TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION

 

AMNESTY HEARING

 

DATE: 23 FEBRUARY 1998

NAME: ADRIAAN PIETER VAN NIEKERK

CASE NO: AM4353/96

DAY 1:

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CHAIRPERSON: First of all I will introduce to you the panel. On my far left we have Mr Jake Moloi, a Committee member who is an attorney from Welkom. On my immediate left we have Mr Chris De Jager, also a member of the Committee from Pretoria who is a member of the Pretoria Bar, an advocate there. On my far right, we have Mrs Leah Gcabashe who is a member of the Committee and who is a member of the Johannesburg Bar and on my immediate right is Mr Justice Sandile Ngcobo from the Cape Bench, a member of the Committee and I am Selwyn Miller, also a Judge from the Transkei Division of the High Court.

I would like to ask those legal representatives representing the Applicants and members of the family to kindly place themselves on record.

MR PRINSLOO: I act on behalf of Mr Van Niekerk, the first applicant and the fifth applicant, Mr Zeelie. My name is H J Prinsloo.

MR VAN DER WALT: Chairperson, I appear on behalf of Mr Mostert, Mr Engelbrecht, Mr Du Preez, Mr Visser and Mr Van Loggerenberg and I am L Van der Walt.

MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, for the record, my name is Louis Visser. I am instructed by Attorneys Wagener Muller & Du Plessis. We act, Mr Chairman before you for three Applicants. Generals Van Der Merwe, Erasmus and Du Toit and we also act for the interested party Mr Adriaan Vlok.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Chairman, my name is G Rautenbach. I am an advocate from the Johannesburg Bar. I have been instructed by the firm Cheadle Thompson & Haysom in Johannesburg and we act on behalf of the Bopape family.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. We can then commence with the proceedings and I think perhaps the best way to do it would be to call upon those persons representing the Applicants, perhaps for convenience sake in order of sequence to deal with their application.

MR VISSER: Yes, Mr Chairman, I donít know whether you have been informed but normally before we start we attempt to get together with all the Applicantsí legal representatives to work out a scheme which would make most sense to the Committee and perhaps in the process serve to save some time. What we have done in the meantime before this Hearing, we got together with Mr Prinsloo and Mr Van der Walt and Mr Steenkamp and we held two pre-trial conferences at which it was decided that perhaps the logical way to do it in this particular Application is to follow the chronological way of doing it. That would entail Mr Chairman that Mr Prinsloo will start with the proceedings and we thought weíd do it strictly in chronological order as that would probably make the most sense.

You will also notice Mr Chairman that really there are two categories of Applications before you. We donít want to make too much of it at this stage but thereís the category of the persons who had to do with Mr Bopape on the ground and then what followed later. Theyíre basically two categories but weíre not making anything of that at the moment except that just drawing your attention to that fact. So it makes sense that the "doers", if I may call them that, should start.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Visser. Then I call upon Mr Prinsloo.

MR PRINSLOO: Chairperson, the first Applicant to be called is Mr Adriaan Van Niekerk.

ADV DE JAGER: Your full names Mr Van Niekerk? Could you please stand?

ADRIAAN PIETER VAN NIEKERK: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, you are the Applicant in this particular situation with regard to the death of Stanza Bopape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: Is it correct Mr Van Niekerk that your Application for amnesty as exposed in the bundle before the Committee is Page 1.

Problem with microphones

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, your Application is put in bundle 1 and is from Page 1 to Page 20, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct, your Honour.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk in the Application in Annexure ĎAí, you give what happened and then also in ĎBí issues that pertain to the questions as related to 10(a) and (b), is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR PRINSLOO: Do you confirm that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, youíre a member of the South African Police?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: When did you join the South African Police?

MR VAN NIEKERK: In 1969.

MR PRINSLOO: And you had the rank of Lieutenant when you retired?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: Can you please tell the Committee what your career was in the Police where you served the different branches.

MR VAN NIEKERK: When I joined in 1969, for a short period I was at the uniform branch then I was transferred to the detective branch where I spent most of my time on the East Rand as detective and in 1976 I was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and I was transferred to the security branch in Johannesburg. And there I worked at John Vorster Square, up to approximately 1991.

During my time with the security branch at John Vorster Square I was mainly concerned with the investigation of acts of terror and sabotage and so forth and also treason.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, the investigation that you did at John Vorster Square with regard to acts of terror, who were mostly the accused or the suspects?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It was mainly the ANC activists within the ANC, trained terrorists, members of Umkhonto weSizwe movement and then also to a lesser degree members of the APLA movement.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, where you in any way involved with the unrest during 1976?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes. When I arrived at the security branch in 1976 I was also part of a team who were involved with the investigation - in the investigation that started in June 1976.

MR PRINSLOO: The unrest raging at that time on the one hand, was it the ANC and on the other hand the police forces? How can you picture it for us?

MR VAN NIEKERK: At that stage it was large unrest, wherein the community was involved and where there was large scale unrest and shortly after in Ď77 I, for the first time met with the ANC and then also members of Umkhonto weSizwe and came to know that they infiltrated into Soweto and were involved with acts of terror.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, did you do any specific courses to give you information on how to conduct interrogations?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I did a detective course while I was a member of the detective branch. At the security branch I did a course in security and later also a course in interrogation.

MR PRINSLOO: The course on interrogation that you refer to, broadly what did that entail?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It entailed interrogation methods, also how the enemy should be identified and how information should be gathered. There was a distinction made between the different kinds of information, tactical intelligence, strategic intelligence and so forth.

MR PRINSLOO: You refer to the enemy. Was there an enemy identified at that stage?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes. It was the ANC with itís military wing which was identified as an enemy in South Africa.

MR PRINSLOO: At that stage, was there in any way an onslaught against the country by the ANC?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Since my involvement with the security branch at the end of Ď76 and in the years following that there was definitely a very serious onslaught by the ANC on the former Government and it also presented itself in different forms.

MR PRINSLOO: This particular onslaught, did it diminish or did it increase? How can you explain it to us?

MR VAN NIEKERK: My experience was that since 1976 the onslaught increased dramatically.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, relating to the case in which we are applying today, itís the Stanza Bopape case, where were you stationed at that particular time?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I was stationed at the security branch in Johannesburg at John Vorster Square and I was part of the investigation unit.

MR PRINSLOO: What was your specific position that you had?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I was a major at that stage and I was the commander of the investigating unit at John Vorster.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, would you tell the Committee what happened and - that gave rise to this particular case, with regard to the arrest and interrogation of Stanza Bopape.

MR VAN NIEKERK: Your Honour, on Friday the 10th June 1988 I was called in by my Commanding Officer, that was Erasmus and I was informed that between himself and the Commander of the West Rand Security Branch there was communication and that a number of people had been arrested in terms of the Act on Internal Security or perhaps I can put it this way, it was in relation to acts of terror, involvement with the ANC and acts of terror and General Erasmus requested me to join the West Rand Investigation Unit and the instruction was to be involved and assist with the interrogation of people.

At this stage, 10 June, I was not, - I didnít have any knowledge of any arrests but it was pointed to me by people under my command that the previous day people were arrested in Johannesburg in Hillbrow and the people who were arrested was Mr Stanza Bopape, the deceased and another person by the name of Simonbeki Mkosi. It was also known to me at that stage that these two people whose names I have just mentioned had been taken away after arrest by the West Rand Unit and they were detained on the West Rand.

After I had spoken to General Erasmus, I contacted Captain Jan Kleynhans who was the chief investigating officer of the Krugersdorp Security Branch and I met him at the Roodepoort Police Station in relation to this incident. At the Roodepoort Police Station Captain Kleynhans gave me information with regard to the two people that I have referred to earlier, that those two people had been arrested in relation to ANC terror attacks and activities and that Mr Bopape was involved in the Maponye Terrorist Group. And that he had contact with the group and was involved with the group.

The request was and the arrangement between myself and Captain Kleynhans was that in the light of the assistance that we should give, that I would interrogate or have the other two people interrogated further.

MR PRINSLOO: The other person was that Mr Mkosi?

MS GCABASHE: Had you had a report from your junior officers who work in your unit about the arrest?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, if I can remember correctly, the morning of the 10th I found out from the other members that the previous night they were out and the arrests took place although I was not informed of the operation of the previous night.

MS GCABASHE: Was that Mr Kleynhans?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MS GCABASHE: Did you have any idea as to why they had gone out to arrest Mr Bopape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I was informed that the West Rand Security Branch requested them to go along to assist with the arrest.

MS GCABASHE: ... ...(inaudible) would not first ask for your authority before using your junior officers?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The practise was that they would have asked. The fact that some of our members went along that night was an indication that in my absence, perhaps I wasnít available that day that permission was obtained and a request was submitted that some of our members had to accompany them and to assist them. The rule was that when the one security branch operated within the area of another one that the Commanders in fact confirmed this with each other.

MS GCABASHE: ... ...(inaudible) circumstances, who authorised them to accompany the West Rand Police men, in your absence?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I have no knowledge of that.

MS GCABASHE: ...(inaudible) opportunity to find out yet, to date?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, it never came up and I didnít ask at that stage because I accept that it could have been that General Erasmus or any of the other senior officers could have given it.

MS GCABASHE: Even after the circumstances of the death of Mr Bopape, when you started investigating what had gone on, did you not think to ask who had authorised them in the first place, to go out and arrest?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, I didnít do that, because as I said when one security branch acts in the area of another one then the senior officers contact each other and then get permission and later on I came to know that Zeelie and them had the instruction to go and I think when they testify they will perhaps be able to give you clear information on that.

Chairperson, after that was Bopape and the other person Mkosi who were transferred to John Vorster Square that was on the 10th June. At John Vorster Square, I gave instructions to Mostert and Engelbrecht to handle the interrogation of Mr Bopape.

MR PRINSLOO: Mostert and Engelbrecht are some of your Co-Applicants, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct. Yes, that is correct. The other person, Mr Mkosi, I asked Warrant Officer Syvert and Wilkin to interrogate him. During the course of that particular day, the 10th June, and if I can remember correctly, the people were interrogated at John Vorster Square but in the process, there was also the necessary administrative duties that go along with such an interrogation and that was also handled and that took some time but at a particular stage, Mostert and Engelbrecht were in fact busy with the interrogation of Mr Bopape.

The arrangement was between myself and Captain Kleynhans that on the next day the 11th June, we would get together in Krugersdorp in order to have further discussions. On the 11th June, myself and some of the members, if I can remember correctly it was Warrant Officer Mostert who accompanied me to Krugersdorp where there was a meeting and during which meeting the detention of different people, inter alia, Mr Bopape was discussed.

MS GCABASHE: Mr Van Niekerk, up to this stage, did you have an idea through the types of questions the West Rand wanted you to ask of Mr Bopape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The information that I got from Captain Kleynhans, namely that Bopape was involved with the Maponye Terrorist Group and that he was part of them would have given an indication that during interrogation that the people who did the interrogation would have lead the interrogation in that direction.

MS GCABASHE: .......(inaudible) entail asking specific questions because you had a particular objective in mind?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I cannot remember whether there was anything specific that Captain Kleynhans wanted or specific questions that should have been asked, it is possible but perhaps he could have told me to determine whether the person knew any other people, weapons and so forth. I cannot say today that that was indeed the instruction.

MS GCABASHE: What was the instruction you gave to your junior officers? What did you want them to find out?

MR VAN NIEKERK: My instruction was that they should interrogate the people and that the information that was at my disposal I conveyed to them and then it would have flown from that that they would have questioned the people with regard to what we already had in our possession. It wasnít the policy that we set to ask the person specific questions.

MS GCABASHE: Is it correct then that they would have had all the information they needed about the Maponye Group and they could therefore ask questions relevant to that aspect?

MR VAN NIEKERK: At that stage was the information that we had, that was the information that Captain Kleynhans conveyed to me and that I then conveyed to my members. It wasnít a lot of detailed information as I have indicated.

MS GCABASHE: Exactly the sense that I have Mr Van Niekerk that you had very little information to work off. This is why my question is, what were you interrogating him about? What did you want to know, at this stage, before the major meeting with Mr Kleynhans?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The interrogators could have concentrated on the facts whether Mr Bopape was involved with the Maponye Group. Whether he was involved with any acts of terror, whether he was part of a terrorist cell, a unit, are there any weapons. Was he trained. Does he have any knowledge of any other groups, terror groups. Thatís typical questions that would have flown from the information.

MS GCABASHE: .......(inaudible) utter no, no, no, to each one of those questions. The interrogation would go on because your junior officers did not really know what they were looking for, am I right?

MR VAN NIEKERK: If I had conveyed the information that I got from Captain Kleynhans then they would have asked similar questions and the questions that I have just related to, and they could have continued asking that to the person.

MR PRINSLOO: Could you just tell us about when you discussed it with Mr Kleynhans.

MR VAN NIEKERK: I said there was a meeting at Krugersdorp Security Branch, the chairperson of the meeting was Colonel Johan Le Roux. He was the Commander at that stage of the West Rand Security Branch. There were approximately 15, perhaps more members from Pretoria Security Branch, the West Rand, myself and then one or two members from my own staff.

The investigation with regard to the Maponye Group was discussed and from that it was quite clear and it was also the instruction that the information was of such a nature that Mr Bopape was involved with the Group, that he was trained and that he moved between Pretoria, Johannesburg, the West Rand and the Vaal Triangle.

It was conveyed to us that this Group was involved in many acts of terror, mostly in Pretoria, among others, attacks on 3 police men, a bomb at ......(inaudible). Many attacks on the houses of members of the South African Police. Several attacks on buildings, a train carriage.

MR VISSER: ....(inaudible) assistance Mr Chairman. The witness is mentioning a list of attacks. We have drawn up a list which we have typed out and which we are going to hand up later to you in any event. It might be convenient, perhaps if you had the list now, it might save you the effort of having to write it all down and perhaps the witness can identify what he knows from that list. Iím just trying to be of some assistance. Iím not sure whether weíve got sufficient copies but we have some copies here Mr Chairman. I donít know whether you want to accept that at this stage or wait until itís our turn.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, if it would assist in the leading of the evidence and make things go quicker then perhaps we could get that list now, thank you.

MR VISSER: Yes, Mr Chairman, we will have copies made, perhaps it may be convenient just to hand it to the witness. I donít want to confuse the witness at all but it may save time.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. If you could proceed.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, you received a list from my learned friend, Mr Visser of acts committed. Could you just have a look at that? Now, you are aware of ........

[microphone problem]

MR PRINSLOO: That is correct Chairperson. Would you just have a look at that. That is the list that Mr Visser has made available.

CHAIRPERSON: [inaudible] do you have anything about the handing in of the list at this stage? Do you have any objections at all?

MR VISSER: I donít have any objections at this stage, but I would like to see the list.

CHAIRPERSON: And Mr Steenkamp?

MR STEENKAMP: I have no objections Mr Chairman, I just would like a copy of it please.

CHAIRPERSON: So this list is then being used without prejudice at all and without any admissions going along with it or anything of that nature.

MR PRINSLOO: Do we have photocopying facilities here?

MR STEENKAMP: Yes, I have enquired. Yes, I understand that later in the morning the facilities will be made available. At this stage we donít have the facilities.

MR PRINSLOO: Chairperson, I have the list that Mr Visser handed in. I also took from my briefcase the Deed of the accusing. Iím just going to look at the two lists together. Thereís also a list of the crimes. Chairperson, if I looked at the Deed in the case of [inaudible], then there are four murders, thatís on the charge sheet. [inaudible] one from Bane Mope and Mpushlela, Nelson Funyane and according to the charge sheet it was indicated that they were members of the Municipal Police.

Chairperson, before you spell it, the first three names, the three murder charges, those are members of the Police is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: It was also said that those three members were shot dead. Is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes. In Attridgeville.

MR PRINSLOO: Can we just have some clarity. You said they were Municipal Policemen? Whilst you were reading the names. Were they members of the Municipal Police, the first three that you mention or were they members of the South African Police?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, I was under the impression that they were Municipal Police but I think Iím confusing this, there was an attack on a Municipal office. I believe that these were members of the South African Police and the fourth charge, this does not have anything to do with a police official. The fourth charge of murder was on a black child, a one year old, Patience Kulele.

MR PRINSLOO: Please spell the names for record purposes.

MR VAN NIEKERK: Patience - P-a-t-i-e-n-c-e, and the surname K-u-l-e-l-e. Chairperson, then there are other acts, attempted murder incidents and I cannot recall specifically that they were mentioned. The murders that I mentioned were mentioned during the meeting. There was also a mention made of the attack in Beatrix Street, Pretoria. If I can remember correctly that was at the Sterland Theatre Complex.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, just to interrupt, is it correct that at the Sterland Complex there was an explosion where Maponye, the leader of this group, where he was killed?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR PRINSLOO: And is it also correct that it was mentioned in the specific act that will be made available that there was an explosion at Juicy Lucy in Pretoria on the corners of Andries and Vermeulen Streets?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, it is correct that the Juicy Lucy incident was also mentioned during the meeting and that several people were injured during that explosion.

MR PRINSLOO: And you also mentioned earlier in your testimony and people that you confused with the Municipal Police that the Municipal offices in Attridgeville was also damaged in an explosion?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And that there was also an explosion where a train carriage was damaged at Saulsville in Pretoria? Did you have knowledge of that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes that is correct. On the list given to me Mr Chairman by Mr Visser is other incidents that does not relate to what happened in the meeting and what Iíve been told in the meeting. Mr Chairman, it is quite clear to me from the meeting that Bopape was involved in the Maponye Group and also involved in several serious acts of terror and the request was made that he should be interrogated and with that me and the other members returned and Iím not quite sure about this but I think that Bopape was questioned further on the Saturday.

MS GCABASHE: Now, Mr Bopape was arrested in terms of Section 50 of the Criminal Procedure Act on the 9th, midnight?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct Mr Chairman.

MS GCABASHE: On the - Iím reading from Page 5 of your Affidavit here, or the Annexure to your Affidavit and trying to reconcile that with what youíve just told us. On the 10th June, he was interrogated by your junior officers, people under your command. After that he was then detained in terms of Section 29 of the Internal Security Act. Now all of this before this major meeting with Mr Kleynhans, Captain Kleynhans, yes? Is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís correct that he was detained in terms of Article 51 and on the 11th, no sorry on the 10th he was transferred and kept in terms of Section 29 before the meeting of the 11th, that is correct.

MS GCABASHE: Now all your detailed substantive information you received at the meeting of the 11th, thatís right?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís not quite correct because the 10th, the morning, Captain Kleynhans gave me information which was confirmed on the 11th. There was just more detail given on the 11th.

MS GCABASHE: Now there are two questions that arise from this. One, do you know why he was arrested in terms of Section 50? Was there no clarity on what he had done? Thatís the first question.

MR VAN NIEKERK: I expect he was kept according to Article 50 because he was involved in the Maponye Group.

MS GCABASHE: [Inaudible] - to detain him in terms of Section 29 before this major meeting?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It would have been taken by the West Rand Security Branch because, to take such a decision, the head office should have been informed and should have approved of it and it was also regulations which I also got from Mr Erasmus that West Rand would have made the requests in terms of Section 29. I canít remember but Captain Kleynhans said he would have handled it so Iím not quite sure about that but to answer the question, yes, we have asked for the permission even though we at John Vorster Square transferred to him in terms of Article 50, arrested him in terms of Section 29 and was warned by Du Toit that he was kept because of Section 29.

[microphone problems]

MR VAN NIEKERK: Mr Chairperson, on Sunday the 12th June there was a regulation or arrangement that Mr Mostert and Engelbrecht would have questioned Mr Bopape with regards to the information we had at that time. I was at the office myself at John Vorster Square, Police Station on the 10th floor and Mr Mostert and Mr Engelbrecht was in the office next to me on my left side busy questioning Mr Bopape. I was in my office busy with other matters and in another office to my right was Lieutenant Zeelie who was also an Applicant and he was busy with other matters.

