TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
APPLICATION IN TERMS OF SECTION 18 OF THE PROMOTION OF NATIONAL UNITY AND RECONCILIATION ACT, NO.34 OF 1995.
EUGENE ALEXANDER DE KOCK APPLICANT
This is an application for amnesty in terms of the provision of Section 18 of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act, No. 34 of 1995 ("the Act").
The Applicant had applied for amnesty in respect of a large number of incidents, most whereof were finalised at public hearings of the Committee. Applicant's personal circumstances and his activities as a member of the Security Branch of the then South African Police are fully documented and canvassed in the matters already finalised by the Committee. No useful purpose would be served to repeat any of this detail.
The present decision deals with a number of incidents, which are being considered in chambers since none of them involve a gross violation of human rights as defined in the Act.
SUPPLY OF WEAPONS TO THE INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY
Although Applicant neglects to indicate the dates of the incidents in question, it appears from the applications of some of his colleagues who were likewise involved therein, that these incidents occurred during or about the period 1990 - 1992. At the time, Applicant was approached by one of his subordinates who raised the possibility of the Vlakplaas Security Police unit rendering assistance to the Inkatha Freedom Party ("the IFP") in its struggle against the African National Congress ("ANC"). Applicant eventually agreed to look into the matter. At subsequent meetings with IFP representatives, including Themba Khoza, it became apparent that the IFP was not able to counter the activities of ANC operatives, who were mostly highly trained military cadres. Applicant concluded that it would be in the interests of the overall political objectives being pursued by the then government as supported by the Security Forces, to render assistance to the IFP in its struggle against the ANC. Although Applicant had not initially obtained the approval of his superiors in this regard, he was satisfied that such approval would in any event be forthcoming. This approval was indeed eventually given by Applicant's superiors.
In execution of the plan, Applicant initially supplied R1 and shotgun ammunition as well as Eastern Bloc RDG5 and F1 handgrenades to Themba Khoza. The items were obtained from the arsenal at Vlakplaas where a large quantity of arms were stored. These arms were supplied sporadically until the stock of East Bloc handgrenades eventually ran out. Subsequently and in consultation with his superiors, Applicant took steps to supply home-made weapons to the IFP. At this stage, the express authorisation of Applicant's superiors for the supply of arms to the IFP had already been given.
The necessary components were acquired with proceeds of fraudulent claims for compensation submitted on behalf of fictitious informers and 100 home-made shoguns were manufactured. Between 50 and 60 of these shotguns were furnished to Themba Khoza and the rest were supplied to a senior police officer in Natal. Applicant also supplied approximately 8 or 9 unlicensed firearms to the latter officer. Applicant was satisfied that all of these weapons would also be applied in support of the political struggle of the IFP. At a subsequent stage 50 more of the shotguns were manufactured and between 20 and 30 thereof supplied to the police in Durban. The rest of the shotguns were destroyed when Applicant was informed that he would have to retire from the police.
At a subsequent stage a number of AK47 assault rifles were also furnished to Themba Khoza. These firearms were adjusted to be able to fire only on semi-automatic. Applicant also regularly supplied ammunition for these firearms to Themba Khoza.
Applicant subsequently made contact with Themba Khoza's superiors within the IFP and started supplying weapons directly to them. These included 2 or 3 home-made explosive devices as well as modified M26 handgrenades. These were furnished directly to IFP leaders in Ulundi, Natal. These consignments included approximately 6 to 8 AK47 assault rifles and ammunition as well as pistols. On the instructions of Applicant's superiors, the supply of arms and ammunition was eventually terminated.
Applicant never benefited financially from any of these activities.
Having considered the matter, we are satisfied that the incidents in question are directly associated with the then political conflict and the struggle against the ANC. The incidents accordingly constitute acts associated with a political objective with all of the other requirements of the Act and amnesty is accordingly hereby GRANTED to the Applicant in respect of all offences directly resulting from the supply of arms and ammunition to the IFP as more fully set out above, during or about the period 1990 - 1992.
ARREST OF THEMBA KHOZA
This incident happened during or about 1990. At the time Applicant was informed by one of his subordinates that Themba Khoza was arrested for the unlawful possession of some of the weapons supplied to him by Applicant. After having made contact with his superiors, Applicant arranged for the weapons in question to be uplifted from the police forensics section for the purpose of altering the ballistic characteristics of the weapons prior to their testing by the police forensic experts. The purpose was to render it impossible to link the weapons to any shooting incident. The necessary changes were effected to the weapons at Vlakplaas whereafter they were returned to the police forensics section. All of these arrangements were made with the assistance of Applicant's superiors.
Having considered the matter, we are satisfied that the incident is directly associated with the assistance rendered to the IFP in support of its political struggle against the ANC. The incident in question is accordingly an act associated with a political objective as envisaged in the Act. We are, moreover, satisfied that the application complies with all the other requirements of the Act.
In the circumstances amnesty is here by GRANTED to the Applicant in respect of the offence of defeating the ends of justice or any other offence directly resulting from the alteration of the ballistics characteristics of firearms found in the unlawful possession of Themba Khoza during or about 1990.
SUPPLY OF WEAPONS TO PHILIP POWELL
This incident happened on or about 20 October 1992 after Applicant had left the employ of the South African Police. He was previously introduced to and maintained contact with Philip Powell, an active member of the IFP. Applicant was himself a supporter of the IFP at the time. A part of Applicant's discussions with Powell concerned the need for members of the IFP to be given military training in order to render the IFP less vulnerable to attacks by militarily trained ANC cadres. Pursuant to these discussions, it was agreed that Applicant would furnish Powell with arms and ammunition.
