that he assaulted the man but not in the way that you say the man was assaulted.

CHAIRPERSON: In other words Mr du Plessis denies having tortured Kondile, the word torture is what we are talking about. Carry on. 

MR BOOYENS: Mr van Rensburg you heard, denied that he ever visited Kondile together with Dirk Coetzee.

MR DANSTER: I did see him.

MR BOOYENS: The Commissioner, the later Commissioner, the Chief of Security, Mr du Plessis says was never there as you allege, General Coetzee.

MR DANSTER: I saw him and I was very sober.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Danster when you made this statement it was 15 years after this incident, is that correct?

MR DANSTER: Correct.

MR BOOYENS: And are you suggesting that you remember all these details? Is it possible that you could be mistaken, that you are confusing this interrogation or some of the incidents in this interrogation with another one?

MR DANSTER: I am not mistaken.

MR BOOYENS: Can you give us as much detail about other interrogations that you were involved in?

MR DANSTER: Is that is what the Commission wants?

MR BOOYENS: The question is, do you think you can, your memory is good enough?

MR DANSTER: Mr Booyens I am going to answer about the statement on record because that is what the Commission requires from me.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Danster just two aspects. You people returned with the police car and to your knowledge Mr Kondile's motor car was never here, is that right?

MR DANSTER: Could you repeat the question please.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Kondile's motor car was never at Jeffrey's Bay, is that correct?

MR BOOYENS: Ja okay, in other words to your knowledge you don't know what his car looked like, is that correct?

MR DANSTER: I have never seen his car, I don't know.

MR BOOYENS: The point is when you brought him down you certainly didn't bring his motor car down with him, you came down with the police car that was sent back the following day.

MR DANSTER: We were using the police car, yes.

MR BOOYENS: Then you have testified before in a court, have you, in your capacity as a policeman?

MR DANSTER: A number of times.

MR BOOYENS: Would I be correct to say without going into details Mr Danster that you have been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty again, not only the previous time with a false driver's licence, but you in fact did time in an offence involving dishonesty.

MR DANSTER: What does that have to do with this case?

MR ROUX: Sorry Mr Chairman for interrupting, I don't think it's hundred percent correct to say it's a dishonesty offence in any event.

CHAIRPERSON: He is not a party to this litigation so he has nothing to gain or lose ion this matter. He might have given false evidence in matters in which he was implicated. He might have been accused in those matters.

MR BOOYENS: No Mr Chairman I am talking about whether he's been convicted of crimes involving elements of dishonesty.

CHAIRPERSON: Put the crime, what is the nature of the crime.

MR BOOYENS: You are in fact in jail at the moment for falsifying currency is that correct?

MR DANSTER: Possession.

MR BOOYENS: Possession of false currency, okay. Did you volunteer your information or were you traced by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and asked to make a statement?

MR DANSTER: (...indistinct)

CHAIRPERSON: We couldn't hear what you said.

MR DANSTER: I gave information before the special investigators came to me.


MR DANSTER: I gave the information to the ANC members.

MR BOOYENS: Thank you Mr Chairman.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: Mr Danster it is correct that in July, August of 1991 you had had three years of experience as a policeman, and you've told us that you did give evidence in court of law. Would it be correct to say you knew very well how important it is that when you make an affidavit concerning an incident that you must be absolutely certain that the events which you sketch in your affidavit is done correctly, would you agree with that? You must be very careful when you make an affidavit?

MR DANSTER: I am listening.

CHAIRPERSON: You agree with that, don't you?


MR VISSER: The person who attested your affidavit on the 18th of July 1996, I can't read his surname here, who is he? I can make out M-U-M-U-G.


MR VISSER: I am indebted to the Commissioners, it's Mr Munigan. Now this person in what language was he conversing with you at the time when you signed this affidavit?

MR DANSTER: He was speaking English but Bolo was also there who was speaking Xhosa.

MR VISSER: Was there a person there by the name of Bolo do you say? Or how do you spell that?


MR VISSER: And was he acting as an interpreter?

MR DANSTER: He would help here and there.

MR VISSER: Would I be correct in assuming that you really didn't need an interpreter, you know English and Afrikaans well enough to look after yourself, or would I be wrong in assuming that?

MR DANSTER: Yes I can speak English.

MR VISSER: And can you read English?


MR VISSER: And I am not certain whether you have been asked this question before but at the risk of a repetition let me ask you this. After the - well perhaps I should ask you this first. Whose handwriting is this document at page 43 and further pages of volume 1, whose handwriting is this? Is this your handwriting or somebody else's?

MR DANSTER: It's Raji's handwriting.

MR VISSER: Did you tell him what information you had and did he sit and write it, is that how it worked, in the hotel?

MR DANSTER: He came and asked me for these details.

MR VISSER: And you gave them to him.

MR DANSTER: And I gave them to him.

MR VISSER: Alright. And he wrote them down as you gave it to him.

MR DANSTER: Yes he was also using a tape recorder.

MR VISSER: And did you thereafter, when he had completed writing it down did you read it for yourself before you signed it?


MR VISSER: Now when you made the affidavit would it be true to say that by that time there had been numerous press reports, news flashes etc in the media, both in the newspapers and on television about Mr Kondile?

MR DANSTER: I don't think that I got this information that I have divulged here from the media.

MR VISSER: I am not suggesting that to you Mr Danster, but we take note of your answer.

Do you agree that there was a lot written in the newspapers about Mr Kondile?

MR DANSTER: Yes there were.

MR VISSER: And having worked with him yourself you must have been very interested in those newspaper reports not so?

MR DANSTER: Not so much.

MR VISSER: Well why the lack of interest? This is a man that you interrogated on instructions of du Plessis who disappeared from the very place where you had last seen him and you knew that du Plessis and Raath must have had something to do with the disappearance. Those are on the facts of your evidence Mr Danster, are you really telling us that you weren't interested in newspaper reports concerning Mr Kondile?

MR DANSTER: I would read them in the newspapers.

MR VISSER: Yes. And now I am going to suggest to you that there is a great probability that what you read in the newspapers influenced your evidence in your affidavit and also here before this Commission, now I am suggesting that to you.

MR DANSTER: Mr Visser ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: You can address your replies to the Chairman.

MR DANSTER: The problem is that you stay in a white location ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Let's just please answer the question. It's been suggested to you that the statement you made is influenced, to some extent, by what you have been reading about Mr Kondile.


CHAIRPERSON: We will take a short adjournment at this stage Mr Visser.

MR VISSER: Well I hope it's shorter ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I am sorry, I am sorry ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: It's not a short adjournment. (Laughter)

CHAIRPERSON: We will adjourn now and resume at two o'clock.





Mr Danster can I take you straight to the event which you described where you went to Bloemfontein to go and collect, as you put it, "a captured terrorist" in your statement, and I want to ask you this. Why was it necessary for four people to travel to Bloemfontein in a sedan motor car to fetch one captured terrorist? ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Surely man Mr Visser, shouldn't the answer be given by the people that organised that rather than him, by his superiors?

MR VISSER: Well Mr Chairman, with respect, this is in dispute. You know what the evidence is. The evidence is that Raath and Greyling went up.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, it wasn't done by him, it wasn't planned by him.

MR VISSER: Well Mr Chairman if you think it's an unfair question I'll leave it.

I want to put it to you Mr Danster ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Who decided who should go to fetch....

MR VISSER: Alright, who decided who should go to fetch Mr Kondile from Bloemfontein?

MR DANSTER: It was Captain du Plessis.

MR VISSER: Do you have any opinion as to why he would have decided that four people should go in a sedan motor car to fetch one person from Bloemfontein?

MR DANSTER: No I don't know.

MR VISSER: Yes, neither do we. We Raath gave evidence, you heard him didn't you?

MR DANSTER: Yes I did.

MR VISSER: What do you say of his evidence that it was himself and Captain Greyling that went to Bloemfontein?

MR DANSTER: That is not true, I have witnesses.

MR VISSER: Who are these witnesses? I didn't hear a translation.

MR DANSTER: Can I give the names to my counsellor?

CHAIRPERSON: No you can it to us, tell the Committee.

MR DANSTER: There are police that I was working with and they knew that I went to Bloemfontein.

MR VISSER: Mr Danster I am not for one single moment suggesting to you that you never went to Bloemfontein. I am suggesting to you that you didn't go to Bloemfontein during July 1981 to fetch Mr Kondile, that is what I am suggesting to you.

MR DANSTER: That is not true.

MR VISSER: Now do you have witnesses that can substantiate the evidence that you went to Bloemfontein in 1981 together with the persons that you mentioned to fetch Mr Kondile?


MR VISSER: Who are they?


MR VISSER: How do you spell that?


MR VISSER: And who is this gentleman or lady, is it a gentleman or lady?

MR DANSTER: It's a gentleman, it's a policeman.

MR VISSER: Where is he at the moment?

MR DANSTER: In Port Elizabeth.

MR VISSER: And how would he know that you went to Bloemfontein to fetch Mr Kondile?

MR DANSTER: The people who were working in my section they know that I went to Bloemfontein to fetch Mr Kondile, they can confirm that. He's not the only one.

MR VISSER: Can I just ask you this. How would he know, was it because you told him so, or how would he know?

Or the other people that you referred to, how would they know?

MR DANSTER: They know that we went to fetch Mr Kondile in Bloemfontein and I was involved in his case.

MR VISSER: Alright we will leave it at that.

CHAIRPERSON: Tell me is there any document or any file at the police station which records the fact that you are leaving the area, you and others are going on a mission for some purpose outside your territory for two days or three days, is there any record of your departure and arrival?

MR DANSTER: I don't know whether they are still there.

MR VISSER: And what kind of document would this be?

MR DANSTER: When you go out to fetch somebody there is a document where you go and fetch this person and a document where you take this person to.

MR VISSER: What do you call, in police circles, what do you call this document? Is it a book, is it a piece of paper, what is it?

MR DANSTER: A person would be booked in a place in a cell register. He would be booked out and in an OB.

MR VISSER: You see that's why I asked you the question, it's clear that you don't understand what the Chairman has asked you. The question here is would there be a register, a book, a piece of paper, a document which will show that on a certain day you, together with du Plessis and Raath and Bezane went to Bloemfontein to go and fetch Mr Kondile, is there such a document that you could refer us to?

MR DANSTER: It is not in my possession, I don't have that document.

MR VISSER: What do you call that document? If you don't know just say so.

MR DANSTER: I don't know.

JUDGE PILLAY: Mr Danster you say that you went to fetch Mr Kondile in a holding cell in Bloemfontein?

MR DANSTER: That is correct.

JUDGE PILLAY: Can you remember whether you signed an Occurrence Book or any type of similar document to indicate that you were the one that was removing him from that holding cell?

MR DANSTER: I don't remember but we went to fetch him. It was myself, Buzane, Raath who went to the police station to fetch him and one black policeman from Bloemfontein.

MR VISSER: The question, and I am not certain whether I missed something which you said, the question is pertinently this. Did you sign in any book or document for Mr Kondile in Bloemfontein, you yourself, personally?

MR DANSTER: No I don't remember.

MR VISSER: And you told members of the Committee that when you received Mr Kondile you placed a balaclava over his head, is that correct?

MR DANSTER: Yes that is correct.

MR VISSER: Is that something which you remember well, or is that something which you might be making a mistake about?

MR DANSTER: I remember that very well.

MR VISSER: If somebody suggested that you placed a bag over his head, would that be incorrect? Page 44 volume 1.

MR DANSTER: We covered his face when we were in town and then when we were on the road we would open or uncover his face.

MR VISSER: You are dodging the question aren't you Mr Danster and you know it? You know it.

MR DANSTER: We covered his face and I was there when that was done.

CHAIRPERSON: The question was, was it done with a balaclava or was there a bag put on his head?

MR DANSTER: It was a sack or a bag.

MR VISSER: Alright, so it seems that your memory does fail you. Alright.

Now you come to Port Elizabeth and you go straight to Mr du Plessis' office, is that correct?

MR DANSTER: We took him out of the car and we put something on his head and we went with him.

MR VISSER: Did you go straight to Mr du Plessis' office or did you go somewhere else before?

MR DANSTER: We went straight to the office.

MR VISSER: And is that office at Sanlam Centre, Headquarters of the Eastern Cape Security Branch?


