MR S HUGO: Thank you Chairperson. I call Eugene Alexander De Kock.


MR S HUGO: Chairperson, before I start leading the evidence, can I just refer you to page 258 in the bundle, 258. You will see with 9a, does not appear on this page. That is the reference to the offence for which there is an application. Could I just ask that it would be placed on record that the offence for which is application and that is then with regard to defeating the ends of justice. It is pointed to me, I see that the pages have not been ordered correctly. On page 255 it is, there 9a is referred to and then there is conspiracy, murder, damage of property and the only thing that application is made for is what I have just pointed out. Mr de Kock please turn to the start of your application, that is on page 199. Do you have it before you? Are you aware of the content?


MR S HUGO: Is it true and correct?


MR S HUGO: You signed it and it has been done under oath?


MR S HUGO: The largest part is an introduction and I would just briefly want to go through the history and give an idea of the background. You were born in 1939 in the Western Cape. Is that correct?


MR S HUGO: And then you matriculated at Voortrekker High School in Boksburg?


MR S HUGO: And in 1967 you did your compulsory military training in the former South West Africa. Is that correct?


MR S HUGO: And 1968 as 19 year old person you joined the South African Police and there you did your training at the Police College. Is that correct?


MR S HUGO: And then in the same year 1968 you then did service in the Counter Terrorist Unit in the former Rhodesia?


MR S HUGO: And then during this time you were, you participated in nine excursions into the former Rhodesia and these excursions was over a period of three to four months each?

MR DE KOCK: That's correct.

MR S HUGO: 1977, with rank of Lieutenant, you then took over as Station Commander at Ruakana in the former South West Africa?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR S HUGO: And 1978 you joined the security police at Oshakati and you worked with the Ovambo Force and January 1979 you then became one of the founding members of the Koevoet Unit under leader of Colonel Hans Dreyer and is it correct that during this time that you then participated in hundreds of contacts in SWAPO. Is that correct?


MR S HUGO: Is it also correct that at that stage you had already participated in a number of covert operations?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is correct.

MR S HUGO: 1983 you joined with the rank of Captain at, you joined the unit at Vlakplaas. Is that correct?


MR S HUGO: Under whose command did you serve at that stage?

MR DE KOCK: It was Brigadier Jack Cronje.

MR S HUGO: And then you took over the command of Vlakplaas or C1 on the 1st July 1985. Is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR S HUGO: Could you just tell the Committee, who was your superior commander there?

MR DE KOCK: That was a Brigadier Schoon who was in charge of C. Section.

MR S HUGO: I'm not going to deal in detail with the introductory part besides pointing to the fact that you give an exposition on page 209 - 211 of Vlakplaas. The purpose there that was presented to the public?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is correct.

MR S HUGO: And then you give an exposition of what the real purpose of Vlakplaas was?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR S HUGO: And then to go back to the incident that we are dealing with at present. Could I just ask you how long did you know Sakkie van Zyl one of the applicants in this case?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, since early '80s. I would say 80 or 81 in South West Africa.

MR S HUGO: Was Mr van Zyl a member of Koevoet?


MR S HUGO: And would you say that there was a situation of trust between you and Van Zyl?


MR S HUGO: Was it also the case with regard to other members of Koevoet?


MR S HUGO: And since those days was there any problems between you and Van Zyl at any stage?


MR S HUGO: And did you follow Van Zyl's career after that in a sense that you know where he was transferred to after the Koevoet days?


MR S HUGO: Could you just give us an exposition of his career since Koevoet up to the point of this incident?

MR DE KOCK: Yes. He was transferred from South West to his current place in Port Elizabeth and when he was suspended after this incident he then joined the CCB.

MR S HUGO: I want to take you back to the middle of 1985 and in your application you say that on a particular day you were phoned by Van Zyl?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR S HUGO: Could you just tell us more or less which date?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, it was just after July 1985 after I became the Commander of Vlakplaas, Section C1.

MR S HUGO: And what did this conversation deal with?

MR DE KOCK: It dealt with a weapon that he had that was used in an operation. It was referred to the Goniwe incident and it dealt with if it would be possible to change the ballistic characters of this weapon because it was a friend of his and the question was whether I had a contact at the Ballistic Division at the laboratories.

MR S HUGO: And did you have such a contact at that stage?

MR DE KOCK: I had contact but no one that I could really trust to change ballistic characters under the table.

MR S HUGO: Did you have any knowledge whether the Forensic Division at that stage participated in such kinds of activities where they then changed these ballistic qualities of weapons?

MR DE KOCK: No. But the information was available but I didn't have access to it.

MR S HUGO: And you conveyed this to Mr Van Zyl and what did you suggest to him with regard to what he had to do with the weapon?

MR DE KOCK: I suggested that he had to throw it into the sea because it was used in a serious offence.

MR S HUGO: And was that the total of what you said and what the conversation during this telephone conversation?

MR DE KOCK: Yes. It was also mentioned that this weapon was the weapon of a good friend and that there were only 120 of these weapons available in the country or then licensed.

MR S HUGO: And did you then later on, saw Mr Van Zyl in 1985?

MR DE KOCK: I can't give you an exact date but my answer is yes. I'm not sure whether it was here or somewhere in Port Elizabeth but we did discuss two times or three times, we had a discussion.

MR S HUGO: And what did Mr Van Zyl tell you?

MR DE KOCK: And that is that he was in command of the operation that kidnapped Goniwe and it was also mentioned that Eric Winter arrived on the scene and that was while documentation was being burned and that he was drunk as usual and that he threatened Gerrit Lotz one of the other applicants and said that if he ever said anything about this then he would be killed.

MR S HUGO: Could we just go back to Mr Goniwe specifically. Did he tell you what his role was with regard to Mr Goniwe?

MR DE KOCK: Firstly, he was in charge of the operation and then secondly, when the Goniwe four were taken, Van Zyl took Goniwe. In other words physically during the kidnapping, if I have to explain the language used by the police and he was surprised because of the resistance offered by Goniwe.

MR S HUGO: Is that Van Zyl?

MR DE KOCK: Yes and during this resistance, this took place in the car, a shot was fired and it went through the roof of the vehicle. To give you more clarity, it was on the scene where they had been taken or then kidnapped.

MR S HUGO: That is what Mr Van Zyl conveyed to you?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is correct.

MR S HUGO: In which car would that have been?

MR DE KOCK: I understood, I can't remember that well, but it was in police vehicle, a yellow police vehicle. At that time there was a specific yellow used for police vehicles and it was in one of these vehicles and the irony was that such a vehicle was given to the security branch and that was Van Zyl's vehicle that he used.

MR S HUGO: Through which part of the vehicle did the shot go through?

MR DE KOCK: It was through the roof but I can't tell you exactly where in the structure. I don't have that information.

MR S HUGO: You then made mention of the fact that Mr Winter had arrived. What did Mr Van Zyl convey to you, what were they busy doing?

MR DE KOCK: They were busy burning documents.

MR S HUGO: And did Mr Van Zyl during these follow up conversations, did he refer to this firearm?

MR DE KOCK: Not that I can remember. No, not that I can remember.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Hugo, can I just ask something? Something that's not quite clear? Mr De Kock, according to my notes you said that Winter arrived while they were busy burning the documentation?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

ADV BOSMAN: Now it seems that Winter then arrived there for the first time?

MR DE KOCK: Yes. In my statement you could perhaps make the assumption or get the impression that he was part of this group.

ADV BOSMAN: Yes that is what I'm aiming at because a bit earlier in the statement you said that he was there when the shot was, went off. According to Van Zyl, Eric Winter was also there, present drunk as usually.

MR DE KOCK: While those two different incidents, that would be confusing and the qualification that I'm making is that he arrived the morning and the first number occurred and that was number eleven, that was more or less in the morning, that is the impression that I can remember that I got from the discussion. He was not part of this group that took them.

ADV BOSMAN: Did you try to say that there is a bit of a problem with your statement? Now from the written statement I get a clear impression that Van Zyl was, or Winter was, present during the taking?

MR DE KOCK: No. I want to say to you and this is not an apology it is not pleasant for me to sit here.

ADV BOSMAN: I just want some clarity about these two statements.

MR DE KOCK: Why we are sitting with this situation is because I never expected to be here but my whole application is 1700 pages and there won't be confusion for example if I said that there was a General, that would be, but I could perhaps give the wrong name and that is because of a problem with my memory. We were involved for a long time with these activities.

ADV BOSMAN: I understand that. My problem is, is with what was said in the statement and that looks like a contradiction and that is why I've qualified it.

MR S HUGO: What is your testimony concerning Winter and his participation?

MR DE KOCK: He knew where to go that morning to get to the people. I can't say where they were. I understand it was somewhere on a farm or a smallholding, but that he arrived while documentation was being burned. I don't want to add, close an item such as that, but the information that I can remember was the documentation and to make it more clear, the discussions were quite general but I can specifically remember that. There will be more information, but this is what I can remember.

MR S HUGO: Is that a summary more or less of the effect of those discussions that you had?

MR DE KOCK: It's not only a summary. These are different parts. If you listen to information that you take and that is what I then stored.

MR S HUGO: The information that you are giving here would then cover all those conversations so it's not only taken from one conversation?

MR DE KOCK: I won't be able to tell you. Well the telephone conversation is quite clear and after that there were other conversations and this is the accumulation of everything.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr de Kock there were some discussions and Mr Winter's name stayed with you. How well do you know Winter? Did you also follow his career or was he a new person at some stage?

MR DE KOCK: I was part of his career in Oshakati first at the security branch and then he came to the Koevoet section and he wasn't a stranger to me.

ADV BOSMAN: Was there ever some unpleasantness between you and Winter?

MR DE KOCK: We never saw eye to eye if I can put it in this way but it was a personality problem. We were good colleagues, yes.

ADV BOSMAN: And his drinking problem, was that ever a problem for you? Did you feel that a man of this position whose drinking is a risk?

MR DE KOCK: All the security police who I knew there, if you had to put it on a barometer concerning a drinking problem then they all had it. They could drink.

ADV BOSMAN: So you would excuse this light-hearted comment that you all were a bit of a risk?

MR DE KOCK: It was said don't even trust a man if you don't drink. I won't say that's correct, but he was always able to do his work. He was conscientious, he is a very good analyst and that's also a very good security man.

MR S HUGO: Mr De Kock, after this conversation, Mr Van Zyl then left and as far as you know he went to the Monjat Islands. Can you remember that?


MR S HUGO: What was the purpose?

MR DE KOCK: He mentioned that he went diving, I think it was for a period of two weeks and that he also, would also meet people from the French Foreign Legion. That is one of their bases.

MR S HUGO: And did he also make mention of the vehicle and the investigation regarding this incident?

MR DE KOCK: That is now from the side of Head Office. From Head Office side there was an investigation launched by Krappies Engelbrecht who was the head of Murder and Robbery Divisions on a national basis and Krappies Engelbrecht, he then removed all the traffic tickets given to this, or issued to this section. He removed them all.

MR S HUGO: Could you perhaps for just sake of clarity tell the Committee when you made this information known for the first time as it is put out in your application.

MR DE KOCK: That was after I arrived at the regional hospital. That was in Pretoria. There was a twofold purpose. The one is known with the security branch and the organisations and then also known from Ovamboland that if you would die then all, any excesses or people who had been killed, all of those things would then be written off but then I was prepared to carry my own cross but not the cross of the politicians and the other people. I won't carry the cross for the people. My superiors, but the people, my subordinates, I would.

MR S HUGO: Is it correct that during this time that you had contact with the Attorney General and then gave some of the informations through to them?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is correct.

MR S HUGO: And it was also during this time that you testified in the Motherwell incident?