At first, that morning Mr Engelbrecht and Mr Mostert, they did the interrogation. Every now and then I walked in. Lieutenant Zeelie sometimes walked in and at one stage during the morning the two members, I canít remember which one indicated to me that Mr Bopape is not co-operating with them and our information with regards to the information we had did not expose any of that information.

MR PRINSLOO: When you interrogate a person do you give him the information you have or do you try and obtain it from the person?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Mr Chairman, it was the norm not to give the information the person you were interrogating. Our aim was to get the information from the person and then to test it. And of course a lot of the information you did not have but if the allegation was made, for example, that he was involved in the Maponye Group then quite a few questions arise, which he then has to present. The information would not be given to him. The questioners, interrogators probably would have said to him concerning Section 29 because of why heís been detained that he was involved in ANC involvements and Maponye Group and that they would like more information concerning that. That will be the only guidance he will get.

MR PRINSLOO: You say that he didnít want to co-operate - which are also two Applicants.

MR VAN NIEKERK: Mr Chairperson, myself went to speak to Mr Bopape during the course of the morning and I made sure that he understood how serious the situation was. That in terms of Section 29 he was detained because of Section 29 there was enough grounds for us to detain him and that it was his duty to give us information he had concerning himself, others, everything. He said to me that he was not willing to give us any information. But despite that, the other two members kept on interrogating him.

Later in the day, the members came to me and as a group we talked about the whole situation and we decided because of the fact that Mr Bopape didnít want to co-operate with us we should give him a fright in order for him to co-operate with us, to persuade him to work with us.

MS GCABASHE: In the form the interrogation had taken, up to this point.

MR VAN NIEKERK: Mr Mostert and Mr Engelbrecht was in the office next to me, they just spoke to him. Questions were asked and thatís basically what happened. There was no other form of interrogation at that stage and so forth, to give Mr Bopape a fright and to persuade him to work with us. There wasnít a shock appliance at John Vorster Square at that stage, not one that I was aware of and in the group, we organised, and arrangements were made and then Detective Sergeant Du Preez arrived later that day with a shock device, electrical shock device, which I learned later he got from the Sandton Investigation Unit. I agreed to this and that the device should be applied. We decided to tie Mr Bopape on a chair.

There was a strong wooden chair in my office and because of the fact that my office was quite small we pushed the chair out into the corridor which was quite broad, wide and Mr Bopape was placed on the chair. His shirt was removed, his hands were tied to the supports of the chair and his feet to the legs of the chair. Sergeant Du Preez had the shock device in his hand.

There were two cords running from the device and at the tip of it, of these cords, there were two pieces of cloth which was wrapped around the tips of the cords. This device was turned two or three times by Sergeant Du Preez and whilst he was turning it, Mr Engelbrecht pushed these cords against his body and moved it over Mr Bopapeís body.

It didnít take very long, maybe two to four minutes, the device was turned, then it was stopped, then someone asked him whether he wanted to say something and if there was no reaction to that, then the machine was turned again and this must have happened around three times. By the third time Mr Bopapeís head fell forward and I realised there was something wrong.

We immediately untied him, placed him on the floor and Sergeant Du Preez gave him mouth to mouth resuscitation. It seemed that he was dead already and I think all of us standing there, including myself, Lieutenant Zeelie, Mr Mostert, Mr Engelbrecht and Mr Du Preez all thought that he was dead. If I remember correctly some of the members felt the pulse at several parts of his body. I believed the man was already dead. Afterwards, as a group we quickly spoke to each other about what we should do next and then we decided that we have to inform our seniors and I decided to phone General Erasmus.

Immediately afterwards I phoned General Erasmus at his home and told him what happened and immediately afterwards I went to his house where I discussed the issue with General Erasmus. I told him that I was concerned, considering the fact that he died in detention and he was kept under Section 29, that he was involved in a terror group which was causing a huge amount of anarchy at that stage and that the [inaudible] June the 16th an arrest was under way and that another death in detention would be a great shame for the political parties of the day and that we had to make some plan or other.

General Erasmus said that he would discuss it with head office. And he would come back to me on that issue. Afterwards I went back to the office and I informed the other members of the group concerning my visit to General Erasmus and the body, if I remember correctly before I left, we thought we would put the body back in the office where Mr Mostert and Engelbrecht interrogated him at first and he was placed on the floor and a blanket was thrown over him. And then we waited to receive feedback from General Erasmus.

Later that afternoon, quite later that afternoon, round about 6 oíclock General Erasmus turned up and he was in his office and General Du Toit also arrived and he was in the office of General Erasmus and we were all present, me, Zeelie, Erasmus and Du Toit. We looked at the whole issue and General Erasmus said that it was arranged that the Eastern Transvaal Security Branch would accept the body and will get rid of it.

There was an instruction that we have to organise a fake escape which would happen in collaboration with Eastern Transvaal Security Branch. On the request of Mr Erasmus I phoned Brigadier Visser which is also an Applicant here and I made arrangements with him where we will meet them and what time and the arrangement was, on the highway, outside Bronkhorstspruit.

The body of the deceased, Mr Bopape was taken to the cellar where it was transferred into the boot of Lieutenant Zeelieís vehicle and we left in one car whilst Sergeant Du Preez and Mr Engelbrecht followed us in a second vehicle and we drove to Bronkhorstspruit. At Bronkhorstspruit we met Visser and Van Loggerenberg, also an Applicant here, next to the highway, they also had vehicles. Me and Brigadier Visser spoke about the whole thing. Also the escape. Brigadier Visser decided that it was not a good idea that the escape should be part of his duties and he asked me to deal with the matter myself.

Afterwards we spoke and decided where we will transfer the body and if I remember correctly, we followed Mr Van Loggerenberg in his vehicle and we drove on a bit and we drove on, we crossed a highway, quite a quiet road and then later a dirt road where the body was taken from Lieutenant Zeelieís car and placed in the boot of Mr Van Loggerenbergís car.

Afterwards we returned to Joíburg and on the way to Johannesburg we started making plans concerning the escape which of course at that stage we hadnít looked at yet. We got back to John Vorster Square and then we sat down as a group and we organised a fake escape. That was around 10 oíclock at night and the fake escape took place around about 12 oíclock at night so there wasnít a lot of time to make arrangements but we did it in that time.

The escape entailed that we would say that we took Mr Bopape out to Sebokeng in the vicinity of De Deur, close to the Vaal Triangle where he would have indicated to us the address of the specific contact person. The role of Mr Bopape was played by Lieutenant Zeelie. First we took a drive in the centre of Johannesburg and we bought food, in case there were further questions afterwards. We would have been able to give that kind of evidence and from there we went to De Deur and between De Deur residential, on the way to Sebokeng there was, it was not quite a deserted road, there was an open piece of field on both sides.

We stopped in Lieutenant Engelbrechtís vehicle. We punctured the wheel with a knife. We jacked the car up and Lieutenant Zeelie played the role of Mr Bopape, he sat in the back, both his legs and his hands chained. He had the keys in his pocket [inaudible] in the front seat, the keys were taken out. Somehow the chains were loosened and Lieutenant Zeelie who played the role of Mr Bopape, he shifted out the left hand side of the car and me, Mr Mostert and Mr Engelbrecht was busy with changing the wheels.

That was the arrangement. It was arranged like this beforehand and then Zeelie ran down the road into the field. I pulled out my service pistol and shot several shots and Lieutenant Zeelie disappeared into the dark and about a kilometre further down there was another vehicle with Mr Du Preez in it waiting for him and that vehicle picked him up and took him back to wherever they would have gone then and the fake escape basically involved only me, Mr Mostert, Mr Engelbrecht.

Mr Mostert changed the flat tyre and we went back to the police station which wasnít far from there. All the necessary branches were informed about this, the dog unit, [inaudible] officer, I phoned him myself and told him what happened because he didnít know what happened and later General Du Toit turned up at De Deur and right there and then the Security Branch Officer of Vereeniging was also unaware of this fake escape. He put together a report and it was sent to head office and as was the norm, to all the Security Branches in South Africa.

The next day, the Monday, I went and sat down and wrote a complete memorandum with regards to the fake escape and I explained, step by step what happened and who was involved. No mention was made of the death of Mr Bopape. The fake was well known, even at our own Security Branch that Mr Bopape escaped.

And since that stage, Mr Chairman, the investigation of the escape endorsement that was made public was not treated by the Security Branch but by the Detective Branch, I think at Vereeniging, I speak under correction. And thatís what concerns the death of Mr Bopape, Mr Chairperson.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, with regard to this particular action, the escape of Bopape and the death of Bopape, was there any approval given for this in any way?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, we acted on behalf of the Country, the Government of the day, it was practise in the Security Branch that when we were confronted by such a situation and where a person did not want to give his co-operation that methods of force, such as shock devices would be used.

It is a method that was allowed by myself and I believe that it had the approval throughout of my commanders and head office.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, with regard to Mr Bopapeís detention, according to Section 29. Section 29, how did you interpret that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Section 29 was as is, drastic legislation, that placed force on the detainee to make available all the information at his disposal. It was one of the methods that was used, that was part of legislation to assist the Security Branch in obtaining information and it had to do with getting information. There was a need to obtain the information.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, was it of utmost importance for you that Mr Bopape should supply information?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Mr Chairperson, yes. The information was that he was involved with the Maponye Group and as has already been mentioned today, they had been involved with large scale onslaught attacks, death, damage of property, terror and that his involvement and the information that he had was of utmost importance.

MR PRINSLOO: You may continue.

MR VAN NIEKERK: The information was extremely important in order to expose the scope of the activities and should any people be involved, to arrest them and perhaps weapons that would still be available, explosives, to obtain that so that further acts of terror and death and anarchy could be prevented.

MR PRINSLOO: The former experience that you have had with regard to Section 29, did you get important information as you have just said that had prevented acts of terror, death, anarchy and so forth?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, it is true that with interrogations and in all the years that I have been involved with it, that that was the main source of information for the Security Branch and often it lead to weapon caches to be found where a large amount of weapons, mines, AKís and mortar bombs had been found. And this resulted because of the interrogation and therefore I would like to say to the Commission that it was a very important role on behalf of the Security Branch and I viewed it as a counter revolutionary step to work against the revolution and the anarchy that was there, to stop it.

MR PRINSLOO: And the action of you, was it on your behalf as a person or was it on behalf of someone else? On whose behalf was it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, I act in this capacity as a member of the Security Branch. It carries the approval of the Security Branch. It is on behalf of the Security Branch, the information that we used to stabilise the country which was experiencing extreme political problems and unrest and in no way I acted on my own behalf, nor me, nor any of the other members on that particular day.

MR PRINSLOO: Did you in any way act male fides, to just, in other words just inflict pain?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No. The aim was to obtain information from Mr Bopape that he didnít want to give to us.

MR PRINSLOO: At that stage, Mr Van Niekerk, was it the case that the aim of the ANCís - well the aim was to overtake the Government or to force them to capitulate?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, it was a fact that the ANC at that stage had already progressed far with the attack in the country itself and also in other countries from the outside and the terror onslaught escalated where initially only hard targets were attacked, such as buildings but at that stage, soft targets was also used, car bombs exploded and for example, where people were sitting at a restaurant, bombs exploded.

MR PRINSLOO: Did you attend to any of these particular incidents where bombs exploded, where acts of terror were committed by the ANC?

MR VAN NIEKERK: At many of these instances I was personally involved at a few explosions at Wimpy restaurants in Benoni and also in Johannesburg and also in Pretoria at the Church Street bomb, I also went to look what happened and then also the motor bomb that exploded at the Magistrateís Court in Johannesburg where four policemen were killed on the scene, I was also present there. The car bomb that exploded at the Wits Commandment, I was also present and also in Soweto at several scenes, I went to several scenes and I saw it.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, at that stage, was the Government of the day prepared to give the country over to the ANC?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No. Not at all, Chairperson. If I can recall the political statements made by the politicians, it was said throughout, we would do anything within our power to stop the onslaught of the ANC.

MR PRINSLOO: And how did you interpret that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The total onslaught that was propagated by the politicians that they would stop.

MR PRINSLOO: How should it be stopped?

MR VAN NIEKERK: My position as member of the Security Police lead me to the interpretation that I was part of this process to stop it. That in my capacity at work, I should do everything in my ability to fight against this onslaught and where necessary, violence with violence and that is how these methods were then used.

MR PRINSLOO: In the Bopape case, was it in any way very important for you or urgent that you should get information or was it - or could it have happened over a period of time?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It was important as it was conveyed to me, it was a boiling pot, there were many other arrests and it was important that information should be gathered.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, the death of Bopape and the mock escape, was this conveyed to head office, according to your knowledge?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, as I said, the day just after the mock escape, there was a complete report given to head office and they were informed in this regard and at a later stage I personally discussed this incident with General Joubert.

MR PRINSLOO: You referred to General Joubert, in which capacity did he serve in the South African Police and where was he at that stage?

MR VAN NIEKERK: His function, I could be wrong but General Joubert at that stage was at the Security Head Office and he had a senior position there and I know he had the task, with regard to the whole escape situation and I was under the impression that he had reported to the Minister.

MR PRINSLOO: Did you convey the real facts to General Joubert as it happened in reality?

MR VAN NIEKERK: At some stage during a discussion with General Joubert, I in fact informed him with regard to the real facts of the matter.

MR PRINSLOO: Was that before the escape or after it took place, that you discussed it with him?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It was only afterwards.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, was that after this issue had already been reported to head office, the escape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: According to your impression, why was it necessary for you to inform him about this? What was his interest in this?

MR VAN NIEKERK: At more than one occasion I talked to General Joubert about the escape and at a particular stage General Joubert wasnít happy about the way in which certain parts of information appeared in the media and he confronted me about this and I then referred him to the report that I had written, and that that was correct. And that I donít have any knowledge about how it could be possible that other allegations could be made that appeared in the media and during this discussion, he also started asking questions about, for example, should the body be found, what would the position be and it boiled down to the fact that, would the man have had a hand, would he have had a broken leg and I gave him the assurance that this person was only shocked, that he was never assaulted.

General Joubert, if I can remember correctly, he also wanted to know whether the - what was put into the occurrence book. Whether that in fact corroborated with the whole escape story. So there were quite a few questions that he asked me and it was quite clear to me that he had information about this incident.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, could you perhaps tell this Committee what you thought caused the death of Bopape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, I was puzzled. I did not believe that he could have died as a result of the shock that we gave him and it bothered me that he died so quickly.

MR PRINSLOO: On face value, as you saw him on that day, did he look ill or canít you say?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It seemed to me that he wasnít ill, he was - he looked quite normal.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, are you aware of any explosion that would have taken place in Ellis Park during or just after that period, any period?

MR VAN NIEKERK: After the death of Mr Bopape there was a bomb explosion at the Ellis Park Rugby Stadium. It was approximately a month later.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, was there at a particular stage an identification done by a particular lady where she referred to Mr Bopape as a person that she had seen?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct. What happened was that with the mock escape, we made the photos of Mr Bopape available and it was distributed widely through the country and I understand and at the police stations where I came, these photos were seen of this suspect and this lady was at the rugby and she a person and later on she saw a photo at a police station and then she brought the two together and this then lead to the fact that we approached her for an affidavit and an identification parade and a statement was

obtained.

MR PRINSLOO: That person, the lady, was she known to you before hand?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No. Not at all.

MR PRINSLOO: And the reason why she had to make the statement, why was that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Well she knew that Bopape had already died. The investigating officer into the case of the Ellis Park bomb wasnít aware of the fact that Bopape had already died but only that he had escaped and therefore I could not tell him, donít get the statement because if he had escaped he could have been there and therefore this statement became quite relevant in the docket for the Ellis Park bomb explosion.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, the documentation that you also have, you see the statement of Mr Peter Maluleka, itís on page 761, in that confirms that Stanza Bopape was in fact an MK member and was also involved in this particular case?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct. Yes, I had information about that. I saw that on page 761.

MR PRINSLOO: And is it true that Mr Peter Maluleka - just for the record purposes, also just refer to which volume.

Itís page 761, volume 3. Mr Van Niekerk, is it correct that Mr Peter Maluleka was accused No. 7 in the Case, State against Toka and 8 others which served at the Circuit High Court in Delmas and this also referred to this particular case?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR PRINSLOO

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

ADRIAAN PIETER VAN NIEKERK: (s.u.o.)

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Van der Walt do you have any questions youíd like to put to this witness?

MS VAN DER WALT: No questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Visser do you have any questions youíd like to put to this witness?

CROSS EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: Mr Chairman, I do have one or two questions. Mr Van Niekerk, perhaps just to explain to those who have not done a course in interrogation as you had, would you perhaps just briefly explain and perhaps I could give you a question to which you can explain it.

If you place yourself in the time frame when the struggle was raging in our past, 1980, thereabouts and perhaps also later, if you as a person involved with the investigation unit who had to investigate ANC activities, if you had only received information from an informer that a specific person was a member of Umkhonto weSizwe and you or one of your members in your command would have arrested such a person? Are you following?

You now have a person in front of you and all that you know of him is that there is an allegation that he is a member of the ANC and Umkhonto weSizwe. Thereís no one to dictate to you what you should ask him. Thereís no one that you have to give you any other information in regard to this manís activities. Does this now mean that you have no interrogation for such a person? What is the position?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, no, there will still be an interrogation based on the information that you have received. You would still interrogate the person.

MR VISSER: And you said the typical thing that you would have liked to know is where he is connected, whether weapons are involved, where the caches are, these kinds of things.

MR VAN NIEKERK: If that is the information obtained from the informer that the person is connected to the MK, a military unit, then the questioning would follow that route but you could find him in another terrain and you would have other questions.

MR VISSER: Mr Van Niekerk, something else. You testified here today and also during the Section 29 interview into investigation, you also testified to this regard and you said that you, as a member of the Security Branch were under the impression that Head Office or your Commanders were aware of the fact that in certain circumstances, force would be used and was used by members on the ground, if I can put it that way. When they were of the opinion that the person interrogated was in possession of very important information, can you remember that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, I can remember that.

MR VISSER: Isnít it true that in the South African Police, all the branches that there were rules and regulations, certain prescriptions that warned against the assault and torture of people being interrogated, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct.

MR VISSER: Is it perhaps also the case, according to your knowledge that should a member would go overboard and assaulted a detainee, and he was then caught out, that that member would then personally have to take responsibility for the assault?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It happened that in certain instances, that members were made responsible for their acts. There were prosecutions, there were disciplinary hearings and so forth. We know that, itís a fact of life, isnít it. There were only a few of such prosecutions and disciplinary steps within the Security Branch.

MR VISSER: Mr Van Niekerk, we have to be quite stupid or very naive if we think that in the struggle of the past, violence had not been used during interrogations. I donít want to detract you here. I think we should be very naive if we believe that. All that Iím putting to you is and there will also be evidence in this regard. There has never been an official condonement of torture or assault on people who have been interrogated from the side of Head Office, what is your comment?

MR VAN NIEKERK: As I see it, is that it was condoned and if you take the case of Bopape, we know it was condoned and we exclude that.

MR VISSER: Are there any other instances that you have knowledge of, that it was in fact condoned?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Over a long period of time I canít really refer you to specific instances but in general, during informal discussions we talked to our Commanders of these ideas and the use of force and violence was mentioned and as a senior officer and my Commanders were aware of the fact that it was taking place and it was tacitly accepted.

MR VISSER: While I have put to you that we would be naive to think that it had not taken place. Letís continue with something different. The discussion that you had with General Erasmus on the afternoon of the 12th June, 1988, can you remember, was it approximately 2 oíclock in the afternoon?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I would not contest that.