MR VISSER: Please tell me if I misunderstood your evidence. Was your evidence that Mr du Plessis asked Kondile a few questions and that he then made a telephone call to Jonker, would that be correct?

MR DANSTER: Yes he asked a few questions.

MR VISSER: And he then made a telephone call to Jonker.

MR DANSTER: Yes that is correct.

MR VISSER: And your knowledge of that telephone call is that he arranged with Jonker for Kondile to be detained in Jeffrey's Bay?

MR DANSTER: Yes because Jonker was at Jeffrey's Bay.

MR VISSER: Is it correct Mr Danster that you then told us that you then went home, you were taken home.


MR VISSER: And the next time you saw Mr Kondile was at Jeffrey's Bay and he was already there.

MR DANSTER: Yes that is so.

MR VISSER: Well would you then please explain to me why I read here in your statement, your affidavit at page 44 of Volume 1, it's the middle of the page the last sentence of that paragraph -

"He was questioned and we were instructed to take him to Jeffrey's Bay".

is that a mistake?

MR DANSTER: I did not go to Jeffrey's Bay, we were given instructions but I did not go to Jeffrey's Bay.

MR VISSER: Are you quite sure of that? Let me just make it absolutely clear. There was an instruction given but you did not take Kondile to Jeffrey's Bay, is that what you are saying now?

MR DANSTER: I did not go and detain Kondile in Jeffrey's Bay, he was taken by Raath and Buzane.

MR VISSER: So you would not say to anybody we took him to Jeffrey's Bay, you wouldn't have said that to anybody, because you didn't?

MR DANSTER: I knew that Kondile was going to be detained in Jeffrey's Bay and then there were two policemen who were supposed to take him there and then I went home.

MR VISSER: Yes. Well you see at the top of page 45 I read in your affidavit,

"We took him to Jeffrey's Bay as arranged by du Plessis. Kondile was detained".

Was that correct or is it wrong?

CHAIRPERSON: Could that not mean something else when they talk about "we" they talk about Security Police.

MR VISSER: That's why I asked him the question beforehand.

CHAIRPERSON: Well let's just get to the gravamen of the matter, the real point.

MR DANSTER: I am giving you an honest answer I didn't go.

MR VISSER: Yes, alright. Now you gave us a period of time over which you say you were instructed to take part in the interrogation of Mr Kondile. I don't want to talk about the period of time, I want to ask you, can you tell this Committee with some degree of certainty on how many occasions Mr Kondile was tortured as you explained in your presence by either yourself or anybody else, on how many occasions?

MR DANSTER: It is very difficult for me to tell you how many times because it was a lot of times.

MR VISSER: Alright. Now let me put to you that Mr Raath denies that he ever assaulted Mr Kondile, what do you say about that?

MR DANSTER: He is a liar.

CHAIRPERSON: Let's just get anymore confusion, are you going to use the word "assault" or are you going to use the word "torture"?

MR VISSER: I am using the word "torture" Mr Chairman because that's the vernacular which he used.

CHAIRPERSON: No when you said "assault" that's why I am asking you.

MR VISSER: Did I say "assault"?


MR VISSER: I meant to say "torture" I am terribly sorry. Thank you for pointing that out.


MR VISSER: Let's just perhaps clarify this. You're a policeman Mr Danster. When you assault a person or when you torture a person you could do that by assaulting him, do you agree with me?

CHAIRPERSON: You could, on the other hand you can let him sit without sleeping, that would be ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: That's another form of assault of course.

CHAIRPERSON: Just let's get down to torture.

CHAIRPERSON: The point being made is that Mr Raath will say that he did not torture Kondile, what would you say to that?

MR DANSTER: He lied to this Commission.

MR VISSER: What do you say, how did he exactly how did he torture Kondile, or can't you remember?

MR DANSTER: I do remember. He was part of the people who were there. Everything that was done Raath was part of that.

MR VISSER: But you can't specify to us today what you remember he personally did?

MR DANSTER: I told you in the morning.

MR VISSER: Alright. Now just in regard to the purpose of this torture. I first understood your evidence to mean that Mr Kondile was reticent to give information which would satisfy Mr du Plessis and that's the reason why he was tortured, is that a correct summary of your evidence?


MR VISSER: Now at page 47 of your affidavit, towards the end of the page, two-thirds down, you refer to this, you said -

"He refused to give certain vital information".

have you got that? You see that?

MR DANSTER: Yes I see that.

MR VISSER: But then you go on to say -

"We wanted to turn him as an informer, he (Kondile) would blankly refused"

is what stands here. And then you say -

"When the torture became more severe he started to become slightly more, perhaps more cooperative".

is that correct?

MR DANSTER: Yes that is correct.

MR VISSER: Cooperative, becoming more cooperative, does that mean that he then tended to start agreeing to become an informer is that what you are saying?


MR VISSER: Must we then read this in the sense of cooperative of giving more information?

MR DANSTER: Yes that is so.

MR VISSER: But you see then Mr Danster I have a problem and perhaps you can help me, because you were asked quite clearly by the Chairman at one point in time and my learned friend Mr Booyens as to when the torturing of Mr Kondile ceased, when it stopped, do you remember that?


MR VISSER: And one of the answers was that it stopped after you went up to Umtata - is this being translated?


MR VISSER: And the other was a few days before the other people left with Kondile to Komatipoort, you remember that?

MR DANSTER: Yes I hear you.

MR VISSER: Now the point here is this. It would appear that the evidence or information which could be extracted or gained from Mr Kondile was in fact in the possession of his interrogators by the time they went to Umtata, would you agree with that?

MR DANSTER: Partly, when you interrogate a suspect you don't stop totally.

MR VISSER: Let's - I am sorry, are you finished. Let us just please stick with the question. Do you agree or do you disagree that whatever information Mr Kondile was able to give to the Security police he had given by the time he went to point out the two people in Umtata?

MR DANSTER: He gave us information but when we came back we wanted more details from him.

ADV GCABASHE: If I might interrupt. Were you, Mr Danster, in a position to ascertain when your seniors had had enough information or not, or were you working under instruction?

MR DANSTER: Mr Chairperson you follow instructions when they say that you must stop then you do that.

MR VISSER: But let's not run away from the point, you made it quite clear that the torturing was done to extract information from Mr Kondile to satisfy Mr du Plessis, that's the point here. I am asking you this, you have just disagreed, you said there was still further information that you wanted from him to verify or something like that, is that what you said, after you came back from Umtata?

MR DANSTER: We stopped asking questions from him before he went to Komatipoort when we were told to stop the investigation.

MR VISSER: You are not answering my question.

MR DANSTER: I think I have answered the question honestly.

MR VISSER: Well try again. Was there any information which you know about that Mr Kondile could give after you had taken him to Umtata to point out the people in the bank?


MR VISSER: Now please tell us what that information was?

MR DANSTER: I told you in the morning that Capt du Plessis said that we must go to Komatipoort.

MR VISSER: Mr Danster there is no possibility that you can misunderstand such a simple question. I am putting it to you that you are avoiding answering the question because you don't know what the answer is.

There was nothing to be gained from further interrogating Mr Kondile after that time, in point of fact Mr du Plessis was quite clear in his evidence that Mr Kondile had commenced cooperating and he was working on turning him as an informer at the time.

MR DANSTER: That is not true.

CHAIRPERSON: Alright, just for my information. You get some information as a result of which you take him to accompany you and you go to East London and you go to Umtata. When he is brought back after the incident that took place in Umtata was Mr Kondile questioned further about other matters or was he being questioned again on the same matters on which he had given you information?

MR DANSTER: He was being questioned about the information he had given us and other information.

CHAIRPERSON: Other matters.

MR DANSTER: Yes other matters.

CHAIRPERSON: In other words matters not concerning the people in Umtata, but some other activity.

MR DANSTER: Yes that is correct.

ADV DE JAGER: Did he give any information about other activities?

MR DANSTER: He gave us a lot of details and a lot of information.

ADV DE JAGER: Right, now the other activities after Umtata which he gave you a lot of details and a lot of information, can you convey to us what the details and the information was?

MR DANSTER: They were written down in documents, everything, the names and the people they were written down in documents.

ADV DE JAGER: Now can you give me the names that were written or one of the names that were written down or any other information that's been written down?

MR DANSTER: Do you want me to give you names Mr Chairperson?

ADV DE JAGER: Well you said he wrote down names and he gave you information, now how many names can you remember did he give? The names after Umtata when you said you further interrogated him and he gave you details and further names, I want to know the further names and the further details he's given you after Umtata.

MR DANSTER: He gave us details but I don't remember now, but he did give us some details.

ADV DE JAGER: And the names?

MR DANSTER: He also gave us names.

ADV DE JAGER: Well can you remember the names?

MR DANSTER: It is very difficult for me to remember these names after so many years.

ADV DE JAGER: Thank you.

ADV GCABASHE: As a result of the interrogation after the Umtata trip were there any other pointings out you might remember, this is really what the Committee and Counsel is trying to solicit from you, is there any one incident to give us an example that might come to mind?

MR DANSTER: We did not go with him after the Umtata incident.

MR VISSER: Yes. Is it fair to say that you can't tell us today of any action taken by the Security Police based on any information received from Mr Kondile after he had been taken to Umtata?

MR DANSTER: Please repeat your question.

MR VISSER: No action by the Security police was taken, that you can remember today based upon information given by Mr Kondile after you had come back from Umtata.

MR DANSTER: I don't remember.

MR VISSER: And lastly on this point Mr Danster let me put it to you. Isn't it true to say that the fact that Mr Kondile had taken the Security police to Umtata and pointed out the two gentlemen who worked in the bank is the living proof of the fact that he was cooperating.

MR DANSTER: I don't actually follow you.

MR VISSER: Mr Kondile was cooperating by the time you went to Umtata, there was no reason to torture him at all I am putting it to you.

MR DANSTER: It was the method of the day to get information.

CHAIRPERSON: You see it's being put by counsel the fact that he gave you details, went with you to Umtata, pointed out people, isn't that proof that he was cooperating with the police?

MR DANSTER: He did give us some information, that is proof.

CHAIRPERSON: No, no, he didn't only just give you information, he went there and he pointed out people as well, isn't that so?

MR DANSTER: He gave us information and he told us where these people were and he gave us names.

CHAIRPERSON: Alright. Now that was proof that he was cooperating with the police.

MR DANSTER: If you put it that way because we forced information out of him.

MR VISSER: ...ask you. You referred on more than one occasion in your affidavit to the torturing, or the alleged torturing of Mr Kondile as a severe torture, do you remember that?


MR VISSER: Well you told us today that one of the things that was used was a torture machine.

MR DANSTER: That is so.

MR VISSER: And you described it to us, didn't you, it's a telephone apparatus with two wires.


MR VISSER: And is that machine generally known in Security police circles as a "torture machine"?

MR DANSTER: That is correct.

MR VISSER: You don't know of any other way in which one refers to that machine, do you?

MR DANSTER: "Spook".

MR VISSER: Did this torturing leave any marks, any wounds on the body of Mr Kondile?


MR VISSER: And to what would you ascribe that, one, the torture machine produced electric shocks if I understand you correctly, and you used a tube. That wouldn't necessarily leave marks, is that what you are saying?

MR DANSTER: Yes I say that.

MR VISSER: Now apart from that you also alleged in your statement and eventually in your evidence-in-chief today that Mr Kondile was deprived of sleep.

MR DANSTER: Yes I did say that.

MR VISSER: Okay. Apart from those methods was there any other method of torturing used on Mr Kondile that you observed or that you actually yourself applied?

MR DANSTER: It's only the one I have mentioned.

MR VISSER: I am sorry I don't follow you, which is the one you are referring to now?

MR DANSTER: The ones that you have just asked me about.

MR VISSER: Okay, that makes it clear. Can we go to - well just before I do that. Mr Kondile, according to your evidence if it is to be believed is basically tortured, severely, for something in the region of six weeks, is that correct?

MR DANSTER: Yes like I have said.

MR VISSER: And you say there was absolutely no sign that the torturing was affecting him adversely so that people who saw him would observe it?

CHAIRPERSON: Unless he was undressed perhaps.

MR VISSER: Well Mr Chairman may the witness answer this question with respect I think it's a fair question and you know what the background is to form the question.

Are you saying that you ...(intervention)

MR DANSTER: We were not using stones, sticks so that there could be marks on his body.