MR DE KOCK: Yes I then decided to testify about this.

CHAIRPERSON: Before you continue. When did you make contact with the Attorney General?

MR DE KOCK: Initially it was in 1994 that I made contact but they were willing to give me Section 204, suggestion, but for any evidence that didn't handle to do anything with or dealt with my own cases. So I decided to keep silent.

MR S HUGO: I think what the Chairperson is aiming at is that when you started giving the information, amongst others now, the Motherwell incident, which year was that?

MR DE KOCK: That was end of April/May 1995. The other aspect that also led to this was that one of my former colleagues and also an operative visited me in the hospital and told me that the Generals, that would be people such as Johan Coetzee and his cohorts. It's now for the first time in their lives that they are on their knees to pray and that was that De Kock should die because then everything could be blamed on me and I'm not saying this out of vengeance. It was a practical solution within the security branch that the dead should carry the responsibility.

MR S HUGO: Now Mr Van Zyl has given you this information regarding the Goniwe incident. What was your perception of Mr Goniwe and the others involved? Which political affiliations did they have to the best of your memory and knowledge?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, as individuals, I had actually no knowledge of them except that Vlakplaas or C Section operated on a national and international level and especially I, relied on the weekly and monthly security reviews where one had a condensation of the security situations on a regional basis and that is where Mr Goniwe's name appeared quite prominently but as a UDF member and because the UDF was regarded in security circles as the internal wing of the ANC but he didn't do anything which required my attention except if an order had been issued but they were regarded as very effective activists and that a high managerial level or ability for organisation and the image projected by the press at that stage in terms of the incident, if I can remember correctly, the idea that was created was that they were effectively busy overthrowing the government and that they were busy with terrorism.

MR S HUGO: Regarding the political motivation, well it appears in your application. You refer on page 16 to your ideological disposition towards the enemy, how that was shaped by your training and education and indoctrination. Is that correct?


MR S HUGO: Then you refer on page 235 of your application to the education of white voters and how that took place by means of disinformation. Is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that's correct.

MR S HUGO: Then on page 237 of your application you refer to the manner in which the security police operated with regard to the protection of sensitive information?

MR DE KOCK: That's correct.

MR S HUGO: You refer on page 241 of your application to the attitude and disposition of the security police towards the prominent community leaders?

MR DE KOCK: Correct.

MR S HUGO: Page 242 makes reference to the modus operandi which reigned in the security circles regarding cover ups of the offences of the security police?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that was so.

MR S HUGO: And then in general on page 249 you refer to the context of background against which these events occurred?

MR DE KOCK: That's correct.

MR S HUGO: Can I ask you finally, if you at that stage when Mr Van Zyl conveyed this information to you, given your position as a newly appointed Head of Vlakplaas, if you had for example taken this information to the Attorney General, what would have been the effect on the security forces?

MR DE KOCK: It would not only have demoralised but also led to the collapse of the security forces with a ripple effect to the top including the Chief of the Security Forces and then right up to the top to the State Security Council.

MR S HUGO: And these were persons to which you at that stage were unconditionally loyal?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, chairperson. Insofar as that one's own death was insignificant in that regard. That was the one aspect if you had made the information known.

MR S HUGO: But in another aspect, on a personal level, what do you think would have happened?

MR DE KOCK: I do not want to speculate because one would have been killed but not long after that we got rid of our own colleagues in order to protect these secrets.

MR S HUGO: Well let us be straight forward about it. You received an order shortly afterwards from senior officers to kill some of your own colleagues because they were threatening to make information and which would place the security forces in a position of danger?

MR DE KOCK: Well it hadn't been confirmed.

MR S HUGO: I have no further questions.


ADV POTGIETER: Mr De Kock, before the cross-examination, you have listened to the testimony in this matter. Do you have any commentary regarding the situation that Mr Goniwe was killed at a stage when recommendations and decisions were being made within in the state security system which boiled down to the idea that he would not be killed but that he would be reappointed to his post. Do you have any commentary regarding that situation?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson. There may have been individuals on a higher level and I mean Ministry level who were serious about it but let us call them the Securocrats those who held positions of authority. It would have just have been a legitimate icing sugar around the objective which ultimately was to remove and kill, to eliminate on a permanent basis. There's no doubt in my mind regarding that, I was involved on that level although I was not admitted or permitted in the actual chambers.

MR POTGIETER: Are you referring to Mr Goniwe's case?

MR DE KOCK: That's correct, they could have created the impression and there may have been one or two who were serious and honest regarding a deception which was applied to them but from the Security Force's side, not the uniform branch. The uniform branch were those who suffered the most, black and white, to combat the violence. I'm referring here to the Security Policemen and Military Intelligence and National Intelligence. They had their agents and those on ground level took the rap.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BOOYENS: Mr De Kock I would like you to expand a bit. You had broad experience because you moved country wide and you've already mentioned you operated from Vlakplaas. Insofar as it is possible we have restricted it to the situation of 1985. It's sometimes problematic, one cannot always recall exactly what happened, but what was your impression around about 1984/85 regarding let us call it the security situation, the attempts of the government who were made in power, how far were they prepared to go?

MR DE KOCK: They would have taken it to the utmost level of violence until shortly before a declaration of war. The only difference is, were the emergency regulations but after that we would have had an internal civil war. In fact we did have it. They called it low key but for those involved it definitely wasn't low key it was very serious and very painful.

MR BOOYENS: The situation regarding the Eastern Cape itself at that time, I'm not talking about what you've read in reports, but did you experience the Eastern Cape situation on a personal level or didn't you operate in the area?

MR DE KOCK: I did experience it in 1976 in Tembisa in Katlahong and it made one realise that the foundations of the government were in danger.

MR BOOYENS: As policemen you were indoctrinated with this struggle idea with the idea at all costs you should endeavour to keep the ship afloat, so to speak. How much propaganda did actually filter through to you from the headquarters, from the politicians and so forth?

MR DE KOCK: The propaganda was so broad that it wasn't only in terms of the media in all it's forms but also in terms of daily conversations, lectures, even when I was in Rhodesia and in South West Africa. At times I tried to determine for myself whether or not the Chaplain who was reading and praying for us, I tried to determine whether or not he was a Chaplain or a politician. It was all encompassing and with the younger members and with us who were older and more experienced, it created a total war psychosis that should we lose it would mean our extinction.

MR BOOYENS: Mr De Kock, I don't know if you have seen

all the applications, the other applications, but, I would like to refer to something in one of the applications pieces of Harold Snyman. I will tell you what he says because I would like to know whether you could confirm whether that type of situation took place. Mr Snyman mentioned a time when he attended a Security Guidance Conference in Cradock and he lectured there regarding the security situation and that the normal security actions weren't working any more and the then Minister of Law and Order, Mr Louis le Grange, called him aside during a break. This was after he had said that the normal procedures weren't effective any longer and he said that they should make a plan regarding the Eastern Cape activists. Now what I want to know from you is that you also had some kind of involvement with the activists. Do you think that this sounds right regarding the action taken regarding the activists?

MR DE KOCK: It sounds very much like that and after a meeting, a Colonel, a General or a Brigadier would approach you while you were having refreshments or a meal and he would say you must hit back at these people, get them out of the way. It doesn't mean that you must move this person from house to house or give them a couple of slaps, it meant that you should kill this person and they would use a certain terminology and said that the person had to be removed and it didn't mean that you had to take the person out or entertain them, it meant that you had to kill them.

CHAIRPERSON: Once again, Mr de Kock, I accept what you're saying, that certain words meant something completely different. Who compiled the new dictionary?

MR DE KOCK: The new dictionary was a verbal or let's call it a police language. Someone would say to you there's a beautiful chicken. People would laugh and you'd look and you wouldn't see a chicken but you'd see a beautiful lady. It was a kind of a police language within that culture.

CHAIRPERSON: You don't know where it originated?

MR DE KOCK: I think it actually came from the 1960's such as the word, let's take neutralisation, that is as wide as God's mercy, but it meant that you would never again be operative and the rookies who arrived would simply just acquire the language. It actually didn't just become part of their vocabulary, but part of their thought processes.

MR BOOYENS: So in other words certain words were used and if one would consult a dictionary the word would mean something completely different but the one using the word and the one hearing the word would know exactly what it meant and it didn't necessarily mean what one would find in a dictionary?

MR DE KOCK: No, it meant exactly what one was supposed to do with one's opposition. For example, he had to go for a drive, that meant that he would go with you but he wouldn't return.

MR BOOYENS: Another term was to do someone?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that was more direct.

MR BOOYENS: Thus, the language which developed at that time, people developed their own language and couldn't come to you and say go and shoot Koos dead. It would be a language like slang but also a type of language which develops as a result of certain police thought process. So do I understand you correctly, if someone had said to you, one of the politicians, a General or so, and said to you go and shoot Koos dead, you would have been surprised? You would rather expect him to use one of the terms that you used?

MR DE KOCK: No. He would never have used it, there would always be some kind of euphemism. The most direct order which I ever received was go and bomb Khotso House and COSATU House and that is when I started asking questions. Don't you just want to shake it up a little or put a couple of cracks into the wall? But the order was to blow it up and that was the most direct order that I ever received.

MR BOOYENS: Within the ambit of the security forces as you described it, the security police and intelligence and so forth, are you saying that a person such as the Minister of Law and Order, if he said that you should make a plan with the people in the Eastern Cape, who were creating so many problems, would that mean that you should kill these people?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Chairperson, I would say so. In retrospect, regarding my presence here, the Minister never again enquired regarding what was happening, regarding the situation, so he was satisfied and that is my opinion, from a layman's view. It's not as if he went to extreme lengths to investigate it.

MR BOOYENS: Mr De Kock, I would just like to go back to something that you mentioned earlier. This reappointment issue, you also heard evidence that the correspondence was apparently never seen by anyone. The information regarding the Committee Meetings under the Chairmanship of Mr Vlok. So what you're actually trying to tell the Committee and please correct me if I'm wrong, the entire attempt at reappointment could have been a smokescreen which they had at the top and it's seems as if in 1984 already such instructions were given from the top. You know what I'm referring to? That this entire thing could have been a smokescreen just to keep the guys at the top happy while at the bottom, information wasn't conveyed to everybody in terms of the actual meaning?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, chairperson, I cannot speak for the Minister of Education but from a security point of view, in my circles, that would have meant the smokescreen. Let's place this on the one side because if he had died they would have stood up in front of the media and said but we wanted to reappoint him and Minister Vlok would have said but we wanted to transfer him and they would have been able to get out of the situation.

MR BOOYENS: But you're saying that there was a certain kind of dualism. There were the Securocrats as you referred to them?


MR BOOYENS: Who wouldn't hesitate to perpetuate the discussions regarding Mr Goniwe?

MR DE KOCK: They would have encouraged it and recorded it because then they would have been able to distance themselves from it later.

MR BOOYENS: And then there were persons who were sincere and who genuinely wanted to regard the matter and reach an honest opinion that there was some kind of way out for that person?

MR DE KOCK: That's correct. If one conducts some research, I can't remember all the titles and the writers but at one stage there was a move away or not a move away but the SSC did not inform parliament and they would have that this man was a dove and that the rest of them were hawks. That is my opinion as an operative in that area.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr De Kock, while you are talking about undercurrents and differences, what was the relationship like in the State Security sector? Did the military and the police always see eye to eye?

MR DE KOCK: Well, in holistic context yes, because we all had the same problem. We wanted to keep the country, we were willing to fight for it, we wanted to keep it by any means and at any costs.

ADV BOSMAN: Wasn't there sometimes a certain competition between the groups thinking that well if we keep the country we'd like to have the credit for it and not the others.

MR DE KOCK: I wasn't there but I know that sometimes there was competition regarding who would get the kill.

