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Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARINGS

Starting Date 23 June 2000

Location CAPE TOWN

Day 14

Names WOUTER J BASSON

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CHAIRPERSON: Morning everybody, I apologise for the late start. We heard yesterday that we'll be starting today with the evidence of Mr Basson.

Mr Basson, do you wish to take the oath, or would you prefer to make an affirmation?

WOUTER J BASSON: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr du Plessis.

EXAMINATION BY MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Basson, you're also one of the applicants in this matter and you're applying for amnesty for four matters and they're known to us now as the Dullah Omar matter, the Gavin Evans case, the Early Learning Centre bomb incident and the baboon foetus at the home of Bishop Desmond Tutu.

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Is it correct that in your case as well you have already in respect of the Indemnity Act, lodged an application for indemnity which is dated 28 March 1991, is that correct?

MR BASSON: That's correct, the application is the same as that of Mr Burger.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And you were also notified thereafter that that matter, in terms of the further Indemnity Act 151/92, had been referred for hearing of argument on the 9th of December 1993 at Bloemfontein before the National Council on Indemnity, is that correct?

MR BASSON: That's correct, yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: But the Indemnity Act - or no publication in the Government Gazette took place to state that you ever acquired indemnity under the Indemnity Act.

MR BASSON: I didn't see anything.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thereafter the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act 34/95, was promulgated and you applied for amnesty in terms of your involvement and it is that application which is currently serving before this Committee, is that correct?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Your application in this respect appears in bundle A, dated 4 December 1996, is that correct?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: On page 33 of bundle A.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

And to corroborate this application you've attached to your original application, in terms of the Indemnity Act, you've attached an affidavit dated 28th March 1990, is that correct?

MR BASSON: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: We won't deal with that document any further at this stage, I would just like you to continue and in your words to describe to the Committee what led to your involvement in the four incidents with which we're here concerned. These four offences for which you're applying for amnesty.

Now just to start off with I would just like you to sketch the background as a member of the South African Defence Force and Special Forces in particular and I would like you to just sketch that briefly.

MR BASSON: I was raised in a home where the Defence Force featured prominently, my father was in the Defence Force and immediately after school, in 1977, I joined the permanent Force and I was at 1 Parachute Battalion and in September I went to Oudtshoorn where I did my junior leadership ...(intervention)

MR P DU PLESSIS: Of which year?

MR BASSON: '77.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You're referring to training as an officer?

MR BASSON: No, a junior leadership course, that is training to become an Instructor.

That lasted for about a year and thereafter I was placed as an Instructor at the 2nd Infantry Division at Walvis Bay and I was involved with instruction in some very minor way as an Instructor. I was there only for three months and I then applied to join Special Forces. It was in the middle of '78. I passed the selection processes and Committee and I then was utilised in Special Forces as an Operator initially, and later also to some extent, I was involved in instruction until the end of 1986.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So you served in Special Forces as one would understand it in practice, you were utilised as a soldier?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Until the end of '86. What happened then?

MR BASSON: Myself and one other person received a request - at that stage I was at 1 Reconnaissance Regiment in Durban, we received a request that Col Verster wanted to see us and we had to go to Pretoria for an interview.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Was Col Verster at that stage known to you?

MR BASSON: The name of Col Verster was known to me, but I had not had any contact or co-operation or operations with him in my time at Special Forces. I had an interview with him.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You say his name was familiar to you at that stage, as somebody attached to Special Forces?

MR BASSON: Yes, I was aware of his Special Forces background at another unit, a different unit to the one where I was.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Very well.

MR BASSON: He explained to me that the CCB was an organisation which had now been established and that its objective was to destabilise the enemy and attack them in a more covert way, because the existing methods proved to be no longer successful at that stage. So it was a branch of Special Forces, the difference being that where I would in the past have been used to act directly, this would be action or conduct in a more indirect way. He explained the objectives very briefly, of the organisation and then he said I had a week to make up my mind.

He also mentioned to me that I would have to sacrifice my career in the Defence Force if I was interested. I then went back ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Basson, what was your rank at that stage?

MR BASSON: I was a Captain at that stage, Chairperson.

And after consultation with my wife I made a decision and we moved to Pretoria. I then - well I'm not sure exactly which month it was but it was early in '87 that I started at the CCB.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now you say that your career in the Defence Force, that you were told that you would have to give it up, but if I understand correctly, you didn't actually resign from the Defence Force at that stage, because the CCB was actually part of the bigger Defence Force structures?

MR BASSON: Yes, at that stage the planning was such or to the effect that the members who were still active in the South African Defence Force, in terms of remuneration and rank, that we would enter a process in which we would uncouple ourselves from the State and that in fact took place end of '87, beginning of '88. We were uncoupled and we distanced ourselves from the Defence Force and we no longer had the facilities of the Defence Force in terms of Special Forces Headquarters, we couldn't use that any longer. We moved to premises where we could operate in a civilian capacity.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now this uncoupling that was necessitated due to the covert action by the CCB, but you were still paid by the State and were contracted to the State?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So ultimately it was the tax-payer's money that was used to pay you, it wasn't a private business?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And that's how you understood it?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You understood it that you were still acting for an on behalf of the State?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now I just briefly want to go back to what Mr Joe Verster told you in motivation of the application. At a stage, end of '86/beginning of '87, when you went over to the CCB, was it conveyed to you at that stage that there was an internal region or would be an internal region and that you would serve in that region?

MR BASSON: No, at that stage there was no mention of an internal region or internal methods or utilisation, the emphasis was primarily or exclusively on foreign external operations and to look at covert methods to attack the enemy. The issue of the internal region only became relevant after I was introduced to Mr Burger and his people, this was in the middle of '88.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So that's when it arose. Now just before you get to that, what was the problem or the motivation as to why a person such as yourself who'd been a Special Forces operative, could not attack the enemy in normal "operations" abroad or outside the borders of the country? Was there any reason why it had to be done in a covert way?

MR BASSON: It was so, it was the situation that the enemy at that stage was better organised than us, his methods, places of instruction, his access routes etcetera, they changed that more frequently and there wasn't any specific information which was known to us, we couldn't utilise it in the ways which we were familiar with, so we had to move a more unconventional and covert modus operandi, and we would have a greater chance of success to get closer to the enemy using those unconventional methods and thereby we would disrupt him indirectly.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And that would also include acts of violence against the enemy?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: At that stage, round about '86, you're talking about the enemy, whose enemy are you referring to?

MR BASSON: Well it was the enemies of the State. The enemy remained the enemy from the time that I entered the Defence Force to that stage. As already known, it was the ANC, SACP, PAC, mainly and also the front organisations and their subsidiaries.

MR P DU PLESSIS: During '86, actually '87 until the middle of '88 where you became involved in the internal region, Region 6, were you actively in other regions?

MR BASSON: Yes. Initially I was seconded to Region 2, or placed in Region 2 and I think that included Swaziland and Mozambique, and to a certain extent also Region 7, which was Zimbabwe. I was allocated to those regions and my role was mainly that of Co-ordinator. In other words there was a Regional Manager and I was then the Co-ordinator serving under him.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now I think the duties of a Co-ordinator have already been spelt out quite clearly here, if there are any questions relating to that then those questions may be put to you, I'm not going to deal with that now. But if I understand you correctly, you were utilised exclusively externally? If we talk about violence against the enemy.

MR BASSON: That's correct. That is quite correct, and at that stage according to my knowledge there was no internal capacity.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now how did it happen that you became involved in Region 6, the internal region?

MR BASSON: Mr Verster contacted me one day and said that I had to go with him to a place in Johannesburg, Ponte Building, and he said there were people he wanted to introduce me to and he thought that it would be a good idea to relieve me of my other activities and perhaps just retain one or two or three activities from Region 7 and then perhaps to act as a Co-ordinator for these people, people whom I was going to meet.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now you've spelt out that you were the Co-ordinator - or was it spelt out that you were to be the Co-ordinator of Region 6 and what Region 6 entailed?

MR BASSON: Yes, at the meeting, I mean I was aware of Mr Burger as a result of reports in the newspaper etcetera. I didn't know the other people but I had met them and I was told at a next meeting when Gen Joubert was also present, that they would enter the six-month period of uncoupling and that I would act and be appointed officially as the Co-ordinator.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So if I look at Mr Burger's evidence it seems to me that it was only after the recruitment of Burger, Maree and Botha and van Zyl, only after that phase you became involved?

MR BASSON: Yes. I must just add that there was a phase between Mr Burger and Mr Verster and then when Mr Burger agreed and his people were happy to join, at that stage the physical signing of the contract took place and I started officially.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now we know that there was a phase as from June '88 to more-or-less December '88, the last six months of '88, during which these four people mentioned were not active due to an agreement between the Defence Force and the Police that they would not, or that people moving between the Forces would not be active for six months.

MR BASSON: I don't know if that was the reason or whether they simply had to uncouple and just allow the dust to settle around their resignations and so on. I don't know what the real...

MR P DU PLESSIS: But they were not active, that's the point.

MR BASSON: No, they were not.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And you were aware of a cover which they had at Matthysen Bus Services.

MR BASSON: Yes, I am.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And during those six months you had regular contact with them?

MR BASSON: Yes, I never went to Matthysen Bus Services. I saw them at certain places where other people couldn't see us. I did not want to reveal or disclose my involvement with them at all.

MR P DU PLESSIS: It's not that you had anything against them?

MR BASSON: No, it was as a result of the structure and as a result of security reasons and from time to time I saw them, not frequently. They dealt with the administrative things like salaries and so on. At one point I started to inform people about methods of working and procedures, but it was all done on an informal basis, just to give the people a bit of direction.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So that would have included the covert nature, the fact that there were certain cut-off points, the establishment of a so-called Blue Plan as a cover.

MR BASSON: Yes, yes, and this was all done informally.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So it was general orientation?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now it's already been placed on record that the activation of Region 6 only started from January '89, do you agree with that?

MR BASSON: Yes, that was the arrangement with them.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And as from that date onwards you started doing the practical co-ordination of their activities and effecting contact between them and Joe Verster, the Managing Director.

MR BASSON: That's correct, yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And also the establishment of the intelligence structure of the CCB?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You also kept a diary of the activities and what you had to do and so forth.

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Did you at that stage, from the time that Region 6 became active, had you uncoupled yourself from the other regions or did you still do duties in those regions?

MR BASSON: As I said earlier, there was a still a person in Region 7 and Region 4, that would be Zimbabwe, Zambia, there was still a person who was active there in respect of the handling of indirect members. The person didn't want to work for somebody else, so I kept him as a project. There were also other projects, I'm not sure whether it was one or two or three, but there were still other projects which I still carried with me, apart from my handling of Mr Burger.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Just before we continue, Mr Burger has already testified regarding his status in that he wasn't initially involved with the other Regional Managers and that he didn't visit your offices, what is your comment from your side?

MR BASSON: Yes, once again due to his high profile, Mr Verster was rather hesitant to reveal his involvement in the organisation, he didn't want to disclose it to the other Regional Managers and we worked on the basis that I did most of the general co-ordinating and would convey that to him and that Mr Verster would go out ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Basson, you said earlier that when you uncoupled from the Special Forces, you had to establish your own premises for the CCB.

MR BASSON: Yes, that's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: These are the premises you're talking about that Mr Burger didn't go to because of his high profile?

MR BASSON: That's correct, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Where were those premises?

MR BASSON: It was referred to as "Sheep for Sale". It was very close to Special Forces Headquarters ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: It was referred to as "Sheep for Sale"?

CHAIRPERSON: Sheep?

MR BASSON: Sheep.

CHAIRPERSON: Sheep?

MR BASSON: The Australian sheep.

CHAIRPERSON: So what was it, like a warehouse thing?

MR BASSON: No, it was a smallholding surrounded by a wall which had been purchased by the State or by the CCB, there was an old farm dwelling and the rooms were used as offices, mostly for administrative purposes and Mr Verster, to one side he had a little thatched office with a walk-in safe. That was his office and most of the meetings in respect of the inside circle, as it's known to you, took place there and Mr Burger at that stage was not in the inner circle, he was on the periphery as a result of his high profile and Mr Verster went to hotels, mainly to have physical contact with Mr Burger.

CHAIRPERSON: And these premises, the "Sheep for Sale" premises, were they on a smallholding?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Whereabouts, which area?

MR BASSON: I'm not sure, I think it was Club View. It was very close to Special Forces' Headquarters.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Do you speak of Pretoria now?

MR BASSON: Pretoria, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr du Plessis.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Now did you have a name which you referred to this place? Was it Speskop or ...?

MR BASSON: No, the plot, our plot was called "Sheep for Sale".

MR P DU PLESSIS: We've heard that a course was given to the newly recruited members of Region 6 at the beginning of '89, is that correct?

MR BASSON: Yes. I just want to add or say that we didn't actually sell the sheep, the neighbour sold sheep, we just called the place "Sheep for Sale" because there was this sign by the roadside saying "Sheep for Sale".

MR P DU PLESSIS: Right. Now let us continue. You were activated, you are the Co-ordinator. It's also common cause that you kept a diary and it has been placed before the Committee and we've dealt with that in respect of other evidence, is that correct?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: We'll just briefly refer to that at a later stage, but just to return. There was a course presented at which these people involved, you were involved, the people who were involved in the capacity of giving lectures, so that's been mentioned, is that correct?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now if I understand correctly, the purpose of the lecture or course was to give the people specific training in respect of what they were to do, what their functions would be.

MR BASSON: Yes, that was the formal presentation.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And you confirm from your side that the role which was spelt out there included that they would and be utilised indirectly for the disruption of the enemy, which included acts of violence which also could eventuate in the death of people?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And what was discussed was also the death of people in terms of the redefined definition of murder, as we've heard, or seen in one of the documents from the Head of the South African Defence Force?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You confirm that as far as you're concerned, it was clear to you that those deeds would constitute offences in terms of the legal system and law of the country and that you realised that fact?

MR BASSON: Yes, I did realise that, but - well it was never called murder or murders, it was called disruption of the enemy as appears from the document of Gen Geldenhuys. It was phrased in such a way that you wouldn't just easily get the impression that it would be murder, although we today know what murder is.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And you knew at that stage that it would be an offence?

MR BASSON: We did know that, but we were told that there were certain protection mechanisms in place and there were certain methods which would protect you if you acted within the guidelines and that it would easy to be looked after in terms of prosecution.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So the idea was that you would act in an indirect way with certain cut-off points and you wouldn't be exposed to such an extent that you would have no protection?

MR BASSON: Yes, if a person is directly involved then I don't know if there can be any form of protection or assistance for him, but if you act indirectly, well - and if the procedures were followed and if there was a problem, if you were implicated somewhere, then the understanding was that you would be looked after. That was the understanding and that was the suggestion that was left in our midst.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now in terms of that suggestion, did a person like Mr van Zyl understand that indemnity was meant by that? ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR BASSON: Well at that stage indemnity was not even an issue, perhaps Mr van Zyl accepted it as indemnity at the stage where he started encountering problems.

MR P DU PLESSIS: In any event you confirm that protection was promised from the side of the State?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR LAX: Can I just interpose just for one second. Did you ever see that document from General - that one that's been ...(intervention)

MR BASSON: No, I have never seen it. There was a lot of documentation which we did not have access to, you only had access to the documents which were relevant to you. There was a lot of documentation which dealt with, I assume initially, in the beginning stages of the establishment of the CCB, which dealt with the correspondence, meetings between the Head of the Defence Force and Special Forces and such a document would be or could be typically one of those exclusive files.

MR P DU PLESSIS: But you didn't have access to that?

MR BASSON: No, nobody had access to those.

MR LAX: So how did you come to know about this different definition of murder?

MR BASSON: I have read it in this document which was submitted to the Committee.

MR LAX: Ja. So at the time you didn't know of that definition?

MR BASSON: No, it was mentioned to us, it was just confirmed in the document. We weren't told "Look you will become involved in murders within the Republic of South Africa", what was said is "You will attack the enemy and disrupt them maximally, in whatever way." If you know what I mean.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just for the record, the document referred to is Exhibit L1.

MR LAX: But what I'm driving at is, in your own mind you didn't use some other euphemism - in your own mind, if you killed somebody you knew that was murder?

MR BASSON: Yes, certainly. I don't suppose one is that uninformed, but you see it was aimed at the enemy and to me it was justified at that stage even if it was murder. Today I understand the naiveté which we displayed.

MR LAX: So in a sense you're saying that in view of your particular world view at that time, although with the benefit of hindsight you can see that it was an offence at the time, you thought these were justifiable actions to be taken against an enemy ...(intervention)

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR LAX: ... and that they weren't criminal in the normal sense of the word?

MR BASSON: That's how I saw it.

MR LAX: Ja, thanks.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thanks Mr Lax.

MR P DU PLESSIS: But the point is, Mr van Zyl for instance testified that it could include, this maximal disruption, from the breaking of window right up to the murder of a person. You knew that that was included?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Very well. After the region was activated, what was the primary emphasis in the beginning stages, at the beginning of 1989?

MR BASSON: Well Mr Burger's members, if I refer to the members of Region 6 I'm referring to them, they had distanced themselves uncoupled for a period of six months, but in fact they had not really established credible coverage or a cover because for instance, Mr Matthysen's, that aspect wasn't credible and there was a lot of emphasis on the need for people to establish themselves in their own civilian careers and professions because I think there was still a lot of curiosity in respect of their activities. It was very important that they attend to that issue. So to sum up, the long term planning for Region 6 was to establish itself and then to a lesser extent to become involved in operational activities?

MR P DU PLESSIS: Yes, the establishment and the cover, that's the so-called Blue Plan?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And the activities in respect of the promotion of the objectives of the CCB, that was the so-called Red Plan?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now we won't go into the Red Plans and the Blue Plans and the red pages etcetera, but all those facilities were created and finance was made available to the members, correct?

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Just as a point of interest, did you also have a Blue Plan?

MR BASSON: I also had a Blue Plan, but as a result of my activities I was very, very busy ...(intervention)

MR P DU PLESSIS: With the Red Plan?

MR BASSON: No, with the handling of people. It's not an easy job, it takes a lot of time to drive around and - I had a Blue Plan, but I don't think it was a very credible Blue Plan. I lived a life of a hermit and I broke all ties with friends. I tried to prevent people asking me "What are you doing?"

MR P DU PLESSIS: Because you had to disappear from the military scene?

MR BASSON: That's correct. At that stage I had already disconnected from the South African Defence Force.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now what was your so-called Blue Plan?

MR BASSON: I sold vacuum cleaners.

MR P DU PLESSIS: After the course was completed did you do anything to promote the Red Plan of the members? Tell us what happened then.

MR BASSON: Please repeat the question.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So the people were activated, apart from the long term project and the Blue Plan for the long term, what was done in respect of the activities of the CCB? Did you provide intelligence for instance, or was intelligence and information got from the various members? What happened?

MR BASSON: By virtue of my appointment I was the only link with the organisation and as a result of that I had to deal with the project and the financial aspects. As far as the intelligence part of it is concerned, I was also the link and most of the liaison took place in co-operation with Mr Burger, who in terms of seniority was my Manager and I resorted under him, so we had very close contact.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You talk about administrative functions, that would also be the handling of project files?

MR BASSON: Yes, that's correct, and also the financial file.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You referred to intelligence liaison, was there a channel through which you could get information from the members?

MR BASSON: Yes, there was a person by the name of Derek, he had come from intelligence structures at Head Office, Special Forces Head Office. I didn't know him before the time but he was the only person who at that stage had been recruited and who had to move between all these various regions and provide them with information or make enquiries and confirmation. He had to deal with all of that.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Did you have any understanding of where he was supposed to get the information from? ..(transcriber's interpretation)

MR BASSON: Yes, I was aware of the fact - well the documentation I saw in his possession, indicated that he used existing military bodies, which included Special Forces Intelligence structures as well as Division of Military Intelligence structures.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Were there any other State structures involved?