MR VISSER: Yes. He didn't start acting strangely, peculiarly because of this torturing, did he, that you could see?

MR DANSTER: He would feel pain and the body would be stiff because of that.

MR VISSER: Yes. Let me ask you this again. You didn't observe a behavioural pattern change in Mr Kondile during the six weeks that you speak about, did you?

MR DANSTER: A behaviour like what?

ADV DE JAGER: Was Mr Kondile an intelligent person?


ADV DE JAGER: Did he remain an intelligent person?


ADV DE JAGER: Up to the end when they took him away?


MR VISSER: Thank you Mr Commissioner. Let's move on to something else. You said as a security policeman you are obliged to follow orders?

MR DANSTER: That is correct.

MR VISSER: Mr du Plessis gave you an order, according to you, not to beat, kick or bang him against a wall.


MR VISSER: Why would Mr du Plessis have found it necessary to be so specific when he gave you that instruction, do you think?

MR DANSTER: I don't know.

MR VISSER: Oh come on Mr Danster. On this instruction you could have taken a lead pipe and hit him over the head couldn't you, because that wouldn't have been covered in this instruction? Do you agree with me?

MR DANSTER: I was given instructions not to beat him. I did not do that because I obeyed the instructions.

MR VISSER: You are a policeman Mr Danster, you know what is involved when you speak about assault. Now Mr du Plessis gave evidence to say that he told you all not to assault the man, isn't that what he said?

MR DANSTER: He told us that he did not want another Biko case, we must not assault this person.

MR VISSER: Yes. And apart from your fixation with the Biko case, he did tell you not to assault him, that's the point. You just agreed to that.

MR DANSTER: He told us not to injure him, but he had given us instructions to torture him.

MR VISSER: You see that's exactly the point, that's what I don't understand. Here is a man who says to you, don't assault this person and then he tells you how to extract information out of a terrorist by using these gruesome methods which you have described here to us, now how does that tally?

ADV DE JAGER: The latter method would it leave marks?

MR DANSTER: Mr Chairman there were a lot of people here in South Africa who were being investigated by the police. I can just mention three names. They can come here and tell you how we got information from them. I can just mention three names so that they can come forward to tell you how the information was extracted from them.

CHAIRPERSON: No I don't think that we want to know that. I don't think Mr Visser wants to know the names of the people. And Mr Visser what is the purpose of your question, is the word "kick and beat and bang against" are you saying that those words ...(indistinct) verba were used by Mr du Plessis or did he merely say don't assault? You know if that is the distinction which you are drawing in your mind then perhaps it's a matter of words.

MR VISSER: Yes Mr Chairman except ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I think the instructions were, whatever you do don't leave any marks on this man's body.

MR VISSER: Yes, yes, indeed Mr Chairman and there may be a thin line but I have difficulty and I will argue this at the end of the day with a witness who is a policeman who comes to you and tells you that there are methods of torture being used but they are not assaults, but I will leave that for later.

Can I come to a visit by, what did you call them, terrorist unit from Pretoria, is that what you called them? Yes a terrorist squad coming from Pretoria. You remember you gave evidence about that?

MR DANSTER: Yes I do remember.

CHAIRPERSON: I think it was anti-terrorism.

MR VISSER: Pardon.

CHAIRPERSON: Anti-terrorist.

MR VISSER: Thank you Mr Chairman. Now my learned friend Mr Booyens has traversed this and I am not going to do it again.


MR VISSER: But - (laughter) - but I want to put this, something on a different angle to you, you see the point here that Mr Booyens was trying to put to you is that you knew Mr van Rensburg very well at that time, didn't you?

MR DANSTER: Yes I knew him.

MR VISSER: And if you read, I am putting it to you, page 58, my learned friend stopped just before the second last sentence. Now I want to read the last sentence to you. This is after, according to you -

"Mr Dirk Coetzee spoke in the room to somebody".

we'll come to that in a moment. You say -

"They, the strangers, then left".

who are you referring to there?

MR DANSTER: I am referring to the second in command and Dirk Coetzee. Dirk Coetzee was a stranger to me, I did not know him.

MR VISSER: And who is the second in command that you are talking about?

MR DANSTER: Mr van Rensburg.

MR VISSER: Okay. I am asking you again, you say "they, the strangers, then left" who are you referring to now?

MR DANSTER: It's Mr Coetzee and Mr van Rensburg, I was referring to them.

MR VISSER: Alright. You then stated that Mr Kondile was handcuffed to a bed at that time and you said, on a question of Mr de Jager that he wasn't asked, or nobody was asked whether everything was alright, I understand that. What I want to ask you is, at the time you say it was just after a severe round of torture, do you remember that?

MR DANSTER: We tortured him before these men arrived.

MR VISSER: Yes. A very simple question, there were no marks on him, there was no sign of any torture on Mr Kondile at the time when Mr Coetzee was there, or was there?

MR DANSTER: There were no marks.

MR VISSER: Alright. Now please will you decide. When Mr Coetzee came into the room where Mr Kondile was, please decide now, to how many people did Coetzee speak in the room, was it two or three, in either case who were they?

MR DANSTER: There were three officers there, no there were two officers there. It was Mr van Rensburg and Mr du Plessis.

MR VISSER: The one stranger.

MR DANSTER: I knew those two.

MR VISSER: Okay. Mr Raath has denied in his evidence here before this Committee what you have suggested at page 49 that he came and bragged about having disposed of Mr Kondile, you heard him?

MR DANSTER: Yes I heard him.

MR VISSER: And may I assume that you differ from him in that evidence?

MR DANSTER: That's correct.

MR VISSER: Now as a policeman of three years standing in 1981 is it fair to assume that you would know who the Commissioner of the South African Police was?

MR DANSTER: At that time it was Mike Geldenhuys.

MR VISSER: Mike Geldenhuys. So when you said at page 49 of your affidavit,

"I would like to add that Johan Coetzee, Commissioner of Police, came down to Jeffrey's Bay...."

what did you mean by that?

MR DANSTER: He became a Commissioner after that, but at the time he was the boss of the Security Police.

MR VISSER: Yes, and that is of course evidence which you heard here in this case, in this application, isn't that so?

MR DANSTER: Then he was the boss of the security police and the Commissioner was Mike Geldenhuys.

MR VISSER: So are you now saying that what is written here is wrong, General Johan Coetzee was not the Commissioner of Police, in 1981?

MR DANSTER: He was the boss of the Security police.

MR VISSER: Mr Danster we would really go much quicker if you would just answer the question. Are you now saying that General Johan Coetzee was not the Commissioner of the South African Police in 1981?

MR DANSTER: I remember he was a general, he was the chief of the Security department.

CHAIRPERSON: I think the statement it was written at the time when he was Commissioner and the man who wrote it wrote it this way, isn't it a possibility?

MR VISSER: With great respect just read on, just read on. Well you see I want to put it to you, that that just isn't true, the horse won't run and I will tell you why not. Because a little later on you say General Coetzee was wearing a brown lumber jacket and later du Plessis said that "even the Commissioner is taking an interest in the matter". So what you are saying now can't be correct.

MR DANSTER: Maybe it's a misinterpretation but General Johan Coetzee was the chief of the security police at that time.

MR VISSER: Yes, I want to put it to you that there was no such visit by General Johan Coetzee as the one that you have given evidence to.

MR DANSTER: You are saying that.

MR VISSER: Yes. I am also putting it to you that there was no such visit of Dirk Coetzee as the one that you are referring to.

MR DANSTER: Dirk Coetzee did visit.

MR VISSER: And may I then ask you this. You know the police cells at Jeffrey's Bay, and perhaps you could be of assistance to the Committee, how many cells are there at Jeffrey's Bay police station?

MR DANSTER: I won't be able to tell you how many cells are there.

MR VISSER: Alright, can we work on approximately six?

MR DANSTER: That depends on you, but I cannot be able to tell you how many.

MR VISSER: Are there single cells or can't you tell that either?

MR DANSTER: You mean where there's only one prisoner kept ...(intervention)

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

MR DANSTER: Because you can keep a prisoner in one cell, one prisoner in one cell.

MR VISSER: Yes, yes, yes, thank you for pointing that out, of course in logic you're absolutely correct. Let me ask the question a different way. Were you one of the people who took Kondile to his cell on occasion after you had interrogated him during the day?


MR VISSER: Was he locked up with other people in the same cell?


MR VISSER: There's a passage in front of the cells, isn't that correct?

MR DANSTER: Yes that is correct.

MR VISSER: And wherever you are in a cell if you raised your voice you could be heard by detainees in other cells, prisoners in other cells, if you shouted for example. Do you agree with that?

MR DANSTER: That may happen.

MR VISSER: Yes. So in other words would you agree with the statement that on your evidence Mr Kondile would have been able to communicate with other prisoners during the night when he was locked up in his cell?

MR DANSTER: I cannot dispute that.

MR VISSER: You told us about three officers or more that came from East London to interrogate Mr Kondile, do you remember that?

MR DANSTER: Yes I remember that.

MR VISSER: In relation to the pointing out, the date of the pointing out at Umtata, was that prior to that or on that day or later than that?

MR DANSTER: It happened before that.

MR VISSER: Right. Did Mr Kondile complain to you about being ill-treated by those gentlemen?


MR VISSER: Mr Chairman would you allow me a short moment to go through my notes to see whether I might not have left something out?


MR VISSER: Yes, you signed your affidavit, I think on the 18th of July 1996, if I remember correctly. Let me just check. On the 18th of July 1996. At the time you told whoever, or you were prepared to tell whoever that you participated in the severe torturing of Mr Kondile, we know that. My question to you is, seeing that you didn't apply for amnesty or did you? Did you apply for amnesty in regard to this severe assault on Mr Kondile?


MR VISSER: What then did you hope to gain by making this affidavit, or did you just do it merely because you were asked?

MR DANSTER: Please repeat your question, I don't follow it.

MR VISSER: What did you hope to gain by making this affidavit and saying what you said in this affidavit?

MR DANSTER: I was not hoping to gain anything.

MR VISSER: Please tell me then did you go straight to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to make this affidavit or did you first go, as you put it, to the ANC?

MR DANSTER: This was discussed and then I was told that people were going to come to me and take a statement.

MR VISSER: Please just answer the question. Did you first speak to the TRC or to the ANC?

CHAIRPERSON: I think the answer is that he first discussed it and they told him that the TRC would come and take a statement from him.

MR VISSER: Well may I then establish who he discussed it with Mr Chairman?

CHAIRPERSON: I think he's mentioned the ANC.

MR VISSER: I just want to be fair to him Mr Chairman. Did you first discuss it with the ANC?


MR VISSER: Thank you. Why didn't you go straight to the TRC?

MR DANSTER: I was approached by the ANC and they asked me about the events that happened.

MR VISSER: And were you made any promises or given any undertakings?


MR VISSER: Well then can you please tell this Committee why you didn't consider making application for amnesty for the severe torturing in which you participated? ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Tell me is it relevant? There are lots of other people who have committed crimes who haven't applied.

MR VISSER: Well Mr Chairman they are not in the witness box.

CHAIRPERSON: I think you should just confine yourself to the real issues, please.

MR VISSER: Yes. Well I believe we are finished with the real issues Mr Chairman. We have no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Well that's good, I am glad. We know each other and we ought not to take up your time and my time.

MR VISSER: Ja Mr Chairman I won't ask unnecessary questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes thanks very much. Mr Jansen are there any questions you want to put to this witness?

MR JANSEN: I have no questions Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Valus is there any re-examination you have of your witness?

MR ROUX: No re-examination Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Mr Danster I just want to put one question to you. When General Coetzee, the later Commissioner and then the head of Security came down and saw Kondile, I understand he in fact saw him, according to your evidence, is that correct or did he only walk past and didn't pay attention to Kondile?

MR DANSTER: He saw him because he was tied up and sitting down.

ADV DE JAGER: Did he speak to him?

MR DANSTER: No he didn't speak to him.

ADV DE JAGER: He didn't ask him a question?

MR DANSTER: No he didn't speak to him.

ADV DE JAGER: Thank you.

ADV GCABASHE: Okay, and just for clarity. So you would collect Sizwe Kondile from the cells whenever you wanted to, take him to the interrogation room, interrogate him and take him back, was that the basic process?

MR DANSTER: Yes that is correct.

