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Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARINGS

Starting Date 20 July 2000

Location DURBAN

Day 18

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CHAIRPERSON: Morning everybody, I must apologise for the late start. When we adjourned yesterday, Mr Visser was questioning Mr Mbane, and we'll take off from there.

FRANK XHOLA MBANE: (s.u.o.)

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Visser.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: (cont)

Thank you, and good morning, Chairperson. If I may continue then.

Mr Mbane, - well perhaps before I continue with that Chairperson, we have cause to have placed before you, an extract from the police docket, which we believe might be relevant to you. I don't know whether you are one of those lawyers, Chairperson, who believes that "I" is not a letter of the alphabet ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I don't know why, but I am, yes.

MR VISSER: So am I. So this will be J, Chairperson,

CHAIRPERSON: Exhibit J.

MR VISSER: Exhibit J. Just to explain the background to this document, Chairperson, I didn't want to have that photocopied as well, but it is in the police docket, in the police diary under Section C, there is an entry which says

"During 1994 to 1995, Capt de Jongh had a discussion with one, Jimmy Mbane, who was a former member of Vlakplaas. Notes were kept."

and it refers to B1. Now the document before you, Exhibit J, you will see is B1, Chairperson, so this ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: If you could just repeat that person's name?

MR VISSER: De Jongh, Capt de Jongh, spelt J-o-n-g-h. And I will momentarily refer to that at the appropriate stage, Chairperson, with your leave.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and I see it's September 1997, that's the docket number, is it? So it would have been, either during '97 or thereafter.

MR VISSER: Yes, I was going to ask - in fact yes, you're absolutely correct, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: The docket number is 2004/9/97.

MR VISSER: '97, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: So it's obviously not before September '97?

MR VISSER: It would be safe to accept that, Chairperson. Thank you.

Mr Mbane, you had dealings with Ms Kubheka, on quite a number of occasions during the six weeks that you told us about, would that be correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: How would you describe her stature?

MR MBANE: Can you please repeat your question.

MR VISSER: How would you describe her physical appearance, as you saw her?

MR MBANE: She was short and she was fat.

MR VISSER: I can't hear the Interpreter.

MR MBANE: She was a short person and she was also fat.

MR LAX: I can't hear it either.

CHAIRPERSON: I can hear it, check your volume on the machine. Mr Visser, could you just check your volume and see if you're got the right ...

MR VISSER: I've just done that, Chairperson.

MR MBANE: She was a short person and she was also fat.

MR VISSER: Did you listen to the description given by Mr Hentie Botha, of the late Ms Kubheka, when he gave evidence?

MR MBANE: Can you please repeat your question.

MR VISSER: Did you listen to the evidence of Mr Hentie Botha, when he gave evidence about how he remembered what she looked like?

MR MBANE: Yes, I did.

MR VISSER: And did you agree with that evidence?

MR MBANE: Yes, I do.

MR VISSER: And did you see the exhibits that were placed before the Committee yesterday, Exhibits 1, 2, 3 and 4?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR VISSER: And did you agree with the evidence of Mr du Preez and Mr Wasserman about those exhibits and whether they would fit, Ms Kubheka?

MR MBANE: According to what I saw, I think that those clothes were small.

MR VISSER: Yes, thank you. I just want to try to clarify in my own mind, perhaps for some of the Commissioners, I'm not sure, perhaps I'm the only one that doesn't understand this. The people that you handed over to your seniors, please stop me if I'm wrong, the one person was Sbu, S-b-u, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That's correct.

MR VISSER: The other person was a person whose name you can't remember, but who you said was killed and his body was left at a hotel.

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: Who was the third person?

MR MBANE: It is the one that we found weapons from him in the squatter camps.

MR VISSER: Was that or was that not Gipsman?

MR MBANE: No, it was not Gipsman.

MR VISSER: And apart from the one that was killed and his body left near a hotel, do you know what happened to the other two?

MR MBANE: No, I don't know.

MR VISSER: Let me ask you this specifically, you don't know what happened to Sbu?

MR MBANE: The last time I saw him it was when I handed him over to my seniors, I don't know what happened to him.

MR VISSER: Yes. Now did I hear you correctly, to say that - well, let me ask you, who of your seniors did you hand Sbu to?

MR MBANE: It was Joe from Vlakplaas.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that Joe Coetzer?

MR MBANE: Yes, Joe Coetzer.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, before you proceed Mr Visser.

Mr Mbane, where did you live at that time, where did you come from? Where was your place in that period of time?

MR MBANE: Here in Durban?

CHAIRPERSON: No, where did you live normally? Where did you regard your home to be?

MR MBANE: In Britz, in eHlabili(?)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you.

MR VISSER: Alright. Would you have told anyone that Sbu was killed by Hentie Botha? Would you have told anyone that?

MR MBANE: I don't remember.

MR VISSER: That's not the question you see, you've told this Committee, Mr Mbane, that you made a deduction that your seniors had killed Sbu, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: Now I'm asking you, on that evidence, would you ever have told anyone that you know that Botha killed Sbu?

MR MBANE: I can't remember, I don't remember telling anyone.

MR VISSER: Would you have told anyone that?

MR MBANE: What I'm saying, is I can't remember.

MR VISSER: Alright, alright. You see because on the record, at page 1720 to 1721, it was put on your behalf that Sbu was killed by Botha and others. Particularly at page 1721, the second paragraph, Chairperson.

Now why did you tell your attorney that? Well, did you tell you're attorney that?

MR MBANE: Yes, it might happen that I told him, but there are a lot of people who spoke to me concerning this case.

MR VISSER: I'm not talking about other people, I'm talking about what you told you attorney, Mr Mbane. Did you tell your attorney that Sbu was killed by Botha and others?

MR MBANE: It might be so.

MR VISSER: Why would you have done that?

MR MBANE: I don't understand your question.

MR VISSER: It's a perfectly simply question, you told this Committee that you don't know what happened to the Sbu, but you made a deduction, you inferred that he was killed by your seniors, is that correct?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR VISSER: And I asked you whether you know whether Botha killed him, and you said no.

MR MBANE: That was what I thought, I thought that they were killed by, he was killed by Botha and the people he was working with.

MR VISSER: Oh, now you heard that. From whom did you hear that?

MR LAX: Thought.

MR MBANE: I thought.

MR VISSER: I didn't hear you, I'm sorry. Alright, that's what you thought, you thought it was Botha and others who killed him, is that what you're saying?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: Did you think Taylor was one of those who killed Sbu?

MR MBANE: Let me explain this. Taylor would come, he would not be there every day, he would come and leave. The person who would always be there would be Botha. So Taylor would come on certain days and sometimes he would not be there.

MR VISSER: Alright, that's very interesting, now answer the question. Did you think that Taylor was one of the persons who killed Sbu?

MR MBANE: I don't know about that.

MR VISSER: I see. Now can I refer you to Exhibit J ...(intervention)

MR SAMUEL: Mr Chairman, before any questions are put to my client, we'd like to object to the cross-examination on the grounds that my client will say that he does not recall, there were a number of people who had asked him questions over various periods, and he can't recall specifically giving this statement to any particular person. Secondly, he will say that this statement is not signed by him. So if Mr Visser will lay some basis before putting any questions to my client, I'll appreciate it.

MR VISSER: May I reply to that? Chairperson, first of all, this is a Commission of Inquiry, where we are trying to find out the truth of matters and where we are not strictly bound to the normal rules of evidence, although one stays as close to those rules as possible. I'm not producing this document as a confession, I found this document Chairperson, in the docket which became available to us for the first time, yesterday. It pretends to be notes taken of a consultation and I want to use it for no evidentiary value higher than that. It's not as if we are asking you to accept this document as proof of the contents thereof, it is simply a document which I wish to use to ask Mr Mbane certain questions, and he can answer and at the end of the day you would be in the position, Chairperson, to weigh up the probabilities on the issues. And that's as far as it goes.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Samuel, any reply?

MR SAMUEL: There's no reply, except I'll leave myself in your hands, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes Mr Visser, you may ask questions on this document, on the basis which is stated by yourself and I can confirm that we will not be using this as evidence.

MR VISSER: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Now one of these people of the many people that spoke to you was, at least one of them was a policeman that spoke to you about the matter of Kubheka?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember. As I've already said there are a lot of people that asked me questions concerning what was happening in Vlakplaas.

MR VISSER: Did you no policeman ever tell you that they were investigating, the police was investigating the death of Ms Kubheka, and spoke to you in connection therewith?

MR MBANE: Yes, there are a lot of them, it was not only one policeman.

MR VISSER: Do you know a Capt de Jongh?

MR MBANE: As I have already said, there are a lot of people who asked me questions, so I cannot remember him.

CHAIRPERSON: No, the question - you say you can't remember, but do you know Capt de Jongh?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember him.

CHAIRPERSON: Where is he from again, Mr Visser?

MR VISSER: That's the diary, C ...

CHAIRPERSON: Yes I know, but to which police station is he attached, or to which division or ...?

MR VISSER: Chairperson, we would have to speculate, we don't know where he was from, we believe it was the so-called D'Oliviera team, but I don't want to ... But the point is that this conversation took place at, apparently, at CR Swart Square, but even that may be wrong. I don't want to limit it too much on facts that I don't know, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: In any event, Mr Mbane says he doesn't know a de Jongh, he can't remember.

MR VISSER: He doesn't know a de Jongh.

Now would you have told Mr de Jongh that when you went to Durban, it was Andy Taylor and Botha who gave instructions? Is that something you would have told him?

MR MBANE: As I have already said, I cannot remember de Jongh, so it is difficult to say that I would have told him, because I can't remember him.

MR VISSER: Mr Mbane, that answer is not going to help. I'm asking you on a facts of the Kubheka matter which you knew and which you testified to before this Committee, would you have told anyone that Andy Taylor and Botha gave the instructions?

MR MBANE: I still say that I cannot remember.

MR LAX: May I can help you here. Mr Mbane, it doesn't matter who you spoke to, I mean even if we were asking you here now, if you were telling us about this incident, and you have already told us about this incident, what Mr Visser's asking you, is it likely that you would have said to somebody that amongst other people, Taylor and Botha gave some of the instructions around this matter? Is that correct or isn't it? That's all you're being asked.

MR MBANE: It might be so.

MR VISSER: Thank you, Mr Lax.

You would have told any such person that you infiltrated Ntombi Kubheka, would that be correct?

MR MBANE: Yes, it might be so.

MR VISSER: Wouldn't you have told somebody that, because that's your evidence here?

MR MBANE: Sir, what I'm saying is, there are a lot of people who asked me questions about this case, so what I'm saying is that it might be possible that I would have said so.

MR VISSER: Well let's try to cut this short.

MR SAMUEL: Mr Chairman, if I may come in at this point. This document was given to us at a very late stage and my instruction was to object to the document being handed in, and on that basis I have not consulted with my client properly. I think, in order to take this matter forward, because it seems it's going to go around in circles, if I may have just five minutes to advise my client on this document ...(indistinct)

MR VISSER: Well Chairperson, ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: It's during cross-examination and we've got that rule, but what's your attitude, Mr Visser?

MR VISSER: Chairperson, I wouldn't even object to that, but the point is, my learned friend is obviously doesn't understand what the basis of my cross-examination is, I'm not testing his memory as to whether he remembers a de Jongh, or whatever, I'm asking him basically, whether he would have told anyone else what he told this Committee. But if my learned friend feels that he'll feel more comfortable if he consulted with the witness, I want to be fair to the witness, as fair as we can, I would have no objection.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but if we do that, I see this document contains a whole lot of incidents that wouldn't require any consultation with you, if we could perhaps identify those parts which Mr Samuel should go through with his client.

MR VISSER: Chairperson, I will ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: That's the one that's headed ...(indistinct) Sbu.

MR VISSER: ... I will contain myself to the first, second ...

CHAIRPERSON: Number one, have you got that? That's the first page and then number two ...

MR VISSER: Second page, the third page, over the page to before "Swartklip - start 1985."

CHAIRPERSON: Stop at Swartklip?

MR VISSER: Yes, just that.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. And then the rest is not of any interest to us.

MR VISSER: They deal with other matters, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: So have you got that, Mr Samuel?

MR SAMUEL: I have, Mr Chairman. The reason why I ask for this adjournment is because the questions are straightforward, but it seems like my client does not understand.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I think the questions you could have been asked without any reference to this in any event.

MR SAMUEL: That's right.

MR VISSER: Absolutely.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but if you want that five minutes and if that will assist in speeding it up in the long run, we'll take a five minute adjournment to allow you to discuss that ...

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

MR MBANE: (s.u.o.)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Visser?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: (cont)

Mr Mbane, having now had an opportunity to consult with your attorney about this document, Exhibit J, ...

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR VISSER: ... are you now prepared to answer some of the questions which I put to you?

MR MBANE: I will answer what I know.

MR VISSER: Alright. Let's just talk about Sbu. You see, according to Exhibit J - Chairperson, may I suggest that the pages be paginated 1, 2, 3 and 4, it makes it very difficult if we don't do that.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR VISSER: According to this statement, and you must please tell us if you disagree with what I'm putting to you, you told Capt de Jongh that you were sent to go and look for Mr Sbu in Lamontville, would that have been correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: And you were told that he had weapons that he had given, and that he knew where other terrorists were, can you remember that you were told that?

MR MBANE: Who told me that?

MR VISSER: Well did you tell - would you have told Mr de Jongh that?

CHAIRPERSON: I think when you say he had weapons, perhaps you can qualify it that he had weapons in Transkei.

MR VISSER: Well Chairperson, if you look at the bottom of page 2, it doesn't specify the Transkei.

CHAIRPERSON: Well it's the top of page 3.

MR VISSER: Yes. Oh I see, yes of course. But that's what he told them.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but I think if you could just ...(indistinct) was that he had weapons in Lamontville ...(intervention)

MR SAMUEL: Mr Chairman, the way the questions are being asked, if I may come in at this stage, is as if that conversation in fact took place.

CHAIRPERSON: He's asking him whether ...(intervention)

MR SAMUEL: Whether he would have told any other person similar facts, not specifically Capt de Jongh, because according to my client he can't remember whether he had spoken to Capt de Jongh.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, well we know that.

MR SAMUEL: Alright. On that basis, yes Chairman, we'll proceed.

MR VISSER: Well, is my learned friend disputing that de Jongh had a conversation with this person, Chairperson, and if so, on what basis?