MR BASSON: I'm not aware of any other Intelligence Services which we used.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Was any reference made on a hearsay basis to the fact that there was liaison, contact with other Intelligence Services?

MR BASSON: Well it was never admitted to me, I was to some extent aware of Mr Verster's capacity by virtue of his contacts with, perhaps the Security Police or whoever, that he had the capacity in that direction.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now just to focus a little bit more closely on the projects and the events for which you are asking for amnesty ...(intervention)

MR LAX: Just before you move there. What about National Intelligence?

MR BASSON: National Intelligence was never mentioned by name, it was never mentioned that there was contact with them by name. I don't want to exclude it totally but I can only speculate to say that there was possibly some contact, but I can't confirm it.

MR LAX: So just to confirm this, you never had any direct contact with those structures?

MR BASSON: No, as a ...(intervention)

MR LAX: Only Derek?

MR BASSON: Yes, that's correct. As a result of my appointment I was actually prohibited from having contact with the official bodies and institutions.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And that would also include the South African Police?

MR BASSON: Yes, the official bodies.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Let us now deal with the specific events for which you ask for amnesty. This was just to give a bit of background as to your general activities. There's already been confirmation of the fact that you obtained intelligence via the intelligence channels in respect of certain people, and that included Mr Gavin Evans, is that correct?

MR BASSON: Yes, that's correct. I obtained a list, I'm not sure where it came from, I got it from this Derek person. Priority persons were on this list, there was a whole page of people and Mr Evans' name was amongst these names on the list and the project was activated in that way, as a result of a person's name appearing on the list.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Were you personally aware of that information or did you get other information via the intelligence channels relating to, for instance, Mr Evans?

MR BASSON: Now the name was discussed between myself and Mr Burger and we decided to choose this name and ...(intervention)

MR P DU PLESSIS: The point is, did you know what Gavin Evans stood for, or was it just a name which didn't mean anything to you?

MR BASSON: No, it was not familiar to me, it was unknown to me. I'm not sure whether it was completely unknown to me, but I didn't know anything about the person - in other words, the information available. In other words information was provided to me, it was a stack of computer print-outs about as high as this stash in front of me ...(intervention)

MR P DU PLESSIS: You're referring to about nine inches of bundle of documents?

MR BASSON: Yes. I perused these documents and it dealt with his movements, his contact with various people and the ...(intervention)

MR P DU PLESSIS: And the organisation?

MR BASSON: Yes, and not even referring to the ECC connections with Joe Dak and with the Five Freedoms Forum, I think. I can't remember a lot of detail, but it was available.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So there was a lot of information about Mr Evans?

MR BASSON: Yes, and I think this information came from a military body, a military institution.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Were you told by Mr Louw that Mr Evans was a priority figure at the South African Defence Force?

MR BASSON: Yes. Yes, he told me that in terms of his activities at the End Conscription Campaign, there's this Mr Evans. Yes, it was conveyed to me.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now this information was discussed with Burger, is that correct?

MR BASSON: Yes, it was conveyed to Mr Verster, who immediately said that we should do a pre-study. I just can't remember at what stage he said that, but a pre-study was requested and I'm assuming that he would at that stage have decided what we were going to do, depending on what we could achieve.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Did you know where to find the person and where he lived and where he worked and so forth? ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR BASSON: No, I don't think that was available on these documents.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So who had to get that information for you?

MR BASSON: Mr Burger identified Chap Maree, he had to make use of an indirect member.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So the order was given by Burger and he then took it further?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And Mr Burger already testified yesterday that information about where he lived etcetera, was obtained.

MR BASSON: Yes, Mr Maree delayed, he dragged his feet a bit on this matter and he became involved in other activities, he went abroad. So at some point information was available and that a presentation was done or a submission was made.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Was Maree present or not?

MR BASSON: No, the decision was that Slang van Zyl would do the project after Maree left and Mr Burger and myself then felt that if we could get these gangsters from the Cape, then the plan would be to make it look like a knife incident or a robbery, which was meant to be fatal. We did this briefing and Mr Verster said he would come to us and talk to us about it again and at some point he did. I don't know whether it was with myself or Mr Burger, he spoke to us, contacted us and told us to go ahead. Mr Slang van Zyl then summonsed his people and ...(intervention)

MR P DU PLESSIS: And the order was given to Mr van Zyl?

MR BASSON: Given to Mr van Zyl, yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: If I understand correctly, he wasn't involved in the initial procedure?

MR BASSON: No, we used Maree's details for that.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And without belabouring the point, it now appears that the address wasn't correct and you couldn't continue at that stage.

MR BASSON: Yes, I can't remember whether Evans perhaps wasn't there or the address was not right, I can't remember the specific detail, but the project couldn't be finalised, it couldn't go ahead.

MR P DU PLESSIS: But the intention was, and the plan was that Mr Evans must be eliminated?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: However, that didn't happen. Now in that connection you say there was approval from Verster?

MR BASSON: Yes. I just want to explain to you that no project can take place, or no pre-study can actually get off the ground without a written authorisation from Mr Verster. At all times I required his signature, for instance to draw money, to obtain funds, so that's why I'm saying that it was done on his approval and funds were in fact utilised.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Yes, I don't want to go into the detail of that.

MR BASSON: What it's about is movements.

MR P DU PLESSIS: In the same period more-or-less, there was this project relating to Mr Dullah Omar and I think it's on record now that the intelligence came from van Zyl's infrastructure in the Western Cape.

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And that Mr Omar had been identified.

MR BASSON: That's correct. The information I verified with this Derek person. I just want to say that when I spoke to Derek I didn't always give him specific names as a result of security reasons, I would give five or six other names with the name of the person that I wanted information about.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So it was a type of disinformation method?

MR BASSON: Yes, because if something was to happen to that person, then the first person who would know was your intelligence person because he gave you the information. So a lot of other names were fed into the system as well and these were simply almost as a red herring.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Was that your own clever idea, or was that the way you were trained?

MR BASSON: It's I suppose training, I had a lot of experience with Security bodies and structures and it simply is a method which we knew about.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Mr Omar's case and the detail will be covered by other parties I suppose, if necessary, but the Omar case also went through the prescribed steps with the approval which was required?

MR BASSON: Yes, it went through the cycle as already familiar to us, the necessary authorisation was obtained. I just want to say that as far as Omar and Evans, as far as those two cases are concerned, I wasn't physically present at any time when Verster discussed it with Gen Webb. There's no specific reason for that. It wasn't necessary for me to be present, it was handled on another level, but I did have the authorisation from Mr Verster and I accept and assume that it was cleared at a higher level.

MR P DU PLESSIS: There are indications in your diary, and I'm sure it will be dealt with later, that there are indications that Mr Verster indicated that he would speak to Webb who was the Chairperson at that stage.

MR BASSON: Yes, I remember that entry, but my inference from that is that it came up again at a later stage that Grosskopf, or that Evans was contacting or making contact with Grosskopf and that it took place in Zambia and the re-initiation of the project, perhaps Mr Verster wanted that and he indicated that I should remind him to speak to the Chairperson, I don't know what about.

MR P DU PLESSIS: But he wanted to discuss it?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So you say that there was new information that Evans went to Zambia where he met Grosskopf?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: The project regarding Mr Omar has already been placed on record in great detail. This project once again was not carried out in the way it was initially conceived, namely that he was to be shot dead with a Makarov pistol fitted with a silencer?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You confirm your involvement in the procurement of a weapon?

MR BASSON: Yes, I confirm that that was the initial plan and that I formed a part of that planning. I just want to add that with the change of plan to the toxic substance plan, I was not present when those proposals were made and the planning in that regard, I was busy disconnecting from Region 6 to some extent because a void had been left by Mr Botha's departure and my responsibilities then once again included looking after Region 2, so these other two people were brought in.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Is that Nick?

MR BASSON: Nick and Theo, and they were supposed to fulfil those functions. I don't deny that I knew about it. Mr Burger informed me that that had been the change in plan, so I was aware of it.

MR P DU PLESSIS: But you didn't deal with or procure the toxic substances or tablets?

MR BASSON: No.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now the weapon, you provided that. The firearm, where did you get it from?

MR BASSON: There's an organisation at Special Forces, EMLC, and there was a contact person, Hekkies ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, what was the organisation, MLC?

MR BASSON: EMLC.

CHAIRPERSON: What was that?

MR BASSON: EM stands for Electronic Mechanical Agricultural substances.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Was it also a front organisation?

MR BASSON: Well it was a private organisation but they were situated on the premises of Special Forces Headquarters. They had their facility there where they made available chemical or mechanical things.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Well it seems to me that it was a covert organisation who would provide this kind of support and services to the Defence Force.

MR BASSON: No, I wouldn't say it was covert, the people knew who they were doing it for and I don't think you can refer to them as a covert organisation.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You didn't received the firearm back ultimately?

MR BASSON: No, I never got it back.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Do you know what happened to it? Do you have personal knowledge of it?

MR BASSON: I do know that Mr Burger told Mr van Zyl that the weapon, or that the project had been stopped and that the weapon had to be, I think destroyed.

MR P DU PLESSIS: But you didn't carry out that instruction?

MR BASSON: No, no, I was not authorised to do that kind of thing.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Perhaps just on this point regarding Mr Omar and chemical substances, the project name was Britz, is that correct? Christo Britz.

MR BASSON: My administrative name.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Yes.

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You real name is of course Wouter Basson. We know that there is another, if you don't mind, a better known Wouter Basson.

MR BASSON: He's not necessarily better known.

MR P DU PLESSIS: But in any event he has a medical background. You have no medical background?

MR BASSON: No.

MR P DU PLESSIS: But in any event there is a continuing court case in that regard. He's a family member of yours?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: He's a cousin?

MR BASSON: That is correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Did you have any direct contact or connections with him at the stage here relevant, namely when you were in Special Forces, specifically the CCB?

MR BASSON: No, no, I had no contact with him, I didn't even have any contact with him on a family level.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You mean on a social family level?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So you were related by blood, but you had no social contact.

MR BASSON: That's correct, yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Were you aware at any stage during the relevant period, of Dr Wouter Basson's activities?

MR BASSON: I was never aware that he was the person as alleged, who was responsible for the things that he is being charged with today. I was however aware of a channel to a person to obtain certain chemical substances but I never connected it with him as a person.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You didn't know who these people were who were manufacturing and supplying these things?

MR BASSON: No, it was a big secret, it was a very confidential matter.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Then there was a further project surrounding the baboon foetus in Bishop Tutu's garden, were you directly involved in that?

MR BASSON: No, I wasn't directly involved there, I however am aware of that incident, once again by virtue of Mr Burger's communication to me in this regard. I wasn't involved in the handling or planning or the objective of the thing. I wasn't involved in that way at all.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now just by the way, one could mention that - before going on to the fourth case, the bomb in Athlone at the Early Learning Centre, one could mention that there were also other cases, for instance a project of Botha's surrounding Roskam's car, you were involved in that. That is not one of the aspects for which you ask for amnesty, but you admit your involvement?

MR BASSON: Yes, I admit my involvement in Roskam's car.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Then there's also a minibus which had to be burnt out here in Cape Town, and a printing press.

MR BASSON: Yes, the two cases of Mr van Zyl, I'm aware of that.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You acted as a Co-ordinator in that regard?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And the order to monitor Bruce White, you were also involved in that?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And the monitoring of Anton Lubowski?

MR BASSON: Yes, I was involved.

MR P DU PLESSIS: I'm not going to enter into the detail of all of that, but I just want to mention it to establish that you were aware of that and what your involvement was there.

As far as the Early Learning Centre case is concerned the detail is already on record, I don't want to waste too much time on that, but you confirm your involvement there?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: That the intelligence came initially from Slang van Zyl and his infrastructure?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: In that case the intelligence channel to which you had access, Derek, was that used to confirm this information?

MR BASSON: No, I didn't use the Derek Louw channel because at one point he was unavailable and Mr Burger and I took it up directly with Mr Verster and he then said alright he would see what he could do and I'm assuming that he had the capacity to verify the information in respect of the additional reasons which later became available when the matter was presented to the Chairperson, but that specific additional information didn't come from me or from the ground level.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And it also didn't come from Derek Louw?

MR BASSON: No.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You do mention that certain information came from van Zyl and later at this briefing you realised or learnt that there was a whole lot of new information.

MR BASSON: Yes, which Mr Verster conveyed to Gen Webb.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Basson, when you went to Mr Verster because Derek wasn't available, and he said that he will look into it and then you assume, you say you assume that he had the information ...(indistinct). Did he come back when you saw him again in regard to this project, with computer print-outs and stuff like that?

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson, Mr Verster had this way about him, he said "Look I know what I'm doing." I didn't specifically ask him what he was going to do, I just became aware of the additional information when the matter was presented to the General.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So it was clear to you that he done work on it?

MR BASSON: Yes, he had to have got the information from somewhere.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Alright. The obtaining of the weaponry, the armament used, the bomb, were you involved in that? And the limpet mine?

MR BASSON: Yes, the contact with this person Hekkies and he gave me the limpet mine. The mechanism ...(intervention)

MR P DU PLESSIS: The mechanism was given to the General by the same person?

MR BASSON: I don't know if it was the limpet only or the mechanism as well, or whether I got it from the General, I can't remember, but I do think that I also got the mechanism from this person because this person would have to brief me as to the use and the instructions, user's instructions of this mechanism, and the General would not have been able to tell me that or convey that to me, that was not one on his level.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So you don't have any independent recollection of the mechanism?

MR BASSON: No, I don't know whether I - well, it was obtained, they were obtained.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Alright, so they were obtain and then you can confirm that it was handed over to Mr van Zyl and you were also involved with the drawing in of Mr Calla Botha in the project?

MR BASSON: Yes. When I explained to Mr van Zyl what the procedure was in respect of how the mechanism operated and how it was put together, I could see that he was slightly frightened, so we decided after talking to Mr Verster that we would make an exception to use Mr Botha on a temporary basis as a result of the reasons well known. We did it like that.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So the project was carried out in the sense that the bomb did explode and cause damage and also apparently some injuries at the Early Learning Centre?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Do you have an independent recollection as to what the order was in respect of the carrying out of the project?

MR BASSON: The purpose was that Mr van Zyl was to use his infrastructure, in this case Isgak, Isgak had to place this thing on his own, he also had to do the activation of the limpet mine. That was the method, that you don't become directly involved. And the specific instruction was minimum loss of life or no loss of life.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Yes you just have to consider what you say, is it minimum loss of life or no loss of life?

MR BASSON: No loss of life. That was the order, but you're naive if you think that is not possible that somebody for instance could have decided to stay in the Centre for longer or sleep there or whatever, so that's how it was.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So what you're saying is that the order was that there should be no loss of life, but you're not trying to allege that there was no realisation that there might be injuries?

MR BASSON: Yes, definitely.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So that actually concludes the four matters for which you're applying for amnesty. Just to deal with your further actions at the CCB and the Security bodies. After this bomb explosion and towards the end of '89, there were certain developments as a result of which Mr Barnard was arrested and Mr Calla Botha was arrested, how did that develop further, what was the result of the CCB activities? Did it continue?

MR BASSON: No.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Were there further projects?

MR BASSON: No, I can't remember specifically when Mr Botha and Mr Barnard had been arrested, but I think even before they were arrested we looked specifically at - I think with a view to Mr de Klerk taking over, we looked at the rationalisation of projects. In other words the idea was that projects had to be reduced. It was actually a period of waiting and I confirm that Region 6 at that stage had no involvement in the carrying out of offensive projects.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Does that also appear from the diary?

MR BASSON: Yes, I think so, I think if you turn through the diary you would actually find a date, a relevant date.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now just to look at two specific instances where fingers were pointed at Region 6, that's the Webster case in 1 May 1989, that took place on that date and you were the Co-ordinator of Region 6. Are you aware of the involvement of Region 6 specifically or any region in which you were involved, in the Webster case?

MR BASSON: No, at that stage I didn't know at all.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Of course you can also talk about regions in which you were involved as a result of the need-to-know basis on which you operated?

MR BASSON: Yes, I was certain that Region 6 and the people who I knew were not involved.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And you personally were not involved?

MR BASSON: Definitely not.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Reference was also made to the matter of Adv Lubowski that does not fall within the borders of South Africa, he was killed outside the country. I think it was the 12th of September '89. He was killed in Windhoek. Did you have any involvement in that murder?

MR BASSON: No, no involvement.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And are you aware of anyone within the structure of which you formed a part, who was so involved?

MR BASSON: No.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You've already told us that rationalisation had taken place and that Region 6 did not continue with any operational actions after FW de Klerk took over as Head of State. Did you then break off all contact and bonds with the CCB?

MR BASSON: There was an investigation I remember, early in 1990, the Harms Commission of Inquiry was appointed and then for a considerable period after that I was still involved in the CCB. It was myself and a couple of people whose objective it was to manage the projects, so as to hand over people who could still be used, useful people. So it was purely a period in which I was still paid by the CCB or the State to help to manage the CCB.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Yes, it's the winding down of the administrative components, dismissal of people, payments that had to be made, disbursements made to the people.

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: But it was all done in the open, these things weren't done covertly? ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR BASSON: That's entirely correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now after - well, did you resign from the CCB?

MR BASSON: No, it wasn't - well we were given a choice, people could either resign with a package or they could be re-employed at other structures in the Defence Force and most people took exercised the option of the retrenchment package.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And you yourself?

MR BASSON: Yes, that was my choice too, I took the package.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Were you re-employed by any State organisation?

MR BASSON: Yes, round about the middle of '91, yes, the middle of '91 we applied ...(intervention)

MR P DU PLESSIS: You're saying "we".

MR BASSON: That's myself and Mr Burger. We applied to the Directorate of Covert Intelligence to become there if they were interested and I worked for them for a year and a half.

MR P DU PLESSIS: This is after you got your retrenchment package?

MR BASSON: Yes. I was involved in handling information, primarily in a neighbouring country. At the end of '92 I formed part of the group of people ...(intervention)

MR P DU PLESSIS: President de Klerk?

MR BASSON: We formed part of a group of people - well there was the inquiry, the Goldstone Commission of Inquiry which implicated us and said that we were involved in third force activities, which is entirely untrue, I formed part of another retrenchment from the Defence Force.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Were you re-employed by the State after that?

MR BASSON: No, I'd had enough at that stage and I left and I started working in a private capacity.

MR P DU PLESSIS: So thereafter you had no further connection with the State or State bodies?

MR BASSON: No, not at all.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Perhaps just one further aspect I have to cover with you.

Firstly, you were part of the proceedings before the Harms Commission.

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You were represented by Adv Flip Hattingh as leader of the legal team.

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Now I'm not going to deal with this specifically, it can be dealt with in cross-examination, but I'm sure you would concede that there were attempts made at covering up the truth and that there were certain details which were not disclosed and they were supposed to have been disclosed.

MR BASSON: That's quite correct, the chief reason for this was that we were afraid of prosecution. We were careful not to say more than we actually had to, because at that stage there was no mention of indemnity and there was also pressure from the Defence Force to look at the protection of the organisation by actually just saying the minimum possible.

MR P DU PLESSIS: At that stage Region 6's activities was in the spotlight.

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Whilst there was still a lot of external regions operating?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: What as the fear in this regard?

MR BASSON: The concern was that because these were internal activities and the gravity of those things ...(intervention)

MR P DU PLESSIS: But as far as the external regions were concerned, were they disclosed?

MR BASSON: No, they had not been exposed at all and that was not within the ambit of the Harms Commission, to investigate that.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You, as has already been placed on record, applied for indemnity after the first Act had been promulgated, as I've already said, and you made an affidavit in that respect and that same affidavit is contained or was used in 1996 as the motivation and it was attached to your application and that is now also before the Commission in the year 2000.