Before I sit down I would like to speak to the family if I am given permission to do so.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct)


CHAIRPERSON: You are not calling any other witnesses?

MR ROUX: No Mr Chairman.



CHAIRPERSON: The Committee has considered the matter of whether it is necessary for us to hear Mr Dirk Coetzee. We have come to the conclusion that we do not propose to call him to give evidence before us.

MR BOOYENS: Thank you Mr Chairman. So I take it we are all going home soon.


MR MOOSA: Mr Chairman it's me speaking. I have taken instructions in the event of the Committee making that ruling and you will realise that the family of Sizwe Kondile, the family, is opposing the amnesty application of Mr Dirk Coetzee. The basis of that opposition lies in the political motive and the proportionality element.

In the circumstances, however, in order to reach the truth, which is an element of full disclosure, we would like to call Mr Coetzee to give evidence before this Committee.

ADV DE JAGER: Speaking for myself there is really a conflict of interest then, you are calling him as your witness but you are opposing his application.

MR MOOSA: Mr Chairman I have considered that very carefully, that is why this was not an application made except in these rather unusual circumstances. The overriding thing, however, is not really a court of law, and the overall rights which the TRC gives is to arrive at the truth, the right to know the truth and the duty of the State to let the victims know the truth, and we have before us different versions. We are not vouchsafing the version of Mr Coetzee in any way, but we want to be able to plum into the truth, we want that version to be tested under cross-examination so that we can finally arrive at what is the truth in the matter.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Vusa, Mr Coetzee gave evidence, you were present there, you cross-examined him.

MR MOOSA: Absolutely Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: Is that true?

MR MOOSA: Absolutely.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes I think that for the purpose of our decision in that matter we do not want to call Mr Coetzee.

MR MOOSA: I am talking about the decision in this matter Mr Chairman. What I am really proposing is that everything needs to be put into the pot in order to arrive at the truth to satisfy the element of full disclosure and then the decision in both matters need to be made. We cannot artificially separate the two matters.

CHAIRPERSON: You are talking about full disclosure being made by the applicants?

MR MOOSA: Full disclosure by the applicants, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Well now, so what is the purpose of calling Mr Coetzee?

MR MOOSA: Mr Coetzee's version on various aspects throws a different light on the versions of these applicants.

CHAIRPERSON: That has been put to them.

MR MOOSA: It has certainly been put to them but they have not had the opportunity to cross-examine and we haven't had the version of Mr Coetzee tested. So it's not all the evidence we could possibly have to arrive at the truth.

CHAIRPERSON: No, no, I would like to be clear on this Mr Moosa. You are saying that Mr Coetzee has not been cross-examined by them, is that your complaint?

MR MOOSA: That's right.

CHAIRPERSON: It isn't that you want to cross-examine him?

MR MOOSA: It isn't.


MR MOOSA: It is, of course, that we want to arrive at the truth and we want to have all the evidence put before the world that we could glean about the circumstances of the assassination of Sizwe Kondile.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. In other words you have questions to put to Mr Coetzee?

MR MOOSA: Sorry Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: You have questions to put to Mr Coetzee?

MR MOOSA: That may be so. I really think the people who do have questions to put would be the applicants. What we as the family have is a situation where we don't really know what happened in those circumstances, but we would like to arrive at the truth. We have waited some 16 years for that.

CHAIRPERSON: Well you know to say we all want to arrive at the truth and so on I can understand the meaning of those words, your clients have read the evidence of Mr Coetzee in the previous proceedings, you were present as well ...(intervention)

MR MOOSA: And I cross-examined him.



CHAIRPERSON: Now I don't want to go around calling witnesses for the sake of calling witnesses, do you understand?

MR MOOSA: I understand.

CHAIRPERSON: And I don't want to prolong proceedings unnecessarily as well. Unless some very compelling reason is there we feel that we don't want to hear Mr Coetzee in respect of our decision in his application on this incident.

MR MOOSA: I am of course asking to call him as a witness in rather unusual circumstances and the submission is as follows. I will put it to you so that you may consider it as a Committee. That Mr Coetzee throws light on seeing a car in Jeffrey's Bay. He talks about an actual discussion with Mr van Rensburg who is an applicant here. He helps us in fixing a date because of the incident with the Audi. There is mention of both Ermelo and the car being found in Swaziland which has been hinted at by his counsel. And there is the fact that he was present at Komatipoort where there were other policemen present, which is denied by the present applicants.

The truth also is that on the last occasion this matter was adjourned by the Committee on Amnesty precisely so that we could have a situation where Mr Coetzee is present and available to give evidence, through the fault of the TRC I was not present on that occasion, but as it happens that is why this matter could in fact have been largely finished last year, or if we were still to hear Mr Coetzee it would have been finished now. It's certainly no fault of the family.

We are opposing the application of Mr Coetzee as these applicants, but the overriding thing we want to know is the right to the truth. I may refer the Committee to an article by Juan Mendez, Accountability for Past Abusers, which appears in the Human Rights Quarterly in May 1997 and which talks about burgeoning international law rights and the overriding right to investigate, prosecute, punish the perpetrators but importantly to disclose to the victims, their families and society all that can be reliably established about the events and also corresponding right on the part of the victims which is a right to know the truth, and that's the basis of this application.

CHAIRPERSON: The Committee will take a short adjournment.



CHAIRPERSON: The Committee has considered the request made by Mr Moosa that Mr Dirk Coetzee be made available for questions that counsel may wish to put to him in connection with the application that we are concerned with just now. Mr Coetzee you are requested to answer such questions as may be put to you by counsel who are appearing in this matter.

MR COETZEE: I understand Mr Chairman.

DIRK COETZEE: (sworn states)


EXAMINATION BY MR MOOSA: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Coetzee you are aware that the family of the late Sizwe Kondile is opposing the application for amnesty that you have made?

MR COETZEE: I am Mr Chairman.

MR MOOSA: And you have in fact given evidence in your application during November of 1996, is that right?

MR COETZEE: That is correct, Mr Chairman.

MR MOOSA: You had told us at the time about how you came to know about Sizwe Kondile's detention, could you enlighten us again about your visit to Jeffrey's Bay, how did you get to Jeffrey's Bay?

MR COETZEE: Mr Chairman an Audi vehicle was stolen by myself and my colleagues on behalf of Mr van Rensburg, some activist's Audi and taken to Jeffrey's Bay eventually.

MR MOOSA: Is there a date that has been fixed around when the Audi vehicle was stolen Mr Coetzee?

MR COETZEE: Mr Chairman according to documents submitted at the Harms Commission it was the 13th of September 1981.

CHAIRPERSON: And is that your recollection as well or are you ...(intervention)

MR COETZEE: No not at all.

CHAIRPERSON: rely entirely on what was said in the documents.

MR COETZEE: Entirely what was said in the documents Mr Chairman.

MR MOOSA: You told us about a discussion you had with Mr van Rensburg, could you tell us about that again?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman. After parking the Audi in Jeffrey's Bay police garages another garage door was opened where a Datsun vehicle was parked, a Stanza. We then entered the police station building behind the charge office to a white single quarters. It was only as far as I can remember Mr Nick van Rensburg and myself that entered the building, where at the end of the passage there was a single quarter room, and when the door was opened there were two persons, black persons, sitting on a - each one on a bed. The one handcuffed to the bed, who later became known to me as Sizwe Kondile. Mr van Rensburg just enquired whether everything was well, and we left. It took a few seconds, if it was a minute it would have been long.

MR MOOSA: There was mention about a second Biko case in your evidence previously, could you tell us about that?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman. According to Mr van Rensburg this person, this detainee, Sizwe Kondile, dived through a window with his hands handcuffed behind his back was being interrogated to escape from his interrogators and landed on his head. His behaviour apparently became peculiar and it was decided that a plan should be made with him before they sit with a second Biko case.

JUDGE PILLAY: Is that what was told to you?

MR MOOSA: That's correct, by Mr van Rensburg.


MR COETZEE: By Mr van Rensburg Mr Chairman.

MR MOOSA: For clarity's sake, when you talk about a plan being made with him, what do you mean?

MR COETZEE: Well "a plan being made" in our language means "killing", he'll have to be eliminated.

MR MOOSA: At that stage were you to play any part in the killing?

MR COETZEE: Yes Mr Chairman it was specifically discussed that night that Mr Kondile will be brought up to the area of Komatipoort and that his car will be taken through to Swaziland and parked in front of the Holiday Inn for it to give the impression that he has fled the country and left for exile. After which we would have dealt with the body in no other way than by giving him knock-out drops that I would have obtained from General Neethling, and after which he will be shot and put on a pyre of tyre and wood and burnt to ashes.

MR MOOSA: So what you are saying is the whole plan was laid out there, it was done between you, Mr van Rensburg, and was anyone else present?

MR COETZEE: No it was only between myself and Mr van Rensburg.

MR MOOSA: And was a date, plus/minus, that was set for these events to occur?

MR COETZEE: No the agreement was that he would contact me up-front and let me know of a date.

MR MOOSA: You mentioned a car of Mr Kondile, would you tell us about that, where was the car at the time?

MR COETZEE: It was parked in one of the police garages in Jeffrey's Bay, and I said it was a two door Stanza and I said I think the colour to be light green or light blue, but it later proved to be yellow I believe.

MR MOOSA: Were you contacted about the Komatipoort expedition that was arranged in detail?

MR COETZEE: The first time I was contacted again was by Brigadier Schoon when he instructed me to pick up the drops from Lothar Neethling and proceed to Komatipoort and team up with Archie Flemington, Major Archie Flemington, the then branch commander of Lebombo or Komatipoort then Security Branch, where Mr Nick van Rensburg would join us.

MR MOOSA: Could you tell us who else was present at Komatipoort, let's divide it into first people from the Eastern Cape besides Mr van Rensburg whom you've mentioned?

MR COETZEE: The first to arrive there was myself and one of my staff members, then W/O Paul van Dyk from Pretoria. Major Archie Flemington joined us with two of his men and later on towards late afternoon Mr van Rensburg, Mr Herman du Plessis and Mr Jan Raath, together with Kondile arrived and Kondile had a balaclava on and was handcuffed.

MR MOOSA: You had already arranged for the body of Kondile to be burnt, not so?

MR COETZEE: That was discussed at the time when the car was stolen, that's correct, how the body would be disposed of.

MR MOOSA: And the wood and tyres and so that were brought, tell us how that happened?

MR COETZEE: That was - the wood and tyres was carried or driven to the scene by the two non-commissioned officers of Major Archie Flemington with a 4X4 vehicle which belonged to Security Police at Komatipoort Security branch.

MR MOOSA: There has been mention of a Sergeant Otto who did the shooting, have you any comment on that?

MR COETZEE: I have lately, after the allegations, seen a photo of Roy Otto. I have never met him in my life and he was a hundred percent not for sure, not the person who pulled the trigger. I have never met him in my life and he wasn't present.

MR MOOSA: For the record could you describe the person we all know that you didn't have a name for that person?

MR COETZEE: A slender, tallish, light hair, built person which was a sergeant or a warrant officer.

MR MOOSA: Could you perhaps help us to fix a date of this event, of the assassination of Sizwe Kondile?

MR COETZEE: I can't be specific but on evidence coming out in the Lothar Neethling trial and at the Harms Commission it would have been late October, beginning November, the first week in November.

MR MOOSA: And when the gun was used to shoot Mr Kondile was there a silencer or was there not?

MR COETZEE: It was a Russian made Makarov pistol which belonged to Major Archie Flemington with a silencer on. The same gun which was used to kill Peter and Vusi some weeks earlier.

MR MOOSA: You have previously stated that it was actually taken from Major Archie Flemington and then used, is that right?

MR COETZEE: That is correct, by this junior officer of his.

MR MOOSA: Tell us whether you heard anything else about this plan to leave the car at the Swaziland Holiday Inn after the event or perhaps on that day.

MR COETZEE: Yes, it was originally discussed that I would have taken care of the car too, but on arrival Mr van Rensburg confirmed that the job has been attended to by Lt Chris Deetlefs and Sgt Chris Rorich of Ermelo Security branch.

MR MOOSA: Your counsel has mentioned something about a stop-over on the part of the Eastern Cape policemen in Ermelo do you know anything about that?

MR COETZEE: It wasn't specifically mentioned how long they stayed but it was obviously that they did stop over, for how long I can't say Mr Chairman.