ADV BOSMAN: Was this competition on a Ministry level, among the Generals, among the soldiers? I know that you're speculating.

MR DE KOCK: Well the soldiers were encouraged by senior officers because they were the ones who were doing the work and the senior officers would get the credit. The senior officer would receive the pat on the back from the higher levels.

ADV BOSMAN: I wouldn't ask you to speculate regarding the Eastern Cape but would you say regarding that which you heard and that which you regarded as confidential information, could you express an opinion whether or not there was competition between the security forces and the military in the Eastern Cape?

MR DE KOCK: Well I wouldn't be able to comment because it was too far from my sphere. I wasn't here enough in order to formulate an opinion about it.

MR BOOYENS: Mr De Kock, we have heard it at length, the excuse that the politicians offer nowadays is that yes, they did use certain words and I'm specifically referring to the submissions made by Deputy Minister Vlok, I'll read it to you in English: "Firstly the specific usage of language which was usually used in that specific area at meetings expressions such as eliminate, neutralise, take out, destroy and similar words were used." Now the politicians, because they are on record regarding this, agreed that they did use these words. Are you aware of that?


MR BOOYENS: But the story now, goes that they are so sorry that you on ground level misunderstood these words.

MR DE KOCK: No, chairperson, they are lying and I'll tell you why. We had Adriaan Vlok at Vlakplaas telling us, after we had blown up KHOTSO House and COSATU House and also the Community Centre in the Cape and other places and he told us that we had performed good work and that we would fight for the following thousand years and that the Motherwell Trial, I told you what my opinion was because someone said it in 1984 and 1985 as well. I don't know whether or not he had the idea of the thousand year Reich in his mind but they all knew what it was about and before 1994, the Ministers and the Generals used the information, used the foot soldiers to maintain their positions and their reputations and now they're doing it again.

MR BIZOS: May I appeal to my learned friend to identify where he read the passage from for the authenticity of the quotation and for the completeness of the record of these proceedings?

MR BOOYENS: I'm indebted to you Mr Chairman. Mr Chairman, I quoted from the Truth and Reconciliation Committee Amnesty Hearing held in Port Elizabeth and in the application of Hermanus Barend Du Plessis, Case No. 4384/96 and I quoted from evidence that was put to him at page 16 and 17 of that record.

CHAIRPERSON: In respect of what application was that Mr Booyens?

MR BOOYENS: Pebco. Mr De Kock, we have now discussed the politicians and so forth. But you also heard the testimony here or it would appear that that was more in the information gathering department that was Mr Taylor's testimony that he didn't entrust the soldiers with all the information that he had because sometimes they confused things and if there was a possibility that an informant would be complemented, he wouldn't give the military information because they didn't know how to work with it properly. Could you comment on that?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, no. Except that all three intelligence levels, nationally, military and security all worked towards a certain objective and if they, there were things that they didn't want to divulge, there might have been individuals who wanted to be promoted too quickly and would have used information foolishly and that would have led to a lot of problems with innocent people.

MR BOOYENS: So, I think an experienced security policeman once said to me that there was sort of the feeling that military intelligence as a term was a contradiction in terms? There was a feeling that the guys didn't work as comfortably together as what as those on the upper levels of government wanted them to?

MR DE KOCK: I'm not sure, I'm speaking under correction, but the military had twelve different directorates and one could not have found a more professional directorate in say three or four of those directorates but some of them used their personnel incorrectly and were unprofessional.

MR BOOYENS: Chairperson shall we adjourn?



MR BOOYENS: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr De Kock, you said that you knew Mr Van Zyl quite well, you came a long way together?


MR BOOYENS: Regarding his disciplined manner of doing things, was he a disciplined person?

MR DE KOCK: Yes he was. He was a very disciplined person also a patriot, an exceptional one, but he was very disciplined.

MR BOOYENS: Mr Van Zyl's testimony was that he acted on an instruction, he got an instruction, he carried it out. In this milieu, this culture in which you lived, would a relatively junior officer, such as a Captain or even for example a Colonel like you, would you have taken these decisions on your own which led to this tragedy? I'm referring to it in general.

MR DE KOCK: It would definitely have been instructions that came from the highest levels.

MR BOOYENS: Mr De Kock, I want to go back to the politicians that we referred to. In 1984/85 you and the other applicants were in a position that you really believed the politicians and supported them?

MR DE KOCK: Yes. There wasn't any doubt.

MR BOOYENS: There wasn't any form of scepticism about their views and their objectives?

ADV BOSMAN: Could I just get some clarity? Mr De Kock you say that the instruction would have come from the highest levels. In a general sense, how far would this now have filtered through from where the instruction came from?

MR DE KOCK: I would say that it came at least from the State Security Council.

ADV BOSMAN: No, you don't understand my question correctly. Let's assume that it came from the State Security Council. How far down this hierarchy would an officer have known that that instruction was given up there, would have known the facts, not have thought but would have factually known who had given the order?

MR DE KOCK: I cannot speculate, it would be difficult.

ADV BOSMAN: Perhaps I can put my question a bit differently. Would you expect that it would be someone on the level of a Brigadier or a level of a Colonel or would you expect that a Captain would know who gave the order?

MR DE KOCK: We could have a situation for example at the State Security Council that a group of people, one from military, one from the S.A.P., one from Intelligence, they would have to find this action how they wanted it to proceed and then they would have let it evolve down to the level of a Brigadier who's at head office and this Brigadier would then say because it's in the Eastern Cape let's give it through to the head of an intelligence service there, whether it's military or army and from there it would then have filtered through. If one looks at a specific graphic exposition, it would then go to the man to man situation. I'm giving you an explanation of how it worked. We also had a situation where a brigadier came to me. I was a Captain and then told me a plan had to be made, but then he got that from a General and then that General came back from the State Security Council.

ADV BOSMAN: Now the question is, would he have told you "I received an order from General so and so" that we had to carry out this operation and you now have the task to do it. Or would he have said "I received an instruction from a higher level and you now have the task to do this".?

MR DE KOCK: It would more have been along the lines of a general consensus, is that "we should look at these people and see how we can, you know, then, well get rid or neutralise of them".

ADV BOSMAN: Would an officer for example on the level of a Colonel have said that "Brigadier there is general consensus but who is the person who really wants this person to be taken out of the way?"

MR DE KOCK: If we specifically went and you asked and one specific case I experienced this where I did this but they would never, would actually, contest or dispute this. It wasn't good for your career.

MR POTGIETER: Mr De Kock, what rank within the police, what's the lowest rank that would have the right to determine life and death?

MR DE KOCK: In reality there's no rank in all the forces which would have been able to decide that. If I refer to lower ranks it would be for example between a Constable and a Major but then I would apply it and that could also now lead to a general debate. If you had to make a field decision and you don't have a General with you and you don't have a Minister with you, then you have to decide whether this order is right or wrong but what would have happened in the lower ranks is that if there had been an accident during interrogation then they would have conspired to cover it up. But in the Goniwe case this was not, it could not have happened that it was from only a specific branch, no. Definitely not.

ADV BOSMAN: Could I perhaps just take this question a bit further? Let's assume that this evening it was expected that there would be three people in the car, Goniwe, Calata and Mr Mkhonto. Now there are four people and now the decision must be taken are we going to proceed with the operation and we will now also include this fourth person. Who would have carried the responsibility to take the decision. Now this is now an hypothetical situation.

MR DE KOCK: I am now going to give pure speculation and I can refer it to later incidents. The first impression from an operatives view point and now I'm saying this because of experience that I have, is that the people who were with them, wasn't there just to get an opportunity, a lift or something, this person would then be associated with the persons, he could be a collaborator and I'm not trying to defend anyone. This is my personal view and what I have experienced and now I will say to myself, I now have to make a field decision. I can't go and phone someone and that decision, right or wrong, I will have to stand and maintain it and that is then is the fact that person who's unfortunately there is now going to be an unfortunate victim and the future we will get to this again and it's unfortunately the case.

ADV BOSMAN: And the question then is, who would have taken the decision? Would it be the officer with the highest rank in that group?

MR DE KOCK: Yes but the officer with the highest rank would also have asked well, I did this and my experience, I can't say this on behalf of someone else, but he would have said "what do you think?" If there isn't some kind of consensus the officer would have said something and the others say no and then there's a problem. That's how I view it. It's difficult to talk on behalf on someone else.

ADV BOSMAN: Would you say that within the culture of the Security Forces that it would have been a consensus decision and a collective responsibility?

MR DE KOCK: I would say yes because someone has to take decision and in the end there will be a decision. I'm not trying to beat around the bush but it's just very difficult for me to speculate because each incident is unique when one looks at the problems experienced in this kind of work.

MR BOOYENS: Mr De Kock, I just want to add on to what has just been asked. Let's go back to the culture. In those days the police were supposed to be quite disciplined in the majority of cases. If you for example, let's say the Head of Security gave you an order, to execute a specific task. Now these would now refer to illegal tasks and you would have told, for some of your subordinates or given them the instruction to carry out this task, would they normally ask you who gave you the instruction or was the culture rather that my Commander, I accept that he received an instruction from higher up and it is not the done thing to ask him where he got it. He'll only carry out his instruction based on the assumption that he had authority?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, it was possible. Not in my own position, when we get an instruction then there isn't talk. Because not all the people felt exactly the same. You gave them the opportunity, you give them an idea of the operation then you say those who would like to participate would have to make it known and those who don't want to participate could stay out. Then we had situations where people said that they won't participate in this particular operation but they'll do the next one. I think it was this kind management style or the guideline that was prevalent at that particular branch whether it was rigid regarding the perception of the members. I think what I'm referring to now for example this particular case. The General tells you as a Colonel to carry out an operation. So your instruction comes from a General. Now perhaps you give a Captain and two Sergeants the instruction to carry out the operation but when you give your instruction to the Captain and two Sergeants do you say that I got instruction from General so and so or do you give the instruction and you accept it that you got the instruction from somewhere higher up. So it's not a question of "Colonel who told you to do this?" so they're never going to question the whole origin, they could have done it. But I for example did it, I found out with the bombing of COSATU House. I asked Brigadier Schoon who gave the instruction. I know that I'm discussing a case that still has to be heard. We're now referring to terrorism and he told me it comes from high up and I asked how high and he said it comes from the President and then I said well, then I don't have a problem and I also conveyed it to my people.

MR BOOYENS: But do you find anything wrong with the statement that was made by some of the other applicants that they as having lower ranks that they would not really have enquired and it would not have been unique just to accept that someone got the instruction from higher up.

MR DE KOCK: I think it would depend on the person's mentality how he viewed his position within the security branch, I can't speculate, I don't even want to risk it.

ADV BOSMAN: Another question, Mr De Kock, I assume that a person's status within the security branch was not only determined by his rank but also how he was viewed as person. You as a Colonel where you had a certain regard for example that you'd have higher status than a person with a lower rank, is that what you're trying to say?

MR DE KOCK: Certain Colonels were less accessible for the lower ranks. I had an open door policy so it was easy for me to communicate with them and I think it depended on the specific personalities.

MR BOOYENS: I want to go back to the politicians. You said briefly that 1984/85 you also thought as a people that these people were wonderful, that wonderful things arose. Mr De Kock and today we are in fact talking with the wisdom of hindsight. What do you think of the politicians and what they did with you those days?

MR DE KOCK: And also now with hindsight, we're all thinking people, I cannot believe that people with that kind of insight made such an impression on us. I'm going to mention two names. The one is General Johan Coetzee and the other one is someone like F.W. de Klerk. I believe that one would have to use their names with circumspection because it can be unpleasant but I think that they have to stand against a wall today because they not only deceived the people, but at the first sign of problems, they also ran away and they sold them out. I cannot believe that they had that effect on us.

