application you don't mention the screwdriver, can you tell this panel why?

MR ERASMUS: I read it in the statement which in fact I have the original which is in the bundle. It was insignificant at the time that I wrote and I didn't remember it in fact when I wrote my amnesty application.

MR VAN ZYL: But you were reminded of it when you saw the bundle?

MR ERASMUS: That is correct, Madame Chair.

MR VAN ZYL: And you do agree that it is actually correct that you did use a screwdriver?

MR ERASMUS: That is correct, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: How was the screwdriver used?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, as I remember, I was talking to him, I held the screwdriver by a sharp point and I tapped him on the head with the butt of it as I was stressing points about what was going to happen to him, that he faced detention, that he would be charged. It was not a severe, Madame Chair, of that I can assure the Commission here today, that he was hurt or bruised or his skin was broken, I was stressing a point.

CHAIRPERSON: Now that wouldn't be an assault, would it? If you actually were tapping on his head in order to stress a point?

MR ERASMUS: I agree, Madame Chair, that in terms of the law, yes it is technically assault.

CHAIRPERSON: No I don't want the law. What did you intend to do at the time and how a screwdriver, tapping it on his head, was that intended to stress a point you were making or was that intended to harm him?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, that was to stress the point that I was making and to also create the impression in Madhav's mind that I had the capability as did Sgt Fourie of severely assaulting him, that if he didn't - we wanted to in effect terrorise him, scare him so much that he would sit down eventually in terror and say to us these are the people that I'm involved in with this whole situation regarding these pamphlets and the ANC.

CHAIRPERSON: So in your, with hindsight, the fact that you used the screwdriver on that day, the intention was not to assault him with a screwdriver but to stress a point and to scare him that you have a capacity to use it if you so wished?

MR ERASMUS: Correct, Madame Chair.

MR VAN ZYL: After the incident in his bedroom, what happened then?

MR ERASMUS: We then took Mr Madhav back to our vehicle, we took him to John Vorster Square where he was handed over to members of the investigation branch.

MR VAN ZYL: Have you seen Mr Madhav since up until today?

MR ERASMUS: I have not seen Mr Madhav until this hearing.

MR VAN ZYL: In your presence - who was the superior officer at the scene, the incident?

MR ERASMUS: I was the superior officer at the scene, Madame Chair.

MR VAN ZYL: And Fourie, did he assault Mr Madhav in the same manner as you did?

MR ERASMUS: He did, Madame Chair.

MR VAN ZYL: Did he also use a screwdriver?

MR ERASMUS: I don't recall that Fourie used a screwdriver but I recall that like I did he punched in the form of taps against Mr Madhav's body. I recall that I grabbed Mr Madhav's shirt and dumped him like this as I was talking to him, a warning.

MR VAN ZYL: In your application you said both of you hit him with flat hands?

MR ERASMUS: Yes and with the flat hand.

MR VAN ZYL: On his face or where?

MR ERASMUS: I think, yes as I recall it, it would have been his face and possibly on his arms.

MR VAN ZYL: Was there any more severe assault by was it W.O.Fourie?

MR ERASMUS: Sgt Fourie.

MR VAN ZYL: Sgt. Fourie? Was there any more severe assault by him in your presence or not?

MR ERASMUS: There was no severe assault at all by any one of us. Mr Madhav was not too upset, he did not scream, he did not cry, he walked out quite normally on the way out of the house, Madame Chair. He greeted his mother, we allowed him to greet his mother, I remember she was quite an aged person. I still took the time to explain to her what was happening to her son. I told her in fact that he was going to John Vorster Square, that it was my intention to charge him, that we'd found - I think I must have still told her about the pamphlets and she was not too upset, she seemed to accept it as something that had happened but no, he was certainly not really assaulted.

CHAIRPERSON: How can you say Mr Madhav was not upset by the fact that you had searched his car, you took him to his house, you conducted a search, you tapped a screwdriver on his head, you manhandled him by his shirt, banged him, I suppose, against the wall, you assaulted him using your hands together with Sgt Fourie and you say he was not upset? I mean who would not be upset by that kind of an assault?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, maybe the wrong choice of words. What I'd intended to convey that he was not assaulted in any way that he was injured, that he could not walk. I'm sure that he was upset and that was our intention. Our intention, as I mentioned, was to scare the man into revealing information to us but at no stage was he hurt to the thing that he was screaming or crying. He was as normal as one could be under the circumstances. We had then, as far as what I was concerned, I think I'd also made radio contact with our office. My part, my role and function in the whole thing was over and the matter would be handed over to - we had the evidence, it would be handed over to the investigation branch. So I had concluded my part in the proceedings.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it not your intention to injure him when you used an open hand on him?


CHAIRPERSON: Then what was your intention?

MR ERASMUS: As I mentioned, Madame Chair, it was to terrorise him or scare him into revealing his emotion to us.

CHAIRPERSON: Precisely. Wouldn't one be terrorised because he is injured? If you smiled at him would he have been terrorised? If you simply smiled at him, would he have been terrorised?

MR ERASMUS: If I smiled at him.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, if you did not assault him?

MR ERASMUS: I didn't know him that well, Madame Chair, I knew nothing about the man until an hour before when I had arrested him.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes but you assaulted him because you wanted to terrorise him, is it not so?

MR ERASMUS: I assaulted him but the point that I'm making, Madame Chair, is that it was not a severe assault. I agree technically that it was assault, it was nothing severe, I was patently aware that I was in charge, point number one. Point number two that he would be visited by the district surgeon, point number three that I would face problems if I had hurt him in any way in view of the circumstances. The fourth point was that I had a junior member with me and I didn't want to set a bad example. I certainly didn't need assault charges laid against me at that stage of my career.

CHAIRPERSON: On which part of his body did you use an open hand?

MR ERASMUS: I beg your pardon, Madame Chair?

CHAIRPERSON: On which part of Mr Madhav's body did you use an open hand?

MR ERASMUS: Probably on the side of his face but very, very lightly. There was no marks on Mr Madhav and he was not hurt, Madame Chair, that I'm hundred percent satisfied, in any way that he would warrant, for example, medical treatment.

CHAIRPERSON: But if you use an open hand on someone wouldn't you expect that person to be injured in that he would feel the pain?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, not in the way that it was applied that day. It was an intimidatory thing and not designed to hurt him physically.

CHAIRPERSON: Not to seriously hurt him?

MR ERASMUS: To seriously hurt him.

CHAIRPERSON: But to hurt him, yes.

MR ERASMUS: Yes, to hurt him but not seriously hurt him.

MR VAN ZYL: Thank you, Madame Chair. Yet he did lay a charge eventually because we have the investigation here before us?

MR ERASMUS: That is correct.

MR VAN ZYL: Do you know about that?

MR ERASMUS: I heard about that, that is correct.

MR VAN ZYL: Didn't you have to give a statement as to what happened to the Police at that time?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, I understood that the matter was investigated, that Mr Madhav was seen by the District Surgeon which was the norm, that no marks were found of any assault, serious assault on him and that ultimately the Attorney General declined to prosecute either myself or Fourie for the assault.

MR VAN ZYL: And apart from that have you had any other further contact with Mr Madhav?

MR ERASMUS: Absolute none.

MR VAN ZYL: But you will agree that by either touching him in a hard fashion, it is a violation of his human rights, isn't it so?

MR ERASMUS: I agree with that and that is the reason that I applied for amnesty for this incident, Madame Chair, and that is the reason why I'm sitting here this morning.

MR VAN ZYL: With now proper hindsight again what is your view of the incident?

MR ERASMUS: I regret that it ever happened, I regret the circumstances under which it happened and I regret my role in the whole matter from A to Z.

JUDGE DE JAGER: And during the investigation you denied that you assaulted him?

MR ERASMUS: I beg your pardon?

JUDGE DE JAGER: During the investigation after the charge had been laid by him you denied that you assaulted him at all?

MR ERASMUS: It would have been standard procedure at that time, Madame Chair, we never ever would have admitted to anything like that especially in the public eye because of the contentious nature of it.

MR VAN ZYL: Thank you, Madame Chair, I've no further questions.



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

Mr Erasmus, you say that you heard about the meeting through your informer network. Who told you about the meeting?

MR ERASMUS: The same person, Ms Patel, whose name I had to reveal here yesterday. It's actually at that meeting yesterday - I beg your pardon, on the Saturday morning.

MS PATEL: For my client's benefit, could you repeat the name please?

MR ERASMUS: I beg your pardon?

MS PATEL: For Mr Madhav's benefit could you repeat the name on record?

MR ERASMUS: Hirshman.

MS PATEL: Hirshman?

MR ERASMUS: Renee Hirshman.

MS PATEL: And what information did she give you about Mr Madhav?

MR ERASMUS: That she hadn't met him but he'd been to one or two meetings, that he was a sort of unknown quantity, suspicious character maybe.

MS PATEL: What does that mean? What do you mean by suspicious character.

MR ERASMUS: Well he hadn't grown with Joyco from the outset, he'd come in at a later stage. She hadn't seen him before. He kept something of a low profile there. She wasn't able, as I explained to you yesterday, we used to task the informers to help us with personality profiles. We obviously had to identify who were the more dangerous people, who were the leading people, who were the radical elements. That was part and parcel of intelligence gathering. Mr Madhav was an unknown quantity to her.

The second thing is from her and from other elements of intelligence gathering, we had a, shall we say, sniff in the nose about this illegal reading out or broadcasting of the speech and of these pamphlets which was all in breach of the law at that time.

MS PATEL: What were your other sources?

MR ERASMUS: Most of the Joyco people's telephones were tapped, the post was intercepted, in some cases they were given surveillance for varying periods.

MS PATEL: And who would that surveillance have been conducted by?

MR ERASMUS: I'm sorry, I didn't hear that?

MS PATEL: Who would the surveillance have been conducted by?

MR ERASMUS: We had a unit that specialised in surveillance.

MS PATEL: Who would the surveillance have been conducted by?

MR ERASMUS: At times myself as was the case the Saturday morning and on other occasions, if it warranted it, a special unit ...(intervention)

MS PATEL: Sorry, there was a bit of noise, I didn't get that. Did you say that the surveillance was conducted by yourself but only on the Saturday morning? Is that the first time for you?

MR ERASMUS: I was talking in general.


MR ERASMUS: I had been to Joyco meetings myself before.

MS PATEL: Personally?

MR ERASMUS: Personally.

MS PATEL: In what capacity?

MR ERASMUS: Exactly the same as the Saturday morning, to identify suspects, take car numbers, see who went in and went out, if there was anybody who was being sought under the emergency regulations I would have arrested them. Sort of multi-purpose type of coverage.

MS PATEL: Who was arrested - what information did you have on the rest of the people at the meeting besides Mr Madhav?

MR ERASMUS: Well that Joyco was following very strongly the UDF's policies or the UDF line. In between the lines one could clearly conduce that they were like most UDF organisations or like many of the UDF organisations, would align themselves with the ANC or the policies of the ANC. From the talks that were held there they were reclassed as a radical organisation. Certainly there was monitoring with the attention that we gave them.

MS PATEL: Could you be more specific, Mr Erasmus? What specific information did you have on rest of the people who were at that meeting?

CHAIRPERSON: Can we firstly in between enable him to respond to your question properly because its very elastic. Let's ascertain how many people attended that meeting. How many people attended that meeting?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, now I have to think hard. That Saturday morning?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, was it about five, was it ten, was it a great number of people?

MR ERASMUS: Well obviously, we would always specify how many people attended the meeting. That's why I'm trying to think of the exact amount but my memory fails me. If I remember correctly and if somebody can prove me wrong, it wasn't very well attended possibly because of the venue or because of the time. Early on a Saturday morning was not the usual time for public meetings or for meetings of this nature.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you saying it wasn't very well attended or are you saying you were less than ten people, less than twenty, less than fifty?

MR ERASMUS: Ten, fifteen people.

MS PATEL: Mr Erasmus, did you have any specific information on the people who attended the meeting besides Mr Madhav now?

MR ERASMUS: On some of the people, I don't remember the background to Joyco. I'd just like, Madame Chair, to remember that the UDF was I think 600 organisations. At that time my own little brief was a good twenty or thirty. Most of the aims and activities and the functions that they were carrying out were pretty much the same. A lot of the people that went to Joyco meetings would go to other meetings again so I really couldn't sit here - I would be hard pressed to sit here and say that I can remember ten of the people that were there that morning. I remember obviously my agent that was there.

MS PATEL: Your agent being Ms Hirshman?

MR ERASMUS: That is correct. I'm just trying to think of other people that would have been there on the Saturday.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you have any specific information about the people attending that Saturday's meeting?

MR ERASMUS: Did I have, Madame Chair?

CHAIRPERSON: Did you have any specific information about the people who attended that Saturday meeting?

MR ERASMUS: No, nothing extraordinary.

CHAIRPERSON: That's the question ...(indistinct)

MR ERASMUS: I'm sorry, I'm battling to hear you, I don't know what it is.

MS PATEL: Don't you want to put your headphones on?

Alright, why did you choose to follow Mr Madhav only after the meeting? Was there something that prompted that given that you didn't have that much info on him, why was he the one that you chose?

MR ERASMUS: I think, Madame Chair, I already answered that in the sense that I didn't know who he was or the two people that were with him. I wanted to identify him. I hadn't seen him before the previous meetings. I'd heard about him and received a description from Ms Hirshman. She wasn't able to establish his identity either and it was convenient. I mean here he comes out, they get in a car, they notice that there's obviously - what was obviously a Security Police vehicle behind them and they try and drive away from us.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Erasmus, I thought I understood your evidence in chief as being that you followed Mr Madhav because he raced away and this is what prompted you to follow him.

MR ERASMUS: That is correct, that is what I said, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: And not because you had any information from Ms Hirshman about Mr Madhav?

MR ERASMUS: I did mention earlier, Madame Chair, that - I'm sure I mentioned that Mr Madhav was unknown to Ms Hirshman, I did mention that and yes, he did race away.

CHAIRPERSON: Not in your evidence in chief.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Yes I've got a not about his evidence. He followed him with the intention to stop the vehicle.


JUDGE DE JAGER: And then he raced away.

CHAIRPERSON: You see, in your evidence in chief you did not mention Ms Hirshman at all, you did not say that Mr Madhav was known to you. The impression which was clearly created by your evidence was that Mr Madhav was amongst the people who came out of this meeting and it was your duty on that day to take photographs of all the people who attended that meeting and whilst you were busy doing so, Mr Madhav walked into his car ...(intervention)

MR ERASMUS: Correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And he raced away.

MR ERASMUS: Correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And this is what alerted you to - the fact that here is a person who might be trying to run away and that's how you actually ran after him.

MR ERASMUS: That is correct, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: And you actually caught up with Mr Madhav's car just a few metres away from where the meeting was held.


CHAIRPERSON: You started searching his car.

MR ERASMUS: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Well the impression was not created that at the time when his car was searched he was known because of the earlier information or the previous information which we had received from Ms Hirshman.

MR ERASMUS: Okay, Madame Chair, if I could elaborate there for just a minute which might clear up the whole thing, I mentioned that my job was to identify all of the people that went to these meetings.


MR ERASMUS: Mr Madhav was one of the people that I hadn't identified. I'd heard about him before. There was an Indian guy with his description at one of these meetings. I saw him come out, it was my intention then to identify him. He gets in the car ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Let's just take that part of your evidence, let's just go through that carefully. You had heard from Ms Hirshman about Mr Madhav?

MR ERASMUS: I don't recall that she even had his name, but anyway I'd heard about him and other Indian members there that we had not succeeded in identifying, that is correct, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Now if Ms Hirshman had not identified his name, how would you have known that that's Mr Madhav that Ms Hirshman had spoken about? She had a difficulty?

MR ERASMUS: Whether she had identified him or not, the actions that happened on that morning outside the meeting, I would have caught him, arrested him and nothing would have changed.

CHAIRPERSON: Precisely, that was your evidence in chief which has now taken a different swing to what Ms Patel is putting to you. You are now creating an impression that you followed Mr Madhav based on the information that you had received from Ms Hirshman?

MR ERASMUS: Well, I don't understand that my words have gone wrong like this but I am correct in what I'm saying and in what I have said, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: That Ms Hirshman had identified Mr Madhav?

MR ERASMUS: No, she hadn't identified him.


MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair would appreciate that everybody that went to these meetings, it was standard procedure that no effort was spared to obtain photographs of them, their home residential addresses, I.D. numbers, that was what our job was all about. That was my job for many, many years, Madame Chair, so when people came out of these meetings as happened that morning, it was my job to make every attempt to get a car registration number which would help with the identification, a description of the person, photographs of him, standard part and parcel of our operation. If I have mentioned after the fact that Ms Hirshman did make a reference to Mr Madhav, that is true. There is no - I'm a little bit lost about what we're actually discussing.

CHAIRPERSON: We are a little bit lost about what you are telling us.

MR ERASMUS: I understand.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and we need to understand your evidence properly. We don't want to sit here thinking that we understand your evidence when in fact we are not on the same wavelength with the tenor of your evidence. So if we take a little bit of time in making an attempt to understand your evidence, it is for your advantage.

MR ERASMUS: I understand, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: We don't want to decide the issue on the fact which we have not properly comprehended.

MR ERASMUS: I understand, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Now was there any stage prior to the meeting of that Saturday morning where Ms Hirshman made any reference whatsoever about Mr Madhav?

MR ERASMUS: She made a reference to an unknown - she would have given me a list of the people there, a report in other words of her own. She would have said "the following people", she would have given a list of names.


MR ERASMUS: John Smith, Sue Smith, whatever. The following people I could not identify - Indian male, plus minus twenty five years old, fat, thin, whatever, a Black person, Black male so and so. That was how - the nature of our work.


MR ERASMUS: And in that sense, yes Madame Chair, to clarify, she had made reference to which was obviously Mr Madhav.

CHAIRPERSON: Now what had she said about Mr Madhav?

MR ERASMUS: On each one of these people the agent would give a comment. She had not been able to determine what he was or what his role was there, whether he was a newcomer, he was there to maybe secretly usurp the whole aims of the meeting. He was obviously a Security interest, we had to find this out, that was what my job was all about.

CHAIRPERSON: And did she say that he was a suspicious character but an unknown quantity as you have previously stated?

MR ERASMUS: Yes, which would have made him - yes, I suppose in our terms a suspicious character. Everybody was suspicious until the contrary was proved. I think would be a way of maybe.

CHAIRPERSON: And did she have a photograph of Mr Madhav?


CHAIRPERSON: So as you saw Mr Madhav getting into his car, you then were able to see that it was the same person that Ms Hirshman had referred to?

MR ERASMUS: I assumed that it would have been the person that she'd referred to or one of the people that she'd referred to that we hadn't identified clearly came out of the meeting.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, on what basis did you make that assumption?

MR ERASMUS: I had the previous reports, Madame Chair, from previous meetings of Joyco. I carried around in my head the facts that out of let's say for example fifteen people of that previous meeting there was five that I had not identified. One of them was an Indian male, one maybe an Indian female, one was a male Black, as the circumstances were. I knew that in my head and when I saw them coming out of the meeting these were people that I didn't know and Madame Chair would appreciate as well that in the Security Branch we were taught to know our suspects intimately, you had to know more about that person than what they knew about themselves.

CHAIRPERSON: Now there are twenty people coming out of the meeting. Why did you suspect that amongst the twenty a particular person must be Madhav?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, it's twelve years ago, I cannot remember the finest details of all of this. I'm not trying to hide behind selective amnesia or anything like that, I'm trying to be as honest as what I can. I cannot remember what the circumstances were. I needed to identify him, you know, more than that I can't say.

CHAIRPERSON: I'll tell you what my difficulty is, I was quite happy with your evidence in chief as it was, it presented me with no problems at all. The reason why you followed him was because he started racing away from where you were?

MR ERASMUS: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Which was a behaviour which was suspicious?

MR ERASMUS: Yes that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: But I got a little bit troubled ...(inaudible) it was put to you why you followed Mr Madhav and you started then bringing in Ms Hirshman, that it was as a result of a reference made by Ms Hirshman about Mr Madhav which made you to follow Mr Madhav. Now that presented me with a problem.

MR ERASMUS: Well I hope that I've somehow cleared up what created the problem, Madame Chair. I'm trying to rack my brains and remember as much as possible. I mean I'm not a computer that can remember all the facts from an incident twelve years ago, one incident of situations that like this similarly were happening almost every single day in my life in the Security Branch at that time.

CHAIRPERSON: I think I will leave that matter. I'm not entirely clear but Ms Patel, you may proceed.

MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson.

After you had stopped the vehicle, did you search the car in the street where you had stopped it or did you take them back to John Vorster Square?

MR ERASMUS: We had a preemptory look, which was standard procedure, in the car at that time.

MS PATEL: Okay and you say besides Mr Madhav there were two other people in the vehicle?

MR ERASMUS: I recall that it was one or two, I'm not certain. I honestly can't remember.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that was your evidence. You are not sure how many were in the car.

MS PATEL: Alright. Then after that - I'm sorry, I didn't get your evidence clearly on this, did you say that you then went off to John Vorster Square with everybody or you went straight to Mr Madhav's house?

MR ERASMUS: I said I was not certain.

CHAIRPERSON: He's not sure but he said he must have gone to Mr Madhav's house before going to John Vorster.

MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson for that.

When you got to Mr Madhav's house you said that you asked his mother to leave the room, was that correct?

MR ERASMUS: Any search like that would have been conducted -and the interrogation that happened on a one on one sort of basis with the person, that is correct.

MS PATEL: Okay. Besides the pamphlets that were found in Mr Madhav's room, was there any other documents that were found that you can recall?

MR ERASMUS: There was other documents relating to ANC, I cannot remember what they were. I'm sure there was other documents. Yes.

MS PATEL: Were there any other personal documents that you found?

MR ERASMUS: I would have looked at ...(intervention)

MS PATEL: Besides those that you say related to the ANC or the UDF?

MR ERASMUS: Personal documents?


MR ERASMUS: I honestly can't remember. I would have, as was the nature of things, Ms Patel, I would have looked for his I.D. document, place of employment, that type of stuff. I would have had to open a file, these are questions that would have had to have been answered anyway.

MS PATEL: Alright.

MR ERASMUS: I'm sure we had a very thorough look through the room, yes.

MS PATEL: Did you find his pay slip? Can you recall whether you found his pay slip?

MR ERASMUS: I don't recall that. I remember there was quite a lot of money in the room, that was one of the things that I remembered from the time. Another incident, in the money, with relating to the motor car was that on the Monday a considerable amount of cash was found in the motor car by the Investigation Branch.

MS PATEL: Do you deny having found his pay slip or can't you recall?

MR ERASMUS: I can't remember that.

MS PATEL: My instructions from Mr Madhav was that once his pay slip was found by yourself and Mr Fourie and the amount that he earned was discovered that this really infuriated you and Mr Fourie and that he was then told that he was earning more than you and the both of you got very angry and this is what in fact precipitated the assault on him.

MR ERASMUS: I don't remember that. Madame Chair, I don't remember something like that. I'm sorry, I don't.

MS PATEL: Do you deny it?

MR ERASMUS: I don't think I would have got upset by somebody earning more than me. That certainly wouldn't upset me in the least.

MS PATEL: Well, according to Mr Madhav that is the reason that he was then assaulted?

MR ERASMUS: Because of a salary - because of a pay slip?

MS PATEL: Exactly.

MR ERASMUS: I would deny that one hundred percent.

MS PATEL: Here was a - you deny that?

MR ERASMUS: Yes, absolutely.

MS PATEL: Well Mr Madhav will testify to that.


MS PATEL: He also states that it is correct that he didn't scream when you assaulted him because his mother was in the next room and he didn't want to upset her and that is the only reason that he tried to stay calm and not because, as you say, there was no pain inflicted and that it was a minor assault on him.

MR ERASMUS: Could I ask Mr Madhav when he saw the District Surgeon if there was any marks on him, any bruises on him, any cuts or abrasions?

MS PATEL: I am putting to you Mr Madhav's reason.

MR ERASMUS: I deny that vehemently.

MS PATEL: Thank you. Mr Madhav then states that after the search of his home and the assault on him he was then taken to John Vorster Square where he was then taken to the tenth floor of John Vorster Square. Do you bear any knowledge of this?

MR ERASMUS: I bear knowledge of that. He was handed over to ...(intervention)

MS PATEL: Who was he handed over to?

MR ERASMUS: I'm trying to think of the guy's name. A warrant officer - forgive me, I don't know if it's in any of the documents, possibly in the bundle or - he was handed over to a warrant officer whose name I cannot recall from the Investigation Branch. I do believe that's the last time I ever saw Mr Madhav.

CHAIRPERSON: And Mr Fourie, was that his last involvement with Mr Madhav as well?

MR ERASMUS: On the Monday we were summonsed. The issue that I mentioned to you now about the money, this same warrant officer, if I could just think of his name it would help me intensely, conducted a proper search of the car and found a bundle of I'm not certain if it was R5 000 or R10 000, certainly R5 000, hidden under the dashboard of the car. In cash. Madame Chair, I'm certain it was R10 notes, a considerable bundle of money.

CHAIRPERSON: And what happened to that bundle of money?

MR ERASMUS: We actually were laughed and in fact some of our superiors were quite angry we had overlooked that during our search of the motor car. They felt it was very significant, people didn't hide that amount of money in a car.


MR ERASMUS: That was the last that I'd ever heard of Mr Madhav. I'm not even certain what happened with the prosecution for the pamphlets.

CHAIRPERSON: And what happened to the money?

MR ERASMUS: I don't know, Madame Chair.

MS PATEL: Did you not follow up on this at all, on what had happened to Mr Madhav or what information had been gleaned from him?

MR ERASMUS: Vague interest, I was informed from time to time that the investigation, I think the dockets had been forwarded for the possession of the speech. I then, as I testified yesterday, this was 1989, later in the year I'd dropped out of sight totally and went to do a completely different job.

MS PATEL: Do you know whether Mr Madhav was interrogated immediately after he was brought to John Vorster Square?

MR ERASMUS: I would have assumed that he would have been.

MS PATEL: Do you know by whom?

MR ERASMUS: Warrant Officer - I believe that I have - his name, I will find it now possibly during the adjournment.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Could it be Jacobs?


JUDGE DE JAGER: Because I see the name Jacobs but that was in connection with the assault investigation.

MR ERASMUS: De Waal. It's on page 45, Madame Chair, of the bundle. W.O. De Waal. Sorry, to finish your question, Ms Patel?

MS PATEL: Why would you not have stayed whilst Mr Madhav was being interrogated after he was brought back to John Vorster Square, I find that strange especially given that you have an interest in, a direct interest in persons like him?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, this was a Saturday. This was almost an infringement of my time, I'd been working the whole week ...(intervention)

MS PATEL: I thought you were on duty for 24 hours, Mr Erasmus, always?

MR ERASMUS: Really, Ms Patel.

MS PATEL: That was your testimony to us, that you were always on duty.

MR ERASMUS: Yes, there was also times that we had families that we wanted to go to and I'd done enough work and it was out of my hands, I had finished my job, the Investigation Branch, not the field workers that were working like I was, covered or semi-covered, it was their job and it was over to them. I would have certainly spoken to W.O. De Waal subsequent to that and yes, made enquiries about what happened to it. I had a lot of things on my plate at the time, I don't know that this is significant, really.

MS PATEL: That was not your testimony earlier, Mr Erasmus. Your testimony earlier was that after Mr Madhav was handed over you had no dealings with him and you never followed up on anything. Now you are saying that you would have spoken to is it W.O. De Waal?


MS PATEL: What information would have come out through there, do you know?

MR ERASMUS: Well his - W.O. De Waal's function then was to take this matter, if necessary, to the Attorney General to decide whether to prosecute or not. I had nothing to do with that.

MS PATEL: And you had absolutely no interest in what information Mr Madhav would have handed over during his interrogation?

MR ERASMUS: Of course I would have, Ms Patel. But I certainly didn't, what you're suggesting is, you're asking me why if I said testified that I was on duty 24 hours out of 24 hours why I didn't stay there while Mr Madhav was interrogated or questioned or whatever happened to him afterwards. I went home. I went home, I was also a human being, even at that stage.

MS PATEL: Sure. Sure, Mr Erasmus. My instructions from Mr Madhav was that after he was brought back to John Vorster Square that you, Mr Fourie and he can't recall the names of the other persons present, but he was then taken to the tenth floor where you, Mr Fourie and the rest of the persons not only interrogated him but assaulted him. What is your comment?

MR ERASMUS: I was not present, I know nothing about that.

I'm sorry, I know nothing about it. I've admitted, Ms Patel, in my own words in an amnesty application written, what eight years after this happened? I could safely have ignored this, I took the time and trouble to recall this event and I've tried to give it as an honest account of what happened, I certainly deny that, that much I remember.

MS PATEL: Let me also inform you, Mr Erasmus, that my client spent three and a half months in solitary confinement as a result of your actions.

MR ERASMUS: I'm sorry to hear that.

MS PATEL: Three and a half months.

MR ERASMUS: I'm sorry to hear that.

MS PATEL: And he has suffered as a result of your actions as well.

MR ERASMUS: I'm sorry to hear that.

MS PATEL: In your application you've applied for assault and in brackets you've put in there "during detention". What did you mean by that? Because he certainly, according to your testimony today, wasn't assaulted during detention.

MR ERASMUS: His detention started the moment I told him to get out of that car and found the pamphlets and informed him that he was under arrest.

CHAIRPERSON: When you had stopped him in the street after he had tried to race away from the venue where the meeting was being held?

MR ERASMUS: I would have regarded him as being in detention of that moment. Madame Chair, I'd like to just draw your attention to the fact that it was a state of emergency and that people were being arrested the whole time in terms of that Act. Yes, he was in detention effectively when I assaulted him. I'm not even going to argue about it, yes. I admit it, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: I really have to understand what you mean by being in detention. You see him running away from where the meeting was being held, you suspect that he must be trying to hide something. You stop him and you say as soon as you had stopped him he was in detention?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Madame Chair, my client said "the moment I found the pamphlets and I arrested him, then he was in detention", that is what he said.

MR ERASMUS: That is correct, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: So from the moment you had searched the car and up to the time he was taken to his house he was already in detention?

MR ERASMUS: Yes, I would have regarded that as detention, yes, he'd been arrested.

CHAIRPERSON: In terms of the emergency regulations?

MR ERASMUS: I'm certain I arrested him in terms of the emergency regulations.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you tell him that?

MR ERASMUS: I had a wide variety, yes, I would have informed him of his rights. I would have said to him "you're under arrest and I'm holding you accordingly, according to this or that." I cannot remember, quite honestly, if it was in terms of the Security legislation or the emergency regulations.

CHAIRPERSON: But you would have clearly advised him that he was in detention?

MR ERASMUS: Yes. Yes ma'am. I'd go further, Madame Chair, to say that even if I hadn't found pamphlets in his car, his actions might have made him eligible for detention under the emergency regulations. The person was running from something, acting very suspiciously.

CHAIRPERSON: But you would have been required to advise him that he was under arrest?


CHAIRPERSON: And you would have advised him of the fact that he was under arrest?

MR ERASMUS: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Are those your instructions, Ms Patel?

MS PATEL: I would have to take specific instructions on that, Honourable Chairperson. If I may proceed though in the meantime?


MS PATEL: Sorry, can I just get clarity? Did you advise him of his rights at the vehicle when you stopped him in the street at the first time?

CHAIRPERSON: No, once this pamphlet had been found, though yes along that street.

MS PATEL: And that was done in the street?

MR ERASMUS: I'm certain it would have been at the street, yes Madame Chair.

MS PATEL: You stated in your evidence in chief that Mr Madhav had in fact laid a charge against you. Do you confirm that?

MR ERASMUS: I see it's in the documents.

MS PATEL: According to your application to us you state on page 16 that he did not lay a charge against you?

MR ERASMUS: I think it did come out this morning that it was only recently. When did I read this? This morning? It was only when I received this that I caught up on what had actually happened, Ms Patel.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Erasmus, you are not allowed to confer with your attorney whilst you are under cross-examination, it is totally ...(intervention)

MR ERASMUS: I'm just trying to give clarity on the matter, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: It is not allowed. You might have done it because you don't know the procedure. I'm now advising you of the procedure.

MR ERASMUS: I understand.

CHAIRPERSON: It's not acceptable at all.

MR ERASMUS: I understand, Madame Chair.

MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson.

Are you saying that you made a mistake in your application to us when you stated that he did not lay a charge against you? At the time when you wrote out your application, are you now admitting that you made a mistake there?