MR SAMUEL: As we say, we can't remember whether there was a Capt de Jongh that had a conversation with ...(indistinct), so on that basis we will answer general questions as if, would he have told any person about these incidents if he was interviewed by any person. Whether he'd spoken specifically to Capt de Jongh, we will deny it.

MR VISSER: Chairperson, may I just inform you what we've learnt in the meantime? Capt de Jongh is on pension, he's taken a package, he resides in Bloemfontein, we will try to trace him and if necessary ask for a subpoena to be issued for him to come and give evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. But I think it's clearly understood, certainly by Members of the Panel, that Mr Mbane cannot recall ever speaking to Capt de Jongh.

MR SAMUEL: I'm indebted, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Maybe if he sees Capt de Jongh if he happens to be called, it might jog his memory and then he might remember it ...(intervention)

MR SAMUEL: Possibly.

MR VISSER: You see the point is, Mr Mbane, that Mr - well, Exhibit J says that you would have said that Sbu stated that there are weapons in the Transkei, and that coincides with your evidence here today, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: Right. Then lower down, in the middle of the page at page 3, you say - well, would you have told someone that you handed Sbu to the white officers?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct, I can say so.

MR VISSER: Now I want you to please give your opinion as to the next sentence that I will read to you

"Sbu was interrogated in my presence and he died. Also as a result of an electric shock."

Loosely translated, Mr Chairman.

Would you have told anyone that?

MR MBANE: I don't remember telling anybody something like this.

MR VISSER: That is not the question, I'm not asking you to remember, I'm asking you whether you would have told anyone that these are the facts? That's my question to you.

MR MBANE: No, there's nobody I would have told that.

MR VISSER: And would you have told anyone that Miyeza and a white person went to get rid of the body of Sbu?

MR MBANE: No, there is no such.

MR VISSER: Let me ask you the last question on the Sbu issue. According to Exhibit A, it appears that you told someone, well it appears that you told de Jongh, but call it someone, that you were present when Sbu died, now would that be true or would that be false?

MR MBANE: That is not true.

MR VISSER: You recall that yesterday I asked you in connection with Kubheka, what the purpose of the operation was, and you agreed that you were supposed to find out the whereabouts and weapons of four MK soldiers in the Durban area, can you remember that?

MR MBANE: Yes, I can remember that.

MR VISSER: Now I also asked you whether your instructions on the day when Kubheka was abducted, was to fetch the Commander of the four MK soldiers and to bring the Commander and any one of his soldiers under him, that you could, to Battery Beach?

MR MBANE: Is that a question?

MR VISSER: Mr Mbane, let me try to make it simpler for you. Botha gave evidence to say that your instructions, as far as he knows, were to bring the Commander, the MK Commander to Battery Beach, not Kubheka, did you hear that evidence?

MR MBANE: Yes, I heard that evidence.

MR VISSER: Do you agree with that evidence?

MR MBANE: No, I don't agree with it.

MR VISSER: Yes. Because you told this Committee that your instructions were to bring Kubheka to Battery Beach - to the beach.

MR MBANE: That is correct, those were instructions.

MR VISSER: Yes. Now I ask you again, who gave you those instructions?

MR MBANE: It was Botha, because Taylor was not present. Botha and Simon gave me those instructions.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Mbane, who is Simon?

MR MBANE: Radebe.

CHAIRPERSON: Radebe.

MR VISSER: You see at page 2 of Exhibit J, there is an indication that you might have told de Jongh that it was Taylor who gave you the instructions to bring her to the beach, to Battery Beach.

MR MBANE: I disagree with that.

MR VISSER: Yes. And you see, Taylor himself in his amnesty application, does not say specifically that he gave you the - page 4 of bundle 1, Chairperson, that he gave you the instruction, but what he says is, at the last paragraph at page 4

"At a later stage an askari, Jimmy Mbane, informed us that he had arranged that the Kubheka woman would be brought to us at the old Railway Police shooting range near Winkelspruit."

Now what I want to put to you on this application as it stands, and unfortunately Mr Taylor is not here to explain, he does not mention anything about Botha giving instructions. I'm just pointing that out to you. And I want to suggest to you that you in fact told de Jongh that Taylor was the one who gave the instructions for Kubheka to be brought to Battery Beach.

MR MBANE: That is not true.

MR VISSER: Alright. If I put it to you that you told someone that you participated in torturing Ms Kubheka, what would you say about that?

MR MBANE: That is a lie, that is not true.

MR VISSER: Well let me read to you what is stated in Exhibit J, in the middle of page 2

"Later that night while we tortured her, she died."

Would you say that's completely wrong, as far as your participation is concerned?

MR MBANE: That is not true, just false.

MR VISSER: Now you see, when I cross-examined you yesterday, I put to you that you are wrong that Botha told you that it might have been Taylor, and then your attorney said on record, no, that's correct, you will confirm that it was Taylor who gave you that instruction, not Botha. Did you hear him say that?

MR MBANE: No, I did not.

MR VISSER: And just to ask you the last question on this issue, in your evidence before this Committee you were not specific that it was Botha, you said you thought it might have been Botha, is that correct? Yesterday.

MR MBANE: What would happen is that Botha was the one who would give us instructions, because this was his operation, Taylor was the overall Commander.

MR VISSER: Mr Mbane, at Winkelspruit, while you were making ready to go to sleep under the tarpaulin on the veranda, you told this Committee yesterday that you heard Kubheka scream in pain, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: You were close enough to hear what was going on in the room where she was interrogated, is that what you're saying?

MR MBANE: I couldn't see what was happening inside, but I could hear her screaming.

MR VISSER: Could you hear people talking inside that storeroom?

MR MBANE: I could just hear voices, but I couldn't hear what they were saying.

MR VISSER: If a firearm was discharged inside that storeroom, would you have heard it?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR VISSER: And you heard no firearm being discharged, is that correct?

MR MBANE: No, I did not hear.

MR VISSER: And your evidence was that at some stage, people came out of the storeroom and you were told that the lady had died.

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: And you went further to say that it was Botha that told you that.

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR VISSER: And you told us that the people who came out of the storeroom were running around, or words to that effect.

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR VISSER: Were they confused and worried, what would you say?

MR MBANE: I can say that they were worried and they were also confused.

MR VISSER: Yes. Did Botha tell you that he thought that she had died of a heart attack?

MR MBANE: That is what he told me, Botha and Baker.

MR VISSER: Baker as well?

MR MBANE: ...(indistinct)

MR VISSER: I'm sorry, I didn't follow you, was it Baker that told you that, or was it Botha and Baker?

MR MBANE: Botha and Baker were the ones who would come to us and ask questions.

MR VISSER: Mr Mbane, ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: No, the question, all we want to know, Mr Mbane, is what you said a moment ago. You said Botha said that he thought that she had died of a heart attack, and then you also Baker, now what Mr Visser wants to know is, did Baker also say that he thought she had died of a heart attack? That is all.

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR VISSER: And did you believe them?

MR MBANE: No, I did not believe them.

MR VISSER: Why not?

MR MBANE: It is because I could hear that the deceased was screaming inside that room.

MR VISSER: Yes. And in terms of Exhibit J, page 2 - just before the heading "Sbu", Mr Chairman, I want to ask you, do you know that Ms Kubheka was given electric shocks at Winkelspruit? Do you know that?

MR MBANE: No, I don't know that.

MR VISSER: Did you at any stage see that she was assaulted by hitting her kneecaps with beer bottles?

MR MBANE: I don't know anything about the beer bottles.

MR VISSER: Yes. And you would have told nobody that that is what you saw? You wouldn't have told anybody.

MR MBANE: No, I don't remember that.

MR VISSER: After you were told that Kubheka died, you told us also, at some stage she was carried out of the room to a vehicle, is that correct?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR VISSER: And yesterday I recall that you told the Committee first of all, that she was placed in a kombi, can you remember that?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR VISSER: It was then pointed out that du Preez gave evidence to say that it was in a Nissan Skyline, do you remember that?

MR MBANE: Yes, I remember him saying that.

MR VISSER: From your own memory what do you say today, in which vehicle, in what type of vehicle was Kubheka placed?

MR MBANE: It might happen that it's a kombi, it might also happen that it was a Skyline.

CHAIRPERSON: These vehicles are quite easily distinguishable because they're completely different, do you have any recollection as you sit here now, of the placing of the body into the vehicle, or is that completely forgotten, you've got no idea, you can't remember a thing about it as you sit here now?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember it clearly, Sir.

MR VISSER: Alright. You see the interesting part is, Exhibit J states according to this exhibit, that you told Capt de Jongh also that she was placed in a kombi, at page 2. That's quite a coincidence, isn't it?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember telling Capt de Jongh that.

MR VISSER: Alright. ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just while you're on this point, Mr Visser, before it slips my mind.

You said in your evidence that after the deceased had died, people were running around etcetera, and they were sort of waiting for Mr Miyeza to come, they waited until Mr Miyeza came and then only when Mr Miyeza came they loaded the body into the vehicle, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you think of any reason why they would have had to have waited for Mr Miyeza?

MR MBANE: According to what I thought, Miyeza as the person who was staying in the township, maybe they thought that he would be the person who would identify a spot where they would throw the body. That's what I thought.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Visser?

MR VISSER: Thank you, Chairperson, I'm almost through.

And will you just remind us what you remember, who were the people who carried her to the vehicle and who took her away?

MR MBANE: It was Lawrie - my problem is that I didn't know the names of the Durban people, but Lawrie was there, Miyeza and the other one who was present here yesterday, but I don't know his name.

CHAIRPERSON: Just for the record, is Lawrie, is that Mr Wasserman? And the other one would have been, the one that gave evidence, that was recalled, was Mr du Preez?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR VISSER: Alright. I know it's a long time ago, but would you have told anyone that Coetzer was one of the people who participated in this?

MR MBANE: No.

MR VISSER: Chairperson, I'm not going to take this further, I assume that one of my learned friends acting for Miyeza, will take this further, so I don't want an overlap. I have no further questions, thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VISSER

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you.

MR VISSER: Perhaps because of questions asked by Commissioner Bosman yesterday, I must just point out Chairperson, that in the docket we found copies of S&T, reports and you can obviously check them yourselves, but what I've done is I've extracted from the docket a photocopy through the assistance of Ms Kubheka, of - Ms Thabethe, of Mr Mbane, where it appears Chairperson, that FX Mbane was in Port Natal from the 14th of May 1987 until the 29th of May 1987. And what is of interest, Chairperson, going through those document, is that Mr de Kock came down, as you will recall there is some evidence to that effect from Coetzer, Mr de Kock came down and that happened on the 19th of May 1987 to the 22nd of May, and Chairperson, on the evidence, if one accepts that at face value, that Coetzer spoke to de Kock when he was in Durban and told him that Mbane had been sent back to the house of Ms Kubheka and that he had told him not to go and de Kock told him to withdraw. That would give you some idea of the date when Ms Kubheka would have died. It would have been just before the 22nd of May, Chairperson. That's the closest we could get to identifying a date.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Visser. So the death would likely be just before 22 May 1987.

MS THABETHE: Sorry Mr Chair, what about the date that we were given earlier on, the 25th of April, where it was indicated that the mother had gone to attend a wedding?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but maybe those dates we don't know ...(end of side A of tape)

MR VISSER: Well Chairperson, I didn't make a study of the docket, I think that the only ones here are relevant to the Kubheka matter. Let me just go through them very briefly, the ones I have. I'm not sure whether these are all of them.

MR WILLS: Sorry, Mr Chairperson, maybe I can help. I think it's common cause that the Vlakplaas team were here for some months preceding this and that the specific S&T records for the month of April are in fact missing and they're not in the docket. There's no S&T records for the month of April, as my perusal of the docket indicates. So we just have the May ones. We don't dispute they were here in May, we don't dispute that they were here in April and I don't think that Mr Visser and Mr Wagener do, but the S&T records for Vlakplaas members for April are missing.

MR VISSER: Yes. Chairperson, to reply to Commissioner's Lax's question, yes we have found also in the docket S&T forms relating to February. I wasn't aware that there are S&T forms for April missing, I have no reason to doubt that information.

CHAIRPERSON: And it may be that Mr de Kock during that period, February through to May, came from time to time.

MR VISSER: Yes, absolutely.

CHAIRPERSON: For a day or two.

MR VISSER: Absolutely, it would have made sense, yes.

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

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HUGO: Yes thank you, Mr Chairman. I was going to kick off with the date of the incident.

Mr Mbane, can you remember whether you stayed in Durban for a continuous period during this particular operation or whether you had occasion to go back to Pretoria and then come back and continue with this operation?

MR MBANE: No, we stayed here continuously until the end of the operation.

MR HUGO: How long, to the best of your recollection, did this operation last?

MR MBANE: Three to five weeks.

MR HUGO: Now if you would just be so kind as to look at bundle 2, this is really a summary of the documents that Mr Visser has been referring to, it's page 78. This is a statement by the investigating officer, or one of the investigating officers, a Mr Holmes, and from that it would appear that you were claiming S&T for the period 14th of May to the 29th of May, would you say that this was the total period that you spent here in Durban, or were you here for a longer period?

MR MBANE: No, we stayed more than that time. If I can still remember well, we came here in April, but I'm not sure.

MR HUGO: Did you come down here towards the end of April, or the beginning of April?

MR MBANE: Towards the end of April.

MR HUGO: And how did you travel from Pretoria to Durban?

MR MBANE: We travelled by kombis.

MR HUGO: And who was the driver of the kombi that you were a passenger in?

MR MBANE: If I can still remember well, I think it was uncle Moss or Letsatsi.

MR HUGO: Yes, and then when you arrived here in Durban, were you introduced to, amongst other people, to Mr Miyeza?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR HUGO: What was the purpose of you being introduced to Mr Miyeza, what was he supposed to do?

MR MBANE: What they would do when we arrived in a certain area, they would introduce us to a person who would show us the area, the townships, the stations.

MR HUGO: Is it correct that Mr Miyeza was really just mandated to show you around in general terms, he didn't specifically have to deal with the Kubheka incident itself?

MR MBANE: No, he knew about this operation while we were busy with it.

