ON RESUMPTION ON 29.1.98 - DAY 2 

CHAIRPERSON: I want to welcome all of you to the hearing. The Commission team is exactly the same as it was yesterday so I will not introduce them again.

I would like to say a special word of welcome to a number of families who have lost loved ones from different sides of the conflict. There are representatives from the Mabotha family here, as well as the Pretorius family. Mrs Sepei is here, the family of the Sono's, Shabalala's, Asvat's. Which is a grim reminder of the very high cost that was paid during the years of conflict and nothing should take away from that and I hope that we will bear that in mind and be sensitive to people who have suffered.

We have a very tough schedule this morning and I certainly don't want to take away anyone's right to ask questions, to cross-examine, to give testimony. But I would appeal to the leaders of evidence, to legal representatives and to the witnesses themselves to try and confine ourselves to the heart of the matter. This is a hearing concerning the so-called Mandela Football Club and Mrs Madikizela Mandela. If we can keep that in mind I would be most grateful. From time to time if I think that you are taking too much time I will remind you that we are under pressure. I am hoping that we can finish at five o'clock and I know that that is

supremely optimistic, bearing in mind yesterday. But let's make a try. I understand that the lawyers and our leader of evidence, some of them have talked about possible ways of handling huge volumes of evidence and material. Let's try and do that without stifling debate. We want to get to as much of the truth as possible. So thank you again in anticipation.

I call the first witness Mr Hume du Toit. Welcome Mr Du Toit. Thank you for appearing before the Commission. My colleague Miss Sooka will administer the oath.

JOSEPH HUME DU TOIT (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Du Toit, just a very small preliminary announcement to those who are here. Once again with the heavy television lights and the temperature for those of you who haven't yet taken off your jackets and would like to do so please feel free to get as comfortable as you possibly can so that we can be efficient as possible as well. Mr Du Toit I am not sure if you were here yesterday but if not let me say that it has become a normal practice to invite witnesses to read their statements into the record and I understand you do have such a statement and I invite you now with the permission of Mr Kemp to read that statement into the record now.

MR DU TOIT : "I the undersigned, Joseph Hume du Toit

declare as follows under oath. I am a colonel and a former member of the South African Police. I am at the moment a businessman of Bendor Street in Tzaneen. The contents of this statement fall within my personal knowledge unless otherwise mentioned and is to the best of my knowledge true and correct. I was during the period of 1 December 1988 to 9 February 1990 attached to the security branch Soweto. I was attached to the tracing and investigation unit and with my arrival at Soweto I had the rank of lieutenant. On the date upon which I left Soweto I had the rank of captain. I have been advised that the rest of my career is not relevant for this evidence. I have been a member of the South African Police since the 4th July 1978 until my retirement on 31 May 1996. I therefore deal with the matters mentioned in my subpoena. The interrogation and subsequent death of Sizwe Sithole. I don't know who arrested Sizwe Sithole. He was during this period seeked by everybody for a number of misdemeanours but I was involved with his initial interrogation shortly after the arrest. As I can remember he was arrested and interrogated for a short period at the Soweto branch before he was transferred to John Vorster Square. I can't remember any details of the interrogation and didn't have anything to do with him after he went to John Vorster Square. I know of the fact that he later committed suicide and that there was a commission of enquiry. I testified before the Commission and I understand that this Commission has a copy of Judge Goldstone's report that he brought out. In this regard the police have been acquitted of all blame. Concerning Mrs Madikizela-Mandela. Information with regard to Mrs Mandela and the football club came from various sources but I don't personally have any knowledge of any informers associated with the football club or Mrs Mandela. In general the handling of informers was done by persons specially tasked therewith. The abduction, assault and murder of Stompie Seipei in 1988 and information in relation to this. This took place before I started working at Soweto. The case was handled by murder and robbery and not by the security branch and I played no role in it until I was asked to help with the arrest of Johannes Mabotha. I want to put it clearly that at the time of his arrest he was not related to the Stompie Seipei matter but was arrested because he had deserted as an Askari and because there was a suspicion that he had been involved with certain illegal actions. After his arrest I found certain documents which are described by this Commission as the Rheingold Furnishers. I was part of a group of members. To the best of my memory after we arrested Mr Mabotha we let De Kock know that we had arrested him because he was a person who had deserted from Vlakplaas. I cannot remember details but I think De Kock joined us later. I remember that we took Mabotha and handed him to De Kock but I can't remember whether he requested us to take the man to Soweto and detain him there. I can't remember specifically that I had anything further to do with him. I was informed that De Kock apparently alleges that Colonel Potgieter gave him the instruction to kill Mabotha. I don't know anything about such an instruction and it was definitely in my presence no such instruction was given. The relationship between security and murder and robbery and Mrs Mandela and this football club. To the best of my knowledge there was not a branch of Stratcom at the security branch. As concerns co-operation between other units of the SAP and other agencies there was co-operation between them but there was to my knowledge no specific actions directed at Mrs Winnie Mandela or the football club.

The use of intelligence material and the relationship with intelligence agencies with regard to Mrs Mandela and the Mandela United Football club. Although there was continual contact with the various branches of the security forces, including the security branch of the South African Police and national intelligence, I have no personal knowledge of any intelligence material or relationship with the intelligence agencies which had any relationship to Mrs Mandela or the football club. The interrogation and death of Themba Johannes Mabotha. I already dealt with this above. Information with regard to observations, telephone tapping, buggings, et cetera regarding matters relating to Mrs Mandela and the Mandela United Football Club. I was at no stage involved in the tapping of telephones or the placement or monitoring of any bugs. I know from personal knowledge that tapping of phone conversations did take place since I saw transcriptions of such conversations often. I, however, did not read any conversations that related to Mrs Mandela or the football club. I had personally nothing to do with the investigation of any of the activities of Mrs Mandela or the football club and can therefore not give any further information in this regard.

The killing of Sergeant Pretorius and two MK members, Maluleke and Mbnenge. These events took place before I was transferred to the branch at Soweto and I have no personal knowledge of these events".

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Vally.

MR VALLY: Thank you, Mr Chairperson. Mr Du Toit, you received daily or had sight of daily transcripts of the bugging of Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's telephone. Is that correct?

MR DU TOIT: That is not what I said.

MR VALLY: Well tell us what you said.

MR DU TOIT: I said that I saw transcripts of tapping of the conversations but I never saw anything about Mrs Winnie Mandela.

MR VALLY: Mr Du Toit we have had evidence here that there were daily briefings wherein relevant telephone - transcripts of telephone conversations which were tapped here handed in. Do you deny that there were such daily briefings?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairman, I wasn't part of the management team at security branch and subsequently I wasn't involved in all the meetings that was held daily.

MR VALLY: Were you involved with the daily briefings?

MR DUTOIT: No, sir.

MR VALLY: Were you involved with any briefings regarding Mandela United Football Club?

MR DU TOIT: No, sir.

MR VALLY: Were you involved at all in any of the incidents regarding Mandela United Football Club?

MR DU TOIT: No, sir.

MR VALLY: How do you then explain your involvement in the arrest of Mr Themba Mabotha?

MR DU TOIT: I was part of a group and I was given an order to go with Colonel Grobbelaar to I think it was Groblersdal or Marble Hall.

MR VALLY: And why were you given this order?

MR DU TOIT: Sir, I was part of the investigation unit and I received an order from Colonel Grobbelaar to assist him and I did it. There is no particular reason that ...

MR VALLY: Did you know why you were going to Groblersdal?

MR DU TOIT: To arrest a person from - deserted from Vlakplaas.

MR VALLY: Is that why you were going there?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct, sir.

MR VALLY: We haven't got time, Mr Du Toit, we have got lots of work here so I want you to please focus and please do not try and avoid issues. I put to you there was a telephone conversation that was - a transcript of a telephone conversation which had taken place between Mrs Madikizela-Mandela and one George which was intercepted by the security branch in Protea. Do you recall that?

MR DU TOIT: It is possible. I know nothing about it, sir.

MR VALLY: You know nothing about it. I find this very strange that you say you know nothing about it when you personally took an affidavit from Mr Mabotha.

MR DU TOIT: I know I took a statement from him afterwards, ja.

MR VALLY: So what do you know about it? What do you know about the arrest of Mr Mabotha? Besides the fact that you were ordered to go there.

MR DU TOIT: I had nothing to do with him except I arrested him, found documents in his possession and later took a statement from him and I have never as far as I know had anything to do with him, sir.

MR VALLY: Mr Du Toit, do you recall making an affidavit in this regard?

MR DU TOIT: Ja.

MR VALLY: Do you recall what you said in that affidavit?

MR DU TOIT: No, sir.

MR VALLY: Do you recall who you made this affidavit to? Who was the commissioner of oaths?

MR DU TOIT: No, sir.

MR VALLY: Well let me remind you what you said in your affidavit. And please I want to stress this. Let us not play games. We do not have time to waste. I put it to you that you knew why you were going to Groblersdal. It was directly as a result of a bugged conversation that Mrs Madikizela-Mandela allegedly had with someone and when you arrived and arrested the man you found out more about who you arrested.

MR DU TOIT: As far as I know I didn't know when we went down there. It is possible that after the arrest Colonel Grobbelaar told us what is happening. But as far as I can remember ...

MR VALLY: Mr Du Toit you are here now. I have asked you a question what do you know about that incident now. Your pretence has been thus far all you know is you were ordered to go and arrest someone, which you did. And you know nothing more. Tell me what you know now.

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chairman, is it possible to have all the statements and documents that happened that day then I can give more information. I don't think even Mr Vally don't know what has happened to him eight or nine years back.

MR VALLY: Mr Du Toit let's not play games.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Vally I wonder if you must - wait a minute I am talking. Mr Vally you are very close to harassing the witness. I would be grateful if you would put to the witness what you have so that he can either confirm or deny.

MR VALLY: With all respect, Mr Chairperson, he has denied issues. These documents were given to his counsel yesterday I believe and these were affidavits made by himself.

CHAIRPERSON: Please put it to him.

MR VALLY: I would also ask the Chairperson to warn the witness not to try and obstruct our proceedings. This is your affidavit.

"I am number 489 ... a lieutenant in the South African Police stationed at the security branch Soweto. In 1989 I went to Groblersdal as a result of information to follow up information in connection with a certain black man called Themba. It was suspected that the black man was a trained African National Congress terrorist. On the 20th February 1989 at about 12h00 Themba was arrested by me and I was informed that his real name was Johannes Mabotha. It was found that the person was a trained terrorist and related to the SAP. He was arrested during his infiltration and declared himself willing to work with the SAP but deserted again afterwards. I investigated the subject and found in the left inside pocket of his jacket some documents with some names and addresses on. One document was clearly used by a state department. It dealt with Stompie Moketsi, the youth activist who had been murdered in Soweto. The document reads the information by JKM. I confronted him about the document and told me that JKM was an abbreviation for Johannes Kabodi Mabotha and that the document was in his own handwriting. He told me that he had been told by Mrs Mandela to go to Botswana and to send the information in the documents through to the newspapers in South Africa. He told me that Mrs Mandela had written the message which was in her handwriting on a piece of paper and he was supposed to rewrite this message and after that destroy the original. The document was given to him at her home. On another piece of paper telephone numbers of The Star and Sowetan were found as well as the names of the Citizen and City Press. He told me that the details were also supplied by her, Winnie. I confiscated the documents".

Please have a look at this and see if it is your signature on the affidavit.

MR DU TOIT: It is my signature but I still don't understand the question. This is exactly what I testified, that I arrested the man and that I found documents in his possession.

MR VALLY: Mr Chairperson, Mr du Toit is being evasive. He said he had nothing more to do with Mr Mabotha except those issues. I have put it to him that he knows a lot more. However, let me proceed with asking him questions.

CHAIRPERSON: That would be very helpful.

MR VALLY: Thank you. Do you recall who took this affidavit from you? Did you see the name of the commissioner of oaths at the bottom of this affidavit?

MR DU TOIT: I see it Mr Chairman.

MR VALLY: Can you tell us what the name is?

MR DU TOIT: It was Jan Augustyn who gave evedence to the Commission yesterday.

MR VALLY: Well Mr Augustyn yesterday said under oath that he had nothing whatsoever to do with the matter of Mr Themba Mabotha.

MR DU TOIT: I think this is true to take down a statement doesn't mean that you had anything to do with the investigation.

MR VALLY: I see so you're answering for Mr Augustyn.

MR DU TOIT: That is my personal opinion.

MR VALLY: Right let's go on. Let's see what you say in your affidavit and why I have got serious difficulty with your attitude. Paragraph 2 of your affidavit, please look at it.

CHAIRPERSON: Of the affidavit of ....

MR VALLY: Of the affidavit submitted by Mr Du Toit yes, Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Today?

MR VALLY: Today. Which we got this morning.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR VALLY: You were in Soweto from the 1st December 1988 to February 1990 in which period you moved from the rank of lieutenant to the rank of captain. Is that correct?

MR DU TOIT: Yes, that is correct?

MR VALLY: Let's go to paragraph 9. Okay well - sorry let's just look at paragraph 7 first. The second part of paragraph 7.

"I personally do not have knowledge of any reports associated with Mandela Football Club or with Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela".

That is what you say there. Do you see that?

MR DU TOIT: Yes, that is correct.

MR VALLY: How do you explain that in the light of this affidavit I have just read of yours wherein you talk about meeting - obtaining information from Mr Mabotha where Mr Mabotha allegedly has documents written in Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's handwriting allegedly in connection with the death of Stompie Seipei. How do you explain that paragraph of your affidavit in view of this earlier affidavit I have shown you?

MR KEMP: Mr Chairman may I be permitted just to come in here. I think that the question must just be carefully considered. What is stated in paragraph 7 is, and I will freely translate:

I do not have any personal knowledge of any informers associated.

That is what is stated there. It is not in contradiction with anything said so far and not in contradiction with the statement unless Mr Vally can show that it is in contradiction. The question is unfair, misleading and incorrect.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Vally?

MR VALLY: I think Advocate Kemp is wrong because Mr Mabotha is an Askari who apparently mutinied and if an Askari is different from an informer or a "beriggewer", as it is put in Afrikaans, then I find that very strange. However, I will show other aspects of the same affidavit which shows these contradictions. Let's look at your paragraph 9.

"The kidnapping, assault and murder of Stompie Seipei took place before I was at the security branch in Soweto".

Mr Du Toit, were you not aware of the controversy surrounding Mr Seipei's disappearance and subsequently his body being found?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, after I started one heard of the circumstances of the death but again the matter misleads me because in paragraph 9 we deal with the abduction, assault and murder and of that I have no knowledge.

MR VALLY: What is clear to me is that you were there on the 1st December 1988, that the kidnapping of Mr Seipei took place I believe on the 29th December 1988 so you were already placed in Soweto. The body of Mr Seipei was found subsequently early the next year. The arrest and the raids on Mrs Madikizela-Mandela house also took place early in 1989. So you were at the centre of all the action in the security branch at all the relevant times regarding Stompie Seipei's murder.

MR DU TOIT: According to my records it shows that on the 1st I started there. I was first on leave and actually went to work on the 2nd January. It is true that I do not know when Stompie's body was found. It might have been early January but that is not all matter that was handled by the security police at that stage. There were many cases. That was not the only important matter. Each investigative officer handles his own matters. I had heard of this but I had nothing to do with it.

MR VALLY: We've heard that answer consistently from other people, Mr Du Toit, we were so busy with other matters we couldn't apply our minds to the kidnappings and the murders that were taking place. That is what you are in fact saying. Let us go on. Your paragraph 9.

"I want to make it clear at the time of his arrest there was no connection between him and Stompie Seipei but he was arrested because he was an Askari who mutinied and the understanding was that he was involved in unlawful activities".

Can you tell us what these unlawful activities you believe he was involved in?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, these were just suspicions. A person who is a trained terrorist of the MK and who deserts from Vlakplaas, any normal person would assume that such a person would be busy with illegal or political activities because he was trained therefor and that is how the suspicion originated.

MR VALLY: I put it to you with all the (...indistinct) that the name he used on the phone was George. That as a result of the conversation you presumed that he was a trained ANC cadre and therefore you went to arrest him in Groblersdal. You did not know he was an Askari at that stage.

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, I have no knowledge of the phone transcriptions. I found out about that later.

MR VALLY: Your colleagues seemed to keep you very much in the dark. It just sounds very strange to me, and I don't want to go into that because there will be sufficient evidence coming subsequently to tell us about this telephone tapping. I want to give you the opportunity to come clean. I want to give you that opportunity because we have as evidence, and I am going to keep putting this evidence to you, I would rather you tell us what has happened rather than me having to drag it out of you. Are you saying that at the time you went to Groblersdal you knew you were dealing with Themba or Mr Mabotha? You already knew that?

MR DU TOIT: As far as I know, Mr Chair, I don't deny that there were phone calls or tapping. All I am saying is that I had no knowledge of it. I just heard that we were going to Groblersdal and if I remember right they gave me his name, but that is all.

MR VALLY: Now this affidavit that I have just read into the record was given by you on the 21st March 1989. Do you recall taking an affidavit from Mr Mabotha at the time that you arrested him?

MR DU TOIT: I remember that there was a statement taken. Yes, I think I took it down.

MR VALLY: "Johannes Kabodi Mabotha, declared a black man. I am rresident at 574 Lebowagomo in Pietersburg. On the 20th February 1989 at about 12h00 I was arrested in Groblersdal. I was staying with a friend at Motatuma. During my arrest I had certain documents which had been written in my own handwriting. The documents were taken by the police. One document contained a message which I had to convey to the media. It was about a black boy Stompie Moketsie. I got this information from Winnie Mandela at her house. I had to travel to Botswana on 18 February 1989 until the 20th and to phone from Botswana to tell the media that Stompie is in a refuge camp in Botswana. I also had to discredit the security police by saying that Stompie was running away from the police. However, I did not perform this instruction of Winnie Mandela. I am familiar with the affidavit and the rest. Signed Johannes Kobodi Mabotha".

And the number is on there. It was taken down by Du Toit. Do you acknowledge that this is your signature on it?

MR DU TOIT: It is my signature.

MR VALLY: You had all this information on the 22nd February 1989 when you effected the arrest of Mr Mabotha did you not?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR VALLY: You had information there regarding the disappearance of Mr Stompie Seipei?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR VALLY: And you had information regarding thealleged involvement of Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR VALLY: So you had substantial information as at the 22nd February 1989 alread?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR VALLY: I won't go into why I feel your affidavit was certainly lacking in detail. Let's go onto your paragraph 10. Here you say to the best of your knowlege after Mabotha was arrested you let Col Eugene de Kock know he was arrested because he had "gedros" absconded, mutinied from Vlakplaas. You don't remember the details, you remember Col De Kock joined you later. Your recollection is that you gave Mabotha to Col De Kock but you cannot remember if he asked you to take Mr Mabotha back to Soweto. You can't remember if you were at all involved in any other way with him. This is what you say. Do you still stand by that?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct. As I testified I can't remember that I had anything to do with his investigation. It could be that I actually took down an oath later but I certainly didn't have anything to do with Mabotha that I can remember.

MR VALLY: How many of you were present at the time of Mr Mabotha's arrest in Groblersdal on the 22nd February 1989? And I am talking about all the policemen that you can recall.

MR DU TOIT: It is difficult but I think - I can't remember, I know it was me and Col Grobbelaar, a person called Frans, I can't remember his surname but I later heard that he died in a car accident. I think there were five or six of us.

MR VALLY: What did you do with Mr Mabotha after you arrested him?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair I think we took him to the security branch at Marble Hall, to the farm. We waited to hear from De Kock but I am not 100 per cent sure. I knew we waited and then at a stage we came back to Johannesburg and I personally can't remember that we brought him back but if we look at other documents it is clear that we did bring him back with us.

MR VALLY: May I remind you that you took him to a certain, was it a farm in Marble Hall. Do you recall this?

MR DU TOIT: No, I don't think that is correct.

MR VALLY: Your counsel has been given a copy of a section of an amnesty application which sets the details out. We have deleted some names because they had not at that stage been given notice, but I will tell you what we said. I firstly want to get clarity. Are you saying it was only yourself and Major Grobbelaar from Protea who was there?

MR DU TOIT: No, that is not what I said. I can't remember the names but I said that there were about five or six of us.

MR VALLY: This is what it reads and this is a document I have given your counsel.

"After the arrival of De Kock and one other Mabotha was taken to a farm that was from time to time used by the security branch of Marble Hall. On this farm Mabotha was interrogated and seriously assaulted. He was hit, kicked and tubed. He was also hung upside down. Most of the persons present took part in the assault. I also took part in the assault. Members of the security branch of Marble Hall were also present. I cannot remember the names of the persons. Members of the Soweto security branch who were present were...."

And we have blanked out the names -

"... and myself. De Kock ... "

And we have blanked out the name ...

"... of Vlakplaas were also present. During the interrogation Mabotha gave certain information on the identity of his comrades, where they could be and also where arms had been hidden. Later Mabotha was taken to the Soweto security office at Protea. Two teams of Vlakplaas were also present, mostly Askaris".

Let's deal with the first part. Do you recall this assault, this vicious assault at this farm in Marble Hall at all?

MR DU TOIT: I know nothing of an assault and Mabotha was not assaulted in my presence.

MR VALLY: Do you recall him being taken back to Protea police station where he was assaulted by both security branch members of Protea as well as by Askaris?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, I said that I thought he was brought back to Johannesburg but I have no knowledge of any assault.

MR VALLY: You don't know what happened to him after you saw him at Groblersdal. Is that what you are telling us?

MR DU TOIT: No, Mr Chair.

MR VALLY: Other than the fact that you heard he was given over to Mr De Kock at some point. Other than that.

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, I can't remember all the details of what happened that day but this is what I testified.

MR VALLY: You didn't take part in any assault whatsoever on Mr Mabotha?

MR DU TOIT: Not at all, Mr Chair.

MR VALLY: You witnessed no one taking part in any assault whatsoever on Mr Mabotha?

MR DU TOIT: Not at all, Mr Chair.

MR VALLY: Who was in charge of this investigation into Mr Mabotha?

MR DU TOIT: I am not certain.

MR VALLY: Mr Du Toit, the one thing you are sure of, in paragraph 11, is that you have no knowledge of any instruction given by Col Potgieter to Col De Kock to kill Mr Mabotha. You state in your paragraph 11 "Ek is in kennis gestel" about this issue. Who gave you this information?

MR DU TOIT: My legal representative, Mr Chair.

MR VALLY: Before your legal representative told you this you had no knowledge of this?

MR DU TOIT: I know that Mabotha died but of what Col Potgieter was supposed to have said I have no knowledge.

MR VALLY: How did you find out that Mr Mabotha was dead?

MR DU TOIT: I think it was in the newspapers or I think it was around Col De Kock's hearing.

MR VALLY: Do you recall how Mr Mabotha was killed?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair I heard. I don't know whether it is the truth but that he was blown up with explosives.

MR VALLY: And the first time you herd about it was in the newspaper?

MR DU TOIT: I can't remember whether it was the newspapers or the news or maybe a conversation with police officers but I heard it.

MR VALLY: When was the last time you saw Mr Mabotha?

MR DU TOIT: It is difficult. I might still have seen him a couple of days after his arrest but as far as I can remember the last time was with his arrest. It is possible. His investigation officer shared an office with me so it is possible that I saw him in the offices again.

MR VALLY: This is incredible. Now you say you possibly have seen him. You shared an office with the person who was the investigating officer. Who was this?

MR DU TOIT: I think you have distorted my question. I said we share offices with the investigating officers. I don't know who was the investigating officer in this case. I might have seen him again. I don't say that I did.

MR VALLY: You had no interest whatsoever in finding out what happened to this Mr Mabotha after you arrested him and after you took an affidavit from him and after you made an affidavit?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, after my statement I gave the statement to murder and robbery, to the investigating officer of the Stompie Seipei case and I left it there and I went on with my personal dockets. I didn't have time to interfere with other peoples' dockets.

MR VALLY: Why did you make this affidavit? I pointed out to you you made it the 21st March. Why did you make it, the affidavit I read to you earlier. Your affidavit. Why did you make it?

MR DU TOIT: It was about the Stompie Seipei case and I can't remember whether I was asked by the investigating officer or whether I was instructed but I had to give such a statement to murder and robbery.

MR VALLY: Why did murder and robbery take the affidavit from you? Why wasn't it the security branch who took the affidavit from you?

MR DU TOIT: I don't understand the question.

MR VALLY: The affidavit that you made was made before an officer in the security branch.

MR DU TOIT: It was a normal arrest statement. One has to do such a thing after arresting somebody and I had to give it to murder and robbery because they handled the Stompie Seipei case.

MR VALLY: Who did you give it to in murder and robbery?

MR DU TOIT: If I remember correctly it was Colonel Dempsey, I think he was Captain Dempsey at the time.

MR VALLY: I just want to point out to you that is a ferther involvement in the Stompie Sipei matter besides the arrest of Mr Mabotha.

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, I want to say it clearly that I had nothing to do with the Stompie Seipei case. In the subpoena I dealt with it. My statement is around the subpoena. I had nothing to do with the murder, the abduction, et cetera of Stompie Seipei. That I might have arrested Mabotha later and conveyed information I don't think is the same as having anything to do with the Stompie Seipei case. Mr Chair, I am not trying to hide anything. I speak straight and his questions are distorted.

MR VALLY: You were part of the opsporings ondersoek eenheid in Soweto were you not?

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR VALLY: In view of the allegations made against Mrs Madikizela Mandela, weren't you people at security branch very interested in nailing this very prominent political activist in Soweto?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair I am an investigating officer. I received - opened dockets daily. If there was a docket in this regard I would have investigated it. It was not my task to gather information around Mrs Mandela or anything else to do with her.

MR VALLY: The information gathering section ... these issues were pursued at all. For example the allegation that Mrs Madikizela-Mandela in her own handwriting had given a certain note to this Mr Mabotha.

MR DU TOIT: I have no knowledge of any further information or whether there was one.

MR VALLY: Did you make any enquiries about this?

MR DU TOIT: No Mr Chair.

MR VALLY: There was a long statement taken from Mr Mabotha while he was detained in terms of section 29. Are you aware of that statement?

MR DU TOIT: No, Mr Chair. It is possible. Maybe I signed it. It is possible that it was taken but I don't remember taking such a statement.

MR VALLY: ... show it to you or I will read portions of it and you tell me if you recollect anything.

"I am presently detained in terms of section 29. I am an ex member of the African National Congress".

He then talks about his recruitment. He talks about his military training. He talks about his arrest. He talks about his detention. He talks about his joining the police. He talks about which cases he was a state witness in. Do you have any recollection of this?

MR DU TOIT: No, Mr Chair.

MR VALLY: He then talks about being taken to Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's house. And then events that took place in Mrs Madikizela-Mandela's house. Do you have any recollection of this?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, some of the facts mentioned tells us that he was arrested, that he joined the police, that he had something to do with Mrs Mandela but I do not remember these statements.

MR VALLY: Mr du Toit I put it to you that you knew a lot more than you are stating in your affidavit - that you stated under oath today.

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, any person has a right to an opinion. I deny all accusations.

MR VALLY: And I put it to you that I find it absurd that you, being a member of the security branch in Soweto, was not aware at all or interested at all or did not make any enquiries whatsoever about any follow ups regarding any of the issues where you had taken an affidavit personally from Mr Mabotha. Rather than absurd maybe I should use the word improbable.

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, what enquiries should I have made? I arrested him, I did the statement. I am sorry I missed the rest.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Vally please wind up now.

MR VALLY: Mr Du Toit it is only fair to warn you, and you know it as a policeman of longstanding, that any person who lies under oath may be committing perjury. That I certa inly would be advising the Commission to very carefully look into your affidavit that you handed in today and consider what our options are regarding this issue. I think it is only fair to warn you so that you can get proper legal advice on this issue. Thank you Mr Du Toit.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Are there any questions from any of the legal representatives present? There aren't any. Mr Richards?

MR RICHARDS: Thank you, Chairperson. Sir, is it not correct when you are given the task of taking a statement whoever instructs you to do it explains where that statement fits into the investigation and gives you a bit of background so that you know what you are doing?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, if it is about this statement that I did on arresting Mabotha I don't think it would have been necessary for anybody to tell me to take it to murder and robbery and so forth but the facts are elementary. You get the documents in his possession, he confesses, et cetera. Nobody has to explain to you what the statement is supposed to be like.

MR RICHARDS: Sit in the context you knew that you had a situation where Stompie Seipei had been murdered. Now we know that Jerry Richardson says on the instructions of Winnie Mandela. And that in this case this man Mabotha had information to the effect that Mrs Mandela was trying to disguise and cover up the murder. Is that

not correct?

MR DU TOIT: I heard something like that, yes.

MR RICHARDS: And that's the relevance of the statement that you tried to take from Mr Mabotha.

MR DU TOIT: Yes, it is about his arrest and the documents and what he told me. I don't think I could have done more than to give this statement to the people who were investigating the Stompie Seipei case.

MR RICHARDS: That the background to Mabotha was that from either side of the fence, whichever way you looked at it, he was an informer. He had informed on both parties.

MR DU TOIT: I did not consider him an informer.

MR RICHARDS: But what else is an iskari?

MR DU TOIT: Personally I don't regard him as an informer. I think many people would not see him as an informer. I might be wrong but that is my opinion.

MR RICHARDS: But the fact that he had turned again on Vlakplaas and gone back to the ANC meant that he had to be returned to Vlakplaas, isn't that correct?

MR DU TOIT: Those aspects I did not deal with. I didn't work with the Askaris. What I do know was that he was an Askari who had deserted and he would probably have gone back. But at that stage he was to me a person with information and the statement was given to murder and robbery.

MR RICHARDS: Thank you, Mr Chair.

MR HUGO: Mr Du Toit, I just want some clarity on one or two aspects. You now get on a certain day instructions from your officer commanding to go to Groblersdal to arrest somebody. Is that correct? The man who gave you the instruction was?

MR DU TOIT: Colonel Grobbelaar.

MR HUGO: Colonel Grobbelaar. So now you are in the same vehicle with Grobbelaar.

MR DU TOIT: I did not say we went in the same vehicle. I don't know how many vehicles, one or two.

MR HUGO: I am asking you did you travel in the same ...

MR DU TOIT: I am not sure in which vehicle.

MR HUGO: When your officer told you that you were going to arrest him did you ask who the person was and why he was being arrested?

MR DU TOIT: As I said it was about Themba Mabotha who had deserted as an Askari.

MR HUGO: And did you at that stage know that the Askaris were housed and were in command of Vlakplaas - under command which stood under Col De Kock?

MR DU TOIT: Yes, I knew that.

MR HUGO: Before the arrest was executed you had not to the best of your knowledge informed De Kock that one of his Askaris was to be arrested at Groblersdal.

MR DU TOIT: That is what I can remember, sir.

MR HUGO: In how many vehicles were you moving from Jo'burg to Groblersdal to arrest him?

MR DU TOIT: It could have been two vehicles. If we were six people it would probably have been - it might have been three. I am not sure. Let's say two.

MR HUGO: Now there are six people and I assume that all of them are related to the security branch Soweto or Johannesburg.

MR DU TOIT: Yes, I think they were all from Soweto, from our office.

MR HUGO: Let me put it to you can you remember that Mr Chappies Klopper was a part of the group?

MR DU TOIT: It is possible.

MR HUGO: If I put it to you that Mr De Kock is going to testify that Mr Klopper was one of the prominent members of the group?

MR DU TOIT: That is possible. I would not deny it or dispute it.

MR HUGO: Now you reach Groblersdal and the arrest takes place. What is the charge that you give Mr Mabotha on the strength of which he is being arrested, to the best of your memory?

MR DU TOIT: Because he was a person who had deserted from Vlakplaas. A member of the SAP who had deserted. That is why we went there.

MR HUGO: You arrest him because he deserted from Vlakplaas?

MR DU TOIT: Yes, that is correct. We suspected that he had deserted and that he might be involved with other illegal activities.

MR HUGO: You were not aware of any other wrongdoings except that he had deserted from Vlakplaas.

MR DU TOIT: Yes, that is correct.

MR HUGO: And you suspected that you were going to get other information if you arrested him.

MR DU TOIT: Yes, that is correct.

MR HUGO: Now you arrest him. And you are present at the arrest. What do you find when you arrest him?

MR DU TOIT: In his jacket pocket there were certain documents as I said in my statement. That he had to say that he was in Botswana and that he saw Stompie in a refuge camp and he said also that the document was in his handwriting but that the wording had been done by Mrs Mandela.

MR HUGO: If I could put this euphemistically Mr Du Toit this is dynamite that you are now finding with him. Is that not true?

MR DU TOIT: I suppose so. It gives you something to work on but if he was not going to testify what would happen to that information. So I can't see why you use the word dynamite.

MR HUGO: Mr Du Toit, you find a document which refers to Mr Stompie Seipei which could be very important in the investigation into the death of Stompie Seipei. Do you agree?

MR DU TOIT: It could help the investigating officer.

MR HUGO: Yes it could help a hell of a lot, couldn't it? Do you agree?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair I regard it in a sense as hearsay evidence.

MR HUGO: No, Mr Du Toit there is no talk of hearsay evidence. You found it with the suspect, in his pocket. Who else would you want to make a statement on it other than you? This is now very important evidence according to yourself. Now if I understand your version correctly you move from Groblersdal to Marble Hall, is that correct? Now if I understand you correct further there is liaison with the officer commanding of the Askari, namely Mr De Kock and he also arrives at Marble Hall.

MR DU TOIT: I think I testified that I am not sure whether he did join us.

MR HUGO: Let me put it to you he did arrive there.

MR DU TOIT: Then it is so I suppose.

MR HUGO: Now you transport Johannes Mabotha from Marble Hall to a farm outside Marble Hall. Can you remember that?

MR DU TOIT: I don't know that. I know nothing about it.

MR HUGO: Is it possible?

MR DU TOIT: No, if we went to a farm I think I would have remembered it.

MR HUGO: Let me tell you that Mr De Kock is going to testify that he was taken to a farm.