MR ERASMUS: I'm certain I could have made a mistake, Madame Chair.

MS PATEL: Honourable Chairperson, if I may at this point request a short adjournment? There are quite a few details that have come out from the evidence that I need to take instructions from my client.

CHAIRPERSON: Before you do so, Ms Patel, is it the evidence of Mr Madhav that he was indeed assaulted with an open hand by Mr Erasmus at his home?

MS PATEL: That is so, Honourable Chairperson and also that he was hit on the head with a screwdriver.

CHAIRPERSON: Lightly tapped on his head. Does he agree with that version?

MS PATEL: Well I'm not sure that lightly tapped is the way my client would describe it. He said that the screwdriver - let me describe this, that the base of the screwdriver was in fact covered so that when he was hit on the head it was done in such a way that it wouldn't actually leave marks on him, that those are my instructions but I will ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I'm just asking this because I don't want Mr Erasmus to leave - I don't want you to finish your cross-examination without having put anything that you do not agree with in his evidence in chief. Then we then hear Mr Madhav come in with a different version when that version had not been given to Mr Erasmus to respond to.

MS PATEL: Certainly, Honourable Chairperson, there are quite a few points that have come out and the full list of what we disagree with I will then put to Mr Erasmus after I have consulted with Mr Madhav.

CHAIRPERSON: We'll adjourn for tea until 11 o'clock.



CHAIRPERSON: Ms Patel, you are proceedings with your cross-examination of Mr Erasmus?

PAUL ERASMUS: (s.u.o.)


Thank you Honourable Chairperson, I'm indebted to you for the time allowed to me.

Mr Erasmus, just so that Mr Madhav doesn't get confused and I don't put things to you that aren't correct, could you describe Ms Hirshman to us as she would have looked at the time?

CHAIRPERSON: Won't you have your microphone on?


CHAIRPERSON: It's off. You may repeat. Shortish, plumpish?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, she was a White woman, a round face, shortish, plumpish, long black hair with a middle parting, down onto - cut at shoulder length.

MS PATEL: I didn't get the last bit, what did you say?

MR ERASMUS: Black hair cut at shoulder length.

MS PATEL: Oh, she had a bob?

MR ERASMUS: No, not a bob. I'm not very familiar with hair styles.

MS PATEL: A bob style. A bob is just straight and down.

MR ERASMUS: Yes, straight hair. Yes.

MS PATEL: Thank you. No, my client is not certain it's the same person that he had in mind. The person he had in mind was somebody who was slightly shorter than I am, thin and hair in a bob till about this length, I'm pointing now towards my neck and quite as distinctive nose.

MR ERASMUS: Yes, Hirshman did have a distinctive nose, without being facetious she was Jewish, she had a ...(intervention)

MS PATEL: Yes thanks, well then I think given the time lapse we are probably speaking about the same person.

My instructions from Mr Madhav in respect of Ms Hirshman is that he doesn't really remember her from the Joyco meetings but he remembers her from another organisation called Actstop where they worked together at stopping evictions, it was that kind of organisation.

MR ERASMUS: Correct.

MS PATEL: Was that correct?

MR ERASMUS: Yes that is correct, Madame Chair.

MS PATEL: So then he says well then at the time of this incident she knew his name and she knew who he was contrary to the information that you say you had?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, what - if this is indeed the same person, Actstop was her first stepping stone into the Security world, if it was the same person. Yes, she was involved in Actstop, that I remember clearly, yes.

JUDGE DE JAGER: What is the relevance as far as the assault is concerned whether she was tall or long hair or whatever it might have been? It's common cause that he'd been assaulted and can't we deal with the assault? He is applying for the assault. Ms Hirshman has nothing to do with the assault?

MS PATEL: With respect, Honourable Chairperson, it goes to the information that Mr Erasmus says he had at his disposal prior to - or that led to Mr Madhav's arrest and to that extent Honourable Chairperson, it goes to the question of full disclosure and Mr Erasmus' credibility before you.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Ms Patel, we can't really. Everything goes about credibility. Where Mr Erasmus was yesterday and where he was the day before, if we concentrate on credibility we'll never finish the work of the Amnesty Committee if we concentrate in that way. Let's concentrate on the act that he's applying for and let's get down to that fact. Did he assault or didn't he assault, how did he assault, what injuries occurred and let's concentrate on that.

MS PATEL: Well ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Patel, are you not trying to find common ground with some of the evidence that has already been tendered by Mr Erasmus which goes to the political motive of Mr Erasmus more than credibility which would be a relevant factor I think for us to consider. In fact it reduces much of the burden on our part if some of the issues will become common cause?

MS PATEL: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: As in this case with regard to Ms Hirshman.

MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson. May I then proceed?

CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed.

MS PATEL: Thank you.

I'm sorry, I've just lost my train of thought, if you'll just grant me a moment?

To put to you also that Mr Madhav says that they weren't coming out of a meeting at the time but that they were - that he was parked in the street. I believe it was Mint Street and he was in his car at the time when they'd noticed your vehicle in Commercial Street. Were you parked in Commercial Street, can you recall?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, I can't remember the exact - I remember Mint Road.

MS PATEL: Okay, well it's diagonally.

MR ERASMUS: I know there is a Commercial Road. I can't remember that exactly.

MS PATEL: And after they noticed you he then left from - so it wasn't a group of people coming out of a meeting, in fact that they had joined, they were going to meet at that specific spot to depart to another venue where the meeting was to be held. Was that your information at the time or was your information that the meeting was going to be held at the spot where you first noticed him?

MR ERASMUS: There was a building there with an office.

MS PATEL: He says there was a Milky Lane in the vicinity if that spurs your memory?

MR ERASMUS: Yes, I remember the Milky Lane. Madame Chair, I'm a bit uncertain about that. As I recall it there was a meeting scheduled for a venue in that area. It could even have been in the Milky Lane. I know that the meeting was scheduled for that morning, there my information is accurate.

MS PATEL: Okay. Mr Madhav confirms that you in fact after you pulled him over and had searched the car and had found the pamphlets had said to him that he was now under arrest and explained but he can't recall exactly which Acts you referred to but he said definitely in terms of the emergency regulations that he was being arrested at the time.

MR ERASMUS: Thank you for that, Madame Chair.

MS PATEL: Okay. He says that after that you then took them all to John Vorster Square and that it was once he'd been dropped off he was then hand cuffed and then taken back home to his home where the incident that you've given evidence on took place?

MR ERASMUS: That's possible. I wouldn't argue, I did say this morning that I was a bit unclear if we first went to the house or we first went to John Vorster Square.

MS PATEL: No, he says you went to John Vorster Square first.

MR ERASMUS: I would accept that, yes.

MS PATEL: Okay. Can you tell whether the rest of the people who were in the car, were their homes searched as well or was it only Mr Madhav's?

MR ERASMUS: I would presume that they would have been questioned and searched as well.

MS PATEL: By whom? You don't ...(intervention)

MR ERASMUS: That would have been Mr Jan de Waal, the Investigation Branch or other members of the Police.

MS PATEL: You had no dealings with that?

MR ERASMUS: Nothing to do with it, I don't even recall their names.

MS PATEL: Okay. Mr Madhav also said that he had - initially he had four people in his car and he managed to drop one person off before you got to him so there were still three other people, passengers in the car by the time you got to him.

MR VAN ZYL: Sorry, was the question correct? Still another three?

MS PATEL: That is right. There were initially four besides himself of course.


MS PATEL: Or is it four? Oh no, I'm sorry, I'm corrected by Mr Madhav. There were four initially. He managed to drop one off and then there were three left behind.

MR ERASMUS: I don't recall that, Madame Chair.

MS PATEL: Alright, that's fine. And he confirms that the pamphlet that you have alluded to was in fact found in his vehicle. He, however, denies any knowledge of the monies that you say were subsequently found in his vehicle and it was his vehicle, it was a company vehicle, that he was in control of the vehicle and he has absolutely no idea what that was about, where that money could have come from, it's a large sum, none of the people in his vehicle would have had access to that kind of money.


MS PATEL: R5 000 to R10 000 at that time was a lot of money.

MR ERASMUS: It was a lot of money.

MS PATEL: It was a lot, he bears no knowledge of that.

MR ERASMUS: Well that surprises me, Madame Chair, but anyway. That I recall very clearly. I remember being berated by my commanding officer in fact overlooking something like that during the search of a vehicle which could have been significant, but what the significance was I don't know.

MS PATEL: Alright. If we can go back to the events at Mr Madhav's home? He denies your allegations that he called you - let me just get that right, he called you a person with a White skin, that you were just a Security policeman, that he told you the regime was illegal. He denies ever having said those things to you. To the contrary, he says he was so afraid that he said as little as possible. He, however, does admit that he said to you in connection with the pamphlet that the speech wasn't serious as you had said in your evidence in chief?

MR ERASMUS: That's his opinion or his recollection. I dispute that.

MS PATEL: Mr Madhav confirms to me that he was in fact punched in the stomach, he was hit on his arms with open hands and in the face as well by both yourself and Mr Fourie. Do you confirm?

MR ERASMUS: I've given my version of the assault, that it was intimidatory and it was not - it was designed to intimidate him and to terrorise him but not to injure him severely.

MS PATEL: You will hear his view on that, no doubt?


MS PATEL: He says also in connection with the screwdriver that it wasn't as you had indicated, if I could just - that you'd just tapped on his head, he said you had in fact held the base of the - you'd wrapped the base of the screwdriver and this is the way in which you had held it. For the record, I have my fist closed onto the base of - and as you were questioning him you were hitting him on the head several times, he can't recall today how many times you would have ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: With the base or with ...(intervention)

MS PATEL: Not the sharp end, the opposite end of.

CHAIRPERSON: The base of the screwdriver?

MS PATEL: That's right. That's right. And that he felt pain and he was clearly terrorised by your action.

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, I would accept that he was terrorised by the action but if I'd hit him with the - it was his screwdriver by the way, I'm not in the habit of carrying screwdrivers around in my pockets for any reason. If I had hit him on the head with the intention to hurt him, I'm certain there would have been marks on his head right now. I'm certain that the doctor within 24 hours would have picked up marks. I did not hit him, I deny in the strongest terms that I hit Mr Madhav hard on the head. It was more of a tapping thing much as like I'm tapping my pen on this table.

MS PATEL: Did you make derogatory comments towards him whilst you were in the room at his home?

MR ERASMUS: I beg your pardon?

MS PATEL: Did you make derogatory comments towards him whilst you were questioning him?

MR ERASMUS: Not that I can recall. I'm sure there was a high level of aggression and threats but ...(intervention)

MS PATEL: He says amongst other things you called him a snake and you called him a bloody coolie, do you recall having said those things to him?

MR ERASMUS: Now I don't recall using language especially like that.

MS PATEL: Do you deny that it happened though, given that you don't recall?

MR ERASMUS: You know, it might be a surprise to some people that even at that stage of my life it wasn't a racial thing as much as anything else. Words like coolie and kaffir were not part of my vocabulary ever, I might just add. I'm actually very proud of that contrary to what some people might believe, Madame Chair.

MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson. I believe that I'm almost through. If I can just check if I've left anything out with my client. Grant me a moment please?


MS PATEL: I believe that is all. Thank you Honourable Chairperson.


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

MR VAN ZYL: I have no re-examination, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Judge de Jager, do you have any questions to put to Mr Erasmus?

JUDGE DE JAGER: No questions.



ADV SIGODI: No Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Mr Erasmus you may step down as a witness.

MR VAN ZYL: As it so pleases.

CHAIRPERSON: Does that conclude the evidence that you wish to tender in support of Mr Erasmus' application?

MR VAN ZYL: If I could just lean over to him, Madame Chair, one moment? Madame Chair, this is the last of our application.


CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Ms Patel, this is an opposed application. I take it that you now wish to call Mr Madhav as a witness?

MS PATEL: That is indeed correct, Honourable Chairperson. If you would swear him in, he is English speaking.

DEEPAK MADHAV: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson.

Mr Madhav, at the time of this incident, you heard the testimony before us but just to give a bit of your background, at the time of this incident what was your political affiliation?

MR MADHAV: At the time of this investigation my political affiliation was as far as I was an active member in Actstop as well as Johannesburg Youth Congress and a member of the Transvaal Indian Congress. I was a founder member of the Johannesburg Youth Congress and I was very highly active within Actstop at that time. Those was the two organisations I was working actively in.

CHAIRPERSON: Were these organisations affiliated to the UDF?

MR MADHAV: Yes they were affiliates of the UDF.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Patel?

MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson.

On the morning of your arrest you were on your way to a meeting, is that correct?

MR MADHAV: That is correct.

MS PATEL: Where were parties who were supposed to go to the meeting supposed to meet? Where was the meeting held?

MR MADHAV: The arrangement was that we would meet on Mint Road outside the Milky Lane. That's where we would gather and then from there one of the comrades were supposed to have arranged a venue either in Mayfair or in Patita School which is in the same vicinity, so we were waiting for the people to gather. I recall quite distinctly it wasn't a Saturday, it was a Sunday morning as we were sitting in the car and reading the Sunday paper waiting for the people to come.

MS PATEL: Is it correct then as I have put it to Mr Erasmus that you then noticed his vehicle and then decided to leave the area?

MR MADHAV: Yes, I did notice the vehicle on Commercial Road and when we did notice it I decided to speed off in a hurry as it was stated by him.

MS PATEL: Okay, what happened after that?

MR MADHAV: After that I drove to - through my van I got onto 8th Avenue. As I got onto 8th Avenue one of the colleagues who were sitting in the car I let him out and the three of us that remained in the car continued to go and as they followed us they actually - I think the siren did go on and we were stopped on the corner of 8th Avenue and Princess Street and it was not a red car it was a white Jetta, just for the record.

MS PATEL: Who were you stopped by?

MR MADHAV: There was a car with two gentlemen, one I believe now according to the evidence is Fourie and Erasmus and the car was a Conquest, it was a cream Conquest.

MS PATEL: Alright and after you were stopped was your vehicle searched?

MR MADHAV: The vehicle was searched and the leaflets or the -there were, if I recall, ten envelopes in which the Oliver Tambo January 8 Speech was in and each envelope had a name which the envelope had to be delivered to.

MS PATEL: Okay, were you then all taken off to John Vorster Square?

MR MADHAV: We were all taken off to John Vorster Square from then, yes.

MS PATEL: Alright. From John Vorster Square where were you taken?

MR MADHAV: From John Vorster Square I was taken to my home.

MS PATEL: Who were you taken by?

MR MADHAV: By the two arresting officers.

MS PATEL: The same two gentlemen? Alright. What happened when you got home.

MR MADHAV: When I got home we went into my bedroom. They asked my mom to leave the room and they closed the door behind and then they started searching the room and then I believe -the then interrogation as he described then took place. I just feel that, you know, to marginalise and to down play an assault, whether in my dictionary and in my knowledge, when you hit someone and he doesn't bleed or he doesn't get cut or he doesn't have a bruise, that doesn't mean he is not assaulted or he does not get hurt and that's what I take strong objection to, when somebody underplays the fact that "I tapped", you know "I tapped the person with a pen on the head and I just ruffled the man but I wanted to terrorise" - I have a problem with that, personally so. So I want to say, just to make it clear from my point of view that I was harassed and it was very painful not only physically, because I didn't have any marks, that is correct, but from a psychological point I definitely did.

MS PATEL: You've heard Mr Erasmus' version about how he assaulted you with the screwdriver?


MS PATEL: What do you say happened?

MR MADHAV: No I say what happened is that there were two distinct things that I recall quite clearly and I can't seem to forget and which he has denied. One is that the fact that it wasn't a tap, it was actually a hit on the head, that is my version. Secondly ...(intervention)

MS PATEL: Sorry, before you proceed? He hit you with what?

MR MADHAV: With the end, with the butt of the screwdriver.

MS PATEL: Alright and how was that done? Which part of your body did hit you?

MR MADHAV: The head. The screwdriver was the head and the hand and the fists was the arms and the stomach and the face.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Did he keep the screwdriver like this?

MR MADHAV: As she discussed earlier it was held like this with the butt, there was definitely - and it was on the head like that.


MS PATEL: Sorry, you were saying the second thing?