MR HUGO: Yes, but initially he just showed you around and showed you where the various townships were, etcetera?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR HUGO: Then as far as the initial introduction to Ms Kubheka, I'm just going to give you a summary of what I understood your evidence to be, you must just tell me if I'm wrong, first of all you said that you arrived here, for the first three days you were at CR Swart, is that correct?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR HUGO: And then yesterday you testified that you were introduced to a certain Gipsman and that he gave you information about the terrorists and he would then lead you to Ms Kubheka, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR HUGO: And on the strength of his evidence you then sometime later went to Ms Kubheka, where you were introduced to her as being fellow comrades, is that correct?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR HUGO: And Ms Kubheka then said to you that there was a problem with accommodation for comrades that were coming in from exile and you then said to her that you have safe-houses where you could take these people to, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR HUGO: And just as far as the sequence of the events is concerned, you first then testified that a man from Zambia was mentioned and he was then handed over at a roadblock, a false roadblock you called it, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR HUGO: And then there was, the second incident was Sbu and he was handed over at Winkelspruit, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR HUGO: And then as far as the sequence is concerned, a third man, also a comrade and he was, on the strength of your evidence, killed by Mr Radebe. Are you happy with that version?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR HUGO: And that all three of these men were introduced to you by Ms Kubheka as being comrades, is that correct?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR HUGO: Now would you please just go back to page 128 of bundle 1. I'll read to you, this is paragraph 42 ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Just for record purposes, this is from Mr Mbane's statement. From your statement, Mr Mbane.

MR HUGO: Yes, Mr Mbane, you say there

"Myself and Dube went to Ntombi's place. We asked for Ntombi and fortunately the person we were asking was Ntombi."

Now this is not what you told us yesterday, would you agree?

MR MBANE: Yes, I agree.

MR HUGO: So this particular statement is wrong?

MR MBANE: Because we had our accommodation, so this means that there's something wrong here.

MR HUGO: Yes. And what is also obvious from this statement is that you don't at all mention the fact that the Gipsman was there and he in fact introduced you to Ntombi. Would you agree with that?

MR MBANE: Yes, it is not in the statement.

MR HUGO: Now can you give this Committee any reason as to why you didn't mention this in this statement?

MR MBANE: As this happened a long time ago, maybe I forgot to mention it.

MR HUGO: Yes. And what is also intriguing is that you say there

"We had some discussion with her and we told her that we were from exile and we need accommodation."

That's also wrong, isn't that so?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR HUGO: Now why did you put it like that in the statement, what is the reason for that?

MR MBANE: I don't know, maybe I made a mistake or I forgot about it.

MR HUGO: Yes. But I thought your attorney yesterday at the inception of the cross-examination of Mr Radebe, indicated that he took cognisance of the fact that Mr Radebe's memory wasn't all that good and had been affected by his health, but then he said in the same breath that your memory is very good and very clear, is that not so?

MR SAMUEL: If I may come in there, Mr Chairman, if you read the statement, paragraph 42 of that statement, it shows that there is most probably some mistaken, either in interpretation. It's obvious that Mr Mbane did not type out this statement himself. Further, if you look at that statement carefully, you'll find that he tells Ntombi that he's looking for accommodation and in the same paragraph he finds accommodation. Ntombi tells them that there is another comrade that needs a place of safety.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but I think that Mr Hugo's entitled to ask the question.

MR SAMUEL: Fine.

CHAIRPERSON: Because I was under the impression that this statement wasn't disputed by your client when he testified, Mr Samuel.

MR SAMUEL: Fine.

MR LAX: It was in fact confirmed.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, it was in fact confirmed.

MR HUGO: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Now what is further very interesting is that the sequence in this statement differs completely from what you told us yesterday. Here, and I'm referring you to paragraph 44, well actually 43, you mention that the first person was killed by Mr Radebe and the body was left at the Executive Hotel and then you mention Mr Sbu. Is that correct?

MR MBANE: That's the way it is written here.

MR HUGO: And then you mention the Kubheka matter, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR HUGO: Now once more you make no mention whatsoever of the first person that was abducted and handed over to the white people at this false roadblock, as you recalled it yesterday, why didn't you mention that in your statement?

MR MBANE: It might happen that I mentioned it but it happened. Maybe it's not written here.

MR HUGO: Now something that was also very interesting is the fact that you mentioned yesterday, for the first time might I add, that the man that was handed over at the roadblock, I think you referred to him as a man that come from Zambia, you assumed was killed, and can you remember what reason you proffered or tendered as to why you thought that he had been killed?

MR MBANE: The reason why I thought that he was killed was because in the morning we were given his watch, his bag and others took his clothes. That is why I thought that they had killed him.

MR HUGO: Yes. Can you remember what you testified as to who got the watch?

MR MBANE: It was Simon Radebe and I took the bag.

MR HUGO: And the clothes?

MR MBANE: Dube took the clothes.

MR HUGO: You see what I find interesting about this is, this was never put to any of the witnesses by your attorney, when did you tell him about this for the first time?

MR MBANE: If I still remember I think I told him yesterday or days before.

CHAIRPERSON: Can't you remember whether you told him yesterday or not? You say you can't remember whether you told him yesterday or days before, did you tell him yesterday for the first time, or was it before yesterday? Surely you can remember back to yesterday.

MR MBANE: I think it was yesterday.

MR HUGO: Yes, but you see what I find almost totally unacceptable is that Mr Radebe testified yesterday and there was a golden opportunity to put this to Mr Radebe, and it wasn't done, have you got any reason as to why it wasn't done?

MR MBANE: I don't know, I don't have any reason why he was not asked.

MR HUGO: By the way, the clothes, what did Mr Dube do with that? On your version.

MR MBANE: I don't know what he did with them.

MR HUGO: Do you know whether they would have fitted him? Weren't they too big or too small for him?

MR MBANE: They would have fitted him.

MR HUGO: And may I just refer you again to Exhibit J, you don't have to read it, but there you refer to a necklace as well, "'n hangertjie", that was given to you as a gift. Was that also in fact what happened?

MR MBANE: I don't remember about that.

MR HUGO: You didn't mention a "hangertjie" or this necklace?

MR MBANE: No, I didn't mention any necklace.

MR HUGO: The man that you allege that had been killed by Mr Radebe, on your evidence yesterday this was now the first person handed over to you, is that correct?

CHAIRPERSON: No, on the evidence yesterday it was the third person.

MR HUGO: The third person, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: The third person, yes.

MR HUGO: That's right, Mr Chairman.

You then said that it was unplanned, but you nevertheless reported this to your seniors, you remember that?

MR MBANE: Yes, I remember saying that.

MR HUGO: Which seniors was this reported to?

MR MBANE: The white people that were with us there.

MR HUGO: Yes, no but give us names, give us more details.

MR MBANE: Botha got that message and Coetzer from Vlakplaas.

MR HUGO: But you know once more, Mr Botha was here to testify and this was never put to him, why wasn't it done?

MR MBANE: I don't know.

MR HUGO: May I just ask you, you're in prison at the moment, aren't you?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR HUGO: Where are you being kept in custody?

MR MBANE: Johannesburg prison.

MR HUGO: Yes, and your lawyer, does he also live in Johannesburg?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR HUGO: And I take it you've had ample opportunity to consult properly before this hearing?

MR LAX: Sorry, just a matter of record, Mr Samuel doesn't live in Johannesburg, he's a local attorney.

MR HUGO: Oh I beg your pardon, Mr Chairman. May I rephrase the question.

Would you say you've had ample time to prepare properly and to consult with your lawyer?

MR MBANE: No, the first time I saw him was when I arrived here.

MR HUGO: That was in September last year I think.

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR HUGO: But you've had the opportunity to listen to the evidence and from time to time you had instructed him as to what he was going to, what he should say and what he should put to the witnesses?

MR MBANE: No, I did not have that time.

MR SAMUEL: If I may just place on record at this point time, Mr Chairman, the only occasions we had to consult was when Mr Mbane was here and even during the tea and lunch break we would never have that opportunity, because he had to go and find food and we never proper opportunities to consult. So in my argument I will raise the points of the discrepancies as to why I did not put certain versions to the witnesses.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Samuel.

MR HUGO: Yes, thank you Mr Chairman.

But you see, Mr Mbane, it actually goes further than that, it's not a problem of not having put certain versions, it's a situation where things apparently were put wrongly to some witness, and I'll show you later.

When Mr Kubheka became suspicious, will you just tell us what ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: You mean Ms Kubheka.

MR HUGO: ... Ms Kubheka became suspicious, what gave you the impression that she was becoming suspicious about this particular operation?

MR MBANE: First of all she asked about those three people that she handed over to us, she wanted to see at least one of them and she told us that there are other people who came but she wants to see at least one of those three.

MR HUGO: Yes. You see I find this very interesting, that's what you testified yesterday as well, that she wanted to enquire about those three people. Now will you just have a look at the record, the same thing is being referred to on various occasions, just look at page 1768, it's the first paragraph there

"CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR SAMUEL"

I'll just read it to you.

"Mr Botha, Jimmy, my client will say that the reason why you asked for Ntombi to be brought to you was that he had informed you that Ntombi was becoming suspicious about the two persons that had requested him to find safe-houses for and she had always informed him that the Commander of those two persons was in Durban, and he wanted to see them, and this was reported to you by Jimmy."

Do you agree with this?

MR MBANE: No, I disagree with that.

MR HUGO: Did you hear your attorney putting this to Mr Botha?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember. It might be that he asked him, but I can't remember.

MR HUGO: Yes, and just look at page 1821 of the same record, and I'll read it to you once again. It's one again Mr Samuel, he puts it to Mr du Preez, the following version, he says

" And he will say also that the reason why Ms Kubheka was specifically asked to be brought to Mr Botha and yourselves, was that Ms Kubheka had informed him that there was a handler or a Commander of two men and Ms Kubheka had handed off to Mr Mbane to find safe-houses for, and she wanted to see them and she was becoming suspicious."

So this is the second time that this was put to a different witness, that she was only becoming suspicious about two men. Did you hear him doing this, putting it to the witness?

MR MBANE: It might happen that I heard him putting that question.

MR HUGO: But if your version is correct, you must have realised immediately that he was making a mistake, isn't that so?

MR MBANE: As I have already said, I did not have enough time to consult with my lawyer, we would only see each other here.

MR HUGO: Yes, but I mean here he was making the mistake time and time again and after the first mistake you could have said to him, "Listen here, this is a mistake, please see to it that it is corrected", isn't that so?

MR MBANE: I didn't think it that way.

MR HUGO: You see, Mr Mbane, isn't the reason really that you in fact did tell your lawyer that it was only the two comrades that she was worried about and that he put it correctly?

MR MBANE: No, that is not so, three people were handed over to us.

MR HUGO: And that the third person that you mentioned yesterday was never killed, because Mr Radebe never killed the third person, as you testified to?

MR MBANE: As the person who was present I am saying that he was killed.

MR HUGO: Yes, I'm not - we'll argue that particular point later, but I'm not going to go into that save but to say that obviously Mr Radebe denies that he committed this particular murder, but that doesn't form part and parcel of his amnesty application.

I want to get back to the substance of your instructions from your seniors, by whom were you given the instruction to approach Ms Kubheka?

MR MBANE: Are you referring to the first day, the first time?

MR HUGO: Sorry I should have confined this question to the period after she had become suspicious.

MR MBANE: It was Mr Botha.

MR LAX: Sorry, just repeat the question so it's clear, I'm now a little bit puzzled as to what you're asking.

MR HUGO: Sorry, Mr Chairman, maybe I was a bit unclear on this.

After Ms Kubheka had become suspicious you were given certain instructions, is that not so? Is that not so?

MR MBANE: That is so.

MR HUGO: Now by whom were these instructions given to you?

MR MBANE: It was Botha.

MR HUGO: Yes, and what did he tell you, what were you to do?

MR MBANE: He told us to go and fetch her and take her to Battery Beach. They then showed us the spot where we should stop there and the signal that I had to make when we got there.

MR HUGO: Yes, now I want you to give us a more detailed version as to what exactly happened. When you got this instruction, did you then contact Ms Kubheka?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR HUGO: How did you contact her?

MR MBANE: Using the telephone.

MR HUGO: Did you phone her at her home or did you have a different contact number where you could leave a message for her?

MR MBANE: I don't know whether the number I had was the home number, but it is where I used to call her and find her.

MR HUGO: Yes and then you spoke to her on the phone, what did you tell her?

MR MBANE: I told her that we had to meet and I was unable to go to the house, so it would be better if we would meet somewhere, and then she said that she would take a taxi or a train, I'm not sure, and then we'd meet in the station.

MR HUGO: Yes, but did you indicate to her as to why you had to meet her?

MR MBANE: I just told her that it was dangerous for us to go in and out of her place, so it would be better if she met us somewhere, and she came.

MR LAX: The question was, did you give her a reason for the meeting? In other words, what was it that you wanted to meet her about?

MR MBANE: We would not discuss that over the telephone.

MR HUGO: Did you in any event tell her that you would arrive at the station in a motor vehicle?

MR MBANE: Yes, I think I told her, if I can still remember well.

MR HUGO: And you said to her that you would be driving a Corolla?

MR MBANE: I don't think I mentioned the type of a car, but I said that I would be driving a car.

MR HUGO: And I might be mistaken when I made the notes yesterday, was there a conversation about the fact as to what she would be wearing that particular day?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: I can recall a note to that effect as well, Mr Hugo, that there was some mention of what she would be wearing.

MR HUGO: That's my recollection, Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: But sitting here I can recall that.

MR HUGO: Yes. Now if the Chairman is correct and I'm also correct, what was the arrangement, was she supposed to tell you what she was wearing, or would be wearing that particular day?

MR MBANE: I think she told me.

MR HUGO: Yes. What did she tell you?

MR MBANE: A floral dress and a jersey. I can't remember clearly.

MR HUGO: Mr Chairman, I see it's quarter past eleven already, may this be an ...

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we'll take the tea adjournment.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

ON RESUMPTION

FRANK XHOLA MBANE: (s.u.o.)

MR WILLS: Mr Chairperson, if I could just intervene at this stage, with a little bit of information that might assist. The family have advised me two things today, we've managed to trace the passport of the deceased's mother in this matter and this Ms Maria Kubheka, and she was in Zambia and she returned on the 10th of May 1997, and we are confident that the deceased in this matter went missing after that date, sometime soon after that date. So we're pretty ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: So it was definitely not before that?

MR WILLS: Ja, definitely not before that date. And just for the record, it might become useful, this person is now deceased but her height as given by the passport, is 1,63 metres.

