ADV BIZOS: Mr Chairman, may I place a matter on record relating to the attempts to have Mr Snyman medically examined by doctors nominated by the - by us on behalf of the families. Despite attempts being made to resolve various alternative ways in which this could be done, unfortunately no suitable arrangement could be made.

I do not want to create disputes of fact in relation to conversations between legal representatives and doctors. The only matter which I wish to place on record is that we not accept that Mr Snyman is so ill that he cannot give evidence or in one or other way make the vital information which the two witnesses have said he must have.

Having said that, we don't want to say anything more and we leave the rest of the matter to Mr Snyman's representatives to conduct his case and the case of the others in such manner as think best Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Mr Bizos.

I don't suppose you need to comment on anything?

MR BOOYENS: No Mr Chairman, we will deal with it from here onwards. I call as my next witness, Mr Taylor.




ERIC TAYLOR: (sworn states)


Mr Taylor, you are applying for amnesty for the death of the four deceased which we've already heard about, is that correct?

MR TAYLOR: Yes, that is correct.

MR BOOYENS: As well as the harmful - Your Honour, can I please ask, with reference to the previous applicants too, that paragraph 9(a) 1 as far as it may be possible that it should be added after the death of the four named persons:

"and all other offences or ...[indistinct] which are associated with that"

Thank you Mr Chairman.

Mr Taylor, go to page 1 of your application. On page one you provide your personal particulars, is that correct?

MR TAYLOR: Yes, that is correct.

MR BOOYENS: And you refer to your history on page 2, and you said that on the 31st of December 1995 you retired from the police service on medical grounds. Possibly just to tell us more about Eric Taylor the man, tell the Commission, keep it as short as possible - during consultations you've told me that your police career right from the beginning till you left the service happened during a state of conflict. Will you just explain to the Chairman what your police career entailed.

MR TAYLOR: Mr Chairman, I had very little opportunity in my career to do ordinary policing. Even when I was in the police college, and I went there right after matric, we were deployed during our training and we were deployed into the Mamelodi township in the 1976 unrest situation.

During the same year I did counter-insurgence courses and those courses were interrupted twice and we went to Paarl and Cape Town and at later instances we were deployed also in Soweto.

In the next year I went to the border and I was situated in Ovambuland. A year later I was transferred to the security branch and there I became involved to quite a different approach to policing than the ordinary policemen and the traditional policing activities.

MR BOOYENS: Can you expand on this other approach, what does that entail?

MR TAYLOR: For the first time I came to know about the threats by ANC alliance. I came into contact with politics. And I just want to mention that at that time it was really prestige to be employed by the security branch, to be recruited by them for this purpose. It was regarded as one of the more professional divisions of the police force.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Chairman, my instructing attorney says, and he referred me to that previously, that it is possible that you possibly do not have the correct application, Mr Taylor's correct application in front of you. An improved application was handed in at a certain stage. Could I ask - I don't want to cause delay but the one which in my bundle - is the address in page 1 is 13 Bencraig, Burtchell Avenue, Francis Evert Park?

MR TAYLOR: No, there is an improved application available.

MR BOOYENS: My attorney tells me that it has been handed in at your offices in Cape Town but for some or other reason the old application is in this bundle. I don't know how you want me to approach this. I would suggest that when we have a short adjournment at 3 o'clock my attorney will provide you with the newer application.

There are no drastic differences. I don't know what my learned friend's position is. He might be in the same position.

CHAIRPERSON: ...[inaudible]

MR BIZOS: ...[inaudible] supplied by the Commission Mr Chairman, judging by the description it is the old one. It's dated the 13th of December '96.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Chairman, we will have a look at these documents.

You became aware of politics and also in the spirit of the time you heard lectures, you listened to political statements and the old story of the red bear and the black threat. You've heard about that and you had to live with that. Did you believe that?

MR TAYLOR: Yes, I believed it at that stage.

MR BOOYENS: You used a qualification during that time?

MR TAYLOR: Definitely.

MR BOOYENS: Do you mean by that that at present you feel differently?

MR TAYLOR: That is so.

MR BOOYENS: Tell the Commission more about that.

MR TAYLOR: I've reached the stage where I will go so far that the same work that I've done for the previous government I will do for this government. In other words intelligence gathering and prevention of crime.

MR BOOYENS: With the same degree of reality?


MR BOOYENS: Mr Taylor, if we can go on. Your personal review, the 1st paragraph, you just give your background: where you come from, how you grew up, where you grew up. And in the 2nd paragraph you refer to the fact why you joined the police: you could not study any further, what you believed in, what your duties as a policeman were during those days - in the 2nd paragraph etc., is that correct?

MR TAYLOR: That is correct.

MR BOOYENS: At the top of page 3 you mention what you really believed in, and you say:

"The North Western democratic style of life which I became aware of and was threatened by the ANC/SACP alliance because they wanted to overthrow the government with violence"

If at this stage we can say this application is based on the fact that the deceased died as it was also described in the law during the conflicts of the past.

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, who is giving this evidence?

MR BOOYENS: I'm not giving this evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: Can we just hear the question Mr Booyens, I didn't hear you Mr Bizos.

MR BIZOS: Who is giving this evidence Mr Chairman?

CHAIRPERSON: Well Mr Bizos, it's been going on like this for the last two witnesses but I agree with you that it shouldn't be so.

MR BIZOS: Thank you Mr Chairman. Perhaps our learned friend will come back to the traditional way in which evidence is led.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Booyens, can we get it by question and answer?

MR BOOYENS: Certainly Mr Chairman. The reason is, I've consulted with the witness, the only reason is what I'm giving to him here is a cue. There is a very long answer that he is going to give now.

Let me put it this way. What did you understand by revolutionary onslaught?

MR TAYLOR: Mr Chairman, I attended many lectures during security training courses where this revolutionary onslaught was explained. I read about it and I've made a summary of my own approach to this onslaught. The end result was that I distinguished four dimensions of this onslaught, number one was terrorism, number two was guerrilla warfare.