MR MADHAV: And obviously the second thing was what I remember quite distinctly was they were going through all my personal belongings in the house, in the room and one of the things that I remember quite clearly is that I can't recall specifically if it was Mr Erasmus himself or it was his colleague Mr Fourie, but they did pick up my pay slip and when the pay slip got then the handling did become a bit rougher as far as I'm concerned. Now he has denied that but I know for a fact that that's what I've got to say.

MS PATEL: Were there any comments passed about your pay slip by Mr Fourie and Mr Erasmus?

MR MADHAV: Yes well the pay slip was they looked at, it was more than what they were earning at that time.

MS PATEL: And what were their feelings about it at the time. Did they express any sentiments about it ...(intervention)

MR VAN ZYL: Is my learning friend testifying or is she asking questions?

MS PATEL: I'm asking him, he has already confirmed that the pay slip was found. I'm asking him what was their feeling about it. I really don't see any problem with the question unless you make a ruling, Honourable Chair? Proceed to answer?

MR MADHAV: Okay. Specific to that incident that obviously it was like these guys are earning too much then the beating was sort of intensified.

CHAIRPERSON: Now who said that of the two gentlemen who were with you?

MR MADHAV: That I cannot recall.

CHAIRPERSON: Did they both comment about your salary?

MR MADHAV: Well they did speak to each other on that issue, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Did they beat you after ...(intervention)

MR MADHAV: It was an ongoing thing, it was like - just to describe the beating, it wasn't like just stabbed, you were getting bashed up, it was like beating me up then searching because they were both searching the room, obviously, so it wasn't like an ongoing thing. So as they found things, you know, they came back and questioned and there was more literature as he mentioned earlier and there were books and there were other - UDF and maybe the local stuff, the stuff that was distributed in terms of the meeting, notices, books, magazines and stuff like that.

CHAIRPERSON: So they would search and then interrogate you and it would be accompanied by assaults?


CHAIRPERSON: And the assaults similar to those described by Mr Erasmus?

MR MADHAV: Correct.

CHAIRPERSON: You agree with that?

MR MADHAV: Yes I agree with that.


MS PATEL: Thank you Honourable Chairperson.

Mr Erasmus has alleged that he felt insulted by certain comments as to the fact that he was White and he was a policeman and that he was a part of an illegal regime, etc. What is your comment on those allegations.

MR MADHAV: I would say that those were my thoughts and my feeling of the individuals at the time. However, I did not verbalise it in any way as I was actually very intimidated by the arrests and I refused to say anything and I was not cooperative at the time. I tried to keep quiet so that I could - hoping that I would have a lawyer later to defend my case rather than give information.

MS PATEL: Right. After the assaults and the interrogation at your home, they then took you to John Vorster Square, correct?

MR MADHAV: Yes, they took me to John Vorster Square and they took me to the tenth floor.

MS PATEL: Alright, can you describe ...(intervention)

MR MADHAV: And at the tenth floor there were more than two, there were these two gentlemen plus another other gentleman and there also I was questioned on the same thing and I was ...(intervention)

MS PATEL: When you say these two, who do you refer to?

MR MADHAV: The two that I mentioned, Mr Fourie and Mr Erasmus.

CHAIRPERSON: As well as two other officers that you don't know.

MR MADHAV: As well as two - it was quite a busy, it was a bit of a busy scene in that security room wherever they took me and in that room I was again interrogated. Now there I cannot recall exactly but all these people were there and I was being manhandled again, similar to the type of handling had at home and I was threatened to be, you know, reminded of ...(indistinct), you know, who was at that time.

MS PATEL: Alright. Sorry, just to take you back to the incidence in the room. Can you relate what kind of comments were passed possibly by the applicant to you in the room?

MR MADHAV: From a personal point of view that part of the intimidation and interrogation technique is to make you - to dehumanise you, so there were definitely derogatory terms said to me and one of them, as I mentioned earlier, was very derogatory and that then, when it was still swearing and that type of thing.

CHAIRPERSON: Calling you a coolie?

MR MADHAV: Yes that was said.

ADV SIGODI: Can you remember who called you a coolie?

MR MADHAV: No, I cannot tell you exactly, one of them.

JUDGE DE JAGER: And can you remember whether that occurred at John Vorster?

MR MADHAV: No, this was a home.


MS PATEL: I know that this was quite a traumatic experience for you but can you recall at John Vorster Square ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: But before you proceed to John Vorster Square, how long in your opinion did the search accompanied by the interrogation and the assaults that followed your interrogation last at home?

MR MADHAV: At home it lasted plus minus one and a half hours I would say.


MS PATEL: Just to take you back to John Vorster Square on the tenth floor where you say you were interrogated and assaulted, can you recall today exactly who assaulted you out of the persons who were in that room?

MR MADHAV: As there were more people now I can't tell you specifically who all of them were but I just think that all of them had their share.

MS PATEL: Okay and after you were interrogated and assaulted, what happened to you subsequently?

MR MADHAV: I was left alone in one of the offices there with somebody guarding outside and then later on in the evening, I think the processing took place later on in the afternoon or in the evening I was then taken to Cell 225 in the solitary confinement wing.

MS PATEL: And how long were you in solitary confinement?

MR MADHAV: For three and a half months.

MS PATEL: The allegations about the money found in your vehicle, what is your comment?

MR MADHAV: I can't recall anything, I don't remember anything because if the money was found I'm sure when I was released I would have wanted money back so I don't remember getting any money back so I don't remember having any money there.

MS PATEL: Oh sorry, just one more aspect. Regarding Renee Hirshman, did you know her prior to your arrest?

MR MADHAV: Renee Hirshman, actually when I was very active in Actstop, that was prior to my arrest, a few years before my arrest I was very active in the central Johannesburg area. We were involved in the anti-eviction campaign. I remember her quite distinctly because she used to - she should smoke but being Jewish she shouldn't smoke cigarettes, she should buy tobacco and roll this paper up, so that's how I recall her specifically, that's how I know her and that's how I remember her from the Actstop days and I know that she knows me because that's through us, working here, a lot of the youth with involved in the Actstop campaigns and that's how she must have got to Joyco. I don't know her other than that, but I don't recall her coming to Joyco meetings and ...(indistinct), I recall her more at the Actstop events.

CHAIRPERSON: And it is your testimony that that meeting was not a Joyco meeting, but it was an Actstop meeting?

MR MADHAV: No, no, that the meeting where I got arrested?


MR MADHAV: No, that was a Joyco meeting, that was a specific date, that was a Joyco meeting.

CHAIRPERSON: Was she also a member of Joyco?

MR MADHAV: I don't recall that, I can't say for sure but I know her from Actstop.

CHAIRPERSON: But if it was put to you that she was a member of Joyco you wouldn't be in a position to dispute it?

MR MADHAV: No, I would not dispute that, no.

MS PATEL: And then finally, Mr Madhav, the applicant has stated that during the assault at your home that you didn't scream and that you were quiet and I think he said that you weren't in pain and there was no physical signs of an assault on you. What are your comments on the fact that you didn't scream?

MR MADHAV: Okay, firstly just to put it in perspective I'm the only child in my family and I'm very close to my mom so I didn't want - already due to the incident and the situation that was at hand there was no way that I was going to put her under more aggravation of more stress so whatever was taking place I tried to take it and just make it seem like it was a normal situation.

MS PATEL: Alright. Mr Erasmus has said that you were not upset by that assault, what is your comment?

MR MADHAV: Well, as I have mentioned earlier, when somebody tries to terrorise you and intimidate you with that intention, then how can I be un-upset or happy with that situation?

JUDGE DE JAGER: But for the sake of your Mom you pretended not to be upset, is that correct?

MR MADHAV: No, in the - pretended, I mean ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: You didn't scream?

MR MADHAV: No, I didn't scream, I didn't moan and groan while I was being assaulted because I was aware that my Mom was standing outside, yes.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Yes but you just pretended to be normal?

MR MADHAV: Yes I was ...(indistinct).

CHAIRPERSON: But you were visibly upset?


CHAIRPERSON: It was an upsetting episode, intimidating?

MR MADHAV: It was a sombre situation, I wasn't happy and joyful, I didn't pretend that I was happy, I just was sombre.

CHAIRPERSON: You were terrorised?

MR MADHAV: Yes, I was scared.

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


CHAIRPERSON: Mr van Zyl, I know yesterday that Mr Erasmus, if not yesterday on Monday, Mr Erasmus had some sentiments to express on behalf of the victims who were present from the Alexandra Health Clinic for his part in respect of that incident. I don't know whether he wishes to express some sentiments to Mr Madhav? I want to emphasise that he is not required in terms of the Act to express any feelings of remorse because they are not a requirement in terms of the Act. As I have indicated, however, that it is an amnesty process which is intended to facilitate reconciliation in our deeply divided society. We would not stop him if he wanted to have an opportunity to express such sentiments.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN ZYL: As it pleases you, Madame Chair, we in fact in closing, in fact in his evidence in chief he did express his horror about the solitary confinement and it is my instructions yes he would like to and it is also my instructions in cross-examination, had I started it, you would have heard that I would actually have given some sentiments of my client to him. But I would, in view of what you are saying, after my cross-examination may I then allow Mr Erasmus to ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Give him an opportunity to do so.

MR VAN ZYL: Thank you so much, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed to put any questions you wish to Mr Madhav.

MR VAN ZYL: As you please, Madame Chair. I'm actually going to start off with a statement. My client, although he didn't have the full version of your version up to date, has instructed me to express that you were extremely brave in the circumstances especially in view of your mother being present and he clearly misjudged you at the time that you were not in pain that you were actually putting up a very brave front and I, on my side, on my own personal side, also wish to express the same view but he will continue with that further. But I think let us continue with a few differences, perhaps what we had. But what is clear is that both you and the applicant has not full memory of what happened that place, you because of being terrified in old age, stress, whatever, I don't know, but in view of what you testified, the similarities are very great between your testimony and his, is that correct?


MR VAN ZYL: Yes. Apart from the tenth floor where he says he wasn't, but is it possible you could make a mistake on that?

MR MADHAV: No, I would not make a mistake on this, I know for a fact that I was taken there and there was some questioning and interrogation ...(intervention)

MR VAN ZYL: No, you were taken there ...(intervention)

MR MADHAV: By the people who arrested me.

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, but were they present in that assault on the tenth floor?

MR MADHAV: Yes, they were present.


MR MADHAV: It's my view.

MR VAN ZYL: That's your view. He says no, that is not so but I will not delve any further. We do not deny the fact that you were arrested, that was the modus operandi at that time and so what I just want to get clear is, but I think Madame Chair actually did clarify that also, is that the interrogation at your home was assault, interrogation, assault, interrogation, so what came first was whether it was a screwdriver that came first or the fist that came first, it was actually immaterial, it did take place. You can't say it was first this and first the pamphlet, then assault or first the pay slip then assault or whatever, but you do say it intensified after the pay slip was found?

MR MADHAV: That is my recollection.

MR VAN ZYL: That is right. No, that is quite so. We have no further questions, Madame Chair.


CHAIRPERSON: Do you wish to re-examine?

MS PATEL: No thank you Honourable Chairperson.

MR VAN ZYL: Madame Chair, may we at this time perhaps then -oh sorry, is she going to call for the witnesses?

CHAIRPERSON: No, she doesn't intend to call any.

MR VAN ZYL: Then may we at this point time have Mr Erasmus take the floor?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Mr Erasmus?

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, I think then Mr Madhav and I maybe have something in common, is that well, we both believed in something at that time, he was at that time involving in stuff which to us was illegal. I think for the benefit of hindsight which was a very precise science, I certainly regret what happened. We live in a changing world and I would in this forum like to apologise for what happened. I did not know that you were in detention so long. I can realise now, with the benefit of hindsight once again, what anguish it must have caused not only you but your mother whom I remember was quite aged. I deeply regret what happened and I hope that after this that we can bury those differences that existed at that time. I would like to apologise, I'm deeply sorry.

MR VAN ZYL: May I just ask one question? Is your mother still alive, Mr Madhav?

MR MADHAV: Yes, she is.

MR VAN ZYL: She is still alive. My client would actually wish to express his apologies to your mother as well.

MR ERASMUS: Thank you, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Erasmus. Mr van Zyl, are you in a position to proceed to oral argument?

MR VAN ZYL: Madame Chair, yes I think we are.

CHAIRPERSON: We don't need to take an adjournment for that?

MR VAN ZYL IN ARGUMENT: No we don't. Madame Chair, it is clear that in view of Mr Madhav's evidence that there was full disclosure by my client and that in view of the total testimony and the total political situation at the time that Section 20, which is what we are about here today, was complied with by my client and that in view of the facts - there are a few differences between Mr Madhav and my client, memory - maybe not memory, but I don't think it is to the extent to find that my client did not do a full disclosure and I think that the object of this Committee was achieved this morning. As it pleases you.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. I only have one aspect that I would like you to address us on and that is the evidence that has been tendered by Mr Madhav, that Mr Erasmus anticipated in the assault that took place at John Vorster Square and we have Mr Erasmus' testimony that he did not so participate. Would you submit that the fact that Mr Erasmus' testimony is different from that of Mr Madhav that would jeopardise his amnesty application, that would be an indication that there has been no full disclosure?

MR VAN ZYL: Madame Chair, I've already said the differences I think do not merit that there's not full disclosure. My reasoning for that is any person's recollection of certain events so long ago is different and in a court of law at the time when I was also presiding as a magistrate, where there were differences, you actually found that it is better to allude to the truth because it shows that people observe things differently than when they are text book in accordance with each other. So that difference is, although it is different, but my client can't take it any further but to say he wasn't there on the tenth floor, if we can call it that incident.

JUDGE DE JAGER: But it's not a difference, it's a difference in a sense that there was another assault and he's denying the other assault.

MR VAN ZYL: My client's not denying the other assault that it took place, he would concede that it took place.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Yes, but that he was present at the other place.

MR VAN ZYL: He says he was not present, that is what he said, he said he was not, clearly when he was questioned.

CHAIRPERSON: He said there was no such an assault as far as he is concerned and Mr Madhav says that there was an assault at John Vorster.

MR VAN ZYL: I understood that my client agrees with the - maybe I'm wrong, but ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: He says he did not participate in any assault that occurred at John Vorster Square.

MR VAN ZYL: He didn't participate but he said he dropped him off ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: He wasn't there?

MR VAN ZYL: He wasn't there, so that's why I say he would concede that there was an assault, he would not deny the assault.

CHAIRPERSON: Which was committed by him.

MR VAN ZYL: But he denies that he committed it on the tenth floor.


MR VAN ZYL: He wasn't there, he says. That was his evidence. So if he wasn't there it's impossible for him to commit that.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Your submission is that there could have been an assault but he wasn't there.

MR VAN ZYL: Most definitely, we will if I put it on the table, we concede and in fact I would agree with Mr Madhav that it took place because that is the modus operandi of the day, but my client says he wasn't there. He dropped him off and then he left.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and the crux of Mr Madhav's evidence is that there was an assault at John Vorster Square which was committed by Mr Erasmus.

MR VAN ZYL: Well that my client clearly denies.

MR ERASMUS: Madame Chair, I would deny that. I can concede, I'm certain that even right in ...(intervention)

MR VAN ZYL: Sorry, put it off.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Erasmus, it is now your attorney who is making submissions on your behalf, you are not required to address us. You have given your testimony and you're now no longer required to say anything. We are directing our questions to Mr van Zyl who is making submissions on your behalf.

MR VAN ZYL: As it so pleases you, Madame Chair. As he said now and again he actually repeated himself, he denies that he was present. So that is it, we can't take it any further than that, Madame Chair, you will have to decide on the truthfulness on that.


MS PATEL IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Honourable Chairperson.

It is my respectful submission that Mr Erasmus has not made full disclosure to you in respect of the assaults that he had committed on my client, Mr Madhav. I think the evidence speaks for itself, Mr Madhav has no reason whatsoever to implicate Mr Erasmus unnecessarily inasmuch as he was severely traumatised by the event and by his subsequent solitary confinement. He is absolutely certain that both Mr Erasmus and Mr Fourie were in fact present during the interrogation and the assault that took place at John Vorster Square. He has already and my submission in this regard is also, that Mr Erasmus has sought to minimise his role in terms of the assault both at Mr Madhav's home and his role at John Vorster Square. I find it almost unthinkable that Mr Erasmus would go to the length of given his job description and his interest at the time, that he would go to the length of not only surveying Mr Madhav but following him and then taking him home, searching his home and then just simply handing him over without any follow up as to whatever information Mr Madhav would have revealed or what would have come out, not only during that interrogation, but during his subsequent detention. Mr Erasmus' excuse for not participating in the interrogation and subsequent assault at John Vorster Square was that it was a Saturday and he had a family to go to. We've already heard his testimony in previous incidents about how committed he was to his job and how he at another occasion had not been home for three days because they were on 24 hour duty. Honourable Chairperson, this just doesn't gel with what Mr Erasmus himself has testified as to his commitment to his job.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you suggesting that he was so committed that he never went to his home at all for 24 hours, seven days a week?