MR MOOSA: Mr Chairman I believe those are the areas I want to raise.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Jansen are there any questions you wish to put?

MR NYOKA: Just one question, one question Mr Chairman.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR NYOKA: Did you suggest that the body, rather than be left on the Mozambican side should be burnt to any person present?

MR COETZEE: There was no plan to leave the body on the Mozambican side, it was originally discussed on the night that I stole the Audi that the body would be burned to ashes and it was obvious to me that that would have been the first time that Mr van Rensburg had witnessed or got first hand knowledge of this method to be used. But it was my suggestion that's correct, Mr Chairman.


JUDGE PILLAY: Is that why the wood was kept in preparation as it were?

MR COETZEE: That is correct Mr Chairman, it was done in advance.

ADV GCABASHE: Was there any particular reason why you suggested this method of disposing of the body?

MR COETZEE: Well Mr Chairman I first came into contact with this method in the former Rhodesia where we, as dog-handlers, assisted the Rhodesian police in getting rid of the freedom fighters that were shot in ambush, identified and then eventually were buried in shallow graves, they were just partly mutilated until their hands, face and feet were burned away and then they were covered in shallow graves. That's where I first made contact with this type of method.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Booyens are the questions you wish to put to this witness?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BOOYENS: Mr Coetzee let us just get a few preliminary things clear. The stop-over in Ermelo of which you can't remember the detail, that's what you testified, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Could have been a stop-over to buy a meat pie.

MR COETZEE: It could have Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Not necessarily a stop-over to sleep there.

MR COETZEE: No Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: And something which you might remember but if I had been travelling on that route and perhaps stopped over to put in petrol, buy a meat pie I might not even remember, so nothing was significant about the stop-over?

MR COETZEE: No Mr Chairman, except what was told to me.

MR BOOYENS: Now if it was so insignificant, 18 years later and you remember it.

MR COETZEE: Well there's some things I remember vividly. It would have been my job to take the car through to Swaziland Mr Chairman, and then it was obvious that Mr van Rensburg took the planning over further as he was based apparently at Ermelo and I was there for quite a long while with him in the area.

MR BOOYENS: No Mr Coetzee but the question is simply, and please listen to my question. Why is it that you remember something as insignificant as a stop-over in Ermelo which had nothing to do with the Cape ...(intervention)

MR JANSEN: No Mr Chairman I object to this question. It's factually incorrect. There was never been mention made of a stop-over in Ermelo, not as a direct piece of evidence. It was made by way of assuming that because of the reference or the alleged reference to Deetlefs and Rorich that there was an assumption that there was a stop-over in Ermelo. I am not aware of any piece of record of Mr Coetzee putting it in any other way.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Coetzee said so just now Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: He remembers referring to the fact that there was some mention of the stop-over. The significance of it is what - he admits that there was no real significance in the mention of the stop-over. Mr Booyens you may proceed.

MR BOOYENS: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Coetzee very simply just listen to my questions. If there was no significance about the stop-over in Ermelo why do you remember that it was mentioned?

MR COETZEE: Because the car was handed over to the Ermelo Branch to be taken care of and taken through to Swaziland.

MR BOOYENS: So now you do remember detail of the stop-over in Ermelo, they must have had contact with the Security branch in Ermelo?

MR COETZEE: I've said it in the chief when Mr Moosa asked me I said that they disposed of - they left the car for Ermelo, Chris Deetlefs and Chris Rorich to dispose of.

MR BOOYENS: No Mr Coetzee just now when I asked you I said to you, I said the stop-over could have been as insignificant to buy a meat pie or put in petrol you said yes, you don't remember any detail about it and now you are changing your story. What must we accept?

MR COETZEE: No that was a possibility you put. I can only say to the Committee what Mr van Rensburg told me. So if it is put to me that Mr van Rensburg could have stopped over for a meat pie, he could have stopped over for a meat pie. I can't argue with it. I can go on what he said.

MR BOOYENS: Let's stop playing clever games Mr Coetzee. Did Mr van Rensburg tell you that he stopped over in Ermelo, is that why you remember the stop-over in Ermelo?

MR COETZEE: That he met up with the Ermelo guys and the car was handed over.

MR BOOYENS: Very well, when I asked you that question and suggested to you that it could have been so unimportant that they stopped for a meat pie or petrol why didn't you say no, not that, they must have met Rorich and Deetlefs there? Improvising Mr Coetzee?

MR COETZEE: No, no. I was asked Mr Chairman whether it's possible that they could have stopped for a meat pie and what else. It is possible.

MR BOOYENS: Very well Mr Coetzee let's leave the meat pie and the stop-overs for the time being.

Let's come to the discussion, the alleged discussion and perhaps I should put it on record now that it's not said later that I didn't put my defence to you. You have been sitting here in any case, except yesterday, most of the time, so you know what - you have heard the evidence of van Rensburg and du Plessis in any case.

MR COETZEE: I have heard the denials Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: You have heard the denials. So dealing very briefly van Rensburg you know denies that he met up with you, spoke to you and well - the other point of dispute seems to be the presence or absence of Roy Otto.

MR COETZEE: That's correct. As far as the last part is concerned I can just perhaps point ...(intervention)

MR BOOYENS: Mr Coetzee don't make speeches, please.

MR COETZEE: Oh okay, sorry.

MR BOOYENS: Just answer the questions. Now let's deal with the discussion in Port Elizabeth between you and Nick van Rensburg. You had stolen the Audi as you say, which is denied and you walked through a garage where you saw a motor car standing?

MR COETZEE: I walked past the garage of which Mr van Rensburg opened the door, that's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: You then walked into the single quarters and you saw the man that you later recognised as Sizwe Kondile?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman, or the man who arrived at Komatipoort when we -

MR BOOYENS: Well we know it's, I think we can accept it's Sizwe Kondile now.

CHAIRPERSON: Could accept that he didn't recognise him as Sizwe Kondile and it was later learnt to be Sizwe Kondile.

MR BOOYENS: Ja, yes, I am trying to keep this as short as possible Mr Chairman.

Mr Coetzee you say you and Mr van Rensburg thereafter discussed this whole issue as to how you were going to kill him, etc, etc.

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: And I am going to try and telescope your discussion, just dealing with the main events.

Number one, there is problem, the man has got a head injury, we're heading for a second Biko, is that right?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman, according to Mr van Rensburg.

MR BOOYENS: No, no I am not saying it's true.

MR BOOYENS: Number two, we want to get rid of him.

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Have you got any suggestions Dirk Coetzee, Mr Dirk Coetzee says yes well let's kill him at Komatipoort?

MR COETZEE: That's correct, and burn the body.

MR BOOYENS: And burn the body. I know it's telescoped Mr Coetzee, was that the sum total of your discussion?

MR COETZEE: In short, with the vehicle being taken through to Swaziland to give the impression that he's fleeing the country.

MR BOOYENS: That's right. Your recollection of the vehicle that you saw is blue or green.

MR COETZEE: I think if one checks on the Harms evidence you will see I say, I think it was either light blue or light green.

MR BOOYENS: Yes, never mind the Harms Commission.

MR COETZEE: I wasn't sure about the colour.

MR BOOYENS: Yes. Mr Coetzee could it not be that you in fact saw such a vehicle there but that was never Mr Kondile's vehicle and his vehicle was still up in Bloemfontein. Datsun motor vehicles are a penny a dozen.

MR COETZEE: It was specifically put to me by Mr van Rensburg that the car belonged to the detainee, Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: And for what earthly reason, if the detainee had been - did he perhaps explain to you what the car was doing there?

MR COETZEE: No not at that stage Mr Chairman. I came to some conclusions but yes, at that stage not ...(intervention)

MR BOOYENS: Forget the conclusions. At some stage it was explained to you what the car was doing there, wasn't it?

MR COETZEE: It was Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: By who, Nick van Rensburg?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Now give us the explanation that Nick van Rensburg gave you.

MR COETZEE: That the detainee was officially released, taken to Bloemfontein to collect his car and he was thereafter kidnapped on the road and brought back to Jeffrey's Bay.

MR BOOYENS: So this whole elaborate scheme was just to go and collect a motor car?

MR COETZEE: To release Mr Kondile and collect his vehicle.

MR BOOYENS: No, but the whole elaborate scheme of releasing the detainee was just to go and collect a motor car it sounds to me. That's the way I understand it.

MR COETZEE: The detainee was released, his property handed to him and he was allowed to leave and he was abducted on the road and brought back to Jeffrey's Bay.

MR BOOYENS: Well where was he released, in Bloemfontein?

MR COETZEE: I wasn't filled in in detail, in the Harms Commission the counsel for the applicants, Mr Maritz, has put it to me that he was taken to Bloemfontein, released, his car handed to him and he was free to go. It's in this bundle Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: But Mr Coetzee never mind what Sam Maritz put to you and never mind what was said at the Harms Commission. We know what the true facts are now. We know that Sizwe Kondile was detained here and we know that he was released here. So that release, ostensible release on the 10th of - that whole elaborate scheme would be just to go and collect a motor car in Bloemfontein. Is that what you are really suggesting that's what Nick van Rensburg did?

MR COETZEE: I don't understand the question specifically but what I can just tell you what I've heard and what was put to me in the Harms Commission Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Look ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Coetzee but can we accept what was put to you in the Harms Commission is today common knowledge that it wasn't the truth?

MR COETZEE: Well Mr Chairman listening to the evidence I am now not sure whether was he in fact released as indicated in Bloemfontein on the 10th of August and when his car landed to him, and free, as it was put by his counsel then, to leave. Or was he released at Jeffrey's Bay as was testified before this Committee I can't comment on that.

MR BOOYENS: You know Mr Coetzee it now seems that what you are saying to us is this answer you are giving is because what was put to you by an advocate in the Harms Commission, I asked you what Nick van Rensburg said to you. Did Nick van Rensburg say to you anything about the motor car?

MR COETZEE: He did, he said it belonged to the detainee Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: And did he give you any explanation what it was doing in Jeffrey's Bay?

MR COETZEE: He was held in Jeffrey's Bay and dived through the window, or because he dived though the window at some stage with his hands handcuffed behind his back ...(intervention)

MR BOOYENS: Mr Coetzee listen to my questions. Did Nick van Rensburg give you any explanation what the motor car was doing in Jeffrey's Bay, I am talking about the motor car?

MR COETZEE: Just that it belonged to the detainee.

MR BOOYENS: He didn't give you any explanation what the motor car was doing there?

MR COETZEE: Not any explanation whatsoever.

MR BOOYENS: So all this mile long story about the car being released, the detainee being released, and Bloemfontein and all that, that is just based on something that happened at the Harms Commission?

MR COETZEE: And what Mr van Rensburg told us at the place where Kondile was shot and burned Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Oh so van Rensburg did tell you that?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Now so we have gone full circle now. So it's straightforward on what van Rensburg has told you that you base this?

MR COETZEE: And what was heard in the Harms Commission.

MR BOOYENS: Forget the Harms Commission, please.

MR COETZEE: Well Mr van Rensburg told that he was released, he was abducted on the road and brought back to Jeffrey's Bay.

MR BOOYENS: So van Rensburg told you that the detainee that he had in Jeffrey's Bay he went and released in Bloemfontein and then abducted him on the road and brought his car back, is that what van Rensburg told you?

MR COETZEE: Yes, I am getting confused now with the Harms ...(intervention)

MR BOOYENS: Forget Harms, I am talking about what you and van Rensburg talked about. Is that what van Rensburg told you?

MR COETZEE: That he was arrested on his way from Lesotho to South Africa ...(intervention)

MR BOOYENS: You are not answering my question.

]MR COETZEE: I am just trying to give you an approach Mr Chairman. That he was arrested, detained, released and abducted, that is what it basically came down to.

MR BOOYENS: Okay. He didn't give you any detail about the where and when and so on?

MR COETZEE: No he did not Mr Chairman as far as I can remember.

MR BOOYENS: And he also - so he was abducted, arrested, detained, released, abducted again?

MR COETZEE: After injury ...(intervention)

MR BOOYENS: Yes forget the injury, we'll come to that.

But then logic escaped once again. At the stage when he's released in Jeffrey's Bay, his motor car is standing 800 kilometres or a thousand kilometres, I don't even know where, are you seriously suggesting that they would have gone through that elaborate ploy just to bring him back, if they could have just gone and fetched the car. That's illogical isn't it Mr Coetzee?