There is a distinction between these two and if it's necessary I will try to explain that. And number three is organisation, it's perhaps not the correct word but I have used the word organisation. And the organisational process entailed or it was 80% of revolutionary onslaught and then the armed part formed the rest of the 20%.

In this organisation process there were three steps. The first step was to politicise the society to make use of grievances of the day, especially socio-economic grievances. There were also emotional grievances, for example the burials of victims and only then - and it was impossible to involve somebody in an organisation if he was not politicised, then they started with organisation and people would be bound together by one organisation.

And only then do I come to mobilisations. That is the manifestation we saw on grassroots level and those were the marches etc. The fourth dimension is conventional warfare. This for example happened in South West Africa. This whole process, in other words this revolutionary onslaught process could end in one or two things: a full scale war or negotiations. In our case it fortunately resulted in negotiations. This is just in short.

I just want to add while I'm talking about the revolutionary onslaught, the Eastern Cape according to me - to put it in words I will never forget like Mr Jack said: " The Eastern Cape was the generator of the revolution". The impression I got in the security branch and in the overview we received from headquarters was that it was very clear that the Eastern Cape was a flashpoint.

MR BOOYENS: That broad background, can you or where would you say Mr Goniwe and the other deceased, regarding their actions, where did they fit into that background?

MR TAYLOR: They fitted into the organisational context regarding organisation, mobilisation and also the further importance of their role in this whole revolutionary onslaught was the fact that under the revolutionaries emphasis was placed on the organisation of rural areas. They fitted into this pattern definitely.

MR BOOYENS: What were your functions in the security branch in the Eastern Cape in 1985?

MR TAYLOR: Mr Chairman, I basically performed five functions. I want to give them to you in the order of importance. In the first place evaluation and interpretation of information on a regional level. In other words the processing of information coming from the branches in the region.

Secondly, I did active field work, that means physically gathering information. I handled many informers right across the region, not only in Port Elizabeth, although Port Elizabeth was my area of primary importance. And then also I was involved in bombs and also the security of very important persons. That was more or less my functions.

MR BOOYENS: Were you also involved in the Joint Management System?


MR BOOYENS: In which capacity?

MR TAYLOR: Yes, I served in the mini Joint Management System. I was involved in the "gik" part of that.

MR BOOYENS: Tell us what is a mini Joint Management System, what happened there? And you say it was in the joint Information Committee.

MR TAYLOR: I can just quickly explain. The JMSís structure was the same as the regional JMS. There were three committees, the Security Committee with two divisions, that is the Joint Operations Committee, the Joint Information Committee and then we had the Comm. that was the Communication Committee.

And in the third place we the SENCOM, that was the Social Economic and Social Committee. I was involved in all the meetings of the mini JMS and on a daily basis on the Joint Information Systemís activities.

MR BOOYENS: Letís come back to the mini JMS, who was the Chairman?

MR TAYLOR: The chairman was Colonel Wolmerans of the Defence Force at that time.

MR BOOYENS: And more specifically this mini JMS, for which area was that?

MR TAYLOR: That was for the whole - all the black townships in Port Elizabeth. I just want to say at this stage that it was presented as the model JMS in South Africa insofar that at certain incidents President P.W. Botha and Magnus Malan personally visited this Joint Management System because we were involved or busy with the so-called red plan.

MR BOOYENS: Without going into particulars, what was the mini JMS involved in?

MR TAYLOR: They paid attention to methods to normalise the black townships in Port Elizabeth, to stabilise and normalise them.

MR BOOYENS: You said on a daily basis you were involved in the Joint Information Centre?

MR TAYLOR: Yes, Mr Chairman. At this stage I want to tell you that it was a bit of an irritation for me at that stage because of the volume of work I had to do and it was a tremendous volume of work which come through my office.

It was an irritation to co-operate with the Defence Force on a daily basis regarding information.

MR BOOYENS: You say with the Defence Force? Who served on the Joint Information Centre, which departments served on this JIC?

MR TAYLOR: Only Defence Force and the security branch were represented, that means the military intelligence component of the Defence Force.

MR BOOYENS: What did you do there and what were you supposed to be doing there?

MR TAYLOR: Firstly I want to say that I was instructed to attend these meetings of the JICís. I was to a certain degree unwilling to co-operate with JIC because it was a one-sided process. The Defence Force had access to minimum information and I was also irritated by the fact that the person who determined the meetings JIC was a senior but regarding his knowledge and information, he was my junior.

And I want to say today that I provided the minimum information to JIC at that time.

MR BOOYENS: What do you mean, you provided JIC with the minimum of information? Was there more information available to you or what was the position?

MR TAYLOR: Definitely yes. There was a lot of pressure exerted on me especially from Wolmerans to provide more detailed information. I can tell you for example what happened. If I would provide the JIC with information, the Defence Force would report this information to their headquarters and then their headquarters would approach the security headquarters and make enquiries and then security head office would send the same information back to me to comment on.

In the second place I was not willing to give them an indication where my informers were because some of my informers worked in very small groups and I did not want to take the risk to provide the information to somebody I did not trust.

MR BOOYENS: You refer to Wolmerans, he was the Chairman of the mini JMS?

MR TAYLOR: Thatís correct.

MR BOOYENS: Was there a relationship of trust between you and the Defence Force?

MR TAYLOR: Definitely not.

MR BOOYENS: And the information you held back, why did you do that?

MR TAYLOR: As Iíve already explained, in most cases I had to handle the same information twice on my desk and I did not want to put the life of my informers at risk and the information I had available was sent to my headquarters.

MR BOOYENS: Could you just for clarityís sake tell us, if you kept - why, by giving this information to the Defence Force, would the informers be put at a risk?

MR TAYLOR: The Defence Force was not in touch with information gathering, intelligence gathering in the field and they were desperate to get new informers. You know, at certain stages Major Smith came to me and said I had to compile an organigramme of how the organisation works. They hadnít even identified organisations here.