MR VISSER: Now itís a long time ago and nobody could blame anybody else if he canít recall the finer detail but is it possible that you could have mentioned to General Erasmus that Mr Bopape, according to your opinion, that is now you, yourself, Mostert and Engelbrecht and perhaps if there were any other people present, they are included then, that according to your opinion that the moment of death of Mr Bopape was something inexplicable to you. Did you mention that to General Erasmus?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, it is possible.

MR VISSER: And that the death was something totally unexpected based on the violence that was executed on Mr Bopape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct.

MR VISSER: And did you also mention to General Erasmus that the members were worried about the situation and that they were not prepared to follow the normal legal process in the case of the death of a person to be prosecuted, or that this should be followed?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I canít remember that. I think it was rather put in the way that the members were worried about the fact that the person died in detention and that it could have a political implication for the country because he was detained under Section 29.

MR VAN NIEKERK: And the commemoration of the unrest was around the corner and that was the main point of concern and that is what I can remember that I conveyed to General Erasmus. Yes, I think itís two sides of the same coin. I hear what you say and that would be in fact correct.

MR VISSER: Did you also tell General Erasmus that because of these considerations, you did not inform the District Surgeon about the death of Mr Bopape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, I donít think the District Surgeon was mentioned at the stage that I phoned General Erasmus. The whole issue was still being weighed and at that stage I would have received an instruction telephonically that, correct this, report the death, and had I received that I would have done it but the person was dead I would not have gone to the District Surgeon.

MR VISSER: Where would you have gone to?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I would have contacted the Investigating Service Officer and he would then have taken over the investigation as in the case with a death.

MR VISSER: Mr Van Niekerk, just to put it bluntly, you spoke to General Erasmus to cover this, isnít that true?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct.

MR VISSER: And one of the reasons was that you, the men who interrogated Mr Bopape knew very well that you were perhaps guilty

of murder and attempted murder or rather homicide. And Erasmus then said that he would take it up with Head Office and that he would then report back to you?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct.

MR VISSER: And you also testified about the rest? [intervention] I have no further questions. Thank you, Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VISSER

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Rautenbach, would you prefer Mr Steenkamp to go first?

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Chairman, I donít have any questions but I would like to hand in a document marked Exhibit A, a document which was referred to by Advocate Van Der Walt earlier on which [inaudible]. [intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: Is there any objection to this document going in from any of the parties?

MR VISSER: We have no objections. May I just add that we attempted to have copies made of the other document but without success at the moment but weíll do so as soon as we can.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you.

MR VISSER: The only document is the indictment, Mr Chairman, which we already have now.

MR STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, maybe for record purposes we can mark the two pre-trial minutes as, Exhibit B and C, the of the 5th February, marked Exhibit B and the one of the 16th February, marked Exhibit C, sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps shouldnít we, Mr Steenkamp make those Exhibits A and B and this Exhibit C because we got these first. So the Minutes of the 3rd February will be Exhibit A, the Minutes of the pre-trial meeting of the 16th February will be Exhibit B and then this indictment, thatís been handed in now will be Exhibit C.

MR STEENKAMP: Thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Advocate Rautenbach, do you have any questions youíd like to ask?

CROSS EXAMINATION BY MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, I act on behalf of the family of Mr Stanza Bopape and at the start of my interrogation I would like to say to you that the family is not satisfied with certain of the explanations that were given for his death and in that light, I will continue my interrogation. The first aspects I would like to talk about is that you referred to the process of interrogation and a process which was general practise. If I understand the evidence correctly, concerning the use of the electric shocks and other forms of torture, am I correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Iím not following the question very clearly. There were several kinds of interrogation.

MR RAUTENBACH: Well, letís first look at the use of a machine which gives a person electrical shocks. Would I be correct if I say that it was general practise in the South African Police? I would just like to qualify, to say, was it the general practise in the Security Branch? As far as other divisions are concerned in the South African Police, what was the position there? Was it a practise?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I understand it is used but I donít have knowledge of it.

MR RAUTENBACH: I refer you to page 221, Mr Chairperson, that will be volume 1, page 221. Mr Van Niekerk, thereís a transcription of your evidence which was given in the Section 29 investigation, you can look at the bottom of the page. You are here questioned about methods which was used in interrogation. Is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: The question that was asked to you,

[inaudible]

and the answer was,

"This came with time. We saw that in the days when I was an investigator, it happened. I did not learn it in the Security Branch. It was a general practise in the South African Police that where you were dealing with a criminal, methods were used to make that person talk. It has been in practise for a long time. People who were involved in - Police Officers who were involved in the questioning or interrogation of criminals would make use of these methods.

I assume that Murder and Robbery, although I never was a member of Murder and Robbery made use of that."

Do you still confirm that evidence youíve given? Now I would like to ask you where youíve indicated that you have not learned these methods in the Security Branch division, where have you learned it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: As I have indicated, and as youíve read, whilst I was in the Detective Branch.

MR RAUTENBACH: And you say it started a long time ago. If I understand your answer correctly, the practise has been in use for quite a long time?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Itís a practise that I got to know within the Detective Branch.

MR RAUTENBACH: Regarding this answer, would I be correct if I say that this is a practise which existed, generally within the Police Force?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I canít answer positively to that because I believe that in the Detective Branch it should be considered as the Detective Branch. The detective behaves differently in different situations, other than what we would have done in our situation.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, letís look at it like this. Would you then say that these methods, as I understand your evidence in the Section 29 Investigation, these methods were also used when it came to people who was accused of normal misdemeanours? You see Mr Van Niekerk, would I be correct in saying that the methods that were used by the Detective Branch, for example, the investigators, they were also used within the Security Branch?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: So it was not something reserved specifically for political crimes?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís not what Iím saying. What I said and what I testified is that in the first instance itís not legal. Itís illegal to use any method of force but in the Security Branch I experienced, they were sanctioned, approved methods which was not the case in the Detective Branch.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, weíve already determined that they were methods used when it came to common law cases and other people. On this we agree, correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: These were practises that existed for quite a long time. How would you distinguish between a person that was accused of robbery and then shocked by a shock device and a person who was detained because of a political crime?

MR VAN NIEKERK: In the Security Branch we had the situation where we dealt with the ANC, the onslaught of the MK, acts of terror and it was of crucial importance that that onslaught should have been stopped. And within this whole national political context, the Security Branch was allowed to do this whilst at the Detective Branch it was a completely different situation.

MR RAUTENBACH: You see Mr Van Niekerk, it seems that the handling of people, this handling of people came down to a system that was followed by the Police. It was [inaudible] more than only political criminals. It also involved other people in other categories.

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is so, that it was used by other branches of the Police but with different goals.

MR RAUTENBACH: You see Mr Van Niekerk when people are, for example, detained because of political activities then it happens - would you agree with me - that people made admissions when they were interrogated in this way?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is possible that admissions would have flown from that, yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: Would you say admissions were made by people who were not detained for political crimes and was similarly treated?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: So what I want to put to you in this case that these torturing of people and the use of electrical shock devices form part of the system. It wasnít for a political objective only, it was part of the system anyway?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I do not agree with you. In the Security Branch, it was a method used to obtain information. Urgent information that we had to acquire and it was approved and it was used generally.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, when you used that method, when a policeman uses that method in a non political situation, heíd also use it again in political circumstances. Then I submit to you that, itís not about the objective, itís by accident that itís now oneís political objective. It was part of the policemanís system. There was no political motive behind it.

MR VAN NIEKERK: No. I do not agree with you. I found myself within the Security Branch and for a long time I was there, and that process, we developed this method to use force. It was necessary. We must make a distinction, I did this with a political objective, Iím within a political mêlée. Itís violence against violence. And itís known that the Security Branch did everything that they could to avoid the violent onslaught. It was a method to oppose the violent onslaught and it was a way to interrogate terrorists. When I was practising these things, it was about the politics around it and how serious the situation was and the situation the country was in.

MR RAUTENBACH: It seems from your previous evidence where youíve learned about theses methods of force, you said that youíve learned this in other divisions of the Police, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: As far as Section 29 is concerned, the goal of Section 29 was to detain a person until information is received? Do you agree with that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: Would you also agree with me that the fright this person experienced kept in terms of Section 29 that if he did not give the information his detention would continue longer than he would have liked it himself? And would you also agree that attacks happening in which either way in terms of Section 29 would have been illegal at all times?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: If it was not illegal, it was not necessary for him to apply for amnesty. Itís because of the fact that heís committed a crime, thatís why heís applying for amnesty today. I think we all agree that he has committed a crime.

MR RAUTENBACH: Well, can I put it like this, the question is asked to him, because of the fact that in his evidence he indicated to the fact that this has become accepted, this method has become accepted within the police community. Even if it is accepted within the Police itís still a crime and it was still an illegal act and the Police are not supposed to do it so he still committed a crime even if it was approved. I take note of your remark.

MR RAUTENBACH: As far as the East Cape is concerned, Iíd like to ask you the following questions. There were, in your evidence you stated that you linked with General Joubert and that you phoned him. General Joubert I understand gave a report to the Minister.

MR VAN NIEKERK: I gave a report to General Joubert. I saw him I spoke to him and I was under the impression that he was responsible to give a report of this to the Minister. If it happened like that, I do not know.

MR RAUTENBACH: Can you just give us an indication around when General Joubert became aware of the fact of what actually happened, the true facts?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I cannot tell you the exactly because shortly after the incident I spoke to him about the escape as well as the memorandum and afterwards I saw him and then we spoke about the true facts.

MR RAUTENBACH: Can you just tell us as far as General Joubert is concerned what was his position within the Police at that stage? Why did you have to contact him? What was his role?

MR VAN NIEKERK: He had a very senior position at the Police. Exactly what his duties were and the definition of his job Iím not sure. But I gathered that it had something to do with media and linking with the Ministerís office.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, at that stage, who was the head of the Security Police, in general?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I think it was General Van Der Merwe.

MR RAUTENBACH: And who was the Commissioner at that stage?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Commissioner De Witt. I speak under correction.

MR RAUTENBACH: In 1988, what was your rank in the Police?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Major.

MR RAUTENBACH: I would just like to ask you with regards, youíd agree with me that after the death of Stanza Bopape, the steps you took, was a very important issue that you had to address?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Could you just repeat that?

MR RAUTENBACH: It was very important to make arrangements to hide his death?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that was the plan.

MR RAUTENBACH: With regards to the escape scene which happened - or created fictionally - it seems a lot of planning went into that. Is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: As I said earlier today, in a question of one to two hours, this preparation was made.

MR RAUTENBACH: So you actually told us you drove out to where the scene was created and Lieutenant Zeelie played the role of Stanza Bopape. Is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that was part of the mock escape.

MR RAUTENBACH: What Iím trying to get at, Mr Van Niekerk is, you went through a lot of trouble with this whole escape scene and the docket afterwards.

MR VAN NIEKERK: We went through a lot of trouble with the arranging the escape because if that did not work, a lot of things would have gone wrong. But with the docket, as Iíve told you earlier, was not handled by the Security Branch. So I cannot give you comments on that. I donít know exactly how it was treated.

MR RAUTENBACH: But you will have to agree with me that as far as what would happen to the body was also very important?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Very important, I agree.

MR RAUTENBACH: The decision that one had to get rid of the body, who gave this decision? Who made this decision?

MR VAN NIEKERK: General Erasmus told me that after talking to head office that Visser was asked to get rid of the body.

MR RAUTENBACH: When you spoke to General Erasmus, you got the impression that Visser was already informed about all of this?

MR VAN NIEKERK: At that stage, it was already discussed, thatís what I deduced, between Brigadier Visser and General Erasmus.

MR RAUTENBACH: The arrangements as far as Brigadier Visser is concerned, you spoke about how you drove out, how the body was transferred and handed over to Visser and whoever was with him. Is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, thatís correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: After Visser and Van Loggerenberg went away with the body, from your side, did you do anything to find out what happened to the body?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No.

MR RAUTENBACH: If the body should appear in any way, then the statements concerning the escape, it would have caused great shame, if this body appeared in some way. Is that not true?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No. It would have worked with the escape because today we know that the body was thrown in the Komati River, so maybe the body washed out and then we could say that the man escaped and we could have corroborated with that.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, the question is this. If the body appeared, for example, the next day, then it would have lead to great shame as far as you are concerned.

CHAIRPERSON: [inaudible] ... wrapped up in plastic bags.

MR RAUTENBACH: Is that so? If the body was wrapped in plastic, then it could have lead to a problem because it would not have tallied with the escape. In other words, in your thoughts, it must have been of incredible importance that this operation had to be successful?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes. Positive.

MR RAUTENBACH: Is there any reason why you would not like to question the fact whether it was successfully concluded or what would have happened to the body?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Probably, I had trust in the people conducting this.

MR RAUTENBACH: Specifically Brigadier Visser and Mr Van Loggerenberg. I mean, I am under the impression that they were aware of the fact that the person died in detention and it was really important that the body should be disposed of properly. So youíre saying you merely trusted in them that they dispose of the body properly.

MR VAN NIEKERK: At a later stage I learned that the body was disposed of. How, I do not know. This happened in consultation with the Advocate.

MR RAUTENBACH: You later learned that the body was disposed of but you never learned how it was disposed of. Is that correct? And you also did not want to learn that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I donít think it was a question of I did not want to know. I just accepted it like that, at that stage. I did not have the means - of other colleagues, to think that it was not done properly.

MR RAUTENBACH: Were you never worried that the body might appear?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Initially. At first I was worried but as time went by, even if the body was found, today I know they mention plastic bags, but if the body was found, surely one could have referred it back to the escape.

MS GCABASHE: Are you saying you did not even ask Mr Visser or Van Loggerenberg how they were going to dispose of the body?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Do you mean at the stage when we gave them the body?

MS GCABASHE: The time that you handed the body over.

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, I did not ask.

MR RAUTENBACH: You testified and I would just like to go through this with you, that you came onto the scene and became involved after Bopape, Nkosi had already been arrested, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: On the 10th June I became aware of the arrests.

MR RAUTENBACH: And where were the two at that stage when you became aware of it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I was informed that they were detained at the Roodepoort Police Station and I also ascertained it myself later on.

MR RAUTENBACH: When were these people specifically transferred to John Vorster?

MR VAN NIEKERK: With regard to Mr Bopape, I personally took him from Roodepoort to John Vorster Square on the 10th after I had talked to Kleynhans with regard to Mr Nkosi, Iím not quite sure.

MR RAUTENBACH: With regard to the 10th, can you perhaps tell us whether there was any interrogation on the 10th of Mr Bopape.

MR VAN NIEKERK: As far as I know, there was interrogation in an office and it had to do mostly with administrative processing about the persons history, his family and things of that nature.

MR RAUTENBACH: Now, the first interrogation, where did that take place?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That you refer to now? It must have been at John Vorster Square. I take it that it was there and it would have been on the 10th floor.

MR RAUTENBACH: Who did that interrogation?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The people that were appointed to work with the person was Warrant Officer Mostert and Constable Engelbrecht.

MR RAUTENBACH: Can you remember how long that interrogation took?

MR VAN NIEKERK: As I said, I canít say for sure whether there was any specific interrogation from a specific period to a specific period but what was told to me was they were busy with the person and then questions were put and the administrative process was finalised and I just assumed that they were busy with the interrogation. Not necessarily pertaining to the facts at our disposal.

MR RAUTENBACH: If you say not necessarily, you mentioned earlier that it had to do with administrative issues but it seems to me that you canít really say whether it was really, the case was really handled then?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Iím not quite sure. I think the other members might perhaps give more information on that.

MR RAUTENBACH: After this interrogation on the 11th, what knowledge do you have of the 11th June with regard to the interrogation, if any?

MR VAN NIEKERK: If I can remember correctly, I was informed and - I could be wrong. Nkosi was interrogated similarly on the 10th and the 11th. If I remember correctly Bopape was interrogated on the Sunday.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, with regard to the 11th, you say that you canít remember whether he was interrogated on the 11th?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: With regard to the 12th, what time did the interrogation start?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It was in the morning.

MR RAUTENBACH: Could you perhaps give us some indication, we want to have a look at the duration?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I canít really give you a specific time frame. It was approximately 9, 10 oíclock in the morning.

MR RAUTENBACH: You have already said that the two people who were directly involved were Mostert and Engelbrecht and that you and Zeelie went to look from time to time to see how the interrogation was going.

MR VAN NIEKERK: We walked in. We were in the vicinity.

MR RAUTENBACH: At approximately what time did Mr Bopape die, as you remember it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I think it was after 12 in the afternoon.

MR RAUTENBACH: If we give an estimate of this period that Mr Bopape was questioned, would you agree with a guesstimate of approximately 3 hours? That he was interrogated for 3 hours?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, itís possible. I think it could be correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: Can you tell us, with regard to Du Preez, who came on to the scene from Sandton, what time did Du Preez arrive at the office, at the interrogation?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I canít say.

MR RAUTENBACH: Was it quite early in the morning, late in the afternoon? When did he arrive?

MR VAN NIEKERK: He arrived after the interrogation. After Mr Mostert, Engelbrecht, Zeelie and myself decided that we were going to use the shock device. Only after that, he was contacted. And then he arrived. He was totally out of the picture.

MR RAUTENBACH: Is it possible for you to give us a time framework? When did this decision take place, to get this shock device from Sandton?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I canít tell you. It was during the course of the morning, I really didnít keep a record of the time. I canít help you in that regard.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, while these people were interrogated and we know that Zeelie was with his own work and every now and then he has a look to see whatís going on with the interrogation. We also know that you were busy with something else in your office. Who was in command of the interrogation at that stage?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I was in command.

MR RAUTENBACH: You?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: What did you find at the points when you had to go and look at the interrogation? What was taking place?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The interrogators, Mostert and Engelbrecht were sitting at a desk. If I remember Mostert was behind the desk with documents in front of him and Mr Engelbrecht, I canít really remember where he was. Mr Bopape was sitting in front of the desk, that is how I can remember it.

MR RAUTENBACH: To put it to you in this way, did they make use of an interpreter or not?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I donít follow the question.

MR RAUTENBACH: Did they make use of an interpreter?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, there was no one else.

MR RAUTENBACH: Which language were they using?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It was English or Afrikaans. Iím not quite sure.

MR RAUTENBACH: So it was English or Afrikaans in which the conversation took place?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, Iím not quite sure. It would have been in Afrikaans or English. I almost think Mr Bopape could speak Afrikaans.

MR RAUTENBACH: I read from your testimony and you can also qualify it, that you had a look at more than one opportunity to see how itís going with the interrogation?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I didnít necessarily go to see whatís going on with the interrogation, I moved in and out but I did move in and out a few times.

MR RAUTENBACH: Did you in any way notice, whilst you were going in and out that there was frustration on the side of Mostert and Engelbrecht with this person that they were interrogating?

MR VAN NIEKERK: If I can remember correctly, Mr Mostert, at a particular point indicated that this man wasnít going to co-operate.

MR RAUTENBACH: And did you, because of that information talk to Mr Bopape to get his co-operation at a particular stage and perhaps that gave rise to it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I sat with him alone and talked to him, as I testified earlier.

MR RAUTENBACH: And what was the result of that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: He just said that he had nothing to say. He didnít want to co-operate and it was quite clear to me that he didnít want to co-operate.

MR RAUTENBACH: The decision to get the shock device from Sandton, was that taken by you?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It was an idea mentioned in the group and I said, "right, letís do it", I sanctioned it.

MR RAUTENBACH: Who proposed it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I canít tell you.

MR RAUTENBACH: When the device was obtained, itís on the scene, itís going to be used, what was the reason for Bopape being tied to the chair?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It was part of the tactic. To keep his body stable. Otherwise when the shock was administered, his body would have pulled away and he would have moved and then he could be injured. It was a method to tie him.