MR DU TOIT: If he took him to a farm then I suppose it is so, Mr Chair.

MR HUGO: Whether it was on the farm or on other premises, which is not really relevant at the moment, what to the best of your memory took place, whether it was on the farm or on the premises? You must now bear in mind that Mr De Kock has also arrived and the other six people are also present.

MR DU TOIT: Present where?

MR HUGO: Well on the farm or on whatever premises where you held Johannes Mabotha. Now I am asking you what now takes place at that place?

MR DU TOIT: I cannot remember what took place. I know we waited for a while for De Kock to arrive. What happened I can't remember. I know at a stage we returned to Johannesburg. From my own memory I can't remember whether we took him along to Johannesburg or not.

MR HUGO: You just now said you would give straight questions and answers. Was Mr Mabotha viciously assaulted during the interrogation or not?

MR DU TOIT: Not in my presence and not by me, Mr Chair.

MR HUGO: Let me tell you that Mr De Kock is going to testify that it was one of the worst interrogations that he ever attended.

MR DU TOIT: I have no knowledge of that, Mr Chair.

MR NTSEBEZA: Can I just ask a question to you. You know when a person says I don't remember it sometimes means a number of things. When you say you don't remember are you saying?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair there were allegations of assault but I was never found guilty.

MR NTSEBEZA: The question that I am asking you. You are being put a proposition by a representative of Col De Kock. He says to you at a place which you admit is the place where you took a witness to, whether that place or at a farm, he says to you one of the most gruesome assaults took place on the person whom you had arrested. Now you say you don't remember. Now I want to be fair to you. It may well be that what you say is that it may have happened except that because of the passage of time I don't remember that incident or that it never happened at all. What is it?

MR DU TOIT: I did not assault the person, Mr Chair.

MRNTSEBEZA: I am not asking if you personally assaulted the person. When you say you don't remember are you saying that attack which De Kock through his lawyer describes as the most gruesome attack, are you saying that never happened or are you saying it may have happened except that you don't remember?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair I don't understand.

MR TSEBEZA: It doesn't matter Mr Du Toit please I am trying to be very calm about this. Doesn't matter. The question is you are being told that there were about six or more - on your own evidence there were six of you who took this man. De Kock comes there and the lawyer patently took (...indistinct) says we now reached the stage where an assault takes place which he describes as one of the worst assaults that he has ever participated in. Now he says you were there. You also could have been there on your own evidence. Now where it is about is where you say you don't remember. Now when you say you don't remember sometimes you say I don't remember because this thing happened such a long time ago, it is possible it could have happened except that I don't remember now. Or sometimes people say I don't remember because what they actually mean is that it never happened. Now which of the two is it that you don't remember?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, I don't know how to answer but what I can say is that if Colonel De Kock was there and we were a group and we waited in front of Marble Hall's offices I didn't see an assault and I didn't participate in one and I cannot - I don't think that the assault was as terrible. If we took him to Soweto and he was detained in Soweto in the cells then those injuries would have been recorded.

MR NTSEBEZA: Now must we draw the inference from what you say, that when you say you don't remember you are actually saying it never happened.

MR DU TOIT: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Hugo.

MR HUGO: Mr Du Toit, the same document which was given to your legal representative was given to me as well and I am telling you now that it forms part of the amnesty application of Mr Chappies Klopper where he is asking for amnesty for the Johannes Mabotha case. Let me add that Mr Vally is careful in the sense that he doesn't want to make names known. I am going to be less careful for the simple reason that it is this specific incident which was gone through in great detail during Mr De Kock's criminal hearing. The information in here is already public knowledge. It is part of a document of 20 000 pages. These things are already general knowledge. Now I am reading to you. We accept for a moment that Mr De Kock is a blatant liar, he is in jail with a very heavy sentence. He is the only person in South Africa who is now in jail for what he did in the apartheid era. Let's not believe what he says but let us say what the state evidence against Mr De Kock says on your actions on this occasion.

MR DU TOIT: It seems to me as if there are allegations that I was involved with the assault. At this stage then I am not going to go on testifying. I prepared this statement and this is the first word that I hear of that document and I haven't seen that document of Mr Klopper's mentioning names.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman may I come in here? I am quite by surprise you and my client Col Potgieter is also involved in this incident. I am taken totally by surprise because all the documents on which the interrogation took place this morning the affidavit of Mr Du Toit that was taken, the amnesty application of Chappies Klopper, of whom my attorney is representing - my attorney is representing Chappies Klopper - was not given to us. We don't even know what it is about. I haven't got a copy of it. I haven't ever seen it. And obviously it relates to my client and I would like to see it. So under these circumstances, Mr Chairman, I am going to want to ask questions to this witness and I am going to ask for an adjournment if it would please you, for a few minutes in any event to look at that so I am just raising that for you to take into account now.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Vally could you ascertain for us to whom was the document given. It was obviously given to Mr Kemp, it was obviously given to Mr Hugo. Did all the lawyers receive this? Mr Richards nods his head.

MR VALLY: Mr Chair I have been advised that in the yellow file which was given to all the legal representatives yesterday - apparently everyone has a yellow file except Mr Du Plessis for some reason.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I didn't even see a yellow file being handed out and for some reason or another I didn't get Chris van Vuuren's transcript of the evidence and I had to ask for it yesterday. So I never received the yellow file.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, would you be a little more careful please when you use the mike. I have asked you before. I think that we must be very careful, all of us, including people on this panel, to remain calm. There is no reason for us to get excitable here. Now that includes me.

But I apologise that you did not receive the document but I think that you now about to receive the document. It looks as though we are going to be a little time with this witness but you will have an opportunity during tea to study the document and of course if you have questions to put to this witness on behalf of your client you will have the opportunity to do that.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Chairman. I want to place on record that my reaction did not indicate that I am angry or that I am accusing anybody. I was just taken by surprise and I obviously didn't know how it came about and when the documents were distributed. So I am not accusing anybody and I am not unhappy with the situation. I will be able to deal with this in two minutes. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Mr Kemp.

MR KEMP: Mr Chairman I would just like to place on record that although we did receive the documents the names having been deleted it wasn't possible from the papers to deduct who was implicated there. The matter was raised with the witness but because of no names - we would ask that in future if a witness is going to be implicated the Commission at least inform us as legal representatives that such a name does appear and that it is one of the deleted items. It placed us at a huge disadvantage. Thank you, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I just want to confirm - Mr Hugo please help me here. You mentioned that this whole matter is on public record, that this took place. This is not new information and I think insofar as that is so that I will allow you to continue to ask the questions that you are asking and I would ask the witness to answer please.

MR HUGO: Mr Du Toit you now know which document we are discussing do you?

MR DU TOIT: Yes.

MR HUGO: Let me read to you - for safety sake I will not mention the names of persons who are not represented. I read to you it is the oath statement of Mr Klopper which says:

"After De Kock and persons had arrived there, Mabotha was taken to a farm..."

- which you say you don't know of -

"... which was from time to time used by the security branch of Marble Hall. At this farm Mabotha was interrogated and seriously assaulted. He was hit, kicked and tubed. He was also hung upside down. Most of the people present participated in the assault. I myself also participated".

This is Mr Klopper.

"Members of the Marble Hall security branch were also present. I cannot remember the names of these people. Members of Soweto security were Capt Du Toit ..."

And then I am first leaving out the other names because they aren't represented here.

"From Vlakplaas were present Mr De Kock ..."

And another person who is not represented here today. What do you say of this version?

MR DU TOIT: I deny it, Mr Chair.

MR HUGO: So Mr Klopper is also talking a lot of nonsense? Can I ask you about another aspect? You now arrest - you personally - Mr Mabotha. You know that he is an Askari. You know that Col De Kock is his commander, as you have testified. You get in his jacket pocket very incriminating documentation which you yourself agreed is very important.

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR HUGO: Now Col De Kock is called from Pretoria. You are present. You deny that you participated in the assault but I assume that you will concede that you spoke to De Kock.

: If he were there I would have spoken to him, yes.

MR HUGO: How do you mean if he was there? You know whether you spoke to him or not.

MR DU TOIT: I testified that I couldn't even remember whether he had come.

MR HUGO: But you don't remember anything of this incident.

MR DU TOIT: It is very long ago, Mr Chair. I don't have notes on the events.

MR HUGO: Let's accept Mr De Kock was there and you spoke to him. Why didn't you give the commander of Vlakplaas this very incriminating evidence that you found in the pocket of his Askari?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair I don't remember what happened to the documents. I would probably have given it to Col Grobbelaar. I don't know what he did with it.

MR HUGO: It appears to me as if the Soweto security branch had another agenda with this whole operation and that they wanted to keep as many as possible of other people away from it. Well why didn't you tell De Kock that his Askari was involved in the Stompie Seipei case or had information about it?

MR DU TOIT: I believe it was said to him.

MR HUGO: Did you tell him?

MR DU TOIT: I don't remember, Mr Chair.

MR HUGO: I put it to you that you did not say it to him and my client will testify likewise.

MR DU TOIT: I accept if you say so that it is true. But I don't know that I told him.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Hugo. Please give your name for the record.

MR MAVUNDHLA: For the record Mr Chairman I am S T Mavundhla for the Johannes Mabotha family.

CHAIRPERSON: Please continue.

MR MAVUNDHLA: Mr Du Toit you said the reasons for arresting Mr Mabotha was because he had deserted Vlakplaas.

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR MAVUNDHLA: When you arrested him later on that later on you handed him over to Col De Kock.

MR DU TOIT: That is where I am not sure what happened, Mr Chair.

MR MAVUNDHLA: Please clarify this point. Were there any instructions that after the arrest Mr Mabotha had to be handed over to Col De Kock?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, I really can't remember what happened there but it is clear, isn't it, that we took him back to Soweto.

MR MAVUNDHLA: You also mentioned something like the unlawful activities in which Mr Mabotha was involved in.

MR DU TOIT: I said there was a suspicion but we didn't have evidence and I was not involved.

MR MAVUNDHLA: You did not have evidence but however you continued with your activities whereas you had not sufficient evidence that he was involved in these unlawful activities that you mentioned.

MR DU TOIT: That is true. He was arrested because he deserted and not so much because we suspected that he was involved in anything else.

MR MAVUNDHLA: Then the interrogation that took place, do you maybe still remember who are the other police officers who were involved in this interrogation?

MR DU TOIT: I really can't remember, Mr Chair.

MR MAVUNDHLA: But obviouslyu you were present in this interrogation.

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR MAVUNDHLA: And this interrogation was followed by an assault.

MR DU TOIT: I have no knowledge of that, Mr Chair.

MR MAVUNDHLA: Mr Du Toit, let's take somebody who took part in that interrogation says the interrogation obviously was followed by an assault, what will be your comment? And that particular police officer says you personally took part in the assault. What will your comment be?

MR DU TOIT: If the person assaulted him, if they admitted it they have done that. But I can't see why he would have been assaulted because as far as I can remember he co-operated from the beginning. He said what the documents were about, what he was supposed to do. I don't know why he would have been assaulted.

MR MAVUNDHLA: Then after you handed Mr Mabotha to Col De Kock what happened then? Do you maybe still remember?

MR DU TOIT: No, Mr Chair, I don't remember whether we gave him to Col De Kock. As I testified I thought we had but it is clear that we brought him back with us to Soweto.

MR MAVUNDHLA: When did you hear about Mr Mabotha's death for the first time?

MR DU TOIT: It was around the hearing of Col De Kock.

MR MAVUNDHLA: The hearing of Colonel de Kock

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mavundhla I don't want to interrupt you but we are covering ground that has already been covered, Mr Vally asked him exactly the same question. He is on record as saying. So please if there is no new information or new questions I would be grateful if we could finish.

MR MAVUNDLHA: Mr Du Toit you executed the arrest and later on you took the statement from Mr Mabotha. Later on this guy was handed over to Col De Kock and you heard nothing about this guy.

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, I wasn't at the security branch for long when I left. So I didn't keep track. I know I arrested him, I took the statement, he was detained according to the records in Soweto. Who else dealt with him, what happened to him I don't remember.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mavundhla. Mr Semenya, are you -

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, yes thank you. Mr Semenya indicated that I should go first and I don't have a problem with that. Mr Du Toit, there are a few aspects that I would like to highlight which are going to be very interesting to the Commission and which should be investigated further in this light.

Before I point that out to you and to the Commission I want to ask you the following. When Mr M Mabotha was taken back to the security branch can you remember whether it was the same day on which he was arrested.

MR DU TOIT: We returned to Jo'burg on the same day so it must have been the same day, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: And if he wasn't left in the care of the people at Vlakplaas for a time?

MR DU TOIT: I can't remember how long we were there. You will have to look at the times when he was arrested, when he was detained and so forth.

MR DU PLESSIS: You see this is what I am trying to bring out. I got some information yesterday from the Soweto security branch and that is what I would like to bring out here. I have copies. As I understood your testimony he was arrested on 21 February 1989.

MR DU TOIT: I think it is 22. 22nd.

MR DU PLESSIS: According to the detention register, and that is also in Col Potgieter's statement in paragraph 4.6 page 40 he was arrested, in other words booked in under section 29 of the detention register on 5 April 1989 and he was released exactly six months later on the 4th October 1989. I just mention this because it seems to me there is a discrepancy of two months here. Your testimony is that he went back on exactly the same day. Now let me put to you what Col Potgieter says. He remembers, although he is not 100 per cent certain, that probably as he remembers it, Mabotha was taken back to the security police on the same day that he was arrested. So that agrees with what you have been saying. We don't know whether the detention register is correct. It does seem as if there are mistakes. Further I would like to say that Col Potgieter will testify, I took it up with him just now, that when Mabotha was admitted in terms of section 29 there were no visible signs of assault, that the process in terms of section 29 would have been to send him for a medical examination and that he, who was Col Potgieter, would have known exactly that Mabotha had been assaulted once the medical examination had taken place. I am saying to you what he would say.

MR DU PLESSIS: No, I don't know about the dates but I would agree with that and that is why these registers are in the police and no person will be detained with injuries because the person who completes the registers are responsible for that person from that moment and if he had been assaulted to that degree they wouldn't have admitted him. Which is also interesting is that Chappies Klopper, in the document that I just received, which I haven't had a chance to look at refers to the serious assaults in his amnesty application but Col De Kock in his application does not refer to these serious assaults.

MR DU TOIT: I didn't see the document, Mr Chair, but I accept it as such.

MR DU PLESSIS: Another aspect please, Col Potgieter's statement on page 4.4 refers to the fact that during the tapping of the phones it was realised that a military trained MK was in the Marble Hall environment and that is why he was arrested. Can you remember anything about that?

MR DU TOIT: As I said, Mr Chair, I was not part of the management group. I can't remember whether I was at that stage under the command of Col Potgieter or somebody else but if they got that information it would have been discussed among Col Grobbelaar and Col Potgieter. It is a security branch. Sensitive information is dealt with as if sensitive. It is not as though everybody can be trusted. I was a junior member at the time and there was no reason why they were to discuss every detail with me.

MR DU PLESSIS: So you can't dispute what Col Potgieter says?

MR DU TOIT: Not at all.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Semenya.

MR SEMENYA: Thank you Chairperson. Can you explain something to me. Is deserting from Vlakplaas a criminal offence?

MR DU TOIT: Dit is onder die polisie wet 'n oortreding, Meneer die Voorsitter.

MR SEMENYA: Was M Mabotha an employee of the South African Police?

MR DU TOIT: As far as I know if you are an Askari you are a member of the police, Mr Chair.

MR SEMENYA: He deserts from Vlakplaas it takes six high powered members of the security branch to go and effect an arrest.

MR DU TOIT: Thanks for the compliment, if that was a compliment. Mr Chair, our information is that it was an Askari. We didn't know whether he was armed. Many policemen have been killed because they went on their own initiative and it is procedure that we take as many as possible of people.

MR SEMENYA: On your own terms of going to arrest a colleague who has absconded. Why would an absconded colleague want to shoot other colleagues?

MR DU TOIT: It is a colleague who was a trained MK who had deserted. My opinion is that he didn't associate himself any longer with the police and I don't think he regarded us as colleagues any more. We acted as we thought necessary.

MR SEMENYA: Is there any reason whatsoever why you had to wait for De Kock to come?

MR DU TOIT: I can't remember exactly whether he asked us to wait, whether Grobbelaar said we had to wait, I don't remember exactly what the reason was. But I do know that we spent a bit of time waiting.

MR SEMENYA: I can understand your amnesia, but when you look back was there any singular reason why you had to wait for De Kock?

MR DU TOIT: My opinion is that I would have felt that Gen De Kock was supposed to take him back to Vlakplaas and obviously with the information we got in his pocket ....

MR SEMENYA: No but when people desert they are not taken back to that place upon arrest. What logic is this?

MR DU TOIT: Sir I didn't give orders that day I just did my job. I am just giving my opinion. I just felt that it would have been best if he went back to - I believe if a person deserts - I don't know where a matter is investigated but I suppose he goes back for the matter to be investigated. I don't think it sinister that he was - that he should be taken back by De Kock to Vlakplaas.

MR SEMENYA: I am going to ask this question in a slightly different context. If Klopper tells us that he assaulted the man seriously you can't dispute it?

MR DU TOIT: No.

MR SEMENYA: And if he tells us that that assault happens on the day of his arrest you can't dispute that.

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR SEMENYA: And if he tells us that the man is being kicked you can't dispute that.

MR DU TOIT: That is correct.

MR SEMENYA: And he tells us that he was tubed.

MR DU TOIT: I can't dispute any of that.

MR SEMENYA: And if a man like De Kock tells us that it was one of the most vicious assaults on the man you can't dispute that characterisation. Is that right?

MR DU TOIT: I can accept that he says that but I can't imagine that such a person would have been detained without medical treatment. I can't imagine that a person who had been so assaulted would have been allowed to be detained in a police cell without medical treatment or without any record being made of his injuries.

MR SEMENYA: Does it appear in your records?

MR DU TOIT: I know nothing of it.

MR SEMENYA: Was a doctor called? Now what are you telling us?

MR DU TOIT: He is becoming aggressive, sir. I am just trying to say what I know.

MR SEMENYA : No I am trying to understand you, sir. I am not aggressive, I am trying to understand whether you say there was formal compliance with calling of doctors. I am saying de Kock says to us, that was one of the most viscious attacks on the man, are you able out of your own understanding to say that description is incorrect?

MR DU TOIT: If Mr De Kock said so that was his testimony sir. I say it is highly improbable that such a person who had been assaulted in such a way would be detained without medical records of his injuries.

MR SEMENYA: On the 22nd February 1989 you take a statement from him. Did you see any injuries on the man?

MR DU TOIT: I would not take a statement from an injured person and if there were injuries I would have recorded them.

MR SEMENYA: I can ask you another question whether you can record or not record it. Did you see the injuries on Mabotha on the 22nd February 1989?

MR DU TOIT: No, I did not.

MR SEMENYA: Do you know if on your own saying he was an ANC terrorist? This was an offence in terms of our law was it not?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, I knew that he was a trained MK. I don't know what happened to him before that at his first arrest. That I do not know.

MR SEMENYA: To be a trained ANC terrorist was an offence under our law. Is that factually correct or not, sir?

MR DU TOIT: Yes.

MR SEMENYA: Why was he released from detention.

MR DU TOIT: I have no knowledge of that, Mr Chair.

MR SEMENYA: Why was he not criminally prosecuted for being a trained MK cadre, when that was an offence in terms of our law?

MR DU TOIT: I didn't have anything to do with his investigation, Mr Chair. I cannot testify as to that.

MR SEMENYA: I have no further questions thank you sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Anyone else?

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman may I just be permitted to just put two more questions. I know I am out of turn now and it will be very brief.

CHAIRPERSON: If you could be very brief please.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Du Toit, your legal adviser is also in the possession of a document from Miss Ngadimeng who had a relationship with Mr Mabotha. I want to read what she said in paragraph 12 in her statement.

"I was arrested during February 1989. I was sleeping With Falati, this daughter and .."

- sorry, I can't pronounce these names.

"I was taken to Protea police station. My first interrogation took place at that police station while a certain Lt Augustyn and another policeman. Lt Augustyn wanted to know my relationship with Mrs Winnie Mandela and Themba and I could not divulge the real truth".

And then she goes on in paragraph 13 in the first portion I don't want to deal with. Then she says:

"He appeared to me that they had assaulted him. His mouth was covered with dried blood as if he was bleeding while being assaulted".

MR DU TOIT: Mag ek net weer die datum van daardie verklaring vra asseblief.

MNR DU PLESSIS: Februarie.

MR DU TOIT: 1989. I have no knowledge of that incident, sir. I don't remember the name Ngadimeng either.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Vally. And I am going to be very strict. You have one question and no follow ups.

MR VALLY: Mr Du Toit I want to put to you that in view of the fact that you took the initial statement on the 22nd February 1989. In February 1989 we also have Mr Mabotha placed at Protea police station apparently having been assaulted. The fact that he was only formally booked into your records on the 4th April, according to the register annexed to Mr Potgieter's submission, that you people did not formally book him in because his injuries were of such a nature that you waited for him to heal between the 22nd February 1989 and the 4th April 1989. What is your response to that?

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair I cannot accept that such a long time passed before he was booked in. Perhaps he was detained for something else. I don't know. I can't see that it happened that way. As far as my knowledge goes I had nothing to do with him after his arrest so if he had not been detained I can't explain what happened to him.

MS SOOKA: Mr Du Toit you realise that we have got a very serious problem with your evidence.

MR DU TOIT: I don't understand why, but if you say it.

MS SOOKA: We have heard evidence at the hearing last year from Miss Ngadimeng about the state Mr Mabotha was in when she saw him after he had been interrogated. We also have the evidence of Mr Chappies Klopper in his amnesty application. We have heard from Mr De Kock's lawyer that he is going to testify that what Mr Klopper said is correct. So we have three witnesses who actually testify about his state of health and you are the sole witness who says - I think you say you don't know, you can't remember and I would be interested to know which is it. Whether you can't remember or whether you don't know and then tell me why we should believe you as opposed to three other people, two of whom have applied for amnesty. There is a further problem, that the Commission has during the last two years received a lot of evidence about people held under section 29 where the so-called legal provisions of the act have not been observed. Where people have not been booked in because of the extent of their injuries. Where doctors have not seen them. So to expect us to believe when you sit here and say well surely a doctor would have seen him, that doesn't wash with us. We are interested here in getting to the truth. I have got two questions for you. Why should we believe you? Number 1. And number 2 have you discussed with your lawyer the question of applying for amnesty during the last year? Did you at all consider that because you have a very serious problem because unfortunately for you we are going to have to make a finding about your evidence as well.

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, I did not assault the person. If people say that they assaulted him they could have. I did not. The question of amnesty one asks for amnesty when you feel that you did something wrong, that you contravened the law. I don't feel that I did that.

CHAIRPERSON: Just before we ask you to stand down I tried to get a picture in my mind of what happened that day as far as you are concerned. Because you went to Marble Arch, you have told us that. You were a part of a group - Marble Hall, I beg your pardon. You were there with at least five or six of your colleagues. You actually took the statement. But from then on there seems to be a blank. Is it possible that some of your colleagues. I am saying is it possible. That some of your colleagues together with the local security police went off somewhere else and left you behind having coffee or sitting in an office or sitting in a car so that you never saw anything more until they came back and then you all went back to Johannesburg. Is there a gap somewhere because frankly I don't understand how it is possible for you to be part of that interrogation to actually take the statement and for the life of me that other people say that they took part in a further interrogation which involved assault because why on earth would anybody admit to something which wasn't true? I mean why put themselves in jeopardy, why put themselves up before their families, their friends, as someone who took part in a vicious assault? Now either you went somewhere else or you genuinely have amnesia. Please help me. I can't understand it.

MR DU TOIT: I do not have amnesia. I can just not remember what happened that day. I started during this incident. I had worked at Soweto for two months then. It was a lot of strange people. I had come from the Eastern Transvaal. All my old friends and colleagues are there. What happened that day I really cannot remember. It is possible that I sat at the office and they went off. But I don't think it is possible that they will just leave a person and travel off in a direction. What happened that day I enjoyed being back in the Eastern Transvaal because I had only been at Soweto a month and a half when this took place. I was not involved with assaulting Mr Mabotha.

CHAIRPERSON: So you concede that it was unlikely that they had gone off leaving you behind for whatever reason, whether you were enjoying the day or whatever. They wouldn't have done that.

MR DU TOIT: As I said we were five or six people. I don't know if Mr Klopper, Mr De Kock, I don't know who went with them or whether they went off some place. It was their people who were arrested. I really cannot remember what happened that day.

CHAIRPERSON: Let me put it finally to you that two witnesses at least say that you were actually present. But you deny that.

MR DU TOIT: Yes, sir that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: In terms of a document that I have in front of me here, which was a statement or an affidavit signed by Mr Mabotha and taken by yourself, this statement was actually taken in Soweto not in Marble Hall. So you must have had something to do with Mr Mabotha after that one particular day, even though you say you didn't.

MR DU TOIT: I said I could not remember whether I dealt with him again. If the statement was taken in Soweto then it is true that I must have dealt with him again. But I cannot remember at what stage. As I say we share offices, it is a long corridor. In all probability I saw him again, talked to him, it is possible, but I can't remember.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, may I just say that - Yes, the date I remind you was 24th February 1989.

MS SOOKA: You see if this is taken in Soweto then this is obviously when he is brought back from Marble Hall to Protea police station. You are the person who commissions the affidavit by Mabotha so you must have been in a position to know that the man had been assaulted. This is on the - I think the date is the 24th February, but he is booked in, according to the register, on the 4th April. Strange.

MR DU TOIT: Mr Chair, my opinion is that it is impossible for him to have been detained so long. Something, something is wrong somewhere. I do not deny that I took that statement but I can't believe that he was detained somewhere for so long.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, I'm not going to delay you any longer, I'm just going to have to place on record that we will, and this is in no way to make an accusttion against you, in no way but simply for your own benefit to place it on record that we as a commission are not satisfied and we will have to investtigate this matter further and I think it's only fair that I should tell you and tell your legal representative that we have no other alternative but to proceed along the lines that Miss Sooka has mentioned. Thank you for your presence. You may stand down.

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: We will adjourn for a tea break or whatever else break you would like, until 11 o'clock.

HEARING ADJOURNS

 

ON RESUMPTION:

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Potgieter, you are welcome. Thank you for your attendance. Miss Sooka will administer the oath.

JAN DANIEL POTGIETER (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Potgieter. I understand that we are going to depart a little bit from the normal procedure and that your legal representative will lead you. Mr Du Plessis I know you appreciate that we have a limited amount of time. I would like you to try and see if you can complete in about 20 minutes. I will obviously give some leeway. I don't want to in any way diminish this opportunity. Mr Prior will be the leader of evidence from the TRC as well as Mr Pigout and I will be as strict with them as I will be with you. And I would be grateful for your co-operation. Thank you. You may proceed.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Chairman, I will try and co-operate as fully as I can and I want to state this at the outset, Mr Chairman, that we have followed the following approach and that is to try and assist this committee as much as possible to provide as much as possible information to the committee and that is why Col Potgieter went to the Attorney-General's office. He inspected all the dossiers that he could, all the dockets that he could. He obtained as much information as he could and I have also discussed certain issues with him which were raised with other witnesses yesterday and which I intend to deal with in his examination in chief which might at the end of the day limit the cross-examination because I hopefully will be able to answer everything in any event. Col Potgieter I would like you to make a declaration here. We are going to leave out certain information, we are therefore going to start with - let's go to paragraph 2.

"I declare myself willing to help the Commission as far as I can and will in this statement and during interrogation try to give as much information as I have to the Commission".

Can I please ask you the following question. While this statement was drawn up when you consulted did you see the statements of the other people before this was finalised?

MR POTGIETER: No. I was at the head of the court orientated investigation unit of the security branch at Soweto during the time January 1987 to middle 1989. It might be a bit later than middle of '89. Then from October 1989 to December 1992 I worked as intelligence head of the Greater Soweto and Vaal Triangle area.

Skip paragraph 5. Paragraph 6. The broad structure and components of the security branch at Soweto were as follows. Administration, technical. The technical component gave their testimonies yesterday. They had to do with technical equipment. Then the information gathering component where Watermeyer was and the intelligence or the advanced intelligence collection or gathering, such as Coetzee testified yesterday. Then the terrorist tracing unit and then the court orientated investigations of which I was the chief. In paragraph 7.

I would like to say that there was one great big investigation into Winnie Mandela called the Mandela investigation. This investigation was into her helping activities with regard to trained MK terrorists. It should be borne in mind that the security police investigated only those actions of Mrs Mandela which related to the security condition in our country. His original idea was to use senior MK arrested members who were accomplices as ... My conclusion was that the Attorney-General was of the opinion that Mrs Winnie Mandela could not be prosecuted by way of the use of the testimonies of accomplices but that such accomplices would first have to be charged and found guilty and then afterwards if they agreed they could testify against her. With regard to the Attorney-General's opinion in this regard it was decided to open a separate high treason docket and to investigate this separately. The cases against the accomplices were continued and many of them were successfully prosecuted. The compilation of the high treason docket went ahead under my leadership and was eventually given to Advocate Klaus von Lieres. The high treason investigation had nothing to do and did not overlap with the Stompie Seipei investigation, which was handled by murder and robbery. The translation and the testimony on the cross-examination on pages 1602 and 1603 of the November interrogation is therefore confusing and does not give the correct picture. It was said yesterday that I had a parallel investigation into the Stompie Seipei case with the Attorney-General. That was wrong. The matter to which we refer here was the high treason matter. Further Advocate Von Lieres' attitude was that if he should prosecute Winnie Mandela he wanted to do it on a common law misdemeanour and not for a statutory political offence. Although I cannot remember that he has told me this directly that was the conclusion I drew. The high treason docket was presented to Advocate Von Lieres and according to his register this took place on the 3rd April 1989, file reference 63/89. I personally went through it. I have no knowledge of what happened to this docket. I searched for it at the Attorney-General's office and couldn't find it. This was during May 1997. There was a signature. I did this investigation after I spoke to Captain Mike Holmes, but couldn't find it. There was a signature that it had been received, the docket had been received at the Attorney-General's office but no finding had been made with regard to the docket so there is no note whether the docket was referred to somebody else or whether there would be a prosecution.

MR DU PLESSIS: Let's stop there first. There are a few questions that I want you to clear up for us please. Your comments on the contents of the docket. When it was handed to Von Lieres would you say there was a prima facie against Mrs Mandela at that stage?

MR POTGIETER: There was definitely a prima facie case against her. However, the investigation had not quite been completed because if the Attorney-General had decided to prosecute there would have had to be further section 29 detentions to get more evidence. The names were ready and we were just waiting for Von Lieres to tell us to go ahead with the investigation.

MR DU PLESSIS: Were there other statutory political misdemeanours about which you also had enough evidence, which were in the docket and of which she was accused?

MR POTGIETER: Yes definitely. There were contraventions of section 54 of the Internal Security Act and 54(2) I think. No, 54(4) of assisting terrorists and there would have been a charge in terms of the Weapons and Ammunition Act, membership of restricted organisations and the high treason case terrorism and conspiracy for terrorism and so forth.

MR DU PLESSIS: Colonel, were you ever informed by Von Lieres' office after the docket was handed in why the prosecution did not take place?

MR POTGIETER: No, I just concluded that the time with the political changes in our country had caught up with us and that it wasn't a desirable thing to do at that stage. To prosecute Mrs Mandela at that stage.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you. Paragraph 13, I don't want you to go into that. I think the Commission can read it if they are interested. It is not so important. Neither 14. Paragraph 15 please.

MR POTGIETER: While I prepared for this appearance and prepared for this statement I tried to get as much as possible accessible documentation and check through it to help me help the Commission. With the help of my legal advisers I read the records of the in camera interrogation of Mrs Mandela as well as the bundle of documentation submitted by the Commission.

MR DU PLESSIS: Paragraph 18 please sir.

MR POTGIETER: I also approached the Attorney-General in Pretoria to give me insight into all dockets in possession of the Attorney-General relating to the aspects mentioned in the notice in terms of section 29 above. I would like to divert here to say that the D'Oliviera investigation unit confiscated all the case dockets of the security branch police for more or less 1984 up to their investigation and all of that is in Pretoria. I spent two full days during the week of 19 January 1998 in the safe at the offices of the Attorney-General to work through the dockets and to obtain the documents for this Commission appearance. I would like to say that the Attorney-General and his personnel were very helpful under the circumstances and gave me access to all documentation in their possession as well as free access to the dockets and their equipment for the making of photostats. I also checked the detention register of the Protea security branch office to check dates with regard to the detention of various persons to whom reference is made in this statement. I also tried to correlate the dates with my diary of those dates, 1987, which I still possess and I could in certain cases give reasonably reliable verification of dates.

MR DU PLESSIS: Let us stop on paragraph 22 please. Before we go on, a few aspects to clear up please with regard to questions asked before, with regard to your investigation into Mrs Mandela. One of the questions that was asked that you should deal with is the question of why no statements were ever taken from Mrs Mandela. This question was put to various other witnesses.

MR POTGIETER: Mr Chair, I think we need to accept it is a given that Mrs Mandela was a person of international stature. At the times I spoke to her I had no problem with her but she definitely had the attitude that she was elevated above the law. No statements were taken because she never found herself within a situation where she was found in possession of certain weapons or that she was involved in scenes on the scene. We had information but we had no evidence, no proof. My intention with the high treason case was if the Attorney-General decided to prosecute, that we were then either going to arrest her or to serve a subpoena for her to appear in court. That is what Col Kritzinger said yesterday. As he testified yesterday undoubtedly she would have shown one the door. Her actions at occasions before that was quite negative and un-co-operative. After the Sehere case on 25 January she was interrogated at our offices by members of my staff. I always say they interviewed her. They went through her correspondence, et cetera, in the steel cabinets in her presence. They took a statement which is attached as Annexure JDP in the middle of my document. However, she refused to sign the statement. And she didn't even want it to be read back to her. It is annexure JDP 10. You will see on the right-hand at the top it says A 98. And that was a statement by her which was filed in the Oupa Sehere case. This statement I took from that docket at the Attorney-General's office. While we are on that topic I would also like to refer you to

JDP 9. That is a statement under oath of her daughter Zinzi Mandela. And that relates to the finding of the Scorpion pistol a month later, in February 1987. Exactly a month after the Sehere case.