CHAIRPERSON: What do you mean the people?

MR DE KOCK: The people, I'm referring to the Generals and the Ministers and I'm referring to the National Party Ministers.

CHAIRPERSON: You say they sold the people out. Which people are you talking about?

MR DE KOCK: They sold out the general white population besides now for the one or two percent elite people who were part of their group in the sense that it had nothing to do with creating peace. We all wanted peace. In 1985 they didn't desire it, it was only later on that they realised with all the security forces they would not be able to suppress the rest of the population and then they became more desirous. It was not because there was peace created it was the way in which they sold their own people out and then I refer to the Afrikaner specifically. The fact that there was peace is something that can be admired and it is a merciful situation.

MR BOOYENS: Is your impression regarding those persons and the security forces that you did the dirty work for them and today they are claiming innocence and they say that we never knew anything about you and we never gave you any instructions?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is the case and we can use a very direct example. The security forces themselves didn't really want to fight, you were incited by this quest for patriotism, the evil forces and I'm saying this to you straight out and we weren't involved in a war against a neighbouring country, we strangled each other on the ground as citizens of this country.

MR BOOYENS: Mr De Kock, I'm not going to continue for much longer. If you want to turn to page 256, I just want to have clarity on a few issues. Do I understand it correctly, what you are summarising here is that sum total of three conversations between you and Mr Van Zyl? There was one telephone conversation and then two personal conversations?

MR DE KOCK: The telephone conversation that was one single conversation. Well, the other conversations, there could be more I don't want to speculate. I can remember two other conversations.

MR BOOYENS: According to what I understand at the top of 257, this shooting that was conveyed to you, now this shot that went off, that was not the shot that caused the death of someone?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR BOOYENS: Particulars regarding the execution of the operation, that wasn't conveyed to you besides the kidnapping, that was given to you?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, as I mentioned earlier in my testimony, conversations were much broader but this is what I can specifically remember. You cannot always remember everything but what is important you will in fact then remember.

MR BOOYENS: Yes you had in fact said that I agree with you. Then I just want some clarity on this issue concerning Winter. You earlier said something about 11 o'clock or you mentioned 11, I didn't hear it. Could you just tell me what did you try to convey?

MR DE KOCK: That is that while Van Zyl and Lotz, and who was also present while they busy burning documentation, Winter arrived and that was during the day, that was 11 o'clock in the morning.

MR BOOYENS: I understand and the burning of the documents as you can remember it, that was on some smallholding or a farm?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is how I understood it from the conversation.

MR BOOYENS: And then another aspect. I don't exactly understand, if you go to the bottom of page 257. Am I correct in inferring that that was conveyed to you is that Krappies Engelbrecht, you referred to the yellow police vehicle, is it the same yellow police vehicle that you also refer to on page 257 at the top? The parking tickets that were taken?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR BOOYENS: Can you remember when this conversation regarding Engelbrecht took place?


MR BOOYENS: Mr De Kock, will you agree that if one looks at some of the facts on the ground in this case or based on the testimony that was given then it seems as if you heard that Mr Van Zyl had said that he can't remember the conversations but then he also cannot deny that they actually took place. But then you get the impression that what was conveyed to you gives quite a confused picture, you don't really know how to put the things together. From what you can remember, from your conversation, it's not a clear picture.

MR DE KOCK: No I don't have the full operational detail but what went with it or some of it.

MR BOOYENS: Let me put it in this way, put it more correctly. What you can remember what was told to you and what also accompanied the whole thing is what you can remember, you weren't involved yourself?


QUESTION FROM PANEL: Sorry, Mr De Kock, if you look at page 257. The paragraph, the first paragraph but towards the end, the last three lines. It says that Winter threatened Gerrit Lotz with death. Should he say anything about the incident? Which incident do you think he was referring to, was he referring to the burning of the documents or was he referring to the Goniwe incident?

MR DE KOCK: That would definitely have been about the Goniwe incident and because I know Lotz from the days in South West it would have been something totally unnecessary to say but within the frame of reference of Winter's thinking process.

MR BOOYENS: Mr De Kock, another aspect to refer to this issue concerning Winter, can you exclude the possibility that this Winter incident with the farm or the smallholding and the burnt documents, can you exclude it that it could perhaps have something to do with another incident and that perhaps Mr Van Zyl had been wrong and perhaps there had been some confusion and that you could perhaps have confused two different operations?

MR DE KOCK: No, I'm quite to prepared to do a polygraph test in this hall. I have no problem with this, what I'm saying here is correct.

MR BOOYENS: No, you're not understanding me correctly, I'm not saying that you are busy lying, what I'm trying to say to you is that, is it possible that what was conveyed to you because this picture of the burning of the documents on this smallholding, this doesn't fit into the whole picture of the operation. Is it possible that there could be confusion when it was conveyed to you and that is perhaps how this was then, how this emerged?

MR DE KOCK: Could I answer the question by putting another question? Then the facts do not fit in with my picture. But I don't want to take it further than that.

MR BOOYENS: No this doesn't fit the picture as it was conveyed to you.

MR DE KOCK: No I don't have the whole picture, I only have this bit of detail.

MR BOOYENS: And another fact, something that I can't understand. I want to go back to the parking tickets. Why would have these tickets have been confiscated or can't you remember?

MR DE KOCK: No, but it would logic to think it could have been the car with the hole in the roof. That's the only reason that I can think of but I can't speculate any further.

MR BOOYENS: If I can remember correctly, from what appears from the judgment given during the findings during the inquest was that the tickets that were there, now you heard the whole story about the false number plates?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR BOOYENS: Now these parking tickets, were they linked to the car with the false number plate, so the false number plate stayed on the scene? Not the police car but where they burned out Goniwe's car. As I understand the inquest that was linked to that, now then it makes some sense. But do you agree that as it is given here you don't really know why they wanted to take the tickets, to repair the roof?

MR DE KOCK: Perhaps General Engelbrecht can give us the answers, I'm not going to speculate.

MR BIZOS: Mr Chairman, I have the benefit of having been at the inquest. We will show on the record, don't have to take my word for it, that the tickets were issued to a motor car bearing the numbers appearing on the burnt out car. Those, the tickets were issued on those numbers with the coincidence that all the parking tickets were issued near the security police headquarters. No prosecution had come about because after the deaths it was said by the prosecutor that they did not issue summonses or if they issued summonses they withdrew them. If a senior police officer said that the vehicle was on official police business at the time and the, at the time when there were no applications for amnesty or confessions, it was one of the facts which persuaded his Lordship, Mr Justice Zietsman that it was the security forces that were responsible for the death. That was the evidence and that the tickets were not available to the investigating officer later because apparently Mr Krappies Engelbrecht had taken them away.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr De Kock, concerning the parking tickets I can understand the situation but what I find strange and I have a question concerning this, why it was said specifically to you, why that it was a yellow vehicle, do you have any explanation for that? I would tell someone, I would say the car that I used, the tickets were taken. Now why specifically was the yellow mentioned by Captain Van Zyl.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I cannot give you an answer. I cannot really tell you the lines along which this conversation went but I can't give you information about the context.

ADV BOSMAN: But can you agree that the fact that you remembered the yellow that that is quite curious? I'm not trying to cross-examine you but I just find it strange.

MR DE KOCK: And please don't misunderstand me, I'm not trying to be witty, I was quite surprised myself that I could still remember all of the detail after such a long period. I mentioned because it was in my memory.

ADV BOSMAN: You also heard that Captain Van Zyl

had said that he possibly could have given you disinformation when he was asked to explain this situation and what is your comment on this? The fact that he had given you disinformation?

MR DE KOCK: I can't contest that, dispute it.

ADV BOSMAN: Is that something that occurred during those times?

MR DE KOCK: Not between people who trusted each other but I would not doubt his reasons for doing that and I won't speculate on that but that is a possibility, yes.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr De Kock and while we are focused on sexism, the Chairperson is a man.

MR DE KOCK: May I just mention that I spoke to you now and I think that is the correct form of address for a lady?

ADV BOSMAN: And it is that you said this morning that you were prepared to carry the burden of those below you but not those above you and because this is so important regarding Colonel Winter, I would just like to have clarity, or let us rather say Mr Winter. You have actually implicated him, Mr Winter, in this and it doesn't really say what your moral feelings surrounding the issue are. Could you perhaps inform us regarding that?

MR DE KOCK: I don't have reasons but my inner feelings say that he would be able to clarify certain things and regarding the application of this law it is first about truth and then about reconciliation because reconciliation cannot be achieved within three days perhaps only in a number of years.

ADV BOSMAN: You have misunderstood me. But what you're actually trying to say is that the reason why you are here is that you feel Mr Winter would be able to clarify this matter much better?

MR DE KOCK: Yes and I hope that he will.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr De Kock, as I understand your testimony, you have said only that which you heard from Mr Van Zyl?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: You're not implicating anybody?

MR DE KOCK: No, what I'm giving you is direct testimony of the spoken word as I heard it back then.

MR BOOYENS: I have no further questions. Thank you Chairperson.


MR TSOTSI: Mr De Kock, did I understand you correctly to say that owing to the unrest in the 1984/85 period an operative in the field could shoot and kill an activist without reference to higher authority?

MR DE KOCK: No, that is not what I said. What I meant by that was that in the final analysis the operative would find himself in the field situation in an unenviable position and at that time without the ability to deliberate for a couple of hours he would only have a few minutes to make a decision and it could lead to the loss of his colleagues lives and he would have to make a decision and he would have to decide, right or wrong. The mentality of the Generals and Ministers was that if you had taken the correct decision, then it would be good for your promotion and your road ahead. If it was the wrong decision they would lock you up in an office with a number of files

and that's where you'd remain for the rest of you career and that was unfortunately so. I didn't say that he was compelled to kill anybody, but given the nature of an operation and that every situation is different it could happen within the heat of the moment. The stress and the insanity of the moment could lead to that kind of decision.

MR TSOTSI: Would you say then that in the circumstances of the time Mr Snyman could not properly have given an order himself without reference to higher authority in order to kill? He must have had orders from above?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson I would say yes and how subtly it was issued by whichever euphemisms is not important to me, it would have come.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR BIZOS: Mr De Kock, you have spoken of the culture of those who committed crimes in defence of apartheid?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: And it's obvious from your own application that once you have come to terms with your lot that you appear to have made a full disclosure and spoken out to unburden yourself with everything that you knew?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: Now, can we take it that you are well versed that even within illegal killing there were certain procedures and that killing could not be done indiscriminately by the people in the field, that they had to observe certain practices or rules?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: And the rules were I assume elastic depending on the circumstances?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: In relation to killings which may have political consequences and fallout, political fallout, was it possible for a security officer even up to the rank of Colonel or even Brigadier or perhaps even General to make a decision without reference to the Security Council?

MR DE KOCK: No Chairperson, the fallout can be compared to radio activity because what would have had to have been in place was a strategy of combating fallout. It would have been the same as shooting the President. There would have had to have been a decision on that level so that people would know how to combat that kind of violence.

MR BIZOS: Let us take a concrete example mentioned by yourself, Mr De Kock. KHOTSO House was the headquarters of the Council of Churches?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: A non-government organisation which was considered an important organisation in the country with those administering the apartheid state considering it an enemy but those whom the Council of Churches helped considered with love and affection.