MR RAUTENBACH: If you say, if he pulls, moves, you have experience, when people are shocked with these devices, what happens? Especially in the sense of having been tied down, in other words giving a very strong twitch or pull - it would of course depend on the extent and the intensity of the shock, but his body would start shivering. Do you have any technical knowledge of the number of volts, amps, involved when using these machines?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No.

MR RAUTENBACH: You referred in your testimony to the fact that this particular device is applied for approximately 2 or 3 minutes?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is the process, yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: Is it possible for you to give an indication that when such a person is shocked and it is turned, how long does this one shock take? I donít know. Is it seconds? 30 Seconds? What is the duration of a shock?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Itís approximately 10, 20 seconds at a time. Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: And you say that this took place over a period of approximately two to three minutes?

MR VAN NIEKERK: What happens is that the device is turned, the handle is turned and at the same time the poles was moved over the persons body and then the person stops turning it and the person who has been interrogated is then asked, "what do you say now?" and that is how it proceeded.

MR RAUTENBACH: As I understand it, you put the electrodes on the body, someone turns the machine, thereís an electrical shock and then it is said to him "what do you say now?", your words? In other words, have you changed your opinion?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, it was a method that was used to frighten the person. Thereís a shock going through his body. He gets a fright and then he can decide to give the information.

MR RAUTENBACH: How did Bopape react to the first shock?

MR VAN NIEKERK: He never reacted.

MR RAUTENBACH: Didnít even talk?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No.

MR RAUTENBACH: Didnít he protest in any way?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No.

MS GCABASHE: Was there no body jerk at all? You said he didnít react. I didnít quite understand - the physical - did his body jerk, at that point?

MR VAN NIEKERK: When the shock went through him, his body shivered, it jerked, however you would describe it.

MR RAUTENBACH: Iím interest by the fact that you say that his body shivered when the shock went through him.

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, itís a shiver, itís a jerk. Because he was tied down.

MR RAUTENBACH: And after heís been shocked you say there was no reaction on his side? He didnít say anything, he didnít say "right, Iím going to tell you now what the information is". He also didnít protest in any way?

MR VAN NIEKERK: What do you mean with protest?

MR RAUTENBACH: For example, when he said, "please donít do this to me", did you think of the possibility that after he had already been shocked the first time, that something could be wrong with him? That that could have been the reason why heís not reacting?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, it didnít come up.

MR RAUTENBACH: After the second time that he was shocked, he also didnít react?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: Once again, it didnít occur to you that something is wrong with him? The fact that he is not reacting in any way?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No.

MR RAUTENBACH: Did you ask the members present specifically with regard to the treatment they gave him before he was shocked, whether he was assaulted, were there any method of coercion was used on him?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I canít remember. I doubt whether I asked that. I saw him myself and according to me, he had not been assaulted.

MR RAUTENBACH: With regards to methods of coercion, we already dealt with the electrical shocks that was used from time to time. Can you give us any examples of any other methods of coercion used?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Other members would have assaulted the person.

MR RAUTENBACH: Could you perhaps describe this?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Often it is referred to certain methods of coercion which afterwards could not be easily be detected. Methods that donít show any signs.

MR RAUTENBACH: Examples perhaps?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I have heard that they put a bag over a personís head and then they suffocate him. I donít know quite how it works, Iíve just heard about this.

MR RAUTENBACH: The whole question of using water, I suppose you must have heard about this that water is used in this process with the so-called tube pulled over the face?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, itís also a way of suffocating someone where they place it over his nose and mouth and you basically suffocate him.

MR RAUTENBACH: With regard to the process of interrogation, is it possible for you to just give an indication? I take it the process first starts with ordinary interrogation?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes. Normally 90%. It is by discussing.

MR RAUTENBACH: And if the discussion doesnít help? What would be the second step?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That would depend on the person interrogating. He might decide that he is going to assault the person or he might make use of a shock device or perhaps a different method.

MR RAUTENBACH: The use of the shock device, isnít that something very drastic?

MR VAN NIEKERK: When the interrogators become really desperate. This shock apparatus could be very drastic if itís used for a long period of time, then it can become quite drastic.

MR RAUTENBACH: And in this particular case, your testimony is that you werenít aware of any other methods of coercion before the shock device?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Do you mean on Mr Bopape?

MR RAUTENBACH: Yes.

MR VAN NIEKERK: No. I was there the Sunday morning and I would have seen had he been assaulted or had a wet bag been used over his head. I would have known about it.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, is it possible for you to say and I think it is of crucial importance to give an indication of how long this interrogation took before the point was reached where it was said, "we are not progressing, letís get this apparatus from Sandton."

MR VAN NIEKERK: It could have been two to three hours. Iím honest with you when I say that Iím not quite sure, I didnít really keep track of time on that particular day.

MR RAUTENBACH: But at all times you had the impression, right from the start that he did not want to co-operate?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: You donít know at what time Du Preez was contacted to say "bring the machine"?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Iím guessing. It could have been in the vicinity of 12 oíclock. It canít help the Commission, I am honest, I am speculating.

MR RAUTENBACH: Am I correct when I say that there was a practise, I think it was prescribed when someone is detained in terms of Section 29 that that person shortly afterwards he has been detained, to be taken to a District Surgeon?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: What was the position with regard to Mr Bopape? Was he taken to the District Surgeon after his detention?

MR VAN NIEKERK: If I can remember correctly, he was taken to the District Surgeon.

MR RAUTENBACH: When would that have been? You were in command of the interrogation? When was it that he was taken to the District Surgeon?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I think it was on the 10th June, the day that he was transferred from Roodepoort to John Vorster Square.

MR RAUTENBACH: Can you give us an indication, if itís possible, what time would that have been, that he went to the District Surgeon?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I canít say.

MR RAUTENBACH: If he was taken to the District Surgeon, does the District Surgeon give a report?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes. A report is then completed and then it is placed in his detention file.

MR RAUTENBACH: Who was in charge of that file?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Usually it comes back to the detention or interrogation file and it is then available for the interrogators or whomever wants to have a look at it.

MR RAUTENBACH: Are you aware of such a report or where such a report is?

MR VAN NIEKERK: If I can remember correctly, I saw that report. I also testified at the previous sitting. Iím not sure whether I saw it before Mr Bopapeís death or afterwards but I can almost imagine that I saw it.

MR RAUTENBACH: You donít know what happened to it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It must have been in the detention file. That is where I should have seen it, or in a copy at the District Surgeon.

MR RAUTENBACH: In other words, it might still be something that can be obtained, this report. Is that how you see it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, itís possible.

MR RAUTENBACH: And then also you referred to the 10th June that he was referred to the District Surgeon, you donít know when? I suppose he would have been taken by Mostert or Engelbrecht?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Not necessarily. Any member could have taken him for that purpose.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk the decision, could you just tell us how is a decision taken, which requirements have to be met to put someone in detention under Section 29?

MR VAN NIEKERK: If I can remember correctly, there has to be enough facts because the Act states certain requirements for detention under Section 29 and the report is then sent to head office with the motivation report. It is then approved and when it .....[end of side ĎAí] ....... reasons why he is then detained under Section 29. MR RAUTENBACH: The decision that the person be detained under Section 29 is that, as I understand you, a decision that is taken by someone at head office?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I think the decision comes from the particular Security Branch where they decide that there are enough grounds. It then goes to head office where the approval is given. And then an officer designated by the Act that has to inform him. So I think the decision actually lies with the Security Branch.

MR RAUTENBACH: I just want to say this to you, because it will become of importance later on as I understand you, it is a question of recommendation made by the Branch who then has to motivate why this person has to be detained under Section 29?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is why I said earlier that West Rand Security Branch would still be involved with the detention and the application of that.

MR RAUTENBACH: Now that recommendation is then given to head office to say "these are the grounds why this person has to be detained under Section 29"? Correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No. Head Office just then gave a specific order.

MR RAUTENBACH: Now this person is not detained before that particular order is given, Court Order. Now before that, the Law determines that a senior officer with the rank of Colonel or higher had then the competence that when he had the information that he then could detain the person. I donít want there to be a misunderstanding, as I understand it, we have initial arrests, according to Act 50 of the Criminal Procedure Act, that it initially and then certain information is sent to the Head Office, in other words to get a Warrant to detain the person according to Section 29. And waiting for that Warrant, there was another process where an Officer was authorised to detain the person. When is this person then viewed to be in detention under Section 29 where he is now informed that you are being detained under Section 29?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I accept itís the moment when he is not subject to the stipulations of Section 50 and then that Officer says, "I am now detaining you under Section 29", and then a document is signed, that is then an initial Warrant.

MR RAUTENBACH: A document is signed? Now with regard to the signing of this document, who would have done this in the case of Bopape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: If I remember correctly, it would have been General Du Toit.

MR RAUTENBACH: And with regard to the Warrant, it says - that would then follow from Head Office later on?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: Now the documentation, with regard to the signing of the document by General Du Toit, as well as the Warrant from Head Office, where would we get that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The document that was signed by Du Toit would be in the detention file and the Warrant from Head Office, I believe in the light of the deceased and the escape that that never realised because the person wasnít there anymore.

MR RAUTENBACH: Do you think that this file would, in any case, still exist or has it been destroyed?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Chairperson, I left the Police in Ď95, I donít know what the position is with files. I have no idea.

MR RAUTENBACH: Was there ever, while you were there, that instruction that you had to destroy files?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, there was.

MR RAUTENBACH: Now, if there had been such an instruction, had it been executed or not?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, a few files had been destroyed. I donít know whether the detention files had been destroyed.

MR RAUTENBACH: Which kinds of files had been destroyed?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Files on suspects, activists, personal files, as we knew them.

MR RAUTENBACH: A file on a suspect, is that not a personal file?

MR VAN NIEKERK: This is a detention file. Itís a file with the regard to the history, itís something else.

MR RAUTENBACH: The process, which you have already explained, the taking the person to the District Surgeon. Youíve brought this into relevance with Section 29. Was this done - Mr Bopape, was he taken to the District Surgeon before or after his official detention in terms of Section 29?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I cannot tell you.

MR RAUTENBACH: You cannot tell me? Something I just want to clear up with you, this question of Du Preez. He comes from Sandton with the machine, the device, is there any reason why Du Preez had to be present during the interrogation? But was he present?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: Why then was he present?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I canít tell you, maybe he was asked, I cannot answer you.

MR RAUTENBACH: Iím going a bit further, it seems to me that at this stage when the body was removed to the vicinity of Witbank in Bronkhorstspruit was Du Preez - did he go with you? Why did he go with you?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I donít think there was a specific reason why but weíve got a body in the car and we drove and I think we wanted two cars in case something happens along the way.

MR RAUTENBACH: Did he know - just one minute - as far as Du Preez is concerned, the fact that he went with you in the transportation of the body seems to me it was coincidental?

MR VAN NIEKERK: After Mr Bopape died, he was involved in the whole issue, and maybe that caused the fact that he remained involved.

MR RAUTENBACH: Did you know anything of Bopape before he was arrested at this specific incident?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No.

MR RAUTENBACH: So you didnít know he was in detention before?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I have realised this now but before I never knew that.

MR RAUTENBACH: What concerns the role Mr Kleynhans played, what was his rank? I forgot, what was his rank, Mr Kleynhans?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I think he was a Captain.

MR RAUTENBACH: Then weíre talking about Captain Jan Kleynhans which I met in Roodepoort but in this incident thereís also another Kleynhans which comes - . as far as Mr Kleynhans was concerned [inaudible] Roodepoort, thatís where I met him but he was in Krugersdorp. It seems from his evidence that these people, Bopape, Nkosi, come to your knowledge after investigations done by the Krugersdorp Branch and Pretoria?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: The involvement of your member in the arrest, Iíd like to get clarification on that. It was because of a request placed by Krugersdorp because they operated in your area?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: So there were members of Roodepoort, as well as members of your branch which had a hand in the arrest?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, they told me that afterwards.

MR RAUTENBACH: Something I would like to have more clarity on. Hereís a group of people from Krugersdorp and they are looking for certain suspects. This is how the situation starts?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I donít know how Krugersdorpís investigation went.

MR RAUTENBACH: Right, you donít know what happened with the Krugersdorp investigation?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Exactly.

MR RAUTENBACH: When these people were arrested on the grounds of - .. because of the fact that Krugersdorp requested this. How does it happen that interrogation takes place at John Vorster Square without the knowledge of the people at Krugersdorp who was actually after this person?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I gave evidence this morning that after the arrest of these people I was informed that they were transferred to Roodepoort and not John Vorster.

MR RAUTENBACH: Okay, to Roodepoort. Now the second thing happening. From Roodepoort heís transferred to John Vorster, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: Can you just give us more information with regards to this. How does it happen that the people who are at Krugersdorp, these are the people who looked for them at first, now they are in detention at Krugersdorp. Why, for what reasons are they transferred to John Vorster?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Because the Security Branch in Krugersdorp probably asked General Erasmus for assistance at that stage because if you look at the whole issue and the whole case, there were a big group of people arrested and probably there was not enough room for detention. Maybe they didnít have enough people to interrogate them so we helped them out as far as interrogation is concerned.

MR RAUTENBACH: You see this links to other questions which was asked by members of the panel which is, and I would like you to explain, if possible. Letís accept the fact that you cannot detain all these people at Krugersdorp. One would expect that people who know things about this enquiry and the reason why he was looked for by the Krugersdorp people, surely they would get involved at John Vorster if these people were sent to John Vorster?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I think the reason, and Iím speculating, I think the reason is, today we know there was a big group of people arrested, referring to this whole act of terror and the extent of that. Maybe they didnít have enough members to interrogate these people. That was probably the reason why they sent them to John Vorster to help with the interrogating because if you look at the whole case, it was a very very serious case and before this incident there were lots of acts of terror, murders, bombs exploding in the vicinity of Pretoria and a lot of people are arrested and I donít think they had enough hands to handle all of them and the information was of crucial importance. I think that was the whole idea behind West Rand. Because they could also have detained these people at another place and eventually, speak to them, but I speculate but I thought they wanted to obtain information as quickly as possible and thatís why they asked for our help.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, if I understand you correctly, as youíve given this before, it doesnít seem as if there were actual information from Bopape that he was involved at certain events?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No. Thatís not what Captain Kleynhans told me. The Saturday afterwards he told me pertinently that he forms part of the Maponye Group and he was linked widely with them and afterwards I realised that there was a lot of information concerning this. Because you see, this was as far as the investigation was concerned.

MR RAUTENBACH: If there was so much information around Bopape and there were specific things which he was accused of, it wouldnít have been necessary to gain this information from himself. He had to give you the information. I think, Iím not quite sure exactly what West Randís Security Branch had but if I look at the statement submitted to you earlier, that of Moleleke. Itís evident that even he said that he wasnít always aware of who Mr Bopape was. He might be in Johannesburg, he might be in West Rand. They had no control over him. And in his statement [inaudible] discussed it with Maponye and he says, and Moleleke says that he gave him weapons. Would I be correct Mr Van Niekerk if I say, that in the light of all these people arrested, and in the light of the incident which took place, the Police wanted to obtain as quickly as possible, as much information as possible?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I think that was very important. I think information was quite important if you look at the whole picture of this Maponye Group and the acts that took place. I speculate when I say this, maybe there were quite a few other people they were looking for, I do not know.

MR RAUTENBACH: But were you told and Iím referring specifically to Mr Kleynhans, were you told that it was urgent to obtain the information?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I cannot remember. I think thatís what he told me.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, if thereís something from your evidence which is quite clear itís that the Police wanted this information urgently?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I wouldnít say itís not so. What Iím saying is that I cannot remember if Mr Kleynhans said it was urgent but the facts that were submitted to me, it seemed absolutely urgent and because it was urgent a lot of pressure was place on Bopape.

MR RAUTENBACH: As much pressure as possible to obtain this information, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: And itís in this - referring to this and the evidence youíve given that the shock device was used in order to make him talk? Is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: As far as this is concerned, I would like to put it to you that as far as the family is concerned, of Mr Bopape, is the suspicion there that the pressure that was placed on him was more than just two or three turns of the shock device. This is what the family is thinking. And thatís why Iím questioning you in this manner.

MR VAN NIEKERK: Iíve said this under oath and Iíve said it the previous time, this is what happened and I see that the family doesnít believe what we said but this is really what happened. There were no other torture methods applied. This is all that happened.

MR RAUTENBACH: But still you say the fact that a person dies because of two or three turns by this machine is very improbable. Itís not normal.

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, I was surprised, I was shocked. It was very strange for me.

MR RAUTENBACH: You didnít think that this could not have happened?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Rautenbach, Iíve just received information that the caterers will only be here at quarter past one so if you want to continue a bit longer, itís just after 1 oíclock now, weíve got a few minutes to go.

MR RAUTENBACH: Yes, I will, thank you.

MR MOLOI: Let me just ask you one question. Why were you surprised that Bopape died as a result of the shock?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I didnít expect it. The few times it was turned and what Iíve seen in front of me, it was just a shock, a surprise.

MR MOLOI: As I understand your evidence, you had no knowledge of the voltage of the apparatus, did you?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís correct.

MR MOLOI: Do you have any knowledge of the amount of voltage that had to be administered for it to result in the death of a person?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No.

MR MOLOI: Why were you surprised then?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Because from previous experience and the previous times I was involved in this and from what Iíve heard, itís never happened and therefore it was a surprise.

MR MOLOI: Thank you.

MS GCABASHE: Just to finish a point that again still doesnít quite - that I donít quite understand, somewhere in these documents thereís reference to the cloths being wet. The cloths around the points of the wires being wet. Is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís correct.

MS GCABASHE: On my understanding you wet those cloths so you have a severe shock or severe current, so the current thatís being applied should be very severe - thatís why you wet the cloth?

MR VAN NIEKERK: So thereís a stronger current.

MS GCABASHE: And these cloths were wet from the outset? You didnít test on drier wires at all?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I cannot remember if it was dry and then wet. I accept it was wet. Iím not quite sure.

MS GCABASHE: The intention was to induce severe shock, thatís why you wet them?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That was practise. If it was wet it gave a stronger shock.

MS GCABASHE: I have also had a look at Volume 3 of the documents before us and I notice references here on the 11th June to medication given to Mr Bopape. Do you know anything about that? Itís page 745 of Volume 3.

MR VAN NIEKERK: When I looked at all of this I also saw that medication was prescribed to Mr Bopape by the District Surgeon but I wasnít aware of it at that stage.

MS GCABASHE: Before you apply these electric shocks, donít you ascertain, even from an occurrence book from notes like this that are freely available to you what the persons medical condition might be?

MR VAN NIEKERK: If there was a problem, a medical problem, which the doctor would have indicated to us the investigation officer would have known about it and there would have been notes. So which would have made us aware of this but I was not aware of this. And the Security officials didnít tell me of this. I had to make sure but I didnít.

MS GCABASHE: [inaudible] .. he was interrogated in this manner in the passage, thatís right?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís correct.

MS GCABASHE: A passage that has various doors coming off and into that passage?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MS GCABASHE: So anybody who happened to be working in their offices could have come out, stood around and spectated, had a look at what was going on, yes?

MR VAN NIEKERK: If it was a normal working day, yes. But this was a Sunday, there was control as far as interest was concerned, doors locked and no one allowed entrance and as far as that was concerned, no one could have seen us and it was completely secure.

MS GCABASHE: If there any particular reason why this chair wasnít dragged back into what I will call the interrogation room where the desk was, where they had been initially?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I donít think there was a reason for that, I just think it was for convenience sake. It was a heavy chair, we just pushed him out and the corridor was very wide - quite big and the other office door was quite a way off. So there was no reason why we didnít push him all the way up the corridor.

MS GCABASHE: One final question on this aspect, had Stanza Bopape not died, had he not reacted at all, you say he didnít react at all - what would your next step of interrogation have been? What next would you then do?

