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Amnesty Hearings


Starting Date 26 July 2000


Day 3

CHAIRPERSON: Good morning. We want to start the proceedings. For the record it is Wednesday 26th July 2000 and we are continuing with the session of the Amnesty Committee sitting at JISS Centre in Johannesburg. The Panel is constituted as would appear from the record. We are starting slightly later than what we had anticipated initially as a result of unforeseen problems that had arisen in securing the attendance of one of the applicants at the venue and we apologise for any inconvenience that resulted from that delay.

We have before us this morning the amnesty application, well in fact the continued application of Patrick Thapelo Maseko in respect of the remaining incident on his application relating to the Fidelity Guards matter and then we have the full application of Vontjie Mzimkhulu Moti, the amnesty reference in that application is AM6230/97. The appearance on behalf of the applicants are the same in the person of Mr Mbandazayo and the Leader of Evidence is still Ms Mtanga. I'm going to ask the legal representatives on behalf of the interested party, the Fidelity Guard company, to put themselves on record. Advocate Mooij?

MR MOOIJ: Thank you Mr Chairperson, my name is Albert Mooij, I'm an Advocate practising at the Johannesburg Bar. I act on the instructions of Blake, Bester Incorporated and to my left is Mr Piet Bester who is present as well. He acts on the instructions of Fidelity Guards. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mooij. Ms Mtanga, in regard to the logistics of the matter are we dealing with the remaining incident in the Maseko matter first or how are we going about the matter?

MS MTANGA: The agreement, Chairperson, is that we will start - we'll deal with the remaining incident in Maseko since he is also their commander in that operation. He will give evidence first. Thank you.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Yes, Mr Mbandazayo, shall we then proceed with the testimony of Mr Maseko in respect of the remaining matter and the testimony of the witnesses that you wanted to call in regard to Mr Maseko's application first and then move over to Mr Moti or what did you have in mind?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, in view of the fact that Mr Maseko is involved with Mr Vontjie on this matter, which means it's the first matter that we would be hearing for Mr Vontjie, I would like to mention in respect of the others of Mr Vontjie so that when we finish this one we would just continue without any other further interruption.

CHAIRPERSON: I just wanted to work out the logistics. We'll deal with the remaining incident in the Maseko application which would effectively then take care of all of the incidents that Mr Maseko is applying for and then we'll deal with Mr Moti's ones. I assume starting off with the common one between him and Mr Maseko and then going to the remainder of his matters.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, my problem, I don't know, I'm in the hands of the Committee, my fear is that if he is involved in this one with Mr Maseko and the questioning would be such that it will have some effect on the other ...(indistinct) ones, I don't know.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, what I thought we should do is to take the evidence of the two applicants on the incident where they're both involved in. Yes, because you see if Mr Moti starts testifying then of course it might be impractical to separate the matter. It might very well be more convenient to just lead him on everything once he starts testifying.

MR MBANDAZAYO: That's the problem I have with in regard to that.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes and then of course you must also decide when you want to dispose of the Maseko matter, whether you want to hold back your submissions on that one until we're finished with the Moti matter as well or whether you would want to address us at the end of everything on Mr Maseko's and then on Mr Moti's applications?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, I don't have a problem with the address, I can address at the end of all of them but my main concern is that Mr Vontjie may be questioned on the other incidents. They do not involve Mr Maseko.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes indeed, so perhaps it would then make more sense to carry on with the testimony of Mr Maseko in respect of the remaining matter and then to deal with the testimony of Mr Moti in respect of all of these matters including the Fidelity Guards matter and then the questioning in respect of Moti would relate to his entire application.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, I don't have a problem with that.

CHAIRPERSON: And then we must just work out the situation of the witnesses because the witness or witnesses, I'm not sure whether it's one or more in respect of Mr Maseko only, whether you want to, also depends on their availability, whether it would be better for them to be heard after Mr Maseko has testified on this remaining incident instead of having to wait until Mr Moti has also finished his testimony. So he must give us some guidance there.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, my approach was that after the first incident where it involved Maseko and Vontjie, the witness will testify, especially though he is testifying on Maseko but he will be testifying generally also on the question of repossession which of course would give some also chances that he can be questioned even on Vontjie, not necessary on the specific incident generally, just to get the overall view. But my concern was that I wanted just to - I don't have a problem about Vontjie being asked about the other incidents but what I wanted is that what is the implication of putting other things on record before he testifies. Maseko starts on this one so that even if he is cross-examined on the other one, on the other incidents, I won't have any problems. That's what I wanted, as you usually ask whether is there anything that we want to put on record. I wanted to put something on record in respect of Mr Vontjie so that even if he is cross-examined or on the other incidents when he testifies on this one which he is involved with Mr Maseko there would be no problem.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, yes. No, no, you can do that. I'm just trying to work out what is the most convenient course to take. What is the position of the witness or witnesses. Perhaps you can just clarify that first. Is it only General Fihla that you're calling?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, it's only him, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: And of course as has been indicated yesterday, his testimony is in regard to the application of Mr Maseko?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, with regard to Mr Maseko regarding Repossession Units.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well. Now I accept that you will be calling this morning, you will be calling Mr Maseko first?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Now would it assist General Fihla if his testimony is taken after Maseko instead of having to wait until Mr Moti has also testified?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, if I can take the instruction but if I can just be given time to talk to him, maybe he can wait until the whole process and he testifies later on.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, because you know he might have other commitments that he has to attend to and if it's not necessary to get him to sit and wait until everything is done and of course it might assist in that regard too.


CHAIRPERSON: So would you clarify that, if it's going to assist him to rather testify sooner than later then perhaps it might be in the interests of justice to let Mr Maseko testify, let his witness testify and then we deal with Mr Moti after that. Will you clarify that?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Chairperson. I'll do that.

CHAIRPERSON: You want us to rise?

MR MBANDAZAYO: It's not necessary, it won't take us that long, Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Alright, thank you.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Chairperson. Chairperson, he wants to testify after Maseko.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, there can't be a problem with that. In fact the legal representatives of the Fidelity Guards will of course be able to raise the questions that they had in any case so there wouldn't be any prejudice to anybody.

Yes well, Mr Maseko? Just indicate to us if your headset is working?

MR MASEKO: Yes it is working.

CHAIRPERSON: It is working, is it? Alright. I will just remind you that you are still under the oath that you have taken, do you understand?



CHAIRPERSON: And that this morning we will deal with the one incident that was outstanding on your application that stood over from yesterday. So you will be dealing with that remaining incident now. Do you understand?


CHAIRPERSON: Very well. Yes Mr Mbandazayo?

EXAMINATION BY MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Chairperson. Chairperson, for the purposes of this application, with this incident, I think there's another volume, the small volume, from page 10, the affidavit of Mr Maseko. It's at page 10 of the small volume regarding the application of Patrick Thapelo Maseko.

CHAIRPERSON: Is that the one with the Commission's stamp dated 15th July 1998?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Very well, we've got that. Thank you.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, I don't know whether it would be necessary to start at the beginning because it's already on record?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, perhaps you just want to lead Mr Maseko on the incident in question.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Chairperson.

Mr Maseko, from paragraph 12 of your affidavit you stated that you were a unit of twelve and you were the commander of the unit and you only knew Vontjie Moti, Brian Dongo, Peter Mekwase and Veli. Can you tell the Committee about the other members of the unit, how the unit was comprised, where the other people were coming from?

MR MASEKO: Thank you.

"First and foremost, these people, they were not APLA members, most of them and they were people who were working inside the country although they were not APLA members and then somebody by the name of Vincent Mama, he introduced me to Peter who was the commander of that unit. And then after he introduced me to them we planned the mission - actually they had the mission before, they told me about it and then I went to see the place and reconnoitre the place. After reconnoitring we decided to go and execute the mission. And these other people I didn't know, I only knew Vontjie and Brian. The rest of them I didn't know. Then we went to the place, after we have seen the place. When we reached the place it was late. We had the uniform of that place so we pretended as if we were the people who were working there when we attacked the place. When we reached inside, there were so many boxes of money that I have never seen them in my life, my entire life. So we took a truck there and we loaded it.

Inside, when we were inside, I was observing at these people because it was for the first working with them. In that moment I realised that Vontjie, he was a good - he can be a good commander, as I was a commander and observing him at the same time, doing my job and observing at the very same time, I realised that Vontjie really could be a good APLA member and I was intending to recruit him into APLA because they were not APLA.

After our mission we never - actually we didn't succeed because even before we went outside the police came, I don't know how did it come that the police came and then there was a fight there. We started shooting. Actually they started shooting and we shot back until we lost one of our comrades who was in the valley and then we lost almost everything because now the fight was too hot. We had to leave everything, the money, even including our comrade who happened to be dead inside the Kombi and we left almost everything and then we ran, we went different directions.

And then the following day, because at that day we never went to our RV, we went different places and then the following day I met with Peter. He told me all the comrades are there besides Brian who was shot on the spot. That was all, because we lost everything. That is it."

JUDGE MOTATA: You though mentioned, if I may interrupt you Mr Mbandazayo, you said you went to this place and you had the uniform. What do you mean you had the uniform?

MR MASEKO: I mean the FG uniform, because there was somebody who was working in there who brought the uniform for us.

JUDGE MOTATA: Thank you, you may proceed Mr Mbandazayo.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Mr Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Now you mentioned that there was somebody who was working there and I understand this place is well secured. How did you manage to get inside the Fidelity although you had uniforms? Was there anybody who had any information about that or you know security codes of that place and all such things?

MR MASEKO: Yes, the person who brought the uniform was working in there although I didn't know his name because I didn't know most of them and he is the one who gave us the information and he is the one who helped us to get inside the building because we used the Fidelity Guard vehicle to get inside there but I don't remember his name. Actually I didn't even know his name but Peter knew him.

MR MBANDAZAYO: And when this shooting started, where did it start? The shooting.

MR MASEKO: The shooting started inside because actually we had a problem of the gate, we couldn't open the gate. That gate was operated - I don't know whether it is automatically or computerised but the gate didn't open so we had a problem there. As we had a problem until other people came then we realised these people are not the people who are working here because one of us still had this balaclava on his face. That's how the shooting started.

MR MBANDAZAYO: And you indicated that you went to different directions, how did you yourself escape from this?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Myself, I went on the opposite side. When the rest of the unit went on the other side, so I went on the other side. Then from there I didn't know where did they go until I went somewhere up in Hillbrow where I managed to hide myself until the following day.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now did you at any stage become aware how much money did you take from this - was in your truck?

MR MASEKO: No, I don't know how much money was there but I can only estimate and think of how much money was there because we took almost about twelve boxes. Big boxes. Roughly I can say maybe it should be between 6 and 8 million.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, that is all from Mr Maseko regarding this incident.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mbandazayo. Mr Mooij, can you just repeat, when you put yourself on record you refer to a company. Can you just repeat that name?

MR MOOIJ: Mr Chairperson, the name of the company is Fidelity Guards.

CHAIRPERSON: I thought I heard you mentioning some other company. So the name of your client is Fidelity Guards? I must have misheard you then.

MR MOOIJ: The name of my client is Fidelity Guards. My instructing attorney is from a firm called Blake, Bester Incorporated.

CHAIRPERSON: Oh, I'm sorry, I must have heard that.

MR MOOIJ: That was the name that I mentioned.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, so you're acting on behalf of Fidelity Guards. Would you have anything that you wanted to raise with Mr Maseko?

MR MOOIJ: Yes indeed, Chairperson. May I proceed?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, very well.