MR BOOYENS: Is it correct that you, approximately two to three weeks before the 27th of July, you received instructions from Captain van Zyl?

MR TAYLOR: That is correct.

MR BOOYENS: That was in other words the week of the 1st to 8th of July.

MR TAYLOR: That was more or less before that date, yes.

MR BOOYENS: And what was the nature of this instruction?

MR TAYLOR: Captain van Zyl called me to his office and told me that plans were being made to eliminate some people. He referred specifically to Mr Kondile(?) [transcriberís query] and his associates and he requested me at that stage to monitor Mr Goniwe and his associates more intensively with the view of eliminating them.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Booyens, was the name Mr Kondile used here because it was interpreted?

MR BOOYENS: No, it was Mr Goniwe.

Just for clarityís sake, was it Kondile or Goniwe?

MR TAYLOR: Mr Chairman, it was Goniwe.

INTERPRETER: The speakerís mike is not on.

MR BIZOS: Just for clarity: "He instructed me" what? He instructed me?

CHAIRPERSON: Maybe we can repeat that bit of evidence please.

MR TAYLOR: He told me that the elimination of Goniwe was being considered. He instructed me to monitor more intensively the activities of Goniwe and his associates and he also told me that I had to participate in that elimination.

MR BOOYENS: You are referring to Mr Goniwe and his associates. During this first discussion of you and van Zyl, was there an idea who these associates were? Did you know who they were?

MR TAYLOR: We had a got idea who they were. We were - they were known to us. Various names were mentioned and during the next three weeks various names were discussed, more names than the four.

MR BOOYENS: You said that various names were mentioned. I think this is a very big point of dispute. Please tell us in your own words, you said during this first discussion names were mentioned. Were the two of you alone or were there more people?

MR TAYLOR: We were alone

MR BOOYENS: Various names were mentioned here. We leave Mr Goniwe aside, we know his name was mentioned. Which other names?

MR TAYLOR: The names of the four deceased were mentioned and also the name of Madola Jacobs, Gladwell Makahula and another name. Iím not certain - Iím talking under correction, it could have been Mr Mbulelo.

MR BOOYENS: About how many names in total were mentioned?

MR TAYLOR: It was not more than those Iíve just mentioned. Iím not sure about it was - about the other two Iím very certain.

MR BOOYENS: These names were mentioned, were the names mentioned by you, by van Zyl or both of you? How did it happen that these names were mentioned?

MR TAYLOR: During our discussion and exchanging of information and with the knowledge of the suspects it was a ...[intervention]

MR BOOYENS: The discussion came from both sides.

MR TAYLOR: Thatís correct.

MR BOOYENS: Can you tell the Commission today who mentioned which names?

MR TAYLOR: Captain van Zyl definitely had some of these names with him. I think these six names Iíve mentioned now, he had those names. That is how I can remember.

MR BOOYENS: After these names had been mentioned, what happened then?

MR TAYLOR: Then we started to monitor the activities of Mr Goniwe and his associates.

MR BOOYENS: Who were the: "We".

MR TAYLOR: It was me. Iíve asked Cradock to inform us on a daily basis. I tasked my own informers and I also had informers in the Cradock area. And in this way we started or tried to study their movements.

MR BOOYENS: Were you all by yourself? From the side of the security police, were you yourself involved in this intelligence gathering or other policemen as well?

MR TAYLOR: I was in contact with various field workers. I canít remember specifically who, there were many of them and Iíve also asked them whether they had any additional information.

MR BOOYENS: Were you tasked by Captain van Zyl to be involved in this/

MR TAYLOR: No, Sergeant Lotz was also tasked. After I had left van Zyl and after van Zyl told me that Lotz would also be part of this operation and then I contacted Lotz regarding this operation.

MR BOOYENS: Were you a Lieutenant at that stage?

MR TAYLOR: That is correct.

MR BOOYENS: Over which period did this more intensive monitoring and Mr Goniwe and his lieutenants as youíve called them, take place?

MR TAYLOR: It took place over three weeks more or less.

CHAIRPERSON: What was the purpose of the monitoring?

MR TAYLOR: Mr Chairman, this entailed that we had to establish his movements, the pattern of his movements as to what we could expect, where he would go to on a basis. And also in what combination he and his so-called lieutenants would work.

MR BOOYENS: Did you gather information regarding these people mentioned?

MR TAYLOR: That is correct, yes. I just want to say that I did not gather this intelligence just over those three weeks. Mr Goniwe and some of these people were well-known to me before this time but my information I geared more specifically towards them. I had a lot of information before the time and I was well aware of their activities.

MR BOOYENS: So youíre not saying this was totally new ground - territory you covered? It will be the best to refer to them individually, can you tell us what information as far as you can remember, you had regarding Mr Goniwe? What information did you gather concerning him?

MR TAYLOR: It was a tremendous volume of intelligence. I tried to remember as well as possible. Mr Goniwe if I remember correctly, taught in Graaff Reinet, he was transferred to Cradock. Having arrived there in 1983/í84 he established Kradoia and Kradora. He regularly travelled to Port Elizabeth later on where contacted or liaised with the UDF structures here especially with COSAS and he was instrumental in the establishment of SRCís at schools in Port Elizabeth and region.

I think Cradock was such a model, presented as a model that people from Utenhage and Grahamstown, their chairmen were invited to Kradora meetings there. Later on he served on an umbrella organisation which was established to become an over encompassing body for the civics in the region. He served on this umbrella organisation.

MR BOOYENS: Youíve used the word: "civics"?

MR TAYLOR: That was the jargon of the time. It was community organisations like Kadora, Pebco etc.

MR BOOYENS: ...[intervention] Iím sorry.

MR TAYLOR: He also played a big role and he gave impetus into which role women had to play in politics and he also concentrated on youth. I can remember in 1984 shortly after the founding of Kradora he started with the "G Plan" which was the initial "G Plan", thatís where it originated.

Cradock was divided into four blocks and these blocks later on were sub-divided and they became more - functioned more effectively.