MR COETZEE: The prisoner had to sign for his property personally. The security police has got no facilities to keep prisoner's property, it is written into a register called the PPR, Prisoner's Property Register, and his vehicle entered into an SAP 81 with reference on the PPR. So he has to sign for his own property and his own vehicle.

MR BOOYENS: So then his car must have been entered in either Bloemfontein or in Jeffrey's Bay?

MR JANSEN: Mr Chairman, with respect, it's common cause at all stages that the vehicle was in Bloemfontein initially.

CHAIRPERSON: The question is whether it was also in Jeffrey's Bay. The car which Mr Coetzee says he identified as being, on the information, the car belonging to Mr Kondile.

MR JANSEN: Sorry Mr Chairman your microphone is not on.

CHAIRPERSON: The car which Mr Coetzee says he was told belonged to Kondile.

MR JANSEN: Yes but now my learned friend is stating that it must have been entered at the Jeffrey's Bay police station, now that makes no sense Mr Chairman. If it were it would obviously only have happened under circumstances where he would have been illegally held.

MR BOOYENS: Very well Mr Chairman I will try to short-circuit this.


MR BOOYENS: Mr Coetzee if I say to you that car was never booked in in Bloemfontein, would you be able to dispute it?

MR COETZEE: Well I can't see that they will deviate from regulations and the applicants themselves said he wasn't sure whether it was at the security police base or at the police station at Hilton. I can assure you that if the procedures were followed it would have been booked in as usual and as normal.

MR BOOYENS: Yes, that is if the procedures were followed and Mr Coetzee you are one of the first ones always to point out that the procedures were not always followed. I mean you yourself were a past-master in not following ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I don't know whether we should go along with that you know. There are others with similar talents too.

MR BOOYENS: Yes exactly. That's the point Mr Chairman, I agree hundred percent. So we don't - you were just assuming that the procedures were followed?

MR COETZEE: They took him to go and sign for his car so his car must have been booked in.

MR BOOYENS: How do you know they took him to go and sign for his car?

MR COETZEE: That was put to me in the Harms Commission by Mr Maritz the advocate for the applicants Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Well I have told you already we are not the Harms Commission anymore.

CHAIRPERSON: You asked him how does he know and he's telling you that is how he came to know.

MR BOOYENS: Once again you weren't told - but you were told, were you told that by van Rensburg at any stage?

MR COETZEE: I don't know in how much detail, I can't remember Mr Chairman, but just the fact that he was arrested, detained, released and kidnapped.

MR BOOYENS: Did - you see Mr Coetzee one of the main points in dispute here seems to be the date when the deceased was killed. Now you have done a rather elaborate exercise with the assistance of your counsel in your amnesty application to explain to us how you got to the idea that this happened towards the end of August and the beginning of November, do you remember that?

MR COETZEE: Towards the end of October, beginning of November.

MR BOOYENS: End of October, my apologies Mr Coetzee.

And it basically boiled down to the following. That a few weeks - how you know when it was, it was a few weeks after Peter and Vusi were burnt out at the same place, not so?

MR COETZEE: Not at the same place, in the area, about ten kilometres from that specific area.

MR BOOYENS: Oh, in the same area.

MR COETZEE: That's correct.

MR BOOYENS: And in Peter and Vusi's case I in fact think you said that you collected, and correct me with the dates please, you collected knock-out drops for the first time from Lothar Neethling round about the 10th or 11th of October or the 20th of October, I am not hundred percent certain.

MR COETZEE: Around about the 10th, 11th of October Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Of 1981?

MR COETZEE: Of 1981.

MR BOOYENS: And so that was how you were able to determine the date of Peter and Vusi who were eventually killed around about 20 something of October, 21st, 22nd around about there, by a process of deduction?

MR COETZEE: About 26 Mr Chairman because we went back to General Lothar Neethling on three occasions and the last one was according to evidence that came out in the Lothar Neethling trial on Sunday the 25th of October 1981.

MR BOOYENS: And we know Mr Kondile was killed subsequent to this?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR BOOYENS: So we can safely assume that we are talking late October, early November?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: But you and Nick van Rensburg had already concocted this whole plan long beforehand that you were going to kill him, is that right?

MR COETZEE: That is correct.

MR BOOYENS: That must have been, on your version, at the latest the 13th, 14th of September?

MR COETZEE: On the 13th of September, that's correct.

MR BOOYENS: The 13th of September.

MR COETZEE: Or the night that the Audi was stolen.


MR COETZEE: That's correct.

MR BOOYENS: But you are in no position to say that it as not on the night the Audi was stolen Mr Coetzee.

MR COETZEE: I beg your pardon?

MR BOOYENS: It was on the night that the Audi was stolen?

MR COETZEE: That's correct.

MR BOOYENS: And it's been objectively established that that was the 13th of September.

MR COETZEE: That's correct.

MR BOOYENS: And you accept that date?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman if the police records are correct. That was submitted....

MR BOOYENS: Ja, well if the police were trying to cook the records Mr Coetzee surely they would have cooked the records to make it October, the date when they say he was released, not in September not so?

MR COETZEE: No I don't think the Uniform branch had any part in this story so it should be the honest dates Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: On that date van Rensburg, and I just want to try and understand your motivations, on that date van Rensburg told you about what really amounts to a private problem for the Security branch in Port Elizabeth, right?

MR COETZEE: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: And you agreed and volunteered to help him with his private problem because if they injured the man so badly they were now trying to get rid of a potential witness that had nothing to do with politics?

MR COETZEE: Well I wouldn't say it's a private problem, it's a police problem the same as Steve Biko.

MR BOOYENS: You didn't refer to your superior?

MR COETZEE: I did report back to Brigadier Schoon and was eventually ordered by him to meet up with Mr van Rensburg at Komatipoort.

MR BOOYENS: No but before you agreed with van Rensburg that you would do the job it was - you didn't even go back to Schoon, is that right?

MR COETZEE: No the procedure was to discuss it with him and then clear it with my superiors.

MR BOOYENS: And you cleared this with Brigadier Schoon?

MR COETZEE: I did Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Did you inform Mr van Rensburg that you will have to clear this?

MR COETZEE: It was common knowledge and common practice in the security police.

MR BOOYENS: The question is did you inform him, yes or no?

MR COETZEE: The fact that he phoned Brigadier Schoon I would say, I can't remember exactly, but I would say yes, Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: You see Mr van Rensburg said he contacted you directly Mr....

MR COETZEE: No it's not true Mr Chairman, I was ordered by Brigadier Schoon. I couldn't have just left Pretoria without the permission of my commanding officer.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Coetzee now you've had enough problems in your life I think with people accusing you, making the wrong statements etc, etc.

MR COETZEE: More than enough Mr Chairman, but luckily I think I have been vindicated, well in a fairly large way.

MR BOOYENS: Let's just first deal with one small aspect. Your whole story started when you told Jacques Paauw about the fact that you were involved in all these problems with the Security police and so on, is that right?

MR COETZEE: That's correct, on Mauritius.

MR BOOYENS: And obviously that statement was never made under oath, one accepts that, but you were trying to be as accurate as possible not so?

MR COETZEE: Well under the circumstances, yes Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Now if the Commission would just bear with me Mr Chairman. Mr Coetzee if you would be so kind to go to page 28 of Volume 3. These are apparently extracts - your so-called Mauritius Statement. There at page 28, this is apparently an extract from what you told Jacques Paauw, it's a question and answer session and if you go to the second - "wag nou ees" - "no wait a minute".

MR COETZEE: I have got it Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Page 28, could you just read that into the record Mr Coetzee.

MR COETZEE: "No wait now, I see him there. Now I was there with the men from PE Security and they told me that this was a chap that came from Lesotho. Bloemfontein had had him and his car was also somewhere there. It was a Datsun Coupe, two door, if I can remember correctly. I did not see the car at that stage but in any case they kept him in the single quarters, or detained him there. At a stage his hands were behind his back..."

and then I was interrupted again.

MR BOOYENS: That's far enough Mr Coetzee. "I did not see the car at that stage".

MR COETZEE: I did put it straight in the Harms Commission too and said if you read it in context and it couldn't have been, it was a slip of the mind, the fact is that I did see the car there, and I stand by it.

MR BOOYENS: So you did - no wait a bit, so your mind slipped when you were speaking to Jacques Paauw about the car, is that what you are saying?

MR COETZEE: Ja. Can I just put it to the Commission ...(intervention)

MR BOOYENS: Just answer the question yes or no.

MR COETZEE: Whilst ...(intervention)

MR JANSEN: Mr Chairman with the greatest of respect my learned friend asks a question, "your mind slipped", surely the witness can explain something in addition, why his mind slipped? I think it's only fair for him to complete his answer.

MR COETZEE: I beg your pardon, I couldn't hear Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct)

MR COETZEE: Mr Chairman I left the country on the Sunday with Jacques Paauw for Mauritius, slept in Curapepe(?) the first night in an hotel. It was travelling the whole of the next day in a car to get accommodation because everything was disorganised as unorganised Jacques Paauw only can be as a journalist, with all respect. We eventually arrived the Monday afternoon late on a northern holiday resort on the island. He started with his recordings. The Tuesday morning in-between organising and contacting London after driving back to Port Louis to get some money, 360 pounds which I would have need of to get into London with a return air ticket and money, and in-between that rush with my family left behind and my two kids, torn apart, feeling like a traitor towards my own Afrikaner people, not knowing what to expect up-front, I can assure you I wasn't meeting in hotels with ex-colleagues to refresh my memory and to just sit in a relaxing way and give my story. So I did slip on occasions, yes Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: And you did say to Jacques Paauw that you didn't see the car, that's really the bottom line?

MR COETZEE: As indicated in this I did not, in "daai stadium" and as you can see Mr Chairman interrupted again, every five seconds being interrupted because his, the information he's looking for is completely different as a journalist than a court of law would look for.

MR BOOYENS: Yes. Okay Mr Coetzee ...(intervention)

MR COETZEE: I would just like to tell Mr Chairman I couldn't even remember Joe Mamasela's surname. I couldn't remember the surnames of the white police colleagues working with me ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: Okay at that stage you couldn't remember anything but today your memory is fresh about it, so we will continue then.

MR COETZEE: It's been refreshed, that's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: And obviously since Mauritius you had no memory problems? The Harms Commission you had no memory problems. Amnesty application you had no memory problems, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: No I wouldn't say that. I have told my story over so many times and I did slip on occasions with facts.

MR BOOYENS: You made a statement to Mr Murigon in connection with - Mr Murigon is one of the investigators of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Mr Coetzee.

MR COETZEE: I can remember him in my lawyer's office, that's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: And then you were not subject to all sorts of pressures like you were in Mauritius?

MR COETZEE: Except the rush Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Why Mr Coetzee, it's an important lobby?

MR COETZEE: I had an appointment and he didn't make specific appointment for a statement and I agreed to help him in the time available Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Yes, but rush perhaps one would leave things out and so but one would try to be reasonably accurate, especially you that picked up so many problems in the past about statements that you have made.

MR COETZEE: No not necessarily Mr Chairman, we get mixed up with the facts too.

MR BOOYENS: Yes. And did you get mixed up with the facts?

MR COETZEE: I don't know Mr Chairman, I can't remember.

MR BOOYENS: Oh come on Mr Coetzee please, you know very well what I am referring to. You see because what you told at page 101 you said this happened on the 13th of September.

MR COETZEE: On point 101 of ...(intervention)

MR BOOYENS: Page 101, Volume 2 Mr Chairman.

MR COETZEE: On page?

MR BOOYENS: Page 101 there you put a date, "on the" that's drawn through and it's just "during September 1981", so you corrected that.

MR COETZEE: 101, sorry just bear with me please.

MR BOOYENS: You see there's an "on 13" there, crossed out and "during" put and two initials on the left-hand side, one of which I presume is yours.

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: So you did have time to read the statement over or to check its correctness?


MR BOOYENS: And they didn't have documents to confirm, most probably, the night that the Audi was stolen

MR COETZEE: That's correct because I didn't hand that document out, ja.

MR BOOYENS: Now but Mr Coetzee, at page 103 you now told us in this statement at the top that Nick van Rensburg told you about the man jumping through the window. Remember that?

MR COETZEE: Is that the...(intervention)

MR MOOSA: Yes it's the -

MR COETZEE: He told me that this person, he could have mentioned the name but I do not remember had jumped through the window but I do not remember whilst being interrogated, that story?