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: I'm also not going to go through that with you, Mr Burger was questioned about that. Basically your statement and his statement are the same. It appears very clearly that the one was copied from the other and there was quite a lot of collaboration in the taking down of the statements.

MR BASSON: Yes. I just want to say a person is unfortunately sort of ignorant as far as the legal processes are concerned and my advice, my legal advice was we should do it in that way and the same untruths which were pointed out in Mr Burger's application is also relevant to my application and statement. I however bona fide accepted that it was correct at the time and that is the case currently.

MR P DU PLESSIS: In other words you confirm that there are inaccuracies in that statement?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And then lastly, these acts which were committed, and we're talking about crimes and offences, and they are crimes because if it hadn't been a crime it wouldn't have been necessary for you to apply for amnesty in terms of the legislation, what was your specific objective in carrying out these acts?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, we are all aware of the climate which reigned in that period and it worsened dramatically in '89, the revolutionary climate reached a boiling point.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Revolutionary from your point of view?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: What was your point of view, what was your political outlook at the time?

MR BASSON: It may sound like a cliché to some people but once again, I was brought up as an Afrikaner boy, there was only Party, the National Party, and we fought to bolster the sovereignty of the State and for the preservation of whites, that was important, self-determination was on the table ...(intervention)

MR P DU PLESSIS: Self-determination of?

MR BASSON: Of white Afrikaners. There was an absolute fear of black domination. It may seem funny to some people, but it was the situation at that stage and it was on that basis that I did what I did and I believed it was right at that stage.

MR P DU PLESSIS: The other aspect which joins up with this one are the methods used to achieve your objectives. It is so that specific individuals were the targets of some of these actions and that it took the form of assassinations, you would agree with that?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Assassinations of citizens of the country?

MR BASSON: Yes, well I just want to say that it was a result of those people's involvement, along with other radical elements and organisations. They had these front organisations and companies ...(intervention)

MR P DU PLESSIS: Front organisations.

MR BASSON: Front organisations, yes, who wanted to undermine the State. It wasn't aimed at a specific individual, it was done purely as a result of a person's activities within a structure whose objective it ultimately was to subvert the State.

MR P DU PLESSIS: You would readily concede that the strategies which were followed, well one can use all kinds of names, dirty tricks or ... but ultimately what it amounts to is reprehensible and even cowardly strategies by means of which people were killed by means of assassination attacks when they weren't even aware that there was such a plan against them?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I suppose you could refer to it in those terms today, but it is also known that similar methods were employed by the enemy. So the two opposing parties or enemies were equally reprehensible and cowardly in their methods which they used.

CHAIRPERSON: In any event, today you know that two wrongs don't make a right.

MR BASSON: Yes, you grow up and you become wiser with the years and that is definitely the case, yes.

MR P DU PLESSIS: And without being sentimental or anything, today you're still a citizen of the Republic of South Africa and you have no problems with the new dispensation.

MR BASSON: No, I have no problems with - well the stories which were used to frighten us and the ghosts never materialised. I have no problems to live in this country and I have no reason to consider immigration, I'm here to effect reconciliation and to reconcile. I'm not here to cross swords with people who were enemies in the past.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR P DU PLESSIS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr du Plessis. Mr Wessels.

MR WESSELS: I have no questions, thank you.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR WESSELS

CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR H DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Chairperson, just a couple of aspects.

Mr Basson, you were never present except, if I understand the evidence, in one case and that's the bomb incident. If one assumes that Col Verster made a submission to the Chairperson, you were never present?

MR BASSON: That's correct, it was only when the Athlone/Early Learning Centre event that I was physically involved where the General gave authorisation.

MR H DU PLESSIS: So to get back to the Omar case, where the General testified that Col Verster never gave authorisation or that he never asked for authorisation, you can't dispute that?

MR BASSON: I can't dispute that, there are no grounds on which I can say he had such authorisation.

MR H DU PLESSIS: Let us move to the Evans case. If I understand your evidence correctly it actually falls in two parts, the first part relates to March, according to Mr van Zyl, when authorisation was given for Project Evans, is that correct?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR H DU PLESSIS: The second part it seems to me according to your diary, relates to the 22nd of August 1989 when there was another reference to Evans, is that correct?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR H DU PLESSIS: You were not present, if one once again assumes that Col Verster made a submission to the Chairperson in the first Evans case, is that correct?

MR BASSON: No, not in the first case.

MR H DU PLESSIS: And am I correct in saying that you can't dispute it when Gen Webb says that Col Verster never asked him for authorisation for the first Evans matter?

MR BASSON: No, I can't dispute it and also as far as the second case is concerned I can recall that I reminded Verster as to what I had to remind him of, the conversation on the following day. I did it, but I can't say whether he did it or I can't what was discussed.

MR H DU PLESSIS: "Dis bloot die punt. Die tweede geval is nog Col Verster het hier getuig dat hy in Augustus met Gen Webb 'n gesprek sou voer oor Evans en nog Gen Webb het oor so iets getuig, so u kan nie sê so iets plaasgevind het nie?"

MR BASSON: No, I cannot, Chairperson.

MR H DU PLESSIS: The last aspect. You heard what Gen Webb testified before the Commission relating to the bomb and the briefing which Verster made to him, is that correct?

MR BASSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR H DU PLESSIS: Is there anything relating to Gen Webb's evidence regarding the submission made to him, with which you do not agree?

MR BASSON: No, I accept his evidence.

MR H DU PLESSIS: I have no further questions, thank you Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR H DU PLESSIS

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr du Plessis. Mr Martini, do you have any questions?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MARTINI: Mr Basson, as regards the Early Learning Centre, you had to obtain the bomb, is that correct, from Hekkies?

MR BASSON: Yes, that's correct, Chairperson.

MR MARTINI: Were you given any particular instruction that the bomb had to be doctored with nails?

MR BASSON: No, not at all, Chairperson, it was regular limpet mine without any modifications.

MR MARTINI: Now Mr Basson, you heard most people testifying here, saying that they all testified at Harms. You've said attempts - and most people's evidence seems to be that at Harms, most of the applicants, except for possibly van Zyl and Botha, attempted to cover up the truth at Harms, is that correct?

MR BASSON: As far as possible, yes.

MR MARTINI: Now you know that Mr van Zyl testified there as well.

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR MARTINI: And Mr van Zyl basically told the versions that we've heard here today, is that correct?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR MARTINI: Would you agree with me that at that time, Mr van Zyl could possibly not have been regarded as a very favourable person within the organisation?

MR BASSON: Well yes, I would say that there was unhappiness, but we could do nothing about it.

MR MARTINI: Thank you, Mr Basson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR MARTINI

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van Eck, do you have any questions you'd like to ask?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN ECK: Mr Basson, did you have any personal knowledge of the background of the people recruited by Mr Burger?

MR BASSON: Background?

MR VAN ECK: Yes.

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson, except that they had been involved along with him at Brixton Murder and Robbery, they worked there with him. Apart from that I had no personal knowledge of their background.

MR VAN ECK: Did you have any knowledge of the areas in which they were to work?

MR BASSON: It's possible, but I would like to think that Mr Burger, as a result of his knowledge of these people, that he did the allocations, but I don't want to deny that I perhaps was part of the planning. I can't deny that.

MR VAN ECK: That Mr Botha for instance, as a result of his sporting activities, went overseas several times and played rugby in France and so forth, that wasn't offered?

MR BASSON: No. Do you mean that - what is he meaning of the question?

MR VAN ECK: For Mr Botha's background, his sporting background and where he'd been in the past, that never played a role in utilising him within the CCB?

MR BASSON: The fact that he played rugby? No, that had no influence ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I think also it was the fact that he not only played rugby and that he'd been overseas to France, playing rugby, was that a relevant factor?

MR BASSON: Oh, I understand. I'm not aware that Mr Burger perhaps regarded that as a reason or motivation to recruit him for the organisation, I'm not aware of that fact.

MR VAN ECK: Names were given to the members, inter alia Mr Chikane and Mr Frank White were given to Mr Botha.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, it's possible that - I know for a fact that the White case was given to him, but it's also possible that I gave Mr Chikane's name to him. I can't deny it, it's possible.

MR VAN ECK: Can you remember that - you've now said that your own intelligence structure, Derek, that you obtained certain information, can you confirm or deny that computer print-outs were given to the members?

MR BASSON: I can't remember whether I specifically showed them these computer print-outs. I remember that I made notes from the print-outs and that was for my own personal benefit and use, so that I could talk to the people based on what I had learnt from the print-outs. If a print-out was in the possession of a person, I suppose that's the way it happened, but it wasn't done like that as a rule.

MR VAN ECK: Were you involved in any way with the placing on ice of Mr Botha?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, that was a decision of Mr Burger, perhaps in conjunction with Mr Verster. I was part of the decision making process, but I was not involved in an executive capacity, I was purely part of the discussion.

MR VAN ECK: In respect of the bomb at the Early Learning Centre, you mentioned that temporary use was made of Mr Botha, was he inactive prior to that?

MR BASSON: Yes, it was in that period during which he's been placed on ice, but we simply had to make use of him because - we activated him because we had a dire need for his services.

MR VAN ECK: And then just in conclusion I'd like to show you Exhibit M, that is your diary, page 12.

CHAIRPERSON: What page?

MR VAN ECK: Page 12. There is an entry

"Weapon for Deon"

was that for Mr Botha?

MR BASSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR VAN ECK: Can you recall what weapon that was or what it was for?

MR BASSON: Mr Barnard and Mr Botha came to me and asked me whether there was any possibility that the organisation could help them to obtain a sidearm since after his departure from the Police he had to hand back his weapon, he had no weapon for self-defence and that he wanted to buy a weapon from State funds, and within the personnel plan of the CCB it was possible for people to purchase weapons out of State funds and with the final retrenchment all assets purchased by the State were deducted from the final settlement amount.

MR VAN ECK: Now you will probably be cross-examined about this but just in conclusion, if you go to page 19 of the same exhibit, the amount of money mentioned there, would you like to comment on that?

CHAIRPERSON: What page was that again?

MR VAN ECK: Page 19, Mr Chairman.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I looked at the amounts when it was discussed with Mr Burger and I couldn't find a specific explanation for it, except to say that perhaps for some reason the people had been paid in advance, they were paid two month's salary. That's the only explanation I can give you. And then the R701,40, at that stage was an operational expense which had been approved, where people would then in respect of small claims, like telephone and parking and so, social activities with other members, the people would have to use that money for those purposes rather than submit small claims. It was seen as a project expenditure for miscellaneous disbursements, so that he didn't have to constantly bring that into reckoning.

MR VAN ECK: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN ECK

CHAIRPERSON: Why is it such a peculiar figure, R701,40?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I can only think that according to Defence Force regulations this amount had been calculated

based on an amount per day times the number of days in a month. I'm not sure.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you finished?

MR VAN ECK: I've finished, thank you Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Coetzee, do you have any questions you'd like to ask?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR COETZEE: I do indeed.

Mr Basson, were you familiar with Lafras Luitingh and his alias Louie?

MR BASSON: I knew him, he was a Co-ordinator such as myself. In other words in the inside circle from day to day.

MR COETZEE: Did you know which members he handled?

MR BASSON: No, it wasn't necessary for me to know.

MR COETZEE: Were you in any way familiar with Mr Barnard during your involvement with the CCB?

MR BASSON: No, I was never aware of Mr Barnard's existence, I only came to hear of that later.

MR COETZEE: After the CCB had been, or the disbandment procedure started, did you still receive a salary?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR COETZEE: Did the other members still receive a salary, members of the CCB? Until the final disbandment.

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR COETZEE: My instruction from Mr Barnard is that he also continued to receive his salary and medical benefits until the final disbandment of the CCB.

MR BASSON: It's possible, Chairperson, that it happened but I wouldn't know about that.

MR COETZEE: After that you went to the Directorate of Covert Collections, were you also aware of the fact that Mr Barnard was transferred to this Directorate of Covert Intelligence?

MR BASSON: I was never aware of his appointment there, he was not a member like myself who moved around the offices every day, so I wasn't aware of him.

MR COETZEE: Are you aware of the fact that after the bomb had - or rather, after all the revelations came to light, that there was strong government denial that Mr Barnard had ever worked for any of these Forces or worked for them previously, especially in the statements of Minister Roelf Meyer, the then Mr Roelf Meyer?

MR BASSON: I can't remember this detail. If you put it to me, I can't deny it.

MR COETZEE: Can I ask you, from the government's side, was there an immediate recognition given to your existence?

MR BASSON: No, there wasn't.

MR COETZEE: There was a systematic attempt to conceal the connection with government official organisations?

MR BASSON: That's correct, and that's where the story of the rotten apple approach also came into being and was used in that way.

MR COETZEE: Thank you, Chairperson, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR COETZEE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. I think this would be a convenient stage to take the tea adjournment, we'll adjourn for tea. Thank you.

MS COLERIDGE: All rise.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

WOUTER J BASSON: (s.u.o.)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Bizos, do you have any questions?

MR BIZOS: Mr Kahanovitz.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Kahanovitz, do you have any questions you'd like to ask?

MR KAHANOVITZ: I'm sure you know the answer to that.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm sure.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR KAHANOVITZ: Mr Basson, you've already pointed out your administrative name was Christo Britz, now Hendrik Christoffel Nel, Chris Nel, do you know who he is?

MR BASSON: Yes, it's this Derek person I referred to.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Just for purposes of the record, he was the Intelligence Officer of the CCB?

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Right.

MR LAX: Just while you're on that, did you say his surname, his assumed name was Derek Louw, or was that someone else?

MR BASSON: Derek Louw was his administrative name and his real name was Chris Nel.

MR LAX: Thanks.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now Mr Nel gave evidence to the TRC in a Section 29 Inquiry, do you know - you also attended a Section 29 Inquiry, you're aware of what those inquiries are?

MR BASSON: Yes, I think so.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now Mr Chairman, once again, I'm not - if need be, we can hand in the evidence but I just want to put to the witness certain things that Mr Nel said at that inquiry, for his comment.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, certainly Mr Kahanovitz.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now he said that the purpose of using criminals in the unaware outer circle was in the hope whatever job was done would not be able to be traced back to the State, that it wouldn't implicate the State in those acts, you agree with that?

MR BASSON: Yes, it's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: He says that this was actually very difficult to achieve and in retrospect he thinks it's the biggest waste of money ever. He says he estimates that approximately 80% of operations had to be stopped because there were no efficient cut-offs to stop the State from being implicated.

MR BASSON: Do you want my comment?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, it may be the case, I believe as a result of his employment in the CCB he was more aware of operations. It is not easy to recruit an indirect member and to trust him completely and to deploy him and his trustability would be of such a nature that he'll say he'll do something and he doesn't do it, or that he tried to find things to compromise you with, so that one day he can fall back on that. So I agree with that, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: You'll obviously agree with me it's very nice in theory to want to believe that someone like Peaches thinks you're working for some international business, but someone like Peaches isn't that stupid.

MR BASSON: It is true, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now he also worked with you on projects in Zimbabwe, correct? Region 7.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you talking about Mr Nel now, not Peaches?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes, I'm sorry, Mr Nel.

MR BASSON: I think so, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now he says that Ferdi Barnard was supposed to be working with Lafras Luitingh on Region 7.

MR BASSON: I don't where he gets that from, he's not supposed to know that Mr Barnard was involved in any way with Lafras Luitingh.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well he's the Intelligence Officer for the whole organisation.

MR BASSON: I don't know how he knew that, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And he says that one of the problems was that Mr Barnard was, to use his words, prostituting after hours with people in Region 6, because he had friends there.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I never visited the members of Region 6 at home, I was never part of their social circle, I cannot verify or deny the statement.

MR KAHANOVITZ: By the way, in your evidence-in-chief you said that you didn't know of the existence of Mr Barnard while you were in Region 6.

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: On the other hand you said that you were party to the meeting where the question of whether Mr Botha should be given a warning, was discussed.

MR BASSON: You are correct, I was aware of the name Mr Barnard as a result of that, but I didn't know him personally.

MR KAHANOVITZ: I think what you're really saying is you were aware of his existence and why he posed a problem, but all you're saying is you didn't know what he looked like. You never personally met him.

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now Mr Nel says that, and this by the say is confirmed by your evidence at the Webster Inquest, that in 1989 various regions were called together to do work related to the Namibian elections, correct?

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And we'll get to your diary later. There are various entries there and there's a reference to

"Baptism Day - Region 8"

correct?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: He also says that in relation to that project, people were offered bonuses to double up production. Your superiors were very keen to achieve concrete results, they wanted to motivate people.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I cannot recall such a promise or such a suggestion.

MR KAHANOVITZ: He also gave evidence about Trevits, the full name is Counter-revolutionary Intelligence Task Team", are you aware of their existence?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I think I was aware of that when I was working in the Defence Force structure, but as a result of deployment and my status I was never involved in any way with such a thing, but I do not deny that I was aware such a structure.

MR KAHANOVITZ: He also gave evidence about what the purpose of this body was, he says it was established in approximately 1987, in order to co-ordinate activities around the targets for the various State agencies.

MR BASSON: It's possible, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And for example, you would want to make sure that somebody who was a government spy, wasn't targeted for assassination. It makes sense to you?

MR BASSON: It's makes sense, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: He says that the CCB was not directly represented on Trevits, because if they had been they could have been linked to an operation.

MR BASSON: It probably was like that, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: You don't know, but you say it makes sense.

MR BASSON: I don't know - it makes sense, but I don't know if there was a person who was known.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Right. He says for similar reasons the CCB had to indirectly obtain its intelligence from Headquarters, or to do reconnaissance themselves. You would be aware of that, correct?

MR BASSON: That's correct, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: That's the effect of some of the evidence that you gave in-chief. Okay. Now he says that the CCB itself had a very inferior capability to generate its own intelligence. In other words the CCB was far more reliant on obtaining intelligence from other pre-existing intelligence structures.

MR BASSON: That is so.

MR KAHANOVITZ: He also says that the professionals in the CCB, the good operators, were very upset with Joe Verster for employing such unprofessional people to work for Region 6 and that their concern was that it was because of their un-professionalism that CCB activities got to be exposed.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I am not aware, such things were never said to me. I believe it was done after the disclosure of the CCB, because they wouldn't have known before the time about the existence of the CCB.

MR KAHANOVITZ: I think though the point is, you came from a military culture, you were in the permanent Force, you'd been there for many years.

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: You had professional training as a soldier, built up over many years.

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: The Defence Force is now going to involve itself in the most covert possible activities within the borders of South Africa, correct?

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now doesn't it strike you as a bit - let me put the question in another way. Why didn't you make use of your own experienced, trained professionals to carry out those operations instead of bringing in ex-policemen?

CHAIRPERSON: The "you" there is referring to the CCB?

MR KAHANOVITZ: The CCB, not you personally, yes.

MR BASSON: Well Chairperson, I was not the Managing Director of the CCB, I could not take decisions about who should be used internally, the prerogative was with Mr Verster, he thought it was a good idea to use Mr Burger and his people and that's what the situation was.

CHAIRPERSON: What was your feeling about the use of non-military people being employed? What did you personally feel when you were introduced to - learnt that you were getting people from outside the military?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I had to adapt to it as well because I think it's well known that the Police and the Defence Force culture is not really hundred percent the same, it's not really similar, but that was my order, it was a task and it wasn't up to me to question whether these people were suitable or not. I accepted that they were capable, that they could perform their tasks and I dealt with it accordingly.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes, except you were put in the invidious position of being the person who had to manage them, as their Co-ordinator.