MR BOOYENS: Iím sorry to interrupt. How do you mean: "It was sub-divided"?

MR TAYLOR: In other words in initial stages the township was divided into four blocks. Later on there became a re-organisation, a subdivision of these blocks, in other words to manage them more effectively. This was the same tendencies we saw in other regions like Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth etc., and even in his own rural area. That was his forte the rural areas, Steynsburg, Hoffmeyer, Middelburg, Graaff Reinet, Hanover, Bedford, Adelaide.

MR BOOYENS: Youíre referred to the: "G Plan" and that means structures were divided. What did these structures have to do?

MR TAYLOR: The first step in the whole process was that this township had to be divided into various areas. There were area committees established there and this was followed by the establishment of self-defence units and this was followed by the introduction of what we call the: "Kangaroo Courts" in those areas. In a nutshell this is what it was about. We were not in the security police so tell us what is a self-defence unit and what is a Kangaroo Court.

MR TAYLOR: A self-defence unit was that component of - or in an area which enforced decisions made by the organisation and especially in that time, Ď85/í85, they ensured that police vehicles did not move through these areas. For example if there were boycotts these units were responsible for enforcing those actions.

A Kangaroo Court is an alternative structure used during that time to replace the legal system of the day. People were prohibited from mentioned anything to the police and the peopleís courts were to replace the present system.

MR BOOYENS: Was there anything else about the activities of Mr Goniwe?

MR TAYLOR: Yes. He mainly focused on school boycotts, neutralisation of the then black civic members and the replacement of alternative structures, rent boycotts. At times -the purpose of the rent boycotts, he believed that the money should rather go to the various committees and the community.

These alternative structures that youíve mentioned under the G Plan, earlier you gave us a summary of this revolutionary onslaught, how did this fit in?

MR TAYLOR: It fitted in well with the revolutionary onslaught, in other words often it was said then - and formed part of the revolutionary onslaught, they successfully took the hearts and the minds of the people.

MR BOOYENS: Anything else that you can remember about Mr Goniwe?

MR TAYLOR: Mr Chairman, at a later instance things can come to the fore but thatís what I can remember basically.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Calata?

MR TAYLOR: Mr Chairperson, the two of them were - you could not ...[indistinct] the two, they were together most of the time. Mr Calata later, before Cradora had an executive both of them managed Cradora, that was the structure that managed Cradora. Further, he was always with Mr Goniwe.

MR BOOYENS: Anything else you want to add except for the general statement that he was with Mr Goniwe?

MR TAYLOR: Initially Mr Calata was the chairperson of Cradoya.

MR BOOYENS: Cradock Youth Organisation?

MR TAYLOR: Thatís correct. And later he served on the executive of Cradora.

MR BOOYENS: And Mr Mkhonto?

MR TAYLOR: Mr Mkhonto was the chairperson after Mr Calata of Cradora. He focused on scholars and the youth and he often came to Port Elizabeth to speak to COSAS members concerning the organisation of school boycotts. I remember often he would get a speaker at the meetings, amongst other Hanover. Why I remember Hanover, at that time there was a lot of violence in that area.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Mhlawuli?

MR TAYLOR: Mr Mhlawuli came to my attention during visits to Port Elizabeth where he linked with UDF members. He often had contact with Mr Goniwe. He visited Port Elizabeth on more than one occasion and my information was that Mr Goniwe was not satisfied with the silence from South Western districts and he got Mr Mhlawuli to implement his plan in the South Western districts.

I also had information that he recruited members to go abroad for military training. We couldnít verify that part of the information fully.

MR BOOYENS: I think it brief it could be relevant, you mentioned two others names, I think the one was Madora Jacobs.

MR TAYLOR: Madora Jacobs was at that time a teacher where Mr Goniwe taught and he took the lead in respect of the school boycotts from the side of the students.

And Mr Makahula was active with others members at Cradora and at certain instances he attended meetings and he addressed meetings.

MR BOOYENS: I assume you do not want to make known the identity of these informers?

MR TAYLOR: Thatís correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: This information that was available at the time, was there information that their identities could be become known at the time?

MR TAYLOR: We knew - it was something that we knew at the time, I just wanted to concentrate on movement of Mr Goniwe and these people. I activated my informers and I controlled them.

MR BOOYENS: My learned friend said much about files that were available on these people, letís take it from the top. Mr Goniwe had a file at security branch?

MR TAYLOR: Thatís correct.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Calata?

MR TAYLOR: Thatís correct.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Mkhonto?

MR TAYLOR: Thatís correct.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Mhlawuli?

MR TAYLOR: Mr Mhlawuli did not have a file with us. The only documentation, except for what my self and Captain van Zyl had with us in - with discussions during those three weeks that we had with us. He had an index in the regional office.

MR BOOYENS: You have to explain to us how the index cards work.

MR TAYLOR: It was in use specifically with people from other divisions, from people who came from other divisions to place them on them on an index system. This was just to refer to them alphabetically. This is where amongst others where I saw a photo of Mr Mhlawuli. Thereís a photo on this index card and it was stapled to this index file.

The photo I remember specifically because I studied it to recognise the person later. Itís not the same photo that Mr van Zyl is talking about, this was a larger photo and the face part was cut out from a bigger picture of Mr Mhlawuli.

MR BOOYENS: In other words, out of a group photo? [transcriberís own translation]

MR TAYLOR: Itís certain that it was cut out from a larger picture, it wasnít an identity photo or a passport photo.

MR BOOYENS: I think you just need to explain to the Committee, you spoke about people from other districts and index cards. Itís not clear what you mean by this, how did this work?

MR TAYLOR: What happened usually was that other people come to our attention for the first time and we opened an index card on them and a short memorandum is kept is he should come to the attention of the region again in the future. nucleus notes were kept just to say whether he for instance visited P.E. and liaised with such and such a person.

MR BOOYENS: At which stage would a file be opened for this person?