The second bit of information that I have is from the sister of Mr Sbu Phewa, who also disappeared in this matter ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, if you could just mention that name again.

MR WILLS: The sister of Mr Sbu Phewa, it's Ms Phewa ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Oh is that the sister of Sbu?

MR WILLS: Yes. Now she has confirmed that Mr Phewa disappeared on the 19th of May 1987, and the reason she recalls this is because he had a child on the following day and he disappeared the day prior to the birth of that child.

CHAIRPERSON: That's the sort of date that one would imagine would be recollected.

MR WILLS: Be remembered, yes. Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. So that would also then indicate that Ms Kubheka, on the evidence that we've heard, taking the sequence that has been outlined, at least by Mr Mbane and also Mr Radebe, that she died after Sbu, well after Sbu disappeared, sorry. After Sbu disappeared. So it would seem that it was maybe even after the 19th of May that that occurred.

MR WILLS: Yes. Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Hugo?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR HUGO: (Cont)

Mr Mbane, just before the tea break I asked you about the clothing aspect and I'm not sure now as to what your evidence is. Initially you couldn't remember that there was an agreement that she would be wearing a specific outfit and then when we had a look at our notes and the Chairman said that he had notes to the effect that you did have an arrangement that she would be wearing a specific outfit, you changed your tune a little bit, are you now sure that there was a specific agreement that she would be wearing a specific outfit?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember.

MR HUGO: But I thought you said, you told this Committee that she actually said to you that she would be wearing a floral dress etcetera, and you gave a description as to what she would be wearing.

MR MBANE: I don't remember clearly, I just thought that she might have said that.

MR HUGO: May I ask you, why, if there was an arrangement like that, what was the reason for such an arrangement? Why did you have to arrange with her to wear a specific outfit when she went to the railway station?

CHAIRPERSON: I don't think it's a question of arranging for her to wear a specific outfit, but why would it have been necessary for her to inform you what she would have been wearing?

MR HUGO: Yes, thank you Mr Chairman.

MR MBANE: I don't know.

MR HUGO: You see let me put it to you, I cannot see any reason as to why this was necessary, in the sense that you had meetings with her, you knew exactly what she looked like and you also testified that she was a big woman, so on the probabilities, in my mind there was absolutely no necessity for such an arrangement to be made. You would have recognised her immediately at the station, is that not so?

MR MBANE: That is so.

MR HUGO: Yes. When you arrived at the station, were you driving the vehicle?

MR MBANE: Yes, I was driving.

MR HUGO: And if I recall your evidence correctly, you were then also driving the vehicle when you went to Battery Bay, is that correct?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR HUGO: And is it also correct that when you arrived there, you actually gave a signal by pressing the brakes two or three times, so that the white policemen could see that you had now arrived at Battery Bay.

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR HUGO: And I take you're absolutely sure of this particular fact, the fact that you drove the vehicle and you gave the signal?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR HUGO: Now will you just please go to page 1718 of the record. Before we have a look at the record, can you just tell us if you were the driver, who sat next to you?

MR MBANE: It was Dube.

MR HUGO: And behind you?

MR MBANE: Simon Radebe.

MR HUGO: And in the rear left passenger's seat?

MR MBANE: Ntombi.

MR HUGO: And you're absolutely sure and convinced of these facts?

MR MBANE: What I know is that Dube was next to me and Simon Radebe was on the back seat, whether he was directly behind or on the other side, I'm not sure, but I know that he was on the back seat.

MR HUGO: One fact that is very clear in your mind though, is that you were the driver?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR HUGO: Now would you just look at page 1718 of the record, right at the bottom, once again it's Mr Samuel and he puts the following to Mr Botha

"He will state that Mr Radebe was driving the car and Mr Dube was seated in the front passenger's seat."

MR MBANE: I don't know how this happened, because I was the driver and I'm the one who made the signal.

MR HUGO: Yes. And then just once more look at the record, page 2024. Maybe before we go over to the next reference in the record, page 1719, you don't have to look at it, I'll just read it to you. Mr Samuel also then says that he, being you, will also state that he was present in the back seat of the car with Ntombi. What do you say about that?

MR MBANE: What I know is that I was the driver of that car and I'm the one who made the signals, so I can't understand how I could make the signal being on the back seat of the car.

MR HUGO: Yes. Will you please go to page 2024 of the record, it's two-thirds down the page, it's Mr Samuel and he says

"He will also tell the Commission that in fact he was not driving the motor vehicle, but rather Mr Radebe was driving the motor vehicle on the day in question and even at the time when they arrived at Battery Beach."

Is this once more wrong?

MR MBANE: Yes, it is wrong.

MR HUGO: You see what I don't understand is, you were sitting next to Mr Samuel when these things were put to the various witnesses and you must have realised that wrong facts are being put to the witnesses, is that not so?

MR MBANE: That is so, but then it didn't happen that way.

MR HUGO: Well what I want to know is, why didn't you correct him?

MR MBANE: I did not think about doing that.

MR HUGO: You see it's even stranger to me is that I noticed yesterday that you're quite assertive, in that when Mr Samuel concluded your evidence-in-chief, you actually stopped him and you switched on the microphone again and you said to this Panel there's further evidence that you want to lead, can you remember that?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR HUGO: The operation at Battery Beach, what time did that take place, more-or-less, the time of the day?

MR MBANE: It was dark at that time, I think it was about seven.

MR HUGO: Yes. And I don't want to go into unnecessary details here, but you then went to Winkelspruit, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR HUGO: And you were driving the vehicle?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR HUGO: Which vehicle is this?

MR MBANE: Corolla.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, did you have a driver's licence, Mr Mbane, or did you at that time have a driver's licence?

MR MBANE: No.

MR LAX: Did you have any other kind of driving permit, other than an ordinary licence? I mean for example, some people if they work in the Police or the Defence Force, they sometimes get a permit within that context, to drive vehicles.

MR MBANE: No, I did not have a permit.

ADV BOSMAN: Mr Mbane, was there any particular reason why Mr Radebe didn't drive, because apparently the vehicle was allocated to him? Or a vehicle was allocated to him.

MR MBANE: I was the one who used to drive the Corolla ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: On that, you had given the impression to Ms Kubheka that Radebe was your transport man, your driver right from the beginning, why now dispel that image that you've created about Radebe being the driver, by you driving yourself, especially when you don't even have a driver's licence?

MR MBANE: We used to go to visit her without Radebe, so that was not the first time that I was driving.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Hugo.

MR HUGO: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

So when you arrived at Winkelspruit, what was the time then more-or-less?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember the time.

MR HUGO: Can't you even say whether it was 6 o'clock, 8 o'clock or 10 o'clock?

MR MBANE: It was dark, but I cannot remember what time it was.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Mbane, after Ms Kubheka was taken by the other policemen at Battery Beach, out of your car and put into their kombi, in your evidence-in-chief you said that they then went off and you waited a while in your car and then you drove to Winkelspruit, now for approximately how long did you wait at Battery Beach after the others had left, before you went to Winkelspruit?

MR MBANE: I think it was five to ten minutes.

MR HUGO: Five or ten minutes. And then did you drive from Battery Beach directly to Winkelspruit?

MR MBANE: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: You didn't make any stops along the way, to buy food or drink or anything like that?

MR MBANE: No, we didn't stop.

CHAIRPERSON: So one would then imagine if, let's give it the top, ten minutes that you waited, it would have taken about another twenty/twenty five minutes to drive to Winkelspruit, more-or-less.

MR MBANE: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: So it would have been half an hour, forty minutes afterwards. And you said it was about seven, it had just got dark, so we more-or-less know then it's seven to eight, eightish, somewhere around there.

MR HUGO: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

And when you arrived at Winkelspruit, were there other vehicles parked there near the building?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR HUGO: Can you just give us a description of the vehicles that were parked there.

MR MBANE: The white men would come with their own cars, most of them owned cars and there were kombis, private cars and our kombi was also there.

MR HUGO: Yes, I'm actually more interested in the kombis. How many kombis were parked there?

MR MBANE: There was a panel van and our kombi, there was also another kombi, their kombi. If I'm not mistaken I can say there were three or four.

MR HUGO: Kombis?

MR MBANE: Yes, kombis.

MR HUGO: And how far were these kombis parked from the building where the interrogation took place?

MR MBANE: They were parked opposite to the place where we were sleeping.

MR HUGO: Yes, but distance-wise, how far were they away from the building?

CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps if you could indicate if you can recall, Mr Mbane, the closest one that was parked to the veranda where you eventually got to, how far would that have been from the veranda? If you can indicate a distance in this room.

MR MBANE: I think eight to ten metres from where we were sleeping, from the veranda.

MR HUGO: That was the one kombi, and the other ones, how far were they away?

MR MBANE: All the cars were being parked on that area.

MR HUGO: And when you arrived there, what did you and Mr Radebe and Mr Dube do?

MR MBANE: We got out of the car, we went to the veranda, we stayed there, we drank alcohol and they would come out of the room and ask us questions.

MR HUGO: Did you at any stage get into one of the kombis during that evening, during the procedures that were taking place?

MR MBANE: No, I cannot remember, but what I can still remember is that after some time, Simon Radebe is the one who went to the car.

MR HUGO: No, but I'm interested in your situation, did you ever get into the kombi?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember.

MR HUGO: Is it possible?

MR MBANE: Yes, it is possible.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, when you say that you sat there and you were drinking alcohol, did you get under the influence of that alcohol? Did you become drunk?

MR MBANE: No, we did not.

MR HUGO: Yes, that was my next question. When you say "we were drinking, were you referring to yourself, Dube and Mr Radebe?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR HUGO: All three of you were drinking?

MR MBANE: Dube would drink occasionally, on certain times, he was not drinking like us.

MR HUGO: Ja, you see why I'm asking you is because there was evidence that Mr Dube had to drive the vehicle at one of the meetings with Ms Kubheka, just specifically for the reason that he didn't use alcohol, can you remember that?

MR MBANE: I heard about that evidence.

MR HUGO: Now why would he then now all of a sudden start drinking at Winkelspruit in the presence of your seniors?

MR MBANE: Dube was drinking sometimes, but he was not drinking like we did.

MR HUGO: Well what do you mean, "he wasn't drinking like we did", were you drinking a lot?

MR MBANE: He would drink occasionally.

MR HUGO: No, this particular evening, how much were you drinking?

MR MBANE: A few tots.

CHAIRPERSON: A few tots of what?

MR MBANE: Whisky.

MR HUGO: And where did this come from?

MR MBANE: In our base there was alcohol all the time.

MR HUGO: And would you say that Mr Radebe was intoxicated?

MR MBANE: No.

MR HUGO: And yourself?

MR MBANE: No.

MR HUGO: But one thing however is clear, that you can vividly recall that the three of you were at the veranda and you were drinking?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR HUGO: Let me just put it to you that this was once more never put to any of the other witnesses. It was never put to Mr Radebe, he never had the opportunity to respond to that. Why was this not done?

MR MBANE: I don't know.

MR HUGO: And what's more, it doesn't appear in your statement, is there any reason as to why you didn't mention it in your statement? I'm referring to your statement in volume 1 on page 128.

MR MBANE: Maybe it is something that I just didn't mention.

MR HUGO: How long did the interrogation last for?

MR MBANE: I think an hour, or an hour to two hours.

MR HUGO: And at what stage did Mr Radebe get into the kombi?

MR MBANE: We were drinking and then he said that he was tired, he went to the kombi as he was sleeping there.

CHAIRPERSON: But I think, after the interrogation started, could you give an estimate, you said that lasted one to two hours, how long was Mr Radebe there with you on the veranda while the interrogation was taking place?

MR MBANE: I think it was thirty to forty five minutes after the interrogation had started.

MR HUGO: And you then afterwards went to sleep and you slept there on the veranda, is that correct?

MR MBANE: Dube and I slept there.

MR HUGO: And you had been drinking and I take it you slept well and you were fast asleep?

MR MBANE: We were drinking, but we were not drunk.

CHAIRPERSON: At what stage did you go to sleep, actual sleep?

MR MBANE: After the cars had left with the body we slept, after all of them together with Miyeza, after they left.

MR HUGO: Yes. You heard Mr Radebe saying that he then left for CR Swart and that's where he spent the night, isn't it possible that whilst you were asleep that he might have departed with the kombi and gone to CR Swart without you having noticed that?

MR MBANE: That is not so, that is not true.

MR HUGO: And why are you saying it's not true?

MR LAX: Sorry, Mr Hugo, just to correct the record, he did concede at a later stage under questioning from myself that it might have been the next morning that he left.

MR HUGO: Yes, that is indeed so.

MR LAX: So I wouldn't be too firm on this issue.

MR HUGO: Yes, thank you Mr Chairman.

Be that as it may, is it correct that you then at some stage said to Mr Radebe that you heard that Ms Kubheka died of a heart attack?

MR MBANE: Yes, I'm the one who told Simon, because at that time he was already in the car.

MR HUGO: And were you then on your way to CR Swart?

MR MBANE: No, we were still there in the base when I told him.

MR HUGO: Yes and then just one final aspect that I want to get clarity on, after this operation how many days did you spend here in Durban before you went back to Vlakplaas?

MR MBANE: Two or three days.

MR HUGO: Let me, just for completeness sake, put it to you that Mr Radebe said he was the driver of the vehicle when you met Ms Kubheka at the railway station and when she was taken to Battery Beach, are you still adamant that he's wrong and you're right?

MR MBANE: What I'm saying is that I was the driver of the car.

MR HUGO: And you heard Mr Radebe saying that he never heard any screams during this interrogation, are you still of the opinion that he must have heard her screaming?

MR MBANE: He must have heard the screams.

MR HUGO: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR HUGO

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Hugo. Mr Nel, do you have any questions that you'd like to put?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR NEL: Yes, thank you Mr Chairman.

Mr Mbane, am I correct in saying from your evidence and from your answers to various questions, that it's clear that Mr Taylor was never at Battery Beach?

MR MBANE: Can you please repeat your question, Sir.

MR NEL: Well let me make it simple, was Mr Taylor during this operation, at Battery Beach when you were there?

MR MBANE: No, he was not there.

MR NEL: Do I understand you correctly when you said that Mr Botha was in charge of this operation, referring to the Ntombi Kubheka operation?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR NEL: So would it then be incorrect if anybody else, in notes or in a statement taken from you or in a conversation that you had with anybody, would have noted down that Taylor went to the beach?