MR DU PLESSIS: What was your conclusion with regard to the connection between the Sehere matter and the finding of the Scorpion pistol?

MR POTGIETER: Those were two separate instances. No connection.

MR DU PLESSIS: Colonel were there any other conversations between you and Mrs Mandela regarding the investigation?

MR POTGIETER: Yes, I had a conversation with her on 6th February. Let me just check my diary. With regard to a shooting incident in Soweto where an MK member known as V during a shooting incident under command of Colonel Grobbelaar was involved. There was a blood trail to Mrs Mandela's house and my entry for that date was as follows. It is cryptical but -

"Soweto. Accompanied Brigadier Coetzee ..."

He is now Lieutenant General Coetzee.

"... to a scene of an explosion".

That is where the firing took place. We visited the house of Winnie Mandela at 8h00. There were traces of blood in front of the gate, at the intercom. These were photographed and removed. Secondly Mrs Mandela denied any knowledge.

"3. The intercom rang inside the house.

4. No one was arrested.

5. Denied that there was blood at the back door".

That is the entry for that day. At a later occasion, on the 19th February 1989, when Col Dempsey and them searched her house and offices I was also involved and I searched Mrs Mandela's study in the Diepkloof house, confiscated a number of documents, ANC literature and so forth. And during that time I also had a discussion with her but my conversations with her at that stage were not hostile, neither were they friendly. It was part of my job.

MR DU PLESSIS: Colonel, was there ever any instruction from head office to treat Mrs Mandela differently with regard to your investigation?

MR POTGIETER: No. There were no such instructions but from my own experience it was clear to me that Mrs Mandela was a high profile person with venturesome politics and one has to distinguish between that and revolutionary politics and also because of her sensitivity regarding Mr Nelson Mandela, who was at that stage in detention, in that light we dealt with her in a careful manner. Because that could easily have changed into a political embarrassment, questions in the parliament and so forth. That she, as was said yesterday, was untouchable and that everybody feared her, that I think is nonsense.

MR DU PLESSIS: Colonel, the investigative unit that you were involved in, that was not only to investigate her but to investigate internal security in general?

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: Can you tell us briefly the importance of the Mandela investigation in the broad picture.

MR POTGIETER: Mr Chair, one has to look here at the situation in general. The real threat for the National Party at that stage and for the establishment was the mobilisisation of the masses by alternative structures, peoples' sports, peoples' army, et cetera. The mobilisation of the masses was a problem. The role of an individual such as Mrs Mandela for instance, who was not involved in a specific structure at that stage, in proportion there were more investigations into bodies such as Cosas, Sanco, Potwa and so forth and members obviously of those organisations were detained.

MR DU PLESSIS: Let's look at two other aspects. There were questions regarding your link with Vlakplaas between Soweto security and Vlakplaas. Can you give us ...

MR POTGIETER: In the investigative unit if an MK member or an Apla member was arrested there were photos taken of the person or his number is identified in the terrorist album and then we would visit Vlakplaas, normally at the end of the month when their teams came back from their activities in other provinces and then we would search amongst the Askaris for persons who might possibly testify with regard to the arrested peoples' training overseas, their movements overseas, so that such statements could be taken and bound into the dockets for later testimonies. Vlakplaas was at that stage therefore a very important source of evidence for us around people who had been arrested. Then teams of Vlakplaas didn't often but sometimes deployed in Soweto for investigation purposes and sometimes their actions led to the arrest of certain MK members.

MR DU PLESSIS: One last aspect. There were also questions put to other people about your interrogation unit. Please elaborate a little about interrogations and assaults during interrogation. Let's begin first. Were you ever yourself involved with assault?

MR POTGIETER: No, it is not my style. However, I have been accused of it. There was an investigation in '76 of alleged assault. The Attorney-General refused to prosecute. Then during a high treason case one of the accused said that I hit the filling out of his tooth. That allegation was rejected by the Court, without my even being called in to explain, and the PAC Mgumazulu, one of the main witnesses said that in Soweto he had to do very strenuous exercises and that I had as Moseleke put it, was the gym trainer and allowed it to happen. We denied that allegation. I am also aware that tortures and assaults did take place. I know that people were accused of it and were found guilty of it.

MR DU PLESSIS: Are these people that worked under you?

MR POTGIETER: No. These are elsewhere in the country. Various cases.

MR DU PLESSIS: Let's first deal with people working under you because as I understand it when you were the chief you yourself didn't do the interrogation, people under you did it. Do you know of people under you assaulting, people being interrogated?

MR POTGIETER: No. At times I did the interrogation myself. As you will see in the annexures it is not my style to assault people and my staff knew that it was not allowed and Coetzee himself is not a kind of person who allows that. If people were assaulted, if that had happened I cannot dispute but that happens in the heat of the moment. Purposeful torturing in my term of office I did not allow.

MR DU PLESSIS: During your time as a security policeman were you aware of other divisions in the country who committed assault under interrogation?

MR POTGIETER: In the media one saw it and I believe it happened. In this Commission we also saw that people admit to it. That they abused their power.

MR DU PLESSIS: So if I understand you correctly you don't dispute that it did happen in the broad sense?

MR POTGIETER: No, I don't.

CHAIRPERSON: Please proceed. I just thought I would give you a slight warning light.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman. Good Colonel. I think we covered all of those aspects which I wanted of cover outside of the statement. Let us go to the statement. Paragraph 25. You may skip the rest.

MR POTGIETER: That is the death and the interrogation of Sizwe interrogation of Sithole.

MR DU PLESSIS: That is correct.

MR POTGIETER: Mrs Mandela said in her evidence the abovementioned was the father of one of her grandchildren and that it was killed by the police. The situation with regard to Sithole and some of the other youths she has been with who had been killed or died in Soweto is as follows according to what I think. Mrs Mandela, through what she said and confrontation and because of the fact that she didn't have respect for the NP and the government, entrenched herself amongst the youth. The youth who had been with her have been influenced by her and they were untouchable because she has been seen as "the mother of the nation who should protect them". Mrs Mandela also, because of her own evidence, allowed that a number of other military trained MK members visited her house and she also has been friends with youth who could be seen as militants and they had been seen as her big brothers. In this regard especially I would like to refer you to statements which specifically relates to that. We also don't have evidence to the effect that Mrs Mandela and the other youths who had been part of the football club could be involved in that. I think that Mrs Mandela is responsible for the deaths of those individuals mentioned; Sithole, a youth in the abovementioned category - I am not exactly sure about the date but another youth called Kenneth Dhlamine also known as Sithole was killed with an AK47 assault weapon. Kenneth Dhlamini was during 1987 detained by the security branch in terms of section 29 in another case. We can find this evidence in annexure JP 7, paragraph 7. Persons who have seen the murder of Dhlamini, it identified Sithole as the murderer. Sithole succeeded in not being arrested and got away during the time that he was still free. There were a number of shootings in Soweto. Those were on members of the S A Police and a number of those people were killed. Ballistic investigations indicated that two AK47 rifles were involved in this. One of the AK47 weapons was ballistically linked with the murder of Dhlamini. A young man in possession of an AK47 rifle was arrested and at a later stage he seemed to have been Sizwe Sithole. And he was taken to the Protea security branch. As unit head I was told that he was arrested. In terms of Act 51 everything was afterwards all right. Sithole was further interrogated as far as I can remember. He made certain admissions. I can't remember detail. The AK47 which was in his possession was taken by hand to the ballistic unit and we have been informed telephonically that that was the weapon with which Dhlamini was murdered and which was used in other shootings. After my allowed 48 hours of detention he was freed in terms of section 29. I can't exactly remember what was the reason for why he was detained in the John Vorster Plein police cells. I suppose because of the constructural changes they were accommodated in other places. I did not lead the interrogation but I did speak to him and I asked him how he was. I didn't want to involve myself in the interrogation of those people because my staff are competent. At this stage Sithole had no complaints with regard to his physical condition. He was also not interrogated in one of the soundproof units but in one of the other offices. He didn't seem to be depressed or emotionally unstable. A few days after his arrest, at about 17h00, I was informed telephonically that Sithole died during detention in John Vorster and I was told so at home. Because of the fact that he was linked with the Mandela family Mr De Klerk, the state president, then appointed a judicial commission for this purpose under Judge Goldstone. We have written a briefing with regard to this. Documentation with regard to notes by Mr Augustyn were shown to me and those indicate that Mr Sithole by misdeeds could be involved in those. I also don't recall any involvement by Mrs Mandela by Sithole. I would, however, like to refer to the investigation and the record of in camera evidence by Judge Goldstone in which it is being referred to Mr Augustyn where mention is made of Mrs Mandela and her daughter. No further documentation in my investigation could provide any link between Mrs Mandela and her daughter on the one hand and Mr Sithole on the other hand and his criminal deeds.

MR DU PLESSIS: I assume tht it's gpoing to take a long time to complete this declaration, I propose that we ask Col Potgieter to concentrate on those issues which I know questions have been asked by the Committee. If that is satisfactory to you. Otherwise I will have to let Col Potgieter read everything and maybe other aspects are in the statement. They addressed the issues but they may not be so relevant that you want to have it read out.

CHAIRPERSON: I would be grateful if you would follow that line and it is now half an hour.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Chairman. The reason for this is that we are trying to be as complete as possible. Colonel, let us just move on to the second aspect, paragraph B and the handling of informants and Mrs Mandela. I don't want you to cover the general aspects, I would just like to ask you one piece of information. Did you at a stage find out that Gerry Richardson was an informant?

MR POTGIETER: That is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: When was that?

MR POTGIETER: I think it was on the day that the late Frans Pretorius transported Gerry Richardson to the office. I had an interview with him and he said to me that he was on lunch and that he then also said to me that - spoke about the presence of the two MK members at his house.

MR DU PLESSIS: Colonel can I just quickly ask you also are you aware of any other and further informants that were used by the security branch?

MR POTGIETER: No.

MR DU PLESSIS: Fine. You said in paragraph 26.5 that you got a lot of information with regard to people who have been in detention and you also referred to examples of those with regard to Mrs Mandela that was never signed by her and Zinzi Mandela.

MR POTGIETER: Amongst others, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: And then paragraph 26.1, there was an affidavit by Joseph Makowena which disputed the evidence by Mrs Mandela in the in camera hearing. Do you see that? We don't have to elaborate on that. I merely refer to that. Paragraph C page 26 of the document. The assault on Stompie Seipei. In paragraph 27.3 you refer to the investigation diary.

MR POTGIETER: That is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: Which is the diary of Lieutenant Dempsey. That is the docket of the police.

MR POTGIETER: I got it from it from the Attorney-General.

MR DU PLESSIS: You were never involved in the investigation regarding Stompie Seipei. We then go on to paragraph D. The link between different units of the S A Police and the murder and investigation unit. The only point I want to make is that we deal with a Stratcom operation called Operation Jackal quite in detail which did not necessarily involve Mrs Mandela but which was a wider operation. We then move on to paragraph E at page 35. The use of intelligence material with regard to intelligence units and matters with regard to Mrs Mandela and the Mandela United Football Club. I am not going to ask any questions on that. Paragraph F, which is a warning that was done at the Attorney-General in connection with Themba Mabotha. I would just like you to read that to the Committee because there were a number of questions asked about that. Could you kindly read paragraph 1 page 33 to the the centre of the page.

MR POTGIETER: I attached a warning statement to the

Attorney-General with regard to this matter for completeness purposes and I repeat the information as set out in that statement below. I was informed that his body had been blown up with explosives. I was also told that it was alleged that I had handed the deceased on the day of his release from detention, 4 October 1989, to members of the Vlakplaas unit for the purpose that they were to kill him and that I was now an accomplice to his murder.

Skip paragraph 2. Paragraph 3: It is apparently common cause that the deceased was killed as recorded, that is to say shortly after he was handed by me to De Kock. I deny in the strongest possible terms that I handed him with the purpose of having him killed and the reason for this as well as the surrounding circumstances appears from the following.

"During the time of 1987 to 1989 I worked as investigation chief at Soweto. In '89 I got instructions from Pretoria to investigate high treason against Mrs Mandela and to give the docket to the Attorney-General Wits for his decision. The motivation with this instruction was that Mrs Mandela lived in Soweto and that she, according to information, had been involved in various actions as recorded. During the running of this investigation I obtained evidence, documentation and other material. It was seen to that Mrs Mandela's phones at her home and at her office were tapped in terms of the Post Office Act section 118. During the tapping the name of a person named George Johannes Mabotha appeared and it could be deduced that he was a trained MK member. During tapping it was determined that George found himself in Marble Hall, that he needed money to return to Soweto and that he asked Mrs Mandela to telegraph money to the local Marble Hall post office for him. Upon receipt of the mentioned money George was arrested 0by the security police Soweto, although I was not personally present. According to the detention registers he was arrested on 4 April and was detained in accordance with section 29 of the Internal Security Act. He was released on the 4th October".

MR DU PLESSIS: Do you have that detention register?

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: Did you get it from the Attorney-General? You got photocopies.

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: You will give it to the Commission.

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: Colonel, this information that you give here with regard to the telephone conversation and the information gained out of it, did you come to your knowledge before Mabotha was arrested or when Mabotha was handed over to you in terms of section 29?

MR POTGIETER: It is very difficult for me, Mr Chair, to say whether it was before or after. It is more probable that it was after handing him over because the conversations of Mrs Mandela with other MK members are on tapes. I listened to the tapes, I gave them to the Attorney-General last week, of certain of her conversations. The tapes, not only transcriptions. And surely if I had determined at that stage that there was an MK member I would have kept those cassettes as well. So I believe that it took place after he was arrested, after he was handed over to me. That I knew that it had been because of the conversations.

MR DU PLESSIS: Colonel, let's just explain to the Commission what happened. You can just confirm whether it is correct. The tapes concerned were duplicate tapes made by you in normal office task.

MR POTGIETER: When I was busy with this high treason case I asked Bosman for copies of the tapes, working copies, and those things were retained until this day for some or other reason.

MR DU PLESSIS: Good. And when you consulted with me the first time you brought those tapes to my office and handed them to me, is that correct?

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: And you told me which information was on the tapes and there wasn't any info on the tapes relating to what was mentioned in the subpoena, is that correct?

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: There are, however, conversations with regard to aspects about which questions were asked in the in camera hearing and also during the other hearing in November which the Commission might be interested in and on my advice you gave the tapes to the Attorney-General and they are in his possession and are at the disposal of the Commission to go and listen to. It wasn't possible for us in this limited time to make transcriptions for the Commission.

MR POTGIETER: That is correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: Colonel, you have now heard evidence with regard to the question of assault on Mabotha after arrest. Were there any signs of assault on Mabotha's body when he was handed over to you for detention?

MR POTGIETER: No. Because the moment when a person is detained in terms of section 29 he must be examined by a district surgeon. The district surgeons connecting to the Biko case of long ago would certainly have recorded any kind of marks and documented them and brought it to my attention. There was no such case, I was not aware that this man had been assaulted. He had no marks of assault on his body.

MR DU PLESSIS: Good. Do you know whether he was handed to you on the same day that he was arrested?

MR POTGIETER: It appears to me that it was not the case. If one looks at the statement of Chappies Klopper it seems as if Mabotha first went to point out certain things, other places that I don't know of and then as you will see in my evidence I speak of the detention period as it was in the registers so I don't know. There seems to be a big discrepancy between the day on which he was arrested and the day on which he was detained. I am not sure what happened there. That appears to be the case if one looks at the statement under oath of Mrs Ngadimeng. You must remember that a person can be detained only for six months in terms of section 29 and before you could go to the revision committee, which I couldn't do because the interrogation had been completed, I couldn't get a warrant under section 31 because the Attorney-General had not given a finding so I had to release Mabotha. So this is - if he had been detained since February that means he was detained for eight months. I don't know, I don't understand it.

MR DU PLESSIS: Let's assume that he was assaulted and that he was brought to Soweto and that he was handed to you and that he had been seriously assaulted as you have heard.

MR POTGIETER: My reaction would have been negative. If I listen to the degree of his assault then there would have been an investigation.

MR DU PLESSIS: And everyone who worked with you in the security branch knew what your attitude would have been.

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: Would you say that from your opinion of this matter that they could have detained him elsewhere for those two months?

MR POTGIETER: Yes, that might be. That seems probable.

MR DU PLESSIS: On page 40.

CHAIRPERSON: We have obviously had an opportunity to study the entire document quite carefully, particularly our leaders of evidence. I am wondering in view of the time factor whether he could simply confirm that this is his evidence before us for the record so we could then go to questioning and if you need to come back at any time obviously you will be allowed to do that.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, may I be afforded the opportunity just to check if there is anything else that I wanted to ask him about apart from the statement. If you would just bear with me for one moment.

CHAIRPERSON: Of course.

MR POTGIETER: Mr Chair, in the light thereof I would like to point out some errors to you. On page 55 paragraph 35.4 I said - dit moet wees volgens die aanhoudings register. Dan op bladsy 31, Meneer die Voorsitter paragraaf 31, die eerste reël met my diens aanvaarding as intelligensie hoof en nie as interne eenheids hoof nie.

CHAIRPERSON: We will adjust that accordingly, thank you. MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I have one or two further questions then I am finished. Colonel, you said on page 43 that you had no direct knowledge of why Mabotha was not used in the Sepei case. You read the record of Advocate Chris van Vuuren and said that he indicated that Mabotha was an unreliable witness and that that was why he was not called. That which Van Vuuren said, was that ever conveyed to you?

MR POTGIETER: No, it was not. I never spoke to Van Vuuren and never got feedback as to why they didn't call him as a witness. I assumed that Captain Dempsey had complied with my request.

MR DU PLESSIS: Colonel was there ever anything said on the relationship between Mabotha and Mrs Mandela by anybody else in the security branch?

MR POTGIETER: No. Definitely not and it is for that reason that I said that Mr De Kock's evidence was false because I was totally unaware of that fact and apart from Mr De Kock's hearing yesterday was the first time I

heardADV SANDI: of it.

MR DU PLESSIS: If there were such evidence would you accept that it might be?

MR POTGIETER: Yes, it might have been but I didn't have opportunity for such nonsense.

MR DU PLESSIS: Did you have any orders from Colonel De Kock? Would you be able to give orders to De Kock?

MR POTGIETER: No, Colonel De Kock was my senior.

MR DU PLESSIS: Would there be any reason why you would have wanted Mabotha killed if you wanted to use him as evidence in a case afterwards?

MR POTGIETER: No, definitely not.

MR DU PLESSIS: Were you then aware that Vlakplaas had eliminated certain persons?

MR POTGIETER: No, I wasn't.

MR DU PLESSIS: Did Mabotha ever tell you during interrogation - you were responsible for the interrogation of Mabotha?

MR POTGIETER: Over a period of six months.

MR DU PLESSIS: And you had a good relationship with him?

MR POTGIETER: Very definitely.

MR DU PLESSIS: Did he ever tell you something with regard to the shooting of policemen?

MR POTGIETER: Definitely not.

MR DU PLESSIS: For which Mabotha had been responsible?

MR POTGIETER: No, definitely not and there weren't any dockets or evidence in that regard either.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you for your co-operation. I appreciate that very much. Mr Prior are you going to start? Can I suggest again that bearing in mind the length of this and the importance of this that you try to restrict yourself to 20 minutes and then Mr Pigou for a further 20 minutes. Let's try and see if we can.

MR PRIOR: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Potgieter, Mr Du Toit, did you regard him as a competent policeman?

MR POTGIETER: I have no reason to believe that he wasn't competent. The investigations conducted under my command was done fairly well.

MR PRIOR: Were you aware of Mr Mabotha's arrest on the 22nd February 1989? As testified to by Mr Du Toit and as evidenced by the statement he took from Mr Mabotha on the 24th February 1989 at Soweto police station. Or Protea police station.

MR POTGIETER: Mr Chair I am lost where this case is concerned. The documentation showed that the statement was handed to him a month after Mabotha's arrest. The detention register also indicates a time after Mr Du Toit's date that he testified. There aren't any facts to tell me when Mabotha was arrested so I really cannot tell you that he was arrested on that specific date.

MR PRIOR: In the normal course of events such an arrest would have been brought to your attention, do you agree?

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR PRIOR: And there was no reason that we heard from Mr Du Toit for them to have kept this information away from you, as the head of the investigating component of the security branch at Soweto?

MR POTGIETER: Yes. Let me just tell you of another scenario. I am thinking of the year, the dates. There was a marathon criminal investigation ...

MR PRIOR: I don't know if the witness is clarifying anything, I am satisfied with the answer.

MR DU PLESSIS: No Mr Chairman, with respect the witness is trying to explain the answer further and if he could be given the opportunity, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: If you could do that quite briefly because we're satisfied.

MR POTGIETER: What I want to say I was at a criminal hearing in Pretoria and for periods of six weeks at a time I was away from my base. Unfortunately I have only the diary of '87 but not '88 and '89 so I can't say where I was at that stage. Maybe I was there, maybe I wasn't. I don't remember anything.

MR PRIOR: Can you tell us who made the entry in the detention register of 4th April 1989?

MR DU TOIT: I cannot identify the handwriting. But yes there was a person who handled the register but whether he made the entry himself I will not be able to tell.

MR PRIOR: Alright you're unable to identify the handwriting. Well are you able, knowing the facts as you do now, are you able to explain to the Commission the two month period in which Mabotha apparently was in the custody of your security branch? Can you explain that?

MR POTGIETER: I cannot.

MR PRIOR: Well isn't one of the most acceptable explanation in the circumstances, given the evidence of Mr De Kock, Mr Chappies Klopper and Mr Mabotha's girlfriend I understand, Evodia Ngadimeng, that he was seen at Soweto - sorry he had been assaulted severely and he had been seen at the Soweto police station. That was in February of 1989.

MR POTGIETER: I cannot explain that.

MR PRIOR: And that the reason why he was only entered into the detention register was to allow - well the period that had elapsed was to allow the injuries to heal.

MR POTGIETER: Where does one detain somebody, where does one hide one?

MR PRIOR: Does the security branch at Soweto have another holding facility that we have not heard about?

MR POTGIETER: No. Definitely not. Like I have told you at a stage our cells didn't work, they made it soundproof so that everybody could speak to everybody and it was out of order for a long time. We kept all our detainees at the same place and Mr Jaloors also went as far as Pretoria but where somebody is kept at a different centre he still is being indicated in the same register. In Mabotha's case you will see that at a stage he went to the Protea cells and then General Coetzee - he was kept at the Gen Johan Coetzee police station and then also he was detained at De Deur where he was freed and he was handed over to Mr De Kock. So no matter where somebody is detained that is the register and that is the so-called paper trail.

MR PRIOR: Mr Klopper was also a member of the Soweto security branch?

MR POTGIETER: That is correct, yes.

MR PRIOR: Can you think of any reason why he would suggest that Mr Mabotha was severely assaulted at Marble Hall?

MR POTGIETER: No, that is what he also said during the De Kock trial.

MR PRIOR: In other words is there any reason why you could think him saying so? It would appear from your submissions and your evidence that you had wanted to use Mr Mabotha as a witness. Is that correct?

MR POTGIETER: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRIOR: You fostered a good relationship with him.

MR POTGIETER: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: Did you ask him why he had absconded from Vlakplaas?

MR PRIOR: No, he said that he was taken from Mamelodi, that was his version.

MR PRIOR: Kidnapped or abducted.

MR POTGIETER: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: Well did you ever ask him why he did not retuen to Vlakplaas under his own steam? That couldn't have been very difficult for him to do.

MR POTGIETER: No, I never asked him because I never thought of it.

MR PRIOR: I understand from your evidence or from your submissions which are part of your evidence that you had a dilemma at some stage when you found or learnt that the Attorney-General wasn't interested in prosecuting Mrs Mandela, therefore the need to keep Mr Mabotha fell away largely, is that correct?

MR POTGIETER: No, let me tell you what the position was in that regard. The docket was given to Advocate Von Lieres. I then initially had written a 50 page report to Mr Von Lieres. That was my brief, I said I would give that to him in the meantime. I will give him a docket because he has been waiting for it. Mr Von Lieres then studied that report, he later indicated that because of the time factor he would hardly be able to prosecute Mrs Mandela. I reported to the head office in Pretoria as such and they were adamant that the docket should be completed and should be delivered to Mr Von Lieres. We then proceeded and I prepared it scientifically. Like I have said before it wasn't finalised. There were certain other evidence but we prepared the docket and we gave it to Mr Von Lieres. And there it stayed. Now I found myself in the dilemma that Mr Mabotha was detained. Von Lieres didn't reach a decision, I couldn't get a warrant and I couldn't lie to the revision committee and tell them that I would still like to keep him detained. I couldn't do that and that was my dilemma. What would I do under those circumstances. If Von Lieres turned around and said bring him to me and he wanted to see him, what would my position be? That was the situation. And that is also in my statement. I don't know whether that is an answer to your question.

MR PRIOR: Well it would seem that you did not know what to do with Mr Mabotha, there were no legal or lawful grounds to hold him further.

MR POTGIETER: That is true.

MR PRIOR: So you had to release him, is that correct?

MR POTGIETER: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: You decided to hand him over or to make contact with Vlakplaas again, to Col De Kock. Is that correct?

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR PRIOR: Did you discuss that with Mr Mabotha whether he was comfortable with that arrangement?

MR POTGIETER: I have discussed it with him and in the document further you will see that I also had another arrangement with him. I said in the document if it was intolerable for him he could go to his family.

MR PRIOR: Why would it have become intolerable? Did you suspect that he would be in some form of trouble?

MR POTGIETER: You must bear in mind that I had a condition of trust with Mr Mabotha. His wellbeing was important to me. I didn't know what to expect at Vlakplaas. I didn't know what the attitude would be.

MR PRIOR: Why did you not simply sent him home and you would have had his address and you would have known where to get hold of him.

MR POTGIETER: It is perhaps easy to ask that now but at that stage I saw that as the best option and the best decision.

MR PRIOR: And you say you gave him a train fare or a train ticket, if things became intolerable he could then walk off and catch a train to Pietersburg, is that what you are saying.

MR POTGIETER: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRIOR: You then indicated also that at De Deur you handed him over to Mr De Kock.

MR POTGIETER: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: And did he seem quite happy to go with Mr De Kock?

MR POTGIETER: Yes. You must bear in mind that at that stage there was a good relationship with Mr Mabotha. It is difficult to tell but one builds up a relationship with somebody, he becomes a dependant of you and he agreed to go to Vlakplaas.

MR PRIOR: Mr de Kock via his legal representative has indicated to the previous witness that the assault on Mabotha was one of the most gruesome that he has ever witnessed. Did Mr Mabotha in this close relationship that you built up whilst he was in detention, did he ever confide in you that he was severely beaten, as Mr De Kock will later describe?

MR POTGIETER: No, I doubt that I asked him because when he came to me there were no signs of any assaults and I didn't ask him that. The first time I have heard of the assault was when there was evidence by Chappies Klopper in that regard.

MR PRIOR: It appears, and I get the impression from your submissions and your evidence and your statement that you met in a car or you parked your car some distance out of De Deur and it was handed over. De Kock arrived there in a vehicle. Why didn't you meet at the police station?

MR POTGIETER: I did go to the police station. I was sitting in my car at the police station.

MR PRIOR: Within the precincts, the premises of the police station?

MR POTGIETER: No it was next to the police station. I mean it was within sight of the police station.

MR PRIOR: I want to just suggest to you given what we have heard so far in respect of Mr Mabotha it just seems to me highly unlikely that Mr Mabotha would have been willing to go with Mr De Kock, having been severely beaten up and assaulted some months prior. It doesn't jell with one's understanding of human nature.

MR POTGIETER: If I had known that Mabotha was assaulted in the manner in which Mr De Kock says he was surely I wouldn't have returned him to Vlakplaas.

MR PRIOR: Yes, that is what amazes us, Mr Potgieter. Mr Potgieter in this relationship he obviously told you intimate details of his personal life. Is that correct?

MR POTGIETER: He may have, but I mean even his relationship with what we heard with Mrs Mandela, I didn't discuss that with him. He didn't tell me about it.

MR PRIOR: Now after you handed him over to Mr De Kock did you ever follow - well you indicated that you did follow up, you sent the communique to the security police at Pietersburg, is that correct, to find out whether he arrived at his home.

MR POTGIETER: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: And that later transpired that he did not arrive there.

MR POTGIETER: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: And did you follow that up any further?

MR POTGIETER: No.

MR PRIOR: How so you explain your evidence a short while ago you were concerned about his welfare.

MR POTGIETER: At that point it was quite clear to me that November 1989 had arrived, the Rivonia 7 were released and for all practical purposes the ANC and the PAC was unbanned, although it was only officially in February 1990 and I then realised that never in a month of Sundays was Von Lieres going to prosecute. That is why I didn't follow it up any further.

MR PRIOR: So you lost interest.

MR POTGIETER: I beg yours?

MR PRIOR: Did you lose interest to a certain extent.

MR POTGIETER: Yes I had other matters to deal with.

MR PRIOR: Now you categorically denied the allegations of Mr De Kock where he says - he gives a completely different version to what you tell this Commission.

MR POTGIETER: It is not complete.

MR PRIOR: Well insofar as the handling of Mr Mabotha is concerned.

MR POTGIETER: Well the instruction. I mean that is the only point that I differ with him.

MR PRIOR: Are you saying that you handed him over to Mr De Kock for a sort of safekeeping?

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR PRIOR: Were you aware whether Vlakplaas had any such facilities?

MR POTGIETER: Yes. You see there was an instruction as well, and I am sure that it is attached to the statement, that there was a written instruction from head office that MK people who were not prosecuted were to be recruited to perform functions at Vlakplaas. And I have attached that in my declaration.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prior I am just reminding you you have 20 minutes already so if you could bear that in mind.

MR PRIOR: I am coming to the end, Mr Chairman. Is it not the position that you discussed Mr Mabotha's future with Mr De Kock, as Mr De Kock has described in his amnesty application, that you gave a directive or you gave an indication that Mr Mabotha was to be eliminated?

MR POTGIETER: No, I deny that.

MR PRIOR: Did you not suggest that he had been involved with the killing of policemen?

MR POTGIETER: No.

MR PRIOR: Had Mr Babotha not indicated to you that he had been involved in any unlawful activity when he had gone back to or had been co-opted by Mrs Mandela?

MR POTGIETER: There was no such admission that he was involved in any such instances and there were no other evidence that he was involved in that way.

MR PRIOR: I want to suggesdt that in the light of the evidence as we know it your version is highly improbable, given the circumstances of Mr Mabotha's arrest, the vicious beating that he suffered at the hands of the security forces, that he was as you indicated a willing and co-operative person and that he willingly went over with Mr De Kock who shortly thereafter caused his death.

MR POTGIETER: No, Mr Chairman, I have already said that I find myself in a dilemma because it was brought to my advocate's attention earlier today otherwise I could have kept quiet about it. No, I don't agree with you.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman may I perhaps just enquire in respect of the last question where my learned friend suggested to the witness that his version is high improbable I just want to enquire if that means that my learned friend accepts then that the version of Mr De Kock is probable?

MR PRIOR: Well we don't want to debate that but it's certainly on all the available evidence and circumstances seems the more probable version, with respect.

CHAIRPERSON: We can come back to that.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Pigou.

MR PIGOU: Thank you Chairman.

MR PRIOR: Yes, thank you Mr Chairman.

MR PIGOU: Thank you Chairman.

Mr Potgieter, I just want to start off with a general questions. Have you had the opportunity to read the statements that have been submitted by your former colleagues from the Soweto security branch?

MR POTGIETER: The persons who testified?

MR PIGOU: Yes, that is correct.

MR POTGIETER: I read them during the hearing as they testified.

MR PIGOU: Okay. And you have heard their testimony.

MR POTGIETER: I beg yours?

MR PIGOU: You have heard their testimony? You were present?

MR POTGIETER: That is correct.

MR PIGOU: Are you satisfied with the responses of your former colleagues? Do you think that they have been candid with the commission, in terms of the questions that have been put to them? And I am not asking for specifics, I am asking for a general impression.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I don't think that is a fair question to this witness.

MR PIGOU: With respect, Mr ...

MR DU PLESSIS: At the end of the day the Commission has to make a decision which witness was a credible witness, which witness should be believed or not. It is not for this witness to come and say I think Mr Augustyn was a good witness or Mr Lemmer was not a good witness or whatever. This witness has given evidence and in every instance where his evidence contradicted the other witnesses I have pointed that out. I have pointed it out every time in cross-examination. It is an unfair question.

MR PIGOU: But I just point out, Mr Chair, that this is not an amnesty hearing and we are allowed to elicit the opinions of individuals in an investigative enquiry. I am trying to find out whether he thinks on the basis of what he has heard, a general impression whether he thinks they have been candid with this Commission.

Whether they have provided information, all the information they possibly could with regards to the general issues and to the specific issues that he may have knowledge of.

CHAIRPERSON: I think you must continue and leave that question.

MR PIGOU: So we are saying they are refusing. Okay. Or - okay, fine.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

MR PIGOU: I want to go to your statement and I don't think you need to refer to it but when you are talking about the structure of the security branch you refer to there being over 200 members in the security branch in Protea, is that correct?

MR POTGIETER: I saw that Gen Nienaber puts it at approximately 100 as well as Mr De Jager. I did not know all the individuals at the Soweto branch and to me it appeared as if there were many, and I estimated in the vicinity of 200. I may be wrong, I may be correct.

MR PIGOU: But you would agree that it is a remarkable discrepancy between the two estimates because Mr Nienaber and Mr Coetzee say approximately 100 plus and you are saying 200 plus. It is a considerable difference in terms of your capacity to operate in Soweto.

MR POTGIETER: For instance I don't even, with all respect to the family of Mr Pretorius, I can't even recall ever having met the young man.