MR TAYLOR: A file was not opened for him because he was from another region. I personally wrote reports where Mr Mhlawuliís name appeared and the reports were for headquarters and addressed to P.E. - would be for the relevant regional commander and a copy of this would be marked for this region for information.

MR BOOYENS: There was testimony that after Mr Goniwe, Calata and Mkhonto, that their files were destroyed. Itís not on the testimony here but there was an affidavit to that effect. Do you know specifically of these three files, the destruction of those or any prescription relevant to this?

MR TAYLOR: I could just tell you how the procedure was. What happened was that when a suspect died normal practice was to write to head office, Iíve written so many of those that I canít remember the extent to it but the subject would be the death of Mr Goniwe is such and such and then along that vein.

The subject is on such and such a date, died and headquarters would decide on this and then they would refer to their files. And in a matter of a month or six weeks they would come back to us and such and such a reference file.

MR BOOYENS: Who would give this instruction that such and such a letter be written?

MR TAYLOR: No, this was standard procedure. In other words the Port Elizabeth area or the Cradock area would report the death to Port Elizabeth first and then Port Elizabeth would channel to headquarters and then receive the instruction.

MR BOOYENS: I think one of the Commissioners asked if the file would have gone through here to see if there was any important information there.

MR TAYLOR: No, thatís why headquarters gave the authorisation for it to be destroyed, this would follow the same procedure.

MR BOOYENS: What is the position with regard to, I assume security headquarters or rather provincial branch? Was there a lot of documentation?

MR TAYLOR: Mr Chairperson, you can assume for yourself if you look at the activities of that time and how many persons were involved. At one stage they had two offices neighbouring each other that they broke through to make more space for more filing cabinets. I just want to add something more. Older files or less important files were moved to a safe that was on the 8th floor because of the lack of space.

MR BOOYENS: What happened eventually to these files of yours?

MR TAYLOR: They were destroyed, all files. Iíll tell you today, at that time I thought it was a good thing to destroy the files but it would have been of much assistance in this process. I think itís after approximately 1990 that headquarters gave instructions that all security files be destroyed. I can remember we had to transport them to Pretoria, I donít know how they were destroyed.

MR BOOYENS: Can you remember how many files were taken away from here?

MR TAYLOR: I can assume it was definitely more than one. I canít remember the amount but the volume was of such a nature that I cannot remember how much.

MR BOOYENS: That was taken to Pretoria to destroy?

MR TAYLOR: Thatís correct.

MR BOOYENS: You say you canít remember the date, but relative to Mr de Klerkís unbanning of the ANC and other organisations?

MR TAYLOR: It was during the same period. I know there was concern amongst security branch members of the reporters, the informers because it was a sensitive issue to us.

Mr Chairperson I see itís 3 oíclock, may we adjourn?



ERIC TAYLOR: (s.u.o.)

MR BOOYENS: Your information sources, what was the information, what was the factual situation at grassroots level in the Eastern Cape rural areas, specifically referring to the activities ascribed to Mr Goniwe and the other three persons?

MR TAYLOR: The organisations and activists took control of the rural areas, civic members resigned because of intimidation, police officers were forced to leave areas, there were attacks on police patrols, the existing structures were replaced with alternative structures, school boycotts were the order of the day, councillors resigned as Iíve mentioned before. In other words control was lost to a great extent by the government in these areas.

MR BOOYENS: And you speak of areas, can you give us more detail? Which places were these?

MR TAYLOR: Mr Chair, this was the whole Eastern Cape including Cradock and surrounding areas. Rural areas as I said, at that stage was a great concern. I wish to say that Mr Goniwe was very effective, he went about systematically. You could follow the pattern from Cradock and how it crystallised out to the other areas. And Iíve mentioned all those towns that were involved beforehand.

MR BOOYENS: My learned friend referred much to meetings in higher circles and discussions at Cradock surrounding this whole question of the re-appointment of Mr Goniwe as a teacher. Did you know of this?

MR TAYLOR: Of the re-appoint?


MR TAYLOR: Yes, I knew of the re-appointment for quite some time before this operation.

MR BOOYENS: Did you consider this as a factor in your evaluation of their activities? Did this play a role in the activities?

MR TAYLOR: Mr Chairperson, Iíve listened during the proceedings to the discussion surrounding Mr Goniweís appointment, I personally, I did have knowledge of this appointment. I personally did not see this as a factor in his activities.

MR BOOYENS: Why not?

MR TAYLOR: Because firstly he established Cradoya and Cradora as well as the G Plan while he was a teacher. In other words as far as I was concerned it wouldnít have made any difference if he taught or did not teach and I donít think it would have made a difference to his activities at all.

MR BOOYENS: It was mentioned to General van Rensburg that - was it considered that alternatives like laying a charge or detaining him, in your opinion would this have played a role?

MR TAYLOR: No, Mr Chairperson. From experience weíve learnt that to detain someone youíd make the situation worse because more protests would come about because there would be a grief in the community.

MR BOOYENS: I just want to mention something else here. It was an accepted practice that these people even in detention, got messages out to the outside. There was reference made during cross-examination between the trust amongst your members, can you elaborate on this?

MR TAYLOR: We trusted each other unconditionally. I donít want to go out of bounds but I feel that I should say that it was not just a unit it was a family.

MR BOOYENS: It was mentioned that black members of the security branch and how they were threatened and how to protect them.

MR TAYLOR: Yes, I was actively involved with the decisions, the safekeeping of these members and I know at one instance extinguishers were taken in one evening, I cannot remember the specific date but extinguishers were given to black officials because members were attacked regularly. And we felt that we at the security branch needed to patrol around the areas surrounding our colleagues homes because they were part of this family.

We felt strongly about this and I would like to mention that some our black members had to move out of their areas, everybody knows him Butler Tongata and we housed some of our members at New Brighton. It was a high priority for us.

MR BOOYENS: You refer to New Brighton police station, at that time did you come to the New Brighton police station?

MR TAYLOR: Mr Chairperson, not often. I would say on a daily basis. This was our meeting place when we went out at night to the black areas and we rendezvous at New Brighton police station. At that time I visited the police station on a daily basis.

