March 8, 1996 — Sapa


Vlakplaas police base former commander Capt Dirk Coetzee on Friday said his decision to seek amnesty from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission reflected a wish to put the past to rest.

“This will be the last time that I tell my story,” he said in Pretoria. “I want to get on with my life.”

Truth Commission deputy chairman Dr Alex Boraine earlier in the day said in Cape Town Coetzee had applied for amnesty in terms of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act.

He also handed in a document, along with completed application forms on behalf of two other people.

Coetzee made headlines in 1989 when he claimed police were involved in murder squad activities. He fled the country in the same year and went into self-imposed exile until 1993.

In 1990 in Britain he testified before the Harms commission investigating his allegations but was found to be an unreliable witness.

Coetzee on Friday said the two additional application forms he had handed in were those of former fellow police operatives David “Spyker” Tshikalanga and Almond Butane Mofomela.

Mofomela is serving a life sentence for murder.

“I was the first one who spilled the beans,” Coetzee said. “Many people have labelled me as a madman and attempts to discredit me are continuing.

“I want to tell my story one more time and I hope it will bring an end to the discrediting.”

He said the document he had handed in with his application form contained the statements he had made before the Harms commission.

“I will merely be reiterating everything I have already said.”

© South African Press Association, 1996
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