MR PIGOU: Okay. I just want to move on to evidence that you have submitted about section 29, that people over the rank of lieutenant colonel, rank of lieutenant colonel and over have the ability, if they thought it was necessary, or if they had proof that a person was trying to undermine the state ...[intervention]

MR DU PLESSIS: In the opinion.

MR PIGOU: In the opinion of. Thank you. How many members of the security branch in Protea roughly, an estimate, had those kind of powers to make that kind of decision?

MR POTGIETER: I would roughly say about four.

MR PIGOU: Okay, now you have indicated that people originally went for the 30 day period and then to get an extension you could get that with the help of the minister and that was often how it was facilitated. Is that correct?

MR POTGIETER: The procedure was that the lieutenant colonel or senior member would authorise the detention. Head office would be informed of the detention. They would then supply a detention number and all correspondence will then be done in terms of that. That was for the first 30 days. That warrant of the lieutenant colonel and senior. With the lapse of 30 days you would have had to obtain a warrant signed by the minister of law and order at the time, Mr Vlok and company, and in order to get that you would have, on the 28th day of detention you would then submit an application to head office which they would then submit to the minister and you would get your warrant and thereafter at the end of six months you would have to apply to the overseeing committee.

MR PIGOU: No, thank you for that but have you indicated - you have indicated that the minister was quite helpful in this regard in terms of providing extensions. You didn't have a particular problem with getting extensions.

MR POTGIETER: If your reasons for detention was - there was merit in your application you wouldn't have had a problem.

MR PIGOU: Thanks. I want to put to you a situation which arose in the Supreme Court in Witwatersrand in 1995 during a civil case against the former minister of law and order, Mr Hernus Kriel, where the Courts ruled in favour of the plaintiff and awarded the former Umkhonto we Sizwe commander a sum of R180 000 for illegal detention and torture in custody of the Vaal Triangle security police. Now what I am putting to you is that the Minister in that particular incident was purported to have sent a blank fax copy of the detention order with his signature on to the security branch in Vereeniging before, some several days, in fact several weeks if I believe, before the MK commander Mr Mapalala was due to be re-detained, that is 30 days. Now what I am trying to find out is did that happen in the Soweto security branch? Did you get that kind of - in the Soweto security branch did you get that kind of assistance from the minister?

MR POTGIETER: I wasn't that lucky. I wish I had some of those blank warrants.

MR PIGOU: Okay. Just quickly on the overseeing committee could you tell us what the composition of that committee was? Was it all policemen? Who made up that committee?

MR POTGIETER: Which committee is this?

MR PIGOU: The overseeing committee that decided on whether detention continued after six months.

MR POTGIETER: No, the overseeing committee consisted I think of a retired judges or director generals appointed by either the minister or parliament. I am not quite sure. I can't recall. They were independent officials.

MR PIGOU: Thank you. Now you have referred to also in your statement that files were kept on the detainees that they contain warrants, charges, visits by magistrates, doctors and so forth. Now we know that up to the period of about 1986 I think it was, the director of the security legislation in Pretoria kept those files and the Commission has had access to those files in Pretoria. Now the period we are talking about, which is after that, where were these files kept? Were they kept at head office, the security branch head office? Where were those files kept?

MR POTGIETER: We had a file at grassroots level where the person was detained with all the details in it. I am sure that head office would have a file as well where correspondence was filed but they wouldn't necessarily have the magistrate's reports unless there was complaints. If there was a complaint by any detainee a report would have been sent to head office and head office would send it down with a memo to ask wie, waar, wanneer, hoekom, et cetera, et cetera. We would get a copy of that as well. But I don't know what - I have never seen the files of head office. I don't know what they look like, I don't know what it contained.

MR PIGOU: Both Mr Nienaber and Mr Coetzee said in their statements that there was no surveillance unit in Soweto. In the light of the information that you gathered during the courses of your investigations as the investigator into activities around Winnie Mandela, did you not motivate for the need, and we have seen the statements that you put in the back of your submission to this Commission, and obviously there was a lot of activity going on around Mrs Mandela. Did you ever motivate for the need for surveillance and for the need to beef up your capacity to see what Mrs Mandela was doing?

MR POTGIETER: We did not have a surveillance unit and as I mentioned in my statement somewhere the area in which Mrs Mandela lived was pro ANC and pro Mandela. We had instances where persons were shot at, policemen were wounded, persons from Escom were shot at. It was risky. It was really risky and I would say nigh impossible to have surveillance conducted for any length of period.

MR PIGOU: So no efforts were made into looking at the possibilities, a concerted effort into looking at the possibilities of improving your surveillance in terms of physical surveillance, watching the comings and goings in that house - in various houses?

MR POTGIETER: We obtained ample evidence about the coming and goings from the persons whom we detained in terms of section 29. I invite you to approach the Attorney-General. I think there are in excess of 100 statements there that supplied us with information.

MR PIGOU: Okay, thanks. I want to move on to the death of Sergeant Pretorius quickly. Now how is it possible that you as the head of the - and I am going to just term it the Winnie Mandela investigations - that such a crucial source of information as close to Mrs Mandela as Jerry Richardson, that this information was not made available to you. Now we have heard that he became the source sometime at the end of 1987 or the beginning of 1988. You are telling us today that you first heard about this in November 1988, at the time of his arrest. How is it possible that that information was withheld from you, considering the position that you held as the commanding officer so to speak of this investigation into Mrs Mandela?

MR POTGIETER: It was never policy or whatever to divulge the identity of informers and I was never told that there was an informer recruited in the Mandela household, close to the Mandela household or whatever. I was totally unaware of it and I never received reports containing valuable intelligence regarding the activities going on.

MR PIGOU: It seems highly improbable, you have just mentioned that you didn't know Mr Pretorius, I mean it seems highly improbable that there have got Mr Pretorius who is the handler of Mr Richardson and you don't know about - apparently you don't know Mr Pretorius even existed inside the security branch. He is handling Mr Richardson and you don't know about this. I mean surely it would have been of great importance for you to be able to liaise with Pretorius in terms of trying to request certain aspects of information to further your investigations.

MR POTGIETER: Surely if I had known that Pretorius had such a sensitively and well placed informer I would have definitely had liaison with ...

MR PIGOU: Well when you found out about this were you angry, did you do anything about it, did you report this to your superiors that that information was being withheld from you?

MR POTGIETER: Well listening to what Watermeyer testified yesterday I don't think any intelligence of any ...

MR PIGOU: Yes but we are not talking about ...

MR POTGIETER: ... intelligence was obtained in any case.

MR PIGOU: But Mr Potgieter we are not talking about what was necessarily received. We are talking about what possibly could have been received in terms of proactive work by Pretorius and Gedebe in accessing certain aspects of information from Jerry Richardson. I mean that would have been absolutely crucial surely?

MR POTGIETER: If I had known that Mr Pretorius had such an informer I would most definitely have liaised with his commander and himself.

MR PIGOU: So would it be fair to say that you were not content with the situation when you discovered that he was an informer - that they had an informer?

MR POTGIETER: No, I was surprised and I think - ek dink ons was verbaas. We were surprised ... of having been able to place a source next to Mrs Mandela.

MR PIGOU: Okay, is it possible that the security branch intelligence or unit or Mr Watermeyer, Mr Pretorius, those people who were working in that section, withheld other information about sources close to Mrs Mandela?

If this information was withheld from you is it possible that other information was withheld from you?

MR POTGIETER: No, I don't know. I can't reply to that. I will tell you why.

MR PIGOU: Well surely it would be.

MR POTGIETER: No. I will tell you why. And I state this in Afrikaans. The investigation component has not trained people handling information. They don't always realise how sensitive the matter is and if there was a degree of conflict and it got known during interrogation the persons who investigated it made known to those people who interrogated them and it was then said that they are not going to tell those people this information again because the information component were not trained for this purpose and they didn't always know how to handle information. In other words it is possible that information could be withheld not to be silly but in order to protect the identity of those people.

MR PIGOU: ... was their co-ordination. I mean if you are all withholding information from each other or potentially doing that at what level were you actually talking to each other between the various sections?

MR POTGIETER: I am not saying that they withheld information, I said it is possible.

MR PIGOU: No, but then I am asking you the same question. At what levels were these discussions held where information was shared of the nature of sensitive informers and all the rest of it.

MR POTGIETER: As unit commanders we liaised on a daily basis with the commander. There were officers conferences every week where more staff aspects were discussed but at the unit heads conferences information were given to one another. We didn't have minutes, however.

MR PIGOU: ... I have got several questions to ask and I need to move on and I don't want too much of my 20 minutes taken up by responses if possible but try and get quick responses and I know that is going to depend on the nature of the question. Just very quickly Jerry Richardson was released two weeks or just about two weeks after his detention. Now we have heard from Mr Watermeyer's testimony that this was adequate cover to give him some sort of legitimate reason for having been arrested and then put back into the community. Can you tell us really whether that is the case because it seems highly improbable that MK cadres in Richardson's house, having been found there and killed and Sergeant Pretorius having been killed, that Richardson would not immediately have been charged or held under section 29 for a much longer period of time. Been charged with harbouring terrorists or something like that. I mean surely that would have been an obvious conclusion that people would have drawn.

MR POTGIETER: Richardson was detained for tactical reasons, in order to protect his contact with the security branch. His detention was, according to the register at least ... He was detained on the 4th November and was freed on the - I can't exactly read what it says but it could be 14 days that he was detained. It was more for tactical purposes. And we got the statement from him.

MR PIGOU: ... used such a sensitive witness - and this question was put to Mr Watermeyer yesterday and frankly I am not satisfied with the response. And I would like your response to it. In all honesty can we really expect that this was adequate cover in the nature of the incident that happened at Richardson's house? That after two weeks he could be released. People were detained with far less information for far longer.

MR POTGIETER: It depends on his cover. On the cover that - on the (indistinct) that he had. Probably a day could have been ample or two months could have ample. It was entirely their decision as to how long we should detain him.

MR PIGOU: Okay you also said after this you had no real contact with this particular source and I am asking you now why didn't you persuee information from this particular source particularly as he was the only person who was close to Mrs Mandela that you had a source on, you had been investigating this case for nearly two years and you sort of just say you leave it in the air, I don't know what happened, X, Y and Z. Can you explain why you didn't take more urgent steps to actually find out what the situation was. If Mr Richardson was not co-operating why was he not pulled in again and detained and charged in connection with the Pretorius incident?

MR POTGIETER: I can recall having made enquiries and I was told that he wouldn't even accept the reward for the information which led to the death of MK people and Sergeant Pretorius. So I took it for granted that contact had been severed.

MR PIGOU: Okay, but you didn't persuee the possibility of opening a charge against Richardson in this regard, in connection with the Pretorius incident?

MR POTGIETER: No.

MR PIGOU: Okay. Were you satisfied - well first of all was Norman Lemmer working directly under you in the investigation unit?

MR POTGIETER: That is correct.

MR PIGOU: Were you satisfied with the investigation he conducted into the death of Sergeant Pretorius?

MR POTGIETER: I can't recall having inspected the dossier but listening to his evidence it seems as if it was stretched out unnecessarily or ...

MR PIGOU: Well was he reporting to you in connection with this particular case? Were you his direct commander, were you overseeing his investigations?

MR POTGIETER: I was overseeing his investigations and I was the commander and then Col Langenhoven had become the head of the investigations and the terrorist cracking component as a single head and - during that period.

MR PIGOU: And did you concoct with Mr Lemmer a situation where members of the riot unit as well as members of the security branch made no mention at all of Jerry Richardson being arrested on the day of the Pretorius incident?

MR POTGIETER: I don't know whether Mr Lemmer concocted. I don't know. I never concocted with him.

MR PIGOU: Well does it not seem strange that no one mentions the fact that Richardson was there, not even a mention of a person being arrested. And not just members of the security branch who would have known about the sensitivity of informers. And one presumes that these other people wouldn't have even known that Richardson was an informer because you didn't even know. How would they know?

MR POTGIETER: I can't explain why it is. It wasn't necessary to exclude him.

MR PIGOU: Well I will just leave it with the fact that it seems highly irregular. I just want to move on ...

CHAIRPERSON: You have had 20 minutes.

MR PIGOU: I crave your indulgence. I am going to move through about seven issues very quickly. I am trying to be as quick as possible.

CHAIRPERSON: Quickly please and focused.

MR PIGOU: Yes of course. The Lolo Sono incident. Norman Lemmer admitted yesterday that he took statements from Nicodemus Sono. Well we have deducted that it could have only been Nicodemus Sono and Mr Tjabalala. I wanted to know whether that information was passed on to you, as again the investigating officer of Winnie Mandela cases. Winnie Mandela was implicated directly in this statement. Was that information passed to you?

MR POTGIETER: The disappearance of Lolo Sono?

MR PIGOU: That is correct. The abduction, yes.

MR POTGIETER: No, during my interview with Richardson he mentioned the name of Sono. I can't remember Tjabalala's name. And frankly I wasn't even aware that Mr Lemmer had taken statements from ....

MR PIGOU: So his testimony is you were not made aware by Mr Lemmer of the information which would have been of crucial importance to you with regards to the Sono case. Because there was information implicating Mrs Mandela directly in an abduction. A yes or no will do. You weren't made aware?

MR POTGIETER: No, I am not running away. Other information at my disposal indicated that Mrs Mandela had allegedly seen Lolo Sono abroad and that information is now it the possession of the Attorney-General.

MR PIGOU: So again as briefly as possible you did not make a connection between the Richardson incident, the death of cadres and the disappearance of Lolo Sono and Sevenese Tjabalala.

MR POTGIETER: As far as I was concerned that they weren't abducted, that they were sent out for military training. And I kept that tape recording as it was part of the treason docket that was being prepared.

MR PIGOU: So the investigation was conducted subsequently by Mr Dempsey from the murder and robbery unit, it would be fair to say that it was hampered by the fact that you had never made information available from the security branch that Richardson was an informer, that he could have persueed that link between the two cases, the Pretorius case and the actual abduction.

MR POTGIETER: I personally informed Dempsey, I listened to the evidence yesterday, I personally informed Dempsey that Richardson had been an informer. I did say so that he would be aware of the calibre person he was dealing with and I can recall, I am not positive I don't want to put Von Lieres in a tight spot but I am sure that I had a discussion with Von Lieres as well concerning him.

MR PIGOU: Okay.

MR POTGIETER: The accused in Stompie Sepei's case had been an informer for the security branch.

MR PIGOU: Okay. I just want to refer briefly now to the interview with Mrs Mandela in connection with the Oupa Sehere case. Mrs Mandela doesn't recall making that specific statement but she responded I think in the in camera hearing the first day pages 103 and 4 that she made many statements and that she was arrested "time without number". Now can you tell us during your period of investigating in 1987 did she make many statements or is this the only statement that she made?

MR POTGIETER: This is the only statement that I know of.

MR PIGOU: Okay. And secondly was she arrested "time without number" during this period?

MR POTGIETER: I couldn't hear you.

MR PIGOU: Was she arrested "time without number" during this period?

MR POTGIETER: No. And neither was her house searched three to four times a night.

MR PIGOU: Was she arrested at all during this period?

MR POTGIETER: Not that I am aware of.

MR PIGOU: Okay, thank you. I want to now turn to the testimony of Mr Lemmer yesterday about the statement taken from Kutesa Dbakhulu in March 1990 and I believe in your evidence you say that he was held in custody on the 14th March. The statement was taken on the 15th March and he was held until some time in August. Mr Lemmer has said that he was held in protective custody because he was scared. Is that correct?

MR POTGIETER: I cannot recall that. I only established the protective custody aspect during the trial here. The register indicates that Mr Dbakhula was detained on the 16th March 1990 and was handed over to murder and robbery on the 29th May 1990.

MR PIGOU: Okay. Did you interview Mr Dbakhula during his period of detention?

MR POTGIETER: No.

MR PIGOU: And why did you not do that considering the fact that he had very close proximity to Mrs Mandela, the Mandela household and possibility the activities of the Mandela United Football Club and Mkhonto we Sizwe members? MR POTGIETER: It wouldn't have served any purpose because he was going to be an accused in a trial, which Mr Dempsey was investigating.

MR PIGOU: But with respect Mr Potgieter, if you were able to convince Mr Dempsey that Mabotha was a good witness would it not have been possible if you had elicited valuable information that Dbakhulu could have been a good witness?

MR POTGIETER: Yes, and I believe that the ...

MR PIGOU: So why didn't you persuee questioning it then?

MR POTGIETER: I believe that the decision not to call Mabotha as a witness was not because of my request. I thought it was because of my request. In fact according to Mr Van Vuuren it wasn't. It was his own decision after having consulted with him.

MR PIGOU: Well I think just for the record Mr Dempsey says it was at your request as well so you have said that.

MR POTGIETER: I did request - of course I did request Mr Dempsey but the final decision lies with the prosecutor.

MR PIGOU: Okay. No, we understand that. Could you tell me whether Mr Coetzee or Mr Nienaber, the commanding officers, were briefed by yourself or others on the progress in the Winnie Mandela cases that you were investigating and related matters such as the Pretorius incident and the fact that Richardson for instance was an informer?

MR POTGIETER: I didn't get the complete question.

MR PIGOU: What I am trying to find out is did the commanding officers of the security branch, in 1988 Mr Coetzee, in 1989 Mr Nienaber, were they briefed by yourself as the chief investigating officer of Winnie Mandela cases or by other people that you may have spoken to about this, about those cases and about the progress in those cases and related matters such as the Pretorius, the death of one of your colleagues and the fact that Richardson was an informer?

MR POTGIETER: No, I did not discuss the position of Mr Richardson with my commanders because they knew that. As far as Mr Pretorius is concerned I can't recall having discussed that with him. And as far as the Mandela investigation is concerned I am sure that I did inform them of the progress being made.

MR PIGOU: So one would expect them to have some knowledge of the progress in these cases, the nature of perhaps not in detail but certainly a broader general nature of the cases that were being investigated.

MR POTGIETER: Well they had many things to deal with and I am sure that ...

MR PIGOU: Yes but this is the most high profile political personality you have got sitting in Soweto in your jurisdiction.

MR POTGIETER: I think they were just as eager to get Mrs Mandela in an accused's box as I was.

MR PIGOU: Okay, thank you. Briefly now two more points and then I have gone and I thank you for giving me this time. You indicated that - during your testimony earlier that you knew that torture happened in other parts of the country in terms of the security branch but not in your experience at the Soweto security branch. Is that correct?

MR POTGIETER: Sir, I did not permit assaults.

MR PIGOU: No, I am not asking you whether you permitted it. I am asking you whether you knew about it.

MR POTGIETER: There were many complaints, many dockets investigated where it was alleged that persons were assaulted.

MR PIGOU: Can you tell us the reason why there were soundproof rooms?

MR POTGIETER: Yes. The interrogation rooms were next to one another. There were three of them. They were soundproof but the door was - it was a glass door, it had a window in where you could look in from the outside. But the purpose of being soundproof so that if you detain more than one person they could be interrogated and the one person not overhearing what the other was saying.

MR PIGOU: Nothing to do with muffling the cries of people being tortured or assaulted?

MR POTGIETER: I am sure it wasn't built for that purpose.

MR PIGOU: I see, but possibly could have been used for that purpose.

MR POTGIETER: Could have, yes.

MR PIGOU: Okay. Now in the light of allegations that have been made to this Commission, to other human rights organisations, Detainee Parents Support Committee, the Idaf records list numerous allegations of assault and torture at the Soweto security branch. Would it be fair to say that the version that you presented that you didn't know about these things is highly improbable.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I have to - if the question is asked in that way that there is evidence about torture at the Soweto security branch from all these organisations then obviously it would be fair to put it to my client, to the witness, that in respect of this report, this allegation in respect of this person is made. That is simply a bald statement and I haven't heard the statement to other witnesses being made in relation to the Soweto security branch. As far as I remember that statement was not made to other witnesses referring only to the Soweto security branch. So I think it is unfair to put the statement as broad as that referring to the Soweto security branch without referring to specific assaults in the reports that my learned friend is referring to.

MR PIGOU: Firstly Mr Chair, I hope Mr Du Plessis is not trying to restrict what I could ask to specific people and secondly this is not an amnesty hearing where we have endless amounts of time to go through hundreds of statements. I am putting it to you, and you can either accept it in good faith or you can put your point of view forward that you disagree that this actually happened, this Commission has numerous statements available to it from these various sources. We are looking at a time capacity problem here and quite frankly I haven't got the time to do that. I am putting a general picture to you, or to your client.

MR DU PLESSIS: But Mr Chairman it is possible that in one of these reports there may be evidence of assaults in respect of interrogations at a time when my client was involved in the six months trial as a witness, which he has testified, or prior to my client joining the security branch in Soweto. Or there may be other reasons or he may not know about it. Now the question is put to him in a wide fashion saying well there is this evidence, why didn't you know about it. What I am saying ...

MR PIGOU: But there is evidence of systemic abuse.

MR DU PLESSIS: I am saying he must pinpoint it Mr Chairman. Then my client can ...

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Du Plessis you have made your point. I have heard you. Now Mr Potgieter let me try and rephrase the question. It is on public record and in numerous publications and a large number of organisations that torture took place throughout South Africa and that it was almost endemic, including Soweto. I think the question is if it was, and you must tell me if you agree or don't agree, that if it is true that this colossal amount of, let's put it only as allegations, have been made can you appreciate how difficult it is for us to understand that people like yourself and others who were so involved in doing your job that you didn't know about a single incident of torture through contact with your colleagues, through whispers in the corridors, through cries, whatever it may be. I think that is what we are trying to do. We are not trying to undermine you. We are just trying to find out how is it possible that a person so senior knew nothing about this.

MR POTGIETER: The instances where it did happen, I would like to refer you to one of the persons of whom I obtained a statement. In fact ....

CHAIRPERSON: You can just answer the question. I don't need any references really. It was just a general question.

MR POTGIETER: I accept. And one of the statements that I had there I took the statement the person said that he was ill treated on occasions and assaulted. I know it did happen but I cannot come down to specifics. I am sorry. I can't come down to specifics.

MR PIGOU: You are saying that it actually did happen but you cannot be specific. Thank you. So just to clarify it did happen...

CHAIRPERSON: Wind up please.

MR PIGOU: It did happen in Soweto.

MR POTGIETER: Ja.

MR PIGOU: Okay, thank you. Last point. You have annexed a number of statements to your submission. These were statements that were handed, I presume, as part of your wider investigation docket to Mr Von Lieres.

MR POTGIETER: Not necessarily.

MR PIGOU: Okay. And could you tell me you have painted a picture of yourself of coming here, wanting to co-operate with the TRC and provide all this information and you have also indicated that there was other information like tapes which have been handed to the Attorney-General and so forth. First point or first question. Why if you wanted to co-operate with the Truth Commission and help this Commission understand what has happened in the past did you not make this information available before the public hearings last year when it was of crucial material importance to this Commission to have that kind of information. And second point what other information do you have in your files at home where you made copies. And if you have other information are you going to make it available to us.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, may I come in here. That is part - the answer to the first part of that question is part of the statement which wasn't read because I skipped it. And a whole explanation in the statement is given why my client didn't testify last year in November. He was advised by my attorney, he was contacted a day after the hearing had started and this thick bundle that was provided to you and the two days my client spent at the Attorney-General is proof of the fact that he wanted to co-operate and he wanted to give a full picture. That answer is there. So I don't know why my learned friend is asking the question again.

MR PIGOU: With respect Dr Boraine, that is not answering my question. What I am trying to point out is that Mr Potgieter has tried to paint a picture of his co-operation to this Commission. Now he may well be co-operating with us right now but this Commission has been looking for information, we have heard about the destruction of documents. And this man is sitting with documents in his own possession and he is not making them available to the Commission prior to this incident, even though there is a great amount of media attention that the Winnie Mandela hearings and related matters are going on, and this information is not made available to us. So I am afraid this does not answer this section of the statement what I am asking. And secondly I would like to know an answer to the second part of the question. Do you have other information.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, with respect I don't want to get involved in a debate.

CHAIRPERSON: Please don't.

MR DU PLESSIS: No, I am not going to but I take objection against the fact that my learned friend is stating here that my client was in possession of documentation in November which he did not want to provide to this Commission. I want my learned friend to indicate to me exactly what document he is referring to because the documents attached to his statement, in the statement it clearly states that he obtained those documents during the last weeks or the week before's research at the Attorney-General's office. Now I want to know apart from the tapes I want to know exactly what documents my learned friend is referring to which was in possession of my client in November which was not disclosed to this Commission.

MR PIGOU: Well there is his diary for instance. There is a good example of that. And related matters that he could have provided information to the Commission. He did not voluntarily come forward until the issue was brought to his attention and to his attorney's attention. That is the point I am trying to make. And I don't want to get into a debate either. It is a question of whether people like Mr Potgieter are voluntarily prepared to come forward and disclose information proactively to help this Commission or whether it is only when the door is right up against their face that they come forward and provide this information.

MS SOOKA: Sorry Mr Du Plessis can I just intervene in the matter. I think there is a perception within the Commission that we have had to have these two days of hearings this year because your client and a number of the other security policemen whom we contacted were not willingly prepared to come forward to the Commission without us actually issuing a subpoena. So there is a perception within the Commission that their appearance here is not voluntary and that they did not actually want to assist the Commission. And I think that it is in that light, despite your explanation, that there is that question being raised. But I don't think that we are going to sort this matter out by having a debate between you and Mr Pego and I would certainly ask your client to answer the second part of the question, which is what information he still has in his possession because I think we certainly are interested in receiving his diaries or day books as well as any other transcripts that he may have of conversations that were recorded and which are still within his possession.

MR DU PLESSIS: May I please respond to that, Mr Chairman. You know me, I have dealt with the Commission for a long time. Any documents which have been available, which are in the possession of my client have been disclosed here. I have made them available. We have given the tapes. I want to state here that in this explanation and for purposes of the people who are clapping here I want to read what my client has said in the statement which he hasn't had the chance to read, about the request in November. He says:

"Ek is voorheen versoek om gedurende die versoek ten opsigte van mev Mandela wat begin het op 24 November 1997 getuienis af te lê oor die aspekte na verwys in die kennisgewing. Na die aanvang van die getuienis is ek versoek om .... with regard to the same aspects referred to under the notice. I advised via my legal representatives at that stage and was of the opinion that I had to prepare myself well to help the Commission as well as possible. My opinion was that I would be of more assistance to them if I could prepare thoroughly. For that reason I asked that I appear later".

... insinuation that my client who I represent is not co-operating with this Commission. The Commission knows how I have co-operated with this Commission on previous occasions with other witnesses and other clients. And I take objection against any such insinuation.

CHAIRPERSON: The objection is noted. Mr Potgieter, can you reply to the second question. Do you want to hear it again?

MR POTGIETER: It concerns any other documentation - no, I don't have anything else.

CHAIRPERSON: You have no other documents.

MR POTGIETER: No, I have no other documentation. ... what I have presented here.

MR PIGOU: One last question and that is it, I am finished. It is a simple thing. Mr Potgieter have you applied for amnesty for a gross human rights violation to this Commission?

MR POTGIETER: Yes I did. I applied and I am willing to tell you what it is about. It was for detentions, compelling people to testify against former colleagues and thereby being ostracised by their communities. Secondly, persons were made Askaris and similarly they were stripped of their dignity and ostracised by their communities and even their families.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I wouldn't want the - if I can interrupt. My client has applied for amnesty for a various amount of incidents and I don't want my client to go into the details of those applications, if you don't mind. We have made application for everything that he was ...

CHAIRPERSON: I think he has actually answered the question.

MR PIGOU: He has.

CHAIRPERSON: The question was simply have you applied for amnesty. You were going beyond the question and it is very nice of you to do that but I don't think it is necessary to go beyond that. Thank you very much indeed. I think this is a good time to adjourn but I would like to request that we meet again at 1.45 rather than 2 o'clock. I know that is asking a great deal but we have a huge amount of work to do this afternoon. 1.45. Thank you. This Commission is adjourned.

COMMISSION ADJOURNS.

ON RESUMPTION:

JAN DANIEL POTGIETER (still under oath)

MR RICHARDS: Mr Potgieter, we have the scenario where Mr Richardson, by his own admission, murdered a number of people, allegedly on the instructions of Mrs Mandela, on the basis that they were informers. Stompie Sepei was alleged to be an informer, so was Cookie Zwane, so was - and so on. Now you in your capacity as head of the operation would you be in a position to know whether these people were informers?

MR POTGIETER: Mr Richardson or the others?

MR RICHARDS: No, I am talking about the ones that Mr Richardson murdered.

MR POTGIETER: No, I wouldn't know whether they were informers or not.

MR RICHARDS: Who would know?

MR POTGIETER: I wouldn't know.

MR RICHARDS: Would you know who might know, who might be able to give some ...

MR POTGIETER: Well if they were informers in Soweto then I would presume that they would have been recruited and/or handled and/or placed by either the intelligence unit and/or the unit of Col Claassens during that period. I wouldn't know.

MR RICHARDS: Now in your evidence you said you had over 100 statements on file regarding Mrs Mandela and her household. Is that correct?

MR POTGIETER: I don't have them. They are with the Attorney-General and it is statements from different case dockets that had been investigated. Not necessarily directed at Mrs Mandela but directed - but where the football club members were involved, other associates were involved, MK members, et cetera. In various cases. Like the Sehere case and the Mjalors case and other cases of that nature.

MR RICHARDS: Were these statements mostly from people who had been arrested for one or other reason and then decided to talk?

MR POTGIETER: Many of these statements were recorded from persons detained in terms of section 50 which is the 48 hour clause in the Criminal Procedure Act and were then let go after that. And some of these statements like the one I attached to my statement were taken in terms of section 29, when they were detained in section 29. So it varies.

MR RICHARDS: So in colloquial language these people could also have been labelled impimpi, alternatively informers.

MR POTGIETER: Well no I won't quite agree there. It is people that were sort of compelled to give statements. Witness statements. Witness statements rather than informers. All right we got a lot of the information from that but I would rather describe it as witness statements.

MR RICHARDS: Well they were compelled, as you said, to make statements.

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR RICHARDS: And my colleague Mr Pego has explored the meaning of the word compelled. However, we won't revisit that. ... information clearly was leaking from the house to the police and this general atmosphere of hysteria about informers developed. Would that be consistent with what your records show?

MR POTGIETER: I didn't quite get your question.

MR RICHARDS: During the period 9 November of 1988 to the February of 1989 a number of people died.

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR RICHARDS: Most of those people who died died as a result of having the tag informer put against their name. And that is the evidence before the Commission. Now I then took the theorem further and said we know that there was one informer in the person of Mr Richardson. We also know from your evidence today that there were over 100 other statements on file relating to information about the household, not necessarily only Mrs Mandela as you said. We don't need to know exactly what those statements said. Wouldn't it be true to say that that situation resulted in hysteria in the house of Mrs Mandela where there was a general paranoia and witch hunt to try and find out who the informers were?

MR POTGIETER: May I describe a situation to you. You heard testimony yesterday that attempts were made to recruit youngsters and individuals detained and that a flow of threatening letters was then received from Priscilla Jana and Kathy Satchwell's office. Anybody that was seen to supply information to the system of the time, whether it was freely or whether it was under detention or whatever, they were seen as collaborators. And there was that hysteria. They would never know who agreed to be recruited and who refused. Who went to the attorneys and who was recruited in the end. So I think there was that mistrust that did exist. I will concede that there was mistrust and probably a form of hysteria around that.

MR RICHARDS: And it leads me to the last on this particular track. If someone was labelled collaborator, impimpi, informer at that time what was the probable result for that individual in the community?

MR POTGIETER: Most probably death.

MR RICHARDS: Thank you. Now we go to the next part of the story, Brandfort. You have had access to these tapes and the transcriptions, isn't that correct?

MR POTGIETER: That is correct, yes.

MR RICHARDS: Now if the evidence yesterday is correct those tapes and transcripts squarely put Mrs Mandela in Soweto over that weekend starting the 29th going through to the Monday.

MR SEMENYA: I think that passage is factually incorrect. The transcript did not put her in Soweto over the weekend. The transcript records her voice over that period. The witness never got himself to come close to saying she definitely was calling from Soweto.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you want to rephrase your question?

MR RICHARDS: I don't accept Mr Samenya's criticism. My question is factually correct. I asked it very carefully to find out yesterday whether there was an ambiguity in the situation. And due to the nature of the situation we can't go into lengthy cross-examination but I will rephrase the question. Did you have sight of the transcripts and an opportunity to hear the tapes themselves over that period?

MR POTGIETER: Mr Chairman, at times I had sight of transcripts. I can in no way unfortunately assist the committee regarding this particular conversation that allegedly took place. I have got no recollection of having seen the transcript or knowing anything about it.

MR RICHARDS: However, from your evidence earlier today those tapes and transcripts are now with the Attorney-General. Correct?

MR POTGIETER: There are only 12 tapes with the Attorney-General and those tapes were related to the treason docket that I was busy compiling and some of the - there were three discussions between Mrs Mandela and persons alleged to be a certain Tebogo. Now we know from after the death of the two MK soldiers at Mr Richardson's house one was Tebogo. But he now being dead we can never prove that the person she had spoken to was an MK soldier. So the tapes, the 12 tapes that is with the Attorney-General relates to the treason investigation.

MR RICHARDS: Those tapes that you have relating to the treason investigation were extracted from the general collection. We must assume that the general collection of other tapes is also still available.

MR POTGIETER: If I heard Bosman correct yesterday I think he said they were destroyed some time between - prior to the '94 elections, if I can recall.

MR RICHARDS: Right. Let's proceed to the day of Sergeant Pretorius' death. The report from Richardson to the police, if I understood you correctly and I am quite happy to be corrected on this one, it was made to you by Richardson. The first report.

MR POTGIETER: No, I only spoke to Richardson after his arrest.

MR RICHARDS: And did you take a statement from him?

MR POTGIETER: I am under the impression that I took a statement and that is why yesterday I wanted to have a look at the statement because I knew they had it, to see whether it was my style of recording statements. I was under the impression that I did take a statement from him but it seems I never did. But I had an interview with him and he then explained to me what had happened and that is what I included in my presentation.