MR BOOYENS: What control for admittance was there?

MR TAYLOR: There were guards at the gate. I never noticed it because they knew me quite well because we went there very often. It did not come to my attention all that much.

MR BOOYENS: Were you body - were you searched when you entered or exited?

MR TAYLOR: No, we met there daily so it was not necessary.

MR BOOYENS: So you came freely?

MR TAYLOR: Yes. If they saw you once or twice then they knew you.

MR BOOYENS: Letís get back to the situation of this operation, and we come to page three of your application. Youíve already referred to the instruction that you received from Captain van Zyl.

MR TAYLOR: Thatís correct Mr Chairperson.

MR BOOYENS: And what youíve mentioned before, do you confirm the information in here to the paragraph:

"According to my knowledge up to the 27th of June"

thatís the typed page.

Theyíre making copies of this Mr Chairperson, it was put wrongly in here.

On the 27th of June certain information came to your knowledge, is that correct?

MR TAYLOR: Yes, thatís correct.

MR BOOYENS: What was the nature of this information? When did you get it and what happened then?

MR TAYLOR: The most important aspect that I remember of this is the telephone discussion that morning between Mr Goniwe and Mr Derek Swarts. We bugged Mr Derek Swartsí telephone at that time and the information was that Mr Goniwe was on his way to Port Elizabeth to attend a UDF regional meeting.

MR BOOYENS: What other information, if any, came to your attention?

MR TAYLOR: Thatís basically all the information that we had, that they were on their way and we decided that this was where we had to implement the operation if the correct persons were in the vehicle.

MR BOOYENS: You speak of the operation, was it already discussed how the operation would go and what would it look like?

MR TAYLOR: Thatís correct Mr Chairperson. It was already discussed and that is what we discussed, the modus operandi.

MR BOOYENS: We know already that these persons were not killed with firearms.

MR TAYLOR: This was known because a service firearm could be traced too easily and the fact that the reason for this was to not point a finger at us.

MR BOOYENS: In other words to leave a false trail?

MR TAYLOR: Thatís correct.

MR BOOYENS: What happened next that day?

MR TAYLOR: Captain van Zyl told me that we would put into operation our plan and that I should get ready, that I had to meet him at Algoa Park that afternoon, it was about 5 oíclock if I can recall correctly. I went and put some other clothes on and I met him at 5 at Algoa Park that afternoon.

MR BOOYENS: This was yourself and him and was there someone else?

MR TAYLOR: Sergeant Lotz was there too.

MR BOOYENS: Was there at that stage anyone else?

MR TAYLOR: No, Mr Chairperson.

MR BOOYENS: Much was made of the involvement of Mr Winter in the operation.

MR TAYLOR: Mr Chairperson, Mr Winter was never involved in this operation, he never had any personal knowledge. If he drew his own inferences itís possible.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you know why he was never formally informed of the prospect of this operation?

MR TAYLOR: Mr Chairperson, I donít know what the reason for that was. As I said I just followed the instruction of Captain van Zyl, I did not ask why other people were not involved. He was in control of the operation and I trusted his judgement.

MR BOOYENS: When Captain van Zyl gave the initial instruction to become involved, did you ask from where this instruction came or was it about authorisation, did he tell you anything?

MR TAYLOR: No, it was never told to me who had authorised this but I accepted that it had been cleared. I knew Captain van Zyl, he would not undertake such an operation lightly and on his own initiative. It had to do once again with the trust we had. I just accepted that he had received authorisation.

MR BOOYENS: To shorten the procedures - you could object, what Iím going to lead here is common cause. Is it correct like van Zyl had said, you left for Olifants Pass?

MR BIZOS: I donít know what form itís going to be and how much evidence is going to be led. I would ask that he use his judgement properly with respect, my learned friend that is. Not to lead the witnesses in matters on which questions have been asked or whether - I canít give any blanket consent or directive as to how he should lead his witness.

CHAIRPERSON: I think Mr Booyens, use your discretion and ...[intervention]

MR BOOYENS: Yes, I know what questions wasnít asked upon and thatís why I want to do it this way. The operation, there wasnít much questions asked about.

CHAIRPERSON: And Mr Bizos, is you feel aggrieved or your - please object.

MR BOOYENS: The three of you then went to Olifants Pass.

MR TAYLOR: We left in two motor cars, Lotz was with me in my vehicle and Captain van Zyl was in his vehicle. We left and went to a certain point in the Olifantskop Pass where we stopped.


"after a while the motor car passed, we followed it"

MR TAYLOR: Iím sorry, Iím just thinking about something else. Can I provide more detail?

MR BOOYENS: Certainly, yes.

MR TAYLOR: This revised document is placed in front of you ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Shall we give this an exhibit number?

MR BOOYENS: Itís not really an exhibit Mr Chairman. I understand it was signed on the 7th of May, the original is apparently in the possession of Mr Chris MacAdam. For some or other reason it didnít get further from there. We can call it an exhibit, I donít mind.

CHAIRPERSON: No, Iím not particularly married to the idea.

MR BOOYENS: I think the main difference is that - you would notice Mr Chairman that at page 7 in the record there is:

"Politieke Motiveering: Sal later verskaf word"

CHAIRPERSON: No, Iím aware of that.

MR BOOYENS: It had been "verskaf" but itís hadnít been. Itís in here.

CHAIRPERSON: I think we just slot it into this bundle then.

MR BOOYENS: Yes, if I may suggest that Mr Chairman.

Youíve said you wanted to give more detail.

MR TAYLOR: We left to Olifantskop Pass where we found or looked for a suitable place to park the vehicles. There was a kind of picnic spot along the road where we could park the vehicles that they could not be seen from the road. In the meanwhile this place had changed.

During the identification I told Mr MacAdam or I showed him the place to a certain degree but the road had been rebuilt since then. Fences were put up and thereís not a place like picnic sports where you can stop, where you could stop in this pass.