MR VAN NIEKERK: We would have probably applied larger, bigger shocks or we would have taken him back to the cells and started next time, itís difficult to say.

MR DE JAGER: But there are some of the activists who never gave any information, despite what you did to them?

MR VAN NIEKERK: There were cases like that, Mr Chairperson.

MR DE JAGER: But even though the torture wouldnít lead them to give you any evidence?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, I remember there were cases like that.

MR DE JAGER: And despite that, despite the force and the coercion, Mr Bopape received, he was not willing to give you any information?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MR DE JAGER: Did he tell you that he was not going to give you any information because that would mean that I betray my people or did he not give you any reasons why he didnít want to give you any information?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I spoke to him and that morning he told me, I canít really remember the exact words, but he said, he didnít really say, he didnít give me a reason why he didnít want to co-operate with us.

MR RAUTENBACH: You mentioned, Mr Van Niekerk ... [intervention]

MR DE JAGER: Mr Rautenbach, this device used, was it a telephone or what?

MR RAUTENBACH: No Mr Chairperson, itís a square metal container - itís the first time I actually saw this specific device. One side had a sling - it was like an old fashioned telephone and two electrical cords coming out of it which was naked, it was covered in cloth and the sling was turned and the cords were placed.

MR DE JAGER: Is that not the inside bit of an old telephone?

MR RAUTENBACH: Yes, I donít know what the technical name is. I think itís something like a dynamo, something like that. Iím not quite sure, itís generated power.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, regarding the same aspect, you answered and said that if he lived, what would the next step be, you said that maybe you would have applied greater shocks. Can you remember that answer? Can you just explain that to us, how do you apply bigger shocks?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The intensity would be increased by turning the device for a longer time, although the power ends would be kept to a specific part of his body.

MR RAUTENBACH: Do you carry any knowledge that should a person be shocked and he is shocked continuously, letís say, over hours, heís being shocked continuously, what influence would that have on a person?

MR VAN NIEKERK: If heís shocked for hours on end he will die later.

MR RAUTENBACH: And Mr Van Niekerk, letís assume, I give you this situation. You already indicated that you were shocked because only two to three turns caused his death, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: I assume then that if he was shocked over a period of hours continuously and he then died, like you said, in those circumstances you would not have been surprised if he died, correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The statement sounds correct, yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: And then Iím going to make the next statement, if he lived then you would have kept applying larger shocks, correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: And how long would this procedure have carried on?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Maybe another five minutes, ten minutes.

MR RAUTENBACH: Twenty minutes? Where would he have stopped?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Personally I would have stopped shortly.

MR RAUTENBACH: Can you give us more, can you make it clearer to us? What do you mean when you say you would have stopped shortly? At which stage would you have stopped?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I wouldnít have carried on with it, not how long for, I cannot tell you.

MR RAUTENBACH: How would he have to look, how would Mr Bopape have to look before you would have stopped?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Itís not how he would have looked. If after five to ten minutes he didnít want to talk, it means he was not willing to talk at all.

MR RAUTENBACH: So his physical appearance, would it have been an indication to you for when you should stop?

MR VAN NIEKERK: At a stage, yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: What made you think at that stage, we were told, two to three times that he was shocked, that it would have helped for you to continue the shocks?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Because something that I realised about - there was nothing about how he behaved that I thought that there was something wrong.

MR RAUTENBACH: But if you should have continued to shock, why do you think he would have given you any information?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I do not follow the question.

MR RAUTENBACH: He died at that stage. But what you are telling us, you are saying, you would have continued, you would have reached the point where you would have stopped. You would have realised, "it wonít help, he will not give me information", thatís your evidence. Then I asked you, "when would you have reached that point?" And your answer was, I would have reached that point when you, in your own mind was sure that he would not give the information, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: Now what made you think, just looking at the first electrical shock, after he received the first electrical shock, what made you think that he would change his mind? Why did you carry on? Thatís what Iím asking.

MR VAN NIEKERK: Because I hoped that he would change his mind.

MR RAUTENBACH: And thatís why you carried on for the second and third time?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: Can you tell us, the second and third time, did you apply a bigger shock then because it looks to me that the first one didnít work?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, no it was the same type of shock. The device is turned, itís the same shock. Itís the same shock that goes through his body every time.

MR RAUTENBACH: You have already mentioned that if he was not going to give any information, the next step would have been to give him a bigger shock. Are you saying at that stage you were not already giving him a bigger shocks? When I mean a bigger shock, I mean itís a longer shock.

MR VAN NIEKERK: Itís a longer duration. The shock is administered for a longer time.

MR RAUTENBACH: Letís go back. The first shock didnít work. He didnít have a fright. He didnít listen to you. He didnít give you any information. Then the second shock. Was it a longer shock? Was it a clearer message given to him?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It wasnít a longer shock. If I can remember correctly, they were all basically the same. The same tempo.

MR RAUTENBACH: You are saying that in your mind you have decided that if he should have lived, you would have at a later stage continued with bigger shocks?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No Sir, Iím not saying that I planned it. You asked me what would have happened and I was saying, I can believe that it might have happened that I would have continued but I didnít plan it at that stage. Not with longer, bigger shocks but with longer shocks in duration. Chairman, all these questions are hypothetical and the evidence - the verdict ... [intervention]

MR RAUTENBACH: If I can just answer on that for the Committee. The whole question with regard to the interrogation is of crucial importance because of the way in which the version of the Police is contested and doubted by the family and it is my submission that this already gave an indication of the methods usually applied and it has already, also made a contribution about two possibilities that could have arisen during this interrogation.

For example the whole issue about the method used according to this witness that if the necessary results werenít obtained that the intensity would then just be increased. Of course that is hypothetical but with all respect it does give a clear indication of the method used and seen in the light of the familyís contention about the interrogation and the torture, it should have been of a much greater scope and range than what the South African Police are saying about this. That is my answer.

Now the position is that when we have to deal with torture with this method, isnít it the case that the person is tortured to get information from him and the greater the torture, the aim of it is to torture him to such an extent that he would in fact give the information. As I see it, that is the case. And those arenít facts that can be discussed and argued on. To make it impossible for the person who is detained, to make it impossible for him later on to just keep on and in fact give the information.

But if that is not the case, what precisely does this have to do with the amnesty application. It was the method that was used to get the information. It was improper, it was an illegal method. It could even have lead to the death of a person. As it was the case in other where we had evidence to that effect. And therefore they can be prosecuted for murder, culpable homicide and it is not contested in this case that they committed a crime, that they, well, have at least been negligent or that they could have foreseen that the person could die and that it could be considered to be murder.

MR DE JAGER: If I can just answer you with regard to an Application for Amnesty, one of the most important aspects that a Committee such as this would look at is the whole question regarding full disclosure. Should it seem that an Applicant approach the Committee and made an admission on the involvement on a particular crime and this is also what the questioning is focused on. Also with regard to the role in the real facts that they then want to present to you in a lesser degree. In other words they give you a version that doesnít really incriminate them whilst the true facts would relate and reflect greater human rights violations other than the facts presented to the Court. So then it would be of crucial importance for this Committee to determine at the end of the day, to in fact give amnesty or not. So the nature, extent and scope of the torture and interrogation is of importance.

[intervention]

CHAIRPERSON: I would just like to ask Mr Prinsloo if heís got any submissions to make.

MR PRINSLOO: Chairperson, there is no evidence except that Mr Rautenbach presented to the Committee that that is the attitude of the family but there is nothing that can prove that this witness is not telling the truth but with due respect it is not serving any purpose except Mr Rautenbach can give some grounds to say that this is the evidence and this could not have been the case as we are presenting to the Committee. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: What we will do now is take an adjournment for lunch and then Iíll make a ruling immediately when we proceed after lunch. Iíd ask if we could re-convene by 2 oíclock. Would that be convenient?

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

MR STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, sorry Mr Chairman, before we - sorry to interrupt you sir. Before you is a document Exhibit D. Itís a document which was referred to Advocate Louis Visser and which was referred to by the witness is basically a document dealing with a list of attacks with limpet mines and similar explosives from March Ď88 till June Ď88. I just made some copies now. Exhibit D, sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Mr Steenkamp. Does anybody have any submissions on this document? No opposition to it going in? This document will then be received as Exhibit D.

MR STEENKAMP: Thank you Mr Chairman.

MR VISSER: Just one remark, not a submission, Mr Chairman, and that is that the document must be understood to be simply a list of attacks which preceded the death of Mr Bopape. It goes no further than that.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Mr Visser. The panel has considered the submissions made by the legal representatives regarding the hypothetical questions put by Mr Rautenbach to the witness and after deliberation and due consideration we are of the view that the questioning be allowed in this regard. It has been said by the witness that it was a general practise that methods involved in interrogation which involved the use of force were common practise, particularly in the Security Branch and these hypothetical questions really only go so far as to establish a type of modus operandi used in that sort of interrogation and we feel that it can be allowed, the questioning [inaudible]. But if I could just ask Mr Rautenbach that one gets in to the realm of hypothetical questions, the limits thereof are unbounded and we would ask you to put a boundary on it and not spend too much time on it please Mr Rautenbach.

MR RAUTENBACH: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Van Niekerk, what goes hand in hand to this question around the shock concerning specifically the shocks that were applied to Mr Bopape. I canít remember whether it was stated and what has been said before this morning but at any stage did you hear anything concerning Mr Bopapeís health which could have attributed to the reduced resistance against the shocks?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I do not follow the question.

MR RAUTENBACH: It would seem that there has been a suggestion that he might have suffered from a heart condition. Were you aware of that? Or did anybody tell you this? Here in the text itís referred to that that after the death of Mr Bopape, because the death as we have said came about suddenly, because of that I asked Officer Farquar to enquire about what happened at the hospital.

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: How did it happen in that after the death of Mr Bopape I looked through some of the documents and specifically found the document which looked like [inaudible] or some other document which came from this specific hospital and according to the documents he received treatment and I asked Officer Farquar to go to the hospital and find out what might have happened. He himself was under the impression that Mr Bopape escaped and he went and he came back and he said that the information he received shows that he was taken into the hospital because of a heart condition. In as far as that suggestion is concerned I would like to put it to you that my information is that the contact the Mr Bopape had with the hospital, I think it was the Princess Clinic, that this is in relation to a sinus problem and had nothing to do with a so-called heart condition and it was shown. I would just like to tell you this.

MR VAN NIEKERK: I cannot contest it. I accept it like that.

JUDGE NGCOBO: You sent Mr Farquar to establish what exactly? What was your instruction to him?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I told him to ask a few questions and find out information he can get concerning Mr Bopape. I couldnít tell him why he died. It was a very superficial instruction and I hoped that I could obtain some information through that.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Did you not refer to a heart attack at all when you instructed him to go and make the investigation?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No. I donít believe so, because at that stage I wasnít aware of a heart condition or a possible heart condition.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Not knowing at all [inaudible] what his health condition was.

MR VAN NIEKERK: .... health condition.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Refer to Volume 1, page 249, thatís now the Section 29 enquiry. That was the questioning directed to yourself? Is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is so.

JUDGE NGCOBO: In the middle of the page there, I read,

"I do not know,"

you are answering to a question by Dr. Allie,

"But where did this person obtain this information from?"

Your reply is,

"I do not know. I merely told him that he was to do a clandestine enquiry for me at the hospital in question. He himself did not know that Bopape was dead. I told him to establish for me whether he had a heart attack or why he was admitted to hospital and what other information we could use."

So will that statement then be incorrect that you instructed him to check if he had a heart attack, in the light of your evidence [inaudible]?

MR VAN NIEKERK: In the light of this evidence, I cannot remember that I told him this. I was aware of the fact that the hospital treated patients with heart conditions and I thought what I wanted to say here was to make sure whether he had a heart condition because this hospital treated people with heart conditions but I did not tell him that Mr Bopape had a heart problem.

JUDGE NGCOBO: What Iím trying to get at, today you testified and say you did not instruct him to look for any signs of a heart attack at the hospital from the records. Is that how I understand it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís how I interpreted it.

JUDGE NGCOBO: From the information that you had was that in fact he had a heart problem?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No. He positively said that the man was taken into hospital because of a heart problem or a possible heart condition. I couldnít exactly remember what he said to me.

JUDGE NGCOBO: But did this condition he had, according to you was actually the cause of his death and not so much the shocks that were applied to him?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I donít think so because itís only a possibility. I do not know whether he had a heart problem or not. I donít know what was the cause of his death.

JUDGE NGCOBO: So this very fact was also dealt with by the other Applicants and they got it from you that he had a heart problem.

MR VAN NIEKERK: It was during consultation when we wrote to Applicants this specific text that handled with this was in the light after me and my Advocate spoke about it we brought this forth and the other Applicants took notice of this and it might be that we could have discussed this at quite an early stage.

MR MOLOI: - that it is in fact the heart attack or heart failure that lead to his death and not so much the shocks that were applied?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, we do not know. The possibility was investigated. That was the idea. Thatís why we say in the text that the possibility, and thatís why I answered it to some of the previous questions, I accept the fact that he did not have a heart problem but sinusitis. We are not trying to say that he died because of a heart attack. What we are saying is that it bothered me why he died so suddenly and therefore I made the enquiry.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Van Niekerk, did Farquar give you his source of information at the hospital? Did he say that I spoke to a nursing sister or a doctor or I went into the records and saw it in writing?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Not as far as I can remember, Mr Chairperson.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk I would like to ask you about the following aspects. At this stage, according to your version, when Mr Bopape died you testified that his body was placed in the office and if I remember correctly, in the office where he was initially interrogated by Mostert and Engelbrecht, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: Now, at a specific stage you went to Erasmusí house and you discussed this with him and you returned to John Vorster Square, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: This body then had to be taken as your evidence stated to Bronkhorstspruit, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: Can you tell us how was the body taken out of the office?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I donít know.

MR RAUTENBACH: When you returned, where was the body?

MR VAN NIEKERK: In the specific office that you referred to. Then his body was still there.

MR RAUTENBACH: And later, you moved with two cars to Bronkhorstspruit? Is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: So, how did the body get from the office to the car?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I was at General Erasmusí office which is on another floor and while we were talking there, I accept that the other members must have taken the body down and in the cellar I joined them and then the body was in the car and we stood at the lift door.

MR RAUTENBACH: So were you present when the body was put into the car?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I was in the vicinity. I wouldnít say I actually stood there but I was in the cellar though.

MR RAUTENBACH: Do you know who wrapped the body? Wrapped, wrapped up. I believe the body was wrapped in something, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, I donít know who wrapped him up.

MR RAUTENBACH: Did you see the body before he left with the cars? Did you actually see the body?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I think before we drove off I saw the body in the boot but I am under correction.

MR RAUTENBACH: Good. In what was the body or was it uncovered?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I think it was in a plastic bag.

MR RAUTENBACH: It was in a plastic bag?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: Did you know who was responsible for wrapping that body in the plastic bag?

MR VAN NIEKERK: One of the members involved. I donít know who.

MR RAUTENBACH: Then you drove to Bronkhorstspruit?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: You have already said that youíve driven with two cars?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: And the people from Eastern Transvaal arrived there. Did they also have two cars?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: Now I would like to ask you. The body was transferred from one of your vehicles. Which vehicle was it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The vehicle of Lieutenant Zeelie.

MR RAUTENBACH: It was taken from that vehicle to which vehicle?

MR VAN NIEKERK: To the vehicle of Dr Van Loggerenberg.

MR RAUTENBACH: Can you tell us which kind of vehicle it was?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Lieutenant Zeelie ....

MR RAUTENBACH: Iím specifically referring to Van Loggerenbergís vehicle.

MR VAN NIEKERK: I canít remember.

MR RAUTENBACH: Can you remember what colour the vehicle was?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No.

MR RAUTENBACH: Who took the body from Zeelieís car to the other vehicle?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It was Zeelie and Loggerenberg. They themselves carried the body.

MR RAUTENBACH: Am I correct in saying that you did not tell Zeelie or Van Loggerenberg whose body it was? So you did not tell them who the deceased was?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, not as far as I can remember. No names were mentioned.

MR RAUTENBACH: Can you tell us, the conversation that took place there, Iím sure there must have been a conversation? What did you tell Visser at the scene?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Between me and Brigadier Visser we spoke about the escape. That they would help with the escape and Brigadier Visser said that he didnít want to be involved in that. That was basically the conversation.

MR RAUTENBACH: Did you indicate to Visser where the body came from or what body it was?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I canít remember, no. I donít think so.

MR RAUTENBACH: Do you mean in the sense whether it was a man or a woman? Well, the circumstances of how it happened? You are sitting with this body?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No I didnít tell Brigadier Visser that.

MR RAUTENBACH: What did you say to him concerning the escape? Can you make that clear?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The initial idea was that we will have a mock escape with Eastern Province.

MR RAUTENBACH: Yes, but Mr Van Niekerk, you said to Visser - what were you saying to him about an escape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Initially. When we were in Johannesburg, apparently there was an arrangement between Erasmus and Visser that they would help with the escape and General Erasmus told me this and we got to Bronkhorstspruit and I spoke to Visser concerning the escape because I thought we then had to discuss it and then he said he was not going to do it.

MR RAUTENBACH: But if you wanted to know that, would you agree that Visser had to know that you needed to formulate a mock escape? Visser had to know this.

MR VAN NIEKERK: Well, the person is dead.

MR RAUTENBACH: So Visser had to know that considering the person dead, these people want to create a mock escape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís how I understood it when I saw him.

MR RAUTENBACH: But despite that, Visser did not know who this person was and under what circumstances he died?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: With regards to the version which you have, I would like to ask you the following. If you think back, what do you think of this proposition? When you think back now, with hindsight, wouldnít it have been easier to rely on your version because, as you say, it didnít look as if he was assaulted, no bones broken, nothing, to just say simply afterwards that a possible heart attack occurred and then to have an Inquest?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I donít think so because a person was dead. At that stage I was not aware of a heart condition and at that stage it wasnít really about an Inquest, it was a much broader context as far as I was concerned because there was Section 29, and it had political implications because the politicians at that time already had a lot of opposition because of allegations of attacks and the fact that this person was involved in MK activities and there was a good chance of revenge.

It was the 16th June, so all of that played itís part when we took the decision.

MR RAUTENBACH: Would I be correct if I say, Mr Van Niekerk, that the implications and the consequences for the Police would have been enormous if the body was found and the body had several injuries, for example, broken arms etc.

MR VAN NIEKERK: But Sir, that would not have been the case.

MR RAUTENBACH: Talking again, itís a hypothetical question I am asking you. Would you agree with me that the consequences for the Police would have been enormous if a body was found which had arms that were broken, arms which had injuries etc.

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes. It probably would have had big consequences.

MR RAUTENBACH: But which one could have explained, looking at the escape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I donít know. Itís hypothetical.

MR RAUTENBACH: The situation you have referred to, if he died with injuries of the nature I have already told you, and you did not get rid of the body, then you would agree with me, the implications and the consequences would have been enormous? Do you agree?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I do not follow the question.

MR RAUTENBACH: Iím asking you the following. You say that the escape would have served as an explanation for what happened. Iím saying, if you did not dispose of the body and the body had several injuries, then that would have had serious consequences for the Police, correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: With regards to Nkosi who was arrested together with Mr Bopape, which information was there concerning Nkosi? With regards to his involvement in acts of terror, as youíve called it.

MR VAN NIEKERK: I think the information was given concerning Bopape, was the same information we received regarding Nkosi, that he walked with Bopape, a collaborator with him but in a less extent.

MR RAUTENBACH: When did you get that information concerning Nkosi?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Again the 10th or the 11th.

MR RAUTENBACH: By who?

MR VAN NIEKERK: At Mr Kleynhans. Maybe on the Saturday at the big conference in Krugersdorp.