MR BASSON: Well that was my work, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now while we're on that point, about this agreement between the South African Police and the Defence Force, that there would be this six month period of grace if one moved over from the Police to the Defence Force or vice versa, why would that have to apply in the case of people who were moving over into an organisation that was ostensibly, had nothing to do with the Defence Force? What's the logic?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I have no knowledge about that stage of affairs, I cannot on such a regulation that existed, I have no knowledge of that. As far as I'm concerned you can resign and you can work for another State institution. Why there should be a time period, I don't know.

MR KAHANOVITZ: No, no, I'm not asking you why there was that rule, I understand it was something to prevent poaching between the Defence Force and the South African Police. The simply point is, the image, the picture that you were trying to create at that time was not that these people were moving into the Defence Force, the picture that you were trying to create was that they were moving into an area that was entirely unrelated to the Defence Force. Do you agree with me?

MR BASSON: Well the objective was - yes, that was the objective, but you cannot say that they were not recruited for the Defence Force, or specifically the CCB.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Anyway, I was trying to understand the logic ...(intervention)

MR LAX: But the Defence Force would never have owned up to them working for them.

MR BASSON: Excuse, please repeat the question, Chairperson.

MR LAX: The Defence Force would never have acknowledged that they worked for them.

MR BASSON: Yes, that is correct.

MR LAX: And to all intents and purposes they didn't work for them, they worked for - they worked privately.

MR BASSON: Yes, as a result of the covert structure, yes.

MR LAX: So in a way by making them wait six months before they could do anything you might even create the impression that they were Defence Force people, rather than avoid it.

MR BASSON: No, I don't agree, the persons needed that time because lots of attention would have been paid to them and people couldn't have been able to assume that they were involved with other State institutions, they had to spend that time to appear credible after their resignation from the Police.

MR LAX: Well you see that's a much more logical explanation for why they did no active work for six months and rather worked on developing their cover, but that means they were developing their cover as part of the CCB.

MR BASSON: That was the purpose.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now you will have heard mention during cross-examination of previous witness that the Harms Commission found that there was a project to assassinate an attorney in Durban by the name of Mr Mhlaba and I'll just read you one line from Judge Harms' finding.

"What is certain however, is that on 4 March 1989, du Plooy (that's the reference to someone with the administrative name of Shane du Plooy) prepared a document dealing with the elimination of Mr Mhlaba by means of poison. The poison was to be administered on 13 March 1989."

Now Mr Nel confirmed to the Truth Commission that there was indeed such a plan to assassinate Mr Mhlaba in Natal, do you agree with him?

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson. I became aware of this case when I read the documents, but I deny that Region 6 or myself were at all involved in this project.

MR KAHANOVITZ: It's very strange because Mr Nel's evidence was that you came to him to ask him to gather information on Mr Mhlaba.

MR BASSON: I deny that, I'm not aware of it.

MR KAHANOVITZ: You see if someone was going to be killed in Natal, that would fall within Region 6's area of concern, you agree with me?

MR BASSON: Yes, it's true.

MR KAHANOVITZ: So if there was indeed such a plot, in the ordinary course of events you would have been the person who would approach Mr Nel to obtain such information as may be required. If there had been such a plot.

MR BASSON: I would have been the person, Chairperson, but I deny that myself or Region 6 were involved in that attempt.

MR KAHANOVITZ: He says that you also asked him for a print-out on J Naidoo.

MR BASSON: It's possible, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Right. You don't dispute that?

MR BASSON: It's possible.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you remember whether you did or didn't?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, it's difficult to remember. It could be that, as I've explained before, to hide the real objective of the inquiry I also named other activists and it could be in this case that Mr J Naidoo's was mentioned but it was only a cover-story with the aim not to do anything with it.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Can I just deal with this notion that you would want to sow confusion in the minds of the people who were furnishing you with intelligence. You say you would give a list of names, only one of which would be the real target. Is that your evidence?

MR BASSON: Yes what I'm saying is, when we identified a person from the priority list then it was not only his details that were asked for but also five other members on the list, for the sake of the argument.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes, but when it comes to someone like Mr Nel who is the Intelligence Officer of the CCB itself, there's no reason for him to not know what's going on. In fact, he should know what's going on.

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: You were trying to confuse him as well?

MR BASSON: Yes, because this is about secrecy. If in a month's time or two something would happen to a person I enquired about, he would put two and two together and he'd say that it was me.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But Mr Basson, if any one of these people had even a low IQ, you ask them for five names, one of those names is Gavin Evans, a month later Gavin Evans dies, do you think someone like Mr Nel is so stupid as not to draw the link between those two events?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, it was a technique that I used, how watertight it was a person can debate about today. How else would I have got particulars about a person, except running the risk of him maybe finding out about it later? ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR KAHANOVITZ: I'm just putting it to you that the version that you're giving that names on these lists were added merely to, certain of them to sow confusion in the minds of your co-operatives in the Intelligence Services, really makes no sense.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, if you want to know if there was a project on Mr J Naidoo, no there was not a project on Mr J Naidoo.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Alright, so now you say Mr Naidoo's name when you requested information from Mr Nel, his name was included in order to confuse Mr Nel as to who the real intended target was?

MR BASSON: That's correct, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: So who was the intended target?

MR BASSON: It could be that it was Mr Evans.

MR KAHANOVITZ: I don't want to know who it might have been, I want to know who it was.

MR BASSON: Mr Evans, Roland White, those are the names.

MR KAHANOVITZ: All you're giving - okay, let's take Roland White. From that I infer that Mr White was a target.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, there was not a project on Mr Roland White, the name was identified and Mr Botha was given the task to monitor movements and connections and it was because of this that he and Mr Barnard were caught together. There was no order given with regard to disruptive actions as far as Mr White was concerned.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes, but even on your own version those movements would be monitored as part of the initial stages of a possible plan to take further action against Mr White.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I cannot deny it but that was not the case, nothing came of it.

MR KAHANOVITZ: You see but for your version to make sense, then you must say "Yes, we monitored Roland White, yes we watched his movements. Eventually however, we had a discussion where we came to the conclusion that nothing was going to be done to him and the reason we did that was the following." What's your version?

MR BASSON: Yes, it makes sense what you say.

MR KAHANOVITZ: So why was he let off the hook?

MR BASSON: As a result of the event where Botha and Barnard were caught together.

MR KAHANOVITZ: In other words if harm came to him your security had already been compromised and therefore there was the risk that the CCB might be exposed?

MR BASSON: It's a possibility, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well is that what you're saying? I wasn't there.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, the police arrested the two persons, if something happened to Mr White you don't require a lot of intelligence to go back to those two people to find out whether they were involved. So it's logical that the person would have been let off the hook.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now Mr Nel says that your main concern at that time was Project "Direksie".

MR BASSON: Chairperson, Project Direction like other projects referred to external projects. As a result of my appointment I was involved with external projects and I don't want to talk about that in too much detail, but it is known that I don't want to answer questions about external projects as a result of reasons which were advised to me, which entails the jurisdiction of the current Truth and Reconciliation Commission, that I cannot get indemnity for deeds committed externally and that I would incriminate myself, that I would face extradition. And if a General or a Minister from the past decides that we should talk, then I'll talk. That's how I feel.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Mr Chairman, maybe if you could be of some assistance here, because the problem that I have here is the following. I don't accept that the witness is right in law, I've read findings of the Truth Commission in which the Amnesty Committees have held that they are indeed able in law to grant amnesty for people in respect of external operations.

CHAIRPERSON: That's my, with respect, personal view as well.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And it has happened. The point is that if that's the advice that he's received, it's the wrong advice. The next question would be, well if it is the wrong advice, does he wish to change his stance and tell us about what he was involved in outside of the country? I don't know if he wishes to consult with his attorney.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't know, just on that question about granting of amnesty in respect of matters or incidents that occurred beyond the borders, what the situation relating to extradition would be. I mean I believe personally that amnesty could be granted, which should have an affect inside our country but ...(intervention)

MR KAHANOVITZ: I think it's fairly obvious that ...

CHAIRPERSON: ... but I don't know what affect that would have on our authorities in regard to an application for extradition. I don't know what it would be.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Our submission at the end is going to be that the fact that you might - well let's take one example which should be clear. Whether or not you might be subject to extradition, let's leave that aside. Certainly if you travel and you go to Zimbabwe, you could be arrested and prosecuted and the fact that you've got amnesty here would be neither here nor there, but that doesn't assist someone like Mr Basson in putting forward the kind of argument that he's putting forward here, in the sense that our argument's going to be that he has an obligation to tell the whole truth about his activities, he can't decide because of certain negative consequences for him if he tells the whole truth, that he's not going to do so.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, yes the practical problem is whether the advice given to Mr Basson was correct or incorrect, is actually besides the point at this stage. The fact of the matter is he got that advice, on that advice he did not request amnesty for external deeds in foreign countries. Even if he wants to change his mind at this stage, he cannot apply for amnesty anymore. So in any event, this Commission will not be able to grant him amnesty because it is simply for the reason he didn't apply for amnesty and therefore he would expose himself, not only to extradition to foreign countries but also prosecution within this country. So it's actually a totally theoretical position at this stage.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Mr Chairman, I think though there are two issues. Yes, I agree with my learned friend, obviously he can't get amnesty. On the other hand, the full disclosure requirement still remains, so he must make a choice as to whether he is going to fully disclose the nature of his activities while he was in the CCB. If he chooses to refuse to answer any questions about his activities in foreign countries, well we are naturally going to be arguing at the end of these proceedings that there has been no full disclosure.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I think that's the risk that any applicant takes in withholding an answer. What are you asking the Panel to do, to order him to be obliged to answer questions, or just to inform him that there is a risk of non-disclosure?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes, I just want to make sure that the applicant understands the position, you obviously can't order him to do anything.

MR BASSON: Yes, yes.

MR DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, may I say that Mr Basson as well as Mr van Zyl previously appeared in front of the Investigation arm of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Section 29?

MR DU PLESSIS: Section 29. ... and the same there as an inquiry, and this same question arose and we then fully addressed the Commission on this. We said that a decision has to be made then and if my client is to be forced to answer certain questions, we will ask leave to approach the Supreme Court of South Africa in this regard, for an order of clarifying at least the position. We were also told that the matter would be referred by the Commission to the Attorney-General for possible prosecution. Whether it was done or whether it wasn't done, I don't know, but certainly there was no prosecution up to this stage. But Mr Basson's position was made clear right from the outset about this and I have advised him and his choice is he's not going to answer to those questions.

And as I say, at this moment it's in any event highly theoretical because should he disclose any involvement with such deeds and there was for instance, the planning phase etcetera of those incidents if it did take place within the borders of this country, he can be prosecuted here and this Committee cannot grant him amnesty on that. He obviously, on my learned friend's attitude, will - there will be the possibility, it may be found that he didn't make full disclosure. I beg to differ about that, and we will fully address the Committee at the end of the proceedings on this.

CHAIRPERSON: I think with regard to the activities of any of the applicants in respect of external projects, whether they don't give a full disclosure on those, constitutes a non-disclosure in the sense of it being relevant to the applications that we are concerned with, will essentially be a question of argument really, and to that extent then the applicant must be aware that there is a possibility that maybe failure to disclose might be found relevant, a non-disclosure of a relevant fact to these applications. That depends on what has not been disclosed and how compelling the arguments are that we receive at the end of the day.

MR KAHANOVITZ: The problem goes further because once again this witness has been led in-chief and he's asked the question about ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: It's been opened up about Lubowski's murder, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Lubowski for instance.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: So on the one hand he's allowed to give evidence to deny involvement in Lubowski, on the other hand if we start cross-examining on the basis of the available evidence in relation to what was going on in Namibia, he's going to refuse to answer questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, and the usual rule is if you open up something in your evidence-in-chief, then you also open up yourself to being questioned on it. But I think, Mr Kahanovitz, if you could proceed. You can ask questions, see what the attitude is and ... I do however believe, and I think we've mentioned this before, that the fine details of operations that are not relevant to these ones, aren't really an issue here. We're not going to make any findings in regard to any other project other than the ones that we are concerned with as subject matters here.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Except, with respect Mr Chairman, insofar as credibility is involved ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, and the bigger conspiracy theory and all that sort of thing, but that is again a question of argument.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes. I mean the one, the example being for instance, Mhlaba, was there indeed such a plot if they all deny it and they're not telling the truth?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: It's relevant.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but what I'm saying is, it's not relevant as to what sort of poison was used etcetera, to the merits of that particular application which is not subject here. The fine detail.

MR KAHANOVITZ: I'm going to put certain questions, if he refuses to answer, he refuses to answer them.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And we're going to argue at the end ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I think that's the way to go and then we can carry on.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Aright. Now Mr ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I' being - Mr Lax would just ...

MACHINE SWITCHED OFF

ON RESUMPTION

MR LAX: Just two things, Mr Basson. The first is that whatever the Generals or the Ministers may have said or decided at whatever point in history, is totally irrelevant to us here in this inquiry. You're not bound by any such policy. You have a duty to make whatever full disclosure is required of you and if they have told you to keep quiet, that's irrelevant here. And if your decision not to disclose information is based on any such perceived obligation, that's of no relevance to us. So whatever decision you make, that's on your own head in that regard, but you're not obliged by that policy or duty that they may have determined for you.

MR BASSON: I accept it as such, Chairperson.

MR LAX: The second thing is on the issue of self incrimination. There is a section in our statute which says that any evidence that flows from these proceedings, or a self incriminatory nature, cannot be used in any other court in this country. So bear that in mind as well.

MR BASSON: Very well, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now Mr Nel's evidence is that project "Direksie" concerned a plan to break the Smiths - and I'll deal with the names of some other people later in the cross-examination, but to break certain people out of prison in Zimbabwe.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I'm not going to answer questions about external operations.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now I also take it from what you've said about Roland White, that there was a - that Mr White was a possible target for the CCB.

MR BASSON: Yes, but ...(intervention)

MR KAHANOVITZ: But it was decided not to go ahead.

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: He was a possible target for what form of action?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, it could have been any disruptive act.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well what is your recollection, was it assassination, breaking his window?

MR BASSON: No, no decision had been made with regard to any method of disruption, at that stage.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now the burning of Mr Roskam's car, what was the purpose of that project?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, it's a typical active disruption where the person had to get a message that somebody is aware of his activities and he should take care.

MR KAHANOVITZ: What were his activities?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I can't remember all these things, I don't have the information in front of me. What I've seen here is that he was the Chairperson of the SRC, more than that I cannot say. I cannot recall.

CHAIRPERSON: How was his car burnt, do you know? Or where?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I can't ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: If I come to my car after this hearing and it's burnt, I might just think that it was burnt, it doesn't necessarily send a message to me that somebody's after me.

MR BASSON: I understand your statement, I cannot remember the context, the circumstances, maybe you should ask the operative who was involved, I cannot remember.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Kahanovitz.

MR LAX: Sorry, before you go.

Just with regard to Mr Roskam, I mean just being the Chairperson of the Wits SRC, was not in and of itself anything unsavoury.

MR BASSON: You are quite correct, there had to be other connotations, whether radical or whatever, but I cannot remember, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Insofar as it may be of assistance to the Committee, the Roskam incident is dealt with by Judge Els in the Barnard case. I'll give you the page references after lunch, I don't want to waste time now.

Now what was your military rank at the time that you joined the CCB?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I tried to explain to you ...(intervention)

MR KAHANOVITZ: No, no, at the time - I know you ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I think he said he was a Captain.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Were you a Captain?

MR BASSON: Yes, I was a Captain.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I asked the question.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Oh did you, I'm sorry.

In terms of, let's call it the unofficial hierarchy within the CCB, would you be of superior rank to Staal Burger?

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: So you would have had to have accepted orders from him?

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Would you have been of superior rank to Botha, van Zyl and Maree?

MR BASSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now you were in charge of finances for Region 6, correct?

MR BASSON: Correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Kahanovitz.

Did you have any administrative experience?

MR BASSON: No, no official civil course experience, but in the Defence Force there were courses which addresses personnel and financial issues and I had experience from that, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now maybe you can also just fill in the gap in respect of what Region 9 was.

MR BASSON: I think it was testified yesterday that it was the region which was referred to as the social region. I'm not hundred percent sure of the objective of this region. The persons involved are unknown to me, but I want to assume that they did have an executive capacity, it was purely, let us say a structure which had to gather information, sociological capacities had to be ascertained. That's all I can say about Region 9.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Do you have any idea why Project Apie was their project?

MR BASSON: Once again I infer that in view of their capacities, that would have been the region who initiated the project, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Are you saying that they would have been involved in psychological warfare?

MR BASSON: It's very possible, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And was Region 10 Finances, or what was its purpose?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I'm not aware of a Region 10.

MR KAHANOVITZ: You never had any dealings with ...

MR BASSON: I don't think there was a Region 10, I think it only went up to Region 9.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now Christoffel Nel also testified that Father Michael Lapsley was on Region 7's target list, is that correct?

MR BASSON: I not aware of it, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Is that a "I'm answering a question", or is that a "I don't know"?

MR BASSON: I don't know.

MR KAHANOVITZ: You don't know.

MR BASSON: I don't know.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Right. You are aware that Father Lapsley was severely injured by a parcel bomb, in Zimbabwe?

MR BASSON: I think I became aware of it, I don't know when.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well wasn't this at the time that you were the Co-ordinator of Region 7?

MR BASSON: It's possible, it's possible, I'm not sure. When did this happen?

MR KAHANOVITZ: 28th - the bomb exploded on the 29th of April 1990, but ...(intervention)

MR BASSON: 1990?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes, but that must be qualified by saying that Father Lapsley does not know how long the bomb was waiting for him because he'd not collected his post for a considerable period of time.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I'll allow these questions, although they concern external projects, but I want to say that I have no knowledge about any project or any gathering of information regarding this project.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But do you have any reason to dispute what Chris Nel says to the effect that he was indeed a potential target for Region 7, in Zimbabwe?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, Chris Nel was aware of many more things than I am and if he says that, I think we could accept it as such.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now you - the CCB certainly would have had access to the kind of specialist knowledge that was required to produce parcel bombs?

MR BASSON: I believe it was a possibility, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Alright. Now I assume as in the case of South Africa, you also had a list of targets for Zimbabwe.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I didn't have a target list for Zimbabwe, no.

MR KAHANOVITZ: When you say you were the Co-ordinator of Region 7, Zimbabwe, what kind of work did that involve?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, with my appointment at the CCB, I was asked to handle people inside Zimbabwe and that is what I did. I was not involved in any direct orders regarding such persons. The giving of orders in terms of Region 7 was done under a project by the name of Deplore, it was one specific person who had contact with, or who had an infrastructure within Zimbabwe and also in Zambia. There are entries in my diary referring to the person, his name is Richard, and he was linked to Project Deplore. That is the extent to which I was involved in Region 7.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Your Zimbabwean operatives, if they needed guns or ammunition, wasn't it your job to get it to them as the Co-ordinator, to arrange it for them?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, that's an external project and it's difficult for me not to give my co-operation because I want to answer question, but at which stage must I say I am not going to answer any further questions?

MR KAHANOVITZ: That's your choice.

MR BASSON: But do you understand that I want to give my co-operation but I can only go up to a certain point and ...(intervention)

MR KAHANOVITZ: I hear what you're saying, as Mr van Zyl said so often in his testimony, but if you want to ask you lawyer how to assist you in the predicament in which you find yourself, I have no objection.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, it's easy for me to say that I refuse to answer questions. You can refer to my diary, I'm aware of the entries in my diary, they refer to an external project and that is as far as I'm prepared to go.

MR MARTINI: Chairperson, if the proceedings are being recorded I'd like to ask Mr Kahanovitz, because his little remarks in-between relating to my client might create certain perceptions on the record. What was he suggesting when he said "as we heard what Mr van Zyl often remarked in his evidence"?

MR KAHANOVITZ: That was a poor attempt on my part at you. I put a number of questions to him and he kept on answering saying "Ek hoor wat jy sê".