MR RICHARDS: Did you find him a co-operative informer or how did you find his demeanour and presentation?

MR POTGIETER: No, he was co-operative. Very afraid of course of being exposed. No, he co-operated well.

MR RICHARDS: And did he give you information about anything other than the two terrorists?

MR POTGIETER: Yes, he told me about the arrival of the two. I hear evidence here that it is alleged that Mrs Mandela brought him there. Correctly Richardson related to me that Mrs Mandela had brought one and that another gentleman, I don't know whether I may mention his name, brought the other.

MR RICHARDS: Which other gentleman?

MR POTGIETER: May I divulge. He is a high profile in Soweto. Mr Chairman do I need to ...

CHAIRPERSON: Go ahead.

MR POTGIETER: Hot Stix Mabusa. He said the one was brought there by Winnie and the other by Hot Stix Mabusa. Now I read the in camera proceedings and it would appear from there as if Mr Mono had brought the one. Now I don't know. My recollection of my discussion with Richardson was that Hot Stix Mabusa had brought the other one.

MR RICHARDS: The question was more specific. Other than that particular incident which resulted in the death of Sergeant Pretorius and the two soldiers did Mr Richardson give any other information to you when you...

MR POTGIETER: I can't recall right off and that is why I wanted to look at the statement and find the statement because having been in the Mandela household one would expect that I would have questioned him not only as regards to the two MK soldiers but in a wider context as well. But I can't recall what answers he gave.

MR RICHARDS: It then flows on were you aware that at that time the two individuals known as Lolo Sono and Tjabalala had gone missing, had been abducted?

MR POTGIETER: I didn't know at that stage that they had gone missing because they were at his house, if I can recall correctly, they were at his house. I don't know where they went to from there. But then the one tape that I handed to the Attorney-General, the discussion between Mrs Mandela and Lolo's father creates an impression that she had sent him abroad for military training and that action was to have formed part of a treason docket as recruiting people for military training because we never knew what the fate of these youngsters were. We thought they had gone for training.

MR RICHARDS: Very well. Now did you ever become aware during that period that that was not quite so, that they had not been sent abroad and that was in fact disinformation?

MR POTGIETER: No, the first I heard of it was when Mr Richardson - with the previous hearing in November or December, that they were killed.

MR RICHARDS: And until that point in time the docket had been dealt with on the basis that there was a reasonable possibility that the two young men were alive.

MR POTGIETER: Ja. Because I think it would have been one of the counts in the docket.

MR RICHARDS: Thank you.

MR POTGIETER: I just want to - yesterday it was said that there were 30 dockets. It wasn't 30 docket, it was one docket, treason docket, but there were I think 34 separate acts with evidence surrounding those acts. So it was approximately 34 different let's call it terroriste aksies that would have amounted to the treason charge.

MR RICHARDS: No, I can imagine what the central charge sheet looked like. And I realise it is 30 different incidents which are going to be consolidated into one indictment.

MR POTGIETER: That is correct.

MR RICHARDS: Now that leads us to the next question, the relationship ...

CHAIRPERSON: Are you going to be much longer, Mr Richards?

MR RICHARDS: I beg my pardon, I am on my last point.

CHAIRPERSON: Wonderful, thank you.

MR RICHARDS: It leads to the relationship between the security branch and then Attorney-General, Advocate Von Lieres. The impression that I formed yesterday was that indeed when it came to the investigation and the strategic decision-making in the enquiries into Mrs Mandela he was in charge. He was in fact supervising the security police.

MR POTGIETER: No, I wouldn't put it that way. We were - well Mr Von Lieres and I have been working together since 1976. We know one another well and I was free to have any discussions with him. But it was always a good policy to involve your Attorney-General and to appreciate his decisions because after all he is the one that would have to prosecute. So if you can understand what I mean. We did - I think what I have done in the past as well whenever there was a case being investigated I would send him a memo telling him that this case was coming so that he could prepare and get me an advocate ready because his cycle was I think a 12 week cycle on which his advocates dealt with cases. So I kept him abreast about the cases we were busy with and at one certain point in time we had 16 so-called terrorism trials running in different courts at the same time. So that will indicate to you how busy we were at certain times.

MR RICHARDS: Thank you. No further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Hugo.

MR HUGO: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr Potgieter, you know of the agreement between myself and your legal representative with regard to your cross-examination. Let me just put it for the record that we have agreed that we will not cross-examine you because Mr De Kock applied for amnesty for the Mabotha incident and because you are in all probability going to be a witness and that the whole matter will be covered there. It was conveyed to you like this. Do you understand it that way?

MR POTGIETER: Yes, I do.

MR HUGO: There are two other aspects that I would like to clear up with you. And that is did you have the opportunity to read the statement under oath of Mr De Kock which is before this committee at the moment. Could you peruse that.

MR POTGIETER: Yes, I saw it briefly yesterday. I didn't study it.

MR HUGO: And you saw that there were in certain aspects one aspect of material differences between these. Do you maintain that the exposition as you gave it vis-a-vis the exposition of Mr De Kock? I will not put Mr De Kock's version because you say that you stick to your version in opposition to his. Did I understand you correctly when you said a while ago, and I refer again to the love relationship they spoke of, that in the beginning you weren't aware of it but that you heard of it for the first time yesterday.

MR DU PLESSIS: ... had an understanding that even on peripheral issues such as credibility issues, and this question obviously relates to credibility issues, that we won't ask questions. So really the agreement was that we would put the versions to each other's witnesses and not ask further questions about it. This record will be available and if there are any discrepancies in my client's testimony and if he changes his version as my learned friend wants to put it or whatever then we can deal with it at the amnesty hearing, really Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Du Plessis I am trying to hear you as carefully as I can and I listened very carefully. I really don't think that this is a matter of credibility. I think this is a question of asking whether or not he can give us information as to what he thinks and what he says. I don't think he is calling him to a question, and I will listen very carefully, but I am going to let him continue.

MR HUGO: ... put it on record that I told my learned friend yesterday in the presence of Mr Vally the one aspect that I am going to cover today is this particular aspect pertaining to the so-called love relationship. And I am going to put questions to this particular witness because this aspect and the fact that it had been brought about aggrieved me personally and it was totally unnecessary and I am going to put it to this witness that it was brought about by his affidavit and we never meant to bring it about. And I told Mr Du Plessis that I was going to do it today and he said it was fine.

CHAIRPERSON: You may continue.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, maybe Mr Vally can enlighten us here because that is not how I understood it. If I understood it wrongly and if Mr Vally says I understood it wrongly then I will consider my position but really I didn't understand him in that fashion.

CHAIRPERSON: Let's try and clear this up as quickly as possible. Mr Vally?

MR VALLY: Mr Chair, briefly the position I understood that we had taken was that in issues affecting the respective amnesty applications of either Mr De Kock or Mr Potgieter, either party would merely put their client's version forward for the record and they would cross-examine them on the version that had been put forward by the person giving evidence. Everything else was peripheral to that. So on pertinent issues relating to the amnesty applications that is all that would happen and as I understood it there were further discussions on that whole issue but it was subjective discussion and I don't think it was party to the larger agreement. That is the agreement. That you will not probe further on pertinent issues relating to the amnesty applications. No more and no less.

MR SEMENYA: Chairperson, may be confound your problems. To us it is very startling that you have a pact between lawyers on whether or not to interrogate a subject matter which properly stands before this Commission. I do not understand nor appreciate that the credibility issues are more pertinent here than in an amnesty. You are either credible or you are not. And if one of them is shown to be lying here those are the consequences in the amnesty application. Why lawyers would agree on a pact that we would not cross-examine each other because we are going to meet in the future to me creates a very questionable legal position, with respect.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Semenya you were present last night when I asked the lawyers of Mr Potgieter and Col De Kock and Hanief Vally to meet together to find a way of shortening the process so as we can get to the heart of the matter in order to get through the work. That is all. Now there was no kind of deal or connivance as far as I am concerned, one with the other. We were simply trying to see is there a way forward. I mean you have seen it. You have got it all ahead of you. You have seen the annexures and the huge amounts of paper. What we are trying to do is to get to the heart of the matter and that is all.

MR SEMENYA: Yes Chairperson, only with one exception. I don't think now I read the understanding is let us not impeach each other's credibility. Now if that is the agreement that is the one that I say has a questionable legal status.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Vally, please continue.

MR VALLY: Very briefly there is no questions that these different versions are not going to be tested. It was felt that they would be tested at the amnesty committee and not here. They are conflicting versions and they will be tested at that level. That is all. People will put their versions forward and say that we don't agree with your version but they would not take it further on the pertinent issues. There will come a time still.

MS SOOKA: I think that we have a difficulty understanding the agreement because it doesn't only affect the personalities and the credibility of the clients of Mr Hugo and Mr Du Plessis. I think Mr Semenya's client has an interest in the matter as well and I think the Commission has an interest in this issue. And I don't think that while it may have an impact on what they are going to say in the amnesty applications and the amnesty hearings, the human rights violation hearings, the material from this hearing is certainly going to be forwarded to the amnesty committee was well. So I have a difficulty with the kind of fact that is being revealed here. I think that people need an opportunity to test people's versions. What we agreed to do is a mechanism to limit lengthy cross-examination but that is a very different issue from dealing with the way in which I heard that deal. So I think we need to look at that issue very, very quickly.

MR DU PLESSIS: Well Mr Chairman may I come in here. The reason for the agreement was simply the following. And that is that because of the limited time for cross-examination here both my client and Mr Hugo's client their rights will be prejudiced if their legal representatives cannot cross-examine the other party properly on the issues where there are conflicting versions. We will be limited to a very limited time of cross-examination which at the end of the day might prejudice our rights of cross-examination for a longer period at the amnesty hearing which would at the end result cause much difficulty if anything prejudicial comes out of this limited cross-examination, for the amnesty hearing in future. It could prejudice it totally, there could be all sorts of legal problems arising and that is why that agreement was made. Now if cross-examination is to be done here on that basis then obviously we will have to deal with cross-examination in full in respect of the versions and that is what we try to prohibit. And secondly I just want to state that as Mr Vally said the agreement was pertaining to conflicting versions in the amnesty application but at the end of the day it is also about credibility and the question my learned friend Mr Hugo wants to pose is a question relating to credibility and if that is the case then I have lots of other questions which I am going to ask Col De Kock which also falls in the same category as the question my learned friend wants to ask now.

MR NTSEBEZA: Thank you Chairperson. It seems to me Mr Du Plessis it is a difficulty that we will have to grapple with because it seems we can't do the other without doing the other. We can't make a finding if we will pretend that credibility issues were not involved. But we quite clearly cannot have the luxury of a cross-examination that would go to the lengths that any lawyer would desire cross-examination to go in a court of law. So we are trying to find a mechanism to bridge the demands of fair representation and the demands of us having to do that which we have to do here. You must remember that there is still an opportunity in terms of section 13 when an adverse finding is going to be made against any of the people who are affected by the evidence or by the finding that we may come to that that person will be called upon to make written representation and if it becomes necessary for the particular witness to be called for further cross-examination so there are in-built mechanisms in the act itself where an adverse inference is going to be drawn from the evidence that will be led. The act prescribes a limited cross-examination and we must accept that.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I would like us to make some progress now. What I propose is that Mr Hugo who has the opportunity now and others will have other opportunity, is to continue and to bear in mind that the act lays down limited cross-examination. If anybody wishes to cross-examine any of the witnesses I will be as reasonable and as fair as I possibly can and I will not discriminate the one and the other. I think we now must go otherwise we are going to talk about talking until the cows come home and I am not interested in cows. So let's proceed and let's see how we go and if there are any objections that have to be raised I will hear them but please don't try my patience.

MR DU PLESSIS: No, Mr Chairman, I am not going to try patience. I accept your decision. I just want to state the following. I am not in possession of the other amnesty applications of other people who applied for amnesty in respect of this incident, in respect of which I would have wanted to cross-examine Mr De Kock. That would be Mr Brits, Snor Vermeulen et cetera. I am not in possession of their. If this cross-examination goes ahead I am placing on record now that my client probably will be prejudiced. I accept your decision. I am just placing that on record because if anything prejudicial comes out of the amnesty hearing I don't want to have anybody say to me that I didn't say here that my client is going to be prejudiced because of the fact that I don't have the contents of the other amnesty applications. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Right, you do have the copies of the statements that are being made and have been presented and I think that is the major factor but it is now on record. Mr Hugo.

MR HUGO: May I just propose that Mr Kemp for instance starts the cross-examination. I did not prepare for cross-examination on this basis. I am quite prepared to start my cross-examination once the other ones have cross-examined. I don't want to delay, if you can just give me a half an hour and then I will proceed with the cross-examination.

MR KEMP: I have no questions, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: That is one of the best things I have heard all day.

MR KEMP: I must say Mr Chairman it is because of intimidation not because I haven't.

CHAIRPERSON: ... place it on record that I have not intimidated anyone. Yes please continue.

MR MAKANJEE: My name is Sanjay Makanjee for the Sepei and Asvat families.

I would just like you to clarify a few things. You stated in your statement that you provided us that the Attorney General at the time that you were working on the Mandela file, wanted you to rather pusue or obtain evidence of a criminal nature rather than a political nature, is that correct?

MR POTGIETER: That is correct, yes, that was my assumption based on my open relationship with the Attorney General.

MR MAKANJEE: Thank you. You had Themba Mabotha in your custody, is that correct, yes.

MR MAKANJEE: Themba Mabotha had evidence of a criminal nature, it would probably have been accessory to the fact of murder, is that correct?

MR POTGIETER: Not only that.

MR MAKANJEE: Sorry?

MR POTGIETER: Not only that.

MR MAKANJEE: NOt only that?

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR MAKANJEE: Now, what I want to know is, you also state further that you didn't investigate the Stompie event or murder because it wasn't a polictical case. Now, I'm just having a bit of difficulty following you. On one had you said that the Attorney General or the impression you got was that you should peruse the gathering of information that could hold Mrs Mandela criminally liable.

And on the other hand you said you didn't pusue to the Stompie case because it wasn't of a political nature. Do you follow what I'm saying Sir?

MR POTGIETER: Yes. I think we need to distinguish here that the security branch did not investigate common law offences, like the ordinary murder, robbery etc. The instruction to investigate the Stompie Sepei matter was from head office to murder and robbery. General Jaap Joubert I think was the officer in charge.

MR MAKANJEE: Okay. I don't think you're following what I'm trying to ask you. You said you left the Attorney General's office with the impression that he wanted you to persue investigations into criminal activities by Mrs Mandela. Now you have an incident, you have a witness who can give you the strongest possible information that she was involved in the murder and abduction of Stompie Sepei. You do nothing about it but in fact what you do do, is you hand him over to the country's most notorious assassin.

MR POTGIETER: No, no, I had discussions with Dempsey and he had a copy of the statement and the statement was in the docket. Now, it's common cause that once a statement is in the docket the prosector has the prerogative to call that individual as a witness. So it wasn't that the statement was withheld from murder and robbery. If they had really required his evidence, I would have stepped back, I mean there's no doubt about that.

MR MAKANJEE: If I can just go on on that. Did you not take this evidence of Mabotha to the Attorney General with whom you had a close relationship and whom you knew wanted that kind of evidence against Mrs Madikizela Mandela?

MR POTGIETER: I gave it to the investigating officer and it's very dangerous to go and see the Attorney General where another unit is investigating something and you go there and have discussions with the Attorney General. And from the evidence of Mr Dempsey, it created the impression as if there was a parallel investigation which there wasn't.

MR MAKANJEE: Okay. Can you just answer this for me, I wasn't clear with your response earlier, what was the reason for you handing over Mabotha to Mr de Kock?

MR POTGIETER: I beg your pardon?

MR MAKANJEE: What was the reason for you handing Mr Mabotha over to Mr de Kock? Was it because his six months of imprisonment or his six months of detention had expired?

MR POTGIETER: That is correct and I wanted to keep him in attendance.

MR MAKANJEE: Okay. What I wanted to know is, was it difficult to have the detention period extended?

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR MAKANJEE: And do you personally know of any instances where that decision to extend detention of someone being charged under Section 29, was refused?

MR POTGIETER: I can't remember off-hand but to enable you to obtain an extension for detention where there's no real purpose, you would have to mislead the "hersienings kommittee" - what was the name? - Oversight Committee and I wasn't prepared to do that.

MR MAKANJEE: Okay. Let me ask you, in your experience as a security policeman, could you arrest someone, keep them detained for two months, release them and the next day arrest them again for six months? Was that possible? Do you follow what I'm saying?

MR POTGIETER: It could be possible.

MR MAKANJEE: So it is then possible that Mabotha was in custody for eight months?

MR POTGIETER: But then there must be a record.

MR MAKANJEE: Well ...[intervention]

MR POTGIETER: There must be a record. You cannot detain somebody and there's no records.

MR MAKANJEE: I just want to ask you one point for the record ...[intervention]

MR POTGIETER: May I just get back to my answer? I doubt if one would be able to do that legally because when you release him, you release him stating that he had answered all questions satisfactorily etc., etc., etc., then just to re-arrest him the following day and detain him further.

MR MAKANJEE: But for instance you could arrest someone today - let's say we had a Section 29 operating, you could arrest someone today, not make any record of his arrest - which was a prevalent thing that occurred in the past, until you were satisfied that you could get a case against him and then record that you've arrested him officially and log it into your books.

MR POTGIETER: No, no, I think that would be highly irregular.

MR MAKANJEE: Just one more question regarding the Sepei case - just for the record. To the best of your knowledge, were you aware whether Stompie Sepei was an informer or not?

MR POTGIETER: I've no idea, no idea.

MR MAKANJEE: If he was an informer, you would have been aware of that?

MR POTGIETER: Not necessarily because I never worked with informers at that stage.

MR MAKANJEE: Okay. Just to ask you a few questions on the Asvat family case. Did you participate in any investigation regarding the death of Doctor Asvat?

MR POTGIETER: In no way was I involved in that investigation, no.

MR MAKANJEE: So, at no stage did you ever make that connection between Doctor Asvat being a political leader and you being a member of the security branch and Winnie Madikizela Mandela?

MR POTGIETER: No.

MR MAKANJEE: Okay. Was Doctor Asvat ever under surveillance by your unit? Were his telephones ever bugged? Was he ever under any observation by your unit?

MR POTGIETER: I couldn't tell you whether he was bugged, that was done on a strictly need to know basis. If I bug somebody, Bosman wouldn't have been authorised to inform somebody else. It was my subject so I would know whether Doctor Asvat was - there was telephone bugging or ordinary bugging and I'm not aware of any surveillance or ...[intervention]

MR MAKANJEE: Just to clarify that Sir, you're saying if the Asvat or Doctor Asvat was under surveillance you would have known about it?

MR POTGIETER: Not necessarily.

MR MAKANJEE: Not necessarily?

MR POTGIETER: Not necessarily.

MR MAKANJEE: You see the difficulty I'm having with that is that Mr Bosman gave evidence that whoever was bugged - and I'm not sure if Doctor Asvat was bugged, that information was passed onto yourself. So if you don't know about it, does that mean then that the Asvat - Doctor Asvat was not under surveillance?

MR POTGIETER: I cannot say. The system worked in this manner, that if I had made an application - say for instance to but Doctor Asvat, the tape recordings or whatever would come to me as the person who had requested. If anybody else wanted insight in that they would have had to come to me and I would then authorise Bosman to say: "all right, give a copy to Watermeyer or to whoever" . With the Mrs Mandela aspect we requested authority to - we requested copies and it was agreed whereas Watermeyer was the principle client, if I may express myself in that way.

MR MAKANJEE: So what you're saying is, at the time that Doctor Asvat died - and you must have heard shortly thereafter there were allegations of Mrs Madikizela Mandela's involvement, did you at that stage receive any information obtained by surveillance of either Mrs Madikizela Mandela's telephone or Doctor Asvat's telephone regarding the murder of Doctor Asvat?

MR POTGIETER: Not that I'm aware of.

MR MAKANJEE: Okay. So that means you yourself did not receive any information?

MR POTGIETER: I did not receive any information.

MR MAKANJEE: I've nothing further, thank you Mr Chair.

DR BORAINE: Thank you very much.

Mr Mavundla?

MR MAVUNDLA: Thanks Mr Chairman.

Mr Potgieter, when Mr Mabotha's detention period expired, were you convinced that Mr Mabotha co-operated with you regarding the interrogation that you had?

MR POTGIETER: Yes, I was under the impression that he co-operated well.

MR MAVUNDLA: And when you handed him over to de Kock, what were the instructions then to de Kock? What was he supposed to do with Mr Mabotha?

MR POTGIETER: As I set out in my statement. The idea was to keep him available should the Attorney General need to have an interview with him or whatever. Secondly, that even if the Attorney General thereafter officially declined to prosecute, Mabotha would be able to serve as an askari from there on.

MR MAVUNDLA: But Mr Potgieter, if I remember correctly you -in one of your statements you mention that you had an alternative, meaning that Mabotha had a chance of either going to his parent's home in Pietersburg than - so that when a need arises, you'll personally go and look for him in Pieterburg.

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR MAVUNDLA: Why was that arrangement not made?

MR POTGIETER: One would never know how he would have changed. He could have had second thoughts maybe and rather go home than stay at Vlakplaas because that is why I enquired from Pietersburg whether he had arrived there, when I heard that he was not at Vlakplaas. I thought that he had gone there and I requested that they look for him because I was - I intended continuing my relationship with him until I had a definite answer from the Attorney General.

MR MAVUNDLA: But Mr Potgieter, you will agree with me that had you released him to his parent's home in Pietersburg - obviously you were in a position to make contact with the Pietersburg branch so that they can always have that surveillance over him?

MR POTGIETER: No, he only supplied me with his address and that short notice contact wouldn't have been easily possible telecommunication etc.

MR MAVUNDLA: But the relationship that you had with him was built - was not built in a day, it's matter of time and obviously you had that opportunity to make arrangements with the Pietersburg branch.

MR POTGIETER: I beg your pardon?

MR MAVUNDLA: Obviously the relationship that you built with Mr Mabotha was not something that was built in a period of a day, do we agree?

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR MAVUNDLA: And obviously within that period you would have had an opportunity to make contacts with the Pietersburg branch so that by the time you release him they might be having a surveillance over him.

MR POTGIETER: If I had done so, he would probably have still been alive today.

MR MAVUNDLA: After Mr Mabotha - after Mr Mabotha was arrested he was handed over to you, am I correct?

MR POTGIETER: At a certain point.

MR MAVUNDLA: Do you still remember who are the police officers who handed him over to you?

MR POTGIETER: I would lie if I have to name na individual. I see the detention register has Mr Hugh du Toit name.

MR MAVUNDLA: Mr?

MR POTGIETER: Lieutenant du Toit, the previous witness. I see his name's recorded as the person who dealt with Mr Mabotha.

MR MAVUNDLA: And presently as you state, you can actually cannot tell who personally handed over Mabotha to you?

MR POTGIETER: Unfortunately not.

MR MAVUNDLA: I see. Then, let's come to the relationship that you built with Mr Mabotha. At the end of the day when you released him, were you convinced that indeed Mr Mabotha was an Askari or what?

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, I had dealt with a great number of terrorism trials - as known at the time, during my career starting from 1985 and in say 90% of these cases one had to use accomplices to testify and some of those relationships last very, very long and others don't last that long.

There are different factors that effects these relationships, he may have had a change of heart - anything could have happened. But as I say, over the years I've had many trials - I was the investigating officer of ...[indistinct] trials and I used many persons, compelling them to testify and of course had won their confidence. Some had done so voluntarily and others had done so fearing to be imprisoned if they refused to testify.

I've had some refusing on me that were in prison, there were some that had skipped the country to evade their undertaking to testify, so anything could have happened.

MR MAVUNDLA: But according to your observation, were you convinced that indeed Mr Mabotha was an askari or what?

MR POTGIETER: No, ...[intervention]

MR MAVUNDLA: I put it to you he wasn't.

MR POTGIETER: No, he was an askari, there's no - it's not in dispute because he had testified in previous trials so no, he was an askari. I'm made to understand that he had testified in trial in Pietersburg, I don't have the - or Nelspruit or Tzaneen I'm not quite sure, I don't have the

facts but I was made to believe that he had testified. And in fact he was - to a certain extent, he was afraid of going home because the ANC was looking for him. They had made enquiries from his family but he had said that people had made enquiries at his people's home regarding him, so it is not that easy just to say go home, I'll contact you later.

MR MAVUNDLA: Then when did you hear for the first time that Mr Mabota was assassinated?

 

 

MR POTGIETER: I can't recall the exact time that I heard Mr Chairman, I can't recall, I knew that he was missing, that's why I sent a telex to Pietersburg, but I can't recall I heard that he had been killed.

MR MAVUNDLA: And when you heard this story that he was assassinated, were you ever told who committed this offence or what.

MR POTGIETER: The detail of it became known in the trial, in the evidence of Mr de Kock during his trial. And I think the manner, more specifically the manner in which he died only became known during one of the amnesty applications, I was never aware of it.

MR MAVUNDLA: You also mentioned the fact that when you handed him over to de Kock your was not for him to be assassinated. Am I correct on that aspect?

MR POTGIETER: That is correct.

MR MAVUNDLA: Thank you Mr Chairman I have nothing further.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mavundla. Mr Semenya.

MR SEMENYA: Thank you Chairperson. You say there had come a point when you formed an opinion that it was no longer for you to hold Mabota unlawfully.

MR POTGIETER: That is correct.

MR SEMENYA: So you formed a view that he is not guilty of any offence, is that right?

MR POTGIETER: No I wouldn't say he was not guilty, he had answered all questions satisfactorily, therefore the reason for further detention, I couldn't tell lies and apply for his further detention.

MR SEMENYA: No what I'm asking is if you had reason to believe that you have a prima facie case in terms of which he would be arrested, detained, prosecuted, you would have done that?

MR POTGIETER: If I had a criminal case against him and one weighed up the value of him rather testifying as an askari or being prosecuted on the one hand, one would have had to weigh up the pros and the cons. That decision would of course have been with the Attorney General and/or the advocate who would look at the matter.

MR SEMENYA: I don't want us to go into conjecture and guesswork, I'm just asking you your state of mind at the time that this happened. You had formed a view there was no way in law you could further hold Mr Mabota.

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR SEMENYA: And am I to infer from that that you over the period of the six months court there was nothing prima facie under which you could have him prosecuted?

MR POTGIETER: I think if I really wanted to I could have prosecuted him for still being a member of the ANC, something less important, but it wasn't my style.

MR SEMENYA: It wasn't your style. Okay now as a police officer you had come to the conclusion that the only deserving decision in the circumstances was to release the man, is that right?

MR POTGIETER: I had no option or of course charge him for something and then of course if I had charged him my relationship with him would have gone down the drain.

MR SEMENYA: Let's not debate these issues. You had formed a view that the most deserving course of action to take is to release him.

MR POTGIETER: I've said that Commissioner.

MR SEMENYA: That's correct right.

MR POTGIETER: Ja.

MR SEMENYA: Why does the conduct of releasing somebody, why does it constitute a dilemma?

MR POTGIETER: It constituted a dilemma because I wanted him to remain in attendance in some way or another. If Mr von Lieres had decided to appoint an advocate to look at the docket and to interview witnesses, the last thing I wanted was for von Lieres to say you're giving me a docket but there aren't witnesses.

MR SEMENYA: Give it to me slowly. Why is it a dilemma to release an innocent man?

MR POTGIETER: The release wasn't a dilemma, my dilemma was keeping him in attendance in a voluntary manner. That is why he voluntarily agreed to go to Vlakplaas.

MR SEMENYA: What was not a dilemma, was it's not a question of releasing him. What was then a dilemma?

MR POTGIETER: Mr Chairman I can't follow the ...(intervention)

MR DU PLESSIS : Mr Chairman, with respect, the witness has answered the question.

MR SEMENYA: I'm pleading totally confused. Can you repeat it for me. If the dilemma is not to release the man, what was the dilemma?

MR POTGIETER: It was part of the dilemma; you cannot say this little bit and that little bit, and that is why I had a discussion with Mr de Kock and say this is my dilemma, I cannot detain this Mr Mabota any longer, I need him to remain in attendance, that was my dilemma.

MR SEMENYA: I'm going to ask it for the last time.

CHAIRPERSON: Can I try and be of some help here. The way I hear the witness, he is saying that the dilemma was that he had to release him, that wasn't the dilemma, you were right, the dilemma was how was it going to be possible for him to secure him in order if he was needed to be a witness in a trial on which a decision hadn't been made.

MR SEMENYA: Is that interpretation what you are trying to convey to me.

MR POTGIETER: That is correct yes.

MR SEMENYA: So you wanted to find a way in which you can deprive this man of his liberty in a manner that is not lawful?

MR POTGIETER: I wouldn't say it was unlawful because he wasn't compelled, I gave him the option.

MR SEMENYA: Sorry Sir, that meaning is that you wanted to have a hold on the man in a manner that was not permitted in law.

MR POTGIETER: Clinically I suppose...(intervention)

MR SEMENYA: Clinically!

MR POTGIETER: Clinically I suppose it wasn't correct.

MR SEMENYA: But let me test another theory that you offer. Mabota knew where Vlakplaas was, isn't that correct?

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR SEMENYA: Why don't you give him a train ticket or taxi ticket to go to Vlakplaas?

MR POTGIETER: Just to report there? No let's be, it just didn't cross my mind to tell the man go and report to Vlakplaas, I mean it was never done before. With all the askaris they were either fetched or they were delivered to Vlakplaas.

MR SEMENYA: You create an impression you and Mabota are the best of friends, you have this trusting relationship, you also even go out to organise a train ticket for him to go home.

MR POTGIETER: That was an alternative.

MR SEMENYA: Now you are saying, give another 50c for him to go to Vlakplaas.

MR POTGIETER: You're putting it very simplistic I think it's ...(intervention)

MR SEMENYA: It is that simplistic unless you have sinister intentions.

MR POTGIETER: Now it's not a simplistic matter and I don't think we should deal with it as simplistically as you're trying to.

MR SEMENYA: Give me a rational answer which is less than simplistic. Why don't you give the man a taxi fare to go to Vlakplaas.

MR POTGIETER: No I think you are being unreasonable. It was never done in that manner and surely you cannot just tell a man go and report to Vlakplaas, it's just not done in that way.

MR SEMENYA: Your records indicate that you could not be associated with the killing of policemen, is that right.

MR POTGIETER: That is correct, I have no evidence to that effect.

MR SEMENYA: Did it have to take you six months to come to that conclusion?

MR POTGIETER: No.

MR SEMENYA: Why didn't you release him sooner?

MR POTGIETER: Because I was building on a relationship and if the six months had only expired at this stage I would have still kept him. I think I must differentiate here Mr Chairman as well, although the stipulations of Section 29 amount to solitary confinement which is a form of torture, when in building a relationship of this nature you allow the detainee certain lenience, newspapers and visits to sort of alleviate the stresses of the detention. I was awaiting the decision of the Attorney General, that is why he was kept up to the maximum time that the law permitted me.

MR SEMENYA: No the Act says he will be detained until such time as he is unsatisfactory to your questions.

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR SEMENYA: Now according to you he would have done that sooner than the six months. The question is, why didn't you release him earlier, you can't say you were awaiting the decision of the Attorney General.

MR POTGIETER: I was awaiting the decision of the Attorney General.

MR SEMENYA: Do you need the decision of the Attorney General to release a man under Section 29?

MR POTGIETER: In most cases we kept people in detention and when the Attorney General issued a certificate of noli prosecute the person is released at any stage of the investigation.

MR SEMENYA: Well let me finally ask you one last question. You keep telling us that assaults are not your style. Is that right?

MR POTGIETER: That's correct yes.

MR SEMENYA: People assaulted in your presence, not your style? And my reading of the promotion of the National Unity and Reconciliation Act, tells me that you only apply for amnesty in respect of human rights violations.

MR POTGIETER: Gross human rights as I understand it.

MR SEMENYA: Yes. Now is it your style to perpetrate gross human rights violations?

MR POTGIETER: I do not understand the ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Potgieter, can I just correct you on one thing, it's not merely applying for gross human rights violations but all human rights violations. People may apply for amnesty, for which you can be prosecuted so there is a distinction. Please continue Mr Semenya.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman the questioner is asking the witness about the contents of his amnesty application. He has already given evidence about what he has applied for, I'll give Mr Semenya his amnesty application if he wants it.

CHAIRPERSON: No I don't think he is actually. Mr Semenya continue.

MR SEMENYA: Can you tell me why a person of that style which does not permit assault or permit people being assaulted in his presence would apply for amnesty for human rights violations? To me they are not compatible.

MR POTGIETER: No my amnesty application is based on the lawful powers that were given to me to detain people to compel them to testify and to be ostracised by the community thereafter, to make them discouraged and to lose their dignity and to be ostracised by even their families, those were the contents of my application. I have it here if want me to ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: No you don't have to go into detail Mr Potgieter. Mr Semenya are you through.

MR SEMENYA: I'm through but confused Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Well you're not the only one. Mr du Toit do you have any questions.

MR DU TOIT: If you please Mr ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Please go ahead.

MR DU TOIT: You know that I am du Toit and I am acting for the Pretorius family. There are a number of aspects that I find worrying and I hope you can give us an answer to those. May I start at paragraph 35.9 where it is stated that your unit was responsible for the investigation into the whole matter and there will be an independent investigation. From the outside I want to say I don't want to confuse independence with confidence but I would like to refer to Mr Lemmer's investigation. Do you refer to paragraph 35, page 56 of that document. I would just like to get some chronology, is it true that on the evening of 29th November you had already interrogated Jerry Richardson?

MR POTGIETER: I cannot say for sure, it was on that exact day, it could have been the next day, I'm not exactly sure but it was shortly after the incident took place.

MR DU TOIT: Did you have anything to do with the appointment of Mr Lemmer as investigating officer?

MR POTGIETER: I cannot help you in that regard, probably.

MR DU TOIT: The way I understand what he said was that on the morning of the 10th November you appointed him as investigating officer.

MR POTGIETER: I would agree with that.