MR RAUTENBACH: So the information you received from Kleynhans is that Nkosi was a collaborator of Bopape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, Iím saying the information, we could have received either on the 10th or the 11th. Either from Kleynhans or the next day.

MR RAUTENBACH: Iím talking about the nature of the information. Do you understand me correctly that the information that you received concerning Nkosi was that he was a collaborator and that was he to a lesser extent involved in incidents than Bopape? Letís return to the question with regards to Bopape. What was the information received from Kleynhans? On the 10th you said that he was involved in the Maponye Group, that he had contact with them, that he was involved in MK activities and that he was operating in Pretoria, Johannesburg, West Rand, Krugersdorp and the Vaal Triangle. That was the essence of the information. Was he considered a leader or just a normal activist?

MR VAN NIEKERK: If I remember correctly, the information said that he was a Unit Commander.

MR RAUTENBACH: Could I just have some clarity, this fact that he commanded a unit, was that information that you got from Captain Kleynhans?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Some of the information came from him. I cannot state clearly which came from him and what was told to me at Krugersdorp the next day.

MR RAUTENBACH: I donít want us to become confused. There are two dates. The first was an initial discussion that you had and then you had the meeting. At both of these stages, Captain Kleynhans was present, correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I canít remember whether he was present on the Saturday but he might have been there.

MR RAUTENBACH: The Saturday, was that when the meeting would have been?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: So you now say that you donít know whether Captain Kleynhans attended the meeting on the Saturday, correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, I canít remember.

MR RAUTENBACH: The information that he would have commanded a unit, where did you get that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I believe it was conveyed on the Saturday.

MR RAUTENBACH: That was at the meeting?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: Could you just give me an indication. This information you would have received from the people who were involved with the people at the Krugersdorp Security Branch as well as Pretoria?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: Can you remember from whom you got the information? If it was not Captain Kleynhans, could you just say again? Could you just give us an indication? From whom you got the information, if it was not Captain Kleynhans?

MR VAN NIEKERK: We were in a meeting. Fifteen to twenty people were there and all the members took part and information was conveyed.

MR RAUTENBACH: Can you just tell us, with regard to Nkosi, who were the people who had to take care of Nkosiís interrogation?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It was Warrant Officer Syvert and ...

MR RAUTENBACH: With regard to Nkosi. Why was he also arrested? Was it because of the fact that he was collaborator?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I canít give you an answer to that because I wasnít present with the arrest.

MR RAUTENBACH: What kind of information did you want to obtain from Nkosi?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Information with regard to the activities of Mr Bopape because they lived together. He was a collaborator.

MR RAUTENBACH: Did you see the statement made by Nkosi after he was freed? What was your comment about how he was tortured by means of electrical shocks?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I canít deny or confirm because I wasnít present.

MR RAUTENBACH: Would you agree with me that this described here, namely the way in which Nkosi was tortured, that it seems to be a much more serious kind of torture than the torture that you referred to in the case of Bopape.

MR VAN NIEKERK: If I have a look at what happened at Bopapeís case and I read Nkosiís story then it seems as if he was interrogated in a more serious fashion. Whether that is the case I donít know.

MR RAUTENBACH: Briefly I just want to put to you a few of the things that he said. I donít want to read everything. Iím looking at page 654, that is in bundle 3 and itís paragraph 67, 68, 69 and 70. What Iím going to refer you to specifically is paragraph 69.

"An electrode was placed on my left wrist, my left calf, one all over my body, pelvic parts and buttocks and another was applied to my body on different occasions. The electrodes were placed in tubes but I could feel the wires scratching by body from the three cords."

He then continues and he then says,

"In intervals,"

and was asked questions and when he didnít answer it, he was then shocked again. He also says that for a long period he was shocked like this. For example on page 655, paragraph 77.

"Was increased and applied for a long time. I was screaming and some of the torturers held me down to prevent more screaming and spoke in a vernacular."

I want to ask you, the type of interrogation taking place here. This type of torture that he is describing, according to his version that he is describing here. Is that the type of torture that you would say that that is the type of torture that would lead to a persons death?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Not necessarily, but it can. Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: And the person that we have here, if I can put it in the following way that was the small fish if we had to compare him to Bopape, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I donít know in relation to the whole investigation whether he was indeed the small fish. The information at our disposal wasnít that much about him.

MR RAUTENBACH: And despite the fact that there wasnít a lot of information about him, is this how he then alleges that he was interrogated?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes. He alleges, whether it in fact happened, I donít know.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, with regard to the 11th June, you didnít see Bopape on that day, correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I think that was the Saturday, you refer to the Saturday, yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: I doubt it. Is it possible Mr Van Niekerk that Saturday that he could have been taken to Pretoria?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It is possible.

MR RAUTENBACH: Once again, with regard to the shock device. I want to ask you why was it decided to do it in the hall?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The chair which was according to my view, ideal, was in my office and it was quite cramped and then we moved it to the corridor which was almost bigger than my office. Itís a very broad, wide corridor.

MR RAUTENBACH: Why was it necessary to move him out of the office where Mostert and Engelbrecht were interrogating him?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Because we moved the chair from my office to the corridor and he was taken from there to the chair.

MR RAUTENBACH: And then I also want to ask you did you ever obtain any knowledge that people lose control of their bodily functions when they are seriously shocked.

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, I have heard about that.

MR RAUTENBACH: Is it a possible reason why he was taken from the office?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, I [inaudible] opinions throughout your testimony that when the interrogation took place you moved in and out from time to time he was interrogated, correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: At the point where the process was started to shock him with the electrical device, were you present the whole time?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes. I was.

MR RAUTENBACH: Any specific reason why you were present the whole time?

MR VAN NIEKERK: There wasnít a specific reason. It was almost right across my office door.

MR RAUTENBACH: But you were physically present where the shocks were taking place?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: Isnít is perhaps the case Mr Van Niekerk that the reason why you were present was that you wanted to obtain the information from him? The other two people did not succeed in getting it and you wanted to get it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, that was not the reason.

MR RAUTENBACH: Now what would have been the reason?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I was there, it was next to my office, I was the senior officer.

MR RAUTENBACH: You werenít present earlier, but now you want to be present, why?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Because it was at my office and because the device was being used and I thought that I had an interest.

MR RAUTENBACH: You say that it was because the device was being used and you had an interest. Now what does the device have to do with this?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I donít say that the device has anything to do with it but it was just that the circumstances was of such that something else happened. We used the device and I found myself present.

MR RAUTENBACH: I donít want to belabour this too long, itís not a question that you stayed in your office like you did previously and went in and out, you now actually stood there?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: With regard to the escape situation, whose initiative was it that a mock escape should be created?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The idea already occurred to me when I was on my way to General Erasmus. I canít remember that we discussed it at the office if I can remember correctly. It was also mentioned between my and General Erasmus that we had to do something. Iím not quite sure precisely what happened.

MR RAUTENBACH: So you say you canít really remember who proposed the escape initiative?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The idea was perhaps mentioned in the discussion between me and General Erasmus.

MR RAUTENBACH: I also want to know, with regard to the Ellis Park situation, was the idea to give more credibility to the fact that Bopape would have been seen in the vicinity of the explosion and that that would support the escape theory? Did I understand that correctly?

MR VAN NIEKERK: We didnít look for it. It happened coincidentally in our favour. And it was used to give more credibility, yes, of course it is the case.

MR RAUTENBACH: All of a sudden a person who we know is dead is now seen alive in the vicinity of an explosion. That would support your theory?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: Did you also have knowledge, as I saw in a statement later on by this person that you had said that she stated it that she wasnít quite sure?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I read her statement at some stage and it is possible that she could have said that.

MR RAUTENBACH: I also want to ask you, one of the members pointed to, that the whole issue of medication that Bopape used, can you think of any way in which we can obtain information? What medication did he use? Is it possible in any way that we can obtain that is if the doctorís report is available and that we know is not available?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Well I donít know whether itís available or not.

MR RAUTENBACH: I also want to ask you, with relation to the shock device that weíve heard of, do you know what happened to the device?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, I donít.

MR RAUTENBACH: No idea?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, Iím going to speculate. Itís gone.

MR RAUTENBACH: Did anyone ever try when the device was there to compile technical specifications with regard to what the machine is able to do?

MR VAN NIEKERK: What I can remember is that after Mr Bopape had died, at some stage, two of the members who were involved there touched the poles and tried to feel whether there was any power coming through.

MR RAUTENBACH: Thatís all that you know of, something similar to a test? With regard to the questions that I have asked you about the 11th June and the fact that I asked you if Bopape could have been taken to Pretoria on the 11th, it seems from the statement of Nkosi that Nkosi was taken to Pretoria on the 11th. Are you aware of that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No.

MR RAUTENBACH: So you had nothing to do with that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I never went to look for it, perhaps if I look at the registers now, perhaps I could now observe it but I was not aware of every movement throughout.

MR RAUTENBACH: I assume that you would then also could not give an indication why Nkosi would have been taken to Pretoria for interrogation?

MR VAN NIEKERK: If he had been taken to Pretoria, well Pretoria was involved in the investigation, it might have been the case that someone took him there for some reason.

MR RAUTENBACH: You donít have first hand knowledge of it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, I donít.

MR RAUTENBACH: This is just for clarity. If we look at the escape situation, I know that at some stage the dog unit was also on the scene with the escape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: And that they had to follow a trail?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: How did you create such a situation?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Lieutenant Zeelie, who played the role of Mr Bopape had on his shoes and he ran through veld with it and he threw down the handcuffs and I think the reason why the dog unit was involved because that was part of the escape plan. We didnít arrange for the dogs but because a trail should be followed, the detectives come and they do all of this on their own accord because they donít have any knowledge of the mock escape.

MR RAUTENBACH: So in other words, his shoes were used to leave the trail?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

JUDGE NGCOBO: His shoes?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, you conveyed this situation to General Erasmus, that was after Bopape had died. You told him what had happened, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes.

MR RAUTENBACH: And you donít know to whom General Erasmus conveyed it or discussed it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, well I deduced it from the documents, that it was General Van Der Merwe.

MR RAUTENBACH: Were you at any stage confronted by any

member, any senior member, your superior in rank on how it could have happened that Bopape had died? I use the word confront specifically. You also referred to deceased.

MR VAN NIEKERK: At some stage I talked to General Joubert and in that discussion he asked me questions and it was clear that he had knowledge about this incident and we had a discussion over the death of Mr Bopape.

MR RAUTENBACH: Let me put it in this way. Were you ever seriously confronted over the death of Bopape because of the fact that your version was that he died because of two or three shocks?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR RAUTENBACH

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Rautenbach. Mr Steenkamp would you ....[intervention]

MR STEENKAMP: No questions Mr Chairman, thanks.

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

RE- EXAMINATION BY MR PRINSLOO: Only a few questions. Mr Van Niekerk, if Bopape would have been taken to Johannesburg for an investigation it would also have been indicated in the occurrence book, Bopape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes. That would have been the case. If he had been taken out, it would have been noted.

MR PRINSLOO: And then also in relation to a question of Mr Visser, with regard to the cover up, you also answered on a question of Mr Rautenbach that the aim was to prevent it that the politicians who already had problems because of death in detention and also the nearing of 16 June as well as possible revenge attacks that that was the main reason why this case was handled in this way?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: In other words it was not so much to protect you?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It was not to protect myself but on behalf of the political situation as a member of the Police in which I found myself.

MR PRINSLOO: Is that also how you interpreted General Erasmus to understand it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, I believe that to be the case.

MR PRINSLOO: Thank you Chairman, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR PRINSLOO

CHAIRPERSON: I will now ask members of the panel if they have any questions to put. Advocate Gcabashe? Do you have any questions?

MS GCABASHE: Mr Van Niekerk, you said that you reported Stanza Bopapeís death to your superiors?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct.

MS GCABASHE: [inaudible] you reported the true facts or the mock arrangement to them, which was it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I reported to General Erasmus. I told him that Mr Bopape died and that we shocked him.

MS GCABASHE: Who else did you give the true facts to? General Joubert at a later stage?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct.

MS GCABASHE: Nobody else?

MR VAN NIEKERK: At some stage I came to know that Mr Pretorius, who worked with me, that he had knowledge of the incident.

MS GCABASHE: You did not tell him anything?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No. I told him nothing, I just confirmed it.

MS GCABASHE: Having read you Section 29 evidence, you talk of Vlakplaas and Trevitts and you talk about Regional Security Branch meetings, you know how you move from your, you do with the lower level chaps, you had your regional meetings and these would eventually be reported in whichever form to the National Security Council. Now, as I understand it, at those regional meetings you would share information about activists, you would have lists that would have been compiled, you would, I assume pull people off lists if they were no longer alive, you would add people to the lists once you had arrested them, is that right, have I got the right sense of what you did at these regional meetings?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Within the Trevitts context, that was how I saw it.

MS GCABASHE: Now, in a case such as this, are you saying that you did not inform that forum that Bopape was in fact dead? That they need not spend any more State resources looking for him, asking questions about him? Is this what you are saying? All of those people at that level were under the assumption that Bopape had escaped and was in fact at large?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Bopape was a suspect from Pretoria so one would have expected Bopape, should his name have been on the Trevitts structure that it should have been mentioned there and then a mock escape would have continued and all the other members would have been under the impression that he had escaped. Had his name been on there then it would have remained there.

MS GCABASHE: Am I right in assuming that you attended these meetings?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I attended some of the Trevitts meetings.

MS GCABASHE: It was not your duty to correct any impression that forum might have and in that way save State resources in respect of somebody who was no longer alive.

MR VAN NIEKERK: If I attended a meeting where the escape of Mr Bopape had been discussed I would never have corrected it. I would have left it as it was.

MS GCABASHE: Are you saying that it was acceptable practise within the Police service? There was nothing wrong with just leaving it like that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It was a mock escape. I canít in an open meeting say in front of all the other members that this person is dead. It was wrong but I couldnít do it.

MS GCABASHE: Higher up the ladder, you have your regional meetings. The superiors, whose duty would it be to inform them of the true facts? General Joubert, would it be his duty to really tell them what had happened?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I donít think anyone, for example the people who had known General Erasmus, Joubert, Van Der Merwe and itís from my own experience, they would not have said at a meeting, letís delete Mr Bopapeís name, heís dead. I think it is something that would have been kept quiet.

MS GCABASHE: My last difficulty really relates to the disposal of the body. I know you have been asked questions about this. About Van Loggerenberg and his disposal of that body. My difficulty arises from the fact that it was very important to you that the body should not be found, thatís right?

MR VAN NIEKERK: As I have said, I was worried should the body be found as was said, especially wrapped in plastic covers that would then have erased the escape theory. But should they have found the body at a later stage, it could have been liked to the escape situation and I was worried. It would have been better if they did not find the body in the light of the circumstances in the country, the escape, all the problems there.

MS GCABASHE: Had you worked with Van Loggerenberg before?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I know Captain Van Loggerenberg, he was formerly from the Soweto Security Branch. I know him from there. I donít think we investigated any cases together. Whilst he was in the Eastern Transvaal I also didnít investigate any cases with him.

MS GCABASHE: What was the basis of your trust in his ability to dispose of this body in an effective manner?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The little that I knew him, I trusted him and Brigadier Visser, the fact that he gave him the instruction and I had absolute confidence in Visser.

MS GCABASHE: Thank you. No further questions at this point.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Moloi.

MR MOLOI: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Van Niekerk, the manner of extracting information from detainees as described by Nkosi, was common place in that day, was it not? It was common place, itís something that happened quite normally and frequently too?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It was practise. It occurred. It didnít happen to every detainee but it occurred.

MR MOLOI: In as far as Bopape is concerned, none of those things happened to him during the interrogation. In other words, people were standing around him, asking him nicely, please tell us this, please tell us that, and only when he refused to do so, it was resorted to use of electric shocks?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MR MOLOI: Is there any reason why he would be treated differently from what was common place?

MR VAN NIEKERK: It depends on the interrogator. I know Mr Mostert and Engelbrecht, I know them as people who would not physically assault a person with a fist or kick him.

MR MOLOI: In his case there was an exception made, in as far as you are aware, none of the other means of torture in order to extract information was applied?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes. Because the person died. What could have happened afterwards, I can only speculate. Well, thatís true, thatís all that happened. Nothing else.

MR MOLOI: [inaudible] tortured whilst alive, not after his death, is it?

MR VAN NIEKERK: But that is what I mean. There werenít any other methods used.

MR MOLOI: Do I understand you also to say that the main purpose of this cover up of making up a story about the escape was in fact to protect the Government of the day? Is that the fact?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes. We act on behalf of the Security Branch of the country. Itís not on behalf of ourselves. I am not doing it for myself. It was done because there was this tremendous onslaught of violence and terror and therefore violence was used and I acted on behalf of the whole of South Africa. It was never the case that I did it for myself and that was the practise, that we did it for our country.

MR MOLOI: [inaudible] point in time that the Government had to take a lot of wrap over the fingers, nationally and internationally, in the media and all over .......[end of Side ĎAí] ....... using force that could possibly lead to death of a detainee, during that period?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No. It was never told to me directly as a member of the Security Branch that we may not use violence, that it is not allowed at all. There were certain circulars, letters, certain regulations that we should not do it but it still happened and I say it happened with the cognisance of the Security Branch.

MR MOLOI: It was happening, despite the warnings that you were given not to do so. If you design a cover up, for whom are you doing it? Is it for the Security Forces, the people concerned or is it for the Government that has warned you not to pursue that method of interrogation?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Itís for everyone. For the Security Branch where I worked, where I operated for the Government of the day, for the people of the country. There was anarchy, there were killings, it was within this context that I executed my task. It was approved by the Security Branch and I also say approved by the Government. Not directly, but indirectly. We were never prohibited.

MR MOLOI: [inaudible] acted accordingly in the interest of the Government and not the Security Forces of which you were a member, yourself?

MR VAN NIEKERK: For both. Everyone. The Security Branch was but one extension of the Government. We had to fight the counter revolutionary action. We had to stop it.

MR MOLOI: So you were a member of the Security Forces and you acted also in their interest, then on what basis then you say you had no personal interest in the outcome of the feigned escape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I said when I acted, I acted within this framework as I understand it. And that is to use violence. If I had been prohibited to do it, I would not have done it.

MR MOLOI: You were not forbidden, at any stage, not to use force?

MR VAN NIEKERK: As I said in writing, there were many rules and regulations that prohibited this but we acted outside of the Law to stop this onslaught on behalf of the Government.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr De Jager?

MR DE JAGER: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Judge Ngcobo?

JUDGE NGCOBO: As I understand your evidence, the Security Branch unit that was interested primarily in the deceased, was the West Rand, is that right? Did you hear my question?

MR VAN NIEKERK: In Pretoria.

JUDGE NGCOBO: In Pretoria, yes. Now, during the first phase of the interrogation, was there any member of the Security Branch from the West Rand?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Not that I am aware of.

JUDGE NGCOBO: On the 12th June, was there any member of the Security Branch from the West Rand near?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Why not?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Because the West Rand, at the gathering on the 11th were asked to interrogate the person.

JUDGE NGCOBO: What would you have done with that information?

MR VAN NIEKERK: We would have channelled it back to the West Rand and probably we would have had another meeting to exchange the information.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Was it not considered necessary that at least a member from that branch be present? During the interrogation.

MR VAN NIEKERK: It would have been an ideal situation but I think the problem was exactly that there werenít enough members because so many people were detained as West Rand so they didnít have anybody else to send to us.

JUDGE NGCOBO: When was the deceased interrogated for the first time? Asked the information relating to his place of residence, place of birth?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Iím not 100% sure. Iím not sure whether it was the Friday. It could have been the Friday, the 10th, but Iím not sure whether he was interrogated on the 11th. Itís possible, and the 12th.