The place where we were was a place where you could braai for example. At about 11 oíclock that evening, I donít want to give a specific time Iím just working on calculation, round about 11 oíclock Lotz identified Goniweís vehicle. We followed this vehicle. I was in front and Captain van Zyl followed.

Just after the pass on the way to Middelton, Cradock, the first time where there was a straight road where there were no other vehicles in sight I used a blue light on my vehicle and I forced them to stop. I stopped in front and van Zyl behind his vehicle. We walked towards this vehicle. Captain van Zyl came to the vehicle first. It was clear that he was satisfied with the identification of these people.

I can remember in which - I can remember distinctly because at some or other time during this proceeding it was referred to that Mr Mhlawuli was driving the car. He did not drive the car, it was clear to me that he was sitting at the back of the car on the rear seat. Mr Mhlawuli was a very big person and it was uncomfortable for him to get out of the vehicle.

Afterwards the person - one of the deceased got into my vehicle and the other two people, if I remember correctly, got into van Zylís vehicle and Lotz was in Goniweís vehicle. We turned around and at a certain stage we stopped in the Olifantskop Pass. At that stage there was a place where you could drive off the road, there was a little hill and you could drive around the hill where the other vehicles could not see you.

There we just checked the handcuffs and we travelled further to St Georgeís beach.

MR BOOYENS: How far is that from Port Elizabeth?

MR TAYLOR: Itís about 15 to 20 kilometres from Port Elizabeth. All the deceased were put into my vehicle. Sergeant Lotz drove Goniweís vehicle and van Zyl in his vehicle, the two of them left together. After 15 to 20 minutes they returned. Sergeant Lotz got into my vehicle with me, van Zyl left with one of the deceased.

CHAIRPERSON: You were left with the four of them.

MR TAYLOR: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: While the other ...[inaudible]

MR TAYLOR: I just want to ...[indistinct] when they returned Captain van Zyl left Lotz there and took one of the deceased with him, Minister Mkhonto. Lotz stayed with me with the other suspects. Captain van Zyl - itís difficult to determine the exact time.

MR BOOYENS: Just take a guess.

MR TAYLOR: It was about three quarters of an hour, I could be wrong. And I can assure you that the time is difficult for me to give the correct times, Iím just calculating. They stayed away for about three quarters of an hour and then they returned. Having arrived back, there were black members of our force in his car. Mr van Zyl called me to the side and told me that the person whom he had taken away tried to escape and he had to shoot him. In other words he had to do something which was not according to our plans.

Afterwards Captain van Zyl took Mr Mhlawuli from the vehicle, I donít know whether it was with the two or all three of the black members, they left the scene together. In about 15 to 20 minutes they returned and then Sergeant Lotz took one of the people from the vehicle, I remember Mr Calata, Mr Goniwe were the last two people in the vehicle.

Initially I was not sure which one was first or second but I cleared that up with Mr MacAdam.

MR BOOYENS: I think your Mr MacAdam from the Truth Commission.

MR TAYLOR: Iím referring to Mr MacAdam of the Truth Commission. I told him that I can remember that the first person - they were about 15 to 20 metres apart. I can remember the first person was taken from the vehicle that was the nearest to Port Elizabeth and the last person the furthermost away from Port Elizabeth.

During the photo identification and the material made available during the post mortem I could determine that Mr Goniwe was the first person taken by Lotz from the vehicle. I went with Lotz together with some of the black members. I saw Lotz hitting the person from behind with an iron object. The person fell to the ground and then the black members stabbed him with knives.

I can remember at that time I was standing at the feet of the deceased. I returned to the vehicle and took Mr Calata from the vehicle. I took ...[intervention]

MR BOOYENS: What was this iron object?

MR TAYLOR: Itís difficult to describe. It was a solid iron object with spirals pressed together, it was a very heavy iron object.


MR TAYLOR: I hit Mr Calata from behind with this heavy iron object approximately where the head joins the neck, he fell to the ground. I was under the impression that he was unconscious, then the other black members stabbed him with knives. Captain van Zyl left as we planned and this fuel mixture I had to pour over Mr Goniweís and Calataís bodies.

Then, when he was ready on the scene where Mr Mhlawuli was he would just say one word over the radio and I would then set these bodies alight. That was what I did and I set both these bodies alight.

MR BOOYENS: Did you leave then?

MR TAYLOR: We left the scene. I dropped Sergeant Lotz in Algoa Park, I went home. I can remember at home I just had the opportunity to shower, dress and I returned back to my office at the security branch.

MR BOOYENS: My learned friend put it to Mr van Zyl that there were three so-called hit squads who were looking for Mr Goniwe or hunted them, you Winter and the Defence Force. Itís been stated it would be ascribed to one of you, are you aware of a newspaper report with this information which was published in Port Elizabeth?

MR TAYLOR: Unfortunately yes Mr Chairman, Iím aware of that newspaper report.

MR BOOYENS: This even, did that bother you?

MR TAYLOR: Do you mean afterwards?


MR TAYLOR: Definitely yes Mr Chairman, it bothered me tremendously.

MR BOOYENS: Did you eventually feel that things that happened to you which made you feel - letís first refer to your attitude, did that make you change your attitude?

MR TAYLOR: As from 1990 onwards, in the first place my political point of view changed. For years I walked with the feeling or the regret about these peopleís lives in my heard especially when I heard about this amnesty process.

There must have been a leakage that I had applied for amnesty and if I can remember correctly that was in February last year when it became know. And at a stage I discussed with matter with my minister and he asked me how I felt about my amnesty application and I told him: "Iím not worried about amnesty because at that time I was convinced that I was meeting all the requirements but that I still wanted an opportunity to meet the families of these people". I had the need to ask them for forgiveness.

My minister went further and I donít know which channels he followed and to whom he spoke but he arranged the meeting with the family of the deceased, he facilitated a meeting. I went to a meeting but I canít remember the date, minutes were kept, I saw that this week. I attended a meeting with the families, it was a relatively long meetings, quite a few hours.