MR MARTINI: Oh, I thought it was a - that's the point, I thought it was a suggestion that Mr van Zyl was refusing to answer questions relating to external operations. That's not the case, I take it?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now in your diary also there are a number of scrambler codes, correct?

MR BASSON: ...(no audible reply)

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now - sorry, you just nodded your head, that's a yes?

MR BASSON: It's true.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Were Region 6 people using scramblers?

MR BASSON: Yes, they had one scrambler, that's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Telephone scramblers?

MR BASSON: Correct, it's an instrument placed over the telephone mouthpiece and ear-piece and with a certain code somebody else who also has the same instrument can listen to a conversation and this conversation then cannot be tapped. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR KAHANOVITZ: Alright. And I infer from your diary, the way you were working you were changing those scramblers from time to time?

MR BASSON: On a monthly basis, that is correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Alright. And it also appears from your diary that you had access to Armscor to get scrambling equipment.

MR BASSON: No, not contact with Armscor, no.

MR KAHANOVITZ: There's an entry

"Obtain crypto fax - Armscor"

I'll show the entry later if you can't remember it.

MR BASSON: Very well.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now just tell us in general terms, your understanding about how one went about getting a budget approved for a target, for the elimination of a target.

MR BASSON: Very well. With the presentation of the pre-study where Mr Verster is present it has to be linked to a budget, this budget appears on the project file and on the administrative file, which is a separate file, reference is only made to the project file in respect of the annexure number on the project file. So any person can take this financial file and it would not compromise any operational activity. During the presentation with the Managing Director, he must sign the project file and he must also sign the financial file. When I go to obtain funds by means of an advance, there is a form where I refer to the name of the project and the annexure number and I can obtain no funds unless there is authorisation. The objective of this is to protect myself, and secondly, should there be an audit enquiry in the future, then if I'm asked if there was authorisation for this amount I can look at the project name and the annexure number, I can show it to the Auditor-General personnel members, they confirm that it had been authorised through a signature. I don't know if I've answered your question.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Before you paid out money to anyone, did you need Joe Verster's approval?

MR BASSON: At all times.

MR KAHANOVITZ: So if an operative wanted R2 000 to pay to someone purely for monitoring purposes, Joe Verster would have to authorise that?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I can say that at a point Mr Verster brought about a change, meaning that if persons were only involved with monitoring and no physical actions, then the Regional Manager could give authorisation and if it went further, then Verster's signature was required.

CHAIRPERSON: This dispensation with regard to the giving of authority related more to the nature of the project than the amount to be spent?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So in other words if you had to do monitoring which involved flying in an aeroplane and hiring a motorcar and driving, at huge expense, staying in hotels and that sort of thing, if it was away from base and it came to a few thousand rands, just because it's monitoring it doesn't matter how much it was, the Regional Manager had authority rather than Mr Verster?

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson. I understand the question. There wasn't a limit placed on the amount but if it had been a large amount, Mr Verster had to be informed about it and he had to authorise it. I'm talking more about maybe accommodation for a day or two, travel expenses, maybe amounts of about R1-2 000.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now was Gen Webb's signature ever required on a document?

MR BASSON: This is outside of my area of responsibility, but Gen Webb had to authorise financial budgets. Every three months there was a quarterly budget and his signature - I can't say that I saw his signature, I never handled the files, but I accept that Gen Webb had to sign these quarterly budgets that he approved, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: The stage at which the Managing Director, Verster, would go to the Chairman, Webb, to obtain final approval of a project to for instance, eliminate someone, would you be handed a document indicating that such final approval had indeed been obtained?

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson, all presentations were on the project file, as I've explained earlier, with the member's signature and the Regional Manager's signature and the signature of the Managing Director and this file was good enough for me with the Managing Director's signature. It was not a working method that this file would be given to the Chairperson and that he would sign it. I had no file with Gen Webb's signature on it but there were signatures of Gen Joubert on some of my external projects.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now if Mr van Zyl comes to you and he says "Look, these people I've hired to assassinate Adv Omar, they want an advance, so many thousands of rand", could you give him that money before final approval had been obtained from the Chairman for the project?

MR BASSON: I confirm you're talking about his elimination?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes.

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson, the plan had to be presented by that stage, he has knowledge of that, as I say I assume that Mr Verster conveys it to the Chairman, what I have is Mr Verster's signature authorising the withdrawal of the money.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Just to make sure you understand my question, where you have a situation where the people who are going to carry out the elimination say "Look we want an advance now, the balance on completion of the job."

MR BASSON: Yes, in other words that would have been explained as such in the presentation and if had been authorised as such, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Were you responsible for attempting to ensure that there was not unreasonable expenditure? Was that part of your job, to keep control over ...

MR BASSON: Yes, Chairperson, I was not always - it wasn't always just my responsibility, I'm talking about Region 6 internally, it wasn't always expected of me to determine amounts, that was done on Regional Management level and maybe also in co-operation with the Managing Director they agreed on an amount. Now I forgot the rest of your question.

MR LAX: Sorry, Mr Kahanovitz.

You haven't answered the question.

MR BASSON: Yes, I forgot what the question was.

MR LAX: The question was, were you responsible ...(intervention)

MR BASSON: Oh, for the control of it?

MR LAX: ... to check and for controlling expenditure?

MR BASSON: Very well, I'm sorry I ...(intervention)

MR LAX: A simply yes or no would suffice really.

MR BASSON: I want to explain. Yes, I see that the money is authorised, I withdraw the money physically, I give it to the person concerned and I'm in his presence when he accepts this money and when he gives an account of this money. If there has been disbursement about R30 000 he would sign it, I hand it in and I'm satisfied. That's where my control measure stops because I don't have access from Mr van Zyl and lower down, as an example.

MR KAHANOVITZ: In other words if a gangster hired in the Western Cape to kill someone doesn't exactly write out receipts which Mr van Zyl must bring back to you?

MR BASSON: No. I want to say that from previous experience it is known that agents refuse to sign for salaries because they think that's a hold we have on them in the future, so they take the money and nobody can say anything about it afterwards.

CHAIRPERSON: But if a portion of the amount involved accommodation costs and travel, would they have to come back after the event with vouchers to prove that that money was actually spent as it was intended to be spent and not just kept in their pockets to use for something else?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, with regard to plane tickets they had to hand in the proof that was sealed in an envelope and placed on the project file. But I think in the back of the diary there's reference to ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I see there's a tariff there for daily allowances.

MR BASSON: For different areas.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR BASSON: Those amounts have been determined by phoning three hotels, so the person gets that amount and he doesn't have to give an account or hand in any receipts. So we received almost no receipts.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Just for purposes of the record, the witness is referring to page 37 of Exhibit M.

While we're on that document, obviously South Africa was broken up into various regions for purposes of daily allowances, it also appears though that parts of the world to which a CCB operative might be expected to travel, would have included South West Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Malawi, West Germany, correct?

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: In other words people travel to those places often enough for there to be a set tariff?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now I want to deal with your evidence at the Harms Commission. You testified there under your pseudonym, Christo Britz, and you were also in disguise.

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now you were found by Judge Harms to be an untrustworthy and contradictory witness. I don't know if you want me to show you the - well it's at page 39 of bundle D. At the top of page 39, Judge Harms has the following to say

"The Commission has a serious problem about relying to any significant extent on any of the witnesses that gave evidence on the various internal projects of the CCB. On the one hand there are the witnesses such as Verster, Christo Britz, Braam Cilliers and Shane du Plooy, whose evidence is so vague or contradictory that at various points it is no value."

And you'll also see that there is a footnote there, footnote 8, and referring to yourself, Verster and two other people, the Judge notes:

"These witnesses were allowed to testify in disguise. They alleged that they feared for their lives. In view of the fact that criminal proceedings are anticipated, their identities are disclosed in an annexure. The disguise did not render a finding as to credibility difficult. Viewed as a whole, the witnesses were untrustworthy in any case."

Do you confirm that that finding was made?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I said earlier that the circumstances under which we had to testify before the Harms Commission, it was a very traumatic time and I cannot but agree that that which is said in the document is true.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Judge Harms also found that you were one of the people who were directly responsible for the disappearance of CCB files.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, that's his finding, I deny it.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now just in general terms, would it be correct to say that the evidence that you gave was in support of what I'll call Joe Verster's version, that Region 6's task was to gather information internally to, and I'll use his Afrikaans words "penetreer vyandelike pyplyne na die buiteland"?

MR BASSON: That's correct, but it wasn't the full truth.

MR KAHANOVITZ: If you could please look at bundle F - Mr Chairman, the evidence of this witness is approximately in the middle of that bundle. The bundle as a whole isn't paginated, so you will see the order of ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct - no microphone) open on page 1182 and it's not the beginning but it's ...(intervention)

MR LAX: It's 1170.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now Mr Basson, could you go to page 1171 ...

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, my bundle is paginated.

MR KAHANOVITZ: No, no, I'm saying paginated in the sense, there's no new pagination but the original - it has the pagination of the original record.

MR LAX: Ours are paginated, that's page 419 with the pagination given by us, but let's stick to the original if the rest of you don't have that.

MS COLERIDGE: Chairperson, let me just explain the pagination. The Committee's were all paginated and then I had written to all the legal representatives requesting them just to paginate this one. So that is all. So everybody else will probably have paginated versions ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we'll deal with the original page numbers. Page 1171.

MR KAHANOVITZ: I'm just waiting for the witness to - he's having trouble with the binder.

MR BASSON: I've got it.

MR KAHANOVITZ: If you can just - I don't know if anybody has one in a lever arch file, he's really going to struggle with ... If you can maybe just read to yourself from about line 5 to line 20 of that page.

MR BASSON

"On this ..."

(intervention)

MR KAHANOVITZ: No, no, don't bother to read it into the record, I think to speed it up just read it to yourself. If you can just indicate to me when you've completed it.

MR BASSON: Very well.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Alright. This was in support of this version that suggested that the South African Police might be brought in to take action against people who were threats to the security of the State, correct?

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And I take it that you admit that that evidence is false?

MR BASSON: Yes, it's not completely correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well it's not correct at all.

MR BASSON: I don't know of any cases given to the Police.

MR KAHANOVITZ: It's totally false, not partially false.

MR BASSON: Alright, I agree with you.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Then if you could go to page 1184 ...

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Kahanovitz, this that's just been read, it seems to be within a quote within his own evidence, from some document.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes, I think he's reading from his statement.

CHAIRPERSON: So it's not so much the evidence given at the Harms Commission being false, but the evidence of the content from document from which he read is false.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes, but each of the people who testified at the Commission, prepared an affidavit which is used as a basis for their evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes is that the affidavit? Was that from an affidavit? I don't know, I just see quotation marks here.

MR KAHANOVITZ: As I recall, and maybe the witness can help me, he was in fact reading that he prepared for the Harms Commission.

MR BASSON: I think that's the fact.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Now the next page? I didn't get it, Mr Kahanovitz.

MR KAHANOVITZ: 1184.

While we're there, if you could go to 1183, just look on your left, at round about line 15 you're asked about an amount of R5.3-million that had been approved for a project. My understanding of your evidence is that that related to Project "Direksie".

MR BASSON: Chairperson, that is an external project and I don't want to say which project specifically.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now at the bottom of 1184 you deny that the CCB was involved in Webster's death, which you will know is a different question to whether Webster's assassination was an authorised CCB project. You understand the distinction?

MR BASSON: Yes, I think so.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now you've heard it already being pointed out that Lafras Luitingh gave evidence that the information he received about Mr Barnard's involvement in Webster, he drew to Joe Verster's attention and Joe Verster has also given evidence that that occurred.

MR BASSON: I read that in the documents, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Did they not come to discuss this with you at the time?

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson. If Mr Verster knew about it, then he kept it to himself. I was never aware of it, I don't if any other member of Region 6 in terms of Mr Burger's people, were aware of it. I was never told "I hear that Mr Barnard was involved."

MR KAHANOVITZ: So you're telling us that from the 1st of May 1989, which is the date of Mr Webster's assassination, for the rest of that year you didn't even hear a rumour that Barnard and Botha had been involved?

MR BASSON: I didn't even hear that, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Weren't you very interested at that stage to establish whether Mr Botha should be brought back from being placed on ice?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I cannot remember until when the six month period lasted.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Was it a definite period of six months that he was told ...(intervention)

MR BASSON: I recall that because put the suspension in writing and I put it on his file and it was six months.

CHAIRPERSON: But on the 31st of August he was still on ice.

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Was this intended to be a punishment for Mr Botha?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I think because there was no formal regiment of discipline within the CCB, to use Defence Force terms, disciplinary actions were left to the discretion of Regional Managers in co-ordination with Mr Verster. I'd say that because Mr Botha acted against the guidelines we wanted to punish him, if you want, that's why he was suspended for such a period of time with the objective that he wouldn't make himself guilty of such a thing again.

CHAIRPERSON: If a person's suspended knowing that at the end of the day of his suspension he's going to face some sort of disciplinary action, then I can understand the suspension, but if I'm naughty and my boss comes to me and says "Well you've been naughty, you can take leave with pay for six months" or "Don't come to work for six months but you'll get your full salary." I just can't under any circumstance, understand how that can be seen to be a disciplinary measure. In fact it's like giving a person leave.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I understand that you make that statement. The members in the CCB were very active and they wanted to take part in this anti-insurgency process and the biggest punishment you could give somebody was to do this.

MR KAHANOVITZ: In fact evidence has been given in other proceedings of two examples of how Mr Botha tried to impress his superiors while he was placed on ice, in the hope that he would once again gain good favour.

MR BASSON: Who said that? Mr Barnard?

MR KAHANOVITZ: No, Mr Botha.

MR BASSON: But who said that?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well I'm going to give you the two incidents.

MR BASSON: Okay.

MR KAHANOVITZ: The one relates to the recruitment of Donald Aitchison. You're aware of that?

MR BASSON: Yes, I'm aware of it. I just want to say that - yes, Mr Botha came to us with the name of this person. I wasn't aware of the fact that he got the details from Mr Barnard.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But if you read both Mr Barnard and Mr Botha's statements, what they say happened is the following. Barnard initially recruited Aitchison where a friend of his in the Police Force, a W/O Knox, contacted him and told him that he'd arrested this guy Aitchison and he might be the kind of person that Barnard was interested in.

MR BASSON: I think I read that, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Alright. And what then happened was that Barnard and Botha who were aware that Botha had got into trouble with the CCB, agreed that Botha would bring Aitchison along to the CCB, in the hope that this would impress Joe Verster.

MR BASSON: Well Chairperson, if I can comment on that, if that was Mr Botha's objective to impress somebody, then he didn't succeed because his period of suspension was not lifted because of that.

MR KAHANOVITZ: The other incident is the Webster assassination, and here the suggestion was that Botha drove the car for Barnard, in the hope that his participation in eliminating this opponent of the State would impress his superiors.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, if that's what they thought then that's what they thought, I cannot comment any more on that.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But the point is, if that idea which they had was to have any impact, their superiors would have to find out that they were involved, you agree with me?

MR BASSON: Yes, it makes sense.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now were you involved - let me put the question this way, Chappie Maree became Donald Aitchison’s handler, correct?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: What projects was Aitchison to be involved in?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, Aitchison was recruited and he was tasked to establish himself in the then South West Africa, now Namibia. It was decided specifically to use him as a long term project to deploy after the elections. He had to establish himself physically in Windhoek, he had to make contacts, he had to look for work. So in terms of establishment, Mr Aitchison was used by Mr Maree.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Mr Aitchison was a self-styled, or what he called himself, an international mercenary, correct?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, you can say lots of things if you want to impress other people.

MR KAHANOVITZ: To call a spade a spade, he was a low life.

MR BASSON: Please repeat.

MR KAHANOVITZ: A low life. "'n Skurk".

MR BASSON: Chairperson, he ...(intervention)

MR KAHANOVITZ: How would you want to describe him? Let's put it that way.

MR BASSON: I remember I read his CV at that stage and he seemed to me to be somebody who pretends to be what he isn't. If one is exactly like him, then - I don't know. I was quite sceptical about what I read. But if you want to ask me if he was a scum bag, then probably he was.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And he wanted to project himself - whether this was true or not, he projected himself to the CCB as a potential assassin.

MR BASSON: I think the impression - ja, you can get that impression.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Ja, he claimed that he had skills in that regard?

MR BASSON: I can't remember everything that appeared in his CV, but you could make that assumption, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now Aitchison told the Namibian Police in a sworn statement that he was tasked to assassinate the Editor of the Namibian newspaper, Gwen Lister, and that the plan would involve inserting toxic tampons into her hygiene kit.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I'm not aware of that.

MR KAHANOVITZ: When Aitchison was arrested in Windhoek, the CCB paid for his legal fees, correct?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I'm not aware of it. I don't deny it, but I'm not aware of it.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now page 1186 of your testimony at the Harms Commission, you indicate there that the CCB was interested in the activities of the End Conscription Campaign, correct?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: What were you told was to be done about the End Conscription Campaign?

MR BASSON: Well apart from the order from Mr Verster ...(intervention)

MR KAHANOVITZ: Okay maybe I can ask the question more specifically. Tell me what projects were launched related to the ECC.

MR BASSON: Only the project with regard to Evans.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But wasn't Roland White also an ECC person?

MR BASSON: Roland White, I cannot remember. If he was, then I accept it, but there was no project on him.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Do you remember the name Lawrie Nathan?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I've listened to these names, I want to remember the name but I can't place him. I'm not sure.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Alright. Then at page 1189 you denied to the Harms Commission that there was a project to kill Gavin Evans.

MR BASSON: No, I ...(intervention)

MR P DU PLESSIS: Could we just get the sentence referred to specifically.

MR KAHANOVITZ: ...(indistinct) from the top of the page to round about line 15. He's being asked questions about his diary. Well I'm particularly interested in the sentence - you see you're asked about your diary entry, the one that I cross-examined Mr Burger about yesterday and the entry concerning

"Bert must chase Grosskopf and his supporters ..."

no, sorry the wording is:

"Bert must chase Grosskopf and make his supporters fall over"

and then there's a dash and it says:

"Gavin Evans"

Right. In your amnesty application you say that one of the reasons, or the main reason for wanting to assassinate Evans was related to the belief that he was in some or other way associated with Grosskopf, correct?

MR BASSON: Yes, correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: From that I infer that you agree that the entry in your diary relates to just that statement.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, when I was asked with regard to the entry in my diary, there was a dash under the entry mentioned by Mr Kahanovitz and there was written "G Evans". At that stage I wasn't hundred percent sure that the statements were related, I couldn't remember and that's why I denied it, but today I admit that it did relate to it.

MR KAHANOVITZ: You'll agree with me what you told the Harms Commission here is directly in conflict with what you now say in your amnesty application?

MR BASSON: I just told you it is so.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, but perhaps we can just - I think the initial statement was that on this page the witness denies that ever was a project on Mr Evans, so that's not so. I don't read it anywhere on this page.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well he doesn't qualify - you see the next question is

"What is this entry about, about G Evans?"

he doesn't go on to qualify his evidence by saying "Look there was in fact a project to assassinate but this entry doesn't relate to that project."

MR P DU PLESSIS: No, I'd agree with that but if we take the evidence about the initial project which was stopped and then later on there were enquiries again, it does to a certain extent tie in with what he said here.

MR KAHANOVITZ: With respect to my learned friend, the version that there was no project on Evans is entirely consistent with the version that he was attempting to put forward at the Harms Commission, namely that the CCB does not engage in internal assassinations in South Africa.

MR LAX: What does "uh uh" mean?

MR BASSON: I beg your pardon?

MR LAX: What do you mean to say by saying "uh uh"?