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR BIZOS: When you were given an order to blow up Khotso House, you wanted to know and you asked on whose authority was that being given?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: Because of the importance of the target and the fallout that may have followed as a result of your act?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: Did you ask who ordered it both for your own protection and also for the protection of the country that it was not somewhere along the line that the order came but you wanted to know precisely where it came from?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, the reason why I asked and as a result of the background it was a dual reason. First was because we weren't going to commit an act of terrorism internally. I wanted to know and I directly asked Brigadier Schoon, he wasn't someone that you could just confront and I asked him from whence the order came and he said from the highest authority and I went further and I asked how high and he said the President. Because if 300 people would issue complaints regarding shock and injury it would be complaints of terrorism. And secondly, it was for me an indication from the past that I had regarding insurgence and counter insurgency that when one begins to blow up buildings in ones own country you're no longer in the trenches, you have your back against the wall and that is why I asked these questions. I'm sorry, I know I'm being lengthy.

MR BIZOS: No but you are being relevant, so don't worry about being lengthy, Mr De Kock.

MR DE KOCK: Thank you.

MR BIZOS: If you asked the question that you did ask in relation to Khotso House and there was some ambiguous statement made to you that someone high up who considers it to be for the good of South Africa or any other ambiguous platitude, would you have done it?

MR DE KOCK: No and I can illustrate. When we had to blow up COSATU House as a result of people who were being held there who did not agree with the strike, some of these people were killed on the freeway by means of the necklace method and on the basis of that, the decision was taken to blow up COSATU House. When my unit and I during those ten days which were granted to us to blow up COSATU House, I was called into Brigadier Schoon and he was irritated and he asked can you do it or can't you do it or must we get someone else to do it? And my answer to him was if the State President feels that he could do it better well let him blow up COSATU House himself and on an election day because all the police and traffic officers had been sent to the election polls, we carried out the operation because that was an appropriate day. We didn't run into a place with a quest for fame and glory on a willy nilly basis.

MR BIZOS: The question of the elimination of Mr Goniwe. You yourself had you heard of Mr Goniwe before his death?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, only what I had read in the weekly and monthly security reviews at head office because it was a condensation of information regarding the entire country. Vlakplaas operated on a national level and also on a cross border level. The amount of information on a national basis was so massive that one could never absorb it completely and there I definitely read Mr Goniwe's name and that he was very active but in the organisation of actions. I never read that he had necklaced someone or that he had been involved in the killing of someone but that he was an active member of the UDF and that he had sympathy with the ANC which I can understand because if I had been a black man I would have been there as well. But that is my very basic knowledge of Mr Goniwe.

MR BIZOS: Now, you were asked questions about the authority that officers of various ranks may have and your answer was it depended on the situation and it depended on the circumstances. It must also depend obviously whether the person was an individual who was nationally known and what he was nationally known for?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that's correct.

MR BIZOS: And Mr Goniwe was known throughout the country as an activist in the United Democratic Front which in 1985 was a lawful organisation with organisations affiliated to it throughout the country.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, the impression that I got especially through the monthly reports was that he was quite a hot potato. I don't think he ever slept at least between his work and his activities he never slept. He was active in the organisation of his or for his own people.

MR BIZOS: He was appointed the regional organiser of the UDF and he put his heart and soul into it?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that's how I understood it, Chairperson.

MR BIZOS: And if anyone gave you an order to eliminate Mr Goniwe, a national figure, would you have accepted it without any question or would you have wanted to know where did it come from because of the political fallout that there may have been?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, there would definitely have been some enquiry. If he was a target of Vlakplaas then I would automatically would have wanted to know why he would be a target of Vlakplaas, what was being dished up to me as a story, I would not be able to speculate about, I did not have the internal background. But lets say his actions led to 120 murders and involved weapons then we would have begun to activate already.

CHAIRPERSON: I think, Mr De Kock, we all know that you were, from all reports, you had substantial power and you were able to do certain things within the ranks of the security police you must have been a respected person. Would underlings or people ranked maybe Warrant Officer or Sergeant, would they be in a position to question orders?

MR DE KOCK: No. What they might have been able to do is to ask can I can execute this operation but they wouldn't simply have questioned it.

CHAIRPERSON: Were they entitled to question it?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, but it wouldn't have been very positive for them and not for their health because otherwise they would have knowledge. It was a very cold blooded system. Let us not make any mistake about it. You were either a friend or a foe and if you were a foe your lifespan was rather short by expectation.

ADV BOSMAN: Do I understand you correctly, if someone had said that I'd rather excuse myself from this operation what would that mean?

MR DE KOCK: If he was going to talk about it or I would say to someone that we would be undertaking an operation in Botswana but actually it would be in Swaziland, then I would tell them about the nature and the dangers thereof and then I would find seven people who might have battle fatigue and they would excuse themselves therefrom. Then you would replace them and the operation would go ahead. But if differed from place to place and also in terms of the nature of the operation.

MR BIZOS: You were asked the question by a Member of the Committee about what would you have done if you were planning to kill a number of people but one of them happened to be not in your instructions, happened to be there either by chance or some other reason. Whether that fourth person would be killed or not, would also depend very much on the circumstances. Would there be a distinction between the three people that you had marked for elimination, if they were highly trained MK Cadres if you knew that they had hidden arms somewhere nearby? If you knew if you let them go you would never see them again, in all probability, because they would cross the border and that you had to act there and then, might you have killed the fourth person in order to eliminate a witness as one of the casualties of war so to speak?

MR DE KOCK: Within the terrorism or anti-terrorism environment in the context, yes, that would be my opinion.

MR BIZOS: But would you have killed the fourth person if you had been on the tail of the three people that you had an order to kill for months or even for weeks or even months. If you knew where they were staying, if you knew that you would have another opportunity of actually carrying out your order without killing the fourth person that may be there by chance, would you have killed all four?

MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson.

MR BIZOS: And would you have made some excuse to let them go and catch them on another day?


MR BIZOS: Now I want to refer you to page 101.

CHAIRPERSON: Before we go there, tell me, you've just said that in those circumstances described to you by Mr Bizos, that you would not have executed the operation in view of this person, was an innocent person maybe taking a lift. Is that the way you were expected to behave from, by your, superiors?

MR DE KOCK: I cannot speculate within the context of the feelings, the psychosis and mentality of the security policemen within the Port Elizabeth hotspots. We don't know how they were personally effected by circumstances. I would speculate and that would be unreasonable.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm talking about your situation. You said that you would not have proceeded with executing the operation if there was a fourth person when in circumstances you knew where your three other targets were living and you were reasonably expected of another opportunity to execute the operation. Now what I'm interested in is finding out what your superiors would think of your abortion of the operation in those circumstances.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, the majority of those superiors which I knew and some of them are Generals today, would have said, sorry, we probably won't have the opportunity again and that would have been a crossfire situation.

MR POTGIETER: But you gave us a practical case in point for example the COSATU House incident where you indeed waited according to your own judgment for an opportunity when you could execute the operation without unnecessary fallout?


MR POTGIETER: So that was a practical case in point that you mentioned?

MR DE KOCK: Yes the President was over-hasty, he wanted to make a point, I don't know to who in the nation, but this type of thing could not be hastily executed because you could end up being a victim yourself with explosives and the accompanying actions. You could place yourself in danger and also one had to careful not to be caught and they didn't know that up there. They didn't know what was going on on ground level. He was sitting peacefully, working on his pension, having a glass of wine and you are on ground level in the mess and that is what these people didn't know and they also ensured that their sons didn't do military duty.

MR POTGIETER: Thank you, Mr De Kock.

MR TSOTSI: Mr De Kock, if you had refused to carry out an instruction what would have happened to you?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, the immediate situation would be that people would lose their trust in you. I had a similar situation in Namibia as a result of the sensitivity of the work which you had already carried out, I was not placed at a disadvantage but there was a tremendous cooling off of feelings and later led to other complications. However I cannot expand on that, it is not relevant at this moment, we might discuss it at a later date.

MR BIZOS: Mr De Kock, I just want to summarise the situation that what might have happened in Ovamboland against SWAPO cadres and what might have happened in the Eastern Transvaal by newly arrived cadres of MK, would be different to what would happen in Port Elizabeth or in Johannesburg or in Cape Town in relation to the exercise of authority?

MR DE KOCK: I'm truly sorry, I'm trying to bring it together, I would like a repeat?

MR BIZOS: There would be different considerations as to how you would exercise your discretion if you were in Ovamboland or the Eastern Transvaal next to the Swaziland Border on the one hand and what was happening in an urban area where there are means of communication and other matters, another environment.


MR BIZOS: I want you to please turn to page 101 so that we can place the signal in the correct background that was there at the time. Firstly let us take the body of it on page 102. "It is suggested that the abovementioned persons be permanently removed from the society as a matter of urgency." Now are those words clear to you?

MR DE KOCK: Yes chairperson.

MR BIZOS: What do they mean?

MR DE KOCK: Well in Afrikaans, my summary, it would mean that these people would have to be killed. There is no other way anywhere in the world to remove someone permanently from society and looking at this composition, we'd have to look at the words "as a matter" in other words it is not just a question of an individual it's a matter so therefore it broadens and then they mention "urgency" that means now, as soon as possible and then they mention "remove" so there's a lot more in this signal.

MR BIZOS: So that if anyone were to suggest that only people who are not fluent in Afrikaans such as myself would interpret this in a benevolent way, you wouldn't go along with it?

MR DE KOCK: What you read here is simply murder.

MR BIZOS: Right, let's go to the next aspect. Here we have a telephonic discussion between General van Rensburg from the Secretariat of the Security Council, at the bottom of page 101. Reference to a telephonic conversation between General van Rensburg whom we know to be the Secretary of the Secretariat of the Security Council, a General, speaking to Brigadier van der Westhuizen on the 7th June 1985. Incidentally we know that Brigadier van der Westhuizen was the Chairman of the OPGBS. And then, "the three names Matthew Goniwe, Bolelo Goniwe broer of bogenoemde, Ford Calata. It is suggested that the abovementioned persons be permanently removed from the society as a matter of urgency." Now, "voorgestel", a proposal being made by the Brigadier in charge of the OPGBS in Port Elizabeth to the Secretary of the Secretariat of the Security Council in relation to the death of Mr Goniwe. Would you consider this as fairly strong evidence that the Brigadier in Port Elizabeth who had the overall responsibility for the security of the province being the Chairman of the OPGBS didn't feel that he had sufficient authority to order the death of Mr Goniwe but merely to make a proposal to the Secretary of the Secretariat of the Security Council?

MR DE KOCK: The word suggested, used here, is nothing other than icing sugar to say "that I actually want them killed. What are you saying up there?" that is my opinion, people can say that I'm speculating but this, I'm saying this based on a background. And you also have to know that General van der Westhuizen would not have been there in the position that he was if he didn't have a degree on tertiary basis where Afrikaans would have been one of his majors. And then thirdly in '84/'85/'86/'87 that the position in which these people sat, because it's their position of power, this to me is a death sentence. That is unequivocally so. If he said this to an operative, let's finish these people because they're giving us a lot of problems, then shortly after that they would also have been dead. I want to place you within the context how such a report was compiled.

MR BIZOS: Why would he have a telephone conversation with a General in the Secretariat of the Security Council and then send the signal to make the formal proposal?

MR DE KOCK: I would give the opinion that they would have a document that should anything happen that "this was only a suggestion, we never did it". In other words by means by use of language, they removed themselves from the death, from the attack itself. And I'm not trying to place a burden on people, I'm just telling you how it worked in those days.

MR BIZOS: That this was also part of that smokescreen practice?

MR DE KOCK: Yes. At the Motherwell bomb and I hope it's going to be the last time that I'm going to use it, but in the type of life that we had, but also not myself but people from Military Intelligence, there were thousands of different shades of grey because there was never light really penetrating or really showing onto something.

MR BIZOS: Would that this proposal have been made by the Chairperson of the OPGBS without the knowledge of the Head of the Security Police in Port Elizabeth?