MS PATEL: No, certainly not, Honourable Chairperson, I am saying that given the circumstances of this case that his curiosity at least about what he says Ms Hirshman had given, the lack of information that Ms Hirshman had given him about Mr Madhav, I find it curious that he wouldn't have wanted to know more about Mr Madhav after his arrest and that he would then simply just have left it at that and handed him over as he would want us to believe, Chairperson.

And my submission is that the assault at John Vorster Square forms part and parcel of his arrest and detention that Mr Erasmus was involved in, that it is in fact not a separate incident, that those events flowed out of the arrest of Mr Madhav.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, let's just examine that, Ms Patel? Before we do that, would you agree that the assault that occurred at Mr Madhav's home has been described in terms that accords to Mr Madhav? He agrees with the description of Mr Erasmus' participation with regard to the assault that occurred at his home?

MS PATEL: Substantially yes, Honourable Chairperson, I believe that there is common ground there.

CHAIRPERSON: So he has not tried to minimise his role insofar as that offence is concerned?

MS PATEL: Except insofar as his use of the screwdriver is concerned, Chairperson.



CHAIRPERSON: But he has disclosed that a screwdriver was used?

MS PATEL: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And that some kind of assault resulted as a result of the use of a screwdriver?

MS PATEL: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And he has described the part of the body on which the screwdriver was used and that accords with Mr Madhav's testimony?

MS PATEL: Except in the manner in which the screwdriver was used, yes Honourable Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: That's right. So to that extent he has not minimised his role?

MS PATEL: Not substantially no, except that they differ substantially on the effect of the assault, of their perceptions of the effect of the assault.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. During my examination of him I think he considered that he might have had an unfortunate usage of words because I think I took up issue with the way in which he had described the assault?

MS PATEL: That is in fact correct, Honourable Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, now let's come to your submission that there hasn't been a full disclosure because the assault as testified by Mr Madhav at John Vorster has not been disclosed by Mr Erasmus. I'm talking about disclosure for now because he has applied for amnesty for the assault at Mr Madhav's home. If you were in a criminal court and you were required to draw up a charge sheet, would you not have separated the two incidents and made them separate offences and would you not have described the assault that occurred at Mr Madhav's home and that which occurred at the police station separately?

MS PATEL: I would concede that in strict technical terms we would have to have separate charge sheets. However, my submission is that the assault at John Vorster Square flows out of the same sequence of events...(intervention)


MS PATEL: ...with it and to that extent Mr Erasmus hasn't made full disclosure. It is not as if the second assault at John Vorster Square took place a week later or even some hours later, it took place immediately. Mr Erasmus was at all times in control of Mr Madhav, from the time that he arrested him in the street, to taking him to John Vorster Square, to bringing him back home, to taking him back to John Vorster Square. There was no break in his contact with him, Honourable Chairperson.


MS PATEL: And to that extent my submission is that it flows out of the same sequence of events and to that extent he hasn't made full disclosure to us.

CHAIRPERSON: But is you concede that if you were in a criminal court you would have separated the offence?

MS PATEL: And that would have been simply because the assault didn't continue from the time that they'd left his home to ...(intervention)


MS PATEL: ...to the point of them arriving at John Vorster Square.


MS PATEL: And my argument in that regard or my submission in that regard, Honourable Chairperson, that it is a technicality ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Which would not apply in this ...(intervention)

MS PATEL: Which would not apply in this forum.


MS PATEL: That those strict rules of interpretation and of how charge sheets are drawn up have no place in this forum, Honourable Chairperson, to that technical extent.

CHAIRPERSON: Now what do you say then should be our view to Section 20.2 which talks of an offence or an omission?

MS PATEL: There was clearly an offence, Honourable Chairperson. I'm sorry, I don't get the point of your question. There was clearly an offence that took place, both ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Two offences.

MS PATEL: Two offences?


MS PATEL: But they flow out of ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: In a sense which occurred at his home, ...(intervention)

MS PATEL: But it flowed out of the same sequence of events to the same extent that it could have been damage to property and assault. They're two separate offences but they flow out of the same sequence of events and to that extent, Honourable Chairperson, I would base my argument on the same basis, that the fact that they are separate offences technically doesn't mean that they fall out of the ambit of this enquiry in terms of what the applicant has applied for.

CHAIRPERSON: So the relevant facts as we are required to consider in terms of Section 20 should in your submission include ...(intervention)

MS PATEL: Absolutely, Honourable Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: ...the facts which occurred at John Vorster Square?

MS PATEL: Absolutely, Honourable Chairperson.

JUDGE DE JAGER: That would mean that we'd have to make a credibility decision whether we believe Mr Madhav or Mr Erasmus on this incident?

MS PATEL: It would appear so.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Now if you look at page 41, documents that form part of the papers on which we've got to decide and it's obvious that the TRC had the police docket available and there was an affidavit or a statement by Mr Madhav in this file, referred to as A1 on page 41. The facts are disclosed that really corroborates what's being said here about the assault at the home but there's no mention of an assault?

MS PATEL: Let me explain the background to this memorandum that you see in the document. My instructions are that during Mr Madhav's solitary confinement he was required to draft a statement which he then in fact did and in the course of that statement he then mentioned that whilst he was arrested he was then assaulted and it was as a part of that, that this memorandum - he didn't file formal charges against Mr Erasmus, this memorandum was drafted without his knowledge and as a result of the statement that was then handed over to the investigating officer. He says at the time that he was really traumatised by that process and that there wasn't an intention for him at that stage to relate to everything that had happened, in fact he had also during the information that he had supplied in that statement, he says he hadn't really given them the true facts about what his true involvement is, etc. etc. So the statement that had gone in, that is the basis of this memorandum. My submission is we cannot really rely on at this stage.

JUDGE DE JAGER: But in that statement was any mention made of an assault at John Vorster?

MS PATEL: I haven't taken instructions in that regard. Unless it's really material, there's no evidence before us in terms of that, unless - I don't know what cognisance or what value you can attach to that at this stage, Honourable Chair.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Yes, well it's not evidence before us today but it could have assisted us in finding one way or the other.

MS PATEL: Well I have explained the background to this statement which forms the basis of this memorandum, Honourable Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you able to explain, Ms Patel, why Mr Erasmus would come forward, apply for amnesty for the assault on Mr Madhav, relate to the incident which occurred at his home but omit to relate the incident which occurred subsequently if it did occur at John Vorster and it was within his knowledge if he has decided to open up and disclose his participation in the assault of a person?

MS PATEL: You're asking me to speculate, Honourable Chairperson, and in the realm of speculation I would submit that the tenth floor on John Vorster Square has such a horrific reputation that for somebody to consciously want to associate themselves with the activities that took place on the tenth floor would at best be a difficult thing especially if the person is trying to reconcile themselves with their own past and try to, in a sense, reintegrate themselves back into society, that perhaps that is the reason that Mr Erasmus hasn't included it in his application, but I can't speak for him, Honourable Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: But that was an assault, whether it happens on the tenth floor of John Vorster or it happens at his home. I would even think that it's even more horrific for somebody to assault a victim at his home when in fact there is a police station or the many cells that the Security Police were reputed to have where they would assault activists during that time.

MS PATEL: Well I can take my speculation no further, Honourable Chairperson.

ADV. SIGODI: What do you say to the effect that the applicant has applied for amnesty in relation to the assault at the home only? Is it not open to Mr Madhav to go and lay charges even today for the assault which took place at John Vorster Square seeing that even if we were to draft a charge sheet the two incidents would have to be separated anyway? Can we then not separate the issues and consider the fact that and consider our decision based on what the applicant has applied amnesty for?

MS PATEL: If you grant him amnesty only for the incident that took place at his home, certainly, but my argument in relation to the assault at John Vorster Square goes to the question of full disclosure.

CHAIRPERSON: With regard to the assault at home?

MS PATEL: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So you are contending or submitting that we cannot grant him amnesty for the offence that is before us which is the assault that occurred at home because of his non-disclosure of the offence which occurred at John Vorster?

MS PATEL: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And that we should view that as an incident or facts, two incidents but just saying that those facts are material as to impact on the requirement of full disclosure?

MS PATEL: That is indeed so, Honourable Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van Zyl, do you wish to reply?

MR VAN ZYL IN REPLY: In short, Madame Chair. The document on page 41 and further is part of this hearing. How the background behind it was investigated by the Evidence Leader and the people concerned, they put it before the court so they didn't put any further information before the court so that further information cannot be taken cognisance of and then if you take this document with the evidence of Mr Madhav and that of Mr Erasmus, then it correlates one hundred percent and in fact, therefore, we would say that that must be decided on today because there is no reason for Mr Erasmus not to have gone further and applied or put in the facts of the tenth floor for the simple reason that if he did, he did full disclosure but the fact that he said earlier on and he said it very clearly, he handed Mr Madhav over to W.O. de Waal so there's a clear break in the proceedings and there wasn't this continuous thing of Mr Erasmus flowing, there was a clear break and that was not denied, that fact was not put in question by Ms Patel, so there was a clear break in the handing over. So I agree, in the confusion Mr Madhav could as much as made a mistake as Mr Erasmus ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Those documents are not properly before us, no reliance is going to be placed on those documents.

MR VAN ZYL: No, no, I know but I'm talking about the handing over to De Waal, that was not denied. So there's clear difference of incidents, there's a stoppage of the previous incident up till John Vorster Square, so it is not the continuous flow of facts but I can see it and accept that the modus operandi was to go further with the interrogation but Mr Erasmus says "I handed him over to De Waal" and I think there's no reason for this panel not to accept that version. As it so pleases you.


MS PATEL: Honourable Chairperson, sorry, I know that it's not procedural but there seems to be a suggestion that we have selectively included documents in the bundle. If I may just place on record ...(intervention)

MR VAN ZYL: No, I haven't done that, it is just not there. It's not in the bundle, it's a fact.

MS PATEL: That we don't have any other documents, in fact if my memory serves me correctly, that memorandum was in fact received I think from Mr Erasmus if he will confirm, that the docket is no longer available.


MS PATEL: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm sure it was not the intention, Mr van Zyl?

MR VAN ZYL: I'm not accusing people, I'm just saying these are the facts before the panel.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and these documents will not be taken into account when we consider the application, they are not before us, they happen to be in the bundle.

MR VAN ZYL: As it pleases you.

CHAIRPERSON: I think this concludes Mr Erasmus' application for Mr Madhav as well as for any of the matters which were on the roll for this week?

MR VAN ZYL: That is my contention as well, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: I may just in passing state that Mr Erasmus has been a very unique witness in terms of disclosure. We have always been saddled with witnesses who give us some negotiated truth, in many instances he has struck me as a person who has given a new meaning to truth telling, telling more than the truth. Taking into account the testimony, his testimony in the Alexandra Health Clinic, I'm just making this as a comment, your testimony in that regard was truly amazing, I think you were as truthful as any truth could be extracted from anywhere.

MR ERASMUS: I really appreciate that, Madame Chair, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: We are going to reserve our judgement in respect of this incident as well.

MR VAN ZYL: Then, Madame Chair, I consider myself excused from these proceedings?

CHAIRPERSON: You may be excused as well as Mr Erasmus. Mr Madhav, we appreciate the fact that you were able to attend this hearing, we know that you had to come back from abroad in order to participate in these proceedings. I think we always commend any endeavours from the victims' part in participating in these proceedings inasmuch as you may not be entirely satisfied with the disclosures made by the applicant. We hope that your participation and the fact that the applicant has testified to the best of his recollection will go a long way in assuaging the pain that has been caused by the conflict of our past.

We also wish to convey our condolences to pain that was suffered by your mother in having to witness some of the atrocities that accompanied your activism with Joyco. Thank you for coming.

We'll now move to the next application which will the application of Mr Pollock.

MS PATEL: That is correct, Honourable Chairperson, if you would just grant us a few moments for the legal representatives to come forward?

CHAIRPERSON: They're here?





______________________________________________________CHAIRPERSON: Mr Gary Leon Pollock, application number AM2538/96. The panel that will sit to consider this application consists of myself, on my right hand side Judge de Jager, on my left hand side Ms Sigodi. I'm going to request Mr Pollock's legal representative to place himself on record.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Madame Chairperson, I actually requested the opportunity to introduce myself to the panel before but we didn't have the opportunity. My name is P J du Plessis and I'm from the firm David, Botha, Du Plessis and Kruger Inc. from Johannesburg, I'm appearing on behalf of Mr Pollock.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr du Plessis. We do understand that you were not given an opportunity to do so because we were busy with Mr Erasmus' application.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, thank you Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: On behalf of the victims?

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you. My name is Brian Koopedi, I appear before this Committee on behalf of the victims who are from Alexandra and perhaps I should at this stage name the victims?

CHAIRPERSON: How many victims are involved, Mr Koopedi?

MR KOOPEDI: There are four that I have instructions from. It is Mishak Nshlapo. The second one is Ntani Nduli. The third one is Ronnie Peto and the last one is Mrs Elizabeth Kunene.

CHAIRPERSON: Which incident are we going to commence with Mr du Plessis?

MR DU PLESSIS: Chairperson, I will refer to in the first incident what we refer to as conspiracy to murder Mr Eden Nshlambo. It is found in the papers ...(intervention)

JUDGE DE JAGER: At page 64.

MR DU PLESSIS: At page 64(i), that is the first one and I believe the second one which will be dealt with then is on page 66(vii). May I then start with the first incident regarding Mr Mishak Nshlapo who was also known to my client as Eden Nshlambo. I believe my client will take the oath?


GARY LEON POLLOCK: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Chairperson.

Mr Pollock, you apply for amnesty for several incidents. We are only going to deal with two of them as indicated to you. Before you start with this specific incident I would just like you, although it is contained in, to a certain extent, in your application to just give some background to the Committee regarding your involvement with the South African Police, when you joined up with them and which unit you belonged at the relevant time?

MR POLLOCK: Madame Chairperson, I was ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: May I interpose, Mr du Plessis? You will see that we do have on page 62 under "General Background" at the fourth paragraph, information with regard to Mr Pollock's involvement with the Police?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is so, Chairperson. So need we not repeat any of those?

CHAIRPERSON: If you do have information which has not been included in this paragraph you may proceed to lead him if you want us to take account of further information otherwise you can take that information as having been read and he can simply confirm it.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Chairperson, I will then just proceed straight away to the incident itself.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Is he confirming pages 59 up to 64?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct, thank you.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Yes, well ask him confirm it?

MR POLLOCK: Yes I confirm.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Pollock, let's then proceed to the specific incident. May I just say, Honourable Chairperson, that the statement itself has been amplified by means of "Further Particulars" which have been supplied to my learned friend during the evidence. I do not know whether it forms part of the papers before the Committee?

MS PATEL: It does, Honourable Chair, it's on page 74 of your bundle.


MR DU PLESSIS: Could I also then ask you, Mr Pollock, whether you confirm on the first page of the further particulars the particulars then regarding the incident surrounding Mr Eden Nshlambo?

MR POLLOCK: Yes I confirm that.

MR DU PLESSIS: Fine, now ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I think he may give evidence of the incident itself.


CHAIRPERSON: Because we have victims ...(inaudible) documents wherein the incident has been described by him.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Chairperson.

Mr Pollock, I think just briefly before you deal with the specifics of this incident, just kindly give us some background regarding the context in which this took place. You were a member of the Security Police stationed at Alexandra Security Police, is that correct?

MR POLLOCK: That is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: And could you just then briefly deal with the context of what was happening in Alexandra and why did this incident happen before we get to the specifics?

MR POLLOCK: Okay, Alexandra was indeed a very volatile place at this point in time. There were numerous underground structures operating in Alexandra and our task was to infiltrate them and do whatever our officers told us to do. At one point in time ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: Are you referring to underground structures meaning - referring to which organisations?

MR POLLOCK: The ANC and more specific, MK - Umkhonto weSizwe. MK structures, underground structures.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, proceed?