MR BASSON: I asked for privilege for these actions, these events, and it was purely with the cross-examination where the evidence was related to the entry about Grosskopf. I couldn't remember at that time whether it was related and I answered it as such. I just couldn't remember.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But the evidence that you're giving now, attempting to explain why you gave your evidence in that way at Harms, can't possibly be true because subsequently when you come to prepare your amnesty application, the singular most important reason that you give for targeting Evans is because of his alleged relationship with Grosskopf. So it could hardly have slipped your mind at the time.

MR BASSON: I don't know, it could be true.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now at page 1190 you're asked about the diary entry, this is down at round about line 22, your diary entry of 29 August which says

"Get limpet"

and you're asked:

"Is it a limpet mine?"

and you say:

"That's right"

then you're asked:

"And what is that entry about?"

your answer is:

"Unfortunately I cannot remember, it happened too long ago. I can only think that it was one of the projects - it was possibly one of the external projects."

and then you're asked on the top of the following page:

"Is it related to the bomb explosion in Athlone two days later?"

and then you say:

"I think that question would incriminate us at this stage."

Right. Now that entry obviously does relate to the limpet mine that you obtained for the Early Learning Centre.

MR BASSON: It's completely correct, Chairperson. I couldn't remember the dates because there are also entries in my diary relating to limpet mines for external use.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But Mr Basson, you knew exactly what you were being asked by Mr McNally there, because the explosion at the Early Learning Centre was two days later.

MR BASSON: When Mr McNally put it to me that it happened, that the explosion took place two days later, then I remembered that it couldn't have been for an external project and I said that I didn't want to answer the question.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Limpet mines - I see in your diary this wasn't - you're correct in saying this wasn't the only limpet mine you obtained.

MR BASSON: That was the only limpet mine for internal use.

MR KAHANOVITZ: So the other limpet mines referred to in your diary, relate to external projects and you don't want to tell us about those?

MR BASSON: That is correct, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And what are dummy handgrenades?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, if you can refer me to the entry in the diary, I can - are you asking in general?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes.

MR BASSON: I think in Afrikaans it's a "proef handgrenaat", or a "opleidings handgrenaat". It's a handgrenade which doesn't detonate and cause shrapnel. This handgrenade was used only for practice purposes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: What happens after you pull out the pin?

MR BASSON: I'm not sure, I think there is a pin, it doesn't have the same effect as a real handgrenade and it is not linked to explosives, so there is a sound but the handgrenade itself has holes drilled into the handgrenade and the gasses which are formed escape through these holes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: What need might the CCB have for dummy handgrenades?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I remember one specific case where a member had to be trained and we asked for such a handgrenade and I requested it and I got it. It was specifically - it was one handgrenade requested for training purposes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Except your diary entry refers to a box of dummy handgrenades.

MR BASSON: You'll have to show me in my diary.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Alright, I'll get there later.

CHAIRPERSON: If it's a convenient time Mr Kahanovitz, I see it's five past one.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes, I think this is a convenient time.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. We'll take the lunch adjournment now.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

WOUTER J BASSON: (s.u.o.)

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR KAHANOVITZ: (cont)

Mr Basson, the 31st of August, it's common cause here, was the date of the Early Learning Centre bomb blast, correct?

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: The 11th of September 1989 is the date of Anton Lubowski's assassination.

MR BASSON: I assume that to be correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now if you go to page 1191 of the evidence at Harms - has someone taken your file away now?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes I think the file that was being used was Mr Martini's, but he has excused himself this afternoon. 1191?

MR KAHANOVITZ: 1191.

The short point there is that you gave evidence at Harms that you'd cut out the top part of the page of your diary for the 31st of August, that's the date of the Early Learning Centre bomb blast, correct?

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: You also gave evidence that the pages from 31 August up to 4 August - no, there must be a typographical error in the record, it's probably the 31st of August to the 4th of September, had been torn out. Round about line 21. In either event, it's not crucial.

MR LAX: It does say so, in the next couple of lines down it's corrected as 1st September.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Oh yes, you're right. ...(indistinct -no microphone)

CHAIRPERSON: 1st of September to the 4th.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Oh.

CHAIRPERSON: The top of page 31 was removed and 1st of September to the 4th were removed.

MR KAHANOVITZ: That's correct.

And you also say that you tore out the pages on the 12th of September and the 13th of September, namely the day of Lubowski's assassination and the day after.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry the 12th and?

MR KAHANOVITZ: The 13th of September.

Sorry, the day after Lubowski's assassination.

MR BASSON: It would appear to be so, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And the reason that you gave to the Harms Commission for why pages had been removed, starts at about line 12. You said

"What often happens is that notes were made and those were then placed on file and in a situation where other pieces of paper weren't to hand, then it simply was cut out and it's placed on the file for later reference, or if other people have to have access to that or to those files then it wouldn't be in my possession the whole time."

and so on and so forth. Now that evidence wasn't true.

MR BASSON: It was the truth.

MR KAHANOVITZ: These specific pages were removed from your diary, for what reason?

MR BASSON: For exactly the reason as is stated there. Entries were made during a meeting or whatever and there were possibly people who signed next to the entries, that was taken out and placed on specific project files.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But why on those specific dates and not in respect of the other entries in your diary?

MR BASSON: I don't understand the question.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well if you needed to remove pages from your diary, so that you could have notes inserted into files, why did it happen on those specific dates?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I know that it must look very suspicious but I have not explanation for that. I've answered numerous questions on that and that is what happened. It my evidence that the pages were placed on files.

MR KAHANOVITZ: I think at the Webster Inquest you also said that sometimes you needed spare pieces of paper.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I really don't know, you can refer me to that.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now I assume if you'd put those into files, then those files would have been available at the time of the Harms Commission.

MR BASSON: That is so, Chairperson, and it was my desire to be able to show the people those things, although the files were not available.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now whose fault was it that you couldn't get access - is your version you wanted to hand in the files at the Harms Commission, but they wouldn't give them to you?

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson. I've already testified what the whole situation was surrounding the files, they weren't available and also that the external files were available for me to hand over to the Harms Commission, to the officials.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes, but let's just talk about the internal files. Is it your version you would have wanted to hand them over but people like Joe Verster prevented you from doing so?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, please don't misunderstand me, it wasn't a situation that I had control over the files and I wanted to hand them in. The reason why I said I would have wanted to have shown them if they were available, was to explain exactly what you're asking me about now. If those things were on Region 6 internal files. I think I've also testified that there were forensic investigations on a particular page and I tried to explain that that related to an external activity and that that also had to be on file. So I have nothing more that I can add to what I've already said.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But the page that was forensically analysed, in fact puts the lie to your version because the entry on the page that was forensically analysed contains entries to the following effect, something about "an alibi going to Zambia, don't use your pager." Do you remember that entry?

MR BASSON: Yes. I don't have it in front of me, but words to that effect, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: What possible ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Kahanovitz, could you just explain this, "forensically analysed"?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes. The South African Police took the diary and sent it to the laboratory in Pretoria, a handwriting expert took the indentations on the page following and by that method managed to reconstruct one of the missing pages.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Is that correct?

MR BASSON: Yes, that's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: I was putting it to you that if you look at the reconstructed page, there appears to be no necessity whatsoever for an entry of that nature to be stuck into a file.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, if you can perhaps refer me to the exact wording, then it was necessary to place specific instructions on file for possible cross-reference later. You see it as unnecessary but I regarded it as necessary to place it on file.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Was one of the entries torn out relating to the Early Learning Centre?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I don't know, it was coincidence that it was on the same date.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now if you could then please go to page 1203, round about line 8. You'll see Mr McNally asked you about whether you're willing to make certain files available to the Harms Commission and you said that you were going to hand in certain foreign project files, so as to prove that the projects that you were referring to were indeed foreign projects, correct?

MR BASSON: Yes, I accept what you say is correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And the particular context was that you were aware that the Harms Commission was not entitled to investigate foreign projects, it fell outside of their terms of reference.

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And certain foreign project files were indeed handed in to the Harms Commission.

MR BASSON: Correct. I think that the purpose was - well the Harms Commission wanted to just ascertain that there were indeed external projects.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Did all the foreign projects files of the CCB get handed over to the Harms Commission?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, no I don't know. What I do know is that I was present. The external projects in which I was involved and which fell under Region 6, where I was present, were shown to the officials. I'm not aware of any other files or external files which were shown to the Commission.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Can you remember how many projects you were referring to there?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I'm not sure, I think ...(intervention)

MR KAHANOVITZ: Maybe I can just remind you of the names of some of the projects and that will help you.

MR BASSON: That will help.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Crawler.

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Heritiek(?)?

MR BASSON: Possible.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Maagd?

MR BASSON: Maagd was an internal project.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Maybe while we're going through these you can just tell us briefly what these projects concerned. Crawler?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, that refers to an external project.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Alright. Heritiek?

MR BASSON: Also an external project.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Maagd?

MR BASSON: Maagd was an internal project, I'm not sure to which person in Region 6 that refers.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But what was the nature of the project?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, if you will just give an opportunity then I will look it up in my documents and then I'll answer you.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Sure.

CHAIRPERSON: Maagd?

MR KAHANOVITZ: M-a-a-g-d. It is a virgin in English.

MR BASSON: I don't know if you made the photocopy out of the diary, but it's also an entry in the diary. There's no date, it's simply an entry right at the back of the diary. Chairperson, I don't see the project name here, so I can't actually help you in respect of this operation Maagd or virgin.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Sorry, before you carry on, you say your recollection is that it was an internal project but you can't remember what the nature of the project was?

MR BASSON: I think so, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Project Onus? O-n-u-s. Maybe I can help you there, it's a Chappie Maree project, correct?

MR BASSON: It's possible.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well what are the details of the project?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, you see the reason why I'm hesitant here is that there were project names for Blue Plans, of which you're aware, and then there were also project names relating to the Red Plans and I'm not sure whether it was Blue or Red.

CHAIRPERSON: But all Mr Kahanovitz is asking you is what you know about the project. If you don't know anything, you don't know anything, if you know something, say so.

MR BASSON: I'm really just trying to assist, but I can't remember.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Right. Project Grease?

CHAIRPERSON: Like the country, Greece?

MR KAHANOVITZ: No, G-r-e-a-s-e.

MR BASSON: I'm not aware of such a project.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Flee? F-l-e-e.

MR BASSON: Yes, I see the name here. I recall the name but I can't place it, it's definitely not an internal project.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Colbyn? C-o-l-b-y-n.

MR BASSON: The name appears, it's also an external project.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Deplore?

MR BASSON: The same, Deplore is the project to which I referred earlier relating to the person named Richard.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Larraine? L-a-r-r-a-i-n-e.

MR BASSON: Larraine is also a project name in respect of an external project.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Are there any others that you have on the list there that I haven't mentioned?

MR BASSON: Yes, there's a "Direksie 4" and there's a Crawler. In my diary they're all arranged one beneath the other one, as external projects and on the left-hand side all Region 6 projects were named.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now all these foreign projects that you referred to, those files were handed to the Harms Commission?

MR BASSON: Well I assume so. Those are the projects which fell under me.

MR KAHANOVITZ: The files however - is it your understanding that they were actually returned to the CCB by the Harms Commission? I mean the question I'm asking is, why are they missing today?

MR BASSON: Are you referring to the files that had been shown to the Harms Commission?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes, the foreign CCB project files that were handed to the Harms Commission, what happened to them?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, to the best of my recollection and knowledge those files were returned to the storage place, the depot at Special Forces Headquarters and I today am not aware of what happened to any file in this time, in this period. I wasn't involved in any plan to remove or conceal any of these files. I can't answer you.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Did you attend the bonfire that Joe Verster referred to?

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson, I'm not aware of that.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now at pages 1203 to 1204 of the Harms record, what happened here is you were read Joe Verster's answers in relation to various projects. We've had this evidence already before the Committee, but I don't think you were here when Joe Verster gave evidence, or were you?

MR BASSON: No, I wasn't present.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Weren't you?

MR BASSON: No.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well this is a reference starting at round about line 15 on page 1203. Joe Verster was asked whether certain things were CCB projects, you'll see for example, Bruce White, Gavin Evans, Abdullah Omar.

MR BASSON: I see the names.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Alright. And the answer that he gave was basically to the effect that those people were merely being monitored.

MR BASSON: May I just get clarity, Chairperson. Is that a questionnaire which was given to Mr Verster, by whom?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes. Maybe if I can give you the context.

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Col Verster was given a list of questions, he deposed to an affidavit which was handed in to the Harms Commission. He was asked "Are these people CCB projects, what was the CCB's involvement?"

MR BASSON: Who did the - was it the Police?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well I don't know who gave him the list, the important point is that the evidence which he gave is set out in this affidavit. You were asked - you were read portions of his affidavit and you were asked, you will see in the middle of page 1204, at round about line 12, whether you agree with what Joe Verster has to say.

MR BASSON: Yes, I read there that the question was asked to me and I said "Yes, I'm aware of that."

MR KAHANOVITZ: But further on it's apparent from your evidence that you gave evidence in support of Joe Verster's version, namely that there was no project to murder Evans, White or Omar, you say they were merely projects for purposes of information gathering.

MR BASSON: No, I don't agree with you there, Chairperson, I ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Basson. Where is that further on portion, Mr Kahanovitz?

MR KAHANOVITZ: You'll see in the middle of page 1204 they then refer him to his affidavit, okay?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And then round about line 25, he says

"My explanation in respect of the incidents mentioned in paragraph 7A, C, D, E, F and G, are exactly the same as that of Verster."

Oh I see, then he says:

"I am not prepared to answer questions about the Athlone bomb incident, the foetus project or about Omar and Evans, since this may incriminate me."

so I must rephrase my question and only ask you in relation to Roskam's car. You denied to the Harms Commission that that was a CCB project.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, yes, and that was done to protect Mr Verster in a way because of certain denials he'd already made at that stage. That was the only reason.

MR LAX: But isn't it so that it was also to protect yourself and the whole CCB operation?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I suppose you can say it like that, but although I was aware of Mr Botha who admitted that, it was - to be honest today, it was stupid to do that. You're under pressure at the time, under pressure from your seniors and you adjust accordingly.

MR LAX: So I mean in essence you associated yourself with the cover-up and you stuck to that version?

MR BASSON: I was a part of it, I didn't have much of a choice.

MR LAX: No, no, I understand, but just so we're clear about that.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Kahanovitz.

MR KAHANOVITZ: If you'll turn to page 1232 round about line 25, the following question is put to you by Mr Bertelsman, he says

"Alright. So Mr Britz, how many limpet mines did you handle in 1989?"

and your answer is:

"I don't know whether that question may possibly incriminate me."

and then he says:

"No, no, I'm simply asking you the number, you don't have to specify for which purpose you used the limpet mine or mines. Mine or mines, one or more."

your answer is:

"Well I can't recall one incident."

Now that answer was false.

MR BASSON: Yes, Chairperson. Once again, it is stated in my diary, so it was simply once again proof of denials, as many denials as possible for the internal application.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now just to go back to Chris Nel's evidence, he says there was careful planning around the kind of evidence that was going to be given at the Harms Commission.

MR BASSON: Well Chairperson, we all fell under one - well, we all were working with the same legal team, so I suppose that is so.

MR KAHANOVITZ: He says CCB people - and here I'm not necessarily referring to the lower level operatives such as Mr van Zyl, he says in general terms that you were coached to not testify about any, or expose anything that they didn't already know.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, it may be so.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But won't you - when you were coached, can you just give us some understandings of how that coaching process took place?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, all that it amounted to was that we had to deny things, the denial of acts and things which might perhaps have appeared in the Section 29 statement and to just deny acts of a lesser violence.

MR KAHANOVITZ: In other words you already knew what van Zyl and others had told the authorities?

MR BASSON: Well Mr van Zyl, I think, testified first, so it was known.

MR KAHANOVITZ: How did this coaching process take place?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, it wasn't a formal coaching process, all that it was was that we said we wouldn't talk about whatever, we deny things and that's the way we would deal with it. That's how it happened.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But you, for example were not experienced in giving evidence in courtrooms?

MR BASSON: Are you asking was I?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well I'm asking you whether you were.

MR BASSON: No, not at all, that was my first appearance.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Exactly. So you would need to be given some training and guidance as to how to handle yourself in the witness box?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, it's easy to deny a specific question, like Roskam's car.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now when this planning process took place, who was in the meeting?

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, you're talking about the planning for the ...?

MR KAHANOVITZ: For the Harms Commission.

CHAIRPERSON: The Harms Commission.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I think it was - I suppose you have to say that Mr Verster had a large hand in the whole thing and that you can't involve the legal team. I'm not making the statement that they were party to the attempts.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Did you - before you met with your lawyers, did you plan what you were going to say, or did you plan what you were going to say in the presence of your lawyers?

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson, I repeat, Mr Verster felt that the whole matter had to be dealt with in that way as a result of various reasons and there was a decision beforehand that that was the way we would deal with it. I can't say that - I can't involve the legal team and implicate them in something of which they were innocent.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Alright. So you and Mr Verster and I assume from the version of Mr Burger at the Harms Commission, at least the three of you were involved in putting forward a united front?

MR BASSON: Yes, I don't know who apart from those three people.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Was Gen Webb involved?

MR BASSON: Gen Webb was involved up to some point, I'm not sure - well, at some stage there was a problem between Gen Webb and Col Verster and then the decision was taken that we wouldn't consult jointly but that Gen Webb would consult alone and we were to consult separately.

MR KAHANOVITZ: It appears, as you say, that there was a falling out between the two of them, what was the reason for that?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I think it revolved around the Omar and the Evans cases. It I remember correctly there was some dispute between them as a result of that.

MR KAHANOVITZ: That Joe Verster's attitude was that Gen Webb had approved them and Gen Webb was denying it?

MR BASSON: That is correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But for purposes of the Harms Commission, inasmuch as the version was going to be that Region 6 did not engage in internal assassinations, why would that falling out have mattered?

MR BASSON: I don't know, Chairperson, I decided that - and other people along with me, we decided to plead privilege in respect of certain incidents and that is what I stuck to. I can't vouch for what Mr Verster's attitude might have been.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Sorry, if you could just give me a minute I can maybe speed it up. Mr Chairman, might I just indicate, the reason that I'm not going to put a number of other passages which I could put to the witness which are untrue, is they're basically all in support of a similar version.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: If you can just turn to page 1276, you'll see at round about line 15 you told the Commission that the End Conscription Campaign was constantly monitored. You see your evidence?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I see it.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Would you care to expand on that here?

MR BASSON: Once again that was a way to creating the impression that the CCB were mainly involved in monitoring actions, which was actually just another method of concealing the real actions.

MR KAHANOVITZ: You also told - I'll show you the page reference if necessary, but you also told the Harms Commission that there was no campaign, disruption campaign relating to the South West African elections, but you changed your evidence in the Webster Inquiry, to say that there was. Correct?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: At page 1405, lines 11 to 18, you are being asked certain questions by Mr Pretorius about Chappie Maree and you tell the Harms Commission that Mr Maree was working in Natal and you say that he concentrated exclusively on the trade unions in that province.

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Is that evidence true?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I am not sure, I don't want to say it's untrue but I'm of the impression that he was given that specific instruction to concentrate on the trade unions.

MR KAHANOVITZ: To what end was that instruction given?

MR BASSON: Well I just want to say outright that there was never a project on that.

MR KAHANOVITZ: No, but obviously he would be gathering information for some purpose, what was that purpose?

MR BASSON: That is correct. Chairperson, we all know what the purpose of our intelligence gathering was, but nothing materialised in this regard.

MR LAX: We don't know what the purposes of your intelligence was because you see - just listen, because a couple of times now when it's been put to you what a particular purpose was, you've denied that purpose. When Mr Kahanovitz put to you earlier that the purpose of doing monitoring on Evans, for example, could only have been to kill him, or could only have been for this or that purpose, you said "No, no, no, we hadn't decided on a purpose yet", now you're saying we all know what the purpose was. So I think if we all know, what is it that we all know?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I made an assumption. If Mr Maree had worked on trade unions there would have been intelligence which was to be verified and if there was an order to eliminate a particular person in a trade union, then there would have been a project accordingly, that's what I mean. But that didn't happen.