MR DU TOIT: You had the opportunity to look at the docket what that was and to check that, was it clear to you that the first two statements happened, were done at already 10 o'clock in the morning in 1988 by Mr Lemmer?

MR POTGIETER: I can't exactly remember the detail but I accept that that could be the case.

MR DU TOIT: I am sure that your legal representative could stop me or will stop me but I refer here to the fact statements of de la Port and others were already indicated done. Mr Lemmer's explanation was that the statements are done and then afterwards it's being typed and then the answer was whether four typed statements, do you think it will be possible to do that in one morning.

MR POTGIETER: I think the statements were done by the members themselves, I am not exactly sure we could perhaps ask them but I think that would perhaps be the best thing to ask those people whether statements were made and who took them and when it was done.

MR DU TOIT: Mr du Toit this morning said that he himself wrote hout his arrestation report, they do it and then they bring it over. The only difference Colonel is that the setting and the type setting looks the same. In that case Mr Lemmer's particulars are being typed in as well as the date and the signature were included. Can you perhaps explain that to us?

MR POTGIETER: Unfortunately I really cannot help you in that regard.

MR DU TOIT: You are not aware of who the person was who had to check this docket in normal circumstances?

MR POTGIETER: Partly it would be me if available, or perhaps Col Langenhoven.

MR DU TOIT: You also said and I just want to make sure that the statement of Jerry Richardson was taken by you.

MR POTGIETER: Perhaps I did tak a statement from him. That is why I asked you yesterday, so I'm not exactly sure, I thought I took a statement from him, perhaps it is in the high treason docket but I think I have done so.

MR DU TOIT: What I want to ask you is that one of those statements that are dated 24 November but it's not the same one you took.

MR POTGIETER: The statement I have I think is not complete in my document and if I'm not mistaken I told you that Lt Bester took the statement.

MR DU TOIT: Can you tell me where Lt Bester fitted into the structure.

MR POTGIETER: He was a lieutenant, amongst staff. I cannot remember what period comes into play here from when to when, I recall that it was not that long.

MR DU TOIT: Is there any reason why Lemmer could not take this statement but Lt Bester?

MR POTGIETER: I cannot tell you, I really don't know.

MR DU TOIT: In your statement you handed in today, in paragraph 35 and especially 35.3.1 you had a version of what happened according to what you were told by Richardson, I refer to 35.3 on page 53. My question in this regard is with what did you refresh your memory to make this type of statement.

MR POTGIETER: Are you referring now to my memory. Could you just repeat the question?

MR DU TOIT: I would like to know whether you had any specific document in which you could refresh your memory in order to come up with this version.

MR POTGIETER: No this is the way I recalled it.

MR DU TOIT: Can I just check or ask you about certain aspects in connection with the accuracy in 35.3.2, the idea that Richardson telephoned Pretorius. Is that what you remember or is that a reconstruction that you are giving at this stage.

MR POTGIETER: No this is the way I recall.

MR DU TOIT: According to the witness, he didn't call Mr Pretorius but he instead called the office and they then received a message.

MR POTGIETER: I believe Mr Pretorius telephoned him then but that is the way I recall what happened as closely as possible.

MR DU TOIT: So in other words this is merely an assumption.

MR DU TOIT: I refer to 35.4. In that paragraph referred to the detention register in which Richardson was held hostage from 11th November, could you explain why it could be from 11th of November if he was arrested on the 9th of November.

MR POTGIETER: Perhaps the 48 hour period comes in.

(no recording follows for some time)

MR DU TOIT: May I read what I have in front of me.

"Jerry Vusi Richardson, alias Jesa born 48.12.08, 39 years old",

and the address is indicated as Orlando West, the identity number wasn't debateable. The investigating officer was Lt Bester, Place of Detention, Protea Cells and the date in terms of Section 29, that was the 11th. The date perhaps when he was freed was the 25th and then another date where it is indicated as the 4th perhaps in ball-point pen, I'm going to have to check the register, and then also the 28 -days period would be the 11th of November. Do you recall that?

MR POTGIETER: I said that on the 28 days we were considering further imprisonment awaiting the comments of the minister.

MR DU TOIT: He was then freed on the 25th of November 1988. The next question, did you know whether James Radebe was seen as one of the other people who also brought Jerry Richardson in.

MR POTGIETER: It is said that there could be co-handlers but I didn't know who they were.

MR DU TOIT: And to a certain extent you do refer to it in paragraph 35.8 with regard to the further handling of Jerry Richardson, but I would like to ask you further, we have a security branch here who is a jewel with regard to information, the person perhaps the only one very close to the Mandela household, who is an informant. Could you tell us what was decided to stop him from divulging further information?

MR POTGIETER: I don't know, I don't know whether there were any agreements. I remember that he didn't even make contact to get his money. I suppose he has broken contact but I have no further information which could help me in any way in an investigation. Whether he received further information I don't know.

MR DU TOIT: Just a short reply, do you think it would be possible that the Security Police could get another handler for him once he has been freed?

MR POTGIETER: If his services were to be made available further, later, I believe Mr Rademeyer could perhaps identify another handler or that Mr Radebe could proceed and give him another member as an alternative and that Mr Radebe would be the primary handler.

MR DU TOIT: Basically two questions ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I'd be grateful if you could try and finish now.

MR DU TOIT: I will certainly do. The next aspect is what you know with regard to the compensation of the information given by Mr Richardson.

MR POTGIETER: I have no information in that regard.

MR DU TOIT: But you know that he didn't collect the remuneration.

MR POTGIETER: You know these things are said in the corridors verbally. I can't tell you whether I discussed it with Louis or Klaasie or whoever, this is what I picked up that he didn't make any further contact, that he wasn't interested in his money and now during the Amnesty Hearings I heard that he was offered or paid an amount of R10 000.

MR DU TOIT: Just quickly, the next aspect, were you aware of the theory that Mr Watermeyer spoke about yesterday that the security police said that the death of Sgt Pretorius could have been an ambush?

MR POTGIETER: Any information in connection with the presence of MK members had to be handled with circumspection. It could be, there could be a tip, it could be or it couldn't so I agree with Mr Watermeyer in that regard and may I just quote what an old friend said, General Witkop Badenhorst. "Make ready for war and you will have peace". So in other words you don't have a trained person or attack a trained person from MK or APLA without preparing yourself. It wasn't our task.

MR DU TOIT: My question is whether you in the investigation and to the death of Sgt Pretorius because you were head of that section whether you developed that theory in interrogation of Mr Richardson?

MR POTGIETER: No.

MR DU TOIT: Just a final aspect. The statement of Mr Richardson as where it's mentioned in the investigation in that there was prima facie evidence against him and Mrs Mandela with regard to the keeping of terrorists.

What happened to those two crimes, was there any follow up?

MR POTGIETER: Those are the tapes I referred to earlier. The argument with Tebogo and those tapes weren't broken because it had a lot to do with the keeping of MK members, the housing of MK members.

MR DU TOIT: Mr Potgieter if I understand your testimony correctly then you had an interest in Mr Mabota on two bases, the first was that he was a key witness in a very important case against Mrs Mandela, is that correct? And that the attorney general could at any stage tell you, I'm now going to prosecute, please bring the witnesses who gave the statements and he would therefor should be available at all times.

MR POTGIETER: Within my capability yes.

MR DU TOIT: The second aspect was that you handled him almost alone for a period of six months and in that time you built up a personal relationship with him and you have, please tell me if I put it too strongly, that you developed a tender feeling for him?

MR POTGIETER: That's true, we built up a good relationship.

MR DU TOIT: The relationship was so good that at a stage you had him moved from the cells in Soweto to de Deur close to Alberton which was closer to your home so that you could see him more often and I assume that you wanted to make it more convenient for him. I assume that you spoke as friends about family, friends and so forth. I assume he told you that he went to Pietersburg, what training he had, that he came from Pietersburg.

MR POTGIETER: It was in his statement yes.

MR DU TOIT: I assume he told you about his family, what they did?

MR POTGIETER: Yes that's correct. I can't remember what exactly they did, the details but you are correct, our conversations were about that.

MR DU TOIT: Now you are confronted with this dilemma as you call it, that you have to release him, you feel for him and he's a very important witness in a case that you investigated and which in all probability is going to be on all the posters. Now you have to think, what options do I have to see to it that these two requirements are complied with, that the personal relationship is looked after and that he is retained and made available in order to be able to testify. Which options did you consider in this regard?

MR POTGIETER: Both, I considered both options.

MR DU TOIT: No you're not understanding the question. That was the purpose, to attain that goal, which option did you consider? You should have said to yourself, I like Mabota, we're friends, I don't want anyone to harm him and I want to have him come and testify. No at all costs I want to achieve this goal, what am I going to do to achieve this goal. What did you say to yourself, which options did you have.

MR POTGIETER: I had about one option because I couldn't detain him any longer.

MR DU TOIT: Why could you not for instance appoint him with you in Soweto?

MR POTGIETER: We didn't work with askaris at the investigative unit.

MR DU TOIT: This was an exception, you could have gone to the General on the Commission and explained and you could have said it's very important that Mr Mabota remains under my supervision.

MR POTGIETER: I didn't think of that, I didn't regard it as an option.

MR DU TOIT: But you had knowledge of the security police that they had other farms right across the country where askaris were kept, is that not true?

MR POTGIETER: I knew they operated in other regions in the Cape, the West Cape they were accommodated at Koeberg if I remember correctly, Natal I don't know.

MR DU TOIT: I knew that there was such a farm in Natal.

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR DU TOIT: And the Cape?

MR POTGIETER: Yes.

MR DU TOIT: They made use of the facilities at Koeberg and the Eastern Cape?

MR POTGIETER: No.

MR DU TOIT: Did you not consider sending him to Cape Town or to Natal?

MR POTGIETER: No, because if he were placed under command of de Kock, de Kock would have put him where he liked. The idea was not to put him in detention there.

MR DU TOIT: Mr Potgieter he would not have fallen under de Kock had you sent him to Natal?

MR POTGIETER: No, no I didn't know, my impression was that the teams of Pretoria went out to the provinces, that's why when we wanted to make identification for statements of askaris it was always arranged with Vlakplaas at the end of each month.

MR DU TOIT: I was not aware of the fact that they had a permanent team. I'm trying to think of possibilities that you might have had and now you must remember that you had six months tape to think.

MR POTGIETER: No I didn't have time just to think of him only, I had other work as well.

MR DU TOIT: Couldn't you perhaps have contacted National Intelligence and asked them to house him because it was cardinally important?

MR POTGIETER: No I didn't think about it. Because the most obvious option was to place him with Mr de Kock.

MR DU TOIT: That's what doesn't make sense to me at all Mr Potgieter. Here is a person who had already been a traitor to Mr de Kock. His version was not that, his version was that he had been kidnapped. You arrested him, you detained him in terms of the Internal Security Act. There were telephone conversations in which there was a connection between him and Mrs Mandela. This knowledge was known to Vlakplaas members and you must have known that Mr de Kock knew it.

MR POTGIETER: At which stage I only know that when I got him, when I received him, I don't remember from whom, I discussed his history with Mr de Kock, yes, because I was not involved with his arrest.

MR DU TOIT: Let me tell you what Mr Chappies Kloppers says here in his amnesty application which we all have available. When he deals with Mr Mabota's matter he says:

"Because of the fact that he was an askari and had deserted, gone back to the ANC Mabota was also among others among the ranks of the security police, even the security police saw him as a traitor."

Were you aware of that feeling?

MR POTGIETER: No. Mr Kloppers was not at that stage at Vlakplaas, he was at Soweto, so where he could have gotten that assumption I don't know.

MR DU TOIT: That's what he says under oath. He says that's the perception that there was amongst security ranks. Do you say that's wrong?

MR POTGIETER: No I'm not saying that it's wrong, that's his perception but that doesn't have to influence my decisions.

MR DU TOIT: Mr Potgieter, you sent Mr Mabota back to Vlakplaas, you are in your heart worried about him, is that not true.

MR POTGIETER: I believed that I did not have to be so worried.

MR DU TOIT: But you're not telling the truth if you say that. Think clearly.

MR POTGIETER: I did not know that I was sending this man to his death.

MR DU TOIT: You knew very well that you were sending him to his death Mr Potgieter and I'm saying it again, you had reservations about Mr Mabota's health, according to your own version.

MR POTGIETER: I had an alternative arrangement with Mr Mabota, should he decide that it would be better to go back to his parents' house.

MR DU TOIT: In other words you were aware that he might not be very happy at Vlakplaas and that's why you discussed the arrangement with him.

MR POTGIETER: I don't know I didn't regard it in that way at that stage.

MR DU TOIT: Then why did you discuss this option with him?

MR POTGIETER: To convince him further of the interest that I have in him.

MR DU TOIT: You go further, you give him even a train ticket and you tell him to use it if it gets too hot at Vlakplaas.

MR POTGIETER: I don't see anything sinister in that.

MR DU TOIT: I see it as very sinister that I must tell you honestly. Now we assume that you had reservations about Mr Mabota's health at Vlakplaas in which degree we can debate. It's now a person who has become a friend of yours. Did you at any stage thereafter call him and ask how it was going with him. Why not?

MR POTGIETER: I can't remember how long thereafter I heard that he had left Vlakplaas. It was not very long, that is why I sent a telex to Pietersburg.

MR DU TOIT: That's more serious even Mr Potgieter, because now you heard that he has left Vlakplaas, this is your friend and key witness in a big case and what did you do about it?

MR POTGIETER: I sent a telex to Pietersburg for them to go and look for him at his parents house. I sent the telegram to the security branch at Pietersburg, I can't remember who the investigating person was.

MR DU TOIT: This is a very important, very confidential investigation Sir, to whom did you send this telex.

MR POTGIETER: I sent it to the Divisional Commanding Officer of the Security Branch Pietersburg.

MR DU TOIT: Who is he? Give us a name.

MR POTGIETER: At that stage - I really cannot remember. I can't remember who was there at that stage. It could either be Brigadier Coetzee or Colonel van der Merwe. I don't remember.

MR DU TOIT: I don't understand why you're so uncertain Mr Potgieter, it's very important, you should know, to whom did you speak?

MR POTGIETER: We can find out if it's so important to you.

MR DU TOIT: It must have been important to you Mr Potgieter, you were interested in this aspect. No I mean to know now, where is the telex?

MR POTGIETER: I won't be able to say, I can't say.

MR DU TOIT: Are there records of it?

MR POTGIETER: I don't know. Captain Mike Holmes is investigating this matter, I don't know what he has obtained or what he hasn't obtained, I don't know.

MR DU TOIT: Why didn't you go to Pietersburg and see his family and ask them what's going on, my friend and my witness is gone, is he not here?

MR POTGIETER: I trusted that the people at Pietersburg would do that for me.

MR DU TOIT: No but they didn't do it, did they and I didn't get a decent answer, how can we say that?

MR POTGIETER: They said he'd never arrived there. Now you must remember I was taken away from the investigation at that stage, and I was transferred to the intelligence unit.

MR DU TOIT: Now Mr Potgieter, Pietersburg tells you that he didn't arrive in Pietersburg, now all red lights should start flashing, now you must find out what happened to him, you personally because what are you going to do now if von Lieres said that he's ready to go on?

MR POTGIETER: Then I would have had a problem Sir.

MR DU TOIT: Tell me, did you ever phone Mr de Kock and ask him how Mr Mabota was?

MR POTGIETER: I spoke to Mr de Kock as I said in my statement. I think I mentioned it in my statement.

MR DU TOIT: Can I ask you if you had doubts about Mr de Kock's word? Did you for instance think of going to the salary section to see whether Mabota was getting a salary every month.

MR POTGIETER: No. I left the matter there because it was not long after this episode when the Rivonia Seven were released and it was clear to me that there would be no prosecution and that is why I didn't go any further in this matter.

MR DU TOIT: Even if we accept that just on a basis of friendship as you have given us, didn't you think of making enquiries?

MR DU TOIT: Can I just hear it from you again clearly, is your version that when you called Mr de Kock and once he came to Soweto and the Security Branch, did you again say to Mr de Kock, understand clearly that I am now handing over Mr Mabota to you, he's an important man, however in the sense that he's going to be a witness in a case, in fact he is a key witness in a probable Mandela trial. Was that your version.

MR POTGIETER: I can't exactly recall in what detail to Mr de Kock what roll this man is going to play. I probably wouldn't say that this was a key witness because if you read the statements you would see that there are even more important witnesses. I've said if there's a man that I would like to use as a witness and Mr de Kock also said so in the trial.

MR DU TOIT: Let me ...(indistinct) what you said in one of the other statements initially, you said in the light of the mentioned, I contacted Mr de Kock and I requested him to take George in again as an askari and to keep him available. You even said if the attorney general were to refuse to prosecute Mrs Mandela this could be seen as the execution of a command of Mr Erasmus and then you referred to the copy. Mr de Kock then indicated that he understood the situation and he accepted to take George in and kills Mr Mabota the next day. I simply can't understand the rational behind that.

MR POTGIETER: Alright if I am a manager of the activities of which Mr de Kock and his colleagues are being accused, from his framework and operational framework at that stage, ...(indistinct) it's a totally different framework of reference. I have heard from the amnesty applications if somebody left Vlakplaas and he's been caught again, he's been killed, I was never aware of that. I would never have sent the man to that place if that were the case.

MR DU TOIT: Could I just ask you with another aspect, if you wanted to see that he comes to his destination safely, why didn't you take him to Vlakplaas personally, that was the afternoon after five.

MR POTGIETER: I explained why that was the case and I can't say exactly Mr de Kock had to come and collect him. I might have come and done that myself but I can't tell.

MR DU TOIT: Why didn't you call Mr de Kock and ask him to send one of the other persons to come and fetch Mr Mabota, why did the commander of Vlakplaas have to do it.

MR POTGIETER: No that was not the case, that was never the intention, I had the arrange with him that if he sent somebody else I would have accepted that, I wouldn't have had a problem with that because I know number of the members of Vlakplaas.

MR DU TOIT: Did you report to the generals or to the Attorney General that de Kock said that Mr Mabota had left Vlakplaas?

MR POTGIETER: No I didn't deem it possible because at that stage things happened so quickly that I realised that it was a useless exercise.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. Mr du Plessis.

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you Mr Chairman, I will be brief.

Col Potgieter, page 47 of your statement can you just page to that page please? Can you just read an answering of a number of questions about why you didn't ask anybody about why Mr Mabota was sent to Vlakplaas and I'm referring to 428.15.

MR POTGIETER: "At a later date I saw de Kock and asked him about George's health. He told me that George had left but did not elaborate and I assumed that he had deserted, gone away as he and I had arranged before. Before that I contacted the Security Branch telephonically and asked them to find out about George. I followed up the telephonic conversation with a telex and later heard that George had apparently never arrived at his parents house. There after I was appointed as the commanding officer of the Soweto Security Branch's intelligence Department and had very little contact with the investigating component. Shortly thereafter certain political changes took place in South Africa and I knew that the Attorney General would probably not prosecute Mrs Mandela."

MR DU PLESSIS: So you weren't any longer responsible for this high treason case investigation were you?

MR POTGIETER: No I wasn't.

MR DU PLESSIS: So the Attorney General would not have called you if he wanted to use Mabota as a witness?

MR POTGIETER: Well let's put it this way, Klaas and I were good friends and he would have phoned me.

MR DU PLESSIS: But it wasn't part of your work any more?

MR POTGIETER: Col Kritzinger then took over as commander of that unit.

MR DU PLESSIS: If you had not sent Mabota to Vlakplaas but as has been suggested, put him on a train to his family, given the fact that he had very sensitive information about Mrs Mandela's

actions and also the liberation movement's actions, and that he had divulged those to you, did you have an idea that his life might be in danger?

MR POTGIETER: Yes I think that speaks for itself.

MR DU PLESSIS: Was that a reason why you sent him to Vlakplaas?

MR POTGIETER: It could have been one of the factors. His safety was important, it was a worry to me, it could have been one of the factors.

MR DU PLESSIS: And Colonel, this document that you refer to which is not attached to your statement or to this statement which gives the policy as to how arrested terrorists are recruited to become informers or to work with the police, what did that provide for?

MR POTGIETER: It provided for arrested MK and APLA members, not prosecuted because of transgressions that they would be recruited to work as askaris at Vlakplaas, at Section 7 of Vlakplaas.

MR DU PLESSIS: And in your amnesty hearing do you also apply for certain aspects for which you might in a civilian sense be liable, not so?

MR POTGIETER: Yes that's correct.

MR DU PLESSIS: I have no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Well the Commission has no questions for you either. You have spent a very long time not in the witness box but sitting there, and I appreciate your willingness to testify and your patience and I thank you. You may stand down.

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: Before I call the next witness let me say that because of the time factor there is going to be no recess or no break for tea. I'm quite happy to be fairly lenient about people getting up and walking around but I'm not going to have a break; people can choose their own break and secondly I'm going to remind the photographers that because we've got a job to do, I've got no problem with that at all but I'll ask you to observe normal decency and respect in doing your job. I'm sure I don't have to say that but for the record it's important for me to have it done.

CHAIRPERSON: I call Col de Kock. I'll give the photographers a few minutes and then I'll ask you to leave. Col de Kock thank you for being here. You need to take the oath and I'll as Ms Sooka to administer it, thank you.

EUGENE DE KOCK: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Col de Kock, before I ask your legal representative to lead you, I want to ask you one question which probably is going to be the easiest question you've had for a very long time. Is it true that today is your birthday.

MR DE KOCK: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: I thought you may find it easy to answer that question. Within the circumstances in which you find yourself, either here or from where you have come, may I say that as one human being to another, happy birthday.

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chairman I appreciate it.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Hugo.

MR HUGO: Thank you Mr Chairman. Mr de Kock do you have the document in front of you that was set up in the form of a sworn statement and in which you speak about the questions in reaction to the witness subpoena that you received?

MR DE KOCK: Yes I have.

MR HUGO: Did you go through the document and sign it? And it was properly sworn and attested to?

MR DE KOCK: Yes.

MR HUGO: You say that you received the notice and that you are willing to answer all the questions as far as you know and you say that, you mentioned the aspects in the notice with which you were confronted and you say that you are a moment a prisoner at C-Max in the Maximum Security Prison in Pretoria, is that correct.

MR DE KOCK: Yes sir.

MR HUGO: You refer further to the introductory part of your amnesty hearing where you give an exposé of the background and your involvement with Vlakplaas and you attach this as annexure EAK 1, is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: Yes.

MR HUGO: And you just attach it for completeness purposes and as background.

MR DE KOCK: Yes that's true.

MR HUGO: Then you say with regard to the interrogation and the death of Themba, you say that you have applied for amnesty for the murder upon Mr Mabota for which you among others were responsible.

MR DE KOCK: That's right.

MR HUGO: And you attach a copy of your sworn statement which forms part of the amnesty hearing with regard to the murder of Mr Mabota, it is called Annexure EAK 2.

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR HUGO: Then you deal with the so-called interrogation and consequent death of Sizwe Sithole.

MR DE KOCK: That's right.

MR HUGO: And you say that you had no knowledge of that whatsoever.

MR DE KOCK: Yes no knowledge.

MR HUGO: Then on page 6 you say that Vlakplaas made a wide use of informers and infiltrators to find information on the liberation movement activities. You confirm that Mr Johannes Mabota was generally used as an informer who gleaned information with regard to his former ANC comrades. You add however that Mr Mabota was never used by Vlakplaas as an informer regarding Mrs Winnie Madikizela-Mandela or the Mandela United Football Club.

MR DE KOCK: No Mr Chairman.

MR HUGO: Then finally in this paragraph you say that Mr Mabota had deserted from Vlakplaas and that according to your knowledge, there had been liaison between Mrs Winnie Mandela, Mr Mabota and that this information had been relayed to you via the security branch at Soweto, is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: Yes.

MR HUGO: Then you deal with the so-called abduction and assault of Stompie Sepei in '88 and information related to that and you say that you had no knowledge of that.

MR DE KOCK: That's correct.

MR HUGO: Then you talk about the working methods used between the various branches of the South African police, that is the security branches, Murder and Robbery and the Stratcom units. Can you please at this point just tell the Commission how administratively and legally speaking this worked when for instance a division such as Murder and Robbery made use of the services of askaris based at Vlakplaas if they wanted to make use of such people.

MR DE KOCK: They would have worked via the local security branch or division to the security head office and the commander of C 1 Brigadier Schoon would be approached and he would give us the instruction. It was not a long time- consuming process, it could be done in three or four minutes because it was telephonically.

MR HUGO: You say with regard to the other aspects in your witness subpoena that you had no knowledge of the intelligence material which was available to the intelligence services with regard to Mrs Mandela and for the Football Club. Is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is true. I would like to qualify, I might have made a conclusion later but there's nothing that I had by way of knowledge of that.

MR HUGO: Then I want you to move to Annexure A which is - do you have that in front of you? You say that there was an Askari named Johannes Mabota who found himself at Vlakplaas for service. Can I ask you when was the first time he got to Vlakplaas?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chair I'm not sure. At that stage we had quite a couple of askaris. There were quite a volume of them coming in at on a regular basis. I had no idea but he wasn't there long by the time he deserted.

MR HUGO: So you realised that he had deserted and when did you for the first time again hear of his doings?

MR DE KOCK: I didn't know immediately that he had deserted. The first time I heard he had deserted was when I was called by the Soweto security branch and the reason for this was that certain of the Askaris, not all of them, had left social habits, if you can call it that, they would stay away for a month or so and drink a lot and so on, so that wasn't a sign of alarm to us. We gave them reasonable leeway.

MR HUGO: You say that you were called by Col Grobelaar and that he told you that Mr Mabota had been arrested by the Soweto Security Branch.

MR DE KOCK: Yes that's right.

MR HUGO: Then you say that he was involved again in illegitimate operations and that he got involved with Mrs Mandela and her so-called Football Club?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that's correct.

MR HUGO: You say in the following paragraph that you and Mr Bellinghan, Col Grobelaar and Chappies Kloppers as well as another member went to Marble Hall, met each other there where Mabota was also present.

MR DE KOCK: Yes that's correct.

MR HUGO: Then you went to a farm in the vicinity where Mr Mabota was found outside a hut. Can you tell us in your own words what then happen

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chair, if I remember correctly, at this place, this farm or plot, we reached it about 9 o'clock in the morning and his interrogation immediately started but in the hard way. This interrogation finished at between three and four, it could be later but there was no interruption. When one group was tired then another two, the groups were two, then another group took over, he was in a blanket, his clothing had been taken off so that it would not get urine on it, that it was not torn or blood stained or anything. The blanket was his so that no marks would be shown, despite friction. He was strangled, he was hit he was kicked, care was taken that no bones were broken and care was taken that his face was not harmed badly although his nose and his mouth did bleed, but it was not a continual run of blood. He was also strangled, I don't remember if it was a wet sack or rubber, he was also hung upside down, he was seriously assaulted.

Seriously does not necessarily mean that you bash open his head or break his back. That afternoon he was a tired, broken, hurt man nevertheless he stuck with his report that he had been kidnapped and had been detained and that was when he told me later that he was being kept as a sex slave. That was new to me in my career, I just couldn't accept that because he had a chance of running away. That was what Mabota went through that day.

I have been a part of many interrogations of different degrees, difficult ones, easier ones, normal conversational ones, it depends on the operators and of the person being interrogated, whether he cooperates immediately, whether he's a hardened person, whether he would rather die than to testify and according to that such a person would then be interrogated on the grounds of whether he cooperated. Unfortunately I had the experience upon occasion but seldom to see security policemen and observe them who enjoyed with a form of sadism interrogating such a person even if that person knew nothing.

CHAIRPERSON: The camera people please to observe some privacy and respect here. I'm sorry Mr de Kock. Mr de Kock please continue, I'm sorry to interrupt you.

MR DE KOCK: I conclude on that note. That is the basic foundation of what his interrogation was. That was rough and it was bad and any other person considering him or herself fit for us to demonstrate on such a person and to see what he would feel like, I can assure you we had a very injured person on our hands afterwards.

MR HUGO: Is it correct that you yourself participated?

MR DE KOCK: Yes Mr Chairman.

MR HUGO: You were one of five or six who kept on for a couple of hours?

MR DE KOCK: Yes Mr Chairman I would like to qualify. Col Grobelaar did not participate at all although he was there. The person with me, I don't remember that he participated in any way and I would also like to say two members from Marble Hall, because it was their premises, they didn't participate in any way. It was me and the Soweto members of whom I knew only one member. He has died so I would not name him and the rest.

MR HUGO: Mr de Kock you say in the next statement that you then went back to Pretoria and later you were phoned by Col Potgieter of the Security Police, what did Mr Potgieter say to you then?

MR DE KOCK: It was very short and there were many euphemisms such as a plan had to be made with this man and the general tone was that he could not be released again. Which gave me the indication that this man had to be killed. It was not a misunderstanding. I qualify this by saying that Col Potgieter and I have a good understanding, we've always had it and it was a service rendered, we served together at Koevoet where he was in charge of previous SWAPO terrorists and their interrogation and the analysis thereof. He is a very good analyst of information.

MR HUGO: What did Mr Potgieter say to you why should Mr Mabota be killed?

MR DE KOCK: Because Mabota was involved with the shooting of two policemen and that it would happen again and that it had to be prevented.

MR HUGO: Can you tell us what exactly happened on the day of his release?

MR DE KOCK: Can I go on? There was a short conversation between me and Jan Potgieter. I wouldn't say who called whom because I can't remember, but I know the area very poorly but if one travels towards the police station from de Deur in an eastern direction, you see a crossroads, one goes north and one goes south there. We moved from north to south first, past the turn-off for de Deur, we met him along the road and discussed the strategy and then from them myself and Wouter Mentz in a vehicle and Col Potgieter in his, because he had to go and get the person cleared out at the police station. A second vehicle was driven by Louw van Niekerk and Dawid Britz. When Col Potgieter left the police station, they would move from the turn-off road of de Deur in a western direction and make a U-turn at a reasonable distance where they would stop, Col Potgieter would then give Mabota, hand him over to Louw van Niekerk and to Dawid Britz. They were both big and strong with the excuse that he was going to Vlakplaas. This handing over took place at that distance so that identification by the police at de Deur would not have been possible.

As a result of the plan that had to be made with Mabota, there were already two explosive experts to secure the place. They had to make sure that there were no herd boys or hunters or anybody. A second vehicle waited at the Bapsfontein highway, a land cruiser. Mabota went with van Niekerk and Britz to that point. He was transferred to the land cruiser and some of those then went to I think a certain mine. We waited at the western side of the police station as a cut-off point if there would have been a fight at the handing over of Mabota and we first went to Vlakplaas. I do not know why but it was quit that we went and from there I went to the Penge Mine and just before the entrance to the mine we collided with a big rotweiler dog and damaged my vehicle. Maybe some people will remember that.

On the other side of Penge Mine I found Mabota, his were tied behind his back, he had not been assaulted, he was not asked any more questions. I asked him where the weapons were, whether they had been taken out and he said he knew of nothing. I said that's good and we took him down to the groove of the mine where there was already a block with 25 kg of plastic explosives.

When Mabota turned around I shot him two shots into his heart after each other. Then his clothing was removed, his hands were untied and he was placed on top of the explosives. I then walked off because exploding bodies was not in my line. I actually buried people in the Republic and in Angola because one has to go on with the fight but we buried them later, so I can later explain to you why we made use of the explosives. There were enquiries into this, it was strange to me as well but it was not quite unknown.

MR HUGO: After this you returned to Pretoria and in terms of what you said in your statement you then reported to your commander.

MR DE KOCK: Yes Chairman, I told Brigadier Schoon that the problem that we had and the problem that we had to help with was removed. We never went into detail and at the same time I reported the damage to the vehicle and I told him it will be reported that on the Ben Schoeman Highway I damaged my vehicle, it was an official vehicle even though it was a secret vehicle and I explained that to him. He is a man of not many words and usually he nodded or when he wanted to elaborate he was a kind man but sort of rather short. He was a good officer, he was - it is uncomfortable, it is not easy, thank you Chairman.

MR HUGO: Mr de Kock, I would like you to return to page 9 of your statement which is October 13 and in that you state that in that time we are dealing with now we had rumours about Mrs Mandela's activities and that there were rumours that she could be involved in a number of crimes. Do you refer to that or do you accept that you accept those rumours?

MR DE KOCK: I had information that I have received from an intelligence member and I didn't see this rumour but that is open for discussion.

Your perception nevertheless rightly or wrongly that Mrs Mandela spearheaded the freedom movement fight at that stage against the regime, I would like to qualify there are a number of people who today say especially in Parliament and those people who have political forecasts that there was a broad revolutionary front against us the security forces and the anti freedom terrorists, but she really spearheaded that with a courage that was worrying senior politicians. She did stand on her legs, she really exposed herself, I'm not trying to plead for her, there should be no uncertainty about that. However she really was a thorn in the flesh of most of the security.

The general summary and I'm not an expert, I'm a layman but in security terms in the security and in the army, whenever her name came up, there people were really worried. The impression I had was that they couldn't really touch her because of her profile and the reason for that was that it wouldn't only have international repercussions but also economic repercussions because the internal safety situation would be stabilized with the entire grass roots level on her side. She is a very strong person, let us make no mistake, a friend of mine and perhaps in a lighter vein I could say this that one could throw from a height of 30,000 ft from an aeroplane and nothing would happen to her.

MR HUGO: Mr de Kock you conclude paragraph 14 and I would like you to just read out a few sentences of that paragraph.

MR DE KOCK: It rather seems now that I look at in retrospect that many rumours that were spread about Mrs Mandela could perhaps make out a part of operations of the S A Police in an effort to work up the emotions of the public against Mrs Mandela and also to motivate the members of the police, including myself, to take all sorts of steps against her and her supporters, supporters being not only the United Mandela Football Club on grassroots level as they say, I am not very exposed to language but I am now, my apologies but that was phenomenal and somebody who wants to dispute that has to have a good argument.