MR DE KOCK: I don't know. I don't know, I cannot say anything about that.

MR BIZOS: Well, did the army and the security police and the police have equal responsibility for peace and order here in Port Elizabeth.

MR DE KOCK: Yes the name defines for you, it's a joint management structure so they would have had information. But what happens in the tea-room that's something different where the conversations were more informal.

MR BIZOS: Now, paragraph 4 says "Wider action could be expected locally as well as nationally because of the significance of these people especially the first mentioned that it has for the enemy." Now would this have been sufficient notice to you that the author of this signal was aware of the possible consequences of the death of Mr Goniwe?

MR DE KOCK: Yes chairperson. In paragraph A we already see that they already some taste with regard to the PEBCO 3, so they expected even something even worse after that.

MR BIZOS: Now, who would have been in the best position to weight the political risk of wide reaction against the benefit of the death of the activists? Who would have had to make that decision?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I believe that would have been on the level of the Ministry because the army and the police would have had the manpower to handle it and they would have persuaded the Ministers in this regard and there are two, the one would be Minister Vlok and the other would be Magnus Malan.

MR BIZOS: As an operative, if you had sent this signal, would you have expected a response coming from the highest level, at least the two Ministers?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, yes, I going to speculate, but looking at the past, there perhaps there was a call from the Head of State Security Council and he would have said continue. It would not have been a long conversation, perhaps three, four, five seconds.

MR BIZOS: Now if the evidence of General van Rensburg was at the inquest and he was corroborated in this by Brigadier van der Westhuizen that it was not Van der Westhuizen that had initiated the telephone call but the other way around, that Van Rensburg telephoned Van der Westhuizen, where do you think the immediate chain started for the murder of Goniwe, Port Elizabeth or Pretoria?

MR DE KOCK: It's going to be very difficult. I'll have to speculate. I would say there was cross-pollination between these two departments. Let's give an example, perhaps it's not right. "Can you make a plan?" "Yes" "Okay, well let me know what's going on, when? When is it going to be the right time".

MR BIZOS: If you have a look at paragraph 1 there can be no other meaning that there was this cross-pollination of the idea.

MR DE KOCK: Oh, okay I didn't know.

MR BIZOS: Paragraph 1 at the bottom of page 101. "Telephone conversation General Van Rensburg, Brigadier Van der Westhuizen on 7th June 1985" refers to.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, if we have a look at the names that were given here, then they already knew who had to fall. It's not only Matthew Goniwe that they wanted transferred also the other two. I'm answering this by means of a question.

MR BIZOS: Now the other thing that I want to draw your attention to is that this, the telephone discussion was on the 7th June and the signal was sent on the 7th June and the evidence was that the telephone discussion was in the morning and the signal was sent in the afternoon. And there was also a meeting of a mini GBS on the morning of the 7th. Taking those three factors together, would you say that this was a, merely a local decision to kill Mr Goniwe and the others or taking all these facts together, there must have been co-operation between Port Elizabeth and the Secretariat of the Security Council?

MR DE KOCK: Personally I would believe that the instruction had already come from Pretoria and that we now had to carry this out.

MR BIZOS: Now, if anyone had told you to, had asked you, had asked you whether Goniwe should be killed or not, would you have given an answer "Do the best you think for South Africa" for such a highly placed person?

MR DE KOCK: No. Then we can compare why wasn't Mrs Madikizela-Mandela never taken out because the fallout wasn't the same as your atom explosion that would now be the fallout through the years and in this case we also saw that whoever planned it, never really had the insight into what was going on on the ground and there is no way that one would have done it.

MR BIZOS: So that you as a Colonel wouldn't have delegated the discretion for a junior officer to you to decide whether or not Mr Goniwe should live or die?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, by the time it is said to this Colonel or asked that this had been done, then it would be delegated to juniors. The people up there didn't want or like to dirty their hands. Every Sunday they sat in the church and they were whitewashed in the front benches. We stayed at home, we didn't want to face the Minister and the church but the Colonel would have delegated to the people under him. I think it was one of the few Colonels who led by me as an example. I would not expose my people to something or a danger that I could not handle myself. This is not now talking about myself, but this just is to give you an idea that there could be differences in personality.

MR BIZOS: Would you as a Major or as a Captain go off and kill a high profile activist if you were told by the Colonel "Well you do what you think is best for South Africa" would you have taken such a responsibility upon yourself?

MR DE KOCK: I would have taken the responsibility but not the fall. He had told me precisely where this had came from because it can't be decided on a regional level, definitely not. There is just no way.

MR BIZOS: Let me turn to...

CHAIRPERSON: "Do what's right for the country" or words to that effect. Precisely what does that mean?

MR DE KOCK: Could you just repeat?

CHAIRPERSON: I'm now talking in terms of the new dictionary for the Security Police.

MR DE KOCK: Could you just repeat the question please?

CHAIRPERSON: What does it mean when you say "Do what is the best for your country"?

MR DE KOCK: I would think that perhaps it would be do what is the best for the P.E. could there be more ...(indistinct), but you don't have to be a good chess player to know that you are losing the king and the queen. The replacement of Mr Goniwe, it's not just a question that someone could not be replaced but it was just difficult to replace him. But then they would have known by means of assessment that they would get more radical people in his place. That is my opinion, I didn't personally know him, but that's my opinion.

CHAIRPERSON: In other words, "Do what's best for the country" meant eliminate Mr Goniwe".

MR DE KOCK: Looking at the mentality of our leaders? Yes. Definitely.

MR BIZOS: You mentioned that the talk about reappointing Mr Goniwe may have been a smokescreen?


MR BIZOS: There is support for your statement because the person who had the telephone conversation, General van Rensburg with Mr van der Westhuizen and were parties to this conversation that the people should be removed permanently from society was actually the person who set up the committee and showed them the room where to meet and provide them with food and drinks and watched their progress in this committee from time to time, typed the report recommending the reappointment of Mr Goniwe so that there is strong evidence that it was a smokescreen. But what I want to put to you which is perhaps more relevant in relation to this case is that reading exhibits G, S, Y and finally the one from Oudtshoorn. But let's take those up to now, leave out the one from Oudtshoorn for the moment. These exhibits show that Mr van Rensburg, Mr Taylor, well Mr van Rensburg had signed a telex dealing with the question of reappointment. Mr Taylor told us that he knew about this but ignored it. Now what I want to put to you is this that if in fact it was a smokescreen, the people who knew about this process, must have known it to be a smokescreen and that's why they carried on.


MR BIZOS: Or if they did not know it was a smokescreen, then they disregarded it well knowing that their superiors were seriously considering reappointing Mr Goniwe. Do find any fault in this or those two propositions with your knowledge and backgound Mr De Kock?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, I would say that it was a smokescreen and the members who carried out the instruction were misled by their superiors.

MR BIZOS: I'm sorry I didn't hear the last bit?

MR DE KOCK: The reappointment of Goniwe was a smokescreen in order to mislead the operatives from higher up and very high up there was already the deception and it filtered down.

MR BIZOS: You see, I don't think that you're correct in that because you're not taking into consideration that both Mr van Rensburg and Mr Taylor knew of that process so they were not being misled. They knew about the process of reappointment, on their own evidence.

MR DE KOCK: Well then, that is the case that they knew.

MR BIZOS: Then the conclusion there is that if it was a smokescreen they know about it and they won't tell us about it or if it was not a smokescreen, they decided to ignore it?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is correct.

MR BIZOS: Now let us deal with the person that you mentioned, one General Johan Coetzee.

CHAIRPERSON: Before you carry on Mr Bizos. If they ignored it, were they entitled to ignore it?

MR DE KOCK: No, Chairperson.

MR BIZOS: Now you see, Mr Coetzee who gave this ambiguous report to this Geldenhuys Committee, where you've got two options, you choose which one. Restrict him or reappoint him. Whose man was Mr MacDonald who was on that Geldenhuys Committee that was considering the appointment?

MR DE KOCK: I don't know a Mr MacDonald, sorry.

MR BIZOS: We see his name in paragraph 6 of exhibit G as a member of the Geldenhuys Committee and we also see his name at the top of H.H. Yes H.H. and you see that there is a communication from the S.A.P., Brigadier Swart to Colonel or rather I beg your pardon, from Colonel Roeland to Colonel, I beg your pardon not H.H., G.G. I beg your pardon. Sent to Kompol, Pretoria, by Port Elizabeth, Brigadier MacDonald, immediately after the death. Now and if you have a look at exhibit G, paragraph 6, he represented the Police.

MR DE KOCK: Yes Chairperson, yes there was a Brigadier MacDonald at the Security Head Office but I don't know which desk he was at.

MR BIZOS: Well Brigadier MacDonald, what does A1 mean? Top man I suppose?

MR DE KOCK: A1 is a reference to a section and those were consistent of different desks so you had the PAC, ANC desk, AZAPO desk, so you had your different desks.

MR BIZOS: Now could you foresee the possibility, Mr de Kock, of the Security Police together with the army, the Brigadier in the army and an enquiry at the Secretariat of the Security Council, such an important killing being done with such great consequences for the country without it being done without the knowledge of General Coetzee?

MR DE KOCK: No Chairperson. General Coetzee would definitely had knowledge about this in some way, directly or indirectly he would have a share in this.

MR BIZOS: The consequences of this act were overwhelming were they not, Mr de Kock?

MR DE KOCK: It was devastating sir. Yes I agree that..

MR BIZOS: He was described as the second Biko?

MR DE KOCK: That's correct sir.

MR BIZOS: The country almost went up in flames?

MR DE KOCK: Yes it did, sir.

MR BIZOS: And shortly after his death a State of Emergency was declared which lasted for a few years?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR BIZOS: Could this act have been done on the authority of junior officers?

MR DE KOCK: No, chairperson.

MR BIZOS: In the signal, Mr de Kock, appearing on page 102 we see that the specific names of the three persons that are to be removed permanently from society are mentioned. You see that?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that's correct.

MR BIZOS: Now would you have taken an order that you must eliminate Mr Goniwe and say Travanta?

MR DE KOCK: No, one would have gone for the targets which were indicated to one.

MR BIZOS: In your position as a Colonel would not have had a general discretion to decide who in particular targets Travanta are or not?

MR DE KOCK: No this is a specific group of persons who are identified.

MR BIZOS: And we have it clearly from you, have we, that even outside the signal if somebody said go and eliminate X and say Travanta you would say well you're leaving it to me, I'm not prepared to do it, you tell me who it is that I have to eliminate?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, the reason being, that the discretion is too broad.

MR BIZOS: Now would you please have a look at the affidavit of Mr Joubert handed in as A.A. but because it's hard to read we have a typed copy. We found it was typed for the inquest, Mr Chairman, and will hand in it. We'll suggest it's A.A.1. For the sake of clarity can you please tell us what HSAW stands for in paragraph 4?

MR DE KOCK: It stands for Chief of the South African Military, Commander in General, Special Forces. It's Commander General Special Forces.

MR BIZOS: Or that's BGSM?

MR DE KOCK: That's Commander General Special Forces.

MR BIZOS: And do you know a General Joubert?

MR DE KOCK: Yes he was Commanding Officer of Sector 10 when I was still doing duty in Oshakati.

MR BIZOS: And where were they housed?

MR DE KOCK: The head office was in Oshakati. That's where it was stationed.


MR DE KOCK: The Civil Co-operation Bureau.


MR DE KOCK: Chief of Staff, South African Military.

MR BIZOS: BSB Streek Bestuur Kommandant?

MR DE KOCK: CCB Regional Management, that is the Civil Co-operation Bureau's Regional Manager or the Co-ordinator of the various Regional Managements.

MR BIZOS: Now can you, we know that General Geldenhuys was from the army, where was General Joubert from?