CHAIRPERSON: What was the problem?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I don't know, Mr Maree, I think he had a lot of problems to adjust to the new methods and modus operandi. Previously reference was made to the fact that, in other testimony, that Mr Maree in fact did nothing. It's true that Mr Maree struggled to adjust to the new methods of work as he was instructed.

CHAIRPERSON: If that was the case why should he be sent abroad to do an operation?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, perhaps it was easier for him, there was a specific plan that he possibly would be transferred there permanently and that he would be able to operate with greater ease there and adjust to that situation, with greater ease than locally.

MR LAX: Sorry. You said he had difficulty adjusting, that's a euphemism, what was his problem?

MR BASSON: He struggled to recruit people, he couldn't really come up with good indirect members. That is the reason.

MR LAX: Was he productive in other ways?

MR BASSON: Well as far as his Blue Plan was concerned, that was quite good at that stage, but he just took longer than for instance Mr van Zyl, in respect of the development of production, but his Blue Plan activities actually progressed very nicely.

MR KAHANOVITZ: What was his Blue Plan?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, if I remember correctly - well I can't remember the name of the company, but it had to do with the import of Eastern substances, wall clocks and things like that and that it was to be sold throughout the country.

MR KAHANOVITZ: One of the reasons why Mr Maree wasn't available to carry out many projects in Natal, was because he was deeply involved in the campaign related to Namibia.

MR BASSON: Mr Maree was only involved in the establishment of Aitchison in Namibia, he was not involved in any other way in respect of the disruption of the elections.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well you will have seen in the statements of Mr van Zyl and Mr Barnard, that - well at one level they say they certainly speculated that Maree was responsible for Lubowski's assassination.

MR BASSON: I didn't read the Section 29 statement in that way, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: They even take it further than that, and I know that Mr van Zyl wishes to deny certain aspects of one of his statements, but that a in-house was observed where it was inferred that Maree was making a presentation on Lubowski to Verster. Were you present?

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson, I'm not aware of any such in-house presentation. Apart from the monitoring of Lubowski internally, I'm not aware of any presentation to which Mr van Zyl is referring in respect of Mr Lubowski.

MR KAHANOVITZ: I must also put it to you that what you say was a monitoring project in relation to Lubowski's visit to South Africa, went far beyond that.

MR BASSON: No.

MR KAHANOVITZ: The intention at the time was to attempt to assassinate him.

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson, that is not true.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now I assume you are then also alleging Aitchison being placed in Namibia, had nothing to do with the Lubowski project.

MR BASSON: That is correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: He was just a sleeper who was going to be used sometime in the future.

MR BASSON: The planning was to establish him there for utilisation after the elections.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And what was he going to be doing after the elections?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, we can speculate about that, I can't tell you that. It wasn't discussed.

CHAIRPERSON: So he was going to be a sleeper?

MR BASSON: If you want to regard it like that, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now turning to your diary, just to get this on record, you kept this diary in your capacity as the Co-ordinator of Region 6, and you made entries in that diary in the execution of your duties, correct?

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now this is Exhibit M. You heard yesterday me taking Mr Burger through a whole lot of entries concerning ammunition.

MR BASSON: Yes, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: I don't want to take you through each one of those again but I can tell you that between the 18th of January and the 19th of April, you ordered ammunition on seven different occasions. For what purpose were you ordering that amount of ammunition?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, that was for the members' own use, in respect of pistol shooting. The ammunition was available and they repeatedly asked me to get it. I often didn't attend to that and then they would remind me of it again and I - well from the calibres stated you can infer what they were, I obtained cartridges for them for their own private shooting exercises.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Were these their personal weapons?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: So for instance, someone would tell you "I've got a 9mm pistol, please supply me with ammunition"?

MR BASSON: It's possible, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: I'm not asking you whether it was possible, is that what you're saying happened? This is why you were ordering all this ammunition?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: You did say earlier, I've forgotten to whom it was, that they asked you for a gun because he had to - was it Mr Botha, had to hand his back to the Police and then you got a handgun for him, but for his personal use you said and that would, when he eventually left, that would be deducted from his ...(intervention)

MR BASSON: Yes, that's correct. Chairperson, I just want to say that I think Messrs Burger, van Zyl and Maree had their own personal weapons but Mr Botha at that stage didn't have his own personal weapon and whilst the other people had weapons and practised target shooting, he asked if the system could actually help him to also get a weapon.

CHAIRPERSON: What about the question - just while we're dealing with this, of him having a licence for that firearm? After all he was now for all intents and purposes a civilian. Let's assume that the police picked him up and he had this handgun and he's got no licence, would they trace it back or what?

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson, it wasn't a weapon which was unauthorised or which had no registration, or papers or whatever, it was money, an amount of money given to him to apply through the normal channels for a weapon and to register it in his own name, but the weapon just like the cars, would remain the property of the organisation and upon retrenchment the amounts were deducted by the State.

CHAIRPERSON: I was under the impression that he was actually given physically a handgun.

MR BASSON: No, that was not the case.

CHAIRPERSON: He was given money to buy one?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct) a pistol scheme, a handgun scheme type of thing.

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Thank you.

At page 9 of Exhibit M, your entry for the 14th of February, you'll see on that post-it note down the bottom there's an entry:

"Mugabe dead. Proposals: Mrs Behan (I assume that's spelt B-e-h-a-n)

you with me?

MR BASSON: Yes, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And you did that with the next page, the 15th of February, your note where it starts at the bottom of the page

"Letters written: British Ambassador, Maggie, Pope, Queen"

you with me?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I could refer you to the fact that this also relates to an external operation.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well I'm going to tell you what project it was.

MR BASSON: Very well.

MR KAHANOVITZ: There's also an entry

"Jane Woods still visits different cells. Jenny speaks to her brother in Zim. Possible Chief of Prison to get detail. Family becoming impatient and restless."

Now in January 1988 an unemployed man was hired by the CCB to park a car bomb in front of an ANC transit house in Bulawayo. The man who was hired was blown up. Five people linked to the CCB were subsequently convicted, arising out of this incident, and three of them were sentenced to death. Kevin Woods, Michael Smith and Conjwayo, C-o-n-j-w-a-y-o - I don't have that person's first name at the moment. Subsequently, on 28th June 1989, Dennis Behan was found guilty of conspiring to bring about the release of these people who'd been sentenced to death. Correct?

MR BASSON: That's an external project, you know what my stand is on that.

MR KAHANOVITZ: The reference to - just for sake of completeness, the reference to Jane Woods is a reference to either the wife or relative of Kevin Woods. The reference to Mrs Behan is probably a reference to Dennis Behan's wife. Now I assume you don't want to answer.

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Page 11, the entry

"Derek - Internal target list"

is that what you were referring to in your evidence-in-chief? You said you received this list of names on a print-out.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I refer to it in my diary as an internal target list because I was aware of a real internal list of targets which was in existence and that's in fact not an internal target list, it was purely a priority list in respect of internal activists.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Why call it a target list?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, that was the way I used to refer to it.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes, but normally your "spreektaal" in this diary is somewhat euphemistic. You normally talk about so and so must fall over.

MR BASSON: That was my style, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: So one assumes that when you call a spade a spade, it's a spade?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, yes that's the way I was trained, that's the way I referred to it.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Alright. Page 12 ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, if I could just get some info about these lists. What is a priority list?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, that was for argument's sake, it was an interpretation of intelligence of a whole series of, let's say organisation like for instance the UDF and all its subsidiary organisations. There was a process in terms of which prominent people were identified and those names were minuted, listed.

CHAIRPERSON: And what's the point of a priority list? What's it used for? You know once you've got this list of names, what's...?

MR BASSON: I would say that in normal vernacular it could be interpreted as the biggest thorn in the flesh at that stage.

MR LAX: Sorry, I asked this question yesterday of Mr Burger, were they prioritised in terms of possible actions?

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson, it was purely a list of names. There was no proposal in any way and in comparison to an external target, an external target could point to summary elimination.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Kahanovitz.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now page 12, entry of the 15th of March

"Joe Nhlanhla (N-h-l-a-n-h-l-a) linked to the name Socrates"

Mr Nhlanhla is currently a Cabinet Minister, correct?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I'm not sure, I'm not sure what his post is.

MR KAHANOVITZ: What was your interest in him?

MR BASSON: It was an external operation, it was information which I assume I got from an indirect member, namely Socrates. I can't remember more information than that.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Is that in Zambia? Kabwata?

MR BASSON: It's possible.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Right, turn the page. The "box of handgrenades", under the heading

"Josh"

What was the purpose of obtaining those grenades?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, the entry - all the entries on this page deal with an external operation.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And that includes the equipment prepared, including

"Tire/limpet"

MR BASSON: That's correct, yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: What does "tire" mean there? T-i-r-e.

MR BASSON: I can't tell you now specifically.

MR KAHANOVITZ: The following page, 14

"19 of April - Bert"

with reference to Staal Burger?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I looked at this yesterday as well, but I have no explanation for that entry.

CHAIRPERSON: What does it say in the next entry?

MR BASSON

"O for Jaco - detail"

Perhaps that related to the person Jaco.

CHAIRPERSON: But it's also for Bert?

MR BASSON: Ja, but Bert possibly knew somebody in whom Jaco was interested in respect of computer viruses. That's a possible inference.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now passports and ID documents, were you able to obtain false passports?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And false identification?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: The members of Region 6, did they have ID books in their administrative names?

MR BASSON: No, Mr Burger or any one of his three members were never issued with an alias passport or identity document.

MR KAHANOVITZ: What would happen with foreign travel? Do you travel under your own name, your real name?

MR BASSON: Yes.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Doesn't that immediately compromise your cover?

MR BASSON: Chairperson I must be honest, there was a stage when we discussed the possibility that false identities had to be obtained for the members and later this was rejected as a result of the exposure which they had in the public eye and the decision was that the risk was too high to take and that was the reason why that was abandoned.

MR KAHANOVITZ: The entry on page 15, 21 April

"No passport for criminal outside by Foreign Affairs"

What's that referring to?

MR BASSON: I suppose that came from Mr Verster, where perhaps somebody in one of the other regions wanted to obtain a passport for somebody with a criminal background and that Home Affairs gave guidelines and said no, they're not prepared to do that.

MR KAHANOVITZ: So someone like Mr Aitchison for example, they wouldn't be very keen to give him a South African passport?

MR BASSON: I don't know, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now the same page, the

"Detonators for the handgrenades from Hekkies"

what's that for?

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Kahanovitz.

That Foreign Affairs passport thing, was this Foreign Affairs telling Special Forces "Don't issue", did they know that you were issuing false passports to operatives and then telling you, you can do it sort of thing, but not with criminals?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, that should be Home Affairs, not Foreign Affairs. There was a channel, I'm not sure who the person was, there was an official channel to Home Affairs where, I must say there was control over that. No alias document was made without the person's real details also being linked to this alias document. And it is possible that the instruction came from Home Affairs.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Kahanovitz.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Turn the page, page 16.

"Nico Bessenger ..."

next to the words:

"Region 6"

MR BASSON: Yes, I think there was an attempt to find ways in which an approach could be made to Mr Bessenger or we could get closer to Mr Bessenger. I - well, that's an external project.

MR LAX: Just as a matter of interest, why were you using Region 6 to achieve an external project?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, they could also be used externally.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just one question while I see this. At the bottom there where you've got "salaries" and you've got the four people concerned, now we've heard that salaries were paid out in hard cash, now one person here has signed for the four of them, it looks like Calitz or something like that.

MR BASSON: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Now he would have then walked away with a bundle of cash, how would the other people know how much exactly was for them, seeing that there's amounts like 25c, 41c involved?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, the money was sealed in a white envelope and on the outside the amounts were noted as well.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, so it wasn't just a whole pile of notes?

MR BASSON: No, it was specifically set out and the person was entrusted with handing over the other members' salaries.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR LAX: Just while we're on that, why wasn't this cut out and put in a file?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I can't tell you why.

MR LAX: You would have expected it to because it's an official signature ...

MR BASSON: I understand what you're saying. Because it didn't refer to a specific project name, that might be the reason. Because there had to be project files to place the documentation on and this is a financial matter which was not linked to a project.

MR LAX: Yes, but there were personal files for each of these individuals and you would have had to show proof that they'd been paid, in the file, otherwise your accounting records would have been haywire.

MR BASSON: You're quite correct, it was in my book, I didn't cut it out.

MR LAX: You see, elsewhere in this document there's another place where each of them signed, for example.

MR BASSON: Yes, it depended on the circumstances, perhaps the others just weren't available.

MR LAX: Ja but then your explanation previously given that the reasons why things were cut out was because they had to be put in files doesn't make sense, if in this instance here the specifics aren't cut out and put in other people's personal files, for example.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I don't have another answer. Those things that were cut out I think dealt more with projects for which there were specific files and not in the case of this kind of administration.

MR LAX: But it's obviously something you didn't specifically apply in a rigid fashion?

MR BASSON: I can't give you an answer.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now the amounts being paid out to the various people in Region 6 for their salaries, we were told if I understood the evidence correctly, it was a fixed monthly salary.

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And I'm open to correction, but I recall Mr - let me ask you the question this way, did you deduct PAYE before you paid out the salary?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I'm not sure how the system worked. I would presume that it wasn't done, that the person had to take the money and within his coverage of the Blue Plan he had to accommodate it in that and his personal tax was his own responsibility. That is the way I see it.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well if I was to work on the basis of Mr van Zyl's statement, Mr van Zyl said in his statement his salary was approximately R3 500 per month.

MR BASSON: Alright.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now if you look at your entry on page 4, you have an amount of R3 852 being paid to Andries, which is van Zyl.

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Right. Then on page 16, that becomes R2 903, correct?

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Then suddenly on page 19 he's getting R9 547,36 plus R701,40. Are you with me?

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Firstly your evidence-in-chief where you said that you thought what might have happened was a double salary, that can't be correct, because even if his gross salary was R3 500 a month, that's more than double his salary.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I have no other explanation for these amounts.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well there is another very real possibility, that that's a bonus for a successfully completed project.

MR BASSON: But then everybody would have got bonuses.

MR KAHANOVITZ: That's right, because Region 6 had done something ...(intervention)

MR BASSON: No.

MR KAHANOVITZ: ... that was worthy of merit.

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson, I deny that although I don't have a logical explanation for these amounts. It was not bonuses in terms of production.

MR KAHANOVITZ: The only thing that happened of note that I'm aware of in May 1989, was that David Webster was assassinated. Do these bonuses have anything to do with that?

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson, not at all.

MR LAX: Are you going away from bonuses? Can I just ask something about bonuses please.

You paid the bonuses?

MR BASSON: Yes, Chairperson.

MR LAX: How did you pay the bonuses and how much did you pay them and in what context or circumstances did they receive them?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I'm not aware of - there might have been production bonuses paid to Mr van Zyl, I can't remember. Had there been a production bonus, the amount would have been paid in cash to him, just like in the case of the salaries.

MR LAX: But with regard to Region 6 the only bonus that you can even remember paying, might have been to van Zyl.

MR BASSON: Yes, Chairperson ...(intervention)

MR LAX: Nobody else was entitled to one as far as you can remember.

MR BASSON: Yes, I think so, it was only Mr van Zyl on recommendation of the Regional Manager.

MR LAX: You see Verster told us that the bonuses, production bonuses were in lieu of benefits they had lost previously. It had nothing to do with production at all, it was simply a way of topping up their salaries to take account of the benefits they had lost.

MR BASSON: Alright, Chairperson, then it makes more sense to me. I remember in my application of the Reconnaissance Regiment all operatives were paid a gratification in round about the month of May. I think it was in the region of R3 400 or R2 400. It was a yearly thing and this could refer to the same benefit of the structure. CCB enjoyed the same benefit.

MR LAX: But you're speculating, you don't really know?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I think this may be the answer. I told you that I can't remember specifically. I know that you triggered my memory with this bonus and I believe that this could be the explanation for these increased amounts.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Page 18, the entry of the 9th of May. Well firstly you can confirm that the

"Deon"

with the reference to:

"Bruce White"

indicates that Chappie Maree was originally tasked to work on the Bruce White project.

MR BASSON: No, Deon - who was Deon?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Deon Calitz.

MR BASSON: Deon Calitz was Calla Botha.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Oh sorry, yes you're right. Who's "2"?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I have no explanation for that 2. I don't want to say that it refers to Region 2, which is Mozambique. I can't tell you, it's not clear to me.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But there are later references in your diary to

"Client number 1, client number 2"

and you make references to the possible dates of their elimination.

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson, this is much earlier, this is long before those entries. It cannot be related.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But you remember all the others, Omar, White, Evans, what's the problem?

MR BASSON: It's clear, it's written there.

MR KAHANOVITZ: But why would you have been using a number as opposed to a name?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I can't tell you, honestly.

MR LAX: Can I just ask something?

With regard to this diary, the time lapse between you having to look at it again and it being attached, was pretty small. It was attached by the Harms people and then quite soon after that you were then testifying about it.

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR LAX: So it's not as if you'd had a lot of time to forget all the detail, even then.

MR BASSON: It's true what you're saying.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Page 21, entry of 26 of June. Maybe I must just deal with various other people whose salaries you appear to have paid and you can tell us who they - which regions they were working for. Jeff Hailes? H-a-i-l-e-s.

MR BASSON: I think he was a Region 7 person.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Richard Collins?

MR BASSON: Region 7 and Region 4, which was Zambia.

MR KAHANOVITZ: You told the Harms Commission when you were asked about that entry, that R Collins works for Region 6, is that untrue?

MR BASSON: No, I think that you don't refer specifically to the extract. They fell under Region 6 although it was separated from internal to the external and in that regard I might have said it is Region 6, but it is not internal. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR KAHANOVITZ: What are you saying, that they were paid through Region 6 finances, although they were actually working internally?

MR BASSON: That's correct. To make the administration easier for me I put all the external files under Region 6, although they were divided.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Did Region 6 have any other members apart from the people who're applying for amnesty here?

MR BASSON: Who worked internally?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Answer the first question first.

MR BASSON: Please repeat the question.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Apart from the people who are applying for amnesty here, did Region 6 employ anybody else?

MR BASSON: Apart from the external project members, no other members.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Then you pay salaries to F Wilson, K Lightfoot, A Kotze.

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Are they Region 6 people working outside of the country?

MR BASSON: They're specifically members linked to Project Crawler, an external project.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Someone by the name of Josh who was arrested in June?

MR BASSON: Where is ...(intervention)

MR KAHANOVITZ: Well does the name Josh ring a bell?

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Bernard?

MR BASSON: I beg your pardon?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Bernard.

MR BASSON: Yes, I think it's Bernard Heyns, it's an administrative name for another member who joined Project Crawler.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Mr Chairman, I don't know if you want the dates where those names appear.

CHAIRPERSON: No, no.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Not.

CHAIRPERSON: But I saw the name Josh in the diary.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes.

MR BASSON: It could be an indirect member, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that's on page 13.

MS COLERIDGE: And 21, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Josh (Koos). 13 and 21 you say?

MR KAHANOVITZ: On page 21 if you look you'll see under the heading "Josh", it says

"Arrested .1"

MR BASSON: Chairperson, it could indirect members who worked abroad.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Then on the ...(intervention)

MR LAX: Sorry.

Who was Koos?

MR BASSON: Koos was also an indirect member in the infrastructure of Richard.

MR LAX: And Trev?

MR BASSON: It was an indirect member of Richard's.

MR LAX: Thanks.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Kahanovitz.

MR KAHANOVITZ: The office - under the heading "Richard", the office in South-East Lusaka that was to be only damaged, is that something you're not going to tell us about?