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR MOOIJ: Mr Maseko, you mentioned that you got Fidelity Guard uniforms and that you wore these uniforms inside the premises, is that correct?

MR MASEKO: Please repeat yourself?

MR MOOIJ: Did you state it in your evidence that you wore, during the operation, you wore Fidelity Guards uniforms and that you were wearing these uniforms when you were inside the Fidelity Guards premises, is that correct?


MR MOOIJ: So were you wearing these uniforms when you first entered the premises?

MR MASEKO: The person that I said he was working there, he brought the uniforms with him. They were inside the kombi. When we boarded the kombi, the uniforms were there and then we wore the uniform inside the kombi when we entered the kombi.

MR MOOIJ: So you got Fidelity Guards vehicle and the Fidelity Guards uniforms were inside that vehicle, is that correct?

MR MASEKO: Correct.

MR MOOIJ: Now who supplied you with that vehicle? Was it a Fidelity Guards employee?


MR MOOIJ: What was his name?

MR MASEKO: I said I didn't know his name.

MR MOOIJ: Who would know his name? Who of your members?


MR MOOIJ: Peter who?

MR MASEKO: I forgot his surname but - Peter Mokoena.

MR MOOIJ: Did you know Peter Mokoena only by that name?

MR MASEKO: At that time I only knew him as Peter.

MR MOOIJ: When you say at that time did you at any other time know him by another name?

MR MASEKO: After his death then I knew his surname but I keep on forgetting his surname.

MR MOOIJ: Alright, now you mention Peter Mokoena. So after his death you learnt that his name was actually Peter Mokoena, is that correct?

MR MASEKO: Correct.

MR MOOIJ: And you never knew him by any other name?


MR MOOIJ: Was he the only person who knew who supplied the Fidelity Guards vehicle and the uniforms?

MR MASEKO: Peter was not working there but he knew that person so I don't know if he was doing that regularly but I know for a fact that that day we had a uniform.

MR MOOIJ: Okay. So is he the only person who knew the name of the person who supplied the uniforms?

MR MASEKO: I can say so.

MR MOOIJ: Where did you get into this vehicle, where was it that you were given this vehicle to go to Fidelity Guards?

MR MASEKO: The vehicle was not given to us but the vehicle that day, the person who was driving the vehicle happened to -I don't know whether it was the manager he was working there, he had to transporting at his home. Back from his home he collected us on the corner, I don't know what the corner of that street, but it was in Hillbrow where he collected us and then we went from there.

MR MOOIJ: You also mentioned that you only got to know about this operation at a later stage because it had been planned by somebody else, is that correct?


MR MOOIJ: Now who was initially involved in this operation before you got involved, do you know that?

MR MASEKO: These people, I said they were not APLA members before. They were as you put it or as the word has been said here, criminal elements which I dispute because I know criminals. There were no criminals. Those people they were already doing that job. We intend to recruit them that's why they were introduced to me so that we can turn them and make them APLA members.

ADV SANDI: Sorry Mr Mooij, if I can just try and get some clarity here? Is it the position here that at the time you got involved with these people in the incident you have mentioned, right at that stage they were not APLA members but you had intended to recruit them?

MR MASEKO: Not all of them were APLA but some of them already were working with APLA people.

MS MTANGA: Which of them were already working with APLA people?

MR MASEKO: Comrade Peter who was working with us and he had contact with us, actually. Brian, Vontjie and the rest I didn't know them.

ADV SANDI: Thanks Mr Mooij.

MR MOOIJ: Now you mention that you only knew Vontjie and Brian and now you mentioned another person.

MR MASEKO: I've mentioned Peter before. I did mention him before.

MR MOOIJ: Is that Peter Mokoena?


MR MOOIJ: Now where do you know Mr Vontjie from?

MR MASEKO: I know him from Orlando.

MR MOOIJ: From where?

MR MASEKO: Orlando.

MR MOOIJ: For how long have you known him?

MR MASEKO: It's next to the street where my wife stays so I knew him a long time before.

MR MOOIJ: Since when have you known him?

MR MASEKO: I cannot tell how many years that I know him.

MR MOOIJ: Was it from shortly before this operation?

MR MASEKO: I knew him before this operation but he was not my friend. When I say I knew him I didn't mean that we were close, I knew him because he stayed the next street behind my wife's street.

MR MOOIJ: Mr Maseko, what is not very clear to me is you mention that there were some other people involved in the planning of this operation against Fidelity Guards. You got involved at a later stage. How did it happen that you became involved in that operation. Why did you become involved?

MR MASEKO: Yesterday I said we as APLA members since we were from outside, we didn't know exactly where we can find large amounts of money but other people that you called tsotsi element, they knew where there were large sums of money can be found. So we had to use them or get them close to us so that we can have large amounts.

MR MOOIJ: Yes, but how did you find out about this operation that was being planned?

MR MASEKO: After we have contacted them then I knew there was something like that then we wanted to be with them.

MR MOOIJ: So are you saying then that you knew that these people were involved in criminal activities?

MR MASEKO: I have a problem with the word criminal activity. I have a problem with it because in a revolution there's nothing like what you are saying like criminal activities. Everything is justified in the revolution especially to from why it's justified. So when you say they were involved in the criminal activity you're giving me a problem.

MR MOOIJ: I'll rephrase that for you, Mr Maseko. Were they involved in activities that were non-political?

MR MASEKO: They were political because if you are hungry and that the people who were hungry were Africans so they had the chances or they were forced to do whatever they can do so that they can eat. When you say they were tsotsis then you are giving me a problem.

MR MOOIJ: I never mentioned, Mr Maseko, that they were tsotsis. It came out yesterday in your evidence that you worked together and that was your evidence, that you worked together with criminal gangs because they had the expertise to perform certain robberies which you did not have. Do you recall that?

MR MASEKO: Yes they had the information that we didn't have but the expertise, we had the expertise. Yes, I said that yesterday because I want this process to go on but Mshosho in our country, there are no tsotsis, there are tsotsis but who were whites who stole our land, who stole everything and even the banks too. I can mention even General Malan, Magnus Malan, who was in the SANDF who happened to have sold rhino horns and everything. Do you think that was not tsotsi element?

MR MOOIJ: Mr Maseko, when in 1990 was the so-called Repossession Unit, of which you were the leader, when was that formed? When in 1990?

MR MASEKO: The exact date?


MR MASEKO: I can't remember the exact date.

MR MOOIJ: Was it in the latter part of 1990 or was it in the middle or more or less when in 1990?

MR MASEKO: When we came inside, we came here with a specific mission. The unit already was there and we had to establish other units, we ourselves, we had to establish other units inside here. The unit already was there.

MR MOOIJ: Mr Maseko, if I recall your evidence correctly then you mentioned that you returned to South Africa and it was your responsibility to establish the Repossession Unit and that you reported to the leadership on that aspect and that the leadership was outside the country.

MR MASEKO: Yes, if you remember well I said when we came inside we were a unit of four. We came inside the country in pairs and our unit, it's specific mission was to repossess. That's what I said.

MR MOOIJ: Yes, so in view of that, my question to you is, when during 1990 was this unit established in South Africa? When did it start?

JUDGE MOTATA: Mr Mooij, his evidence yesterday was that he returned at the end of December 1989 and this unit, the Repossession Unit was already formed but they had to enlarge it. I'm merely paraphrasing what he said yesterday.

MR MOOIJ: Thank you very much.

Mr Maseko, do you know a Themba Radebe?

MR MASEKO: Yes I know him.

MR MOOIJ: Was he a member of your unit?

MR MASEKO: He was present on that day and I didn't even know his name or who he is but now since I was in jail with him I knew him that he was present in that mission and I knew his name when I was in prison together with him.

MR MOOIJ: My question, Mr Maseko was, was Themba Radebe a member of your unit, your Repossession Unit?

MR MASEKO: No, he was part of the people that I said they were there but I didn't know their names.

MR MOOIJ: Now you mentioned that during that operation at Fidelity Guards you saw that Mr Moti had leadership potential. Now when after that, if at all - let me rephrase the question. Was Mr Moti a member of your Repossession Unit?

MR MASEKO: No, he was not a member of my Repossession Unit but he was part of the unit that was there in this specific mission.

MR MOOIJ: I understood your evidence like that. Now did Mr Moti become a member of your unit at any stage?

MR MASEKO: No, I was intending to recruit him to be a full member but I happened to leave the place and went to Transkei so I never met him again until when I met him in jail again.

MR MOOIJ: I just want to clarify that with you. You say that - maybe I don't want to misunderstand you, at this incident at Fidelity Guards you then considered Mr Moti to be of good material to be recruited and then thereafter you never saw him again until you met him in jail, is that correct?


ADV SANDI: Can I come in just for one issue, Mr Mooij?

Your intention to recruit Mr Moti, was that known to Brian and Peter? Did they know that you had this intention to recruit Mr Moti?

MR MASEKO: No, they didn't know my intention but I did speak of Vontjie to them and praised Vontjie to them that Vontjie is good and has got the potential to be a good APLA member.

ADV SANDI: Did they have any specific comments to make in that regard?


ADV SANDI: You didn't say whether or not he was a good candidate to be recruited for that purpose?

MR MASEKO: Can you come again please?

ADV SANDI: They didn't say anything about your intention to recruit him?

MR MASEKO: No they didn't say anything, they just kept quiet. I don't know if they told him in my absence, I don't know that.

ADV SANDI: So you mean to say that they didn't say to you we've already recruited him, he is working with us already, as in support of APLA?


ADV SANDI: Thank you. Thank you Mr Mooij.

MR MOOIJ: Mr Maseko, I just want to ask you, did you say that Brian was shot during this Fidelity Guards incident?

MR MASEKO: I said Veli.


MR MASEKO: Actually I didn't even mention a name, I said one of our comrades but now I'm saying Veli.

MR MOOIJ: What were his other names?

MR MASEKO: I don't know his other names.

MR MOOIJ: My instructing attorney has just pointed out to me that your evidence was that Brian was shot on the spot at this incident, at Fidelity Guards.

MR MASEKO: Veli, not Brian. Actually he was shot in the car when we were in the car. Not Brian, it was Veli. It was Veli. Excuse us?

MR MOOIJ: You're saying?

MR MASEKO: It was Veli that died on that day not Peter and I'm sure of that and I've just asked my friend here, he confirms it.

MR MOOIJ: I didn't ask you about Peter, Mr Maseko, I asked you about Brian.

MR MASEKO: Yes, I said it was not Brian it was Veli, not Brian.

MR MOOIJ: You also gave evidence yesterday that during these operations that you were involved in, amounts in excess of R3000 had to be given to people in higher positions within your organisation. Who did you give this money to, the money that you robbed in other operations?

MR MASEKO: To Junior.

MR MOOIJ: And who did Junior in turn report to?

MR MASEKO: To his immediate superior.

MR MOOIJ: Who was that?

MR MASEKO: At that time I think it was the Director of Operations.

MR MOOIJ: And who was the Director of Operations?

MR MASEKO: Lethlapa Mpahlele.

ADV SANDI: I'm sorry, if this operation had been successful, what would have happened to the money?

MR MASEKO: I will hand it over to our superiors.

ADV SANDI: You mean Junior?

MR MASEKO: I was supposed to hand it over to him if the operation succeeded.

ADV SANDI: But I thought you said this was not really a Repossession Unit operation?

MR MASEKO: Yes, it was not - this unit, we wanted to work with it and incorporate it into our ranks if it was possible but the money will come to us and then we will take it to Botswana to Junior. Just as I've said the people who were - these other people who will work with us and in turn we will give them the land. That's what I said we did promise them, the land. We didn't promise them any shares.