JUDGE NGCOBO: The first day would have been the 10th, Friday the 10th?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Under correction I say that, yes.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Well, let me put it this way. When you went to the meeting, had the deceased been interrogated already?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Iím not sure. Thereís no facts that we could submit to the meeting, facts he gave us.

JUDGE NGCOBO: But had he been questioned at that stage?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís why I say, Iím not sure. If he was questioned the Friday because the meeting was on the Saturday.

JUDGE NGCOBO: When he was first interrogated, whenever that was, did the Police get the impression that he was prepared to co-operate with the Police?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I can speak of the Sunday when he was not willing to co-operate.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Can you still recall what time that interrogation started?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Like I said in the vicinity of 9, 10 oíclock.

JUDGE NGCOBO: [inaudible] estimated time given.

MR VAN NIEKERK: This could be possible.

JUDGE NGCOBO: How soon after the interrogation had started did it become apparent that the deceased was not willing to co-operate with the Police?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I believe after about an hour, an hour and a half, maybe two hours.

JUDGE NGCOBO: If it would have taken an hour to two and a half, to establish that the deceased was not willing to co-operate, what would have been happening during that one hour or two hours?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The times when I walked into the office, Mr Mostert and Mr Engelbrecht were busy asking him questions. Questions which were not really important. Let me put it like this, information which was not important. They spoke about not important things.

JUDGE NGCOBO: What sort of things would those be?

MR VAN NIEKERK: If I remember correctly, it was concerning his activities at one or other, outside of Parliamentís organisations.

[microphone problems]

It concerned his involvement at the Mamelodi Civic Association. I think thatís what it was all about. He was concerned with the Mamelodi Civic Association and in Johannesburg he was involved with another organisation, if Iím correct, I think it was CRC and if I remember correctly, that was the things he was talking about. His contact with people but as far as the facts were concerned, concerning his MK activity, concerning that, he didnít say anything.

JUDGE NGCOBO: When you entered the interrogation room for the first time on the 12th, what feedback did you receive from Mostert and Engelbrecht, as to whether the deceased was willing to co-operate with the Police?

MR VAN NIEKERK: If I remember correctly, at the beginning, there was a general discussion, as Iíve just indicated and there was no indication provided to interrogators that he was not willing to co-operate, that only came to light later.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Did you specifically ask Mostert and Engelbrecht whether the deceased was willing to co-operate?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Mr Mostert indicated to me at some point, I think it was outside of the office where we drank coffee and he indicated to me that the person was not willing to work with us and heís not getting any information and itís because of that, that we went back to Mr Bopape and I spoke to him myself.

JUDGE NGCOBO: What was his attitude to you?

MR VAN NIEKERK: He wasnít willing to co-operate.

JUDGE NGCOBO: [inaudible] you take the decision to use the shocking device?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I think, if I remember correctly there was another bit of interrogating first, itís possible, Iím not quite sure but afterwards we did make the decision to use the shock device.

JUDGE NGCOBO: As I understand your evidence, you had used a shocking device previously?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I was involved with the use of such a device at previous times. I was present even though I didnít use it myself.

JUDGE NGCOBO: But you were not familiar with the one that you used on this occasion?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The device all look the same. Maybe in size and colour they will differ but this specific one was the first time I saw this specific one.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Weíve heard you talk about the onslaught on the Government of the day. Weíve heard you talk about the methods that were used by the Police at the time. What do you say about the fact that you killed a human being?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I feel guilty about it. And Iím very disappointed in what happened because we never wanted death. This is what I can tell you.

JUDGE NGCOBO: At the enquiry, you mentioned you had been warned, that is the Police had been warned about the consequences of a death in detention or something to that effect. Can you remember that testimony?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes. I can remember that.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Who would have warned you?

MR VAN NIEKERK: There were letters being sent. There were discussions coming from our Commanders that we had to be careful.

JUDGE NGCOBO: [inaudible} regulations as well against the use of force?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Can I have that question again?

JUDGE NGCOBO: [inaudible] the position there are also regulations which prevent the use of force?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is true.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Despite all these warnings and the regulations, you still believe that you were working, what you did was in the interest of the Government?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Definitely. Yes I believe that I acted on behalf of the Government.

JUDGE NGCOBO: If a Police officer was found to have used torture, was that Police officer disciplined?

MR VAN NIEKERK: If it became known, yes, he was disciplined.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Who should first know about that before any steps are taken?

MR VAN NIEKERK: The memberís Commander, I would say.

JUDGE NGCOBO: So in your case, you made known to your superiors that you had been part of a group of officers who had been involved in the torture of the deceased, right?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

JUDGE NGCOBO: And yet nothing was done against you?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No steps were taken against me in the light of the whole way that the issue was treated afterwards.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Did the taking of any steps against a Police officer involved in the torture depend on the relationship which that officer had with his commander?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I donít think so. We acted within a specific framework. If there was a good relationship between an inferior and his superior and the inferior made a mistake I believe the senior officer would have acted against him but this was a different situation and hence thatís the way we acted.

JUDGE NGCOBO: To your knowledge, was it Police practise to notify the politicians of the facts surrounding a death in detention?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, thatís correct. If the death becomes known by ways of natural course and an Inquest follows, then certainly the Minister would have got to know about it.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Would the Minister be told the truth?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I specifically referred to an Inquest which would then have followed the right route but in our case, I cannot tell you whether the Minister was informed about what actually happens or not.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Did you expect that the Minister would be informed?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Itís a difficult question to answer. I cannot say yes or no. If I look back at what happened then, at that time in the country I have a suspicion that the Minister might have known about it but I am not sure.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Let me just ask you one general question. Yourself and your colleagues were involved in a cover up as to the circumstances leading to the death of the deceased, and in doing so, you came up with an escape plan, all of which we now know amounted to the untruth. You mislead some of your colleagues in order to have your way out. Why should this Committee now believe you? Why should we believe that you are now, you have disclosed to us everything you know of and concerning the death of Stanza Bopape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I personally made the decision to apply for amnesty and in the same breath I realise that all facts have to be disclosed. It would have been very naive of me and reckless to only give to you half the facts and to try to give the wrong information to the Commission. All I can tell you is that the facts here are the true facts. Itís the whole truth and itís nothing other than that.

JUDGE NGCOBO: In preparation of your application for amnesty, did you as an individual, in order to assist, to bring to the fore, all the relevant facts relating to the death of the deceased [inaudible] some form of investigation, i.e.: in regard to whether or not the body of the deceased was disposed of in the manner described to you?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Did you not consider that perhaps that would be, that it would help the Committee in understanding the facts, if you had to come to this Committee and indicate the steps that you have taken to verify some of the information that was given to you?

MR VAN NIEKERK: With the application for amnesty, we looked at all the facts and we made them all known. All the facts. Everybody that was involved. I didnít think it was necessary for the investigation unit to go any further. Sometimes it wasnít an open idea between the general enquiry and the Generalís office. We think that weíve given you all the facts and I think the facts were laid on the table at an early stage and a further enquiry was not necessary because everything was in my application.

JUDGE NGCOBO: Thank you, no more questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Van Niekerk, we all know that some people have a far greater resistance to torture than other people. Some people have the ability to resist torture and not give in, maybe because theyíve got a strong will or greater physical strength than others and whereas other people may quickly surrender to torture and release information required, is that, do you agree with that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes I agree with that.

CHAIRPERSON: When you made the decision to apply force to, as you put it, "frighten", the deceased, you at that stage wouldnít have known whether he was the type of person who would strongly resist torture or whether he would give in easily to torture?

MR VAN NIEKERK: No, I didnít know.

CHAIRPERSON: It was a Sunday, you didnít have a shocking device available. We see from the record of the proceedings at the Section 29 Hearing that Sergeant Du Preez had to be contacted at his home then he had to go to Sandton office and then he had to look for a machine and then he had to come all the way in to town to John Vorster Square and bring the machine. Why go to all that effort if you could have used a plastic bag or a bucket of water? You didnít know this manís resistance to torture. You were just going to frighten him. Why go to that length to get a device to give him shocks when you could have used any number of other methods of force, that could have been done simply and quickly and without involving a further outside person, namely Sergeant Du Preez?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Mr Chairman, maybe because the shock device was mentioned and I do not know if the - , Iím not used to other methods, I donít really know how they work and we only wanted to give him a fright, thatís basically that. The shock device was mentioned.

CHAIRPERSON: You said also that, in your evidence, that what happened when the shocks were being applied was that Du Preez had the device and was turning the handle and somebody else was moving the electrodes, the two cords with the wet cloth at the end across the torso, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that usual because we hear from the statement made by Mr Nkosi that the electrodes were applied to the body and fixed in a spot, not moved around?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Different methods are used, what the effects are of them Iím not sure. Sometimes itís applied fixedly to a personís body and other times itís moved across the personís body as in this case.

CHAIRPERSON: When you say it was moved across the body, was it moved across when the handle was being turned or was the handle turned when it was on one spot and then moved to another spot and then the handle turned again or was it moved while the handle was being turned?

MR VAN NIEKERK: While somebody turned the handle at the same time the two poles are moved across the personís body and the moment the person stops turning the handle, the person also stops moving the poles.

CHAIRPERSON: Would you agree that the detentions in terms of Section 29 of the Security Act at that time were highly contentious and controversial?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: They often received much coverage in the media and even in Parliament, questions relating to Section 29 detentions

were raised.

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct, there was a lot of opposition against it.

CHAIRPERSON: Now bearing that in mind, was there no procedure relating to a Section 29 detainee whereby precise, a full record of any activities relating to the detainee would be recorded in some book or diary? In other words, when heís removed from a cell, when heís been interrogated, when heís been asked for medication or whatever, anything relating to the detainee, wasnít it recorded strictly and religiously because of the controversy relating to their detention?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Thatís true Mr Chairman. There were instructions that there should be a register being kept concerning the detainee and his detainee file and he should be signed out when he should be taken out for enquiry, when he goes for food, when he is visited, all those things had to be noted down.

CHAIRPERSON: Were they noted down in the case of the deceased in this matter, Mr Bopape?

MR VAN NIEKERK: As far as I know Mr Chairperson, up to the point when he died that book was kept by Mr Mostert and one of his duties was to, the rest of the afternoon after his death up to the point of the escape, to complete this. If one looked at that, one would see that he received food up to the point where he escaped, so we also fabricated all of that.

CHAIRPERSON: The question relating to precisely when the interrogation started and when it stopped, would that not be recorded there?

MR VAN NIEKERK: From the point he was arrested it would be correct and the morning when he was booked out of the cells, when the questions started that would be correct and whether he received tea or coffee during the morning, that would be there as well and from there onwards the further bit would then be fabricated.

CHAIRPERSON: It was also part of the so-called cover up?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prinsloo, do you have any questions arising from any questions that have been put from the panel?

FURTHER RE-EXAMINATION BY MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Niekerk, as far as the question is concerned whether there were any other people that youíve mentioned, Joubert and Erasmus, was General Du Toit informed about what happened?

MR VAN NIEKERK: General Du Toit was there the afternoon. If Iím correct General Erasmus informed General Du Toit but he definitely knew about it.

MR PRINSLOO: With regards to the question concerning the criticism concerning Section 29, what was the attitude of the ANC at that time when somebody died in detention and an Inquest was held, was it used as propaganda or what happened?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Mr Chairman there was a lot of propaganda campaigns in such a case, not only by the ANC but by the opposition. I think the biggest onslaught came from the opposition within the Parliament and also the ANC and often it lead to revenge attacks.

MR PRINSLOO: Another aspect that was also put to you, with regard to Mr Du Preez who brought the machine to you on the Sunday, was Mr Du Preez in any way involved with the Security Branch?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, he was part of the Security Branch.

MR PRINSLOO: He was stationed at Sandton?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: Was he under your command or not?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, I think he was under the command of Major Pretorius.

MR PRINSLOO: Was Mr Pretorius your junior?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, he was.

MR PRINSLOO: Thank you. No further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR PRINSLOO

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Van Der Walt, any questions?

MS VAN DER WALT: No questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Visser, any questions arising?

MR VISSER: Thank you Mr Chairman. I have no questions for the witness but thereís one matter that is obliquely relevant to his evidence which he gave and that relates to Mr Adriaan Vlok whom I told you I appear on behalf of. I have an affidavit of Mr Vlok in which he deals with, insofar as he may be implicated and it has just occurred to me that this may be an appropriate moment to place this before you so that you can view the evidence as a whole, as it arises.

I was going to hand it up at that time when my turn arrived Mr Chairman but it just occurred to me that I might be criticised if I donít do it now in case somebody wants to raise something in that regard.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Visser. Have your colleagues, the other legal representatives had sight of this affidavit?

MR VISSER: No Mr Chairman. Itís an affidavit which we hand in in terms of Section 30 I believe Mr Chairman. We have made copies. I have the original plus four copies for you and your members and we have made copies for all of our colleagues. Thank you.

Mr Chairman, I might just refer you to the salient points. It deals with the fact that Mr Vlok is on record as having made various statements in regard to Mr Bopape in Parliament. I think we are all aware of those. There were questions asked, particularly by Mr Van Eck in 1988/89, if I remember correctly and certain replies were made and there may even have been press statements. At page 2 of this affidavit signed by Mr Vlok, Mr Chairman, if I could direct your attention to paragraph 2.4, that is after he had dealt with the preliminaries, he says this Mr Chairman, and Iíll go slowly for purposes of the translation,

"Something of which I am actually quite sure of is that at that stage there was only this particular version presented to me to the effect that Mr Bopape escaped from detention and that and any other information provided by me with regard to Mr Bopape happened by means of the ordinary departmental communication channel with the Ministerís office."

It came to his knowledge for the first time when certain applications of members of the erstwhile South African Police made their applications for amnesty that what he had been told wasnít correct. And he says at paragraph 3 on page 3 Mr Chairman that he denies that he was involved at all in any action in order to cover up the true facts around Mr Bopapeís death. This is an affidavit that is handed up Mr Chairman. In your discretion, if a serious dispute should arise about that, of course Mr Vlok is available to give evidence but it has been the custom, Mr Chairman that when on the facts, it is not foreseen that a serious dispute, or that there may be other facts arising that will dispute objectively his evidence, that it may be done by way of affidavit, in terms of the Act and that is why we do it that way.

CHAIRPERSON: I think what we will do Mr Visser thank you is, we wonít receive it officially at this stage but perhaps weíll give the other legal representatives an opportunity to consider it and digest it and formulate an opinion as to what their attitude is with regard to the admission of the affidavit at this stage and perhaps we can just stand that over until tomorrow. Would that be suitable Mr Rautenbach?

MR RAUTENBACH: That is in order Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Steenkamp?

MR STEENKAMP: Yes Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prinsloo and Ms Van Der Walt? Thank you.

MR VISSER: Thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Rautenbach, do you have any questions arising out of questions that were put by the panel to the witness?

FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, just one issue that came to the fore. You specifically asked, with regard to notes that were kept with people detained

under Section 29. This is now because itís controversial, notes were kept, what happened to them whilst they were in detention, is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes, that is correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: And I think you also agreed that because it was so controversial it was necessary to have a record when you, for example should be attacked in a court about what happened to a person, where he was, whether he was in a cell, whether he was interrogated, where he was interrogated and so forth. Can you remember that?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes. That was the rule at that stage, that that document should be kept and that should have tallied with the escape.

MR RAUTENBACH: So with that the whole issue of medical treatment, the fact that he went to a district surgeon, that observations were made with regard to certain marks, signs of assault, that documentation was also kept thoroughly to protect you. Is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes. As I said earlier the doctorís report was in the file.

MR RAUTENBACH: Mr Van Niekerk, thereís just one issue I want to point to you. After this escape situation was arranged, you also expected some criticism that questions would be asked. Is that correct?

MR VAN NIEKERK: That is correct.

MR RAUTENBACH: Wasnít it of utmost importance for you to get all the documentation with regard to his detention, to keep that and to say that this is where he was, he was seen by the District Surgeon, here are all the records before he escaped, wasnít that of crucial importance?

MR VAN NIEKERK: Yes it was. And the documentation was available for the detective who investigated the escape.

MR RAUTENBACH: Now I want to ask, if that had been so important, what happened to these documents?

MR VAN NIEKERK: I donít know.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR RAUTENBACH

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Van Der Walt?

MR DE JAGER: Mr Mostert, your full names please?

NEW WITNESS

MR MOSTERT: Hendrik Albertus Beukes Mostert.

ADV DE JAGER: Could you please stand?

HENDRIK ALBERTUS BEUKES MOSTERT: (sworn states)

MS VAN DER WALT: Chairperson, before we start with the testimony of Mr Mostert, I would just like to correct something in bundle 1 annexure ĎAí, relating to Mr Mostert, is under the name of Engelbrecht. I can give you the references. Mr Mostertís annexure ĎAí would be from Page 51 to 58 and his ĎBí would be from Page 32 to 39. His ordinary application would then be in the bundle as follows from Page 21.

EXAMINATION BY MS VAN DER WALT: Mr Mostert, you have applied, in terms of the Act on the Amnesty. You also completed the application as prescribed by Law. Is that correct?

MR MOSTERT: Yes.

MS VAN DER WALT: You also explained the events in Annexure íAí and you also gave the political motivation for this act from Question 10(a), you gave that in Annexure ĎBí?

MR MOSTERT: That is correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: The information that you give in Annexure ĎBí as well as the documentation that has to be read with that, you confirm the content?

MR MOSTERT: Yes I do.

MS VAN DER WALT: Mr Mostert, you were also in the service of the South African Police since when and up to what date?

MR MOSTERT: From 1958 up to 1991, in May.

MS VAN DER WALT: And in which sections did you serve in the Police?

MR MOSTERT: For approximately 9 years I was part of the Uniform Branch and for the majority of my career I was in the Criminal Investigation Unit, a detective and since 1986 I was part of the Security Branch in John Vorster Square.

MS VAN DER WALT: You now refer to Sandton an John Vorster Square?

MR MOSTERT: I could just perhaps put it to you. The head office was at John Vorster Square and the main branch and then an affiliation was in Sandton. In other words it was a branch at Sandton.

MS VAN DER WALT: At this point Mr Mostert could we perhaps just ask, was there co-operation between Sandton and John Vorster Square?

MR MOSTERT: Yes.

MS VAN DER WALT: And the people who worked at Sandton, did they do investigation work with you or the other way around?

MR MOSTERT: Yes.

MS VAN DER WALT: It also seems from Bheki Nkosiís statement that he was interrogated at Sandton?

MR MOSTERT: Yes, that is correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: When you were at the Security Branch since 1986, under whose command were you?

MR MOSTERT: In the beginning I stood under the direct command of Major Pretorius, he was a Captain at that stage. I started working there.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did he go to Sandton later on?

MR MOSTERT: Yes, he was at Sandton.

MS VAN DER WALT: And Mr Van Niekerk?

MR MOSTERT: Mr Van Niekerk came later, as well as Brigadier Victor.

MS VAN DER WALT: You have gone on pension?

MR MOSTERT: Yes, that is correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: What was your rank at that stage?

MR MOSTERT: I was Detective Warrant Officer.

MS VAN DER WALT: Now this case in which you are now applying, the death of Stanza Bopape. Could you perhaps just tell the Commission, you have given the information in Annexure ĎAí, you were involved with the arrest?

MR MOSTERT: Yes, that is correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: How did it happen?

MR MOSTERT: Because we had the evidence.

MR DE JAGER: Just a moment. You refer to Brigadier Victor?

MR MOSTERT: Yes, that is correct.

MR DE JAGER: It is Victor, not Fikter?

MR MOSTERT: Itís Victor because there are two people. The one is Fikter and the one is Victor and both had high ranks. This one is Victor.

MR DE JAGER: Thank you.

MS VAN DER WALT: Mr Mostert, you say that you were involved with the arrest and the testimony given, was it a problem, because it seems that it was in fact West Rand who launched this investigation, is that correct?