MR BASSON: Correct, Chairperson.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Page 22, 28th of June

"Region 6 - Training"

what's that about?

MR BASSON: Plans were made to present another course for Mr Burger and his people, the date was scheduled but for some or other reason the course never took place.

MR KAHANOVITZ: You can't remember why? You discovered they didn't need training, or what?

MR BASSON: No, I remember there was a specific person in the CCB and it was his task to deal with a training and it's possible that he wasn't ready or prepared to start with it.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Page 23 appears to be a reference to Joe Verster being in Europe until the 7th of August, is that correct?

CHAIRPERSON: It's in the dark strip in the middle, Mr Basson.

MR BASSON: I see

"3 to 7 - leave"

and ...(intervention)

MR LAX: What the Chair's referring you to is the ...(intervention

CHAIRPERSON: Sunday the 16th.

MR LAX: ... third dark stripe, Sunday the 16th. It says

"Jack to Europe tot ..."

MR BASSON: Oh I beg your pardon, I couldn't see it.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes it's not easy to see because it's under the dark strip there.

MR BASSON: In other words, from the 16th of July to the 7th of August yes, he planned to be in Europe.

MR KAHANOVITZ: What was he going to be doing there?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I can't tell you. Mr Verster was also the Regional Manager of the external region, the European region, or the Managing Director of the region because the region didn't have a Regional Manager. I think it refers to Region 5, the external region.

MR KAHANOVITZ: When he was out of the country, if one needed approval for a project, who would you go to?

MR BASSON: He had a second-in-command, Dawid Fourie who stood in for him and I don't know exactly what the method of working was in such a case, but there would have been liaison with Mr Verster if important decisions had to be made. There was a procedure, but I don't know the details.

MR KAHANOVITZ: You never had occasion to need to obtain approval while he was out of the country?

MR BASSON: No I never, not from Mr Fourie, no.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now there are various entries on page 24, it's the 10th of July, and the 26, the 11th of July, relating to the forthcoming elections in Namibia.

CHAIRPERSON: It's page 25. I think you said 26 by mistake.

MR KAHANOVITZ: I'm sorry.

Now this page should also be read with the entry of the 25th of April, which refers to Nico Bessenger. Let me tell you what Pieter Botes told the journalist, Jacques Pauw about what projects were planned around the Namibian elections, and I'm going to quote here from Pauw's book, "The Heart of the Whore" at page 187 to page 188.

CHAIRPERSON: "The Heart of the Whore"?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes.

Botes told Pauw the following ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: It's reported in the book that Botes told Pauw the following, we don't know how accurate the quote is.

MR KAHANOVITZ: This witness will know. And the reason I'm reading this here, you will find corroboration for certain aspects in the entries in the diary.

CHAIRPERSON: I'm not saying it is inaccurate, I'm just saying it's from a book, so ...

MR KAHANOVITZ: He was to assassinate senior SWAPO officials, Hidipo Hamutenya, today's Namibian Minister of Information and Danny Tjongarero who became Deputy-Minister after independence.

"The murders had to look as if they were committed by fellow SWAPO members unhappy with the "soft-line approach" of Hamutenya and Tjongarero, in order to cause dissension within SWAPO.

Botes was instructed to plant bombs at SWAPO meetings and explode handgrenades amongst the spectators. The CCB devised a plan to put cholera bacteria and yellow fever viruses provided by an Army doctor, into the drinking water of SWAPO refugee camps at Dobra (D-o-b-r-a) in Northern Namibia.

A printing press ordered by SWAPO and a waiting delivery at Walvis Bay and 54 SWAPO vehicles were identified for sabotage. Botes said the CCB was to use a special oil that would seize the engines. Not even Untag, the United Nations Peacekeeping Force overseeing the independence process, was to be spared, although Botes was instructed not to harm officials.

The cars of United Nations special representative, Marti Atassari and Chief Administrator, Cedric Thornbury, were to be fire-bombed however."

Would you care to comment?

MR WESSELS: Mr Chairman, may I come in ...(indistinct) in you coming to an answer as to amnesty for the matters that have been applied for here, this is completely irrelevant and it's a waste of time.

MR KAHANOVITZ: With respect to my learned friend, if he now looks at the diary entries, he'll become acutely aware of the relevance of that passage.

MR WESSELS: ; Whatever the diary entries are it concerns outside matters where the witness has said he's not talking about it, so whatever he says is only portions what might have happened or might not have happened there and you're not going to be asked to deal with the correctness of those allegations.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Once again the point is simply that the applicants haven't begun to tell you what they were involved in.

MR WESSELS: Well Mr Chairman, that argument can be made, it could have been made after the first day's evidence already. We don't need to go through this to make that argument at the end of the day. If it's a good argument, they made that point long ago.

MR KAHANOVITZ: With respect, Mr Chairman, for us to be able to argue that coherently we need to attach it to something that has substance, we can't just make that as a general allegation. We wish to point to specific circumstances that would allow you to make that as a finding.

CHAIRPERSON: Anything else you want to say?

MR WESSELS: Mr Chairman, as far as my client is concerned who was the Managing Director of the CCB, he said that he's not talking about matters outside the county because it might incriminate him and that is enough for my learned friends to make their argument that they wish to make at the end of the day. We don't have to go through the detail of all this and spend hours and hours on something that's already been made and conceded. That they're not making full disclosure of events that took place outside the country. The argument at the end of the day is, are they compelled to make it or are they not compelled to make it? The basis has already been laid for either argument.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Mr Chairman, I don't know if you're being asked to make a ruling. If you are about to make a ruling I just would also like to point out, you have a situation where you have witnesses who are telling you "I'm not telling you about external operations, you don't need to hear about them because everything I did there was innocent." And that being so, I'm entitled to test that evidence.

MR P DU PLESSIS: No, Mr Chairman, with all due respect to my learned friend, that is not correct. There was one certain point or one certain person, where Mr Basson chose to follow that route. He was asked about it and he did answer and for the rest he has said he's not saying that he wasn't involved in those projects, he's refusing to answer because it may incriminate him. So it's not correct to say that he chose to say he didn't do anything wrong or he wasn't involved, rather than say that he wasn't involved in those projects. That's not his evidence.

MR KAHANOVITZ: It was Mr Burger's evidence though.

MR P DU PLESSIS: That may be so, but my learned friend didn't follow it up with Mr Burger.

MR WESSELS: ...(inaudible) not dealing with Mr Burger, my objection is to the line of questioning that's taking place at the moment, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr du Plessis, do you want to say anything?

MR H DU PLESSIS: ...(indistinct - no microphone)

CHAIRPERSON: Okay. Mr van Eck and Mr Coetzee?

MR VAN ECK: I've got nothing to add, Sir.

MR COETZEE: I've got nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: Nothing to add, thanks Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I've spoken to my two colleagues and I've got two different answers.

R U L I N G

I basically don't have any difficulty with the line of questioning being asked, it just gets once again to the unique situation we're in regarding the time factor, because we've already dealt with the situation relating to external matters and it was already agreed that if questions were put, if he doesn't want to answer them, questions relating to external matters, he needn't and then we can deal with it fully in argument as to what weight should be attached on the refusal to answer. So it gets down to a time question again and I wouldn't stop the questioning, save for the question of time. I'm not stopping it now, but I'm just asking you as far as possible to keep it to certain limits so that we can achieve finalisation on this matter in the scheduled time.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Mr Chairman, what we do want to argue is that there's a strong correlation between what I've just read to you and the entries. I don't want anybody to stand up at the end and say ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, no I think that's quite clear.

MR KAHANOVITZ: ... well, you can't argue that now, you didn't put it to the witness. That's my concern.

CHAIRPERSON: I fully understand that. And I think that will even apply even if you don't mention certain things that come up, of that nature, in argument because of the time restrictions we won't stop you from arguing that.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Maybe we can short circuit this on the basis that if my learned friend appearing for the witness tells me that insofar as I'm going to put to the witness the correlations between the entries in his diary and what I've just read, on each and every occasion that I say that I'm going to get an answer "I refuse to answer that question", then we can leave it at that.

MR P DU PLESSIS: May I just speak to the witness for a minute? The witness will answer for himself.

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I stand by my point, I refuse to answer questions regarding external projects. ...(transcriber's interpretation)

MR KAHANOVITZ: Might I just for purposes of the record then just identify the passages that I was going to put to the witness?

"Namibian Taxi Services - 32 vehicles. Oil - disrupt AS. 'Zim min afgestaan om te help - vind out wie'. Do not burn the place down. Postpone election date. Disrupt SWAPO speakers and meetings.

And then there's an arrow.

" Waar ...(onduidelik) kom met voorstelle. Obtain snakes. Spread disease in camps - Frans/Hymer. Chief Inspect Thornbury - make him angry."

CHAIRPERSON: Page ...(indistinct)

MR KAHANOVITZ: That's right. And then on the following page, I'm not going to read out all the entries but page 25 there are certain entries. Page 26, likewise, entries to the effect of, on the 14th of July

"ID SWAPO taxis"

and there are entries along the lines of:

"Steal licence disks. Sulphuric acid erodes. Arson. No explosions. Retaliation."

Item 4:

"Political meetings to be monitored and disrupted - Water, power, speakers will published in newspapers beforehand.

Point 5 on that page:

"Look at drinking places in order to use medicine"

and so on and so forth. Then on page 29, 27th of July, would you care to explain the entry:

"Girls like Bessenger close to Tjongarero can fall two weeks after Hamutenya"

MR BASSON: I refuse to answer any questions about external projects.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Mr Chairman, I am concerned here about time and would we be inclined to try and finish off the witness even if it's going to bleed over a little bit past four, or would the inclination be to stop at four even if we're not finished.

CHAIRPERSON: I don't know what the people's situation is. As far as I'm concerned, I'm only leaving tomorrow. I don't know how urgently other people have to leave. Mr Sibanyoni's got to catch a flight at six. I don't know what the critical time to leave would be, taking into account the possible traffic jam on the way to the airport. So if we go after four, it shouldn't be too long after four otherwise he'll probably miss his aeroplane.

MR KAHANOVITZ: I think let's see how far I get.

The entries on page 32 for the 3rd of August, once again I'm going to put to you that these are notes concerning a plan to assassinate SWAPO leaders in Windhoek and once again I'm going to refer to what Pieter Botes told Jacques Pauw. Mr Botes - and I'm not quoting here, I'm going to paraphrase, he said the original plan was to murder Hamutenya and Tjongarero. He says Tjongarero was removed from the death list after he became ill, but the plans for Hamutenya's assassination went ahead. The plan was to have Hamutenya shot with a Russian-made pistol outside the Namibia night-club, a club frequented by Hamutenya and other SWAPO members.

Botes says he returned to Pretoria on the 23rd of August 1989, to report back about the feasibility and progress of the project to murder Hamutenya. He then had to submit the final draft to Verster three days later. He then had an argument with Verster who accused him of mismanagement and he withdrew from the Namibian project.

Once again I assume you're not going to comment.

MR BASSON: Correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Basson, was this diary entirely work or did you have personal matters in it? Like I see you talk about an "orkes" and "gaan dansers 7 Augustus bywoon."

MR BASSON: No, it's mostly CCB activities.

MR KAHANOVITZ: I must also put to you that the entry there

"TABBS"

and below that also:

"Top level where TABBS sits between toilets is ..."

what's the word there?

MR BASSON

"large door"

MR KAHANOVITZ

"... private SWAPO"

The reference to TABBS is a reference to the name of the disc jockey at the Namibia by Night Club. No comment. Now these references to - on the 1st of August, page 30:

"Bert must chase Grosskopf and make his supporters fall over. G Evans"

and just read with the entry on page 33:

"NB: Jack to talk tomorrow with Chairman about Evans"

If I understand your evidence-in-chief correctly, you say the project was put on hold, but it was resuscitated

later in the year. Correct?

MR BASSON: It's possible that with regard to the information on Grosskopf, that there would have been a discussion between Mr Verster and Gen Webb. There was no second plan launched.

MR KAHANOVITZ: The reference at page 33, the 1st of August, to

"Bert"

is a reference to Staal Burger, correct?

MR BASSON: Correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Why does the entry say that Burger must chase Grosskopf and make sure that his supporters die?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I have knowledge of an attempt of Mr Burger where he could have gained access to a country in Africa and it is possible that they looked at a plan, but once again it's an external project.

MR LAX: But you see Burger denied anything of the sort, he said he wasn't involved in any such, nothing of that kind overseas.

MR BASSON: It could be that nothing happened, Chairperson. I can't remember, I wasn't present at this meeting, I can't remember. I cannot tell you what happened there.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Sorry, if I remember correctly Mr Burger's evidence was in fact he just never got to that, so in fact that he wouldn't have been involved.

MR KAHANOVITZ: We can look at the record I think.

Page 35, the 5th of October:

"Final coord today - shift money"

What's that about?

MR BASSON: I think it refers to final co-ordination today. There were opportunities where funds would have been transferred abroad and if there were regions who had interests in external projects, they could have used those opportunities to get authority to transfer funds abroad.

MR KAHANOVITZ: At what time - you say at a particular stage you were relieved of your duties as the Co-ordinator of Region 6 and replaced by someone else, when did that happen?

MR BASSON: If you give me a minute I'll look for it.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it Nick who took over from you?

MR BASSON: Yes, there's an entry in my diary which is not part of this exhibit, it refers to Nick and Theo who as from the 25th of August became more involved in the co-ordination and so on.

CHAIRPERSON: ... have a handover period or did you work together with Nick and Theo?

MR BASSON: Yes, I remember specifically that with the presentation or with the training with regard to the Early Learning Centre, the mechanism, they were involved. I don't know if they had any knowledge about this specific project, about the application thereof, but they were present. I think it so, yes.

MR LAX: Can I just clarify something if you'll allow me. This Annexure M that you've given us, Mr Kahanovitz, is that an extract from the one that was attached by Harms document?

MR KAHANOVITZ: I'm note sure what exactly was placed before the Harms Commission. This is an extract that I made out of the full diary for purposes of the pages which I intended to refer these particular witnesses to. There is a much bigger document containing the whole diary.

MR LAX: Yes no, I'm just aware that you have a much bigger document there that you ...(intervention)

MR P DU PLESSIS: Yes I think we ...(indistinct - no microphone) but I think it's the complete document we have in our possession.

MR LAX: It just may be useful for our purposes to see the whole thing in its complete context at some point.

MR P DU PLESSIS: ; It's not a problem, I'll liaise with Ms Coleridge about it.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Kahanovitz. I don't know if your last question was answered.

Did you have a date when you were relieved of your duties as Co-ordinator in Region 6?

MR BASSON: Yes, Chairperson, I wasn't entirely pulled away from Mr Burger and his people, my workload had been made smaller. I was still involved with Region 6, but the administrative part was taken away from me so that I could pay more attention to Region 2 at that stage.

MR KAHANOVITZ: So were you really - you were given additional manpower to assist you in your co-ordinating function?

MR BASSON: That's correct.

MR KAHANOVITZ: And do you have any idea why the person who assisted you as Co-ordinator hasn't applied for amnesty?

MR BASSON: No, Chairperson. I cannot answer on his behalf about his knowledge of projects, no I can't answer.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Now you mentioned that you had - in your evidence-in-chief, that you'd been given a date on which you might appear before the National Board on Indemnity and you mentioned the date of 9 December 1993. Did you in fact ever go and appear?

MR BASSON: No, never, Chairperson.

MR P DU PLESSIS: ; Mr Chairman, perhaps I can come in here. Mr Basson was represented by a legal representative and if I'm correct, it would have been ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: The question was whether he appeared, Mr Basson appeared before the Indemnity Board in December 1993 and he says no, and then Mr du Plessis was saying there was legal representation.

MR WESSELS: I appeared there. I can't remember on behalf of whom, but I assume it must have been Mr Basson as well. There were a number of applicants that I represented ...(indistinct)

CHAIRPERSON: And the matter was argued and submissions made etcetera?

MR WESSELS: ...(indistinct)

MR P DU PLESSIS: Mr Chairman, perhaps on that point, I don't think we are going to finalise cross-examination today and if we are going to have a look at the full diary, I think we can just as well, perhaps at this point adjourn the proceedings. With all respect. Unless Mr Kahanovitz and Mr Hockey - well and obviously the Panel has to question him as well.

MR KAHANOVITZ: If there's some prospect of any member of the Committee, for instance, wanting to possibly raise new issues arising out of the diary, I would agree there doesn't seem to be much purpose in me trying to rush things to finish off my cross-examination. In other words if the witness has to come back next time for whatever reason, I would be more than happy to call it a day.

CHAIRPERSON: You've still got other matters to cross-examine on, do you not?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Principally I to deal with his amnesty application.

CHAIRPERSON: With the incidents, the pre-studies and all that sort of stuff?

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes, and the contents of the documents.

CHAIRPERSON: So there's no prospect that we would finish today with Mr Hockey standing in also today for Mr Williams ... Ms Coleridge in ten minutes, so I'm sure it will be over optimistic to expect to get finished.

MR KAHANOVITZ: I'd just like to ask one more question then if I might, on his evidence-in-chief and then maybe we could call it a day.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, and what we will do is between now and when we resume we will have the transcript typed and that will be relayed to the legal representatives as soon as it's available, so when Mr Basson comes back in two or whatever it is, month's time, he will have the benefit of being able to read what he's said in evidence up to now.

MR P DU PLESSIS: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

MR KAHANOVITZ: You mentioned in relation to the Evans project that you were given a thick file, but you went on to say ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: He said a 9 inch pile of computer print-outs, I think.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Yes. You went on to say that nowhere in that were the details of where Mr Evans lived or worked. Do you remember that evidence?

MR BASSON: Chairperson, I'm not sure what the content was, surely there would have been details about his workings. I know that he worked for a newspaper. It's just not possible for me to remember all the detail that was in there.

MR KAHANOVITZ: No, I just wanted to put to you that the evidence which you gave in that regard didn't really make sense because as you now have conceded, all you needed to do was pick up the Weekly Mail to know that Mr Evans worked for the Weekly Mail, correct?

MR BASSON: That is correct, I just don't know from which stage he worked for the newspaper.

MR KAHANOVITZ: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: I've been informed that the dates for the further hearing have been agreed with all concerned.

MS COLERIDGE: The 26th, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: The 26th of September.

MS COLERIDGE: To the 29th. The 26th to the 29th of September and then the 2nd to the 6th of October.

CHAIRPERSON: Those are two consecutive weeks, yes.

MS COLERIDGE: That's correct.

CHAIRPERSON: The reason why it starts on the 26th, which is a Tuesday, is because Monday the 25th is a public holiday. So it's for the nine working days, week days, from the 26th of September 2000 through to and including the 6th of October 2000. Unfortunately we can't get dates sooner than that because I was told it's just impossible to get all of the people concerned together where they all are available. I know for a fact that us three members on the Panel are going through an extremely busy period of travel and doing hearings, so it's not only the legal representatives who aren't available at certain times, but also us ourselves. But I'm pleased that we have got these dates arranged, although it is some time away.

As I say, Mr Basson, you'll get your evidence and I'm sure Mr du Plessis will let you see it before you continue to be cross-examined.

MR BASSON: Thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Is it going to be at this venue as well, Ms Coleridge?

MS COLERIDGE: That is correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Although I heard it might not be in this precise room, it might be in another room somewhere here.

So we will then adjourn until the 26th of September 2000, at this centre, and I think on the first day we'll aim to start at 10 o'clock. I think on the first day, because they've normally got to set up the sound system etcetera, so it will be at 10 o'clock on Monday the 26th - sorry, Tuesday the 26th of September 2000. Thank you very much.

MS COLERIDGE: All rise.

HEARING ADJOURNS TILL 26TH SEPTEMBER 2000

 
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