MR MOOIJ: Did you approach these other people with the information, as you said, because they'd been involved with other operations before?

MR MASEKO: Just come again?

MR MOOIJ: I said, did you approach the people who were planning this Fidelity Guards incident because of their experience with other incidents that happened before other operations?

MR MASEKO: Yes as that person, the guy Vincent Mama who approached Peter, he approached him because he knew they were doing better money than us.

MR MOOIJ: So they were doing better money than you were doing, that is why you approached them? That's also what you said yesterday. They were making bigger money than what you were making and that is why you decided to get together with them. Now what doesn't make sense is that here's an organisation who is making big money. Why then all of a sudden would they assist you to help you to get money for nothing without - previously they could keep all the money, now they must give all the money to you? How do you explain that?

MR MASEKO: They were making money as you say but they were never free. They were never free. That's why they were prepared to help the people to fight and make the land free. That's why they were prepared to help us.

MR MOOIJ: Totally for free, without them getting any part of the money?

MR MASEKO: That was not for free because they were going to get their land back.

MR MOOIJ: When did you meet with Mr Moti again in prison?

MR MASEKO: 1996.

MR MOOIJ: So you didn't see him for a period of about six years after this robbery, is that correct?


MR MOOIJ: Do you have any idea, Mr Maseko, why would Mr Moti in an affidavit say that in 1991, early 1991, he was sent to Transkei for infantry training under you?

MR MASEKO: I don't have any idea why would he have said that.

MR MOOIJ: So if he said that, would that be a lie?

MR MASEKO: No, I cannot say. Maybe he consulted Peter as Peter was his commander so I won't talk on behalf of him.

MR MOOIJ: No but if he says in an affidavit that he was sent to Transkei in early 1991 for infantry training under yourself, would he be telling a lie if he says that?

MR MASEKO: I said I will never answer for him, he will answer for himself.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Maseko, did he, Mr Moti, did he ever receive infantry training by himself?



MR MOOIJ: Thank you Chairperson.

Now after this particular incident at Fidelity Guards do you know whether there was any further co-operation between the let's call it the organisation of which Mr Moti was a member and your Repossession Unit.

MR MASEKO: Please come again?

MR MOOIJ: Alright, let me just rephrase it for you nicely. This operation at Fidelity Guards was a combined effort, so to speak, between your Repossession Unit and some other organisation of which Mr Moti was a member, correct? Now after this particular Fidelity Guards operation, was there any other co-operation between the organisation of which Mr Moti was a member and the Repossession Units?

MR MASEKO: Yes, comrade Peter who was a commander of them, we used to meet just to discuss other things and try to give us the direction how to get more information about these other operations of that sort.

MR MOOIJ: Do I understand you correctly that Peter then acted as an advisor to the Repossession Unit?

MR MASEKO: Yes I can say so.

MR MOOIJ: But there were no other joint operations between Repossession Unit and Peter's unit, is that correct?

MR MASEKO: Maybe he did with other units because we were establishing units inside here but with me direct I know that was the only operation I did with him. With other units really I don't know.

MR MOOIJ: But you were in charge of the Repossession Unit, not so?

MR MASEKO: That is true.

MR MOOIJ: So you would certainly have knowledge of operations that the Repossession Unit, so to speak, was involved in?

MR MASEKO: That's why I said maybe he did work with other units because I was not working only in Johannesburg, I was doing it nationally so when I was not around I don't know what was he doing or what he was talking with other units.

MR MOOIJ: Yes Mr Maseko, but you ultimately were in charge of the Repossession Unit. Surely your subordinates would report to you about operations, not so?


MR MOOIJ: Now I ask you, were there any other occasions when the Repossession Unit or a branch or a division of the Repossession Unit had joint operations with this gentleman called Peter?

MR MASEKO: Not to my knowledge.

MR MOOIJ: Thank you. Was your unit, the Repossession Unit, ever involved in applying the proceeds of your operations to the purchase of pills or drugs or anything like that?

MR MASEKO: No, the money, if we happened to get the money, the money will be used to buy arms or food for our cadres or even clothes. Not drugs.

MR MOOIJ: Chairperson, I see it's now ten past eleven, I don't ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: No, no, I don't intend adjourning at all until lunch time. We started very late this morning.

MR MOOIJ: Oh, certainly.

CHAIRPERSON: Here we work under tremendous time constraints.

MR MOOIJ: Certainly Chairperson, thank you.

Mr Maseko, these other organisations such as that headed by Peter Mokoena, were they acting on your orders at all?


MR MOOIJ: Did they act on APLA's behalf?

MR MASEKO: Not on all the machines except the one that I'm talking about but other missions I don't know if, as I've told you, that Vincent Mama had communication with them. Maybe they were talking with him but I didn't know of that.

MR MOOIJ: So not to your knowledge?

ADV SANDI: Can I ask you to explain something? I hear that you say in response to the question by Mr Mooij as to whether the operations that were carried out by the group headed by Mr Peter Mokoena whether they were acting on behalf of APLA, I hear that you say, "not on all the missions except the one I was involved in". But why do you say that, because I understand your evidence when you started initially to be that when you came into the picture, these people had already planned to carry out this mission?

MR MASEKO: Advocate, can you come again?

ADV SANDI: Didn't you get into the picture at a stage these people had already decided they were going to carry out this operation?

MR MASEKO: When I came in the picture these people already existed so I came in the picture only to come and get or work with them or get them on our side. Already they were already on the ground and existing and doing the other things.

ADV SANDI: Yes, when you came into the picture they had already decided that they were going to carry out this particular mission?

MR MASEKO: They already had the plans and the missions and they already, long before I came in the picture they were working.

ADV SANDI: Now why do you say then that mission was carried out on behalf of APLA?

MR MASEKO: Because after we negotiated with them, I wouldn't get inside if we didn't agree on other aspects like where will the money go and how are we going to get - we had to clarify some aspects.

ADV SANDI: But wasn't that a stage where you were trying to have a better understanding of these people, how they carry out their operations to an extent you can trust them, you know and so on and so on? Wasn't that the position?

MR MASEKO: That was the position, that is why I myself, I went to work with them in that mission because I wanted to have a better understanding which in relationship with them, if it is possible.

ADV SANDI: Yet, but you had not initiated that particular operation you as a member of APLA?

MR MASEKO: No, it was not initiated by me.

ADV SANDI: Thank you.

MR MASEKO: But I ...(indistinct) with them.

CHAIRPERSON: Initially it was their idea which you then took over?


CHAIRPERSON: You found that - in fact, you reached an agreement with them which was acceptable to you and you took over their idea and in fact if I understand you correctly you say that you were involved in some reconnoitring and that sort of thing before this was actually executed?

MR MASEKO: Exactly, Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: You satisfied yourself as well that this is a viable plan?

MR MASEKO: Exactly Sir.

CHAIRPERSON: And is it only after you were satisfied on all these calls that you decided well you're going to take this?

MR MASEKO: Exactly, that's how it is.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Yes?

MR MOOIJ: Mr Maseko, you mentioned that you thought that Mr Moti had certain qualities which would make you interested in recruiting him as a member of APLA. What were these qualities, why did you come to that conclusion that he was a suitable person?

MR MASEKO: Inside the mission whilst we were pulling the mission, I could see him. His acts, he was running up and down commanding people, doing this, doing that, so I could see really, this man he knows what he is doing.

MR MOOIJ: When you say you could see he knows what he was doing, what do you mean by that? In what respect did he know what he was doing?

MR MASEKO: I've been involved in a lot of missions. I know when a person is good and I know when a person is useless in a mission. At that day I saw this man, amongst those people who were there, he was the one who was active.

MR MOOIJ: Do I understand you correctly to say that the impression that he gave you was that he was an experienced person in that type of operation?

MR MASEKO: That is what I'm saying.

MR MOOIJ: So it appeared to you that he'd been involved in that type of thing many time before?

MR MASEKO: I don't know, what I know is he was very good that's why I wanted him.

MR MOOIJ: You wanted him for his skills?

MR MASEKO: Exactly.

MR MOOIJ: In performing that type of operation, not so?


MR MOOIJ: I didn't hear you say that you were interested in him because of his political beliefs?

MR MASEKO: At that time I didn't even know what his political beliefs or what is his understanding but what I knew was that after the mission we'll recruit him and we will politicise him because we believed that politics leads the gun.

CHAIRPERSON: But you were at least satisfied at that point after your discussions that they are prepared to participate in this incident on behalf of APLA which - in other words what I mean is, they were prepared to participate in an incident which should benefit APLA?




CHAIRPERSON: So at least it was indicative of the fact that they're not hostile towards the organisation that you represented?


CHAIRPERSON: Would that be a fair summary of your sort of, your state of mind at the time?


CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you.

MR MOOIJ: So do I understand you correctly that at the time of this incident according to you Mr Moti was not politically active at all?

MR MASEKO: I don't know but what I know is he was not a PAC member, he was not an APLA member but at that time I saw him to be good and I wanted him and I knew I will teach him politics.

MR MOOIJ: So your interest in him was purely, at that stage, purely from that you could use his skills in your future operations?

MR MASEKO: Exactly.

ADV SANDI: Would you say Mr Moti was some sort of commander of this group?

MR MASEKO: No, the commander was comrade Peter. He was not a commander but in the APLA circles there was this thing, they used to say our comrades used to hijack commandership from the existing commander. If the commander maybe was a little bit sleepy, somebody would take the initiative and hijack his commandership so Vontjie, that I could see, he had that potential.

ADV SANDI: How would you describe your profile in that operation? Would you say it was to the same extent as Mr Moti, those people who were running up and down, appearing to be some sort of leaders of the group? A low profile, high profile? What was your position in relation to him?

MR MASEKO: Sorry, myself? I was playing a low profile although I was the commander, but I was playing the low profile so that I can learn and see what is happening exactly.

ADV SANDI: Some question which I thought I would ask earlier on, was it known by all of the members of this group that you were coming from APLA? Did all of them know?

MR MASEKO: No, not all of them. Not all of them that they knew that I'm from APLA but their commander knew. They only thought maybe I'm just a new member or they didn't know me exactly.

ADV SANDI: Their commander was - when you say their commander, do you mean Peter? Was he the only one he knew?

MR MASEKO: And Veli.

ADV SANDI: What about Moti, did he know?

MR MASEKO: Moti knew me but he didn't know that I was APLA and he knew him too, he didn't know it.

ADV SANDI: Thank you.

MR MOOIJ: Mr Maseko, only Peter - when you say Peter I take it that you mean Peter Mokoena, the leader of that group. Him and Veli ...(intervention)

MR MASEKO: Not him, him and Brian knew exactly.

MR MOOIJ: Peter and Brian?



MR MASEKO: Exactly who I was.

MR MOOIJ: Who you were. Now was it just you or joined that group or were there other people as well.

MR MASEKO: From APLA? No, it was only myself.

MR MOOIJ: Now Peter was - he was known to you, he knew what your objectives were when he took you into the group. Now at that stage he was not APLA, is that correct? Peter, he had nothing to do with APLA?

MR MASEKO: He had communication with his sender so therefore he was our courier.

MR MOOIJ: But he wasn't a member of your unit?


MR MOOIJ: Now what to your knowledge were the activities of Peter and his people at that time when you met with them and when you joined them?


MR MOOIJ: What did you know about Peter and his colleagues about their activities when you joined them?

MR MASEKO: I've stated that yesterday.

MR MOOIJ: Fine. Now at what stage did Mr Moti, if at all, did he become a member of your organisation, your Repossession Unit? Did he ever become a member?