Initially, in the light of my amnesty application I told them that I was there because I was admitting that I had killed these three people and Iím asking their forgiveness. There was a bit of conflict of interest at a certain stage because they asked me to provide them with certain facts. I explained to the initially that if I should do that it would have an influence on my amnesty application and also I would expose myself to make those facts known at that forum.

The meeting then dispersed and Khundu spoke to the families. He later came back and Mr Khundu told me that the families felt that I understand my situation but that this whole meeting and the purpose of the meeting would not be fulfilled if at that stage they could obtain full details about the death of these people.

Impulsively I decided that I was going to do that. I did that on one condition, namely that I would not mention any of the names of the colleagues who were involved. They understood that because I said I was just talking for myself, I was not going to implicate my colleagues.

MR BOOYENS: Minutes were kept of this meeting by June Crighton of the Human Rights Violation Committee of the TRC, is that correct?

MR TAYLOR: That is correct, yes.

MR BOOYENS: And did you in the meanwhile, did you see the minutes?

MR TAYLOR: Thatís correct.

MR BOOYENS: I have given my learned friend a copy or I was told he was given a copy of this.

With a few small exceptions ...[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Have you got a copy Bizos?

MR BOOYENS: No Mr Chairman, my learned friend was given a copy of Friday not yesterday.

MR BIZOS: ...[inaudible]

CHAIRPERSON: Come on gentlemen weíve had a bad sporting week-end, letís cut out the games.

MR BOOYENS: Are these the minutes, is this a copy of the minutes?

MR TAYLOR: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MR BOOYENS: Iíve made copies available for members of the Committee.

Was there initially, before you started, was there initially an agreement between the various parties about the fact that this matter should not be published in the press?

CHAIRPERSON: ...[indistinct] to be an exhibit?


CHAIRPERSON: Letís call it double D [DD]


CHAIRPERSON: We may get into trouble later on in the alphabet.

MR BOOYENS: Yes Mr Chairman, I get your point.

Was there initially an agreement that nobody would go to the press with this?

MR TAYLOR: That is correct. It was one of the conditions before I decided to reveal the facts, that if I could get an undertaking that this meeting, the information would not be made known before my amnesty application but it happened and itís water under the bridge.

MR BOOYENS: If you can just look at these minutes. The process as explained, is it correct the initial stages or what resulted in this, the first page: "Process"?

MR TAYLOR: That is correct. I have already read this document with the exception of one or two small points itís an accurate representation of what happened and was said during that meeting.

MR BOOYENS: The aspects - youíve marked the original.

MR TAYLOR: A few of the things I can remember is for example Miss Crighton at one stage refers to "shot", I think at two places she refers to "shot". She made a mistake.

MR BOOYENS: Thatís on page 6, paragraph 4. He says:

"In answer to the question: who did you kill?, he

that refers to you

"replied: I must say that because I was there, I was involved, therefore guilty. I had the same question from Chris MacAdam but I cannot remember which one I shot"

MR TAYLOR: That "shot" is not correct. The word which should be there is "killed" and the same in the next paragraph with the word "shot".


"He was asked which one he shot"

this you also say. There he says "killed", you did not use a firearm.

MR TAYLOR: That is correct.

MR BOOYENS: Regarding the rest of these minutes?

MR TAYLOR: Itís a relatively accurate version as far as I can remember.

MR BOOYENS: Did you at this meeting - Iíve already asked you about Eric Winter and the allegations about the three so-called hit squads which were involved.

MR TAYLOR: Mr Chairman, when I saw this newspaper report for the first time, I marked certain points in the report itself where the report differs from the real events. Itís going to be easier for me to look at my own copy where Iíve marked certain things.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Chairman, can we give you one copy now? It wasnít my intention to lead this evidence now but because the witness would like to refer to this newspaper report it would facilitate the process if we handled it as Exhibit EE but perhaps at this stage we can give you as the Chairman one copy for identification purposes.

This is a newspaper report with the heading:

"Revealed how Goniwe was killed"

written by Guy Oliver, is that correct?

MR TAYLOR: That is correct.

MR BOOYENS: Youíve marked certain instances where the newspaper report does not correspond with what happened there.

MR TAYLOR: The third paragraph the last part:

"And there were three separate apartheid death squads, one from South African Defence Force Military Intelligence and two from the Police Security Branches in Port Elizabeth and Cradock"

That was never said during that meeting Mr Chairman.

And then again, on the right-hand side.

MR BOOYENS: The right-hand column.

MR TAYLOR: The right-hand column, the fourth paragraph:

"Taylor told relatives of the victims at a gathering in the vestry of the Kabiga Park Church, that separate apartheid death squads were given the task of eliminating the activists"

That is not correct Mr Chairman.

And the next paragraph:

"Assassins from Cradock Special Branch, then headed by Eric Winter MI were also on their trail and there had been several attempts on the lives of Calata and Goniwe in the months before their deaths"

That was also not said during that meeting. At this stage I just want to tell you, when this newspaper report was brought under my attention I did contact Winter telephonically and told him because the chances were good that he could have seen the report. I said he should not worry about this report because I did not say that because I knew Winter very well.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Booyens, when you get to a convenient stage, I want to adjourn a bit earlier today.

MR BOOYENS: This may be a convenient stage Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, perhaps just one aspect, can we just finish the newspaper report. I think there are one or two extra references and then we are through with that.

Then on the second photocopied page.

MR TAYLOR: Yes, let me come down to the third paragraph where thereís reference to the Sanlam building in Port Elizabeth, we were stationed at Louis le Grange Square. Then the annexure - I donít know if itís so important but it concerns reasons why I divorced from my wife, incorrect references to my children, how my children reacted to my amnesty application. Thereís quite a few inaccurate facts there.

I know itís a personal thing but itís important for me to mention it. I discussed this with my children before I applied for amnesty, before it became known and there was never any mention of differences between us.

MR BOOYENS: Might this then be a convenient stage Mr Chairman?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, weíll adjourn until tomorrow at half past nine.