MR POLLOCK: At one point in time Alexandra was considered to be the most dangerous place in the world. In fact London Road, one road adjacent to Alexandra was indeed said to be the most dangerous position on the planet at that point in time. It's in that context that we operated.

MR DU PLESSIS: Because of what? Why was it dangerous?

MR POLLOCK: There was massive violence and deaths between -conflict between the ANC and the IFP within the Alexandra Township and Mishak was, according to information, an MK member involved in this.

MR DU PLESSIS: Now you say involved in this, involved in what?

MR POLLOCK: There was large military - when I say large, for an urban suburb, there was military conflict taking place, there was mortars being launched onto the Zulu mens' hostel, it was called, there were handgrenades continuously thrown, we recouped handgrenades that hadn't gone off, we had anti-personnel mines, they're called ...(indistinct) Z. As I said, there were 60 mm mortars which were launched onto IFP installations so indeed it was a sticky situation, sticky place to be.

MR DU PLESSIS: Now what was the function of the Security Police in this situation and what were their objectives in getting involved in this situation?

MR POLLOCK: Well, at that point in time the IFP was a common ally against the ANC. The ANC was, as I said, was busy with this military thing and our structure, our ambit was to spur on the violence and to carry on with, you know, to get the government in a good negotiating position, so we were infiltrating ANC and things like that to enable the so-called National Party at that time to be in a strong position around the negotiating table.

MR DU PLESSIS: So you're not trying to create the impression that the Security Police was actually trying to keep the peace between the parties, you were actually complicating further in order to create an atmosphere of anarchy in which the parties involved in the struggle, the ANC for instance wouldn't be able to function properly, is that what you're saying?

MR POLLOCK: Absolutely, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: I want you then to proceed and specifically refer to Mr Mishak Nshlapo or as he is known, Eden Nshlambo, as he was known to you at that stage and exactly what happened?

MR POLLOCK: One of my job descriptions was to recruit and handle informers. I had recruited a man by the name of Louis Miame, his MK name was Louis Miame.

MR DU PLESSIS: His correct name you'll get in the papers on page 64 as Constant Phineas Vusi?

MR POLLOCK: That was his real name, yes. His MK name was Louis Miame. He was recruited by myself and he worked for the Security Branch. Him and amongst other people gave us information. I had up to some months 30, 34 informers and we constantly got information concerning Mishak Nshlapo whose MK name was Eden Mhlambo. Louis was quite close to him so we got a lot of information not only from Louis but from other informers who also knew Mishak about his involvement in this violence. I was told that he was trained as a technician and he'd received training oversees, etc. etc. So there was a constant flood of information coming through which was confirmed by other informers that we had that was handled by a W.O. Wessels also at our branch and it is in that ambit that we got information about him, we would constantly - we were looking for him in a township, we had information that he had handgrenades with him, that he was heavily armed. We had information - sometimes between 10 and 30 people in Alexandra a week would die and one of our informers would come to us and say to me that, you know, he spoke with Mishak, he bragged about it at a shebeen or he was responsible for four deaths and he used to walk around the township apparently with handgrenades clipped to his jackets and he had ...(intervention)

ADV SIGODI: Sorry, Mr Du Plessis, could you ask your client to speak a bit slower because we've got to take the notes, otherwise we'll lose out on your evidence.


MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Chairperson. Yes Mr Pollock, you heard that. Could you just go a bit slower? Also, just on this point I want to ask you, you've referred to W.O. Wessels. So he also had informers who brought the same information?

MR POLLOCK: Correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: You didn't have direct personal information which could support your informers or did you?

MR POLLOCK: Well, it was confirmed by other informers. In other words what would happen is an informer would come to me and say to me there was a meeting, they had underground instructions ...(indistinct) meetings and that. One of them would come to me and say to me that he heard about - he was very notorious, Mishak, he'd heard that Mishak Nlhapo was one of the guys who attacked the hostel and I'd say okay, right, then you'd note that down from one informer. Then you'd meet another informer who would say the same thing. So you'd wait for - in order for information to be positive ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: A bit slower please? Yes?

MR POLLOCK: For information to be positive you'd get sources, you'd get four or five different sources confirming it before it's confirmed as reliable.

CHAIRPERSON: I think the question by Mr du Plessis is whether he personally confirmed from the various sources the information about Mishak.


CHAIRPERSON: You also had different sources?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, I had up to 30 different informers.

CHAIRPERSON: That you handled personally?


CHAIRPERSON: And Mr Wessels also handled his own informers?


CHAIRPERSON: You were able to cross-reference?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, we worked at the same branch.

CHAIRPERSON: Information with Mr Wessels?


MR DU PLESSIS: Now what did you do with this information you obtained?

MR POLLOCK: This information was written down on a top secret document and given to our branch at John Vorster Square and they would selectively take out information that was relevant to other branches or to themselves as well and then distributed accordingly. For example ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: Just tell me, who was your commanding officer at that stage?

MR POLLOCK: Capt. Britz was at that time.

MR DU PLESSIS: And was this information also given to him?


MR DU PLESSIS: So he was aware of it.

MR POLLOCK: Yes. Weekly reports would be given. Every time we had an informer giving us information we would write the report about it.

MR DU PLESSIS: Fine and now after you gave this information to your commanding officer you also sent to John Vorster was that the main branch?


MR DU PLESSIS: And what happened afterwards, did you get any feedback on what had to be done about the situation?

MR POLLOCK: Well obviously we would try - our primary objective would then be to arrest him, preferably with a weapon so that we could be arrested and locked up. That was our primary objective. Secondly he would be, because of the situation that Mishak was in apparently, it would have been a great idea if we could have recruited him as we had recruited other informers. We had information that he was bringing large quantities of weapons through to Ramathlabane, I think it was. One of our informers pointed it out to me. We actually went there and he showed me the routes. So our primary objective would be to arrest him and maybe even use him as an informer himself which had transpired to come.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes and what did happen?

MR POLLOCK: Well, an informer phoned me up as they often did. He was very evasive. An informer phoned me up and said he was at a shebeen and she gave me a full description of what he was wearing and myself and a couple of my colleagues, I can't remember how many we were, we went to the said shebeen and as we arrived then Mishak immediately - he was outside, sitting outside drinking a beer, and as he saw us he immediately got up and ran inside as I got out our bus and I eventually - we went through into the shebeen and I arrested him. I lost sight of him a few times. I wasn't sure whether he had a weapon on him or not, I can't say exactly if that was so but we arrested him and when we arrested him the shebeen, the people at the shebeen, the people who were frequenting the shebeen, got quite aggressive with us and we were forced to take him to the office. Then what happened then was ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: You didn't find any unlawful articles on him like firearms?

MR POLLOCK: No, no I didn't find firearms.

MR DU PLESSIS: So he was taken to the offices and then?

MR POLLOCK: He was taken to the offices and then it was decided that we were going to try and recruit him and because myself and W.O. Wessels had too many informers, we had to spread the load and a Sgt Row spoke with Mishak at length in his office and I was told by Sgt Row that Mishak was willing to work for us as an informer. Mishak subsequently made an appointment with Sgt Row at an undisclosed venue and the normal fee in those days that we used to give recruited informers was R500 and ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: R500 per or once off?

MR POLLOCK: Just as a signing on fee and then he would be paid accordingly as the information came.

MR DU PLESSIS: This is obviously all hearsay, what you got from Row?

MR POLLOCK: No, we were actually involved. Because of Mishak's involvement and notoriety, we weren't sure whether this was a ploy by the ANC underground structures to catch the Security Branch in an operation like that so we had extensive intelligence. The whole branch was involved in surveilling the place where Mishak was going to meet with Sgt. Row.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, what I'm actually after is, were you personally present, were you with these discussions between Row and Mishak?

MR POLLOCK: No, I was next door in my office.

MR DU PLESSIS: So you didn't overhear that, you got a report from Row?

MR POLLOCK: Yes. And then, as I said, we went to this meeting and Sgt. Row handed over R500 to Mishak and we were quite elated because one of the most notorious people in Alexandra was now going to work for us and we were going to get some valuable information from Mishak.

Mishak made contact again. I can't recall if he did pitch up or how many times he did pitch up for a sourcing meeting but at one time he didn't pitch up and it was a bit of concern because he never arrived for the meeting and within the next week or a few days in the Sowetan was a report saying that Mishak had been approached by myself and Capt. Britz and Col. van Huyssteen and an attempt was made to recruit him as an informer.

MR DU PLESSIS: So it turned out that he apparently never had the intention to be an informer for the Security Police and he actually led you into a sort of trap.

MR POLLOCK: It appeared like that, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: And you say that the reports in that regard appeared in the Sowetan Newspaper?


MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, now because of this whole situation, what transpired then?

MR POLLOCK: Well Col. van Huyssteen was a little bit - well, it wasn't very nice reading about this in the Sowetan Newspaper. I think it was at a time when things like this weren't supposed to be happening, where there was an agreement between ourselves, the government and the ANC that no more recruiting would be taking place, etc. etc. So it was an embarrassing situation and I believe there was a ...(intervention)

JUDGE DE JAGER: Just repeat your sentence?

MR DU PLESSIS: Did you say it was an embarrassing situation?

MR POLLOCK: Yes it was.

JUDGE DE JAGER: What was the role of Van Huyssteen? Where did he figure?

MR POLLOCK: He was the overall chap in charge at John Vorster Square. Alexandra was a sub-branch.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Of the Security Police?

MR POLLOCK: Of the Security Police, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: So he was not the head of the unit that was ...(intervention)

MR POLLOCK: No, he wasn't the head, he was a section head. John Vorster Square was split into different sections and Louis van Huyssteen was the section head of the John Vorster Square where we operated under, Alexandra ...(indistinct) branch.

MR DU PLESSIS: So Alexandra fell under John Vorster Square, Van Huyssteen's unit?


JUDGE DE JAGER: You had your own commanding officer, Captain Britz?

MR POLLOCK: That is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: And his immediate superior was then Col. van Huyssteen?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, that's the way it was.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, proceed?

MR POLLOCK: And a meeting was held between Capt. Britz and Col. van Huyssteen, I don't know who else was present and Capt. Britz came back from John Vorster Square after having this meeting and he discussed with us members at Alexandra what transpired at John Vorster Square and it was decided that Mishak, according to Capt. Britz, Mishak must be eliminated. At this point in time also ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: Just before you proceed? So this was a direct instruction from Capt. Britz?


MR DU PLESSIS: After he had meetings with his superiors?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, exactly.

MR DU PLESSIS: So this was not something which just originated at your unit, it came from higher up?

MR POLLOCK: Yes. It wasn't the first time that Col. van Huyssteen had appeared in the newspaper, he'd been in a few times and I think he was embarrassed, he was starting to take a bit of flack about this.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, now the instruction was that Mishak had to be eliminated, is that correct?


MR DU PLESSIS: Now just before we proceed with the particulars of that, now the question obviously will be whether this was something which was a bit of a private operation of a certain branch of the Security Police or whether there was some approval of this kind of conduct from higher up. Can you just fill is into the picture? Did you ever have contact with officers higher than Van Huyssteen in regard to this kind of thing and what the Security Police got involved in even after February 1990?

MR POLLOCK: Oh yes, we had many meetings with General du Toit and other generals, brigadiers ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: Rather mention the names. You said General du Toit

MR POLLOCK: General du Toit, General Erasmus just before that, Brig. Paulus, Col. van Niekerk.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes and what was the general message given through to you regarding the policy of the state security, specifically the Security Police?

MR POLLOCK: Well there was a divide and rule policy, we could do whatever we want - they could do whatever they wanted to limit the negotiating authority of the ANC at that time at Codessa and things like that.

MR DU PLESSIS: Were you actually specifically asked to do it by taking certain actions?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, it wasn't the first time I'd heard things like that. When, for example, for Hein Grosskopf we were asked to eliminate Hein Grosskopf for example.

MR DU PLESSIS: Should you find out where he was?


MR DU PLESSIS: Alright let's then proceed with the specific facts of this incident?

MR POLLOCK: So I was told - there were a few of us at the meeting, Captain Britz and myself and Sgt Row and a few of the other chaps at Alexandra. They decided, they said well, John Vorster Square decided that Mishak must be eliminated. They also had information coming from our informers that Tokyo Sexwale as well had gone to Alexandra because he had also heard about the ill discipline of Mishak and apparently Tokyo had told Mishak, censured him and took away his weapons at that point in time. So they had that information as well. Capt. Britz said alright, we've got to eliminate him. That was discussed that my informer Louis was very close to Mishak and they visited each other very often and it was decided that Louis would attempt to eliminate Mishak.

MR DU PLESSIS: And how was it going to be dealt with?

MR POLLOCK: We had weapons, unlicensed weapons and weapons that the Security Branch and other branches would take off people, from criminals or armed caches and it was decided to give Louis a 357 magnum revolver. Because of the nature of the relationship between the two, our whole branch was involved in an intelligence and counter-intelligence operation so that no one caught us actually giving the weapon to Louis.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes. Now was the firearm in fact handed over to him?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, it was handed over to him and his instructions were to eliminate Mishak. About a week later, I can't remember exactly how long, but sometime after that I received a telephone call from Louis. He told me he was in Tembisa Hospital and that he'd been shot and I went and visited him and he told me that on a certain day, I don't know what day it was, there was - something happened between him and Mishak and he wasn't sure whether it was in fact Mishak, it was somebody else, but when he wanted to eliminate Mishak, he was shot in the leg.

MR DU PLESSIS: If I understand you correctly he couldn't say whether it was in fact Mishak involved in the wounding of himself?

MR POLLOCK: No, he couldn't tell me.

MR DU PLESSIS: And what happened to this whole project, so to call it?

MR POLLOCK: Well, obviously that attempt, or if it was an attempt, had failed. So we were still continuing to look for him. We briefed our informers to let us know exactly where he was in the township and when he was in a position that we could have arrested him. From all the information that we had about him, we were pretty certain that when we did eventually confront him in the right position he'd have weapons with him and he'd put up strong resistance and he would be eliminated that way anyway.

MR DU PLESSIS: But you did not encounter him as it turned out?

MR POLLOCK: No, I never saw him.

MR DU PLESSIS: And what happened to the firearm which was handed over for the elimination?

MR POLLOCK: We eventually got that back from Louis. He handed it back to me and that was given back to Capt. Britz.

MR DU PLESSIS: So in the event in anything, in any way you say that you were not involved with any further actions against Eden Nshlambo?

MR POLLOCK: No, I wasn't involved, I continued to get information, intelligence from informers, but that's as far as it went with him.

MR DU PLESSIS: Fine. So Chairperson, that concludes the evidence in chief regarding the first incident. May I then proceed to deal with the other incident? We are going to deal with the assault on Alexandra Residence?

CHAIRPERSON: I think I will be guided by Mr Koopedi in view of the fact that he is representing victims in both incidents. Mr Koopedi, would you prefer that you cross-examine in relation to each and every incident separately?

MR KOOPEDI: On the contrary, Madame Chair, I would appreciate if he gives his entire evidence and we cross-examine thereafter. I think it will be easier on him.

CHAIRPERSON: You may then proceed, Mr du Plessis.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: I know that, Mr du Plessis, it's five past one which is our usual time to take a lunch adjournment particularly because we have interpreters who must be given a little break because they do a very difficult job. May I suggest that we take a lunch adjournment? Until what time, Ms Patel?

MS PATEL: I'm in your hands, Honourable Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Until 1.45, if that will be to everybody's convenience. Mr Koopedi, you have people with you, will that be sufficient time for you to organise lunch for your clients?

MR KOOPEDI: The time will be sufficient, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We'll reconvene at 1.45.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you.



CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr du Plessis, you may proceed.



Thank you Honourable Chairperson.

Mr Pollock yes, let's then proceed with the second aspect and that is several assaults on residents of Alexandra Township.

CHAIRPERSON: Will that be on page 66?

MR DU PLESSIS: On page 66, Honourable Chairperson.

Now is it correct as it's stated there that unfortunately you do not have any record of the names and identities of the victims?

MR POLLOCK: That is so, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: Could you just give us a brief background then?

JUDGE DE JAGER: Mr du Plessis, it would be difficult, we would have to fix it to say a place or a time period at least.


JUDGE DE JAGER: We can't grant general amnesty sort of, so try and concentrate - narrow the incidents as far as possible.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, thank you Chairperson. Indeed we'll do that as far as possible.