MR DE KOCK: He was also in the South African Defence Force after that he went to Pretoria to Sector 10 and he became the Chief of the CCB and the Special Force which fell underneath the CCB. Colonel Verster was the Director of the CCB. He was from the military in the Reconnaissance Commando. The Chief of Staff Sector 10 in Oshakati under the command of General Witkop Badenhorst.

MR BIZOS: And Commandant Meerholtz?

MR DE KOCK: Commandant Meerholtz was at a stage the Commanding Officer of the Fifth Reconnaissance Commando and among others operated in Mozambique with Renamo. After that he went to the CCB and also led attacks in neighbouring states.

MR BIZOS: And was Meerholtz also from the army?


MR BIZOS: Now have you had an opportunity of studying the document BB? The minutes of a meeting? Would you please look at Exhibit Z. "Lessons from the Past Revolutionary Wars" by Brigadier Fraser. You see that last paragraph on page 5, paragraph (e)? "The inescapable conclusion is that the overall responsibility should stay with the civilian power at every possible level". Did that accord with your understanding of the system including that of elimination?

MR DE KOCK: Yes because the authority for either terrorism or death came from civilian power.

MR BIZOS: And if you turn to the next page in this exhibit, page 37 of the book, which according to this author in paragraph (d) justifies the use of state terrorism but the last sentence "this indicates that the use of terrorism by Government Forces must be decided upon at the highest level and it must be so applied as to avoid it boomeranging". Would you agree that that was what was expected of you?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct and that is actually what happened.

MR BIZOS: If we have a look at BB paragraph 7 "Methods which are applied. South African Defence Force regards the actions not as murder but defines as following: An attack on the individual enemy target with non-standard issuing of weapons in an unconventional manner so as not to effect innocence". Was that a way which you understood the position in the early '80's?


MR BIZOS: And although this meeting was held in '86 the position was the same in '85 and earlier.

MR DE KOCK: Yes. From the mid 1970's.

MR BIZOS: Yes and a specific mention to not touch the innocents would be an example of when you have the fourth person that was not part of the target thereby chance. You should avoid carrying out the transaction in order to avoid "onskildigtes te raak nie"?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that's what it would be saying here.

MR BIZOS: Now Mr Goniwe was in Cradock and he was apparently so popular there that there is an affidavit before the Committee that no attempt should be made to eliminate him in Cradock itself. Whether that be correct or not, what I want to ask you is, could or should an operation...

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Bizos, what affidavit would that have been?

MR BIZOS: That is Mr van Jaarsveld on page 102 on your second volumes. It's not 102? I've given you the wrong page, it's 277 Mr Chairman. That is the second last paragraph, Mr Chairman. It's in this, yes I'm sorry it's page 278. The second paragraph "my recommendation was that Goniwe should not be taken from his home. There were too many people in the environment and that would give problems to the operation. My recommendation was that he be followed and then be taken on the side of the road or another place. My understanding is that the instructions were received by Brigadier Stadler." Now I assume that to be correct. Do you know Brigadier Stadler?


MR BIZOS: Where was he in 1985?

MR DE KOCK: As far as I know he was the head of the South African Police, Intelligence Wing and he was thus stationed at Pretoria Headquarters.

MR BIZOS: And who was Mr Williamson?

MR DE KOCK: That's Craig Williamson and he would be directly below General Stadler at Section G2.

MR DE KOCK: And what was their job?

MR DE KOCK: There job was to collect information about the infiltration of organisations and information could be processed and intercepted by means of a counter facet.

MR BIZOS: Were they, to your knowledge, were they involved in, or in communication with the State Security Council or the Secretariat of the Security Council or were they busy giving orders for the people to be eliminated?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, they were in contact with the State Security Council and I'm sure that they also attended meetings of the Security Council. I'm not certain but this was my information. If there were orders for the elimination of people it would have come from the State Security Council.

MR DE KOCK: Now you knew Mr Winter as a loyal and reliable Senior Officer of the Security Police?

MR DE KOCK: That's correct.

MR BIZOS: In working out the possible fallout as a result of Mr Goniwe's death would Mr Winter's area of operation be the epicentre of the reaction?

MR DE KOCK: The flaming point would have been Cradock. I'm speculating if I have to look back from my own experience. The flashpoint would have been Cradock.

MR BIZOS: Would you as a Senior Officer received many orders to eliminate people and eliminated people? Would

you have killed Mr Winter, I beg your pardon, Mr Goniwe, without at least Mr Winter knowing something about it and preparing for the reaction that might follow?


CHAIRPERSON: How compelling would it have been to consult Mr Winter seeing that he was stationed in Cradock?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chairman, we would have to start undertaking damage control. Along with the activation of sources by means of technical processes, I'm trying to sketch the scenario for you, apart from that he would have to ask him whether it was a good idea or not in the first place. Well definitely.

MR BIZOS: Have you had an opportunity of studying a chapter in a book called "Brutal Force - The Apartheid War Machine". Have you read through it?


MR BIZOS: Could we have this as the next exhibit number NN for Nelly. You said you've had an opportunity to read this. Does the contents of this chapter afford with your personal experience, in the, as a security policeman and as a Commander at Vlakplaas? MR DE KOCK: Correct.

MR BIZOS: Thank you Mr Chairman, we have no more questions. We will refer to this in argument, Mr Chairman, always to have things in writing, corroborating what the witness says.


CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr De Kock we can assume with certainty that you were involved with a great deal of covert operations. Is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And we can assume that the testimony that you have given that what you have told us that the foundation of these operations was confidence and trust?

MR DE KOCK: That's correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And seldom, if ever, this trust was broken?

MR DE KOCK: That's correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And we heard yesterday that this relationship of trust went so far that a person who would have participated in an operation would not even have discussed it with his own father-in-law who occupied a higher rank than him in the same division?

MR DE KOCK: That's correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: It must have happened from time to time that someone spoke out of turn or that there was a slip of the tongue, is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that's correct. It could have happened.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And if something like that happened were there attempts to rectify it by means of for example disseminating false information using red herrings?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, but the moment that something was said and a second story was told then your friend would have known that you were lying so therefore you couldn't trust them any more. That's all.

MR VAN DER MERWE: No it's not exactly about the second story that the person might tell to you but in the rendition of his information he might just pass on a number of untruths which would have to be tested in order to prove the converse?

MR DE KOCK: That was entirely possible.

MR VAN DER MERWE: So the presence or the alleged presence of Mr Winter on the scene where documents were burned could be one of these red herrings or detours?

MR DE KOCK: If you explain it as such but because I know Mr Winter it falls within his framework of reference that he would have wanted to be there. It was his subject.

MR VAN DER MERWE: If we make the assumption that he was aware of the entire matter?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, we could make that assumption or at least that he had been aware of it.

MR VAN DER MERWE: I beg your pardon? You're saying that what you know about Mr Winter convinces you that he would have wanted to be there?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that's correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: But he would only have wanted to be there if he had known about it? Is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that's correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: With an earlier question from one of the members of the panel who asked you what would have happened if a member of the South African Police or Security Police had to make a decision on ground level you referred to that as a field decision and you also said that if a junior from Constable to Major, those were your words, correct?

MR DE KOCK: Yes correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: We can assume that a major resides among junior officers?

MR DE KOCK: No Chairperson, according to the graph within the forces a Major would be the lowest rank within the senior officers.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You also testified further that this order in all probability would have come from a very high level for various reasons?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that's correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And one of the reasons was Mr Goniwe's prominence in the community where he was active?

MR DE KOCK: That's correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: But you also said that the consequences thereof were chaotic by nature. They were destructive by nature and the indication that you received from that, if I recall your words correctly, were that the people who had planned this operation or who had given the authorisation for it had no idea what was going on on ground level?

MR DE KOCK: If we take it to the Ministers and to certain Generals, then I would say so.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And that information which was directly available in the epicentre of this entire story would not necessarily have been disseminated? But you would agree with me that those who were issuing the orders were not aware of what was going on on ground level and even if they'd had the information they would have ignored it?

MR DE KOCK: I cannot speculate on that.

MR VAN DER MERWE: In the operation to take out Mr Goniwe and the other persons there would have been certain lines of order from the very top which you said was very possible and probable all the way to the task group who were supposed to execute the order?

MR DE KOCK: Yes I explained the probabilities but I could not offer expert knowledge on that.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Yes I understand that. You did not state it as a fact but assumptions were made and let us, will stand with these assumptions from head office the lines went through to the district or the aerial division of the Eastern Province so one could assume that directly from the Ministerial Office and the Commissioner of Police the liaison would go to the aerial office?

MR DE KOCK: That's possible.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Is it possible or probable? Would one move about with this covert operation to people who didn't know about it or would you endeavour to keep the line as simple and straight as possible.

MR DE KOCK: One would have wanted to keep it with those specifically involved.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And so it is very possible that this information came directly from Pretoria to P.E.? Is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, the possibility exists, I cannot confirm it.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Evidence has been given in the past two weeks that the only involvement which Mr Venter in the Cradock Security Branch had in this matter was intensive knowledge rank. Would that be in line with the normal planning of such an operation?

MR DE KOCK: I cannot comment on that because monitoring goes so much further and broader than just driving around behind someone.

MR VAN DER MERWE: But with the interception of communication or attendance of meetings and tapping devices if one determines all the elements of monitoring, or let me put it to you this way, if such an operation was planned would monitoring be intensified surrounding the issue or the subject?

MR DE KOCK: If they objective was to kill the person, yes?

MR VAN DER MERWE: But would the persons undertaking the actual monitoring be aware what the eventual result would be of the monitoring?

MR DE KOCK: I would have to speculate on that. They would be notified why the monitoring would be intensified.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Would the reason given to them be the correct reason or would there also be some false information or smokescreen?

MR DE KOCK: A smokescreen might be held up to them. For example if the smokescreen would disappear after the person had been eliminated.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Is there any reason Mr de Kock why you specifically remember this discussion between you and Mr van Zyl that you refer to in your application?

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson, as with many of the other operations, all of them where people were killed, you don't forget. If it's one body or a hundred it does leave a trail or a track behind you as wide as a freeway, it's not something that just disappears and the knowledge of someone being killed even if you were not involved, it's a burden that you carry with you.

MR VAN DER MERWE: But you weren't involved in this operation?


MR VAN DER MERWE: You had nothing to do with the planning and the eventual execution of it?


MR VAN DER MERWE: All where you were involved was with a telephone conversation, well it started with a telephone conversation and then later on it ended in a personal meeting?

MR DE KOCK: My involvement is defeating the ends of justice.

MR VAN DER MERWE: I understand that you are involved in that respect but what I want to know is there any reason why you in this operation, where you had very little involvement, or very little knowledge that you remember it specifically?

MR DE KOCK: Because Goniwe was a prominent person?

MR DE KOCK: What I can remember is that the reaction after his death, the others I don't know of, but one could almost say that that was the beginning of the end.

MR VAN DER MERWE: So the name Goniwe stayed with you?

MR DE KOCK: That's correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And the other three peoples names you did not know?


MR VAN DER MERWE: And you've never heard it or did you later hear it before this application?

MR DE KOCK: I saw it daily in the newspapers, in the Sunday Newspapers, as well as in the weekly and monthly security reports after their deaths they developed prominence.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Did you get to hear their names later on?

MR DE KOCK: I didn't memorise it I just used something like 'sparrow' for example but I didn't memorise the names.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And you are convinced that during this conversation that you had with Mr van Zyl that he specifically mentioned to you that he personally took Mr Goniwe?

MR DE KOCK: Yes he took him where the kidnapping took place on the scene.