MR MBANE: That is not true, he was not there.

MR NEL: Why I'm asking you this, I want to refer you to page 2 of Exhibit J, apparently the notes taken by Capt de Jongh. It says there, and this was quoted to you earlier on, the top sentence, first sentence

"Taylor said that it appeared that she (being Ms Kubheka) was hiding information and we should fetch her and take her to the beach."

then the important paragraph says:

"Dube and I (loosely translated) left her at the beach in the car. Taylor and the other whites came with a kombi."

You say this is incorrect?

MR MBANE: Yes, it is incorrect, Taylor was not there.

MR NEL: So if these notes were taken down by Capt de Jongh and he had an interview with you whilst doing so, he would have made a mistake or he would suck this out of his thumb?

MR MBANE: Yes, because this is not true.

MR NEL: How did you see the late Col Taylor's role in this operation? How do you see it?

MR MBANE: Taylor was there as the overall Commander, the Commander of this mission was Botha.

MR NEL: So Taylor was overall in command and Botha was in charge of this operation?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR NEL: If I refer you to your statement on page 131 of bundle 2, can you comment on this last sentence on paragraph 44

"Andy Taylor who was in charge of this operation, paid us R7 000 for this operation."

MR MBANE: As I have already said, Taylor was the overall Commander, so he is the one who paid us this money. The Commander of the mission was Mr Botha.

MR NEL: That is not what you said just now, Mr Mbane, I asked you who was in charge of the operation and you said Mr Botha, yet in this sentence you say

"Andy Taylor who was in charge of this operation ..."

forget about the R7 000 for the minute, why do you say that in your statement, or is this incorrect? Specifically:

"... this operation"

the last sentence of paragraph 44.

MR MBANE: What I know is that Taylor was in charge. The person that was in charge was Botha, Taylor was the overall Commander.

MR NEL: It's for that very reason ...(intervention)

MR MBANE: But he is the one who paid us money.

MR NEL: It's for that very reason, if you know that Taylor is not in charge of this operation, why do you state that in your statement made?

MR MBANE: It might happen that that was a mistake.

MR NEL: I see. When you arrived at Winkelspruit, have I got the sequence correctly saying that you arrived there, you then went to the veranda, you started drinking, Ms Kubheka's body was removed and then you went to sleep, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR NEL: Now at what stage of this sequence did Mr Miyeza arrive at Winkelspruit?

MR MBANE: Mr Miyeza arrived after Ms Kubheka had died, he went in and he spoke with the seniors. From there the body was wrapped and they left and I also slept, because I was sleeping there in the veranda.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Nel, if I may just intervene before it slips my mind.

Was there a telephone at Winkelspruit, there at the shooting range?

MR MBANE: No, we would use public phones and we'd go to the post office to phone.

CHAIRPERSON: So did you know how it came about that Mr Miyeza arrived, or do you think it was just by coincidence that he pitched up at that time, or do you think somebody called him to come?

MR MBANE: I don't know, I only saw him when he arrived. Maybe they used radios to call him, but I'm not sure, I don't know.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you see any vehicles leaving that place, from the time that you knew that the deceased was dead and the time of Mr Miyeza's arrival?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember that.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Nel?

MR NEL: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

When Miyeza arrived at Winkelspruit, were you or were you not already aware of the fact that Ms Kubheka had died?

MR MBANE: Yes, we were aware.

MR NEL: How did you become aware of that?

MR MBANE: We were told that she had already died due to her attack.

MR NEL: And how long after that did Miyeza arrive?

MR MBANE: I think it was an hour or less than an hour.

MR NEL: And when he arrived, what did he do?

MR MBANE: He passed us, he greeted us and he went to that room where Ms Kubheka was interrogated. I don't know what he did when he arrived there.

MR NEL: Were you and Dube still drinking then or were you already in bed?

MR MBANE: We were just sitting there, I was just drinking.

MR NEL: So Miyeza went into the room leaving you outside?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR NEL: And then what happened?

MR MBANE: After some time one car reversed, they then put the body, Miyeza went out and the white men followed.

MR NEL: Who are these white men?

MR MBANE: As I have already said it was Lawrie and the other one.

CHAIRPERSON: I think it was Mr Visser who was cross-examining you, determined it was Mr Wasserman and du Preez, he said the two that were recalled.

MR NEL: So it was Mr Miyeza - let me rephrase that, the motor vehicle was reversed close to the door, is that correct?

MR MBANE: Yes, close to the door.

MR NEL: And then what did you see?

MR MBANE: I saw a wrapped body and we already knew who that person was.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, Mr Nel.

Were the lights on when the body was being placed in the vehicle? When I say the lights, the lights on at the veranda in the rooms there.

MR MBANE: There were no lights, we were using batteries. There was no electricity.

MR NEL: So the body - sorry, Mr Chairperson, can I proceed? When the body came out of the room it was already wrapped?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR NEL: You didn't see it being wrapped?

MR MBANE: No, I did not.

MR NEL: And it was brought out by Mr Miyeza, Mr Lawrie who we know is Wasserman, and the person who testified, Mr du Preez?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR NEL: And the three of them then put the body into this vehicle?

MR MBANE: Now we know that you had difficulty in remembering what type of vehicle this was, but in fact, was it a kombi or was it a Skyline?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember.

MR NEL: You were watching this all the time?

MR MBANE: It's not that I concentrated on that, but I was there on the veranda, sitting there.

MR NEL: Once the body was loaded into the vehicle, who drove off, of the three persons?

MR MBANE: I do not know, Sir.

MR NEL: Alright, tell us what happened, what did you see?

MR MBANE: After that we were just there, sitting there and Radebe was already in the car, so we prepared to sleep in the veranda.

MR NEL: Did you see the vehicle with the body leave Winkelspruit?

MR MBANE: Yes, I did.

MR NEL: And what else did you see?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: What do you want him to tell us, whether he saw the stars or the lamp pole across the street, or?

MR NEL: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Did you see the persons getting into the vehicle and drive off with it, or did you just see the vehicle leave?

MR MBANE: I just saw the vehicle leave.

MR NEL: Did you see any other vehicles leave?

MR MBANE: As I already said, there used to be cars all the time there.

MR NEL: My question was did you see any other vehicles leave when the vehicle with the body left?

MR MBANE: Miyeza's car drove off and then after that the second car followed.

MR NEL: Where was Mr Coetzer at the time?

MR MBANE: He was there.

MR NEL: Well where was he, what was he doing?

MR MBANE: I don't know what he was doing but he was there.

MR NEL: He was there, but you don't know what he was doing, was that because you didn't see him? Was that the reason for not knowing what he was doing?

MR MBANE: He was there but I don't know what he was doing.

MR NEL: Is the reason that you don't know what he was doing because you didn't see him, but you knew he was there?

MR MBANE: I saw him, but I don't know what he was doing.

MR NEL: Well Mr Mbane, let's get straight to the point, you say in your statement

"Her body was taken out by Miyeza, Lawrie and Coetzer."

CHAIRPERSON: Could you give us a reference to that please, Mr Nel.

MR NEL: Thank you, Mr Chairperson, that's the same paragraph, paragraph 44 on page 131, bundle 2.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you.

MR NEL: Do you see that, Mr Mbane?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR NEL: What is your comment on that?

MR MBANE: It might happen that there's a mistake again.

MR NEL: Well did Mr Samuel make the same mistake on page 2163 of the record, when he put it to Mr Baker

"Mr Jimmy Mbane will say ..."

Sorry Mr Chairperson, 2163 of the record, three-quarter way down the page. Mr Samuel put it to Mr Baker:

"Mr Jimmy Mbane will say that Mr Miyeza, Mr Lawrie and Mr Coetzer, in fact had removed this body from the base."

Is that also a mistake?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is also wrong.

MR NEL: I don't want to follow the line of questioning of my colleagues, but you heard Mr Samuel putting this to the witnesses and in fact he put it to other witnesses as well, you did not correct it, is there any reason why?

MR MBANE: There is no reason.

MR NEL: In fact, you say on page 1825, once again Mr Samuel put it to, this time another witness, Mr du Preez

"Mr Mbane will say ..."

on page 1825 of the record:

"Mr Mbane will say that he was present when the body was removed from the room and put into the motor vehicle, do you recall that?"

then he goes on and says:

"Or he was able to see when the body was removed from the room and put into the motor vehicle."

Is that correct what your attorney put to the witness, Mr du Preez?

MR MBANE: I was present when the body was put in the car.

MR NEL: And yet you say it's a mistake when you say in your statement that Mr Coetzer was present.

MR MBANE: It might happen that it is a mistake.

MR NEL: How big was this body to your recollection, Mr Mbane?

MR MBANE: It was quite big.

CHAIRPERSON: It's a very difficult question to answer, Mr Nel.

MR NEL: I will rephrase that ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Do you want dimensions or what?

MR NEL: Was this body big enough to fit into a Nissan Skyline, in the boot of a Nissan Skyline, according to you?

MR MBANE: The body did fit in that boot.

MR NEL: Well once again on page 1830 of the record, Mr Samuel put it to Mr du Preez that

"Mr Mbane will say that he looked at the body and it would have been virtually impossible because of the size of the body, to put it into a Nissan Skyline, the boot especially of a Nissan Skyline."

According to what I can remember I have already mentioned that I cannot remember whether it was a kombi or the Skyline.

CHAIRPERSON: But you take what Mr Nel has just read to you now, Mr Mbane, and this was put by Mr Samuel to Mr du Preez when Mr du Preez was given evidence and he says, this is what Mr Samuel says to Mr du Preez, that you

"Mr Mbane will say that he looked at the body and it would have been virtually impossible because of the size of the body, to put it into a Nissan Skyline boot."

Now forget whether it was a kombi or that, what is your comment on that actual statement, did you tell Mr Samuel that the body was too big for a Nissan Skyline boot?

MR MBANE: Yes, I did.

MR LAX: Then why have you now just conceded that it could have fitted into the boot?

INTERPRETER: Can you please repeat your question.

MR LAX: Why have you now just conceded and agreed with the statement that it would have fitted into the boot?

MR MBANE: I don't understand your question.

MR LAX: Well you've just agreed with the Chairperson that you told Mr Samuel that the body wouldn't have fitted into the boot, however a few minutes ago, Mr Nel asked you "Would the body have fitted into the boot?" You said "Yes." Do you understand?

MR MBANE: Yes, I understand.

MR LAX: So we're asking you to explain why you agreed with Mr Nel when you had already told Mr Samuel that it couldn't possibly fit in the boot. Did you just forget that you told him that?

MR MBANE: It might happen that I've forgotten.

CHAIRPERSON: And also, Mr Mbane, hasn't the Skyline got quite a big boot? A Skyline is one of the bigger Nissan models.

MR MBANE: Yes, it's got a bigger boot.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nel?

MR NEL: Just to get back for a second, Mr Mbane, to when the vehicle with the body left, are you able to say whether Mr Miyeza left with that vehicle or did he leave in a separate vehicle? I'm not too clear on what you said on that point.

MR MBANE: He left with the car that he came with.

MR NEL: And that's not the same car carrying the body of Ms Kubheka?

MR MBANE: No.

MR NEL: Can you recall or are you able to say whether he left first or did the vehicle carrying the body leave first?

MR MBANE: If I can still remember well, Miyeza left first and then the second car followed.

MR NEL: Now I might have my notes wrong, but didn't you say yesterday that Miyeza followed the white man's car?

MR MBANE: If I can still remember well, Miyeza left first and then this car followed.

MR NEL: Mr Chairman, perhaps I could just be corrected on that, I seem to have in my notes that Miyeza followed the white man's car. He specifically said the white men's car. And as I say my apologies if I'm incorrect, that is how I noted it down.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct)

MR WILLS: Mr Chairperson, maybe I can assist, I can recall clearly that he said that Miyeza left first.

MR SAMUEL: According to my notes he says one car followed the other, meaning that Miyeza was in front of the other car.

CHAIRPERSON: When you say "one car followed the other", then it could mean either one.

MR SAMUEL: No, he indicated, the way I understand the evidence was, Miyeza left first and then the car with the body followed.

CHAIRPERSON: This is my note, I'll read it here. "We were surprised. They went in and out of the room. After some time Miyeza arrived. He spoke with the whites. Simon went to the kombi, Dube and I were on the veranda. Saw deceased being dragged on a blanket, put in a car. Car drove off and Miyeza followed in a car. Are you confusing this with another incident? This was the first operation, etcetera, etcetera." That's my note.

MR NEL: My notes are not so ...(intervention)

MR MBANE: If I can still remember, it is Miyeza who left first.

MR NEL: Well you know we must ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I know that when, I think, Mr Visser was cross-examining he did say that Miyeza left first, but this is the notes of his evidence-in-chief.

MR NEL: Yes, in your evidence-in-chief you said, which we've established now, that the vehicle carrying the body left first and that Miyeza followed the white man's car, is that incorrect? Or did you make a mistake yesterday?

MR MBANE: It was Miyeza who left first.

MR NEL: Are we quite sure now or are you quite sure now today as you sit here, that the three persons that took the body from the room was Miyeza, Mr du Preez and Mr Wasserman?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR NEL: So once again if somebody would take notes of an apparent conversation, would it be incorrect if it states the following, and I'm referring you once again to Exhibit J, page 2 in the middle of the page where you say, or where it is said

"Later the evening whilst we were torturing her, she died."

and then what I'm specifically referring you to is:

"Coetzer from Vlakplaas, Botha was CR Swart and Miyeza ('n A/O, which is a Warrant Officer) picked her up and put her in the kombi and left."

this would be totally incorrect?

MR MBANE: Yes, it is incorrect.

MR NEL: So if Capt de Jongh took these notes in a conversation with you and he kept these notes, then once again he must have thought this up by himself?

MR MBANE: What is written there is incorrect and all my statements are written in English.

MR NEL: What was the normal amount of remuneration that you would have received for an operation of this nature, if any?

MR MBANE: It would depend on the kind of operation.

MR NEL: Did you hear the evidence of Mr Botha in-chief, which we find on page 1725 of the record, in the middle of the page where Mr Samuel asked him about the R7 000 payment allegedly paid to you by Taylor, where he said that

"Rewards of R7 000 were not paid out because the highest amount that could be paid out which could be approved by Security Head Office, was R2 500 per arrested terrorist. That was the maximum amount for such a person."