Mr Pollock, you've heard what was said, could you place us in the picture? What time frame are you talking about and what exact incidents?

MR POLLOCK: These assaults would have started from about 1989 to 1992 in the ambit of my duties at Alexandra to really, really give you a month and a specific month I did this to somebody, really it's impossible for me to say.

MR DU PLESSIS: You have mentioned, though, that there were specific dockets opened. Is it all of the instances or only in some of the instances?

MR POLLOCK: Only in some of the instances were dockets opened.

MR DU PLESSIS: But there were specific dockets opened against you?

MR POLLOCK: Yes there were.

MR DU PLESSIS: For these assaults?


MR DU PLESSIS: Now do you have any access to these documents?

MR POLLOCK: No I don't. In fact I would imagine that a lot of those dockets have gone missing.

MR DU PLESSIS: Now what do you mean by that?

MR POLLOCK: Destroyed.


MR POLLOCK: By the people who administered them because most of the dockets that were opened up were, as I have mentioned here in evidence, the person investigating the assaults were accomplices, if I could say that.

MR DU PLESSIS: Now were you specifically named in those dockets?

CHAIRPERSON: If we may just make a follow up? I recall having read, Mr Pollock, in either your original application or supplementary application, that you've mentioned there was interference, deliberate interference, in the prosecution of the criminal charges laid against the Police who committed these assaults by the victims. The Police interfered with those investigations and that people within the criminal justice system, prosecutors also assisted?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, that is so Madame Chairperson. What happened was, when a docket was opened up against a member of the Police Force, it would go to a certain section and there was a retired brigadier, I cannot remember his name, at John Vorster Square, who would take possession of these dockets and then continue investigation. As far as it going to prosecutors, I would imagine quite honestly that that would have happened, I don't that about the prosecutors as such, I wouldn't doubt that at all but as far as this certain brigadier was concerned, when he'd got the docket he'd discuss with us how he would investigate it. For example if I specifically was mentioned and described as the person who assaulted the victim, he would say if I had to be there at that time, he would say right, shave your beard off and he'd give us two weeks or a notice period in which he was going to have an identification parade. Then I would take a colleague's glasses or anybody, I'd wear thick glasses at this identification parade, I'd change my appearance and so would any of the other co-accused and in that manner the victims were very, very rarely able to point us out on an identification parade. Also, he would tell us the date and the times and things like that and our offices would for example sign the leave forms and it's impossible that Gary Pollock assaulted this man because he was on leave that day, or whatever. So in that regard yes, absolutely that took place.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Do you still have the name of this retired brigadier?

MR POLLOCK: I wish I could remember, ma'am, I really can't.

CHAIRPERSON: But was this general practise because when you state that an officer would also complete your leave form?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, it was general practise.

CHAIRPERSON: It was general practise within the Security Police?


CHAIRPERSON: And was this known to senior officers like Mr Britz? Was he aware of this practise?

MR POLLOCK: Definitely.

CHAIRPERSON: And to your knowledge was Col. van Huyssteen aware of this practise?

MR POLLOCK: Definitely.

CHAIRPERSON: And the person who was heading Section C?

MR POLLOCK: Definitely. If I can just elaborate, Capt. Wilkin investigated our arson attack on Barbara Hogan, Capt.

Wilkin was a member of the Security Branch at the same time, on the same floor as Col. van Huyssteen. I think he even reported to Col. van Huyssteen. So how far do you think the investigation went?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, the Barbara Hogan aspect or incident had been already dealt with by another Committee of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, is that correct?

MR POLLOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: And just to make one thing clear is that you cannot specifically say that members of the Department of Justice had been involved, they may have just acted on information contained in the docket and bona fide for instance withdrew the matter?

MR POLLOCK: Yes I think most of these dockets never reached prosecution because i.e. the victim alleges I assaulted him. Firstly, I was on leave. Secondly, the identification took place and no one was able to point me out. So there's not foundation.

MR DU PLESSIS: So the prosecutor wouldn't necessarily enrol the matter because of, we can actually say, the fraud committed previously during the investigation?

MR POLLOCK: Absolutely.

MR DU PLESSIS: This specific unit investigating the matters, if one had to trace that specific brigadier, this was the internal investigation unit of the South African Police at John Vorster Square?

MR POLLOCK: That is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: At the time?


MR DU PLESSIS: So one will only have to go back to that period to see. Was he the commanding officer?

MR POLLOCK: He was the commanding officer, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: But will you say he was retired?

MR POLLOCK: He was retired. He actually had photographs taken of all of us, he had a photo album there.


MR POLLOCK: And he used to also when the victim of ...(indistinct), he told us when a victim would come to him he'd arrange the photographs in such a manner. In other words the guy would say it was a tall, big policeman with a full beard, then he'd arrange my photograph with a beard amongst -on a page or with other policemen or with other people with beards.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, but in anyway the actual question is now, obviously couldn't have been a commanding officer because he was retired?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, he was retired so I don't know if he was a commanding ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: What was his function, just administrative to assist with investigation and identity parades, etc?

MR POLLOCK: Yes. I don't think he was actual commanding officer or not.

MR DU PLESSIS: Now let's just proceed, just refer to the actual assaults. The Committee would obviously have to decide on what basis they could deal with the matter. If you cannot identify specific people and specific dates and incidents, but just try and get the context right here. You say those assaults took place since about 1989, from about '89. Now in what context, why did you assault these people? What did you do?

MR POLLOCK: What would happen is, we'd get information, for example like Mishak was living at a place or an MK insurgent was at a place or an activist, underground structure person was - 14th, 11th Alexandra for example and it would be considered valuable information or positive information, we would do house penetration whereby if it was really hot information, if it was Mishak's house then we would just go in and kick the door down and do a proper house penetration where people would get thrown around, you know, we would imagine that there was weapons and trained people on the premises. So in that we would kick the door down or if the door was open already we would go in, whoever was there you'd grab them and forcibly push him to the ground and put a gun against the head and make sure that the house was safe. So in that kind of operation or instance, yes, more excessive force would have been used. If the person had escaped or the person wasn't there and somebody was sitting there and it was this chap's brother and you needed information between eleven of us, whoever, you know the whole unit, how many people were there, we'd give the guy a few slaps, assault him or threaten him, put a gun against his head and all kinds of things to try and elicit information as to where the weapons are or where this person is that we're seeking. So that was the context in which these assaults happened.

MR POLLOCK: So that was in order to trace, for instance, ANC activists or MK members who you were looking for in order to try and get information about illegal firearms?


MR DU PLESSIS: That happened, however, according to your statement not only before February 1990 but also after that after up to 1992?


MR DU PLESSIS: In that period?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, it was a contentious issue that weapons weren't handed in by the ANC. MK cadres were not instructed to hand weapons in and there was a lot of ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: That was now after the unbanning of the ANC?

MR POLLOCK: That is correct, yes. After I think it was February.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes of 1990.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes after the Pretoria Minute was signed and so there was a flood of weapons in the townships, so one of our major tasks was to recover weapons and that's what we did.

MR DU PLESSIS: So that is now during the general duties which you did in the township regarding the recovery of firearms etc, on investigation these assaults would take place?


MR DU PLESSIS: But you would admit that those who were assaulted, you had no rightful reason to physically attack these people as you did?

MR POLLOCK: Absolutely, I agree with you.

ADV SIGODI: Surely, Mr Pollock, you would know who you targeted in the townships?

MR POLLOCK: Yes we did know. If we had information that a certain person was in a house, we would have positive or good information that he had weapons or not so we treated as such, you know, whether it was a dangerous, volatile situation, so ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: But I think what the Honourable Chairperson means is, do you not have specific names of people you targeted at a specific address?


MR POLLOCK: Oh, it was long ago. Just about all the activists ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS: Can you mention specific names? I think let's start at the people Mr Koopedi is representing except Mr Mishak Nshlapo now, there are names here, Ntuli Pitso and Kunene, the surnames, does it ring a bell?


MR DU PLESSIS: Those two not ring a bell?

MR POLLOCK: No, I don't recognise their faces, I must be honest.

MR DU PLESSIS: Can you mention specific people?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, at one time there were people that were released and replaced under house arrest. Kekane, Paul Mashitili who is the MEC of - those kind of people, I don't know whether in fact they were assaulted but most of the prominent activists and MK people in the township were all targeted, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: But you cannot today, thinking back over the years, mention specific names, addresses and dates of importance?

MR POLLOCK: No I cannot.

MR DU PLESSIS: And you obviously accept that in terms of the Act the Committee may not be able then to grant specific amnesty if you cannot mention a specific incident?

MR POLLOCK: Yes I understand.

MR DU PLESSIS: So ...(intervention)

JUDGE DE JAGER: Did you ever attack people other than activists?

MR POLLOCK: No your Honour, no.

JUDGE DE JAGER: If you rush into a house, how would you know whether this one is an activist or the next one?

MR POLLOCK: Oh yes, no in that context definitely.

CHAIRPERSON: As you have just explained.

MR POLLOCK: Yes, if you went into a house and there was somebody coming out the room you wouldn't know whether he was the one that you were looking for or not. Even if you did know, I mean Lucky Matoti, Paul Mashatila, we knew exactly what he looked like. So I know it's not Paul but you don't know whether he's got a weapon or not so you immediately forcibly bring his body under your control and there were like eight or eleven of us so you've got this guy and you put him down on the ground and your colleagues go into another room and they go into another room and they surround the house, so yes. So people that I didn't know would also possibly have been assaulted, I agree.

CHAIRPERSON: In fact not only would you hold him down you would actually assault him in order to extract information as to the whereabouts of the suspect you were looking for?


CHAIRPERSON: Even though that person might not have been an activist.

MR POLLOCK: What we would do, if it was a family member then we'd say "where's your brother" or you know, in that context yes, we would assault him.

CHAIRPERSON: And there were instances where family members have no interest in politics and you knew that?

MR POLLOCK: Not all the time, Chairperson, not all the time.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that's why I'm saying there were instances where family members were not active in politics at all.


CHAIRPERSON: But then your interest would have been to try and extract information about the whereabouts of the person that you were looking for?


CHAIRPERSON: Notwithstanding the fact that the person was an activist or not and you were not concerned about his political affiliation, you were interested in obtaining the information about the activist you were looking for?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, that's true.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson. Perhaps just to get clarity on this, would you have specific information that a specific person at the house of an activist or where an activist may have been hiding, whether this person had a specific political affiliation or not?

MR POLLOCK: There were instances where it was like that. A lot of the MK especially lived together so by association they were involved.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, well you just took it for granted, you didn't know that the person was an activist or not or whether the person was politically active or not?


MR DU PLESSIS: You went from the premises, you acted from the premises that this person was, per se?


MR DU PLESSIS: And a political activist although you didn't have any specific information to back you up?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, that's true.

MR DU PLESSIS: Would that be correct. So you mentioned a couple of names here and if I understand you correctly, you cannot specifically say that you did assault those people or can you?

MR POLLOCK: No, I can't say that I specifically assaulted those people.

MR DU PLESSIS: So you would have to stand by your evidence that you cannot identify the victims of your assault?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, that's true.

CHAIRPERSON: Is it not true, Mr Pollock, that if you had assaulted Paul Mashatali, he was an extremely prominent member during those days, you certainly would have known if you had assaulted him?

MR POLLOCK: Oh yes, but Madame Chairperson I'd used him as an example.


MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you. I think that concludes your evidence on these incidents. Is there anything else you would like to add in conclusion?

MR POLLOCK: Yes. Firstly I'd like to unconditionally apologise, especially to Mishak sitting over there. I apologise profusely. I wish I could turn the clock back but I can't. What I planned and what was planned to happen to you, I apologise for my part in it. I really, I please ask you to accept my apology and on the same token with Louis, how he was used, a friend of yours, to do that to you, in his absence I apologise. I know exactly how it feels like to be used by people. So I apologise to you and I pray that you will accept my apology.

As well as to those people, these unfortunate people that I cannot recall or remember who I assaulted, I wish it was not so but it was so and all I can say is I deeply regret my actions at that point. I wish in hindsight that it never happened but it did and I can only apologise.

MR DU PLESSIS: Perhaps you can just tell us now with the advantage of hindsight, living in a new and democratic South Africa, what is your view and were your actions really at all times necessary and the way you acted?

MR POLLOCK: I'm actually very encouraged, if I may say something, I'm very encouraged that despite our differences and despite our very sad history that people like Mishak can come forward here and that people like him are so receptive towards this process and in hindsight it's heinous that we were actually enemies like that and I appreciate the fact that they are so willing to accept a hand in apology from myself.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Honourable Chairperson, that concludes the evidence in chief.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr du Plessis. Mr Koopedi, do you wish to put any questions to Mr Pollock?

MR KOOPEDI: Only a few, Madame Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: You may proceed to do so.


Mr Pollock, why was the decision made to kill Mishak? Why the decision to kill him or eliminate him to use your words?

MR POLLOCK: Well the decision was made by my officers, I can only try and understand what their thinking was. Mishak, according to all information that we had, was a very dangerous person and was responsible for very many deaths in Alexandra and because of the fact that he was very elusive. As I said he was purportedly trained as a tactician, he was very, very elusive and it was very hard to pin him down. It was very hard to actually catch him with a weapon and imprison him like that. So I can only say that from that point of view it seemed, I suppose, to them a viable proposition to have him eliminated.

MR KOOPEDI: So you were not present when this decision was made?

MR POLLOCK: Not when the decision was made but the decision was told to me by Capt. Britz and then it was decided on how it would happen.

MR KOOPEDI: I won't ask any further on that part, if you were not present when the decision was made.

CHAIRPERSON: He was acting on instructions from Col. Britz.

MR KOOPEDI: That is indeed so, Chairperson.


MR POLLOCK: Capt. Britz, yes. Col. van Huyssteen and Capt. Britz.

MR KOOPEDI: And is it Capt. Britz who was mentioned in the Sowetan Newspaper?

MR POLLOCK: Yes, Capt. Britz, myself and Col. van Huyssteen I think.

MR KOOPEDI: It is because the impression I got was that the decision to eliminate came about because of this article?


MR KOOPEDI: Not because of the victims' political activities or anything of the sort?

MR POLLOCK: No, I think that was part of it, I think that was the final straw if I could say that, that you know the hassles we had with Mishak and the final straw was the article in the Sowetan.

MR KOOPEDI: Now at a certain stage when you were looking for Mishak and other activists, his house was broken into. Walls were broken, the floors were dug up. Do you know anything about that incident?

MR POLLOCK: No, I tell you we looked for Mishak's house for many, many months. Mishak never slept at the same place twice according to our information. We actually never ever found out where Mishak stayed.

MR KOOPEDI: So you don't know if a house which he stayed in where he had his belongings was broken into and the floors were dug up?

MR POLLOCK: No I don't, I really don't.

MR KOOPEDI: Now when Mishak was arrested, my instructions are he had some money on him and this money he refers to as operational funds. Did you find any money on him when you arrested him at this shebeen?

MR POLLOCK: No, not at all.

MR KOOPEDI: Did you search him?

MR POLLOCK: Yes I searched him for weapons. There was no money on him.

MR KOOPEDI: My instructions are he had an amount in excess of R3000.

MR POLLOCK: Oh no, no.

MR KOOPEDI: Which was money for operations. Your comment on that?

MR POLLOCK: No, not - I searched him and there was definitely no money on him. Definitely not.

MR KOOPEDI: Okay. Maybe then let's stray to the assault on Mishak Nshlapo - not Mishak Nshlapo rather Mishak Gunene. Mishak Gunene is deceased, Chairperson, and since I'm not going to lay evidence, I will whilst I ask questions lay some background. Mishak Gunene is deceased. Now, do you know or can you remember a police officer, a Black police officer by the name of Alex?


MR KOOPEDI: My instructions are you were always in his company and you worked together and did you, Alex and the other police, or your colleagues, use a mini-bus with registration numbers CJJ?

MR POLLOCK: There were three mini-buses and the mini-buses that we used all had false registration numbers on, they were changed constantly, so yes we had a cream Toyota, we had a white Husky and we had a blue Ford bus, but as to the registration number I can't tell you.

CHAIRPERSON: What colour was this mini-bus with the registration number you've put to him?

MR KOOPEDI: My instructions were not that full I must say, Chairperson, I was not given the colour of the mini-bus, I was only told that the numbers were CJJ, not even the other numbers of letters could be recalled.

Mishak Gunene is one of the people who laid an assault charge against you which charge did not go anywhere.