MR HUGO: A last aspect that worried me personally and you personally as well; is it true that when the affidavit was done which formed the basis of the amnesty application with regard to the Mabota Amnesty application you specifically told me not to make mention of the so-called love relationship that came into play and that on your request you didn't want it to be part of your statement.

MR DE KOCK: No Chairman because if that were the case, it wouldn't have been a gross human rights violation. Perhaps in the past during the time of the prohibition of mixed marriages act it would have been the case but in the context I said that was during cross-examination by Mr Justice van der Merwe and the Attorney General, but that was during those hearings with regard to questions to you in connection with Mr Chappies Kloppers and his character and his participation in certain misdemeanours. You didn't mention it there.

MR HUGO: I didn't do so because it wasn't relevant and in fact that you also told me that you were not sure in any way whether there was any substance in that and in fact that could again have been a Stratcom operation from Soweto and you therefore didn't want it in.

MR DE KOCK: If you look at my evidence in front of Mr Justice van der Merwe, in any of the excuses of Mr Mabota, one of the excuses was that he was a sex slave. I don't believe that, I think the whole story of sex slaves you can't really trust whether it is a high profile person or just a small politician or whoever, the ordinary man, that has nothing to do with the job itself.

MR HUGO: But Mr Potgieter did mention it in his affidavit and he attacked you on the point that you mentioned things that were not relevant and he wanted you to address this whole aspect and you refused to do so.

MR DE KOCK: That unfortunately is true but I think Mr Potgieter was advised by somebody else, not the present advisor, but that is not important here, but I don't want to fight them now.

MR HUGO: Mr de Kock then finally can I ask you, you see that some of the family members of the deceased are here and without whipping up emotions, or becoming overly sentimental, how do you feel about what happened and about what you've been involved with at that stage.

MR DE KOCK: Chairman we wasted a number of lives on both sides. It was unnecessary with hindsight. The temperatures were running very high in the '70's and '80's. None of the two sides didn't have prisoners really. Barbarism was rife on both sides, I don't want to elaborate on that now, it was a waste of good manpower. At some stage or another we could have been sitting here drinking tea together. The losses they've had because of the deaths of people and those people who have been messed around physically or emotionally we will never ever be able to repair. Nobody can say I'm a victim. Sometimes I do feel like that and that is not out of context, but we're going to have to try to prevent this from happening again, it is not the time to elaborate on it now. If people want to detain me for that and that could lead to my death, so be it but because a number of people on both sides, the politicians perhaps, couldn't come to terms with each other and one-another, the ordinary man suffered. It didn't have anything to do with colour and what they told us during that time was acceptable and we accepted that you plant a 5kg bomb and I will plant a bigger one and in that way we kept on destroying and it was escalating and on an escalating level. So in other words if you didn't experience this yourself, it is difficult for me to, in the limited linguistic skills I have, to really tell you. I nevertheless am trying my best to do so. I have nothing further.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prior.

MR PRIOR: Thank you, Mr de Kock, whilst you were at Vlakplaas did your unit have any relationship or any contact with the Soweto Security Branch?

MR DE KOCK: Yes that is correct Chair.

MR PRIOR: Are you able to give the Commission and idea in general terms of the type of contact that occurred?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chair what happened was that Vlakplaas at C 1 was on a national and international level or outside of the borders, Europe in some occasions. That's just the background. The normal procedure would have been that Security Branch or Division might feel that there was a presence of ANC members or operational members in their area, they would then request via head office for a group of askaris and we would look which of the askaris possibly might know some of those terrorists or trained people who might have been trained with them, who might know their family and the moment that they were deployed from Vlakplaas then the commander of the askari group fell under the divisional head of the security branch wherever that is, Durban, Cape Town etc. From there the commander would go and appoint a member normally a member of the anti-insurgents' unit and say these are the members, task them with specific goals. Would a Stratcom unit or anybody, should they need an askari, they would go to the commander in charge for order, discipline and their tasking and would say I have these photographs that have to be identified, or can you help me with this interrogation, or whatever. These are situations on the periphery but the main task was the tracing and arresting of an MK member and especially the confiscation of weapons, ammunition and explosives afterwards because the moment you could do that, you have half an anti insurgent soldier, in other words, his teeth have been extracted. You haven't done everything but that was a beginning.

MR PRIOR: I'm specifically after, was there any logistical support if I can put it that way, given to the Soweto security branch by Vlakplaas during this period, 88/89 whilst you were at Vlakplaas? 

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chair, we had our own logistics for our own members, machine guns - everything they needed we made available immediately. I he requested it while he was there, it could have been made to reach him immediately. As far as Soweto was concerned, they did sometimes fetch landmines, AK47's, ammunition, hand grenades and so forth from me as well as explosives and then exploders as well. That enabled them to perform possible covert operations, that was basically for what it was. That's how I see it, there might have been other reasons.

MR PRIOR: So it is correct that Soweto security branch during this relevant period called on Vlakplaas for support whether it be logistical via weapons that they required or ammunition or explosives or other assistance in launching operations. Do you agree with that?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Mr Chair, it was not a strange concept, there was nothing sinister about it, We were all in the same boat, we helped each other. We just had more access to such equipment, it wasn't only Soweto, I am thinking of Eastern Cape, Natal, Cape Town, Eastern Transvaal. It wasn't an isolated thing, just with Soweto.

MR PRIOR: Before the incident regarding Temba Mabotha, had you had any other contact for example with Mr Potgieter from the Security Branch, Soweto?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, I saw him upon occasion I think, if I try to remember but we worked together for a while at Koevoet also in a sensitive line, not everybody moved on that level. It was an elected group on that level.

MR PRIOR: Once you placed your team of Askari or gave assistance in terms of manpower to the Security Branch at Soweto, would you know the specifics of the operation or would you leave that up to the local commander to give those instructions to your Askaris or your men?

MR DE KOCK: No, Mr Chair, if it were a serious situation where they said we have to launch an attack or we have information, could you launch an attack, then they would have called us, but the delegation was complete in that sense that your security branches and divisions were manically protective of their sources, their infiltration structures, their existing intelligence structures and if we had gone out on our own and done something, we could have disturbed the balance and that was something we did not want to do. A vague memory that I have, the Askaris did sometimes do things wrong in certain places and we had all sorts of problems to calm people afterwards. The organisation of that section was total and the people who gave them their orders were supposed to command them.

MR PRIOR: An incident which directly emanated from Soweto Security Branch, can you recall any other, whether there were any such other incidents or occurrences where you were called upon by the Soweto Security Branch to eliminate problem people?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chair, not that I can remember now. If you could refresh my memory, I might say yes or no, but later in 1990 or '91 there was a situation, a situation did arise where I was not known in a certain matter and afterwards two Askaris had come back to me and asked me for their money of which I knew nothing. It seemed that an operation had been launched without my knowledge that, and that led apparently to the death of three activists but I did not actually apply for that except for obstructing the law, I did ask amnesty for Brigadier, er, no, we, I went to Brigadier Schoon and we paid them each R5 000. I think they are still available if they are still alive, not that I think they would have been killed, but we don't know with the taxi violence and so forth.

MR PRIOR: Thank you, I want to leave that because your affidavit deals with the relationship between Stratcom, the other intelligence agencies and so forth? I want to turn to Temba Mobotha and his killing. During the interrogation of Mobotha at Marble Hall, was he questioned while you were present in any way relating to the Mandela Football Club or Mrs Winnie Mandela's activities in Soweto?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chairman, in no way that I can remember. I don't recall that either, it specifically went about weapons and more weapons, what has done and what you have done wrong. The Stompie Sepei case only came up with me later and that is also where I mentioned it, also because of a short discussion during my detention, but Stompie Sepei wasn't a factor in the past and I wasn't, I didn't know who he was. I can perhaps just give you an idea, your branches worked very intensely when it came to individuals on national level and also across borders and the volume of that information is rather big, and it was therefore simply impossible to know. Your branches usually would come up with a request and tell one that there was a problem. There was the western border and then also down towards the Swazi direction but that is the way we gained information.

MR PRIOR: Yes I just want to, during the gruesome interrogation that extended the interrogation of Mr Mabotha, there was an indication that Mr du Toit was present and it was put via your attorney, is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: There were more members of Soweto there, I didn't know them however. I visited Soweto at the most three times, one didn't go there eagerly, at least not me. That was the first time where I saw Klopper and then I also knew Major Grobler and a man who is dead now, I don't want to mention his name now, but those are the only people I knew, but there were more people because we worked in shifts because that man was never left alone. At three opportunities he was in a delirium, there was no rest for him. I therefore cannot tell whether du Toit was there because I can't identify them. Let me put it this way, and I am not going to involve him if I am not certain.

MR PRIOR: Mr Kloppers was at that time a member of the Security Branch at Soweto?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: Was he later, he was then transferred to Vlakplaas?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: You indicated that part of the interrogation concerned Stompie Sepei, is that correct?

DE KOCK: That, was that while we were there at Marble Hall? I can't remember that because my interest was the weapons, that is exactly what I was adamant about.

MR PRIOR: And the information about the weapons, where did you get that information from, in other words why were you questioning him about the weapons?

DE KOCK: That is information that Mr Grobler reported to me, namely that that man knew where the weapons were, that he was involved in more crime so that we wanted to find out what that was all about.

MR PRIOR: Now you heard the evidence of Mr Potgieter today before the Commission concerning his concern for Mr Mabotha, that he was using him as a witness, he wanted to protect him as such, and was concerned for his welfare and he turned to you as a last resort to solve his dilemma because he wanted to retain Mr Mabotha, keep in touch with Mr Mabotha and contact with him should the Attorney-General require him as a witness. You heard that?

MR DE KOCK: I have listened to that, yes, Mr Chairman. I am not going to agree with that, Mabotha was not the first section 29 detainee and who was so fast from me as well as explosives and then exploders as well. That enabled them to perform possible overt operations, that was basically for what it was. That's how I see it, there might have been other reasons.

MR PRIOR: Call by Vlakplaas Four. Support whether it be logistical weapons that they required or ammunition or explosives or other assistance in launching operations. Do you agree with that?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, Mr Chair, it was not a strange concept, there was nothing sinister about it, We were all in the same boat, we helped each other. We just had more access to such equipment, it wasn't only Soweto, I am thinking of Eastern Cape, Natal, Cape Town, Eastern Transvaal. It wasn't an isolated thing, just with Soweto.

MR PRIOR: Regarding Temba Mabotha, had you had any other contact with Mr Potgieter from the Security Branch, Soweto?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, I saw him upon occasion if I try to remember but we worked together for a while at Koevert also in a sensitive line, not everybody moved on that level. It was an elected group on that level.

MR PRIOR: Once you placed your team of Askari or gave assistance in terms of manpower to the Security Branch at Soweto, would you know the specifics of the operation or would you leave that up to the local commander to give those instructions to your Askaris or your men?

MR DE KOCK: No, Mr Chair, if it were a serious situation where they said we have to launch an attack or we have information, could you launch an attack, then they would have called us, but the delegation was complete in that sense that your security branches and divisions were manically protective of their sources, their infiltration structures, their existing intelligence structures and if we had gone out on our own and done something, we could have disturbed the balance and that was something we did not want to do. A vague memory that I have, the Askaris did sometimes do things wrong in certain places and we had all sorts of problems to calm people afterwards. The organisation of that section was total and the people who gave them their orders were supposed to command them.

MR PRIOR: An incident which directly emanated from Soweto Security Branch, can you recall any other, whether there were any such other incidents or occurrences where you were called upon by Soweto Security Branch to eliminate problem people?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chair, not that I can remember now. If you could refresh my memory I might say yes or no, but later in l990 or 91 there was a situation, a situation did arise where I was not known in a certain matter and afterwards two Askaris had come back to me and asked me for their money, of which I knew nothing. It seemed that an operation had been launched without my knowledge that, and that led apparently to the death of three activists but I did not actually apply for that except for obstructing the law. I did ask amnesty for Brigadier, no I went to Brigadier Schoon and we paid them each R5 000. I think they are still available if they are still alive, not that I think they would have been killed, but we don't know with the taxi drivers and so forth.

MR PRIOR: Does your affidavit deal with the relationship between Stratcom, the other intelligence agencies and so forth? I want to turn to Temba Mabotha and his killing. During the interrogation of Mabotha at Marble Hall, was he questioned whilst you were present in any way relating to the Mandela Football Club or Mrs Winnie Mandela's activities in Soweto?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chairman, no, in no way that I can remember. I don't recall that either, it specifically went about weapons and more weapons, what has done and what you have done wrong. The Stompie Sepei case only came up with me later and that is also where I mentioned it, also because of short discussion during my detention but Stompie Sepei wasn't a factor in the past and I didn't know who he was. I can perhaps just give you an idea. Your branches worked very intensely when it came to individuals on a national level and also across borders and the volume of that information is rather big and it was therefore simply impossible to know. Your branches usually would come up with a request and tell one that there was a problem. There was the western border and then also down towards the Swazi direction, but that is the way we gained information.

MR PRIOR: Gruesome interrogation that extended interrogation of Mr Mabotha, there was an indication that Mr du Toit was present and it was put via your attorney, is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: There were more members of Soweto there, I didn't know them however. I visited Soweto at the most three times, one didn't go there eagerly, at least not me. That was the first time where I saw Klopper and then I also knew Major Grobler and a man who is dead now, I don't want to mention his name now, but those are the only people I knew. There were more people because we worked in shifts because that man was never left alone. At three opportunities he was in a delirium and there was no rest for him. I therefore cannot tell whether du Toit was there because I can't identify him. Let me put it this way, and I'm not going to involve him if I'm not certain.

MR PRIOR: (indistinct) a member of the Security Branch at Soweto?

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: Was he later, he was transferred to Vlakplaas/

MR DE KOCK: That is correct.

MR PRIOR: You indicated that part of the interrogation concerned Stompie Sepei, is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: Was that while we were still there at Marble Hall? I can't remember that because my interest was the weapons, that is exactly what I was adamant about.

MR PRIOR: Where did you get that information from? In other words, why were you questioning him about the weapon?

MR DE KOCK: That is information that Mr Grobler reported to me, namely that that man knew where the weapons were, that he was involved in more crime so that we wanted to find out what that was about.

MR PRIOR: Now you heard the evidence of Mr Potgieter today before the Commission concerning his concern for Mr Mabotha, that he was using him as a witness, he wanted to protect him as such, was concerned for his welfare and he turned to you as a last resort to solve his dilemma because he wanted to retain Mr Mabotha, be in touch with Mr Mabotha and in contact with him should the Attorney-General require him as a witness. Did you hear that?

MR DE KOCK: I have listened to that, yes, Mr Chairman. I am not going to agree with that. Mabotha was not the first Section 29 detainee and who later was used as a, for State purposes evidence and witness the Department of Justice and the A.G. in particular had a system where the detainee or somebody who is being detained at a police station for one's own safety, but there should be creature comfort wherever possible. The Attorney-General then also from the Department of Justice budget gave money to those people and if it was not enough I had no doubt that from the secret funds it will be topped up and in that regard there is one scenario, the scenario is that we have listened to how important Mabotha was, he was of cardinal importance at the Soweto Safety Branch and the head office were to be approached telephonically and to ask him whether they had kept him in safety. It would have been followed up during, in the report. Each safety branch had security funds which they could utilise and then later report on. Furthermore there were safety houses and operational houses throughout the country at each branch and in isolation as well he could have been looked after and kept there. Vlakplaas had no detaining facility, it was not a camp, people went and go as they wished and Mabotha, after I attacked him at Marble Hall, wouldn't have returned. I can assure you of that. I had no grip on him in any way to prevent him from leaving it again. If one looks at the internal security police structure, there was no way that Mabotha could be travelling to his parents' home in Pietersburg and without being attacked by people within 24 hours; they have also listened in to telephone discussions, there is no way that Mabotha could have survived on his own without help of the security police. The Askaris at Vlakplaas wouldn't have trusted him; I couldn't, wouldn't have been able to use him for work. If he was shot he would have been asked questions, I couldn't have loosed luck in any way but he sat and he painted pictures, but if something happened to him I would have lost my own head. That is therefore the basic indication; there are one or two further points but I can't recall them now.

MR PRIOR: The decision to eliminate eliminate Temba Mabotha -who made that decision?

MR DE KOCK: I wouldn't say Jan Potgieter took the decision. I believe it came from his commanders and if he did that, he would have had very good reasons for that. It is no strange concept, it happened at Koevoet in a selected group. I may mention in passing that there was a standing rule that annually there was an infiltration from their special forces from Swapo down to the south and these people have been hunted down literally. The uninitiated who have never been involved in fights and combats refer to it as the winter games. However, the standard agreement was that any person from special forces who came down to the south would be interrogated and then afterwards they were shot. One does not hold somebody hostage and, who has very important information who could in any way in later operations be to your detriment. That was one of the dark sides of the guerrilla war and I would like to mention that any war that is being fought in the shadows is very rude, dirty, we must make no mistake about that.

MR PRIOR: In the circumstances that we've heard, Vlakplaas or the security network would have hunted him down as a matter of course because that he absconded from ...

MR DE KOCK: No, any hunting of Temba, this is only what I've heard here now, this is the argument. He wasn't a member of the S.A.P. then, he was used as an informer, as a registered source really, he was not a sworn in member of the SAP. because if that were the case I would have had a case against him, I would have cancelled his medical aid fund, there is a process therefor, I would have cancelled his pension fund, I would have cancelled his salary, but he was, he still didn't qualify to become a member of the SAP, in other words to look for him because he absconded, that is not true, and, from a legal point, I can also lay a charge against him. One has in that case no case against him. What could be a solution was that we could say we had a verbal agreement; you help us, you work together with us and then I charge you in terms of the terrorist act, I think that would have been the practical way.

CHAIRPERSON: Get on quite quickly please.

MR PRIOR: Thank you Mr Chairman. Who set up the arrangements at Penge Mine on the day that you received Mr Mabotha from Colonel Potgieter?

MR DE KOCK: Those were my arrangements based on, somebody didn't come to one and tell you to shoot somebody or whatever, it was very clear to me what my instructions were.

MR PRIOR: And the question of the explosives, whose arrangement was that?

MR DE KOCK: That was, he's not represented here today but I think he will be here some time. One of the former task force members of Ovamboland. I went and asked him where we could get rid of this person and where we could bury him and he said it was better to blow him up so that's when I asked him where the blowing-up situation came from because I, it was a bit bizarre to me, I'm not looking for sympathy, but he said they used it in Otavi with the task force and another Koevoet member told me the same thing that was told to me in Ovamboland that such a person was blown up at Sodwana which I also found very bizarre. I'm not trying to build my own image here, I am just telling you.

MR PRIOR: After the interrogation at Marble Hall on the 22nd February 1989, had any discussion taken place between yourself, the detective or the security branch Soweto, the Marble Hall security branch concerning the future handling of Mabotha, whether he could be let go, whether he was to be charged, whether he was to be eliminated?

MR DE KOCK: No, Mr Chair, Vlakplaas's mandate ended that afternoon. He who is Mabotha became then again the subject of a security investigation and in no way could Vlakplaas interfere, it was not allowed. Vlakplaas also didn't have access to information in any way; we never went and booked them out, there were cases where we went along and had to go and look at them with the view to recruitment but that's all.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Prior, Mr Pigou, no questions? Mr Mavundla.

MR MAVUNDLA: Thanks Mr Chairman. The members of Soweto security branch who were there when Mabotha was assaulted, do you remember whether any one of them participated in the assault or what?

MR DE KOCK: Can you just repeat.

MR MAVUNDLA: The members of the security branch from Soweto were there when Mabotha was assaulted. Do you remember whether any one of them participated in the assault or what?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, I can because I know that Klopper and someone working with him were very active. What actually happened in fact that you become tired so it took place on a relay basis so that the interrogated person got no rest, no water, no light, it was a total disorientation and a breaking down of a person physically and mentally.

MR MAVUNDLA: What I gather is, they did participate in the assault?

MR DE KOCK: I said before already that Colonel Grobelaar didn't, I never saw him assault anybody or interrogate anybody - I mean hard interrogating. The two Marble Hall people whose names I don't know did not participate and the person with me I couldn't remember him participating, and that's not because I'm protecting him, but all the other members of Soweto did participate; those who were there participated. You must just know one thing - the mentality at that stage, the patterns, the thought patterns at that stage was not that you had to force somebody to interrogate a person. As it were you had to queue to get a chance because people wanted to gain success. It was not for promotion, we want to make sure that terrorism doesn't take place any more, and then they took their gloves off. That's my opinion.

MR MAVUNDLA: The issue of handing Mabotha over to you, why was it necessary that Mabotha should be handed over to you?

MR DE KOCK: What was it necessary?

MR MAVUNDLA: Why was it necessary that Mabotha should be handed over to you?

MR DE KOCK: To be killed, as far as I know.

MR MAVUNDLA: As far as you know.

MR DE KOCK: That is not as far as I know, that is what I know, sorry, because we will still be hearing in future that a similar request was directed at me again and then there will be more aspects that will indicate that although there were a group of security policemen who did, who were not violence-orientated who were investigation-orientated, they did not have a problem to receive a broken person from the interrogators because that made his case safe. When this case was court-orientated, the investigator could say that somebody was not assaulted but testified. The persons who interrogated that person, they could go on with another case. In many cases a Judge said that this is not a matter in dispute, your assault, let's deal with this matter in hand. I think we have all heard that, you too.

MR MAVUNDLA: Then could you clarify this point again for me: will I be right to say that the police officer who handed Mabotha over to you is the one who gave you instructions to kill him?

MR DE KOCK: I wouldn't say he gave me orders, there was a cross-pollination of ideas. He and I understood each other well, we had no problems with each other around such a situation. I believed without doubt that from his side there would have been, he wouldn't have nodded and winked at such a situation. I don't remember the exact words and I'm not going to thumb-suck and ascribe it to him for that one doesnít do in a situation like this.

MR MAVUNDLA: You are saying that you understood each other well. Does that mean ...(intervention)

MR DE KOCK: Very well.

MR MAVUNDLA: You had similar dealings in the past or what?

MR MAVUNDLA: Yes, there's no doubt that it was in another country and at another time but the same things happened. If we come back to that, my former colleague Mr Potgieter said that he didn't know what the reference framework of C1 was, I would not say that he is lying, maybe he just forgot, because the reference framework at Koevert was specifically the same as that of Vlakplaas because what happened there was the icing on the outside of C1 which is almost the same as Koevert was that the arrest of terrorists, the recruitment and the use of such terrorists, the delivery of witnesses, the identification of the photographs, that was icing, but on the inside we had an anti-insurgent group which was ready 24 hours a day to resist and should we have found that, there I drew the line because there was a difference between anti-insurgence and anti-terrorism. Anti-insurgence - anti-terrorism you went to the border, anti-insurgence you crossed the border and gave a person his own lesson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mavundla are you nearly through, are you nearly over? Could you tell me how much longer you are going to be? You have no further questions. Please move as fast as you can.

MR MAVUNDLA: I have further questions. Thanks Mr Chairman. You also mentioned one aspect. Mr Mabotha was not a member of S.A.P. as such?

MR DE KOCK: No. At that stage he was not a sworn member of the S.A.P. He was then being used as an HQ source, some of your high profile ANC and PAC members we would bring in immediately, we're talking about people such as those, the kind of person who could have been the Minister of Defence, that was a difference that had nothing to do with discrimination. Certain of the ANC members obviously gave us many problems and I thought that it was a way of de-stabilising Vlakplaas.

MR MAVUNDLA: Mr de Kock do you maybe know whether Mr Mabotha was receiving any income for the activities that he was doing at Vlakplaas?

MR DE KOCK: He got a monthly salary, drawn from the secret fund, equal to the rank of a constable. What we did later, we didn't have a union there but one had to look at these things. The members of the S.A.P. when they deployed got S&T, subsistence and travel costs, and the group of Askaris who were registered as sources began complaining because they did the same work and got not the same money, so from the secret fund we gave an equal amount as a policeman to them, to keep the harmony.

MR MAVUNDLA: You also mention that you shot Mr Mabotha twice?

MR DE KOCK: Ja.

MR MAVUNDLA: Through your observation, he immediately died.

MR DE KOCK: He was dead before he hit the ground.

MR MAVUNDLA: But why was it necessary for him to be blown with dynamite then?

MR DE KOCK: As I have told you it was the first time that such a thing happened. If I had to give you a reason it was the destruction of any form of evidence because a body was also evidence, but I must say that it was the first time that I was involved with such a thing, and I'm not using that as an excuse. It is not something - this was the first in my career.

MR MAVUNDLA: Thank you Mr Chairman, no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON; Thank you. Before I call on Mr Sanjay Makanjee could I just explain that I have another appointment in Cape Town. I have to rush now to catch a plane. My colleague, Commissioner Yasmin Sooka will assume the chairpersonship of this Commission. She and other members of the Commission will have to decide how we are going to get through several other witnesses. I hope that all of you will bear that in mind as we try to come to the end of this hearing. Thank you.

MR MAKANJEE: Thank you, Mr Chair. I am Sanjay Makanjee acting on behalf of the Stompie Sepei family as well as the Asvat family.

I just want to know what information you received, even if it was at a later date, concerning the death of Stompie Sepei?

MR DE KOCK: There were many reports in the media and then also the media was given by the police and whoever. I personally didn't have a lot of information regarding him, I also didn't know him and basically I had no information on him. I did, however, receive information at a stage and it would be difficult for me to tell where it comes from, not because I don't want to, but it could obviously influence people's lives rather seriously. We don't want that. I can whisper it to you but then I would also like you to protect those people and their lives. One day I have been brought into contact with Reverend Verryn. The information I received from grassroots level at the gutters basically was that three corpses were buried of people killed by the Mandela Football Club, but again I didn't know that it was an effort to bring, to cast a negative light on people and somebody said to me they would bring me into contact with Reverend Verryn. We did meet at the Carlton Hotel. I was interested in getting hold of the four corpses. Winnie was not for me the argument of who killed them, let's first get hold of the four corpses. He personally although he was a very pleasant man was very introvert. I told him I was reluctant, he didn't want to speak to me. I personally thought he was very strict and straightforward and I thought he was very devoted to his job but that was, that however was only a temporary meeting and I didn't immediately want to ask him about the corpses and this is not the way it's done. And afterwards when I wanted to follow it up, he, all contact was broken. I personally thought he was scared, the little bit of information I could gain I tried to follow up.

However, with regard to Stompie Sepei I had no information on him apart from what I have read in the media. At a later stage at the Adriaan Vlok police station there was a short conversation with me and perhaps it will be said later that the name of Stompie Sepei was mentioned to me, namely that Mabotha was the chief evidence, witness in the Stompie Sepei case.

MR MAKANJEE: I just have two more questions Madame Chair. One is a general question and I wonder if you could assist me in this. The impression one gains from listening to all the previous witnesses who were all members of security branch at some stage or the other is that the Soweto security branch unlike all the other security branches in the country was a model police station. None of the officers committed any torture, none of them witnessed any torture, they followed every possible procedure.

Now in your view, you worked with members of the security branch in Soweto. I just want to ask you what is your impression on those comments they've made?

MR DE KOCK: There were individuals in the minority in the security police who were gentlemen, there were a few Generals but you were not selected for that because you had a degree and because you did Red Cross work; you were either dedicated to the National Party, a total patriot, or you could have forgotten about that job and, in general, they were also looking at good investigating officers, but assaults were not restricted to the security police itself. Murder and Robbery it is legendary and I think they are even worse than the security police, perhaps they could even compete at the Olympic Games.

Then you also had the vehicle branches who I followed them closely as a young policeman. After three or four months of service I saw that they strangled a man at Benoni because they wanted information and they would go to all lengths to get it. Today that is still the case. If one reads the papers, it is still going on. I nevertheless leave that here but that's not what it is all about.

The security policemen were dedicated, I got to know many of them as good people, some of them had compassion, some of them less and others had none, so I think one should look at this in a general way.

To come back on the question of the situation, if any of our wives were present and experienced what Mrs Mandela experienced, they would have done the same. Her husband had been banned, she couldn't see him. Children grew up around her, they couldn't see him. She has been banned, she has been trampled and now she's jumping up and down and she scares everybody in the country. That takes guts and I am not trying - she also makes me as - scares me.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Makanjee do you have ...(intervention)

MR MAKANJEE: Just one more question Madam Chair. This is concerning the Asvat family. I would just like to know if you have any information with regard to the death of Dr Abu-Baker Asvat?

MR DE KOCK: No, except that if I could compare his investigation to other investigations. I find it strange no murders of a high profile nature took longer than 24 hours in this country and the solution to that and without at least finding leads I'm not trying to break down any person here. The only other aspect with regard to Dr Asvat that I've read in the papers and also in a number of other black magazines is that he was actually a very good man. He spent more time amongst the poor than at home. Let me put it that way; that is all I know about Dr Asvat.

MR MAKANJEE: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Semenya are you going to be next?

MR SEMENYA: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr de Kock, and maybe you can be careful when you answer this question, when do you, Mr de Kock, know that you are going to kill Mabotha?

MR DE KOCK: That was after the last discussion with Colonel Potgieter.

MR SEMENYA: No, give me time, place or date?

MR DE KOCK: I would, as much as I would like to do that, I, however, still can't do that, it is virtually impossible because the number of operations I have been involved in, amnesty and application for that, are so many and other operations that went with that are perhaps even more.

MR SEMENYA: No, what I am trying to establish is, we know that on 4th October 1989 Colonel Potgieter was going to release him, right?

MR DE KOCK: Could you repeat that, please.

MR SEMENYA: On the 4th October '89 Mabotha was going to be released from detention. You can accept that.

MR DE KOCK: I didn't have the date but I have heard the date now.

MR SEMENYA: Did you know before that that you were going to kill him?

MR DE KOCK: Well, I wouldn't say before that date but it could be shortly before that date because we had to make arrangements.

MR SEMENYA: Yes, two or three days before you knew you were going to kill him?

MR DE KOCK: I cannot tell. With us it wasn't a matter, it would take us a week to come up with such arrangements, it could also happen in three hours.

MR SEMENYA: No, but when you go to De Deur to collect him you knew you were going to kill him?

MR DE KOCK: I knew, yes, because the members with the explosives were already on their way to Penge Mine, the people who would receive Mr van Niekerk and Mr Britz who would receive him, and I don't want to sort of cast a negative light on them were already waiting on the Bronkhorstspruit highway, Delmas, or one of those places, so it was a matter of where he were to be picked up, he would have been taken straight to Penge Mine.

MR SEMENYA: My understanding of de Deur is that turn-off is approximately 800 metres to the police station, is that a fair estimate?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, I guess it's about 5 to 800 metres yes.

MR SEMENYA: So at that time you knew that this man was going to be taken and and was going to be killed and cannot be fetched from the police station itself, is that right?

MR DE KOCK: He cannot be?

MR SEMENYA: He cannot be fetched from the police station itself?

MR DE KOCK: No, I, it wouldn't be possible for me to fetch him. The reasons for that is that I am not known. As far as I know, there was a register of people who were allowed to visit Section 20 detainees and no other member could book those people out, as it were, and the person who worked with him would be the person who had to fetch him and bring him out because there was documentation, there are entries and he had to be booked out at the S.A.P., his property had to be returned to him and so forth.

MR SEMENYA: I am just saying you know you didn't want to go into police station de Deur and say "I Mr de Kock am here who'd want to take out this Mr Mabotha"?

MR DE KOCK: What I tried to tell you, and this is why I mentioned it and mentioned the registers, is that even though I walked in and said I wanted to see Mr Mabotha, they wouldn't have given him to me because there was a register that had to be signed by the investigating officer, there were telephone numbers in that register, and I am not trying to say this, I am trying to be thorough and complete.

MR SEMENYA: Sir you could have got Mr Mabotha from Col Potgieter inside the building of De Deur, is that, was that physically possible?

MR DE KOCK: No.

MR SEMENYA: It was not humanly possible for you to receive Mabotha from Colonel Potgieter within the premises of de Deur police station?

MR DE KOCK: No, because that would have brought a situation that Mabotha was being let free but he's handed over to people. It's a matter of distance here and a matter of denying things, in other words he was booked out by Jan Potgieter, he gave him an opportunity whether he wanted to take him to a taxi or to the station, there was the distance between Vlakplaas and Jan Potgieter. We cannot be held responsible for that. Jan Potgieter could say that he gave him a lift and gave him a ticket but he never saw him again. It is about an alibi here.

MR SEMENYA: To explain to you, sir, maybe with a lot of difficulty that you and Colonel Potgieter knew you were going to kill this man, and you were trying to find a way in which the course of justice would not follow you?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, I've already replied to that. I am sorry for expecting that a half a word would really bring you to understand that.

MR SEMENYA: But there is also an incident in which I would want your assistance. You recall the kombi that was ambushed in Nelspruit?

MR DE KOCK: Can you repeat?

MR SEMENYA: Do you recall the details of the kombi that that was ambushed in Nelspruit?

MR DE KOCK: That's correct yes.

MR SEMENYA: And one of the occupants actually fled and escaped that ambush, isn't that right?

MR DE KOCK: That's correct.

MR SEMENYA: And you followed that person and you got him killed as well, isn't that right?

MR DE KOCK: No, I didn't follow him and I didn't kill him either. Anyway I had no reason to do that. There were a number of circumstances around that and later as a group it was decided that there was no other option. He was not the first and he wasn't the last either.

MR SEMENYA: I am trying to make that clearly there must have been a tacit understanding within the security forces that the terrorists as you saw them were not to be prosecuted but to be executed?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, under certain circumstances, in certain cases, yes, but then again, and I doubt that you want to hear this, but we worked with military trained members of a movement that was trained by the best from Russia and other countries. If you don't want to listen to me, tell me that, but I am trying my best to give you a full picture. If you don't want to hear that, I'm sorry.

MR SEMENYA: Have you finished giving me a full picture?

MR DE KOCK: No, because you didn't give me the opportunity. It is not a matter of merely getting something from the ANC and killing him at Piet Retief. For instance, we had trained people from MK who asked no mercy and didnít receive any mercy either, and in order to take on these people other than in a military way causes one's own death, and if it comes to an ambush it is standard procedure that the person who takes the initiative gets precedence to his own people. You find yourself in a war situation, we are not playing games here.