Did you hear that when he testified to ...(intervention)

MR MBANE: He was wrong, that was not the first time to get this amount of money in Vlakplaas.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, in any event even on the evidence that we've heard here there was more than one person arrested, we've heard of Sbu, we've heard of the chap at the false roadblock and then, although it's disputed, a third one and then also the deceased. So that would, if it was R2 500 per head ...

MR NEL: I will leave it at that, Mr Chairperson.

How many operations did you do in the Durban area, if you can recall? Or take part in?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember unless if I refer to my statement.

MR NEL: Well is it one, two, ten, twenty, approximately?

MR MBANE: I said I cannot remember unless if I read my statement.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you come down to Durban - we know that this you said was your first operation in Durban and in your career did you have occasion to come to Durban on other occasions?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR NEL: And how well did you know Mr Miyeza?

MR MBANE: I know him, he even knows where I stay in Britz.

MR NEL: At the time of this operation as this was your first time in Durban, was that the first time that you met Mr Miyeza?

MR MBANE: Yes, at that time I did not know him.

MR NEL: You did not know him, that was the first time that you met him, here in Durban?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember whether that was the first time we knew each other.

MR NEL: Well, before this operation, had you been to Durban?

MR MBANE: As I have already said, if I can read my statements they can refresh my memory.

MR NEL: Well Mr Mbane, I think it's clear that this was your first operation in Durban, or am I incorrect?

MR MBANE: Yes, it might be so, I think that was the first time.

CHAIRPERSON: I got the clear impression yesterday when you were testifying, Mr Mbane, that this was your first operation, because you went on to say your second one was in Josini and you had no hesitation at all in being adamant that this was your first one, now you're not sure, what is the position?

MR MBANE: In Durban it was my first operation, this one.

MR NEL: You hadn't met Mr Miyeza perhaps on holiday prior to this operation in Durban?

MR MBANE: I can't remember coming to Durban on holidays.

MR NEL: So the point I'm trying to make is, when you came to Durban on this operation, seeing that was the first time that you knew or met Mr Miyeza, you didn't know him well at all?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember because they used to go to Vlakplaas sometimes.

MR NEL: Well Mr Mbane, are you now saying that you met Mr Mbane at Vlakplaas prior to this operation? Sorry, Mr Miyeza.

MR MBANE: What I'm saying is it might happen that we met in Vlakplaas. I'm not saying it is like that, I'm saying it might be so.

MR NEL: Well I don't want to flog a dead horse, but is it then incorrect that you met him in Durban for the first time as you've stated?

MR MBANE: Let me put it that way that ...(intervention)

MR NEL: So we can forget about the possibility that you might have met him at Vlakplaas?

MR MBANE: We can put it the way that will satisfy you.

MR NEL: Thank you for that, Mr Mbane. What I want to put to you in conclusion is that Mr Miyeza was never at this operation, he was never at Winkelspruit and didn't take part in the removal of this body at all, and that you are making a mistake like the various other mistakes that seems to be made by you here. What is your comment?

MR MBANE: What do you want me to say that will satisfy you?

MR NEL: I would enjoy is it you say "yes", Mr Mbane, but that's up to you, whatever you want to say you can tell this Commission.

Mr Chairman, I have no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR NEL

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr van der Merwe, do you have any questions you'd like to put?

MR VAN DER MERWE: Mr Chairman, I'll break the chain, I have no questions, thank you.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Wills, do you have any questions that you'd like to put?

MR WILLS: Yes I do, Mr Chairperson. Mr Chairperson, I'll probably be a bit longer than five minutes, do you want me to continue at this stage, I see it's just about 1 o'clock.

CHAIRPERSON: This might be a convenient time to take the adjournment and we'll take the lunch adjournment now and then straight after that Mr Wills will commence with his questio-ning.

MR WILLS: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

FRANK XHOLA MBANE: (s.u.o.)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes thank you. Mr Wills?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR WILLS: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Mbane, as I understand this operation and it's clear from the affidavit and the evidence of, I think it was Col Baker, that Mr Botha, Capt Botha was in charge of the operation involving Ntombi Kubheka.

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: And that was your understanding?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR WILLS: So that even though you were from a different unit to his - I see my colleagues are looking for examples, I'm referring to his application on page 107 ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, are you talking about Col Baker's ...(intervention)

MR WILLS: Col Baker's statement. I think it's page 107 of the bundle.

CHAIRPERSON: That's volume 1.

MR WILLS: Sorry, it's 108 of volume 1.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that's right at the bottom, the second-last line.

MR WILLS: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON

"The team fell under the command of Capt H Botha and Gen Steyn."

MR WILLS: So if my understanding is correct ...(intervention)

MR VISSER: Well Mr Chairman, that doesn't say what my learned friend is putting.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, it doesn't necessarily say of this particular operation, but they were the general command. But in any event I think it's clear from the evidence of Mr Mbane, when being cross-examined, that he considered Capt Botha as being in charge of the operation, under the overall command of Taylor.

MR WILLS: Yes and I also just would like to record that this is the aspect of Baker's application where he's specifically referring to Kubheka incident.

In any event, even though you were under the command of - you fell under the Vlakplaas operatives, your activities were controlled by Col Botha who was from the Security Branch in Durban?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: So you weren't receiving orders from Vlakplaas operatives, basically your orders were emanating from the Durban Security Branch and specifically Botha?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: Now you've given evidence to the effect that the purpose of your operation on the day that Kubheka was arrested, was in fact to deliver her to your white superiors, whether that's Botha or Taylor, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: So when you woke up that morning and you contacted Kubheka, you were under no illusions as to what your purpose that day was, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: And your purpose was specifically to arrest Kubheka, that's your evidence?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: And you did that?

MR MBANE: Yes, we did that.

MR WILLS: And you delivered Kubheka to the place at Battery Beach that was prearranged with, obviously with your superiors and there were white people there, including Botha?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: Now it's clear, I think it's common cause in fact, from the evidence of the applicants that you were driving the Toyota Corolla vehicle, is that correct?

CHAIRPERSON: No, not from the applicants, because we've had that statement that was read out in which it was said that Radebe was driving.

MR WILLS: I'm sorry, well I'm just ...(intervention)

MR LAX: Just to clarify, it's only Radebe who says he was driving.

MR WILLS: Yes, well let me just be clearer on that. You were driving a Corolla motor vehicle, not so?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: And this had tinted windows, not so?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR WILLS: And from that I understand that any signal that you could give, it wouldn't be the sort of signal that you would give by hand from the interior of the motor vehicle because the windows were tinted, you couldn't see that from outside, not so?

MR MBANE: Yes, you could not see.

MR WILLS: So it seems that only one of two things could have been done, either you would have had to wind down the windows, or you would have had to give some sort of signal which was indicative from the outside of the vehicle, not so?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR WILLS: And your recollection of that signal is that you pressed the brake pedals three times, not so?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is so.

MR WILLS: And Mr Botha recalls, and I refer to page 1661 of the evidence ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry what's that page again?

MR WILLS: 1661.

... that the signal was to flash the indicator lights.

MR MBANE: The signal was to press the brakes.

MR WILLS: Yes, Mr Botha said he wasn't sure, but that's what he thought. Now it seems that if that was the signal that you were given that you had to give, then it would seem to indicate that you'd have to be driving the vehicle in order to give that signal, not so?

MR MBANE: That is so.

MR WILLS: Now how long had you been acting as an askari prior to this incident, and I'm not confining you to Natal, I'm asking you about generally?

MR MBANE: I was arrested in 1983 and I started working at about August 1983. I was arrested in February 1983 and then the same year, August, I started working until 1992.

MR WILLS: I'm sorry, I'm not sure, from August?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, he said he was arrested in February 1983 and then he became operative as an askari in August 1983 and he carried that through to 1992.

MR WILLS: Oh thank you, thank you Mr Chairman.

So by the time you got involved in this operation you had at least three and a half to four years experience?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR WILLS: Now it seems to me that under those circumstances if you'd made a mistake or if you hadn't performed your function according to the plan, you wouldn't have given the signal as you gave on that day, not so?

MR MBANE: That is so.

MR WILLS: So if you'd arrested the wrong person, it seems to me strange that you would drive that person all the way to the correct spot and you'd give the signal as determined, not so, you wouldn't have acted in that way?

MR MBANE: Yes, I wouldn't have acted that way.

MR WILLS: It seems to me that in likelihood what you would have done is you would have communicated with your superiors beforehand and said "Look, let's not blow this whole operation, the matter hasn't really worked out as planned, so I'm not in a position to deliver this person", and you would have taken further instructions on what to do with the Kubheka woman.

MR MBANE: I would go to the place, the Battery Beach and then get out of the car and go to them and tell them that I did not bring the person they asked me to fetch.

MR WILLS: Thank you. But in this instance you gave the signal because as far as you were concerned you'd done exactly what you'd been asked to do, not so?

MR MBANE: That is so.

MR WILLS: Now Mr Botha has alleged, and some of his co-applicants, all his co-applicants except Mr Radebe have alleged that, have suggested that your order was to pick up the leader of a guerrilla movement on that day, somebody I think coming from Zambia, but not Ms Kubheka, did you ever get an instruction to that effect?

MR MBANE: No, I did not get such instructions, I was only told about Ms Kubheka.

MR WILLS: Yes, and if I can just refer you to the evidence of, or should I say the statement of Mr de Kock that day, it seems to support what he says. If you can just bear with me, Mr Chairperson. I'm referring to a translation that I've had done of de Kock's statement and it appears at I think page, it commences at page 112 of the second bundle. Sorry, no it doesn't Mr Chairperson, it commences at 11 - yes, 112.

Now according to Mr de Kock, the information he got from Coetzer - and Mr Chairman, you'll have to excuse me, I've got a translation, it's not an official translation but I know it's accurate, but I haven't numbered it, it hasn't been numbered according to the paragraphs, but it looks like about ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Is that where it says

"About two or three days later"

MR WILLS: I think it's 3.2.2, the last sentence, or I'm concentrating on that paragraph.

"The operation was the infiltration of an ANC cell. According to Joe (and that's Coetzer he's referring to), the leader of the cell was a woman. The cell was active in the area."

Now were you under the impression that the deceased, Ms Kubheka, was the leader of this ANC cell that was operating in that area at that time?

MR MBANE: I thought it that way.

MR WILLS: So this information that Mr, or it was Maj de Kock at that time, this is accurate, not so?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is so.

MR WILLS: Now he goes on to say, and I'm referring to the paragraph 3.2.4 I think, Mr Chairperson, that, and he's reporting on a conversation that he'd had with Joe Coetzer, a discussion regarding the female leader and there's no data as to who this would be, and Mr de Kock says that Coetzer informed him that Hentie, which is obviously Botha, Capt Botha intended to murder the black woman that evening. Now what I want to ask you, was it your belief that possibly that night Ms Kubheka could be murdered?

MR MBANE: I don't know whether she was supposed to be killed. What I knew is that they said that they wanted her to show them those four comrades.

MR WILLS: Now if she didn't give the information as regards exactly where those four comrades were, surely in your past experience, and I think it's quite clear that the possibility exists that she would have been killed that night, she didn't cooperate with the interrogation, is that right?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is right.

MR VISSER: What is the value Chairperson, of putting argument to a witness and getting him to agree ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, this is essentially argument, we're not going to be putting too much weight on what Mr Mbane is going to say to you, it is essentially argument.

MR WILLS: As you please, Mr Chairperson.

Now you had direct dealings with Mr Coetzer, not so? During the time of this operation, he was there for quite a considerable amount of the time. In fact, he replaced Mr Ras when I believe Mr Ras I injured, is that right?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct, but I was reporting to Radebe and Radebe would report to Coetzer and Coetzer would report to Botha.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but the question was, did you have direct dealings with Coetzer yourself, without a third person between you? When you were in Durban at that stage.

MR MBANE: Yes, sometimes we would work directly with him.

MR WILLS: Now Coetzer says in his affidavit, and I'm referring to paragraph of his statement which I think is at page ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Is this volume 2?

MR WILLS: ... volume 2 again, page 102, and I want to know if he ever discussed this with you personally. He said that he was informed by one of the members of the Security Branch that the leader of the ANC cell which had been infiltrated by Jimmy Mbane, was a woman. Now what ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Just for the record, that's paragraph 7 on page 102.

MR WILLS: Yes, thank you.

Now what I want to ask you is the thing that he says next and I want to know, did he discuss this with you, did he discuss this that the plan was to interrogate her? Did you discuss this plan to interrogate Kubheka, with Coetzer at all?

MR MBANE: No, I did not discuss it with him.

MR WILLS: He then explains that ... sorry, I didn't get that translation.

CHAIRPERSON: That the plan was for him to question her or to interrogate her.

MR LAX: His answer was that he didn't discuss that with Coetzer.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh yes. Sorry, I thought you meant the translation of the rest of this paragraph.

MR WILLS: Now he goes on to say that in order to do this

"Jimmy Mbane tried to lure her on the pretext to take her to a place, on a pretext to a place where we would arrest her."

Did Coetzer discuss this with you, the fact that he wanted you to go and lure this person to this place, lure Kubheka to this place where she could be arrested?

MR MBANE: No, I cannot remember discussing such a thing with him.

MR WILLS: But to you mind even if it wasn't discussed directly with you, this reflects an accurate position as to what the plan was, is that correct? i.e. That you'd lure her to a place so that she would be arrested.

MR MBANE: Yes, this happened.

MR WILLS: Just turning to the actual interrogation itself or the torture itself, I just want to get information on the timing of this. You arrived obviously some time later than the persons who transported Ms Kubheka to Winkelspruit, now from the time that you arrived, you've indicated that you heard her screaming, now how long would you estimate that this torture went on?

MR MBANE: I think it was an hour to two hours.

MR WILLS: And in your view, did you gain the impression that she was being put considerable pain? From what you heard from the veranda.

MR MBANE: Yes, because she was screaming that meant that she was in pain.

MR WILLS: If you'd just bear with me, Mr Chairperson. Mr Chairperson, I wonder if I could ask for an indulgence at this stage. I know it's rather macabre, but I require that, or I request that the clothing be brought back into the ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Certainly, if that's what you want Mr Wills.

MR WILLS: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Is it available, Ms Thabethe, the clothing? Do you need anything more than the dress, Mr Wills?

MR WILLS: No, the dress will be fine, thank you Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Yes?

MR WILLS: Now do you remember, does this dress in any way remind you of what you saw Ms Kubheka wearing on that day? Or can't you remember?

MR MBANE: What I can see is that this is a small size for her. I can't remember whether this is the dress of not, but what I can say is that this is a small size.

MR WILLS: Thank you. Mr Chairperson, possibly I can use this opportunity to compare the size of the dress with dresses that we have obtained from the family at this stage. Thank you. Could I ask that the dresses of the family, that the family have supplied as belonging to Ms Kubheka, be placed next to this dress.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you can lead evidence later where the dresses actually come from.

MR WILLS: Yes, I will be leading that evidence.

CHAIRPERSON: We won't accept this as evidence, but if it's a convenient stage we can do so.

MR WILLS: Yes, thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, just one point Mr Wills.

Mr Mbane, when you saw Ms Kubheka that day, when you picked her up at the station, the dress she seemed to be wearing, did it seem to be sitting well on her? Did it look normal?

MR MBANE: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: She wasn't wearing a dress that was obviously too tight or one that was too big for her as far as you're concerned, it just looked normal?

MR MBANE: Yes, it was normal.

MR WILLS: Mr Chairperson, just for the record, I will be leading evidence of the son of the deceased that the two dresses that are about to be shown to the Committee, are in fact the dresses of the deceased person.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Wills.

MR WILLS: I think Mr Chairperson, for ...

CHAIRPERSON: Please correct me if I'm wrong. We now have two additional dresses that have been laid on the floor alongside Exhibit 1. The one dress is, one could perhaps describe it as a black dress, it's got a pattern on it, but it's essentially a black dress, and the other one is a blue dress. If one takes a look from the bottom of the hem line to the shoulder as they are lying here, they're all pretty much of the same length, there's no real discernible difference. As they are lying here they seem to be the same length. With regard to waist size, my opinion is the blue one seems to have a slightly thicker waist than the Exhibit 1 and then - sorry, they're actually being put next to each other, the waistline. Ms Miller, what is the, are they similar? Are they the same? They look the same. The black one and Exhibit 1, the waistline is essentially the same, if there's a difference it's a question of millimetres perhaps. The blue one looks a little bit wider perhaps. Yes, perhaps a little bit wider because it seems to be dropping a little bit down, but if it is wider it's a centimetre or so in it. I think at this stage, although they haven't been handed in as evidence yet, just for convenience we can call the black one Exhibit 3, seeing that there is going to be evidence about it.

MR WILLS: Exhibit 5.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry 5. Of course we had the slip and the underwear, yes. Exhibit 5 is the black dress and Exhibit 6 will be the blue dress.

MR WILLS: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Mbane, I want you to look at Exhibit 5 and 6 and tell me whether or not in your view, those dresses would fit the deceased in this matter, according to your recollection.

MR MBANE: I can say so, but I am not sure, but I think they would have fitted her as I'm looking at them.

MR WILLS: Thank you, Mr Chairperson, I've no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR WILLS

MR WILLS: Unless anybody else wants it, I'm happy that the exhibits be returned.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes I'm going to just ask any of the other persons at the end of the round, whether they want to ask any

questions regarding these other dresses to Mr Mbane, seeing that that has been brought in at this stage.

Ms Thabethe, do you have any questions you'd like to put to Mr Mbane?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS THABETHE: Yes Mr Chair, I do thank you.

Mr Mbane, yesterday afternoon I also had an opportunity of speaking to Mrs Dludla the neighbour about the dress and she seemed to indicate that it's the dress that Ntombi Kubheka was wearing on that day, what would be your response to that?

CHAIRPERSON: You're talking about Exhibit 1?

MS THABETHE: Exhibit 1.

MR MBANE: As I have already mentioned that I cannot remember what she was wearing, so I cannot agree or disagree with that.

MS THABETHE: You've indicated in your evidence that at some stage you went to Ntombi's house at KwaMashu, when you were there was there anybody else present in the house besides her?

CHAIRPERSON: Well that would be besides the people that you went with. Did you find any other people there or did any other people come there?

MR MBANE: Yes, sometimes we would find her with another lady, I think she was also staying nearby.

MS THABETHE: Now I'm moving to Battery Beach. When you arrived at Battery Beach, you indicated in your evidence that Dube and Radebe alighted, do you think the white superiors saw them getting off the car?

MR MBANE: They alighted before the car with the white men came.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, you're talking at Battery Beach?

MS THABETHE: At Battery Beach, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: So when you got to Battery Beach you were the first one to get there, your vehicle was the first of the police vehicles to get there, is that what you're saying?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MS THABETHE: Was Coetzer present during the abduction at Battery Beach?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MS THABETHE: Was Wasserman present?

MR MBANE: Yes, he was present.

MS THABETHE: I'm moving now to Winkelspruit. You have indicated that he heard her scream, was it like shouting or was it more of crying screams?

MR MBANE: Both, she did both.

MS THABETHE: Could you hear the people who were interrogating her, what they were saying? Could you hear what they were saying, what questions they were asking her? From where you were.

MR MBANE: ...(no interpretation)

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, we lost the interpretation. The question was - if you could just repeat your answer please, Mr Mbane, the question was, could you hear what the people were saying in the room?

MR MBANE: No, I could not hear but I could hear that they were talking to her, but I couldn't understand or hear what they were saying.

MS THABETHE: Did you ever see Ms Kubheka at Winkelspruit?

MR MBANE: As they would open the door sometimes I would see her sitting down, when the door was opened.

MS THABETHE: Could you see whether she was bound?

INTERPRETER: Could you please repeat your question.

CHAIRPERSON: Could you please repeat the question.

MS THABETHE: Could you see whether she was bound, like her hands and her feet?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MS THABETHE: Were her hands bound?

MR MBANE: Yes, they were.

MS THABETHE: And her feet?

MR MBANE: Her hands were bound and she was blindfolded. I cannot remember about the feet.

MS THABETHE: Before this incident occurred where were you sleeping? Were you sleeping at CR Swart or at Winkelspruit?

MR MBANE: At Winkelspruit.

CHAIRPERSON: ...(indistinct) from the evidence, Ms Thabethe, they were sleeping in both places but they moved, according to Mr Mbane, from CR Swart to Winkelspruit.

MS THABETHE: Now in your evidence you had indicated that you were asked to hand over the MK operatives that were introduced to you by Ntombi Kubheka, why do you think they had to be handed over to them? Were any reasons advanced why you had to hand them over to your superiors?

MR MBANE: The reason was because when we gave them reports they told us to come with those people and they will see what to do, so we were following orders.

MS THABETHE: Thank you, Mr Chair.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MS THABETHE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Ms Thabethe. Before I ask you to re-examine, Mr Samuel, I'm just going to ask if anybody has any

questions to put to Mr Mbane concerning Exhibits 4 and 5 that have been introduced. Mr Visser?

MR VISSER: Chairperson, I don't have questions on the exhibits, a new piece of evidence has been introduced and I would ask you to ask very brief question or two about that.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

FURTHER CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VISSER: Mr Mbane, I listened very carefully to your evidence yesterday and today and I want to put to you that this is the first time that you say, that you stated in your evidence that when the door was opened you saw Kubheka in the storeroom, am I correct?

MR MBANE: Yes, I can hear you.

MR VISSER: So if this happened, why didn't you tell us about this before?

MR MBANE: It is because you did not ask me that question.

MR VISSER: Your lawyer was leading your evidence, your lawyer was leading your evidence, Mr Mbane, why didn't you tell us that you could see inside the storeroom?

MR MBANE: When the door would be opened and closed again, when it was opened I could see inside because I was in the veranda.

MR VISSER: Why didn't you tell the Committee that yesterday or today?

MR SAMUEL: Mr Chairman, I believe that when I put Mr Mbane's version to the other witness, Mr Botha, I did indicate that when the doors were opened he had seen ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but the question is why didn't he say it when he was testifying.

MR VISSER: Really Mr Chairman, my learned friend should think before he objects, because that's not what I'm putting to the witness.

MR SAMUEL: Sorry Mr Chairman, I did not raise an objection, I just mentioned that ...

MR VISSER: Why didn't you tell us about that, Mr Mbane? In fact, can I tell you what you said? When you were asked about whether you could see inside the storeroom you said you could not see inside the storeroom. That was your answer.

MR MBANE: I could only see when the door was opened because I was sitting in the veranda. The door would be opened and then closed again.

MR VISSER: In fact here is the question that your lawyer put to you

"Could you see inside the room?"

answer:

"No, I did not see her."

That's it, you didn't qualify it.

MR MBANE: I could not see when the door was closed, but I could only see when the door was opened.

CHAIRPERSON: Who can see through a closed door unless it's made of glass? We know it's not made of glass, it's made of wood, so why do you say that you didn't anything through the door because you can't see when the door is closed? It doesn't make sense. And if you were there and the door was closed and opening and you from time to time could see in the room, then you would say you could see in the room from time to time. Your answer wouldn't be "I couldn't see in the room when the door was closed", when you can see when it was open.

MR MBANE: It didn't come to my mind to answer it that way. I apologise.

MR VISSER: I just want to put it to you, Mr Wasserman was not present at Battery Beach where Kubheka was arrested, abducted. Lawrie wasn't there. I put it to you.

MR MBANE: I am saying that he was there and you are saying that he was not there, so who is correct between me and you? I don't know.

MR VISSER: Well I will make certain submissions on your credibility, Mr Mbane.

Thank you, Chairperson.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VISSER

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Hugo, any questions?

NO QUESTIONS BY MR HUGO

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nel?

NO QUESTIONS BY MR NEL

CHAIRPERSON: Mr van der Merwe?

NO QUESTIONS BY MR VAN DER MERWE

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Thabethe, you didn't want to ask anything about the clothes.

NO QUESTIONS BY MS THABETHE

CHAIRPERSON: Any re-examination, Mr Samuel.

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR SAMUEL: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Mbane, you were asked in regard to Mr Miyeza, the Committee wanted to know in what possible way Mr Miyeza could have been contacted to come over and I just want to ask you a question on that. Do you recall what vehicle Mr Miyeza came in on that day, was it a State vehicle or was it his private vehicle?

MR MBANE: It was the State vehicle.

MR SAMUEL: Would that vehicle have a radio in it, a police radio of some sort?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember because I did not go and look, but most of the State cars have a radio.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Samuel, if I could just ask on this. When you say it was a State vehicle, was it a police van with a badge on the side, B number plates? When you say it was a State vehicle, could you, or was it an ordinary looking vehicle without police number plates and without markings?

MR MBANE: It was not marked.

CHAIRPERSON: So how did you know it was a State vehicle?

MR MBANE: Because I used to see that car after that.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. Mr Samuel?

MR SAMUEL: But you confirm that in all probability there would have been a police radio in that vehicle?

MR MBANE: That's what I think.

MR SAMUEL: Now in regard to the lighting at this place here in Winkelspruit, you told this Commission that there was no electricity there, they used batteries, battery power, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That's correct.

MR SAMUEL: Do you recall whether they had lights, whether powered by battery or otherwise, on the day in question when Ms Kubheka died?

MR MBANE: We were using batteries as lights.

MR SAMUEL: I see.

CHAIRPERSON: No, just on that, when you say you were using batteries, were these little hand torches, or did you have big lamps that ran off car batteries?

MR MBANE: We were using motor batteries.

MR SAMUEL: Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

And you can recall that the lights were on on the day in question?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR SAMUEL: So your visibility so far as darkness was concerned, there was no darkness, you could see what was going on around you?

MR MBANE: There were places that were dark, but we were there was light.

MR SAMUEL: So it was easy for you to see a body being removed from the room that it was placed in, am I right?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR SAMUEL: Right. You were asked by Mr Nel about Mr Coetzer, now you knew that Mr Coetzer was at Winkelspruit on the night in question, am I right?

MR MBANE: Yes.

MR SAMUEL: Was there any need for you to take particular attention of his activities ...(intervention)

MR LAX: Sorry Mr Samuel, as I said to Mr Hugo, I know this is re-examination but the value of questions where you lead the witness completely is not much use to anybody.

MR SAMUEL: I'll leave that for argument.

Now Sir, you mentioned during cross-examination that the body of Ms Kubheka fitted in a boot, as far as you were concerned you could see it being fitted in a boot, am I right? - of a motor vehicle.

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR VISSER: Chairperson, that's entirely an incorrect statement.

CHAIRPERSON: Because he said he didn't know whether it was in a kombi or a car.

MR VISSER: A kombi or a - yes.

MR SAMUEL: May I just rephrase that question. Do you know, have you any recollection whether that body was placed in a Nissan Skyline on the night in question?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember.

MR SAMUEL: I see. But from where you stood you were able to see that that body was placed in a vehicle without any difficulty, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

MR SAMUEL: Now, much was made about the statements that you had made, you had made two statements or basically one statement which appears in bundle 1 from page 122 to page 131 and in the additional bundle, bundle 2, from 120 to 137, which statement you had confirmed. Now what was your reason for giving those statements? Was it because you just wanted to give a general outline of the incidents that you were involved in? Would I be correct in saying that?

MR MBANE: It is because I wanted to free my conscience by giving out these statements concerning the things ...(end of tape 2 side A)

... of these people could be able to know what happened to their people.

MR SAMUEL: Now when those statements were taken, do you recall who took down those statements, or did you write out those statements?

MR MBANE: There are a lot of people who used to come to me and to write down statements. I cannot remember them all, but what I can still remember is that the person who wrote this statement, the person that I approached was John from Durban, but I don't know where in Durban. But it was John.

CHAIRPERSON: Who was John, was he a friend of yours or was he a policeman or a lawyer or?

MR MBANE: A member of the TRC staff. He is the person that I approached and I told him that I wanted to write a statement concerning what happened in KwaMashu. But others used to come to me for statements, but the main person that I spoke to about what happened was this John.

MR SAMUEL: Thank you.

Were these statements ever read back to you at any stage?

MR MBANE: Some of the statements I don't remember it being read back because some of them would just write down, but there are other statements that are read out after making the statements, because some people would come and I would give them a statement and then I would never see them again.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Samuel, I thought when he was giving evidence-in-chief he confirmed these statements, he said there were the two and they were basically the same and he confirmed them, now what are you trying to do, are you trying to un-confirm what's been confirmed?

MR SAMUEL: No, no, no, I did mention that he had confirmed them when I just outlined, when I came to ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: One would imagine that the way it was said - it's just an impression, I might be wrong, that was how his evidence was started, "you've made two statements, they appear here and they appear there, they essentially the same, do you confirm them?" That those would have been the statements which were used in the consultations, the basis for consultation.

MR SAMUEL: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And if they weren't read to him at the time of being taken, then before he made that statement any discrepancies would have been picked up.

MR SAMUEL: Yes, but I just wanted - my next question will clarify the entire ...

Is it not true that your evidence-in-chief today went into some detail, it added to these statements, am I right?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR SAMUEL: I see. Now Sir, tell me, do you have any grievance against any of your colleagues while you were at Winkelspruit or while you were operating in Durban? Do you have any axe to grind with them?

MR MBANE: No, I do not have any grievances.

MR SAMUEL: Will you have any reason to lie to this Commission in regard to their activities?

MR MBANE: No, I don't have any reasons.

MR SAMUEL: Thank you. Now if as Mr Botha says in his evidence that you were asked to bring some other person other than Ms Kubheka to them, were you ever reprimanded for any mistakes in regard to whom you brought to see your white handlers? That you brought the wrong person and you messed up the entire investigation?

MR MBANE: This issue about bringing the wrong person, it is the first time I hear about it here. This is the first time I hear about it.

CHAIRPERSON: But the question was, were you ever reprimanded for bringing the deceased to them at Battery Beach? That's the question. Did you get into trouble about it, were you reprimanded for doing it?

MR MBANE: Because I did not bring any wrong person, so I was never reprimanded about that.

MR SAMUEL: Thank you.

Sir, is it correct that the previous four consultations between yourself and me was restricted to the time that we met at the TRC hearings, is that correct?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Does that include the whole of Tuesday?

MR SAMUEL: No, Mr Chairman, because he ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Because we did not sit on Tuesday.

MR SAMUEL: We did not sit on Tuesday, but till that time. Thank you. No further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR SAMUEL

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Lax, any questions?

MR LAX: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Mbane, you were positioned on the veranda at Winkelspruit and you say that you could hear people talking inside and you couldn't discern exactly what they were saying, but you could hear voices talking and you say that you could hear Ms Kubheka crying and screaming, correct?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR LAX: Could you hear any other noises besides that, any other sounds?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember hearing any other sound.

MR LAX: You see there's some evidence that Ms Kubheka was being hit with a plastic object, or a rubber hose of some description, or a sjambok-like object and there were sounds of those hits that could be heard outside the building. There's evidence of that. If you were on the veranda you would have heard those sounds.

MR MBANE: What I could hear was her screams and voice of people that were talking inside, that is what I heard.

MR LAX: So you didn't hear thuds of someone being struck?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember that, Chairperson.

MR LAX: If you'll just bear with me a moment, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: While you're looking, perhaps I can ask.

You said that you, Mr Radebe and Mr Dube were sitting on the veranda drinking from the time that you arrived at Winkelspruit, and then as far as I can recall was what you did after Radebe had gone to the kombi you and Dube were still on the veranda and you were still drinking, is that right?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So you were drinking for a fairly long period.

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And you were drinking whisky, straight? Straight whisky or mixing it?

MR MBANE: We were mixing it.

CHAIRPERSON: And what sort of tots were you pouring? Why I ask, I've heard of these police tots and Vlakplaas tots, that two fingers is like that and you pour the bottle and you count to three or four and then that's a tot. Is that the sort of tots you were drinking or can you describe what you were drinking?

MR MBANE: I cannot remember Chairperson, but we were drinking because Dube was an occasional drinker, so I cannot remember whether we were using the Vlakplaas style or some other style.

CHAIRPERSON: So you can't say how much you drank that night?

MR MBANE: No, I can't say.

ADV BOSMAN: On that, had you been drinking during the day as well or not at all?

MR MBANE: No, we started drinking when we arrived at Winkelspruit.

MR LAX: Just while we're on this question of drinking, it seems as if you and Radebe and sometimes Dube, drank quite a lot, is that a fair thing to say? Did you drink liquor often?

MR MBANE: Yes, we would drink liquor often.

MR LAX: You also said liquor was freely available at the camp. Did you have to pay for it? Who paid for that liquor?

MR MBANE: I don't know who paid for that liquor because food and liquor was there all the time.

MR LAX: Did you drink often in duty?

INTERPRETER: Can you please repeat the question, Sir?

MR LAX: Did you drink often on duty?

MR MBANE: We would drink on certain occasions when we were free, but when we were on duty we wouldn't be drunk but sometimes we'd drink.

MR LAX: Now with regard to the period after Ms Kubheka died and her body was taken away you said you remained in the area for about three days and you were supposed to go back to the house to find out what was going on, but you decided you didn't want to do that. Did I understand that part of your evidence correctly?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

MR LAX: And you said Joe wanted you to go back to the house.

MR MBANE: If I can still remember well, Joe did not want me to go back there. If I can still remember well.

MR LAX: Who gave you instructions to go back to the house?

MR MBANE: It was the Commander of the operation, Botha.

MR LAX: It was Botha. Because that's more-or-less in line with what we understand about a dispute between Botha and Coetzer around you possibly going back to the house, but when you testified your evidence was that Coetzer was the one who said it. I don't know whether you were making a mistake or not, but that was my clear recollection and my note, and that's why I'm canvassing this issue with you.

MR MBANE: If my memory serves me well, Botha wanted me to go back to that house, I reported to Coetzer that I did not want to go back there. If I can still remember, because this, Chairperson, happened a long time ago.

CHAIRPERSON: My note, this is just my note of your evidence-in-chief, right at the end of it, "the next day we were told to remain there. On second day told to go to D's(?) (that D is the deceased's house) by Coetzer. I refused. I phoned the house, a lady said the deceased was not there. On the third day we went back to Vlakplaas. That's Dube, Radebe and myself."

MR LAX: Yes.

MR MBANE: Maybe I made a mistake concerning the names when I was answering that question.

MR LAX: So you're sure it was Botha who wanted you to go there and you told Coetzer you didn't want to go there and then you phoned instead?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is so.

MR LAX: Are you able to recollect whether there was a dispute between Coetzer and Botha around this issue of you going back?

MR MBANE: Yes, there was a dispute concerning that because one wanted me to go back and one did not want me to go back to that house.

MR LAX: Now just one last thing, this Gipsman that you worked with, this man with the plaster of paris on his leg, who was he, where was he from?

MR MBANE: I don't know his name, but what I know is that he was trained and he was from outside, because I used to ask him questions about places in Angola and Zambia and he knew those places and he also knew the Camp Commanders of the camps there. I don't know his real name.

CHAIRPERSON: If I could just ask a question on that.

Was his leg injured or was he put in plaster to stop him from running away? Or don't you know?

MR MBANE: He was put the plaster because they did not want him to run away.

MR LAX: So as far as you're aware he was a trained MK operative who'd been captured and was working with you, or co-operating at any rate in your activities, but because they weren't sure about him they had his leg in plaster of paris?

MR MBANE: Yes, they did not trust him at that time, but he was working with us.

MR LAX: And did you see that man again or work with him again at some other point?

MR MBANE: No, I did not see him again after that.

MR LAX: Who was that man's handler?

MR MBANE: It was Mr Botha.

MR LAX: Thanks Chair, I've no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Adv Bosman, do you have any questions?

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you, Chairperson.

Mr Mbane, I just want to clear two matters with you. Who did you regard as the leader of these four political activists with whom you had contact in this time? Who did you think was the senior person?

MR MBANE: It is difficult to answer that question, Chairperson, because I cannot say that it was Ntombi who was the leader, but according to my perception, Ntombi was the sympathiser.

ADV BOSMAN: I seem to recall that at one stage you said that she was the leader, this is why I'm asking you this question, it wasn't quite clear to me.

MR MBANE: You cannot be a leader without training, Chairperson. You cannot lead the soldiers if you are not trained, so that is why I'm saying she was just sympathising with them, she was a sympathiser.

ADV BOSMAN: Was this ever discussed with your seniors, exactly what her position was? Did you ever discuss this with your white seniors?

MR MBANE: What I know is that people from exile used to come to her and she would look for accommodation for those people and help them financially and her people were also in exile.

ADV BOSMAN: Is this what you conveyed to your seniors, that she was just helping people to find accommodation, people from exile?

MR MBANE: This is what I saw, I perceived it that way because I could see that this person was not trained but she knew those people that were in exile.

ADV BOSMAN: No, but my question is, was this what you told your seniors? Did you tell them this woman had no training, her only role is to provide people who come into the country with accommodation?

MR MBANE: No, I did not tell them.

CHAIRPERSON: I think what Adv Bosman might be referring to is, we've had certain statements read out now by other applicants who, Baker et al, who say that she was the leader of the cell, do you know where they would have got that information from?

MR VAN DER MERWE: Mr Chairman just for the record, it was Mr Wills who asked the question, it was Joe Coetzer and de Kock's statements.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, sorry Mr van der Merwe.

MR VAN DER MERWE: Baker was not involved.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay.

Mr de Kock's statement and Mr Coetzer's statement which Mr Wills read out just now, they mention Ms Kubheka as being the leader of the cell, in their statements, where do you think they would have got that idea from? Whether they were right or wrong, but where would they have got it in their head that Ms Kubheka was the leader of a cell?

MR MBANE: I don't know where they got that idea, Chairperson.

ADV BOSMAN: Now who did you regard as the big fish? You know there were a number of people there and you must have had conversations and discussions with them, who did you regard as the big fish? The one who had to be sort of addressed first.

MR MBANE: I can say it was her because she was the one who knew where others were.

ADV BOSMAN: Okay now is this what you conveyed to your seniors, that this is the most important person with whom we are dealing?

MR MBANE: No, I did not tell them that.

ADV BOSMAN: The second question which I need some clarity on, Mr Mbane, is it's not clear to me where Mr Radebe really featured in your operation. From your evidence I gathered that you were the kingpin as it were, you were the important person in the operation, is that correct, or am I wrong?

MR MBANE: Yes, that is correct.

ADV BOSMAN: You were the important one in your operation in dealing with these four activists?

MR MBANE: That is correct.

ADV BOSMAN: Now what exactly was Mr Radebe's role, because he gave evidence that he was the senior person and that his role was that of the driver of a, generally your driver and he said a particular vehicle was allotted to him, allocated to him. How did you see his role, what was he there for?

MR MBANE: Radebe's role was to help us with transport and with money, so that is why a lot of times he would not be with us when we go there and sometimes he would be with us. That is why we ended up getting this Corolla. And he would not always be with us as he was the person who was helping us with transport and money.

ADV BOSMAN: Who allocated the Corolla to you?

MR MBANE: Botha told us to go to CR Swart to get a car.

ADV BOSMAN: And when you went to visit Ntombi's house, which vehicle did you use?

MR MBANE: The first time?

ADV BOSMAN: No - well yes, the first time.

MR MBANE: The first time we used the kombi. Simon was driving and then he dropped us about a kilometre from that house.

ADV BOSMAN: The subsequent visit?

MR MBANE: Sometimes we would use a kombi and sometimes I would drive a Corolla. I was the one who was driving the Corolla, even when we went to Sbu we were using the Corolla.

ADV BOSMAN: Thank you. Thank you, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Just one very quick question. Why do you think Mr Radebe would have shot the person who was in the back of the vehicle when you were driving? From what reason?

MR MBANE: I don't know, Chairperson, because I was driving at that time, I was behind the steering wheel.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but did you ask him, did you say to him "Well you know, what did you do that for? Why did you shoot the person, we were taking him back like we've done with Sbu and we'd done with the other chap that we'd put at the roadblock, why do you go and kill this man now?" Didn't you ask him?

MR MBANE: As my senior, Chairperson, I did not ask, I did not even think about asking him.

CHAIRPERSON: So as far as you were concerned you were driving a car with the idea of taking this person you had captured to your officers in charge, on the way without any explanation and completely against the plan, one of you shoots him through the head and you just dump the body at a hotel entrance and you say not a word, you don't question it at all? You just raise no query.

MR MBANE: Chairperson, the way we operated, our job was to do what we were told to do and if you see others doing something else, you don't ask questions. So as my senior, I just assumed that he knew what he was doing, so I did not ask him questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but you used to get drunk with Mr Radebe on duty, you got so drunk that you couldn't even go back to the base you had to sleep at the station, it wasn't a question of he's my officer, I can't say anything to him, you would get drunk together.

MR MBANE: Chairperson, I can't remember being so drunk or Radebe being so drunk and not even being able to see the way back.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, are you saying that - well that hasn't been touched upon, you didn't sleep at the station because Mr Radebe was drunk and couldn't go back to Winkelspruit in case he was seen to be drunk? Did you hear Mr Radebe's evidence about that?

MR MBANE: Yes, I heard his evidence, but I can't remember sleeping at the station. We used to sleep at the base.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Any questions arising, Mr Samuel?

MR SAMUEL: No.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR SAMUEL

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Visser?

MR VISSER: No, thank you Chairperson.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR VISSER

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Hugo?

NO QUESTIONS BY MR HUGO

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Nel?

NO QUESTIONS BY MR NEL

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Wills?

MR WILLS: No questions, Mr Chairperson.

NO QUESTIONS BY MR WILLS

CHAIRPERSON: Ms Thabethe?

MS THABETHE: No questions.

NO QUESTIONS BY MS THABETHE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mbane, thank you, that concludes your testimony.

WITNESS EXCUSED

MR SAMUEL: Mr Chairperson, if Mr Mbane is not being recalled from hence forth, may he be excused as he'd like to go back.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, he's not an applicant, he's an implicated person. Any objection to Mr Mbane being excused?

MR VISSER: If he's keen to get back to jail, Chairperson, he's welcome.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you may be excused from further attendance, Mr Mbane.

MR SAMUEL: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Samuel, you won't be leading any further witnesses will you?

MR SAMUEL: No further witnesses.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Thabethe?

MS THABETHE: Thank you, Mr Chair. I'm going to ask for a short adjournment because there are copies that I've made from the mortuary books.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes certainly, and if you could let us know as soon as you're ready and then I think in the meantime if these dresses could be, well they're all exhibits now, just packed up into the plastic, that arrangements could be made for that.

MR WILLS: I'm sorry Mr Chairperson, I wonder, it may be convenient at this time, the family and Mr Mbane would like to have a discussion in the spirit of reconciliation, I wonder, before Mr Mbane's return to prison if that could possibly take place this afternoon.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we can take an adjournment now.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

 
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