MR MOOSA: That's correct Mr Chairman. And then the next paragraph is very interesting Mr Coetzee, read it on the record please.

MR COETZEE: "I explained to him how we had murdered others like Peter Mbusi and Selby ......... by using knock-out drops, then shooting them and burning their bodies to complete ashes. I told him that I was obtaining the knock out drops from Lothar Neethling".

Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: According to this statement you told him that on the 13th of December.

MR COETZEE: That is what the statement says but it's obviously not correct Mr Chairman because Peter and Vusi were only according to my collection guilty...(intervention)

MR COETZEE: He would have needed clairvoyant talents to say that now Sir.

MR COETZEE: I beg your pardon Mr...(intervention)

MR BOOYENS: He would have needed talents of a clairvoyant to say that on the 13th of September.

MR COETZEE: I don't know exactly what the...(intervention)

MR BOOYENS: He would have had to be able to see into the future because it hadn't happened then.

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman, that's correct.

MR BOOYENS: But this Mr Coetzee is in fact one of the most crucial parts of your whole evidence against Nick van Rensburg and here you make this mistake, why?

MR COETZEE: I can't explain it, it's human Mr Chairman as one of the advocates in one the early stages of...(intervention)

MR BOOYENS: No I'm not interested in what other advocates had to say...(intervention)

MR COETZEE: It referred to persons by other names and they did, it's just a slip of the mind and a slip of facts; I admit to it Mr Chair.

MR BOOYENS: Yes never mind whether you admit to it Mr Coetzee, it shows that you are uncertain about your facts.

MR COETZEE: About some facts, that's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: This one could also be one of the facts that you're uncertain about.

MR COETZEE: At that stage, that's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: So at the stage when you made this statement you could have been uncertain about it.

MR COETZEE: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: And this statement was made on the 8th of October 1996 at 12H27, look at page 106.

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman, it's at 8th of October 1996.

MR BOOYENS: Ja Mr Coetzee I think your eyes are better than mine, it looks like 96.10.08. is it.

MR COETZEE: 96.10.08, that's correct Mr Chairman, yes.

MR BOOYENS: So when you gave this explanation you were certain about it's correctness.

MR COETZEE: Well I was hoping to be certain, that's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: So this slip of the mind, this mistake, that was not really the case because at this time you were certain because after all, you're making an affidavit Mr Coetzee.

MR COETZEE: I understand it Mr Chairman it's quite human to make slips and I can't add on to that.

MR BOOYENS: But you see Mr Coetzee unless of course there's an other more sinister explanation for this. Lets just deal with - you left the police force in unhappy circumstances disliking quite a few people in the police force, is that correct?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: And is it not correct that you left this country as a refugee and you had to go and make a living by going over to the other side. That was your only chance of survival, you had to go and speak to Mr Jacob Zumanda of the ANC.

MR COETZEE: That's not correct Mr Chairman, I had an easy way out. The night when Almond Nofomela spoke from Death Row and all my former colleagues and his former colleagues made him a liar and he denied bluntly, I had an easy option out of just joining them in the chorus or stand up for the truth and save Almond's neck. I can just mention that I, together with former CID chief General Kobus Visser and his son, had a very very lucrative business granted by the South African Insurance Association for identifying cars and would have made millions if I had stayed behind in the country.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Coetzee never mind, the point is you left the country, you were speaking to Jacques Paauw and once you did that you were in difficulty.

MR COETZEE: No Mr Chairman I left the country for the truth and I would have been in greater danger and greater problems if I did not tow the line in front of the then McNally Commission which was appointed to investigate Almond Nofomela's allegations.

MR DE JAGER: Mr Coetzee could we return to the facts of this case. On page 104 you say you and Flemington left to the place where the murder was later committed.

MR COETZEE: Which volume was this Mr Chairman?

MR DE JAGER: Volume 2, page 104, your statement. Ja, you picked up Paul van Dyk, met Flemington and two of his members and you drove into the bush.

MR COETZEE: Towards the gate border, that's correct Mr Chairman.

MR DE JAGER: You then turned towards the mountain, towards the veld. On the right hand side is the Komati River. Peter and Selby were also burned in the vicinity. We drove for about 10km. I can point out the area. Then shortly afterwards du Plessis and van Rensburg arrived with a white ford, is that right?

MR COETZEE: That's right they arrived Mr Chairman.

MR DE JAGER: So were you already on the spot when they arrived?

MR COETZEE: Archie Flemington, his two mates and myself and Paul van Dyk were already on the scene, that's correct Mr Chairman.

MR DE JAGER: Did anybody accompany them to show them where's the spot?

MR COETZEE: Mr Flemington's men went out to the T-Junction 5 km from the Komatipoort security police offices, they turned off from the main road...(intervention)

MR DE JAGER: Ja I only want to know whether somebody showed them the way afterwards because you were already on the spot now.

MR COETZEE: That's correct they went to meet them.

MR DE JAGER: And when they arrived the wood and everything was there already.

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR DE JAGER: When you arrived was it there already?

MR COETZEE: No it was transported there with a 4X4 vehicle by Archie Flemington's men.

MR DE JAGER: While you were there?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR DE JAGER: You knew this area.

MR COETZEE: Not this specific spot Mr Chairman, it was apparently a farm by the name of Affenstond made us of by the...(intervention)

MR DE JAGER: Ja but you've been stationed at Oshoek on the Swaziland border for quite a couple of years?

MR COETZEE: Yes Mr Chairman, that's four border posts down the Swaziland Border.

MR DE JAGER: Ja did you know the Lebombo border post?

MR COETZEE: I knew it Mr Chairman, I know of it...(intervention)

MR DE JAGER: And Otto was stationed there for about 8 years at Lebombo.

MR COETZEE: I can't say how long but he was stationed there, that's correct Mr Chairman.

MR DE JAGER: When did you become aware that he was stationed at Lebombo?

MR COETZEE: During meetings that I had whilst being at Oshoek border post when border post commanders and security branch commanders met at the regional office in Middleburg Mr Chairman.

MR DE JAGER: So if there was somebody who would have known the vicinity it was Otto?

MR COETZEE: That's - no not Otto, Otto wasn't there at that stage.

MR DE JAGER: No but I'm asking, I don't say he was there but he was quite - he knew this area very well.

MR COETZEE: Being stationed there of course Mr Chairman, familiar with it.


MR BOOYENS: Thank you Mr Chairman, Mr Coetzee I'm just going to try and short-circuit this by suggesting to you that you had to tell negative stories against erstwhile colleagues to save your own skin with your new employers.

MR COETZEE: No it's not at all true Mr Chairman, I'm up till this day on not such a good footing with my new colleagues. It was a question of the truth and...(intervention)

MR BOOYENS: Mr Coetzee I think you have answered, you've said yes, that's adequate. But thank you we don't want speeches.

MR JANSEN: But Mr Chairman with the greatest of respect he simply didn't say yes.

(the speaker's mike is not on)

CHAIRPERSON: ...lengthy answers we're going to stop you. But just answer as briefly as you can please.

MR COETZEE: I will do that Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Now you said two things when Roy Otto and Mr de Jager questioned you, you said if I heard you correctly that you got to know him at meetings. You were a few border posts down.

MR COETZEE: No Major Flemington I got to meet Mr Chairman. All the commanders and branch commanders (...indistinct) the border posts and the Security Branch offices.

MR BOOYENS: And you said Roy Otto was no longer there?

MR COETZEE: According to documents that were shown to me by my legal team Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: That's not what the documents say. They say that he was transferred to the then Evander on the - oh yes but on your date he wasn't there of course, in November.

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman, as confirmed by Mr Archie Flemington.

MR BOOYENS: Of course the fact that he was perhaps on leave during August on your version is of course completely immaterial.

MR COETZEE: Well I can assure you Mr Chairman, I've never met Mr Archie Flemington and he wasn't on the scene.

MR BOOYENS: No I think you're talking about Roy Otto Mr Coetzee.

MR COETZEE: Otto, Otto, sorry I'm talking about Otto, sorry sorry.

MR DE JAGER: Would you recognise the other two people if photographs are shown to you?

MR COETZEE: If a photograph of 1981, yes according, I might be able to pin-point the man Mr Chairman.

MR DE JAGER: Because it must have been or probably people in the vicinity with Flemington, part of his unit.

MR COETZEE: He names them specifically in this bundle of documents, the three non-commissioned officers that were with him at the time, he did not question when the killing was, he just when he was asked referred to three gentlemen that were on his personnel at the time.

MR DE JAGER: You can't say whether one of them in fact attended the scene?

MR COETZEE: I've got my ideas but I don't want to speculate without seeing these photos Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: What photograph of Roy Otto did you see?

MR COETZEE: An id card photograph taken somewhere the '81 as a sergeant I think Mr Chairman, that was handed in to this Commissioner, I think it was handed in.

MR BOOYENS: Did you see the original or just a photocopy?

MR COETZEE: No just the copy Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: So from a black and white photocopy of about three centimetres by two centimetres you positively established that it wasn't this man?

MR COETZEE: I've never met him in my life Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: And you can't remember the name of the shooter?

MR COETZEE: No I cannot Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Was he introduced to you?

MR COETZEE: He would have been introduced on his first name but I can't recall it Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: You would accept that in August Roy Otto of course was still stationed at that border post with Archie Flemington.

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: And Mr Coetzee you say you've never met Roy Otto?

MR COETZEE: No I have not Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: You and Paul van Dyk were there?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: How did Flemington and company get involved in this as well?

MR COETZEE: I beg your pardon Mr Chairman?

MR BOOYENS: How did Flemington and company get involved in this as well?

MR COETZEE: It was in his area Mr Chairman and it was agreed by Mr van Rensburg that we would do it in that area seeing that he's coming for the very adjoining area to that.

MR BOOYENS: Did you discuss with Mr van Rensburg that you were going to bring Flemington and his men in to this?

MR COETZEE: No I just said in Eastern Transvaal and I just accepted that he as the senior officer, I was the most senior officer a lieutenant colonel would contact his old friend Major Archie Flemington to notify him, I will get my go ahead from headquarters and report to him at the time.

MR BOOYENS: So are you saying that van Rensburg contacted Flemington?

MR COETZEE: As far as he's concerned I reported to him at his offices earlier that day before we left for the area where the shooting and the burning took place.

MR BOOYENS: And Flemington apparently knew about this?

MR COETZEE: He was with us Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: No when you reported to him he apparently knew about this?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: No forms about it, no worries, nothing.

MR COETZEE: Not at all Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Now Mr Coetzee you, the little bit of contact you had with this witness, with the deceased, you certainly didn't get the impression that any apparent sign of brain damage ...(intervention)

MR COETZEE: I could notice nothing peculiar at all Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Notwithstanding that fact you still agreed to carry on with killing the men?

MR COETZEE: That's correct, I accepted Mr van Rensburg's word for it Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Ja but Mr van Rensburg is not a neuro surgeon.

MR COETZEE: Neither am I Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Exactly. Now as far as we have already heard the whole story as to how this man was killed, I don't think it necessary to go into that again, but tell me Mr Coetzee, seeing that you've made the mistake already that you have told Nick van Rensburg you were going to explain to him about the killing of Peter Mbusi and the knock-out drops and so on, I can understand that you have made a mistake about Peter Mbusi, but when you and Nick discussed this killing, did you mention the possibility of knock-out drops to him?

MR COETZEE: Yes I did Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: How did you know they were available?

MR COETZEE: Well it was available by General Lothar Neethling after the Fox Street early in the, I can't remember what year.

MR BOOYENS: How did you know Lothar Neethling would give it to you?

MR COETZEE: It was available, the forensic laboratory and I knew if I asked through my superior officer, Brigadier Schoon, it would not be refused to me Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Coetzee you could not be certain at the stage when you and Nick van Rensburg discussed this that even that Schoon would okay this operation, which on what you describe to me looks like a private enterprise and certainly not anything to do with police work.

MR COETZEE: It wasn't a private enterprise at all Mr Chairman and I knew Brigadier Schoon would agree to it under the circumstances.

MR DE JAGER: Mr Coetzee about the knockout drugs, you testified that it didn't work at all on previous occasions.