MR VAN DER MERWE: While we're at this particular aspect, you can remember that it took place firstly during a telephone conversation and then during two personal meetings?

MR DE KOCK: It could be two or more I won't speculate I'll stick to two.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And you can remember these meetings?


MR VAN DER MERWE: But you can't remember where they took place?

MR DE KOCK: The one was at a restaurant not far the sea but I won't get the exact spot again.

MR VAN DER MERWE: So it was in Port Elizabeth?

MR DE KOCK: That was the one.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And the second one?

MR DE KOCK: I think it was in Pretoria, I'm not quite sure.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Now if we have a look at your application on page 256. If you look at the last paragraph it says "later during the year 1985 I personally met Van Zyl in Pretoria or it could be while I was in Port Elizabeth".

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: So we can now add that I met him twice definitely once in Port Elizabeth and then possibly once in Pretoria or a place that I think is Pretoria.

MR DE KOCK: Chairperson no. No I can't remember that well to really give you specific places. What I'm giving to you is where I could or would have met him.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Mr de Kock I want to go back to the first time that you became aware of Mr van Zyl's involvement in the Goniwe incident was during the telephone conversation?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Can you remember where he phoned you was it at home, at the office?

MR DE KOCK: It was at Vlakplaas.

MR VAN DER MERWE: The lines at Vlakplaas were they safe lines?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You or the police didn't monitor those lines?

MR DE KOCK: No, they were swept on a regular basis and later I installed a tape recorder but only at one of the telephones but that was regarding operational taping.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Can you remember what the content was of that conversation. Now I know that you said that your recollection was an accumulation of a general conversation but can you remember what you were told during that conversation?

MR DE KOCK: The crux of the conversation was firearm and the ballistic characteristics.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Did he then mention to you that it was a firearm that he used during the Goniwe operation?

MR DE KOCK: No he didn't say that the weapon was used to shoot someone, he asked about the ballistic qualities.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Did you only talk about the weapon or anything else.

MR DE KOCK: Well he only mentioned the weapon and not the calibre or name.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Do I understand you correctly that this conversation was not about the Goniwe incident, there was a reference made to Goniwe and that was something that was something that was at that stage in the newspapers and on the radio. Can you remember what the reference was?

MR DE KOCK: No I can't specifically remember besides that I could now associate it with the Goniwe incident.

MR VAN DER MERWE: During that telephone conversation mention was made of the fact that he was involved in the Goniwe incident.?

MR DE KOCK: Yes it was mentioned that he was the leader of the operation.

MR VAN DER MERWE: During the telephone conversation?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that was during the telephone conversation.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And that would then lead to it that he would have mentioned during the telephone conversation?

MR DE KOCK: Yes to the best of my knowledge

MR VAN DER MERWE: And the reference that you make on the last paragraph of page 256 that he personally informed you that he was in charge of this or command of this operation and that was that he informed you personally and not by means of a telephone conversation?

MR DE KOCK: No, as far as I know it was during a telephone conversation. This had to do with who was in charge.

MR VAN DER MERWE: A further aspect Mr de Kock, I understand that you were not present at this operation and this is a conversation that you had with Mr Van Zyl and you already said that it could be possible that you could have had such a conversation?


MR VAN DER MERWE: So you cannot guarantee the factual correctness of this?

MR DE KOCK: No, only from what I had said in my statement.

MR VAN DER MERWE: When I have to make a distinction there is a factual correctness, correctness based on the facts that really happened during the operation and then through rendition of the conversation that he had with you.

MR DE KOCK: What is contained in my statement is a repetition of what I heard over the telephone conversation that's how I can remember it.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Now that was red herrings?

MR DE KOCK: Yes there is the vague possibility.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You say there's a vague possibility?

MR DE KOCK: Yes we were good friends, it wasn't necessary to lie. That was not how it worked if you trusted certain operatives.

MR VAN DER MERWE: During this conversation did Mr van Zyl refer to this yellow vehicle and it stayed in your mind?

MR DE KOCK: No, it was only referred to once that I can remember that something was said about a yellow vehicle. That was not the basis of the whole conversation.

MR VAN DER MERWE: No I understand that is not what the foundation was but there was reference made to "that we waited for Mr Goniwe, I took him myself and then I put him in a yellow vehicle".

MR DE KOCK: Yes. Regarding the yellow vehicle, was besides, the fighting started in this vehicle and then there was a shot that went through the roof and that is where that part, that is why I remember it that well.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You also testified earlier regarding the irony of the fact that this yellow vehicle was Mr van Zyl's vehicle. Is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: I can't say that it is his vehicle. That is the vehicle that was used.

MR VAN DER MERWE: But Mr van Zyl said in his testimony that it was his vehicle that was made available to him by the police

MR DE KOCK: But that is not what I'm saying in my statement. That was the vehicle that was used at that point by him.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Will you agree that the conversation between two friends and confidantes like you and Mr Van Zyl, according to you, that he would rather have said that I'll put him in my car, seeing it was his car?


MR VAN DER MERWE: You testified as I understood you that Mr Winter arrived at a place where documents were burning?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And that is his involvement in this incident. The Goniwe incident. That is the according to the conversation that you had with Mr Van Zyl?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And you said you can't remember but you have it in your recollection..


MR VAN DER MERWE: That he would have been at a place at 11 o'clock on the morning when documentation was being burned?


MR VAN DER MERWE: Would that be the morning following?

MR DE KOCK: Yes I would speculate but I would accept it.

MR VAN DER MERWE: I'm asking, you also said that you can't remember, I think your words were "I don't want to make reference to items of clothing but one would assume that it specifically referred to items of clothing that would have been used during this whole incident".

MR DE KOCK: Now the items would have been documentation of the nature of the documents. If I had to refer it would be one of the deceased but it's wrong for me to speculate.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And Mr Winter, when he arrived there, he threatened Mr Lotz with death?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Do you know how long Mr Winter would have been on the scene? This is now from this conversation.

MR DE KOCK: No, except for the fact that Mr Winter knew where get the scene but I cannot elaborate on that.

MR VAN DER MERWE: If you can turn to page 257 of your statement. If you can start with "According to Van Zyl, Eric Winter was also present and in Van Zyl's words he was drunk as usual"?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct. Goniwe and the others went to a farm or a smallholding where they were killed.

MR VAN DER MERWE: But Mr De Kock as I understood your testimony Mr Winter was present when they were on the farm or smallholding? Is this not right or is the wording just wrong in the statement?

MR DE KOCK: No, it's not that the wording is incorrect. I have already said that we will have to quality these statements in future and the volume of the last fifteen years of operations is phenomenal and the why I'm putting it this way that he wasn't present during the kidnapping of the people but that he was on the scene when the documents were burned the next day.

MR VAN DER MERWE: The following sentence "Van Zyl further informed me that while they were busy burning the documentation, it does not necessarily imply that there wasn't some time that has passed before they were taken to the smallholding where documentation was burned". Or did some time pass?

MR DE KOCK: No I won't be able to say. I wasn't on the scene.

MR VAN DER MERWE: If I read the statement correctly then you make a statement that Mr Winter was drunk as usual and that during the threat to Mr Lotz that he would also still have been drunk?

MR DE KOCK: I have used alcohol myself and there is sometime that you sober but if you keep on drinking then of course you still maintain the same level of alcohol in your blood or you get more drunk or you stay as you are.

MR VAN DER MERWE: You said on Vlakplaas that you would question instruction that came to your side if you weren't sure about the origin of or the source of this instruction?

MR DE KOCK: I questioned many orders, Chairperson.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Did you question many orders or did you question all?


MR VAN DER MERWE: The methods of Vlakplaas, you were a senior officer there, is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: I was a junior officer when I took over. I ended as a senior officer.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And you said everyone had his own personal way of doing things. I think that you said you had an open door policy?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Would you find anything sinister in the fact that the operation that was planned by a high authority and when it came through the lines of command to the branch of Port Elizabeth that according to your version it was not questioned by the junior officers.

MR DE KOCK: The mentality, the war psychosis on ground level, this is now between us, was a direct relationship to that of the Generals and I believe it would have depended on the person himself and his integrity, how many questions you would ask and whether you would ask questions.

MR VAN DER MERWE: In your testimony you said that Mr Winter and that you would like it that he would shed more light on this?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: But you will agree that you that he can only shed more light on this if he was aware of this incident?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR VAN DER MERWE: If we have a look at exhibit Z that is now referring to the lessons from the past of Brigadier Fraser, that's the second typed page paragraph (d). It was put to you by my learned colleague, last sentence there: "This indicates that the use of terrorism by Government Forces must be decided upon at the highest level and it must be so applied as to avoid it boomeranging".

MR DE KOCK: Could you please read it again I was on the wrong page.

MR VAN DER MERWE: "This indicates that the use of terrorism by Government Forces must be decided upon at the highest level and it must be so applied as to avoid it boomeranging". And you confirmed this and that you said this is exactly how it worked?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: To avoid it boomeranging one could translate it that fingers couldn't be pointed at you?

MR DE KOCK: That's correct, yes that is correct and to qualify it even further let's have a look at the Harmse Commission, that's all.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And one of the ways in which this prevention which take place would be to limit knowledge about this operation and that only people who knew about this on a need to know basis?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And if you take the command lines in, if you thought about that, if you look at the line of command from Port Elizabeth or Pretoria to Port Elizabeth?

MR DE KOCK: No not necessarily because let's say something serious happened at Cradock then it could happen that a General or a Minister would then directly make contact or phone the Commander at Cradock. That's just an example.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Yes I understand that it could happen but let's have a look at the line of command. You have a Ministry, there's a Commissioner and from the Commissioner there you had certain Regional Commissioners or Divisional Commissioners whatever they also called them. Is that correct?


MR VAN DER MERWE: In Port Elizabeth that was one of the Divisions?


MR VAN DER MERWE: And that resorted under Pretoria?


MR VAN DER MERWE: What you put in your...

CHAIRPERSON: I don't want to stop you unnecessarily, but I don't follow your line of questioning in view of the only evidence, if we can call it that, that touches Mr Winter is hearsay evidence referred to by Mr De Kock. What value would your questions be in the light of that hearsay evidence?

MR VAN DER MERWE: Mr Chairman, as I understood Mr De Kock he said that he knows, well he assumes that Mr Winter had knowledge of this whole operation.

CHAIRPERSON: Because Van Zyl told him so?

MR VAN DER MERWE: No and as a result of the planning and how the planning would normally work and I'm finished with that line of questioning Mr Chairman, all I wanted to show is how the line of command worked at that stage.

CHAIRPERSON: No, but I'm talking in general, I mean Mr Winter's mentioned in terms of hearsay evidence. It can hardly be said that in an application for amnesty by Mr Winter that he could be threatened by the evidence of Mr de Kock. That's the point I'm making. I said I don't want to unnecessarily stop you.

MR VAN DER MERWE: I'm almost there Mr Chairman. Mr de Kock, what you know about this incident is what you have given here. Is that correct?


MR VAN DER MERWE: You do not know who gave the command. You are making assumptions?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct?

MR VAN DER MERWE: And any indication that you thought that an order was given by a personal restructure, that is an assumption?

MR DE KOCK: That would be my own expert experience I'm basing this on.

MR VAN DER MERWE: And that is why in paragraph 11(a) of your application you confirm positively on page 259 with then also the act and emission and so forth?

MR DE KOCK: Could you please repeat it?

MR VAN DER MERWE: At the bottom of page 259 there's a question "is this act, emission or offence, was it executed in the name of, or with the authority of, or approval of a particular organisation, institution" and so forth and your answer is yes?


MR VAN DER MERWE: And was that now based on your own experience and milieu in which you were?


MR VAN DER MERWE: Thank you Chairperson. I have no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr de Kock.