MR MASEKO: If he became a member he became a member after I had left the place, after I had left Gauteng Province.

MR MOOIJ: When was that?

MR MASEKO: Maybe after, that was 1991 because I left Gauteng Province in 1991 to go to Eastern Cape.

MR MOOIJ: When in 1991 did you actually leave Gauteng?

MR MASEKO: I don't exactly was the day but I think it was mid year or after mid year.

MR MOOIJ: After mid year. More towards the end of the year?

MR MASEKO: Maybe it was, I'm not sure, I'm just guessing, it's just guesswork now I'm doing. It was the end of the year, or mid year, I don't remember.

MR MOOIJ: So if Mr Moti became a member of your organisation, if he became a member at all, that would have been after, you say, after you left Gauteng?


MR MOOIJ: After you left Gauteng you were still in charge of the Repossession Unit on a national basis?


MR MOOIJ: And was it ever communicated to you that Mr Moti had become a member of your unit?

MR MASEKO: Not to me.

MR MOOIJ: Mr Maseko, who will be able to tell the Committee about Mr Moti's membership if he indeed became a member. Who will be able to give the Committee that information?

JUDGE MOTATA: I think that's an unfair question because it's until he left he wasn't aware so if you say to him who would be in that position, I think it would be unfair to the witness. I suppose Mr Moti is best able to answer that question.

MR MOOIJ: Judge, with respect, Mr Maseko's evidence was that he was still in charge of this unit on a national basis and if that is so, if he was the person in charge of the unit, then surely there must be somebody in that unit who would be able to tell this Committee. A person a works with membership or who works with new recruits who would be able to tell this Committee who became members during any given time?

JUDGE MOTATA: I suppose then he must say who other he put in charge to form units, who would report to him nationally but we don't have that kind of evidence before us.

MR MOOIJ: Could I perhaps rephrase the question to Mr Maseko?

JUDGE MOTATA: Certainly, thank you.

MR MOOIJ: Mr Maseko, is there anybody in your organisation, the Repossession Unit, who was working, after you left Gauteng, who was working with the administration of membership and who would be involved with new members joining the organisation?

MR MASEKO: In APLA there were departments so if a person was recruited into APLA I wouldn't know that because I will only know of him when he is brought into my department but if he is just within APLA, I wouldn't even know who joined, who didn't join, that I wouldn't know.

MR MOOIJ: Your department being the Repossession Unit?


MR MOOIJ: So if a person, if another person joined the Repossession Unit then you would know about that?

MR MASEKO: A person who just joined the Repossession Unit, he will join APLA and after that he will become a member of -I will go and choose somebody who will recommend him to me, he will not just come from nowhere and join the Repossession Unit.

MR MOOIJ: So if a person joined the Repossession Unit at any time then you would know about that. You would have the final say?

MR MASEKO: Yes but other units that existed because we were not the only unit of APLA inside. Maybe they worked with other units or other units were doing their things but I would get the report finally.

MR MOOIJ: When you say other units or other departments you mean departments other than the Repossession Unit?


MR MOOIJ: So if he was working in an office somewhere then you wouldn't know about it?

MR MASEKO: Come again?

MR MOOIJ: If he was working in an office somewhere then you wouldn't know about it?


MR MOOIJ: But if he was working for the Repossession Unit then you would know about it?

MR MASEKO: Finally I would get a report.

MR MOOIJ: Thank you.

ADV SANDI: Can I just ask? How would you be told, to what extent would you be given information to the effect that so and so had joined the Repossession Unit, would you - let's say this person joins the Repossession Unit in Cape Town, would you be given full names, particulars of this person or would you only be given a code name? What would happen?

MR MASEKO: I wouldn't be given full names because that will be risky to give us full names. He will give code names and then the people like here specifically in Gauteng where I had Vincent Mama here who was the one who will give me the reports of what these units were doing. They were like comrade Peter will tell Vincent and Vincent will come to me. Even in Cape Town it was the same way, there were people that would report to me. Actually everywhere there were people that would report to me.

ADV SANDI: The reports, would they come to you in writing? In what form would these reports be forwarded to you?

MR MASEKO: Sometimes telephonically but you never used letters because letters will take time, or take a long time before they reach - before they come to me.

ADV SANDI: Usually how long would it have been after this particular person has joined. Would you become aware of his membership? Would it be immediately thereafter or would sometimes take quite a while before you would know?

MR MASEKO: Sometimes it will take a while, sometimes it would be immediately depending when do I get the message because I was running the whole country, going up and down, so it was easy - it was not easy for me to get the information immediately.

ADV SANDI: I take it that you would subsequently be informed of the kind of activities this particular person has been involved in on becoming a member?

MR MASEKO: Yes, Sir.

ADV SANDI: Thank you.

MR MOOIJ: Now regarding the issue of the money, Mr Maseko, once you were running this operation on a national basis and you now had these units deployed on a national basis, what would be the procedure with the money? Would it still come to you and you would then hand it over to Junior or what was the procedure?

MR MOOIJ: That is the procedure that you have said, that you have just mentioned.

MR MOOIJ: So all these units, their money would have to come to you and you would then make sure that it goes to the right place where it ultimately had to go?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, that's what he says.

MR MOOIJ: Thank you Chairperson.

Just to go back to this Fidelity Guards incident, the actual, when the actual operation was being carried out, were you the commander of that operation, were you the person in charge?

MR MASEKO: Yes I was in charge.

MR MOOIJ: And all the members of that operation accepted that?


MR MOOIJ: Now Mr Moti, he is applying for amnesty for certain incidents. Now for instance there was an operation at Bruma Lake in Johannesburg on the 26th October 1991 during which goods and money in the amount of R500 000 was stolen. Did you receive that money?

MR MASEKO: I've said I know about this, this operation who we are specifically talking about. That one I don't know about and I don't want to talk about it and I don't want to answer things that I don't know. I'm prepared to answer about this one that I know, I'm sure of.

MR MOOIJ: Yes, I'm not trying to ask you about the operation as such, whether you were involved in it or you had any knowledge of it. Your evidence was that whenever such an operation took place, the money from these other Repossession Units had to come to you?

MR MASEKO: Exactly.

MR MOOIJ: Now I'm asking you about an incident of which Mr Moti was convicted and this involved a robbery of an amount of R500 000. Now did you on behalf of the Repossession Unit, did you receive such an amount from Mr Moti?


MR MOOIJ: Then in Dube in Soweto ...(intervention)

CHAIRPERSON: I'm sorry Mr Mooij, I've got to interrupt you unfortunately. Perhaps we can get this out very - at much less detail.

Mr Maseko, apart from this abortive attempt at robbing the Fidelity Guards, were there any other amounts in respect of any other incident where Mr Moti was allegedly involved, handed to you to hand over to your superiors in APLA?

MR MASEKO: No, we haven't received anything from them.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you. Yes Mr Mooij?

MR MOOIJ: Thank you Chairperson.

Now if only two people in this group who attacked Fidelity Guards or entered Fidelity Guards were aware of your true identity and your true motives, why would the other people then, how do you explain that they all agreed to give you or to give APLA the money that they were going to take from Fidelity Guards?

MR MASEKO: I didn't get your question?

MR MOOIJ: Only two people in this group, Peter's group, who were going to enter Fidelity Guards and take the money. Only two people were aware of who you were and what your motive was for taking this money. How do you explain then your evidence that these people, the members of that group who were going to do that robbery were prepared to give you the money for your purposes if they didn't know who you were?

MR MASEKO: I don't know what Peter told them but we agreed between myself and Peter and Brian. So the other people I don't know how will they feel and what were their feelings, that I don't know but the agreement - we had an agreement with Peter and Veli.

MR MOOIJ: So is your evidence then that there was never an agreement between you and Mr Moti that the proceeds of that operation would go to you?

MR MASEKO: I never talked with Mr Moti. Mr Moti was with under Peter so when I talked to Peter already the decision we took with Peter affected him too.

MR MOOIJ: So you're merely assuming that he knew about it?


MR MOOIJ: Chairperson, I don't have any further questions at this stage.


CHAIRPERSON: Yes, thank you Mr Mooij. Ms Mtanga, any questions?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS MTANGA: I have a few Chairperson.

Mr Maseko, you have testified that you met this Peter Mokoena through Vincent Mama, am I correct?


MS MTANGA: When you were introduced to Peter Mokoena, were you told - did Vincent ever tell you that Mr Mokoena was a member of the PAC or was he an APLA member or what his relationship was with PAC and APLA? Were you ever told?

MR MASEKO: Yes I was told they were never PAC members but they were working with the PAC people, that was the information I got.

MS MTANGA: Did he tell you in what way were they working with PAC people?


MS MTANGA: As the head of the Repossession Unit and a person who was introduced by Vincent Mama to Peter Mokoena, if there had been a robbery or a repossession operation being carried out by Moti and this unit where Peter Mokoena was a commander, would you have been told about those operations? That is before you carried out this Fidelity Guards, would you have been informed by Vincent Mama that these are the operations in the repossession operations that this group had carried already for the PAC and APLA?

MR MASEKO: No ma'am, I was never told anything but what I know, if they were doing anything after we have come to the agreement that there will be APLA people, all of them will be members of APLA, maybe I'll know something.

MS MTANGA: So when you were told by Vincent Mama that they were working with the PAC, what did you understand that to mean?

MR MASEKO: I understood that they are sympathisers of the PAC. That was my understanding, that they are sympathisers and they can be easily tempted into PAC or we can win them easy.

MS MTANGA: Could that have meant they carried out operations on behalf of the PAC?

MR MASEKO: I don't know if they were carrying operations on behalf of PAC or they were doing it for their own but they were prepared to sacrifice everything for the PAC after I met with them.

MS MTANGA: If they had carried out the repossession operations and you had no knowledge of these operations, how could it be said that these operations were carried on behalf of PAC or APLA if you as the head of operations had no knowledge of it?

MR MASEKO: I wouldn't know, that depended on their conscience, how fair they were. If they were really fair, I would know everything but if they were not fair maybe I wouldn't know some of the things, it will depend squarely on

their shoulders.

MS MTANGA: But Mr Maseko, if they had carried out operations prior to you meeting with them and there had been repossession operations by them where they actually obtained money or some other items and if at that time you were not told about these operations, can you now as an APLA member, as the head of this unit, say this could - could these operations be seen as operations that were carried on behalf of PAC and APLA if you had no knowledge of it?

MR MASEKO: No, I didn't have any knowledge of it.

MS MTANGA: Now could they be said to be operations carried on behalf of your organisation or not if you had no knowledge of these operations?

MR MASEKO: Please come again? I don't understand you.

MS MTANGA: Operations carried without your knowledge and they obtained items, they obtained money, they don't account to you, you don't get a report, you know nothing about these operations. As the head of the Repossession Unit, can you say that these operations were indeed operations?

MR MASEKO: If I knew nothing unless maybe they gave them say maybe to somebody who is higher than me and he tells me that the other unit did this and here are, then maybe I'll - but without my knowledge really I wouldn't.

MS MTANGA: And indeed, Mr Maseko, you've already said that all repossession operations would come to you through reports telephonically or verbally? I'm just confirming what you said earlier on?


ADV SANDI: Was it not the nature of the arrangement that things would not just happen without you knowing?

MR MASEKO: Sir, things were happening, especially anarchy, let me put it that way. There was a lot of anarchy, things were happening. That's why we were trying to put them together and try to direct them and have them - they must have direction, they mustn't do things haphazardly. That's what we were doing, trying to win them over and direct them.