Yes, I am through.

MR SEMENYA: The official information arising out of the ambush in Nelspruit was that these people were robbers and they were sent by Winnie Mandela; do you recall that?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, there were indications of that, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Semenya, can I intervene at this stage, are you going to continue with that line of questioning and, if so, of what relevance is it to the matter we are dealing with at present?

MR SEMENYA: May I remind myself, Chairperson, that the hearings, as I understand them, are investigations into the activities of Mrs Winnie Mandela and the United Football Club. We have an event here which is, on their version, a false event in which they are alleging Mrs Winnie Mandela was involved in robberies. I can establish better relevance to illustrate the point that the security forces had an ample and deliberate plan to involve her in these activities and the case, if I understood it well, we have been told all the time that there was this broad notoriety about her activities in criminal actions. This must include those criminal activities where people are involved in a robbery. But there was no robbery. We know now from Mr de Kock it wasn't. That is the basis and the relevance of why I ask these questions.

CHAIRPERSON: I'll allow it but if you could start winding up now.

MR DE KOCK: I would just like to advise Mr Semenya and he could look at that. If he already has the documents, then he is withholding it; if he doesn't have it, he can look at it again and we can talk about it again. I received information from a source that there was a statement made by a Mr Shongo related to Winnie Mandela and her group in some way. He talks specifically of this robbery and the fact that Mrs Mandela was very angry because a certain member of her group didn't want to participate in this robbery, and I suggest that you get that document and give it to the Truth Commission and that you also study it and then we come back to it because where I'm trying to help you, but you're trying to get on my back. That is not the way gentlemen behave. I am now a convict but you will not get on my back.

MR SEMENYA: Mr de Kock I don't share the description of a gentleman with you.

MR DE KOCK: I did not ask you, I did not ask you at all.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry I wonder if we could get back to the issues here which are under discussion. Mr Hugo, I wonder if you would caution your client to answer the questions please. Mr Semenya, if you could get on with the job please.

MR DE KOCK: I apologise; it will not happen again.

MR SEMENYA: Did Colonel Potgieter tell you that Mabotha was not involved in any incidents involving the killing of a policeman?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, he did.

MR SEMENYA: And that he didn't know where any more firearms were hidden?

MR DE KOCK: I don't remember it but it was about the killing of policemen. Should he be released to kill policemen, he would have committed terrorism again and that's why he had to be taken effectively out of circulation.

MR SEMENYA: Who's opinion was it that he was going to commit terrorism?

MR DE KOCK: That was Colonel Potgieter's and I must say I agreed with him.

MR SEMENYA: And I'm asking the question, was those his express words - if we release the man, he is going to commit terrorism again?

MR DE KOCK: Verskoon my?

MR SEMENYA: Were those the words of Colonel Potgieter - if you release the man, he will go on and commit terrorism again?

MR DE KOCK: It was very likely, yes, that it would happen again.

MR SEMENYA: But you discussed it that it is undesirable that a man be released because he would go and commit terrorism?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, because we discussed whether we should allow it.

MR SEMENYA: I have no further questions thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr..

(speaker's microphone not on)

SPEAKER: Madame Chairperson may I be permitted two questions?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes you may, can you get on with it thank you.

SPEAKER: Yes Mr de Kock, I am appearing for the family of Sergeant Pretorius and I would ask you first whether you were aware of this incident before.

MR DE KOCK: No, Mr Chairman, I heard in short, in brief, I was at John Vorster Square when I heard about two or three days after that he had been shot and I think his wife was still working at John Vorster Square and that it was more than a terrible shock because I think Colonel Dion Greyling told me, maybe she can confirm but I think she heard it on the two-way of portable radio that her man, her husband, had been shot, and I don't know if it's like that.

SPEAKER: The second question I want to ask you: did you in the securities area where you moved, did you discuss in any way about his death.

MR DE KOCK: No, I heard nothing sinister, from what I heard here I made two deductions only and that is, the one was that he was maybe concerned about the safety of his source but that's just speculation and that's why he jumped out of the car; the second that with the interrogation of the investigators into his death, I got the feeling that the death of Sergeant Pretorius was not as important as protecting Jerry Richardson as a witness. That is just my opinion; I might be wrong.

SPEAKER: Thank you, Madam Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis could you just put your name on record.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes Madam Chair, it' Roelof Du Plessis, I act for two people - for Colonel Jan Potgieter on instructions from Rooth & Wessels and I also act on behalf of Captain Wouter Mentz who applied for amnesty in respect of this instance.

Colonel de Kock, let me just tell you in the beginning I tried to avoid this situation, I did not want to ask you today about your amnesty application or about credibility aspects - you know that. I was placed in a position which is very uncomfortable for me and I have to do this, I have to put this to you. Do you stand by the contents of your amnesty application and the correctness of it?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, I do.

MR DU PLESSIS: Do you stand by the testimony you gave today?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, I do

MR DU PLESSIS: I just want to discuss one aspect with you quickly with regard to Captain Mentz's application. His application is materially the same as yours. There's one aspect where there's a difference and I want to put that to you. Captain Mentz's testimony was and his application also said this: that you and he did not return to Vlakplaas after Mabotha had been picked up but he said 'we turned on the Witbank highway and the Askari was tied up. When we got on the ground floor he was already tied up. I did not know what was happening and, but I realised then that he was in difficulties. He was handcuffed, he then describes that they went to Penge Mine and then returned to Vlakplaas.

MR DE KOCK: He and I returned to Vlakplaas, I know we moved back to Vlakplaas, we did not travel behind the vehicle of Mabotha until where he was handed over. I don't recollect that but I don't have a problem with the difference he has with me.

MR DU PLESSIS: Sure, it's not a material difference; I just wanted to mention it.

Colonel de Kock, could you just tell us normally when did Vlakplaas eliminate a person? When did Vlakplaas eliminate a person? When did you and the people at Vlakplaas eliminate a person? When ? Under which circumstances?

MR DE KOCK: There wasn't a laid down rule as to who would be eliminated. The moment there were requests or a problematic person somewhere here or outside the country, initially we didn't operate internally except in a couple of isolated cases in a covert aspect, then we specialised firstly in foreign, across the border operations. Those requests or indications came from head office itself.

MR DU PLESSIS: What I want to know is what kind of people were eliminated by you?

MR DE KOCK: It would be an enemy or a traitor or someone who was a danger to the establishment or the state or a collaborator or a supporter who became a problem. I want to qualify there: Vlakplaas did not elect, select the targets.

MR DU PLESSIS: You dealt with these things covertly?

MR DE KOCK: Yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: Not many people knew what you were doing with regard to eliminations?

MR DE KOCK: Without the security branch and head office knew but not the nature of it, not the fine details.

MR DU PLESSIS: Did not everybody at all security branches countrywide knew?

MR DE KOCK: No. Not everyone but certain people would have known, individuals would have known. It was not a question of placing it on a notice board. Certain officers when they got together socially they would discuss a problem, they would say in a conversation, "this person is giving me a problem" and somebody else would have said "we have the resolution; let's talk about it - the solution - later".

MR DU PLESSIS: Everyone who operated with you at Vlakplaas would have known, wouldn't they?

MR DE KOCK Certain people knew and new members weren't brought in and some weren't brought in at all.

MR DU PLESSIS: That's why I'm asking. As I understand it, only selected people knew that Vlakplaas was busy doing eliminations for covert operations. It couldn't have been widespread.

MR DE KOCK: For covert operations, there was a selected group. Some of them became war tired and had to be replaced. That often happened. People had a choice whether they wanted to remain operational or not.

MR DU PLESSIS: How often did you get requests from other places in the country to eliminate somebody there?

MR DE KOCK I would not say that it happened on a daily basis but reasonably regularly, and then in a subtle situation, sometimes someone would say "we have a problem; why don't you do something?" and then that person would be eliminated.

MR DU PLESSIS: Sometimes you didn't comply with the requests? In other words you didn't comply with all requests?

MR DE KOCK: No.

MR DU PLESSIS: Because you also had to live with yourself in the end.

If I hear you correctly, we're talking here of hundreds of people?

MR DE KOCK: No.

MR DU PLESSIS: Oh, so we're not talking about hundreds of people eliminated by Vlakplaas. I'm not asking you to mention the cases but are we talking about five or ten?

MR DE KOCK: That would be very difficult to give you a number. When you work with people's lives it's not like money; it's not give and take five. It's important to know how many. I'm not trying to evade the question, not at all. It's just a matter of principle.

MR DU PLESSIS: No, I am just trying to determine: I'm merely trying to establish how widely spread this was and the operations.

MR DE KOCK: Vlakplaas existed while I was still working in Namibia and Angola. They already at that stage were operational and then at a later stage when Vlakplaas spread to other branches, some of those branches didn't really start with those operations, but the impression I had, the idea I had, this could perhaps be followed up a little bit later with facts is that a number of branches had their security people in groups of three or four who would have been the stronger men, one could say almost, who wouldn't hesitate in national importance to really circumvent or work against the Act.

MR DU PLESSIS: If I understand you correctly, and I'm asking you that now, you said in your evidence that you interrogated Mabotha at Penge Mine, that he was in possession of weapons?

MR DE KOCK: I asked him the question only once, perhaps twice. We were not there to interrogate him. We only had to kill him.

MR DU PLESSIS: Is that all that you've done?

MR DE KOCK: Yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: The only question rather. You see in the amnesty application you said Mabotha was again interrogated about his activities with specific reference to the killing of policemen and weapons.

MR DE KOCK: The policemen could have been, but the weapons was an absolute priority.

MR DU PLESSIS: Did you ask him about the shootings of policemen there?

MR DE KOCK: That I really can't tell you.

MR DU PLESSIS: You see, this is what you tell us here. You didn't give evidence then and then at a later stage you gave it again.

MR DE KOCK: I understand that, Mr du Plessis.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis you have had 15 minutes already.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mrs Chair, according to my calculation I've spent eight minutes.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm going to allow you a little bit of leeway but I remind you in terms of my watch it's fifteen minutes already.

MR DU PLESSIS: Have I got fifteen minutes left?

Yes. I will deal with that when the time comes, Mrs Chair.

Now, Colonel de Kock your evidence presupposes that Colonel Vorster must have known that Vlakplaas eliminated people. Is that so?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, I would say he knew.

MR DU PLESSIS: And it also presupposes that Colonel Potgieter therefore, because of the actions of Mabotha with reference to the weapon question, the fact that he had weapons on him, that you would be requested to kill Mabotha. Is that so?

MR DE KOCK: Yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: In other words, you receive a request from Colonel Potgieter which says that here's a man that had weapons in his possession, illegal weapons, and you said it's fine, and you took him and you killed him.

MR DE KOCK: No, it is not only going about the weapons as such. It was a situation that Mabotha had already killed policemen, he was involved in the deaths of policemen. We didn't want a repeat of that. I think you should just look at that, that is what I said.

MR DU PLESSIS: I have already said to you that I have a problem with that part of the evidence but let us accept your version and let us then say that you, that he contacted you and he said that this man had been detained for six months, he was in possession of illegal weapons and he killed policemen. You must come and kill him. You said that you simply went and killed him.

MR DE KOCK: You must just give me the opportunity to say that the conversation was, in the conversation, a plan had to be made with Mabotha. Those were the words.

MR DU PLESSIS: In other words you didn't have an instruction. The words used were "a plan had to be made".

MR DE KOCK: Yes, "a plan had to be made", and the euphemism for that clearly is that they would go to so-called ...(indistinct) or whatever. I am very experienced in that in the north of Namibia.

MR DU PLESSIS: This is one of those cases where you reacted on one of those and got into the car and drove off and Mabotha (not interpreted)

MR DE KOCK: Well not climb in the car and drive, not only that, we had to make arrangements, but if it had come from somebody else than Mr Potgieter, I would have asked him what he expected one to do. However, coming from him and the nature of the discussion, there was no doubt about where Mabotha had to be taken to and in another situation would have ignored that. Sometimes I refused, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: And you also said, Colonel, in your evidence that Captain Potgieter could have done a number of things with Mr Mabotha? He could have done a number of things with Mr Mabotha. He could have put him in a house of safety, put him there.

MR DE KOCK: That is one of the ways things could be done. If one looks at the evidence and the importance thereof, Vlakplaas would have been the last place where he would have been safe because he simply would have absconded again.

MR DU PLESSIS: You see, Colonel Potgieter and you know what Colonel Potgieter said in his evidence - he said that he explained that he wanted to use Mabotha in the high treason case. Do you deny such hearings taking place?

MR DE KOCK: I was not aware of in Soweto or anywhere else what the situation was with Mr Mabotha.

MR DU PLESSIS: Let me place my problem before you. I find it strange that Mr Potgieter keeps, detains, Mr Mabotha for six months, gets his information that he wanted to use in a hearing, that he then has to release Mabotha and under these circumstances all of a sudden decides to call you, that he requests you all of a sudden to eliminate Mabotha, that Potgieter is one of those people who knows that you eliminate people, that you simply get into your car without asking questions and shoot somebody - I find it rather strange totally.

MR DE KOCK: I know that that would find it so, however, that is how it worked and it was not a normal situation and in the normal course of things with the broad public and in companies and so forth.

MR DU PLESSIS: What I want to know on page 11B of the amnesty application, information is being requested and perhaps the names and addresses of people who consented to that and in that case you mention Colonel Potgieter of the security police.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is the person I spoke to.

MR DU PLESSIS: In other words you say that Colonel Potgieter - it wasn't a command, it was a request.

MR DE KOCK: Let me give you a clear example : you are in Oshakati and Jan Potgieter was one of those people. Another person was called Sakkie van der Merwe and those people came to me on different occasions. They tell me the man in a different place must go off. Cell 4. Now the question is whether it came from the General and then the next day one took that man, you shot him and you buried him. So it's not a novelty, it's not something new to me.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis, you're on your last five minutes, hey.

MR DU PLESSIS: Chairperson, with respect I took the exact time my learned friend, Mr Hugo, had time to cross-examine, (that was 20 minutes). According to my time estimate I've got another five minutes and I beg your indulgence to deal with that, please.

CHAIRPERSON: You get on with it.

MR DU PLESSIS: Colonel de Kock, I want also to put to you and you know that Colonel Potgieter testified as such, that the conversation that took place at the de Deur Police Station took place next to the police station.

MR DE KOCK: No, that's not true.

MR DU PLESSIS: And van Niekerk was also present.

MR DE KOCK: No, van Niekerk was not there. He was 5 or 600 metres away from there, but I can categorically tell you that Potgieter was alone at the police office, and perhaps this will give you peace of mind. I know we diverting but still.

This was not the only request that Colonel Potgieter gave to me around the death of an Askari.

MR DU PLESSIS: Yes, I know, we know. It was in your testimony.

MR DE KOCK: If you would like to ask me about that, I will give you an answer.

MR DU PLESSIS: We don't have to go into that now, thank you. It's not necessary to go into that. I am aware..

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry can we get on with the questioning?

MR DU PLESSIS: Thank you, I know of that. Colonel, the people dealing with the operation I assume that they were, they knew what went on. What I find strange is that my attorney, Mr Rossouw, his firm works for Lionel Snyman and Brits in their amnesty applications and in not one of their amnesty applications (and I am saying this on the basis that I didn't see those myself), in not one of their applications is anything mentioned of the fact that Mabotha was killed because it was a request from Potgieter. They only mentioned that he was a person who had deserted and that was why he was shot.

MR DE KOCK: No, it is a situation where the action and the decision were between me and Colonel Jan Potgieter to kill people for deserting, shoot them for deserting, was not necessary. There's nothing that Mabotha could have done to prejudice Vlakplaas. He was not a sensitive Askari to us in the sense that he was involved in covert operations. The other Askaris, I think a group of two or three, asked to be dismissed from Vlakplaas and they got that. There were others who were sources, they committed misconduct so that we actually fired them and they left. They weren't killed. So the desertion aspect has nothing, didn't play a role in this sense. It's just their excuse, their only excuse.

MR DU PLESSIS: You said that after the last discussion with Potgieter that you knew that Mabotha had to be killed. I put it to you that from all your testimonies it appeared that there were two conversations from Potgieter and it was not in that last conversation that that suggestion could have been made to you. What I'm also putting to you is your testimony with regard to the planning outside the de Deur police office, all those things that you directed about and the cars waiting and so forth weren't put to Colonel Potgieter when he was cross-examined. It's not in your testimony and so forth. While I'm forced now to put that to you.

MR DE KOCK: Sir, I have no problem with it. If Colonel Potgieter says that then his witness is false. I am not trying to be facetious here.

MR DU PLESSIS: One last aspect that I would like to put to you about the question of the assault. I want to put it to you that the testimony with regard to the assault is not found in your testimony in the criminal case nor in your amnesty application that it came on the table today and I want to put it that it came out today because Chappies Klopper places you there.

MR DE KOCK: No, sir, the aspect of Johannes Mabotha and what happened to him is the most important one, and I will put it to you clearly that in many of the other applications lots of other information is going to come out that has not been taken up in the amnesty applications because people forget things or they don't quite explain things or they don't bring, link certain points to others. I remembered something yesterday for which I was supposed to have applied but I decided that assault is not my most serious problem at this stage. I want to say to you that many of those Askaris went on a month or six weeks binge and if each of them had to be killed for desertion I would not have had a Vlakplaas.

MR DU PLESSIS: Colonel de Kock, I would like to put it to you and I would say that during your amnesty hearing as well that Brian Nyalunga and Moses Ntaleng were used.

MR DE KOCK: Moses and Nyalunga Brian did not desert. I think you need to, I mean this well, you must go and do your homework. None of those two cases had anything to do with desertion. It was not desertion although there were two Askaris - Askaris have died as early as '87 and '79 and '80. They wanted to defect and were then killed but it's not about desertion, it's more complicated than that.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, the Commission will now put questions forward, Dr Randera.

DR RANDERA: Mr de Kock, let me say I don't want to go away confused at the end of this day, but really today has been quite confusing, so my first question and I want you to clarify this for me. First question, you've been very good, you've been very ... sorry, Mr Mabotha is interrogated, tortured in your own words in Marble Hall and the farm and we are told that he comes back to Soweto, there's a statement made, in fact his girl friend sees him at Protea Police Station on the 24th. Now can you just explain to me what happens to him between the 24th and the 4th of April when it seems Mr Potgieter takes over in terms of the Section 29?

MR DE KOCK: This is a case of which I only hear today and it's completely in contravention of Section 29 to arrest a person. He should be detained and such a detention should be done by a person of the rank of lieutenant-colonel or higher. That's why I found this very strange really.

DR RANDERA: Sorry Colonel, so you don't know what happened to him?

MR DE KOCK: No.

DR RANDERA: Thank you. My second question is really related to, I think you said you had a phone call from Mr Potgieter. This was at the end of the six months period of detention, saying, and you used the word that there were many euphemisms used, but there wasn't much else said and you understood what needed to be done and therefore you took the action. But you also said it in such a way as if to imply that this wasn't the first time that such a request came from either Mr Potgieter or from the security branch in Soweto. Is that a reasonable interpretation on my part?

MR DE KOCK: Yes, that is correct. The first part of your question was that he called me and I did not call him. Secondly, I'm not certain of the date - it was 1991 I think where I got another call from Colonel Potgieter and General Engelbrecht relayed it to me and I then called him. At that stage they were working from a safe house in the south of Johannesburg, I think the south of Johannesburg, and I was accompanied by Kobus Klopper, AKA Chappy and the tone of the conversation was that Colonel Potgieter had a problem with an Askari of the name Jimmy Mbane. We then went there and I spoke to Potgieter about it, I don't remember whether Klopper was there. The tone of the story was that Jimmy Mbane had worked for them, I don't know whether he was, what he did for them, but he was a problem for them at that stage and the request was that he had to be eliminated, and when we went away from there I said to Klopper "if they want to kill him, they've got to do it themselves". And from other security branches there were similar requests. On the contrary, one of those was a charge in my hearing upon which I was found guilty.

DR RANDERA: Thank you, my last question Mr de Kock, and I think I just want to understand this whole killing that took place. And let me say that it leaves me with a great sense of sadness, the great disregard for life that there was from your unit and yourself, but be that as it may, just let me understand this whole process. Here you have a man who spent six months in detention, we are told by this very senior police officer that he develops a very close relationship, he gets all the information he wants from Mr Mabotha; at the end of the six months he has to release him and yet of course he had a sense that nothing is going to happen in terms of prosecution. But that still doesn't give me a reason why he feels this person should be killed. On the other side we know that Mr Mabotha was an ANC trained person, he turned to be an Askari, he'd been with your unit, he'd actually managed to get away and you say it might have been because they'd gone, for want of a better expression AWOL, gone to Soweto, had been drinking or whatever else. So it didn't concern you initially but just let's remember that we're talking about 1988 when your unit is still functioning in a covert way, that even in 1990 when Judge Goldstone had an enquiry, you said something very different that they couldn't come to a conclusion on the covert activities that you were involved in. Now is there a real possibility that in fact Mr Mabotha had gone to Mrs Madikizela-Mandela to get protection so that he was actually going to blow the lid on what was happening at Vlakplaas?

MR DE KOCK: Mr Chairman, no, not according to my opinion because already in '83 two Askaris, one senior member deserted from us, from Vlakplaas, and went back to Botswana and Zambia and later operated within the Republic, especially the one, and he was very effective, he was from Botswana. Further, Mabotha was, had already been away from Vlakplaas for long enough that he could have told Mrs Mandela anything he wanted to about Vlakplaas so it's no use to close the stable after the horse has gone. The information had been relayed, there was nothing we could do about it any more and with the Harms Commission in '89 Dirk Coetzee washed us out of the water, as it were. It was not that Vlakplaas was a secret any more. What happened after that they simply tried to perform damage control to close up the worst leaks. We didn't have to kill him to stop the secret from getting out. It was no longer a secret. In fact there was one situation where a member came from Botswana to reconnoitre Botswana but he never got there because he lost his way. It's not as though Vlakplaas, but it was already known to the ANC, so much so that in '82 pamphlets were distributed by the ANC with a total of eight Askaris' photos of them, their names, MK names, full descriptions and this was distributed throughout the country that if these people were seen they worked for the security police and they were called "death to the impimpis". But I don't think that information is relevant here.

DR RANDERA: Thank you.

DR MGOJO: Mnr de Kock as a lay person who does not even read Afrikaans, I depend on what you have said here. You have painted a very gruesome picture about the interrogation of Mr

Mabotha and you say that it started in the morning and finished very late in the afternoon and there were different shifts which were taking place.

MR DE KOCK: That's correct, that is how I recall it.

DR MGOJO: Was it because he was not co-operating or not? Why is it that it took such a long time?

MR DE KOCK: He didn't want to cooperate at all, he was perhaps one of the most tough, the toughest person I had come across.

DR MGOJO: Did you think that you needed to give yourself enough time maybe by re-detaining him so that you will get the information which you wanted from him?

MR DE KOCK: During his interrogation it was of the most cardinal importance to, within the next hour or perhaps five minutes, get hold of those weapons and to have explosives before they could be used. 

After he had left for Soweto I don't know what happened, and I am not trying to say that I am innocent, I don't know what happened, but they then had sufficient time with reference to Kloppers' he said that he did have weapons, I am not sure about that but that is what was said. In other words we had a person here with a very strong loyalty and who could indeed, you know withstand it.

DR MGOJO: When he was handcuffed and he had his hands behind his back and you were leading him to your guillotine, did he ever ask for any mercy from you?

MR DE KOCK: He didn't say a word. He refused to speak. There was nothing. He took what he received perhaps in the way the ideal soldier would take it.

DR MGOJO: The last question which is really worrying me which I need to ask. You said in your testimony that some of the interrogators they really enjoyed when they were interrogating the people, even if those people knew nothing.

MR DE KOCK: I have seen such people. They are the minority. I could perhaps point to one or two persons. One of them was here yesterday. I have a situation where a person like General Hans Dreyer, who is not unknown and perhaps one of the best operational commanders that I have come across, told me that he shuddered to think that he had to touch the hands of such a person, that he would rather prefer death to that. And to come back to Jacques Paauw's book. I don't know whether you've read it, I haven't done so, and without riding on their backs the applications to Pretoria, if you look at the tapes, you will perhaps here and there see the same tendency there.

DR MGOJO: Mr de Kock, would I be right to say that during the process you got used to the culture of enjoying killing people?

MR DE KOCK: No. If I enjoyed killing people, shooting them then within the ability and the manpower, the training, the weapons, ammunition, explosives and the technical expertise we could perhaps kill a thousand people per night, no, many more people could have been killed, that was not the case. I'm not going to refer to the Pretoria Intelligence Service, who came to me with a request and a map of Lusaka to kill Gertrude Shope and to shoot her for the simple reason that she was the head of the ANC Women's League. If I understand it correctly, she was already aged at that stage. I think the file was left there for two, three years. All that we did use is the map for Lusaka because that helped us. So we didn't have a need here, am empirical need almost one could say, to kill people, no.

MS SOOKA: Colonel de Kock you mentioned now that there was somebody who gave evidence yesterday, who enjoyed assaulting and torturing people, who was it?

MR DE KOCK: I would tell you that in camera. I'm not going to tell you that in public because it is not part of this amnesty. I don't want you to ...(intervention)

MS SOOKA: Could you write it on a piece of paper?

MR DE KOCK: I will tell you that later in camera. I will give it to my lawyer and he can hand it over to you. I don't want that to be held against me or that, that person can be prevented to again land in that position, but I don't want it to be broadcasted because I want to be fair. And I'm not arrogant. But in that case we're going to have to do the same who extracted people's toenails in Quatro and raped people, I don't want to elaborate on that. But in that case we're going to have to do the same with regard to them.

MS SOOKA: The Act does make provision for people being giving notice in terms of section 30 to make representations in respect of matters raised in that way. But could I pass on to another question please.

MR SEMENYA: Chairperson.

MS SOOKA: Yes?

MR SEMENYA: I don't know. My understanding is the witnesses yesterday were represented and we have an interest in these proceedings. I don't know what could be their grounds for confidentiality.

MS SOOKA: Mr Vally, do you want to address me on that issue please?

MR VALLY: Madame Chair, we from this side will be very interested to know who this person is, whether we find out in camera or in public is not a matter which really concerns us. This matter has been raised, was raised of Mr de Kock's own volition and therefore I will submit it would be in the public's interest to give us the name. But I await your ruling.

MS SOOKA: Mr de Kock, as Mr Semenya has pointed out, the people who appeared yesterday were represented by counsel. They I think were entitled to put that information before us. I think it would be in the interest of justice for you to give us that name. As my counsel has said over there you chose yourself to mention that one of the people who appeared yesterday, actually falls into that category of persons who enjoyed torture. So my ruling is that you give me that name.

MR DE KOCK: I really have no problem with that but I would prefer to do that in the form of an affidavit, and doing it that way I don't want to go against your ruling because it's against my grain, however, I'm not going to do that now and involve him, the person or his family. I would give it to my lawyer and I will give it in the form of an affidavit. I can assure you that, that is going to be the case. I'm not trying to diminish your power in any way almost.

MS SOOKA: Thank you. Mr Semenya once we have received the statement from Colonel de Kock's attorney that will be made available to all of you, in a proper form. Are you satisfied with that?

MR SEMENYA: I am Chairperson.

MS SOOKA: Thank you.

MR DU PLESSIS: Madame Chair may I perhaps just enquire, does that refer to somebody who gave evidence yesterday?

MS SOOKA: Yes. I understood so. Colonel de Kock do you want to respond directly to Mr du Plessis.

MR DE KOCK: Can you repeat please?

MR DU PLESSIS?: Did you refer to somebody who specifically gave evidence here?

MR DE KOCK: Yesterday?

MR DU PLESSIS: Is that the person you referring to?

MR DE KOCK: Yes a person gave evidence here yesterday.

MR DU PLESSIS: And that is the person you're referring to?

MR SOOKA: That is what I understood.

MR DE KOCK: We had a number of people here and that is one of those people.

MS SOOKA: Colonel de Kock I would like to ask you another question please. You mentioned that when the Soweto Security Branch people arrived at Marble Hall, there were six of them I think who came with Mr du Toit. Now there is a discrepancy between your evidence and that of Mr du Toit in that he claimed that Mr Mabotha was not assaulted and he never participated in that assault. In terms of your evidence you actually say that it was one of the most gruesome events that you actually witnessed. Now is there a possibility that even though you do not recognise Mr du Toit, from his giving evidence here, that if he was with that party he must have been involved in the assault?

MR DE KOCK: I will not be able to tell whether he was involved in the assault, it would be wrong, but that he could have seen it that is beyond doubt. It was not a place where one sat in a bush without seeing something. It was a central point where this took place.

MS SOOKA: I would like to follow that up please, because if there were six of them and you've mentioned that a Colonel Grobbelaar did not participate, were there any other members of that team who sat and didn't participate?

MR DE KOCK: Apart from the person who accompanied me, who is not represented here as far as I know, and I remember quite vividly, he did not participate.

MS SOOKA: One can deduce from that then that apart from Colonel Grobbelaar and a person that accompanied you, the remaining members of the unit who were there, did participate in the assault.

MR DE KOCK: Yes, certainly. It is not a matter of myself and Klopper participating, we wouldn't have been able to do it on our own.

MS SOOKA: So if Mr du Toit was part of that unit, then logically it would follow that he had participated in the assault.

MR DE KOCK: It could probably be but I cannot confirm because that would be false.

MS SOOKA: Thank you. My last question. Would it be correct to say that in fact Vlakplaas operated as a cleaning up unit for perhaps other sections of the police and particularly the Security Branch, so that there could have been no misunderstanding on the side of Colonel Potgieter that once he had telephoned you to assist him with this problem that the conclusion to that would be that Mr Mabotha would have to be taken out. Even though it may not have been so specifically discussed?

MR de KOCK: Yes a number of safety branches, at a number of safety branches they did their dirty work but we were there. It was a political unit and yes we had a number of tasks that we gave them, or that we received rather, with regard to border operations and even internal operations. Yes, we executed certain tasks which the other branches couldn't do on their own. And I'm referring here to Gotsenkanya, yes in that respect we were very active.

MS SOOKA: And the request was followed up a second time in 1991?

MR DE KOCK: In that region perhaps, around Jemmi Mbane and if it becomes necessary it is not about trying to, it is about trying to give you a better image and a better picture. We could perhaps discuss another matter which also took place in the eighties around the former colleague, Colonel Potgieter.

MS SOOKA: I would of course say that obviously there seemed to be now more than one instance when your assistance was sought in this fashion. But I don't want to be completely unfair, I will ask that you include that kind of information of other incidents as well, where your assistance was requested in this way, in a statement which can be distributed to Mr Potgieter's attorney as well as the other legal representatives present. Mr Hugo if you would undertake?

MR HUGO: Yes we'll certainly see to that, Madame Chair.

MS SOOKA: Thank you.

COUNSEL: I beg your pardon Lady Chairperson. We haven't had an opportunity to ask any questions. I only have two questions.

MS SOOKA: I was not under the impression that you had chosen to exercise that right, when I asked the legal representatives to indicate that but I'll give you that leeway.

COUNSEL: Then it would have been my error, I apologise. Colonel de Kock, Colonel Hume du Toit testified that there were six people from Soweto who went to Marble Hall to fetch Mabotha. You can't remember that he was there that day, is that correct?

MR DE KOCK: No I didn't know their names, so I can't place him.

COUNSEL: And Chappie Kloppers, in his testimony mentioned that there were five people of Soweto, from the Soweto branch. In other words, it is possible that one of the six people who went to Marble Hall might have been not present, would you deny that?

MR DE KOCK: No I would have to revert to the fact that you have.

COUNSEL: Thank you Madame Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr ...(indistinct)

COUNSEL: I have somewhat belatedly thought of a question, may I ask one?

MS SOOKA: One only.

MR RICHARD: Thank you Chairperson. My client, Jerry Richardson cannot locate two of the bodies of his victims, those being Lolo and Sibuniso Shabalala, you wouldn't have any information as to where those two bodies are?

MR DE KOCK: No, unfortunately not because one would like to find them, not only for prosecution but also to calm things down. The information I had, as recorded formally was that there were a place where four people were buried. I think the impression was that they were close to each other. But I don't know if that's the right group.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Hugo.

MR HUGO: One question. Mr de Kock, did Mr Mabota have any sensitive information about yourself or Vlakplaas which could have been prejudicial to you yourself and Vlakplaas had he divulged this information to Mrs Mandela?

MR DE KOCK: No Chair because at the time he had already left. The long time that he was already gone, he could have divulged it already.

MR HUGO: But was he ever present in any sensitive operation where misdemeanours were committed by Vlakplaas members?

MR DE KOCK: No Sir, if there was sensitivity, it was in Soweto not at Vlakplaas.

MR HUGO: No further questions.

MS SOOKA: Thank you. Mr de Kock you may stand down. Thank you for giving evidence today. We will of course await the statements relating to the question of the other request for assistance that you received, as well as the name of the witness who appeared here yesterday who, as you claimed, falls into a category of people who enjoyed participating in assault and torture. Thank you, you may stand down.

MR DE KOCK: Thank you very much.

WITNESS EXCUSED

MR DU PLESSIS: Mrs Chair, may I just point out that in my client's amnesty application of Colonel Potgieter you will find

the other incident that Colonel de Kock has referred to and has made mention of. It is to be found in the amnesty application of my client.

MS SOOKA: Thank you Mr du Plessis. Before I call the nest witness could I just mention that someone has lost a set of keys which is held in a grey holder. If anyone has found this set, could you please pass that on to one of our staff members. I'd like to call Mr Pretorius to the witness stand please.

MR VALLY: Madame Chair, we had Mr Bosman giving evidence yesterday, we did ask him to return today. I think time phrases are such that we may not be able to return to him maybe it would be appropriate to excuse him. That's only Mr Bosman, we still have to see Mr Coetzee and Mr Nienaber later.

MS SOOKA: I will excuse Mr Bosman and we'll have to make arrangements for his evidence in respect of certain matters to be taken perhaps in a Section 29. But Mr Bosman is excused.