MR COETZEE: No Mr Chairman I, on the first occasion with Peter Mbuzi I received poison powder and knock-out drops and then I give a description on how after getting those knock-out drops in the person falls over, stares wild into nothing, you can wave your hand in front of his eyes, he won't wink, he scratches in the ground. I don't know whether I've testified it but that is what happens and I think I did testify about it.

MR DE JAGER: Then maybe I've got it wrong because my recollection was that you went back and told him it's not working and he should give you stronger drops.

MR COETZEE: No Mr Chairman that was as far as the poison powder was concerned which he said if you feed it to human being will give him a heart attack on a very short notice or very quick, within minutes.

MR BOOYENS: If the Commission would just bear with me, I just want to find something in one of the many records made by Mr Coetzee. I'll look for that later. Mr Coetzee was it at any stage discussed, who was going to do the shooting?

MR COETZEE: No it was not Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: The man who pulled the trigger just got up, is that what you're saying as well?

MR COETZEE: He spontaneously volunteered when someone mentioned that we've got to get on with the job.

MR BOOYENS: Who was that someone who mentioned that?

CHAIRPERSON: I can't remember Mr Chairman whether it was Mr van Rensburg or Mr Archie Flemington because they were the two senior officers present.

MR BOOYENS: Or maybe even you?

MR COETZEE: No I was under their orders, I was under their command, they were the senior officers present.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Coetzee the purpose was there to murder this man and you were the one that supplied the knock-out drops, the expert whose services were roped in, wouldn't you have suggested that your knock-out drops seem to have been taking an effect now and that that was the right time?

MR COETZEE: It was General Lothar Neethling's knockout drops and I just brought it down Mr Chairman, there were two senior officers present who had to make the decisions Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: I want to ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Booyens I think that Mr van Rensburg said that he may have given the order.

MR BOOYENS: The operative word, may, I may have given the order, no Mr Chairman the only reason why I'm asking this is because I got the impression at some stage that it's hard to believe who gave the order, here we've got the witness who was there, he also can't remember who gave the order so I'm just trying to find out whether he couldn't have given the order, van Rensburg said I could have given the order.


MR BOOYENS: Mr Coetzee what improved your memory from the time that you made this written statement until the time you gave evidence in your amnesty hearing? I'm talking specifically about the fact what you told Nick van Rensburg.

MR COETZEE: Which written statement Mr Chairman are you referring to?

MR BOOYENS: The one that ends at page 106 Mr Coetzee your October '96 statement where you recount the story of how you told van Rensburg of the killing of Peter Mbusi.

MR COETZEE: And how did I get to the right facts now Mr Chairman?


MR COETZEE: By preparing for this Commission hearing and having and being able to refresh my memory from documents again Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: What documents did you have about the killing of Peter Mbusi?

MR COETZEE: I've got the Lothar Neethling trial, I've got the Harms Commission and everything else.

MR BOOYENS: But that was evidence that was given, not so. I'm talking about documents, what documents, what documents did you have?

JUDGE PILLAY: Well surely Mr Booyens the record could be regarded as a document?

MR BOOYENS: No Mr Chairman perhaps the Commission could - I'm talking about official documents, records, that type of thing.

MR COETZEE: Nothing more that was handed in at this Commission Mr Chairman, telexes and faxes and..

MR BOOYENS: Were there telexes and faxes in connection with the Kondile matter?

MR COETZEE: Well I don't know, this that was handed in by the applicants Mr Chairman whatever it was called, I don't know exactly what it was called.

MR BOOYENS: But how did that help you fix the date to the end of October?

MR COETZEE: Well with all the trial records as I have said already Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: All the trial records basically of evidence given by you?

MR COETZEE: That is correct and other persons as far as dates is concerned Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Well the trial records were the Lothar Neethling trial and the Harms Commission.

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman, and I think in the Lothar Neethling trial it came out very clearly when Vusi was released and when General Lothar Neethling came back and the Ogies incident of a caravan, shooting taking place, and the Lindley incident, the shootings that took place ...(intervention)

MR BOOYENS: Okay, thank you Mr Coetzee. When was the Neethling trial, remind me?

MR COETZEE: It was in October 1990 Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: And when did that trial finish?

MR COETZEE: It ran for about two weeks if my memory serves me right Mr Chairman, I can't remember exactly.

MR BOOYENS: Wasn't it '93, counsel who represented Mr Neethling is sitting right behind you, he's indicated to me it was '93.

MR COETZEE: Yes my evidence that I gave before a Commission in London I left Lusaka specifically on my wife's birthday on the 2nd of October 1990 and returned about three weeks thereafterwards, back to Zambia after I have given evidence and Miss Oshrie, she was still acting for Mr Neethling.

MR BOOYENS: Are we both talking about the Lothar Neethling trial?

MR COETZEE: The Lothar Neethling trial.

MR BOOYENS: The defamation trial?

MR COETZEE: Where my evidence was led in London in front of a Commissioner the first two to three weeks in October 1990 Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: I will try and clear that up.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Booyens will it make a big difference whether it was 1990 or 1993?

MR BOOYENS: Except insofar as excuses for bad memories are going to come up again Mr Chairman ...(intervention)

MR COETZEE: I know that - excuse me Mr Chairman, I know that the trial started somewhere in November 1990 shortly after the outcome of the McNally Commission and the Harms Commission was made public Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Okay. In any case Mr Coetzee, but so by the time, on any version, mine or yours, by october 1996 you knew when Peter Mbusi had died because you had seen the documentation?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Then I want to hear your explanation again as to this, how you could believe that what you were saying at page 103 in the second paragraph was true?

MR COETZEE: What I was reading on record Mr Chairman?

MR BOOYENS: Yes Mr Coetzee, page 103 in the second paragraph.

MR COETZEE: Well as I say I admit to it being a slip.

MR BOOYENS: No now it's a slip again but earlier on you told me here that you honestly believed that that was true. But by then you had the Peter Mbusi details already, because you got it from the Lothar Neethling trial.

MR COETZEE: I am not with you Mr - I am not with Mr Booyens Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Please Mr Coetzee. You said that you prepared, you got the dates right when you prepared and you had the Lothar Neethling trial details and so available to you.

MR COETZEE: For this trial Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Yes. But by the time you made this statement those trials were something of the past, not so?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: And so you had those details available earlier?

MR COETZEE: I had it available but it wasn't with me in the office at the time Mr Chairman....

MR BOOYENS: So you just took a running jump and you said that you told them that you told Nick van Rensburg that you had already murdered others, you really sucked this out of your thumb Mr Coetzee?

MR COETZEE: No Mr Chairman I would have been without thumbs if I have done that, I can assure you of that.

MR BOOYENS: Yes you know that's a figurative way of speaking Mr Coetzee.

MR COETZEE: No Mr Chairman in the Harms Commission also constantly I was referred to being "congruous stories that I suck out of my thumbs" and exactly the same statement that Mr Booyens made now, and all those "congruous statements" and stories, three-quarters of it came out to be the truth today or over the past week.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Coetzee I don't know what's the problem with you. I am talking about paragraph 2 on page 103.

MR COETZEE: I have explained to the Commission, to you Mr Chairman, I can take it no further.

MR BOOYENS: No, but I have said to you now that I have got difficulty with your explanation because you could never have thought this anymore by 1996.

MR JANSEN: Well Mr Chairman the witness has now said that he sticks with his previous answer. The rest will be for argument I would imagine Mr Chairman with respect.

CHAIRPERSON: ...take it any further.

MR BOOYENS: Except for one thing. The witness has given a certain explanation as to why he made this mistake.

CHAIRPERSON: You pointed out an important point as to how it comes about such a mistake could have been made.


CHAIRPERSON: When at that stage he already had the details.

MR BOOYENS: Fine, I think I'll leave it just at that.

When was the date arranged, the Komatipoort date?

MR COETZEE: On the night that the Audi was stolen it was discussed and the date was later arranged by Mr van Rensburg himself in conjunction with Major Archie Flemington of Komatipoort. I was just informed to join them by Brigadier Schoon.

MR BOOYENS: When were you informed by Schoon to join them?

MR COETZEE: The day that I left or the day before, which I put at late October, beginning November Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Coetzee on your version the security police in the Eastern Cape would have had to hide this injured person for nearly three months, because they ostensibly booked him out and had all the release papers that we have seen here by early August.

MR COETZEE: That is exactly what happened Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: So you say they have hidden this person for some or other reason perhaps believing that he had a brain injury for three months before they actually went so far to get him killed?

MR COETZEE: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Didn't van Rensburg say to you when he discussed the matter with you in September that well this was already getting a problem because even on your version when you discussed it with van Rensburg they would have been hiding this person for a month?

MR COETZEE: Mr van Rensburg, as the Committee could see, is a calm, collective man, who doesn't get excited at all. He didn't give me an explanation on the need-to-know basis Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: Mr Coetzee I, sorry to interrupt you, but I think this may be more down to the point, you and Mr van Rensburg decided that this person should be killed?

MR COETZEE: That's correct.

ADV DE JAGER: What was your motive in deciding that?

MR COETZEE: That he asked me to assist from Headquarters as they put it, with the infrastructures - I think they referred to the drops ...(intervention)

ADV DE JAGER: No that's all right, but would you have agreed to murder anybody, any person?

MR COETZEE: No not at all Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: Now why did you agree to murder this specific one, what was your motive and what motivated you in doing so?

MR COETZEE: Because Mr van Rensburg said that the man landed on his head outside a window after diving through the window and sustained some brain injuries which could have resulted in another Biko case Mr Chairman.

ADV DE JAGER: So, what's the problem with that? Other prisoners also were injured and why did you decide to kill this man because he landed on his head?

CHAIRPERSON: It's not why did you decide to kill him, why did you agree with the decision?


MR COETZEE: That was part of my job from Headquarters Mr Chairman to assist where possible and if asked in the regions, with the agreement of my superior officer, Brigadier Schoon.

CHAIRPERSON: What was the work that Vlakplaas was doing at the time?

MR COETZEE: The in theory sleuth hound groups, roaming around bus stops, train stations and shebeens to look for infiltrated cadres of the ANC that came into the country, but on occasion I had to pick a team for some specific operation Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: In other words was "elimination" one of the activities?

MR COETZEE: That's correct, with elimination amongst other things Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Was that known to van Rensburg?

MR COETZEE: Of course Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Chairman I don't think I will be able to finish, but if I may ask just one more thing at this stage. Mr Coetzee without going into detail and I am talking about political things, prior to this discussion which you had with van Rensburg which we know was in September of '81, when did you go to Vlakplaas?

MR COETZEE: In August 1980 Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Right. Apart from the Griffiths Mxenge incident were there any other eliminations?

MR COETZEE: Yes Peter Mbusi was there Mr ...(intervention)

MR BOOYENS: Uh-uh, in September when you discussed it with van Rensburg.

MR COETZEE: No except I can't say now out of the fist Mr Chairman, but I know of bomb blasts that I executed on request of Mr van Rensburg into Swaziland where people were killed just after the Secunda attack I think in July 1980. I can't specifically remember.

MR BOOYENS: But that was before Vlakplaas.

MR COETZEE: I beg your pardon - that was at Middleburg, that's correct.

MR BOOYENS: Yes exactly, I am talking about Vlakplaas.

MR COETZEE: The official operations in Vlakplaas in earnest started in late August 1981 after the transfer of another eight white policemen to Vlakplaas to make up groups to assist in the regions Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: So then in late August, so within a month you were discussing murders with - after you were established you were discussing murder with van Rensburg is that what you are saying?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Of course Mr Coetzee you heard what Mr van Rensburg said how this came about that he actually visited you at Vlakplaas as an erstwhile colleague and there you told him that it was your job to kill terrorists.

MR COETZEE: I can't specifically remember the visit but I won't deny it.

MR BOOYENS: You won't deny that. It could have been there that he got the idea that if they had a problem to eliminate somebody they could call on you?

MR COETZEE: That's correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: And you in fact told Mr van Rensburg that that was your job.

MR COETZEE: That was part of my job, that is correct.

MR BOOYENS: But that must have been right at the beginnings of Vlakplaas?

MR COETZEE: I can't remember the visit at all but I won't deny it if Mr van Rensburg put it that he's met me there Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Chairman with the on-off situation of Mr Coetzee giving evidence there are a number of things I would like to take instructions on. I am not going to make promises about two minutes like some of my other colleagues here and then be accused that they can't look at a watch, but I will ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: To your credit I must say at least you carry out your threats when you do make such promises.

We will now adjourn until nine o'clock tomorrow morning.