ADV SANDI: If an operation like this had been carried out successfully and monies obtained, would it not have come to your knowledge that such a thing has happened, even if you were not personally involved in it? Would you not become aware subsequently to reports that are coming to you?

MR MASEKO: What do you mean is that after they have pulled a mission and then they don't report there? So finally I will know. That is true, I will know.

ADV SANDI: And if an operation like this has happened and you have not at any stage been made aware, so that cannot be an APLA operation. Is that what you're saying?

CHAIRPERSON: Or Repossession Unit operation. I thought you say that you can't speak on behalf of APLA but you can certainly speak on behalf of the Repossession Unit or did I misunderstand you. Can you speak on behalf of the entire APLA or what? On all of the APLA units or can you only speak on behalf of the RU?

MR MASEKO: Yes, I can speak on behalf of RU.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes. Yes ma'am?

MS MTANGA: Thank you Chairperson. Vincent Mama or what

position did he hold within - was he a PAC member or was he a PAC member and also a member of APLA? Can you tell this Committee what was he?

MR MASEKO: He was a PAC member. He was an APLA courier.

MS MTANGA: What is a courier, Mr Maseko?

MR MASEKO: A courier is somebody who is working for an organisation whether - well, there are two types of couriers, an aware courier and an unaware courier. Vincent was an aware courier. He knew that he was working for the PAC, he was doing things for the PAC.

MS MTANGA: Again, what things would he be doing or what things did he do for the PAC that you can recall?

MR MASEKO: Taking messages from one point to another point, taking comrades from one point to another point or even discuss other things, military things with the people, with APLA people.

MS MTANGA: Do you know of any operation that Vincent Mama was involved in and where money was accounted to you? That is money obtained from repossession operation?

MR MASEKO: In some other operations he was always our driver like in Lebanon Eating House Mission, he was there, he was our driver. In Diepkloof Police Station he was there, he was our driver, so he was always there in some other missions.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes thank you. You have said that to us yesterday, it's on record. You don't need to repeat it. Yes Ms Mtanga?

MS MTANGA: Thank you Chairperson.

Did you at any time order Vincent to order people to carry out operations? Was he ever in a position where you had given him instructions to organise a unit to carry out repossession operations?

MR MASEKO: In a case where I'm not around Gauteng I will ask him to give green light to unit that wants to perform some or execute a mission.

ADV SANDI: But had you ever given him an order to carry out an operation or to be involved in an operation similar to the one that was carried out at the Fidelity Guards company?


ADV SANDI: Sorry, Ms Mtanga.

When did you become aware for the first time that he was involved with these other people who were unknown to you?

MR MASEKO: Vincent was never involved with them but he knew them and that's why he introduced them to me but he was not working with them full time.

ADV SANDI: At what stage was it when he told you for the first time that he knew of these other people?

MR MASEKO: That was before I got to Transkei, that was in 1991.

ADV SANDI: Thank you Ms Mtanga.

MS MTANGA: Mr Maseko, I'm asking - the last question I asked you because I wanted to establish the link between Peter Mokoena and APLA activities and whether the robberies that are mentioned in Mr Moti's application where he is said to have been a commander, were they operations carried out with either your knowledge or the knowledge of Vincent Mama who was probably - who could have been in a position to give Peter Mokoena orders or not. So will I be correct to conclude that Vincent Mama was not in a position to give Peter Mokoena any order without your instructions to carry out repossession operations?


MS MTANGA: Will I also be correct to conclude that there was no operation carried out by Peter Mokoena other than the Fidelity Guards one which came to your knowledge or was accounted for by their unit?

MR MASEKO: Yes there's no operation that came to me but I don't know if they did carry out some operations without my knowledge but there never came any reports to me.

MS MTANGA: I have no further questions, Chairperson, thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you ma'am. Has the Panel got any questions?

JUDGE MOTATA: Just for clarify Chairperson.

So these people were introduced by you by Peter or Vincent?

MR MASEKO: By Vincent.

JUDGE MOTATA: Did he say how he came into contact with them?

MR MASEKO: No, he only told me that he knows them but he didn't explain further how does he know them.

JUDGE MOTATA: In your meeting with them and in respect of you people, your unit wanting to execute this mission, the Repossession Unit in your person because I understood that you were the only one from your unit. Would I be correct?


JUDGE MOTATA: What was the exact understanding about this Fidelity Guards mission?

MR MASEKO: First I was sceptical because I didn't trust them fully, that's why I was alone, I was the only APLA member because I didn't want to put other APLA members in the mission that I don't trust them wholeheartedly. That's why I went myself, to sacrifice myself if I was to be sacrificed and then my understanding was that these people were making good money, that we needed, the money that we needed, so the understanding was that we'll work with them.

JUDGE MOTATA: Because you did not know them did Vincent tell you how much money they were making?

MR MASEKO: He didn't know exactly the exact amount but he was talking about large sums of money.

JUDGE MOTATA: Then you say at some stage you went for reconnaissance of Fidelity Guards premises. What precisely were you doing there because the mission had already been identified by the group in which Moti was a member?

MR MASEKO: The main purpose was to go and satisfy myself so that I mustn't just go in something that I haven't even seen and don't even know how does the place look like. So that was the motive to go and satisfy myself.

JUDGE MOTATA: When you spoke to Moti's group, Mr Moti's group, did they indicate the amount of money would get from the Fidelity Guards.

MR MASEKO: Yes, I just said maybe we might get something like R10 000, R15 000, but when we reached there it was more than that.

JUDGE MOTATA: And if I understood you correctly you said the understanding was that this money you would take and take it to your superiors?


JUDGE MOTATA: And that is the only thing you discussed, that you work with us because my organisation needs money and that money we'd get from there I would take to my superiors, that is PAC, APLA. Is that the understanding reached there?

MR MASEKO: Yes and then we agreed that I will go with Peter together because some of them they will think maybe I'll take the money for myself along the road. So the understanding was that I will go with Peter to Botswana to take the money to Junior.

JUDGE MOTATA: Was it discussed why it should be taken to APLA because they were on their own missions. Why you started to come in and say if we get this money we'll take it to the PAC. Was there discussions about your organisation?

MR MASEKO: Yes I made it clear to them that APLA didn't have enough guns, we didn't have enough guns, we used to change hands with guns so we had to buy a lot of guns and really if we had that money we'll advance our struggle quicker than it was.

JUDGE MOTATA: You spoke of one person could not operate the gate, you were not sure whether it was automatic or not but they couldn't open at that moment. Do you recall that?


JUDGE MOTATA: Do you know who it was amongst Moti's group who couldn't do that?

MR MASEKO: No I don't remember him thoroughly but it was one of the people that I didn't know their names.

JUDGE MOTATA: Now firstly, you said when the Fidelity Guards van came, you are not sure whether they were dropping the manager or not but it picked you up from a corner at Hillbrow and there were uniforms in this van. Do you recall that?


JUDGE MOTATA: How many uniforms were in this van?

MR MASEKO: We were a group of twelve. All of us we had uniforms and there were still others left, that's why I don't know how many were there.

JUDGE MOTATA: This person of balaclava, do you recall who he was?

MR MASEKO: All of us we had balaclavas but the one who was a driver, he forgot to take his balaclava after the mission, that's why he had his balaclava on and that made their own ...(indistinct) to realise that we are not security people because security people don't wear balaclavas.

JUDGE MOTATA: Thank you Chairperson, I've got no further questions.


ADV SANDI: Just one or two questions, Chairperson.

When you went to inspect the Fidelity company's premises, what did you observe?

MR MASEKO: One, the place when you go there you had to go down, it was a basement then that was what I noticed first. Second there were surveillance cameras there. There were a lot surveillance cameras. Then I asked myself how are we going to get inside here but Peter told me that I was not to worry because they have somebody who works there inside and who will provide us with the uniforms and who will help us to get inside. Then I had no problem with that.

ADV SANDI: I understood you to say your political motives for getting involved in this mission were only known to Peter and Brian, is that correct?


ADV SANDI: The others didn't know anything, for that matter they didn't even know who you were?

MR MASEKO: I never told them myself who I was, I talked to Peter and Brian and I took it that Peter and Brian never told them and that was how we used to operate, not to expose ourselves because if they told them they would be exposing me.

ADV SANDI: You were finding yourself in a situation where your security was a matter or importance?


ADV SANDI: You were quite concerned about your own security?

MR MASEKO: Yes I was. I was.

ADV SANDI: Did you agree on any specific measures by way of precaution to ensure security? I mean you were getting involved with people you don't even know. You've said it already that you didn't really trust them. What precautions were taken to ensure that your security would not be in danger?

MR MASEKO: I don't know, when you - in terms of what?

ADV SANDI: You didn't specifically say to Peter and Brian please don't tell these people who exactly I am, it's quite dangerous for me. You didn't say that?

MR MASEKO: No, I never said that. I never said that to him but I know for a fact that he was working with Vincent and Vincent made arrangements that we need. So I thought or I took it for granted that Vincent must have briefed him.

ADV SANDI: Concerning the money now these people were getting from the missions and operations they were getting involved in, did Vincent tell you where these monies were going to or did he perhaps know anything what's happening to those monies, who was getting these monies?

MR MASEKO: No, he didn't tell me.

ADV SANDI: Thank you, that's all from me, Chairperson.

JUDGE MOTATA: Just one following from my colleague.

When you say Vincent worked with them, how was he working with them? That is Mr Moti's group? Or let's speak about Peter and Brian. How was Vincent working with them?

MR MASEKO: Actually when I said he was working with them maybe I used the wrong word but he was acquainted to Peter.

JUDGE MOTATA: Oh, so he knew Peter?


JUDGE MOTATA: And probably what Peter was doing he knew?


JUDGE MOTATA: Thank you Chairperson, I've got no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Mbandazayo, re-examination?

MR MBANDAZAYO: None Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Mr Maseko you're excused. Thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Do you want to call General Fihla?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes Chairperson, I want to call him.



General Fihla, is it correct that you are a member of the South African National Defence Force?

GEN FIHLA: It is true.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Is it also correct that before you became a member of the South African National Defence Force you were director of military intelligence in APLA?

GEN FIHLA: That is correct.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now General, do you know the applicant Thapelo Maseko?


MR MBANDAZAYO: Now is it correct that he was the head of Repossession Unit in APLA?

GEN FIHLA: It is true.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now General, can you tell us how did this unit come about in APLA?

GEN FIHLA: In actual fact the programme for repossession started as early as I think in 1981 but the problem is that at that time structurally APLA at the High Command level did not cater for such activities. Now the commander of APLA was himself personally responsible for such activities.

Secondly we did not have properly constituted units for repossession. This particular task was given to individuals. Now because of that structural deficiency we had a lot of problems in terms of command and control.

Now subsequent to that we realised that we need to restructure and for command and control purposes we needed to put this responsibility under a specific individual. Then we decided that a specific department within the High Command that was to be responsible for this was logistics and logistics at that time was under Junior. That's how he became responsible for this particular responsibility.

Then subsequent to that we took a decision that we needed to put an infrastructure that we'll have full control over such activities. This is how then Thapelo Maseko and other members were deployed inside the country, to take full control of this activity and so that they could remain accountable to the High Command through Junior who was responsible for logistics.

MR MBANDAZAYO: General, can you tell the Committee who was Junior? Who is Junior?

GEN FIHLA: Junior was a member of the High Command and he was director for logistics at that time but later on when we restructured he then became Director for Personnel. He integrated into the South African National Defence Force in 1994 and he resigned from the South African National Defence Force last year.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now was Junior his real name?