MR MOSTERT: Yes. That is correct. I became involved to such an extent that West Rand .....[end of Side ĎBí] ...... was instructed by Lieutenant Zeelie to, on the evening of the 9th June 1988 .....

[microphone problem]

....... in this regard with the people from West Rand.

MS VAN DER WALT: Lieutenant Zeelie, what was his position?

MR MOSTERT: He was a Lieutenant.

MS VAN DER WALT: What was his position?

MR MOSTERT: He was a Lieutenant.

MS VAN DER WALT: What was his position at the Security Branch at John Vorster Square?

MR MOSTERT: He also did investigation work with us.

MS VAN DER WALT: And he could then give such an instruction if Mr Van Niekerk wasnít there?

MR MOSTERT: Yes, he could.

MS VAN DER WALT: And on the 9th June, where did you go to and what happened then?

MR MOSTERT: We got together. There were several members and we left to go to Hillbrow, more Joubert Park and two people were arrested. It was the deceased, Mr Stanza Bopape as well as a Mr Simon Nkosi. After their arrest they were taken away by the Security Branch members of the West Rand. I donít know where they were taken to and then we lost contact for the day.

MS VAN DER WALT: Were there any instructions given to you why the people had to be arrested?

MR MOSTERT: No, I also didnít ask. It was quite obvious. We helped one another where the assistance was needed.

MS VAN DER WALT: You give a support service to assist the people perhaps they donít know where the address is and then it is also is a question of securing the place, so it wasnít necessary for you to know precisely why you had to go to that specific place or why the people had to be arrested?

MR MOSTERT: No it wasnít necessary for me. The people who had to know that were present and they do their work.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did you in any way have anything to do with Stanza Bopape?

MR MOSTERT: No, not for the night of the 9th. But the next day, that would be the 10th June 1988. During the course of the day, I think it was in the morning I was instructed by Van Niekerk to take over with Stanza Bopape. I was also informed that Bopape and Nkosi were transferred according to an agreement between the commanders of John Vorster and West Rand and that they had been transferred to Johannesburg and on the strength of that, Engelbrecht and myself had to interrogate Bopape. Colonel Van Niekerk gave us background information in which direction we should interrogate and this is information he got from Major Kleynhans from the West Rand.

MS VAN DER WALT: You did the interrogation. Could you tell the Honourable Committee how such an interrogation is done?

MR MOSTERT: When a person arrives, you have the background information.

MS VAN DER WALT: How do you start? What do you say to this man?

MR MOSTERT: We start in the case of Section 29 detainees there is a lot of documentation, paperwork, forms that have to be filled in, fingerprints, different sets of fingers and palm, so that takes some time before the actual interrogation can start. It would depend on the facts that you have on the table and from there you start systematically to find out, you have all his particulars, where he was born, where he grew up, schools and so forth and then you get to the facts, you confront him with the facts, to hear whether he is involved whether he has any knowledge, thatís more or less the way in which you continue without giving him too much information.

MS GCABASHE: If I might interrupt at this point. I may have misunderstood or I might not have heard you property Mr Mostert. You mentioned Section 29, what you would do in terms of the questioning. Now the documents before us say he was arrested in terms of Section 50, arenít you skipping a step?

MR MOSTERT: My apologies. What happened was in the afternoon of the 10th we had an interview with Mr Bopape. We were busy with the processing and in this time he was informed by Du Toit of his detention in terms of Section 29 and after that the procedure followed.

MS GCABASHE: And while you were dealing with the Section 50 procedure, Captain Du Toit came along? Is that what youíre saying?

MR MOSTERT: Yes.

MS GCABASHE: Now how different is that Section 50 procedure to the Section 29 procedure? What were you doing for the first half of this investigation?

MR MOSTERT: Let me put it to you in this way. We werenít even busy with him for a long time when he was informed of the Section 29 detention. The Section 50 detention had to do with the fact that he was a suspect and then he is questioned in that regard. But it didnít have anything to do with the same processing as with Section 29.

MS VAN DER WALT: You have just said that the detention, according to Section 50, it wasnít for a long time that you were busy with him under that Section?

MR MOSTERT: Yes. It was only in the afternoon that we got to him that we actually booked him out and a short while after that, he was informed of the Section 29 and from there we proceeded.

MS VAN DER WALT: Mr Mostert, letís go back to the processing. Precisely what does it entail? You also mentioned in the same regard that he had said who he was, where he grew up, can you just tell the Committee what this processing means?

MR MOSTERT: The processing means to get full information from this person, as fully as possible, photos are taken, fingerprints, several sets are taken for several institutions, documentation has to be completed with regard to his family who has to be informed of his detention. Itís really quite a lot of work.

MS VAN DER WALT: And is that what you and Mr Engelbrecht were busy with on the 10th?

MR MOSTERT: Yes, that is correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: He was then placed under Section 29, the deceased. Was he taken to the District Surgeon at any stage?

MR MOSTERT: I personally didnít take him. Constable Engelbrecht and someone else took him on the 10th June 1988 to the District Surgeon.

MS VAN DER WALT: Was that after the processing had started?

MR MOSTERT: I think it was before the processing.

MS VAN DER WALT: And did you do any interrogation on that particular day?

MR MOSTERT: No we did not.

MS VAN DER WALT: And after this processing was finalised, was he taken back to the cells?

MR MOSTERT: Yes, he was taken back to the cells.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did you see him on Saturday the 11th?

MR MOSTERT: No, I did not see him on Saturday the 11th. We attended a conference at the Krugersdorp Security Branch where we were informed concerning the background and the activities of Mr Bopape and Mr Nkosi.

MS VAN DER WALT: Personally, you did not interrogate him on the 11th?

MR MOSTERT: No.

MS VAN DER WALT: And on the 12th, according to your application, you interrogated the deceased?

MR MOSTERT: That is correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: Do you know when this interrogation started, the time?

MR MOSTERT: It was between 9 and 10 in the morning. We booked him out at the cells.

MSS VAN DER WALT: I refer the Honourable Committee to Volume 3, Page 746, at the top, it seems that this is an extraction, Mr Steenkamp can perhaps help us, it was typed over from an occurrence book and the information is, there is a number, in the occurrence books, they usually have numbers, is that correct?

MR MOSTERT: Yes, that is.

MS VAN DER WALT: The occurrence book 456, 9.30 in the morning, 12 June, interrogation investigation out M Bopape. Was that one of his names?

MR MOSTERT: Yes.

MS VAN DER WALT: And then the cell number?

MR MOSTERT: Yes.

MS VAN DER WALT: He was taken out by you and Constable Engelbrecht?

MR MOSTERT: That is correct?

MS VAN DER WALT: And you signed?

MR MOSTERT: Yes.

MS VAN DER WALT: Now these cells where he had been detained, where were these cells?

MR MOSTERT: It was at John Vorster Square and it is a special section for security detainees. The interrogation took place on the 10th floor.

MS VAN DER WALT: Now with regard to the 10th floor, where are the cells situated?

MR MOSTERT: The cells are in a totally different part of the building. I would say on the eastern side where the 10th floor is more on the western side of the cells.

MS VAN DER WALT: On the ground or on the same level?

MR MOSTERT: The floors differ. Itís not right across from each other.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did you get instruction from Mr Van Niekerk to interrogate Mr Bopape?

MR MOSTERT: Yes.

MS VAN DER WALT: Where did you take him to?

MR MOSTERT: We came to the 10th floor at an office right next to the office of Van Niekerk and I noticed him in his office and we started with the interrogation of Mr Bopape.

MS VAN DER WALT: When you start such an interrogation, there are many questions and it would also be correct that questions are asked? How did you as a Security Policeman handle a person? Were you immediately aggressive or did you try to win his favour? Please tell the Committee.

MR MOSTERT: No, I did not try to become aggressive. I believed in it, that it was a wrong start. I would rather begin by being friendly to try to win the confidence of the person, to get him at ease, perhaps to offer him some coffee or tea. Then you can start talking much better and after that you slowly begin to move into the field that you would want to have the interrogation follow as in this case, the allegation was that he was part of a terrorist group, the so called Maponye Group from Pretoria and there was wide coverage given to us about terror acts committed by this Group and then we started the interrogation in this direction.

We asked him, do you know these people, what do you know of this person, what can you tell me about it, and thatís how we proceed.

MS VAN DER WALT: And what was Mr Bopapeís attitude towards you during this with his personal information of his family, address, school education, where he lives, what he does?

MR MOSTERT: With that he co-operated but further than that he did not want to go. He did not want to know anything of any other questions that he had to answer.

MS VAN DER WALT: And did Mr Engelbrecht take part in the interrogation?

MR MOSTERT: Yes. Both of us.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did you, during this interrogation make use of any methods of coercion, regardless of what kind?

MR MOSTERT: No, I did not.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did anyone else also participate?

MR MOSTERT: No, it was just Engelbrecht and myself. At some stage Colonel Van Niekerk came in and he asked how it was going and I informed him that Mr Bopape refused to co-operate and he then talked to Mr Bopape and he explained the seriousness of the matter and then he walked and then we continued.

And at a later stage he once again came in, quite some time later. Once again it was the same story, I told him that the man refuses to co-operate and at this stage I didnít know that Lieutenant Zeelie was also in the vicinity at that stage but he also arrived at the office where we were doing the interrogation and there was a discussion among the few of us and we discussed what we were going to do.

The man was not talking, we need the information and it was decided that we are going to make use of this shock device. Who contacted Sergeant Du Preez and where he was contacted, that I donít know up to today but he arrived with the device and Mr Bopape was then placed on a chair in the corridor before Van Niekerkís office and his hands or his arms were tied with, they call it Velcro strips. Mr Zeelie provided that. Itís a big, large, heavy chair and his legs were tied to the legs of the chair and this is how the process was executed where Engelbrecht handled the shock device and Mr Engelbrecht then placed the cords over his body.

MS VAN DER WALT: I think you just made a mistake with the names. You twice mentioned Engelbrecht.

MR MOSTERT: My apologies, I meant that Mr Du Preez was handling the device and Mr Engelbrecht was pulling the cords over his body.

MS VAN DER WALT: Now while this process was continuing Mr Mostert, you did nothing physically. Where are you, what were you doing?

MR MOSTERT: We are all standing around the chair while this process is going on.

MS VAN DER WALT: And what are you doing?

MR MOSTERT: We are looking. I think one of us, I think it was Colonel Van Niekerk, at some stage asked whether this man has anything to say.

MS VAN DER WALT: And did he say anything?

MR MOSTERT: No. Not at this stage.

MS VAN DER WALT: How did Mr Bopape get from the office to the corridor to the chair?

MR MOSTERT: I think he walked on his own.

MS VAN DER WALT: And what was he dressed in?

MR MOSTERT: He had trousers, shoes, I donít know whether he had to take off his shirt or whether we took it off. I would not say anything there but I know that he didnít have on his shirt.

MS VAN DER WALT: Why was he tied to the chair?

MR MOSTERT: I think that was to prevent him from jerking and perhaps fall from the chair or that he jumps up and run away. I think they want to restrain him in that position.

MS VAN DER WALT: Now this interrogation that you did after you took him from the cells at 9.30 in the morning. How long did that interrogation take before you decided to go over to this process?

MR MOSTERT: It was quite some time. I would say approximately one and a half hours to two hours.

MS VAN DER WALT: When you were talking with the other members before the shock device was obtained who decided in the end that the shock device should be obtained?

MR MOSTERT: I donít know, I canít remember.

MS VAN DER WALT: Could you just tell us precisely with the shocks, what happened?

MR MOSTERT: The shocks didnít take too long, they didnít continue for too long, it was only a short time, I wonder whether it was two or three minutes, but at some stage I noticed that Mr Bopape moved forward and I thought that perhaps he was just pretending, acting but Van Niekerk said that something is wrong. Everything stopped and Mr Bopape was taken from the chair but it didnít seem to me as if he was a person just acting. It was quite clear to me at that stage that something serious had happened and I think it was Colonel Van Niekerk who felt his pulse. There was no movement in him. He was laid down on his back on the floor and Sergeant Engelbrecht was next to him and did mouth to mouth resuscitation for quite some time.

MS VAN DER WALT: Sorry for interrupting. I see in the application of Mr Du Preez that he did the mouth to mouth resuscitation.

MR MOSTERT: My apologies if I said Engelbrecht, sorry, it was Mr Du Preez who did the mouth to mouth resuscitation.

MS VAN DER WALT: What happened then?

MR MOSTERT: He was busy with that for quite some time, approximately 5 or 6 minutes and nothing happened. It was quite clear to me that Mr Bopape was dead. I was shocked. All of us just stood and I suppose the other people were also shocked and we then realised that we now had a problem. An immediate problem. What should we do. It was discussed what we should do and at some stage it was decided that the Commanding Officer should be informed because we now have someone, itís a Section 29 person who had died. He was shocked. If this should become known it would cause a lot of problems for us, as well as for the Government of the day and the Security Police and so forth.

Colonel Van Niekerk departed under the impression that he was going to discuss with our Commander, General Erasmus.

MS VAN DER WALT: What happened with Mr Bopape?

MR MOSTERT: He was in the corridor. We took him from the corridor back to the office where we interrogated him initially. We placed him there. Someone else, I donít know who, of the group, I just know that at some stage a blanket was thrown over him and in the meantime we waited for General Van Niekerk to return and he was away for quite some time, approximately an hour or even longer.

Later on he returned, he said that he had talked to General Erasmus and the General had made contact with Head Office and he was on his way to Head Office and we just had to stay put and in the meantime, I think it was Mr Zeelie who made the suggestion that we should put Mr Bopapeís body in a crouching position in case he should be transported to a place.

MS VAN DER WALT: Is that now the foetal position that you are referring to?

MR MOSTERT: Yes. Black plastic bags, the big garden bags we obtained. I donít know who brought it but someone brought these bags and I helped, I think it was myself, Mr Zeelie and Mr Du Preez and we pulled the bags over the deceased and then covered it with the blanket.

Later in the afternoon, Colonel Van Niekerk came to us and General Erasmus then arrived at the office and Colonel Van Niekerk and Mr Zeelie, the two Officers then went to see the General. They later returned and we were informed that the body, well it had been arranged that it should be taken away to Bronkhorstspruit and there it would be given to members of the East Rand Security Branch and then we had to try and arrange a mock escape.

We agreed to this and we waited until it was dark and then we took the body out to the cellar.

MS VAN DER WALT: How was he taken out?

MR MOSTERT: As far as I can remember, we placed him on the blanket and four of us, each of us took one of the corners and we folded up the corners so we could move next to each other and there we moved him to the cellar of the Security Branch, itís quite aside, itís away from the Uniform Branch.

MS VAN DER WALT: If you say itís aside, can other members of John Vorster Square use that entrance?

MR MOSTERT: No they canít.

MS VAN DER WALT: Is it a lift, youíre on the 10th floor?

MR MOSTERT: There are two lifts next to each other and it goes to the 10th floor and then it goes down to the cellar and itís only there for the Security Branch.

MS VAN DER WALT: Right, you may continue.

MR MOSTERT: In the cellar we placed the body of the deceased in the back of Mr Zeelieís car, XR6 Ford, we closed it, then we departed. Mr Zeelie was the driver of his own vehicle. Colonel Van Niekerk was along as a passenger, myself included. And in another vehicle, Mr Du Preez and Mr Engelbrecht followed. And then we went on our way to Bronkhorstspruit.

We arrived there in the dark and we came across two vehicles on the highway. I assumed that it was arranged beforehand by Colonel Van Niekerk and the people from the Security Branch from Eastern Transvaal. I saw one person next to the vehicle and recognised the person as Brigadier Visser. I think he was a Colonel at that stage.

We stopped, Colonel Van Niekerk talked to Visser for some. He came back and afterwards we departed with Brigadier Visser. There was also another vehicle. All that I could see was that Brigadier Visser and the driver of the vehicle but at that stage I didnít know him.

MS VAN DER WALT: Did you talk to these people at any stage?

MR MOSTERT: No I did not. I did not talk to anyone. From there we moved in a very still road and the parties stopped, thatís Brigadier Visser and the person who was with him in two different vehicles. We also stopped and once again Colonel Van Niekerk talked to Visser on the one side and in the meantime Zeelie and this unknown person that I later came to know as Mr Van Loggerenberg, they then transferred the body from Mr Zeelieís car into Van Loggerenbergís car.

The sides of the two vehicles, the backs were pulled next to each other and from there we went back and Brigadier Visser and Mr Van Loggerenberg went in their own direction. We arrived at John Vorster Square because this mock escape had to be arranged and we also arranged at the offices and later on we went and we bought food in Jeppe Road at a take-away and from there we departed still in two vehicles and from there we went to De Deur, Residentia area.

MS VAN DER WALT: Could I perhaps just interrupt you here Mr Mostert. You also said earlier in your evidence that there was a mock escape was discussed. The evidence of Mr Van Niekerk was, his instruction was that Eastern Transvaal should arrange the escape?

MR MOSTERT: Yes. He mentioned something like that. He said that Eastern Transvaal in the form of Brigadier Visser was not willing to do that.

MS VAN DER WALT: Sorry I interrupted you, you bought food and then where did you go?

MR MOSTERT: Then we went out in the direction of Vereeniging and turned out of the Vereeniging road and we were on the De Deur Residentia road and we got to Residentia Police Station. After we passed it, maybe three or four kilometres afterwards, we stopped next to the road. When I refer to us, itís Van Niekerk, Zeelie, myself, Du Preez and Mr Engelbrecht. So there were five of us.

Me, Mr Engelbrecht, Colonel Van Niekerk and Zeelie drove in one vehicle at this stage. I imagine myself this, but we did stop next to the road and Mr Zeelie punctured the back right tyre, so it deflated and I think we still drove a little bit so it made a mark on the tar and we stopped again and from here onwards Mr Zeelie had ankle cuffs and hand cuffs on as well as, he also took the keys of the cuffs, of both the sets of cuffs and he started running with these and Colonel Van Niekerk ran after him for a short distance and shot a few shots in the air.

The idea was that Mr Zeelie would now take the place of Mr Bopape. He had Mr Bopapeís shoes on which was kept behind and with these he ran. He ran through the veld and afterwards he would have been gathered by a vehicle driven by Mr Du Preez. This was all done and in the meantime I was jacking up the car and changing the tyres, putting on a spare tyre. Colonel Van Niekerk was with me, as well as Mr Engelbrecht.

After this was done we left for Residentia Police Station where the necessary note in the occurrence book was made and we gave testimony concerning the escape. Afterwards we went back to the scene of the escape or the alleged escape. This time accompanied by members of the Security Branch in Vereeniging and also by uniformed people etc., and when we got back to the Police Station at Residentia I noted that General Du Toit was also there and from then onwards we returned to John Vorster Square where I made a note concerning the escape.

MS VAN DER WALT: I would like to refer you Mr Chairman to Volume 3, page 749. Look at 488, do you recognise the handwriting? Is that your handwriting? Thatís a late note and it says,

"[inaudible] report,"

thatís just after 12, it looks [inaudible], after the escape. Is this what youíre referring to, when you made the note?

MR MOSTERT: Yes.

MS VAN DER WALT: You are saying that General Du Toit also arrived at the scene, at De Deur Police Station?

MR MOSTERT: No, it was Residentia.

MS VAN DER WALT: And then you made these false testimonies?

MR MOSTERT: That is correct.

MS VAN DER WALT: And where did you go then?

MR MOSTERT: From there we went back to John Vorster Square.

MS VAN DER WALT: Mr Chairman I donít know what time the Committee adjourns today.

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Van Der Walt I see itís quarter past four now. Would it be convenient to start at half past nine tomorrow morning? Would that be suitable? Thank you. We will then adjourn todayís proceedings and we will then re-convene and recommence with them tomorrow morning at half past nine.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS