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Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARING

Starting Date 15 October 1998

Location JOHANNESBURG

Day 4

Names WILLEM JOHANNES VAN ZYL

Matter SHOOT-OUT AT DEVON RADAR BASE, SECUNDA

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CHAIRPERSON: Today is Thursday the 15th of October 1998, and we are continuing with the application of O.A. de Meillon and two others.

The judgment which is being made available now of Grobbelaar J, I assume that will just go into the record. Adv Steenkamp has pages 108 to 110.

ADV STEENKAMP: That is correct Mr Chairman. I have taken the liberty of making available copies already of the judgment. I received those documents, copies from Adv Prinsloo. The original is in the possession, or a copy of the original is in his possession Mr Chairman.

I am not sure if it is Exhibit C now or C1. I presume it must be C, or just part of the record them Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, the judgment, I didn't want to give it an exhibit number. I thought that that would normally have been part of the record in any case.

We will number those 108 - 110. Mr Coetzee, I think we have heard the application of the second applicant.

MR COETZEE: All right, I am calling Mr Willem Johannes van Zyl as the third applicant.

ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, just for the record, Mr Van Zyl's application appears on page 30 - 42 in the bundle. Thank you sir.

WILLEM JOHANNES VAN ZYL: (sworn states)

EXAMINATION BY MR COETZEE: Mr Van Zyl, you are the third applicant in this matter and you apply in terms of Section 18 of the National Unity and Reconciliation Act for gross human right violations, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is so sir.

MR COETZEE: Is it also correct that you are 35 years of age and that you are an Electro Mechanic?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And you are married and you have a wife and two children, respectively 14 and 11 years of age?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR COETZEE: Mr Van Zyl, could you just briefly sketch for us for the record, your background, where did you grow up?

MR VAN ZYL: I grew up in a conservative house in Bronkhorstspruit.

MR COETZEE: Is it correct that after school you underwent National Service?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: Was that in the period 1981/1982?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: Where did you do your National Service?

MR VAN ZYL: I did my National Service in Kimberley where I started, then I went to Pretoria for an Officer's course, and I spent the last few months on the border.

MR COETZEE: The Namibian border?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: In which Section did you serve?

MR VAN ZYL: I was in 1 Maintenance Unit, Logistics.

MR COETZEE: Were any of your friends or acquaintances killed in the war?

MR VAN ZYL: yes.

MR COETZEE: And during this border service and military training, did you have any discussions or were you elucidated regarding communism and the dangers involved in that?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes sir.

MR COETZEE: Whom did you believe at that stage, to be the enemy?

MR VAN ZYL: The communists such as the ANC, the Communist Party.

MR COETZEE: The SACP?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR COETZEE: Did you believe that they held a serious threat to your continued existence?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes sir.

MR COETZEE: In 1988 you started working in the Electrical Division of Secunda Mine as an Electro Technician after passing your apprenticeship?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct sir.

MR COETZEE: Do you have any previous convictions?

MR VAN ZYL: No sir.

MR COETZEE: And up to that stage, would you have described yourself as a useful citizen of the country?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes sir.

MR COETZEE: When did you join the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging?

MR VAN ZYL: In December 1993.

MR COETZEE: What was the reason for doing so?

MR VAN ZYL: It was a right-wing military organisation which influenced the political scene and it served, it fitted in with my religious convictions, and it would protect my personal belongings as well.

MR COETZEE: Could you please tell us what the atmosphere was that reigned in Secunda during the period December 1993 to April 1994? What were the feelings in Secunda?

MR VAN ZYL: Secunda was very strongly CP oriented.

MR COETZEE: How strong was the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging in the area?

MR VAN ZYL: They were strong sir.

MR COETZEE: Were you also aware of an organisation by the name of the Boere Bevrydingsbeweging?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, I did.

MR COETZEE: How did they fit in with the right-wing Afrikaner politics, were they also part of it?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, they were part of right-wing politics.

MR COETZEE: In the course of your work, and in your circle of friends, did you discuss politics?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct Mr Chair.

MR COETZEE: Did you attend any meetings of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR COETZEE: Could you please tell us a bit more about it, how regularly, what was discussed at the meetings?

MR VAN ZYL: We had a meeting every week in various houses of the various members. At the beginning it was an open meeting after which there was a meeting only for members, where we discussed protecting our houses, families.

MR COETZEE: This protection of houses and families, who said that there was a danger that your houses and families could be attacked?

MR VAN ZYL: We had received pamphlets in our post-boxes which warned us against the enemy, which would attack us and this was during the elections.

MR COETZEE: What was your planning to overcome this danger?

MR VAN ZYL: We selected specific homes where we would be taking the women and the children and the men would protect these houses.

MR COETZEE: What weapons did you have at your disposal to protect the women and children?

MR VAN ZYL: We only had hand held firearms and rifles.

MR COETZEE: Now, what was the weaponry that you believed the enemy to have?

MR VAN ZYL: Fully automatic firearms.

MR COETZEE: Mr Holder also testified yesterday that you and him participated with the BWB to protect a convoy of moving vehicles?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct Mr Chair.

MR COETZEE: Did you also participate in a night shooting exercise?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR COETZEE: How long before the 1994 elections were these exercises held?

MR VAN ZYL: Approximately two weeks before that.

MR COETZEE: And when did you meet Mr Ockert de Meillon, the first applicant?

MR VAN ZYL: Approximately the same time that we participated in these exercises.

MR COETZEE: With reference to time then, you mean about two weeks before the incident?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR COETZEE: Who introduced Mr De Meillon to you?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Van Schalkwyk who was my Commanding Officer at that stage.

MR COETZEE: This Mr Van Schalkwyk, did he have a rank in the AWB?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, he was a Commandant.

MR COETZEE: Could you perhaps tell us a bit more about the ranks and lines of command in the AWB?

MR VAN ZYL: Well we had a Chief Commandant and then we had two Commandants under him. Mr Van Schalkwyk was one of these. We were members in his Unit, you could call it.

MR COETZEE: And was the AWB just a social organisation or did it operate along military lines?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, they did along military lines.

MR COETZEE: If somebody put a request to you, did you think you could fulfil it or not?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, I did have a choice.

MR COETZEE: If somebody with the rank of Commandant were to tell you to do something, how did you experience that?

MR VAN ZYL: As I have been taught in the Defence Force as well, he was of a higher rank than I was, and I was supposed to carry out his instructions.

MR COETZEE: At this stage when you met Mr De Meillon, when Mr Van Schalkwyk introduced him to you, whom did he tell you Mr De Meillon was?

MR VAN ZYL: He told me that he was a Commandant in the BWB, Mr Chair.

MR COETZEE: Was there any indication of his efficiency and capabilities?

MR VAN ZYL: No sir.

MR COETZEE: On the 23rd of April, that was the day of the shooting incident at Devon, in the course of the afternoon, were you present at your house when Messrs De Meillon and Van Schalkwyk arrived there?

MR VAN ZYL: No sir.

MR COETZEE: Did you at a stage arrive at your home and found Mr Holder there?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair, I was at a friend's home where Mr Holder went to fetch me.

MR COETZEE: What did Mr Holder then tell you?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Holder told me that Mr De Meillon and Mr Van Schalkwyk had spoken to him, and we had been told to go to Pretoria where we would go and obtain firearms.

MR COETZEE: What were the firearms you were going to obtain?

MR VAN ZYL: Automatic firearms.

MR COETZEE: What would these be used for?

MR VAN ZYL: For our safe houses where we were to protect the families.

MR COETZEE: Was the end of this then, or was the decision then that you went to Pretoria with Mr De Meillon and Mr Holder?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: At that stage, when you were on your way to Pretoria, what did you believe to be the target?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, that there would have been illegal firearms at a certain place where we had to go and fetch them. We were informed that it was an easy target and that by the time of the evening we arrived there, the people would normally be drunk.

MR COETZEE: Who had brought you under this impression?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr De Meillon.

MR COETZEE: When you arrived in Pretoria, what happened?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr De Meillon told me that we had to go to Vermeulen Street. I took him to Vermeulen Street.

MR COETZEE: What happened then?

MR VAN ZYL: Afterwards I heard that it was a Defence Headquarters' building. There were two guards at that stage, and four more guards arrived.

He told us to eliminate the guards who were there and rob them of their firearms.

MR COETZEE: Were you prepared to do so?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR COETZEE: And what was then the end of the, or the conclusion of this Pretoria operation?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, we returned to Secunda.

MR COETZEE: Could you possibly give us an indication of what time you departed from Secunda to Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: Approximately four o'clock the afternoon.

MR COETZEE: How long did you spend in Pretoria in total would you say?

MR VAN ZYL: About half an hour.

MR COETZEE: And then you returned by driving back in the direction of Secunda, what happened?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, we stopped along the way and Mr De Meillon said to us that we had to go to Devon because he knew the base, he had done his military service there.

He wanted to go and see what the situation was, what it looked like.

MR COETZEE: At that stage, did you have a shotgun with you?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: Where was it?

MR VAN ZYL: It was in the boot of the car.

MR COETZEE: Did you take it out at any stage?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR COETZEE: You then dropped off Messrs Holder and De Meillon at the Radar Station at Devon?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR COETZEE: What was the arrangement for you, what were you supposed to do then?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, I had to wait from eleven o'clock to 11:20, when they would return and it was done at the instruction of Mr De Meillon.

MR COETZEE: The fact that Mr De Meillon was 21 years of age at that stage, did it influence your decision as to carrying out his instructions or not?

MR VAN ZYL: No, it didn't.

MR COETZEE: Why not?

MR VAN ZYL: He was a Commandant in the BWB, I had been put under his command to carry out his commands and instructions.

MR COETZEE: Did you have any rank in the AWB?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR COETZEE: Then what happened while you were waiting there?

MR VAN ZYL: I just heard three shots and then I saw Mr De Meillon and Mr Holder come running towards the car.

MR COETZEE: When they arrived at the car, what was reported to you?

MR VAN ZYL: I was told that the one policeman had perhaps been killed, it is the first time that I heard that there were policemen there, and Mr De Meillon left the stolen firearm in my car, and told me to keep it with me.

MR COETZEE: The stolen firearm was a 9 mm pistol?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct Mr Chair.

MR COETZEE: You then drove back to Secunda where you dropped off Mr De Meillon?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR COETZEE: Could you perhaps tell us where you, or describe to us where you dropped him off?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, just as you go into Secunda, there is a house on the left, we dropped him off there. It is just a little hillock which prevents the wind, or which blocks the wind and Mr Van Rensburg lived there, Mr De Meillon went to him.

MR COETZEE: Mr Van Rensburg, did he belong to the organisation and what was his rank?

MR VAN ZYL: He was a General in the BWB.

MR COETZEE: Was the idea the Mr De Meillon would go to Mr Van Rensburg's home?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, Mr Chair.

MR COETZEE: Did you then also go to - well, where did you go after, you and Mr Holder, after dropping off Mr De Meillon?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, we went to Mr Van Rensburg's home to tell him that Mr De Meillon had been wounded, and he told us that he had already arrived, that is Mr De Meillon, and that they would pass the message on to Mr Van Schalkwyk.

MR COETZEE: Did you discuss this operation with some of your AWB Officers?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR COETZEE: With whom and what were the circumstances?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Flippie Maree told us that the police already knew about the incident.

MR COETZEE: Could you perhaps tell us who Flippie Maree is in the AWB?

MR VAN ZYL: He is a Lieutenant in the AWB.

MR COETZEE: Also in Secunda?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR COETZEE: So he said the police already knew about the incident?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct Mr Chair.

MR COETZEE: What did you then do with the pistol?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr Maree told me to disassemble the pistol and throw it in the dam.

MR COETZEE: What did you do then?

MR VAN ZYL: I carried out his instructions.

MR COETZEE: Is it correct that you were then arrested on the 27th of April?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: You were found guilty on charges of murder and armed robbery and on each of these charges, you were sentenced to eight years imprisonment, as well as the unlawful possession of the firearm for which you were sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, and the illegal possession of ammunition.

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR COETZEE: With an order that the sentences should run concurrently, which would lead to eight years of effective imprisonment?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: Mr Van Zyl, during the trial where you were tried as a criminal, evidence was also presented that you participated in an identification in Devon?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And the Court ultimately found that you and Mr Holder according to your evidence, on the evening before the incident, did not go to Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR COETZEE: Could you please explain?

MR VAN ZYL: I did not mention Pretoria, because I was asked about the incident at Devon. I did not regard Pretoria as part of that incident.

MR COETZEE: Mr Van Zyl, how do you feel today regarding these events?

MR VAN ZYL: I am deeply remorseful about what happened to Mr Terreblanche. I ask for forgiveness from his parents and his next of kin.

MR COETZEE: The question arises why you have not indicated this remorse to his family and friends?

MR VAN ZYL: During the criminal trial one of the conditions was that I should not contact the family of the victim.

MR COETZEE: And after your conviction, did you have any opportunity to make contact with them?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR COETZEE: Mr Van Zyl, with regards to your future plans, should you be granted amnesty, what would you be planning to do with your life ahead?

MR VAN ZYL: Never again to become involved with any political activities or political parties.

MR COETZEE: Were any indications given to you that work would be available to you?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR COETZEE: And regarding your wife and children, do they support you up until this very day?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: Do you or did you draw any personal advantage through this action?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR COETZEE: And if it was said to you that the ultimate result of your action would be that one pistol would be stolen from a white policeman and that he would have to pay with his life for that, what would you have done then?

MR VAN ZYL: I wouldn't have done it.

MR COETZEE: At the stage when Mr Holder and De Meillon left for the base with their firearms, did you envisage the possibility of somebody being shot?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR COETZEE: Thank you, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR COETZEE

CHAIRPERSON: You said that you left for Pretoria approximately four o'clock that afternoon. What time did you arrive there?

MR VAN ZYL: Approximately half past six.

CHAIRPERSON: Half past six, and you spent approximately half an hour there?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So you would estimate that you left there at approximately seven o'clock then?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Thus it took approximately two hours, a little over two hours, to travel from Secunda to Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: Approximately that long, yes Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: What time did the incident at Devon take place?

MR VAN ZYL: Between 11 o'clock and half past eleven that evening.

CHAIRPERSON: Where did you spend the time before you arrived at Devon?

MR VAN ZYL: We stopped along the way, just on the other side of Delmas.

CHAIRPERSON: What did you do?

MR VAN ZYL: We chatted.

CHAIRPERSON: Was that the only place that you stopped at?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: How long would you say you spent there?

MR VAN ZYL: Approximately 45 minutes.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you plan anything there?

MR VAN ZYL: No. We were just told that we were to go around, via Devon and see what was happening there.

CHAIRPERSON: Did De Meillon say that he was going to have a look at what was going on there?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, him and Mr Holder.

CHAIRPERSON: So he wasn't sure about what was going on there?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Did he say that he hadn't been there for some time?

MR VAN ZYL: The last time he had been there, was when he was doing an Air Force camp, I don't know how long ago that had been.

CHAIRPERSON: What did he say about what he wanted to go and see there?

MR VAN ZYL: He wanted to go and look at the arsenal of weapons and reconnoitre the area.

CHAIRPERSON: Reconnoitre the area and see if there were weapons?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Were there any idea that an attempt would be made to take weapons at Devon?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Was there?

MR VAN ZYL: If they had found the weapons, I believe they would have taken them.

CHAIRPERSON: But was that ever discussed?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr De Meillon was only going to have a look at what was going on there and to see whether or not there were weapons?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: But you said that you believed that if they had found weapons, they would have taken them?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: You didn't think that they were going to shoot people dead there?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

CHAIRPERSON: If De Meillon had said to you look here, I am taking weapons there, and if I find anybody, I am going to shoot them dead?

MR VAN ZYL: I wouldn't have dropped him off.

CHAIRPERSON: You would have thought that that was a stupid plan?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prinsloo?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Zyl, in your evidence you said that Mr De Meillon created a certain impression with you in Secunda, what was that impression?

MR VAN ZYL: He told us that we were to go to Pretoria because there was an arsenal where we would be able to obtain weapons.

MR PRINSLOO: That you would be able to obtain these weapons from guards?

MR VAN ZYL: No, he said that there was an arsenal which they had already observed.

MR PRINSLOO: Was it clear to you that these weapons would be taken from guards?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR PRINSLOO: According to your evidence, Mr De Meillon said that weapons would be taken from guards who were standing duty at that arsenal?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And did they have automatic weapons?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR PRINSLOO: So it wasn't a question of first killing them and then taking their weapons, there would be the attempt to take their weapons first?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And you identified yourself with that, that the plan did not realise?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR PRINSLOO: And the fact that you went to Pretoria for that purpose, was informed to the police during the investigation. Did they know about it or not?

MR VAN ZYL: Could you repeat that please?

MR PRINSLOO: Did the police know that you had gone to Pretoria before you went to Devon?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Mr Chair.

MR PRINSLOO: According to Mr De Meillon's evidence and statement, the police already knew and that aspect had been investigated by them. Do you know about that?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR PRINSLOO: You took a shotgun with you, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: The AWB's policy was that wherever we went, we would take our weapons with us.

MR PRINSLOO: Should it be necessary, you would have used that shotgun?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And you also knew that you would be obtaining guns unlawfully and that that weapon may be used at some point, because of the circumstances?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR PRINSLOO: And you also knew that your two co-applicants were armed and you foresaw the possibility that they could use these weapons if necessary?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR PRINSLOO: So you identified yourself with the idea that a robbery would take place and possibly a murder or a serious injury of this nature, did you foresee that?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Prinsloo, and you yourself, under what circumstances would you make use of the shotgun?

MR VAN ZYL: If my life had been in danger, if I had been threatened.

CHAIRPERSON: In order to defend yourself?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Would you have attacked anybody with that gun?

MR VAN ZYL: If I had been in danger, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: But not in a situation where you were not in danger?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

CHAIRPERSON: For example to attack someone who had weapons, to shoot that person and then take his weapons?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Prinsloo.

MR PRINSLOO: Thank you Chairperson. Mr Van Zyl, were you aware that the AWB also issued instructions to its members, as it has been seen in previous applications, to obtain guns unlawfully for the war?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: Did you have any training in AWB camps?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR PRINSLOO: Not in the handling of weapons? Did you have military training?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: At Devon itself, I would like to refer you, just a minute please, page 39 of the bundle, paragraph 18, I will read it to you. Later that evening, we went back to Secunda and we passed the Devon Radar Complex. Mr De Meillon told us that he had performed military duty there earlier, and that there was an arsenal where weapons could easily be obtained.

Did you hear that, did you see that?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr De Meillon said expressly that he knew that there were weapons there, that he had done military service there earlier and that the plan was to obtain the weapons from that place, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: If the weapons had been there, we would have informed others, depending upon the amount of weapons that we were supposed to go and fetch.

MR PRINSLOO: You say here as I understand it, that when you stopped there the plan was to obtain weapons?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR PRINSLOO: Then what are you trying to say, could you please explain this to the Committee.

You say that Mr De Meillon informed us that he had performed military service there earlier, and that there was an arsenal where weapons could easily be obtained and you stopped there, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: So what else did Mr De Meillon and Mr Holder do there, other than fetch weapons, because that was the plan?

MR VAN ZYL: The order was to reconnoitre the area, to go and see what was going on there.

MR PRINSLOO: But according to Mr Van Schalkwyk, your Commander, the order which was given for Pretoria, was to go and fetch weapons and you could decide for yourself what your plan would be and what the time would be when you would undertake this.

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: So it is not even about reconnaissance, it is about fetching the weapons, that is the order?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: So why would there be a sudden change in plan at Devon, especially when this person knew the place and he had undergone training there, and he knew that there were weapons, that the guards had automatic weapons, that it was an Air Force base and both of them went in there, armed, Holder and De Meillon, what else did you understand about this order?

MR VAN ZYL: It was to go and fetch weapons in Pretoria.

MR PRINSLOO: But if I understand the evidence correctly, you didn't know exactly where you were supposed to fetch these weapons, only Mr De Meillon would know?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: So how can you say there specifically, aren't you making a mistake regarding what was said? What is your position? Think carefully.

MR VAN ZYL: We were supposed to go and see what was going on in Devon.

MR PRINSLOO: But you didn't say that here in your application?

MR VAN ZYL: I assumed that if there were weapons, they would have taken them, but that was not the order.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry Mr Prinsloo, when you left Secunda or when you climbed into your car in Secunda and you started driving, were you aware of where you were going?

MR VAN ZYL: We only knew that we were going to Pretoria.

CHAIRPERSON: Who told you this?

MR VAN ZYL: On the way to Pretoria, Mr De Meillon told me that we were going to Vermeulen Street.

CHAIRPERSON: Let's leave Vermeulen Street there for a moment, you have climbed into your car and you are driving your car, did you know where you were going?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, we were going to Pretoria.

CHAIRPERSON: You knew that you were going to Pretoria? Did you know exactly where in Pretoria you were headed, or did you find this out only as you were approaching Pretoria, or once you were in Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: Only once we were in Pretoria.

CHAIRPERSON: But you knew that you were supposed to drive from Secunda to Pretoria.

MR VAN ZYL: I beg your pardon?

CHAIRPERSON: You knew that you were supposed to drive from Secunda to Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you informed before you started driving away from Secunda, that you were to go to Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Who told you that?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr De Meillon.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Prinsloo.

MR PRINSLOO: Thank you Chair. You knew that the circumstances in Pretoria were not favourable and that another plan had to be made?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR PRINSLOO: Did this happen on the way?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR PRINSLOO: Because you were subject to the orders of Mr De Meillon?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: While you were waiting in the car and Holder and De Meillon went into the base, according to your version and your statement, you heard three shots, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: At that stage, did you believe that there was indeed still an Air Force base there?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: You weren't aware that the police had taken over that place with the Division of Internal Stability?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR PRINSLOO: For your purpose it was necessary in order to obtain automatic weapons?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR PRINSLOO: And from your experience in the Defence Force, was it correct that those members always stood guard with automatic weapons?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: The fact that a pistol was taken or dropped, is a factor of circumstances?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: But the taking of an automatic weapon, whether by violence or not, would have been acceptable to you under the circumstances?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: I would to put it to you clearly that Mr De Meillon never told you in Pretoria that the guards were to be eliminated, and only then would their weapons be taken.

Their weapons were to be taken and then, if problems were to arise, the possibility would exist that they may be exist?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: But then what did you mean when you said that Mr De Meillon said that you were to eliminate the guards?

MR VAN ZYL: That they had to be killed in order to obtain their weapons.

CHAIRPERSON: At which stage were they to be killed then because you were very close to the Military Headquarters' building in Vermeulen Street and there were a number of guards standing around there. What did Mr De Meillon say to you?

MR VAN ZYL: He said that we were to eliminate the guards and take their firearms, once we had seen how many guards were standing duty.

CHAIRPERSON: So he said that you were to eliminate these guards, in other words you were supposed to kill them?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And then take their weapons?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: What did you say?

MR VAN ZYL: I told him that he was mad. I didn't go there to kill people.

CHAIRPERSON: And Mr Holder?

MR VAN ZYL: He told him not to be silly.

CHAIRPERSON: So you dissuaded him from this?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And did he listen to you and did he agree with you?

MR VAN ZYL: I beg your pardon?

CHAIRPERSON: Did he agree with you?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And he then also accepted that the operation could not be executed?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Prinsloo.

ADV GCABASHE: Mr Prinsloo, one minute. Then the matter of the propaganda to kill them for propaganda purposes, was this part of this discussion you have just testified on?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

ADV GCABASHE: Where did that fit in to the original plan as you understood it, what you were dissuading him to do, to shoot the guards and take the weapons? Where did the propaganda aspect fit in?

MR VAN ZYL: When we were in Pretoria, in front of the building.

ADV GCABASHE: I may have lost you in the conversation. I understood you to be saying that the idea from Mr De Meillon was you would take these weapons, deal with the guards if you had to, yes?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: And you refused to do this because the odds were against you essentially?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Then when did the propaganda issue come in, because I understood that to be a separate issue. Did he then afterwards say let's do it anyway for propaganda purposes, just kill them? I just want clarification that?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct, after ...

ADV GCABASHE: But explain it in your own words, I am just trying to put the pieces together, you were there, explain exactly what the sequence was.

MR VAN ZYL: First he wanted us to eliminate the guards and we said no. Then he said that we should eliminate them for propaganda reasons, but we still refused to do that.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Who had, when Mr Holder had these ideas, what did you think of his outlook, what did you think of him as a person, what sort of person was he? He saw that there were a number of guards there and you said to him, no, it is not going to work, and he said well, let's shoot them for propaganda reasons. What did you think of him when he said that?

MR VAN ZYL: I thought he was mad, because it was dangerous amongst all those people there.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Prinsloo?

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Zyl, you had a shotgun in your boot, Mr De Meillon had a pistol and Mr Holder had a revolver. How did you think you were going to take on guards who were armed with automatic firearms? Did you think that it was a viable option?

Do you understand the question?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR PRINSLOO: Do you think that you could have taken on those guards with a pistol and a revolver?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes Chairperson.

MR PRINSLOO: But they had automatic firearms, are you being serious?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR PRINSLOO: You are simply saying yes, what do you mean by that?

MR VAN ZYL: If they had hidden away ...

MR PRINSLOO: But if they had started shooting and there having been six of them, do you think you could have defended yourself against them simply with a pistol?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR PRINSLOO: I am putting it to you that Mr De Meillon never said that these people were to be killed for propaganda reasons and that the only reason was to obtain weapons?

MR VAN ZYL: No, he had propaganda reasons.

MR PRINSLOO: And coincidentally you used the same words as your co-applicant in this application.

I put it to you that when you arrived at Devon, Mr De Meillon made it clear that he knew the place, and that there were weapons to be obtained from the guards who were on duty there, automatic weapons?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

ADV GCABASHE: Just one small point of clarification Mr Prinsloo, Mr Van Zyl, were these white guards who were outside, the six who were there, were they all white?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

ADV GCABASHE: They were a mixture of black and white, or just black?

MR VAN ZYL: And coloureds as well.

ADV GCABASHE: So black and white, just a general mix, thank you. The first two you found, were white?

MR VAN ZYL: Coloureds.

ADV GCABASHE: Okay, then the others who joined, were a mixture of both black and white?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Van Zyl, what was your school qualification?

MR VAN ZYL: Standard 9.

INTERPRETER: Speaker's microphone not on.

MR PRINSLOO: The question was what was your school qualification and the answer was standard 9. Just a moment please. No further questions thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR PRINSLOO

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Prinsloo. Mr Van Schalkwyk?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Mr Van Zyl, did De Meillon ever indicate to you at the Air Force Headquarters, that he didn't want to shoot the guards because there were white and coloured guards there as well?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: So his order there was also to shoot white guards, in order to obtain their weapons?

MR VAN ZYL: No Chairperson.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Was his order to shoot the guards for propaganda reasons regardless whether they were white or black?

MR VAN ZYL: He didn't mention race.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: In other words, did he simply tell you shoot the guards?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, he wanted the weapons, the automatic firearms.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: At the Devon base, if you had stolen this arsenal of weapons, how would you have taken it away from there?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, it would depend upon the amount of weapons that there were.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Well, let's say that there was 500 kg or 100 weapons, how would you have taken these weapons?

MR VAN ZYL: We would have gone back with a bakkie or a larger vehicle than mine.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Was it arranged that a bakkie was on standby?

MR VAN ZYL: No, those were my own ideas. It was not mentioned.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Were you aware of any person who would be ready and waiting to come and help load?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: The entire operation was executed by means of your vehicle. Who paid for the petrol?

MR VAN ZYL: I paid for it myself.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Before this operation, did you fill up your tank or did you fill it up on the way to the operation?

MR VAN ZYL: On the way.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: I will shortly put it to you that you said that the only time that you stopped, was on the way back when you urinated. Why didn't you tell us that you also filled up the tank?

MR COETZEE: I must object, Honourable Chair, the question was during the journey from Pretoria to Secunda, was there any moment when you stopped, and this question is not within context?

CHAIRPERSON: That is correct, perhaps you should put it in that light.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: I accept it as such. Sir, I would like to state to you that it was a very long time from four o'clock to eleven o'clock, did you stop somewhere to eat anything?

MR VAN ZYL: No sir.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: I would like to state to you that in the initial court case and in your identifications, etc, with the police, you never mentioned that you had stopped and urinated along the road and that you were discussing things for about three quarters of an hour along the road?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, I was asked to point out where the incident had taken place, and that was only in Devon.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: I would like to submit to you that with the South African Police, you went through a minute to minute process of how the events progressed and that you drove the whole way with them.

MR VAN ZYL: Could you please repeat that?

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: I submit to you that you made certain identifications to the police and that you went with members of the South African Police, you travelled the whole road, the exact route that you had followed, and you showed that to the police?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chairman, they asked me to point out the route to where the incident took place, and that was the road I knew to get to Devon.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Well, I will like to point to the finding on page 78 that you had moved with the police and pointed out to them the route that evening, which started at 19H40 with the police, where you started at Constantia hostel, that you went to room B203, that from there you went to Ockie's room, that you then departed from the hostel with the police and that you extensively described to them, the road which you had travelled from the hotel to Devon and that in no way did you indicate that you had driven to Pretoria and explained the road directly to Devon.

MR VAN ZYL: Well, they had asked me to point out where the event had taken place at Devon, the incident. That is what I did.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Sir, I am submitting to you that in a question in the court, during the court case, you had indicated that an entry had been made at 19H50 where you had gone to Pretoria, but that would have been impossible to have driven to Pretoria in the time that you are talking about.

I don't understand that clearly sir. I submit that there had been too little time to travel to Pretoria on that particular evening, and that initially you had also indicated to the police, that you hadn't gone to Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: I was in Pretoria Mr Chairman.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Why did you then indicate to the police that you had driven directly from the hotel to Devon?

MR VAN ZYL: Because they had just asked me the route to Devon where the incident had taken place, they didn't ask me anything about Pretoria.

I didn't regard Pretoria as part of the incident Mr Chairman.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: So what you are saying to us is that the first attempt to steal firearms, was not regarded by you as part of the operation?

MR VAN ZYL: I was arrested for murder and robbery and I was asked where the incident had taken place Mr Chairman.

ADV GCABASHE: But Mr Van Zyl, looking at the very same paragraph from page 77 to 78, I have always understood you evidence to be and correct me if I am wrong, that the Army camp that you had targeted, where there would be black people who were drunk, was Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: This paragraph, page 77 to 78, is referring to Devon, because you did not talk about Pretoria at all, or have I got something wrong here? Which is what I think part of what Mr Van Schalkwyk is dealing with, this Army camp, you were talking to the police and the Court in relation to this particular paragraph, but you talk about the same blacks at an Army camp who would have been drunk.

I am not too sure as to where this camp was supposed to be. You are telling us it was Pretoria, you said to the Court and the police you were referring to Devon. Just help me with that, maybe I have just misunderstood something.

MR VAN ZYL: I just described to them where the incident had taken place. Would you have regarded Pretoria as part of the incident?

ADV GCABASHE: No, I am simply talking about the reference here and as you realise, my Afrikaans isn't that ... (new page) ... Pretoria material, the Pretoria target was this camp where there would be drunk black people normally and you would be able to get these weapons relatively easily.

This here talks about Devon, not Pretoria, but the same fact is used here. This is why I am saying maybe you can help me, because maybe I am getting it wrong.

MR VAN ZYL: It was the finding of the Court, and they didn't refer to Pretoria.

MR COETZEE: Mr Chair, if I could just assist. I believe that the parties are talking passed each other at this stage, page 77 and I would respectfully point this out, that was just the finding of the Court a quo with regard to the case against Mr Van Zyl and Mr Holder, and this is the finding of the Court, this is not the testimony that Mr Van Zyl, or the evidence that Mr Van Zyl would have given.

The Court in line 24 as part of the finding says that it is clear that this visit to Pretoria is a figment of the imagination. This is not the evidence of Mr Van Zyl's that he is being confronted with, but rather the finding of the Court.

CHAIRPERSON: It appears to me as if Mr Van Zyl in his evidence before the Court had said that he had indeed mentioned Pretoria in the places he pointed out because it appears as if from his evidence, the entry on page 78 opposite the time 19H50, is incomplete because there should also have been a reference to the trip to Pretoria.

It appears as if during the trial he had said he had pointed it out, he had mentioned Pretoria to the police and he had pointed it out but the police had just not entered it correctly, recorded it correctly and on the basis of all of this, the Court decided that it must have been a figment of the imagination that they had visited Pretoria.

There was no reference in the notes regarding what was pointed out to Pretoria, there was no reference to Pretoria and it seems as if there was a further complication in that regard in the sense that Mr Van Zyl says that he had indeed pointed out Pretoria to them, but they had just not written that down.

That is the way I read it, but perhaps he could explain it to us exactly what had happened at the trial. Did you listen to the discussion we had now Mr Van Zyl?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it indeed so - Mr Van Zyl, could we clarify the situation, let's see if we can.

You apparently in your statements made to the police, you made no reference to Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chairman.

CHAIRPERSON: And that is what you confirm us today?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: You didn't refer to Pretoria, because you didn't regard it as relevant, it actually concerned the murder?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: When it came to the trial, you indeed mentioned Pretoria in your testimony?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: You referred to the trip to Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: And then it became apparent that the Court had criticised your testimony because the Court said that there had been no reference in your statements to Pretoria, that there had been no reference in the notes pointing out things, to Pretoria and therefore the Court found that the trip to Pretoria was simply something that had been made up, a story made up and that it had never taken place?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So you tried to convince the Court that you had indeed been in Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And they didn't believe you?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: There is just one more point that I would like to ask you about. At the bottom of page 77, the very last line, the Court quotes from your statement which they referred to then.

Reference is made to the firearms at a place and then on page 78, it is stated at the top of the page, I didn't know that there were policemen there, they said there were blacks, it was an Army camp there at Devon, I drove the vehicle.

In the statement you made to the police, you said you had been told to collect the firearms in Devon, that is where the Army base was, and that is where the black guards were. Is that correct, is that your version in your statement to the police when you made it to them?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: But that is basically a lie then?

MR VAN ZYL: I beg your pardon.

CHAIRPERSON: The statement that you made is therefore a lie sir? The statement to the police?

MR VAN ZYL: No sir.

CHAIRPERSON: Specifically with regard to this Army base at Devon?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, I sort of amalgamated the two when I was in court, I didn't specifically mention Pretoria in my statement.

CHAIRPERSON: When you spoke to the police, you didn't refer to Pretoria, because you didn't regard it as necessary? You didn't need to refer to the trip to Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: So you told the police nothing about the trip to Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: And then you adjusted your story to exclude Pretoria and you said that the black guards were at the Devon base, in other words you substituted Pretoria for Devon in the statement you made to the police?

MR VAN ZYL: I contradicted myself there Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: No, but look, you didn't want to speak to them about Pretoria.

MR VAN ZYL: They just asked me about the incident in Devon Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: But what I mean is, if I understand your evidence correctly, there was no discussion that there were blacks, that it was an Army base, etc. There was no discussion like that between you and Mr De Meillon?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: But that conversation was with regard to Pretoria as a matter of fact?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So when you made the statement to the police, you actually took the discussion that had taken place with regard to Pretoria, and applied that to Devon?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Was that to make the whole thing more credible to the police, to keep Pretoria out of it?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, I didn't regard Pretoria, or think of Pretoria as part of the incident Mr Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Fine. Mr Van Schalkwyk, my apologies, you may continue.

MR SIBANYONI: Just one question Mr Van Schalkwyk, before you continue. If you didn't want to speak about Pretoria, why did you speak of the Army base and the blacks there, because I understand this has something to do with Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: I was referring to the guards in Pretoria Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Sir, was it your object at all to steal firearms?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: You were successful in stealing one firearm?

MR VAN ZYL: No, it wasn't successful Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: But you did manage to steal one firearm?

MR VAN ZYL: I didn't steal it Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Sir, you were in possession of this firearm that had been stolen, afterwards, at any rate?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Why didn't you then go and give this firearm to your Lieutenant, but rather go and throw it into the water, the purpose was to obtain an arm to use? Why did you go and throw it away?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, the idea was to obtain automatic firearms and the same Officer told me to throw away the pistol.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: So what you are saying, only automatic firearms would be held, whereas hand held arms would be thrown away?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: What you are saying is a policeman was killed for a side arm, which you would throw away then, because it wasn't an automatic weapon?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Sir, you have just said side arms would be thrown away, a policeman is shot for a side arm that was thrown away?

MR VAN ZYL: What I am saying sir is that we didn't need side arms, we had them. The purpose was to obtain automatic firearms.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: So if Mr De Meillon says that this firearm had been stolen for the purpose of stealing that firearm, then he is lying?

MR VAN ZYL: Please repeat your question sir.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: If Mr De Meillon says that the purpose was to steal the firearm, then you say the purpose was not to steal a side arm, only automatic arms?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, only automatic arms sir.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: As far as your knowledge goes, is Mr De Meillon open-hearted and honest in everything?

MR VAN ZYL: I don't know him at all sir, I met him twice only.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: You say you don't know him at all?

MR VAN ZYL: I had only met him twice, I don't know his attitude and personality.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: You would therefore not regard him as a confidante or friend?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: With regard to the facts of this case, do you differ from Mr De Meillon?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes sir.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: So you are saying to us that Mr De Meillon is not open-hearted and honest in his application or the facts he is putting before you?

MR VAN ZYL: There are people he is protecting sir.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: My question is again, is he open-hearted and honest in the facts that he is bringing here?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: With regard to Mr Holder who was with you, is he open-hearted and honest?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Do you have any knowledge as in the case of Mr De Meillon, where he was not open-hearted?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Sir, did any of these people who accompanied you, use or take any alcohol that evening?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Did you use any other habit forming medication or drugs?

MR VAN ZYL: No sir.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Do you possess any other firearm?

MR VAN ZYL: No sir.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: When you arrived in Pretoria at the end of this trip, was it light or dark?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, it was strong dusk sir.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: When you left there, was it still light?

MR VAN ZYL: No, it was dark.

INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone cut out at that stage.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: The first applicant wrote to the father of the policeman who was killed, why didn't you do the same?

MR VAN ZYL: I didn't have his address and I didn't know whom to contact Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Did you make any attempts to obtain his address?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: So sir, how can you say that you have remorse towards the family if you didn't at all try to contact them?

MR VAN ZYL: Sir, I know how I feel inside about this event, this incident and about the deceased person.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: You pleaded not guilty in your trial, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: But that isn't the action of somebody who has remorse to plead not guilty?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, I did so because my legal advisor told me to plead not guilty.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: I would like to state to you that if you were a person of integrity, who had remorse, you would have told your legal representative that you were going to plead guilty.

MR VAN ZYL: Well, I wasn't accused of complicity sir.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: When you filled your vehicle with petrol, was it done before your co-accused arrived at your house, or afterwards?

MR VAN ZYL: Afterwards sir.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: What you are saying is they arrived at your house, they said we must go and fill the vehicle?

MR VAN ZYL: No, nobody told me to go and fill up the vehicle with fuel.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: I am stating to you that it was not at all raised in the trial that the vehicle had been filled with fuel to drive to Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: So you are admitting that nowhere at the trial or in your statements did you refer to the filling of your vehicle?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: You were extensively cross-examined in this regard, why didn't you ever mention it during your trial?

MR VAN ZYL: I saw no use of involving putting petrol into my car with the incident.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Well sir, you pointed out or indicated to the police minute by minute account of the road travelled, of the events that took place and nowhere along this road indicated to them, did you mention that you had put in fuel?

MR VAN ZYL: It might have slipped my mind, but they asked me about the incident at Devon.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Sir, you said that you drove to Pretoria, it is a fairly long trip. What was the conversation about?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, it was about the firearms we had to obtain in Pretoria sir.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Was extensive planning done as to who did what?

MR VAN ZYL: No sir.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Did you also take a uniform with you?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Did you put on this uniform at all?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: The attack in Pretoria, would the members then stop somewhere to put on their uniforms for the purposes of this attack?

MR VAN ZYL: I really can't tell Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Let me put the question as follows, did you stop somewhere to put on the uniforms on your way to Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Why then is an attack in Pretoria planned without uniforms, but you do wear uniforms for Devon?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, Mr De Meillon instructed us to do so.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: I will take you to the incident briefly, just immediately after the two other applicants had run back, after you had heard the shots, did Mr De Meillon then tell you that he had killed the policeman by shooting him?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Did you at that stage, see whether your co-applicant had seen whether Mr De Meillon, did you see whether his firearm had been fired?

MR VAN ZYL: No sir, I didn't. Mr Holder's firearm hadn't been, I didn't look whether Mr Holder's firearm had been fired.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: You say you didn't agree that somebody had to be shot and killed during this incident?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: So shortly after Mr De Meillon had arrived back in the vehicle, did you fight with him, did you ask him whether he was mad, asked him why he had done it, anything like that?

MR VAN ZYL: I can't remember whether I did say anything Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Did you speak to him at all about the fact that he had killed this person by shooting him?

MR VAN ZYL: I don't believe so sir.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: It is your vehicle, did you, why didn't you take Mr De Meillon to a police station and say this person has just admitted to me that he had killed a person?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, I was scared, I didn't know what to do.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: You said you were frightened, yet you could find the road to Van Rensburg's house to go and drop him off?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes sir, I live in Secunda and I know the streets around the area.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: So what you would say is that you wouldn't be able to find the police station, but that you would be able to find Van Rensburg's place?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, as I had stated sir, I was frightened and I didn't think clearly at that stage.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Could you please repeat, I couldn't hear?

MR VAN ZYL: I said I had already said that I was frightened and that I didn't have clarity in my mind, and I - because of the fright, I didn't think clearly.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: When you dropped him off, and you were over your first fright, why didn't you go to the police then?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, I had to wait for instructions from my Officer.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: At that stage sir, did you feel that he had committed a murder or did you feel that he had acted correctly?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, I felt that he had committed a murder.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Sir you say you felt that he had committed a murder, and yet you go and throw away the firearm that was part of the evidence against him?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, because my Officer had instructed me to do so.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Well, I think that a citizen of a country that had seen a murder being committed, would come and hand in that firearm with the police?

MR VAN ZYL: I was frightened sir, I didn't know what to do at any rate.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Sir, do you have any written proof that you are a member of the AWB?

MR VAN ZYL: No, Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Do you have any proof that at any stage, you had paid membership fees to them?

MR VAN ZYL: I only paid membership fees when I joined.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Do you have a receipt for these fees, monies?

MR VAN ZYL: No sir.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Are you going to call anyone of the AWB to testify that you are a member?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: So what guarantee do we have that you were at all a member of the AWB?

MR VAN ZYL: Just my word, Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: It is correct if you say that you hadn't undergo any training with the AWB?

MR VAN ZYL: Except with the vehicle movements, Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Sir, could members who were not members of the AWB, or who had attended the meetings, also participate in this action?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: No further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN SCHALKWYK

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Van Schalkwyk. Mr Steenkamp?

ADV STEENKAMP: No thank you, Mr Chair.

NO CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ADV STEENKAMP

MR SIBANYONI: Mr Van Zyl, at Devon, while you were waiting in the car, were you able to see Mr De Meillon and Mr Holder throughout until they arrived at the house?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR SIBANYONI: Why was it not possible for you to see the house?

MR VAN ZYL: It was very dark and I was approximately 500 metres from the guard house Mr Chair.

MR SIBANYONI: When you heard these shots, these gunshots, were you able to see from where they were coming?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR SIBANYONI: Did you see a house going off, the lights going off at a certain house?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR SIBANYONI: You say you followed the instruction of Mr De Meillon because he was a Commander, did I understand you correctly?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR SIBANYONI: In other words you wouldn't disagree with his instructions?

MR VAN ZYL: With certain instructions, I wouldn't agree.

MR SIBANYONI: But I understand you, a person has to obey all instructions from a Commander?

MR VAN ZYL: Not to kill innocent people Mr Chair.

MR SIBANYONI: According to you, it was not part of the operation, part of your policy to go and kill people?

MR VAN ZYL: Not that I am aware of Mr Chair.

MR SIBANYONI: I heard you saying the ANC and the SACP were a threat to your continued existence. I didn't understand what you meant by that.

MR VAN ZYL: I assumed that communism were the enemies of my family and myself.

MR SIBANYONI: But a threat in what sense?

MR VAN ZYL: My life and my property, my religion and my culture Mr Chair.

MR SIBANYONI: Simply means that they may kill you if they come to power?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, Mr Chair.

MR SIBANYONI: Are you still a member of the AWB?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

MR SIBANYONI: That is why you are saying you will never, according to your future plans, you will never involve yourself in political activities?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct Mr Chair.

MR SIBANYONI: Thank you Mr Chairperson, no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Sibanyoni. Adv Gcabashe?

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you Chair. Two aspects Mr Van Zyl. I am back to planning, I have always understood operations, you plan for operations.

Pretoria, what was the plan? What was your role going to be once you got to Pretoria, just the discussion of the plan? What was Mr Holder's role going to be and what was Mr De Meillon's role going to be?

MR VAN ZYL: At that stage there still wasn't any kind of plan.

ADV GCABASHE: So you drove for two hours from Secunda to Pretoria on mission that you hoped to be successful, you had basic facts at your disposal when you left Secunda and between Secunda and Pretoria you did not seek any clarity at all as to what the individual participants' roles were going to be?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

ADV GCABASHE: Was that the way you normally operated?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair. The order to attack the people, was only mentioned in Pretoria.

ADV GCABASHE: But how else were you going to get this arsenal without at least disarming the people who were guarding the arsenal?

MR VAN ZYL: I assumed that Mr De Meillon would indicate something as soon as we had arrived there, because he had already observed that place.

ADV GCABASHE: Who told you to pack your shotgun?

MR VAN ZYL: The AWB's policy was with regard to moving around, no matter where we went, we had to take our weapons with us.

ADV GCABASHE: Was this a licensed shotgun?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct, yes.

ADV GCABASHE: But you had no clue at all as to what you would do once you got to Pretoria, either with or without the shotgun, whether the three of you would jump out of the car immediately, whether one would do A or B, you had no clue at all?

MR VAN ZYL: Except for the fact that we were supposed to fetch weapons, that was all I knew.

ADV GCABASHE: These weapons, I understand you to say it was going to be an arsenal of weapons. That to me means quite a large number of weapons, essentially, am I right?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: You were asked a question by Mr Van Schalkwyk about transporting these weapons from Secunda, from Devon I beg your pardon, to Secunda, do you remember that?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Can I ask you how were you going to transport those weapons from Pretoria to Secunda?

MR VAN ZYL: Depending upon the amount of weapons which we would have taken.

ADV GCABASHE: Yes, depending on? I mean did you discuss this, did you plan for it, you were driving a 3 litre Ford with one shotgun in the boot. I don't know if there was anything else in the boot, where were you going to put this arsenal of weapons?

MR VAN ZYL: It was not specifically indicated how much weapons we would take, so it would probably have been loaded into the boot of the car.

ADV GCABASHE: That is another aspect that I would have thought would have been covered in the planning, how you were then going to load this arsenal of weapons into the motor vehicle, without being detected by any other persons? None of this was discussed?

MR VAN ZYL: Nothing.

ADV GCABASHE: And you call this an operation, sanctioned by your political party in the interest of your political party?

MR VAN ZYL: Because Mr De Meillon was in command, I believed that he knew what to do and that he would inform us of what we were supposed to do as soon as we had arrived at the place.

ADV GCABASHE: Let's come back to Secunda, having come back from Devon, I am a bit puzzled, where exactly did you drop Mr De Meillon, you say it was the house on the left hand side as you enter Secunda.

I did not understand this to be Mr Van Rensburg's house, am I wrong?

MR VAN ZYL: No, as you enter Secunda, there is a traffic light, and on the left hand side of that traffic light, there are houses. Mr Van Rensburg lived in a house at the edge of the town.

ADV GCABASHE: In that vicinity?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Did you drop Mr De Meillon at Mr Van Rensburg's house?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

ADV GCABASHE: But one way or the other, he was able on foot presumably, to get to Mr Van Rensburg's house before you, because you have told us that when you arrived at Mr Van Rensburg's house, he said to you oh, De Meillon is here, or had been here, something to that effect?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Where did you go to after dropping him, I thought you went directly to Mr Van Rensburg's house?

MR VAN ZYL: I did. But there was a detour which one had to take, one couldn't turn off to his house, so one would have to turn off after a while, and then drive back to his house, and that is why he reached Mr Van Rensburg's home before I did, because he took a short cut through the field.

ADV GCABASHE: In that case, what was the purpose of dropping Mr De Meillon off at the traffic lights, why didn't you just drive together and arrive at the house together?

MR VAN ZYL: He told me to drop him off there.

ADV GCABASHE: You had no responsibility to report to Mr Van Rensburg, because he was a member of a different organisation, that is correct?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: And yet he told you not to worry, he would tell Mr Van Schalkwyk about what had happened?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Wasn't it your responsibility to go back to the person you say, instructed you and explain what had happened?

MR VAN ZYL: I didn't receive an instruction from anybody. I heard about this from my fellow applicants. Mr Van Schalkwyk did not give me the order directly.

ADV GCABASHE: Directly is the operative word, he gave it to you indirectly, because that is what your colleague told you, Mr Holder said to you this is what Mr Van Schalkwyk said we should do, we must accompany this man?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Or are you now saying that you did not get an instruction at all, please help me understand this?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, I did receive an instruction, but not directly from Mr Van Schalkwyk.

ADV GCABASHE: And you had no obligation to report to the person who had instructed you, Mr Van Schalkwyk?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair.

ADV GCABASHE: But why not, isn't this an organisation that has particular structure order, way of reporting, that is what I have understood in all the other AWB matters I have sat on?

MR VAN ZYL: Because the Officer in command, would have conveyed this to the Commander.

ADV GCABASHE: You see, your difficulty with that, and my difficulty is, the Officer in command on this mission, was a member of a different organisation. You were representing your organisation.

Why do you then rely on an Officer from a different organisation, to do your reporting for you to your own Commander?

MR VAN ZYL: Because it had been discussed before, there were certain operations that we had to undertake along with the BWB and whoever had the higher rank, would then be the Officer in command for that operation. At that stage De Meillon was the Commander of our group.

ADV GCABASHE: Did you have any idea at all as to how the arsenal was going to split between the two organisations?

MR VAN ZYL: No Mr Chair, except that it would have been used for the safe houses.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you Mr Van Zyl, thank you Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Adv Gcabashe.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Chairperson, I beg your pardon for the cellphone which was on.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, it happens to most of us, technology. Mr Van Zyl, from your perspective, how would you have described this operation? Was it successful or not?

MR VAN ZYL: No, it wasn't.

CHAIRPERSON: And why would you not describe this as a success?

MR VAN ZYL: Because the objective was to obtain an amount of weapons and that amount of weapons was not obtained, and in the process, innocent people were shot dead during the incident.

CHAIRPERSON: When you arrived in Pretoria, and you started finding out that the operation didn't look as if it was going to be particularly successful, what was your attitude then?

MR VAN ZYL: I thought that it would be very dangerous to attempt an attack on the Army Headquarters in the middle of the city when we didn't even have proper weapons and innocent people would be killed, simply to obtain these weapons.

CHAIRPERSON: And if they had told you in Secunda, before you had departed that the three of you would be attacking the Military Headquarters in the heart of Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: I wouldn't have gone.

CHAIRPERSON: At your own cost you drove the car, and I assume that you covered the expense for the petrol?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And the uniforms, why did you take the uniforms along?

MR VAN ZYL: In order to render ourselves invisible, so that we would not be noticed because brown is not an easily observable colour at night.

CHAIRPERSON: So it is a sort of method of camouflage?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you think that it would be a type of thing during which you would act covertly, you would be camouflaged and basically you would be stealing weapons in a way that you would not be found out?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: You didn't think that you would storm a number of guards, shoot them down, grab their weapons and run?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

CHAIRPERSON: This was on a Saturday, is that correct?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And you were with a friend of yours?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Saturday afternoon?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: What did you do there?

MR VAN ZYL: We were watching rugby.

CHAIRPERSON: Along with your friend?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So basically you were busy relaxing?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And then Holder arrived there, there where you were with your friend?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And was he at your house before that?

MR VAN ZYL: As I understand, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And what did he do there?

MR VAN ZYL: Well, he must have come to visit me and didn't find me at home, only my wife and children were there.

CHAIRPERSON: So he was probably also in a very relaxed mood?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And he probably wanted to come and watch the rugby with you?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, I assume that.

CHAIRPERSON: You said you were all normal during this incident?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Coetzee?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR COETZEE: Thank you Chairperson. Mr Van Zyl, according to your knowledge, did Gen Van Rensburg know Ockie van Schalkwyk?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And according to your knowledge how well acquainted were they?

MR VAN ZYL: They were reasonably well acquainted.

MR COETZEE: When Mr Van Rensburg told you that he would report to Van Schalkwyk regarding what had happened, did that satisfy you?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, it did.

MR COETZEE: Just to achieve some clarity regarding the dropping off of Mr De Meillon, you said that there was a road running into Secunda, but that road did not run directly to the residential area which was parallel to the road?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And at the spot where Mr De Meillon was dropped off, this spot was a spot that he pointed out where he wished to be dropped off?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And that point where he wanted to be dropped off, how far in walking distance would that be from Mr Van Rensburg's house?

MR VAN ZYL: Approximately 200 metres.

MR COETZEE: And when you dropped him off there, where did you think Mr De Meillon was going?

MR VAN ZYL: He said that he was on his way to Mr Van Rensburg's house.

MR COETZEE: And was it agreed then that you would also go there with your car?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR COETZEE: So upon whose initiative was it decided to go round to Mr Van Rensburg's house?

MR VAN ZYL: My own.

MR COETZEE: So you took the tar road and by the time you arrived there, Mr Van Schalkwyk reported that Mr De Meillon had already been there?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: At the stage when you were arrested by the South African Police, during their questioning of you, was it ever mentioned that they may be interested or did they indicate that they knew that you had been in Pretoria, or suspected that you were in Pretoria before the Devon excursion?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR COETZEE: So during questioning, was it ever mentioned by the questioning team that you should tell them more about Pretoria?

MR VAN ZYL: No.

MR COETZEE: What was the cause of your pointing out of Devon?

MR VAN ZYL: They asked me to point out the route to Devon where the incident had occurred.

MR COETZEE: And the incident to which was referred, was the murder and the armed robbery for which you were arrested?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: With regard to your right-wing politics, did you ever give it up at any stage?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR COETZEE: And why did you do that?

MR VAN ZYL: I don't understand.

MR COETZEE: What did you do?

MR VAN ZYL: I went to the police station and under oath, I made a statement that I was no longer involved with any right-wing or other political party and that I had no wish to join a party again.

MR COETZEE: When did you do that?

MR VAN ZYL: I was arrested on the Thursday and I did this on the Monday after my arrest.

MR COETZEE: And upon whose initiative did this take place, yours or the police's?

MR VAN ZYL: My own.

MR COETZEE: Your evidence is that while you were on your way to Pretoria, no detailed planning was undertaken or discussed regarding exactly what was going to occur in Pretoria. Did you believe that once the plan was executed, planning would be conveyed to you in the sense of we expect you to do this and we expect him to do that and this is where we will meet again, and so on and so forth?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes.

MR COETZEE: And when did you believe that this planning would take place?

MR VAN ZYL: As soon as we had arrived at our destination.

MR COETZEE: Thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR COETZEE

ADV GCABASHE: Just one small aspect, again the dropping off of De Meillon at Secunda and meeting him at Mr Van Rensburg's house or finding him there or whatever, you used your own initiative to go to Mr Van Rensburg's house, that is really what I want to ask you about?

MR VAN ZYL: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: What made you decide that you want to go there, having dropped off your partner, your colleague just a few minutes ago?

MR VAN ZYL: Mr De Meillon had been injured and I just wanted to ensure that he had indeed arrived at Mr Van Rensburg's house.

ADV GCABASHE: Was that the only reason?

MR VAN ZYL: Yes, that is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you have anything further Mr Coetzee?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, I have no further evidence to lead and this concludes the third applicant's application.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR COETZEE

WITNESS EXCUSED

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, thank you. Mr Van Schalkwyk, do you have any witnesses?

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: I have no witnesses to oppose the application, I do however have an affidavit made by the father of Constable Terreblanche which I will submit as well as an affidavit of the Constable that was involved, Renier Swart, of which I have made copies available.

I could read this onto the record if you wish.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prinsloo and Mr Coetzee, do you have copies of these documents?

MR COETZEE: No.

MR PRINSLOO: Neither have I.

CHAIRPERSON: Will you be leading any evidence Adv Steenkamp?

ADV STEENKAMP: No Mr Chairman, I will not be calling any witnesses.

CHAIRPERSON: All right, I think what we will do is, we will take the tea adjournment now and it will give you an opportunity to look at those affidavits as well.

We will reconvene in 15 minutes' time, so we will take our tea adjournment now.

COMMITTEE ADJOURNS

AT RESUMPTION

CHAIRPERSON: We are reconvened to hopefully finalise the De Meillon application. The matter stood down for a while since this morning, to give Mr Swart an opportunity to come through to the venue.

I was informed that he was originally under the impression that it would not be necessary for him to attend today and to testify and therefore he had gone back to his duties as a member of the Police Service.

He is present now and I should perhaps add that Mr Van Schalkwyk, who had appeared and is appearing on his behalf, had given us an affidavit by Mr Swart and after having had regard to the contents of that affidavit and having considered some of the other aspects of the matter, we have decided that it would be necessary for Mr Swart to testify.

Although initially he had been under the impression that it would not be necessary for him to testify, the panel is in fact calling him as a witness and to testify in the matter.

What I intend doing is to ask Mr Van Schalkwyk which I think would be of some assistance to us, although he is not strictly speaking, calling Mr Swart himself, but to present his testimony, to lead his testimony and then of course the other parties would be able to canvass what issues they want to canvass with him.

Mr Van Schalkwyk to lead him specifically in regard to the affidavit which is before us. What I am going to do, I am going to ask Mr Sibanyoni to administer the oath to Mr Swart and then I will ask Mr Van Schalkwyk to assist us in presenting his testimony.

ANDRť RENIER SWART: (sworn states)

MR SIBANYONI: He has been sworn in Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Sibanyoni. Mr Van Schalkwyk, will you please present the testimony for us.

EXAMINATION BY MR VAN SCHALKWYK: As it pleases the Chairperson. Mr Swart, on the 23rd of April 1994, were you a member of the South African Police?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: At which Unit were you stationed?

MR SWART: Unit 19, that is the Internal Security Unit.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: On that particular day, where were you serving?

MR SWART: On that day, we were on duty at the guard house of the main gate of the base.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Who was with you on duty?

MR SWART: Constable Terreblanche.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: This place where you were on duty, was it a military base or a civil premises which you were guarding?

MR SWART: It was a police base.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Were you armed during this period?

MR SWART: Yes, I had my 9 mm pistol, my State pistol on me.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Constable Terreblanche who was with you, was he also armed?

MR SWART: Yes, also with his pistol.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: What form of security was of application to these arms while you were on duty?

MR SWART: Do you mean our patrolling rounds or ammunition rounds?

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Yes.

MR SWART: We did not have rounds in the chamber.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: If you were to fire a shot, would you cock the weapon first?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Was there any other firearms or semi-automatic or automatic weaponry in the guard house where you were?

MR SWART: No.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: During any of these events, did you ever fire your weapon?

MR SWART: No.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Was your weapon which was out of your control at a certain point in time, fired?

MR SWART: Not as far as I know.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Was your duty pistol inspected afterwards?

MR SWART: Yes, I inspected the weapon, I took out the magazine to see if the rounds were still in it. That was directly after the incident.

After that I reloaded it and cocked it once more.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: And no rounds were missing from the chamber or from the magazine?

MR SWART: That is correct.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Thus, shortly after the incident your hands were tested for gun powder residue?

MR SWART: That is correct.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Was any residue found on your hands?

MR SWART: No.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Please tell us in your own words what happened at approximately 22H30 that evening?

MR SWART: Constable Terreblanche and I were watching television in the guard house. It was approximately 22H30 when two men entered the door of the guard house. They were wearing balaclavas and they told us to sit still and not to do anything stupid.

Initially they told us to remove our weapons and when Constable Terreblanche and I attempted to do so, they said no, leave it, and they moved towards us. The one person went to Constable Terreblanche, the other one moved in my direction.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: If I might just ask you at this point, these two persons, were they armed?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: And the person who moved to Constable Terreblanche, with what sort of weapon was he armed?

MR SWART: He had a pistol.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: And the person who moved towards you, what sort of weapon did he have?

MR SWART: He had a revolver, a short round revolver.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: In your experience as a policeman, can you identify firearms?

MR SWART: Yes.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: You would not make a mistake between a 9 mm pistol and a hand weapon which was a 38 Special?

MR SWART: No, I wouldn't make a mistake.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Please continue.

MR SWART: The one moved towards Constable Terreblanche, and the other one moved towards me. They removed our weapons. The person next to me, took his weapon out his holster.

At that stage when Constable Terreblanche's firearm was removed, he jumped up and started struggling with the person who was next to him. Automatically I also jumped up and grabbed the person next to me's hands, but my attention was mostly focused on what was happening between Constable Terreblanche and the other person.

During the struggle, they switched off the lights and a shot was fired. I dived away, out of the room. The room was divided into two sections and I dived into the other section.

As far as I can recall, two shots were fired. Approximately 15 to 20 seconds after the shots were fired, everything became quiet. I crawled back to the room and I found my pistol under the table. I then cocked it as I said earlier and I moved towards Constable Terreblanche and I asked him whether or not he was all right.

I touched him, and he moaned. The light was still out in the room. I moved out and checked to see if there were still any people or whatever, and I saw or heard a vehicle speeding away. I rushed to the hand radio which we had at the gate, I couldn't find it, and I went back to my vehicle, climbed into my vehicle and went to the OPS room which was inside the base and there, I informed by Shift Sergeant of what had happened and I moved back to the main gate.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: If anything was said by these two persons when they entered the room, would you have heard it?

MR SWART: Yes, I would have heard it.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Which words were uttered by which person, carrying which arms on them?

MR SWART: As far as I know the person with the pistol, the one who initially entered the room first, the predecessor, said that we should sit still and that we shouldn't do anything stupid and so forth.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: At any time, did he identify himself as a person belonging to a certain right-wing organisation?

MR SWART: No.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Did he at any stage state that he was looking for weapons or a stockpile location for weapons?

MR SWART: No.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: The person with the .38 who entered the room, was this weapon constantly in his hands when he was in the room?

MR SWART: That is correct.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Did he aim this weapon at you at any stage?

MR SWART: Yes. When he was with me, he aimed the weapon at me, when he was moving towards me, and then when he was next to me, he held the gun to my head.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Where did he hold this weapon to your head?

MR SWART: On the left side of my head, because he was on my left side.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: How far was this person from you when he held the gun to your head?

MR SWART: He was right next to me.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: How far physically from your head, did he hold the weapon?

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: It was against my head, I wouldn't be able to recall millimetres.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Was this weapon that close to your head that should it have gone off, it would have struck you and killed you?

MR SWART: Yes.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: No further leading, if there is anything else that you would want to add?

MR SWART: No.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN SCHALKWYK

CHAIRPERSON: Adv Steenkamp, do you have any questions that you wish to pose?

ADV STEENKAMP: No thank you Chairperson, no questions from my side.

NO CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ADV STEENKAMP

CHAIRPERSON: Adv Gcabashe?

ADV GCABASHE: Just one question Mr Swart. How long had this been a police base?

MR SWART: At the time, we were there for approximately five to six months.

ADV GCABASHE: Was it common knowledge in the area that it was now occupied by the police?

MR SWART: Yes, as far as my knowledge goes, yes.

ADV GCABASHE: And what do you base that on, your knowledge?

MR SWART: My knowledge, we often drove to Secunda and spoke to the people there, and the Traffic Department often passed by, in other words by word of mouth, they were aware that it was a police base.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Swart, what exactly was the base used for at that point?

MR SWART: What it was there for?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes.

MR SWART: The Unit with which I was involved at that stage, was a Mobilisation Unit and what that involved was wherever in the country there were problems, a group of our members would be sent there in order to resolve the situation.

Devon was initially an ideally centrally situated place instead of being in Pretoria, from where we could be deployed.

CHAIRPERSON: So basically did it accommodate members of your Unit on those premises?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Were there residences and so forth?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Were there any weapon stockpiling locations on that premises?

MR SWART: Yes, there was for the event of people being deployed on trips as we called it, they would withdraw weapons from that room.

CHAIRPERSON: What type of weapons did you have, were there any automatic combat guns and such things?

MR SWART: Yes, there were automatic weapons and shotguns and service pistols.

CHAIRPERSON: R1's or R5's?

MR SWART: R5's, the police use R5's.

CHAIRPERSON: So there were R5's?

MR SWART: And there were R5's as well, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: And R1's?

MR SWART: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: R1's, R5's, shotguns, hand weapons?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Those weapons, how were they kept secure, in a safe or somewhere where it was not easily accessible?

MR SWART: Yes, they were in a safe. Only those individuals who worked for the Weapon Store, certain staff members of the police unit, were involved with the Weapon Store, and that meant that he would be the one who would issue weapons and was responsible for keeping those weapons.

It was kept in a safe and locked.

CHAIRPERSON: That guard house in which you and Mr Terreblanche were, why was it there?

MR SWART: It was basically a room with a table and a chair in which those people who had to open and close the gates for staff who were moving in and out, could sit.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, was it something like a small house at the entrance?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: With the gate or a boom?

MR SWART: Yes, it was a boom.

CHAIRPERSON: Which you would open and close for those moving in and out?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And you would then take note of those moving in and out?

MR SWART: That only came later.

CHAIRPERSON: You were not near any weapon safe or a place where weapons could be stored?

MR SWART: No the Weapon Store was inside the base, near the Admin offices.

CHAIRPERSON: If one were to arrive at those premises, it would be clear that that little house had to do with the boom, it was for those who were controlling the boom?

MR SWART: Yes, I would say that.

CHAIRPERSON: In other words the guards who controlled the access to the premises?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Were there any buildings near the guard house?

MR SWART: No, the nearest buildings were approximately 50 metres away from the guard house.

CHAIRPERSON: It would be clear that you were not guarding the building, you were actually controlling access to the premises?

MR SWART: Yes, one could accept that.

CHAIRPERSON: You didn't patrol or any other such duties?

MR SWART: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Was that why you had the side weapons?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: When those two persons entered the guard house, did they order you to hand over your weapons?

MR SWART: The very first time yes, they told us to sit still and not do anything stupid and to take out our weapons, but when we attempted to do so, they realised naturally that they were giving us an opportunity and that is when they said wait, and they moved towards us and removed it themselves.

CHAIRPERSON: When they said wait, what did you do?

MR SWART: Then I left my weapon.

CHAIRPERSON: You left the weapon?

MR SWART: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it in your holster on the right hand side of your uniform?

MR SWART: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: What did you do with your hands then when they said leave it?

MR SWART: I can't remember clearly, but I think I had my hands on the table or at my sides or on my legs. I can't remember correctly.

CHAIRPERSON: Your hands were not in the air?

MR SWART: No.

CHAIRPERSON: But they were not in the proximity of your firearm?

MR SWART: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: What was the idea, did you want to lead the individuals to understand that you were adhering to the request to leave the weapons?

MR SWART: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So they would be able to see that you were not actually busy taking out your weapon?

MR SWART: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Let's just take you. The one with the revolver came towards you?

MR SWART: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: With the revolver in his hand?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And did he hold it directly against your head?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Did he say anything to you?

MR SWART: No, he didn't say anything to me.

CHAIRPERSON: What did he do then, after he had held the revolver against your head?

MR SWART: The revolver was against my head and he took my firearm. In the process of him removing my firearm, Constable Terreblanche jumped up. There was a very short span of time between the taking out or removal of the pistol, and Constable Terreblanche jumping up.

CHAIRPERSON: Describe the holster, is it a closed kind of holster or do you just place the firearm in the holster?

MR SWART: It was the type of holster that you close.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it closed?

MR SWART: No, because when they asked us to remove the firearms, we opened up the holster and wanted to take them out.

CHAIRPERSON: So when he arrived at you, your holster was open?

MR SWART: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So did he lift the firearm from the holster?

MR SWART: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And did he have the firearm in his hand?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you standing?

MR SWART: No, initially when they moved towards us and he held the gun towards my head, I sat down and it was only when Constable Terreblanche jumped up and overwhelmed his adversary that I automatically jumped up and grabbed the person's hands.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you sitting at the table?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: When he arrived at you, were your hands on the table?

MR SWART: That is correct yes, we might have been a little bit away from the table, because you must remember that we were watching TV, in other words the TV was approximately in the middle of the table, so our chairs would have been about half a metre away from the table.

CHAIRPERSON: And that is when Mr Terreblanche became involved in the struggle, and you jumped up?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: When you jumped up, did you attempt to grab the person who was with you?

MR SWART: As far as I can recall, that was probably my reaction, to get the weapon away from my direction, but my attention was mostly focused on the struggle taking place between Constable Terreblanche and the other person.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you recall what the person who was with you, did after he removed the firearm from your holster, did he still have his firearm against your head or did he move away?

MR SWART: No, when I jumped up, as far as I can recall, his weapon was no longer against my head because that was the objective with jumping up, I pushed it away from me.

Exactly how, I can't recall any more.

CHAIRPERSON: Could you do anything more to the person who was with you, grab him or throw him over, anything like that?

MR SWART: You think about it afterwards and you think it over and you think well, I could have done this at that point, but at that moment, I didn't think about anything like that.

CHAIRPERSON: So what you did indeed do was to try to rise up?

MR SWART: I stood up completely.

CHAIRPERSON: You stood up and your idea was to grab the person?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you succeed or did all of these things happen before you could even have attempted?

MR SWART: I must have grabbed his hands, but as I said, from the point of doing that, until when the shot was fired and I jumped away was a very short span of time took place, so I didn't really struggle with the person.

It was a question of me jumping up, grabbing his hands, the shot going off and me diving away.

CHAIRPERSON: So everything basically happened in a very short span of time?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, let's look at the situation with Mr Terreblanche and the other person.

You noticed that he was struggling with the second person?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you see whether that second person had taken Mr Terreblanche's firearm?

MR SWART: I wouldn't say yes I saw him physically taking the weapon. No, I wouldn't be able to say that with clarity.

CHAIRPERSON: You are not certain or can you be of assistance in telling us where Mr Terreblanche's firearm was when he began to struggle with the second person?

MR SWART: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you notice any firearm in Mr Terreblanche's hands?

MR SWART: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you notice whether the other person also held a firearm against Mr Terreblanche's head?

MR SWART: When they entered the room, his firearm was aimed at Constable Terreblanche, if that is what you mean, but during the struggle, I would not be able to say with certainty.

CHAIRPERSON: You didn't notice before the struggle ensued, whether the other person was also holding a firearm against Constable Terreblanche's head?

MR SWART: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Was the other person very close to him?

MR SWART: Yes, he was also with him.

CHAIRPERSON: You noticed that there was a struggle, and then at a certain stage the lights also went out?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Was it a light switch?

MR SWART: The light switch was at the door, and that is where the struggle took place, at the door. It was approximately chest height, the switch. And during the struggle, they switched the light off.

CHAIRPERSON: It was a regular switch?

MR SWART: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: The type that you press?

MR SWART: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: So it must have happened during their struggle?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you recall whether this was before the first shot was fired?

MR SWART: No, I can't recall.

CHAIRPERSON: You cannot recall whether or not it was still light when you dived into the other room?

MR SWART: No, I can't.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you saying that as far as you can recall, two shots were fired?

MR SWART: As far as I can recall, yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Could it have been more than two, could it have been three for example?

MR SWART: It could have been. As I have said, actually you only hear that first shot and you dive away and what happens afterwards, I have said in my statement that I only heard two shots, that is how it sounded to me.

CHAIRPERSON: From the point that you dived into the other room, you didn't notice anything else which was happening there?

MR SWART: No.

CHAIRPERSON: I am assuming that you were laying on the floor of the other room?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: When you were on the floor, was it dark in the guard house or not?

MR SWART: Yes, it was.

CHAIRPERSON: You didn't hear anything further?

MR SWART: No.

CHAIRPERSON: There was no further talk?

MR SWART: No.

CHAIRPERSON: And when it became quiet, you stood up?

MR SWART: No, I crawled back, I leopard crawled.

CHAIRPERSON: And it was still dark in the guard house?

MR SWART: Yes, the only thing that was on was the television.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, the television was on?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So you didn't switch on the light?

MR SWART: No, not immediately.

CHAIRPERSON: And you were crawling from the second room into the original room?

MR SWART: Yes. The table was at the door which was then the division between the two rooms. I crawled through underneath the table, in the direction of the door.

CHAIRPERSON: The direction of the door?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct, and that is when I found my pistol.

CHAIRPERSON: When you were moving on the ground?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you say it was underneath one of the tables or the table?

MR SWART: No, there was only one table in that room.

CHAIRPERSON: And you didn't see the attackers again or see anything of interest?

MR SWART: No.

CHAIRPERSON: If you were to estimate, how long did you remain on the floor of the second room?

MR SWART: It couldn't have been very long. I would estimate approximately 20 seconds, it was a very short span of time.

CHAIRPERSON: What was your awareness, was it that the attackers had fled as quickly as they had arrived?

MR SWART: Initially I didn't really know what was going on. When I heard the gunshots, my first reaction was to see if there wasn't a way out into the second room, just to get out of that original room, which there wasn't.

Consequently many things race through your mind, what to do, where to go and when everything had become quiet, that is when I moved back to the first room.

CHAIRPERSON: When you began moving back, there were no longer people in the first room, who were moving around or anything like that?

MR SWART: No.

CHAIRPERSON: So therefore the attackers had left?

MR SWART: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Within seconds, because you said that you remained on the floor for a number of seconds?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So would one then be able to infer that the attackers left very quickly from the guard house?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: You didn't hear any body searching the place?

MR SWART: No.

CHAIRPERSON: And also when you arrived outside, you accepted that those people had left the premises completely?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct, I heard a vehicle racing away.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well. Thank you Mr Swart. Mr Prinsloo?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR PRINSLOO: Thank you Mr Chairperson. Mr Swart, listening to your evidence, these events occurred very quickly?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And shortly before that base had been an Air Force base, is that correct?

MR SWART: That is correct, yes.

MR PRINSLOO: And if you were to say that that base was known or familiar, it was familiar to certain people, it wasn't generally familiar because from there you would move away to places of unrest in Pietermaritzburg and so forth, especially during that time?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: So it was not generally known?

MR SWART: No, it wasn't.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Swart, you sat there peacefully watching TV on that particular evening?

MR SWART: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: You have never experienced anything like that before in your life, when your life was so directly threatened?

MR SWART: No.

MR PRINSLOO: Were you and Constable Terreblanche, the deceased, the only two persons on duty that evening?

MR SWART: We were the only two persons in the room at the gate. Our Sections consisted at that stage out of six people, of which two would be at the gate, and the rest would be in the OPS room with the radio in the base itself.

MR PRINSLOO: Who was responsible for the protection? In the Defence Force, there are people who are responsible for protection, who was responsible?

MR SWART: People in the OPS room, it was also secured with a fence and controlled by the Shift Sergeant who was on duty that evening.

MR PRINSLOO: Naturally you did not know what your position was with regard to the Air Force which had operated there before?

MR SWART: No.

MR PRINSLOO: According to the first applicant, Mr De Meillon, who performed National Service there, he said that that specific room in which you were, was controlled by guards who were armed with automatic firearms when it was still an Air Force base?

MR SWART: I can't argue that.

MR PRINSLOO: And he also said that he did not know that the position had changed and that the Air Force no longer occupied the base and you said that you occupied the base shortly afterwards, when it became a police premises?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Swart, these events occurred quite a long time ago in 1994, and in the statement which you made then to the police you said that they held the firearms against our heads, and as I understand you now, you are saying that a firearm was held against your head?

MR SWART: That is correct, that is what I said.

MR PRINSLOO: And the light switch, you said was next to the door on your left as you would enter the room according to the police sketch plan?

MR SWART: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And it appears to me that on the eastern side, there is a window. If you were to enter the doorway, on the right hand side would be the window?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: The first applicant maintains that he moved passed the window and bent down so that he would not be noticed, is that correct, is that how it was initially?

MR SWART: It may be so.

MR PRINSLOO: This television, where was it situated in the room? If you could just bring this into relation with the door?

MR SWART: If you look at the sketch plan, if you enter the doorway ...

MR PRINSLOO: Chairperson, I have a sketch plan here, might I show it to him, I don't have copies. If I could just hand it over, then it might be easier, because then the witness could mark with a red pen where the television was situated on that particular evening. Thank you Chairperson.

MR SWART: Sorry, should I indicate to you where the television set is?

INTERPRETER: The speaker's microphone was off, but I assume the answer was in the affirmative.

ADV STEENKAMP: We would like to place on record that he placed the television set in the portion of the table with the orientation of the sketch plan, against the eastern wall where the table was standing.

MR PRINSLOO: Where were you sitting in relation to the television set? Close or a bit further away. Could I repeat the question Mr Swart, where were you sitting in relation to the door, were you looking at the TV?

MR SWART: I was further away from the door.

MR PRINSLOO: So the person would have had to enter in the door and pass on to you? And the deceased?

MR SWART: He was sitting closer to the door.

MR PRINSLOO: So the first applicant, if he had to go to the deceased, he would have been closest to him?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: What was the first thing you noticed while you were sitting at the television set? What drew your attention to the people?

MR SWART: My position in relation to the TV was such that I could from the corner of my eye, perceive the door, and I just suddenly saw movement at the door, and then saw these two persons at the door. So there was a sudden movement that drew my attention to the door.

MR PRINSLOO: And the persons who entered, were immediately ready to attack?

MR SWART: Yes, they were wearing balaclavas.

MR PRINSLOO: And you saw them with firearms in the hand, that is the way I understand your evidence?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: So you realised at that stage, that these people were attacking you?

MR SWART: No, at that stage I didn't, I initially thought they were members of our Unit checking up whether we were awake at that stage, so initially I thought that these people were playing a practical joke on us. It is only when they approached us that I saw the firearms and I could see that there were rounds in the chambers of the revolver, that I realised that they were serious.

MR PRINSLOO: And were you then frightened?

MR SWART: Yes.

MR PRINSLOO: When you saw that these people meant business?

MR SWART: Yes.

MR PRINSLOO: And then what happened?

MR SWART: As I said the one person moved to me and the other one to Terreblanche and they removed our firearms, and that is when Constable Terreblanche ...

MR PRINSLOO: When you saw these were not people of your own Section there, they had other intentions, and were threatening your life, did you act immediately?

MR SWART: No, I did not react immediately. I think it was difficult to believe that this was actually happening to me and many things went through my mind, what should I do, where should I go.

MR PRINSLOO: Was that person immediately on his way to you, or what happened?

MR SWART: Yes, I suppose one could say that he was immediately on his way to me.

MR PRINSLOO: Did your attention focus on the fact that he was on his way to you?

MR SWART: Yes.

MR PRINSLOO: And what did he do, the person who was coming towards you?

MR SWART: This is after they had told us to remove our weapons and they stopped us, they moved towards us in order to remove our firearms themselves.

MR PRINSLOO: I am just trying to understand this because everything is happening so quickly and it looks as if it is quite a small room, so if someone were to enter through the doorway and move towards you, when he moved towards you, he said remove your firearm.

MR SWART: No, that was when they were still in the doorway. When our attention was focused on them, they told us sit still. That is when they were still in the doorway. Sit still, don't do anything stupid. And they also said remove your weapons, and as we began to do that, they said wait, leave it, and that is when they moved in.

MR PRINSLOO: You say them and they all the time, were they speaking together all the time?

MR SWART: No, just one of them.

MR PRINSLOO: So it is not them as you have testified?

MR SWART: I beg your pardon.

MR PRINSLOO: Well, because your statement also refers to them. So one person was speaking, who was the person speaking?

MR SWART: It was the person who was closest to Constable Terreblanche, the one with the pistol.

MR PRINSLOO: And did he speak quickly or slowly or in what way did he speak?

MR SWART: I can't say with clarity how quickly or slowly he spoke, but he didn't stutter if that is what you mean.

MR PRINSLOO: I beg your pardon, can you remember clearly what he said?

MR SWART: What I can recall is that he said that we should sit still and not do anything stupid. That is what I can remember.

MR PRINSLOO: Can you recall if he said to you don't try and be a Rambo?

MR SWART: No, I can't remember.

MR PRINSLOO: Is it possible that he said that?

MR SWART: Perhaps.

MR PRINSLOO: Is it possible that he said he was from a right-wing organisation and that he wanted weapons?

MR SWART: He couldn't have said that, because that would be something that one would remember naturally. Because once he had said that, one would know that they were serious.

MR PRINSLOO: But upon the moment of their entry, you thought that this could be people from your Unit, but immediately thereafter you realised that they weren't and that is when the talking ensued, is that what you said?

MR SWART: No, when they appeared there they said sit still, don't do anything stupid. Initially one thought that this would be people from the base who were fooling around. They told us to remove our weapons, when we attempted to do so, they told us to leave it and they moved in.

Upon which I realised that this was a serious situation, especially when the person moved towards me with the revolver, and I could see the rounds. That is when I realised that this was serious.

MR PRINSLOO: So the person moving towards you, had a revolver of which you could see the rounds, that is the only firearm in which you could only see the rounds, not in a pistol?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: So your attention was focused on the revolver which was approaching you with the bullets in it?

MR SWART: Yes, that is one of the things which I focused on.

MR PRINSLOO: So you were watching this at that stage?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: And your deceased colleague was being approached by the other man, so you were not really looking at the other person, you were looking at the revolver?

MR SWART: Yes, the revolver of the person who was approaching me.

MR PRINSLOO: What happened then?

MR SWART: When he arrived next to me, he held the revolver against my head and removed my pistol, and it is then that Constable Terreblanche jumped up and began to struggle with the other person.

MR PRINSLOO: But the light went out at a stage. You told the Honourable Committee and I can understand, things happened very quickly. It is understandable that you can't say at what stage the light went out, whether it was before or after the gun shot.

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: Because the first applicant said that a shot was fired and he thought at that stage, that someone had shot the light out, and your inference is that they had pressed the switch which was next to the door, as a result of the struggle that they were involved in?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: In the statement you made to the police, were you asked at that time in April 1994, whether you had any other arms, or how did it come that you said the deceased and myself were just, had pistols only and no other arms?

MR SWART: That was at the recommendation of the Attorney that I made it.

ADV STEENKAMP: This was a statement that was made when the witness indicated that he had to return to work and therefore certain matters had been addressed.

CHAIRPERSON: It had been addressed, it had been included in the statement. Mr Prinsloo, are you referring to the police statement?

MR PRINSLOO: (Microphone not on)

CHAIRPERSON: Very well.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Swart, at the time when the investigation was being carried out by the police, was there any reference to rifles, or whether there had been rifles from the Investigating Officer or from your side? Was there any reason to state that there were rifles in that room or not?

MR SWART: No.

MR PRINSLOO: So that was not referred to at all?

MR SWART: No, not as far as my memory goes.

MR PRINSLOO: Well, in the statement to the police that was contained in the file, it is and I made a copy of it, it is the A1 statement with which the docket is opened, and it is a typed statement, and the date is 24 April 1994, and on that statement on page 2, paragraph 8 I refer to, the deceased and I were armed only with pistols and did not have any rifles.

Would you like to have a look at it?

MR SWART: No, I take your word for it.

MR PRINSLOO: Why did you say had no rifles?

MR SWART: I don't know. I don't know why I would have mentioned that.

MR PRINSLOO: The Investigating Officer who took the statement from you, who had them compiled ...

MR SWART: May I just interrupt, it is possible that while the Investigating Officer was drafting the statement, he had asked us which firearms we had in the room and he might have asked whether we also had rifles in the room, because if you take into account that we were defending the main gate, that is possible that the question might have arisen whether we had long arms with us.

That is the way I could have mentioned it.

MR PRINSLOO: Is it equally possible that the Investigating Officer might have had information that these people were looking for rifles?

MR SWART: couldn't reply to that with clarity because I am not sure, I wouldn't know.

MR PRINSLOO: According to a ballistic report in the docket, two cartridges were found, apparently those of 9 mm pistol and then a projectile was also found. According to the Ballistics Officer, that of a .38 round. So three shots had been fired, yet according to the first and the third applicant, three shots had been fired.

Is it possible, it happened quickly?

MR SWART: Yes, it is possible.

MR PRINSLOO: Another aspect is that your attention was on the person who wanted to take away your firearm and who wanted to shoot you, who was holding a loaded revolver in his hand. At that stage was Mr Terreblanche standing, the deceased, was he standing with the other person?

MR SWART: No, both the deceased and myself were still seated.

MR PRINSLOO: At which stage did you get up because the light was off?

MR SWART: You must understand they moved into us, the persons stood next to us, they took away our firearms, then Constable Terreblanche got up, pushed the person against the wall and it could have been in the struggle, when he pressed the person against the wall, that the switch could have gone, that the light could have been switched off.

MR PRINSLOO: Did you see it or not, was the light on or off?

MR SWART: No, when the struggle started, the light was still on.

MR PRINSLOO: I would like to submit to you that according to the first applicant Mr Terreblanche got up, pulled his firearm, he grabbed the barrel of the person's firearm, a shot went off. He can't remember where the shot came from, he was wounded in his arm, in his forearm and Mr Terreblanche lifted his firearm and when he lifted his firearm, he shot him, according to his version of the story.

MR SWART: Well, as I said it happened so quickly. All that I could see that night was that Constable Terreblanche jumped out and started struggling with the person.

MR PRINSLOO: In all fairness, may I state to you, is it possible it could have happened in that way?

MR SWART: Yes, it is possible that it could have happened in that way.

MR PRINSLOO: The other aspect is ... (tape ends) ... you very quickly looked for cover, dived onto the floor and got out of the room?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Terreblanche, did he die immediately according to your testimony, he was groaning?

MR SWART: Yes, I don't know whether I just pressed out the last air from his lungs, but he did make a groaning noise.

MR PRINSLOO: And he was in the area of the door?

MR SWART: Yes, he was left there.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Swart, that night was a Saturday evening. Were you called to order, were your weapons inspected or didn't it work that way any more as in the past?

MR SWART: Strictly speaking it should have worked that way, but as a matter of fact, we reported to the gate and then the Sergeant who was in command that evening, would visit the gate, sign your pocket book and I can't even remember what the form was, SAP13, your service register, but everything was filled in there, your name, your firearm, your Force number, the number of rounds, etc, those were all filled in.

MR PRINSLOO: Yes, the standard sort of thing.

MR SWART: Yes.

MR PRINSLOO: But an inspection wasn't done to check your pistol, see how many rounds of ammunition you had, etc, that didn't happen that Saturday?

MR SWART: No, it didn't.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Terreblanche didn't inspect your firearm, not did you inspect his?

MR SWART: No.

MR PRINSLOO: So you couldn't say whether there was a round in the chamber of his firearm?

MR SWART: No, strictly speaking I couldn't testify to that.

MR PRINSLOO: But from what you know, there was not supposed to be one there?

MR SWART: No, that is correct. You might appreciate the deceased and I lived together on a farm outside Leslie, in other words we got up in the mornings, at the same time, we cleaned our firearms, we each knew how the other dealt with and handled their firearms, and we knew the safety factors involved.

MR PRINSLOO: But there was a lot of violence at that time.

MR SWART: Yes, and we worked in violent areas at that stage.

MR PRINSLOO: Many policemen had been testified in courts, they used the term "one up", ready to cock and ready to fire?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: You can't say at all where the shots came from, who had fired the shots?

MR SWART: No, I can't.

MR PRINSLOO: Thank you Your Honour, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR PRINSLOO

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Prinsloo. If there had been no round in the chamber or wherever, would the pistol have had to be cocked in order to fire a shot?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you see whether Mr Terreblanche do anything like cocking his weapon?

MR SWART: No, I didn't see anything like that.

CHAIRPERSON: Did you or Mr Terreblanche at all resist when these people said sit still, don't do stupid things, and hand over your firearms?

MR SWART: Well, if you were to say that we found it amusing and smiled and thought it was people of our own base who were having a practical joke on us, and you regarded that as resistance, then yes, but we didn't try to draw our arms and resist in that manner.

CHAIRPERSON: And you say it was only when the second person was right at Mr Terreblanche, when he jumped up? At that stage, not when they came in the door?

MR SWART: Not as far as I can remember.

CHAIRPERSON: After the persons had said remain seated, don't do stupid things, neither of you two tried to get up?

MR SWART: No, that is correct, we remained seated.

CHAIRPERSON: Was your back turned to the window?

MR SWART: There are two windows. If you look at where the window and the television was, my back was to the window behind me.

CHAIRPERSON: Was there a window right ahead of you?

MR SWART: No, not in the wall right opposite us.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, I looked very quickly at the sketch map or plan, I noticed that if you entered the door, there was a window on your right. Are there any other windows in that first room where you were sitting?

MR SWART: Yes, when you enter the door, there is one on your right and one directly on your left. If you turn left, there is a window right on your left.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that where the table was situated?

MR SWART: No.

CHAIRPERSON: To your left?

MR SWART: No.

CHAIRPERSON: Okay, perhaps I should just have a look at that sketch because we are definitely not understanding each other. Okay, I see now, I missed that the first time.

Okay, when one enters at the door, there is a window on one's right and there is a window in the wall on one's left as one enters the door, immediately in that wall. So indeed according to this sketch, there are two windows in the guard house.

Can I just ask you, here where the table is situated, there is a thick line which probably represents a wall, then there is a thinner line, there were the table itself is situated, what is that?

MR SWART: If I could explain to you, if you look at the sketch, if you enter the door and you turn directly left, where the table is situated, there is a door in that wall, leading to another room, so there was another room there as well.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, I understand that. If the, well, let me state it this way, Mr Terreblanche, was his back also to the window which is on your right if you enter at the door?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So if a person were to look from the outside, through the window in the right hand wall, the wall to the right of the door, the person would have seen the two of you sitting there with your backs towards them, looking at the television set?

MR SWART: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Were you wearing uniforms?

MR SWART: Yes, we were wearing uniforms.

CHAIRPERSON: But not with your caps on?

MR SWART: I can't remember whether my cap was on, but we normally had the caps off on the table.

CHAIRPERSON: While you were sitting watching TV?

MR SWART: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: What type of uniform was it? What type of police uniform was it?

MR SWART: It was the new type, the blue uniform, the dark blue.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, thank you. Mr Coetzee?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR COETZEE: Thank you Mr Chair. Mr Swart, the distance from the door to the chair where you were seated before the actions that took place there, that would be approximately one and a half metres?

MR SWART: Yes, it sounds close to the correct distance.

MR COETZEE: And the way you remember the events, you suddenly saw a movement at the door?

MR SWART: That is correct yes.

MR COETZEE: And then you suddenly saw people enter the room?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: It is not a matter of them coming in there quite slowly, it was a matter of wiping out your eyes and suddenly see them there?

MR SWART: Yes, it was like blinking.

MR COETZEE: It would take a second or so to cover the one and a half metres to get to you?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And the first thing then, you saw a person coming right next to you, well, moving passed you and then in fact coming to stand behind you?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: You also saw a revolver in his hand?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: Was he holding the revolver in his left or his right hand?

MR SWART: No, you are asking me to recall. As far as I can remember, it was his right hand.

MR COETZEE: Would it be fair to say he was standing right behind you or where was he standing relative to you when he took position?

MR SWART: Well, relative to myself, I would say it is diagonally behind me.

MR COETZEE: To your left?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And up till now, as you can remember, the firearm barrel was aimed at the left hand side of your head?

MR SWART: That is correct.

MR COETZEE: Well, that would have meant that the person would have been standing in essence with his whole body to your left and his right hand pointing at your body or at your head?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: You yourself are right handed, and you yourself also wore you pistol on your right hip?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: While you were trying to take the pistol from your holster on your right hip, I would assume you were looking at it?

MR SWART: I could have possibly looked, but one knew where one's pistol was situated.

MR COETZEE: Yes, but it is possible that you could have looked?

MR SWART: Yes, it is possible.

MR COETZEE: So, it is possible that you wouldn't have been looking at the person standing to the left, behind you?

MR SWART: Okay, you must understand, I didn't grab for my pistol or reached for my pistol when he was with me. It was when the people were standing at the door, when they said we must remove our firearms.

As a consequence when they said we must leave our firearms alone, I didn't try to touch it when they were moving closer.

MR COETZEE: That is not the way I understood it, you said when you were watching television, you looked to the left, you saw the people at the door, it was a matter of one and a half seconds, and the people were in essence next to you.

Would you say that in this one and a half seconds, this conversation would have taken place?

MR SWART: I didn't say that within one and a half seconds of them appearing at the door, they were suddenly with us. They appeared in the door, they said we must sit still, we mustn't do stupid things, they said remove your firearms or remove the cartridges, or whatever, that couldn't happen in one and a half seconds.

They first spoke to us.

MR COETZEE: So they first spoke to you?

MR SWART: Yes.

MR COETZEE: And then after they had spoken, they moved into the room?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: This one and a half to two second indication that you gave when I asked whether it was the time it would have taken for them to cover that distance to you?

MR SWART: Yes, that is the sort of time it would have taken.

MR COETZEE: And from the time that the person who stood to the left behind you, did you at any time turn around to look him in the face?

MR SWART: Yes, when he was standing there, I looked at the revolver, and I could have looked at his face as well.

MR COETZEE: But your focus would have been to your left, to the revolver which he was pointing at your head?

MR SWART: Yes.

MR COETZEE: And at that stage, your attention would have been seriously divided between his face and the firearm?

MR SWART: That is correct, one could state it as such, yes.

MR COETZEE: Can you in any way remember or recall how the person to the left behind you, would have moved at the stage when he took the firearm from your holster on your right hip?

MR SWART: I don't understand clearly.

MR COETZEE: Well, he was standing to the left behind you, and the firearm was taken from your right side. How did he move, can you remember?

MR SWART: I can't remember.

MR COETZEE: You don't know whether he moved across your front or across your back?

MR SWART: Well, it must have been behind me, because he wouldn't have moved in front of me.

MR COETZEE: So all that you are aware of is that somebody was taking the firearm from your holster on your right hip?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And you looked down and saw how he removed it?

MR SWART: I can't remember looking and seeing how he removed it. I can't remember that honestly.

MR COETZEE: So you can't remember how firmly he had it under control?

MR SWART: No, I wouldn't be able to tell.

MR COETZEE: So you actually had an impression that the person who was standing to the left behind you, was indeed responsible for removing the firearm from the holster?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And that impression was strengthened by the fact that after the shot had gone off, you dived away, you found your firearm under the table?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: You don't know how the firearm ended up under the table?

MR SWART: No.

MR COETZEE: But you assumed because you hadn't removed it yourself, somebody else must have removed it?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And because it was laying on the floor there, you assumed that the person who had robbed you of the firearm as you had believed, would have dropped it there?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct, that is the way I would have thought it could have happened.

MR COETZEE: Would you agree that after you had unclipped the retaining strap from the holster and had dived, that it is possible that the firearm might have fallen onto the ground?

MR SWART: Yes, it could have been as a consequence of that.

MR COETZEE: The person who stood to the left, behind you, you described him as wearing a balaclava on his head. Was it your impression throughout that it was a balaclava, in other words a hood with holes for the eyes and possibly for the nose?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: My instructions are that Mr Holder, the person here on my left, you know him well after two court cases, that he was indeed the person ...

ADV STEENKAMP: I am objecting, your client himself indicated in his evidence in chief that he was wearing a balaclava, so you can't contradict him now.

CHAIRPERSON: Perhaps you could correct me, one of the applicants stated that he was not necessarily wearing a balaclava, but a type of vest which he had over his head.

MR COETZEE: As it pleases you Chairperson. My instructions are that Mr Holder was wearing a vest with a net woven pattern, over his head?

MR SWART: That could have been possible, I agree.

MR COETZEE: But this particular vest didn't have any eye holes?

MR SWART: Yes, that could be so.

MR COETZEE: My instructions are that during the trial of Messrs van Zyl and Holder, you testified that you saw the blue of Mr Holder's eye during the incident?

MR SWART: Yes, I did give that evidence, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: If we accept that his vest was a very finely woven vest, could we accept then that under those circumstances you would be able to see his blue eyes?

MR SWART: Yes, I maintain that, I do remember that I saw the blueness of his eyes.

MR COETZEE: You said that the person, you grabbed the person behind you in a certain manner?

MR SWART: That is correct.

MR COETZEE: But you don't know which part of his body you grabbed?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And was it at the point that you had grabbed hold of him, that the light was still on?

MR SWART: Yes, one could say that.

MR COETZEE: At that stage, while you grabbed hold of him, you say that you were actually focusing more on Mr Terreblanche and the other person who were on your left side?

MR SWART: Yes.

MR COETZEE: Would it be unfair to say that in the process you turned to the left, while you were trying to grab the person and that Mr Holder at that stage would also have been on your left side?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And the firearm which he allegedly had on him, would then have been in your immediate reach?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: You say that up until today, you don't know at all who fired that first shot?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: If it had been Mr Holder, then you would in all probability have seen this?

MR SWART: Strictly spoken yes, I probably would have felt it as well, because as I said the revolver was next to me.

MR COETZEE: And you are satisfied today still that it was not Mr Holder?

MR SWART: Yes, as far as my knowledge goes, I know that it wasn't him, but that is only as far as I can recall.

MR COETZEE: Then one could correctly say so. And when the first shot was fired, the lights went out?

MR SWART: Yes, I can't say that the gunshot went off and then the light went out, and so forth, I can't say with clarity.

MR COETZEE: But you don't even have a recollection of a flame which emanated from a weapon when the first shot went off?

MR SWART: No, I don't.

MR COETZEE: If it had been dark at that stage, then you would have seen such a flash?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct, one would have been able to see it.

MR COETZEE: Would it be fair to say that given the small area of this guard house, if a shot had been fired in that room, it would have been deafening?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And have you previously had the experience that when a shot is fired within a confined space, it causes a tremendous crash, much more so than had it been fired out in the open?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And not only that it would have had a deafening effect, it would have had a disorienting effect?

MR SWART: Yes, that is possible.

MR COETZEE: These two shots which you heard, can you give an indication of how long afterwards you would have heard it?

MR SWART: I can't remember correctly any more, but if I remember my evidence said that they were fired shortly after each other.

MR COETZEE: Shortly after each other?

MR SWART: Yes, I think that was my evidence, but I am not one hundred percent certain.

MR COETZEE: It is not a case of now we have a gunshot and then a few seconds later another gunshot and a few seconds later, another gunshot, it would have been gunshots in quick succession?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: If indeed three shots had been fired, then I accept your explanation that you would have heard two as a result of the disorientation caused by the gunshots.

MR SWART: Yes, that could be so.

MR COETZEE: The total time, according to your estimation, that you watched Mr Holder, what would it be in seconds?

MR SWART: That is after ...

MR COETZEE: No, let's take it from when he entered the door until the point that the lights went out?

MR SWART: I would say approximately half a minute, more towards a minute.

MR COETZEE: And your observations were made during highly stressful circumstances?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: Initially you thought it was a joke when the persons came walking in?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And you say that you could have smiled at this sort of conduct?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: Can you recall, if I might just remind you, that there were actually two court trials during which you testified. Initially you testified against Mr De Meillon and after that, you testified in a court case against Mr Van Zyl and Mr Holder.

My instructions are that during the second court case, that is the one against Mr Van Zyl and Mr Holder, there Advocate would have questioned you about this smile which you may have had when the persons entered the doorway and your evidence then was that you didn't smile.

MR SWART: You are asking me to recall something of which I gave evidence in court. It could have been a grin, I can't remember entirely.

MR COETZEE: Well, my instructions are that the smile story emerged in the court case against Mr Van Zyl and Mr Holder and subsequently you have said it wasn't actually a smile, that you were actually startled, and today we hear that you didn't smile at all.

MR SWART: I can't say with clarity. As I have said initially I thought that these were members of the Unit who were playing a prank on us, and whether I grinned or smiled or first expressed my disbelief by saying what are you trying to do, I can't remember whether the expression on my face was a smile or not.

MR COETZEE: Can you remember specifically that you dived, or was it a case of finding yourself on the ground?

MR SWART: No, it was a case of hearing the gunshot and diving away, an attempt to get away.

MR COETZEE: Attempting to get away in the sense of getting away from where you originally were?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And the next place that you found yourself, was on the ground?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct, when I dived away, I was on the ground.

MR COETZEE: Well, whether Mr Holder would have pushed you and in the process assisted you in falling, would not be possible for you to comment on?

MR SWART: No, it would not be possible.

MR COETZEE: You see, Mr Holder maintains that - or at this point, if I understand you correctly, according to you Mr Holder said nothing that evening inside the guard house?

MR SWART: As far as I can recall, yes.

MR COETZEE: He says that when he entered the guard house, Mr Terreblanche had already jumped up and that he moved behind Mr Terreblanche towards you.

He said that your impression that Terreblanche had sat for a while, is not accurate?

MR SWART: As I have said, these things happened so quickly that I might not be clear about every single event. What I remember about that evening is that Constable Terreblanche and I sat until he jumped up to struggle with the person.

MR COETZEE: So you could draw that inference?

MR SWART: That is correct.

MR COETZEE: Mr Holder says that he didn't hear any remark or order telling you to remove your weapons?

MR SWART: No, the first one was after we were told to sit still and not do anything stupid, we were told to remove our firearms.

MR COETZEE: Was the persons behind him still outside the guard house when this remark was made?

MR SWART: Yes, that is true.

MR COETZEE: He says what he noticed then was that you attempted to draw your weapon. Would that have been your action under the command of handing over your weapon?

MR SWART: Yes, that is possible.

MR COETZEE: He says that he moved in behind you, pressed you on the left shoulder and pressed your right hand back into the holster, he says that that is the position which he assumed towards you relatively speaking?

MR SWART: That could be so.

MR COETZEE: Did you indeed feel any pressure on your left shoulder at that stage?

MR SWART: Possibly yes.

MR COETZEE: Did you experience yourself being pressed down?

MR SWART: No, it wasn't a question of being pressed down.

MR COETZEE: He says that he wanted to prevent you from jumping up or drawing your weapon?

MR SWART: If that is what he was attempting to prevent, then I would agree. He probably would have been able to prevent it that way.

MR COETZEE: He says that the next moment, a gunshot was fired, which he did not fire. He himself got a very big scare and he pushed you away and fled the room.

He said that he never removed your firearm from your holster?

MR SWART: I can't say with clarity whether or not he is lying or whatever, all that I know is the evidence that I gave.

MR COETZEE: There was also no discussion between those fleeing, or an agreement to leave? Your impression was this person was next to you one moment, and the next moment, he was running?

MR SWART: That is correct.

MR COETZEE: If a search for weapons had taken place in the room next to you, you would have known about this?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And that didn't occur?

MR SWART: That is correct.

MR COETZEE: Mr Holder says that his recollection of the events is that he only heard one gunshot. Would you concede that under the same circumstances, people may have observed the events differently?

MR SWART: Well, circumstances determine your experience and what you hear, and that would differ form person to person.

MR COETZEE: Mr Swart, you recall as well that during the court case against Mr Van Zyl and Mr Holder, much was made of the statement which you made to the police on the 24th of April 1994, that was the following morning at quarter past three?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: And we don't have the benefit of the original today, we only have the typed version, but during the court case, an in depth investigation was launched into the changing of times on that document.

MR SWART: Which times are you referring to?

MR COETZEE: The times with regard to the making of the statement?

MR SWART: No, I can't remember anything about the making of the statement.

MR COETZEE: Mr Holder says that when he was arrested by Captain Nel, Captain Nel asked him where is your pistol, and there was no query made with regard to a pistol during his arrest.

MR SWART: I wouldn't know about that.

MR COETZEE: You were not present?

MR SWART: That is correct.

MR COETZEE: Well, what I would like to put to you is that if shortly after the incident you would have reported to the police that you clearly saw a revolver in the hands of one of the persons, that Mr Holder would have been confronted with that information?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct. I testified what I saw that evening. He entered with a revolver and that is what I put in my statement. Just in the same way that I mentioned that the other person had a pistol.

As far as my knowledge of pistols and guns extends, I said that it looked like a .38 Special and that is what appeared in my statement that following morning, directly after the incident, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: Mr Holder says that on this particular evening, he did not have his revolver in his hand, but in the hip, trouser pocket of his browns?

MR SWART: No, he had the revolver, he aimed it at me and he held it against my head.

MR COETZEE: If Mr Holder would have wanted to harm you, then he had ample opportunity to do so on that particular evening?

MR SWART: Yes, he did have ample opportunity.

MR COETZEE: He had an excellent opportunity to shoot you dead, if he had wanted to do so?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR COETZEE: Thank you, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR COETZEE

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Anything further Mr Van Schalkwyk?

FURTHER EXAMINATION BY MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Just briefly two issues which I would like to touch upon. You lived with Constable Terreblanche?

MR SWART: That is correct.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: So every evening you went home together and you were roommates?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Did you ever wear your weapons "one up"?

MR SWART: No.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: So you would have known if he had done it?

MR SWART: Yes, that is correct.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: In the guard house, did you ever feel that the weight of your firearm had left the holster, that the firearm was being removed while the person was standing there by you?

MR SWART: It could be so, but I can't recall clearly.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Is it possible that after the first shot was fired and you dived away, that the second applicant or the person with the .38 fired at you and you simply weren't aware of it?

MR SWART: The possibility does exist, but I wouldn't be able to say with clarity whether or not he did.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: These two persons who entered the guard house, did they smell of alcohol in any way?

MR SWART: No, not as far as I know.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: No further questions, thank you.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR VAN SCHALKWYK

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Van Schalkwyk. Anything else? Nothing? Mr Swart, thank you very much for your effort in returning and for the assistance which you have provided to us in connection with this issue. We excuse you from any further attendance of these hearings.

WITNESS EXCUSED: .

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prinsloo, are you ready to address us?

MR PRINSLOO IN ARGUMENT: With regard to the first applicant, I would like to submit to you that the applicant has made a full disclosure of the events which took place.

The facts which are established in this case, are that the deceased was shot and that the applicant himself sustained an injury in his arm, and clearly then, two shots were fired. The applicant maintains that three shots were fired. The third applicant says that there were three shots.

The ballistic report indicates that two empty shells were found as well as a bullet point, a projectile point. With respect Honourable Chairperson, the first applicant's version that he went to Pretoria along with the other two applicants, and that this took place as a result of an order given by the BWB, the Boere Weerstandsbeweging, of which he was also a member of the BRL, those facts are undisputed.

It also appears further with respect that an aspect which is not argued is that the applicant upon arrest said that they were in Pretoria, that the police were aware of this, and that sketched what their intention was in Pretoria, the plan was to take firearms or weapons from guards who were doing duty, not to remove weapons from a safe, and that a fellow member in his ranks, Mr Van Rensburg, was aware of this and that they had reconnoitred that place together on a prior occasion.

The applicant performed military service at Devon Air Base and it appears also from the evidence given by the witness Mr Swart, that before these events took place, the police took occupation of the place, but the applicant was still under the impression that this was still an Air Force base as it was.

It is also indisputable that the members of the Air Force on guard duty, performed guard duty with automatic firearms, unlike the police.

If we look at the aspect that the applicant had already intended to take those weapons in Pretoria, but because of circumstances and there being too many guards, it was not a viable option, and he then decided upon the Air Base, and this supports his contention that the weapons were to be taken from guards and not a stockpile or an arsenal.

His action with regard to Devon, when he decided on the way back from Pretoria to stop at that place and take weapons, if one considers the applications of the fellow applicants, there is no indication that it would have been only to reconnoitre that place, but also to obtain weapons there.

The applicant's evidence with regard to the action there, as indicated from the beginning, supports his allegation that he entered the room and said that the people shouldn't try to be Rambo's. Mr Swart conceded that this is possible. His evidence is that they were from a right-wing group and that they wanted guns.

Mr Swart maintains that he can't specifically remember that, that everything happened very quickly. If one looks at the entire impact of his evidence with respect, there are many possibilities and understandably so, somebody who would suddenly find himself under such circumstances where he is being threatened with death, can absolutely not have a very clear picture of the events as they played out.

Indeed during cross-examination concessions were made that as the applicants say things happened, they could very well have happened so.

Honourable Chair and members of the Committee, it has continuously been the case of the applicant and unfortunately I don't have the judgment of Justice Grobbelaar with regard to the court case, initially I couldn't find it but I have found it, and I have photostatted it, however, it is in Pretoria, if you wish to obtain it, I could furnish you with these documents. It will also include his plea.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I think that you should send that to us by means of Adv Steenkamp.

MR PRINSLOO: I am indebted to you Honourable Chairperson. With respect, if one looks at what is required of the applicant under these circumstances, it is firstly that you should be convinced in terms of Section 20(1) and my submission is that the prerequisites as put forward, refer to satisfy. If the Committee, after considering an application for amnesty, is satisfied. That is Section 20(1).

And that aspect of satisfying the Committee indicates that the applicant should be able to convince the Committee and I refer to the word satisfy in the English text. I can refer you to a number of judgments, but I am sure that at this stage you are aware of a number of the applications in which reference was made to the exact definition of the word satisfy as opposed to the definition of the word convinced.

I can furnish the Committee with details of this if need be.

I can also do this by setting out the necessary aspects. I am simply referring to it now, however.

CHAIRPERSON: I think what you can do is arrange for it to be sent along with the judgment, just for the purposes of the record actually.

MR PRINSLOO: I am indebted to the Chairperson. Honourable Chairperson, then in so far as the prerequisites for amnesty are concerned, the applicant in this case, falls under Section 20(2)(d) of the Act with reference to Section 20(2)(3)(a), it is my argument that the motive of the person who committed the acts, omission or offence is very clear.

At that stage, according to the applicant, there was a war, the BWB had declared war, and the objective was to obtain weapons for the purposes of its warfare and if one looks at the judgment of Justice Wunch, page 38 of the bundle, approximately line 7, the evidence is and can be seen that at the time of the offence, the country was in hysteria.

This is with regard to the two other applicants' judgments. The motive was clearly political and not at all based upon malice or any other reason. The context in which the offence was committed and more specifically the deed itself, as set out in the Act with regard to political objective, I submit that this falls in with what the order of the applicant was, what the applicant was supposed to do and what the BWB actually stood for.

I would like to refer you Honourable Chairperson, to the amnesty application of L.H. Froneman and P.J. Harmse. This was served to Justice Wilson, and Mr De Jager. I think the third person was - just a moment please - Ms Khampepe. In that specific case, these two persons Froneman and Harmse were members of the BWB and they were also members of the BRL and also in the same way as the applicant has submitted to you how he received his order telephonically and was to carry it out, this is analogous to this particular application, and is set out in the application. If you wish to have a copy of this, I can make it available to you.

I don't know if you have had insight into these documents.

CHAIRPERSON: If you have the Amnesty Committee reference number, then it would be easier for us to obtain.

MR PRINSLOO: Specifically reference is made to these two members, who coincidentally had been members of the AWB on a previous occasion and on page 3 of that judgment, the middle paragraph, their membership and their attitude towards the government as well as the ANC, SACP alliance is set out, as well as the principles which were applied and I argue that this fits in exactly with the case which appears before the Honourable Committee at present.

In so far as the deed itself is concerned, Honourable Chairperson, the applicant very clearly went to do what he bona fide believed to be an Air Force base and he bona fide believed that the persons he would find in that guard room, were Air Force members, who would have been armed with automatic weapons.

As it became apparent from the evidence of Mr Swart, I wish to argue that the surprise that occurred on that occasion, equally absolutely would have fitted in with what the applicant had possibly had in mind, in that instance, to rush in there, the people would be totally unsuspecting. It was a Saturday and you would demand them to hand over their weapons.

He was hoping to find automatic weapons and things went array because they were policemen.

CHAIRPERSON: What would have happened according to his evidence, if he had reconnoitred the place and had seen that these policemen were in the guard house?

MR PRINSLOO: Honourable Chair, his evidence was that he had entered the room, that he saw the, that he passed under the window on the opposite side of the television, that he entered and stormed in the door, he didn't realise that these were policemen, until he had entered at the door.

There was no time to turn around at that stage.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that is indeed so, but on the strength of his evidence, if he had indeed before moving into the guard house, had looked in and seen there were policemen in there, according to his evidence at this stage, what would he have done?

MR PRINSLOO: Is your question what he would have done if he had known that they were policemen?

CHAIRPERSON: That is correct.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Chair, he said that he didn't know that they were policemen, so I would purely have to speculate as to what he would have thought if they were policemen.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry for interrupting you, yes, it is perhaps not strictly speaking speculation. If I understood his evidence correctly, he had said that if he had been aware that it was no longer an Air Force base, but was indeed occupied by the police, he wouldn't have launched an action of this nature there.

Would it be reasonable to deduce that if he had reconnoitred the place beforehand and seen that police had occupied the place, he wouldn't have stormed in there in the way he had?

MR PRINSLOO: With respect, there would have been no reason for further reconnoitring because he knew the place well. He was not like a stranger who had come in there, because he had done his National Service there.

He knew people had firearms there. He did that work himself, and rifles. There was no doubt. There wouldn't have been any doubt in his mind.

The fact that policemen were now doing guard duty, it is possible that after his time, the Air Force could have made us of policemen. It is still people doing guard duty, who were armed from whom they could obtain firearms, so the opportunity was there.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, one has to keep in mind the version of the other applicants, and that is firstly that the first applicant had last visited the place when he did his National Service, and that the idea had been and I know that there is a difference between your client's version and their version, but on the strength of their version, he would have gone to look at what was going on there, so it was not a person who was one hundred percent certain of what the situation was.

That is also now relevant in the matter, whether he was indeed so self-assured that it was indeed an Air Force base and that he indeed would be able to find the arms that were required, there.

MR PRINSLOO: With respect Mr Chair, it is very seldom that an Air Force base changes to a Police Force base. I think it is something that the general public would have been aware of, it was quite extraordinary, it was something that would normally occur covertly, it wouldn't have been obvious and the applicant knows that he wouldn't have been able to enter safe, he wouldn't be able to look at another place, he knew that the arms that were out in the open, loose, would be found there.

They went there specifically, they were wearing balaclavas. Why did they wear balaclavas? Why did the other applicant also wear a balaclava and if one looks at Swart's evidence, then it supports the applicant's evidence, because they entered and they held up Swart as well, with their firearms, so there could have been no other purpose than to rob them of their firearms.

If they just wanted to reconnoitre, they could have looked through the window and seen there is nothing there, they saw here, but how are we going to look, what are we going to do further? There is a television playing, so there was no reason for further reconnoitring.

The purpose was to go and get hold of the firearms. It is also what the other applicants testified to. Van Schalkwyk had said this applicant knows where the firearms are and that they had to go and obtain these firearms.

That was what Van Schalkwyk had told them, and this changed, because in all honesty the Pretoria action was also to obtain firearms, so why should there be this sudden change?

But the applicants' application, the second and third applicants, don't refer to reconnoitring but to getting firearms.

CHAIRPERSON: But isn't that perhaps because the Devon base attack was not part of the original plan, that it would make sense that if the first applicant had said to the other two, I was at Devon, I had served at Devon, I was last there when I did my National Service, let's go that way and let's go and see what the situation is there? Isn't that so?

MR PRINSLOO: With respect Mr Chair, it is not that long ago before that, that he had last been there when he did National Service.

The other aspect is that he knew where the place was, he knew the place itself, and that a matter of reconnoitring couldn't have arisen from the facts which are on the table. They went there to obtain firearms, and the third applicant went with him.

This is a contradiction of their evidence. When they left Secunda, the person who knew where to find the weapons, was left over to this applicant and the way in which the BWB functioned was in a secretive manner, that only the two in the cell would know what would happen, and this person then had to make use of two other people as assistants. Two people who were not part of his cell, so the knowledge he had of where the firearms were, was only something known to him and not to anybody else.

He took the lead, he carried it into effect and he was the person who had to go and obtain the firearms. That was the instruction and the time was ripe. That is uncontradicted.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, and the other aspect is that according to all versions, the action was a total failure. The one firearm which they were able to get hold of, was thrown into the dam? It was disassembled and thrown away, so it was a total failure.

Even the Pretoria trip was totally futile, because they drove all the way there, and when they arrived there it became apparent that it was a mad plan as the applicant had said, it was madness.

Some of the applicants had made the point that they thought it was a head over heels trip and terms like fanatical was used, and some other terms as well. It is quite apparent that it wasn't a smoothly planned operation that took place there, where everybody of the persons who were participating would have known exactly what his role was to be?

They drove to Pretoria, they had a difference of opinion there amongst themselves. The first applicant said let's eliminate these people and the other said no, but you are mad. How can we safely attack the Defence Headquarters where there is a number of guards on duty.

So it definitely doesn't strike one as a finely planned, well oiled instruction which was being carried out, and as I had stated, some of the applicants themselves, referred and used the term head over heels in this process, when referring to this process, so is it totally unjustified then to refer to the operation in those terms, according to your submission?

MR PRINSLOO: With respect Mr Chair, many large military operations which were planned, which were planned also by members of the ANC, I can refer you to specific cases, where I would have described them as very badly planned, to the same extent as here, but with respect Your Honour, the fact of the matter was that these people had gone with the objective of obtaining firearms, with a political motive.

The fact that the action and planning went array, could certainly not be blamed on the applicant, because any action where one robs a bank, or goes to do some other thing, things can go wrong and that is the reason why so many people are in jail, because these things have gone wrong.

The fact that they could have planned it differently, could also be blamed on them, but it doesn't have any other purport for the purposes of this application, as to what the applicants wished to do.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I agree with you on that point. Perhaps I should state it more clearly. The storming into the guard house and the killing of Constable Terreblanche, those things are actually the crux of this application, and in respect thereof, is there anything that could be said at all with regard to planning and calculated action?

Wouldn't it be closer to the type of description made by the other applicants, that they lost their minds, that it was head over heels, etc?

MR PRINSLOO: With respect no, Your Honour, because then Mr Swart's evidence has to be thrown out totally, because he stated clearly that the third applicant had walked up to him, the second applicant had walked up to him.

And you must keep in mind what had happened, these two people were sitting, watching TV. What better element of surprise was there than this, than walking in and say hand over your firearm. You would expect that they would give up immediately, because they would be frightened to death, like Swart had testified.

He would do nothing, they would hand over their firearms. But with respect, these persons pleaded guilty, they said that they had foreseen the possibility in trying to obtain firearms, that resistance would occur. To rob a person of a firearm, there is always that possibility with respect.

And also with respect, it cannot be to the detriment of what the applicants are applying for.

CHAIRPERSON: No, I agree with you on that point, however, the first applicant on his own version didn't know what to expect in the guard house, he didn't reconnoitre, he just stormed in, he didn't look through the window. If he had looked through the window as he had testified himself, this event would probably not have taken place, because he would have seen police and he knew that it was Air Force members who should have been there, there wouldn't have been firearms like the Air Force would have had with them, etc, so this whole thing wouldn't have happened, so that is not the element of the action which I am referring to.

MR PRINSLOO: With respect, that the events went wrong, is true because it was no longer an Air Force base and the applicant believed that what he would find there, would be armed Air Force members.

There were people inside, the light was on, there was the guard house as normal, so what else did he have to reconnoitre? What would these people do else but be in that guard room, guarding the place, he was familiar with it, and it would have been favourable for him to act in those circumstances.

CHAIRPERSON: And if there were six people armed with automatic rifles, would he still have stormed in, into the guard house, because we are now concerned with robbery?

MR PRINSLOO: The element of surprise is always the overruling element at that stage. It is like people entering a bank, they know that there are tellers, they know that there are guards, but it often happens that there is a shooting, that the police were informed from outside and that they would start shooting, and so you cannot mutually eliminate any of these elements.

He knew the place, he knew there were guards, there was a small room, why would he suddenly expect six guards, why would it be different, he knew the Air Force. He went and reconnoitred the other place. He was aware of the place there in Pretoria where there were normally two guards, but that day there were six.

CHAIRPERSON: That is exactly the point. Who says he wouldn't have encountered the same situation in Devon? You see, why I am making this point is that the version of the other two applicants is that the first applicant had said we are going past Devon, I want to go and see what is happening there, I was last there when I did my National Service.

Is that not more possible, is that not a greater possibility?

MR PRINSLOO: No, it is not a greater possibility because the second applicant referred to removing firearms from a safe, and that was never with all respect, even a dream of the first applicant.

How do you take a firearm from a safe, you would have to cut open a safe, so he went to Pretoria to rob guards of their firearms, and now he is going to Secunda or well, to Devon, to try and take firearms from those guards.

Would he expect them to be six guards? If he had the courage to do so, he could have done so. Many people robbed firearms from both sides in the struggle under very strange circumstances and various strange circumstances.

CHAIRPERSON: Sorry, if I could interrupt, is your submission that we have to with regard to this aspect, accept the first applicant's version and not those of the second and third applicants, that the visit to Devon would have been to reconnoitre, look around and that we have to find that the other two applicants are lying in this regard, and that the first applicant is speaking the truth?

MR PRINSLOO: If we look at this application, what the first applicant says, he wished to do was to obtain firearms, that is what he believed that he went to do at that stage.

The facts support this allegation, the fact that he worked there, etc. The third applicant Mr Van Zyl, was just sitting in the car, and he knew that they were going to obtain firearms, it was his testimony.

The matter of reconnoitring does not even occur in the application, so the Amnesty Committee cannot depart from the point that they were going to reconnoitre, because then they would have stated so in their application.

The other aspect is that they were acting, there was no reason for Mr Holder to walk into that place with a balaclava, he was just reconnoitring, what was he doing with a balaclava and a firearm? Why would he have to do that?

What Mr Holder believed with respect Mr Chairman, can't be placed at the door of the first applicant, and he cannot be penalised by that.

Let us assume with respect, that according to Mr Holder's version, that they hypothetically went to reconnoitre and they were confronted by guards who found them there on the military base, would he shoot? Would it then have been a political motive or not? I would with all honesty still say that it was still part of the struggle, and part of that political motive.

It would be very unreasonable and unfair because circumstances dictated differently than was believed, to penalise a person and say but you wished to commit some other kind of crime, but the crime which they committed and would have had to commit, would at least have been robbery and if violence had occurred, and a person had been killed, then at least murder.

How could it change the facts at all whether there were one or two or six or eight people in that room? How does that change it? That is my argument in this regard, that if one were to look then at proportionality, it is completely different question and one would have to approach it on a different basis.

CHAIRPERSON: It also appears as if all three applicants say that part of the failure was that the person who died, was a totally innocent person, that was never a part of what they had envisioned.

MR PRINSLOO: With respect Mr Chair, what was envisioned, was to obtain firearms by robbery, which they foresaw in all probability according to the testimony of all three applicants, it is possible that somebody could have died.

A person who was just guarding a place, would always be regarded as an innocent person, but these people were always regarded as a victim of the struggle. There were many instances where innocent people were the victims.

We can think of the Pretoria bomb, of the bus in Durban where people fired on a bus with totally innocent people riding in it. There was not even a matter of testimony that they had anything to do with the difficulty that occurred on the beach.

Then if we look at the Heidelberg Tavern where they said One Settler, One Bullet, but the people who were killed, were people of the coloured group, the Indian group and the white group who were killed.

With respect Mr Chair, it is a set of unfortunate circumstances that that person had to be the victim under the circumstances there. But that in itself cannot be to the detriment of the fact that the objective was to find firearms for the struggle and that this could have been done in a way that also included violence.

Then we have to go over and look at proportionality and what aspect it contributed there, and then I would like to argue that the proportionality with regard to this what had to be achieved, and that we have to keep in mind, is that this person wanted to rob an automatic firearm. The fact that things went wrong, cannot change that objective.

If we look at the facts, the applicant said he entered, he asked the persons to hand over the rifles, that they mustn't try to be Rambo's. According to him, the deceased got up, lifted his firearm, he grabbed him, the applicant himself was wounded.

That stands above any doubt and after that, he fired a shot which fatally wounded the deceased, who was killed in that action then. If one compares that for example with the case which I had just referred to, just a moment's patience please, Harmse and Froneman's case. In that case Harmse and Froneman on the command of their superiors went and planted a bomb on the stoep of a shop where they wanted to kill the owner, it was aimed against the Muslim community.

An innocent policeman who came to investigate, kicked against the drum in which the drum was contained, and the policeman was killed, and they were granted amnesty for that.

If one looks at the proportionality and the objective involved there, the person was an innocent victim just like Terreblanche, and it is exactly the same. If one were to look at the case of the Heidelberg Tavern, the application of Gqomfa, H.L. - I can give you copies of those then I don't have to read out all the names, but in that particular case, it was also found that the purpose had been the attack on the Heidelberg Tavern was a particularly brutal one. It appears from the evidence and the other information available to us, that the Tavern was a place largely used by students and other young people, and those who made use of its facilities, were not only members of the white community, that is the people frequently referred to as Settlers by APLA members. Of the three young ladies killed, only one was white, the other was coloured and the third was an Indian.

It is quite clear that they intended to kill as many people as possible. Evidence was that nails had been glued onto one of the grenades to increase the lethal effect of the explosion. After arrival at the Tavern, shots were fired into the Tavern, using automatic weapons and the rifle grenade was fired, which did not explode.

The attack took only a few minutes, and the attackers then retreated to the car. Whilst they were driving away, they gained the impression that shots were being fired at them, by persons in the vicinity of the Tavern. They opened fire on the persons they saw on the road, and in the process killed Nicolene Cerqueira, the deceased referred to in count 8.

Shots were also fired in the vicinity of Benjamin Joseph Brodi, referred to in count 9, who was working with Cerqueira.

The applicants also gave evidence as to the political objectives of APLA, which was basically to take back the land by force. They all made it clear that they did not see it as their function to question how the operations carried out by them, would achieve this. This was left to the leaders, and they merely carried out orders as has already been said.

With respect Mr Chair, the applicants carried out an instruction which they had received. They were told to obtain arms at all cost.

CHAIRPERSON: But that was a specific instruction with regard to a specific target, and a lot of people were killed. It may be that the objective envisioned namely to create fear or to break down morality or whatever the case might have been, may have been close enough to the action involved.

But let us take this case if you are looking at the element of proportionality. Your client stormed into the guard house and shot according to all versions, an innocent young man who was doing his work.

At best for your client, he took one side arm and they disassembled it and threw it away in a dam, somebody was killed. Somebody was killed for the sake of this firearm that was now thrown into the dam. How does one arrive at the proportionality? How much worth was attached to that person's life under those circumstances?

MR PRINSLOO: With respect, the Committee is looking at this in retrospect. The purpose was to obtain the firearm, but now you have to consider the full testimony, because this applicant had now been wounded. Things had gone wrong, and as a consequence of the fact that they had gone wrong, they would be hunted by the police.

It was the most natural thing that the people would do away with that firearm. The first applicant didn't tell them to throw it away, but they knew they were in possession of hot property and it had to be thrown away, they were in that situation.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, but anything they had taken would have been hot, whether it was automatic rifles or whatever. They didn't take that firearm to one of the safe houses, and handed it over to the guards at the safe houses and said use this, and defend the women and children when the persons who were the enemy, come to attack you on election day. They didn't do that.

What did they do? They disassembled it and threw it away in the dam. So in other words, one has to consider the death of the deceased if one looks at the proportionality aspect, against that which the applicants had in mind to achieve as part of their objective.

Can one do that? That is what I wish you to address.

MR PRINSLOO: Mr Chair, the applicants wished to obtain firearms. What they did because of the circumstances with that weapon, cannot with respect, affect their application because it is a fact, they went to Van Rensburg, the Commander's house. He was informed of what had happened, he helped the applicant, he covered up the fact that he was injured, he had him treated so that the police couldn't find him or discover him.

The second thing they did was exactly the same with the firearm, to keep that in circulation so that these people could be linked, because they were using legal firearms, not stolen firearms in their attack, so their firearms would be able to be brought into connection with the cartridge casings found on the scene. They did they just have to go and hand themselves over to the police without any resistance? Then there wouldn't have been a struggle.

That in all honestly, couldn't have been the case.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that not the action of people who realised that they had made a mess of things and that they were staring in the eye the consequences of their criminal actions? This is not the actions of people who felt that what they had done, was justified. This is more the actions of people who had been criminal and who had tried to escape the consequences of their crime.

The other point is with what purpose was the Constable killed?

MR PRINSLOO: With respect, to obtain the firearm or firearms there.

CHAIRPERSON: For the sake of his side arm?

MR PRINSLOO: (Microphone not on)

CHAIRPERSON: So the objective was to kill him for the side arm which was then thrown away?

MR PRINSLOO: But with respect, you keep taking us to the fact that the firearm was thrown away. How could this be attributed to the first applicant, he was wounded, he didn't throw it away.

If the other people threw away the firearm, he can't be blamed for it. He did not throw it away, he did not even give the instruction to this effect. There is not a single piece of evidence to that effect that he had said anything like that, that the firearm had to be thrown away.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prinsloo, the firearm was not used in the struggle in which the applicants and the organisation were involved. At the end of the day, this firearm did not contribute anything or take anything away from the struggle in which they were involved at that stage, that is the point we are making.

MR PRINSLOO: With respect Mr Chair, what the Committee submits is that if it had been successful, it would have contributed. If there first had to be a contribution, then one has to go back to many other cases, and unfortunately I have to refer you to many ANC cases where things went hopelessly wrong, when there was no contribution to the struggle, and that wasn't a problem for those people.

If one looks as a recent case, where I was involved with the Black Cats, where the ANC policy was not even to rob people, where they went and robbed people, and how did that contribute to the struggle?

CHAIRPERSON: Are you referring us to findings or just to facts of other cases, because if you can refer us to findings as in the case of Froneman which you had put forward to us, that makes sense, but otherwise it wouldn't help much. Unless it is a finding already given.

MR PRINSLOO: I could refer you to the case of - where they went to the St James church where the person involved, was just picked up at a taxi rank, he went to the St James church and there as it was stated, they indiscriminately shot at people who were just innocent churchgoers.

If one were to look at the proportionality there and how it contributed to the struggle, while at that stage negotiations were already ongoing, and these people were killed in cold blood, 54 people were seriously injured and nine killed and the weapons that were used there and one looks at the proportionality, how could one compare it with what is held up to these applicants?

One should look at the case of Amy Biehl for example as well, and here I can give you copies. There didn't even appear to be an instruction in the case where she was killed. It was simply that they wished to bring home the message that it was aimed against white persons.

As a matter of fact, she was not even a person who was against that set up, she was serving that particular set up, and she was totally, hopelessly innocent. She was killed.

With respect Mr Chair, how could one at all draw a distinction as in the case with Froneman and Harmse and the person killed there, and the applicant? I could refer you to the case of the applicant Botha and Eugene Marais, where the applicants who were members of - I can't remember the exact movement - that was in the case of Botha, Smuts and Marais, where the movement was under the command of Piet Rudolph, the Orde Boerevolk, yes my colleague corrected me here.

In that case, the applicant said that for every white killed, they were told to kill ten blacks. It was like a revenge case. A white was killed on the beach and the instruction was given that ten black people had to be killed.

The applicants in that case went with automatic rifles, they searched for a target, they were looking for a target, there was no specific target identified. They encountered a bus and they cold bloodedly fired into the bus and killed numerous people there. People whom they didn't even know whether they were Inkatha, ANC or whatever.

They were killed there. The first applicant, Botha's application failed because the person who was supposed to have given the instruction to him, didn't testify but the second and third applicants involved, did received amnesty.

CHAIRPERSON: Was there in any of these cases which you are referring us now to, a situation where the applicant for amnesty had said that he was disappointed because the action had failed?

Wasn't it so that in each of these cases it was an argument that however shocking the incident might have been if one were to look at it cold, in a normal situation, it was justified in terms of some or other struggle in which some of those applicants or one or other of those applicants were involved? And not one of them had called it a failure, it was a success from their point of view, but they were sorry that it had to happen that innocent people in the process were also injured.

But everybody was convinced that what they had done, had been justified and had been a success in terms of how they saw the case in that instance.

MR PRINSLOO: Well, then to call it a success, serves as if one is cold and cold hearted and cold blooded and absolutely so, and not as far as the object of the struggle was concerned.

The objective was to rob automatic firearms, but it went wrong, and in that respect one can say it wasn't successful. If I were to rob a bank and don't succeed, then one would have to admit that it was not a success.

If I found an empty container with no money and I believed that there would have been money, then it is not fair. If one were to look at what the Act says and what the Constitution says, then shouldn't a bridge be built? Shouldn't we rather try and unify those communities in conflict and particularly where the word satisfy is used with regard to proof.

Haven't these applicants in this regard, satisfied this Committee in that regard? If one were to look only at whether my action had been a success or a failure or whatever, with respect, it cannot be jerked out of context there with regard to what his object had been. His object had been one particular thing.

What did he do? He said Terreblanche lifted his pistol, he grabbed hold of it, and then he shot him. It is bordering on self-defence. If one ignores that, if one were to ignore that, but he says I knew I was going to kill him, I am not trying to be innocent. He even changed his plea in court, he stated his political affiliation.

If one were to go and look further, the police even found BWB documents in his room. His Honour Judge Winch says on page 98 it couldn't be stated even better, the witness said that, or it can be said that there was virtual hysteria at that stage in the country, that people were driven to senseless actions.

CHAIRPERSON: No, there is no doubt, that is the context in which the incident took place, but the idea of success which we are now referring to in this debate, is success with regard to one's political objective and not one of the applicants, one of the three, said that they were proud of what they had done. It was part of the struggle, that they were involved in at that stage.

They obtained arms. Unfortunately this person lost his life, he was innocent, but they did obtain firearms and in the unfortunate, abnormal circumstances, that prevailed at the time, that was the only way in which they thought they could promote their case.

Not one of them has that attitude. They said it was a total failure. The other two applicants are totally negative towards your client's behaviour, they said he was head over heels, he lost his head. They said in their testimony that they thought he was mad when he wanted to eliminate the guards in Vermeulen Street, the three of them together with all those people with the automatic firearms, in the street there, so there are all those circumstances in this particular instance, to be taken into consideration.

That is why we are focusing on it, so that we can hear what your submissions are in this regard.

MR PRINSLOO: The first applicant never said or commented on the failure thereof, he was never questioned about it. He gave a precise rendition of what happened, and what his objective was.

How can he be reprimanded and said that he was proud for killing a policeman? One is supposed to say that one is remorseful or that one is sorry. There is no such prerequisite.

Many people have said that they are remorseful, but that is a matter of upbringing and a matter of education, however, that is not the issue at hand. The issue is what his objective was, what he intended to do, what he did not achieve as a result of factors which came into consideration. It can certainly not be made his responsibility.

CHAIRPERSON: I am sorry, I follow your submission.

ADV GCABASHE: Just point, the issue is not just the objective, you start with the instruction. You get an instruction, everybody relies on the instruction, and then the objective was to get the weapons.

Now what bothers me Mr Prinsloo, is having managed to get that one weapon, that weapon the AWB had said you can get them legally or illegally, that essentially was the tone, because elections were just around the corner.

They get one weapon, they are told by leadership to destroy that only weapon that they got so close to the 27th, they could have held on to it for two, three days, this was the 23rd, going on to the 24th, why would they not do that if indeed the instruction had been obtain weapons for this civil war that is going to start as soon as the ANC takes over?

This is where I have a little bit of a problem. Why would leadership then say destroy it?

MR PRINSLOO: I respectfully submit Mr Chairman, if they did not destroy that weapon, it would have been absurd of anyone to retain a weapon in your possession in a mission that was not, in that sense, of any benefit to them.

The benefit in this sense that the members of the organisation would then be arrested. What better evidence would you expect than to find a weapon which could be linked to these people that robbed and killed these person. That would have been the best thing out.

In many instances, and many cases, this takes place where a weapon is thrown into a dam or is destroyed or whatever. But to say that it could be used in a struggle that was just ahead, I respectfully submit Mr Chairman, it just doesn't go up in these circumstances.

What do you want to do with a weapon that is hot at that stage, and the police are hot on your heels, and it is a man that is going to hospital and they know this man is going to be detected in hospital. He's got to be treated, he was treated, he was found in hospital very soon after that.

The facts substantiate that. To retain that weapon would have been absurd in my submission.

CHAIRPERSON: And to take it?

MR PRINSLOO: I beg your pardon?

CHAIRPERSON: You said that to keep it would have been absurd, and to take it under these circumstances?

MR PRINSLOO: The objective was to take the weapon. At that stage, if one is committing a robbery, one can't sit in an armchair situation and then decide what should have happened, afterwards. One has to think about what that person under those given circumstances, believed and did.

His instructions were to obtain weapons, he obtained a weapon. Thereafter he realised what the nature of his situation was, and according to circumstances he did not make any decisions. Decisions were made by his leadership and those who gave him the orders.

The decision was not his with respect.

ADV GCABASHE: Mr Prinsloo, I must take issue with you on the context you know, and your use of the word absurd. The context as I understand it, and I have sat in hearings with you, AWB hearings, the context was that a war was going to start, should the ANC take over on the 27.

There were all the bombings, AWB bombings, that took place just prior to the election. The mentality then certainly in the minds of the foot soldiers, was that there was a war that was going to start, a civil war was definitely going to start.

And yes, it was derailed for various reasons, but that was the mentality just before the election. If you found arms, legally or illegally, you held on to them, because you were going to get your Volkstaat, as soon as possible as of the 27th.

We are talking about the 23rd, going into the 24th here, and this is why I say, in that broad context of what the organisational plans were, what they said to the people any way, you would not get rid of a weapon if indeed you had been authorised properly authorised, to do certain thing, get that weapon.

MR PRINSLOO: I respectfully submit Mr Chairman, that it was not the decision of the applicant in the first instance, to destroy the weapon. It was somebody else's decision. It cannot be placed before the applicant, but in as far as someone else's decision is concerned, in order to destroy that weapon, the circumstances dictated to what to be done.

Their decision was to get rid of it unless to be detected, because the applicant had to go to hospital. Surely if you end up in hospital, it would come out that you had been shot. It would be the duty of the Doctor to report it and that is what happened. He was then detected.

Will you then retain that? There is no evidence with respect Mr Chairman, exactly when this weapon was thrown away. There is no direct evidence as to who the decision was taken by. It appears to be by Van Rensburg or somebody, or Van Schalkwyk, and it was then carried out by Van Zyl.

CHAIRPERSON: Flippie Maree is the one that advised the third applicant to dispose of this thing.

MR PRINSLOO: So it was taken by someone else, that decision. How can that then be placed before the door of the applicants, if they get instructions from somebody high up and say look, this weapon you must destroy, get rid of it.

We are going to be arrested, and in doing that, obviously the organisation will be found out in that way, isn't that a reasonable decision taken? That is something with respect Mr Chairman, that cannot be placed before the door of the applicant that I represent. That is my submission in that regard.

CHAIRPERSON: Have you any other submissions Mr Prinsloo?

MR PRINSLOO: In so far as the question as to why it is not mentioned or recognised that a deed was committed, should that aspect arise, I would like to refer you to the judgment of the Amy Biehl case where nobody at all, accepted accountability. In the case of the St James church, I would like to refer you to that specific judgment on page 2 of the judgment.

It was contended by the objectors that the attack on St James was not an APLA or PAC operation as it was denied by APLA's Director of Information, Majosi - at a time inferred that Barney Desaai of the PAC had at that time, accused the Third Force of mischievously connecting the attack to a PAC military wing in order to derail negotiations which were then under way and to which the PAC was a participant.

In considering this contention, we had to be mindful of the fact that many political parties on the liberation movements, might have denied any involvement in any incident, because they might have considered it strategically important and politically wise and expedient to do so and that accordingly the alleged utterances must be viewed against the political background that existed at the time.

In our view, it was of cardinal importance in the fact that both the PAC and APLA have acknowledged in their submissions to the TRC in 1996 and 1997 respectively, that the St James attacks was one of the authorised operations carried out by APLA.

With respect, the issue is that at the time of the committing of this deed at the St James church, there was no - this is also apparent in the Amy Biehl case. In the current case, the applicant has stated that there were methods and what prevented him from doing anything, was the fact that he was hospitalised, and furthermore that it was conveyed to Gen Van Rensburg, who took this up with his command structure, the person in command of the structure, Andrew Ford and that they took over the situation.

It is clear that this action was approved by the organisation.

CHAIRPERSON: And I think that your client said that he was arrested within a couple of days.

MR PRINSLOO: With respect, it is my argument that the applicant has complied with all the prerequisites of the Act and as I have argued that the applicant under these circumstances, should be granted amnesty. It is my wish that the Committee would exercise its discretion in that regard.

If there is anything else, I will be willing to address you on these matters.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Prinsloo. Mr Coetzee?

MR COETZEE IN ARGUMENT: Thank you Chairperson. I don't know until what time the Committee will be in session. I think that I will need about 20 minutes for my address. CHAIRPERSON: Unless there is a definite problem, I would like to conclude the arguments. I wouldn't like to incur another day's expenses.

MR COETZEE: As it pleases you Chairperson. Chairperson, I know that you have been referred to page 98 of the record, and with your leave, I would like as starting point, to use this aspect of the record, where the Judge who heard this particular case of the second and third applicant, after hearing all the evidence, came to the following conclusion

The evidence is that at the time of this offence, the country was in a state of hysteria, certain aspects of the population were behaving in an insane way and it is clear that you would not very easily commit such a deed again and I am going to refer to the following sentences.

You will excuse me if I say of you that it appears to me that you are people with reference to the second and third applicant, who are easily influenced, and who are not extremely intelligent. This has also contributed to your participation in this expedition.

I respectfully submit that the applications of the second and third applicants comply with the prerequisites of the Truth and Reconciliation Act as contained in Section 20(1)(a), secondly that this was a deed with a political objective, or which was connected to a political objective and was committed within the context of the past.

I submit in reference to the following, that this attack took place four days before the 1994 elections. At that stage the political situation was incredibly insecure and very tense. Certain communities or parts of these communities and political groupings in general, tried to intimidate one another, or feared violence.

The memorable Shell House incident took place a number of days before this, and for everybody it was clear that automatic weaponry had been used during this incident. This was also confirmed during other preceding incidents.

It was clear that the SAP was not able to protect the general public. Furthermore I indicate that the applicants lived in an isolated mining community in Secunda, where they also worked and relied on their background that communism was threatening their lifestyle and values, and based upon this, months before the elections, onslaught was launched on their thought patterns by the AWB and other right-wing organisations.

Because of a variety of factors, including the isolation of the area, the proximity of black neighbouring towns and the attitudes of the white villages, there was a fear psychosis among the inhabitants of this town, as well as the applicants.

The general public gathered supplies for emergencies, but were not aware of the urgency of the situation in places like Secunda. The applicants among others, received notices in page 59 and further and I quote, people, sorry, this is a necessity, you and your family have to flee. There is no time to pack and then this circular concludes with help us to plan, we need help. May God help and preserve us.

This circular letter represents the atmosphere which reigned in Secunda particularly before this incident and it is clear that the applicants took these warnings thoroughly to heart.

The second and third applicants, like many other people, believed that on the election day, they would be attacked. As part of planning, safe houses were developed in order to protect women and children. The second and third applicant undertook night shooting and convoy training courses because it was feared that such incidents in which vehicles would be attacked, would indeed take place.

From the entire evidence it is clear in which atmosphere the applicants found themselves. This atmosphere was created by a broader political condition. The applicants' application must be seen within the broader context and situations, which existed back then.

I submit that by isolating certain situations, it would not give enough consideration to this atmosphere which reigned at that stage. I submit that the wording, a deed which was committed and is connected to a political objective, indicates that the crime did not necessarily have to be connected with politics, but that it is related to it. It is my submission that the legislation has given a greater spectrum to this. It is not necessary then if I state it plainly, to be politically motivated in your crimes with an AWB badge in the one hand, and a stone in the other.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, you don't even have to be a member, you can only be a supporter as well.

MR COETZEE: It is clear from the evidence, that the applicants were members of the AWB which organisation was a political organisation, which waged a political struggle against the State or a generally known a political organisation and freedom movement.

My submission is furthermore that the applicants acted bona fide in order to promote the struggle as stated in Section 20(2)(a). In order to determine whether the deed for which application is made for amnesty, was a deed which related to a political objective, I have to respectfully refer briefly to the following:

Firstly the motive was clearly to obtain automatic weapons.

Secondly the context within which it occurred, had been sketched and the arms would have been used as part of a political uprising or event or in reaction thereto.

Thirdly, the factual nature is that the applicants received an instruction from Colonel Van Schalkwyk, their Officer in Command, together with De Meillon who had been introduced to them as a Commandant in the BWB and Boere Republikeinse LŽer with further impression that he knew what to do, to cooperate with him, and under his command. To participate in a Boere Republikeinse LŽer operation.

The second and third applicants were partially misled or misinformed regarding the task they had to fulfil, but in the bona fide belief that their action was tied up to a political objective, the undeniable act was that Mr De Meillon who at that stage was only 21 years of age, was their Commander, was confirmation of the fact that they acted within AWB and BRL structures in carrying out instructions within a definite command structure.

They were found guilty on the basis that they had the shared intention with De Meillon and that they had dolus eventualis as part of their objective. It is also further common cause that Mr Van Zyl just waited in the car during these events.

I would also like to point out and submit that it should be taken into consideration very thoroughly that the action of that night, took a totally different course from what had originally been planned.

The fact that they didn't search for automatic weapons in the guard house or that Swart's pistol was not taken, confirm this submission. The fact that Swart informed the Committee and the Committee was privileged to hear him personally, it was clear that there was adequate time to do him personal harm or injure or kill him, if that had been the intention.

If that had been the case that Mr Holder had taken his firearm from his holster, the fact that it was doubted, the question was why Mr Holder wouldn't have taken it then. I wish to submit that if one looks at the broader picture, it is clear that this action had taken a totally different course from that which the second and third applicants had believed, it would take.

The question as to whether it was justified for the sake of one pistol, to kill a policeman in this case I would submit respectfully, is not the question that should be asked because the initial planning which from the point of view of the second and third applicant, had been made, would never have involved the killing of a person for the sake of a single pistol.

Applicants Holder and Van Zyl, at all times believed that they would obtain a large quantity of arms, with relatively little threat to life. It is also clear that the action had been planned against a political opponent, but that it was actually carried out against government employees.

It was not doubted in this application, that Commandant Van Schalkwyk had given an instruction that Messrs Holder and Van Zyl had to assist Mr De Meillon in the operation. If the broader political circumstances were to be taken into consideration, the attempt to obtain automatic weapons three days before the elections, should be regarded to be in direct relationship to their political objectives and if not directly, then at least, closely.

If one looks at it objectively, the killing of one person cannot be justified by obtaining a single side arm. But then one has to keep in mind the total objective.

I also with to argue further that we are not busy here with pure arguments regarding self-defence, etc, and what is involved, what is justified and what is not justified. One has to look at their objective, more than at the actual eventual result, and if it is a factor to be taken into consideration, it shouldn't be a decisive factor.

I furthermore respectfully submit that the applicants Holder and Van Zyl, had disclosed all the relevant facts fully. Mr Holder was criticised because of an amendment which he had made to a paragraph. I would like to respectfully submit that before he had testified, this aspect had already been pointed out and furthermore, the date of his application confirms that it had been finalised by a legal team in a few days before the deadline, by a legal team that were not involved in the court a quo and that the applicant also found himself in prison, and that he had to be consulted regarding a wide variety of facts in a very limited time by that team.

I also would like to point out that Mr Holder had been criticised for example, regarding the completion of question 8 in the amnesty application, where he said he would have completed it himself, and the suggestion had been why he hadn't disclosed that he had done military service. It is clear that the form as contained on page 16 of the bundle, had been typed and that it had not been completed by Mr Holder in the first instance.

The criticism against Mr Holder is therefore with respect, not valid. The question asked in 8(a) is if you are/were an Officer or office bearer or employee of the State or any former State or if you are or were a member of the Security Forces of the State, or any former State, state the Department/Division and then the answer there is not applicable.

This would just have referred a statement of his military involvement if it had been under the banner of the South African Defence Force or some other Security Force under whose banner the action was carried out. What is important is in question 7(a) where he indicated that he committed this operation, or carried out this operation under the banner of the AWB. That criticism I would respectfully submit, was not justified.

Mr Holder was also criticised because in his supplementary affidavit he hadn't made this correction. The documentation indicate that additional questions had been asked in terms of which additional information was obtained, and the supplementary affidavit was clearly just in answer to the additional information that was required and the applicant had clearly not been invited to make previous corrections or to rectify previous corrections.

I would therefore submit that it should be taken into consideration, particularly where Mr Swart acted as a witness, and his testimony was tested. It was also clear that Mr Holder in his corrected version, actually fitted in with Mr Swart's evidence.

The question which also arose is how it was possible that Mr Holder would just have heard one shot, whereas the other witnesses heard two or three and I would respectfully submit that Mr Swart's evidence also confirmed and clearly elucidates this fact, that a shot fired in a confined space would have a deafening and stupefying effect and if this happens under extremely stressful circumstances, it is quite apparent that Mr Holder's impression of a number of shots fired, cannot be a deduction of a lack of truthfulness.

I would also like to point out that at a stage from the sideline sort of, I would almost call it, in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, Section 212, that a .38 Special projectile had been found on the scene. The exact implication is not that it had been found there, but just that it would have been analysed and found to be a .38 Special projectile.

I would like to point out that there is no nexus that can be placed before this Committee, or had been placed, to say exactly where this projectile had been found, by whom, what the circumstances had been and whether it had indeed been a .38 Special projectile or bullet.

It was contested during the trial of Messrs Van Zyl and Holder, whether this alleged .38 projectile which would have established serious evidence against Mr Holder, was never placed before the Court, and in the proceedings of the court a quo, it was never alleged that Mr Holder had indeed fired a shot in the guard house.

Given the evidence of Constable Swart today, Swart says that his impression was that Mr Holder had not fired a shot. The first shot would have been fired while the light was on. At that stage, he would have been right close to Mr Holder, within arm's length with Mr Holder on his left, while they were looking at Messrs Terreblanche and De Meillon.

If the first shot had been fired by Holder, he would have known it, he should have known it. I would therefore submit that the testimony of Mr Swart is a strong indication that Mr Holder had indeed not fired a shot there.

Although the Section 212 certificate which was basically robbed of all its value in the fact that it was not used in the trial, certainly casts doubt on this whole aspect. I would submit that a finding of a lack of truthfulness against Mr Holder, cannot be made on the basis of this aspect.

Mr Chair, I would also like to point out that the only aspect in Mr Swart's evidence which does not agree with Mr Holder's evidence, is the matter of whether Mr Holder had a revolver with him in the guard house, or not.

If Mr Holder had indeed entered the guard house with the object of doing harm to anybody there, in contrast with his evidence that he had actually wished to defuse the situation, which had taken an unexpected change, I would like to submit that if he had done so male fide, he would have acted more aggressively towards Mr Swart.

Mr Swart's evidence furthermore that Mr Holder was the second person who would have entered, confirm Mr Holder's version. The fact that he confirmed that Mr Holder at the time of this whole action, never made any remarks or statements, confirm that Mr Holder was not the initiator of this action, and I would respectfully submit that there is no reason to find that Mr Holder had not made a full disclosure regarding the material facts.

It is clear that as far as the death of Mr Terreblanche is concerned, Mr De Meillon had accepted responsibility for that, and if the broader picture were to be considered, it is clear that Mr Holder was only playing a supporting role in that situation as a misguided or confused person.

CHAIRPERSON: Do we have to turn down Mr Swart's evidence with regard to the firearm?

MR COETZEE: I would like to refer to the fact that Mr Swart's observations were made in very limited time, under extremely stressful circumstances, that Mr Swart's general impressions, well, it is easy for him to testify that Mr Holder had taken his firearm from his holster, but when it is investigated, it becomes apparent that there is no basis for him to say this.

It is just a deduction that he made from the fact that he found himself on the ground at one stage, without his firearm in the holster, when he looked back, he found the firearm under the table. That is the type of deduction that Mr Swart makes.

I say that with respect, but that is what he was prepared to make as far as his deductions are concerned. If you asked if he had seen Mr Holder taking it from his holster, he says he couldn't, but when he testified, he was very certain about that.

When he was asked whether firm pressure had been exerted on his left shoulder, it appeared as if he wished to agree with it, but when he was asked how movement could have taken place, then it is clear that Mr Swart is very uncertain about these aspects.

For Mr Swart for example to allege that that very limited time span under those stressful circumstances with Mr Holder with a vest without holes for the eyes, he had been able to see Mr Holder's eye colour, I would submit respectfully that it wasn't possible.

I would like to submit that Mr Swart in the brief time that he had been here before the Committee, had proven himself to be somebody with a very quick imagination, who also from time to time, was able to change his evidence.

I can refer you to where he had said in the first court case that he had initially thought that it was a joke and that he had smiled. My instructions had been that what had happened at Mr Holder and Van Zyl's court case, he didn't want to agree with what he had said at the first trial where he had said he had smiled when they entered.

I would like to submit honestly that even though Mr Swart hadn't been cross-examined very long, it had become thoroughly clear that he was attempting to make a reconstruction of the events and for him to agree and that is a suggestion that I am making to the Committee, for him as a trained police officer to say that he had done nothing there, while nobody was aiming a firearm at him, that is just asking a bit too much from a policeman.

He also had to justify his actions, and what is easier that to say firearms were aimed at our head, and when Mr Prinsloo then undertook an investigation of this aspect, under cross-examination it became clear the fact that he had said that a firearm had also been aimed at Mr Terreblanche's head. That was not proved correct.

I think that is enough evidence that we have no reason to take the point of departure of Mr Winch, Judge Winch, to accept Mr Swart as a totally dependable, or very dependable witness, because if this Committee were to make its own judgment regarding the dependability or truthfulness of Mr Swart, I would say we have to reject this aspect.

Should it not be rejected, I would submit that it doesn't mean that Mr Holder as an applicant, should be found to be untruthful or not having made a full disclosure of the events.

It is very clear that everything that happened in the guard house, took place in a very brief period of time, under circumstances where various people made various observations regarding what had happened, and even if he had testified erroneously in this regard, it does not mean that he is deliberately misleading the Committee in this regard.

ADV GCABASHE: Mr Coetzee, might I interrupt you. Are you saying that Mr Swart's evidence that Mr Holder held a gun against his head, is a fabrication? That it might have been a figment of his imagination?

He repeated it more than once, that indeed that had happened. How do you say we should deal with this evidence?

MR COETZEE: Chairperson, my respectful submission is that and I must point out that I did not have the opportunity to appear during the court a quo but my instructions has been and it has been put to all the witnesses, that when Mr Holder was approached initially by the police, that they asked for a pistol.

Now, if Sergeant Swart at the outset or Constable Swart at the outset, knew that a revolver was being used in this process, one would not have expected this kind of conduct from the Investigating Officer.

Furthermore it was further put that during the trial, the question of the back dating or back timing of a statement and what information was available to Mr Swart at the time of the giving of the statement, that that was properly perused.

I was not in a position to personally investigate that matter, and I could not take it further. My instructions had been that in view of the back dating of the statement and the fact that the police at the time when the statement had been finalised, already knew what kind of firearm was involved, that the police had the opportunity to inform Mr Swart that a silver coloured firearm or revolver had been used. My instructions are that this pointing of the firearm did not happen and my argument with respect is that given the totality of Mr Swart's evidence and the unreliability of his observations, that there is no basis to reject Mr Holder's evidence in this respect.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you.

MR COETZEE: Mr Chair, as far as the second applicant is concerned, it is common cause apparently that he at all times found himself in the vehicle. What exactly happened on the premises, he had no influence on that and it is clear that he had reconciled himself with the action there, that he had a common objective.

It is also indeed so that the applicants in their application, do not state that the premises would be first reconnoitred. A fact on which Mr Prinsloo placed a lot of emphasis. I would submit that the probabilities support Mr Van Zyl and Mr Holder's version.

The idea that a white policeman would be shot and killed for the sake of a single pistol, was a thought that clearly was not acceptable to them.

The fact that shortly after the incident, they had sworn off, that they had given up their right-wing connections, is a very strong indication of the disappointment that they had felt - that is Messrs Van Zyl and Holder, regarding this particular incident.

I would also respectfully submit and point out that it is clear that Messrs Van Zyl and Holder regarded Mr Van Schalkwyk as their Commanding Officer, Mr De Meillon was held up to them as a dependable person, he knew what he was doing, who had already observed targets and the impression was created that they could openly without any reservation, go along with him, and that an excessive operation would not be planned and executed.

To lay it before their door that in the two hour trip from Secunda to Pretoria, they at that stage did not start asking who would play what role and when, I would also submit that it is not justified to do so.

At that stage, they didn't even know exactly what their target was. One would have expected them, when they arrived at the target, perhaps to just first drive passed, make an observation. Perhaps then walk passed and do another observation, and then perhaps to come to a final planning and execution of the plan.

To expect of them that they would have to take this specialist De Meillon and to question him, would given the fact that they were mere members of the AWB who had been sent as assistants, would just be asking too much. Their impressions were clearly that Commandant De Meillon when it suited him, would pass onto them the information which they might require in order to carry out the operation.

When indeed he disclosed to them the Pretoria target and found themselves in a position to make an evaluation of the risk involved, they immediately indicated that it was not part of the planning. The fact of the matter is that because they had not attacked those guards, it is clear that the second and third applicants did not have any expectation whatsoever, that this was the type of thing that would have happened. It had been in Mr De Meillon's mind that automatic weapons would be taken from guards, is clear, but the fact that it didn't happen, is clear proof that it didn't fit in with Mr Holder and Mr Van Zyl's agenda.

I would therefore like to state that the problem should further be looked at from a different perspective and that is they drove back from Pretoria, De Meillon is the respected and appreciated Commander of the BRL, he had been instructed to find weapons, and now he is on his way to Secunda from Pretoria, with empty hands.

If on a Saturday night, before the elections, when everybody believes there is a civil war confronting them, and he would turn up with empty hands at his command structure, what a fool he wouldn't be made of under those circumstances?

So Mr De Meillon looks at alternative planning and on route back to Secunda, he thought of Devon. He discloses it to his co-applicants, that Devon is an area well known to him. There were also automatic weapons. The applicants at all times believed that there wouldn't just be a blind attack that would follow. It is a place that had to be reconnoitred properly.

CHAIRPERSON: What did he precisely tell them would happen at Devon?

MR COETZEE: Mr Chairman, I have been instructed and the evidence had been that what they were going to do there, was to carry out a reconnoitring or a reconnaissance, and that if as they had been given to understand, it wasn't clearly stated but if it was easy to obtain firearms there without excessive risk, the arms would then be obtained.

The applicants understood that this could also involve the commission of a crime, because it is clear that they had common cause in this. It was clear that they were prepared to rub shoulders with the law.

Considering this situation, I am sure that the applicants did not believe in the light of the fact that this was a military base, they believed that the action was justified and that it wouldn't have been an unlawful act. It was clear that whatever action they would have been involved in, it would have either been trespassing or theft or it could have also been a robbery.

CHAIRPERSON: Is your submission that where the first applicant's version clashes with that of your clients, we reject the first applicant's version and that we accept your applicants' or clients' version?

MR COETZEE: I would respectfully submit that there is no reason to reject the second and third applicants' version. However, what is respectfully very important to note is the fact that applicant 1, possibly had his own agenda, in all probability had his own agenda.

Applicants 2 and 3, had their own agenda and the fact that there are contradictions as to who believed what, and what they regarded to be their agenda's, respectfully does not mean that the one's version is correct and the other one wrong.

I think that it requires a detailed analysis and I respectfully submit that the second and third applicant acted bona fide at all times, without having had any reason to believe that Mr De Meillon didn't know what he was doing, or planning there.

CHAIRPERSON: But if their version directly contradict each other, and the way I understand the evidence and in this particular evidence, as to what had happened at Devon, then there is only one version that could be the truth. We cannot accept both versions as the truth.

Either they wouldn't have reconnoitred or they would have reconnoitred. The first applicant said that they had to shoot for propaganda, the other said, we wouldn't, so it is a very pertinent question which I am asking you. What is your submission where it comes to a direct contradiction between the first applicant's version and your clients' version.

Is it your submission that your clients' version should be accepted as probably truthful?

MR COETZEE: My respectful submission is that the second and third applicants' version as a whole, has to be accepted as a probable and truthful and naturally where there is a direct contradiction of the version of the first applicant's evidence, then the first applicant's evidence on that submission, should not be accepted.

If I say directly contradict, then I emphasise matters such as appointments which the second and third applicants deny, but when it comes to situations, the fact that different impressions could have existed with the first applicant and Mr Van Zyl and Holder's impressions, then it is clear that I do not want Mr De Meillon's impressions necessarily to be rejected in those respects.

Another element which I wish to emphasise is that Mr Van Zyl kept the relevant pistol. My instructions are that this was for three days after he had obtained it and that he then had received instructions from Mr Flippie Maree, a Lieutenant in the AWB, to act in terms of this weapon, as has been testified.

If one looks at it then, one can say this is a total flop or failure, but I would respectfully like to point out that Mr Van Zyl as an ordinary member without any rank, from his perspective, was confronted with the fact, he had a weapon, he kept it. The fact that Mr Maree or whichever other person or persons, and whatever might have motivated them, I don't know, had made the decision that this firearm now had to be disassembled and thrown away, Mr Van Zyl didn't make any contribution to this and he didn't play a role in this decision.

In totality when one looks at the evidence, it is also apparent that this was an action where one could easily say let's go and obtain firearms, but nobody thought any further and said how many crimes may we commit in the course of doing so? Once having been committed, what are we going to do when we have obtained these firearms?

The testimony thus far has been a matter that has been an - it has been accepted that the police wouldn't have chased them if they had succeeded, but that is not the ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, it is like the dog and the bus?

MR COETZEE: Yes, it is clear that eventuality planning had not been made and the thinking was not once we've got these firearms, who is going to be chasing us and would it be Murder and Robbery, and how many informants existed among the right-wing, who would betray us, where would the onslaught be coming from, that was not the thinking. It was purely a matter of it is an emergency and we have to obtain firearms, and that was the psychosis that drove them.

Chairperson, I would just like to touch on something else, to say on the one hand that the applicants have not presented membership cards to the Committee and we resent them for that, and on the other hand, to expect of them to swear off violence and right-wing politics, the applicants say we are members, but we have sworn off our involvement.

Whichever insignias and so on which we had, we have gotten rid of. To criticise them, this does not necessarily indicate a degree of credibility with the witnesses.

CHAIRPERSON: With regard to the evidence which the first applicant presented, that he was a member of the BWB, it does mean that they were, that the other two applicants were members of the BWB?

Thank you Mr Coetzee. Mr Van Schalkwyk.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK IN ARGUMENT: As it pleases you. I will address you very briefly regarding the matter.

Most of the matters have been discussed by the Honourable Chairperson. I stand by the affidavit made by the family of Mr Terreblanche which opposes the applications of all three applicants, and we continue to oppose these applications.

Then briefly, I would like to move to Section 2(a) of Act 35 of 1995, I have a problem with the specific political objective which was sought. The applicants come here and say that they wanted to use the weapon for security and they don't have any concrete reasons.

Coupled to that is the motive for stealing these weapons. Can we truly say that there is a political objective in stealing weapons for security reasons.

They have the onus to prove to us when they say that their organisations were involved in a war with the State, or then with any other political organisation. However, they don't prove this. There are not dates, times, places of combat, or any declarations. They bring to us facts which cannot be further substantiated.

Furthermore with regard to paragraph 3(e), I have a serious problem with the command structure of these persons. There is no clear issuing of instructions, there is no clear offensive training or exercising of any plans and the only exercise was defensive exercise.

There is no clear command structure, there is no clear structure of reporting back to the command structure, and I cannot find any clear plan which any organisation would have, which had been planning actions such as these.

The applicants in the matter may have called various of these Generals, Van Schalkwyk or Van Rensburg or any others, they don't do this. The duty rests with them, to prove to us that these orders were issued. Why aren't they open-hearted? Why don't they call these Commanders who were the ones who gave the orders, and to whom they would have reported.

The only inference to be drawn out of this, is negative. That these persons did not at all give these orders. In truth it is my submission that this is an action by a couple of people who had been having a party after a rugby game, and decided in the heat of the moment to commit the deed.

If we discuss the open-heartedness and the full disclosure of facts made by the applicants, all three of them were placed under cross-examination and specifically asked whether they believed that the other applicant was telling lies or was not open-hearted. The first applicant indicated that where the other applicants would differ from him, they would be lying or would not be open-hearted.

Then we pertinently asked applicants 2 and 3 whether they felt that applicant 1 had been open-hearted and honest, but these applicants testified that applicant 1 had not been open-hearted.

Therefore we have two versions where applicants 2 and 3, they clearly tell us that applicant 1 is wrong. The applicants have the onus to come to us with open-heartedness and honesty and I cannot decide what was the truth and what was the lie.

We have either one or one and two, one of whose evidence has to be rejected. Should the officials decide to accept the evidence of applicants 2 and 3, it would mean that I have a further problem with regard to the incident within the guard house.

Here we have a clear distinction between applicant 1 and applicants 2 and 3's versions. It is very clear that applicant 1 does not support applicant 2's version that the firearm was in his pocket. If we have to believe applicant 1, then his evidence would be in line with Constable Swart's. It is clear that the argument of applicant 2's legal representative is for us to reject Swart's evidence, but within this room, Swart and applicant 2's evidence are in agreement, and it is clear that applicant 2 is not honest.

I would like it to be noted that Mr Swart was found to be an open-hearted and honest witness in front of the Judge a quo. It is a considerable amount of time now since the last time that he testified, and I would like to point out that his evidence was very brief. The Judge and the Court had the opportunity to consider all the facts, which we have not had.

And they also had the opportunity to ... (tape ends) ... examination of Constable Swart, an opportunity which we have not had here.

If we look at the role of applicant 2, it is clear that he brought about changes to his affidavit at a very late stage. An explanation is given for that, and I ask the Committee to reject this explanation.

He had two other opportunities to amend his statement, and it is my submission that this was done at the eleventh hour in order for his story to fit in with the versions of the other two applicants.

I therefore request that all three applicants' evidence be rejected in its entirety because it is impossible for us to determine which one of the three applicants' submissions to us, is open-hearted and honest.

If you should find that the submission of applicant 3 is honest, and you reject applicant 1's submission, I would like to address you with regard to the issue of proportionality with the incident.

This is of application to all three applicants, but especially so for applicant 3 in the matter. This deed was disproportionately violent without any specific objective which could be sought with regard to a certain political person or a political situation.

There was no propaganda value in shooting this police officer. Only one hand weapon which was taken apart and thrown away in a dam, was the objective and ultimate result of this action.

Whether or not it went wrong, does not change this point. Had it been successful and a policeman had been shot dead, what would have happened to these weapons? You identified yourself with this possibility.

Accused 3 was in the position that he was the keeper of this weapon for three days. With the election which was shortly at hand, he took the weapon apart and threw it away. It would not be the conduct of a politician or a radically right-wing member of an organisation. This is the work of a terrorist who is trying to protect himself and his other criminal cohorts.

Therefore this deed was not proportionate to any kind of political objective and his conduct after the fact is that of one who was acting like a criminal in order to disguise the situation.

With regard to Mr Terreblanche and his father, I would like to add the following. What happened to my son was the result of an action against a military base and not the State.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Van Schalkwyk. Adv Steenkamp, any submission?

ADV STEENKAMP: Mr Chairman, if you will allow me one hour, I don't have any further submissions, thank you Mr Chairman.

NO ARGUMENT BY ADV STEENKAMP

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Prinsloo, any reply?

MR PRINSLOO IN FURTHER ARGUMENT: Mr Chairperson, just one aspect with regard to the failed action. The case of Froneman and Harmse is of application here in that an innocent police officer was shot. You asked for an example, and I have highlighted that aspect.

The other aspect with respect, is that the first applicant was the person who determined the target and gave the order, and what he believed was that those weapons had to be obtained at that stage, at that evening.

What Holder believed and what was conveyed and what he says now, does not have any clear evidence, but what has been determined is that Swart supports the first applicant as well as the facts emanating therefrom. It is my submission with respect that this is about what their objective was and that their objective had been carried out.

This is of application for all three applicants, and not only the one. The differences in their evidence regarding what happened that evening or not, and the fact that this took place on the 23rd of April, further substantiates the political objective behind obtaining weapons in time for the election.

Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Do you have any response to Mr Van Schalkwyk's submission that we should make a negative inference regarding the omission of your client and the other applicants' to call either Van Rensburg or Van Schalkwyk to this hearing?

MR PRINSLOO: With respect Honourable Chairperson and members of the Committee, Ford and Van Rensburg are implicated persons, they are all people who have their own protection and it is not within my capacity to call him as a witness. He has a right to testify if he wishes, but that is a matter for him and his legal representative.

If I might add, in as far as that evidence, there is no basis that what they testified according to, is contradicted that they were members of an organisation. That is my submission.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Coetzee, any further submissions?

MR COETZEE IN FURTHER ARGUMENT: Thank you Mr Chair. Yes, just with regard to my learned friend's remark that taking a gun apart and throwing it away is an act, a criminal act. One must bear in mind that the evidence was that AWB members had a standard order to always be in possession of their legal firearms.

It is clear that the AWB members in general were very well armed. The question originates, would anybody really have the need to have two firearms? They have a hand weapon, they don't need any more, they have enough of their own. This item could have led to the identification of people who were definitely sought, because of their connection to a crime. That is why the structure of command decided to destroy it, and I submit therefore with respect, that criminals indeed would keep a weapon like this, and criminals would definitely make use of these items in other criminal activities.

That was not the case here, and therefore that inference is not justified. With regard to the issue of a negative inference to not call those who were people in command, I can only reiterate what my learned colleague, Mr Prinsloo said and say that Mr Van Schalkwyk's status as an implicated person, must be regarded and that it is not up to him to incriminate himself.

He would probably say that he had a common set up or cause and that he would have incriminated himself.

CHAIRPERSON: Can we accept that the AWB gave the order that the gun should be destroyed because it did not fit in with their objectives as your clients testified that they were interested in automatic weaponry and they obviously didn't want too many of these hand weapons at that stage?

MR COETZEE: Yes, that would be in line with my submission.

CHAIRPERSON: The panel will take the time to consider the findings of this hearing and ultimately we will notify the interested parties according to the regular procedure, what our findings or our ultimate findings are.

All that remains for us to do is to express our gratitude to the legal representatives as well as to you Mr Van Schalkwyk, which you have offered us in this matter.

The matter will then be adjourned and the decision in the matter is reserved and will be announced in due course.

That takes care of the roll.

MR VAN SCHALKWYK: Mr Chairman, that is the end of the roll. I would just like to thank our learned colleagues and certainly the victims who testified here, thank you for your indulgence and assistance. Thank you Mr Chair and Honourable Committee members.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you very much. And of course, in conclusion we would like to thank all those people that assisted us in making it possible to have the hearing here, and of course our Interpreters for their assistance and for members of the South African Police Services and the Trustees, the controlling body of this venue which we have used for the past few days.

On that note we adjourn.

HEARING ADJOURNS

 
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