GEN FIHLA: Junior was not his real name, his real name was Andile Ntabene.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now General, you have listened to the evidence of Mr Maseko and specifically I would like to ask you, he mentioned certain people and I would like to know whether you have any idea about these people like for instance Vincent Mama?

GEN FIHLA: Vincent Mama, I knew him very well because I also worked directly with him. Vincent Mama was basically not supposed to be or linked to the Repossession Unit because initially he was, if I remember well, he was just a courier but later on he was drawn into the logistics department and within the logistics department his main function was transport so he used to bring in vehicles for us. Even the vehicle that I was driving when I was stationed in Zimbabwe came from him.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now there is a person who has been mentioned here, Peter Mokoena, and I don't know but I understand his real name is Diseko Mogwate?

GEN FIHLA: I didn't know the name Peter Mokoena because that's the name he used inside the country but the one of Diseko I knew that one. He was a trained APLA member. If I remember very well he was deployed inside the country in 1987 and then he got injured some time in 1991 if I remember very well and he died in 1992 if my memory serves me well. If that is Diseko.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now General, I would like you to dwell on the aspect of the question of repossession and the question of "criminality", whether you heard any policy on people who are alleged to be criminals. What was your policy with regard to those people and how did you deal with that?

GEN FIHLA: The starting point is that repossession is interlinked with criminality. It depends on the perspective from which one looks at it. It took us a long time firstly to accept the issue of repossession because the policy of APLA was that APLA should not find itself being involved in acts that could be called criminal. But after a long debate we then decided to say we are not criminals. That's how we coined the term repossession because we had to bring in a political connotation to that activity so that it is given a distinct identification which will be completely different from ordinary criminal activity.

After we had given it that terminology, we then decided that we were going to implement it and we were going to identify individuals who were going to do it. But the first mistake we committed was that - I remember the APLA commander used to say that you can't give this responsibility to a person who has never even stolen peaches at his early age because that person will not even know how to conduct this type of activity. By implication it meant that we had to identify people who had an inkling of what this activity was all about and therefore amongst our recruits who also came, when we recruited them, we tried to identify people with such a background to be able to undertake such an activity and that was partly our mistake because we in the process maybe lost command and control because we didn't create a structure, we just appointed these individuals and gave them that responsibility. This is basically the background on how we were identifying individuals who were supposed to perform this function.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Is it possible maybe to have some - mention some certain people that you gave this task, which come to your mind?

GEN FIHLA: Say again?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Is it possible to mention certain people that you gave, the individuals that you gave these tasks, which come to your mind, which can you think of?

GEN FIHLA: Not too sure whether I'll be implicating them but because you are requesting me to do so, as long as they are protected I'll mention one. I remember the case of comrade Borofski. I was there in Zimbabwe when we gave him that responsibility and clear instructions and we also gave him, if I remember very well, it was two scorpion pistols and ammunition as well. That is one example I can mention.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Chairperson, Borofski Maselela once applied for amnesty but he withdrew it because he was released on parole. He came in I think 1998 here, he said he's no longer interested in continuing with the application. The person he is mentioning was Borofski Maselela.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we've noted that.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now General, can you expand on this question of anarchy? I understand that you sent Maseko so that you could co-ordinate the whole thing so that it can be structured and there is a line of command, they'd report and you'd have control of the Repossession Units. Now you indicated that it was started in 1981. Now you tasked this to individuals. Can you tell us whether the other APLA units which were involved in offensive unit were also involved in Repossession Units?

GEN FIHLA: That is true. Basically the whole issue of repossession nearly got out of hand in the sense that firstly even other units that were not supposed to perform the function ended up performing the function. Units which were supposed to be specifically for operations, units which were supposed to specifically for ordinance. I think this is how also Vincent Mama was entangled into this and then it became necessary that there must be a clear line of demarcation so that the units that are involved in operations should confine themselves to operations. But this also became a little bit difficult to control in the sense that if a unit was for operations and that unit is say, happens to attack a farmer, now when they see money where they're supposed to leave it because they are not part of a Repossession Unit, that became a problem. If the commander sees that maybe this Fidelity Guard vehicle can be attacked and money could be obtained from them, was he not supposed to take initiative? That became a problem as well. But our wish was that they were supposed to get clear distinction between units that were conducting operations and units that would repossess.

Secondly, the other aspect of other became because some of the individuals tended to be corrupted which is true by the mere exposure to such resources as money and vehicles. Even some of the people who were deployed in Zimbabwe, I think it was 1983, 1984, who were supposed to be the co-ordinators of this activity ended up being richer than the organisation itself. They were driving cars which the commander of APLA was not driving. They were staying in houses which even the chairman of the PAC could not afford and this is basically the anarchy that concerned us and we were not sure whether these people were becoming rich because of the money that was supposed to come to the organisation or not. This is why then we felt a needed to have full control of such an activity.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now would then the cadres on the ground who are involved in the operation know about those things that this money sometimes don't go to where they're supposed to go?

GEN FIHLA: Sometimes they wouldn't that's why I'm referring to the individuals who were stationed in Harare who were supposed to be the co-ordinators of this activity. They ended up driving more cars than APLA had in Zimbabwe for instance.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now let's come now to this question of Maseko. After he came inside the country did these individuals continue with these operations, those who have been operating, those they were not structured and where were they supposed to report to?

GEN FIHLA: I think the whole problem with restructuring would not have taken just one year, it needed to take a lot of time or a long time relatively. In the first place I think the mistake we also committed was that some of the people that were deployed were not introduced to Thapelo. This is one mistake which I see possibly we committed as well ourselves. Like if I listen to the evidence of Thapelo, I don't think he knew this Diseko. As far as he was concerned Diseko was just one of the people who were inside the country and that he was somebody who came from outside. And I think the gap as well was created by the fact that Diseko was deployed inside the country in 1987 and if I remember very well that is the exact year in which Thapelo arrived in Dar-es-Salaam, if I'm not mistaken. So they never met outside the borders of the R.S.A. So that's why maybe there was that gap in between.

But secondly, as well, our structure on the ground was so - that's why we had to restructure the directorate of operations because initially it was under Banishla Kwayo, but then we realised a lot of structural problems. Then Siayo was appointed into that post then still there were a lot of structural problems. Then Lethlapa Mpahlele was appointed to head the directorate of operations to be able to restructure operations and activities on the ground.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Now finally General do you - have you ever heard about the applicant Vontjie Moti or Mr Mzimkhulu Moti?


MR MBANDAZAYO: Now would you be in a position to know any other operatives who were never outside the country, some of them?

GEN FIHLA: I wouldn't know about any operative who was inside the country who was never linked to my activities or operations. I wouldn't.

MR MBANDAZAYO: That is all Chairperson at this stage.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mbandazayo. Mr Mooij, any questions?


General, do you know Mr Moti?


MR MOOIJ: To your knowledge was he ever part of your structure?

GEN FIHLA: I wouldn't guess that because I didn't know him.

MR MOOIJ: Yes but my question to you is not based on your personal acquaintance of him, my question is based on whether you're aware whether he was part of your structure?

GEN FIHLA: I only saw him today but if maybe I had an opportunity to refer to the list of the APLA prisoners which we have, I'm not too sure if his name is not there. So if I had that opportunity we could refer to the list of APLA prisoners and check if his name is not there.

MR MOOIJ: Could you do that and advise this Committee accordingly?

GEN FIHLA: I could check on that.

MR MOOIJ: Your evidence here today is in support of Mr Maseko's applicant, is that correct?


MR MOOIJ: Do you support Mr Moti's application?

GEN FIHLA: I was not told about it. Maybe it was an error on the part of the legal representative as well because for me to come here, I was only informed about comrade Thapelo Maseko.

MR MOOIJ: So an application in respect of Mr Moti was never placed before you?

GEN FIHLA: It was not indicated to me.

MR MOOIJ: Now seeing that you went into the whole objective of these Repossession Units, you mentioned that they were formed during the early 1980s. Now my question to you is this, seeing that in February of 1990, political parties who were unbanned, there could be free political activity, is there any justification under those circumstances for an organisation such as yours to continue with what would otherwise be called criminal activities in order to raise funds?

GEN FIHLA: The official APLA position was that whatever was happening inside the country in the form of negotiations was irrelevant. This is why APLA continued with this operation until as early as 1994. We only took an official decision to stop with operations I think late in 1993 when we also persuaded the PAC leadership to participate in the negotiations. But one problem that we also had at that time when we took that decision was to communicate that decision to our units on the ground. So it took us up to the middle of 1994 to could safely say we had communicated that decision which was taken in 1993. So if any operation took place in 1992 it still fell within the scope of APLA policy.

MR MOOIJ: But General, your policy from a military point of view is one thing but when it comes to - you could obviously before 1990, you could not raise money in South Africa legitimately for an unbanned organisation. Once it became unbanned, surely there were legitimate avenues open to an organisation such as yourself, to raise funds anywhere, either here or abroad? There was no need to resort to crime against innocent organisations and their employees in order to get money?

GEN FIHLA: In fact the contrary is true. Prior to 1992 it was a little bit easier to get more money because the international organisations that were supporting the PAC and therefore APLA were prepared to provide resources and money but after Mr de Klerk's speech of 1992 a lot of such organisations and governments became sceptical and doubtful on whether they would be doing a service to the South African political situation if they contributed funds to the PAC. So the requirement for more funds became even more important to APLA.

MR MOOIJ: General, I want to ask you about the management controls that existed within your organisation when it comes to the control of funds and especially receiving them from these units. Would you tell the Committee about those controls, how you would control the funds coming from various units?

GEN FIHLA: Like I indicate, funds were only coming from two units. Firstly it is the Repossession Unit and secondly from the Logistics Unit. Now the Logistics Unit basically was not expected to submit funds in the form of cash but their function was to provide the logistics, as you know logistics, things like vehicle, things like drugs, medicines, clothing and so on and the Repossession Unit was expected to provide funds in the form of cash. The directorate that was responsible for that was the directorate of logistics and the various units had their heads. The Repossession Units were under Thapelo Maseko.

MR MOOIJ: Now General, is this what you've just outlined, is that peculiar only to APLA or does that pertain to the PAC as a whole?

GEN FIHLA: It was peculiar to APLA. The PAC had a secretary for finance, who was responsible for finance and APLA did not have a person responsible for finance.

MR MOOIJ: Now did the APLA Repossession Unit have anything to do with the PAC finance department?

GEN FIHLA: They didn't have anything to do with the PAC finance department. The PAC used to provide funds through the commander of APLA and the commander of APLA alone through his Chief of Staff where those funds would be channelled.

MR MOOIJ: If I could perhaps in order just to clarify this issue, General, as far as the raising of funds and certainly the other things that you mentioned, what's the responsibility of the logistics department, from a PAC perspective? Would all these activities, the logistics and the fund raising through the Repossession Units, would that be exclusively within the domain of APLA?

GEN FIHLA: That is correct but the problem that arose was when we created a task force for the PAC. Now a task force was structure which we created purely for security reasons in the PAC and these are the people who were trained militarily. But the purpose of training them was just purely for security reasons. And then a problem arose because the members of the task force ended up conducting APLA operations. So that's how some of the PAC activities ended up being intertwined with APLA activities.

MR MOOIJ: General, I understood your evidence earlier by way of analogy when you explained the problem, you said what would happen if there was an operation aimed at a farm, for instance, and then the monies were found and what would they do with it. That I understand but it still was exclusively APLA's business to conduct these repossession things so the robberies and that, that were done specifically to generate money, that was only for APLA?