CHAIRPERSON: When was this charge laid, Mr Koopedi?

MR KOOPEDI: This charge was, according to my instructions, laid between 1989 and 1990, early 1990. And you say you do not recall this person?

MR POLLOCK: I don't recall the name, no.

MR KOOPEDI: The name?

MR POLLOCK: It's possible, it's possible but I don't recall the name.

MR KOOPEDI: Now during 1990 and the early parts of 1990, my instructors cannot remember the correct date, Chairperson, there was a welcome rally in Alexandra where Alfred Nzo and other people were welcomed. Were you in Alexandra on that day?

MR POLLOCK: I was at Alexandra in 1990, I can't remember if I was, I probably was present there that day.

MR KOOPEDI: My instructions are that you were present and that Alex was present and on this day Alex shot and killed Mishak Gunene.

MR POLLOCK: Is that the guy who was shot in the eye?

MR KOOPEDI: I believe so, he was shot at.

MR POLLOCK: No, I wasn't there, I wasn't at Alexandra at that time. I think it was earlier than that. I remember there was a whole inquest docket and a whole lot of things happening there. I actually wasn't present at that time.

MR KOOPEDI: So you were not present at that place?

MR POLLOCK: No, I wasn't, no.

MR KOOPEDI: Okay, we'll go to another incident.

MR POLLOCK: But I can, if you'd like further information, you're welcome to ask me because I can remember some things about it.

MR KOOPEDI: Maybe because you were not there it's not proper to take it up in here, we might wish to, you know, take you on your offer outside this hearing.

CHAIRPERSON: We appreciate that attitude Mr Koopedi.

MR KOOPEDI: Thank you, my lady.

Now, one of my clients, Ronnie Pitso, Ronnie Silva Pitso who is present here, says that he was an MK activist, he left the country together with Mishak, Mishak before me and another Rufus. Now my instructions are that you and your other colleagues tortured his mother. From time to time Police would go into her house, harass her, want to know where her son is, if her son made a visit and would assault her at random. I am mindful of the fact that you do not recall your victims but having mentioned the Pitso name, do you recall ever assaulting Ronnie Pitso's mother?

MR POLLOCK: What was his MK name? I worked with MK names more than anything else. Maybe that would help me.

MR KOOPEDI: Chairperson, may I have an indulgence and consult for a second?


MR KOOPEDI: I'm advised his MK name was Norton Mangweng.


MR KOOPEDI: Norton Mangweng.

MR POLLOCK: And where did he stay?

MR KOOPEDI: Alexandra.

MR POLLOCK: Yes, what was his address?

MR KOOPEDI: The address I have now is of East Bank so he definitely didn't stay in East Bank then.

MR POLLOCK: It's possible, I don't recall the name at all, I must be honest. But it is possible, yes. As I described that would happen from time to time.

MR KOOPEDI: You know, my instructions are further that when Ronnie came back from exile, I think a month or so when he arrived his mother had died about a month or so and it is believed that the cause of death was the assaults, you know, and he wanted me to put this question to you that according to him, he has information that you were part of the group that would from time to time harass his mother and his mother then died as a result thereof. Could you give me a comment on that?

MR POLLOCK: As I said the name certainly doesn't ring a bell, that MK name and I can't say that I could remember going consistently going back to somebody's house like that, especially a lady and doing things like that. I really, as I said, most of it happened on the spur of the moment and as it was common practise, the MK people very, very rarely stayed at their houses. So, you know ...

MR KOOPEDI: Okay. Ntali Ntuli. Ntali Ntuli was a UDF activist who was arrested who did not have an MK name because he was UDF, who was arrested by, you know, your group from Alexandra. I'm told that there was a person called Professor in your group. Do you know that person?

MR POLLOCK: No, they used to call us the A Team.

MR KOOPEDI: Yes, I have an A-Team here and I'm told that there was a person called Professor. You might not know that name? I'm also told that there was another one of you guys who was limping. Do you know him?

MR POLLOCK: Limping?

MR KOOPEDI: Yes he had, as he walked he would limp.

MR POLLOCK: No, not from where I worked. This is the Security Branch?



MR KOOPEDI: Or rather he was present when Ntali Ntuli was arrested, so I do not know whether he would have been in the Security Branch. I was hoping I would get names from you of these people. But were you involved in arrests that took place around Bezuidenhout Valley?

MR POLLOCK: No, that would have been John Vorster Square, that's probably why I don't - John Vorster Square would have done that, we were just ostensibly in Alexandra.

MR KOOPEDI: Okay. Well my instructions are that he was arrested at Bezuidenhout Valley but taken to John Vorster, he was then sent back to Alexandra and handed over to Security Branch in Alexandra and he says he was assaulted by Alex in your presence on his ear and you did nothing about it. His ear bled, bled and bled.

CHAIRPERSON: When you say this person was arrested in your presence, are you specifically referring to Mr Pollock as an applicant or are you referring to members of the A-Team?

MR KOOPEDI: I am saying he was assaulted, not arrested.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, assaulted.

MR KOOPEDI: Assaulted in - my instructions are that Mr Pollock was one of ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Pollock was present.

MR KOOPEDI: Not only him but the other members of the A-Team were present when this happened.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but I want to know if he was specifically present?

MR KOOPEDI: Those are my instructions, Chairperson.

MR POLLOCK: It's possible, yes.

MR KOOPEDI: And that he bled through the ear, he even had to be taken through to some doctors to attend to him?

MR POLLOCK: That is possible.

CHAIRPERSON: When was this?

MR KOOPEDI: This happened towards the end of '87, beginning of '88.

MR POLLOCK: I was, in 1987 I was at Intelligence Johannesburg. I got to Alexandra in about '89 so that could have been before I was there.

MR KOOPEDI: I am certain that it is also possible that even my victims could be making mistakes on the dates and on the years, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: It's important that we are precise with regard to dates specifically because the evidence, as is, is that Mr Pollock was involved in many assaults during the period 1989 to 1992 and he doesn't remember the victims. So it would actually help this Committee if you had precise instructions with regard to the period because otherwise it wouldn't take any enquiry further in putting questions about assaults that occurred before 1989.

MR KOOPEDI: I should say, my lady, that I tried my best to get the precise dates knowing that you would need very strong indications as to the incident, the place and the date and the closest I could get to giving you a precise date was, you know, end of '87 beginning '88. That's the closest I could get on this. And Chairperson, I have no further questions for this witness.



MS PATEL: No thank you, Honourable Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Judge de Jager?




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

MR DU PLESSIS: I have no re-examination, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And can we move to oral argument? Can you give your submissions?

MR DU PLESSIS IN ARGUMENT: Yes, thank you Chairperson.

With regard to the first incident ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Can we just indicate that with regard to the first incident we not necessarily hear you.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, thank you Chairperson.

Then I move then to the assaults. It is unfortunately so that Mr Pollock does not have any full particulars regarding the dates, places and identity of the victims except to say that there were approximately ten dockets opened against him. Now unfortunately because of irregularities committed by the South African Police it does not seem as any of those documentation is still available. Therefore we cannot submit the full particulars which would be required in terms of the Act to this Committee.

CHAIRPERSON: And that being the case, do you think this is a matter that we can be in a position to exercise our minds whether amnesty should be granted or refused?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, Honourable Chairperson, if one looks at the Act, Section 21 specifically, I would submit that as far as requirements in 21 (a), (b) and (c) is concerned, the applicant did comply with that. My only submission in this regard would be that should, for instance, the State prosecute the applicant for an assault, a person could be charged with assault on a person unknown to the State. If one takes the case, for instance, of the dog attacks on certain people which were captured on video, if those people for instance could not be found but you had other evidence of an assault, the State would be fully entitled to charge of assault or attempted murder on a person unknown to the State. So in that regard I would say that because that is the situation, if the accused fully disclosed his conduct and the fact that he assaulted various people for instance for whom dockets or which people opened dockets as complaints against the accused, that the accused could be granted amnesty in those terms, that he is granted amnesty for assaults perpetrated against certain people unknown to the Committee, which people did lay charges against the accused, formal charges, because then one would have certainty. For instance, if such a docket would surface at a later stage, one would then be able to say but this falls under the period 1989 - 1992, it was a docket for assault opened against the accused and therefore it must fall under the order made by the Committee. I cannot take it further than that because I respectfully submit that one would have certainty there as to the specific person even if his identity is not known, the fact of the matter is that such person did, according to the accused, open a docket against him and although that docket cannot be traced at the moment, it may surface at a later stage and one would then be able to say this is one of the dockets the applicant referred to in his application for amnesty. But other than that I cannot take it further. If that is not sufficient to the Committee then obviously I understand that blanket amnesty cannot be granted and therefore he would not be entitled to be granted amnesty through this Committee.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, because my impression of the evidence tendered by Mr Pollock is that one, he is unable to be placed in possession of facts that would assist in determining the nature of the victims assaulted. We don't know whether he did the - the persons that were allegedly assaulted were the persons that he has referred to particularly on page 76 of his supplementary application, as persons who would have attacked SAP, that's the South African Police or the IFP. Assaults were committed on a cluster of persons.

MR DU PLESSIS: That is so.

CHAIRPERSON: Various clusters of persons and this would include almost the entire Alexandra community. If you look carefully at the cluster of persons mentioned by Mr Pollock.


CHAIRPERSON: And could definitely amount to a blanket amnesty?

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes that is correct, that is why my argument is only that on this application regarding the assaults on page 66(vii), the Committee would only be able to go as far as to say that he is granted amnesty regarding specific charges laid against him, that is formal charges brought against him by victims unknown to the Committee because my submission is that those people, should those dockets now come forward at a certain stage one would be able to say this is a charge for assault brought against the applicant during a certain period 1989 to 1992, that is within the time frame described, it is a case for assault and it was a formal charge brought against the applicant. So my submission is that those dockets or those instances could be described accurately enough for amnesty to be granted but the rest mentioned, where he cannot give the identify of the person and the time and place of the assault, I there respectfully agree that the Committee would not be able to grant amnesty for those.

JUDGE DE JAGER: So your submission is, it should be limited to the time period 1989 to 1992?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

JUDGE DE JAGER: It should be limited to the area Alexandra and it should be limited to the charges already laid during that period and not a charge laid yesterday or maybe later perhaps?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is indeed so, Honourable Chairperson, that is my request because those can surely be that it is accurately described, when if a person, say for instance, tomorrow goes and lays a charge against him for something which happened during the period 1992, obviously it wouldn't fall under the amnesty granted because that person couldn't be identified and the applicant couldn't describe the address and the incident itself specifically. But those for which formal charges were laid during that period at Alexandra and for the area of Alexandra, if such a docket should be brought to light at any stage then one would be able to say this is one of the instances for which he applied for amnesty for and he made it clear that for all those instances what his political was and what the political objective was.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Pollock mentioned that the dockets had since been lost?

MR DU PLESSIS: Well it disappeared because of the actions of the South African Police, we couldn't trace any of those.

CHAIRPERSON: Were attempts made to locate the dockets?

MR DU PLESSIS: We did enquire but there are no records which could be provided for us and Mr Pollock is not a member of the South African Police any more.


MR DU PLESSIS: So he hasn't got access to any of the ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Was this enquiry with your assistance, Mr du Plessis?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is so, it was.

CHAIRPERSON: And when was this enquiry made?

MR DU PLESSIS: This was during the - I would say it's about, this is a number of years ago, just after the application was done.

CHAIRPERSON: Around 1997/1998?

MR DU PLESSIS: In that region, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And you were informed that they could not locate the dockets?

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct because it should be remembered that this took place in the period '89 to '92. I do not know whether my learned friend who is assisting the Committee could perhaps or did perhaps make any attempts but we were just told that there's no possibility that those could be traced.

CHAIRPERSON: I think this is as far as you can take it?

MR DU PLESSIS: I cannot take it any further than that.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Patel, can you give an indication what kind of notice was served or what attempts were made to advise the victims of Alexandra about Mr Pollock's application?

MS PATEL: Certainly, Honourable Chairperson. Given the vagueness of the information that we had at hand, an ad was placed - I'm just trying to locate a copy of the ad, I believe it was placed in the Sowetan, for any persons who might have been assaulted by Mr Pollock during that relevant period to come forward. It is as a result of that ad that Mr Koopedi's clients in fact came forward and most of those who did come forward, I believe according to my instructions from the office, were members of the Alex Youth League at that time. Do you want a copy of the ad?

CHAIRPERSON: I would appreciate just having sight of the advertisement. When was this advertisement made? When did it appear in the Sowetan?

MS PATEL: It appeared on the 22nd, Honourable Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: 22nd October?

MS PATEL: November.


MS PATEL: Yes. I might just explain that the ad was also placed late because we were also waiting further particulars, more particulars on who the victims might have been at the time. Also in terms of my enquiries with the investigative unit, they indicated that it would be virtually possible to go looking for dockets on people that really we had no idea who we were looking for. I wish also to place on record, our investigative capacity at this stage is also severely limited.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm aware of the limited investigative resources. What I cannot understand is why people were not given a reasonable time to respond to your advert. The advert only appeared in the Sowetan newspaper on the 22nd and the matter was set down for the week of the 27th. Would you submit that a reasonable time period has been afforded to those who wish to respond to your notice, to so respond?

MS PATEL: Well, unfortunately Honourable Chairperson, I can really take the matter no further than this, bearing in mind also that, you know, we're coming to the end of our period of work and people are severely stressed at the office in terms of what we need to finish with and unfortunately I do agree that a greater time period should have been allowed and I can only apologise for this.

JUDGE DE JAGER: Ms Patel, perhaps something in your favour. I don't think anybody would today go back and look at advertisements that appeared on the 22nd. It's probable that that advertisement would have an effect on the 22nd or the 23rd round about but after that it would be an old newspaper and if they haven't read it on the 22nd or the 23rd or say the 24th and if they've read it, I would imagine they would pick up the telephone or whatever and respond at least soon thereafter.

MS PATEL: If I may also just place on record that my personal cell number is also on the ad and I've received no calls from anyone from the time of the placement of the ad to date.

CHAIRPERSON: May I sight of your advertisement?

MS PATEL: Certainly.

CHAIRPERSON: I think we know that we are dealing with persons who live in Alexandra, who most of them do not have telephones in their houses, so it is not something that can be taken quite lightly that if a telephone call has not been made to you on the day of the publication of a newspaper, that would be sufficient indication that persons do not wish to make contact with your office. That place is just riddled with poverty. To make a telephone call which probably can be taken to be an easy thing by other persons and I speak with sufficient knowledge of the situation in Alexandra, making a telephone call can definitely be a very expensive act on the part of the persons who wish to approach your office. I therefore do not think that the fact that persons did not respond within a few days immediately after the ad would be an indication, a sufficient indication, that they do not intend to respond to the advertisement. I'm saying this mindful of the fact that Mr Pollock would not have made an application like this if there were no assaults that he committed to the extent that he has indicated he did. So there must be people who have been affected by these incidents. Some of them might have died, some of them might have left the area to live in other areas but I don't think enough time has been given to enable potential victims to respond to the advertisement. It would have been very useful that in addition to the newspaper advertisement that a radio announcement in the many African languages should have been made. We are aware that many persons in Alexandra are not educated and therefore do not read the Sowetan.

MS PATEL: Unfortunately, Honourable Chairperson, I have already placed the position of the staff and the events that led up to the advertisement. I cannot take it any further than that. Perhaps then it is appropriate that the matter be adjourned to next year and that the endeavours that you have alluded to then be made by the offices in terms of proper ads being placed and we then come back next year? I cannot take it further than this.

CHAIRPERSON: May I see the parties in chambers?



CHAIRPERSON: ...(inaudible) made by Mr du Plessis on behalf of Mr Pollock and having listened to Ms Patel with regard to the notification that was made in terms of Section 19.4 of the Act advising the victims to urgently contact her with a view of being present to this hearing and having noted that the said notification which appeared in the Sowetan only appeared on the 22nd November, it is the view of this Committee that not sufficient notice has been afforded to the victims to indicate the intentions of whether they want to tender any evidence before this Committee or not. It is therefore our decision that we'll adjourn these proceedings sine die in order to enable Ms Patel to make a radio broadcast in the Alexandra community radio station within the course of this week inviting any victims or victim to come forward before the 13th December to indicate whether he or she wishes to adduce any evidence before this panel. The matter is therefore adjourned. Thank you.

MR DU PLESSIS: As the Committee pleases.