Applicant eventually obtained a large quantity of arms and ammunition from the stores at Mechem, Pretoria. Six loads of weapons were transported with 10 ton trucks and handed over to Powell. The weapons were transported by members of the KwaZulu Police and the trucks in question were the property of the KwaZulu Police. The various items of weaponry supplied included R1 and 9mm ammunition, RPG launchers, PG7 rockets, rifle grenades that could be fired from G3 firearms, M26 handgrenades, practise handgrenades, 6mm mortars, 82mm mortars and handmade South African landmines for training purposes. Applicant subsequently learnt that the weapons were used for training purposes and that the training was financed by members of the IFP.
Having considered the matter, we are satisfied that the incident in question is directly associated with the past political conflict and accordingly constitutes an act associated with a political objective as envisaged in the Act. We are, moreover, satisfied that the application complies with all of the other requirements of the Act. In the circumstances amnesty is hereby GRANTED to the Applicant in respect of the supply of arms and ammunition as detailed above to Philip Powell on or about 20 October 1992 at Pretoria and/or KwaZulu Natal.
SUPPLY OF MOTOR VEHICLE TO THEMBA KHOZA
This incident occurred during or about the period referred to above when weapons were supplied to the IFP. At the stage when the idea to supply weapons to the IFP was initially discussed, it was also mentioned to Applicant by his subordinates that Themba Khoza was in need of a motor vehicle. After having cleared the matter with his superior, Applicant arranged for a police secret fund vehicle, a Nissan Sentra, to be registered in the name of Themba Khoza under a false address in Pretoria. The vehicle was then made available for use by Themba Khoza to transport the arms and ammunition found in his possession as referred to above.
Having considered the matter, we are satisfied that this incident likewise constitutes an act associated with a political objective as envisaged in the Act. Amnesty is accordingly hereby GRANTED to the Applicant in respect of all offences directly resulting from the unlawful supply of a police secret fund vehicle to Themba Khoza during or about the period 1990 - 1992.
SUPPLY OF MOTOR VEHICLES TO VICTOR NDLOVU
These incidents occurred during or about 1990. At the time Applicant was approached by some of his subordinates who indicated that an IFP member, Victor Ndlovu, needed a vehicle for the purpose of attending to IFP business. The vehicle was badly needed specifically to organise and administer the activities of the IFP in the then Witwatersrand. Applicant supplied his private vehicle, a Mazda 2 litre model, to Victor Ndlovu. Applicant withdrew an amount of R18 000-00 from a "slush fund" operated by the Vlakplaas Security Police unit to compensate himself for the vehicle. Applicant was subsequently informed that the vehicle was irreparably damaged in a collision and that Victor Ndlovu needed a replacement vehicle. One of Applicant's subordinates at Vlakplaas decided to sell his vehicle which was then supplied to Victor Ndlovu. Applicant's subordinate was subsequently paid an amount of R20 000-00 from the Vlakplaas "slush fund" as compensation for the vehicle which was a Toyota Corolla.
Having considered the matter, it is clear that the supply of the private vehicles in question to Victor Ndlovu neither constituted an offence nor were the incidents directly associated with a political objective as envisaged in the Act. The unlawful withdrawals of amounts as compensation for the vehicles were similarly not associated with a political objective, but rather actuated by personal gain. In the circumstances, the applications fails to comply with the requirements of the Act and amnesty is accordingly REFUSED.
REGISTRATION OF IFP INFORMERS
These incidents occurred during or about the period referred to above when arms and ammunition and other support was supplied to the IFP. In the course of these activities, it became apparent that the Security Police would have to also furnish financial assistance to members of the IFP leadership. In order to realise this objective, a number of IFP leaders and other members were registered under false names as Security Police sources. Claims were made from time to time for compensation for these so-called sources in the normal course of events. These amounts were then used to render financial assistance to the IFP leaders and members in question. This practice occurred over a considerable period of time and Applicant is unable to specify what specific amounts were paid to each one of the persons in question. The records that were kept, had to be destroyed after the report of the Goldstone Commission of Enquiry was made public.
Having considered the matter, we are satisfied that the incidents in question were likewise part of the assistance rendered to the IFP in furtherance of its political struggle against the liberation movements. In the circumstances the incidents constitute acts associated with a political objective as envisaged in the Act. We are, moreover, satisfied that the application complies with all of the other requirements of the Act. In the circumstances amnesty is hereby GRANTED to the Applicant in respect of all offences directly resulting from the submission of fraudulent informers' claims as detailed above during or about the period 1990 - 1992.
SUPPLY OF WEAPONS TO VICTOR NDLOVU
As part of assistance rendered to the IFP, Applicant also furnished approximately 3 or 4 machine guns to Victor Ndlovu during or about 1990. To the best of Applicant's recollection these included PKM as well as RPD machine guns together with ammunition. These were some of the last machine guns that were left in the stores at Vlakplaas. Applicant also supplied Victor Ndlovu with a quantity of ammunition of different calibers, including 9mm, .22 and 7.65mm. These were also the last few items of ammunition in Applicant's possession.
Having considered the matter, we are likewise satisfied that these incidents constitute acts associated with a political objective as envisaged in the Act. Amnesty is accordingly hereby GRANTED to the Applicant in respect of all offences directly resulting from the supply of machine guns and ammunition as detailed above, to Victor Ndlovu during or about 1990.
DATED AT CAPE TOWN THIS 31ST DAY OF MAY 2001