MR MOOIJ: Now these people who performed these operations, these repossession operations, were they entitled to keep any of the money for themselves?

GEN FIHLA: We sat down and discussed that issue extensively. I think it was after a few experiences as well. One such an experience is when I think it was members in the Transkei who had repossessed some funds and because in the house they were occupying had no furniture, then they decided to go and buy furniture for the house which house belonged to APLA. But that had a serious breach of security. What they did I think they went and bought furniture worth over R48 000 cash and when they went to buy that furniture they were wearing dirty overalls and the first impression they created to the manager of that furniture shop was that the cash they were paying with was fake and the manager was a bit worried and he called the police. When the police came that completely compromised that operation, it led to the arrest of the members. Now we draw from such experiences, we then decided that before members can decide to spend monies, they must first report to them so that the proper way of expending such funds could be implemented. But this also became difficult to implement as well because some of the operatives conducted such operations without funds and then they decided to take the initiative and spend some of the funds for things like food and so on. So in the final analysis, it also depended on the explanations they were giving and the amounts that they claimed that they had obtained from such operations.

Now if, for instance, that's why we took the decision that anything above R3000 needs to be declared because we found it to ridiculous to say if people tried to rob something they got R600 and they have no food and then they must first take that money to somebody before they could buy food.

MR MOOIJ: General, were these operatives, were they ever paid a salary or any other allowance?

GEN FIHLA: Not at all.

MR MOOIJ: To your knowledge did Mr Moti or Mr Peter Mokoena or his name is also Diseko at the time, ever account to you or anybody else in your command for money that they obtained through repossessions?

GEN FIHLA: No, because they were not supposed to account it to me because I had nothing to do with the Repossession Units, I was responsible for intelligence.

MR MOOIJ: So the proper procedure would then be for them to account to Mr Maseko?

GEN FIHLA: To Mr Maseko, his deputy or even the Director of Operations if Mr Maseko his deputy were not there or even the director for logistics himself.

MR MOOIJ: Could they account to Junior?

GEN FIHLA: They could account to Junior if they are under his structures.

MR MOOIJ: General, are you aware of any organisations or criminal groups operating in South Africa during the period say 1990 to 1993 under the guise of the PAC or APLA where this was in fact not the case at all?

GEN FIHLA: In my capacity as director for intelligence, this is one of the things I was tasked to look at because the whole responsibility that APLA had was that we needed to take responsibility for our actions. Initially we had a policy not to claim our operations but later on we realised that we were doing ourselves a disservice in the sense that if we didn't claim the operations other organisations claimed to them and therefore people thought that APLA was not doing anything.

And secondly, we realised that anybody could do anything in the name of APLA. A lot of other activities which would have been a inimical to APLA's position were taking place, things like rape and so on and the people who conducted such activities would leave graffiti on the walls saying "APLA was here". Then we decided that we'll try and take full responsibility and claim our operations. So definitely there were some of the incidents or criminal activities or any other activities you might call it which could have been conducted in the name of APLA, yes.

MR MOOIJ: Specifically robberies, were you aware of those being conducted in the name of APLA or under the guise of APLA where this was not the case at all?

GEN FIHLA: Specifically with robberies we didn't have any incident that we could point at.

MR MOOIJ: When was this decision taken, General, to claim responsibility where it was in fact APLA that was involved?

GEN FIHLA: I can't remember the year but it was taken at an official High Command meeting.

MR MOOIJ: Would that be before 1990 or was it thereafter?

GEN FIHLA: If my memory serves me well it could have been between 1988 and 1989 because I was military attaché then.

MR MOOIJ: So if I understand you correctly, it would definitely have been before 1990?

GEN FIHLA: It could have been '88, '89, '90 because like I'm saying I was defence attaché then.

MR MOOIJ: Now if APLA was involved in these operations, if I understand your evidence correctly, they would then officially claim responsibility therefore?

GEN FIHLA: We had a structure to claim responsibility as well. In this meeting where we took this decision we said the people who will take full responsibility to claim such operations will be the APLA operatives themselves. Our main reason for that was that some of High Command members who seemed to enjoy a lot of publicity merely compromised some of our operatives on the ground because when an official position came that such an operation was undertaken by APLA then they would immediately publish that without considering the security implications on the operatives on the ground. We then decided to give that responsibility to the unit commanders themselves to take that responsibility. That's why there was this one popular name called the ...(indistinct) because that person was given full responsibility to claim whatever operation they deemed fit for security reasons to claim.

MR MOOIJ: Was it the instruction that they had to claim responsibility?

GEN FIHLA: No, the instruction was that they could claim operations.

MR MOOIJ: So they had a discretion?

GEN FIHLA: They had a discretion.

MR MOOIJ: Now as far as these repossession operations were concerned, would this question to publicise or to claim responsibility therefore, would that lie with Mr Maseko?

GEN FIHLA: It would lie with Mr Maseko, it would also lie with the Director of Operations because it had other implications. If I can make one example as well. In one incident, I think it was in Pimville, a unit conducted an operation at a place adjacent to where the Director of Operations was staying and the problem was that they didn't know that the Director of Operations was in that particular vicinity. Now if they had claimed responsibility for that particular operation that could have jeopardised his presence in that particular area. So that's why we said the discretion remained with the operatives on the ground themselves.

MR MOOIJ: But just to clarify, General, when I asked you about Mr Maseko, would it lie - would the people reporting to him, in other words the people below him in the chain of command, would they have the right to make claims on behalf of APLA?

GEN FIHLA: Yes, they could have the right to claim.

MR MOOIJ: General, do you know a Themba Radebe?


MR MOOIJ: Are you aware that he was convicted with Mr Moti in a criminal trial in 1993?


MR MOOIJ: General, where persons involved in these activities, these repossession activities, when they were arrested and they were tried in court for that, would that then come to APLA's knowledge invariably?

GEN FIHLA: It would come.

MR MOOIJ: So if - let me ask you another question, if these operations were carried out and under the authority of APLA or under the authority, can find it more, the Repossession Unit and the people were arrested and tried therefore, would you have knowledge thereof?

GEN FIHLA: The Directorate of Personnel would have knowledge of that.

MR MOOIJ: You yourself wouldn't have knowledge?

GEN FIHLA: I would only receive a report either through the Director of Operations if it concerned intelligence or through the Directorate of Personnel. I would know that.

MR MOOIJ: You would know that?


MR MOOIJ: So you had no knowledge of the matters for which Mr Radebe and Mr Moti stood trial as being APLA operations?

GEN FIHLA: I don't have any knowledge of that, not that maybe I didn't get it before because I didn't know those names, no.

MR MOOIJ: But if it was an APLA operation you would have known about it, is that what you're saying?

GEN FIHLA: What I'm trying to say is I would know about APLA operations through the Director of Operations. This is why we compiled a list of our prisoners because we had a policy that all the members of APLA who were in prison and their operations for which they have been convicted were supposed to be reported, it was. Then through that mechanism I would know.

MR MOOIJ: General, when do you think that list could be made available of the prisoners?

GEN FIHLA: I can phone the office, we have a defence headquarters and check how long it can take to provide such a list.

MR MOOIJ: My learned colleague just asked me here whether it's possible that that list could be faxed to the Committee?

GEN FIHLA: It could be possible, I could phone.

MR MOOIJ: I can't speak on behalf of the Committee but I'm sure it will be appreciated. If we could perhaps arrange that during the lunch adjournment it would be of great assistance.

GEN FIHLA: I will make an attempt.

MR MOOIJ: Thank you General.

General, regarding your evidence especially the evidence concerning the examples that you mentioned of the people in Zimbabwe and so on, where people were doing things which they were supposed to do on behalf of the organisation or under the guise of the organisation and they did that, the true facts then showed that they were not doing that on behalf of the PAC or they were not carrying out their duties, in other words they were doing it to enrich themselves. How would, in your opinion, it affect that, in terms of you tried to draw the distinction between normal criminality and criminality where it was involving a political aspect. Now where those people acted outside of their mandate or acted - the only one who benefited were themselves, how would that fall into your distinction that you drew?

GEN FIHLA: I didn't say they were the only ones who benefited. The organisation continued to benefit but our worry was, was the organisation benefiting the way it was supposed to benefit and I said it as well that unfortunately when you deal with things like money it is very difficult to say then the most genuine people cannot be tempted. That's why we can talk about Dr Boesak today, the whole ...(indistinct), it doesn't mean that because of what he has been convicted for. He was not a politician but when a person is exposed to money temptation comes in but that temptation does not then nullify who that person is, that's basically what I was trying to say.

But what we were trying to do was to try and have full control over such an activity, to try and minimise temptation to the bare minimum.

MR MOOIJ: I appreciate that, General, but what remains is this, is that in terms of the jurisdiction of this commission, this Committee, an act has to fall within, any act performed, in order to qualify for amnesty, it has to fall within certain clearly defined parameters.


MR MOOIJ: Now where person says he is doing this on behalf of the PAC or on behalf of APLA and this is not the case at all, or partially so, does he then in your opinion fall within the ambit of, that he can come here and say I did this for the PAC and therefore I'm entitled to amnesty?

GEN FIHLA: I think you are putting me in a difficult position if I'm to express an opinion. What I want to do here is to express facts and not opinions because my problem would be if a person conducts such an act and he gets one million and he decides to take R50 000 from that one million and use it for his personal benefit and give R150 000 to the organisation, how will I classify that? Now it will be based on my morals to say he should not even have taken a cent and I wouldn't like therefore to express my opinion on the basis of morals. I would like to excuse myself from that question.

MR MOOIJ: Certainly, Chairperson, it's also neither for you or for myself to usurp the functions of this Committee. I'm not trying to do that at all but you made a clear distinction. You said there's criminality, especially when it comes to robberies and that but there is also another side to that and that is when it's done for purposes of politics and it's justified. That was our starting point and that is why I asked you this question.

Now like in this case, for instance, Mr Maseko gave evidence and he said that the operation was being planned by other people, not Maseko. He then came, he got involved and then the whole emphasis changed and the money was going to go to the PAC. Do you remember that evidence?


MR MOOIJ: Now what would be then the situation from a PAC perspective or an APLA perspective of the other people who were performing this operation but who were not part of the unit, of the Repossession Unit?

GEN FIHLA: That's why I was avoiding to put opinions. I'll put the APLA position.


GEN FIHLA: The APLA position was that we were going to take full responsibility for any member who conducted whatever act or activity on behalf of APLA. If any member conducted activities on his or her own behalf, then APLA would not be held responsible. That was an APLA official position.

MR MOOIJ: Thank you General, that's ultimately what I was aiming at, yes.

ADV SANDI: Just to make a bit of a follow up of that?

General, having listened to the testimony of Mr Maseko, do you accept that in the situation he was involved in, he was acting in furtherance of the aims and goals of the organisation?

GEN FIHLA: Who, Mr Maseko?

ADV SANDI: Mr Maseko.


ADV SANDI: Thank you.

MR MOOIJ: Is that in respect of the Fidelity Guards incident?

ADV SANDI: Yes the Fidelity Guards incident.

MR MOOIJ: Chairperson, is it possible that we could - I see it's nearly 1 o'clock, that I could just peruse my notes during lunch hour? Perhaps I just have one or two questions left for the General.

CHAIRPERSON: That's exactly the problem, Mr Mooij. I don't want to keep the General here any longer than it's absolutely necessary. I had actually intended to finish off his testimony before I adjourn so what I'm prepared to do is to give you a few moments to look at your notes. I certainly intend to take an hour's adjournment and to come back here and to listen to two questions when we could have finished his testimony.

MR MOOIJ: I understand, Chairperson, but especially in view of the list that the General will attempt to find over the lunch hour, I'd like to peruse that before I conclude my questions to the General.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, well I don't know if that makes much difference to his testimony. I thought that that was something that he will see if he can lay his hands on and then present to the Committee at which stage you can have a look at it if you wanted to and if it's necessary, if you can persuade us that there is something that the General must come and clarify in regard to the list then of course we can consider that. If you are telling me that you're virtually at the end of your cross-examination and as usually happens you want to make sure that you've covered everything, then of course I'm prepared to give you a brief opportunity to do that but you know, if you're saying that we must take an hour's adjournment and you might come back and ask two questions then of course, you know, I wouldn't be very keen to do that.

MR MOOIJ: Yes Chairperson, but it is the lunch hour virtually in any event, we're five minutes away from it.

CHAIRPERSON: Well, you know, you're not in a court, I must remind you unfortunately. As I've said to you, look we are working under time constraints. We started late this morning, we've got a responsibility to everybody who has an interest in these proceedings and unfortunately, you know, these sort of conventions don't really bind us completely. So if it's 1 o'clock and you've got one question, I'm not going to adjourn till 2 to allow you to come back and ask a question, so please understand that and try and assist us. I'm trying to be difficult with you, I'm asking you to assist.

MR MOOIJ: I understand that Chairperson. If we could have a ten minute adjournment, I would appreciate it?

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, we'll do that. We'll stand down for 10 minutes and reconvene.






Chairperson, I'm indebted to the Committee for the indulgence to let the matter stand down for a few minutes.

General, to return to the question of the list. Now you explained about the sensitivity of certain of these operations in that it could compromise the security of various of your members. Now with an operation such as the Repossession Unit, where people carrying out those functions were arrested, let's say only some of them were arrested and others got away, then surely their security would be at risk. Now did you compile the list that you referred to at the time when the people were arrested or when they were tried or was a list compiled at a much later date, say for instance when they applied for amnesty?

GEN FIHLA: The list was fully compiled because what happened is we had the documentation for operations. Unfortunately most of that documentation was confiscated by the police when they raided our house in Umtata because we were incidenting all the operations that we were undertaking because our aim was to keep archives for APLA history and APLA activities. Unfortunately those documents were confiscated. But subsequent to that, what we tried and did in 1994 when we integrated, because this list was also mostly driven by fact that we wanted to make sure that all genuine APLA members are recognised for what they did and also that they should be given an opportunity also to be integrated. So then we started recompiling it again in 1994.

MR MOOIJ: So in 1994 when you started compiling that list would that be then of people who were in prison at the time?

GEN FIHLA: Yes, people who were in prison at the time.

MR MOOIJ: And would you then check to see what those people were in prison for and whether they were involved with APLA activities?

GEN FIHLA: Yes tasked them, General Mkwaneni who moved around the prisons as well to see the APLA members who were in prison and also to make sure that all those were in prison also were catered for because our driving force like as I'm saying was the integration process.

MR MOOIJ: I understand that but once you had made a list of the APLA people who were in prison at the time in 1994, did you then try and reconcile that list with actual APLA activities?

GEN FIHLA: We tried to reconcile that list because our whole aim was to confirm that the people who were in that list were genuine APLA members because we were concerned as well that there could be other people who could claim to be APLA members so we made an attempt. I'm not too sure whether that attempt was watertight but we did make an attempt to make sure that the people who would be put into that list are genuine APLA members. We did make that attempt.

MR MOOIJ: What would be the situation of people who assisted APLA in carrying out some of these operations but who were not members?

GEN FIHLA: That's why I said we had a problem with the task force which we established for the PAC because officially and clinically speaking, those members were not APLA members but unfortunately because they began to recognise themselves to be APLA members by virtue of the training that were given to them, then they started conducting operations. The APLA High Command, they had to take a decision on that one, then we decided and said those task force members who wanted to be involved in APLA operations then can be involved in APLA operations as long as they will conduct those operations under the command structure of APLA, not on their own.

MR MOOIJ: These so-called Repossession Units, that carried the name Repossession Units, how big an organisation was that, how many people were involved there?

GEN FIHLA: I cannot be sure about the numbers.

MR MOOIJ: Did you know a lot of them?

GEN FIHLA: I didn't know a lot of them.

MR MOOIJ: Will it be safe to say, General, that the list, if a person who claims to be involved in repossession activities on behalf of the PAC, if his name does not appear on that list that you mentioned, would it then be safe to say that the probabilities are very strong that that person was not performing any of those, say robberies, for instance, on behalf of APLA?

GEN FIHLA: Yes, I can safely say so.

MR MOOIJ: So if his name is not there then he would not be associated with APLA?

GEN FIHLA: The probability is that he will not, yes.

MR MOOIJ: Thank you General, no further questions.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Ms Mtanga?

CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MS MTANGA: Yes Chairperson, I have a few questions.

General Fihla, you mentioned that Diseko was deployed in the country in 1987?


MS MTANGA: Then Diseko was later made the head of repossessions in 1989?


MS MTANGA: What was the position of Diseko in relation to Maseko when Maseko had formed this new Repossession Unit, was he supposed to account to Maseko or did he account to somebody else?

GEN FIHLA: Specifically Maseko was not deployed for repossession, he was deployed for operations. Now that's why I'm saying I don't know how he got linked up with Maseko and repossessions. When he was deployed in 1987 he was specifically deployed for operations.

MS MTANGA: If a person - was he a commander?

GEN FIHLA: He was supposed to command his unit.

MS MTANGA: And ...(intervention)

ADV SANDI: Did he have people working under him?

GEN FIHLA: He was supposed to have people working under him.

MS MTANGA: In the event here, he carried out operations that he was expected by APLA to carry. Who was he supposed to report to?

GEN FIHLA: He was supposed to report to the Director of Operations.

MS MTANGA: Being Lethlapa Mpahlele?

GEN FIHLA: Being Lethlapa Mpahlele later on because Lehlapa was not Director of Operations '87, it was Bani Hlatse in 1987.

MS MTANGA: And then in the event where people who worked with Diseko, that is his unit members, in the event they were arrested. Would their names, for any commanders - let's leave Diseko. Would any commander who died before 1994 and where people were arrested and were working with him and doing things on behalf of APLA, how would your command ensure that these people would be included in the list?

GEN FIHLA: Basically, two departments would be responsible. The first department is that of operations because the Director of Operations is supposed to account for the members that were under his department who were conducting operations, whether they'd be in repossession or whatever, as long as they were responsible for operations.

Then the second department that would be accountable was that of personnel because the Directorate of Personnel was supposed to account for any personnel losses or increases or any changes in the personnel structure of APLA. So those were the two departments.

MS MTANGA: In relation to the APLA policy what would be the status of operations carried out by Diseko, specifically repossession operations, what would be their status in the event where in the circumstances now that he never reported to Maseko and he was never tasked with repossessions?

GEN FIHLA: There are two probabilities. The first one is that if he conducted such operations for his personal gain, then that would not have been done on behalf of APLA and if he was arrested or anything but have happened to have been him, APLA would not take responsibility for that. But if he shall have done that on behalf of the organisation despite the fact that he went outside his mandate to conduct operations, APLA will still take responsibility but with the necessary caution. Like I made an example that we had a problem despite the fact that we'd given the units clear instructions not to participate in other units' responsibilities but it became difficult for us to say to a unit when it comes across money whether they should take it or not. So that was the problem we had.

Now it is true that some of the units tried to tell lies to their leadership so that they could justify their activities of going beyond their mandate. That is true as well.

MS MTANGA: General Fihla, we have an application by Mr Moti where he is applying for several repossession operations, where huge amounts of money were obtained and my question now is, if these monies were not accounted to Maseko who was the head of the Repossession Unit, wouldn't this have come to the knowledge of the APLA command in another way?

GEN FIHLA: It would depend on who their commander was at that time if they were conducting those operations on behalf of APLA and secondly whether that commander of theirs was reporting to Maseko or was reporting to Mpahlele or was reporting to the ...(indistinct). I'm talking about in Zimbabwe, because we had cases of members having brought in a lot of goods to the organisation outside but those goods never reached the organisation but the people inside the country did bring those goods. Now it becomes a problem now to say the person who got the goods to these people outside and the people decided to use these goods for their own goods, now whether we'll say a person did not report this thing. Now it becomes a problem.

Now by saying this, I'm not saying my colleague here did that, because I was not involved and I don't know of his operations but I'm just trying to give some of the problems that we had. The fellows I spoke about in Harare specifically who became richer than the organisation itself, is because they were receiving some of these things and receiving them on behalf of the organisation but they never submitted them to the organisation themselves. So those are the problems that were there but definitely such booty, if it was obtained, it was supposed to be submitted to the organisation.

MS MTANGA: My last question to you General, the list that you have referred to, you indicated that you have a name of a person and the incidence that he is in prison for or convicted for, am I correct?

GEN FIHLA: The incidence might not necessarily be put but the list, because that is an official list which was given also to the Chief of the SANDF, so when it comes it can also be collaborated with the list that is in possession to the Chief of the South African Defence Force because it was submitted for purposes of securing the members who were in prison so that they could gain access as well to the integration process.

MS MTANGA: Did this list include people who were members of the task force?

GEN FIHLA: Some of them yes, they were included.

MS MTANGA: Thank you Chairperson, no further questions.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Has the Panel got any questions?

ADV SANDI: Just one or two, Chairperson, thank you very much.

General Fihla, concerning the list, just very briefly, how perfect, how reliable would you say this list of names is?

GEN FIHLA: I would say 95 percent reliable.

ADV SANDI: Do you exclude the possibility of a name or names of persons appearing in this list, people who should not be there?

GEN FIHLA: That's why I'm giving it 95 percent. There was no way we could possibly be 100 percent correct but we tried our best to try and move around and check the people who were in prison and also tried to talk to the people who were responsible for operations for them to confirm whether they knew such people or not. We tried our best but there is still the possibility of that 5 percent.

ADV SANDI: Lastly, you were talking about people outside the country using the name of APLA to enrich themselves. Do you exclude such possibility inside the country?

GEN FIHLA: No, I don't.

ADV SANDI: Thank you. Thank you Chairperson.

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you. Re-examination Mr Mbandazayo?

RE-EXAMINATION BY MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you Chairperson, only one aspect.

Now on the last aspect, General, you indicated that there were people - goods were received from inside and were given to people, some in Harare and they did not declare them to the organisation. Would the ordinary cadres on the ground who were performing these tasks on behalf of the organisation know that these goods were not handed over to the relevant structures and used for the benefit of the organisation?

GEN FIHLA: They wouldn't know. I remember when I met Vincent Mama, he asked me about two vehicles which he didn't see at our office in Harare but when he spoke to me about it, those vehicles, I knew those vehicles but they were belonging to individuals. Only then did the organisation know that these vehicles were actually sent to Harare to be used by the organisation, not by the individuals. So that indicated that the members on the ground might not have suddenly known that the monies they give to certain individuals did not reach the coffers of the organisation.

MR MBANDAZAYO: Thank you, that is all, Chairperson.


CHAIRPERSON: Thank you Mr Mbandazayo. Yes, General Fihla, thank you very much. You are excused.

GEN FIHLA: Thank you.


CHAIRPERSON: Is that the case for Mr Maseko, Mr Mbandazayo?

MR MBANDAZAYO: Yes, Chairperson, that's the case for Mr Maseko.

CHAIRPERSON: We'll adjourn at this stage and we'll reconvene at 2.30.


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